Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Striking Simiilarity in Sunshine Islands

The main plot in Sunshine Islands is founded on Sun Stones and raising Heart Levels is a method by which you can obtain many of the Sun Stones you need to raise islands from the bottom of the sea, but Friendship brings other rewards in the form of Event that occur at 6 Hearts between various Characters.

One of these subsidiary Events occurs at the Inn when Sabrina reaches 6 Hearts. It involves two of the Mineral Town characters, Karen and Popuri. It is a clever event that 'responds' I believe to some of the comments made by veteran Harvest Moon players when Characters in new Harvest Moon games resemble other Characters from the past. When Island of Happiness was released, a few players wrote that Sabrina was the 'Mary-look-alike' in the game. In 'A Striking Similarity', Karen and Popuri go so far as to mistake Sabrina for Mary! The creators of Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands thereby used this resemblance to create an entertaining event.

A friend of mine who is playing Animal Parade complains that the game moves too slowly for his liking and that he grows weary once again of his daily chores. Ironically, he is an individual who is a creature of his habit in his own real life and does not really like to have his daily routine altered much. Nonetheless, if he cannot expect another major change in the near future in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game, his interest quickly wanes.

He asked me (again) why I do not become bored... I have written about this before, actually. For me, Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games offer endless delight in the details. Instead of waiting impatiently for the next major advance in the plot, I find myself surprised and delighted by a new bit of dialogue or a minor event that uncovers a secret from a character's past or a detail about his/her 'Most Favourite' Gifts. Any one who is not involved with the character studies in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game loses a great deal of the enjoyment that these series have to offer.

For me, experiencing an Event like 'A Striking Similarity' is as exciting as any major plot development. Similarly, I was delighted when Ray confided at 4 Hearts that he was a teacher before he became a fisherman, giving me a little window into his personal history. Yes, his official profile does mention that he was a 'former scholar' but it still made me happy to hear it from him... In Friends of Mineral Town and More Friends of Mineral Town, I loved the subsidiary Events that dealt with Jeff's aspirations and accomplishments as an artist. It delighted me to find his paintings as well as references to him as an artist in OTHER Harvest Moon games.

These small but satisfying Events and dialogues are what give the daily routines their spice and allow one to continue to find fulfillment in a game even after the Main Plot has been completed. The general rule for most Harvest Moon games is that new Events will continue to occur for five years at least. Any one who lacks the patience to live the idyllic life of a farmer in any Harvest Moon setting for at least five years is missing half of the game.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Your Birthday Gift List in Sunshine Islands


When I experienced my first Birthday in Sunshine Islands, I was thrilled to receive Birthday Gifts from a few individuals who had reached 7 Hearts early in the game. In my enthusiasm, I made a video about it.

In fact, as I continued to play Sunshine Islands, I discovered that each Character can give one of three possible Gifts for your Birthday. Some of them are rare and expensive items, such as the Firefly Flower, Gold Lumber and Twin Herb. Others, such as Bodigizer XL and Hungerizer, are quite useful.

I now have added a section to my Guide that lists all Characters with the Birthday Gifts that they give to you. When I replayed the Events in the first year, I always received the same item from each individual, which is one reason I did not realise there was a possibility of obtaining different items. It is possible that the Gifts are determined by the Year in which you are playing and that they follow a set order.

Your Birthday in Sunshine Islands

When you reach 7 Hearts or Yellow Heart Level (40,000 points) with any individual, even while you remain single, you will receive a special Birthday Gift from that Character if you speak to him/her on your Birthday. The only exceptions are Haila, Nick and your own Child. Each Character gives a different Gift and many of them are rare or valuable items. Each Character actually has the potential of giving one of three different Gifts, one of which usually is far more valuable and rare than the others. For example, Will’s Gift can be the very rare Firefly Flower, a Red Magic Flower or a Pinkcat Flower and Shea’s Gift can be a Truffle, a White Herb or a Large Fish. The gifts follow a specific order and the actual gift you receive is determined by the year.
Note that, for all Characters who themselves have Birthdays that are defined in Sunshine Islands, one of the three Gifts is THEIR Most Favourite Gift. The order of the Gifts is not determined by the degree to which the Character favours the Gift, however. For example, in Elliot’s case, his Most Favourite Gift is Stir-Fried Veggies, which you will not receive from him until the 3rd year.
Your choice of Birthday makes it either more or less likely that you will receive any Birthday Gifts in the 1st Year. Remember, however, that the list rotates and 1st Year Gifts will be 4th year Gifts as well. Your choice of Birthday will determine which Mineral Town visitor(s) ever give you his/her Birthday Gifts as their visits are set in specific seasons.
Receiving a Birthday Gift is one method by which your Shipping List can be completed early in the game in the case of rare items.
The List of Birthday Gifts includes:
Elliot: Vegetable Juice, Chop Suey, Stir-Fried Veggies
Vaughn: Porridge, Superb Butter, Milk Soup
Denny: Fish and Chips, Sashimi, Carpaccio
Pierre: Chestnut Kinton, Rolled Omelet, Paella
Will: Firefly Flower, Red Magic Flower, Pinkcat Flower
Mark: Summer Sun, Gold Lumber, Winter Sun
Shea: White Herb, Truffle, Large Fish
Natalie: Fruit Sandwich, Blueberry Juice, Strawberry Milk
Julia: Superb Mayonnaise, Superb Yogurt, Dried Bean Curd
Sabrina: Ruby, Amethyst, Emerald
Lanna: Paella, Fish Meuniere, Yam Pudding
Lily: Gold, Diamond, Red Magic Flower
Chelsea: Fall Sun, Spring Sun, Gold Lumber
Witch Princess: Twin Herb, Gold Lumber, Red Herb
Alisa: Cheesecake, Ice Cream, Fruit Dumpling
Taro: Bodigizer XL, Fried Tofu Dumplings, Hungerizer XL
Felicia: Vegetable Gratin, Apple Pie, Tempura Noodles
Mirabelle: Suffolk Wool, Silkie Egg*, Superb Cheese
Chen: Noodles, Tempura Noodles, Curry Noodles
Charlie: Soybean Rice Candy, Dry Curry, Chocolate Banana
Gannon: Gold Lumber, Natto, Tempura Rice
Eliza: Donut, Baumkuchen, Toy Flower
Regis: Diamond, Peridot, Topaz
Nathan: Pancake, Steamed Bread, French Toast
Wada: Grilled Fish, Large Fish, Medium Fish
Witchkin: Peach, Natto, Peach Juice
Harvest Goddess: Pineapple, Firefly Flower, Strawberry
Cliff: Sponge Cake, Bamboo Rice, Cheese Fondue
Trent: Vegetable Juice, Jersey Milk, Soy Milk
Karen: Wine, Risotto, Pizza
Popuri: Omelet Rice, Doria, Pudding
Kirk: Rolled Cabbage, Soybean Rice Candy, Cold Tofu
Carol: Boiled Tofu, Tofu Steak, Lassi
Martin: Sashimi Bowl, Fish Sticks, Simmered Fish
Ray: Pumpkin Pudding, Chocolate Cake, Sushi
Slater: Relax Tea, Pineapple Pie, Bodigizer
Isaac: Hungerizer, Mixed Rice, Emerald

*Note that you can incubate this Silkie Egg to obtain a Silkie Chick early in the game.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Philosophical Issues in Harvest Moon/Rune Factory

A comment made by a veteran Harvest Moon player on one of my posts resonated in my own soul and I therefore publish it here. It deals with a fundamental philosophical issue in Harvest Moon and Rune Factory.

Here is the comment:

Dear Freya,

I believe that the creators wish to tell us, with the increased difficulty in 'forging' a wonderful during winter, that something in life is meant to be out of our control, and therefore, we better be patient and NOT try so hard to obtain it.
I mean, an orange wonderful set into a tool surely increase the yield of milk, wool, ores/gems and black grass/coins, but even without that wonderful you will still obtain those number of items! The only difference is that you will take longer to achieve those numbers, but is that really a bad thing?

How many players really 'lives' more than 5-6 years game time in any HM game?

I remember that in HM FoMT, in order to obtain the mountain cabin one would have to had been married for 42 years!

Remember that in FoMT, once every 5 years, if you walk up the mountain on Fall 11, after 23:00, you will encounter a shooting star event, and your profits will double the next day?

But in recent games I find myself giving up after reaching the 4th year, because the money was already infinite, and all heart events were seen, and everybody was at 10 FP, and the list is 100% complete, and the ONLY thing I have to hope for is to see my son/daughter grow old... and they surely take a long time to do so!!! So I stop playing...

Without the wonderfuls, one might actually need 10 or 20 years (game-time) to accomplish everything, but with those...

Hope I am making sense, in some way.'

