Ushi No Tane https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=blogs&p=updates http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss PHP-Update Doraemon:SoS stickers for Japan, and FP/LP in SoS:FoMT https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1579302883 Happy Farm'n Friday! The lotus seed that was planted in the old fish cube last week is doing really well!The first leaf has opened up, and I would guess that the second leaf will be open when I return to the office on Monday. There's even a third leaf that started to emerging from the gravel yesterday. The fish cube sits in the window and gets plenty of sun (when it's not raining outside). Looks like we've a happy lotus! Even the decorative fish is enjoying the company.Another week of not much news, sorry. Marvelous of Europe has been promoting pre-orders of the upcoming Rune Factory 4 SE for Nintendo Switch in PAL and AU regions. The Standard edition is just the game and available at select retailers on Marv EU's list, while the Archival edition for pre-order at Marvelous' website includes the Switch game, art book, CD soundtrack, swimsuit DLC, and collector's box. The Archival edition is also available in North America directly from XSeed Games' website. The game doesn't have an official release date outside of Japan yet. Likewise, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town still doesn't have an official English release date.Natsume's probably up to something too, though it is probably NOT a romance visual novel featuring the wondrous Doc. Oh wouldn't that be fun!
World Hobby Fair
https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1579302883 Fri, 17 Jan 2020 23:14:43 +0000
Rival Events in SoS: FoMT and Nintendo's digital New Years Sale https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1578694836 Happy Farm'n Friday! So over the Christmas holiday Mr. Fogu's sister gifted me a bag of lotus seeds. The nice part about these seeds is that they were already tipped. Typically with a lotus seed the top of the seed has to be ground down or cracked to allow water to penetrate the seed's exterior shell, which then triggers germination. I've destroyed a lot of lotus seeds trying to properly break their shells, but this new bag had that already taken care of! Huzzah!Since there's an empty 1-gallon fish cube in my office from when we upgraded Office Fish to a 10-gallon tank, it is going to become home to a new lotus plant, or so we hope. I got a lotus seed to sprout at home and then brought it to work on Monday to be placed in the old tank, and by Thursday there was a leaf that had already reached the water surface and another leaf growing up from the seed's base. Looks like I've a happy indoor plant! My coworker is watching it too, as he's a little terrarium set up in his office that he's been looking to upgrade.
Rival Events in SoS: FoMTIn the original Gameboy Advance version of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town the core marriage candidates had love interests that could result in a marriage between the two of them: Gray and Mary, Doctor and Elli, Karen and Rick, Kai and Popuri, and Ann and Cliff. Triggering the four rival events would engage the couple to get married. Once the couple married you no longer had the option to marry the available marriage candidate. The one left-over normal candidate would be Ann if Cliff left town at the end of the first year, which is a choice players can make.Turns out the players in Japan don't like rival pairings. Hashimoto revealed in an interview about 3 years ago in Nintendo DREAM what he knew about how players felt when marrying a member of a set couple. Boy players stated they stop playing because the love rival took the girl they like, while the girl players felt the rivals are a better match to the marriage candidates than their main character is. Hence why there are no rival/couple pairings in the games anymore; the players in Japan didn't like them.Since the 2003 GBA game included rival events, the Nintendo Switch remake also contains rival events: the sweetness between Mary and Gray, Doc not picking up Elli's hints of affection, Rick's meek endearment towards Karen, Popuri's interest in the adventurous Kai, and Ann opening up shy Cliff. But there is a limit.Only the first two rival events are included in the Switch remake of Friends of Mineral Town. The original Black Rival Event and the Blue Rival Events can both be triggered pretty easily early on in the Switch game, as neither event has a minimum in-game year requirement like the original Green Rival Event (2nd year) and the Orange Rival Event (4th year) do.For the Black Rival Event the couple needs to have black hearts (less than 10,000 Love Points). For the Blue Rival Event, you need to have triggered the Black event and the couple needs to have blue hearts or lower (less than 30,000 love Points). Players can basically see both of these rival events within the first few days of starting their game, minus the Kai/Popuri events of course, as those requires Kai's summertime visits.After that, there's nothing else. There aren't any more hints of romance between the couple once the two rival events have triggered. They go on the rest of their Mineral Town lives as unmarried people, unless you chose to marry one of them. Jennifer and Brandon, the two new characters added to SoS:FoMT, do not have rival events and are not defined as a set couple.I would of liked to see all four events in the Switch version. I miss the rival pairings :(
Nintendo Farm'n Game DiscountsIn North America, a variety of digital games are discounted on the Nintendo eShop during their New Year SALE. The sale ends January 16:Nintendo 3DSStory of Seasons: $17.99 (regularly $29.99)Story of Seasons - Trio of Towns: $17.99 (regularly #29.99)Return to Popolocrois - A Story of Seasons Fairytale: $9.99 (regularly $19.99)Rune Factory 4: $17.99 (regularly $29.99)Nintendo SwitchStardew Valley: $9.99 (regularly $14.99)Doraemon Story of Seasons: $34.99 (regularly $49.99)Farm Together: $14.99 (regularly $19.99)Farm Expert 2018: ($14.99, regularly $29.99)The Switch edition of Yasuhiro Wada's world simulation game, Happy Birthdays, is also on sale for $14.99 (regularly $39.99). Wada's Little Dragons Cafe is also on sale for $17.99 (regularly $59.99, 70% off!), though LDC's sale ends on the 14th instead of the 16th.
Until next time!
https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1578694836 Fri, 10 Jan 2020 22:20:36 +0000
January 2020 Bokumono Mobile Events and Newly Translated 4-col Comic https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1578088504 Happy Farm'n Friday and well wishes to you all for a great 2020! Last summer I rescued a lonely plant from the local nursery. The plant called Mona Lavender had a tag that stated it liked partial shade, which would be great for my front porch area. Planted it in a pot and it was super super happy all summer long. The top of the leaves were dark green, but flip the leaf around and it was a lovely purple color. It even started blooming purple trumpet-shaped flowers when fall arrived!Unfortunately, one November evening brought deep freezing temperatures that killed off all of its pretty blooms and purple leaves. I didn't learn about the cold snap until the next morning, and by then the frost had shredded through the plant's leaves and the damage was done. I brought the lavender plant into the laundry room with the hope that it might perk back up, but weeks went by and nothing happened. So I left the dead-looking plant there on the counter to remind Mr.Fogu that he should of warn me it was going to freeze that night (he knew, but didn't pass on that information, bah).As I was lamenting my poor dried-up laundry room stick plant the other week, my coworker suggested cutting back its damaged branches to see if that would encourage new growth. Sure enough, this week the plant has new shoots forming from its base. Huzzah, the plectranthus hybrida lives! Now I just need to let the plant do its thing.Things are still slow in the farm'n world. No news to report regarding the English localization of Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town yet. Last week there was an update for the Ps4 version of Harvest Moon: Mad Dash, though I'd admit I haven't gone back to try to pass Stage 55 since Mr.Fogu gifted me Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield for Christmas. I've also been busy developing bits of the SoS:FoMT guide now that the past two months' worth of holidays are over and I've weekends back to myself. Feels nice to be productive again!

