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The Ushi No Tane websites specialize in information about the Nintendo console versions of the Harvest Moon and Legend of the River King games. Both game genres are created and published in Japan by Marvelous. In other regions, you'll find Natsume, XSeed Games, Marvelous AQL of Europe, and Rising Star involved in the series' release.

The latest version of the farming series in various regions of the world are Bokujou Monogatari: Tsunagaru Shin Tenchi (Japan), and Harvest Moon: A New Beginning in both North America and Europe.

The latest version of River King, in all regions of the world, is River King: Mystic Valley (2009).

Since 2000, Ushi no Tane has been run by a grouchy old lady who happens to be fond of video game agriculture. The website is not officially affiliated, sponsored, endorsed, or employed by the developers of Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, or River King. This is simply a fan site.

Farm'n, farm'n, and more farm'n! | Posted at 04:03 PM on 19 September 2014
Happy Friday!

At the Gamestop Expo last week, there was a preview of Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley aired on Twitch.tv. Graham from Natsume explained a little bit more about the game while a video demo was aired to viewers. You could see that the season was Spring, yet it was snowing as that's part of the stuck-in-winter storyline. There were also some new crops revealed such as pansies (pink, purple, and yellow colored), Pink Dahlias, Carnations, "great" quality crops, White Berries, and Celery. The interview also highlighted the "dirt customization" where players could raise and lower the level of the land, with a maximum of 16 levels in either vertical direction. There are also different types of animal feed such as Great Animal Feed, Silent Feed, and Active Feed.

Another aspect is that when your personal bag is full, the harvested crops will automatically go to your storage instead. No more "your bag is full" message. If you watched the video really close, you could see another character that hasn't been officially introduced yet: the inventor/scientist, Doc.

In other Natsume news, Legend of the River King 2 is now available for purchase from the Nintendo 3DS eShop. The old Gameboy Color game costs $4.99 and requires 49 blocks of SD card space. The game follows the story of two brothers who are sent on a request by Yuki, who accidentally broke the Heaven Jewel into two pieces and asks for your help to retrieve the broken gem. The kid brother starts in the inland area and moves towards the sea, and the teen brother starts in the sea area and moves inland. Their stories are the same but just start in reverse of each other.

There's also an ancient Fogu guide for the game, circa 2000, as well as a text FAQ if you prefer to go that route. Note that the COMM option at the grocery store doesn't do anything in the Virtual Console version, since that was how players would connect their River King and Harvest Moon GBC 2 games together via the Gameboy link cable, allowing them to trade bugs, fish, flowers, and other items.

As for Story of Seasons, we already know that the added Novice mode reduces shopkeeper prices and conserves stamina when using tools, but it also decreases the amount of shipped items required for unlocking the last two Trade Depot vendors, Ice Country and Tropical Country. Players are still required to ship at least 3 million G worth of goods, but the specific items required for each vendor to unlock have been reduced by 30%.

For example with the Ice Country requirement, players are required to ship at least 100 fences (among other things) to the vendors at the Trade Depot. When playing Novice mode, you only have to ship 70 fences to meet the shipped-fences requirement. Thatís a little bit easier compared to the original Veteran mode of the game.

Will the game still have two modes when it is released in North America, or will the standard be Novice mode? *shrug*

Also coming out of Japan is news from Marvelous about a crossover between Bokujou Monogatari and the classic strategy RPG, Popolocrois. The game is called Popolocrois Bokujou Monogatari and will be for the Nintendo 3DS system. It isnít a full Bokumono game, but rather a Popolocrois game with farming aspects added in. It is being produced by Yoshifumi Hashimoto, who has just finished up Forbidden Magna (3DS, Oct 2 Jp release), and Tamori Yousuke, the creator of the Popolocrois manga series. It looks like our farming video game producer doesnít get very many breaks between games.

Marvelous has launched their official website about the game at http://www.marv.jp/special/game/3ds/popoboku if you want to check it out. There are screenshots of Prince Pietro growing and harvesting crops, which will be shipped for money. It looks quite pretty.

The game has only been recently announced, so weíll have to wait and see how much of our farming game is rolled into this new 3DS game.

And here is the October Nintendo DREAM 4-col comic!

- Cher
- (whew... back to farming...)

