A player has found that the animals of Animal Crossing: New Horizons have new dialogue when celebrating a leap year birthday. The game’s island residents have a litany of unique voice lines that they can say during special occasions and holidays. The dialogue is also often tied to their personality type, resulting in a variety of unique conversations on special days. In-game celebrations like Festivale feature the animals dancing freely and talking about celebrating the day – and allow the player to participate right alongside them with emotes and dances of their own.
One of the most unique celebrations in the game is the player’s birthday. Several of the island residents come together to throw the player a surprise party, complete with unique music, cake, and dances. Each animal also has a few lines that they say to the player upon entering the party. These lines also vary according to the animal’s personality type, but most say roughly the same thing: it’s the player’s birthday, and they should celebrate. They also give the player an item as a gift, similarly to how players can give villagers gifts on their birthdays.
While celebrating their birthday, one Animal Crossing: New Horizons player – whose birthday falls on February 29, a leap year day – unexpectedly found unique dialogue. AFanOfStickers posted a screenshot of their in-game birthday celebration on Reddit, showing how their villager Butch noted that because 2021 isn’t a leap year, the animals had to celebrate the player’s birthday a day early on February 28. Since 2020 was a leap year and included February 29, this dialogue wouldn’t have been seen, as leap year players’ birthdays could be celebrated on the proper day. The next leap year won’t be until 2024, so players with leap year birthdays will be able to see this dialogue for the next few years.
While this villager dialogue is a seemingly small gesture that few players will ever see – many fans were noting in the comments that they don’t know anyone who has a leap year birthday, and none of the in-game animals have leap year birthdays – it’s a kind inclusion on the part of the game’s designers and just one of the hundreds of small details that the Animal Crossing is known for. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is at its best when it’s making the player feel like someone special, a person who deserves to be celebrated – unless an island is full of rude villagers.
In a year when people have been unable to celebrate birthdays and holidays with friends and family, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a pleasant distraction and a place to get away from the constant deluge of bad news. Even if everything seems terrible, getting a smile and a brief moment of happiness over something as small as leap year birthday dialogue is enough to make the world seem a little lighter. For Animal Crossing: New Horizons players, this dialogue proves that they’re never truly alone – they’ve always got a happy little group of animals supporting them.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on Nintendo Switch.