RIP Harvest Moon…

Yesterday IGN announced that Natsume will not localize the latest Harvest Moon title and that XSeed is taking over localization. Because Nastume owns the Harvest Moon name, the latest Harvest Moon will instead be called “Story of Seasons.” It doesn’t quite have the same nostalgic ring that Harvest Moon carries, but in some ways it’s more true to the Japanese name which is translated as “ranch story” or “farm story” depending on who you ask.

I’ll admit I was sad for a minute when I heard about the change. It definitely feels like the end of an era to me. But this announcement didn’t really come as a shock and I don’t think is quite as devastating as some of the twitterverse makes it out to be.

I picked up Rune Factory 4 last month—admittedly late to the party—and I was curious why XSeed had localized it rather than Natsume since they had done all the other Rune Factory games. I looked into it and found that XSeed was a subsidiary of Marvelous AQL, the publishers of Harvest Moon in Japan. It made sense that XSeed would localize it here. And I wondered how long it would be until XSeed took over the Harvest moon localization. That answers that question…

I find it curious that people are saddened by the “death” of Harvest Moon. Really it’s just a loss of the beloved name. Natsume didn’t make Harvest Moon. They translated it and probably made judgment calls in some matters of cultural insensitivity for example:

Fucho / Diego Lucho / Enrique Mucho / Raul
Japan Jfucho Jlucho Jmucho
North America Jdiego Eenrique Eraul
Sprites found at fogu.com

I’m actually guessing about the judgment calls. I don’t know whose idea it was to change the sprites. But the localization team’s job is to translate the game not just verbatim, but also to keep the spirit of it, which sometimes gets lost in its trek across the ocean. I think if the two companies can work more closely together it should mean better localizations hopefully in a more timely fashion. Pokémon set the bar kind of high on that one with its simultaneous worldwide release.

Playing Rune Factory 4 has set my mind at ease about XSeed’s capability. I think they can handle the translation of Harvest Moon Story of Seasons. I haven’t played RF4 in Japanese, so I can’t make an accurate judgement about the subtleties of the Japanese to English translation, but in English RF4 is lively and engaging. I find it delightful.

My only concern about this new move is…

WHAT ABOUT THE PLUSHIES????!!!! SAVE THE PLUSHIES!!!!!!

My collection of Harvest Moon plushies.

My collection of Harvest Moon plushies.

牧場物語 Magnus’ Catch Up

Spring 26

After having built a chicken coop I decided to place it. This turned out to be harder than I anticipated. I had way too many trees and had to chop a bunch down. Plus I didn’t notice the “dirt road” tiles that wouldn’t let me put things on top of it. And accurately lining up an item where you want it is not that easy either. But eventually I placed the coop just southeast of my barn and moved the fodder over left. It’s kind of cramped, but I’m sure that will change.

As usual I gifted Iroha a marguerite and she gave me more blueprints.

  • Silver Sickle
  • Silver Hoe
  • Silver Watering Can

Spring 27

Had the meeting with the Harvest Goddess this morning. I actually read about online play. I’m seriously thinking about trading a branch to my Japanese game since I have two or three of them in this one. Anyone want to wifi?

More marguerites for Iroha resulted in:

  • Iron Axe
  • Iron Hammer

I crafted the cow bell today. While it doesn’t call them in from outside like I hoped, it does make it so I don’t have to shove them nearly as much. I hate trying to push them all the way across the barn. My aching back!

I made a storage shed. It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. I still can’t carry much (I blame tools), but at least I got rid of the branches and black rocks and stuff cluttering up my bag.

Spring 28

Today was Emma’s birthday. I gave her herbs.

Nothing much was going on so I made some fish traps and monitored them. The exciting life of a broke farmer.

Spring 29

Today as I walked into Iroha’s house to deliver her daily flower I got a heart event! She wanted me to help her decide what ore to smith with. She rambled on a bit. I told her she wasn’t crazy and scored points with her. Hooray! The heart event music was kinda creepy though. After I gave her a flower she gave me more blueprints.

  • gold sickle
  • gold hoe
  • gold watering can

I got to give the harvest sprites birthday presents today because it didn’t rain in this game. Nothing great came from that endeavor.

