Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns Interview

Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns Interview With Graham Markay
By Kimberley Wallace and RPGFan Staff
Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns Artwork

September 10th, 2011 With the release of Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns approaching on 9/20 for DS and sometime soon for 3DS, we couldn't wait to hear what the game has in store for us. Thankfully, we had the pleasure of asking some questions to the VP of Operations at Natsume, Graham Markay.

RPGFan: Apart from aesthetics, are there other differences between the two towns? How will this play into different players' strategies?

Graham Markay: Each town has its unique specialty. If you choose to live in the European-themed Bluebell, your focus will be on livestock and you will have a much bigger barn to keep animals. In the Eastern-themed Konohana, your focus will be on growing crops, as your farming land is much bigger. This allows players to choose which aspect of farming they like better – crops or livestock – and focus on that. Of course, you can always switch towns if you'd like to change your focus, or if you'd just like a change of scenery!

RPGFan: Tale of Two Towns uses a completely new cast. What makes this cast stand out from previous ones? What bonuses will players net from befriending various locals?

GM: The new characters are full of personality! Just to name a few, there's Mako- the Samurai who's always tending to his orchards, Cam- the sensitive young man who runs a flower shop, and Ina- the strict, matronly mayor of Konohana. Befriending the characters will allow you to accept different requests from them or, in some cases, eventually marry them!

Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns Artwork

RPGFan: How is 3D being used in the 3DS Version? Are 3D visuals the only difference between the DS and 3DS version?

GM: The 3D effect is used in a bit of a subtle way; the trees sway back and forth, and fish pop out of the streams, making them easier to see. The 3DS version also has a 3D animal petting game, where the animal you're petting will appear on the top screen in stunning 3D.

RPGFan: Previous DS versions of Harvest Moon have had complaints about controls. Have you tried to adjust them for The Tale of Two Towns? Does the 3DS version use the circle pad?

GM: The controls for Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns couldn't be easier. Talk to people with the A button, jump with the B button, and toggle between walking and running using the L Button. And yes, the 3DS version does, in fact, support the circle pad. Push it slightly if you want to walk and more strongly if you want to run.

RPGFan: Do you think that your audience might be split because of the dual platform release?

GM: The Harvest Moon franchise has always done well on handheld platforms, so we wanted to make sure that a version was available for Nintendo 3DS. It was never our goal for our fans to purchase both; we just wanted to make sure a 3DS version was available for any Harvest Moon fans that owned a Nintendo 3DS.

RPGFan: Cooking and fishing have a greater focus in this game. What will keep players engaged with these new features?

GM: In this game, the more you cook, the more likely you are to be "inspired," and learn a new recipe. In addition, there is a cooking contest held between the two towns 4 times a month, so, to help your town win, and to help bring the two towns closer together, you'd better make sure to refine your culinary skills!

Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns Artwork

RPGFan: Can you go into detail about the game's multiplayer aspects? Also, what can players expect with the StreetPass?

GM: Multiplayer Mode lets players visit their friends' farms. There, you can harvest your friends' crops or let your friends come to your farm and harvest your crops. With StreetPass, you can send items you'd like to give to other players, and, in turn, receive items from other players. As some of the items in this game are hard to make and find, you'll want to keep your 3DS in StreetPass mode when you know there are other Harvest Moon players around!

RPGFan: Harvest Moon fans have a new animal to befriend, the Alpaca! What does the Alpaca lend to the game?

GM: The alpaca, aside from being warm and fuzzy, has very valuable wool. You can sell it, make it into yarn, or even use it in alchemy recipes!

RPGFan: Lastly, the burning question: what do you think separates Tale of Two Towns from previous entries most and what do you think will most please Harvest Moon diehards about The Tale of Two Towns?

GM: The biggest difference in Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns is the bulletin board request system. Each town has its own bulletin board and, by fulfilling the villagers' requests, you can receive great items, such as seeds, tools, crops, and dishes. In fact, only by using the bulletin board can you bring the two towns together again!