Biomes

Chapter 7
Happy Home Designer – the first Animal Crossing game to have biomes.

Last chapter, I went over the Map Editor and how vital it is to creating a new town. Back in the GameCube Version, even if every town had different layouts and villagers, all of them were essentially the same. In Wild World, the buildings were more fluid in location, but still could not be near the beaches, while the Town Gates and waterfall were always at the north. City Folk was similar, except that the Able Sisters and Tom Nook’s Store were in two different locations, and all four humans have their own houses in different locations. In New Leaf, the fact that you are free to place projects anywhere you want and the fact that not everybody has to own the same projects made our maps more diverse. My Map Editor idea is a way to make towns even more diverse than they were in New Leaf. However, there’s still one more thing that will make towns unique – biomes.

You can decide what biome your town while you’re creating your character. As Rover asks you questions, he will ask you what type of weather you like, such as wet, dry, cold, or hot. They are in two questions. Your answers determine the biome. The biomes have different weather patterns, different schedules of catching fish and insects, amount of grass and dirt, and vegetation. This chapter is all about the four biomes.

Grass and Dirt Content

The first thing to talk about in terms of the Biomes is how much grass is in your town. No matter what the cause is, all of them have at least some grass and some dirt. But it’s true that some have more grass than others.

The Jungle Biome has the most grass out of the four. About 75% to 85% of the town is covered in grass. Just 15% to 25% of the town is dirt. Due to the tropical climate all year round, the grass can either be light green (as in early July’s in ACNL), or dark green. Unfortunately, since it never snows in the lowlands of the tropics, there will never be snow in the jungle biome. So building a snowman or igloo is impossible in this town. But at least you can still catch dung beetles, which may randomly roll on mud balls (which are common in the winter months).

The tundra, as the definition is a frozen grassland, has the second most grass. About 60% to 70% of the town is grass, with the remaining 30% to 40% being dirt. The grass will always be brown (as in early December’s in ACNL) or light green, depending on the time of the year. But most of the time, there will be snow. Just like normal, the snow covers the grass and not the dirt.

The forest, which was the biome of the previous Animal Crossing games, has 50% to 60% grass with 40% to 50% dirt. The grass color pattern follows New Leaf’s pattern in terms of season. And the snow only covers the grass.

Instead of dirt, the desert biome has sand. At the same time, it has the least amount of grass. 15% to 25% of the town is covered in grass as 75% to 85% is covered in sand. The grass can be light green, dark green, yellow-green, yellow, or brown. Ironically, the snow actually covers the sand and not the grass, but the sand on the beaches are still ignored. This gives us even more snow than the tundra.

Vegetation

The plants that grow in each biome are also different. In fact, the only plants you can grow in any biome are the 16 fruit trees and the 48 flowers. But the other plants differ.

The first difference is on the trees. All four biomes can grow the same fruit trees, but only three fruits can be the town fruits in one biome. Persimmons, pineapples, coconuts, and bananas are the four fruits that cannot have perfect qualities. The three fruits with the possibility of being the main fruit in the towns of the jungle biome are lychees, durians, and mangoes. In the forest biome, they are apples, cherries, and peaches. In the desert biome, they are oranges, lemons, and limes. In the tundra biome, they are strawberries, grapes, and pears. In relationship to the other trees, all four biomes have three different fruitless trees. Two of them appear to be in two biomes, and the other one being unique to the biome. The oak tree, the pine tree, the bare tree, and the palm tree are the four trees that can meet in two different biomes. The jungle biome can have the oak trees and palm trees. The forest has the pine trees and oak trees. The desert has the palm trees and bare trees. Finally, the tundra has the bare trees and pine trees. As for the third tree, which does not emit bees, bells, or furniture, they are the orchid tree of the jungle, the bamboo of the forest, the saguaro cactus of the desert, and the cypress tree of the tundra.

The shrubs grown are different in each biome as well. In the jungle biome, the four different shrubs that grow are the red hibiscus, the yellow hibiscus, the thorn bush, and the fern. The forest has both the azaleas and hydrangeas. The desert has four succulents, which are the prickly pear cactus, the agave cactus, the aloe, and the round cactus. The tundra has the sweet olive bush, the holly shrub, the cedar shrub, and the scrub bush.

In your plot, as long as you have an outdoor yard, you can grow any plant you like without seeing them die. However, if they do not match your biome, they cannot be grown anywhere beyond your plot. Succulents wouldn’t grow very well in very wet climates like the jungle, as palm trees cannot survive too well in the extremely cold climates like the tundra.

The last difference in vegetation of each biome is how many plants you’ll need to get perfect town status. If you want the golden watering can and Town Hall PWP unlocked, you’re gonna need to have as many trees as the range says. The further you are from both the maximum and minimum, the more perfect your town is. Each biome has their own range of trees and shrubs you can grow. As it hardly rains in the polar zones, you wouldn’t need as many trees. The forests, especially tropical rainforests, would need a lot more trees. Three shrubs counts as one tree.

