As we often try to do with game we love, we make guides. Still on the fence about the game? Our review is here. Now I know, Friends of Mineral Town is already well documented, being a remake of an older game. Still, I couldn’t resist adding the things that a beginner should know. It makes the gameplay just that much more enjoyable!
As in any Harvest Moon/ Story of Seasons game there are a few staples to your daily game life. And you could let yourself be surprised by the things that unfold while you tend your farm and meet the villagers. But there are some tasks you may consider doing from the start, to make your progression quicker!
Stamina: the Hot Springs and Power Berries
The Hot Spring
As you soon find out farming the field is that your little farmer tires out pretty quick. Losing all the berries on the left hand side of your screen (they indicate your stamina) results in fatigue. Though you don’t pass out yet, it does have an effect when you wake up the following morning as you start out with less berries.
A good way from the start to to get your stamina back is Using the Hot Spring, which is free. The only thing it costs is time! And feeling fatigue (yellow smiley)? Jump in the spring and be rejuvenated!
Of course you replenish it too by eating food or using medicine. But who has the money to buy that at the start?
Throughout the game you can also find 10 Power Berries, which will up your stamina maximum. They are well hidden and hard to come by though. The only one to get at the start of your game are by hoeing your field, there’s one hidden there.
Here’s the list of how to get them all, but other then the one mentioned above you really have to be farther in the game:
- Keep hoeing in your field to find one power berry.
- Get one from the Harvest Goddess by offering to her ten days in a row (more on that later)
- Get the first place in the horse race (you can only compete after your horse is mature).
- Get the first prize in the competition with your dog (you can first buy a dog when Van is in your town).
- Exchange 900 medals for a power berry. You can get medals by betting on horse races.
- Buy it for 10,000 G from the Shopping Network
- Upgrade your fishing rod to Mythic level and fish off the dock during the winter season.
- Keep digging in the Spring Mine (100th floor).
- Get it from the 19th floor of the Lake Mine in Winter.
- Check the area behind the Lake Mine to get a power berry.
In the wild you can forage grasses from the start. I was tempted to hoard them having grown up with crafting menus in games where you need everything you can find later on. Here though, it’s better to ship the blue and green grasses you find. These in time unlock stronger medicine in the Clinic after you have shipped 50 of each. Plus, they fetch a nice price too!
Getting Hired Help: the Nature Sprites
The best ever way for you farmer to have time on your hands is letting someone else do the work: this is where the Nature Sprits com in. Can be a bit of a bother to find their hut, you can find them on the map behind the church (see our Map of Mineral Town here)
Gives them gifts for a couple of days in a row, and you will be friendly enough for them to work for you. They have to show three hearts for that to happen. The best advice I can give you is to give them gift that color with them. For instance, I gave Sunny (the yellow sprite) Honey which did the trick. And Indigo grass to Staid (the indigo coloured sprite). Flour is what they love best, but you have to have more funds to buy them that.
You can ask them to water your crops, harvest them or take care of any animals you have. They aren’t very efficient at first I must say, but it gets better over time. Their hearts deplete again over time, so to keep them working with you it’s important to maintain a gifting habit.
Nice feature: if all Harvest Sprites are three hearts and above, you will get an invitation for a tea party (between 10 am and 5 pm).
Farming and Animals
Of course you start out cleaning the grounds and hoeing the land with a vengeance. Your basic hammer and axe can only clear out the little rocks and branches. The bigger stumps and rocks will have to wait until you can upgrade your tools at the Forge (open between 10 am – 4 pm and closed on Thursdays) for which you need money and ores.
I hesitated at first how I would layout my farming land. I know it sounds silly to many of you, but to me it’s important to have it all neat and tidy. So I decided to go for 3×3 grids. Later on I got a grass seedling at the general store which I planted and left alone as I didn’t have any animals yet. To my surprise it spread pretty quick! And look at how beautiful it looks, just like little hedges in between the fields!
But, as with all best laid out plans, I messed up around a stubborn old boulder and hoed the next field in the wrong place. Worry not: there’s a way to get a patch of land that has been hoed back to its normal state. Put a branch on the spot you want to return to nature! Or, you can pound it with a hammer to get the same effect.
