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GBA Link Game FAQ by NHaines
Version: 0.90 | Updated: 11/12/2002
ANIMAL CROSSING ADVANCED FAQ Animal Island and Game Boy Advance Guide Version 0.90 - 10 Novmember 2002 By Nathan Haines <firstname.lastname@example.org> :1.0: *** [CONTENTS] *** 1.0: CONTENTS 2.0: INTRODUCTION 3.0: CONNECTIONS 4.0: HOW ANIMAL CROSSING USES THE GBA 4.1 GAME BOY ADVANCE DISCOVERY MODE 4.2 GAME BOY ADVANCE SLEEP MODE 4.3 ANIMAL CROSSING GAME BOY ADVANCE APPLICATIONS 5.0: ANIMAL ISLAND 5.1 TROPICAL ISLAND 5.2 USING ANIMAL ISLAND 5.2.1 MODES OF OPERATION 5.2.2 ZOOMED IN OVERVIEW 5.2.3 INTERACTING WITH YOUR ISLANDER 18.104.22.168 HAPPINESS 5.2.4 GIVING YOUR ISLANDER FOOD 5.2.5 GIVING YOUR ISLANDER TOOLS 22.214.171.124 BUG NET 126.96.36.199 FISHING ROD 188.8.131.52 SHOVEL 184.108.40.206 AXE 5.2.6 LINK MENU 5.2.7 TRADING ISLANDS 6.0: ABLE SISTERS DESIGN TOOL 7.0: NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM EMULATOR 7.1 EMULATOR MENU 7.2 GAMES WITHOUT ADVANCE PLAY 8.0: NINTENDO e-READER 8.1 e-READER BASICS 8.2 SCANNING AN ANIMAL CROSSING-e CARD 8.3 ANIMAL CROSSING e-READER APPLICATION 9.0: WRAPPING IT ALL UP 9.1 THANKS 9.2 VERSION HISTORY 10.0: CONTACTING THE AUTHOR 11.0: COPYRIGHT AND DISTRIBUTION :2.0: *** [INTRODUCTION] *** Hello, and welcome to my very first FAQ. This should be a fun one. It's 4am again and here I am, *not* playing Animal Crossing for the third night in a row, but I took a break to write this FAQ. Yes, you should all really be that honored. This FAQ will primarily concern itself with the Animal Island GBA application, but since that's awfully narrow for a FAQ, it will also extend to all Game Boy Advance functionality as pertains to Animal Crossing. This includes the e-Reader, certainly, but that section of the guide will really be a little more about how the cards work and less about what you get from certain cards. When I found out that this strange Japanese game, Doubutsu no Mori + used the GCN-GBA link, I was thrilled. I had purchased an imported indigo GBA in March 2001 in anticipation of my GameCube, and this game finally seemed to be the title I was looking for, as we all know that it takes just one hit title to fully utilize a system feature before other developers start to copy and think of new great ideas. I followed the progress of the game in Japan, and finally to the U.S. as Animal Crossing. I was not a pioneer, but I did break down and rent the game on 7 September, a full 10 days before I expect to see it in stores. In that time I created a couple of villages to play with and test out until I got the game and e-Reader on 17 September. Since then and the writing of this guide, I’ve played a lot of Animal Crossing, and been to the island numberless times. So that's where we are now and those are my qualifications for writing this FAQ. And away we go.... :3.0: *** [CONNECTIONS] *** Once you have Animal Crossing and your GameCube, there are two additional things you need before you can begin using your Game Boy Advance. Firstly, you need a Game Boy Advance. Next, you need a GameCube Game Boy Advance cable. I always buy first-party Nintendo accessories, so I have a Nintendo-brand cable, which matches my Cube and GBA, fits snuggly into my GBA, and is a very high quality cable. I recommend this cable if you have the means to get it; previously it was only available online, but recently it has made its way into retail stores. Linking your GCN and GBA is a simple matter of attaching the cable to your GBA and plugging it into Controller Slot 2, 3, or 4. Which slot is not important, except that in Animal Crossing, your GCN controller must always be in Slot 1, of course. Once you've done this, you are ready. Animal Crossing will prompt you to connect your GBA whenever it is needed. The only passive event that needs the GBA is Kapp'n at the Dock. In order for him to be waiting for you, your GBA must be turned on and in Discovery Mode or with an Animal Crossing GBA application running when you enter the Acre of the Dock. If you have any Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance compatible cartridge inserted, he will not be waiting for you. Specific details pertaining to what state(s) your GBA must be in for particular functions to work are listed in each individual section. :4.0: *** [HOW ANIMAL CROSSING USES THE GBA] *** Animal Crossing uses the Game Boy Advance's Remote Booting function to remotely load small applications into the Game Boy Advance's internal memory. The GBA sits in discovery mode, where it displays the GAME BOY logo and waits for a signal from the link port. :4.1: * [GAME BOY ADVANCE DISCOVERY MODE] * Okay, this section is technical and is more for the curious. If you’re not that curious about just how multiboot works on a GBA, you don’t have to read further than this first paragraph. Discovery mode is the default if no cartridge is inserted. If you have a cartridge inserted, you can force discovery mode by holding SELECT and START simultaneously as the GAME BOY logo appears. You'll hear the classic Nintendo "pause" sound and the NINTENDO logo will fade. The cartridge will not be executed and you are in discovery mode. To exit discovery mode and execute the cartridge, press A, B or any direction on the D-pad. You'll