  • Jungle: 240 to 360 trees
  • Forest: 180 to 300 trees
  • Desert: 120 to 240 trees
  • Tundra: 60 to 180 trees

Weather

The main difference between all biomes is the weather patterns. The forest biome has the exact same weather as the previous games, with the four seasons. But the others have different patterns.

The tundra is the snowiest one. The snow covers much of the town for the majority of the year. From October to March, snow covers all of the town’s grass. From March 22nd to May 10th and from August 22nd to October 10th, there is no snow on the ground, but the grass is brown, and the snowy weather still happens. During the snow season (October 11th to March 21st), you can have blizzards, the snow equivalent of the stormy rain. Between May 11th and August 21st, no snow can occur, the grass is light green, and the days are warmer. Unfortunately, it will never rain in your town.

The jungle will never have snow no matter what happens, but there is rain. It is possible to have 10 to 20 consecutive days of rain with thunderstorms in this biome. Just like the tundra, the jungle has its dry season, which is from November 11th to February 18th. During that time, no rain occurs. The grass is dark green during the wet season, but medium green during the dry season.

The desert, like the forest, had both rain and snow. It does snow more than it rains, but there are far more sunny days than rainy days and snowy days. All of December to February will have snow covering every sandy spot other than the beaches, as well as the last ten days of November and the first ten days of March. In addition, it can snow in your town from October 22nd to November 20th, as the grassy spots are brown. Even during the snowy season, it doesn’t snow as much. Rain is very rare outside the snowy season, but there are at least 3 to 5 rainy days a month. However, they are not consecutive. Basically, the desert remains to be a dry climate like deserts in reality.

Insects, fish, and seafood

Even if different biomes have different weather patterns, all fish, insects, and seafood can be caught in your town. However, frequency is much different based on which biome you have.

In the jungle biome, all summer fish and insects can be caught all year round due to the tropical nature of the jungle. However, due to the high number of rainy days, some insects such as the tarantula and scorpion are even harder to get. The best times to catch them is during the dry season. You will also have a hard time catching winter fish such as the bitterlings, stringfish, and seafood like the snow crab and horsehair crab. They do appear during the dry season, but are much rarer in the jungle biome than the other three.

The forest biome is the same as Animal Crossing in the previous games. None of the fish, insects, or seafood are more common in the forest biome than any other biome. They are also no rarer in the forest biome than other biomes. With a stable weather pattern and the four seasons pattern, the schedules seem to be normal.

In the desert biome, as long as rain or snow is not as common, you will have a better chance of catching tarantulas and scorpions (which appear during the hot season), but snails and coelacanths are even harder to catch. Scorpions and tarantulas are much more common in the desert than other biomes. About 6 to 10 of these arachnids can appear each night as long as it’s not during the snowy season and when there isn’t rain or snow. Coelacanths still appear during rainy or snowy days, which are not very common in the desert.

The tundra biome is the best for winter fish and insects. The winter seafood like the snow crabs and giant spider crab (which is spring by the way) and the winter fish like tuna and stringfish appear all year round. Moreover, coelacanths are way more common in this biome. During the snowy days, which are common, you can catch up to 20 a day, which is the equivalence of a royal crown being sold at the Re-Tail. However, summer fish and insects like the palm beetles, sharks, and arapaimas are very rare in this biome. The summer river fish appear in only June and July, as well as the tarantulas and scorpions. The other summer bugs and ocean fish must be caught at the island.

Fish and insects that appear all year round in general (such as the bees and the infamous sea bass) are the same in all biomes.

Villagers

All towns, regardless of biomes, have a possibility of any villager moving to your town. Different biomes aren’t barriers for villagers from other towns to move to yours. Nor does it even discriminate against them from being in the moving rotation. Any villager can move to your town.

However, biomes do have an effect on probability. Based on species, certain villagers are more likely to move in towns of two different biomes, and more unlikely in towns of the other biomes. As there are 34 species of villagers, 12 of them are more likely than unlikely to move in your town. 12 other species of villagers are less likely than unlikely to move in your town. The other 10 species have a 50/50 chance of moving.

An example of the probability is not just which ones are more likely to take a plot, but also more likely to be in the campsite or hotel room. Let’s say that you’re looking for the dreamie you want most. You encounter 9 villagers in your campsite. Four of them would be the 12 species compatible for your biome, four of them would be the 10 species compatible in all four biomes, and the other one is the incompatible species to your biome.

