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Video Game / Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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"Thank you for choosing the Nook Inc. Deserted Island Getaway Package. This is one trip that we here at Nook Inc. can recommend with confidence. Your destination is a peaceful island, where it's the little things that count..."
Nook Inc.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Atsumare Dōbutsu no Mori) is the fifth installment of Nintendo's Animal Crossing series, released on March 20, 2020. After skipping over the Wii U (owing to a combination of the system's commercial failure and the fact that the dev team had been busy working on Splatoon), this installment, released on Nintendo Switch, returns the series to home consoles.

A far cry from the rural life sim angle of previous installments, this game takes place on a deserted island, where villagers explore and gather resources to build tools and furniture, and eventually develop their own little community.


Animal Crossing: New Horizons provides examples of:

  • Achievement Mockery: You can earn Nook Miles for some dubious accomplishments, like having a present fall into water or getting knocked out by a tarantula. Of course, most of them only award once.
  • Achievement System: Nook Miles serves as this game's achievement system. By completing various tasks you can earn miles and spend them to unlock new features or get special items. After paying off your first loan, you unlock Nook Miles+, which serves up an endless list of smaller milestones for you to reach for.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Aside from the usual home upgrade costs piling up, you're first allowed to pay for your travel and accommodation fees using Nook Miles. Every bill after that one has to be paid in Bells, because the first time was just a freebie.
  • Advertisement:
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: When Blathers provides an explanation for the orchid mantis, he refers to it as a "fraudulent flower" capable of "masterful mimicry".
  • A.I. Breaker: Only one tarantula can be actively chasing the player at a time, so if one lands on the "infinite tarantula island", trapping a single active tarantula behind some holes makes catching the rest of the population a breeze.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: Your first day on the island isn't tied down into the real world clock, unlike the first days in other Animal Crossing titles. Only after you get past the first day and go to bed will the game be synced to real world time.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Flowers now do not die when you run over them. They lose their petals instead, but they regrow. And it actually takes a few run-overs before they actually lose them.
      • Moreover, flowers do not die if you don't water them - watering instead is a mechanic to encourage cross pollination.
    • Saplings do not die either. If you plant them in areas where they cannot properly grow (i.e. it doesn't fulfill the space requirements), they just won't grow instead of wilting, allowing you to shovel them and place them elsewhere.
    • Once you have a shovel, you can dig up buried clams. Finding your first one immediately teaches you the practical Fish Bait recipe, requiring only one clam per bait. You don't need to wait for fish to spawn, as now you can simply toss bait in the water to force a fish shadow to appear.
    • There's now an option to arrange furniture with a cursor similar to Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, alongside other additional features like being able to hang multiple things to the wall. Of course, the player can still do traditional furniture placement of the series.
    • Players can now access the house storage from anywhere inside their house without the need for a cabinet or drawer furniture. They can store or pull things from said storage into their inventory.
      • The storage itself is a step up from the previous main games. It now looks like a proper catalog, complete with tabs for specific item types. It also is more spacious, and the storage limit increases with each house upgrade.
    • For those who are night owls, there is a drop off location that lets you sell items when the stores are closed, with the bells being deposited in to your savings. In exchange, however, you don't get the bells until the store opens, hot items don't get their bonus, you can't sell turnips this way, and you get 20% less then what you would get if you sold it in the store itself.
    • Players don't need to lug clothing articles in their inventory when dressing up. If the player is in their house, all they need is a wardrobe - this opens up a clothing menu showing off all clothes and accessories the player has in their pocket and in their storage. Additionally, if the player has a wand tool, they can register clothing sets and can change among them on the fly.
    • Traversal tools are unbreakable, and if the player does manage to get themselves stuck, they can be transported back to their house for a small amount of Nook Miles.
    • Players can outright edit the face of their Player Character, all they need is a mirror.
    • Grass doesn't deteriorate anymore, in part because of custom paths.
    • Unlike most other resources which eventually hit a daily cap, branches can be shaken out of trees ad infinitum, meaning the player is always able to keep themselves supplied with basic tools.
    • Since you're forced to miss going to the Nook Stop on the day Resident Services is undergoing renovations, the system won't reset the chain when it's done and will award the maximum amount of Nook Miles for the next two days.
