A direct sequel to the first Rune Factory game and the series' debut on a home console. Unlike some were led to believe, this is neither a port nor remake.Raguna, The Hero from the original Rune Factory, left Kardia in search of Mist and arrived at a border village called Trampoli. Turns out Mist moved there because someone's been calling out to her in her dreams. With Mist anchored in Trampoli for now, Raguna also decided to stay and keep an eye on her, doing what he does best; running a farm. But there seems to be some disturbance on Whale Island, a giant mass of land floating above the village; and he'll have to do something about it before that island loses its power and falls upon Trampoli right below.Being the series' debut on a home console, Rune Factory Frontier is given an extended voice cast and more characterization for the characters. It also took a bit of a sharper turn to the comedic side than before; many Lampshade Hangings, humourous conversations and funny item descriptions are waiting around corners to make you smile. Long story short, RFF is a really smart and powerful update to the Harvest Moon formula, an attempt which yielded many things made right... except for one big flaw: a new and major game mechanic they added to the game horribly backfired.*
The new "Runey System" meant for speeding up crop growth while supposedly providing extra challenge to maintain demanded excessive effort and attention; it didn't help that the consequences for neglecting it are too severe. So, despite the good intention, the price was that Rune Factory Frontier essentially lost the spirit it was originally intended for; taking things slow and steady, and enjoying your progress.
Even so, if you can manage to work around it, RFF is a really fun game for veterans and newcomers alike.
This game provides examples of the following:
The Ace: Depending on how you play him, Raguna. Look at it from the other villagers' perspectives: He rolls into town, immediately gets a farm, and becomes pretty much the most successful farmer, warrior, and item crafter. He also tames the best monsters, wins every contest, upgrades his house to become the best in town, becomes everyone's best friend, and steals away girls that some of these villagers had been going after for since childhood. And this can all be in the first year No wonder some characters like Brodik hate him...
A God Am I: Gelwein, after powering up with the Dark Rune. Until all the girls come in to save your arse, anyway.
Attack! Attack! Attack!: A very good way to get yourself killed, considering the stat growth is pretty low. Tactics, instead, go a long way here. And lots and LOTS of running.
It's still quite conditional, depending on your resources*
Level, equipment and recovery items.
. It's not impossible, but it demands tons of recovery items AND constant attention on HP/RP.*
Unless you managed to max out stats by permanent enhancers, and that's gonna take a while.
In short, it's not for everyone.
Awesome, but Impractical: Magic wands. They're powerful but take a lot of RP, slow to fire and hard to aim. Not to mention they won't be very effective if you don't know the target's weakness.
Also depends on the rod. The "Storm Rod" is invaluable. It surrounds you with a wall of wind that hurts enemies. Meaning you can run at your enemies to hurt them, until the effect wears off. Other rods have similar uses but fit the trope due to RP cost.
Actually, Storm Rod's drawback isn't exactly the RP use. It's that the wind wall disappears pretty quickly for a spell you have to spend a second's casting time in a vulnerable position... The up-side is that it doesn't miss.
The Storm Rod does negate fireballs though (and maybe other magical projectiles), and it has significant knockback, making it the ideal weapon for a low level run through the Lava Ruins, as long as you are aware of how long it takes for the wind wall to start up and abate later. Especially when coupled with jam doping (which gives RP and a temporary boost to your magic stat). It also makes the Lava Ruins boss laughably easy if you can are familiar with the timing of the attacks (for a first-timer, just die several times trying to kill the boss)and can dodge somewhat well. Low level runs are also useful beyond Bragging Rights Rewards as you get access to money quicker in the early game.
The Storm Rod is the single most helpful weapon while fighting the boss of the game. It allows you to protect yourself from those horrible bugs he summons and still strike him.
Really, it's a pain to get good with them, but once you get the hang of it the projectile spells actually make boss fights a hell of a lot easier.
Blessed with Suck: For some reason, monsters find Anette irresistible. Perhaps that explains her fast footwork...
It doesn't exactly help that she has an acorn around her neck...
Bookworm: Selphy; she forgets to eat while she's reading a book, often for days. Her current record is "one week".
Butt Monkey / Chew Toy: Kross, from time to time. For example, Anette thinks he's a ghost. Also, on the day of Hotpot festival, he'll mention that he's getting the leftovers.
Call A Sheep A Woolly: Numerous monsters, though there do tend to be distinct differences between the monsters and the animals we're used to (Woollies walk on two feet for example)
Actually, that's about the only one that's totally different. The Buffamoo is a regular cow (with a bit of a mane), the honey-giving hornets are normal-looking except for being rather large, and the chicken has longer wings (as would be fitting a wild fowl that actually flies and does not spend all its time in a coop).
Can Not Spit It Out: Rosetta actually loves Raguna, as she admits after marriage that he's the reason she followed to Trampoli. The problem is that she's either too proud or just holding it in on grounds of feminine dignity.
Everything's Better with Princesses: Selphy makes a fleeting remark about being "tired of being a princess." Nolan offers Melody the position of a princess in the kingdom he once ruled, but she turned it down in favor of staying at Laga Springs. However, she still regards him as family, so... yeah.
Minerva can also count, considering she's throned by Tabatha, her sister, as the next Queen of the Elves.
