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
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.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: This game feels quite different from future titles. For one, you can't ship past 6 PM and the night never ends; once it turns 6 PM you must go to sleep to enter the next day. You also don't have a clock on default - instead you need to earn it - and must follow the sun. You can't ship certain stuffs like flowers as well. Pete is unable to faint, he just can't use tools after a while.
- 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 game has endings, twenty in fact, unlike most other titles.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Future localizations 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.
- 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.
- 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.