Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (Gamecube)

A Wonderful Life

HM: AWL Recipe List

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life was the second game in the massive Harvest Moon series that I ended up playing. The premise is that you’re kind of not doing too much with your life when you inherit your dad’s little farm, complete with farm hand, and you move to a cute little town full of odd people. During the first year you farm, build onto your house, and court one of the three eligible girls in town. Your choices are Celia, the girl next door, quite literally and figuratively, Nami, the tomboy drifter who doesn’t want to be tied down, and Muffy the barmaid, whose name really says it all. You farm, raise animals, fish, and network as much as you can in a place called Forget-Me-Not Valley. This is the premise of the game, pretty simple, eh?

When I started my first game I had some huge gender issues to begin with. First off, I was a man, which is irritating for perhaps obvious reasons, and second, I had to marry a girl who would have my baby and never leave the house. This upset me to no small degree and I really struggled to choose my potential bride. In fact, I wasn’t going to even buy the game until my friend told me you could grow strawberries in it, and since I’m very quirky I was drawn in by that. Now apparently later on they made A Wonderful Life for Girl, but I was all ready five (game) years into two games by then. Whatever! First I chose Celia since she seemed to not have a problem with being home all the time, but soon I became irritated by her massive subservience. At the five year mark I started the game over and married Nami who is adorable and who actually leaves the house at bizarre hours. The baby, as it turns out, watches himself and yes, it is always a boy. Once I clawed my way to the five year mark (on Herland farm) I was tired of playing and just kind of stopped, but then found myself with a renewed desire to power through the tediously long game in order to finish the review.

Yes, you heard me right, it’s tediously long. In fact when you’re growing a half field of fruits and veggies (70 crops) you will spend the entire game day watering them, tending to the animals, watering the plants again, putting the animals inside, and then it’s midnight. Then, there’s the freakishly elaborate hybrid plant system, which at first seems fun, and then makes you want to cry. In a feature that calls up images of Little Shop of Horrors and little else your farm hand is apparently concealing a giant, attention starved, two headed plant that can talk. He is named Tartan and he wants some attention. More importantly he can hybridize seeds, making them stronger, and producing dozens upon dozens of hybrid crop and tree varieties. You will spend literally hours (and not just a few) of your life dealing with the plant, and each little seed making scene is very long. It’s enough to drive a farmer to tears! If you are a completist this will be the longest part of the game for you, and the game is thirty years long (with ten playable years). The hybrids and double hybrids are worth it in a way, since they can look pretty cool, like the light bulb ones and the cat bell ones, plus you can name the double hybrids, making faqs hard but the game rather fun.

Here’s the catch though, if you’ve played your cards right by year two you are very rich and have absolutely nothing to buy at all, aside from fertilizer, so where’s the motivation to keep going? Everyone in town knows you, you have unlocked all the secret items, you have a large and successful farm, and eight years of nothing ahead of you. Crisis! I think it’s a major flaw in the game, that you only need money for year one, and there’s not even much to buy in town in the way of food. I love my animals, but they are a very tricky thing indeed, since a cow will only produce milk for so long. Additionally if you fill up your barn there’s a nasty glitch that can erase your game, so you need to keep one spot open at all times. You have a horse, but my horse, Hades, doesn’t like me that much, and I can’t figure out why. There’s a way to make your dog love you but that hasn’t happened either, you would think by year six the darn thing would be crazy about me, but no. I looked into training it because I heard that it can do some cool stuff, but all the faqs I’ve found basically read, “Dog: How do you get to train it?” and then on to the next section. You can get a goat, but once it stops producing milk there’s nothing you can do with it, and you can’t sell it, either, so the only way to get rid of it is to kill it, which I can’t bring myself to do. There are cute ducks, but I could only get them in my first game, despite doing the exact same steps towards getting them in my second game. There are cats but I can’t seem to bribe the person who has them enough to get one, and there’s a tiny dog that you have to spend your life digging up fossils to get, and even then you only get it near the end. Frustrating! Alas! The sheep in my first game was crazy about me though, it would follow me around and everything, which rocked.

