You're moving to a new town without much money. Local shopkeeper Tom Nook lets you move into one of his houses, but you have to pay him the mortgage. Perform jobs for the villagers and sell items you find around town to earn Bells.
Befriend other villagers by talking to them every day, pull up weeds, plant trees, decorate your house, send letters... there are dozens of things to do in your town!
The cartridge uses an internal clock to change your town depending on the time of day or year.
Up to four players can live in your village, and you can leave each other messages and gifts hidden around the town.
Animal Crossing (GameCube)
The GameCube release is an expanded version of the game, containing many of the things that were removed from the original due to hardware limits. More characters and events were added, increasing the ways you could accumulate Bells or spend them.
Game Boy Advance connectivity was added, so you could visit a second home on an island south of your town, and then take the island with you on your Game Boy Advance to get rare items and furniture.
The game was heavily localised for the US release, with Western holidays and additional support for the Game Boy Advance e-Reader.
Animal Crossing e+ (GameCube)
Following the changes made to Animal Crossing for the US release, Nintendo created a new version of the game for the Japanese market featuring e-Reader support as well as a lot of new features that didn't feature in the original game.
Animal Crossing has hundreds of pieces of furniture to dress your house in. Quite a few pieces of furniture are based on Nintendo and their games.
Classic Mario Furniture Set
One of the themes you can decorate your house in is the Classic Mario theme. All of the furniture, wallpaper and carpeting are based on the 8-bit sprites from Super Mario Bros. These items could only be obtained using special codes found in Nintendo magazines and websites.
A golden trophy of Mario, acquired in the lottery. Part of the Lucky Nintendo furniture set.
A silver trophy of Luigi, acquired in the lottery. Part of the Lucky Nintendo furniture set.
A small medal with the outline of Mario's face on it. Available as a gift if you win the Fall Sports Fair.
As well as the standalone NES, you can also collect NES consoles with games. Once collected, the full original game can be played on the GameCube, or sent to the Game Boy Advance using the GCN-GBA Link Cable. Some of these games are given as gifts, some can be bought or found, and some can only be gotten by using a Universal Code or e-Reader cards.
In the Japanese version you collect Famicoms instead of NES consoles.
Note on Clu Clu Land D
Clu Clu Land D is the Famicom Disk System version of Clu Clu Land, which featured additional levels and gameplay elements. It was only available outside of Japan as the VS. Clu Clu Land arcade machine.
Nintendo also included patterns based on Nintendo characters, mainly intended as clothing, but the patterns could also be used for other things.
Big Bro's Shirt
A red shirt/hat pattern featuring the "M" logo from Mario's hat.
Li'l Bro's Shirt
A green shirt/hat pattern featuring the "L" logo from Luigi's hat (from the Mario series).
A red shirt design with white dots. Named after Toad from the Mario series, although Toad's mushroom cap is white with red dots.
A number of the villagers' names or appearances appear to reference Nintendo.
A lazy alligator who wears the Big Bro Shirt, referencing Mario. His default catchphrase is "It's-a me!", which is based on one of Mario's many catchphrases (notably, the first phrase spoken by Mario on the title screen for Super Mario 64).
A jock gorilla who strongly resembles Donkey Kong. He also wears the Li'l Bro Shirt, which references Luigi from the Mario series.
A lazy penguin who wears the G Logo shirt. Both the shirt and his name reference the GameCube.
A cranky frog. Its English name may be a reference to Wart, the final boss of Super Mario Bros. 2.
K.K. Slider (Japanese name Totakeke) is a guitar-playing dog that appears outside the train station every Saturday night at 8. His design is based on Kazumi Totaka. You can either request a song or ask him to play a random song, but there are some secret songs he will only play when requested.
Request the secret "K.K. Song" and it's a version of Kazumi Totaka's Song.
When he's finished playing, he gives you an aircheck that you can play on the tape deck in your house. This sounds more like the original digital beeps.
The song also appears when you scan some Animal Crossing-e e-Reader cards. Cards P15 and P13 have been confirmed to contain the song. It's also worth noting that Kazumi Totaka is credited as the sound designer on the e-Reader itself.
One of the items you may be asked to collect from a forgetful villager is the Pokémon Pikachu 2, a pedometer-based virtual pet starring Pikachu. This is the second version, with the translucent grey case and color screen.
Another item you may be asked to collect is the Game Boy.
Each day, one of the rocks in your town will have bags of Bells inside. Repeatedly hit it with your shovel to make the Bells fall out. The last three bags of Bells make the 1UP sound effect from the Mario series when they come out.
Rover's Mario Impression
When you create a character to move into an existing town, Rover the cat calls Tom Nook from the train, and he sometimes starts the phone call by saying:
"It's a ME! Hey, good impression, right?"
This impression is of Mario, and one of his trademark catchphrases.
When you use a GBA-GC Link cable and sail with Kapp'n to Animal Island, he will sing a variety of songs. One of them refers to Mario:
But I ask this of ye:
Can games sing like me? Mario can't croon, bro!
Don't ye agree?
Sometimes Kapp'n will also ask you if you've ever spent a night in a Hyrulean prison. Hyrule is the setting of The Legend of Zelda series.
Gulliver is a seagull who washes up on the shore once a week and shares tales of his travels around the world. He occasionally mentions regions from other Nintendo games: