Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Play Games on Facebook?

A question I asked myself and one that other players may ask as well is, with incredible games available for console, handheld and PCs, why would any one play games on Facebook that cannot promise the same detail or complexity? Why choose Farmville, for example, instead of Harvest Moon or Rune Factory?

The answer to this question for most people probably is that a fan of Harvest Moon or Rune Factory would not choose any Facebook game instead of Harvest Moon or Rune Factory. On the other hand, it is possible to play both types of game simultaneously. Rune Factory and Harvest Moon will wait patiently for your return, unlike Animal Crossing and most Facebook games, which operate in real time. If you neglect Animal Crossing, you will return to find that you must exercise some damage control before you can play the game with ease. In particular, you must deal with the Weeds that will have cropped up everywhere in your absence.

In Farmville and the other farming simulation games on Facebook that I have explored, there are no Weeds to clog your field, nor will any plot that you have tilled be subjected to the ravages of time and weather if you fail to plant seeds there for any length of time. You therefore can prepare your farm for planting and leave the game for whatever period you choose. This means that you can explore any number of Facebook games without committing yourself to any degree of attention unless you actually plant Crops.

When Crops are planted, they are time-specific and, if not harvested when 'ready' will wither and be wasted. It is a pity to waste Crops in any game.

One of the primary purposes of any game on Facebook is social interaction. If you use Facebook in order to interact with your Friends and Family or any one else, it becomes more fun to combine ordinary interactions with Facebook games. If you have a good friend on Facebook who is interested in farming simulation games, becoming his/her neighbour allows you to have more fun.

Neighbours are very important in a game like Farmville. You can play without having any neighbours, but you will be unable to reap the rewards of many of the bonuses and options that are available if you have Neighbours. The game really is geared towards the entire concept of social interaction as well as farming.

Having Neighbours is only the first step, however. You need to post your accomplishments on your Wall if you wish to help your Neighbours benefit from your successes. This is true of many of the Facebook games. It is a type of advertising, of course, but the games are free and there is little harm in it, apart from the possibility that Friends who have no interest in gaming may begin to believe that you are obsessed with it and do nothing else with your time.

You do not need to spend that much time on any of these games, however, in order to participate in them. That is the beauty of these Facebook games. Your investments in term of time and energy are under your control. If you log into Facebook daily, you can grow Crops that take 12 or 24 hours to mature and be confident of harvesting them before they wither. If you only log into Facebook every two days or so, there are Crops that can be planted that will not mature until two days have passed. Note that your XP gain for any Crop is linked usually to the number of hours it takes to grow. There are Crops that are equal in the time they need to mature but give different XP Gains. If you are seriously interested in increasing your Levels, you always should choose the Crops that give 2 XP instead of 1 rather than choosing the Crops that are most attractive visually.

Which brings me to another potential reason to play the farming simulation games on Facebook. I mentioned this in an earlier post actually. A player can construct a picture with his/her farm, whether in Farmville, Fantasy Kingdoms, Farm Town or Lovely Farm. You need not bother with strategies of profit if you would prefer to approach the game from an aesthetic point of view. I actually try to combine both considerations. My birth flower is the Morning Glory and I eagerly awaited the point in Farmville when the Seeds would be unlocked. Now I usually try to grow some Morning Glories on my field for the simple pleasure of gazing upon them. Some Crops definitely are more attractive than others. (Pineapples and Artichokes are among the less attractive Crops but they do give good XP and are profitable.)

I am wandering away from the point of this post I fear which is not to give tips about specific games but to explain the attraction of them in general.

The way many of these games work is by inserting random events periodically. In Farmville, one of these Events is the appearance of a 'Lost Animal'. When a Lost Animal appears on your Field, you cannot adopt it yourself, but you can post the information on your Wall to allow other players to adopt it. The Lost Animals tend to be varieties that are not offered for sale at the Market. Llamas, Black Sheep, Groovy Cows, Pink Cows and Party Ducks are some of the Lost Animals that the game generates. A player who is at a very low level can increase his/her Ranch population by adopting these Lost Animals but only if his/her Neighbours and Friends post the information on Facebook.

There are other little rewards and occurrences that can be 'shared'. When you collect products from your own Animals, you sometimes can offer them to your Neighbours, again by posting the information on your Wall. When a Special Event such as the Tuscan Wedding is in progress, these items may be ingredients that need to be collected in order to obtain special rewards. Special Events such as the Tuscan Wedding in Farmwille will not last forever. You can ignore them or participate in them. They are subsidiary to the primary purpose of the game which is to improve your Farm and your Levels of experience.

In many games on Facebook, increased Levels or other accomplishments result in Ribbons or Medals. This is one of the 'collection' option in these games. By posting the announcement of the award on your Wall, you can give your Neighbours an opportunity to obtain a bonus from it. The bonus usually is in the form of currency.

My actual guides for Farmville and Fantasy Kingdoms are posted on separate pages I created and will be published on IGN when they are more complete. For any one who wishes to explore Facebook games, however, I would imagine there are two general principles:

If you participate in the Facebook Community while playing the game, your success will be greater and you will have far more fun than if you play in isolation.

Have patience and do not rush to invest real money in any game. As in Harvest Moon, time and perseverance are your best allies in terms of increasing your own income in the game itself. Obviously, as these games are free, encouraging players to purchase currency with real money in order to obtain the best and most interesting items is one of the game's goals, but you need not be seduced by it. On the other hand, if you have a decent real income, investing $5.00 or its equivalent in the game is not entirely absurd. If you are a gamer, you can compare that sum to the price of a Console or handheld game and realise how it may be a way of supporting the creators of a good Facebook game. There are ways to purchase currency without sharing your financial details. It always it better to go through PayPal in these cases than to give any one access to your Credit Card or Debit Card information. The best players, however, are the ones who allow the game itself to generate currency for them.

Finally, these games exist to enhance your enjoyment of Facebook. Do not become a slave to any of them. As we all know, it is easy to become addicted to any good game.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Farmville on Facebook

As IGN appears to be interested in little mini-guides for Facebook games, I may create small guides for a couple of the farming simulation game. In fact, I have created a site for Fantasy Kingdoms as it is such a delightful game. Farmville is a game that appears to have wide popularity, and it has more details than I first realised, so I may write a small guide for that as well.

If any one wishes to play Farmville and be my neighbour, send me a Friend Invitation on Facebook but please add a personal message telling me that you are a fan of Harvest Moon and/or Rune Factory. I do not accept invitations from random individuals. I do not expect to know every one who wants to be added, but if we share a love of Harvest Moon or Rune Factory or even nothing more than a love of Cats, I am happy to add you.

