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YMMV / Harvest Moon 64

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: It's easy to interpret Gotz as abusive towards his family. He's a quick-tempered alcoholic whose daughter avoids him and whose wife is timid. He's always getting into arguments with Karen and a flashback shows him locking her in the cellar as a child. Whether Karen and Sasha's attitudes are simply due to the vineyard failing or something else is kept ambiguous.
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  • Awesome Music: The Autumn theme
  • Even Better Sequel: This is the game that codified many of the tropes of the Harvest Moon franchise, and it's still considered one of the best games in the series, if not the best.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • Karen is a Hard-Drinking Party Girl. Most players might think she just happens to like wine. If you look deeper, she is a Broken Bird from a broken home. She's drowning her sorrows.
    • The main character is the grandson of the protagonist in Harvest Moon for the SNES, and each of the five eligible bachelorettes are implied to be the granddaughters of the eligible bachelorettes in that game. If we assume the main caharcter in Harvest Moon married one of the bachelorettes in that game, then when playing Harvest Moon 64 you have a 1 in 5 chance of marrying either your first or second cousin.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Greenhouse; not only does it allow you to grow any crop in any season, but since being inside it counts as indoors, time will not pass inside it, thus allowing you to tend to and harvest a ton of crops without advancing the ingame clock, increasing your profits to insane levels if abused while saving you several hours daily of ingame time to spend on other endeavors. And it has a ton of space inside too, allowing you to grow an absolute mass of crops if you're willing to spend the real world time to do so. The Greenhouse does have a very expensive monetary and lumber cost, but it's not outrageously so (you can afford it in about a month or so if you're diligent), and once you do get it, you'll be bringing in so much money that monetary costs become irrelevant. It can also get destroyed by typhoons, but by that point you would have gotten so much money from it that you'll be able to easily afford a new one, and it's easily avoidable by Save Scumming since it's just a low random chance it happens during the rare typhoon. It's not surprising that Greenhouses have rarely been brought back in future games.
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    • The fatigue mechanic only comes into play if you go to sleep (or advance to the next day) with your fatigue maxed out, where you then get a cold and lose the entirety of the next day. As long as you go to sleep with your fatigue at least one point below the maximum, you'll wake up just fine the next day and have no ill effects at all. So to completely break it, you can ensure you'll never get a cold by doing something to reduce your fatigue before you go to bed (such as using the bathroom or just eating a cheap Medicinal Herb), making your fatigue build up and the amount of sleep you get completely irrelevant (since your stamina gets restored to full each new day regardless of how much sleep you get). Abuse this and you can stay up really late every night without consequence, increasing your profit margins to ridiculous amounts before you even get a Greenhouse.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Full of 'em!
    • Karen likes dogs, and showing your dog to her increases her affection for you. However, due to a glitch, this affection boost isn't limited by the "only works once per day" rule, so you can get Karen from "doesn't know you from a hole in the ground" to "madly and passionately in love with you" by repeatedly talking to her while holding your dog.
    • The Betting Mini Game at the horse and dog races allows you to cancel your bid, which gives you back your money. But, thanks to a glitch, the refund doesn't actually cancel the bet you made, allowing you to get the benefits of betting on a race without any of the risk.
    • One glitch made your dog disappear if you left him in your bathroom. He would still bark in response to you blowing the whistle in there, but he'd never show up. Sometimes referred to as "flushing your dog down the toilet".
    • Attacking cows and sheep when they are sick or angry causes them to gain affection.
    • The regular Power Berry the Kappa gives you not only boosts your max stamina, but also permanently halves your fatigue gain. Normally the Kappa is supposed to give you that Power Berry and a separate special blue Power Berry with the fatigue-reducing effect, but due to a bug this effect applies to the regular Power Berry, while the blue Power Berry ended up doing nothing.
  • Good Bad Translation: There were more than a few quirks with the translation, like items being called different things depending on where you checked, but the most amusing was definitely Natsume spelling their own name wrong on the title screen. (They used "Natume", which is technically correct, but obviously inconsistent with the usual translation.)
  • Growing the Beard: General consensus is that this game was where Harvest Moon started to become good.
    • 64 introduced many mechanics and features that would later be used in future installments such as rivals, extensions on your house, and interactive festivals that could earn the player in-game rewards, all of which felt like the player was making more progress.