    • Carrying over from New Leaf's Welcome amiibo update, you can now shake trees while holding a tool. Not only does this alleviate the need to put down a currently held equipment just to drop fruit, this makes catching wasps a lot easier.
    • Players can hop across one-space wide rivers and holes, should the need to traverse over them becomes necessary. Similarly, it's possible to sidle around half-space wide corners to get around (but not half-space wide walkways).
    • Starting with version 1.1.1, it is possible to get to islands with non-native fruits on mystery tours, giving a bit of relief to those stuck in regions without the Nintendo Switch Online services.
    • Even as you upgrade your house, the plot of land doesn't change in size, meaning fencing, flowers, trees, furniture or pattern placed around it won't be disturbed or need to be adjusted.
    • With the new mechanic of DIY crafting, workbenches are made very accessible, with one always in Resident Services and in your villagers' homes, one always provided on a mystery island, and workbenches being craftable as furniture for yourself. In fact, the ability to place furniture outdoors makes it possible to pull out your own workbench anywhere at any time so you don't have to find one, and the island workbenches make it so you don't have to fill up a valuable inventory space for your own bench.
    • Previously, if you've been away for a long time, your character would come out of the house with a bedhead, overwriting the hair you had previously. This is no longer the case, as your character will fix it back to their original hairstyle after shaking off the drowsiness.
  • The Artifact:
    • New Horizons adds frequent autosaving, making it easy to shut the game off from the Switch's home menu without losing progress. However, it maintains the option to save and quit manually for players who are used to the save system of previous games.
    • Lloid the Gyroid returns from New Leaf as the foreman/donation collector for bridge and staircase construction, even though standard Gyroids are absent in New Horizons (meaning new players may not know what he's supposed to be).
  • Artistic License – Economics: Lampshaded example. Timmy and Tommy will buy anything the player can present to them, even just weeds picked from outside, or literal garbage. Tom Nook will note how it's not a very good business practice, but it's justified because they need a way to get an economy rolling on a deserted island, and they're just little kids anyway.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: The game's more accurate than previous installments, but it still has its flaws:
    • The ancestral trail in the fossil wing of the museum has pterosaurs as a sister branch from ornithoscelidan dinosaurs while the sauropods are even further from the ornithoscelidans, as if they suggesting either pterosaurs are dinosaurs or only the ornithoscelidians are true dinosaurs. It gets jarring in that Blathers correctly describes Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus as dinosaurs, unlike Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus.
    • The plesiosaur is identified as Plesiosaurus, but it's evidently an elasmosaurid due to its very long neck. Odd that they didn't replace it like how they replaced Ichthyosaurus with Ophthalmosaurus.
    • The Ankylosaurus is depicted with osteoderms too spiky, particularly the two high scutes on the shoulders which is actually known in Euoplocephalus.
    • While Blathers correctly states that Dimetrodon is not a dinosaur, he still makes the mistake of calling it a reptile when it was actually a synapsid.
  • Automatic New Game: Start up New Horizons for the first time and you're instantly taken to an airport terminal, where Timmy and Tommy prepare you for your getaway. The game's logo doesn't come up until the plane arrives at the island you've chosen, and even then it appears at the bottom right corner of the screen, not front and center as in a traditional title screen.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: Compared to previous games, this one has much more dialogue poking fun at mechanics that have become series-standard by now, such as We Buy Anything (Tom Nook notes it's not a sound practice, but it's necessary on a deserted island without an economy), Tom Nook's way of financing (he references his zero-interest loans and his "extremely lax" payment plan that gives you infinite time to pay the loan off), villager homes coming fully-furnished (this time, you have to provide the furnishing), and the Super-Deformed proportions (Gulliver thanks you by saying "your heart must be as big as your head!"). Lazy villagers even occasionally lean on the fourth wall by expressing their fear that the island is just a game, and point out the "pretty music" playing everywhere, in addition to the Fridge Logic invoked by Nook's business plan.
    Lazy villager: (imitating Tom Nook) Yeah, I'll buy your seashells so you can give me back my own money to pay off a house I'm selling to you!