After my initial distrust of the idea of owning a Cat in Farmville in order to be able to gather a 'harvest' from it, I now see that there is no animal slaughter in Farmville. As in Harvest Moon, Pigs find Truffles for you. You can harvest feathers from Geese without killing the poor silly creatures. My cat is only 77% 'ready' at this point, but a player left a comment on this site to the effect that you brush your Cat in order to collect. Calves likewise are brushed, although grown Cows obviously give Milk.

If I were to write a little Walkthrough for this game, my first suggestion would be to obtain a Chicken Coop as soon as possible. The options that are linked to Eggs are the most fun of all that I have experienced at this stage. Chickens who are not housed in a Coop simply yield Eggs, as far as I can see, but when Chickens are housed in a Chicken Coop, both you and your neighbours have a chance of collecting items known as Mystery Eggs. Mystery Eggs when hatched can yield rare Chickens, XP points and other rewards.

It is rather important to have at least one neighbour and if you have more neighbours or friends on Facebook who play the game as well, you will have far more fun than you would if playing alone. This is unfortunate in a way, as I always like to think that a solitary, isolated person could enjoy these games as well, but enjoyment is rather limited unless you interact with other people. One method of interaction is by sending free gifts of Ranch Animals, Trees or other items. As your income will be very limited at the beginning (why does this sound so familiar???), if you are given a Chicken or Cow or even a Pear Tree, you may be almost pathetically grateful.

As far as a Walkthrough is concerned, I do have a suggestion for other players of the game. Always till your soil even you do not have time to plant Crops or tend to them. This action can be very beneficial to your neighbours and friends.

As a player, you have the option to visit other farms. When you do, you first have an option to fertilise five plots. If no land has been tilled, you cannot perform this act. Furthermore, the NEXT option that will be given is the one that benefits you. If the farmer has a Chicken Coop, you will be given some feed and the chance to feed the farmer's Chickens. This is one method of finding Mystery Eggs. If you were not able to use all five bags of fertiliser on the farmer's field, however, the Chicken Feed never will appear. So my advice to players of Farmville is to till your land even if you do not have time to USE it.

Here is a link to my preliminary guide for Farmville:

Farmville Walkthrough and Guide

Sunday, June 20, 2010

More Reviews of Facebook Games

Reviews of Farmville, Farm Town, Fantasy Kingdoms, Castle Age, Castle and Co, Happy Aquarium and Yoville.

Having only spent a couple of days on these games, I cannot claim to be in a position to write an expert review of ANY of them, but these are my preliminary findings.

Of all the Facebook games, the Fantasy Kingdoms farming game is the most to my liking in its concept, graphics and items. As far as actual gameplay is concerned, however, it seemed that I ran out of energy sooner and with less accomplished than I did in comparable games such as Farmville and Farm Town. Unless I can obtain more 'mana' points, I will have to judge Farmville and Farm Town as better games. However, wonderful a concept or however diverse the items, if you cannot do anything in the game, it's all rather pointless. In fact, there are ways to 'earn' Mana if you can help your neighbours and if friends send you gifts. Unlike both Farmville and Farm Town, there is no limit on the number of items that a friend can send in a day. At least half if not more of these 'free gift' items are Trees that can be harvested.

I daresay Fantasy Kingdoms has not been as successful commercially yet as a game like Farmville as it appears to be a fairly new game by a smaller firm. The graphics are absolutely stunning and the concept of the game is fantasy-based with a mixture of real magical herbs, trees and crops and clever fantasy magic crops. Many of the medicinal herbs resemble their real counterparts but some of them are graphic 'puns' on the names. For example, Sunflowers when growing are beautiful sunlamps and Fish Tail Ferns appear with fish tails. There are other clever fantasy crops such as Eye of Newt that actually grows into a tall plant with an 'eye' as its flower. The game was out of service for a couple of hours at one point, but users were given 900 Mana points in compensation. A nice touch considering the fact that the game is absolutely free.

Although I initially liked Farm Town better than Farmville, I now have revised my opinion. Although you can acquire Ranch Animals in Farm Town at the very start, you cannot obtain any products from them evidently unless you build the appropriate housing for them. At the start, I was given a sheep and a pig. I did not want the pig, but was unable to sell him until I reached a specific level in the game. The best part of reaching that level was selling the useless pig! I still ike the fact that items sent as gifts in Farm Town can be traded for any item on the gift page that you have unlocked.

One of the problems with many of these games is the fact that you really cannot explore them properly unless you have 'friends' or 'neighbours'. The best exploitations are possible only when you have neighbours to visit, help and with whom to exchange gifts. I suppose that as Facebook itself is geared towards global community interactions, it makes sense that the games would focus on this goal.

Farmville became far more interesting when I raised my levels a little and obtained the ability to visit neighbours' farms and feed their chickens. There are 'Mystery Eggs' that you can obtain in this fashion. A Mystery Egg can hatch into a rare Chicken that you may not be able to afford to buy... It can hatch into XP points or other things as well, but I really was rather thrilled when one hatched into a Black Chicken.

I have not discovered precisely what it means to harvest an Animal such as a Cat and indeed was very reluctant to acquire a Cat at first because I was worried about the 'harvest' potential. As other Animals when 'harvested' continue to live happily on the farm, however, I am confident now that I won't be expected to slaughter my Cat when the 'ready' period arrives... What does one harvest from a Cat? Perhaps it is Kittens... Harvests tend to take the form of experience points so that may be the actual extent of it.

I am playing only one combat game in the form of Castle Age. Castle Age is fueled by LoTR concepts and has beautiful illustrations, but I suspect that the size of a player's army does matter and that requires that one recruit Facebook 'friends'. I rather dislike that idea. If some one wishes to participate, well and good, but I don't wish to push people into it. In Castle Age, Stamina and Energy are replenished in time...

Today, I read some FAQS about Castle Age, after making a rather negative discovery about myself and my ability to be corrupted into preying upon those weaker than myself. Many of the elements in gaming that I personally dislike are part of the Castle Age game. Although the Quests are well-written and illustrated, that is only a small part of the game. What you are supposed to do is to sally forth to duel against or raid other players, taking their money and becoming stronger by defeating them. When you are urged to go to Battle, you are shown a list of other players within a certain range of your own Level. You then can choose either to duel or invade.

A player of comparable level but with a large army probably will defeat you if you should challenge him/her. The players you can defeat in order to earn your daily allotment of points are those who are of slightly lower level with small armies or no army at all. It made me feel like a crass bully boy when I began to pick off the weaker players on the list in order to gain experience and higher levels. I did not like it very much.

