Characters from the Shining Force series.
The protagonist of the first game and leader of the original Shining Force. He starts off as an apprentice of Lord Varios before a summons turns into a call for adventure. His starting class is Swordsman, and his promoted class is Hero.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Treated with scorn and envy by the other knights at the beginning of the game for being an upstart kid who's wasting Varios' time and teachings. Guess who keeps Guardiana from being completely wiped out by Runefaust forces when said knights could not?
- Badass Cape: Wears a long blue cape that flows in the wind. He changes to a shorter cape when promoted.
- Badasses Wear Bandanas: Wears a simple bandana as a Swordsman and a metal one as a Hero.
- Dumb Struck: When Darksol kills Kane at the Tower of the Ancients, he loses his voices for the majority of the last portion of the game.
- Easy Amnesia: When he's found by Lowe, he has no idea who he is.
- Flynning: Once promoted to Hero, his attacks involve flashy swordplay, as opposed to the simple overhand strike he uses as a Swordsman. This was averted in the GBA remake, where he resorts to overhand strikes even after being promoted to Hero.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Not Max himself, but the fact that Guardiana's chief military advisor and knight captain Varios is his mentor earned him the scorn and envy of the other knights, who all see him as an upstart kid who is wasting Varios' time.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: In the first game, by default the player is forced to name Max.
- The Hero: This literally becomes his character class upon promotion.
- Heroic BSoD: The death of Kane, his brother, causing him to be mute for majority of the last portion of the game.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: As The Hero, he can use any sword. His initial class is even Swordsman.
- Heroic Mime: In the original game, he doesn't speak until the end of the game. The remake downplays this further.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: As the Player Character, his stats are balanced, though some of the better swords in the game boost his attack to ungodly levels.
- Legendary in the Sequel: In Shining Force II, Bowie can find a book titled "The Legend Of Max", which presumably chronicles the events of the first game.
- Magic Knight: Downplayed, as the only spell he could naturally learn is Egress, which helps the party escape from battle. He can later can use his three most powerful swords to cast magic without limit. He plays this straight in the remake, where he can naturally learn the Supernova spell.
- Magikarp Power: Downplayed; while he is never useless with proper training, he starts off the game as a Master of None to his fellow comrades, lacking the range, defense, or movement to distinguish himself from the others. Over the course of the game, he will eventually work his way up to becoming a Master of All, with the Chaos Breaker and White Ring serving as the finishing touches.
- Master of All: By the end of the game, with both the Chaos Breaker and White Ring at his disposal, he excels in every stat with no weaknesses whatsoever.
- Master Swordsman: Can use every sword in the game, including the Doom Blade and the katana, even though he will be carrying the Chaos Breaker by the time both are available. When promoted, he starts Flynning and has very high damage output, especially with the game's more powerful swords.
- Meaningful Name: Max is short for the Roman name Maxamilian, which means "greatest". He did start the whole tradition of sword-wielding Shining Force protagonists, after all...
- Mysterious Stranger: Max is this to the kingdom of Guardiana. Lowe found him washed up on the beach with no memories.
- Red-Headed Hero: He's probably supposed to have brown hair, but graphical limitations render his overworld sprite as a redhead.
- The Silent Bob: In the original game, he has no dialogue until after the final battle.
- Suddenly Voiced: He suddenly speaks at the final battle of the original game. This is downplayed in the remake as he speaks in that game.
- Token Human: Humans are a minority in the setting, though you might not realize it looking at the NPC population. The Shining Force has more Centaurs in the end than it does humans.
A priest who's the first playable character you meet after Max. His starting class is Healer, and his promoted class is Vicar.
- Big Eater: In the remake, he is constantly hungry and talking about food.
- Boring, but Practical: Can't learn Aura like the other healers, but having a healer with a high MP pool is useful all the same.
- Combat Medic: Downplayed; speaking to him at headquarters will make him point out that his primary role is being a healer, though he'll put in a few whacks when necessary.
- Hopeless Suitor: Hits on Khris in the GBA remake. He never succeeds.
- Meaningful Name: Lowe is a Germanized variant of the Hebrew Levy, which means "joining". True to form, he joins Max's Shining Force as a Healer in the beginning of the game.
- The Mentor: Succeeds Nova in this department in Shining Force CD.
- Status Buff: Learns Quick 1 and Quick 2.
- The Vicar: What he becomes after you promote him.
- White Mage: Lowe learns all four levels of Heal.
A knight who is one of the first Shining Force members. His starting class is Knight, and his promoted class is Paladin.
- All Love Is Unrequited: According to the Shining Force I manual, he had a Precocious Crush on Mae, who is five years older, but she sees him more as a little brother than a potential mate. However, in Shining Force Gaiden, he possibly managed to successfully woo Mae and have a son named "Apis".
- All There in the Manual: He was 17 years old and only an apprentice knight when he joined the first Shining Force.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Despite being the earliest available knight, his stats are specialized for baiting enemy mages and ambushing weakened foes; he can't reliably tank hits without significant Protect Milk investments.
- Dogged Nice Guy: In a world where many centaurs look down on humans, Ken looks up to Max for his skill in battle.
- Glass Cannon: His gimmick is that he has a ridiculously high HP count, but defense on par with Squishy Wizards.
- Hero Worship: In the GBA remake, he admired Max, but was forced to hide because of Mae, who hated Max with a passion.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Has a pair of these, to indicate his youthfulness and his noble and idealistic personality.
- Just Friends: Mae sees Ken as a little brother. Unconfirmed if this changes by the time Shining Force CD comes around.
- Like Father, Like Son: His son Apis joins the Shining Force, just like he himself once did with Max.
- Mage Killer: His Glass Cannon status makes him an excellent sponge for magic attacks (which bypasses defense), especially since the only characters in this installment that have magic resistances are bosses, certain enemies, and Jogurt.
