Posted in Computer games

Stardew Valley Vibe Check: Updated Impressions

I’ve played close to 40 hours of Stardew Valley. (Let’s call me…ambitious.)

I’ve befriended almost all of the suitors and even married one of them.

My impressions of them have changed…at least a little.

Okay, in some cases, a lot.

Haley

Shoulders-up rendering of Haley from Stardew Valley: blonde woman, blue eyes, blue dress

Probably watches: the CW

Haley has stopped making fun of me and started complaining about everyone else instead.

I guess that’s an improvement.

I learned she wears a bracelet that belonged to her great-grandmother; she seemed really upset when it went missing.

She’s considered donating some of her shoes to charity.

I don’t know WHAT IT IS ABOUT ME that attracts Damsel Energy, but Haley has talked me into finding lost jewelry and opening jars for her.

I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Harvey

Shoulders-up rendering of Harvey from Stardew Valley: brunette man, dark eyebrows, glasses, moustache, green jacket

Probably watches: PBS

Harvey has shared with me his concerns about the townspeople.

He’s especially worried about them during cold and flu season. (This particular worry hit way too close to home.)

Good for Harvey for caring about other people!

I bet Harvey wears a mask.

Abigail

Shoulders-up rendering of Abigail from Stardew Valley: purple-haired woman, blue eyes, black choker, blue vest over black dress

Probably watches: Let’s Plays

I ACTIVELY DISLIKE Abigail.

She asked me what color she should dye her hair and then laughed when I said pink??? Like she thought I was joking??? YOUR HAIR IS BRIGHT PURPLE.

When I manage to find a gift she likes, she says, “Wow, thanks! How did you know I was hungry? This looks DELICIOUS!” even if it isn’t food.

Based on an interaction we had in the forest, I gathered that Abigail likes me more when I subvert her expectations.

I’m almost thirty. This is who I am. I refuse to be “interesting” for others’ entertainment.

Also, what is this romantic nonsense about exploring the caves???

I know for a fact Abigail has never fought off a skeleton and I’m REAL MAD ABOUT IT.

I DON’T THINK YOU’RE ALLOWED TO CALL YOURSELF AN ADVENTURER AND GO ON AND ON ABOUT ADVENTURING IF YOU’VE NEVER DONE IT AND/OR ARE IGNORANT OF THE REALITIES OF SKELETON FIGHTING.

I heard she gets attacked by bats in one of her heart events.

I’m fine with this.

Elliott

Shoulders-up rendering of Elliott from Stardew Valley: man with long auburn hair, dark brows, dark eyes, and a red jacket

Probably watches: the Criterion Collection

Elliott has become marginally self-aware and vulnerable.

He worries he has no marketable skills.

He cares about his bonsai plants and lets a tiny crab live in his pocket.

I even saw him write once.

He sometimes monologues about “home” and “belonging” and “connecting with people across space and time,” but he’s all right.

Maru

Shoulders-up rendering of Maru from Stardew Valley; red-haired woman with dusky skin, red eyeglasses, and overalls over a purple shirt

Probably watches: SyFy

Every time I talk to Maru, she says something condescending.

For example: she keeps implying that working on a farm is easier than repairing electronics at the local hospital.

Oh, and sometimes she says, “Wow, you made progress on your farm this week!” Like…yes? I did? Because I’m working my ass off?

I was bringing her cabbages from my farm; after that last comment, I might stop.

Sebastian

Shoulders-up rendering of Sebastian from Stardew Valley: man with long dark hair, dark eyes, black sweatshirt

Probably watches: Crunchyroll

(CW: depression, suicidality)

….so I like Sebastian now.

He cares about frogs.

He works hard on his programming assignments.

He’s even fixing up a motorcycle with notions of riding off into the sunset. (I’ll admit, this made him 1000% more attractive to me.)

He also says things that allude to depressive tendencies. Recently, he admitted that little things – frogs, rain, etc. – make living worthwhile.

I am not actively suicidal; I still relate to this VERY MUCH.

