"Steep Hill" is a K.K. Slider song in the Animal Crossing series that first appears in Doubutsu no Mori e+. It has a melancholic tone, and is based on Shōwa-era Japanese folk rock, known as kayōkyoku. The song's melody is similar to that of "'Ichigohakusho' o Mōichido",[nb 8] a Japanese folk rock song by the group BangBang. The title, particularly the original Japanese "二段坂" (Nidanzaka, meaning "Two-Step Slope"), may also be a reference to "無縁坂" (Muenzaka, roughly meaning "Slope of Nothingness"), another popular and melancholy folk song by Masashi Sada.
The album cover for "Steep Hill" features K.K. Slider playing his guitar while sitting on a windowsill inside a school building. He is dressed in a school uniform and has a head of black hair. Outside, a sunset sky and a three-layered hill are visible. On the Doubutsu no Mori e+ e-Reader card art, Megumi and Ketchup, also dressed in school uniforms, can be seen talking to each other on the second level of the hill. The song's Japanese title, "ニ段坂" (Nidanzaka), is written vertically on the right. In New Leaf, Megumi is replaced with Daisy, while Ketchup is presumably replaced with Maelle. The title of the song has been removed. In New Horizons, an orange border on the left and dark beige borders on the top and bottom have been added; the top border writes "ニ段坂" horizontally, and the left border writes it vertically. Two record labels can also be seen, one on the orange border and the other on the top dark beige border.
While it is ambiguous if the album cover is portraying Ketchup or Maelle, as they look nearly identical when viewed from the back, it is assumed that the e-Reader card artwork portrays Ketchup, and that it changes to Maelle from New Leaf onward. The artwork shows a sliver of yellow at the bottom of the portrayed duck's head, which could either be interpreted as a result of the scene's lighting or as Maelle's plumage. However, it is almost certain that the e-Reader card artwork portrays Ketchup, since Doubutsu no Mori e+ e-Reader card artwork almost exclusively features villagers that were released in the same card series; Ketchup and "Steep Hill" are both part of Doubutsu no Mori e+ e-Reader card Series 3, and Maelle is not.
Although the album cover artwork remains unmodified between the e-Reader card and New Leaf, it is still assumed that the portrayed duck changes from Ketchup to Maelle from New Leaf onward. Generally, villagers who did not exist in the pre-Welcome amiibo version of New Leaf, but are portrayed in the e-Reader card artwork, are replaced by a New Leaf villager of the same species. Maelle is present in the pre-Welcome amiibo version of New Leaf, while Ketchup is not. "K.K. Country" involves a similar situation involving a portrayed character that is presumed to be altered, despite the artwork itself not changing.
In Doubutsu no Mori e+
In Doubutsu no Mori e+, "Steep Hill" can only be requested and obtained from K.K. Slider if its e-Reader card is scanned at the Town Tune board. "Steep Hill" is not played in any villagers' houses. The aircheck version of the live performance can be obtained by speaking to Pete after scanning the card.
In Wild World and City Folk
In New Leaf
In New Horizons
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, "Steep Hill" is played in the houses of Admiral and Wart Jr. The aircheck of this song can be obtained from one of these villagers after visiting their house by their favor. This song's aircheck can also be purchased in Nook Shopping daily selection for 3,200 Bells.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise, "Steep Hill" is played in the houses of Broffina, Joey, Mallary, and Shari.
In Happy Home Designer
Doubutsu no Mori e+ e-Reader card
New Leaf model
Happy Home Designer icon
Album cover in amiibo Festival
New Horizons icon
Names in other languages
- In Wild World and City Folk
- In New Leaf only
- In Welcome amiibo and New Horizons
- In New Horizons only
- In Happy Home Paradise only
- In Happy Home Paradise and Happy Home Designer
- In Happy Home Designer only
- Japanese: 『いちご白書』をもう一度 Hepburn: "Ichigohakusho" o mōichido, "The Strawberry Statement" Once Again