[edit] Introduction

Hello hello dear reader. Welcome to my Harvest Moon 3D walkthrough. This guide exists to show you how to accomplish this game's two main objectives: saving the doomed town of Echo Village and finding yourself a lovely lad/y to call your own. And if this guide can give you a few tips to get super-rich along the way, well... that's just icing on the cake, isn't it?

This guide won't primarily be focusing on providing you with lists of items and prices and events and people. I see Harvest Moon games as more 'story' or 'role playing experience' than 'game with exploitable mechanics'. I am writing this guide for those people who enjoy this series because they can get wrapped up in the characters and world of a good dating-sim/community living game, and not because it is a good item-management/farming simulator. But if dollars and cents are really what you're after you may find a tip or two in here.

Anyways here are some questions and answers:

[edit] What is Harvest Moon?

Harvest Moon is a Japanese video game series developed by a company called MARVELOUS ENTERTAINMENT. The first game came out in 1996 on the SUPER NINTENDO and has since spawned over a dozen 'main' titles and a whole bunch of re-makes and spin-offs and whatnot. The game is ostensibly a 'farming simulation' game, but really that would be rather too dull a thing to spawn a perennial video-game franchise, wouldn't it? The farming stuff is the more mechanical 'video game-y' side of these games, but the part that hooks players and keeps them invested and buying more games is the 'community life' aspect of the game, which is a little like a light version of a VISUAL NOVEL or a DATING SIM. These games are populated with interesting characters for you to live and interact with, and eventually you can marry one and start a family. Once-upon-a-time this was a very novel and realistic (and interesting) thing to put in a video game, as back in the day games were usually more focussed on action and... well, just action. Games with more realistic settings and characters and romance are more common than they used to be, and the continual success of Harvest Moon has something to do with that, I think.

Harvest Moon games have more or less stuck to the 'farm and family' formula, but as they have been released on a half dozen systems over nearly two decades there have been some developments and changes along the way. Perhaps most significant is that the developers started catering to a burgeoning 'female gamer' market by releasing versions of some of these games where players can play as female farmers and woo manly folk. As the most recent iteration of this series, Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning gives players the option to choose their sex from the very beginning and from there gives each gender an equal-ish number of potential marriage candidates.

[edit] What is new in Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning?

Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning (hereafter referred to as HM:ANB because writing it out over and over is tedious) is the second Harvest Moon for the 3DS... but the first one (Tale of Two Towns) was a port from the old DS and so it was not really designed around the 3DS system (it had some programming problems too, or so I've heard). HM:ANB uses 3D models for the gameplay but the 3DS's 3D effect is very underplayed. Even without a huge 3D graphic boost, there is still a lot of change from past HM games to this one.

The biggest new feature in this game is the amount of CUSTOMIZATION available. Believe it or not, in previous games in this series your character was pre-designed and couldn't be altered at all, even though people love personalizing things. Maybe MARVELOUS was hoping this game would attract new players to the series (hence 'A New Beginning') so they really increased the amount of customizing you can do to your character. When you start up your file you get a character creation screen that gives you lots of options... well there are a lot of hairstyles and colors at least... so that's something. You are able to choose which sex you want to be without having to buy a separate copy of the game... so that's progress, at least.

The customization doesn't end with your character, though. When you arrive at your town, you will be immediately made into MAYOR of the town and be given the opportunity to move the buildings around to suit your mood... oh, wait... no... that's not this game, that's ANIMAL CROSSING NEW LEAF, a game that came out half a year later and somehow has the same new town-designing feature as this Harvest Moon does. These games are rather similar aren't they? In my opinion though HM:ANB is the superior game because it allows you to marry and bed characters and as far as I know Nintendo has yet to implement that feature in Animal Crossing, much to the chagrin of certain AC:NL fans I'm sure.

Anyways, getting back to HM:ANB, you really are given the option of creating buildings and moving them around town. It sounds like a lot of freedom... and it is... with a catch. The downside to MARVELOUS designing this game around new players (which is really only a theory of mine) is that they felt the need to include a ridiculous number of TUTORIALS and only introduce you to new characters and town-customization options slowly. So EVENTUALLY you will have a large, populated town and you will be able to customize it however you want, but for the first few month/seasons you are going to be VERY CONSTRAINED in what you are able to do. That's just how it is.

Oh... and there are other new things too, besides the customization stuff. There's an online item-trading system. And there's probably other stuff too.

[edit] What is the point of this game? Why would anyone want to play a 'farm sim'?

This game is about your character (hereafter referred to as 'YOU' because I expect you to identify with your character) coming to own a dilapidated farm and undertaking the enjoyable challenge of fixing it up and turning it into a successful enterprise. These games have substantial farming gameplay elements which really dig into your consumerist and entrepreneurial desires to make a lot of money and buy a lot of stuff. And while you are indulging in the wish- fulfillment of running your own business and making easy money, the game's world of interesting characters will be surreptictiously sinking their hooks into you and arresting your interest and addicting you to continually buying Harvest Moon games.

This particular game takes the standard HM premise and expands on it quite a bit. This time around it is not just your farm that starts out as a run-down piece of manure: it's the whole village. ECHO VILLAGE is a ghost town, or maybe a dying town in it's last gasps. So this time around you're not just saving your farm, you're saving a whole town. Your efforts are going to be instrumental in attracting people and businesses back to Echo, and if you work hard enough then you will be able to bring happiness and success to dozens of people who otherwise would have lived sad and lonely lives somewhere else. You are the only one, no... the CHOSEN ONE... the lone soul who can bring forth the blessings of the earth and share the bounty with a whole community of people that you carry on your back. You aren't just a simple farmer here, you're a veritable ARCHETYPAL HERO... blessed by THE GODDESS to save a DYING LAND. Your actions will determine whether THE WORLD PROSPERS OR WITHERS. THIS IS THE MOST EPIC FARMING-SIM EVER! Or something. You can just do whatever you want, whatever.

