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Headscratchers / Stardew Valley

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    Parental Favoritism 

  • How bad is the Parental Favoritism in the Robin/Demetrius household intended to be? From what the player sees, Sebastian is almost totally ignored: Demetrius will sing Maru's praises all day long, but I've yet to encounter one line of dialogue he has about Sebastian. Maru can't be that much younger than her brother, so you would think Demetrius would have something to comment on, even if it was a complaint — he must have known Sebastian for nearly 20 years, after all. Meanwhile, Robin is regularly out on the town with her husband, but most of her dialogue is about her work — she doesn't say much about either of her children beyond a heads up on their likes/dislikes. Very few of the villagers comment on anyone outside their immediate circle (for example, Alex and Haley largely ignore Sebastian, Sam and Abigail), so it's left to family members to comment on each other...meaning the lack of info on Sebastian's background stands out. Is this just a case of the developer's limited time and resources skewing the perspective slightly, or is the kid's family life really that bleak? Or have I just missed some essential bit of dialogue?
    • Demetrius is kinda awkward when talking about subjects other than science. If his relationship with Sebastian is really that bad, he might not feel it appropriate to talk to someone outside the family about it.
    • Not to mention, it's not entirely clear what their relationship is like. Sebastian mentions that Demetrius ignores him and once told him to tear down his snowgoon, and there is a book on step-parenting in Demetrius and Robin's room that suggests that Demetrius is trying (or had previously tried) to establish a relationship with his stepson. Otherwise, there's little other evidence to go on. For all we know, any deeper development of their relationship might happen in later updates.
    • Another theory is that the favoritism isn't intentional, but that Demetrius is on the spectrum and has a limited ability to empathize. He can't connect with Sebastian because Sebastian is very emotional, something Demetrius simply can't understand and fit into his very logic-driven worldview. He has more of a connection with Maru because she's his daughter and he could raise her in a manner that let them understand each other easier. Because he can't connect with or understand Sebastian at all he pretty much writes him off as being Robin's problem and treats him like a stranger, because for all intents and purposes he is a stranger.
    • In addition to the points above, emotional neglect is a very real subset of Parental Neglect. Sure, Sebastian's family keeps him fed and healthy, but they're not really trying to CONNECT with him (and in Robin's case, not quite enough). It's very telling that after the player gets married to Sebastian, he says he felt like he never belonged in his old home.
      • That may also be a case of Self-Serving Memory/perception. Sebastian may inherently think of himself as an "outsider" in his family, and inherently hold that bias in when it comes to his interactions with them. He may see Robin's genuine concern and affection for him as more patronizing than parental, sees Demetrius' inability to quite connect with him as genuine dislike and lack of effort, and see his distant relationship with Maru as that she also dislikes him.
      • Plus, the family may have tried/be trying to connect with Sebastian, but simply be relatively unable to (Robin seems very down-to-earth and rustic, which would make connecting over programming/computer games and Fantasy stuff very difficult, Denetrius is very much a practical scientist and EXTREMELY literal-minded, so again, that may cause problems with connection over things (programming doesn't readily produce tangible, concrete results), compounded by the awkwardness of being a step-parent, and Maru's friendly, optimistic personality may have previously worn on Sebastian). It may be that they WANT to connect with him better, but just can't quite figure out how to approach it.

    Pam's drinking 

  • Is no-one slightly concerned that the town's bus driver is an alcoholic? Pam doesn't seem to have given up drinking heavily just because she's employed again...
    • She doesn't seem to be drinking on the job.
    • Except all the times I've given her alcohol in passing because she's easy to find there and I use kegs a lot...
  • Even if you went to the bar the night before, you can still be well over the legal limit the next day. Alcohol stays in the system for hours, and Pam drinks heavily — she wouldn't have to be swigging from the bottle while driving to be dangerous to her passengers. I imagine including some kind of arc about her dealing with her alcoholism was too much of a drain on time and resources, while having her magically give up drinking overnight because she's now employed would be completely unbelievable. I just wonder why no-one mentions that this could be an issue.
    • Not to mention there are visible tire skid-marks on the road heading towards Calico Desert... Maybe the bus needed to be repaired because Pam crashed it.
    • People don't seem to use the bus very much anyway, given Sandy's reaction to your visits. Part of it is probably the small-town mindset, but it could also be that they just don't want to put their lives in the hands of a lush.

