|Shining Force Gaiden|
Shining Force Gaiden is a strategy role-playing game for the Game Gear. It was the first portable Shining game, the first Shining game to have major storyline connections to its predecessors, and the first game to which Shugo Takahashi contributed.
Of the 17 games in the Shining series released prior to the first Shining cell phone game, Shining Force Gaiden is the only one for which no English script exists. The other 16 have all had official releases in English, fan translations, or both.
Shining Force Gaiden is a turn-based tactical RPG. Battles take place in square grids, and each unit occupies 1 square. Units can belong to one of two sides: allies (controlled by the player) or enemies (controlled by the computer AI). Each unit can move up to a fixed amount of squares along the battlefield, determined by its Move statistic. Depending on its location relative to enemies and to allies, a unit also has the option to attack, cast a spell, use an item, search (if adjacent to a treasure chest), or stay and do nothing, all of which end the unit's turn. Some commands, such as equipping or dropping items, don't count as actions, and the character's turn is able to continue. The order of the turns is determined by the unit's agility score and a random seed. Units can use offensive actions, such as physical attacks or offensive magic, only on units belonging to the other side and can use supportive actions, such as healing magic, stat-enhancing magic, and items, only on units belonging to the same side.
As is most common for the RPG genre, units become stronger by fighting enemies or by performing other actions in battle, such as healing allies. These actions give the units experience points (EXP.), which allow them to gain levels.
Each allied unit is represented by a character with his or her own background and personality, much like in the Fire Emblem series. Although there are no "generic" units, except on the enemy side, many characters contribute little or nothing to the plot upon joining the player army.
Each allied unit also has a class, which defines a set of abilities for that unit and gives an idea of the spells and equipment they have access to. Once a unit reaches level 10, it can advance to a more capable class via an in-game mechanism called "promotion". A unit can be promoted at any level from 10 on up to the game's maximum unpromoted level, 20. Upon promotion the character's level resets to 1 and statistics are reduced by a fixed amount, although they begin higher if the character had been promoted at a higher level.
Battle goals for the player are fairly simple: kill all enemies or kill the enemies' leader. The enemy side wins when they manage to kill the player's leader, or when the player chooses to escape the battle, either by casting Egress or using an Angel Wing. Even if the player army escapes or the Hero is killed, the player can recover allies and re-fight the same battle. Since the Force is allowed to maintain any experience and money that is obtained, regardless of the battle's outcome, the game is considerably easier than most strategy RPGs. Thus, there is no Game Over, and the player's army gets stronger even upon its defeat, although the Hero's death results in the player losing half of their money.
Queen Anri is placed under a sleep spell by the ambassador of Cypress, Woldol, in order to keep Guardiana(incorrectly translated as "Gardiana" in Shining Force CD) under Cypress's thumb. Nick, a visitor to Guardiana, is chosen to be the new leader of the Guardiana Shining Force. The party must travel to the Kingdom of Cypress to rescue Guardiana's captive soldiers and find a way to cure Queen Anri.
The story begins in Guardiana, including a trip to the previously unexplored island of Miniyom. However, the bulk of the game takes place in the kingdom of Cypress, covering places such as Asreet island.
- Nick - Though a stranger to Guardiana, he leads the Shining Force
- Ruce - Co-organizer of the expedition, Lug's son
- Apis - A young but talented knight, Ken's son
- Wendy - A spunky and adventurous mage, younger sister of Tao
- Claude - A high-flying member of the Cypress resistance
- Mayfair - A powerful blind priestess, daughter of the late Archbishop of Cypress, member of the Cypress resistance
- Gyan - Bodyguard and advisor to the rightful king of Cypress
- Shriek - A captured warrior of Guardiana
- Randolf - An experienced knight in service to the prince of Cypress
- Lug - One of the heroes of the original Guardiana Shining Force, mistranslated as "Luke" in the earlier game
Allies of the ForceEdit
- Anri - The queen of Guardiana, held in a comatose state by Woldol's spell
- Lowe - The force's advisor, one of the heroes of the original Guardiana Shining Force
- Ken - One of the heroes of the original Guardiana Shining Force, now a royal knight and father of Apis
- Cray's sister - An unnamed girl who apparently lives under Cray's care
- Bazoo - Woldol's right-hand man, responsible for breaking any resistance to his rule
- Dantom - Bodyguard and advisor first to the late king of Cypress, now to King Edmond
- Edmond - The puppet ruler of Cypress
- Frabell - One of Woldol's enforcers, a paladin
- Evil Monster - A powerful devil summoned from an unknown dimension by Woldol, said to be unstoppable once fully revived
- Woldol - Ambassador of Cypress, the nation's behind-the-scenes dictator
- Scorpion Woldol
Cypress seems chiefly populated by humans, centaurs, and dwarves. However, they also have a few birdmen and magical creatures, and Gyan and Dantom represent halfling races. Elves, hobbits, and half-giants from Guardiana also appear.