Rune Factory 3 Special: Guide To Get You Started

The original adventure of Rune Factory 3 was released in 2009 on the DS. It is a game that I remember vividly; I loved the combination of characters that could turn into monsters. I had fun in it, finally wooing Raven and getting her to marry me. It’s great that the game is available on Switch now in a special version.

As you know the saying here on LadiesGamers by now, when we love a game, we try to make a guide! And although the difference between the original Rune Factory 3 and the special version only lies in the Newlywed modes and the Hell/difficulty mode, a little refresher might be nice.

General Tips

The first tip for Rune Factory 3 Special should be, as in every RPG, to save often and maybe create more than one save file. I wish I had heeded my own advice, as I didn’t. I have a habit of saving before sleeping. Only to come downstairs after putting all my money into sowing summer crops to find that a storm had obliterated almost everything. Seeds gone, money gone.

Rune Factory 3 Special gives you a sort of test when you are on your fields under the Sharance Tree for the first time by throwing monsters your way. Based on the proficiency that you send them back to the forest of Beginnings, the fighting difficulty is set for you. If you want to change it during the game, you can. Go down the other ladder, not the one leading to your fields. On the right, there’s an open book. Click on it, and you can change the difficulty setting.

A screenshot of a room beneath the Sharance Tree, where you see a book in which you can set the difficulty of the fighting
In this room beneath the Sharance Tree, you see a book in which you can set the difficulty of fighting

In that same room, you see all kinds of awards for things accomplished. On the left side, you also see a gate that leads you to Bonus Dungeons. For training, and to get some nice treasures. The first one is the Forest Quest, with a recommended level of 15.

Beside the bed, you can see what looks to me like a potted plant. Click on it to change outfits. If you played Rune Factory 5 on the same Switch, you will get a free costume, Ares’ Outfit. In the hall to the left, new outfits can be bought at Sherman Manor.

When you are in your main fields, under the tree, you see the wood storage to the right. Besides, it is a plaque. Click on it, and you will see some tips about the game, but personally, I think they are quite vague.

The farm beneath the Sharance Tree, where you see a plaque with some tips on how the game works
The farm beneath the Sharance Tree, where you see a plaque with some tips on how the game works. It’s not a real full fledges tutorial, though

When you have unlocked the synthesis crafting tables (look below at the chapter Progressing the Game), you can buy the Chemistry Set at the hospital, the Crafting Table and the Forget at the Blacksmith.

A barn to house the monsters you tamed can be ordered from the Blacksmith, too. But only after you unlocked the second story to the tree.

You learn recipes for cooking and synthesis by eating specially baked breads. Blaise at the Inn bakes them for you, but you can only buy a set number daily. Once you eat the bread, you learn the recipe. If your level is too low, you won’t learn the recipe, but the bread for it returns to your pocket.

Storage is a problem in the game. You can enlarge your fridge by paying up to Blaize. And you can buy a second chest from Hazel, but only after you beat the second dungeon. It doesn’t come cheap, though. I tried putting things I couldn’t store on the floor in my house, but it was not a good idea as they disappeared after a while.

Don’t forget that when in your inventory, once you scroll to the left, you can see all the spells you have. Here, you can set them to buttons too. Always handy, especially for the Escape Rune, which will get you home instantly.

The inventory and statistics page of the game. To the right we see the protagonists stats, to the left the magic abilities
The inventory and statistics page of the game. To the right, we see the protagonist’s stats, to the left, the magic abilities.

Progressing the Game

In later games, things seem to unlock much sooner than in Rune Factory 3 Special. I was itching to get crafting, yet I couldn’t find where to get the crafting stations, nor could I tame monsters. I had to be patient, though, as eventually, the game opened up, and all of that became available.

A request that Wells, the town’s major, gives you is to teach the troublesome Tanuki a lesson. At first, you can’t find a way to cross the water in the heart of Privera Forest. Eventually, the artist Daria will help by building a bridge in rainbow colours (of course), and you can beat the Tanuki boss. This is the moment that the game opens up when you get the orb at the end of that battle. The orb gives you the ability to change into your monster form.

The protagonist in the golden woolly (monster) form, just after beating the boss of the first dungeon
YvoCaro in the golden woolly (monster) form, just after beating the boss of the first dungeon

You get strong advice from Wells not to go into the other “dungeons” as their level is too high for you. And though he is right about the level, you still need to go to the Desert area and find the encampment of the Univir. I’d advise you not to try and battle all the monsters, but just be quick and swerve around them. Before meeting the Univir, change into your Woolly form. Otherwise, you’re not allowed in. After that, the game opens up as a second story is added to the Sharance Tree.

