Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Contests in New Leaf

Veterans of Animal Crossing will be familiar with most of the contests in New Leaf.  Seasonal Contests that are repeated in the course of any year are the Bug-Off and the Fishing Tourney.  The rules for the Bug-Off, a summer contest, never vary.    Insects that you submit are judged by point value ON A RANDOM BASIS.  It is not simply a question of size but of 'lustre' an intangible that the player cannot see or discover.  The same insect, if entered twice through the magic of 'reloading' may have two quite different point values.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Journal for today

Today for the first time, Brewster asks me how much Milk I would like.  Yesterday for the first time, he asked me what beans I wanted.  I am unable to work after 8.00 p.m.

Delivery time:
Chops:  Is it something really good?
Me (very tired)  I don't know.  It's a piece of sh...
Ironically, it was something different.  I had expected the usual clothing exchange, but it was a wrapped gift.  He told me to look at it later.  'More fun that way'.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

QR Codes in New Leaf

I was woefully ignorant where the subject of QR Codes was concerned when I began to play the most recent version of Animal Crossing 'New Leaf' on the 3DS.  After having played Animal Crossing for more than a decade, I instinctively knew how to succeed in most areas of the game for the most part but when Sable introduced me to her new, monstrous sewing machine I was as much at a loss as she.

I researched the subject a little after visiting a friend's village and seeing the fabulous use she had made of custom designs.  Obviously, this was linked to QR Codes.  I then discovered a site where some one had posted a number of wonderful designs:

QR Codes for New Leaf

It is here that the 3DS demonstrates its extraordinary powers.  One uses the 3D camera to record the QR Code and it instantly is transformed into a custom design that can be used for clothing, flags or pavements.  The patterns that can be made are far more sophisticated than anything I encountered in Wild World.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tips for Island Visits

 The Island provides opportunnities to fish, dive, collect insects and foreign fruits and book tours to other Islands where specific mini-games are held.  Furthermore, there is a shop at the Island where furniture and accessories that cannot be purchased anywhere else are sold.

You must meet Tortimer before Kapp'n will appar at the wharf of your village with his boat.  In my game, I believe Tortimer appeared on the fourth day or so of gameplay.  At that point, I had paid off my initial debt to Nook and upgraded my house once.  More importantly I had 100% approval rating with my Neighbours.

I do not know yet if there are Fish on the Island that cannot possibly be caught on the beaches of your home village but I do know that rare and valuable fish appear more often there.


Two types of 'foreign' Fruit can be found on the initial island and more can be obtained from the Islands where the mini-games are held.  I suspect that the two types of Fruit found on the initial Island do not vary but the Trees that are loaded on the Islands with the mini-games may be random as I found Mangoes on my first visit to participate in the Fossil Hunt and Lychees the second time.  I  am keeping a log...


You can plunder both the initial Island and some of the Islands with mini-games for Flowers as you do not need any tools to pluck a Flower or shake a Tree for Fruit, but there is one huge disadvantage to a strategy of stripping the initial island of Flowers.  Butterflies and some other insects that are attracted to Flowers no longer will appear.  One therefore should sestrict flower collecting to the mini-game Islands.  If you need more Flowers on the initial Island, collect some during a mini-game and plant them when you return to the main island.

There are a few rules to diving.  As there is an entire chamber in the Museum devoted to items obtained when diving, it is useful to master the technique.

The first thing to remember is the fact that the Items that appear as dark shadows on the floor of the Ocean are time-restricted.  There are two controls that you can use when you are wearing the wetsuit: A and Y.  The A Button will allow you to move freely through the water.  Press Y when you wish to dive.  After doing so, you will be able to move underwater for a brief interval by pressing A, but your movements will be very sluggish and most creatures will be able to outrun you.  There are limits to the area where you are allowed to dive as well and often creatures will escape beyond the buoys and lines that act as a fence for divers.

To maximise your success, it therefore is best to use A to swim until you are literally on top of the shadow, then dive using Y and promptly collect the Item.
Some of the items you can obtain when diving include:

Flatworm: 200 Bells
Octopus: 1200 Bells
Chambered Nautilus: 900 Bells

There is a Diving Category in the Items List Guide.

