Video Game: Shining Force II

Shining Force II (シャイニング・フォースII 古えの封印 Shainingu Fōsu Tsū: Inishie no Fūin?, lit. "Shining Force II: The Ancient Seal"), is a tactical role-playing game for the Mega Drive/Genesis console developed by Sonic! Software Planning in 1993. The storyline is not directly connected to the original Shining Force, although a Game Gear title Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict, links the two games' plots.

Shining Force II shifts the focus of the first game to the kingdom of Granseal, where an even greater demon lord named Zeon (no relation) is sealed off by two jewels. A thief named Slade steals one of them, and thus breaks the seal on the monster. Zeon possesses the king of the neighboring Galam nation, causing him to do all sorts of freaky Evil Overlord-type deeds. This time, schoolkid Bowie and his three friends (Sarah, Chester and Jaha) form the core of the new Shining Force, and are sent to track down the jewels before Zeon can wreak any further havoc on the world. Takes place in the same world as the first game, although at the time there was only a Continuity Nod to prove it. (This game also suffers from the naming problems of the previous ones, referring to Darksol as Dark Sol, and Lucifer as Dark Dragon, an unrelated enemy from Shining Force I).

The game is much longer than the first, and more free-roaming. There is no chapter system, so the player can return to previously visited parts of the world. There are also two different ways of promoting many characters.

This game was released on the Wii Virtual Console in Europe on October 3, 2008 and in North America on October 6, 2008. The game also appears in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and as a standalone game on Steam.

