Harvest Moon Anton’s Diary: Year 1 Winter Part II

Day 16
Married life has begun, and despite the constant presence of Popuri in my house, little else has changed. After completing the farm tasks (Coriolis was in a sour mood after not being fed yesterday, but all the other animals seem happy), I made sure to prepare four spa-boiled eggs for my wife, before heading out to purchase another sheep (Gondola) and retrieve Baskey. Since the snow has stopped again, I worked hard in the mine- profits are now more important than ever, for who knows what Popuri will order from TV Shopping?

I must also comment on my growing suspicions about town policeman Harris- although he is supposed to enforce the law, he seems to be using his powers to enter people’s houses at all hours of the day. Just what is he up to?

Day 17
This morning I had just finished breakfast when Popuri called out to me that she had found an injured bird- after going outdoors and just waving my arms around a little bit, it magically healed and flew off with its partner. Hopefully that little piece of interaction was enough for Popuri, for when I went to the hen house today, there were no eggs for me to spa boil for her (by the point I had already shipped the milk and honey, and thus there was no backup gift).

As per the usual winter schedule, I went mining after the basic tasks were completed, but once Baskey was filled, boredom overcame me and I knew I could not spend any more time down there. Unfortunately, at this point it was around 11am, and so I decided I should at least try to occupy a little more of the day. First, I chopped lumber for a while (even if I never use it, at least it will be there), before heading to the docks for a spot of fishing. It was only after I reached the docks that I recalled that my earlier disillusionment with fishing had led me to put the fishing rod away in my toolbox. Oh well, I will pick it up for another day.

I must also mention that I accidentally ran straight through Gotz on my way to the mine. Surely this sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen?

Day 18
Today I woke up only to discover that a blizzard was raging outside- this must be my punishment for not checking the weather forecast yesterday. Curse this winter weather- now all my animals will get into a sour mood because I was not able to go out and feed them.

Day 19
Fortunately, the blizzard has passed, but in its place we had another of those accursed snowy days. Unfortunately, since I was unable to tend the animals yesterday, the cows had not produced any milk and a few of the sheep were in a sour mood, although a few of them had enough wool for me to clip. Luckily, the chickens had laid their eggs, which enabled me to spa boil some for Popuri and ship the rest.

With little energy for larger projects, I mined a little in the morning, before heading to Barley’s ranch to buy my seventh sheep- Fishcake- and additional fodder. It was only as I took an early bedtime at 12:10pm that I realised that I had forgotten to look at the newly delivered Fishcake. I hope she will not be in a sour mood tomorrow.

I also stopped in at Popuri’s old home- whilst Rick seems aware that we are married, her mother Lilia said nothing about it. This strikes me as somewhat odd, but then so do many things in this village.

Day 20
After tending to the cows and sheep today, I stepped out of my barn, but for some reason I ended up spacing out for about six hours, and when I came to, it was after midday! Nonetheless, I resolved to press on, and completed my farm tasks before heading out to do some mining (those damned chickens have stopped laying eggs again). Once my first mining session was complete, I did not have the will to return, and so I decided to go down to the pier for a spot of fishing (I remembered to bring the rod this time). I was fortunate enough to catch a big fish, a small fish, a rare Power Berry and a useless fish skeleton, but when I took my fish home to put them in my pond, I failed to notice that it had frozen over until the poor things had died on the surface of the ice. Oh well, live and learn.

Day 21
Even after spending almost a year on this accursed farm, every day remains a learning experience. Today I completed the usual tasks with remarkable efficiency before heading out to the winter mine to fill my basket with sweet profits. On the way home, I made sure to spa-boil four eggs for my wife, but in my enthusiasm I accidentally threw one into the hot springs twice, and it vanished without a trace. Then, in order to make it up to her, I decided to take an Orichalcum ore to Saibara and have some jewellery made, but that damned blacksmith assumed I was giving him a gift and took the Orichalcum away before I could explain what I wanted him to do!

