Septerra Core

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Final Fantasy meets Planescape: Torment, that's the best way to describe this game.

Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator takes place on possibly the strangest planet in the history of fiction, right after Discworld. The center of the planet is the immense biocomputer Core, and seven sets of continents, called World Shells, are orbiting around it, each above another. Shell Seven is closest to the Core, and the radiation levels turned everything into Mutants. Shell Six is ruled by Pirate Robots. Shell Five is home to two technologically advanced and eternally warring countries. Shell Four is home to the World Bazaar, with all the requisite thieves, smugglers and hookers. Shell Three is the closest thing to Heroic Fantasy you can find in this world. Shell Two is a big desert whose inhabitants survive by scavenging the garbage dropped on their homes by the Chosen, egotistical noblemen from Shell One. Best place for a holiday ever, yes?

According to the mythology, Septerra was built by the Creator, who placed a mysterious artifact in the center of the Core, that would grant the user ultimate power. Gemma, God of Evil, stole the keys to the Core and kidnapped Kyra, angel of light, whom he wanted to become his wife/sex slave (he's a god of evil, is there any difference?). The Creator sent his son Marduk to save the day and give this punk a lesson. Marduk gathered an army of people from each Shell, took two demon swords, found Gemma (with little help from Trickster Dogo) and after a hundred day battle, trounced him and threw him into the Pits of Janak. Descendants of Marduk and his Army of the Seven Winds became the Chosen. According to the prophecy, millennia later the world would be in great danger and the keys will be used to save it.

Chosen Lord Doskias, a direct descendant of Marduk and total Jerkass, believes the time has come and he is the Messiah. He plans to save the world, whether the world wants it or not. Maya, the main character, accidentally discovers part of his insane plan, and decides to stop him. And the journey begins.

This PC game is currently available on Good Old Games.

