So while reading about Animal Crossing: City Folk earlier, I tried to find a way to restore some of my grass, which has been wearing away to brown dirt everywhere. Turns out there’s quite a stink over the “feature” Animal Tracks that Nintendo built into the game. The idea was that grass would wear away where you walked most, but the problem is that it wears away pretty quickly and can take a month to nearly a year to grow back fully. If you’ve never played Animal Crossing, this might not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s actually a big part of the game. A lot of Animal Crossing is aesthetic value, and living in Mudville is not attractive. Also, you miss out on certain bugs that live in grass and, in the winter, snow only appears on grass so you can’t do snowmen.

There are a couple of online petitions to try and get Nintendo to fix this or let players turn off Animal Tracks, but no luck so far. See Save Our Grass and Animal Tracks Petition. I read the most extreme accounts by some users about how they would time travel a day at a time for a month or more to regrow grass, or not walk off their paths at all, or hack their Wiis to alter their town and regrow grass. It’s really pretty crazy the lengths players have to go to in order to keep their grass, and it almost discourages you from using the game. Apparently, the more you load the game, the more you wear off the grass, so if you have several players logging on several times a day, you’ll see a lot of grass wear. I don’t want to be afraid to run around like crazy, chasing bugs and exploring every nook and cranny of my town, for fear of uglifying it. I also want to be able to invite visitors over and play games of hide and seek with the animals.

Tonight I decided to try the hack approach. I followed How to hack your grass back in Animal Crossing: City Folk, which worked wonderfully for me. Here are some notes about my experience that may help you, should you decide to try this:

  1. When installing Homebrew, make sure your Nunchuk is not plugged into your Wiimote. Mine was at first and I got "Exception Occurred" in a horrible black screen on my Wii. Had to pull the power plug to reset it.
  2. After editing your save data in AC Toolkit, be sure to copy your files from your computer back to your SD card before going to the trouble of using the Savegame Installer on your Wii. Also don't be silly like me and make two copies of WIISAVES, edit one, and then copy the other to the SD card and wonder why your changes didn't show up on the Wii.
  3. The Youtube video tutorial references AC Toolkit version 1.2, and the latest version as of now is 1.3. The menu has changed a bit and there is no "Edit Grass" option. Instead, I had to go Town > Edit Town. I believe there was a Grass menu in the new window that opened and a Restore Grass option there.