Instead of playing as a male farmer, the player is offered (through a series of less than subtle questions) one of two female characters; the blonde “Claire” from Harvest Moon for Girls and More Friends of Mineral Town, or the brunette character “Jill” of Another Wonderful Life fame.
To create a lucrative and flourishing ranch, the player’s objective is to raise animals and grow crops, and sell the fruits of these labours. The player may also propose, once the Harvest Goddess has been rescued, to one of six (eleven, if Friends of Mineral Town or More Friends of Mineral Town is inserted into the GBA cartridge slot) bachelors. A similar ceremony called the “Best Friends” system may be performed with one of the four special bachelorettes from the original DS game in the Japanese version. A child can be born from any married couple, male or female.
The premise of the story is near identical to Harvest Moon DS. Because of the characters extreme laziness, the Harvest King sends the Harvest Goddess and all of the sprites to a different world. It is the job of the player to rescue the Sprites, when 60 have been rescued the Harvest Goddess is restored. Once the Harvest Goddess is back, the player can then propose.
Differences from Harvest Moon DS
· The most obvious is gender, and two playable characters.
· Outfit colours can be changed, with 18 outfits for each character.
· House wallpaper/carpet combinations are customisable.
· A child may be male or female; however gender is randomly determined.
· Certain Casino rules have changed
· Many glitches have been fixed.
There are four different kinds of field that can be farmed on, harvesting time being decided by this.
· Slow; crops take an extra day to mature
· Normal; this includes your own farm. Crops grow at the average rate.
· Fast; crops take one less day to mature. The field near the Goddess pond is considered fast.
· Super; crops take two days less to mature. The only place this happens is in the secret Waterfall cave.
There are several different ways to purchase seeds. Karen fromcan be contacted over the telephone, and she will sell the same seeds at the same price as Vesta’s Farm. Seeds will change each season, to reflect what can be grown in that period. Special seeds are available from the Sprite Casino, with the correct number of Medals as payment. Flower seeds can be created using the Seed Maker, which changes any flowers you forage into a bag of seeds. Also, giant versions of produce can sometimes be found, which sell for ten times that of their normal-sized counterparts. There is a very slim chance of this happening however.
Seeds need watered every day (unless it’s raining - but seeds planted indoors still require watering) using the Watering Can, which can be filled up at any body of water. When crops mature after a certain number of days, the produce can be harvested and shipped. Crops will die at the end of each season, leaving the player to plant new ones more appropriate for the time of year.
A great deal of interacting with the livestock is done on the bottom screen, making use of the DS’ functionality. Activities such as milking, shearing and grooming occur on the touch screen, with the quality and quantity of produce directly related to the player’s skill. Wool and milk can still be obtained without using the lower screen and stylus, but it will be less and therefore with a reduction of profit. Cows can be milked every day, and sheep shorn every eight days.
Chickens and ducks lay eggs. Chickens will lay eggs consistently every day, but ducks only every two days. Feed for the poultry can only be purchased from Popuri over the telephone, and cannot be made by the player. The more affection a bird has for you will directly increase egg size.
Marriage and Children
Heart events are triggered (by you or your rival) when each bachelor has a certain amount of Love Points for the character. These can be viewed by equipping the Love Ring item.
· Carter – rivalled by Flora
· Griffin – rivalled by Muffy
· Gustafa – rivalled by Nami
· Marlin – rivalled by Celia
· Rock – rivalled by Lumina
The special boy is Skye. He is different from the other bachelors in that he will only show up at night, in sunny weather.
Mineral Town boys
There is also the option (in the Japanese version of the game) to “marry” (inasmuch as go through a ceremony and even have children with) one of the four special bachelorettes of the original DS game. Once you have fulfilled the same requirements, you can propose to one of the following, and have a random sprite child gifted to you by the Harvest Lord;
· The Harvest Goddess
· The Witch Princess
· Leia the mermaid
If you manage to keep your spouse’s Love Points above 60, 000 for 30 days, the player will fall pregnant and be told at the Doctor’s clinic they are with child. After another 60 days the child will be born.
As in most Harvest Moon games, there are numerous festivals and other activities and aspects of gameplay that add to the overall experience. Fishing and mining are included in the game, as well as a wealth of tools that can be levelled up and several mini games in which the player can earn bonuses for the character, such as the Goddess’ High-Low minigame. You can also make friends with all of the villagers, and hire the sprites that you rescue to take over certain farming chores for you.