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    Animal Crossing hasn't always been the insanely popular record-smashing mega hit that it became with last year's release of New Horizons. In its more humble days, it existed as a last-second swan song for the Nintendo 64 called Dobutsu no Mori, exclusive to Japan. It would see a second release rather quickly, slapping a "+" onto the end of the name, porting it to the Nintendo GameCube, and adding a handful of new features. Luckily, Nintendo of America gave the game a chance in the west by bringing it over, giving it one of their most charming translations ever, and naming it Animal Crossing. The rest is history.

    Actually, that history is rather rich. NOA's localization of Dobutsu no Mori+ wasn't just a simple translation; events, graphics, and jokes all had to be adapted for a western audience. American players likely wouldn't understand references and holidays from eastern culture, so extensive work had to be done, creating new characters for holidays like the Harvest Festival, making relevant-for-the-time pop culture jokes, and editing all sorts of tiny little details, all on top of translating a game that has a mind-boggling amount of text to begin with. When the time came for Animal Crossing's debut in the west, the original developers back at Nintendo of Japan saw how much work had been done and decided that it needed to be re-localized with all the brand new content, while adding even MORE new stuff on top! Which is how Japan ended up with three versions of Animal Crossing, all in a short span of time.

    Sadly, that super-charged version of Animal Crossing--Dobutsu no Mori e+--never made its way back to players in the west. At the time, it wasn't that big of a deal; after all, Animal Crossing was still a new IP, and not many knew of the game's back-and-forth translation tango. Even after the internet got to know the fun story behind it all, years had passed and newer Animal Crossing games had released. Still, for the dedicated fans out there, a definitive version of the original Animal Crossing existed, packed full of all sorts of new content, never to be experienced--unless you happened to know Japanese.

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    Now, what happens when you have a Japanese-only release, on an old platform that has a lot of documentation when it comes to hacking and dealing with the inner workings of its files? Well, it of course gets an official release on the Nintendo Switch! Just kidding, it is Nintendo after all! The real answer is that you get a dedicated fan-translation, courtesy of one of those super-fans. Cuyler is a programmer who has been spending years working on modding, editing, and translating all of that Dobutsu no Mori e+ goodness into English.

    With all that context, now you can appreciate the meaning behind a project of this caliber.

    And there is a lot to appreciate. More fish, more bugs, more residents, new features, new events, new locations. In fact, the Dobutsu no Mori e+ exclusive content, if released in this day and age, would warrant a Definitive Ultimate Edition slapped on the title, or at least a decently-priced DLC release. Now that there's an English fan translation patch, all of those things can finally be enjoyed.

    This still is the original Animal Crossing, so the early-game is identical to what you've played before. Once you've adjusted to life in your little animal forest, well, that's when you begin to find all the cool things. Tom Nook's shop closing can really affect how you play the game at night. With minimal inventory and even less storage available to you, you might not want to bother playing at night once you've filled your pockets to the brim with fish, fruit, and fossils. But if you take your shovel and slam it against Nook's shop door enough times, he'll begrudgingly open up and let you buy and sell...at a reduced rate, too, that cheapskate! While the lowered selling prices might deter you, being able to clear your inventory out at night is an invaluable asset. Other quality of life options have been added, too, such as the island being usable even if you don't have a GBA to hook up, being able to pick up flowers, and coolest of all, the addition of buildable town projects--exisiting as a concept years before New Leaf would implement it once more!

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    Not everything is translated just yet, sadly. There's still a lot of work left to be done in terms of random character conversations, as they'll switch between perfectly translated and large swaths of Japanese text at random. However, a lot of the unique e+ exclusive content is covered, which is great if you're just looking to solely have some fun with features absent from the regular versions.

    Compared to newer games in the series, it might not seem like much; after all, why not play the newer one that has all this fancy stuff to begin with? For me, a big reason is nostalgia. Growing up with the original Animal Crossing cemented its place into my heart, and being able to have a fresh take on something so well-worn after years of playing it makes for a welcome experience. Not only that, but there's a rough-around-the-edges charm to the game. Villagers have so much to say, and a lot of it isn't quite that nice! Sassy ones will belittle your fashion choices, some may laugh at your misfortune of being stung by a bee--it's fun to see these little animal characters have some actual character, even if its at your expense. Having a villager get angry at you or take your hard-earned Bells from you in an RNG game gone wrong adds to the world--your specific world, and all the experiences that build it. You won't like some of the animals you come across (yeah that's right I'm talking about you, Blaire, you jerk squirrel), others will give you a piece of rare furniture and that'll be enough to win your friendship, and some will make you want to send letters full of furniture and clothes to them, so that you can see them walk around with that little musical note emotion played above their head. And that's a facet that newer the games don't focus on anymore: the relationships you form in your head with these cute characters.

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    If you've grown tired of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, then I urge you to go back to where it all began, and enjoy the original Animal Crossing, in its best possible form.



    I hope you enjoyed this edition of GBAtemp Recommends. If you'd like to see more, leave your feedback in the thread below or check out our previous articles.

     
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  2. Discussion (41 replies)

  3. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Malwarebytes Bootable Developer
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    I always hated that hat with the horns on it.

    And you can tell the GameCube's Animal Crossing game was a N64 port just based on the 26MB file size after trimming the ISO. And all the textures are far more blurry than they needed to be, they should have at least up-rezzed the textures for the GameCube hardware. Even the Wii's Animal Crossing looked far too blurry for what the hardware was capable of.
     
