Ushi No Tane - Harvest Moon Gameboy PHP-Update 20th Contest, LoH Q&A, 3oT EU, and Oct 4-col Happy Farm'n Friday! Most of the dahlias here at Fogu HQ are now packed away for their six months of winter sleepy time. There's still about 10 left to prepare as well as all the bulbs in the allium bed that need to be pulled up before the ground freezes. Soon there won't be yard work to do for months, but there will be Christmas Extravaganza installation soon! Ho ho ho!

Harvest Moon 20th Drawing ContestTo celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Harvest Moon game, Natsume is holding a global drawing contest for all fans of the series. To participate in the contest, the art piece must contain at least one game character and at least one animal from a "Harvest Moon" game; "Story of Seasons" characters wouldn't count, of course. The art piece can be more than just a drawing too, as the company is accepting submissions for all kinds of farming goodies such as pictures of cross-stitched pieces.

More information and the official rules can be found on the company's website. The contest is open until December 31, so you've lots of time to use your artistic skills to show Natsume how much you like farming video games!

How to Participate in the Harvest Moon 20th Anniversary Drawing Contest
Light of Hope Q&A #2 and #3The second and third set of fan-submitted questions for Harvest Moon: Light of Hope have been posted on Natsume's Facebook page. They revealed that the game will have a festival that fans have asked for (but didn't reveal what festival that was), the "silky" donkey is a new animal you can care for, and there will be physical versions of the Ps4 and Switch. The villagers will walk around and have daily schedules, and this "retro plus" style game is currently on track for an end-of-Winter completion with PC version development going faster than the console version.

Trio of Town Finally Sprouts in EuropeWooo! It took a while, but the PAL version of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is finally out. The game is available in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian. Congrats fellow farmers!

October ComicAnd here's the October Nintendo DREAM comic!

Until next time!

- Cher
(No Farm'n Friday next Friday (the 20th). We'll be on an adventure!) Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:50:58 +0000
ToTT+ in Japan, Stardew Released, and LoH QA #1 Happy Farm'n Friday! There are too many trees in our area, so we couldn't see the great Harvest Moon last night. Drat!

Halloween Event in BokuMobileStarting this week in Bokujou Monogatari for Mobage, the mobile BokuMono in Japan, a Dracula's Castle event kicked off for farmers. Players can grow Pumpkin Flowers and Candlewood, and raise Upside-down Bats and Dracula Cats, to harvest and collect points to increase their festival rank. At the end of the harvesting event, prizes are awarded based on the achieved rank in comparison to everyone else who is participating. The highest ranked farmers will win a Candle Trophy, while other farmers can receive spooky farm animals like the Magician Spider. There's also clothing option awards for the Sprite avatar such as dresses, Bat Headband, and Jack-o-Lantern Bag.

Players can also receive heart tokens from their linked friends, which can be exchanged for more prizes. Trading in 350 heart tokens will earn a Dracula-like Tuxedo, and 80 heart tokens is a fancy Dracula hair style. There's also prizes awarded based on how your team ranks in comparison to other teams.

This event is scheduled to end on the 9th. Starting on the 11th, a new event begins for players to ship specific crops to win prizes. After that event ends, on the 22nd a feed-the-animals event will start. Farmer players will grow specific crops to give to random-time event animals, with prizes awarded based on the number of animals that are fed.

Japan Gets Tale of Two Towns PlusMarvelous will finally be releasing the 3DS version of Futago no Mura on December 14. The rest of the world has had the 3DS version since the game was released as Harvest Moon 3D: The Tale of Two Towns back in November 2011 (NA) and June 2012 (PAL), but Japan is only now receiving the 3DS version at a price of 3980 Yen (about $35 USD).

This updated version in Japan comes with a new theme song called "Twin Farms" by idol singing group, Dreaming. The two members of Dreaming are twin sisters Chiyo and Kayo Terada, popular theme song singers for the children's TV series Soreike! Anpanman, among other things.

