Welcome to the Animal Crossing Chronicle. As a veteran Animal Crossingtonian (is that correct?), I have created characters and towns in Animal Crossing for the GameCube, Animal Crossing Wild World for the DS and now Animal Crossing City Folk. With the latest release comes my fourth character, in the town of Japan.
First things first, let’s get something out of the way: City Folk really isn’t anything new. This is Animal Crossing retread. If you’ve played Wild World, you’ve played this.
That being said, this is still Animal Crossing and it’s fun. If you liked the previous games, you will like this one. That’s the point of my chronicle: Mark my progress and fun.
The journey begins
To begin City Folk, I created my character. Instead of going through the usual character creation, I chose to import my character from Wild World. Rover, a recurring character throughout the series, got me started with importing, which is simple and quick. No more connecting your Game Boy with a cable; the connectivity is now wireless. When you import your character, he or she stays in the original game but City Folk brings over their face and most of the catalog. Items such as tools are not included, as well as items that cannot be ordered (like Gracie’s custom shirts, for example).
You are able to name your character and name the town for the Wii version. With this pseudo-new character, you have to start from scratch i.e. you have to do Tom Nook’s jobs again, pay off your home loan, expand your house, etc. It’s a pain but without it, there would be no point to starting a new game.
When I got started again, I immediately utilized the photo feature. The ability to snap photos in-game is nice and adds a touch missing from the other games. Using it is a little tricky but it’s a viable feature that should be included in all other versions. The photo above was taken using the feature.
Going about town
The first order of business was to set up my town. In each Animal Crossing game that I begin, I immediately finish my work for Nook and then begin my town improvement project. Chances are the town is a mess so I set out to gather flowers and place them around the animal NPC homes. Each home, including my own, is given a single-flower arrangement. If hybrid flowers are created, I remove those to my character’s plot or store them in my home. With the flower arrangements, the town is given some much-needed color and a little something goes toward the goal of a “perfect town.”
Maximizing your Bell-earning potential
After sprucing up the town slightly, I set out to make money. Bells is the currency of the game, but making money is the name of the game. In order to be successful in Animal Crossing of any kind, you need to maximize your Bell-earning potential. The quickest and easiest way to make money initially is to scavenge. Scrape every Bell you can from your animal neighbors and comb the beach for sea shells. Sell fruit from the trees in your town since it doesn’t require anything to shake trees. The first step is to gain at least 1,500 Bells to purchase tools. Once you have tools, you’re on your way.
Your first tools should be the shovel and fishing rod in the winter and in the summer the fishing rod and net. The shovel is important in both seasons but in the summer it can wait until you’ve bought the fishing rod. Since I began my game in the winter, I bought the fishing rod, shovel and watering can first. The fishing rod is easily the most important tool in City Folk. Why? Because catching fish can easily make you a millionaire depending on the season. In the first Animal Crossing, I made my first million bells solely by catching and selling fish. An inventory full of red snappers (3,000 Bells) and barred knifejaws (5,000 Bells) at a maximum of 15 easily yielded 100,000 bells in an hour if I could be patient on a rainy day in the summer. Sure, you had to deal with the occasional sea bass, but the output was worth the hassle. While red snappers and barred knifejaws are not as plentiful in Wild World, they are still helpful. In City Folk, the few new fish such as the lobster help bring in Bells and make the slow winter season go by quickly.
The shovel is important because with it, you can make Bell trees and, most importantly, dig up fossils. Fossils mean quick cash early, which is important when trying to pay off a loan. Skull fossils generally sell for at least 2,000 Bells so if you can donate those early and put extra toward the payoff, by all means do so. I chose not to donate fossils to the museum until after I paid off my loan because there is an infinite supply of fossils. They will always be there. With three a day and possible gyroids if it snows or rains, there’s an inexhaustible supply of money once you obtain the shovel.
Starting out with Nook’s Cranny is painful. Consider that I’m used to Nookington’s, which I have achieved in all of my other games and realize that going backward is humbling. Because I make a lot of Bells in one day’s play, I have already moved up to Nook & Go in just two weeks. I fully anticipate having Nookington’s in about three months.