Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Animal Crossing (2001)

Go To

Animal Crossing is a Life Simulation Game originally released in Japan in Spring of 2001 as the final first-party title for the Nintendo 64, under the name Doubutsu no Mori ("Animal Forest"). While modest in intent and definitely sparse in content, it was popular enough to receive an Updated Re-release on the Nintendo GameCube with a bunch of added content, characters, and dialogue as Doubutsu no Mori+ in winter 2001. This version, albeit heavily modified, is what would be released internationally as Animal Crossing in 2002 in North America, 2003 in Australia, and 2004 in the European Union.

Based on creator Katsuya Eguchi's own experiences with moving away from his hometown for professional purposes, Animal Crossing is a game where you play as a Super-Deformed human avatar living in a village full of Funny Animals. You interact with your fellow villagers, befriending them and doing Fetch Quests. You can also customize your avatar's house, change their clothes, and get a tan.


The English release of the game is notable for being a massive overhaul from the Japanese releases, which were based heavily in Japanese culture, right down to featuring a number of obstinately Japan-centric elements such as holidays and paraphernalia. For the English release, most of this was either replaced with an American equivalent, exoticized, or removed altogether, with an end goal of creating an experience for English speakers that was culturally analogous to what Japanese speakers encountered in the Japanese versions.

Nintendo of Japan were highly impressed with the localization, incorporating its changes and further new content into an Updated Re-release as Doubutsu no Mori e+ in the summer of 2003; many of these added features would gradually be carried over to later installments, through which they would make their belated international debuts. Unfortunately, this is where the story for the original incarnation of Animal Crossing ends, with Doubutsu no Mori e+ remaining Japanese-exclusive to this day. However, the three versions altogether were a successful financial venture for Nintendo. They followed it up by releasing a Nintendo DS sequel, Animal Crossing: Wild World, in 2005, which set the stage for Animal Crossing to become one of Nintendo's flagship franchises.


Animal Crossing provides examples of:

  • Anti-Frustration Features: The GameCube versions feature a number of quality of life improvements over the original N64 release to offer a far less restrictive experience.
    • The re-releases heavily bump up the amount of items you could put in storage from one to three and allows you to put every obtainable aircheck in a stereo at once instead of just one per unit, with the library carrying over to all stereos in your house. Considering that there are 55 obtainable airchecks in the game, it's certainly a huge boon.
    • Wendell will be able to accept any edible items the player has on-hand, rather than being limited to just fish, thus allowing his services to be accessible to a player who doesn't have a fishing rod yet.
    • With the exception of bees, insects are now restricted to the acres they appear in, thus making it easier to chase down and catch them (albeit at the cost of allowing them to fly out to sea); this mercy was ultimately removed in later installments due to the removal of the acre-based navigation system itself.
    • The "Handhelds" section in the catalog is expanded from just featuring umbrellas to include anything the player is able to hold in their hands, including tools and novelty items.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Just like in real life, animals go to bed and stores close up during the night, with the sole exception of the Museum, which is open 24/7.
  • Black Market: Redd runs one in the form of a travelling tent that appears periodically throughout the year, with a guaranteed appearance on Sale Day. Amusingly, his tent actually says "Black Market" on it, but with "Black" sloppily crossed out in red paint.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • In the Nintendo 64 version, the "Tomato Juice" shirt is a white shirt covered in dark red stains. Naturally, this makes the shirt looks like it's covered in blood. The shirt would be one of the few pieces of clothing removed for the English release.
    • In the Nintendo 64 version and initial Japanese GameCube release, one of the paintings the player could obtain was Édouard Manet's Olympia, which depicts a nude prostitute reclining in bed. While it wasn't the only painting to be axed/replaced in the international release, the mature subject matter (which drew controversy even in Manet's time) ensured that it would be among them.
  • Company Cross References: Copiously so, setting a standard that later games in the series would follow.
