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Video Game / Harvest Moon: A New Beginning

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Harvest Moon: A New Beginning is a title in the Harvest Moon (now known as the Story of Seasons) series, and it is the last in the Bokujō Monogatari series to be localized by Natsume and released in the West under the series title. It was released in 2012 and is the first game to only be allowed on the 3DS.

You come to an old and dying village, with very few people left. The Establishing Character Moment for this whole town is in the first few seconds of the game when an old man, the mayor, collapses out of nowhere in front of you. Now, it's up to you to save this town, by completing Town Restoration Plans that the mayor gives you. You have to win festivals with high quality crops or animals, build things to decorate the town, and move some more people in to get this place going.

Along the way, like in most Harvest Moon games, you can get married and even have a kid. You can also have various kinds of animals, such as llamas, sheep, alpaca, chicken, silkies, and more on your farm.

After this game, Marvelous transferred localization rights to their Western subsidiary, XSEED Games. Because Natsume still owns the rights to the name Harvest Moon, future Bokujō Monogatari games are released under Story of Seasons, while Natsume develops and releases their own games under the Harvest Moon banner. The first Story of Seasons game picks up its design from where A New Beginning leaves off.

This game provides examples of:

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    A to D 
  • An Economy Is You: You have to build all the shops and houses to get people to even come to town
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Depending on house placement, the AI might walk into walls frequently.
    • Your animals may occasionally walk into the barn walls and try walking through it Ghost-style without success.
  • A Homeowner Is You: You have your own house as always. You can only upgrade it once, though.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Your character doesn't physically age at all despite having birthdays.
    • Neither do the other villagers.
  • Aerith and Bob: You have normal names such as Henry, Rachel, Hana, Emma, and Neil. You also have, in the very same town, Hossan, Niko, Dunhill, and Yuri.
  • The Alcoholic: Dunhill loves it if you give him wine.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Allen is a good example, with his bangs and all.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Gaining friendship points with Yuri, a few other villagers, and completing town plans will unlock new clothes in Yuri's store.
  • And Your Reward Is Parenthood: You have a child after marriage. Normally, the child will grow up into a "kid" stage, but you can give them special candy that magically makes them a teenager for a season, letting you decide whether you want to have a small child or a teenager.
  • Animals Hate Him: At the start of the game all of the animals you encounter will run away in fear. Even bears.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: To an extent. You can change the wallpaper, flooring, and furniture of you farm house. You can also buy blueprints from Rebecca and build some stuff to put in your house, but it has a set position place.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The Wi-Fi/Multiplayer of the game is unlocked by the end of Spring Year 1 and you can exchange items with other players. It's a great way to obtain certain things early in the game without having to wait too long, for example you can get Yam Seeds early.
  • Boom Town: Echo Village, formerly.
  • Broken Bridge: As usual in a Harvest Moon game. You can unlock some of the closed off areas by completing certain town plans.
  • The Blacksmith: Iroha.
  • But Thou Must!: No matter what, you must help out Dunhill (the mayor) at the start of the game. If you try to leave the area someone will tell you not to.
  • Bicolor Cows, Solid Color Bulls: Bulls are a solid color and cows are bicolor.
  • Canon Name: The protagonists' names are Henry and Rachel (Hart and Rio in Japan).
  • Character Customization: You can fully customize your appearance, a first for the series.
  • Call to Agriculture: You inherited the farm from your dad.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: At the very beginning you see Hossan and his son Niko move out to get more business. They move back in once you build their houses in a town plan.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: You're told by the seed descriptions for cotton to harvest using a sickle. Nope, they're harvested by hand just like most other crops.
  • Continuity Nod: You can get pointless, but fun little letters from people in previous games.
  • Cosmetic Award: A lot of the things you achieve in this game. Eating a bunch of poison mushrooms, giving gifts to the Harvest Goddess, and almost anything else gets you nowhere. However, some awards such as cooking a bunch of times (but not necessarily a lot of stuff at once) raises the star rank of the prepared dish a bit.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Klaus. In one cut scene, the player has to rescue Clement from his lecture on why macaroni has a hole in it. Clement starts getting freaked out when Klaus decided that macaroni is a commentary on the human condition.
  • Dialogue Tree: The Heart Events have this. Depending on what you choose, you may either strengthen your relationship with the person or make things worse.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Due to the often generous nature of the players in Multiplayer, people frequently can get Silkie eggs well before Neil has one for sell, or seeds that are otherwise unobtainable at that point. Between those and the ability to gather wool and milk can set a player up with quite a lot of money early on. This is carried over in Story of Seasons.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: You revitalize a town that has been stagnating for years, jump start its economy in a way that would make politicians weep with envy, build houses for free despite spending a fortune in time and money on the components, meet increasingly difficult requirements to aid the growth of the town, and run their own farm all the while. Yet certain townsfolk will still berate you if you lose a honey making contest or fail to construct a garden that is up to their standards
  • Dying Town: At the start of the game. The whole plot revolves around you fixing it back up.

