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Video Game / Harvest Moon DS

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Harvest Moon DS was the first Harvest Moon (now Story of Seasons) game to be released on the Nintendo DS in 2006. The game can be summed as A Wonderful Life meets Friends of Mineral Town.

The game takes place a century after A Wonderful Life, where we cut in a feud between the Harvest Goddess and the Witch Princess. One day the Witch Princess had accidentally turned the Harvest Goddess into stone, and then making things worse by making the Goddess and the Sprites disappear. Since you just happen to be around, she then recruits you to save her by finding the Sprites.

In 2007, DS Cute was released. It is like the main game, but you play as a girl and a lot of the Game-Breaking Bugs got patched. The plot had been changed to the Harvest Goddess turning to stone after calling the Harvest King a "baldy" from a heated argument when she dismisses you as being lazy (It doesn't help her case since she shows up late at night, and you are asleep.)

The following Tropes apply for this game:

  • 100% Completion: The Farm Summary page serves as a completion checklist in addition to keeping track of your money, supplies, and tools. Some of these are important for unlocking in-game rewards, but several of the checklists are so unnecessarily thorough and/or have no reward:
    • There are 101 Farm Sprites with different unlock requirements, including doing specific actions that might not be part of your gameplay routine hundreds of times and using your tools on random spots on the map. You only need 60 to rescue the Harvest Goddess and enable marriage, but you need all 101 if you want to marry the Harvest Goddess.
    • There are 134 recipes to discover that will either require experimenting with dozens of ingredients and six utensils (including the no utensil option) of the fully stocked kitchen or looking at a guide.
    • There are five house upgrades and twelve unique buildings, and the list shows what each building is made out of. Three of the upgrades and eleven of the buildings can be built using the extremely expensive gold lumber. Buying all of them costs over 900 million gold, plus 900 million for the private island that the villa must be built on. Accounting for the ability to have seven barns, that results in about 2 billion gold to have all of the best buildings.
    • There are 51 species of fish and 7 assorted items you can attain by fishing with Galen's fishing rod during different seasons on various bodies of water, including the 900 million gold private island. The six "Fish Kings" will require a Level 6 or 7 rod, and at least one item cannot be caught if you pull back the rod too far.
    • There are four unlockable mines with 64 items that you can mine, both by digging with your hoe and by hammering rocks, 10 enemies that can be fought, and 66,799 floors to explore. The mining item list is another requirement for marrying the Harvest Goddess.
    • And then there is the shipping list with 273 unique items that must be placed in the shipping bin or cannery, including several of the items from the mining and fishing lists (though thankfully not any of the unique species of fish); every crop, animal product, forage item, maker product, and recipe (including the failed ones); items from the vendors, gifts from the Witch and Harvest Goddess, and an item from a secret minigame that can only be unlocked at 4:44 AM. Completion of this list is required for marrying the Harvest Goddess.
      • Each item also has an optional checklist that for some just requires you to find two of the item and ship once each with the bin and the cannery, but for the farm products which can be leveled up list levels 1 to 100 for every item, and for each level include the normal version, canned version, and for the crops the rare "big" version that has a 1 in 255 chance of appearing outside during the correct season. Completely optional and no reward, but the game still presents it like something it wants you to complete.
    • There are 608 (625 in the girl version) cards to collect from the randomized card packs sold in the Sprite Company Tree, with five rarities that each card can come in, totaling 3,040 or 3,125 cards total. You can narrow down the range of cards by checking the hundreds digit of your gold balance, but even with save scumming it's a grueling task with no reward.
    • And finally, there is the Farm Degree, or Farmer Title, which is based on a hidden number that ticks up with the completion of certain milestones. The highest amount you can add at once is 500, for the one-time event of getting married. How many points do you need to achieve the highest rank? One BILLION.
  • And Your Reward Is Parenthood: After you get married, you can have a baby, which leads to a Time Skip after which your child is a toddler. Your child's appearance is based on your spouse. Since this game is based on A Wonderful Life, the child actually grows to become a teenager, and is more of a fleshed-out character than in other games.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Golden Lumber is one of the four materials you can use for buildings (along with Grass, Normal Lumber and Stone.) It is the most durable material you can use, however it has a huge price tag and you can only get the material from Gotz (who charges it 100,000G a piece ) or from Thomas' Winter Event (which only happens once an in-game year). Subverted if you make millions a day with the Disc-One Nuke, making buying Golden Lumber extremely trivial.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • Having any or all of your buildings made with Golden Lumber. Look above why it is the case. By the time you have acquired enough funds to build it, you may have buildings already made with plain Lumber or Stone. (The latter being more sturdy, while normal Lumber is weaker but cheaper.) That's if you don't decide to exploit the Disc-One Nuke or the Billion Gold Fish cheat.
