Animal Crossing (GCN)
|Engine||Doubutsu no Mori|
|Release date(s)|| JPDecember 14, 2001|
NA September 15, 2002
AUS October 17, 2003
EU September 24, 2004
|Genre(s)|| Life Simulation|
|Media||GameCube Optical Disc|
|Input methods|| GameCube controller|
Game Boy Advance
Animal Crossing (Japanese: どうぶつの森+, Dōbutsu no Mori+, lit. Animal Forest+), full name: Welcome to Animal Crossing: Population Growing, is an updated version of Doubutsu no Mori for the Nintendo 64, released for the Nintendo GameCube in Japan on December 14, 2001, just nine months after the original title, and localized for western regions in 2002. This version contains extra features that had to be left out of the Nintendo 64 version, and also utilizes the GameCube's built-in clock to keep track of the date and time while dropping the Nintendo 64's original system that utilized an internal clock built into the game cartridge. With the use of the GameCube's clock, time passes in the game even when the game is not being played. This led to the game's slogan, "It's playing, even when you're not".
During the game's localization process overseas as Animal Crossing, there were many changes that not only involved immense translation from Japanese to English, but also replacements of many cultural references as well as brand new content, including new holidays, new items and new or altered events to appeal more to western audiances. Due to its popularity, Animal Crossing became a Player's Choice title about a year after its North American release. The game was so commercially successful that it was ported back into Japanese with a few additional features and released as Doubutsu no Mori e+. Animal Crossing was also well-received by critics, and was included in many year-end 'best of' lists upon its release. It has also been featured in several all-time top video game countdowns, and has received multiple awards and nominations.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 New Features
- 3 Characters
- 4 Development
- 5 Promotion
- 6 Regional Differences
- 7 Reception
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Names in other languages
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Just as in Doubutsu no Mori, Players assume the role of a human setting out for a life of their own in a town of anthropomorphic animals. Each town is randomly generated, ensuring that no two players' experiences are exactly the same. Gameplay within each village is open-ended allowing players to engage in a variety of activities that suit their playstyle. Players can pick fruit, grow trees, garden, hunt for fossils and fish, catch insects, do favors for the villagers, or decorate their homes.
A variety of tools exist in Animal Crossing with a variety of functions. The player must press the A button to use these tools.
|Shovel||Shovels are used to dig into the ground. They can be used to reveal Gyroids, or Fossils from dig spots.|
|Net||Nets are used to catch Bugs in various locations. If the player holds down the A button, they will cock the net and move slower, making it easier to catch the insect. Releasing the button causes them to swing the net down, catching any bugs in its path. If a villager is hit by a net, they will become irritated at the player.|
|Fishing Rod||Fishing rods, as the name implies, are used to catch Fish in bodies of water. If the player is near a body of water and presses the a button, the player will cast the rod and attract nearby fish. The player must press A again to reel in the fish. If not, the fish disappears.|
|Axe||Axes are used to cut down Trees in the event of overgrowth. Pressing the A button causes the player to swing the axe and strike anything in its path. The player must strike a tree three times to cut it down. Unlike in Doubutsu no Mori, the axe will break after many uses.|
|Umbrella||Umbrellas, unlike other tools, come in a variety of designs. They are used during rain storms to prevent the player and villagers from getting wet. They can also be used to protect the player from unintentional tans. If the A button is pressed, the player will spin the umbrella, which will spray drops of water if it is raining.|
|Aircheck||A live recording of music performed by K.K. Slider on saturday nights. Inserting one into a stereo allows the player to listen to this music.|
|Carpet||An item that allows the player to change the flooring in their house.|
|Bells||Bells are the currency of Animal Crossing, which can be used to buy items. They can be obtained in a number of ways.|
|Clothes||Clothes are worn by the player and villagers.|
|Furniture||Furniture is used to decorate a player's home, or as a gift for a villager. Certain furniture have certain functions.|
|Fruit||Fruit grows on the trees around a player's town. They can be sold for a profit, though non-native fruit from other towns sell for more.|
|Flowers||Flowers are sold as bags of seeds, and can be planted into the ground. Some insects only appear on planted flowers.|
|Gyroid||Gyroids can be found underground after rainy days. When placed in the player's home, the gyroid will perform a unique dance and make unique sounds.|
|Fish||Fish can be caught through the use of a fishing rod. These fish come in various shapes and sizes and in various bodies of water. When caught, they can be sold to Tom Nook or donated to the Museum|
|Bugs||Bugs can be caught with a net. Like fish, they appear in various shapes and sizes and in different scenarios, and can also be sold to Tom Nook or donated to the Museum.|
|Fossil||Fossils are excavated with the use of a shovel. They can be sent to the Faraway Museum for identification.|
|Shells||Shells can be found along the beach, and can be sold for a low amount of bells.|
Animal Crossing introduced numerous additions not present in the original Doubutsu no Mori, including new items, new mechanics, and other things.
