The Animal Crossing You Probably Never Played

With Animal Crossing coming this year for Switch, maybe you’ve been reliving your memories of playing it for the first time. What was your first Animal Crossing? GameCube? Nintendo DS? If you lived in Japan 18 years ago, perhaps it was on the Nintendo 64.

On April 14, 2001, Nintendo released Animal Forest for the Nintendo 64. Originally intended for the ill-fated 64DD disk drive accessory, the game was moved to a standard cartridge and released just a few months before the GameCube version, which is what ended up coming to the West first.

The original Nintendo 64 Animal Forest isn’t that different from the GameCube version. But to explore the differences that are there, plus get some insight into the development history of the game, we spoke with Animal Crossing expert Kelsey Lewin, a historian, YouTube video creator, and owner of the Pink Gorilla retro game store in Seattle.

This article has been updated since its original publication.

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