hear the classic Nintendo "confirmed" sound and the NINTENDO logo will fade in and the cartridge will be loaded and executed. If no cartridge is inserted, of course, the GBA sits there and there are no extra controls. :) While the GBA is in discovery mode, it has the GBALINK and GCNLINK lines raised high. This lets a connected device know the GBA is waiting for a bootloader. The GCNLINK line is only raised when in discovery mode or while running a program designed to take advantage of the GCN. This is why if you have a normal GBA cartridge loaded and running, Animal Crossing won't recognized your GBA as being attached, so be sure to be in discovery mode unless you are ready to transfer data. First, a bootloader is transmitted to the GBA, which displays a status screen while managing the actual transfer and execution of the main application. This usually gives you something pretty to look at while you're waiting to join in a multi-player GBA game or while you wait for your application to load from the GCN. Once this finishes, the bootloader passes execution to the main application and you're good to go. :4.2: * [GAME BOY ADVANCE SLEEP MODE] * All Animal Crossing GBA applications require you to keep your GBA powered on or you will lose them. This is because they are stored in volatile RAM, of course. But to help you keep the applications running for longer periods of time, each application has a "sleep" feature which will activate your GBA's sleep mode. Sleep mode turns off the GBA's LCD screen, speaker, link port, and puts the CPU into low power mode. The only way to reactivate the GBA from sleep mode is to hold L and SELECT at the same time, and I think this might be a hardware interrupt, since all games I've seen with this feature use the same button combination. Anyhow, the point is that in sleep mode, your batteries will last for a very long time. I haven't heard hard data, but I do know that my own GBA survived for four and a half days in sleep mode after a night and day of playing Excitebike on and off. The pattern tools and Animal Island applications will display a sleep mode prompt when you press SELECT. Sleep mode is an option on NES games' emulation menu when you press L and R. :4.3: * [ANIMAL CROSSING GAME BOY ADVANCE APPLICATIONS] * Animal Crossing includes three of these applications, plus an e-Reader application. * Animal Island - This application simulates your town's tropical island and island resident. You can interact in limited ways with the inhabitant and the island landscape. * Able Sisters Design Tool - This application is the same toolset used in the Able Sisters tailor shop on the GCN to create patterns. Since you borrow the tools instead of using the store's equipment and material, there is no 350 bell charge for material to create patterns with the design tools on your GBA. * Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator - This application is, to all outward appearances, an actual NES emulator. The games are actually run in an NES emulator on the GCN, so I assume that this is the deal on the GBA, as well. This emulator actually emulates the full resolution of an NES, only losing 8 pixels on each the left and right side of the screen (which were typically unused). The graphics look squeezed because the display is scaled to the GBA display but the games are otherwise presented in all their original glory. Hearken back to some of the games that revitalized a dying U.S. home video game market in 1986! * e-Reader Transfer Program - this e-Reader application interprets information scanned from an Animal Crossing-e card and send it back to Animal Crossing on the GCN. In Japan you would have a password display on your GBA screen which you had to type in, but since the U.S. e-Reader has link port capabilities, you can attach it to your GCN and transfer data automatically. Let me be clear: the e-Reader has a pass-through link port so that you can attach the GCN GBA cable to the GBA. You cannot use the e-Reader without a GBA. More information on this application :5.0: *** [ANIMAL ISLAND] *** If you were like me, this was the most interesting GBA feature, as far as Animal Crossing is concerned (yes, the NES emulation is terrific, but it doesn't have much to do with the game, now, does it?) The tropical island getaway is simply not available if you don't have a GBA and a GCN GBA cable. There is much, much more here than meets the eye, and the potential offered is very exciting. I suppose this is a good place to start talking about the island in the GCN game. :5.1: * [TROPICAL ISLAND] * If you go to the Acre of the Dock with your GBA attached to the GCN and powered on, either in discovery mode or with one of the Animal Crossing applications loaded, a sea-turtle named Kapp'n will be waiting in a small rowboat. You can talk to him, and he'll ask you if you want to go sailing. If this is your first time sailing in your town and you have no island on your GBA, he'll ask you where you want to sail. Then you can enter in an eight-character long island name. This will be your town's island's name. For example, if you enter "Tropical" as the name, then you'll visit "Tropical Island". Once he's transferred your island data from your GBA and told the GBA the island is being visited, (he won't