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Animal Crossing, the lovely life sim that Nintendo fans adore, has been around in Japan longer than the US thanks to debuting not on the GameCube, but the N64. Doubutsu no Mori, or Animal Forest (as it’s known over there) was present at Spaceworld 2000 — a full two years before the series would appear in English. Excitingly, some press material from the event meant for English press as been shared courtesy of 8-4 co-founder John Ricciardi today, and it’s about as wonderful as proto-Animal Crossing can be:

Nintendo touted it as ‘a completely new concept in communication software’ rather than any other type of game or genre. The real-time clock and ability to chat with villagers is front and center, but what really sells it are the placeholder names for the NPCS Copper, Pete, and Tom Nook. This was from when the game was only 70%, complete mind you. (On a personal note, I’d totally hang with Pelican Postman.)

The series has come a long way, with multiple characters in Smash and a new entry due next year. All the upcoming content won’t stop me from occasionally looking back on this old pamphlet now, and remembering Dog Policeman is out there keeping my town safe.


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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.