Animal Crossing is a life-simulation game for the Nintendo GameCube, originally created by famed game designer Katsuya Eguchi. It was released on September 16, 2002, and has spawned two sequels, Animal Crossing: Wild World on the Nintendo DS and Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Nintendo Wii. Animal Crossing was one of the first games to take advantage of the Game Cube's internal clock, allowing the game to take place in real time. The original release of the GameCube version included a 59 block memory card, since the save data for the game took up a whopping 57 blocks.
The game begins with the player's character riding a train into town, where they hope to start a new life. Upon arriving in town, the player is saved from living on the streets with a little help from the local shop keep, Tom Nook. Taking pity on the player, Tom allows them to take out a mortgage on a small house in town. After being introduced to basic gameplay mechanics by running jobs for Tom Nook, he releases the player from his employ. The game opens up at this point, allowing the player to do as they please, be that paying off their debt or just fishing the days away.
Players can search the village for items and tools, interact with their town's residents, interact with special characters who pass through town, all the while paying of their debt to Tom Nook. After the players initial debt is payed off, they can have Tom Nook renovate their home, for a hefty fee of course. The player's manor can eventually reach an epic size, consisting of a basement, main floor, and upstairs area. Players are free to decorate theirs homes however they please, whether from decor bought from Tom Nook, or with items received from neighbors and special passerby. Up to four players may have a character living in the town at one time, but only one character may be played at a time.
The Animal Crossing franchise started in Japan on the Nintendo 64, debuting with the title of "Doubutsu no Mori," commonly translated by foreign press as "Animal Forest." While the original N64 version would never be released outside of Japan, the GameCube version retains much of the content that originally appeared in the N64 release.
The original version differed from the GameCube version in a number of respects, the most notable changes being different furniture sets, calendar events, and the implementation of the GameCube's internal clock. Most of these changes were made during the localization process for its worldwide release. A significant change was the clock, which could now take advantage of the GameCube's internal clock instead of being reset every time the N64 start-up. Although this version was first released in North America, the game was eventually re-released in Japan.
Animal Crossing allows the player an enormous amount of customization options. The player has the option to create new umbrellas, shirts and a matching hat, and wallpaper patterns for your house or avatar. The player's house can be customized to the unique tastes of the player by adding unique furniture pieces, different carpets and wallpapers, and a personalized greeting recited by the player's mail robot whenever another player visits. The size of the house can be expanded by paying off your mortgage to Tom Nook.
The design and layout of the player's house is rated by an organization known as the Happy Room Academy. Higher scores from the HRA can be achieved by using matching furniture and carpet, with high scores can lead to special furniture rewards.
Player customization is not limited to his or her appearance and their house. During conversation some villagers may ask the player for a new catch phrase which they will then use when addressing the player. The official town song can also be altered at the user's discretion.
Special Characters are found throughout the Animal Crossing gameplay experience. Certain characters will appear on special dated events (i.e. Tortimer), or appear regularly in ever town (i.e. Cooper). Some characters only show up when activating certain features (Kapp'n) or may appear after a certain time frame (Wisp). Whichever the case, each character have specific tasks to fill and their presence may be enjoyed by player throughout Animal Crossing.
|Blathers||Museum and Gallery curator|
|Chip||Fish Catching Tournament|
|Cooper||Head Town Officer|
|Gulliver||Stranded Beach Guest|
|Joan||Turnip Merchant Seller|
|Kapp'n||Island Ferrie Operator|
|Katrina||Town Psychic and Seer|
|K.K. Slider||Nomadic Town Singer|
|Mabel||Clothing and Textile Design Attendant|
|Pelly||Day Shift Town Hall Attendant|
|Pete||Letter Delivery Mailman|
|Phyllis||Night Shift Town Hall Attendant|
|Redd||Black Market Seller|
|Sable||Clothing and Textile Design Sewer|
|Saharah||Traveling Carpet Trader|
|Tom Nook||Locale Town Shop Owner|
|Tortimer||Locale Town Mayor|
|Wendell||Wandering Wallpaper Artist|
Upon exploring their village, players will notice that it is inhabited with anthropomorphic villagers. There are many ways to interact with these friendly critters, such as chatting them up in order to discover new game information, receive odd jobs, or just to learn about a neighbor's unique personality. Upon asking about any outstanding tasks, players can make a delivery, pick up an item the villager left at another person's house, catching a fish, or simply sending them a letter to further your friendship with them. The animals understand the letters you send them, and positive words that are related to the game are the key to keeping the animal's happy. Including a gift with your letters goes a long way towards this goal.
