Saturday, February 27, 2010

Unlocking the Silkie Hen in Sunshine Islands

It is by shipping only 1 S Rank Ranch Product of a specific variety that you will unlock the rare breeds of Animals in Sunshine Islands. With respect to your Livestock, you can obtain S Rank product in one of two ways. The long path is by raising your Cow or Sheep to 9 or 10 Hearts to win the Contest at the Cow or Sheep Festival. When your Animal wins 1st Prize, she will begin to give S Rank product on a regular basis. There is a far quicker method where Livestock are concerned and that is by playing the Touchscreen mini-game. Even a Cow or Sheep at 5 Hearts can give S Rank product when you play the Touchscreen Milking or Shearing game. Ship the Product and the next day, you will experience an Event at Mirabelle's Shop wherein she will announce the arrival of a new rare breed of Animal. The Cow is the Jersey Cow and the Sheep is the Suffolk Sheep.

It is where Chickens are concerned that you will have to wait a very long time to unlock a Silkie Hen if you do not pursue a dedicated programme of breeding. Although there is a Touchscreen Petting game to raise Friendship, there is no Egg-laying Touchscreen game. This means that the only way to obtain an S Rank Egg in the ordinary course of the game is with a Chicken who wins 1st Prize at the Chicken Festival.

Raising a Chicken to 10 Hearts alone will not produce an S Rank Egg. I tested this with the very first Chicken I obtained. At 10 Hearts, she still laid only A Rank Eggs of the highest Quality of 10 and 9 1/2 Size. Winning 2nd Place at the Chicken Festival in the 2nd Year did not produce S Rank eggs either. You must win 1st Prize evidently.

If you endeavour to obtain the result by raising a Chicken's Friendship, then winning the Chicken Contest, you may have to wait until the third year, depending on when the Chicken reaches a high enough Friendship Level to win 1st Prize. The Chicken Contest occurs only once each year on 7 Summer.

There is a strategy that will produce quicker results, however, and that is through breeding. Order an incubator from Gannon as soon as possible and throw the highest level Egg that you possess into it. When the Chick is born, it will have half the Hearts of the parent Chicken who laid it. Chickens mature very quickly, so you should be able to take THAT Chicken's Egg and incubate it before an entire season elapses. By following this procedure again and again, you may be able to produce a Chicken with sufficiently high Friendship Level to win 1st Prize at the Chicken Festival on 7 Summer in your 2nd Year. Otherwise, you will be obliged to wait until the 3rd Year to buy your first Silkie Hen.

As Voda commented, there is a 'cheat' of sorts if you have been diligent in raising Friendship Levels of Characters from the beginning. If you look at my General Guide or Characters Guide, I have included a list of the Birthday Gifts your Characters will receive on his/her Birthday from any Character who has attained 7 Hearts. One of Mirabelle's three Gifts is a Silkie Egg. As the three Gifts are rotated by year, you will receive the Silkie Egg every three years, beginning in the second year. (In my own game, my Character's Birthday as always falls on 4 Autumn and thus, I neglected to mention this option initially as the Chicken Festival predated it! This is one of the risks of becoming too involved personally in any game. One sometimes fails to mention the 'bigger picture'!)

In any event, if you pursue your Friendship with Mirabelle regularly (and she will be thrilled even with a daily gift of Pet Food), you can incubate the Silkie Egg you receive (which should be of A Rank, at least 10 Quality and 8 Size) to produce a Silkie Chick with higher heart level than the Silkie Hen unlocked at her Shop through traditional methods.

Here is the Birthday List section from my General and Characters Guides:

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 most Characters who themselves have Birthdays that are defined in Sunshine Islands, one of the three Gifts in many cases 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. Even where the Birthday Gifts are not 'Most Favourite Gifts', they are Gifts ordinarily that would be worth 500 FP if you 'regifted' the item to them.

With respect to the Characters who do not have a defined Birthday, one of the Birthday Gifts they give can be a Most Favourite as well. In Ray's case, it is Sushi. Even if not uniquely a 'Most Favourite', all three Gifts will be favourites of theirs. Sad to say, although I hoped that these characters might have had secret birthdays, I have obtained official confirmation from Natsume that this is not the case.

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.

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 following is the List of Birthday Gifts that you will receive from any Character in the order in which they are given. Where an item is a true 'Most Favourite Gift', I have capitalised it:

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: Bamboo Dumpling, 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

Harvest Sprite Teams, Enchantments and Wild Animal Gifts

Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands are similar in many respects and yet, every Harvest Moon game is unique. The large number of Subsidiary Characters who pursued various traditional activities in Island of Happiness do not exist in Sunshine Islands. Instead, different Harvest Sprite Teams, much like those found in HM DS and Cute DS live on Harvest Sprite Island and can be persuaded to 'help' your Character in specific circumstances.

In Sunshine Islands, Harvest Sprite 'help' is given through 'Enchantments'. You must speak to Coral, a Member of the officiating Red Team, to organise any Enchantment. You can order more than one Enchantment at any given time and 'hire' more than one Team. As the old Latin Legal Maxim succinctly declares, however, 'Qui sentit commodum debit et sentire onus', loosely translated as: 'Who knows a benefit must know its burden'.

The 'burden' or 'price' in this case is the necessity for the Harvest Sprites involved in any Enchantment to take a rather long rest afterwards. While any Harvest Sprite is resting, you will not be able to interact with him or her.

Yes, that is another new twist to Sunshine Islands: Some Harvest Sprites are male and others are female. (One wonders if there are secret Harvest Sprite romances on Harvest Sprite Island!)

Harvest Sprite gender, like Harvest Sprite dialogue, simply is one of those very intriguing but non-significant aspects of Sunshine Islands.

Those players who truly love Harvest Moon usually love the dialogues that can be discovered at new heart levels or seasons or in special circumstances.

For example, whenever you hire Seiran, a member of the Indigo Team, to increase Friendship Levels at Carol's Inn, you will be able to experience dialogue that is much like the Wizard's Fortunes in Animal Parade.

Seiran: Freya, Mark said you and he share the same dream!!
Seiran: Freya, Dr. Trent only thinks of you as some one he meets during his travels!!
Seiran: Freya, Carol only sees you as an old customer!!
Seiran: Freya, I think you understand Lily better than anybody!!

Note that these dialogues occur randomly, so you may be obliged to speak to Seiran many times before you experience all of them.

Every Sprite has his/her own unique dialogue. Whenever a new Sprite is brought to the Island, you will experience a special little Event entitled 'New Friend'. You will be advised that a new Sprite has arrived on the Island, but you will not be told his/her identity either by name or by team. You must search for the new Member or Members and speak to him/her to introduce yourself before that Sprite will be added to the Sprite list on your Friendship Page or be available for Enchantments.

Note that a Gift to one Member of a Team is a Gift to the entire Team and that Friendship Levels are raised (or lowered) collectively. The traditional Gift of Wheat Flour is a Favourite with all Harvest Sprites on every Team, but each Team has specific likes and dislikes. You will find all details about the Harvest Sprite Teams, their likes and dislikes and their dialogues, in my Sunshine Islands Characters Guide.

Enchantments are of different potency, determined by size. Whether you can order a 'Small', 'Medium' or 'Large Enchantment depends on the number of Members of the specific Team that are living on Harvest Sprite Island. With 1-3 Sprites, you cannot order anything larger than a 'Small Enchantment'. You can, however, split the Team, assigning 1 Member to one Enchantment and another to a different Enchantment. I suggest always that players keep one Member of any Team unemployed in order to be able to continue to interact with that Team while other Members 'rest'. Otherwise, you can find yourself in a position where you cannot raise Friendship Levels of that Team for up to 10 days as a 'resting' Sprite or Sprites will not be accessible to you. I certainly never have been able to enter the Hut where they rest...

Another new aspect of Sunshine Islands is the ability to 'hire' Wild Animals with three Hearts or more to forage for items for you. Each type of Wild Animal will find a different sort of item. The actual items that they bring back on any day will be chosen randomly but higher Friendship Levels give a better chance of obtaining rare or valuable items.

These items, incidentally, are 'loaded' into the game at 6.00 a.m. when you awaken and not when you speak to Cherry to obtain them. If, therefore, you would like a chance to obtain different items, you need to save your game at 5.50 a.m. or prior to that, visit Cherry immediately at 6.00 a.m. to see what the animals netted for you and, if you are dissatisfied, reload back to the previous day.