mention he's doing this unless the GBA is off or disconnected), you'll set sail. If you're a battery watcher, it's safe to turn off your GBA as soon as he says "Now, listen to me shanty o' love an' loss." After a song, a friendly comment, and another song to while away the time, you'll arrive at your tropical island. Here it's always summer, although there are sometimes tropical storms that cause pouring rain. The season and weather are independent of your town, so if it's raining and you're getting depressed, the island can make a nice getaway for a short time. Out of five created towns, I have come across two different island formations. One is a solid island, whereas the other is partially submerged, with a bridge running from the larger island to the smaller island. On the island are two huts. One is inhabited by a character, and the other is an empty hut that can be used by you for decoration or storage. A reader informs me that he has a three-part island connected by bridges, and since I hazily remember seeing this a year ago on IGN, I’ll say that there are three different island formations. You can chat with your islander, who has no furniture and wants to decorate his place. He has some specific ideas in mind, so he will ask you for certain items, and if you bring furniture along he may see something that catches his eye and he'll put it up in his hut. In fact, if you bring him something he asked for, he'll offer to pay you for it. You don't need to accept his first offer--if you decline, he'll change his price and usually offer more money than before. But don't drive too hard a bargain. Sometimes he'll offer less, and eventually he'll become frustrated and stop offering to buy it from you! The second hut is all yours, and your islander will never enter it or bother you about it. It contains a cabin floor, cabin walls, two blue aloha shirts, and two red aloha shirts. The shirts can't be sold and you can't use your patterns to decorate the cabin at all. On the eastern side of the island is a flagpole with a white flag. Here you may lower the flag and raise one of your patterns--this is your island after all! But remember that you must share the island with your islander (he was there first, remember?), so you would be wise to make sure he's happy by keeping your island clean and beautiful. :5.2: * [USING ANIMAL ISLAND] * Animal Crossing loads a BLUE BOOTLOADER onto the Game Boy Advance. Once the bootloader is transferred, a picture of an island against the ocean with the ANIMAL ISLAND logo superimposed is displayed, with the message "Transmitting data..." Animal Crossing then sends Animal Island, which is an application that simulates your island, accompanied by the entire data of your island. These include everything lying on the island as well as everything inside the two huts, and even your islander. Your GBA is now carrying a complete record of your island, incredibly enough! I'll get into why this is both fun and amazing in a little while, but for now, here's what there is to do on the island on your GBA. :5.2.1: * [MODES OF OPERATION] * Animal Island has three modes of operation. * NORMAL VIEW - Here you can see an overview of your island, the weather, and the time of day. The view varies from twilight, dawn, day, sunset, dusk, and night. If you press A, you can zoom in on the island and interact with it. But if you press B, you can bring up a link menu. No, it's not a hidden Zelda game, but it lets you trade islands with another GBA with Animal Island running. Pressing SELECT will bring up a sleep mode prompt. * ZOOMED IN VIEW - Zoomed In View is where all the action is, so it gets several of its own subsections. Pressing B will pull you back into Normal View, and pressing SELECT will pull you out of Zoomed In View and display the sleep mode prompt. * SLEEP MODE - Pressing SELECT will bring up a prompt where you can put your GBA to sleep. A short period of inactivity (three minutes, I believe) will also put your GBA into sleep mode. A fresh set of batteries will last for up to a week in sleep mode, so this is good when you're using your GBA to visit your friends' islands. :5.2.2: * [ZOOMED IN OVERVIEW] * Okay, so if you are in Zoomed In View, you can view your island and see everything laying on it. Bells appear as money bags. Flowers and trees appear normally, as do fruit, shells, and junk. Furniture and clothing sometimes appear as treasure chests instead of leaves. Tools appear as blue tool icons. Stationary and other items from Tom Nook's store appear as bags with the apple logo. Fossils appear as bones in stone. Everything is pretty straightforward. Some items have additional icons--for example, an NES game appears as a leaf, but if you or the islander picks it up, it appears as an NES unit. :5.2.3: * [INTERACTING WITH YOUR ISLANDER] * You control the hand cursor floating above the island. Use the + Control Stick to move around the island, and hold the R shoulder button to move twice as fast. Pressing A over the island will tap on the landscape, usually causing your islander to investigate. Pressing A over your islander will get his attention. Pressing A over the door of his hut knocks on the door and causes the islander to come outside. Pressing A over an object causes you to pick it up, so