The first Harvest Moon (now known as Story of Seasons) title of the The Sixth Generation, Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland (Ranch Story 3: Ignite the Fire in the Heart in Japan) was released on Playstation 2 in 2001.
You play as a young man (whose Canon Name is "Toy" according to the letter on his hat) from the city who is asked by his father to take care of his deceased grandfather's farm. When you arrive on the farm, you see several Harvest Sprites discussing how to stop the local town from being turned into an amusement park. As you're a rare human who can see Harvest Sprites, they ask you to help them with their mission. After the Harvest Goddess blesses you, you begin your task.
Save the Homeland is an oddball amongst the series. You are only given one year to save the village, however there are several different endings that can be achieved. Though the game features several bachelorettes, you can not marry any of them (and as a result, can't have children). As a result of these changes, Save the Homeland is often ignored by fans, though it has an ever-growing group of fans.
The game was later remade on the Playstation Portable as Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley. Amongst redesigning the characters and adding new characters, Hero of Leaf Valley added back in the marriage system. Many of the characters were reused in Harvest Moon: Magical Melody.
This game contains examples of:
- A Winner Is You: Upon completing all the endings, you get a black screen with "Conglaturation" on it. Yes, with that exact spelling.
- Community-Threatening Construction: The plot revolves around your character trying to find one of several paths to stop the town from becoming an amusement park. These include things like discovering protected animals or finding treasure.
- Defrosting the Ice Queen:
- Dia acts cold and antisocial. She admits to acting this way because she doesn't like interacting with people. Once you befriend her, she begins opening up.
- Kurt is initially standoffish and introverted until you befriend him.
- Toy is obviously based off the protagonist from the first games. He is the first male Harvest Moon protagonist to not be Pete, however he is essentially a more Bishōnen Pete with a ponytail.
- Bob aesthetically resembles Zack from Harvest Moon 64 and Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
- Gina is a shy glasses-wearing girl like Maria/Mary from 64 and Back To Nature.
- Gwen is a lot like Ann from 64. They're both tomboyish teenagers who work around animals and have Tomboyish Ponytails.
- Parsley looks near-identical to Basil from 64, shares his love of plants, and has a plant-based him like him as well.
- Lyla is a younger, flirtier version of Lillia from 64.
- Eyes Always Shut: Like Lillia, Lyla always has her eyes shut. She only briefly opens them in one rare cutscene. She has purple eyes.
- Family Theme Naming: Toy is the protagonist's name. His deceased grandfather was named "Tony".
- First-Name Basis: Gina initially calls you "sir" but switches to your name if you befriend her.
- From Stray to Pet: You have to befriend the dog before you can own it. There are two dogs: the traditional Beagle and a larger Husky.
- Guide Dang It!: Quite a few of the endings don't give strong indications of what needs to be done to achieve them.
- Not a Morning Person: The Harvest Goddess won't grant wishes prior to 9 AM.
- Oblivious to Love: Lyla likes Parsley but doesn't realize that Louis likes her.
- Older than They Look:
- Joe is actually older than Kurt. He is 22 but looks and acts more like a 17 or 18 year old.
- 16-year old Katie often gets mistaken for a preteen due to her sweet lolita fashion sense.
- Pint-Sized Kid: 12-year old Tim is only 4'8.
- Perpetual Smiler: Lyla rarely ever has a neutral expression or a frown. It is, however, noted that just because she's smiling doesn't mean she isn't sad or angry.
- Real Men Hate Sugar: Joe and Kurt aren't fond of sweets.
- The Shut-In: Dia never leaves her villa. Neither does Martha.
- Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Dia's servant Gina has long, light blue hair and is very shy.
- Super-Deformed: The individual character official art for the characters are super deformed, though the in-game models are not.
- Sweet Tooth:
- Dia loves sweets and blueberries.
- Katie wants to become a baker and thus loves sweets. However, she gets offended when given cake because she sees it as a challenge.
- Theme Naming: The three Harvest Sprites are named "Nic", "Nak", and "Flak".
- Vague Age: Averted All There in the Manual. Dia is seventeen, Gwen is seventeen, Katie is sixteen, and Lyla is twenty-two. Bob is twenty-six, Joe is twenty-two, Kurt is twenty-one, Louis is twenty-four, and Parsley is twenty-one. The protagonist is twenty-one as well.
- What the Hell, Hero?: If an animal dies, a dramatic cutscene will occur. Afterwards you are not allowed to work the entire day. The death of an animal will also negatively impact your relationship with some of the villagers.