In order to calm myself after such trials, I decided to go on another fishing session at the pier; I managed to catch one each of small, medium and large fish, but after Greg the fisherman arrived, my concentration was thrown off and I was only able to get useless items such as old boots and empty cans. Although I threw them back into the sea when I thought he wasn’t looking, I realise now that I should have disposed of them in a bin or basket. Nonetheless, I somehow managed to catch a Legendary Fish right before departing for the evening, although for some reason all I did was take a photo of it before throwing it back. If only I had held onto it- I’m sure it would have sold for massive profits.

Oddly enough, I have noticed that Ann still carries a torch for me, for she remains at purple heart level. If I were not scared of retribution, I would experiment with having affairs with the other girls.

Day 22
Today I was greeted with a nasty shock when I went out to the barn- one of the cows was missing! In desperation, I wandered around outside for three hours until I finally located Teacup and brought her back to the barn. Her love for me seems somewhat diminished by this incident, but hopefully she will soon forgive me for having to spend a night out in the cold.

Since it was snowing today, I decided to forego the strenuous task of mining in favour of fishing; however, I soon realised that it was sensible not to get carried with fishing until all the other tasks I wanted to accomplish were complete. As well as spa-boiling four more eggs for Popuri (on the way Gotz warned me to be wary of going into the mountains in these conditions- where was he earlier in the season when I needed advice like that?), I went over to Barley’s to order my latest sheep, Helpdesk. Barley has a nice female dog named Hana- I wonder if I could persuade him to let her mate with Potato and produce some profitable offspring.

With such matters out of the way, I was finally able to turn my attention to fishing, although today I was only able to catch two small fish and various odds and ends. I have heard rumours that littering somehow decreases one’s ability to catch fish, so perhaps I must reluctantly drag myself to the church and confess to the sin of chucking those old boots back into the ocean yesterday.

In other news, I also ordered an Oven from TV Shopping; it may have cost 5000G, but this way I can enjoy the taste of cooked foods for the first time in a while.

Day 23
This morning I was idly flicking through TV channels when I happened upon an instalment of ‘Life on the Farm’ which spoke of ‘loading game’- does this mean that life on the farm is considered nothing more than a game to TV producers, or is it a sinister realisation of the feelings of uneasiness I all too often experience? Could my entire life just be one big simulation, played out for the amusement of some unseen god? No, I must not think of such things, or I will lose the will to continue.

In order to distract myself from this line of thinking, I started sorting out my cabinet, only to discover the photo of Cliff’s family that he once dropped in Rose Square. Feeling the need to do a good deed, I went into town to find Cliff, but even after visiting the Winery, Church and Inn, I was unable to locate him (nor was I able to enter the confessional in the church and confess to littering). It is no use asking the villagers, since they only ever reply with the same stock phrases, and so I gave up and went to clear my head with some mining. After mining, I tried to fish in the pool by the hot springs, but I was unable to get a bite.

According to Popuri, tomorrow is the Starry Night Festival, and she has even been learning how to bake a special cake for me. I hope it is tasty. I did try giving her some milk today for a change, but it seems that she prefers spa boiled eggs after all.

Day 24
Since today was the Starry Night Festival, none of the villagers could be bothered to open up shop, and thus I was forced to defer several tasks in favour of spending a quiet day working by myself. It seems Teacup’s little excursion outdoors the other day has given the other animals ideas, since at least one of them tries to sample the great outdoors every morning now.

After completing the usual tasks, a mining session and a few hours of fishing (I only caught one large fish and a lot of old boots, which I conscientiously tossed into the Rose Square bin), I went home at 6pm and discovered that Popuri had cooked a delicious dinner for me. After sharing the meal, we went out onto Mother’s Hill to look at the stars; whilst it was indeed romantic, I was surprised that no one else was around, given that the festival is such a big deal around here. Then again, I never meet anyone else whilst mining; haven’t they cottoned on to the fact that there is a limitless source of ore down there?

