Harvest Moon: Magical Melody
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I am a real-for-sure gamer now. I can’t believe I haven’t talked about this before. Well, the reason is that it took so long to pull all the pieces together.

I began buying the system pieces in January but due to all kinds of merchant shenanigans I didn’t get to play the game until May. But it was worth it.

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody allows you the choice of a girl or boy farmer character. I chose the girl and named her Shana. You are supposed to plant crops as well as raise animals but I decided to try to go the animal-only route which was not successful. Shana’s farm is more balanced and she has a healthy bank balance now.

I have five hens: Bill, Lucky, Lute, Bon Ami, and Roc. Bill won the prize for best hen in the last chicken festival and got Shana a mayonnaise maker. I wish that Bill could wear the crown around the hen house.

I have a sheep named Belle, and a pet dog named Yeah! and a pet pig named Wilbur. Obviously, I’m not creative about naming. Though Yeah! is pretty enthusiastic sometimes.

Another aspect of the game is that you can court the NPCs. I decided to try for 3 boys: the serious fisherman Ray, the brusque carpenter Kurt, and the cute doctor Alex. It’s kind of hard work. Also I accidentally started wooing the androgynous Jamie because I think her/his insults are funny.

Ray, though, is a little focussed on fishing. He says stuff like “My heart beats faster when I see the ripple of the fish under water” and “An adult fisherman must learn his manners; it’s not all catch and release.” Shana finds that she’s more attracted to the perennially cheerful Joe, the other apprentice carpenter. She is just as good at fishing as Ray is anyway.

When Kurt goes on a date with Shana, he smiles a lot but in everyday circumstances he’s too unfeeling. Shana is very affectionate and he’s not really impressing her.

Shana has settled on the doctor for several reasons. For one thing, he reminds her of Duelo McFile from Vandread on whom she had a crush. Two, he seems very sensitive and compassionate. Recently, he went through a crisis in which he was concerned that medical science couldn’t ease mental pain (!). Flower Bud Village is rather old-fashioned in some ways. He’s feeling better now and chatting about the rare medicinal herbs in the area.

The third reason is that Shana has a curious affliction that would make it convenient for her to marry him. She has this bad habit of fainting right and left. Yes, she overworks herself constantly and she has a severe reaction to the blow-fish every single time she eats them. Still, she has some kind of weird low blood sugar condition.

One time she was watering, (she does it Goddess-style now), and she ran low on energy. Shana decided to build a campfire and grill the fish as soon as she caught it. Unfortunately, catching the fish used up all her energy and she fainted, face-first into the fire.

Alex seems to be exceptionally skilled; Shana doesn’t have any burn scars at all.

On White Day/Valentine’s Day, Alex gave Shana a slice of cake he’d made. Shana bought an oven and all the ingredients for the cake but she couldn’t figure out how to install the oven. Alex teased her about being shy but she’s just mechanically inept.

My brothers had been making remarks about boring girl’s games till I brought it with me on a visit. They played it non-stop and were figuring out the cost effectiveness of the animal products versus the plants and how to maximize their energy and stuff. It is strangely addictive.

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