Friday, August 28, 2009

Lava Ruins, 4th Floor

Here is a very specific Walkthrough of the 4th Floor of the Lava Ruins, showing a shortcut to the Isolated Stairway that leads to the 5th Floor:

Seasonal Farming in Harvest Moon and Rune Factory

Crops tend to be season-specific both in Harvest Moon and in Rune Factory. Those of us who have been playing Harvest Moon games for a number of years became accustomed to a specific correspondence between Crops and their seasons.

Whether motivated by a sense of mischief or simply by a desire to 'mix things up' to make the games more challenging, some of the seasonal correspondences for traditional Crops were altered in more than one recent Harvest Moon and Rune Factory game.

For example, in Rune Factory 2, Turnips, always designated as a Spring Crop, became a Winter Crop. Pink Turnips instead were designated as the Spring Crop. Onions, traditionally a Summer Crop, became a Spring Crop. Potatoes, always associated in Harvest Moon with Spring, became an Autumn Crop. Confusing? Most definitely.

I believe that Pumpkins, traditionally a Summer Crop in most Harvest Moon/Rune Factory games, were moved to Autumn in Tree of Tranquility. (That makes more sense in terms of an Autumn Pumpkin Festival in a way but I believe that Pumpkins will continue to be classified as a Summer Crop in most games.)

When I wrote a post about Crops in Island of Happiness, and described a field in error as containing 'Tomatoes, Corn and Turnips', it probably was due partly to the many changes I have experienced as a Farmer in Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. Of course, the third Crop in the field consisted of Onions, not Turnips. (In my defence, I wrote the post after a virtually sleepless night, battling a rather nasty infection that caused high fever, terrible headaches, earache and sore throat.)

Another fact that has complicated my Farming expertise somewhat is the ability to grow Crops from ALL seasons simulaneously on Whale Island in Rune Factory Frontier, making it quite possible to have Corn, Tomatoes and Turnips on the same field... Nonetheless, it is embarrassing to make a mistake like that in a published post, and I am glad that some one caught it quickly!

One can become so accustomed to our Harvest Moon universe, certain fundamental rules relating to farming, mining, fishing and even social interactions that appear to be writ in stone... the unverse therefore is intensely real and one sometimes expects that these rules, like the 'laws of Nature' are unchanging. Making ANY assumption in a new game that is based on past games is a mistake unless proven by actual experience because the creators of any game are like Gods who can, in a single act, reverse any or ALL of the laws. The worlds of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory are detailed and complex, with characters who appear in more than one game and items, such as lithographs, Pirate Treasure, Fossils of Fish and Wonderfuls that acquire their own reality due to Harvest Moon, irrespective of any separate identity they may or my not possess in the 'real world'.

It is important for any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory player, myself included, ALWAYS to read the description of any item in any new game. Any bag of seeds that you purchase comes with a detailed description, including its Seasonal correspondence.
I never made the mistake of actually planting Turnips in Summer in Island of Happiness... but I did make the mistake of planting Turnips in Spring once in Rune Factory 2. Force of habit... and that can be a liability as well as an asset for a veteran player.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Score Attack in Frantic Farming

In my first video introductions for Frantic Farming, my focus was Story Mode, as it is the Stories that are windows into the lives of the characters from Island of Happiness, offering more insights into their relationships as well as humour, drama and friendly rivalries.

It is Score Attack Mode that probably should be a player's first experience with Frantic Farming, however, as Score Attack allows a player to familiarise himself/herself with the puzzles. Furthermore, you can unlock all new Characters either by completing the game in Story Mode using other Characters OR by playing the game a specific number of times in Score Attack Mode.

In Score Attack mode, your score is significant only when it is your highest score, as it then will be entered in your Records. A low score, however, is as effective as a high score in terms of counting towards a total that will unlock a new character.

Furthermore, you can experience the Special Skills of all the characters in Score Attack. The Special Skill of each Character is one of the most entertaining aspects of Frantic Farming.

