Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley (牧場物語シュガー村とみんなの願い, Bokujō Monogatari: Shugā Mura to Minna no Negai, lit. Ranch Story: Sugar Village and Everyone's Wish) is a Harvest Moon title released for Sony's PlayStation Portable system, and is also available on the PlayStation Network.
The game's story, protagonist, setting and characters are all similar to Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland for PlayStation2. Hero of Leaf Valley can be viewed as an enhanced version of Save the Homeland with better graphics, more features, and the marriage system brought back.
Leaf Valley is in trouble! The heartless Funland corporation is going to bulldoze the town and replace it with an amusement park unless its citizens can find a way to stop them. Players will need to grow crops, raise animals, and mine ores and gems to help save Leaf Valley and their family farm. Along the way, they'll earn money and develop their skills in interactive part-time jobs, and build their relationships with the villagers in order to gain their trust and help. With an open-ended story with multiple endings, how players choose to save the town is up to them!
In this game, we are introduced once more to an environment where we are familiar with. Leaf Valley is home to many rare animal species now at great risk of being extinct. It is highly likable to start your ranching skills in Leaf Valley as there are a varied amount of animals you can start with to improve your ranching abilities. The place is also abundantly rich in more green, luscious trees greatly viewed during Springtime of the year. The villagers living in this place are quite friendly and very welcoming. They can be hospitable at times and are very approachable. A few of the villagers even offer you some part-time jobs where you can hone your farming skills or make some easy cash. These are the very reasons why living in Leaf Valley is worth saving!
Marriage can only be done once you have saved Leaf Valley, meaning you can only marry during the third year. Unlike other Harvest Moon games, you cannot have a child. In order to get married, you must complete the following requirements:
- The bachelorette you want to marry must have a red heart (350 friend points).
- The blue feather must be bought at Louis' shop.
- Kitchen, extra beds, and bath must be upgraded.
- Complete the girl's event path.
- Katie - This young lady loves sweets. She is a precocious girl who wants to grow up before her time. She works with her grandfather in his cafe in the daytime but is forbidden from entering the building at night when it is transformed into a bar. She may be a little too sensitive about her less than wonderful cooking.
- Gina - Gina works in the village alongside Martha. She is a sweet, subservient young woman who had grown up beside Dia as her chambermaid. She always has others on her mind and never seems to stop giving it her all. Gina harbors a secret passion and a wonderful skill for tailor work.
- Gwen - A young woman with a big heart who loves the village very much. She is very distant with outsiders and can even have a harsh tongue at times. She loves animals, especially horses.
- Dia - The spoiled girl that lives at the villa with Gina and Martha. She was left in Martha's care when her parents divorced, and this seems to have left a bit of an emotional scar on her. It will take some patience getting her to open up and realize the mistakes she made, but it will definitely be worth it.
- Lyla - Lyla is the owner of a flower shop. She might be a bit older and more mature than she seems. Lyla loves to dream and is a very romantic young woman. She often dreams of falling in love.
- Alice - A confirmed character that is new to Harvest Moon. Alice is the CEO of the company that plans to convert Leaf Valley into an amusement park, she will occasionally visit the village to cause trouble and hamper progress. Due to being surrounded by urban men like Charles, it's going to take a lot of convincing to show her you're someone special.
- Aurelia - Aurelia is a girl who came to Leaf Valley with Chester, and follows him wherever he goes. She is a strong-willed young woman with a bit of a straightforward nature, but she displays grace when playing the Ocarina.
- Harvest Goddess - The great protector of the land. She has magical powers and gives her blessing to the land with nature and beauty. Her real name is Marina.
- Louis - An amateur inventor who enjoys tinkering. He can upgrade your tools and will sell you important items at his tool shop.
- Parsley - A botanist who is in Leaf Valley. He studies the plant life in the valley, but he will leave during the Fall season. He'll return in Winter every year.
- Bob - He manages the Starling Ranch and works at Bob's Ranch Shop, where you will buy all your barn and poultry supplies. He also sells Chickens, Cows, and Horse (only available during Spring of Year 1).
- Tim - An amateur treasure hunter and Bob's younger brother, Tim is an outgoing boy who is always looking for adventure. Despite his brother's wishes for him to not worry about the valley being demolished, he's eager to find a way to help save his hometown, especially if it involves treasure. He often calls the protagonist 'Bro'.
- Joe - Kurt's lively older brother. Joe is a social guy who can sometimes speak bluntly. He enjoys drinking at the bar and fishing is his favorite pastime (although he's not very good at it). He also serves an apprenticeship from Woody alongside his brother.