In general, it appears to be the same as what farmers outside of Japan has already received; 3D graphs, Street Pass support, a working multiplayer field for remote farmers to join, and so on. There's no information yet about any specific differences in Marvelous' latest version, other than the new Dreaming song, but I wouldn't expect this game to be released outside of Japan. For us, it's already for sale on the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

Light of Hope Q&A #1A couple of the questions that were submitted a week or so ago by fans about the upcoming Harvest Moon: Light of Hope game have been answered on Natsume's Facebook and Tumblr accounts. Sounds like Jeanne has become a full-fledged doctor in Light of Hope; she was just studying to be one in Harvest Moon: Skytree Village. Go girl! You can read more responses to the first group of questions on Community Manager CeeCee's Tumblr page:

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Q&A
Stardew Valley Switch ReleaseThe independent farming game Stardew Valley was released on the digital eShop for the Nintendo Switch yesterday. The game retails for $14.99 (USD) with a filesize of 913 MB. I've some time next week to finally play this highly praised farming game. Looking forward to it!

Until next time!

- Cher
(The year's first frost arrives soon. Time to dig up the bulbs and tubers this weekend... how exciting...) Fri, 06 Oct 2017 22:09:00 +0000
Stardew for Switch, Good Life, and Sep 4-col Comic Happy Farm'n Friday! Now that the weather is cooling down, the newly-planted spinach seeds have started to sprout. On the other hand, the spinach seeds that didn't sprout during the heat of summer are also beginning to pop up. Now there's spinach sprouts all over the planting bed because the soil (and the embedded seeds) has moved since the summertime seeds were planted. Oh boy...

Stardew Valley for Switch is Getting Closer...The CEO of Chucklefish Games, the publisher handling the Nintendo Switch version of Stardew Valley, announced earlier this week that the game has been approved for publication on the console. The next step is to set a release date and then it's good to go! Woo!

The Good LifeLast night I sent a tweet out about financial backing for The Good Life, a game in development by White Owls and famed Japanese game director, Swery. But what does it have to do with farming?!" you may wonder. Oh, but it does!

In this game you play as Naomi, a photographer from New York who is heavily in debt. To earn some money she take a reporter job to check out Rainy Woods, a happy little town in the English countryside and home to a variety of unusual villagers. While living in Rainy Woods as Naomi, you take photographs and write reports to send back to the Morningvale newspaper to earn money, but you can also participate in farm-related part-time jobs for the townsfolk such as sheep sheering and milk delivery, or go fishing and mining. Eventually you could even purchase your own sheep ranch or tea plantation to earn more income. The town also goes through four seasons per year. Sounds farmy to me!

But, that's not all the game is about. For some unknown reason the villagers turn into cats at night and don't remember the experience the next morning. Then there's the strange circumstances regarding the dead body. Whaaaat? A who-did-it mystery, magical kitty transformations, and farming? What a combination!

You can check out the official trailer for the game on Youtube:

The Good Life PAX WEST Trailer (2017) (Caution: Contains some flying Fs if you are uncomfortable with expletives)
The downside is that the funding goal is ambitiously high ($1.5 million), so I hope that the game can be published even if the goal isn't met within the next two weeks.

Plus, there's also a photographer named Naomi in the Harvest Moon: Lost Valley/Skytree Village series. I assume it's merely a coincidence, but still kind of neat.

4-column ComicAnd here's the translated September 2017 Nintendo DREAM 4-col comic!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Mr.Fogu's finally going to play Zelda: A Link To The Past on his SNES Classic. He's in for a treat!) Fri, 29 Sep 2017 19:55:41 +0000
Shirts, HM Game Sale, and LoH Spotlight #2 Happy Farm'n Friday! As summer goes away for another year, it's cool enough to finally plant some spinach and not have it bolt due to heat. I've to grow something this year, dang it!

T-Shirt Review
Last week I picked up three of the farming themed shirts available on the Farming Simulator pink heart, the RSG "Now Loading" chicken, and the Natsume bubbly bluebird. All three were made of different fabric blends. The FS shirt is 90% Cotton / 10% Poly, the RSG shirt is 100% Cotton, and the Natsume shirt is 65% Poly / 35% Cotton.

