|Rating(s)|| CERO: Ages 12 and Up|
| Japan: December 16, 2010|
The player can form a party of up to four characters that will be encountered throughout the course of the game. With party members, the player will be able to perform special team attacks.
At the start of the game, the player must choose one girl out of the trio of female protagonists with different characteristics: Nellis the Ranger, Amyl the Magician and Aerie the Priest. The player may change their respective names. You cannot change your female protagonist throughout the game.
The ocean is a major background setting of Shining Hearts, where the player's base of operations is a ship called "Home Ship". This ship serves both as the player's home and as means of transport. While the ship starts off in a ragged state, the player will be able to build it up with new functionality. Eventually, the player will use the ship to travel to other islands.
When not outside at sea, the player is free to roam the Wyndaria Island. The player will be able to take part in a variety of activities such as: progress through story missions, or take on side quests to help out villagers. The player will also be able to go around the island to collect materials for baking bread and forging weapons, and even go fishing.
While playing through the game, working through the story and helping villagers out on quests, the player will collect "Hearts" that is an important key to the game. These can be used to make special bread for Kaguya and help her regain her emotions. As her emotions come back, Kaguya's spirit stone will release "Heart Keys." These can be used to open doors to new worlds, leading to new developments in the story.
Hearts are a parameter indicating how people feel about the main character. In response to the main character's actions, people will release Hearts of varying color. The different colors represent feelings:
- Red Heart: Happiness, Fondness etc.
- Green Heart: Kindness, Relieved etc.
- Yellow Heart: Anger, Fury etc.
- Blue Heart: Sadness, Gloomy etc.
- Black Heart: Hatred, Hostility etc.
- Silver Heart: Amazement, Surprised etc.
By collecting Hearts, the player will bring about changes to the game's island setting and world, and also expand the adventure to new areas. Hearts can also be used in battle. It is also possible to use Hearts when preparing bread at the bakery.
One method for collecting Hearts is through the MOE (Mind Over Emotion) System. During conversation, the player will occasionally be allowed to select a response under constraint of time. Depending on the player's selection, the conversation partner will release Hearts indicating their reaction and at the same time, their favor for the main character will change accordingly.
There's more than one MOE System in the game, and one of them being the "Battle MOE" System. Battle MOE is a group attack system when every now and then, the player will be given the chance of pairing up with one of the battle members for a group attack. Depending on the selections, the player will get different moves. Some group attacks result in heal spells, some in group attacks, etc.
The feelings of the party members towards the main character will also change during combat. The character that the player selects to perform the team attack will be more pleased with the main character and will release Red Hearts, indicating happiness. The characters who don't get picked will be angry and will release Blue Hearts, indicating sadness.
Some other ways would be interacting with the NPC and Playable Characters such as Greeting them by pressing the square button when you are near them. This action normally produces red hearts but there are some exceptions like Elve Elder Alvin and Melty the Ice Magician, if you greet them they will produce black hearts. Normally each repeated greeting in a half days time produces less red hearts than the previous greeting, so it is not a good idea to spam this function. Sometimes greeting someone after a specific MOE will also provide hearts that are not red, examples would be the Fruit Garden owner, if you chose the wrong thing to say he will produce black hearts and before giving him a bread he will do so until the next day.
Another way would be Giving them bread. By talking to them, you can choose to either have a chat or give them bread. By giving them different bread, different hearts will be produced, but mostly red heart is produced through this action. The major example would be Madera the Owner of the bakery, By giving her a 5★ed bread instead of giving you red hearts, she produces silver hearts that increase the amount of all four kinds of hearts. Second example would be Alvin and Melty mentioned above, without giving them bread before you greet, they will produce black hearts. And by giving people the kind of bread they dislike or bread that tastes awful, they will produce blue hearts.
One thing a Bread Maniac should be aware of and should prevent at all cause are the Stinky Bread a.k.a Smelly Bread or Bread omitting unpleasant smell. When you have atleast one of those in your Item bag, the people you approach will produce black hearts and give out negative comments such as "Ugh... Whats this disgusting smell!?" "It stinks!!" "Yuck!" etc.
An effective way to produce hearts would be having Bread with Pleasant Smells. Smells include Sweet Scent, Rose Scent, Sea Scent etc. Whenever you approach people when you have such bread, they will produce green hearts and give you comments like "Oh what a sweet smell." "Ah, the smell of roses!" "This smell reminds me of the sea." etc. By doing this, one can get maxed (999) green hearts very easily in the earlier section of the game by entering and exiting buildings continuesly.
One day, a mysterious boy named Rick was washed ashore the island of Wyndaria after a great storm. He encounters either Neris, Amil or Airy who work at the island's bakery. Apparently, Rick is suffering from amnesia. Neris, Amyl or Aerie will suggest Rick to join her in the bakery since Madera, the Bakery owner recently started complaining about lack of menpower. The next day, a mysterious girl named Kaguya was also washed ashore the island of Wyndaria after a great storm as well. She too encounters Rick and Neris, Amil or Airy who work in the island's bakery. Apparently, Kaguya is not just suffering from amnesia, but she also lost her emotions. In addition, the usually peaceful Wyndaria is now swarming with pirates who came seeking for the special spirit stone that is worn around Kaguya's neck as a pendant. Knowing the situation, Rick and his partner, Neris, Amil or Airy decided to bring back peace to the island and help Kaguya regain her lost memories and emotions.
- Rick Elwood - The game's main protagonist. An amnesiac young swordsman who works with one of the heroines of the player's choice, at the bakery she
- Neris, Amil, Airy - The three main heroines the player can either choose at the beginning of the game. She works at the bakery the protagonist works at.
- Alvin - An elf who has the ability to control spirits. In battle, he makes use of archery and magic to support the party fromm the backlines.
- Xiao-Mei - A black cat female who runs an antique shop.
- Ragnus - The Prince of Wyndaria
- Rufina - The Princess of Wyndaria
- Rouna - Rufina's palace maid.
- Melty - A "tsundere" witch who likes ice magic who is not too fond of people while not liking the sun, hence living in a mansion outside the village.
- Hank - A dwarf blacksmith and a a heavy warrior, who built the ovens for the bakery the protagonist works.
- Dylan - A dual swordswoman and a pirate captain.
- Madera - An old lady who is the bakery's owner.
- Kaguya - A mysterious, amnesiac young girl who also drifted ashor to Wyndaria like the protagonist, and serves an important role in the game.
- Sorube - Melty's familiar spirit.
- Maxima - A mysterious woman who has some connection to Kaguya.
- Kuon - A beast-race child, who can understand human words while not knowing how to talk.
- Mistral - Captain of the Seiren Pirates who is after the mysterious stone Kaguya holds.
- "Kokoro ni Todoku Uta" (心に届く詩) - Lyrics by LiA.