Characters and Locations
Animal Crossing adds numerous characters and villagers into the game. For instance, the player can now travel to an island by speaking with Kapp'n at the beach, though only if a Game Boy Advance is connected to the system. Additionally, the Museum is added, allowing players to gather all of the bugs, fish, fossils, and paintings they collect to be on display for the public. The Able Sisters is also included, which allows the player to create their own custom designs.
Various new furniture is added into the game, and the player can now gain additional upgrades for their house, gaining a second floor or basement. Furthermore, various bugs and fish not present in the original game are added, and the Axe, which was unbreakable in the original game, now breaks if used too often. More NES games are also added, and are explicitly labeled by the game they emulate, rather than simply being called "famicom".
Tortimer, the mayor of the Player's town, is included, who will give the player an item to celebrate any holiday in which he appears.
Stationary is also sold in packs of four, instead of one page in the original game, and the player can store more than one item in storage containers. Additionally, the player can now insert multiple airchecks into the same music player.
Animal Crossing is the only title for the Nintendo GameCube released outside of Japan to feature support for the Nintendo e-Reader peripheral. By connecting to the e-Reader via a Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable players can access the island, play NES games, and scan Animal Crossing-e cards to access special items, patterns, and mini-games.
Due to the Nintendo 64 having reached the end of its lifespan, Doubutsu no Mori's sales faultered in comparison to other Nintendo 64 games. As a result of this, the development team decided to port the game to the Nintendo GameCube, which had been released the same year. Taking advantage of the greater memory capacities of the system, the team included many new features that could not be added to the original game, such as Animal Island, Tortimer, and the Able Sisters. The game was released eight months after the original Doubutsu no Mori.
North American localization
The NOA localization team began writing game dialog in early 2002, however translation of the game's hundreds of items began months earlier. Unlike the extended localization and development process for recent titles in the series, Animal Crossing was localized in the short span of eight to twelve months. During this time, the team translated 30,000+ files of text, worked to develop new items (such as the camping gear) and added support for the Nintendo e-Reader, which was launched just two days after the game's release in North America.
Announcement and release date
On May 16, 2001 at Nintendo's pre-E3 press conference, a six second montage of footage from "Animal Forest" was shown to members of the media as part of a larger reel featuring upcoming Nintendo Gamecube titles. The clip did not feature any dialog, however the presence of the Bell Shrine indicates that it was still early in the localization process, if not footage straight from Doubutsu no Mori+. This was the first time the game was shown in North America, and the first evidence of its English localization.
As early as October of 2001, Nintendo established a page on their website for Animal Forest noting it was "being optimized for its U.S. debut on the GameCube." A few months later on February 28, 2002 at a Nintendo Roundtable Conference, Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that localization of Animal Forest was "progressing and moving along quite well" with Satoru Iwata projecting it to be released "sometime in the fall." About a month later on March 30, 2002 the game's name was officially changed to Animal Crossing, as reflected on Nintendo's website at the time.
On May 22, 2002 at Nintendo's pre-E3 press conference, an extended video was shown introducing Animal Crossing and highlighting its ability to connect with the e-Reader and Game Boy Advance. Iwata also confirmed the game for September release in North America. Later that day, Animal Crossing made its second E3 appearance, this time as a playable title on the show floor. It was generally overshadowed by high-profile titles, however it still snagged a third place spot on the Game Critic Award's list for Best Original Game of E3 2002. Despite conflicting information on modern gaming websites, Animal Crossing's North American release date was set for September 16, 2002 as noted on its official sites and a press release from Nintendo of America. There were reports, however, that select Blockbuster Video locations had received and began renting advance copies of the game as early as September 6th.