This video shows all the unlockable Characters in Frantic Farming and the Special Skill unique to each:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Island of Happiness Farming Tip

I am working now on Sunshine Islands, a 'sequel' to Island of Happiness. Working on my fields, I was reminded of a farming tip that I discovered and which should be added to my IoH Guides. In Island of Happiness, the success of any Crop is predicated by TWO factors: Water and Sunlight. There is both a point total minimum and a maximum in terms of every Crop. These are given in my IoH Farming Guide, a very specific, detailed mini-guide that deals exclusively with farming. If a Crop fails to receive the bare minimum in terms either of Sunlight or of Water, it will fail. If the amount of Sunlight or Water it receives EXCEEDS the maximum that is allowed, it will fail as well.

Weather conditions determine Sunlight and can provide Water as well. In Summer, in particular, your own character usually must water his/her Crops religiously as rainy days will be less probable than they are in other seasons. There is something that he/she often can do, however, to speed the growth process. You can water a Crop twice rather than once.

In the first few seasons of the game, you will struggle where farming is concerned unless you manage to obtain at least one Red and one Blue Wonderful for your Watering Can. Two Blue Wonderfuls and one Red Wonderful is even better, as you then can water a full 3 x 3 plot with a single use of the Watering Can, but even one of each colour will make your life far easier, as a single use then will water 6 squares or two rows.

Weather in IoH is determined almost a full week (six days) in advance, so you can cheat a little by jumping ahead a few days to see the results of any double watering you have performed. This is particularly useful near the end of any season for Crops that were planted late. Sometimes double watering of a Turnip Crop near the end of Spring or Onion or Tomato Crop near the end of Summer can mean the difference between a successful harvest and the lack of a harvest.

Remember that Water as well as Sunlight have maximums that you must not exceed. Double watering can be a great 'cheat' but moving ahead to see the results always is advised if you are in doubt as to the total points of Water the Crop has received from this strategy.

Another tip: Leaving your Crops unharvested can result in bigger, better Crops but it can cause them to die as well. Again, move ahead a few days to see the results. You may need to water an unharvested Crop in order to keep it alive... but often you will not need to do so.

When I suggest that you 'move ahead', you must do so without ever saving your game. Simply go to sleep, rush outside the next morning to see what has occurred in your field, go back to sleep, rush outside the next morning... and so on but THEN RELOAD!

Sleeping through any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game is not a good strategy unless it is done on a temporary basis without ever saving your game.

Players who in Island of Happiness were unable to bring Summer Crops such as Corn or Tomatoes to ripeness in their first year may find that double watering will do the trick. Without a Watering Can that is augmented with at least one Blue or Red Wonderful, however, this strategy may be impractical. Remember that the colour of the Wonderful you obtain at any Festival is determined by the final digits in your Farming Degree total, which means that tool use can change the total. There is a set order to the Wonderfuls, included in my General Guide for IoH. The appearance of Wonderfuls at Chen's Shop in Winter likewise is determined by your Farming Degree total but the colour in this case is determined by the date. Again, this information is provided in my General Guide.

In the photograph at the top of this post, you will see a field in IoH on 27 Summer of the first year that contains Onions, Tomatoes and Corn. The ripe Tomatoes, now at Rank A, will be left unharvested until the day of the Summer Crop Festival. Freya will not be obliged to water them again as they have received sufficient Water to meet the IoH requirements. The Corn, if left unharvested and unwatered, will survive as well until the end of the Season.

The Onions that remain at seed stage will NOT ripen by the end of the Season unless she double-waters them every day. They were planted very late in the season. The other Onions that are nearly ripe need to be watered only once more...

She discovered this by 'cheating', moving ahead to the day of the Festival and then to the end of the season. It is possible that, should she have left the Tomatoes and Corn unharvested, but watered them each day, they would die from excess watering. She did not bother to confirm this, however, as they will remain at Rank A if she simply leaves them in the field.

In Spring, she successfully double-watered some Turnips planted very close to the end of the Season in order to bring them to harvest before the advent of Summer. Rank can be affected by double-watering, however... I believe it actually can decrease Rank in certain circumstances if the Crop has obtained close to the maximum amount of Water it can sustain. Even so, it is better to harvest B Rank Crops than no Crops at all.

When you double-water any Crop, it always is a good idea to move ahead to see whether or not it needs to be watered again on any given day. On a future day, it is possible that the Crop only will need Sunlight rather than Sunlight AND Water.

Once you have a Greenhouse, you will not need to spend as much time and energy on these factors. In fact, once you have a decent income, the harvest of a single Crop will become less important, unless you are trying to make quotas in order to unlock new Crops.

