Rune Factory Frontier Diary – Week 1

This week starts with our main hero Raguna (can change his name) arrived in Trampoli to find a missing girl Mist. Mist saved his life in first game of the series. Your not required to play previous game and there is option to say you haven’t. After spending night in church run by the elderly Stella the next morning Mist happens to walk in. All the girls who are marriage candidates have own mini anime introduction clip. After this meeting Raguna finds himself a new home and farm to work on thanks to Mist basically tricking him in her own crazy way. The house is tiny with only really a bed and box to store stuff and while he has decent sized field it’s filled with stumps, rocks and weeds. There is no barn to speak of. Mist is kind enough to give us a couple of tools and some turnip seeds. Obviously she loves turnips and wants some from Raguna in particular.

Farm work can wait and so Raguna went around the village to meet everyone. First stop was church to see Stella although stopped to check the broken clock tower on way round.  Stella sent Raguna on a task to Turner at the Inn in business district. There we met Eunice his daughter and another marriage candidate. She looks chubby/fat and loves sweets. She often is cleaning the inn and hanging laundry to try. Turner her father is chubby too and her Rita mum works there too. Anyway after mistake of Raguna not being a guest Turner sends him out to blacksmiths next. The blacksmith of this game is lovely elf Ganesha and her son Marco lives with her. Now onto the local and only general store as Danny eagerly tells us. He sends poor Raguna off to meet with another local farmer Erik. Erik is nice enough although desperate for a girlfriend. He offers tips and advice on farming although he talks about turnips becoming monsters if left in field as season changes. Eric also sells seeds. Also living in that area is Kross. A depressed man living on his own and sings sad songs in the field. He is one that upgrades the farm. And so ends the little run around Raguna must do and sets to work on field. By that I mean he puts weeds in shipping box. Then ploughs some of the land to plant Mist’s turnip seeds before watering them. While Mist hangs out at farm. Around 5PM Rosetta walks in to take stuff out of shipping bin. She is Mists childhood friend/rival and merchant from town they came from. Much more down to earth then Mist. After taking the weeds and paying Raguna she leaves. So it’s off to bed for Raguna.

The following day Raguna gets a knock on the door and is met by Anette the local mail girl and some woollys (sheep monster). She hands Raguna some mail before leaving. Obviously it’s her welcome to town letter. Raguna get requests through mail as well mail he must respond to. Spent most of the day looking after field. Ploughing it some more before heading  off and saying hello to everyone. Not much else happened that day… Spent couple of days clearing field. It’s roughly 1/2 cleared and Eric rewards Raguna with a scythe to cut weeds but weeds are only source of income at moment. It’s the thought that counts. Stella also hands us an axe since there are twigs and stumps in field that need removing.
Few days into the week Stella tells Raguna about strange plant growing outside clock tower. Mist talks about strange dream of watering a plant and climbing it up to Whale Island. Putting the two together Raguna waters strange plant and climbs up onto the floating island. The Whale Island then asks Raguna to help. Seems whale is losing rune power and will crash. Raguna decides to help out Whale Island and further explores the island. On it he encounters monsters and then oddly enough Melody. Melody a marriage candidate is in search of a hot spring so she gives Raguna a hammer to smash wall. So he does. She’s happy enough and heads off to open up her bath house in Trampoli. A great place to recover RP and HP once a day. Further onto the island and Raguna exits the entrance cave and sees a mysterious girl watering some flowers and enter a tower. The tower is locked but with some field space obviously could grow some flowers and catch her attention. With no flower seeds Raguna leaves the island. The day after good few are talking about Raguna’s adventure on whale island. Ganesha doesn’t want Marco to go not that Raguna would take him. Few others are puzzled how Raguna got there and Stella notes the giant beanstalk.

Not long after Mist falls ill of course this is followed by Raguna collapsing the next day and meeting marriage candidate the nun and nurse Lara. Lara tells Raguna off and says she intends to stay because Raguna is reckless. Best not make her worry and collapse. Mist has since recovered from her one day cold and asks Raguna to clear her garden of weeds. Raguna can’t refuse her and so cuts the weeds and finds entrance to a dungeon. The dungeons also act as a greenhouse of a particular season. This one is Spring one so can grow Spring crop here year round. After a quick run through dungeon Raguna rests up for the night.