After a week or so, a Wet Suit appeared in the little Shop on the Island.  It was a Green West Suit and it cost 40 Medals.  After buying it I was able to explore the seas off Asgard and catch the same Items I had found on the Island when diving.  The next day, a different style of Wet Suit appeared in the Island Shop but, although it was more attractive and elegant than the one I purchased but no more useful than the first.

One of the advantages of having a wet suit in your own village is the fact that you can find Scallops in the water that will bring Pascal to the surface.  These are NOT the same Scallops that you find on the beach incidentally as veterans of Animal Crossing will be aware.  It is possible that Pascal might appear on the Island but I am very doubtful of that.

You actually should regard the Island as you do your own village in terms of growing Fruits, Flowers and keeping the Beach clear.  If you do not collect the Shells that appear on the Beach and leave Fruit on the Ground, ultimately no new Items will appear.  As previously discussed, bringing new colours of Flowers to the Island from the mini-game Islands will cause more Butterflies to appear.

Furthermore, it is possible to use the Shovel to plant foreign fruits from the Mini-Game Islands.  You therefore will have another area where more than one foreign fruit can be harvested regularly.

In terms of how to rid onself of items collected or caught on the Island there are three different possibilities that make sense.  The first is to stash them in the wicker case for transport back to your village.  There are four different pages of slots, 10 to a page, where items can be stashed.  This gives you ample storage space for any valuable items as well as many that are not so valuable as you are given a total of 40 slots.

Anything that is placed in the case must be removed at the pier in your village.  Although you are warned to collect your items prompty, it appears that they can be left safely in the case for a couple of days.   The real problem is lack of space if you choose to return ot the Island without having emptied the case prior to departure.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Preliminary Review of 'New Leaf', Animal Crossing for 3DS

I think that most fans of the Animal Crossing series like myself, actually value all the old traditions and characters.  It pained me greatly for example to discover that 'Wild World' had jettisoned some of the Festivals from the original GameCube version.

It is early days for me in 'New Leaf' but so far I find myself very much at home in my village in 'New Leaf'.  There are a number of sly references to the fact that so many years have passed since 'Wild World' was released but on the whole, I realise there is nothing wrong with existing versions of Animal Crossing and although it is exciting to discover a new game in the series, it really was not needed.  Nevertheless, I enjoy the surprises this new game provides from the very start.

For example, although the old 'money' rock still exists and one can hit one of the rocks in the village each day repeatedly to obtain Bells, there is ANOTHER rock that when hit, will smash to reveal a Gold Nugget or Gem.  A Gold Nugget is worth 4000 Bells when sold at the Re-Tail Shop.   An Emerald, Ruby, Amethyst or indeed any Gem will sell for 2000 Bells.  Silver Nuggets sell for 3000 Bells.

The Re-Tail Shop in fact is a new option and one that is very helpful and quite amusing.  It is a secondhand shop where one can sell almost any Item for a set price determined by the owner, Reese,  as well as displaying Items at the price one chooses.

There are small differences as well.  Tom Nook no longer offers the part-time work when you first arrive at your village.  Nor are you able to move into a house immediately.  Instead, after choosing any open location for your future home you will be given a Tent as temporary lodging until you make a down payment of 10,000 Bells on your House.  When that payment has been made, your house will be built and ready for occupancy the next day.

I must confess that I never have mastered the controls on the 3DS and often press the Power Button by mistake when I should press Start.  Doing this lost me my first day's labours in New Leaf as well as causing the dreaded Resetti to appear.   Although he appeared with his warning about the negative effect of failing to save the game, he announced that, due to budget cuts, he no longer was emplayed and that I therefore would not see him again unless I, in my capacity as Mayor, reinstated his position.

Sadly I made the same error again and lost another hour or two of labour, including a couple of valuable fish and Insects....  Resetti did NOT appear but I discovered that my Character tripped and fell at every turn for the remainder of the day.  Very sly punishment on the part of Nintendo!