Here is another point that is worth mention where IoH is concerned. Although Freya has a Refrigerator for Crop storage, it is the smallest size. The size of the Refrigerator as well as the material from which it is made determine how well it can preserve items. In the smallest first Refrigerator that is purchased from Chen, items do not retain their Rank or Freshness very well, although they can be used as ingredients in cooking almost indefinitely. In this situation, if she wishes to win the Crop Festival, it may be best to leave the Tomatoes in the field where they will retain both their Rank and their Freshness.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Island of Happiness Rival Events


I have not been able to play Island of Happiness for some time now and in fact am working on preliminary guides for 'Sunshine Islands', its sequel. Island of Happiness remains the most sophisticated and complex Harvest Moon game to date, however and I only now realised that some assumptions made about the requirements for triggering Events may be incorrect.

In Island of Happiness, your character's actions affect the total population on the Island. In other words, if you bring two members of the Ranching Team to the Island, sheep will be unlocked at Mirabelle's Animal Shop. On the other side of the coin, if you fail to fish for a season and thereby ship no fish whatsoever, characters from the Fishing Team will leave.

Both Main Characters such as Eligible Girls/Bachelors and Subsidiary Characters are affected by your character's activities throughout the game. Players, including myself, who were unable to trigger the final Rival Heart Event between a couple initially performed a specific activity associated with the characters and then were able to trigger the Event. In other words, after I spent a fair amount of time fishing, the final Rival Event between Denny and Lanna triggered.

Today, a player left a comment asking how many fish had to be caught before the final Rival Event between Lanna and Denny would trigger. This is what caused me to reassess the entire basis of Island of Happiness. It may be the total number of Subsidiary Characters in a specific team who are present on the island at a given time that is the determinant rather than the activity (fishing, mining, etc.) per se where the requirement for any Rival Proposal is concerned. In other words, it is not the number of Fish that you catch but the number of members of the Fishing Team who are on the Island that is significant.

In like fashion, the puzzle relating to the actual requirement to trigger Elliot's Purple Heart Event could be solved using the same reasoning. In desperation, hunting for a hidden trigger for the Event, rather absurd theories about a requirement that a player ship 200 Crops from Taro's shipping bin arose but were disproven by players who were able to experience the Event without ever shipping a single Crop from Taro's bin. I expect that the requirement for his Purple Heart Event, apart from having the specified Heart Level, actually is based on the number of Farming Team Members who are on the Island. I suspect that, if you have not brought any of the Farming Team members to the Island you will not be able to experience his Purple Heart Event even if he is at Blue Heart level.

Another situation that shows the complexity of the game involves the Ranch products in Island of Happiness. The appearance of members of the Ranching Team is based on the number of Ranch products that your character makes. Initially, I believed that the products had to be made in the appropriate Makers until characters managed to bring the members of the Teams to the Island by making the same products in their Kitchen.

In fact, my Characters Guide needs to be revised to some extent based on extended gameplay experiences. It was written using an advance copy of the game.

In particular, if I am correct in assuming now that actual Events are based on the presence of a specified number of Subsidiary Team members rather than on totals of items obtained or shipped, it will simplify matters considerably.

I would be interested in hearing from other players on this topic.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Brief Tour of Frantic Farming

Here is the second of two videos I made to introduce Frantic Farming:

When contests are time-based, it is extremely difficult to take screenshots or clips and try to perform game actions at the same time!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Video Introduction to Frantic Farming

Here is a brief video introduction to the upcoming Harvest Moon game, 'Frantic Farming'. It is not really a tutorial, but rather designed to show a viewer a few of the different options that are available as well as some of the entertaining dialogue between characters who are well-known to players of Island of Happiness:

Without wishing to give away too much surprises, I did include some dialogue that should be of interest to all Island of Happiness fans. Was any one previously aware of how forgetful Lanna really is? We all knew that she was the dominant partner in the relationship with Denny but she now has no qualms in displays of absolute power.
Popper, who in Island of Happiness never made a squawk, now speaks up FOR Denny from time to time... There are many entertaining exchanges of this sort in Frantic Farming. You won't be able to experience them, however, if you do not prove that you are an expert farmer!

