Ushi No Tane - Harvest Moon Gameboy PHP-Update Skytree DLC and Nintendo Swith Happy farm'n Friday! This week a patch for Harvest Moon: Skytree Village was released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in North America. This free download requires 36 blocks of SD space and updates the game to version 1.01. The patch included some bug fixes, preparations for future download content, and unlocked high level fertilizer purchases from Sam's shop.

Within a few weeks we'll have two additional marriage candidates in Skytree Village. The bachelor DLC comes with a Harvest Goddess statue for your farm land, while the bachelorette DLC comes with a STATUE OF SMEXY DOC to decorate our farm spaces with. The new candidates will be $2.99 USD each.

Community manager CeeCee will be introducing the new marriage candidates as it gets closer to their DLC release date. Keep an eye on the company's Facebook page for character interviews from reporter Naomi:
Next month the Harvest Goddess Pergola from Harvest Moon: Lost Valley will be a free DLC along with a Harvest Sprite Statue.

Also in North America, both Skytree Village and Story of Seasons are included in Nintendo's January Digital Deals. The farming games will be discounted until January 25. Skytree Village is 28% off ($21.59 USD) and Story of Seasons is 37% off ($18.99 USD). The sale also includes Natsume's River City Tokyo Rumble.

Last night's Nintendo Switch conference revealed the realistic game Farming Simulator was in development for the new home console (and confirmed by Giants Software) and a Bokujou Monogatari game was planned (and confirmed by Hashimoto). We already know that Stardew Valley is planned for the upcoming console. There's three farm'n games already associated with the Nintendo Switch!

Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any publicized interest from Marvelous for a new River King game. Back when the 3DS was revealed, a Kawa no Nushi Tsuri game and Bokujou Monogatari game were listed on Marv's website as planned for the new console. Eventually we received Hajimari no Shin Tenchi or Harvest Moon: A New Beginning for the 3DS, but the Kawa game fell off of Marvelous' website. It has almost been 10 years since the last River King game was released in Japan (June 2007). It would be super awesome if a new game was developed for the Switch, but that may just be a fish dream...

Until next time!

- Cher
(Working from home while snowed in seems to have convinced my boss that I can work on my days off too! Wha....) Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:31:25 -0600
Happy New Year and Rooster Wallpaper The beginning of the new year brings a cheerful message from President Hiro of Natsume. In his New Year greeting, Pres Hiro outlined the games released by the company during 2016, thanked fans for supporting their many game series, and hinted at some potential surprises in 2017 for the 20th anniversary of Harvest Moon. You can read Pres Hiro's new years greeting on the Natsume website:

Happy New Year to Our Worldwide Fans!
Some possible surprises were discovered by several video game news outlets, as the ESRB has rated Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life SE and Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland for the Playstation 4 console. Currently to play these games you either need a disc copy and a Playstation 2 console or buy the digital version for the Playstation 3. If it is accurate, then players may be able to use their PS4 to play these classic games.

In Japan, Marvelous released special 2017 Year of the Rooster wallpaper. Designed by Igusa Matsuyama, the character designer of the Bokumono series (and the most recent Legend of the River King games), this celebratory artwork can be downloaded for free from the Trio of Towns website:

オリジナル壁紙プレゼント - スペシャル | 牧場物語 3つの里の大切な友だち
If you visit the wallpaper section of the Trio of Towns website using your mobile device, you'll see wallpapers sized for your smaller phone. Screen wallpaper for Android and iPhone are available.

And here's the Nintendo DREAM comic for December!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Ohh it is COLD outside! Winter storm this weekend!) Sat, 07 Jan 2017 13:12:28 -0600
3oT Blog #2 and Skytree DLC The second XSeed Games localization blog for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns was released on Tuesday. In the Tumblr entry, the localizers explain how they worked with the Bokujou Monogatari team in Japan to make programming changes that better match non-Japanese farmer expectations. The article confirms that Farm Circles are still called "Farm Circles" in the English version, and the Town Rank system is now the Town Link Rank. You can read about the changes to veggies and fruit classifications on the XSeed Tumblr blog:

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns - Localization Blog #2
On Sunday the first download content for Harvest Moon: Skytree Village was made available under the Download Content menu within the game. The Farm Decoration Set is a free update that requires 5 blocks of SD space which will unlock 20 decoration options you can place in your farm area. There are 4 brick path patterns, 8 wall options, and 8 corresponding corner wall options. These can be constructed at Doc's laboratory and then placed around your farming space to spruce it up.

