The Sunnier Side Of Rune Factory 3

By Ishaan . July 3, 2009 . 12:40pm

I suppose we can’t stay mad at Neverland and Marvelous forever. Not that I’m not still completely mindblown by their decision to turn the new farmer in Rune Factory 3 into a effeminate were-woolie, but I’m going to hope they rethink that decision for the Western market.


In the mean time, let’s look at what potentially makes Rune Factory 3 a great game. That isn’t to say Rune Factory has ever been bad, it’s just that the second one felt a bit too much like more of the same for my liking, and 3 seems to bring some fresh, promising features to the table. For starters, the new farmer, Maisu — which sounds like “Mice” but will probably be spelt “Mais” — can transform into a variety of were-beasts once he obtains an item named the “Transformation Belt.” Depending on what you turn into, you’ll have different battle actions to choose from in combat. Not only that, people in town will react to you differently depending on what form you take on, too.


This resolves one of the biggest issues with the first two games, and even Frontier. Beyond a certain point, it got a little tiring listening to people in town say the same things over and over again, and having a little variety in your interaction with the townspeople this way is probably going to be considerably more entertaining. Personally, I’m curious to see if you get chased out of town, should you choose to enter as one of the wilder beasts in the game.


Being able to transform into a variety of beasts also means that you will almost certainly be required to make use of their abilities in order to get past certain caves and areas, so it should be interesting to see how this feature influences the game’s dungeon design.


Since you can still keep pets, there’s also a possibility that you might be able to talk to them while transformed, and maybe even issue them orders in combat. We’ll have to wait and see what Neverland have up their sleeves. There was also a brief discussion with a friend about whether or not you’d be able to milk yourself as a were-buffamo, but let’s abandon that train of thought since it’s kind of disgusting. Interestingly, Rune Factory 3 seems to handle character interaction in a manner that sounds vastly superior to its prequels. Townspeople still go about their daily lives just as in previous games; only, now their actions aren’t entirely independent of each other. Instead, their day-to-day activities are influenced by their ties to other characters and their interests, and conversations and schedules are affected by this as well.


This could very well go a long way toward making Rune Factory 3 feel a lot livelier than previous games. My favourite lady in the original game was Sharron, and though I loved hanging around her, it was a little heart-breaking to know that she almost never mentioned me to Melody, who was supposed to be a good friend of hers. It would be nice if RF3 were to accommodate this petty desire. Though there’s been no talk of if the relationship system in Rune Factory 3 has seen any upgrades, I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll probably see something new in that regard as well. And then we have the feature that started the Harvest Moon craze: the farming. There hasn’t been any news on whether you’ll have access to new farming techniques or not, but what has been thrown out there is that growing crops in RF3 is now restricted to underground caves. These caves are under the influence of a giant tree (Yggdrassil?), which also happens to be Mais’s home.


Since you no longer have your own farm, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of changes this brings to the landscape and farming. Since the tree is connected to every cave, there’s a possibility that this would allow you to streamline the manner in which you tend to crops. For example; perhaps you will be able to water larger portions of caves directly from within the tree? The bottom screen could provide the touch-interface, while the top screen would show the area you’re watering. Or perhaps you will be able to influence the caves themselves in some way?


Despite the fact that the game is close to release, there’s still a lot about it we don’t know. Now that Famitsu has debuted it, we’re probably going to see a fairly steady stream of info over the next few months until release. Personally, I’m still hoping for some neat online features and to find out if the game is DSi-enhanced in any way.


Regardless, Rune Factory 3 already seems to be taking a step in the right direction as far as an evolution of the series’ design is concerned. Just…please let me play as someone other than a trap, Neverland.

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  • Hraesvelgr

    Hopefully this one doesn’t have awful voice acting like RF2 did.

  • Officially twice as excited now.

    And of course, sadly, the effeminate hero will somehow end up with whichever girl wears the glasses (because I always make’m go for the bookworm type, my wishful thinking at work)… unless they’re named Melody (why.. why all pink?!), then she wins, hands down…. for the first play through.

  • This looks like a nice, big step in the simulation of relationships part. Actually looking forward to the transformations, since I’m a monster buff, even if Mais DOES look like…well…androgynous.

  • Dorf

    The only reason to have NPCs have dynamic relationships with each other is if you can turn them against each other, possibly by murdering one and fingering* another.

    if this is in the game, I will look forward to it

    *the accusatory kind of fingering, although I guess the other kind might work too

    • James

      I have a feeling they do it on purpose though, maybe for female gamer to have a female feel to it? Cause every other character I see on the scan so far is not androgynous at all, heck, even the weapon smith is so manly hot.

      Also, you forgot to mention the seed that turn into BATTLING PLANT.

      • All Elven blacksmiths in Rune Factory are smoking hot. I had my eye on Ganesha from Frontier from the moment I saw her pic. Then it turned out she was married with a kid. -_-

  • thebanditking

    Any changes will be for the better. Heck it can’t be as boring as Animal Crossing(how do people play that game) so I will have to see how this one turns out though like in your last post about the game the character art leaves much to be desired.

  • dranelord

    hey pip0l ders a VIDEO of Rune Factory 3 on YouTube….
    but i couldn’t find it on youtube so i followed dis link

  • dranelord

    and i enjoyed reading d posts here, by the way…
    really great! i really do hope RF3 meet d expectation of the fans….
    but even better if it EXCEEDS expectation

    • dranelord


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