Animal Crossing Wiki
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This article is about the first English-translated video game. For the series itself, see Animal Crossing (series).


Animal Crossing (Gamecube) Live Action Commercials

The live action commercials for the North America release.

Animal Crossing (also known as Animal Crossing: Population Growing) is the US and PAL version of Animal Forest+. Developed solely for the Nintendo GameCube, the game is notable as the first game in the Animal Crossing series to reach nations outside Japan. Animal Crossing was soon re-released as a Player's Choice title as a result of its high sales.

In this game, players assume the role of a boy or girl human setting out for a life of their own in a small randomly generated town. As each town is different, this ensures that no two players’ experiences are exactly the same. Players can pick fruit, grow trees, garden, hunt for fossils, fish, catch insects, do favors for the villagers, decorate their homes, and perform other such tasks.

The game designers declined to create an overarching plot, instead allowing players to have full control over their own life and play indefinitely. Time passes as it does in the real world. For example, if the game is played during December, it will be winter. Holidays and special events usually mirror real-world equivalents and often occur on the same days. During night and early morning, villagers sometimes accidentally fall asleep outside but standing up.


Welcome to town!

It's time to move to Animal Crossing, the real-life game that's happening every second of every day, whether you're there or not!

Life ticks by in real-life - different things happen at different times of day, and season change just like they do in the real world!
K.K. Slider

Get to know your town. Meet your neighbours, buy a house, and furnish it however you like.
Tom Nook

So much to do! Plant trees, pull weeds, go shopping, runn errands - or just go fishing!

Get three friends to move to your town or travel to a friends town to see what's up


Tom Nook GCN

Tom Nook, the owner of Nook's Cranny, will help any new residents settle into the town.

A young boy or girl hops on a train and set out for a new life in a small village inhabited by sentient, humanoid animals. However, being a spirited youth, the child forgot to find a place to live first and has only the clothes on their back as well as 1,000 Bells. On the train, Rover sits across from them and starts a conversation. During the exchange, the cat finds out about the child’s situation. Rover contacts Tom Nook and arranges for his old friend to help out the boy or girl upon their arrival.

Once in town, the player steps down from the Train Station platform and is greeted by a flustered raccoon (tanuki in Japan). The raccoon introduces himself as Tom Nook, the owner of the town's shop and shows the player his four available houses. While they are all small and unfurnished, Tom Nook assures them that they will suit their requirements. However, they are pricey and out of the player's price range. Tom Nook decides to employ the player to work in his shop, so they can pay off the debt they owe on the house. During this period of employment, the child meets the villagers and the mayor and acquaints themselves with the Post Office, Able Sisters, Museum, Police Station, and other buildings.

However, Tom Nook eventually runs out of tasks for the player to perform, and is forced to let them go. The player is also forced to make it on their own without a real job. However, the villagers are a needy bunch, and the land is brimming with fruit-bearing trees, fish-filled rivers, and ideal bug-catching conditions. It is also a registered archaeological site of the Faraway Museum.

Game Interface[]

Starting or Continuing a Game[]

Animal Crossing is a game that encourages short play periods everyday. A player's first journey into town requires more time and effort than subsequent visits. This is because the requirements of the game such as the main character and the town will be established during this time.


Items Required to Play[]

  • Television Set or Projector (1)
  • Nintendo GameCube or Wii (1)
  • GameCube Controller (1)
  • 59 free Blocks of Memory Card data.*
  • Animal Crossing Game disc (1)**

*The original Animal Crossing package includes a free Memory Card 59 with a 1-block letter data.
**The game disc may be ejected after the player enters their town due to the game's small ROM size. Because Animal Crossing is merely a slightly modified port of a Nintendo 64 title, the game in its entirety will be recorded into the GameCube's RAM following startup (as N64 cartridges are 1436 megabytes smaller than GameCube discs); the RAM will be cleared if the GameCube is powered off or reset.