January Mobage EventsIt's a new year and a new month of community events in the online Bokujou Monogatari game on the Mobage social game network.The month starts with the the standard harvest-as-much-as-you-can event, this time based on 2020 Year of the Rat. Lots of mouse-themed crops and animals to care for and harvest. Awards are given at the end of the event for the amount of harvest points earned compared to all other players. During random special times, the number of points earned during harvest can be double or triple the normal amount, which can then award farmers with Friend Hearts to exchange with other social game users. These friendship hearts can then be exchanged for another group of prizes. There's also a third group of prizes based on the 10-person team that players join. This event is scheduled to end on the 9th.A hungry animal event begins on the 11t. During this type of social competition each farmer will be assigned one of three random animals for a few hours. Each animal has a specific number of treats it wants before it will be full; the easiest is only 100 treats and the most difficult is 500 treats. If you don't feed the animal during their appearance time they'll go away and a new animal will appear in their place. Feed the animal to have it count towards unlocking in-game rewards. Your in-game friends can also feed the animal that you're assigned, helping to complete the feeding task for everyone who participates. The animal food is obtained by growing event crops on an event-specific field, with normal crops being worth 1 treat and rare crops being worth 2 treats. When everyone successfully feeds enough treats to an animal, those who feed the most snacks will be rewarded with mystery nut seeds. These seeds can be planted to harvest nuts that can be used in a random gotcha pull to win more in-game prizes.Finally on the 21st is a bingo event. Farmers will grow special bingo crop seeds and hope they get three of the same crop in a row or a full board of the same crop for a max bingo, which is worth more points. In-game prizes will be awarded based on the total number of bingo points collected during the event. Players can use their Sunshine Ability to increase the number of harvestable items on their friends' bingo cards, but bonus bingo points will only be awarded if the ability is used on an active three-in-a-row bingo. Typically it is best to wait until the board is full of the same crop to trigger a max bingo and then wait until a multiplier triggers to earn bingo points. This event often has time-based prizes that no longer become available for players to win once the availability time expires, so it's good to earn points as fast as possible before the prizes expire!

NinDori ComicAnd here's the newly-translated 4-col comic drawn by Igusa Matsuyama and originally published in the April 2013 edition of Nintendo DREAM magazine, featuring characters from Harvest Moon: A New Beginning!


Until next time!


