Let's fight...and farm! It's Rune Factory Frontier!:

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Hey, folks. It's me again. Running concurrently with my Demon's Souls live blog is a game that's supposedly far-less soul-crushing: Rune Factory Frontier for the Wii. For those not in the know, Frontier is a game in the Harvest Moon spinoff series Rune Factory, where you make a living by farming and hunting enemies. This game was the first one in the series to be published directly by developer Marvelous Entertainment and not through Natsume, its normal publisher (which means that this one actually got released on time without delays). It took me a while after the game first came out to obtain this title, as none of the GameStop stores (or Targets, or Wal*Marts, or Best Buys) I normally visit had it, so I had to order the game from Amazon.com. Now that it's finally in my possession, I'm going to take a stab at playing this thing.

Episode 1: The First Day on the Job

I had lost everything: my memory...a place to live. When I was on the verge of collapse, I met her. She provided me with food, a home, and...new memories. However, she suddenly disappeared one day without a single word to anybody. That very next day, I left the town behind to search for her.

With those words, our protagonist does just that, but runs out of breath as he looks for a place to stay for the night. He finds himself near a church on the outskirts of the town of Trampoli. A nun, who introduces herself as Sister Stella, offers the boy (who calls himself Raguna) a place to rest for the time being. She asks him whether he and the girl he's searching for are close. He sweats like crazy, and she agrees to drop the issue as he catches some much needed Z's.

The next morning, the girl (named Mist), arrives. Raguna immediately recognizes her. She says she came looking for him, but he says he came looking for her. (Hmm...) She tells Raguna to let the villagers know that she's not in any danger, but refuses to go back herself, because something's "calling" for her, and that she should stay with him as her neighbor. (Hmmmm...) Stella notes that the abandoned house she's talking about has a run-down farm, and Mist notes that Raguna has had experience with this sort of thing. (Hmmmmmmmm...) Raguna reluctantly follows behind Mist as she leads him to his new home, and Stella asks him to return to the church whenever he has some spare time.

Mist and Raguna stop to look at a giant floating island in the shape of a whale, conveniently called Whale Island. After pondering just how an island can float like that, they head down to the farm. (What a mess, he thinks.) She suggests that he call his new place "Mist Farm", but Raguna think's it's too personal, and opts to call it "Kaldia Farm" instead  *. No matter what you say, Mist says she likes what name he gives it. She gives him a cheap watering can, a cheap hoe (are there any other kinds?), and some turnip seeds. She hints that turnips would be "very nice", and leaves.

Without waiting too much longer, Raguna decides to personally inspect his new digs. The interior isn't too shabby looking, much unlike the exterior. Nice bed, bookshelves, a storage box, journal...the good stuff any home ought to have. He records his first journal entry, and then heads outside with his new tools. He notes to himself that there is way too much crap on the field, so he gets started with garbage picking, pocketing every colored piece of grass he can get his hands on, for they appear to be the most valuable things out there. He remembers a bit of his training from a past adventure, and clears a 3x3-acre space near the watering hole suitable for digging. The watering can is leaky and full of holes, but has just enough water for him to set up his newly-planted turnip crop.

Raguna feels that he's done just about as much as he can for the day, but it's not even midday yet, so he returns to the church to meet with Stella. By looking at his map, he finds that the church is just off to the north of his house. She asks him for a favor: give a bamboo shoot to Turner at the Inn. Since it's his first time visiting the town of Trampoli, Stella is kind enough to give him directions: "go west and talk to the big fat guy".

