Muffy: Will You Give Her A Wonderful Life?

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/harvest-moon-a-wonderful-life–568227677956353515/

By: Casea Smith | @coffeewithkrow

On one fateful Christmas day, I got Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. This was not only the first farming simulator I ever played but also the first game I had ever played that allowed (or, in this case, required) you to marry someone. It was revolutionary to me as a child, and it opened my mind to a new way of thinking about what video games can be in general. 

As you can imagine, the announcement of A Wonderful Life‘s remake (now under the franchise Story of Seasons) left me bouncing with joy and anticipation. With every teaser, the wait until summer simply feels longer and longer. While I wait, what better way to kill time than to write about my usual choice to marry: Muffy. 

For clarification, in the Story of Seasons version, her name is “Molly.” Molly is the same character as Muffy, but, for this post, I will be referring to her by the original name of “Muffy.”

Muffy is an interesting character. She is easy to judge with one’s first viewing with internalized misogyny. She works at the bar and comes off as very bubbly and flirtatious. Muffy certainly stands out against the countryside background with her bold make-up and red dress, but there is more than meets the eye to this young lady. 

In the subsequent game, Another Wonderful Life, you play as a female instead, allowing you to see things from a different perspective as same-sex marriages in video games weren’t an option in those days. So instead of always marrying her, I had to sit on the sidelines and experience the tragic progression of Muffy’s love life.

You see, as the oldest of the bachelorettes, all she wants is to settle down and have a family with the love of her life. The problem is, there isn’t anybody in the village who has caught her eye, nor do they seem interested in her that way either, so she dates boys from the city.

Well, every year, you can catch Muffy standing on the bridge watching the sunset. At first, she’s there to re-examine her heartbreak over men not taking her seriously, and not wanting to settle down. Time passes again, and she tells of a man that cheated on her, and how he chose the other woman over her. Each passing year becomes bleaker as she ages. Meanwhile, you have already chosen your mate and are watching your son grow up while Muffy is found at the bridge mourning over what could have been year after year.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62DNLYrtj2M&ab_channel=ch0colatemilk

As a child, I felt helpless and completely willing to marry Muffy if only the game would allow it. So, whenever I re-play A Wonderful Life, I tend to feel a twinge of guilt when I decide to marry someone other than Muffy.

As I try to figure out which candidate I will choose, I can’t help but wonder if it is even healthy to decide on Muffy out of guilt since I know she won’t marry anyone else or move on in life if I don’t choose her–it’s quite reminiscent of Penny from Stardew Valley in a sense. 

Yes, their situations are vastly different, considering Penny is living in a trailer with her alcoholic mother, but lots of people decide to marry Penny because they feel the need to rescue her. If more people knew of the progressing destruction of Muffy’s dreams, would that motivate more people to choose her from the different candidates? 

It might not be the healthiest reason to pick someone, but I don’t think it’s an invalid reason. Not to mention, the focus on the guilt can make it seem like you’re ONLY choosing them because of their trauma when, in reality, you might see them as more than that. 

However, after a long reflection, I believe that there are other reasons to like Muffy and marry her beyond pity or guilt. She is very sweet and is the only one to approach you first. A good-looking new farmer is in the valley, and she is not going to pass up the opportunity to make something happen. She also blossoms into the motherly role quite beautifully; it’s quite endearing to see her enjoying life on the farm with her husband and son. However, comparing Muffy with the other bachelorettes, I can’t help but think that she really is the best choice!

Celia is an obvious choice as she is also a farmer, and the child she bears will more naturally have an interest in running the farm, but, as a kid, I was disappointed by the fact that she doesn’t seem to farm anymore after you marry her (at least not that I could tell). It’s as though a major passion of hers is gone. 

When it comes to the quiet and cold Nami, I always felt like I was tying her down and keeping her from being the traveling spirit she is, particularly when I know that she would be off traveling had she not married me in that playthrough. She’ll even express such feelings from time to time, and it would break my heart as her in-game spouse.

But now, with the Story of Seasons’s remake, there are many candidates to choose from, as gender is no longer an obstacle when it comes to marrying someone. Though, I hope that those of you reading this and planning to play the game will give Muffy a chance if you haven’t already. If not, I’d love to hear your takeaways from her character, too!

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