back arrow animal crossing leaf

the only life simulator i can handle!

tom nook waving

when i got into it: literally babyhood
favorite characters: tom nook, rover, sable, blathers, pelly, groucho, felicity, lucy, hazel
favorite songs: rainy day, new leaf 5pm, the city (evening) (snow), the city (night), city folk 3am, doubutsu no mori rainy
favorite game: animal crossing: city folk
favorite items: apple, red snapper, dressing, golden slingshot

animal crossing uchi villager

stamp with resetti and the text i tend to ramble... stamp of the three main girls from the animal crossing movie stamp that says tom nook rocks glitchy stamp of purrl stamp of animal crossing city folk stamp that says gyroid fan

blanca drawing her face on

what's animal crossing?

animal crossing is a game franchise created by katsuya eguchi and hisashi nogami, inspired at first by eguchi’s recent migration to work at nintendo headquarters, bringing him far away from the comforts and familiarity at home. the desire to reconnect with the comfortable, safe, and familiar of childhood is visible to anyone who has ever picked up an animal crossing game – a plotless life simulator where you, the player, move into a small town and befriend your animal neighbors while repaying your house debt and buying all sorts of decorations by catching fish and bugs.

what you can do depends on the iteration of the game, but that’s the basic formula. each game in the series is mildly unique in each way, except for the cash grabs like amiibo festival and pocket camp, which are spinoffs.

the first animal crossing game, doubutsu no mori, (animal[s’] forest) was released in 2001 in japan for the nintendo 64. it was polished into animal crossing for the nintendo gamecube later in the year, and was then followed by another edition, doubutsu no mori e+, in 2003. next was animal crossing: wild world for the nintendo ds in 2005, which made the game portable, and animal crossing: city folk for the nintendo wii in 2008, which did not. animal crossing: new leaf released for the nintendo 3ds in 2012, with the added novel concept of making you not only a new villager, but the town’s mayor, and finally, animal crossing: new horizons was released for the nintendo switch in 2020, wherein you’re functionally the mayor but referred to as the “resident representative” to keep with the island theming.

essentially, the goal of this game is to live a comfortable, leisurely life enjoying the outdoors (the “town” is actually most often just a variety of villager houses, a couple of shops, and a museum in the woods) and befriending your talking animal neighbors by chatting, doing chores, playing games, trading items, and celebrating holidays or town festivals with them. the game runs on a real day/night cycle and has various seasons and activities based on your system’s clock.

other goals are possible: filling the museum with donated fish and bugs, expanding your cottage into a mansion, decorating every room to the nines, breeding rare flowers and fruits, trying your luck on the stalk market (onion selling and trading), befriending all your villagers to “best friends” level, buying haute couture from the elite designer in-game, trying to win a good deal on the in-game black marketeer, and in later two games, decorating your town with public work projects or really anything.

it’s considered a highly soothing game, in part because of its steady gameplay, fun, blocky design, focus on the natural world, excellent and variable soundtrack, and kindly and fun characters. this is in part why there was such a scramble to have its last edition released during 2020.

why do i love it?

as a disabled person, games that require fine movement or the correct pattern of button smashes have never been my forte. as a nervous freak, games that are open-world and have a general ‘to-do’ list that you can fail at have also never been my forte. animal crossing, a game that is neither of these while at the same time being completely friendly and do-as-you-will, was naturally able to capture my attention.

it was the only video game i played as a child, since i also didn’t have any siblings and thus the mario catalogue was kind of useless to me. it was endlessly fun and comforting at the time, especially since i was also, uh, kind of socially challenged. a lot of my friendships were sports-based, so once my arthritis got too bad, i didn’t really HAVE friends as a little kid, for a while.

the soundtrack is delightful, the characters are charming and funny, and the setting is really relaxing. at least that was true of my favorite and first game, animal crossing city folk. this game is the last one in the line that doesn’t put you in a position of power over the villagers and shopkeepers, and also doesn’t have any real metrics of success or failure like “town/island ratings,” except for the usual optional badges for catching so many bugs or having a special flower grow in your town. you aren’t a mayor or a co-partner in an island vacation/real estate business, you’re just another villager, free to pay back your house loan through bug-catching and buy coffee from the pigeon who runs the museum cafe just to watch a coffee-sipping cutscene.

if that sounds boring, you’ll probably be saddened to know that in my opinion the franchise has actually gotten flatter over time. with the exception of new ways to customize (like adding outdoor furniture and terraforming cliffs and waterways), the game hasn’t changed much. many think the last release, new horizons, has amplified the tedium by adding infinite crafting to make the tools you need in order to do anything, reducing the differences between different “personality types” of villager (each villager’s lines and likes/dislikes align with whether they’re classed as normal, peppy, uchi (big sister), snooty, cranky, lazy, smug, or jock), and reducing their meanness. in doubutsu no mori/animal crossing, they could insult you, prank you, and rob from you. in new horizons you can only make them angry by hitting them with a net a lot. they like you so much they let you prevent them from moving off the island and will allow you to redecorate their entire home or move it anyplace.

it's kind of an unpopular opinion, but i don't think animal crossing NEEDS "more." city folk was considered a disappointment for not adding much, but it's my favorite! more skin tones and hair types and items and dialogue and all that harmless stuff, sure, but i don't think any animal crossing title needs a gimmick.

i’ll always love to play the less proprietary ones in the series, simplistic though they may be, because i prefer the slow, meandering pace of morning yoga in town square to grinding for iron ingots to craft a kitchen sink. i prefer slowly spending money at tom nook’s store and seeing it grow to selling my items rapid-fire to his nephews that have since taken over the nook’s cranny store while the tanuki himself builds himself an island empire. also new horizons makes me feel like a colonizer. sorry.

