- This article is about the first English-translated video game. For the series itself, see Animal Crossing (series).
North American box art
|Release date|| September 15, 2002|
October 17, 2003
September 24, 2004
|Genre|| Life Simulation|
|Ratings|| ESRB: E (Everyone)|
Animal Crossing, also known as Animal Crossing: Population: Growing!, is the US and PAL version of Animal Forest+. Developed solely for the Nintendo GameCube, the PowerPC first optical disc console and the first optical disc console developed by Nintendo, the game is notable as the first game in the Animal Crossing series to reach nations outside Japan. Animal Crossing was soon re-released as a Player's Choice title as a result of its high sales.
In this game players assume the role of a boy or girl human setting out for a life of their own in a small randomly generated town. As each town is different, this ensures that no two players’ experiences are exactly the same. Players can pick fruit, grow trees, garden, hunt for fossils, fish, catch insects, do favors for the villagers, decorate their homes, and perform other such tasks.
The game designers declined to create an overarching plot, instead allowing players to have full control over their own life and play indefinitely. Time passes as it does in the real world. For example, if the game is played during December, it will be winter. Holidays and special events usually mirror real-world equivalents and often occur on the same days. Sometimes, late into the night or in the wee hours of the morning, villagers accidentally fall asleep outside but standing up.
Finally, on their own, a young boy or girl hops on a train and set out for a new life in a small village inhabited by sentient, humanoid animals. However, being a spirited youth, the child forgot to find a place to live first and has only the clothes on their back and 1,000 Bells. On the train, Rover sits across from them and drums up a conversation. During the exchange, the cat finds out about the child’s situation. Rover contacts Tom Nook and arranges for his old friend to help out the boy or girl upon their arrival.
Once in town, the player steps down from the Train Station platform and is greeted by a flustered raccoon (tanooki in Japan). The raccoon introduces himself as Tom Nook, the owner of the town’s shop and shows the player his four available houses. While they are all very small and unfurnished, Tom Nook assures them that they will suit their needs. Yet, they are pricey and out of the player's price range... Tom Nook decides to employ the player so they can pay off the debt they owe on the house. During this period of employment, the child meets the villagers and the mayor and acquaints themself with the Post Office, Able Sisters Shop, Museum, Police Station, and other buildings.
However, Tom Nook eventually runs out of tasks for the player to perform, and is forced to let them go. The player is also forced to make it on their own without a real job. However, the villagers are a needy bunch, and the land is brimming with fruit-bearing trees, fish-filled rivers, and ideal bug-catching conditions. It is also a registered archaeological site of the Faraway Museum.
Starting or Continuing a GameAnimal Crossing is a game that encourages short play periods every day. A player's first journey into town requires more time and effort than subsequent visits. This is because the specifics of the game such as the main character and the town will be established during this time.
Items Required to Play
- Television Set or Projector (1)
- Nintendo GameCube or Wii (1)
- GameCube Controller (1)
- 59 free Blocks of Memory Card data.*
- Animal Crossing Game disc (1)**
*The original Animal Crossing package includes a free Memory Card 59 with a 1-block letter data.
**The game disc may be ejected after the player enters their town due to the game's small ROM size. Because Animal Crossing is merely a slightly modified port of a Nintendo 64 title, the game in its entirety will be recorded into the GameCube's RAM following startup (as N64 cartridges are 1.436 megabytes smaller than GameCube discs); the RAM will be cleared if the GameCube is powered off or reset.
Setting up Animal Crossing
- Connect the Nintendo GameCube or Wii to the television as described in their respective manuals.
- Insert Animal Crossing Game disc into the GameCube (or Wii) disc drive, the Memory Card into Slot A (left slot or right slot in the Wii), and the GameCube Controller into the Player 1 slot (leftmost slot or first one on the Wii)
- Turn on the television, Nintendo GameCube, and any optional device used to connect the two devices.
- Optional: Hold the A Button at the GameCube title screen to configure the GameCube Clock and Memory Card data.
- Follow on-screen instructions for beginning and configuring a new game through the required conversations with K.K. Slider, Rover, and Tom Nook.
- Complete the main character’s work for Tom Nook and save the game by talking with the Gyroid at the character’s house.
Returning to Play and Options
When turning on the game after the first save, players will be greeted by an animal from their village and be asked to identify themselves. If a player wishes to create a new character, they should select, “I’m New.” At this point, options such as the town’s date and time can be changed by selecting, “Before I go…” from the conversational menu. The following is a list of customizable options.
Sound: Players can switch the game’s speaker output settings to stereo, mono, or headphones. After selecting one, the player will be asked to select the language the animals speak. Animalese (a text-to-speech voice), Babblese (a generic text-scrolling sound also used for dialogue from the player, whispering voices, and signs), or Silence (where animals do not make any noise when talking) can be chosen.
Demolish a House: This option allows players to delete player characters from the Memory Card. Another un-expanded house appears in its place. This new house has the same roof color and decorations as the previous house did prior to the character moving in. One character must always be on the memory card.
Set Clock: Changes the in-game date and time. This does not affect the GameCube Clock.
Rumble Feature: If a player finds the rumble feature distracting, this option turns it on or off.
Build a New Town: This option deletes all town data from the Memory Card. Nothing will be saved from the town except letters saved at the Post Office and patterns saved in the Able Sister's archive. However, this feature is useful as only one town can be saved on each Memory Card.
Animal Crossing requires players to master three different types of controls in order to play. The first two, Action and Menu controls, are intertwined in gameplay. With time players learn to switch between them thoughtlessly. Typing controls were very different from the other two modes. However, it is not used nearly as frequently as the others.
Action and Menu Controls
Most actions are performable both indoors and outdoors. However, certain actions can only be performed in certain areas. Please see the typing controls section for information on typing.
