You aren't the only person who lives in Echo Village. There are also 30 other people who live in the sleepy valley hidden in the mountain (31 if you include your child). Being friendly to the other people will help you with improving your farm. You can receive blueprints and cooking recipes as rewards for taking the time to increase your relationship with the villagers. If it is your goal to get married, then raising your friendship with the marriage candidates will eventually lead to that goal.
Raising your friendship level with the villagers is very easy to do in A New Beginning. You may discover one day that a bachelor or bachelorette suddenly has a red heart for you and yet you've never given him or her a gift!
Friendship is measured in Friendship Points (FP). The more FP you have, the better friends you are with that particular person. In this version of Harvest Moon, you can only see your friendship level with the marriage candidates by looking at the color of the visible heart on their conversation dialog box. You can not see your friendship levels with the regular villagers - there isn't a Love Ring, bookshelf, villager menu, or any other way of visually measuring your friendship level.
The maximum amount of Friendship Points you can have with someone is 65,535. For a marriage candidate, this means every 10,000 FP is a change of heart color: 0 to 9,999 is a black heart, 10,000 to 19,999 is a purple heart, and so on. There is an exception for Amir and Yuri; because these two are more challenging to marry, Amir does not have a visible heart friendship indicator and Yuri's is hidden until you give her a commitment Ring.
Friendships will also unlock random events, new conversation dialog, and change the outside of the villager's residential houses. As you increase your friendships, the decorations on the outside of Emma's house, Olivia's house, Rebecca's house, Iroha's house, and Dunhill's house can change.
Emma's House at the beginning of the game
Emma's House much later in the game
The easiest way to increase your Friendship Points is to participate in festivals and to give gifts. As you increase your friendship, some villagers will reward you with blueprints and cooking recipes. To receive these items, you have to give the person a gift, and in exchange he or she will give you the reward.
Festivals happen on a regular basis each season. Most of the contest festivals will reward you with +1000 FP if your contest entry is judged to be the winner of the festival. Some of the others will reward you multiple times, such as the Fishing Festival starting on Fall 15. You'll get +1000 FP with the villagers for telling Dunhill that you'd like to participate, another +1000 for returning to the festival grounds on Fall 18, and another +1000 if you actually win the contest!
This game also had festivals where you receive extra friendship for giving gifts, such as the Pumpkin Festival on Fall 31. In previous version of Harvest Moon you would only earn bonus friendship for this festival with the children, but in this version you can earn +1000 FP for giving treats to anyone in town, and then another +1000 for meeting up at the festival grounds after 3:00 pm.
Gifts and Birthdays
Villagers have specific items that they prefer to receive as gifts. A person's most-favorite (special) gift will earn you the most amount of friendship. You can give 1 gift per day to a villager, and there isn't a way to wrap a gift to earn bonus friendship. Only on the Spring Harmony Day and Winter Harmony Day can you give two gifts to a marriage candidate, because the harmony day present doesn't count for the 1-gift-per-day limit.
|Normal Day (Big crop)
|Normal Day (Giant crop)
|Birthday (Big crop)
|Birthday (Giant crop)
On a normal day, giving a gift to a villager will earn you a set amount of friendship depending on how well liked your gift is. On birthdays, this increases dramatically! You will earn a lot more friendship if you remember to observe a villager's birthday by giving him or her the best possibly gift for the birthday boy or girl.
While a villager is eating you cannot give him or her a gift. Wait until the villager leaves the table and then you can give the gift.
For a villager who appreciates crops, such as the Harvest Goddess, giving a Big or Giant sized crop will earn you a little bit more FP than if you have given a normal sized crop.
Other Ways to Earn Friendship Points
- You'll earn +100 FP per day with someone if you talk to him or her. Pretty simple!
- The marriage candidates will have preferred clothing outfits; about 10 different outfits per person. If you are wearing the person's favorite outfit, you might get complemented on your fashion sense and then earn another +100 FP. Regular villagers do not have favorite clothing outfits.
- Villagers have preferences to certain small animals, either wild or the ones that live on your farm. If you pick up the animal and show it to the villager, you can earn +250 FP (for a preferred animal) or +150 FP (for a liked animal).
Losing Friendship With a Villager
There are bad things you can do that will decrease your Friendship Point level with a villager. You won't decrease your friendship if you lose festivals, but you can lose FP by giving bad gifts. Each person has an absolutely, most-hated gift that will cause a -800 drop in FP if you decide to give it to him or her. Giving this gift on a birthday will give you a -3000 FP hit!
Not talking to a villager for a long time will also lower your friendship a little bit. If you ignore a person for more than 10 days, then you will earn -100 FP each day. If you continue to ignore the person for at least 20 days, then this increases to a -200 FP drop each day. Finally, if you don't talk to a person for over 31 days, you will start to receive -300 FP per day with that person. This is automatically stopped when you have a conversation with the person.
Villagers also have disliked animals, either -150 FP or -250 FP if you pick up the animal and show it to the villager.
Then there is the standard littering penalty that a lot of HM players seem to overlook. If you throw any garbage into the water when in the River, Mountain, or Forest area, you will lose -1000 FP with the villagers for each item you throw into the water. Throwing items into the water when on your own farm will get you -1000 FP with just your family (if you have one). If you decide to litter while you are away at one of the four Travel Agency locations, then you will lose -1000 FP with Charles, Camellia, Hina, and any family members that you've taken along for the ride.
If you throw an item onto the ground and you can still pick it up, that is not littering. Littering occurs when an item is destroyed.
Another unusual way of decreasing your friendship is by showing a commitment Ring or the Blue Feather to a normal villager. If you try to give the Ring or Blue Feather to someone you can't marry, then you will get -2000 FP with that person.