Monday, March 29, 2010

Rod's Return to Mineral Town in Sunshine Islands


Those of us who played Friends of Mineral Town and More Friends of Mineral Town hoped in vain to witncess Rod's return to his devoted wife, Lillia. He had gone off to distant parts in search of a rare flower to cure her... Events in More Friends of Mineral Town included a letter from Rod, but that was as close as he ever came. Urban legends to the effect that he secretly had returned and was living on the boat moored to the pier were nothing more than frivolous fantasies.

Here is the entry for Rod from my Characters Guide:


Birthday: unknown

Rod is Lillia's absent husband. He went off on an expedition to find a rare flower that grows only in the desert, hoping that this would be the cure for her illness and has not returned. There is one cutscene involving this business. It is one of Popuri's heart Events but is included here because it gives so much information about Rod:

Popuri and Rick projecting their 'hurt', then:
Rick: I can't believe how irresponsible Dad is! Leaving Mom like this and going off in search of some flower we're not even sure it exists!!...
Popuri: Don't talk that way about dad!
The whole reason he went away is to cure Mom!
Lillia: Both of you stop it now! Please don't argue about your father!
Lillia: Freyr, you're here at just the right time.
Popuri and Rick are fighting about their dad, you see.
They won't listen to me at all...
Will you talk some sense into them for me?
Popuri: Our dad was brave enough to go out hunting for a rare flower to cure Mom. Rick blames him for leaving us, but I think that's horrible!
Dad only left because he loves Mom...
Rick: Can you believe it? ! Dad left without any real information about the flower, or a plan about how to find it! He'll never find it! That's why he's irresponsible!

My choices were:
I agree with Popuri.
I agree with Rick.
Poor Lillia.

I said: 'Poor Lillia'.
It was obviously the correct response because:

Popuri: .............. I'm sorry, Mom...
Rick: Sorry, Mom.
Lillia: (with music): Just... Please stop arguing about your father!!... Ohh... This is all my fault!
Popuri: Nothing's your fault, Mom!
Rick: Popuri's right. It's not your fault at all, Mom... I'm sorry for talking that way about Dad...
Lillia: That's OK. I know you just talk that way because you're worried about me.
Popuri: Sorry for worrying you, Freyr. Everything's OK now.
Rick: Sorry for dragging you into this.
Lillia: Thanks for stopping the fight, Freyr.

If I had said:
I agree with Popuri.

Popuri: (music)
Rick: (hurt)
Popuri: See, even Freyr thinks I'm right.
Rick: Freyr! Don't butt into other people's business!
Popuri: Don't get mad at Freyr just because he doesn't agree with you!
Rick: .... Popuri...
Popuri: Thanks for taking my side, Freyr.
Lillia: I'm glad the argument's over. Thank you, Freyr.
Rick: ................

If I talked to them after...
Popuri: Thanks for taking my side, Freyr.
Rick: Yeah well... What do you know about it?!
Lillia: Thanks for stopping the fight, Freyr.

If I had said I agreed with Rick:
Popuri: But... Why?! How could you say that!
Rick: See, even Freyr thinks Dad is wrong!
Popuri: Mm... Looks like I was wrong about you, Freyr!
Rick: Popuri! Don't be mean to Freyr!
Popuri: What!
Lillia: Now they're arguing over Freyr!
Will they ever stop?
Popuri: I can't believe you took my brother's side.
Rick: I'm glad you understand me.
Lillia: I just hope they don't start again...

There is another Event involving the absent Rod in MFoMT that can be experienced before 1.00 p.m. in your third year or later in the Summer season, provided Popuri remains unmarried. (In one game, I experienced it on Saturday, 3 Summer at 12.50 p.m. in my third year.)

A Letter from Rod

At 12.50 p.m. I went out of the forge and into the Poultry Farm and experienced an Event inside with Lillia, Popuri and Rick. Poupuri was standing on the right, in front of the counter and Lillia and Rick were standing together in front of the table.

Popuri: Hello, Freya. How are you?
Rick: Hi.
Popuri: Hi there, Freya.
Me: ?
Lillia: What? You say I look in a good mood? That's because I am! Do you want to know why?
Me: ?
Lillia: You see... tee-hee... I got a letter from my darling today... It was the first time ever! Do you want to hear what he wrote?
I nod.
Lillia: Dear Lillia, How are Popuri and Rick? I am fine. I'm writing from a vast desert, where the search for the flower to cure you has lead me. I am confident I'll find it soon, so do not give up hope. Look after the store.
All my love, your husband.
Isn't he wonderful...?
Rick (with hurt): 'Look after the store'... Easy for him to say!
Popuri (with angry face): Why can't you just be happy like Mom, Rick?
Lillia: This mean's he's safe, don't you see? I'm so happy...


Lillia: Tee-hee... I'm so happy!...
Rick: Letters are nice... But I want him to come home now!...
Popuri: I'm so glad you are, happy, Mom!

Now, in both Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands, four Characters from Mineral Town visit the Islands in different seasons. Karen and Popuri travel to the Islands together in Autumn, staying during the Winter season and leaving at the beginning of Spring.

In Sunshine Islands, at 5-6 Hearts, Popuri will tell you: My mom gets sick a lot... But she feels better when my dad's with her.

Admittedly, this is not real evidence that he returned from his quest for the rare flower, but the fact that she mentions this rather matter-of-factly made Freya suspect that Rod HAD returned...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Relax Tea in Sunshine Islands

I have written a number of posts about Energy Recovery items in Sunshine Islands without giving much mention to Relax Tea. Veterans of Harvest Moon are aware of the potency of Relax Tea in any Harvest Moon game and Sunshine Islands is no exception in this respect.

Relax Tea in Harvest Moon is the traditional 'folk remedy' that has the potency to rival expensive 'commercial' medicines such as Bodigizer.

In fact, there is an anomaly of sorts in Sunshine Islands in that regular visitors to the Cafe speak often of the marvelous Tea that is made there BUT no Tea never appears on Haila's Menu. The Recipe for Relax Tea, however, is provided to you by Haila, although interestingly enough, the Recipe for the Relax Tea Leaves that are the sole required ingredient to make the Tea, is given by Nick at the Diner. Dialogue about the Cafe's extraordinary Tea, therefore, probably was included to provide hints as to the fact that the Recipe DOES exist, to Haila's knowledge of it and her willingness to impart it to you and to the general efficacy of the beverage.

The reason why I did not include it in my suggestions for Recovery Items that you can make early in the game is twofold. First, although you simply need to offer Nick a common green Weed in order to prompt the Recipe for the Tea Leaves, required ingredients include Herbs that must be gathered in different seasons. You therefore will not have the ingredients in the first Season. Your first opportunity to collect all the required ingredients will be in the Summer season.

If obtaining the ingredients were the only consideration, however, Relax Tea would be included in my suggestions for early Recovery Items and indeed be at the very top of the list, with its high potency in terms of restoring Stamina and very respectable value in terms of recovering Fullness. With Energy Values of 70 SR 16 FL, it is far more potent than Sashimi, Pudding or Steamed Egg Custard.

The real difficulty is in the actual 'difficulty' of the Recipe. In Sunshine Islands, your ability to create any Dish successfully is not simply a matter of having the required ingredients but of having the necessary skill as well. Skill in Cooking, as in any activity in Harvest Moon, is earned through experience. You need to have prepared a fair number of Dishes successfully in order to have even a small chance of creating Relax Tea Leaves. Actually making Relax Tea requires even greater Skill Levels.

Once you have the required degree of skill in Cooking, Relax Tea will move to the top of your list of Energy Recovery Items. In terms of restoring Stamina, Relax Tea is as effective as Bodigizer and is more powerful than Bodigizer in restoring Fullness.

As the rare Red Magic Flower is a required ingredient in making Bodigizer, Relax Tea, with its inexpensive ingredients and its added value in terms of Fullness, is a better choice. Bodigizer XL, however, with twice the Stamina Recovery value both of Bodigizer and Relax Tea is the best Energy Recovery item, but as one of its required ingredients is Bodigizer, it is not as easy to make in quantity as Relax Tea.

The Energy Values of Relax Tea can be boosted by adding a number of optional ingredients. Milk as well as any coloured herb and fruit can be combined with the Tea Leaves to create even more potent Tea.

From the Sunshine Islands Cookbook Recipes Guide, the entries for Relax Tea Leaves and Relax Tea:

Relax Tea

Relax Tea: 1975G
Ingredients: Relax Tea Leaves
Obtain with 1st Relax Tea Leaves from Cafe
Energy Value: +70 SR +16 FL
Optional Ingredients: Milk, Jersey Milk, Hot Milk, Strawberry, Apple, Banana, Grape, Orange, Peach, Pineapple, Grape Punch, All Herbs, All Jams
Note that every Fruit apart from Blueberry can be added to the Recipe.

