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Video Game / Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town

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Unleash your inner pioneer!

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is an installment of the Story of Seasons Farm Life Sim series released in 2021, making it the first game of the franchise released on Nintendo Switch to be an original title rather than the Enhanced Remake that Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town was.

The Player Character's grandfather was one of the founders of Olive Town, where he used to run a farm. Impressed by the tale, they decide to move to Olive Town. Unfortunately, the farm was abandoned long ago, turned into a forest lacking even the remnants of a farm house, while what facilities are left are too damaged to be of any use. Olive Town itself is fortunately still standing and its mayor, who knew their grandfather, is fine with giving the Player Character all the help they need to revive the farm to its former glory. He wouldn't mind a little help turning the town into a popular tourist site, either.

From there, it's the standard Story of Seasons formula: manage the farm, befriend the locals, maybe marry and start a family with one of the latter. The means by which the farm is expanded differs from previous installments in the series in that many crops, animals, and farm facilities need to be salvaged from the forest that the farm has become before more of them can be purchased in town, making exploration necessary to bring more variety in. The farm also happens to be on top of a massive archeological site, which results in various ancient artifacts being found after rainy days or in the mines. And the town has a mostly-empty museum that will be all too happy to get those artifacts, photos of local wildlife, and any fish the player can catch.

Downloadable Content was created to be gradually made available after the game's release for a price, including new areas with characters returning from previous Story of Seasons games.

