(MD / Mega Drive)

Shining Force (MD / Mega Drive)

Game Profile

In ages long forgotten, Light fought Darkness for control of the world. Finally, the Ancients defeated the evil ruler of the dark forces known as Dark Dragon and cast him into another dimension, though he vowed to return in 1,000 years. As time passed, all memory of Dark Dragon was buried, and the land of Rune enjoyed 10 centuries of peace.

Yet, as promised, the dark ruler returned, along with hordes of evil creatures that ravaged the land. As chaos erupted, several strongholds of Good still held out, awaiting a hero who could wield the Powers of Light.

Game Review


USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

In ages long forgotten, Light fought Darkness for control of the world.

Although Shining Force takes place in the same universe as fellow Megadrive/Genesis epic Shining in the Darkness, the games themselves couldn’t really be more different. Whereas SitD is a first person dungeon crawler, Shining Force is a turn-based...

Game Screenshots

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It could make all the difference

Thanks to the wonders of the Virtual Console, many Nintendo gamers have been introduced to the wonders of Sega's Shining Force and Shining Force II games, but sadly the series hit hard times during the Sega Saturn days, causing developer Camelot to part ways with Sega, and the series has never recovered. Several...

Game Trailers

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User Comments (59)



Kelvin said:

The sequel's better, but this is still a great game and a great addition to the VC library... if it happens.



Mark said:

This MUST come out! If it's selling for £30 on Ebay, then Sega/Climax would serisouly miss out on some cash. We need this, Shining Force 2 and Landstalker to have an awsome trio of RPG's on the Wii.

__Dan R


Dan R said:

What they are finally releasing a RPG in the VC!!! A real RPG!!!!!
I think I need to sit down......i can't believe Nintendo have finally got their finger out of their backside and given us a RPG (yes I know we have Zelda!)

I can't believe it's taken this long, I am a huge fan of RPG's and feel so let down by the lack of them. Can somebody tell me why there is such a drought of RPG's I know so many people who love them, but Nintendo are just so stingy about releasing them!
I would chew my right leg off to get Phantasy Star II.



Nigel said:

Calm down Dan, you sould like somebody who would not be very good at computer games anyway.

What you need is a good ass kicking by a far superior human being. I would suggest you go and visit your Brother who I hear is a much better games player.

Also, the PS3 is a huge rip off in the UK - long live the WII.



Tennant said:

I remember playing this somewhere, but I can't quite remember where... It was good though!



Oliver said:

Well, Shining Force is a must buy! I've recently (re)played it on the Gameboy Advance and it still is a great game... and I am not just being nostalgic: I gave the game to my much younger brother who never did play the original game on the Mega Drive/Genesis, and he really loved it, too. IMHO Shining Force has aged much better than PS II with the latter having much too frequent battles which get really repetitive because of the lack of options and strategies.
PS II has a great storyline (seldom hat a game with a more melodramatic ending) but those random encounters every two steps are far away from modern game design.



yamiiguy said:

It's not just a rumour, it's been rated by the OFLC which means it's defenatly coming, it's just a matter of when



Jeremy said:

YES! This is THE best game on the Sega Genesis. This game is the best turn-based RPG out there. I CAN'T WAIT FOR IT TO COME OUT!

Forget the sequels, they're good but I've always thought this one is better.



Kelvin said:

Yes, it's now confirmed. Now we just have the long wait until it arrives.



TheNintendoBoy said:

Well I think the dialogue and story is a downgrade from Shining in the Darkness, but the gameplay, while simple by today's standards, is pretty fun and highly addictive.
I couldn't put the game down once I'd started playing it.

The sequel Is better in every way though, especially in the level of challenge.



Sockapal said:

Man this game was amazing, I remember pumping so many hours into this and it's sequel, it can't come soon enough!



Shrapnel09 said:

i never heard of this game before... however due to the severe lack of actually rpgs in VC (and zelda is an action adventure, if you cant lvl up your character it is NOT an rpg, i dont care who says it is(cept zelda II)).. anyway because of the severe lack of rpg's and with all these good comments i may have to give it a try.

However someone on here mentioned that the sequel had updated many things including the challenge, should i expect this game to be too easy? should i wait for Shinning force II like others have mentioned?! only you can decide.



Sockapal said:

@Shrapnel Shining Force II was indeed very improved over it's predecessor. However, I would still highly recommend picking up I as it was amazing in it's own right, and from what I can remember it was still rather challenging.



