Starkey Valley

Starkey Valley was a multi-part series originally published on Trevor Trove between March 27 and April 20, 2016

Day 1

As discussed last night, after weeks of avoidance, I finally bought into the Stardew Valley hype.

As expected, it is indeed a love letter to Natsume games like Harvest Moon and later Rune Factory. Your custom character chooses to abandon life as a corporate drone in an effort to find something new, inheriting a farm in Stardew Valley from your grandfather.

Whereas Harvest Moon games often left you to your own devices, Stardew Valley includes a journal system with objectives to pursue (meet all the townspeople, harvest a set of crops, etc.). I appreciate this “guided” tutorial in the early days as there is a lot of new elements to take in. In the past, when I would play Harvest Moon games, many of the characters would remain consistent from game to game. But Stardew Valley is introducing me to a town I’ve never explored before with citizens I’ve never talked to before so I appreciate the game giving me a sense of guidance in that regard.

Additionally, the game certainly has a Minecraft element to it in that I can create new items for my farm using materials I collect or purchase. A few days into my game, for example, I crafted a couple of scarecrows to place near my crops in order to prevent crows from destroying the work I had done on a given tile. Additions such as this and sprinklers suggest I’m in for an experience that saw what Harvest Moon was doing and recognized the potential to go above and beyond the same old “plant crops, raise animals, talk to townsfolk” gameplay.

I’m only a few hours in but already I’m thoroughly enjoying the innate desire to clear out my farmland and be as productive as possible. True to real-life Trevor, the Trevor of Trove Farm is more interested in getting the work done than building up personal relationships at the moment but I’m sure as I start attending town events in the future, this mentality will shift and I’ll start knowing my neighbors as I did the characters in Harvest Moon.

Day 2

I spent most of my evening after work on a personal development project so I sadly didn’t get too much more time with Stardew Valley tonight but the few days I did play through were pretty eventful.

Man’s Best Friend

Up first, the decision to identify as a dog-person instead of a cat-person in the character creation screen came into play today as one of the townspeople found a dog and invited me to adopt it. Of course I’m going to adopt it. Since Catherine took our little poodle Elphaba in the break-up, I can use this digital new Elphie to fill that void in my life. That’s healthy, right? Shut up voice in my head and just let me appreciate the little heart speech bubble that appears when I pet her.

Adventure Time

With my crops steadily performing well, I took some time to investigate the mine. I reached the Level 5 elevator shaft and collected enough copper to build a furnace, which I then used to smelt a copper bar and oh my god suddenly the world-wide phenomenon of Minecraft makes sense to me.

Years of playing games in the Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest series have prepared me for the genocide of Slimes so I also took my beat up little sword and hacked away at enough of those little bastards to be welcomed into the Adventurer’s Guild.

I Am the Eggman (goo goo g’ joob? Really

Lastly tonight, I attended my first in-game holiday: the Stardew Valley Egg Festival. Fitting that it came a day after Easter as I ate my leftover ham and remembered that I left the Easter Egg my grandmother dyed for me in the refrigerator at my parents’ house. I was hopeful that the last two people I need to meet for the Introductions Journal Quest would be there but alas, they were not. Way to be anti-social Star-douches!

Anyway, after visiting with everyone else, I went ahead and triggered the Egg Hunt. I thought I was doing pretty well all things considered (i.e. me having to take a couple seconds to realize where some eggs might be but once I got going I was on a roll). So when the timer ended and the game brought me back to the awards ceremony I was feeling preeeettty good about myself.

Then Abigail won instead.

It’s such a shame, Abigail. We could have been such good friends you and I. But no. You and your purple hair just had to show me up in front of the children and everything. You will rue the day, Abigail. Sleep with one eye open…

Day 3

Welcome back to another installment of Starkey Valley. If you’re just joining us, Abigail beat me at the Egg Hunt yesterday and now I hate her forever.

Screw you Abigail. Now you’re flaunting your sex life at me, too???!!! Argh! You’re the worst!!!

Anyway, I got through a few more days and passed the halfway point in Spring.

That Big, Beautiful Chest

Since Day 1, I’ve been playing and thinking, “man, I miss having a storage box that I could throw unwanted tools into to free up some inventory. Harvest Moon did that waaaay better.” But today I discovered that I could craft a freaking chest to store all that crap. So I finally offloaded my Fishing Rod and stuff like Stone and Wood. Of course, then I almost immediately purchased a larger backpack and suddenly I could be a walking hoarder again. Yay!!!

