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.