Highlight of the day: I made a copper watering can. Now if only it wasn’t so late in the season and I had more stuff planted.

Spring 30

Today was the crop festival. I bombed at it of course: third place. But I participated to get points with villagers. And guess what. Iroha’s heart is purple today!

Spring 31

Flower giving day. I gave flowers. The only other exciting event was my purchase of a chicken. I named her Nugget.

Summer 1

Dunhill came in today and involved me in his town renovation plans. I have three tasks to perform for the first renovation:

  1. Place 5 ball topiaries in the village
  2. Place 10 street lights in the village
  3. Place 3 wooden benches in the village

I made the topiaries and put them around town. Nothing happened after I placed the 5, so I assume I have to complete all three tasks before something happens.

I was also bombarded with mail. There’s new stuff in the shops. It tells me how much money I made from shipping last month: 65,203 gold. Sucks that I’m always broke after having that much money! Where did it go?

After giving Iroha a flower she gave me even more blueprints:

  • Ultra Axe
  • Ultra Hammer

conclusion

I’m now caught up with my Japanese game. This one is going much more smoothly. Partly because of my blueprint snafu on the other game, but also because I got screwed by the weather and couldn’t find a branch. It’s also kind of nice to have already gotten a heart event. I suppose my JP character should try to woo Neil. He’s such a sourpuss though.

牧場物語 それから夏へ

My character

That’s my JP character: Yumi

Today I played my Japanese copy of Harvest Moon: A New Beginning (はじまりの大地). My character is a girl named ゆみ. For some reason that’s my default girl’s name. I couldn’t think of what to name my farm, so it’s called “ファーム“.

春25

I turned the game on and low and behold Rebecca and Tony showed up on my doorstep first thing in the morning. Cue the annoying stick and rock gathering, skip the long building tutorial since I did it in English already… I was very excited to get the architect in town because I would kill my firstborn child (when I get one) for a storage shed or a bigger bag. Unfortunately since I didn’t know the architect was coming today I bought a cow the day before *waves to Bandit the cow* and had very limited funds. So I bought what I thought was the supply shed. Only, it wasn’t. I blew all my money on what I think are the blueprints to my house. Sad Panda. OK, I didn’t blow quite all my money. I bought plans for fish traps, and a cow bell. I also bought enough copper for the cow bell.

I continued gifting Iroha with Marguerites. She gave me three blueprints:

  • 銅カマ: copper scythe
  • 銅クワ: copper hoe
  • 銅じょうろう: copper watering can

I rejoiced that my first cow ベッシー produced two star milk today. It sells for more money and I’m nothing if not miserly.

春26

Since I couldn’t make the storage shed I thought I’d make the cow bell. But I need one regular branch. I don’t have one. Not one. *sigh* I got the bright idea to make a copper tool, but they require 5 copper and I only bought 3 for the cow bell. So I made some fish traps instead.

Foraging it is.

Once again I gave Iroha a marguerite. She gave me three more blueprints (not that I can make them).

  • 銀カマ: silver scythe
  • 銀クワ: silver hoe
  • 銀じょうろう: silver watering can

That was pretty much the highlight of my day. I was in a funk over my inability to by blueprints because the shop was closed.

春27

This morning I got woken up by the harvest sprites. They took me to meet the Harvest Goddess (女神). I thought that pool looked suspiciously like the Harvest Goddess’ lair. There was also a lot of talk about online play. I was rather impatient and figured I’d sort it all out in the English game, so um, I didn’t really pay much attention.

Iroha gave me more blueprints. If I wasn’t a girl, she would totally be in the running for my spouse just because she gives me stuff. So thoughtful. ♥

  • 鋼オノ: steel axe
  • 鋼ハンマー: steel hammer

I foraged a bit and monitored my fish traps trying to keep them from breaking. I caught something I immediately had to look up in the dictionary. I turned out to be a clam. ww

春28 雨の日

…My blueprint mishap continued. I accidentally bought something else that I didn’t want and wasted all my money. I haven’t been selling much lately so I’ve been broke. I planted a ton of flowers, but I’m loathe to sell them because I know there’s a flower giving day at the end of the month, and I like to give them to Iroha. My bag is constantly full, so I don’t forage much I just run back and forth every 5 items or so and then get discouraged. Since it was raining I went to bed early.

