Harvest Moon: Magical Melody

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Harvest Moon: Magical Melody
Harvest Moon - Magical Melody Coverart.png
North American cover art for GameCube
Developer(s) Marvelous Interactive
Publisher(s)
Designer(s) Yasuhiro Wada
Series Harvest Moon
Platform(s) GameCube
Wii
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Role-playing video game, Social simulation
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer
Distribution 1 × Nintendo optical disc

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (牧場物語 しあわせの詩 for ワールド Bokujō Monogatari: Shiawase no Uta for Wārudo?, literally "Farm Story: Song/Poem of Happiness for World") is a social simulation video game for the Nintendo GameCube developed by Marvelous Interactive. It is an updated version of Bokujō Monogatari: Shiawase no Uta (牧場物語 しあわせの詩?), which was only released in Japan. The updated GameCube version was released in the United States by Natsume on March 28, 2006. For its European release by Rising Star Games, it was developed for the Wii console and released on March 14, 2008.[3] The Wii version of the game was also released in Australia on April 3, 2008 and in North America on August 25, 2009. The game was not released on the Wii in Japan. The Wii versions in all territories added motion-sensitive controls for actions such as fishing, mining and foraging[4] but removed the option to play as a female character.

Gameplay[edit]

Among a vast variety of possible personal goals to be accomplished in Magical Melody, there are two primary objectives.

Firstly, players are enlisted by the Harvest Sprites to awaken the Harvest Goddess, who has turned herself to stone out of melancholy at the townspeople's disregard. To do this, players must gather musical notes by achieving various chores and milestones. Collecting at least fifty out of a total of one hundred notes allows the player to create the titular magical melody that will revive the village's protectress.

Secondly, the player is able to woo and eventually marry one of the townspeople. Players have the option of either a male or female character in the GameCube version.[5] Each gender has a choice of ten potential spouses of the opposite sex, along with the androgynous rival Jamie who is eligible for either player gender.

The game also includes several minigames in which up to four players can test their skills.

Marriage[edit]

Players can only get married after meeting a number of requirements, such as getting the "blue feather".

About a season after marriage, the player and their spouse are revealed to be expecting a child. The player and their spouse will end up in Alex's clinic, where he will inform them that the female is pregnant. Approximately two seasons later, the player and their spouse will again be taken to the clinic, where the female now gives birth to the baby, which the player will be able to name. Woody supplies the player with a crib for the newborn.

At first, the baby is very small and still. As it becomes older, it begins to crawl. A year after its birth, the player will awaken to find their spouse in a panic about a missed checkup for the child. The family will immediately visit the Clinic, where the baby takes its first steps. After this achievement, the child does not grow any older. Its appearance therefore remains same, and its gender is never directly specified.

There are also rival events. These events happen between other characters. Usually in the rival events, they will flirt with each other. If you have enough rival events, two other characters will get married. The couples in rival events are Carl and Ellen, Ray and Maria, Alex and Gina, Dan and Eve, Bob and Gwen, Basil and Nina, Louis and Lyla, Blue and Ann, and Joe and Katie.

Also, you can marry Jamie no matter what gender your character is. However, you must meet difficult requirements to marry Jamie: You must have at least 50 notes, use the Miracle Potion on each animal, ship every crop, and have the blue feather. When showing Jamie the blue feather, she'll mention that since the Harvest Goddess has awakened, she was planning on leaving town, and if you still wish to marry her, you'll have to leave. Your game will indeed end if you marry Jamie (although the wedding is different from the other average weddings).

