Seventh Cross







Release Date:  

Late 1998 - Japan




Simulation RPG

Game Summary

"Seventh Cross" is a game of evolution in a 'Darwinian Environment' where only the strong survive. The theme of the game is pure survival. The player must survive in a primitive land where every other life-form is your enemy and prey which you must catch over and over again. You will take various forms and gain different abilities as you evolve into stronger life-forms. While you are striving to become the strongest being on the planet you must also try to figure out what you are. One of the special features of this game is the use of 'neuro technology', which exists in the DNA sheets. The DNA sheets are where you draw diagrams (DNA strands) which the computer will analyse and learn form. The computer will then decide which direction your evolution will take.

This is where the 'neuro-technology' comes in. What this basically means is that the computer has a mind of its own. You must figure out what the computer is doing and try to work with it to achieve the best results. Having a solid understanding of this concept is the key to success in the game. The flow of the game consists of five components: explore the planet, fight with other life-forms, eat other life-forms, create DNA sheets, and evolve. Players begin the game as a small primitive life-form. You are slow moving and defenceless so all you can do is hide when an enemy approaches. The only thing possible for you to feed on is microscopic organisms, and continue evolving until your so called 'origin' is created. Any evolution thereafter will depend on what you enter into your DNA sheets. Thus each player will have their own unique road to evolution.

Players slowly evolve by obtaining various body parts (heads, arms, legs and bodies). Each body part, which is obtained through a DNA sheet, can be replaced to help you adapt to the different environments and enemies. However, to be able to use these parts you need the required amount of 'body components' which are accumulated by preying on others. Your body is made up of water (WA), protein (PROT), calcium (CAL), fiber (FIB), hard cells (HC) and neuro bio (NBIO). Each part has specific component requirements, which can be met by eating various things. If a certain part requires more calcium, you should eat something from the fish group. If you need more fiber, you should eat something from the plant group, etc.

Players should also remember that all life-forms have different compositions. You will have to figure out which life-forms meet your 'nutritional requirements' and hunt them down. You should pay particular attention to the neuro bio component because this is what you need to evolve into something "special". Collecting this is a little trickier than the others because it is only found in specific life-forms which you must defeat first.

As you wander around the planet you will see a lot of different environments. There will be mountains, oceans, large waterfalls, numerous life-forms, and a lot of natural obstacles. There will be a plethora of strange creatures living in the different areas and landscapes. Players must decide which area will be the best to gain experience points and meet your component requirements.

DNA Sheets

Each DNA sheet is 1 of 810,000 possible life-forms. As you continue to evolve from the prehistoric life-forms you started out as you will eventually reach the basic form or shape necessary for your 'origin'. When you do reach this point you will gain the attach capabilities of a 'higher primate' for the first time. Every player will take the same path until the point of 'origin'. However, everyone will evolve differently after that.

When players earn the required number of evolution experience points, the 'DNA Sheet Input' screen will appear. When you draw your diagram on this 10 x 10 sheet, the neuro will analyse the information, learn from it, and give you one answer, which turns out to be a body part. (This is called the self-organizing map or S.O.M.) What this means is not really clear at this time. Apparently the computer will decide what kind of body part will be created from the DNA sheet. Naturally this will differ from person to person because no specific patterns have been programmed into the computer.

You will have to predict what the computer has in mind, and work toward the creation of that body part. You must look for patterns in the creation of the body parts. The game will not tell what to do in order to obtain each part. The player will have to figure it out on their own. The game will allow players to save the last twenty DNA sheets for you to search for patterns. You need to find out how the different quantities of each component affected the body parts.

Colour Palette And Tools

There are six different colours (white, black, red, blue, yellow and green) to use when drawing your diagram. Each colour will relate to a basic ability, which is determined by the computer at the end of the 'psychology test' that you take at the start of the game. The colours and their corresponding basic abilities and their starting values will vary from player to player. In other words, red may correspond with intelligence for one player, but dexterity for another player. The test will also determine how high or low your basic abilities will be. The rest is up to the player. The player must decide which abilities to focus on and which colours to use. For example, if blue corresponds with attacking strength and I want to increase this, I would use more blue in my DNA sheet.

Basic Abilities

AT (attacking strength), EP (E.S.P. attack), DEF (defence), INT (intelligence), HEAL (healing strength) and DEX (dexterity).

Overall, it looks as if NEC has put together a pretty solid game for its first outing on the Dreamcast. Available at launch, Seventh Cross may soon become a classic and give the user insurmountable replay value.

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Preview by: Douglas Abe Jr. and Mike Weatherup