1) How do I beat (insert boss here)?
See my boss section.
2) How do I get these cheat codes to work?
I don't know. I was never able to get them to work on a real Genesis or on an emulator. (Shivers: I was able to get the "Name your Character" cheat working myself, but after countless tries, none of the others....)
3) Where can I find SF1?
Try your local used game store or go to a specialty store dedicated to gaming. I think Microplay, a franchise in Canada, may have used copies at some of their stores (assuming there still are some Microplays open). You can get more info about places to find the game and its sequels and spinoffs in the US and UK at shining Force Central. Don't forget to check out online auctions at Yahoo or eBay.
4) Where can I find the ROM?
Moogie has all the Genesis and Game Gear Shining ROMs at her Ultimate Shining Force 2. I recommend using Genecyst to play it, as it is exponentially better than any other Genesis emulator in existence.
5) Do you have a website, Sephirstein?
I'm sure nobody cares, but no, and I don't think I will in the near future.
6) Where is the Forbidden Box?
No one knows, so don't ask. You can use some hacking programs to get it though. Supposedly it messes around with your characters' levels when you use them. (Shivers: If you do, here's what it does: Unpromoted: Levels 1-18: Promote to Level 19. Level 19: Promote to Level 20. Level 20 or above: It doesn't do anything. Promoted: Levels 1-18: Promote to Level 19. At Level 19, it promotes straight to Level 99. Do be aware it takes a good few minutes for this sucker to work, especially lev. 19-99 promoted. The forbidden box (AKA Kindan NoKako) can be used more than once, it doesn't break, or get used up or anything. Note that it only works IN BATTLE, and will only upgrade the force that is battling... IE Max and 11 others.)
7) What about the other useless items?
See the useless item guide.
8) Where do I find Hanzou, Musashi, Jogurt, Domingo and Kokichi?
Hanzou: In Runefaust, look in the bushes for something that looks like a shuriken. Search it and Hanzou will join.
Musashi: On one of the buildings in Prompt, there is something that looks like a small white piece of paper with black text. