Rune Factory 4 is the sixth entry in the Rune Factory series that mixes fantasy RPG elements with the farming simulation gameplay found in the Harvest Moon franchise. Neverland returned as the game's developer and Marvelous published the title in Japan on July 19, 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS, the franchise's debut on the platform. In 2013 XSEED, who had previously worked on Frontier, published the fourth Rune Factory in the United States instead of Natsume, who had traditionally been the series' publisher in North America. An high definition port of Rune Factory 4 was later announced for the Nintendo Switch in 2019 called "Rune Factory 4 Special" that will be developed by Hakama Inc. and features a number of enhancements.
Rune Factory 4 was very successful, becoming the best selling entry in the series and selling over 150,000 copies in Japan alone, so a fifth installment was quickly greenlit. However, due to various circumstances, Neverland filed for bankruptcy on November 29, 2013 and all future developments with the franchise were put on hold, including the European release of Rune Factory 4. It wasn't until 2019 that Rune Factory 5 was announced to be in development for the Nintendo Switch with former franchise staff, including series producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto, working on the title at Hakama.
The game starts out with the protagonist flying on an airship to deliver something of great importance to the kingdom of Selphia. However men in solider armor have stowed away on the airship and ambush the protagonist in attempt to get the item from them. A short battle ensues, leading to one of the soldiers hitting the protagonist on the back of the head causing them to black out. Upon waking it is discovered that the protagonist has lost all their memories and has no clue as to what is occurring on the ship. The armed soldiers don't believe the protagonist when they say they have lost their memory so they threaten them by pushing them up to the edge of the ship, threatening them to kick them over board. One of the soldiers, miss understand the others orders ends up kicking the protagonist off the side of the ship, sending them plummeting to the ground below.
The protagonist has their fall softened by landing on the head of a rather surprised green dragon. Upon waking the hero learned the dragon's name is Ventuswill who through a series of events leads the rest of the castle staff (where Ventuswill resides) into believe the character is the Prince of the kingdom they have been expecting to visit. The hero protests and declares they don't think that is who they are but they honestly can't remember. They are encouraged (and then basically forced) to spend the night in the royal suit.
The Next morning the hero is greeted by one of two butler characters depending on which gender the player has chosen to play as. Clorica for the male character, and Vishnal for the female character. The butler then gives the player a basic tutorial on the game play. They also give the hero their first set of equipment such as the water can.
The story then progresses when the actual Prince shows up and proves that the hero character is in fact not royalty. Through a sequence of events the hero is allowed to keep their room in the castle and continue acting as the Prince/Princess in the actual Prince's steed.
The game includes 3 Story arcs, each one continuing where the previous left off.
Much like the other Rune factory games Rune Factory 4 also includes farming, dungeon crawling, active time battles, and a relationship simulator. In this title however the concept of dating your would be spouse before getting married has been added, giving more depth to the relationship simulation.
The hero character and their chosen spouse also have the option to have a child in this game. The player can choose for the child to be ether male, female, or leave it up to being random. After a cut scene showing the baby growing up the player can then choose to have the child as a party member, who can be taken with them into dungeons to help defeat monsters.
This is the male protagonist. He lost his memory after falling from an airship in the sky. He becomes a prince by chance (and at the recommendation of Ventuswill). He has the qualities of an 'Earth-mate' which allows him to communicate with both monsters and nature.
This is the female protagonist. She lost her memory after falling from an airship in the sky. She becomes a princess by chance (and at the recommendation of Ventuswill). She has the qualities of an 'Earth-mate' which allows her to communicate with both monsters and nature.
A native dragon and dragon deity of the town of Selphia. She is also know as the divine wind. Being the town deity has given her a bit of a complex personality. She tries to keep up appearances as a firm all knowing being, when in reality she is kind, caring and loving dragon. She is the protector of Selphia and thus never leaves the town. She resides in a open courtyard like room in the center of the town castle.
