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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.




Popolo Sales Data and EU LV DLC | Posted at 05:38 PM on 03 July 2015
In farm'n news this week, Media Create reports that sales in Japan of Return to Popolocrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale now total approximately 55,700. Its first-week sales were strong (46k), but now its second-week sales have slowed down to about 9,000. A lot of players would of bought it on its June 19th release date, so the slow down in sales is expected.

In comparison, Media Create estimated that the first two-week sales of Story of Seasons in Japan totaled about 160,000, and had about a 77% drop compared to its first week sales.

The European players of Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley now have access to the second set of DLC packages, which contained Building Set #1 and Building Set #2. These packs add a variety of objects that player can craft via Doc to decorate their valleys. Building Set #1 includes the colored Goddess' Pergolas and the Harvest Sprite Flowerbed. Building Set #2 are new fencing choices such as brick, wooden, tile and plain styles.

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



- Cher
(US peeps, have a safe Fourth of July!)
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New Nintendo 3DS Harvest Moon Themes | Posted at 01:08 PM on 26 June 2015
This week, Natsume released Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley console themes for Nintendo 3DS users in North America and Europe. There are four animal-style 3DS customization themes: chicken, cow, dog, and horse. Each theme costs $0.99 (US Dollars) or you can buy the four pack for $2.99. The Cow theme requires 14 blocks of SD space, the Dog and Horse themes are 15 blocks of SD space, and the mighty Chicken theme needs 20 blocks of SD card space. Although the 3DS eShop purchase details states that the four pack only needs a total of 60 SD blocks.


Besides the animal-themed wallpaper and Lost Valley background music, the selected theme you use will make an animal sound when you open your 3DS. The chicken theme will cluck at you when you open your console, the cow will moooooooooooo, the dog will bark, and the horse theme will neigh.

To purchase and download the Lost Valley 3DS themes, visit the Home Menu Design shop from your Nintendo 3DS main menu (tap the house icon in the upper-left corner of the bottom screen, then select Change Theme).

One thing I haven't mentioned yet regarding last week's E3 video game convention is that Natsume was giving away a special E3-only promo plushie. This is the fourth special promo plushie that the company has offered to visitors that I can recall; the first being the special white alpaca for Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns, the second was the blue Ember from Hometown Story, and the third is the blue-bandana puppy from Lost Valley. Booth visitors in 2012 received the 15-year anniversary tote bag, and not a plushie, if I remember correctly.


For comparison: E3 2014 puppy, E3 2015 chick, SoS rabbit, and SOTA Toys chick


This year's Natsume E3 plushie was a smaller version of the SOTA Toys baby chicken plushie. The E3 plushie doesn't fold over onto itself and convert into an egg like the full-size version. The 2015 chick also had a Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories tag attached to its chickie hair.

As for news from Japan, the latest Popolocrois game, Popolocrois: Bokujou Monogatari was released on the 19th and has already sold over 40,000 copies according to Media Create sales data. You can check out a lot of player submitted screen shots by watching the Japanese Miiverse for the game:

Ooohhh does this mean you're going to make a Fogu guide for it?!

Return to Popolocrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale isn't on my to-do list for site guides. While it is a freak'n adorable game, I'm clearly having time issues with trying to get both the current Story of Seasons and Lost Valley guides complete; starting a third guide without finishing the previous two isn't terribly beneficial to anyone, and I've to get those two done before Seeds of Memories and any new big Bokujou Monogatari titles comes out. I definitely plan to buy the game when XSeed Games releases it in English though, because it is pretty dang neat.


- Cher
(Oye, it is going to be over 100 F this weekend, blah... where's my rain...)
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Post E3 Roundup | Posted at 05:11 PM on 20 June 2015
E3 is over for the year, and while I was there checking out the upcoming games from various video game developers and publishers, there were several farming-related game updates outside of the show floor. Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is now out in the European region in English, French, German, and Spanish, the two DLC marriage candidates for LV were released in North America, and Popolocrois: Bokujou Monogatari is now out in Japan, either from stores or the JP Nintendo eShop (where it is 480 yen cheaper than the posted retail price).


As for E3, first off we'll take a look at Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories. The game will use the same characters as Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, but a few of them have new roles. The game's marriage candidates will be the same six from Lost Valley along with the two download candidates (Luke and Andrea) and fan-favorites Tabitha and Gareth. The characters have been redesigned a little bit so they are better proportioned and less bobble-head.

A small sample of the iOS tablet version was available at the booth this year. The sample was about five minutes in length; just enough to show the direction that Natsume wants to take the mobile version, which will be a smaller version of the Wii U and PC versions.

In the small mobile gameplay sample, players started out on an empty field filled with rocks and trees. Rowan the Harvest Sprite explains that before you start work on your desolate area, which was flat and didn't appear to have any height like in Lost Valley, he wants you to visit the nearby town. The two of you exit the farm to the left, walk through the path area towards town (which has a mysterious exit to the north), and then stop at the plaza when you reach Chestnut Town. Rowan directed players to talk to each of the villagers and then return to talk to him. There were many villagers standing in front of their shops (Brutus, Gilbert, Luke, Andrea, and Hunter) and a few wandering around town (Tabitha, Sam, and Emily), and players just tapped on the villager to bring up conversation dialog. Once finished, Rowan thanked the player and the sample ended.

Whaaaa, that was it?! Where is the Wii U version or even a screen shot?! I want to see too!

Well, the development of the Seeds of Memories game is still very early, and as such it isn't a good idea to show something when it isn't completely ready for public dissection and critique. There are many developers who didn't allow for filming of the games they were demonstrating at E3 because the games aren't 100% ready yet. EA's Star Wars Battlefront had many "No filming or photography" signs around the demo stations, and even the Lego Dimensions demo movie disclosed that the room was being monitored for film equipment, which will be confiscated if visitors are caught taking unauthorized images of the screen.

While the public is clamoring for more information, sometimes it is best to wait until things are more polished before releasing it, whether it be something as niche as Harvest Moon or as highly anticipated as Kingdom Hearts 3. It's good to remember that E3 is mainly for press media (for publicity) and retail buyers (for store shelf space when developed games are ready for retail).

While it isn't a farming game, another that was at E3 is the latest in the Popolocrois series, Return to Popolocrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale. The game was in a mix of English and Japanese, as its localization has only recently started. I was able to talk with Tom from XSeed Games, who is genuinely enthusiastic about bringing the game over from Japan. The Story of Seasons aspect of the game is just a small portion of the gameplay, as it is mainly a story RPG with turned-based battles.

The mysterious world that Price Pietro falls into is affected by a strange dark matter that has infected the soil. Tom explained that Pietro has to use fairy dust to shrink to a very small size. This allows Pietro and his party to go into the soil (dungeons) and destroy the bad guy. Once the soil has been disinfected, you unlock the ability to grow crops in the area. There are five farms, with Pietro's farm being a general area with crops and animals, and the other four being seasonal (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter).

An interesting aspect about the farming feature is the way that crops grow and mature. Crops grow as you are playing the game, whether going through the dungeons or exploring the world. Players will then receive an on-screen notice informing them that the crops are ready to be harvested. The same notice will let you know when your animals are hungry; if you let them go hungry for too long, then they won't produce anything. Even if the crops aren't watered regularly, they won't wilt and die. This means players won't have to worry about rushing out of the dungeon to care for their plants.

The game is quite charming and should be enjoyable for anyone who is a fan of Popolocrois or those who are new to the series (like myself).

Until next time!


- Cher
(I'm now swimming in plushies! EEeeeeeiiiii!)
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