  • Covers Always Lie: Your neighbors never actually come into your home, and Blathers never leaves the museum.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: July 4th is the anniversary of the opening of the town's train station. This "holiday" is celebrated with fireworks, Redd giving out balloons and pinwheels, and Tortimer giving you a model bottle rocket. While fireworks shows have been in all later installments, this is the only time when they're specifically intended to coincide with American Independence Day; in the N64 version, +, and Wild World, they occurred every Saturday in August, while from City Folk-onward they'd occur every Sunday in August.
  • Cultural Translation: The original Japanese releases were heavily influenced by Japanese culture. For the western localization, much had to be replaced by something the Western market can relate to, like a Japanese fireplace being replaced by a barbecue grill, during localization; what Japanocentric elements did remain were typically exoticized or presented in more Western-friendly terms. However, the Japanese team liked the changes so much they released the game as Dōbutsu no Mori e+ in Japan as well. Many of the westernized changes ended up being used even in Japan in the sequels, due to the first game having proven the viability of the IP abroad as well as in Japan.
    • The Japanese version of the igloo features a hot pot; the English release changes this to a pot of chowder.
    • The Bell Shrine was changed to a Wishing Well outside of Japan. In Japan, players shake the rope on New Year's Day. In other versions, they throw a Bell into the well.
    • During the Cherry Blossom Festival, villagers in the Japanese version have picnics on tatami mats. In the localization, they dance around the Wishing Well.
    • In Doubutsu no Mori+, Tom Nook is officially a Tanuki, and Kapp'n is a Kappa. The English release changes them into a raccoon and a sea turtle, respectively, but they have Punny Names that reference what they're really supposed to be.
  • Dub Personality Change: The English localization team apparently felt the need to spice up the script of the game, and this lead to the infamously rude villagers it is known for today, who insult you over the smallest things, use verbose vocabulary, and tell adult jokes every so often. Contrast to the Japanese version, which has a much more polite cast of characters.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: K.K. Slider (under the name Totakeke), Tom Nook, and Resetti appear as collectable trophies in Super Smash Bros. Melee, with their source game being marked as "Future Release".
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Many of the game's villagers and special characters featured considerably different designs in the N64 version and Doubutsu no Mori+; Animal Crossing altered them to what would become commonplace for the series, though a few characters' designs wouldn't change to the current standard until Wild World.
    • Tom Nook's design in the original Japanese versions didn't have a leaf on his apron. It instead featured the Japanese character for "shop" (店). Likewise, Redd's apron in all versions of this game features a large "B" rather than a ginko leaf.
    • In the Japanese versions, Resetti and his brother don't wear overalls over their shirts. The plain white shirts wouldn't reappear until Happy Home Designer.
    • In +, Tortimer wears a red zucchetto and blue-lensed glasses. This was changed for Animal Crossing and e+ to a black top hat and clear-lensed glasses.
    • In the N64 game and +, Katrina wears a white robe and matching headband. She became a Magical Romani in Animal Crossing and e+.
    • Several villagers received tweaked designs in the transition from the N64 to the GameCube. The most noticeable is Jane: in Japan, she has white fur, brown skin, and large pink lips, which accidentally resembled racist imagery of black people (not helped by the fact that she's a gorilla, an animal often invoked in anti-Black rhetoric), so Animal Crossing changed her to have purple fur, pink skin, and smaller lips. Notably, her older design was brought back in Doubutsu no Mori e+, but she hasn't appeared since.
    • A number of villagers only ever appear in the various versions of this game, being axed from Wild World onward for no discernible reason. Some villagers only ever appeared in Doubutsu no Mori e+ (while others, most notably Ketchup, belatedly returned in the Welcome amiibo update to New Leaf), and some villagers who did appear in later installments were renamed (e.g. Hazel being renamed Sally, the other Sally being renamed Cally, Bliss being renamed Caroline, etc.).
