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UFO has brought Seventh Cross: Evolution to the Sega Dreamcast for those gamers who are looking for something a bit different. Not quite your typical RPG and not quite your typical action adventure, Seventh Cross separates itself from other games in many ways. This RPG plays out with little or no story, making it much different than your classic RPG style game. In Seventh Cross, the object is merely to evolve as an organism. First starting out as a protist (ameba type organism), your organism will take shape and evolve throughout various environments. There is no real ending to the game, rather the experience is open ended, allowing you to continue to grow.
Survival is the name of the game as you must avoid predators and seek out prey all at the same time. At first you will strictly feed on microorganisms so there will be no fighting at all. After the three protist stages you will evolve into the origin stages. In these stages you will be required to attack smaller enemies in order to obtain them for food. From that point on the manner in which you evolve depends strictly on your DNA sheet.
Before looking at and experimenting with your DNA sheet, the menu will ask you to select a color code that will pertain to specific attributes. Spreading these colors across a 10x10 grid will form the basis of your creatures' evolutionary goal. Aside from this it is possible to mutate your organism manually by using evolutionary experience points (obtained by eating smaller organisms) on specific body parts. When the player decides to mutate he or she will access a menu that displays each individual body part and their corresponding numeric values. An example would be if you wanted to make your creature extremely fast you would simply dedicate evolutionary points to his legs.
Evolutionary points can also be used toward your creatures fighting abilities. Categories for hit points, EXPOWER points, defense power, intellectual power, healing power and dexterity are also available. Using evolutionary points in any of these areas will strengthen your creature accordingly.
To keep your creature alive there are specific nutrients that you will need to acquire within your selected food. Depending on your DNA sheet, these nutrients will vary. The basic nutrients needed are water, protein, fiber, hard cells, and neuro-bio cells. You may also replace parts with mutable parts but in doing so you must first possess the required level of nutrients. If the mutable part requires more nutrients than you currently have then the change will not be possible.
Once spending a fair amount of time learning all of the intricacies in which this game plays out, you will be on your way to fighting other creatures. The fighting is dove via a targeting system that will allow you to pin point an enemy at close range and then strike at will. There are several types of attacks you can choose from. The close range attack, indirect attack or the EXPOWER (special power) attack can all be used to kill prey. If you grow tired of the methodical way in which the games fighting sequences are played out it is possible to select auto combat. When selecting this option all battles will be witnessed rather than played out manually.
Throughout the game you will encounter stone monuments. These tall red stacks will enable you to save your progress. These stone monuments offer other options as well that will become available after playing the game for a period of time. This is where you will access your DNA sheet in order to edit your 10x10 SOM map. This, as stated previously, is where you will fill in squares on a 10x10 sheet with specific colors. Each color will represent a different attribute such as fighting or defense, and you can use these colors in any order. The random nature of this SOM map is the core of the games' originality. Depending on how you fill in these squares and the designs you create with them, your creature may take on a very different look and life style.
Your creature will continue to evolve throughout the game and at the same time explore many different areas. It is impossible to "complete" a level for the goal of the game is not to explore a designated amount of land but rather to grow and evolve as a creature. One might look at Seventh Cross as a virtua pet that can take the shape of many different creatures. Its up to the gamer to decide exactly which type of creature he or she would like to evolve into. ~ Jonathan Licata, All Game Guide