In my last installment in this series, I talked about how I spent a great deal of time making my Fantasy Life character, and devoted no text to the game itself whatsoever. Let’s remedy that—now is a good time to start talking about how a new Life begins.
After creating a “me” that satisfied me, I found myself in a room. I was on the floor, and a concerned woman burst inside. She was the nosey landlady, Pam. Of course, her concern was warranted. Today was the day I finally started a Life.
That’s “Life” with a capital-L, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Fantasy Life is set in a world where a Life Goddess decided to help everyone fulfill their wishes by giving them the skills and jobs necessary to take care of themselves. The hope is that people would create bonds and find purpose by aiding each other with their unique abilities, bringing joy to everyone in a utopian society.
Of course, that isn’t going too well. As I learned from my first runs around Reveria, young people aren’t keen on picking Lives for themselves. For example, right after I received my Tailor license from the Guild Hall, I came across two pucks picking on a talking butterfly. I know there’s a sneaking suspicion that butterflies aren’t as innocent as they seem (see: The Simpsons), but this one seemed pretty innocent. Plus, it could talk. You’ve got to stick up for talking insects.
I went on over and found this was a butterfly on a mission, and it was going to be my companion for the rest of my Fantasy Life journey, whether I liked it or not. Seriously. After I visited the king to get an official care package and well wishes, the insect asked if it could tag along. Even when I said no, it said that didn’t matter. Butterfly the butterfly is the Navi of Fantasy Life, only more subdued.
Actually, it’s more acceptable as well, since Butterfly bestows Bliss rewards upon my character. See, Fantasy Life isn’t just about taking on a role in society and working to make it a better place by providing a service or goods that Reveria needs. It’s also about making yourself happy. This is accomplished by doing everyday tasks, completing quests, working, improving your quality of life by decorating a home, and so on. Think of it as an achievement system. Only, once you see the notice pop up on the bottom screen, you want to rush home and ask Butterfly what you get for it.
In my first day, I earned enough Bliss for two perks. I decided to upgrade my bag storage to 100 from 50 and opted for pet ownership. I was able to get a free dog or cat from the pet vendor in town, which could act as a companion, and suddenly was able to make more product.
This brings me to the whole point of this second article: I love being a tailor. I chose the Life because I wanted a challenge. I haven’t seen a job like this in an RPG since I experimented with Mabinogi, and I wanted to see what Fantasy Life had to offer.
It started with an introductory quest that sent me off to meet my master, Purl, her assistant, Spoolie, and my compatriot, Taylor. From them, I received a beginner’s needle, learned how to gather materials from the suburbs, made Dandelion Cloth, and received my first few blueprints. The experience went swiftly, even though the tutorial was a bit of a fetch quest, and was the perfect introduction to this Life.
As for crafting itself, it’s an interesting process. Being a tailor means playing a minigame where my avatar hops between cutting, sewing machine, and hand sewing stations. Each step requires doing multiple tasks, accomplished by button-mashing the A button or pressing it at the right time. Sound tedious? Well, it can be.
This is why mastering certain crafts makes the process quicker. Experience is gained in each task, and repeating it can allow a tailor to make them in bulk or automate the process. There are also Challenges to complete. Each mastery level offers different blueprints for craftable products. Making the Highland Top, Kilt, Beret, and Loafers allowed me to complete the Highland Habit Challenge, which doled out 150 stars to improve my rank. Once I became an Apprentice Tailor, its Life Skills improved and more projects became available.
In about two hours of play, I made over 3,000 dosh (cash) by creating clothes. I even kept a few pieces that I saw would work with all the Lives, as personal equipment. Almost all of that was profit, and went toward getting a better needle from the market. I did have to buy some materials, like animal leather, string, and buttons, but still. I feel I did pretty well for someone who’d only just gone from a Novice to an Apprentice.
The thing is, I feel like I’ve spent enough time within Reveria’s city limits. I know I’m only a tailor, but I feel like I need to expand my horizons. Next time, I’m striking out into the world.