- Cher
(Christmas lights start coming down tomorrow. Sadness... but gotta prep for next season!)
https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1578088504 Fri, 03 Jan 2020 21:55:04 +0000
Stardew Sprouts into Telsa Vehicles, and New Farm'n Game Discounts https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1577483217 Happy Farm'n Friday! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday! My relatives gifted me a variety of gardening stuff such as flower seeds, more felt pots, and even a new pair of clippers. Now to wait until springtime to utilize all these new goodies. At least we finally passed the Winter Solstice last week, so the days here will begin to have more light and less darkness.Remember those Showa Radishes that were planted late last Summer? They still have green leaves and are growing very, very slowly. There has only been one overnight freeze so far this Winter and the radish sprouts weathered it wonderfully. Maybe they'll be ready for harvest in a few more months when the weather warms up.The Chenice Chew recipe from grandma turned out poorly. The bottom portion baked okay, but after pouring on the topping and putting it back into the oven for the time stated on grandma's notes, the cookie burned and was not edible. Searching the internet resulted in a similar bar recipe, but not exactly the same. Internet cookie sleuths deduce that "chenice" may be a misspelling of "Chinese." There are a variety of bar cookie recipes called Chinese Chews, though none appear to have the same combination of ingredients as grandma's recipe. I'll have to give it another try someday.
Stardew Launches on Tesla EntertainmentElectric car manufacturer Tesla pushed a software update on Wednesday that added Stardew Valley to the in-car entertainment system. Farmers simply have to access the Entertainment menu in their car, go to the Arcade section, and then select the play button to start the game. The game doesn't have to be purchased; it's free for Tesla owners!Tesla Stardew plays vertically and takes over the whole console screen. It's great for seeing a lot of the game, but the downside is the bag inventory bar only shows the first 10 inventory items when it is displayed horizontal across the bottom of the screen. So if you happen to have some Mixed Seeds in slot #12, you can't select them for planting unless you open the main menu and then move the seeds to slot #10 or earlier. There's an in-game option to switch the inventory bar to vertically along the left-side of the screen that will then show all 12 slots.Navigating through the game is done by either by using the car's touch screen or by using a controller connected via USB to the car. To use the touch screen controls, just touch where you want the farmer to go, tap on villagers to talk to them, and touch the ground to till or water seeds. The tools can be manually selected from the inventory bar, but they also work as context-sensitive; tap on a tree to automatically use the axe, touch grass to use the sickle, and so on. For me, it eventually becomes uncomfortable leaning towards the center console to touch everywhere, so using a Ps4 controller plugged into the USB slot worked much better! The vehicle's steering wheel isn't a compatible controller for Stardew.You also won't be able to play Stardew while driving down the freeway. For safety reasons the Tesla Arcade game options are unavailable while the car is shifted into Drive mode, even for a passenger who isn't steering the car. Basically the car must be in Park to play Stardew Valley.While the new game selection has the Four Corners Farm for multiplayer use, only single-player mode is available in the Tesla version.I'm hoping there will be a future correction for the bottom-inventory bar as well as correcting the size of the reel-in bar while catching a fish. Other then those two oddities I've noticed so far, it's the standard Stardew experience. Who would of though that someday there would be a farming game embedded in our cars? Farm'n for everyone!
Farm'n DiscountsThe Japanese edition of Doraemon: Story of Seasons is on sale in the Nintendo eShop in Japan for 20% off. The sale ends January 13.Over on Steam, Stranded Sails is 30% off until January 2nd. The Steam edition was recently updated to include fast travel via teleport portals, walking/rowing no longer uses energy, craft/cook multiple of the same items, as well as a lot of additional adjustments to the game based on player feedback. The home console versions and Apple Arcade version of Sails will be updated at a later date.Additional Steam Winter Sale games include Stardew Valley (40% off), My Time at Portia (50% off), Doraemon: SoS (20% off), and Farming Simulator 19 (20% off); the Natsume Harvest Moon games are not discounted at this time. The sale also includes several early-access games such as Fantasy Farming: Orange Season (30% off), Pumpkin Days (33% off), and Kynseed (20% off).
Until next time!
- Cher
(Finally found the last Kappa Jewel in SoS:FoMT. That last jewel took foreveeeer to appear!)
https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1577483217 Fri, 27 Dec 2019 21:46:57 +0000
List of Changes from the SoS:FoMT 1.1.2 Update, and Sakuna Delayed https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1576276305 Happy Farm'n Friday! Now that the Christmas Light Extravaganza installation is complete, it's now onto other tasks like baking cookies and wrapping presents to give to others. And then cleaning up the mess I left behind! Cookie time is always fun though, as long as the cookies are simple to make. Not really interested in multi-step cookies that take all day to prepare and bake. I even get to play some farm'n while waiting for the cookies to bake in the oven!My aunt likes home-made marshmallow, so I usually cook up some Marshmallow/Chocolate Fudge for her every year. It is a two-step recipe, but the steps are pretty easy and the resulting candies are ooh so tasty. I found a hand-written recipe for a cookie bar called Chenice Chew in grandma's box o' cookbooks she gave to me. The bar looks to have a brown sugar base with a coconut/sugar/nut middle and a citrus juice glaze. Seems kind of interesting.This year I'll be heading over the river and through the wood to my mom's out-of-state Christmas party, so I'll be out on another adventure next week. Farm'n Friday will resume on the 27th!