Relax Tea Leaves

Relax Tea Leaves: 970G
Ingredients: Yellow Herb, Orange Herb, Purple Herb, Indigo Herb, Weed
Obtain with 2nd Weed from Nick at Diner
Energy Value: +4SR +6FL
Optional Ingredients: None

Recipes for Bodigizer and Bodigizer XL are:


Bodigizer: 690G
Ingredients: Orange Herb, Black Herb, Red Magic Flower
Obtain with 1st Red Magic Flower from Nick at Diner
Energy Value: +70 SR +8FL
Optional Ingredients: None

Bodigizer XL

Bodigizer XL: 970G
Ingredients: Bodigizer, Blue Herb
Obtain with 1st Bodigizer from Nick at Diner
Energy Value: +140 SR +8FL
Optional Ingredients: None

In any year where the Category for the Cooking Contest is Soups/Drinks, Relax Tea should be a guaranteed winner.

Players who have seen the list of items in the completed Cookbook for Sunshine Islands no doubt will be excited by the potential to make Wonderfuls in the Kitchen. The problem with these projects is that they require signficantly higher Cooking Skills than Relax Tea. As with a player's inability to descend beyond a specific level in the Mine until his/her Mining Skill Levels have improved, he/she will be unable to cook 'advanced' Dishes successfully until Cooking Skill Levels improve. You must cook constantly and continue to make NEW Dishes in order to reach the level of expertise necessary for some of the advanced Dishes.

Note: Although you never will be able to see your Character's Farming Degree Point totals, knowing the Cooking Skill Point requirements for each Dish will give you a standard of comparison and some idea when you will be able to succeed in making any given Dish in your Kitchen.

Everything in Sunshine Islands is defined by Point Totals, whether it is a matter of Friendship, Mining, Fishing, Farming, Ranching or Cooking. In terms of Cooking, it is not only when you make Dishes in your Kitchen that you will earn Points to raise your Cooking Skill Levels. There are other actions, such as participating in the Cooking Contest or learning a new Recipe from Haila or Nick that will raise your point total.

Here are all the actions that are associated with your Cooking Degree and their Point Values:
Learn a new Recipe from Haila or Nick: 100 Points
Use a new Recipe to cook a Dish successfully: 10 Points
Cook a Dish for the second or any subsequent time: 5 Points
Ship a Cooked Dish: 2 Points
Participate in the Cooking Contest at the Meadow: 100 Points
Win 1st Prize at the Cooking Festival: 1000 Points
Win 2nd Prize at the Cooking Festival: 700 Points
Win 3rd Prize at the Cooking Festival: 500 Points
Keep a Black Book in your Rucksack: 1 Point per Black Book x Current Year*
*In other words, the Black Book has a similar effect to the Bottle with respect to Fishing and the Stone Tablet with respect to Mining
Add optional ingredients to a Recipe successfully: You will earn 1 Point for each additional ingredients x 3

I have added the Point Total requirements to each Recipe in My Cooking Guide for Sunshine Islands now. Note that having a Point Total that is less than the Total given does not mean that you will not be able to make the Dish in question successfully. It is when the required Point Total is reached that you will have a guaranteed successful result.

Much like the Mining Degree and Fishing Degree Levels, you earn Cooking Skill Points when you perform specific actions or win prizes at the appropriate Festival as well as by cooking dishes.

Here are the Point values for each action:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Best Strategy for Befriending Wild Animals in Sunshine Islands

In the first few seasons of any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game, it is difficult to focus on much more than simply surviving and making enough money for absolute necessities in terms of supplies and upgrades. If at all possible, however, it is important to begin to interact daily with the Wild Animals on Animal Island and the Harvest Sprite Teams on Harvest Sprite Island.

In terms of the Wild Animals, the specific varieties of Feed that Mirabelle sells at her shop are best used early in the game, when you cannot afford to give Wild Animals your dairy products or crops. They have two disadvantages, however. The first is that you only can feed a single variety of Wild Animal using the commercial feed. The second is that the commercial food is worth only 5 points in terms of increasing the Friendship of that species. Nonetheless, for 10G, it is well worth the effort and expense when you cannot afford to give anything better.

In terms of the Sprite Teams, chasing them as they march and race across Harvest Sprite Island can be a bit bothersome, but remember that you always can use your stylus to interact with any Character. Wheat Flour, as any veteran of Harvest Moon would suspect, is a Favourite Gift with ALL Teams, but there are specific Most Favourite Gifts for each. Even when you cannot afford to give Gifts, however, you can raise Friendship Levels simply by speaking to one Member of each Team.

I never can stress the importance of Friendship enough where any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game is concerned. In the case of the Wild Animals, increasing their Friendship Levels to 3 Hearts (a little less, actually) will allow you to obtain rare and valuable items that you either could not find yourself or would be given at best only once every three years on your Birthday by a Character at 7 Hearts. These rare items include but are not limited to the Firefly Flower, the Twin Herb and the Red Magic Flower. Other valuable items that you can obtain by yourself but require time and energy to do so are Alexandrite, Pink Diamonds, Pirate Treasure and Fish Fossils.

Like the Pig, who can find Truffles for you when you could not find them in your own foraging efforts, the Wild Animals randomly find these valuable items when they have agreed to help you. In general in Harvest Moon, Truffles are an Autumn item. My Pig in Sunshine Islands has found them both in Autumn and Winter but never in Spring or Summer.

The items that any Animal finds are generated randomly, whether domesticated like the Pig or Wild like the Animals on Animal Island. In the case of the Pig, the item is generated at the time when you collect it from your Pig. In the case of the Wild Animals, the item or items are generated at daybreak at 6.00 a.m. when your Character awakens.

It is important to realise that:


Chances of doing so may increase with an increase in Friendship Levels but even when any species of Wild Animal first begins to forage for you at 3 Hearts, you may be able to obtain the most valuable item(s) on the list.

In other words, by saving your game at 5.50 a.m. or whenever you go to bed on the previous night, racing to Animal Island at 6.00 a.m. to see what the Animals found for you before you save your game again, you can reload and change the outcome if you do not like the selection.

In the case of the Pig, you can save your game before you carry him out of the Pigsty. If he does not find a Truffle for you, you can reload and try again. As previously indicated, it is possible that Truffles are limited to Autumn and Winter. My Pig found them both in Autumn and Winter but never in Spring or Summer.

The best strategy with respect to the Wild Animals, once you are not desperate for money, is to give an item that will score points with more than one type. The items I use most often, with their respective values to each Animal type are:

Cucumber: Mouse 5 points, Rabbit 5 Points
Egg: Badger 7 points, Mouse 5 points
Onion: Badger 7 points, Monkey 7 points
Small Fish: Badger 5 points, Duck 5 points,
Strawberry: Monkey 7 points, Sparrow 5 points
Tomato: Badger: 7 points, Mouse 5 points, Rabbit 5 points
Turnip: Badger 5 points , Rabbit 7 points
Yam: Badger 8 points, Rabbits 5 points

There are other items, such as Apples and Milk that are liked by more than one species, but the ones listed above are the cheapest and easiest.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating...

There is an old folk adage to the effect that 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating'. Without a 'Truth Bangle' to show you how many Energy Points your Character loses in the Mine, your best frame of reference is visual by watching your Energy Bars.

In the first few seaons, you probably will not be able to descend very far or take sufficient Energy Recovery items with you to make significant gains in the Mine. It is only when you have a Kitchen and a wide variety and quantity of ingredients that you will be able to spend as much time and energy as you wish in the Mine.

Furthermore, falling 5 floors through a Pitfall may mean certain termination to your journey early in the game where later, it becomes a choice determined by how much you are willing to 'spend' in terms of Energy Recovery Items.

I have included screenshots here of the Effects of three of the Energy Recovery Items that Freya prefers to use when she goes to the Mine.

At Floor 24, within a single Floor of her first target, which always is Floor 25, Freya had allowed the game to dictate how many floors she fell using the Pitfalls that she encountered. She fell five floors a couple of times, a single floor a couple of times and used her hoe on two floors to descend a single floor at a time. Arriving at the Mine with full Energy Gauges maximised by the Large Harvest Goddess Pendant and Large Kappa Pendant, she found herself on Floor 24 with her Stamina Gauge almost half empty. To arrive there using random pitfalls, she had consumed 2 Steamed Egg Custards, 2 Sashimi and a single Pudding. This is a careless way to explore the Mine and one that is possible only when your Character has sufficient funds and items not to care how many Energy Recovery items she uses. Note that she is using 'ordinary' items here and not the very effective Relax Tea, Bodigizer or Bodigizer XL to restore her Stamina... The reason for this is to show players who are in the initial stages of the game the effects of various 'garden-variety' Cooked Dishes.

The top image shows her Stamina Gauge upon her arrival on Floor 24. As you can see, it is almost halfway depleted.

The next screenshot shows her Stamina Gauge after consuming 1 Rank A Sashimi made using a Medium and a Large Fish.

The screenshot below that shows the Stamina Gauge after consuming 1 Rank A Steamed Egg Custard made with an Egg, Mushroom and a Small Fish instead.

The screenshot below it shows the effect of consuming 1 Rank A Pudding that contained an Egg, Milk and Chocolate.

As you can see, the effects of the Steamed Egg Custard are almost as good as the effects of the Pudding. For the purpose of restoring Stamina, therefore, it would be better to use the Egg with a Mushroom of any variety and a Small Fish to make Steamed Egg Custard.

Note that the addition of Rice to Sashimi to create Sushi or Sashimi Bowl will result in a Cooked Dish that ships for a far greater value but which would NOT be any more useful than simple Sashimi in the Mine. The boost that the Rice would give in terms of Energy Values would be reflected only in Fullness and not in Stamina. When shipped, however, Sushi or Sashimi Bowl would be worth at least 900G more than Sashimi. As time passes rather slowly in the Mine, Fullness will not deplete quickly but Stamina WILL.