Fishing for Pirate Treasure and other Rare Items in Sunshine Islands

Veteran players of Harvest Moon will be aware of the rare seasonal bounty of the Sea in the form of Pirate Treasure and Fish Fossils. Another rare item, albeit one that has an insignificant Shipping Value is the Bottle, caught only in Spring. In any Harvest Moon game, the Bottle is a mysterious item that serves unique purposes in each game. In Sunshine Islands, it can be carried in your Rucksack to increase your Fishing Level Points according to a calculation using the current year in the game. (The Lithograph serves a similar purpose for your Mining Degree Level.)

Pirate Treasure is caught only in Summer from Sprout or Verdure Island. The Fish Fossil is caught only in Autumn from Meadow Island. The Bottle, caught only in Spring, is found only when fishing from Mystic Islands.

As with Mining, your chances of obtaining better items increase with the increase in your Skill Level. If your Fishing Skills are low, you will have virtually no chance of catching a King Fish or a rare item. To maximise your chance of obtaining ANY rare item from the Sea, order an Enchantment from Coral.

The Purple Team is in charge of Fishing Skill Enchantments. The location where they work depends on your Character's Gender. If your Character is a Boy, the Enchantment will occur at Denny's Shack. If your Character is a Girl, the Enchantment will occur at Lanna's House. Apparently, it is your 'Friend', also your Rival if you are courting the same individual, who helps you raise your Level temporarily during the course of the Enchantment.

Remember that any Enchantment is followed by a period of Rest for the Sprites. As I have advised in my Guides, it is best ALWAYS to keep at least one Sprite on any Team unemployed so that you can continue to give Gifts to the Team during any Rest period.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Sunshine Islands Items and Shipping List Guide

I now have created a Sunshine Islands Items and Shipping List Guide. The link has been added to the Sunshine Islands Guides links section on the right side of the page but I will add it to this post as well:

Sunshine Islands Items and Shipping List Guide

The Shipping List sections are complete. What I have not added yet are the Fish List and Mushroom List. Most of the information in this 'mini-guide' or 'Quick Reference Guide' is included in my other Sunshine Islands Guides but I myself find it is convenient to have everything in a single 'mini-guide'.

Note that some items in Sunshine Islands will appear in more than one List in your Farm Menu. For example, you have a Recipes/Cookbook List AND a Cooked Dishes Shipping List. They essentially are two different versions of the same list. In my Shipping List Guide, I have included only the average Shipping Value and Energy Value for each Cooked Dish. For the actual Recipes with their required and optional ingredients and the method of obtaining each from one of the professional Chefs, please continue to refer to my Sunshine Islands Cookbook Recipes Guide. It is very comprehensive and includes some tips about Cooking.

The Fishing List section of the Shipping Guide and the Fish List are very different. The Fishing List includes all items that can be 'caught' with a Fishing Rod, but defines Fish only by size. You therefore have a very short list of items, with Fish (S), Fish (M) and Fish (L) as the sole Fish entries. The Fish List, on the other hand, includes the name of every Fish you have caught, with all locations where it can be found, the total number you have caught and the size of the largest fish for each entry. It is in the Fish List that you will find the King Fish.

There is no 'Mushroom' List per se in the Shipping List section of your Farm Menu. Mushrooms are listed in the 'Other Items' category and appear solely as 'Mushroom', 'Cluster Mushroom', 'Poisonous Mushroom' and 'Truffle'. It is in the Mushroom List that you will find the names of each variety you have found on Mushroom Island with a total for each.

In this Quick Reference Guide, I have included sections for items that cannot be shipped such as Tools, Accessories and Books.

Where Shipping Values of any item in Sunshine Islands are concerned, there is a problem in giving any precise values at all, unless you give the 'base' or lowest possible value for any item. In most cases, that is what I have done. The sole exception is the Cooked Dishes section, where the values were taken from my Recipe Cookbook Guide and represent the 'average' value of any Dish if Rank A or B. In all other sections of the Guide, the value basically represents the Shipping Value of the item at Rank D. I have included a multiplication table so that players can estimate the value of the same item if Rank S, A, B or C.

The real purpose of the Sunshine Islands Items and Shipping List Guide is twofold. It gives players some idea of the Shipping Values of every item in the game and it gives them completed lists in every Category so that they can discover which items they are missing in their own lists. I have added a Crops section to the Guide that gives detailed information about every Crop, including the manner by which it is unlocked. I intend to add similar details about other types of items as time permits. Again, let me stress that most of this information IS included in my other Sunshine Islands Guides, most often in the General Guide and Walkthrough.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Charging your Tools in Harvest Moon and Rune Factory

One of the most common problems that players have when they are unfamiliar with Harvest Moon or Rune Factory is that of 'charging' their tools. They will upgrade their Tools but then wonder why the Tool operates no differently from the original 'basic' Tool.

Fundamental to almost every Harvest Moon and Rune Factory game is the concept of 'charging' a Tool to increase its power. Often the act of charging has physical visual effects that allow a player to gauge the power of the charge.

In order to charge a Tool, you must equip it and then hold down the 'Action' or 'Tool' Button before you release it to perform the action. In Harvest Moon DS/Cute DS, for example, you could own a set of Mythic Tools and each could perform at ANY Level. If you did not hold down the button, the Tool would perform as a basic tool, operating only on one square or, in the case of Axe or Hammer, unable to operate on any but the smallest items (Branch and Stone). By holding it down for a moment, it would operate as a Copper Tool. Hold it down a little longer and it would operate as a Silver Tool and so on.

There was one situation in the original 'Boy' version of HM DS where you had to DECREASE the power of your Charge if you had either a Blessed or a Mythic Fishing Rod. In order to catch a Bottle, you needed a Mystrile Fishing Rod OR a Blessed or Mythic Rod operating at Mystrile level. If you enabled the highest charge for the Blessed or Mythic Rods, you never would catch a Bottle! This was changed in the 'Girl' version of the game, HM Cute DS and Mystrile, Blessed and Mythic Fishing Rods, even when operating with the highest charges, could catch a Bottle in Spring.

Physical visual effects of charging tools usually resemble 'auras'. A burst of light or circle of light surrounds the Tool and increases in power the longer you hold down the control. This is the case both in DS games and in console games and in most Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games, the player can control the charge.

In Sunshine Islands, however, it is the Wonderful(s) set into a Tool that determine its action when charged. In other words, the Tool when charged will act with the power or capacity of EVERY Wonderful set into it. You cannot control the Charge. Your only choice is whether to charge the Tool or use it without charging it.

This only becomes significant when you are using a Farm Tool such as Watering Can, Hoe or Sickle. If you have Wonderfuls set in any of these that increase the sphere of influence of the Tool, you cannot DECREASE that sphere of influence by charging the Tool less. In other words, if you have 2 Red Wonderfuls and 1 Blue Wonderful set into your Watering Can, Hoe or Sickle and you charge the Tool, it will operate on a 3 x 3 plot of 9 squares. You cannot charge it less to cause it to operate only on three squares or six squares. What you MAY be able to do is position your Character in a spot that will cause the Tool to operate only on 3 or 6 squares but that depends on the configuration of your tilled plots. If you stand OUTSIDE the tillable field, the Tool will not operate on ANY tilled squares. You can stand on your Field, however, and position yourself so that part of the Tool's sphere of influence is upon untilled squares.

If you wish to decrease the area of influence, you will be obliged to seek out Charlie when he is at work and ask him to remove a Wonderful or Wonderfuls from the tool.

It is important to remember that Wonderfuls set into Tools will not have ANY effect if the Tool is not charged. If you have a Purple Wonderful set into a Tool to earn extra money each time the Tool is used, you only will earn that money if you CHARGE the Tool when you use it. The same is true with respect to added Affection points in any Ranch Tool or multiplication of yield when an Orange is set in any Tool.

Finally, do not confuse the operation of Tools set with Wonderfuls with the operation of Accessories. Although some Accessories must be equipped in order to be effective, others need only be in your Rucksack. The Accessory that counts your steps is a case in point. It need not be equipped in order to count every step that you take. Most Accessories, however, must be equipped in order to operate.

A warning is in order here where the Harvest Goddess Pendants, Kappa Pendants and Witch Princess Pendants are concerned. These are Accessories that increase your TOTAL Energy, extending your Stamina and/or Fullness Bars. ONCE EQUIPPED, YOU MUST NOT UNEQUIP THEM! If you do so by accident and then re-equip the Pendant, you will find that you have lost all the initial energy that the Pendant provided and be forced to fill the Bar again. In other words, if you have equipped the Large Harvest Goddess Pendant and Large Kappa Pendant and have filled both Bars completely, unequipping them will decrease the size of the Bars back to your original Total Stamina and Fullness Bars. These smaller Bars will remain full BUT when you re-equip the Large Harvest Goddess and Large Kappa Pendants, the portion of the Bars that represent the extended Stamina and Fullness capacities will be EMPTY. The game will not remember the original configuration to restore all of the Stamina and Fullness you possessed before you unequipped the Pendants.

