Animal Crossing

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Animal Crossing
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Developer(s) Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date(s) 2001 (Japan), 2002 (U.S.)
2003 (Australia), 2004 (Europe)
Genre Role-playing game
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone (E)
Platform(s) GameCube

Animal Crossing, known as Animal Forest or Dōbutsu no Mori (どうぶつの森) in Japan, is a video game franchise developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development. After release in Japan, the game was improved upon and released in the United States on September 15th, 2002, later being made a Player's Choice game. The game utilizes the GameCube's internal clock. However, it is possible to have the time different from GameCube's clock, in which case it records the difference between its time and the GameCube's time and adds or subtracts the time from the GameCube's clock.

In Japan, Animal Forest was released for the Nintendo 64 on April 14th, 2001, and a new edition of the game, called Animal Forest +, was released for the GameCube in December of the same year. Another new edition of the game, Animal Forest e+, was released on June 27th, 2003. Animal Crossing was released in North America for the GameCube on September 15th, 2002, October 17th, 2003 in Australia, and September 24, 2004 in Europe. No countries other than Japan saw a Nintendo 64 release.


The game

Animal Crossing has been dubbed a "communication game" by Nintendo. It was designed to be an open-ended game with no plot, where a player could live this separate life as he or she wished. Some gameplay features include:

  • Catching bugs
  • Collecting furniture
  • Decorating one's home
  • Doing errands for the villagers
  • Fishing
  • Making clothing for one's character
  • Participating in holiday festivities
  • Paying off the loan on one's house
  • Playing NES games
  • Shopping
  • Talking to the animal villagers
    • This usually consists of delivering and picking up items from the villagers
  • Visiting the Island
  • Visiting villages other players have developed
  • Writing letters

The form of currency in this game is known as a Bell. In almost all aspects and tasks of the game, there is a reward involved.

The player's house

In each village, there is an area with four houses and the town bulletin board. When the player initially moves into the village, he or she may choose any one of these houses so long as there is no other player already dwelling in them, and that house becomes the player's. Initially, the player is to work for the local shopkeeper, Tom Nook, to pay off the debt, and also to learn how to play Animal Crossing, but the player is granted freedom from this afterward. As the player pays off the debts, his or her house is expanded.

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Animal Crossing's protagonist wearing a tailor-made shirt on Halloween.

Happy Room Academy

The Happy Room Academy ("HRA") rates every part of the player's house, except the basement that the player can have built, based on a point system. Each day, they will send the player a letter informing him or her of the amount of points earned. The HRA will deduct points for the following:

  • If the player mixes different themes or series on the first floor.
  • If the player puts a furniture that has a use (a wardrobe) against a wall.
  • If the player puts objects like raffle tickets, tools, or trash on the ground.

The HRA will add points for the following:

  • If the player completes a furniture series, theme, or set.
  • If the wallpaper or carpet matches the series or theme.
  • If the player have the complete necessities of life from a same or different series.
  • If the player has valuable objects within his home.

Upon earning a certain number of points, two different furniture pieces from the town model set will be received.

House upgrades and expansions

  • The state the player's house is in when he or she first comes upon it. There is not much room, and the room is furnished only with a journal on top of a box, a radio for playing music received from the travelling musician KK Slider, and a carpet and wallpaper. The loan is 19,800 Bells, and 1,400 of that is paid off when working at Tom Nook's shop.
  • The first expansion is received when the player pays the first debt. It has a little more room, and the player now has enough room to place whole furniture sets and series inside.
  • The second expansion is built when the player pays the 148,000 Bells for the first expansion. It has a little more room. The player also has the option of having a basement built, described below.
  • The basement can be built at two times: When the player pays off the 148,000 Bells for the first expansion or the 398,000 Bells for the second expansion. The Happy Room Academy does not rate basements, so the player can store as much junk as he or she wants down there.
  • The last expansion to the player's house is a second floor, which is the same size as the first expansion, and is received when the player pays off the 398,000 Bells for the second expansion (or 49,800 for the basement).