    • The romance aspect was greatly improved compared to the original game. The subplots were more personal, the characters were more developed, and the bachelorettes had more consistent character traits - in the previous title, the bachelorettes all talked and acted the same way after they were married; the only thing that changed depending on who you romanced was your wife's hair color. In 64, the ladies' characteristics and models stay consistent, and there's a few unique events with each of them after they're married.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Harris is in love with with the mayor's daughter, Maria. Come Harvest Moon: Back to Nature and Harris is the mayor's child.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Elli bemoans her weight a few times and envies Popuri, but Elli doesn't seem much bigger than the other girls in her official art.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: Often cited as one of the best Story of Seasons games, despite how few people have even played it. The game cart has become a fairly desirable collector's item as a result. The Wii U Virtual Console release helped relieve some of this.
  • Narm Charm: Most of the pink heart romance scenes are overtly cheesy and rely on a lot of coincidences, but are played so perfectly straight that they loop back around to being genuinely heartwarming and sweet.
  • Porting Disaster: The Wii U release suffers from some slight lag because the game was designed for 1990s televisions. This doesn't affect most of the game, but fishing becomes near impossible.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Fishing is very hard in 64 compared to future titles (or even the previous titles), as it requires unforgivingly fast reaction speed, with fishes not staying on the hook for more than a split second, which gets exacerbated when playing on non-gaming monitors with high display lag. In the Wii U release, it's even more difficult due to that version having additional input lag, which when combined with playing on a monitor with significant display lag, can make fishing on reaction effectively impossible.
    • If you marry Karen, she'll sometimes crate your eggs in the morning. This can be annoying if you wanted to gift someone an egg that day, but it's especially annoying when she accidentally drops all the eggs, meaning you don't make a profit off of them that day.
  • Sequel Displacement: HM64 is more known of than the original SNES Harvest Moon. However, the PlayStation counterpart, Back to Nature, features many of the same characters (though with different relationships and different personalities) and is far better remembered than HM64. This is largely due to the fact the GBA game Friends of Mineral Town (which is essentially an enhanced port of Back to Nature with slightly different personalities from the Playstation version) was the first Harvest Moon game played by a great deal of fans. HM64's version of the characters were basically ignored by Marvelous until Tree of Tranquility, when Gray and Elli are referenced to in their original roles.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Mostly subverted. Despite Harvest Moon: Back to Nature using the same characters from Harvest Moon 64, and changed their pairing around, the fans are civil about it. It probably helps since Harvest Moon Back to Nature made it clear that even though the characters look the same, they are completely different characters. There are still a fee arguments here and there about the more popular pairs, like Popuri/Gray vs Popuri/Kai vs Karen/Kai.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: The Invincible Katori was the source of many rumors. While it is simply one of the many decorative items for your house, being one of the first available lead to players speculating that it had a hidden effect. The most common belief was that it decreased the chances of the greenhouse getting destroyed by a typhoon.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Some American fans have turned heads at Kai, an Ambiguously Brown man, working at a vineyard where he calls his white bosses formal terms like "the master". To Japan, that doesn't bring to mind the same impressions. Kai is just a polite man and his skin tone doesn't mean anything special. Kai's dialogue is also tampered down by the awkward English translation, leading to an element of Lost in Translation.
    • If Cliff and Ann get married, oftentimes you'll come across Cliff with a bruised eye. He nonchalantly explains that he got it from a fight with Ann last night, but the two have since made up. It's never explored how Cliff got the bruise (did Ann punch him or did he fall?) and whether this is supposed to be taken as a comedic scene or whether it's a seriously done case of Domestic Abuse. Either way, no other game depicts Ann as bruising up Cliff.
    • Jeff and Elli's relationship has elements of Wife Husbandry. Jeff helped take care up Elli growing up, but he's also her rival love interest. Despite this, the wife husbandry isn't as heavy as the game implies. Jeff has only been in Flowerbud a decade and is only 30, so he presumably met Elli when she was 9-13 and he was in his early 20s. Their relationship is more akin to a Precocious Crush. Nevertheless, future games avoid similar relationships and Jeff is aged up to be Karen's biological father.
    • Measels is a serious disease, but the characters treat your child's Sick Episode as if it's as mundane as a cold. This was a common reaction prior to the 2010s.
  • Woolseyism: The Dub Name Changes (for example, "Ann" instead of the Japanese name "Ran") are preferred over the originals.


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