The most powerful incentive the game offers is that you should increase the size of your own army by sending out invitations to your 'friends' or contacts. To me, this smacks of spamming your friends and contacts. When I explored the online FAQS for Castle Age, I discovered some one had written a strategy guide on how do ensnare the largest distribution list possible for your invitations to this game.

Whenever you are involved in a combat situation, victory usually brings money in the form of some of your opponent's cash and defeat means that your opponent bears off some of your cash as his/her spoils. The game offers a method of concealing your Cash by banking it for 10% of the total. If some one challenges and defeats you, therefore, that individual will gain $0 instead of making off with the carefully hoarded savings you had intended to use to purchase some decent armour. I then realised that the money I had 'won' from opponents probably was their life savings or a goodly portion thereof. I really was not terribly proud of myself...

Although I love edged weapons and combat has its appeal, I really do prefer games that are not competitive. The Fantasy Kingdom and Farmville games, although not as detailed or profound as any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game, nonetheless appear to be based on the idea of helping your friends by fertilising their fields, chasing off pests and sending them gifts.

Castle and Co. is another game I have explored. It has Candyland-style graphics and obviously targets young children to some extent. The basis of the game, however, is feudalism, precursor of capitalism. You are the lord or lady of the land and you build workshops so that the peasants can labour for you. Your job is simply to cheer them on. You never dirty your own hands by tilling the soil, chopping lumber, foraging or mining. Upgrading your workshops allows more of your people to work for you. Your workshops make money for you and you plough that money back into the workshops by upgrading them. One clue that this game was created not entirely for young children is the fact that you can build an 'Aleshop'!

Happy Aquarium is somewhat similar to Fish Tycoon which I loved, but Happy Aquarium differs in that it includes many mini-games where you lead one of your fish to find treasure in a time-limited hunt or through an obstacle course.

Yoville is the final game on my list. It is somewhat similar to The Sims in that your Character must find work and socialise with other Characters in order to succeed. Your avatar can chat with other avatars in public venues or offer games of tic-tac-toe to virtual strangers, but that is subordinate to the task of visiting your neighbours and working regularly at your jobs. Here, as in many of the games, the number of neighbours that you obtain is critical to your success in life. Without neighbours, you will not be promoted at work. Rather unfair, but there it is. At first, I absolutely HATED the Yoville game. A friend of mine sent me a gift of a Silver Chest in response to my gift of the same item. I then found I could not open it without a Silver Key. Purchase of a Silver Key was beyond my means or desire... Later, I discovered that a Silver Key can be sent as a free gift by a friend or neighbour, so it is not as diabolical as it first appeared.

In all of these games, you can post special discoveries or achievements on your Wall, allowing other players to glean rewards, adopt interesting animals or obtain items... but I find it rather embarrassing to post a veritable deluge of game announcements, making it appear as though my entire life is devoted to Facebook games!

What is lacking in these farming simulation games, of course, are the solid Characters and dialogues that are so much a part of any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game. If you invite Friends to become Neighbours, you could argue that they are the 'Characters' in these games, but most of the actions appear to be generated automatically even between neighbours.

None of these games can compare with Harvest Moon or Rune Factory but they can be addictive and they provide a clever bit of marketing strategy for all the advertisers who utilise Facebook. What they do is force you to log into Facebook for a start in order to harvest Crops that are ripe in a farming game or conceal the gold you have gained from the passage of time in a combat game. Once you have logged into Facebook, the battle for your time and attention is half-won... Yes, Facebook is a 'Community' and some of your real friends may be part of your Network there, but it still has the ability to waste hours of your time. That having been said, would any one like to sign up to enroll in Freyashawk's Army? (Just joking!)

Later: I have created a little page for a Fantasy Kingdoms mini-guide. You will find the link on the right side of this page.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Time Out for Facebook Games

I first registered on Facebook in order to be able to view family photographs posted by a very good Harvest Moon friend. I confess I do not spend much time on Facebook, although I neglect to 'log out', causing people to believe that I am hovering there somewhere in the ethernet.

When I first arrived there, my friend sent me all sorts of invitations and virtual items. I didn't have a clue as to what was going on and sadly did not respond in any way. It was only yesterday, having seen a number of postings by different people about places like 'Farmville' and 'Farm Town' as well as some sort of Cooking game that I decided to investigate personally.

I therefore accepted the very old invitation by my Harvest Moon friend and attempted to claim the old 'gifts' she had sent... I downloaded a game bar for Farmville that does not work and cluttered up my browser with all sorts of Zynga 'apps'. So this is the world of apps that is advertised endlessly... Is it worthwhile to interact with them?

The answer, if one were to weigh REAL games like Harvest Moon, Rune Factory and The Sims, in a balance with these 'apps' would be 'No.' They are simplistic and lack any of the depth, humour or philosophy that is so much a part of the games I like to play. Incidentally, I explored a combat RPG called Castle Age at the same time, seduced by the rather lovely graphics.

I suppose, however, that these 'apps' are not intended to be compared to real games at all. They are not designed for uninterrupted concentrated gameplay. They are little time-fillers, a way to amuse and entertain oneself while one is multi-tasking on Facebook, having conversations with Facebook friends, 'creeping' on people or otherwise whiling away a lifetime online without really accomplishing anything. Places like Farmville and Farm Town give one a sense of DOING something at least, by harvesting crops and earning coins, even if there is no real depth to the experience.

All these games are free, by the way, but the entire purpose, disguised beneath cute graphics and offers designed in the spirit of universal friendship, is ADVERTISING. Furthermore, although there is no overt negative motivation on the part of the creators of these games, they are designed to give access to the players' personal information and details. I do not share my information on Facebook to any one apart from my friends, but Zynga immediately demanded access and received it as there is no alternative if you wish to gain access to the games they produce.

Basically, they ask you to promote their games by sending 'free gifts' to your friends, thereby introducing them to the game. There is nothing nefarious here, but it is marketing dressed up as gaming. You begin any game with a few assets and the ability to earn coins by playing the game, whether it is a matter of growing crops (Farmville or Farm Town) or working in a factory (Yoville) or embarking on Quests and fighting enemies (Castle Age). HOWEVER... if you are seduced by the superior goods that cost far more than you could hope to earn in the near future, you are offered an opportunity to purchase MORE 'Cash and Coins' with your REAL money, whether through PayPal or credit card transaction. Apart from this direct exchange of real currency for fake currency, there are a host of advertising offers from diverse companies, from Discover to Shoe Emporiums and Survey Groups, promising you game currency if you apply for a credit card, buy footwear or sign up to participate in surveys. Is this any worse than the adverts that clutter up the internet, forcing their way into your consciousness whenever you compose an email, perform a search or visit YouTube? I daresay it isn't and at least it is fun.

