Harvest Moon (series)

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For the first game in the series, see Harvest Moon (video game).
Harvest Moon
Harvest Moon Logo.png
The Harvest Moon series logo.
Genres Life simulation
Management simulation
Role-playing game
Developers Marvelous Interactive
(formerly Victor Interactive Software)
Publishers
Creators Yasuhiro Wada
Platforms Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii
Platform of origin Super Nintendo Entertainment System
First release Harvest Moon
9 August 1996
Latest release Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley
4 November 2014
Spin-offs Rune Factory series
Innocent Life
Official website Rising Star's Harvest Moon official site

Harvest Moon, known in Japan as Bokujō Monogatari (牧場物語 lit. Farm Story ?), is a farm simulation role-playing video game series created by Yasuhiro Wada and produced by Victor Interactive Software (acquired by Marvelous Entertainment in 2003). English translation and distribution of the game is done by XSEED Games, previously Natsume, for North America. English translation and distribution in Europe is done by Rising Star Games. The main objective of the game is to rebuild a run-down old farm and turn it into a successful one. Over a period of time the player tends to crops and livestock, befriends nearby townsfolk, and eventually in some series get married and start a family. The first game was Harvest Moon, released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1996.

Due to Natsume keeping the rights to the Harvest Moon name when XSEED Games took over North American distribution, the latest title in the series had to change its name to Story of Seasons[1] while Natsume took the opportunity to start making their own "Harvest Moon" games with Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley. This has caused some degree of confusion.[2]

Common elements[edit]

Gameplay[edit]

The player's character has primarily been male, but some games offer the option to play as a female character. The most common story line of the series involves the player taking over a farm that no longer has an owner tending to it, growing crops, raising livestock, making friends with the town's people and creating a family while running a successful farm. Each game provides objects to collect or goals to complete, whether it is befriending villagers, collecting musical notes, finding sprites, making rainbows, or ringing bells.

Money is obtained by growing crops, raising livestock, fishing, mining, and foraging. With a limited time and limited energy, the player has to find a balance between the two in order to accomplish their work for the day.

Growing crops[edit]

Crops are the primary source of income in Harvest Moon. In order for crops to grow the player must first clear the field from weeds, rocks, boulders, branches, and stumps. Then with a clear field, they must take their hoe and till the soil. Next, choose the seeds that you wish to grow and sow them where the soil is tilled. The player must continue to water the crop daily, but it isn't required on a rainy day, and as time goes on the crop will be ready for harvesting. The player must find optimal planting, watering and harvesting patterns. They also must consider the cost, sell price, number of harvests and growth time of the various produce available before planting. Each season has different crops available for planting, though in most games nothing may be planted in winter, and in Harvest Moon crops could not be planted in fall. In some games, a greenhouse or basement can be used during the winter to grow crops.

Turnips, potatoes, tomatoes and corn are staple crops of the series, introduced in the first game. Since then, other games have introduced new crops, such as cabbage, carrots, onions, strawberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, rice, pineapples, cucumbers and more. Grass may also be grown and harvested as animal fodder.

Ranching livestock[edit]

The secondary source of income in the games is purchasing, caring for, and raising your own livestock. Livestock may produce products which may be sold on a daily basis. Giving animals attention will increase their affection towards the player and may increase the quality of their products. Neglecting the animals' needs may lead to sickness and even death.

The first Harvest Moon only had cows and chickens, which were housed in a barn and chicken coop and fed the same fodder. Milk and eggs could both be sold, as well as the animals themselves. Later titles introduced sheep and a separate feed for chickens, as well as machines that could change milk into cheese, eggs into mayonnaise, and wool into yarn. The more recent games allow the player to also raise ducks, goats, alpacas and differently-colored cows. In Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility silkworms and ostriches were introduced to the series, and the new game also enabled players to befriend wild animals and persuade them to live on their farm.

Animals are also able to reproduce. Eggs can be placed in an incubator to hatch a chick in a few days, while giving a cow or sheep a Miracle Potion, the equivalent of artificial insemination, will impregnate them. Buying and breeding multiple horses was introduced in Harvest Moon 3 GBC for Game Boy Color and continued in Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility and Harvest Moon: Animal Parade

Pets and other animals[edit]

In many Harvest Moon games the player is given the opportunity to receive a dog and horse as a pet. A large variety of animals can be kept as pets in the newer titles, from pigs and cats to pandas and turtles. In some games, the pets attend competitions (e.g. horse races and dog races) to win prizes. In Harvest Moon: Back to Nature the player can raise fish.

