Excerpts from a journal titled New Horizons:


I’ve determined to take a trip. Effectively, much less of a trip and extra of a… sojourn, I suppose you may name it. An in depth pal of mine, Tom Nook, has began a brand new enterprise providing relocations to a abandoned island. There are reductions for many who may also help with some early foraging. I don’t know how he discovered this place, however I’m prepared to miss that if he may also help me get away from all of it for a short time.

Nearly daily there are new anxieties. My head feels about able to implode. It’s good to care about stuff, however I have to discover a solution to cease agonizing over the whole lot to such excessive ranges. I’m hoping Nook’s island (and the complimentary makeover he supplies beforehand) will probably be simply the ticket. I’ll be retaining this journal to trace my progress.

February 28, 2020

The airplane experience was high quality. I’m not one for being tens of hundreds of miles within the air, however the dodo birds that received us to our island have been very form and useful. It wasn’t fairly as fancy as I used to be anticipating from a non-public jet however far more snug than the coach flights I’ve taken beforehand. Moreover Nook and me, there have been two passengers: a rooster named Goose and a cat named Katt. Not essentially the most imaginative names, however perhaps they run within the household? Who am I to guage?

Goose is a kind of athletic sorts. He spent numerous the flight doing pushups and crunches within the aisle, however he doesn’t appear too unhealthy. Nothing overbearing about him. He simply appears to have numerous vitality. Possibly he’s nervous like me and that is how he offers with it? Our different companion, Katt, largely saved to herself, however from time to time I’d hear her singing softly close to the again of the cabin. It was good.

We arrived on the island within the night, giving us simply sufficient time to gather our tenting gear from Nook earlier than the solar disappeared over the horizon. Nonetheless, nobody gave the impression to be in any hurry. Nook got here ready with sufficient provides to final months, even when extra clients took him up on his getaway provide. I watched Goose and Katt wander away in reverse instructions earlier than setting my tent up subsequent to the seaside close to the airport. I nonetheless wasn’t positive about this complete abandoned island nonsense, so I wished to be as near an escape as doable.

Screenshot: Nintendo (Kotaku)

Since I completed first, Nook requested me if I may go round and acquire cherries from some close by timber. They weren’t laborious to search out; it looks like cherries are the one fruit that develop right here. I introduced him a number of armfuls. Nook and his sons, Timmy and Tommy, set about working of their tent, and got here again out carrying a number of frosty mugs of chilly, cherry smoothies. All of us gathered round a big bonfire close to the primary, central space of our little settlement, sipping our drinks and watching the celebrities. Nook requested us to make solutions for the island’s title, and we settled on Aurora. As time handed by, we scuttled again to our tents, every of us nodding silently to the others as we bid goodnight.

I fell asleep to the sound of ocean waves.

March 1, 2020

Nook’s voice woke me up because it crackled from a loudspeaker, a mix of interference and his personal feverish, high-pitched rambling.

Someday in the course of the evening, he and the twins arrange a system to make bulletins within the widespread space. Not that I discover Nook annoying or something, however getting roused from an awesome evening’s sleep throughout what is meant to be a trip (or sojourn) is fairly annoying. Fortunately, all he requested is for me and my island neighbors to assemble on the central sq. once we had a second. I turned over in my heat sleeping bag and tried to seize a number of extra winks.

I discovered getting again to sleep tough, so I made my manner in the direction of Nook’s tent, which he has taken to calling Resident Providers. Appears all he wished was to offer everybody a particular mobile phone in order that we will all keep up a correspondence. There isn’t a lot on there for the time being, however Nook stated he’ll periodically push out updates with new apps and the like. I instantly obtained a notification for one thing referred to as “Nook Miles,” which Nook defined will act as a kind of secondary forex on the island along with Bells. We’ll get Nook Miles, he stated, for doing peculiar issues like speaking to our fellow island residents and planting flowers, which may then be exchanged for particular objects at a terminal in his tent. This additionally helps him sustain with the island’s transition from abandoned to liveable, apparently.

Since I used to be already round, I made a decision to ask Nook about settling the invoice for this journey. He shocked me by saying he was going to simply accept the preliminary journey charges in Nook Miles reasonably than cash. This implies our early work on the island instantly contributes to what we owe his firm for getting us right here. What would have usually value nearly 50,000 Bells got here out to simply 5,000 Nook Miles. Not a nasty deal!

