Is It Possible to Defeat Tom Nook?
How do you defeat an invincible tanuki?
Final Fantasy VII would never have resonated so strongly if not for the murderous furor of Sephiroth, the silver-maned, bishōnen swordsman.
What type of adventures could Link have without the likes of Ganon to stand in his way? Who would Mario even be without Bowser?
Great villains go part and parcel with great video games, and seeing as Animal Crossing is one of the greatest video games of the modern era, it follows that Tom Nook must be one of the greatest villains.
Perhaps Tom Nook's status as a villain is somewhat unfair. After all, Nook's grandest crime is essentially just handing out interest-free loans that never actually need to be paid back. But when your limited storage is overflowing with all the useless outfits you've hoarded, and the only thing standing between you and clean pockets is the house expansion you can't get because you're still in debt from your previous house expansion, the name you'll inevitably be cursing is Tom Nook.
Except unlike Sephiroth, who ultimately must be cut down in order to save the world, Tom Nook reigns tall as a nigh-invincible figure. Even fully upgrading your home and paying off every loan isn't enough to bring Nook to his knees. He'll just congratulate you for your efforts and then go right back to relaxing at his desk. This begs the question: Is there any way for us to truly defeat Tom Nook?
Every now and then, you do get the sense of winning little victories over the business-minded tanooki. For instance, if you take a moment to consider the fact that your entire home loan was paid off through selling a night's worth of captured bugs to his two goofball sons, it's impossible not to admit that Tom Nook got the short end of the stick. Still, Animal Crossing is a video game, and a video game can never truly be won if the big bad is contentedly chilling behind a desk in the middle of your town.
Perhaps to defeat Tom Nook, we need to think outside of the box. What if you kidnapped one of Tom Nook's children? Such a feat is technically possible, albeit only early in the game.
Since Timmy is the sharper of the two young tanuki boys, you'll have to target sweet, simple Tommy. Before Timmy and Tommy Nook move out of the town information center and into their own shop, Tommy spends his evenings meandering about town holding a flag for some reason. He clearly feels safe on this peaceful island, which makes it all the easier to get him.
To properly capture Tommy, you'll need tools—mainly a shovel and some sort of containment device. This containment device can be jail cell panels or fencing or even just a few tables. Really, anything will do the trick, as long as it can be laid out in such a manner as to trap a tiny, happy, flag-waving racoon-dog. Once you have the necessary tools, it's just a matter of waiting for night to fall. Then, as soon as Tommy begins his late-night stroll, you strike.
The goal is to use the shovel to dig holes around Tommy. He moves slowly, so this should be easy. He'll also keep moving, so you can use these holes to create a path, guiding Tommy anywhere you want on the island. Finally, when you have him where you want him, simply remove the holes and replace them with the cage. Tommy is officially your prisoner.
Except there's one major flaw with the kidnapping route: Tom Nook doesn't care. You can send him all the ransom notes you like, but Tom Nook will just continue to drink beer in his information center as Tommy languishes away in your cell. Unfortunately, the parent not really giving a sh*t defeats the entire purpose of a ransom-oriented kidnapping, so maybe there's another route we haven't tried.
Okay, what if you set the information center on fire?
This will require bonfires. Lots and lots of bonfires. After crafting the bonfires, line them all around the information center and the perimeter of the town square, and let them rip. Tom Nook (and unfortunately Isabelle) will be smoked out in no time, and then you can say that you defeated Tom Nook once and for all.
As the fires burn, go do any other daily tasks you planned to do. Dig up some fossils, catch some fish, whatever. When you return, Nook should be good and fried.
An hour passes. Two hours. Three hours. The fires are still raging, but there's no sign that Tom Nook tried to escape. Maybe it's time to check?
So you return one of the bonfires to your pocket and cross over into enemy territory. Tentatively, you open the door to the information center. Will you be greeted by Tom Nook's charred skeleton?
Nope, he and Isabelle are doing adorable little stretches. They didn't even notice the fire. The legends were true. Tom Nook is an invincible God, the final boss of all final bosses. Tom Nook truly is impossible to defeat. But while you're here, you might as well pay him for that home window renovation you've been wanting.
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