As we wander to the cultural centre of the village, we're surprised at how well the game holds up. Once you adjust to the framerate, Wild World hasn't aged too badly at all. Sure, visually it's a bit ragged, and we're not sure how we ever managed with an inventory this small, but the core experience is the same old solid game, and the character dialogue is up there with the latest entry.
Blathers accepts the package and tells us about a shady character who came to the café selling insurance. We decide to drop in on Brewster for a damn fine cup of Joe (a bit acidic, but strangely refreshing). We're sure he'll return again soon in New Horizons.
We peruse the exhibits while we're there - two spaces for paintings are still vacant. Shocker! The New Horizons museum knocks this one's socks off in every respect.
Tom Nook and co.
Next up, we check out Nookington's department store. It's certainly a step up from the modest Nook's Cranny that Timmy & Tommy are running back on our Switch island.
Tom Nook's there in his business suit looking far more dapper than he does in shorts and sandals. He's buying turnips for 39 bells today. Yeah, jog on, Nook.
Timmy and Tommy are very excited about today's special item: a white bishop chess piece. We decline the invitation to add it to our catalogue. Probably got it already, anyway.
Having wandered the entire village, everything is looking surprisingly good! If we spent some time (okay, a lot of time) pulling up the weeds and picking up the rotten acorns, it would be a pleasant place to live. Still, we haven't ventured inside our house yet (beyond the bedroom in the start-up menu); it's time to see how we left the old drum.
We walk into a mess of items strewn across the floor and bugs scuttling around. Our main room has a vague Egyptian temple theme, no doubt to appease the H.R.A., and the adjoining rooms are similarly haphazard: a Mush room and something that's supposed to be a garden. We've never had much natural flair when it comes to interior design, mainly because we're such hoarders that it's tough to get something coherent going. Out second floor mad scientist’s lab isn’t bad, though.
Every table in the house is covered with turnips. Placing the vegetables off the floor prevented them from rotting in this game, and we've got dozens of the things in perfect condition, ready to sell when Nook will pay more than 39 Bells a pop.
With the house ticked off the list, there's only one thing — one person — left to see on this nostalgia trip.
Waiting for Angus
Angus has always been our favourite villager. He's haughty and difficult, belligerent, even, but also loveable and he struck a chord when we met him years ago. We couldn't leave without saying 'hi, macmoo'.
However, Angus isn't up yet. So, we wait. 7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM, but still no sign. "I'm catching some z´s now. Wake me and REGRET IT!" reads the sign outside his house. We chat to other people, waiting patiently...
Finally, at 10 AM his front door unlocks and I let myself in. Angus is typically grumpy, but we're confused when he enquires how we knew he'd moved here. What's he talking about? Angus has always lived in Dibly... hasn't he?
Chastised and disheartened, we leave his house and begin looking through the ten (!) letters we carry on our person. We find missives from residents long gone, including Roald (Roald!), Gaston, Pecan, and two from Angus himself.
The first is an invite to his birthday party on 30th April - 'come to my place for cake and some sad jazz music'. No wonder we love him.
The second is a note informing us that he's off:
It seems that Angus moved out once before, and then somehow returned? We've completely blanked on this fact. We'd forgotten that our very favourite villager had packed bags on us and sent a snarky farewell note.
Was this some form of selective memory? Have we just got old and started reminiscing about the good old days, misremembering events and sweeping any unpleasantries under the mental carpet?
Who can say? All we know is that Angus moved out... and then moved back again. That's something, at least. Angus doesn't believe that fool Jack Reacher or whoever it was who said "Never go back". Then again, Angus doesn't pay much attention to anybody. He's a moody git.
Life goes on
Ultimately, heading back to our Wild World town reinforced the subtle, simulated truths that Animal Crossing has always dabbled in. In our absence, life just keeps rolling on; we're really not all that important. Our being away didn't stop Dibly. It's still there waiting for us, and although the faces might change (or mysteriously return), the seasons still come and go and there's always something happening.
Of course, Animal Crossing: Wild World isn't perfect, and in a straight contest against New Horizons, there's no question as to which is the superior game. However, Wild World is packed with personality and that ages very well indeed.
If you've got an Animal Crossing town on an old console, we recommend dropping by the old place. Let us know below how long it has been since you last visited, and if you return, tell us how it — and you — are holding up.
Fab. Cannot have enough Animal Crossing stories. I personally think this site should just go ahead and re-brand itself: Animal Crossing Life.