All three shirts fit pretty well for their purchased size. The RSG shirt didn't shrink (that I could notice) after it went through the laundry, even though it's made of 100% Cotton. The FS and Natsume shirts looked just as well as they did before going through the washing machine and clothes dryer, although the RSG shirt's design looks a little more scuffed up as its print feels different than the other two, as best as I can describe it at least.

Generally they're all pretty good shirts. Keep an eye out for the tag though, as Amazon puts a label sticker on the inside neck opening of the shirts. Not removing the sticker before washing results in a piece of paper stuck to the inside of the shirts that is now more difficult to peel off. Ooops! Ah, the stickers will eventually wear off, I hope!

Digital Game Sale
Until September 30, many of Natsume's digital farming game offerings are for sale for 50% off in North America:

Harvest Moon: Skytree Village (3DS) - US: $29.99 $14.99, CA: $40.99 $20.49Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley (3DS) - US: $29.99 $14.99, CA: $33.99 $16.99Harvest Moon 3D: The Tale of Two Towns (3DS) - US: $19.99 $9.99, CA: $21.99 $10.99Harvest Moon: A New Beginning - US: $29.99 $14.99, CA: $33.99 $16.99Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life SE (PSN) - US: $14.99 $7.49, CA: $19.99 $9.99Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland (PSN) - US: $14.99 $7.49, CA: $19.99 $9.99
The sale does not include the Nintendo Gameboy virtual console games Harvest Moon 1, Harvest Moon 2, or Harvest Moon 3. These three Nintendo classics remain at their $4.99 price in both United States and Canada. It also does not include the older Playstation game Harvest Moon: Back To Nature.

Light of Hope Feature Spotlight #2
This week, Producer Taka explained some of the new farming features in the new Harvest Moon game he's working on. There's also a new video of the main character tilling up soil in the farm areas, planting seeds in various spots, watering, and harvesting.

In this version there is a new "farming friend" feature that gives players hints as to how their crops are doing. The thought bubble color appears to change color when you apply fertilizer or compost. If you've not picked the crop before, the icon in the Farming Friend bubble will display as "?" until you harvest and its entry is added to the encyclopedia. But if you're already picked that crop before, Taka explains the "?" appearing again indicates a successful crop mutation!

The video has several types of crops (Potato, Strawberry, Pink Pansy, Cabbage, Carrot, Tomato, etc.) and even an Apple Sprout is seen as the main character pages through her seed inventory. A few animals are also included such as cow, sheep, horse, and two colors of Poitou donkeys. Tools can cover multiple areas, and there's even some decorations like stone blocks, hedges, and lumber.

If you want to learn more about a topic or have any questions about Light of Hope for Producer Taka for future Feature Spotlights, Natsume is welcoming any inquires sent in by curious gamers. You can send a tweet to the Natsume_Inc Twitter account along with #HarvestMoon hashtag, reply to the post topic on the company's Facebook page, or send an email directly to Natsume is taking questions for Taka until the 25th (next Monday), so send in what you want to know more about!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Unripe watermelon -> watermelon pickles! At least something positive is coming out of it.) Fri, 22 Sep 2017 20:53:19 +0000
FS 2017 for Switch and HM Shirts Happy Farm'n Friday!

More Farming for Nintendo SwitchFarming Simulator 2017 has been announced for release on the Nintendo Swith this November 14 in North America (ESRB Rated E for 'EVERYONE CAN HAVE FARM'N FUN!') and November 7 in Europe. The game contains fields, forests, livestock animals, and even over 250 realistic farm vehicles you can use to manage your farming empire.

In NA, the game will sell for $49.99 and can be pre-ordered at Gamestop and Amazon Prime members also get 20% off the pre-order, bringing the price down to $39.99. The Ps4 and XBox One versions of Farming Simulator 2017 have season pass support, but nothing announced yet for the Switch version.

FS is a niche series if you haven't heard of it before. Farming Simulator 18 is also available for mobile iOS and Android OS. There's even a planned USB add-on for PC and console editions that releases scents when players enter "odor points" within the game. Likewise there are a variety of Farming Simulator t-shirt designs available on their Amazon store.

Speaking of t-shirts...