Eventually in the game your kid grows up and you get old, this is something I have yet to witness, since I only got slightly more than halfway through the game. Why am I writing the review then? Because my game broke, and then I fixed it, and then I just couldn’t play anymore. Remember, I started playing again mostly to finish this review, but then I found the third major glitch of the game … my kitchen breaks. A major part of the game is cooking and my kitchen suddenly goes from fully operational to only able to handle soup and salad with no provocation. Since it’s comparable to the townspeople disappearing, I was rather upset, though I eventually figured out how to fix it. If it happens to you just start cooking, after 30 recipes everything will be fine again. After this glitch, however, I lost my will to play, so I won’t be finishing the game. I’m sure at some point down the line your kid will disappear entirely and you will only be able to talk to the creepy bear that’s in his room. The second glitch (the first being the barn one I all ready talked about) is if your Milking Room is built while there is a calf in the calf hutch the calf will “disappear.” You can’t see it at all but when you bring all the animals inside there’s suddenly a baby calf in the barn, the very place it is not supposed to be. You have to sell the calf to fix the glitch which is lame and a little sad. Another tiny glitch is that, if you marry Celia, the rug in your son’s room is missing, but it still makes the “rug noise” when you run over it.

I love farming games, which makes me a rare breed to begin with, but between the gender issues and the game glitching horribly hundreds of hours in, I’m not going to recommend this to anyone. Natsume is coming out with a new Harvest Moon soon and I’ll probably play it, but it will have to be bug free, and way better in general, because if it’s not I’m done with this series even though I really think it’s a great concept. Oh, and where’s the Harvest Goddess in this game? She was only about the best part of Save the Homeland. Whatever!

Reviewed on 07/16/05

48 thoughts on “Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (Gamecube)

  1. kia

    my calf is sick and still in the calf hutch. I happened to be building a milking room too and I can’t seem to sell or give her medicine. Is there another way to stop the glitch?

  2. Miss I can't belive you said that!

    How could you cuss when telling a review if I ccould edit that out I WOULD!

  3. Ashlee

    I can’t belive that you would acually cuss on your review! What if a little girl was reading this and saw the word and started saying that word all the time? Then when her mom found out she would write you a big long letter about how you shouldn’t use bad words like that and how you should know because your old enough and very muture and you should know better and this whole lecture about the very same thing! So shame on YOU!!!!!!!!

  4. Brigitte Post author

    @ ashlee: I really don’t think that’s considered a “curse word” anymore, it’s all over TV, but you have a point, so I edited it out.

  5. nathan

    do tell i had my baby cow dissapear and i cannot find him but on my ledger his name still appears the problem is my girlfriend just had the same thing happen to her were both addicted to this game but unfortunatly we love our baby cows to much for them to just dissapear ….where have the gone … what are they doing … are they out with there little cow friends all night doing little cow exctecy and going to little cow raves and dancing with little cow glow sticks …is an intervention needed ..or is it more simple then that …where did my little cow go and yes i named him cow

    1. Brigitte Post author

      It’s a glitch in the game, unfortunately, the same thing happened to me, I had to sell they so they wouldn’t just waste away because I couldn’t feed them …

  6. nathan

    what if i just wait it out till he is moved into the barn and start him itensive care unit :( i am saddend by this because i have a connection with my animals in a weird sort of way

  7. nathan

    and p.s my cow came back and i nursed it back to health but stupid game got corrupted … :( now my next question is is when i accidently tryd to milk my bull it mood and a little greenish blue heart appeard as apposed to a question mark or angry squiggly lines?

    1. Rhiannon

      lol that thing above the bulls head is a HEART. XD It’s creepy, but true. You’re supposed to do that so you know when he’s beg enough to… y’know… with the girls. :P

  8. Amz

    This review made me laugh out loud xD
    The rug isn’t missing in my son’s room, but when I walk over it, it makes the “wood sound” xD

    And the crops DO take a tediously long amount of time to water. I don’t use up my entire field though…

    But still. Wow, your game must hate you.

    (And my sheep Klasko loves me too. >:3)

      1. Rhiannon

        I still have yet to find Tartan… he’s in the girl version too. I married Marlin, and he’s big into hybridization after year 3. he bugs the mother-loving-holiness (trying not to “curse” lest I get spammed) out of me because we can’t do hybrids and he just keeps bringing it up… (Typical guy).

        Speaking of sheep… I have one that runs away, and one that follows me… Creepy thing is, they switch every season…. maybe THAT’s a game glitch?