Manaman said:

Shining Force will mark the second well-known RPG series after the Zelda series to hit the Virtual Console. I have always considered SF (especially Shining Force 2) to be much better than Sega's other RPG titles - Phantasy Star - and I'm glad to see this one appear first. Top stuff.

__Pit 42


Pit 42 said:

This game is AWESOME. I used to play on Sega Smash Pack for my computer. This is probably the next best thing to Fire Emblem.



Jonno said:

Won-der-ful! Anything like an RPG is an insta-download for me. (Except for Dungeon Crawler RPGs which are quite a bore)



Demonic_St33V said:

Used to love this game, although I always preferred Shining in the Darkness (I love a good dungeon crawl).

I remember some of the battles in SF getting pretty brutal near the end of the game.



Buntaro said:

I totally loved the series until I gave Fire Emblem a try and saw how good Strategy RPG can get if level grinding is eliminated (not counting the various bugs people use).
Since then, I can't enjoy the battles in Shining Force anymore.



Herandar said:

So I downloaded it and took it for a spin yesterday, and it is retro-good. My only complaint is the Enemy AI. It has aged dreadfully. If Grunt A is standing next to Grunt B, and you attack Grunt B, A HOLDS his position and does nothing, even though your character is diagonally next to him, and Grunt B is getting thrashed. You can stand two squares from the goblins and they won't attack until you do...

Admittedly, I only played the first two battles (twice, since I left the battle when I only had one enemy left, and then got to fight it all over again--a level grinder's dream...), and I hope that it will get better as the enemies get tougher, because right now it feels cheap and easy.

This formula has been much improved upon, but this is still good classic fun.



@ Shrapnel - Hardly. While Shining Force 2 is better in terms of sound, graphics, and story, I found the difference in difficulty to be negligible. In fact, I feel that Shining Force 1 is actually slightly tougher.

@ Herandar - The first few battles are cake. The AI gets much more aggressive as you continue through the game, and you have to Egress out of fights now and again to redo them from the start to level grind. Otherwise you're going to hit a wall eventually and you'll simply be overpowered by your enemies.



GMo4824 said:

Alright, I'm glad I listened to this review and downloaded it

...but I wish there was more control in battles. I wouldn't exactly call it a Turn-based game. The world is big and I enjoy walking around talking to people, buying items, fighting, etc..

Fire Emblem is a much better series but this can hold me a while until one of those games finally comes to Virtual Console.



TheNintendoBoy said:

I'd say the non-battle graphics do look ugly, very 8-bitish and the palette coices are poor most of the time.
Also the AI really stinks, and you'll have to play it at least once to know which characters are worth going for. Still it's an addictive game with some great music.



chadnorred said:

This is the biggest waste of money I've spent on the Virtual Console. The game play reminds me of watching Sesame Street, the dialog struggles to meet even the most arbitrary criteria of interest, and the fighting sequences remind me of playing Chess against a retard. Accordingly, I recommend this game ineligible for inclusion on anyone's list of Virtual Console downloads. If you want a quality RPG of the same generation, hopefully Nintendo will release FFIII or Chrono Trigger. This game sucks.



Juliao said:

GREAT REVIEW. Anyone who appreciates tactical or RPG should enjoy this brilliant hybrid. ~get it~ ^^ *classic genius*
Those who dislike this game are noobs(!) who have no patience or imagination; your loss because the lessons learned from Shining Force would normally only be those learned by a general or royalty.
I even love the graphics. Some of the new age gamers are losing their ability to dream... this game inspires. Very politically applicable to modern problems. Great way to learn survival for a group with the micromanaging. Those who bash the AI obviously didn't go that far... goblins are like the first mob. Hidden RPG secrets. Secret characters. Fantastic musical score (would love to hear symphonic) I can't believe this game, it was way ahead of its time.
I wasn't lucky enough to have a sega & this sort of stuff on VC is lots of great challenging game hours for the points. (^-^)b
I've played everything Square-Enix has to offer & if you're one of those who has to play 'em all, this should be a high priority.
For all the haters: my SF party is > yours & i wish we could pvp =P



Mendez said:

I'm strongly considering getting this game.
Is the fighting in it similar to Dungeons and Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun? It looks a bit like it but it's still hard to tell from the trailer.
Anywho, I think I had better play Paper Mario first!