Dungeon Crawler

I’m gettin’ real good at killing things in the mine. And now that I had all that extra room in my backpack I was finally able to start collecting all of that monster loot. I’ve been checking the bulletin board by Pierre’s store and I’ll be damned if that Mr. Wizard isn’t just as genocidal toward Slimes as I am. So as long as he keeps paying me to murder ’em, I’ll keep delivering their retribution.

He Who Smelt It, Dealt It

Finally, I wrapped up my evening in Starkey Valley tonight by smelting some copper bars out of the copper and coal I’ve been collecting during my Slime murder sprees. Then I took those copper bars and traded in my watering can for an upgrade. Sure, I could have waited until it would be raining so I wouldn’t miss a day of watering my crops. But screw it, this’ll just leave more time and energy for LARPing as the Stardew Slime Slayer!

(Note to self: investigate the possibility of crafting a cape…)

Day 4

After taking yesterday off to watch and cover the Final Fantasy XV Uncovered event, I returned to Stardew Valley this evening. Let the madness ensue.

Gone Fishin’

Spent quite a bit o’ time down at the beach/lake/river catchin’ some fish today. It took me a while to warm up to the mechanics. The fish moves up and down that little blue strip next to my character and you have to click/click and hold the mouse button to move the green box so it encompasses the fish. Doing so raises the bar on the right side (but when the fish moves outside the box, the bar drops back down). Get the bar all the way to the top and you caught yourself a fish. I started out sucking. A lot. But I eventually got the hang of it and started a CARP-ton of fish. Get it? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!.

Also, note the time of day. Heh heh heh.

You Can Dance If You Want, You Can Leave Your Friends Behind

Made it up to my second Festival today: the Flower Dance. Buuuut since I’ve been mostly in full introvert mode as I focus on getting my farm up and running, nobody wanted to dance with me. Thanks so much for welcoming me to the town Star-douchebags. Yep I just looooooove getting rejected by all the eligible women (and men) in town because I’ve only been here a few weeks trying to provide you idiots with food and keep your town from being overwhelmed with monsters from the nearby cave. But yeah, shun the new guy. Real nice.

Well la-di-frickin'-da Abigail. Clearly your life is just  full  of disappointments and you should just do us all a favor and leave town.

Well la-di-frickin’-da Abigail. Clearly your life is just full of disappointments and you should just do us all a favor and leave town.

Summertime (and the Livin’s Easy)

After a few really solid harvests near the end of Spring, I just kicked off my first Summer buying a whole assortment of crops. My bronze watering can is coming in handy as it makes it quicker and easier to water all of the different plots I’ve got lined up. I also upgraded my Axe which means I can now chop down some of the trees on the farm. I’ve pretty much been treating the Northwest quadrant like the rainforest as I just cut it all down. I used the wood gathered from my own personal deforestation efforts to rebuild the bridge down at the beach. Don’t really know what I should be looking for on the other side so that better not have been a waste of 300 wood. Or I’ll just have to keep mowing down my little forest.

Which I was going to do anyway.

Day 5

I had an ridiculously lazy Saturday filled with pretty much nothing but sleep and some Stardew Valley so here we go…

What’s Shakin’?

A day or so into today’s play session, I went to bed, heard some rumbling, and saw that there was an earthquake overnight. Having played Harvest Moon games, I figured this either messed up my farm or unlocked a new location in the game. But nobody swung by my farm the next day to let me know “Hey! Did you feel that earthquake last night? You should check out XXXXX and see if everything’s ok?” So it took me a few days to discover that a path to the spa had opened.

A common feature of these games, the spa serves as a much-appreciated location to restore stamina. So after I’ve spent the morning water my abundance of crops and chopping down a couple trees, I can spend an hour in the spa to build my energy back up for some cave dwelling and Slime murdering.


Speaking of cave dwelling, I’ve made it down to level 35 in the cave so far. Not nearly as far as I could have gone if I’d taken the opportunity to just use the elevator more but sometimes I enjoy just working my way slowly down from the first level. Way more Slimes to kill that way.

