It was only released in Japan until PlayStation Portable port of the game, Harvest Moon: Boy & Girl, was translated to English. The game is very similar to Harvest Moon: Back To Nature, except the player character in the game is Claire, who takes the place of Pete to try and save the farm.
Unlike other Bokujō Monogatari games at the time, this game is the first to implement 3D graphics, and the first to focus on a purely female perspective.
The game starts with the player washed up and unconscious, on the beach of Mineral Town. Suddenly, she has a flashback. In this flashback, she is on the side of a cruise ship staring at the sky and thinking about the her life's direction. She then meets a poet and ends up spending a lot of time with him as he teaches her a lot about living.
One day, a storm hits the ship, causing a shipwreck. Claire then drifts onto the beach of Mineral Town, where she is rescued by Zack and one mystery boy. Claire then wakes up in an abandoned farm and Mayor Thomas introduces himself to her. Because she has nowhere to go, Mayor Thomas allows Claire to live on the farm. Claire, who now has a bit of amnesia, remembers the words of the poet and finding a meaning in life. She then decides to raise the farm and hunts for the mystery boy.
The gameplay is exactly the same as Back to Nature. It is your goal to work the land and care for livestock. At first, you are given a hoe, a sickle, a hammer, and an axe in order to clear up and work the debris-cluttered land. Later on, you can upgrade your tools and obtain more in order to do more tasks.
Aside from farming, you are also expected to interact with the townsfolk and have a family. Talk to them, give them gifts they like (especially on their birthdays), and learn more about them with the myriad of events you can come across during the course of the game.
- Main Article : Crops
Growing crops is the main game play mechanic in the Harvest Moon series, and you can grow different type of crops.
Each season offers a different variety of crops/flowers you can grow. In order to get grow crops/flowers, you can purchase crop seeds at Jeff's Supermarket, or flower seeds at Won's Market. To plant crops/flowers, till the land with hoe, plant your seeds, and water them with the watering can. Some crops/flowers take longer to grow than others; they all fetch a different price and some are renewable.
For each season, there is also a secret crop that can be unlocked after shipping a hundred of each of that season's crops. After building a hothouse, you can grow any plant you want at any time of the year.
Aside from growing crops and flowers, grass (all year except winter) can be grown to use as fodder (when cut with sickle) or as a pasture for cows and sheep.
Chicks are the infant form of a Chicken, and can't be bought. However, they can be raised by hatching a chicken egg (placing the egg in the incubator). A chick doesn't need to be fed.
Chickens can be bought from Poetry Farm at the price of 1500 G. A chicken will produce an egg every day and is the only animal that can produce an infant without paying extra money (egg on incubator). Chickens gain heart affection the fastest comparative to other animals. A chicken can take part in the Chicken Sumo Festival.
Calves are the infant form of Cows and can't be bought. It is acquired by impregnating an adult cow. Like chicks and lambs, it can't produce any product; however, it is required to be fed in order to survive.
Cows are bought in Yodel Ranch at the price of 6000 G. At first in the adulthood stage, they can't produce any milk, but when they grow into the adult stage, they are the only animal to produce the best profit. A cow can attend the Cow Festival.
Lambs are the infant form of Sheep. It can only be acquired by impregnating an adult sheep. Like calves, it needs to be fed and despite having wool, it can't be sheered.
Sheep can be bought at Yodel Ranch at the price of 4000 G. Despite having wool, it can't be sheered until it reaches its adult stage. Sheep produce wool every 7 days, in a long term, they produce higher profit. Sheep can attend the Sheep Festivals.
Fish make their debut in this game, but unlike many livestock, they aren't visible. The Watering Pond in your farm is the spot to raise fish. To raise a fish, simply catch a fish and throw it in the pond. Fish eat fish food (bought in Supermarket) and the fish population duplicates overtime.
Bees debuted in this game too, however, like fish, they aren't visible. Bees could only acquired by planting flowers in summer. When the flowers sprout, they will arrive and makes a nest on the apple tree the next day. Bees produces honey every day.
Pets play a bigger role in this game compared to the past Harvest Moon game. The player starts off with a puppy, which could then grow into a dog. A dog helps defend livestock against stray dogs and herd animals to go back into the barn (if bell is rung). An event in the game allows the player dog to mate with Hana (Barley’s dog) and produce 2 puppies, where you would then search for an owner for one for the new born pup Stu or Gotz).