SoS: FoMT 1.1.2This week Marvelous released a patch to their latest farming game, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. The developers have gifted everyone with a free red-nosed reindeer outfit along with the bug fixes. No word yet if the retailer-specific player costumes (dog, sheep, chicken, and chick) will become available to everyone at some point in the future.(I'm in the middle of a Kappa Jewel run through the Lake Mine, so that's why there's a lot of Curry Udon in my inventory. It restores 60 STA when eaten and is quite easy to make in large quantities: Udon [Flour + Seasoning Set + Pot + Knife] + Curry Powder + Pot.)According to the Bokumono News, the new download patch updated the game in the following ways:New Mineral Town decoration for the Starry Night Festival, Cooking Contest, Cow Festival, Harvest Festival, and Fluffy Festival. Originally there were generic flag banners that would hang across the pathways around town, but the latest patch enhanced the flags by making them festival specific (e.g., the Harvest Festival now has veggie-themed banners) as well as improving the decor in Rose Plaza during the contest festivals.A story event was added to return a character who has left town. Assuming this is an event to return Cliff if he wasn't assigned the job at the Winery during Fall.Added an option to warp to specific floors in the mines once you've reached that level. For example, you can warp to floor 100 of the Lake Mine once you've reached that floor during your exploration of the mine.Sped up some of the low-stamina animations. The out-of-stamina animation is still about 8 second long though.Slowed down the text speed of the television shows and Mana conversation text.Fixed a bug where an Angora Rabbit pregnancy could still happen when there are 7 Chickens in the coop. Max size of the coop is 8, so the pregnancy would be animal #9.Fixed a bug that caused the game to crash when saving or loading after finding an Alexandrite in the Lake Mine.Fixed a bug that allowed players to discover more than one of each cursed tools in the mine (I've located a second Cursed Hoe in my game).Fixed a bug that allowed players to dig up the cursed tools when their original tools were NOT at Mithril level. Guess this wasn't an intentional improvement feature of the Nintendo Switch version of the game! Well drat!Fixed a bug with the Self-Made Gourmet cooking achievement not being earned once players cooked all of the recipe dishes.Fixed a bug where one of the 7 Rings wouldn't be awarded once players obtained 5 pets.Fixed another bug where when two achievements are earned at the same time, the second (and all others afterwards) weren't saving.The Nature Sprites can now care for Angora Rabbits. Previously they would not harvest the rabbits' fur.Fixed a display bug where if the Cliff Collapses event triggers and then a wedding ceremony takes place, Cliff would appear laying down during the ceremony. The same thing would happen if Cliff was invited to the Starry Night celebrations and then the Collapse event took place:?????????????????????????????????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/V6nIQzOkzQ— ??(m.m) (@matsumae9) October 30, 2019 When powering up a remodeled fishing pole, the types of fish that could be caught with the powered-up pole weren't appearing.Various other unspecified bugs were corrected as well.The game dropped off the Famitsu Top-30 Sales for last week. We do know it has sold over 100,000 physical copies.

Sakuna DelayEdelweiss' action game with a bit of farming, Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin, was initially scheduled to be published this winter by XSeed Games, but has been moved to 2020. In this fantasy-setting game, players control goddess Sakuna who was banished to a remote island inhabited by nasty demons. Sakuna will explore the island to defeat mythical demons using her trusty farm hoe. Besides fighting off baddies, she harvests rice with the local humans to help make their lives better.

Until next time!


- Cher
(I hope you pre-ordered your copy of Wattam! WOOOO!)
https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1576276305 Fri, 13 Dec 2019 22:31:45 +0000
Mad Dash Difficulty, Mining in SoS:FoMT, Dec Mobage events, and Week 7 SoS:FoMT Sales https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1575669394 Happy Farm'n Friday! The Christmas light extravaganza is still in process. Currently it stands at about 9600 lights, with lots of unopened boxes of mini lights waiting to be plugged in this weekend. We added some leftover strings to the Christmas tree, but the strings included a strobe light every 4 bulbs. The rave-like flashing white lights are a bit too much for an indoor tree.I'm still playing through Harvest Moon: Mad Dash too. It's a great Switch game for when you just want to pick up a quick puzzle game for a few minutes before going to bed. The downside is that it has become VERY difficult to successfully complete the higher levels on my own. I've failed Level 55 over and over again!Not even the Helper Sprite assistance can get me through this level. The stones in the middle of the field really make it tough to maneuver around. The cows are restricted to the top of the field and can't get to the fodder because ponds and crops spawn that block their movement. Super challenging! Underworld Level 4-2 is another one I can't complete by myself.Luckily Mr.Fogu plays with me on the Playstation 4 version of the game, but on the Switch version he just shakes his head and reminds me I'm trying to solo play a party game. I'll get through those levels eventually, dang it...

Mining in SoS:FoMTJust like the original Gameboy Advanced game, there are two mines in Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town: an all-year mine next to the Goddess' waterfall (the Spring Mine) and a mine on the island in the middle of the lake in the field next to the summit of Mother's Hill (the Lake Mine), which is accessible during winter when the lake water freezes. Both of these mines are 255 floors deep and require some patience to reach the bottom. Each floor contains a staircase down to the next floor below. Players will use their hammer to break apart the rocks to locate hidden ores/gems and use their hoe to dig for the stairs down to the next level.
In the Switch version of the game, there are now hidden pitfall holes that will drop players up to 5 floors. The holes help to reduce some of the tediousness of having to dig down to floor 255 one floor at a time. The pitfalls don't appear until you've reached at least floor 20, and then become more common the further you descend into the mine. To utilize a pitfall, you simply have to run over the patch of dirt where they're hidden, and then see what floor you land on. Pitfalls can be uncovered by using the hoe too. Not every floor beyond level 20 will have pitfalls though; in the Spring Mine there are no pitfalls between level 94 and 100, and in the Lake Mine there are several 10-floor gaps where you'll be forced to locate the hidden staircase in the dirt of each floor to make progress.
Sometimes, there are too many pitfalls, and they become obstacles to avoid. For example, when trying to locate Kappa Gems or Alexandrite in the Lake Mine, you're more likely to stumble into a pitfall before you can locate the hidden gem within the rocks on their designated floors. This is where you'll need to utilize the available save slots in the game to ensure you stay put before moving down to the next floors.Get as close as you can to the floor above the floor you want to explore and then save your game before moving down to the next floor.On the new floor, save your game on a different save slot than your first save.Save your game frequently on the second save slot until you find what you're looking for in the stones.If you never find what you're looking for, you can reload back to your first slot to go back down the stairs and try again, as you'll get a freshly-generated floor when you go back down and another chance to locate what you seek. If you do run across a pesky pitfall during your search, reload the save game from your second save slot and continue searching the floor. In my case, I like to reload and then dig where the pitfall was so I know not to run into it again. On one large floor I ran into over 25 pitfall traps!

Bokumono Mobage EventsIt's a new month and a new batch of holiday-themed events in the online Bokujou Monogatari game on the Mobage social game network.On the first a Merry Cookie House harvest event began, where players grow cookie crops and care for stocking korgies and hamsters. Awards are given at the end of the event for the amount of harvest points earned compared to all other players. During random special times, the number of points earned during harvest can be double or triple the normal amount, which can then award farmers with Friend Hearts to exchange with other social game users. These friendship hearts can then be exchanged for another group of prizes. There's also a third group of prizes based on the 10-person team that players join. This event is scheduled to end on the 9th.Starting on the 11th is a bingo event. Farmers will grow special bingo crop seeds and hope they get three of the same crop in a row or a full board of the same crop for a max bingo, which is worth more points. In-game prizes will be awarded based on the total number of bingo points collected during the event. Players can use their Sunshine Ability to increase the number of harvestable items on their friends' bingo cards, but bonus bingo points will only be awarded if the ability is used on an active three-in-a-row bingo. Typically it is best to wait until the board is full of the same crop to trigger a max bingo and then wait until a multiplier triggers to earn bingo points. This event often has time-based prizes that no longer become available for players to win once the availability time expires, so it's good to earn points as fast as possible before the prizes expire!Finally on the 22nd is a Hungry Animal event. During this type of social competition each farmer will be assigned one of three random animals for a few hours. Each animal has a specific number of treats it wants before it will be full; the easiest is only 100 treats and the most difficult is 500 treats. If you don't feed the animal during their appearance time they'll go away and a new animal will appear in their place. Feed the animal to have it count towards unlocking in-game rewards. Your in-game friends can also feed the animal that you're assigned, helping to complete the feeding task for everyone who participates. The animal food is obtained by growing event crops on an event-specific field, with normal crops being worth 1 treat and rare crops being worth 2 treats. When everyone successfully feeds enough treats to an animal, those who feed the most snacks will be rewarded with mystery nut seeds. These seeds can be planted to harvest nuts that can be used in a random gotcha pull to win more in-game prizes.

Famitsu Game Sale DataThis week in Weekly Famitsu's sale data for November 25 to December 1, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town has sold another 2300 retail copies, bringing its total to about 104,100 physical sales. The game has dropped a little bit in the top-30 ranking, moving down to spot #28 since its release 7 weeks ago.

Until next time!


- Cher
(I want to play XSeed's new HeroLand game for Switch, but there's so much farming to do!)
https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1575669394 Fri, 06 Dec 2019 21:56:34 +0000
Black Friday 2019 Sales and Classic 4-col Comic https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1575056722 Happy Farm'n Friday! We've been busy installing the outdoor Christmas lights. The roof line was finished last weekend, and this week the three evergreen trees in the front yard had their light wraps attached. This weekend will be the porch and retaining wall installation, and I've a new idea for the 72 feet of front-facing wall.Last year one of the trunk wraps lost 50 lights for reasons unknown. I assumed it was a fuse (because it was exactly half of the lights on the string), but swapping out the fuses didn't turn the darkened lights back on. Turns out THAT wasn't the problem at all...
A stupid tree rat had chewed through the wires and STOLE one of the bulbs and its lamp holder. That little thief! Mr.Fogu reconnected the wires so the remaining 49 bulbs lit up again. The missing lamp is at the top edge of the tree wrap (about 12 feet up the tree), so it is not as obvious from the street that it was ripped off by a squirrel. Grrr...
Holiday Discounts!It's the end-of-year shopping season and a good time to pick up some farm'n video games! Holiday discounts are available on multiple platforms:
PC/Steam (End December 3)Farming Simulation 19 = $19.99 (20% off, normally $24.99)Fantasy Farming: Orange Season (early access) = $9.79 (30% off, normally $13.99)Harvest Moon: Light of Hope SE = $9.99 (50% off, normally $19.99)Little Dragons Cafe = $17.99 (70% off, normally $59.99)Littlewood (early access) = $13.49 (10% off, normally $14.99)My Time at Portia = $20.09 (33% off, normally $29.99)Stardew Valley (just updated to version 1.4) = $13.49 (10% off, normally $14.99)Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands = $20.99 (16% off, normally $24.99)Doraemon: Story of Seasons and Harvest Moon: Mad Dash are not included in the Steam farming game discounts.
Nintendo Switch (Ends December 4)Farm Together = $13.99 (30% off, normally $19.99)Harvest Moon: Light of Hope SE = $19.99 (50% off, normally $39.99)Harvest Moon: Light of Hope SE Bundle = $24.99 (50% off, normally $49.99)Little Dragons Cafe = $17.99 (70% off, normally $59.99)Wada's Happy Birthdays for Nintendo Switch is also on sale for $14.99 (62% off).
Nintendo 3DS (Sale ends December 4)Harvest Moon: A New Beginning = $14.99 (50% off, normally $29.99)Harvest Moon: Skytree Village = $14.99 (50% off, normally $29.99)Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley = $14.99 (50% off, normally $29.99)Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns = $9.99 (50% off, normally $9.99)The 3DS sale also includes Hometown Story for $9.99 (50% off)
Xbox One (Sale ends December 2)My Time at Portia = $20.99 (30% off, normally $29.99)
Game Sale DataAccording to Weekly Famitsu, the Japan release of Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town has now hit 100,000 sales! The Nintendo Switch game sold another 2400 copies to place it at about 101,700 sold. On the other hand, the game's ranking dropped to #25 out of 30.
Nintendo DREAM 4-col ComicIt's been a while since we've had one of these! Here's the translated version of Igusa Matsuyama's 4-box comic that originally was published in the March 2013 edition Nintendo DREAM magazine, featuring protagonist Hart from Harvest Moon: A New Beginning.

