It has similar premise to a lot of previous Harvest Moon games - to raise a successful farm. This includes growing crops and raising livestock. The characters from Harvest Moon: Back To Nature return in this game, with a few exceptions.
The player takes control of Pete, a young boy living in a city with his family (can be renamed in the beginning of the game). The game begins with a cutscene depicting a family trip you had in the past. You got lost and met an old man, after which you became friends and promised to write to each other. At some point, you no longer receive letters from your pen-pal, and growing concerned, you traveled to Mineral Town to find the reason for the unexplained delay.
Upon your arrival, the mayor alarms you by saying the old man has been dead for around six months and that you have inherited the farm which, due to obvious reasons, is run down. You then makes it your mission to restore the farm to its former glory.
The player starts off with a farm overrun with weeds, some money and some old tools left by the farm's previous owner. The main goal of the game is to run the farm successfully by growing crops and raising livestock, with two other main goals, befriending the inhabitants of Mineral Town, and marrying one of the six prospective wives before your five rivals do.
The player has the option of marrying one of six prospective wives who reside in Mineral Town. The whole process is just like any other Harvest Moon games. Here's a complete list of the requirements needed before you can woo one of the game's bachelorettes.
See marriage requirements for Friends of Mineral Town for more information.
- Ann - Ann is the daughter of Doug, and helps her father run the Inn. She is a bit of a tomboy, which worries her father. He is scared that Ann will never get married because she is not girly. Ann's mother died when she was very young. She is free spirited, and loves to eat. Ann enjoys cleaning as much as cooking. She can almost always be found at the Inn, but likes to go to the Goddess Spring early in the morning on sunny days.
- Elli - Elli is a nurse working at the clinic with Doctor. Most of the time she's at the clinic selling medicine, but also takes care of her grandmother Ellen, and her younger brother Stu on Wednesdays, when the clinic is closed. She has a very motherly personality, and constantly worries about others.
- Karen - Karen is an outgoing girl who loves to hang out around the bar or beach at night. She works in the Supermarket during the daytime. Karen is a horrible cook and one of her dishes knocks out the main character in one of her heart events. She loves beer, but hates sweets!
- Mary - Mary is a shy and kindhearted girl who works at the town's library. She loves to read books and is interested in plants like her father Basil. She is also trying to write some books of her own, but is often too shy to show anyone her work.
- Popuri - Popuri is a feminine and bubbly girl who works at the family poultry farm. She likes the player's puppy, but is afraid of it when it grows up. She loves eggs and chickens. She also is sad that before her father left, he and her brother had a special relationship, and Popuri was often left out.
- Harvest Goddess - The Harvest Goddess lives at the waterfall, near the Spring Mine. She's a secret marriageable candidate. Before the player can marry her however, they must complete several challenging requests. Unlike the other candidates, her heart level is invisible, so the player has to propose to her, and see what her response is. She does not live in the character's house once they are married; she only appears for the events like the baby and marriage. Unlike the other girls, there is no rival for her hand in marriage. She never leaves the spring mine, so she is easy to find. It seems only Carter knows of her existence for certain.
This game also features 5 rivals, one for every girl except the Harvest Goddess, who will go on to marry their counterpart if the player does not stop them.
- Cliff - Cliff is a traveler who has come to Mineral Town. He is homeless, and spends most of his time at the Church. If Cliff decides to stay in Mineral Town (by triggering an event in the Fall season involving Duke and the Winery job, talk to Cliff after receiving the job offer, and show up the next day), he will move into the Inn and get a part time job at the Winery. If Cliff does not permanently leave Mineral Town, he eventually falls in love with Ann, and the two will marry if the player does not marry Ann. If Cliff moves out of Mineral Town, then Ann will never be able to get married.
- Doctor - Doctor works at the hospital and can give examinations of your energy level for 10g. He works alongside his nurse Elli, who he will eventually marry if the player chooses not to.
- Gray - Gray is an antisocial blacksmith apprentice. He works under his grandfather Saibara, and Gray often feels frustrated from his grandfather's harsh criticism. He has found solace in reading when he's not busy at work, and spends a lot of time at the library. Because of this, he spends a lot of time with Mary, and the both of them will marry together if the player chooses not to marry Mary.