He heads west into the business district, where he finds the conveniently-marked inn. A short green-haired girl comes downstairs to great him. She gives him a standard innkeeper's greeting, but Rags tells her that he's not interested in staying. The girl introduces herself as Eunice, and asks him to visit the bar next door during the evening if he has time. He doesn't see Turner around anywhere, so he goes upstairs searching for him. When he comes back downstairs, he sees a fat man standing behind the counter. Raguna figures that this guy must be Turner, and that he must have snuck in while he was looking around. Raguna gives Turner the bamboo shoot, and is then asked to speak to Ganesha the blacksmith at the forge north of the inn. The elven woman at the forge greets Raguna and tells him about her craft. He smiles and nods, and then tells her about Turner. Ganesha asks him to go meet Danny at the General Store and give him some money to pay for the goods she purchase earlier. Danny and Raguna have a bit of small talk before Raguna hands over Ganesha's money. Since Raguna is on a run to get better acquainted with the townspeople, Danny suggests that he goes to see Erik at the farm south of the business district. After responding to a question Raguna never asked, Erik informs him that the seed Danny wanted has arrived at his farm.

Raguna goes back to relay the news to Danny, but Danny doesn't seem to be that much interested. He does, however, have more turnip seeds, some cooking oil and a few cheap trinkets for sale. Raguna looks around, but doesn't see anything that catches his eye. He goes on to the forge to see Ganesha's stock, but the beginner weapons are a little out of his price range.

With his chain of errands done, he decides to look around a little more while he waits for the tavern to open at night. There is a house to the north of Erik's farm, where a sad-looking guy is standing around and moping. Raguna identifies him as Kross, who is freaked out even though his name is written on his mailbox. After muttering to himself for a while, Kross kindly offers to help Raguna expand his house whenever he feels the need to do so.

Raguna returns home to his still crappy-looking yard, where Mist is waiting for him. She mumbles something about a "Return Magic" spell, but Raguna gives her a puzzled look, thinking that he doesn't know any magic. He was going to visit her directly at her house, but it looks like she saved him the trouble. He invites himself into her house and looks around (well, her door was open). He sees a frying pan on the stove. Why she left this unattended, Raguna doesn't know. He feels tired out from doing so much running around, so he decides to take a nap on one of the beds, but the smell of turnips keeps him from doing anything.

Sitting near the pond outside of Mist's house is a boy named Marco, son of Ganesha. He thinks Mist is a bit on the "weird" side, and also that pond he's guarding is connected to the First Forest, where monsters have made their home.

The beach to the east of Mist's house doesn't hold anything of interest for Raguna, so he heads back home to do some more weeding. Eventually, the sun begins to set, and a girl sorts through everything he's dropped in the storage bin. The girl, Rosetta, recognizes Raguna, and wonders why he disappeared. She assumes that he and Mist are living together because they both wandered to Trampoli one day. Raguna, naturally, asserts otherwise.

He waits until 6 PM for the Snowstyle tavern to open, to see if he forgot to greet anyone. The barmaid, Rita, offers him some food, but he turns it down after seeing the prices on the menu. By the time he returns to his house, Rosetta has disappeared, and Mist has gone back to her own house. With that in mind, he decides to call it a day, resting with visions of fruit- and vegetable-shaped ghosts dancing in his head...
If you're attempting to get the most out of the game, this is going to be one long liveblog. The actual "storyline" may be comparatively short and in my opinion, rather stock, but it's the interactions and events with the wide variety of characters where the narrative truly shines.

Also, if you plan on optimizing your equipment, it's best to start early. I can't say much more about that until later.
I know. I'm not going to worry about powering up my weapons and all that junk right away since I just started the game, and thus elemental crystals are prohibitively expensive.
Episode 2: The Great Flying Whale

The next morning, Raguna wakes up and hears someone knocking at his door ("How rude! I didn't order a wake-up call"). Waiting for him is a cute mail delivery girl named Anette, who is accompanied by a trio of sheep. After introducing herself, she gives Raguna his mail (which basically says the same thing she did out loud), and then storms off.

He gets back to work on his garden, watering his turnips and getting rid of more weeds. He finds it weird that Rosetta gave him money for the weeds he dumped into the shipping bin yesterday. No one in their right mind would have a use for them...especially not Raguna, but for the time being, they were going to be his own little bumper crop until he can get something better to grow in his garden.

