Thursday, December 17, 2009

Small but Certain Value of Dialogue in Animal Parade

Relationships must be built slowly and with infinite patience in Animal Parade. It takes longer than it did in Tree of Tranquility, as the ability to give multiple gifts on a single day that existed in ToT is not an option in Animal Parade.

Players have been doubtful, in fact, of the value of simple dialogue in Animal Parade, but I have confirmed, more than once, that 'Meeting and Greeting' any Character each day, even if you cannot give that individual a Gift, DOES have a point value in terms of increasing Friendship and/or Love.

It is when I was collecting wishes from Characters that I received confirmation of this fact. More than once, a Character who had been at 2 Hearts attained 3 Hearts when I first greeted him/her even before I presented a Gift. The Character responded to my simple greeting with his/her Wish.

The value of Dialogue is not as great as the value attached to any preferred Gift and certainly not comparable to a Most Favourite Gift. Nonetheless, it is worth the effort to meet and greet EVERY Character on a daily basis, even when you have to do it with empty hands. I myself have erred on occasion by passing by a Character, thinking to myself that I would return later with a Gift... It would have been better to make the greeting, no matter what. Often, one does not have the time to return later to a specific district on any given day.

In terms of Greetings and Dialogue, I confess I have been a little careless in not confirming whether or not dialogue about the Season is based on heart level. I have noticed that Characters have more than one 'seasonal' Dialogue for each of the Seasons, but I have not confirmed yet whether it is randomly chosen or based on heart level. I believe that Animal Parade contains a greater variety of dialogue than any other Harvest Moon game to date. Characters will speak of the weather and of the season as well as giving the set dialogue that is associated with each Heart Level. In addition, there are at least two set Dialogues that are associated with each Festival. One occurs on the day prior to the Festival and the other occurs on the actual day of the Festival. If you show a Pet to any Character, he/she will respond to that action as well. Finally, there are dialogues that are linked to the main Plot. Each time you ring a Bell, specific Characters will remark upon it. You will find that only certain Characters speak of any Plot development but if you do not speak to every one, you will not know which individuals do make a point of commenting upon the Melody of a Bell or the change in the Seas or Winds.

I should not neglect to mention one of the most interesting set of Dialogues in Animal Parade, which is the response to a specific outfit or Hat/Accessory. I have posted about this aspect of the game previously. Each of the Eligible Bachelors and Girls is linked to a specific Hat or Accessory. When your Character speaks to the individual while wearing that Hat or Accessory, you will experience a special comment that acknowledges your outfit.

Of course, in addition to all of the above, there are the responses to Gifts, which vary widely according to the degree of liking or detestation the individual possesses for that particular item. Furthermore, there are special Birthday Gift dialogues that acknowledge Most Favourites and Favourites when given on the Character's Birthday.

I have not been able to confirm yet whether or not the act of showing a Pet to a Character has a value in Friendship Points, nor whether or not wearing the special hat or accessory actually affects Heart Level. Obviously, if there is an effect, it is not significant, but it would be useful to know the precise point value if any.

It is interesting to note the effect that Heart Level has on the subject of Dialogue for each Character. At low heart levels, the Character tends to provide general advice about practical matters, whether it is farming, cooking, energy, fishing, ranching or mining. As heart levels increase, the dialogue becomes more personal. He/she will confess likes and dislikes, emotions and will relate personal history. Animal Parade is very 'true to life' in this respect.

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