Thursday, November 18, 2010

Time off for Rune Factory 3

I apologise to all Grand Bazaar players for the lack of updates to the Grand Bazaar Guides recently, but I have to take a break in order to cover Rune Factory 3. I promise to return to Grand Bazaar as quickly as possible... Both Grand Bazaar and Rune Factory 3 are amazing, wonderful games and if I had two lives, I could play both simultaneously and work on guides for both simultaneously. In my current limited life, however, I really have to focus on one game at a time.

You will see, however, that I have used the new option provided by Google to create stand-alone pages for each of my Guides. You will find a tab for each Grand Bazaar Guide at the top of this Page. It should make it easy for any player to consult one of the Guides instantly rather than being forced to search through all posts. The links on the right side of the page lead to my Guides on IGN but often you will find a more recent version of any Guide on THIS site, as IGN cannot update on weekends or holidays.

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Year Celebrations and Rice Candy in Grand Bazaar

This information is included in my General Guide but as a player had asked about Rice Candy in Grand Bazaar, I decided to create a separate post about it.

Rice Candy or Rice Cakes are traditional Year End or New Year items in Harvest Moon but in Grand Bazaar, although Rice Candy will be found at Felix's Stall at the end of the Winter Season even in the first year, the actual New Year's Eve Celebration in the Square does not feature Rice Candy, nor will you be able to take any leftovers home with you.

Unlike many Harvest Moon games, the only Shop in Zephyr Town will remain open during Festivals and indeed, poor Raul never joins any of the celebrations. New Year's Day on 1 Spring is not a Festival in Grand Bazaar, dispensing with the difficult situation in many past Harvest Moon games wherein it was impossible to purchase animal supplies for two days at least during the New Year celebrations.

The sole celebration occurs at night after 8.00 p.m. You will be sent to bed immediately afterwards, so make certain that you complete all your Winter activities (in the form of Winter fishing, collecting Snowballs and so on) before you tell Felix that you are ready to begin the Festival.

Felix sells plain Rice Candy at his Stall, but you may find Toasted Rice Candy as well as Soy Milk and Soybean dishes at Claire's Stall in Grand Bazaar.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Blue Feather in Grand Bazaar

Other players had reported that they were unable to marry in the first year in Grand Bazaar. In my own first file, although Bachelors were at Orange Heart early in Winter in the first year, it was only on the first day of Spring in the second year that Freyja received a visit from Ethel and Stuart when she re-entered her house.

??? Are you home, Freyja?
??? We're coming in, dear.

Me: ?
Staurt and Etehel enter.

Sorry to bother you, but it's very important. I'll cut to the chase. (Ahahn...) You're in love, right?

Me: (...)

Ethel: Don't deny it. It's written all over your face, dear.

I nod.

Stuart (ha ha ha) I knew it! We're so good at this.

Ethel: Tee hee.

Stuart: You're thinking about proposing, right?

Me: (!)

Start: We brought you something to help out with that.

Me: (?)

Ethel: It's a blue feather. You give it to some one to propose to them.

Stuart: This is the one I gave Ethel. It certainly brought us a lot of happiness. Just make sure you give it to the right person.

Ethel walks to my side slowly and presents me with a Blue Feather, then returns to stand beside her husband.

Stuart: The feather won't do it all. You have to have a good relationship with the person and their friends and family.

Ethel: I'm sure you can do it, Freyja.

Stuart: Well, we'll be on our way now. Good luck!

Freyja (with music)

The fact that both Stuart and Ethel pass on the Blue Feather that made their own marriage possible is rather charming. Note that Stuart clearly states that 'you have to have a good relationship with the person and their friends and family'. The specific individuals who must have at least three hearts when you are courting any Eligible Girl or Bachelor is included in my Courtship and Marriage Guide.

Later: Thanks to the player who reported that Stuart and Ethel made the visit at zero Hearts. The only requirement then is the traditional Harvest Moon requirement that at least one Bachelor or Eligible Girl must be at Orange Heart Level in order to obtain the Blue Feather.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The First Winter in Grand Bazaar

The following was published on my 'Harvest Moon Forever' site last month but as players tend to visit one site and not the other, it probably needs to be added to this site as well. Remember always that the most up-to-date version of any information about this game should be found in my General Guide.

Winter in Harvest Moon games always tends to be quite different from the other three Seasons but Winter in Grand Bazaar has some very creative additions to the usual snowy landscape.