Shaking Trees remains an important activity and will yield fruit, Bells and Beehives.  Yes, the horrific swarms of Bees still emerge from Beehives when one falls from a Tree, but things have changed somewhat.  Instead of the old complicated system of Insurance, an intrepid explorer can simply pick up the Beehive and take it to the Re-Tail Shop, there to sell it off for 500 Bells.  Not a bad price for a bee sting really.  Once stung, any dialogue with a Villager will centre on your nasty appearance until you either Save and Quit or use Medicine.
I find it makes sense to shake ALL Trees and take my 'lumps' before I Save and Quit, then Reload to emerge from my home with a miraculously healed visage.

Only two Tools are sold each day at Nook's.  Infuriatingly, they may be the same two Tools day after day for some time.  I believe it may be quite random.   As with other versions of the game, spending at Nook's allows the shop to be upgraded faster.  Furthermore, the Items you purchase will be added to the Catalogue, even if you do not have access to it in the smallest version of the Shop.

On Fridays, Saharah visits and will offer a mismatched Carpet and Wallpaper set for 3000 Bells.  She gave me no option to swap anything.

Gulliver was found on the beach on Saturday but his 'game' is different now.  He will give you clues and ask you to identify the country where he was bound. 

'Thanks for your help!  I promise I'll send you a souvenir.  It may take awhile, but you'd better get your hopes up!'

The correct response was 'Spain' so I assume I will receive an Item that has somethiing to do with Spain.  I imagine that my old Comprehensive Guide for Wild World still applies to many of the Sets and Themes.

Later:  I received a letter from Gulliver the next day with a Gaudy Lizard attached to it.  This is a new item that did not exist in previous versions of the game.

Daily Tasks for the Beginner

'Beginner' in this context refers to even the most experienced veterans if they are beginning a new game!

Shake ALL Trees

  Must make a note here of the new, 'Perfect' Fruit, worth far more than ordinary Fruit of the same type.  I surmise that a Perfect Fruit only can form if the Fruit is left on the Tree for more than a day, but I will let you know.  If this IS indeed the case, then shake all Trees except one Fruit-Bearing Tree.

You can find Bells, Fruit, Beehives and Furniture by shaking Trees.  If a Beehive drops from the Tree, the Bees will sting you unless you can move quickly to shelter.  Even if you are stung, however, all you have to do is Save and Quit, then Reload to recover fully.

There should be at least one piece of Furniture per day hidden in a Tree.

You will not have all Tools at the start of the game, but use the ones you can obtain to the fullest extent.  In my game, the Fishing Rod, Shovel and Net were offered day after day at Nooklings with never another Tool to take their place.  (As two Tools are sold each day, the display did alternate between the three.)

It was only when Leif's Garden Shop opened that I had a chance to purchase an Axe from him.  The next day, a Watering Can was offered at Leif's Shop.  Only one Tool is on display on any given day. 

I suspect that the Slingshot will be offered by Leif and not at Nookling's Junction but that remains to be seen.  One can pop balloons with other Tools provided the Balloon sails close enough to the ground to be able to reach it with the Tool.

You will need no tools to collect Items at the Beach:

Go to BOTH Beachest and collect every Shell that you find, then sell them at the Re-Tail Shop.

  Note here that there is a sign outside the Shop every day that gives a special item for which a premium price is paid.  Very often, this is a type of Shell, so it is worth the effort to collect them!

If you have a Shovel:

  Dig up ALL Fossils and take them to Blathers.  Donate them to the Museum always unless they are duplicates.  Sell any duplicates at the Re-Tail Shop.  (Fossils are designated by a star-shaped impression in the ground.  use a Shovel to dig them up.)

  Hit EVERY Rock with the Hammer and be prepared.  if Bells emerge, keep hitting the Rock as quickly as possible as many times as you can.

  If the Rock shatters, you should find a valuable ore or gem.

  There appears to be one 'Money' Rock and one Gem/Ore Rock per day in the Village.

If you have a Net:

  Catch EVERY Insect you can.  Donate the first one of each type, however valuable, to the Museum and sell any duplicates at the Re-Tail Shop.

  Remember that Insects have different habits.  Some emerge from Rocks when you hit the Rock with your Shovel.  Others, like the Spider, will emerge when you shake a Tree.  Most are flying Insects but there are some that rest on the Trunks of Trees or on Flowers.  If you move quickly, you will startle them into flight and lose any chance of catching them.

