The third installment in the main Rune Factory series, this game was released by Natsume in North American on November 9th 2010. It also makes significant improvements to combat, stats, and farming systems, as well as expanding on the message board requests introduced in Rune Factory 2.One night during a storm, a mysterious golden-fleeced wooly collapses in front of a young girl, Shara's, house; and yet, against her grandfather's wishes, she takes in the wooly for the night. However, when morning comes around, the wooly transforms into a young man, Micah. With no memory of who he is or what he's supposed to be doing here, he escapes Shara's house, only to run into her - and a silent young woman named Raven - again not long thereafter. At the pair's suggestion, Micah decides to stay at the local farm, which happens to be housed in an enchanted tree. From there on, the story's up to the player to discover.
From this game, we get examples of:
Acquired Poison Immunity: Your "Poison" skill goes up every time you get poisoned (or inflict poison on the enemy). Aside from the same stat-boosts most skills give, it makes it harder for you to get hit with poison. This also goes for sleeping, paralysis and sealing status effects.
Shino apparently developed this as well, as she gladly accepts poisonous mushrooms as gifts.
Action Mom: Shino, and Hazel to a certain degree.Also, your spouse.
Poison also doesn't knock you completely out, so you can wait until you get some RP-recovering items (to cast a curing spell), an antidote herb or antidote, or until one of the two witches decide to work to take care of the poison. Just don't do something stupid like go exploring a dungeon...
Antidote Effect: Healing Potion type items made with alchemy restore set amounts of HP, with the best ones going up to 2000 hit points' worth. However, most food restores via percentage of your maximum HP/RP, and considering your base HP cap is 65535...
Apologetic Attacker: Raven and Shara routinely apologise to the monsters they're beating up. The former does it only in the Japanese version, though.
Artificial Atmospheric Actions: Quite well-done for a DS game. Villagers will go about their usual daily business according to who they are; it's not uncommon to find Carmen or Carlos fishing, for example, Raven writing in her diary, Rusk and Collette serving in the restaurant, or Marian at her cauldron. Other more generic actions include going for walks in the safe areas of the dungeons, having conversations with other villagers (although you fill in the blanks) and greeting you when you walk by.
Attack! Attack! Attack!: With some of the bonus bosses, sometimes the best strategy is to defeat them before they can use their best attacks, which are nigh-impossible to dodge.
Attack Drone: Most of the active seeds are essentially this, only they're plants.
Awesome, but Impractical: The boss abilities of the last few bosses you can collect consume too much RP to be used often, although, to their credit, they can clear the screen of all non-boss enemies. And by the time you have enough RP to overcome useage issues, slow charge time becomes a bigger one (You're slowed to walking speed while charging, even while wearing Rocket Shoes, though you can still dash). Though the charge time issue can be mitigated with a Magic Ring (halves charge time).
Boss Rush: Entering the last two Bonus Dungeons while wearing the Holy Rosary accessorynote Normally, it just blocks the spawning of non-boss enemies in an area turns them into this, as the first room you enter will contain a boss and the warp to the next level.
Bottomless Bladder: Partially averted. While you don't have to do these things, there are skills that reward you for making your character live a healthy life: eating well, getting lots of exercise, sleeping early, so on and so forth.
But Thou Must: You can't refuse Shara when she wants to show you around your new home. Or explain the bulletin board.
One of Sofia's requests ends up with a decision where both options quite literally mean the same thing.
Similarly, if you're going after Sakuya, you are going to get shaved for your golden wool, and no amount of arguing will deter her.
[Micah]: "It's gonna be a cold night tonight..."
If you accept Daria's mission to find the Golden Wooly, you're given two choices: Trying to make a random distraction or revealing your secret. The first one never works, no matter how many times you try.
Bragging Rights Reward: You can collect a number of trophies in the trophy room for completing certain achievements. Most are useless, but some serve as in-game options, such as to view the end credits again.
Hard Mode: The monsters are tougher, but you get the same rewards for defeating them (same XP, same monster drops)
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Daria does this in one of her conversations. She will exclaim "My art is calling me!", prompting two choices. Choosing the second will make her say something along the lines of, "Please choose the first one, next time..."
Daria actually seems quite fond of this, doing it on more than one occasion. Maybe that's what her hammer's actually for...
And then there's one conversation, where she tells you her new name, which is so long that it goes off the edge of the text box. Micah's response? "It doesn't even fit..." Dang Daria, you're like a Fourth Wall Sledgehammer
The wall is broken during the farming tutorial too - Shara runs up to the upper-left corner and jumps to indicate where your HP and RP gauges are, to which Micah responds with "I can't see them." Shara's response to that? "You can't see them when you're talking to people."