Harvest Moon shirts appear on NA AmazonA while ago Rising Star Games placed some Harvest Moon themed shirts on their Amazon UK store. There are now additional designs available on Natsume's North American Amazon store as well!

While RSG has the "Now Loading..." and an color-inverted art block design, the new design options from Natsume are also animal inspired. There's two blue bird designs, a rabbit and winter rabbit design, a group animal design, and a cow-portrait printed with "Harvest Moon."

Each shirt costs $19.99 (plus tax if applicable) and come in a variety of sizes.

Watermelon Land is a DudAlas it doesn't appear that the front-yard watermelon patch will be productive. Because of the squirrels, the lack of watering while I was out of town, and finally the wildfires that coated everything with white ash, the vine leaves have turned brown and I doubt the remaining fruit will ever fully ripen. It was an interesting test through; next year I'll just have to plan for a crop that doesn't demand so much warm weather.

At least 10-gallon-bucket PotatoLand is almost ready for harvest! Hopefully I get something this season (dang dumb cherry tomatoes...)

Until next time!

- Cher
(Yes Barrett, we have all the pieces of the tablet. Decipher it already!) Fri, 08 Sep 2017 21:18:26 +0000
RIP Natsume Forum and PAX West 2017 Happy farm'n Friday! I'm still going through Rune Factory 2, although I'm not sure where I'm going since I picked it back up mid-play through! It's a mystery!

Bye Bye Natsume ForumsPublic access to the Natsume Community forum was removed from the Natsume website this morning, ending a seven-year platform for fans of their games to post questions, bug reports, and other bits of feedback directly on the company's official website. Now a days most of their company-to-player interactions is through their social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr. They even have an eBay Store where classic copies of their games and promotional items are for sale.

I'll kind of miss the Natsume forums. Seven years of history and 150,000 posts just *poof*

PAX WestLabor Day weekend in the US is when PAX West takes place in Seattle, Washington. Natsume Community Manager CeeCee will be in attendance again this year where you can participate in find-'a-CeeCee. She'll post pictures on the company's Instagram page of where show attendees can get clues as to where she currently is located. Find her and they could win one of the special 20th Anniversary Cow figurines!

NintenDori ComicAnd here's the Nintendo DREAM 4-col comic from February 2012, featuring characters from Harvest Moon: A New Beginning!

Until next time!

- Cher
(On my way to the beach! Gotta catch some Magikarp, Remoraid, Horsea...) Fri, 01 Sep 2017 22:47:00 +0000
Bokumono Mobage Update and Aug '17 4-col Comic Happy farm'n Friday! Since completing Zelda: Breath of the Wild the other week, my next non-farming game has been playing Rune Factory 2 again with the goal of actually finishing it this time. The game is more challenging than I remember! Apparently I left off years ago after clearing Trieste Forest. The fall and winter areas are really tough though, even for my little Hammer Troll buddy.

New Mobile Bokumono Recycling Event
In Japan, a new Recycling Event started this week in the mobile version of Bokujou Monogatari for the Mobage platform. Until the 30th, players will earn event points based on the crops, trees, and animals that were utilized during prior events; basically, recycling all of the leftover seeds that might be cluttering up inventory space. Event points will reward players with in-game prizes based on the number of points earned. Planting recycling event keys (trees) or makeup compacts (crops) will earn the most points. These crops are purchased by using Mobage currency, often obtained by exchanging real-life money for Mobage coins. You can also earn special recycling event crops based on the number of points you earned for harvesting recycled products.

The next level of points come from harvesting items that were obtained through the Goddess Fountain coin exchange system such as the Silver Seahorses and Magic Cups, which were gifted during the Undersea event and Magic Pond event.

After that it is animals gifted through special Goddess Packs, and then basically anything else left over from prior events such as the Mystery Books from the Library event, the White Dress Flowers from the Summer Wedding event, and so on. Even standard crops can earn points, although those will earn the least amount of points.

European RSG eShop Sale
Rising Star Games has several of its digital games for sale in the European Nintendo eShop. Farmers can pick up the 3DS version of Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns for 9.99 Euro and Hometown Story for 7.49 Euro. The sale will last a few more days and end on the 27th.

