Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon has yet to hit North American shores, but we already have details about its sequel. Rune Factory 2 takes place many years after the events of the first game, and though it's not necessary to have played the first one to understand the sequel, there will be connections between the two games.
Players will find themselves in the role of Kairu, a young man who appears one day in the town of Alvana in the Kingdom of Norad. Though peace has returned after the defeat of the Empire of Zechs, that will soon change.
Many traditional Harvest Moon elements will appear in the game. Players will take charge of a farm and be able to raise crops, befriend townspeople, improve their house, and find a wife. As in the first Rune Factory game, the sequel includes new elements such as dungeon exploration and monster battles. "Rune Points" will also be returning. These points are consumed when players use tools and can be replenished by means of a warm bath. Some changes have been made to dungeon exploration in Rune Factory 2. A variety of weapons will once again be available, but players will also have the ability to fashion new equipment from materials found in dungeons.
"Finally, I am able to announce Rune Factory 2," commented Hashimoto Yoshifumi, the head producer on the Marvelous Interactive production team. "The protagonist this time is a new character, named Gairu, but if you examine the plot you'll see the connections between this setting and the previous game. The game's content has been enhanced from last time, and we incorporated many new features! Of course you can play it just like the first game, but we feel there weren't enough parts that would really make you shout, 'Cool!' This time we've given you a lot of neat, new stuff, so please sit tight a little longer."
There's been no word yet on whether Rune Factory 2 will be made available to North American gamers, though Rune Factory is expected to hit shelves in July. Like its predecessor, Rune Factory 2 is being developed for the Nintendo DS.