- Meaningful Name: In Scottish, Ken means "handsome". He's grown to become very attractive in Shining Force CD compared to his first appearance, and even has a son, Apis, with Mae, another Shining Force I character whom he had a crush on.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: Like every other knight in the game.
- Overprotective Dad: In Shining Force Gaiden, he is greatly uncomfortable with letting his son Apis become a member of the Shining Force, seeing it as too dangerous. He gets over it, eventually.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He is eager to prove himself in battle as a knight. He becomes Older and Wiser in Shining Force CD, where he is the military leader of Guardiana's army and a bodyguard to Queen Anri.
An archer who is one of the first Shining Force members. His starting class is Archer, and his promoted class is Bow Master.
- All the Other Reindeer: According to the Shining Force I manual, Hans was ridiculed by his fellow archers because he took a pacifist approach to things.
- The Archer: His class. It gives him good range, especially once he gets some of the higher level equipment.
- Badass Pacifist: Described as a pacifist in the Shining Force I manual and was ridiculed by others for it, but he was part of Max's troupe for a reason.
- Fortune Teller: He mentions taking up fortune telling as a hobby in the remake and will practice various techniques on Max.
- Fragile Speedster: He's the fastest archer in the game, but can die easily. He tells you outright not to put him in the front lines.
- Took a Level in Badass: Hans looked and acted pretty wussy in the original game, constantly reminding you not to put him in the frontline as he can't stand taking damage. In the remake, he gets an upgraded bishounen look and a snarky attitude who knows when to get serious.
A warrior who is one of the first Shining Force members. His starting class is Warrior, and his promoted class Gladiator.
- An Axe to Grind: As a warrior, uses axes, but can use short and middle swords as well.
- Eyes Always Shut: Depicted as this in-game and in concept artwork. Even in Shining Force CD, his eyes are always shut.
- Gag Nose: The most prominent feature of his character design is his big red nose. He loses it in the remake.
- Ironic Name: He's named "Luke" due to translation mishaps, but Luke was the name of a doctor who accompanied Saint Paul in the Bible. Ironically, this Luke is a warrior.
- Mighty Glacier: Both strong and hardy, but pretty slow.
- Older Than They Look: Lug is already 64 years old when he first joins the Force, but this fact wouldn't be known at first glance since he looks pretty young.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Translation issues changed his name from Lug to Luke.
A female elven mage who is one of the first members of the Shining Force. Her starting class is Mage, and her promoted class is Wizard.
- All There in the Manual: It's never addressed in-game, but the archer Diane is her sister.
- Fragile Speedster: Tao will often end up the fastest character on the Force.
- In the Hood: As a Wizard.
- Magic Knight: Carves out this niche for herself among the mages in the remake. Thanks to the addition of multiple powerful staves, including those with a bonus against machines, surprisingly decent health, attack, and defense growth rates, and her Boost spells Tao is capable of pushing out physical damage that rivals Max's when her fire magic won't cut it.
- Master of One Magic: Concentrates on learning Blaze spells, as opposed to spreading her skills out over Bolt and Freeze as Anri and Alef do.
- Mind over Matter: Her attack animation as a Wizard has her use telekinesis to whack enemies with her staff.
- Ms. Fanservice: When you equip her with the secret "Sugoi Mizugi" item found in the Bustoke quarry. It's basically a bikini set.
- Parental Abandonment: In the GBA remake, it's revealed that Tao and her sisters Diane and Wendy lost their parents when their home, Pipory Village, was attacked.
- Playing with Fire: Tao's specialty, courtesy of the Blaze line of spells.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Anri's red, despite their signature magic suggesting otherwise.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only female in the Shining Force before Mae joins later.
- Standard Status Effects: Two of her spells are Sleep and Dispel, as a means of debilitating the enemy team through inexpensive means. Unfortunately, they rarely work.
- Status Buff: Surprisingly learns the attack-increasing spell Boost at Level 27.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Pink in Tao's case.
A monk who can be recruited outside of the Gate of the Ancients. His starting class is Monk, and his promoted class is Master Monk.
- The Atoner: According to the Shining Force I manual, Gong once joined his fellow giants in looting and pillaging helpless villages, but along the way he realized what he was doing was wrong, so he retired to the woods and became a monk to atone for his sins.
- Bald of Awesome: He is completely bald, and he's the only playable character who can both fight and heal.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: One of the few members of the force not to use any weapons. Unfortunately, this causes him to fall behind to the point where even a pure White Mage may out-damage him late in the game.
- Combat Medic: A capable fighter who specializes in healing magic.
- Eyes Always Shut: His profile picture when talking always depicts his eyes shut.
- Guide Dang It!: It's very easy to miss him; once you leave Guardiana, you can't get him.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Supplementary materials claim he is half-giant.
- Ki Manipulation: In the Remake, once Gong becomes a Master Monk, his attack is punching the ground to fire a ki wave.
- Master of None: Can fight as well as heal. However, he can't fight as well as dedicated fighters, nor heal as well as dedicated healers; later in the game, even the latter (Khris in particular) is able to out-damage him. Being the only healer unable to equip weapons to boost his attack power doesn't help.
- Permanently Missable Content: If you don't retreat from your first fight with Runefaust and go to the little cabin located on the right side of the map, Gong will turn into this.
- Perpetual Frowner: His profile picture always depicts him with a frown.
- Reality Ensues: Applies to game mechanics; being unequippable with any weapon results in him falling behind in stats compared to the other healers, including Khris.
- Retired Badass: Gong was previously a warrior who fought Runefaust's armies for many years. By the time Max finds him, he was living a simple life in the woods.
A warrior who has settled down in Guardiana at the beginning of the game. He can be recruited by talking to him twice - before you leave for your first battle, and after you come back to Guardiana to find it destroyed. His starting class is Warrior, and promoted class is Gladiator.
- An Axe to Grind: As a warrior, he uses axes, but can use short and middle swords as well.
