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Lords Of Bumtown: Part 2 of our Animal Crossing New Leaf diary

By Chris Scullion on Wednesday 15th May 2013 at 10:17 AM UTC

Last week I wrote a diary about my first day in Bumtown, my Animal Crossing: New Leaf town. A lot has happened since then, so allow me to share with you the details...

Last week I had a dilemma - should I spend my hard-earned Bells on a new house, or should I blow it all on furniture for the tent I was perfectly happy living in? As you may remember, my crooked landlord Tom Nook was putting pressure on me and pretending that the mammoth sum of 10,000 Bells wasn't a lot of money.

Maybe it's paltry for him, but as a complete newcomer to Bumtown, 10,000 Bells was a hefty chunk of change. I opted to spend some of my Bells on furniture instead, but after sleeping on it I decided that if I was ever going to be the mayor of Bumtown (and I already was) I'd better have a house that showed my residents who's boss.

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After all, when the anthropomorphic eagle across the road has a bigger home than me, it's fair to say that my tiny tent is broadcasting an odd message.

The next morning I decided it was time to get working. Bumtown only has a limited number of pear trees, and I can only pick up shells from the beach so many times before they're all gone, so I eventually had to make use of a less finite way to make cash - hunting wild beasts.

Granted, Animal Crossing refers to the task as 'fishing and catching bugs', but you can't tell me these screens show anything other than the sort of white hot action Monster Hunter would be jealous of.

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Each bug, butterfly and fish I catch earns some bells at the Re-Tail recycling shop. Some only earn me a hundred or so, but rarer ones can fetch me a few hundred. By filling my pockets with loads of them and heading to Re-Tail, I can earn a decent payment.

Incidentally, though I'm quite clearly a cold-blooded hunter, I do still appreciate the importance of conservation, which is why any time I come across a new bug or fish I always take it to the local museum to make sure at least one of every species is preserved for life. In a way I'm sort of like a modern-day Noah, even though I take the animals to a museum instead of an ark, and there's no flood coming. Unless you count the flood of grateful tears streaming from my residents' eyes when they realise their all-powerful mayor has turned Bumtown into a global power of culture and tourism.

But I digress. The local museum curator, Blathers, is always grateful when I bring him new bugs or fish, but he's particularly pleased when I bring him any fossils I dig up too. Even better, if I find a fossil which the museum already owns, he lets me keep it and I can sell it on for a healthy 3000 Bells. Blathers is a cool guy. When I'm fully in charge of Bumtown, he will feel the benefits.

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After making a few trips to Re-Tail with my pockets full of fish and bugs (good job my neighbours are animals otherwise they'd probably question my hygiene), I finally had enough Bells to pay Nook a down payment for my house.

Naturally, the greedy crook was chuffed at getting the moolah and, if I'm being honest, I was secretly pleased to be moving out of that tent too. My road to greatness had begun.

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The next day my house was ready and I started laying out all of my furniture, but I had the nagging feeling this had all happened too easily. Nook is notorious for being a money-hungry tyrant, and I quickly realised that he hadn't actually told me the full price of the house - all I knew was that the down payment was 10,000 Bells. I quickly ran to the shop to see what he had to say for himself.

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What a scumbag. Still, I wasn't going to let that get to me - debt's just a normal part of today's society, after all, so although Tom Nook is clearly part of the problem I'll happily play his little game until I'm in charge of this town. He's got a shock coming.

While I was in town (Tom Nook's shop is located on a high street sitting peacefully beyond the railroad tracks), I decided to check out the Able Sisters' shop, because I realised I hadn't yet paid it a visit. The Able Sisters sell clothing and accessories, with the main room dealing in shirts and trousers (or skirts if you're that way inclined) and a side room selling sunglasses, hats and umbrellas.

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I'd already dabbled with my fashion style before visiting the Able sisters' shop. You have eight saved patterns in your inventory and can design your own, turning it into a hat, umbrella or shirt. Being a Glasgow Celtic fan, I'd already created myself a Celtic hat (as you can see in the right-hand screen above), but I wanted more. That's where Pro Designs come into play.

Pro designs, I'm told, allow budding artists to create more detailed shirts for a fee of 500 Bells. Usually when you create a shirt (for free) you're given a 32x32 grid and allowed to fill it in with whatever design you like. Once it's done, it slaps the same design on the front, back and sleeves of your shirt.

That's all well and good if you have a basic pattern, but if you want to make a t-shirt or - in my case - a football shirt it looks horrible, since any design you draw on the front also appears on the back and is smeared on the sleeves too. A pro design, on the other hand, gives you four separate 32x32 grids - one for the front, one for the back and one for each sleeve. This allows for some excellent designs, and there are no prizes for guessing which football team's shirt I created. Do I look like a man of authority yet?

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Although you can only store up to eight patterns in your inventory, the Able sisters also let you save designs at their shop, meaning you can have up to 72 extra designs stored there for easy withdrawal. You can also save your designs as QR codes so you or friends can scan them later, but I haven't unlocked that feature just yet.

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