Of course, the writer makes perfect sense and is absolutely correct. Although I myself love to reach the point when I have attained every goal and can 'rest on my laurels' in any Harvest Moon/Rune Factory game, I have to confess that I tend to play THAT game less often afterwards. In fact, telling myself that it is for the sake of my guides that I must start a NEW game to see if I can accomplish all those goals even faster, I usually would begin a second game in another slot...

(Too little time nowadays in my REAL life in any case to enjoy a very well-earned 'retirement life' in any Harvest Moon/Rune Factory game... There always are new games to explore.)

In fact, the creators are very conscious of the virtues of patience and determination and although little rewards like the Wonderfuls in IoH and SI are included to give a player a bit of excitement and a sense of being chosen by Fortune as a Favourite, they are not intended to take the place of the initial hard work that is required in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game.

I can illustrate this with an experience from ToT. When I was working on the Official Strategy Guide for Tree of Tranquility, I discovered a fabulous exploitation device in the game. Decent Cocoons, sold at the Brownie Farm, could be converted to Yarn, dyed with a Blue Herb or Blue Flower and then shipped for an incredible profit. This would allow the player to afford all upgrades to his/her farm very quickly.

Filled with the very natural excitement any player (and guide writer) experiences when he/she discovers an exploitation, I included the information in my Guide. What happened then is known to any player who read my Guide AND played ToT when it was released.

Although the sections of the Guide that dealt with this exploitation device were not removed from the strategy Guide, the actual exploitation WAS removed from the game before the retail version was released. Why should Natsume allow the very fabric of the game's natural timing to be destroyed by the ability to become a millionaire almost instantly?

There IS a natural timing to every Harvest Moon and Rune Factory game. Despite the fact that players are allowed to do things as they wish, in their own time and to create their own priorities, players who neglect NO activity in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game and are content to move slowly but certainly forward in every aspect find that they do not experience problems for the most part. It usually is the player with 'tunnel vision' who focuses on one aspect of the game to the exclusion of the rest who finds everything grinding to a standstill at some point because he/she ignored shipping requirements or Friendship requirements or some other integral part of the universe of Harvest Moon or Rune Factory.

You cannot focus on making money exclusively, ignoring your neighbours, and expect that you will unlock every new option. Nor can you focus on courtship exclusively, while letting your farm go to ruin (or remain in its original neglected state) and expect to unlock new options. Everything is connected.

Players who use 'codes' or cheat devices to boost their progress artificially find that this destroys other aspects of the game, as many variables are intended to work together to create results. That is why I advise strongly against codes and cheat devices where Harvest Moon and Rune Factory are concerned.

In fact, it is when a player does something the WRONG way often and writes to me for advice that I discover potential problems in any game. A good Guide MUST include all potential problems. When I go through my initial game, triggering events effortlessly, I often fail to discover those potential problems or the 'hidden' triggers that need to be included in any Guide.

I do try to find any and all exploitation devices that exist in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game but, as this player has stated, the creators do NOT intend that you should be able to move too quickly through your life in Harvest Moon or Rune Factory. 'Everything in its season' to paraphrase the wise King Solomon.

Once upon a time, we could save our games before our character went to bed, then reload to change the weather if the heavens did not conform to our personal wishes. Island of Happiness and now Sunshine Islands made this virtually impossible by setting the weather almost a week in advance. Those of us (yes, I include myself!) who had become accustomed to the ability to dictate the Weather to the game were faced with an almost insurmountable task. I was frustrated and upset initially when typhoons and blizzards smashed through my field... but then I realised I was relaxing a little more while I played the game. I did not have to PLAN so much and I therefore LIVED more. Typhoons certainly are a natural threat in Island life and they have positive results as well as negative in some Harvest Moon games. In Tree of Tranquility and Animal Parade, there are rare fish that can be caught ONLY on the day of a severe storm.

I discovered, as well, that the day of a Blizzard in Sunshine Islands is one of the few days when it is relatively easy to conjure a Wonderful at Chen's Market. This, I respectfully submit to Natsume, is NOT an exploitation that needs to be removed. After all, the player pays a potentially hefty price in the destruction caused by the storm.

The destructive aspects of any Typhoon or Blizzard are balanced a little by the amounts of stone and wood they deposit on the Map in games where upgrades require vast quantities of Materials.

As far as the ability to make Wonderfuls in Sunshine Islands is concerned, I think that the creators of the game engineered this properly, according to 'Harvest Moon' philosophy. It is very thrilling to find that Recipes for the Wonderfuls exist, knowing the powers of these Wonderfuls. At the same time, the ingredients and the complex process required to create them allows them to remain valuable and precious RARE commodities. Creating the 'Orange Book' that is one of the ingredients in the Recipe for an Orange Wonderful is not a breeze... to take another step and make an Orange Wonderful is a fairly burdensome undertaking. If you have the Will to do so, you can, but I suspect that most players will wait for an Orange Wonderful either to appear at Chen's shop NATURALLY in Winter, to be given as 1st Prize in a Contest or as a gift from a grateful and loving spouse.

Magic is an integral part of the Harvest Moon and Rune Factory universes but it is not something that can be used indiscrimately and usually, a player must prove himself first, by demonstrating the ability to scratch a living from a neglected field. He/she must be willing to endure privations, to balance the need to eat with the need to earn money through shipping, must meet and greet neighbours even without being able to give their 'Most Favourite' gifts to them, and EARN their respect and liking. If you have money, you can fill a barn with Livestock, but you still need to EARN their affection by caring for them on a daily basis. Otherwise, the products that they produce will be of low quality and little value.

In many cases, the most Magical Accessories are not available at the start of the game. Again, you must EARN the right to have them, either by mining for the materials needed to create them or by unlocking them through your efforts in other areas of life. The Teleport Stone in Sunshine Islands is a real godsend, but it will not appear at Chen's Market until you have 100,000G in your Earnings total. When you do, you must be willing to invest all of it in the Teleport Stone if you want it that badly!

In fact, in any Harvest Moon and Rune Factory game, almost every decision requires that you make choices. Do I expand my house or build/expand a Barn? Do I use this item to restore energy or do I ship it? Do I give this valuable item to some one who will prize it or do I ship it to make money? Do I allow a Bachelor/Eligible Girl to marry my Rival in order to be able to meet their Child or do I marry the individual myself? Decisions like these can be careless or they can be based on intelligent consideration. The beauty of any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game is that you can be whatever you wish. You can be wise or foolish, careful or careless... It's YOUR life! At the same time, as in our real lives, the individual who is careful and weighs the virtues of any choice probably will be far more successful than the one who barges forward heedlessly.

N.B. With respect to the word 'forging' in the original comment that sparked this post, I am not certain precisely what was meant here, unless it was used in a strictly poetic sense. There is no forge in Sunshine Islands but Wonderfuls CAN be made in your Kitchen in ANY season if you have the necessary Recipes and the required ingredients. In Winter, Wonderfuls may appear at the maximum rate of one every three days ONLY WHEN the last two digits of two Farming Degree totals match.

Perhaps it would be useful to include the Recipe for making an Orange Wonderful for players who have not completed their Cookbooks yet in Sunshine Islands:

Orange Book

Orange Book: 2G
Ingredients: Failed Dish, Wonderful Piece, Orange Herb, Orange Curry, Black Book
Obtain with 5th Black Book from Haila at Cafe
Energy Value: None
Optional Ingredients: None

This may look deceptively simple, but players who have obtained the Recipe for the Black Book will be very much aware of the labour involved in 'cooking' even one Black Book, let alone FIVE!

Black Book

Black Book: 2G
Ingredients: Failed Dish, Elli Leaves, Yggdra Soup, Chazuke, Poseidon Bowl, Sweet and Sunny
Obtain with 7th Failed Dish from Haila at Cafe
Energy Value: None
Optional Ingredients: None

It is easy enough to cook Failed Dishes. Each of the Failed Dishes that you create, when given to Haila and used successfully by her, will elicit a Recipe for one of the Dishes that constitute the ingredients in the Black Book. Obtaining the Recipe for the Black Book is a fairly simple matter as well. It will be given when Haila uses the seventh Failed Dish you offer successfully. It is the creation of a Black Book in your own Kitchen that will prove labour-intensive.

Here are the Recipes for each of the items needed to create one Black Book.