Not long after Mist decides to share a strange dream with Raguna. I mean she shares it not just tell Raguna about it. After leaving house Raguna meets a collapsed girl. Wanting water Raguna using his watering can. Thinking better of it her gets Lara. Back at church come hospital collapsed girl said her name is Selphy and forgot to eat but insists that’s normal. Lara convinces her to stay for health reasons. During normal rounds in village Raguna was told of Lute a travelling merchant he sells kitchens, forges and other home furnishings and upgrades. Raguna is given couple of books to get him started. One for cooking and one for upgrading tools. Lute only appears on a Holiday. A holiday happens at end/start of each week.

Holiday just so happens to be next day and Raguna sets off to meet the merchant. Seems Lute is really an artist but lacks funding. From Lute Raguna purchases a kitchen before heading off to kick trees with a hammer to get some cherries to sell and say hi to everyone. While on way round Raguna meets the wise old Kanno. Seems he is here to investigate the Runeys and dungeons. Further around Raguna heads back to Church district and enters the library to see Selphy will be staying there and reading books as well as selling them. Selphy is also a marriage candidate. Kind of strange because she looks a bit like Colette from Tales of Symphonia but has Haruhi ‘s English voice actress. At least it sounds a lot like her. Anyway after Rosetta buys stuff from Raguna’s shipping bin he heads back to buy more stuff from Lute. A forge to upgrade tools, weapons and make some accessories and frying pan along with a pot for kitchen.

And the week comes to the end. This week was really packed with events but it’s early in the game. Lots of characters to still meet and need to defeat first boss in the Spring Dungeon. Next week should be one filled with more adventures.

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Rune Factory Frontier Diary – Introduction and Explanation

I have recently restarted Rune Factory Frontier. Decided to write a short diary of in-game week of the game. Not an actual weeks worth of playing.

For those who don’t know anything about Rune Factory the game series is Harvest Moon or farming life sim meets RPG. You have a run down farm can build and improve on and potentially start a family in. Unlike your usual farming sim the main farmer is also the hero of the story. Going into dungeons to defeat the boss at the end and ultimately saving the day. Obviously this side of things effect the farming side as well. Instead of usual farm animals get to tame monsters instead. The farm can be expanded to have a forge and pharmacy as well as the usual kitchen. Not to mention the marriage candidates which has few normal type girls alongside elves and other such crazy characters. Not to mention the RPG storyline.

Quick run through of stuff I might bring up but not explain all the time. I’m guessing the rest you will have some idea of what I am meaning. Your free to ask questions as I progress.

Trampoli is the name of village the game is set in. The village is separated into districts with the main 2 being church and business.

LP is love points for marriage candidates. FP for friendship points which every character has.

The calendar is made up of 4 seasons which are basically like 4 months. The week is made up of 6 days one being specifically called Holiday.

Rune Points or RP for short are the basic energy of the game. Doing something that has an effect requires RP. Watering field, swinging sword, upgrading a weapon etc. Once it is all gone you end up using HP instead.

In the game you gain levels like normal RPG. You also got skill points for specific tool, weapon sets and crafting stuff as well as magic. This effects amount of RP you use and in some what you can make.

Whale Island is huge whale in sky. It’s basically one huge dungeon you climb a beanstalk to get to.

Runeys are cute little spirit things that hover around the village. They need to be managed in order for land to prosper. Balance in most locations is desired but I never attempt to do so.

Thoughts so far…

Just random thoughts after playing some games.
Harvest Moon Tale of Two Towns

Just got to end of 1st year. Really enjoying quest system. You often get requests in HM games but it’s very easy to forget what you need to do. Only downside is a lot of repeated or similar requests. Also the ones for one off items such as tools and clothes are only put up 1st of the Month/Season. They stay up all month but have to wait till next month for next one on. The characters in Konohana are a lot more fun. Foxes are cute as always. Only real issue I have is how end of Winter seems to always drag in HM games. Looking forward to growing some trees. It saves me problem of having to water crops.

Theatrythm Final Fantasy

I wasn’t expecting to do as well with this game as I have. As music games go I am having a lot of fun and not finding it too difficult although it will take me ages before I can do any on ultimate and I still struggle with Dark Notes numbered 70+. My party is mostly mages and support but I think that works better in some ways. Some of them are slower so it’s easier to get 1st boss on Dark Notes. I find it really funny seeing Cosmos going for a walk. Would have been better if there was a proper story mode in game though. Just really random when you suddenly have to fight a boss because you got a certain overall score.

