Alright: so what is this thing called Harvest Moon?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Borodin, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Borodin

    Borodin Oxygen Tank

    I keep seeing references here to Harvest Moon as a game of a type that SV is somewhat similar to. And on Steam, there are numerous troll threads saying SV is just Harvest Moon, with new sprites, and a new audience.

    I've never heard of Harvest Moon before. It's apparently for a gaming system only. After acquiring a Radio Shack 2 (with cassette loading, and 48K RAM) back around 1980, I pretty much gave up on computers for a few years, before purchasing a PC--both for professional use and play. I've stuck with them ever since.

    So would someone please tell me what I am missing in Harvest Moon? Not that I've any intention of buying a gaming system, but I'm genuinely curious. Could you please tell me how similar are the two titles, and in which ways they differ markedly? (Yes, I realize there's an entry in Wikipedia, which might even be correct for all I know, but I'm looking for the opinions of people who have played it, since this is a matter of opinions as well as fact.)
      Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
    • Indigo Rose

      Indigo Rose Scruffy Nerf-Herder

      Harvest Moon is a long-running series of farming games, starting all the way back on the SNES. Since then there's been dozens of entries in the series, both on home consoles and portable ones. The basic gameplay is very similar to Stardew Valley, although of course the specifics vary from game to game.
      • Voc

        Voc Void-Bound Voyager

        The WIkipedia entries are more or less correct. Harvest Moon was really the first of these types of games to appear and to be honest, most of those 'troll threads' are not far off either. Both games begin with you being given a farm next to a secluded little town in some rural part of the world and it is up to you to make it successful and farm all sorts of different crops and making products from livestock goods. There's a social aspect to the game consisting of giving the villagers gifts to raise their opinion of you and you can eventually marry one and have a kid. The biggest differences between Harvest Moon and SDV would be the inclusion of the community center and Harvest Moon's time limit of three years to be successful and become friends with all the citizens or else you'd get kicked out of town (and thus game over). SDV also has a layer of customization that Harvest Moon does not have, and the 'combat' system is a bit deeper.

        I mean I'm honestly surprised that Stardew Valley hasn't been hit or targeted by the makers of Harvest Moon for all the similarities between the titles.
        • ChaosAzeroth

          ChaosAzeroth Existential Complex

          Only one out of the many HM games had that.((PS)) Even the GBA which was basically a dumbed down PS version didn't have it.
          The combat and skill system is the most different, but Rune Factory games have skills and combat, they just don't have a pick a path skills thing.
          • mrobake

            mrobake Zero Gravity Genie

            They are actually right though. Harvest Moon is the original farming game developed in Japan. It was then localized to the whole world due to its success in Japan. Then being successful wholewide, the developers even created many sequel of the games. Its overly successful, some developers even created spin off of it.

            Even ConcernedApe himself stated he liked Harvest Moon and one if its series heavily influenced by it when making the game.
            • Voc

              Voc Void-Bound Voyager

              I only ever played Back to Nature on the Playstation, so...
              • ChaosAzeroth

                ChaosAzeroth Existential Complex

                Just giving more information. :3
                ((On another note I always get Back to Nature and A Wonderful Life mixed up and I have no idea why.))
                • Silverbane7

                  Silverbane7 Pangalactic Porcupine

                  the 3 year thing, i know was part of the original harvest moon on gameboy (which i played the heck outof)
                  there has also been a 5 year limit at least once, though i cannot remember which one.
                  Harvest Moon is the name the series was registered in the west though. its translated name is roughley translated from japaneese as 'Farm Story' which was (afaik) allready registerd here in the west.
                  if you want to know anything about any harvest moon, rune factory, river king or innocent life game(s) the place you want is the Ushe Forums.

                  information, guides, how to romance specific bachelors/bachelorettes ect, its all there.
                  • Filthy Casual

                    Filthy Casual Space Penguin Leader

                    Basically... Harvest Moon (HM from hereon) and SV ARE very similar in many ways... they both use pretty much the exact same mechanics for farming (sans sprinklers and auto feeders and such...also no Slime hutch :( )
                    They almost universally revolve around a three year system for the "main storyline" except in most HM games if you don't meet the criteria during the judging you get pulled off the farm and the game ends.

