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I’ve always wanted to embark on a quest. It just sounds so epic and poetic.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past is the anticipated role-play game for Nintendo 3DS that puts kids in the front seat of a truth-seeking adventure. In it, players ages 10 and up get to explore the past in an effort to save the present.

The game begins on the tiny island of Estard, which—according to legend—is the only piece of land to be found in the endless ocean. But where’s the fun in that?

When players start up the game, they’ll be asked to create a new adventure log. This acts as a player’s profile, and saves data separately so siblings and friends can create their own adventures within the same game.

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Prince Kiefer, Auster, and Maribel

The main character in Dragon Quest VII is a young lad by the name of Auster. He is the character kids will control as they play, explore, and uncover the truth, and he looks a bit like Link from Legend of Zelda. Auster is the son of Pilchard Bay’s most famous fisherman, and best friend’s with Prince Kiefer, who is heir to the throne of Estard. From the jump, it’s clear that Auster and Kiefer are a duo determined to find out what else lies beyond what their eyes can see.

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My experience playing Dragon Quest VII was one full of great freedom and exploration. The game progresses like a narrative, intertwining dialogue and storytelling as players meet new characters, discover distant places, and acquire different items. For the most part, I was free to roam the island of Estard and get to know my surroundings. Of course, players will eventually have to go where they are asked in order to move forward in the game, but there’s really no rush. At night for example, I attempted to travel beyond the walls of the city, only to be told that it’s not wise to do that after dark.

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One of the coolest parts about this classic Dragon Quest adventure is the ability for players to choose different vocations. As they progress through the story, kids will come across Alltrades Abbey, which is where they can experiment with different callings or careers. There are over 30 vocations that kids can take on in order to improve their abilities and learn new spells. They can train as a warrior, a priest, a thief, a shepherd, a jester, a pirate, or a paladin to name a few. Different vocations add new strengths, and there are even master vocations for the most experienced players.

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As players continue their quest, they’ll help Auster, Kiefer, and new friends discover far-off lands and collect scattered tablet fragments that activate passage to ones even more distant. And by using special spells and abilities, they’ll battle monstrous enemies that threaten their adventure. With the new Street Pass feature, kids can send and receive traveler’s tablets to explore new areas that contain rare monsters and equipment.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past, set to launch on Sept. 16, is a rousing adventure through a middle-earth-like world that will have kids eager to unlock the truth.