Nintendo DREAM Comic
And here's the August 2017 4-col comic published in Nintendo DREAM magazine and written by Igusa Matsuyama!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Next week Mr.Fogu is away for a business conference, meaning IT IS FINALLY MY ANNUAL CURRY WEEK!! Nom nom nom...) Fri, 25 Aug 2017 20:36:55 +0000
HM: Light of Hope Spotlight #1 and RF4 Promo Video Happy farm'n Friday!
Light of Hope Feature Spotlight #1
This week Natsume posted a video of rebuilding a villager's house in Harvest Moon: Light of Hope. This is the first official video of the game in motion other than the shaky-camera videos that escaped June's E3 event, where a demo version of the game was available for show attendees to try. If you haven't seen the video yet, check it out on Natsume's Facebook page:

Natsume Inc - Rebuilding the Town
The Facebook post also includes a description of the video from Producer Taka. He explains how players will be tasked with rebuilding the villager houses and bridges that were destroyed when the terrible storm came through the island (and washed you up there as well). The video showcases the main farmer fixin'n up Sam's shop in the village. You can also see Calvin the Harvest Sprite and Jeanne for a brief moment.

Initially after seeing the video, I was a bit confused as many others. For me, why does the hero still look the same as the previous versions of the series? With a new adventure I'd expect a new protagonist at some point! This poor guy or gal really gets lost a lot. The hero has wandered into two snowy valleys, one abandoned farm with neighboring absent-minded villagers, and now it's a shipwreck onto an island, all while wearing the same overalls, yellow-plaid shirt, and red 'kerchief. That's some pretty bad luck, but on the flip side someone is really good at doing their laundry.

After playing the video in full-screen mode instead of the default Facebook video size, I got a bit better feel of the game. The background reminds me a bit of Citizens of Earth, which is a pretty cool game if you haven't played it yet. The trees and rocks are also less washed-out looking than the earlier mobile game, Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories. Ok, I like bright colors. This might not be too bad. It might be nice to have some springtime cherry blossoms or something fluttering around (as long as it isn't the dreaded foggy weather).

As for the characters, the animated emotions have returned in this latest version of the series. Having the 3D characters against a 2D background is a little, well, it seems some people like them and some people don't. It does look a little odd, but the 3D-ish cloud of smoke when Sam's house was complete kind of visually worked. Although much like the protagonist, I would hope that Sam's wardrobe might change at some point.

Naturally I'll play the game, because it's farm'n, but it feels somewhat like this is headed in a lighter direction for younger audiences. Challenge wise, this game gives me the impression that it might be very easy (such as only needing 1 Softwood Lumber to fix Sam's house), which would be great for novice farmers. On the opposite side, the previous versions had some challenges that were ridiculously bothersome such as needing to have fruit trees planted for several years before they produce Great-quality fruit. Producer Taka wrote that the houses will require more challenging construction materials as you proceed through the game, but how much more challenging could the main storyline be? In comparison, completing the main story in Skytree Village can easily be done by the end of the first in-game year.

On the bright side, the Spotlight video uses Doc's unique theme song!

New Rune Factory 4 Video
To promote the discount-price re-release of Rune Factory 4 in Japan, Marvelous has released a new trailer for the game. The movie shows characters, battles, and village activities you can participate in during your great adventure.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Maybe the Monday eclipse will grant me SUPER FARMER POWERS, or at least scare those dang squirrels...) Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:22:57 +0000
Natsume Contest Winners and MELON OVERLOAD Happy farm'n Friday! It's mid-August already? This year is flying by so quickly...

Trio of Towns Updates
The Japanese version of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is still appearing on the Nintendo 3DS eShop popularity ranking for downloadable cartridge-based games for the past two-week period. The game was ranked #28 of 50, with Dragon Quest 11 taking spot #1. Not too bad for game that's been out for over a year in Japan.

XSeed is still working out the details for the game's ginormous DLC release in North America. Hoping to be able to give more information soon, the localization team posted a tweet this week of a scene from the cultural event between Westown and Lulukoko, where the Westown marriage candidates go on an adventure to try out different activities with the Lulukoko marriage candidates.

