Nintendo: Tom Nook Is 'Misunderstood'

As I play an advance copy of the newest version of Nintendo's beloved Animal Crossing games, I've again been pondering the nature of Tom Nook, a character who could teach Bowser and Mother Brain a thing or two about tormenting a Nintendo gamer.

Tom Nook, if you don't know, is one of the recurring characters in this series of games that involve setting up and living in a cute little village. Typically, these games start out with you having to take a loan out from Nook, who is, by the way, a raccoon. You have to have a house in the game. You need the loan to pay for one. So the games start with you being put in debt by this guy. Nook then makes you work for him to pay off the loan and seems to be laughing at you all the way.

In the new game, June's Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Nintendo 3DS, you owe him a little bit of money in the beginning but are actually free of obligations from him quite quickly. Still, the memory of a more aggravating Nook still burns.

I'm not alone in seeing the evil in Tom Nook's soul.

In fact, when I was discussing the game recently with its top three Kyoto-based creators of Japan, we were talking about the idea of there being enemies in the unusually-friendly Animal Crossing series. The game's producer, Katsuya Eguchi, told me that he thinks the bees or scorpions that you occasionally agitate in the game count as enemies.

"Can we all agree that Tom Nook is kind of a bad guy as well?" I asked.

They all laughed.

"No matter how much you work, he just takes all the money from you," Eguchi replied, through a translator.

"I hate that guy," I said, provoking more laughter.

"We think he is very misunderstood," one of the game's two directors, Aya Kyogoku, said. "He’s just passionate about his business. He’s not like a loan shark. He doesn’t add a handling fee or anything like that. He can wait as long as it takes for you to pay back. He’s not as bad as other people might think he is."

That might be true, but Tom Nook will always be Animal Crossing's Ganon to me.

I'll have more from my conversation with the new Animal Crossing's creators in the coming days. Subsequent coverage will be a little more serious. It's just that this Tom Nook guy... he really gets to me.

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo


Comments

    That is true, he is pretty lenient when it comes to mortgage payments, and he did set you up with a house and a job. I mean, when you think about it, you've moved to this city with absolutely no money or plan or income, so Tom Nook comes around and strikes you a deal: you can work for him, and he'll provide you with a house and some disposable income. You can pay off the house whenever you want, and he'll even upgrade it for you if you make your payments.

    You're earning money by working, you're raising the value of your house as you pay, and you can make the payments whenever you want. Without Tom Nook, you'd be homeless, cold, hungry with no luxuries whatsoever, but he's gone out of his way, and, if we're talking realistically, lost a shit load of money, in order to help some kid off the street.

    Tom Nook is fucking Gandi.

      You're obviously a landlord. Don't let the lifehacker guys read that.

    I don't have a problem with Tom Nook. He's a generous and relatively chilled master.

    Mr Resetti, though? That guy is evil incarnate!

      then REMEMBER TO SAVE!!!

      I agree with you completely. I didn't mind Nook so much but Resetti really, really annoys me.

        Resetti is some damn good game design. I always save just to avoid him, which is exactly what he wants.

      Oh frak yes! I hate Resetti and I don't even play this game but my 7yo daughter plays the DS version and is constantly asking me to deal with that prick. He is the greatest evil Nintendo have ever perpetrated on the gaming public beating out even Navi, Slippy Toad and Tingle!

    Well what would be the point if he wasn't there, if it were the mayor wanting money and we'd hate him too.

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