  9. cat

    yah so i love your review of the game (: i just started playing it AGAIN two nights ago. i hate how addicting it is, it’s a complete waste of my life… but i can’t stop -_-

    anyways, i’m not here to complain, haha.
    i was wondering if year five was the longest you’ve played, or if you continued since then possibly?

  10. eerin

    im barely on my second year, and i finally arrived the old lady into getting me a cat~ and i just barly found the beauty in tartan!
    now im after the chihuahua, and is it true the yetti thing gives you a pet lizard?

      1. Naer

        I have Another Wonderful Life, the one for girls…for the lizard, what I’ve heard is that you have to be friends with the scientist Daryl and come out of your house at night, and you’ll see a cut scene with Daryl and Mukumuku.. I’m not sure if that’s when you get the lizard, but it has to happen for you to get it and supposedly you can only do it in the first Chapter–aka Year 1. But don’t really worry about it, the lizard’s not that cute haha. It’s like a komodo dragon with a bandage around one leg…..

  11. HarvestGoddess27

    Wow you must’ve bought a really unlucky game. I have that exact one but nothing bad happened. No glitches. Maybe the one you bought came out to soon and wasn’t tested correctly. :) I recommend it though, strongly.

  12. amira1295

    i agree with harvestgodess, ur copy was probably a bad one. my calf disapers during the night but comes back to the hutch when its hungry or wants some love. i had no problem killing that unwanted goat the first time i played, though the second time i played i didnt bother buying him. this game is awsome, but i also had friends of mineral town and i loved it completley, but i let a friend play it and she accidentaly saved over my 10 year game and i started to cry, get angry, repeat. i even started a new game 5 years and oops saved over it to. i then lost it and to this day i want it back dearly.

  13. Natalie Thompson

    You make the dog love you by training it, running it through the same tricks about 5 times a day, and by the end of a year or two, it should love you completely. To get the cat you have to make that old lady like you before the end of the first summer. Alos, you can apparently get the tutrlte if you befriend the artist enough, though I’ve only seen this from my friends.
    I agree with you about how this game loses interest, and I found the girl version slightly more exciting because you can change outfits and you have to buy your biggest field. And so you know, I can’t even deal with the crops anymore.

  14. Sam

    Okay so my cow had a baby and it was in her cow hutch and I go over there to see it a few days later and it’s gone! So it’s missing for a long time and then one day I go inside the barn and there it is. It’s too tiny to be able to live in the barn yet there it is in front of it’s hay. Also, his hutch was still there with no calf in it! So I’m sitting there like what the heck and then it starts walking forward and runs right through the wall towards the food processing room! It’s sick so I am unable to sell it so what do I do??

    1. Brigitte Post author

      This happened to me all the time in the game, it was awful! I had to just sell the calf (I’d close my eyes during the scene because I’m like you and can’t stand watching). It’s one of the reasons I couldn’t play the game anymore.

      1. Rhiannon

        :( poor calf… It might have already been dead if it walked through like that… (Bad joke)

        Seriously. This game sux @$$ compared to the girl version, there, you have decent cheats, better ability, few glitches, and from what I know there are only seven chapters… the last one being “Heaven”, which is an epilogue that never ends… cuz itz heaven. :P

        1. Brigitte Post author

          To get to Tartan you need to wait until the guy who works on your far leaves his house and then walk in. Hope that helps!

    2. Corndoglover

      The same thing happened to me! i was so worried and it still hasn’t come back yet! i think Mukumuku ate her! poor Bella! :,(

  15. Hayley musser

    harvest moon is the best game ever i play all the time and redo my game over and over again but how do i get a different wife in my game.

  16. Justin

    ok that was weird i have married in all my profiles and when u type in a cheat *POOF* theyre all gone sucks right well thats what happened and i cant get the hybrid and havent gotten my horse well im married to nami and our son is like really a cry baby he asks me to pick him up but that makes him cry if u talk to him or anything i wanted to get him to be a farmer or archeologist but he’ll run home cryin i wanted to drown him god !….. WELL AND I HEARD NAMI WILL LEAVE FOR COLLEGE MHMM BIG MISTAKE IN MY OTHER PROFILE WITH MY DAUGHTER NAMI NEVER LEAVES FOR COLLEGE AND IN MY SONS I TALK TO HER (NAMI) EVERY DAY AND SHE DONT EVER ASK ME FOR 1000G’S OR WHATEVER ITS ANNOYING PEOPLE TRYIN TO KEEP NAMI TO THERE SELVES!!! and everyone nami is unique everyone thinks shes hard to marry but i married her on spring 1 and i hadnt talked to her at all . and i have a blue feather cheat so cant tell me i couldnt and there was a glitch that auto mattically made her have 4 hearts weird and ive heard muffy can have twins is this true… sorry for the long comment bored and just wanted to say somethin and by the way …I have the HARVEST MOON A WONDERFUL LIFE : Special Edition. and the harvest goddess comes out with gamecube harvest moon friends of mineral town and u can go up the hill to the city and marry people there i think if not sorry this is what ive heard . and buy Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life u can marry lumina DONT MAKE FUN OF LUMINA…. Buy Harvest Moon Animal Parade for WII U CAN MARRY THE HARVEST GODDESS AND THERES A HARVEST KING thnx bye

