Things are livening up

Things really progressed quickly in those first two weeks. New villagers moved in, homes were upgraded, important buildings were constructed.

Remember those good old days when Tom Nook opened the day with announcements from the dirt plaza?

Finally the museum was built and officially opened!

I was veeery impressed by the grand foyer and all the beautifully designed exhibits.

These were all the fish I got ready to donate. I wanted to hear Blathers’ info for each critter so I donated everything one by one.

Have you ever tried to take good pictures in an aquarium? It’s really hard. The fish move too fast and the lighting is terrible. It’s slightly easier in Animal Crossing.

Speaking of the aquarium exhibit, my partner and I were racing through together and when connection lagged, he ran right through the ocean fish tank.

I was lucky enough to snag a birdwing, whose name got fancier in New Horizons, and eventually got hold of a walking leaf.

Nook’s Cranny also opened up. I decided to conserve space and place it quite close to the plaza. You can see some of the Great Wall of Fish in the background.

Two work kits for sale for two different types of people.

In addition to the Nooklings setting up shop, Mabel also showed up on the island to sell her wares.

Rain also became acquainted with Harvey. It took quite a while before I made good use of his cabin, though. I hope we get access to his beans again some time so we can feed the birds with him.

Despite the healthy roster of new NPCs in the early game, there were aspects of the game that had me slightly concerned because of my expectations from previous games.

Going into New Horizons I had a basic expectation that, features that were introduced and well established in the previous games, would continue to live on in this title. Harriet would show up one day to style your hair. Gracie Grace would turn up after you upgrade your shop to give you access to all those exclusive furniture sets. Dr Shrunk would introduce himself and begin teaching you emotions and the Shrunk Funk Shuffle.

But I realised there was something wrong with my expectation when there were too many features available early on, and the opportunity for these aspects of the game died away quickly. Hairstyles were available for sale through the Nook Stop terminal. Soon, you learn that you can’t upgrade Nook’s Cranny beyond the cottage. Your villagers teach you emotions, and there is no Shrunk Funk Shuffle.

I guess that was a downfall to knowing the franchise quite well and expecting the series to continue to go in a particular direction. New Horizons is still a lovely game without the knowledge of these missing chunks. Anyway now that I’ve had my bit of a ramble, back to the story…

As for my island residents, three new villagers moved in. They were:

Annalisa, who I found on a Nook Mile island. I didn’t really pay much attention to her in the beginning, but she really grew on me with her geisha aesthetic.

She had a traditional Japanese house with a lovely wooden door chime.

Rodeo! I knew him well from my Wild World days.

I really liked how his house matched with the stone table and stool I was required to make. His house is also placed on this lone cliff pillar in the south-west of the island, so the poor guy would often just be stuck wandering around up there.

He was quite an interesting sight when I first visited him. He gave me the impression in the past of looking somewhat demonic and having an out-there personality, so to see him dutifully sweeping his new home wearing a graduation smock was unexpected.

Aaand Bubbles. Thanks, Bubbles.

I had the outside of her place set up quite nicely, too, and her house fit in really well.

That lovely garbage bin went right outside her front door.

Annalisa also had a gift for me:

How innovative!

Simple minds.

I really enjoyed the sense of progress and achievement in prepping those three houses. I remember being worried about how the game would know that the furniture I placed was “part of” the property, though it did just fine. I did also become slightly confused about the placement rules of regular villager houses, because those beginning houses were given such wide clearances, I suppose to cater for the outdoor furniture requirements.

And here are Bam’s and Sylvia’s homes respectively, after they both upgraded from their tents.

I continued to make progress on my own house, too.

It’s not much on the inside, but spots of it were coming together.

Some parts around the island got a tiny bit of attention, too.

I made a little outdoor crafting area on the lone beach left of my airport that I thought was such a smart idea (no more loading screens and missed balloons). But it soon become a pretty large spread of crafting materials littering the sand.

The log bridge I was tasked to build went here, connecting the main part of the island with the…smaller island in the centre. Speaking of which, when I picked the map that little island looked like a pretty cool addition, but it was actually split over two levels so in reality it was quite disorienting to traverse.

I also kept being given stone tablets by my villagers.

I got a cool shell partition DIY and plonked it by the sea. It sort of reminds me of an annual event around here where a bunch of impressive sculptures are exhibited along the coast of a popular beach area here (Sculpture by the Sea, if you’re interested), that results in these beautiful, surreal seascapes as you walk along.

I put those hybrid cosmos from that Nook Miles island by my starting pond.

Bam took a moment to enjoy the poolside bed and tape deck on the beach.

And lastly just some random pictures and moments to end the blog:

My sister fruit is peaches! I probably continued to try to find other fruits on the islands.

I was quite confused by my first rusted part. Rusted part of what???

I can’t remember the name of this retro wallpaper, but is this person inspired by Marilyn Monroe?

Rodeo’s beginner home.

This will end well.

My partner visited again. Don’t mind the creepy filter.

I then went to his northern hemisphere island, and was SO jealous of his weeds. (Is that a weird thing to say out loud? lol) They were adorable and tidy unlike the dry brushy-looking ones on my island, and they flowered!

Argh, a bug!
Argh, a human!

I left this masterpiece on his island.

Back home, Annalisa really needed me to know about his title. It’s New Leaf Lawn Clippings.

And to end with, a photo of Bam doing the zoomies with the nostalgia filter.

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