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Video Game / Hometown Story

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A Simulation Game developed by TOYBOX. It takes place in the same universe as its sister series, Harvest Moon, but otherwise is very different.

A major difference between the two is you inherit a store instead of a farm. It starts out small and your long-term task concerning it is to expand it so you can have more customers and encourage more people to move into town. It also focuses less on romance and more on general bonding than the recent Harvest Moon titles. While the latter sometimes had limited or inexistent benefits to befriending non-bachelors/bachelorettes, here befriending all named characters is just as necessary to get new items to sell and new people to move in as running a profitable business. There is a catch to this, however: your store is perpetually open from 6 AM to midnight, so you have to find a balance between manning the store and exploring the town to get new stock and befriend your new neighbors. Some game progression events are rewarded with blue feather fragments. With every seven collected, you get a full blue feather you can use to make a villager's wish come true.


Hometown Story provides examples of:

  • Art-Style Dissonance: The game has a cutesy art style, but has some dark moments. Harvey's death, for example.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Well, Sister Mentor. Lily to Cling and Clang, quite literally.
  • Boobs of Steel: Lily has the biggest chest among the female cast, is a blacksmith and proves to be physically stronger than both Wilhem and Jack.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During his fourth date event, when Shinji appears in the shop, he tells her not to bother with the Yes/No selection box this time and asks her to just come with him.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Haruka always calls her mother "Miyo," even in conversation with her. Possibly this is due to Miyo's spaciness rather than any distance between them, because Haruka clearly loves her mother regardless.
  • Camera Screw: Up there with the Guide Dang It! elements below in the elements that can drive away new players. It can get outright disorienting on the store and waterfall maps and also has angles that are used only in front of house doors; the worse cases of the latter are Jacques and Shinji's houses, that cause an abrubt 180° angle switch, which can easily make the player do an involuntary u-turn.
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  • Character Customization: You can choose your hair color and eye color and choose from a collection of clothes.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Steve was friends with the player character as a child, and is a bachelor if you play as a girl.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Haruka to her mother Miyo, who easily gets distracted to the point of not noticing when she drops things and forgetting her stuff at other people's houses.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Out of the six sets of people known to be of the same family, four have an obvious theme to their clothing. Pink for the restaurant family, the blacksmiths have basically identical outfits, the hunters are in white and red and the female farmers have a yellow and orange theme.
  • Creature of Habit: Carl, who has a quite consistent schedule and a big clock and watch collection.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: The hunter and blacksmith familys display this. Personality-wise, Wilhem fits the bill best due being an enthusiastic hunter with an ego that comes off as inflated at times.
  • Death of a Child: In Dexter's backstory, later with Harvey.
  • Deus ex Machina: The blue feather in the cutscenes in which you use it. Its effects can range from curing a Cannot Spit It Out to adding a new building to the village.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: The fragments for your second blue feather and the following ones will show up in the morning after a day of taking good enugh care of the shop. However, receiving a new blue feather fragment is mutually exclusive with the cutscenes from the post-wedding event chains. If you natural rhythm with the shop is good enough that you get a new blue feather fragment every morning or almost so, you may need to intentionally neglect it to move your spouse's event chain along.
  • Expy:
  • Engineered Heroics: Clarissa sets this up by buying the expensive jewlery, then asking the main character to claim it was stolen so she can "find" it.
  • Establishing Character Moment: All new named characters have a scene in which they are shown arriving into town. While some are just seen strolling in, others quite clearly display their quirks. Miyo is seen accidentally dropping stuff while Haruka cleans up behind her and Jacques comes in walking in zig-zags as if he's looking for something.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When the monster pumpkin awakens, Sue berates Miyo for growing it in the first place. However, the latter was a very long process, the later part of which was visible to anyone who walked by Miyo's yard. One would think that Sue would have more than enough time to notice what was happening before things got out of control.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Dexter views his part in a little girl's death some years ago as this.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The fact that Shinji is right about Helena's true nature is hinted at by the fact that you first see her on a rainy day, she's one of the rainy day-only customers at the shop and she's the only main character with no clear home of her own.
