'Back in the day', when I wrote a single General Guide for a game, updating was not a big chore. Now, when I may write ten different mini-guides for Harvest Moon or Rune Factory games as well as the General Guide, updating properly and modifying information as I discover nuances in the game is far more onerous a task.
The following bits of information I have discovered in playing the game extensively need to be added to my Guides but I decided to post them here as some details are rather useful:
Tame Monster Gifts: At first, I thought that the little 'Gifts' a tame Monster left randomly when you returned him or her to the First Forest were based on your Friendship Level with the Monster. I then thought the items ALWAYS were Level 1 items when a Monster at 5 Hearts left a Level 1 item as a parting gift. I now realise that the items left randomly will be of the same Levels as the War Trophies the Monster would 'drop' if you defeated him/her in battle. That should have been obvious to me, but one sometimes overcomplicates matters. Thus, if a tame Monster at 1 Heart is 'freed' and the War Trophies it drops in battle are all Level 10 items, any item it leaves as a parting gift will be a Level 10 item. If the tame Monster is at 10 Hearts but the items it ordinarily drops in battle are all Level 1 items, any parting gift will be Level 1 as well... It is as simple as that. Remember that, like War Trophies, you have only a chance of obtaining an item when a Tame Monster is returned to the First Forest. There is no guarantee that he/she will leave you ANYTHING. Furthermore, the probabilities are the same as they would be in battle. If there is a 20% chance that one War Trophy will be dropped and a 10%chance for another, your parting gift is more likely to be the one with the 20% chance.
Higher Levels of Beverages:
The amount of RP restored will be greater at higher levels and the duration of any temporary effect will increase with level increase.
It is easier to create high level Drinks that require a single ingredient than any requiring multiple ingredients as the level of the item you create will be that of the ingredient with the LOWEST level. Fruits knocked down with your Hammer from the Cornucopia Trees are best made into juices or jams, as those items require only one ingredient.
A quick example of the difference that levels make:
Orange Juice, Lv. 1: HP 0, RP 75, FX 90 sec. Attack +25, Defence +20
Orange Juice, Lv. 8: HP 0, RP 250, FX 300 sec. Attack +25, Defence +20
Although Juices ordinarily have no HP recovery value, a special effect that raises total HP temporarily can keep your character alive longer in a pinch. Again, any special effects will be of longer duration at higher levels.
Special Effects of Food and Drinks:
Players sometimes forget that the temporary special effect of a specific dish or drink can be as effective during battle as a Weapon endowed with a special effect.
One of the most annoying attacks in any Rune Factory game is a Status Attack that afflicts your character with a Status Ailment. In fact, I find it so annoying that I usually choose a Weapon that protects against Status Attacks over other, more powerful Weapons. For this reason, the Luck Blade and Smash Blade are personal fasvourites.
The Luck Blade and Smash Blade both offer defence against Poison and Seal. Seal is one of the most disruptive status attacks as it will prevent your character from using either Magic or any Special Attack. Formuade, a medicine you can make in your Laboratory, cures Status Ailments, but often it is more useful simply to equip a Weapon that offers defence against these Attacks when you plan to confront Monsters with the power to inflict them.
There are Cooked Dishes that provide the same defence, however.
Popcorn, a simple dish that requires only one ear of Corn to make, gives Defence from Seal Attacks.
Grass Juice gives both Status Attack and Status Defence. Relax Tea likewise gives Status Defence.
One more point should be made where Recovery items are concerned. In the heat of battle, Cooked Dishes for the most part take time to consume. You must be very careful if you wish to have your own private picnic while confronting a Boss Monster as any attack by the Monster while you are biting into your meal will interrupt it, forcing you to try again.
One reason that Energy Drinks are to be preferred in battle is because they take almost no time to drink. In fact, any Drink can be consumed faster than any solid food. Make certain, therefore, that you find a protected little alcove somewhere if you need to eat a Cooked Dish during battle.
Treasure Chests, Urns and Crates
You may have noticed that the same items tend to appear again and again when you open a specific Treasure Chest or smash a crate or white urn in a dungeon. There appears to be a 'short list' of items for every Crate, White Urn and Treasure Chest. Noting the position of a Treasure Chest, Crate or White Urn that yields a particularly useful item, therefore, is of benefit. Ultimately, Cooking Ingredients tend to be the most useful items...
The Pernicious 'Mask'
Players may note that many of the Accessories one can create at the Crafts Bench are feminine in nature. Those that give superior defence often are chosen for that reason for personal use. The actual reason why they exist, however, may be as potential gifts for an Eligible Girl, even though specific gifts are included in a separate Recipe Book.
Kevin posted a comment here asking what to do about the Mask he gave Eunice over a year ago. When an item of Head Gear is given to an Eligible Girl, you will see her wearing it afterwards. As it is a token of your love or esteem for her, it should delight you to see your handiwork on the Girl of your dreams. In most cases, you can change the Headgear she sports by giving her another item. For example, by giving her a Tiara, you will displace any current headgear you previously gave.
Incidentally, each Eligible Girl has different preferences where Accessories are concerned. Some will wear an 'Elephant Mask' while others, such as Mist will reject it. Tabatha will not wear a 'Hand-Knit Hat' but other Girls such as Mist will.
An exception to the rule, however, is the plain 'Mask' that is worn over the mouth. If you have maintained balanced Runey distribution throughout the map, the air of Trampoli should be very clean and healthy. With any dead zone on the map, it may be polluted, I suppose, but the Mask takes no account of the actual state of the environment. It remains on the face of the Girl to whom it has been given and even if you give her another item of Head Gear, the new item only will be ADDED. This is true even of the Pumpkin Head. I have tested it on more than one Eligible Girl. The question remains then: how does one RID a Girl of the plain masque once given???
Note: I have made a video about this which I will post here shortly.