I daresay that the Multiplayer options will be fun, as Harvest Moon fans compete against one another. In one Mode, you can sow Rocks on your opponent's field rather like Brodik in Rune Factory Frontier!

First Look at Frantic Farming by Natsume

Frantic Farming could be considered a 'sequel' to Island of Happiness as the game is set on Sunny Island AFTER you have made the island a prosperous and popular location and persuaded all main characters to live there.

Those of you (including myself) who were rather infatuated with the silver-haired Vaughn will be able to unlock him as a playable character in Frantic Farming. In fact, you begin the game with only two playable characters in the form of Mark and Chelsea but each time you complete the game in Story Mode using a character, it will unlock some one new.

The Story Mode is based on a recurring theme in Harvest Moon (and Rune Factory). You are called upon to save your community from impending disaster. The other fundamental basis of the game is FARMING, which should come as no surprise to veterans both of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory.

The graphics are wonderful and the music is great. In fact, one of the 'unlockables' is a music player where you can play all the themes from the game on vinyl records. (It is interesting how vinyl refuses to become obsolete in ANY world, despite IPods and Zunes...)

Frantic Farming is a puzzle game and it is precisely what its name suggests: a game wherein one must harvest crops as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to move forward in the Story. There are other Modes apart from the 'Story Mode' in which a player can compete against other players as well.

Those who have grumbled about DS games that do not exploit the 'Touchscreen' option should be thrilled with Frantic Farming. The stylus is used almost exclusively. Crops are displayed on a small grid in squares in various stages of growth. Outside the grid, the Harvest Sprite awaits your orders. When you touch him with the stylus, he will move into the grid and begin to harvest ripe crops. It may sound simple, but quite a lot of strategy is involved. Whenever the Harvest Sprite harvests a crop, he then will water a specific number of squares surrounding that crop. Chains can be created that allow him to harvest more quickly and earn special bonuses. The legendary Gold Crops and Big Crops appear in Frantic Farming as well.
The puzzles can be quite addictive in themselves.

Note that the actual Mode of solving the various puzzles will depend somewhat on the character you play, as each character has a 'Special Skill' that can be utilised when a gauge is filled. The Special Skills can be dramatic or amusing. For example, Shea's Special Skill is a 'Crop Dance' complete with fire juggling while Natalies' Special Skill is the 'Sandwich', wherein a large Sandwich is given to the tiny Harvest Sprite to empower him to greater efforts.

What will make this game particularly attractive to Harvest Moon players, however, are the dialogues of characters in Story Mode, as they often offer added insight into their lives and histories. For example, Popper, the black bird who sits on Denny's shoulder, actually SPEAKS in Frantic Farming!

When I first began to play Frantic Farming, I was reminded a little of 'Princess Debut', another game that offered stylus action with an ongoing Story. Instead of practicing ballroom dances, one harvests Crops but in other respects, the two games are rather similar. There is a gallery of 'Memory' photographs to be unlocked for each character by completing the game for each in Story Mode. Records of scores are kept and players can compete either against their own previous records or against other players in Multiplayer Mode. There are differences, of course. In Princess Debut, you played a single character and it was the partner that you chose who would create variations in the Story. In Frantic Farming, you actually can play different characters and the dialogues and even the Chapters change in EACH Story.

I certainly would recommend Frantic Farming to any one who loves puzzles, any one who loves Harvest Moon in general and any one who particularly loved Island of Happiness.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

'Heart Events' and 'Story Events' in Rune Factory Frontier

In Harvest Moon, there usually is a sequence of Events known as 'Heart Events' that are the foundation of your character's courtship of any Eligible Girl or Eligible Bachelor.

In Rune Factory Frontier, each Eligible Girl has her own 'Story' and there is a still that is included in the 'Memories' section of the game only when her Story is completed. Although the Events in an Eligible Girl's Story have been called 'Heart Events', strictly speaking, they are different, as you evidently CAN experience them after marriage. True 'Heart Events' cannot be experience once you marry.

In fact, one player actually took another Girl out on a Date in Rune Factory Frontier AFTER marriage to Mist!

I always experience all possible Events BEFORE I save a Marriage to any Eligible Girl or Bachelor either in Harvest Moon or Rune Factory. I therefore had completed all the Stories in Rune Factory Frontier while remaining single. I should not have made an assumption to the effect that these Stories could be equated to Heart Events in every respect.

