As you play the game, you watch the town and its people struggle with their own personal challenges. Many times, without your intervention, they will fail. Additionally the townspeople slowly open up to you as you talk to them and give them gifts, often reciprocating with their own presents. The characters are believed to be the descendants of characters from the first Harvest Moon game, and are reused in Harvest Moon: Back To Nature and Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (also Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town).
Harvest Moon 64 has a strong fanbase and it considered by many to be the best in the series. It was ranked 78th greatest Nintendo game of all time by Nintendo Power and Mars Publishing's Parent's Guide to Nintendo Games gave it the only Parent's Guide Choice Award for an N64 game.
The overall objective of the game revolves around inheriting your recently deceased grandfather's farm. You then have two and 1/4 years to get the farm up and running before your dad evaluates you on your progress. Your evaluation is based on the villager's affections for you, the way the player had been living (number of times they have been sick and time spent "relaxing"), and how well developed your farm is.
The challenge in the game is that of time management; time accelerates faster in this game then most any other Harvest Moon title. Due to this fact, a perfect ending is rarely encountered.
- Grow a variety of crops to ship for profit and to increase your farm's reputation.
- Raise animals and livestock.
- Forage for wild items, go mining and fishing.
- Get married and start a family.
Tools are reuseable items you can carry which interact with the game world in different manners.
The five most basic tools are in Pete's inventory from the start: Axe, Sickle, Hammer, Hoe, Watering Can. The base tools can be upgraded throughout the course of the game to make farming easier. Additional tools may be picked up as you play.
Some are given as gifts: the fishing rod is the fisherman the first time you talk to him, and the bell by Doug for buying your first cow or sheep. Seeds cover all plants purchased at Flower Lillia's. Rick also sells tools through the Tool Shop.
- Gray - Player rival for Popuri.
- Harris - Player rival for Mary.
- Kai - Player rival for Karen.
- Jeff - Player rival for Elli.
- Cliff - Player rival for Ann.
- Harvest Moon Villagers, Sub Villagers and Other Characters
- Shops and Locations
- List of Festivals
- Power Berries
- Crop List
- List of Animals
- List of Cooking Recipes
- House Extensions
- Television Guide
- Guide to Affection
- Guide to Weather Conditions
- List of Photographs
- Your Birthday