Animal Crossing Pioneers
On August 7, 2002 Nintendo of America announced a contest whereby 125 teams of two would be selected to receive advance promotional copies of Animal Crossing. The submission deadline for the contest was August 12th. To be considered for selection, applicants had to submit a written response of 50 words or less explaining why they should chosen as Pioneers. Those selected received a special Animal Crossing disc marked "for promotional use only", along with a 59 block Memory Card and a promotional Animal Crossing calendar. Pioneers received the game a month early and were expected to help Nintendo generate online buzz in advance of the title's release. Pioneers were also given exclusive access to their own web forum where they could discuss amongst themselves as well as provide feedback to Nintendo representatives. At the end of the experience, the Pioneers were invited to an online chat with a few of the members of the game's localization team. An analysis of the standard and promotional game disc concluded that the two were byte identical, meaning that no changes were made to the final version as a result of Pioneer feedback. The promotional copy and calendar have since become collector's items, selling for over $500 together on eBay as of March, 2014.
On August 30, 2002 Nintendo of America initiated the Animal Crossing "Deck Out Your Room" Sweepstakes. One grand prize winner received a TV, headphones, and CD player from Panasonic, a Nintendo GameCube, a Game Boy Advance, five GameCube games, five Game Boy Advance Games, two WaveBird controllers, and a one year subscription to Nintendo Power. Five first prize winners received a Nintendo GameCube, a copy of Animal Crossing, and a one year subscription to Nintendo Power. The sweepstakes ended on October 15, 2002. Those who registered for the sweepstakes received an Animal Crossing screensaver.
In addition to being an upgraded re-release to the original Dōbutsu no Mori, there are also many differences between Dōbutsu no Mori+ and Animal Crossing.
- Doubutsu no Mori+ almost has the same game code as Animal Crossing. Doubutsu no Mori+ is GAFJ, Animal Crossing is GAFE in the US version, GAFP in the PAL version.
- The dial typing system, featured in the original Doubutsu no Mori, is retained in Doubutsu no Mori+.
- The player is able to transfer data from Doubutsu no Mori into the Japanese version. This is removed in Animal Crossing due to the fact that Doubutsu no Mori was not released outside of Japan.
- Different events are featured in the games compared to Animal Crossing. Seven Spring Herbs Day, Coming of Age Day, Bean Throwing Festival, White Day, Festival of the Weaver, Summer Day, Winter Day are exclusive to the Japanese games. Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, April Fool's Day, Nature Day, Spring Cleaning, Founder's Day, Hometown Day, Explorer's Day, the Harvest Festival, and Sale Day are all exclusive to Animal Crossing.
- Villagers will wear the Summer Robe and Bamboo Robe during the Fireworks Show, and during Mushrooming Season. They will also wear the Plum Kimono and Somber Robe during certain other events. In Animal Crossing, all of these clothing items are unused.
- On New Year's Day, instead of tossing a coin in the fountain, the player shakes the pole in the middle of the Bell Shrine to ring the bell.
- During the Cherry Blossom Festival, villagers will picnic on tatami mats at the Bell Shrine. In Animal Crossing, they simply dance around the Wishing Well.
- Doubutsu no Mori+ features the Famicom games Gomoku Narabe and Majong, while Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+ feature the NES games Soccer and Exitebike. In addition, Doubutsu no Mori+ features the Famicom Disk System version of Legend of Zelda. Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+ feature the English NES version. And you can obtain the Forbidden Four NES games normally in the game. In Animal Crossing you need a cheating device.
- The Ragged Wall and Old Board Floor, and Public Bath Wall and Bathroom Floor are absent from Animal Crossing.
- The Zen and Public Bath furniture themes are absent from Animal Crossing, though they appear in all later games.
- The W Shirt and the Tomato Juice Shirt are exclusive to Doubutsu no Mori and Doubutsu no Mori+.
- The New Year's Card and the Fortune Paper were redesigned for Animal Crossing.
- Doubutsu no Mori+ features a Bell shrine in place of the Wishing Well.
- Tom Nook's shop, the Post Office, and the Dump have different signage containing katakana.
- Igloos contain woks with bubbling blocks of tofu, as opposed to the pot of chowder seen in Animal Crossing.
