Overview and Gameplay
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is the first Harvest Moon game to appear on the Nintendo Gamecube. It was later released for the PlayStation 2 as well. The basic gameplay that fans have grown to love remains unchanged in this iteration of Harvest Moon. Essentially, the player takes control of a farmer, who moves to Forget-Me-Not Valley from the city to take over the family farm and save it from bankruptcy. You can perform a variety of tasks including planting and harvesting crops, raising livestock, fishing, and interacting with villagers. As the days pass the seasons will change and your character goes through major changes.
You can pursue one of three girls and will eventually go on to marry one of them. You will also have a child and can raise him as you see fit. The activities you take part in with your child will eventually determine what kind of occupation they have when they grow up. As such, there are a variety of "endings" depending on how you chose to play the game. As in all Harvest Moon games, Forget-Me-Not Valley is filled with a variety of villagers that the player can interact with. During the course of the game new villagers will move in, others will leave or grow old and die. Depending on how you treat these villagers, they will grow to love you, or remain indifferent towards you.
The open world gives the player a lot of freedom on how to play the game and how to live your in-game "life". Because time is always passing when you play Harvest Moon, a major decision the player must make is how to spend your time. If you spend lots of time in your fields and with your animals you can become very rich, but you will have less time to talk to villagers and you won't be as popular. On the flip side, if you neglect your farming duties and spend lots of time socializing, you will be very popular but poor. Of course, how you spend time with your child influences him as well. Thus, different playthroughs can yield very different experiences and lends the game some replay value.
A remake was released under the name Harvest Moon : Another Wonderful Life
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Special Edition is an updated version of the original game for the PS2. The game was released in 2005 and for the most part provided players with the same experience they would expect from the original Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Special Edition is the English release of the same game in Japan entitled Harvest Moon: Oh! A Wonderful Life, which was released in Japan late in 2004. Finally Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Special Edition should not be confused with an updated GameCube release that allowed players to create a female main character. This separate game was released in July, 2005 with the name Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life
The update to Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life includes a newly updated soundtrack to the original game.
In addition players are given the option to marry Lumina, a character that was previously not an option for marriage in the original game. Players who marry Lumina are able to have either a son or daughter. The son of Lumina enjoys art and music, but does not take an interest in the game's actual focus, farming. His personality is shown to be shy and attached.
In the original game, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, having a daughter was not a possibility. With the inclusion of Lumina as a romantic option, players are also given the opportunity to have a daughter, a feature exclusive to Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Special Edition. The daughter of Lumina will still hold a closer resemblance to the main character, rather then that of Lumina herself.