Nook additionally made positive to level out the workbench within the Resident Providers tent. Our telephones embody a number of “recipes” for do-it-yourself initiatives like easy instruments to assist us repair up and work together with the ecosystem of Aurora Island. The supplies wanted for these initiatives—rocks, wooden, clay, sticks, and the like—are available in our environment and straightforward sufficient to assemble with an axe or shovel. Nook defined how objects I’ve already crafted, like a easy campfire, may be upgraded on the workbench right into a extra substantial bonfire with further sources. As I used to be heading out, Timmy and Tommy stopped me to point out how I may make a cute leaf umbrella with some weeds, which I made positive to do earlier than leaving. It is a tropical island, in spite of everything.

Stepping outdoors, I blinked the solar out of my eyes and took in my new residence for the primary time. The realm Nook had us arrange was lower off from the remainder of the island by rivers. They don’t appear too deep, however I rapidly dominated out fording or swimming throughout. As an alternative, I pulled out my flimsy fishing rod and settled down on the riverbank. I managed to reel in a medium-sized inexperienced fish simply because the solar was setting. I rushed off to point out Nook. He took a fast look and stated it was most likely a black bass earlier than asking if he may ship it off to his pal. This pal owns a museum, Nook defined, and would love to check out the specimen I caught. Desirous to know extra concerning the fish, I agreed. Nook saved it away for transport later and we stated our goodbyes for the evening.

Goose stopped me on my manner again to my tent and handed me a small package deal. He was very pleased with the wrapping however hurried me into opening it. Inside was a pink hat with a blue band, wanting like a extra fashionable model of one thing a conventional fisherman may put on. Goose stated that he had seen how excited I used to be to catch my black bass and thought the hat may give me good luck on future fishing expeditions. I didn’t know what to say. It’s been a very long time since somebody considered me like that, and I choked again a number of tears to keep away from making issues awkward between me and my new pal.

March 3, 2020

I can already inform life on this island isn’t going to be boring.

Our third day on the island was fairly uneventful, however I awoke as we speak to discover a museum had opened in a single day, curated by Nook’s owl pal, Blathers. Blathers was so entranced by the black bass that we despatched him that he determined to make the transfer to Aurora Island to review the wildlife. Like us, he’s beginning out small, however stated he would construct a a lot bigger constructing if I saved bringing him bugs, fish, and fossils to review. It doesn’t seem to be Blathers is keen on trying to find these specimens himself, however he gave me a vaulting pole to recover from rivers. That enabled me to get to the remainder of the island. After a number of observe leaps, I started to like the sensation of whooshing by the air.

It was throughout one in all these parabolic adventures that I noticed one thing unusual on the seaside close to my residence. A white and blue mound stood out on the toasted sand, seemingly unperturbed by the encroaching waves. As I walked over, I spotted it was an individual. He was nonetheless respiratory, fortunately, and muttering to himself in his sleep. After a number of nudges, he coughed up some sea water within the course of. He launched himself as Gulliver, “seafaring seagull of the seven seas,” and defined that he had fallen overboard the evening earlier than. I helped him collect up the items of his damaged mobile phone, and he referred to as his crewmates to select him up. Gulliver promised to ship me a present by the mail as thanks, however I’m not anticipating something. He didn’t appear all there, to be trustworthy, however which may have simply been the shock of washing up on some random island.

Since I used to be right here anyway, I made a decision to spiff up my little part of the seaside with a folding chair, a campfire, and a few tiki torches. It doesn’t appear like a lot proper now, however I’m banking on it being a pleasant getaway when the solar units. It’s a relaxed little setup to sit down and watch the celebrities and hearken to the waves. I wasn’t a lot of an ocean particular person earlier than coming to Aurora Island however now I can’t get sufficient of that ever-present, low rumble. As I explored different components of the seaside, I lower my foot on one thing protruding of the sand. Seems the realm is totally affected by clams. I believe I can flip them into bait to assist me on my subsequent fishing session. Something is healthier than the boring lure I’m utilizing now.

Illustration for article titled iAnimal Crossing: New Horizons/i: The iKotaku/i Review

Screenshot: Nintendo (Kotaku)

There’s much more to this abandoned island than meets the attention initially. Other than the seashores and the plush inland filled with cherry timber, I’ve discovered rock formations, tide swimming pools, and hillsides coated in wildflowers. It’s a pure magnificence I’ve by no means skilled earlier than. I discover myself simply wandering, with small pauses to soak up the whole lot round me. I don’t assume I’ve ever seen water so blue, flora so vibrant and inexperienced, or bugs so completely advanced as I’ve on Aurora Island. It’s overwhelming, however not in the best way the world I left behind may be overwhelming. As an alternative of inner strain, my head feels mild and open, accepting of the whole lot round me. My eyes water as if making room for the subsequent unbelievable sight. Even now, writing on this pocket book, I can see blue skies and clouds reflecting within the shallows, a mirror picture of heaven.

