When a videogame tugs at your heart…

I know my regular readers were no doubt aware that at the time I wrote this blog, I was totally immersed in my Story of Seasons game (sequel to Harvest Moon a New Beginning) as I had written enough about it already. As it always does, after some time running my farm, there came a time when I found myself dreading to go and milk the cows again, but at the time of writing this, I was still happily planting, building and tending the animals.

Lots of people enjoy the dating aspect in Story of Seasons very much, but to me it’s the least appealing feature. I always do try to talk to my villagers, but they tend to repeat the same comments over and over. Maybe I should bring more gifts to them, but I have a hard enough time as it is to generate enough income to go forward. Life of a farmer can be harsh!

At the day that I write this I was travelling home from work by train, a precious couple of hours that I always use for gaming. And all of a sudden the game surprised me out of nowhere. (SPOILER ALERT!)

Sunnyhill Farm, framing game, fun gaming, iron, radishRemember Madame Eda, who taught me the ropes of farming at the start of the game? I’d made a point of visiting her from time to time, because she always missed her family and chatting made her feel happy. When I visited her the last day of Autumn we had a nice cup of tea, and I thought she looked a bit tired, slumped at the table. The next morning Veronica dragged me out of bed because Madame Eda was very ill and asked to see me. There she was on her deathbed, saying her goodbyes to everyone. I know, I know, we’re talking about a bunch of pixels here, but there I was, in the crowded train, with tears  in my eyes. Having lost someone very dear to me not that long ago Madame Eda suddenly became very real, and I was really sad to see her pass away.

So there you have it: I had thought the things the villagers say didn’t really have much depth to it, and then the developers put in something so deep and spot on. It was a moment that really tugged at my heart. Have you ever played a game that reached out and dragged you in like that?


  1. Harvest Moon has a lot of those heart-tugging moments. Animal Crossing too! Sometimes the villagers say lovely things and you can’t help but feel like hugging the little things! =P

  2. I don’t think it’s strange at all that a bunch of pixels evoke emotions like that, in fact it’s something I would like to see more in games.
    Storytelling can be used to share feelings and ideas and this is something where games fall a bit short sometimes.

    Some of the most emotionally memorable moments for me are from a game called Lost Odyssey, a JRPG about an immortal named Kaim Argonar and it explores the struggles and burdens that come with eternal life.

    The game implements flashbacks in certain places that the character has visited in the past and they are told in small episodic novels called “A Thousand Years of Dreams” (Link: https://youtu.be/LSQ6nCiq5jY?list=PL871DB9EF65CC510D ) .
    I can only describe them as beautifully sad, sometimes dark, but always with a lot of heart.

    These minimalistic texts have impressed me more than some of the most extravagant cutscenes.

    1. I researched Lost Odyssey, it’s on the XBox, right? Sometimes games are amazing like that, they manage to bring such emotion and feelings across. Another one that did that to me was Okamiden. The story was told so factual, so unlike the struggles that the little children were having. Beautiful art style, depth of feelings. What a sad ending too. But it did make me replay the game again, because I didn’t want to leave Kuni and the others alone!

  3. Yes, Lost Odyssey is an exclusive title for the XBox 360 created by the man behind Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi.

    Sadly I have never played Okamiden, but I loved the original Okami, it felt great to bring back life and beauty into the world.
    The first time I saw a whole area come back to full bloom in a firework of flowers really amazed me.
    I still think that Okami is the one game that is on par with the top Zelda games, in some regards it’s even better in my opinion.

  4. The reason I love games is because they can put these moments in. They can make you cry, laugh, smile, and even a little of all.

    Speaking of games that have gotten me emotional, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Undertale.
    As for a moment of Ace Attorney that had me bawling for no reason, it was the reveal of (part) Phoenix’s motivation for becoming a defense attorney. Sure, it was a classic childhood antic, but it just made me tear up for no reason. (Oh, and a bunch of other moments too, like a certain character’s death and almost the entirety of the trials in Case 4…)

    And Undertale, I wouldn’t want to spoil anything, but whoo boy, this game can get to you. It’s like Mother 3 and EarthBound in that regard.

    In fact, there are loads of games that have gotten to me. Xenoblade Chronicles, The Zelda series, Persona 4 and 3, Tales of the Abyss, heck, even Yo-kai Watch, just due to it’s ending! Man, I’ve got to play Harvest Moon sometime. It’s just I can’t get into it easily…

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