  4. WaffleRaccoon

    WaffleRaccoon GBAtemp Regular
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    It's still crazy how rude and expressive the villagers are. Though the dialogue is way better than the one in NH.
     
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  5. CPG

    CPG good morning.
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    i love how the personality of characters has been completely downgraded in nh lmao
     
  6. DKB

    DKB S̵̜͎̺̔̊l̷̠̈́͗̾̏͠e̴̲͇͐e̸̹̬̔p̵̧̙̺̦̾̉.̶͚̇̎̄
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    This was a gamecube game? Looks like shit. lol
     
  7. XAIXER

    XAIXER Kaiser Supremissimus
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    If anyone wants the e-Cards that go with this, let me know.
     
  8. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Malwarebytes Bootable Developer
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    It was first an N64 game, that was later ported to the GameCube.
     
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  9. jt_1258

    jt_1258 Ella
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    how small is the game for a gamecube game? outside of when you need to save or load a save...you can literally just remove the disc and it works just fine...granted I have never personally tried, I've only heard about it
     
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  10. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Malwarebytes Bootable Developer
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    26MB, probably loads it all into memory and runs from there, to keep the game running smoothly.
     
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  11. AmandaRose

    AmandaRose Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan
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    There is a big question @Chary that I have to ask.

    Is Animal Crossing e+ better than Calico? :rofl2:
     
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  12. Crazynoob458

    Crazynoob458 Idiot wii and ds hacker
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    i launched ac in nintendont with disk led read blink on
    the only time it read on my entire session was when the girl says "nintendo" with the train sound heck even pressing reset wont read stuff from the disk
     
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  13. DarkCoffe64

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    Least this one is actually a complete game unlike NH, lel
    Still, the new games are so different from the og ones, its like playing a completely different game, kinda
     
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  14. HinaNaru Cutie

    HinaNaru Cutie GBAtemp Fan
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    oh gosh i didn't even know someone was trying to translate the Japanese version of GC animal crossing =0 i assumed they were both the same, didn't know it had different little things, it's pretty sweet that you are talking about/revisiting the original animal crossing what made it wonderful <3. the graphics were the best in the timeline it came out in, so cannot complain there, although i am glad for the people that polished the graphics to look it's best on the emulator.

    i have no problem with the wii version, i haven't touched it in like a while now because when new horizon came out i thought it was gonna be great...but i was very dead wrong, the game is lackluster, boring, - it's not the animal crossing i love as a kid growing up. i rather take new leaf any time, but since i burnt that game to a crisp on my 3ds lol i am going to the wii version to see how it is since I've never played it.
    finally, new horizon may have these 'new' items n stuff but it doesn't have the real charm of animal crossing, i found out lots of other folks felt the same way, and haven't touched the games within months - really crazy cause i am doing the same thing..i haven't touched the game for a year now..o no"....was very disappointed in it, but glad that it awoke me to what really went on in the development with this game, and the fact that the devs are just bending the knee to minorities(if you don't know what that word means; it just means that their pleasing people who are only playing the game because it's trending/for clout/ and their not in the community itself nor care for the game itself to see it grow to be better) at this point >_> like pocket camp got way better quality items then-new horizon, it's embarrassing and gross how they lied about to us that they're going to stop focusing on pocket camp to work on new horizon updates more..well that flopped, anyway enough of me rambling on like an old lady.

    thanks for the post.
     
  15. raxadian

    raxadian GBAtemp Addict
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    This is awesome, I am quite fond of the Gamecube Animal Crossing. However the one I invested the most time in is the DS game.

    Since this is still not fully translated, I will wait to give it a try.
     
  16. eriol33

    eriol33 GBAtemp Maniac
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    I tried animal crossing on dolphin for a while, and I got bored. I guess it confirmed life simulation game like this is just not my thing. I just recently bought story of season FOMT on steam, after 8 hours of playing, I found the game so boring. oh well. I will just avoid buying this genre in the future.
     
  17. Crazynoob458

    Crazynoob458 Idiot wii and ds hacker
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    the new horizon community is the most weirdest and at toxic community
    browsing through reddit (DONT JUDGE ME) the only things are WOw I MAdE COOL STaTUDE WITg DeEK and people showing off their islands
    another thing i had problems is building stuff and crap i feel more stressed then me playing lets go to the city, og and wild world i enjoyed it when it was a simple you talk to people and do life now its more make island beautiful be anger

    thats it
     
  18. raxadian

    raxadian GBAtemp Addict
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    I got turned of the series since the whole "become the mayor" thing.
     
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  19. fatherjack

    fatherjack GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Played this after the patch released , the non-translation bits (particularly mail) made me shift back onto the GameCube version, which I ended up playing to bits for months!
    Thanks @Chary for the review, maybe it will nudge @Cuyler into re-energising the project.
    I would love to see a full English translation completed ❤️
     
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  20. Xzi

    Xzi GBAtemp's Resident Plok Expert
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    I remember being intimidated at first by the sheer amount of things to do in the game, so I just decorated my house to a minimal degree and then used it as a de facto NES emulator throughout multiple play sessions. The only reason I ended up eventually breaking out of that cocoon was because girls at my high school were talking about Animal Crossing, and as an awkward freshman I needed a conversation starter. :lol:
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Jan 24, 2021
  21. HarvHouHacker

    HarvHouHacker Owner of the Rock Band Customs Project
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    Fan works always fascinate me, especially when it's a franchise I like. This one, in particular, might be worth a try, if I can find it.
     
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