By popping their memory card into a friend's system, players can travel from their town to their friend's. While there, the player can socialize with the different town's people, sample exotic fruits that can be taken back home and planted in their own soil, and view unique fashions created by your friend. After visiting another village, residents from the player's town may move to their friend's village and allow new residents to take their place.
One of the major quests in the game involves the player's ability to collect certain species of fish, insects, and buried prehistoric fossils. All of these items can be donated to the local museum in your name, or sold to Tom Nook for a profit. Bugs are caught by using a net, fish with a fishing rod, and fossils are dug from the ground with a shovel. After catching every species of fish or insect one time, the player will receive a golden version of the specified tool (a golden net for catching all insects and a golden rod for catching all fish).
Time Specific Events
Time passes in the game in real time by using the GameCube's internal clock. This give the game the ability to feature holidays such as Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving in real time. Each holiday contains holiday specific events such as fireworks on the Fourth of July and a Santa Claus-like character who delivers presents on Christmas. There are also special ingame events that take place at specific times and on specific dates. For example, an enormous fishing tournament sweeps through town in July, and every Saturday night there is a musical performance outside the train station, put on by a local musician named KK Slider.
If the player has a Game Boy Advance and a Game Boy Advance connector cable handy, they can travel to a small tropical island. Once the GBA is hooked up, a kind turtle named Kapp'n shows up with a small boat at the village's dock. After the short voyage is completed, the player will find themselves on the island. There they will find a couple of nice bungalows, one for the player and one housing a single island inhabitant. The player's island home can be customized just like the one in the village. Once the player is done with the island, they must talk to Kapp'n to go back to town. Before this happens, Kapp'n asks if they want to save the island to the Game Boy Advance. If they do so, the player may continue to mess around on the island in the GBA. The things done in the Game Boy Advance may be uploaded to the island during the next visit.
As a way of customizing your house, the player may come across Nintendo Entertainment System games which can be played within Animal Crossing. Some games are easy to come by, while others require specific methods or a cheating device (Action Replay).
Common NES games, obtainable through normal gameplay:
These require a GBA->GameCube link cable and a GBA:
All preceding NES games are also obtainable by entering a 30-character code (one code per NES game) at Tom Nook's store.
These require entering a 30-character code:
These two require an e-Reader, one specific e-Card (per NES game), a Game Boy Advance, and GBA->GameCube link cable:
Finally, these last two were never officially obtainable. An Action Replay or similar unauthorized modification can be used to obtain them:
A small group of hobbyist cryptographers and hackers dedicated some time looking for functional passwords that would unlock the last four games listed here. This was because they required the purchase of additional hardware and cards, whereas the others could be obtained with codes or normal gameplay. Their search was ultimately unsuccessful. Eventually, it was found through debugging tools that Animal Crossing specifically checks the passwords that players input: if passwords are supposed to give one of the four games (the "Forbidden Four", as the hobbyists called them), the game instead tells the player that the code is invalid. However, the password system was extensively reverse-engineered as a result of this effort, and password generators (that can give most items) now exist because of it.
- 1-4 players Alternating
- Memory blocks needed: 58-61 (memory card included)
- Game Boy Advance compatible
- e-Reader compatible