This is going to be one of those silly, first-world-gaming-problem posts. Totally meant to be just for fun.
So, while I really wanted to start this week by busting out a post about the newly released Super Mario Odyssey, the truth is, Stardew Valley on Nintendo Switch continues to capture my attention. I put a few hours into Mario, but after that, it was back to the farm. Don’t worry, Mario. I’ll be back!
So, I have a little issue in that I can’t decide which bachelor I want my farmer to marry. I’m in the Spring of the second year now, and I have 10 hearts with several villagers. I’m working on getting a solid financial base. I’m closing in on finishing the collections for the community center.
It’s time to think about who my farmer is going to pick as a spouse… Because this is serious business, darnit! 🙂
Warning: Spoilers for Stardew Valley ahead!
Working On Relationships
I have some time. I decided on this play through, I want to work all characters up to 10 hearts, even the single characters. I feel a bit bad about doing this because all of these events take a more romantic slant, even if it does get “erased” when you pick one to marry. So, it’s totally legit to have several boyfriend/girlfriends in the game at once.
Still doesn’t make me feel great about doing it… But working up relationships is where most of the story in Stardew happens. So if I really want to see the full story in this game, I have to break a few hearts.
In my PC play through, I chose Harvey as my SO. I don’t regret that — he’s one of the few guys who feels like an older professional. He’s also cute in a dorky way.
Though I worked up to 10 hearts with him on the Switch version, I really wanted to explore other options this time around.
Alex and Sam
These two just never caught my attention. I never saw many of their heart events in the PC version, so I’m trying to work up my relationship with them this time around. They’re still the last ones, though.
They just both strike me as teenagers more than husband material. Alex feels like your jock-type (with some backstory) and Sam is just a skateboarder and rock-band player. Yeah… not really my types.
This time around, I took a good long look at Sebastian. It’s easy to dismiss him as the emo loner type, due to the vibes he gives off. But the closer your farmer becomes with him, the more he shows a true ability to open up and be a big softy.
I like that he’s into computers and programming. I also like that he’s into roleplaying games and DnD. But that’s really it for where my interests overlap his.
I guess his motorcycle is suppose to be the thing that impresses me, but it’s not really my style. That and his whole longing to leave the farm and go to the city (which is the opposite of what my farmer is doing with her life). I know he changes his mind later on, but it still feels a bit like he put his dreams on hold to stay with the farmer.
The big kicker for Seb is that he smokes. Sorry to anyone who smokes – not meant as an offense. But growing up in a household with smokers, I’m super-sensitive to cigarette smoke now that I’m out of that environment, and that would be a point of conflict with a potential relationship.
So, even though I hear he remains a sweet guy after tying the knot, I doubt Sebastian is going to be my choice.
This guy should be a natural choice for me. He’s a writer. He lives a quiet life next to the beach. He can be introverted and thoughtful. But he can also be charming and social when he wants to.
Though he seems like he’d be perfect, I think that’s the issue I have with it. He’s almost too perfect to the point of being a bit dull.
I hear once you marry him, you get poetry from him daily. I guess that’s nice and all, but it can wear out its welcome after a while. It’s just not super realistic.
While I had all intentions of choosing him from the outset of this play through, there just wasn’t a whole lot there that made me feel for his character. His biggest struggle was to write his book (which is one I understand), but there was little development for him beyond that.
So, while Elliot is a good choice, he’s also the safe choice.
I liked Shane as a character before you were able to marry him in game. So many folks liked him, too, because the developer eventually gave in to fan demand and made him an eligible bachelor.
This game seriously wants me to hook up with Shane. It’s dropped me all sorts of hints.
First, one of the heart events you get with Shane reveals that he’s fond of chickens. In fact, he’s been raising his own kind of blue chickens. Yeah, blue chickens. I can see the appeal.
What I didn’t know is that after you see that cut scene, when you incubate chicken eggs on your farm, you have a small chance of hatching a blue chicken. Much to my surprise, the very first chick I hatched on my farm was blue.
Subtle hint? I think not.
Then, comes my first Christmas in Stardew. Everyone’s assigned a secret Santa. Guess who gave me my present?
Sure, all he could afford to give me was a purple mushroom (of which I’ve had plenty). But, it really was the thought that counted.
Fans of Stardew have lauded Shane’s character as one who has struggled with depression, anxiety and substance abuse… and has worked to turn that around. I can also understand the struggles of working a dead-end retail job and what that does to a person.
