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.

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