The interesting part of these games, to me, is the way they promote the entire concept of Facebook by giving you the opportunity to interact with your 'friends' on Facebook in a myriad of different settings. In other words, your friends can become your neighbours in Farmville, part of your army in Castle Age or neighbours and co-workers at the local factory in Yoville. Some of the interaction is generated by the game itself. Your 'friends' actually may not be online when they ask for assistance in raking leaves or frightening crows on their farms. It does give you the illusion that you are part of a community, however, and this may be comforting to individuals who live in real isolation or have few chances to socialise in the real world.

I never had much free time to spend on Facebook and I very much doubt if I will have time to work on my farms in Farmville or Farm Town or perform many Quests in Castle Age. I expect I have but skimmed the surface of these games and that there are more delights in store for a player who actually devotes many weeks to them. I certainly will try to visit my holdings in the Zynga universe from time to time to see how the games unfold, but I can't imagine that I will be doing so on a daily basis.

So far, of all the games I have explored, I liked Farm Town the best initially because you could plant crops and Trees and have both ranch animals and pets without being forced to use any 'real' money to invest in the enterprise. You evidently can purchase fishing locations as well in the form of ponds, rivers or beaches. If you receive a gift from a friend that you do not like, moreover, you can trade it for another one. With the fishing option, at first glance, it appeared to resemble Harvest Moon therefore more than Farmville, but in fact, I only have scratched the surface of Farmville. With respect to Farm Town, I don't like the look of my avatar much and the graphics in general are fairly simplistic, but any one who played early Harvest Moon games knows that satisfying gameplay is far more important than graphics. The incredible graphics that now grace any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game are simply the icing on the cake.

Actually, people who are experts at Farm Town have utilised the rather simple graphics in some incredibly creative ways. One farmer created his farm in the form of a turtle and another created the figure of a dragon in his.

Although the graphics in Castle Age are lovely, they are static rather than interactive, like illustrations in a picturebook. The game really appears to be designed for multi-player action, something that never works well for me, because I really do not have the time for it. You can duel against other players or work with them to fight boss enemies... My problem with this particular game is the fact that any Quest or duel takes energy and you then have to wait for the gauges to refill. Again, though, it is a game to play while multitasking, not intended to occupy your attention fully.

I actually played a couple of computer games that are somewhat similar to these Zynga games, although they had more fully-defined goals. One was Virtual Villagers and the other was Fish Tycoon. I enjoyed both very much and. They worked in real time as do the Zynga games and of the two, I liked the Fish Tycoon best as it allowed you to create a magnificent aquarium on your desktop. Both games required some effort and concentration, however, as death was an element in each. You needed to keep your Villagers and Fish healthy and happy. The Fish Tycoon ultimately was released on the DS platform but I never had time to play that version. One of the reasons I liked the game in the first place was the fact that it could be on the desktop of my computer, giving me joy as I worked.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chambers 6 and 7 of the Mine in HoLV

I have added both configurations for Chamber 6 and the two configurations for Chamber 7 to the HoLV Mining Site I created.

You will gain access to these on 20 Winter in the first year whether or not you actually defeat the Robot Mole.
HoLV Mining Puzzles

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Location of the Harvest Goddess Spring in HoLV

A player asked about the location of the Harvest Goddess Spring in a comment on this site, but as I recall my own confusion in the first days of Spring navigating the Map in HoLV, I decided to post some screenshots of it here.

There are two ways of approaching the screen where the Harvest Goddess Spring is located. You can approach it from the east, from the Mallard Lake screen or you can approach from the west, where the Funland headquarters and Mine are located.

It can be somewhat confusing as the river has a number of Spring-like configurations on this screen. In fact, where your access to the river at the far western point of this screen originally is barred by a large boulder, you later will be able to unlock a new fishing spot here by giving Ponta the 11th Fish and requesting a Fish Print of it. By then, you should be familiar enough with the Map not to become further confused!

One way of identifying the Harvest Goddess Spring is by looking for the green Turtle who appears to make it his home. Another is by looking for the large patch of dirt in front of it.

If you access the screen from the east, you first will come upon a little footbridge that leads to an area where two Fruit Trees stand. The one on the right is an Apple Tree yielding one Apple and the one on the left bears two Cranberries. There is a single patch of untilled soil here as well. This is where, when the square has been tilled, the Blue Mist Seed will be planted in the Blue Mist and Azure Swallowtail Quest.

Move left (west) beyond this area along the main path to find the Harvest Goddess Spring on your Character's right. In other words, if you are walking or riding west, you will see the Harvest Goddess Spring to the north. If, however, you descend the stairs from the Mine Entrance area to enter the screen, the Harvest Goddess Spring will be to your left but still on the northern side of the path, naturally.

New HoLV Mining Puzzle Site

As Mining in HoLV involves a series of puzzles, it is useful to be able to refer to the actual screenshots of each Chamber, 'before' and 'after' the puzzle is solved. Each Chamber has two possible Configurations or Puzzles. I created a post some time ago on this site with the Configurations of Chambers 1 - 5, but it can be rather annoying to look for old posts on this site.

I therefore created a little site that is devoted SOLELY to Mining Puzzles in Hero of Leaf Valley. Here is the link:

HoLV Mining Puzzles

As you can see, the URL is short and because it consists of a single post, you always will be able to access the screenshots of the Puzzles immediately.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Amazing 'Golden Potato' in HoLV

This post will not offer any real tips for gameplay, but is a reflection on the entire basis of Harvest Moon. In Hero of Leaf Valley, there are a number of ways to save the Valley from development into an Amusement Park. The primary method involves successful accumulation of 50,000G in income, but even this method has different results depending on your actions in the first two years. The other two methods are either to transform the Valley into a Nature Preserve or a Tourist Attraction.

Players of the old 'Save the Homeland' game for the Playstation will recall the 'Sacred Land' Quest. I played 'Save the Homeland' myself long ago, but only now realised how much all Harvest Moon games are intertwined. For the 'Fruit of Fortune', grown from the 'Golden Potato Seeds' is none other than the humble Yam or Sweet Potato, one of the great 'money crops' or 'cash crops' in any Harvest Moon game.

It is entirely fitting that the 'Treasure' of Leaf Valley should be the Sweet Potato/Yam rather than any form of currency, jewels or precious metals. Incidentally, 'unlocking' Yams in the form of the Golden Potatoes of HoLV (not to be confused with the gold Mineral Potatoes) is an example of the value of experiencing all possible Events to complete all possible Story Quests in HoLV rather than doing the bare minimum required to save the land.

