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Shining Force III
Scenario 1: God Warrior of the Kingdom
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Information
Developer(s) Camelot Software Publishing
Publisher(s) Sega
Genre Strategy
Platform(s) Sega Saturn
Release Date(s)
1997

Shining Force III Scenario 1: God Warrior of the Kingdom, released in North America and Europe as simply Shining Force III, is a Tactical Role-Playing Game for the Sega Saturn. The player assumes the role of Lord Synbios, a republican dignitary filling in for his father during the Republic-Empire peace talks. Things go awry between the Republic and Empire, leading to him and his army becoming twisted up in a plot devised by an evil sect. The Shining Force then travels out on a lengthy journey to return to their home, with situations on both sides of the conflict being complicated further as time goes on. The story ends with this game if the North American or European version was bought, but the Japanese or fan-translated versions will continue on into scenarios 2 and 3.


GameplayEdit

Shining Force III Scenario 1 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.

In Shining Force III, 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.

BattlesEdit

Battle goals for the player are fairly simple: kill all enemies, kill the enemies' leader, or (in some cases) advance to the town or landmark that the player's army is trying to reach. The enemy side wins when they manage to kill the player's leader, Synbios, Julian or Medion, or when the player chooses to escape the battle, either by casting Egress or (in some cases) by retreating to the town or landmark where the battle began. 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.

Most games in the Shining Force series (with the exceptions of Shining Force CD, all three Game Gear games, all five cell phone games, the Shining Force III premium disc, and Shining Force Feather) also possess an exploration mode that occurs outside of battle. This gameplay mode is essentially a Japanese-style traditional RPG game along the lines of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, although there are no labyrinths and few puzzles to solve. In this mode, the player's army is represented by Synbios, Julian or Medion, who is able to walk around, interact with the people and with the scenario, find treasure, buy equipment and items, outfit the army, and choose which of the army's other members will be used in battle.

PlotEdit

SPOILERS

Chapter 1- Nightmare in the Floating City of SarabandEdit

Shining Force 3: Scenario 1 and by extension, the whole series, starts out in the city of Saraband, a neutral establishment floating on the coastal waters of a continent. Within the city, the leaders of the Empire, Emperor Domaric, and the Republic, King Benetram, meet in a peace conference. Here, the player assumes the role of Lord Synbios, who is filling in for his ill father, Lord Conrad. During this, Synbios and his friends Dantares, Masqurin, and Grace, leave to explore the city. The group encounter a group of Imperial Soldiers, and nearly get into a fight, though this ends when Prince Medion arrives and calls the soldiers off. After formal apologies, Medion states that they had encountered and fought Masked Monks earlier at the docks. Both armies are suspicious, with explosions going off nearby. Now on edge, the Imperials and Republicans part ways to figure out what is going on.

On their way back to the Republic Lodge, the 4 encounter said group of mysterious Masked Monks. A fight breaks out, ending with the republicans succeeding. However, the group encounters more Masked Monks, this time being lead by King Benetram with Emperor Domaric apparently a prisoner. Unwilling to attack their leader, the monks leave the city with both leaders. In the confusion, the group travel back to the conference room, to find Benetram once again, leading them to suspect that the one they saw outside was an imposter. With the imperials enraged at the kidnapping of their Emperor, the city swiftly falls into turmoil as Imperial Soldiers and Saraband Security Forces proceed to pursue the Republicans. As the group plan to flee back to Aspinia, Generals Edmund and Tybalt volunteer to lead armies to distract both forces and allow the 5 to make their escape. After a fight on the bridge, (possibly having Hayward recruited here), the Aspinians flee from Saraband, entering Imperial Territory.

