Doubutsu no Mori

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This article is about the Nintendo 64 game. For other uses, see Doubutsu no Mori (disambiguation).
Cover
Game cover
Main theme
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Katsuya Eguchi
Hisashi Nogami
Platform(s) Nintendo 64
Release date(s) Japan April 14, 2001[1]
Genre(s) Simulation
Language(s) Japan Japanese
Modes Single-player
Media Nintendo 64 Game Pak
File size 18 pages (Controller Pak travel data)
103 pages (Controller Pak letter data)
Input
methods
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.[2] An expanded 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. Doubutsu no Mori was never localized for Western regions as a result.

In China, Dòngwù Sēnlín was released as the iQue Player port of Doubutsu no Mori in June 2006. 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.

Plot[edit]

A young human, the player, takes the train to move to a town populated by animals. On the train, a cat named Rover greets the player and asks them about their move; upon finding out the player has no place to stay, he calls Tom Nook. Nook greets the player upon arriving in town and lets them pick out a house; he then has them work part-time at his shop to help pay off their home loan and get acquainted in the town.

Gameplay[edit]

Doubutsu no Mori has no required objectives; after the player completes their part-time job for Tom Nook, they are free to do as they wish. One objective given to the player by Nook is to pay off their home loan, though this is entirely optional. The main mechanic of the game is its real-time clock; the town goes through day-night cycles and adjusts with the seasons, affecting what the player can do. The clock continues to advance when the game is turned off.[nb 2]

Up to four players can live in a town, and each has their own house. Players can interact with each other by sending letters, but only one player can play at a time.

Town[edit]

A player standing outside their house.
See also: List of locations in Doubutsu no Mori

The town, named by the player, consists of 30 acres (6 rows, 5 columns) and has establishments and villager houses spread throughout it. It is bordered to the north by train tracks, on the sides by cliffsides, and to the south by the sea. The town's foliage includes trees, flowers, and bushes. The town is bisected by a river and split into two or three layers separated by inclines.

Buildings in the town include the four player houses, which can be decorated with furniture; Tom Nook's store, which sells various items; the post office, where the player can send letters; and the police station, where random items appear in the lost and found. Aside from the buildings in town, there are other structures and landmarks, including the train station, where the player can travel to other towns; the dump, where items can be discarded; and the shrine, where certain events take place and the player can check the town's Field Rank.

Villagers[edit]

See also: List of characters in the first-generation Animal Crossing games § Villagers

The town is populated by animal villagers with whom the player can interact. Each villager has one of six personality types (lazy, jock, and cranky for males; normal, peppy, and snooty for females) that determines their dialog. The player can speak to villagers either to have a conversation, or to request that the villager give them a favor to do. The player can write letters to villagers using stationery and mail them at the post office.

The town starts with six villagers, with more moving in over time until a maximum of 15 is reached. Once this maximum is reached, villagers occasionally move out and are replaced with new ones. There are a total of 216 villagers in the game.

Special visitors[edit]

Main article: Special character § First-generation Animal Crossing

Occasionally, special characters can visit the town. Each character has a unique role, and most offer exclusive items. There are a total of eight special visitors: Gracie, Gulliver, Joan, Katrina, K.K. Slider, Redd, Saharah, and Wendell.

Items[edit]

See also: List of items in Doubutsu no Mori

There are various items the player can collect. Most of the items the player has collected show up in and can be ordered from the catalog, which can be viewed at Tom Nook's store.

Furniture can be placed in the player's house, alongside wallpapers and carpets. Clothing can be worn by the player, while umbrellas can be held. Fossils can be dug up from the ground and sent to the Farway Museum for identification, after which they function as furniture items. Additionally, gyroids can be dug up and used as furniture, where they will make noise and move to the tempo and beat of any music playing in the player's house. Stationery can be used to write letters.

There are four tools—the axe, fishing rod, net, and shovel—that can be held and used by the player. The axe can be used to cut down trees, the fishing rod to catch fish, the net to catch bugs, and the shovel to dig up buried items or dig holes to bury items in.

Famicom games[edit]

Main article: NES game

There are seven furniture items modeled after a Famicom console with a specific game's cartridge in it, and interacting with one of these items allows the player to play its respective Famicom game through emulation. The Famicom games that are playable in Doubutsu no Mori include: Balloon Fight, Clu Clu Land, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Golf, Pinball, and Tennis, The Famicom items can be obtained from either Crazy Redd's or the monthly raffle at Tom Nook's store.