- Badass Beard: As befitting a dwarf, he has a beard. He also turns into a tank if you level him up enough, able to absorb damage and deal as much damage.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted; he's a member of the Shining Force, and he's wearing a helmet that's full of notches, implying a long life of fighting and war
- Mighty Glacier: Similar to Luke, he can often end up being the stronger of the two at higher levels, if leveled up properly. He is still quite slow and lacks mobility as a tradeoff.
- One-Man Army: Apparently, according to the tavern keeper in Guardiana, he fought off a squad of Runefaust soldiers by himself.
- Permanently Missable Content: If you don't talk to him again after Guardiana is invaded.
- Stone Wall: While Luke's strength is in his attack, Gort has very beefy defense.
The only daughter of Varios and one of many centaur knights of Guardiana. She joins your party to get revenge on Runefaust for killing her father and razing Guardiana. Her starting class is Knight, and her promoted class is Paladin.
- Badasses Wear Bandanas: Wears a red bandana similar to Max's green one.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: When she witnesses Kane killing her father Lord Varios, she attempts to charge him. Kane deflects her with one blow.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Has blonde hair and is a member of the Shining Force. The remake pegs her more as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who resents Max for having the attention of her father Varios, but still decides to help him fight Runefaust.
- The Lancer: Takes on this role to Max's Hero after joining the Force. Helps that she carries a lance as part of her initial equipment.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: Mae is a rare depiction of a female centaur, normally portrayed as a One-Gender Race in fiction.
- Say My Name: Calls Max's name at the end of the game when he is believed to have died defeating Dark Dragon and the Castle of the Ancients sinks afterwards.
- Stone Wall: Compared to some other units, Mae takes scratch damage from most physical blows. Coupled with her high HP, she is a great candidate for the cursed Devil Lance and its random small amount of inflicted damage.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In the GBA remake, she was jealous of Max for having Varios teach him instead of her, and saw him as a waste of time for her father (but immediately gotten over it once Varios dies). This is unlike the original, where she has faith in Max utilizing her father's teachings well.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: The ending implies that she has a thing for Max and is heartbroken when he sacrifices himself.
- You Killed My Father: Joins the Force after Varios dies, but doesn't just do it out of revenge. It's possible to land the finishing blow on Kane as Mae if leveled up sufficiently.
A healer from Alterone who breaks Max out of prison, and joins the force. Her starting class is Healer, and her promoted class is Vicar.
- Combat Medic: Khris is the most physically capable of the pure healers, and with the right weapon can deal damage in the same range as the designated fighters.
- Dark and Troubled Past: In the GBA remake, Khris was an orphan and a survivor of a terrible disease that killed off most of the children in the orphanage she lived in. This created the desire to become a healer, so she'll never be a witness to such tragedies again.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She has blonde hair, and serves as one of many healers for the Shining Force.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Possibly? She's called a Kyantal in the original game, but her redrawn mugshot, seen from the front, makes her look like a human in the remake. Averted with her sprites in both games...Khris has a long, almost deer-like face.
- Magikarp Power: While she can potentially have the highest physical stats of any healer in the game, she starts off with horrible stats, making it very tempting to sideline her once the Arbitrary Headcount Limit is reached.
- Parental Abandonment: She's an orphan in the GBA remake.
- Spanner in the Works: Khris freeing Max from the dungeons in Alterone Castle ultimately allowed him to free Alterone from Runefaust's influence.
- The Vicar: What she becomes after you promote her.
- White Mage: Learns all four levels of Heal, and also learns Aura, making her the most versatile healer in the game.
The daughter of the king of Guardiana, and a mage who joins the Shining Force. Her starting class is Mage, and her promoted class is Wizard.
- Born Unlucky: In the games she appeared in, she had her father killed and hometown Guardiana attacked and razed by Runefaust soldiers, (fake) kidnapped by an exiled prince and his bodyguard, kidnapped (for real) by an old woman who thought said prince was not worthy of his father's throne, and magically cast into a coma by Woldol. Apis lampshades this trope in Book 3 of Shining Force CD:Apis: "Has anyone ever thought that the reason Queen Anri is always in trouble is that she is unlucky?"
- Convenient Coma: Falls into one as the result of a spell cast by Woldol in Shining Force CD.
- Heroic BSoD: She breaks down after hearing of her father's death and Guardiana's devastation at the hands of Runefaust. Fortunately, she recovers and even joins your party after you console her.
- The High Queen: Of Guardiana in Shining Force CD.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Became this in Shining Force CD; while not a terrible ruler, she accepted an audience with the evil Woldol (who cast her into a Convenient Coma), and allowed herself to be kidnapped by a Fallen Prince and his bodyguard not knowing it was fake.
- An Ice Person: Her Freeze spells. It's one of her most powerful spells in her arsenal, which contrasts Tao's powerful Blaze spells.
- In the Hood: As a Mage and Wizard, she wears a hood.
- Lady of Black Magic: She is the princess of Guardiana and daughter of its (deceased) former king who strives to become a leader for her people. Naturally, she can cast offensive spells - namely Freeze and Bolt. When promoted, her light blue robes become black.
- Mind over Matter: Much like Tao and Alef, her attack animation as a Wizard has her use telekinesis to whack enemies with her staff.
- Ms. Fanservice: Much like Tao, she'll become this after you equip her with the secret "Kitsui Fuku" item, which is basically a thigh-length, tight, and revealing dress.
- Mystical White Hair: She has white hair, and one of four characters who can cast spells like Blaze and Freeze.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Both in her original appearance, and as the queen of Guardiana in Shining Force CD
- Playing with Fire: She can only wield Lv. 2 Blaze.
- Princess Protagonist: She's both a playable character and the daughter of the (deceased) king of Guardiana which makes her a princess by default.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: When she's first encountered, she's studying at the mages' college in Manarina. Then she joins your party after you inform her of her father's death in Guardiana, believing it's what he would've wanted of her.
- Shock and Awe: She can learn Lv. 1 and 2 Bolt.
- Standard Status Effect: She can learn Elude, a spell that lowers the enemy's accuracy.