First of all, there are snowballs on the ground and although you cannot push them together to make your own Snowmen who speak and give you gifts as you can in Animal Crossing, they often DO contain Gifts from Nature. Throw the Snowball to smash it and you may find it contains an Ore Stone or other surprise, including Cooked Dishes and Flowers from every Season. Freyja found a Curry Dumpling in a Snowball on the second day of Winter, Moondrop Flowers and Magic Blue Flowers. As the season progressed, she found all other Flowers in Snowballs. If your Character does not use them as Gifts, he/she can make Flower Perfume from them. Winter is the best Season for this unless you are involved in Multiplayer Sessions where you can purchase Flowers from other Seasons from players. Remember that no Flowers or Insects will be found on the Map during a Multiplayer Session, although Fishing in the Host's current Season is possible once you have a Fishing Rod.

Incidentally, there are Snowmen of various sizes and designs stashed here and there throughout the Map, although I have yet to receive a visit from one on a snowy night as in Animal Parade, asking for a replacement for his lost nose.

Next, although the River is frozen in Winter, you can find cracks in the ice. Use your Hammer to strike the ice where you see the cracks and it will create a large hole where you can dive for items or fish. Despite the freezing temperature, your Character will react no differently to immersion in the water in Winter...

Ore Stones can be found on the ground in Winter as well as inside Snowballs and when diving in the River.

There are two kinds of sparkles in Winter. One is the sparkle of ice that can be found randomly anywhere on the map, including locations your Character could not possibly reach. These are 'eye candy' in the form of glittering ice from Winter's freezing temperatures. The othr sparkles are the usual ones that denote the presence of coins.

So far, the only Cooked Dish I have found inside Snowballs is Curry Dumpling. The Rank/Quality varies, however, making one Curry Dumpling worth more than another. A Snowball incidentally can contain another Snowball!

A new activity in Winter is Snowboarding. Mayor Felix will deliver a Snowboard to your House on the 2nd of Winter or thereabouts and announce that there will be a tournament on the 20th. You can practice on the course on the Hotel Screen. Once the Snowboard delivery occurs, you will find a Skateboard on sale at the Bazaar for 9000G. This appears to take a slot ordinarily devoted to one of the Pet Toys. The other Pet Toy will continue to be sold. I believe that the Pet Toy is chosen randomly but if you wish to make certain that both are sold at Felix's Stall, you probably should purchase the Skateboard and be done with THAT.

Amir will be introduced in the first Winter on or about 3 Winter by Mayor Felix and will stay at the Hotel. Milk makes him very happy. All likes/dislikes as well as the schedule of Amir's Heart Events can be found in my Courtship and Marriage Guide.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Easiest Gifts List

Although each Individual in Harvest Moon/Rune Factory has specific Likes and Dislikes where Gifts are concerned, it can be convenient to give more than one Character the same Item, especially when storage or rucksack space is limited. Furthermore, although each Character has a 'Most Favourite Gift' worth +800 AP/FP, the simple act of 'meeting and greeting' any Character is worth +100 FP. A Gift he/she Loves is worth +150 AP/FP in Grand Bazaar, rather than the usual +300 AP/FP in other Harvest Moon games. An 'acceptable' Gift is worth +50 AP/FP. It therefore is better always to go to the trouble of meeting and greeting a Character daily even if you have no Gifts that will excite him/her. A Gift that is acceptable is better than none.

A Most Favourite Gift in Grand Bazaar, as in any Harvest Moon/Rune Factory game tends to elicit a Response that is unique and one that mentions the item by name. For example, when you give Ivan Herb Perfume, he will respond:

Ivan for Herb Perfume: This is herb perfume. What? I can have it? Thank you very much. I really love how this perfume smells.

Lloyd similarly responds to his Favourite, Paella with:

Lloyd for Paella (laughing) Paella!! For me? I really love this. Thanks!

When you give an individual an Item he/she Loves, worth 150 AP/FP, he/she usually will accompany the response with a laugh or chuckle or, in Lloyd's case, an embarrassed cough. Ivan's Response for a Gift he Loves is:

Ivan for Toy Flower, any other Flower or Herb, Fried Rice Ball or Egg Rice: What? Is this for me? (with a laugh) Thank you very much.