you can move it to another spot. Pressing A again drops the object--and if you drop it near your islander, he’ll go investigate it. He’ll eat fruit and pick items up (he can carry a total of 5 items). Occasionally your islander will become lost and cry for help. If this happens, you can pick him up by moving over him and pressing A. This only happens when the path-finding algorithm fails and he gets stuck. :220.127.116.11: [HAPPINESS] Your islander has feelings, and these emotions impact everything he does. The following sections have been rewritten with the assumption that you've read this section. There are seven levels of happiness that he can have. Bear with me, because I’m going to use the dreaded anime style emoticons to help visualize his happiness. He basically has three moods: upset, content, and happy. When he is upset, his eyes have a sad expression T_T and he has a frown. When he is content, his eyes are normal 0_0 and he has a slight smile. But when he’s happy, his eyes look really happy ^_^ and he goes around grinning and smiling like it’s going out of style. When you first visit the island on your GBA, he starts out content, and it takes three pieces of fruit to make him happy. This is as happy as he can be. But if you make him unhappy, it can take one or two pieces until he cheers up again to "content." He has five levels of contentedness, so it takes another four pieces of fruit to make him happy again. Whenever he becomes happy, he will drop an item he is carrying. If he isn't carrying anything, then he will drop a bag of money. Once he is happy, he does the same thing every time you give him an item that makes him happy. :5.2.4: * [GIVING YOUR ISLANDER FOOD] * Your islander is often hungry, and will go around shaking the trees so that coconuts fall. If your islander is hungry and he wanders by a fruit, he will stop to eat it. This makes him happy. Your islander likes coconuts, so once he's happy ^_^, he will throw out a money bag containing either 100 or 1,000 bell when he eats a coconut. Occasionally he throws out higher However, coconuts are all your islander has to eat for a snack. If you bring over fruit that is non-native to your island and he eats a fruit that is not native to the island and is happy enough, he will throw out a money bag, but it might contain 100; 1,000; 10,000; or even occasionally 30,000 bells! It's not that simple, though. The islander especially dislikes one kind of fruit and if he eats it he'll become less happy and won't throw any money. There is also a type of fruit that your islander loves more than any other. If you feed him this, he will throw out bags with very large quantities of money. This is a way to get multiple bags of 30,000 bells at once! Keep an eye on your money bags, though, because if your islander happens upon one of them, he'll pick it up and keep it for himself. Yeah, that makes him happy, too. ;) But it doesn't seem to increase his happiness. Keep in mind that the fruit your islander especially likes and especially dislikes is different for each islander in each town. One Animal Crossing Pioneer reports that his islander actually especially likes coconuts, and that's the fruit that gives him the most money! He once got four 30,000 bell bags in one trip! Lastly, it should be noted that if your islander is carrying anything with him, he will drop that instead of money when he is happy ^_^. :5.2.5: * [GIVING YOUR ISLANDER TOOLS] * Your islander can also pick up and use standard hand tools that you leave on the island. You can either leave your own tools on the island when you go, or you can buy your islander his own set of tools (from the catalog in Tom Nook's store) to leave on the island permanently. It's your choice. :18.104.22.168: [BUG NET] Every four minutes or so, an icon appears off the east or west side of the island, opposite your islander. It cycles through three different categories and slowly floats from one side of the island to the other. The object can be almost anything: an item, a tool, a piece of furniture, fruit, a pitfall, even a piece of junk. If you can get your islander to catch it, you get to keep it. But if your islander doesn't grab it from the sky, it eventually floats away on the ocean breeze. Of course, your islander is far too short to reach that high, and doesn't jump. So what you have to do is leave a bug net on the island. It will appear as a tool icon on the GBA. Pick it up and drop it by your islander to get him to grab it, and then when the furniture floats overhead, just move your islander near the object and tap on the object. The islander will grab it out of the air and cheerfully display it before keeping it for himself. The happiness section describes how to make your islander drop what he's carrying. :22.214.171.124: [FISHING ROD] Your islander will pick up the fishing rod and happily go off with it. He can fish off of any north-south (vertical) shore on the island. Your islander will catch things such as fish, items, and furniture. If he catches a red snapper, he will be pleased (his happiness rises by one) and throw it back. If he catches an octopus, he'll become surprised and throw it back quick (his happiness lowers by one)! If he catches a piece of junk, though, his feelings drop (happiness