The next pet is a horse; it starts off as a pony, which cannot be ridden. Like dog, horse doesn’t need to be fed. However, it is required to brush it every day or Barley would take it away at the end of the year. A pony can be acquired by planting 24 squares of grass or visiting Yodel Ranch on day 2. A horse can be ridden around the farm; it carries a saddle (which acts like a bin). Horses can enter the Horse Festival.
Fishing can be done with a rod; a rod can be acquired by fisherman Greg. To fish, the player hold down the 'Square' button, when an exclamation mark appears, release the button to fish the fish up.
This game introduces "Fish King", allowing players to collect. Sea kings are difficult to catch and special requirements are needed, ranging from offering a fish as a tribute to fishing in a particular area.
Harvest Moon: Back To Nature features over forty characters with whom the player can interact. Out of them, five young men are eligible marriage partners, while five young ladies will be your rivals for their affection.
In order to woo a boy, you must give him gifts that he likes. His heart level is represented by the heart underneath the portrait, which ranges from black to red.
As you get to know the boys more, one will see heart events. If the questions are answered correctly, he will come to like the character even more.
- Cliff - A young vagrant who recently found himself in Mineral Town. He usually stays in one place for a while until he runs out of money, and then heads to the next place. However, you can get him a job at the Winery, thus getting him to stay in town. He likes some spa-boiled eggs.
- Doctor - The serious young man running the Clinic. Doctor is very much absorbed with his work, though he tries to do his best for everyone in town. However, he often feels that not many people like him. Pastor Carter is one of his only friends. His favourite gifts are mushrooms, blue grass, and green grass.
- Rick - Interestingly enough, Rick is the only bachelor candidate who is native to Mineral Town. Along with his mother, he tends to the chickens at the Poultry Farm. He is an extremely high strung but hard-working young man who is faced with the responsiblity of being the man of the house in his father's absence. Often, Rick conflicts with his younger sister, Popuri, though he tries his best to be a good older brother to her. He feels she should not be dating Kai. He loves egg and honey.
- Gray - As a former city dweller, Gray initially does not take to the idea of living in the "boondox". After meeting Mary, he looks at things a bit more optimistically, though he still struggles with his grandfather, the blacksmith Saibara. Gray is his grandfather's apprentice, though he complains that his grandfather never praises him for anything he does. He likes all the ores you can see at the mine except for junk ore.
- Kai - Kai knows how to charm the ladies, yet he always seems to rub men the wrong way. Every summer, he visits Mineral Town and runs a snack stand (The Seaside Lounge). For the rest of the year, Kai goes down south since he's not a fan of cold weather. He often quarrels with Rick, who in turn can't stand him. He appreciates flour.
Wooing a boy is not exactly easy. Every boy has another girl who's interested in them as well. If you don't marry any one of the boys, one of these girls will marry him instead.
- Ann - Ann works at the Inn along with her father. She has been quite the tomboy since her mother passed away. Once Cliff comes to town, she ends up doing her best to befriend him. She's sometimes overzealous to impress Cliff, who is her love interest.
- Elli - A nurse at the local clinic who has an upbeat and kind personality. A few years ago, her parents died, and she has been raising her little brother and caring for her grandmother ever since. Right from the start of the game, she has a crush on her boss, the Doctor.
- Karen - An aggressive girl that lives with her parents, Jeff and Sasha, behind the Supermarket. Her hobbies include dancing, singing, and hanging out at the bar and drinking. She will be your rival for Rick, her childhood friend.
- Mary - Runs the town library, even though it's rare that she gets visitors. Though Mary is shy and soft-spoken, she will open up to you with interesting things to say. She is your rival for Gray who regularly visits the library.
- Popuri - She's a childish yet perky girl. She often quarrels with her older brother Rick about her responsibilities at the Poultry Farm. She likes Kai who comes only during the summer.
They are the residents of Mineral Town who you can interact with. Some of them run stores from which you can buy things you need. Befriending them may also unlock new events, so it is highly encouraged to do so.
- Anna - Lives with her daughter Mary and her husband, Basil. Though she often seems a bit haughty and snobbish at first, she turns out to be nicer than expected. Her husband is very much into botany, and while she can't understand his obsession, she joins him on his nature hikes regardless.
- Basil - As the town's botanist, he has written many books that his daughter Mary keeps in her library. He seems to have a one-track mind during conversation (according to his wife), and loves talking about plants. On Mondays, he takes his wife and daughter on nature hikes in Mother's Hill, and the only thing that can stop him is the wrath of nature (i.e inclement weather).