Kingdom Hearts 3DS

Really enjoying this action RPG. Storyline outside of the worlds can be confusing if you have no knowledge on previous games in the series. There are descriptions but it’s not an encyclopaedia so not all information you may want/need is not there. However the game is still a lot of fun regardless. Only world I really don’t like so far is the Tron one. Pretty sure I am on last or second to last world. The carnival one and fantasia one are my faves right now. It’s unfortunate the game isn’t longer. The only complaint I have regarding the game is the Drop between characters is timed but in a lot of the worlds it feels like it should be event based. The actual swapping over itself is fine. I enjoy swapping between characters. It’s great you can do so on start menu as well. It’s going to be hate or like the drop system for many.

Harvest Moon vs Animal Crossing

After much thought I have decided to write this blog post. I find many say the series are the same. While some don’t think that is true I decided to compare and decide for myself if there are any grounds for saying the games are the same. Both games are focused on creating a fantasy life so I will be comparing the basic elements of recreating that fantasy life.

Time

The biggest part of creating a game about life itself is how time is structured. Both games use vastly different timers. One focusing on it’s own unique timer (HarvestMoon) and the other connects to the console clock to reflect real time and dates (Animal Crossing). To start with lets look at how each game handles the passage of time.

Animal Crossing is a gradual and realistic reflection of real life. The seasons slowly change to the extent you might not notice the changes straight away. In a sense it is much more slow paced life where your not discouraged from standing and watching virtual life slip away.  Depending on when you play the game depends on what is available and current events. Having to wait for shops to open or find yourself missing the closing time of shop you wanted to visit is a common occurrence for some. This forces players to alter the time in order to better fit their lifestyles which kind of defeats the purpose of having the game connect to console clock.

HarvestMoon has varied methods of it’s own in game clock and calander. Most of the time the day lasts approximately 30 mins although that is largely dependent on when you choose your character to go to sleep. The days themselves feel to slip by at times. In some games it goes by so fast you never finish what you wanted to do within that day. In other games the timer can be too generous and leaves you with most of the day devoid of stuff to do. There are others which hit the right mark with the timer which makes it so you never feel rushed or left waiting for something. When it comes to changing of seasons this is a sudden change where you wake up one morning and suddenly snow is on the floor and there are no leaves in the trees. The sudden transformation can be very strange.

Daily Chores

The next part of any life sim is the chores which must be done on a regular basis. These are things you must do not just to progress but also if left could hinder the game.

With Animal Crossing the daily chores are check mail and talk to neighbours. The mail box can become full up so it’s essential to check the mail for that reason alone and not just because of free money and items that can be delivered. Talking to neighbours is important as they like to move out if they feel ignored or not liked. You can beg and plead with them to stay but if you don’t play the game for a few days one will have moved out. Everything else is extra but many would consider removing weeds part of the chores. This freedom can lead to laziness on part of the player though. However at same time the player isn’t forced to do tons of things within a gaming session. You can drop in and out of the game.

With Harvest Moon however if you don’t take care of your farm your pretty much doomed from get go. A lot of how you go about this depends on what kind of farm you have. One filled with crops tends to require you to water and clear field of any weeds and other junk that magically appears over night. If you have tons of animals instead you will obviously need to feed them as well as brush and talk to them.  You can have both as well making it a busy start to the day. Your pretty much obliged to do these chores because otherwise it will lead to punishment later on. Animals and crops dying due to neglect. Also most of what you can do is based on characters stamina. Doing too much causes character to collapse losing precious farming time.

Making Money

An essential tactic for either game is to make as much money as possible to buy stuff. If you don’t make money your not going to be able to do a right lot.

In Animal Crossing making money is a simple case of collecting stuff to sell. Which doesn’t sound difficult but a lot of how much you make is dependent on what you find. In a sense luck. There is no way of knowing if you will find anything worth a lot. There isn’t a lot you can do to ensure you can make a lot of money save planting trees that provide fruit. However none of the activities you do for money feel labour intensive. Your not having to work very hard to make money but there isn’t a huge list of things you can do to ensure you make a lot of money.

