[BlogKKdown] Escaping reality in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Written by Kieran Fifield

Day Six and Seven – The last hurrah!

Unfortunately, there sometimes comes a time when you realise a certain venture isn’t tailored to your tastes. This realisation started to creep up on me during Day Six and by the end of Day Seven, it was painfully obvious that Island life isn’t for me.

The arrival of the eggs certainly left a sour taste in the mouth as I was unable to continue with my current project which was the construction of Nook’s Cranny. While wood of three separate densities wasn’t an issue, mining thirty pieces of Iron Ore proved troublesome. Whereas I could previously mine minerals from rocks on Bor-island, now all I could find were eggs and not just under the rocks. In the sky, in the water, on the trees. Eggs everywhere.

On top of that there is now a psychotic rabbit living on my island and if nothing else, I don’t fancy getting murdered for eggs.

Adios Bor-island.


Day Five – Once I caught a fish, alive.

It goes without saying that yesterday was a write-off. I achieved absolutely nothing. And you no what? I’m fine with that. Sometimes you just need to chill in a hammock, breathing in the sea breeze, eating apples and napping.

The biggest takeaway from morning orientation was that Blathers had returned and his museum was complete, and open for business.

A spot of fishing in the morning brought a few new species to Blathers, which as they weren’t bugs, cheered him up no end. I should probably check out this grand new marvel that has been erected on Bor-island, but unfortunately the grind is real and Timmy and Tommy Nook want to make a shop, and I’m not foolish enough to leave those guys hanging. The museum can wait, right now I need thirty pieces of hardwood, softwood, regular wood and Iron Ore. The Nooks say it’s a group endeavour, but I know that it’ll just be me collecting all this.

First up, thwack a few tress with my trusty flimsy axe, literally a few trees. Of course, my axe soon broke and with but a minuscule amount of the required wood harvested, it was off to the crafting table to make another. And another, and another…

With all of the wood harvested, it was time to collect the Iron Ore. Coach had given me a few pieces as his contribution to this vast undertaking, but other than that, I didn’t have a clue how to source more. As I walked, thinking about where to accrue more Iron Ore from, I kicked a rogue rock. Well, this wont do I thought, and immediately dug it up in order to clear the path for my fellow inhabitants. Lo and behold, a great chunk or Iron Ore was hiding underneath the rock.

Huzzah!! One down (plus the five I received from Coach) twenty-four to go. I found another seven in total today. Maybe I will go and check out the museum after all!


Day Four – This is becoming a chore

With seemingly nothing new to do; no fruit to pick, no weeds to weed, I decided to spend the entirety of my day watching the world go by from the comfort of my hammock.

Work had started on the Museum, but in all honesty I simply didn’t care much for life on Bor-island today.


Day Three – Third time’s the charm

I must have slept like a log last night. I went to sleep in my humble tent and awoke with a handsome home around me. My immediate reaction was to run outside as I presumed I had been abducted in my sleep and moved to a some kind of Nookian torture den. In fact, while I dreamt vivid dreams of realism and responsibilities, an entire abode had been constructed around me. Say what you like about the Nooks, they’re nothing if not efficient.

Much like in my memories of harsher times, the weather on Bor-island was miserable today. The heaven had opened and rain poured down from above. I decided not to water my tulips today. As I approached the town square for today’s pep talk from Mesa Nook, I noticed that the trees were ripe with delicious apples, so I harvested as many as I encountered and ate an ample breakfast of ten. Tom was full of beans today – bouncing from one foot to another with all the energy of a sugared up toddler. As I walked towards him, I noted a glint of mischief in his eyes – perhaps even a twinkling of insanity, but in literal blink of an eye it had subsided and I assumed it was just my over active imagination playing tricks on me.

Hoo-hoo are you then?

As it turns out, Tom Nook was in fact buoyant today as his old mucker Blather’s had arrived and set up shop in the land I picked for him yesterday. I decided to go and introduce myself and headed over to his tent. In fairness, he seemed like an amicable chap and provided me with the blueprint for building a spade and a vaulting pole, and told me if I brought him fifteen specimens of creatures he would put in motion something of great interest. Well Blathers, you had me at specimens…

I made with the formalities and left his tent, heading immediately to my workbench to make some new tools. With my spade and pole in hand, I headed back to Blathers tent, where I had eyed a glowing hole in the ground. Using my freshly crafted apparatus I dug down and unearthed 100 Bells. Yoink. I decided – in no small part owing to my distrust of the Nooks – to bury 10,000 of my own Bells, just in case. Better safe than sorry I say. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees!!