- Barley - A friendly old man who runs the Yodel Ranch, where he specializes in raising and selling cows and sheep. His daughter, Joanna, returned to town several years previously and left him with her daughter, May, whom he has been raising ever since.
- Carter - A rather eccentric, but kind-hearted pastor. He often contemplates what he could be doing with his life. Also, he looks out for many other people, often bringing up his concerns for the children in town and the homeless people in the town where he used to live.
- Doug - The proprietor of the Inn. Since Doug is such a hard worker, he never takes a day off unless it's Fall 5th, the anniversary of his wife's death. Though Doug has raised his daughter Ann to be a bit tomboyish, he wants to see her get married soon.
- Duke - Runs the Aja Winery along with his wife, Manna, with whom he frequently quarrels. He seems to have a drinking problem, and can often be found at the Inn's bar at night.
- Ellen - Grandmother of Elli and Stu, and former midwife. Now, she mostly stays at home since she can't walk very well. According to Elli, she gets lonely from time to time, but thankfully, Sasha and Mayor Thomas visit her regularly.
- Gotz - A rugged carpenter who lives alone on the outskirts of town. He'll do carpentry work for you around the farm. Later in the game, you learn that he at one point had a family of his own but that they died in blizzard.
- Greg - A rather old fisherman who spends his weekend fishing at the beach. It's hard to find him. He seems to mostly keep to himself.
- Harris - The Mayor's son. He patrols the town, often mentioning that since the town is so safe, there is not much for him to do.
- Jeff - A meek man who runs the Supermarket along with his daughter Karen and his wife Sasha. Since he is often very kind and submissive, he allows people to convince him that they'll charge food bills to their tabs and pay later. Unfortunately, they seem not to pay too often, something that causes Jeff constant grief.
- Kano - The town's photographer, who never discloses much about himself. He lives with Thomas and Harris.
- Lillia - Lillia runs Chicken Lil's with her son (Rick) and her daughter (Popuri), though she's mysteriously ill. Her husband left a long time ago in order to find a cure for her sickness, but in his absence she finds she would rather have him at home. Her children's constant bickering proves to sometimes annoy her.
- Louis - Raises bees and lives with Gotz.
- Manna - Manna is known around town as a notorious gossip. She will often speak on incessantly about everyone in town. Along with her husband, Duke, she runs the Aja Winery, which is named after her daughter. At times, she worries about her daughter, who ran away from Mineral Town years ago.
- May - Barley's granddaughter, who has been living in Mineral Town ever since her mother left her there. She eventually makes friends with Stu.
- Saibara - The often grumpy blacksmith in town. He seems to be rather hard on Gray, though he seems to like that he hangs out with Mary. Go to him if you want your tools upgraded.
- Sasha - Jeff's wife and Karen's mother. Sasha picks up the slack with the outstanding tabs at the Supermarket, since Jeff is often too meek to stand up for himself. She visits Ellen on Tuesdays.
- Stu - Elli's little brother. Since his older sister works long hours and his grandmother doesn't have the energy to keep up with him, he's often restless and lonely. Eventually, Carter takes on him and May and watches them at the church in the afternoon.
- Thomas - The Mayor of Mineral Town.
- Won - A crooked salesman who can sometimes cut you a good deal. He can be found at the Inn at 1PM
- Zack - He picks up your shipped crops every day (except on holidays) at 5PM. Soon, he begins mentioning that he's in love with a married woman, who turns out to be Lillia.
- Gourmet - This man only appears during the cooking contest. He will judge all the dishes brought to the contest, including yours if you entered your dish in the contest.
- Gauguin - Gauguin is a cat belonging to Karen.
- Hana - Hana is Barney's and May's pet dog. An event would occur where it would befriend with the player's dog and produces 2 puppies.
- Harvest Goddess - Harvest Goddess is the goddess of Mineral Town. She is located in the waterfall, when a player offers a enough offering, she would grant players several wishes.
- Kappa - Kappa can only be interacted 3 times. Kappa is found in Mother's Lake by throwing cucumber at a certain time. When 3 cucumber is thrown, Kappa rewards the player with a powerberry.
- Solitary Cedar Tree - Solitary Cedar Tree only interacts with the player's once. It is located in the mountain. When the attempt to chop it down, it would beg not to, if the player doesn't, it would reward a power berry. However, if a player attempt to chop down the tree again, the cedar tree would immediately cause the player to faint.
- Grandpa - Grandpa is only seen in the beginning of the game. He was noted to have a great farm and raised many livestock (through images). However, when he died, his farm was neglected.
