290: The Shining Force

The Shining Force

Sega left the Shining Force tale left untold, so a group of fans banded together to do the work themselves.

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Thank you for this!!!!

This is the coolest thing I've ever had the pleasure of reading on the Escapist.

I feel bad about not getting my video and letter ready for the campaign pack yet, but I shall make sure I do.

SF:SOS also has had an ad in Retro Gamer this month, which was really cool.

It's a shame nobody else knows (or cares) that these games exist - These games taught me how to read lol

Mheh, my nephews learned how to read sooner than average so they could play Pokemon.

I'm surprised the article didn't mention Shining Force Neo and it's sequel for PS2, although they're both action-RPGs instead of turn based strategy... I didn't know there was a Shining Force 3 since it wasn't on my Genesis Mega Collection for PS3 (I did play and beat PS1&2 on my genesis, and again on the Mega Collection). It's a shame, because if Sega had finished SF3's second and third parts and pointed this out on the box (and maybe done some advertising) they probably would have sold a lot more copies of GMC if this article is any indication.

Wait... Camelot? [i]That</> Camelot?

The one that made Golden Sun? And now seems to work really closely with Nintendo? Huh. It's strange how this kind of stuff works out.

How can you open with a statement like, "Sega was never known as a JRPG powerhouse," and then fail to mention Rieko Kodama? Phantasy Star and Skies of Arcadia are very highly thought of.

LOVE FOR SHINING FORCE 3!!! *fan glee*

I LOVE THAT GAME! It is a reason enough for me to have very fond memories of Sega Saturn.

Hmm... Maybe I should revive that black machine and play some SF3 again....

More Fun To Compute:
How can you open with a statement like, "Sega was never known as a JRPG powerhouse," and then fail to mention Rieko Kodama? Phantasy Star and Skies of Arcadia are very highly thought of.

You are right that these games are highly thought of and are great games. But it still doesn't make SEGA a JRPG Powerhouse =P

What SEGA had going for them in the JRPG department was basically The Shining series, the Phantasy Star series and, in the end, Skies of Arcadia. That's pretty much it, at least at the moment I write this I can't think of any other.

And during that time Nintendo had Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire. (Some of these later moved on to Sony's Playstation) All in all being a company much more connected to the JRPG genre.

I've only played Shining the Holy Ark (Think that was the full title)and absolutely loved it, great character design, quality story and a decent battle system, any one know where I can get a copy? Preferably without buying a Saturn :P.
This sounds like a great cause and I'm always for backing quality JRPGs so I'm definitely gonna look into it! Thanks for the article!

I got what appears to be 1 on GBA and never really got into it...probably because I had just played through the superior Fire Emblem games and found it awkward and unwieldy compared to them. I think it'd be nice of them to re-release SF3 on the Virtual Console or somewhere else, but the sad fact is that it's not going to happen, and here's where the controversial standing comes in:

I think the pirates were right.

If you create a patched English version of SF3 and it somehow tops the torrent download charts, don't you think that's going to pique Sega's attention? Yeah, sure they may consider legal action and all that Jazz, but considering I doubt they bother selling import versions of a goddamn Saturn game anymore, this is the only way fans will have to show their support. If it's show enough people are willing to spend the time to acquire the game, why not release it digitally via Virtual Console or XBLA or something and make a bit of money off of it?

Piracy is almost universally seen as a bad thing in the industry, and I guess that's true, but time and time again there have been certain situations in which Piracy benefits a game's sales (there was a news post just yesterday about this). Pirating an old, unobtainable game, shows more support for its re-release than any amount of letter writing or good-intentioned petition will ever give a company considering something of the like. So if you want it, go pirate the English translated version of SF3, because I think it's the best shot at getting Sega to do something.

MaxRaine:

More Fun To Compute:
How can you open with a statement like, "Sega was never known as a JRPG powerhouse," and then fail to mention Rieko Kodama? Phantasy Star and Skies of Arcadia are very highly thought of.

You are right that these games are highly thought of and are great games. But it still doesn't make SEGA a JRPG Powerhouse =P

What SEGA had going for them in the JRPG department was basically The Shining series, the Phantasy Star series and, in the end, Skies of Arcadia. That's pretty much it, at least at the moment I write this I can't think of any other.

And during that time Nintendo had Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire. (Some of these later moved on to Sony's Playstation) All in all being a company much more connected to the JRPG genre.

You forgot Tales of Phantasia, SNES

Either way, love this article, Shining Force being one of the few SRPGs I get into other than Fire Emblem.

