Codex Gamicus
Rune Factory (series)
Rune Factory logo
Basic Information
Marvelous Entertainment, Natsume, Rising Star Games, AFA Interactive, Xseed Games
Simulation, Action RPG
Nintendo DS and Wii

Rune Factory (ルーンファクトリー Rūn Fakutorī?) is a role-playing video game series developed by Neverland Co., Ltd. for the Nintendo DS and the Wii video game consoles and a spin-off of the Harvest Moon video game series It is described by Yoshifumi Hashimoto, producer of the Harvest Moon series, as "Harvest Moon where you wield a sword" [sic].[1]

Common gameplay elements[]

The gameplay of the Rune Factory series is similar to that of Harvest Moon. For every 10 seconds, ten in-game minutes pass. The player can grow crops, using upgradeable farm equipment. However, the Harvest Moon game mechanic of purchasing animals has been replaced by defeating and befriending monsters in dungeons. If a monster is tamed, they help the player in battle or provide sellable goods. The game's combat is in the Action role-playing game style.

Like most Harvest Moon games, the player is given a limited amount of stamina, in the form of "Rune Points". Since Rune Factory also includes combat, the player is given hit points as well. Rune Points are necessary to cast most magic spells, while the player can use weapons with no RP by sacrificing HP. The player can replenish RP by using Runes created by fully-grown crops or potions, while HP can be restored using medicine or healing spells. The town bathhouse restores both HP and RP. If the player runs out of HP while working on their farm, they will collapse and be rescued, however, in Rune Factory and Rune Factory 2, dying outside the town causes game over. In Rune Factory Frontier, you will not die while fighting in the caves or ruins.

Crops can be planted in different areas to sell for gold; other activities include mining for metal and minerals, fishing, or collecting food such as milk and eggs from befriended monsters. The player can then spend money and material to buy a variety of upgrades for their house, weapons, and tools.

In addition to their open-ended gameplay, the games possess a linear storyline, which can be furthered by exploring dungeons and defeating certain monsters.


  • Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon
  • Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon
  • Rune Factory Frontier
  • Rune Factory 3


According to Marvelous's managing director and Harvest Moon's creator, Yasuhiro Wada, Rune Factory 2 does not borrow the Harvest Moon name for the Japanese release. This was done in order to grow Rune Factory as an independent series and Marvelous will continue to do this with all future installments including Rune Factory Frontier.[2] Despite this, Natsume applied the subtitle A Fantasy Harvest Moon to Rune Factory 2.[3]

Rune Factory Frontier was announced during an interview between Cubed3 and Yasuhiro Wada, the creator of Harvest Moon, in June 6, 2007. A year later, the game was fully revealed on June 4, 2008 in the Japanese magazine Famitsu. On July 11, 2008, Marvelous Entertainment USA and Xseed Games announced that they were both bringing Rune Factory Frontier to North America, with a date of March 17, 2009. Frontier was the first game in the Rune Factory series not to be brought to North America by Natsume (the second game in the series was the last to be published by Natsume).[4][5][6][7]


Rune Factory 2 has had multiple manga series to help promote the game, in such magazines as Dengeki Nintendo DS, Monthly Wings, Dragon Age, and Dengeki Maoh. If players pre-ordered the game in Japan, they would receive a free CD with three mini-dramas as well as an 18-page art book. Sometime after the release of the game in Japan, a CD with all the background music, three mini-dramas, and the two theme songs was released with a novel based on the game following sometime after. The American pre-order bonus was a plush squirrel that was included in the box when ordered from participating websites.[3]


Review scores
Publication Score

The Rune Factory series has been well-received, however, no game in the series has been critically acclaimed.

Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon received an 8.4 rating from IGN's Mark Bozon. Bozon commented that the art style was "amazing", and that it was "the Harvest Moon you've been waiting for".[8] 91/100 from Gamebrink, 7.0/10 from Nintendo Power, and 4/5 from X-Play.

IGN rated Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon at 8.4/10, commenting on its similarity to the original.[citation needed] Game Rankings has rated it a 9.0/10, also stating that it was very similar to its original.[citation needed]


External links[]