Did we mention that apart from Marco and Candy, the only NPCs to actually don bathing suits are potential spouses? And if you get their affection high enough you can give them skimpier ones as gifts?
Final Boss, New Dimension: The monster being used by Gelwein to fuel his power is sealed in a seperate dimension called the Era of Disconnect in order to prevent it from sucking all the energy out of the world.
Though Word Of God is they aren't really vampires, even if they like blood, tomate juice, are nocturnal, can't enter the church, and faint if you give them garlic.
Furo Scene: Subverted; you don't get to see the girls on the other side, but you can clearly hear what they're talking about. You pay a very small price for accidential eavsdropping, though.
Genki Girl: Selphy, especially when it comes to books. Melody's generally quite peppy herself.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: The bath scenes, though only conveyed through dialogue, often get pretty suggestive. This game is rated E10+.
Frontier is full load of this. making and giving cladly swimsuits to girls, "Good-Bye Kiss", cheating on your wife, and Iris's "You're bleeding!" cutscene.
Green Aesop: A lighter way to look at the Runey system.
Guide Dang It: The Runey system, finding out where to get all of your tools (especially the hammer), where anyone is at any particular time is and how to enter in a few of the dungeons could take you a lot of time guessing, if you can figure it out at all, or you could just look it up online.
Improbable Weapon User: Any item you can equip can be used to fight monsters (other then the brush that befriends them). While the sickle and hoe seem somewhat reasonable to use as weapons, you may also use the fishing pole and watering can, which tend to do more damage than a sword.
Informed Ability: The other warriors in town. As is common for the series, you can almost never, EVER see them fight anyone or anything, despite everyone else saying how tough they are or how well they fight. Due to Gameplay And Story Segregation, most likely, but even so, it's become a running joke for many fans of the series. Also goes for some other characters, such as the blacksmith who makes "The best swords around", that turn out to be almost trivial projects once you have your own forge...
Item Crafting: Necessary to get anything past the most basic equipment. The game contains 4 separate crafting skills for you to Level Grind: Cooking (with the kitchen), Lab (Making medicines etc. with the Laboratory), Forge, and Craft (Creating farm tools/weapons and armor/gifts respectfully, both using the Forge)
Jerkass: We're lookingstaring at you, Brodik. His attitude is justified later as he thinks that Raguna is an escaped soldier of the Zzyzx Empire which he was ordered to look for and letters from Candy and Marco thanking him for helping out in the fields reveal he's not really that bad of a guy.
Of course, the only reason he clears out all the rocks and weeds in the fields is because he's dumping them on YOUR field.
Katanas Are Just Better: The strongest two-handed swords are katanas, although the strongest Katana has the same attack power as the strongest one-handed sword, so this is not a full example.
Cinnamon: I imitated Candy and tried to bake some sweets. For some reason they exploded. It's a mystery...
Level Grinding: Depending on your playstyle this may become necessary.
Limited Wardrobe: Most of the time. Raguna, however, can at least change his equipments.
An arguable subversion is that there are more than one character sprites for Raguna, the girls, Candy and Marco, in their beach outfits.
It gets lampshaded by two bachlorettes. Melody and Bianca will both inform you they have several (hundreds, in Bianca's case) of the same outfit since they like it so much
Cinnamon also mentions that she has many copies of the same outfit, though in her case it's because the magic academy she attended supplied them for her, rather then her liking the outfit particularly.
Add a fourth to the list: during winter, Brodik mentions that he thought his job (running Raguna out of town) would be done before then, and he didn't prepare any winter clothes.
Male Gaze: On a date with a girl with whom you've met all the conditions for marriage, just before you are given the option to take out the bouquet and propose, dramatic flashes of the sprite of the girl are shown. The final, longest, and most conspicuous one is a closeup of her chest.
Stats, and particularly HP: Your HP barely gets close to 400 at Level 80. In other words, you can die very, VERY quickly if you're not prepared or not careful.
Though, perhaps for compensation, the RP gauge is set at 500, which is 5 times the amount from RF1. And as your skill and weapon/tool levels increase, the RP costs lower noticeably per level*
Each weapon, tool, and crafting recipe has a "required level" listed on it. While it is possible to use the item with a skill level lower than the one listed, you use more RP in doing so. Once your skill level = the level of the item, the RP cost will not decrease anymore (so an item with required level 10 will cost more to use at level 6 than at level 10, but the cost at 10 is the same as the cost at 99). In addition, using the crafting system to increase the level of a weapon or item will decrease the RP cost of using it
Selling prices, excluding the crops': A Level 10 Diamond sells for only 840. That's about four bloody Level 1 Turnips, mind you.
However, there is a scene that shows they may, in fact, drink blood. I believe you need Iris Blanche at 2 LP to access it. If you go into the Whale Island Tower of Rest and talk to her while injured, you will get a scene where Raguna is bleeding and Iris freaks out. She then attempts to lick the unseen blood off of his hand.
Word Of God is they aren't actually vampires, just some sort of creature that likes blood, faints around garlic, and can't set foot in the church. They also aren't pure breeds.
Picky Eater: If you're shipping vegetables when it's Danny's turn to empty your bin he'll complain, and try to think of a way to remove them without touching them.