    • Harvey trips on a rock during his date with Sue, narrowly avoids getting hit by an axe while being taught to cut wood by Jack and has one of the toys Dexter bought for Rin in his secret fort. For that matter, the reveal that a child died while playing some years ago is the first hint that Infant Immortality does not apply to the game.
    • The monster detector event seems like yet another "Jacques being The Load" event until the very end where the detector starts beeping in the scarecrow's presence, but the implications are ignored as Pochica assumes Jacques just got a defective machine. Jacques himself thinks it's reacting to a bird that happens to be on the scarecrow at the time.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Almost literally. The marriage-specific events you get with each bachelor are three dates, a confession event that is usually disguised as a fourth date and a proposal event, where you choose if you want to get married or not.
  • Game Changer: Some villagers already live in town when the game starts, but their story arcs don't unfold until one of the newcomers moves in:
    • Lamisa for Philip, who takes her in and is the most involved in helping her get used to the village.
    • Peter for Yumi, with whom he bonds overs their common interest in flowers.
    • Dexter for Bobby, giving the latter the opportunity to expose his Hidden Heart of Gold.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Carl is a punctual guy and parts of his story explictly happen at precise times according to him, but cutscenes usually have a bracket of at least two hours during which they can be triggered. The time at which they actually happen may hence be in contradiction with his dialogue.
    • One of Harvey's cutscenes happens because using his stilts prevent him from holding a potted flower, but he has no problem lugging a bottle of fruit juice half his size halfway accross the store during casual shopping.
  • Guide Dang It!: A lot of the game is not properly explained, even in the manual:
    • One example of this are the passwords in the ledger (Passwords earned in the 3DS version are used for bonuses in a yet-to-be-released smartphone version).
    • Another example is that the only way you can obtain wood (used for shop expansions) is to purchase it from the merchant who shows up at your shop at 2 PM.
    • You also can't use any tools to gather items to sell, you can only pick things up that are laying on the ground, or purchase them from other shops and resell them at your own. It is possible to fish (possibly only in the EU version), but for this you just need to stand at a dedicated fishing point and press A (the fishing rod seems to come out of Hammerspace).
    • Some of the cutscences triggered by going into some parts of town require a specific weather and time of day combination. If there is a part of day where you are consistently at the store, you can easily miss some.
    • There are (hidden) friendship levels in the game, that need to be raised to trigger some cutscenes.
    • The manual encourages you to focus on the store, when in reality exploring the town on a regular basis in necessary to get at least half of what the game has to offer.
    • If you want to play ball with Pochica again, you need to got talk to him in your room while the shop is open. This also necessary for one of the blue feather cutscenes.
  • Generic Cuteness: The Game's art style relies heavily on this.
  • Hands Off My Fluffy!: Miyo's reaction to a random monster attacking the full-grown monster pumpkin.
  • I Choose to Stay: Lamisa, should you sell Philip the boat ticket and use the blue feather
  • Inspector Lestrade: Jacques quite regularly does this, but it once happened to Clarissa when they deciced to compete to figure out who set Jacques' house on fire. The Player Character is better than both of them at solving mysteries, and is a Shopkeeper.
  • Interface Spoiler: The ledger keeping track of the population gives a couple of things away:
    • The golden watch necklace can be seen on Carl's sprite before he actually acquires it.
    • By default, it lists members of the same family one after the other. This includes a family tie that is only revealed long after the involved characters are introduced.
  • Irony:
    • Shinji is frequently seen going to the temple on cloudy days in hope of metting a god, but not when it's rainy. If you speak to him on a rainy day, he'll have a line of dialogue in which he assumes that gods don't like rain. Guess what is one of the requirements for the player to be able to talk to the Harvest God outside of cutscenes.
    • Carl intially refuses to let Ember move into town due to being in a Tragic Bigot situation towards monsters. His old friend the scarecrow is actually a transformed monster.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • Both Carl and the scarecrow consider to have a part in Aisha's accident. Carl for being late at their date, the scarecrow for not being able to keep up an interesting conversation while she was waiting for him. She got injured on a walk she took because she was tired of waiting.
    • Anna gets a period of this after Harvey's death, due to having encouraged him take care of himself and rely on others as little as possible.
  • Just Woke Up That Way: The scarecrow's transition from his real form to the current one happened this way.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Aside from a handful that can be bought from the stores (such as Haruka's early quests that require objects sold by the blacksmiths by default), all purchasable key items come from the 2 PM merchant, who has a random chance of having a given one.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Midori is Shinji's mother.