Elli Leaves

Elli Leaves: 2G
Ingredients: Failed Dish, Herb Salad, Salad, Pickle, Pickled Turnip, Boiled Spinach
Obtained with Failed Dish from Haila at Cafe
Energy Value: +4 SR +2 FL
Optional Ingredients: None

Yggdra Soup

Yggdra Soup: 2G
Ingredients: Failed Dish, Sangria, Relax Tea, Soy Milk, Herb Soup, Fruit Smoothie
Obtain with 1st Failed Dish from Cafe
Energy Value: +4 SR +1 FL
Optional Ingredients: None


Chazuke: 2G
Ingredients: Failed Dish, Dried Bean Curd, Steamed Egg Custard, Mochi Mix Natto/Red Flower Mix Natto, Spring Roll, Buckwheat Chips
Obtain with 2nd Failed Dish from Nick at Diner
Energy Value: +4 SR +1 FL
Optional Ingredients: None
Official Description: A dish from the East

Poseidon Bowl

Poseidon Bowl: 2G
Ingredients: Failed Dish, Fried Rice Noodles, Egg Over Rice, Porridge, Ultimate or Finest Curry
Obtain with 3rd Failed Dish from Haila at Cafe
Energy Value: +4 SR +1 FL
Optional Ingredients: None

Sweet and Sunny

Sweet and Sunny: 2G
Ingredients: Failed Dish, Chestnut Gelatin, Fruit Dumpling, Trifle, Apple Pie, Chocolate Fondue
Obtain with 4th Failed Dish from Haila at Cafe
Optional Ingredients: None
Official Description: A heavenly blend of sunny delights! Mmm!

It is not impossible to make any of the Dishes that are required to make a Black Book, but as you can see, each includes a fair number of ingredients in its own right. Furthermore, it is unlikely that you will have the necessary ingredients in your first year to make most of the items required to create the ingredients for even one Black Book. Many of the items require Fruits harvested from Trees. To grow your own Trees, you need to raise Link Island, build a Bridge to it, then raise Fruit Island and build THAT bridge... and finally, plant the seeds for the trees and nurture them, with a combination of good farming knowledge AND proper weather conditions. It is only when you offer your FIFTH Black Book to Haila that you will have a chance of obtaining the Recipe for the Orange Book. In other words, obtaining the RECIPE for the Orange Book or for any of the Books required to create Wonderfuls in your own kitchen is an advanced project!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Heart Colour Indication for Marriage in Sunshine Islands

I believe I have been able to duplicate a situation that has perplexed some players in Sunshine Islands. In my current game, where my Character is a Girl, Elliot is at 10 Hearts and yet he refuses my Blue Feather. I have experienced all four of his Heart Events and have fulfilled all ordinary requirements for marriage. Furthermore, I had obtained his 'personal' Sun Stone as well as Taro's 'Owner/Head of Household' Sun Stone. The other Bachelors at 10 Hearts accept my Blue Feather without hesitation.

Why did Elliot still refuse my offer of marriage? I have not given him many gifts but I have spoken to him daily and did give him sufficient Gifts to receive his Sun Stone. Elliot's Most Favourites tend to be Crops and I had shipped most of my Crops or used them in cooking rather than using them as Gifts.

Even when Elliot reached 10 Hearts, I noticed suddenly that the colour of Elliot's heart remained Orange.

He continued to respond with his Orange Level dialogue which is:

Elliot: How's work on the ranch? If you need help, don't hesitate to ask.

10 Hearts therefore is NOT equivalent to the Heart Level required for a successful proposal. I then tested this by offering the Blue Feather and he responded that:

Elliot: ... I'm sorry. I don't think I'm ready to get married yet.

In fact, I only needed to give him 2 preferred Gifts and his heart then turned deepest red and his dialogue changed. Without giving him any Gifts, it took about a week of daily 'meeting and greeting' as well as accepting his invitation to a Festival to change his heart to deepest red. It therefore is not 10 hearts that determines the dialogue but heart Colour in this instance.

His Red Heart dialogue is:

Elliot: Freya, just seeing your face makes me happy for some reason.

Now, when I gave him the Blue Feather, the Proposal Event triggered.

I had known initially that the Heart Levels displayed on the Relations Page were not precise indicators of actual Heart Level but I had forgotten. It is worth remembering. If you have an Eligible Girl or Bachelor at 10 Hearts but the Heart Colour remains Orange, you need to increase the Point total before you can propose marriage successfully.

Veteran Harvest Moon players will recognise the difference between Orange Heart and Red Heart immediately but players without much experience could be confused into thinking that the Orange Heart is Red. Red Heart is a very deep red colour. In any case, if you continue to experience the Orange Heart Dialogue, you have not reached the point total required to marry the Eligible Girl/Bachelor.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friendship Point Values for Actions in Sunshine Islands

A player posted a comment asking about specific point values of actions in Sunshine Islands. This information is included in my Sunshine Islands Walkthrough and General Guide, but I will post it here as well:

Friendship Point Values

The following are the actions that will increase or decrease Friendship with an individual with their point values:

Actions that increase Friendship/Affection:

Meeting and Greeting an Individual on any ordinary day: 100 points

Meet and Greet any Individual during a Festival: 400 points

Show any Individual an Animal he/she loves: 100 points

Give a Gift an Individual likes: 100 point to 800 points depending on the Gift

Give a Birthday Gift an individual likes: 300 points to 2400 points depending on the Gift

Actions that decrease Friendship/Affection:

Neglecting to meet and greet an Individual on any ordinary day: -100 points*

*You have a 30% chance of losing Friendship with any individual. This decrease will not occur 70% of the time.

Showing any individual an Animal he/she dislikes: -100 points

Give an Gift an individual dislikes: -300 to -5000 points

Littering on an individual’s home island or on Meadow Island: -100 points

Littering inside an individual’s dwelling: -300 points

As you can see, if you are diligent with a daily ‘meeting and greeting’ ritual that includes all characters on all the Islands, you will raise Friendship levels even if you never give a single Gift. Social interactions are extremely important in Sunshine Islands. In fact, neglecting an Individual not only can cause him/her to reject a Gift when you next meet, but can cause a decrease in Heart Level. As you can see from the point value list, the results are random, occurring only 1/3 of the time, but it CAN occur.

Remember always that, although you can raise Friendship Levels through conversation alone, you need to give five Gifts that are received 'with music' to receive the 'personal' Sun Stone that any Character has to offer. Furthermore, the experience of players has shown that you cannot even trigger the 'Owner/Head of Household' Sun Stone Event until you have obtained that individual's 'personal' Sun Stone first.

In fact, it would be foolish not to give 5 preferred Gifts to every Character as soon as they begin to accept Gifts from you as their Sun Stones are needed to raise all the local Islands. I currently am revising my Sunshine Islands Walkthrough.

A player asked about the value of using the stylus to greet a Character rather than using the 'A' Button. Although using the stylus to greet a Character allows you to do so from a greater distance, I do not believe that there is any added point value in choosing this form of greeting.

Note here that on a Festival Day, you CAN meet and greet individuals who do not attend the Festival itself. Although icons will not be displayed on the Map on a Festival Day, Characters will be at their usual locations once the Festival ends and shops, including the Diner and Cafe, will be open for business.

I have come to the conclusion that Volcano Island is the first Island you should raise, both for earliest access to the Mine and for the number of new Characters that will be unlocked. Furthermore, it only requires 8 Sunstones where Mushroom Island and Mystic Islands each require 12. Although Animal Island requires only 10 Sun Stones, it offers no new Characters with potential gifts of Sun Stones. It is crucial to raise ALL the Islands. It is only the order in which you raise them that is discretionary. I would suggest that the next Island raised after Volcano Island should be Mushroom Island, simply because your Character will need the Mushrooms that can be found there, even though Mystic Islands offer more new Characters with potential Sun Stone Gifts than Mushroom Island. Mystic Islands should be raised next as it offers five new Characters with potential Sun Stone Gifts as well as being the home of the Harvest Goddess and the Church, both necessary in terms of any future plans to marry.

Link Island is necessary to any future plans to grow Rice, Fruit Trees or Crops out of season as it is only when you have raised Link Island that you will have the option to raise Rice Island, Fruit Island and Greenhouse Island. Rice needs to be planted in Spring in order to mature before Winter, when Crops automatically die. It is unlikely, however, that you will be able to meet all the requirements that would allow you to grow Rice in the first Spring, even if you raise Link Island and Rice Island and build the necessary bridges. I therefore would suggest that you raise Animal Island before you raise Link Island.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Orange Wonderfuls in Sunshine Islands

However much one would like to be able to dash off perfect game walkthroughs quickly, in the case of any Rune Factory or Harvest Moon game, I have found that six months is required to create a decent Walkthrough or General Guide.

If it were not for the fact that players need the guides sooner, I would wait until I had perfected and polished a Guide before I ever allowed it to be published. Unfortunately, that is not practical and I therefore hope players will understand that most of my guides tend to be 'works in progress' and that they are updated and modified.

Sunshine Islands and Animal Parade were released almost at the same time. I was working on my guides for Sunshine Islands when Animal Parade was released. I opted to begin work on Animal Parade immediately, with the intention of returning to Sunshine Islands once I completed preliminary Guides for Animal Parade.