Emily

Shoulders-up rendering of Emily from Stardew Valley: blue-haired woman with dark eyes and a red-collared shirt

Probably watches: meditation videos

Okay, guess who my favorite non-Shane townsperson is.

GUESS.

It’s George.

Shoulders-up rendering of George from Stardew Valley: a balding older white man in a wheelchair wearing green
Pictured: my heart and soul

George hates everyone and everything. I love him so much.

CAN YOU SEE HOW EMILY IS THEREFORE THE ANTITHESIS OF MY ENTIRE BEING??

I’ve been actively avoiding her at all costs.

She kissed me once for bringing her a gemstone and I was NOT ABOUT THAT.

Alex

Shoulders-up rendering of Alex from Stardew Valley: man with spiky brown-hair, heavy brow, green and yellow jacket

Probably watches: Sportscenter

(CW: abuse)

Alex opened up to me about his abusive dad and I thought we’d connected.

Somehow, though, he got WORSE.

Unprompted, he told me, “If you were a guy, I’d play catch with you right now.”

What the FUCK, Alex?

He also started lecturing me about the importance of a good tan, then asked if I had a bikini and wanted to catch some rays with him.

SIR, I DO NOT.

He called me FARM GIRL. SIR. I DON’T LIKE THAT.

I caught him leering at Haley at the Spring Flower Dance and decided I couldn’t take anymore.

Alex sucks.

Penny

Shoulders-up rendering of Penny from Stardew Valley: red-haired woman with green eyes and a yellow blouse

Probably watches: HGTV

Penny started opening up about her mom and their messy household.

She told me she reads as a means of escape.

She seems like a bit of a Stepford Smiler. It’s not a coping mechanism I use, but I get it.

I did tell her to deal with reality. Not sure if that was helpful or not.

I also haven’t forgotten the wheelchair thing.

Sam

shoulders-up rendering of Sam from Stardew Valley: a man with blonde anime hair, dark eyes, and a denim jacket

Probably watches: memes on TikTok

Sam plays guitar, practices kickflips, and likes flowers.

He’s the exact type of guy my friends try to tell me is cute only for me to look and see a black hole of nothing.

Sam has no personality.

Sam is void essence.

Hard pass.

Leah

Shoulders-up rendering of Leah from Stardew Valley: woman with long red braid, purple eyes, brown overalls over a green shirt

Probably watches: NPR Tiny Desk concerts

Leah and I are best friends now.

We talk about art and life and things.

She made a sculpture and named it after me.

I helped her pick some fruit and she said, “Even if my art career flops, I know I have a friend who will catch me before I fall.”

THAT’S SO NICE.

I adore her.

Shane

Shoulders-up rendering of Shane from Stardew Valley: man with purple hair, dark eyes, stubble, and a blue sweatshirt over a green shirt

Probably watches: so much YouTube

(CW: alcoholism, body image)

Shane and I got married on my birthday.

Let’s not talk about my outfit.

So far, married life has been a RIDE.

Dude makes me breakfast and tells me he appreciates the work I do.

He feeds the animals, waters crops, and raises his own chickens.

He stays in touch with his aunt and goddaughter and lets me know when he plans to visit them.

He’s also SO MESSY. Like, his room is a TRAVESTY.

He eats “squishy” food and is constantly burping.

Sometimes he talks about his gridball glory days and bemoans being short and fat.

(I just figured out that Shane is the shortest man in town. THIS EXPLAINS THE LOW SELF-ESTEEM.)

I just staged an intervention regarding Shane’s drinking, only to find out he’d traded alcohol for soda and arcade games.

I love him so much, but oh my god.

If I was this emotionally invested in a real person, I think it would actually kill me.

I care so much about (most of) these characters.

I’ve been daydreaming about starting a new farm.

Would I find happiness with Harvey? Would Leah and I make a farming dream team? Could I ever be attracted to Alex? (Nope.)

Then I think about my current playthrough with Shane and can’t imagine farm life without him.

Whatever I decide, expect a lot of Stardew updates.

Author:

Lover of cheese and performative angst. I love to call out, complain, overreact, analyze, and reimagine. This site contains the fruit of that labor.

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