The “History of the Seasons” series has come a long way since it was separated from its former name “Harvest Moon”. Since its release under the title “The Story of the Seasons”, the series has become much more progressive in terms of same-sex marriage and gender. In fact, no remake of the game proves this more than the upcoming Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life. The remake will be released for Nintendo Switch next spring and will show a lot familiar to gamers who have played Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life on PS2 or Gamecube.
The Valley of the Forget-me-Not has become a Forgotten Valley, but it seems that the same beaches, farms and buildings remain in it. There are also familiar faces in this place, such as Rock, Nina, Nami, Gustafa, Mukumuku and Lumina. However, there are some notable changes in this remake. The big problem was that now Story of Seasons players can enter into same-sex marriages, and can also play for non-binary characters.
History of the seasons History of LGBTQIA+
When it comes to the game representation of LGBTQIA+ in Story of Seasons, one group to thank is XSEED Games. He localized the Story of Seasons games for the West, including localized cultural expectations, as well as language. One of the first games to add same-sex marriage was a Harvest Moon remake called Friends of Mineral Town.
Friends of Mineral Town originally had a “best friends” system in which the main character can live with someone of the same gender. XSEED created a systemic marriage of “best friends” Story of Seasons between same-sex people for the West. Around the same time, XSEED even wrote that same-sex marriage had not appeared in the series for a long time. These LGBTQIA+ additions continued in Pioneers of Olive Town.
Not only did the localization team work to add same-sex marriage to the games, XSEED also focused on the details of the tone and conversations regarding same-sex relationships. They took care not only to add an aspect of marriage, but also to change the dialogue to further confirm same-sex relationships. Assistant Head of Localization Lori Snyder said: “I’ve played too many games that try to portray modesty about same-sex relationships or can go so far as to imply them, but the writers don’t want to talk about it openly, for some reason. I clearly didn’t want this to happen here.”
Now that the Wonderful Life remake is happening, there’s a lot to be excited about based on XSEED’s work on previous remakes. XSEED takes it one step further and offers the player the opportunity to play as a non-binary. Most likely, the pronouns They/Them will be available. What this entails in terms of character creation is still unknown.
Old games compared to the remake
In the original A Wonderful Life, players played as the male protagonist with three brides to choose from: Muffy, Nami and Celia. The child will also always be male. If a special edition was purchased, another bride was added (which caused a bit of controversy due to the fact that she was a child in the first year). “Another Wonderful Life” was released, aimed at a female audience. In it, players played a female protagonist with a choice between three bachelors: Gustava, Martin and Rock. A special edition of “Another Wonderful Life” was not published.
A Wonderful Life, Another Wonderful Life and the upcoming remake are great examples of how video games have changed over time in terms of gender and same—sex couples. Now, instead of two games, there will be one with more opportunities and freedoms. As many developers have recently noted, simulation games are designed to live the life that the player desires, and adding a choice of LGBTQIA + is not difficult for this philosophy.
Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life is released in the summer of 2023 on the Nintendo Switch.