This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Japanese. (November 2011) Click [show] for important translation instructions.
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Players begin by playing as Cupit, who has been asked by God to protect a particular family from dangers. Players spend their time in the game meddling in the lives of members of the family. The family members move about on their own, but players can shoot them with emotion arrows which change their actions, examples being "Work Hard Arrow" and "Calm Down Arrow." The goal of the game is to keep the family going over multiple generations, perhaps spanning a thousand years (hence the name).
The game action is viewed from the side, with players looking into the family's home as big headed characters move about. To meddle in the path of a character, players merely select an emotion arrow from a menu and aim at the character. To help in the family management, players have quick access to stats about each member of the family along with a family tree. The game helps out by keeping an up-to-date listing all off happenings within the family.
Sennen Kazoku makes use of a battery-backed real-time clock present in the cartridge. Even when the Game Boy Advance is off, the family will keep evolving. Players have to be sure to turn on their Game Boy Advance every now and then, lest they miss key events.