That said, I think my new nemesis in these caves are the maggot/bee things that start out as ground creatures, then metaphorphisize into flying foes that relentlessly assault from all directions. Thank god I picked up a new sword somewhere along the way to boost my combat.


Every day, this game endears me me a little bit more because it is so clearly a love letter to the Harvest Moon series I grew up loving. Today’s example of that came in the form of the Luau Festival, where all of the townsfolk meet at the beach for a potluck and you are invited to throw a food item into the big pot.

There’s even a special guest in the form of the purple-clad Governor in attendance at the festival. This immediately resonated with me as a combination of the Harvest Festival and Cooking Festival from Harvest Moon: Back to Nature (as well as other iterations of the game). As shown in the images below, Back to Nature featured a big ol’ pot that everyone threw food into in its Harvest Festival, and the Cooking Festival featured a character who only appears at this event: the purple-clad Gourmet.

Little touches like this scream out that this is a game made for people like me.

In other news, no new Abigail drama. I’ve just been avoiding her. She knows what she did.

Day 6 (Part One)

So I spent waaaaay more time with Stardew Valley than I though I would today. I played through pretty much an entire season. So “Day 6” of playing is actually gonna be covered over two days of writing. Here’s part one (with part two posting tomorrow).

I Get 5¢ for This, Right?

One of the weird neurotic OCD things I did in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature was as follows. When fishing in the game, you would occasionally catch garbage like a boot or a tin can. While you could just throw it right back in the water, I would always walk the garbage into the town square and dispose of it in the game’s only garbage can. Originally I thought maybe this would have some impact on the game. But even after realizing it didn’t, I still did it anyway. I didn’t want to re-pollute my town.

Fast forward to early this morning, when I learn I can craft a Recycling Center to recycle the pieces of garbage I’ve been catching as I fished and convert them into something more useable. Now, I get a stupid, giddy smile on my face when I snag myself a pair of broken glasses and can convert it to a bit of refined quartz.

Also, how many visually-impaired people live in this town and why do they keep throwing all of their glasses in the water?!

Chickens and Jellies!

Throughout the day, I decided to invest in building a Silo and Coop out on Trove Farm and began raising some chickens. I’ve been a bit more reticent to invest the resources into animal care in this game compared to a Harvest Moon game because time doesn’t stop indoors in Stardew Valley like it typically does there. I’m used to filling my chicken coop and barn with as many animals as quick as possible because taking care of them never took time out of my day. Here in Stardew Valley, I don’t have that luxury so I’ve chosen to spend these first few seasons growing a ton of crops to build up my finances. But now that I’m nearing the barren Winter, I’ll have more time for animals, starting with my four chickens.

Summer wound down with a celebratory send-off festival involving jellyfish. I always appreciate these late day/evening festivals because it gives me plenty of time to get all my other chores done first and I never have to worry about rushing or running out of time. And apart from the occasional “Help Wanted” requests, these festivals also wind up being pretty much the only time I’m being particularly social in the game. So at least they come with pretty little glowing jellyfish cutscenes!

Fall (Think of a funny header to replace this with later…or not)

Very early this morning I wrapped up the Summer season with the jellyfish and as of this moment I’m about a day or two from finishing the Fall season. Fall is typically the most crop-intensive time in these games and Stardew Valley is no different as I have been easily breaking $10,000 days between the farming, fishing, and foraging.

I took the time to upgrade a lot of my tools this season. I’m mid-renovation on the house. I bought a couple of new fishing rods. I’ve been plugging away at helping out those weird little “Not-Slimes” in the Community Center and ticking off rewards bit by bit. It was a very busy, productive day/season around Trove Farm, including new developments in the ongoing drama between me and Abigail. But more on that tomorrow…

Day 6 (Part Two)

As I alluded to in Part One, I put a lot of hours into Stardew Valley yesterday, covering about an entire season’s worth of content in a single day. Yesterday, I covered the joys of recycling, raising chickens, ogling jellyfish, and making a buttload of money in the Fall. Here’s the rest of the story.


I’ve not shied away the trouble I’ve had with Abigail in this game. Ever since she thwarted me at the Egg Festival, we’ve had our issues. But being the generally good guy that I try to be, I decided randomly to offer her up a flower from my farm as an olive branch. Of all the days for me to choose, I happened to stumble upon this peace offering on the 13th day of Fall: Abigail’s Birthday. (I was so shocked by the serendipitous timing that I didn’t even think to grab a screenshot of the moment).