I have written about Dia's personal odyssey in HoLV before. It is a very touching tale of a rather fragile, sheltered girl who learns to appreciate the honest toil of a farmer and to interact personally with the soil. Although your friendship is a key element in her personal growth, her own recognition of the vastness of the universe and the extraordinary details in Nature, coupled with her love of reading and knowledge ultimately make her one of the most well-rounded Characters in HoLV.

This is not the case at the start of the game, however. In early Spring, she is shy and abrupt almost to the point of rudeness. Her dialogues, like the conversations of many individuals in reality whose painful shyness denies them ordinary social graces, could be mistaken for arrogance.

Dia's metamorphosis is somewhat similar to that of Mary Lennox's spiritual awakening in Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic, 'The Secret Garden'. Mary represents an archetype common among expatriate 19th century European colonialists, growing up in India and accustomed to the care of submissive servants rather than the attention and love of her own parents. She is sent 'home' to England where, initially bad-tempered and spoiled, her increasing interaction with wild animals and the earth itself transform her spiritually and physically. There is more than a little proselytising in this work by the author who, like many of her contemporaries, embraced the axiom of 'mens sana in corpore sano' in a reaction against elements that believed civilisation was designed to rise above Nature. The series of Harvest Moon likewise embraces a philosophy to the effect that Nature has the power to teach and heal, bringing us back from a rather unwholesome 'hothouse' technological lifestyle.

Dia is not the only Character whose attitudes develop and improve with regular social interactions. Members of the Funland crew, including their 'hot' CEO Alice, are changed by your encounters and friendship with them.

Farming as a form of heroism is a fascinating basis for a series of games. When one reflects upon the culture of the samurai as an integral part of Japanese culture and the historical conflicts between the warrior class and the farmers, Harvest Moon becomes even more interesting in philosophical terms. Farmers often were viewed as inferior and cowardly by the warrior class, not only in Japan but in any civilisation with a defined warrior culture. Kurosawa's epic classic, 'The Seven Samurai' depicts this conflict beautifully but at the same time shows the fallacy in traditional Samurai arrogant assumptions about the 'peasants'. Like the Samurai of Japan, the warrior class in the Arab world in the form of the bedouin of the desert believed that their superiority at arms gave them the right to raid the villages. A conflict always existed between the 'settled' groups who tilled the soil and the bedouin tribes.

Although Rune Factory allows your Character to be both farmer and warrior, it conforms to traditional Harvest Moon philosophy in that farming is NOT perceived as an inferior occupation. In fact, your Character, although a warrior in the past, ultimately derives honour from his accomplishments as a successful farmer rather than achieving glory through force of arms. Other warrior Characters such as Kross in Rune Factory Frontier embrace the farmer's life as a means of purification and spiritual advancement.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friendship 'Bonus' a Double-Edged Sword in HoLV

On 10 Summer, Freyr's Horse had a single heart and was painfully slow to ride. On 11Summer, when he saved his game, he was astounded to discover that his Horse had the maximum Friendship Level of 5 Hearts and could run like the wind. He had not made any Wish with the Goddess with respect to the Horse, but had brushed it, whistled to it and mounted it.

11 Winter was a rainy day. All my animals were inside the Barn and the Chickens were inside the Coop. While caring for the Livestock, I accidentally pushed the Horse out of the Barn. I used the Bell instantly to bring him back into the Barn, but apparently the damage was done in terms of his FP.

Although, when I 'talked' to him, he was in a good mood, on the morning of 12 Winter, when I saved my game, my Horse, who had 5 Hearts on the morning of 11 Winter had only 1 Heart on 12 Winter.

In other words, the FP 'Bonus' can work both ways. The accidental effect of pushing the Horse out of the barn, however briefly, was multiplied to the point where he lost 4 out of 5 of his Hearts!

I reloaded and replayed the day, mainly because the Horse's speed is an integral part of the game, especially when you need to race against the Robot Horse.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

If you don't do what you are supposed to do...

In Hero of Leaf Valley, you will be visited by the Sprites on 2 Winter in the first year. They will beg you to deal with a 'strange bird' who is terrorising the Valley.

Obviously, you need to defeat the Robot Crow, but I always like to find out what will occur if you FAIL to make the proper gestures... Thus, after the Events that show the proper sequence of successful Events, you can find the results of a situation where Freyr did nothing whatsoever while the Robot Crow ate everything in sight. As the conversation between the Funland employees is rather amusing, I am posting it here. All of these Events are included in my HoLV Characters Guide in the section that is devoted to Alice.

Note that, if you DO defeat the Crow as you should, Alice's FP will increase. After the Event, Freyr visited her and found she had gained a heart.

By the way, despite dire warnings to the effect that the Robot Crow, if allowed to roam freely, will consume all the Crops and fruits in Leaf Valley, I did not find this to be the case when I tested the 'bad' result in my game. As a matter of fact, directly after the Event wherein Freyr stood motionless watching the Crow eat all the ftuit, he STILL found Chestnuts and Red Herb in the Items Shop/Florist Shop Square and all the usual items elsewhere on the Map.

Robot Crow Sprite SOS

On 2 Winter, at 6.00 a.m., I experienced a visit from three agitated harvest Sprites:

Nic: Freyr, it's terrible!

Nac: A strange bird is terrorising the town!

Flak: C-Can you do something?!

Nic: I think you should talk to that weird item shop guy. He's sure to know something about something that weird!

Nac: J-Just do whatever you can! Or I'll never be able to go outside again!

Defeat of the Robot Crow

Although Louis' Shop usually would not be open for business at this early hour, I rush immediately to the area where his Shop and Lyla's Florist Shop are located to trigger the next Event in this sequence.

An enormous robotic creature is pecking at some food on the ground. I run into Louis' Shop:

Louis: Oh, Freyr! Did you see that robot crow...?! It just appeared a few moments ago, but it's taking the fruit and... What, how to stop the robot...? I'm not sure I... Let me think about it...... I know, maybe...! I've heard that the robot crow has even been spotted during the night... Which means that it can still operate without the sun to power it or the need to be charged. Which means, I believe that... That robot crow is directly using food as its energy source. So maybe you will be able to stop it if you gather up all the food before it can get to them? J-Just to be clear, this is all just my hypothesis. Be very careful...

I now must search for fruit on the ground, to collect it before the Crow can reach it to 'refuel'. It is not difficult. After collecting three pieces of fruit, the robot crow crashes and disappears underground.

Louuis emerges from his shop.

Louis: Freyr, you did it! I am very glad you were really able to stop it that way. I'm sure the Funland Company built this robot crow. The technology... Is really amazing... I think building such a thing proves how serious they are.

You now spy the Funland crew behind the tree near the flowerbeds.

Alice: H-Hey... It stopped working, what's going on?!

