Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator

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(prices updated 9/19 10:21 AM )

Description official descriptions

Septerra is a world which is composed of "layers" - continents that spin around the planet center. In the center is the Core, a kind of a living computer. According to the legends, the Creator of Septerra left there a precious Gift - an artifact that grants the one who possesses it legendary powers. Septerra is controlled by the Chosen, who live at the top of the world, consuming massive amounts of energy and throwing the "waste" down, to lower levels. Maya, a "junk scavenger" who lives among those wastes and earns the living collecting junk, unexpectedly comes into contact with the Chosen. It appears that their goal is to reach the legendary Gift. Maya and her friends decide to face the Chosen, and ultimately discover the true history of the planet.

Despite its Western origins, Septerra Core is a Japanese-style role-playing game. The game's visual design is close to Japanese anime, and the emphasis of the game is on a character-driven linear narrative with simple role-playing mechanics. The game's story evolves across the seven worlds of Septerra, each with its own distinct style, including post-apocalyptic, semi-medieval, futuristic, etc. In the first half of the game the player-controlled party explores these worlds on foot, accessing towns and other areas from an overworld. Later the player gains a ship that allows fast transportation to any world, including previously inaccessible areas.

Combat is turn-based and takes place against enemies who either visibly wander around or appear at pre-set locations in hostile areas. There are no enemies on the world map. The action bar of each character is divided into three segments and is gradually filled. Opting for either fast and weak or strong and slow attacks, the player must select a character in real time, stopping the bar and pausing combat. Magic spells are usually awarded after completing plot events and may be combined with each other by two or three characters to create new ones. The player is for the most part free to form a party of three active combatants from a larger cast.

Spellings

  • 赛普特拉战记:创世神话 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

248 People (141 developers, 107 thanks) · View all

Producer
Designer/Creator
Art Production Director
Original Concept
Programming - Game Engine, Tools
Programming - Terrabuilder
Story/Script/Level Design
Programming - Sound
Character Design/Concept Sketches/Story Board
Art & Animation
Terrabuilders
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 74% (based on 40 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 27 ratings with 4 reviews)

A console style RPG on the PC...What?

The Good
Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator, is an American RPG that plays and feels a lot like an RPG from the East. Overall it is a good game, that blends many elements from RPGS, and even does some new things. With a highly imaginative setting and storytelling, Septerra Core is even better than some Asian RPGS.

The world of Septerra is composed of layers of continents or “world shells”. All of which are linked together by a central core, which in itself is a huge Computer, that regulates the world. Needless to say Septerra Core is set in one of the most unique worlds ever seen in RPGS. Furthermore the world seems real thanks to it’s sharp visuals. But also because of the way the world is presented. It has a long history, and each “shell” has it’s own culture and unique design, for instance one of these shells is covered almost entirely by a city, while another is the home of two nations that are constantly at war with one another.

The history of Septerra introduces us to Marduk, the begotten son of The Creator. Whom a millennium ago destroyed the devil Gemma, and rescued the angel Kyra. Legends tell of a time when Septerra will be in danger, and the chosen person will appear to unlock the core and bring salvation to Septerra. This triumvirate of beings are central to the plot and are worshiped by the inhabitants of Septerra.

In Septerra Core, the central character is Maya. A junker on Shell Two. The people of Shell Two live of the scrap of the Shell above. That of “The Chosen”. They are claimed to be decedents of Marduk. Years ago a civil war between the tribes of The Chosen, laid waste to Shell Two, killing Mays’s parents. When the actions of a fellow junker threaten the peace of Septerra, Maya and her companions go on a quest that will span all the shells of Septerra. The plot thickens when Doskias a Chosen General, determines out of hubris that he will be the one to unlock the core, he cares not whom gets in his way. They will see firsthand the cruelty of The Chosen, get involved in political intrigue, learn powerful magic, and of course save the world.

During your quest you will form a party of three from a pool of nine. Each character is unique, Maya is of course the balanced, level headed leader of the party. Others include Grubb, Maya’s friend, whom is a machine expert. Seline a former Chosen Warrior, and one of the coolest characters Araym, is a mercenary with a conscience, he has two mechanical arms that he uses to attack with in battle!

None of the characters feel useless or identical to all others. Which sometimes happens in Japanese RPGS. Making things more interesting, many of the party members do not get along, and will even attack each other during battles! You can undertake side-quests to get members to become friends. In one case you can even help two party members realize that they love each other.

The plot is truly epic and engrossing. And spans about 60 hours of gameplay, with an hour of CGI, and complete voice acting. That’s right you never have to read dialogue it is all spoken. And somehow they fit all of this on one single CD!