The function of this button is context sensitive.
The function of this button is context sensitive.
Whenever players are able to insert text, a keyboard appears at the bottom of the screen. Controls then switch to typing mode.
|+ Control Pad||
NOTES: Selecting "SP" on the virtual keyboard adds a space. By selecting the return arrow, players can insert carriage returns. Carriage returns skip the rest of the current line and bring the cursor down to the next. On computer keyboards, the enter/return keys serve this function.
The item screen, often referred to as the inventory, is a major aspect of Animal Crossing's gameplay. Using it, players can perform a variety of tasks. These tasks include checking statistics, placing items, using items, and using designs. The screen is divided up into four major sections
Main Item Screen
In the upper left of the menu, the player’s character can be seen. The clothes they are wearing and the tools they are holding are accurately reflected on the image. By selecting the character, players can remove items. The name of the town and the character are displayed to the right.
Just below the names of the town and character is a display showing how many bells the player has in their wallet. The player's wallet can only hold a maximum of 99,999 Bells. Players can hold more Bells by creating moneybags. To do so, players select the Bells in their wallet window and choose the amount of Bells they would like in the bag: one hundred, one thousand, ten thousand, or thirty thousand. However, moneybags are automatically created for the player if they earn enough Bells. Yet, the creation of moneybags allows players to give money as presents, place it in their houses, or bury it in the ground. Obviously, Bells stored at the Post Office cannot be used without first withdrawing them into the Bells display and the inventory.
The player’s items are shown in the lower section of the menu. Up to fifteen items of any type can be held here. Many actions involving items can only be done by selecting the items from this list. Certain items, such as tools or clothes, require players to drag the item’s icon onto the character before they can be used.
Players can hold up to ten letters with them at any given time. Letters can be rearranged to suit the player’s preferences. Selecting a received letter brings up a submenu that allows players to move them, read them, move an enclosed present to the inventory, or discard them. If players select a letter they have written themselves, they can move them, rewrite them, change the addressee, remove an enclosed present, or discard them.
The tabs on the left and right edges of the menu bring up new menus. The pencil tab on the right brings up the design page. The fish and butterfly tabs on the right bring up the caught fish and insect lists, respectively.
Fish and Insect Lists
These screens record the 40 types of insects or fish and show those that have been caught. They prove very useful for players wishing to catch one of every fish or insect. Once on either list, if a player places the cursor over a fish or insect, they can see its name. To return to the main item screen, players select the smiley face tab.
By selecting the pencil on the left of the main item screen, players will access the design page. This page will automatically open when a player interacts with a signpost. This page has slots for eight-pixel art patterns designed by the player or taken from a display at the Able Sisters Shop (A.K.A. tailor). When first starting the game, this menu contains four sample patterns, the clothes template, umbrella template, door template, and arrow design. Using this screen, players can customize the town with their designs by selecting a pattern and then selecting the action they wish to perform using the provided submenu.
Use on Clothes
While outside or inside, selecting this option uses the pattern as a shirt and hat for the character. The clothes they were wearing will be deposited in the items section of the main item screen. This action cannot be performed if the items section is full and the character is not wearing another pattern.
Use on Umbrella
This action appears inside and outside. Any pattern can be used as an umbrella, even if the player does not have an umbrella in their inventory. The item the character was holding prior to the selection is moved into the inventory. Like “Use on Clothes,” this action cannot be used to replace an umbrella item if the inventory is full. However, if another pattern is being used as an umbrella, this action still works.
Use on Walls and Use on Floor
While inside their own homes, players can use their patterns as wallpapers or carpets by selection “Use on Walls” and “Use on Floor” respectively. Patterns only cover a small portion of the floor or walls, so they are tiled repeatedly. After selecting where to use the pattern, players are asked to select “Basic paste” or “Mix it up.” The first option places the pattern in a very basic matter, with the top of the pattern facing up or north. The second alternates whether the top or bottom is facing up or north. As usual, if a player’s inventory is full and they are replacing a carpet or wallpaper item, they cannot use this selection as the old carpet or wallpaper is placed in the inventory. However, if the old carpet or wallpaper was another pattern, this function works.
Drop as Clothes and Drop as Umbrella
Players wishing to display their patterns in their homes as clothes and umbrellas are able to do so by selecting “Drop as Clothes” and “Drop as Umbrella” respectively, and will be placed on the ground, but still be in the player's design page. After being dropped, these items are movable as if they were furniture and can be removed by pressing the B Button while facing them. However, the item will disappear rather than going into the inventory.
Players may change the background of their inventory to a shirt, floor, wall, or umbrella design by grabbing the designed item and dragging it to the bottom-right-hand corner of the inventory (not the letter section) then, bring it down once into an invisible slot and placing the item.
The town is split into 30 units known as acres, which themselves are divided into squares. Houses, trees, ponds, beachfront, buildings, etc. are all found on acres, while squares determine where on the overworld they are placed. There is a river that runs through the town, and the town has two or three levels of land, which can be traversed using ramps. Every time a new town is created, the layout is randomly generated, including the starting villagers and native fruit trees, as with every Animal Crossing game. Consequently, the chances of two towns starting out with the exact same layout, let alone the same set of villagers, is very slim.
- Like the Japanese release, the game was originally going to be called Animal Forest, but its name was eventually changed. The new name takes inspiration from the "animal crossing" road signs used to warn of large animals whose habitats are nearby and who could potentially run in a moving vehicle's path and cause serious accidents.
- Although designed as a port of Animal Forest+ there are small differences, for instance, the replacement of the Herabuna fish with the Brook Trout.
|Fish • Bugs • Fossils • Villagers • Events • Item codes • Face styles|
|The Animal Crossing series|