Mineko’s Night Market is an adorable new game by Meowza Games where you play as a young girl named Mineko who’s recently moved to a small village. The game incorporates collecting, crafting, and exploration in a cute narrative-driven adventure.
One main storyline is the disappearance of all the cats in the area. Mysterious agents are swarming around, and they’ve blocked off access to a lot of the local vicinity. When you unlock these areas, you’ll find that the agents have kidnapped the cats and confined them to cages. It’s your job as the player to free the cats and rid the area of agents.
This guide is a complete walkthrough for all 5 of the Liberate the Cats missions in the initial main storyline. I go into plenty of detail, so as long as you follow this guide, there will be no cat left behind! I hope you’re feeling heroic, because you’re about to be the Cat Savior!
These tips apply to ALL missions, so I’m including them here at the start.
- You can enter sneak mode by pressing L – This is the case on Nintendo Switch, although it will be a different button on other consoles.
- You CAN run – The agents apparently have terrible hearing, so you can run past them as long as you’re not in your line of sight. I wasted way too much time sneaking when I didn’t need to, so don’t make the same mistake that I did. You can even run near sleeping agents as long as there’s no debris.
- Sneaking does not make you invisible – Although sneaking causes your character to hunch down and move quietly, the agents will still be able to see you. Make sure to stay out of their flashlight even when sneaking.
- Sneak over debris – If you ever see leaves/ sticks on the ground in front of you, immediately switch to sneak mode. You’ll make noise if you walk/ run over it normally.
- You can free the cats in any order – For this guide, I’ve optimized the order based on the most natural route to freeing them. However, you can free the cats in any order provided that you eventually free all of them.
- You only get 3 lives – The agents are on high alert and are keen to stop intruders. When you start each mission, you get 3 lives. You lose a life every time an agent spots you. If you lose all 3 lives, you’ll be returned to the entrance of the area and the cats will get put back in their cages, so you’ll have to start the mission over again.
- There are 2 ways that agents can spot you – The first is if their flashlight points at you. This happens either because you’ve walked in front of it, or because they’ve turned and caught you before you have a chance to move away. The other way they spot you is if you walk too close to them. This can happen even if their flashlight is pointing away, so make sure to keep a healthy distance.
Total cats – 5
This is the first area that you visit, and you don’t need to purchase any special equipment. When you properly start the game (after you fall in the river), you’ll be prompted to visit Bobo’s Mom’s craft store. Go through the motions, and afterward, Bobo will meet you and tell you his plan to investigate the agents. He’ll ask you to come with him to The Gardens. Head to the bus stop next to your house and go to The Gardens.
When you get there, there will be agents everywhere, including blocking the entrance. You might be intimidated, but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here’s exactly what you need to do:
Wait until the agent faces his flashlight away from the gate, then walk through.
Walk straight upwards until you find 3 agents who all have their flashlights pointing at a caged cat. Walk around the edge of the agents until you get to the radio behind them. Interact with it, and you’ll be shown a selection of music styles. Select ‘Classical music’. This will cause the agents to fall asleep, removing the beams from their flashlights. You’re now able to walk up to the cage and free the cat.
Next, go slightly up and to the left, where you see 3 agents walking around a cage in a pattern. They walk around 3 times, then all stop and point their flashlights away. Wait a couple of rotations until you’re comfortable with their movements so that you can get the timing perfect. In the meantime, position yourself in a straight line directly below the cage.
When the agents point their flashlights away, quickly run to the cage, free the cat, and then run straight back down. You need to time this perfectly, so don’t worry too much if you lose a life on the way out, as this is the hardest part of this mission.
From here, head right. You’ll see 2 agents walking back and forth by a bridge. Wait until their flashlights are pointing away, then run onto the bridge. A cat is waiting to be freed on the other side, and you can open the cage here without being disturbed by an agent. Once you’re done, go back onto the bridge, and wait for the agent to turn their flashlight away again so you can get off.
Then, head back to the radio and go down and to the right from there. For now, walk past the cat, and go to where the agent is stood reading by a tree. There’s a magazine on the floor next to him. Carefully pick it up from behind the tree, being careful not to touch the agent. You’ll need this magazine later.
Now, turn your attention back to the cat on your left. Be aware that the bushes do NOT give you cover, so you can’t hide behind them when the agents walk back. When you see the agents walk away from the cage, quickly free the cat and then run back away before the agents turn around and see you.
Time for the final cat. Head back to the radio, and go straight up. Go left when you see the pond, and you’ll see an agent and a nearby tree stump. Interact with the tree stump, and you’ll be offered the option to place the fashion magazine there, which you need to select. The agent will stop what he’s doing and go to read the magazine, leaving you free to rescue the cat.
