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I Restarted Animal Crossing New Horizons and Went on an Epic Worldbuilding Binge (part three)


Lorekitten

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TW: Mention of romantic stalking; also more DuckTales reboot spoilers and an annoyed rant about various obnoxious game mechanics

Spoiler

So I spoke to Tom Nook, and he wants me to place a campsite somewhere on the island... after gathering the materials myself and assembling the construction kit myself. I have no memory of whether or not Nook is actually going to pay me for this, but I'm guessing no. I did have just the right space for a campsite in mind, though: Koinonia has a peninsula on the northwest side of the island, where Stu lives. He can be the welcome wagon.

On that note, I've added a stone table in the middle of my stone circle on the mountain heights near Stu's house, as well as a stone tablet with writing on it somewhere by the side. Maybe this is where the islanders conduct their ritual sacrifices. At that thought, I then put in an inner ring of torches within the stone ring and a bonfire right behind the stone tablet. Nice and ominous. (Wait, why am I gunning for this?)

Lena has been rearranging the furniture inside her house as well, setting up her bedroom-slash-writing-room in the back room and converting her main living area into the headquarters of her small laundry business, which with the addition of two sewing machines is now pulling double duty as clothing repair as well. (No wonder she hires gnomes. Maybe she could sell shoes as well?) Given that Tom Nook clearly has no intention of paying this girl for her labor, she's gotta earn that loan money back somehow. I wanted to set up some actual clothes inside Lena's shop, but unfortunately Able Sisters isn't an option yet and all the clothes Lena has that she isn't actually wearing are kind of on the colorful side for the moody emo teen. Thankfully I do manage to buy a couple of decently Lena-styled shirts from Mabel the next time she stops by, which I set up in the back. I also get a desk set up for my gnome to greet customers at the door and place a judge's bell on said desk to ring when in need of service.

Speaking of moody emo teens, for some odd reason Cherry keeps giving Lena heart aprons. Cherry seems to be a lot more bubbly than her goth/emo appearance would suggest, possibly justifying her choice of colorful kids' block furniture. Like I've said before, though, I'm not shipping Lena and Cherry, despite what month it is, and trust me, there's a very good reason for that: if I headcanon Lena as into girls, then I'd have to take into account that in the cartoon she basically stalks Webby from the shadow realm for what's implied to be several months, and Webby is like... ten. Even the show itself acknowledges how creepy this sounds. So I don't want any webbed foot in that door, thank you very much. This may seem like overkill to some people, but this is the internet; better safe than sorry when it comes to uncomfortable ships. Heck, Lena is the only named teenager on the show, aside from Goofy's son Max, who only appears in photographs in one episode and canonically has a girlfriend anyway, so you can't realistically ship her with anyone within the show's universe. Not that that has stopped the fanbase from trying. (Don't get me started on how many ships were sunk in the series finale.)

I will however state that Cherry seems to have an unhealthy interest in being Lena's roommate (which may explain why she invited herself over last week), and I'm pretty sure Lena isn't comfortable with all of the signs. She's not going to be rude to Cherry about the lesbian thing because Lena has two dads, for crying aloud, but if she gets the feeling that she's the subject of an unwanted crush, she may still say something she regrets. I'd like to say that Lena lets Cherry down gently, but this is Lena we're talking about; sometimes she can be tactful with her words, and other times, she's subtle as a brick. In this instance, let's hope it's the former. (Also, she's not keen on having to meet Cherry's dad, who we previously established is Black Arts Beagle. That would be heckin' awkward. Though I think Lena could take him.)

At any rate, I was planning on moving Cherry up to the northeast mountain top of the island before this whole crush thing kicked off, so for the record, that didn't actually influence the decision as to where Cherry was going to go. I still think having her live up in the mountains makes sense considering her role in the Koinonia mythos. On that note, I've discovered that my third fruit is peaches, which is awkward because 1. I wanted to plant cherries around Cherry's house and now I'd have to go online to get them and 2. to be frank, the peaches look like butts, and that makes me very uncomfortable.

As for the heart aprons, I decided to regift them to Flora and Mitzi. Flora got the blue one, and Mitzi got the pink one. Since Flora is pink and Mitzi has blue markings, I'd originally considered giving them aprons that matched their colors, but I decided to go for contrast instead because while my OCD-ridden brain focuses way too much on monochromatic color schemes, I'm slowly teaching myself actual color theory through observation because I want to improve my art skills and coloring is important in character design.