After fleeing Saraband, the group prepare to make their way to Railhead, a town in the area with a posted Republican, General Produn. Along the way, the battalion encounters the Imposter, with a captive Domaric. Following a conversation, the group is attacked by a distraction force of Masked Monks (if the player fails to defeat the monks and reach the town in time, a squad of Saraband pursuers will enter the battle as well). Having witnessed the Monks enter Balsamo, the battalion prepare to pursue the monks and rescue Domaric. Upon reaching the town, the group encounters another Republic General, Varlant, and his army who had arrived to offer assistance. However, during their conversation, Imperial Ships arrive near Saraband and deploy an imperial army of White Lord Knights, lead by General Spiriel. Spiriel is met by General Crewart, and Princes Arrawnt and Mageron. After the imperials split up to deal with other republic armies, Spiriel and Varlants' armies clash, allowing the Synbios Battalion and Benetram a chance to flee once more.

Within Balsamo, the group find the Inn to be occupied by Masked Monks, who lead the battalion to meet with their high priests, Fiale, Basanda, Dessheren, and Goriate. The high priests state themselves to be of the Bulzome Sect, an enigmatic cult. During their conversation, Dantares discovers the captured Domaric, but are too late as they are teleported out of the room and are unable to do much but leave due to the presence of multiple Masked Monks in the building. Returning later, the group find that the priests left, though the latter speak to the battalion telepathically, with Fiale revealing that he was the imposter of Benetram. While in the Lodge, the group may find Bernard, an Imperial Soldier who is tied up in a hidden nearby room. If the player chooses to release him, he states some abrasive words before leaving and later appears in Scenario 2. The Republicans prepare to leave Balsamo and continue their journey, possibly recruiting one of Produns' soldiers, Obright. While Produn is at Railhead, the force is assisted by a townsman named Duncan who gives them access to a well that leads to the Dwarf Valley. Once the group escapes, the entrance is sealed off. Temporarily safe from the imperials, the force fights its way through Dwarf Valley, and successfully reach the other side of the location. However, the group overhears a conversation between several bandits, with their words implying that they had known the peace talks would take a turn for the worse. After defeating the bandits, the force continues on to the town of Railhead in search of General Produn once again.

Chapter 2- Cross-Continental RailwayEdit

The force arrive in Railway, but fail yet again at finding General Produn, leading them to conclude that they are now officially on their own. The group deliberates but decides against boarding the train directly, as Imperial Guards are nearby. Instead, they prepare to stow away aboard a train and get back to Aspinia. The force attempts to enter the crates, but are interrupted when they another group of bandits investigating the storage room get into a fight with the Aspinians. However, they do meet the monk Irene, to which she may join the force if the group reaches her before the bandits do. Due to the noise caused by the battle, Imperials arrive at the site and close off access to the trains, forcing the Aspinians to find another method of escape, this time on foot. However, as they leave the city, they are met by Julian, a mercenary and character seen in Shining the Holy Ark, who offers to join them, to which the force obliges. Julian instead brings up another solution: board the trains at a switching point. The force runs into an imperial group deployed by General Garzel that arrives outside the town, though the force defeats them and proceeds onto the switch point.

Upon arrival at the switch point, where they run into the notorious border guards of the Empire. Here, matters are complicated further when a group of innocent refugees fleeing from the Empire enter the area, and when the remains of General Varlant's army and the general himself arrive. However, things worsen when Varlant is shown to have lost his mind as a result of the fight with General Spiriel, when he had lost so many of his soldiers outside of Balsamo. Here, he threatens the refugees if they do not help him, and the shining force are ultimately unable to reason with Varlant. However, Prince Medion and his force arrive just in time, and seeing reason to allow the refugees to escape, agree to help the Aspinians by attacking Varlant's force while the Aspinians fight the border guards. The joint operation ends in success, either with or without the refugees surviving. With Varlant's force defeated, the force meet one of his knights, Cybel, who agrees to join the force.

Synbios and Medion meet once again, and the forces exchange information regarding the recent abduction. The Synbios Force state that they encountered the false Benetram and the captured Domaric, while the Medion Force encountered the Monks at Saraband before the abduction even took place. With the matters clarified between the two forces, they part ways, with the imperials heading towards Barrand while the republicans board the train and head to Aspinia. While on the train, the rail car is ambushed by bandits and assassins, hoping to claim Benetram's bounty.

