- Harvest Moon: The original SNES game
- Harvest Moon Game Boy: The Game Boy/Game Boy Color series (Harvest Moon 3)
- Harvest Moon: Mineral Town: Back to Nature, and Friends of Mineral Town
- Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life: A Wonderful Life, Another Wonderful Life and AWL: Special Edition
- Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland: Save the Homeland and Hero of Leaf Valley
- Harvest Moon: Magical Melody: Magical Melody
- Harvest Moon DS: DS and DS Cute
- Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness: Island of Happiness, Sunshine Islands and Frantic Farming
- Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility: Tree of Tranquility and Animal Parade
- Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar: Grand Bazaar
- Harvest Moon: My Little Shop: My Little Shop
- Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns: The Tale of Two Towns
- Harvest Moon: A New Beginning: A New Beginning
- Story of Seasons: Story of Seasons
- Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns: Trio of Towns
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The Player Character (Canon Name: Pete; commonly Jack)The Player Character, he used to visit the farm during the summer as a child. His grandfather (the player character from the original SNES Harvest Moon) dies just prior to the beginning of the game. He decides to move to Flower Bud Village and work grandpa's old farm.
- Black Bead Eyes: Most artwork for this game have Pete with this, though artwork from the previous game had his grandfather with blue eyes and artwork from most games prior have him with brown eyes.
- Call to Agriculture: In contrast to his business suit-wearing father, he returns to grandpa's place to run the farm.
- Heroic Mime: Though you can dictate his response to questions a few times and he does monologue when Ellen dies.
- Generation Xerox: He inherited his grandfathers farm.
- Identical Grandson: Looks and dresses near identically to the original protagonist.
- Never Bareheaded: He keeps his hat on constantly.
- Nice Hat: Perhaps his single most identifying trait is his backwards baseball cap that he wears in most of his incarnations. This was back in the '90s when wearing your baseball cap backwards was the single coolest thing you could do.
Flower Bud Village's five eligible young women. The majority of the social events involve them (either interacting with you, with the rival bachelors, or with each other), making them arguably the most important characters in the game. Each also has a sequence of "relationship events" showing your growing affection for each other — you'll visit them at home when they get sick, find them stranded somewhere after they've twisted their ankle, recall a shared childhood memory, and share a unique special moment together. All five girls have all of these events, but they all play out a little differently.
AnnAnn lives and works at the Green Ranch with her father and Gray, her brother. Rick from the tool shop is her cousin. Unsurprisingly, she's a big animal lover; if you let any of your animals die, she'll like you a lot less.
- Expy: Of Ann from the original game, though given a new character design and changed from an inventor to farm girl.
- Dead Guy Junior: Ann is named after her deceased grandmother, Ann.
- Domestic Abuse: Believe it or not, this sweet, animal-loving girl shows shades of this if she marries Cliff. He's even depicted with a black eye in one sprite.
- Dub Name Change: From "Ran" to "Ann".
- Identical Grandchild: Not to the extent of other examples, but she looks quite a lot like Ann from the first game and even shares her name.
- Lethal Chef: This is the only game where Ann is a terrible chef. She was made into a Supreme Chef starting with Back to Nature.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Looks very much like her grandmother, Ann from SNES.
- Tomboy: She's the most tomboyish seeming of the bachelorettes.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: She wears her hair in a braid.
- Vague Age: She looks younger than the others but can be married. She also apparently has no clue where babies come from even after getting pregnant.
ElliElli lives and works in the village bakery, with her grandmother Ellen (the same Ellen from the original SNES Harvest Moon Harvest Moon) and Jeff.
- Break the Cutie: After Ellen's death, she's distraught for quite some time.
- Chubby Chef: This is the intended image of Elli however she looks the same as the others. Elli bemoans her weight and envies Popuri's thinness.
- Cutting Off the Branches: The Japanese strategy guide makes it clear Pete/Elli is the Official Couple, implied in-game by the fact Ellen only dies if you marry Elli.
- Family Theme Naming: Her grandmother is named "Ellen" while she is called "Elli".
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Well, bake in her case. She does work at the bakery.
- Identical Grandchild: Resembles Ellen in her younger years quite a bit.
- Housewife: All the girls can end up as one, but Elli fits the stereotype best.
KarenKaren lives at the vineyard with her father, Gotz, her mother, Sasha, and Kai, a vineyard worker. She works there during the day, but also works part time at the bar in the evenings (making her the only bachelorette it's possible to find at night).
- Broken Bird: It's implied that she's not just a heavy drinker, almost ranging on being an alcoholic, but that her father is one as well and is verbally, if not physically, abusive to both his daughter and wife.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She starts off bitter and standoffish but gets more open once you befriend her.