goes to zero) and you must feed him more fruit before he'll drop what he's holding. He can hold five things, and once his pockets are full, he’ll begin to throw things he catches back into the sea. Having him drop what he is carrying is described in the Happiness section. I got a wonderful variety of odd stuff, along with several pieces of junk, so make sure you have lots of fruit around and this can be quite rewarding. :126.96.36.199: [SHOVEL] When you give your islander a shovel, he walks around and starts burying things. When he's happy ^_^, he'll immediately bury anything he's carrying and his happiness will go down by one to contentedness 0_0. If you want to make him happy ^_^ again, have him drop the shovel by tapping on him while he's on a clear area of land, and give him a fruit. While he's carrying the shovel, he won't eat anything--even fruit. Instead, he'll pick it up and put it in his pocket (he can hold up to 5 things, remember). If he is holding anything, he'll bury what he's carrying. Once he runs out of things to bury, he'll bury---at random--tree or flower seeds. If he's feeling sad T_T then he might bury a pitfall. And if he walks over a buried item, he will dig it up, keep it for himself, and replace it with a similar item. He never digs up anything he's already buried. This one's important. If you bury furniture, wallpaper, or carpeting, your islander will replace it with one of that kind of item when he digs it up. If he's happy ^_^ when he digs up your items, you'll get better items. If he's happy ^_^ *and* has a golden shovel, then you're very likely to start getting both rare island-only items along with NES games. The most common NES game is Wario's Woods, and second-most common is Baseball. You can also randomly get common games, but this is rather rare and you'll probably be looking at Wario's Woods or Baseball if he buries any games. These two games are not tradable, nor are they droppable on the island, by the way. Just remember that NES games are considered furniture, so don't go burying your entire game collection hoping to get new games! Finagle's Law ("anything that can go wrong, will") virtually guarantees that you'll just get plants or a table or something. If you bury a tool, fossil, any miscellaneous item that shows up as a bag from Nook's, or stationary, he'll just put it back again and ignore it. :188.8.131.52: [AXE] Your islander can use this to chop down trees, and while I don't know why you would want to leave it up to him (although he seems to enjoy it), you can have him chop down trees with the axe. :5.2.6: * [LINK MENU] * This appears when you press B while in Normal View. This is simply a Yes/No prompt that asks whether or not you want to trade islands with a friend. If you say no, you're returned to Normal View. If, however, you choose yes, then you are instructed to link another GBA. Make sure your friend also goes to the link menu, and once you have both accepted the transfer, the two GBAs will trade islands. Now you have your friend's island, and he has yours. However, before you do this, make sure you read the next section for some very important information about the way this works! :5.2.7: * [TRADING ISLANDS] * Okay, so you know you can trade your island with a friend. Maybe you already have and it's sitting on your GBA, or maybe you want to but don't want to risk losing your own island. So here's the lowdown on how island trading works. Your island is tied to your town. It is stored on your memory card and no matter what happens, it is your island. But if you really don't like your island, you can actually trade islands (and islanders!) with a friend. This includes everything on the island, including whatever you may have stashed away in the hut and the pattern on the flag. But you have to be very careful about this! When you trade islands, they are marked as having been traded. This means that if you link trade island data on your GBA and you hook it back up to your GCN and visit the island, your friend's island will replace your own! This means that if you do this and your friend decides he doesn't really want to visit your island and turns off his GBA, your island is gone forever. So please be very, very careful about this. With that caveat, though, this is exciting, because it opens up a lot of possibilities for you and your friends. Say, for example, that you see your friend every day at work, school, wherever, but you don't necessarily go to his house that often. As I said before, the island on your GBA is an exact duplicate of the island on your GCN. You can bring your GBAs along and trade islands. This way you can decorate your hut and show it off to your friend, who can enter it and admire your interior design skills (and you can admire his). Sometimes the islander will even tell you about your friend's behavior--your islander will talk about you, too, so be good to your islander! :) Now if you haven't actually traded islands, but are just visiting a friend's island on his GBA, then once you turn off your GBA, you will end up going to your own island again. Visiting each others' islands does not change or erase your island like trading does; it merely lets you visit a friend's island for so long as it's stored on a GBA. In this way you might want