Like so many others, I’ve been charmed by the little virtual world that is Animal Crossing. What is it about the sim that makes me want to play it so much? I really don’t know. What I do know, however, is that it is the perfect game for anyone. For one, it’s insanely simple to play. You don’t have to know any secret button combos or cheat codes to get through this game. You just have to do what a person with no cares in the world would do, wander around town trying to make an easy buck. Sounds fun? Strangely enough, it is.
I’ve almost been playing for a year now, and I still haven’t come close to doing everything that the game presents you with. Even if I do manage to collect everything, I think that I’ll still play. But the task of collecting every single item is one only those with time on their hands and a very long attention span should attempt. Now I have a relatively short attention span, but I’ve managed to get this far without completely losing interest, though I did give up on my ‘play every day’ campaign.
My current task is to collect all of the different species of fish and insect that are crammed onto the little game disc. I’ve come very close to accomplishing this goal, and any that I’m currently missing are either extremely elusive or out of season. I’m only missing a few of each, and I can smell the scent of victory getting closer. There’s only one big problem between my goal and me. The irony is that the big problem is in reality quite small. And fast. And yellow. This problem is the one bug that has been able to evade me every time I’ve seen it, it is none other than the accursed Yellow Banded Dragonfly.
It’s been almost a year that I’ve been hunting this little bugger. I’ve been searching so relentlessly for this insect so that I may acquire the legendary Golden Net. Why I want it so badly, I don’t know. It’s more of a personal victory than anything, but I’ve been putting off continuing the hunt for some time now and I must get back to my mission. Today could be the day that I gain the upper hand over the insect kingdom. Today could be the day that I become a legend in RyanLand. Or it might not and I’ll just try again some other day.
Unfortunately, as I walked out the door, the first sign of defeat had already reared its ugly head. It was raining outside. Armed with my trusty net, I set off anyway, because I knew that the bugs would not be stopped from their merry flitting by some water. But before the quest began, there were two things that I had to check. The first was the town bulletin board. Animals would usually post messages there a lot, but during the last month they’ve stopped completely. I’ll have to investigate this some other time. Next I had to check the mail. since I’d let it accumulate for a while, there was a plethora of letters stocked in the box. There were two letters from my own mother, and they were quite confounding in their own way.
The letter on the left is thrice confusing. First of all, I didn’t know that I had
an ‘Uncle Dweezil’. Why were my parents holding this back until now? Secondly, what did
happen to him. Did he just wet his bed? The words “suffer a horrible fate” make it seem like it was much worse than just that. From now on I’m definitely using the bathroom before bedtime. And most importantly, who would name their child ‘Dweezil’? Who, I ask you!? Who!? As for the other one, my mother clearly knows that I live in a town inhabited only by animals (bar myself). Yet she asks if I’ve developed feelings for one of them, and she even suggests that I mate with one! Bestiality is a serious offense in my book, and my mother has just lost a lot of the respect I once had for her.
So after I finished with the disturbing mail, I left to find that damned dragonfly. But where would I look? RyanLand isn’t the biggest town on the planet, but it certainly is a large place. I figured that I should seek some help before continuing my search any further. The first instinct would be to ask another bug enthusiast about the Banded Dragonfly, and gather as much information on it as I could. Why I didn’t think of this months ago, I haven’t got a clue. So I went over to my good friend Tabby’s house. I’m sure I’ve heard her say something about bugs once or twice before. I got there and started asking about it, but she started going off about how she has no GameBoy Advance or Nintendo GameCube GameBoy Advance Cable so she can’t get to some island. I stopped listening and inched away as she went on furiously.
But before I could get away, I noticed a shiny glow coming from the ground. After living in RyanLand for a while, I’d learned that money can appear pretty much anywhere, and that shiny ground equals big bucks. Fortunately, I’d packed my trusty Golden Shovel so I was able to search the earth beneath the shine. To my great fortune, it was a sack nearly overflowing with bells. So now that I had some cash in hand, I thought that I’d go see if the local store had any tools that might further help me in my quest.
Another bottleneck came about as I found that the store was closed until 9:00. I learned a lesson that day: don’t wake up bright and early if shopping might work itself into your day. That lousy shopkeeper has been a lot less liberal with his hours ever since he was able to renovate from a convenience store to a real store. Since my good friend Bill lived almost right next to the store, I thought that I’d pop in and see what he knew about Banded Dragonflies. Yet again, a damper was put on my plans. Bill was also lazy, and hadn’t gotten up yet. Knock as I might, he just wasn’t going to wake up. I even banged my shovel against the door, but it was to no avail.