March 4, 2020

I swear to god I noticed a freaking ghost tonight.

I used to be wandering alongside the east fringe of the island, doing a little fishing within the ocean, once I caught sight of a glowing orb among the many timber. At first I believed it was only a firefly, however after dashing into the thicket with my web on the prepared, I got here nose to nose with a literal spirit. I screamed, after all, however what’s humorous is that the ghost screamed too, kind of like what you see in comedy motion pictures.

For some cause, the ghost—whose title is Wisp, by the best way—thought I used to be the ghost. A ghost that’s afraid of ghosts… what a world. Anyway, when Wisp freaked out, little items of his physique break up off and scattered throughout the island. I felt responsible, so I supplied to catch them for him. He appeared to settle down a bit then and waited for me to return.

Wisp was so blissful to have a whole physique once more that he supplied me a present. I had to decide on between one thing I didn’t personal or one thing costly. Naturally, I went with the costly choice. Wisp gave me a pair of fancy sneakers after which disappeared.

I ponder if I’ll see that bizarre little ghost once more.

March 6, 2020

The official museum opened on Aurora Island as we speak and it’s completely beautiful. I don’t know how Nook and Blathers put all this collectively in only one evening, however I’m extra impressed than ever to contribute specimens to its halls.

The constructing is break up into three sections for fish, bugs, and fossils, every of which have their very own themed sub-sections. When getting into the aquatic space, for example, you’re greeted with small ponds separated by picket walkways, kind of such as you’re strolling amongst marshlands. Additional in, the shows maintain fish present in deeper waters. The dim lighting of the rooms combines with the illuminated tanks to imitate sunbeams filtering by the floor of the ocean. It’s fairly the sight.

I ended by Goose and Katt’s locations to see what they considered the brand new museum and was shocked to search out they weren’t residing in tents anymore. That they had actual deal homes! With a small twinge of jealousy, I ran over to Resident Providers and requested Nook about upgrading. Fortunately, I had sufficient Nook Miles to repay the preliminary journey charges, which received me prepared for a brand new home by tomorrow morning. This loopy raccoon canine have to be breaking labor legal guidelines to get this stuff constructed so quick, however I pushed that to the again of my thoughts for now.

I used to be additionally in a position to redeem some Nook Miles for a information on the right way to set up my pockets a bit higher, rising the quantity of stuff I’m in a position to carry at one time, and recipes for improved instruments. The flimsy instruments I used to be utilizing earlier than have been susceptible to breaking, however with these upgrades, they final for much longer. Nonetheless, it’s just a little tough having to maintain changing my instruments or carrying multiples if I wish to get any work executed, however I suppose that’s life on a abandoned island for you.

March 7, 2020

By some means, the remainder of the oldsters on Aurora Island have designated me Resident Consultant. I suppose I’m the one who’s at all times getting work executed whereas the opposite people watch butterflies and mill round Resident Providers, however man, that looks like numerous duty. I by no means fairly purchased into Nook’s pitch of conquering the wilderness and all that. I believe Aurora Island is cool the best way it’s. However everybody else is satisfied we have to develop. Timmy and Tommy even requested me to search out area for them to construct a store! Stuff was transferring manner too quick for me as we speak, so I ran over to the airport and requested the dodos to take me someplace, wherever for a number of hours.

They dropped me off on a random island with no title. It appeared quite a bit like Aurora did once we first landed per week in the past, if solely just a little smaller. Figuring out the pilot was ready for me on the dock gave me the braveness to wander for a bit earlier than bumping into two different vacationers: Rosie the cat, who has goals of turning into a pop star, and Zucker the octopus, who appears sort of like a takoyaki ball. Is that impolite to say out loud? Possibly I’ll simply maintain that one to myself.

Rosie and Zucker supplied me a seat at their campfire. They might most likely inform I used to be just a little pressured and requested what was up. I didn’t offload as a lot as I wanted to, however they appeared supportive. After some time, they each have been speaking about how good our island sounded and asking for coordinates. I believe they’re going to maneuver in sooner or later however I’m unsure. In any case, it jogged my memory how good I’ve it over on Aurora Island. Issues could also be transferring just a little quick for my liking but it surely’s nonetheless nothing in comparison with the life I left behind. I returned residence with a renewed optimism, able to get these rambunctious tanuki twins arrange of their very personal store.

