Is this the most unobtainable item in gaming history?


Animal Crossing. A relaxing game you can casually play and enjoy. There are no levels to beat, no enemies to defeat. So the game can’t really be difficult, right? Well, that depends on you definition of difficult. It is a fact that, if you play the game in a legit way, there are several items that are so impossible to obtain it almost seems like the developers didn’t want anyone to have them. One of them takes the cake, though.

See, this game doesn’t kid around. There are no shortcuts, no secret methods. No legit ones at least. If you want money in the game, you better work for it. You have to work for every last bell (the game’s currency).

The item that this article is about is the Town Hall Model. In the game, you can put money on your savings account. When you reach a certain number, you obtain an item. But for the Town Hall Model, you have to put the astronomic number of 999,999,999 (one bell short of a billion) on your account. But ingame currency can be deceiving, so for those who don’t know the game, how much money are we talking about?

One of the most common ways to earn money is to sell fruit from the trees. You have to walk up to them, shake them, pick up the three pieces of fruit, enter Tom Nooks store and sell it to him. Now, native fruit is only worth 100 bells, so we will forget about that. Fruit you obtained through other means, planted, and grew new trees from, is worth five times as much. The most you can carry in your inventory at any one time is 15 – earning you 7500 bells. Yeah… that’s not going to cut it. We need something else.

You can also grow money trees, which gives you a maximum of 90.000 bells. However, this is an unsure method as not every tree will actually grow money, and the more money you bury, the greater the chance it will bear ‘fruit’. Each 1000 bells translate to 1% chance, according to some guides on the internet, which means that in order to be 100% sure, you would have to bury 100.000 bells, which is of course useless since you will actually lose money that way. So it’s possible to make a lot of money with those trees, but it’s unsure how long that would take. Also, each tree only bears money once, so it’s not as profitable as it seems at first glance.

Lets look at what is probably the best way to make quick money in the game. You can buy turnips on Sunday morning, and sell them at a profit (or a loss if you are unlucky) to Tom Nook during the next week. After one week they spoil. I have calculated how long it would take to save up the required money using turnips, and for this example I used the absolute best case scenario: the minimal cost at the maximum profit. Turnips cost between 70 and 700 bells a piece, so I take the lowest number: 70. Supposedly the most Nook can offer for them is 700 bells, which means you get ten times as much as you paid. The most turnips you can buy is 990. The cost for 990 turnips at the lowest possible price is 990 x 70 = 69.300 bells. The most Nook can pay for them is 990 x 700 = 693.000. That means the profit is 693.000 – 69.300 = 623.700. To reach the 1 billion bells, you have to do this 999.999.999. / 623.700 = 1603,33 times. You can do this once a week, so that’s an equal amount of weeks. How many years are we talking about? Let’s see: 1603,33 / 52 = roughly 31 years. Now, keep in mind, this is the absolute best case scenario you can have, and the chance of you making that amount of profit each week is probably close to zero. Are you starting to realize how utterly insane and batshit crazy this item is? 31 years of impossible luck.

Now that we have written off the possibility to obtain this item legitimately, let’s look at some other options. You can cheat by ‘time traveling’, meaning playing with the internal clock of the game to make quick money. But since this is clearly cheating, I don’t think it counts. You could say that it wouldn’t be cheating to work together with other people, so let’s look at that.

In Animal Crossing: Wild World, players can visit each others’ town via the internet or ad hoc. So this means people can drop off sacks of bells in one town, in order to pour their resources towards this item. But don’t make the mistake thinking it would be quick. First of all, the maximum amount of money you can have on you at one time is 2.399.976, if you fill your whole inventory with bags of bells. So you’d still need people come in 417 times.

I have realized that the only realistic time this item could be achieved is when generations pass on the game to each other and keep playing with the same save file, racking up the bells. It makes you wonder if Nintendo just wasn’t thinking, or believed this to be a hilarious joke. “Let’s put an item in the game that is just completely impossible to obtain.”

To be entirely honest, there is no proof this item actually exists, since I don’t think anyone has obtained it, and therefor seen it. Maybe it’s just a gaming myth? Who knows. But it seems to be widely assumed that the item exists, and that this is the way to get it.

Well, I’ve given up on this. Maybe in Animal Crossing: New Leaf it’s possible, because in that game even the most expensive town hall item is ten times cheaper than the infamous model from Wild World. But the town hall model, I will never own.