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Video Game / Animal Crossing: Wild World

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"Your world just got a lot bigger..."
Animal Crossing: Wild World (Oideyo Doubutsu no MoriTranslaton ) is the 2005 sequel to Animal Crossing (2001). Released on the Nintendo DS, it both removes and adds elements compared to its predecessor, introducing a radical revamp of the first game's formula and setting the template that all later installments would follow.

Wild World removes several features from the first generation (such as the island and playable NES games) in favor of adding online play with friend codes. In order to get around the issue of international online play, most real-world holidays were excised, with a small handful of generic ones offered in their place. The "acre" system was removed and replaced with the "rolling log" effect that the series is now known for, with the new visibility of the sky leading to new features such as the ability to shoot down floating presents with a slingshot and the ability to make constellations to view when outside at night. Notoriously, the game also introduced the use of Nintendo Zone DLC, which is the only way to get monkey villagers, making monkey villagers a case of No Export for You for those who live in places where Nintendo did not roll out the service (as well as a case of Permanently Missable Content considering the shut down of the Nintendo Zone service).

On the side of additions, the game introduces a much greater level of customization for the player, allowing them to wear not only shirts, but also different face accessories and hats (having previously been restricted to clothes that would occupy both their shirt and matching hat). The player is also now able to change their hair color and hairstyle through Shampoodle, a salon that becomes unlockable late in the game, and are able to pluck flowers and wear them in their hair or mouths as accessories. The game also makes considerable use of the DS's touch controls, allowing the player to switch between touch controls and traditional button controls on the fly. Similarly to Super Mario 64 DS, the player can use the touch screen as a substitute for an analog stick when controlling their character, but can also use it to organize inventories, write letters, and design patterns.

Perhaps the biggest new feature is the addition of online multiplayer (via the DS's ever-controversial "friend code" system), which became a considerable focus of both the game's marketing and its gameplay — some services are outright exclusive to multiplayer. Due to being one of the system's best-selling games, it helped popularize the DS's online capabilities, alongside Mario Kart DS. Thankfully, for those who either didn't have access to Wi-Fi at the time (given that the technology was still relatively nascent in 2005) or are playing after the 2014 shutdown of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, the game still allows for local multiplayer through having two DSes and Wild World game cards in the same room.

A Japan-only animated film based upon this game, Animal Crossing: The Movie, was released in 2006. Wild World was followed up by the Wii's Animal Crossing: City Folk, which is an amalgamation of the previous two games, with some of the events based on real-life returning from the first game while still retaining the rolling log effect from Wild World.

This game provides examples of:

  • Con Man: Lyle is a fast-talker who doesn't take no for an answer, but the insurance he sells is a scam that never pays out more than it costs to buy. He's seemingly in cahoots with Redd as Redd will always appear on the day that the player picks on the survey.
  • Downloadable Content: You can download free stuff in Wild World.
  • Emote Animation: Originally exclusive to NPCs, Wild World introduces Dr. Shrunk so the player can use emotes as well.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The title screen shows a preview of the player's actual town, so it's different for every save file.
  • Franchise Codifier: This game introduced many new special characters and their functions to the series, such as players being able to change their hairstyle with Harriet and learn emotions from Dr. Shrunk. It also codified several pre-existing characters' roles; the Able Sisters now sell clothes instead of just custom designs (and the game has more customization options), and Blathers can now identify fossils on his own. Finally, it introduced a continuous, rolling overworld with a visible sky, in stark contrast to the original's top-down perspective that flip-scrolled at acre boundaries.
  • Flying Saucer: Gulliver flies one that the player can shoot it down with a slingshot.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: For reasons unknown, the game was not 100% stable and would randomly freeze upon finishing an errand for a villager, forcing the player to reset their game and face Mr. Resetti's wrath.
  • Guide Dang It!: You can change your bed by pressing "A" in front of the foot of the bed, and then selecting a bed item from your inventory. Nothing in the game ever hints at this being possible.
  • Honest Axe: Parodied with the golden axe sidequest. If you give Pascal the Scallop, he will tell you that he dropped it on the beach. He will then ask you if you dropped a golden axe or a silver axe on the beach. Contrary to the original fable, however, you have to tell him you dropped a golden axe in order to get it, otherwise he gives you his picture.
  • In-Series Nickname: Your neighbors may come up with nicknames for you. Whether it's embarrassing or affectionate is up to you, but you're given the ability to suggest your own if you don't like theirs.
  • Last of His Kind: In Wild World, Rocco is the only hippo villager in the entire game (even the Octopus has more villagers). It's especially noticeable since in the original, hippos weren't exactly a rare species. Averted since City Folk as more hippos from the original games did come back.
  • Message in a Bottle: An item the player can receive in Wild World. The player can write a letter inside it and throw it out into the ocean, and may occasionally find one themselves. It could either be a randomly generated message, or another player's via Tag Mode.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Lampshaded when you catch a piranha— your character asks "What river is this, anyway?"
  • Random Number God: When you buy a painting from Crazy Redd, there's always a 50/50 chance that it will either be authentic or a forgery because there's no way of discerning its true quality before purchase.
  • Renovating the Player Headquarters: Much like the previous game, the player is provided a small 4x4 house that can be expanded up to 6x6, then 8x8 after paying Tom Nook a few thousand bells. Though it also has a second floor extension and an attic that serves as the Save room, the basement is removed in favor of three extra rooms for the west, east, and back.
  • Speaking Simlish: In Wild World and Wild World only, Animalese appears to sound like generic gibberish; it is unknown if the game is reading out the text with a text-to-speech program like in other games or if it genuinely uses gibberish. Additionally, Animalese is changed in all regions to sound closer to the higher-pitched text-to-speech voice used for Animalese in the Japanese versions of the original Animal Crossing, a standard that all following games would adhere to.