- Token Human: She and Max are the only humans in the Shining Force.
- True Blue Femininity: Her in-game sprite as a Mage is basically Tao with blue colors and white hair. Which is strange, because her profile (sans hair) is colored the same way as Tao's.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Invoked. When she's overcome with grief over news of her father's murder, Nova reminds Anri that she mustn't let her feelings get in the way of her duty. She is given a short period to mourn, but when Max talks to her, Anri decides to focus her grief into killing Kane and defeating Runefaust.
- You Killed My Father: She joins your party in Manarina to defeat Runefaust, the kingdom responsible for the death of her father.Anri: "Vengeance shall be ours!"
A centaur knight living among the mages as a laundryman in Manarina. He can be recruited by talking to him twice - when you first meet him while he's washing the laundry, and after you retrieve the Orb of Light. His starting class is Knight, and his promoted class is Paladin.
- The Ace: Deconstructed. He possessed amazing fighting ability, which propelled him into the role of a knight captain at a young age... without proper leadership experience or training. It didn't end well for him or the knights who served under him.
- All There in the Manual: He was a former knight captain, but failures in his command led to many casualties, causing him to leave the military out of regret. By the time he is found by Max, he is a simple laundryman living in Manarina.
- General Failure: Due to lack of experience and training, many of Arthur's soldiers in his past life as a knight captain were lost. He resigned from the military out of regret and disillusionment with fighting.
- An Ice Person: His Freeze spell.
- Kill It with Fire: Courtesy of the Blaze spell.
- Magic Knight: Justified. He lived in the magic school of Manarina for a while and presumably learned how to cast spells in the meantime, something other knights cannot do. He even retains said spells well into Shining Force CD.
- Magikarp Power: Starts with horrible stats, but can be one of the most powerful characters in the game if properly leveled (and handled by more patient players).
- Meaningful Name: His name is derived from the Roman Artorious, which means "noble" or "courageous". Despite his bad history with wars, he is truly a heroic character, and also one of the most powerful characters in the Force (if leveled up sufficiently and handled with patience).
- My Greatest Failure: He was pushed up the ranks and eventually got a lot of his men killed. It's implied he ran away to Manarina to escape his past.
- The Peter Principle: His fighting ability got him promoted quickly to a position of command he was not ready for.
- Retired Badass: If you talk to him before you fight Dark Dragon at the end of the game (that is, if you decide to keep him in your party), he reveals his plans to retire from fighting once it's all over. In Shining Force III, he becomes a simple laundryman once again, though it becomes 10-Minute Retirement if you recruit him into Medion's party.
- Shock and Awe: His Bolt spells ("Spark" in Shining Force CD).
- Took a Level in Badass: When you recruit him in Manarina, he starts off pretty weak, with a tendency to get killed off first due to low HP. But once sufficiently leveled up (and promoted to Paladin at level 20), he quickly gains stats and MP (magic points), and learns spells no other Knight has. This becomes apparent in Shining Force III, where the spells he gains in the first game are more powerful than ever before, with them becoming level 3.
A birdman who has been turned into a statue in Shade Abbey. He joins your party after you rescue him and defeat all the monsters in the village. His starting class is Birdman, and his promoted class is Sky Warrior.
- Battle Couple: With Amon. They're most effective when paired together.
- Distressed Dude: Turned into a stone statue by Darksol to prevent him from warning others that the people of Shade Abbey were all killed and turned into undead soldiers as part of a plan to make the town a death trap for the Shining Force.
- Happily Married: With Amon, who is his wife in the GBA remake.
- Lethal Joke Character: While overshadowed by Bleu in the final chapters, his selection of swords, flight ability, and inherently high movement allow for some creative niches:
- He is able to weild the Sword of Darkness and the Chaos Breaker, which makes him a formidable Glass Cannon. However, this requires Max to equip a subpar weapon of his own once his exclusive Sword of Light is sacrified to make the Chaos Breaker, thereby cutting short his own potential and playing a Stone Wall when he could be a Master of All.
- A more practical (and logical) variant of this trope would be to use the Doom Blade for the chance of inflicting a One-Hit KO. His attack is irrelevant since his damage output is left up to chance, and unlike Desoul users he doesn't need to expend any MP to use this attack.
- Relationship Upgrade: In the original game, he's Amon's fiance. In the GBA remake, he's her husband.
- Taken for Granite: He was turned into stone by Darksol when the Force first meets him, to prevent him from revealing Shade Abbey was actually a death trap set for Max, with all its inhabitants killed and turned to undead soldiers.
A birdwoman who enlists the Shining Force's help to help Balbaroy. Her starting class is Birdman, and her promoted class is Sky Warrior.
- Battle Couple: With Balbaroy. They're most effective when paired together.
- Happily Married: With Balbaroy, who is her husband in the GBA remake.
- Lethal Joke Character: Can wield any of the aforementioned swords - and thus shares the same pool of niches - as Balbaroy.
- Magikarp Power: A minor example. Balbaroy has better stats when they join the Shining Force, but Amon is stronger by the end.
- Meaningful Name: Her name means "faithful" in Hebrew. In the GBA remake, she is Balbaroy's wife and forms a Battle Couple with him.
- The Quiet One: She supposedly doesn't say much, preferring her skills to do the talking.
- Relationship Upgrade: In the original game, she's Balbaroy's fiancee. In the GBA remake, she's his wife.
An archer who the Force meets in Bustoke. Her starting class is Archer, and her promoted class is Bow Master.
- All There in the Manual: She's apparently Tao's sister, but there's no indication of this in the original game.
- The Archer: Like Hans, this is her character class.
- Happily Adopted: By her parents in Bustoke, assuming the remake didn't just Retcon away her relation to Tao who confirms their parents were killed when they were younger.
- Meaningful Name: Her name is a reference to the Roman goddess Diana, who is associated with archery.
- Odd Friendship: According to supplemental material, she has this with Zylo.
