Monday, May 17, 2010

Family Life in HoLV

This information, including the Rival Events, will be included in my Guides but as a player posted a comment to ask about one aspect of Family Life, I thought a post might be helpful.

First of all, 'Hero of Leaf Valley' is based on 'Save the Homeland', not 'Back to Nature'. It is 'Harvest Moon Boy & Girl', another PSP title, that was based on the old 'Back to Nature' and includes both the male and female versions of THAT game.

In the original 'Save the Homeland', you had two years to save the Village. At the end of that period, or when you succeeded in 'clearing' one of the possible Quests to achieve this, the game ended then and there. You then could start the game again, carrying over most of your items and assets and play through a different Story Quest, continuing to do this until you had experienced all possible Story Quests. In 'Save the Homeland', there was no option to marry, although romantic Events would occur with the protagonist of the Story Quest you chose to complete.

'Harvest Moon Boy & Girl', for players not familiar with 'Back to Nature' is rather similar to 'Friends of Mineral Town' and 'More Friends of Mineral Town' in that it takes place in the same village, has most of the same set of characters and many of the same goals. There is a big difference, however, between the 'Boy' version and the 'Girl' version of HM B&G. If you play as a Boy, you can marry and have a child. If you play as a Girl, however, the game will end when you marry. Rather unfair to those of us who ARE Girls, perhaps, but that was the way the original Japanese game worked and, on the positive side, at least you CAN choose whether to play as a Girl or a Boy. Furthermore, as it is a PSP title, you can play BOTH as a Girl and a Boy in different save files! Like many Harvest Moon games, it gives incredible value for the cost.

Now, to answer some questions about 'Hero of Leaf Valley'. It is a very expanded version of 'Save the Homeland' as it will not end after you save the Valley AND, you actually can marry in HoLV. The game is divided into two main parts. You have to 'save the homeland' before you will have the option to marry, although courtship can occur during the first part of the game while you are busy saving the Valley.

The first part of the game, therefore, is most similar to the original 'Save the Homeland', although it is not identical by any means. The game does NOT end if you manage to succeed in one of the three main Quests. If, however, you fail to save the Valley from the threat of development by the end of the 2nd year, the game WILL end and you will be forced to begin again. You will not be forced to start with nothing again, however. You will be able to 'inherit' many of your assets from your first failed game.

In the second phase, once the land is safe from threats of development, HoLV begins to resemble a traditional Harvest Moon game. You can propose to an Eligible Girl and marry her, provided all Heart Level requirements have been met. There are Rival Events that can occur between Eligible Girls and the bachelors who are interested in them, but they will not lead to Rival Marriages. Your own marriage does not result in any children.

There are other Events that cannot be experienced before the third year of the game and a new Character in the form of Zann, who somewhat resembles Ivan or Lute from Rune Factory games and who can create wonderful Accessories for you.

Some players have expressed a wish that one could have a Child in HoLV, but after all, every Harvest Moon game, although it is founded on the same general philosophy, is unique. Players who are familiar with 'Save the Homeland' will be thrilled by the amazing expansions of the game that can be found in Hero of Leaf Valley. If having a Child is your primary goal in Harvest Moon, there are many games that will satisfy your ambition. In the recent Animal Parade for the Wii, you actually can have more than one child. If you consider Rune Factory as part of the 'Harvest Moon' series, as I do, there is Rune Factory 2, where you actually can PLAY the game in the 2nd Generation as your Child!

One final point about Events in 'Hero of Leaf Valley'. Many players are using the terms from the Official Guide to describe the many Events that can be experienced in this game. I initially did the same in my Guides, but now intend to use my own terms because I am beginning to see that some events, quite clearly, are Heart Events and have very little to do with the Story Quests to which they are linked. The only link in many cases is the fact that they involve the same Eligible Girl who is the protagonist in the Story Quest. Instead of describing the Events as 'Mecha', or 'Farm Aid' or whatever, whenever an Event is a Friendship Event or Heart Event, I am going to designate it as such, although I will make certain that each Event either is described as 'Mandatory' or 'Optional'.