    • The player characters themselves are considerably different design-wise compared to the standard Wild World set, with both male and female characters perpetually wearing a stylized hat that matches whatever shirt they have on (be it an actual clothing item or a pattern). Boys wore dome hats with horns, while girls wore conical hats with tufts of hair sticking out of the sides. Wild World would introduce the ability to customize the player character's headgear, with the N64 and GameCube-era headgear only appearing as an option for wearing a pattern.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The original Animal Crossing games are dramatically different from future versions. Some features were introduced in e+, but wouldn't be seen outside of Japan until Wild World.
    • Perhaps most notably, the original Doubutsu no Mori incorporated many elements of Japanese culture, such as Japanese holidays and daily life minutiae like radio calisthenics. The international release stripped many of the Japanese elements and replaced them with Western-flavored ones (like "Turkey Day" standing in for Thanksgiving), and even the Japanese originals followed that template from then on. Some Japanese events that survived the initial localization, such as the Sports Fair don't return in subsequent games either. Radio exercises took until the November 2021 update in Animal Crossing: New Horizons to make a return.
    • The town is split into acres viewed from the top down, and the view will fully move on to the next acre when the player crosses the border a-la early The Legend of Zelda titles (a bit humorous considering the first game in that series appears in Animal Crossing as an NES title, albeit unused). Later games feature a continuous map presented as a "rolling log", viewed from a lower angle; internally, they still use the "acre" system, but no visual indication is given. New Horizons includes both, with the right stick shifting the camera from the log view to an overhead view and sections of the island being labeled much like they were in this game, but without the camera moving from acre to acre when reaching the edge of one and none of the characters mentioning Acres in dialogue.
      • On a related note, this is the only game to hard-lock the player's view to a top-down perspective. Consequently, events based on phenomena only visible in the sky (i.e. the Fireworks Show, the Harvest Moon, and meteor showers) feature them reflected in the town's lake; the sole exception are rainbows, which instead appear over waterfalls. Because later games use a horizontal perspective that enables a full view of the sky, these phenomena are visible as they would be in the real world.
    • Blathers is unable to identify fossils himself. Instead, you have to mail fossils to the museum's main branch, the Farway Museum, who will send them back the next day with an appraisal attached; dialogue from Blathers in later games indicates that he didn't have the license to identify fossils at the time. This is an artifact from Doubutsu no Mori, in which Blathers and the town museum didn't exist— fossils were just kinda there, and the Farway Museum identified them so you could show them off or sell them. The Farway Museum returns in New Horizons but as their old purpose is now redundant, they instead congratulate the player for achieving 100% Completion on one section of the Critterpedia with a golden DIY tool recipe through mail.
    • Several iconic characters (such as Blathers' sister Celeste and Dr. Shrunk), locations (such as Shampoodle and the Roost), and holiday events (such as the Bug-Off and Bunny Day) are not present in this game.
    • Villagers don't gift you photographs for forming close bonds with them.
    • Bass come in three sizes, all counted as separate species. The later games removed all but the medium size and relabeled it as a Black Bass.
    • Toy Day is on December 23 instead of Christmas Eve.
    • In the N64 and + versions, Fireworks Shows occur every Saturday in August, while in the international release and e+, there's only one Fireworks Show in the entire year: July 4, American Independence Day. Starting with Animal Crossing: City Folk, Fireworks Shows would consistently occur on Sundays in August.
    • Certain furniture types which are functional in later games, such as refrigerators, are purely aesthetic here.
    • Tom Nook has a Raffle Day at the end of every month, in which the store's normal services are closed and tickets received throughout the month are spent to win prizes.
    • Flowers can't be picked up after being planted, only destroyed. Hybrid flowers and watering cans also don't exist yet, and the concept of cross-pollination to grow said hybrid flowers did not exist until Wild World.
    • There is a single acre with the four player houses in it, always located in Acre B-3 just south of the train station. Later games would either have a single house shared by all players (Wild World) or allow each player to have a house anywhere. Each house also has a Gyroid that acts as a Save Point which you must return to if you wish to stop playing without angering Mr. Resetti or losing your progress. This Gyroid can also be used as a tiny sales market for players visiting your town, making this the only main series game where you can "trade" bugs and fish with other players (though a similar function would later appear in Pocket Camp). The home Gyroid would return to the series starting with City Folk as the character Lloid, but he no longer plays a role in save functionality, instead being a moderator for various financial outlets.