Soon after, during a routine visit to Pierre’s, I found myself welcomed into Abigail’s room only to discover…

As it turns out, Abigail is a fellow gamer. So I sat down to play some Journey of the Prairie King with her…

And suddenly she’s flirting with me…or…making a masturbation joke at my expense.

Either way, I’m about 99% sure we’re going to get married now and this has all been the first act of our romantic comedy where we hate each other.

That Penn and Teller Game aka Desert Bus

Using my newly acquired wealth (thanks to selling a ton of eggplant, pumpkins, corn, grapes, etc.), I decided to purchase all of the bundles in the “Vault” section of the Community Center. The ultimate reward for completing these four bundles was those little “Not-Slimes” repairing the bus out to the Desert Oasis.

So I took the time to investigate this newly found area. There’s definitely a lot more going on over in that area but so far I’ve only bothered to pick up some of the specialty seeds from the store there and forage a bit of the cactus plants and coconuts (which finished up another of the foraging bundles…yay!). I’m curious to return in the long, mostly-empty days of the Winter season to investigate.

Stardew Valley Fair

In the first event of the Fall, the Stardew Valley Fair gave me a chance to show off some of my prized-possessions (shown above as some fishing trophies, a nice mushroom, jams/pickled veggies, and a couple of mining rewards), as well as play a handful of mini-games.

As I have become quite adept at fishing, I decided to play that mini-game a whole bunch until I had enough Star Tokens to buy all of the swag from the event, including a Rarecrow (my second) and the Stardrop, which permanently increased my energy. I wondered if the game had an equivalent to the Power Berries of the Harvest Moon series. Now I know.

So that wraps up Day 6 of Starkey Valley. I look forward to seeing what the Winter season has in store soon.

Day 7

So much for resting on the seventh day. Who’s got time for that when there’s work on the farm to be done?!

Spirit’s Eve (Not to Be Confused with Summer’s Eve)

To wrap up the Fall season I headed into town for their little Halloween-esque Festival. Chatted with a bunch of the townsfolk. Walked through a spooky maze (good thing the Wizard isn’t a bad guy because I can do without spiders and Legend of Zelda-esque hands attacking me in the comfort of town. Anywho, solved the mystery of the maze and grabbed the Golden Pumpkin there. Also got another Rarecrow. Because Stardew Valley Trevor is a collector of random stuff just like real-life Trevor

Winter Wonderland

As of this writing, I’m about a week into the Winter season. I upgraded my house so I’ve got myself a brand-spanking-new Kitchen and Bedroom. I’m slowly but surely upgrading my Tools (everything is Steel at the moment, hoping to start upgrading to Gold). And I’m spending a lot of time fishing and mining. Oh, and I just got myself a Mayonnaise Maker. Because sometimes you want a sandwich and they’re just no good dry.

It’s Like the Old Gypsy Woman Said

Way back at the Stardew Valley Fair, I spend 100G to have the Fortune Teller tell me my future. Sadly it didn’t lead to a hilariously half-hour episode of The Simpsons where Lisa is the President of the United States and Bart is a free-loading threat to national security. But she did tell me that I would remember Linus’ birthday when nobody else would.

Aaaand then I forgot about it.

But on the 2nd of Winter, I remembered what she had said and thought, “crap I probably missed it!” only to find that his birthday was on the 3rd. God I am really lucky with my timing in this game so far.

Anyway, the next day it was snowing but I hung around his tent until she showed up in the evening and I gave him some food. He was touched and became my first 5-heart-level friend in the game. Awwwwww. So sweet. Friendship is magical.

Day 8

On tonight’s episode of Starkey Valley, shit got real in the mine. But first…

A Real Fixer-Upper

So as best I can tell, you can take the easy way out and buy a 5000G Joja Membership and turn the Community Center into a warehouse or you can do what I’m doing and collect a whole bunch of random odds and ends to complete the various bundles and pick up random rewards.

I had already purchased all of the cash bundles in order to unlock the Vault and doing so repaired the bus out to the Desert Oasis area. Today, I managed to unlock two more areas, meaning my Community Center is half restored and everyone in the town will love me soon!