  • Bigger on the Inside: Since your house plot is a fixed size, all the room extensions that gets added on makes your home comically more spacious than what the exterior implies.
  • Bluff Worked Too Well: Tom Nook advertised your island as having "fully-furnished homes", which, being a totally deserted island, it obviously does not have. You end up having to help him build the houses before the new residents arrive.
  • Bowdlerization: While the aviation lingo used by Orville and Wilbur is mostly accurate, the word for W replaces "Whiskey" with "Whisker" (which may also count as Hold Your Hippogriffs given the animal-themed world).
  • Breakable Weapons: In previous installments, only the axe was breakable. Now, most toolsnote  have a certain number of uses before they break, with higher tiers being more durable.
  • Broken Bridge: At first not all of the island can be explored, as wide rivers and cliffs will inevitably isolate certain areas. The player soon acquires the tools to scale these obstacles themselves, and can later make more permanent passages.
  • Call-Back:
    • Early in the game, after spending your first day helping the residents feel at home on the island and going to bed, you see K.K. Slider in the recurring barely-lit room talking about living on your own and the virtues of friendship, just like in the beginning of the N64/GameCube-era games. Even the music is nearly identical to the original, other than the Recurring Riff.
    • When announcing the expansion of the Resident Services building, Tom Nook states in the English version, "Our population certainly is growing, hm?", referencing the tagline of the GameCube installment ("Population: Growing!").
    • Wisp's role and design are identical to the first game, where you had to catch five spirits with a net to receive his reward, though this time he doesn't offer to weed your town.
  • Character Customization: A first for the main series (although inspired by Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp), players now have a character creation screen rather than being asked questions that determine your appearance. They can also use a mirror or vanity to change their character's appearance or even gender at any time, with skin tone, hair color and style, and facial features being easily changed. Spending Nook Miles unlocks new hairstyles and colors as well.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Certain series mainstays like Kapp'n, Rover, and Resettinote  don't make an appearance, not even when you try to summon them through Photopia's amiibo feature. That said, Nintendo does have plans to periodically add support for missing characters.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: As in previous games, getting bit by a tarantula or stung by a scorpion causes you to "faint", which will cause the game to Iris Out and teleport you back to your home (or to the dock if it happens on a Mystery Tour), with absolutely no penalty. You might even get Nook Mile awards for doing so. New in this game, if you were already stung by wasps and get stung again, you'll faint as well.
  • Death World:
    • For a given value of "death" considering what type of game this is, but it's possible, although rare, to be brought to an island on the Mystery Tour that continuously, and only, spawns tarantulas, which are aggressive and will One-Hit Kill the player. That said, if you get good at catching them, you can make major bank on these islands since you can sell tarantulas for 8,000 Bells each.
    • Another possible death world that one may encounter is an island with a ton of weeds and scorpions, another insect that is aggressive and can and will One-Hit Kill the player. To drive the trope home, said island is also perpetually in rainy weather.
  • Deserted Island:
    • The game is located on one and Tom Nook has convinced the player and some of the villagers to purchase some land there. It's a castaway island and can either stay that way or become more civilized if the player so chooses. Unlike many other deserted island stories, there is an easy way off with a sea plane provided by Dodo Airlines.
    • Additionally the player can use Nook Mile tickets to travel to other smaller islands to gather resources, find new fruits, catch out of season fish and bugs and even find new potential residents.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • If you happen to surround a fruit tree with holes, shaking it won't drop the fruit, because otherwise the fruit would immediately drop into the holes and be lost. Hitting it with an axe will drop the fruit, however, if you're determined to waste the fruit.
    • The rooms of your house have windows on the side walls that can be interacted with to open and close the shades. However, the new "heavy-curtain wall" functions like real wall-to-wall curtains rather than wallpaper, and thus covers up the windows completely.
    • In terms of amiibo, the game makes a distinction between the cards and figure of Timmy & Tommy. The cards depict each twin on his own, but if you use the figure (which depicts both characters), the game asks which one of them you want instead of just summoning both of them.