The final screenshot at the very bottom, incidentally, shows the effects of falling five floors through a pitfall. Freya's Stamina gauge was at the halfway point when she fell. You can see how much Stamina is lost simply by falling 5 Floors at once. Falling through a pitfall when the Stamina gauge is only half filled, when your Character has maximised her Stamina and Fullness bars with Accessories as Freya has, offers no risk of passing out, but one must be careful to restore Stamina instantly before running the risk of falling through another pitfall. With maximised Energy bars, it is wisest to restore Energy always before it goes below the halfway point in the Mine. If your Character has not equipped the Large Harvest Goddess and Kappa Pendants, you probably should not allow Stamina levels to fall below 3/4.

The best strategy, at any stage, is to save your game as soon as you arrive on any Floor. If movement in any direction sends your Character through a pitfall that renders him/her unconscious, you then can reload to a point where the Pitfall had not been encountered yet.

Friday, March 19, 2010

When to Leave Well Enough Alone in Sunshine Islands

Players may be growing heartily tired of this subject, but when my Character set as many Wonderfuls as possible into her Sickle to harvest her Rice and thereby obtained hundreds of Reaped Rice that was S Rank, I became rather excited and tried to discover how best to capitalise on it.

Well, in fact, the value of the Reaped Rice IS less than that of threshed Rice or Cooked Rice, but that's as far as it goes. Bear in mind the fact that Freya's Harvest wasn't quite perfect but represented the following values:

S Rank, Quality 9 1/2, Size 10, Freshness 10

Unfortunately, she was unable to leave it in the paddy another day as the entire harvest would have died on her had she done so... Perhaps in another game in another year...?

Anyway, the value of this Rice when shipped untouched as 'Reaped Rice' would have been:

S Rank Reaped Rice: 483G

When threshed into 'Rice', it would be:

S Rank Rice (raw): 626G

When threshed, then cooked to become 'Rice':

S Rank Rice (cooked): 626G

When cooked to created Rice Soup, a single-ingredient Recipe:

S Rank Rice Soup: 626G

Now, here is where Freya became slightly disheartened in her Quest to boost the values of her Rice through cooking.

Porridge, Vaughn's Most Favourite Gift, is made with Rice and Milk. Freya, having S Rank Milk and S Rank Rice, thought this would be the best opportunity to make S Rank Porridge. It was, in fact, for the purposes of displaying the best result in the Shipping List, but not in terms of making a profit.

S Rank Porridge: 928G

This value LOOKS good on the surface, but when you break down the values of the ingredients, they represent almost the same result if you shipped them separately:

S Rank Rice: 626G
S Rank Milk: 300G

This is as it should be as Sunshine Islands is supposed to compute the values of the actual ingredients that are used in any Recipe and reflect those values in the total. However...

I have written previously about the profit made by using your Cheese Maker in almost any Harvest Moon game. In Sunshine Islands, it is by far the best use of your Milk in terms strictly of financial profit.

S Rank Cheese: 900G

If you took the Milk, converted into Cheese and then shipped it, and shipped the portion of Rice that would have been used in the Porridge as well, you would have the following values:

S Rank Cheese at 900G + S Rank Rice at 626G = 1526G

The moral of this tale is, where your intention is to make a profit by shipping your items, any Milk always is best converted into Cheese and then shipped.

Cheese, Cheese, Glorious Cheese... no better friend to a rancher!

There are many other reasons for Cooking apart from shipping values, however. Porridge and other Dishes using either Milk or even Cheese will have a FAR higher Energy Value than Milk or Cheese consumed raw... Furthermore, you do need to ship every Cooked Dish at least once to complete your Shipping List.

Where Energy Recovery is concerned, however, I always try to use Cooked Dishes with high energy values but low shipping values. Pudding always is a favourite with players because it packs good energy values, and I confess that I like it myself, BUT a Basic Pudding requires 1 Egg and 1 Milk. You would do better to convert the Milk to Cheese and ship it and find another Cooked Dish to take its place as your Packed Lunch.

In fact, I use Steamed Egg Custard often as it has high energy values but requires only 1 Mushroom, either 'normal' or 'Cluster' and 1 Egg. I did make a possible error in my initial game file by converting all my Mushrooms into Energy resources such as Grileld Mushrooms, Foiled Mushrooms and Steamed Egg Custard instead of shipping 100 of them as early as possible to unlock a Pig. I am not certain it really was an error, however, as your Character NEEDS easy cheap Cooked Dishes desperately in the first year and Mushrooms are a wonderful resource for Cooking. Eggs are another and a Fried Egg has decent energy values, but the Steamed Egg Custard really is one of the best Cooked Dishes in terms of cost and energy value. Eggs are not very valuable and Chickens are easy to obtain. The most costly part of THAT equation is the cost of the Chicken Coop expansions, Feed Boxes and Incubators.
Sashimi is another good Dish as are all the single-ingredient Fish Dishes, but your problem there in the first year is that you will be obliged to do a vast amount of Fishing before you ever catch your first Medium Fish and even more to raise your Skills sufficiently to catch Large Fish. Medium Fish are the ones that prompt most of the Fish Recipes and are required ingredients in most of them as well.

Here are the shipping values for a run-of-the-mill Steamed Egg Custard and Sashimi:

Steamed Egg Custard: (Rank A, quality 9 ½, Size 5 ½, Freshness 9 ½): 278G

Sashimi (1 Medium, 1 Large Fish, Rank A, Quality 9 ½, Size 7,Freshness 9): 238G

Shipping values are nowhere near those of 1 Cheese.

One final point with respect to the Reaped Rice that Freya had in her possession. In this situation, if you wish to store it, unless you have a Mythic Refrigerator, make certain that you do not thresh it or cook it until you actually need to use it in a Recipe. It will retain its Rank, Quality, Size and Freshness far longer in the Cabinet than in the Refrigerator.

I need to confirm whether or not the quantity of (uncooked) Rice or Reaped Rice that you ship in any given year has any effect whatsoever on number of Rice Balls that you are given at the Rice Festival. Not that you need a large quantity of Rice Balls... I rather suspect that the quantity simply increases slightly each year independently. It would be interesting to discover whether or not the Rice Festival actually would fail to occur if, having been unlocked in a previous year, you neither planted, nor harvested, nor shipped ANY Rice in the Autumn of the current year... Unfortunately, Freya immediately shipped her S Rank Rice to gain sufficient profit to place another Sun Stone in her Greenhouse, so it is too late to test the effects had she shipped NO Rice. It would be far too exhausting and tedious to play 'temporarily' through three seasons in the next year without planting any Rice to see if the Rice Festival still occurred near the end of Autumn, but if any player has failed to plant Rice after unlocking the Rice Festival and the Festival still occurred with the same dialogues as usual, do let me know.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'Stress' in Animals in Sunshine Islands


Dealing with Stress

‘Stress’ is a condition that effects Ranch Animals in specific circumstances. When it occurs, you will find it displayed on the Animal Pages of your Farm Menu in the gauge beneath the Animal’s Heart Level on the lower screen. Stress Levels fill the gauge with blue. An empty gauge in this situation is the optimum situation with respect to any Ranch Animal. It is only Ranch Animals who have a Stress Gauge. When the Stress Gauge fills, the Animal will become ‘sick’ and die if not treated with Animal Medicine.

Most of the circumstances under which an Animal is afflicted with Stress can be controlled by your Character and when so afflicted, your Character can take action to reduce Stress. Although feeding your Animal will not REDUCE Stress, neglecting to feed your Animal will reduce Friendship Levels by 5 Points and cause 20 Points of Stress. 100 Stress Points will fill the gauge. If you do not hold/pet or speak to an Animal for two days, you will lose 2 Friendship Points per day and accrue 2 Stress Points per day. If you strike an Animal with a Farm Tool, you will lose 10 Friendship Points and accrue 10 Stress Points. If you leave an Animal outside in drizzle, rain or snow, you will lose 2 Friendship Points after the first 4 hours and 1 Friendship Point for each additional hour and gain 1 Stress Point per hour. Leaving an Animal outside in a Typhoon or Blizzard will cause you to lose 10 Friendship Points and gain 30 Stress Points.

If the Wild Dog appears on your Field when an Animal is outside, his mere presence can cause Stress in the amount of 10 Stress Points. It will cause you to lose 2 Friendship Points with your Animal as well. If you or your own Dog chase away the Wild Dog quickly or you return your Animals to the Chicken Coop or Barn before too much time elapses, there will be no ill effects from the unwanted visitation.

The greatest amount of Stress is inflicted when you have entered an Animal in an Animal Contest in any Festival and then fail to attend the Festival. This form of ‘neglect’ will cause 50 Stress Points, half-filling the Stress gauge. Stress is a condition that can be caused by emotional damage as well as physical neglect.
Positive Actions on your part may or may not act both on Friendship and Stress Levels. For example, as previously indicated, you will not reduce existing Stress Levels by feeding an Animal but you will gain 1 Friendship Point. Using a Milker or Clipper on an Animal will not reduce existing Stress Levels either but is worth 1 Friendship Point. Entering an Animal in an animal Contest will increase Friendship by 30 Points but have no effect on Stress. (Actually, if anything, it probably should increase Stress, as Animals in ‘real life’ generally do not respond well to crowds... but in Harvest Moon, there are no ill effects unless you fail to arrive at the contest to support your Animal!)

