Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (牧場物語 ミネラルタウンのなかまたち, Bokujō Monogatari: Mineral Town no Nakama Tachi, lit. Ranch Story: Companions of Mineral Town) was the first Harvest Moon game released to the Gameboy Advance system.
It follows a similar storyline to previous Harvest Moon games - to raise a successful farm. This includes growing crops and raising livestock. The player can also marry one of the six women in the town including the Harvest Goddess. The setting of Mineral Town is similar to Harvest Moon: Back To Nature.
The game begins with a video depicting a family trip you had in the past. The player got lost and met an old man. They became friends and promised to write to each other. The player is concerned when he no longer receives letters from his pen-pal from Mineral Town, so the player traveled to find the reason for the unexplained delay. Upon his arrival, the mayor alarms the player by telling him that his friend has been dead for around six months and that the player has inherited the farm which, due to obvious reasons, is run down. The player then makes it his mission to restore the farm to its former glory.
The player starts off with a farm overrun with weeds, some money and some old tools left by the farm's previous owner. The main goal of the game is to run the farm successfully, with two other main goals, befriending the inhabitants of Mineral Town, and marrying one of the six prospective wives before your five rivals do.
See marriage requirements for Friends of Mineral Town for more information.
- Karen - Karen is an outgoing girl who loves to hang out around the bar or beach at night. She works in the Supermarket during the daytime. At night she can often be found at the beach and occasionally the bar/inn and is portrayed as an alcoholic. Karen is a horrible cook and one of her dishes knocks out the main character in one of her Heart Events.
- Mary - Mary is a shy and kind hearted girl who owns the town's library. She likes Relaxation Teas and grasses which she utilizes for her studies. She loves to read books and is interested in plants like her father Basil. She is also trying to write some books of her own, but is often too shy to show anyone her work.
- Elli - Elli is a nurse working at the hospital with Doctor. Most of the time she's at the hospital selling medicine, but also takes care of her grandmother Ellen, and her younger brother Stu. She has a very motherly personality, and constantly worries about others.
- Popuri - Popuri is a feminine and bubbly girl who works at the family poultry farm. She likes the player's puppy, but is afraid of it when it grows up. She loves eggs and chickens.
- Ann - Ann is the daughter of Doug, and helps her father run the Inn. She is a bit of a tomboy, which worries her father, as Ann's mother died when she was young. She is free spirited, and loves to eat. Ann enjoys cleaning as much as cooking. She can almost always be found at the Inn, but likes to go to the Goddess Spring early in the morning on sunny days.
- Harvest Goddess - The Harvest Goddess lives at the waterfall, near the Spring Mine. She's a secret marriageable candidate. Before the player can marry her however, they must complete several challenging requests. Unlike the other candidates, her heart level is invisible, so the player has to propose to her, and see what her response is. She does not live in the character's house once they are married; she only appears for the events like the baby and marriage. Unlike the other girls, there is no rival for her hand in marriage.
This game also features 5 rivals, one for every girl except the Harvest Goddess, who will go on to marry their counter-part if the player does not stop them.
- Rick - Rick is the overprotective brother of Popuri, and despises her love interest Kai. He works at the Poultry Farm with his sister and sickly mother Lillia. Rick despises his father Rod for leaving his family behind in search for a cure to Lillia's illness. Rick is a hard worker and an animal lover. Rick will rival you for Karen's affection
- Gray - Gray is an anti social blacksmith apprentice. He works under his grandfather Saibara, and Gray often feels frustrated from his grandfather's harsh criticism. He has found solace in reading when he's not busy at work, and spends a lot of time at the library. Because of this, he spends a lot of time with Mary, and the two will marry if the player chooses not to marry Mary.
- Doctor - The Doctor (Trent) works at the hospital. He works alongside his nurse Elli, who he will eventually marry if the player chooses not to. He is passionate about his profession, and loves to test new medicines out on patients. He can be found near the mountains when the Clinic is closed.
- Kai - Kai only appears during the Summer season, and is Popuri's love interest. He is a carefree individual who cares mostly about having a good time. He runs the Seaside Shack on the beach. If he marries Popuri, the two will continue to visit, but only during the Summer.