March 9, 2020

Nook stated my first order of enterprise as we speak was establishing three new homes on Aurora Island. Two have been for these good people I met yesterday, whereas one other is for a koala named Melba.

Plainly, at any time when somebody is able to transfer to the island, it will likely be my duty to make sure that they’ve a spot to remain beforehand. Meaning selecting a plot of land for them to settle in addition to crafting furnishings and decorations for each the within and out of doors of their properties. Nook supplies the recipes, however I discovered myself having to scoop up supplies as a consequence of my private reserves being low.

Fortuitously, there’s one thing particular about my axe. It lets me thwack and thwack on timber to get numerous forms of wooden with out really chopping them down. Identical factor with shovels and rocks. There’s solely a lot I can harvest a day, but it surely’s nonetheless tremendous useful.

I nonetheless haven’t fairly found out the right way to craft a number of objects directly, so I’ve to make issues one after the other. This will get particularly irritating when making stuff for which I’ll at all times need multiples, like fish bait or instruments. That stated, my home does come geared up with a reasonably sizable storage unit. I’ve collected a ton of stuff to date and I’m not even near filling it up. Nook additionally stated that this space for storing will improve with each improve my residence receives.

Illustration for article titled iAnimal Crossing: New Horizons/i: The iKotaku/i Review

Screenshot: Nintendo (Kotaku)

Timmy and Tommy requested me to go to their new store, Nook’s Cranny, as we speak so they might give me the lowdown. They provide a number of objects on the market a day, together with some easy instruments, and so they pay good cash for virtually the whole lot I discover on the island. There’s additionally a particular Scorching Merchandise designated every day that nets me double the Bells. They shut at 10 p.m., however there’s a drop field outdoors that may take objects in a single day. The twins promise to deposit cash in my account for these nightly gross sales the subsequent day, however at a 20% markdown. Since I’m doing numerous work late at evening as of late—at all times chasing the final chore or merchandise crafting—this might show helpful.

Whereas leaving the store, I nearly ran smack right into a cute hedgehog. She launched herself as Mabel, one other new customer to the island. She wasn’t positive about transferring right here since she runs a clothes enterprise along with her sisters elsewhere, however talked about that she’ll go to every so often to promote a few of their wares. Afterward, I seen she had arrange a small wagon close to Resident Providers with a number of items of clothes, numerous it very nice high quality. Mabel appears keen on transferring right here along with her sisters sooner or later, however I’m unsure what it’s going to take aside from offering common enterprise.

March 10, 2020

I’m attempting to refill my days with little chores to maintain me from, nicely, napping. It feels good to get out and be productive, particularly when the outcomes of your labor are immediately noticeable. To date, I’ve weeded a big majority of the island—and since as we speak’s Scorching Merchandise at Nook’s Cranny was Hay Beds, I used to be in a position to flip a pleasant revenue with just a little little bit of elbow grease—and helped Nook arrange a log bridge for our new residents. There nonetheless isn’t a solution to stand up to the upper elevations apart from a neat little moveable ladder Nook confirmed me the right way to make, so it’s been my obligation to scale these hills and ensure they give the impression of being good in anticipation of future growth.

Oh, and I managed to discover a good, non-public seaside on the bottom of the island that I haven’t informed anybody about but. Doesn’t seem to cover something particular; it’s simply been good to move again there and chill for a bit. Don’t get me improper, I like my neighbors, but it surely’s enjoyable to think about what it will be like if I had Aurora Island all to myself. It might most likely get fairly lonely after the liberty wore off. Oh nicely!

By some means a rumor began that the well-known musician Okay. Okay. Slider was going to go to Aurora Island tonight, so a few of us frolicked within the city sq. for a number of hours to see if something would come of it. Nook didn’t appear to have any thought what was occurring, however we simply took that as him being coy. Slider by no means confirmed, sadly. How does a rumor even begin on a small island like this? Anyway, we ended up having our personal live performance as a substitute, with Goose and Katt singing and me on ocarina. I’ve been messing round with this little instrument for a few days, however I nonetheless can’t handle something various random notes. They didn’t appear to thoughts.