    E to H 
  • Expy: The "default" versions of the farmer characters, as depicted in the official art (Henry/Hart and Rachel/Rio) bear very strong resemblances to Pete and Claire, the most iconic of the farmer characters in the series. In fact, Rachel's design is so identical to Claire's that it can really, basically, be summed up as "Claire with a cowboy hat."
  • Fake Longevity: This game seems to love this. For example, the game forces this onto the player if they refuse to go online to get the required materials to complete tasks faster. Most egregiously, one particular task in Town Restoration Plan 4 requires you to ship 30 potatoes and 30 yams. By the time you get to TRP4, chances are it would already be the end of year 1 fall, and yam seeds are not sold until fall of year 2. Even if you have the maker shed and yam seeds now (won from the Fall Crop Festival), you need to wait until year 2 summer to be able to get the blueprints for a greenhouse. And if you don't go online to get your parts, you'll be stuck waiting for year 2 fall to complete the plan. In other words, game delays you one whole year if you don't plan ahead or use Nintendo WFC, or 3 months if you do plan ahead but don't use WFC. The quickest way out? Go online and beg for 30 yams to ship.
  • Fishing for Sole: You can catch a number of things other than fish: blueprints, materials, etc. Shoes and cans being the only true Shop Fodder items you get from fishing. Thankfully, most of what you catch actually has a use.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The player can become this if you befriend all the animals.
  • Forced Tutorial: All of Spring is an extended tutorial, and one of the main criticisms of this game is that almost the entire beginning is incredibly slow.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In one of Rod's heart events, your character will get tired from walking up a hill, regardless of whether you do that every day or not.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: If an animal dies, Neil arrives to shame you for neglecting it, and personally buries it, Gospel music and everything. To top it off, the cutscene ends with "(Animal Name), I'm so sorry!"
  • The Ghost: Your family, and everyone else's family who didn't move in. Getting married? Only the villagers, the Harvest Goddess, and her Harvest Sprites will come.
  • Going Through the Motions: The townsfolk have only a handful of unique gestures between them. Helps that your character is a Heroic Mime.
  • Heroic Mime: You get to talk a little, like in heart events, but generally the player character just gestures at people.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: As per the usual for Harvest Moon games

    I to T 
  • Ironic Name: Its title is called A New Beginning. This would be the last Bokujou Monogatari game published and localized in North America with the Harvest Moon brand.
  • Inner Monologue: The player character has one, which shows up in certain cutscenes.
  • Item Crafting: The player can craft lumber and material stones by whacking branches and rocks with the axe and hammer, respectively. They can also craft tools and buildings
  • It's Up to You: Only the player can erect buildings and the like. See An Economy Is You above
  • In-Universe Game Clock: For every real life second, an in-game minute passes.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: During a random event the women of the town wonder how Dunhill has taken so many pictures of them (and you) without them ever knowing. He's taken enough to fill up entire albums.
  • Love Interest: Multiple love interests, as in harvest moon tradition.
  • Meaningful Name: Echo village, an echo of what it used to be.
    • You can rename it once the main storyline is finished and it becomes a Boom Town again.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Hana and Kosaburo
  • Mood Whiplash: Neil in particular can be prone to this. He can give you a warm thanks for giving him a gift, and irritably tell you you're too talkative a minute later.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: its possible for a character to disappear from the map and reappear somewhere else, just as long as they aren't in your line of sight.
    • Iroha and Dunhill seem to be the most prone to this. When it gets to be around 8AM iroha will teleport to the forest, and dunhill will teleport to your farm.
  • Only One Name: As usual in pretty much any Harvest Moon game.
  • Parental Bonus:
    • The Harmony Day events. You can still give treats to the bachelors/bachelorettes even after you get married. And on their corresponding holiday, they'll still come into your house to give you treats. A few of the bachelors even specifically say what a shame it is you're married and then proceed to hit on you anyway.
    • If you marry Soseki, he will sometimes say that the pleasant weather makes him want to take a nap... and that he's hoping you'll join him.
    • If you wear a maid outfit, Allen tells you that you should wear it around the house.
  • Permanent Elected Official: No matter how many years go by, Dunhill is always mayor. related to the Not Allowed to Grow Up effect going on.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Almost. One thing that changes between genders is the bachelors and bachelorettes you can marry, but that is completely optional. Some of the random events you will encounter can only be seen with a certain sex, but they have no importance to the plot either.
  • Renaissance Man: The player character can be this. Farmer, miner, carpenter, chef, fisherman, sculptor, artist, landscaper..
  • Shop Fodder: Scrap metal is useless, but you can sell it. Lampshaded by its description.
    Low-priced mineral. Has no real use, but sometimes people want the stuff for some reason
  • Super-Strength: In edit mode, your character can lift buildings without any trouble.
  • Tsundere: Neil is this. He also can have serious Mood Whiplash.
  • Take Your Time: Just like Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns before it, this is averted, making time management more difficult, to the chagrin of some players.

    U to Z 
  • Unskippable Cutscene: A whole lot of them, such as any time Neil opens or closes up shop when you're in the area. They're one of the main complaints for this game.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: First game in the series to completely allow character customization instead of being more limited like in previous games.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: You can't work forever, your stamina will wear down eventually. You have to either eat or sleep to regain stamina.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Yuri sells the boy and girl outfits regardless of which gender you picked, so you can have the boy wear dresses or the girl wear the obviously boy-oriented clothes if you want to. Allen does the same with hairstyles, meaning you can have your character look the opposite gender but not actually be it. The only things giving away the actual gender is the icon on the map (since the girls icon always has long hair with cowboy hat), the eyes (while it is possible to get the eyes changed by the Witch, it is absolutely impossible to get an eye style from the opposite gender), the fact your save file will say "Boy" or "Girl" on it, and that you'll still be addressed as that gender - i.e., when you propose to Rod, Allen tells him he's "got a good woman," Rod talks about seeing you in your wedding dress, etc.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: You need to grind for materials to do much of anything or progress at all.
  • Your Favorite: Each character has a favorite gift item.