Animal Crossing - Deep Dive

Join us as we go dive into the very first Animal Crossing title and search for any unused, scrapped, or forgotten content!

To understand exactly what the first Animal Crossing title is, we'll go into a brief history of the first games existence. Originally a Japan-only title, Doubutsu no Mori was a game made for the Nintendo 64. Eight months later, an enhanced port, titled Doubutsu no Mori+ was release in Japan for the Nintendo GameCube. Shortly after that, the West was introduced to a game known simply as Animal Crossing for the Nintendo GameCube, which was a localized and enhanced port of the previous Japanese title, which did not receive a Japanese release. Then finally, Japan received a game known as Doubutsu no Mori e+, which was again, another enhanced port of the Western exclusive title, Animal Crossing, and thus, the cycle ended. Of course, each time a game is enhanced and re-released, certain content is either forgotten about, or cut entirely, and that's what we're going to get into below.

To jump right in, the original title was well known for its NES Games, there are four titles that are either exclusive to a specific region, or completely unobtainable. Mario Brothers and Ice Climbers are games that are exclusive to the American release of Animal Crossing, via the use of special e-reader cards (which were never released in Europe). Super Mario Bros. is only obtainable in the Doubutsu no Mori+ in 2001 and 2002 from a Famitsu Giveaway (a Japanese magazine), and The Legend of Zelda is completely unobtainable in all versions of the game, and can only be accessed via the use of a cheating device. There are also mentions of Gomoku Narabe Renju, Mahjong, Nazo no Murasamejou, Super Mario Bros. 2, and NES Open Tournament Golf within the games files.

Another thing the Animal Crossing series is known for is customization, and within the four titles, there are actually eight unused clothing items, and a number of furniture items that were removed entirely. To start things off, the eight unused clothing items are the Plum Kimono, Somber Robe, Red Sweatsuit, Blue Sweatsuit, Red Puffy Vest , Blue Puffy Vest, Summer Robe and the Bamboo Robe. The Red/Blue Sweatsuits were worn by their respective teams during the sports fair, and then Red/Blue Puffy Vest's were worn by female/males respectively, during the Fishing Tourney.

Unfortunately for the items, we are unable to actually see what they looked like, as they've all been replaced with a DUMMY item. However the text for these items still exists in game and are as follows; kagamimochi, heavy chair, school chair, towel chair, stepstool, unused dresser, unused monkey, modern den chair, giant dharma, dharma, minidharma, striped cone, cola machine, barricade fence, plastic fence, fence and sign, brown drum, red drum, juice machine, garbage pail, robotic flagman, zen basin, wash basin, trash can, warning sign, route sign, men working sign, caution sign, temple basin, unused chair, bucket, faucet, spa chair, massage chair, bath mat, spa tub, clerk's booth, spa screen, bath, locker, milk fridge, lucky cat, lucky black cat, racoon obje, lucky frog, alcove, hearth, moon dumpling, bean set, osechi, spring medal, fall medal, longlife noodle, bass boat, mortar ball, big catch flag, hibachi grill, scary painting, novel painting, golf trophy, tennis trophy, kart trophy, western fence and DUMMY.

The "DUMMY" item

A couple more unused items exist, including; an unused blue fish with a hook in its mouth (to test fishing?), a glowing box that moves back and forth (to test the lighthouse?), an "Unknown Item" that appears in the player's inventory as a box with a question mark, and appears in homes as a clone of DUMMY, present items that can't be removed or opened from the inventory, and finally full grown saplings, trees, town tune board, stores, map and train models.

Perhaps two of the most peculiar cut items from the game is the Paper Airplane, and the Sickle. The Paper Airplane is an item which has the ability to crash the game. It acts similar to a piece of paper when in the inventory, giving access to the "read" and "write a letter" options, but it can also be dropped. When dropping the item, leaving the acre and returning will cause it to multiply, causing them to shut down acres, and potentially make the game unplayable. It's actual known purpose is unknown, but it may have possibly worked as an alternative method to the note-in-a-bottle that was introduced in Wild World. The other item, the Sickle, appears as a net in the players inventory, but appears as the Tool Box icon when dropped on the ground (which didn't appear until Wild World), and can also be equipped, though it acts as if the player is holding nothing. Perhaps the Sickle was to play a role in gardening, which wasn't added until Wild World, however it may have been a planned feature for this game (more on this below).

