Doubutsu no Mori

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This article is about the Nintendo 64 game. For other uses, see Doubutsu no Mori (disambiguation).
DnM Logo Japanese.png
Doubutsu no Mori
DnM Box.jpg
Main Theme
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Katsuya Eguchi
Hisashi Nogami
Platform(s) Nintendo 64
Release date(s) Nintendo 64
Japan April 14, 2001[1]
iQue Player
China June 1, 2006[2]
Genre(s) Simulation
Modes Single-player
Media Nintendo 64 Game Pak
File size 103 pages (Controller Pak save data)
62 Blocks (iQue Player)
Nintendo 64 controller

Doubutsu no Mori[nb 1] is the first installment in the Animal Crossing series, released exclusively in Japan in 2001 for the Nintendo 64. The game was the last first-party title released on the system before its discontinuation just over a year later. Despite being released late in the console's life cycle, the game sold 213,800 units, making it the 28th best-selling title on the Nintendo 64.[3] An enhanced port called Doubutsu no Mori+ was released eight months later in December 2001 for the Nintendo GameCube, which was later localized outside of Japan as Animal Crossing in 2002.

The game has never been localized for Western regions, as Nintendo of America focused their efforts on Doubutsu no Mori+, which was localized as Animal Crossing in North America. Doubutsu no Mori was released in China for the iQue Player in June 2006. As of November 2020, it is the only game in the Animal Crossing series to be officially released in mainland China, and it was the only main series game available in Chinese until the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons in 2020, which features both traditional and simplified Chinese.


Doubutsu no Mori originally began as an interactive multiplayer role-playing game that focused on cooperation among players to reach common goals.[4] The game was to be developed for the Nintendo 64DD and would take advantage of the system's expanded memory and internal clock. As the market for the 64DD began to wane, the project was ported over to the Nintendo 64. Due to the memory limitations now faced, many aspects of the original game had to be completely redesigned. The original title featured a "helpless" character who had to enlist the help of animals to make their way through the game. These animals' sleep and wake cycles would be affected by the built-in clock. The designers ended up removing many of the goal-oriented elements from the game including dungeons, bosses and monsters, leaving only the core aspects of communication and the idea of an environment that operated in real time. Working within the limitations of the Nintendo 64, the team relied on an open-ended and addictive gameplay experience that would keep the player coming back, as opposed to a goal-oriented approach. To accomplish this, the team included a variety of large and small tasks for the player to accomplish, in order to provide a sense of satisfaction for all play styles.


A Controller Pak with one of the labels included with the game applied

Doubutsu no Mori was released in Japan on April 14, 2001, and two versions were sold at launch: one that retailed for 6,800 yen and included a Nintendo 64 Controller Pak along with two unique labels for the accessory, and one retailed for 5,800 yen and did not include the Controller Pak.[5] The included Controller Pak in the bundle features a Grab Bag and a letter from Shigeru Miyamoto, who supervised development of the game.[6] The Grab Bag contains two random Famicom games and a random K.K. Slider song, while the letter can be accessed at the post office. It reads:

"どうぶつのもり みやもとさん
カセットそれぞれに じぶんのむら があり、くらしをたのしむゲームが できました。つよいボスとたたかう こともないので、ひとりよりふたり ふたりよりおおぜい!かぞくや、お ともだちと おたのしみください。
にんてんどう みやもとしげるより"

Which translates to:

"Animal Forest Miyamoto-san
Each game cartridge has its own village, where you can enjoy a virtual life. There aren't any strong bosses, or crowds of people. Please enjoy it with your family and friends.
Yours, Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo"

Beginning in early 2002, shortly after the release of Doubutsu no Mori+, Nintendo offered a service for players to transfer save data from the Nintendo 64 game to the GameCube game;[7] however this service has since been discontinued.

On June 1, 2006, Doubutsu no Mori was released in China on the iQue Player as Dòngwù Sēnlín. The game features a full Chinese localization. Dòngwù Sēnlín was the last game release for the iQue Player.


A player standing outside of their house

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. The game runs in real time, and gameplay is affected by the time of day and year; as the Nintendo 64 lacks a built-in internal clock, time is kept via a chip inside the Game Pak powered by a CR2032 battery, allowing the clock to continue running even when the game is turned off. If the battery dies or is removed, the game will start up with K.K. Slider informing the player that the clock has stopped working, at which point they must configure the date and time manually.