For a Gift that is acceptable, the Character will thank you politely but will not display any outward sign of delight. Ivan's Response for a Gift that is merely acceptable:

Ivan for Chocolate Cookies: Is this for me? Thank you very much.

As you can see, the text of the two Responses Ivan makes are almost identical. What distinguishes one from the other is the delighted laugh he gives when he accepts a Gift he Loves.

Characters WILL accept Gifts that they dislike, detest or view with utter Horror. These Items have a negative AP/FP value. If any Character refuses to accept a Gift, it is because you have neglected him/her for a couple of days. This is another reason why you should meet and greet every one on a daily basis. Fortunately, the effects of Neglect dissipate fairly quickly compared to a game like Sunshine Islands where a Character could reject a Gift for six Days if you ignored him/her for a week or more.

A second Gift on any given day, however, will not be accepted, but the Character will make it clear that he/she received a Gift from you previously.

An 'Easiest Gifts' List often is very helpful in Harvest Moon/Rune Factory. The Items listed usually are not 'Most Favourite Gifts' for any of the Characters but they are Gifts that the Individual Loves and they have the advantages of being inexpensive or easy to obtain as well as being suitable for more than one Character.

Flowers are at the top of the List. In Grand Bazaar, Flowers will be accepted happily by EVERY Individual during the Flower Festival but their Responses to a Flower will differ from their ordinary Responses to a Gift of the same Flower. You therefore cannot judge a Character's true feelings about Flowers as Gifts by his/her Responses during the Flower Festival.

Another easy Gift is Insects. In the majority of cases, however, Characters will respond positively to specific types of Insects rather than Insects in general. The exceptions to this are Lloyd and Kevin who love ANY Insect. Generally, Items found when foraging are the easiest and least valuable Gifts. You cannot give them to every Character but you will find that you can give them to MOST Characters. The Cooked Dishes are Recipes that require no special Cookware.

Here is a preliminary Easiest Gifts List:

Characters who Love all Flowers: Daisy, Ivan, Emiko (+150 AP/FP)
Who Love Moondrop: Angelo, Claire, Sherry, Stuart(+150 AP/FP)
Who Love Blue Magic Flower: Lloyd, Antoinette, Ethel(+150 AP/FP)
Who Love Red Magic Flower: Dirk, Freya, Raul, Felix(+150 AP/FP)

Characters who like Flowers: Sherry, Freya, Dirk, Angelo, Mayor, Wilbur, Isaac, Claire, Ethel (+50 AP/FP)

Characters who Love all Insects: Lloyd, Kevin (+150 AP/FP)
Who Love Beetles: Dirk (+150 AP/FP)
Who Love Butterflies: Freya, Sherry, Daisy (+150 AP/FP)
Who Love Dragonflies: Cindy, Ivan (+150 AP/FP)
Who Love Fireflies: Daisy (+150 AP/FP)
Who Love Frogs: Antoinette (+150 AP/FP)
Who Love Locusts: Stuart, Felix (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Like Insects: Dirk, Angelo, Ivan, Claude (+50 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Walnuts: Angelo, Daisy, Ethel (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Chestnuts: Angelo, Daisy, Stuart, Ethel (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Sea Urchins: Claude (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Like Sea Urchins: Lloyd (+50 AP/FP)

Characters who Like Rocks: Isaac, Wilbur (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who like Branches: Isaac, Wilbur (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Fish: (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Like Fish: Claude (+50 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Chocolate: Freya, Antoinette, Daisy, Claude, Stuart (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Honey: Angelo, Daisy, Nellie, Claire (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Baked Yam: Stuart, Ethel (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Roasted Eggplant: Ivan, Stuart, Ethel (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Egg Custard: Stuart, Ethel (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Kurikinton: Angelo, Antoinette, Daisy, Stuart (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Cheesecake: Dirk, Angelo, Antoinette, Daisy, Stuart (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Milk Tea: Antoinette, Freya, Stuart, Ethel (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Straight Tea: Stuart, Ethel (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Boiled Egg: Ivan, Stuart, Ethel (+150 AP/FP)

Characters who Love Fish Stew: Felix (+150 AP/FP)

I will add to the list as I test Items on more individuals.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Danger of Jumping to Conclusions in Harvest Moon games

As a veteran Harvest Moon/Rune Factory player, when I first begin to play any new game in the series, I often have some advantages over players who never played Harvest Moon or Rune Factory games before. On the other hand, it is easy for me to jump to conclusions and that can be dangerous.

