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Sennen Kazoku

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Sennen Kazoku
Sennen Kazoku.jpg
Developer(s): indieszero
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Category: Life simulation
Players: Single player
Release dates
Japan: March 10, 2005
©2005 Nintendo

Sennen Kazoku is a life simulation game for Game Boy Advance.


The game originated as one of two 2003 prototypes by indieszero, originally with realistic and detailed depictions of characters without the birds-eye view. Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto were impressed by the prototype, wanting indieszero to use it for a full game, after which various elements of the gameplay were reworked or introduced for the final product.

The player assumes the role of Cupid, who under the supervision of God must overlook a family and intervene (e.g. with arrows that change the mood of family members) if necessary.

As time progresses, characters in the game will grow up, become employed/retire, may marry and start new generations of families before dying. During a generation, there will be lots of high and low times including serious issues, such as crushes, bereavement, fall-outs and cheating (Nintendo gave the go-ahead to include darker issues, however the developers were also cautious not to include anything too dark or controversial. The darker themes are also a reason why indieszero stuck with cartoon depictions to lighten the atmosphere and there is comic relief). The ultimate goal of the game is to have a tree of families that runs for 1000 years.[1]

This game makes heavy use of an internal clock battery. Events will progress in the game even while it is powered off. Once the battery has run dry, it is impossible to play the game nor even access the title screen, due to a boot error message (an issue that may affect current day Sennen Kazoku cartridges). The Japanese Wii U Virtual Console release of the game does not have this issue.


  • The idea of events progressing while the game isn't being played is a carry-over from a past game by Masanobu Suzui. It was specified in the Nintendo Online Magazine as a PC game which progresses behind the scenes, and might be the earlier 1998 indieszero Microsoft Windows game and desktop pet software Denshi no Seirei Chibitto (電子の精霊ちびっと).
  • The Cupid character was not only inspired by the Roman deity Cupid. In fact, director Masanobu Suzui was also inspired by Pit (also with an appearance based on the Cupid/Eros archetypes) from the Kid Icarus series with respects to Toru Osawa being both the creator of Pit and one of the producers for Sennen Kazoku (with Satoshi Yamato). Pit himself was also used as a prototype for Cupid at an earlier point, until Cupid's design was completed. Cupid also served a practical purpose as the direction of the game changed to incorporate interactions in families/relationships using a third-person (birds-eye) view; and it was decided that the suitable protagonists would be like gods including God followed by his subordinates.[2]