Friday, October 16, 2009

Taro and the Fishing Rod in Island of Happiness

I know I have written about this before, but it still remains the aspect of Island of Happiness that represents a problem for the greatest number of players. As it is based on a fundamental aspect of Island of Happiness, it is worth exploring here once again.

In Island of Happiness, a character will not accept any gift from you if you have neglected him/her. Neglect in this respect means that you have not done your regular 'meeting and greeting' in the immediate past. Your level of Friendship with the individual will not protect you. Ignoring an individual who has a high level of Friendship with you can result in a refusal of your gift until you have spoken to him/her regularly again.

The number of days that your gift will be rejected is based on the length of time that you neglected the individual. If you did not speak to the individual for a couple of days, your gift may be rejected only for a single day. If, however, you neglected the individual for a week or so, it may take six consecutive days of 'meeting and greeting' that character before he/she will accept a gift from you.

This is a very interesting aspect of Island of Happiness of which every player must be aware. Many players only become aware of it, however, when they attempt to give Taro one of the Coloured Herbs/Wild Grasses that he loves and he rejects it. As Taro must be at 2 Hearts before he will give you a Fishing Rod, cultivating a relationship with him is essential.

Note that gift-giving is not the only way to raise Love and Friendship in Island of Happiness. Simply speaking to an individual will raise levels, albeit more slowly than gift-giving. In fact, my Walkthrough for Island of Happiness urges players to visit Taro's house each morning not only to speak to Taro and obtain the weather report from him but to speak to Elliot and Natalie as well in order to begin the process of raising Heart Levels. Elliot is an Eligible Bachelor if your character is a girl and Natalie is an Eligible Girl if you are playing a boy. You can raise Heart Levels to the next level by speaking to any character daily even if you never give a single gift. It will take a long time, however!

Giving Taro a Coloured Herb/Grass each day will raise his Friendship Level to 2 Hearts faster than simply speaking to him will and, because you really need a Fishing Rod as early as possible in IoH in order to make money and bring members of the Fishing Team to the Island, I advise players to make the gift of the Coloured Herb/Grass. It is not necessary, however. What IS necessary is 'meeting and greeting' him each day. As his weather predictions are totally accurate, it is a good idea to do so even if he didn't have the power to give or withhold a Fishing Rod. Knowing if a Typhoon is set to hit the Island the next day can be critical information.

The rules of Neglect are as follows: The number of days you have failed to greet a character determines the number of days that your gift will be rejected BUT six days is the maximum number of days that a character can refuse a gift. Even if you fail to speak to a character for a fortnight, he/she will refuse your gift for six days only. You do need to speak to the individual EVERY day, however, in order to 'clear the slate'. In other words, in such a case, six consecutive days of greetings are needed to persuade the character to accept a gift from you.

I always stress the importance of avoiding 'tunnel vision' in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game. Friendship, not money, is the backbone of success. If you grow and harvest all the crops in the world but fail to greet your fellow villagers, you will not succeed in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game. IoH demonstrates this by placing the Fishing Rod in Taro's hands. Many Harvest Moon games in the past have done likewise by making a Fishing Rod the one tool that cannot be purchased.

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