Just North of Bill’s house is the dump, so I went over to have a look-see at what the villagers had recently disposed of. To my dismay, there was nothing but a couple of shirts there. They weren’t even nice shirts. I don’t think I’ll ever find a shirt I like better than my Whirly Shirt. Then again, that’s what I thought about the Flame Shirt and look at where it is now. In a pear-shaped dresser. So having no success so far, I thought it best to question every animal in the village. One of them had to know something.
The next stop was the house of my other good friend Genji. Now Genji isn’t the smartest of the bunch, but he does spend a lot of time frolicking around outside, so he seemed like the next best person to turn to. Yet again my plan failed and he knew nothing. It seems that he’s gotten even more stupid from the last time I saw him. He seems to think that looking as his watch counts as a ‘cool trick’. I’d consider nothing short of finding and catching a Banded Dragonfly a ‘cool trick’ at the moment. After speaking with about a dozen of my other good friends, I’d concluded that they all knew nothing about the Banded Dragonfly and that not one of them would listen to what I had to say. And my mom thought I might be more than friends with one. Disgusting.
I’d been hunting for a good half-hour by then, and I hadn’t even seen a common, easier to catch bug. Not one. And I’d searched almost every part of town. What I did find, though, was a basketball. It seems that someone is very careless with their sporting equipment, because every time I return one of these things I find another lying about. While I was trying to catch this one in my bug net, I accidentally knocked it into the river. I tried to fish it out, but after it went over the waterfall I knew that it was gone for good. Let’s keep this between just you and me, okay?
Just before I was about to give up I was given to sign to continue. I was just strutting about when I saw a small thing moving around on a tree. It was too hard to make out what it was from that distance, but in hopes that it was the dragonfly, I lunged straight at it and slammed the net down over it. Sadly, I had only caught a stupid drone beetle. I can’t even sell those for a decent amount of money. But with the knowledge that there were bugs about and waiting to be found, I pressed on.
By the time I reached the pond, I had become bored with my current game of wild goose chasing. I thought it best to just sit back and relax for a while before I resumed my search. I wasn’t a hard rain, so I sat down by the pond and cast out my fishing line, hoping to catch the rare Popeyed Goldfish. It’s one of the few fish that’s been able to elude me as well as the Banded Dragonfly. So I sat for a few minutes, with not even a nibble. I was in a very giving-up mood that day, so I was about to pack up and go home. But then it came along.
The Giant Catfish had stuck itself to my hook. What chance! I even had to make an extremely bad joke I was so happy. Heh heh, mousefish. Maybe it wasn’t so bad. But it was very good that I caught it, because they go for a huge amount of bells down at the store. Even if I weren’t going to catch the Banded Dragonfly that day, I would surely come home richer man. So the day wasn’t a total loss. With renewed faith in my small pseudo-animal catching abilities I whipped my net back out and got back on the trail.
This time I had a much better plan. I would ask the local police chief, Copper, about the dragonfly. My idea wasn’t as good as I thought, because I had forgotten that he is totally enamored with his job and doesn’t think about much else. He just congratulated me for being a good citizen and resumed standing in one place. The only time I’ve ever seen him move is when he instructs morning aerobics, and even that only lasts for about 30 days. The poor guy never gets a break. I should volunteer there sometime so that he can go out and get a life. But not today! I have more important things to do!
Just as I was about to finish the complete lap of the town, I saw something move. It was lightning fast and I readied myself instantly. It’s a good thing that I’ve been practicing for this day. I got my net ready and slowly moved toward where I thought I saw the movement. But there was nothing there at all. It must have been the wind blowing some leaves around. I thoroughly searched the area to make sure I didn’t miss anything, but previous encounters had taught me that the Banded Dragonfly doesn’t stick around for very long after it knows you’ve seen it.
That was it for the day. I was soaking wet, and I had been out for quite some time. It seems that bugs don’t appear all too often on rainy days. But the day was still young, what was I to do for all that time? I certainly couldn’t go back to bed, I was already dully awake by then. So I went back home and did what any righteous man would.
I played NES games all day!
Ha ha! See, it was different than my usual tripe. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I’ve been too lazy to move the GameCube out of my room to the PC, even though it’s a maximum of twenty steps between the two. And, uh, if you noticed, the date is a moth or so behind, mostly because I haven’t played the game for a few weeks and I don’t want to miss all the stuff between then and now. So I’ve just been playing a few shortened days every playing session.
The most amazing thing about this is how long I was able to drag it on for. I’m sure that I could have made it a bit longer, since I didn’t include everything I could have, but I still thought it would be a lot shorter than what’s become the norm. Actually, it is significantly shorter than the GCN Demo Disc article, but there was a lot of ground to cover in that one. Animal Crossing just isn’t big article material. It’s really more of a journal logging type thing than anything else. But I’m happy with the way it turned out, so it’s all good. I don’t know what’s next for me, but it should be soon. Later, eh?