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 Rerelease 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 children.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.
Aborted Arc: There's an event in the game you can come across where the sprites lament that the harvest goddess is asleep, but maybe if they find nice things she will wake up one day. It's the only time they ever mention a harvest goddess in this game, and afterwards the topic is never brought up.
If you don't marry Nami, a few chapters later if she's still around town, you can witness an event where she's talking to Cody with an implication she might have feelings for him. This is dropped in ANWL where instead she's your romantic rival for Gustafa.
Art Evolution: There's an early version of the boxart that looks different from the final product. Nami's hair was also very straight in the first game, while later games have it being messy (to be fair some official artwork had her with messy hair early on).
Bishie Sparkle: Wally, who literally has a twinkle in his eyes at all times.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Samantha, who seems to be so controlling that her husband avoids returning home from work as long as he can every night.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: There are several blatant typos and mistakes, plus a few glitches in the game. And the transition of Lumina as a love interest in the playstation version was a tad sloppy; some scenes refer to her as Muffy. There are fewer typos in the girl version, though.
Break the Cutie: If you break Celia's heart, then she, Vesta, and especially Marlin will never forgive you.
You make this happen to Lumina if you play as the boy character, due to her Precocious Crush on you. She gets over it though. Muffy has this happen to her a few times, both due to you and not.
Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Can be seen with Marlin and Celia, although they are not an official couple in this game. Their descendants in DS/DS Cute are, however.
As the Darker and Edgier black sheep of the franchise, it has a lot of mature references when it comes to romance, especially when it comes to Muffy. In Japan Lumina was bumped from fourteen to sixteen for Special Edition, but in the west she was bumped to eighteen. She still looks young.
Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: All of the young women in the town still retain their looks when they become old, they just have grey hair and a few wrinkles added. Nami and Muffy in particular aged very well.
Happily Adopted: Rock has literally no resemblance to his parents whatsoever. It's implied that they might have adopted him and simply never told him.
Hobos: Murray, who is some kind of subhuman manchild hobo.
Ill Boy: When Marlin was younger he was really sickly and weak. It's why he moved out of the city and into the valley. He's still rather fragile though.
Jerk Ass: Marlin, if you get too close to Celia. If you marry someone else though you become good drinking buddies.
It's implied she has mistaken her romantic feelings for a sibling affection.
Limited Wardrobe: In the original AWL, everyone wears the same clothes all their lives, save for a hand full of people who get palette swaps in their older years. In ANWL, your character can purchase more outfits for themselves. And in SE, everyone changes the color of their outfits based on the seasons.
Living Prop: A lot of the citizens in town sort of just exist. There's no events or items you get from talking to them, and so you end up sort of just ignoring them completely. Like the fire work makers.
Lonely Rich Kid: Lumina, who in SE is happy to marry a farmer and leave her giant manor on top of the hill.
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Muffy, at least in ANWL. Every year she is seen crying on the bridge because she broke up with another slimy man. Either he had a woman on the side, or she found out that she was the other woman on the side.
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 older that in some versions you could marry her.
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.
Plus Lumina, who looks to be at most, 12. However, according to the booklet for Another Wonderful Life, she's actually 18.
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 this isn't quite as precocious considering she is a marriage candidate.
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.
Scary Black Man: Subverted with Cody, who certainly looks the part but is actually just introverted and quiet.
Unkempt Beauty: In the first AWL game Nami has neat smooth hair, but in An WL, her hairstyle is shaggier and messier. She keeps the latter style in every other game she appears in.
Her hair style has changed frequently, with My Little Shop sporting a very different look from usual.
Updated Rerelease: Another Wonderful Life may just be a distaff counterpart, but it also 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.
Urban Legend of Zelda: There were tons of rumors spread about the game. Like there being a way to unlock the mysterious abandoned shack, or how to get into Romana's shed, or getting every single tablet in the game will give you the chihuahua found next to the dig site. All of these rumors were completely false.
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.