Friday Favorites: Harvest Moon NPCs

Double Jump Kris MiiTime for another weekend!

Per Rachel’s and my last debate — Harvest Moon vs Animal Crossing — this Friday is dedicated to my favorite NPC characters of the franchise, minus the characters that are eligible to marry.

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Felicia from Island of Happiness/Sunshine Islands

Felicia is one of the “moms” of the setting in these games. She has a sweet disposition, helps with the shipping so you can turn a profit and, in the case of Island of Happiness, treats you like family almost immediately due to being shipwrecked together. Being one of the first available NPCs, and with such a kind nature, helps ease you into the game.

Hana from A New Beginning

Hana is the little old lady who runs the General Store in A New Beginning. She’s adorable and is quick to become friends with you. If you find and talk with her on rainy or stormy days, her dialogue is cute as she mildly scolds you for being out in the rain just to check on her.

Bo from Animal Parade

Bo is the quieter of the two carpenter apprentices, and his chill personality is one reason why I like the NPC. The other reason is that I find it funny how exasperated he can become — going so far as to even apologize for — the antics of Luke, the other carpenter apprentice!

Gotz from Friends of Mineral Town/More Friends of Mineral Town

The carpenter from the Mineral Games, Gotz is a bit gruff, but softens up once you befriend him. Like many of the other Mineral Town characters, he has a deeper backstory, one that I enjoy learning about whenever I play these games, as sad as it is.

 

Have you played any Harvest Moon games? What are your favorite characters from the games?

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For the Love of NPCs

Double Jump Kris MiiBeing the hero of a video game is one of the best parts of playing. Many boot up a console to escape the real world for a while, to fall into a fantasy where you help to save the world.

Along the way, you generally meet many NPCs…

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Non-playable characters, or NPCs, make up the bulk of video game worlds. Generally, they’re there to help point you in the right direction if not to just decorate the scenery. Not many have lives, if you will, outside of being in a convenient place for the hero.

Then there are others who, for all intents and purposes, have a life outside of the hero’s role of the game. For example, there’s Malon of LonLon Ranch from the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. As Child Link, you meet her in Hyrule Castle Town and she gives you an egg that will hatch into a cucco (or chicken, for those of you who many not play the Legend of Zelda games) to wake up her father who is blocking your entrance to the castle.

Honestly, that’s really the only required interaction with Malon in the game. Any other interactions, either as Child or Adult Link, are optional.

Of course, the majority of players go out of their way to visit the ranch in order to gain Epona the horse later in the game. If you do go through with these interactions, you learn about Malon’s backstory, about her mother, her father, and the ranch’s farmhand Ingo. As an adult, she stays on the ranch despite the hardships of it being under Ingo’s control because she wants to protect the horses. She’s an NPC in the game, but she has a backstory and life just as the main character does.

She’s a hero of her own story, even though she doesn’t directly impact Link’s. I think it’s an awesome development for her part, considering she’s an NPC. To give that kind of depth to an NPC is one of the many reasons why Ocarina of Time holds a special place in my heart.

What do you think of NPCs? Do you have any favorites?

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What Kind of NPC Are You?

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krismii
So the best part of playing a video game is being the hero and saving the world, right? Have you ever given much thought to all of those non-playable characters that help you out, like the innkeeper or the shop owner? It’s a little strange to realize that these pixel people exist solely for your characters benefit — even enemies, since you wouldn’t get stronger if you didn’t practice your battle skills. But if you weren’t playing the protagonist of the game, if you were an NPC instead, what role would you have?

rachmii
This is a tough one, I have to say. I mean, there are so many different varied NPC characters throughout so many video game franchises. So, you know what, Kris? Since you thought of this question all on your own, I’m going to let you go first in answering. Have at it.

krismii
Haha! I think I would be one of those NPCs that either helps the character with their equipment or animals. You know, perhaps like a smithy or a ranch hand. While I wouldn’t want to be a generic shop owner, I would like to help by forging stronger weapons or work at a stables where the hero can pick out a noble steed.

rachmii
Oh, stables would be good. I wouldn’t mind taking care of the animals. I think–and this is going to sound boring since I already am this–but I think I would like to be a teacher. I wouldn’t mind aiding the protagonist in their studies whether it’s weaponry, potions, or helping them figure out what to do next in their journey.

krismii
There are plenty of teacher-like roles in video games. You’d do well in those positions! If we were going by our day jobs, though, I’d probably be some sort of banker to help out with the hero’s money. I also like the idea of apothecary, or potion making. Imagine being like a witch or sorcerer, combining ingredients that the hero would probably find dubious, but it would help him or her out.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I can imagine it and I don’t think I would do well as a witch or sorcerer. I feel like I’d be too clumsy and mess everything up. But then that would be my purpose, wouldn’t it? I’d be the comic relief!

krismii
You’d be perfect as a comic relief, haha! I know that I would not want to be one of those NPCs stuck in a rescue mission. If I can’t be part of the hero’s party, I’d like to be able to help out in another way.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree with you on that. Though I can definitely see myself getting into trouble.

What kind of NPC would you be? Let us know in the comments below!

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