MaxRaine:
And during that time Nintendo had Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire. (Some of these later moved on to Sony's Playstation) All in all being a company much more connected to the JRPG genre.

They moved to Playstation because very few were actually made by Nintendo where as the games I mentioned were internally developed by SEGA. It just seems odd that in a history of SEGA we are looking at a fairly obscure game that wasn't even developed internally or released in full globally and then ignoring classic games that they made.

The first disc featured a young warrior of Synbios, a breakaway Republic from the Empire of Destonia

Christ...the character's name was Synbios, the republic was called Aspinia. I hate it when videogame sites try to jump on the Sega nostalgia bandwagon without actually playing the fucking games.

thebigtw:

The first disc featured a young warrior of Synbios, a breakaway Republic from the Empire of Destonia

Christ...the character's name was Synbios, the republic was called Aspinia. I hate it when videogame sites try to jump on the Sega nostalgia bandwagon without actually playing the fucking games.

Well, you could have just pointed out an error politely or maybe realized that they were just retelling a story about Moogie and the campaign to translate the game. Instead you decided to act like an ass. Why was that necessary?

Seriously, relax and be glad old sega is getting any recognition these days that isn't focused around a blue hedgehog.

jboking:
Why was that necessary?

It wasn't. But if this had been an article about FFVII and the text had referred to "a young warrior of Cloud, a city controlled by the evil Shinra Corporation", I think you'd be seeing a lot worse. Sloppy journalism is a pet hate of mine, that's all.

Shining Force II is the favourite of the fans, I believe, Sir Astral, The Greater Devils (Zalbard, Cameela, Geshp, Odd Eye), Lemon, Bowie, Peter, Zeon... Wah, I loved the cast.

thebigtw:

jboking:
Why was that necessary?

It wasn't. But if this had been an article about FFVII and the text had referred to "a young warrior of Cloud, a city controlled by the evil Shinra Corporation", I think you'd be seeing a lot worse.

Probably, but that doesn't justify acting like an ass. Even in the case where they messed up FF7, I'd expect more people on the escapist to come in and correct them without all the bile. Especially with how the comments are being moderated these days.

Sloppy journalism is a pet hate of mine, that's all.

That's fine and I understand, your response still just seemed a bit extreme.

I'd also like to think that it was just a typo that was overlooked, as even doing so much as looking at the wiki for shining force III will tell you the name of the first scenario's main character.

So long as the next Shining title gets a dragonewt.
image

ALL HAIL THE DIVINE DRACONIAN RACE.

I loved Shining Force on the Megadrive. Hell I even played Shining in the Darkness. I didn't mind Shining the Holy Ark, but I played the hell out of Shining Force 3 Part 1- that was awesome. Man, I was so pissed when I found out that parts 2 and 3 weren't getting a Western release. I remember hearing about the translation efforts in my early travels on the net. Maybe I should dust off the Saturn and see how they have fared with it.

*boots up Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection*

What?

It has SITD, SF1, and SF2.

I'm not gonna plug in the old SG just for those.

I've played Shining Force 1 & 2 to bits. Most recently the PS3 compilation ones. Those games have so much flavour it's uncanny. They're simplistic by today's standards but excellently designed, unlike the bloated Disgaea's of these days.

Never owned a Saturn myself and keep away from the emulator/piracy lot these days. Played GBA's Sword of Haya and Shining Force CD though (one of the few good games for the SEGA-CD).

It's been said SEGA lost a lot of the original code for their Saturn titles (I've read on VFDC that Virtua Fighter 2 was among the casualties, it was due to a fire I believe, could've been a reason for that Genesis VF2 port instead of the far superior Saturn version), so the chances for compilations of games for that system are very slim. We can only pray SF3 ep 1, 2 and 3 weren't among the games lost or that Camelot still has them lying around.

The fate of the Shining Force series always brings a tear to my eye. Those grand days of yore lost to the intricacies of business execs. It's the SEGA refrain chiming in again and again.

Also:
SEGA saying they normally don't pay attention to non-Japanese feedback doesn't surprise me in the least. Us Western Virtua Fighter fans have been getting the short end of the stick ever since VF3 came out. You want TB? Have an inferior port. You want VF4? Okay, we'll even throw in VF4E, but don't count on FT. VF5? Well okay. VF5R? VF5FS? hahahha, no way, oh yeah, you also need to be on a Japan-only proprietary network to use the arcade cabinets even if you have the money to buy one.