The protagonist meets Kuruna, from the Univirs settlement. She tells them that they detest humans
YvoCaro meets Kuruna from the Univirs settlement. You can only go there in monster form.

Rune Factory 3 Special opens up as soon as you’ve beaten the boss of the first seasonal dungeon, Privera Forest and when you’ve found the settlement of the Univer (more on how to do that in our starter guide). Speak to Gaius after that, and he will finally build you a barn to tame monsters in. After that, you can acquire crafting stations for forging, chemistry, accessories and more, all available from the appropriate shops. For these, you need money and wood!

Farming Tips

While waiting to level up your watering skills and make a better water pot, you will be able to water more squares at once. But even at the start, there’s a certain rhythm to watering as efficiently as you can. Press B to water the first square and immediately move Mica to the next, pressing B again. It feels like a sort of rhythm you are pressing to, and you’ll find you have watered the fields in no time.

Sowing works for nine squares in a 3×3 grid from the start. Stand at the outside square of the 9, not in the middle. Press the B button with nine seeds equipped and hold it. The area in range will show up and release B to sow.

Hoeing seems to work in sessions of 3 squares. Holding B makes Micah hoe three squares. Release B and hold it again for the next 3.

The farming field with all kinds of crops sown, like pink turnips. The protagonist is watering the field
It’s tough work, working the land. Here, YvoCaro is watering the crops that are sown.

If you sell a high-quality seed in your dropbox, then the shop will also upgrade the seeds they carry to be that quality. High-quality seeds result in high-quality crops, which cook into better food and sell for more money. You get high-quality seeds by using the scythe on a ripe crop. This will destroy the crop and get you a quality seed instead. Sell that seed, run straight to the shop and then you can buy better-quality seeds. It’s like permanently upgrading your ability to grow that crop. 

Magic Seeds

Mayor Wells is selling the Magic seeds, the price is shown and how much G (gold) the protagonist has
Mayor Wells is manning the flower shop counter; these magic seeds are for sale early on.

Magic seeds are so cool, as they will fight beside you or help you out otherwise. Put them on the ground, and they will immediately grow into a big pumpkin that can munch away on the enemy. Or an intricate-looking plant that is a sword at the same time. They follow you as long as their energy allows, and if it’s depleted, it falls to the ground as a grey seed. Don’t forget to pick it up again, as it doesn’t magically re-appear in your pocket.

  • Sword Magic Seed – Buy for 4800G
    Given to you by Shara as a gift. It fights along with you by doing sword attacks. You can pick up the plant and throw it onto enemies to also cause damage. But it will also lose some HP when thrown.
  • Jack Magic – Buy for 6900G
    The second seed you can buy after you beat the first dungeon. It fights along with you by eating its enemy and damaging it. You can also attack the enemy while the pumpkin is holding it in its mouth.
In the Spring dungeon. We see all kinds of monsters, in this case ants and spiders, and the Pumpkin Magic Seed.
The Pumpkin Magic Seed will happily work on all animals.
  • Banana Magic Seed – Buy for 2200G
    A banana appears to help slip up enemies. The banana must be thrown onto the ground to be used and can be used until the banana’s HP is gone.
  • Water Leaf Magic Seed – Buy for 5100G
    A white floating lotus that holds water among its petals. It follows you around and you can refill your waterpot by pressing “B” while standing next to it (just like a pond or river). It can use a water gun to attack enemies.
  • Bombelon Magic Seed – Buy for 5000G
    Summons a bomb melon to help you fight. Occasionally uses an explosive attack and always uses it when attacked. An explosive attack does not take away the magic seed’s HP.
  • Ironflower Magic Seed – Buy for 7400G
    Summons a plant shield to defend you. Doesn’t have too much HP but has a ridiculous amount of defense.
  • Cactus Magic Seed – Buy for 8800G
    Summons a cactus plant to fight beside you. Uses no magic, only a close combat move but is very powerful.
  • Windmill Magic Seed – Buy for 5000G
    Summons a windmill plant that is said to summon winds.
  • Lily Pad Magic Seed – Buy for 3200G
    Summons a lily pad that enables you to cross water. Can be used on land and you can also attack while standing on it. Must be thrown on the ground and then walked upon to be used.
  • Beanling Magic Seed – Buy for 12800G
    Summons a beanling that walks around turning monsters into items (only items that the monster can drop).

