Day 1, Spring 1: A New Life

Hello and welcome to the start of my “real-time seasons” playthrough of Stardew Valley, where I play through one in-game year in a year of real time. Today is March 20th, the first day of Spring!

dawn

Karl awoke at 6AM ready to begin his new life at Joensuu Farm. The first thing he noticed was a wrapped package in the middle of his living room, apparently placed there by Mayor Lewis while he was asleep (is anyone else creeped out by this?).

It was a gift of 15 parsnip seeds with a note attached:

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The game prompted me to open the journal and I saw that I had 2 “quests” populated in there:

  1. Harvest a parsnip
  2. Meet all the townspeople

Before heading outside I checked to see what was on TV. There are 3 channels:

  • Weather Report lets you know what the following day’s weather will be like (tomorrow will be sunny)
  • Fortune Teller gives you a fortune that I assume will affect how lucky you are in various activities (said I’ll have a little extra luck today)
  • “Livin’ Off The Land” gives a little gameplay tip
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Livin’ Off The Land Tip #1

You can move things around in your house by clicking on them. I did a little rearranging in the living room/bedroom:

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Planting Parsnips

I wanted to get started on both of the initial quests today, so I made a slight change of plans and decided to plant the parsnips before heading into town to meet everyone.

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Clearing some weeds from the front of the house

I remember when I used to play the Harvest Moon games years ago, I would always plant crops in a grid using this pattern:

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The reason to leave one square out was that you couldn’t walk over the crops after they sprouted, and the watering can could only reach adjacent tiles. So I figured this was the most efficient use of space.

Thinking back on that now, I was totally wrong! This method only fills 8 squares in a 4×4 area, so 50% coverage. Had I planted in rows 2 tiles wide with 1 walkable row in between, I could’ve covered 2/3 of a given area and still had room to water everything.

Anyway, this is a different game, so it’s likely the same rules won’t even apply. I don’t know what watering can upgrades there are, and I don’t even know if planted crops will be impassable or not! It may be that you can just fill a rectangle of whatever size you want and I’m just overthinking it. We’ll find out in 4 days.

Clearing the area left me with some sap, wood, stones, and plant fiber. I put one of each in the shipping box to see what they sell for, and just to start filling in my collection.

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The game keeps track of every item you’ve sold (for the completionists out there), and has an achievement for shipping one of everything.

On my way into Pelican Town, I passed by the bus stop.

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I picked a dandelion and chopped down a tree. I wanted to see if I’m allowed to chop down trees that aren’t on my property (looks like I am). Finally I tested the hoe here for the same reason (looks like I can only till soil on the farm – no planting crops all over the place, which is to be expected).

At the end of the morning’s work, Karl was left with more than half of his energy bar depleted. And that was just after some light farming and wood chopping! I’ll have to keep an eye out for some good ways to regain energy – I’m not quite desperate enough to try eating a dandelion yet.

Exploring Pelican Town

Karl is a bit of an introvert. He was enjoying working at the farm so much that he would’ve been happy to spend the whole day there.

But, it’s important to make a good first impression, so he took Mayor Lewis’s advice to go out and meet the townspeople. It turned out to be a very social day full of meeting new people and trying to remember their names.

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New character met: Harvey

The resident doctor. Hopefully I won’t have to visit him much.

 

 

Outside the general store, there’s a calendar posted for the “month” of Spring:

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People’s birthdays are posted here. Mayor Lewis’ birthday is coming up – I’ll have to remember to get him a gift. There’s also an Egg Festival on the 13th and a Flower Dance on the 24th.


New character met: Abigail

Met her coming out of the store. She’s kind of bummed because she liked to hang out at the overgrown farm before Karl showed up.



New character met: Evelyn

An old lady. Doesn’t mind being called “Granny”.



New character met: Caroline

Abigail’s mother. She has green hair while her daughter’s is purple. Her husband runs the general store. What color is his hair?



New character met: Leah

A cheerful woman who seems to live alone in a small cottage (according to the map screen).



New character met: Pierre

Owner of Pierre’s General Store. Has brown hair. Sells seeds and offered to buy my produce. Does Lewis have some competition?

 

I did my first bit of shopping at Pierre’s store. Bought a bean starter and cauliflower seeds and got stuck with full pockets, so I sold him the dandelion I’d picked earlier for 40g and bought a potato seed. I want to try at least one of each type of crop so I can figure out what they sell for and hopefully come up with a more efficient planting strategy.

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Love how the game fills your pockets before even leaving the farm and then shows you this… it’s day 1 and I’m already strapped for cash

Pierre also sells a backpack which will double my carrying capacity, but it’s too pricy for now (2000g). Definitely on my list of first things to buy when I start making money.

Lots More Introductions


New character met: George

Grumpy old man who sits in front of the TV all day. Presumably Evelyn’s husband?



New character met: Alex

Lives with George & Evelyn. Judging by his room, he likes football and weightlifting.



New character met: Penny

A girl of few words. She’s either very shy, or annoyed that I interrupted her on her way to go sit next to Maru.

 

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Pay no mind to Granny Evelyn creepin’ behind the bushes


New character met: Maru

Maru, on the other hand, has been eagerly waiting to meet Karl. Gets excited about the dynamics of the community.

 

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On may way to the north end of town, I passed a flower I couldn’t pick because of a full inventory. OK, now definitely the first thing I’m gonna buy is that backpack from Pierre.


New character met: Demetrius

Local scientist. Studies local plants and local animals from his “home laboratory”. Has a telescope too! Maru’s dad.

 

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Robin reading my mind over here


New character met: Linus

A caveman who lives in a tent north of town. “Don’t mind me. I just live out here alone.”

 

By now it was getting late. I stopped by the Stardrop Saloon to meet a few more locals before heading home.

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New character met: Pam

A boisterous woman who says “Hey, kid” a lot. Says she can’t afford a drink. I think she lives in that trailer I passed on the way to the saloon.



New character met: Gus

Owner and chef at Stardrop Saloon. Cool mustache.


 


New character met: Emily

Claims she can read faces. Tells Karl she works at the saloon …while standing behind the bar at the saloon.



New character met: Clint

Blacksmith who seems to be wearing chainmail – does he always wear that? He can upgrade my tools!



New character met: Shane

An enigma. He tells it like it is. Wears a frayed hoodie and shorts. There’s a ‘J’ on the hoodie. What could it all mean?

 

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Before leaving, I checked out the arcade. The machine on the right has a “skull-shaped keyhole”. The other one is actually playable – it’s a game called “Journey of the Prairie King”. I made it to level 7 before I died.

It’s a good thing time didn’t pass in-game while playing Prairie King, or Karl would have stayed up way too late. Unfortunately, time still passes in reality while playing Stardew Valley, so I did end up staying up way too late.

Daily Wrap-up

Wow, what a long post. But it was the first day, with tons of stuff to do, and I’ve only seen about half of Pelican Town! Checking the journal, I met 17 people today. Fortunately, future days won’t have nearly as many new faces to meet.

Journal Progress:

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9 people left to meet

Items Sold:

Item Sell Price Quantity
Sap 2 g 1
Dandelion 40 g (Pierre) 1
Fiber 1 g 1
Wood 2 g 1
Stone 2 g 1
Clay 20 g 1

 

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