Tomorrow is the last day to enter Natsume's Christmas Skytree Village plushie contest. To participate in the fun, simply take a picture of your bluebird or bobcat plushie in a festive holiday scene, then send the picture to Community Manager CeeCee by midnight (Pacific time) on Saturday the 31st. Contestants must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (sorry Central and South America...) and can possibly win another Skytree Village plushie of their choice. You can read more about the contest criteria on Natsume's Facebook page:

The 50% off sale on Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories ends tomorrow.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Happy 2017 to everyone!) Fri, 30 Dec 2016 13:00:09 -0600
New Seeds of Memory Update On Monday, a new update was released for Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories for Android and iOS mobile operating system. This update is free to download for all of those who purchased a copy of the game. For the iOS version, the problem with the Worried Citizen memory not unlocking was fixed, and Andrea's Tuesday afternoon farm visits were moved to the main field area instead of being across the water that required you to have a bridge to reach her, which you might not have built yet (this is now the same as in the Android version).

Several new animals were added to Hunter's store inventory. A baby Brown Chicken costs 3000 G, and baby Brown Cows and Cotton Sheep cost 15,000 G each. Hunter also now buys back your animals if your barns are too full to hold the new animals.

Brown Chickens will lay Candy Eggs
Cotton Sheep produce Cotton Candy Wool
Brown Cows produce Chocolate Milk
There is also a new Collections menu that displays a list of the crops and flowers. Tapping on an entry in the Collections list will bring up a description on how to grow the plant. If the crop is a mutation from another crop, the description will give the season to grow it in, what the crop is that it mutates from, and if you need to use any special fertilizer to trigger the mutation. The Collections menu also contains a list of the fish, where to catch each one, and in which season they appear. This is very handy to have since the game is marketed as a Harvest Moon game that doesn't need online connectivity (such as having to use an online guide to find out how to mutate a plant).

In Europe, Rising Star Games has select 3DS games for sale on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns is on sale for 9.99 Euros (regularly 19.99). The sale will end on January 5th.

In Japan, a Christmas themed Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns desktop wallpaper is available for free from the Bokumono website:
オリジナル壁紙プレゼント - スペシャル | 牧場物語 3つの里の大切な友だち
Until next time!

- Cher
(Mr.Fogu gifted me the LE Spanish Fighting Bull from Europe for my bovine toy collection. Auu, thanks dear!) Fri, 23 Dec 2016 18:58:42 -0600
Patch 1.4 for Trio of Towns Happy farm'n Friday! This week a fourth download patch for the Japanese version of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns was released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. This patch updates the base game to version 1.4 and requires 317 blocks of SD game date to download. The patch included more bug fixes, updated scenes for the Starry Night and New Years Eve festivals, new costumes, and a collaboration pet with Chebrashka.

The little fellow appears by visiting Lulukoko (North), where you bump into the three deities who are having Witchie cast a powerful spell to bring something from far away. The giant pile of oranges that appear via her magic seems to have a voice of its own, so you go investigate and find a little creature among the fruit. Witchie recognizes him as Chebrashka, a famous little fellow, and apologizes for getting him caught up in her spell. Chebrashka wants to stay around though. Withie thinks Lulukoko might be too warm for him, so Dessie invites Chebrashka to come live with you and her. If you want Chebrashka to stay on your farm as a pet, talk to Dessie and select her menu option to have the pet move in to one of the available pet houses on your farm.

Chebrashka's pet ability is ore collecting, which means it can find colored pearls too. He also doesn't need to be fed pet food. Like Hamtaro, it is unknown if Chebrashka will be available in the game when it is released in North America next year.

The change to the Starry Night festival brought in a new post-skyviewing event. You will select one town that you will be in charge of giving gifts to the kids who live there, along with a random marriage candidate elf to help you out. You will sneak into the villagers' houses, select one of three possible gift options for each kid, and then sneak out before the adults wake up. As you leave each house, the kids will awake and find their gifts. You'll get to see some dialog about how the kid likes the anonymous gift you delivered.

The clothing outfits that were added are winter themed. There is a snowman clothing and hat combo, a chicken snowball hat, and two cold-weather clothing outfits from Tsuyukusa.

Until next time!

- Cher
(I hope this snow and ice melts soon... brrrrrr...) Fri, 16 Dec 2016 13:55:19 -0600
Trio of Towns JP eShop Sale It's farm'n Friday once again! This week Marvelous announced that the Japanese digital version of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns hosted on the Nintendo 3DS eShop will be 20% off. Starting from December 14 until January 11, the game will be on sale for 4302 Yen (~$37.50 USD) instead of 5378 Yen (~$47 USD).

Since it's another quiet week in the farming world, let's go over the tool upgrades in Trio of Towns. In this version of the series, tools have up to four properties: weight, ease of use, volume, and range. You can remodel the tool in each of these properties, when applicable, to make it more efficient.

