Video Game: Harvest Moon Original Series

Harvest Moon is the first title in the Harvest Moon series, released in 1996 for the Super Nintendo.

Your grandfather has died and you decide to take over his old farm. You have a little over two years to get the farm back to what it once was. During that time you can get married, have children, or pretty much do whatever you please. After your time is up your father will appear and review your progress.

Harvest Moon was one of the last games released for the SNES so it didn't get much recognition at the time. It was successful enough to have an Even Better Sequel which spawned an entire franchise, along with some Game Boy side-games at the time. In 2008 it was added onto the Wii's Virtual Console.

It has a direct sequel in Harvest Moon 64 and many characters were reused in the 10th anniversary title Harvest Moon: Magical Melody. The first portable game in the series, Harvest Moon GB, is actually something of a demake of this game. It has the same basic plot, but removes a number of features from the SNES game: the marriage system is completely gone; the only area you can explore is your farm, the mountain area is gone, and the village is just a menu screen; there's no "real" ending like the SNES version, meaning you keep farming forever. The only addition is that HMGB was the first game in the series to allow the player to chose between playing as either a male or female.

This game provides examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: This game seems to take place in the early 20th century judging from the fashion and technology, and the fact the sequel game seems to take place in a much more modern time, but you have a (rather large) color TV in your house.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • It fares well, but sometimes there are just some lines that makes you facepalm. Case in point, when Ellen comes with a dog, she will tell you: "It's name do it."
    • "Confirm the origin of fire" sounds sarcastic and like a joke when it's not supposed to be.
  • Bungling Inventor: Ann. During the day, you can find her working on a device, but other days she just sits with the finished invention beside her. If you talk to her, she will ask you to press the button on it. Saying yes will result in you pressing the button and the machine exploding in your face. Ann will apologize for it and revert to working on it.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • This game feels quite different from future titles. For one, you can't ship past 6 PM and you can't ship "perishables" (like cakes and flowers). You also don't have a clock on default - instead you need to earn it - and the nights never end; you must go to bed for the next day to occur. The game has endings, twenty in fact.
    • The religion also seems much more Christian-like than in future titles, though it's still obviously Pagan. There's mention of Gods besides the Harvest Goddess, which weren't properly implemented until at least ten years later when the Harvest King became a character. The Harvest Goddess only pops up once and is referred to as the "God of the Land" for the most part.
    • The way relationships works differs. You can only really befriend the love interests and there are no heart events (though each girl has one special event once you get her affection to a certain degree).
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Future incarnations avoid this but in the original title you don't drink wine, you drink "juice". Eve works at a bar that sells "juice" which you can get drunk on. Ellen's father is the town drunk and he loves "juice". Nina is obviously drunk at more than one festival, even talking about seeing butterflies, but she's only drank the "juice".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • The most obvious being that when you go to bed with most wives their affection goes up. To drive the point home Eve's, who has abandonment issues, goes down each night.
    • Ann is implied to be naked in her Star Night scenes at the hot springs, though you only see her from the shoulders up. In three out of four of them, she also doesn't seem to mind Pete hopping in to join her, though she'll sometimes get annoyed at him being Distracted by the Sexy.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: If you marry Ann.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: It would be hard to know Ellen was a girl by just looking at her.
  • Magic Realism: It seems like a realistic enough game about a rural town but then you have certain things like the Harvest Goddess and Harvest Sprites.
  • More Friends, More Benefits: No matter who (if anyone) you marry, your end-of-game score is influenced by your relationship with all five bachelorettes. There's also a "Ladies' Man" ending sequence that you get for having a high relationship with all five girls, but not marrying any of them.
  • Palette Swap: Whichever girl you marry will always wear the same attire after marriage; a blue dress with a braid. The only differences between them are the hair color.
  • Pink Is Feminine: Nina sports a pink dress and has pink hair.
  • Romancing the Widow: Not you but Ann's father has a romance with Nina's mother, and if you marry Ann they get married. It goes both ways since they're a widower and a widow.
  • Stripperiffic: Eve dresses in more pink, lighter clothes than the other bachelorettes.
  • Tomboy: Ann.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Ellen. Dresses like a boy but have the most girly behaviour of all the bachelorettes.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: What is traditional for the games; for example, you can leave animals out in a storm at night and they will look freaked out the next day.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Maria, one of the available bachelorettes.
  • You No Take Candle: Nina speaks in this manner, for some reason.