Well this STORY OF SEASONS: Trio of Towns DLC is coming along nicely 👀👀👀— XSEED Games (@XSEEDGames) August 9, 2017

Natsume Collection Contest Winners
The 10 selected winners of the Show-Us-Your-Collection contest were posted on the Natsume Facebook page. There are some impressive-sized collections! Games, boxes, plushies, promo items, and even some paintings! Congratulations to the winners! You can browse through the winning entries on the company's photo album:

WINNERS of the "Show Us Your Harvest Moon Collection" Contest!
Meh, Forget Tomatoes...
It seems to be a no-go for tomatoes this year. After the deer ate the San Marzanos and the cherry tomato still not producing anything, it's best to change pace and concentrate on something that appears to be growing better.

Maybe a bit too much better... "Watermelon don't need that much spacing," or so I thought. They were just cute little sprouts when I planted them. Now they've completely taken over the front yard crop space and are beginning to expand into the other two beds. Five different varieties were planted, and I've no idea which one is which anymore! I do know that they are producing fruit, as each melon is now marked with a bright-colored stick flag. All that compost shoveling earlier this year appears to have helped make this lovely weed-like chaos possible.

What to do with all this watermelon? Margaritas? Grilled? Though I should probably wait until I can harvest it before thinking of cooking possibilities, as the local wildlife may just steal my juicy crops.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Maybe this weekend there'll be less adulting time and more fun time!) Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:23:01 +0000
Marv's 20th, Mobage Bokumono, and HM Collection Photos Happy farm'n Friday!

Marvelous' 20th Anniversary
In Japan, Marvelous is celebrating its 20th anniversary by launching a special website featuring its video games, music, and anime that it has published over the years in Japan. There's a little bit of Bokumono history there too, as the company became involved in the series at the time of Friends of Mineral Town for GBA (2003) after acquiring Victor Interactive; FoMT was still published under Victor, and MFoMT was published under MMV. Not every game is listed on their History page, but it is a nice overview of the many areas the company has been involved in. The opening movie includes a bit of River King, so maybe there's still hope for a new game? Ah, that would be nice!

Marvelous is also promoting their anniversary by making a 100-question quiz about the company and its products. Participants in the quiz can then enter to win a variety of prizes based on the number of questions they answer correctly: 1 correct answer equals 1 entry into a raffle for a selected prize drawing. Luckily participants don't have to answer every question to submit their contest entry! There's a chance to win an autographed Rune Factory 4 CD and earbuds (5 winners) or a framed illustration (5 winners too) from longtime Bokumono character designer, Igusa Matsuyama. The prizes will only be shipped within Japan though, so if you don't live there, you can't participate (drat!)

You can see all of the festivities on the Marvelous website:

【マーベラス20周年記念サイト】 MARVELOUS! 20th ANNIVERSARY
New Social Network Bokumono Event
In Bokumono for Mobage, the current event is themed Summer Animal Parade, where players care for accordion flowers, trumpet trees, drumming bears, and ball-balancing seals on their farm spaces. At harvest, players earn points to increase their harvest rank. At the end of the event on the 10th, virtual prizes will be awarded based on the rank earned in comparison to all other participants. Those who are rank 10 or higher will get an in-game trophy, 11 to 100 get a pink hippo wearing a dress as a farm animal, 101 to 200 get a sunflower saxophone, and so on. Naturally players will get the lower-ranked prizes too.

Harvest Moon Collection Entries
In North America, Natsume posted a huge album of the entries they received during the Show Us Your Harvest Moon Collection contest. There's a lot of plushies, game boxes, and even some unique hand-crafted items such as paintings and perler bead art! You can browse through the collections of farm'n on the company's Facebook page:

Show Us Your Harvest Moon Collection!
On the sadder note, Natsume has decided to close their official community message forum, preferring to communicate future news about their published games by using their many social media platforms.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Turns out that it was some visiting deer eating my tomatoes. Now I have zero tomatoes... dangit...) Fri, 04 Aug 2017 19:12:12 +0000