Land[edit]

In this game, the "world" is the player's farmland. There are four different types of property that are able to be viewed in color code: blue represents player-owned property, yellow shows a townsperson's lot, red is Jamie's land, and green is public land. There are three different plots of land that the player may choose to settle on at the beginning of the game, each with advantages and disadvantages: Village Center, Riverside, and Oceanside. The town-based ranch is rather small, but it's close to the main village buildings and is fertile enough to raise fine crops. The land near the river is of average size for raising animals and has fertile soil for crops. The seaside property is very large and suitable for raising animals, but is the farthest from the town and infertile.[5]

It's possible to purchase additional land from Woody.[6] When the game first starts, the only available plots are the two that weren't originally chosen by the player. More opportunities to buy land are unlocked as the player's relationship with Mayor Theodore increases, and once the mayor reaches three hearts, twenty individual lots of the town's public land will be purchasable at the Workshop.

House[edit]

The player's house interior is now customizable, meaning that furniture may be bought, arranged, and placed in and out of storage. Like the previous Harvest Moon titles, the player can upgrade his or her house and buy extensions that make the house larger. This requires lumber, which can be bought from the Workshop or chopped individually. Chopped wood is added to the player's stockpile when he or she chops branches, which may be found on the ground or cut from trees and stumps.[7] The second and third house upgrades are only slightly larger than their previous states, but level 4 and 5 houses have two floors. A second or even a third house may be built once the player has obtained enough animals and lumber. In addition, all house upgrades allow the player to purchase more types of furniture for his or her house . You have to get furniture from Woody's shop or Ann's shop . To get the animals, go to Hank's shop . To build, go to Woody's shop .

Town[edit]

The town of Flower Bud Village, where the game is set, is found between the hills and the sea, bordered on the west by a lake. When the game begins, the town is fairly vacant, but new shops and characters will arrive in town after certain criteria are met, such as participating in a festival or shipping enough of a particular item. The hub of the town is centered around Flower Bud Square, where most festivals are held throughout the year. The shops in town sell everything the player will need to start a ranch, including animals, seeds, tools, and furniture. Houses, barns, and chicken coops can be built on the player's property with the hiring of the Workshop apprentices.[8] Not every piece of property can fit every type of building, so purchasing additional property may be necessary to have them constructed.

Tools[edit]

As in Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, tools can be upgraded if the player has enough experience using them. The player can either buy them new at the Junk Shop from Michael, which is rather pricey, or give the tool to Tai, the blacksmith, along with the appropriate ore. It costs a fee of 700G and a wait time of two days to upgrade a tool by one level, or 1500G and three days to upgrade a tool by two levels. An upgraded tool either affects a larger area (such as the watering can) or lowers the amount of swings required to complete a task (for example, the axe). All tools are kept in a toolbox at the player's house, but can be removed when needed and be kept in the character's rucksack along with other kinds of items.[9] The first rucksack holds 5 items, but it can be upgraded so that it can ultimately hold 15. The only tool in Magical Melody not found in any other Harvest Moon game, but now in "Tree of Tranquility" is the bonfire set, which starts a fire that can be used to cook fish and some vegetables and can be put out with the Watering Can.

Mining[edit]

Mining is done either in Moonlight Cave behind Jamie's ranch, which is open all year, or in the Lake Cave, accessible only when Sunny Lake freezes in the winter. The hammer is used to smash rocks and crystals to collect ores and gems, and the hoe is used to dig for clay, money, and medicinal pontana roots.[10] This game adds several other challenging aspects to mining, such as holes in the ground which can cause you to fall "up" to higher levels and "down" to lower levels. Now, when rocks are smashed, they may release colored gases that can be both harmful and helpful - the orange gas may stun you, but the pink gas can heal you. Unlike in other Harvest Moon games, time will continue to pass in the mine, adding to the challenge. On level 50 of the Lake Cave there are diamonds and other rarities. To get roots or clay(found mostly on level 2 of the Moonlight Cave) you must use your Hoe, but to get down to the levels with things on them you must bring your Hammer.