- Your child - The son is the player's son. It does not have any purpose.
- Harvest Sprites - Harvest sprites in a hut behind the Church. They host tea party in spring and if they're friends with the player, they would help the player out in the farm.
- Aja - Manna and Duke's daughter, as well as Harris' love interest. However, she left MIneral Town due to his dad being a heavy drinker.
- Rod- Lillia's husband is friend with the mayor and Basil. When Lillia fell sick, he left Mineral Town to search for a medicine and was never heard of again. He left before the game starts.
- May's Mother - May's mother had a bad reputation of being an uncaring mother who only cared about her own career. She left before the game starts.
- Gotz' Family - Gotz had a wife and a daughter, they were known to live happily together. However, one day a storm hit Mineral Town and Gotz's Wife and Daughter was killed when they were in the mountain. This leads to Gotz's depression.
Throughout the year, there are a variety of festivals you can attend. Some festivals involve competition, while others are meant to be celebrated with a date. Others don't fall into either category.
- Spring 1st- New Year's Day (Note: Since you move to town on this day, you will not attend this festival during your first year.)
- Spring 8th- Goddess Festival
- Spring 14th- Spring Thanksgiving
- Spring 18th- Horse Race
- Spring 22nd- Cooking Festival
- Summer 1st- Opening Day
- Summer 7th- Chicken Festival
- Summer 12th- Tomato Festival
- Summer 20th- Cow Festival
- Summer 24th- Fireworks Festival
- Fall 3rd- Music Festival
- Fall 9th- Harvest Festival
- Fall 13th- Moon Viewing
- Fall 21st- Sheep Festival
- Winter 10th- Dog Race
- Winter 14th- Winter Thanksgiving
- Winter 24th- Starry Night Festival
- Winter 30th- New Year's Eve
This game ends once the main character gets married. As shown in most endings, the character ends up leaving Mineral Town with her husband. In this game, the bachelor proposes to you; instead of you proposing to the bachelor. Each Proposal is different dates when you will marry with him.
- If you married Rick, your marriage will be in a week.
- If you married Cliff, your marriage will be in a week.
- If you married Kai, your marriage will be on Falls 1.
- If you married Gray, your marriage will be on the next day.
- If you married Doctor, your marriage will be in a week
Main Article : Power Berry (BTN)
Power Berries made a return in this game, Power Berries are scattered around Mineral Town and each one is found differently (some easy and some more difficult). A Power Berry increases the player's stamina.
Cooking and Recipes
Cooking made its debut in Harvest Moon Back to Nature. Unlike Harvest Moon 64, where the players are allowed to collect recipes, this game allows the player to collect and cook those recipes. The cooked food could be used as a gift or entering the Cooking festival. To cook, a player must have the required ingredients and cooking utensil (which can be bought via TV shopping).
These are the following shops available in the game:
- Gotz Construction
- Poultry Farm
- Yodel Ranch
- Won's Shop
- TV Shopping
Boy Version & Girl Version Differences
- Festivals are changed to fit the female perspective (e.g. player is allowed to participate in the Goddess festivals).
- Courting the bachelors, instead of bachelorettes
- The game ends when married
- Storyline and the story of the main character changed
- House is remodel to fit a female look (blue to pink)
- Additional furniture, such as mirrors
- Beauty Stars feature is implemented
- Doug will be nice to you from the beginning of the game
Harvest Moon: Back to Nature and its female version, Bokujō Monogatori: Harvest Moon for Girl, are ported in PSP as one. It should be noted it is a direct port and not a remake, no additional feature is added, except for minor change in controls.
- This is one of the few Bokujō Monogatari games to allow players to give more than 1 gift per day to increase the NPC's friend points and love points.
- Many characters are from Harvest Moon 64, however, Doctor, Pastor Carter and Won (not counting the Harvest Sprites) are the only unique characters
- The Red Mail Box located between the Super Market and Hospital serves no purpose and acts as a decoration. However, unlike other decoration in the game, the Red Mail Box can be interacted with the text "Where is this place?" It is unknown what its purpose is, but it is believed it was planned for an event.
- Zack's house is the only house that can't be entered.
- In the 3rd or 5th year, during the Tomato Festival, the player Pete, appears behind the tomato barrel. If Cliff leaves the town, he will participate with Manna & Duke. This happens in the Japanese version.
- Despite being a girl version of the game, Kano can take a picture of the player and her horse. The photo clearly shows the male protagonist from Back to Nature.