There is a little library to the north of his farm. Raguna pays a visit to it to see if there would be anything useful for him to read, but there isn't a single thing on the bookshelves that looks interesting to him. Nobody is watching over the library either, which makes Raguna wonder if the available books are just there for decoration. The stone tablet outside of the library seems a bit odd to him, but there is nothing he can do with it. He visits Stella at the church, who thinks she saw some odd plants grow outside the clock tower near her church. The clock itself is out of order...the time reads 1:50 when it is actually closer to 10 AM. Raguna notices an odd-shaped plant right at his feet. With the poor thing in desperate need of water, he feeds it, and almost instantly, a beanstalk grows so tall that it reaches all the way up to Whale Island. Raguna had no idea that plants could grow so quickly, and wished that he could do that to his turnips. Now that he has a path to reach the great whale, he decides to climb up the stalk, not looking down as he ascends.

The ruins on the island look much more impressive to Raguna up close. A mysterious voice starts talking to him after he wanders around a little bit, stating that it's the collective consciousness of the island itself. Raguna, justifiably freaked out by this talking landmass, wonders why it's speaking directly to him, and the whale tells him that it is because the Runes granted it power, and if that power is lost, then it'll fall from the sky and the inhabitants below will most certainly be killed. It asks Raguna to protect its Rune by defeating the monsters within and sending them back to the First Forest.

Raguna inspects the small tablet in front of him and reads the inscription aloud. "The melody of trust grows within 12 maidens", it says. He then sees a dozen glowing orbs circling the tablet that disappear after a short time and scatter in different directions. On the east side of the whale's exterior, Raguna finds his way into a cave, where he is almost immediately attacked by a goblin. All Raguna has to defend himself at the moment is his cheap hoe, which is heavy and too slow for him to use practically as a weapon. The goblin, meanwhile, is armed with a sword, and is much faster on the draw. It takes Raguna a while to beat up the goblin with his hoe, and to make sure that it doesn't come back to haunt him later, he destroys the blue glowing portal, as well.

Raguna's first taste of combat meets with equal parts excitement and failure, so he leaves the cave and returns to the surface to avoid dying an unnecessarily swift death. After landing, he returns to the forge, hoping that Ganesha will give him a real weapon now that he's made a little bit of money from the garbage he had given away, and she is happy to give him a broadsword in exchange for 500 gold. Afterward, he visits Erik's shop to pick up some turnip and strawberry seeds to help his farm grow. Raguna feels that he's getting better at farming, as planting his new crops doesn't seem to take as much out of him as yesterday, but he decides to stop after planting two new fields crops to avoid overwork.

At the inn, Rita spends time in her room freshening up until it's time for the bar to reopen. She asks Raguna if he's got anything to cook at his house. When he says no, she tells him to visit Lute the traveling merchant on holidays to find his wares, and he might be able to get some cooking utensils out of it. She also gives him a "Quick-step cook" book, which contains recipes that are perfect for newbies. Raguna briefly looks through it, and makes some notes in his head for later.

Kross is hard at work on his own farm. He tells Raguna that it's possible to make friends with some of the monsters in the cave on Whale Island, and gives him a "Pet Glove" to use for this purpose. He warns Raguna of the ever-present danger of getting smacked around by the monster's weapons while trying to befriend them. Raguna mutters to himself that he knows the feeling.

Eventually, the clock strikes five in the afternoon, and Rosetta comes along to give Raguna money for his goods. Seeing her cute face almost makes him sorry for filling his shipping box full of weeds...but not enough to actually stop doing it.
Responsible adult
"Ouch! Quit swinging that bloomin' sword at me! Let me touch you so I can make you my friend!"

Nope. Not suspicious. Not suspicious at all! tongue
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
"Ouch! Quit swinging that bloomin' sword at me! Let me touch you so I can make you my friend!"

Nope. Not suspicious. Not suspicious at all!

