When Natsume first began work on Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, they had a code name for it: Back to Basics. This is the philosophy that has been applied to many aspects of the game, the developer said in an e-mail to Siliconera this morning.

 

Producer Taku Maekawa says that this didn’t just involve cutting down on the animals in the game, which are now limited to cows, sheep, chickens and horses. Instead, the goal was also to give each animal its own traits, called “skills”. Now, you can seek out animals with the traits you feel fit your playstyle best.

 

Here are two examples of some of the animal traits you’ll find in the game:

 

  • Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall – This season is the animal’s favorite! Their affection level will go up faster in that season.

 

  • Elegant – These animals really, really hate being dirty! You’ll get a big affection bonus when you brush them. The higher an animal’s affection, the higher quality products they’ll produce, as well as a higher quantity of that product!

 

If you find you like a particular trait, you can breed that particular animal and acquire the same skill over and over. You can also breed them into a rare, “super” version of that skill. Here’s an example of how some skills level up in the game:

 

  • Great Goods becomes High-Quality Goods: These animals have a strong and powerful body! Because of that, they will sometimes produce higher-quality products.

 

  • More Goods becomes Super Goods: These animals are gifted with fantastic health! Because of that, they will sometimes produce a higher quantity of products.

 

Skills can also be taught in Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley. You can teach animals unique skills through a wide variety of animal feed.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and a contributing writer at GamesIndustry.biz. He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.

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