The only Ranch Tool that has an effect on Stress is the Brush. Whenever you brush your Livestock with an ordinary Brush, you will gain 3 Friendship Points and reduce any Stress by 5 Points. It is by setting Wonderfuls into the Brush that you can increase its Effect on Friendship and/or Stress.

Setting one Orange Wonderful in the Brush will add three Points to the effect that the Brush has in reducing Stress. A Brush without any Orange Wonderfuls will reduce Stress by 5 Points. A Brush set with a single Wonderful will reduce Stress by 8 Points. Each additional Orange Wonderful set into a Brush will reduce Stress by a further 3 Points. In other words, 2 Orange Wonderfuls set into the Brush will increase its effect to -11 Stress. 3 Orange Wonderfuls will cause it to reduce Stress by 14 Points. 4 Orange Wonderfuls will increase its effect on Stress to 17 Points.... and so on.

Note that setting Yellow Wonderfuls in any Ranch Tool will increase its effect on Friendship Levels by 1 Point. A Brush without any Wonderfuls will increase Friendship by 3 Points. With one Yellow Wonderful set into it, it will increase Friendship by 4 Points and so on.

There are other methods by which existing Stress levels can be reduced. Taking an Animal outside in good weather can reduce Stress as well as increasing Friendship Levels. The effects on Stress are far more significant, however, than any Friendship gain. Taking an Animal outside on a Sunny or Hot day will reduce Stress by 2 Points per hour and raise Friendship by 0.2 Points per hour. On a Cloudy Day, you will reduce Stress by 1 Point per hour and increase Friendship by 0.1 Point.
The most significant reduction of Stress can occur when you have the option of playiing the Touchscreen Petting Game. The highest score can reduce Stress by 20 Points.

Finally, you can hire the Orange Sprite Team to reduce existing Stress either in your Chicken Coop or Barn. The amount by which Stress is reduced will depend on the size of the Enchantment.

The single cause of Stress that is most difficult to avert is that caused by a Typhoon or Blizzard. As the Weather is set 6 days in advance, it is very difficult to ‘control’ and you may find that Typhoons and Blizzards will occur. What you CAN do is to make certain that you obtain the weather prediction daily from Taro. If you place all your Chickens outside in a Pen on the day prior to a Typhoon or Blizzard and fill all the Feeders in your chicken Coop, they will feed themselves outside and the Chicken Feed in the Feeders will be used only on the day of the bad storm. Provided always that the Typhoon or Blizzard last no more than a single day and that you remember to bring them all back into the Chicken Coop before the storm hits, you can guarantee that your Poultry will remain stress-free.

You can do the same with respect to your Livestock only if you have enough ripe Grass growing in your Field to provide Fodder for each Animal. Each Animal requires 1 Square of fully-ripened Grass per day. It is a great nuisance to push Animals in and out of the Barn but it may be worth the effort on the day preceding any Typhoon or Blizzard in order to avoid Stress. A different strategy would be to set ALL your Orange Wonderfuls into the Brush the day AFTER the Storm to reduce Stress as much as possible when it is used.

Another strategy described elsewhere in this Guide is that of building extra feeders for the Chickens and Livestock for emergency use during Storms. If you have two feeders for every Animal and fill both, you can weather a Storm that lasts a single day without fear that your animals will incur any Stress.

Using Harvest Sprites in Sunshine Islands

The sheer volume of responses available for each Character in Sunshine Islands, as in Animal Parade, is staggering and for those of us who perceive Harvest Moon and Rune Factory as true interactive novels, the intense labour innvolved in creating these dialogues demands our respect and gratitude.

In both Sunshine Islands and Animal Parade, you will find that basic dialogue changes according to Heart/Friendship Level as in any Harvest Moon/Rune Factory game when you speak to an individual at a specific location. In addition to this, however, there are specific unique dialogues based on the weather, on the season and on special Events such as upcoming Festivals. In Animal Parade, the ringing of a new Bell elicits special Dialogues as well.

In both games, these dialogues are not limited to human characters but apply to Harvest Sprites as well. In Animal Parade, the Sprites are connected to the Bells and are part of the main story. In Sunshine Islands, Harvest Sprites are available for 'Enchantments' to help you with specific aspects of the game.

More significant than dialogue is the actual labour that Sprites can be persuaded to perform.

Knowing how best to utilise the abilities of Harvest Sprites is an important strategy consideration in Sunshine Islands. It is an 'advanced' strategy as well, however, as you will find only one Sprite from each of the Teams, apart from the Red Team, on Harvest Sprite Island when you first gain access to it.

Details about all the Enchantments as well as the Members of every Team (and their likes and dislikes) are included both in my General Guide and in my Characters Guide for Sunshine Islands, but as it appears that there are many players who do not have the patience to read my admittedly long guides, perhaps it is worth publishing some of the information here.

Harvest Sprite Labour

Harvest Sprite Labour is a traditional aspect of Harvest Moon, but the methods by which this aid is given as well as the actual nature of the labour performed differs from game to game.

Sunshine Islands has added a new twist in the form of the Enchantments that can be ordered on Harvest sprite Island. Sprites are distinguished by their skills and Enchantments are area-specific. You therefore can ask for help on the Ranch, at Chen’s Shop or designate any other area and the ‘Enchantment’ can involve lower prices, increase in friendship or actual farm aid.

All of the Harvest Sprites unlocked by your actions will be found wandering aimlessly on Harvest Sprite Island. You can visit them daily to speak to them and give them gifts, but this can be very time-consuming. Nonetheless, it is only by raising the Friendship Level of the Harvest Sprite of a specific colour that you can persuade more Sprites of that colour to join the Team. A larger Team allows larger, more potent Enchantments.

When involved in any Enchantment, the Harvest Sprites who are working will be found in the area where the Enchantment is being performed. This is an excellent chance to speak to the Harvest Sprite and give him a gift if possible. Unfortunately, once the Enchantment has ended, the Team that executed it will ‘rest’, presumably inside the Sprite Hut, as you will not be able to find him until the rest period comes to an end.

Each of the Sprites that you meet initially is a member of a Team as in HM DS/Cute DS and each Team deals with specific types of Enchantments. One of your goals in Sunshine Islands is to increase the number of Sprites on any Team. As previously indicated, it is only through raising the Friendship Levels of existing members of the Team that you can persuade new members of the Team to join it.

If possible, concentrate on raising Friendship Levels of all initial Harvest Sprite Team members. At 2 Hearts, the second Member of the Team will appear. With 1-3 Sprites, ANY Enchantment will have only a ‘Small’ Effect. You therefore can ask for only 1 Sprite to participate in the Enchantment while the other one remains on the Island. That way, when the acting Sprite begins to ‘rest’, the other Sprite will continue to roam Harvest Sprite Island and you can interact with him daily without any hiatus.

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.

Note that Farm Aid by the Yellow Team and Animal Care Enchantments by the Orange Team are not defined by different sizes but only by the number of Sprites you hire to perform a specific task. Furthermore, the Rest Period after any of these Enchantments is only 3 days, irrespective of the number of Sprites who participated. Farm Aid and Animal Care Enchantments therefore operate according to a different set of rules from the other Enchantments. A Large Enchantment by the Green Team, for example, can require a Rest Period of 30 Days!

One of the biggest problems in Sunshine Islands as in Island of Happiness before it, is lack of time. A day is finite and each activity takes time. Meeting and greeting every Character on all existing islands will take considerable time until you have a Teleport Stone. Even with the Teleport Stone, you only will be whisked to a set ‘landing point’ at each destination, which means that you still have to walk to the specific location where the Characters are to be found.

Chasing the Harvest Sprites on Harvest Sprite Island, even if you can arrive at the entrance by teleport, takes at least an hour. Unlike ordinary residents, the Harvest Sprites will be outside all night cavorting, although Coral will not order Enchantments after 11.50 p.m. You therefore can make the ‘Meeting and Greeting’ ritual for the Harvest Sprites the very last action in your day.

As far as ‘preferred’ Gifts are concerned, all Harvest Sprites love Flour, the traditional ‘offering’ for Harvest Sprites in any Harvest Moon game. Until you have your own Thresher and Flour Mill, not to mention stores of Wheat or other Grains, you will be forced to pay over 1080G for a bag of Wheat Flour. If you buy a bag of Flour for every Team on a daily basis, you will spend over 7000G per day on Gifts for Harvest Sprites. This is a significant investment and one that is not necessary, except in the case of one or two of the Teams who are difficult to please.
The trick is to find the least expensive, most common item that a Team likes and to give that instead of being forced to rely on Flour as a Gift. Some Teams are more difficult to please than others, unfortunately. Although each Sprite Member in a Team will have his/her own unique dialogue and responses, one Gift to any Member will count as a Gift to the entire Team.

The easiest Sprite Teams to please are the Orange and Green Teams, because the Gift of Pet Food, an extremely inexpensive item will be accepted joyfully. Members of the Blue Team love Gems and Ores but they love Gelatin as well. Members of the Violet Team will accept a Small Fish with joy, which makes them fairly easy to befriend. It is the Red Team, the Yellow Team and the Indigo Team that require more expensive Gifts.