my town

since i lost my original city folk disc in a move and have a variety of saves across various games, my “town” is more of a platonic form of my town rather than a single game’s .dat file. this is mostly fakey-fake worldbuilding i’ve done in my years of obsessing over the game, but i’ve spent too much time in the town not to care about it. its name is “towne.” creativity win.

towne exists primarily in city folk for me, meaning that it has only the town hall, the museum, the able sisters, and nook’s cranny (or nookington’s later). the city (with crazy redd’s, shampoodle, gracie grace, the theater, and so on) is a bus ride away. it’s situated in a temperate forest zone and its native fruit species is the humble apple, though there are a lot of pine trees around. it’s a LITTLE overgrown, you might say, but it’s not cramped.

its museum is not yet full, but it’s well-furnished. nook’s cranny has long since upgraded to nook ‘n’ go, to nookway, to nookington’s.

my villager lives in a large, cozy estate that they’ve paid off in full, and actually kind of regrets making their house that big. it’s absolutely full of all sorts of junk – desks, bookshelves, candles, a bathhouse-like bathroom, aquariums of fish of interest, since angling is their preferred pastime. my villager is by nature a "sona," i guess, but eh. i’ll call them “k.” k never leaves the house without something covering their face – usually bandage wrappings, with a bedhead underneath. they’re a freak like that, but everyone in town is nice enough to be fine with it.

towne, as you might imagine, isn’t on the map. it’s quiet and a little desolate – people tend not to come through it, even though it has its own bus stop. if you weren’t familiar with it, its intense nondescription and isolation might make it seem sort of eerie, but in actuality all of the villagers have lived together for so long that it’s quite hospitable and tight-knit. k.k. slider still plays weekly in the roost below the museum, and confesses that it’s one of his favorite places to perform even though he’s made it big.

back in the day it was very popular to try and make a story for your town, but towne doesn’t really have one. it’s ephemeral. it’s characteristically mundane and forgettable. its time flow doesn’t work properly, for some reason. it feels like it’s autumn more often than any time of the year. no one really quite remembers when k moved in, or what they looked like when they first came to town, though it doesn’t really matter to anyone anyway. k’s age is mine, so they’re a young adult, but everyone has the impression that they’ve been in town since their youth, even though there’s the sensation that it can’t have really been that long and a child paying off a mortgage wouldn’t make any sense. tortimer is there, though he regards k as the mayor, and isabelle works with pelly and phyllis at the town hall.

villagers: antonio, groucho, merry, kiki, felicity, apollo, hazel, marcel, lucy, lucky

past villagers: alfonso, harry, peggy, wendy, muffy, beau, tiffany

k is “old friends” with groucho, antonio, felicity, and lucy, who were there when they first moved in. apollo, hazel, marcel, and lucky have lived in towne and regarded k as a friend for many years. kiki and merry are the newest arrivals.

autistic headcanons

aka truths from my beautiful mind

as much as i didn't care for new horizons, tom nook and redd are late-middle-aged ex-lovers, sorry. they were an item prior to the events of the player's appearance and have since gone their different paths in commerce. i think tom had a problem with redd’s unscrupulousness that came to a head and the boringness that redd initially found endearing in his business partner became a source of resentment. they’re like, divorced angus and gregg from night in the woods.

mabel and sable worked their spines off at the able sisters shop without labelle for many years, but after labelle gained significant-enough credit with gracie (ceo and head designer of gracie grace), she began to travel and sell her own designs at different locations. (my animal crossing world is still set in the 10s, so the internet marketplace isn’t really viable yet.) she eventually returns home to towne, unintentionally, because its name isn’t listed on the bus route, but eventually reconvenes with her sisters. even if she doesn’t stay in town full time, she helps out with the orders and the sisters even sell some of her clothes at their shop. sable is good friends with k, and her depression and exhaustion have improved greatly since they first met during that period of family estrangement although she is enough of a worrywart and workaholic to spend most of her day at her sewing machine. she and k are remarkably close according to mabel (since sable is so cold and unpersonable), but it’s because sable and k have the same autism.

isabelle works only part-time at town hall because she spends a lot of her time working with her brother digby at the alternate branch of happy home academy in a city further away than “THE” city most people in towne mean when they discuss a city. she and pelly are good friends, and, unlike everyone else in town, she is actually pretty good friends with phyllis, too. phyllis is as bitchy as ever, and hates anyone who makes her do any work, but isabelle is kind of a repressed cunt, so they get along great whenever she works the night shift. also, isabelle is a lesbian.

blathers is a chronic insomniac and endlessly foggybrained, just like his spacey younger sister celeste. the two are co-curators of the museum/observatory/cafe, and by the time the museum opened (with no exhibits to its name), it already had two functional components to the building (rooftop observatory and basement cafe) that would have made closure not only a cause for financial ruin but extremely unfair to celeste and brewster. blathers is kind of a disaster faggot, middle-aged, obsessively interested in his scholarly passions, and probably highly comparable to aziraphale from good omens although i don’t like that franchise. i think he and brewster have a mutual pining thing going on that neither of them make a move towards because brewster is autistically reserved and silent. celeste finds it extremely silly and through her chit-chatting with elder-sister types isabelle and mabel, their “not-a-thing” thing is made town gossip.

cyrus and reese of re-tail don’t live or work in towne, having passed it by due to its remoteness. booker and brewster were fired during k’s tenure as mayor, and nobody really liked them anyway, so they’re gone. resetti lives underground in the city, and occasionally visits to shoot the shit with the other old-timers. tom nook finds him a little exhausting, frankly, but he does like to shit-talk redd, so he puts up with it.

rover is the only one who knows what’s going on in towne, but he doesn’t see a reason to talk about it. he’s too busy riding the train.