      • Furthermore, certain major structures are locked to specific rows on the map. The post office, Tom Nook's shop, and the town dump are always on the A acres, while the Able Sisters shop is always in the F acres.
    • Tom Nook's store sells clothing, while the Able Sisters exclusively specialize in custom designs only. Later games made the Able Sisters the centerpiece for outfit customization.
    • Some scenery pieces, such as outdoor leaf piles, were scrapped in future games. As certain bugs like crickets and grasshoppers primarily resided in leaf piles, later games instead have them roam freely around the map.
    • The furniture in most villager homes is more haphazardly arranged and usually follow some sort of gimmick. Additionally, with a few exceptions, everyone owns at least one Gyroid and it isn't uncommon to see a home with two or more of them. Later games changed the villager home interiors to be more organized and closer to a proper living space (though some retain gimmicky layouts and furniture sets similar to this game) and a smaller number of homes contain Gyroids overall.
      • Unlike in later games, the interiors of a Villager's home never changes. Some villagers (specifically those from Doubutsu no Mori e+) may even have identical furniture setups to another, only differing in the wallpaper of choice.
    • Pro designs do not exist in this game; you can only make standard patterns that copy over to every aspect of your character's clothes (as well as repeating across an umbrella if you choose to equip a pattern as one). Furthermore, you're required to spend Bells at Able Sisters to design a new pattern; City Folk would limit this monetary restriction to pro designs, with standard patterns in the vein of this game's being free-to-make, and New Horizons would remove the paywall entirely.
    • In Doubutsu no Mori and +, the Wishing Well is a Bell Shrine, which even lights up at nighttime. On New Year's Day, you can shake the rope to ring the bells; Animal Crossing and e+ have you instead spend one Bell by tossing a coin in the Wishing Well's water.
    • In the N64 version, released fish bounce on the ground before diving into the water. In other versions and future installments, fish dive straight into the water for the sake of saving time.
    • Doubutsu no Mori is the only game in the series where the internal clock runs off of a chip built into the cartridge— the original plan was to use the 64DD's internal clock, but since that add-on failed, the game was shifted over to the vanilla N64, which didn't have a clock built into it, thus necessitating the chip. Later games would utilize their respective systems' own internal clock, which became standardized for Nintendo's systems from the GameCube and DS onwards.
    • As a result of the localization team spicing up the script for the English release, the writing edges closer to World of Jerkass than in later games, which are much more closer to their Japanese counterparts. Villagers get upset, rude, or snarky at you far more than later games when you give negative responses or refuse an offer (even for mundane reasons such as not buying a piece of fruit from them). Villagers will act cold towards you when you neglect them for a long time, and they are not above making passive-aggressive comments toward you or outright taking items and money right from your pockets, regardless of what their personalities are.
      • Cranky and Snooty villagers in particular are much truer to the names of their personalities compared to later games and will especially chew you out big-time if you dare say "no". Surprisingly enough, The Peppy villagers, of all people, are just as unpleasant as the Cranky and Snooty villagers, coming off as entitled Spoiled Brats who often insult the player because they feel like it (it should say something that they are the villager type that is more prone to stealing items and money from the player). Even the Lazy villagers would mock the player out of nowhere and laugh at them if they try to get defensive. The Jock and Normal villagers are the nicest of the bunch, but even they can have their moments. Later games, especially from City Folk onwards, rewrote Cranky and Snooty villagers to be the eldest and most mature of their respective genders whereas Peppy villagers were turned into lovable Genki Girls, and are all far nicer to you right off the bat.
    • The game's soundtrack is much more ambient and makes much heavier use of electronic instrumentation compared to the more conventionally melodic style and closer imitation of live instruments (and actual use of live instruments in the case of New Horizons) seen in later games. The most notable instance is with the museum, which featured completely different themes for each section (with the bug exhibit being dead-silent, using the insect sounds as its "soundtrack") instead of a single leitmotif that changes thematically. In fact, very little of this game's leitmotifs make appearances in later games, in part due to City Folk, New Leaf, and New Horizons being very heavily based on the example that Wild World set.