The Red Team can be given Wheat instead of Flour but the cost is almost the same for either and the Wheat Flour is the Most Favourite Gift. The Yellow Team loves Crops, especially Yams, but Crops are valuable commodities and if you are trying to meet shipping requirements in order to unlock new Seed types, you may wish to avoid giving Crops to Characters if there is a viable alternative. Although Ketchup is made with two Crops, a Tomato and an Onion, it is worth 500 Friendship Points to the Yellow Team.

The official description of the likes and dislikes of the Indigo Team is simply ‘Same as Residents’ and this mysterious pronouncement embraces some odd results. The Indigo Team, for example, loves Milk, is indifferent to Eggs and actively detests Wool. You therefore cannot assume that the Team loves ‘Ranch Products’. Milk may be a ‘Most Favourite’ in fact, so if you have Milk to spare on your Ranch, this may be a better Gift ultimately than Flour.

Giving a Most Favourite Gift as opposed to a simple 'Preferred' Gift does make a difference in terms of how quickly a 'New Friend' Event will occur but it is better to give a simple Preferred Gift than no Gift at all and better to 'meet and greet' daily even with empty hands than to neglect any Team.

In my own personal view, the most useful Enchantments are those offered by the Green Team. These can lower the price of items sold by any shop or decrease the amount of Material needed for any upgrade. By great good fortune, the Green Team is one of those that can be transported with joy by the most inexpensive items. As well as finding Pet Food acceptable, they love to receive Lumber and Material Stone.
Remember that simply ‘Meeting and Greeting’ any Character, including any Harvest Sprite, WILL raise Friendship Levels. Even if you have no Gifts for them, take an hour if possible at the end of each day to speak to them on Harvest Sprite Island in the interest of expanding the Teams.

Remember that, where ‘meeting and greeting’ as well as gift-giving is concerned, you will obtain faster results if you use the Stylus instead of the controls. I prefer the traditional controls in most cases, but using the Stylus definitely has its advantages when it comes to social interactions. One runs no risk of dropping or throwing a Gift accidentally when the Stylus is used. Furthermore, where it is a case of Characters who move rapidly about the screen, such as the Harvest Sprites, one need not chase them about so much if one employs the Stylus.

A greeting to one Member of the Team counts as a greeting to ALL Members, although each individual Sprite has his/her own unique responses. Moreover, as previously indicated, a Gift to one Member of the Team counts as a Gift to all. If you attempt to give another Gift to a different Member on the same day, he/she will refuse it, stating that all Team Members ‘shared’ the earlier Gift.

As with any social interaction, equipping a Friendship Pendant before you greet a Character or give a Gift adds to the point value of the action.

All Harvest Sprite Enchantments

There are three levels of Enchantment except where Animal Care Enchantments by the Orange Team are concerned:
Small: Requires 1 to 3 Sprites
Medium: Requires 4 to 6 Sprites
Large: Requires 7 Sprites

Where Animal Care Enchantments, such as Feeding or Moving Animals is concerned, there is only a single Enchantment but the amount of work that will be accomplished is determined by the number of Sprites that are hired from the Orange Team.

Tip for Ordering Enchantments: When any Harvest Sprite Team is sent to perform an Enchantment at any location, that Sprite will be given an extended period of rest afterwards. During the rest period, that Sprite will be inaccessible. If you look at the Effects of any Enchantment, 1-3 Sprites will be able to perform only a Small Enchantment. If you do not have four Sprites on a Team to allow a Medium Enchantment, you should assign only ONE Sprite to perform any Small Enchantment.

That way, when the Sprite rests, the other Member(s) of his Team still will be accessible on Harvest Sprite Island for the purpose of social interactions that raise Friendship levels.

As previously indicated, the number of Sprites set to perform any Enchantment of any a specific size will determine only the number of days that the Enchantment endures and will not add to its potency. With a Small Enchantment, therefore, 1 Sprite set to perform it will do so for 2 Days, 2 Sprites will perform for 4 Days and 3 Sprites will perform for 7 Days. If all three Members are set to the task, all three will have to rest for 10 days afterwards. An example of the precise effect of Small and Medium Enchantments at Chen’s Market is given below. When more Members of a Team were set to perform the same Enchantment, there was NO change in effect.

The actual size of the Enchantment, however, will determine its potency. In other words, a Medium Enchantment is more powerful than a Small one and a Large one is the most potent of all. Any Large Enchantment requires the full Harvest Sprite Team of 7 Members and thus, perforce will put the entire Team out of commission for a VERY long time. In terms of Friendship gain, however, the absence of all Team Members throughout the period of rest will not be as significant as it would as you no longer can entice any new Members for that Team to Harvest Sprite Island.

Furthermore, by ordering ANY Enchantment, you gain a significant number of Friendship Points with the Team. The following situation shows the effect:

When Freya ordered a Small Enchantment to decrease amount of materials required at Chen’s Shop, she experienced a ‘New Friend’ Event the next morning for the Green Team, bringing the sixth Member of the Team to the Island. When Freya did NOT order any Enchantment but simply continued to give a Most Favourite Gift to the Team each day, the ‘New Friend’ Event did not occur until three more days had passed.

The difference in potency between a Small and Medium Enchantment can be illustrated by the same example.

At Chen’s Shop, with respect to the amount of Orichalcum required to create various Accessories, the regular prices are:

Small Friendship Pendant: 5
Medium Friendship Pendant: 15
Large Friendship Pendant: 30
Small Harvest Goddess Pendant or Small Kappa Pendant: 10
Medium Harvest Goddess Pendant, Medium Kappa Pendant or Small Witch Princess Pendant: 30
Large Harvest Goddess Pendant, Large Kappa Pendant or Turbo Shoes: 60
Medium Witch Princess Pendant: 90
Large Witch Princess Pendant: 200
Time Slowing or Time Quickening Ring: 100
Godhand: 900

At Chen’s Shop, with respect to the amount of Orichalcum required to create various Accessories, when a Small or Medium Enchantment to decrease Materials are in place, the prices change to:

Small Friendship Pendant: 4 (Small Enchantment); 4 (Medium Enchantment)
Medium Friendship Pendant: 13 (Small Enchantment); 12 (Medium Enchantment)
Large Friendship Pendant: 27 (Small Enchantment); 24 (Medium Enchantment)
Small Harvest Goddess Pendant or Small Kappa Pendant: 9 (Small Enchantment); 8 (Medium Enchantment)
Medium Harvest Goddess Pendant, Medium Kappa Pendant or Small Witch Princess Pendant: 27 (Small Enchantment); 24 (Medium Enchantment)
Large Harvest Goddess Pendant, Large Kappa Pendant or Turbo Shoes: 54 (Small Enchantment); 48 (Medium Enchantment)
Medium Witch Princess Pendant: 81 (Small Enchantment); 72 (Medium Enchantment)
Large Witch Princess Pendant: 180 (Small Enchantment); 160 (Medium Enchantment)
Time Slowing or Time Quickening Ring: 90 (Small Enchantment); 80 (Medium Enchantment)
Godhand: 810 (Small Enchantment); 720 (Medium Enchantment)

As you can see, it is where the items are ‘expensive’ that it becomes truly advantageous to order the larger Enchantments. The difference between a requirement for 5 Orichalcum and 4 Orichalcum is insignificant compared to the ‘savings’ of 180 Orichalcum for the Godhand when a Medium Enchantment is in effect. Furthermore, there is no change whatsoever in the required amount for an Accessory that ordinarily demands 5 Orichalcum when the Enchantment is boosted from Small to Medium.
In the case of any Accessory with an ordinary requirement of 100 Orichalcum or more, even a Small Enchantment is worth ordering but it is better to terminate the Enchantment after a single day in order to put the Sprite back into circulation earlier. After all, you can order as many projects from Charlie as you wish in a single day but, after exhausting your supplies of Orichalcum, obtaining enough Orichalcum to create a new Accessory probably will take more than one day.
Where Gannon’s projects are concerned, on the other hand, there is a limit of one per day. If you wish to order an Enchantment to decrease prices or material requirements, it may be better to allow the Enchantment to run for a couple of days, if you have sufficient funding or materials for more than one project.

Enchantments are ordered by location and there are different possible Enchantments for every Location.

All Locations are:
Chicken Coop
Mirabelle’s Shop
Chen’s Shop
Taro’s House
Pierre’s House
Slater’s House
Ray’s House
Martin’s House
Isaac’s House
Regis’ Mansion
Denny’s House
Lanna’s House
Gannon’s Shop
Carol’s Inn
Pig Pen
Shea’s Hut
W. Princess’ Home

Where most private homes are concerned, the only Sprite Team that can be ordered to perform an Enchantment is the Indigo Team. The Enchantment is one that will raise Friendship levels. Exceptions are Regis' Mansion which 'controls' the Mine and Lanna or Denny's House which, depending on your Character's gender, 'controls' Fishing Enchantments.

Where any Shop is concerned, there are at least two possible Sprite Teams that can be ordered to perform Enchantments. The first is the Indigo Team, who can be ordered to raise Friendship with respect to the owner of the Shop and any one else who lives there. The second is the Green Team who can lower prices or perform other Enchantments depending on the nature of the business.

