The first Animal Crossing game?

Posted by admin on August 12th, 2013

On August 21, Nintendo will release a game for the Wii U’s virtual console called The Forest of Beginning. Despite a Wii release in 2007, the 16-bit title, previously released in Japan as Hajimari no Mori, will not be familiar to many western gamers. However, it is considered by many to be the true predecessor to the Animal Crossing franchise.

The game sees the player assume the role of a schoolboy who arrives in a rural community to spend the summer holidays with his grandfather. Once there, he meets a strange purple-haired girl – but nobody in the village knows who she is. Over the course of the summer he goes on several mystical adventures with her. As well as running around, talking with friendly villagers, the game also contains several minigames, including fishing.

Forest of Beginning

Gameplay is surprisingly rudimentary. An illustrated text adventure, commands are given through action menus – some of which are time-sensitive.

Okay, so it doesn’t sound enormously like its modern day successor plot-wise, but the foundations are there for all AC fans to see. Remember that this was originally released 14 years ago – there have been generations of games since then:

The Forest of Beginning (Hajimari no Mori)
Animal Forest (Dōbutsu no Mori)
Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing: Wild World
Animal Crossing: City Folk/Let’s Go to the City
Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Clearly, we’ve come a long way since The Forest of Beginning, but it’s always important to remember your roots. The games you love today wouldn’t be here without their ancestors, and seeing how games have evolved over time can be truly fascinating. If you have a few Nintendo Points lying around, you could do much worse than to buy this little bit of history.

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