Some villagers like Rosie, Goldie, and Julian are very popular. Based on their species, all three of them are very likely to move in any biome, regardless of personality, birthday, or popularity. The 10 villagers that you won’t have a hard time getting on your own in any biome are:

  • Cats
  • Cattle (both bulls and cows)
  • Chickens
  • Dogs
  • Frogs
  • Goats
  • Hamsters
  • Horses
  • Pigs
  • Sheep

The other 24 species have certain biomes they are likely to move in. In one biome, you are more likely to get 12 of them, but if you had two different towns with different biomes, only four species are more easier to get in both towns. In the following lists, you can see which species are more likely to move in both biomes. Keep in mind that the forest biome is the opposite of the desert biome, as well as the jungle and tundra.

Jungle and Forest:

Some villagers are more likely to move in heavily forested areas with abundant rain, lush green grass, and more grass. Here is a list of compatible villagers if your town is in either biomes. The incompatible villagers still appear in the rotation, but more unlikely than the ones that are compatible with your town.

Compatible species:

  • Anteaters
  • Gorillas
  • Mice
  • Monkeys

Desert and Tundra:

In the towns of the opposite biomes, the four species I previously listed will rarely appear in rotation of these two biomes, whereas the villagers that rarely appear in rotation of the jungle and forest biomes are compatible in both the desert and tundra biomes. For a strange reason, some of these species are compatible with these two biomes while they do not naturally appear in both biomes. However, due to my obsession over balancing villagers per biome, I made these four species the compatible species of these biomes. It may sound weird, but the snowier towns with less vegetation are the two biomes you are more likely to get villagers of these species.

Compatible species:

  • Ducks
  • Octopi
  • Ostriches
  • Penguins

Forest and Tundra:

Some villagers prefer living in biomes that are less tropical and more seasonal. In nature, animals of these species tend to live in forests, more typically northern forests. Some might even live in the upper grasslands or arctic. According to Bell Tree Forums, the most popular villagers are deer and wolves. If most of your favorite villagers are either one of these two species or one of the bears of any size, you are more likely to see them in these two biomes and less likely to see them in the opposite biomes.

Compatible species:

  • Bears
  • Bearcubs
  • Deer
  • Wolves

Jungle and Desert:

In the more tropical and the less seasonal biomes, the four compatible species listed are more likely to appear in rotation in both biomes. It’s possible to get these villagers in the other two biomes, even by yourself, but there’s still a small chance that you can get them without help. But in these two biomes, they are very likely to appear in rotation.

Compatible species:

  • Hippos
  • Kangaroos
  • Koalas
  • Rhinos

Forest and Desert:

The forest and desert biomes are more temperate than the other two biomes. As a result, these four species are more likely to move into towns of these biomes than towns of the other biomes.

Compatible species:

  • Birds
  • Eagles
  • Rabbits
  • Squirrels

Jungle and Tundra:

In reality, jungles and tundras never meet. So villagers that are compatible of both biomes are listed for a strange reason. But then again, some of these are grassland species. More likely savanna species. The four compatible villagers are easier to get in both the warm and wet jungle and the frozen savanna.

Compatible species:

  • Crocodiles
  • Elephants
  • Lions
  • Tigers

Items

As a person who opposes the Group Mechanic, I do not support the idea where some items are rarely sold in some towns while they are more frequently sold in other towns. However, there are some items that are impossible to obtain naturally in some biomes, and those are generally the seasonal items, especially the snow people items. Since it doesn’t snow in the tropics (except for high altitudes like in the Andes), you can’t make snowmen in the jungle biome, which means no snow items. Therefore, I came up with a holiday where you can get any of the series and themes you can’t get naturally. After all, none of the items are impossible to get in one biome by any means.

What all biomes have in common

While I mentioned earlier that you can get any villager, item, fish, insect, and deep sea catch regardless of biomes, I also said that they are obtained differently. Here are the many things that do not differ in any biome whatsoever:

  • Core mechanics (such as interior design, town design, chatting with villagers etc)
  • Hourly music (hopefully, it can repeat New Leaf’s hourly music)
  • Available PWPs
  • Available house renovation options
  • The holidays in town
  • Available ordinances
  • The sequence of Store Renovations

Traditional Mode

The biome feature does apply to Traditional Mode just like it does to Sandbox Mode. However, it depends on the tiers. If you read Chapter 4, you would know about the tiers of Traditional Mode. Tier One is just like an Animal Crossing game with all of my ideas, but without the mayoral features. Tier Two is like Animal Crossing: New Leaf without mayoral features. And Tier Three is like Wild World with New Leaf’s graphics and character design, as well as holidays and the Island.

Even if you saved a map from the game for Traditional Mode, you can still decide on biome, depending on the situation. If you choose to play in Traditional Mode at Tier One, the biome feature still applies. You can choose your biome, the biomes differ exactly like how they do in Sandbox Mode, and certain items and villagers are just as easy or as hard to obtain based on biome. In Tier Two and Tier Three, the biome feature does not apply. Your town will automatically be in the forest biome, no villager or items are as hard to get, and all vegetation can be grown in your town. You can even have a succulent garden surrounded by oak and cedar trees. The jungle plants can be covered in snow.

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