Stardew Valley seems like a farming simulator at first glance, but the game offers a hearty slice-of-life experience for players that’s just as engaging as its rustic gameplay. Players can get to know and build relationships with all of the locals, gifting items to increase heart points. They can also explore many locations and buildings in Stardew Valley, each infrastructure providing its own unique insight into the game’s storied past.
One critical location for Stardew Valley players is the local museum. The first time players enter, they are greeted by Gunther, the local curator, who explains all the books and artifacts have been recently stolen. Players are then tasked with recovering all the missing minerals, books and artifacts Stardew Valley has to offer. In return, Gunther will offer rewards like Ancient Seeds at regular intervals.
The museum offers more than simple rewards for donations, however. Whenever a player gives an item to the museum, Gunther gives them information about that mineral or artifact, and whenever a lost book is returned, players can read the book to learn more about Stardew Valley’s way of life and history. The combined knowledge from the museum and library paints a textured and complete past for the Stardew Valley universe.
Stardew Valley’s Creation and Pre-History
According to the in-game book “Highlights From the Book of Yoba,” before the world was created, there was only light. It called itself Yoba, and forged itself into a higher being. Yoba spun a vortex out of its own light, which eventually bore a seed. Yoba created soil and planted the seed. From there, it grew into a vine whose fruit contained the known world in Stardew Valley.
While this is the game’s creation myth, taking place long before the events of Stardew Valley, remnants of the story are scattered throughout gameplay. Yoba is the primary deity in-game, and the Stardrop plant is a mystery in Stardew Valley, granting powers to those who consume it. It also lends to the idea that there are other worlds in the Stardew Valley universe, and therefore opens the possibility creatures from other “vine fruits” could travel to the Valley and leave their mark.
Though nothing in the museum or library speaks to the mystery of the Junimo spirits taking shelter in the decrepit Community Center, it is likely they are connected to the story of Yoba and Stardew Valley’s creation story. They give players shiny stars for completing bundles in the Community Center, and are spirits of the forest that seem to be natural to Stardew Valley and predate any civilization players experience.
Stardew Valley’s Dwarven Era
No one is sure how the dwarves came to be in Stardew Valley, but their impact is noted throughout gameplay. Players can collect and donate a variety of Dwarven artifacts to the Stardew Valley museum which illuminates the effect the race has had on the region. Stardew Valley’s dwarven items show the ancient race had a strong grip on technology, showcasing a typewriter and other ancient gadgets that are clearly not of origin in Stardew Valley. Because of this, it is theorized the dwarves were actually an alien race who crash landed in Stardew Valley.
According to the research conducted by the town’s wizard M. Jasper, the dwarves refer to themselves as sky people, but live underground. He theorizes this is because their home planet had a thick atmosphere, rendering the dwarves intolerant to Stardew Valley’s sunlight. There is only one Dwarf NPC in Stardew Valley, accessible via the eastern tunnel in the mines if players use a bomb or upgraded pickaxe. They only speak dwarvish, so players cannot communicate with the Dwarf until they receive the translation rune from Gunther, given after the player donates each of the four dwarven scrolls to the museum. As players gift items to the Dwarf, they can learn a lot about the dwarven race’s perspective on the world of Stardew Valley.
Once players befriend the Dwarf, when they go purchase a Stardrop from Krobus in the mines, they become privy to a piece of Stardew Valley history not accessible from the museum. It turns out the dwarves and shadow people have been warring for over a millenia, called the Elemental Wars. Krobus’ race is responsible for the deaths of the Dwarf’s family, a retaliation for being driven from their ancestral homeland. Not much else is revealed about the Elemental Wars in the game, but it’s possible for the development team to dive into that aspect of the game’s history in Stardew Valley’s future updates.
Stardew Valley’s Recent History
Other artifacts in the museum indicate Stardew Valley’s recent history closely resembles that of its present day as well as real life. Several artifacts hail from farmers past, reminiscent of the wild west. Rusted spurs and cogs, as well as carved chicken statues, show that farming has been a way of life in Stardew Valley for many years.
A small number of ancient sea artifacts can also be found during Stardew Valley’s gameplay, including an ancient anchor, indicating life and work on the beach was an integral part of the region’s history. Other beach-found items, such as the dried starfish, nautilus shell or fossil, show a history of life’s evolution in Stardew Valley leading to present-day
The lost books also provide anecdotes into the past of NPCs before players arrive. For example, the library holds a two part story on Gordy’s past as a fisher, hinting at the Stardew Valley legendary fish referred to as “The Legend” that players are able to catch. An unnamed farmer from years past, perhaps the owner of the rusty spurs and chicken statues, details in a journal how they have befriended the local NPCs, receiving gifts and recipes in the mail.
Stardew Valley’s Present
Gunther can also tell players about the various minerals unearthed while mining or foraging. This information can help players know an item’s value, useful knowledge when deciding whether or not to gift it to a villager. Gunther can also advise about an item’s uses and properties, though this is not necessary due to Stardew Valley’s recipe-based crafting system.
The lost books in the library also provide invaluable insight into gameplay tips and tricks, especially for new players. They provide vital information on farming, fishing, foraging and mining – even telling players how to court and marry NPCs. Stardew Valley‘s museum is an important in-game location, both for posterity and gameplay.
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