If you have a Fishing Rod, fish from every location.  Fish will change sometimes depending upon location, season and weather in the same way that Insects will vary accordingly.

Incidentally, if you pursue the strategy of purchasing everything offered by Nook's Shop in order to complete your Catalogue, you will wish to sell most of the Items afterwards.  If you sell them outright, there are valued usually at a third of the price you paid for them.  If, however, you put them on display at the Re-Tail Shop, you can name your own price.  I basically try to price them fairly at approximately the same price I paid for them.

I have discovered that the best way to make certain they will sell is to spend time in the shop, especially if another Villager is there.  Talk to the Villager and sooner or later, he/she will ask your opinion of one of the Items.  Usually, if you tell the Villager to buy it then, it will be sold!

Early Progress

Within a seven-day period, it was not difficult to pay off the cost of the initial House and expand it for 96,000 Bells.  I was able to satisfy the requirements that allowed Tortimer to appear and introduce the Island option.
The Gardening Shop opened and I received the Fishing Maniac Badge from Phineas.

I was rather astounded to have caught both a Napoleonfish and a Blue Marlin at the Island on my second visit.  It appars to be somewhat easier to catch valuable fish in New Leaf as a beginner than in other Animal Crossing games.

As far as Fruit is concerned, although I do not have wi-fi capacity for some arcane reason known only to Nintendo (a situation shared with far too many other players and which has generated over 900 pages of troubleshooting documents!), I was able to collect three different types of tropical fruit on my Island excursions.  The initial Island destination has one type (bananas in my case) and each of the Tour Destinations has another.  So far, I have collected Bananas, Lychees and Coconuts.  A new resident sent me a letter with a Pear attached.  My native fruit is Cherries.

In a seven-day period, I have NOT found a Slingshot nor a Watering Can for sale anywhere.  I was able to use my Net to pop a Balloon attached to a 'Present' but I really would love to be able to buy a Slingshot.  Flowers are withering because I have no Watering Can.

New Options

There are a number of changes in New Leaf that concern shopping.  In many cases, the goods that once were sold at a single shop now are sold by two or three different businesses.  These are not really 'new' options, however.

The actual new options where shopping is concerned include Reese's Resale Shop and Tom Nook's new Home shop where custom doors, fences and other ornamental home embellishments are sold.

A new option at the shop formerly known as Nook's and run now by Tom's nephews initially as Nookling's Junction is the Fortune Cookie.  A new Fortune Cookie is sold each day for '2 Play Coins'.  I have not been told that my supply of Play Coins has been exhausted in a week, so I have yet to discover if the significance of the 'Play Coins' actually is the fact that the Fortune Cookies are free or...  Each Fortune Cookie must be eaten in order to obtain the Fortune within.  The Fortune will be given a Number that corresponds with a special Item that cannot be purchased in any shop.  Many of these are the old Mario Items that once could be found in Gifts airlifted by balloons.

Another new option is your own Character's role as Mayor.

Lyle who once worked as a fast-talking insurance salesman has gone up in the world and now has his own counter at Nook's Homes where he serves as a Feng Shui consultant on behalf of the HRA.


Redd appeared on the second Thursday in a green tent on the Plaza.  He sells only 'fine art' in this game, both real and counterfeit, I expect.   He had four items:

Great Statue Valiant Statue Common Painting and Famous Painting.  The cost for each was the same at 3920 Bells.  There is another difference in that the Player only is allowed to purchase ONE Item.

New Themes and Sets

There are probably quite a few but the ones I encountered even in the first week were:

Standees Set

Mermaid Set

Amusing Dialogue that signifies very little:

When I find an item at the resale shop it feels like I've found a missing piece of my soul.

Gulliver:  N... don't do that.  My beak isn't a can opener!
...The tips of my wings are wrinkled like sad, depressed seaweed!

Tips from Villagers:
If you like short sleeves, choose t-shirts.  If you prefer bare arms, stick to tanks.  You wouldn't believe how long it took me to figure that out. (Alfonso)

Cousteau:  A Tip for switching tools like  a professional.  Just press left or right on the control pad.  That way you can flip through all the tools you have i order!  This will enable you to quickly get yur fishing rod ready when a fish appears!  Try it out, oui oui!