When the player pays off the final loan of 798,000 Bells for the second floor, a golden statue of the player's character will be placed in front of the train station. The second player to completely pay off his or her house will receive a smaller silver statue, the third will receive a bronze statue, and finally, the fourth player to pay off the debt receives a tiny, green statue.

Feng Shui

In Animal Crossing, some items have Feng Shui properties. If the player places the item that corresponds to that color in the certain part of the room, he or she will receive a benefit.

  • Orange items are placed in the north side of the house, green items in the south, and yellow items in the west. All sides give the player good luck in money and items.
  • Red items are placed in the east side of the house and they give the player good luck in items.

Important Figures in the Village

  • Tom Nook, the shopkeeper.
  • Tommy and Timmy, who work at Tom Nook's shop when it is Nookington's department store.
  • Tortimer, the mayor.
  • Officer Copper, who keeps an eye out on the village by telling the player about special guests before they arrive. He also teaches aerobics for the sports fairs and from July 25 to August 31 from 6 AM to 7 AM.
  • Officer Booker, who is in charge of lost items.
  • Pelly, the friendly daytime (7:00 AM to 7:00 PM) clerk of the post office.
  • Phyllis, the grumpy nighttime (7:00 PM to 7:00 AM) clerk of the post office.
  • Pete, the mail delivery pelican. At 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, the player can talk to him in front of the town bulletin board.
  • Blathers, the museum curator.
  • Kapp'n, the kappa who operates the boat to the island.
  • Sable and Mabel, owner of the Able Sisters tailor shop.
  • Sow Joan, who comes around every Sunday morning to sell turnips.
  • K.K. Slider (Totakeke), who comes around every Saturday night to play music in front of the train station. The player can have him play for him or her. They can also request any one of his 52 songs.
  • Gulliver, who washes up on shore once a week and gives the player an item, usually a model of a item from a foreign country.
  • Crazy Redd, owner of the black market which comes around town occasionally. He usually sells things one can find at Tom Nook's shop, but has rare items for sale once in a while.
  • Wendell, a hungry walrus who gives out rare wallpaper if the player gives him a fish.
  • Gracie, a giraffe who is known for fashion. If the player cleans her car well, he or she can receive a rare piece of clothing.
  • Saharah, a camel who sells rare carpets.
  • Katrina, a fortune teller who gives readings for the price of 50 Bells. The readings have 24-hour effects, such as love (animals of the opposite gender will fall in love with the player) or bad luck (the player will trip and fall occasionally while walking).
  • Wisp, a ghost who comes out during the night from 12 AM to 4 AM. He gives the player furniture, gets rid of all the weeds in the player's village, or repaints the roof of the player's house.
  • Mr. Resetti, a mole who comes if the player resets Animal Crossing and tells him or her to refrain from resetting. He is also the town "groundhog," who is used during the Groundhog Day festivities.
  • Don Resetti, Mr. Resetti's brother. He is calmer than his brother and appears after you reset a few times.
  • Chip, the beaver who hosts the summer and fall fishing tourneys.
  • The villagers, ranging from a wide variety of animal species and personality types. For male animals, there are three, generally described as "jock," "sleepy," and "grumpy," and for female animals, there are also three, generally described as "nice," "hyper," and "snooty."