---

Our campsite nets us a new villager, who is a Smug antelope-shaped deer named... Lopez. I don't know what's more insulting, that it took me a full day to recognize the dad joke, or the dad joke itself. Admittedly I've given some of my Pokemon worse pun nicknames, such as the Quagsire in my original HeartGold save named BIG WOOP; yes, in all caps because I was so much of a newbie that I didn't even know how to switch to lowercase. And it's still not, say, early Archie levels of dad-jokery (looking at you, Dr. Quack and basically every aux Freedom Fighter group that isn't the Wolf Pack; the nineties was an era). Still, between the antelope-deer and the ostrich-flamingo, that's two mixed-species villagers we've got thus far and we may well get more. Not that that's a bad thing.

...I honestly don't remember if I've ever had a Smug villager in Animal Crossing before. That would explain why all his dialogue thus far is new to me...

Anyway. As Lopez settles in, he gifts Lena with a crafting recipe for plate armor. Unfortunately it's the kind you display, not the kind you wear, but this seems to indicate that he's some sort of metalworker/armorer/blacksmith of sorts. Maybe he's the guy who gets the cannon in his yard, although possibly I'll want to move his house a bit so he's somewhere in peak aiming distance. Not that I want to discourage other animals from moving onto the island, but Koinonia may need a line of defense...

Meanwhile, Mitzi catches a cold, and thankfully Lena is able to craft medicine for her thanks to Cherry's recipe. Kind of weird that the same sort of medicine treats wasp stings and actual diseases... I'll just chalk that up to Koinonia's weird plant life and leave it at that.

Now that June's in full swing, we're getting fireflies in the dusk hours, and they're deceptively difficult to nab with the net. The fixed camera angle doesn't do much for depth perception, and the sun being this low means that the placement of shadows isn't much help in locating the little varmits either. But I've caught enough thus far to order a model from Flick, whenever he chooses to show up on the island. Given that I haven't seen either him or CJ yet, I initially suspected it wouldn't be until I've progressed through what passes as the game's storyline, i.e. getting a three-star island and having K.K. Slider show up to perform for the first time. However, I've seen other players on YouTube have Flick show up before K.K. Slider is unlocked, so I guess the RNG is just out to get me.

On that note, I may have to just dump all my bug cages somewhere on the island to wait him out because they're taking up a ton of inventory space and I can't just sell them all because some of them won't come back to the island for months and I still refuse to time travel out of what I like to call sheer autistic bloody-mindedness. I may have to fix my system's clock because it's like ten minutes off, but that's as far as I'm willing to go at this time.

Also, what the heck is up with the fruit crafting recipes, anyway? You can make wallpaper out of cherries? That sounds... unhealthy.

I do have a Mr. Flamingo and Mrs. Flamingo in Flora's yard now, thanks to Kody and Stu respectively. Apparently the difference between them is that the Mrs. stands on one leg; I don't really know what that has to do with gender, but what have you. I just hope Flora doesn't take the flamingoes as an offensive stereotype.

I've also done up Cherry's yard with a spiked fence and a bunch of pots to hint at her 'Sark of the Sough' inspiration, but I haven't yet figured out what I'm going to do with the front part of the yard. At some point I need to just bite the bullet and look up custom design codes online, but honestly, that feels like more work than it actually is and I'm not even sure what types of custom designs I'd even be looking for. But it does feel nice to have at least one villager's yard sort of done.

My last decorating note is that I've got Able Sisters set up on my island now, and I put up a clothesline and spinning wheel outside their shop as decorations. Not exactly extensive, but it's something.

---

It was inevitable. A resource hoarder like me was eventually going to run out of space and need to sell things. Which leads me to a minor rant: who the heck decided that resources like wood and stone could be hoarded in groups of thirty, but resources like fruit and shells could only be hoarded in groups of ten? On what planet does ten conch shells take up the same amount of space as thirty units of wood?

...criminy, how large ARE these sea shells? And how large were the creatures that made them?

Never mind. I don't want to know, under any circumstances whatsoever. The idea that we're collecting the shed shells of deceased oceanic elder gods is too terrifying to fully comprehend.

Suffice to say that Lena sold all her seashells (aside from the summer shells, which are a limited-time resource) and got quite frankly ridiculous amounts of money from them. This was enough to pay off the loan for her third room, which currently only houses a single vampire squid (which are much less terrifying than the name would have you believe; they're actually kind of cute and by all rights should be a Pokemon by this point) because I haven't yet figured out what I want to do with that room. Maybe this one will be her writing/creative works room? Which was originally going to be a part of her bedroom, but I'm running out of space in there, and besides, the lighting in there is atrocious. (What can I say, Lena likes things dark and moody.)

And here's another complaint about ACNH's questionable design decisions: who the freaking hecc decided that you have to 'win' a game of pure chance with a campsite visitor just to convince them to move onto your island? Because I specifically picked out a location for a visitor named Kabuki, clicked through a bunch of dialogue I didn't care for just to get the option to invite them onto my island, and then the whole thing came down to a 50-50 game of chance, I picked the wrong color, and now I have this empty plot that Kabuki refuses to move into no matter what I say and that I do not want to spend my Sunday on a villager hunt, but I can't get rid of that plot and it's going to autofill if I don't find another villager to move in and now I'm mad.