At this point in time, my Guides for Animal Parade remain 'works in progress' but all important details have been included. Having received many emails from players begging me to update my Sunshine Islands Guides, I now have begun to do so. In fact, I was rather distressed to discover how much information needed to be modified based on further gameplay.

In any case, an updated version of the Sunshine Islands Walkthrough and General Guide
will be sent to IGN this afternoon. I have added more Events to the Characters Guide and more information to the Courtship and Marriage Guide as well.

Wonderfuls are an important asset both in Island of Happiness and in Sunshine Islands. Although they are more difficult to 'engineer' than they were in IoH, it is possible for a very determined player to obtain the colour of Wonderful he/she needs.

Here are some details about the use of Wonderfuls in the Mine as well as the method by which to obtain them:

Using Wonderfuls in the Mine

Some of the Wonderfuls will have no power in the Mine but Green, Orange and Purple Wonderfuls in your Hoe and Hammer can prove very helpful. Knowing Charlie’s schedule can allow you to trade Wonderfuls from tool to tool, setting Orange, Green and Purple in the Hamer and Hoe for the duration of any Mining expedition, then taking them back to Charlie for dispersal and use in different Tools.

The definition of the Orange Wonderful is:
Effect when equipped on tool: material multiplier, misc.

When set in a Hammer and used in the Mine, they increase the number of items that you can obtain when you use them. When set in a Ranch Tool such as Milker or Shears, they will double the yield as well. In other words, inside the Mine, an Orange Wonderful set into your Hammer will allow you to find more Gems and Ores in the Rocks you smash and, when set in your Hoe, will allow you to find more Black Herbs and Coins in the ground. The number of potential Stone Tablets found on any allocated floor will not change. In fact, as the Watering Can is used to find Gelatin in Lava, setting an Orange Wonderful in it will increase the amount of Gelatin you can find.

Note, however, that you need to CHARGE the Tool into which the Orange Wonderful is set if you wish to obtain the benefit in terms of increasing the yield. A Hammer into which an Orange Wonderful has been set will continue to find only single Gems and Ores if it is not charged.

By the way, the Orange Wonderful can continue to have an effect in your Barn even when you play the Touchscreen Milking or Shearing game. Simply make certain to CHARGE the Milker or Shears before you initiate the Touchscreen Milking/Shearing activity.

The Orange Wonderfuls, however magical, are less vital than a Green Wonderful in this context. Green Wonderfuls decrease the amount of Stamina required for each use of the Tool into which they are set. Stamina always is a valuable commodity inside the Mine. When you are farming, the best place for your Green Wonderfuls to be set probably is your Watering Can but whenever you plan an expedition to the Mine, you may wish to load your Hammer and Hoe with them as well.

The Purple Wonderfuls are the least important as they simply add 2G to the value of items that are obtained using the Tool in which they are set. This is of minor significance compared to the other Wonderfuls.

Unfortunately, obtaining Wonderfuls of a specific colour is a little more complicated in Sunshine Islands than it was in Island of Happiness.

In terms of the colour of the Wonderful that will be given for winning any Contest at a Festival, the rules are as follows:

Rules dictating Wonderfuls

If the Festival occurs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, the following weather conditions two days after the Festival will yield:

Sunny: Yellow Wonderful
Clear: Red Wonderful
Cloudy: Blue Wonderful
Drizzle: Green Wonderful
Rainy: Orange Wonderful
Snowy: Purple Wonderful
Severe Storm: Indigo

If the Festival occurs on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the following weather conditions two days after the Festival will yield:

Sunny: Blue Wonderful
Clear: Yellow Wonderful
Cloudy: Orange Wonderful
Drizzle: Red Wonderful
Rainy: Purple Wonderful
Snowy: Indigo Wonderful
Severe Storm: Green Wonderful

Remember that you can buy 1 Blue, 1 Red and 1 Yellow Wonderful from Chen from the very start of the first Spring. Once those are purchased, however, Wonderfuls will appear in his Shop only during the Winter Season and ONLY if specific conditions are met.

The conditions that govern the appearance of Wonderfuls at Chen's Market in Winter are as follows:

The appearance of a Wonderful is limited to 1 every 3 days;
A Wonderful will appear only if the last two digits in two Categories of your Farming Degree totals are the same. The Colour of the Wonderful is determined then by the two totals that match.

You therefore can save your game on the previous day and attempt to engineer the totals in one Category to match another. Use of any Tool will add to a Total as will Cooking a Dish in your Kitchen. The process of arriving at two totals that match can be tedious but a player without any Orange Wonderfuls when Winter arrives, for example, may perceive the goal of obtaining one worth the bother.

There are other methods of obtaining Wnderfuls in Sunshine Islands. You can make them in your own Kitchen. The Recipe for Orange Wonderfuls requires a number of 'Orange' ingredients: Orange Book, Orange Herb, Orange Curry, Wonderful Piece

You will obtain the Recipe from Haila when you give her an Orange Book.

Wonderfuls can be gifts from various individuals on special occasions as well. The Harvest Goddess will give you a Wonderful when you reach the lowest floor of the Mine. Your spouse will give you a Wonderful as a Gift for your Wedding Anniversary if you have not alienated him/her.


I am going to add some wild speculation to this post which is NOT included in my actual game guides. Time and time again, I have noticed the same results on any given floor of the Mine at Volcano Island. The result is as follows; the number of GOOD Ores or Gems on any floor appears to be pre-determined to a certain extent, varying within one or two Gems/Ores. In other words, on Floor 25, if no Orange Wonderfuls are set in the Hammer, one can find from 5 to 7 Orichalcum. One can reload again and again and yet never obtain more than 5 or 7 on that floor. The other Rocks that one smashes invariably contain either Junk Ore or nothing at all. The actual Rocks that contain Junk Ore may differ each type you reload on that floor, but in the end, you obtain the same basic results, although you may obtain more or less Junk each time.

On floors where a variety of Ores can be found, I have discovered that again, the number of GOOD Ores appears to be set, so that if you smash a Rock and obtain Copper, you may have lessened your chance of obtaining Orichalcum in another Rock on that same floor. If I am determined to obtain Orichalcum or Gold, therefore, I reload and try again until I do rather than accepting the Copper. It could be nothing more than coincidence, but I expect that the number of Good Ores on any floor ARE programmed into the game and that, after that, the specific Ore may be a matter of probabilities... although I seldom have been able to obtain more than one Orichalcum on any floor that can yield all the ordinary types of Ore. I would be interested in the experience of other players in the Mine in Sunshine Islands.

Finally, a specific philosophical attitude is required when mining in any Harvest Moon game. One cannot be impatient. Farming requires some determination, of course, and Ranching requires the ability to perform the same actions again and again without finding those actions tedious, but mining above all requires a certain phlegmatic patience and ability to endure. For a start, mining occurs underground where there is very little variety in terms of landscape, although the mine in Sunshine Islands has added lava deposits and flowing rivers of lava to the floors.

My first experience with mining in Harvest Moon was in Friends of Mineral Town. In those days, I rather relished the endless labour and toil, bringing home baskets filled with ores and gems... Now, a few years later, I sometimes find myself becoming impatient with it, but all that is required in those situations is a revision in attitude. One must surrender to the Mine, forget about everything else and simply endure until one reaches the goal, whatever that may be.

Perhaps one day I will write a post about the most frustrating Mining experiences I ever had in Harvest Moon. Certainly one of those would be the quest for the King Fish at the bottom of the Winter Mine in Magical Melody. The worst part of that would be actually arriving at the bottom floor, equipping the fishing rod and beginning to fish only to be sent home at dawn without having sufficient time to catch the Fish! Luck always plays a part in success in the Mines, in any Harvest Moon game. You can begin your day at the Mine and still not be able to reach your goal in the time allotted to you. Yet, these exercises build character I suppose. They force the player to accept temporary defeat and yet try again.

As in Magical Melody, a player will be sent home at dawn in Sunshine Islands, irrespective of his/her location on the map. In games where this occurs, a player has to know when to 'cut his/her losses' rather than forging ahead...

In this context, the dialogues of characters in Animal Parade as Friendship levels increase are extremely interesting.

Jin at 4 Hearts: When those who aren’t used to falling down do fall down, they get back up slowly. I think those who can get right back up after making a mistake progress faster.

Barbara at 4 Hearts: Don’t let a failure get your spirits down! If you have the time to mope then you have the time to get up and try it again!

Colleen at 4 Hearts: Failure is part of both cooking and life... But failure can give you hints on how to succeed!

Simon at 4 Hearts: People make mistakes. Although we shouldn’t fear failure, it’s easy to dwell on it.

