Long time followers of the blog might remember several years ago, I had chronicled my journeys in Stardew Valley. Lately, I have been playing a lot of it again and decided to revisit this idea. So with that, I set up a new farmer, Maggie, and had her move into Willow Farm.
If you’ve never played, the backstory for Stardew Valley is that on his deathbed, your character’s grandfather offers you a gift, one you aren’t meant to open right away, though. He tells your character that someday the weight of modern life will get to be too much, and that’s when it will be time for the gift. A few years later, you see your character struggling at their job, and when they open the gift, it turns out it is the deed to your grandfather’s farm.
The first week of Stardew Valley usually plays out the same; the differences in gameplay really starting to show later. You find that the farm you are taking over is completely overrun. Mayor Lewis, who greets you, believes you’ll get it up and running in no time. He also tasks you with meeting everyone in town, which, as George says, is mildly annoying, but it is honestly a great way to meet everyone.
Aside from spending the week going around and meeting everyone, a few other key moments generally happen in the first week. As part of your “meeting” everyone you get a request from Willy to meet him, and he will give you a fishing pole. Towards the end of the first week, you’ll notice that the cave in the mountains is finally accessible, which will teach you about mining and fighting the mines. You should also get your first bit of ore or other type of thing to donate to the empty museum, with Gunther promising rewards as you fill-up the collection.
Importantly though, you learn about the community center. Your character meets Lewis outside the community center. He laments that it has gone into disrepair and that Pelican Town is no longer a town brought together by community activities. He sadly admits that he is thinking of selling off the center, even though he knows it will spell the end of what the little community used to be.
When you enter, you see some stranger creatures, Lewis believes that you are seeing rats and expresses concern. The next day you receive a message from the town Wizard, which great, there is a town Wizard. He says that he knows of the creatures you saw and summons one held in a force field. They are called Junimo, and the Wizard says they are friendly but won’t speak to him. Now I am guessing it’s something to do with using magic on them and transporting them against their will, but what do I know. Either way, he gives you a potion to help read the scrolls inside the community center, and thus starts one of the central features of the game. Do you buy a JoJo Mart membership, thus seeing the community center sold off? Or do you follow the request on the scrolls, giving “gifts” to the Junimo in the community center in exchange for presents they will give to you?
I easily decided to start Maggie on the journey to restoring the community center.
As I said, the first week in Stardew is pretty similar across multiple playthroughs. While you can delay things to an extent (conversations and introductions), really, it’s good to just experience what there is in the town and meet all the people. By the end of the week, you will have an idea of what you can do in the game, as well as have started a little bit of clearing the farm and farming itself.
So I got Maggie settled in, met everybody, started the process of mining, filling up the museum, and discovered the key to either bringing this town together or tearing it a little more apart.