First, I accidentally smacked my Hoe to the ground (phrasing!) and unearthed a Snow Yam, which was the last bit of Winter foraging needed to restore the Crafts Room and repair the bridge to the quarry,

And I made my way down past level 80 of the mine, where I was able to track down the last Fire Quartz I needed to repair the Boiler Room and fix the mine carts. And holy crap is it nice to have a way to Fast Travel around the town with those mine carts?!

Gone (Ice) Fishin’

It’s very amusing to me that, despite my many failed attempts at fishing in real life, I’m actually quite good at it in this game. It’s so much more rewarding actually catching fish, even if they’re digital facsimiles. I should have just told me family to suck it all those summers we went to actual lakes and threaded actual worms on hooks (or the far more frequent neon pink and green Play-Doh-like bait).

Anywho, the first Winter festival called for an Ice Fishing competition. And I nailed it! I was gonna be really annoyed if somebody beat me because I got a fish last minute that they didn’t count (even though it was clearly in my hands before the time was up Willy!!!). Fortunately, six fish was good enough for the win and admiration and respect of my peers.

Is This What Death Feels Like?

Oh yeah, and I died today.

Sort of, I guess.

I got a bit overzealous trying to reach level 90 in the Mine. I got an Insect Head sword thing that’s doing way more damage than the dinky Steel Sword I had been using and I was feeling really good. Mining a ton of gold ore so I can upgrade the rest of my tools.

But then I got attacked by a swarm of bats. And I’ll be damned if the sons of bitches didn’t flutter around me and help me fly to safety so that I could eventually fight crime and drink scotch with my cool butler friend. No.

Instead, they beat the crap out of me until I more or less died. Linus was kind enough to pull me to safety but I lost a lot of money and items (and apparently about 8 floors worth of memories, whatever that meant?). But that didn’t sit well with me so I chose to close out of the game. I’ll just replay the 10th of Winter tomorrow and avoid dying instead. Or maybe I’ll go full Groundhog Day and die/reset a bunch of times until I’ve learned what’s really important in Stardew Valley and finally get to the 11th of Winter.

Bonus Anecdote: Treasure Trove

ConcernedApe aka Eric Barone aka the guy behind Stardew Valley must be a fan. I’m mean there’s an achievement practically named after me. That’s gotta be how it works, right? Right?

Day 9

Decided not to go all Groundhog Day in Stardew Valley today after all. I mean, I almost did when I was suddenly down to 4 hit points in the mine, but I managed to get myself out of there safely.

“Elphie Loves You”

Starting off on a serious note amidst the flurry of jokes I usually pepper in these posts. As I mentioned way back on day two, I named my dog in the game Elphie, after the poodle Catherine and I shared that she now takes care of after the break-up. I only get to see the real Elphie once or twice a month these days. Catherine and I grabbed lunch last week and brought her along and it warmed my heart.

Tonight, after nearly a year of taking care of her in-game, I went outside to pet her like I always do and got the message :Elphie loves you” with a little heart after it. I smiled. Then frantically tried and failed to hit the print screen button before it left the screen. So I guess that moment was just for me.

Level 100. No. Wait. The Bottom of the Mine.

My initial story tonight was going to be about reaching level 100 in the mine. But then while I was waiting for the next little bit to wrap up, I kept going and eventually reached the bottom and collected the special Skeleton Key. Now, I’ve already got a pretty good idea where that key will lead but I haven’t checked yet.

Instead I’m enjoying the spoils of my adventures in the mine. A crap ton of gems. A sexy Obsidian Blade that is incredibly effective at Slime-icide. Even Space Boots, buried deep beneath the surface of the earth for some reason. Or…oh my god…is Stardew Valley set on a world other than Earth?!?!?! Have I been an alien all this time?!?!?! Mind. Blown.

Nah…probably just a cool set of purple shoes.

A Good Ol’ Fashioned Barn Raisin’

The reason I was able to delve further into the mine was because I identified that building the Barn was gonna be my third tale for today’s post. But then I needed to wait until it was actually built and all so I had more time for mining and murdering.

With Trove Farm now equipped with a Barn of its own, I picked up a pair of baby cows to go along with it. Winter is nearly done so I should be fine on hay but I’ll need to start growing some grass pretty quick come Spring time so I don’t have to waste money buying it.

Bonus: You can see my sexy purple Space Boots, the Barn, and Elphie all in one picture.