Where the Friendship Pendants are concerned, I have not been able to judge whether or not the Pendant needs to be equipped or simply will operate if kept in the Rucksack. With Large Harvest Goddess Pendant, Large Kappa Pendant and Turbo Shoes equipped in three of my slots, I only have one available slot for Tools or items or another Accessory. I usually equip the Large Friendship Pendant before I go to bed at night. Its effect is too subtle to gauge without having a Love Bangle or its equivalent.

The Small and Medium Witch Princess Pendants were less powerful than a combination of Small Harvest Goddess and Kappa Pendants or Medium Harvest Goddess and Kappa Pendants. I still need to test the effect of the Large Witch Princess Pendant carefully to see if it extends BOTH Bars as much as the two individual Large H. Goddess and Kappa Pendants.

Whether to use the Stylus or the Control Pad in Sunshine Islands

In Island of Happiness, there were few options to use the Control Pad. Almost every action was controlled by the stylus. Some players (including me) did not care for that, but others preferred it. With the sensitivity to players' feelings that is characteristic of the creators of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, in Sunshine Islands, the 'sequel' to Island of Happiness, a player has the option either to use the stylus or to use the Control Pad in most cases. As I 'cut my teeth' as it were on the GameBoy systems, I opt to use the Control Pad. Another reason why I tend to favour the Control Pad is the fact that my heavy use of the stylus in the early days of the DS completely destroyed the screen of my DS. It had to be replaced...

Which takes me on a slight diversion to a warning I added to some of my Guides but not all of them. Always use a screen protector on your Touchscreen. Another way to minimise the damage that the stylus causes is by using a 'pen' stylus instead of the stubby little stylus sold with the DS or DS Lite. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, these 'pens' no longer are sold. Instead, you can buy a retractable stylus, which is the same width as a regular stylus but has a telescoping feature that allows you to lengthen it. Although I find these inferior to the original 'pens', they are better than the short stylus as the amount of pressure that a player exerts tends to decrease as the length of the implement increases.

Back to the main topic now, which deals with the occasions where a stylus is preferable to the Control Pad in Sunshine Islands.

If you are playing one of the Touchscreen mini-games (Petting, Milking, Shearing), you must use the Stylus. Apart from this, however, you always have an option to choose between Control Pad and stylus. I have discovered two situations where the use of the stylus is infinitely preferable to use of the traditional Controls.

The first is when you are harvesting Crops. With the traditional Controls, you cannot reach the middle Crop in a 3 x 3 square plot in order to harvest it. If, however, you use the stylus, you CAN harvest that Crop. An early mistake of mine when I first explored Sunshine Islands was NOT to test the stylus when my Crops matured. In fact, you can create rows without breaks and harvest the middle Crops in each row using your Stylus in Sunshine Islands in the same manner as in Island of Happiness.

The second situation is when you are giving a Gift to some one. If you use the Control Pad, you run the risk of dropping the item, becoming guilty of a littering offence. That will please the Witch Princess enormously but has more disadvantages than advantages in that it will upset other Characters, decreasing their Friendship and essentially waste the item. If you use the Stylus, however, you can give an item from some distance, rather than being forced to stand directly next to him/her. This is particularly useful when you are interacting with the tiny Harvest Sprites on Sprite Island as they tend to zip about the Island at incredible speeds.

You actually can perform your 'meeting and greeting' ritual with all Characters using your Stylus, which will save time as you can 'call out' to them from a distance and they will acknowledge your greeting in the same fashion as if you were next to them.

If use of the Stylus is so more advantageous to a player, why on earth do any of us use the Control Pad instead. The answer rests partly upon personal preference but partly on a dislike of using the Stylus for movement in general. Once I begin to use the Control Pad, I tend to stay with it and must force myself to remember that the Stylus should be used for certain actions. There are cases when the Control Pad actually works better for me. I do believe that the Control Pad is easier to use when 'charging' a Tool, for example.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

No Links in Comments please...

I don't wish to reject comments by legitimate players and players moreoever with whom I am familiar, but any comments containing links WILL be rejected. If you have a comment, please post it without the link.

True Dragon Master, please send me an email with your request! Thanks!

Festival Items in Sunshine Islands

At the two New Year Festivals, your Character will receive a number of items to take home. At the Year End Noodle Festival, he/she will receive about a dozen Buckwheat Flour. At the New Year Day Rice Candy Festival, he/she will receive about a dozen Rice Candy.

The intrinsic value in the case of the Buckwheat Flour is less than that of the Rice Candy simply because there is no other method by which you can obtain Rice Candy. You can buy Buckwheat Flour from Chen for 1080G. The shipping value of Buckwheat Flour, albeit much higher than that of Rice Candy, is not even half of what Chen asks.

As far as shipping values are concerned, the average values of the two items are:

Buckwheat Flour: 450G
Rice Candy: 140G

Cooking any 'raw' item using a single-ingredient Recipe tends to increase the value of the item. These two items are no exception, but the actual profit level with respect to Rice Candy is not that great.

When you roast the same Rice Candy to obtain Roasted Rice Candy, the shipping value is: 175G

Using it to create Bamboo Dumplings will result in the same shipping value.

Remember that these prices represent specific items with specific Rank, Quality, Size and Freshness.

If you use Rice Candy that you stored for a year in a Material Stone Refrigerator, so that it has deteriorated to B Rank, the value may be more like 145G.

If Buckwheat Flour has a shipping value of 450G and you can use it in a single ingredient recipe to create Buckwheat Noodles that ship for 575G, you obviously will make a profit when you cook it, but only if you received the Buckwheat Flour at a Festival or grew it, harvested and processed it yourself.

If you bought it from Chen, you will take a loss by transforming it into Buckwheat Noodles in order to ship it. The only valid reason for doing this would be to ship it once in order to complete your Shipping List, but it would be better to wait until you obtain it at the New Year Festival or prepare it from your own harvest.

The Rice Candy received at the beginning of the 2nd Year is best utilised to obtain new Recipes from the resident Chefs and then to make each Dish in order to ship it. You do need to ship one 'raw' Rice Candy and one Buckwheat Flour in order to complete your shipping list.

Other Festival items that you can obtain are Rice Balls at the Rice Festival and a selection of Pumpkin Dishes from the Pumpkin Festival ceelbration. These actually are worth more in terms of shipping values than either Rice Candy or Buckwheat Flour but are not unique and can be made in your own kitchen.

Details about the Greenhouse in Sunshine Islands

The Greenhouse is an advanced option in many Harvest Moon games, including Sunshine Islands, that allows you to grow crops out of season. In HM DS and Cute DS, where water and sunlight had no specific individual requirements where Crops were concerned, the need for the 'Basements' that were the equivalent of a Greenhouse was not as great as it is in Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands. In IoH and SI, the fact that weather can prove your undoing in terms of Crops that require either 'less' or 'more' Sunlight and/or Water makes the Greenhouse almost a necessity.

I had imagined that the Greenhouse option in both games would be the same but that is not quite true. The option IS expensive in both games... but in Sunshine Islands, you actually can add more than one Sun Box to further speed the growth of seasonal Crops.

In Island of Happiness, the Greenhouse actually is built on your original Field. In Sunshine Islands, however, it is built on Greenhouse Island, which is reached via a bridge from Link Island, reached via a Bridge from your Farm. This is true with respect to all three 'special farming' islands: Greenhouse Island, Rice Island and Fruit Island.

If you neither have a Teleport Stone nor Turbo Shoes, you will find yourself at a loss to visit Fruit Island and/or Greenhouse Island on a daily basis. As far as Rice Island is concerned, Rice once planted in Spring tends to itself and you need not visit THAT Island again until Autumn when the grain is mature and ready to be harvested.

The fact that the Greenhouse is located on a different Island has a rather cruel effect in Sunshine Islands which is to deny you any water source closer than the one located in the southwest corner of your Field. In Sunshine Islands, you cannot take water from the shore of the Island, as it is saltwater and would kill your Crops and Grains.

You therefore need to order a Water Spigot for the Greenhouse as soon as possible.

