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.