Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stars: The Wizard of Harvest Moon

I am a big Harvest Moon fan, mainly because of the beautifully rendered stories that this life-simulation game franchise has to offer. Harvest Moon is rich with folklore and fable, with symbols of nature myths and deities. I myself have a copy of Harvest Moon: Animal Parade, a game which I found abundantly enjoyable. Here I found a very intriguing character: the Wizard.
The Wizard is a magical being with powers blessed to non-humans. He is a recluse in nature, interested in the twinkling stars above. He seems to be of a great age already--having been acquainted with the Witch Princess many years before--though not as old as the Harvest deities. There are several points that interest me much about this mysterious new character:

1. Eyes
One of the first things that strike you about him is his exotic appearance. He has heterochromic eyes, one being golden and one being green. Heterochromia is used in popular media as a mark of distinction.
His right golden eye may be interpreted by dream symbolism.

The eye is often viewed as the window to the soul, the spiritual self, but it also represents truth, power, clairvoyance. The left eye in particular represents the past and passivity; the right eye, the future and action.
His right eye may be interpreted as the eye that sees the future, his reputation among the townspeople being a fortuneteller first and foremost.

2. Interest in Astrology
When you meet the Wizard for the first time, you will find him gazing at the stars through his telescope. He expresses a deep interest in the heavenly bodies, but why exactly does he do so?

One of the most prominent stars in the game is the eight-pointed star depicted on the mural of the Harvest Goddess (found in Celesta Church, in Perry's bedroom). This mural is vital in ringing the Purple Bell--the bell connected to the hearts of the people. As a symbol, the eight-pointed star is the star of Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of fertility, wisdom, wealth, prosperity, light, and many other positive aspects. Lakshmi gives these good virtues to the people, bringing good luck to her believers. This probably ties in the depiction of the star in the mural that receives people's wishes--their hearts' desires.

Symbolically, the star is usually used as a representation of enlightenment and hope (remember the practice of "wishing upon a star"?). The Star used in Tarot cards symbolize positive values such as light, renewal, trust, and so on. All these positive virtues attributed to the star may be due to its state as a heavenly, unattainable thing. Humans have looked toward the skies for centuries to marvel in awe at the stars, and had sought wisdom from them. This establishes the star as both a source of wisdom and a source of everlasting hope.
From this we can draw that the Wizard is an astrologer because he is a truth-seeker--he seeks knowledge from the heavens. This is further reinforced in an event with the Wizard and Witch Princess, where they fight over a Fugue Mushroom (a mushroom with strong magical properties). If you supply him this mushroom during the duration of the event, the Wizard will reveal that he uses these mushrooms to research magical medicine...this affirms his status as a seeker of knowledge, the star being a symbol of such.

Secondly, we can see that the star ties with the Wizard's relative closeness to humanity. While the Witch Princess has her Fugue Forest swampland, the Harvest Goddess her spring and the Harvest King the peak of Garmon Mine, the Wizard lives within Harmonica Town--even offering his "fortune-telling" services! This perhaps represents the star of Lakshmi being an '"humanitarian" star, and the star's meaning of hope and prosperity for humankind in general.

3. Name
Names have always been important in cultures around the world. It is a belief that the power of a thing or person is found within its name. This is true even in modern times, when the meaning of a name can determine the success or failure of a person in society (if subconsciously so).
When you meet the Wizard it is obvious that "Wizard" is not the man's true name. If you are a female player and have married this mysterious young man, you will find out that his name is "Gale". Here I have noticed several interesting things about his name.
When the Green Bell quest starts, you must seek the assistance of the Wizard to find the Witch Princess, who has the Bell. When the Green Bell is rung, livestock will be revitalized and the highest rank of animal products may be obtained.
The Witch Princess' name, if the male player decides to wed this magical mistress, is revealed to be Vivi. If we look carefully at the Green Bell quest, we can draw a parallel from the quest with names.
"Gale" traditionally means "a strong gust of wind" and "Vivi" may be derived from "Vivian"--a name meaning "full of life". Since we need Gale to restore Vivi's true form, we can see that Gale--the wind--is needed to restore Vivi--life--to her original state. This echoes the Green Bell's purpose, which brings forth the wind to restore the life of the animals!

Also, I have found this interesting meaning of Gale: not only is Gale interpreted as "wind", it also means "stranger" in Irish Gaelic. This may explain his hermit-crab like nature at first, so drawn into the celestial stars that he forgets to interact with the earthly world...becoming a stranger in his own world.


How much depth a character can bring! And in a game that is deceptively complex! If you have not played a Harvest Moon game, you are missing out in an immersive world that may indeed have so many secrets.


  1. great!!!!!! that's really really good ^^

  2. First Of All I would like to thank you for putting so much thought, research and passion into writing this Piece on Gale. I have not played through the whole -of either game- TOT or AP. But I have played them. I used to always go after Luke- for I was drawn to his over confidence- he bold life force- his over all positivity and creativity. He was a bit of an airhead at times but There were alot of deep qualities I admired about him. Then When AP. Came out I discovered Gale. At First I was not all that impressed as much as I was curious about this character. But After a while my curiosity over came me and I immediately renewed my file to get to know him better.
    lol what can I say? I fell in Love!!!
    I was surprised by the depth of his character, the past that was revealed by the heart scenes. I was amused how he had tried to teach the Witch Princess a lesson in not thinking before rushing ahead and taking your time- which she did not learn- But All the same he seemed to have an aura of being a teacher almost. Looking out- with some tough love- for others trying in round about ways to allow people to sort out their own problems and learn from their mistakes.
    Further more, I was curious of how he seemed anti social but at the same time lived in close proximity and had frequent contact with the townspeople as a fortune teller- which meant he could not be all that bad!
    You find out he is used to being alone and he actually is sort of lonely though he doesn't seem to want to admit it.
    But his love of the stars, simple Natural beauties, his passion for the various arts and his thirst of knowledge was very charming.
    I very much enjoyed reading over your story- as I stumbled across it looking for Gale fanart. It was very informative interesting and only makes me love him more. lol
    He and My character recently got married. I was actually surprised how quickly he pushed into it- marrying the very next night after my proposal! It was very surprising. I was a little sad cause I thought it would have been awfully nice if the towns folk could have congratulated him for finding happiness. So not having an actual wedding was sad but All in all he is such a unique in depth character and has become my ultimate favorite- much to poor Luke's disappointment!
    Again thank you for such an inspiring article.