"Going from 60 fps to whatever this is is jarring, at least at first." ACNH is 30 fps.
Nice and creative feature, Gavin! It’s interesting to revisit older games and see how our opinions of them have changed (or not).
“You can’t go home again.” Thomas Wolfe
@Judgedean Corrected. It felt like 60 after this Cheers
I love Wild World, got so many great memories of the villagers. I dread to think what state my town’s in now.
I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning, I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand
I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
Once you go there was never, never a honest word
And that was when I ruled the world
It was a wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh, who would ever want to be king?
I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Calvary choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world
....I'm afraid to boot up my Wild World game. On top of it just being an old save I haven't visited in years I was just a dumb kid back then who didn't know what he was doing. It's probably a poorly designed mess!
@dartmonkey No problem - glad to help.
@Lordplops and yet you took the time to at least comment if not read the article.
Well that was a nice wee read! New Horizons is my first animal crossing game so I perhaps read this differently to those of you who have played the others. It was interesting to see the differences and similarities, and to see how careful they have been to keep the new game true to its roots.
Since New Horizons, I haven't visited my two New Leaf towns for almost a month.
This was a fun read!
I started Animal Crossing with New Leaf, but I restart every time I play to avoid weed overloads. The last time I played was in March so I could get into the Animal Crossing vibe.
My wild world town is in perfect condition. I've been watering every flower every other day or so for the last two months, so it is quite overrun with them now.
Due to this article, I decided to go back to my old New Leaf town and see what happened to it. It had been over a year since I had gone to it and it was a mess. New Horizons for the win!
I still play wild World lol it's better than New Horizons
I wonder if anyone is still playing this... on a Wii U?
With no wireless support it must be lonely. At least on GC you can locally visit other villagers.
As a player who didn't get on the AC train until New Leaf, I have always found it exciting to see bits of the older games.
Argh my eyes!!
Just think, if Nintneod kept the Wii U going alongside the Switch rather than pretend to keep the 3DS going then Switch would be strictly viewed as a portable handheld w/ TV out and we'd all be marveling at how far Nintnedo has come w/ it's handheld hardware from Gameboy to DS to 3DS to Switch.
But instead the Wii U died and they positioned Switch as a home console you can take with you. Which is good, but a portable Wii U isn't the same "awe" as the improvement from 3DS to Switch as a portable console w/ TV out.
Sorry you had to read all that, my original post was just "Argh my eyes!!" but then I got the "You have to write more" error message, and once I start I can't stop.
I’m afraid to turn my Switch off now.
I actually prefer Wild World to New Horizons, because it is far more laid back. I love that I only need one hand to fully enjoy my town.
@BabyYoshi65 I went back to mine and I got a message that someone had cleared up all the weeds. I think this came with the Welcome Amiibo patch.
Wow, this really is jarring! Can't believe where we've come in gaming.
Lovely article.. in the week before the release of new horizons i visited my old AC:gc village, after more then ten years.. the gc had mvoed up when the wii had arrived i suppose.. door was still a love letter to my ex wife... ai.. the rest mirrors your experience as well..
@dartmonkey Yeah, it sure does feel that way. But I just booted up City Folk just for fun a few days back, and it was weirdly too smooth - that's when I realized that THIS is 60 fps, and NH is only 30.
I've got a save of the original GC version (on the original memory card that came with the game) that I probably haven't touched for at least 15 years now. I assume it looks like a cross between Mad Max and Hello Kitty by now and if I load it up Tom Nook will be the head of a cannibal cult with a large rhino called Eugene in arseless leather chaps as his chief enforcer.
By the way, I sincerely hope Dibly was named after Duane Dibley and not the Vicar of.
Oh back then when the villagers used to have a personality.
A fun article, it's nice to receive a little blast from someone else's past.
As to framerate, I think Wild World's was wildly unstable and even went down to 15fps.
Aurora had the eyes that go red all of the way back in Wild World? o.o Wow. I thought that was new to NH.
Wait you can get sonic background for messages?
I sold my Gamecube and all my games a few years ago so everything is gone now. But I remember checking in from time to time and being horrified by all the weeds and roaches to take care of — that and being dragged by the villagers who kept count of how many days I had not talked to them. Funny feature.
Thanks for the story, it was cool.
In 15 years, will I go back to New Horizons the same way . . . .
