Video Game: Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life
and Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life
are two GameCube
games in the Harvest Moon
series by Marvelous Interactive, the latter being a gender-swapped
version of the former. An Updated Re-release
of the first game exists as a PS2
port, with an additional bachelorette and the ability to have a daughter, though this version has slightly worse graphics.
It's somewhat darker in tone than the rest of the series, themes of adultery, divorce and loneliness are approached quite seriously, though nothing "child-inappropriate" is explicitly referenced. It's also the first game to realistically imply your cows mating, though Takakura seems to try to hide this fact from you, which is odd considering your character's old enough to have their own
Each game has three eligible marriage candidates, except for SE
, which has 4. A marriage candidate must be chosen by the end of year one, or the game will end
, though the marriage candidate with the highest affection will propose to you at the end of the year if you didn't get around to doing it. Each season is 10 days long, and most crops can only be harvested in one season.
The game is something of a black sheep for the series
, as it's the first to subvert many of the series' ancient constants. Unlike every previous game, time does
pass inside buildings, characters age, marriage is a necessity to continue playing, there are no festivals, none of the previous characters made appearances, and the main character doesn't wear a hat
- Maternally Challenged: Nami is... not exactly fantastic as far as mothers go. Her frequent visits to the bar, long walks through town, and arguments with her teenage son are signs she may not exactly have been cut out for this. Thank God her toddler son is smart enough to go to bed on his own.
- May-December Romance: Muffy is a bit older than your character, being in her thirties. Your son might grow up to have a crush on Kate, who was around six years or so older, or Lumina, who is so much oldernote that in some versions you could marry her.
- Meganekko: Flora and Chris.
- Mood Whiplash:
- When you ask Nami to marry you, she becomes surprised by this and takes the Blue Feather. Cue her asking if you care about the paperwork.
- If you break Celia's heart by seeing all her heart events and then marrying someone else, she and her family will forevermore give you angry messages when you talk to them...but then they'll cheerfully ask you if you want to buy seeds, and if you talk to them enough times their original dialogue can show up as well.
- In the last chapter you get a cute scene between you and your significant other. Then you die.
- Mythology Gag:
- Nina's hairstyle, name, and fascination with flowers all seem to be this to Nina of the first game.
- Instead of the usual Hearts appearing beside the name the girls have hearts in their hidden diaries. The original Harvest Moon was the same way, with each girl having a diary beside their bed with their heart levels in it. Celia is also a bit of an Expy of Nina, with a smudge of Ellen mixed in, and Muffy is one of Eve.
- The general "vague era" feel of the game is similar to the original Harvest Moon, which seemed early 20th century but had a fair share of Anachronism Stew.
- Non-Standard Game Over: A few.
- If you aren't engaged by the end of the first year, whichever bachelor/bachelorette has the highest affection for you will come to your home and propose, and turning them down will end your game.
- If you neglect your farm in the second year, your wife will question you about it one night. You can express regret for your actions and promise to work harder, or you can rudely tell your wife you don't care about what happens to the farm, which causes her to take your child and leave you forever.
- In the special edition and AnWL, you can end the game in the first cutscene by simply telling Takakura you don't want the farm.
- Oddball in the Series: It's one of the only games to have everyone in town grow old, and having so much focus put into your child growing up. It also deals with some darker themes, like death and divorce, that most of the rest of the series doesn't.
- Off Model: Nami doesn't look anything like her concept art.
- Older Than She Looks:
- Muffy is the oldest, being in her thirties.
- Celia doesn't look past her early 20s for much of the game. Lampshaded in ANWL.
- Lumina looks to be at most, 12. However, in Japan she's 16 and in the West she's 18. The Japanese site for the original game states she's fourteen but all games afterwards use the same model.
- Nami is 28 but could pass for someone in her earlier 20s.
- One Game for the Price of Two: Links to Friends of Mineral Town to unlock content in both. Another Wonderful Life links to More Friends of Mineral Town in the same way.
- Platonic Life Partners:
- Everyone in town apparently gossips about how Flora and Carter have been sharing a tent together for years. But if you speak to them, it's clear that a relationship with each other has never even occurred to them. However, their descendants in DS and Cute are paired together.
- Possibly all of the potential non-main-character "couples" count as this, as none of them officially get married (except in DS/Cute).
- Precocious Crush: In AWL, Lumina seems to have a crush on you in the first chapter. In SE she is made old enough to be a marriage candidate.
- Reality Has No Soundtrack: For the most part, there is no background music, adding to the game's darker atmosphere.
- Sadistic Choice: No matter who you choose to marry, two or three girls will end up having a life much worse than they would have if you married them.
- Scary Black Man: Subverted with Cody, who certainly looks the part but is actually introverted and quiet.
- Scenery Porn: Forget-Me-Not Valley is positively idyllic.
- Shared Universe: Takes place concurrently with (More) Friends of Mineral Town.
- She's All Grown Up: Lumina, Hugh, Kate, and your child end up being this at one point or another.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Vesta's light-haired, brash, friendly, huge, and strong. Her brother is dark-haired, grumpy, shy, and shrimpy.
- Stalker with a Crush: Daryl to Flora.
- Retro Universe: The game looks like it takes place in The Sixties, maybe even the 1910s, but takes place in the 2000s.
- Unkempt Beauty: In the first AWL game Nami has neat smooth hair, but in AnWL, her hairstyle is shaggier and messier. She typically appears shaggy-haired in later games, though it combed down a bit for the Wii Ware title.
- Updated Re-release:
- Another Wonderful Life, along with being a Distaff Counterpart, added a lot of other new content to the game. Minigames to train your dog, the ability to change your outfit, a mirror by your bed, added difficulty in getting fodder, and making the special tools have different effects while farming. Some of these additions were included in the PS2 special edition, but not all of them.
- The PS2 edition was supposed to be a sort of Updated Re-release, but it got a lot of flack for its ridiculous loading times and lowered graphics quality.
- Verbal Tic: Murray's "moi!".
- Video Game Cruelty Potential:
- You can see all of a girl's heart events and then marry someone else. Be prepared for said girl to hate you forever. Especially Celia; if you do this to her, she and her family will never forgive you.
- You don't have to feed your cat, dog, or horse. You can just let them starve and leave them in the rain.
- The infamous goat stops giving milk after one year and thereafter just wastes a space in the barn. Most players resorted to murdering the goat by starving it and making it sick in order to free up the barn slot. Another Wonderful Life added in the option to sell your goat back to Van.
- What the Hell, Hero?: If you raise a girl to all four hearts and see all of their events, and then marry someone else, you will see a scene where the girl comes to your house at night to give you a good verbal beat down.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Unlike most animals, which you can sell when they're no longer useful, you can't sell the goat when it's become unable to produce milk. It's just there and takes up a slot in your barn. So if you really don't want it wasting space, you have no choice but to let it starve to death. AnWL added the option to sell it.
- You Keep Using That Word: Because players aren't asked to slaughter animals for meat, the term "Dairy Farmer" is more accurate than "Rancher".
- You Lose at Zero Trust: If you blow off all the marriage candidates in year one or mismanage the farm so badly that you drive your spouse to take the kid and leave, you get a game over.