Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a life simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It is the fifth main series game in the Animal Crossing series and was released on March 20, 2020.
In New Horizons, the player assumes the role of a customizable character who moves to a deserted island after purchasing a package from Tom Nook, a tanuki character who has appeared in every entry in the Animal Crossing series. Taking place in real-time, the player can explore the island in a nonlinear fashion, gathering and crafting items, catching insects and fish, and developing the island into a community of anthropomorphic animals.
New Horizons was a major commercial hit, breaking the console game record for most digital units sold in a single month with five million sells, and has currently sold over 26 million copies. It became the best-selling game in the Animal Crossing series, and the second best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch (after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe); it is currently the 28th best-selling video game in history. Its success has been partially attributed to its release during the COVID-19 pandemic, with players spending more time at home. It received acclaim from critics, with many praising its gameplay and customization options and calling it the best game in the series; it won the award for Game of the Year at the Japan Game Awards.
Amabie (アマビエ) is a legendary Japanese mermaid or merman with three legs, who allegedly emerges from the sea and prophesies either an abundant harvest or an epidemic.
It appears to be a variant of the amabiko (アマビコ, 海彦, 尼彦, 天日子, 天彦, あま彦, also amahiko), otherwise known as the amahiko-nyūdo (尼彦入道), and arie (アリエ), which are depicted as ape-like, bird-like, or torso-less (cephalopod-like) and usually 3-legged.
An amabie appeared in Higo Province (Kumamoto Prefecture) according to legend, around the middle of the fourth month, in the year Kōka-3 (mid-May 1846) in the Edo period. A glowing object had been spotted in the sea, almost on a nightly basis. The town's official went to the coast to investigate and witnessed the amabie. According to the sketch made by this official, it had long hair, a mouth like bird's bill, was covered in scales from the neck down and three-legged. Addressing the official, it identified itself as an amabie and told him that it lived in the open sea. It went on to deliver a prophecy: "Good harvest will continue for six years from the current year;[a] if disease spreads, draw a picture of me and show the picture of me to those who fall ill and they will be cured." Afterward, it returned to the sea. The story was printed in the kawaraban [ja] (woodblock-printed bulletins), where its portrait was printed, and this is how the story disseminated in Japan.