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Okay, I have a serious problem guys! I messed with the system settings to go back a day in time to be able to see the new year event since I was actually at new years with my family, but I screwed up, and it sent me FORWARD a year as well! I got to see the 2015 new years event in the game. I turned off the game without saving, and reset my date settings on my DS so I'd be at the 2014 event, but the game still thinks I've been gone for a year!

I've got bed head, my fields of flowers are gone, weeds are everywhere, and god only knows what else has changed!

How can I fix this!?

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You can fix it by manually replanting the flowers, and plucking the weeds.

You can't really undo it at this point. The game recognized you as being away for a year, and your town progressed accordingly. There aren't any special mechanics relating to time travel beyond the normal passage of time going forward, time traveling to the future just accelerates things. Likewise, going back in time won't undo changes to the town (because you can't travel to the past in normal gameplay) -- so game data (the town) is manipulated and saved relative to the player's timeline as time passes.

If you wish to time travel again in the future, you can prevent changes to the environment by enacting the Beautiful Town Ordinance, which will keep your town in a persistent state (for the most part) while you're away. Villagers will still notice your absence, and your mail will still back up... but it shouldn't cause too much damage otherwise.

And for a bit of trivia... some of the other entries in the series did actually have penalties for time traveling, but they have been relaxed in New Leaf.

  • No problem. Beautiful Town Ordinance is also a good idea in general if you plan on taking long trips away from the game. I know it has saved me a lot of headache. If this answer helped you, be sure to select the checkmark to the left of the post to accept the answer. – Anthony Neace Jan 1 '14 at 19:12
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I've actually done that several times. It takes about an hour to fix at most, if you've got the salon and island. Just pluck all the weeds, go to the island, get some flowers on a tour, plant those, and then get your hair fixed. Oh, and talk to all your villagers. They get kind of mad at you if you're gone for more than a month.

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Once you load your save file, or the save file of any town resident (other than creating a new player) the game sets in stone the random chances of the day. It will calculate time since the last game launch, determine which NPC's are visiting (Redd, Katrina, Sahara, etc), process any villager moves (in or out), and other things. Once this has occurred, there's no going back. This is by design as the game is very much about living with consequences and going with the flow.

I can provide you advice on how to avoid this in the future. There's something called the "new save file trick". If you're ever concerned about how your town will look you can start a new save file which does NOT save all the random variables to the cartridge until you save. Many people use this trick to control where villagers place their houses, but it has other uses. If you're unhappy with the random generated town status, just quit the game without saving and do a new save file (repeat until you have the desired status or villager location). If you are happy with the game then you can do one of two things:

  1. You can quit without saving and reload a main save file. This will cause a new random selection of town variables, but the date, holiday/events, villager move outs will be the same.

  2. You can save the new save file temporarily to lock the town variables in place. Note that you'll need space to place a new house before saving. If you don't want to keep the new save file, just quit and delete it. Everything in your town will be just as it was when you saved (except that the house will be gone and a dirt patch will be in its place).

No matter what, time travelling is a tricky thing in Animal Crossing. Typically you should do it from the options within the game, and no more than 5 days at a time (this allows you an opportunity to save any villagers which might randomly try to leave).

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