The random number generator has determined that the next game I should talk about is Animal Crossing: Wild World. It’s a life simulation game for the Nintendo DS.
This was the second Animal Crossing game to come out in America, but I later found out that it was also the fourth Animal Forest game to come out in Japan.
This was the first game of the series in which the ground your character walks on is noticeably curved. This perspective gives the impression that your Animal Crossing town exists on a small globe (more like on an odd cylindrical planet). I think this perspective was used in order to not have to load too many objects on one screen at the same time, since the Nintendo DS was less powerful than the Gamecube.
This perspective was kept in future installments of the series, and the original flat ground perspective was only recently brought back as an option in the latest and greatest Animal Crossing (New Horizons) for the Nintendo Switch.
Wild World was one of the first games to utilize an online service called Nintendo Wi-fi. People could play online with their friends, visiting each other’s towns, as long as they all had wireless Internet. Back when this game came out, wireless Internet was nowhere near as common as it is today, so they sold a USB dongle that your Nintendo DS could connect to and would let it use the Internet connection of whatever device the USB was connected to.
There weren’t a lot of new features in this game that I remember vividly, but one of them was the ability to make constellations. At night, the top screen would show the stars. You could talk to Blather’s sister Celeste and she would let you draw straight lines between stars and name your own constellations. I was always disappointed by the sameness of angles and distances each star had in relation to the others, because it didn’t let me chart any interesting shapes.
I remember playing this game when I was in eighth grade. I would play every morning on the bus to school, and unfortunately, that was always too early in the day for Nook’s shop to be open. So I would systematically drop whatever I had to sell outside of the shop, and after school I would boot up the game again to sell them.
One of my bus-mates pointed out to me that I could more easily just change the time on my Nintendo DS in order to ensure that the shop was open when it was convenient for me. However, I refused to time travel in that particular game. I had of course time traveled when I played the original Animal Crossing. I have fond memories of Summer days when I would time travel to when it was raining so I could spend all day catching Coelacanths, Barred Knifejaws and Red Snappers (throwing all the Sea Basses back). I would sell them all to Nook in order to try to pay off my loans.
At some point, I lost interest in this Nintendo DS game and stopped playing it. This always happens with games that are technically endless. In those cases, it’s impossible to stop playing due to a sense of victory, and must therefore settle for a situation in which you stop playing due to a sense of boredom. The only way to truly win Animal Crossing is to define for yourself what winning means.
In 2015 I completed the Punch-Out!! and Kid Icarus trilogies and wanted to take that momentum into playing another series. I remembered that The Villager from Animal Crossing had been added to Super Smash Bros, and so I decided to resume my progress in Wild World. I chose to start with Wild World because I thought it was the first game in the series that I hadn’t finished paying my house loans in. I had previously erased from my mind the fact that I had never finished upgrading my house in the original Animal Crossing, but I would discover that later.
So I came back to my old town in Wild World. It was filled with weeds and passive aggressive villagers who were mad that my character had abruptly gone to sleep for nine years. I vowed to fully upgrade my house and pay off all the loans.
To do this, I planted peaches. I don’t remember how I got one, but it was probably from one of my friend’s towns. I started by planting it and growing a peach tree. Then I planted more peach trees, and the farm grew exponentially. I used Microsoft Excel to determine the exact day in which selling all the fruit would cover the entire cost of paying off the final loan, and until then, I only used peaches to plant new trees.
I decorated my house in the game with all kinds of stuff. My favorite part of the house is the room where I have a computer server set next to a bed that runs on electricity. That is my Animus room.
Thanks for reading! =)