The Graphics in Septerra Core are very good. The backgrounds are done using pre-rendered images, which on a high resolution monitor look amazing. The characters them selves are big on screen and well detailed. No super deformed heroes here! The world map graphics are in particular nice to look at. The CGI looks amazing, almost CG Hollywood movie quality. Combat looks cool with details like the lighting on Maya as she fires her gun. The spell visuals are good. Of course the summon spells take the prize.

The music is excellent. Often subtle, it excels in fitting the moment. From they war drum sound of battle to the world map music, with each world shell having it’s own theme. The voice acting is also top notch as it would have to be with the game being completely in voice. There are no major names in the cast, which makes the quality of the performances even more impressive. Oddly enough there are no voiceovers during battles unlike most RPGS. No battle cries or incanting or spells.

The Gameplay at times seems to be an amalgam of various RPGS you may have played. Control wise it is very similar to Anachronox and Return to Krondor. There are no enemies of the world map as in Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, or Chrono Trigger. And Maya reminds me of Alis of Phantasy Star.

You fight monsters. Gain experience. Find and use key items. All the typical RPG goodness.

Battle use a modified version of Final Fantasy spawned ATB. Only instead of one time gauge there are three. Which represent how powerful your attack will be, but of course take longer to attack, and have a higher rate of missing. During turns you attack, use items, use special abilities of characters, and cast spells via Fate Cards.

Fate Cards have a specific spell built in. And can be combined with others for varying levels of effect. For example a Heal combined with and All card create Heal All. Up to three party members can combine to produce spells. This is also how you summon creatures in battle. A Summon plus Fire card, summons a fire dragon to burn your enemies. All the summoned creatures are based not on myth and legends of our world like in Final Fantasy, but on myth and legend of the world of Septerra. The only downside to these is that you cannot skip the animations, therefore when fighting certain bosses you must watch the same scene repeatedly.

The Bad
On the downside however Septerra Core is riddled with bugs. To play it you will almost definitely need a patch. And it takes some work to get it to work of Windows XP. Without the patch the game tends to freeze during a boss battle about half way through the game. Recently I discovered another game killing bug, in which you cannot land your ship at Azziz’s Temple. And some parts of the game are just too difficult. I had to buy the strategy guide so that I could finish the game. Why can’t the spell animations be skipped?



The Bottom Line
Overall Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator is a very good RPG. Well worth your time. It is as good and in some cases better than many Japanese RPGS. You can probably find the game for about 10 bucks so why not give it a try?

Windows · by MasterMegid (723) · 2006

Excellent RPG - a questing adventure with a twist

The Good
I must admit that I've played some really good RPGs over the last year or two -- and this is definitely among that group.

In a nutshell, Septerra Core has all the features I like:

  • An In-depth and Unique Story
  • Diverse, Interesting Characters
  • Loads of Unrepetitive Dialog
  • Dungeon-like Questing
  • A Multitude of Worthy Opponents
  • Various World Environments
  • Pleasing Graphics, Music and Sound Effects
The central plot is not new - the greed of one causing the destruction of the world - but the way it is told, and the atmosphere it is enveloped in, is. It is obvious that the concept came from very creative minds. Everything from the world design down to the simplicity of the game mechanics is marvelous. The shelf like "shells" of the planet Septerra are truly different, but at the same time believable. The personalities of the characters are developed so well that the player really feels they know them - not just as puppets, but as real people. I applaud the script writers whose obvious care and diligence shine here. Combat is turn-based, but more than that. Each character has 3 levels of attack types drawn from inner strength (their core) which must build up in order to be executed. So, you'll wait until the 3rd bar of their "core" is lit before selecting them in order to strike with a level 3 attack. While you're waiting, enemies can have their turn. The speed of that soul strength is different for each of your characters too. Spell casting is decidedly different than any other game I've played. Collect playing cards for fire, air, earth etc. and choose one or more (if other characters are ready) for higher impact spells. There are a dozen different cards that can be used singly or in combinations. Have Maya choose the Resurrect card, for instance, while another chooses the Mirror card. Click on the opponent and the result is the Instant Death spell. The higher their "core", the stronger the effect. And some of those effects are awesome. (I particularly like the on screen looks of the Black Hole spell.) There are a multitude of monsters, and they are varied in appearance, strengths and weaknesses. You can tell how strong your foe is by the color of his/her clothes or features. Sometimes, if you tread carefully, you can bypass groups of monsters. Some are unavoidable, of course. Graphics and music are in keeping with the theme. Graphic atmosphere and characters are clean and unpixelated. Music is original and lovely to listen to.

**The Bad**
I really enjoyed everything about Septerra Core, so consider the following to be "weaknesses" instead of real dislikes.
  • The Maya Dance - party members running into each other while trying to navigate around can cause Maya to jitterbug skip.
  • System errors for no reason cropped up occasionally causing an unexpected exit from the game to my desktop. Restarting was not a problem, though.
  • It's almost too long especially when you know you are almost at the end.
  • Repetitive "Summon" spells - a graphical depiction of the legendary character appears to spew fire on your enemies, for instance, over and over again - each time that spell is cast. A nuisance that I got used to, but could have been handled in a simpler manner somehow. And, arghh, why is it that the switch or treasure chest you're looking for is -always- at the end of a very, very long tunnel! Be sure and get the latest patch for it fixes many early problems with the game.