Yeah...that kinda puts a damper on "protecting your territory" when some nutjob walks up to you with a pair of rusty metal gloves and just "wants to be friends". Can you say...Elmyra Duff?
Episode 3: The Hot Spring and the Not-Witch

Raguna is able to get a decent night's sleep, and wakes up right on time without incident. He goes outside to check his crops, and notices that the first patch of turnips seems to be growing nicely. In a few days, they should be ready for harvest.

About a half hour later, Anette whizzes by his house to drop off some mail. Raguna misses the opportunity to say hello to her, but does manage to find a letter from Stella, welcoming him to Trampoli, and that she can be seen at the church during the day, and at the tavern in the evenings.

More garbage is laid about the lawn. Raguna does his usual duty and tosses it all into the shipping bin.

Determined to make more progress in the dungeon, he returns to the beanstalk and ascends to Whale Island, his shiny new broadsword at the ready. This time, the goblin is much less of a threat as it was yesterday, and Raguna makes short work of it. He sees a miniature garden up ahead, which appears to be the perfect place to grow crops. He decides against it at first, for he is unsure what kind of climate this part of the cave is, and doesn't want to risk his crops dying shortly after being planted. He proceeds a little deeper into the cave, where he sees a familiar-looking robe and wizard hat. They belong to Melody, the girl who ran the bath house in Kaldia, and they're both surprised to see each other again. Melody suspects that there's a hot spring behind the large rock in front of her, and she gives Raguna a cheap hammer to try to break it. The hammer smashes the rock into pieces, and Melody is overjoyed that her discovery proved to be correct. She asks Raguna to visit her at the bath house near the town square when he gets a chance.

The water created by Raguna's dam-breaking skills seems to flow out of the cave, but he wonders exactly where it's all going to go. He has little time to think on the matter, as a pack of slimes and kobold-like monsters jumps him. He manages to scare them off, but not before taking some heavy damage himself, so he uses his "Return Magic" to safely teleport out of the dungeon and return home, where he stashes the loot that he found.

Raguna visits the church to talk to Stella, who mentions that Mist is ill, and asks for him to check up on her from time to time. He never noticed anything wrong with her...she always seemed so cheerful... Stella also gives Raguna an axe to help clear the fields and create lumber for other projects. He graciously accepts, and then goes to visit Melody at the newly-opened Laga Springs just next to the grocery store. She explains that she named her hot spring after the whale of the island. She lets Raguna use the bath for 10 gold...cheap, considering the danger he had to go through to get the bathhouse ready for her. He comes out of it fully refreshed, and ready to go another round.

After leaving the bathhouse, he visits Danny and Eunice at the grocery store. Eunice mentions offhandedly that she likes sweets. Raguna keeps it in mind for later when he obtains some cooking implements. He then goes to the forge and asks Ganesha if she could upgrade his farming tools. She says it's possible, but she prefers that he does it on his own, and provides him with a "Farm Companion" book, which will show him how to maintain his tools. She also drops Lute's name for him before going back to work.

Next stop is Erik's farm. Erik is impressed that Raguna managed to find a hammer. He notes that not only can he break rocks with it, but he can also flatten untilled land. Raguna hopes that he doesn't make any mistakes so that he doesn't have to do that.

Rosetta comes by to pick up Raguna's shipping crops, and berates him for dumping his weeds inside it for the third day in a row. Raguna vows never to do it again.

He heads over to the tavern late at night. Stella isn't there this time, but Turner and Rita are. Raguna tells Rita about his adventures on Whale Island, and then asks for some squid sashimi. She notifies him that all of her orders are strictly take-out only, but he decides to keep it anyway for later.

He returns to his home and does a little more rock-breaking and branch-chopping before going to sleep for the day. His muscles are nice and relaxed thanks to the stay at the bath house, and he wonders if he can get one installed for his own house one day.
Responsible adult
So in this game, they actually get mad at you for shipping weeds? Pfff! That amuses me.