Charles: The robot crow is built to convert the fruit it eats into energy. Basically, it ran out of fuel.

Renton: Which means that we failed.

The angry CEO turns to both of them now, with incredulity.

Alice: Well, you say that pretty casually... Do you know how much that robot cost us?! How about you think about that!

Charles: Boss... You'll ruin your beautiful face if you get so angry.

Renton: It's all that farmer boy's fault.

Alice: Yes, that guy from the farm... What was his name? I'm not going to forgive him for this.

(And after all the gifts I have given her, walking late at night to the Mine to be courteous and friendly...)

Charles: I think it was, Freyr...

Renton: That's right. That was his name.

Alice: Freyr... I won't forget it again. You'll soon find out what happens when you make me angry!

The Event ends. There are two Red Herbs where I stand. Louis has vanished.

Oddly enough, Lyla stands in the middle of the area, as though nothing untoward has occurred, simply exclaiming:

Lyla: Good morning, what a wonderful morning. It may be a little cold, but I like it much better than the heat.

Failure to Defeat the Crow

If I had refused to try to defeat the Crow, simply standing there as it flew from fruit to fruit, refueling at will, it finally would fly away, triumphant.

My character would stand, shoulders slumped in the centre of the little square where the Items Shop and Florist are situated.

Alice, Charles and Renton then would walk up to me. The 'finger-snapping villain' music would play.

Alice: Oh, Freyr. It seems our company's robot has caused you a bit of trouble.

I turn to face them.

Alice: Well, not that you have any right to say what we do on our property.

Charles: It was wonderful, wasn't it? This machine can run forever as long as it has food to feed on.

Renton: that's right. It's got a large appetite like the boss!

Alice: I'm cutting your pay cheque in half.

Renton: Boss, wait! That's too much!

Alice:...But what Renton says is true. That robot has a big appetite. It might eat up all the food around here... I recommend you give up before then and just leave town. Bye then. Haaaaaaa ha ha ha ha!!

The Funland group would leave and the music would change as Louis would walk out of his shop to join me in the square.

Louis: ...that's unfortunate. But I am glad you were not hurt. The technology... Is really amazing... I think building such a thing proves how serious they are. But what they said seemed to support my hypothesis. I think we will be able to manage the next time. ...Most likely. Let's get back to our work for now. Although I believe that we should all be a little careful.

Louis Saves the Day

If your Character does not defeat the Robot Crow, either because he does not encounter it or fails to collect the fruit when he does find it, Louis will appear at your door at 6.00 a.m. on 5 Winter.

Louis: Freyr, good morning. There is something I wanted to ask you... Do you remember the robot crow? I actually saw it again last night. Maybe it was because there was not any food nearby, but it appeared low on energy. Seeing that, I thought this was my chance! So I gathered all the nearby fruit and hid them in my pockets. And then, the robot crow fell towards the beach! Perhaps it ran out of fuel. I still feel I was very lucky. But I believe that this matter is behind us now... Well, I just thought I should inform you... Good bye, then.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Improved HoLV Perpetual Calendar

When I first obtained Hero of Leaf Valley, I created a Festival and Birthdays Guide, pursuant to my usual habit of doing so for any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game. When I realised that Events needed to be organised in the manner of FoMT/MFoMT, HM DS/Cute DS with the creation of an HoLV 1st Year Events Calendar Guide and an HoLV
2nd Year Events Calendar Guide, I briefly wondered if there were any point in keeping the HoLV Festivals and Birthdays Guide as all Birthdays and Festivals were included in the Events Calendar Guides for the first two years...

Well, I realised today that the HoLV Festivals and Birthdays Guide could be one of the most useful quick-reference Guides for players if I added Seasonal Crops, Fruits/Nuts/Berries, Fish, Insects and Most Wanted Items to each Season. Although this information is included in the HoLV Walkthrough/General Guide and the Most Wanted Lists and Delivery Requests are given in the HoLV Shops and Businesses Guide, tranforming the little HoLV Festivals and Birthdays Guide into a true HoLV Perpetual Calendar Guide with ALL of this seasonal information at a player's fingertips, as it were, for instant access, could be invaluable. I certainly find it extremely useful in my own game, which is my basic standard when I create any new guide.

Thus, the small HoLV Festivals and Birthdays Calendar Guide now is the HoLV Perpetual Calendar Guide as follows:

Hero of Leaf Valley PSP Complete Perpetual Guide

By Freyashawk

The Perpetual Calendar
1st and 2nd Year Events Calendars
Friendship Levels and Story Quests
Effects of Seasonal Changes
Complete Perpetual Calendar
Spring Season
Spring Crops
Items found in the Wilds
Spring Wild Fruits, Nuts, Berries and Flowers
Spring Fish
Spring Insects
Spring Most Wanted Lists
Spring Birthdays and Festivals
Summer Season
Summer Crops
Items found in the Wilds
Summer Wild Fruits, Nuts, Berries and Flowers
Summer Fish
Summer Insects
Summer Most Wanted Items
Summer Birthdays and Festivals
Autumn Season
Autumn Crops
Items found in the Wilds
Autumn Wild Fruits, Nuts, Berries and Flowers
Autmn Fish
Autumn Insects
Autumn Most Wanted ITems
Autumn Birthdays and Festivals
Winter Season
Winter Crops
Items Found in the Wilds
Winter Wild Fruits, Nuts, Berries and Flowers
Winter Fish
Winter Insects
Winter Most Wanted Items
Winter Birthdays and Festivals


This Guide consists of a Perpetual Calendar for Hero of Leaf Valley, with important information for each Season entered beneath the heading for the Season. It includes all Birthdsys and Festivals as well as Seasonal Crops, Items found in the Wilds, Season-Specific Fish and Most Wanted Lists.

Events that occur are NOT included in this Guide but can be found in my HoLV 1st Year Events Calendar Guide and HoLV 2nd Year Events Calendar Guide at:

Hero of Leaf Valley 1st Year Events Calendar Guide:

Hero of Leaf Valley 2nd Year Events Calendar Guide

The first two years of the game are critical in that the game automatically will end if you fail to save the Valley from the threat of development into an Amusement Park. All Events connected to this goal as well as Friendship Events are included in the Events Calendar Guides for the first two years.

In 'Hero of Leaf Valley', your quest to save the Land can be performed in a number of different ways and each 'Happy Ending' has its own pivotal Characters and Events. Fundamental to ANY successful completion of your Quest is the need to raise the Friendship Levels of other Characters in the Valley.

As in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game, Friendship Levels increase when you 'meet and greet' Characters regularly and give them items that they particularly like or love. A Birthday Gift has a greater value in Friendship Points than the same item would have if given to the Character on an ordinary day. Remembering Birthdays therefore is a key element in Harvest Moon.

