Hi, I’m MykonosFan, and I adore Harvest Moon:
Friends of Mineral Town.
Very recently it was announced that it would
be getting remade for the Nintendo Switch
and that we would be getting it over here
in the West.
There’s been a few remakes I’ve been wishing
for for years and got, like Crash and Spyro,
but I never once stopped to think about how
I’d like a remake of this title.
The announcement of this remake got a lot
of people on my Twitter timeline gushing about
how much they love the original game.
I got all warm and fuzzy remembering how much
I played it in my childhood so I wanted to
talk about my story with the original, why
I love it, and ending this video with why
I’m…cautiously excited for this new version
of the game.
It’s actually a bit funny that this game is
getting a remake.
As you probably know, Friends of Mineral Town
was a GameBoy Advance demake of sorts of a
PlayStation Harvest Moon game, Back To Nature.
I bought that one on PS3 some years back,
but every time I try to play it…it just
makes me want to play Mineral Town instead
so I won’t be talking about it in this video.
There’s also the alternate reality game More
Friends of Mineral Town where you play a girl
instead of a boy, but I also won’t be talking
about that game in this video because as a
child I thought it would be quite silly to
play as a girl.
Nowadays I’m much more open to that idea because
I’m not a dang old doofus.
Speaking of being a child, that was when I
got my first hit of Harvest Moon…and some
seedy, illegal happenings.
The statute of limitations is probably up,
Okay, I stole a Whatchamacallit bar from Walmart.
I wish though, I love those things.
So as a kid I was enraptured by Animal Crossing.
I had a weird DVD from a game store that had
all kinds of off-beat commercials for it,
does anyone actually else remember these things?
I would watch them over and over, my parents
didn’t understand but I begged them for the
Looking back at these, I don’t understand
why I was obsessed with them either.
I would have been like eight years old at
the time, so the notion of fantasizing escaping
my life to live out a virtual one is a bit…concerning,
My neighbor and his big brother also loved
Animal Crossing, and we’d spend a lot of time
visiting each other’s towns and just talking
about the game.
Then one day some years later after the fascination
had passed, his older brother had a floppy
drive with something on it that would blow
See, his older brother knew a guy, who knew
a guy, who could…get this, play Game Boy
Advance games on his computer.
Yeah, that’s right.
No fussing with trying to get a decent light
on the screen, no begging your parents for
AA batteries, you just put the floppy disc
in, put some files on your desktop and you
could play anything.
Pokemon, Mario, Sonic, you name it.
This floppy drive contained a version of Visual
Boy Advance and a sole game.
My neighbor’s brother said it was like Animal
Crossing, but you could farm and actually
raise the animals instead of befriending them.
It was then that I immediately became fascinated
with the world of Mineral Town in Forget-Me-Not
I was also an unwitting criminal by emulating
a game that was for sale on the market.
I’m sorry, Reggie.
Please forgive me.
For what it’s worth, I did eventually buy
my own copy years later.
Secondhand…so no one involved saw money
from that either.
(Reggie laughs as I’m locked behind bars for
Video Game Crimes.
“What’s wrong with you?”
His piercing laser gaze ignites my frail frame.)
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town begins
with your character running over to every
NPC in the game, and they whistle these adorable
little animals in and chickens fly out of
the title screen as the world’s cheeriest
music plays and my god how can you not be
in love with this game already?
Chickens make noise to confirm your menu inputs,
just 10/10 video’s over go pop the cartridge
into your DS and just experience this for
So once the game actually starts it immediately
gets pretty sappy.
As Pete…or whatever you name this shmuck,
you arrive at an abandoned farm.
As you take in your surroundings, Thomas,
the mayor of Mineral Town, berates you for
trespassing onto a dead man’s property.
As your character explains through ellipses
which is then explained back to your character
by Thomas’ words, you actually met the owner
as a child and were essentially good pen pals.
You stopped receiving letters back and decided
to go make sure the owner was OK after a while.
The game cuts to a sepia tone flashback where
your character is shown falling in love with
a farm, befriending the old man, playing with
cows, and even meeting a girl who…never
shows up again.
