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Video Game / Shining Force II

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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 Sega 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 in Sega Genesis Classics for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Steam.


  • 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.
  • All in a Row: Party members follow the leader as a rubber band, but they move diagonally.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The American and European box arts.
  • 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.
  • A Winner Is You: Not for the story, but for the secret battle ; win it, and your only rewards are bragging rights and a message that says "Game over!".
  • Balance Buff: Compared to the original game, healers are a lot more useful. Master Monk is now a Prestige Class that can equip weapons, meaning that they can more than just Scratch Damage, making them way more useful than Gong ever was.
  • 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Zeon is safely sealed away in his home dimension once again, but the now-vampiric Lemon had to seal himself away in order to drag Zeon back into it. Princess Elis is put into a coma for two years, but is revived with a True Love's Kiss from Bowie; however, this leads to Sarah being heartbroken as she had feelings for Bowie.
  • Blackout Basement: Any of the cave levels are essentially this. Spreading your force over a larger area will help you see in the dark better.
  • Boss Rush: A hidden stage accessed after beating the game puts you up against a force consisting of all the game's bosses at once.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Lemon, who is possessed by a mask.
  • 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.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: A secret battle after the The End screen pits you against every boss in the game at once, and it's just as hard as it sounds.
  • Burning the Ships: The people of Granseal when they flee the original city, although the ships are torn apart for lumber to build a new town rather than a declaration to never go back (which you do, at the end of 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.
  • Character Select Forcing: New members of the force are spread out a good deal more than in the original. Particularly noticeable with Sarah, the first healer you recruit and also the only healer for roughly half of the game.
  • 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.
  • Co-Dragons: Odd Eye is repeatedly talked up as the strongest of the Greater Devils (and he is, though Zeon and King Galam are even stronger), but he's not involved in directing Zeon's forces - that job is held by Geshp. Odd Eye serves as Zeon's personal hammer instead - when Zeon finally gets tired of Geshp's screwups and incinerates him, he assigns Odd Eye to personally capture the Jewels from Bowie.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The Kraken boss.
  • Covers Always Lie: Once again, the American and European box arts. They depict a man in Bowie's clothes that doesn't resemble him (looking considerably older, having brown hair, and having a more realistic western style-design) or any character in the game.
  • Crutch Character: Kiwi, who is permanently missable. 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).
  • Demonic Possession: The first enemy, the Gizmo, is described as a devil that possess people. One escapes in the first battle, possessing King Granseal early in the game, until the demons decide King Galam is a better host.
  • Developer's Foresight: 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.
  • 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.
  • Evil All Along: Oddler, the blind boy who travels with you for about a while, later reveals himself as Odd-Eye, one of Zeon's top fighters.
  • Expy: Sir Astral is quite clearly based on Gandalf.
  • 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.
  • God Is Displeased: Volcanon claims that he is forsaking the humans in their war against the devils. It's revealed that this was just an act he put on in order to mislead Zeon, and he was subtly assisting the party.
  • Healer Signs On Early: Played straight with Sarah. She is one of the first characters to join Bowie. In fact, she is the ONLY healer you have until Karna becomes available at Creed's Mansion (and she is an optional character). After that, you don't get any more healers until Frayja and Sheela late in the game.
  • 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.
  • Hufflepuff House: In the original Japanese version, the Flavor Text notes three Devil Kings: Darksol, Zeon, and Lucifer. While Darksol is the Big Bad of the first game, and Zeon that of this installment, Lucifer isn't seen or mentioned in any of the other Shining games. The English translation averts this by replacing Lucifer with Dark Dragon, which instead creates a Continuity Snarl in depicting it as an enemy of Darksol, when that clearly wasn't the case in their debut game.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Normal, Hard, Super, and Ouch.
    Witch: (When picking Ouch) "What? Do you wanna die?!"
    • And it even lies to you! Super is actually harder than Ouch!, due to every enemy receiving an attack boost. Ouch! makes the enemies smarter, but doesn't give out the same attack boost, and the enemy AI is already difficult enough in Super that you probably won't notice.
  • Interface Spoiler: This game opted to spell the names of all the Force members in all caps, so you'll always know who has the capacity to join you. This includes Lemon. There goes that surprise.
  • Landmark of Lore: There's a hidden airship that has the same outline as the Nazca lines.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Carried from the previous game. This only works on Bowie at Full Health due to being the main character. If Bowie is at full health and the opposing attack would have normally defeat him, he would be left with 1 HP.
  • 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.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Karna, Randolf, Tyrin, and Eric. The first time you meet them, anyway.
  • 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.
  • Nerf: The Force Sword, formerly known as the Chaos Breaker. While it may seen it has higher attack, it is actually the same considering that most other weapons coming back also have the same increase multipler, making it even. What nerfs the weapon is that it no longer has an additional effect, meaning no more free Freeze 3 usage.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Also qualifies as "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot and Easily Forgiven. Slade, stealing for the poor, stole 2 jewels that triggered the events of the game. Zeon was resurrected. His powers awakened greater devils. King Galam was corrupted by a weaker spirit and so was the kingdom. Lemon, one of Galam's soldiers, transformed into a vampire as the Red Baron, And, well ... everything went downhill from there. Had it not been for that, countless lives would not have been wasted, including King Galam and Lemon. Oops?
  • 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). Zeon is also retconned into being a devil related to Dark Dragon but sealed away far outside of Rune.
  • 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.
  • Permanently Missable Content: While this game no longer does chapter-based segments and allow you to backtrack to a certain extent, there are at least 4 things that can be missed: 2 Mythrils, Kiwi, and Skreech.
  • Prestige Class: Thanks to the game's various Upgrade Artifacts, the option is present for alternative classes upon promotion. Knights can become Pegasus Knights instead of Paladins, Healers can choose Master Monk over Vicar, Warriors can choose Barons over Gladiators, Archers become Brass Gunners instead of Snipers, and Mages can become Sorcerers instead of Wizards. There are benefits and drawbacks to each choice. Some classes sacrifice stats for unique abilities, for example.
  • Redemption Demotion:
    • Lemon is significantly stronger when you fight against him (in fact he's almost 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.
  • Scenery Porn: The backgrounds of a few of the maps that have sky areas.
  • 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 NPC's 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.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: When the party finds out that Zeon wants the Jewel of Darkness to regain his powers. As the party currently has the jewel, Peter suggests they just keep it forever. Unfortunately, Creed, a retired demon, informs the party that the location Zeon is at is slowly gathering evil energy, so they will have to go confront him.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Bearded historian and cannoneer Rohde holds a pipe in official art and his in-game portrait.
  • 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.
  • Straight for the Commander: While many battles have a boss character, (killing them will instantly win the battle) the chess battle more or less forces you to adopt this strategy. Unless you've done a lot of grinding and leveling up, the chess army is too numerous and powerful for you to defeat all the units, (especially since, unlike so many other battles, they're not spread out all over the map in small groups) so the best way to win is to concentrate on killing the king, probably after either killing or incapacitating the bishops who can heal him.
  • 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: 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, usually significantly more powerful, classes than their normal evolution. There's only one of most of them, though (the exception being the Vigor Ball, of which two are known to exist).
  • Unending End Card: Subverted; the The End screen hides a secret battle if you wait long enough, and the game returns you to the Sega logo after the battle ends.
  • 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!