Pest animals are also found in Harvest Moon including wild dogs, and gophers. Wild dogs visit the farm at night and harass any livestock not kept in a barn or fenced area. Gophers in some older titles would consume crops.

Gathering materials[edit]

Many Harvest Moon games require the player to gather materials for home improvement, tool improvement, cooking, or selling. The most common building resource in Harvest Moon is wood; other resources can include stone and golden lumber. The player can gather wood by chopping tree stumps and branches, and use wood to add buildings or fencing to their farm. Mines are present in many games, and minerals gathered can be used for upgrading tools and crafting gifts. In many games wild plants, such as herbs and flowers, may also be gathered.

Festivals[edit]

Most games in the series feature annual festivals which the player can attend. Some festivals are contests with prizes available, while others are social events, some being equivalent to actual holidays, such as Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, and Christmas Eve. Livestock festivals also take place, where the player can submit their animals to compete against other farms. Animals that win these contests often receive benefits; for example, a cow that wins might gain the ability to produce gold milk.

Getting married[edit]

Most Harvest Moon games offer the ability to marry. Gift giving and interacting with the love interest may increase the love interest's affection, and if their affection is high enough marriage may be proposed with a Blue Feather. Most love interests have rivals, who will marry them if the player does not. Only one Harvest Moon game, the Japanese version of Harvest Moon DS Cute, has allowed players to marry someone of the same sex (termed the "Best Friends" system). The feature was removed from the North American version over concern its inclusion would have raised the game's ESRB rating.[3]

Children[edit]

In many versions, it is possible to have children. Harvest Moon, Harvest Moon 3, and Harvest Moon: Animal Parade, and Rune Factory 3 are the only versions where the player can have multiple children. Harvest Moon: Animal Parade is the first game in the series that allows the player to have two children of either gender, and Rune Factory 3 allows the player to have three children of either gender. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life, Harvest Moon DS and Harvest Moon DS Cute are the only games in the series where the player can experience a child's growth from toddler to full-grown adult. Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility expands on this by letting the player restart the game as their child after the completion of an end game event. Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland, Harvest Moon GB, Harvest Moon 2 GBC and Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon are the only Harvest Moon titles in which the player cannot marry. Rune Factory 2 is the only Harvest Moon where the player can personify two characters, the father and his son or daughter.

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Harvest Moon (SNES) 69.52%[4]
Harvest Moon GB (GB) 72.00%[5]
Harvest Moon 64 (N64) 83.64%[6] (N64) 78[7]
Harvest Moon 2 GBC (GBC) 78.20%[8]
Harvest Moon: Back to Nature (PS1) 78.50%[9]
(PSP) 62.75%[10]
(PS1) 82[11]
(PSP) 61[12]
Harvest Moon 3 GBC (GBC) 77.50%[13]
Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland (PS2) 76.00%[14] (PS2) 76[15]
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (GBA) 82.40%[16] (GBA) 81[17]
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (GC) 81.25%[18]
(PS2) 71.67%[19]
(GC) 79[20]
Harvest Moon DS (DS) 67.33%[21] (DS) 67[22]
Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (GC) 83.64%[23]
(Wii) 65.00%[24]
(GC) 83[25]
(Wii) 69[26]
Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness (DS) 65.96%[27] (DS) 65[28]
Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility (Wii) 65.37%[29] (Wii) 65[30]
Harvest Moon DS: Sunshine Islands (DS) 74.57%[31] (DS) 77[32]
Harvest Moon: Animal Parade (Wii) 78.50%[33] (Wii) 76[34]
Harvest Moon DS: Grand Bazaar (DS) 70.33%[35] (DS) 69[36]
Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns (DS) 71.25%[37]

(3DS) 67.80%[38]

(DS) 68[39]

(3DS) 63[40]

Harvest Moon: A New Beginning (3DS) 72.25%[41] (3DS) 74[42]

In September 2011, Rising Star Games confirmed that they have sold more than 1 million units of the Harvest Moon series across PAL territories.[43] In Japan as of April 2011, the DS titles of the series alone have sold a total of more than 948,000 units, while the PSP titles haven't been as successful, selling only 81,498 copies.[44] The Tale of Two Towns reached No. 4 in the Japan Software and Hardware Weekly Chart, shipping 63,610 copies in its first week on sale.[45]