                    The friendship systems are Pretty much exactly the same (although SV is more fleshed out with more believable characters. Foraging exists as well, as does fishing...although both are more fleshed out in SV as opposed to HM.
                    Basically all the tools are the same (sans the sword... of which HM has none), can both be upgraded multiple times and get better in almost the exact same ways.

                    They both have marriage and the system for marrying is almost exactly the same, get a guy/gal to max affection, buy a blue feather (HM) or Mermaid Pendant (SV) and three days (maybe longer in HM.. don't remember), you are married. You can have 1 kid in HM. Your wife basically turns into a stepford wife upon marriage in HM.. she literally never leaves the house and ALWAYS talks like a newlywed and loses every facet of her personality usually. And in HM they CAN leave you if you ignore them/mistreat them (with bad gifts and such)

                    Onto the Differences!!! There are many... the farming in SV is on a much grander scale and you are able to do more with automation. There are significantly more farm animals in SV than HM and it generally is just a much more fleshed out system.
                    Fishing is vastly different (and much better imho) than HM. HM is literally just wait and press a button when you get a bite... that's it... no crabpots, no minigame, not bait, no tackle....nothing.

                    Foraging is vastly expanded in SV as you can't put tappers on trees, grow foraging items, or shake bushes in HM.

                    In HM mining is literally just going down identical on room spaces ho'ing the ground looking for a ladder down... that's it. No monsters, swords, bombs, fishing spots, treasure chests...nothing interesting

                    In HM there really isn't (read: literally isn't) any leveling skills at never get better at what you do... you just do it and that's it.

                    There is also significantly less exploration and discovery (although not zero) in HM than SV.

                    I could go on but the TL;DR is
                    SV is Basically HM but it expands on that game in literally every way better and bigger and more fleshed out than anything HM has done.
                    SV is basically HM for adults.

                    (Edit) Also forgot to say that there is ZERO combat in HM
                      eXmart, Borodin and MagicallyClueless like this.
                    • ChaosAzeroth

                      ChaosAzeroth Existential Complex

                      Oh I forgot DS/DS Cute did have monsters sort of but they were just an annoyance.((Taking stamina in mines for being hit and for hitting.))
                      They also split later on into Story of Season ((old line)) and Harvest Moon ((new line)).
                      • Silverbane7

                        Silverbane7 Pangalactic Porcupine

                        there is combat in harvest moon.
                        in one game.
                        harvest moon DS/DS Cute (thats the 'for girls' version)
                        however i think that was the only one where they had monsters, and only in the mine. i dont remember having any other mine monsters

                        @ChaosAzeroth yeah, when marvelous (japan makers) changed their localisation team from Natsume to XSeed, they had to change the name.
                        Natsume were the company that translated and localised the games in the west, and they had the trademark for the name 'Harvest Moon'. so marvelous had to choose a new name, and it ended up being Story of Seasons.
                        there is a new story of seasons game comming to japan, Bokujou Monogatari 3tsu no Sato no Taisetsuna Tomodachi (translated out as Story of Seasons: Precious Friends of Three Towns for the west we think)
                        we dont know when it will hit the usa (and if it will hit the uk, i say if because i worry they want to ditch us in the uk)
                          Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
                        • MagicallyClueless

                          MagicallyClueless Master Astronaut

                          In addition to what others are saying, I'm just gonna give my own opinion as well.
                          There are a lot of similarities between the Harvest Moon franchise and SDV, but if anyone were to ask me if the long-standing franchise was better or if the new indie game was better, I would desperately beg them to go for the indie game. Harvest Moon, in my opinion, hasn't been good for a very long time, and "Friend of Mineral Town" (Or More Friends of Mineral Town in my case) was one of my favorites only to be extremely outshined by SDV.

                          SDV has the advantage of being able to have updates and in general it's far more polished and developed than even my favorite Harvest Moon game.

