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
) 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
) 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...
"Above all, video games are meant to be just one thing: fun. Fun for everyone."
- Satoru Iwata (1959-2015)