Animal Crossing (GCN)

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Animal Crossing.jpg
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Distributor(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube
Engine Animal Forest
Genre(s) Life Simulation
Modes Single player
Ratings ESRB: E (Everyone)
PEGI: 3+
Media 1 GameCube Optical Disc
Input methods Unknown
NIWA Strategy.png Guide/Walkthrough at StrategyWiki

Animal Crossing (sometimes subtitled Population Growing) is the worldwide versions of Dōbutsu no Mori +, though the game was never released in Japan. Developed solely for the Nintendo GameCube, the game is also notable as the first Animal Crossing series game to reach nations outside Japan. Animal Crossing was soon re-released with the 'Player's Choice Edition' label on the box's cover art. The game was so commercially successful that it was ported back into Japan and released as Dōbutsu no Mori e+, along with a few new additional features.

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 a game plays during December, it will be winter. Holidays and special events usually mirror real world equivalents and often occur on the same days.


Players assume the role of a boy or girl human setting out for a life of his or her own in a small town. Each town is randomly generated to ensure 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.

Within Animal Crossing, you can play NES Games. They are all a separate furniture, for example, Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. are two different furniture.


Tom Nook, the owner of Nook's Cranny, will help any new residents settle into town.

Finally on his or her own, a young boy or girl hops on a train and set out for a new life in a small village inhabited by sapient, 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 him or her 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 youth steps down from the Train Station platform and is greeted by a flustered raccoon. Tom Nook introduces himself as the owner of the town’s shop and shows the child his four available houses. While they are all very small and unfurnished, Tom Nook assures him or her that they will suit his or her needs. Yet, they are pricey and out of the boy or girl’s price range. Tom Nook decides to employ the child until he or she can pay off the debt he or she owes on the house. During this period of employment, the child meets the villagers and the mayor and acquaints his or herself with the Post Office, Able Sisters Shop, Museum, Police Station, and other buildings.

However, Tom Nook eventually runs out of tasks for the youth to perform, and is forced to let him or her go. The boy or girl is forced to make it on his or her 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 archeological site of the Faraway Museum.

The preconceived story ends here. From this point on, the story is determined by the actions of the player.

Basic Controls

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 game play. 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.

Control Stick
  • Walk: The further the Control Stick is pressed, the faster the character will move.
  • Move furniture: While holding one's own furniture in one's own house by holding the A Button, move the control stick to rotate or move it. Moving towards and away from the item moves the furiture forwards or backwards. Pressing to the side of the furniture rotates it. The orientation of the character in relation to the furniture is critical.
  • Move cursor: On menus, move the cursor around to make a selection.
C Stick
  • Adjust camera: While inside houses and museum exhibits, press in any direction to tilt the camera in that direction.
  • Do Aerobics: While at the Aerobics Festival, or while listening to the Aerobics Radio, tilt to perform certain aerobic actions.
A Button

The function of this button is context sensitive.

  • Talk: Press while facing a character.
  • Enter a building: Press while facing a door.
  • Shake tree: Press while facing a tree.
  • Read messages: Press while facing a sign or bulletin board.
  • Use item: Press while holding an item.
  • Hold furniture: Hold while standing in front of and facing any piece of furniture while inside a home. If the furniture is their own, players can move and rotate it using the Control Stick.
  • Use furniture: Press while standing in front of and facing a functional piece of furniture while inside a home. For example, a player can turn on or off a television set or open a wardrobe.
  • Select: On menus, press to make a selection.
B Button

The function of this button is context sensitive.