There's also Pia's "Hey-ho" and "La-la-la" and Collette's "Heya".
Character Customization: Taken to obscene lengths. While the first two games had "fight monsters to gain EXP to raise stats," and skills weren't that important, what you do in this game will seriously impact how your character turns out. While skills only decreased RP consumption in the other games, in this one every skill is tied to at least one stat, and levelling has a limited ability to impact your stats. Oh, and did I mention there are an obscene number of skills, even one for walking and another that represents how well-fed you are? Add that to an enormous number of effects your equipment can have on you and your enemies, and you're set. Then there're your companions to consider...
Charged Attack: More important for staves than other weapons, since that's how you use the spells you've imbued into it by way of monster drops.
Com Mons: Most of the monsters you can tame early on fall into this trope.
Continuity Nod: Talk to the travellers passing through town, and they'll make references to the earlier games.
As a nod to the tradition of the first Harvest Moon game of peeking at girls' diaries to find out how they feel about you, Raven keeps a diary on her dresser that has its contents change as you up her Relationship Values. Attempting to read it while she's around makes her really, really mad. As a joke, Gaius has one too, but he never writes anything in it.
Karina also keeps a diary in her room, however due to her extreme laziness, she stops writing in it after the first paragraph.
Sherman has one, too, but you can't make any sense of the words in it.
Yue from the previous game makes an appearance as well. And she's more useful than before since she sells pretty rare items like boss drops and changes her stock every day.
Mei is there, too! She's the way you can change your name.
Critical Hit: There are some skills which guarantee this, and various ways to up your chances of getting one. Different weapon types have different base critical chances, and magic can now score these as well. You can also critically heal.
Curtains Match the Window: Collette, Sofia, Monica, and Evelyn, if the official artwork has anything to say about it. Also, Pia sorta counts, too.
Determinator: You cannot lose against Aquaticus' ultimate attack. Even at 0 HP, you simply shrug off his attacks until you hit him. Sadly, this does not happen against the rematch, for obvious reasons.
Drinking wine makes you fall asleep. You can then feed the wine to enemies and hit them while they're asleep. Additionally, throwing oil or ice cream at bosses or enemies is a quick way to dispose of them if you have a fire elemental weapon, or magic.
Doing enough of Raven's requests reveals that she is a phoenix. If you take her with you to dungeons, she can transform into this state and fight in a more powerful form. This also allows her to walk freely around the Univir settlement where she goes unnoticed by the other monsters and make short work of the boss when oil or ice cream is thrown on it.
Die, Chair! Die!: You can chop up your furniture, signs, shipment boxes, save points, and even the orbs you acquire throughout the storyline. Oh, and if you so much as sneeze on a treasure chest, it and its contents are destroyed.Pretty annoying if you have a weapon with a large range or have a dumb AI companion...
Difficulty Spike: The difference between the penultimate and final areas of the Sharance Maze.
Dual Wielding: Introduced in this game. Effectiveness does remain in question, though. While dual swords are the fastest weapon, using them means you get no benefit from a shield, whereas using even a two-handed weapon only halves the stats you gain from a shield.
Dub Name Change: There are quite a few, actually, but perhaps the most peculiar are Zeze's, Persia's, and Donchacos', who have become Zaid, Pia, and Sherman respectively. Other examples include Karin, who has become Karina, and Elisa, who has become Evelyn. Conversely, Rusk was left alone, despite his family's dessert naming trend being broken with Chocolat becoming Collette, and Gluten becoming Blaise.
Monster Village has also undergone a drastic name change, now becoming Univir instead. Additionally, Sialens has become Sharance.
Dynamic Difficulty: The difficulty of the last area in the Sialens Maze scales with your level and stats.
Edible Theme Naming: All in the same family, we have Chocolat (French for chocolate), Rusk (a dry, hard biscut), and Gluten (a composite of two proteins found in grain, often used in breads and the like). Mais (which resembles "maize," or the term for corn in some countries, like Italy) can also count too. All of these were Lost in Translation except for Rusk; see Dub Name Change above.
Gaius also hints at this when you give him something he likes.
Evolving Attack: Leveling your fighting skills increases the length of your weapon combo and can add associated effects.
Express Delivery: It takes a matter of days from your wife discovering she's pregnant to the actual birth. And this happens THREE times, a year apart each occurrence. Ouch.
Fantastic Racism: The main plotline is about trying to bring humans and the Univir together. To the storyline's credit, the Univir are just as bad as the humans themselves.