- Strong Family Resemblance: To Tao (See All There in the Manual).
- Unorthodox Holstering: According to the Shining wiki, she feels the wearing a quiver on her back is banal and about to go out of fashion, so she wears it at her hip instead.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Like Tao, she has pink hair.
A wolfling who joins the Shining Force midway. He can be found in Bustoke, where it's revealed that Runefaust soldiers forcibly poisoned him, causing Zylo to go mad and necessitating his imprisonment in a mountain cave. Max can recruit him by giving him an antidote for the poison that will restore his good self. His starting class is Werewolf, and his promoted class is Wolf Baron.
- Hates Small Talk: In Resurrection of the Dark Dragon, trying to befriend him in headquarters usually leads to him blowing Max off. When he's not informing him that his favorite color is black, anyway.
- Lightning Bruiser: His mobility stat is very high, allowing him to cover huge distances per turn. Better still, his movement is unaffected by difficult terrain. He also has a high attack stat.
- Noble Wolf: He did start out feral and violent, but it was only because Runefaust soldiers poisoned him and he needed a cure. Once Max cures him, his good traits immediately resurface, and he joins the Shining Force out of gratitude.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Specifically, the typical "feral" behavior associated with werewolves was the result of being poisoned by Runefaust soldiers, which caused Zylo to go mad and attack everyone in sight. After Max helps cure him, he joins out of gratitude.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Zylo is considered the "King of the Mountain" in Bustoke and, with Diane's help, protects his people.
- Soul Power: After you promote him to Wolf Baron, his attack animation has him summon numerous wolf spirits that damage the enemy.
A mercenary working for Runefaust who changes sides. His starting class is Knight, and his promoted class is Paladin.
- Death by Falling Over: Invoked, then subverted. A Silver Knight tries to kill Pelle by pushing him off a cliff for betraying Runefaust. Luckily, he managed to grab onto a branch and pulled himself up the cliffside by sheer force of strength.
- Everyone Has Standards: He finds Runefaust's army repulsive enough to return his payment and switch sides.
- Hired Guns: He's a mercenary working for Runefaust at first, though he becomes disillusioned with his employers by the time Max finds him on the bridge in Shining Force I.
- Knight Errant: He has no idea where he is from and wanders the country looking for his homeland.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: He sports a pretty impressive chin, though it may be due to the game's art style. It's downplayed in the GBA remake, but it's still there.
- Master of None: While every other knight excels in some area, Pelle middles in every stat.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He'll only work for Runefaust as long as they pay him. By the time Max and his party fight Runefaust on the bridge, he has grown increasingly disgusted with his employers' actions that he returns the money and defects to Max's side.
- You Have Failed Me: The Runefaust Silver Knight tries to kill him when he quits. He survives the fall and joins the Shining Force as a result.
A helmeted hamster-like creature that lives in Pao.
- Alien Animals: According to a Japanese Shining Force World book, Jogurt is a "Strange creature from the evil planet Yogurt."
- Intelligent Gerbil: Yep.
- Joke Character: All of his stats, save for Movement, never go beyond 1. He only inflicts Scratch Damage, cannot level up and if you manage to kill someone with him, he obtains a ring that turns other party members into him.
- Talking Animal: Choose the "Talk" option with him, and he'll speak to you like a human.
A retired knight and inventor the Force meet in Bustoke. His starting class is Wing Knight, and his promoted class is Sky Lord.
- Determinator: He never strays from his goal to create a machine that can allow him to fly, despite discouragement. He succeeds by the time Max reaches the Pao prairie.
- Guide Dang It!: You can't recruit him by talking to him. You have to examine his machine.
- Mad Scientist: He's considered quirky in-universe and is obsessed with powered flight.
- Retired Badass: A former knight of the Bustoke palace, Kokichi settled down to experiment with powered flight experiments.
A knight who the Force can meet in Pao. His starting class is Knight, and his promoted class is Paladin.
- The Alcoholic: Vankar tends to drink on the job and falls asleep underneath the Pao caravans as a result. The player meets him after the wagons have rolled.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: One Pao townsperson describes him as "a good fighter when he wants to be."
- Drunken Glow: Vankar ignored his work so he could drink. His big red nose shows this.
- Porn Stache: Has a big handlebar 'stache.
- Stone Wall: Vankar gets the most HP of any knight. This makes up for his average stats everywhere else.
An Armadillo in a steam suit. His starting class is Steam Knight, and his promoted class is Steam Baron.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: Literally, as he's covered in armor, but Guntz is supposedly a soft-hearted guy.
- Mighty Glacier: A knight that sacrifices mobility and some HP for attack and defense.
- Powered Armor: Wears a suit of steam-powered armor, which frequently malfunctions when the player first meets him. By the time Max finds him again in Pao, his armor seems to have been fixed.
A magical jellyfish-like creature who hatches from an egg. Max can recruit him first by retrieving Domingo's egg in Manarina, then having it hatch later on. His character-exclusive class is Magic Creature.
- All There in the Manual: Domingo's race is "magical creature." Apparently these were used in the past as guardians, but as eggs became for difficult to hatch, the market fell off.
- Kill It with Ice: Domingo learns all levels of Freeze, though he only learns the best Freeze spell at Level 26.
- Pokémon Speak: Can only say his name in the remake.
- Stone Wall: Has very high defense stats with low physical attacks. For some reason, enemies tend to make a beeline for him. Of course, this is not taking into account his spellcasting skills.
- Talking Animal: Domingo can talk in the Genesis version. Averted in the remake, where he can only speak his name.
A knight whose hometown was destroyed by Balbazak. His starting class is Knight, and his promoted class is Paladin.
- All There in the Manual: According to Japanese supplemental material, Earnest was a member of the royal family of "Thermal," a city on Runefaust's border. When Runefaust decided to extend its sphere of influence, Balbazak led the attack on the small kingdom.
- Meaningful Name: He's particularly...ahem, "earnest" about seeking revenge against Balbazak.
