Animal Crossing - Wild World
These notes apply to the Nintendo game "Animal Crossing - Wild
World" as played on a Nintendo DS Lite. There are many other
sites that contain detailed information about Animal Crossing;
this page is offered as a very simple overview and set of
suggestions for enjoyable game play.
Animal Crossing is a cute little virtual world wherein
your character interacts with shopkeepers, goes fishing,
collects fruit, digs up fossils, and does all manner of other
fun things. It's the most relaxing game I've ever played;
the worst thing that ever goes wrong is that sometimes
your character gets stung by bees while shaking trees.
The bee stings are comical, not fatal, and there are no
time limits, jangling theme songs, or enemies in the game.
You collect fruit, fish, insects, and fossils to sell,
and you can use that money to expand your house, buy clothes
and furniture, or just drink coffee in the coffee shop.
You can donate items to the museum, get a haircut, make
snowmen, and just play around.
When you first start the game, you find yourself working
for Tom Nook, the proprietor of the little shop. He will
give you a series of tasks to complete, none of which take
more than a few minutes each. The purpose of this initial
scripted play is to familiarize you with the various ways
you'll be interacting with the elements and characters
in the game. Be patient - after you've jumped through the
initial hoops, you'll go into free play mode and you can
do just about whatever you want.
You start out in a tiny little hut, and you soon realize
that you haven't got enough room in your house to display
all the treasures you have accumulated. Go out and earn
money, then go to the town hall and pay down your loan.
When you pay the loan off, Tom Nook will offer to expand
your house - accept the offer, and your house will be
bigger the next day. The first few expansions of your
ground floor are relatively inexpensive, but when you
get to the point of adding a second floor and additional
rooms off the first floor, you start to see some pretty
big loan balances. Don't stress out - just peck away
at the loans as you can.
Dressers, Cabinets, and Closets
One of the first pieces of furniture you're going to
want to buy from Tom Nook is a cabinet, closet, refrigerator,
or anything else that opens up and lets you store things
inside. This is one of the strangest things about the
game - the dresser is not an actual object like a lamp
or a table, really, but it's more like an access mechanism
to your character's storage space. If you've got a
dresser in your room and you put things in it and then
you go and open the refrigerator, you'll see the same
six 'drawers' that you see when you open your dresser.
With six drawers of space, a dresser can be a very handy
thing - but buying two dressers won't give you twice the
storage space. I would bet that you could buy
a dresser, fill it up with stuff, sell the dresser,
buy another cabinet, open it up, and see all your
stuff still there, but that's not an experiment I have tried.
If you have multiple player characters set up
in your AC game, each one has his own personal storage
space - that is, things you put in the dresser as
player A are not accessible to player B.
It's quick and easy to make money gathering and selling
fruit, but the real way to make a killing is by catching
fish. Some fish fetch huge sums of money - for example,
the coelocanth and stringfish types sell for $15,000 apiece.
I have found that the easiest way to catch fish is to
cast the lure with the stylus and then use my thumb on
the A button to snatch the fish out of the water.
Using this approach, you can drop the lure right in front
of the fish and spend less time casting over and over and
waiting for the fish to take the bait.
When you are fishing, walk - do not run. If you run right
up to the bank, you may scare the fish away.
Your town has a 'native' fruit tree type that is
established when you create the town, and you've probably
got a couple of dozen or more of this type of tree. The
fruit from your native trees sells for $100 each, and
you can make a nice bundle every few days by shaking the
fruit trees and selling the fruit to Tom Nook.
There are actually several different kinds of fruit trees
available in the game, however, and all of these 'exotic'
fruit types sell for $500 apiece instead of the basic $100
you get for the fruit that is common in your town. To really
make serious money from fruit, you need to acquire and
cultivate a lot of 'exotic' fruit in your town.
There are a couple of ways to acquire exotic fruit. One of
the simplest ways to do it is to send letters containing
little meaningless presents to the characters
in your town. Go down to the beach and pick up some cheap
seashells, for example, and enclose them in letters sent
to your townspeople. Your pen pals will send you a reply
that includes a present, and often that present will be
a type of fruit that doesn't grow in your town. You can
also carry fruit from one town to another when you connect
two AC towns via the wireless interface.
Fruit planted in bare dirt is not guaranteed to grow
into a successful fruit tree. If the planted sapling
has not shown growth the day after you planted it, it
will probably not grow at all. You can guarantee tree
growth by chopping down an existing tree, digging up
the stump, and planting the fruit in the hole left by
the stump. This is highly recommended when you have
only one exotic fruit in hand - like when a townsperson
sends you one in a letter. Once you've got a few trees
growing the exotic fruit, you can afford to gamble on
planting new trees in open space.