    • Talking to Tom Nook after an important building finishes construction lets you host an opening ceremony, where the islanders meet up in front of the building and fire party poppers in celebration. If the building was built in a position that cuts off most of the space in front of it, such as right behind another building, then the NPCs are re-positioned so they can still all fit, the camera is placed overhead, and Tom Nook gets a special line at the start of the ceremony.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • When Tom Nook goes to claim the player's first loan (for flights, land claims, camping supplies, etc.) he suddenly remembers everyone's on a deserted island with nothing remotely resembling an economy. He then agrees to take the loan in Nook Miles to incentivize the player to set up some actual infrastructure.
    • He also didn't consider that when he claims that your island will provide fully-furnished homes to new arrivals, customers will naturally expect just that, and you must help him assemble the furniture for the residents moving in who are starting out with houses.
  • Dumb Dodo Bird: Two dodos named Orville and Wilbur run the airport, the joke being that flightless birds are the ones flying the plane. They're not particularly dimwitted, though, and are more competent, but a little ditzy with one of them obsessed with military lingo and the other forgetting to lock, or even close the door while they're still setting up.
  • Encounter Bait: Manila clams can be dug up on the beach and crafted into fish bait, which causes a random fish to appear when thrown into a body of water.
  • Equipment Upgrade:
    • By spending accumulated Nook Miles after paying off the Deserted Island Experience Package, the player can unlock various upgrades to their "kit", like having a tool ring selection or extra pocket space.
    • The initial set of tools the player will be able to craft are called flimsy tools, but recipes for iron and regular tools can be learned. They require the flimsy tools and some other kind of material, but they basically become upgraded to be sturdier, better versions of the tools.
  • Farm Life Sim: Animal Crossing has always been similar to a farm life sim, but this installment adds onto the similarities due to the deserted island theme: the player can now grow their own vegetables, craft tools, and till the land.
  • Fetch Quest:
    • When building new infrastructure in town, Tom Nook will ask you to collect the materials to make it happen. For instance, to open Nook's Cranny, you need to acquire 30 of each kind of wood as well as 30 iron nuggets.
    • Similarly, you have to give five different kinds of fish or bugs on the island to Tom Nook in the Resident Services tent for Blathers to come to the island. You then have to donate 15 more specimens to allow him to get the authorization to actually build the museum.
  • Fiction 500: At this point Tom Nook is apparently wealthy enough that he owns several islands around the world, his own smartphone line, construction and shipping company, and merely brushes off the fact his (maybe?) children are paying people thousands of Bells for literal trash. Apparently years of interest-free, no-deadline housing payments still managed to pay off!
  • Fishing for Sole: Cans, tires, and even old boots can be reeled in by fishing (curiously, they all act exactly like normal fish until you pull them out of the water). Junk items can be recycled into unique recipes into furniture or even clothes to wear. You can occasionally pull up a stone, too, like the ones you get from hitting rocks.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: Player characters are always referred to in gender-neutral terms, including but not limited to the pronouns "they" and "them". The Character Customization option that looks kinda like choosing a gender is a "style" outside of Japan, and can be changed at will just like the rest.
  • Grandfather Clause: Though this game marks the introduction of live instrumentation to the Animal Crossing series, the K.K. Slider songs and airchecks still use the same sequenced instruments as previous games to maintain consistency.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Getting a good supply of Iron (especially enough to build a shop) can be difficult if you don't know exactly what you're doing. Solution 
    • One Nook Miles reward, "Netting Better!", has a description saying that you need to catch five wasps in a row to achieve it. What it actually means is that you have to catch a wasp from all five nests that spawn on your island in one day; just catching five wasps across a few days without getting stung doesn't activate it. This can be confusing if you hear about the reward by just the description or from another player (since it's one of the rewards that doesn't show up until you complete it).
  • Hint Dropping: Every time you pay off the mortgage to your home, Tom Nook (sometimes complete with a devious sideways glance) will not-so subtly suggest that your home could be better before (badly) trying to play it off as just him thinking out loud... and then again following up this by telling the player to talk to him if they're interested in what he's thinking.
  • Hold the Unsolicited Ingredient: Upon catching an anchovy, a player character may quip:
    "Stay away from my pizza!"
  • Item Crafting: You can gather wood, stone, and other resources to craft new tools and furniture, much like in Pocket Camp.
