• 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)
Yeah, those last few party members get almost no dialogue haha. You still have Lemon, though, there at the end.

But yes. Final Fantasy VI, it is not.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
Very bold battle design in the second stage of Shining Force - they bottle you up in the mountains with a single file path towards the nearest enemies, most of whom pull back as you approach. Took me many many turns to get out of the mountains, often having units unable to move because all of the spaces ahead of them that they could reach were already occupied. Kind of frustrating, but in a way it built tension for when I did reach the enemy. The AI is kind of interesting. I’m used to putting a strong unit just in range of an enemy and having them charge in alone, but here I’ll have someone well inside enemy range and they won’t bite.

I keep accidentally passing magic users’ turns because I expect them to default to magic on the menu instead of wait. Looking forward to getting used to that and not doing it any more. Could be the reason that Tao is still level one.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yeah, the early battles in Shining Force are tutorials for how various things work - it's a tutorial on terrain and how it handicaps characters differently. The maps require different approaches and you have the approach them differently. It's part of why I love the game so much. It's never samey.
 
Every battle in the original Shining Force tries to present at least one new challenge or one new twist, paired with a new style of map layout/enemy formation that you also haven't encountered before.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
Sometimes it is accompanied with new allied units well-suited to the territory as well, though relatively few of the later units join as a matter of mere story progression (and several of those otherwise hidden force units require you to egress or lose to encounter, similar to Gong)
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I just got through the circus battle. Both in the sense that I did it recently and also that I barely made it. Most of the fight was easy, but when I started moving in on the boss it started using freeze 3, which killed every character it hit and has a five square area of effect. The first shot took out my three strongest attackers besides the MC. I rushed it with all my remaining units and finished the battle with a blow from one of the healers (who are actually some of the stronger attackers at the moment because power staffs recently became available and most other unit types are still using bottom-tier weapons). I had four units left alive out of eleven. Bit of a difficulty spike, but I made it.

I’m swimming in stat-raising items. Well, I don’t have that many but because I only have four item slots per unit including their equipment I feel like I’m running out of space to carry stuff. I should just use them, I guess. I know that if you use them on unpromoted units then the benefit is lost when they do promote, but this isn’t that hard a game. Maybe I should just be giving my guys some boosts to help them along the road to promotion, even if it’s not how the min/maxers do it? I looked up online to check if I was right about losing the boost on promotion and someone’s talking about saving them until units are promoted and level 20, which is just too far. Does a character at that point really need a stat boost? Possibly I’ve misunderstood and they meant a character who was promoted at level 20 for maximum post promotion stats. Still excessive.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I don't think, playing on Normal, waiting to promote until your units are level 20 is necessary. I'd promote them at level 10 (or 11 or 12 if you like, any levels beyond that are excessive imo unless you're playing on a difficulty higher than Normal) and then use the stat boosting items.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
I believe the only stat boost that is not good to use on an unpromoted character is the movement boost. Otherwise, use away. Balbaroy got most of those boosts in my playthrough and effectively became the angel of death. I tend to promote late mostly just because I want to know what the expectation at level 20 for stats is. Most characters don't get much of an advantage of it (almost everyone gets massive stat boosts on promotion). Arthur is the one character who I think is most likely to get huge stat gains above level 15. Mages and healers can go either way, IMO; earlier promotion grants them access to the stronger spells sooner, but later promotion helps compensate for lower general base stats, and neither class gets most of their experience through weapon attacks
 
Last edited:

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
Yeah, also late promotion of healers is a bit better of an idea in SF2 and SFCD where you can get experience every turn from heal or aura whether or not your spell targets actually need their HP boosted.
 
@Yimothy I found this post: https://forums.shiningforcecentral.com/viewtopic.php?t=17432#p492361
I only ever use pimentos after promotion. The promotion code resets your MOV, so it's a waste to use it before.

As for the other stat items, earlier is better.

At one time it was believed that using them early caused the item's bonus to evaporate over time as one leveled. Obob and I did extensive tests to disprove this, so now, the best time to use it is as soon as possible. As your stats get higher and higher, +4 means less and less, effectually.

The only caveat is that I'm not clear if the poster is talking about Shining Force 2 or both SF1+2. For instance, SF1 calls them turbo peppers and not pimentos, and stat ups are only +1 or +2, not +4. The level-up algorithms are different in the two games as well. SF1 has the "swingy" level-ups and it's precisely this different algorithm which might be causing stat items to decay too...

I'm not sure if I've ever played being mindful of stat items evaporating with level-ups, I'm only mindful to use them after promoting.
 
Ok, it occurs to me that the issue with stat potions (e.g., whether the boost from power potions would decay as you gain more level ups) can be tested somewhat efficiently.

As a reminder, level ups in Shining Force follow a statistical trendline (unique to each character) with a small amount of random noise. The maximum deviation is plus or minus Max(N/4, 5) for each level, where N=the "trendline" value of that stat at a particular level-up. If this level up formula (i.e., the sum of the trendline line lookup plus the random deviation) produces a stat that is smaller than the current stat, there is no change, which is why your stats will gradually return to trendline. e.g., if by good luck your character is currently far above the trendline, then even with the most favorable random variation the formula wants to produce a smaller stat, and so you will never gain any points in that stat for that level-up.

The key question we want to test is whether stat potions are temporarily removed from consideration during this algorithm (which would be "good" and means stat potions don't give you crappier level-ups) or if stat potions are taken into account during this algorithm (which would be somewhat "bad" and means stat potions are useful for catching up lagging characters or giving characters temporary boosts).

