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Best Game Ever – Shining Force

posted on February 3rd, 2006 by jay

Developed by Camelot with the help of Climax
Published by Sega for the Sega Genesis
Released 1992

Sexy, sexy gameplay.

Before my affair with Shining Force, I dated her older sister, Shining in the Darkness (Shining and the Darkness for ubernerds/Japanese speakers). SitD had an amazing sense of style, was attractive, and had a very pleasant sound.

Unfortunately, she was just too old fashioned for me. Her traditional values, coupled with a boredom inducing shallowness, made her not much fun. We enjoyed most of the time we spent together, but I needed something more.

It was 1992 when a friend introduced me to Shining in the Darkness’ younger sister. Shining Force was everything I’d been looking for. Much to my mother’s dismay, I spent the night with her the first day we met. I was in love. Being so young, I didn’t realize she didn’t express herself eloquently. Being American, I didn’t know she wasn’t the only one who could do those tricks.

What I realized and what I knew was that she was beautiful. She had such style and such a youthful grace. I scoff at the stuck up Final Fantasy VII, whose mom must be a whore. Shining Force had a flare, a zest for life if you will, that I rarely see today. She was easy to understand, very straightforward, but still so deep. Shining Force kept me entertained night after sleepless night. There was always more to do to her.

Yogurt, the pinnacle of character design.

Shining Force was so unique to me. I had never thought that much and loved the strategy it took to enjoy her. The rest left me feeling empty, with sore fingers, but not her. Many would eventually emulate her but in the early 90’s, Shining Force was one of a kind.

Our time together was bliss for me and I couldn’t get enough. I role played with her in mind, I design a series of toys based after her. When apart, I would brag to my classmates about her, tell them they didn’t know what they were missing. A few of my close friends soon found out as I shared her with them.

Phrases based on her life, such as, “You suck like Ken,” worked their way into our vocabulary. These are some of the best memories I have. Shining Force was it and she was mine.

Then one day I ran out of adventures to have with her. I was hurt, but soon introduced to her younger sister, Shining Force 2. I don’t see Shining Force as often as I’d like to these days, but now and then I still have the opportunity to set her up with a friend. Things usually go pretty smoothly, but few see what I saw in her. That’s ok, though, we can keep what we had just between us.

As true today as it was then.

Prettier and smarter games have come along. Games with better etiquette, poise and posture, but I will not say these are better than Shining Force.

Certain relationships create a special magic that may one day be matched, but never replaced, and will remain with you for all of your life. Is it us, is it them? Is it the things that were going on in our lives, our memories of the period as a whole, or just a simple longing for the past? I don’t know, but I will always love Shining Force.

And Shining Force 2…

And Shining Force 3.1…

And so forth.


  1. Nilld said on December 10, 2006:

    Yes, I agree with you in all respects. Shining force was a great game, in fact one of my favorites. It’s style and endless adventures are something you see in few games today. Tales of Symphonia is one of the only recent games that gives you such satisfying gameplay. I hate it when games are so short. Shining force, Tales of Pantasia, and Secret of Mana will always be some of my favorite games because of their style.I love the characters in Shining Force! There are so many of them to suit anyone’s style. Zylo will always be my favorite. Alongside Link, he is my favorite character in a game ever. Well, there are some close second places, but Zylo is a name that I will never forget. He is definitely the coolest character from this game, from my point of view.

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