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PAX and Plushies | Posted at 11:50 AM on 29 August 2014

Happy Friday!

PAX Prime is this weekend in Seattle, where the Natsume fun-time rep CeeCee will be in attendance. If you are also attending the expo, keep an eye on the company's Facebook and Tumblr for times and locations at PAX where visitors can possibly snag some uncommon Natsume plushies.

The mega Harvest Moon plushies from SOTA Toys are now available for purchase at the SOTA Toys website. You can purchase the Harvest Moon: Lost Valley puppy, Lost Valley Chicken/Chick combo, Panda, and the mega cow that was part of the special Natsume-only pre-order promo from Harvest Moon: A New Beginning. Here is an image of the Lost Valley plushies and the Panda for size comparison:

The little yellow chick is actually reversible, similar to a Popple for those of us old enough to remember them ( Popple your Popple, they're a baaaaaaaallll ). It can look like a chicken egg, and then folded back around to look like a baby chicken, then squashed back into egg form.

The Lost Valley dog, in a smaller form, will also be the pre-order bonus for the game. The pre-order red bandana puppy will be available at Gamestop stores in the US and EB Games stores in Canada. There was a blue bandana puppy (which I missed, *sniffle*) that was given out during E3, but it was specifically for the show and will not be a pre-order bonus. There will be a special pre-order package from the Natsume website, but the details have not been released yet.

Two more characters profiles have been released for Lost Valley: Sam and Gilbert.

Sam is the local tough-guy merchant who sells you supplies as well as buys your products from you. Gilbert is a whimsical bard who has a poetic way of speaking. Gilbert is also a marriage candidate for those who are playing as the female main character. That makes two revealed bachelors and one bachelorette so far! CeeCee has also posted about the personalities of your farm animals, and how certain types will prefer different seasons, handle stress better, produces high quality or more products, or increase affection faster.

It's interesting to note that Story of Seasons also has animal personality traits. In the previous version of the game there were animal personalities, but they didn't appear to do anything. In this version, the animal personalities can randomly produce high quality items, produce an item with a bonus +1 star on its Star Rank, or receive multiple items at a harvest. There are only three types of animal personalities available, but the same personality won't affect a type of animal the same as on another. For example, having a docile personality on a Jersey cow might result with a random HQ item, but a docile Suffolk sheep may return a increase in Star Rank on its wool instead of HQ wool.

I am still plugging along in the game, working on unlocking the last Trade Depot vendor and finally proposing to Ms. Irresponsible-turned-responsible Elise. When you do hand over the Blue Feather and it is accepted, it just means that you're engaged to marry. You don't get married immediately seven days later. The next step after the feather hand off is to decide on a wedding plan, and then pay for the plan by talking to Veronica at the guildhall. The more elaborate the plan, the more it costs you to hold the ceremony. The most expensive plan will also produce a pregnancy faster than if you choose the simplest plan.

Until next time!

- Cher

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The first Lost Valley bachelorette! | Posted at 05:18 PM on 10 August 2014
Natsume continues to reveal new characters for their upcoming game, Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley. We now have Hanna, Jimmy, and the bachelorette, Emily.

Another character who was revealed is the first harvest sprite, Rowan. The yellow fellow will help you start your story in the valley by guiding you through the basic tutorials.

We already know that the Harvest Sprites will eventually be able to help you manage your farm, so hopefully we'll learn what Rowan's special ability will be.

As for Story of Seasons, things are quiet from XSeed's side as they are still toiling away at the game's localization. Remember that any release dates you discover online or at retail stores are just placeholders and not confirmed information.

The game's newely-patched Novice Mode has made it easier to conserve stamina when using tools, and items cost less in the stores, but it didn't seem to resolve the material supply problem. Construction objects require the same amount of materials; the boulders at the Safari Zone still require 600 Lumber and 100 Stone Lumber, yet the cost of construction is now only 70,000 G instead of 100,000 G. Being that money is rather easy to collect, especially now that you can work more by using less stamina, it doesn't feel like goals like the Safari remodels have been rebalanced with the introduction of a beginner's mode. It just means you can buy the required materials from Gunther's carpentry shop for less money, although Corona doesn't sell more of the materials while playing Novice mode versus playing Veteran mode.

Here is the September Nintendo DREAM 4-col comic!

- Cher
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