So what you can do is find a character whose attack is near their trendline value*. Use 2-3 power potions on them to give them, say, 4 or more attack before the next battle. Enough so that without the potions they might gain several points of attack but with the potions they can't gain any. Create a save during battle where the character is about to level-up. Reload the save and test a bunch of level-ups to see if you observe a range of level-ups in that stat or if they are always zero.

*Any character that you haven't level-ed up yet automatically makes an ideal test candidate.
 
Last edited:

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
Shade Alley is quite a good stage. The little bit of horror is surprisingly well done - the townspeople who start following you after you talk to them are quite creepy. The stage itself took me two attempts. First I just rushed in and a whole lot of my guys got killed by the tough enemies. The second time I put my toughest units into the three square wide passage between pews, blocking the progress of the enemies and allowing me to whittle them down with weaker ranged units for the EXP.

Now I have more than 12 units, so I guess it’s time to figure out who to drop. It’s looking bad for Gong, I think.

I still haven’t used any stat items. Some of my weaker units could really use some more defence. Might be worth it even if they do lose the boost on promotion. I’ll probably continue to hoard, though.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Shade Abbey is fantastic. It's a great ambush, and you have very little time to protect your weaker characters, who are especially important as Blaze does huge damage to zombies. Shining Force's difficulty spikes are deliberately placed and fair.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
It's also the first time you run into Darksol directly, rather than some of his minions.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’m still working my way through this, though slowly. Distracted by King’s Field. I’m doing one stage every day or two. I’m in chapter four at the moment, heading for Balbazak.

One good thing in chapter four is you pick up several characters who appeared earlier in the game but were not yet recruitable. This has allowed me to implement my Three W party composition plan: women, weirdos, and werewolves. The first is self explanatory, the second means whatever I want it to (currently covering the flying squid, flying man, and the guy in the steam suit), and the third is Zylo. The only characters in my active party who aren’t in those categories are the MC and Lowe, who I’m hanging on to until I get someone else who fits because I like to have healing available. I think I may have missed Jogurt, unfortunately.

I’m pretty sure this is a suboptimal approach to party building (Amon seems to have consistently worse stats than her male counterpart, for example), but this isn’t a game that requires minmaxing. That said, I still haven’t promoted anyone, despite having a few people at level 13 now. I don’t think it’s necessary to really push pre-promotion levels, but on the other hand there’s nothing really pushing me to promote yet.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I do, yeah. I’m fielding two healers. Should have said I like to have a lot of healing available.
 
Reminds me of doing "all unique classes" playthroughs. The cast of Shining Force practically begs for runs like these.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I was mainly looking for an easy way to decide who to take and who to leave behind. I’m not sure how many recruits I have left or if they’ll fit in my selection scheme. I was finding people like Gort, Luke, and Chester were getting all the EXP because their high defence/hp meant I could put them up front and expect them to survive. I didn’t want to just use the same old party as my previous runs.

If I really wanted to mix it up I’d bench Zylo, but I draw the line at that. Zylo is essential.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I reached the ship battle. I was curious where egress would take me since there’s no town before it, so I gave it a go and lo and behold, you go below decks. There’s just a priest and a headquarters, but while this HQ has the same layout as all the others it’s got wooden walls and floors instead of stone, because we’re on a ship. There’s also a little picture of a ship hung on the wall behind the advisor guy whose name escapes me. It’s adorable. All the units have new dialogue too, though it’s mostly just about being seasick or how relaxing the movement of the ship is or whatever. Nice touch, Shining Force.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
If you are going to promote at max levels (not that I would recommend this for most units) this is definitely a good opportunity to grind up a bunch
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
one of us
one of us
ONE OF US
ONE OF US
ONE OF US
ONE OF US
ONE OF US
ONE OF US
ONE OF US

ONE OF US
ONE OF US
ONE OF US
ONE OF US

ONE OF US
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’m still plodding along with Shining Force. Just finished chapter six. After quite a while of not much difficulty I actually took four attempts at the last battle on chapter six. The first I went in to not planning to finish it - I had a couple of units close to levels up so I got those and egressed out to promote. Second time I took out all the enemies except the boss, but she managed to wipe the floor with my force (I was not ready for bolt 2) and I had to egress. Third time I had her on the ropes, more or less, but I sent in the MC to try to finish her off: he missed and she one-shotted him. Fourth time did the job - she didn’t even use spells and missed her physical attack. Along the way I got a lot of levels and promoted all my guys.

Post promotion level ups are pretty good, aren’t they? Pre promotion I was getting a point or two in a stat or two, now it’ll be like three stats getting four or five points each sometimes. Maybe I should have done it ages ago. Most of my team were about level fifteen at promotion, but the attack mages were higher because it’s easy to get them experience and the healer much lower because healing gives so little experience. I wound up deliberately keeping enemies alive with minimal HP so she could finish them off. I should really stop worrying about experience distribution and just play the game.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I think I’m very close to the end now - I just raised a castle from the sea, though I haven’t battled in it yet. I had to make a couple of decisions about who qualifies as a weirdo to stick with my party plan, but it wasn’t too hard. My weirdos are the guy in the flying suit, the guy in the steam suit, and the flying squid. Contenders who I decided weren’t that weird were the dragon and the robot. Kind of a shame.

If I were going to change one thing with the party I’d get another healer in. Maybe I rely too much on healing, but I’ve only got one and she could only heal one person per turn right up until the last battle I fought when she got aura level one. Anyway, I’m getting by alright. I also had two mages pick up bolt 2 in that last fight, so I expect to be tearing through some enemy groups soon.
 
Top