The refined but strong head butler of Selphia castle. He has dedicated his life to serving the dragon Ventuswill. He is easily brought to tears and tends to get carried away. He is capable of super human feats, which he proclaims is just part of duty as a butler.
A female apprentice butler who is training under Volkanon. She is very fast getting her done work and does a great job, even though she always seems very sleepy and at times will even fall asleep standing up. She seems to not be very aware of the world around her.
An apprentice butler training under Volkanon who trains vigorously every day in hopes of become a full fledged butler. He believes butlers can do anything, which has lead him to try to become a well rounded jack of all trades.
A prince from the capital sent to Selphia who gives up his position in order to pursue his trade business. He is very intelligent and refined, but has an addiction to anything cute.
A dwarf who works/lives at the general store in Selphia. He has a bit of a temper and tends to say things without thinking them through.
A sweet kind elderly woman who owns and runs the general store in Selphia. She has become a sort of adoptive parent to Doug who helps her look after the store. She is often sick and has poor health but she still enjoys getting out and spending time with the other villagers.
A kind doctor who runs the village clinic with his wife Nancy. Even though he is a doctor he has a fear of blood. Rarely seen without his wife, the two seem to have no problem with little public displays of affection much to the dismay of the other villagers.
Jones' wife and nurse at the tiny bandage clinic in Selphia. She loves to talk and gets very excited when people drop by to chat. She and her husband are very in love still and have no problem being sappy in public, much to the dismay of the older two residents.
She runs the Bell Inn and bath house along side her daughter Xiao Pai. A bit of a klutz who some how always seems to have luck on her side. She is also very forgetful.
An energetic girl who works at the Bell Inn and bath house with her mother Xiao Pai. She is independent and hard working. She takes after her mother in the fact that she to is a klutz. Despite her cheerful and courageous attitude she is tends to feel very lonely at times.
Bado is the blacksmith in the town of Selphia. He is a dwarf who has very little enthusiasm about his work. He is a very talented blacksmith but a horrible sales person.
Porcoline De Saint-Coquille:
A chef who owns and runs the local restaurant in Selphia. He is a such a glutton for food that the dishes he cooks more often than not don't make it to the table of those who ordered it. He is very kind and is known to take in and look after anyone in need.
A musician at Porcoline's restaurant. She is a very hard working elf who is extremely scared of heights.
A knight who helps to protect the town of Selphia. She is very determined to keep the people and the town of Selphia safe so she trains every day. She is also very over protective of her little brother, Kiel. She is also terrified of ghosts.
Forte's little brother. He spends most of his time with his nose in a book studying. He is prone to gossip which often gets him into trouble.
An elf who runs the flower shop in Selphia. She is a self proclaimed great detective who loves to solve mysteries to the point of making one up when there are none to be solved. She is actually much older than she looks.
An innocent young girl with butterfly wings who was found by the hero in Yokmir forest upon the defeat of the monster Ambrosia. She has no memory of her past. She lives with Illuminata and helps to her run her flower shop and solve mysteries.
A mysterious girl who has a ghost by her side at all times. She has a very blunt personality and tends to come off as cold. She is actually a very kind and thoughtful person even though she doesn't often show it. She was discovered by the hero inside Obsidian mansion after the defeat of the boss Marionetta. With no memories of her past she now lives with Jones and Nancy at their clinic.
A friendly ghost who is attached to Dolce. She adores Dolce and calls her by the nickname Dolly. She is also a long time friend of Ventuswill.
Dylas is a young man discovered by the hero after the defeat of Thunderbolt in the water ruins. He has a very horse like appears with hair that resembles a main and a horse like tail. He is very awkward person and tends to be upsetting easily even though deep down he is a kind and caring person. Doesn't get along with Doug very well. Has no memories of his past and is taken in by Porcoline. He works as a waiter at the restaurant and loves to go fishing in his spare time.
A former dragon priest of Ventuswill with a sharp tongue who loves to tease others. He enjoys taking risks. He moves into the Bell inn upon arriving in town. He has the ears and tail of a fox.