to keep a copy of his island with you on your GBA so that you can visit it back at home. So long as your GBA with his island is hooked up to your GCN, you'll sail there, and once you turn off your GBA, you go back to your own. :6.0: *** [ABLE SISTERS DESIGN TOOL] *** Animal Crossing loads a BLUE BOOTLOADER onto the Game Boy Advance. Once the bootloader is transferred, the ANIMAL CROSSING logo is displayed against a white screen, with the message "Transmitting data..." Animal Crossing then sends the design tool, which is an application that allows you to create your own patterns to use on the GCN. This tool is an identical copy of the GCN tool. The only functional difference is that the pattern does not display thick center gridline guides because there is not enough resolution on the GBA screen. Furthermore, the color palettes are shown somewhat darker than they are on the GCN. This is on an original Japanese Game Boy Advance from March 2001 with a Sharp TFT reflective LCD display. I've heard that newer GBAs have displays manufactured by Matsushita (Panasonic) and those displays are supposedly much higher quality, but I can't attest to that. Make sure you have good lighting (incandescent bulbs are great, but nothing beats natural sunlight!) and draw a bit darker than you want it to appear on your TV screen. Be sure to enter sleep mode by pressing SELECT and saying "Yes" to the prompt when you want to keep your patterns to upload later. Shutting the power off on the GBA will cause everything to be erased. As with Animal Island, you can minimize transfer time by leaving the tools loaded on your GBA. If you choose "Download tool" while talking to Mable, she will simply transfer your patterns from the GCN over to your GBA--this takes about three seconds to finish and is a good way to "start over" if you've messed up a pattern on the GBA. :7.0: *** [NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM EMULATOR] *** This is a really slick piece of work. Animal Crossing loads a BLUE BOOTLOADER onto the Game Boy Advance. But the emulator and NES ROM are so small that the bootloader itself contains everything needed and the emulator runs immediately. These games are identical to the original games, with the exception that multi-player menu options have been removed, since there is no link code to support it and the original games required two controllers for two players. :7.1: * [EMULATOR MENU] * To bring up the NES Emulator menu, just press L and R simultaneously. The emulation suspends and the emulator menu appears. You can continue, which resumes NES emulation, reset the emulated NES, which is like holding the reset button but without the blinking red light and flashing gray screen, and you can enter sleep mode. This helps when you want to take a favorite game with you when you know you will be away from your GCN for a while. :7.2: * [GAMES WITHOUT ADVANCE PLAY] * While the NES emulator has most of the features of a real NES and several memory mappers contained in the NES cartridges, memory space is severely limited. For this reason, some games can not be played on the GBA with the NES Emulator application. * Wario's Woods - This game was the final first-party game published by Nintendo for the NES, in 1994. It is the only NES game to feature an ESRB rating (K-A), and is too large for the Advance Play feature, unfortunately. :8.0: *** [e-READER] *** The e-Reader is a fantastically intriguing piece of technology. A collaboration between Nintendo, Creatures Inc., and HAL Laboratory, Inc. with optical scanning technology by Olympus Optical Co., Ltd, this GBA accessory reads Dot Codes that you pass through the card slot. e-Reader cards are about the same size as a playing card. Most e-Reader cards have two data strips: one on the left side and one on the right side, although the NES Series 1 cards have a data strip on each long side. e-Reader applications can either be contained within one or more Dot Codes or can be obtained directly from GCN or GBA software through the link port. Dot Codes are small, two-dimensional matrices along the edge of an e-Reader card. The actual dots are so tiny as to be almost invisible and are not reproducible with a computer printer. :8.1: * [e-READER BASICS] * When you use the e-Reader, you will see a simple splash screen until you press the A button. Once you do that, you'll reach the main e-Reader menu. This has three options: Scan Card, Communication, and Access Saved Data (which only appears once you have saved an e-Reader application to the device). The e-Reader is very simple to use and you will be guided by voice prompts and high-color illustrations. e-Reader cards must be scanned slowly to be recognized--if you slide the card through the card slot too quickly, you will receive an error. :8.2: * [SCANNING AN ANIMAL CROSSING-e CARD] * To scan an Animal Crossing-e card, you choose "Scan Card" from the e-Reader menu, and when you are prompted, slide the card slowly through the card slot with the Dot Code facing you. Once you have done this, the e-Reader application will execute. All Animal Crossing-e cards will have a small e-Reader application that can be scanned directly into the e-Reader, but you get a gift if you scan them using the Animal Crossing e-Reader application. A