- Expy: Of Eve, from the original game (who is incidentally her grandmother). They're both troubled bar tenders.
- Generation Xerox: She looks different from Eve but has Broken Bird qualities related to her family like her, works at a bar, and likes drinking.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: With some implications of Drowning My Sorrows. Karen really likes to drink, but then again she was raised at a vineyard.
- Hollywood Genetics: She has blond bangs presumably from Eve, who is implied to be her grandmother. Incidentally, the same blonde bangs link her to Cliff as possible cousins.
- Like Father, Like Son: Karen wants to be a dancer in the city. Her mother used to be a dancer as well.
- Permanently Missable Content: If you don't make friends with her, she'll eventually leave Flower Bud Village for the big city.
- Small Town Boredom: Karen hates Flowerbud Village and wants to run off to the city. She will if you don't befriend her.
MariaMaria is the Mayor's daughter, and works at the library. Initially the shyest and least confident of the eligible girls, she's actually the easiest to woo (conversations and gifts actually boost her affection faster than it does other girls).
- Brainy Brunette: She has black hair and adores books
- Dub Name Change: She's "Marie" in Japan. In future appearances they retranslated her name as "Mary".
- Meganekko: Maria wears glasses.
- Shrinking Violet: Maria is very shy.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: She's the local librarian and has large glasses.
- Token Religious Teammate: Downplayed but she is the most religious of the bachelorettes.
PopuriPopuri lives at the Florist's with her mother Lilia and her father Basil. The girliest of the girls, she loves flowers and dressing up.
- The Ditz: She's not shown being stupid, exactly, but is presented as the prettiest girl, and comes across as sort of vapid.
- Generation Xerox: She's the bubbly daughter of the local florist, like Nina.
- Identical Grandchild: To Nina.
- Innocent Flower Girl: She adores flowers. Her personality is more peppier than the norm though.
- Significant Birth Date: Was born the day before the Flower Goddess Festival.
- Strong Family Resemblance: The pink hair genes must be strong in her family, she's the fourth generation with it.
- You Gotta Have Pink Hair: She has naturally bubblegum pink hair.
The male residents of Flower Bud Village who compete with you for the girls' affections. They're typically not much of a threat to your love life, but if you make friends with them, you can see events where they woo their girl of choice.
CliffA wanderer who shows up in Flower Bud Village during the first Spring, and lives on Moon Mountain thereafter. His girl of choice is Ann. Karen turns out to be his cousin (Eve, from the original Harvest Moon, is their mutual grandmother).
- Loyal Animal Companion: Cain, his bird of prey. He's mentioned frequently but only appears in a few scenes.
- Permanently Missable Content: Cliff will wander off again just like he wandered there in the first place unless you make friends with him.
- Walking the Earth: Cliff's preferred lifestyle.
JeffLives and works in the bakery with Elli, who is also his girl of choice. A bit older than the rest of the bachelors (he's over 30), he can occasionally be found at the bar contemplating his "no longer young, but not yet middle aged" status.
- Chubby Chaser: He mentions being fond of bigger women.
- Contemplate Our Navels: His dialogue at the bar can run into this.
- Dogged Nice Guy / Just Friends: How his relationship with Elli comes off.
- Wife Husbandry: The fact that he already lives with Elli and is significantly older than her can lead one to believe that he's a father figure for her, given her parents are completely unmentioned. Then when you get to know him, he turns out to be interested in her... It's not uncommon for players who don't really get into Elli's story to think Jeff is just flat-out Elli's father and Ellen's son. Comes as quite a shock if you decide to befriend them later and all of a sudden they're hooking up.
KaiA worker at the vineyard, which is also conveniently where his love interest, Karen, lives. He's not from Flower Bud Village, and is somewhat conflicted about living his life in the country as opposed to the exciting big city.
- Ambiguously Brown: Is he hispanic, or black, or what?
- Off-Model: In the album pictures, his skin is much lighter than usual.
- Permanently Missable Content: If you don't make friends with him and Karen leaves, Kai will eventually leave as well.
HarrisThe village mailman, Harris doesn't actually seem to have a house, but can be found wandering around the village delivering mail. The object of his affection is Maria.
- Love Hurts: If you chat with him at the bar, Harris will reveal that his growing relationship with Maria is actually causing him more distress as it gets deeper, because he grows ever more afraid of rejection.
GrayHe works on the Green Ranch with his father and Ann, his sister. Gray's girl of choice is Popuri. His preferred method of communication is a mix of Visible Silence and blunt questions.