Day 25
After completing my normal tasks today, I went back down to Saibara’s armed with fresh Orichalcum, and this time I was able to make it clear that I wanted him to turn it into jewellery- Popuri will surely be delighted when I give it to her. Apparently everyone in the village loves jewellery (even the men), but they must never assume that I would start spending 1000G a time on just anyone.

With that out of the way, I headed over to the Inn to return Cliff’s photograph, only to accidentally eavesdrop on him talking to Ann. It seems that Ann and Cliff are developing a relationship, and whilst I am happily married, I hate to see any of the girls I consider to be mine talking to another man.

As well as fitting in some more fishing (which, I have to say, is becoming quite boring now that my early flush of success has seemingly worn off), I made sure to attend confession this afternoon. My carefully woven apology about littering was enough to convince Carter that I was sincere, and so I have been forgiven. Hopefully fishing will proceed a little more smoothly now.

Day 26
Why is it that I always leave Baskey behind after our daily mining session and neglect to take him fishing with me? Today I was so annoyed at this that I actually went back home to collect it (and also to give Popuri her daily spa boiled eggs); unfortunately, even with Baskey by my side, I was unable to fish anything other than empty cans, some of which I accidentally threw on the floor whilst trying to put them in the basket. I don’t know how it does it, but Baskey somehow transports litter to another dimension, thus enabling me to put any amount in without ever filling it up. Perhaps one day I should jump into the basket and see where it leads.

Day 27
Since it was snowing today, I was forced to tone down my schedule and only engage in short mining and fishing sessions. Fortunately, I was able to land some medium and small fish, although I also picked up a depressingly large amount of trash- I must start campaigning against the pollution of the seas.

I am beginning to feel sorry for my sheep- they spend most of their time looking shorn and naked. I did once accidentally try to shear a cow in my over-enthusiasm, but fortunately there were no lasting effects.

Day 28
With the constant snow continuing to sap at my energy, I was unable to get up until 8am today, and so I decided to just take it easy- at least, as easy at it gets in this farming hell. After attending to the usual tasks, I messed around in the kitchen for a bit and managed to create butter by placing a small container of milk in the mixer. Speaking of which, I also got my first ever large container of milk today from good old Elrood- sometimes I miss the days when it was just her and I.

Afterwards, I headed over to Barley’s to buy my tenth and final sheep- Marron- thus filling up my barn. It is now very difficult to move around in the barn, but I dare not let the animals out in this weather. By the time I had done that and stocked up on fodder for the various animals, it was only 11:50am, but I decided to go back to bed anyway. Roll on end of winter.

Day 29
It has been a long and dull winter, but at last the end is in sight, and so my spirits are lifting a little. Today I dug down to the lowest level of the Winter Mine and had one last go at fishing there, although unfortunately my efforts were entirely unsuccessful. Once I had worn myself out with mining and fishing, I took a quick hotspring bath before heading over to Saibara’s to pick up the bracelet he had made for Popuri. I then tried my hand at some more ocean fishing, but although I caught one large fish, the rest was trash. At least Popuri seemed pleased with the bracelet once I went home and gave it to her.

Day 30
At long last, the year is at its end, and it is hard to believe that it has been so long since I first took charge of this farm- although maybe my life beforehand really was just a dream. Since it was snowing today, and I had little will to carry out any strenuous tasks, I merely pottered around on the farm before amusing myself messing around in the snow on Mother’s Hill (I wish Popuri could have joined me, but she rarely leaves the house now). Once midnight rolled around, I celebrated the sunrise of the New Year on Mother’s Hill with Saibara, Cliff, Ann and some other villagers before heading home to begin the second year of hell.

2 thoughts on “Harvest Moon Anton’s Diary: Year 1 Winter Part II

  1. Thanks…so far it’s practically written itself because there are still new things happening in the game. I was initially worried about it getting boring in the third year when you’ve pretty much unlocked everything, but I think that year will be about Anton trying to befriend the villagers with gifts.

    Another thing I’ve been thinking about is doing a one-off diary for Anton’s descendant in the first PS2 game- the world deserves to know his annoyance at spending 10,000G on a useless chicken yard and what happened the day he tried to milk his bull…

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