In Harvest Moon making money is really down to the effort you put in.  Watering crops and giving them fertiliser will increase their quality and how much they sell for. With animals it is feeding and petting them. Likewise you can cook with the food you have harvested to make which can sell for more to. However the less effort you put into your farm the less you get in return. Although they are other means to just looking after farm to make money and that comes down to foraging, mining and fishing but some of that does come down to luck.

Spending Money

What comes after making money is obviously how you will spend it. What’s the point in getting a ton of money if you have nothing to use it for.

Animal Crossing most of the money will go toward your house. Furniture as well as upgrades so you can buy more furniture and fit that in the house. You can get clothing and accessories for your character as well. Most of the stuff you buy will be for decoration purposes rather then making more money. There is no need to feel like you have to buy everything but will be drawn to specific stuff. Since the shops are mostly randomly stocked if you see something you want to buy that day you have to get it same day. This can cause a mad dash with gathering stuff to sell in hope you get enough money in time. Largely depends on time of day your playing though because of store closing time.

Harvest Moon you have to spend money to make it. Buying animals and seeds costs money. Don’t forget if you want to make even more money you have to expand the farm as well which again costs money and possibly materials gathered as well.  The bulk of your money will be going towards the farm’s upkeep and expansion. Since most of the shops don’t have random stock there is no pressure to buy something that day unless there is a specific event or date you need it by. Only other reason is changing seasons as some stock in particular seeds are only available within certain seasons.

Upgrades

Obviously when it comes to spending upgrades are top priority but often most expensive.

As always Animal Crossing takes a much more laid back approach to upgrades. The only upgrades that aren’t done by luck (and maybe a bit of skill) are based on the house itself. These expansions add more rooms or just enlarge rooms already available. At the start since all you get is a small shed you will want to improve your house as soon as possible.  You could end up with a decent sized house once all the expansions are done. That said there are no disadvantages to living in a shed. You simply upgrade the house to better show off furniture you brought. The tools you can buy and use also have upgrades but most require you to collect everything relating to that tool to unlock it. Having the best fishing rod once you caught all the fish seems a bit pointless.

A lot of things in Harvest Moon can be upgraded and it is often an advantage to do so. House expansions can be just so you can marry and have kids but in some games these expansions can allow you to add on kitchen. The kitchen itself can be upgraded by buying more utensils for it whether the house has one already or not. Meaning you can cook more stuff.  You can even get/expand the barn so you have more animals. Sometimes you can expand to get a greenhouse of sorts to grow crops all year. The tools likewise can be upgraded. There is only one problem with a lot of the upgrades is you need a lot of materials for some of them. This requires you to mine for tool upgrades and mostly chop wood for house and barn upgrades. Thankfully stamina can be upgraded as well so it becomes easier to do everything you need to.

Home Town

No good playing a life sim if you don’t intend to interact with fellow townsfolk.

In Animal Crossing there are a ton of possible villagers but most of them can be shoved into character personality categories. Which can make for a very boring town. However this can be changed as another person can share save file and move into the town. While there are no 2 player mode available another player can still join in the game. It adds a competitiveness to the game as well as new interactions with the NPCs. You can also invite others who have the game to visit the town. In a way the game really a more social game. Each town also has it’s own unique charm. Less likely to encounter exact same town while visiting others. Can also join in events that take place around the year. Often has some sort of requirement to win a prize.

Harvest Moon has fewer villagers but a lot more events and the characters are varied within a game. The games often have a friendship or love meter for those NPCs you can marry. A lot if not all the characters have their own little events. The marriageable ones often having more and sometimes even have events with a rival love interest. Later on you can propose and marry chosen marriage candidate and start a family. However your not going to have your own unique town. There isn’t much in the way of multiplayer experiences. There are festivals you can take part in during in game year but most are social ones often with a marriage candidate. There are some that offer some sort of competition.

Pros and Cons of Animal Crossing

Pros

  1. Plenty to do or not do
  2. A great deal of customisation options
  3. Festivals are more interactive
  4. Good for multiplayer or sharing game

Cons

  1. Feel obliged to play on regular basis
  2. Not many fun intractable furniture
  3. Taking a break from game results in loads of weeds
  4. Some stuff are region exclusive in some games

Overall: While there is plenty to do there is no pressure to do anything. It’s a very laid back game and much better as a social game then playing alone. Playing alone doesn’t really open up all the options available to you.