Today was Emma’s birthday however. I gave her herbs. She seemed pleased.

春29 雨の日

Today was the Harvest Sprites’ birthday. I was excited to give them presents and boost my friendship, but since it was raining they were nowhere to be seen. The game is just trying to thwart my every joy.

Still Iroha tried to cheer me up with more blueprints that I can’t use.

  • 金カマ: gold scythe
  • 金クワ: gold hoe
  • 金じょうろう: gold watering can (aw like Animal Crossing that releases もうすぐ)

春30

Today was my first festival. I didn’t have high hopes, which is good because I came in third with my 1 star beginner rank turnip. I don’t think I can raise the crop rank with multiple applications of fertilizer. Can I?

春31

Finally sweet Jesus I made it to the end of the month. Today was the flower giving day. I left no villager un-flowered. Well, except the Harvest Goddess. I forgot about her. I gave them each a lovely homegrown marguerite, so that should have boosted my friendship by 1,000 points with each of them.

I did start Summer 1, but only to listen to Dunhill tell me about his plans for revitalizing the town. I like having a focus. A reason to forage and make things. So hopefully the game will continue to pick up and I will get to make a storage shed before I go postal.

単語

For the Japanese game I’ve decided to keep a list of words that I look up in my entries just for the heck of it. I don’t look up too many. I’m much more of a skip over things that you don’t know while playing a game (or take a picture for later) type of girl. But here’s the list anyway:

  • 復興: revival;  renaissance;  reconstruction
  • しんけん: seriousness;  earnestness
  • 不可欠: indispensable;  essential
  • しじみ: shijimi clam (corbicula japonica)

牧場物語 Recap

Eventually I did play some Harvest Moon in English. Not as much as I’d like because the schizophrenic (no really) downstairs neighbor started yelling…

But here’s a brief rundown of HM events. I started my English game today on Spring 19. I’m playing a boy in the English version, girl in the Japanese version. My character’s name is Magnus. He lives on Bane farm. If you’ve read The Mortal Instruments series you’ll know that I’m not original with my naming convention. I digress.

So, Dunhill gave me fish traps. He did not explain how to get more of them, so I didn’t miss anything in the Japanese version (always a relief). I haven’t caught too much of note with them. A black branch, I assume it’s used for crafting. A few different kinds of coins, fish obviously, cans, branches, the usual.

I have two cows, Muchan and Pinkie. I’m semi obsessed with getting my cows to produce more milk, so I’m religiously feeding them treats. I think it will take 31 days before they should produce more, so I’ve got a ways to go.

Though I don’t know if I’m romantically interested in Iroha—I haven’t seen my other potential suitors after all—I’ve been growing and giving her marguerites. She rewarded me by giving me a blueprint. Score!

I’m also trying to make nicey nice with the two harvest sprites. Alice (who is mean) likes herbs, so I’ve been giving her mint and chamomile. Arron (I think?) the male harvest sprite’s favorite item is a truffle, so I’ve been giving those to him when I can afford it. So far neither of them have given me anything. I don’t know if they do, but I figure it’s worth a shot.

There still hasn’t been much to do, so I’ve been going to sleep early. Sometimes at 1pm not even watering my crops twice.

On Spring 25 (my character’s birthday!) not one but two new villagers arrived. Rebecca, the architect and Tony her son. I was immediately thrust into a mini game gathering sticks and rocks (which I had plenty of in my bag. grrr) in order to build them a house since Iroha moved into the one they were going to live in. Rebecca then introduced me to blueprints, showed me how to place objects and opened a shop. I bought a lot of blueprints but was only able to build a chicken coop because it got late and I was exhausted and too cheap to eat food.

Oh, and no one gave me anything for my birthday. They at least mentioned it when I talked to them. I don’t know if they will give me something if I get more friendly with them or not.

It’s like a whole new world has opened with the addition of blueprints. I can make stuff! This might be fun! So naturally I set the game down and came to blog about it…