When the assassins encounter harsh resistance from the force, they uncouple the car from the rest of the train, separating the force from the passengers. The force defeat the bandits, but begin deliberating on how to return to and check on the passengers. Here, the force is met by bird people Eldar and her brother Zero, who had been sent by Lord Conrad to search for the force when the peace conference had gone awry. The two warn the force that the train tracks had been sabotaged, and will plunge into the canals at a bridge if the force stays on board. The force realizes that more bandits are at the engine car of the train, and move to retake the engine before they crash into the canals. Zero leaves to check on the passengers, while Eldar assists the Shining Force in the battle.

The force exit the car and climb onto the roof of the moving train, and encounter the rest of the bandits, lead by chief Shiraf. The force fight through the bandits and defeat Shiraf, ending with the surviving bandits fleeing the train. The republicans question the wounded Shiraf, the latter of which informs them that they won't be able to travel by sea from Barrand, but dies before any more information can be obtained. Sybios and Dantares go to stop the train, while Benetram ponders the situation, seeing a connection between the Bulzome Sect and the Imperial Prince Arrawnt. The train stops safely, with the force finding that the tracks just before the bridge had been damaged heavily. Zero returns and states that the passengers are safe, but are unable to join the Aspinians, both in part due to their location and because of the dangers encountered. The group deliberates on another method of entering Aspinia by land, and decide to travel to the cursed village of Quonus, with Benetram sending Zero to find Prince Medion in order to ensure that they remain on their side.

Chapter 3- Target: Guardian Statue of ElbesemEdit

Arriving in Quonus, the force finds the town to be abandoned, with Grace sensing an evil presence in the area. Synbios and Grace leave the force in the barracks to go search for Julian, who had left as they were entering the village. Their investigation turns up nothing, with the mansion in the area being locked with more evil power emanating from it. The two decide to return to the barracks. However, as they are leaving the grave yard, they are met by a monk named Kahn, who states that the town is ruled by an evil spirit and not actually abandoned as they had thought. During their conversation, Julian suddenly reappears, with Kahn stating that he knew Julian was following him for some time. Julian mentions that he was aware of the Monk's plan to defeat the Vandal that was ruling over the village, leading to Julian asserting his desires to fight and defeat the Vandal. When faced with skepticism from Grace about the existence of Vandals, Julian states that his father was killed by a Vandal named Galm years prior. Moments later, Grace senses a spike in the evil power, but the rest of the Shining Force arrives in time. With the intention of entering the Mansion, the force encounters the Kyon-shi in the graveyard, the now possessed villagers under the control of the Vandal. During the fight, Kahn offers to use his Orb of Elbesem to cure them. If the player managed to not kill any of the Kyon-shi and allowed Kahn to cure all of them, the town will have all of its villagers back and any functional NPCs.

After the matter is resolved, the force enter the mansion, encountering more resistance inside. After dealing with the Vandal's forces, the Shining Force encounters the Vandal, Abdark, himself. Due to the Vandal being much older, the force successfully defeat the Vandal and remove the curse from the village. The force question the Vandal, demanding information on how he knew the force was coming and why he had made an alliance with Garvin, the one who had created steam technology. After the force realizes the full intentions of the Bulzome Sect, the Vandal contacts Bulzome and demands retribution before dying. As the party prepares to leave, Basanda telepathically contacts the group and states that she had underestimated the party. She observes Kahn, and states that he is a tool to Benetram, before stating that she has a tool of her own, and then disappears. The party then make their way out of the Mansion, with Synbios finding the Goblin Scientist Ratchet inside of a workshop. After informing Ratchet that the Vandal had been defeated, the excited scientist boards a mechanized suit of armor and charges out of the Mansion, now free.