They'd RAEG at my DS Cute character, who dumps truly insane amounts of farm detrius into that bin. Sure, I've got a trash can, but throwing things away doesn't get me money!
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Strangely, shipping weeds earns the same amount in RF Frontier as does shipping regular colored grass (both are a dime a dozen in this game). So far, my most profitable "crop" is bamboo shoots, which sell for 110 gold.
Responsible adult
Ahhh, the good old standbye: Who needs crops when you've got wild plants?

In Animal Parade, you can earn insane amounts of money by just shipping the brown mushrooms that grow everywhere. They're only 40G apiece, but in the numbers they grow, it's crazy.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
If I play my cards right, I should have my turnip crop ready in one day (provided no freak storms cripple my ability to do anything productive).
Responsible adult
AFAIK, Freak Storms only happen in Summer and Winter.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Well, then I guess that means I'm in good shape for now.

Anyway, turnips be growing here. w00t!

Episode 4: Growing Up Rules

Raguna manages to catch Anette on her mail run this time (before she dashes off like Sonic the Hedgehog), and thanks her for the letter he received yesterday. She informs him that he needs to read all of his mail before his mailbox gets full. This one's from Mist, so it contains a bit of odd navel-gazing that only she can provide.

There are more bamboo shoots on the field today. Raguna snatches them up and puts them in the shipping bin as he waters his turnips and chops wood. This time, he does all of his running around early. Turner thinks that he ought to try visiting Lake Poli on sunny days such as this one. His daughter, Eunice, is outside doing a little cleaning, wondering what kinds of dishes she should cook for the guests at the inn.

There is one path that he hasn't yet explored, which lies to the west of Kross' farm and up a giant mountain. He reaches a crossroads near the top of the mountain, with one path leading to an observatory, and another to the cornucopia trees. He tries that observatory path first, but is unable to find a building of any sort, so he turns around and takes the other path, which leads to a big bridge.

Lute, an artist with strange clothes and a funny hat is painting a picture near the bridge. He wants to make a living as a painter, but also sells things on the side. (This must be the guy Ganesha told me about, Raguna thinks.) Raguna tells him not to give up, even though it may seem hard. Lute thanks him, but makes it clear that he's just as interested in collecting money for his artwork as he is getting praised for it.

Unfortunately, Lute doesn't have anything to sell at the moment, so Raguna leaves him to his work. He crosses over the big bridge, which takes him to a lake with a single rowboat. Rather than sitting inside the boat, Raguna stands at the rear of the boat (or maybe it's the front; it looks perfectly symmetrical from where I'm sitting) and paddles, all while demonstrating flawless video-gaming balance. He takes the boat to the other side to an orchard. There appear to be cherries in the trees, but he doesn't know how to get them down. He returns to the observatory area where he finds Marco, who is anxious to go to Whale Island with him. Raguna quietly turns him down, and heads toward the island himself, realizing how late in the afternoon it is. He hasn't had anything to eat yet, either, so he munches on the squid sashimi he bought from Rita last night. It tastes weird, but it replenishes a little bit of his stamina and makes him feel somewhat stronger. He takes some time to do a little mining while he's in the cave. The rocks seem large, but even his cheap hammer is enough to break them into pieces. There isn't much he can get from them...just a few small hunks of scrap iron. Soon, the effect of the sashimi wears off, and he feels tired again.

Raguna arrives at home just in time to collect his earnings from Rosetta. Eager to celebrate, he heads down to the Snowstyle tavern to get some food. He purchases a glass of orange juice, and then heads to Laga Springs for his daily bath. An elderly gentleman named Nolan is standing outside the men's room, admiring it for all it's worth.

The next morning is bright and sunny, just as before. Raguna wakes up to see that his first turnip crop has finally grown. He keeps two of them to give to Mist, and puts the rest in the shipping bin, along with the metal he mined from the cave yesterday.

A new letter from Mist comes in, telling him that it's bad manners to not write letters after receiving them, so she suggests that Raguna send her a turnip, just as a test. (Too bad Anette had already made her rounds for the day...)