Town events and holidays

Animal Crossing uses the GameCube's internal clock to check the date. According to what day it is, different events may happen. Each year, the player's village will have various events. This is a list of all of them:

Date Name Remarks
January 1 New Year's Day Tortimer gives the player a diary. At the wishing well, the player can get a fortune read by Katrina (the fortune's effects is more severe than the usual effect) and spend fifty Bells on a wish.
February 2 Groundhog Day . At 8:00 AM, the town "groundhog" Mr. Resetti will show up. Tortimer gives the player a flower model any time after 9:00 AM (Until 6 pm?)
March 20 or 21 Spring Sports Fair Tortimer gives the player the Spring Medal. The events are Gymnastics, Foot Race, Ball Game, and Tug-of-War, but the player can only participate in Gymnastics.
April 1 April Fool's Day Tortimer gives the player the fictional NES game Super Tortimer (In the original Japanese version, it is a Famicom game).
April 5 to 7 Cherry Blossom Festival Trees in the player's village turn pink. At the wishing well, there is a feast for the festival. Tortimer gives the player the Pink Tree Model.
April 22 Nature Day Tortimer gives the player a Tree Model. Nature Day is similar to Earth Day, which falls on this day in real life.
May 1 Spring Cleaning Tortimer gives the player a Dump Model.
May, second Sunday Mother's Day Tortimer gives the player a Lovely Phone.
June, second Friday Graduation Day Tortimer gives the player a Tailor Model. In real life, children usually get out of school around this date, which is what this holiday is based off of.
June, third Sunday Father's Day Tortimer gives the player the Locomotive Model.
June, every Sunday Summer Fishing Toruney Tortimer gives the player the Angler Trophy. If the player catches a bass, large bass, or small bass, while fishing, he or she should give it to Chip. If the fish is the biggest fish, the player will get a present.
July 4 Fireworks Show Tortimer gives the player a Bottle Rocket. Redd is at a booth selling balloons and pinwheels. In real life, this holiday is similar to Independence Day in the United States.
July 25 to August 31 Morning Aerobics Officer Copper hosts this morning event. The player can come to the event fourteen times to get a Aerobics Radio from Tortimer.
July, random day "Your Hometown" Day "Your Hometown" will be the name of the player's town. Tortimer will give the player the Train Station Model.
August 12 Meteor Shower The player can go to the lake to see the reflections of the meteors. Tortimer will give the player a telescope.
August 21 Founder's Day Tortimer will give the player a Weed Model.
September, first Monday Labor Day Tortimer will give the player a Shop Model. Similar to the United States Labor Day.
September 23 or 24 Fall Sports Fair Tortimer gives the player the Autumn Medal. This holiday's events are the same as that of the Spring Sports Fair.
September or October (varies) Harvest Moon The player can see the reflection of the Moon in the lake. Tortimer gives the player a model of the moon.
October, second Monday Explorer's Day Tortimer will give the player a Bottled Ship. This day is basically the same as Columbus Day.
October 15 to 25 Mushrooming Season At 8:00 am, there are five mushrooms to find. The player can sell them at Tom Nook's shop for 5,000 Bells.
October 31 Halloween Tortimer gives the player a model of Katrina's Tent. The animals, including Tortimer, are dressed up with pumpkins on their heads. If the player finds Jack, who doesn't run at the player's character, he will give the player a piece of furniture.
November, first Tuesday Mayor's Day Tortimer gives the player the Well Model.
November 11 Officer's Day Tortimer gives the player the Police Model.
November, every Sunday Fall Fishing Tourney Same as Summer Fishing Tourney. Tortimer gives the player the Fishing Trophy.
November, fourth Thursday Harvest Festival Tortimer gives the player a cornucopia. During that day, Franklin the turkey will also be at this event. If the player takes the forks from the tables at the wishing well to Franklin, he or she will receive a piece a furniture from him. This day is similar to Thanksgiving in the United States.
November, fourth Friday Sale Day Tortimer will give the player a Market Model. Tom Nook will sell Grab Bags with various items. Crazy Redd will be in the game on this day. This represents the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States.
December 1 Snow Day Tortimer wil give the player a snowman.
December 23 Toy Day Tortimer gives the player a Miniature Car if the player is male, and a Doll if the player is female.
December 24 Jingle Comes to Town Jingle, the black nosed reindeer, comes to town. He gives the player a gift. If the player wants more gifts, he or she should go far away and change his or her character's clothing. If that happens, Jingle will give the player another gift. Represents Christmas Eve.
December 31 New Year's Eve Represents the end of the year. Tortimer gives the player a noisemaker. At the lake, a giant clock counts down the time it is until the new year.