Fishing and bug catching[edit]

See also: List of fish in Doubutsu no Mori and List of bugs in Doubutsu no Mori

The player can use a fishing rod and net to catch fish and bugs, respectively. Fish appear in the town's river and the sea, while bugs appear throughout the town. The fish and bugs available differ based on the time of day and year. There are 32 fish and 32 bugs, and the game keeps track of which ones they have caught. Fish and bugs can either be sold at Tom Nook's store or placed as furniture in the player's house.

Events[edit]

Main article: List of events in Doubutsu no Mori

Throughout the year, various events occur in the town that mostly coincide with real-world holidays. Some of these events, such as Halloween and Toy Day, offer unique gameplay and exclusive items.

Controls[edit]

An insert included with the game that gives an overview of its controls.
Input Result
N64 Control Stick.svg
  • Walk
  • Run (while holding N64 Z Button.svg)
  • Move the cursor in menus/dialog
  • Move/turn a furniture item (while holding N64 A Button.svg)
  • Mapped to the Famicom controller's +Control Pad when playing a Famicom game
N64 +Control Pad.svg
  • Mapped to the Famicom controller's +Control Pad when playing a Famicom game
N64 C Buttons.svg
  • Move the cursor in menus/dialog and while typing
  • Adjust the camera in houses
  • Scroll to the top/bottom of a section in the catalog (N64 C Left Button.svg/N64 C Right Button.svg)
N64 A Button.svg
  • Select within menus/dialog
  • Interact with items, objects, or characters
  • Move/turn a furniture item (while holding a direction on N64 Control Stick.svg)
  • Use a held item
  • Wash Gracie's car (press repeatedly)
  • Mapped to the Famicom controller's A Button when playing a Famicom game
N64 B Button.svg
  • Cancel within menus/dialog
  • Pick up items/pulling weeds
  • Backspace while typing
  • Mapped to the Famicom controller's B Button when playing a Famicom game
N64 L Button.svg
  • Exit a Famicom game (with N64 R Button.svg and N64 Z Button.svg)
N64 R Button.svg
  • Open/close the map
  • Convert hiragana or katakana into kanji while typing
  • Exit a Famicom game (with N64 L Button.svg and N64 Z Button.svg)
N64 Z Button.svg
  • Run (while holding a direction on N64 Control Stick.svg)
  • Pick up an item in the player's pockets
  • Switch between hiragana, symbols, katakana, English letters, and numbers while typing
  • Map to the Famicom controller's Select Button when playing a Famicom game
  • Exit a Famicom game (with N64 L Button.svg and N64 R Button.svg)
N64 Start Button.svg
  • Open/close the player's pockets
  • Advance past the title screen
  • Confirm a text entry while typing
  • Enter the Controller Pak management menu when booting the game (hold)
  • Mapped to the Famicom controller's Start Button when playing a Famicom game

Controller Pak functionality[edit]

The Controller Pak management menu, with both travel and letter data saved.

Doubutsu no Mori is one of only three Nintendo-developed Nintendo 64 games to utilize the Controller Pak accessory, the others being Wave Race 64 and Mario Kart 64. It is used to travel between towns and save letters. When a Controller Pak is connected, holding N64 Start Button.svg while booting the game leads to a menu where the player can view and delete files on Controller Pak. This menu also appears when attempting to save travel or letter data if there is not enough free space on the Controller Pak.

Traveling between towns[edit]

When a Controller Pak is in use, the player can speak to Porter at the train station to save travel data to the Controller Pak. This data contains player information, such as their name, appearance, and inventory, and it takes up 18 pages (filename: DOUBUTSUNOMORI.A) on the Controller Pak. After travel data is saved, the game returns to the title screen.

If a Controller Pak with travel data is then used with another copy of the game, loading that cartridge's town results in the player from the travel data arriving in that town as a visitor. The player is free to explore the town, talk to its villagers, shop at Tom Nook's store, and make changes to the town such as planting trees or dropping items. Speaking to Porter in the town being visited saves the player's travel data back to the Controller Pak and saves any changes made to the town.

When loading the original cartridge's save file while the Controller Pak with the player's travel data on it is inserted, the player arrives back in their town at the train station, with any changes made to their clothing or inventory in the other town saved. If the player loads their save without the necessary travel data, their inventory will be empty and their face will be set to one resembling a gyroid until they save and reload the game.

