There are two mines you can explore in the game:
The Spring Mine is next to the hot spring and the Harvest Goddess' pond. This mine contains ores used for remodeling your farm tools.
The Lake Mine is in the middle of the lake on Mother's Hill. This mine is accessible during winter season when the lake's water freezes and allows walking access to the mine entrance. The mine contains gems that sell for profit.
Both mines are 255 levels deep. On each level, you'll find rocks to smash, a ladder that will take you back to the top of the mine, and a ladder that leads down to the next level. This down-ladder is hidden in the dirt floor. To locate the hidden ladder, you need to dig the floor using your hoe, one square at a time. A powered-up hoe will not dig up more squares on a single swing of the tool.
The ladder to the next level will NOT be found within the 8 squares that surround the up-ladder or along the wall of the level. The down-ladder CAN be underneath rocks, so smash the rocks using your hammer and then dig the dirt underneath.
There are NO DEAD END levels in this version of the FoMT game. There will always be a ladder hidden in the dirt that leads down to the next level.
New to this version of Friends of Mineral Town are pitfalls. These holes hide in the floor on certain levels of both mines and will appear once dug up or walked across. A pitfall will drop you between 1 and 5 levels. The more levels you fall, the more stamina is lost. A single-level pitfall drop will expend -20 Stamina, while a 5-level drop will expend -70 Stamina. Remember, once the farmer is out of Stamina points, they'll start to accumulate an equivalent amount of Fatigue points. At 100 Fatigue points, the farmer will faint from exhaustion.
Pitfalls have the chance of existing under under any empty dirt square. They won't be hidden under rocks like the down-ladder can be. On a small-room mine level where a pitfall might be found, you'll find one pitfall. But on very large-room levels, there are pitfalls all over the place! Regularly falling down a hidden pitfall can be frustrating while hunting for the cursed tools hidden within the dirt in the Lake Mine.
To avoid accidentally falling down a pitfall while digging for cursed tools, use the two-save-slot trick:
- On the level above a cursed tool level, save your game on one save slot
- Go down the ladder to the cursed tool level and save on a second save slot
- Start digging up the dirt floor as you search for the cursed tool, occassionally saving on the second save slot in case you discover a pitfall before you complete your search.
- If you do happen to fall down a pitfall, reload your game from the second save slot and continue your search. If you don't find a cursed tool anywhere in the dirt on that level, reload from the first save slot to go back down the ladder and try again.
Another trick is to simply walk on ground that used to contain a rock (that you've destroyed), and then till the soil you want to walk across that wasn't under a rock.
And unlike the hidden down-ladders, pitfalls can be located within the 8 squares surrounding an up-ladder. Pitfalls can also appear along the edge of the wall.
Another quick way to navigate through the mines is by using the elevator. This functionality is added to both mines after you give the Harvest Goddess 100 gifts. Remember that the Goddess will only accept one gift per day. You will know that you have given 100 gifts when the Tremendously Interesting Book has been added to the bookshelf inside of your farmhouse. She will not mention the elevator after you give her the 100th gift. You will need to walk into a mine and then exit back to the surface to trigger a dialog with her about the elevator.
When entering the mine, the elevator will activate and ask you which level you would like to go to: level 1 (i.e., the entrance), level 50, level 100, level 150, level 200, or level 225. The level options to select from become available as you manually reach those levels by using the down-ladders and hidden pitfalls. For example, if the deepest level you have reached is 75, the elevator can take you to level 50 but not to level 100.
Even when you reach level 255 of the mine, the farthest the elevator will go is level 225.
You don't need to wait to unlock the elevator before exploring the mines. The game will keep track of the deepest level you reach pre-elevator, and make the appropriate level stops available after the elevator becomes usable.
As you descend through the mines, smashing rocks and falling down pitfall holes, you'll naturally use up your stamina points. The best way to recover so you can continue your mining journey is to eat food. Food can now be piled together in stacks of 9 in the Nintendo Swith remake of the game, so it is much easier to bring plenty of meals to cover your entire trip through the mine.
The easiest food to cook that restores a bit of stamina (+60 STA) is Curry Udon. It is a two-step cooking process, but it is easy to make using cheap ingredients from Jeff's store. You just need Wheat Flour (50 G) and Curry Powder (50 G):
- Udon = Wheat Flour + Knife + Pot + Rolling Pin
- Curry Udon = Udon + Curry Powder + Pot
Both these noodle recipes are learned by watching the TV Cooking channel.
The food with the highest stamina recovery is Stamina Booster XL (+100 STA). You can buy this from Elli at the clinic for 1000 G after you ship 50 Blue Grass. This potion can also be cooked in your kitchen by first watching the Cooking Show on your TV so you learn the recipe. Then combine Stamina Booster and Blue Grass to cook up the potion. You can obtain Stamina Booster from Elly (for 500 G each) or making it in your kitchen by cooking with Honey 20 times to learn the recipe. Cooking Stamina Booster requires Honey + Orange Grass + Black Grass + True Magic Red Flower. Since True Magic Red Flower is a rather uncommon flower grown during autumn, it's more efficient to buy Stamina Booster from Elly.
There are limited options when it comes to Fatigue recovery. The easiest to get is Caffiene from Elly's clinic. For home cooking, you have Vegetable Juice (-20 FAT) or Spicy Vegetable Stir Fry (-20 FAT), otherwise you're getting into overly-complex recipes like Relax Tea and Elli Leaves.