There are two ways to approach the task of writing strategy guides for players. The best method obviously would be to write the guide and perfect it before publication. If one has advance access to the games, one can do this to some extent, although test versions tend to be a little different from the ultimate retail version. Furthermore, where Harvest Moon or Rune Factory games are concerned, there are so many details that one needs months to work on any guides, irrespective of being able to PLAY the game for months.

The second way to write guides, especially on the internet, is to publish as quickly as possible in order to give players some point of reference and then update constantly until the guides are completed. Players have urged me to follow this course again and again.

Unfortunately, in the interest of making some information available to players as quickly as possible, my preliminary Guides for most games require constant updates for a few months after they first are published on the internet. This method of writing guides can be a little humiliating for the writer sometimes when she discovers that she has made some errors. I do apologise for any errors that appear in them, but I do try to correct these as quickly as possible.

I made some fundamental errors where Grand Bazaar was concerned based on past Harvest Moon games in terms of upgrades. This was an example of 'jumping to conclusions'. In the case of the Fishing Rod upgrades, I should have read the description at the Windmill more carefully. I paid the price personally for my carelessness when, after upgrading my Short Fishing Rod five times to the maximum 5 Star Quality and obtaining all ingredients for the Medium Fishing Rod upgrade, I was unable to transform the Short Fishing Rod into a basic Medium Fishing Rod. Serves me right! The error has been corrected in my Guides. It is not a bad idea to upgrade the Short Fishing Rod to Five Stars as it does improve fishing results but it will not become a different Tool.

Another similar error I made was in my initial descriptions of the ingredients required to make a few items at the 1st Windmill. What appeared to be the icons of Medium and Larg Milk in fact are icons for Jersey Milk and Golden Milk.

I would urge players always to refer to the latest versions of my Grand Bazaar Guides at this point in time. They remain 'works in progress' and I try to update them constantly with new information as well as corrected information whenever necessary.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Multiplayer Tips and Tricks for Grand Bazaar

Some players have had trouble in finding Seeds and other Items at the Weekly Bazaar. My own Grand Bazaar Walkthrough/General Guide lists the items that have appeared in my own files in various Seasons, before and after expansions, but there are players who have not found all these items on offer in their games.

Essentially, the principles by which new items in all Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games usually are one of the following:

1. The total of Items one has shipped. For example, some actions that unlocked new options in other games included: 100 of each of 4 types of Spring Crops, 100 Cheese created in a Maker and so on

2. The total one has spent at a specific shop. For example, in Sunshine Islands, new pets were unlocked by the total one spent at the Animal Supplies Shop.

3. The purchase of a specific item. For example, in HM DS/Cute DS, one had to buy the Round Table from the Shopping Channel in order to unlock the ability to expand the Farmhouse.

4. The appearance of new Characters. For example, in Sunshine Islands, it was the appearance of a specific number of members of the Ranch Team that would unlock Sheep.

5. A specific percentage of 'completion' in one or more aspects of the game. Bazaar expansions in Grand Bazaar depend upon this.

6. A specific Friendship/Affection Level with another Character in the game.

In other words, if specific items fail to appear at your Weekly Bazaar, it is possible that specific purchases on your part may unlock the items you need. In all my files, the Brush appeared at Felix's Stall the week after I purchased my first Livestock animal. Once I purchased the Brush, the Bell appeared. When I purchased the Bell, the Stethoscope appeared. When I purchased the Stethoscope, the Cat Bell and Dog Bone appeared. It was at the end of the first Summer, I believe that the Cat Bell and Dog Bone first appeared.

My Character always purchases all possible upgrades as quickly as possible. She therefore had purchased all three Cookware Utensils, had upgraded her Storage and purchased 2 Chickens and 2 Cows before the end of the first Summer. She had purchased all items sold by Raul and all Seeds and other items sold by Chen and Sherry. She had ordered a Storage upgrade from Gannon. She had steadily increased Friendship Levels with all Characters in Zephyr Village. She had purchased Cooked Dishes from Joan and added a fair number of Recipes to her Cookbook. She had used all three Windmills. Whether or not any of these purchases or actions affected the appearance of any new items at any Stall, I do not know.

