So you're just getting started with Rune Factory 4 and have no idea what to do? Have no fear! Here's all the things you need to know. In this game you'll progress through a main story, much like you would in any RPG, but that's not all––there are so many things to do in Rune Factory 4. Want to find out more? Then read on!
The story of Rune Factory 4 is broken down into three story arcs; two of which are part of the main story, and the third is a bonus story. While I could provide summaries on what each arc is about I feel that would be too much reading––plus I think it could spoil the experience. As such I think it is best I leave that part for you to find out for yourself. As the player you can play as either a boy (Lest) or a girl (Frey) depending on what gender you choose. It is interesting to note that this is the first game in the series where you can choose your gender at the start of the game. Awesome, isn't it? The story will be the same regardless of who you choose to play as, but some conversations feel rather questionable and maybe even a little awkward due to the script being exactly the same between both genders. Some things that would be perfectly okay to say to Frey will be said to Lest as well. Awkward.
Rune Factory 4 takes place in the town of Selphia located within the Kingdom of Norad. It is the primary setting of the game, and is where you are going to spend the majority of your time with tilling the fields and making friends with the townsfolk. Selphia is protected by the Native Dragon Ventuswill, the Divine Wind, who is responsible for keeping the land filled with runes. If the runes are to ever disappear, crops will no longer grow and the land itself will die. Simply put, their existence is extremely important. Over time you notice something is going on with Venti, and although she will not openly admit it to you, it soon becomes apparent that something is very wrong. As you progress through the game's story you'll find out what exactly is going on with her. Sorry, no spoilers!
When you're not working on the main story, what else can you be doing? There are tons of things! The big thing is the farm and tilling the fields. Although things look pretty sad to start, it won't take long to make it look like a thriving farm! Unfortunately when you first start you won't have all the tools you'll need to work the fields. In order to get these you must take on requests by speaking to Eliza, the enchanted request box. You can get lots of other useful things too from doing requests, such as more seeds at the general store and flower shop, so don't forget to do them every day! With your fields you can grow crops and sell the produce to make gold which you can then use to buy more things.
Other things you can do include cooking food, making medicine, and forging weapons. However before you can do any of these things you will need the appropriate tool and license so don't forget to do your Prince/Princess duties and dish out Orders. Doing so will increase your rank and allow you to dish out even more Orders. Just be sure you have enough points before doing so or else you won't be able to do anything. If you don't see the option to get licenses don't worry. Just keep dishing out Orders and the option will eventually appear. With Orders you can also expand your farm, build monster barns for befriended monsters, organize festivals, and so much more. As you increase your rank more Orders become available to you.
In addition to these things you can also do dungeons such as the Yokmir Forest or Water Ruins, which will become available as you progress through the story. In these dungeons you can obtain rare items which you can then use for crafting or selling, and unique monsters which you can then befriend if you want (just make sure you have room in your monster barn!). Although you'll have to make sure to clear the dungeon so that you can progress through the story, you can come back later and do them as many times as you want. If you find yourself struggling you can bring along monsters or other townsfolk to help out.
Last but not least, if you're feeling lonely and are tired of the single life you can court that special someone whom you've had your eye on and even have a child together. You will need to fulfill certain requirements in order to marry, such as having an engagement ring and seeing all of their events. Keep in mind that some of these requirements can vary depending on whether you're playing as Lest or Frey and who you're trying to court. If anything, the most important part is to go on at least three dates. It can be a little tricky but don't give up!