  • Magic Feather: One of the blue feather custscenes doesn't actually consume the blue feather because of this trope.
  • Mayfly–December Friendship: Sue, the sprites and the Harvest God to the protagonist and whichever villagers they happen to be friends with as well.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Harvey's crush on Sue.
  • Mythology Gag: The farms in the town come off as parodies of Harvest Moon farms. Mika is your reliable source of milk and eggs with only one cow and one chicken in her care. Miyo and Haruka have a patch of land about the same size of their house and sell fruit from several different trees, despite not having a single one in their garden.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After he failed to keep a little girl from falling off a cliff, Dexter thought the least he could do was bring her body back to her family. That made them assume he killed her and he didn't outright deny it due to feeling responsible for it.
  • Nominal Importance: Downplayed. While even minor villagers have names, only the main ones (those you actually need to befriend) will display it along with portrait when you speak with them.
  • One of the Kids: Sue, who's a regular accomplice to the young boys in the "Harvey and Peter being kids"-type events, but is technically two centuries old. At least Jack seems to actually consider her a child, as he only feels comfortable letting "the kids" (including Sue) have a bonfire only if the Player Character is supervising.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Steve, one of the bachelors, is the only youngster with both his parents around.
    • Yumi, who looks younger than the bachelorettes and the female main character, seems to be living alone.
    • Both justified (due to being from out of town) and a plot point for Shinji.
    • A later Miyo-Haruka event has the latter mention her father.
  • Permanently Missable Content: If you go on a date wearing the second free outfit Sunny makes for you, you later get a follow-up cutscene while visiting her. However, the random nature of the game can lead the player to do all nine dating events before even acquiring the outfit, hence losing the cutscene opportunity.
  • Playable Epilogue: You can get more blue feather fragments is you continue running the store after using up the first one. Both your wedding and Lamisa's events have cutscenes that follow up to the one in which you actually use the blue feather.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Sue, who looks teenage at the oldest but actually clocks at little more than two centuries.
  • Shopkeeper: The Player Character.
  • Significant Sketchbook: Harvey's sketchbook is important to his storyline after he dies.
  • Slice of Life: Many of the events are basically this.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Harvest Moon and arguably Animal Crossing. Due to the presence of monsters, the setting itself comes off as closer to that of Rune Factory, which is Harvest Moon with RPG Elements.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: In one of her "post blue feather" scenes, Lamisa turns out to have been doing this regarding her name. "Lamisa" is not actually her name but her native language's equivalent to "thank you". She never bothered to correct anyone once she had a better handle on the local language.
  • Shared Universe: With Harvest Moon and River King
  • Thriving Ghost Town: As per Harvest Moon tradition. The town caps at 100 inhabitants, but can support a general store (you), two blacksmith shops, a restaurant, an Inn, a tailor and a fisherman.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Several characters, including the player, end up with one after Harvey's death.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Accidental due to the Guide Dang It!. It's quite easy to find out about a certain tragic and irreversible event while looking up the game on the Internet. While it eventually needs to happen to complete the story, the player has the power to delay it via keeping specific key items off the shelves.
    • During normal gameplay, both the scarecrow and Aisha stick to one area of town and never show up in the store, which means you have to pay them a special visit to talk to them.
  • Warp Whistle: The wind flute lets you teleport to a chosen part of the map, which is quite useful since the round trip to some stores on foot can take up to three hours.
  • Wham Episode: Harvey's death.
  • Wham Line: The first thing you hear of Dexter's past comes from someone who's convinced he killed someone.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Near the end of his introductory cutscene in which he fails to figure out what happened to Carl's missing watch, Jacques decides to check the time. Guess what he pulls out of his pocket.
    • When you give the broomstick to the scarecrow, he jumps out of enthuiasm. A later event confirms he can actually leave his usual spot if he wishes.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Lily is scared of ghosts.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Shinji calls this trope out by name in one of his date events.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: The minor villagers, which exist only to fill up the village and be customers, have a range of different models much lower than their actual number.


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