- Peek-a-Bangs: In the original game, his hair covered his left eye. In the GBA remake, his hair covered his right.
- Revenge Before Reason: Charges into Balbazak's fortress alone to seek revenge for the destruction of his hometown, despite his own injuries.
- Scars Are Forever: Has a prominent scar over his right eye. In the GBA remake, his scar is on his left eye.
A Strike Knight who joins the Force in Rudo. His starting class is Strike Knight, and his promoted class is Assault Knight.
- All There in the Manual: He was a friend of Guntz and a fellow apprentice of Dr. Crock (the old man who developed Guntz' Powered Armor). He was supposed to meet up with Guntz in the Pao prairie, but Lyle's terrible sense of direction landed him in Rudo, where Max finds and recruits him.
- BFG: Carries a bazooka into battle. It hits very hard when he's leveled up properly.
- Epic Fail: In trying to meet up with Guntz in the Pao prairie, he somehow ended up across the ocean on a different continent.
- Glass Cannon: Has impressive range and damage, but one solid hit is enough to kill him.
- Horse Archer: Being classified as a Knight, of course he's a Centaur. So in this case, the horse is the archer.
- No Sense of Direction: How he ended up in Rudo (see All There in the Manual).
A dragon who joins the Shining Force. His starting class is Dragon, and his promoted class is Great Dragon.
- Character Development: When you first find him in Dragonia, he's a cowardly baby dragon who refuses to help Max fight Runefaust. When his human friend Karin is threatened by one of Kane's soldiers, he finds his resolve and burns said soldier to a crisp. If you manage to level him up properly and get him promoted, he evolves into a brave, powerful and mighty dragon who can breathe lightning bolts.
- Disappointed in You: Gets told this by Karin verbatim when he refuses to join Max and fight Kane.
- Last of His Kind: He's the last dragon of Dragonia.
- Mighty Glacier: Becomes a behemoth in attack and defense, held back only by his lackluster mobility.
- Raised by Grandparents: Until they were killed by Kane and his army.
- Shock and Awe: As mentioned before, if you promote him, his attack animation has him breathe lightning bolts.
- Soul Power: After promotion, his attack animation sometimes has him summon numerous dragon spirits to attack the enemy.
- Tail Slap: How he fights enemies before promotion.
- Took a Level in Badass: The most triumphant example in the game. Bleu goes from a cowardly dragon shivering in fear to a decent fighter and if the player chooses to grind him, easily the most overpowered character after Zylo.
A mysterious samurai who can join the Shining Force late in the game. In the original Genesis version, Musashi cannot be promoted. However, the GBA remake allows him to promote into a Swordmaster.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: Joins the Force very late in the game, so it makes leveling him up almost pointless. Thankfully, he doesn't really need much.
- Expy: He's basically Miyamoto Musashi right down to the name.
- Katanas Are Just Better: His katana is the fourth most powerful sword in the game, only bested by the Swords of Light and Darkness and the Chaos Breaker.
- Meaningful Name: Named after the samurai, Miyamoto Mushashi.
- Mighty Glacier: His movement stat isn't all that great, especially as he's obtained in chapter 7 where the player fights in mountainous terrain a lot. His attack stat is very high, though, making him good for the final few battles.
- Permanently Missable Content: If you don't find him, he'll turn into this.
- Samurai: His character class.
- Secret Character: To get him to join, you must find his note in a certain town.
A foxling mage from Prompt who along with Torasu has been dispatched to the Tower of the Ancients. Her starting class is Mage, and her promoted class is Wizard.
- Awesome, but Impractical: She learns the most powerful spells in the game, Bolt 3 and 4, but they are extremely expensive and drain her MP in only a few uses. She is best played in the hands of a conservative player, but most prefer Tao and Anri for their efficiency anyway.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: Joins the Force very late in the game.
- Fantastic Foxes: She is a foxling.
- In the Hood: Both as a Mage and (after you promote her) Wizard.
- Glass Cannon: Levelling her up enough allows her access to powerful Bolt spells, which have a very wide area of effect, causing widespread damage, meaning that she can level up very quickly once even Bolt level 2 is learned.
- Shock and Awe: Alef's specialty is Bolt spells.
- Squishy Wizard: The least durable of all the mage characters.
A priest from Prompt who along with Alef has been dispatched to the Tower of the Ancients. His starting class is Healer, and his promoted class is Vicar.
A robot who guards the machine to create the Chaos Breaker. His starting class is Robot, and his promoted class is Cyborg.
- Awesome, but Impractical: As a character, he can be powerful if you take the time to level him up. Unfortunately, he joins so late in the game that it's not worth ditching characters you've leveled up to be just as powerful.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: Joins the Force very late in the game.
- Laser Blade: In the Remake, once Adam promotes to Cyborg, his hand's equipped with a built-in laser claw.
- Magikarp Power: An unfortunate example, since he's the second-to-last character that joins the Force.
- Mighty Glacier: He combines this with Stone Wall. He's the sturdiest character in the game, and has a modest attack, but is extremely slow.
- Walking the Earth: After the end of the game, he wanders before settling down when he finds Max.
A ninja who meets up with the Shining Force in Runefaust. In the original Genesis version, Hanzou cannot be promoted. However, the GBA remake allows him to promote into a Super Ninja.
- Early Installment Weirdness: A character-specific example. While ninjas in later installments are typically Glass Cannon Magic Knights, Hanzou is a Quirky Bard with support and One-Hit Kill capabilities.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: Joins the party in Chapter 8, meaning he's only around for last couple of battles. However, the GBA remake allows you to recruit him a little bit earlier.
- Highly Visible Ninja: Maintains the standard ninja appearance, but averts it when you first meet him. He's disguised as a bush with a very conspicuous flower on it.
- Katanas Are Just Better: He wields a katana in battle that can One-Hit Kill enemies! How cool is that?
- Meaningful Name: Named after Hattori Hanzo, who by the way, was a samurai in real life, not a ninja.