Animal Crossing on GameCube had the first Virtual Console service with the NES consoles you could find AND play the games that came with each one. One of the best features of Animal Crossing that never carried over to any after that.
Fun fact, the games (at least the newer ones like Wild World), only keeps track of how long you've been gone for a few months.
So that there so when you return to the game, your town won't have completely gone to ruin and most of your villagers won't have moved out on you.
Unless you're like me, reopening up New Leaf every few months with the intent of playing it again, only to leave it alone for several months again. By the time the amiibo update came around, I had 2 villagers that I kinda liked/knew, and everyone else where basically all strangers.
@TrainerX493 I always just assume I'd return to find Nookville, a host of factories in a plume of smog making cheap trinkets, and a now very unstable Blathers running experiments on the villagers in his glass cases.
Is it just me or is it jarring to see someone sir l write in the first person plural when it's clearly an individual's experience? I mean, it makes sense when someone is writing a review as it's kind of supposed to represent the site as a whole, but here...?
Phrases like "an 18-month period where we played the game every single day" just sound weird when it's obviously just Gavin speaking.
@FiveDigitLP We wants it, precious. It keeps it from us!
Nice bit of nostalgia. I'm literally playing through Rainbow six 3 on Game cube via HDMI and apart from the poor frame rate, it is just as tense as I remember. God I hope they bring back Doors in the next Rainbow.
@Judgedean I can lve with the 30fps on NH, at least it runs at native res.
But I wish the loading times were shorter.
Wild World was a good game with a fantastic soundtrack. Overall, I like it the least, however, since it didn't have holidays such as Halloween and Christmas in it whatsoever.
I loved this game, but did it really look that bad, of course the smaller DS screen made it look better in person, but still being spoiled by the glory of new horizons visuals.
Goodreads! I want to be cyberbullied in my animal crossing town!
this reminds me, i have to check up on my village from my GameCube. i have a few villages; one of them hasn't been touched since week one of the game.
at one point i just created as many towns i could with the intention of every town having a different fruit. also, i was trying to see if i could get two or more identical town. and, i did with the exception of their native fruit.
now to check up all of my old villages that are decades old and yes i cheated on some of these villages. since the game clock years stops at December 31st 2030 it will always reset to 2030 once you startup the game again after new years of January 2031.
its odd to see a game end on January st 2031 and start back up on December 31st 2031 even after it being started up on the 2nd of 2031. the in game clock keeps going on and on and on, but always resets to the last day apon startup.
has anyone here tried leaving their GameCube on all year or more to see if it will make it to 2032? or are we all smart enough not to over work the game console.
for all know there is a geek out there that modded the game so that you can set the in game clock past 2030. for all i know there is an action replay code that will allow up to set the date all the way up to 2130 and beyond. i wounder how much weeds there would be after 1000+ or even 1000+ years.
and how would all the animals react to that many years of abandonment? too bad it maxes out around 18 years. 2002 through 2030. (plus the first day of 2031 unless you want to leave your system on all day and all night without exiting to save your game progress)
Nice article. Back in those days my ex girlfriend and I played that game a ton together. We each had a DS Lite and would spend a lot of time playing together helping each other out. We still keep in touch from time to time and she's deep into New Horizons and I haven't played anything Animal Crossing since Wild World. The game in general is not my cup of tea however sharing it with someone made it more worth while and unique experience. When her and I broke up that pretty much ended my Wild World playing along with any future Animal Crossing games. My current girlfriend is the complete opposite type and is very anti anything video games so there's zero chance of experiencing that with someone again currently. No big deal I'm happy and fulfilled with that past time.
@Rayquaza2510 Same - this type of game is fine at 30fps with its slow pace.
I started replaying New Leaf at the start of lockdown 2.0. That game holds up really well, especially as so much of its content either isn't yet or is unlikely to make it to New Horizons.
I still go back and clean mine every now and then.
@FiveDigitLP Not just you, it's really jarring. The editorial "we" is not appropriate for every article, and I've always found it very weird that NLife insist on using for everything. No other journal or website does this.
you can also still play online no need to hack your system all you need is wiimmfi's dns in DS connections
So, you all have the same ex? I guess that's why it didn't work out.
@AlienX Nice Last Window icon
The first Aninal Crossing (GameCube) is still the best of them all and it has aged quite well in my opinion. I have played and own all the Animal Crossing games but I still find Population Growing to be superior in many angles.