The cost is:

Add Water Spigot:
400 Lumber + 500000G
or 550000G

The cost of the addition of another Sun Box is:

Add Sun Box:
200 Lumber + 900000G
or 920000G

To me, the addition of a Shipping Bin is the least necessary of all options, but it is the least expensive as well as the cost for one is:

Add Shipping Bin:
200 Lumber + 1000G
or 15000G

Remember that, in Sunshine Islands, you can order an Enchantment either to reduce Prices or to reduce amount of Materials required or both.

As in Island of Happiness, the Greenhouse can be upgraded. The cost of the initial upgrade is:

9000 Lumber + 500000G
or 999000G

These prices are not for the faint of heart and a player who slaved away to finally scrape together the amount needed to order a Greenhouse (even with a Green Team discount) without knowing what would be required afterwards may be dismayed to discover the price of these options. Even so, it gives the veteran players another challenge to surmount...

Once you have a Greenhouse, you cannot expect that farming will be nothing more than a matter of flinging your seeds onto tilled soil. Considerations of specific Water requirements for both Crops and Grains as well as seasonal requirements for harvesting Grains still apply. Knowing when to place a specific Seasonal Sun and how to prevent the loss of Grains that must be harvested in Summer is vital.

Incidentally, the acreage in the initial Greenhouse consists of 16 squares by 8 squares. What this means in terms of complete 3 x 3 plots is that you can fit a total of 10 in the Greenhouse. If, however, you are willing to sacrifice Seeds, you can grow more Crops in the remaining 'incomplete' plots. Another way of calculating space is to state that you have a total of 128 squares for farming. You can do as you wish with these... . Remember always that you will need to be able to REACH all the squares that you sow with seed. With sufficient Wonderfuls in your Watering Can, you will be able to reach all squares even if you do not leave space between Crops, and if you use your Stylus instead of traditional controls, you should be able to harvest all of them even in the case of multiple harvest Crops.

The actual configuration of the initial Greenhouse is set up to allow you to till your soil in eight 3 x 3 plots with a space between each on every side. My own procedure usually is to plant in unbroken rows with a single space between rows. In the Greenhouse, this planogram will give you four rows of 2 2/3 plots each. You therefore will waste 3 seeds out of 9 when you sow the final bag of Seeds in each row.

Tip: If you do not have a pair of Turbo Shoes by the time you obtain a Greenhouse, I would suggest that you invest in them as soon as possible. Even with a Teleport Stone, it will take 10 minutes to move from the Teleport destination on Link Island to the Greenhouse. When returning to the Ranch to refill your Watering Can, it will take 10 minutes to move from the Teleport destination of the Ranch (on the bridge) to the watering hole unless you are wearing Turbo Shoes. You will need 60 Orichalcum for Turbo Shoes.

Note that you can have more than one Watering Can in Sunshine Islands and can fill both before you go to the Greenhouse. If you do not have Wonderfuls set in both, however, they will have equal capacity in terms of 50 squares but will not water the squares with equal efficiency. You therefore may wish to go to Charlie to reorganise your Wonderfuls before you visit the Greenhouse... or not, as it is enough of a headache for me anyway, to switch my Orange Wonderfuls from Hammer or Axe to Milker each morning and back again... That's the limit of Wonderful Switching that I am willing to perform on a daily basis for the most part.

If you have only one Sun Box, you MUST keep the Summer Sun in place in order to grow Buckwheat or Soybeans until those Crops are harvested. You cannot 'switch' Suns in the Sun Box. To change from one Sun to another, you first must remove the existing Sun, leaving the Greenhouse without any Sun for a moment until you set the next Sun into the Box. Of the three Grains that can be grown in the Greenhouse, only Wheat will survive if you remove the Summer Sun and replace it with Autumn or Spring. WHEAT IS THE ONLY CROP THAT CAN ENDURE EITHER AN ABSENCE OR CHANGE IN SUNS IN THE GREENHOUSE.

You cannot sow seeds beneath the wrong seasonal Sun in the Greenhouse. As Soybeans and Buckwheat CAN grow during Autumn, you can sow them beneath an autumn Sun but if you remove that Sun in order to place a Summer Sun there in order to be able to harvest them, they will vanish instantly.

I have not grown any Grains to maturity yet in the Greenhouse in Sunshine Islands, but I have tested the ability to remove and replace the Seasonal Suns. Only Wheat survives that. In view of this, I do believe that my Island of Happiness Guidelines with respect to grains is equally applicable to Sunshine Islands.

From my Island of Happiness General Guide:

Tip for Growing Grains

For maximum success, grow all three ordinary Grains in your Greenhouse using a Summer Sun. You will be required to keep the Summer Sun in the Greenhouse for two seasons in order to be able to harvest Wheat and Soybeans, but both are crops that grow both in Summer and Autumn BUT CAN BE HARVESTED ONLY IN SUMMER. Changing your Sun from a Summer to an Autumn Sun will kill ALL Crops apart from Wheat, so do not do that. Simply plant Wheat, Soybeans and Buckwheat in the Greenhouse after placing a Summer Sun, then leave the Summer Sun in place until you have harvested all the Crops. If you plant them all at the same time, the Buckwheat will be ready for harvest first. In fact, Buckwheat requires less than a full season to grow. Soybeans and Wheat, on the other hand, require almost two.

As previously stated, you can water any Soybean Crop twice daily but do not water Wheat more than once every two days!


One final difference between Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands is that you cannot sow Fruit Trees in the Greenhouse. As a separate Island exists for Fruit Trees, that probably is the reason why this practice is disallowed. Unfortunately, this means that your Fruit Trees always will be subject to the vagaries of the Weather in Sunshine Islands. In Island of Happiness, however, you had to perform complex rotations of your Suns in the Greenhouse if you wished to harvest Fruit. Even so, the Fruit Trees grown in the Greenhouse were protected from the weather outside.

I need to scrape together enough money to order a second Sun Box before I relinquish Sunshine Islands to begin on Hero of Leaf Valley.

Another general Farming Tip is that you can leave mature Crops in your field to improve in Rank, Quality and Size as long as Water AND Sunllight requirements are not exceeded. This is one method by which to raise Rank from B to A as well as increasing size. Note that this is true with respect to items that grow in the Wilds as well. By leaving a coloured Herb on the ground for a day or two, it may go from B to A Rank. Even Seaweed left on the Rock at the Beach in Spring may improve from B to A Rank if you do not harvest it for a day or two. Although there is a limit to the number of items that can be placed on the ground, the game WILL drop more items the next day even if you have not harvested every item on the previous day.

Where multiple harvest Crops are concerned, I sometimes leave the Crop in the middle square in place in Sunshine Islands as long as possible to elevate it to S Rank. There is a point where the Crop will receive too much Sunlight or Water and wither, however. Always make certain to harvest it the night before this occurs.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cats in Harvest Moon and elsewhere

This does not have sufficient Harvest Moon information to qualify as a real tutorial about ANY game, but it does include a few tips about Cats in Animal Parade and Sunshine Islands. It showcases Beauty's Kittens in actuality.

Although this video primarily features the Kittens, I would like to thank ILuvHM for her detailed research about all the Wild Animals and Pets in Animal Parade. The wealth of information about Pets and the Characters who love them now contained in my Character Guide owes much to her.

Quick Profits in Sunshine Islands

One of the most common questions that players have with respect to Sunshine Islands, (apart from asking why characters refuse gifts) is how to make money early in the game.

As it is Harvest Moon, your primary source of income is farming, but in Sunshine Islands, you can purchase a Fishing Rod even at the start of the game for 5000G. That is a fairly hefty sum for a struggling novice farmer, but it is worth every penny.

There are a number of reasons why you need to begin to fish as early as possible. The first may be income, but Small Fish, Empty Cans and Boots all are items that make excellent gifts for the right individuals. Almost half of the characters in Sunshine Islands will respond 'with music' when given a Small Fish. These individuals include: Taro, Pierre, Ray, Martin, Kirk, Lanna, Denny, Shea and Wada. An Empty Can or Fish Bone is met 'with music' by the Witch Princess and the Boot is a favourite with the Witchkin (much like May in FoMT/MFoMT). Why little girls love a non-paired old Boot is a question for another article...

The other way to make a decent profit is through Cooking. This requires more of an investment than the Fishing Rod and therefore will take longer. Once you have a Kitchen, however, you can begin to enhance the value of Crops by cooking them.

In Sunshine Islands, new seeds are unlocked by shipping specific totals of Seasonal Crops, so you must weigh that consideration whenever you decide to cook a Crop instead. Even so, if you are desperate for money, transforming a Turnip into Pickled Turnips, a Potato into a Braised Potato or a Cucumber into Pickles or Salad can be profitable.

