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  #181  
Old 05-16-2014, 02:26 AM
Rya Rya is offline
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Not directly related to Shining Force, but do you guys know about Harmonia? Some guy thought it would be a cool idea to have a Shining Force online game and worked on it for several years now. Pretty much exactly one year ago he released some new footage on it like this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzFGX5yL8bo

I think it looks really amazing, but I'm probably biased knowing how badly I want something like Shining Force.

Again for people to lazy to click links, here a screenshot:



Edit:
Oh looks like instead of his own website, the developer is now active on IndieDB and actually released a demo in february.

http://www.indiedb.com/games/harmonia
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  #182  
Old 07-06-2014, 09:34 AM
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After finishing Shining Force 3 Scenario 1, I'm now playing a Shining Force 2 mod called Shining Force 2 Battle Royale and man this is so incredibly amazing.

It's Shining Force with even better gameplay balance but without story and exploration, just endless chains of battles.

I'm super impressed how well this thing is designed. The guy who made this is a better game designer than most professional ones. Just wow.

And not only that he also combined graphics, modified them and even did new battle backgrounds (which look amazing)! Also the music used is mainly music you usually don't hear in the game at all or only for a short part (some of the music I couldn't even recall at all).

The game also offers all the classes that ever appeared in any Shining Force game. You have two of each class available (I think). Needless to say, character growth has also been completely rebalanced. Characters will be more individual again.

In case you don't know it, you can get the mod from here:
http://forum.shiningforcecentral.com...hp?f=5&t=20170
Just need to apply it to the ROM like any other IPS patch. Run the game and instead of the usual game starting you will be through all the possible menus in order (church, caravan, shop, etc.) if you closed all menus it will ask if you are ready, say yes to start battle, say no to repeat the menus.
Keep in mind that the save function doesn't work, you need to use save states.
Also, you CAN egress. Be careful though, monsters won't give you much gold, so you might not want to waste it on reviving at the church.

If you want to look at it, there is a pretty good let's play of it too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqHudAlZTms
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  #183  
Old 07-23-2014, 07:38 AM
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So after getting as far in Battle Royale as I could, I started playing Shining Force Advance the 2nd loop.

I played a bit experimental this time and:
1. Leveled up ALL characters evenly (not just 12).
2. Did not promote any character until level 20 (end of chapter 7, took me around 20 hours of grinding).

I noticed a few things that were quite interesting.

First of all in the advance version it seems true that the algorithm is about "new stats = stats from table for current level +-x%", this is regardless of your previous stats so there no need to reset on a bad level up at all. But I highly doubt that x is actually 25%. I never deviated more than 10% from the table value and my highest stat gain ever with any character was 6.

Second observation was that promoting later on does give NO benefits at all. That was actually a surprise because it's different from what everyone says. When you promote the system still calculates your stats as if you had promoted at level 10. The only difference is that your starting stats are 85% of what you had when promoted. This means after I promoted my character at level 20, I didn't gain ANY stats at all until around level 7 promoted. Except that there seems to be an algorithm that for the first 3 promoted levels you gain EXACTLY +1 HP, if there are no other gains. This happened to every single of my characters from level 1 to level 4 promoted they all got +1 HP each level up. After that no gains until around level 7 promoted. Then speed started to increase.

Also just to kill that rumour: In no Shining Force game you gain less Exp if you promote later on (many say this is the case for Shining Force III, but I couldn't confirm that, my characters promoted at level 10 got as much exp as my character promoted at level 15 if they did the same percentual damage to the same monster). The only game that punishes you for promoting not as early as possible is Shining The Holy Ark.


It was quite hard beating the game when promoting at level 20, took me a lot time to grind the characters up because most were unable to deal more than 1 damage. It was still fun because it was actually challenging trying to beat the game where every single monsters can two-hit kill any of your characters. You needed to learn how the AI works and I had plenty of time because I had to replay each battle around 10 times towards the end.

I still think the game is way too easy otherwise. Actually a much better balance would be if there was no promotion at all but you could just equip all the weapons without promoting. The only problem with not promoting was that I was lacking alot of attack power towards the end and even the attack spells couldn't get me to deal much more than 3-4 damage.
Maybe originally during development there was no promotion planned at all and it was added later on when most battles were already done?

But man I still love that game.