March 12, 2020

I informed everybody that I used to be going to take a day to sit back and take into consideration some stuff. Most of them have been shocked to search out out I wasn’t chilling already. Aurora Island is bustling, positive, however the remainder of the oldsters don’t appear to be as keen on “enhancing” it as I’ve been. Actually makes me take into consideration the time I’ve spent right here to date and my place on this new atmosphere. Possibly I don’t must be working round on a regular basis, gathering fish and supplies. Certain, my home is sweet, however do I actually need all these garments? Why was I so adamant about discovering the precise colour sheets for my mattress? It appears like I introduced all my previous issues with me, as if I’m cursed or one thing.

We’re arising on nearly two weeks right here, but it surely feels prefer it’s been for much longer than that with all of the work I’ve put in. Aurora Island appears a lot totally different than it did simply 13 days in the past, thanks largely to my efforts. However nobody actually requested me to do this stuff. Each job Nook gave me was extra of a suggestion, one thing I may do if I managed to suit it into my very own schedule. All the pieces occurs tomorrow right here. Possibly I’m uncomfortable ready for tomorrow, so I attempt to fill the hours with pointless looking out: trying to find function, trying to find the subsequent merchandise that may make me complete and blissful, trying to find one thing that makes life simpler to digest. I attempt to discuss to my fellow islanders about this stuff however I at all times cease simply in need of getting critical, unwilling to burden them with my very own private points.

Beginning as we speak, I’m going to take steps to essentially soak within the environment of Aurora Island. Earlier, I despatched off letters to all my neighbors with little items thanking them for being who they’re. Nothing fancy or costly, simply knickknacks and loving notes. I’m positive they’ll love them. It looks like they love the whole lot. And actually, what’s to not love about this life? It’s a far cry from the rat race of the actual world. Everybody supplies for each other. Everyone seems to be encouraging. I would like to understand what I’ve discovered with out attaching my very own baggage to each little second and interplay.

Nook has talked about wanting to draw extra guests to Aurora Island, beginning with Okay. Okay. Slider. (Possibly he received that concept from us?) The primary a part of his plan is to arrange a campsite so people can come right here and examine issues out with out formally transferring in. To assist with this, Nook upgraded Resident Providers right into a full-fledged constructing. He additionally introduced an lovely canine named Isabelle on board to assist with issues like altering the island’s flag and track. She appears very upbeat, and the little bell on her hair tie jingles with each step she takes.

However my first order of enterprise after this morning’s introspection was fishing. Not fishing like I often do, utilizing bait off the pier in hopes of catching blue marlins or tuna to promote for tens of hundreds of Bells at Timmy and Tommy’s store. No, this was nearly getting again into rest mode. Settling myself. Humorous sufficient, as we speak was the primary day I’ve dragged trash out of the ocean. An empty aluminum can right here, a tire there, a few slick, raggedy boots. However as a substitute of tossing them out, I received some wild concepts for DIY initiatives. The can made a pleasant show for a number of wildflowers I discovered additional into the island. The tire grew to become an summary ornament simply outdoors my residence. And the boots, nicely, they’re boots. Not my type however they may go nicely with an outfit in a while, so I’m retaining them in my wardrobe for now.

That’s most likely what I like finest about Aurora Island. All the pieces and all people is significant, not simply because they are often polished into one thing stunning however as a result of they have been already stunning to start with. This island is a promise. Life isn’t presupposed to be higher or worse right here, it’s simply presupposed to be totally different. It has its personal rhythm and tempo. I can get up within the morning, seize a number of seashells off the seaside, and say whats up to Zucker as he hunts for butterflies. I can spend the day redecorating my bed room and sending off stuff I don’t want as items. I can concentrate on gathering provides and constructing enhancements for the city. Or I can simply keep residence and hearken to my Okay. Okay. Slider data… nonetheless on the lookout for that first-print vinyl of “Two Days In the past,” by the best way.

Aurora Island began off as an escape, a manner for me to run away from the folks and issues that have been weighing me down. It grew to become a lot greater than that in only a quick period of time. I discovered group right here. Not a group shackled collectively by economic system or trade, however one related by mutual compassion. That doesn’t imply everyone seems to be blithely unaware of actuality or brainwashed into mind-numbing positivity, however there’s an undercurrent of tenderness to your fellow animal that conjures up each motion we take. I do know life is ready for me again on the mainland. I do know this may’t final perpetually. However within the meantime, I’m going to soak up as a lot from my time right here as doable within the hopes of taking at the very least just a little little bit of Aurora again with me.


The remainder of the pocket book is stuffed with images and doodles of fish, a ticket to Aurora Island paperclipped to the final web page.