__Lord Riku


Lord Riku said:

This game rules!!! 2 is far better though... Bowie rocks! although i call him Tristan or Riku, the promotion classes in 2 are much cooler, and so are the characters.. PLUS, 2 has a better soundtrack and i love the graphics!!! All you nay sayers of these games shall be smited by the game god! Go Old School! Also, i am very glad to find all these people who have played my childhood games!!! ahh, to be young again.. rock on pure 90's kids!



Jazzem said:

I thought I'd wait until I completed the game before commenting (I've had it since the EU launch), which I just did! =D

Really enjoyed it, good, simple SRPG fun. Not without faults (There were a few moments in battles where you were, turn by turn, just moving closer and closer to an enemy or two who wouldn't budge until you came nearby), but still an addictive, enjoyable gem in the Mega Drive's crown. Nice ending too =)

Now I just need that apparently superior sequel!



Lone said:

This was one of my old favorites back when I owned a Mega Drive. The story of the game might be a bit "meh.." but I still enjoy it. The difficulty isn't too high either, as long as you level your characters to lv 20 before upgrading them you'll be nigh invincible. Personally I used the battle before the Dragon village to go from 12-20 with all characters (that I used) 2 at a time. Then I had to do it again with Bleu who is the powerhouse of the game, with his bosslike stats. =P
Still the battles are fun, the music is awesome and who needs great graphics anyway? This is an easy 4/5 from me. I haven't played SFII yet but if it's as good as some say I'm sure it's a 5/5 =P Waiting for that one now =)



Gmoney said:

I have a quick question. When you start a new game the girl with the book in the beginning will ask you which adventure you would like to play (1,2 or 3). What is it that you are choosing? I assumed it was difficulty but I'm not sure. Thanks.



IRGeek said:

Gmoney. I think you can have up to 3 saved games. Pick any one u like.



Rod45 said:

Come on this is one of THE classics, the Shining Force series has always been one of my favorites I just wish the VC could get Sega Saturn games. This series landmarked many of the better strategy RPGs that we play today so I would recommend this to anyone it's a great edition to the VC and if you like the original you should give the GBA version a try a little updated with more options some changes to storyline, different battle animations and even a few new characters.



Denivire said:

This game is not a game, but an icon of greatness.
Th only thing I want is for this game to be completely revamped and put on the DS, because we have the technology to make it look more organic.
But other then my personal want for this to be placed on the DS, I still love this icon. Sadly, my dad sold our copy when the Genesis was still big. biggest mistake ever.



Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

This is a great tactical RPG. Lots of good memories. Funny characters, entertaining (and some frustrating!) turn-based battles on a variety of maps, and a simple but interesting level/promotion system. The multitude of different party configurations will keep you playing.



dave said:

This is a totally fun game. After I beat it the first time, I immediately started playing on a second run (and then beat it again, of course). This is a perfect place to start for those regular RPG fans who are afraid of strategy-based RPGs but want to try the genre out for a cheap price.



President_Leever said:

Damien: "LOL, amazing. You guys never fail to amuse me!"

And you never cease to come up with pointless replies



Jon2 said:

A great game! Tough I didn't enjoy it's sequel as much as the first one. This is a must have in anyones VC-collection.



wowtriumph said:

I never Played RPG or any game of this sort when they were out originally. Simply because I was to young to understand what I would be doing and had no friends that played these types that I could learn from. Basically I played Super C and the shooters. Since I have gotten into these games I wanted to try something old school. I took it to my buddy's to play and we couldn't put it down. Took me a lil to understand what everything did but not much a simply strat guide for the potions and such helped me know what everything did. Grade A from me I wish there was more turn based just like this. If anyone knows of anything Please let me know, as I said before I never played these types when I was young.



TRON said:

I have been playing this type of game for ages, but sadly missed this series back in the day. If you like SRPG's, then do not hesitate a download. Now that I've finished it, I can't wait for the sequel to show up.



100xp said:

After finally getting the LAN adapter (hey not all of us can jack someone else's Wi-Fi) I was able to enjoy this timeless classic. My only problem with it is, on a large HDTV the retro graphics really (can hear the violins playing in the background)...umm stand out but it's hell of a lot better than playing it on the 15inch the first time I pressed 'Start' back in the early 90's. Now to gather my dream team.