  • Run: Hold while pressing the Control Stick
  • Pick up items: Press the button while on top of an item to add it to the item screen. While indoors, this action can be performed on furniture or other similar, 3D items by standing in front of and facing the item. 2D items such as stationary are picked up the same way as they are picked up outside.
  • Put away furniture: Press the button while facing a piece of furniture in the character’s house to add it to the item screen.
  • Cancel/Go back to the previous screen: On menus, press to cancel, make a, “no” selection, or return to the last screen.
L Button
  • Run: Hold while pressing the Control Stick
  • Stop Playing NES: While playing an NES game, pressing the L, R, and Z, Buttons simultaneously saves and quits.
  • Reset NES: While playing an NES game, pressing the L, R, and Start Buttons simultaneously resets an NES game.
R Button
  • Run: Hold while pressing the Control Stick
  • Stop Playing NES: While playing an NES game, pressing the L, R, and Z, Buttons simultaneously saves and quits.
  • Reset NES: While playing an NES game, pressing the L, R, and Start Buttons simultaneously resets an NES game.
X Button
  • Check the map: To do this, players must receive the map of the town they live in from Tom Nook. Once on the map menu, moving the Control Stick highlights different acres. The names of the buildings and houses in that acre are shown on the right side of the map.
  • NES Select: While playing an NES game, the X and Z Buttons act as the Select Button did on the original games. In other words, pressing them moves the cursor on the main menus.
Y Button
  • Open or close the item screen: To do this, a player must not be in a conversation.
  • Select game mode: While playing an NES game, press to select a mode.
Z Button
  • Light switch: While inside player homes, this button turns the lights on and off.
  • NES Select: While playing an NES game, the X and Z Buttons act as the Select Button did on the original games. In other words, pressing them moves the cursor on the main menus.
  • Stop Playing NES: While playing an NES game, pressing the L, R, and Z, Buttons simultaneously saves and quits.
  • Open or close the item screen: Opens or closes the item screen.
  • Select game mode: While playing an NES game, press to select a mode.
  • Reset NES: While playing an NES game, pressing the L, R, and Start Buttons simultaneously resets an NES game.

Typing Controls

Whenever players are able to insert text, a keyboard appears at the bottom of the screen. Controls then switch to typing mode.

Control Stick
  • Choose a letter
+ Control Pad
  • Move Cursor: This action is equivalent to pressing the arrow keys while word processing.
A Button
  • Type letter
B Button
  • Delete letter
L Button
  • Caps lock/unlock: Every letter typed while in caps lock mode is capitalized.
R Button
  • Insert Space
X Button
  • Accent letter: After typing a letter that may have a pronunciation alternative, pressing this turns the letter into an accented one. For letters with multiple accent possibilities (example: a, à, á), pressing the button multiple times applies different marks.
Y Button
  • Switch keyboard: There are three keyboards. The first is for letters, numbers, and common punctuation, the second is for all punctuation, and the third is for special symbols such as hearts.
Z Button
  • Change key layout: This only applies to the first keyboard, which has two layouts. The first is the standard QWERTY layout seen on computer keyboards. The other lists letters alphabetically.

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.

Item Screen

The item screen, often referred to as the inventory, is a major aspect of Animal Crossing's game play. 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

Character Information
In the upper left of the menu, the player's character can be seen. The clothes he or she is wearing and the tools he or she is 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 his or her wallet. The player's wallet can only hold 99,999 Bells. Players can hold more Bells by creating moneybags. To do so, players select the Bells display 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 he or she earns 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

The complete fish chart

These screens record any new fish or insects that have been caught. They prove very useful for players wishing to catch one of every fish or insect. Once at either list, if a player places the cursor over a fish or insect, he or she can see its name. To return to the main item screen, players select the smiley face tab.

Design Page

By selecting the pencil on the main item screen, players will access the design page. This page will automatically open when a player interacts with a signboard. This page has slots for eight patterns designed by the player or taken from the Able Sisters Shop. 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 sub-menu.

Use on Clothes
While outside or inside, selecting this option uses the pattern as a shirt and hat for the character. The clothes he or she was 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 his or her 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 “Paste as is” or “Paste all around.” 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 he or she is replacing a carpet or wallpaper item, he or she 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. After being dropped, these items are moveable as if they were furniture and can be removed by pressing the B Button while facing them. However, the item disappears rather than going into the inventory.

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