    Lewis and his relationship 

  • Why is Lewis trying so hard to hide his relationship with Marnie? Why would the mayor having a girlfriend or even a wife undermine his authority? Keeping it a secret and having it accidentally be revealed to everyone seems more likely to cause a scandal than just flat out saying "Marnie and I are dating now." Why would a politician having a relationship be such a big deal?
    • Also, what with all his concern about secrecy, why does he bring in a third party to "discreetly" find his lucky shorts when it would've been much more efficient to just ask Marnie?
    • Given they're both quite stable and established people, they might just like the adventure and romance of a secret relationship.
    • But that's exactly the problem: in one of the heart events, it's clearly stated that Marnie does not like the secrecy, and wants Lewis to finally man up and come out. So the question remains: why is their relationship so scandalous?
    • Probably because of his Married to the Job tendencies and being (self-described) "old-fashioned". As a public figure, he presumably thinks that an affair with a simple farmer would make people start questioning his reliability as a mayor.
    • If no one else, Morris could potentially call him out and accuse him of bias or some other politically damning rhetoric, just to try and sink Joja Corp's claws a little deeper into the town in the event that Lewis is actually forced to resign.
    • The simplest explanation is that Lewis just... forgot where he left them.
    • My interpretation is that he gets you to do his dirty work for him because he just wants to keep the relationship physical, hiding behind less selfish sounding excuses while he knows poor Marnie wants more.

     Joja's Motivations 
  • Why is the Joja Corporation even here, in this small town with few people and fewer businesses? You should be able to answer this question yourself in 2-3 years when you look at the sheer amount of money you make from farming, ranching, mining, and fishing. Joja doesn't give a flip about the town, they want the resources! They can't just take over because the Governor is fond of the town, so they're trying to sneak in the back-door by using Joja Mart to bankrupt Pierre and buying the Community Center from Lewis so that the town becomes dependent on them. This is actually hinted at early on, but you might not see it the first time: Joja was responsible for a pile of rocks functioning as a mine-blocking Broken Bridge, and is very careful to point out the legality of their operations when announcing the rubble has been cleared.
    • Note that the ruling they cite is a Joja-specific legal exemption. They already have a hand in the government, and are buying their way around local ordinances that inconvenience them.
    • There's a simpler answer: Joja smells profit in redeveloping the town. Consider how much money it costs to fill out the entire form - if they can suck that kind of money out of the townsfolk, that's worth sending Morris in to oversee reconstruction. Stealing Pierre's business is just gravy.

     The Community Center Bundles 
  • What on earth do the Juminos want with all that money I gave them?
    • Easy to answer, once you think about it for a moment: The Money bundles are located where the vault is. What is a vault used for? Storing money. A vault would not be very efficient if it was an empty safe, after all.
    • Also, perhaps they DO use that money to get the things that they reward you with (getting the items from the shop and leaving the money as payment)

     Jas and Shane 
  • If Shane is Jas' legal guardian and godfather, shouldn't she also move in with the Farmer if you marry him? I mean, he wouldn't lose custody just because he got married, and the fact that he and Jas are supposed to be pretty close suggests that he wouldn't want to leave her either.
    • The 1.3 update added a secret note that is just a photo of a slightly younger Marnie and a toddler aged Jas on the ranch, Marnie also mentions that Shane has only been living there a few months but make no mention of how long Jas has been there. So it's more likely that Marnie is Jas's legal guardian, not Shane.
    • Alternatively, Jas decided to stay at Marnie's ranch, both due to living arrangements (she has her room there, all her stuff is there, etc), and emotional attachment (she's lived there for a long time and may not 100% be keen on moving to a new house). Or, as another possibility, Shane and Marnie are letting Jas live with Marnie until such a time as Shane has really gotten his life together (kicked his drinking, gotten his depression well under control, and found a stable job to support Jas and himself)

     Penny's House 
  • Where on earth does Pam sleep? Does she just pass out drunk wherever she is?
    • Most trailers of the size of Penny and Pam's will have one master bed (which is occupied by Penny), and one or two pull-out beds from the trailer's kitchen table or couch. It's probable that the green seating area along the back wall of the trailer pulls out to a bed which Pam uses.
    • Or Pam just passes out on the green seats. Or the floor. She's a raging drunk, after all.

     Shane's 6 Heart and Loved Gifts 
  • At the end of Shane's 6 heart event, Shane says that he's seeing a councilor to help him with his drinking problem. It is logical to assume that said councilor will want him to attend some form of support group. A standard requirement for these kinds of groups is that you abstain totally from your substance of abuse. Why doesn't Shane's Loved gifts change to make Beer, Pale Ale and Wine hated gifts?
    • Not all support groups require you to entire abstain, and in fact studies have shown that partaking in moderation is usually more effective at treating substance abuse (and particularly alcoholism) than going cold turkey.

    Shane's Job 
  • If you complete the Community Center and drive Joja out of town, Shane will talk about how he now lost his job and has no means to financially support Marnie and Jas. Why doesn't he go work for Pierre? Or do anything else, given the abundance of ways the player can find ways to make money.
    • Well... it's Shane. His colossal lack of motivation is his constant undoing, and everyone in town knows he's a strung out alcoholic.
    • Pierre might not need the help. Even if everyone in town shops at his store, that's not very many people to keep him busy. It seems like it would be in character for Pierre to not want to spend money on hiring someone when he could just do everything himself and keep that extra money instead.

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