Welcome to the first instalment of Project: Mackerel!
Having played New Leaf since it’s release way back in 2013 (and working my way through countless towns), it’s pretty surprising that I’ve never released an actual dream address. To be honest I’ve never felt a real sense of pride in any of my towns to date, so I’ve always made it a habit to push back sharing my town until I’ve finished X, Y or Z. Well, that’s where things are about to change!
So, what is Project: Mackerel?
Above all, this new miniseries exists to push me towards that hallowed end-goal of releasing a Dream Address for my hacked town, Mackerel! Posts will consist of town updates, without taking the form of a day-in-the-life entry – that’s what Bottle Mail is for, after all – and will be sporadic to say the least. That said, I really hope you’ll stick around for the ride and I’d love any input you guys can provide, too.
Continue reading below the cut for some background on Mackerel, and a first look at its unique countryside. I really hope you enjoy!
Welcome to Mackerel, a coastal town torn between two drastically different fates. While all land North of the river remains proud of its farming heritage, the recent success of the town’s fishing industry has prompted a developmental boom in the Southside. Although some residents would argue the contrary, the town hall insists it is taking every measure to ensure this development doesn’t cross the water and begin encroaching on the North’s woodland, but only time will tell whether the industry that has put Mackerel on the map will end up being its downfall.
The newly appointed mayor of Mackerel, Tobiah, lives but a few steps off the beaten brick track that prevents visitors getting lost in the dense undergrowth of the North. Take a stroll down the reclaimed wood path and you’ll soon encounter his prized beehive.
There exist countless tales of fairies hiding in the less-accessible areas of town, although these are mostly chalked up to stories concocted by generations past to entertain children. Not that anyone has really taken on the relentless woodland to disprove them. The following is an alleged photo of a fairy circle discovered in the mid-1800s, although the exact location photographed has, like much of the town, become lost in history.
A long-time resident of Timber, Cole, lives but a stone’s throw away from Tobi’s doorstep. Cole makes up one of four residents who chose to remain in the heart of the forest once the majority migrated across the river, prompted by improved transportation and the promise of employment in the poverty-stricken Mackerel of days gone by.
Cole maintains that he can rely on the landscape to provide all he needs. It may not be much, but it’s enough.
The town bell sits unused behind Tobi’s notably quaint home. Historically, the landmark was used to call cattle for feeding, but Mackerel’s long-struggling livestock trade died out with the transition to fishing pioneered by the Southside. Nowadays the bell only chimes on special occasions, for example as part of the town’s New Year’s celebrations.
Continue wandering past the bell and you’ll find the home of Coco, our third resident. Coco’s house was lovingly constructed with an impressive view of the statue fountain that watches over the woodland. The origin of this fountain is unknown, but it is said to protect the town from outside threats. Some go as far as to believe this fountain is the only entity preventing overdevelopment of the remaining lush, green landscape.
Huck’s family farm is one of Mackerel’s oldest landmarks, and Huck is certainly quite the character! The rickety farmhouse was sadly lost in storm a couple of winters back, and never recovered. Not that Huck minds, she’s taken to sleeping with the chickens in her specially renovated hen house!
The one area of the Northside that has been subject to large-scale construction in recent years is now the home of the Mackerel Railway.
Although the station was built on a site of historical importance, the proposed construction was met with very little resistance. Surrounding towns often scoff that Mackerel’s residents are stuck in the past, which – admittedly – has some truth to it, but they certainly aren’t stupid; a town can’t survive nowadays without a suitable transport link for trade and tourism. Like it or not, sometimes the past must remain in the past.