I heard somewhere that the ground under
weeds is fertile, also - supposedly, digging up weeds
and planting fruit in the hole guarantees growth. I have
tried this a couple of times without success, so I
recommend using the 'tree replacement' method for
Once you have a few trees of exotic fruit in your town,
wait until your native trees bear fruit - they'll
typically all bear at the same time, and then it's
easy to tell the native fruit trees from the other
trees. Chop down a bunch of the native fruit trees
and plant exotic fruit trees in their place - this way,
you're simply replacing one fruit tree with another
whose fruit is five times more valuable. Expanding
your exotic fruit production this way gives you the
benefit of guaranteed growth with the bonus of knowing
that you're not cutting down trees at random without
knowing what they produce.
When you're working to establish new fruit trees,
you'll quickly find that your fruit trees produce
fruit at different times due to differences in
planting times and tree maturity. You may find it
handy during these efforts to leave one fruit at
the base of each fruit tree as a marker - then,
you will be able to tell what type of fruit each
tree bears even if there is no fruit on the tree
at the moment.
From time to time, you will dig up fossils. These
must be taken to the museum for identification,
after which you have the option of donating the
fossil to the museum (if a fossil of that particular
type has not already been donated) or keeping it
for yourself. Fossils are usually quite valuable,
but it is nice to see them displayed in the museum,
too. Although your fossils appear in Tom Nook's
catalog, you cannot order fossils - the fossil
section of the catalog is apparently just a checklist
of all the fossils you have discovered.
Coconut trees, palm trees - whatever you want to call
them, they're valuable resources. Coconut trees bear
two coconuts every few days, and the coconuts sell for
$500 apiece. Watch for a coconut to wash up on your
beach, and then bury it in the dark-colored ground
adjacent to the sand on the beach. Once your first
coconut tree has borne fruit, plant those coconuts
along the beach, and soon you can have a dozen coconut
trees cranking out $1000 worth of fruit each every
few days. Note: coconut trees will not grow anywhere
besides the ground adjacent to the beach.
If there is snow on the ground, you will occasionally
see snowballs. Roll a snowball around on the snow, and
it will get bigger. Once you've made your first
snowball as big as it will get, look for another
snowball. Roll it around until it is somewhat smaller
than the first snowball, then combine the two snowballs
to make a snowman. If you get the size ratio right between
the first and second snowball, the snowman will send
you a piece of furniture in the mail that you cannot
get anywhere else. If you foul up the sizes of the
snowballs, the snowman will still talk to you (usually
to complain about his deformity), but he won't send
you anything in the mail.
Savings Account Interest
Rather than pay down a loan in small increments, some
people like to accumulate money in the Post Office
savings account and pay off the loan in one lump sum.
Since interest does not accumulate on loans, this is
certainly a viable option - and the savings account
does earn interest, after all.
To study the process of earning interest, I deposited
$50,000 on February 28 and let it sit in the account
overnight, having read elsewhere that interest is
calculated at the end of the month. On the morning
of March 1, I received this
letter: "Thank you for using your post office bank
account. You earned 250 Bells for 30 days of interest."
When I checked my account balance, I saw $50,250.
Based on this experiment, I drew the following
- Interest is calculated overnight on the last
day of the month, as I had been told.
- The interest calculation assumes that the entire
account balance sat in the bank for the previous
month (as opposed to some fancy 'average daily
balance' or daily compound interest calculation). I
base this conclusion on the '30 days of interest'
part of the letter I received - that $50,000
certainly did not sit in the account for 30 days.
- At an interest rate of half a percent, the
Post Office savings account is not the path to
riches. If you happen to have a pocketful of
money at the end of the month, you can certainly
park it in the account overnight and pick up a
little extra cash for free - but since $50,000
yields only enough interest income to buy a
cup of coffee and $50 change, it's barely worth
Wish Upon A Star
If you've walked around at night when the stars are
out, you've probably noticed an occasional shooting
star flying by overhead. Shooting stars appear as
a bright streak across the sky, accompanied by a
If your hands are empty (that is, you're not carrying
anything like a shovel or a fishing rod) and you're
quick, you can press the A button to make a
wish when a shooting star is overhead. If you do this
successfully, the shooting star will grow much bigger
and brighter and will twinkle. After making a wish,
you'll get a letter the next day that contains a
present. Here's a letter I received:
The present that came with this letter was a Modern Cabinet.
