Instead of being a first person dungeon crawler or a strategy title, Shining Soul I was an action role-playing game with a third person view, closer to Shining Wisdom. Gameplay-wise, it was a Hack and Slash affair. Released in 2002 in Japan and everywhere else in 2003 on the GBA, a sequel, Shining Soul II, was released in 2003 in Japan with Europe and North America getting it in 2004.
The plot for the first title was simple. There is this evil Dragon called "Dark Dragon" who is destroying the mystical land of Rune. However when all hope was lost four heroes appeared and fought the beast. You choose which of the four heroes you get to play as and that's the whole plot.
The plot for Shining Soul II is slightly more complicated. Years after the original title, the defeat of Dark Dragon has caused the balance of light and darkness to be disrupted. Causing a sudden resurgence of darkness throughout the world. Meanwhile a group known as Chaos Knights seek to conqueror the world. The player must choose one of nine classes and save the world.
The series contains examples of the following tropes:
- Affably Evil: Darksol.
- Awesome, but Impractical
- Black Magic: Armand the Dark Wizard.
- Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Averted. Opening menus doesn't interrupt gameplay, so be sure not do to it around enemies.
- Menu Time Lockout
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Deatharte, the centaur and one of the strongest knights in the kingdom. He undergoes a FaceHeel Turn due largely to feeling surpassed by the player character.
- Pre-existing Encounters
- Sinister Scythe: A very popular choice in weapon for the Mooks.
- Stone Wall
- Unexpected Gameplay Change
- Balance Between Good and Evil: Focus of the second game.
- Combat Medic: The Priestess in Shining Soul II really is this trope. She is advertised in the manual as being someone who can't really take a few hits and this would make one think that playing the game with her is actually rather hard since you were probably the only person who'd own the game. Instead, she's actually more of a combat medic in that she handles decently with flails and can actually kill people who get too close to her if you ever found someone else to play multiplayer with you.
- Dungeon Shop: One dungeon in Shining Soul II is actually a house and storefront that you are asked to infiltrate by the Hub Town's storekeeper. The entire purpose of going there is to secret-shop so that the storeowner can compare prices and undermine her rival.