@Goat_FromBOTW : I have noticed that the games have become progressively less witty since the GameCube game (though my first AC game was Wild World, I have seen my share of GC footage and thought "Why can't we have that anymore?"), and the dialogue in New Horizons has been byfar the worst yet. The use of modern lingo also stands out as anachronistic, and I cannot help but be annoyed when I encounter it as it will inevitably date the game sooner than previous instalments.
I made a comment elsewhere that I suspected that such changes were likely made to avoid "offending" anybody and/or due to a generational shift as the dialogue is likely to have been written by a younger, inexperienced, and less literary team, and the game is all the poorer for it considering how integral the dialogue is to the game. The most egregious casualty is Resetti, who was allegedly expelled due to being too "mean" or "scary".
I previously proposed that Resetti could be brought back to make an announcement whenever a new software update has been made (and he can mercilessly disparage the developers for their many oversights) which would be a great use of the character, but alas, he, like so many other visitors/guests, have gone AWOL. Most of their amiibo cards won't even spawn the characters on Harv's Island, suggesting that their data/character models aren't even in the game (although they do unlock a poster).
I have seen some of the "gamer" types that have gone on to find work in the industry, and I maintain that dialogue ought to be written by more literary, non-gamer types, and without the insidious injection of one's biased ideological position into something that never existed in the original (Japanese) work. There are certain unnecessary elements being incorporated into Western games as "standard" features nowadays, and if Nintendo ever makes such elements a mainstay, then I am out.
I have revisited my village a few months ago, and was pretty disappointed. Apart from the abundance of weeds (yaay!) nothing else has changed, really.
I also recall writing a letter to "future me" back then, but can't remember when I had dated it as I hadn't yet received it.
This is pretty cool.
I did this the week before acnh arrived, booting AC gamecube, similar experience to here.. without brewster obv.
I have still never played an AC game, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article.
K.K. Slider: “... Cool. Thanks for chilling with my Viva la Vida cover. Look in your pockets—I slipped a copy. Dig?”
Wild World was my first Animal Crossing game, and I didn't really care for it. Just seemed like there was nothing to do other than try to pay off your exorbitant mortgage that Tom Nook insisted on foisting on you whether you asked for it or not. The series didn't really click with me until New Leaf which at 500+ hours was my most played 3DS game, and now there's New Horizons which is on its way to eclipsing my New Leaf play time.
I've only ever owned the GameCube version and I haven't played it in years. If I ever fire it up again, I expect to see weeds everywhere outside and cockroaches in my house.
Using "we" constantly, when this is clearly the experience of a single person, is really out of place and a poor choice of wording.
We find very disturbing the use of the "we" pronoun when it should clearly be written from an "I" perspective. We hope it won't happen too often.
Fired up New Leaf a few weeks ago (haven't played in 5 years or so), and man I forget how odd some of the things were. I was looking for Nook's place but forgot that it doesn't exist in the game. And then came updates for camping, and a whole other place to visit (with the rebranding). Needless to say I wanted to get back into before I play NH but it was just too overwhelming to try and figure out the old stuff AND all the new updates that have came through.
It's ok. Have a glass of wine and relax.
Oi! He's got a crown so it's obviously the 'Royal We'.
@k8sMum That was 6 months ago. Not that I've gotten any more relaxed, holiday shopping for my family always stresses me out, and we're still in a pandemic, and an ongoing coup attempt, so I could still use that glass of wine, just wanted to point out it's for different reasons than 6 months ago. 😁
Happy holidays. 🎄
I never even noticed the date. Not that it matters as time is now measured in dog's years.
2020: the year it all went sideways. As you say, between the pandemic and the banana republic coup attempt, it often feels as if we've slipped into an alternate reality. Covid deaths have now reached more than combat deaths in WWII. Loneliness is the only company some have now.
Ah, well. Onwards and upwards, as they say. Peace and health to you and yours. Happy Holidays.
@k8sMum Things are so bad in this alternate reality I'm waiting for people to start saying Disney+ started the pandemic just to get more people to sign up for their service. (If they did it worked, 86 million is insane.) Maybe in cahoots with HBO Max. No more free trials offered by either one makes them worse than drug dealers - can't even get the first hit for free anymore.
Anyway streaming services is my current distraction in case you couldn't tell, signed up for 3 last month, both those 2 for Christmas. Just bought my wife a comfy chair as her gift to sit in to watch it all as she's off for 11 days and we have no plans but binging. B/c 2020. 🎄
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