Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator
Septerra Core: Legacy Of The Creator joins two of 1999’s biggest releases: Planescape: Torment and Ultima Ascension. While not as rich in spirit as the latter two, it should please true fans of the console-type JRPG. Your main character is a young woman named Maya who is a junk scavenger. Her parents were casualties of a war and a kind and wise uncle raised her. Through Maya, you become embroiled in a plot by powerful forces to unleash “The Gift of The Creator”. What this gift does is a mystery but many believe that the receiver of the gift will become the most powerful force on Septerra. Along your journey you will encounter friends and allies that will join your party and aid you in your quest.
The most remarkable aspect of the world of Septerra is the existence of the shells. Continents are suspended in seven concentric spherical shells each rotating at their own speed. Travel between the shells is accomplished in great air ships or via “The Great Spine”: an axis that connects all the shells at their poles. Rotation of the shells produces energy known as core energy. This energy permeates the ether of the entire planet and can be collected by special machines called core engines or channeled into powerful spells.
Maya and her allies have skills and equipment to aid them on their quest. Maya carries a powerful gun that is activated by core energy. As she is able to purchase better core engines and acquire weapon components, the gun can unleash more powerful attacks. Her allies have other useful skills such as repairing machines or stealing from enemies. All characters have the ability to channel some core energy for spells. These spells are built using fate cards obtained throughout the game. Casting a spell depletes some of the party’s pool of core energy. Cards can be used alone or in combination by members of the party to produce powerful effects both in and out of combat.
Septerra Core is an RPG but character generation, advancement, and combat interactions take a back seat to story progression and puzzle solution so diehard RPG fans will find the gameplay somewhat thin. You do not have any opportunity to generate your starting character or to assign skills or advancement points. Your character will gain levels when enough experience points are obtained but this is completely out of your control. This type of advancement is pretty normal for console-type RPGs but those used to molding their own identities may be disappointed. In addition, gameplay is fairly linear and there is not a lot of opportunity to travel outside the main plot locations.
Combat is real-time and you can pause to select attack modes and targets. As time passes in combat, an endurance bar under each character’s portrait determines when they can act. Each bar is divided into three sections. A character can act when at least one section of their endurance bar has been filled. If you wait until more sections of the bar are filled, more damaging attacks can be launched. This method keeps combat moving at a good pace. One thing missing is the ability to move your characters. It is strange that enemies have more freedom of movement.
If Septerra Core is judged by the standards of other PC role-playing games, it is left wanting in a few areas. But judged by what it is supposed to be, an RPG along the lines of the Final Fantasy series, it is a fine effort that shouldn’t be neglected.
System Requirements: Pentium 133 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win98
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