The force exits the mansion, and meet the wizard Noon outside, who states that he had accidentally summoned the curse into the area, and wishes to make amends by helping the Shining Force (however he only appears if certain Kyon-shi were saved). Afterwards, the force then leaves the village. Travelling across the road, the Force comes to a halt when they run into a large imperial army lead by General Franz. As the battle goes on, matters are worsened when General Spiriel and her forces arrive in the area. However, not is all as they seem, with Spiriel behaving in a very odd fashion, with Franz pointing out that she had gone missing following the battle with General Varlant. Spiriel, rather than stay and help Franz, leaves the battleground with her guards, leaving a unit of her soldiers behind. Kahn then takes notice that Spiriel is possessed by Bulzome magic, making her Basandas' tool. However, they are too late to stop the possessed General, as she leaves to go destroy the Elbesem Statue, one of the few things stopping Bulzome from entering the world. The battle continues, with Spiriel and Franz's forces fighting each other, along with the Shining Force. The Shining Force defeat both Imperial Forces, before defeating Franz, who dies. The group briefly speak about the infighting between the forces, before then heading out to stop Spiriel.

Along the way, the Shining Force stop in the travelling town of Vagabond, possibly entering the hospital tent and meeting with injured Republican Troops who had fought at the Aspinia-Destonia Border. Inside, they meet Justin, a bow knight and soldier of General Edmund's army, with the Shining Force realizing that Justin had been left behind during the battle, and offer to take him along. However, when Justin states that he had gotten into an argument with the General and was forced to leave the army, the Synbios and Dantares become confused, though Justin refuses to give anymore information and does not join the Force. This changes as the force leaves the town, with Justin swiftly catching up and agreeing to join them, and offering to "talk some sense into Edmund", though he does not state what he means by this. Despite that, the group accepts him and then leaves the town to go after and stop General Spiriel.

Exiting the town, the Shining Force see Spiriel and her army, and engage in pursuit. Unfortunately, they are too late as Spiriel and her forces, with the encouragement of Basanda, proceed to destroy the statue, the latter of which resists in a futile effort. The Shining Force then reach Spiriel and defeat both she and her forces. With Spiriel down, the Shining Force witness Basanda get struck down but survive a hit from Galm, the most powerful of the Vandals. Galm states he is present to watch Bulzome awaken, with Basanda asking that he not interfere with their plans. Julian, enraged at what the Vandal had done in the past, attempts to attack Galm, as the Shining Force attempt to stop him from attacking. Julian charges anyways, ending with Galm telepathically lifting him up and hurling him into a nearby waterfall. Galm intimidates Basanda, before disappearing. Basanda then proceeds to transport Spiriel away, warning the party that the vandal will not interfere next time.

The group attempts to search for Julian, but Benetram states that there is little they can do, much to Kahn's objections. The group try but ultimately fail to find Julian, so they continue towards a bridge in the rapids, nearing the entrance into Aspinia. However, as they move north from Barrand, the Force encounter General Garzel himself, who interrupts the search and sends his soldiers against the Force. The armies clash, but as the Force proceed to defeat a large portion of Garzel's army they run into the Imperial's "trap". Here, they encounter an old ally, but new enemy: General Edmund and his army, the same people who helped the Force escape Saraband at the beginning. Edmund, now having betrayed Aspinia on the belief that the country had failed and must restart, demands that Benetram be handed over. The Force refuses, and are then promptly flanked by Edmund's army, who appears to be in far fewer, surprising everyone. Suddenly, Medion and his army arrive, stating that they had cut down Edmund's army and plan on continuing to do so to spare the republic soldiers. Synbios and his forces proceed to go deal with Garzel, but things take a turn for the worse on the opposing side. As the Shining Force reach the bridge, Edmund orders Garzel to cut the ropes, but Garzel angrily refuses to kill own men to deal with Benetram and be stranded in Aspinia. While Edmund attempts to do so himself, Garzel attacks him and causes Edmund to fall off a cliff, left barely hanging. Garzel states his original intentions to backstab Edmund later on, before Edmund loses his grip and falls into the rapids. The Shining Force thank the Imperials after dealing with Garzel, (meeting Zero along the way). The 2 forces converse, with Benetram requesting that Medion and his force go and investigate the land of Elbesem, due to fears of the Bulzome Sect following the destruction of the statue. Medion and his forces leave to Barrand, while the despairing Republic Shining Force continue into Aspinia, with Benetram consoling them by reminding them to not remember Edmund as a traitor, but simply as a brave general. The Force enter Aspinia, set on restoring their home land.

