I had high hopes with respect to the Ganesha Cup Boat Race in the 2nd Summer. In the first Summer, after an abortive attempt by poor Turner to join me in the gondola, I was forced to race alone. Asides by various characters, including Ganesha, about wasted opportunities to impress Eligible Girls, excited some hopes that, in the 2nd Year, I would be able to boost heart levels by choosing a Girl as my partner in the Race.
Alas! Rune Factory Frontier takes the choice out of your hands and reduces you to acceptance of a partner in the Race that in most cases, including my own character, will accomplish virtually nothing in terms of increasing Heart Levels significantly.
If you have taken any Eligible Girl on a Date/Dates, it is the Girl who last accompanied you on a romantic Date who will appear after Turner's annual attempt to assume her position as your partner for the Race. That put paid to MY hopes of increasing the Heart Level of an Eligible Girl who had not reached maximum 10 Hearts yet. Instead, Melody, with whom I had passed a pleasant afternoon at Lake Poli on 19 Summer, arrived to join me in the gondola.
At first I thought that the Eligible Girl with the highest Heart Level might join your character for the Race, and therefore reduced Melody's Heart Level by almost a full level by dosing her with her most detested gift, Mayonnaise. Alas... she still appeared at the 11th hour on the pier and the Girls who surpassed her with full 10, 10 Levels did not show up at all. Other players have confirmed that it is only the Girl who LAST went on a Date with your character who will join you for the Race.
This is wonderful if you have your heart set on one Eligible Girl and have neither interest nor intention of courting any one else. My own method of playing any Harvest Moon/Rune Factory game is to boost ALL Eligible Girls/Bachelors to maximum Heart Level to experience all their Events before I ever marry any one. I even experience the Weddings with all the Girls/Bachelors if possible before I reload to play out the game in earnest.
Note that the reason why the Ganesha Cup Boat Race is not likely to have much of an effect with any Eligible Girl is because you will not obtain the option to ask a Girl on a Date until she reaches 8 Hearts. By the time you go on the Date, she may be at 9 or 10 Hearts. Any 'heart' boosts gained during the Boat Race therefore are not that significant.
Actually though, I am beginning to suspect that the real effect of an Eligible Girl's participation is to allow you to gain greater speed during the race. Each time you hit a 'heart' in the water, your gondola's speed increases enormously. It is possible that the Girl's love acts more to aid you than to boost her Love Level.
Another annoyance with respect to the Wii Rune Factory game is the fact that only ONE save slot is allowed per game. This is most frustrating. With other games, including Tree of Tranquility, one could save the same game at different points in different slots, allowing more than one future from the same beginning.
The creators of Rune Factory Frontier obviously want the player to play more than one game from start to finish. 'Memories' will not be saved unless the game is saved, so any Marriages that are not saved will not be added to your Memory collection. If I wish to experience the appearance of every Eligible Girl at the Ganesha Cup Boat Race, I either have to remain single for another decade or play almost a dozen more games of RFF... As far as the four set Dates are concerned, one need not wait a decade to experience all of them with every Eligible Girl but it will be a very slow game indeed if I play through each one, then reload... and continue to reload until I have had a Date with every one.
Well, I do play slowly because I try to experience all possible Events and results when possible. While other players dash about and reach the tenth year of the game, I remain in the 2nd Summer, trying to force alternate results such as the appearance of a different girl at the Ganesha Cup Boat Race...
Please do not misinterpret my disappointment here. Melody is a lovely girl. I have nothing against Witches and Wizards and married Alicia in my first RF2 game. I would have liked to have been able to experience the appearance of EVERY girl at this point in the game, however... Oh well, I guess I must resign myself to sharing the race with the 'Huntress of Hot Springs' this year.