- All Player designs have black eyes in Doubutsu no Mori+. In Animal Crossing, only a few designs retain black eyes, possibly to add diversity. This trait is retained in other Japanese releases up to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
- Tortimer wears glasses with white blue lenses and a red hat in Doubutsu no Mori+. He also wears a white rope around his chest.
- Mr. Resetti and Don Resetti simply wear white shirts in Doubutsu no Mori+, and wear overalls on top of the shirts in Animal Crossing. Additionally, Mr. Resetti's mining helmet features a green stripe under the headlight, while Don Resetti's is green with a white stripe.
- Tom Nook and Redd both have Japanese characters on their default (For Tom Nook) uniforms instead of their respective logos. Tom Nook's displays the character ten (店), meaning "shop", while Redd's is currently unknown.
- On a side note, Tom Nook's Uniform from Nook 'n' Go has green and red stripes in Doubutsu no Mori+, as opposed to blue and orange stripes in Animal Crossing. This also applies to his Nookway uniform, but in the other way around. Additionally, his Lottery uniform has him wear a red and black vest with a white rope tied around his head, as opposed to a tricolor apron with a sports visor.
- Chip has lighter fur, gray-rimmed glasses, and squinted eyes in Doubutsu no Mori+.
- Katrina dresses in a traditional Japanese Hakama, with her head fully exposed and wearing a white band on her forehead in Doubutsu no Mori+, in addition to her traditional gypsy robes. In Animal Crossing, Katrina dresses exclusively in Gypsy robes.
- The Nintendo logo color changes. In Animal Crossing it was red, in Doubutsu no Mori+ it was white, and Doubutsu no Mori has the Nintendo 64 logo.
Animal Crossing was met with mostly positive reviews from critics, with many praising its charming, unique gameplay and long life span. e-Reader connectivity was seen as a welcome addition, however some criticized its outdated graphics and felt that it did not offer much of a single-player experience. Animal Crossing was included in many year-end 'best of' lists upon its release in 2002. It has also been featured in several all-time top video game countdowns, and has received multiple awards and nominations. Review aggregator Metacritic notes a Metascore of 87/100 for Animal Crossing, which places it just behind Animal Crossing: New Leaf's score of 88.
Awards and nominations
|2002||Game Critic Award||Best Original Game of E3||Nominated|
|GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2002||Game of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Role-Playing Game on GameCube||Won|
|Most Innovative Game||Won|
|Funniest Game (Purposefully) ||Nominated|
|GameSpy's Best of 2002||GameCube Game of the Year||Nominated|
|2003||The Game Developers Choice Awards||Innovation Award||Won|
|Interactive Achievement Awards||Innovation in Console Gaming||Won|
|Outstanding Achievement in Game Design||Won|
|Console Role-Playing Game of the Year||Won|
|Console Game of the Year||Nominated|
|Game of the Year||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Gameplay Engineering||Nominated|
|2003||Entertainment Weekly||The 100 Greatest Videogames||72|
|2006||Electronic Gaming Monthly||The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time||126|
|Nintendo Power||Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games||51|
|X-Play||10 Best GameCube Games Ever||7|
|2007||Edge||Top 100 Games of All Time ||49|
|ScrewAttack!||Top 10 GameCube Games||5|
|2008||Nintendo Power||Best of the Best - Nintendo GameCube (Top 20) ||19|
|2012||TIME||All-TIME 100 greatest video games||-|
- For this subject's image gallery, see Animal Crossing (GCN)/Gallery.
Names in other languages
- This section lists the full name as on the cover, though simply Animal Crossing is used elsewhere.
|Spanish||Bienvenido a Animal Crossing: Población: ¡en aumento!||Welcome to Animal Crossing: Population: in growth!|
|French||Bienvenue dans Animal Crossing: Population : eroissant !||Welcome to Animal Crossing: Population: growing!|
|German||Willkommen bei Animal Crossing: Einwohner steigend!||Welcome to Animal Crossing: Population Growing!|
|Italian||Benvenuti ad Animal Crossing: Popolazione in aumento!||Welcome to Animal Crossing: Population in growth!|
- Official Japanese site
- Official North American site (archived)
- Official European site
- Official Nintendo UK page
- Official Australian page
|Animal Crossing series|