Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town


Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
Harvest Moon- FoMT.jpg
Developer(s) Marvelous Interactive Inc.
Publisher(s) Natsume Co., Ltd
Nintendo Australia Pty. Ltd
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance
Release date(s)
  • JP April 18, 2003
  • NA November 17, 2003
  • EU March 26, 2004
Genre(s) Simulation/Role-playing
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ESRB: E

Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (Bokujou Monogatari: Mineral Town no Nakama Tachi in Japan) is a video game for the Game Boy Advance, developed by Marvelous Interactive Inc. and published in the U.S. by Natsume. It was first released in Japan, in April 2003.

The game follows along the same lines as the rest of the Harvest Moon series, in which the player takes on the role of a farmer whose only goal in the game is to make a profit from the farm he runs. This includes producing crops and raising livestock. The player can also marry one of five women in the town or the Harvest Goddess, a nature spirit who lives next to Mineral Town. The setting of the story (Mineral Town) was also in another Harvest Moon game: Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. Friends of Mineral Town is, in many ways, an enhanced Game Boy Advance port of that game.

Contents

Story and gameplay

The main character in the game has no default name, but Natsume has referred to him as "Pete" in screenshots and in other Harvest Moon games.[1][2] Marielle Bond and Daniella Dunphy thought that it would be appropriate to put a fairly common name for this default name. The player is a young boy living in the city whose parents come up with the idea to take him to see the country, believing it would be good for him. During their trip, the player becomes lost, and in the process he finds himself on the farm of an old man, located in Mineral Town. The old man helps him contact his parents, and in the end offers to let him stay for a few days, being that he has no children of his own. The player's parents agree, and the player stays on the farm for a while. On the farm, the player plays with a girl who then becomes friends with him.

After the player leaves Mineral Town with his parents, he continues to write letters to the old man. However, one day, when he has grown up, the letters from his friend suddenly stop. Concerned for the farmer's well-being, he travels back to Mineral Town, only to find an empty, run-down farm. It is discovered that the old man had died around half a year ago, and Thomas, the mayor of Mineral Town, informs the player that in his will, the old man left the farm to him. The player then makes it his mission to restore the farm to its former glory.

An in-game screenshot of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town

Initially there is very little on the farm, save for some old tools. The player must begin by clearing the large field on the farm of weeds, tree stumps, twigs and rocks, all varying in size. From there, the player must plant a variety of crops to earn money to buy other needed things, such as livestock, in order to run a successful farm.

The social aspect of Friends of Mineral Town, as in other Harvest Moon games, is a very large part of the game. There are many villagers to befriend, and in doing so the player may unlock certain items and events that otherwise would be inaccessible. There are six eligible bachelorettes to choose from: Ann, Elli, Karen, Popuri, Mary, and the Harvest Goddess. Once married, it is possible to have a son.

The game offers connectivity with the Nintendo GameCube game Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life using a link cable between the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GameCube.

Animals

The player is given a dog in the beginning that he or she may name, who can be involved in the Frisbee Tournament in Summer. Shortly after meeting Barley for the first time, he will stop by the player's farm early in the morning with a young horse. Barley will ask the player if they can take care of the horse. If the player accepts, they will have exactly one year to be with the horse, then Barley will return for it. If the horse has 3 hearts or more when he returns, he will allow the player to keep the horse. To increase the number of hearts, the player can buy a brush at the blacksmith's store and brush and talk to the horse regularly. When the horse is fully grown and wears a saddle, the player can ride the horse around the farm and enter in the spring and fall horse races. There are three kinds of livestock - cows, chickens, and sheep and they all must be bought. Cows produce milk, chickens produce eggs, and sheep produce wool, which can be shipped off to be sold. All the livestock produce will sell for more if the animals have maximum affection for the player, and also if they win specific contests. Placing an egg in an incubator will result in hatching a baby chick three days later. Cows and sheep will fall pregnant with a special potion purchased from Yodel Farm. Chickens will live inside a chicken coop, and it may be upgraded to accommodate eight chickens, although they will not need to be fed if left outside. To prevent any wild dog attacks, chickens should be fenced in these conditions. Cows and sheep live in a barn, which also may be upgraded, but this time to accommodate sixteen animals. The cows and sheep can also be left outside so long as there is tall grass for them to eat. The player is required to talk to or pick up all animals, feed them and brush them to raise affection. During typhoons and snowstorms, animals can not be accessed. They are likely to become unhappy if they are not fed. Eventually, livestock may become ill and can die if they are not treated with animal medicine. Animals die of old age after several years.

Tools

The player will start off with an axe, hammer, watering can, sickle, and hoe, which can be used to do farm work. Going to Zack's house on the beach with an empty slot for a tool in your rucksack will earn the player a fishing rod. Initially, the tools will only work on one square of farmland at a time. Their range and ease of use can be improved by raising the experience level and by combining them with 'Ores' at the blacksmith shop, where the player can also find the cowbell, shears, and a milker. There are also cursed tools located deep in the mine, which once equipped by the player cannot be put away until blessed at the confessional at in the church. Other miscellaneous items that take up the tool slots include seeds and a teleport stone.

Cooking

After upgrading his or her house, the player may purchase a kitchen from the TV shopping network. He or she may then purchase various cooking utensils including a pot, whisk, knife, frying pan, seasoning set, rolling pin, and a mixer. Through experimenting on their own or by befriending townsfolk and getting recipes from them, the player can create a collection of recipes to remake or improve. There is also a cooking show on the television on Tuesdays and, after becoming good enough friends with Anna, the player can go to her house on Saturdays to attend a little cooking class.

Reception

IGN rated the game at 8.9, or "great", saying that it was "deceptively engrossing", and that the graphical presentation of the day to night cycles was very well done .[3]

Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town

Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town is the female version of Friends of Mineral Town. More Friends of Mineral Town is nearly identical to Friends of Mineral Town, except the main character is a girl (as opposed to a boy), and can marry one of the five normal bachelors: Kai, Rick, Doctor, Cliff and Gray; and another three special bachelors in Mineral Town: Won, the Kappa, and the Gourmet Judge. Besides that, the game remains almost unchanged, with the exception of several gameplay changes, improvements, and tweaks.

References

External links


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