The Birch Forest
Total cats – 7
You can gain access to this area after buying the Paper Axe from Hank’s Tool Shop, as this will trick the bus driver into thinking you’re a worker. When you arrive, Bobo will be there, and he’ll want to help. He suggests bribery as a potential option, or he offers to cause a distraction. He’ll give you these choices every time you encounter a cat, but these are never the correct way to go about it. Every time he asks what to do, you’ll need to select “Follow me, we’re going for it”.
In this mission, every time you free a cat, the agent will just give up and go away, so you don’t have to worry about getting out again. This is the easiest of all the Liberate the Cats missions as each step is pretty straightforward.
Starting at the entrance gate, wait until the flashlight is pointing away from the cat, then just run up and free him. This first one is nice and simple.
Walk through the gate. Stand behind the rock in front of the agent and hide until it’s time to move. When his flashlight turns, run straight past him, being careful not to pass too close and accidentally touch him. Interact with the cage to free the cat.
Follow the path to the right. Stand behind the stone lantern to give you some cover from the agent’s flashlight. When the bike goes past, quickly run to the cat. Timing is key here as the bikes are pretty fast, so you’ll need to run, don’t walk.
Follow the path to the right and up. Walk around the agent to the left, steering well clear of the flashlight, and hide behind the large rock. Move past it when the flashlight points away, and quickly free the cat before it points back.
Follow the path to the right. This one is really easy as the agent takes a long path. Just wait until he moves past, and then walk right over and free the cat.
Follow the path along to the left. Going around the outside edge, stand near the top of the agent’s path, in a straight line to the left of the cat. When the agent turns back down, run over and free the cat.
Finally, follow the path up and to the left. Stand behind the stone lantern and hide there until the bike drives to the right. Once again, speed is key here. Quickly run over to the cat as soon as the agent drives right, freeing it the moment you get there.
Total cats – 4
You can unlock access to The Docks by buying a Fishing Rod from Hank’s Tool Shop. Technically, The Docks, The Dark Forest, and The Caves can be done in any order as you gain access to all 3 necessary tools at once, but the Fishing Rod is the cheapest.
Unfortunately, this mission will cost you some money, as instead of sneaking past the agents, you’re going to be giving food to them. They don’t always pay the full price of their order, and they only pay you after they receive their food, so you’ll need to take some money with you upfront.
You’ll need to start this mission with at least 130 money, so don’t go to The Docks until you’ve earned enough currency. If you do go there with less, there’s a store next to Fred’s at the end of The Docks, where you can sell any unwanted items.
When you arrive, you’ll see someone sitting by the bus stop, this is the delivery boy. Talk to him, and he’ll tell you how he’s disenchanted with his life and doesn’t want to be a delivery boy anymore. Offer to take on the role for him, and he’ll give you his outfit to wear. Now that you have the outfit, the agents won’t be suspicious of you anymore. Note that this only applies to the mission on The Docks, and wearing the outfit to other areas won’t prevent the agents from catching you.
Talk to the agents to take their orders, then go to Fred’s at the end of the dock to buy the food. Here are all their orders (from right to left):
- First agent – Curry to Go
- Second agent – Sushi to Go
- Third agent – Curry to Go
- Fourth Agent – Yakisoba to Go
You may need to do them one at a time so that you can get enough money for the orders, rather than buying them all upfront.
When you give the agents their food, they’ll go off to eat, leaving the cats unattended. Then, you can simply free the cats without the agents seeing you.
After freeing all 4 cats, the agents will leave the area, and you’ll be able to use The Docks whenever you like for fishing.
The Dark Forest
Total cats – 6
You can gain access to The Dark Forest by buying the Wood Axe from Hank’s Tool Shop. Then, simply select the new location on the map at the bus stop. The instructions here start from the moment you arrive at the entrance.
Slip past the first guard by running through the gate when his flashlight points to the left. You’re now inside the area and will be faced with a few different paths. I’ve selected the route that I find easiest.
Follow the path to the left until you see an agent walking back and forth. Staying close to the trees on the right, run past when he walks to the left, and stand by the cage. Free the cat, then run past the second agent when she walks to the left. Stay aware of your environment, being careful not to get stuck on the rocks in front of you.
Follow the path upwards and you’ll see an agent with his flashlight firmly pointed at the cage. Walk past this for now, going under where he stands so that he doesn’t catch you. Remember this location, as you’ll need to revisit it later.
Follow the path down to the right until you see a sleeping agent. You’ll need to go into sneak mode when you see him. Creep slowly across the debris and up to where the cage is. Quietly free the cat, then sneak away, remaining in sneak mode until you are past the debris.
