from the first Rune Factory
has gone missing without a word of where she would have gone to and why. Raguna
has decided to go after her, despite the fact that Mist and Raguna are not in a relationship, contrary to the idea that she was your default partner in original game. At his first day of his search, Raguna ends up in "Enter Name Here" Village where he finds a roof for the night in the local church ran by Sister Stella. The next day after waking up, he thanks Sister Stella for the shelter and heads for the doors of the church to go outside and continue his search. Just then, the doors open and a girl enters the church. Raguna is flabbergasted to see that this girl who just entered the church is Mist. Upon asking her why she left the village without word of her departure she replies that "someone is calling her" and proposes/forces Raguna to stay in the village with her there being an empty farm not far from the house where she is now staying that he could use. The two of them head outside Raguna still not understanding what is going on, just when he is about to ask Mist more about this "someone calling her," he gazes at the sky and sees a huge whale-shaped island floating in the sky. Mist tells him that the island is called Whale Island and that there is even a cave inside of it.
Rune Factory Frontier has a gameplay like the rest of the Rune Factory franchise. The game takes place in real time with characteristics of Harvest Moon with farming and RPG elements like the health bar and the rune point bar which is used whenever the player does any action including spell casting, farming, hoeing, and water. There is a limit to how much RP can be used and after this is completely used it lowers the players HP. HP and RP can be replenished in various ways including specific foods and items, resting for the night, touching runes, and taking a bath. The time in which the player wakes up or has a full HP or RP is dependent on the time in which the player rests for the night. Sleeping before 11 PM causes the player to wake up at 6 AM and any later can cause the player to wake up at 8, 9, or 10 AM with a chance of not regenerating all of their HP or RP and could cause a cold.
Primary parts of the game play in Rune Factory Frontier include the gathering of resources as ore, gold, lumber, and items. Ore can be used to create equipment and weapons or to upgrade them. The construction of improvements for the players house are all paid in gold which can be gained when selling crops from the farming portion of the game and selling. Lumber is also used for house upgrades and making more barns to care for monsters.
Runeys are a new addition to Rune Factory Frontier which are needed to make Rune Wonders to grow in the field. Each area outside of dungeons has its own Runey ecosystems where Runeys are grown and the number of Runeys changes as through time the Runeys eat each other. There are four types of Runeys: Grass who are found in most open areas, Rock which are the least common, Tree found in forested areas, and Water who are around bodies of water. Runeys have a food chain in which in the Japanese version, water eats tree, tree eats grass, grass eats stone, and stone eats water. In the North American version water eats rock, rock eats tree, tree eats grass, and grass does not eat any other Runeys. Runeys depend on each other for survival so usually a few of each kind keeps the area in balance.
Players have the ability to build relationships and marry one of the women characters. Marrying causes a baby to be born who will later walk around with the player in town.
Various activities can also be done by the player including taming, cooking, fishing, crafting, and creating potions in the lab.
Rune Factory: Frontier emphasizes on farming which is used to receive an income to buy items and heal in dungeons. Seeds to make crops are bought in town and are varied by pricing, how long it takes to grow, and season. They can be then sold for a profit.
Before being able to farm crops, the land needs to be cleared from any rocks or stumps which can be removed by axes or hammers and weeds, withered grass, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, grass and herbs which can be removed by using a sickle, sold for money, or used as ingredients. Then when the land is ready with a hoe, and watered everyday, it can be harvested when it is mature. Weather can affect the field in various ways with when it is sunny, the player will have to water every plant like it is most usually, rainy in which the player would not have to water plants but is more rare, and in times a storm hits the town causing the player to not be able to leave their house for the day. The next day after a storm, the field will be in chaos with debris covering the land that destroyed the previously occupied crops.
Specific crops can only be grown in specific seasons and be watered daily to be able to harvest them. There are four seasons which are: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Crops can grown in every season except Winter when the field is just covered in snow. Crops can also be grown in dungeons which each have a season. Whale Island is year round, Green Ruins is always Spring, Lava Ruins is Summer, and Snow Ruins is Fall. Growing in dungeons lets the player grow crops that can take over 30 days to harvest.
When crops are ready to harvest, each crop receives a given sprout unique to that crop with some leaving unoccupied soil when harvested while others generate more fruit or vegetables for the rest of the season.
Rune Factory: Frontier has combat similar to any other RPGs in which that the player equips a weapon like a sword, hammer, staff and equipment like accessories. Most of the accessories and weapons available are not able to be bought but created or upgrade in the forge. Spells can be also used in combat. Loosing all HP in combat will cause a game over but when not in combat will just cause the player to be brought back to their home.
Experience points are received when the main character defeats a monster. After the meter in the Status screen is filled up, the player levels up which automatically restores HP and RP and increases stats.
Combat can be aided by tamed monsters who also have health and can attack monsters. If a monster looses all of their HP they will simply return to the barn.
Monsters in Rune Factory Frontier are founded in dungeons in where there is typically a boss battle. Many of the enemies encountered in dungeons can cause status ailments that mostly wear off given time. Poison, paralysis, seal, tired, and cold are the statues ailments that occur and sometimes can be removed at the infirmary.
In Rune Factory Frontier, the player has the ability to develop relationships with the characters as a friend or romantic relationships. Romantic relationships can be developed with the potential wife female characters (12). Friendship rating and love points are the rating for relationships. Relationships can be developed by conversing with the characters and giving them items they like.
Below is a list of potential wife characters with a description.
- Anette - Trampoli's mail-woman who doesn't live in town until later in the game
- Bianca - Extraordinarily wealthy but bored most of the time
- Cinnamon - Kanno's silent granddaughter who enjoys fishing and astronomy
- Eunice - Daughter of Turner and Rita. Enjoys sweets and can change of appearance depending on choices the player makes
- Iris - Two twins who are two parts of the same. Likes flowers and dislikes garlic.
- Lara - Runs the infirmary inside the church. Take cares of sick villagers and likes Strawberry Jam
- Melody - Runs the bath house in Trampoli. Is interested in magic and likes tea.
- Mist - Likes flowers, turnips, and anything related to turnips.
- Rosetta - Competitive, and owns the store in town. Likes cherry pie.
- Selphy - Loves book an is the librarian. Likes gifts that can be enjoyed with one hand like sandwiches.
- Tabatha - Bianca's maid and loves the company of monsters.
- Uzuki - Is from a distant country and enjoys sashimi.
In Rune Factory: Frontier, monsters are able to be tamed with each monster doing a different task. Some help to fight, while others help in the field, or create items. To tame a monster, a brush is needed and a barn is needed to hold the monsters. Each monster needs fodder to be fed and the player can develop a relationship to produce higher quality items. Fodder can be grown or be bought by the player.
Monsters are also able to be bred by using a rune stone. It usually takes 10 days for the egg which appears to hatch.
Japanese pre-orders received a so-called "Drama CD" and some turnip seeds.