Fanservice: Almost all the villagers have their own swimsuits. Even those who live in the desert. Seems Neverland and Marvelous didn't forget the ladies this time round. Carlos, anyone?
Freaky Is Cool: Some of the fanbase apparently like Sofia for her tendency to say the opposite of what she means.
Food As Bribe: You have to use a fried/grilled char to lure out the twin manticores to fight. It happens to be their favorite food, so much so that they've been attacking the villagers to get at it.
Forgets to Eat: Gaius sometimes spends days at the forge. It takes until he runs out of materials or get distracted by Raven for him to just pass out just so Raven can get him to sleep. To a lesser extent, one of Daria's requests has you get her food because she's so hungry from working on her art that she can't get any herself.
Gambit Roulette: The entire plot of the game turns out to be an elaborate plot by the Dragon God Aquaticus to tear down the racial barriers between Humans and Monsters.
Gameplay Ally Immortality: Villagers can faint, but leave the map you're on and they'll revive themselves with one HP. Healing them via magic also revives them. Sadly, this doesn't apply elsewhere—fainted monsters will be returned to your barn, and exhausted active seeds will revert to their seed form and have to be placed in your backpack overnight before they can be used again.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Even after the Unity Festival, Kurana still refers to humans as the "vile hornless" in certain quests that were available from before the festival. Also, you can still "reveal" your Wooly form to some characters even after revealing it to the entire town.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Wowee. Despite the game's cute, innocent appearance, this particular Rune Factory's dub is filled with hilarious innuendo. Much of it comes from Persia and her fascination with squid.
Pia: "Micah showed me his thing!"
Kuruna's response to having her horn touched is pretty suggestive.
One must wonder how the game managed to get away with an E10+ rating after Sofia's non-threat to "drag you out into the woods and let the monsters have their way with you, repeatedly."
Giant Mook: Giant mushrooms. And ducks. And woolies. And trolls.
Give Me Your Inventory Item: Most of the repeatable message board quests are this, along with Twenty Bear Asses. Though to prove they're not so lazy, sometimes the villagers go out with you in search of what they want. And sometimes they want to give you their inventory items, so what goes around comes around.
Glass Cannon: Some of the villager companions can be this. They are not so much fragile (since the bosses hit you just about as hard) but their AI is so much dumber than the player (hopefully) that they just stand there and get hit. Thanks to an accessory called the "Sun Pendant", though, some villagers can do insane damage (the pendent doubles their damage). The most prominent example is probably Raven/Toona, who can either die in 5 seconds by rushing into bosses or solo just about any "oiled" boss (even those with decent fire-resist) in less than 5 seconds by continuously spamming her fireball wing attack (This is considering that villagers tend to be quite a bit lower in level than the bosses).
It's been proven that Raven has abyssmal VIT and HP growth, but incredible STR and INT growth.
Incest Subtext: Some of Carlos and Carmen's lines can get over the top.
Indestructible Edible: You can find food items in treasure chests, throw them on the ground, leave them there for days (even having a child afterwards), and they don't go bad. Fish found in treasure chests are still alive and skipping, as though freshly caught.
The finishing move of the dual sword as well and presumably of every other weapon type. It's a mixed blessing at best, though, since you are completely defenseless for around a second after the attack, which can often led to being one shotted by the hard mode bonus bosses.
Jerk Ass God: Aquaticus. Forces Micah to be the driving force of his Gambit Roulette and Micah's reward for seeing it through is either to leave his past unremembered for good or to leave his new life behind for good. Jerk.
Averted, when compared to previous games in the series; turning a profit on your crafting skills is laughably easy now. 1 of each iron and 2 of every other ore at forge skill 80 gives you an easy 45720G - more than any boss drop's value.
Even more than that, you can now use scrap ore to level any forged item. While it lowers attack and defense stats, it doesn't effect the gold value of the item upgraded. And since scrap ore carries a high difficulty for forging, it's a near-game breaking way to boost your forging and workshop skills quickly and cheaply (especially once you nab a Heart Pendant, which doubles all skill points gained.)
Kill 'em All: What Pia wants to do to squids, and she declares it several times through the game.
Kuudere: Raven. Although she's faking the cold front as she's terrified of people learning her secret. Get her Relationship Values high enough or talk to her in wooly form, and she'll behave more kindly toward you. If you do marry her, the cold side of her vanishes completely, although she still doesn't like to share her feelings and still often wants you to reaffirm your love for her.
Lampshade Hanging: Particularly, concerning how many characters can fit in a dialogue box:
[Daria]: "Did you know, [Micah], the longer an artist's name is, the better they are?"