List of games[edit]

Social network games[edit]

In recent years, Harvest Moon has inspired a large number of social network games based around farming, most notably Happy Farm (2008) and FarmVille (2009).[46][47][48] Happy Farm is considered one of the most influential games of the 2000s, while in early 2010 FarmVille had a peak audience of 84 million monthly active users.[49][50] In 2009 Marvelous Entertainment released a version of Harvest Moon, called Let's All Harvest Moon (みんなで牧場物語 Minna de Bokujō Monogatari?), for the Japanese social network site Mixi,[51][52] where it attracted 2.3 million users.[53] Other similar farming social network games released in 2009 and 2010 include Sunshine Farm, Happy Farmer, Happy Fishpond, Happy Pig Farm,[48][54] Farm Town, Country Story, Barn Buddy, Sunshine Ranch, and Happy Harvest, as well as parodies such as Farm Villain.[47][55]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/05/28/harvest-moon-returns-in-story-of-seasons-on-3ds
  2. ^ http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2014/06/natsume_announces_harvest_moon_the_lost_valley_for_a_2014_release_on_3ds
  3. ^ Rea, Jasmine Maleficent (21 June 2010). "Harvest Moon and Same-Sex Relationships". Bitmob. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Harvest Moon on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Harvest Moon GB on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Harvest Moon 64 on Gamerankings". GameRankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Harvest Moon 64". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Harvest Moon 2 GBC on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Harvest Moon: Back to Nature on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Harvest Moon: Boy & Girl on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Harvest Moon: Back to Nature". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Harvest Moon: Boy & Girl". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Harvest Moon 3 GBC on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Special Edition on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "Harvest Moon DS on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  22. ^ "Harvest Moon DS". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  23. ^ "Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (GC) on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (Wii) on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (GameCube)". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  26. ^ "Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (Wii)". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  27. ^ "Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  28. ^ "Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  29. ^ "Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  30. ^ "Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  31. ^ "Harvest Moon DS: Sunshine Islands on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  32. ^ "Harvest Moon DS: Sunshine Islands". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "Harvest Moon: Animal Parade on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  34. ^ "Harvest Moon: Animal Parade". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  35. ^ "Harvest Moon DS: Grand Bazaar on Gamerankings". Gamerankings. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  36. ^ "Harvest Moon DS: Grand Bazaar". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  37. ^ "Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns". Gamerankings. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  38. ^ "Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns". Gamerankings. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  39. ^ "Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns". Metacritic. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  40. ^ "Harvest Moon 3D: The Tale of Two Towns". Metacritic. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  41. ^ "Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginnings". GameRankings. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  42. ^ "Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginnings". Metacritic. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  43. ^ Batchelor, James. "Rising Star Games exceeds 1m Harvest Moon sales". MCVUK. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  44. ^ Sahdev, Ishaan. "Here's How Harvest Moon Has Fared on the Nintendo DS". Siliconera. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  45. ^ Sahdev, Ishaan. "This Week in Sales: Chronicling The Wii Party Under The Harvest Moon". Siliconera. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  46. ^ Nutt, Christian (11 October 2009). "GDC China: Chinese Indie Game Trends and Opportunities". Gamasutra. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  47. ^ a b Kohler, Chris (19 May 2010). "Farm Wars: How Facebook Games Harvest Big Bucks". Wired. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  48. ^ a b Elliott Ng (29 October 2009). "China's growing addiction: online farming games". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  49. ^ Kohler, Chris (24 December 2009). "14. Happy Farm (2008)". The 15 Most Influential Games of the Decade. Wired. p. 2. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  50. ^ Caoili, Eric. "Phrases Overtakes FarmVille As Top Facebook App". Gamasutra. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  51. ^ Spencer (6 May 2010). "The Rise of FarmVille And How Harvest Moon Can Grow From It". Siliconera. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  52. ^ Michiko Nagai (27 October 2009). "Mixiアプリモバイルが開始、11月には課金APIの公開も". CNET. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  53. ^ "Notice regarding Execution of Merger Agreement among Marvelous Entertainment Inc., AQ INTERACTIVE INC., and Liveware Inc.". AQ Interactive. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  54. ^ "China's growing addiction: online farming games". Techgearx.com. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  55. ^ "Facebook》到開心農場歡呼收割". China Times. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2011.  (Translation)

External links[edit]