Crops, Cows and Kooks - The Harvest Moon(ish) Medithread - Rune Factory 4, Story of Seasons, HM: Animal Parade

(Click the picture to go to the respective post)

—The Thread—
It’s another multi-helping of Harvest Moon, except this time it’s mostly not. Two of the franchise’s finest, coop-flown children on the 3DS, alongside one of their more inexplicable older cousins on the Wii.

Why these three?
I held a poll after the conclusion of my previous two Harvest Moon LPs to find out which HM games people would most like to see LP’d. RF4 got the grand bastard majority of the votes by far, with SoS and AP tying respectably in second place. I’ve wanted to do something with all three of these games, so here we are doing them all at once!

—The LPs—
Rune Factory 4 has recurring viewer interaction. Goons will frequently be asked to vote or make suggestions for everything from animal names to who I woo. Story of Seasons and Animal Parade, since less people wanted to see them, will be played/named/wooed/etc at my own discretion.

RF4 is co-commentated by BigTUnit1 from parts 1-7, then by Skippy Granola and YamiNoSenshi, and SoS and AP by Skippy and Yami. Additional guest commentators are welcome but not guaranteed. If you would like to join for a part, let me know; people I know or have plenty of commentary experience are preferred, and people with knowledge of Harvest Moon, Rune Factory or Story of Seasons are welcome for discussion and their thoughts on it.

Spoiler Policy:

  • Rune Factory 4: No spoilers for the story or characters at all! Other things should be kept in spoiler tags, like secrets.
  • Story of Seasons and Animal Parade: Keep story points or secrets in spoiler tags. There’s not much about ether that’s too surprising or anything, but let’s just be safe.

Additional Livestreams

(By ChibiWisdom)

(By NullBlack)

(By mischievousart)

(By LordHippoman)

(By peachteadreams)

(By crthemighty)

(By Miz Kriss)


—The Game—
Rune Factory is a Fantasy, Action RPG spinoff of Bokujou Monogatari (AKA: Harvest Moon in the West until 2014, when copyright/localization madness led to it being renamed Story of Seasons) by Neverland Co. You can farm and kill things! And you’re supposed to, this time.

RF4, in turn, is the culmination of all of the experimentation Neverland did with the admittingly odd genre mix. While the previous games had good ideas, RF4 has tightened all of its mechanics into one of the most entertaining, most addicting, and all-around best of any games on the 3DS or tangentially related to Bokujou Monogatari.

The story is such:
Our protagonist, Lest Pubert, is an Earthmate rat man on a mysterious mission to the land of Selphia… until he gets smacked in the head with a sword and kicked off an airship. He lands on top of the Divine Dragon, Ventuswill, who decides that he’s the prince who was expected to arrive and take over Selphia’s farming and people-bossing duties. Having utterly eviscerated any memories he’d had up to that point, Pubert goes along with it. Of course, the real prince shows up, but he loads off all of his duties on Pubert anyway.
Thus Pubert must use his farming prowess to make his little patch of dirt glorious, thereby reinvigorating the country’s rune power and… I dunno, recovering his stamina…? All the while he befriends the quirky and colourful townsfolk, beats up innocent wildlife, enslaves chicken and cow monsters with grass, and levels up by doing every single little action possible.
Just in time for the Sechs Empire to cause trouble again, and for monsters to start turning into humans…

—The LP—
This is a straightforward run through the game with viewer interaction: goons may post suggestions for names of monsters or requests to have monsters named after themselves. They may also vote on which marriage candidate I will pursue, but voting will be withheld until all of the bachelorettes have been unlocked.
My co-commentator for Parts 1-7 is BigTUnit1, and then Skippy Granola and YamiNoSenshi for Part 8-onward.

See Also:
*LordHippoman’s screenshot LP of the first Rune Factory, completed and archived

—The Game—
Story of Seasons is a 2014 installment in the Bokujou Monogatari franchise, and the second on the 3DS after Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning. The series was originally localized by Natsume in the West as Harvest Moon, until developers Marvelous acquired localization heroes XSEED as their Western branch. It would have been silly to keep using third party localization when they have their own branch for it now (and one with a considerably better track record than Natsume), so they dropped Natsume and gave the job to XSEED. However they left the rights to the name “Harvest Moon” with Natsume, thus Natsume now develops their own games as Harvest Moon, and the true Bokujou Monogatari games live on as Story of Seasons.