The approximate shipping value of a Turnip or Cucumber is 60G and that of a Potato is 80G. As the exact price is based upon Rank, Quality, Size and Freshness, these prices are 'approximate'.

You need to give Haila a Turnip in order to obtain the Recipe for Pickled Turnips. It is a 'single-ingredient' Recipe and a Pickled Turnip ships for 300G. Braised Potato is the SECOND Recipe you will receive from Nick when you give him a Potato, but it is worth acquiring at the earliest date. A Braised Potato likewise is a single-ingredient Recipe and ships for 385G. Pickled Cucumber, another single-ingredient Recipe ships for 300G. If you use the same Cucumber to make Salad, it has the same shipping value.

These are only a few examples of how you can make a profit by using a Crop in a single-ingredient Recipe and shipping it as a Cooked Dish. There are many single-ingredient Recipes in Sunshine Islands. In some cases, you can add optional ingredients to raise the Energy Values, but if you are cooking simply in order to profit in terms of income, you will do best in the early stages of the game simply to use the Basic Recipe. As previously stated, you do need to weigh the advantage of making a profit with that of unlocking new Seeds. Where Grain Seeds are concerned, however, you can order a Seed Maker from Gannon and simply convert the bags of Grain sold by Chen from the start of the game into Seeds. It is more expensive to obtain Seeds in this fashion, but it is a practical alternative when you have not achieved the shipping totals necessary to unlock the Grain Seeds at Chen's Market.

Single-ingredient Fish Recipes tend to require Medium Fish. Small Fish can be used as optional ingredients in many Dishes but cannot be cooked by themselves. You will not be able to catch a Medium Fish until your Fishing Skills are fairly high. In terms of total number of items caught, I believe I had to catch about 1000 items in my first game before I was able to catch my first Medium Fish. Once you have caught Medium Fish, they can be used in a number of single-ingredient Fish Dishes that are excellent sources of energy as well as another method of converting a raw item into a more profitable Cooked Dish for shipping purposes. Another reason for obtaining the Fishing Rod as quickly as possible is the need to raise your Fishing Skills as early as possible so that you can catch Medium Fish.

Never forget to take your Fishing Rod to EVERY Festival that is held on Meadow Island. Time always is limited in Harvest Moon and in Sunshine Islands, with characters scattered across many different islands, time is particularly valuable. During any Festival, the clock will not run and as Meadow Island IS an Island, you can fish there. Fishing does require Energy, so make certain that you pack a lunch or preferably, a stack of lunches. In the first Spring, your first opportunity to cheat the clock on Meadow Island will occur during the 'Mysterious Voice' Event that introduces Sun Stones. Try to have a Fishing Rod, therefore, before 10 Spring as you will be able to use it to advantage during that Event.

At that stage of the game, you probably will have few items that will restore your Energy, apart from Wild Herbs, Seaweed and Bamboo Shoots. If necessary (and it probably WILL be necessary), you can eat every fish that you catch. Remember that raising your Fishing Skill is almost as important as the items that you catch at this point, so even if you consume your entire catch on a Festival Day at Meadow Island, you will have benefited enormously. As you cannot see your Stamina and Fullness gauges during an Event (or Festival), make certain that you watch your Character carefully for the physical signs that announce energy depletion. When your Character waves a hand in front of him/her, it is a sign that the Stamina Bar is half-empty. It is usually safest to eat an item to restore Stamina as soon as this occurs as the next physical response only occurs when Energy is almost totally depleted.

At the beginning of Spring, it probably is better to ship as many items as possible on a daily basis than to give any as Gifts. Make certain, however, that you earn
+100 Friendship Points daily with every individual by 'meeting and greeting'. You do need to begin to give Gifts that are received 'with music' fairly early as five such Gifts will result in the reciprocal Gift of a Sun Stone, but obtaining 5000G for the purchase of a Fishing Rod must take priority. In particular, the Flowers that you can gather in Spring are a good source of initial income, although they are good gifts for many Characters.

There are many different ways to make money in Sunshine Islands but these are among the very first that will be available to you.

Incidentally,it was only when I was looking for the shipping values of raw Crops and Cooked Dishes made with them that I discovered I had not created an Items and Shipping List Guide yet for Sunshine Islands! Although the values of almost all items are given either in the General Guide or in the Recipe Cookbook Guide, I like to have easy access to ALL values in an Items List Guide. I therefore have created one and it should be uploaded to IGN on Monday afternoon.

I did not include Ranch Products in my description of methods of generating income in the first Season in Sunshine Island but when you do obtain your Ranch Animals, knowing how to maximise their value either thorugh processing or cooking will aid you in increasing income as quickly as possible.

For example, as raw ingredients, Eggs and Milk have the following average shipping values:

Egg: 50G
Milk: 100G
Mayonnaise: 100G
Butter: 200G
Cheese: 180G
Yogurt: 150G

Remember that Rank, Quality, Size and Freshness all determine the actual shipping value. Values listed for items in any of my Guides for Sunshine Islands therefore may differ from the ACTUAL value of the item that you ship in your game. Notwithstanding this, it is interesting to see how you can make the greatest profit with your Ranch Products.

Again, it is by Cooking that you will increase profits. Hot Milk is a single ingredient Dish that requires only Milk.

Hot Milk: 470G

Ironically, if you add Chocolate (purchased for 100G at Chen's Market) to the Milk to create Hot Chocolate, the Shipping Value DECREASES to 85G!

As usual, however, there are other considerations apart from profit in Sunshine Islands where Ranch products are concerned. In Island of Happiness, you had to ship 100 of each type of Ranch Product to unlock a new subsidiary character. You had the option either to make those Products in your Kitchen or by using a Maker. In Sunshine Islands, you MUST use each Maker 100 times to obtain a Sun Stone from it. You therefore will need to make 100 Butter in the Butter Maker, 100 Cheese in the Cheese Maker, 100 Mayonnaise in the Mayonnaise Maker and so on if you wish to obtain all possible Sun Stones. There is no time limit, however, so if you need the profit that shipping Hot Milk instead would bring, you are at liberty to use your Milk for that.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Some Other New Natsume Games...

There is a new Harvest Moon game available as Wiiware entitled: Harvest Moon, My Little Shop.

Harvest Moon My Little Shop

Its official description: My Little Shop offers a fun new twist on Harvest Moon--you'll make zany fruit juices, towering ice cream cones, and extravagantly decorated eggs in a series of fast-paced activities that use the Wii Remote to its fullest potential.

More from Natsume: 'In Harvest Moon: My Little Shop, you've just taken over your grandparents' farm and shop in Clover Town. You'll raise crops and animals, then use what you farm at your shop! Keep your customers happy by making wild fruit juices, towering ice cream cones, and extravagantly decorated eggs in a series of fun
and fast-paced activities that use the Wii Remote to its fullest potential. Chop vegetables in midair, shake your Wii Remote to match your cow's moves, roll eggs through tilting mazes, and more! Use your hardearned money to buy new crops and animals, and expand and decorate your shop. Along the way, you'll meet and befriend lots of new and interesting characters, as well as more than a few familiar faces from the Harvest Moon series!

I have not played it yet, but it sounds interesting and fun, if a bit physically demanding for me personally.

What may tip the scales in its favour for me personally is the fact that Skye, one of my favourite bachelors, can be unlocked in 'My Little Shop'. Beloved Characters from previous Harvest Moon games can appear in My Little Shop as Customers. They include Adam, Amanda, Andy, Ann, Celia, Choco, Cliff, Ellen, Elli, Elliot, the Gourmet, Grey, the Harvest Goddess, Jamie from Magical Melody, Kai, Karen, Lanna, Leia (the Mermaid), Mary, Maya, Mirabelle, Nami, Owen, Popuri, Saibara, Skye, Takakura, Thomas, Trent, Vaughn and the Witch Princess.

The game fundamentally is based on Harvest Moon but appears to include some elements of My Sims in terms of decorating. The graphics appear to be charming.

An upcoming game that is not quite Harvest Moon, but may be of interest to Harvest Moon fans is 'Witch's Wish'.

No, it is not a game about the Witch Princess specifically, but the Character reminds me of her.

On 3 February, Natsume announced that 'Witch’s Wish' will be released for the Nintendo DS™ this spring.

According to the official Natsume release:

'Witch’s Wish is an adventure game that tells the tale of Vicky, a young witch in training.

'Witch’s Wish is an exciting adventure for gamers of all ages,' said Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO of Natsume. 'It's got a great story packed with colourful characters, creative puzzles, and thrilling magic duels!'