In any case, my Guides will be revised to include the information that the Stories of other Eligible Girls can be completed after you marry some one else. What you cannot do is marry an Eligible Girl if you have not completed HER Story yet.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Time Out from Rune Factory Frontier

I am NOT finished with Rune Factory Frontier by any means. I still need to upload a few Proposal/Wedding videos I created last month as well as adding more details to all my guides. On the other hand, Frantic Farming is due to be released very shortly and I would like to have a completed Guide for that game on IGN on the day it is released.

I have not received official permission to post about Frantic Farming yet but I think I safely can state that it is a very addictive, fast-paced game that is certain to appeal both to gamers who enjoy puzzles as well as any one who loved Island of Happiness. For reasons which I will explain in my general review of the game, I believe that players who liked Princess Debut will enjoy Frantic Farming. I hope to be able to post a detailed review in a few days and perhaps a few videos as well.

Energy Drink X in the Lava Ruins

For those players who haven't the Cooking Skill required to make Energy Drink X themselves and have not reached the Floating Chamber on Whale Island in order to be able to collect it from the various Twin Towers there, you can find Energy Drink X on the 3rd Floor of the Lava Ruins.

Energy Drink X is the most potent of the three Energy Drinks available in Rune Factory Frontier. Beyond that, however, it is required to complete Rosetta's 'Story'.

Sue shared this information after I had researched the various Treasure Chests on Floors 4 and 5 without ever finding Energy Drink X on either. It is the 3rd Floor that has a Treasure Chest that often contains the powerful restorative drink.

I explored the 3rd Floor after reading her comment and confirmed the location, as well as creating a detailed Walkthrough description here. What is truly ironic, however, is that this information IS included in my Screen-by-Screen Walkthrough of the Lava Ruins. I had not read the Bestiary and Caves Guide recently. Today, when I accessed the Guide in order to add the location of the E. Drink X to the 3rd Floor Walkthrough, I discovered that I had included it when I initially created the walkthrough.

In any case, here is a new detailed description:

Here are the directions:

From the Isolated Stairway, go west down the long stairway. If you take the Shortcut Stairway, go north, detonate the bomb that clears the fallen masonry and continue north to the same long stairway, then descend. Go south past the Mini-Golems and then west through the sliding door that leads to a small chamber FILLED with Summer Monsters. (This is probably why I avoided the room for the most part in the early days of my explorations.) There are two Monster Generators in this chamber, each of which spawns two Summers. All plant monsters have the power to inflict Paralysis. If you are wearing a Wristwatch, you will be protected from both Stun and Paralysis. A Luck Blade or Smash Blade protects against Poison and Seal. The two in combination therefore protect against all common status ailments.

If you are riding a Transport Monster, it probably is best to dismount and use a weapon against the pesky creatures to clear the room most quickly. Paralysis will slow down the Monster unless you have consumed food with a temporary FX of protecting against Paralysis attacks.

There are two Treasure Chests in this chamber. One usually contains Fire Crystal, Lv. 6 or an Orange. The other most often contains Energy Drink X but sometimes yields Ketchup I believe.

I will include a new section in the Bestiary and Caves Guide for players who are looking specifically for E. Drink X. I refer players to my Guides but when asked a question often do not have time to reread all the information I myself wrote about a game... A little section dealing specifically with this should be helpful.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lava Ruins Walkthrough

It is not a masterpiece in terms of artistry, but here is a Walkthrough for the Snow Ruins. It shows both the paths to the Shortcut Stairway and the Isolated Stairway on each Floor.

Although I did not find Energy Drink X in any Treasure Chest or White Urn on the 4th or 5th Floors of the Lava Ruins, Sue, who asked for the Walkthrough for the Snow Ruins, managed to find Energy Drink X on the 3rd Floor of the Lava Ruins. Well done!
I have created a separate post describing the path to the chamber on the 3rd Floor that often yields E. Drink X.