Fish-ful thinking

With the new found optimism of having a project, to pass the time and stem the tide of madness, I set about collecting critters for Blathers project. Fishing has been a godsend during my time on Bor-island so I decided to catch fifteen fish to aid my new nocturnal friend. Rod in hand, I made my way to one of the encompassing beds of water and began filling my bag with aquatic allies. Unfortunately, upon returning to Blathers, I realised that he anted fifteen unique creatures, so once again I set out to find some bugs and butterflies. The rain had bought out all kinds of creepy-crawlies and spotted a snail on a near by rock. With the grace of a ninja ballerina, I approached and snagged him in my net.

Pole-vaulting for gold

The remainder of my search took me to the four corners of my Alcatraz-esque island and by my own count I was still two creatures shy of my goal of fifteen. If only I could cross this river. Maybe Blather will give me the blueprints to build a bridge for helping him, but that really wasn’t of any use to me now. Suddenly, a thought as crazy as it was brilliant popped into my cranium. What if I were to vault across using the pole that I had recently sculpted. As I leapt across the river, I felt as giddy as an underage worker in a candy factory likely does. The simplicity bettered only by the grace of the execution.

This new wild land was ripe for the picking, in every which way. Weeds ran a muck, trees were ripe with apples and strange new holes yielded fossils. FOSSILS!! Blathers would likely go ya-ya for a fossil or four. With these prehistoric pieces in pocket, I headed back over the river – BOING! – and presented ol’ Blathers with my findings. He was indeed happy to accept them and with the last one appraised and submitted he informed me tht he would be opening a museum on Bor-island. With a population of seven, Blathers included, and a history of almost three days, a museum felt like and odd thing to implement, but in all honesty, I couldn’t wait for something else to do, to pass the time.

Gulliver’s Travels

With every inch of Bor-island immaculately tidied, I decided to wind the rest of the day away on the beach – breathing in the sea air and watching the sun set. What awaited me on the beach was both unexpected and somewhat disconcerting: a seagull in sailor attire, laying washed up on the shore. A few kicks saw him come too and once he came to his senses he recruited my help in repairing his communicator, so as to be able to contact his shipmates for rescue. A swift scour of Bor-island’s beaches recovered the parts and in no time he was desperately trying to contact his comrades in hope of rescue. I honestly felt great pathos for Gulliver. Deep down, something told me no help was coming for him.

Nb. I shook a tree and an electric guitar fell out of it. Where am I?


Day Two – Dawn of the second day

The night passed in the blink of an eye and before I knew it the sun was peaking out across the horizon and fixating it’s gaze across Bor-island. Were the events of yesterday just a lucid dream? Would I open my eyes and see the bedroom in my apartment? The answer to both of these questions ws a resounding no.

As I left the tent that had been provided to me, the phone that Tom Nook had presented me chirped and vibrated. Further inspection showed that I had notifications on my Nook Miles app. Apparently I had performed a task which had rewarded me with 300 miles. A sudden, comforting thought came over me. Perhaps I could pay this debt off in no time at all. As I perused the list of objectives that I needed to complete in order to earn enough Nook miles, life on Bor-island suddenly felt a lot more manageable.

The mile high club

Every interaction, large or small seemingly offered reward in this perplexing place. Yesterday’s weeds were sold in bulk to Timmy for a handsome amount of bells. As it transpired, I could sell absolutely anything to Timmy and earn a freakishly large fortune; which in turn made me question whether this economical model was sustainable in the long run. However, for now I decided to exploit the young raccoon and fleece him for everything he has.

Tom Nook spoke with me a little and informed me that he would like a collection of Bor-island’s wildlife recorded. To appease my overlord I started bringing him fish, bugs and butterflies to appraise. Later in the afternoon he received a telephone call, and quite rudely answered while I was showing him the latest critter I had collected. As I had no choice but to listen to the entirety of the conversation, I learned that it was an old acquaintance of Tom’s who goes by the name of Blathers, and he would be moving to the island to set up a museum. Once again, I found myself become wary of Tom Nook’s intentions and so decided to explore the island a little more.

