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Harvest Moon

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Harvest Moon
Harvestmoon boxart
Developer(s) Victor Interactive Software
Publisher(s) Natsume (NA)
Nintendo (EU)
Release date SNES
August 9, 1996 (JP)
June, 1997 (NA)
January 29, 1998 (EU)

Virtual Console
February 11, 2008 (NA)
January 4, 2008 (PAL)
Genre Simulation, RPG
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: K-A
Platform(s) Super Famicom/SNES
Media Cartridge
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Harvest Moon is a video game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, released in 1997. The object of the game is to maintain a farm over a period of time, tending the crops and livestock through the seasons, while befriending the nearby townsfolk and getting married (if desired). It is the first game of the Harvest Moon series.

It is typically considered a hybrid of Simulation and RPG. While Simulation is an accurate title because it revolves around maintaining a farm, it does not try to be accurate or even give you much room for customization. As an RPG, it features practically no stat growth or epic storyline, yet can still be considered to have a lot of "role playing".



Being the first game in the series, Harvest Moon set up a lot of the basic core gameplay that would be carried over into future titles. There are two areas in the world: Your farm, and the town. Your farm is where you live and where you work. The town is where you go to socialize, find a potential wife, participate in town events, and buy whatever you need. Time is set in years. Each year consists of 4 seasons. Each season consists of 30 days.


In the farm, you have a large field that you can plow square-by-square, which can then be used to grow grass or crops. Using your tools (A hoe, an axe, a hammer and a sickle) takes up stamina. When you run out of Stamina, you are unable to use any items until you go to sleep. When you sleep, you wake up the next day. Each day is about five minutes or less in length, giving you limited time to do your job & socialize with the town. As you progress, you'll be able to get new tools (such a sprinkler that waters eight surrounding patches of ground at once) that will make your job go by faster.


A screenshot of cows.


Besides planting crops and watering them every day until you can sell them, you can also raise chickens and cows. Chickens are cheap and plentiful. You can buy one and hatch its eggs until you have an army of chickens, who will produce one egg a day each for you to sell. Cows are the star of the show. Cows go on to become a Harvest Moon icon, as one of the consistent money makers throughout the games. Cows can be milked, brushed, talked to, and become pregnant. They eat fodder which comes from cut grass. The quality and selling price of their milk gets better when you keep them happy.

Weather also effects both crops & animals. If you leave animals outside when it rains or snows, they will likely get sick. Nothing grows in winter, especially during the snow, so you have to make sure you can support yourself somehow. When it rains, you do not have to water your crops.

Town and Social

In the town, you can buy items, such as seeds & tools, or you can start trying to get married. This is accomplished by talking to certain female characters, giving them gifts that they like, and choosing the right option in cut scene events you may run into. When you get married, they will live with you.


  • Eve - Girlie barmaid.
  • Ellen - Animal lover.
  • Ann - Workaholic tomboy.
  • Maria - Church going goody two shoes.
  • Nina - Pink haired plant lover.


  • Sickle - This tool will cut grass easily to become fodder. It will also chop down any bushes in your way. If you get the Golden Sickle, you will spin it in a circle, cutting nine squares at once.
  • Hammer - The hammer is used to break rocks that are blocking your path. They will also destroy any wooden fence that has been eroded by the rain. Big rocks require 5 hits, but if you get the Golden Hammer, they will be destroyed with one hit.
  • Axe - The axe is used to gather wood. To gather wood, you find a tree stump and hit it over and over and over. Eventually it will break apart. A Golden Axe makes stumps break in one hit.
  • Hoe - A Hoe is used to plow fields. The basic one plows one square at a time, while the Golden Hoe will plow a row of 6 at one stroke.

Harvest Moon series
Main Series
Harvest Moon | Harvest Moon 2 | Harvest Moon 3 | Back to Nature | Harvest Moon 64 | Save the Homeland | Friends of Mineral Town | A Wonderful Life | Magical Melody | Harvest Moon: Innocent Life | Harvest Moon DS | Harvest Moon: The Island I Grew Up On | Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility | Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley
Girl Versions
Back to Nature For Girls | More Friends of Mineral Town | Another Wonderful Life | Harvest Moon: Sprite Station for Girls
Spin Offs:
Rune Factory | Puzzle de Harvest Moon

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