Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
Friends of Mineral Town
|Series||Story of Seasons|
|Platform(s)||Game Boy Advance|
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (牧場物語 ミネラルタウンのなかまたち Bokujō Monogatari: Mineral Town no Nakama Tachi) is a video game for the Game Boy Advance, developed by Marvelous Interactive Inc.. It was first released in Japan on April 18, 2003. Many praise it as the definitive entry of the series, combining elements from the best-selling console entries and introducing many notable series staples. It was later released on the Virtual Console for the Wii U on June 11, 2015.
The player is a farmer whose goal is to make a profit from the farm he runs by producing crops and raising livestock. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is the first Game Boy Advance game of the Harvest Moon series, and is a remade version of Harvest Moon: Back to Nature.
Story and gameplay
The main character in the game has no default name. In the opening sequences, the player is shown as a young boy living in the city, whose parents take him to see the country. During their trip the player becomes lost, and finds himself on the farm of an old man in Mineral Town. The old man helps the player contact his parents, and offers to let him and his family stay for a few days, as he has no family 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, he continues to write letters to the old man. One day, when he has grown up, the letters from the old man suddenly stop. The player travels to Mineral Town, finding the farm neglected, and discovers the old man had died around half a year ago. The mayor of Mineral Town informs the player that in the farmer's will, he left the player the farm. The player decides to restore the farm, beginning the game.
The player starts with five tools, and must earn money by clearing the large field on the farm and planting crops, mining, or foraging. This money may be used to buy other things, such as livestock, and to expand the farm.
The social aspect of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is a large part of the game. There are many villagers to befriend, and six bachelorettes available to marry. Befriending villagers allows the player to learn recipes and discover villager's histories, and marriage allows the player to have a son.
The player begins with a dog that may be named. The dog starts as a puppy, but will be fully grown after two months. Shortly after meeting Barley for the first time, he will stop by the player's farm with a young horse and ask if they can take care of it. If the player accepts Barley will return after a year, and may take the horse back if the player didn't show enough affection. If he took the horse, he will return in a year with a full grown horse for the player to keep, but this new horse will not have any affection. To increase the horse's affection, the player can brush and talk to the horse. When the horse is fully grown and wears a saddle, the player can ride it around the farm and enter in the spring and fall horse races.
There are three kinds of livestock: cows, chickens, and sheep. Cows produce milk (requires a milker to be gathered), chickens produce eggs, and sheep produce wool (requires shears to be gathered), 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.
Chickens live inside the chicken coop, which may be upgraded to accommodate eight chickens and two incubators. Placing an egg in an incubator will hatch a chick after three days. Chickens may be let outside, where they do not need to be fed, but if unfenced they can be attacked by wild dogs.
Cows and sheep live in the barn, which also may be upgraded to accommodate sixteen animals and two pregnancy stalls. Cows and sheep will become pregnant if given Miracle Potion, the equivalent of artificial insemination, and will give birth in 21 days. The cows and sheep may also be left outside if the player has planted grass and it is full grown.
The player may talk to or pick up animals and brush them to raise affection. During typhoons and snowstorms, animals can not be accessed. They will become unhappy if not fed, and if unhappy for a continuous period of time, livestock may become ill and can die if not treated with animal medicine. Livestock will die of old age after several years.
The player will start off with an axe, hammer, watering can, sickle, and hoe, which can be used to do farm work, and may obtain a fishing rod. Initially, the tools will only work on one square of farmland at a time, and the fishing rod can only catch small fish. Their range, ease of use, and ability can be improved by raising the experience level, then by combining them with different ores at the blacksmith shop, where the player can also buy a cowbell, shears, and a milker. There are also cursed tools located in one of the mines, which, once equipped by the player, cannot be put away until blessed at the confessional in the church or certain criteria are met. These tools are upgraded differently from normal tools, and have greater abilities. Other items that take up the tool slots include seeds and a teleport stone.
After upgrading their house, the player may purchase a kitchen and eight cooking tools for their kitchen from the TV shopping network. 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 friends with Anna, the player can go to her house on Saturdays to attend a cooking class.
As in the every series of the Story of Seasons, shipping is added as a collection of crops, flowers, animal items and others. In the game, a man called Zack is responsible giving you money in exchanges of the shippable items. A shipping bin is mentioned in the farm and not all items are shippable though.
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. GameRankings has an aggregate score of 82% from 30 reviews.
Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town
Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town (牧場物語 ミネラルタウンのなかまたち for ガール Bokujō Monogatari: Mineral Town no Nakama Tachi for Girl) is the female version of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. In this game, the main character is a girl, and can marry one of eight bachelors. The player starts in the city, reading their newspaper. She sees an advertisement for a beautiful farm, and, excited by the prospect of rural life, decides to buy it. She visits the farm and finds out she was tricked, as the farm is run down and in need of maintenance. As she had already quit her job and sold her apartment, the player resolves to make the farm prosper the best she can, beginning the game. The base game remains almost unchanged, with the exception of several gameplay changes, improvements, and fixes.
IGN rated Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town at 8.5. It was noted that it is essentially a repeat of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, but that "it's still a great and highly recommended experience". Gamerankings has an aggregate score of 80.08% from 13 reviews.
- "Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town Release Dates". Gamespot. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
- "Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town Release Dates". Gamespot. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
- "Your Family". Ushi No Tane x4. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- "Animals". Ushi No Tane x4. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
- "Chickens". Ushi No Tane x4. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
- "Cows and Sheep". Ushi No Tane x4. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
- "Tools". Ushi No Tane x4. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
- "Cooking". Ushi No Tane x4. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
- Craig Harris (November 24, 2003). "Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town". IGN. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- "Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- Harris, Craig (August 15, 2005). "Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town". IGN. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- "Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town". GameRankings. Retrieved November 28, 2011.