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The Ushi No Tane websites specialize in information about the Nintendo console versions of the Harvest Moon and Legend of the River King games. Both game genres are created and published in Japan by Marvelous. In other regions, you'll find Natsume, XSeed Games, Marvelous AQL of Europe, and Rising Star involved in the series' release.

The latest version of the farming series in various regions of the world are Bokujou Monogatari: Tsunagaru Shin Tenchi (Japan), Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley in North America, and Harvest Moon: A New Beginning in Europe.

The latest version of River King, in all regions of the world, is River King: Mystic Valley (2009).

Since 2000, Ushi no Tane has been run by a grouchy old lady who happens to be fond of video game agriculture. The website is not officially affiliated, sponsored, endorsed, or employed by the developers of Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, or River King. This is simply a fan site.

New Lost Valley DLC and SoS Localization | Posted at 08:44 PM on 21 March 2015
In Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley news, the latest download content for the game was released on Thursday. These free DLCs are new decorative objects that you can add to fancify your valley. The first set includes the Harvest Goddess Pergolas (in four different colors) and the Harvest Sprite Flowerbed, and the second set are eight new designs for fences/walls.

To add these to your game, select the Download Content menu from the game's title screen, download the two packages, and then start your save game. In the morning, Doc will stop by and tell you the good news. He'll even give you some of the objects for free, and you can construct more of them by talking to Doc when he is in Moon Valley on Wednesdays and Saturdays. When in shopkepper mode, you can exchange materials for these new decorative items.

For those of you who missed out on the White Rabbit mega-plushie from the Lost Valley special edition, it is now for sale individually at the SOTA Toys / Multiverse Studios online store. The bunny retails for $24.99 and is about 14 inches tall, from its foot to the top of its ears.

Natsume President Hiro recently gave an interview to SiliconEra about Lost Valley and the split between the company and Marvelous. Some of the more interesting points are:

Roughly three years ago, Marvelous notified us that they were not going to license their Bokujo Monogatari series to Natsume anymore, and that they were going to release the series by themselves under a different brand name. Needless to say, we were surprised by this decision.

In this case, Marvelous took the decision out of our hands, and we didnít have any option but to face the fact that we were no longer able to get the license for the game from them. Therefore, we took their decision as a great opportunity to open the door for us to develop our own Harvest Moon to take the Harvest Moon franchise to the next level. Letting the Harvest Moon brand disappear wasnít an option, because we couldnít let our fans down.

President Hiro goes on to talk about his introduction into the series, how they've used past feedback from players to put towards their latest game, and how they've taken the feedback they received from their latest game to put into consideration for their next veture; Prez Hiro expects that there'll be an actual town and tool upgrades in the next version of the Harvest Moon series. Ooh, another may be coming! I hope Doc makes an explosive return! Bim-boom-kabooom!

You can read the rest of the interview on the SiliconEra website:

Story of Seasons is out in 10 days in North America (sorry Europe...) in retail stores and the Nintendo 3DS eShop. XSeed updated their Localization Blog with some more backstory on how they localized the text of the game. Localizer Nick outlined the challenges they went through when translating the text from Japanese to English, and how they tediously made the tiniest of fixes to ensure the text displayed correctly.

You can read up on the hiccups they went through while working on the localization on the XSeed Tumblr page:

Until next time!

- Cher
(I'm finally an aunt! Woo! Happy Birthday little one!)
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Mega-Sheep and Conquest | Posted at 09:55 AM on 07 March 2015
Last week, Natsume revealed the next mega-plushie from their Lost Valley collect. The newest member of the crew is the fluffy sheep. The wooly fellow will be available sometime in April from the SOTA Toys website, which is apparently going through a redesign at the moment. (Why redesign an ecommerce site live? That cuts into sales... design offline, test, and then upload *shrug*)

Story of Seasons comes out in a few weeks, and XSeed Games has added another entry to their localization blog. The latest article states that the rivalry system in the English version of the game is known as the Conquest system. South of your farm are a wide variety of fields that are reserved for specific usage. There's a field for leafy crops (spinach, cabbage, strawberry, etc.), a field for root crops (carrot, turnip), tea leaves, fruit trees, tall crops (corn, flax, tomato), flowers, and so on. You will be given rights to the leafy field by the Guild, but the other fields are already in use by the other farmers when you arrive in Oak Tree Town. To gain access to these fields, you'll need to participate in Conquest to earn the right to use these fields from the fields' former holder.

Since your farm is limited in size, the outlaying fields allow you to expand your crop empire outside of your kingdom's borders. Crops grown in these fields also grow at a faster rate, so there is an advantage to participating in Conquest to take over the other areas.

You can read more on the company's blog page:

And here is Nintendo DREAM's 4-col comic for February!

- Cher
(Off to Grandma's 79th birthday party! Busy weekend ahead!)
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SoS and Popopopopopo | Posted at 07:35 PM on 20 February 2015
Last week, XSeed announced that the official release date for Story of Seasons in North America will be March 31, 2015. Remember to pre-order your copy of the game to get the special pre-order bonus Angora bunny plushie!

(No, the game's release date has not been pushed back. The other dates were placeholder date and not official. NOW it is official!)

Marvelous is also ramping up the promotion of their crossover game, Popolocrois Bokujou Monogatari, which is a rendition of the cult-classic Popolocrois game mixed in with farming aspects. The Nintendo 3DS game is set to be released in Japan on June 18, 2015. Unfortunately, I can't say I know anything about Popolocrois, yet I have read a lot of good things about it from others who are fans of the series. It'll be interesting to see if Marvelous gives this little gem to its English localization team for North American release.

Happy Friday!

- Cher
(Back to farming weekend I go...)
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