So, seems like now I've pretty much played all the Shining Force games and even a fanmod...
People really should develop more games like this.



Oh and for personal reference, because it's almost impossible to find, here is the actual up-to-date Harmonia website: http://baroque-creations.com/
If you search for it you can't find it at all, you only find a completely outdated website.


PS: Did you know that Sega actually sues people using the name "Shining Force" in their game name? Many fangames were renamed to something completely different because of it (like Harmonia). It's funny how much Sega is actually after that seeing how they don't seem to care to actually make a real Shining Force game themselves.
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  #184  
Old 07-23-2014, 11:05 AM
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Have you played the (first two) Arc the Lad games? They have a very Shining Force sort of vibe to them.
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  #185  
Old 07-23-2014, 11:54 AM
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Yes, but...

Arc The Lad 1 was good, but it lacked monster variety. Most battles were only against 1 type of monster, so that really removed a lot of strategical elements.

Arc The Lad 2 was better in variety, but what really bothered me was how small scale the battles were (mostly 4 vs 4). It isn't as much of an SRPG than it is an RPG with SRPG battles. Most notable you had to fight various battles between save points.

I need my 9-12 party members vs large amounts of enemies and able to save between every battle.


Another SRPG I like other than Shining Force is actually Vandal Hearts 1 and that outsourced Vandal Hearts (but not 2). For some reason I liked VH despite having permadeath and no exploration. And what I found interesting is that a lot of Shining Force fans actually like it. It's the most recommended SRPG to SF fans looking for an alternative.

There is also Fire Emblem, but I couldn't really like that series. I love the GBA Fire Emblem (this one with no subtitle because it was the first English one) battle theme, though (this one). It kept me enjoying the game very far into.
What bothers me about Fire Emblem is that it is too punishing. One single wrong step and your character is death, which means reset. And even if you get all your characters alive there are just too many additional features in the game like saving villages. It's too hard to clear a level perfectly without a guide or so it seems. I ended up resetting way too often with drained down my motivation until I decided to quit.

I generally would say I love the SRPG genre, but there are often elements that make me really dislike a game, mostly either involved with "the frustation of having to reset because of permadeath" or "no way to grind and I can't seem to overcome the next battle" or "it's just so meaningless" (mostly Nippon Ichi games).

Talking about Nippon Ichi games, I liked exactly two of them and those are the original Disgaea (later Disgaeas turned me off because of annoying non-optional Geo Block puzzles) and Soul Nomad And The World Eaters (man this game was surprisingly great).

I bet there are some cool SRPGs out there I haven't even heard about yet, but it's really hard to find them because whereever someone posts about looking for games "like Shining Force" always the same games get suggested (Vandal Hearts, Fire Emblem, Nippon Ichi games, Arc The Lad).

You know, back in like 1999, I played a demo of a game it was an SRPG with western style graphics for PC and had really fun gameplay, but crashed often on my PC. I decided to not buy the full game due to crashes and then forgot its name. Even today I try to remember what it was. I think it was a single word but not sure at all. It felt a bit like Shining Force as in you actually walked around towns and explored between the battles, yet the battles were a bit larger scale than in Arc The Lad 2.


I might also be a bit too picky.

What I mainly want is:

- no permadeath (but it's fine if the gameplay is simple as in Vandal Hearts)

- exploration between battles (not really a must but it's a plus)

- ability to grind (fairly important, what I really hate in SRPG is this feeling of "you need to clear every battle perfectly or else you might lack resources later on and can't finish the game" - I want a challenge to stretch never over more than one battle)

- moves are by character rather than by turn (not a mush, but I want the "your turn / his turn" gameplay not so good because it just feels less balanced, being able to move all characters in row is just too much of an advantage)

- characters with personality! (very important, I want all the party members to have a background story and reason to join, not just "generated" characters; I'm fine with a very simple background like "I'm a mercenary and like to help")

- larger scale battles (at least 6 vs 8; it's fine if early game has less, though)


Currently putting my hope into Natural Doctrine and Telepath Tactics.
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  #186  
Old 07-23-2014, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rya View Post
Another SRPG I like other than Shining Force is actually Vandal Hearts ... despite having permadeath
I am 99% sure you are remembering that wrong. That or I just never had anyone die across a couple playthroughs.
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  #187  
Old 07-23-2014, 01:09 PM
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Hmm, that's strange, I could have sworn it had permadeath but looking up reviews it says it doesn't. I guess I always just pressed reset on a death and never checked if it's actually permadeath because I assumed it is (with all the blood loss and farewell message the character gives).