The game itself is a continuation from/condensing of the mechanics of A New Beginning. The godawful tutorial month has been reduced to a quick and painless week that also better introduces the town, and you only have to wait the one week to start crafting instead of waiting all fucking Spring to have a random door on your house pointed out to you. I’m not bitter.
The aesthetic also charmingly invokes rural Germany, the music is as cheerful as any Bokujou game, and it’s hard not to be in a good mood while you play.
However making money is difficult early on, as you can only ship when salesmen come to town, and unlocking them is a slow, monthly process. The original release of the game also had stupid difficulty where everything cost way too much, which was eased later on with a “Seedling Mode” that dropped the prices and crafting requirements by 30%. The online mode was also dramatically nerfed from A New Beginning’s utterly broken version, to the point that there’s not many people still playing SoS’s anymore.
Stick with the game, though, and you’ll find a remarkably tight and deep entry in the franchise. Hopefully this LP will help you find ways to manage your time and money in the early game and befriend an entire town with the bare minimum of effort. But if you like any marriable person who isn’t Fritz, you’re wrong.
(Well, Raeger, Lillie and Agate are all cute, but come on - Fritz is perfect.)

The story is such:
Think most Bokujou Monogatari games have too much story, purpose, or even stakes? You’re in luck! Story of Seasons has fuck all. You answer a flier to move out to the country and help a charming little town make some money. That’s it. No dead grandpa, no imminent demolition, not even a Harvest Goddess in need of help for being a useless ass. Just grow some crops and animals, make friends with all of the little dorks, and assert your dominance against the other farmers by eventually stealing all of their fields.

—The LP—
The game considers unlocking all of the merchants as the marker to allow New Game+, and is therefore the soft end of the game. This LP’s core goal is to do just that, and though I will attempt to collect as many recipes and show off as many cutscenes as possible, it won’t be an utterly completionist LP. Though I’ll be dating and marrying Fritz, I will at least show off the first two heart events with every bachelor.
My co-commentators are fellow Harvest Moon lovers Skippy Granola and YamiNoSenshi.

My original blind stream of the first week of SoS :siren: Spoilers for the first five parts of the LP :siren:

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—The Game—
Harvest Moon: Animal Parade is a 2008 installment in the Bokujou Monogatari franchise, and the second on the Wii after Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility. It’s essentially ToT but better.
But is it good, though? There’s the rub.
Animal Parade should easily be one of the better games in the franchise. It has many good ideas, fun things to do, and smart story progression, but it’s hampered by numerous questionable design and programming decisions, slow loading and framerate, and… stupid story progression.

But like most games in its family, AP maintains a charm that makes sticking through its faults ultimately rewarding. So join me, Skippy Granola, and YamiNoSenshi as we cut out all of those stupid loading/title screens, mod in a character speed boost, and dissect what does and doesn’t work in this mixed gaming blessing.

The story is such:
Young farming hopeful Best has been summoned by the Harvest Goddess to travel to the island of Castanet, where the Divine Tree has weakened and the five bells of nature have lost their power. With the help of Harvest Sprite Finn and a large cast of cute-but-wooden characters, Best must farm her face off so she can find and ring the five bells, whereupon the Harvest King will return to the island and fix everything, the lazy git.

—The LP—
This is a sort-of-completionist run. Along with completing the main story and unlocking New Game+, I will collect every (non-recolor) item in the game, including furniture, fish, crops, recipes, farm animals, etc. Most of the character events and cutscenes will be shown as well. I will be dating and marrying The Wizard, which will also allow us to see every other couple’s cutscenes, as Wizard has no marriage rival.

With all of the transferring out of the way, here’s today’s update for RF4:

It’s time for Good Idea, Bad Idea.

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Anime farms, as far as the eye can see!

Rune Factory 4 lies. They told me I had to forge a connection with girls to marry them. I threw that forge at Clorica all day long and got nothing


Yay! Now I can participate in these LPs!

I could never get into rune factory 4. I just wasn’t sold on the characters or the story itself. Watching you play it though makes me want to give it another shot.

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Rune Factory 3 is best because Raven is best wife.

4 is okay though.

Don’t get too excited.

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I got excited. You can’t tell me what to do!

First bell rung, so hug a fireplace in celebration.

Fire has returned to us!

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Travis’ last update with us has Pubert take on a wet electric horse.

Our first animal festival is a traumatic affair.

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You’d think that Woofio can’t get any worse, but in Trio of Towns you can marry him.


Everyone is finally able to cook again, including Best. So naturally she cheats.

It’s not a Harvest Moon game unless there’s a character who has the Midas Touch, expect it’s for turning food into garbage.

And damn it Bo, maybe learn how to make a sandwich or something. You can’t expect a random passerby to offer you some gourmet sashimi every day.

An adapted Japanese festival and a jerk. Must be a late Christmas.
And a late update because I forgot to upload it early for my patrons.

First video with Skippy and Yami.