This Game Asks Is True Happiness Making Yourself Happy Or Someone Else Happy?

By Spencer . August 9, 2013 . 5:46pm

image Hometown Story from Toybox and Natsume is about running a small store in a small town. While you’re stocking and selling goods, you also have a chance to grant a single wish. When we spoke to Toybox CEO and Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada he said Hometown Story has seven wishes and he added a twist to the wish system.


"Remember when we talked about the wish last year? There’s a big change to that," Wada said to Siliconera. "There are still seven wishes. Six out of the seven wishes you can do for others to make them happy, but one wish is to make your character happy. You can only grant one wish and you can only do it once."


The story splits into two branches here. If you opt for the altruistic route and grant a wish for another character Hometown Story goes on one path, but if you use the wish for yourself the game continues in a different way.



"It’s a big temptation. If you choose the wish that makes your character happy, it’s the same as abandoning the six other wishes. I changed this because I wanted to make players think whether its more important to make themselves happy or make others happy. What will be the best? There aren’t many games like this out there," Wada said. I agree and  it will be interesting to see what the wish for the player character is compared to the other six wishes.


Hometown Story won’t end if you pick the wish for yourself and people will still shop at your store.


"People won’t hate you and they will shop at your store," Wada laughed. "There is no right and wrong answer, but I want to make people think."


Hometown Story is scheduled for release this fall on Nintendo 3DS.

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  • M’iau M’iaut

    If the wish lets me marry one of the moe girls in the village, to h*ll with being altruistic.

    • Zero_Destiny

      You can make any wish you want in the whole wide world and you are only gonna settle on one of the moe girls? ;D

      • M’iau M’iaut

        I have plenty enough waifus from elsewhere. I can let others have their wish in this game too.

        • Zero_Destiny

          So which one, would you pick then? :O

    • I thought this game already had marriage? 3 girls as far as i’ve heard (and 3 boys for girl chars)

  • leingod

    If you’re happy by making others happy… it’s still about making yourself happy. Just indirectly.

    • CirnoTheStrongest

      It’s Komari’s happiness spiral!!

      • IkouKuhn

        Yeah… right.

    • neocatzon

      Altruism, it’s either you do it for yourself or others.

      • CirnoTheStrongest

        Doing stuff for other people can easily bring you happiness. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to experience happiness in my experience. Doing something for yourself just brings something that can parade as happiness a bit, but won’t last long. When you truly make someone else’s day better that generally can bring a real smile on your face~

        • neocatzon

          There’s a question about whether human can truly capable of pure altruism (helping others because selflessness). In a matter of perspective, let’s say you help someone out of altruism. It’s either “I’m helping him because I want to help” but it can also means “I’m helping him because I’m happy to help”. Only few words different, both case sounds good. The only difference is in the second one you helping others for the sake of yourself.

          Isn’t that not much different to egoism?
          When you say it can bring smile on your face, then ultimately it benefits oneself. While the definition of altruism is unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others (Merriam-Webster).

          • equalequation

            It’s an interesting question, but I wonder if part of it isn’t because our assumption for the definition of altruism is faulty. Helping others because selflessness equals helping others when there is nothing to gain. As long as we define ‘something’ in the ‘nothing to gain’ part as some source of resource that we require for survival as an organism, we’re capable of altruism. And that’s how the Hard Sciences defined ‘something’, at least back in the era when everything in science was getting defined. All objective. No feelings into the matter.

            But then we figured out that feelings do matter a shitton for behaviour in general, and definitions and arguments started to get a little messy. For my part, I feel that the joy of helping others is actually from PERCEIVING others having joy, which is less ‘I’m helping him because I’m happy to help and it feeds my ego’ than ‘I’m helping him because I’m happy to see his positive behaviour as a result of my actions, which my brain translates as a positive social response’, in other words, a feedback loop evolved as part of the machanism for maintaining the social construct. There IS something to gain, but it’s not as cut and dry as egoism.

          • neocatzon

            Good thinking. Let me review your answer a bit, the act of helping others could be happen because 1) it’s part of our survival mechanism as an social organism, 2) We have feelings (or emotions) which are mirrored in our behaviour, 3) Loop of behaviour and social response which can lead to no 1. This is the answer that we get with an assumption that the definition of altruism is faulty and nothing to gain isn’t means ‘totally nothing to gain’.

            What if we assume the definition isn’t faulty at all?

            Let’s turn the dial up to ten. Nothing means nothing. Up to eleven, nothing means less. Altruistic, an act of devotion to others that can lead to expense of oneself. In other words, I’m talking about hero. Not someone that acts like batman but a Real Hero. There’s several names that flashed in my mind. Mother Theresa, Gandhi, and maybe Jesus? Since every human is faulty I don’t know if selflessness is possible at all. Or maybe because of his/her faulty as a human, real selflessness becomes possible?
            I believe there are conditions that can lead to altruistic act. For example a random person next to you going to get hit by a missile. You push him and get hit by yourself. Is there something to gain from that? It’s open to many interpretations.

            (About egoism, it seems I picked a bad word. You get it though. The act of helping can satisfy one’s ego)

            p.s on the side note, I remember Hanekawa from Monogatari. A morally correct person, so correct it’s insane and divine. Can we can call her a human?

  • IsaacGravity

    Hrm. Everyone is deserving of happiness esp. if they’re willing to step-up and earn it.

    If I’m getting the description in the article right and please correct me if I’m wrong, I’d obviously follow the mentioned formula (using six on others and the final on myself. Hey, why not? I worked for it) unless I meet an 11th hour NPC I either grew to care about or truly wanted to help.