  • It's Up to You: As in New Leaf, certain island improvements, once placed, require a contribution before they can be constructed, and while the dialogue implies villagers will be contributing, in practice the player(s) will be raising nearly all of the funds. Tom Nook lampshades it, muttering that if the player doesn't donate, the project will likely never finish.
  • Island of Mystery: By showing off a Nook Miles Ticket purchased via Nook Miles in the airport, Orville will give the player a choice in participating in the aptly-named Mystery Tour. The player is taken to a randomly-generated island rich in resource for them to take. There are also "rare" specifically themed islands like a bamboo island, an island filled with fruit, a tarantula-infested island, or a shark-infested island.
  • Justified Tutorial: Rather than putting the player to a relatively obscure yet functional village, they are instead dropped off into a deserted island. It is why certain services usually found at the start of older games in the series aren't immediately available, as it is up to the players to make the island livable.
  • Later Installment Weirdness:
    • Unlike previous titles, the game plops the player on an almost-barren island. Facilities that are already established in older games are missing or limited, requiring them to be established within the first few days. It will take a while (roughly a week) before it becomes a fully functional town on the scale of the starting towns of previous games, until then players are slowly adjusted into the setting.
    • This game introduces crafting to the main series, and a lot of mechanics are altered to account for it; chopped trees release chopped wood, struck rocks release ore and clay, and even weeds can be used to craft certain objects. Tools that would normally be purchased or earned are now crafted instead, and can now break as as a result (in previous games, only the axe was breakable).
    • Name headers in dialogue boxes in earlier games were color-coded as so: blue for male villagers, pink for female villagers, and green for general NPCs like Tom Nook. New Horizons changed this, so now name headers are now individually color-coded for each character.
    • Hourly music in prior games would begin playing after the tutorial was completed. In this game, hourly music only starts after the upgraded Residential Services building is completed, which means at best it's "only" a week until you unlock it.
    • In prior games, K.K. Slider would regularly visit your town on Saturdays, and his musical performances are the only way to see the game's Closing Credits. In New Horizons, however, you need to develop your town to a point where K.K. becomes interested in visiting your island, so the credits only come after around two weeks of playtime.
    • This game implements autosave, though it is still possible to manually save by quitting. As a result, Resetti's reset rants, already downplayed in New Leaf, are completely gone, and he only appears on the communication error screen and when using Nook Inc.'s Rescue Service (where he's only seen in text).
    • Many staple NPCs are completely absent from New Horizons, with their services being dropped (Crazy Redd is gone, so the museum has no art wing) or transferred to new characters (such as Wilbur and Orville fulfilling travel in place of Kapp'n and Porter). Some of them were added in content updates as holiday characters, like Leif becoming the host of Earth Day.
    • This is the first mainline game where Gyroids are not available as furniture.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A lazy villager can do this, which can come off as a little creepy considering he describes things that the players know but he as a character shouldn’t notice.
    Lazy Villager: There's a weird rumor goin' around... Some folks? They're saying none of this is real. None of it. They say the island is just a game. And everything we say? Or do? It's just to amuse somebody else! And...I dunno. I kinda maybe believe it? SO many things would make sense, ya know? Have ya ever thought fruit grows way too fast? And ain't it weird that trees all have three kinds of wood? And have ya ever noticed there's pretty music everywhere? It's great, but it's weird... And does Tom Nook make ANY kind of sense to you?! "Yeah, I'll buy your seashells so you can give me back my own money to pay off a house I’m selling to you!" I mean... WHAT? It's all so obvious! Our lives are fake! We all shoulda saw it a loooong time ago! A long old time ago... A huh huh huh! I'm joking! It's a joke! Nobody said that! You oughta see the look on your face!
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The protocol of Dodo Airlines for Mystery Tours (an activity where the player visits a randomly generated island to gather resources, collect specimens, and potentially meet a villager, but at the caveat of leaving anything not pocketed behind) is to never speak of any island visited by said tour ever again, to give an in-world reasoning for its randomness. In fact, they even burn the flight plans.
  • Literal-Minded: Once you're appointed as the representative of the residents, Tom Nook asks if you'd like to say a word or two towards the residents. Naturally, one of the options is to just say "a word or two".