character card will show a three-page letter from that character. A town tune card will display a melody board with the town tune on it, play the tune, and then play the air check of the song. Pattern cards presumably show the pattern contained on the card. :8.3: * [ANIMAL CROSSING e-READER APPLICATION] * Transferring the Animal Crossing e-Reader application is a simple matter. Just attach the GCN GBA cable to the GBA and e-Reader and the GCN. Then turn the e-Reader on and go to the e-Reader menu. From there, choose the second option, "Communication". Choose "To Nintendo GameCube" to prepare your e-Reader to communicate with Animal Crossing. The e-Reader will then display an illustration describing the manner in which it must be connected to the GCN. Once you have connected it, you just press A once Animal Crossing is ready to prep the e-Reader. There are three places you can download the Animal Crossing e-Reader application: Able Sisters, the town melody board, and the post office. Go to the post office, stand in front of the e-Reader Transfer Machine, and use it. Get your e-Reader ready to accept data, and choose "Prep e-Reader" from the menu. Animal Crossing will upload the Animal Crossing e-Reader application to the e-Reader. This will take about 41 seconds to complete. Once the transfer has finished, the e-Reader takes another 8 seconds to save the application to internal memory. Then it executes the application. Until you save another e-Reader application, you can then access the Animal Crossing application by selecting "Access saved data" from the e-Reader menu. Once the Animal Crossing e-Reader application is running, it displays your Gyroid helper, which says "Now standing-by...". From the e-TM on the GCN, choose the option "Read card". Your Gyroid then says, "Please swipe a character card." When you scan the card, the application processes the data, sends it to the GameCube, and goes back into standby mode. Once this is complete, the e-TM sends the letter stored on the Animal Crossing-e character card to your mail at your house. It is immediately available for pickup. The Animal Crossing-e card that comes with the e-Reader contains a letter from Totakeke and a special present from him. You can scan character cards at the e-TM in the post office, town tune cards at the melody board near the post office, and design cards while talking to Mabel at the Able Sisters tailor shop. Each character card can only be scanned once a day, but town tune and design cards can be scanned any time you like. The Animal Crossing e-Reader application will read any Animal Crossing-e card, but it must first be connected to the GCN and readied to accept a scan. This is done to save battery power, as the optical scanning device of the e-Reader uses a lot of power and is only activated when it is ready to scan a card. The only way to exit the Animal Crossing e-Reader application is to turn the power off on the GBA. Unlike most smaller e-Reader applications, there is no way to quit back to the e-Reader menu. :8.4: * [ANIMAL CROSSING-e CARD INFORMATION] * The Animal Crossing-e Series 1 consists of 66 e-Reader cards. There are 60 character cards, 4 town tune cards, and 2 design cards. A pack of cards contains 5 random cards at a suggested retail price of $2.99. * Animal Crossing-e Promotional card - This card is packaged with the e-Reader. Scanning it with the e-Reader shows a letter written on Simple Paper. The letter points you to the e-Reader Transfer Machine at the post office in your town. As an alternative, it also gives you a password you can send in a letter to any animal in your town. Entering the password and mailing the letter will bring a surprise in the mail! Scanning the card with the Animal Crossing e-Reader application results in a letter from Totakeke along with a gift. * Character cards - These cards feature a character from Animal Crossing. The reverse side contains biographical information about the character, as well as a password. Mailing that password will result in a letter being sent back to you from the character on the card in a couple of days. It usually contains a gift. Scanning the card with the e-Reader displays a three-page letter from the character. Scanning the card with the Animal Crossing e-Reader application at the e-TM in the Post Office delivers a letter from the character with a present to your mailbox. * Town Tune cards - These cards feature a hit song by Totakeke. The reverse side displays the town tune on the card so you can enter the melody in by hand if you don't have an e-Reader or GBA. Scanning the card with the e-Reader displays the melody on the Melody Board and plays the town tune, and then begins playing the air check of the featured song. Scanning the card at the Melody Board by the Post Office will enter the song on the Melody Board for you automatically. * Pattern cards - These cards feature a pattern for use on clothing, umbrellas, signs, flags, and doors. The reverse side shows the pattern on the card. Scanning the card with the Animal Crossing e-Reader application will allow you to save the pattern in your collection of 8 patterns. :9.0: *** [WRAPPING IT ALL UP] *** Well, that's pretty much it for now. Animal Crossing has proved to be an exciting and rewarding experience