Chapter 4- Revolt in the Republic of Aspinia Edit

The chapter starts out with the Synbios Army conversing within the Aspia Barracks, discussing the Aspinian national crisis going on, as well as the insurgence of monsters in the north. During this time, Kahn expresses some concerns that without the Guardian Statue, the Bulzome Sect are now even more threatening due to their unrestrained powers. Meanwhile at the castle, Generals Tybalt and Fafhard, alongside Synbios, Dantares, and Benetram, discuss the recent betrayal, alongside the concerning Army of Baersol holed up outside of Aspia, under the command of Brutus, one of the Aspinians seen at Saraband. However, an Aspinian Guard enters the room and states that a contingent of Baersol Soldiers have broken off and are on their way to another Aspinian town, Storich, in search of supplies. To stop this, Synbios and his battalion are called up once again to initiate a plan. The unit would go to Storich and fight off the attackers and stop them from getting any of the resources. However, the moment the unit defeats the traitors, they are to swiftly get back to Flagard castle in Aspia before the rest of the Baersol army can get involved. Synbios and Dantares go to leave, running into Braff, Fafhard's son, who wishes them luck. Outside the castle, the player can recruit the gladiator Horst into the Shining Force. The force then departs from the city and makes their way for Storich.

Along the roads, they take notice of several Baersol Soldiers, with the rest already pillaging Storich. The Shining Force deal with them all and make it to Storich. But things take a turn for the worse. While the Baersol Soldiers had been defeated, Storich is already in a ruined state. Not only this, the Force see the gates of Aspia close, meaning that the Force can't return to Flagard and the city as a whole. Trapped outside, the Force enter Storich. While the Force are in Storich, preparing to move on, they find Penn the penguin from prior (if the player had saved the chicken aboard the train), who joins the force. Speaking with several townspeople, the SF are informed that there is a way back into Aspia: through a volcanic cave system. The SF make their way there, only for things to worsen. They see that the Baersol Army has arrived and is guarding their passage, and inform the SF that General Fafhard had also betrayed the Republic and is now staging a coup against Flagard, using the initial attack on Storich to distract the SF. A verbal conflict occurs, with the Baersol Soldiers telling the SF that Benetram and Conrad are the traitors who are keeping money from the people and installed a class system equitable to the Empire. The SF is unconvinced, and the battle starts.

Upon beating the soldiers, the Baersol Commander compliments the SF for their strength, but proceeds to inform them about a dragon in the caves and then dies. The SF are conflicted on whether or not the soldiers were really fighting for the Republic, but acknowledge that they have no time to dwell on this and prepare to enter the caves. Provided the player had spoken with Ratchet at each opportunity, the goblin steam knight appears, and joins the force. The SF enter the caves, with Grace and Masqurin clearly disgusted of the volcanic interior. The group proceed to make their way through the swathes of creatures guarding the area, but the dragon awakens. This is a modifier, with later items being changed if the SF kills or spares the baby dragon (which is a threat to the SF, but can be left alone). The SF reach the exit, and hurry into Aspia.

