A data-miner has uncovered a wealth of unused code in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, possibly indicating the content of some future updates.
The following will contain spoilers for not only existing Animal Crossing: New Horizons content, but possible future content as well. We must also stress that on occasion, some code left over from development or cut features can remain in a game.
The data-mine comes from “Ninji” on Twitter, claiming the following features could be part of a future update. As he notes himself however, the code may be a work in progress, or even scrapped features.
“First, I’ll explain how this most likely works behind-the-scenes (based off my game dev experience).
All of these features will exist to some degree in Nintendo’s source code and data files, probably including others we don’t know about…
They’ll be set up so that code and data related to a feature is only compiled into the game when a particular toggle is set. Their dev builds will have lots of debugging options and menus that are just excluded from the builds *we* get, for example
Sometimes, things get overlooked and that’s what leads to leftovers like those in this thread. It’s obvious that after having built 1.0.0 and sent the ROM off for manufacture, they stepped up their game a bit, so 1.1 and up have less of these leftovers
This means we’ve got to make do with small bits of info, and we can’t tell if they’re work-in-progress features *or* things they scrapped.
Data files are easier to strip out than small sections of code, which is why we don’t have any graphics for these”
He also notes that as the game updates, some file names had been altered or abbreviated, possibly to hide the nature of the updates from data-miners.
Editor’s Note: Spoilers start here.
First, the Museum will have two further upgrades. There will also be two additional buildings- a shop and a cafe. The latter “incorporates a Gyroid section.” This would match how Brewster, the owner of the cafe in Animal Crossing: City Folk, allowed the player to store Gyroids in his cafe. Gyroids essentially acted as special furniture that could “sing” along to nearby music.
Another data-miner had found references to the museum cafe in earlier updates, and at least one player on Twitter found a villager discussing Brewster. “I’m still awake! I guess Brewster was right! 17 cups of coffee is 3 too many!”
Other villagers have also had dialogue referencing coffee. The latter could be more general chatter, compared to a villager talking about a conversation with someone not on the island.
Further, each level of the Museum will also support an art gallery. Past games had the player donate paintings to the gallery, though most of the time they would have to be purchased from the fox Redd (leading to some being forgeries).
Ninji also notes that the section of the island secret beach (an area north of the island) is dubbed “Nつねきち” within the code. “つねきち” is Redd’s Japanese name. Ninji proposes Redd will appear on a boat at the secret beach to sell his wares, matching his sneaky business practices. Part of the code also suggests players may be able to give items to Redd.
Again, villager dialogue seems to have leaked the art museum. “Can’t say I know much about art… But I like that there’s some in the museum for me to gawk at. I just kinda stand there for a bit starin’ at each piece, tryin’ to look real thoughtful-like. […] Now and then I might throw in a ‘hmm’ or maybe an ‘I see!’ Wonder if everyone’s fakin it…”
Bushes will also allegedly return; namely azalea, hibiscus, holly, hydrangea, camellia, and osmathus. However, Ninji does note that the list did change between 1.0.0 and 1.1.4. The player may also be able to grow vegetables, including tomato, wheat, sugar cane, potato, carrot, and pumpkin.
The Critterpedia may also gain a new tab containing 33 items, designated for “Seafood.” One of these includes the manila clam already in the game. Combined with the references to diving, it seems players may be able to obtain new sea-based fish and other life, along with seaweed.
A “3rd Nook’s Cranny” is referenced (seemingly in the code for Seafood), which may mean the Nook’s Cranny store can upgrade a third time. However, there are “no details on features or upgrade requirements.”
Ninji also states that “There’s a function that stores a ‘play report’ (Nintendo’s aggregate stats on game play) with three variants: get_recipe_diy, get_recipe_clothing, get_recipe_cooking Only the diy one is actually ever used. So, the other two might be in the plans.”
Players can create furniture and clothes through DIY recipes. Whether get_recipie_clothing differs in some way to DIY recipes for clothes is unknown. Further, the get_recipe_cooking may indicate cooking will come to the game. This may also explain why the Critterpedia tab is dubbed Seafood, rather than “deep-sea life” or words to that affect.
Among the item types listed in the game’s code, there is also Art and Dishes. Dishes may refer to actual meals that can be cooked, as oppose to decorative plates in the art gallery.
Likewise, there is unused code for shopping menus related to the museum, gardening, real estate, and the art gallery. However, with the real estate this may be abandoned features (as buying a real estate plot does not use the usual shop menu).
Nintendo also previously stated they would support the game with free updates, around the time of seasonal events. It would be more than likely these will all be free updates, assuming none of these are cut features.
If these are planned updates, what is curious is how they will fit into islands that are already fully built. For example, if the museum upgrades based on how many fossils, fish, and insects have been turned in- what will happen to players who (through changing the Nintendo Switch’s internal clock) have “completed” the museum? Will they jump to the final upgrade?
Could new decorative items be considered a boon to players? Or a hindrance to islands that were already packed to capacity and “perfect”? The temptation to restart may also be off-putting, with rare items obtained and villagers they like having moved in.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: Spoilers end here.
In other news, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has reportedly been banned in China, possibly due to Free Hong Kong Protest members using the game to share their message.
It seems that it has sparked politicians in “local metropolises” (Translation: Google Translate) to draft laws banning Chinese gamers from interacting with foreigners through online video games. Meanwhile, the Premier of Taiwan, Su Tseng-chang, struck out at China, stating Taiwan will not ban on the game.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is out now on Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we recommend it!)