Vicky wants more than anything to be a witch, but in her town, only rich girls can go to witch school. Her dream seems hopeless until she meets a mysterious girl who shows her how to unlock her remarkable magical powers. Vicky will use her magic to solve puzzles, help out her friends and neighbours, and uncover the mystery of the dark force which threatens to tear the town apart. Will her magic be enough to unite and save her troubled town?'


As romance is not mentioned, it may not be a part of the game, unlike Princess Debut. I am going to find out more about this game, to see if it would be a possible Guide project.

Not that I need any MORE projects in the near future. I have not completed my Animal Parade Guides or my Sunshine Islands Guides to my satisfaction. I shall be covering Harvest Moon Hero of Leaf Valley for the PSP, Wind Bazaar DS, Twin Villages and Rune Factory 3 DS and those will be my primary projects when they are released. There was a time when I cast my net wider and covered The Sims, Animal Crossing, Lost in Blue and Valkyrie Profile series of games. So many new Rune Factory and Harvest Moon games are released regularly now that I never have time to explore them as well as I would wish, and certainly have no time to cover any other series...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tricks for Saving Time in Sunshine Islands

One of the greatest challenges both in Island of Happiness and in Sunshine Islands is to find enough time to perform all your chores as well as making and maintaining Friendships with every one. Farming is your primary occupation and it consumes much time and energy. You cannot even hope for rain on a regular basis, as too much water is as likely to kill off your Crops as too little. Furthermore, with Rice, your Greenhouse and your Orchard each on separate Islands, it is difficult to find time to visit these locations daily. Characters are locations on different islands as well, which means that, even with rapid, efficient ferry service by Kirk, it takes considerable time to meet and greet every one on a daily basis.

You therefore need to find ways to save time without jeapardising your progress in any way.

Here are some tips:

Farming: Every Crop has specific Water and Sunlight requirements. Some require More of each or either, others require Less. In Sunshine Islands, you can 'double water' Crops, watering twice in one day and it will give you the same Water points as if you had watered the Crop on two consecutive days.

Running back and forth to fill your watering can takes time as does the act of moving from one plot to another. If you are dealing with a Crop that requires 'normal' or 'more' Water, it may save a little time to double water that Crop rather than watering it each day.

Make a planogram of your Field and plant Crops with similar requirements in the same section. All Crops that require 'normal' or 'More' Water should be planted as close to the Water source as possible. Crops that require less maintenance can be planted on the eastern half of the Field.

Save your game at some point BEFORE you water any Crops and then jump forward to the next morning to see what the results of not watering the Crop will be. If the Crop withers, you know that you must water it. Test the results of watering each of the plots in the field by watering a single square, then jumping forward to the next day.

The Trees growing on Fruit Island need to be monitored slightly in the same way. Save your game before you visit the Island, then jump forward to see if any Trees have died. Try to organise your movements so that you can water ALL the Trees on Fruit Island during a single visit. Remember that there are Trees, such as the Banana Tree, that require LESS Water. Again, a planogram will help immensely.

Where Ranching is concerned, Ranch animals and Pets do need daily care, but you can save yourself considerable time by not putting Livestock outside. They will lose the benefits of that, but they can live without those extra points. The fact that the Brush will reduce Stress is enough. Where Chickens are concerned, on the other hand, if they have suffered Stress of any kind, you do need to place them outside in a Pen but always bring them back into the Coop by 8.00 p.m. to avoid any chance of Stress from the Wild Dog.

Let me make it clear that the effects of the Wild Dog on Animals is RANDOM. If a player has not had any incidents of stress, he/she is simply lucky. With 9 chickens left overnight in the Pen, IF the Wild Dog appears, you probably will find that two or three have suffered stress. Again, it is RANDOM like many effects in Harvest Moon.

Collecting Materials: You need Lumber for construction and upgrades, but it often will save time if you collect all the Branches rather than using your Axe on every Island. You always can wait until a rainy or snowy day to set them on your Field and chop them there, preferably with Orange Wonderfuls set in the Axe. You will obtain more items if you collect them all regularly.

Fishing: You need to raise your Fishing Skills in order to be able to catch Medium and finally Large Fish. Medium Fish are the size that is required in Fish Dishes. You will not have time to spend hours fishing on ordinary days, however, so take your Fishing Rod to every Festival held on Meadow Island and fish as much as possible while the clock stands still. Small Fish are a wonderful Gift for over half of the Characters in Sunshine Island and high quality Small Fish can be used as 'optional' ingredients to boost the Rank of many Cooked Dishes.

Mining: Time may run more slowly in the Mine, but the clock DOES run. I usually wait until the weather is bad to spend a day in the Mine, even though using Tools in bad weather does take a bit more energy. If you have any Orange Wonderfuls, set them in your Hammer before you make any visit to the Mine. You can increase your yield considerably if you do this. Remember that your progress is determined by your Mining Skill. It is better to make a number of visits to reach Floor 25 to mine Orichalcum and stop there rather than trying to go lower when your skill level is insufficient. Ultimately, the best strategy in the Mine is to move quickly through all floors until Floor 25, mine all the Orichalcum on that floor, then move quickly thorugh all floors until you reach Floor 50. At Floor 50, mine all the Mythic Stones, then move floor by floor as slowly as possible from Floors 50 through 74. You should be able to find one Orichalcum on each Floor between 51 and 74, not to mention all Gems (apart from Pink Diamond and Alexandrite) including Diamonds and all Ores apart from Mythic Stone. You will raise your Mining Skill Level and obtain many Gems and Ores that can be shipped or used as Gifts for a number of Characters. ANY Gem or Ore apart from Junk Ore is a good gift for Charlie, Slater, Isaac, Sabrina and Regis, although you gain more points from Regis if you give him a more valuable Gem/Ore such as Adamantite. Lily responds positively to Gold so collect as much Gold as possible on each trip to the Mine for her. As soon as you can, use your Orichalcum to order Harvest Goddess Pendants and Kappa Pendants from Charlie. These will increase your total Energy Bars in terms of Stamina and Fullness.

Friendship: If you do not meet and greet any Character on a daily basis, you run a 30% chance of losing 100 Friendship Points with that individual. That is not as dire as it sounds. It means that 70% of the time, you lose no Friendship points. If you fail to greet an individual for two consecutive days, the Character may reject your Gift on the third day but he/she will accept Gifts again on the next day.
What this means in practical terms is that you CAN neglect a Character for a day without losing the ability to give a Gift on the next day. Any Gift that is received with music is recommended. Even the least favourite Gifts met 'with music' are worth 300 Friendship Points. If, by some chance, you lost 100 points by failing to greet the Character on the previous day, a Gift on the next day will result in a gain.

As there are a number of Islands to visit, you may wish to split the Map in two and visit every outer Island only every other day. If you make certain to visit EVERY Character at least every other day and give a decent Gift, you will make certain progress in Friendship with every one.

Finally, equipping a Friendship Pendant CAN reverse any possible loss of Friendship when you avoid some one for a day. It will affect a random list of Characters each day but I recommend that you equip it before you go to bed if you do not wish to keep it equipped always. Obviously, the Large Friendship Pendant is the most effective.

Friendship with Sprites: Do NOT neglect the Sprites on Harvest Sprite Island. Remember that a Gift to one Member of a Team is effective for all Members in the same way that greeting one counts for the entire Team. They roam the Island but if you use your stylus to greet them, you will spend less time on the process. You can use the stylus to give Gifts as well, thereby avoiding a nasty accident whereby you 'miss' in throwing the item, causing a littering incident. Some Sprite Teams are less expensive to befriend than others. You can give the Violet Team a Small Fish, the Green and Orange Teams each a portion of Pet Food and the Blue Team any Ore or Gem apart from Junk Ore. You can give the Yellow Team any Crop, and you can give the Indigo Team either a Large Fish or Milk, but I usually am forced to give the Red Team Wheat Flour, a fairly valuable commodity.

If you order an Enchantment, the Sprite who performs it will 'rest' afterwards for days and you will not be able to interact with him. That is one reason you should increase the Team numbers to 2 as quickly as possible. One Sprite can perform a Small Enchantment as well as two, so you can choose one only for the Enchantment and continue to interact on a daily basis with the other Member of the Team. It is only when there are four Members of the Team that they will be able to perform a more powerful Enchantment.

Note here that although a Team of 1-3 Sprites can perform only Small Enchantments, the number fo Sprites set to perform a specific Small Enchantment will effect the number of days that the Enchantment endures.