Now I feel like playing Vandal Hearts again.
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  #188  
Old 07-23-2014, 02:52 PM
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So it sounds like the leveling system in Shining Force Advance makes the question of "when to promote" one purely about the short term consequences. Promoting at 20 requires way too much effort for something that doesn't help you down the line, but promoting at 12 or 14 might be reasonable just so you can deal (and take) more damage when you are level 1 or 2 promoted.

When I think about it that way it doesn't seem like a terrible system, but they should have lowered the level cap below 20 or made experience earned between levels 10 and 20 more plentiful. You wouldn't want to be the player who endures a terrible grind under a false assumption that it was helping you.

I guess there's also a philosophical question here. When should the idea of "no pain, no gain" be expected to work in reverse? Making it time consuming to reach level 20 could, on one hand, be considered a signal that it isn't worth doing. On the other hand, it could be considered a signal that whatever benefit it brings should be valuable and permanent, because the game is guarding it so closely.
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  #189  
Old 07-23-2014, 09:03 PM
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Only people you delay promoting in SFA are casters. Somewhat surprisingly, there are a number of them that still learn the odd spell level in the 60's total Character levels.
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  #190  
Old 07-24-2014, 02:33 AM
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The ideal time to promote a fighter is always when you have a weapon for him you can't equip otherwise. That's what I learned. I used to promote my character always at level 10 in Shining Force games previously (or at level 20 in SF2). In Shining Force 1, this makes the laser eye battle almost unbeatable. You have to grind very long at that part in a very annoying way because your hero can't deal more than 1 damage to anything and he dies with one hit too because of the stat loss after promotion.

I did learn several spells when leveling to 20. At level 20, Anri got Freeze 3, Tao got Blaze 4, Alef got Bolt 2 and Khris Aura 1. But is it really a reason to not promote them? I mean if I promote, don't I learn the very same spells 9 levels earlier (at level 11 promoted)?
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  #191  
Old 07-24-2014, 12:35 PM
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From what I noticed, stat gains for casters are generally lower than the formula average, so I was getting pretty decent level ups their entire career. Not to mention there's really no point to promoting them before 20, since they're not using weapons anyway.
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  #192  
Old 07-24-2014, 12:43 PM
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Well there is one good reason to promote them early: They gain a lot more DEF after promotion.
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  #193  
Old 11-02-2014, 03:30 AM
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I saw this really good interview about Shining Force. Read it and be horribly depressed.
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  #194  
Old 11-02-2014, 04:22 AM
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I love it when developers talk frankly. Like a lot of professionals, I guess, they're always more guarded than you'd like in interviews, so it's fun when one feels he doesn't have anything to lose and tells you what he really thinks.
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  #195  
Old 11-02-2014, 04:51 AM
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I saw this really good interview about Shining Force. Read it and be horribly depressed.
Great read, though, yes, depressing. How I wish Sega would release English versions of all three SF3 games...
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  #196  
Old 11-02-2014, 01:12 PM
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Knew most of it already.

I should check out that Silver Ghost game.

Also didn't know he actually was involved with Dragon Quest 1-4, now I'm considering getting those after all.


I wonder why Camelot doesn't just make another Shining Force game and just call it differently. Sure Shining Force is trademark by Sega, but they could just make a game called Golden Sun Tactics for example. Or use a completely new title.

Last edited by Rya; 11-02-2014 at 01:30 PM.
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  #197  
Old 11-02-2014, 11:12 PM
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I wonder why Camelot doesn't just make another Shining Force game and just call it differently. Sure Shining Force is trademark by Sega, but they could just make a game called Golden Sun Tactics for example. Or use a completely new title.
Solar Legion.

BOOM.
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  #198  
Old 03-12-2019, 08:39 AM
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I am now playing this. It's a little clunky. But I can also see how early on we are in the SRPG.

How many people can you recruit? 108?
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  #199  
Old 03-12-2019, 08:52 AM
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I am now playing this. It's a little clunky. But I can also see how early on we are in the SRPG.

