Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Being an Anti-Hero (Temporarily) in Hero of Leaf Valley

When you write a guide for a game, it is your duty to perform unpalatable acts, giving the 'wrong' response, the 'bad' response and otherwise exploring dark avenues instead of patting yourself on the back as you unerringly always choose the 'correct' and 'good' response that takes you forward.

'Hero of Leaf Valley' will draw you into a scenario that will be somewhat familiar both to players of 'Save the Homeland' and 'An Innocent Life'. Your Character must assume the role of saviour of the village...

At the start of 'Hero of Leaf Valley', the Harvest Goddess will quiz you to determine your aptitude to wear the mantle or cape of the Hero.

Her three questions:

A puppy is abandoned in the rain. What do you do?
Take it home.
Ignore it.

There’s trash on the ground. What do you do?
Pick it up
Leave it.

There’s money on the ground. What do you do?
Take it to the police
Keep it.

Every player will know the responses that are expected of him/her.

What happens if you give the 'bad' responses to all the questions?

For me, exploring ALL the possibilities is part of the thrill of working on a game guide.

It so happens that you can give any response you wish and you still will end up being the 'only choice' to save the land...

Thanks to a friend who is helping me to log the responses, I was able to do the negative ones without being forced to start over to log the positive responses. I had a feeling that your Character's choice of responses could affect Friendship Levels of other individuals in Leaf Valley.

As it transpires, they DO, but as in other Harvest Moon games, even 'negative' actions or responses appeal to SOME Characters. For example, littering sometimes will endear you to the Witch Princess...

Evidently, Friendship Levels are affected as follows:

If you give the 'positive' response or first response to each of the three questions
of the Harvest Goddess, you will earn +15 FP with the following individuals: the Harvest Goddess herself, Dia, Louis, Bob, Joe, Wallace, Chester and Nak.

If you give the 'negative' or second response to each of her three questions, you will gain +15 FP with Katie, Gina, Kurt, Ronald, Charlie, Renton, Rudolph and Nik.

If you give a combination of positive and negative responses, you earn +15 FP with Gwen, Lyla, Aurelia, Alice, Parsley, Tim, Woody, Martha and Flak.

None of this causes irreparable results, obviously, but if you have a specific target in mind in terms of Courtship or Friendship, you may wish to plot your responses accordingly.

I simply did not much like the responses Freyr gave in MY game and believing now that it could have an impact on the friendship levels of the people he would meet, I explored things a bit for two days and then reloaded... In any case, it is important to prove that players CAN give negative responses to all the questions and still assume the mantle of the Hero to move ahead in the game...

Even if you reject the idea of saving the land from the very start, the Harvest Sprites will forge ahead.

Flak: Yeah! Maybe you can help us save this land! Will you hear us out?

Your choice now:

If you choose No:

Nac: What?! Don’t say that! We just want you to listen!

The Harvest Goddess then will make her appearance to quiz you further.

The negative responses sometimes lead to the most entertaining Dialogue, which is another reason to log them.

In this case:

Nic: W-W-What are we going to do? He’s a bad person! Terrible!

What is interesting here is that the Harvest Goddess will put a 'positive spin' on the negative as well as the positive:

H.Goddess: Calm down. He might just be the first honest person I’ve met. And I know there’s a good heart beneath that rough exterior.

Nic: Well, he can see us.

Flak: Yeah. He’s probably the only person we can ask anyway.

It takes me awhile to adjust to the controls of the PSP after using the DS exclusively for a few weeks... The PSP may be clunkier and heavier, but the graphics certainly are magical. Mind you, I love miniatures and the exquisite detail of Harvest Moon games on the GBA and DS continue to enchant me... Returning to FoMT yesterday reminded me of how marvelous THOSE graphics were even in the pre-DS era of gaming.

Later: Now that I have explored some of the requirements for the various Storyline Quests in HoLV, I can see that your Responses to the three Questions at the very start of the game can make a big difference if you wish to complete a particular Story.

Often, in order to trigger the first Event of some of the Story Quests, you need to have at least 30 FP with a specific Character. Your Responses to the three Questions, by giving you an instant boost of 15 FP with a group of Characters, make it far easier to begin certain Story Quests far more than others.

'Meeting and Greeting' a Character givea +1 FP. Giving an item he/she likes gives +1 to +3 FP, depending on the nature of the item. In some cases, the first Event in a Story Quest must be triggered before the end of the 1st Spring. With 15 FP with a pivotal Character before you even start the game, you would have a far easier task ahead of you...

A good strategy, therefore, for any player who would like to complete all the Story Quests, would be to start three different games. In each, begin with a different set of Responses and then branch off in that slot towards the Story Quests with Characters whose FP has been increased by your Responses.

1 comment:

Stara Pisarka said...

Greetings from Poland! ^^

I'm a great HM fan. And I just bought Hero of Leaf Valley along with Sunshine Islands! Yay! (most of that kind of games are unavaiable in my country, so I have to buy US version -_- *sighs*).

I'm happy that I found your page. :3

Thank you for posting those guides!