He spends most of the day in the cave, mining for ore and fighting off monsters. This trip lends him so much loot that he barely knows where to contain it all. By the time it hits 4 PM, he hurries back to the farm so that he doesn't miss a chance to sell what he's found.

After putting more of his ore and scraps into the shipping bin, he goes to check on Mist at her home. She's lying in bed, her face flush with sickness, but insists that she'll be okay after a little bed rest. He gives her one of the turnips he kept in an effort to cheer her up. The arrival of Rags' first turnip crop also pleases Rosetta a bit. Her greeting to him is a bit less snarky than usual, anyway.

At the bath house, Melody suggests that Raguna try making some potions with the herbs that he finds. Tomorrow is supposed to be Lute's first day in the village, so Raguna hopes that he can get something good to add to his house. He contemplates how well his first week in Trampoli has gone, and then heads back home to get some sleep.
Dang, was it ever convenient to get the Forge so I could upgrade my tools and not have to spend half the day watering crops.

As for the cherries, smash (the tree with a hammer) and ye shall receive.

edited 12th Jan '10 1:07:10 PM by Cliche

Yeah. IIRC, you had to do the same thing in the original Rune Factory, too. Most of the other Harvest Moon games had the blacksmith borrow your tools for a day or two (or four, depending on the quality of tool you wanted to upgrade), meaning you couldn't use it at all until he was finished. I think I like this version better, because means less time spent idle.
Responsible adult
It's like that in Animal Parade, too. Instant tool upgrade! I like that much better than Saibara or Gray bogarting my living.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Now, I actually get the chance to use those tools and put my forge to test. Just a word of warning: this entry features quite a bit of Raguna hunched over and/or lying face-first on the ground, a-la Miu from Ichigo Mashimaro.

Episode 5: Raguna Feels Asleep

On the morning of his first full weekend in Trampoli, Raguna collapses shortly after exiting his house. Meanwhile, his heath and stamina meters refuse to budge.

Luckily, Lara arrives on the scene (while the game plays DANGEROUSLY FITTING MUSIC!) just in time to check up on him after he passes out. She takes him to the infirmary next to the church to recuperate. Strangely, all of this happens during Plot Time, which means it's still 6 AM when Raguna gets out of bed.

He holds out his turnip to give to Anette for mail, but she never stops by his house. Rather than waste any further time waiting for her, he tends to his garden, harvesting more turnips and saving one for Mist for later.

The clock tower is open today (and, once again, time doesn't flow while Raguna is inside). The interior looks like something befitting of the final dungeon of a role-playing game. No one is downstairs, so Raguna takes a break from inspecting the random bookshelves and blueprints and goes up to the second floor, where he finds an old man who calls himself Kanno. He says he's doing research on Runic magic, and is happy to answer Raguna's questions about Runes, Spirits and Runeys.

Even though there's now someone occupying the clock tower, the clock outside is still stuck at 1:50. It seems handiwork is not one of our new tenant's priorities at the moment. Raguna climbs to the top of the tower to enjoy the view for a bit, but then goes back to the surface. Lute is supposed to arrive at the town square today. Dungeon exploration will have to wait for another time.

Before heading to the village, Raguna stops at the church, expecting to see Stella, but finds Mist instead. She says that the "someone" who has been calling out to her appears in her dreams, and that she'll ask that person to appear in Raguna's dreams, too. He drops off his turnip, and then heads toward the town square.

Lute is standing a few feet away from the singing stone, eager to sell furniture and other facilities to him. The furniture is a bit pricey for Raguna at the moment, but he finds that he is able to afford a handy kitchen (just 800 G) and forge (2000 G). For good measure, he picks up a pot to add to his kitchen, even though he doesn't have any way to cook anything with it yet. Everyone else appears to have taken the day off, leaving Lute with a monopoly on profits for the day.