How many people can you recruit? 108?
And damn! Does the difficulty ramp up quickly! Third battle and I'm already fighting hordes!?
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  #200  
Old 03-12-2019, 10:21 AM
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How many people can you recruit? 108?
Nope! But did you recruit the monk?

Quote:
And damn! Does the difficulty ramp up quickly! Third battle and I'm already fighting hordes!?
It's less true in the sequel but in the first games most missions have multiple means of victory, usually reaching an end point on a map. I forget if the third one is in the town or not. I think it is? That one's definitely tricky, but at least due to the lack of permadeath you can be fairly safe in taking risks.
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  #201  
Old 03-12-2019, 10:58 AM
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Nope! But did you recruit the monk?



It's less true in the sequel but in the first games most missions have multiple means of victory, usually reaching an end point on a map. I forget if the third one is in the town or not. I think it is? That one's definitely tricky, but at least due to the lack of permadeath you can be fairly safe in taking risks.
I did check out that shack and got the monk! He seems useless right now. The third mission is the one once you leave Guardiana. Its got Dwarves, bats and dark knights. Luckily they all kind of just hang out and it lets you take the groups out one by one.

Still was running out of MP there.
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  #202  
Old 03-12-2019, 11:50 AM
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There's a challenge in that VR SMD collection to beat that battle and have no more than one character die during it. That's basically how you have to do it, playing it all pretty slowly, a group at a time. The rune knights are definitely trickiest because they can start attacking before you get to the city -- but once you're on that tile (definitely as the lead character, maybe as others too? been a while...) you can end the battle.

Gong may not hit for much now but this early on you'll definitely want for a second healer, and he can at least in theory level up faster than some of the other party members because (IIRC) he gets experience for doing healing on others as well as attacking.
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  #203  
Old 03-12-2019, 01:09 PM
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Always use your healers MP before you end a battle if you can. IIRC they get like 10 exp or more for every heal, even if it's for 1 HP. Again IIRC they get 1 exp if they heal someone for 0 HP though. This goes for all the Shining Force games.
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  #204  
Old 03-12-2019, 03:37 PM
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You can also use Egress to flee from battles to your last save point (or forced checkpoint in a few cases), handy if things are going poorly or if you want to grind (you probably will need to if you're on a harder difficulty). Just resets the battle to start when you reenter it, minus enemy item drops and chests.
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  #205  
Old 03-13-2019, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
Luckily they all kind of just hang out and it lets you take the groups out one by one.
Shining Force's AI is weird like that. Not only will whole groups just chill until you wander over, but when they do engage, they always try to do so as a group. Find things with sufficiently awful movement and get a good enough mage in there and you can sometimes even camp out and snipe enemies over multiple turns because they're just slightly too lazy to come attack you.

And taking a quick count, there's a total of 30 characters. And like half are centaurs.
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  #206  
Old 03-14-2019, 08:25 AM
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Made it into Chapter 2. The last battle (the 4th, I think) in chapter one would have had me panicking if not for the fact that lots of the mobs just sit there and wait for you to come to them.

Making it easier to pick them off bit by bit. Especially helped when Tao's (mage) fire spell became level 2 and is now an AOE spell!
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  #207  
Old 03-14-2019, 08:54 AM
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If you can keep them alive, mages can absolutely own stuff.
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  #208  
Old 03-14-2019, 01:28 PM
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If you can keep them alive, mages can absolutely own stuff.
Yeah, this is one of the reasons why Domingo is so great when you get him. He has really high defense, solid HP, good movement, and learns all the ice spells.
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  #209  
Old 03-17-2019, 06:56 PM
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There really doesn't seem to be any point to buying equipment in this game, is there?

Also the monk is useless! Does he ever get better? Right now he's just a one healing spell and then nothing.
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  #210  
Old 03-17-2019, 07:01 PM
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Depends on what you mean. Equipment helps a lot, but I think decent amounts can be found along the way instead of bought.

The monk does get better, but he'll never be your best healer, or even close. He will get a bit tougher, though, although I don't think he ever outpaces the absolute top damage-dealers. He seems to fit that monk mold of start slowly, finish at least somewhat strong. (But I looked, and apparently he's one of those characters that you'll want to do a 20/20 promote on, so... you might find someone else you'd rather use.)
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