• Welcome to Talking Time's third iteration! If you would like to register for an account, or have already registered but have not yet been confirmed, please read the following:

    1. The CAPTCHA key's answer is "Percy"
    2. Once you've completed the registration process please email us from the email you used for registration at percyreghelper@gmail.com and include the username you used for registration

    Once you have completed these steps, Moderation Staff will be able to get your account approved.

  • TT staff acknowledge that there is a backlog of new accounts that await confirmation.

    Unfortunately, we are putting new registrations on hold for a short time.

    We do not expect this delay to extend beyond the first of November 2020, and we ask you for your patience in this matter.

    ~TT Moderation Staff

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I've been playing through Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya on my modded Game Gear lately and been having a blast, and this series doesn't get talked about enough imo especially considering there's quite a few Fire Emblem fans around here, and the Shining series is sort of Fire Emblem-lite. I've always loved it - Shining Force II was my first RPG, and a random mage character from that is where I get my handle (Kazin wasn't even my favorite character in that game, I just always liked his name lol).

Anyway, anything pre-2000 is excellent as far as this series goes (with the possible exception of Wisdom, I was never able to get into that one, but it's not terrible or anything). I have not beaten Shining in the Darkness, Shining the Holy Ark, or the three scenarios of Shining Force III, but they're all good. I'll be playing Final Conflict for the first time after I beat Hajya this time, I'm really looking forward to that as it apparently ties heavily into Shining Force II, my favorite in the series (I've played the first battle of it, it takes place just outside Hassan where you get the Caravan in SFII!).

Regarding Hajya - it is a bite sized version of the Genesis games because there's no exploration between battles, it's just battles, which bugged me a bit as a kid but now I really enjoy it, as you can't get lost or confused and since it's portable and the battles themselves aren't too long (until later in the game), I usually play a few battles per day/sitting and have a blast doing it. Wow, though, are the master mages with Blaze 3 jerks, because pre-promoted, that thing one shots anybody it hits lol. I got the whole Force to level 12 before promoting them and am just about to the point where the party splits (am at the battle before you get the boat right now), which is higher than I usually was able to raise the characters when I was a kid (I also used the stat boosting items after promotion, which I didn't realize you had to do as a kid so as not to waste them). Got lucky with them, too, as all but one boosted the stats by 4 (and the last one was a 3). I wish Quick lasted longer, considering how much MP it takes to cast.

Anyway, talk about the Shining series here! Should I play the Soul games? I've never really given them a fair shot. Is the GBA version of the first game better than the Genesis one? I can never remember! Will someone ever make it so we can play the first Gaiden game on Game Gear rather than rely on the Sega CD version? Probably not, sadly!
 

ASandoval

Old Man Gamer
(he/him)
I played Hajya on 3DS. Never finished it but was amazed at how forward thinking it was in that it was battles and you didn't have to worry so much about underleveling your characters, just a lot of niceties usually reserved for modern tactics games.

I love this series, personally. The GBA Shining Force is more or less a graphical upgrade from the Genesis one as I recall so I'd say go with that one.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I played Hajya on 3DS. Never finished it but was amazed at how forward thinking it was in that it was battles and you didn't have to worry so much about underleveling your characters, just a lot of niceties usually reserved for modern tactics games.

It's really generous! Just cast Egress and grind up a character if you need to, no worries!

I love this series, personally.

I know you do, heh. I bought your copy of Shining Force III years ago (though I've since sold it on since I have no way to play my Saturn anymore).

The GBA Shining Force is more or less a graphical upgrade from the Genesis one as I recall so I'd say go with that one.

I'll need to replay it soon. I've only ever beaten the original Genesis and GBA remake once each.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
There's a few mechanical tweaks in Shining Force I GBA, but the big ticket things are the cards + associated bonus character, a retouched translation, and being able to explicitly see character growth rates in the status menus (alongside the normally hidden magic def stat).
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
The only one of these I've ever played was Shining Force Neo on the PS2, which was kind of bad! I ended up finishing it anyway. I'm given to understand it is not representative of the series, though.