I have to mention the music here again, it’s
a simple piece but it’s so effective at conveying
a fading, warm memory of a time long past.
I think we all have somewhere we went to as
a kid that we’d struggle to point out on a
map or perhaps not even remember how to get
there anymore…but you almost don’t want
to see how it’s doing these days just to help
keep your memory in tact.
This music piece nails that feeling in a cutesy
way and really, the entire soundtrack is just
fantastic considering the GBA’s much maligned
I’ve no doubt that part of it is nostalgia
speaking, I’ll happily admit, but I just feel
so good when I listen to it.
Speaking of the present day, after you’ve
caught the mayor up with your history you
find out that the old man actually entrusted
the farm to you.
There is a Harvest Moon game where you can
say no and have your dog attack poor Thomas
and initiate a credits sequence but…this
is a wholesome game for pure people and we
won’t even tempt the possibility here.
Shame on those charlatans.
So starting out, everything is in disrepair.
The grounds to put crops in are covered with
dank weed (HEH, WEED JOKE), stones, and logs
that need wiped out.
There’s also no livestock.
An affable man named Zack drops by to let
you know that at 5 PM each day, he’ll stop
by and pick up whatever items you’ve put in
your shipping box, which is how you’ll make
You are running a farm, after all.
At least, you can run a farm.
If you want to heck the heck off and just
do some fishing and get to know the townspeople,
that’s an option.
You don’t have to buy a single cow or plant
a crop at all if you don’t want to.
Of course, that kind of defeats the point,
but if you haven’t played a Harvest Moon title
the lack of a rigid structure may be a small
surprise to you.
There’s definitely still a structure, there
are absolutely walls you are confined to but
I always kind of liked that if I just wanted
to focus on growing crops and not bother with
animals in a playthrough, I could totally
do that and it would be viable.
I live in rural BFE West Virginia here in
the good lord’s United States Of.
If I wanted to know what the farming life
is like, there are many people I could ask
who would absolutely let me lend a helping
hand on their farm and would probably appreciate
me wanting to know more about their routine,
personal story, their trials, tribulations,
and small victories in such a personally rewarding
yet economically challenging position to hold
in our modern world…but as we all know,
video games are superior to real life and
in this game I can milk a cow by pushing a
Aww look at that widdle heart, she’s happy
Gosh the animals are so cute in this game.
In real life cows are stinky and poop quite
liberally with reckless abandon.
This game communicates no sense of smell and
no one in Mineral Town would dare even think
of something as vile as excrement.
Animals are quite an investment in this game,
you really have to do some weird odds and
ends like sell things you’ve foraged and perhaps
do some fishing.
But once you’ve made the investment, they
really pay off in the long run with the money
you can receive from their byproduct.
Getting an animal requires heading into town
and purchasing one, though, and in my heart
it’s the residents of Mineral Town that helped
keep me entranced as a kid.
I won’t oversell it, these are simple characters
that don’t have a lot of dialog.
But as a kid, these endearing, well designed
characters got my imagination running and
my mind filled in the blanks.
Whether it be Rick’s kind demeanor, Thomas’
goofy appearance, Saibara’s gruffness, and
Gourmet’s….gourmetness…the people give
a lot of charm to this small, quaint place.
These days it’s hard to mention Harvest Moon
without mentioning Stardew Valley, but for
the hundreds of hours I’ve put into Stardew
and for how much I adore that game…a point
in Mineral Town’s favor for me is still its
Stardew has the advantage of characters with
more interesting situations, character growth,
and diversity, but I think there’s just something
to these characters here.
Even though the localization is rather spotty,
it’s still fun checking in with everyone.
And this is one of a few areas where I hope
the remake expands on the source material.
Writing a lot of dialog is a lot of work,
but I’d rather see them shift toward Animal
Crossing where each character has a fair amount
of things they could say, instead of them
just having a couple of context and weather
specific statements they repeat forever.
If this remake can give me that, that will
be a big boon for me.
Another thing I’d like to see improved are
the base mechanics.
The original game has a pretty quick way to
swap between tools, which is great, but a
faster way to sort through items in your inventory
would be appreciated.
