As always, you would start the game by putting the disk into your Gamecube and press the power button. When you get to the title screen, you get a choice of whether to start a new file (1st option), or continue a previously saved one (2nd option). Right at the start, you give names to, in this order, your dog, cow, farm, and finally yourself. Takakura will show you around to all the buildings in your farm, and tell you what they are for.
Pauses the game. Brings up the Pause menu, were you can view the time, date, your own character's health status, items and tools, etc.
This does a variety of things. The A button is shown on the button menu that is at the top right of the screen: The text over the A button reads ‘Tsukau.' Being the biggest of the buttons and right in the center of the menu, it's obviously quite important, and is used a lot. What is written on the menu is what you can currently do with that button. I have a few of them listed here (there are a lot, so it's hard to list them all!).
Cancel within a menu and to put your child down when holding him. This can also be used to put an item in your rucksack.
Used to access your rucksack. When your child is a toddler and you pick him up after he's asked you to, then the X button can also be used to pat him on the back.
Just like the A button, a little note will appear over the Y button in the button menu when you can use it. However, the Y button is not used nearly as often as the A button.