- Aloof Big Brother: While not evil by any means, he's among the least friendly people in the game, and clearly doesn't approve of your attempts to woo Ann (if you're making any). See also The Quiet One and The Stoic.
- Not Good with People: He's a good ranch hand and used to be an excellent rider, but Ann quite accurately describes him as "a social disaster".
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Gruff, stoic Gray going after pink and frilly Popuri is adorable. At one point he plants flowers at the ranch because he knows she likes them!
The family members of the lovely bachelorettes listed above. As supporting characters to the love interests, they tend to end up sharing the spotlight, at least to some extent.
Ranch OwnerFather to both Ann and Gray, he owns the Green Ranch. You can buy livestock and related supplies from him. His name is either Doug or Hall depending on your source.
RickOwns the tool shop. Ann's cousin; their grandma was Ann from the first Harvest Moon game.
- Bungling Inventor: He works at the tool shop and likes to invent things.
- Childhood Friend Romance: According to the strategy guide, he has unrequited feelings for Karen.
- Generation Xerox: He's a redhead who loves inventing, just like his grandmother.
EllenOne of the eligible bachlorettes from the original game, now an elderly woman living with her granddaughter Elli in the bakery. She dies at some point during the game, providing the single biggest Drama Bomb of the game. As she does not refer to you as her grandson, she is the only original bachelorette who was explicitly not the canon love interest... though all of the other four are also strongly implied not to be, either, which results in some major Fridge Logic. Who was your grandmother anyway?
- Raised by Grandparents: After her child and their spouse died, she took over raising Elli.
GotzOwner of the vineyard, and Karen's father. Unpleasant to deal with, and implied to be an alcoholic.
- Abusive Parents: He and Karen are always arguing. He's also a bit forceful as seen in a flashback where he locked Karen in a shed as a child.
- Alcoholic Parent: It's implied that he's an alcoholic parent.
SashaGotz's long-suffering wife, Karen's mother.
- Domestic Abuse: There are some implications that Gotz is at least emotionally abusive.
- Perpetual Frowner: Her default expression is a frown. She's depressed due to the current situation of the vineyard combined with her families rocky relationship.
The MayorAn Ultimate Authority Mayor, he organizes and conducts most of the festivals. Also Maria's father.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Everyone calls him "Mayor".
The Mayor's WifeThe mayor's wife. Maria's mother. Spends most of her time in her family's Big Fancy House, but can sometimes be spotting doing errands around town. Usually takes an active role in festivals, supporting her husband.
- No Name Given: She has no known name.
BasilA botanist and Popuri's father. He leaves Flower Bud Village every Fall and returns every Spring, spending the time in distant places looking for plants to bring back home and sell. In the Mineral Town games he is turned into Mary's father. In Magical Melody he is turned into a younger marriage candidate.
- Disappeared Dad: He's gone a good chunk of the year looking for plants. This caused him to spoil Popuri when he comes back.
LilliaThe village's "florist", meaning she sells seeds for crops, grass, and flowers. Basil's wife and Popuri's mother. Presumably the daughter of Nina from the original 'Harvest Moon''; this is never explicitly mentioned, but her family line is the only one with pink hair.
Naturally, Flower Bud Village has many residents not involved in your romantic aspirations (though, admittedly, they tend to receive less focus).
Potion Shop DealerAn older Asian man who runs a small store making medicinal drinks of various sorts.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He deals potions.
Kent and StuThe Potion Shop Dealer's grandchildren, who live with him. Their parents are dead, but we never hear the story behind that. They go to school (at the church) and wander around town during their time off. Kent is the older brother, and Stu the younger; Stu introduces himself as being seven years old the first time you talk to him. The two are rarely, if ever, seen separately.
- Parental Abandonment: Both their parents died.
- Free-Range Children: Thanks to living in a small rural village, they can walk around wherever they want.
- Raised by Grandparents: Their grandfather is their guardian.
- The Runaway: In one event, Kent runs off after getting into a fight with his grandfather. He tries to stay at your house. Kent ends up going back home after his grandfather falls illl with stress.
- Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: Stu was kept in future games but Kent was scrapped.
The MidwifeAn elderly woman who delivers the villages' babies. Sits around in her house the rest of the time. She was good friends with the player's grandfather. She is Zack's mother and May's grandmother.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": She's a midwife.
- Raised by Grandparents: She's May's primary caretaker.
ZackIdentified only as "the guy who ships your crops" in HM64, but his Expys in other games are named Zack. Shows up at your farm every day to take everything in your shipping bins (and pay you for them, naturally), and occasionally appears in the bar at night. May's father, and the midwife's son, though he is rarely seen with either of them. (Father and daughter appear together only once per year, at the Spirit Festival.)