Tropes

  • Action Girl: Sheela the Master Monk gains recognition even outside of the fan base. Her ditching of the White Magician Girl persona (with the exception of useful healing spells) to temper her body and eventual opening of her own dojo won her many a fan back in the day.
  • Adults Are Useless: Sir Astral is boasted as being one of the best magic-users in the kingdom. He's even your teacher at the school. But he never joins your party for combat, not even when Bowie, Sarah, and Chester are fighting against the first in-game battle.
  • Annoying Arrows: Archers can easily be replaced by mages (who do 'Glass Cannon' better) or birdmen (who do 'Fragile Speedster' better). May is the exception, as a Horse Archer with explosive shells.
  • Battle Couple: The party rescues Elric, an elven archer, around a third of the way into the game. A few battles later, Elric's girlfriend Janet, another elven archer, shows up and decides to join the party to be near him.
  • Beef Gate: The Kraken, who can be challenged once the player receives the raft, but is best fought when the the player is required to fight it to advance. Also counts as That One Boss for some players, as it is one of the hardest bosses in the game.
  • But Thou Must: Most egregious moment in the whole series, where Thou Must go kiss the Princess Elis, the Damsel in Distress who you've known for maybe all of two minutes, and later get the implied Standard Hero Reward. Sarah, the Unlucky Childhood Friend, is heartbroken and runs off, leading Kazin to go "comfort" her. Needless to say, many fans prefer the girl who's stuck by you the whole game and loves you dearly to the princess who barely gets one line in the game.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Lemon, who is possessed by a mask.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: If your save file is corrupted in Shining Force II, ominous music plays while the witch informs you that it's corrupted. Yes, they designed the game to play appropriate music for losing your file.
  • Bring My Red Jacket: Sir Lemon (Red Baron, before he exits the Heel-Face Revolving Door) can revive himself from death after a battle, and wears armor that is precisely the color of blood — because it's painted with the blood of his dead enemies.
  • Chess Motifs: One battle takes place on a chess board. The pieces move like regular enemies though.
  • Clown Car: The caravan, which holds the members of the force between battles. It magically shrinks anyone who enters.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The Kraken boss.
  • Crutch Character: Kiwi, who can also be Lost Forever. Although his defense is stellar right from the start, making him a useful Stone Wall if nothing else, defense has no effect on magic, and his Hit Point gains are always tiny, making him increasingly useless despite the ability (once promoted) to fly and breathe fire.
  • Damsel in Distress: Princess Elis is pretty much the perfect hackneyed stereotypical example. All she needed was for Zeon to tie her to the railroad tracks.
  • Death Seeker: Lemon. However, it later turns out he's a vampire, and can't end his own life by conventional means (even if he's killed in battle, he automatically resurrects if you win or retreat).
  • Equipment Spoiler:
    • Subverted: Taros can drop his sword, which can only be used by the Giant class. No Giant ever joins the team.
    • Camella can also drop her Iron Ball, which absolutely nobody can equip either.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Oddler, the blind boy who travels with you for about a while, later reveals himself as Odd-Eye, one of Zeon's top fighters.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: A certain Gizmo/Dark Smoke demon from the start who possesses King Galam as The Unfought Disc One Final Boss, then resurfaces near the end of the game as the next to final boss. For context, this is still a Mook possessing an old man, who turns into the second strongest enemy in the game.
  • Furry Confusion: Slade is an anthropomorphic rat, but later in the game there is a boss that is a real rat.
  • Heel-Face Turn:
    • Halfway through the battle in which he first appears, Jaro decides he's fed up with fighting for the villains' side and joins Bowie and co.
    • When Lemon finally escapes his demonic possession, he joins the heroes to start down the path to redemption.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: Bowie can be renamed as the player wishes. There's also a cheat that allows the player to do this with every playable character.
  • Heroic Mime: Played with through Bowie, in which he has a few brief one-liner acknowledgements, but is typically mouthpieced by his Exposition Phoenix Peter and Sir Astral.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Slade can be promoted to the ninja class, and his most powerful weapon can kill most non-boss enemies in a single blow, whatever their HP total.
  • Landmark of Lore: There's a hidden airship that has the same outline as the Nazca lines.
  • Light Is Good: Two of the main Amplifier Artifacts are the Jewel of Light and the Jewel of Evil, not Darkness.
  • Mithril: You'll find Mithril in different places, and if you hold onto them for the whole game near the end the Dwarven blacksmith will forge powerful Mithril weapons for your force.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: To the first Shining Force game, barring a single reference to Max and Guardiana and the return of the Chaos Breaker (which has, sadly, been renamed to the far less awesome sounding name of Force Sword).
  • One Man Party: Healers can gain XP every time they cast healing spells, even on characters with full HP. Combine this with the Master Monks' high attack levels, and Sarah, Karna, and Sheela (if you wait to get the second Vigor Ball to promote both Sarah and Karna to Master Monk) can all become absolute wrecking machines. High Attack + Aura + Boost = A character who will level up very, very, very fast.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: Most of the centaurs in this game - Chester, Rick, Eric, Higins, and Jaro - are knights. The lone exception is May, who is an archer.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Gerhalt the "wolfman" starts out looking like just a hairy human, but after he gets a promotion he turns into a proper werewolf.
  • Redemption Demotion:
    • Lemon is significantly stronger when you fight against him (in fact he's almost a That One Boss) than he is when he joins your team. Hand Waved by the fact that he's no longer being controlled by a demon spirit, but still.
    • Jaro becomes weaker when he switches sides mid-battle, for the same reasons as Lemon. Luckily though if you leave him alone in the battle until he switches sides you'll never have to fight him, so most players won't notice the demotion.
  • Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: When the Shining Force gets shrunk at Mr. Creed's residence and put onto a desk with an entire community of people who had the same thing happen to them. (The Shining Force gets away eventually of course, but for the other potential party members they must remain there until pre-departure on the Nazca ship, but it could still be like And I Must Scream as the others would be harder to level up at this point). The NPCs who have made a kingdom of their own are actually thankful to Creed for their Desktop Kingdom.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: A lot of the female characters get surprisingly hotter when they get a promotion. This is most blatantly the case for Master Monks, who go from priestly garb to Stripperiffic belly-dancer wear when they promote.
  • Standard Hero Reward: SFII's ending shows Bowie using a True Love's Kiss to wake Princess Elis from her coma. It's implied the two of them ascend to King and Queen of Granseal eventually.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Sir Hawel, the first mage available in Final Conflict, is killed off by mooks near the beginning of Shining Force II.
  • Summon Magic: A variation of magical attacks in later installments. This is the specialty of the Sorcerer class, an alternate promotion of the Mage class.
  • The Strategist: Sir Astral.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Chaos Breaker is required to complete the game, as it is the only weapon that can harm Zeon.
    • The Achilles Sword is needed in this capacity as well, being the only weapon capable of harming Taros.
  • Tank Goodness: The Brass Gunner class, which has better movement range and defense than a Sniper (standard promoted Archer). Slightly subverted in that a Sniper is actually has more firepower than a tank, judging by attack stat gains.
  • Team Pet: Kiwi the turtle is basically a cute tagalong once he is recruited into the party (at least until he gets promoted, at which point he looks remarkably like Gamera, complete with flight and fire breathing).
  • Too Awesome to Use: Shower of Cure can become this, as well as level 4 magic attacks (you want to save your MP so you can keep attacking of course).
  • True Love's Kiss: At the end of the game between Bowie and the princess.
  • Upgrade Artifact: Certain items allow a few of your party members to promote to different classes than their normal evolution.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: The Jewels of Light and Evil, though they have no effect on gameplay.
    • The Chaos Breaker makes its return from the first game, though it's been given a different (and less awesome) name.
  • You Dirty Rat: Slade the Rat is the cause of everything that goes wrong in the game. Though it is mentioned that he was more of a Robin Hood-type Loveable Rogue who simply had no idea what he was unleashing when he stole the jewels of Light and Evil. He does later join the Shining Force and redeem himself. He eventually becomes one of the best members of the force, barring Bowie and Peter. He's also the only member, when promoted, to be able to slice things in two without damage rolls (except a boss) if he lands a critical. Guess that's what being promoted from a thief to a ninja does for you!

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