Today the US Supreme Court voted down both the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop 8, which eliminated same sex marriage in the state of California five years ago. This historic vote is a huge victory for LGBT rights in the United States, re-legalizing gay marriage in California and putting and end to the law that allows a state to not recognize one performed elsewhere. Tonight across the country LGBT and allied communities will no doubt be coming together to celebrate.
Talk about perfect timing. I recently received an email from Duy Nguyen, a ROM hacker who decided that it was time to bring marriage equality to Mineral Town.
Nguyen’s hack of GBA game Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (and its companion title More Friends of Mineral Town) is called the ‘True Love Edition’.
Falling in love is one of the most memorable moments in any Harvest Moon game. Unfortunately for some, it always seemed like you had to choose between who you want to be and who you want to love. I think some of you out there have been waiting for a game like this for a very long time now.
Friends of Mineral Town is arguably one of the best in the Harvest Moon series. With a bit of ingenuity (and some help from the great people at romhacking.net), I was able to edit in Clair (girl) over top of Pete (boy). There are a few graphical peculiarities, but it all seems to work okay.
Here’s some things to note about this game.
- To play this game, you’ll need a GBA emulator (Such as VisualBoyAdvance). I recommend turning on Motion Blur (Options>Video>Render API>Motion Blur) for clearer text.
- This is only a graphical edit. No script changes have been made. As soon as I figure out how scripting works, I’ll get right onto changing those awkward gender-confused dialogs. Feel free to submit scripts that need changing (screenshot/savestate encouraged).
- I want to work on a Boy version of More Friends of Mineral Town, but that will take considerably more work since there are more animations in that version. I swear, Gray will be mine! [Editor's Note: The Boy Version exists as well and is linked to below]
- I want to edit the title screen with a proper logo and version info, but I’m still working through how to actually do that…
- Feel free to submit any bug reports. Save States/Screenshots are encouraged.
I hope you enjoy falling in love again.
I remember playing Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life on the Gamecube and was remiss that marriage, a vital part of the game (where the player character is, for all intents and purposes, supposed to be you), was limited to female options. When Another Wonderful Life came out I was overjoyed that I could marry a boy, albeit by having to play as a girl. But the whole thing got me thinking about how romance and marriage are represented in gaming. After all my Sims could get gay-married, so why couldn’t my little harvesters?
As simple as Nguyen’s rom hack is, and truly it’s just that one sequence of the game that is affected, I’m sure it’s bringing many gay gamers joy and really what more could you ask for?
Sometimes it’s the historic votes and sometimes it’s a 32 bit smooch; big or small, let’s keep moving forward.