You will find Energy Drink X very often in the twin Towers built on the Floating Chamber of Whale Island. That would be the easiest method of obtaining it if you haven't the Skill to make it yourself yet. Simply take Rune Stones to Whale Island and either climb the rope or use the Circle Portal (if you have defeated the Giant Squid) to go directly to the upper levels, then open all the doors of the twin Towers and search the Treasure Chests... I usually would find 4 to 8 Energy Drink X in a single visit, not to mention all the Little Crystals of various levels. (More likely to find 4 Energy Drinks than 8, in all honesty...) In fact, using a Grass Stone for each door at the Tower of Life, as soon as you climb the Rope, you should be able to net at least 2 Energy Drink X from the Treasure Chests behind the locked doors. If your levels are low, there is no need to fight any Monsters as you can avoid triggering the action of the Generator if you are careful to creep along the southern wall.

The locked doors in the Tower of Life require Grass Runeys, however, and I personally would advocate a visit to the Tower of Birth instead, where all Rune Stones are accepted and you therefore can use Water Rune Stones. The Tower of Life yields only Level 2 Little Crystals as well as E. Drink X. Level 2 is not significantly better than the Level 1 Little Crystals found in the Tower of Birth, where you can use Water Rune Stones to unlock the doors. Grass Runeys tend to be the most precious but Water Runeys are generated in great quantities in all seasons.

Remember that the best tools can be made effectively with only Level 1 Little Crystals as you then can use two pieces of Scrap Iron to upgrade them to higher levels. It is only when forging the best weapons that you would be advised to use higher levels of Little Crystals. The Tower of Glory yields Level 8 Little Crystals as well as E. Drink X. If your levels are low, however, you should limit yourself to explorations in the Tower of Life as you then can avoid combat with powerful Monsters.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rune Factory 3

My friend Mars-Frog brought this to my attention a couple of months ago, but as the 'buzz' among players increases daily, I thought it might be useful to post a little information about the upcoming Rune Factory 3 here. I am receiving many emails now from players asking about the next game in the Rune Factory series, at present enjoying a flurry of anticipation in Japan.

The ability of Maisu to transform into a Monster with the aid of a 'Transformation Belt' is the logical next step in Rune Factory magic. After all, in Rune Factory 2, your character in the 2nd Generation received a Monster Outfit that allowed him/her to appear as a sort of elder branch of the Wooly or Chipsqueek family, slightly larger than the real Monsters but otherwise perfect in every detail.

In Rune Factory Frontier, Kross declares: Before, I wished that I would be reborn as a monster instead of a human. Heh… But now, I would want to do farm work even if I were to be reborn. I started to think that way after talking to you.

Nonetheless, the seeds of the future had been planted in the fertile minds of Rune Factory creators...

The result is Maisu. Although he can transform himself into a Monster, he is not relegated to the Monster Barn and can raise other Monsters. His Monster persona does give him alternative combat skills as well as an allure to a specific Eligible Girl who does not care for him much as a human but who is drawn to him when he transforms into a Golden Moko Moko.

The movement and Events of other characters may be more varied than in previous games, depending on their interactions with others rather than being determined by a set schedule.

Finally, speaking of seeds and farming, evidently there are some new aspects to these as well in RF3. There are 'Active Seeds' that produce special crops that can be used in battle.

As I had not seen the game, however, it would be pointless to discuss it in any detail now.

Rune Factory 3 has not been released in Japan yet, so this game is far in the future where any English version is concerned. As always, however, Harvest Moon and Rune Factory fans cannot get enough of either series and are excited by the possibilities of the next DS Rune Factory game...

To be quite honest, I personally feel that none of the existing Rune Factory or Harvest Moon games have been exhausted. There are far too many wonderful Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games available at this point in time and too few hours in the day to enjoy them. I remember a time when the only game I played was Friends of Mineral Town. THAT game fully occupied and enchanted me. Then came 'More Friends of Mineral Town' which allowed me, as a girl in real life, to be a girl in Mineral Town courting the guys who had been my rivals in FoMT. I thought I never could find a game I loved more than More Friends of Mineral Town...

A few years later, I have fallen in love with each new Harvest Moon game until Rune Factory appeared on the scene, offering combat and forging WITH Harvest Moon activities. I felt that no game could be more perfect than Rune Factory. Two Rune Factory games later, I still have not had my fill of the original Rune Factory.

As for Harvest Moon, I feel there still is much to do in Island of Happiness but here I am, exploring Sunshine Islands, beginning to write guides about that incredible game...