For example, if you set the Green Team to lower prices at Gannon's Shop and you have only three members on the Team, the effects will be Small whether you set all of them or only one of them on the job and they will require 10 days of rest afterwards, BUT:

1 Sprite: Enchant 2 Days
2 Sprites: Enchant 4 Days
3 Sprites: Enchant 7 Days

In my view, extending the duration of the Enchantment in this particular instance is of little benefit. In two days, you can order two different projects. The amount by which the price of each decreases will be the same irrespective of the duration of the Enchantment. If you have only three members on the Team, it is better to keep at least 1 Member always 'in circulation' on the Island so that you can continue to boost Friendship levels in order to add more Members to the Team.

Friendship with Wild Animals: A single item often will appeal to more than one type of Wild Animal. A section of my Characters Guide is devoted to each type of Wild Animal and the point values of the items they love. You will raise Friendship Levels faster if you can feed more than one type of Animal each day. Once you have earned some trust, you can pick up an Animal to earn more Friendship points with it. Waiting for Wild Animals to emerge from the bushes can be time-consuming, however. Dump the item in the feeder and leave Animal Island immediately. Return later on the same day to find all the Animals who have been attracted to the food and THEN pick them up.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tribute to Harvest Moon for Valentine's Day

I made a tribute for Valentine's Day from Harvest Moon Festivals, but YouTube disabled the audio track, even though three quarters of it was Harvest Moon music! Never mind. I am too tired to deal with it now:

Viewers will find all the Spring Thanksgiving Events for the bachelors in Sunshine Islands, some Winter Thanksgiving responses from said bachelors, Spring and Winter Thanksgiving screenshots from HM Cute DS, some Winter Thanksgiving visits from Eligible Girls in HM Boy & Girl, as well as Thanksgiving Day screenshots from ToT and Harmony Day screenshots from Animal Parade... You know, despite all of the work that was involved in finding my screenshots for these Events, it gave me a little thrill to relive some of these Harvest Moon moments in my memory.

Later: YouTube muted the sound, then offered something called 'Media Swap' where you have to choose from a list of audio tracks, none of which presumably are owned by Sony (the people who demanded that MY audio track be muted)... I chose the Pastoral Symphony as a replacement BUT then discovered that the price of accepting ANY audio track from YouTube is that they then can load random adverts onto your video page... I shan't be doing THAT again. In any case, I hope players will enjoy this little journey down memory lane... My heart still beats faster when I see the screenshots of Skye, although sadly, very sadly, I lost my copy of HM Cute DS, which means that I may never have the chance to interact with one of my favourite bachelors of all time again. It breaks my heart, frankly. I searched in vain for weeks for my Cute cartridge...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day in Sunshine Islands

The Spring Harmony Day in Sunshine Islands is the Harvest Moon equivalent of St. Valentine's Day in Spring. It is a day on which boys give Gifts of Cookies or Chocolate Cookies to Girls they like. There is a reciprocal day for Girls to give Boys gifts in Winter.

If you are playing Sunshine Islands as a Girl, the Spring Harmony Day is the day when you will receive Gifts from Eligible Bachelors at Green Heart level or higher. In order to receive Gifts from Eligible Bachelors, you must re-enter your Farmhouse every hour. Visits follow a set order and if you miss the hour that is allocated to a specific Bachelor, you will not experience his visit. The first visit is by Elliot at 6.00 a.m. and the last visit is made by Mark at noon. You can enter your Farmhouse at any time during the hour that is allocated to the Bachelor to experience the Event.

It appears that the precise nature of the Gift does depend on specific Heart Level as it does in some other Harvest Moon games. In some previous games, Chocolate was the Gift you would receive at the lower Heart Levels and Cookies would be given only at the highest Heart Levels. Here it appears that Cookies are given at Green Heart Level and at anything above that, you will obtain Chocolate Cookies. I would not have known this if Mark had not lagged behind the other bachelors. I received 6 Chocolate Cookies from all Bachelors who preceded Mark. When Mark arrived, he gave me Cookies.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Real Blizzards

With a real Blizzard bearing down upon us here, I am rather glad to have reached another Spring Season in Sunshine Islands. I do love every Season in Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. The beauty of the graphics can be spectacular and quite magical. Today, however, I am happy to be able to spend a little time in Spring while the snow continues to fall in the 'real world'. Here are some photographs of the ongoing blizzard. One includes my Snow Princess, aka 'Cissy' by Madame Alexander. Her outfit was designed by Anna Sui for a special series. I always thought she looked like a true Nordic Goddess or Princess. Unfortunately, her footwear is not suited for real snow so she is a barefoot Goddess...

A few hours later, at Sunset, the snow has doubled in depth. Now there is some wind, which blows great piles of snow off the trees and buildings. When I took a photograph of the Trees, the Wind suddenly dumped snow into my hair, almost felling me on the spot.

The long windows on the upper floor overlook the tops of the trees that line the road. For a brief moment, when the street lamps were lit, there was an illusion of sunset illuminating the snow that encased the Trees. It was rather magical, but it was an illusion. The snow continues to fall...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Growing Grains and Unlocking Seeds in Sunshine Islands


Sunshine Islands and Island of Happiness are based on the same fundamental rules where farming is concerned, but you will find that Grains are sold at Chen's Market from the very start of the game. If, therefore, you have a Seed Maker, you can purchase Soybeans, Wheat, Buckwheat and Rice from Chen and convert them into Seeds immediately. There are a few important facts that should be made clear, however.

First of all, there is no point in converting Rice from Chen's Market into Rice Seeds. You cannot grow Rice in an ordinary field. You need to raise Link Island, then Rice Island and build bridges from your Ranch to Link Island and then to Rice Island before you will have access to the paddy fields where Rice can be planted. Furthermore, as soon as you have raised Rice Island, Rice Seeds will be unlocked at Chen's Market.

In terms of growing Rice, there are a couple of important conditions that must be met. First, you need to set one Yellow Wonderful in your Hoe in order to till a rice paddy. You will not be able to till the paddies with an ordinary unaugmented Hoe. This is true BOTH in Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands. Make certain that you CHARGE your Hoe before you swing it or the Wonderful will not take effect. Second, Rice MUST BE PLANTED IN SPRING in order to mature before the end of Autumn, when all Crops will die. Again, this is the case both in IoH and in SI.

Other Grains require no special field but take a fairly long time to mature. The grain that grows most quickly is Soybeans but here it is necessary to note that there are errors in the official descriptions both of Soybean Seeds and Buckwheat Seeds.

Here are the official Descriptions of all Grain Seeds. I have added the special requirements to unlock each:

Rice Seeds: 200G
All but Winter. Water: none. Light: normal. Grows only in Rice Paddy.

Wheat Seeds: 200G
All but Winter. Water: Less; Light: Normal; Very slow growth rate.
Unlocked by shipping 100 each of Turnips, Cucumbers, Potatoes and Strawberries

Buckwheat Seeds: 230G
Sp, Su. Fa.* Water: Normal; Light: Normal. Very slow growth rate.
Unlocked by shipping 100 each of Eggplant, Cabbage, Yam and Spinach.

Soybean Seeds: 250G
Sp. Su, Fa.* Water: More; Light: More. Also makes Edamame.
Unlocked by shipping 100 each of Tomato, Corn, Onion and Pumpkin

*Note that the official Description for the Seasons is incorrect both for Soybeans and for Buckwheat. It should be: Su, Fa. Neither Soybeans nor Buckwheat can be grown in Spring. You can plant them only in Summer and Autumn.

I am a little annoyed with myself for not catching these errors sooner. It was only when I tried to sow some Soybean Seeds in Spring that I realised there was a discrepancy.

Here it may be worth noting that there is a safety feature in Sunshine Islands that prevents you from sowing seeds out of season. If you attempt to sow either Soybean Seeds or Buckwheat Seeds in Spring, for example, you will see the following prompt:

Hey! You’ll waste them if you sow over there! Stand in the middle of the tilled area!

In fact, it does not matter WHERE you stand. You must wait until Summer if you wish to plant them in your own field. Note that any Crops can be grown in any Season in the Greenhouse with the proper ‘Sun’ in place.

Special Seasonal Crops are unlocked by shipping Grains. Most Crop Seeds will be unlocked in the ordinary course of Farming, simply by raising your Farming Degree level. There are some ‘special’ Crops, however, that are more difficult to unlock. These are:

Cabbage: A Spring Crop unlocked by shipping 100 Wheat and reaching Level 10 in Farming.

Pineapple: A Summer Crop unlocked by shipping 100 Soybeans

Bell Pepper: An Autumn Crop unlocked by shipping 100 Buckwheat and reaching Level 12 in Farming.

