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Animal Crossing (GameCube) artwork

Animal Crossing (GameCube) review

"It was a couple of days before Halloween, and I’d decided to move out of my parent’s basement and take up residency in a sunny little forest village called Jerktown. With a name like that, how could the town be anything but a nice place to live? With that logic in mind, I boarded a train with nothing more than the clothes on my back and a small sum of money. "

It was a couple of days before Halloween, and I’d decided to move out of my parent’s basement and take up residency in a sunny little forest village called Jerktown. With a name like that, how could the town be anything but a nice place to live? With that logic in mind, I boarded a train with nothing more than the clothes on my back and a small sum of money.

I took a seat on the train, and stared endlessly out the window, enjoying the scenery and the constant noise of the rocking carriage. I looked up and saw the door at the front of the carriage open, its creaky wood scraping against itself. In walked a cat. I tried to look away, but it was too late. We made eye contact, and he came to sit in the vacant seat opposite me. We engaged in some petty small talk; he seemed pretty interested in my name, where I was going, and he probed me about my motives for moving. Normally I’d ignore such trivialities, but it was a long train ride, so someone to talk to wouldn’t be so bad after all.

When I mentioned that I was moving to Jerktown, he looked quite thoughtful, then got up and began speaking on the phone to his friend who ran the store there. Soon after, he returned and informed me that there would be a vacant house for me when I arrived at my destination.

Upon arrival at Jerktown, a Raccoon who introduced himself as Tom Nook spotted me. Although I didn’t have enough money to pay for the house on offer, he agreed to give me a loan. I had a look around town. I admired the autumn leaves that had fallen to the ground, and the vibrant red cherries sitting in trees. I looked at the river, watching the water flow peacefully downstream, and the shadows of small fish swimming to and fro.

I noticed a giant rabbit that owned a house across the bridge on the way to Nook’s store.
I decided to make conversation with him. He introduced himself as Gaston, and promptly told me to get off his lawn.

Over the next few hours, I worked for Nook. He had me plant some flowers, and then told me to introduce myself to everyone in town. I had already met Gaston, but on my explorations around town, I met Olivia, a glamorous white cat who found my antics to be unrefined, but amusing; Bob, a purple cat with a bad memory; a cute little green frog whose name escapes me, and my closest neighbour, and a pig named Cobb, who soon became my best friend in Jerktown.

Cobb defined cool. While I had made lukewarm impressions with most of my neighbours, Cobb was always willing to be my friend. We shared many conversations. After working all day catching fish to pay off my loan, it was great to visit Cobb and have a chat. But, one night, I found him down near the Wishing Well. He looked out towards the ocean and told me that he was thinking of moving out of Jerktown.

A few days later, he was gone. He sent me a letter telling me he wanted to see the world; he couldn’t just stay cooped up in Jerktown for the rest of his life. He said he might come back one day. He never did.

I thought it was best to move on. Cobb wasn’t coming back. I managed to make friends with some newcomers to the town, but it was my friendship with Olivia that blossomed. Perhaps this was because I always did little chores for her, such as getting her items back from other neighbours, or delivering things. Though she still thought she was better than me, she grew to accept me for who I was. She would often say things like “What would I do without you?” The good times with Olivia didn’t last though, as she moved out soon after.

I became a social outcast after that. All my closest friends had moved out, while all those who I did not like so much would stick around. I took to staying in my basement and playing NES games. I’d play games such as Donkey Kong, Excitebike and Tennis. Though they weren’t great games, I did have a little fun with them. I never did manage to land a copy of The Legend of Zelda, or Super Mario Bros.

My house was much larger now, and I had gathered many possessions. I had a bed, some tables, a television and a few ornaments, which were all very kitsch. I barely left the house, except to catch fish, and dig up the five fossils that always forced their way to the topsoil every morning.

The museum was very pleased with my work. I had donated fossils to complete the whole wing of the museum. I could go in there, and admire huge skeletons of the Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops and many more. I then turned my attention to fish and insects, but I never completed it, as many fish and insects could only be found at certain times of the year, and I had spent only a month in Jerktown so far.

I visited a little shop south of the wishing well, which specialized in designing clothing and patterns for umbrellas. I decided to design clothes, and shortly after making a few cool outfits, I saw some of my neighbours wearing them. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to break the ice. They remained strangers to me.