Optional Items[]

Setting up Animal Crossing[]

  1. Connect the Nintendo GameCube or Wii to the television as described in their respective manuals.
  2. Insert Animal Crossing Game disc into the GameCube (or Wii) disc drive, the Memory Card into Slot A (left slot or right slot in the Wii), and the GameCube Controller into the Player 1 slot (leftmost slot or first one on the Wii)
  3. Turn on the television, Nintendo GameCube, and any optional device used to connect the two devices.
  4. Optional: Hold the A Button at the GameCube title screen to configure the GameCube Clock and Memory Card data.
  5. Follow on-screen instructions for beginning and configuring a new game through the required conversations with K.K. Slider, Rover, and Tom Nook.
  6. Complete the main character’s work for Tom Nook and save the game by talking with the Gyroid at the character’s house.

Returning to Play and Options[]

When turning on the game after the first save, players will be greeted by an animal from their village and be asked to identify themselves. If a player wants to create a new character, they must select "I'm New." At this point, options such as the town's date and time can be changed by selecting "Before I go..." from the conversational menu. The following is a list of customizable options.

  • Sound: Players can switch the game's speaker output settings to stereo, mono, or headphones. After selecting one, the player will be asked to select the language the animals speak. Animalese (a text-to-speech voice), Babblese (a generic text-scrolling sound also used for dialogue from the player, whispering voices, and signs), or Silence (where animals do not make any noise when talking) can be chosen.
  • Demolish a House: This option allows players to delete player characters from the Memory Card. Another house that is yet to be expanded appears in its place. This new house has the same roof color and decorations as the previous house did prior to the character moving in. One character must always be on the memory card.
  • Set Clock: Changes the in-game date and time. This does not affect the GameCube Clock.
  • Rumble Feature: If a player finds the rumble feature distracting, this option turns it on or off.
  • Build a New Town: This option deletes all town data from the Memory Card. Nothing will be saved from the town except letters saved at the Post Office and patterns saved in the Able Sisters archive. However, this feature is useful as only one town can be saved on each Memory Card.

Basic Controls[]

Animal Crossing requires players to master three different types of controls in order to play. The first two, Action and Menu controls, are intertwined in gameplay. With time players learn to switch between them thoughtlessly. Typing controls were very different from the other two modes. However, it is not used nearly as frequently as the others.

Action and Menu Controls[]

Most actions are performable both indoors and outdoors. However, certain actions can only be performed in certain areas.

Control Stick
  • Walk: The further the Control Stick is pressed, the faster the character will move.
  • Move furniture: While holding a furniture in house by holding the A Button, the control stick must be moved to rotate or move it. Moving towards and away from the item moves the furniture forwards or backwards. Pressing to the side of the furniture rotates it. The orientation of the character in relation to the furniture is critical.
  • Move cursor: On menus, move the cursor around to make a selection.
C Stick
  • Adjust camera: While inside houses and museum exhibits, press in any direction to tilt the camera in that direction.
  • Do Aerobics: While at the Aerobics Festival, or listening to the Aerobics Radio, tilt to perform certain aerobic actions.
A Button

The function of this button is context sensitive.

  • Talk: Press while facing a character.
  • Enter a building: Press while facing a door.
  • Shake tree: Press while facing a tree.
  • Read messages: Press while facing a sign or bulletin board.
  • Use item: Press while holding an item.
  • Hold furniture: Hold while standing in front of and facing any piece of furniture while inside a home. If the furniture is their own, players can move and rotate it using the Control Stick.
  • Use furniture: Press while standing in front of and facing a functional piece of furniture at home. For example: player can turn on or off a television set or open a wardrobe.
  • Select: On menus, press to make a selection.
B Button

The function of this button is context sensitive.