Fishing[edit]

Fishing is done anywhere where there is water. Various types of fish are found in different bodies of water throughout the town, like the lake, river, pond, delta, and ocean. An island can also be accessed for the purpose of fishing, but only once players have befriended the dolphin that can transport them there. A few species of fish, referred to as "kings," are very rare, and are often found under special weather conditions. Those 'kings' are the freshwater huchen (caught at Sunny Lake) and the saltwater squid prince (caught at island after typhoons/rain storms). There's also a rare fish called the jamasquid caught at the 100th floor of the lake cave in winter.

Crops and trees[edit]

Crops and trees can be grown anywhere on the soil. There are three types of soil: dry, moist, and wet (dry being the lightest and wet being the darkest in appearance). The dry soil is the least fertile, but the player can buy fertilizer to improve soil quality. The option to buy fertilizer is unlocked by shipping 10 limestones. In addition, crops can be grown on public land, but if a villager moves into that plot of land, the crops will be removed to make room. Each type of crop may be planted during only its one designated season and must be watered to grow. Trees can be planted in any season excluding winter, but all trees, except the bare-leaved Mora and Evergreen, will only bear fruit during their respective season. Plus the truffle grows around the Mora tree. Put your pig next to a Mora tree and wait for the pig to alert you.

Extensions[edit]

Extensions can be bought at the Workshop from Woody, Kurt, and Joe. The player can buy up to three houses, and upgrade each house up to a certain level.

Villagers[edit]

Villagers play a key role in the production of your farmland. Villagers can befriend you, and at certain heart levels, they'll stop by your abode and give you a gift. If you ignore certain villagers, they will leave for a while. Some of these villagers come home naturally, but others require you to ship certain items. The villagers who you have the best relationship with will appear at scheduled holidays/event. The eligible bachelor/bachelorette will appear and ask if you want to go on a "date" for certain holidays. A lot of the villagers provide information that is available once a day, and the information they give varies on their relationship with you. Most of the non-marriageable villagers run their business and provide goods for the player to use.

Animals[edit]

Much like the townsfolk, all wild animals love getting food and attention. The animals that are able to be befriended are the cuckoo, the duck, the monkey, the rabbit, the raccoon, the sparrow, the squirrel, the weasel, the cat, and the dolphin at the end of the dock.[11]

None of the wild animals throughout town may be adopted into the player's household. The only two animals that can be kept as pets are the dog and the pig. The dog is given to the player at the beginning of the game, and the pig is a gift given once the player purchases a barn. There is a variety of different livestock the player can own. This includes cows, horses, chickens, and sheep. Cows produce milk, chickens produce eggs, and sheep produce wool. Horses provide transportation, and the only income they bring in is when they are sold as adults.

Seasons[edit]

As with most Harvest Moon games, Magical Melody has four seasons. Each season lasts thirty days and encompasses its own holidays and character birthdays. The crops that can be grown and the items that can be foraged seasonally change. Villager residency and appearance may also change with the seasons.

Whenever a season ends, all crops still growing will immediately die and new crops may be planted. The only exception is winter, in which nothing can be planted.

Special events also take place in different seasons. Most of the animals in the village hibernate for the winter and will not be seen again until the spring. One exception is the weasel, which is in fact seen in winter only. One villager, Basil, will leave for the winter and return in the new year. Cultivated land and the age of wooden stakes may also be affected by the passage of time during the winter season.

Development[edit]

The American pre-order bonus was a collectible sheep plush that was included in the game when ordered from participating websites.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Release Dates". Gamespot. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Wii Release Dates". Gamespot. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Harvest Moon European Wii Release". Nintendo. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Harvest Moon Magical Melody UK product information page". Nintendo. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Instruction Booklet pg. 3
  6. ^ Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Instruction Booklet pg. 18
  7. ^ Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Instruction Booklet pg. 10-11
  8. ^ Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Instruction Booklet pg. 8-9
  9. ^ Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Instruction Booklet pg. 16-17
  10. ^ Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Instruction Booklet pg. 23
  11. ^ Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Instruction Booklet pg. 5

External links[edit]

"A Truly Magical Harvest Moon". Natsume. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2012.