Animal Crossing

Huge Animal Crossing: New Horizons leak suggests major update coming

by Meg Bethany Koepp

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A massive datamine has unearthed several lines of code that heavily suggest that some major features are on the way for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

When New Horizons released on March 20, veteran players were disappointed that certain characters and features familiar to the series had been cut in the Nintendo Switch release, such as swimming and diving, Crazy Redd’s Furniture Emporium, Brewster’s cafe, and a gardening store.

Notorious Animal Crossing dataminer Ninji took a deep dive into the game’s code, and discovered several things that hint at features that could potentially be heading to the life simulator in a future update. Fair warning: there will be spoilers ahead, so bear that in mind before deciding to read on.

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New Horizons update coming?

The first thing they discovered was a hint at what's in store for the museum. Currently, there's three areas for fish, bugs, and fossils, but art and deep sea diving creatures weren't included. That could be about to change though, as code for two extra upgrades and a gallery section were found, as well as a dedicated store and cafe – the latter of which includes Gyroids.

Something that’s been a mystery since the game’s release is the ‘secret beach’ situated at the top of every player’s map. The small scrap of sand currently seems to serve little purpose other than being a place to display flowers and outdoor furniture, but the code implies that Crazy Redd will be docking a ship there to flog his wares. 

This could be tied to the museum gallery that was also found in the datamine, as it’s also said that the character’s ‘fake art’ mechanic will be making a return, but little is known at the time of writing.

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According to Ninji, azalea, hibiscus, holly, hydrangea, camellia, and osmanthus bushes also appeared in the code. Bushes were extremely popular in New Leaf as players often used them to line their pathways and beautify their towns, so the plants' absence hit hard for some.

This goes hand-in-hand with another suggestion that Nook's Cranny could be getting another shop upgrade, since Leif's gardening store was part of the T.I.Y. enhancement in the 3DS game. He sold bushes, amongst other fauna, so it's safe to assume this might be returning.

Diving could also return, as an entry for seafood in the Critterpedia with 33 entries was found. One creature, the manila clam, is already a part of the game, so the other 32 could be added in a future update.

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Other things unearthed include more hints at Redd’s return, and the ability to grow vegetables such as tomato, sugar cane, carrot, wheat, potato, and pumpkin.

It should be noted that this isn’t 100% confirmation that these features will ever make it into the game, as it’s entirely possible that it’s just leftover code that hasn’t been taken out. But it’s safe to assume that maybe some of them could be added in the future, at least.