  • Run: Hold while pressing the Control Stick
  • Pick up items: Press the button while on top of an item to add it to the item screen. While indoors, this action can be performed on furniture or other similar, 3D items by standing in front of and facing the item. 2D items such as stationery are picked up the same way as they are picked up outside.
  • Put away furniture: Press the button while facing a piece of furniture in the character's house to add it to the item screen.
  • Cancel/Go back to the previous screen: On menus, press to cancel, select "no", or return to the last screen.
L Button
  • Run: Hold while pressing the Control Stick
  • Stop Playing NES: While playing an NES game, pressing the L, R, and Z Buttons simultaneously saves and quits.
  • Items Screen: Grab and place an object.
R Button
  • Run: Hold while pressing the Control Stick
  • Stop Playing NES: While playing an NES game, pressing the L, R, and Z Buttons simultaneously saves and quits.
  • Menu: Switch menus
X Button
  • Check the map: To do this, players must receive the map of the town they live in from Tom Nook. Once on the map menu, moving the Control Stick highlights different acres. The names of the buildings and houses in that acre are shown on the right side of the map.
  • In the Items Screen, the X Button can highlight multiple items, providing the ability to drop or sell all highlighted items at once.
Y Button
  • Open or close the item screen.
Z Button
  • Light switch: While inside player homes, this button turns the lights on and off.
  • NES Select: While playing an NES game, the Z Button acts as the Select Button did on the original games. Alternatively, pressing it moves the cursor on the main menus.
  • Stop Playing NES: While playing an NES game, pressing the L, R, and Z Buttons simultaneously saves and quits.
  • Open or close the item screen.
  • Select game mode: While playing an NES game, press to select a mode.

Typing Controls[]

Whenever players insert text, a keyboard appears at the bottom of the screen. Controls then switch to typing mode.

Control Stick
  • Choose a letter
+ Control Pad
  • Move Cursor: This action is equivalent to pressing the arrow keys while word processing.
A Button
  • Type letter
B Button
  • Delete letter
L Button
  • Caps lock/unlock: Every letter typed while in caps lock mode is capitalized.
R Button
  • Insert Space
X Button
  • Accent letter: After typing a letter that may have a pronunciation alternative, pressing this turns the letter into an accented one. For letters with multiple accent possibilities (e.g. a, à, á), pressing the button multiple times applies different marks.
Y Button
  • Switch keyboard: There are three keyboards. The first is for letters, numbers, and common punctuation, the second is for all punctuation, and the third is for special symbols such as hearts.
Z Button
  • Change key layout: This only applies to the first keyboard, which has two layouts. The first is the standard QWERTY layout seen on computer keyboards. The other lists letters alphabetically.

NOTES: Selecting "SP" on the virtual keyboard adds a space. By selecting the return arrow, players can insert carriage returns. Carriage returns skip the rest of the current line and bring the cursor down to the next. On computer keyboards, the enter/return keys serve this function.

Item Screen[]

The item screen, often referred to as the inventory, is a major aspect of Animal Crossing's gameplay. Using it, players can perform a variety of tasks. These tasks include checking statistics, placing items, using items, and using designs. The screen is divided up into four major sections

Main Item Screen[]

Character Information
In the upper left of the menu, the player’s character can be seen. The clothes they are wearing and the tools they are holding are accurately reflected on the image. By selecting the character, players can remove items. The name of the town and the character are displayed to the right.

Below the name of town and character is a display how many bells the player has in their wallet. The player's wallet can only hold a maximum of 99,999 Bells. They can hold more Bells by creating moneybags. To do so, players must select the Bells in their wallet window and choose the amount of Bells between 100 and 3,000 they would like in the bag. However, moneybags are automatically created for the player if they earn enough Bells. Additionally, the creation of moneybags allows players to give money as presents, place it in their houses, or bury it on the ground. Obviously, Bells stored at the Post Office cannot be used without first withdrawing them into the Bells display and the inventory.

The player's items are shown in the lower section of the menu. Up to fifteen items of any type can be held here. Many actions involving items can only be done by selecting the items from this list. Certain items, such as tools or clothes, require players to drag the item’s icon onto the character before they can be used.

Players can hold up to ten letters with them at any given time. Letters can be rearranged to suit the player's preferences. Selecting a received letter brings up a submenu that allows players to move them, read them, move an enclosed present to the inventory, or discard them. If players select a letter they have written themselves, they can move them, rewrite them, change the addressee, remove an enclosed present, or discard them.

The tabs on the left and right edges of the menu bring up new menus. The pencil tab on the right brings up the design page. The fish and butterfly tabs on the right bring up the caught fish and insect lists, respectively.

Fish and Insect Lists[]

Complete Fish

The complete fish chart

These screens record the 40 types of insects or fish and show those that have been caught. They prove very useful for players wishing to catch one of every fish or insect. Once on either list, if the player places the cursor over a fish or insect, they can see its name. To return to the main item screen, players select the smiley face tab.

Design Page[]

By selecting the pencil on the left of the main item screen, players will access the design page. This page will automatically open when a player interacts with a signpost. This page has slots for eight-pixel art patterns designed by the player or taken from a display at the Able Sisters. When first starting the game, this menu contains four sample patterns, the clothes template, umbrella template, door template, and arrow design. Using this screen, players can customize the town with their designs by selecting a pattern and the action they wish to perform using the provided submenu.

Use on Clothes
While outside or inside, selecting this option uses the pattern as a shirt and hat for the character. The clothes they were wearing will be deposited in the items section of the main item screen. This action cannot be performed if the items section is full and the character is not wearing another pattern.

Use on Umbrella
This action appears inside and outside. Even if the player does not have an umbrella in their inventory, any pattern can be used as an umbrella. The item the character was holding prior to the selection is moved into the inventory. Like "Use on Clothes", this action cannot be used to replace an umbrella item if the inventory is full. However, if another pattern is being used as an umbrella, this action still works.

Use on Walls and Use on Floor
While inside their own homes, players can use their patterns as wallpapers or carpets by selection "Use on Walls" and "Use on Floor" respectively. Patterns only cover a small portion of the floor or walls, so they are tiled repeatedly. After selecting where to use the pattern, players are asked to select "Basic paste" or "Mix it up". The first option places the pattern in a very basic matter, with the top of the pattern facing up or north. The second alternates whether the top or bottom is facing up or north. As usual, if a player's inventory is full and they are replacing a carpet or wallpaper item, they cannot use this selection as the old carpet or wallpaper is placed in the inventory. However, if the old carpet or wallpaper was another pattern, this function works.

Drop as Clothes and Drop as Umbrella
Players wishing to display their patterns in their homes as clothes and umbrellas are able to do so by selecting "Drop as Clothes" and "Drop as Umbrella" respectively, and will be placed on the ground, but still be in the player's design page. After being dropped, these items are movable as if they were furniture and can be removed by pressing the B Button while facing them. However, the item will disappear rather than going into the inventory.

Inventory Design
Players may change the background of their inventory to a shirt, floor, wall, or umbrella design by grabbing the designed item and dragging it to the bottom-right-hand corner of the inventory (not the letter section), then bring it down once into an invisible slot and placing the item.

The Town[]

The town is split into 30 units known as acres, which themselves are divided into squares. Houses, trees, ponds, beachfront, buildings, etc. are all found on acres, while squares determine where on the overworld they are placed. There is a river that runs through the town, and the town has two or three levels of land, which can be traversed using ramps. Every time a new town is created, the layout is randomly generated, including the starting villagers and native fruit trees, as with every Animal Crossing game. Consequently, the chances of two towns starting out with the exact same layout, let alone the same set of villagers, is very slim.


  • Like the Japanese release, the game was originally going to be called Animal Forest, but its name was eventually changed. The new name takes inspiration from the "animal crossing" road signs used to warn of large animals whose habitats are nearby and who could potentially run in a moving vehicle's path and cause serious accidents.
  • Although designed as a port of Animal Forest+ there are small differences, for instance, the replacement of the Herabuna fish with the Brook Trout.
  • Some commercials of the game are a parody of the American reality TV show The Real World.
  • The villagers' dialogue in the English localization is harsher compared to future games in the franchise.

Known internationally as[]

Animal Crossing
Language Name Translation
Japan Japanese どうぶつの森+ Dōbutsu no Mori+ Animal Forest+
France French Animal Crossing: Population: En hausse ! Animal Crossing: Population: Growing !
Spain Spanish Animal Crossing: Población: ¡en aumento! Animal Crossing: Population: growing!
Germany German Animal Crossing: Einwohner: steigend! Animal Crossing: Population: growing!
Italy Italian Animal Crossing: Popolazione: in aumento! Animal Crossing: Population: growing!