    • Marrying any of the Special Bachelorettes counts too; they have more requirements that need to be fulfilled.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Any Harvest Sprites you find will be able to work on your farm. What they can do for you depends on the colour of their hat and jacket.
    • Red: They can gather eggs, milk and wool from your livestock to send to the shipping bin.
    • Orange: They can gather wood and stone for buildings.
    • Yellow: They care for your animals, increasing their affection.
    • Green: Harvest any grown crops and send them directly to the shipping bin.
    • Sky Blue: Water all crops where they're assigned to.
    • Indigo: They fish in any assigned area, sending the fish directly to the shipping bin.
    • Purple: They help recover stamina in areas you assign them to.
  • Burn the Witch!: A conversation between Witch Princess and Keira shows that the latter tried to get WP killed for being evil. In revenge, Witch Princess put her into a magical coma and locked her away in a mine.
  • Continuity Nod: In the Japanese version of DS, linking it with a copy of Friends of Mineral Town that had linked with a copy of A Wonderful Life will make the grave of your Wonderful Life character appear as DS is set in the same town as A Wonderful Life but 100 years in the future; the English version just makes the grave belong to your Mineral Town character. This is possible in the English version, too. It's just a really bad idea.
  • Cosmetic Award: The Goddess (or Guts, if she hasn't been rescued yet) gives you congratulations for completing milestones. These include completing the Shipped Items, Fishing, and Mining lists, but they also include the repeated acts of shipping items, catching fish, and even taking steps, ranging from 10,000 to 10 billion for each one. Each time, the congratulator remarks that they have no reward for you, though if it's the Harvest Goddess, you do increase her affection.
  • Denser and Wackier: Noticeably more humorous and silly than previous installments, including gratuitous Breaking the Fourth Wall and Flanderization.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • DS has ridiculously exploitable mines. By using savescumming techniques, it's entirely possible to (on the first day of the game) get all of the cursed tools, any (or all) of the cursed accessories, and a huge amount of rare gemstones that can be sold for massive profit. By the end of the second game day, it's possible to have the legendary sword, several million G in the bank, and accessories that give you infinite working potential and twice as much time outdoors to work. Generally players are expected to take several game years to get this sort of bankroll and equipment spread.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Harvest King banishing the Goddess and the sprites for being called a baldy.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The "Best Friends" is thinly veiled same gender marriage. The game also features several female characters wanting to go "play dates" at your house, despite both of you being grown women.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Natsume changed the characters names to be identical to their predecessors, however they didn't remove the other references that imply the game is a Stealth Sequel to AWL and FOMT.
  • Dub Name Change: All of the descendants had a unique name in the Japanese game, yet they were given their predecessors's names in the English game.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: There's an optional ending in DS involving bringing a level 100 poisonous mushroom to the Harvest Festival and putting it into the stew, thus killing off the entire valley and causing the credits to roll. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so difficult to grow such a mushroom in the first place.
  • Eyedscreen: Used extensively in cutscenes.
  • Flanderization: Most of the characters personalities were simplified from previous games, which means several were also flanderized. Popuri, for example, became even more immature than in (More) Friends of Mineral Town.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Nina's death is this, as it takes place during the Time Skip after your child has been born. Identical to what happened in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: DS has a bug where the game will sometimes save improperly, leading to the save becoming corrupt. It is far more common when using a sprite team (especially the fishing team, which is the source of a bug that can make you a billionaire in a night).
  • Gay Option: The first game in the series to have this option, though referred to as "Best Friends".note  However it is only featured in the Japanese version of DS Cute and it's for the Special Bachelorettes.
  • Generation Xerox: All of the descendants look and act the game as their ancestors.
  • Global Currency Exception:
    • The Sprite Casino has tokens you can wager and exchange for prizes. Such as more profitable seeds and very handy trinkets.
    • Also joked about on the "TV 3 Shopping" station: If they're not selling real items you can use, they're selling items specifically for Harvest Sprites, which use the Sprite currency, Korobos. The sprite who runs the station says, "If you use a different currency, sorry."
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There are one-hundred and one Harvest Sprites that needs to be rescued. However you only need to find sixty of them to free the Harvest Goddess (whom you need to save if you plan on getting married.)