The SF enter the area, seeing that Flagard had not been attacked yet while Fafhard's 2 armies are still moving in. Aware of the threat the SF pose to him, Fafhard changes tactics and goes after them first. The SF fight through the two armies and deal with Fafhard himself, ending the coup. The SF elect to spare the wounded Fafhard, who switches sides and decides to help the SF rebuild Aspinia rather than proceed with the revolt. However, things are ruined further when the Bulzome High Priest Fiale arrives, kills Fafhard, taunts the SF, and then enters Flagard himself, planning on meeting Synbios's father, Conrad. The enraged SF then enter the town.

In Flagard, the SF manage to sneak into the actual castle, finding Lord Conrad himself at his desk. Nervous about Fafhard's statements earlier, the SF send Synbios to speak with his father, but Conrad, clearly still ill, warns his son not to approach any closer. Synbios disobeys, but Conrad warns him again, with Synbios now listening, just as Fiale drops in and asserts how his trap had failed and how he had poisoned Conrad in the first place due to his inhibition of Bulzome plans. The SF become enraged once again, and the trap is sprung, with masked monks pouring in. If Synbios reaches and damages Fiale in time, he obtains a ship's key. With many of the monks defeated, Fiale makes a run for it, mentioning the name "Palsis" on his way out. The SF defeat the remaining masked monks, and reach Conrad. However, much to the efforts of Grace, Conrad dies, not before instructing the SF to go to Lookover, and then saying his farewells to the SF. The despairing Force mourn his death, with Synbios being affected the most in the process.

Chapter 5- Tower Ruins of LookoverEdit

The Chapter continues with one part of the SF in the barracks, discussing recent events. Zero, having returned in the last chapter, returns the Elbesem Orb to Kahn, and heads off to rejoin the Medion Army. Things continue in the castle, with the main SF unit paying their respects to Lord Conrad. After Synbios organized his thoughts, the unit prepares to find Fiale and take revenge at the Lookover Tower Ruins.

LocationsEdit

Aspinia- The poverty-stricken land of the Republic.

Aspia- The capital city of Aspinia.

Destonia- The land of the Empire

Saraband- A neutral city floating on the waters outside of Destonia

CharactersEdit

Shining ForceEdit

  • Synbios - the party leader in Scenario 1 and the son of Lord Conrad of the Republic of Aspinia
  • Dantares - a centaur knight and friend of Synbios
  • Masqurin - an elven mage from the Republic of Aspinia
  • Grace - a priest from the Republic of Aspinia
  • Hayward - an elven archer from Saraband who becomes caught up in the war between the Empire and Republic
  • Obright - a dwarven warrior from General Produn's army
  • Irene - a human monk from the far East
  • Julian - a human swordsman, he joins Synbios as they leave Railhead
  • Cybel - a centaur from General Varlant's army
  • Eldar - a birdwoman who along with her younger brother Zero serves Synbios' father Lord Conrad
  • Kahn - an Elbesem monk who Synbios encounters at Quonus Village.
  • Noon - an elven wizard who was 'cursed' by the Vandal at Quonus Village and turned into a Kyon-Shi
  • Justin - a centaur bowknight and General Edmund's right-hand man
  • Horst - a gladiator who uses axes and maces
  • Penn - a half-hatched penguin that still resides mostly within its shell
  • Ratchet - a goblin scientist who rides a steam powered robot suit
  • Frank - a wolfling from Flagard
  • Hagane - a ninja who has deserted the Monoichi ninja clan and is on the run
  • Murasame - a ninja affiliated with the Republic of Aspinia.
  • Fynnding - a birdman who joins Synbios for the final battle, leading the secondary battalion to attack the dam north of Aspia


Allies of the ForceEdit

King Benetram- The King of the Aspinian Republic, and advisor to Synbios for the majority of the scenario.

Duke Palsis- The leader of Lookover Tower and advisor to Synbios for the remainder of the game after returning to Aspinia.

BossesEdit

RacesEdit

ClassesEdit

Note: Shining Force III uses non-standard names for several classes.

Edit

Advanced ClassesEdit

Packaging ArtworkEdit

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