Raguna visits Erik at his farm. He also appears to be resting for the holiday, but is impressed by Raguna's farm work, and gives him a sickle in recognition. Kross, being the emo kid that he is, is taking advantage of the weekend by avoiding sunlight as much as possible.

After doing some more yard work, he decides to test out his new kitchen by making some pickled turnips. Working at the kitchen has made him a bit hungry, so he eats one of them. He also gets to work on improving his hammer and axe, but doing so has tired him out. Upgrading his hammer is supposedly beyond his level of expertise  *, but he is able to do it in one go. Luckily, Melody is here to help. While taking a bath, Raguna overhears a steamy conversation in the girls' bath between Rita and Eunice, and promptly collapses again. He comes out of the bath room light-headed, but doesn't mention that he overheard then talking about their, erm...measurements. A taste of his pickled turnips soon makes Rita forget all about it, though.

Back on the ranch, Raguna's new hammer works like a dream. He can't resist the temptation to hit the medium-sized rocks with a jumping attack to break them, instead of using two standard hits. It takes several more such swings with his axe to break apart the tree stumps, and Raguna nearly collapses trying to break two of them. He takes his payment from Rosetta, and then falls asleep a few hours earlier than normal. This doesn't go well for him, either, because not only is he almost fully exhausted, he's now hearing voices in his sleep!

"Help... Please help me... A great power flows into me from somewhere. I don't want this power... Help... Please help..."

edited 13th Jan '10 11:03:59 AM by WillyFourEyes

Responsible adult
Ahhh. Reminds me quite a bit of HM DS, really. I do a lot of near-collapsing in that game, and spend quite a bit of time running around with a blue face.

Sweet dreams are made of this...
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Later in the game, once you sufficiently upgrade your hammer and a certain other tool that will come eventually, it becomes so easy to maintain your RP that you won't even need the bathhouse.

Speaking of which, the bathhouse scenes are so amusing. This game is filled to the brim with Ho Yay. Speaking of which, Erik supplies so much of it that I almost found myself preferring him over the girls, what with the Large Ham approvals of favoured gifts and his sad, melodramatic voice when you don't buy anything, among other things. In fact, the men in general could easily be potential grooms for a girl protagonist.

edited 13th Jan '10 3:21:49 PM by Cliche

Responsible adult
No Another Rune Factory yet, though. Though don't the second gens potentially allow you to be a girl?

Since the second gen is where the meat of the game is, I think I'd just go with naming my protag the default name and make myself the daughter. ...Unless it's one of those "always a son" situations.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Speaking of which, the bathhouse scenes are so amusing. This game is filled to the brim with Ho Yay. Speaking of which, Erik supplies so much of it that I almost found myself preferring him over the girls, what with the Large Ham approvals of favoured gifts and his sad, melodramatic voice when you don't buy anything, among other things. In fact, the men in general could easily be potential grooms for a girl protagonist.

You're not foolin'. I had him pegged for Ho Yay the first moment he said, unprovoked: "What? Do I have a girlfriend? No, no...". That, and the first time I saw his character design, I thought: "Koizumi? What are you doing in a Harvest Moon game?"
"No Another Rune Factory yet, though. Though don't the second gens potentially allow you to be a girl?

Since the second gen is where the meat of the game is, I think I'd just go with naming my protag the default name and make myself the daughter. ...Unless it's one of those "always a son" situations."

Second gen was exclusive to Rune Factory 2. It also happens to be the only game in the entire Harvest Moon series that actually lets you play as the son or daughter.

edited 13th Jan '10 4:20:44 PM by Cliche

Responsible adult
^ Not quite. Tree of Tranquility used "Playing as son/daughter" for its New Game+ mode. Technically, they turned into a carbon copy of the PC, but you kept their name and such.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
@Freezair: So then, it's Identical Grandson taken to the extreme? Weird. I could imagine the look on my sister's face when she tries the New Game+ mode.

Now, then...back to our story!