  • Limited Wardrobe: Zig-Zagged for the villagers. Though you see them with their starting clothes or whatever you give them 90% of the time, they'll change out of the usual depending on the occasion. Sometimes you might see them in workout clothes when they're doing exercises, or you might catch them in their pajamas when they're about to sleep for the night. They might wear a raincoat and hat in lieu of an umbrella when it rains, and on birthdays they'll be wearing formal suits or dresses for the occasion.
  • Meaningful Name: The dodos who run the airport are named Orville and Wilbur, as in fellow flight enthusiasts The Wright Brothers.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The crafting animation involves sawing, hammering, and dramatic clouds of dust, which creates a comical effect when, depending on the recipe, the process of crafting should really be something gentle. For instance, the succulent plant would be made by arranging plants in a can, and the recycled boots would be the product of merely putting two fished-up boots next to each other, but they get the dramatic woodshop tools and animations all the same, with the same amount of triumph.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: The player characters look as skinny as ever, but a fruit snack can let them shatter rocks with a single swing of a shovel or an axe or dig up entire trees to stuff into their pockets. And just as in previous games, they are able to fish up and hold giant fish like tuna and sharks with nothing but a plain old rod and their bare hands.
  • My God, You Are Serious: When Nook shows you your first bill, two of your options for the reaction are confusion about Bells (the AC world's currency). Nook thinks you're joking for a second before he realizes that you're not and apologizes.
  • My Name Is ???: When visiting Nook's Cranny some time after it's built, you may find Timmy and Tommy talking to Mabel from the Able Sisters store, but the text boxes display her name as "???" until Timmy addresses her by name.
  • Nobody Poops: If you're lucky enough to get a toilet and make yourself full eating fruit, you can avert this. While it's obviously not depicted, the player's stomach, represented by the number of fruits eaten, drains back to 0.
    And that takes care of that!
  • Not the Intended Use: Tools that aren't flimsy can actually be customized. While it seems strange that breakable equipment can be customized, the game doesn't tell the player that it resets the tool's durability. It means that if the player feels like their fishing rod is in the verge of breaking, they can simply customize it.
  • Parody of Evolution: The museum's hall of fossils has branching lines on the floor which compare modern species to the fossils on display. The lines eventually lead to a window in the last room with silhouettes of different villager species, some connected to other fossils, lightly poking at the fact that evolution in this universe has culminated in humanoid animals. The line next to the monkey and connected to the australopith has no silhouette; if you stand in that spot behind the window, a light comes on as if you have been added to the evolutionary tree, representing humans.
  • Power-Up Food: Fruits have always been edible, but now there's a gameplay reason to do so, as it grants stamina to do things like break rocks with your axe or dig up full-grown trees. Each fruit eaten grants one feat of strength. The effect can be cancelled by sitting on a toilet.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: There are absolutely no more restrictions to the character customization regarding gender, with only a switch in the "Face Paint/Other" section of the customization screen determining whether the game treats you as a boy or a girl (referred to as "style", and with significantly less impact overall), and you can change it at any point so long as you are in front of a mirror. Clothing is all unisex, and characters do not account for the player's gender or even refer to them with gendered terms at all.
  • Scenery Porn: Animal Crossing has never looked more gorgeous. The textures on the plant life look much more organic and lifelike, and little details like the trees gently rustling in the wind make the experience feel a lot more immersive. You could also treat yourself with some breathtaking views of the sunset over the ocean if you climb to the top of the island at dusk.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Unlike most fish, squids have multiple quips your character might say when they catch one. For example, they may say they had an "inkling" they might or say it's off the hook, referencing the Splatoon series, while another asks if squids don't actually "bloop", referring to Super Mario Bros.' Bloopers.
    • If you have Blathers assess a Eusthenopteron fossil, he'll ponder what culture would be like if life had never left ocean, such as if differences might be resolved through "some sort of ink-squirting contest of champions".
    • When you catch a red dragonfly, your character will comment, "Didn't even have to roll for initiative!"