PsychoFish said:

I was searching for a real classic (turn based) RPG on the VC and after reading the reviews i decided to download Shining Force. And what can I say: I was not dissapointed, it was exactely what i was looking for. The graphics are really nice and the gameplay is solid. Only the backgound music made me turn down the volume more than once.
Btw.: My first not-Nintendo console game ever!!



couthedman92 said:

This kind of gameplay really holds up over time. I played it on a CD called "Sega Smash Pack 2," and it was really good. But it's no Fire Emblem...

EDIT: Wouldn't it be cool if the VC could put on some of the Japan-only Fire Emblems? Not sure if Nintendo would be willing to translate the entire game, but it's still a thought.



Kingston said:

This game totally owns fire emblem. I don't know why, but I never liked the FE series. I have just defeated chapter 1, and I'm hooked. I will buy the sequel if it comes out on VC



couthedman92 said:

Shining Force is easier and therefore easier to get into at first. But for those who truly enjoy their strategy games, Fire Emblem is a much better game. The one thing that Shining does have though is a more RPG-like overworld/towns.



Kingston said:

@Couthedman92: I don't think that it is your place to say whether I "truly enjoy" strategy games. If I may bring up the subject of Goblin Commander? I don't think this is the place to be advertising Fire Emblem games! Oh yeah, everyone who reads this, buy Goblin Commander for the GC, it's a great RTS.




CanisWolfred said:

Man, when they say this game is addictive, they mean it. I played this game 5 hours straight when I got it, twice, considering I played it on a japanese Rom for 5 hours, and then I played it for 5 more hours again when I actually bought it. Though, I can certainly say I made more progress in those 5 hours when it was in a language I understood. I do, however, miss calling the characters random hispanic names, eventhough I could never keep track of who's who(I think I had 3 Pacos).

The story's also pretty decent, considering the game isn't as story heavy as I expected it to be. I do, however wish that you still had access to the level one version of spells, because they take up a lot less MP. Other than that, this is my first strategy game, and I'm very pleased with it. One thing to note though, I don't feel compelled to level grind, even though it'd be pretty easy. I don't usually like to level grind anyways, even though it always wind up happening, since it takes me a while to realize I'm f****d and quit a losing battle.



The_Bear said:

This is my all-time favorite video game. I really feel that this is easily the best game on the Mega Drive. It has such a nice blend of RPG/Strategy elements but at the same time it's not too difficult or in depth so most anyone can play it.

Many people say that Shining Force 2 is better, mostly because of the higher number of characters, improved graphics, music, etc. However, as a diehard fan of the original two SF's, I have to say that Shining Force (1) is the best. I've beaten it more than 6 times and it never gets old for me.

I used to own this game, however I had to sell it due to my lack of funds a few years ago. I am glad to have this back in my possession finally for a measly 800 Wii Points.



swordplay said:

I never played this game when it came out but decided to download it because it reminded me of Fire Emblem. It's the best game I downloaded from the VC its really fun and a long game.



whalleywhat said:

I'd say my two favourite genres are shmups and SRPGs, but this game just doesn't do it for me. Dated interface, poor enemy AI and really short. Some of the towns are kind of cool, you add some interesting units to your party throughout the game and all of the character drawings and animations are really nice, so I wouldn't say it isn't worthwhile, but the genre has been improved on in so many ways. I'll probably still pick up SF 2.

" I do, however, miss calling the characters random hispanic names, eventhough I could never keep track of who's who(I think I had 3 Pacos)."



xwormwood said:

I never owned a Sega Mega Drive, and so this brilliant little piece of fun was unknown to me.
Now that i have downloaded it, i enjoy it very much.
Reminds so very sweet at Fire Emblem - if you do love Fire Emblem, than you will love Shining Force as well. Recommended!



Digiki said:

if you do love Fire Emblem, than you will love Shining Force as well. Recommended!

I love Fire Emblem, I don't love this, it's fairly good but lacking compared to recent FEs (it's not its fault though since this is old)

It's just kind of slow, and strategy isn't really required.



evilralfwiggum said:

Since I haven't played Fire Emblem yet and I have played very few Turn Based RPGs. This one is a lot of fun for me. I'm not much of an RPG gamer. Turn Based Strategy RPGs are the ones I like best if I had to choose. It's like chess with a lot more options. Since I'm far behind in playing many RPGs or games like this, this is a perfect place to start to get into it.

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