Until next time!


- Cher
(I've a lot of green lights to add to this year's display!)
https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1575056722 Fri, 29 Nov 2019 19:45:22 +0000
Vacay Over, Sneaky Yams in SoS:FoMT, and Weekly Sales Data https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1574465917 Happy Farm'n Friday! Two weeks ago Mr.Fogu had a work conference to attend in Orlando, Florida, so I went along to spend some much-needed time away from the office. The first week was his conference, but the second week we spent in Disney World! I'm a fan of pressed coin machines, and had saved up a lot of pre-1982 pennies to squish. US penny coins minted after 1981 are copper-coated with zinc cores, whereas pennies minted in 1981 or older are all copper. The zinc-core pennies will eventually tarnish after being pressed, so using all-copper pennies results in a better pressed coin. With the large number of coin machines surrounding the parks, I was going to need the two weeks we were there to snag them all!There is a lot of animal characters at Disney World, but not a lot of cows. Clarabelle the Cow was the only cow-based character I spotted at Magic Kingdom, and she was only included in parades or on the TV cartoons back at the hotel. I had some better luck with cow-spotting over at Animal Kingdom. The Ankole cattle at the Animal Kingdom Lodge had some very impressive horns. There was also a cow at the petting zoo up at Rafiki's Conversation Station along with some sheep for visitors to interact with.We also watched the filming of the holiday specials that air on TV on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and watched music performer Sting sing Soul Cake a few times because they needed several recordings of it. At night there was firework filming, but the Disney film crew would only light off a few fireworks at a time so they could film the displays in spurts. The downside is that they were still filming at midnight, and our hotel room was across the lake from Magic Kingdom, so no sleep for us! KabooooomOverall it was a nice trip. We smashed a total of 724 pennies and 45 quarters!

Farm'n Got-chas!So things were fairly quiet in the video game farm'n genre while I was away. There's no new information on the overseas localization of Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town yet. Natsume's latest mayhem party game, Harvest Moon: Mad Dash is now available on Steam for $29.99 USD. While the beginning levels are pretty easy to clear, that changes rather quickly. At level 30 the challenges became more chaotic, especially when trying to play solo. I was cursing like a naughty sailor because I kept failing levels after having lava dropped on my head and being run over by boars while at the same time trying to maneuver around obstacles to place crops on once-empty field spaces that suddenly have water ponds generated on them so I can't put down my crops anymore and OMG how am I suppose to handle all this chaos by myseeeeelf?! Mr.Fogu was implying that perhaps I should be asking for help when trying to play a party game. Maybe he has a good point.Aaaaanyhow, I thought I'd cover something I experienced that caused a bit of a stumble in my in SoS:FoMT game:
During fall season you can grow Sweet Potatoes and Adzuki Beans on your farm. The sticky point is knowing when the crops are mature enough for harvest. A mature Sweet Potato does NOT have any purple tubers poking out from under the plants' leaves, and Adzuki Beans have just a slight change in color when they're harvestable. In Trio of Towns, crops that are ready for harvest won't receive water when the watering can is used on them, making it easy for players to determine when a crop is ready to be picked, but in Friends of Mineral Town the mature crops can be sprinkled with the watering can. Basically I spent most of a season watering the ripe Sweet Potatoes instead of harvesting them. Only after I hired a Sprite to harvest the other crops did I realize that the fellow was also harvesting what-I-thought-were-unripe Sweet Potatoes. So lesson learned I guess.

Game Sale DataAccording to Weekly Famitsu, the Japan release of Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town has reached about 99,300 copies sold. Just a few more and it will reach 100,000! It is currently at spot #19 of Famistu's Top-30 list.And the #15 spot? That fabulous Fishing Spirits game for Nintendo Switch! Bandai Namco recently released a patch for their Japan-only arcade fishing game that updates the controller options for those who are playing on a Switch Lite and can't detach their joycons. Probably won't be localized into English, but it is available for purchase on the Nintendo JP eShop. Hmm...

Until next time!



- Cher
(Happy Thanksgiving! Time to start installing the Christmas Light Extravaganza!)
https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1574465917 Fri, 22 Nov 2019 23:38:37 +0000
Mad Dash Delay, SoS:FoMT Animal Info, and Farm'n Game Sales https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1572650334 Happy Farm'n Friday! The overnight temperature unexpectedly hit sub-30s this week. Brrr! I started covering the little radish sprouts with a towel at night to protect them from frost. So far they all have survived. The mystery pest that was gnawing away at the plant leaves has stopped. Perhaps the cold temperature did away with the little bugger.



This second crop that was planted after the tree rats destroyed the first crop of Shawo Radishes is making progress. I'm hoping they mature before it becomes really cold outside.

FYI, I will be on a magical adventure for the next two weeks and will be occupied with much-needed funtimes. Farm'n Friday will resume on November 22nd!

