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Reviewed: Septerra Core
Author: Chris Kim       Date: November 26th 1999
Page: 2

Most role players will know the diverse style of games that have hit the market. Some of the more popular games are the ones that seem to lack a bit of depth, specifically speaking, the Diablo style games. Then there is totally opposite side of role playing in the form of the hugely diverse and complex worlds of Dungeons and Dragons or Ultima worlds. What makes these games unique are the only availability on the PC. Console style role playing has been kept nearly clean from the PC, until just last year, when Final Fantasy VII was ported to the PC. The game was almost exactly the same as the PSX version, the only down side was that the port didn't utilize any of the power of the PC, rather all the inferior technology of the PSX version was brought right on over. Septerra Core, a new console style role playing game released just recently, adds to the console role playing genre on the computer adding a more involved combat system, engaging storyline, and beautiful graphics.

Running Down the Ramp
Some Funky Animal
All Knowing Azziz

Storyline based, Septerra Core has an excellent story backing up the game and should keep the player quite engaged throughout the whole game. The story revolves around Maya, a junker, or scavenger, who lives on Shell 2. The whole world is based on several layer shells, each as a continent, all centered by a core or generator which spin the continents to give them gravitational pulls. The player will control Maya on her adventures as she tries to explore the world. She starts out as a junker who never leaves a wide radius of just a few miles outside of her hometown Oasis. Then in the desert, while scavenging, she sees battleships of the Chosen, who are supreme leaders living on the top shell and ruling over all the other shells. Maya distinctly remembers the last time the Chosen flew through Shell 2, devastation, a massacre of all the Shell 2 people. Maya, worried, wants to change that be venturing out and trying to change that. As Maya goes out on her adventure, she inadvertently will change things to make other events start, and now the fate of the world lies in the hands of Maya and her friends to stop Daskias, the blasphemer who is trying to gain world power by getting supreme power from the core.

The story behind Septerra core has a very strong basis and is almost as good as a story book. If the game were translated into a book, it would probably do quite well as a book; it is that good.

Being a console RPG, a lot of the parts of typical PC RPG's won't be here. Things like sleeping and eating. But, just because these elements are removed from the game, doesn't necessarily mean that game isn't any good. No sir, very far from to say the least. Septerra Core is an excellent game in the design and fundamental structure. The game mainly involves adventuring around and completing tasks to further progress the character development and storyline.

Yuk! Bug Disease
Die Thief, Die!

Adventuring mainly consists of exploring places like towns, landmarks, structures, and ships. Upon boarding these places, the player will usually have to find some sort of item to be used as a key or leader into the next task that must be done. Early in the game, the player will have to figure out how to talk to the Holy Guard at Wind City. But the player cannot enter directly into the building. So as a sidetrack, the player must use common sense to solve the puzzle outside of Wind City and find something else. In the graveyard, a headless statue will be examined, and upon examination Grubb will discover some sort of device inside, but the device is missing a piece. Several small hints and clues are dropped along the line. Then the player will likely need to find the missing piece, earlier in the graveyard, a battle will have occurred with a zombie which left a rancid acid on the ground. In the town library the missing piece is chained up, the player will then purchase an acid vile to contain the acid and use it on the chained piece in the library to solve the missing piece of the device. That last case is one of the most memorable and involving parts of the game. A lot of the other parts of the game simply require the player to battle through hordes of monsters and acquire an object to advance in the game. Other times, the player just needs to get to another person to tell them a message before disaster occurs. The only major downfall of the game is the extreme linearity of the game. Meaning that if the player can't get past one part of the game, he is stuck there until he can figure it out. The player can't simply pass up that mission and continue on.

The parties of characters are formed in groups of three. Maya must always be the leader of the pack, and depending on the situation, certain other characters must be grouped together as well. There are a total of nine characters in the game, most of them with unique abilities, but some of them have similar techniques and abilities. Both Led and Grubb are mechanics and have a lot of the same abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Communication the other opponents is easily accomplished with several clicks on the appropriate buttons. Various tasks and clues can be driven from conversations, as most will. As the player learns about other objects or tasks, new buttons to signify if the player talking to knows about that new object will come up as well.

Holographic Transmitters
Zombie Horrid
Ah! Avalanche

The various types of weapons and armor in the game is pretty straight forward. The sequential array of armor and weapons have several effects, the larger the armor the more defense it can have, but can also have negative effects on speed or agility. There are four core components to most players, the core engine/weapon, body armor, relics, and shoes. The relics work very similar to the way they worked in the Final Fantasy III game for Super Nintendo. They add various abilities. The armor, is the main source of protection also effecting other statistics as well as defense. Shoes can add various abilities like speed or just defense. Weapons/Core Engines have the same effect as weapons, depending on what type of weapon they use. They increase the attack power.

The battle system is a very well done system and works very effectively. The game combat system takes a lot after the Final Fantasy system, but advances the style of play by adding a three function time based combat system. Each character has three sets of three different level attacks. The later techniques are learned from either gaining levels or purchasing/finding the appropriate equipment. On the time bar, as the meter increases, three tic marks or settings signify points at which the player can perform different maneuvers. The techniques are broken down into three powerful attacks, one being the weakest, and three being the strongest attack. This adds a bit of strategy to the combat as weakened enemies can be attacked quicker kills. There are a few really cool things that make the combat great, a laser attack, if targeted at the furthest away enemy will also attack any other enemies in the same line of fire. Grenade weapons will also have a similar feature in how when attacked, they will give a radius burst of attack range.

The magic system also used is quite unique and different. Although there aren't a very large list of spells to learn, the various spells can be combined with three of the various characters to make stronger attacks and unique spell combinations. The magic and abilities used are all based on a core pool of energy. The energy comes from the party's ability of core energy and core generators they have equipped. Only the basic attacks don't require extra core energy to attack.

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Added:  Friday, November 26, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Page: 2/5

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