I do not think it is coincidence that all the dialogues that deal with 'failure' occur when you reach 4 Hearts with these individual, a point in your relationship where the Friends Page in your Farm Menu defines your relationship as: 'I’m good friends with X!'

A good Friend can be forgiven for speaking of the possibility of failure in any enterprise, yet giving the individual motivation to try again. Life in the 'real world' guarantees that an individual will fail at least once, but as in Harvest Moon, one needs to have the faith to try again.

Mining teaches perseverance. It is slow work, but labour that ultimately yields great rewards and invariably rewards that cannot be obtained by any other method.

Note that in Animal Parade, you can stay in the Mines after dawn breaks, but you will suffer fatigue if you do so. There are medicines to combat this, however.

There are general rules that are followed by any Harvest Moon game where every aspect of life is concerned, but there always are unique differences that distinguish each new game. A veteran player is strengthened by his/her knowledge of those fundamental rules, yet always capable of being surprised by a different 'twist' in every new game. I would like to think that my joy in Harvest Moon and Rune Factory will endure as long as I live... and that new Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games will continue to be produced for decades to come. Obviously, technology will change radically and perhaps our interactions with the worlds of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory will become infinitely more sophisticated and complex... Who knows what the future holds? Whatever the case, I expect that patience and determination will continue to be factors in the Mines!

It is worth noting that an Orange Wonderful can make a tremendous difference when set into an Axe, as it will double the Lumber yield as well.

I need to do more research where Winter Wonderfuls are concerned, but whenever I have found an Orange Wonderful at Chen's Market, it was when I did a lot of Cooking to try to make two categories in Farming Degree totals match. It is my understanding that the specific matches yield specific colours of Wonderfuls, unlike IoH, where the colours of the Wonderfuls that could appear at Chen's Market in Winter were date-based.

If this is the case, then it may be the Cooking Degree Total that, when coupled with another Total, as yet unidentified, yields Orange.

I now have been able to pinpoint the LAST opportunity to change a Total yet, by the way. It is at 5.50 a.m. that you have your last chance to change Totals where the possible appearance of a Wonderful at Chen's Market at 6.00 a.m. is concerned.

Mind you, in this situation, where the two last digits must match, it means that there are an incredible number of possible totals. (The two digits to be matched could be anything from 01 to 99, I would imagine.)

I have been obtaining Orange Wonderfuls consistently so far by doing this. Invariably, one of the Totals I change ALWAYS has been the Cooking total, by cooking one more dish... The last time I did this, however, I tested 16 different totals before I finally decided to try to change a different total instead. I threw two Fish into the Shipping container and cast my Fishing Rod in my house twice, vowing that I would not waste any more time on this endless pursuit... to my delight and amazement, an Orange Wonderful appeared at Chen's Market at 6.00 a.m. that morning (which was only 10 minutes later, although I slept to restore my energy and my character apparently recovered amazingly well from that paltry amount of slumber!)

Ii will continue to log my own results, but one must be wary in Harvest Moon or Rune Factory where two identical results are concerned. Very often, it is nothing more than a case of coincidence.

N.B. I would like to thank Gillian for prompting me to work again on the Mining section of my Guide and helping with the research.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sun Stone Requirement in Sunshine Islands Marriages

A number of players were a little bewildered when, having experienced all Heart Events for an Eligible Girl/Bachelor and having met all other ordinary requirements for marriage, the individual, at deepest red heart, would refuse the player's Proposal and Blue Feather.

There is an added requirement for marriage in Sunshine Islands that is related to Sun Stones. Where Characters in Sunshine Islands are concerned, there are two different types of Sun Stone Gifts. One is given after the player has given give 'Favourite' items as gifts. This little Event can occur anywhere on the Map when you speak to the individual after having given five Gifts that have been received 'with music'.

There is another Sun Stone, in many cases, that you can receive from a Character as well. This is the Sun Stone that is given as 'owner' of a house or business. In the case of any Eligible Girl/Bachelor, it is only those who have their own houses or businesses that will give this Sun Stone to you.

Why is this a requirement for marriage when only some Eligible Girls/Bachelors live by themselves? The reason is that, once you marry the individual, he/she will come to live with you in your Farmhouse. This Sun Stone Event, which occurs at two hearts, only can be triggered when you enter the home of the individual who owns it. Once you are married, the individual no longer will be at his/her old address. This must be the reason why the owner's Sun Stone Event must occur BEFORE you are allowed to marry the individual.

In the ordinary course of gameplay, most players never will be aware of this Sun Stone requirement for marriage. In my own first game, I collected as many Sun Stones as possible as early in the game as I could. I therefore had received all possible Sun Stones from every Eligible Girl and Bachelor long before I had experienced all Heart Events.

It is possible, however, that a player may raise heart levels and experience Heart Events without ever entering the home of the Eligible Girl/Bachelor to trigger the owner's Sun Stone Event. After all, it is easy to create a routine where you meet and greet every Character in the same location day after day. Often, it is most convenient to greet Characters at the Cafe or Diner in a single visit rather than entering every home on every Island. Where some one like Shea is concerned, you may meet and greet him when he is outside his tent rather than doing so when he is inside. Where Will is concerned, you may neglect to visit him on board his ship after he reaches two hearts to obtain the Sun Stone he gives as 'owner'.

Evidently, Heart Events pre-empt Sun Stone Events in these situations. Otherwise, players who enter a home in order to trigger a specific Heart Event automatically would experience the Sun Stone Event first... In any case, players need to be aware of the fact that you must obtain every possible Sun Stone from an Eligible Girl/Bachelor before you will be able to propose successfully to him/her.

Name Suggestions, Any one?

Three males, one female. The sole female is in the front, at the left. Any name suggestions from any one? They all have nicknames but they have not been given their proper 'serious' names yet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Specialised Guides for Harvest Moon Cute DS

A player sent an email to me asking about a Recipe in HM Cute DS. I did not realise I never actually created a specific Recipes Cookbook Guide for HM Cute DS. At the time, I assumed that players would understand that the Recipes were the same both in the original HM DS and Cute DS.

You can use most of my HM DS Guides when playing HM Cute DS. The 101 Sprites Guide as well as the Recipes Cookbook Guide are applicable to both games.

Links to all my HM DS Guides as well as HM Cute DS Guides are on the right side of the page.

Monday, January 18, 2010

When the Snowman Comes in Animal Parade

Nothing in Harvest Moon or Rune Factory exists without a hint somewhere. Whether there is a book that gives details about an old legend or the dialogue of one or more characters, there is some information about every special Event somewhere in the game itself.

For those who wonder about the Snowman in Animal Parade, and when to expect him to knock on the door, it is Candace's dialogue on the day of a snowstorm that hints at the rules that govern his appearance:

Candace: When I was younger, I heard stories that a snowman comes on nights with big snowstorms.

She appears to be the only individual who mentions the existence of the Snowman on the day of a Blizzard.

When you go to bed on the night of a severe snowstorm, you will be awakened by a knock on the door, and you will find the Snowman there. He has lost his nose in the storm and asks if you have seen it. Finn will suggest that the description sounds remarkably similar to that of a Carrot. If and only if you have a Carrot of any rank in your Rucksack, you can give it to the Snowman immediately. He will express his gratitude, vowing to do anything to help you.

You then will find him outside your door the next morning and every morning thereafter during the Winter season. Each day, you can obtain one item from him.

Determination is the Key in Obtaining Rare Gems in Animal Parade

I may have published a post about this previously. Certainly the information is included in both my General Guide for Animal Parade and my Items and Shipping List Guide. If you are wondering why Rare Ore so seldom is refined into anything other than Scrap Metal or why Blue Wonderfuls more often contain Glass than Sapphires, it is strictly a matter of percentages. The precise percentages for any refined product are included in my Guides but I will copy them here as well:

Scrap Metal

Scrap Metal: 10G
Refined from Junk Ore, Iron Ore, Copper Ore, Silver Ore, Gold Ore and Rare Ore
Official Description: Worthless junk.
Rank: C
Place: Lower Mine, Garmon Mine, Watery Cave


Iron: 50G
Iron Ore has a 50% chance of becoming Iron when refined.
Official Description: Iron extracted from iron ore. Used ot augment your tools.
Rank: C
Place: Lower Mine, Garmon Mine, Watery Cave


Copper: 70G
Copper Ore has a 40% chance of becoming Copper when refined.
Official Description: Copper extracted from copper ore. Used to augment your tools.
Rank: C
Place: Lower Mine, Garmon Mine, Watery Cave


Silver: 100G
Silver Ore has a 30% chance of becoming Silver when refined.
Official Description: Silver extracted from silver ore. Used to augment your tools.
Rank: B
Place: Lower Mine, Garmon Mine, Watery Cave


Gold: 150G
Gold Ore has a 15% chance of becoming Gold when refined.
Official Description: Gold extracted from gold ore. Used to augment your tools.
Rank: A
Place: Lower Mine, Garmon Mine, Watery Cave

Rare Metal

Rare Metal: 240G
Rare Ore has a 10% chance of becoming Rare Metal when refined.

