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Deep within a long forgotten place lies a jewel of great power, one that has been untouched for centuries. A mischievous thief named Slade had heard about such a jewel, but he was only concerned about its monetary value. After all, such a large stone must be worth a small fortune! So he brought along two cohorts to find this mysterious treasure and wrest it from its binding. Being the persistent fellow that he is, he succeeded.
After some serious tugging, the jewel finally broke apart from the wall holding it in place. Yet instead of just falling to the floor, it flew across the room with such a force that it nearly crushed Slade and his friends. If that wasn't bad enough, an eerie glow emerged from the spot where the jewel once appeared — something has awakened!
Now an ancient force has been freed from its long slumber, and the land of Rune is once again in danger. You are the wizard Astral's finest student on the last day of school. Your task in the "vacation" that follows is one of utmost importance. It appears that two jewels were used to bind the evil force, a creature named Zeon, in a place called the Ancient Tower. You and your team must find these Stones of Light and Dark so that peace can return to Rune.
To begin, name yourself as leader of the Shining Force team by entering up to eleven characters (the default name is Bowie). Play involves traveling from town to town from an overhead view of the world; talking with characters; visiting shops to purchase, sell or repair items; entering abbeys to cure, raise or promote characters in your party; and preparing for inevitable combat.
As in the original Shining Force, combat involves first moving characters from a top-down view of the battlefield (taking into account each character's movement points as well as the terrain), and attacking if he or she is in range of the enemy. The screen will then change to a view behind your character in the foreground, while the enemy appears in the background. During battle, players can use available items or magic spells to help tip the scales in their favor.
Over twenty characters are available at certain points during the game, and you'll be able to choose eleven of them to form your party. Among the different classes you'll encounter are birdmen, ninjas, archers, wolfmen, robots, rangers, master monks and golems. Each character can use certain types of weapons, the nature of which depends on his or her class. These weapons fall into seven different categories: arrows, spears and lances, axes, rods and magical weapons, knives and ninja blades, swords, and hand-to-hand weapons (gloves, rings and knuckles).
Key members of the Shining Force team include Jaha, a powerful dwarf; Chester, a spear-throwing centaur; Sarah, an Elven Priestess; Kazin, a powerful mage; Slade, a giant rat and master thief; Ash, one of the last phoenixes in the world; and May, a young centaur who is an expert with the bow. Game options include speeding up or slowing down message speed (with one being the slowest and four being the fastest) and saving up to two games in progress via battery backup. Find the right combination of adventurers and vanquish Zeon once and for all! ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide