Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley: take this job and shove it

, | Game diaries

Hero of Leaf Valley takes an interesting approach to tutorials, and I’m of two minds about it. For farming and fishing, the controls are explained to you and you’re cut loose to try them out on your farm. But for other tasks — riding horses, mining for ore, cutting lumber, and cooking — you can do “part-time work” for your neighbors.

After the jump, how hard can it be to cut down trees?

This system accomplishes two things. One, it gives you practice in a consequence-free environment. It’s not your cow you’re mishandling, after all. Two, you’ll get paid for it. Amounts vary, but it’s always at least a couple hundred gold, and sometimes you get to keep the fruits of your labor. Take care of Ronald’s chickens, for example, and he’ll let you keep an egg that you can sell, eat, or incubate to get a chicken of your own.

This sounds fantastic on the surface, and for the first in-game week or so I loved it. But then I discovered the restrictions. Right now, I’m just plain not allowed to mine ore or cut lumber on my own. I have no access to the forest at all without talking to Woody, and while I can enter the mine on my own, trying to break rocks without Rudolph’s blessing gets me an “I shouldn’t do that” error message.

Turns out I need to do this part-time work five times each in order to get unrestricted access. Five times isn’t many, granted, but they’re only available at certain times during the day, and on certain days. Being able to get there on time can really be a headache. Besides, the tasks in question aren’t that difficult. One try at them is plenty. The rest is just padding, and I can’t think of a reason the game would work this way.

Ah, well. At least I’m getting paid for it.

Next time: other paths to glory
Click here for the previous Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley game diary entry.

Meghan Bowyer lives in Kansas City and works as a legal assistant when not playing/obsessing over video games. She has occasional aspirations toward writing professionally.