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Shining in the Darkness
Publisher(s) Sega
Genre Dungeon Crawler
Platform(s) Sega Genesis, Wii Virtual Console
Release Date(s)

Shining in the Darkness is a 1991 dungeon crawler role-playing video game for the Mega Drive/Genesis console, later re-released for the Wii Virtual Console. The game also appears in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It was the first game in the Shining Series, although chronologically it happens after the events of every Shining game prior to Shining the Holy Ark.


Shining in the Darkness is a dungeon crawler RPG. Battles take place at random intervals while exploring the Labyrinth dungeon, and have random sets of enemies. In battle a character has the option to attack, cast a spell, use an item or run away, which ends the battle if successful. 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, characters become stronger by defeating sets of enemies. Victories give the characters experience points (EXP.), which allow them to gain levels.


The game opens in the Kingdom of Thornwood. The silent protagonist, Hiro, asks to join a search for the missing Princess Jessa. Hiro believes that finding the Princess will also lead him to his missing father, Mortred. Mephisto (localized as "Dark Sol" in English versions) shows up in the castle and claims if King Drake steps down he will return the Princess. Hiro is joined by his friends Pyra Myst and Milo Brax. He also receives advice from the King's minister. Hiro must face four Trials of the Ancients - Strength, Wisdom, Courage and Truth - before he can find the Princess and his father.


The Land of Shining in the Darkness[]

  • Thornwood
  • Labyrinth
  • Castle


Main Characters[]

Allies of the Force (NPC)[]

Citizens of Thornwood[]

  • Old Vik
  • Mrs.Vik
  • Innkeeper
  • Gilius
  • Alkemist
  • Armorer
  • Trader
  • Lupo
  • Gatt
  • Tack
  • Gnorn
  • Gila
  • Krun
  • Dyan
  • Dai
  • Edward
  • Mr. Brax
  • Mrs. Myst



Specific races[]

A number of individuals from generic races may also be any of a number of different classes in the Shining Force, and in other characters (often single individuals of a certain kind) their specific race is combined with their own specific class. Examples of specific races, not classes, include:

Equipment and Items[]


  • Offensive spells
  • Defensive spells
  • Support spells
  • Healing spells


  • The weapons shop owner is based on Gilius, a character from the Golden Axe series.