I have a couple of reasons for making this change. One is the fact that many of the Story Quests are linked and indeed, 'Optional' Events often are connected to more than one Story Quest. I still need to confirm whether or not experiencing a specific Event that involves more than one Eligible Girl or Character increases FP for all the Characters in the Event. Evidence that lends itself to the belief that it DOES increase FP if only slightly, is the fact that Heart Levels have changed immediately after I experienced an Event. On the other hand, simply 'meeting and greeting' any Character on a given day increases FP by +1 point. Experiencing an Event with a Character could be assigned the 'Meeting and Greeting' point for that day. In some specific cases, an Event will raise a Character's FP significantly and that is confirmed officially. Whether or not ALL Events result in some FP increase, however, beyond +1 FP for each Character involved, still needs to be confirmed.

Two Events that clearly are 'Heart Events' in HoLV are Dia's first two Events. They both are concerned primarily with her relationship with your Character. In the first, your Character 'rescues' her from a large spider. In the second, she confesses that your gifts to her have widened her appreciation of the knowledge she has gained from books. In fact, as her Heart Level increases, her general dialogue as well as her responses to specific gifts, often deals with the same topic.

Blueberries traditionally are Dia's favourite in more than one Harvest Moon game. In HoLV, however, her responses to the gift of a Blueberry as well as responses to other Berries would be bizarre if one did not comprehend their basis.

In fact, most of her Responses to Gifts of items 'found in the wilds' reflect a comparison of descriptions of itmems found in books with the reality of the item. Here are some of her early Responses to items. Note that these ALL are Gifts that are acceptable to her:

At Black Heart:

For Very Berry: ...Th-Thank you.

For Fish (S?) or Common Seashell: Oh, no, it smells so foul.

At Purple Heart:

For Blueberry: ...This is a little different from what I saw in the encyclopedia. ...Is it real?

For Orange, Strawberry, Very Berry: Can you...Eat this? It won't make you sick?

For Moondrop Herb or Fairy Dress Herb: ...It's a fairly common flower.

For Tomato: It's ...So dirty, covered in mud...

At Blue Heart:

For Very Berry: This is fairly sweet.

For Blueberry: I'm not sure how good these taste, but...I think I like the taste.

As you can see, if you look at the Responses knowing that Dia has been extremely 'sheltered' and therefore may be experiencing her first real contact with these items, dialogue that otherwise would appear ungrateful or discourteous becomes less so.

'It's ... So dirty, covered in mud...' for a Tomato for example, is the response of a girl who never saw a Tomato until it had been prepared in a Salad or Sandwich. The Response to a Seashell, 'Oh no, it smells so foul.' again displays the astonishment of a girl who saw pictures of shells in books but was unprepared for the reality of an item fresh from the sea.

Her responses to Blueberries and other Fruits are extremely interesting, as they show the incredible attention to detail that has been given to the dialogues in this game.

At Purple Heart:
For Blueberry: ...This is a little different from what I saw in the encyclopedia. ...Is it real?

This is the response of a girl who prior to this only saw pictures of Blueberries in an Encyclopedia. At this point in time, she has little personal knowledge of raw, unprepared Fruits, even those that are cultivated. Proof of this is given in her response to ANY other Fruit:

For Orange, Very Berry, Strawberry: Can you...Eat this? It won't make you sick?

As you continue to visit her, raising her Heart Level, her responses to these items change:

At Blue Heart:

For Very Berry: This is fairly sweet.

For Blueberry: I'm not sure how good these taste, but...I think I like the taste.

Here, you see how she has 'grown' emotionally to become more in touch with the universe and with her real feelings and senses. She is sharing HER actual responses to the taste of these Fruits.

The Event where she confides the effects of your visits and gifts puts all of this into proper perspective:

Dia stood in the Library facing me.