This game provides examples of:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: If you choose to follow Damon's romance path.note  He's a black-clad biker dude with a caffeine addiction. Furthermore, as the only unemployed adult in the game, he apparently has no other means of support than mooching off his family and wandering aimlessly around Olive Town no matter what day it is. Naturally, he turns out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • All-Natural Gem Polish: Averted compared to installments that came before. Here, polishing gems requires a maker.
  • AM/FM Characterization: Damon's first heart event involves him changing the song played on the café's radio to something surprisingly upbeat for his usual aloof behavior.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: One event involves a character briefly looking for a male calico cat, only to be informed that calicos are, barring extremely rare exceptions, all female.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating:
    • Some of the achievement rewards are pieces of furniture. One of them is obtained from upgrading from the tent to the log cabin, which is the smallest house able to accommodate player-selected furniture at all.
    • Each time a wild animal photo is donated, copies of the statue made from it can be purchased from Beth and put on a countertop.
    • If the player ends up with two or more of the same ancient object, whatever is left after the museum donation can be put on a countertop. If there is only one, a reproduction can be purchased from Beth.
  • Benevolent Boss: Misaki, the owner of the Capeside Bistro, is one to Blaire. Blaire's events show her to have come to know Blaire better than her own parents do and to care enough about her to insist on accompanying her when she suspects she's obliviously walking into a Casting Couch situation. The pairing between Blaire and the Player Character are also among those for which Misaki is a Shipper on Deck.
  • Broken Bridge: There is a literal one between the first and second areas of the farm. The rubble between the second and third areas also serves the purpose of making part of the farm unacessible until later in the game. There is yet another literal case between the bulk of the third area and the third mine.
  • But Thou Must!: Once you earn enough hidden points leading up to it, you will have a child bestowed on you and your spouse by the Nature sprites. Other games needed specific triggers and/or home expansions that allowed having a child to be optional, but here it's completely mandatory.
  • Casting Couch: A G-rated mention of this happens in one of Blaire's events. The Player Character, Misaki, Mikey, and Jason stop Blaire as she's about to go meet a producer who said he would talk to the judges of her next audition for her. Misaki is very wary of the fact that Blaire is meeting the producer one on one, and insists upon going with Blaire if she insists on going to meet the producer. Watching the event with this trope in mind makes it easy to figure out what Misaki is afraid Blaire is going to get dragged into.
  • Chubby Mama, Skinny Papa: Sally and Jason are a straight case with Sally being much more heavyset than Jason. An inversion can be found in Sydney and Norman, the latter being the one of the heavyset side. Appropiately for the trope name, both pairs are parents.
  • Cool Bike: When Lars and Damon's motorcycles are seen onscreen, they are shown to both be proper motorcycles with decorative paint jobs, while the Player Character has a quite basic scooter.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The mechanic that allows the Player Character to "divorce" their spouse plays out as one of these, as it, in practice, creates a version of the playthrough where eveything is the same, except that the proposal to the spouse never happened. They'll stay at the same level of affection you had before marriage.
  • Developers' Desired Date: The base game has content that unlocks only if the Player Character marries Iori, while it doesn't show up if they marry any of the other marriage candidates.
  • Fishing Minigame: Fishing takes some attention, as starting to reel a fish in causes a meter to appear and indicate whether the button should be pressed or released, alongside how close the fish is to actually being caught.
  • From New York to Nowhere: An early shot of the game shows the Player Character riding their motorcyle away from a large city.
  • G-Rated Drug: Damon's coffee addiction is basically there to establish him as an edgy bad boy in a family-friendly setting.
  • Gay Groom in a White Tux: Implied, if a male player character picks the white tuxedo for their marriage; however, it's more of a light grey. Having it happen on purpose with a male partner takes forward knowledge of your groom's wedding outfit, which is supposed to be a surprise during normal gameplay. Ralph's wedding tux has a white jacket with black pants, while Emilio's is completely white. Damon's wedding tux is black, so it can be done with the white tux. Jack will show up in a navy blue tux, while Iori wears a colorful Far East style outfit—which prevents playing the trope in any shape or form with the two of them.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Bridget's bedroom has an animal-lover theme to it, which includes the presence of a few stuffed animals. She's the only resident of Olive Town to own any at all.
  • Gratuitous French: Karina, the fashion designer staying in town who runs the clothing shop after it's built, sometimes greets the Player Character with a "Bonjour". She also drops a "magnifique" in the cutscene announcing the opening of her shop and an "à bientôt" at the end of transactions.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: One of Marcos and Manuela's possible responses to receiving a present includes a "Gracías". The entire family's other dialog is peppered with too many random Spanish words to count.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: One event consists of Cindy trying to get out of spending time with Mikey by pretending to have other plans, and promptly enlisting Jacopo to pretend the two of them were planning on going shopping. Mikey, however, decides he wants to go shopping as well. Cindy gets out of that by pretending to have changed her mind about shopping and decided she wants to do the activity she and Mikey were initially supposed to do together.
  • Insistent Terminology: The sprites that gather about and help you are all earth sprites, not nature sprites or harvest sprites. Helps that they're all brown and egg shaped, rather than humanoid.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The "divorce" mechanic is really a Cosmic Retcon creating a version of the present day in which the proposal and the wedding never happened, but literally everything else is the same including the affection level with your former spouse. Any children will also be removed as if they never were there.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Because of the assassin who is after him, Iori eventually tries to get the Player Character to stop spending time with him. Continuing his Romance Sidequest past that point is effectively defying this trope. Appropriately, he brings this up in the last event that happens before the Player Character can make Iori their official boyfriend.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness:
    • The number of festivals was drastically cut, reducing the special days in each season to just two: one Mini-Game type festival and a cut scene type festival, with one of the two being for ongoing couples. Ironically, the festivals that were dropped are those that actually involve farming, meaning no one's going to care that much about the quality of your crops and vesture.
    • Needing makers to get wood into a form usable as building materials. In previous games, it was a matter of hitting wood with an axe, while makers tended to be for processing farm products.
    • In keeping with the aversion of All-Natural Gem Polish, other crafting materials that the player would have found in a ready-to-use form in previous games are now found in a more raw version that needs to be processed in a maker to be usable.
    • The child is obtained by mystical means regardless of the type of pairing the Player Character is in. Since previous games had a local medical professional who existed partly to assist with the birth of the Player Character's child, the lack of a doctor or at least a resident who happens to be a midwife is quite noticeable.