Pursuing the Bachelorettes

You have a calendar in your house, but it won’t be filled in already. You have to learn when it’s someone’s birthday when the people in town mention it, and only then it’s jotted in the calendar.

As you probably can’t wait to unlock one of the Newlywed Modes, you want to raise the friendship and love ASAP. Below are the likes of every girl you can marry.

Birthday: Spring 11
Favourite Gifts: High Quality Flowers.
Also Likes: Flowers (Weeds are also considered as flowers for some reason)
Info: A gentle girl who loves flowers and is kind to everyone she meets. She has put herself in charge of Carin for the flower field in Privera Forest. She is the mayor’s daughter and has a little sister named Monica.
Weapon: Watering Pot

The protagonist has taken Shara out on a date to look at these beautiful flowers
YvoCaro has taken Shara out on a date to look at these beautiful flowers

Birthday: Fall 21
Favourite Gifts: Any recipes that require Curry Powder.
Likes: Rice.
Hates: Dairy related products.
Info: Collette works at the Sharance Diner. She’s the diner’s most popular (and only) waitress. Though short in stature, she boasts an appetite that is second to none. Blaise is her father, Rusk, her little brother.
Weapon: Axe

Birthday: Summer 17
Favourite Gifts: Recipes cooked with green vegetables like Green Vegetables
Hates: Tomatoes
Info: Marian works at the Magic Clinic and is an apprentice witch and an apprentice doctor. She’s researching how to combine the two disciplines, occasionally putting herself and others at risk in the process.
Weapon: Wand

Birthday: Winter 4
Favourite Gifts: Accessories made with gemstones (Such as Ruby, Emerald etc.) Except for Diamonds
Likes: All gemstones but Diamonds
Hates: Diamond and accessories made with Diamond.
Info: Karina is the daughter of Hazel. Although Karina is responsible for taking care of her Mother’s grocery shop, her extremely lazy attitude makes it difficult to get any work done.
Weapon: Wand

Birthday: Summer 6
Favourite Gifts: Anything cooked with Squid.
Likes: Recipes cooked with fruits. All kinds of fish.
Hates: Anything that is cooked without Squid.
Info: She’s a mermaid that runs the baths at the inn of Sharance village. Her legs turn into fins when she gets wet.
Weapon: Two-Handed Sword (Human Form), Magic Cannon (Mermaid Form)

The protagonist out in the rain, and Pia in her mermaid form
It’s raining, so YvoCaro comes upon Pia in her mermaid form

Birthday: Fall 7
Favourite Gifts: Super Fail Dish
Likes: Fail Dish
Hates: Anything that is cooked without Squid.
Info: Everything Sofia says means the opposite of what she really wants. If she says I hate, then it means I love and vice versa. These words are highlighted in red. Despite her wealthy upbringing, she has a pretty down-to-earth worldview. Sherman is her father, and Evelyn is her sister.
Weapon: Sword

Birthday: Summer 25
Favourite Gifts: Rare Food/ Boss Drop / Charms
Likes: Fish/ Enemy Drops
Hates: Eggs or anything cooked.
Info: Shino’s Daughter. Sakuya manages a shop inside the Inn that sells items dropped by monsters. She works alongside her co-worker Pia.
Weapon: Two-Handed Sword

The protagonist in conversation with Sakuya. She talks about the cozy feeling when you get home after a long trip
YvoCaro in conversation with Sakuya.

Birthday: Winter 22
Favourite Gifts: Seafood Pizza
Likes: Fish or Grilled Fish Recipes
Hates: Pumpkin or anything cooked with Pumpkin
Info: An energetic girl who runs a fishing resort with her brother. Carmen is very close with her brother, Carlos, and to start a relationship, you must get through her brother first.
Weapon: Fishing Rod

Birthday: Spring 29
Favourite Gifts: Crystal Pendant
Likes: Crystal, Simple Flowers and Pendants
Hates: Hood
Info: Raven works at the weapon shop. She’s a young lady who keeps to herself. Despite this, she’s considerate of those around her and occasionally, you may even catch a glimpse of her inner fire.
Weapon: Sword

Birthday: Spring 24
Favourite Gifts: Grilled Miso, Grilled Eggplant and Mesashi
Likes: Wood, Colour Grass, Jam, Jam Bread. Curry
Hates: Shrimp and Accessories
Info: An artist who lives in Privera Forest, skilled in multiple mediums. She loves to incorporate rainbows into her work.
Weapon: Hammer

The protagonist in conversation with Daria, who is going to build a bridge in Privera Forest
YvoCaro is in conversation with Daria, who is going to build a bridge in Privera Forest

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