    *considers*…But, knowing the inner quest loving-hero in me, I want to help as many people as I can because I can and I simply don’t have enough wishes to go around and with just seven wishes (one meant for me)… I have the shop’s success and would be a contributing member of society so I already won out…

    …Hm. touche. I suppose that question can only really be answered depending on how the game, the wish and its cast plays itself out.

    • CirnoTheStrongest

      It’s one wish, that you can choose out of seven. Six are for others, one is for yourself

      • IsaacGravity

        Ahh that makes more sense, thanks for clearing that up.

        • CirnoTheStrongest

          no prob

  • 3PointDecoupage

    My wish is to not have to wait two months for this game to come out.

    • JohnNiles

      Uh oh! You know how wishes work… two months will magically turn into two years.

      • brian

        That’d still be waiting two months, plus 22 months.

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    If one wish already makes me happy it should be enough. I should be content with what I have… man tough decisions. Does Call of Duty have any of these? >_>

    • Thom

      I was playing Call of Duty on multiplayer when a gentleman explained to me the difference between going for the instant gratification of a head shot and using a knife for a close-up personal stealth kill. Actually by ‘gentleman’ I mean 13 year old kid and by ‘explained’ I mean screamed at me through a headset. And honestly, his crackling pubescent voice didn’t carry well over the internet but I like to think his shrieks of rage conveyed time-worn truths about humanity and growing closer to friends even over periods of long absence.

      • MrSirFeatherFang

        wow, that’s pretty deep. I guess that’s why all games need online multiplayer nowadays.
        Now how often do these “truths” happen? Like different truths, not just the one you wrote above multiple times. :D

        • ShadowDivz

          Quite often, why i was surprised to learn that my mother is apparently an overweight prostitute that enjoys her job. Also,that my father is a homosexual.

          You learn something new every day with C.O.D online multiplayer.


    • Tylor Boreas Makimoto

      A ton. After all, it takes a deep understanding of philosophy on whether or not to say ‘f***’ or ‘s***’. If one is really deep, they might even through in a threat to your life just to provoke interesting thought.


  • Suicunesol

    Well that’s not difficult to answer. I’ll just pick the wish for myself in one file, and pick the wish for others in another file.

    • fireemblembeast

      Shhh! They might hear and make it only have one file like Pokemon…

      • Lumi

        Or worse, make it one file AND implement insane savegame integrity checking logic that will corrupt all your saves should you ever attempt to create multiple save games. like Animal Crossing New Leaf.

  • fireemblembeast

    This made me think of that one part from Tales of the Abyss when Natalia said she was happy making her subjects happy. Come to think of it, the female avatar looks a bit like her…

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    Can I wish for more wishes?

  • DFM

    Pardon me if I sound idealistic/naive, but isn’t there a choice that will make everyone happy, including self?

    • KuroNathan

      Depends on your views of happiness, which is what the game creator wanted to call into question. If something you do makes other people happy then that could also make yourself happy, or you can take the wish for yourself and make yourself happy.

      To me, that self wish has to be really really really tempting in order for me to pick myself over others especially if its just something I can do by myself with enough effort vs something impossible for someone else.

  • KuroNathan

    This entire scenario reminds me of a movie called Brave Story, I highly recommend it if this question got you thinking

    • GH56734

      You mean more the movie than the original novels though…
      Spoilers, obviously:
      The movie altered the ending so that he got BOTH wishes, his and the world’s..
      Originally in the light novels he chose to save the other world instead of fulfilling his personal wish (or to kill the wish fairy and take the evil route), as a result that other boy and his sister remained dead,
      and the mother is still in a coma after her suicide attempt after her husband dumped her for his mistress (because it WAS a suicide, the movie toned it down heavily but for some reason they left in the scene where the hero still smelt the gas leak anyways).
      To be fair, in the novels (not the movie) his motivation for getting the wish is pretty egoistical, since he (NOVEL SPOILERS) dies otherwise.

      Awesome movie, can’t recommend it enough, along with Children with Lost Voices. Brave Story inspired Ninokuni’s plot visibly, and it has its own, direct novel-to-videogame adaptation (like Popolocrois, unlike lots of other cash-in licensed videogames), with high production values.

      • KuroNathan

        I’ll be honest, I missed a lot of small details cause I watched it on a tiny plane tv >_>;; I need to rewatch it properly now but it still made a large impact on me.

        • GH56734

          It’s a pretty condensed adaptation, aimed at a young demographic (the novels were pretty dark… cruel, at moments).
          The gist of the story is still there, and surprisingly some of the heavy stuff as well (Mitsuru’s backstory), but the novels are very… different. They’re available in English :)
          That said, the movie is excellent in its own right.

  • SoundMatch

    I keep buying Wii and 3ds games when I don’t them. Life is sad.

  • JMaster3000

    ” This Game Asks Is True Happiness Making Yourself Happy Or Someone Else Happy? ”

    That’s some deep shit bro.

    • Kazuma Kazzie Kaz Kaz

      The answer is both. Unfortunately if your like me you can never be “truly” happy, because to be truly happy I would want the whole world to be happy too. I know that sounds a bit cheesy. ;)

  • Lemon

    Interesting. I hope they go the route that there is no right or wrong answer to this. For example, I hope that should someone wish for their own happiness, they will not be forced to suffer guilt trips whereby the game deliberately shows you how the other characters ‘suffer’ because of your ‘selfishness’. Not saying there should be no consequences for whatever wish should you choose, but I don’t want it to feel as though there are ‘right’ wishes and ‘wrong’ wishes. I just want to have some happy fun time being a storekeeper, yo.

    *Edit: Duh, just read the last 3 paragraphs. Cleared any doubts I had. Looking forward to the release!

  • rubin

    Does this have an EU release date yet?

  • Starring Happy Mask Salesman.

  • Lumi

    Hopefully there’s mutiple save files for this. Preferably 7 of them. Or just enable the savegame backup feature?

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