When Harvest Moon 64 released on Nintendo 64 way back in 1999, many were quick to notice that publisher Natsume had misspelt their own company’s name on the title screen.
It was surprising at the time and has remained a mystery ever since, at least until now. With the farming simulator having released on the Wii U Virtual Console service with the spelling mistake intact, Natsume has shared the story behind why it was not corrected.
That largely resulted from slow communication in Japan meaning that, if addressed, the game would have been delayed by more than a month.
“With the recent release of Harvest Moon 64 on the Wii U Virtual Console in both North America and Europe, let’s answer that one important question everyone has been talking about for 17 years: What’s up with the spelling of ‘Natume’ on the title screen in Harvest Moon 64?!” Natsume shared in a Facebook post.
“Back when Harvest Moon 64 was being worked on, technology was very different. The Internet, email, data transfer, etc. weren’t the everyday tools they are now, so communication with Japan took a bit longer and was a tad more primitive than it is today. Unfortunately, the correction request on the title screen had fallen through the cracks, and when this was discovered, the title had already been approved by Nintendo and was set to go to production.
“The problem? Fixing it would have delayed the game by at least 45 days, pushing it out of December! Yikes! Sorry, no Harvest Moon 64 for Christmas and instead, a February release. So, it was decided that we would rather let our fans have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year planting crops and taking care of animals instead of being a Grinch for a simple ‘s.’ The funny thing is, ‘Natume’ is a legit way to spell Natsume in some versions of romaji. And now you know the story!”