Refined Gems

Refined Gems are created from Wonderfuls found in the Mines by smashing Rocks and Crystals with a Hammer. Refining any Wonderful costs 35G and the most probable result ALWAYS is Glass. Although both Wonderfuls and Ores can be found by smashing the same selection of Rocks and Crystals in any Mine, there are only two possible results when refining any Ore. When refining any Wonderful, there are either three or four possible results! Although the most probable result always is Glass, for each colour of Wonderful, there is a chance that refining will produce one of two or three different semi-precious or precious Gems. The most valuable of Gems always is the least probable, with a percentage of 5% in terms of chance.


Amber: 250G
There is a 20% chance of obtaining Amber when any Yellow Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem found in yellow wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: B
Place: Lower Mine, Garmon Mine


Amethyst: 420G
There is a 10% chance of obtaining Amethyst when any Purple Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem rarely found in purple wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: A
Place: Watery Cave


Aquamarine: 420G
There is a 15% chance of obtaining an Aquamarine when any Blue Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem found in blue wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: B
Place: Watery Cave


Crystal: 170G
There is a 20% chance of obtaining Crystal when any White Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem rarely found in white wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: B
Place: Garmon Mine
N.B. ‘Garmon Mine’ in this context is the Upper Garmon Mine.


Diamond: 1330G
There is a 5% chance of obtaining a Diamond when any White Wonderful is refined.


Emerald: 690G
There is a 5% chance of obtaining an Emerald when any Green Wonderful is refined.


Garnet: 270G
There is a 20% chance of obtaining a Garnet when any Red Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem found in red wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: B
Place: Lower Mine


Glass: 10G
Refined from any colour of Wonderful


Jade: 190G
There is a 15% chance of obtaining Jade when any Green Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem found in green wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: B
Place: Watery Cave

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli: 300G
There is a 20% chance of obtaining Lapis when any Blue Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem found in blue wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: B
Place: Watery Cave


Opal: 330G
There is a 15% chance of obtaining an Opal when any White Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem found in white wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: B
Place: Garmon Mine
N.B. ‘Garmon Mine’ refers to the Upper Garmon Mine


Peridot: 350G
There is a 20% chance of obtaining Peridot when any Green Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem found in green wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: B
Place: Watery Cave


Ruby: 830G
There is a 5% chance of obtaining a Ruby when any Red Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem rarely found in red wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: A
Place: Lower Mine, Garmon Mine


Sapphire: 620G
There is a 5% chance of obtaining a Sapphire when any Blue Wonderful is refined.


Spinel: 220G
There is a 20% chance of obtaining a Spinel when any Purple Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem found in purple wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: B
Place: Watery Cave


Topaz: 550G
There is a 5% chance of obtaining Topaz when any Yellow Wonderful is refined.
Official Description: A gem rarely found in yellow wonderfuls. Used to make accessories.
Rank: A
Place: Lower Mine, Garmon Mine

Where Wonderfuls are concerned, there are three possible Gems that can be contained in Green, Blue or White Wonderfuls but only two possible Gems in Yellow, Red or Purple, not counting Glass, which is NOT really considered a 'Gem'.

Green Wonderful can be refined to: Glass, Peridot, Jade, Emerald
Blue Wonderful can be refined to: Glass, Lapis Lazuli, Aquamarine, Sapphire
White Wonderful can be refined to: Glass, Opal, Crystal, Diamond
Yellow Wonderful can be refined to: Glass, Amber, Topaz
Red Wonderful can be refined to: Glass, Garnet, Ruby
Purple Wonderful can be refined to: Glass, Spinel, Amethyst

If you study the descriptions given above, you will see that the most uncommon and most valuable gems of all in Animal Parade (as in the real world) are Diamonds, Sapphires, Emeralds and Rubies. Actually, this is not the case in the real world, where Diamonds exist in vast quantities in the earth but multi-national corporations have conspired to control the production strictly to keep the price high. Nonetheless, for the most part, the correspondence between Harvest Moon Gems and Gems in 'our' world are fairly equal. In Animal Parade, the incidence of finding one of the most valuable Gems is no more than 5% when any Wonderful of the corresponding colour is refined.

Like most situations with respect to Mining in Harvest Moon, however, the results ALWAYS are random. This means that, if you are determined, you can obtain the Gem or Metal that you wish. It may involve a lot of reloading but you can make certain that refining any Ore or Wonderful results in the Metal or Gem you seek.

Unfortunately, the Garmon Mines District is one of the few Districts that never becomes instantly accessible. Even with the Secret of the Animal Whistle which can allow you to return home instantly, you still have to arrive there either by foot or regular animal transport. Using the Animal Whistle to go to Harmonica Town and then walking to the Mine Cart in the Church Grounds is an alternative, but it is not much faster.

One of the reasons for persisting in order to obtain a specific gem is in order to complete your Mining List for the Mining Trophy. I have included two screenshots of the Mining Trophy. It is 'furniture' that can be placed in your home.

Another random result is the number of branches that any Tree will contain when chopped down with an Axe. Although any items on the ground such as rocks or boulders will decrease the possible number obviously, even when the ground is clear on all sides, you cannot guarantee a specific number of branches. It is NOT worth the trouble of reloading for this!

The maze in Fugue Forest is random and, if you leave the Forest completely and then return, you will find an entirely different configuration of paths. The clearings always are set in terms of the number of screens through which you pass, but the paths change. The Fugue Mushroom always is found on the same screen, however, even if its precise location on that screen differs from visit to visit. You only can find one Fugue Mushroom per day.

Another random result is the appearance of Bees on your field. Obviously, you must have flowers in bloom in order to attract bees, but if you save your game at 5.50 a.m. or earlier, awaken and leave the house to find that NO bees have appeared, you can reload and try again until Bees do appear. The more flowers that have bloomed recently, the better the chance of attracting bees.

Results that do NOT appear to be random, on the other hand, are the Seeds that the Bird in the Cemetary gives to your character each Thursday. Reloading again and again, my character always obtained the same type of Seeds on any given Thursday, although one does receive a different type each week.

Where the Weather is concerned, it no longer is as easy as it was in older Harvest Moon games to change the future. The Weather is loaded into the game at least a few days in advance, so reloading even two days previously will not change the result.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Shortcuts and Instant Transport in Animal Parade

There are a number of ‘shortcuts’ that can be created in Animal Parade, through the completion of various quests. Apart from actual shortcuts, there are methods of transport that either allow you to travel to a new destination or reduce your travel time from one district to the other.

The first new path that is created is the repair of the bridge that allows you to travel to the Garmon Mines District. The second is the first use of the Animal Whistle that allows you to establish trust with the Wild Animals, granting you access to the Harvest Goddess Spring.

When your first Animal reaches 5 Hearts, you will be able to ride him/her. A Cow is rather slow, however. It is only when the Horn Ranch is upgraded to allow Hanna to sell Horses that you will have the potential to obtain a means of Transport in the form of an adult Horse with 5 Hearts that can cut your travel time in half.

Next, you can persuade Bo to repair the Mine Cart by feeding him repeatedly until he completes the task. This gives you a shortcut between the Garmon Mines District and the Church Grounds.

When you ring the Blue Bell, you will restore the Ferry Service between Harmonica Town and Toucan Island. When you purchase a return Boat Ticket for 400G from the Fishery, you will be able to travel instantly from Harmonica Town to Toucan Island and back again.

After you find all three Lost Circus Animals, Theodore will impart the Secret of the Animal Whistle which will allow you to travel instantly to your Farmland, Harmonica Town, Flute Fields or Fugue Forest from any location on the Map. What this means essentially is that you always will have a method by which you can return home instantly, even when you are in an area that is NOT an Animal Whistle destination. Furthermore, it gives you instant access to the swamp where the Hut of the Witch Princess is situated, allowing you to visit her without being forced to navigate the maze of Fugue Forest. An added bonus is the ability to discover what a 'piggyback ride' actually entails!

The final shortcut is created by the Harvest King himself when he grants you instant access via teleport from the Garmon Mine entrance to the Mountaintop. This shortcut is useful for a number of reasons, apart from allowing you to visit the Harvest King effortlessly. It gives you instant access to the Hot Spring at the Mountaintop as well as the 45th floor of the Upper Garmon Mine. Your chance of obtaining rare ores and gems improves when you mine in the last few floors of any mine, which means that starting at the 45th floor and working downward will give you more opportunity to find Gold Ore and Rare Ore.