- Kai - Kai only appears during the Summer season, and is Popuri's love interest. He is a carefree individual who cares mostly about having a good time. Almost all the men in Mineral Town dislike him for some reason. He runs the Seaside Shack on the beach. If he marries Popuri, the two will leave the Mineral Town and come back to visit only during Summer.
- Rick - Rick is the overprotective brother of Popuri, and hates her love interest Kai. He works at the Poultry Farm with his sister and sickly mother Lillia. Rick despises his father Rod for leaving his family behind in search for a cure to Lillia's illness. Rick is a hard worker and an animal lover. Rick will be your rival for Karen's affection.
Connecting to Other Games
The game offers connectivity with the Nintendo Gamecube game Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. To connect with the Gamecube game, the player must throw an offering (virtually any throwable item) into the Harvest Goddess's pool in Friends of Mineral Town. When connected, entries will be added to the library with details about the characters in A Wonderful Life. Also, certain characters will talk about the characters in Forget-Me-Not Valley. If the player connects enough, he will obtain the seaside cottage, the ultimate reward for connecting.
Unlike past Game Boy versions of Harvest Moon (and even Harvest Moon: Back To Nature), Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town does not feature the ability to trade livestock with other FoMT game cartridges.
When Friends of Mineral Town is linked to the GameCube game, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, via a GCN/GBA Link Cable (sold separately from the two games), two more characters may come into the game:
- Van: A traveling salesman who comes every Wednesday and stays on the second floor of the inn. He sells a Record Player, records, and ore from the mine.
- Lou (Ruby): A world renowned chef who comes to stay on the top floor of the inn every Sunday. She will teach the player some of her gourmet recipes, which cannot be found anywhere else.
- Shops and Locations
- Characters and Villagers
- Additional Homes
- Cooking Recipes
- Calendar of Events
- List of Festivals
- Cursed Tools
- King Fish
- Jewels of Truth
- Kappa Jewels
- Mythic Stones
- Power Berries
- Gameshark Codes
- If the player places golden lumber in their field, villagers will come every morning to insult the player, and call them "Moneybags" (Greedy Witch if it's Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town).
- If you turn on the T.V. on Friday the 13th, there will be no news. This probably refers to the American superstition of 13 being an unlucky number, and of Fridays falling on the 13th of a given month especially so.
- If you marry Karen, when you talk to her on a rainy day she'll say something like, "What a beautiful sunny day!"
- When it is snowing outside and you talk to Harris when he is on patrol, he will say something like, "I hate it when it rains!"
- The sofa in the hospital is spelled sopha instead of sofa.
- The sign outside the hospital says hospitel instead of hospital.
- When you marry Karen, and when she has a baby she will say "The baby keeps crying at night, I can't get enught sleep", instead of "I can't get enough sleep".
- If the player goes to Goddess Lake, the stone (when interacted with) says " Huge stone. Your hammer is level 5, but it can't crush this sone" Instead of stone.
- When buying animal fodder from Yodel farm, Barley says "I'll put the Chicken Feed.." instead of "Animal Fodder".
- When you first meet Karen, she will say "Hi, what's you name? Im Karen." instead of "Hi, what's your name? I'm Karen."
- If the player talks to Manna while she is heading to the Rose Square, she will say "Hi (playername), how are you dong?" instead of "Hi (playername), how are you doing?
- The heart event song in this game is based on the classical music song Liebestraum a song often played in weddings on the piano in the 16th-18th century. It has a more modern twist.
- If you talk to Carter about the job when Duke asks for help on the event of "Fall Grape Harvest", what he says to you will be in German.
- If you speak to Rick in the Poultry Farm with his friendship high enough, he will speak in German.
- If you stay up to look at the moon with your spouse on the Starry Night Festival, it will say, "Stayed up late... not good for my skin."
- When Rick says "Lately, I've realized how important Karen is to me." and "But don't you dare tell her I said that! I'd be so embarrassed!", he will say the same thing but in Japanese if you talk to him in the Poultry Farm building.
- After talking to Zack a few times when he picks up your shipment, he will speak Japanese.