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Micah thinks that Karina and Hazel are a lot alike, the two of them both immediately yell at him that they aren't. Keep in mind Micah doesn't actually say this. Then again Hazel leans on the wall on multiple occasions and Karina has a second sentence (in a thought bubble) after every sentence or two.
Lethal Chef: Sakuya. One of her quests involves her utter failure at even boiling an egg.
Then again, she does ask for a large egg, which requires a higher cooking level than a small or medium egg, which she rejects.
Limited Wardrobe: Largely averted. You can buy a large number of different outfits from Evelyn, and the other villagers change into their swimsuits when they go to the beach during summer. The minor characters, though, still suffer from this.
Lost Forever: Averted. Plot Coupon items will appear by your bed if you manage to lose them one way or another. (Giving, dropping them in water). Supposedly special equipment that happen to be quest rewards can still be crafted yourself.
Mad Scientist: Marian appears to be this when it comes to medicines, having no ethical qualms about using you and Collette as test subjects. Evelyn seems to be similarly obsessed with her fashion designing.
Marian will give you "tea" in some of her requests that will turn you into her suddenly-effeminate willing servant. Things you'll then say will usually end with a star or a music note. Her madness goes up when you continue this quest and learn that she wants you to hold down villagers while she tests her newly-made medicine on them.
There's also the time she tries to force-feed Micah an experimental potion to change his gender...
Man-Eating Plant: One of the active seeds grows into this sort of plant. Thankfully, it eats enemy monsters.
There are many of these in harder areas of the Sol Terrano desert that do damage the player and any partner upon contact.
Marathon Level: The last area of the Sharance Maze, with twenty levels and ten bosses.
Marshmallow Hell: Pia gives you one.And yet, afterwards you're the one who gets pictured as a pervert.
The dual-sword, short sword, and wooly kung-fu are fast enough to make button smashing viable. Wooly throws do make you invincible during their animation but the recover time on some throws are so long that you are almost guaranteed to get hit if you are surrounded.
The spear makes you invincible during the combo, when you spin the spear to shortly after the attack finishes.
Mega Manning: Upgrading staves with monster drops can allow you to use monster abilities. This works even for bosses, although boss abilities tend to cost large amounts of RP.
Nerf Arm: Some weapons you can craft include backscratchers, vegetables and pitchforks. The game readily acknowledges this by having these weapons produce little turnips and a "pop" sound upon hitting an enemy, despite them being just as effective as other weapons.
Only Sane Man: As a larger and larger percentage of the cast gets quirky with each game in the series, your character is probably going to end up being this.
Karina is this as well. Unlike Micah she seems to enjoy watching everyone else's quirks, rather than wonder at them.
Opposite Day: Sofia and her father pepper their speech with red text that means the opposite of what it says. It gets very confusing since they don't reverse everything they say, just enough to screw with your mind. For added confusion, Sofia is the only person who loves (really!) to eat Failure Dishes and Super Failure Dishes.
Parental Abandonment: No one has both of their parents. In fact, most of the characters have no parents, with no explanation. Raven at least acknowledges the fact that she never had parents, and Micah gets a flashback involving his parents having one line of dialogue each, but that's it.
Patchwork Map: When a half-frozen river is just a short walk away from a scorching desert, it certainly seems this way.
Peninsula of Power Leveling: You can access the island on the right side of Privera as soon as you can afford to buy the Lily Pad.The bosses that spawn there can be pretty tough, but not only they can be easily beat with some preparations, but their loot can be used to beef up equipment for at least a couple levels.
Doubly so for the Bonus Dungeons - especially if you get lucky with the rare chests.
Player Party: You can have up to one villager, one monster companion, and one active seed on your side at any one time.
However, you can't have a monster and a villager with you at the same time; if you try to add a monster while you're with a villager, the villager will leave, and if you try to add a villager with a monster the villager will say that you already have a member in your party.
Playing with Syringes: You've visited Marian? She'll be wanting to give you a shot. You pass by? She'll want to give you a shot. You leave the game while she's your companion and return? She'll want to give you a shot so you won't forget. You do other girl's requests while you're married to her? A shot is in order. Take note: that ridiculously large musical instrument in her hand IS HER SYRINGE.
Although, looking like a musical instrument lessens the fear factor. She has, however, back-up syringes that are...actual syringes and ARE ridiculously large. They aren't calibrated, though, thank God.
One of the official artworks has her on beach day with a float in the shape of a syringe.
