I’m titling this post thus, because moreso than any other Animal Crossing game, it really does feel like we are given this little slice of the world to completely make all our own, from scratch, in the most peaceful and beautiful way I’ve ever experienced. In every new ‘main’ town (think the Dafdilly and Citàlune archives on this blog), I think it’s very special to record these early memories so that I can look back on them years down the road. :’) So that is what I’m going to do here~!
Founding of Ithaelia
Sunday, March 22, 2020 (Day 1):
I actually don’t have a ton of screenshots of the founding of my island town, because I was a dummy and thought to myself, “I don’t need to take screenshots since I’m recording it.” The thing is, though, I can’t take a screenshot from the video without my face hovering in it. Ah well, here’s the video, feel free to watch it if you like. Should be very similar to your own experience moving into your island — and if you haven’t experienced that yet, it’s probably not something you’re going to want to spoil! 🙂 (Alsooo, I do have a bit of an awkward intro at the beginning, because prior to this video, my YouTube was filled with faceless Wild World town tours.)
To touch on the naming of my island and my hopes for it:
Ithaelia is an example of using method #2 from my town name ideas page, in that I came up with it by stringing syllables together, and it doesn’t mean anything. But I think it looks beautiful on paper, and sounds beautiful as well. Also, the nature of how I came up with the name is likely similar to what fantasy writers have to do with their worldbuilding, and that’s kind of what I’d like to do for Ithaelia — fantasy worldbuilding. Maybe a castle somewhere if those are still in the game, maybe an elegant beach palace or mermaid shoreline, an orangery, a woodcutter’s cottage in the woods near a fairy shee, that sort of thing. Just going to have fun building it over time and not necessarily plan it all out on day one. 🙂
And something else I like about the name is its flexibility! The whole fantasy worldbuilding thing not working out? I can always switch to a different theme, like an elegant/dreamy/floaty feel (always a favorite of mine). Or say, several years down the road and my town is all done, and I want to keep playing without starting over. Theoretically, I could continue having fun with the townbuilding aspect of the game by building it up again in different ways, like making Citàlune 2.0, or creating a New Horizons version of the New Leaf towns I never finished, Lórien and Bywater. Or any design project I want… I really don’t think the name I’m picking is a no-go for many different themes, save maybe a modern theme?
But talk like this is getting a little ahead of myself. My main, new-game towns typically have a bit of a slow start; sometimes it takes me weeks/months to get into serious designing. With social media being as big as it is for this game, I feel greater pressure to be putting out fancy stuff early on, but I’m also kinda stubborn that I’m not going to change the way that I like to start my AC games because of it. I will try to start focusing more on town/room design as soon as I feel ready to, though, so that it’ll be more pretty to share and visit. ❤
Most of that video & the early decisions I made can be summed up by sharing Ithaelia’s map 🙂 I’m just going with the flow right now. Feel like at a certain point in the game things are gonna get real with town customization options. Then I will have more fun trying to plan ^^
First time getting complete freedom to control my character, and first time seeing my island in real-time! It was the most gorgeous sunrise — really need to try to play at this time of day as much as I can. Too bad I am often clocking into work at that time. Also, this is my character, Glyneth, a humble gardener & woodcutter in Ithaelia. 🌼
Ack, such a tease seeing this glowing crack in the ground all day, but having no shovel! Really glad these are back from the GameCube days, but kind of sad they can’t produce gold-leaf trees, that would have made. my. life.
My very first DIY project! 💚
And my first balloon sighting! I think I saw several before I finally crafted a slingshot & shot one down for the first time. Loove the balloon presents, always so excited to see what each one holds!
My first catch was… a stone! 😆 First actual catch, a sea bass. As it should.
My first fishing rod bites the dust! Not gonna lie, this whole tool-breaking thing was kind of bumming me out early on, since I’m spoiled from past games. But I’ve gotten more used to it and accepted it as part of island life.
My villagers are determined to have me rock the plaid & trucker hat aesthetic~
Choosing a location for the museum on day 1 kind of threw me off, because I heard the game got off to a slow start, and I was seeing museum hype at later days in others’ towns. I went with this location near a river-bend because I thought it was very inoffensive, something I wouldn’t intensely regret. But I can definitely see myself moving the museum when I get the chance!
Does your average tent have two Nintendo Switches and an elegant dining table? Living the life over here.
My very first WiFi session in New Horizons came together quite spontaneously in the form of fruit trading with my Twitch community! ❤
From left to right it’s Robyn, Staci, myself, Trashcat, Karensa, and Lenore. And the rascals in the background exploring the rest of my island before I can are Nikki & Nova~
I’m using character names for the most part because I’m not sure if everyone wants their Twitch usernames floating around on my WordPress blog, haha
Aaah, so wholesome ❤ I'm just basking in everyone's flowers & joy~
As time went on, the group in my town changed a bit as people came and went. This is Cody, myself, Anthony, and Nova again with their ladder 😛
Bit of an atmospheric shot; love the moon-glow behind the clouds 🌙
After the WiFi was over, and after I ended stream, I spent a long time playing solo, deep into the wee hours of the morning. One reason I did so was because it felt like my island was a mess after all the trading, and I wanted to get things organized into storage. And I was also just really enjoying the vibes, the magical rainy atmosphere… the very first night on my island ✨
First tarantula seen = first tarantula caught B)
Brb while I shake every single branch out of this poor tree. I was as shook as this tree when I found out you could do this 😆
In addition to fruit-trading, some friends also had extremely generous island-warming gifts for me! Most of this furniture was from Mars, who even thoughtfully asked what my town aesthetic was going to be before gifting me these in white. :’) Also, the shirt-dress I’m wearing for the rest of this post is from Cody, and I got some lovely windflowers from Lenore.. it’s hard to keep track of everything, but I’m so appreciative ❤
I realized that with the WiFi visits giving me a big Nook Miles boost earlier, I could afford to pay off my first loan with my miles! Isn’t Nook’s dialog in this game so precious? I love talking with him ;_;
And I still have some miles left over, so it’s time, yes yes.
Let the hoarding begin.
Though I think I took this photo because I just got this skeleton from a balloon present in the sky o_o
Last thing I unlocked before turning in for the night! I haven’t really dove into it though, but I look forward to in the future. ❤
In conclusion, very much in love with New Horizons: the slow unlocking of features you took for granted in past games, the process of building up your deserted island from scratch into a thriving town, the sheer beauty of the environment represented through graphics and sound and little details, the vibrant community around the game, the mixture of peace & excitement you can feel from it… practically everything. There might be a few bumps here and there, like wondering if favorite NPCs will return, and those darn breaking tools, and hoarding struggles, but overall it’s been such a wonderful experience, and I really look forward to giving this game the same level of love and attention I gave to New Leaf & Wild World. 🙂 ❤
Lastly, here is a video-upload of the livestream I did in my first playthrough on my island, including the first-milestones and the first WiFi session. ❤