    ★ ☆ ✰♥Justin♥ ★ ☆ ✰
    just wanted somethin special for my name MARRY NAMI!!!

  17. nicole

    This stuff never happened to me. But i am still on chapter four with only 31000 dollars and no milking room or processing room. I enjoyed reading this article about the game. :D

  18. Pizzt

    I enjoyed reading the review too. I had a nostalgic moment last week and went out and re-bought a Gamecube and this game to see if I could finish it after starting it a few years back and not getting past year 3. And like you, I encountered boredom and I’m only in Summer of year 2 for God’s sake! Now all the memories of why I stopped playing this game in the first place came flooding back to me…*sigh*

    I was trying to find out if anyone else was having the same “disappearing” problems I was having with strawberries, but it sounds like your towns people are encountering this more then your crops are so I’ll just chalk it up to a “me” thing…pretty disheartening though…all that money to but ’em and all the time to plant and water them for them to disappear a few at a time upon the clock striking 12…am or pm it doesn’t seem to matter, they just delete themselves.

    I love strat. games too but if your telling me I have 10 game years of this, I will have to join you in the “I’ll be over here having a drink before I go insane” section!

    1. Brigitte Post author

      The new Wii Harvest Moon, Animal Parade, is actually really good and not glitchy as far as I can tell. I recommend it highly over this version!

  19. Pizzt

    I was thinking of getting a Wii soon…but I didn’t know if I liked the controller or not…

    I don’t want to spend that kind of money to discover that I have to swing my arms like a crazy woman to play a game, ya know? You are like the 5th person to tell me that this game on the Wii was pretty good though…

    1. Brigitte Post author

      You can buy a classic controller, but playing with the stock Wii stuff isn’t that bad, you don’t have to fail around or anything (happily) :D

  20. Rhiannon

    I only gott about half a year into this game. (heheheh…) I was quick to get the next game, the girl version, and it’s much better! The only big glitch I can find is really funny… If you do a cheat thing and get more blue feathers, you can go up and show it to your husband… he’ll say “AHA!” or “Wait a minute.” and suddenly there’s this ominous, never ending beep. And the husband character keeps staring at you. And it never stops.

    I laughed so hard when I tried that… I fell off my bed… :3

    But yes, the girl version is better, and I believe it only has six years. (Hahahah…..ha…) There are very easy cheats for it and not much glitching at all. :) Except for what I described above… If you get the game, I recomend you save and try it. (But you’ll have to use an annoying cheat code… if you do it only after you save, though, it won’t matter anyway. :P)

  21. Taylor

    p.s i cant bring my dog, cat, bird, chiwawa, ect in but i cant in da boy version of hm but in da girl version i can so get da girl version i can jeeez u cant do a lot of thingies in da boy version!!!!!!!! oh well, lol L8ter so dont get da boy version!!! L8R : – )

  22. ......molly--moo......

    I married Muffy,and our son , ryan , never sits still.He doesn’t play with the toys I bought or go and sit in the kitchen like my other son on another file which I had with celia (our son was called Sammy) and sammy hardly ever left the house?
    Im really confused.I cant talk to him coz he doesn’t stay still unless hes in bed :P
    And Muffy shouts at me every night coz hes not home X-D
    And where can I buy the wii version Animal Paridise?

  23. ......molly--moo......

    I cant buy anything! Ineed more money :P
    Have you any tips for making loads of money?
    But not the fodder tip.I figured that out years ago…
    Please Help me?
    And where can I find tartan?!
    Im in my 3rd year second chapter and tartan is not in takakura’s room :/


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