  • Latino Is Brown: Between the names and the Gratuitous Spanish that sometimes comes out of Marcos and Manuela's mouth, there are plenty of indications that Emilio's brown-skinned family is supposed to be Latino.
  • Littering Is No Big Deal:
    • One event happens because Jacopo gets his wallet mixed up with a banana peel and throws his wallet into the sea. That method of disposal isn't quite ideal for a banana peel, either.
    • Parts of Jack's Romance Sidequest involve Cindy getting the idea that snowglobes are meant to be thrown into the sea when angry at someone and later acting on that belief, despite the fact that snowglobes are one of the worse things to throw into water, if only because they are made of glass.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The presence of loading screens between some areas is especially noticeable for a franchise that had been averting this trope for several installments before this one.
  • Magical Divorce: You can request a divorce through the shrine of the nature goddess. The divorce is a Cosmic Retcon that will revert the relationship to the status it was at before the proposal (and cause the couple's child to vanish if they have one).
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Linh's grandfather Nguyen and Jack's grandmother Jessie are about the same height as Mikey and Cindy, the local young children. It's especially noticeable with Jessie, who is Cindy's grandmother and hence lives under the same roof as her.
  • Mock Millionaire: Lovett, the local gourmet. At first glance, he lives in a nice house and wears nice clothes. Except that the only other room in his house besides the ornate dining room and living room combo is a tiny bare room that functions as both his kitchen and his bedroom. The bed itself is a mess of Pauper Patches, which are also present on the back of his coat.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Damon is frequently about to have yet another cup of coffee in his dialog, and several of his favorite gifts are coffee products, the one he likes the most among them being a plain, no-frills, ready to drink cup of coffee.
  • Nerf: Cooked dishes no longer sell better than the ingredients used to make them would have, and take in-game time to cook, encouraging the player to stick to using them as gifts, Power-Up Food, or towards Lovett's challenges, rather than the money maker they could be in previous games.
  • Nobody Here but Us Birds: The assassin sent after Iori sometimes meows like a cat in response to his presence being detected. Iori's first heart event involves passing off his one-sided conversation with his would-be assassin as talking to a cat who is trying to stealthily steal his fishing catches, precisely because the assassin consistently resorts to meowing.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Unlike other games, you won't kiss, overtly flirt with, or even be visually affectionate with your romantic partner. While there's a heart event for every level of affection, they're chaste, purely interactive, and don't have any wrong answers that will upset your partner. You're married by coming down the town steps together in your wedding finery, standing in front of the townsfolk and hearing some rules from the mayor (while you stand side by side with neutral expressions) and then agreeing to them, some kind words from close townfolk, and then you each sign a marriage record. And your child—which you will be having if you stay married long enough—is a Wonder Child gifted to you by nature that only you pick up, with your spouse none the wiser til you come home with them.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Iori's Romance Sidequest, which involves him dealing with an assassin who was sent after him because of the very sort of politics he moved to Olive Town to escape from, would belong in a few genres. Farm Life Sim is definitely not one of them, however.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Some events between townspeople involve the Player Character, but frequently have them go along with what is already happening without having any say in them. They are sometimes little more than a bystander, with the other participants barely noticing they are present at all.
  • Real Men Take It Black: Damon is shown asking Sally for black coffee during an event taking place in the café.
  • Rescue Romance: Laura's first event consists of her preventing the Player Character from drowning after they go to try and fect Jacopo's wallet out of the water.
  • Ret-Gone: Since the divorce is really more of a Cosmic Retcon, any divorce happening after you getting a child will cause them to simply disappear.
  • Secret Character: Iori's would-be assassin temporarily becomes a resident of Olive Town, complete with a friendship meter and events to unlock, if the Player Character marries Iori.
  • The Slacker: Jacopo seems to be only interested in lazing around. He only has his current job because his father, Victor, forced Georg's hand in the hope that having a job would change his attitude. One event has Georg vent about Jacopo's lack of work ethic to the Player Character. Jacopo responds to overhearing that conversation by suggesting that he might be more motivated if he had a beautiful wife, hence Georg should find one for him if he wants him to work harder.
  • Through His Stomach: On top of the option to gift food to love interests being alive and well, Emilio's first heart event consists of him giving up on the last piece of a specific cake sold at the bistro so the Player Character can have a taste. He then has Misaki put it on his tab, making him effectively buy food for the Player Character out of nowhere.
  • Two Men, One Dress: During one event, the horse the Player Character runs into turns out to be Jacopo and Victor sharing a horse costume.
  • Umpteenth Customer: One of Jack's heart events starts off that way, only for Cindy to reveal that he has been faking it in front of various customers as a pretext to give away snow globes that he hasn't been able to sell.
  • Unknown Item Identification: The ancient items that can be found are presented as small bags that need to be brought to Reina, who works in the museum, so their contents can be identified.
  • Uptown Girl: Discussed and defied in Iori's confession event. Iori points out that he pretty much self-exiled and renounced any birthright from his country of origin, hence he considers his romance with the Player Character to not truly be an interclass one.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: Despite the franchise being as family-friendly as one can get, providing the player with a camera in a game with Dating Sim elements has exactly the results one would expect. And the online features include getting pictures taken by other players on their loading screens. The backsides of wild mammals and My Eyes Are Up Here shots of the bachelorettes are recurring themes.
  • Waiting for a Break: Blaire, the local young waitress, wants to become a movie star.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Taken even further than previous installments. Here, the choice of name and gender is completely separate from the character creation interface, so it's entirely possible for the player to make a character with the most feminine presentation allowed by the available options and then tell Victor that they're his old friend's grandson. Or vice-versa. Even wedding outfits aren't tied to gender this time: there are two choices of tuxedos, a feminine pantsuit, and a bridal dress, with all four being available regardless of what Victor was told at the beginning.
  • Wonder Child: Regardless of the genders of the paired couple—same-sex or opposite-sex—you'll always get a child the same way: an earth sprite shows up, leads you off and shows you a baby they found in the woods, and gives it to you to go raise with your partner—who had no idea this would happen until you show up with the kid. The kid still has either your hair color/eye color/skin tone, or that of your partner's, depending on how you look at the day of the event. The child will grow through toddlerhood and into a child, but has no relationship values with you—and if you decide to divorce your spouse and end the marriage, they disappear from existence. This was somewhat foreshadowed in that—unlike most other games in the series—there's no doctor or midwife in town at all.