Being aware of Festivals, their schedules and any possible results is important. Race Days are an opportunity to make money through wagering as well as winning prizes by entering your Horse and winning one of the three Races for the first time. The Harvest Goddess Festival in Spring is an opportunity to boost Friendship/Heart Levels with a Gift. The Harvest Festival in Autumn is a romantic Festival.

When you begin 'Hero of Leaf Valley', only two dates will appear on the Calendar on your Wall.


11 Spring: Harvest Goddess Festival

22 Spring: Race Day

Whenever you meet a new Character, however, his/her Birthday immediately will be added to your Calendar.

Seasonal Changes

In any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game, the change in Seasons will have an effect not only on the Crops you can grow but on the Items found in the Wilds as well. In HoLV, there are other Seasonal effects that are linked both to Individuals and local Merchants. These are the Most Wanted Lists and Delivery Requests that appear in the Menus of the local Shops as well as the Villa.

Delivery Requests are Year-Specific with a three-year rotation schedule. In other words, Delivery Requests for the 1st Year will be valid in the 4th Year and so on. Most Wanted Items Lists, on the other hand, are valid every Year. I therefore have included the Most Wanted Lists for each Season beneath the Season heading on the Calendar, as this is a Perpetual Calendar, valid for every year.

Perpetual Calendar

In this Perpetual Calendar, you will find all Birthdays listed with a 'Most Favourite' Gift valued at +3 FP first followed by other suggested Gifts that are less expensive but worth at least +2 FP. Beneath the heading of each Season, you will find Seasonal Crops that can be grown only in that Season followed by 'Other Crops' that can be grown in other Seasons as well. Fish that are specific to the Season likewise are listed first followed by the Fish that can be caught in other Seasons as well. Insects are listed in the same fashion. Items found in the Wilds as well as Wild Fruits, Nuts, Berries and Flowers have been included. Most Wanted Items for each Season are given here although they can be found in the HoLV Shops and Businesses Guide. I have not included Delivery Requests as they change on an annual basis. The information included in the Perpetual Calendar is valid for every year.


Spring Crops: Strawberry, Carrot
Other Crops: Potato, Tomato, Corn, Breadfruit, Alfalfa, Rice

Items Found in the Wilds: Red Herb, Green Herb, Grass, Common Seashell, Wonderful Seashell, Coral, Clam

Spring Wild Fruits, Berries, Nuts and Flowers: Apple, Cranberry, Orange, Very Berry, Blueberry, Moondrop Herb

Spring Fish: Huchen, Dace, Pale Chub, Dark Chub, Black Rockfish, Cobalt Rainbow Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Nagi, Rainbow Trout
Other Fish: Red Rockfish, Garden Eel, Sweetfish, Monkfish, Shrimp, Swordfish, Black Porgy, Mountain Grunt, Pacific Flying Squid, Porgy, Octopus, Surfsmelt, Loach, Albacore, Black Bass, Blotched Snakehead

All Seasons: Pirate Treasure, Sunken Treasure, Treasure Chest, Earthenware, Unusual Pot

Spring Insects: None limited to Spring
Other Insects: Swallowtail Butterfly, Drone Beetle, Monarch Butterfly, Grass Yellow, Caterpillar, Green Japonicus, Small White

Wanted Items Lists:
Grocery: Boiled Egg, Milk M, Fried Clam
Item Shop: Iron Ore, Copper Ore, Mineral Crystal
Florist: Fairy Dress Herb, Pink Cat Mint, Moondrop Herb, Coal
Cafe: Very Berry, Strawberry, Yogurt
Pub: Cheese, Black Truffle, Green Herb
Bob: Alfalfa Sprouts, Mineral Crystals
Carpentry: Blue Rock, Silver, Copper Ore
Villa: Rainbow Trout, Milk M, Carrot

1 Spring: Renton's Birthday (Grass, Any Nut or Berry)

5 Spring: Alice's Birthday (Rare Metal, Mineral Crystal, any Nut/Berry)

11 Spring: Harvest Goddess Festival
Ronald's Birthday (Boiled Egg, Any Nut or Berry)

6.00 a.m. Letter Announcement of Festival:

Harvest Goddess Festival (star)
Today is the Harvest Goddess Festival! Is there some one you'd like to thank? Is there some one you have a crush on? Take this opportunity to give a gift to that special some one, and become even better friends!

Tip: Gifts given to any Character today have a higher FP value than they would on any ordinary day.

16 Spring: Parsley's Birthday (Cranberry, any Nut or Berry)

22 Spring: Race Day

Entries must be made before noon; Races run and Medals exchanged between 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m.

27 Spring: Lyla's Birthday (Pinkcat Herb, any flower, berry, nut)


Summer Crops: Watermelon, Wild Mint
Other Crops: Potato, Tomato, Corn, Breadfruit, Alfalfa, Rice

Items Found in the Wilds: Red Herb, Green Herb, Grass, Common Seashell, Wonderful Seashell, Coral

Summer Wild Fruits, Berries, Nuts and Flowers: Grapes, Cranberry, Chestnut, Walnut, Very Berry, Blueberry, Full Moon Berry, Moondrop Herb, Pinkcat Herb

Summer Fish: White-Spotted Char, Sweetfish, Squid, Longtooth Grouper, Dolphinfish, White Trevally, Catfish, Flounder
Other Fish: Greenling, Red Rockfish, Horse Mackerel, Garden Eel, Sweet Shrimp, Shrimp, Anchovy, Sardine, Eel, Swordfish, Blue Mackerel, Mackerel, Alaska Pollock, Pacific Flying Squid, Porgy, Octopus, Loach, Black Bass, Blue Hornard, Blotched Snakehead, Lobster

All Seasons: Pirate Treasure, Sunken Treasure, Treasure Chest, Earthenware, Unusual Pot

Summer Insects: Rhinoceros Beetle, Pincer Beetle
Other Insects: Red Dragonfly, Golden-Ringed Dragonfly, Lesser Emperor Dragonfly, Swallowtail Butterfly, Drone Beetle, Monarch Butterfly, Grass Yellow, Caterpillar, Common Skimmer, Green Japonicus, Small White

Most Wanted Lists:
Grocery: Black Watermelon, Strawberry Jam, Broiled Loach, Fried Corn
Item Shop: Red Herb, Pontata Root, Common Seashell
Florist: Frost Pansy, Fairy Dress Herb, Silverbell Herb
Cafe: Green Herb, Grapes, Chestnut
Pub: Porgy, Blotched Snakehead, Broiled Eel, Gazpacho
Bob: N/A
Carpentry: Gold Ore, Silver Ore, Coal
Villa: Garden Eel, Tomato, Corn, Full Moon Berry

1 Summer: Earth Day
Bob's Birthday (Honey, Fodder, Egg)

8 Summer: Gwen's Birthday (Full Moon Berry, any Berry or Nut)

10 Summer: Joe's Birthday (Any Fish)

14 Summer: Rudolph's Birthday (Rare Metal, Mineral Crystal, Red Herb)

15 Summer: Zann's Birthday

20 Summer: Fireworks Day

21 Summer: Wallace's Birthday (Boiled Egg, Any Berry/Nut)

24 Summer: Chester's Birthday (Rare Metal, Any Berry/Nut)

27 Summer: Race Day
Entries must be made before noon; Races run and Medals exchanged between 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m.


