“No more debt for me,
My house is all paid off!”
― A player, City Folk
The player (also called the character) is a term used for the controllable avatar in the Animal Crossing series. The player may be either male or female; the differences in all games are largely cosmetic, with slight variations to some dialogue whenever the conversation becomes gender specific.
The player is the only human character seen in the game (including visiting players). They are the only human children, however, it is assumed Mom and Dad, who send letters occasionally, are also human in appearance.
Up until New Horizons, only one human from each town could be active at any given time, although, starting in Wild World, visiting players from other games can be in town at the same time. Players will start with either a long sleeve or a short sleeve shirt depending on the time of year.
- 1 Role
- 2 Appearance
- 3 Determining Facial Features
- 4 Other Appearances
The player is seen as an active member of the town to which they have moved. The way in which they act with their environment changes the town, which represents the open play of the Animal Crossing series. There are a number of different ways the player can interact with the town and other characters in the game. These may involve a variety of different hobbies in the game, such as fishing, bug catching, fashion and many more. Villagers do not necessarily have an active role in altering the town or the player but can be interacted with to develop friendships and to trade for furniture and tips.
In New Leaf, the player takes on the role of the Town Mayor, a role which was filled by Mayor Tortimer in previous installments. What the player does is essentially the same as in previous games, but now with more customizable options. Being the Mayor involves two key areas; Public Works Projects and the Town Ordinance.
Being the Mayor does not need to be seen as the main aim of the game, but it does allow the player to customize their town further than what was available in City Folk with the Town Fund, which allowed the player to add new features to the town. In New Leaf, the player can add features such as benches to any place in the Village, or build or upgrade new stores in Main Street. The Mayor can also change the laws by changing the Town ordinance to allow for later or earlier opening times for stores, or to make the town cleaner or wealthier.
Players share similar physical attributes with the main villagers in all games in the series, such as limbs and height, with the exception of some species.
The physical appearance of the player can be customized in a variety of different ways in each game, with a wide selection of hairstyles, clothes, accessories and facial feature positions. In more modern Animal Crossing games, the appearance of the player can be altered to such an extent that gender specific features can be used on players of the opposite gender.
Prior to Happy Home Designer, the player would always initially start out with light skin, but could darken it by getting a tan. Happy Home Designer introduced more customisation options, and now dark-skinned characters are available from the beginning.
The Player's nose leading up to City Folk was a red perfect triangle until New Leaf where the Player's nose was a much taller and skinnier triangle that was actually modeled, whereas the nose from previous games was a texture applied to the face along with the other facial feature like the eyes and mouth. The nose in New Horizons could be changed to two other options such as an oval, and a rectangle which are still modeled like it was in 'New Leaf.
Clothing and Headgear
There are several unalterable differences. The female character will always wear a dress, while the male character will always wear a shirt with gray shorts. In New Leaf, all clothing items can be worn by either gender. In Animal Crossing, Animal Forest and Wild World, the female character's default hat is a cone-shaped "Princess cap," while the male character headgear resembles a spiked "Viking helmet". In Animal Forest and Animal Crossing, they are the only hairstyle or head wear, and they cannot be changed.
In City Folk, the largely physical differences between the genders may become blurred due to the fact that Harriet will allow the player to get haircuts that are meant for the opposite gender if one has had all hairstyles of their gender. Kicks will also allow the player to wear shoes of the opposite gender after several shoe shines have been bought in the City.
In New Leaf, the player now appears taller with longer limbs. This also reflects the change in the physical appearance of villagers who are also much taller and life like.
The player is also more animated. For example, when slowly approaching an insect, the player no longer walks slowly. They now crouch down when sneaking towards a bug. There are also new emotions which show off the flexibility of the player's model.
In New Horizons, the player appears in New Leaf, but as of the Summer Update, can fully swim in the surrounding ocean and dive underwater. Clothes and hair styles are available from the start, where both male and female clothing can be bought and worn from the Able Sisters. In the 1.5.0 update, new skin tones (body paint) and eye colors have been added in exchange for Nook Miles.
Determining Facial Features
In each game up until New Horizons, the player's face is determined by a series of questions that the introductory character, Rover asks when the unseen player is currently moving into the town. In Animal Crossing: Wild World, Kapp'n asks the player instead.
The way the face is arranged can be determined when the player responds to the questions asked by each introductory character. However, in Animal Crossing, at the end of the conversation when it comes to the last question, if the player presses "B" while talking to Rover it selects the second response and randomizes the player's face, making any other question answered unusable.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Both a male player and female player appear in the background of the Smashville stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He can be seen during some matches with other characters in the series, such as Harriet, Blathers and occasionally K.K. Slider.
In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
Both male and female players appear in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS as playable combatants. The announcement was made during the Electronic Entertainment Expo ("E3") Nintendo Direct presentation.
In the game, the player is called the "Villager" and takes on the appearance of playable characters from City Folk.
Villager's actions incorporate many of the features seen in the Animal Crossing series. These include using a net and a sapling: melee attacks they can use on their opponents. The net can grab an opponent and directly attack them and/or throw them, damaging the opponent. The sapling can grow into a tree which they can cut down with an axe to attack opponents. The villager can also absorb objects by grabbing the object and putting it in their pocket, followed by the pick up sound that is heard in the Animal Crossing series.
In Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Both male and female players are called "Villager", and they take on the appearance of playable characters from New Leaf.
The Villagers can be chosen respectively on the Character Select screen and can let players race them throughout the tracks in Mario Kart 8. That can only be possible if the player owns the 2nd DLC for Mario Kart 8, nicknamed "Animal Crossover", released since April 23rd, 2015. The DLC content is included in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Switch version of the game.
In Super Mario Maker
Villager appears as an amiibo mystery mushroom costume in Super Mario Maker.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The Villager is veteran, and Male and Female Villagers are back in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The Villagers design are kept from City Folk.