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7th Dragon III Code: VFD: The Dragons Are Back!

Company: Sega

The People:

I like being able to create my own characters in games. It makes the game feel more personal. In 7th Dragon III: Code VFD, you donít create your own characters, but there are enough options that it still feels somewhat custom. There are eight characters, both male and female, that you can choose from and eight that are grayed out for you to unlock later. There are two totally different "styles" for each of the eight characters, and then three different color schemes so it feels like more than eight characters at the beginning. After you choose a look, you will pick a class. You can choose from four different classes with very different talents. You will get more classes later in the game. Finally, you choose a voice and give your character a name. I found it interesting that you can not only sample the voice, but show the list of the voice actor for each voice. This means that if you have a favorite actor, you can go find them easily. The game is all in Japanese with on-screen text.

No matter what character you choose to play as, the storyline is still the same. They do a really good job of making sure it doesnít matter what type or gender you choose and it will not affect the gameplay or the outcome. I was quite impressed with the careful crafting of the story and the character interactions

Nagamimi is the little rabbit creature who ran the game 7th Encount. Heís going to be your interface to Nodens through your quests. Youíll find heís not quite as nice in the real world as he was when he was running a videogame. Heís a rude, foul-mouthed creature. Juiletta is the director of the development sector at Nodens. Jurota Tomari is his real name. Allie Nodens is the president of the company, while Chika runs the quest counter. She also does construction requests. Rika is also at the desk on the 3rd floor and she is your shop keeper. I highly recommend upgrading weapons and armor to make your battling easier! There are more people that you will interact with, like the ISDF guys, but Iím going to leave those as a surprise for you.

The Problem:

In 2020 and 2021, the Earth had a huge dragon problem. The true dragons showed up and spread a poisonous flower, dragonís bane. Their goal was to cover the whole Earth in dragonís bane so that it was a suitable habitat for them. Luckily a group of people, Unit 13, fended them off and saved the Earth from the brink of destruction (that was all the previous 7th Dragon games). Since then, Nodens has been collecting data on dragons. They need a sample from each of the previous 6 true dragons to complete their Dragon Chronicle. This will allow them to defeat the 7th true dragon, VFD. They know that VFD is coming because of the rise of disasters and the increased number of dragon sickness cases. Dragon sickness is bad as it is fatal and there is no known cure. Plus, even if it could be cured, there wonít be an Earth to live on if the dragons conquer it totally.

The ISDF are also working on trying to save the Earth. They are the Earthís defense force, so really they should be the ones saving everything. You will end up working with them, since they already have a dragon sample. Combine that with the one that Nodens has and youíve only got 4 more to collect.

The Solution:

The game starts in the year 2100 AD. Mio Nagumo asks you to join her on a game, the "encounter," 7th Encount as it is called. Itís a virtual reality game. It is recommended to have three party members and a navigator. Nio wants to be your navigator, so you will need to register two more party members and youíll create them just as you created your character. Once you have them, you can start the game. It is set in 2021 AD, 80 years prior. This game is just a test for your characters and a bit of a tutorial for you. Once you beat the game, you will find out that the game is really just a testing grounds to find the rare people who can defeat dragons.

Unfortunately, you arenít going to get much time to practice. Just as Nodens is done explaining all of this to you and you accept the challenge, a swarm of dragons appears. Perfect timing, right? Once you get through this dragon invasion you have completed the intro and will get to the opening credits. It really doesnít take that long. It took me about an hour and a half to get to the rest of the game.

You might have noticed that they said you will need to obtain samples from dragons that are nowhere on Earth anymore. To do this, youíll have to use a spatio-transporter device to go to the past and future. This will allow you to go to the time and place where a true dragon is invading so you can get a sample from it. The first place you go is the Capital City Atlantica. As you might have guessed, it is the capital of Atlantis. You are now 12,000 years in the past. Atlantis was not inhabited by humans (the humans of that time were barely using tools). Instead, you'll find a race called the Lucier, who look a bit like elves. Considering their whole civilization is about to be destroyed to stop the dragon, you canít let them all die. This will start a chain of rescuing people from doomed civilizations and sending them to the present where they can live.

The Result?:

Since I havenít beaten the game yet, I canít tell you the final result. I can tell you that at 15 hours in, I am still in Atlantis. Of course, I like to take side quests, so Iíve finished all the quests available so far. Also, I have saved quite a few people. Your character canít stand the idea of all the Atlantians dying with Atlantis, so you start saving people, to mixed emotions from Nodens. Technically, you arenít messing with the past since those people will be dying anyway, but youíre adding more people to the present. People who arenít even human might cause issues with the people in the present, but humans will just have to deal with it. Anyone who can help in any way to stop the dragons are good.

So far, I am addicted to 7th Dragon III: Code VFD. I find that it has the perfect balance between story and battling. I love the turn-based battle system. I am still learning how to use each of the different classes and which ones work best with each other. I have found that I use magic and skills much more in this game than in most RPGs I play. I rarely use a normal attack. That has a lot to do with the classes that I have in my first team. You might find that you prefer to play completely differently, which would still work fine! This is a very versatile game that I could spend many more hours exploring. Stay tuned for my full review to find out about those hours!

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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