Sometimes, I would enjoy walking along the beach, watching the waves crash against the sand. Sometimes I’d pick up seashells, or cast my fishing line into the sea in hopes of catching something that wasn’t a boot or a sea bass. I’d enjoy the sombre tunes of the evening as I saw it get darker.

One evening, as I was walking along the beach, I spotted a house that I was sure had not been there before. Standing outside was a yellow canary named Twiggy. After our introductions, she became my new best friend, and I soon found my way back into the social circle. And just in time, because Harvest Day (I assume this is something like Thanksgiving) was upon us.

During the Harvest Day feast, I took to stealing cutlery and giving it to a Turkey, who would give me furniture in return. I enjoyed running up to the table and sneaking away with the cutlery. Everyone commented on it, but no one knew I was the fiend behind it.

I started getting letters in regards to how I kept my house. They said it was amazing, since all my furniture was now of the same set, thanks to the Turkey.

As the months rolled on, I would continue fishing, as it was the best way to gather money. I was still in debt to Tom Nook, as he kept bullying me into bigger and grander renovations. One Sunday, I bought five hundred turnips at 76 bells each, and the next day, Tom Nook bought them for 600 bells each. I was rich! I paid off all my debts, and even deposited some cash in a savings account I opened at the post office.

But something happened. Now that I did not need to pay for anything, I started doing much less at Jerktown. I became a vegetable over night. I wasn’t working, I wasn’t socializing with the other animals, and I wasn’t even doing chores for anyone. What started as a simple introversion soon became complete anti-socialism as I began planting trees around people’s houses so they couldn’t get out, and everywhere else I would cut down trees and dump garbage around the place.

I had transformed Jerktown from a pleasant hillside forest town into a barren wasteland. I didn’t even know any of the animals anymore, except for Gaston, who reprimanded me constantly about standing on his lawn. Weeds began to grow around town, and they soon covered nearly every inch of Jerktown.

I no longer cared about possessions, only money. I sold off all my furniture and NES games, just to make a quick buck. The next Sunday, I spent my entire savings on Turnips. I had thousands of them sitting in my house, waiting for a day Tom Nook would buy them at a high price. That day didn’t come.

Saturday night rolled around, and my Turnips had become useless. I was broke; I had a basement full of expired turnips; I had no friends, and the town was a complete mess. All I had left to my name was a solid gold statue of myself, and a three-story house, which was now completely empty. I decided to cut my losses and move out.

I did one last kind act as I left. I ordered the town to be destroyed. Everyone who was still living in Jerktown was killed, even after pleading with me to reconsider. Jerktown was no more. I moved back into my parent’s basement. I realized I had exactly what I started with… the clothes on my back and a small sum of cash.

I had enjoyed an exciting but short-lived time in Jerktown. At first I was thriving on the fishing business, playing NES games and making friends with my neighbours. But somewhere along the line, I lost track of it all. I turned the once beautiful Jerktown into a dump, and in the end I had wiped its very existence off the map. Without the goal of a debt to pay off, I quickly lost interest in it.

All I have to show for it is this story. I enjoyed living in Jerktown at first. I had fun with all the things I could do, such as fishing, fossil collecting, doing chores for neighbours and many more that would create one very long list. Though first few months were great, the final couple of weeks where I got bored were unfortunate. Once I became bored, I became anti social and destructive. If I moved into another town, it might meet a similar fate even sooner.

If you choose to move into a town similar to Jerktown, don’t neglect it like I did. Don’t take the easy way out by destroying the town. Make your friends and keep them. You’ll only get out what you put in. Keep that in mind before making the commitment.

I said that I left with exactly what I started with, but that’s not entirely true. The memories stayed with me, and I could still remember the good times, and I may have learned something from the whole experience. “Apathy equals death” seems a fitting moral.

Jerktown may be gone, but those friends I cared about had moved away - Cobb, Olivia, Twiggy… they’re still out there somewhere, in another town. I may find them again.

jerec's avatar
Community review by jerec (May 15, 2009)

On very rare occasions, Jerec finds a game that inspires him to write stuff about. The rest of the time he just hangs around being sarcastic.

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