Day 10

Well I’ve reached double digits in terms of days played on Stardew Valley. And Steam has me clocked in at 44 hours. Sounds about right…

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Key

As I anticipated in yesterday’s entry, the Skull Key I collected at the bottom of the mine did indeed get me into the new mine over at the Desert. And that placed is kicking my ass. I really miss having the incremental check-ins every 5 levels.

During my first foray into this new mine, I discovered that this one has mine shaft holes that will bypass a random number of floors. Using one for the first time, I traveled down 7 floors and was almost immediately killed by a beast.

Needless to say, I’m nowhere near achieving the quest objective of reaching level 25.

Year One Wrap-Up

I finished up the rest of Year One today. In doing so, I:

  • Leveled up all of my tools to gold.
  • Restored the Community Center Fish Tank
  • Attended the Secret Santa-inspired Feast of the Winter Star Festival. Gave Pierre a diamond (which I’m pretty sure he did not like too much) and got a dinky little Ancient Doll from Jas – which she admitted she found in the dirt somewhere last year. The little girl pretty much gave me her garbage. Thanks!
  • Donated enough items to the Museum to get the key for the Sewer. Weird guy down there sold me another Stardrop so I’m swimming in energy.
  • Upgraded my Coop and Barn and added some Ducks and a Goat to my menagerie.


I’ve pretty much been keeping the peace with Abigail. We even had an impromptu jam session in the woods because she plays the flute and apparently I just carry around a mini-harp with me everywhere I go. Despite this blossoming relationship, however, I was still determined to get my revenge and win the Egg Festival in Year Two.

As soon as the timer started, I bolted off left and effectively circled the town square area clockwise, grabbing every egg I could find. With a whopping ten eggs in hand as the time ran out, I was feeling pretty confident. As sure enough, I took home the grand prize…

…a crappy Straw Hat.

But just like the father in A Christmas Story who held his Leg Lamp in such high esteem, so too will I treasure this Straw Hat.

I just won’t ever be caught dead wearing the damn thing.

Day 11

So this is what I was afraid of way back on Day Zero. I woke up today, fully intending to take a break from Stardew Valley and spend some time with Quantum Break instead. I played the first act of it earlier this week and am excited to see more of it. But then I sat down at my computer and just played a lot of Stardew Valley.

The Simple Life (without Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie)

I didn’t even take any notes (as I normally do) of moments in the game that I can spin a fun story out of. I am very much at the point in the game where I’m just enjoying the day-to-day experience of watering and harvesting my crops, taking care of my animals, upgrading my farm, and occasionally mining or fishing. As a result, I might start pulling back on this series and only occasionally check in with “bigger” moments. This kind of game very much appeals to the state I’m in right now. Having played over 30 games so far in 2016, it’s nice to just sit and relax with one for a bit. Much like playing Final Fantasy VII and Dark Cloud earlier in the year was a bit of comfort food gaming, Stardew Valley scratches that same itch. I can just enjoy my time with it while catching up on podcasts or other content plays in the background.

Quick Like a Bunny

After upgrading my Coop to the super max supreme ultra version, I have added a couple of rabbits to my ever-growing zoo. Still too early to tell what I can do with them or if they will multiply as they are known to do. And I’m morbidly curious to find out how I might acquire the Rabbit’s Foot game item from them (for one of the four remaining bundles I need to finish up the Community Center). I guess I’m pretty much just hoping this whole game turns into a secret Watership Down reference.

Just Dance 2016

Dear Diary,

Today I danced with a girl. It was nice. She said at first she didn’t really like dancing in front of other people. But then when I asked her to dance, she said she’d love to. I definitely need to talk to Mayor Lewis about getting my hands on one of the matching outfits for next year though. It’s definitely “cult chic!” Anyway, Abigail has been really cool so I’m glad I got over hating her for beating me at the Egg Hunt last year. And I gave her the amethyst I found in the mine because I like that it matches her hair. She loved it too! And I know she probably hated it but I thought she looked cute with that little bow in her hair.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Crazy Big Update Edition

Huge day in Starkey Valley today. But first, let me bring you up to speed on some of the other highlights from the past few days.