Aside from crops and flowers, you can have fruit trees on your ranch. Buy them at the Workshop but don’t expect to have to sow them. Order them, get back home and there they are: instant mature trees.
The coop and barn can hold 4 animals each from the start, so once you can spare the money, go to the Yodel Ranch (open between 10 am – 3 pm, closed on Monday) or to PoPoultry (open between 11 am – 4 pm, closed on Sunday) to get some new critters.
You can buy a brush, milker and clippers at the forge once you have animals. Try to brush the cows and sheep daily, and click A next to them to check on them. This will get the production going, along with feeding them daily. The red hatch in the barn holds the cut grass you have put in the silo. The chickens need a daily check up with A too and chicken feed. You can buy that at PoPoultry, and it goes in the red hatch in the chicken barn as well. Got an Angora Rabbit? It eats the same feed.
What’s very nice, saving time and money, it’s that by ringing the bell outside of the coop or barn will let your animals out where they can forage for themselves. And the best thing: they go inside at 8 pm automatically! Only use this when it’s not raining of course.
Mining for Ores and Metals
There are two mines: the Spring Mine which you can access immediately. And there’s the Lake Mine, which you can only reach in Winter when the lake is frozen. Both mines have 255 floors and the cinch is that the layout changes every time you leave a floor. That makes it difficult to keep having enough stamina and reaching the lower floors.
Time doesn’t pass in the mines, at least not ticking along as usual. It does progress though, every floor you go down will uses 1 minute of game time. That includes dropping-down holes (1 minute for 1 floor, 2 minutes for 2 floors and so on).
It’s important for the progress in the game that you do reach lower levels: beneath the 13th floor in the Spring Mine you can find Orichalcum that you need to have Saibara at the Forge make a brooch. You can sell this at a nice tidy profit of 800G! Not to be sneezed at, as you need lots of Gold to make it work.
So how to get to the lower levels? Use the Save and Load trick. Enter the mine/floor and choose to save game before mining, but while you are in the mine. Once you manage to find the ladder (i’ve found it’s often not very far from your entrance point), remember its location and re-load the game. Run directly to that location to dig the ladder immediately, without wasting additional stamina. This is slow going, as you have to rinse and repeat this at every floor…..
Goddess, Pets, Horse and Outfit
Always a good idea to have the Goddess on your side. You can offer gifts to Goddess by throwing it to the river beside the hot spring. Offering gifts is important because it is the prerequisite to unlock Van (Pet Merchant) in game. The most recommended gift for Goddess is flowers, which you can pick them up for free in the mountain. She also gives you a Power Berry. Oh, and should you want to: the Goddess is also a marriage candidate.
Beware that you can’t buy a horse in this game, but you can get it for free. Meet Mugi (Yodel Ranch) for the first time during spring (as early as possible recommended), and he will send you a pony the next day, asking you to take care of it. Now, make sure you talk to the pony everyday, and buy a brush from the Forge to brush it everyday. Mugi will attempt to take it away during end of year. If the affection of the pony is high enough, he will give it to you for free. If it’s not, you will lose your only opportunity in getting a horse!
You can change your outfit by clicking A standing in front the mirror in your house. There aren’t many choices, mostly different colour variation of your existing outfit. Depending on the location you purchase your game (if you had it pre-ordered before release) you may have received special costumes like sheep costume, dog costume, cow costume and so on. If you didn’t, the Nintendo eShop has you covered: there’s paid DLC for the costumes too!
Additional Tips from our Readers
A lot of our readers are playing Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. As they have excellent tips for more fun gameplay too, I’ve decided to collect them here. Got any tips of your own? Comment on the article and I will add them!
Here’s one by Marie: If there is a event on the beach go to the event with a big empty bag and the upgraded rod whilst the event is running. Start fishing before you do anything else, you can fill all slots in your bag without using any health as time stands still. When you have filled all the slots in your bag and start the actual event you will go home with a bag loaded with fish that you can sell!
That’s it for now. Got any questions? Several of the writing team are playing the game, so be sure to ask us and we will try to help!
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