Rune Factory 2: Marriage is everything

Rune Factory 2 revolves around a character who has no memory of where he is from and wanders into the small village of Alvarna, where everyone repeats the same two pieces of dialogue whenever you interact with them, and are home schooled.

Following in the footsteps of the original Rune Factory, your mysterious character comes wandering out of nowhere only to be rescued by an innocent looking virgin village girl named Mana and her clingy father. In no time you are manipulated into staying at a suspiciously empty house and farm that is covered in all kinds of crap, with the burden of the town’s nourishment on your shoulders.  On top of that those cheeky ‘saviours’ trick you out of most of your money in exchange for some skanky tools they found. I’m definitely not marrying Mana.

Just like the previous game and heavily influenced by Harvest Moon you can plant crops in your farm once you have taken all the crap off it, but you can also become the town hero and go around fighting various animals/monsters that are just chilling around the village. If you don’t feel like killing them you can equip a black leather glove and caress them until they like you, and then you can keep them in the barn for the rest of their lives.

One of the terrifying monsters you must fight…

If you want to advance the game in any way, you will need to interact with the village members and increase friendship levels by doing jobs for them, giving them gifts, speaking to them on holidays whilst also taking part in village festivals.

The story line will not advance until you marry one of the desperate eligible females in the village. By gifting and taking requests on the town’s errand board you eventually unlock the bachelorettes events until you’ll be given a final task earning you the key item required to marry them. (Note: This is the only way to get one in bed. They are frigid)

An idea to distract yourself from the pressure of marriage is to max out all the girls love levels, and keep the key items required to marry them in your cupboard, like trophies. Then date each of them behind the others backs to increase your self-esteem.

Choosing a bride was probably the hardest part of this game for me…especially as they were all completely individual and very weird. You cannot rush into these things. Not to mention most of the girls have their own soul mates that they end up with if you do not pick them. However, if you wanted to take one for the team and rid the village of a spinster, three of the girls do not have rival love interests…so if you don’t marry them they stay alone…forever.

There is Mana, the village girl who lives at home with her mental dad who can see through your act and knows you want to corrupt his daughter. Mana’s hobbies include and are limited to standing outside your house all day…even when you marry someone else. No, really.

Let’s be real here…no one wants to marry your daughter.

Alicia, an inappropriately flirty fortune-teller who is desperate for love and swindles you out of cash, but can also be useful and predict the weather.

There’s the career woman Yue, who doesn’t need a man to complete her, but will end up marrying one of the vulnerable-heartbroken village boys if you steal their soul mates

Fans of the first Rune Factory game will recognise Cecilia, the half elf half-ginger girl who can be won over with gems.  For those that are worried, she is no longer a little girl as she was in the first game, however she is a made like Tabatha from the first game. This might be some subtle racism/sexism towards elves, but I am sure not all the female elves are maids.

The village would not be complete without a snobby rich girl who has everything she could ever want. Her name is Rosalind, and she is probably the best looking of the girls…but then again she can afford to be! She’s slightly more difficult to please, as her favourite item is a Four – leaf clover that takes 60 days to grow. Typical.

If sunlight is not your thing and you like freaky Lolita types then Julia is the girl for you! She likes to think she is fashion conscious, but we know better.

Last but not least…well actually, she is least and that’s why I chose her. Out of pity. Dorothy needed me.

When I first met her she was a creepy shy girl, who was too embarrassed to talk to me so she used her scary puppet thing to do it. After my continuous efforts to woo her, which involved travelling to the SummerIsland and catching her favourite fish, she soon warmed to me. It is then that my character discovers that under that long, greasy fringe, there was a foxy lady. Therefore, my choice was made.

Yes…this town is very small, Dorothy…

So then I was very original and knocked her up.

After this, it becomes apparent that my character is the only one who cares about these poor home-skilled children of the village…and wanting the best for my kid I use my hard-earned cash and wood and build a kick-ass school that doesn’t really fit in with this backwards village.

Then my character mysteriously gets his memory back, something about a large-assed dragon and wanders off leaving your wife to raise the child alone, and then you can play as the fruit of your loins who is about 10 or something.

Your former wife/current mother becomes dead inside. Friendship levels begin at zero…what a nice mum. Obviously maternity leave in this game lasts forever as most of the female villagers who get married and have kids never leave their houses. Not even on the holidays and festivals.

Dorothy is now a shell of a woman, who is constantly awake and either standing by the diary downstairs or standing in her bedroom without purpose. So much for her dreams of becoming a nurse because she doesn’t seem to work anymore. I mean really…I am 10 years old, why can’t she water some of the crops from time to time, or milk the buffamo.

Looking back I wish I had chosen Cecilia. At least then I could’ve had a child that was quarter elf and her job is a house cleaner so even if she stayed in the house forever, she wouldn’t seem like such a freeloader.

Just like the other farming simulation games from Natsume, Rune Factory 2 is just as addictive, squeezing hours out of your life until you begin to mistake your virtual family for your real one.