The Weight of the tool affects the stamina that is used. A lighter weighted tool means you conserve more stamina.The Ease of Use of the tool is how long you've to use the tool to do what you need it to do. Increasing this level will make your tools faster.The Volume property is only available on the watering can. This is the total amount of water that the can can hold.The Range is the area the tool can cover.
Remodeling is done at Ludus' carpentry booth in Lulukoko Village, which unlocks mid-Spring of your first year. You will pay him a fee (in G of course) and supply the materials, and he will instantly upgrade the level of the property you select. Each property requires different materials and fee amounts. The weight, ease of use, and volume can be remodeled four times (to max level 5). The range can be remodeled as many times as you would like, but you can only select from specific range options. For example, you can remodel your hoe to till a 1x3 area, but 1x4 is not an option that Ludus can craft. Each of the ranges covers a full crop field, so if your watering can has a range of 1x3, it can water three fields that are aligned in a single row at the same time. A 3x3 ranged watering can would cover three fields by three fields.

The last property you can remodel is the color of the tool. The color doesn't affect the tool's efficiency in any way. Changing the color simply allows you to customize your tools a bit. There are six colors you can choose from, along with the default brown/gray tool option.

A nice feature about remodeling is that you don't need to have the materials in your bag. Ludus will remodel your tools (and make just about anything else) from the materials you have stored away in your farm house storage box. No need to carry all that junk around!

Not every tool has a property that can remodeled. Only the watering can has the volume property, the milker doesn't have the range property, the pitchfork doesn't have the ease of use property, and so on.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Yesterday's snow is slowly melting, huzzah!) Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:21:20 -0600
Stardew Valley Console Releases! Happy farm'n Friday! Not much happened this week regarding our beloved video game genre. The Bluebird bundle and Bobcat bundle for Harvest Moon: Skytree Village are not sold out and still available on the US website.

Stardew Valley will be released on the Xbox One on December 14. The farming game will also be released on the Playstation 4 in North America on December 13 and in Europe on December 14. The popular farming game will not be released on the Wii U, but mega developer Concerned Ape plans to work on a version for the upcoming Nintendo Switch console.

Since not much is going on, let's cover a little trick in Skytree Village that new players of the Natsume flavor of the genre may not be aware of.

When feeding your livestock and poultry animals, placing food into the feed troughs will entice the animals to venture over for a meal. Unfortunately, sometimes they like to take their sweet time walking over to their food. You can harvest milk, wool, and donkey fur after the animals have eaten their feed, which will happen at the top of the hour (10:00, 11:00, and so on). If the animals take too long to reach their feed, then you might have to wait for another hour before you can collect.

To get past this, you can force your animals to their feed troughs before the hour comes up. Simply press the X Button to open your main menu, then select the Save/Load button. Instead of picking the option to Save or Load, just press the red-colored back arrow button in the lower-left corner or press the B Button. When you return to the game you'll find your animals all lined up in front of their food! Taadaa!

This trick also works to get wild animals out of your way. For example, if the brown bunny is hanging out in front of a mine entrance and just doesn't want to move, use this trick to have it reload to somewhere else in the area.

Until next time!

- Cher
(There's a 50% off sale on all Christmas lights!? Mwa ha ha ha....) Fri, 02 Dec 2016 21:19:06 -0600
Game Sales and 4-col Comic Happy Black Friday! It's a good day to stay home and work on projects, until you run out of craft supplies and realize you have to go to the stores anyway... bah...

This week in North America, the special plushie promo bundles for Harvest Moon: Skytree Village have become available on Natsume's US online store. The Bluebird Bundle contains the limited edition 5-inch tall blue bird plushie and a physical copy of the game, and retails for $39.99. The larger premium Bobcat Bundle contains the limited edition 12-inch tall bobcat kitty mega plushie and a physical copy of the game, and retails for $49.99. The plushie bundles do not appear on Canada's website.

Being that it is Black Friday, mega-plushie partner Multiverse Studio is having a limited-time special sale on Harvest Moon promo plushies, from November 25 to November 27. The large six-plushie mega bundle is normally $115, but now on sale for only $40.25. The chicken/chick combo is on sale for $12.25 (from $34.99), and the fuzzy mega-sheep is only $8.75. Today's a good day to buy a mega plushie for a friend or sibling who likes squishy farm animals!
Black Friday - Multiverse Studio
In Europe, Rising Star Games is also having a sale on Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley mega plushies. The chicken/chick combo is £12.49 and the mega puppy plushie is £9.99. The RSG sale will last until November 29.

Did you want MORE sale items? Many of Natsume's digital game offerings in the North and South America regions are for sale on the Nintendo 3DS and WiiU eShops. The Nintendo digital video game sale will last until December 5. This sale includes Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley ($14.99 from $29.99), Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns ($9.99 from $19.99), and Harvest Moon: A New Beginning ($14.99 from $29.99). The sale does not include the Super Nintendo or Gameboy virtual console games, or the recent Skytree Village. XSeed's Story of Seasons is not included in Nintendo's sale.