Enchantments at Shops are as follows:
Mirabelle’s Animal Shop
Charm: Raise Friendship
Team: Indigo
Lower Prices: Buy items for a lower price
Team: Green
Barter: Sell your animals at a higher price
Team: Green
Chen’s Shop:
Charm: Raise Friendship
Team: Indigo
Lower Prices: Buy items for a lower price. Does not affect 10,000G or 1,000,000G Tickets.
Team: Green
Barter: Sell at a higher price. Does not affect 10,000G or 1,000,000G Tickets.
Team: Green
Material Decrease: Reduce material needed to make Accessories
Team: Green
Gannon’s Shop
Charm: Raise Friendship
Team: Indigo
Lower Prices: Buy items for a lower price
Team: Green
Material Decrease: Reduce material needed to build or remodel
Team: Green
There are a few private homes where interesting Enchantments can be performed:
Regis’ Mansion:
Charm: Raise Friendship
Team: Indigo
Lava Removal: Reduce the amount of lava inside Volcano Island
Team: Blue
Denny’s House:
Charm: Raise Friendship
Team: Indigo
Fishing Skill: Increase how many hits you get when fishing.
Team: Purple
Lanna’s House
Charm: Increase Friendship
Team: Indigo
Fishing Skill: Increase how many hits you get when fishing
Team: Violet
There are Enchantments that can be worked upon locations where Animals are kept as well:
Charm: Raise your animals’ affection towards you.
Team: Orange
Lower Stress: Lower your animals’ stress.
Team: Orange
Feed: Feed your Animals
Team: Orange
Move: Move animals in or out of the barn.
Team: Orange
Ship Animal Products: Gather and ship milk and wool.
Team: Orange
Chicken Coop
Charm: Raise your Chicken’s Affection towards you.
Team: Orange
Lower Stress: Lower your chickens’ stress.
Team: Orange
Feed: Feed your Chickens.
Team: Orange
Move: Move chickens in or out of the coop.
Team: Orange
Ship Animal Products: Gather and ship eggs.
Team: Orange
Charm: Raise your pets’ affection towards you.
Team: Orange
Feed: Feed your animals, lowering stress.
Team: orange
Move: Move pet in or out of the stable.
Team: orange
Pig Pen
Charm: Raise your pig’s affection towards you.
Team: Orange
Feed: Feed and lower pig’s stress.
Team: orange
Move: Move pig in or out of the pig pen.
Team: Orange
Finally, Enchantments can be ordered at the Ranch itself.
Charm: Raise your spouse and child’s love toward you.
Team: Indigo
Ship Crops: Gather and ship crops.
Team: Yellow
Till: Till the field.
Team: Yellow
Water: Water the crops.
Team: Yellow
Reap: Reap dead crops.
Team: Yellow
Each type of Enchantment has a different time frame as well as resting period attached to it. For example, if you order a Small Enchantment for the Yellow Team to water your Crops, the Sprite(s) will work for one day and rest for seven. If, however, you order a Small Enchantment for the Green Team to lower prices at Mirabelle’s Shop, the Sprite (s) will work for 2 Days and rest for 10. A Small Enchantment for Lava Removal likewise will allow the Blue Sprite Team to work for 2 Days and rest for 10.

Note that you CAN release any Sprite who is performing an Enchantment after one day. Simply go to the location where the Sprite is working and speak to him/her. You will obtain a menu option that allows you to release the Sprite from service. This can be very useful as there is no point in extending an Enchantment if you cannot take proper advantage of it. For example, if you have sufficient money only to order one large building project from Gannon, there is little point in having a Sprite perform an Enchantment to decrease prices for the full period of that particular Enchantment. One day will serve your purposes better as by sending the Sprite home ‘early’, you will be able to use him/her again for a new Enchantment sooner.

The screenshots display three sets of prices for Accessories: the ordinary prices for some Accessories, including the Godhand, the prices when a Small Enchantment by the Green Team to decrease material amounts is in effect and the prices when a Medium Enchantment is in effect.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Wonderfuls Created from Wonderful Pieces in Sunshine Islands

The official information states that, provided you do not stack the Wonderful Pieces that you obtain, Charlie may make a Wonderful for you that is NOT Purple. If Wonderful Pieces are stacked, however, the default colour always will be Purple.

Consequently, I meticulously kept every Wonderful Piece separate that I obtained either from a Festival or as a purchase from Chen's Market. No matter what I did, however, I always obtained a Purple Wonderful.

I now know why this occurred. The fact of the matter is that, ALL Wonderful Pieces obtained as prizes at Festivals are Purple irrespective of the colour of Wonderful that you would have obtained had you won 1st Prize. The only Wonderful Pieces that have a chance of being another colour are those purchased at Chen's Market. You therefore can stack all the Wonderful Pieces won at Festivals, but make certain that you keep any Wonderfuls purchased from Chen's Market separate (and remember which slots they occupy as well if you ever wish to be able to obtain a different colour from Charlie.)

The fact that only Wonderful Pieces purchased from Chen had the chance of creating other colours is an important piece of information that was lacking in my Guides until now.

Russell Crowe's Oscar lives with his Chickens

The famous New Zealand actor, Russell Crowe, one of the more notorious 'bad boys' of the cinema has performed one action that might give him 'Hero Farmer' Status if Harvest Moon Halls of Fame existed in the 'real world'. He reportedly keeps the Oscar he won for his performance in the film 'Gladiator' in a chicken coop on his ranch in Australia where, he claims, it has inspired his hens to lay larger eggs.

Hmm... if only we could place the Trophies we win in Animal Parade in our Barns and Coops to inspire our Animals to produce superior Ranch Products instead of endless brushing and petting...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shipping Value Tutorial and Values of Processed Dairy Products

In Sunshine Islands, the same Bottle of Milk when processed into Butter, Cheese or Yogurt will have different shipping values. When writing Guides for Sunshine Islands as well as Island of Happiness, it is rather difficult to give precise shipping values for items as they depend on Rank, Quality, Size and Freshness. Although the correct Base values appear in my General Guide, for some reason, I made an error in the value of Cheese in my Items and Shipping List Guide.

An average bottle of Milk, when processed, will be most valuable when made into Cheese and least valuable when made into Yogurt. Here are the values when I used Milk that was Rank A, Quality 10, Size 5, Freshness 10. Incidentally, this is the Milk one receives from a Cow at 10 Hearts who has NOT been entered in the Cow Festival and thus never won a Prize.

The Milk if shipped would have a value of 250G.

Yogurt: 375G

Butter: 500G

Cheese: 750G

The prices in my Guide refer to the Base Values and should conform to my General Guide, which quotes them as:

Yogurt: 150G

Butter: 200G

Cheese: 300G

Actually, I believe this reflects the usual hierarchy of values in Harvest Moon. Cheese tends to be the most valuable processed dairy product, while Yogurt is the least valuable.

You must obtain ALL the Makers in Sunshine Islands and use each 100 times in order to obtain the Sun Stones that each can yield, but if you wish to make the greatest profit as early as you can, you should buy the Cheese Maker first. Another reason to buy the Cheese Maker before you buy the other two is because there are Recipes for Butter and Yogurt, allowing them to be made in your Kitchen. There are no Recipes that allow you to make Cheese.

In Island of Happiness, you had to ship 100 of each processed product but by some quirk in the programming, the game recognised products made in your Kitchen. This was corrected obviously in Sunshine Islands by causing the Sun Stones emerge directly FROM the Makers. Unlike Island of Happiness, therefore, it is not by shipping 100 items but by using the makers themselves 100 times each that the Sun Stones will be 'earned'.

Incidentally, cooking the Milk to make Hot Milk would be less profitable than processing the Milk.

Hot Milk: 275G

You still would make a profit of 25G by cooking the Milk rather than shipping it 'raw', but very little compared to the processed dairy products.

Actually, what is rather sad is that, if you take 2 Milk, make one into Yogurt and then add the other to the Yogurt to make Lassi, you still would make less of a profit than by using the Cheese Maker to make 1 Milk into Cheese.

Lassi: 650G

Another example that compares values of two different Cooked Dishes that use the same ingredient is between Strawberry Jam and Strawberry Milk.

Having shipped 100 Strawberries to complete the total needed to unlock a new Crop, I had 40 B Rank Strawberries I wanted to ship. If I had shipped them as raw Crops, each would have had a value of 66G.

If I cooked them into Strawberry Jam (a single ingredient Recipe), the shipping value of each would be: 124G

If I added Milk to the Strawberry to make Strawberry Milk, the shipping value would be: 349G.

On the surface, the Strawberry Milk may look more profitable, but this is not the case. The Milk I would have to use would ship for 250G which means that the added value 'brought' by the Strawberry would be 99G. On the basis of financial consideration alone, it would be better to make Strawberry Jam and ship that, while making Cheese with the Milk... Remember, however, that shipping values are only part of the equation. Strawberry Jam is not particularly high in energy.

Here are the Energy Values for each:

Strawberry Jam: Energy Value: +8SR +8FL
Strawberry Milk: Energy Value: +36 SR +22 FL
Cheese: Energy Value: Energy Value: 4 SR 2 FL

You gain Skill Points each time you cook, so there are valid reasons for making Dishes in your Kitchen and shipping them but in this case, it depends on how much you are in need of funds. For sheer profit, few single item conversions can be more profitable in financial terms than making Cheese.

