Stardew Valley creator Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone has revealed a new screen from his upcoming game The Haunted Chocolatier, which has some fans convinced a beloved Stardew Valley character is set to make an appearance in the highly anticipated confectionery store simulator.
The scene in question shows an old, white-bearded man in bed, with an unnamed companion standing at the bedside. Both the book-strewn darkened room around the pair and the waking man’s clothes seem to give off a distinctly wizardy vibe, with the only other information coming in a cryptic text box containing eight simple words: “…I was just having the most terrible dream.”
here’s a haunted chocolatier screne pic.twitter.com/bCVy3NJaMS
— ConcernedApe (@ConcernedApe) September 5, 2023
Excited fans in the comments were quick to point out the man in the picture looks a lot like the beloved Grandpa from Stardew Valley, who gifts the player his farm at the beginning of the game, seemingly on his deathbed, and periodically comes back to judge your achievements in etherial form.
— 🪐Kitt🪐 (@QubitKitt) September 5, 2023
— Rebecca Stone (Taylor’s Version) (@forestminish) September 5, 2023
Grandpa? is that you
— Zaydiiem (@Zaydiiem) September 5, 2023
While it’s possible the waking man could be a different person to the farm-gifting Grandpa we know, one fan had a particularly interesting theory that potentially links the worlds of Stardew Valley and the Haunted Chocolatier together through this bearded enigma.
“Okay HEAR ME OUT,” began X user Startupwithmads. “Haunted Chocolatier is synchronous with Stardew Valley – Grandpa gives one grandchild the farm, and the other the chocolate shop (Grandpa is a multi-industry mogul). The Stardew Valley character we all play has a sibiling in another town, running another family business.”
Okay HEAR ME OUT: Haunted Chocolatier is synchronous with Stardew Valley- Grandpa gives one grandchild the farm, and the other the chocolate shop (Grandpa is a multi-industry mogul)👩🏻🌾👩🏻🍳 the Stardew Valley character we all play has a sibiling in another town, running another…
— Mads (@startupwithmads) September 5, 2023
Elsewhere in the comments fans began speculating about the dream itself, suggesting it had involved the events of the earlier game, while others suggested the appearance of Grandpa may mean The Haunted Chocolatier is a prequel to Stardew Valley.
Naturally, ConcernedApe failed to explain who the man or his mysterious companion are, or the meaning behind the bad dream. However, the developer did reveal there is “plenty more” he has yet to reveal, and that he was sitting on a haul of Haunted Chocolatier images the Stardew Valley creator could release, if the mood so takes him.
“I am working on the [Stardew Valley] 1.6 update right now, but just wanted to share a HC screenshot,” replied the developer to one curious fan. “I’m sitting on a lot of screenshots that I could share, just felt like it.” ConcernedApe also recently revealed he is creating a cookbook featuring 50 Stardew Valley recipes, including the Strange Bun, Survival Burger, and Pink Cake, which go on sale spring 2024.
Anthony is a freelance contributor covering science and video gaming news for IGN. He has over eight years experience of covering breaking developments in multiple scientific fields and absolutely no time for your shenanigans. Follow him on Twitter @BeardConGamer
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Author: Anthony Wood