Tropes used in Septerra Core include:
  • Action Girl: Maya, Led, Selina.
  • Actually Four Mooks: When you pick a fight with a cluster of enemies, there are about 50% odds that there's at least one more hiding offscreen.
  • All Myths Are True: And you can summon them.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Runner. And he's a robot too!
  • Arm Cannon: Ayram, literally.
  • Artificial Gravity: The Doomsday Weapon works by creating a gravitational disturbance which causes the target continent to rise up out of its World Shell and crash into the underside of the shell above. This turns out to be a massive Chekhov's Gun: by raising the proper continents to the upper shells, they form a rune pattern which grants Septerra access to the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • Badass Normal: Maya, Corgan.
  • BFS: Gemma's Blade, which Doskias acquires a ways into the game.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Shell 7 is huge on this. Bioluminescent plants/fungi are everywhere and the natives, the Underlost, communicate partially through flashing and scanning bioluminescent patterns via a patch on their 'foreheads'. Oddly enough they can see this form of bioluminescence, even though they are otherwise completely blind.
  • Brick Joke: Maya has to get tattoos on to sneak into Connor's fortress. In the ending cinematic, you see the tattoos right there.
  • Call a Smeerp a Rabbit: Certain monsters, especially Thunder Cats (which, in spite of vaguely feline gait and ecosystem role, look more like stone rhinos) and various things marked as spiders and beetles which look very little like their Earth equivalents.
  • The Chosen One: The appropriately-named Chosen think that being the descendants of Marduk's army make them this collectively, and Doskias in particular thinks that being Marduk's direct descendant (which means he's literally the great-great-great-great-etc. grandson of God) makes him The Messiah as well.
  • Church Militant: The Holy Guard of the Seven Winds, an order of paladin-type fighters from Shell Three.
  • Combination Attack: Grubb and Led have one. All multi-card spells require one team member per card, so technically they are too.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The whole thing with the son of Creator fighting the incarnation of Evil feels like this. Also, the monks from Shell Three have Christian habits.
  • Dark Action Girl: Selina.
  • Dark Messiah: Doskias.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Led has prosthetic legs, and first believes Grubb doesn't love her because of them.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In the in-game mythology, Dogo the Trickster God convinces Gemma to give Kyra a mirror, so she could make herself more beautiful. Gemma does it, proving he forgot that she's his prisoner and can easily use the mirror to send messages to Marduk about her whereabouts, resulting in her rescue and Gemma's defeat. What part of the body this guy uses to thinks remains secret.
  • Doomed Hometown: Maya's hometown is destroyed at the end when the continent is ripped apart and levitated to form the large sigil. Quite surprisingly, it holds out until the finale.
  • Dual-Wielding: Marduk does this with his Daemon Swords in the game's lore (but Corgan and Selina don't when they get them in the endgame), and Badu does this with his giant knives as well.
  • Dumb Blonde:
    • Inverted. Led, the only blonde in the team, is almost as smart as Grubb. However, she is more than willing to play this role on random people to milk items from them.
    • Of course, Corgan isn't particularly dumb either. The Chosen princess toys with this though.
  • Dummied Out: Early, pre-patch release versions of the game had one more card slot than there were cards. This caused some people to believe that they were missing a card, and scour the game for the (non-existent) card. It is, however, still believed that there was a card meant to go in that slot at one time, but it got cut or combined with another card.
  • Dynamic Entry: All summons.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Several Mini Bosses, Ouroboros
  • Elemental Powers: The spell cards provide these.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Fire beats Earth, Earth beats Air, Air beats Water, Water beats Fire.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: At the end of the game.
  • Face Heel Turn: Selina, when she saw Doskias almost getting killed by one of the good guys.
  • Floating Continent: Six layers of them.
  • Fungus Humongous: Shell Seven's Mold Forest, although the game doesn't say whether or not these are actual fungi or oversized plants convergently evolved to look exactly like giant fungi.
  • God Couple: Marduk and Kyra, according to the myths.
  • God of Evil: Gemma.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Resource Wars, the most recent of the wars between Ankara and Jinam. Also the war between Chosen factions that devastated Maya's hometown.
  • The Grim Reaper: Thanatos.
  • Guide Dang It: If you don't know that Revive Kills Zombie, the undead abomination in the burned city becomes That One Boss.
  • Hand Cannon: Maya's gun.
  • Heel Face Turn: Araym; Selina twice; Lobo, years before he meets our heroes; in-game mythology ascribes one to Dogo, god of mischief, who helped save the world. Doskias does one in the ending, but alas, Redemption Equals Death.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Grubb builds his own robot dog, Runner, his best friend. When Runner went missing, and was later found with Led, she and Grubb started bickering about which of them was his owner.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Doskias and Selina stay behind to fire the Doomsday Device in the ending.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: if summoning the son of Creator to kick your enemy's butt isn't it, this troper will eat his shoes.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Selina used to be a prostitute working on the streets of Shell One, until Doskias offered her a better life. While insanely loyal to him for this opportunity, she equally rebels against him for the harm he does to people generally believed to be considered mere insects by the entire Shell One population.
  • Industrial Ghetto: Shell Two is an awkward variation on this: the entire shell is a desert save for mysterious and (seemingly) impenetrable factories, with pipes pumping water between them. "Junkers" have built their communities around the factories to tap the pipes for drinking water.
  • It's Personal: Everywhere.
    • Maya hates Doskias because her parents were killed in the war he caused over Shell Two, when she was a kid.
    • Grubb hates Mayor because he uses robots Grubb created as his personal police, contrary to their intended purpose.
    • Lobo hates Connor, the leader of the Shell Six's Pirates, because his "father" was killed by him.
    • Corgan hates Selina because she led the attack that destroyed his home village.
    • Led hates Lobo because he's one of the robot soldiers created by her country's enemies.
    • Having Corgan/Selina and Led/Lobo in the same team is problematic. Until two optional subquests are completed to resolve their personal issues, they will occasionally attack each other instead of the enemy. Because the final area forces you into parties with these combinations, it's in your best interests to complete these subquests.
  • Kick the Dog: Every enemy that attacks Runner does it literally. However, knowing what he's capable of, the player can only pity them... they really kicked the wrong dog.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Done to the player's advantage. The best way to hurt the necromancer boss in the Shell Two graveyard is to heal him, and each of two fire-based minibosses are vulnerable to water attacks. The Cards that give the player these abilities are the first two found in the game.
  • Leaked Experience: The entire party shares one experience bar (including as-yet unrecruited party members), though everyone levels at different rates.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: At the end of the game, the team splits up into three groups. It's the only part of the game when you can have a team without Maya, but all the characters that hate each other are in the same group.
  • Level Grinding: The Smelting complex + Led + Grubb = massive level gain.
  • Living Ship: All of the Chosen's ships are gigantic modified Helgak.
  • Magikarp Power: Grubb and Led are rather mediocre at first, but get exponentially better when you start getting better Fate Cards.
  • Mission from God: Inverted with Doskias, who believes he has one.
  • Mutants: The inhabitants of Shell Seven were mutated by the emissions of the Core, and are now a separate species known as Underlost. They basically look like Xenomorphs with hard exoskeletons. Despite their fearsome appearance, they aren't crazy or evil.
  • Organic Technology: Most technology in Septerra is at least in some way organic and draws power from the energy generated by the Core in the same way that apparently, all living creatures on that world can. Maya's gun, for example, grows its own bullets. Various devices are often at least partially grown... and as for the Chosen, their technology appears almost purely organic...
  • Power of Love: Played straight with Grubb and Led. In his version of their Combination Attack, Led's blown kiss allows him to summon lightning. Her variant involves him down on one knee in front of her... Let's just say what she's doing is pure essence of awesome.
  • Powers That Be: The Creator.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Led and Grubb. When you enter a certain building with both of them in your party, Maya goes away for a while. Led is then attacked by some thugs while their compatriots steal some really cool equipment and Grubb can decide whether to fight the thugs looting the stuff (and get some powerful generators) or those attacking her (and get her undying love and accompanying Power of Love mentioned above).
    • To a lesser degree, Led and Lobo and Selina and Corgan: they won't fall in love if you complete their missions (Selina helping to lay the souls of Corgan's hometown to rest and Lobo finding the antidote for a Jinam engineered plague), but they will no longer attack each other, which is rather helpful in the endgame.
  • Reverse Grip: Badu with his two giant knives.
  • Scavenger World: The Junkers of Shell Two.
  • Science Is Wrong: In the library on Shell Three, you can read a book which disparagingly shoots down the notion that humans evolved rather than being created. Considering all the stuff you run into in this game, said book is probably right.
  • Secret Government Warehouse: The Abandoned Tower on Shell Three contains the best equipment in whole game. Like somebody knew that some guys in the future would need it....
  • Starfish Language:
    • The language of Badu's race can be translated only by their leader and Watchers. Watchers are also the only beings that understand Runner. Too bad they're not interested in translating.

