Shining (series)

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Genres Role playing
Developers Camelot Software Planning
Climax Entertainment
Grasshopper Manufacture
Amusement Vision
Studio Saizensen
Publishers Sega
Infogrames Entertainment, SA
Platforms various
Year of inception 1991
First release Shining in the Darkness
1991 (1991)

Shining (シャイニング Shainingu?) is a series of fantasy console games developed by Sega. The series can be thought of as Sega's main venture into the RPG genre, along with the sci-fi RPG series, Phantasy Star. The first game, Shining in the Darkness, was a first-person dungeon crawler with randomly encountered, turn-based battles (comparable to Wizardry and Might and Magic). The next game released in the series was Shining Force, which were turn-based strategy style tactical role-playing games with battle scenes acted out with sprites (comparable to the Kure Software Koubou games and Fire Emblem). Other spin-offs include Shining Soul, a dungeon crawl action role-playing game with roguelike elements.

It can be argued that the Shining series started as an attempt by Sega to cover all of its bases on their consoles as far as the usual gameplay genres, because it emulated styles that Nintendo and other developers pioneered. Over time though, the series has found a following and has carved its own niche, as there are newer releases not found on Sega consoles.

Dungeon crawler titles[edit]

In the dungeon crawler titles of the series (Shining in the Darkness and Shining the Holy Ark), the player takes control of an adventuring party. Battles work very similarly to those of Dragon Quest, Mother, and the fellow Sega RPG series Phantasy Star, in that they are first person and the player is placed in a position where the hero and team mates would be. Shining in the Darkness is the first game in the Shining series, and is a very simple labyrinth exploration game, with a simplified non explorable town and world map, where choices are made through a cursor system. Shining the Holy Ark was released immediately prior to Shining Force III, and while it is also a dungeon crawler, it features a far more expanded gameplay world over the first title.

Strategy titles[edit]

For the strategy games of the series (Shining Force, Shining Force Gaiden, Shining Force Gaiden 2, Shining Force II, Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict, Shining Force CD, Shining Force III and Shining Force Feather), the player takes charge of a party in large-scale, strategic battles. The games generally limit the number of characters who can enter any one battle at a time to about a dozen. The player is only in control of unique troops; there are no generic footmen, archers, or cavalry.

Action RPG titles[edit]

The third broad category of Shining games is the "action RPG" set of titles. This incorporates: Shining Wisdom, Shining Soul, Shining Soul II, Shining Force Neo, Shining Tears, Shining Force EXA and Shining Wind. This category is essentially a dumping ground for any Shining game which does not use turn-based combat; the games it incorporates do not necessarily have any noticeable similarity in gameplay. For instance, while Shining Tears uses similar mechanics to Shining Soul II, it has less in common with Shining Wisdom than it does with any of the strategy RPG titles of the series.

In December 3, 2009,[1] Shining Force Cross was released as an arcade game for Sega's RingEdge system board. It is a multiplayer role-playing game with support for up to eight players, both online and offline.[2] Within one month, nearly 2,400 Shining Force Cross machines had been sold to arcade operators by December 31, 2009.[3] A sequel has been released for the RingEdge arcade system in 2012, Shining Force Cross Illusion.[2]

Connections between games[edit]

Most installments of the series prior to Shining Soul I are related in some ways. Often they reference each other (frequently during discussion about the Greater Devils), or characters are carried over. Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict and Shining Force II are arguably two of the most related games, having both characters and locations in common, such as the character Hawel, a playable mage in Final Conflict and Kazin's mentor in Shining Force II. Final Conflict is also strongly related to Shining Force I, both sharing the character Max. There are also notable connections between Shining Wisdom and Shining Force II and between Shining the Holy Ark and Shining Force III. In Shining Wisdom, the elf-cleric Sarah and elf-mage Kazin make an important appearance and connect the story with Shining Force II. In Shining the Holy Ark, the father of Julian, one of the main characters of Shining Force III, disappears in Galm's Mansion. Julian blames Galm for his father's death and this serves as his motivation for becoming a mercenary, leaving Enrich, and joining the main group in Shining Force III Scenario 1, which through a series of events leads to him being a focal character in Scenario 3.

From Shining Soul I onward, installments of the series tend to have less significant connections. For instance, in Shining Tears a character mentions the Klantol Kingdom (the setting for Shining Soul II) and tells its geographic location, but there is no interaction with any of the characters or plot events of Shining Soul II. However, Shining Wind and Shining Tears are some of the most closely connected pair of games in the series, since the former is a direct sequel to the latter and features return appearances by nearly all of the major characters.