Saving letters[edit]

When a Controller Pak is in use, the player can speak to Pelly or Phyllis at the post office to move letters from their inventory into storage. Saving letters takes up 103 pages (filename: DOUBUTSUNOMORI.B) on the Controller Pak, and up to 160 letters can be saved.

The Controller Pak that was bundled with certain copies of the game came with a saved letter on it from Shigeru Miyamoto, who supervised the development of the game.[3] The letter contains a grab bag that contains two random Famicom games and a random K.K. Slider song. The letter 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

This 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, and more people are
better than one! Please enjoy
playing with your family and friends.

From Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo

Prerelease and unused content[edit]

Main article: List of prerelease and unused content in Doubutsu no Mori

Doubutsu no Mori was first shown at Space World 2000 with a trailer and playable demo, featuring several minor differences from the final game. Additionally, in 2020, partial source code of the game was leaked online, revealing numerous early and unused assets.

Development and release[edit]

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.

Announcement[edit]

In an interview with IGN on June 5, 2000 about upcoming Nintendo software and hardware, Shigeru Miyamoto announced the development team was working on a "communication game" for the Nintendo 64 but did not elaborate.[5] Doubutsu no Mori was fully unveiled at Space World 2000 in August, with a planned release of month of February 2001[6][7] and a demo playable on the show floor.[8] The game was later delayed from its planned February 2001 release and its final release date of April 14, 2001 was revealed in March 2001.[9]

Release[edit]

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.[10]

On December 14, 2001, an expanded port of Doubutsu no Mori titled Doubutsu no Mori+ was released for the Nintendo GameCube. This port contains new characters, locations, items, and gameplay features. 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;[11] however this service has since been discontinued.

In China, Doubutsu no Mori was localized and ported to the iQue Player, the Chinese version of the Nintendo 64, as Dòngwù Sēnlín. Released on June 1, 2006, it was the 14th and final game released for the system. Dòngwù Sēnlín features several changes from Doubutsu no Mori to accommodate for cultural differences, largely in items and events.

Related media[edit]

DnM Totakeke Music Cover Front.png
DnM Totakeke Music 2 Cover Front.png
Both releases of Doubutsu no Mori: Totakeke Music

Doubutsu no Mori received two soundtrack CDs, Doubutsu no Mori: Totakeke Music and Doubutsu no Mori: Totakeke Music 2, which collectively contain all 58 K.K. Slider songs from the game.

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • The font used in the logo for Doubutsu no Mori is GEETYPE高原极线黑体 大粗(GEETYPE-TakaLineGB-Bold) by GEETYPE.com[12]
  • The font used for dialogue and most text across the game is FOT-ロダンわんぱく Pro EB (FOT-RodinWanpaku Pro EB), with slight edits for readability.

Names in other languages[edit]

Japanese どうぶつの森
Doubutsu no Mori
Animal Forest

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Japanese: どうぶつの森 Hepburn: Doubutsu no MoriAnimal Forest
  2. If the battery that powers the real-time clock dies, the clock is reset to January 1, 2001 each time the Nintendo 64 is powered off. The first time this happens, K.K. Slider appears at the intro screen to tell the player this.

References[edit]

  1. Nintendo. "Animal Forest". Retrieved August 27, 2020. (Japanese)
  2. Naver. "Nintendo 64 Software Cumulative Sales". Archived from the original on April 24, 2016.
  3. Nintendo. [1]. Retrieved September 13, 2020. (Japanese)
  4. Brandon Sheffield (March 31, 2006). "GDC: Is That a Franchise in Your Pocket? An Animal Crossing: Wild World Case Study". Gamasutra.
  5. IGN (June 5, 2000). "Interview: Miyamoto and Aonuma". ign64.ign.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2001. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  6. Adam Washington (May 13, 2013). "Spaceworld 2000 - Nintendo Press Conference and Show Floor Highlights". YouTube. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  7. Nintendo (2000). "どうぶつの森(仮称)". nintendo.co.jp. Archived from the original on July 1, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  8. IGN (August 28, 2000). "Miyamoto Roundtable". ign64.ign.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2001. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  9. IGN (March 8, 2001). "Animal Forests Plants Its Roots". ign64.ign.com. Archived from the original on December 19, 2001. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  10. File:DnM Flyer.jpg
  11. Nintendo. "Animal Forest Data Moving Service!". Archived from the original on February 6, 2003. Retrieved August 30, 2020. (Japanese)
  12. http://www.geetype.cn/font/c86af1a3375e17e9576db8f153a5c664.html