Thursday, November 12, 2009
Severe Storms in Sunshine Islands
The following information about Severe Storms is included in my General Guide for Sunshine Islands but as some of it is generally applicable to Harvest Moon, I thought I would include it in a post as well.
Effects of Severe Storms
As in any Harvest Moon game, severe storms in the form of Typhoons or Blizzards can occur in Sunshine Islands. As Taro’s predictions are completely accurate for the next day, you should be forewarned on the day prior to any severe storm.
For example, if there is to be a Blizzard, Taro will tell you as much:
Taro: Good morning! Wait... No, not good morning! There’ll be a blizzard tomorrow! Oh, no!
Although a few Harvest Moon games allow you to venture forth on the day of a severe storm, Sunshine Islands follows the traditional rules, forcing you to remain inside your Farmhouse on the day of any severe storm.
The only practical activity that you can perform on such a day is to cook. If you wish to use any Tool to change your point totals in Winter, you can do this as well but the easiest way to make certain that a Wonderful appears at Chen’s Shop the next day is by cooking.
What I have done successfully is save my game last on the morning of the storm. I then cook one dish. If, when I go to Chen’s Shop the next morning, no Wonderful appears on the Menu, I reload and cook 2 Dishes... I keep adding one dish to my count until a Wonderful appears. Using this system, I have managed to persuade him to sell an Orange Wonderful on the day after a Blizzard. Remember that Wonderfuls only appear on this basis in Winter and the maximum appearance is one every three days.
The effects of any severe storm are many:
Your Poultry and Livestock, if they did not have sufficient feed for the day of the storm, will have suffered some Stress. There are ways to mitigate this, by having extra feeders in your Chicken Coop and Barn. If you are fortunate enough to have a Sunny/Clear/Cloudy Day prior to the Typhoon or Blizzard, you can set your Chickens outside to feed, bringing them back into the Coop only at night. If you do this, they will not consume the food in their feeders until the next day, which will be the day of the Storm.
In any Season but Winter, provided you have ripe Grass growing in your Field, any Livestock taken outside for the day can feed themselves, but there has to be a square of ripe Grass for each Animal. Again, if the weather is Sunny/Clear/Cloudy on the day prior to the Storm, your Livestock can eat outdoors, saving the Fodder in their feeders for the day of the Storm.
A number of Branches, Stones, Stumps and Boulders of varying sizes will be deposited randomly throughout the map, including your own field. In any Season apart from Winter, tilled and planted squares are as likely to be their destination as any other location on your field, which means that a random number of Crops may be destroyed. The actual configuration probably is set when you go to sleep on the night of the actual Storm but, as you cannot do much during the day of the Storm, you may wish to save your game before you go to bed on the Eve of the Storm.
If you awaken to find that a particularly valuable Crop has been decimated, simply reload and try again.
Apart from the Stress and possible damage to Crops, a Typhoon or Blizzard can be perceived as positive in some respects. Once you have cleared the initial Boulders and Stumps from the map in the first Spring, you never will see any Stumps or Boulders again unless there is a severe storm. Lumber always is a priority in Sunshine Islands and Material Stone is a far better material for your Refrigerator and Cabinet than Wood. Although Mythic Stone may be the best material as items kept within a Mythic Refrigerator or Cabinet NEVER lose any Freshness or Rank, a Material Stone Refrigerator and Cabinet will keep your items fresh far longer than the Wooden Refrigerator and Cabinet. You really should upgrade both to Material Stone as early as possible in the game. The cost is not high if you can provide your own Materials. Otherwise, it is a little prohibitive, but there is no reason why you cannot collect at least 200 pieces of Material Stone for these two projects.
Another effect of any Typhoon or Blizzard is the possible destruction of the Fruit Trees you have planted on Fruit Island. If you learned your lessons about Fruit Trees properly, you will know that a fence built for each Tree will prevent it from being destroyed in a Severe Storm. To build a Fence, throw a single piece of Lumber or Material Stone onto the large square where your Tree has been planted. It will become a small fence automatically. These fences do not last, sadly, so it always is a good idea to visit your orchard on the day prior to any Severe Storm to build new fences for each Fruit Tree that no longer has one.
A positive benefit can be derived on any Severe Storm day in Winter from your character’s inability to perform ordinary tasks. Provided the Storm does not occur on a Thursday, making the next day Friday, the day when Chen is not open for business, you can cook in order to force a Wonderful to appear on his menu the next day. What I have done successfully more than once is to save my game last on the morning of the Blizzard. I then begin by cooking a single Dish and going to sleep immediately afterwards. If, when I visit Chen's Shop the next morning, there is no Wonderful in his menu, I reload back to the morning of the Storm and this time, I cook two dishes. I repeat this process again and again, each time cooking only one more dish, until a Wonderful appears.
Remember that the maximum number of Wonderfuls taht can appear in Winter at Chen's Shop is one Wonderful every three days. If you have found a Wonderful at Chen's shop within two days of the Storm, there is no point in performing the exercise. If the Storm falls on Thursday, there is no point either, as Chen's Shop will be shut on Friday.