Well, that was a jam-packed Animal Crossing Direct, wasn't it? Here at NLHQ, we're all frantically trying to type out the ten billion things that were just announced in that 20-minute showcase, and our fingers have already almost fallen off.

For now, though, let's have a look at all the new, returning, and improved special characters for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as well as some of the ones we probably won't be seeing...

New and returning characters

With the new and improved Harv's Island shopping upgrade, Kapp'n's islands, The Roost, and the Happy Home Paradise DLC, many characters will be returning to the Animal Crossing world. Let's see who's been confirmed so far:


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Ah, we already knew this one, but it's nice to finally see him in the flesh feathers. Who's a pretty bird?


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Can't say we were expecting this, but Wendell the Walrus seems to have a Manatee relative named Wardell. He's extremely cute, all round and soft, like a big sea-marshmallow. He seems to have something to do with the Happy Home Paradise DLC.



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The Happy Home Paradise DLC also includes Lottie, the niece of Lyle, who ran the shop in Happy Home Designer, the Happy Home Academy in New Leaf, and was a generally creepy (but helpful) insurance agent in Wild World. He doesn't appear to be here, though — maybe, like Joan, he retired to let the new generation get on with it. Lottie's lovely, though. We can't see ourselves missing Lyle.


Who's this little monkey? He's all over the place in the Happy Home Paradise footage... but we've not seen him before. A new friend?? According to the new amiibo cards, his name is Niko, and we'll presumably find out more soon.


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Kapp'n makes a triumphant return as the ferryman, taking players to new, uninhabited islands where the time of day, weather, and season is different every time. That means it's much easier to catch bugs and fish when you aren't under the right conditions back at home!

Kappn's also got a trunk full of sea shanties to sing, which — if New Leaf is anything to go by — contain lyrics with a surprising amount of wife-related tales and that one time he did a tax evasion.


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Joan and Lyle are nowhere to be seen, but fellow old person Tortimer is still kickin'. The former mayor and current tortoise can be visited on Harv's Island, where it looks like he'll be managing storage — maybe so that you can still access the storage while shopping?


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The stylish stylish poodle Harriet is returning as part of Harv's Island's new shopping experience, and she brings with her a few new hairstyles, too. There are 11 new styles to be tried out, but it's not clear how many of those are from Harriet, and how many are from the new Nook Points reward.


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Listen, if Lloid counts as a character, then so do these all-singing, all-dancing little guys. Sure, they're part statue, part decoration, part creepy votive, and part... plant (you'll have to plant them, water them, and grow them), but we love them, and we're glad to see them back. Plus, now they're customisable, and come in some rather gorgeous new designs!


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The fortune-telling, occasionally-screaming panther is back, ready to tell you various nonsense about your future. In the past, her fortunes have affected gameplay a little — they can make villagers like you more, or like you less; they can lead to the player getting more Bells or rare items; but if Katrina gives you a bad fortune, you'll have bad luck for a little while, causing you to fall over a lot.

Upgrades to existing Special Characters

Some of the special characters we've had in New Horizons for a while are getting new features as part of this update, too!

Handsome Moustachioed Lloid?


Who IS he? We've seen Lloid around town — he raises funds for various projects — but the version on Harv's Island seems to be following in Harv's hippie footsteps with a rather fetching moustache. Lloid, we like this new look.



Redd now has a permanent-looking art shop on Harv's Island, which means no more waiting for the infrequent visits of his creepy little boat. Hooray!



Honestly, Saharah's visits — especially if you have friends who'll alert you when she's on their island — seem to be the most frequent of all the special characters, but it's nice to see her set up shop on Harv's Island all the same.



We love Leif's little cart that he wheels into the plaza from time to time, but we have missed his shop from New Leaf. Luckily, Harv has room for him, too, so we'll be able to buy plants more frequently!

Reese & Cyrus


The married couple have already been in the game as the Wedding Seasons hosts, but now they're back to their old ways as well, helping you craft and customise furniture. "But I can already do that," you cry — well, the furniture they can customise will be different, and only customisable with them. For some reason. You can find them both at Harv's Island!



Kicks can appear in the plaza every now and again, selling shoes, socks, and bags after the Able Sisters CRUELLY took over the only clothes shop in town, but now he'll get the chance to kick it at Harv's Island, too.

Who's still missing?

Some people have favourites that still aren't in the game, and we don't blame you... but we probably won't be seeing these ones unless Nintendo has some surprises up their sleeves. Maybe they'll visit The Roost, though...



Isabelle's baby brother has, in the past, been tied to the Happy Home Academy — but we didn't see him in Happy Home Paradise. Perhaps the pups fell out?

Pelly, Phyllis, and Pete

The three postal pelicans haven't been seen since New Leaf... and they aren't even mentioned in New Horizons. Then who was mail?!?!


Not everyone will miss the slightly unnerving blank-faced cat, who would ask you to draw on her face, but... well... she's not here any more.

Booker and Copper

Do we really need cops on a paradise island? No. But they could at least run the Lost and Found like they used to...


Whether you like the angry mole or not, it would be nice to see his face again, or visit him in his little underground hole.


Gracie has been pretty much entirely replaced by Label, so we're not likely to see her lovely long neck any time soon.

Kapp'n's family (Leilani, Leila, and Grams)

Since we're getting Kapp'n... maybe we'll get to meet his wife, daughter, and mum? These three kappas ran Tortimer Island and the gift shop in New Leaf, so they could make a return... or they could be at home, having gotten rich off all the money you spent at Tortimer's Island.

So, there you have it — a ton of new animal friends, coming to your Nintendo Switch on November 5th. Some are only available in the paid DLC, of course, but let us know what you think of the new additions, and whether you really miss some of the unconfirmed ones, too, in the comments below!

This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which includes a Complete Fish List, Complete Bug List and Complete Sea Creatures List. If you're looking for specific fish or bug, we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Mahi-Mahi, Giant Trevally, Stringfish, Golden Trout and all the Sharks and Beetles, along with a full list of Critters leaving at the end of the month. We've also compiled a Complete Villager List and a Complete List of K.K. Slider Songs, as well as the Best Custom Design Codes and Islands we've found so far, and the best islands to visit using Dream Address Codes.

We can also help with How to Spot Redd's Fake Paintings and Statues, How to Make Bells Fast, How to Breed Flowers, How to Get more DIY Recipes, How to Upgrade Nook's Cranny, where and when to find special characters like Gulliver, Sable, Label, Wisp, Celeste, Pirate Gulliver and Jack, plus tips on using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, Cutting Down and Moving Trees, using amiibo on Harv's Island, How to Back Up Your Island Data, How to Time Travel, How to Get a 5-Star Island Rating and a whole lot more.

And finally Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game.