Sunday, December 13, 2009
Kiffle in two Worlds
Tree of Tranquility was the first Harvest Moon game to allow a player to domesticate the wide assortment of creatures that we had encountered in the wilds in almost every old Harvest Moon game. Players of A Wonderful Life and Another Wonderful Life constantly asked how one could take the Turtle home, for example, and a host of Urban Legends arose on message boards and false guides giving bogus instructions on how to make the Turtle Nina raced into a Pet. To set the record straight once and for all, one could NOT make the Turtle into a Pet in AWL or AnWL. Nor could the Monkeys that appeared in the Hot Spring in Harvest Moon Boy & Girl be domesticated....
In Tree of Tranquility, however, almost any Wild Animal you encountered could be persuaded to become a Pet if you befriended him/her with some dedication. Those of us who are animal lovers in any world were thrilled.
I have to admit, however, that the Pet option in Animal Parade is the best I have experienced, even more entertaining than Tree of Tranquility. Some players may shrug in response, if they subscribe to the gaming philosophy that ANY sequel has to be better than its predecessor, but that is not the case always. In fact, where Harvest Moon and Rune Factory are concerned, every game stands alone, even when the sequel is marketed as the 'female' counterpart of an original 'male' version of the game. MFoMT is so much more than the 'girl version' of FoMT and yet, FoMT is as good a game as MFoMT in a different way. The same is true of HM DS and Cute DS. They are two excellent games, both worth playing. But enough of this...
In Animal Parade, the size of your house determines the sort of Pet you can keep, but you can raise the Friendship Levels of all Wild Animals in anticipation of a time when you may be able to keep them as Pets. Furthermore, you can release existing Pets into the Wilds again in order to keep a new one. I am an absurdly sentimental person even when playing a game, and I cannot imagine that I will have the heart to relinquish any Pet for the sake of another in Animal Parade.
Nonetheless, although my heart was set on gaining the White Cat as my Pet, especially in view of the fact that Beauty now has three little adorable White Kittens, I became seduced by the Squirrel in Flute Fields. The problem was that I passed through Flute Fields daily but the little peninsula at the Lighthouse is out of the way. I had to make a concerted attempt to visit the White Cat and catch a Fish for her each time I did. The Squirrel, on the other hand, was thrilled to accept any Herb I collected along the way or even a Common Mushroom. Likewise, with countless Common Mushrooms at my disposal, it never was a hardship to slip the Baby Boar one, even though I had no desire to take him home with me.
I resisted the Squirrel for some time after the option to Adopt him appeared at 6 Hearts, with my avowed intention of adopting the White Cat firmly set in my mind and heart. On the night when I experienced the Event in Fugue Forest with all the Wild Animals, however, my heart caved. I had hoped that the Event would raise the Heart Levels of ALL the Wild Animals by a full Heart Level, but it does not do that. It raises Friendship Levels a little but not by a full Level. The White Cat, therefore, remained at 5 Hearts and the darling little Squirrel cavorted so charmingly that I surrendered...
With a Chinchilla named Kiffle, I had to name the Squirrel Kiffle. What a delightful companion he proved to be! His antics are enchanting and he digs for little treasures each time I take him for a walk. Most of the time, he unearths nothing more interesting than a Common Mushroom but he has discovered other Mushrooms as well... Another reason for Adopting him now is the realisation that I may be able to win the Pet Contest next Spring if I begin to train him immediately. Every day that I remain petless in the interest of obtaining the White Cat is one more wasted day in terms of training...
In Animal Parade, as mentioned previously, there is an option to release any Pet back to the Wilds if you decide you would rather adopt another. If you attempt to adopt more than one Pet when your House does not meet the requirements in terms of space, the game will taunt you a little, giving you the option to declare that you wish to adopt another Pet but then telling you that you haven't the space for an additional Animal. This will go on and on until you finally admit defeat and choose one or the other...
As in other Harvest Moon games, you can show your Pet to other Characters when you go out for a walk with him/her. Each Character will remark upon the Pet, but I expect that the comment will not vary from Pet to Pet as the Character invariably refers to Kiffle simply as my 'Pet' rather than 'Squirrel'.
The only disappointment here is that you cannot take your Pet into any building to show him/her to Characters who remain indoors. When I tried to carry Kiffle into the local Shops or homes, he simply disappeared from my arms, awaiting me outside.
In many Harvest Moon games, you actually can gain Affection/Friendship Points with specific individuals by showing them your Dog or Cat. I do not know if this is the case in Animal Parade. It is difficult if not impossible to test as simply speaking to an individual raises Friendship Levels a little... There is no Love Bangle or other Accessory that will display precise point values in terms of Love or Friendship in Animal Parade. Heart Levels are displayed on the Friends page of the Farm Menu but only as full Hearts.
I still intend to adopt my White Cat one day, but for now, my life is immensely enriched by the presence of my Kiffle.
Incidentally,your Pet will find different items in different Districts and, unlike any Transport Animal, a small Pet can accompany you on the Mine Cart and on the ferry to Toucan Island. It's most satisfying! When he is in the Flute District or Garmon Mines District, Kiffle finds Common Mushrooms or Mushrooms (White). I wonder if he is able to find Fugue Mushrooms in Fugue Forest... That I need to confirm!
In Harmonica Town, the Church Grounds or on Toucan Island, he has been finding Green Herbs. I do not know if the colour of the Herb will vary, but again, something to confirm.
I expect that all Pets give a variety of items depending on where you take them for their 'walk'.