Somewhere between an impassable mass of water and another impassable mass of water

I soon discovered that my island prison was just that, a prison. With the ocean to the south and a river to the north, connected by two parallel streams, I was completely surrounded by water. Whilst my own area of the island was tidy and the land cultivated, I could see unreachable areas to the north, east and west which were riddled with weeds, littered with twigs and most frustratingly, the trees in these forbidden locales still bore fruit, my own supply diminished completely. I longed to cross the river but saw no way of doing so. Curiously incapable of jumping and unable to craft a bridge, despite having accrued an abundance of wood, I resigned myself to the fact that I’d likely be stuck here for a while, so set out to make the best out of a bad situation. I returned to Timmy with my latest items to sell – a tiger patterned butterfly and some ore which I had harvested by hitting a rock with a flimsy axe – and decide to check out the wares of which he was selling. For the cool price of 1300 bells, I purchased a hammock, which is where I would spend the rest of my second day on Bor-island, but not before having one final chat with ol’ Tom Nook.

My activities throughout the day had provided me with enough Bells to settle up with Tom, so hastily I set about doing exactly that. However, upon my debt being paid, he informed that for just shy of 100,000 Bells (no option of Nook miles this time) I could set about laying the foundations of an actual home here on Bor-island. Now, as much as the shadow of Tom Nook and his heavies – Timmy and Tommy – looming over me terrified me, the thought of being a bonafide home owner was to good an opportunity to pass up. I agreed to his terms, signed my contract and headed to my tent, to spend one last night amongst the stars.


Day One

As I came to – the searing pain in my head still present – I was greeted by a pair of identical Raccoon cubs. What I had done the night before was nothing but a fleeting memory but it must have been up there amongst the upper echelons of legendary soirees as I seemed to be facing the incredibly unlikely, but completely real, scenario of being whisked off to a deserted island by a pair of cartoon raccoons, who introduced themselves as Tommy and Timmy.

While they were completely incomprehensible, yammering away in the most pestiferous manner, I could somehow understand what they were attempting to tell me. Not through spoken word though, but instead, every single uttering they made between themselves was translated by way of an excruciatingly slow text box. While I couldn’t comprehend the science, I marvelled at the technical prowess afforded to us in the year twenty-twenty.

Still somewhat disorientated, I was asked to pick one of four maps – at which point I could only assume this was some kind of hidden camera TV series and this was all part of the spiel, the setup. I was, of course, so very wrong. After having my very appearance toyed with – augmented to the point where mirrors showed a stranger – I was bundled into a rickety looking plane and, again, could only assume I was heavily sedated. By the time the plane had landed, the on board movie was a lost memory, with only the image of a larger, older and more nefarious Timmy/Tommy remaining ingrained in the outer layer of my cerebral cortex, a figure I assumed to be the infamous Tom Nook. For the time being, I hoped he was a figment of my imagination.

Bor-island

After a brief orientation ceremony, led by Timmy, Tommy and the now very real Tom Nook, we voted to name the Island. Was this all a cunning ruse to add to the false sense of security? I decided to chose the most ridiculous name possible, in the hope that it would be laughed off and someone else’s choice would be picked. I can only apologise. If this isn’t a fever dream and the Nooks hold any real power, I’m truly sorry for naming this island Bor-island. After the pomposity of the naming ceremony had subsided, I was left to my own devices.

I was a stranger in a strange land, and for all wants and purposes, appeared to have been kidnapped and sold into a life of servitude, and left with two others who were either prisoners like myself or covert operatives who were placed alongside me to ensure my compliance. Either way, it’s safe to say that I don’t quite trust Coach or Agnes just yet .

I immediately noted the disarray that this island was in and as I figured I had some time on my hands and not a lot to do, I set about tidying the land. Uncouth with weeds, twigs and errand rocks, this sparse land had seen better days, but in no time it was looking rather more appealing. Dare I say homely? The toils of the day had stirred up a great rumbling in my tummy so I took to the nearest tree, shook it vigorously and enjoyed the spoils of my labour – red apples. As I chowed down on the crunchy, sweet and juicy fruit, Tom Nook appeared before me and presented me with a tent to sleep in an itemised bill. 49,800 Bells or 5000 Nook miles.

Fool of a Nook!!

What either of these things are is totally beyond me. But, the reality of my upcoming life of servitude paired with the magnitude of my crushing debt spoiled the sweetness of the lingering apple taste on my palate, leaving a bitter taste instead. Sure, it was slightly before 6:30 PM, but the day’s rigours had taken their toll on me and the thought of bed filled me with something I haven’t felt since this ordeal began – an escape.

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