Dia: Oh, Freyr. ... I was just reading, thinking about things. I've realised that the things written in my books don't take place in a distant land, they happen much closer to home. ... What, well... About this gift you've given me. Lately, when I read, I find myself saying, 'Oh, I know this. I've seen that before...' Knowledge isn't only something to know. It's important that they are experienced. With everything you've done... I think I'm getting more interested in the outside world. I feel like I'll go for a long walk one of these days. ...Although by that I mean, I'll go as far as your farm, perhaps.'

This is one of the reasons I love Harvest Moon so much. It is not about 'clearing a goal' as much as it is about your ability to change lives, to bring prosperity AND happiness to others. If you take an interest in spoiled, shy Dia, she will become a better person, more courageous and more involved in the feelings and lives of others. Even at Green Heart Level, however, she has not changed fully...

If you follow Gina's Quest to make the Harvest Goddess Dress, you will see how Dia remains quite imperfect and selfish at the point where your Character asks about the 'Silk Thread' needed by the Harvest Goddess. Both Martha and Louis will tell you about the trader who delivers Miss Dia's clothes to the Villa and who undoubtedly has Silk Thread.

In fact, Martha will tell you that Dia purchased some recently:

Want Silk Thread

Martha: What? 'Silk Thread'...? I'm sorry, I don't have any. I think that the trader who comes to deliver Miss Dia's clothes may sell you some, but it's quite expensive. Now that I think about it, Miss Dia had just purchased some from him... I wonder what she'll use it for?

When you speak to Dia, however, to ask about it:

Want Silk Thread

Dia: 'Silk Thread'? ... Um... ...Could you ask some one else? Oh... Wait one moment. ...You wouldn't be planning on raising the worms that would make the silk thread, would you? P-Please, never bring those things to the villa! Understood?

When Katie and Gina are discussing the gown outside the gates of the Villa, Dia interrupts by calling for Gina to fetch her shawl for her. This may demonstrate her spoiled and selfish nature, but at the same time, Gina is at fault somewhat for not confiding her plans to make a gown for the contest. Gina is too self-effacing and both she and Martha are somewhat responsible for being over-protective of Dia and keeping her in her 'ivory tower'.

As the Story Quests develop, all of this changes gradually, and every Character in Hero of Leaf Valley changes. Even Alice and the other employees of Funland can be influenced by your Character...


Anonymous said...

I'm a Harvest Moon player and I always read your guides. I'm a boy, and, after reading this post I was thinking: if I started the game as a girl in Sunshine Islands, could my character have a son/daughter or it's like in HM Boy & Girl? Thank you for answering and for your very good guides!

Freyashawk said...

I believe that the gender of your Child in Sunshine Islands is completely random.

(Glad to know that my guides have helped you. Thanks for writing.)

Anonymous said...

I think you have misunderstood my question. You have stated that, in HM Boy & Girl, if you are playing as a girl, the game finishes as you marry. Is it the same is Sunshine Islands or you can have a son, no matter if you're playing as a boy or girl?

Lincoln said...

Hello, i have read your guide recently and i was wondering, if you marry Alice, how can you make her come back and stay with you in the farm house, instead of staying in the office which she has beside the mine.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Freya is there a way to reduce the FP of people in HoLV? specialy the girls.

Freyashawk said...

To answser the first question: I haven't married Alice myself yet, but when any Eligible Girl/Bachelor is set to continue to live in a specific location after marriage (usually Magical Characters like the Harvest King or Harvest Goddess), that cannot be changed. It was my own understanding that Alice would live with you after marriage and only visit the Funland Offices during the day according to a specific schedule, similar to any Eligible Girl who has a job and who continues with it after marriage.

As for the second question, I do not think there is any way to reduce your Friendship Level with Characters in HoLV. Gifts of items they don't like simply are refused. Ignoring or neglecting them has no effect... It is only Animal Friendship Levels that will decrease when you perform 'negative' actions or neglect them.

Anonymous said...

how do you marry a girl?

Cindy said...

First, i just wanna say that i am a big fan !! i've read all of your HM walkthrough.
i just wanna know, can we get a child after we get married ?
cuz, i hope i could have a child with lyla.
thanks anyway..
you're cool !!