Villagers are another feature that play a major part in the game, and a number of them were cut or changed through out the games four releases. The first notable villager would be the fan-named Blazel - as she looks like a cross between the villagers Bliss and Hazel - though now she seems to go by the official name "Chestnut". When hacked into the game, her only proper line of dialogue is from Kapp'n, or her name is displayed as Jambette and she'll speak random villagers dialogue (depending on which hack you use). Although Chestnut's actual purpose her never been verified, it's speculated she was to be a part of a cut gardening feature. As mentioned above, there is a Sickle item in game that goes unused, and there are also files in the game which include stub methods of flowers wilting and growing. She also wears a green apron-like shirt, that resembles a garden store owner. gardening wasn't formally introduced until Wild World, and an actual garden shop wasn't included until New Leaf, but it's interesting to think they already had basic concepts for these ideas in the very first game.

The next "cut" villagers are known simply as Meow, Bow and Shoukichi, and only had a physical incarnation in Doubutsu no Mori e+. The only way to obtain these three villagers is by scanning their e-reader cards, although the cards were exclusive to the Doubutsu no Mori e+ Figurine sets, obtained from series 48, 49 and 50, respectively, and released exclusively in Japan. Meow and Bow both donned a space theme, being Peppy and Lazy personalities respectively, whilst Shoukichi rocked a more French vibe, with the Jock personality. There's also another villager, Nindori, who had an e-reader card that was exclusive to the Japanese Nintendo Dream magazine, with the Lazy personality.

Originally I thought those were the only Japan-exclusive villagers, but doing further research I stumbled across many, many more villagers there were exclusive to Doubutsu no Mori e+, most of which were island exclusive villagers in e+, or only had e-reader cards released in Japan. Aisle, Analogue, Carrot, Champagne, Clara, Fruity, Gen, Joe, Jubei, Kit, Koharu, Lulu, Madam Rosa, Masa, Megumi, Nobou, Patricia, Petunia, Pierre, Pironkon, Poko, Shinabiru, Sunny, Tarou, and Verdun are all exclusive villagers to Doubutsu no Mori e+. Of course, there are many other villagers that only saw the light of day during this era and never returned for future games, such as Zoe and Woolio, but I've only included the ones that never released outside of Japan. Below is an image of all the villagers exclusive to Doubutsu no Mori e+, however, some did reappear in the Welcome amiibo update to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, so it's possible some of these forgotten villagers will rear their heads in a future instalment.

And just when you thought we were done with villagers, there's still one more notable change to discuss. In the Japanese versions of the game, the villager Jane is a brown skinned gorilla, with white fur and large pink lips. However, in the localized version of the game, Jane appears as a pink gorilla. No one has ever officially confirmed why this change was made, though it's theorized her appearance was tweaked to avoid her appearing as a racial stereotype in the west.

Naturally with four different versions of the one game, a lot of features are going to be added in, and with the final instalment being released to Japan only, a number of features would remain Japan exclusive, though a number of them would be reintroduced in later titles. The most notable addition would likely be Town Decorations, a concept that would be expanded upon in New Leaf in the form of Public Works Projects. Whilst some of these decorations were redesigned for New Leaf, some remain exclusively in the Japanese GameCube title.

Other than that, e+ also introduced 8 new fish and bug species each. All of these new species were added into the games eventually with future installments. However, two bug species, the crab and coconut crab, have yet to be included in any international versions of Animal Crossing. There are a few other changes and additions, but most of them ended up making it into the series by Wild World or City Folk. If you're interested in reading them all, click here.

There's also a number of beta towns hidden within the games code, used for the developers to test things. They don't show off too much, other than a few things we've already listed, but if you want to have a peek for yourself, checkout the video below, as well as the others on their YouTube channel.

...and that about wraps up our deep dive for the original Animal Crossing game. I'm sure we've missed a few things, so feel free to let us know in the comments below! Tune in next time when we deep dive into Animal Crossing: Wild World and City Folk!

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  1. Don’t forget about the exclusive ability to break into Tom Nook’s store in e+! It’s an adorable feature seeing Nook in his PJs.

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