Animal Crossing: New Horizons Will Be Filled With Regret and Guilt

Animal Crossing: New Horizons may be getting players excited for its upcoming release, but it’s only going to bring regret and guilt.

November 9, 2019

The skies shiver with fans’ excited squeals every time news on Nintendo’s upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes about. And why wouldn’t they? You’ve all spent years playing the previous installments in the popular series on the DS, the GameCube, even your mobile phone. All those years of building relationships with your digital townsfolk and managing the town into your perfect paradise will be welcomed back on a new platform.

Those enjoyable moments you had in the past—the building, the friendships, the conversations—it was a ride, wasn’t it? It was a ride that stuck with you through the years, and the arrival of the new Animal Crossing title seems to only spark positive memories. But of course, you’ve forgotten.

You’re too busy becoming infatuated with the new features heading to Animal Crossing: New Horizons: crafting, Nook Lines, 8-player online multiplayer, jumping over rivers with a long stick. These are all new features you’d previously only dreamt about. I bet you can’t wait to meet the new residents too: building new friendships, spreading gossip, becoming attached to a bestie. And with the modern world’s online presence we have today, you’ll be introducing friends to your friends.

I only hope that as your new friendships blossom your past returns in fleeting moments.

“Their lives didn’t just stop when you closed the game. They continued without you.”

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Let me jog your memory. Remember those villagers you were close with at your old town? Remember the warm feeling of exchanging gifts and visiting one another every few days? Now they’re sitting in their home as darkness envelopes them, surrounded by your gifts and loaded with resentment, constantly reminded of how you abandoned them. You see, their lives didn’t just stop when you closed the game. They continued without you.

Take for example Tom Nook, the friendly raccoon who offered you a roof over your head, who built your home with his own paws. He may look like he’s doing somewhat well in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but do you think he’s forgotten how long you took to repay your debt? What about how you requested more work to be done, leaving him to make his kids run the store?

“Your attempt to lift the burden of abandoning your town will only send you into a pit of despair.”

Can you feel the dark cloud of regret looming over you yet? Perhaps you’re getting twitchy, wanting to reach for an older version of the game before Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches? What’s stopping you?

Perhaps it’s the knowledge of returning to your once pristine town, now overgrown with weeds? Remember the unwelcome trees growing in areas that you deforested with the very axe you tried to murder Gulliver with? Your attempt to lift the burden of abandoning your town will only send you into a pit of despair.

As you wander around, you’ll pass areas that will spark nostalgic memories;  perhaps the tree you remember catching the biggest moth on. Maybe you’ll remember areas where you met specific villagers for the first time and rush to see them. Of course, it will be only to find out they’ve moved on, and you’ll never see them again.

“Do you think [Tom Nook’s] forgotten how long you took to repay your debt?”

And what about those moments in which you first booted up an Animal Crossing game, realizing the town didn’t feel right. So, you destroyed it and killed the save file as if you’d taken a pill and forgot it ever happened. Revisiting the town you worked so hard on will only bring back the memories of annihilating entire towns before you settled.

You might also find yourself feeling somewhat guilty of manipulating the entire village for your own benefit. Selfishly and impatiently, you traveled in time to speed up the growth of your Bell trees so you could then travel to present-day and make a killing on Bells, just to buy a damn bench for your fourth bedroom. Meanwhile, you push that ugly lamp someone who thought you were their best friend felt you’d like into your cupboard, getting it out only when they visit.

“I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy the game without allowing your past regrets to come forward in droves.”

You’ll probably scoff at this piece saying you won’t miss Resetti, the annoying mole that angrily pops out to have a go at you for long intervals for not saving your game. But as you’ve grown older, you realize his frustration was in fact understandable. He was trying to teach you a lesson, and your hatred towards him was only from your own impatience. Now you sympathize with him, for you’ve gone through your own share of s*** in life that makes you more understanding of his passion for a good saved game.

Of course, you’ve got to do it all again in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You’re no doubt gagging at the chance to get your hands on it and once again relocating to a new town, on a new platform, taking on a new identity. But I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy the game without allowing your past regrets to come forward in droves.

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Ben Bayliss

Based in the UK and adores venturing through FPS horrors and taking photos in pretty much anything with a functioning photo mode. Also likes car games.

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