- No Name Given: His name wasn't clarified until Back to Nature
- Parental Neglect: He rarely spends time with May. Presumably he's too busy working.
MayA little girl that lives in the village. Her mother is dead and her father is Zack, so she seems to be raised primarily by her grandmother, the Midwife. Goes to school and wanders around similarly to (but separately from) Kent and Stu.
- Missing Mom: Her mother is deceased.
- Raised by Grandparents: She's raised by her grandmother, though her dad is still around.
SaibaraThe village artisan, a somewhat grumpy old man. His shop acts like a sundry goods store, offering a handful of things (like a vase to decorate your house, or an ocarina that can be used during a festival) that don't fit elsewhere. Never seen outside of his shop.
PriestThe pastor of the local church, who also teaches the village children on weekdays.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He's a priest who goes by "Priest".
- Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: He was replaced by Carter starting with Back to Nature.
DukeA distinguished gentleman who runs the bar in the evenings. Employs Karen part-time. Gives the player the last remaining bottle of the vineyard's prized "Door to Heaven" wine when befriended. Is seen outside the bar only once: at Karen's wedding (either to the player character, or to Kai).
- Wine Is Classy: He has the look and serves wine (amongst other beverages), but wine isn't particularly high class in Flowerbud.
Not every character in the game lives in town or the surrounding farms. These are the characters that live on Mount Moon (or Moon Mountain, the game is inconsistent about it).
GregAn old fisherman who lives in a tent by the river in the mountains. Gives you a fishing rod fairly early on.
- Ambiguously Brown: Appears to be black due to his skin colour and curly hair, but he could just be really really tan as a result of spending all his time outside.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Doesn't appear in any other game.
Mountain CarpentersA trio of handymen who live in a cabin in the mountains. One is an older man, the boss, while the other two are nigh-identical young men who work for him. They'll build additions to your house when you can afford them, and a few times ask for your help with part-time jobs.
- Those Two Guys: They don't have much characterization.
Harvest SpritesThree literally identical Nature Spirits that look more like Santa's elves than anything else. They speak Pig Latin at first, but gradually switch to "your language" as you befriend them. They live in a cave on Moon Mountain, and will sometimes feed your animals if you're unable to (sick or stuck inside due to typhoon) if you're friends with them.
- Nature Spirit: They're small little elves who live in the mountains.
KappaA kappa (of the friendly, gentle type) living in the pond on Moon Mountain. He only appears if you toss a fish into the pond, but he'll at least let you know how much he appreciates the offering.
- Characterization Marches On: He isn't as blunt or aloof as in future games.
Harvest GoddessAnother Nature Spirit, who takes the form of an elegant older woman. Can be spoken to by tossing an offering into the Harvest Goddess' Spring in Mount Moon, and will grant you small favors in exchange for the chat.
- Characterization Marches On: She's genuinely nice, unlike her personality in games after Back to Nature.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Harvest Goddess is worshipped by the rural townsfolk of Flowerbud Village. Her church is very Catholic looking.
Restaurant OwnerAn elderly man living in the small restaurant on the peak of Mount Moon with his wife. Was cut off from the village after the bridge connecting them was destroyed, but the player can find an alternate route up or wait until the bridge is rebuilt to visit.
- No Name Given: He has no known name.
Restaurant Owner's WifeA kindly old woman living on the summit of Mount Moon with her husband. Completely and utterly senile.
- No Name Given: Her name is never mentioned.
A handful of characters don't actually live anywhere nearby, appearing only for specific events and then leaving again.
GourmetA connoisseur of all things fine food, he shows up at relevant festivals to act as a judge. Gonk as hell, he looks like a giant egg wearing a purple suit. Tends to Say It with Hearts.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He's known exclusively as "Gourmet".
- Gonk: He's vaguely human looking and stands out amongst the cast.
- Nice Hat: He constantly wears his top-hat.
PhotographerShows up when there's a picture to be taken for your album, and then disappears again. Sometimes you won't even see him, you just get the picture in the mail the next day. Particularly creepy when the event in question is a romantic moment with your girl.
- No Name Given: His name is never given.
TouristsA handful of people who show up for certain events. A trio of schoolgirls that attend races and fireworks, and a few different groups who will appear at your farm if you accomplish certain things (such as winning the horse race or cow festival, growing a large enough pasture, or having a large amount of flowers blooming simultaneously).
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Random tourists don't appear in future Harvest Moon games.