Friday, March 5, 2010

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.

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