                          For every feature that HM has that SDV has as well, SDV does much MUCH better and on a larger scale. I fell in love in SDV so quickly because it had everything I wanted that HM didn't have: customization, characters I could relate to much easier, interesting character development (serious situations and subjects that they aren't afraid to talk about), more to do than to farm and mine, and for god's sake you could make your own character and marry whoever the heck you want. I've obviously not been keeping up to date on HM much since the fact that there was a "girl" and "boy" version pissed me off (barring the last few games that I have no interest in). It was always impossible to find a girl version when I wanted to marry the guys, but there's literally no hassle with SDV and it's such a breath of fresh air.

                          The 2D style is also very appealing, so the 3D HM games never attracted me once. I tried to play them, but eh. I think some of them got a little too complicated for me, and not in the pleasant way. Either way, I'm rambling. It's true that SDV and HM are very alike. It's also true that one of them does the job way, way better, and will continue to get better.

                          edit: I will say the one thing I like that I wish SDV had is that you can pair up bachelor(ette)s and let them marry each other. It'd be awesome for development on that end, but it's something that I can see SDV have in the future rather than something it absolutely needs.
                            Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
                          • Hexprone

                            Hexprone Space Penguin Leader

                            I was curious about Stardew Valley largely because I have fond memories of Harvest Moon games from many years ago.

                            And yes, ConcernedApe took a lot of direct inspiration from these games -- even down to small details like the first transition between spring an summer being marked by a natural disaster (a typhoon in the original harvest moon, an earthquake here).

                            But there's no denying he's improved many of the game's systems. After playing Stardew I went and dug up an old copy of the one I remembered enjoying the most -- Friends of Mineral Town. I tried replaying it but gave up immediately, as it just felt clunky and slow in comparison.

                            (There is one thing I miss: there was a more involved system for caring for your animals in that game -- you had to ring a bell to lead them back into the barn at night, and as the cows' heart level increased, they would respond to the bell from further away. It was inconvenient but charming and felt more personal than the way it works in Stardew. And animals left unfed or out in the rain would sometimes get sick and need medicine in Harvest Moon -- again an inconvenience but one that made you feel more personally connected to them.)

                            I would encourage you to have a look at the original Harvest Moon game on the SNES, just to get a sense of Stardew's ancestry. Also, More Friends of Mineral Town for the GBA is the one that's most directly comparable to Stardew (there are five bachelors and five bachelorettes to choose from, including a nurse, a doctor, a rebellious storekeeper's daughter, and a guy who lives in a hut on the beach).
                            • Ghostly Fox

                              Ghostly Fox Heliosphere

                              To give some credit to the HM series that seems to have been forgotten- the earlier games of the series were the ones where the "rival" system that people want to see originates from. Many of the earlier games had "rival heart events" between a bachelor and bachelorette, usually gated behind a certain time period so you were less likely to miss out on your choice. There were usually 3-5 events, with the final event triggering their marriage. Some games went a step further and had the characters have children that would be in the same age group as yours.

                              So a fair few of the people who wish they could set couples up are probably getting that from the older games in the series.

                              That said, the newer games dropped the romantic rival feature to make the series more new comer friendly, as well as to save money and time that could be redirected elsewhere or just not used.
                              • ChaosAzeroth

                                ChaosAzeroth Existential Complex

                                I think Island of Happiness/Sunshine Island have rivals but a little easier to deal with. I believe there was a fail safe that required friendship with the rival as well up to certain points to have them marry before you. Then again there were enough things that made them hard enough, though Sunshine Islands was way more forgiving.

                                I feel like the game is different enough though that while inspired by it's kind of it's own thing. I've played a lot of games that are similar to each other, and while some feel copy/paste others can invoke a sense of a new game while also invoking nostalgia. This game is weird like that I think.
                                • Ghostly Fox

                                  Ghostly Fox Heliosphere

                                  Thinking about it, I think that FoMT and MFoMT were like that, or also had some sort of failsafe mechanic relating to heart levels for one of the pair. Which was weird in MFoMT, because they didn't change the girls' dialogue, so they were in love with the female player character (admittedly I pretended they were a long haired boy...) but they were also having these romantic/attempts at romantic scenes with the boy characters. Which sort of gave the impression that they were settling for the boy they were paired up with because same gender marriage wasn't a thing in Mineral Town and/or the female PC wasn't attracted to girls that way.