Pointy Ears: Raven, Kuruna, Daria, Ondorus, Zaid, and Gaius all have these.
Poison Mushroom: Some food items such as wine, oil and failed dishes can decrease your HP/RP and cause status effects. Since you can throw food to monsters in this game, it's clear they were meant to be used as attack items.
Also, there are literal mushrooms that will restore HP and RP, but may have side effects, including poisoning.
Polar Opposite Twins: Collette and Rusk. Collette eats all the time and just about anything, but especially rice and vegetables. Rusk, on the other hand, is an incredibly picky eater, only liking certain sweets. The only thing they have in common is that they use the same hiding spot ( That tree in the plaza. Collette hides in it during one of Marian's requests, and Rusk hides in it during one of Collette's requests.)
Power-Up Food: The main purpose of cooking. While HP/RP restoration via Hyperactive Metabolism is nice, the stat buffs that come along with it are the kicker, not to mention eating once a day ups your "well-fed" skill, which in turn permanently increases a number of your stats.
Powerup Mount: You can now ride a large variety of monsters, all with their own attacks. Humanoid monsters like orcs and goblins may do the same.
Pregnant Badass: You can take your pregnant wife adventuring with you, and she still kicks as much ass.
Evelyn also makes a vague reference to Raguna and Kyle (protagonists of the first two installments) in the English version of the game: "Yeah, and I guess amnesiacs are a dime a dozen around these parts. You're not the first!"
Whenever Rusk comments on his dislike of vegetables, Micah responds with a random fact that gives Rusk second thoughts. When Rusk says he hates eggplants for being soft, Micah claims that there are wizards made of eggplants in far-off kingdoms.
Simple Yet Awesome: Two of the most effective recovery items in the game are Medium Cheese (75% RP) and Toasted Rice Balls (75% HP) - both easily and cheaply made.
Spell My Name with an S: In the original Japanese, Mais has been variously Anglicized as Maisu, Mice, and, well, Mais. Sia is occasionally referred to as Shia, Toona is occasionally referred to as Touna, and Cururufa is occasionally referred to as Klurufa, Kururufa, or Clurufa. Then there's Gadzhi, who is at times referred to as Gaji. Finally, there's Elisa, who is often referred to as Eliza.
Take Your Time: Fiancee missing? Last seen near that strange island with the ancient unopenable door? Doesn't matter, she's not going anywhere, is she?
Talk to Everyone: Your very first message board request is for you to introduce yourself to everyone in town and then ship one item.
You're told to do this with Kuruna in the Unity Festival, although it doesn't matter if you do or not and you don't get anything for it.
That Came Out Wrong: After Pia learns about your little secret, she tries to keep it a secret by refering to your transformed state as your "thing." So when she blurts out that your "thing was cute" around her mother figure after being asked how your date went, Shino not so subtly begins to threaten you while Pia remains oblivious.
There Are No Tents: Due to massive underusage in the earlier two games, the camping skill was taken out, along with sleeping bags.
Thriving Ghost Town: Justified in Sharance; plenty of faceless NPCs pass through and can be seen patronising the shops in town, and Hazel presumably sells your shipped items to other places through the DSC family. Played straight with Univir Village, though.
Ondorus mentions that traveling merchants do stop by Univir Village, although you never see them.
However, there is a merchant that sells you Cooking Bread that occasionally shows up in the desert. Although he doesn't ever pass the entrance...
Trademark Favorite Food: Most of the villagers have one; giving them food they like while they're in your party often buffs their stats beyond what it says on the label, or ignores negative effects the food would ordinarily have.
Transformation Trinket: Your transformation belt. Although you have it at the beginning of the game, your character doesn't remember how to use it until you beat Tanuki.
Universal Poison: Apparently, poisonous mushrooms and rainbow trout sashimi are equally poisonous.
Unpredictable Results: Eating a wild mushroom can restore up to all of your HP/RP, cause or cure status effects, or just damage you. Thankfully, there are none that are instantly fatal. Apparently, there's five distinct shippable types of mushrooms, but you won't know which one is which until you eat or ship it.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can't really woo Kuruna until after the Unity Festival (because most of her Heart Events won't occur until afterwards). To trigger the Unity Festival, you have to raise another girl's heart level to marriage level first. You have to play Cassanova to marry Kuruna.
Voice Grunting: Unfortunately, this appears to be the case. The number of incomplete responses and mismatched VA is staggering, possibly because the game was so large the cartidge was strapped for space.
What the Hell, Player?: After you marry, you can still do requests for the other bachelorettes. However, after a while your wife will complain that you've been "spending a lot of time with someone else."