- Cliff - Cliff is a traveller who has come to Mineral Town. He is homeless, and spends most of his time at the Church. If Cliff decides to stay in Mineral Town (by triggering an event in the Fall season), he will move into the Inn and get a part time job at the Winery. If Cliff does not permanently leave Mineral Town, he eventually falls in love with Ann, and the two will eventually marry if the player does not marry Ann. If Cliff moves out of Mineral Town, then Ann will never be able to get married.
Mineral Town is full of other villagers that you are able to interact with.
- Saibara - The town's blacksmith. He will upgrade your tools for you. He is also Gray's grandfather.
- Lillia - A frail and sick woman who owns the Poultry Farm. She is the mother of Rick and Popuri. Her husband left to find a cure for her disease.
- Barley - Will sell you livestock through his animal shop, and also gives you your horse. A kind old man who raises his granddaughter May.
- May - The young and energetic granddaughter of Barley. Loves animals, and can often be seen playing with Stu. Misses her mother.
- Zack - Responsible for shipping and importing for Mineral Town. He will pick up all of the product in your shipping box each day. Lives in his home on the beach. Best friends with Lillia's husband, Rod.
- Won - A door to door salesman. Loves to make money, and has his own shop in Zack's home.
- Carter - Mineral Town's pastor. Will be found in the church, and loves to help the inhabitants of town.
- Ellen - A sick but kind elderly woman. Stu and Elli's grandmother. Cannot use her legs, and never leaves her home.
- Stu - Loves to cause mischief, but has a kind heart. Lives with his grandmother Ellen, and looks up to his big sister Elli. Loves to be outdoors and to play, can often be found at the church.
- Duke - The owner of Aja Winery. He is enthusastic about his business and loves to drink. Can often be found at the Inn. The husband of Manna.
- Manna - Works at Aja Winery with her husband Duke. She sells wine and juice until noon, but then goes to Rose Square. Loves to gossip with the other women of the town Sasha and Anna.
- Doug - Owns the town's Inn, which he runs with his daughter Ann. Worries about his daughter, but is a very kind man.
- Anna - Stays at home, working as a homemaker. Lives with her family, Basil and Mary. Loves to go to Rose Square to gossip.
- Basil - A lover of nature, and a botanist by trade. He studies the flora of the area, and has written many of the books at the library. Mary's father, and Anna's husband.
- Sasha - The fiery co owner of the General Store. Would rather be gossiping then working, and spends a lot of time in Rose Square. Karen's mother, and is the wife of Jeff.
- Jeff - Always working hard at the General Store which he owns with his wife Sasha. A very nervous man, but tries very hard to please people. Also loves to paint. Karen is his daughter.
- Harris - Mineral Town's only police officer. Lives with his father Thomas and never misses a patrol. A hopeless romantic who is in love with Duke and Manna's daughter. Often visits Gotz, and loves festivals.
- Thomas - Mineral Town's mayor. The player meets him for the first time when he gives you your farm. Organizes all of the festivals in town, and loves Mineral Town.
- Gotz - A lonely woodcutter. Responsible for house upgrades on your farm. His family died on Mother's Hill, and he now lives alone. Harris is a close friend.
Livestock & Animals
There are five different animals the player can rear. These animals provide a source of income and have to be taken care of in a manner unique to each type of animal.
- Cows - Cows may be purchased as calves from Barley's Farm. Cows can be cared for by feeding them, brushing them, talking to them and letting them outside to graze on sunny days. When you first purchase your cow, it will be too young to produce milk. However, after about a month, it will be old enough to milk with the milker.
- Chickens - Chickens are the cheapest animals the player can purchase and may be bought from the local Poultry Farm. To care for them, the player must pick them up and feed them. Chickens produce an egg everyday. The better you care for a chicken, the better eggs it may lay.
- Sheep - Sheep may be purchased from Barley's Farm. Sheep can be cared for by feeding them, brushing them, talking to them and letting them outside to graze on sunny days. Sheep produce wool which may be sheared and sold for money. It takes time for their wool to grow back.
- Horse - After the player introduces himself to Barley , Barley will eventually drop by to give the player a horse to take care of. If the player takes good care of the horse, after a year, Barley will let him keep it. Otherwise, he will take it away for a year before giving the player another chance.