My clearest memory of the game is of being surrounded by 10,000 identical enemies who stunlock you on every hit, and your character barking the same voice line every time he gets stunlocked. "IT CAN'T BE! IT CAN'T BE! IT CAN'T BE! IT CAN'T IT CAN'T IT CAN IT IT IT IT IT CAN'T BE!" Good times!
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh no Vaeran, don't play the PS2 games! The Genesis, Game Gear, and Saturn games (Wisdom aside imo) are excellent! As is the GBA SF1 remake. Give them a try! I tried to play those PS2 games and just lost interest nearly immediately.

Actually, has anyone played Shining Resonance Refrain? It goes on sale on the eShop occasionally but the Shining series has been so bad for 20 years now that I'm afraid to try it lol
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Shining Force is my single favourite Sega game. I love the huge variety in maps, the characters and the music. The story is really well told, too.

I need to get Shining Force III, it looks incredible
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I need to get Saturn emulation up and running on my nice PC to play III, finally. Maybe if I'm not sick of Shining after I beat Final Conflict, I'll do so...
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Shining Force II has one of the best game soundtracks ever. Shining in the Darkness and Shining the Holy Ark are beautiful, brilliant dungeon crawlers. If it's a Shining game and you see Tony Taka's art on it or him in the credits, probably don't touch it.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Shining Force II has one of the best game soundtracks ever.

100% agree - in fact I will use your post as an excuse to post a few of my favorite tracks:




I'm glad my instinct to avoid latter day Shining games has stuck, then, too, because Tony Taka apparently did the art for Resonance Refrain.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh, the music of the original game is great, too, yeah. Here's some Hajya:

 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
The Shining series is one I've never really been able to get into, but I really love the aesthetics of the old Genesis era games. I am so disappointed that later games would go for a much more generic horny fantasy anime look 'cuz the early games had some frickin' style with that European-ish comic aesthetic.

I mean, it's still anime, but the old games had a look more akin to French productions inspired by old anime than the samey stuff we see today.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Shining Force was the first time I remember even seeing the anime aesthetic. Not that I went on to watch anime (besides Pokemon in the late 90s), but I played Shining Force before freaking Final Fantasy and Pokemon, even lol
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I loved the GBA manual because it had the artwork with the characters. The look of Mega Drive-era Shining Force was really distinct and appealing.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Not that I played the series until years later*, but I feel the same way about Phantasy Star. The art is really cool in those games, too.

*how my mom settled on Shining Force II as a gift for me and not Phantasy Star, I will never understand, but how can I complain? Either would have been fine lol
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
I always thought of Shining as one of the RPG institutions most committed to featuring anthropomorphic characters in prominent, playable roles, though maybe that only applies to a few of them. In that time, it was relatively a more common thing--Breath of Fire, Suikoden, and SaGa all contributed in their own manner to it--but over time animal people being present at all diminished in the genre, until the only roles allotted to the concept were comic relief mascots or the tiniest allowances in ears here or a tail there to sell a fetish angle on otherwise humanoid designs. It still sets the games apart now by way of positive contrast.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Yeah, I wish I still thought while playing modern RPGs "oh, not another centuar" like I did with the Shining games lol. I always loved raising Kiwi up into a big fire breathing turtle in Shining Force II even if it was difficult for me to do as a kid! And Yogurt in SF1, too.
 