Other players have not found the Cat Bell or Dog Bone at Felix's Stall even after purchasing all Ranch Tools including the Stethoscope. My first instinct was to ask whether or not they had achieved the first Bazaar expansion. It is possible that you will not be able to purchase these items until the Bazaar has been expanded once. If, however, any Player has not expanded the Bazaar, but has been able to purchase Cat Bell or Dog Bone, I will know that this is not the requirement... I will be interested to hear from players about this.

The point I have been trying to make here is that you usually can unlock all new options without knowing precisely how you are doing it simply by diligent action in all areas of life.

In fact, unlocking Cats and Dogs at Enrique's Amazing Animals Stall is based on the number of Chickens or Livestock you have purchased previously. If you purchase four Chickens, you will unlock Cats. If you purchase four Livestock Animals, he will begin to sell Dogs.

If, however, you are unable to unlock any item that you want or need as quickly as you would wish, the Multiplayer option offers a method of obtaining those items.

Crop Seeds and Tree Seeds that have not appeared in your own game can be purchased at a Neighbourhood Bazaar at another Player's Stall in Multiplayer Mode. The Cat Bell actually can be sold there as well. Cooked Dishes that are purchased in Multiplayer Mode are sold WITH their Recipes. This is a way to add more Recipes to your Cookbook. Fish and Insects can be sold at Neighbourhood Bazaars but when you purchase them, they will not be added to your own collection list. You actually have to catch them yourself in order to add them to the Lists in your Farm Assets Menu.

Most Fish that are purchased at another Player's Stall in Multiplayer Mode can be used as ingredients in Recipes. There are Fish that cannot be used in the Kitchen, even when your Character caught them in your own village. Among these are the Ayumodoki, the Bluegill and the Moray Eel.

Many different Fish can be used to create such Dishes as Fish Stew, Fish Paste and Grilled Fish. Although the Recipe will specify a particular variety, you can use others successfully by trial and error.

For example, the Recipe for Sashimi specifies Tuna but Sculpin can be used as well.
Similarly, although the Recipe for Fish Stew specifies Silver Goby, Dark Sleeper, Gin-Buna and Mackerel all can be used to create the Dish. If you need a specific type of Fish to create a Dish but the Fish cannot be caught in the current season, you either can visit another village in that Season or buy the Fish from another player.

There is an aspect of Cooking that has confused players which is that of 'Cooking with Recipe'. Recipes in Grand Bazaar are item-specific. In other words, if you use a Silver Goby to create Fish Stew, and the game records that as the Recipe, only Silver Goby will be recognised as the ingredient to make Fish Stew when you use the option to 'Cook with Recipe'. In other words, if you KNOW that your Mackerel can be used to make Fish Stew, but Silver Goby is given as the Ingredient in the Recipe, the game will tell you that you do not have the necessary ingredients to make Fish Stew. To use different ingredients, you have to 'Cook Without Recipe'. (The actual wording of the prompt may be different. I am writing from memory at the moment.) In other words, to use a different Fish such as a Mackerel, choose the option to 'Cook without Recipe', then place the Fish manually in the Ingredient Slot.

After the Dish is made, the game will ask if you wish to change the Recipe. If you do so, it will give Mackerel now as the Ingredient instead of Silver Coby.

In other Harvest Moon games, Fish usually are distinguished only by size. Recipes require Medium Fish for the most part, irrespective of variety. Grand Bazaar distinguishes Fish by species rather than size.

In terms of Multiplayer sessions, there are a few tips that can be very useful. Visits to another Player's village should be made on a day when all of his/her Crops are ripe. In such a case, EVERY player, including the Host will be able to harvest every Crop in the field.

If it is Friday in your game and you need to rid yourself of items, a Multiplayer game is a good way to achieve this without loss of profit as you can sell items at another player's Stall. Remember not to buy all the items on display, however, until you have completed your own sales. Once the Stall is 'sold out', no more transactions can occur. If, therefore, you intend to fish and/or dive for items, it is best to leave one item on another player's Stall until you have completed all your own activities so that you can sell excess items before the Multiplayer game comes to an end.

Incidentally, another Tip where Fishing is concerned is to do as much as possible when the weather is nastiest. Fishing in a Hurricane or Snowstorm can bring great rewards, even with a Short Fishing Rod. The Hotel Screen appears to be best for most ocean Fish. Evidently, the storm affects the tides and brings them into the river during the worst storms.