    **The Bottom Line**
    This game is fun! If story is primary, and you enjoy role playing games with loads of adventuring, Septerra Core is a must for your collection. Not only will it take you a long while to finish, the characters and plot will stay with you long afterwards. A memorable experience, to be sure. It is a real shame that Valkyrie Studios folded .. I would've liked more from them.
  • Windows · by Jeanne (75303) · 2004

    Valkyrie Studios did a good job with Septerra Core. Albeit, they didn't do a great job.

    The Good
    Septerra Core has a fantabulous story. A super-extra-frosted good story. It's got a man bent on world destruction, secret motives, believable characters packaged into a surprisingly original environment. Graphically, Septerra Core may not take your breath away, but it will surely interest you. The setting changes frequently throughout the game, so at times you'll be playing a dank, dark dungeon crawl, at other times you'll be wandering about in a humid jungle full of mutants. Eventually, one of those mutants even joins your party. It features a very console like combat system, which turns out to be a mixed bag. On one hand, the game has a very interesting spellcasting system. Your character, Maya, will gradually collect "fate cards" as the game progressives. Using one fate card might have a certain effect, such as casting a minuscule fire spell. Combining this fire fate card with another fate card that might, say, cause the character to toss a grenade, will create an all new spell that launches a flaming napalm grenade. Sound interesting? It is, but unfortunately, even the games best ideas are bogged down by the games agonizingly slow combat system.

    The Bad
    The games combat system is, in a word, boring. A word probably isn't clear enough of a description, so lets elaborate. Imagine yourself playing Final Fantasy VIII. If you remember, casting a summon spell would trigger a lengthy animation, which, while impressive at first, was really, really long and wasn't very fun the third time. Septerra Core's attack animations are much the same, only they were never spectacular to begin with. A character that isn't fortunate enough to possess a ranged attack will jump in a goofy looking rainbow arc to their foe, pause a moment, hit their enemy, pause another moment, and leap back to their original position. There's nothing too wrong with this on paper. Factor in that each animation can take up to 2.5 seconds. Now factor in that there are usually at least 5 hits to go around in a short skirmish for your party alone. The typical combat sequence goes like this: character walks into monster. Game screen shifts to a more suitable position to view the fight. Monster starts off by shifting his feet, and then slowly raising his arms to pummel one of your characters. Then, whilst uninteresting music plays, your character slowly leaps over to the monster to return the favor. It's a good bet that you've already lost interest. Despite having great ideas, an engaging story, and pretty decent graphics, Septerra Core drags itself out needlessly via its slow, cumbersome battle system.

    The Bottom Line
    Septerra Core isn't exactly a missed opportunity, but it's very close. You'll probably have a lot of fun playing Septerra Core, but you might want to rediscover a tomagachi to keep yourself occupied during the battles. Best compared to watching giant pandas. They're cute, cuddly, and fun, when they aren't sleeping. The problem with pandas is that they sleep 50% of the day. When it comes down to it, I'd recommend Septerra Core. At the price it goes for nowadays (bundled with Shogo, even), you're going to get your moneys worth for sure. Just don't say I didn't warn you. (Interesting note: Valkyrie was working on another game called "Seraphim" where flying angels beat the snot out of each other with their divine powers. The game fell through because they couldn't find a publisher.)

    Windows · by WJAndrews (32) · 2004

    [ View all 4 player reviews ]

    Trivia

    Character names

    The game's lead character "Maya" was not named after the 3D animation software of the same name. Maya the character was named before Maya the software was released, while the game was still gestating at Viacom New Media in 1997 (Alias/Wavefront released Maya in 1998).

    However, many of the names of characters and places in the game do have some significance to the team -- Princess Alisa is named for lead artist Alisa Kober, for example, and the town of Pranno is named after Digger Penbrook.

    Cut ending

    Digger Penbrook:

    Also, there exists somewhere among the computers of current and former Valkyrie persons a special end credit sequence -- the "Benny Hill" ending (I can't really describe it, you kind of have to see it ). We've talked about putting out a patch for it, and maybe one day we will. I'm sure the seven or eight people who actually bought and played this game would get a kick out of it. :)

    Awards

    • GameSpy
      • 1999 – Special Award for Story (together with Nocturne)

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    Contributors to this Entry

    Game added by DarkTalon.

    Linux added by Iggi. Macintosh added by me3D31337.

    Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, mrpenbrook, chirinea, CaesarZX, Patrick Bregger.

    Game added January 3rd, 2000. Last modified August 27th, 2023.