A lengthy and informative Reddit post has calculated that the cumulative script written for Animal Crossing: New Leaf is longer than all of the Harry Potter books combined and The Bible. The post is soaring in popularity and creating quite a bit of added buzz for the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The post, titled "How Much Text is in Animal Crossing, and Why You Should Care", was written by user U/Balloon_Monsoon and is a plea to readers to consider the value that the Animal Crossing series has beyond the rudimentary gameplay.
The author determined that the script for New Leaf is approximately 1,092,240 words. That's 3,871 pages or 72.8 hours long if it were an audiobook! This beats all 7 Harry Potter books combined, which totals 1,084,000 words, and the King James version of The Bible, which is only 783,000 words.
To arrive at this figure, the author searched the files of the game and identified all of the files that contained dialogue with characters and mail. He counted 3,034 files of text with an average of 360 words each, this is how he estimated almost 1.1 million words.
Because of the dialogue system in the game, Balloon_Monsoon also estimated that one would need to talk to 7 different animal characters every day for 7 years in order to even have a chance of seeing all of this dialogue. He surmises that it is likely no one has ever read all of New Leaf, and never will.
This is the thesis of Balloon_Monsoon's post: there is so much written for the game that no two players will ever have the same experience, and in fact, the amount of content allows the game to create such a unique experience for each individual player that it feels like a living, breathing world. In his own words, the author says "I think the part of the series truest to real life is that your experience is unique and limited, and you will never see everything in one lifetime."
It's certainly an interesting perspective, and one that many have not considered, as made clear by the comments. Animal Crossing can be a difficult game to parse if you consider it as a casual observer. This post is apparently shining a light on what makes the game so special to so many, as one user commented, "So that’s why people like Animal Crossing! I’ve been trying to find a reason that actually makes sense but never found one until now. Thank you."
Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Nintendo Switch has been delayed until 2020. Let's hope this extra development time is giving them an opportunity to write the longest game yet and make the community very, very happy.