Very Important (Animal) People
In Chapter 2 we discussed the villagers and shopkeepers who make up your new town's residents. However, New Leaf has a sizeable number of traveling merchants and other visitors to keep things interesting throughout the week. Out of the herd there are a few who are particularly important to maximizing your success in your new role as Mayor, so we'll be sure to pay special attention to them, though we'll also briefly run down the list of which other people you can expect to find while you play.
Joan, The Turnip Seller
Joan is a boar that shows up on Sunday mornings with a basket full of turnips. In Animal Crossing, as Joan is more than happy to explain should you ask, there's a little thing called the Stalk market. That is to say, people spend an awful lot of energy on learning when to buy turnips low and hold onto them until the right moment to turn the most profit.
The amount of money you are capable of making off of turnip sales is definitely nothing to scoff at, though with the inclusion of the island and its game-breaking beetle hunting trick it's difficult to argue that the aggregate brain cycles necessary to make the most out of turnip trading is really worthwhile. Still, it can be an effect means of making a quick million or two if you know what you're doing (and luck is on your side).
First off, the basics:
- Turnips can be purchased from Joan any time between 6 AM and noon on Sundays.
- Turnips cost between 90 and 110 bells per 10.
- Turnips can be stored in your dresser, and combine to form stacks of up to 100, meaning your maximum turnip purchase in a week can be 19,600 turnips (which would cost between 1.76m and 2.16m bells)
- If you leave turnips out in the open (i.e. not in your inventory or a dresser) they will rot within a day.
- Turnips can be sold to Reese at Re-Tail, who will have a morning and evening asking price for turnips every day but Sunday.
- If you do not sell your Turnips before 6 AM on the very next Sunday after you bought them, they will rot and become worthless.
- Turnips will automatically rot if the game believes you have time traveled - meaning, if the game notices you are playing on a date and time that you have already played on, all your turnips will instantly rot (so fast-forwarding the clock is okay, rewinds are a no-no).
- Turnips can be sold in other player's towns, which is made easier by using the locker at the foreign train station to retrieve items from your dresser back home.
There are four market trends that can be in play during the week. Successfully identifying which trend your market is operating at will guarantee success with your turnip investment.
Decreasing patterns are the worst trend you can be stuck with. As depicted by the graph above, the pattern will start out somewhere between 99 and 50 as the buying price for turnips, and then steadily decrease with each price change.
What to do if you have this pattern: A decreasing pattern is indistinguishable from either of the Spike patterns until Thursday evening's turnip prices, as neither price spike can occur that late into the week. Therefore, if it's Thursday afternoon and your turnip price has declined since the morning, immediately sell all of your turnips because it won't be getting any better.
Big Spike Pattern
The Big Spike is the best opportunity for profit you'll get - A decreasing pattern which, at some point during the week, you will see the buy price sharply increase three times consecutively, followed by two steep decreases before it returns to the original decreasing pattern. Due to the pattern requiring two price increases before the spike and two price decreases after the spike, the soonest the peak sale point could occur is Tuesday morning, while the latest it could occur is Friday afternoon.
What to do if you have this pattern: Once you've verified that you indeed have one of the two spike patterns in play this week (statistically probable when you witness the buying price increase twice consecutively), pay close attention to the third increase. If the third increase is greater than 250 bells, you are very likely seeing a big spike, and this third increase is the most you will make off turnips for the week.
Small Spike Pattern
The Small Spike pattern is pretty self-explanatory after reviewing its more extreme sibling. The Small Spike is a decreasing pattern with three consecutive increasing turnip prices, followed by a moderately sharp increase in price, then a severe decrease in price, before returning to the prior steady decrease in value. Due to this patterns requirement for three increasing prices and one decreasing flanking the peak sale price, the earliest this could occur is Tuesday afternoon, and the latest is Saturday morning.
What to do if you have this pattern: Just like watching for the Big Spike, keep an eye on the third price increase in the timeline. If the third increase is less than 250 bells, you are very likely facing a small spike, and you should wait for the next price change to occur before you sell.
Our last pattern is, unfortunately, not a pattern at all; Random Pricing means you are now officially gambling with your turnips. To identify this pattern keep an eye out for any increase in turnip prices. If the very next price change is a decrease, you are up the proverbial creek. Note that there have been instances of two consecutive increases occurring during a random price week (since it is random, after all). Don't get discouraged if you turn out to be dealing with a random week instead of a Big Spike pattern.
What to do if you have this "pattern": Fortunately for us, the random pattern actually has one safety built into the random number generation - It will always have a minimum of two price increases that put turnip values at above average (greater than 110 bells). If you are fortunate enough to only see one of these before you correctly identify a random pricing week, be sure to sell as soon as you see the next increase beyond 110 bells, or you run the risk of selling at a severe loss.
