- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Scrappy Mechanic: Fishing is very hard in 64 compared to future titles (or even the previous titles). It requires pinpoint accuracy and speed.
- 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.
- Tear Jerker: Ellen's death, if you marry Elli. Not only do you get to see Ellen die on-screen (even though it's a peaceful, non-violent death), Elli goes into a full-blown Heroic BSoD. Talking to her will have her remark that "nothing's worth doing. Nothing tastes good." And, in a case of being relatively realistic about it, it takes more-or-less an entire season before Elli even starts to feel better.
- 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, sometimes 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.
YMMV / Harvest Moon 64