Spelunkin’ 2: The Deepening

When last we met, I was going through a bit of a regular routine: farm, mine, sleep. Well during a particularly rainy day where I didn’t have to spend have the day watering my plants because I haven’t had a ton of Iridium to invest in crazy awesome sprinklers, I headed to the Skull Cave early with extra rations to help me when the mummies, slimes, and way-too-fast-flying-Chinese-dragon-things started kicking my ass.

This happened to be a very lucky run through the caverns as I was able to quickly find the occasional ladder on my quest down to level 25. I also happened to stumble upon a couple of mine shaft holes. One of them dropped me THIRTEEN levels. That was half of my trip in one fell swoop. Eventually, I made it down to mother freakin’ level 25 and then immediately got the hell out of there and back to the safety and comfort of Trove Farm. The next day I was rewarded with 10,000G. Sweet! Pretty sure I used it buy a damn Iridium Sprinkler.

Greenhouse = Goldmine

With wool-producing bunny rabbits just hanging our with my chicks and ducks in the Super Mega Awesome Funtime Coop, I was able to finish the last bundle of the Pantry in the Community Center and those cute little bloop bloops fixed up the Greenhouse on my farm. Now, in my Harvest Moon experiences, the Greenhouse was basically the last, most expensive farm upgrade you could get. And then a damn tornado or hurricane could strike your farm one day and destroy it, meaning you’d have to spend a crap-ton of money again to rebuild. But since I don’t foresee these little not slimes requiring me to redo that bundle, I’m guessing the Greenhouse in Stardew Valley is a more permanent structure. Awesome.

So the pro of the Greenhouse is that you can plant any seed from any season in there year round (even during the Winter). The con is that its protected from the elements so even on rainy days, you have to water the plants yourself. Fortunately, that Iridium Sprinkler I picked up is already coming in handy.

In order to keep a steady flow of cash coming from there, I’ve got a few 3×3 patches of Corn, Tomatoes, Blueberries, and Green Peppers. But then I’ve also got pretty much every other inch filled with a combination of the super-lucrative Ancient Fruit (from the Ancient Seeds), Starfruit (purchased from the Desert Oasis), and Sweet Gem Berry (from the Rare Seeds you can buy at the gypsy lady’s cart by the lake). After a couple seasons of this, I’m currently sitting at $500,000+G so I probably don’t really need to work anymore, right? But I do it anyway…

Some Other Miscellaneous Stuff Before We Get to My Big Day Today

  • A freaking WITCH flew over my Coop in the middle of the night one evening and left me a mysterious Void Egg, which I threw into my Incubator and hatched a Black Demon Chicken. I raised her up and then threw one of her Void Eggs in the Incubator too so now I’ve got a couple of black demon chickens with red eyes just casually chillin’ with the rest of my chickens, ducks, and rabbits.
  • Abby (yeah, I call her Abby now) invited me over to her place one night for an after-hours Ouija date. It was cute. She started to spell out how much she loooooooooves me. Then she got super embarrassed and kicked me out.
  • Went to my second Luau Festival. Spiked the potluck soup by throwing some Beer into it. Awesome!
  • As I started amassing my fortune, I invested in a lot more upgrades and whatnot.
    • Fully upgraded my house with the second floor and future nursery/kids’ room.
    • Upgraded to the Super Mega Awesome Funtime Barn to match my Coop. Picked up a couple of pigs and a sheep for truffles and more wool.
    • Planted lots of fruit trees.
    • Upgraded all but my Hoe to Iridium level badassery.
  • Built a Stable and got a horse named Snarky.
  • Built a Slime Hutch and started raising my own slimes…so I can murder them whenever I want, of course!
  • Oh yeah, I learned Dwarvish, read a tombstone in the graveyard, and got a frickin’ Galaxy Sword which has made the spelunkening soooooo much easier!

Alright, so all of those things happened over the last few days. Here’s the greatness that occured today.

Suck It, Pierre!

Up first, I went to the Stardew Valley Fair with one goal: to beat Pierre and his snooty little grange display. I mean, come on. He’s the shopkeeper. Where exactly is he doing all of this farming to bring in such plump tomatoes, pumpkins, yams, and whatnot. My theory: he’s not. He’s just buying them from his supplier and showcasing them as his own. Not cool, Pierre.