As you can see, apart from the pure motivation of restoring the Goddess Tree, there are more selfish reasons to complete Quests in Animal Parade!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Usefulness of Dialogue in Animal Parade

A friend of mine who is playing Animal Parade and who tends to be very impatient by nature, complained bitterly when he discovered that the Purple Bell Quest required that he raise at least 10 Characters to three hearts.

He wrote: 'Your help with HMAP has brought me into my first winter and I've hung
all the bells and encountered the bell in the church -- and learned the
grim news that I must make lots of friends (your guide says 10 with 3
hearts each) before that final bell will ring. To me that sounds
extremely boring -- making the same rounds day after day with a gift
list in my hand, talking to people as I've already done for a year. The
only hearts I have are from my cow!'

By reading the Walkthrough, he then discovered that there was a further Quest AFTER the Purple Bell Quest as well as a multitude of subsidiary Quests and goals. If 'the only hearts' he has are from his Cow, he obviously has not experienced ANY of the Courtship Events either! Courtship and Marriage often are the most popular aspects of any Harvest Moon/Rune Factory game. To many players, the actual plot is subsidiary to the excitement of winning some one's heart and having a family.

Obviously, every player is different where any Game is concerned, but in terms of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, a player who does not enjoy dialogue or Events really misses much of the point of these games. In Animal Parade, moreover, the variations in dialogue are incredible. For example, in logging dialogue for the Harvest Festival, I discovered that there were at least THREE different possible dialogues for Characters on the day of the Harvest Festival. There may have been more than four, but I logged four for many of the Characters.

This by no means exhausts the dialogue possibilities in terms of the Harvest Festival actually, as every character spoke of the upcoming Festival on the previous day as well.

On the actual day of the Festival, speaking to some one BEFORE your character entered any Contest early in the day elicited one dialogue. Speaking to some one AFTER your Character entered and won any Contest elicited another dialogue. Finally, speaking to some one after the Festival ended elicited another dialogue.

On any ordinary day, there are at least four different dialogues that can be experienced with any Character. One relates to the weather, one relates to the season and one is based on current Friendship/Heart Level. Beyond that, there is a set phrase that each Character has that is constant throughout the game.

In terms of Festival dialogue, you often can learn useful facts by speaking to Characters. The Harvest Festival, with its Cooking Contest revealed a wealth of useful information about various characters.

Here are some of the dialogues on the day of the Harvest Festival:

Chloe: I made Baked Potatoes for the contest today! They’re hot and delicious! (pink heart)
Toby: There are a variety of ways to cook fish. A lot of thenm are quite simple, too. I can always give you a few pointers.

Maya: I entered Seafood Stew into the conteset! But my grandma said my secret seasonings aren’t so secret!

Gill: I entered my Ratatouille in the Cooking Contest. It has vegetables, so it’s healthy. I actually don’t like bell peppers, but I don’t mind if they’re cooked.

Selena: I was going to enter a dish I learned from my dad in the cooking contest... But it came out all burned! Sigh...

Witch Princess: have you been to the Harvest Festival? What won first place? Was it ice cream? Actually... I’m not really interested!

Bo: I’ve made a mushroom saute for today’s cooking contest. I may not win, but I did as well as I could’ve!

Mira: I entered a vegetable dish in the cooking contest. My husband didn’t like carrots, so I had to get creative for him to eat them.

Ramsey: I love buckwheat noodles. I often make my own... I hope we harverst plenty of buckwheat this year.

Luke: I learned to cook by watching my father. I can make all kinds of stews! Bo’s always telling me to stop though!

Kathy: I love cheese, so I entered my seafood gratin in the Cooking Contest. The only problem is that it’s not that great when it’s cold.

Hayden: They’re holding a cooking contest for today’s Harvest Festival. Are cocktails okay?

Luna: Hey, what did you enter in the Cooking Contest? I made my specialty, pumpkin pie. It’s not too sweet, and it’s also in season!

Candace: Today is the Harvest Festival. Is your dish ready? I decided on a dish that uses herbs, since I like herbs...

Renee: I’ve entered my salmon cream stew in the cooking contest. The salmon and milk really complement each other.

Barbara: I made stir fry for the contest. It’s quick and easy ... and it’s full of vitamins.

Phoebe: Did you enter anything into the contest? I’ve entered tempura noodles. It takes longer to make the noodles by hand, but the taste is worth it.

Shelly: I made a chestnut pie for the cooking contest. Peeling chestnuts is a pain, but you can use them for a lot of different desserts.

Irene: Did you make something for the Harvest Fstival? I made croquettes!

Ruth: I submitted my spinach risotto for the Cooking Contest. Spinach is good for you, and it’s quite popular among burly sailors!

My own personal favourite, if not particularly useful in terms of likes and dislikes of Characters, was Calvin's declaration:

Calvin: In ancient times, these festivals would involve sacrifice!

Some of the declarations are more overt than others. In some cases, you must 'read between the lines' but most of the Characters speak of a 'Most Favourite' when they announce their entries. Other information that is provided, in Gill's case, is a Most Detested Item. Apart from information that is useful in terms of giving gifts to an individual, dialogue can tell you what sort of dishes are likely to win 1st Place. Bo speaks of 'Mushroom Saute' as his entry and confesses that he 'may not win' the Contest with it. In fact, it is only dishes with a very high shipping value that will win 1st Place. The same is true with respect to the Vegetable Contest, the Fruit Contest and the Flower Contest. Shipping value is ALL that counts!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two Treasure Hunts in Animal Parade

This video tutorial shows the locations of all Treasures both in the Treasure Hunt that is found in the Maps purchased from Barbara at the General Store and each Map location in the Hunt for Capt. Bluecoat's Treasure.

The only requirement for purchasing all the Maps at the General Store is the upgrade to the Level where all the Maps will be offered. There is no Friendship Level requirement. Capt. Bluecoat's Treasure Hunt, on the other hand requires that your character attain 5 Hearts with Yolanda. The first Event then will be initiated.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Restoring the Goddess Tree in Animal Parade

Here is a video of your character's first encounter with the Harvest King, when you attain 'Hero' status and climb to the top of the Mountaintop to ring all 5 Bells, thereby summoning him:

The quality of the video is terrible. My camera is nearing the end of its life, alas, but I hope players will find enjoy it nonetheless.

The Harvest King really is something else! He is everything an Immortal should be...

Buying your Way to Success in Animal Parade

In Animal Parade, there usually are two ways to obtain any item needed to complete a Quest or even to obtain a 'Most Favourite Gift' for an individual. One is through your own efforts either by farming, raising Animals, mining, fishing or cooking. The other is by purchasing the item from a local Shop or Festival Stall. Almost every item needed for any Quest will appear on a Shop menu at some point. Some require the highest upgrade, but they DO appear.

If you are looking for Good Corn, for example, you either can grow it yourself in Summer or purchase it from the Marimba Farm when it is upgraded to a Level 3 Shop. Likewise, Shining Honeydew will appear on the Menu at Level 4.

The Witch Princess loves Blackberry Cocktails. You can forage for Blackberries and pop two in an Aging Pot to make Blackberry Cocktail or you can purchase a Blackberry Cocktail from the Brass Bar when it is upgraded to Level 4.

These are only a couple of examples among many. Basically, I suspect that the reason why Shops sell all the vital items for Quests is to encourage players to SHIP their items rather than hoarding them for future use. Shipping is fundamental to Animal Parade. Unlike other games where Farming Titles are progressive, Titles in Animal Parade are awarded at the end of each season and endure only for a single season. Your Farming Titles are based solely on Shipping Totals in various categories. If you hoard items (like me), you will not be able to earn a decent Title at the end of any Season. You actually MUST obtain a Hero Title in one category in order to meet the Harvest King to complete the Quest of the Five Bells, restoring the Goddess Tree to life.

You can hoard items until the last day of any Season, however, without affecting your ability to earn a Title. You actually can save your game on the 28th day of a Season and then experiment by shipping various quantities, reloading and adding to the shipping container until you win the 'Hero' Title.

There is a special award for obtaining the Ultimate Title in EVERY category at the end of a season. The easiest way to win that would be by hoarding items in each category until you have a sufficient total in each to obtain the Ultimate Title across the board, as it were.

It always is less expensive to grow or obtain your own items rather than purchasing them from a Shop but saving money never is the primary goal in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game. You need to spend money, in any case, in order to make progress. In Animal Parade, often you will find that purchasing an item is a better strategy than waiting to obtain it through your own efforts.

Where Festival Contests are concerned, purchasing items from shops can allow you to win a Contest you otherwise might not win.

