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Shining Wisdom

SWZ game cover

Series
Shining series
Manufacturer
Sega
Producer
Hiroyuki Takahashi
Director
Yasuhiro Taguchi
Music Composer
Motoaki Takenouchi
Year
1995-1996
Game System(s)
Sega Saturn

Shining Wisdom is an action-adventure game developed by Sonic! Software Planning and published by Sega for the Sega Saturn.


GameplayEdit

Shining Wisdom differs from its predecessors in the Shining series in that it was the first to employ an Action-adventure style of gameplay. Players control one character whose attacks rely on speed and skill, rather than controlling a group of characters who engage in turn-based combat sequences and increase their stats as the game progresses. The gameplay of Shining Wisdom has often been likened to that of the Legend of Zelda series. Shining Wisdom's originality comes from the unique system of attacks based on a combination of acquired items and "orbs."


PlotEdit

In the land of Odegan, orphaned squire Mars is employed at Odegan Castle on the strength of his father's great reputation. A series of lies and deceptions on his part unexpectedly places him as the foremost obstacle to the schemes of the dark elf wizard, Pazort. Pazort and his followers intend to destroy the world by summoning the Giant, Seeega (referred to as "the Dark Titan" in the North American translation), and to do so they first must use Princess Satera to get at an orb held by King Odegan. It is up to Mars to redeem his lies and failures by thwarting the mighty wizard's plans.[2]

Shining Wisdom takes place on the continent of Parmecia just a few years after Shining Force II, and is a sequel of sorts to that game. Sarah and Kazin, who were playable characters in Shining Force II, are roaming the continent in a hunt for Zeon's remaining henchmen. Pazort, the main villain of Shining Wisdom, is a former follower of Zeon, and Sarah and Kazin aid in the fight against him. There are also several references to the hero of Shining Force II, Bowie, though he does not actually appear anywhere in the game. A book even refers to the setting of Shining in the Darkness, Stormsong (referred to in English versions as "Thornwood").

LocationsEdit

Parmecia

CharactersEdit

Shining ForceEdit

Allies of the ForceEdit

BossesEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Shining Wisdom was originally designed for the Mega Drive, and adapted for the Sega Saturn at the last minute, presumably in order to bolster the new system's library of games. All the characters in the game were modeled using Silicon Graphics, and Softimage Creative Environment. It was the last of Sega's Shining series of video games to be scored by Motoaki Takenouchi, the series's longest-running composer.

Working Designs' North American version of the game took numerous creative liberties with the story. Kazin, Sarah, Bowie, and Zeon are respectively referred to as "Parn", "Salah", "Puck", and "Zhaion", while the land of Parmecia is referred to as "Palacia". Sega Japan owned the copyrights to the original names and would not release them. Working Designs also made considerable changes to the characters' personalities and how they relate to each other. For example, the original script made explicit that Sarah does not return the romantic feelings of her companion, Kazin; Working Designs not only deleted these parts of the script, but added in numerous comments from Sarah and other NPCs indicating that she and Kazin are romantically involved.

The European release of Shining Wisdom was translated by Sega Europe. This translation contains some grammatical errors and typos, but none of the contemporary pop-culture jokes and altered characterizations of the Working Designs translation. It also keeps intact the storyline connections between Shining Wisdom and the other games of the Shining series.