North American cover
|Vision Software, Epic Games|
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7th Legion is a real-time strategy video game for Microsoft Windows, developed by Vision Software and Epic Games and published by Microprose in 1997. The game consists of two single-player campaigns and supports multi-player online games.
In-Game Background[edit | edit source]
The conflict in 7th Legion takes place in the future, stemming from rampant overpopulation and reckless consumption and pollution of Earth's precious natural resources, the many industrial phases of Humanity ravaging the planet's ecosystem to a critical point. As scientists broadcast dire warnings of impending doom, the governments of Earth enact the PEP - "Planetary Evacuation Program" - to safely get everyone off-world in vast colony ships, leaving the planet to heal.
Unfortunately, there was never going to be enough room for the entire population, and, even though a lottery was devised to see who would be fortunate enough to escape the mass famine and chaos that were to follow the exodus, slaughtering thousands, it quickly became apparent that only the most worthy specimens of the human race - the smart, powerful and rich - were chosen and allowed to get a berth on one of the ships, preparing their jump into Hyperspace.
In the centuries following the evacuation, much of Earth's population perished, with the survivors, the scattered tribes of those left behind, forming themselves into 7 "Legions", all vying for control of what was left - and for a post-exodus civilization, their technology seems advanced enough to warrant walker mechs and "Priests" - cybernetic soldiers given "divine" power. Events of centuries ago and the PEP cloud into myth and legend - the most well-known one tells of the "Returning", a time of war, when the "Chosen" come back to claim the Earth, in three signs signalling their return: the Night without Darkness, the Day without Light and the Rain of Fire.
As the game begins, the 7th Generation of the Chosen - those descended from the evacuees - have indeed returned and are ready to make war on the descendants of those left behind who have united to face this most terrible foe and keep the Earth they have righteously inherited, all under the banner of the most powerful of all Legions: the 7th Legion (hence the game's title).
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
The game keeps true to most other videogames of its genre, that is, putting the player in control of a number of soldiers. During the game the players would assume the role of a commander of either the Chosen or those that were left behind with the overall objective being to annihilate the other. To do so, the player would amass funds to construct various buildings and produce tanks and various war-machines whilst also recruiting foot-soldiers, all of which to combat the enemy.
Each player could also collect special "power-ups" that would be found in boxes that randomly dotted the landscape. These would provide bonuses to the force who collected the box. These bonuses might include making the player's forces invisible to the enemy or more powerful and thus harder to defeat.
What made 7th Legion truly unique, however, was that the player (and his opponent) could take advantage of special "power cards." These cards, each being different from each other, had effects on the game in some way. Some cards would destroy the opponents soldiers, or at least badly damage them, whilst others would cause mechanical troops to behave in a way that wasn't intended, often leading the opponents' machines in the wrong direction or not doing what was required of them.