So I showed up ready to play, with a variety of goods shown above. You’ve got an Ancient Fruit, some Goat Cheese, a Diamond, a Starfruit, a Sweet Gem Berry, a jar of Ancient Fruit Jelly, a bit of Truffle Oil, an Iridium Bar, and a jar of Wild Honey (no need to go overboard and bring in any flower-scented flavors).

The look on Pierre’s face was priceless when he lost to me (even if it was the same look he always has). I JUST WANT YOU TO THINK I’M WORTHY OF YOUR DAUGHTER, PIERRE!!!

Lucky Rabbit’s Foot My Ass

Going into the Fall season, I only needed two remaining items to finish up the Bulletin Board and completely restore the Community Center. On Day One, I got the Pomegranate I needed from one of the trees I had planted on the farm.

Then I waited…

Day after day, week after week, just waiting for one of my rabbits to give me a freaking rabbit’s foot. Eventually, I even got rid of a couple of my chickens to free up some space in the Coop for two more rabbits to try and increase the odds. And I checked in with the crazy lady and her pig-drawn carriage every chance I could on the off chance I could just buy one from her. But nothing.

Finally, after nearly two full seasons of taking care of those damn rabbits every single day, I got not one, but two rabbit’s feet and immediately headed to the Community Center to finish the bundle. With the Center fully restored, I returned home to rest and enjoy whatever treasure the next day would provide.

As the reward for that particular set was “Friendship,” I awoke to nearly a dozen pieces of mail from neighbors all across Pelican Town inviting me to try out some of their favorite recipes. Then I headed to the Community Center.

Everyone was so excited for the old place to be up and running again, fully restored. Then, as if it were an 80s movie, the evil corporate manager from Joja Mart came by and threatened to squash everyone’s happiness by offering a crazy sale at his store before Pierre earned my respect and stood up to the bully, offering that all-too-cliche inspirational speech about sticking together because together, we can accomplish anything. But yeah, since I put in all that damn work to get the place up and running again, that Joja Mart guy can suck it! And he was certainly allowing me to transfer all of my pent up anger to all the shitty managers I had to deal with working in actual retail for years. So screw that guy and everything he represented. Suck it Joja Mart. We don’t want you here anymore!

You can't make it out, but I'm saying, "Fuzzy pickles!!!"

You can’t make it out, but I’m saying, “Fuzzy pickles!!!”

Like Bruno Mars Said, “I Think I Wanna Marry You”

Literally the day after we 80’s-movied Joja Mart out of existence, the town came together yet again on Fall 25th to celebrate the nuptials of Abby and I.

What a whirlwind of a year and a half? A roller coaster of emotions from that first Egg Hunt to now. From enmity to love, she has always been on my mind. Thanks for being the inspiration for the first spark of “Starkey Valley” Abigail. I look forward to where our adventures take us next.

Year Two Wrap-Up

Most of today was spent packing up for my flight to Boston in the morning for PAX East. But I also squeezed in some Stardew Valley for the first time in a few days. I was about halfway through Winter of my second year so I figured I’d just wrap things up.

Happy Home

By now the routine is pretty standard. I wake up, give Abby a kiss and some amethyst, go take care of the animals, water the crops in the greenhouse, and then get in some winter fishing or slime-murdering. Side note: I finally murdered my one-thousandth slime and got a nice new ring that keeps them from doing any damage to me, which made venturing into my Slime Hutch was less bothersome.

And Baby Makes Three

A day or so into today’s playtime, Abby let me know she was pregnant. Yay! So I kept fawning over her and making sure she was doing well every day. And as we went to bed at the end of Winter, I got a message that Abby gave birth to a baby girl in the middle of the night. Then I panicked because it was all happening so fast and I hadn’t even thought of a name for her. Yet suddenly, I was typing in “Joy” as her name. Welcome to Trove Farm, Joy. Your mother and I love you very much.

Doing Granddad Proud

As soon as we welcomed little Joy into the family, I was also visited in the night by the spirit of my Grandfather who left me the opportunity to run. With nearly $600,000 on hand, a beautiful wife and daughter, and friends all across town, Granddad was proud of the work I had done and wished me the best moving forward.

So with the main “story” complete, I’ll probably write up a formal review of the game next week after my PAX East coverage wraps up. But if you’ve missed any of my Starkey Valley exploits, feel free to read up on them while you wait.

Thanks for reading! These have been a lot of fun to write!

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