These Posts are NOT my Strategy Guides

I would have thought this to be obvious, but evidently many players do not read the description of this site or take the time to look at the right side of the page. I keep receiving emails from players who have game questions and declare that the answer cannot be found on my site. They never have read ANY of my actual strategy guides and evidently simply do a search of the posts here.

Harvest Moon Forever was created primarily as a site where players could find LINKS to all of my real Strategy Guides. Those links are on the right side of this page. For any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game, I usually write more than one Guide, including a comprehensive Walkthrough/General Guide as well as 'mini-guides' dealing with specific aspects of the game, such as a Characters Guide, a Courtship and Marriage Guide, an Items and Shipping List Guide and a Recipe Cookbook Guide.

As time passed, I began to write posts about specific problems in games or reviews of upcoming games or simply posts describing events I liked. These should not be mistaken for my actual Guides. At times, I have included sections from my Guides in posts, either in order to give quick access to specific information to players or because it was a holiday and my updates to my actual guides would not be uploaded for a couple of days. The amount of information included in the posts on this site nonetheless is simply a fraction of the information that is contained in my actual strategy guides for any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game. Furthermore, these posts never were intended to offer comprehensive tips or Walkthroughs. They are 'extras', in the same way that my YouTube tutorial videos for Harvest Moon or Rune Factory games are 'extras'. The primary source of information ALWAYS IS the actual Guide or Guides that I write.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Animal Neglect in Animal Parade

I'm afraid that, initially in writing my Guides, I took the advice and pronouncements of other Characters in Animal Parade as 'gospel' where Animal Care rules were concerned rather than testing it myself. In particular, I trusted the dialogue of Cain, Hanna and Renee, all Animal Care specialists. I was told, at various Friendship Levels that Animals would lose Friendship if you neglected to feed and care for them and that they would become ill if they were left outside in bad weather.

They may indeed become ill if they are left outside, but Heart Levels do not decrease in all cases. I tested the effects of neglect by leaving my Animals outside for over a week, through a rainstorm and beyond, and not one became ill, nor did their heart levels decrease. Furthermore, I was able to ride my Horse, although he hadn't been fed in 10 days.

When an Animal finally DID become sick, Cain arrived, huystled me to the Barn and then gave Animal Medicine to the poor creature himself. It was two days later that the first Chicken became ill. Once again, Cain arrived, took me to the Barn and himself administered Animal Medicine to cure the poor bird.

Two days after this, an Animal died and I was treated to the saddest Event iimaginable in the Cemetary. Cain officiated at a Funeral, giving me a scolding about Animal neglect. When a second Animal died two days after this, only Finn and I were at the graveyard. Finn blamed HIMSELF for not feeding the Animal!

So that is my own personal experience with Animal neglect. Obviously I never would allow any of this to occur in my REAL game. I promptly reloaded back to my ordinary Animal Parade life once I had logged all the results.

The reason I tested this was because of the experience a friend of mine had in his game. He wrote to me as follows:

'My animals were sick and needed medicine -- which I didn't realise because the signs/emblems above their heads looked nothing like the 'sick' signs shown in the instruction book. What I saw looked like one of those metal feeders I've seen on the farm -- like a cylinder with a peaked top and a saucer base. The instructions show a sad, grouchy face.'

He then added:

'Yes, I knew about animal care, but I was confused
by the picture above the animals' heads, which did not correspond with
the 'sick' emblem in the instruction book. Not only did the animals not
give product, but also the neighbors stopped talking to me! That was
unexpected. I was shunned until I cured my animals. When people
stopped responding to me I realized that something was drastically wrong

When I requested more details, he wrote:

'Some time (days) after those still-mysterious emblems appeared above the animals' heads, I was unable to remove the milker from my rucksack in order to milk the cow. Then, when I attempted to ask to ride the cow, the 'Pet or Ride' choice didn't appear. The cow simply turned to face me when I neared her and pressed A. Then the really strange thing occurred when I walked to the Flute Fields places and went up to any person and pressed A and there was simply no response. The person behaved as if I weren't there. On the other hand, if I went up to a counter to buy something, the interaction was normal. Behind the counter, however, I was ignored. (The reason the animals got sick was that I passed out from exhaustion one day while they were out of the barn, and found them in the rain next morning.)'

As you can see, I experienced nothing of the sort when I deliberately set out to make my Animals ill... The first Livestock animal who became ill was cured by Cain. Likewise the first Poultry animal was cured by him. The next time it occurred, the Animal died when ignored and again once more...

Despite all of this, no 'neighbours' or other Characters ignored me at all. I continued to be able to ride my Livestock and I was able to use the Animal Whistle for transport via Circus Animals... Heart Levels did not decrease initially either with neighbours or with Animals. Finally, after the death of the SECOND animal, only one Cow lost one Heart. All other Animals remained at maximum Friendship Levels... Very strange!

I did not take any stills of these Events but I did record video and will make a video about Animal Neglect for YouTube. The screenshot included here was taken from the video, which is why it is blurred.

Another player tried the same thing and her results were very similar to mine. I can only conclude that the player who experienced the 'shunning' has experienced some strange glitch.

I'd be interested in the experiences of other players. If possible, do as I did and try it, then reload so that no Animal truly suffers!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

He May Not be a God, but... He's definitely Romantic!

The Harvest King is magnificent but he is immortal and it is difficult to compare any God with a mere human. At 8 Hearts, however, the Wizard's dialogue won my heart when he told me:

Wizard: I haven’t lived as long as the Harvest King or Harvest Goddess... But I wouldn’t trade a long life for the opportunity of having met you...

At 3 Hearts, each Character in Animal Parade will confide a Wish to you. I'm afraid that the Wizard is rather maligned when his Wish is conveyed to the Wishing Shrine. His original Wish, as confided to Freya was that he wished he could have a telescope that would pierce the very heart of the universe. This is a deeply profound philosophical wish but when his Wish is transferred to the Wishing Shrine, it becomes 'I want a super-powerful telescope'. This makes him sound like a child who wants a particularly cool toy rather than a magician who wishes he could solve the ultimate mysteries of the universe.

Never mind, though. At least Freya understands him perfectly. Thank God there are three save slots in Animal Parade, allowing her to stay true to the Wizard in one while still dallying with an Immortal God in another!

Incidntally, although one can begin to court the Witch Princess from the instant when she is transformed by the Wizard from a Frog back into a Princess, my own advice would be to wait until you have the Secret of the Animal Whistle. Until then, you will be forced to smash and chop your way through the maze of the Fugue Forest whenever you wish to visit her. Once you have the Secret of the Animal Whistle, the Hippo will glide effortlessly and instantly into the swamp-filled clearing, taking you directly to her door. Although you do need to collect materials in the form of lumber and Material Stone for building upgrades, courting the Witch Princess is far less frustrating if you can bypass the Fugue Forest Maze.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Animal Parade Items and Shipping List Guide

When I first created the Items and Shipping List Guide for Animal Parade, I basically organised categories of items in a logical fashion, listing Crops by season and Fish and Cooked Dishes in alphabetical order. As any player familiar with Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games will be aware, this is NOT the way items usually are listed in the games themselves. In Animal Parade, the fact that Trophies are awarded for the completion of some of the Encyclopedia Lists gives an added incentive to players to complete each List Category.

I therefore have added new sections to the initial half of the Items and Shipping List Guides that provide the Encyclopedia Lists in the order in which they appear in your Bookshelf. In English, the lists are not alphabetical but when an item is missing, a player now can refer to the first part of the Guide to determine precisely which item is missing. He/she then can go to the second half of the Guide for details about the item. If the item is one that is found in the Mines, for example, it is in the second half of the Guide that players will find all the details as to how and where Ores and Gems are found or obtained. The first half simply gives the Mining List in the game order for the purpose of obtaining the Mining Trophy. Likewise, it is iin the second half of the Guide that you will find all Recipes in alphabetical order, giving ingredients, shipping values and Energy Recovery Values. In the first part of the Guide, you simply will find the completed Recipes Lists as they appear in your Bookshelf.

I have included information about Important Items that cannot be shipped but which are vital to the Plot at the very end of this Guide. Details about all the Maps sold by Barbara and those that are obtained in the course of the search for Capt. Bluecoat's Treasure are included, with information about the locations described in each as well as any rewards.

Animal Parade is a game with enormous scope. As there are limits on the size of a Guide that IGN will publish unzipped, I have had to remove the text of Events, especially with respect to Characters, from the Walkthrough and General Guide. You now will find these Events now either in the Courtship and Marriage Guide or the Characters Guide. All Guides remain 'works in progress'. I try to add Events and dialogues on a daily basis to the Characters and Courtship and Marriage Guides.

I now have added a section on Theodore to the Characters Guide. It is here now that you will find the text of all the Events that deal with the Lost Circus Animals and the Secret Power of the Animal Whistle.