We’ve talked before about the evils of Tom Nook, but we’ve not revisited the discussion in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Well, taking an inventory of what’s going on, it would seem that Tom Nook has gone from opportunist to just straight out manipulator. It has been a slow burn game to game, from resident that owes him a mortgage that’s in need of a house to having the resident basically manage the entire island to where we’re at now: the resident builds the entire island.
In the first game, Rover introduces you to Tom. When you arrive in the village, via train, Tom is like wow you moved here with nothing let me help you and gives you a mortgage, that you pay back by doing random errands, at which point he will let you expand your house, with about 1.4 million bells total to expand everything and pay it off.
The same is true in Wild World, City Folk and New Leaf. You get a mortgage and you expand your house and take on more debt, until you’re done. In New Leaf, it’s something like 7 million to fully upgrade your house and he adds on the fact that you’re the mayor, making you pay to improve the city.
In New Horizons, he just goes absolutely insane with what he wants. See below.
You take up Nook on a free vacation package that has you fly to an uninhibited island. Upon arrival, he’s like welp you need a tent huh, no problem: here is my rewards program, I’ll give you a cot, a radio, a phone and a tent and you just pay me back 5,000 miles by doing work on the island.
You go around the island, improving it and clearing the ground and then you pay him his Nook miles. Now, to get more Nook miles you must continue to upgrade the island and then does what he always does, straps you with a mortgage for a house and even requires you to go out and put down three new homesteads as well.
Meanwhile, you have to pay to build his store, the Nook Cranny and you’ve got to continue to feed Nook miles into the system to get upgrades to the island to get KK Slider to come. When the island is nice enough, you’ve then given the pleasure of terraforming the island – if you continue to improve it, to earn points that is.
Basically Tom Nook uses an app with a reward system to lure you into building out his empire, while making you work to get more tools to work with. Nook owns the island, not you and Nook runs the island. Your referral fee for getting a “friend” to come to the island is 1,000 miles and that’s it, meanwhile Nook is obviously mortgaging those other houses as well.
Of course, this isn’t anything new. Continue reading our thoughts on Tom Nook as the series villain.