Meanwhile, there is Frantic Farming as well, soon to be released... I have much to write about Frantic Farming when permitted to do so.

Rune Factory 3, however exciting, is a distant dream on the horizon, and I am content to keep it at a distance at least for a few more months while I continue to explore the games that actually are available now for those of us who sadly are not fluent in Japanese.

N.B. Please understand that I have no 'special' knowledge about Rune Factory 3. The information I gleaned is nothing more than public knowledge...

Autumn Date and Wedding with Tabatha

A friend of mine who goes by the name of LeonWolf recently sent me the text of Tabatha's Wedding, which he had transcribed carefully. I thanked him and told him that I actually had made a video of the entire sequence, although I had not added the text to my guide yet.

While adding the text to my Courtship and Wedding Guide today, I wished to refer to my old video for confirmation of one word. Rather to my surprise, I could not find it on YouTube.

In fact, I never had uploaded it, nor had I uploaded many of the similar videos I made of Autumn Dates and Weddings with other Eligible Girls. I have an entire folder named 'Other Dates' filled with videos of Date Events with various Eligible Girls, still waiting for me to upload them...

Here then is the video of Tabatha's Autumn Date and her Wedding Event. It differs a little from that of other Eligible Girls in that Bianca actually is included in the Proposal Event.

I was unable to add much in the way of text to the video as it originally exceeded the 10 minute limit imposed by YouTube. I would like to dedicate it to LeonWolf, however, and to thank him again for his painstaking transcription both of Anette's Proposal/Wedding and that of Tabatha.

Snow Ruins Video Walkthrough

Here is a quick video Walkthrough of the Snow Ruins, showing the paths both to the Shortcut Stairway and the Isolated Stairway on each floor. Freyr's actions in moving as quickly as possible through each chamber, irrespective of damage to himself or his Silver Wolf are not recommended. In particular, it is better to destroy the arched wires connected to each explosive device, whether Eye Generator or Cannon, rather than attacking the device directly. This is NOT a combat tutorial. It is intended simply to show the paths that you need to take to reach each set of stairs.

This video was requested by Sue. I hope it is useful!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Shooting Star Event in Rune Factory Frontier

A number of Eligible Girls will speak of Shooting Stars and Meteor Showers in Rune Factory Frontier. You will find Uzuki at the Conservatory one night wishing upon a Shooting Star and it is possible that Mist's wish on a shooting star is the cause of the appearance of all the Turnips in your house after you 'find' the Turnip Constellation in the night sky. It is Cinnamon's Story, however, that is connected to a Shooting Star Event in which your character takes part.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Consolation Prizes for losing the Quiz Contest

I have learned NOT to trust dialogue in Rune Factory Frontier. In my first year, I won the Quiz Contest and made a simple video about it, showing some of the questions that can be asked as well as the effects of 'Super Gramps Time'.

At the end, the Consolation Prize for the losers was announced and declared to be 'Int. Vitamins'.

I thought about that and realised that Intelligence Vitamins, with a Skill Level Requirement of 90 and a number of rare ingredients, including Tuna, Little Crystal and Blue Crystal, was far more valuable a prize than all the fruit that Freyr 'won'.
In the 2nd Year, therefore, I decided to lose the Contest.

Rather to my disgust, the Consolation Prize when I lost was FRIED PIKE. No mention whatsoever of the valuable Int. Vitamins.

Furthermore, Mist was a participant in the 2nd Year, and her habit of following Freyr into whatever square HE chose made it more difficult to win the Contest. I replayed the Event a few times. Each time Freyr won, the Consolation Prize for the OTHER participants was Int. Vitamins. Each time Freyr lost, HIS Consolation Prize was FRIED PIKE.

Super Gramps Time proved to have a multitude of variations as well. In one case, one randomly selected character was given the opportunity to make bonus points form the last question. In another, the person with the lowest score was given a bonus, much like the result Freyr experienced in the first year. The most unjust 'Super Gramps Time' result, however, is shown in the following video, where every one EXCEPT Freyr can make 10 extra points from the last question. Here is a video that shows the Quiz Contest in the 2nd Year, with Mist's participation and the most unfair Super Gramps Time... It includes clips showing both Consolation Prizes as well as the end.