These are the holidays included in the Japanese version of Animal Crossing, Animal Forest +.

Date Name Remarks
January 1 Shinen no Hi New Year's Day. The player can make a New Year's Wish at the shrine, or wishing well, around 9 AM if he or she wishes to do so. Tortimer (Sanchō in the Japanese version) will give the player a rare item. Tom Nook (Tanuki in the Japanese version) will be selling mystery bags for 2,000 Bells apiece. The player will also receive a letter from his or her character's parents with 10,000 Bells attached.
January 7 Nanakusa no sekku A Japanese seasonal festival. If the player visits the shrine and talks to Tortimer, he or she will receive a Grass Model, which symbolizes the Japanese custom observed on this day.
January 14 Nichininmae no Hi If the player visits the shrine and talks to Tortimer, he or she receive a Tailor Model.
February 3 Mamemaki no Hi Tortimer will give to the player an Oni Mask and beads. This is the Japanese bean-throwing festival.
February 11 Furusato no Hi Talking to Tortimer at the shrine will result in the player receiving a Train Station model.
March 3 Otame No Hi Going to the shrine and talking to Tortimer, the usual process, will end up with the player receiving an Uranai telephone.
March 21 Spring Day The usual process will earn the player a Redd's (Kitsune in the Japanese version) Tent model.
April 5 to April 7 Ohanami The flower-viewing festival. The player's village's trees will turn pink with cherry blossoms, and a picnic is held at the shrine. When the player talks to Tortimer he or she will receive a Cherry Blossom Tree model.
April 20 Haru no Undokai The Spring Sports festival. Various activities occur at 9 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM, and one can participate in them. Talk to Tortimer and receive a Haro No Yūshōki flag.
April 29 Shinryoku no Hi Talking to Tortimer will get the player a Tree Model.
May 3 Gomi no Kinenbi Talking to Tortimer will get the player a Dump Model.
May 5 Kodomo no hi Children's Day. Tortimer will give the player a Train Model.
Every Sunday in June Natsu No Tsuritaikai The fishing tournament. The player can get a Bass No Namori Meal from Tortimer, who is wandering about the village.
July 7 Tanabata Talking to Tortimer will get the player a Tanabata tree.
July 20 Summer Day Talking to Tortimer will get the player a Life Preserver.
May 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, or 31st Hanabitaikai Around 8 PM, the player can visit the pond in the village for a fireworks display, and Redd will be selling fans for 780 Bells. Finding and talking to Tortimer will result in the player receiving a Sanshaku Dama firework.
September 15 Sanchō-san no Hi Literally, Sonchō's Day (Tortimer's Day). Visiting the shrine (wishing well) will garner the player a Well Model.
September 21 Jugoya no Otsukimi The Moon Viewing festival. At around 8 PM, visit the pond, and one can watch the moon reflected in the pond with the rest of the villagers. Talking to the mayor will earn the player Tsukimi Dango, or dumplings.
September 23 Autumn Day Visiting Tortimer at the shrine will get the player a Katrina's Tent model.
October 14 Aki no Undōkai Visit the shrine and one can take part in the exercise program. The player can make his or her character exercise by moving the C-stick. Talking to the mayor gets the player an Aki No Yūshoki flag.
October 18 Jūsanya no Tsugi Another moon viewing festival. If one talks to Tortimer, he or she will receive a model of the moon. Tom Nook is selling Halloween candy at this point.
October 31 Halloween At dark, all the villagers will wear pumpkin masks, and if they catch sight of the player they will chase him or her down and ask for candy. If the player refuses, they turn his or her clothes to rags and take candy. Visiting the shrine and talking to Tortimer (also wearing a mask) will get the player a Police Box Model and a Jack in the Box.
November 3 Winter Day
Each Sunday in November Aki no Tsuritaikai The fishing contests occur during this time. Talking to Tortimer will get the player a Tairyōbata.
November 23rd Hatara Kimono no Hi
December 23 Ibuibu no Hi
December 24th Christmas Eve Around 8 PM and later, the player can find and talk to a reindeer in a Christmas costume named Jingle. The next day, on Christmas, he or she will receive a letter in his or her character's mailbox with Balloon Fight, regardless of whether the player's character talked with him or not.
December 25 Christmas Day
December 31 New Year's Eve The player can take part in the New Year's countdown by the pond, and therefore receive soba soup from Tortimer.