I liked him because it took time for his character to actually warm up to you — he was rude to your farmer at first, not trusting your friendliness. But as you proved your good will towards him, he started to see you as genuine, and that seemed to be a bright spot in his life.
He even had the good sense to like you because you’re opposite of him.
This would all seem well and good, but I’ve read that after you marry Shane, he backslides quite a bit. Some people say, hey, it’s not realistic for someone to clean themselves up completely without a bit of hardship. But on the other hand, here’s what Shane’s room looks like after he becomes your spouse:
Cans all over. Spilled drink on the rug. Nasty footprints on the floor. Pizza box. Fridge (stocked with beer) in his room. A keg??
I’m good with the gaming console. A least we share an interest in gaming.
But yeah. Some people are disappointed at what seems like a rollback of Shane’s progress. Almost like a bait and switch. Other people note that it’s more realistic. Or they justify that the cans are actually cola and not beer. Yeah, right.
Either way, there’s lots of mods out there that clean up Shane’s room! 😀
Only, you can’t mod on the Switch version… so marrying Shane means I’d be stuck with a messy room attached to my farm house for the rest of the game. Should that be a deal breaker? I don’t know. It seemed to bother other people, though.
But I’ve not heard people complain about his personality after you marry him… so…
If you made it all the way to the end of this post, what do you think? Play it safe or deal with a sloppy man cave? If you play Stardew, who have you chosen for your spouse in the past?
I haven’t played Stardew Valley for a long time (in fact I should reinstall it one of these days) so take what I will say with a giant grain of salt as I can barely remember things:
With my first character I was also disappointed that you couldn’t get to 10 hears with the bachelors and bachelorettes of the game without dating them. After some agonizing on who I wanted to date I decided to go with Abigail and eventually married her. No regrets about that, she likes games, fantasy and adventuring. She has been the perfect companion even after marriage. 🙂
When the new farm maps were released I decided to create a new character. It would be an “evil one” (as close to it as you can get to this game) by supporting Joja and marry Shane so he would be forever a slave to Joja (yes, I know it is evil and weird. That is how my second playthroughs tend to go). I also decided to just date all the characters I could because I wanted to see their stories. I agree with you on most of your points.
Alex I could relate to try to proving himself although sports were never my thing, I did feel (and still feel like that some times) in other activities. So to me he got a bit more of depth than just being a jock.
Sebastian’s dream of leaving town though I think it is more of a rebellion thing. He thinks nobody takes his job seriously because he works at home and that he might be happier in the city. But what I got out of his story is that by getting to know the player he starts to realize that life in a small town isn’t bad and there are people in there who genuinely like him the way he is.
Elliot I just found boring and too cliche. Although I agree that the struggle with writing was something I could relate with.
Shane was someone else I could relate to due to the struggles with depression. I didn’t feel he had as much of a rollback when my character married him though. But like I said I barely remember anything. I don’t remember his room being that bad for example!
He did seem to be drinking in the mornings and a bit out of it. But otherwise I didn’t feel he was all that different from Abigail after the wedding. He would help with the farm from time to time, give me the random gift (I don’t remember what he gave. Might have been pizza or one of that spicy foods he likes) and visits his aunt’s farm from time to time.
Like I said, I barely remember anything so there was probably more of a difference on how they behaved after the wedding.
Hahah! Thanks for your thoughts on all these characters. In the end, I know that they all function pretty much the same, but I still fret on making the “right” choice. 😀
Alex is one I haven’t explored much since I’ve not seen all his hearts yet. I’m going to work on him and Sam (as well as anyone I haven’t worked up to 10 yet), just for the sake of completion. I might end up going with Shane, though, I just haven’t decided… but the game seems to be nudging me that way.
Dammit, Wren, now I’m hankering to play this again.
My first and only game I played, I ended up marrying Maru, although I was initially courting Leah. Those two were great opposites: Leah being the artistic, carefree dreamer and Maru being science-y, practical and level-headed. I had proposed to Maru before I got to 10 hearts with anyone else, so I missed out on a lot of stories, and I want to follow your lead next time and get everyone to 10 before I choose a partner.
Haha… do it! I found it just as fun to revisit Stardew after time has passed as I did my first playthrough. I’d forgotten just enough about the game to need to re-learn things, but also remembered just enough to progress smoothly and know what to look forward to unlocking. 🙂