                                  That said, it was one of their earlier attempts at making a HM game with a female player character (the third, I think) so the unchanged text could be considered early installment weirdness.
                                  • Jumboshrimp

                                    Jumboshrimp Cosmic Narwhal

                                    Stardew Valley is the combination of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory (Which is a spin-off of Harvest Moon). Stardew Valley is basically Harvest Moon Friends of Mineral Town and Back to Nature with improvements. CA makes the game based on Harvest Moon but with other improvement like the Sprinkler system. Some of the festivals like the Dance and the Luau are based off of Harvest Moon games.
                                    • Borodin

                                      Borodin Oxygen Tank

                                      Well, thank you all for your answers! It's been a great assist. In particular, Filthy Casual, for laying out the distinctions by gaming sub-systems. It doesn't sound like I've missed anything, and that ConcernedApe has improved on much of what the HM series (and Rune Factory? another new one on me) presented. I'll be curious what his plans are, if any, for an expansion.
                                      • Silverbane7

                                        Silverbane7 Pangalactic Porcupine

                                        with rune factory, its less of a farming thing, and more of a dungeoneering thing.
                                        instead of just having the mine to delve into, you get areas that have specific seasons to them, and there are multiple ones.
                                        they called it 'rune factory: a fantasy harvest moon' for the first one. there are 6 games in total, 3 nintendoDS, 1 for 3DS, one for playstation3 and one for the wii. unfortunately the team that made it went bankrupt so we are not sure if there will even be a 5th in the handheld line.

                                        there was also a PsP game called 'Innocent life: a sci-fi harvest moon' where you played as a machine life form designed to be human. it was the same basic principle, farm, make friends with the locals and complete goals. however there was no marrage in that one.

                                        in the various rune factory games, you play a person (male in most, but you could pick in girl/boy in both runefactory 4 and rune factory oceans, the ps3 one) who has lost their memories (tho rune factory frontier for the wii had you reprising the part of the 1st games main character, so you kept your memories then)
                                        a kind person offers you the job of farming the land in a village near where you start and from then on the storylines progress.
                                        you can marry (infact you need to in the 2nd one to progress to the 2nd half of the story), romance many girls (and boys in the RF4 version) and do many things similar to harvest moon and stardew.
                                        there is a main storyline to them, and seasons and seasonal crops. birthdays and events and holidays.
                                        if you happen to be in the uk, you can only get rune factory 4 via the E-Shop downloads, but if you are in the usa, you might be able to get that one cheap on sale since its been out for over a year.
                                        its worth mentioning that in all rune factory games, your character is told you never kill the monsters, your tools and wepons have special magic in the that returns them to their origin world, so you dont have to feel bad for defeating them.

                                        one difference between harvest moon and rune factory is that you dont buy animals (no chickens or sheep to buy from a rancher) you tame and befriend the monsters. you build monster barns (like the slime hutch) and then you can tame mosters. different monsters can do different things.
                                        the chicken and rooster types drop eggs, they have a cow type called a buffamoo that drops milk (or can be milked in earlier ones) in rf4 you can ride wolf types. there are caster mosters and you can take them with you into the dungeons. you can also grow crops in the seasonal dungeons, especialy the ones that take more than a season to grow.
                                        there is also a lot of skills. running, eating, sleeping ect. you can craft armour and wepons and accessories and there is also cooking.
                                        if you want a game that you can get a *lot* of character levels from rune factory 4 has (if i remember right) up to 500 you can get, and hard to finish dungeons that open up later after you beat the main storyline.
                                        if you like the rpg and the crafting and the skill up parts of stardew, runefactory might be a good game series to keep your eyes out for on the cheap.
                                        • Borodin

                                          Borodin Oxygen Tank

                                          I don't plan on buying any gaming systems, though. Strictly PC. And from what I can tell, RF and HV are both gaming system series. Thanks for the information, though!

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