Pros and Cons of Harvest Moon

Pros

  1. A better idea what to aim for
  2. Can keep animals
  3. Upgrades that actually impact on gameplay
  4. Can have relationships with NPCs

Cons

  1. Can be very harsh at beginning
  2. May need lots of materials for farm upgrades
  3. More pressure on being successful
  4. Customisation can be very limited or there is none

Overall: For most part this is a farming sim. Giving you the chance to live a life of a (fantasy) farmer. Much more cuter then real life but with the pressures of being successful and getting married.

Summer of Gaming

Although it doesn’t look or feel like Summer right now where I live I know it’s coming or maybe it’s already here, Can never tell. Anyway felt like sharing some games looking forward to playing this Summer.

Harvest moon Tale of Two Towns 3DS

Really looking forward to this game. Partly because I heard foxes are in the game and partly because of Japanese themed village choice. I don’t think I will encounter anyone else for the streetpass in this game though. My Japanese Alpaca farm will be great even if a bit random.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy 3DS

The demo came out recently and gave it a go. The easy mode is just right for me. Not the best at rhythm games but this has perked my interest. Pretty interesting mixe with how the music goes into the performance of the chibis as they go about doing RPG stuff. I hope other music game for 3DS I am interested in Project Mirai also gets released here.

Kingdom Hearts 3D Nintendo 3DS

A bit disappointed with how short the demo was. I still found it more entertaining then Heroes of Ruin. Having cute monster type companions is a plus for me. Bonus points for any fox like one that turns up. Not a huge fan of the series but have played 1 and 2. Sort of interested in the others that were on DS but never got around to buying them.

Rising Star Games Art Card RPG Idea

This is a work in progress.

Objective

The idea of the game is to marry/befriend your opponent or NPC cards thus add them to your household. The winner is whoever ends up with biggest household and profit at the end. Can be played as an RPG or more of a card game style.

What is Needed

1. RSG Art Cards – Needed to be sorted into two piles

2. 6 Sided Dice – Can have more sides if needed for more players

4. Score Sheet – Sheet to keep record of progress of players/character. Best write any numbers in pencil.

Example of one including extended rules:

Name: (can be your own, character on card or made up) Number: (only for 2+ players – 6 sided dice will a number between 1 and 6)

House: (Level of house)

Money:

Liked Gifts:    Hated Gifts: (used if you intend on using actual food/drink for the game)

Animals: (Name of Animal and heart score)

Crops:

LP: (Name of opponents and how much LP has been won with that character)

FP: (Name of opponents and how much FP has been won with that character)

5. Counters – Can use score sheet or one colour for LP and another for FP

6. Gifts – can be imaginary or you can use food/drinks (the player would have to eat/drink the gift of course)

7. Animals – can be written or use models/plushes

Game Set-up

1. Sort the cards into two piles: Character Arts Cards  and Event Art Cards

2. Select your character from Character Arts Card pile.

3. The Score sheet needs to be filled in for each perosn playing. Character Arts Cards with no players don’t need to have one filled in. Just note of chosen number. Each player can start with 1 animal.

The Game

Each game consists of three or four turns per a day. Morning, Noon, Afternoon and Night.

The dice is important as it decides what take place during the game. Even umbers: 2, 4, 6 | Odd Numbers: 1, 3, 5

Start of Round

Player 1 rolls dice.

Odd Number = Character Encounter

If there are other players roll dice again. If you get your own number or one that hasn’t been allocated to character card reroll dice until you get different number.

Roll dice to decide outcome of encounter

Even Number: + FP/LP with the encountered character art card

If you get max amount of LP/FP they join household. You can only have 1 character max LP join your house.

Odd Number: – FP/LP with the encountered character art card

If using food/drink the opponent must eat/drink based on what they put they hate/like

Even Number = Event

Pick event card. If card has animal on card can add another animal to score sheet or add FP to one already owned

Otherwise roll dice.

Even Number: + Money

Odd Number: – Money

Mini amount is 0.

Repeat. End of 3 or 4 turns money is added based on number of animals owned and FP with animals and house level.

The dice is rolled by any player to decide season change.

Even Number: Stays Same

Odd Number: – Changes to next season (crops die)

After that players can use deduct money to increase animal FP, house level or buy corps.

This repeats until someone has either gotten everyone to live in their house or players wish to retire. If player retire they can add up total point including total FP and LP, money house level, animals and crops. The one with highest score wins.

Money is increased in 100s. FP and LP only increased by 1s.