In the GBA game, when you want to drop items
off into the shipment box you have to go into
your menu, equip the item, go out of the menu,
drop the item, and then repeat the process
for each item.
It’d also just be nice to have a bigger starting
inventory, 5 slots instead of 3 would be so,
Judging by what we’ve seen so far, at least,
it seems to stand to reason that there will
be a more intuitive way of going through items.
It also looks like it will surface your remaining
stamina so you can always see what you have,
In the original game you kind of just had
to play with fire and guess based on animations
how much longer you could work without going
to the ER.
My concerns mainly lie in how this remake
This game just has a different feel than the
GBA version, which comes with the territory
as they’re turning a sprite-based game back
into a 3D game.
But even stylistically, I just don’t really
like the way characters look in the game.
The GBA game was made during a time where
the character design of Harvest Moon still
managed to strike a nice balance between looking
cute, but still kinda cool as well.
A Wonderful Life also hit these same notes
The Story of Seasons remake, however…I just
The way the main character looks kind of reminds
me of Magical Melody on the GameCube, and
even as a kid I didn’t like that style to
the point that I didn’t want to play that
That’s kind of a dumb view, and I’m not saying
anyone who likes that style is in the wrong,
but it just didn’t capture me in the same
The environments in the remake also just look
sterile and a bit plain when rendered in a
3D space like this.
I’m conflicted on this because while I would
have liked to see them put more fun details
into the world, it also seems that the game
map is being laid out just like the original
The Link’s Awakening remake is pulling that
off with aplomb, it’s an interesting way to
Lastly, I’m not that wild about some of the
new character portraits.
I think Rick and Cliff hit the same vibe well
enough that I’m not too bothered, but poor
Popurri here just feels weird when comparing
If I was shown the new Popurri in a vacuum
I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that
it was her, there’s just something about these
eyes that I can’t put my finger on and itrquote
s off putting to me.
Thomas has a much more exaggerated look here,
but…I think I kinda like it?
I also think the color usage shown in the
footage is quite nice.
My qualms with the way this looks are more
on stylistic principle as opposed to anything
looking outright bad, so while this isn’t
up my alley I’m sure there are some that are
loving the way this looks.
I don’t aim to be a complete negative nancy,
I’m still excited for this new take and even
pumped my hands in the air when they confirmed
a localized release outside of Japan.
I don’t often do that for game announcements.
This new take on the game is going to be so
much more accessible, both for old and new
No longer do you have navigate the PS3 store,
track down a GBA cartridge, or get a floppy
disc with an illegal copy from a neighbor’s
Now you can just grab it digitally or in any
store to play it on the Switch, a system that
will fit this game like a glove since portable
Harvest Moon is basically nirvana.
The notion that more people will be able to
discover and fall in love with this game makes
me so happy.
Seeing folks experience Crash and Spyro via
the remakes was so satisfying and I have a
feeling a similar thing will play out here.
I’m curious if people will take to this as
much in a post-Stardew Valley world, but I
think that Stardew’s success has perfectly
teed up a huge audience to be able to come
to this game and respect it.
Especially with how much of a love letter
Stardew was to games like Mineral Town.
I’m not as enthused with the way the remake
looks as I want to be, but I’m already happily
prepared to lose dozens upon dozens of hours
rediscovering this game.
I’m already excited to start getting materials
to upgrade my house in the game.
Seriously, give me a cute house in a game
and tell me I can upgrade it, and my main
focus will become working to build it out.
When the time comes, I hope this remake delivers
and I hope that others join me in appreciating
Friends of Mineral Town in all of its forms.
If you enjoyed watching this video, please
consider hitting the thumbs up button and
In the comments below, I want to hear from
I never got into the Story of Seasons games,
how are they?
Are there recent Harvest Moon games that are
worth checking out?
Which titles did you love growing up?
I want to read a bunch of different perspectives
and topics, I’m not in many Harvest Moon-centric
circles so I haven’t seen anyone discuss it
in a long time.
That’s all from me for now, though.
Thank you for tuning in and listening to me
gush about this game.
And of course, thanks to my Patrons for helping
me to keep going.