Mad Dash DelayedThis week Natsume announced that the collaborative farming party game, Harvest Moon: Mad Dash will have its physical release delayed until November 5th in North America. The digital version of the game is available for download in the Nintendo Switch eShop and the Playstation Store for $29.99. Over in Europe, Rising Star Games has a digital version available now, with a physical release set for November 15.This collaborative game can be played by up to four farmers as they work together (or make an attempt at working together) to get high scores and move onto the next round of the game. We had some friends over last Friday to try out the game in 4-player mode. They are fans of the party game Overcooked, so they both enjoyed this game as well. The beginner levels (before level 30) can be pretty easy, but as the environments change things became a little more challenging. There are about 100 levels in the game to work through as players locate the scattered Seeds of Time and restore the inhabited areas of the island. Level blocks will require players to collect a minimum number of stars before they dissolve away; the better the score in the mission level, the more stars received from clearing the mission (up to a maximum of 3 starts).Another feature of Mad Dash is the Helper Sprite. For players who need a little assistance to hit the 3-star score, the Helper Sprite can add 30 seconds to the level, make it easier to fill the Power Meter, or prevent crops from wilting or other types of ailments. Even one of our board game friends started calling Mr.Fogu her "Helper Sprite" and directed him to bring her some water.We'll definitely play more of Mad Dash the next time they visit!

New SoS:FoMT Animal FriendshipRunning your own farm in Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town means that you can also raise animals. In the updated Switch game there's cows, sheep, and chickens, but new animals have been added too: three types of cows, an alpaca, and a rabbit.The four types of cows are the normal black and white Cow, a brown Coffee Cow, a pink Strawberry Cow, and a golden Fruit Cow. The three special cows cost 10,000 G a piece and produce flavored milk (coffee, strawberry, and fruit).There are two types of chickens: a normal white chicken and a new brown chicken. Both chicken types costs 1500 G each and produce the same eggs. Basically just pick the color you like, or mix and match!The Angora Rabbit and Alpaca both qualify as entries into the fall animal contest, now called the Fluffy Festival instead of the Sheep Festival. These critters produce wool just like the normal Sheep.Typically the products collected from farm animals will increase in quality the more friendship you have with the animals. In the GBA game the size of the products received was determined by the number of friendship hearts the animal had. For example, a cow produced Small Milk if it had 3 hearts or less, Medium Milk if it had 4 to 7 hearts, and Large Milk if it had 8 or more hearts. In SoS:FoMT things are a little different...



Purchased animals now have a maximum limit of friendship hearts. When you buy an animal from Barley or Lillia, it will have a maximum of 5 heart containers. The number of heart containers will not increase no matter how many years you own the animal. This means the animal will produce small-sized products up until 3 hearts of friendship, then medium-sized product once its friendship hits 4 hearts, but cannot produce large-sized products. Large products require a minimum of 8 hearts of friendship and a starter animal has no more than 5 containers to fill with love.To get an animal that has more than 5 hearts, animals have to be bred by placing an egg into the nesting box (chickens) or by using miracle potions (everything else). Each time a baby is born, it will have an additional maximum heart of friendship. So breeding will be required to obtain a 10-heart farm animal.Chickens don't take very long to hit 10 hearts, since it only takes 3 days to hatch a chick. But when it comes to breeding the larger livestock, a pregnancy lasts 21 days; it can last 30 days if you happen to accidentally NOT feed the parent for a day. Then the child has to mature (10 to 15 days for a rabbit, even longer for the other livestock), have at least 3 hearts of friendship, and then will need to be bred to get the next heart container on its offspring.Just like in the GBA game, your cows and sheep need to have at least 8 hearts of friendship to win their annual festivals. You'll need to breed to win those festivals if you want unlock Gold, Platinum, and X-quality animal products. Winning the Chicken Festival is basically a matter of spooking the competition at the right time (higher hearts helps, but not required), but you'll still need to have 8 hearts of friendship before the chicken will lay Gold, Platinum, or X Eggs.

Farm'n Game Sales!Sony has a North America/South America digital game sale that includes several farming games. PS+ members have an even greater discount on the on-sale games. This sale will end on November 22nd:Farming Simulator 19: Normally $39.99, on sale for $27.99 (PS+) or $33.99 (no PS+)Farming Simulator 19 Premium: Normally $79.99, on sale for $55.99 (PS+) or $67.99 (no PS+)Harvest Moon - Light of Hope SE (base game): Normally $39.99, on sale for $19.99 (PS+) or $29.99 (no PS+)Harvest Moon - Light of Hope SE Bundle (base game + DLC): Normally $49.99, on sale for $24.99 (PS+) or $37.49 (no PS+)Harvest Moon - A Wonderful Life SE: Normally $14.99, on sale for $5.99 (PS+) or $10.49 (no PS+)Harvest Moon - Save the Homeland: Normally $14.99, on sale for $5.99 (PS+) or $10.49 (no PS+)Pure Farming - Digital Deluxe Edition: Normally $39.99, on sale for $11.99 (PS+) or $25.99 (no PS+)Rune Factory - Tides of Destiny (PS3): Normally $29.99, on sale for $11.99 (PS+) or $20.99 (no PS+)Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure (PS4) is also on sale for $14.99/$22.49 as well as Reel Fishing: Master's Challenge (Vita) for $7.99/$13.99.
Also in North America, XSeed Games is celebrating their 15th Anniversary by giving discounts out to their digital farmer friends:Return to Popolocrois - A SoS Fairytale: Normally $19.99, on sale for $9.99Story of Seasons: Normally $19.99, on sale for $17.99Story of Seasons - Trio of Towns: Normally $29.99, on sale for $17.00

Until next time!