Differences from Doubutsu no Mori+[edit]

Characters and locations[edit]

  • Various characters and their associated locations and functions are absent from the game, as they are first introduced in Doubutsu no Mori+ on the Nintendo GameCube:
  • Several villagers feature different designs than in later versions of Animal Crossing:
    • Amelia's pupils are much smaller and centered, and her eyes are half closed instead of scowling.
    • Bangle has slightly smaller eyes that are half closed. She also possesses blue eyelids.
    • Bluebear's pupils are much larger, and her muzzle is more circular.
    • Boris has more compressed eyes with yellow eyelids, while his pupils are more displaced.
    • Carmen has black, sparkly eyes, and her pink fur is a darker shade.
    • Cleo has orange blush under her eyes, which are more narrowly spaced. Her nostrils are also much larger.
    • Chevre's eyes are more square shaped instead of rounded, and her freckles are orange instead of pink. Her hair is also different.
    • Cupcake's hair and eyeshadow colors are inverted. Her hair is a blueish purple, and her eye shadow is dark pink. Her nose is also much larger.
    • Fang's fur is slightly lighter, while his eyes are much larger and positioned further upward. He also has brown eyelids as opposed to purple.
    • Friga has a darker pink tone in her skin, smaller eyes, orange makeup, and purple hair.
    • Gwen's eye shadow is purple instead of pink, while her eyes are larger and wider.
    • Huggy's fur is orange instead of tan, while her nose is a much darker brown. Her cheeks are also colored pink instead of red.
    • Jane has white fur, brown skin, tired eyes, and large pink lips. This is changed to purple fur, pink skin and different lip and eye designs in later games to avoid racial connotations.
    • Kody's eyes are further spaced and much smaller, and his mouth is larger.
    • Lucy has a larger mouth that is colored pink, and has pink lines under her eyes in place of blush.
    • Maple's muzzle is a darker color, while her eyes are more displaced from each other. She also has curved eyebrows, a larger nose, and more solid blush.
    • Murphy's eyes and eyebrows are more curved, and his mouth is more compressed, giving him a more menacing look.
    • Nibbles has green fur instead of teal, and has blush instead of freckles.
    • Portia's eyes are shorter and positioned lower on her face.
    • Puck's pink skin is a darker shade, and his eyes are slightly wider.
    • Scoot's green skin is a lighter shade, and his eyes are slightly larger.
    • Spike has slightly lighter skin, smaller eyes and pupils, and his scar does not have stitches.
    • Static's eyes are larger, and his pupils are much larger. His frown is also much more curved.
    • Stella has hot pink wool instead of purple, a pink face with orange blush, and a black nose. Her mouth is also frowning instead of smiling.
    • Tiara's skin is much darker, while her pupils point upwards.
    • Ursala has red hair with curved eyebrows, half-circled eyes, and a large smile. Her muzzle is large and colored pink, and her eyes are almond-shaped.
    • Valise has lighter, purplish fur, and her expressions are different.
    • Vladimir has smaller pupils and lacks a muzzle. His nose and mouth are also much bigger.
    • Yuka's mouth is larger, her skin is a darker shade, and her hair are different.
  • The house the player begins the game with only contains a Tape Deck. The Wooden Box and College Rule Journal are absent.
  • The player's house is comprised of only a single room. The second-floor and basement expansions are introduced with Doubutsu no Mori+.


  • Wendell will only accept fish, instead of any edible item.
  • Gulliver gives the player random furniture as a reward for rescuing him instead of unique world-themed furniture, all of which is absent.
  • The Mushrooming Season is present despite being removed in Doubutsu no Mori+. It is re-added in Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+.
  • The player is not able to participate in the Morning Aerobics.


  • Five shirts are unique to the Japanese games, having been redesigned in Animal Crossing:
  • Two paintings are exclusive to the N64 game: the Dreadful Painting and the Novel Painting, which are not obtainable in the normal course of play in later versions, likely due to the source artworks still being under copyright at the time.[nb 2] These items also exist in the code of the Japanese release of Animal Crossing and can be brought over from an N64 save file via Nintendo's now-discontinued Data Moving Service, but cannot be added to the catalog in the GameCube game. In the international release of Animal Crossing and in Doubutsu no Mori e+, the items are removed entirely, with their index numbers instead pointing to duplicates of the DUMMY placeholder furniture.
  • Golden tools are absent, and the standard Axe is unbreakable.
  • The "Items" section of the catalog only includes umbrellas, as tools do not appear in the catalog and other handheld items, such as fans or pinwheels, are not in the game.
  • Some non-furniture items, such as tools, appear as sprites inside Tom Nook's store and the player's house. In all later games they appear as 3D models when placed in interiors.

Insects and fish[edit]


  • Only one item can be kept in a storage unit as opposed to three.
  • Only one aircheck can be stored in a music player as opposed to all of them.
  • Only a single unit of stationery can be purchased at a time, whereas in all later games stationery is sold in packs of four.


  • Most items dropped on the ground outside appear as either tool or chest sprites instead of the unique category-based sprites of later games.
  • The live version of "DJ K.K." contains guitar riffs resembling the song "Get Ready for This" by 2 Unlimited. In all later games, this is changed to an original melody.
  • Visiting other towns requires one Controller Pak to save travel data on, which can then be loaded on the destination town. Two Controller Paks can be used to travel directly. A similar system is used in Doubutsu no Mori+, but utilizes Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards instead.
  • As Doubutsu no Mori predates the release of the e-Reader, there is no support for it and all e-Reader functions are absent.
  • Doubutsu no Mori only contains seven Famicom games; Balloon Fight, Clu Clu Land, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Golf, Pinball and Tennis. All items are simply named "Famicom" and can only be distinguished by the color of the cartridges inserted into the system. An unplayable Disk System furniture item can also be acquired. Animal Crossing introduces twelve more Famicom titles, but with different methods to obtain the games.