Episode 6: It's Easy Being Green

Now, it's someone else's turn to be laid out in front of Raguna's house. Today's victim is wearing a nice-looking blue-green suit with matching top hat. She asks for water, so Raguna sprinkles some from his watering can. (Smooth move, playa...) Obviously, it's not what she wants, so he runs to Lara for help. The girl introduces herself as Selphy, and says she passed out because she ran away out of food. Yeah, not eating for a week will do that to you. Lara gets angry at herself for not taking care of herself, and the PANIC MUSIC! plays again.

While Lara orders Selphy to get some bed rest, she tells Raguna that she asked Sister Stella to stay in the village, because his carelessness worried her. Aww...

It's still 6 AM when Raguna leaves the infirmary, so he has plenty of time to work on his farm. Some more colored grass is growing in the yard, so he gets right to harvesting it for when he eventually purchases his lab.

Once again, he just misses Anette on her delivery run. Inside his mailbox are two letters: a welcome letter from Lara, and a turnip request from Erik. He still hasn't fulfilled his turnip request from Mist yet, so he'll have to wait until tomorrow to make his own deliveries.

He asks Kross to build a monster hut for him. It only takes Kross zero minutes to complete it. Kross the emo carpenter...what a guy!

Off to Whale Island. Raguna goes mining for iron so that his hammer and axe don't feel neglected about being the only tools in his box to be upgraded so far. He doesn't have much energy, so he doesn't get very far before being forced to retreat.

Mist tells Raguna that there have been a lot of weeds growing in front of her lawn, and asks him for help. The grass is just about as tall as Raguna is (and mysteriously disappears as he hacks away at it - sent to another dimension, perhaps?), but after Rags does some digging (and sneaks over to Melody's for a nice hot bath), he uncovers what appears to be an underground passage to a new set of ruins.

While in the village, Raguna bumps into Rosetta, who isn't yet prepared to collect the shipping crops. She tells Raguna that she ran away from home because her father wasn't treating his business as Serious Business. Raguna decides to sneak into these ruins so that he doesn't face her wrath for dumping his weeds in the shipping box again when he said he wouldn't. Luckily, he still gets his money for his hard work either way.

Before going off to bed, he buys some rice for Rita, and then does a bit of cooking and forging. Now, all of the tools in his collection have been upgraded from "crap" to "not so crap". He still gets a feeling that something is missing, though...
The next day, a new letter arrives from Kanno, who's amazed that Raguna has discovered the Green Ruins outside of Mist's house. He suggests that he take some Rune Stones down there with him.

The new and improved hoe and watering can allow him to till and water three spaces at a time. For each of these, Raguna breaks out some more Awesome Yet Practical moves (including a spinning spray attack from his tin watering can) to get the earth tilled and ready for...making grass grow.

He goes over to Mist and Rosetta's house, where Mist thanks him for mowing her lawn by giving him...more turnip seeds. Hooray?

Anyway, Raguna decides to eschew the trip to Whale Island to get a closer look at the Green Ruins. He fills himself up with bamboo rice, and heads down with his sword at his side. There are vines growing almost everywhere. Some have even formed barriers, which Raguna has to cut down with his sword. Some of the plant life is malevolent, and spits balls of goo at him. He chops his way through the living plants and acorn-tossing squirrels and heads downstairs, but is unable to open any of the other doors. Mission aborted, for now.

Raguna checks the infirmary for Selphy, but she's not there. He does eventually find her at the library. She asked Lara if she could stay there, and quickly "made herself at home", as it were. Bad news? The library is a mess. Good news? Raguna can now actually read a few of the books on the shelves, and Selphy will sell to him whatever she doesn't need. There's nothing for sale in her inventory yet, though, so Raguna soaks up as much knowledge as he can before finishing his day.

The next day's task: get those turnips off to Mist and Erik before they forget about them.

EDIT FROM THE FUTURE!: Wow. I was not expecting that double-post to happen. I think my copy of Chrome is bugged.

edited 21st Jan '10 4:36:51 AM by WillyFourEyes

Responsible adult
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada

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