A Remake exclusive character, Narsha is the Princess of Runefaust and daughter of King Ramladu who sensed something wrong with her father. Escaping an assassination attempt, she flees her home to join up with the Shining Force. Her starting class is Shaman, and her promoted class is Guru.
- Carry a Big Stick: She is the only unit that can wield maces.
- Combat Medic: Narsha is a healer who can equip maces that deal decent damage.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Narsha seeks out and joins the Shining Force in order to stop her father's madness and restore her kingdom back to the way it was before Darksol came.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has blue hair despite her dad having black.
A Remake exclusive character, Zuika is an insect-like assassin who helps Narsha in her journey. His starting class Assassin, and his promoted class is Terminator.
- Badass Armfold: Has this as an idle animation before dicing up his enemies.
A Remake exclusive character, Mawlok is a mysterious individual who gets involved with the Shining Force's battles against Darksol. His character-exclusive class is Card Master.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Mawlok appears before Max and company arrive at their first battle, telling Max to collect cards as he travels before vanishing to assist Narsha. Averted as he immediately joins in a second playthrough.
- Death Dealer: Utilizing the cards you've collected, he could use them to either utilizing the card's power (Effect), empower himself (Copy), allow the card of the recipient to act twice (Move), or create a copy of the recipient (Imitate).
- Face of a Thug: He may look creepy with his decrepit mask, but he's friendly towards Shining Force.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: His role in the story involves collecting all of the Character Cards throughout the remake.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Uses cards, which are collected throughout the remake, to either attack enemies or support other party members.
The Shining Force's advisor. You can talk to him if you either want battlefield advice, or to change party members.
The commanding forces of Sol and Max's rival throughout most of the game.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Turns out that the mask he wears controls him. When the Shining Force defeats him, they break his mask, restoring his will.
- Cain and Abel: Is the Cain (translation issues withstanding) to Max's Abel. The remake also wrote them as brothers who were descendants of the Ancients, but along the way Max lost his memory, while Kane was captured and brainwashed by Darksol.
- Climax Boss: He's one of the first villains to appear in the story, and the game spends six chapters building up to this climactic confrontation. Beating him reveals a major plot twist that completely changes the nature of this character. He's also one of the hardest bosses in the game.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Happens off-screen. When he leaves to go confront Darksol after breaking free of his brainwashing mask, all Max (and the player) hears is an explosion. He later shows up in Prompt, recovering from severe injuries, implying that Darksol had not been kind to him.
- Darth Vader Clone: The first major character encountered by the heroes, a Malevolent Masked Man working as The Dragon to an even more sinister Satanic Archetype. Wields the same weapon, a sword, as Max, and is revealed to be his brother.
- The Dragon: He's unwillingly second in command to Darksol.
- Dual Wielding: Uses a pair of swords, with one of them being able to cast the spell Desoul on your party.
- HeelFace Turn: After you defeat him and break his mask in Dragonia.
- Ill Girl: Male version. He can be found in Prompt recovering from very serious injuries, most likely gained from confronting Darksol in Dragonia.
- Laser-Guided Karma: It's possible to defeat him with Anri or Mae, whose fathers were both killed by him in Guardiana.
- Lightning Bruiser: He moves quickly and aggressively, takes hits very well, and cuts through even the sturdiest Mighty Glaciers like butter.
- Meaningful Name: Due to a translation mishap, his name was written as "Cain" in the GBA remake, but once you read the story behind him in that game, it'll make sense. For more info, see Cain and Abel above.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Once his mask, and by extension Darksol's control over him, is broken, Kane realizes all the bad things he has done in Runefaust's name and swears revenge against Darksol for using him like a puppet.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Translation issues changed his name to "Cain".
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Many players have done a Spit Take upon discovering Kane's tremendously high attack. It's twice as high as that of the previous boss, Balbazak.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Has white hair, and he worked for Runefaust, being responsible for killing Varios (Mae's father and Max's mentor) and the king of Guardiana (Anri's father). However, it's later subverted once you defeat him in Dragonia - it's revealed that he was controlled all along by Darksol through the mask he wore. Once he realizes this, he swears revenge.
A mysterious individual who has gained strong influence over the nation of Runefaust, using its armies to help him resurrect Dark Dragon.
- Big Bad: His actions in attempting to unseal Dark Dragon provide the impetus for the main plot.
- The Corrupter: He influenced King Ramladu into evil, transforming the once good kingdom of Protectora into Runefaust. He also brainwashed Kane into doing his dirty work for him. He made almost every NPC you meet screw you over under the threat of being destroyed if they rebel against Runefaust's forces. He is undeniably the biggest douchebag in the entire game.
- Dark Is Evil: An evil sorcerer dressed entirely in black and reds.
- Evil Sorcerer: Wields magic and is an evil-looking character through and through.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Based on the text scroll sound effect that is in place of speech in-game, his voice is one of the deeper ones in the game.
- The Man Behind the Man: He's brainwashed King Ramladu and Kane in order to take control of Runefaust and use them for his own agenda.
- The Necromancer: He killed the inhabitants of Shade Abbey and raised the dead (including those who were already buried) into undead soldiers, using them as a trap to kill Max and the Shining Force.
- Taken for Granite: He turned Balbaroy into a stone statue to prevent him from warning others that Shade Abbey has basically been turned into a death trap.
- Unholy Matrimony: In Shining in the Darkness, the game's Big Bad, Mephisto, is the son of Darksol and Mishaela.
- You Have Failed Me: He didn't take kindly to Balbazak begging the Shining Force to spare his life in return for letting them use Uranbatol's ships to travel to Prompt, and promptly thunderbolts him to death.
- Final Boss: He's fought in the very last battle.
- Generic Doomsday Villain: He's an evil dragon who does evil, and that is about all there is to him since he's only screen time is showing up to act as the Final Boss.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Darksol's main motivation is to bring him back into this world.