On the night that I first wished upon a shooting star,
I actually managed to make a wish six different times,
but apparently the correspondence from Wishy the Star
is limited to one per day.
I heard a special someone make a wish one night...
It's my job to make that wish come true...
From Wishy the Star
Dr. Shrunk and Facial Expressions
If you encounter Dr. Shrunk wandering around your town,
engage him in conversation. He'll have a "session"
with you about the importance of expressing your emotions,
and then he'll teach you to express a particular feeling
like shyness, love, and so on. To express your new
emotions, bring up the keyboard screen (the one that
lets you type messages into little text bubbles on
the screen) and look for new buttons above the top row
of the keyboard.
Dr. Shrunk appears only occasionally, and you can learn
only one new expression per day.
Pascal the Otter
Once in a great while, you may encounter Pascal. He'll
be standing on the jetty, looking out at the ocean.
If you engage him in conversation, he'll tell you
something strange and give you a gift.
The most interesting thing about this character is
what he does after he's finished speaking - he does
a backflip off the end of the jetty, lands in the
ocean, and swims away.
If one of the townspeople has wallpaper, flooring,
furniture, or anything else that you particularly
like, send them a similar item in a letter. Then,
watch the recycling bin in the town hall - chances
are, you'll find that they replaced the item you
admired with your gift and recycled the old item.
Then, the item you wanted in the first place is
yours for the taking from the recycle bin. Be sure
to check the recycling schedule, though, to make
sure the item you want doesn't get hauled off by
the recyclers before you have a chance to fetch it.
Extra Pocket Space
When you receive letters, don't throw them away
until you need to. You can drag and drop items
from your pockets onto opened letters and leave
them there, and this frees up space in your
pockets. This extra carrying capacity comes in
handy when you want to move a lot of fruit or
other items from one town to another via the
wireless connection. This trick works for
any regular object that you can send through
Moving Fish Between Towns
Once, I found myself facing a particularly strange
puzzle in Animal Crossing. I was playing the
game on one DS, went to visit another town on
another DS, and went down to the beach to fish.
When I caught a coelocanth, everyone was excited,
and I tried to donate the coelocanth to the museum.
Since I was a visiting guest, I was unable to
donate anything to the museum, so we were left
with the problem of how to get the fish out of
my hands and into the hands of the local residents.
Guests cannot drop items in residents' houses, and
fish cannot be placed on the ground outside buildings.
Fish cannot be sent through the mail, either. We puzzled
over this problem for a while, and the best idea we could
come up with was to wait until market day and try to have
my character sell the coelocanth to a resident of the
other town so that the resident could donate the fish
after returning home.
Finally, we hit upon a solution that let us move the fish
from one town to another without waiting for market day
(which may or may not have worked anyway). A resident
of my town emptied her dresser drawers into the house,
picked up the coelocanth, and actually moved from my
town to the other town. Minutes after moving in, she
donated the coelocanth to the museum in the other town
and then moved straight back to my town. After picking
up all her scattered possessions and putting them back
in her dresser, everything was back to normal. It is
likely that this character lost her 'relationship' data
with regard to the other characters in the town, but
this particular character has been wiped out and rebuilt
a few times anyway and persistent relationship data
was not an issue.
If you find yourself in the unlikely scenario of needing
to move fish between towns, I recommend creating a
throwaway player character that can serve as a courier.
Houses and Signposts
As you walk through your town, you'll notice signposts
that display informative notices and tips. The signposts
serve another role that is slightly less obvious - they
mark the spots where houses may be built by other
non-player characters in the game. When a new resident
moves into your town and builds a house, the house will
take the place of one of the signposts. Likewise, when
a resident moves away, the resident's house will be
replaced by a signpost.
I have a signpost in my town that is really close to the
beach, and I was irritated when a new resident built a house
there. After the resident moved away, I tried to dig up
and chop down the signpost, but that was not allowed.
After you have read the signposts, their primary function
is to remind you not to plant trees in that area. The
appearance of a new house will wipe out any tree that
is in the way.
Wikipedia has pages for Animal Crossing,
including a list of characters.
Crossing Community site is quite nice, too - but be sure to
distinguish between the original Animal Crossing game and Animal Crossing
Wild World when looking through the site. There are differences
in the two games (the set of fish is bigger in the Wild World
version, for example).