The Animal Crossing franchise is one of the most beloved and appreciated Nintendo video games ever. And this year, with the release of the recent Animal Crossing: New Horizons game, the franchise has become a worldwide phenomenon. That is why we present a list of curiosities that you may not know even if you are a veteran of the franchise.
The game has once again been positively embraced by the public and widely acclaimed by critics. You will once more be able to play a character in an open-world island inhabited by animals where you will have to build up a community and take part in events and activities such as fishing, insect collecting and fossil hunting.
The first Animal Crossing
Players tend to think that the first Animal Crossing was released for the Nintendo GameCube. But that is not completely true. The first installment of the saga started with the Nintendo 64 back in 2001. This first game was originally named Dōbutsu no Mori (Animal Forest) and was only launched in Japan.
Although not really called Animal Crossing it is considered to be the first chapter of the saga. This is because the plot of the game is the same as that of the ones we know: a social simulation game synced with the video console internal clock where players begin by moving to a forest where they have to live with other animal-type neighbors while completing mandatory tasks. Therefore, it can be said that this one set the course for the following installments.
Enormous whale that cannot be catched
In the GameCube version of Animal Crossing, if you were lucky enough (as it rarely happens) you could catch sight of a huge whale shadow in the ocean while in a boat in a trip to an island. This is just a fun Easter Egg of the game, as that massive whale cannot be catched.
The meaning behind the leaf logo
The image of a green plant leaf with a broken side remind all Nintendo players of Animal Crossing. This is because that stamp represents “doing business” in this franchise. It is specifically the graphic that is used to represent all objects that can be traded and it is the official logo of the Tom Nook stores.
The reason for this decision comes down to the character of Tom Nook. He represents a tanuke, a Japanese raccoon, and in the game he is the regent of the village store. And, according to the Japanese culture, the tanukis have the ability to convert the leaves into money. Quite interesting right?
K.K Slider is inspired by a real person
The character K.K Slider (Kéké Laglisse in French, Totakeke in Spanish and K.K. in China and South Korea) is inspired by Kazumi Totaka, the Japanese game voice actor and composer of the Animal Crossing BSO. This dog is his virtual representation. And that is why is always accompanied by musical instruments and has appeared in the different Animal Crossing installments.
Where does the name of Gulliver the seagull come from?
The character Gulliver, the sailor seagull, is actually a tribute to the classic English literature Gulliver’s Travels. The writter of this book is the Irish author Jonathan Swift, and this is why the the character is called Johnny in its Japanese version.
News about an alien invasion
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, if you are playing at around 3:33am on Sundays and Mondays and nearby a TV, you will notice that the broadcast will be interrupted by a breaking news. These news talk about the the arrival of a UFO and you will watch an alien delivering a creepy message.
Donkey Kong playing Animal Crossing
This curiosity comes from another Nintendo game. In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze you can see the famous gorilla taking out a Nintendo 3DS to play Animal Crossing: New Leaf in one of the animations when the character is not moving.
The most hated character
Mr. Resetti, also known as Mr. Reset or Risetto san, is is a very cranky mole character that appeared in the Nintendo 64 game Dōbutsu no Mori for the first time. And it has been has earned by the franchise players the title of the most hated character. But, why is that?
His job was to make sure that all players save the game before turning the power off. And the more the player resets within the Animal Crossing games without saving, the harsher he gets. Even the scriptwriter, director and producer of the saga Aya Kyogoku came to recognize in 2008 that the character was so hated by players that it even scared and made some children cry when he appeared.
At least in previous games, this trick was quite used in order not to save any errors that players had when playing. But this trick is no longer useful. This is due to the new auto-save function launched in Animal Crossing: New Horizons title. And that is why Resetti does not appear in this latest installment. We could say that the character has lost his job.
Where does the idea of the game plot come from?
Katsuya Eguchi, the original creator of the Animal Crossing franchise, has revealed that he tried to portray the idea of the youthful emancipation in these games. The video game representation of being new in a city, away from family and friends, alone and with bills and responsabilities. But at the same time the opportunity to start a new life, gain maturity and make new friends. Eguchi wanted to reflect all of those feelings that he himself experienced when he started working at Nintendo very young.
An original Animal Crossing movie
In December 2006 the movie Doubutsu no Mori (Animal Crossing: The Movie) was released in Japanese cinemas. This movie tells the story of a girl named Ai that is moving to a town inhabited by animals to work. Doesn’t that sound to you the same as the plot of the video game? Unfortunately, although the movie was a complete success and grossed over $ 16 million, it never made its debut outside Japan.