  • Hide Your Lesbians: In the Japanese version of Cute, you can become "best friend" with any of the Special bachelorettes. It's marriage in all but name, and even that's wishy-washy (for example, proposing to Leia has her describe it as a proposal and outright say "Let's get married"). You can also become mothers when the Harvest King gifts you a child. The English version of Cute removed the feature, but you can still go through everything but the marriage. You can still see the Heart Events and end up with awfully flirty dialogue that leaves the woman blushing, but you can't "best friend" them.
  • Identical Grandson: If we had not told you that this game was set a hundred years after AWL, you would believe that this was a remake of AWL. However one has to look really closely as the new generation has some slight differences. note 
  • Non Standard Game Over: It is possible to end your game through these means:
    • In the introduction, you can refuse to call off your dog when he attacks Thomas. Then it suddenly fades to white, then cue credits.
    • Marrying a Mineral Town girl in DS will end your game as it is implied you moved to Mineral Town with her. However in DS Cute this no longer applies as the Mineral Town boy of your choosing moves in with you instead.
    • Growing a Level 100 Poison Toadstool, then submitting it to the Harvest Festival will cause you to poison everyone, including yourself.
  • Old Save Bonus: Bonus content is unlocked by connecting them to the GBA games.
  • Parental Bonus:
    • One event in Cute has your friend, Mimi, telling you how she envies you. She married for convenience, whereas you married for love. She wishes she had as nice and romantic a man as your husband. What's so odd about that? She decides to rectify this by announcing that she's going to have an affair with your husband. Your character performs the Heroic Mime equivalent of giving her three "Oh-no-you-di'—n't!" snaps, and she tries to cover herself by claiming she was joking. And this isn't the only adultery joke in the game, oddly...
    • In the Japanese version of Cute, there was a Gay Option however they hid it as the "Best Friends System". They kept the romantic lines intact and you can still have a kid.
    • In Cute, if you are married and Rock isn't, you can see an event with Rock asking you if you would like to hang out with him at the beach. When he realizes that you and him are the only two on the beach, he begins to get a few ideas...but quickly decides against it since he doesn't want your husband angry at him for the rumors about you having an affair that could get around.
    • The idea that you can impregnate Leia is just so ridiculous that the developers couldn't resist making Dr. Hardy lampshade it.
    Dr. Hardy: (to Leia) So you're a mermaid, huh?...Well, never mind.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Flora, Carter, and Griffin are now marriage candidates.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: In the Japanese version Cute, Claire or Pony can end up with a girl instead, but as "Best Friends", even though you still have to propose, you still need the two-person bed in your house, and you eventually adopt a child.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Some Mineral Town and Forget-me-not Valley characters are cousins in this game.
  • Retro Universe: Despite being set a hundred years after A Wonderful Life and Friends of Mineral Town, there is very little change, other than buying a DVD player from Van. Even the DVD player itself might count as the prequel games seem to take place in contemporary times.
  • RPG Elements: The games go surprisingly "RPG-y." The mines are filled up with monsters you have to fight with your tools—there are even "bosses" on some levels—and there's one tool, a Legendary Sword, which exists specifically so you can fight monsters. The same games also have a "Doghouse Battle" mini-game, where you participate in strange fights against the other townspeople in RPG-style.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: The case in DS Cute where you can play as Claire or Pony.
  • Schmuck Bait: If the The Three Little Pigs told you anything, it's that you should never make a building out of straw. While it's the cheapest material, it will collapse on a rainy day.
  • Shout-Out: During Leia's yellow heart cutscene, Daryl yells "Inconceivable!" when you get the glass bottle open with a regular corkscrew.
  • Taught by Experience: In the introduction, Thomas evades your player's attack after insulting your farm mentioning he gotten wise since his encounter with Claire in More Friends of Mineral Town
  • Time Skip:
    • The game begins a whole century after AWL. Strangely, a lot of the characters seem way too similar to their ancestors.
    • The game also skips about 3 years ahead after your child is born, so it's a walking, talking, gift-taking toddler you can interact with. Then it happens again twice when your child grows up, concluding at a teenager.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Zigzagged in the intro sequence. Thomas, the mayor, greets you before the game starts proper. You can either return the greeting, or tell him to go away. Returning the greeting leads to him openly insulting your farm (despite having just started out), which your character will take very poorly. In retaliation, the PC will swing every gardening instrument he has at Thomas, who dodges every blow and accidentally backs into your now-pissed-off dog. At this point, you have the choice to call off your dog and save the mayor or let your dog have him. Doing the latter will end your game right then and there. If you just tell him to fuck off, he'll do precisely that, and you don't have to go through any of this.
    • If you befriend the yeti Mukumuku and give him a Poison Mushroom, there will be a cutscene where he'll get very sick and be taken to Dr. Hardy. At the good doctor's home, he will then scold you for giving the poor animal something dangerous and send you away to think about what you did.

Alternative Title(s): Harvest Moon DS Cute