- Cher
(Ah, vacation time!)
https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1572650334 Fri, 01 Nov 2019 23:18:54 +0000
SoS: Friends of Mineral Town Info (Marriage/Food) https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1572041678 Happy Farm'n Friday! The leaves on the blueberry bushes have turned bright red, though they're still hanging onto the plants in an attempt to hold the memories of summertime. The radish seedlings are growing well too! There's some sort of plant predator eating the radish leaves. I know it is not caused by the local tree rats, as the squirrels haven't bothered the well-caged seedlings. It is probably slug damage.

New SoS:FoMT InfoSo I've played a little bit more of Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town over the past week and have reached fall of year 1. It's enjoyable and plays much faster than SoS: Trio of Towns. An in-game hour in SoS:FoMT lasts about 18 real-time seconds, whereas an in-game hour in 3oT is about 35 real-time seconds. So a day is roughly half the time in the Switch game as it is in the 3DS game. Players may feel overwhelmed with having to manage the farm in such a short time, but that's what the "Nature" Sprites are for! Just hire them to handle the watering, harvesting, or animal care (for 3, 5, or 7 days) and then go off to do whatever else you want to spend the day doing. Time does not proceed when indoor or inside of the mines.So here's some more tidbits that players have discovered as we work through the game:

Friendship is ridiculously easy to increase. I gave Gotz his gift of Honey for a season and he's already at 8 out of 10 music notes of friendship. Kappa was at a full 10-notes in early summer (I had saved some cucumbers from spring to toss into the water during summer). Choosing Seedling Mode when beginning the game would make raising friendships even easier.I haven't been able to trigger the Ann/Cliff or Popuri/Kai rival events yet, which (I believe) is because their friendship levels are too high for the rival events to trigger. The official strategy guide that was released in Japan today confirms that there are NO rival marriages in the game, but the first two rival events can be triggered in SoS:FoMT.Kai didn't say he was leaving in fall. He just disappeared without explanation. None of the other characters even seemed to cared... maybe Kai is part of the Mineral Town dreamscape...In general, to get married to a normal candidate (male or female, as same-sex relationships are possible) you see their original four heart events and then hand them a pressed Orange Venus flower to confirm you want to go steady. The Orange Venus was the winning flower name during the Pick-the-Daisy-Name contest earlier this summer. The first one is free and is given to you after you have seen the four heart events with a particular candidate. Extras are for sale at Jeff's store. After handing over the pressed daisy, you can see two new heart events for that person. You can give the preserved flower to all of the normal candidates to see their events; there's even an in-game achievement to see everyone's romantic events before you marry one of them.Marriage still requires the big bed inside your farm house and a hand-off of the Blue Feather purchased from Jeff's store. The ceremony for normal candidates takes place at the church regardless of the sex of the candidate. Wedding attire too! There's a thread on the UNoT community forum if you want to see images of the wedding outfits.All normal candidates can have a child. Same-sex spouses will have the child gifted by the Goddess. Players can choose if they want a boy, a girl, or let the game choose for them.Everyone is still trying to confirm the marriage system for Kappa, Goddess, and Gourmet. We'll let you know how it goes!

The kitchen is built by Gotz when he upgrades the farm house for the first time. It doesn't come with utensils or a refrigerator. Because TV Shopping does not exist in SoS:FoMT, the utensils will be sold at Jeff's grocery store. He will send a letter in the mail once a week when a utensil is available at his shop. Gotz sells the refrigerator at his carpentry shop.Recipes cannot be discovered by experimenting with ingredients like in the GBA game. In the Switch game, recipes must be known and in the cookbook before you can cook the dish. Recipes can be learned by watching the Tuesday cooking show on TV, by raising friendship with villagers (they'll give you recipes), or by inspiration when you cook a known dish.Any edible item in the main rucksack menu will display the amount of Fatigue and Stamina it recovers when consumed. While you can eat items from the rucksack shortcut menu by holding the edible item above the protagonist's head and watching the eating animation, it is much faster to go into the game's main menu and tab over to the rucksack menu, where pressing the Y Button allows you to eat food directly from the bag as well as choose how much of the stack you want to consume.
A patch was released this week for Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. Version 1.0.2 fixed the bug where animals would get stuck on the farm such as my little horse splashing around in the stream. Other non-specific bugs were also corrected.According to week-one sales from Weekly Famitsu, SoS: Friends of Mineral Town sold a little more than 66,000 copies in the first four days of its release; the game came out on the 17th and Famitsu's tallies end on the 20th. Nice! It was beat out by Ring Fit Adventure with 68,000 copies.

Stranded Sails Physical ReleaseThis week Roka Publishing announced that the physical editions of Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands will be released on November 8 in EU and November 12 in the US. The physical signature edition is still available for preorder, which includes a copy of the game, special packaging, art cards, a numbered certificate of authenticity, enameled pins, art book, and treasure map. The Switch edition of the physical game is about $5 more than the Ps4 edition.The game had a few patches published for it recently to correct save state corruption issues, game freezes, and other bugs.

Until next time!


- Cher
(The local election ballot arrived this week. It's just a single bond measure, but still important to vote on!)
https://fogu.com/hm/index.php?s=news&p=updates&t=1572041678 Fri, 25 Oct 2019 22:14:38 +0000