[edit] I've just started playing and there is literally NOTHING to do. What gives?

In the beginning this game is a very empty and boring experience. The game designers have deliberately set about delaying your access to the different game systems and villagers, and whenever something new is introduced it comes with a tedious TUTORIAL. This makes the first month of the game a very sluggish experience with not much to do. All I can say is that IT GETS BETTER and recommend that you just plant and water and sell crops and then just go to sleep early every day to speed the game calendar along until it gets to those dates when interesting things start happening.

If you just hurry forward to the first summer then the option to EDIT the TOWN and move buildings around and whatnot will be unlocked, and the MAYOR will give you TOWN RESTORATION PLANS that function as goals to work towards and drive the game towards more and more COMPLEXITY (and INTERESTINGNESS). From then on you'll have plenty to do if you so choose. The Town Restoration system acts as a system of goals for you, and getting married is certainly a popular pursuit for players of this particular game, but you are essentially free to live whatever sort of life you want in this game.

[edit] How do I read this guide?

This guide is divided up in to different sections so if you are looking for something specific then you should check out the handy TABLE OF CONTENTS and check out the three bracketed numbers next to that section ([xxx]) and if you want to jump to that section you can search for it using ctrl-f or some other search method.

I'm going to outline some of the basic GAME SYSTEMS first and then dive in to the WALKTHROUGH. The walkthrough is going to be divided by MONTH/SEASON and its going to include GOALS and point out when and how things get unlocked, but keep in mind that new features get unlocked at different rates depending on how you play so I'm going to have to be vague about when things are happening in this game. This game is pretty mellow and go-at-your-own-pace so don't worry if it takes you 3 years to get married or whatever you have all of the time in the world.

[edit] Are there any exploits I can use to get lots of money really quickly?

Yes, but I'm not really interested in telling you about them. Getting money is something you're supposed to do gradually so that you stay with the game over a long period of time and get attached to the characters. Which is to say that if you get all of the money at the very beginning then you are going to BREAK the game and get bored with it and never be able to enjoy it the way its meant to be enjoyed.

Now the biggest exploit in this game comes from a side-feature in this game that allows you to CONNECT to other players, either ONLINE or LOCALLY, to TRADE items. If you check out any gaming website that has a HM:ANB forum you're going to find a community of people willing to trade you items that may be of better quality or from later in the game or would otherwise just be too expensive for you to get immediately. There are even ways to do this trading without saving so you can keep the items you supposedly traded. If you ever played POKEMON (is there anyone who owns a 3DS but has never played pokemon?) you may think of this system as being just like the trading in system in those games, and just as loaded with game-breaking and item-duplicating possibilities. So if you want to make a lot of money fast and not enjoy the game as it was meant to be enjoyed, then what you want to do is find someone online who is willing to send you certain items that will help you complete TOWN RESTORATION PLANS or build houses or win FESTIVALS early or whatever, and this will UNLOCK features you wouldn't normally have access to yet that you can use to make lots of money.

[edit] What qualifies you to write a guide on this game?

Not much actually. I am a player just like you. I'm not an authority of any kind. I don't have any knowledge about this game that cannot be found by playing the game directly or scouring websites (particularly the HARVEST MOON WIKI) to obtain information. The only thing that qualifies me to write a guide to help you is that I have the time and skill to write and that I sat down and did it.

So basically I'm just a guy who played this game when it came out at the end of 2012. And now in 2013 it's about to come out in Europe and I thought that means there will be new players and that some person should write a guide for them. And then I realized that *I* am some person, so I wrote this. I started a new file (of the opposite gender from last time) so that I could write down everything that happens in this game as it happens and cover the full length and breadth (and depth cuz it's 3D) of this game's content.

If you've read some of my opinions on this game and you're wondering what sort of experience I have with this series and where my views are coming from, then I'll admit that I'm an 'old-school' Harvest Moon player in that I haven't played any of the multitude of Wii and DS titles. I don't know anything about them or what they've done to advance the series or what features they have. HM:ANB is the first Harvest Moon in many years to interest me enough to give it a try because it tried to shake up the formula. That said, in recent years I've been playing the Harvest Moon spin-off series RUNE FACTORY and I've enjoyed that a lot and I would recommend that series to anyone who likes Harvest Moon and fantasy dungeon-crawling (and hey, there's a 3DS RUNE FACTORY game coming out soon... check it out((it's got dragons and stuff!))!).

Now since I am just a guy with my own opinions of what is important in this game there are going to be huge biases in what I choose to include and what I don't bother to write out. For instance, I don't feel the need to include lists and tables of items and whatnot. That info can be found elsewhere. This isn't a compendium, it's a guide mean to help you unlock all of the stuff that the game has locked up. If you need to find out specific information then you can go look it up elsewhere (I recommend the WIKIA, but really it shouldn't be so hard for you to go to your preferred search engine and 'something' search for whatever you're looking for.

[edit] Dude, I want this game but I can't find it in stores anywhere! Where can I get this game, bro?

Well dog, Harvest Moon games are sometimes hard to find in stores. I know that when I was trying to find a physical copy of this game that it was just impossible, even though the video game stores around my area usually had 3DS copies of Tale of Two Towns for some reason. So if you really want a physical copy (to say, lend to other people) then you might have to resort to to get it.

But... if you don't care about physical copies then you might be happy to learn that this game is available from the 3DS eShop and available for download anytime! Neat! That's how I got the game after giving up on finding it in stores. If you choose to download it's going to eat up like 2000 or so blocks of 3DS memory block units.

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