    • The title screen for the first game featured one of a cycling series of pre-recorded demos, each preceded by a splash screen of the "Nintendo" logo (the N64 logo in the original 2001 release) with a computerized voice saying the company name; which name depended on the demo (the splash screen system had been standard for other late N64 and early GameCube games as well, and carried over into many early DS games too). Starting with Wild World, later games would instead display the title logo over a video of a random villager wandering around the player's town (or an empty town when starting a new file pre-New Horizons, which relies on an Automatic New Game).
    • This game is the only one to have the journal/diary item, which gives you a calendar of when each event takes place and lets you write down notes for your own. In later games, the only way to to tell when an event's coming up is to wait until it's announced on the town bulletin board (or just look it up online), while writing personal notes became sending letters to your future self.
    • International versions of the game feature a much deeper, western-sounding version of Animalese than the Japanese version, with the text-to-speech program being fine-tuned for the phonetic inconsistencies of western writing. All later games would maintain the high-pitched Japanese voice for Animalese across regions and lack the greater fine-tuning of the GameCube localization's text-to-speech, likely to save time on the localization process but at the cost of making non-Japanese dialogue sound closer to Speaking Simlish (especially in Wild World).
    • This is the only game to feature the ability to play NES games; later titles would excise this option due to a combination of redundancy in the face of similar features (i.e. the Classic NES Series line of Game Boy Advance carts, the Virtual Console, and Nintendo Switch Online's NES/SNES game streaming service) and concerns that these games were distracting players from actually playing Animal Crossing itself. Animal Crossing: New Leaf would introduce a small handful of original minigames (including a new Puzzle League spinoff of all things) via the Welcome amiibo update in 2016, but these are considerably pared down compared to some of the NES games obtainable in the first entry.
    • Multiplayer is a big feature of later installments, but here it's limited to being able to visit another player's town by inserting their Controller Pak into the N64 controller on the original release and their memory card into the GameCube in re-releases; direct multiplayer only existed for the NES games. The GameCube did have support for simultaneous multi-system connectivity both locally and online, but these features were scarcely used even by Nintendo (who quietly swept them under the rug after learning that hackers found a way to make ROM dumps with them), to the point where most people forget these capabilities were present on the system in the first place.
    • This is the only game where the fishing rod has no actual sound effects for when fish nibble at and bite at the hook; the only indicators to differentiate between the two are visual and tactile, with the rumble motors in the GameCube controller activating for a slightly longer amount of time during a full bite. Wild World introduced audio cues for fishing, a standard that would be maintained in all later entries.
    • Bell gathering is more restrictive than in later games: bells can't be stacked on top of one another outside the player's wallet and max out at 30,000 instead of 99,000. Additionally, all increments of bells appear as bags: starting with Animal Crossing: Wild World, amounts less than 1,000 would appear as gold coins with a star stamped on each face.
    • In later games, bell trees can only be made with a golden shovel, but here they can be made with the basic shovel by burying bells in a glowing spot, a daily tile that contains 1,000 bells. The golden shovel instead gave you a chance to dig up 100 bells every time you dug a hole. The glowing spot returns in New Horizons and works the same way, with the golden shovel no longer being necessary to bury bell trees.
    • Golden tools do not appear in the N64 version, with only the standard tools being available; they would first be introduced in the GameCube ports and become the standard from there on out.
      • On a related note, the axe could be used an unlimited number of times in Doubutsu no Mori like any other tool, only to be given a limit of 23 uses before breaking in Doubutsu no Mori+/Animal Crossing and 25 uses in Doubutsu no Mori e+. The unlimited use count meanwhile is transferred over to the golden axe, as a means of enticing players to obtain it. With the exception of New Horizons (in which all tools, even golden ones, have a finite number of uses), this would be the standard that later games would follow.