The independent Stardew Valley is currently on sale on Steam for 33% off.

And here's the Nintendo DREAM 4-col comic for November!

- Cher
(Weekend #2 of Christmas light installation. Maybe it will be finished soon!) Fri, 25 Nov 2016 13:07:13 -0600
Trio of Towns DLC Update #3 The third update for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns was released in Japan on Thursday. This 8-block SD space update unlocked Woofio and the festival EmCee as marriage candidates and gave magical deity Inari a wedding outfit as well as the ability to gift a child to players who married Inari. The update was free to download for current Trio of Towns players.

EmCee will unlock in Japanese versions of the game by walking into the Westown (North) area, where she'll be spotted doing a bit of shopping. She says she moved close by, and reveals that her true name is Stephanie. After that her name updates on the conversation dialog box to her true name. Players who don't download the update to meet her will still see the default 司会者 as her name.

Woofio's introduction is from walking into the Lulukoko (North) area. The dog-suited fellow mentions during the event that he met you at an animal festival, so I'm assuming that players have to attend at least one animal festival before he'll unlock in the game. He likes the variety of wild animals around Lulukoko and wants to work on his animal training skills here.

Inari's baby comes as a gift to the married couple from the god that rules over the deities. It has Inari's white hair and red eyes, but is visually the same design as the child options for the mortal marriage candidates. Inari's kid does not have fox ears or a tail. It is not confirmed yet if Stephanie and Woofio have a child, what that child looks like, if they have special marriage requirements, or even if they live with you post-marriage.

The download content also included some bug fixes. The glitch where a crop gifted to a wild animal gets its stats averaged if not eaten and you pick it back up appears to have finally been corrected. I expect that the many bug fixes will make it into the English version of the game that is scheduled to be released in 2017.

A Nintendo 3DS theme was also released in Japan that showcases the marriage candidates. The theme costs 200 Yen. Scrolling left and right on your 3DS lower screen will rotate through the official artwork of bachelors and bachelorettes, but Stephanie and Woofio are absent. I'm assuming it is because they are download content and not part of the core game.

This weekend kicks off the authorization from Mr.Fogu to start attaching the Christmas Light Extravaganza onto Fogu HQ, although I'm prohibited from lighting it up until after Thanksgiving. I think it's a fair compromise.

- Cher
(Gone away is the bluebird.... speaking of which, where is the Skytree Village Bluebird bundle anyway?) Fri, 18 Nov 2016 16:43:47 -0600
Skytree Launches and Birthdays Harvest Moon: Skytree Village launched this week in North America, although not completely hiccup free. Unforeseen circumstances resulted in a delay of the Bluebird plushie and Bobcat plushie bundles that were to be available on Natsume's (US) online store; apparently the Underworld King doesn't want farmers to have fun. At this moment the game can be purchased plushie-free from the Nintendo eShop, local retail stores, and online retailers. Watch the Natsume social media platforms for news on when the plushie bundles will become available.

The Nintendo Miiverse for the game is now available for browsing. You can also take screen shots of the game and save them to your Screenshot Album, or use the in-game Binoculars to take screen shots that are saved to your 3DS SD card.

I've seen (and received) questions about how to locate the mine that Gus asked you about. What Rowan expects you to do is jump across the water to the other side, which then triggers a cut scene about locating the mine and using the shovel to reach it. I was stuck at this point for a few days during prerelease, and a few others seem to be getting stuck here too, so I thought I'd point it out for those who are just starting out. Another question I've received is finding the Rainbow Trout. You will want to go fishing in a high-area such as the top of the waterfall by the Harvest Goddess Spring. Also another common question, the Hammer comes later in the storyline of the game as you work on reviving the fifth Skytree.

There will be a Fogu guide for the game, although it is slow to start since my playtime is restricted to weekends; the boss won't let me play video games at work! Bah! I am still working on the SoS 1 and SoS:3oT guides as well.

In other news, Yasuhiro Wada's latest video game, Birthdays the Beginning, is set to be released on the Playstation 4 in Japan on January 19, 2017. According to Wada, the game will also be released in North America and Europe by NIS America in early 2017. The official website for the game was launched late last month if you want to check it out, which includes a promotional gameplay video:

いのちをうみだすみんなのハコニワ Birthdays the Beginning
Wada was in the Seattle area earlier this week and had a chance to met up with the super-independent developer of Stardew Valley. That's pretty dang cool.

On the 14th, NISA will host a Twitch livestream of Birthdays starting at 2pm Pacific Time, followed by a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) hosted by Wada starting at 3:30pm Pacific Time.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Time to check for dead bulbs on my Christmas light strings!) Fri, 11 Nov 2016 16:32:07 -0600