Runner: YAP YAP YAP!
Watcher Alpha: YAP YAP!
Maya: "What did he say?"
Watcher Alpha: YAP YAP YAP!

    • Or maybe Runner's yapping doesn't mean anything, and this god-like being was just playing with the dog?
  • Stripperiffic: Kyra is depicted as wearing tattoos and nothing else. The prostitutes and tattooed slave girls (and, by extension, Maya when she disguises herself as one) wear pretty skimpy attire as well.
  • Summon Magic: Done with cards. The Summon card by itself calls the ghost of a minor character who died in Act 2, but adding other cards allows you to summon all the greater and lesser gods. They tend towards the Dynamic Entry.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: Unlike the other characters (barring Grubb, to an extent), Maya's attack skills aren't obtained by leveling, but by buying weapon upgrades... eventually turning her gun into a combination assault rifle, grenade/shrapnel/missile launcher, flamethrower, laser and energy blaster.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Violence is forbidden in the inner sanctum of Marduk's temple. Connor doesn't listen and is subsequently destroyed by a spirit.
  • Video Game Cheats: Several of them, but the master code is "IMAREALWEENIE".[1]
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Duke. You fight him twice on Shell Three, and you fight him once on Shell Four. You would think he is dead, but he is not. A couple goons on Shell Four will tell you that Duke went to Outlaw Canyon on Shell Two. However, if you go there, you will not find a trace of Duke anywhere.
  • World Shapes: Possibly the weirdest one yet.
  • Wrench Wench: Led Campbell is an excellent embodiment of this trope. She's a genius mechanic, her weapon is literally an enormous wrench, and she's so hot that total strangers will give her money or items.
  • Wretched Hive: The World Bazaar on Shell Four, and Scumm Town on Shell Six.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Using the "Law" and "Chaos" Fate Cards together casts an extremely powerful offensive spell. Throw in the "Mirror" card too, and it's even more powerful.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Maya, as well as a whole bunch of the NPCs.
  • You Killed My Father: Leader of the Shell Six pirates killed a man who gave Lobo free will, and was like a father to him. Lobo wasn't happy about it.
  1. You enter them by hitting f12. Cheats include Enemy Scan (ENEMIES), allowing stealth by showing the mobs' sight lines (SIGHT), turning off the enemies' attacks (MAKETHEMSTOPMOMMIE), and an Instant Win Condition (ctrl+f3). There's also a get-all-items cheat, but never ever use it; it completely dynamites the plot.