    • The character of Farley only appears in the GameCube versions, being the middleman through which the player obtains the golden axe. Later games would each have different methods of obtaining the golden axe, but Farley himself would never make another appearance after Doubutsu no Mori e+ (though City Folk would feature a gender-inverted Suspiciously Similar Substitute in the form of Serena).
  • Easter Egg: If you request an invalid song to K.K., he will randomly play one of three songs, all of which would become valid requests in later Animal Crossing games. If your invalid request contains the word "Forest", however, K.K. will always play "Forest Life", his cover of the game's title theme.
  • Feelies: The GameCube versions came with a free 59-block memory card preloaded with special data that gives you two free NES games and includes Animal Crossing-themed stickers to decorate it with. It seemed like a fantastic deal— until you saved your game and discovered that one file takes up nearly the whole card by itselfnote .
  • Fell Asleep Standing Up: At night or in the early morning, villagers can be found standing asleep outside their house.
  • Flip-Screen Scrolling: Unlike later games, the town is strictly divided into "acres." The later games ditch the system and have continuous scrolling, but still internally keep track of acres for building/planting/spawning purposes.
  • Funny Foreigner: Gulliver is depicted as one in the Japanese version, where he's known as "Johnny". On top of his goofy personality, he speaks entirely in katakana, a visual shorthand for lack of fluency in Japanese, and occasionally lapses into coherent English. The English-language localization omits the "foreigner" element while keeping the "funny."
  • Furry Confusion: You can catch frogs with a fishing rod and have frog villagers in your town. In Doubutsu no Mori e+, you can also do the same with octopuses, though in this case there's only one octopus villager (Octavio) and one octopus islander (Marina, introduced in e+).
  • Furry Reminder:
    • Joey, a duck, has a pool instead of a bed in his house.
    • Blathers sleeps all day and stays awake throughout the night.
  • Game Within a Game:
    • All versions of this game feature the ability to collect various Nintendo Entertainment System games as furniture items and play them using an emulator developed in-house by Nintendo. The vast majority were arcade-esque titles released very early in the system's lifespan, with only a select few (Wario's Woods, Punch-Out!!, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda) having been released past this period. The NES games are fairly rare, with the methods required to obtain them ranging from getting very lucky with the game's RNG to outright having to use hacks.
      • Balloon Fight, Clu Clu Land, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Excitebike (Mahjong in Doubutsu no Mori +), Golf, Pinball, and Tennis are normally obtainable only through Crazy Redd's, Tom Nook's lotteries, or from having villagers bury them in town. It's also possible to obtain them by sending the password printed on a villager's e-Reader card to that specific villager in the mail; doing so will result in a 60% chance of receiving one of the games in reply, rather than the item you'd normally get.
      • Wario's Woods and Baseball are only obtainable from having an islander bury them.
      • Soccer (Gomoku Narabe in Doubutsu no Mori +), Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong 3, Clu Clu Land D, and Punch-Out!! were only accessible through Nintendo of America giveaways.
      • Ice Climber and Mario Bros. were only available through scarcely-distributed e-Reader cards.
      • Finally, Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda are only obtainable through outright hacking the game, having apparently been intended for distribution via e-Reader cards, only to be shafted once the e-Reader itself was deemed a commercial failure outside of Japan.
      • The discovery of universal item codes and creation of code generators have made these games much easier to obtain, but Ice Climber, Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda cannot be obtained through this method, with the aforementioned e-Reader cards and external cheating devices being the only way to access them in-game.
    • There's also a fake NES furniture item, Super Tortimer, obtainable from the eponymous mayor on April Fool's Day; interacting with it simply produces a text blurb mocking the player for trying to play a game that doesn't actually exist.