The much touted VF5R petition was met with a fancy phrased cold shoulder. Well, we like you and all, but we can't say anything at this time.

I miss my old mega drive games:
Shining Force
Shining in the Darkness
Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun
Warsong

Still annoyed with Sega for the Shining Force 3 business, along with a few other things, but this article gave an interesting story to read.

Shining Force was one of my favorite games ever!

Lou was a beast.

I didn't play a lot of Shining Force (was more of a Phantasy Star fan) but I appreciated its unique interface. Once I'm done this BioWare marathon I'll have to pull out the Genesis collection and play them.

But now I'm thinking that Shining Force might be the spiritual ancestor of Valkyria Chronicles (another Sega turn-based strategy game with JRPG elements).

Bloodastral:
I miss my old mega drive games:
Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun

Hey, I wasn't the only person in the world to own that game!

Shining Force 3 probably marks the first time I ever had notion of having made a big mistake.

For at the time I was a lot into rentals and for the Sega Saturn there were 2 games I tended to rent: Dragon Force and Shining Force 3.

And then one time I was given the chance to buy a game and my eyes decided to buy one of the 2 I most rented.

My option: Dragon Force. And I almost immediately kicked myself for it. It wasn't like Dragon Force was a bad game, quite the contrary, it was a very good game. But it wasn't Shining Force 3 nor lasted as long. There was just something about that game that made me love it. Was it the bright graphics? The fact that I was compelled to keep the NPCs alive on the train battle? How I could upgrade my characters' classes, something I have never seen at the time? The CG battles?

I don't know. I just loved that game like I love the Panzer Dragoon series. And I'll never why I had a misguided judgement that day and to this day I still regret not having bought and thus finished Shining Force 3.

That is my sad, albeit stupidly caused tale.

PS: I felt completely ripped off when I saw Shining Soul and bought it. It was a dumbed down Diablo clone, nothing more. My hopes had been laughed at and danced over their ashamed grave.

Bloodastral:
I miss my old mega drive games:
Shining Force
Shining in the Darkness
Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun
Warsong

I remember warriors of the eternal sun! That game kicked arse despite the weird difficulty curve.

Back on topic, nice article.
The earlier games in the Shining series were what convinced me to give video game rpgs a try.

I remember playing Shining Force but I can't remember which one....

Never did play SF3. Wanted to. But after I heard they weren't localizing the latter portions I gave up. I absolutely loved Shining Force II, though. Battles could easily last an hour, and I never seemed to notice until a dozen of them had passed and the sun was rising outside. I always felt a bit jealous of my friend with the SNES when it came to RPGs, but I rented the ever-loving hell out of Shining Force II and Phantasy Star IV.

Of course, then I finally got my SNES and my $12 clearance copy of Earthbound and became part of an even more tragically ignored fan club...

I found Shining force 3 a disappointment after playing 1 and 2, falling in love with both. The story and combat were both great but they cut out all of the exploring. Towns and maps were removed, instead you had 1 screen with the shop, church etc. between battles. I thought that was a real pity.

SF 1 and 2 were the RPGs of my childhood, and I loved them then. Recently I went back and played every iteration of every character and it was still a blast! There were so many promotions and secret promotions and SECRET CHARACTERS WITH SECRET PROMOTIONS!!

I heart Slade, Jaha, and Peter (he's OP because he's supposed to be!!).

Every once in a while I'll blow the dust off my game gear and play through my first experience with the shining force series.

It's not long but still awesome every time.

great, now I'm reminded that I own shining force 3 for the saturn and the story never officially ends outside of japan =p
Loved that game, dantares was a beast

Played and loved Shining Force 1 and 2, and Shining the Holy Ark. Shining the Holy Ark and Panzer Dragoon Saga are my favorite Saturn games and two of my favorite games across all platforms, genres and times. I feel they've both held up pretty well. More PDS than StHA.

Brought a tear to my eye...Was wondering why SFIII ended on such a cliffhanger - I had no idea there were other japanese-only games...I feel like I should import them and use this patch, or at least donate to this project. I'm amazed that it's been over 10 years since I played that game. Really puts things in a tough perspective. I'm in awe of the selfless effort put through by Moogie to get this game to a playable state for us players without Japanese language skills.

Thanks, Lisa.

I would buy the Phantasy star remake of one(or all) and a re release/remake of Shining force 3 and a remake oor re release of PSO 1-2, Sega wake up already!

Also anyone play Vandal hearts on the PSX? Its alot like Shining force.

 

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