    • When waking up Gulliver, he may say "But, verily, it be the nature of dreams to end," quoting The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The first time you agree to help him find his communicator parts, he may gush that he hasn't gotten such a sweet reception since he washed up on Coralcola. If you choose not to, Gulliver will say he hasn't gotten a cold shoulder as icy as this since he brushed with the Snomads.
    • One furniture piece that can be purchased with your Nook Miles is a giant Kaiju statue of a spike-backed reptilian monster that roars and breathes fire (which even plays a tinny theme parody).
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Many of the dinosaur fossils have been updated to correspond with modern discoveries. Particularly, the theropods have non-pronated hands, Tyrannosaurus rex has gastralium or belly ribs, Stegosaurus has a longer neck and elevated tail, and Spinosaurus is based on the 2014 discovery (short hindlegs, a small pelvis, and a dip in the middle of the dorsal sail).
    • The ancestral trail in the fossil exhibit has theropods being close to ornithischians rather than sauropods, alluding to the revived dinosaur clade Ornithoscelida. It also has Dimetrodon close to mammals, and birds close to Archaeopteryx and Deinonychus.
    • In his description for Deinonychus, Blathers points out the major difference between it and Velociraptor is that Velociraptor is only two feet high in real life (the large raptors from Jurassic Park are actually based on Deinonychus). He also states that both had feathers.
  • Somewhere, an Entomologist Is Crying: Just like previous iterations of Animal Crossing, what is called the "Emperor Butterfly" in the English translations is actually the Blue Morpho and not the Purple Emperor. The long-standing translation error for the wasps has been corrected, though (see below).
  • Sudden Name Change: The K.K. Slider song "Señor K.K." has been renamed to "K.K. Mariachi", a first for the series (discounting formatting changes, such as "K.K. Étude").
  • Stylistic Suck: If you fish up enough garbage, you'll unlock DIY recipes for filled garbage bags, and wallpaper and flooring for your house that resembles a landfill. The only reason you'd ever want to use these items is to intentionally make your house look like a dumpster.
  • Terrain Sculpting: A new feature added to this installment is the ability to alter the landscape, such as covering up rivers or digging away cliffs, if you so choose. However, you are only allowed to do this late into the game after your island has become well-established.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Some of the Miles+ rewards require you to go collect a number of either wood, fruit, fish or bugs. Likewise, one of the tasks Tom Nook hands out to you on the first day requires you to go out and collect 10 tree branches.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: Despite the measures taken to maintain the E-rating, people have gotten... creative when it comes to getting around themnote .
  • We Buy Anything: Timmy and Tommy will buy everything the player presents to them, including weeds this time. Lampshaded by Tom Nook, who comments that this isn't a particularly sound business plan.
  • Virtuous Bees: This instalment finally corrects the translation error by making the bees that attacked you into wasps, so now only the completely peaceful honeybees are left. Blathers even admits (if a bit reluctantly) that bees are a bug deserving of being "a wee bit less ghastly than most, I admit."
  • Wicked Wasps: The creatures previously localized as "bees" have finally been correctly localized as wasps, note  and as in previous games, they will sting you if you shake them out of a tree. New to this game is that if you get stung while you've still got a puffy eye, the sting will knock you out just like a tarantula or scorpion attack.
  • Wish Upon a Shooting Star: Whenever there is a meteor shower, you can look up at the sky using the right stick and wish upon the meteors that come down, represented by said meteor glowing brightly when wished upon. The next day, for every meteor you wish upon, a star fragment will wash up on shore. Also, if you talk to Celeste during the meteor shower, you get a recipe for a star wand, which requires multiple star fragments to create.
  • Word-Salad Humor: Wilbur's codenames when you talk to him about ending an island tour are complete nonsense, which just makes them sillier when combined with his stone-faced personality.
    Bellbottom surf rock this is stovetop pocket watch, do you require assistance?
    Trainwreck banana bread is reporting tango step aerobics is go.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: You can't use Emote Animations until one of your villagers lets you know of them.


Video Example(s):


Rock-breaking stamina

Eating fruit fills a stamina meter that allows the player to break rocks. (Not shown: Digging up full-grown trees.)

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / PowerUpFood

Media sources:

Main / PowerUpFood