Nintendo Entertainment System games

One can collect various NES games in Animal Crossing. The games one can collect are:

The "Forbidden Four"

The "Forbidden Four" is the nickname of a group of NES games that are not obtainable any other way except by using an Action Replay or an e-Reader.

Using the Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Advance plays a major role in Animal Crossing. To link the two, one needs a Game Boy Advance-GameCube cable.

The island

When the two systems are linked, Kapp'n can be found by at the dock. On the first visit, he will ask the player the name of his or her island (which will be known by that name from then on). He or she will be rowed to the island to the tune of Kapp'n's singing. On the island, there is a villager who has taken up residence. One can give the villager items in return for Bells and other commodities. Near the villager's house is a vacant house that all human players in the village can use. When someone first enters, he or she will find four shirts in the center, with a Cabin Wall and Cabin Floor adorning its walls and flor. Also on the island are coconut trees; this is the only place one can find them on Animal Crossing. It is always summer on the island, and only summer fish and insects can be caught there. Trees from the mainland (excluding cedar trees) can be planted on the island for the islander (see below) or for catching bugs that dwell on trees.

When the player leaves the island, he or she can choose the option of transferring the island to his or her Game Boy Advance (graphics reduced, of course) and interact with his or her islander through a white glove. Some features include:

  • Feeding the islander fruit, whether the fruits involved are native coconuts or imports from the village that the player brought with him or her. This makes the islander happy, and after a few fruits, he or she will begin dropping money, in amounts of 100, 1,000, 10,000, or 30,000 Bells.
  • Having the islander pick up tools (axe, shovel, etc) and use them. Occasionally, items float by the island, whether in the sea or in the air, and if one has the islander catch it with the appropriate tool, he or she can use the shovel and bury it in the ground if he or she is happy enough. Some items available include trash, Pitfalls, furniture, Gyroids, and special island furniture, which are only available through the island.
  • Sometimes the islander calls for help, and one must pick him or her up with the glove cursor and deposit him or her elsewhere on the island.

e-Reader compatibility

Animal Crossing is compatible with the e-Reader. One can use e-Reader cards to get new items, a new town tune, or a shirt design.

At the Post Office, there is a machine on the left side of the building, called the e-Transfer Machine. The cards with villagers pictured on them (Character Cards) are scanned here. These cards give the player items.

Next to the Post Office is the Melody Board. After the player prepares the e-Reader, scanning the melody card will change his or her town tune.

At the Able Sisters, talk to Mabel and choose the proper option. Prepare the e-Reader, scan the card, and the new design will be at the shop.

Animal Forest e+

This game is an improved version of Animal Forest +, adding many features from the English version, Animal Crossing, and some new features found only in this version. Some of the new features include:

  • The ability to hold flowers.
  • Town monuments like a well, which can be received from the Internet for the player's town via code and then paid for with his or her bells.
  • New fish, such as a pufferfish or seahorse.
  • New insects, such as a crab.
  • New villagers.
  • Villager's tasks have been re-designed. One has to talk to them and wait for the option to do a task to come up. There are two types of tasks in Animal Forest e+:
    • One has to find an item lying somewhere in the village (ex. a Gyroid or a shovel), and deliver it to a villager.
    • One has to deliver a blue present box to the villager. However, one can open it and keep the item for himself or herself.
  • Bee sting medicine, available in two doses at Tom Nook's for 1,200 bells, which can cure bee stings.
  • Sometimes, a villager will be inside his or her house shaking. One has to give him or her two doses of bee sting medicine (not on the same day) to end his or her illness.
  • New furniture and themes, including the Japanese Bath House set of furniture.