These are not user friendly mechanics. This is just frustration incarnate. Villagers you find on Nook Mile Ticket islands don't put you through this; why should campsite villagers be so obnoxious? I was already plotting out in my head what Kabuki's character and Pokemon team might be, and now not only am I denied that for no good reason whatsoever, but I'm put on a timer for finding a villager I actually like on a day where I just want to relax and be chill. This is not good game design. This should not be a thing that happens.

Quite frankly, I don't really like the randomized villager hunt mechanic in ACNH to begin with. Spending a bunch of tickets without any idea of what you're going to encounter, or any way whatsoever of influencing who shows up on the island, feels predatory. And you know what feels worse? Nintendo literally sells Amiibo cards that can get you the villager you want, and they're sold in random packs, and of course the most popular ones are going to get resold at the highest prices, and sure you could literally cheat at the game to make it think that you've bought a certain Amiibo card that you haven't actually spent any money on, but that's pretty much stealing, isn't it?

Yes, I'm well aware that RNG manipulation is a thing, but I don't want to have to resort to card-counting just to get a campsite villager on my island. Besides, that also feels a bit too much like cheating on my end.

On the subject of aggravating time-wasting luck mechanics in Animal Crossing, let's talk sharks. For one thing, they only come out during a certain time of year, which is true of many fish, but that's not the frustrating part. The frustrating part is that even when you manage to line up your fishing rod right (which is itself aggravating) and the shark takes the bait, it has a random chance to slip off your line regardless of anything you've done or haven't done, meaning that if it took you a while to get your lure in the right position, you may have simply wasted your time and there was nothing short of outright RNG manipulation that you could've done to catch that shark. Random RNG failures are not fun, especially for anything that takes actual effort from the player to get right.

And if you want to get a model of a shark and get that same shark in your museum, you have to somehow manage to catch the same type of shark four separate times... and there are multiple shark species, and you never know what species of shark you'll get until you actually reel it in, and there's always the chance that instead you'll get stuck with a suckerfish and the game's stale wit mocking you for it. (Seriously, these lines get old fast.)

Also, making the same button you use tools with the button you use to talk to villagers was not a great idea, because not only is it entirely too easy to hit them with your tools, but if one walks up to you while you're repeatedly hitting a rock to get resources or money, they can interrupt your hit streak and prevent you from getting the full payload you set yourself up for. Seriously, this game has so many little annoyances that could've been patched out at any time and yet never actually got addressed.

---

Lopez's Steel-type team would largely consist of Pokemon connected with armor and steelworking, such as Aggron, Escavalier, Corviknight, Aegislash, Tinkaton, and Bastiodon. I'm not sure how well that Corviknight would get along with that Tinkaton, but I'm sure he has everything under control... right?

On that note, there's a notable omission on this list: neither Cobalion or Iron Crown is on Lopez's team, despite being Steel type antelopes associated with swords. While I was willing to give Kody a Paradox Pokemon and an Ultra Beast because both of them fit the persona I'd created for him, I feel that outright legendaries (and Paradox Pokemon based off of legendaries) would need to have a very good reason to be on Koinonia at all, yet alone part of a villager's team, and at this point, there's not really any good reason to involve the Swords of Justice or their future counterparts in the lore. I'm not saying that there won't be any 'true' legendaries or mythicals on Koinonia at all; just that I don't currently have any real purpose in adding any yet.

I did buy a Godzilla statue from the Nook Miles Program, though, so that's probably going to be plunked down somewhere once I decide on a good spot for it.

And on that note, Flick has finally shown up on my island! And this is as good a time as any to reveal that... he's the guy I'm shipping Lena with. I mean, yes, I'm aware that a decent-sized portion of the ACNH fanbase ships Flick with CJ (or at least enough of them that Polygon wrote an entire article on it), but honestly, I don't exactly see it (at least partially because I don't even remember ever seeing Flick and CJ on screen at the same time), but I can definitely imagine Flick's shyness with the player character translating into a sort of crush. Also, both Flick and Lena are moody artist types; maybe she reads him her poetry and he shows her his art. Although I'm pretty sure Flick is the type to write poetry himself; he's certainly got a gift for wordcrafting, when he's not tripping over his own tongue in front of the player.

Anyway, this also means I get my very first bug model commissioned, which is a mantis. What can I say, if you want a good scary-looking predator bug monster, you can't go wrong with a mantis. I'm gonna have to think about where on the island I want to place this thing.

 

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