Differences from Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+[edit]

Doubutsu no Mori shares with Doubutsu no Mori+ numerous regional differences from Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+.

Characters and locations[edit]

  • Several villager houses contain furniture, wallpaper and carpets from sets that were removed in Animal Crossing.
  • The Wishing Well and Farley are absent, as a Bell Shrine takes the place of the Wishing Well.
  • Franklin is absent, as he is introduced in Animal Crossing.



  • Several furniture sets are different compared to Animal Crossing:
    • The Public Bath Theme is only present in Doubutsu no Mori, Doubutsu no Mori+ and Doubutsu no Mori e+. It is completely removed from Animal Crossing and is also absent from Wild World. It returns from City Folk onwards for all regions but is no longer a theme.
    • The Japanese Theme is only present Doubutsu no Mori, Doubutsu no Mori+ and Doubutsu no Mori e+. It returns from Wild World-onwards under a different name for all regions but is no longer a theme.
    • The Classroom Theme contains different items to Animal Crossing.
    • The Construction Theme contains different items to Animal Crossing
    • The Harvest Series and numerous holiday items are absent as they are exclusive to Animal Crossing.
  • The Fortune Paper and New Year's Card Stationery have a different appearance compared to Animal Crossing.
  • The Herabuna is exclusively available in Doubutsu no Mori and Doubutsu no Mori+ in place of the Brook Trout.


  • Character voices are higher pitched compared to Animal Crossing.
  • The input keyboard is a dial-based typing system. The Control Stick is used to select a letter from a wheel, and pressing the A button will type the letter. The wheel displays only five characters at a time, and pressing Down on the Control Stick switches the dial between different sets of characters. While this is retained in Doubutsu no Mori+, Animal Crossing changes the interface layout to resemble a standard computer keyboard, and Japanese characters are removed.
  • The orange-roofed player house has a Worn-Out Mud Wall and Old Board Floor instead of a Wooden Wall and Steel Floor.

Partial source code leak[edit]

On July 25, 2020, partial source code for Doubutsu no Mori was leaked on the internet along with source code for various other Nintendo 64 games. Due to the leak, many unused assets and pieces of development information have been discovered.


  • A model for an unused cat villager, referred to as CAT13 in its file names[8] This ID was repurposed for Punchy, who is introduced in Animal Crossing. This is not to be confused with Stinky, who has the villager ID cat13 in later games.
  • The folder containing assets for BEAR3 is missing from data, which may possibly indicate a cut Bear villager.[9]
  • Textures and a model for Blathers,[8] who does not appear in the final game.
  • Early textures for Wisp.[8][10]
  • A screenshot of a customized title screen which appears to be for use during Space World 2000, a Nintendo-hosted video game trade show.[8]
  • Models for two unused human characters: SOLDIER and OBA (Japanese for "aunt").[11] The word oba is short for obaba, which is one of the internal names for Joan, suggesting this character may have been an early version of Joan.
  • Shaki, who appears in the final game as an unused character, was used as a placeholder character during development.[12]
  • Famicom games were originally meant to be loaded from the 64DD add-on rather than being present in the game itself.[12]


Names in other languages[edit]

Japanese どうぶつの森
Dōbutsu no Mori
Animal Forest

Simplified Chinese 动物森林 (iQue)
Dòngwù Sēnlín
Animal Forest

External links[edit]


  1. Japanese: どうぶつの森 Hepburn: Dōbutsu no MoriAnimal Forest
  2. The Scream and Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue, the respective basis for the Dreadful and Novel Paintings, would eventually enter the public domain in 2015 alongside the rest of Edvard Munch and Piet Mondrian's portfolios.


  1. Nintendo. "Animal Forest". Retrieved August 27, 2020. (Japanese)
  2. iQue. "iQue News". Archived from the original on October 28, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2020. (Chinese)
  3. Naver. "Nintendo 64 Software Cumulative Sales".
  4. Brandon Sheffield (March 31, 2006). "GDC: Is That a Franchise in Your Pocket? An Animal Crossing: Wild World Case Study". Gamasutra.
  5. File:DnM Flyer.jpg
  6. Nintendo. [1]. Retrieved September 13, 2020. (Japanese)
  7. Nintendo. "Animal Forest Data Moving Service!". Archived from the original on February 6, 2003. Retrieved August 30, 2020. (Japanese)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Reece Heather (July 28, 2020). "Animal Crossing 64 leaked assets reveal early designs, an unused character, and a Spaceworld 2000 graphic". Nintendo Wire. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  9. TV | Dreamers Dev (July 30, 2020). "Unlike CAT13, all data pertaining to BEAR3 was scrubbed entirely. The folder where its textures wouldve been saved was scrubbed as well.". Twitter. Retrieved December 06, 2020.
  10. TV | Dreamers Dev (August 4, 2020). "Wade from the N64brew Discord decided to do their own digging and gave me permission to post their findings. Here's early Wisp modeled fully!". Twitter. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  11. TV | Dreamers Dev (July 29, 2020). "And here they are! The recreated models of SOLDIER and OBA!". Twitter. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Datamine of the leaked files by Cuyler