This is a full list of Shining games:

Date of
Title System Notes
28/03/1991 Shining in the Darkness Sega Mega Drive
19/03/1992 Shining Force Sega Mega Drive
25/12/1992 Shining Force Gaiden Sega Game Gear Never released outside Japan. Remade as part of Shining Force CD.
25/06/1993 Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya Sega Game Gear Released in Japan as Shining Force Gaiden II. Remade as part of Shining Force CD.
01/10/1993 Shining Force II Sega Mega Drive
21/07/1994 Shining Force CD Sega Mega-CD Contains remakes of Shining Force Gaiden I and II and a new scenario.
30/06/1995 Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict Sega Game Gear Never officially released in English; however, fan translations are available.
10/08/1995 Shining Wisdom Sega Saturn
20/12/1996 Shining the Holy Ark Sega Saturn
11/12/1997 Shining Force III Scenario 1 Sega Saturn Released in the US and Europe as Shining Force III.
29/04/1998 Shining Force III Scenario 2 Sega Saturn Never officially released in English; however, fan translations are available.
23/09/1998 Shining Force III Scenario 3 Sega Saturn Never officially released in English; however, fan translations are available.
03/12/1998 Shining Force III Premium Disk Sega Saturn Never officially released in English; however, fan translations are available.
28/03/2002 Shining Soul Game Boy Advance This was the first game developed by Grasshopper Manufacture (all previous ones were developed by Camelot Software); all games from this point onward are not part of the same continuity as the pre-Soul games.
24/07/2003 Shining Soul II Game Boy Advance
30/04/2004 Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon Game Boy Advance An enhanced remake of the original Shining Force, with a revised story, new battles, and new characters.
03/11/2004 Shining Tears PlayStation 2
24/03/2005 Shining Force Neo PlayStation 2
14/04/2005 Shining Road to the Force Japanese mobile phones The first non-remake strategy Shining game in over seven years.
26/04/2005 Shining Force Chronicle I Japanese mobile phones Remake of Shining Force Gaiden.
03/10/2005 Shining Force Chronicle II Japanese mobile phones Remake of Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya.
27/01/2006 Shining Road Priestess of the Dark Dragon Japanese mobile phones
27/06/2006 Shining Force Chronicle III Japanese mobile phones Remake of Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict.
18/01/2007 Shining Force EXA PlayStation 2
17/05/2007 Shining Wind PlayStation 2 Follow-up to Shining Tears.
10/07/2007 Shining Force EXA Mobile Japanese mobile phones
01/12/2008 Shining Wind X Japanese mobile phones
19/02/2009 Shining Force Feather[4] Nintendo DS
03/12/2009 Shining Force Cross Arcade
16/12/2010 Shining Hearts[5] PlayStation Portable Characters designed by Tony Taka.
15/03/2012 Shining Blade[6] PlayStation Portable Characters designed by Tony Taka.
28/02/2013 Shining Ark[7] PlayStation Portable Characters designed by Tony Taka.
05/11/2014 Blade Arcus from Shining Arcade
11/12/2014 Shining Resonance PlayStation 3
26/11/2015 Blade Arcus from Shining EX PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4

Wii Virtual Console[edit]

  • 12/06/2007 - Shining in the Darkness
  • 10/07/2007 - Shining Force
  • 11/07/2008 - Shining Force II


  • 08/08/2010 - Shining Force


  • 26/01/2011 - Shining in the Darkness
  • 26/01/2011 - Shining Force
  • 26/01/2011 - Shining Force II


  • 24/10/2011 - Shining Force Chronicles
  • 08/12/2011 - Shining Force Chronicles II
  • 24/05/2012 - Shining Force Chronicles III

3DS Virtual Console[edit]

  • 02/10/2013 - Shining Force Gaiden
  • 06/11/2013 - Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya
  • 15/01/2014 - Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Gantayat, Anoop (2012-02-13). "Sega shows new rhythm game, updated Shining and Border Break, and Fantasy Zone Medal at AOU". AndriaSang. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Appendix of Consolidated Financial Statements 9 Months Ended December 31, 2009" (PDF). Sega Sammy Holdings. February 5, 2010. p. 3. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Shining Force Feather 公式サイト". Retrieved 2013-09-24. 
  5. ^ "SEGA[シャイニング・ハーツ]公式サイト". Retrieved 2013-09-24. 
  6. ^ "SEGA[シャイニング・ブレイド]公式サイト". Retrieved 2013-09-24. 
  7. ^ "SEGA[シャイニング・アーク]公式サイト". Retrieved 2013-09-24. 

External links[edit]