If you wish to unlock these crops quickly, you can purchase the Grains from Chen's Market instead of growing them. There are two forms for any Grain: the 'reaped' or 'raw' grain and the processed Grain that has been fed through a Thresher. Chen does not sell 'reaped' Grain. To complete your Shipping List, you must ship at least one of each of the Grains in its 'raw' or 'reaped' form, but shipping 100 of the processed Grains that Chen sells at his Market will unlock the special Crops.

This is an expensive proposition but if you do not have a Greenhouse, it may be the easiest way to unlock the Crops in question. Wheat is a very slow-growing Crop and Cabbage is an ingredient in many Cooked Dishes. If you buy 100 Wheat at Chen's Market, it will cost 90,000G unless you have set an Enchantment in place to lower his prices. Nonetheless, it is good to know that you have a viable alternative in terms of unlocking these Crops.

Compare the Descriptions of Soybeans and Buckwheat in IoH:


Buckwheat Seeds: 230G
Sell: 180G
Growth: 25 days
Description: Summer/Fall
Water: Normal; Light: Normal
Very slow growth rate.
Requirements: Will wither at 40+ Sunlight, 20+ Water
Growth Seasons: Summer/Autumn
Harvest: Summer/Autumn

Rice Seeds: 200G
Sell: 180G
Growth: 60 days
Description: Rice Seeds ( All but Winter)
Water: None; Light: Normal
Grows only in Rice Paddy
Requirements: None as does not require Watering
Growth Season: Spring through Autumn
Harvest Season: Autumn

N.B. Rice growing in the Paddies will die when Winter arrives

Soybeans: 250G
Sell: 180G
Growth: 50 days
Description: Summer, Fall
Water: More; Light, More
Also makes Edamame
Requirements: Will wither at 40+ Sunlight, 20+ Water
Growth Seasons: Summer/Autumn
Harvest: Summer/Autumn
Special Harvests: Edamame if Harvested early

Wheat Seeds: 200G
Sell: 180G
Growth: 80 days
Description: All but Winter
Water: Less; Light: Normal
Very slow growth rate
Requirements: Will wither at 40+ Sunlight, 10+ Water
Growth Season: Spring/Summer/Autumn
Harvest: Summer
Special Characteristics: Will continue to grow during Winter season if planted in your Field, provided Water requirements have not been exceeded

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Internet Shortcuts to find Information in my Guides

Once more, I am compelled to BEG players not to add me to their list of recipients for forwarded emails. AOL has an email postbox capacity of 1000 new emails. For two days now, my postbox has been FULL. That means that I must go through 1000 emails to delete all the nonsense BEFORE I can begin to answer important emails from friends and family or legitimate game questions.

This is unacceptable. I ultimately either will be forced to remove my email address from my guides or create a new email address and NEVER open my postbox again. I have too much work to do as it is. Players ask me to update my guides or cover new games while continuing to flood my box with forwards or to ask basic game questions that have been answered more than once in my guides.

A concerned player was kind enough to send a suggestion. I am posting his suggestion here as it will give players a method by which they can find specific information in any of my guides almost instantly.


'It seems like the folks flooding your inbox are completely unaware that most browsers can search and find text with in a site. I made a little list of 'find' shortcuts for the top 5 browsers.

'In Firefox, typing Ctrl f causes a little search bar to pop up from the bottom of the browers. So if I was viewing one of your guides and simply typed Ctrl f tomato seed, the guide would automatically jump to the first time 'tomato seed' appears in the guide. I have a gut feeling that if you made a post about these shortcuts on your site and added a link to that post before your email in your guides, then the volumn of emails you get asking questions that are already answered in your guides will drop significantly.

Here are the search shortcuts:

Find Ctrl f
Find Next F3 or Ctrl g
Find Previous Shift F3

Internet Explorer:
Find Ctrl f

Find Ctrl f
Find Next F3 or Ctrl g
Find Previous Shift F3 or Ctrl Shift g

Find Ctrl f
Find Next F3 or Ctrl g
Find Previous Shift F3 or Ctrl Shift g or Shift Enter

Find Command f
Find Next Command g



Internet Explorer




I would appreciate some consideration from players in this respect. Players who have contacted me in the past with game questions know that I try to answer any emails as quickly as possible, but it is becoming extremely depressing when I receive five or six emails from a single player, sent often from a cellphone, each of which asks a basic question answered in one of my General Guides.

Furthermore, I created this site to give players quick links to ALL my guides. Players, however, continue to send me emails telling me (quite untruthfully), that they have been to this site and READ my guides and yet found no answers to their questions.

Once again, do not mistake the posts on this site for my actual guides. Links to ALL my strategy Guides are given on the right side of this page.

Finally, I would like to thank the players who DO endeavour to read the Guides first and only email me when I actually did not answer the question in the Guide and who always thank me for my quick responses and so on.

I am not paid for any of this. I do not advertisements to appear on my site, which means that I do not make any money whatsoever when readers access this site. I moderate all comments both on this site and on my YouTube channel because I dislike advertising. This is a labour of love, and it would be unfortunate if I cease to enjoy it at all because of the sheer volume of emails directed to me by thoughtless players.

Sorry for the rant, but 1000 new emails plus 60 new comments on YouTube that need to be moderated is a bit much for a Saturday morning.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter Wonderfuls and Wonderful Properties in Sunshine Islands

Well, the Colour of the Wonderful that appears at Chen's Market in Winter is determined by a match between one of the Farming Degree sub-category totals and the general Farming Degree Title points.

My latest experiment showed a Red Wonderful at Chen's Market at 6.00 a.m. one Winter morning. I needed to reload my game, as I was simply testing something and had not fed my animals... When I reloaded, I decided that I needed to use my Tools as usual, which would change the points in most categories, eliminating the specific set of circumstances that caused the Wonderful to appear.

When I went to bed finally in my 'permanent' game, I had, among other things, caught another Monkfish, skewing the point totals even further.

I usually have cooked to change point totals and have been able to obtain three Orange Wonderfuls by doing this and shipping a couple of fish if necessary. I therefore am fairly certain that the Orange Wonderful is linked either toto the Cooking and Fishing Titles.

Cooking one dish at a time, no Wonderful had appeared even after I had cooked 20 dishes.

I decided to try to manipulate the Fishing Total instead. I shipped one fish at a time until...

A Yellow Wonderful appeared at 6.00 a.m. at Chen's Market.

I therefore now believe:

Cooking = Orange Wonderful
Fishing = Yellow Wonderful

God only knows what match created the Red Wonderful. I do not have time to continue this research at this point in time. It took me three hours to produce the Yellow Wonderful at Chen's Market, so I will move on now to log more Events instead...

I have been trying to determine how to set the colour of the Wonderfuls that appear at Chen's Shop in the Winter season. Originally I thought that the Orange Wonderfuls were linked to the Cooking and Fishing Totals but each Wonderful has to be linked to a single category to match the Farming Degree Total.

It seems, after tiresome, endless testing that:

Mining Degree is linked to the Blue Wonderfuls
Farming Degree (use of Watering Can) is linked to the Green Wonderfuls
I still believe that the Orange is linked EITHER to Fishing OR Cooking

Another point. It appears that a Wonderful Piece is set to appear on 10 Winter at Chen's Shop. No matter how much I tried, I could not change that into a Wonderful.

Would love to have concrete results from other players where these matters are concerned. I had to stop testing due to lack of time.

Players need to remember that the use of the Teleport Stone will change the Farming Degree total. I did that by accident in my game, rushing over to feed my (forgotten) Pig using the Teleport Stone when I knew a Wonderful was set to appear the next morning with the totals I had achieved!

Meanwhile, I had to remind myself that NO Wonderful will have an effect if your Tool is not charged when you use it. This applies to the Brush as well. Placing Yellow Wonderfuls in the Brush will increase the Affection point value for each use but ONLY IF YOU CHARGE THE TOOL! I had been using the Brush daily and essentially wasting the Yellow Wonderfuls that were set in it, because I was not charging it each time. One automatically charges the Hoe, Hammer and Axe because the Yellow Wonderful/s increases the effect visibly, allowing you to till the Rice Paddy if you charge your Hoe, smash large Boulders if you charge the Hammer and chop stumps if you charge the Axe. Where the Ranch Tools are concerned, however, it is important to remind yourself to charge any Tools set with Wonderfuls. The effect in the case of an Orange Wonderful is visible when you obtain a greater yield, but that of a Yellow is more subtle, where Ranch Tools are concerned. Remember that the 2G that each Purple Wonderful gives will not accrue either if the Tool in which it is set is not charged...