- Dog - The player will start the game with a dog. To care for the dog, all you need to do is pick it up and leave it outside on sunny days. The player may also train the dog by playing fetch. Doing this will train him to chase away wild ones when they come to scare livestock at night.
The player will start off with an axe, hammer, watering can, sickle, and hoe. The fishing rod (which allows the player to catch fish in lakes, rivers, and the ocean) can also be obtained, later in the game. After tools gain experience the player can take the tool to the black smith with the appropriate metal and have it upgraded, though to upgrade at some levels special tasks and items are required. The watering can, sickle, and hoe are used to prepare land and maintain crops. The hammer, and hoe may also be used to mine ore and precious jewels. After you level all your tools to mystrile, you can go down into the lake mine and find the cursed tools. The highest level of tool that you can get are 'Mythic' available after you 'Bless' the Cursed tools and get a Mythic stone for the tool you wish to upgrade.
After upgrading their house the player may purchase a kitchen from the TV shopping network. They may then purchase various cooking utensils which may then be used to cook. Unlike many previous Harvest Moon games recipes in FoMT can actually be made. There are two sources of recipes. The first is the library, the second is various characters throughout the game who will offer recipes after being befriended. Cooking is done by selecting utensils and ingredients which follow a recipe and cooking it, failure to follow a recipe results in burnt-looking food called 'Failure'.
Connecting to Other Games
The game offers connectivity with the Nintendo Gamecube game Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. To connect with the Gamecube game, the player must throw an offering (virtually any throwable item) into the Harvest Goddess's pool in FOMT. When connected, entries will be added to the library with details about the characters in A Wonderful Life. Also, certain characters will talk about the characters in Forget-Me-Not Valley. If the player connects enough, he will obtain the seaside cottage, the ultimate reward for connecting.
Unlike past Gameboy versions of Harvest Moon (and even Harvest Moon: Back To Nature), Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town does not feature the ability to trade livestock with other FoMT game cartridges.
When Friends of Mineral Town is linked to the GameCube game, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, via a GCN/GBA Link Cable (sold separately from the two games), two more characters may come into the game:
- Van: A traveling salesman who comes every Wednesday and stays on the second floor of the inn. He sells a Record Player, and ore from the mine.
- Luu (Ruby): A world renowned chef who comes to stay on the top floor of the inn every Sunday. She will teach some of her gourmet recipes, which cannot be found anywhere else.
- If the player places golden lumber in their field, villagers will come every morning to insult the player, and call them "Moneybags".
- If you turn on the T.V. on Friday the 13th, there will be no news. This probably refers to the American superstition of 13 being an unlucky number, and of Fridays falling on the 13th of a given month especially so.
- If you marry Karen, when you talk to her on a rainy day she'll say something like, "What a beautiful sunny day!"
- When it is snowing outside and you talk to Harris when he is on patrol, he will say something like, "I hate it when it rains!"
- The sofa in the hospital is spelled sopha instead of sofa.
- The sign outside the hospital says hospitel instead of hospital
- When you marry Karen, and when she has a baby she will say "The baby keeps crying at night, I cant get enught sleep", instead of "I cant get enough sleep".
- If the player goes to Goddess Lake, the stone (when interacted with) says " Huge stone. Your hammer is level 5, but it cant crush this sone" Instead of stone.
- When buying animal fodder from Yodel farm, Barley says "I'll put the Chicken Feed.." instead of "Animal Fodder".
- When you first meet Karen,she will say 'Hi,what's you name?Im Karen.' Instead of 'Hi, what's your name? I'm Karen.'
- The heart event song in this game is based on the classical music song Liebestraum a song often played in weddings on the piano in the 16th-18th century. It has a more modern twist.
- If you talk Carter about the job when Duke asks for help on the event of "Fall Grape Harvest", he will instead talk to you, and even the options, with a different language.
- If you speak to Rick in the Poultry Farm with his friendship high enough, he will speak in another language.
- If you stay up to look at the moon with your spouse on the Starry Night Festival, it will say, "Stayed up late... not good for my skin."
- When Rick says "Lately, I've realized how improtant Karen is to me." and "But don't you dare tell her I said that! I'd be so embarrased!", he will say the same thing but in Japanese if you talk to him in the Poultry Farm building.