- Our Dragons Are Different: He's big, has three heads and is, in his own words, Darkness Incarnate. Though he looks more like a skeletal, zombified horror than an actual dragon.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Dark Dragon had been defeated in the past and angrily vows he'll return in 1000 years.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He's been sealed away for the last 1000 years and Darksol's attempt to unseal him forms the main plot. This is his final fate after the Shining Force defeats him. Turns out the reason he was sealed he was sealed in the first place is because he couldn't be killed. The Shining Force can't kill him either so they seal him back up.
- This Cannot Be!: Proclaims upon defeat that the "puny creatures" [the Shining Force] cannot defeat the Lord of Darkness [himself].
The evil king of Runefaust. In order to stop Runefaust from spreading its evil influence, the Shining Force must put an end to its ruler.
- Big Good: Was once this when his kingdom was "Protectora". Then Darksol fucked things up.
- Beard of Evil: Had a beard and his kingdom was responsible for all the evil things that occurred in the game. But (surprise!) it turns out he was only Brainwashed and Crazy thanks to Darksol's magic and manipulations.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Darksol turns out to have done this to him, turning the once-good king into his puppet to gain control of Runefaust.
- Combat Medic: He can cast Aura to heal himself and his army.
- Dying as Yourself: His will returns as he dies.
- Epic Flail: Carries a flail as his Weapon of Choice in battle.
A mysterious lady who first appears in Alterone giving Max an ominous warning, telling him to go back to Guardiana if he knows what's good for him. She later reveals herself to be an ally of Darksol, and continues to antagonize the Shining Force up until her defeat.
- Dark Chick: The sole female of the villains.
- Evil Genius: Her specialty is magic, especially lightning spells.
- In the Hood: She wears a cloak with a hood.
- Kill It with Fire: After you beat her marionettes in Rindo, Mishaela will try to burn you and your party alive while you are preparing to set sail on the mayor's boat. Thankfully, you get out in time, though you are forced to travel a long way to Uranbatol for a replacement ship.
- Make an Example of Them: She planned to make Max "serve as an example to all who dare oppose Runefaust" after her puppets are defeated in Rindo, by burning the only remaning ship the Shining Force planned to board. Fortunately, Max was able to escape, but the Shining Force is forced to find a replacement ship.
- Mama Bear: In the remake, she becomes vengeful when the Force kills her marionettes, and carries this grudge up until her boss fight.
- Purple Is Powerful: She sports purple hair, and possesses powerful Bolt spells that can wipe out half of the Force.
- Shock and Awe: Attacks the Force with Bolt spells.
- Unholy Matrimony: In Shining in the Darkness, she is the lover of Darksol, which resulted in that game's Big Bad Mephisto (whose name is mistranslated as "Dark Sol" in most English versions).
- Would Hurt a Child: She attempted to kidnap a child from Rindo and feed him to a dragon. Fortunately, Max and the Shining Force came just in time.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Dark purple hair, in her case.
One of King Ramladu's top generals and Rune's finest swordsman.
- Anti-Villain: He's not a bad guy; he's just following orders.
- Half-Human Hybrid: He's half man, half dragon.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Considered in-story to be the greatest swordsman in Rune.
- Last of His Kind: Claimed to be the last Dragonman, but he's actually not.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Unlike Ramladu or Kane, he's not been brainwashed. He's simply loyal to his country. He does implore Max and the Shining Force to defeat Darksol after he's beaten.
Another Runefaust general, only much more ruthless. He oversees the construction of Uranbatol's fortress, which would have been used for global invasions had the Shining Force not intervened.
- Bio-Augmentation: Balbazak has been so tweaked and altered by Darksol to become stronger that nobody is really sure what race he belongs to anymore.
- The Brute: A ruthless general that holds down Uranbatol's fortress with an iron fist, and is the single strongest Runefaustian warrior on the western continent.
- Dirty Coward: Gives the Shining Force his ship in exchange for sparing his life (in the remake, when the Shining Force looked ready to try and end him anyway, Balbazak then barters selling out a secret about Darksol to them). An infuriated Darksol kills him off anyway.
- Mighty Glacier: Is slightly stronger than Eliot, but his agility isn't impressive even if he weren't a Stationary Boss.
- Stationary Boss: Justified, as he's keeping the Shining Force from entering his ship.
- Super Strength: Has had his strength magically enhanced by Darksol, and uses this to put up a fierce battle against his enemies.
A defense system that guards the room where the Dark Dragon is sealed that consists of three mechanical heads.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: The central head specializes in Bolt spells, while the other two heads specialize in Blaze and Freeze spells.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Encountered with no foreshadowing whatsoever.
- Mechanical Monster: They're mainly robotic, but are partially covered in stone.
- Wolfpack Boss: There's three of them, but only the central head needs to be destroyed.
Head of Guardiana's knights and Max's personal tutor in swordsmanship.
An adventurer who the Shining Force meets frequently on their travels.
- Spanner in the Works: If Boken didn't wander into Prompt's castle and free Max after the latter was arrested under suspicions of being a Runefaust spy, then Max wouldn't be able to save Torasu and Alef, and Darksol would've resurrected Dark Dragon much early.
- Walking the Earth: He travels around the world looking for adventure, though he later decides that he will settle down in Waral if you talk to him in Prompt.
A mermaid the Shining Force encounter when their ship gets damaged and leads them to the island country of Waral.
- Meaningful Name: To seashell.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has blue hair. Same with her family.
The unofficial leader of the children in the town Rudo.
- Adults Are Useless: All children initially believed in this trope, since they were (implicitly) responsible for causing the dragons' extinction. Their faith in adults is restored once Max defeats Kane in Dragonia.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Is the self-appointed leader of Ruto's children, who all believe that Adults Are Useless.
- Disappointed in You: Tells Bleu this in verbatim after the baby dragon refuses to help Max fight Kane out of cowardice.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Was able to recognize that Max and his party were not "useless" adults, and also provided them with much-needed information about the Ancients and Dark Dragon.