Autumn Crops: Pumpkin, Onion, Frost Pansy, Mistbloom
Other Crops: Potato, Tomato, Corn, Breadfruit, Alfalfa, Rice

Items Found in the Wilds: Red Herb, Green Herb, Grass, Common Seashell, Wonderful Seashell, Coral, Clam

Autumn Wild Fruits, Berries, Nuts and Flowers: Grapes, Apple, Cranberry, Chestnut, Walnut, Full Moon Berry, Pinkcat Herb

Autumn Fish: Leatherfish, Salmon, Pike, Tuna
Other Fish: Greenling, Red Rockfish, Horse Mackerel, Sweet Shrimp, Shrimp, Anchovy, Sardine, Eel, Chicken Grunt, Mountain Grunt, Black Scraper Fish, Raven Globefish, Tiger Globefish, Blue Mackerel, Mackerel, Alaska Pollock, Pacific Flying Squid, Black Porgy, Octopus, Ocellated Octopus, Sakura Salmon, Black Bass, Dark Sleeper, Albacore, Blue Hornard, Blotched Snakehead, Lobster, Smelt

All Seasons: Pirate Treasure, Sunken Treasure, Treasure Chest, Earthenware, Unusual Pot

Autumn Insects: Blue Damselfly
Other Insects: Red Dragonfly, Golden-Ringed Dragonfly, Lesser Emperor Dragonfly, Swallowtail Butterfly, Drone Beetle, Monarch Butterfly, Grass Yellow, Caterpillar, Common Skimmer, Green Japonicus, Small White

Most Wanted Lists:
Grocery: Cranberry Jam, Stewed Apple, Baked Golden Potato
Item Shop: Moonlight Stone, Scrap Metal, Red Herb, Super Mushroom
Florist: Mineral Crystal, Wild Mint,Fairy Dress Herb, Stardust
Cafe: Cranberry, Pumpkin, Chestnut, Full Moon Berry
Pub: Big Mushroom, Clam, Pike
Bob: N/A
Carpentry: Sapphire, Ruby, Opal
Villa: Onion, Apple, Orange

2 Autumn: Louis' Birthday (Egg, any Berry or Nut)

5 Autumn: Aurelia's Birthday (Lumber, any Berry or Nut)

10 Autumn: Harvest Festival

6.00 a.m. Announcement Letter in Postbox
You may receive a visit from the Eligible Girl with the highest Heart Level inviting you to the Dance; Dance held until 4.00 p.m. at Plaza

Go to the Plaza before 4.00 p.m. to experience the Festival Dance.

12 Autumn: Tim's Birthday (any Insect or Egg)

20 Autumn: Gina's Birthday (Large Fish, any Berry, Nut or Egg)

25 Autumn: Race Day

Entries must be made before noon; Races run and Medals exchanged between 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m.

29 Autumn: Katie's Birthday (Full Moon Berry, Egg, any Berry or Nut)


Winter Crops: Spinach, Stardust
Other Crops: Potato, Tomato, Corn, Breadfruit, Alfalfa

Items Found in the Wilds: Red Herb, Green Herb, Grass, Common Seashell, Wonderful Seashell, Coral

Winter Wild Fruits, Berries, Nuts and Flowers: Cranberry, Chestnut, Apple, Orange

Winter Fish: Char, Right-Eyed Flounder, Cod, Pacific Herring, Young Amberjack, Amberjack, Masu Salmon
Other Fish: Greenling, Red Rockfish, Monkfish, Chicken Grunt, Mountain Grunt, Black Scraper Fish, Raven Globefish, Tiger Globefish, Alaska Pollock, Pacific Flying Squid, Black Porgy, Octopus, Ocellated Octopus, Sakura Salmon, Black Bass, Dark Sleeper, Blotched Snakehead, Smelt, Surfsmelt

All Seasons: Pirate Treasure, Sunken Treasure, Treasure Chest, Earthenware, Unusual Pot

Winter Insects: None
Other Insects: Caterpillar

Most Wanted Lists:
Grocery: Boiled Egg, Onion Soup, Doria, Clam Chowder
Item Shop: Pontata Root, Mineral Crystal, Coal
Florist: Alfalfa Sprouts, Red Herb, Fairy Dress Herb, Mistbloom
Cafe: Strawberry, Grape, Watermelon, Green Herb
Pub: Porgy, Cheese, Milk M
Bob: N/A
Carpentry: Lumber, Scrap Metal
Villa: Amberjack, Smelt, Carrot, Potato

2 Winter: Woody's Birthday (Lumber or Golden Egg, Any Nut/Berry or Egg)

9 Winter: Dia's Birthday (Blueberry or Frost Pansy, Any Berry or Nut)

10 Winter: Kurt's Birthday (Tomato, Nut or Berry)

23 Winter: Liar's Day

Charles' Birthday (Fluffy Bread, Mineral Crystal, any Ore, Red Herb)

25 Winter: Martha's Birthday (Fine Cheese, any Nut or Berry)

30 Winter: New Year's Day Festival

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cookbook and Items Lists in HoLV

I usually create a separate Items List/Shipping Guide for any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game but with HoLV, I decided to add the Items Lists to the Shops and Businesses Guide. It makes sense as you cannot SHIP items in HoLV, but you can sell them to local merchants.

The Items Lists with their ordinary selling prices are included at the end of the Guide, after the Delivery Requests Lists. So far, I have listed all Crops, all Ranch Products, all Items from the Wilds, Fish, all items from the Mine and all Cooked Dishes. I will add notes as to the merchants who will buy each category of item. I will try to add information as to when any merchant will pay a higher price, although that information is given in the Wanted Items Lists.

As far as the Cookbook is concerned, I have added a Table of Contents that lists all Recipes. Recipes in the Cookbook are organised according to Utensil, mainly because your Kitchen in HoLV is equipped with a Small Pot and a Small Frying Pan. I therefore felt that players would like to know the Recipes that could be made with those basic utensils.