Animal Crossing DS

Main article: Animal Crossing DS

At E 2004, Nintendo released information about the next Animal Crossing game. It will in fact be released for the Nintendo DS, rather than the GameCube as originally believed. The game will be different from the original, and will allow wireless connections between two or more human players. In a video demo of the game, players are communicating with each other through the DS with a chat function, with one of its double screens focused on the gameplay area and the other, touch-sensitive screen occupied with the chat box which was being used to enter and send messages. Items can also be traded through this connection.

Nintendo has confirmed that Animal Crossing will be one of the first DS games to go online, allowing multiple players to communicate. Specific details of this feature were scarce, but it appears that this feature will be completely free for the end-user. The game was chosen as Nintendo's first online title because its simple, action-free gamplay style will not suffer from latency issues and use little bandwidth. The game does not appear to require an online connection to play, similar to the original.

The top screen of the system displays the character in-game, while the lower, touch-sensitive screen features the traditional item menu from the original that can be managed in real-time, rather than requiring the player to pause and select items with the traditional controller. The touch screen is used for other purposes as well, such as drawing on clothing and wallpaper. The game world will be very spherical and rounded, looking as if the town is located on a very small planet, rather than the flat plane of the original game.

Different hats such as a sombrero and Super Mario cap will now be able to be worn by players rather than being stuck with the one given to them at the beginning of the game. Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that no NES games will be hidden in this newest addition to the series.

Animal Crossing for the Nintendo DS will be released by Christmas 2005.


  • One of the rarest fish in the game, the coelacanth, is also one of the rarest fish on Earth. Many also believe that the inclusion of the coelacanth in Animal Crossing led to the creation of the character Relicanth in the video game Pokmon. It is also said that occasionally on the voyage to the island, one can cross over the silhouette of a giant fish that dwarfs the Coelacanth.
  • Three Animal Crossing game trophies are available in Super Smash Bros. Melee: Tom Nook, the raccoon manager of the store, Totakeke, a singing dog that performs a song and gives it to the player, and Mr. Resetti, the mole that disciplines the player for "cheating" in Animal Crossing using the reset button on the Nintendo GameCube. The characters were listed as being from a future release, as Super Smash Bros. Melee was released before Animal Crossing in the United States, akin to the Roy and Marth statues (from the Fire Emblem series).

Animal Crossing is a port of the Nintendo 64 version that was released in Japan, and as such, the game file itself is very small. In fact, the entire game is loaded into memory from the very start of the game. One can open the disc cover and take out the Animal Crossing disc while playing the game without experiencing any gameplay issues. Because of this, there is no loading time other than at the beginning of the game.

  • Infamous amongst European games for its delayed release, frustration aggravated by Nintendo of Europe's harsh anti-import policies at the time. Translation issues (games released in Europe are frequently, but not always, translated into four additional languages, and Animal Crossing was not only given 7 additional languages, but also has extensive dialogue) are an obvious reason for the delays; however, the press were informed at various times that the game would:
    • Only be released if the GameCube title Doshin the Giant was a significant success in Europe, as a way of establishing whether there was any market for Animal Crossing.
    • Be so dependent on the e-Reader, which was not receiving a European release, that it would not be released at all
    • Not be released due to complications with holiday dates compared to the US version
Nintendo later promised Europe that "we are not going to be two years late, as we were with Animal Crossing on GameCube, on any other products."1 (

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