- Kurt - A stoic apprentice carpenter who is very focused on his work. He is Joe's brother and never the one for small talk. Don't be fooled by his gruff nature, though. Underneath it all, he is a very sensitive young man.
- Woody - The old master carpenter who teaches Joe and Kurt the trade. He is an old man who is as strong as he was in his youth. He has something of a pessimistic attitude, but cares deeply for his home and what will become of it. He seems to have known Wallace and Martha since they were young.
- Wallace - Katie's grandfather and owner of the Sunny Garden Cafe. He is kind and approachable. Wallace is also very protective of Katie, since he refuses to let her work at his bar during night-time. He seems to have known Martha and Woody since they were young.
- Ronald - He runs the local Grocery Store, where you will be able to buy a wide variety of ingredients for you to cook, and items which restore your stamina and fatigue. He spends most of his time in his store and sometimes makes use of your help by looking after his chickens. Between all this, he happens to be an excellent baker of bread!
- Martha - Gina's grandmother and Dia's caretaker. She is like a mother figure to all she befriends. She is also the only family of Gina. She seems to have known Wallace and Woody since they were young.
- Chester - Chester is the priest who came to Leaf Valley together with Aurelia. He is a strong believer in the Harvest Goddess, even if he hasn't seen her yet. He is often regarded as the most talkative resident in Leaf Valley.
- Charles - A narcissistic and single-minded kind of person who loves to spend most of his time tinkering around with some crazy machines. He is one of Alice' bodyguards together with Renton. He often compares Leaf Valley to the city where he was used to be in.
- Renton - One of Alice' bodyguard who is short and chubby. He has a better attitude than Charles and seems a little less reluctant to tear down the valley, but not enough to stop it. He typically blames himself whenever something goes wrong.
- Rudolph - Rudolph is a silent carpenter works for the Funland Company, digging at Leaf Valley's mine. After a hard day's work, he is often seen at the bar drinking with the other villagers. You can have a part-time job with him at the mine.
- Nic - One of the three Harvest Sprites in the game. He is a childish type and wears blue. He helps you on your quest together with Nac and Flak.
- Nac - He is considered as the leader of the group and wears red. He helps you on your quest together with Nic and Flak.
- Flak - The tallest, fattest, and clumsiest among the Harvest Sprites. He wears yellow. Flak helps you on your quest together with Nic and Nac.
- Zann - A mysterious, strange merchant who came to Leaf Valley to search for something. He loves to receive items that are considered by other villagers as useless. For every 10 scrap metal you bring Zann, he'll ask you to bring him a gemstone and he'll make an accessory out of it for you.
- Ponta - A tanuki (Japanese Raccoon Dog) spirit that only the hero can see for some reason. Ponta can be found in the valley near good fishing spots and is quick to offer advice and conversation about fish.
Saving Leaf Valley
There are sixteen different ways to save Leaf Valley. Besides saving 50,000 G to purchase Leaf Valley back from Funland Company, you can transform it into a Nature Preserve to protect rare and endangered animals, or a desirable Tourist Destination. The first story quest is the main, having you interact with Funland Company's CEO Alice (and also opening the option of having her stay in Leaf Valley or not). The other fifteen involve the townsfolk and are divided between 'Nature Preserve' and 'Tourist Destination'. Each involve a different, specific character, although more than one character is usually involved in the sequence of event for any character.
In order to turn Leaf Valley into a Nature Preserve or Tourist Destination, you must do at least three story quests. You may do more, but keep in mind you cannot do two Nature Preserve story quests and one Tourist Destination or vice-versa. Here are the complete list of events classified according to Nature Preserve or Tourist Destination events:
|Nature Preserve||Tourist Destination|
|Event||Character Involved||Event||Character Involved|
|The Tale of the Blue Mist/Azure Swallowtail||Lyla||The Tale of the Harvest Goddess Dress||Gina|
|The Tale of the Endangered Weasel||Gwen||The Tale of the Cake Contest||Katie|
|The Tale of the Golden Potato Seed||Dia||The Tale of the Harvest Goddess Temple||Harvest Goddess|
|The Tale of the Blue Bird||Aurelia||The Rebirth of the True Harvest Festival||Woody, Wallace, Martha|
|The Tale of the Silver Fish||Joe, Kurt||The Holy Masterpiece||Chester|
|The Hundred Year Old Cherry Tree||Tim, Parsley||The Tale of the Horse Champion||Bob|
|The Secret Fossil||Rudolph||Louis the Inventor King||Louis|
|The Legendary Baker||Ronald|