[Update: Thu 26th Jan, 2023 21:00 GMT]
Now that the Japanese version of the remake of A Wonderful Life is out, we finally have our answer to the question "what's up the hill?"
It's nothing. Worse than nothing, even: it just skips 6 hours of time. That's it.
YouTuber Josh's Gaming Garden has been playing the game in Japanese and translating it for viewers, and it seems like it's just a way to skip to the end of a work day. That doesn't mean it'll forever be a dead end — maybe there will be DLC up there some day — but for now, the answer to a 20-year old mystery is as much of a disappointment as the ending to Lost.
[Original: Thu 19th Jan, 2023 20:00 GMT]
For those of us who didn't have a link cable or a Game Boy Advance, the GameCube era sometimes felt like you were getting locked out of content that all the richer kids on the playground would boast about. There was the Tingle Tuner in Wind Waker, new content and secrets in games from Harry Potter to Crash Bandicoot, and an entire new town in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life.
Back on the GameCube, A Wonderful Life had a path near the farm that went up a hill, but it didn't go anywhere. Trying to go up the path would lead to a cutscene where the Harvest Sprites would halt you, saying that you could find out "what's going on" by linking up with Friends of Mineral Town on the Game Boy Advance, which required the link cable, a GBA, and a copy of the game.
Combining a copy of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town with A Wonderful Life would open up Mineral Town to the people living in Forget-Me-Not Valley. Admittedly, the player still couldn't go there themselves — the Harvest Sprites would still stop you, and apparently all you'd get out of the bargain was some extra music and a few new recipes brought back from the NPCs who were allowed to leave. A bit underwhelming, to be sure... but for people who didn't have the opportunity to find that out for themselves, it felt like being stopped by a bouncer outside a club where cool stuff might have been happening.
According to a fan translation of an official Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life stream, which showed off an hour of playtime in Japanese, that town might be accessible at last — or, at the very least, that path actually has a use. Josh's Gaming Garden has the scoop (starting at 6:46):
In the stream, Daiki Yamashita heads to the path, only to get the dialogue that it will take six hours to get there, implying that it takes most of the day to travel to this town — but that it is possible. Unfortunately, Yamashita does not take the option to go to the town, so we still don't have all the answers.
What do you hope is at the end of that path? Did you manage to link up Friends of Mineral Town to A Wonderful Life, or were you left out in the cold like us? Tell us in the comments below.