One could drive oneself mad with calculations concerning shipping values in either Island of Happiness or Sunshine Islands.

For example, to descend into the truly arcane advanced shipping value considerations, take three different Vegetables that, when combined with the same Milk, could make a Vegetable Smoothie.

Here are the details:

Cucumber: Rank A, Quality 10, Size 5 1/2, Freshness 9: 135G

Turnip: Rank B, Quality 9 1/2, Size 5 1/2, Freshness 9: 132G

Onion: Rank B, Quality 9, Size 5 1/2, Freshness 9 1/2: 175G

Vegetable Smoothie made with the Cucumber: Rank A, Quality 10, Size 7 1/2, Freshness 9 1/2: 495G

Vegetable Smoothie made with the Turnip: Rank B, Quality 9 ½ Size 5, Freshness 9 ½: 446G

Vegetable Smoothie made with the Onion: Rank B, Quality 9 ½ Size 5, Freshness 9 ½: 445G

Vegetable Smoothie made with BOTH the Turnip and the Onion: Rank A, Quality 9 ½, Size 7, Freshness 9 ½: 476G

As you can see, the Vegetable Smoothie made with 2 Vegetables in the form of a B Rank Turnip and Onion had a lower shipping value than the Vegetable Smoothie made with a single Cucumber. It did have a higher Energy Value, however, both in terms of Stamina Recovery and Fullness.

It may be worthwhile to mention Vegetable Juice here as some rather peculiar facts will emerge when you experiment with it in the Kitchen. The shipping value of Vegetable Juice is rather low, making it a poor choice if you are looking for income-raising Dishes. It is an odd Dish in terms of Cooking, as the order in which Optional Ingredients are added affect the result, which can be either Vegetable Juice (improved) or a Failed Dish, depending on the order in which you attempted to add another Vegetable to the mix. For example, if you begin with a Turnip and attempt to add a Carrot, the result will be a Failed Dish. If, however, you begin with a Carrot, you may be able to add a Turnip as the next ingredient in the sequence. All the Vegetables listed as Optional Ingredients CAN be added, but you must be careful as to the sequence you use in any case.

When you add more than one Vegetable to the mixture to create Vegetable Juice, the shipping value may remain far lower than the value of a single Vegetable used to create a specific juice such as Carrot Juice or Tomato Juice. The Energy Value, on the other hand, will be much higher. For example:

Carrot Juice: 560G
Ingredients: Carrot
Obtain with 1st Carrot from Haila at Cafe
Energy Value: +22 SR +6 FL
Optional Ingredients: Carrot Juice

Vegetable Juice: 345G
Ingredients: Bell Pepper/Cabbage/Carrot/Cucumber/Onion/Spinach/Tomato/Turnip
Obtain with 2nd Carrot from Haila at Cafe
Energy Value: +36 SR +16 FL
Optional Ingredients: Bell Pepper, Cabbage, Carrot, Corn, Eggplant, Onion, Pumpkin, Spinach, Tomato, Turnip, Vegetable Juice, All Jams

If you intend to ship the Dish, it is better to use the Carrot to create Carrot Juice. If you intend to use it as a Recovery Item, it is much better to use the Carrot to create Vegetable Juice. Adding another Vegetable, such as Spinach, to the Vegetable Juice, will improve its Energy Value but in terms of Shipping profits, you would be better advised to create Boiled Spinach with the Spinach and Carrot Juice with the Carrot.

Finally, if you make Vegetable Juice as a single-ingredient Recipe, it does not matter which Vegetable you choose in terms of Energy Values. The amount of Stamina and Fullness will remain constant. Neither the identity of the Vegetable nor its Rank will affect Stamina and Fullness values of the resulting Vegetable Juice. Shipping values will change according to the Vegetable you choose but the increase or decrease is not significant enough to make it worth shipping the result. It is when you add a second Vegetable that the boost in the amount of Stamina and Fullness will depend on the actual Vegetable chosen

So there you have it. Make of the data what you will... Note that the game gives you the ability to gauge the potential value of any Cooked Dish when, after the ingredients are chosen, you see a display on the top screen that shows precise details of the finished product with Rank, Quality, Size and Freshness and a prompt to the effect that: 'It will turn out like this. Make it like this?' You only have this option if you choose 'Make some Alterations' when you prepare the Dish. If you use one of the quicker menu options, you will not see the result in terms of Rank, Quality, Size and Freshness until the Dish actually has been completed. What is displayed on the top screen instead is the BEST version of the Dish that you ever made in terms of Rank, Quality, Size and Freshness.

The most valuable Ranch Products are obtained from Sheep but even ordinary Sheep cannot be sheared daily. One has to weigh the intrinsic value of an Animal who yields product daily (Your Cow) with one who yields product less frequently (Jersey Cow, Sheep and Suffolk Sheep). The values of the products that Sheep of any variety can offer are rather impressive:

S Rank Yarn: 3750G

S Rank Superb Yarn: 9375G

Even inferior Superb Yarn yields a nice price. For example, one B Rank Superb Yarn, Quality 5 1/2, Size 5, Freshness 10 had a value of 6437G.

You cannot obtain S Rank Ranch Products in the ordinary course of Events from any Animal who has not won 1st prize in an Animal Contest, but with Livestock, the Touchsceen Mini-Game, when the option appears, will allow you to obtain it on that day. Note that, although the Ranch Products that a 'rare' breed of Chicken, Cow or Sheep yields is more valuable than those given by ordinary Animals, you can win the Animal Contests with ordinary Animals as easily. It is all a matter of heart levels, not of the intrinsic value of the Products. Nonetheless, when given the opportunity, it certainly is worth investing in animals who can give you Products that ship for almost 10,000G! The Jersey Cow is unlocked by shipping 1 S Milk and the Suffolk Sheep by shipping 1 S Wool. To unlock the Silkie Hen, ship 1 S Rank Egg.

Finally, I do not have time to test every item comprehensively in this fashion, but any player can do it himself/herself using the following tactic:

Save your game at 4.30 p.m. Now stand about until 5.00 p.m. when all your items have been shipped and note your income total. Now reload to 4.30 p.m. or thereabouts. I suggest 4.30 p.m. only to give your character sufficient time if he/she needs to run to the Maker Shed to process an ingredient for a Recipe. Now ship one item... whether it is a raw 'ingredient' or an item that you cook in your Kitchen. DO NOT SAVE YOUR GAME but simply stand about until 5.00 p.m. when the total representing the original with the addition of the one item you added will be displayed in your Assets. Subtract the total that includes the item from the original total and you have the shipping value of the item. Hardly elegant or complex but it will give you valid totals for individual items. Remember, however, that the value will be completely accurate only for THAT specific item. Any variation in Rank, Quality, Size or Freshness or variations in the ingredients used to create the item may result in a different shipping value... which is why my Guides for Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands only give approximate or average values.

Only an insane person would perform these calculations endlessly. All the time spent in discovering the precise value for a single item could be used more effectively to plant, water and harvest MORE Crops and participate in LIFE on Sunny Island or the islands of Sunshine Islands.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Exploiting Pets for Friendship Points in Harvest Moon

Exploiting a Pet in order to gain Friendship or Affection Points with other Characters is an old Harvest Moon tactic. In games such as HM DS/Cute DS, even before you had decent Gifts to give to other Characters, you could show them your Cat or Dog in many instances to earn Friendship/Affection Points. Knowing which Characters liked a specific type of Animal and which ones disliked them was critical.

In Sunshine Islands, you can show your Pets as well as any Wild Animals to Characters in the same fashion. Although you cannot take any Wild Animals into buildings, your Dog or Cat can accompany you into any Building for the purpose of showing him/her to other Characters. There are two exceptions to this in the form of the two houses where other Cats and Dogs live. Unfortunately, this is not an exploitation that can be employed from the beginning as in some earlier Harvest Moon games as you will have no Pets when the game begins. You need to unlock your Horse, Dog, Cat and Pig.

Although he professes himself to be frightened by your Pets, Kirk nonetheless will allow them on his Ferry and you can travel with your Dog and Cat to any Island reached by boat.

Various responses to a Badger are shown in another post. I have included some screenshots of Responses to your Cat in this post. Where a Character's Response both to the Badger and to your Cat and/or Dog was negative, the Dialogue tends to be the same. There may be only one positive Response dialogue and one Negative Response dialogue for each Character to Wild Animals and Pets when shown them.

As you can see, Regis gives a positive response, albeit a potentially sinister one, when shown your Cat but his negative Response to your Dog is bloodcurdling. The shadow over his face reminds the player of those rumours about him being a Vampire...

Danny reacts in positive fashion when shown your Dog but is not enthusiastic about your Cat. This makes sense in a way, if you consider that his constant companion is a Bird named Popper. Cats traditionally perceive Birds as prey and although some Dogs view them in the same way, many breeds will not threaten them or at least be unable to reach a bird when it is not on the ground.

Both Chen and Charlie love dogs but are cold where Cats are concerned. It is the tribal responses to Dog and Cat by Wada that are a little puzzling, although he is very enthusiastic about your Pet Pig.