    • One curiosity exists in the form of a blank Famicom Disk System/NES furniture item with no games attached to it. Normally, interacting with it produces a blurb saying that nothing's available to play on it; however, dataminers eventually discovered that this specific furniture item is actually meant to play NES ROM files stored on the N64 Controller Pak/GameCube memory card, indicating that additional NES games were originally meant to be incorporated into the game through distribution of special Controller Paks/memory cards with their ROMs pre-installed.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: If you talk to a villager and ask them what's up, there is a chance they will force you to give them something from your pockets, whenever it may be furniture, clothing, or even Bells. Sometimes they'll even initiate a trade you can't back out of, and what you end up with is nowhere near as valuable as what your villager takes. Later entries prevent your villagers from outright taking your items without asking first, and you are allowed to back out of any prompt or trade they suggest.
  • Iconic Sequel Song: Kapp'n sang a different song in Doubutsu no Mori+. It was changed to an entirely different tune in the American version, which has been his leitmotif ever since. The original song became the aircheck "Marine Song 2001" instead.
  • Logo Joke: The N64 release has the console logo pop up like a piece of furniture being dropped, accompanied by the game's speech synthesizer shouting "Nintendo!" in one of several possible configurations. The later GameCube ports replaced the N64 logo with the standard Nintendo logo, which simply fades in.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Gracie's car washing minigame. It acts like you just have to mash the A button enough times, but it's possible to fail using a turbo controller.
  • Minus World: The original has four pre-loaded towns (technically three since one is a test version of the island) that can't be accessed without Action Replay. One of these pre-loaded towns can, however, be accessed via a glitch, by paying off one's debt and exiting the Post Office right when the announcement for the beginning of the Sports Festival occurs; because two cutscenes attempting to run at the same time, the game freaks out and defaults to a single pre-loaded town.
  • Never Bareheaded: The player cannot remove their hat.
  • Old Save Bonus:
    • A month after the release of Doubutsu no Mori +, Nintendo opened a Data Moving Service where, for a ¥630 fee (approximately $6 USD), players could send them an N64 Controller Pak with save data for the original Doubutsu no Mori and a 59-block GameCube memory card with save data for + and transfer over their player data to the latter game. The Data Moving Service eventually shut down a few years after it began; no information exists as to when exactly occurred, but the site for it went offline in 2005.
    • Doubutsu no Mori e+ would later offer a similar system as the Data Moving Service, in which players could copy their characters from + into the newer game, along with their name, birthdate, encyclopedia information, personal patterns, and catalog information. Admittedly, the feature considerably less comprehensive than the Data Moving Service but still useful, plus the player can import the data themselves this time (thanks to + and e+ being released on the same console) and doesn't have to worry about sending anything over to Nintendo.
  • Renovating the Player Headquarters: The player is provided a small 4x4 cottage at the start of the game. Paying Tom Nook a few thousand bells will have him expand the house with a bigger house with 6x6 floor space, then 8x8. There is also the basement addition that is also 8x8, and is capped off by adding a 6x6 second floor to your home.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stage Names: The first time you meet K.K. Slider, he mentions that his real name is Totakeke, but he prefers to go by his stage name. The name Totakeke is never brought up in the English version again for the rest of the game — or the franchise, for that matter. This localization quirk is likely due to his Early-Bird Cameo in Super Smash Bros. Melee giving him a trophy under the name Totakeke, which is actually his Japanese name.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: By going out of your way to arrange furniture and pattern-clothing in a particular way while your inventory is fullnote , you can trap yourself in your house with no possible escape. Future games, having to be designed for multiplayer, were more careful about shenanigans like this — furniture can't be arranged while other players are present, and it's possible to save and quit anywhere, which would move the character outside.
  • Updated Re-release: The original Nintendo 64 game received a re-release on the GameCube later that year, which added many new features such as e-Reader support, the museum, the tailors, the island, and service characters to go with them. Then, the American version added even more content such as new holidays, which was later imported back into Japan with even more new features, such as the ability to scan e-Reader cards to make certain villagers move into one's town.
  • World of Jerkass: Not only do the villagers get upset and insult you for the smallest reasons, some of them (particularly peppy, normal and cranky villagers) can even steal your items and money for no reason.
  • You Are Fat: It seems this is one of the villagers' preferred ways of insulting the player. Lazy villagers in particular will often call the player this out of nowhere.