Follow the path downwards until you find the next agent. Stick close to the trees on your left, then run past the agent when he walks to the right. Free the cat, then run past the second agent using the same technique as for the first one.
Follow the path down to the left, and you’ll see an agent with his flashlight trained on a cage. Walk around him until you get to the lantern, it’s burning very brightly. Interact with it, and you’ll be asked if you want to blow it out. Select “Yeah” and the light will disappear. It turns out that this agent is afraid of the dark, so he’ll run away when you blow out the lantern. You can now free the cat, but that’s not all. In his haste, the agent dropped his walkie-talkie. Pick it up, as you’ll need it later.
Follow the path to the left and you’ll get back to where you started. Head back up to the top, dodging the agents on the way using the same methods as you did the first time. Go back to where you saw the agent that you skipped earlier. You’ll notice that there’s a walkie-talkie next to him. Stand nearby, and go into your inventory until you see the walkie-talkie that you just picked up.
Select it, then click ‘Use’ from the options. You’ll be presented with some choices for what to say, and you need to pick “Hello”. The agent is terrified of children’s voices and will run away when he hears you talking. Then you simply need to free the cat.
Go back down to where you first entered The Dark Forest, again dodging the agents on the way down. Then, follow the path directly upwards, it’s the one with the wooden planks on the ground. You’ll come to a lake, with a long path around it. The agents there are walking in a consistent circle around the lake. Wait for the gap between agents, then slip in and walk around at a steady pace, keeping your distance from both agents. Free the cat once you reach it.
After rescuing the final cat, the agents will leave, and you’ll be free to explore the cabin by the lake.
Total cats – 6
You can gain access to The Caves by buying the Pickaxe from Hanks’s Tool Shop. The bus driver will then mistake you for a miner, and you’ll see The Caves on the bus stop map. This area is probably the hardest of all the Liberate the Cats missions, and you’ll have to be very precise with your timing and movements.
When you arrive, you’ll find yourself outside. You need to head upwards into the caves themselves.
Follow the path until you get to the first agent. It’s linear up until this point so you can’t go wrong. Wait until he moves right, then run past, being careful to time it so that the second agent isn’t pointing his flashlight at you. You’ll come to a fork in the path.
Follow the path to the left until you see the agent. Wait until he walks upwards, then run behind him. The cat is not much further along, so go over to the cage, free it, then head back the way you came (avoiding the agent again) until you return to the fork in the path.
The agent there is walking in a circle, so wait until he goes to the path on your right, then follow him, keeping your distance. The cat is at the top right of this path. Free the cat, then wait by where the cage was until you see the next agent coming down from the path above you.
When that agent goes left, start following him up and around to the cat at the top right. Free it, then follow the path back around until you get to the part where it splits off to the left. Make sure to keep a healthy distance from the agent whilst you do this.
Go left, and you’ll see an agent. Wait until she heads upwards, then run behind her and hide by the big rock between the two agents. When the second agent heads back down, run past him and to the left. You’ll see the cat just above you. Free it, then carry on left.
You’ll find that the path to the left splits off up and down, you want to take the path that goes up. The agents here walk back and forth in an L formation, so timing is key. Hide at the top right by the rock until you see the first agent go up right next to you. Move left once he goes down again, making sure to avoid the flashlight of the agent coming down from the upper path. Hide behind the rock until the agent walks past, then run up and to the left to free the cat.
You now need to head downwards, being careful to avoid the flashlight. Follow behind from a safe distance, then run down and to the left to free the final cat.
I really enjoy the Liberate the Cats missions, as they make me feel like I’m a spy. They can be a bit tricky at times, but the challenge is what makes it fun! Some of the cats are particularly difficult to free, but hopefully, this guide should have helped you.
This guide covers all the Liberate the Cats missions that appear as part of the initial main storyline (no spoilers as to what happens after this point). You’ll need to complete all these missions to gain access to each area, as well as to find artifacts that are necessary for progression.
I’ve also written a review of this delightful game, so make sure to check that out!
Question: How do I sneak in Mineko’s Night Market?
Answer: You can toggle on the sneak mode by pressing the L button on Nintendo Switch (the button will be different on other consoles). You can toggle it on and off and don’t need to hold down the button.
Question: Why have the agents captured the cats in Mineko’s Night Market?
Answer: The agents are hunting a giant cat called Nikko, and they’re capturing the cats whilst they investigate Nikko’s whereabouts.
Question: Where can I buy tools in Mineko’s Night Market?
Answer: You can buy tools from Hank the Hunk’s Tool Shop in your village. It can be found next to Bobo’s Mom’s craft store, at the top left of the village.