All Character responses to Dog, Cat and some of the Wild Animals have been added to my Characters Guide for Sunshine Islands.

O the Delights of Harvest Moon Trivia! Wild Animals have been added...

Harvest Moon and Rune Factory fans tend to be rather literary individuals who delight in dialogue and social interactions. In fact, if you do not enjoy dialogue in a game, you really are NOT going to gain the greatest benefits from playing any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game. Rune Factory, with its elements of combat, evidently does attract a few gamers who view the dialogue as a nuisance. but for the most part, players of both series delight in the dialogue, perceiving it properly as a reward for dedication and persistance.

New dialogues tend to occur as heart levels are raised, as new items are introduced in the course of social interaction in the form of gifts or when seasons or weather changes. If you fail to interact with a Character regularly, you may not ever be aware of this, but social interactions often are the key to unlock new options and therefore are not really optional in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game.

Those of us who are veteran fans of both Harvest Moon and Rune Factory tend to be thrilled by each new tidbit of information or trivia. New Events and new dialogue really often are one of the most satisfying rewards for your investment in continuing to play past the first couple of years even more than the wealth that your Character inevitably obtains.

In both Animal Parade and Sunshine Islands, befriending Wild Animals actually serves a practical purpose as they will gather items for you. In doing so, they visit different areas of the Map. Unfortunately, you cannot take them into any Building but you can show them to any Character who is outside. The results can be illuminating or simply hilarious and actually may aid in raising heart levels.

In Animal Parade, you need to 'adopt' a Wild Animal before you can take it for a walk and show it to other Characters. In Sunshine Islands, on the other hand, you can 'hire' Wild Animals to collect items for you when they attain a specific Friendship level. The number of Animals of each type increases as you give them Gifts of Food. You therefore can find up to 20 Wild Animals of a single variety roaming across the map if you have hired them for the day.

Wild Animals include Badgers, Ducks, Mice, Monkeys, Rabbits and Sparrows. Each Character will have unique responses to each Animal type. Unfortunately for the poor Badgers, they appear to be generally repulsive to most iindividuals.

I have included some screenshots of the Responses of various Characters when shown a Badger. Mark endeared himself to me by being the only Character I was able to find who actually responded warmly to the Badger. I have to confess that I was a little surprised that Charlie did not show any positive interest. Even Martin, who keeps 10 cats in his little cottage, was not kind to these wild creatures. It is apparent that no one on Sunshine Islands listened to tales from 'The Wind in the Willows' as a child. If they had, they may have displayed a little more acceptance of the Badgers.

Befriending the Wild Animals on Animal Island may not be a necessary act in terms of the plot of Sunshine Islands, but it is richly rewarding both in terms of dialogues and gifts of rare and valuable items.

Note that these Wild Animals exist IN ADDITION to the four actual Pets you can keep in the form of a Dog, Cat, Horse and Pig. For animal fanciers, Sunshine Islands offers an incredible variety of animal interactions.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Profits made from Seeds and Accessories in Harvest Moon

In the second half of my Items and Shipping List Guide for Sunshine Islands, you will find lists of items that cannot be shipped. In some cases, these can be a source of valuable income for your Character.

The sale of Seeds and Accessories to a special merchant for profit is not a new strategy in Harvest Moon. In More Friends of Mineral Town, Van’s Wednesday visits provided a golden opportunity to sell certain rare items for a tidy profit to the merchant from Forget-Me-Not Valley. With the sale of multiple 'TV Changers', my character was able to afford to buy her second home next to Saibara's forge.

In HM DS and Cute DS, Van’s orange box stall on the 2nd floor of the Inn is a venue for the sale of Seeds and Accessories, some of which realise huge prices from the same entrepreneur. In HM DS/Cute DS, the sale of upgraded Seeds in particular provided a source of great profit.

In Sunshine Islands, the opportunity to make a profit selling items that cannot be shipped is available as well but the merchant who buys these is none other than Chen.
For example, although Seeds cannot be shipped, they can be sold to Chen. In the case of Crops that are worth very little when shipped, such as Strawberries, you will obtain a larger profit from these if you convert them into Seeds to sell to Chen. Bananas are another Crop that, when converted to Seed and sold to Chen, result in a far larger profit than the actual Fruit when shipped. Note that Seeds have no Rank, Quality, Size or Freshness and therefore a Crop of low quality can be transformed in Seeds that will be bought at the same price as a Crop of S Rank when converted to Seeds.

In the Crops section of my Items and Shipping List Guide, I have added the price that Chen will pay for each variety of Seed. For each Crop entry, therefore, you now will find the Shipping Value of each Crop, its Energy Value in SR and FL, the price of Seeds when purchased from Chen, the price he will pay for the same seeds, whether those seeds would yield a single or multiple harvests and finally, the method, if any, by which the Seeds initially are unlocked at his Market. Players therefore can compare the average shipping value of the Crop with the profit, if any, they would make if they converted the same Crop into Seeds to sell to Chen instead.

Multiple Harvest Crops tend to be more valuable as Seeds. For example, if you look at the information that is given for Spring Crops, you will see that it is Strawberries and Cucumbers, the two Multiple Harvest Crops, that yield the best profits when converted into Seeds.

The difference between the shipping value of Turnips at 60G and the price that Chen will pay for Turnip Seeds is only 12G. The difference between the shipping value of a Potato and the price that Chen will pay for Potato Seeds is 10G. If you look at Cucumbers, however, you will see that Cucumber Seeds bring DOUBLE the amount that a Cucumber would bring if shipped. A strawberry, shipping for only 30G, when converted into Seeds and sold to Chen, yields 90G, triple the shipping value of the orignal Crop. A Cabbage, another Single Harvest Crop, actually will gain a better price when shipped than when sold as Seeds. You lose 50G if you convert the Crop into Seeds and sell it to Chen.

Remember that the shipping value of any Crop is an estimated value. The actual value will depend on Rank, Quality, Size and Freshness. If your Crops are S Rank, you would do better probably to ship them or use them as ingredients in Cooked Dishes, even if they are Strawberries. The prices that Chen pays either for Crops or for Seeds, on the other hand, do not vary.

Turnip: 60G
Energy Value: 3SR, 2FL
Turnip Seeds: 120G
Selling Price: 72G
Single Harvest Crop
Seeds available in Spring at the start

Potato: 80G
Energy Value: 3SR 2FL
Potato Seeds: 150G
Selling Price: 90G
Single Harvest Crop
Seeds available in Spring at the start

Cucumber: 60G
Energy Value: 3SR 2FL
Cucumber Seeds: 200G
Selling Price: 120G
Multiple Harvest Crop
Seeds unlocked at Farming Level 5, available in Spring

Strawberry: 30G
Energy Value: 5SR 2FL
Seeds: 150G
Selling Price: 90G
Multiple Harvest Crop
Seeds unlocked at Farming Level 7, available in Spring

Cabbage: 350G
Energy Value: 3SR 2FL
Cabbage Seeds: 500G
Selling Price: 300G
Single Harvest Crop
Seeds unlocked at Farming Level 10 with Shipment of 100 Wheat

Chen will pay only 18G for Orichalcum but when this Ore is used to create Accessories, you can sell the Accessories to Chen for fairly handsome sums. Accessories that you no longer need or use can be stored in your Beauty Box or sold to Chen. Once you have made all possible Accessories, you can order duplicates from Charlie to sell to Chen for an added source of income.

The prices that Chen will pay for each Accessory have been added to the section on Accessories in the Sunshine Islands Items and Shipping List Guide.

Note that Cooked Dishes are a category of item that can be shipped but cannot be sold to Chen. In the case of Crops, Ranch Products and other 'raw ingredients', you will obtain a far better price if you ship them. Chen does not recognise Rank or Quality where Ranch Products are concerned and will offer only 30G for either a C Rank Egg or an S Rank Egg.

In many cases, as I have explained in previous posts, the greatest profit you can made from certain items are when you use them to create Cooked Dishes. The same Strawberry that ships for about 30G can be made into Strawberry Jam which may ship for over 100G.

Desperate Measures

You do have the option of selling items to Chen rather than shipping them. This should be done only in the direst circumstances as he pays less than the item’s shipping value. Any items purchased from Chen can be sold back to him as well but he will pay only 60% of the item’s original price. Furthermore, as shipping items is the method by which many new items are unlocked, it is a poor policy generally to sell Crops to Chen.

As previously indicated, there are exceptions to this, however, in the form of items that cannot be shipped. Accessories created by Charlie can be sold to Chen. Tools that you purchased from Gannon but no longer need can be sold. Likewise, Seeds that you create in your own Seed Maker, although they cannot be shipped, can be sold to Chen.
The prices you will receive for these items are as follows:

Any Tool apart from Fishing Rod: 600G

Fishing Rod: 3000G
Selling your precious Fishing Rod at a loss is a desperate measure at best, but it is good to know that you CAN sell it and when you do, another will appear at Gannon’s shop for the price of 5000G. If you are desperate for quick cash, therefore, you can sell your Fishing Rod and buy a replacement when you can afford to do so.

Teleport Stone: 60000G
Like the Fishing Rod, this is an item that can be sold to Chen in desperate circumstances, if you must have 60,000G instantly for some reason… As soon as it is sold, another will appear in his Menu for a price of 100,000G