Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Your Kitchen in Hero of Leaf Valley

I am not the only player who experienced a little thrill the first time I walked into my new kitchen. First of all, whenever you obtain a Kitchen in Harvest Moon, you feel that you finally have ARRIVED. Your life becomes so much easier and cooking IS fun. All those raw ingredients that you toted about in your Rucksack for weeks now can be stored in the fridge or USED to create new dishes.

It may be possible to obtain the House expansion in Spring but most players do it immediately after the Summer Races. A House Expansion, after all, is desirable, but there are other expenses in Spring that need to take priority. Furthermore, you have to order one of the existing projects on Woody's Menu before the House Expansion in the form of Kitchen, Bath and Toilet will be unlocked.

The Kitchen, Bath and Toilet are situated in a separate chamber. You will awaken to find that your bed has been moved but if you expect to find a small kitchen counter in the same room, you will search in vain. Walk through the opening in the centre of the eastern wall and...

From the Journal of a good friend who is a Harvest Moon comrade as well:

'OMG… the kitchen is beautiful! When I woke up I’m like hey why is my bed moved? Oh yeh, the kitchen! Walk around looking….where is it? Slight sucking in of breath upon seeing it! Very pleasantly surprised. I had expected a starter kitchen like Joe and Kurt's.'

Players of A Wonderful Life/Another Wonderful Life may recall similar experiences with respect to the Kitchen in those games.

If you consider the premise of HoLV, which is story-driven, it makes sense to allow a player to obtain a Kitchen, Bath and Toilet as a single building project. After all, the business of saving the homeland must take precedence over everything else. Other Harvest Moon games that divide the House Expansion, Kitchen, Bath and Toilet expansions into four and sometimes even five different upgrades do not have the same urgency or time limit where the plot of the game is concerned. You have only two years to save Leaf Valley in HoLV. The HM gods mercifully decreed that, with the weight of this responsibility resting upon your shoulders, you should be allowed the benefit of cooking, bathing and changing your clothes with a single home upgrade.

For my part, it was the additional storage space that thrilled me most when my new house expansion was unveiled to me. Even with the Large Rucksack, I never had sufficient space, and it saddened me whenever I was forced to give away, sell or consume a seasonal item simply in order to free a slot in my Rucksack.

I, of course, had hoped to make every Cooked Dish as early as possible, but I finally had to dispose of my Apples and Oranges in the interest of space. No longer, though! All edible items can go into the Fridge, to await future use...

Your initial Kitchen provides you with a small Frying Pan and a small Pot. These allow you to cook any Dish that requires only one ingredient. Although all Recipes are included in my HoLV Cookbook Recipes Guide, I included an 'Easy Recipes' section in my HoLV Walkthrough/General Guide that gives all the Single-Ingredient Recipes for Pot and Frying Pan.

Remember that Cooked Dishes often are 'Wanted Items' by local merchants. In Summer, Corn is on the Wanted Items list at Clove Villa but Ronald's Wanted Items List includes Fried Corn. Martha will pay 60G for raw Corn, but Ronald will pay 100G for the same ear of Corn when it has been cooked in a Frying Pan. the Wanted Items Lists for every Season are included both in my HoLV Walkthrough/General Guide and my HoLV Shops and Businesses Guide.

The items that are the subject of Delivery Requests often are out-of-season. Once you have a Kitchen, it is easier to store Crops, Fish and items from the Wilds in anticipation of a future Delivery Request.

At the end of the first Summer, it is worthwhile to consider a potentially profitable Wanted Item that will go into effect on 1 Autumn. Scrap Metal usually sells for 10G, but during the Autumn Season, Louis will pay 30G for each piece of Scrap Metal. Unfortunately, you can store only a total of 99 items of any variety in your Toolbox. A single slot will take 99 items, but if you attempt to fill a second slot with the overflow, the Toolbox will not accept the items. You therefore must keep any excess Scrap Metal in your Rucksack if you wish to profit from Louis' need for the item in Autumn.

In the screenshots of the Kitchen, you will note that Freyr is dressed in an outfit that is different from the one worn throughout the pre-Kitchen period. A change of clothing is a benefit of taking a Bath in HoLV.

Incidentally, there is one very frustrating aspect in HoLV where the Bath is concerned. There is no prompt whatsoever at the door of the Bath or Toilet. If you stray too close to the door, your Character will slide right in, have a bath as quick as lightning and be out again, clearing the water from his ears... having WASTED his daily Bath while his energy still was at the full! I have done this twice early in the morning after cooking up some quick dishes at the counter... Very annoying! It wouldn't matter if you could have multiple baths, but only the first one counts, so it is very exasperating when your Character decides to have a quick bath without permission!

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