Crazy Redd, The Art Dealer
Crazy Redd is a staple of the Animal Crossing series. While in previous games he sold rare furniture alongside the occasional piece of art, in New Leaf he's decided to go all-in on art sales, giving up his back-alley couch sales. Redd will show up randomly during the week - you'll know he's in your town when you spot a rectangular green tent with a golden leaf on the canopy in your town square. Crazy Redd is the only way to get artwork for your museum, so understanding how to not be taken for a ride by this tricky fox is of paramount importance.
In the past when you purchased art from Crazy Redd, you had a random chance of whatever he sold you turning out to be a forgery, meaning it was without value and could not be donated to the museum to flesh out your collection. Fortunately for us, starting in New Leaf you can actually find inconsistencies with the forgeries, when you compare them to the originals; If you bring up an image of the Mona Lisa next to Redd's "Famous Painting", you may notice that in a forged version of the painting the subject's hands cross left-over-right, while in the authentic painting her hands cross right-over-left. Most, but not all, paintings and statues can be forgeries, and fortunately for you (and for the brevity of this article), Thonky already has a list of every piece of art and how to tell if it's a forgery.
Katrina, The Fortune Teller
Our last in-depth traveler discussion is Katrina, the panther who tells people's fortunes. Like Redd, she will appear randomly throughout the week in a tent in town square. Katrina's tent is a round purple and blue number with gold accents. Previously in Animal Crossing games, you were always at a base level of luckiness, but could be given a random chance to improve (or worsen) your luck for the day by having your fortune told at Katrina's. In New Leaf you are automatically given a luck status, but only Katrina can definitively tell you which status you've been affected by.
Fortunes can be good, such as: Receive gifts more frequently from villagers; Money rocks give double the bell amounts (32,200 instead of 16,100); or bees are slower when chasing you. They can also be equally bad (villagers avoid you, money rocks give half the bells, you trip ALL THE TIME when you run, etc.). Katrina will inform you what class of fortune you have ("Friendships" mean it has to do with same sex villagers; "Love" means it has to do with opposite-sex villagers; "Money" means it has to do with bells, "Items" means it has to do with - you guessed it - items; and "Physical" means it has to do with the mobility of you and others). She can also tell you an article of clothing to wear which will either increase the positive effect of good fortunes, or negate the effects of bad ones.
For a full list of what the fortunes all do and how to decypher Katrina's readings to identify which fortune you have, check out the Thonky page on Katrina.
The Rest Of The Menagerie
There are several other visitors you'll see, and all but a few of them sell or gift you things when you talk to them (or, for some, answer riddles). Here's a very quick run-down of the more generous ones:
- Gracie the Giraffe Is a clothing designer who will rate your outfits and gift you new clothes if you pass her test. Gracie is doubly important because passing her test four times is a prerequisite for the penultimate Nookling Junktion upgrade (The T.I.Y Home Center).
- Gulliver the Seagull is a traveling sailor who washes up on your beach occasionally. Talk to him repeatedly to wake him up, then answer his riddle to help him remember where he was traveling to. He will mail you a souvenir the following day.
- K.K. Slider the Dog plays music between 8 PM and midnight at Club LOL on Saturdays. You can request tunes, and the first request of the night will be given to you as a vinyl you can store in any music-playing device you happen to have at home. Check out the Thonky page for a list of what songs you can request.
- Katie the Kitten randomly shows up after you've visited a friend's town. She will request that you help her travel to one of the towns on your friends list. If you can get her to the requested town by the end of the day, Katie will mail you a unique gift on the following morning.
- Pascal the Otter pops out of the water whenever you find a Scallop during a deep-sea diving excursion. If you give him the creature he will wax philosophical for a moment before giving you a piece of furniture from a unique set before he swims off, scallop in tow.
- Phineas the Sea Lion is the one responsible for granting you new badges every time you get an achievement in the game. These badges show up on the back of your Town Pass Card, visible when you click the neckerchief icon underneath your photograph.
- Saharah the Camel can be found wandering around your town on random days of the week. If you talk to her, she will charge you 3,000 bells to swap out your floor and wallpaper with a random one from her list. The majority of floors/wallpapers Saharah gives out are rare ones only available through her.
That oughta do it for this post. At this point, you should know everything you need to really succeed as a mayor in your new town. The next chapter, then, is going to take us all the way down the rabbit hole. We're going to discuss some of the minutiae within the game, such as the mechanics behind flower hybridization, the Feng Shui system, and other "advanced" Animal Crossing concepts.
As always, thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments below.