full of surprises, and I look forward to continuing to live among the animals in a small, tight-knit forest community. :9.1: * [THANKS] * * Thanks to Nintendo, who not only has given me sixteen years of gaming delight, but continues to live up to that expectation by releasing insanely fun games that don't try to be marketable but only try to be fun. And extra special thanks for taking the best games from the earliest NES era and adding them to Animal Crossing as simple collectables. This is why Nintendo continues to be a pure source of true gaming entertainment each and every time. * Thanks to Justin, who let me borrow his Game Boy Advance overnight so I could test out the island trading feature between GBAs. * A huge thanks to Jim, who must have spent a good amount of time converting this guide to HTML and is hosting it at http://www.phantasmo.com/acfaq.shtml. This is something I could have easily done in Notepad, but he asked if he could do it and since I am very lazy I said yes. ;) * Thanks to Jordan, a lucky Animal Crossing Pioneer who was the first person to email me with comments on this guide and also mentioned that the islander has a favorite fruit which can possibly be a coconut, plus explained bartering with the islander to me. * Thanks to Dustin, who first emailed me about his islander's fishing, and then wrote back once he had experimented to give more Animal Island fishing information along with digging info. * Thanks to Brian at my local Electronics Boutique, who sold me the last pack of Animal Crossing-e cards in the store, even though he was saving them for himself, and after I told him I didn't really *need* them, since I had two packs already. While I didn't get a pattern card, his selfishness will surely go down in history, or some such. Well, I appreciate it anyhow. ;) :9.2: * [VERSION HISTORY] * * Version 0.5 – 9 September 2002 Initial Release * Version 0.6 - 17 September 2002 Added a lot more information about using tools in Animal Island and detailed e-Reader information. Slightly restructured parts of the guide. * Version 0.7 - 10 October 2002 Didn't quite release this, but proof I wasn't dead in the meantime. Added a lot more information about the island due to massive research, added some more information about the e-Reader cards and unplayable NES games. * Version 0.9 - 10 Novemeber 2002 I slowly worked on this guide. I held out the release from a little before the first of the month in an attempt to get Animal Crossing-e cards (which was difficult and ultimately very expensive). Unfortunately I didn't get pattern cards, or else I could call this version 1.0. Well, next time, hmm? :9.3: * [BONUS FOR READING TO THE END OF THE FAQ] * I haven't heard anyone ask for this, and I haven't seen it anywhere else, but I recreated the Chozo Statue theme from Metroid that plays when you find a power up from a Chozo statue. It's a blast. :) D G A B B C+A A C+A F D E - - - The D is the middle D, and the C+'s are high Cs. It's not difficult to figure out because the song doesn't fit in the wrong octaves. The -'s are sostenuto marks to hold out the E. Made that up 8 September 2002, and I hope you enjoy it. :10.0: *** [CONTACTING THE AUTHOR] *** My name is Nathan Haines. I'm a 22-year-old computer technician who enjoys reading and writing, playing video games for fun, and speaks English and German. Expect that I can read English, Spanish, and German, but only expect a reply back in English (or German, if you're really nice). My email address is email@example.com and all questions and comments can be sent there. If you send me information that is new to me, noteworthy, and confirmable by me, and makes it into the FAQ, you will be credited under the Thanks section. If you're sending info specifically for the FAQ, please give your name or a nickname for credit. My Animal Crossing character data will be: Name: Nathan Town: Tólgrith That's Tolgrith with an acute accent over the o. That's an "o" with X tapped twice--not the first (grave) accent, but the second (acute) accent. Any gifts would be absolutely super, but not necessary by any means. Please don't ask me for trades, but if you send a working code and have some sort of reasonable request, I'll send back anything I can order. :11.0: *** [COPYRIGHT AND DISTRIBUTION] *** This FAQ and all information contained within are Copyright (C) 2002 Nathan Haines. All Rights Reserved. This FAQ may not be redistributed for any profit, nor hosted on any Web site without prior express consent by the author. This FAQ may be used for personal, not-for-profit use in any way the reader sees fit, including printing person copies for friends and self. The following Web sites are authorized to host this FAQ and will always receive the most up-to-date version: * GameFAQs - http://www.gamefaqs.com/ * IGNfaqs - http://faqs.ign.com/ * Phantasmo - http://www.phantasmo.com/ This FAQ may be used for personal, not-for-profit use in any way the reader sees fit, including printing personal copies for friends and self. If you wish to host this FAQ, please just email me and ask. I can't think of any reason I would tell you you couldn't, and I'd just like to get a feel of where my FAQ is spreading in case I need to make a major update. Thank you, and I hope you enjoyed this FAQ.