Paul le Fou

ShrimpCerealTopangaHusbandIsAMeTooMilkshakeDuck
(He)
Shining Force was my first RPG, it's what really got me into RPGs and the whole anime aesthetic and storytelling, so it was really a hugely formative experience for me. I think I remember not liking SF2 as much when I played it on Genesis, but I never got very far so I went back and emulated it in college and realized then that it was excellent. I think those are the only two Shining games I've played, and I'm not sure I have much interest in the dungeon crawler or non-Force games, but I always regretted not being able to get or play Shining Force III. I haven't kept up with any remakes or remasters either so I don't know what. But damn, Shining Force. Man.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
The Soul games on GBA are mediocre Shiren clones and sorta serve as an oddball prequel-ish setup for Force I from what I remember. SF III are the last of the strategy games, pretty much everything that followed on consoles have been action RPGs of one stripe or another. Sega seems to have settled on the 'Shining' brand for their single player RPGs and "Phantasy Star" for their MMOs in the last decade plus.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I always thought of Shining as one of the RPG institutions most committed to featuring anthropomorphic characters in prominent, playable roles, though maybe that only applies to a few of them. In that time, it was relatively a more common thing--Breath of Fire, Suikoden, and SaGa all contributed in their own manner to it--but over time animal people being present at all diminished in the genre, until the only roles allotted to the concept were comic relief mascots or the tiniest allowances in ears here or a tail there to sell a fetish angle on otherwise humanoid designs. It still sets the games apart now by way of positive contrast.
Oh yes. This is one of the big reasons why I liked Chrono Cross* and was briefly interested in Terra Battle. The casts of jRPGs are way too homogeneous nowadays and that's one of the reasons why I'm less interested in the genre than I used to be.

I don't want just some elf or a mostly human-like person who has a couple of cat parts or a few scaly bits, I want talking dogs and plant monsters and lobster people!

* Even when the game did have the ears here/tail there thing with cast members they generally had some distinctly inhuman features. I mean, Janice has a lot of your traits of your usual bunny girl, but her animal features were a lot more animal-like and a little unsettling compared to the general portrayal of bunny girls in media.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
The Soul games on GBA are mediocre Shiren clones and sorta serve as an oddball prequel-ish setup for Force I from what I remember. SF III are the last of the strategy games, pretty much everything that followed on consoles have been action RPGs of one stripe or another. Sega seems to have settled on the 'Shining' brand for their single player RPGs and "Phantasy Star" for their MMOs in the last decade plus.
Shiren clones? They're action RPGs...
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
I guess Shiren clone isn't the right comparison, but from what I remember they were more deliberate with big ol empty floors with occasional bits of random gear, buffs, and monsters strewn around.
 

Paul le Fou

ShrimpCerealTopangaHusbandIsAMeTooMilkshakeDuck
(He)
What all Shining Force/Shining strategy games are out there? What's the best way to play them anymore?
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
What all Shining Force/Shining strategy games are out there? What's the best way to play them anymore?
You can play Shining Force I and II on Switch/PS4/Xbox Series whatever via the Sega Genesis collections available on those systems, and can of course buy it on PC/emulate them. Sword of Hajya is available on 3DS Virtual Console. Other than that, I believe you have to play on original systems or emulate, unless I'm forgetting something...
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Shining Force is also included in the Mega Drive/Genesis Mini. II is as well, but only in the China/Korea region release of the system.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
The only one of these I've ever played was Shining Force Neo on the PS2, which was kind of bad! I ended up finishing it anyway. I'm given to understand it is not representative of the series, though.

My clearest memory of the game is of being surrounded by 10,000 identical enemies who stunlock you on every hit, and your character barking the same voice line every time he gets stunlocked. "IT CAN'T BE! IT CAN'T BE! IT CAN'T BE! IT CAN'T IT CAN'T IT CAN IT IT IT IT IT CAN'T BE!" Good times!
Oh, the vocal quotes were really something. It's even worse if you keep the fire mage chick in there. "HOT STUFF COMING YOUR WAY! HOT STUFF COMING YOUR WAY! HOT STUFF COMING YOUR WAY!" Oy vey.

That being said, I don't think Neo and EXA are bad, so much as miscast in the Shining series. They're really derivatives of Record of Lodoss War on Dreamcast, a very good Diablo-like by Neverland, the same developer. (You might also know them from a little game called Lufia II.)
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
There are also three Game Gear games of which only one was translated. I believe there are fan translations for the other two. They are definitely worth playing.
 
Top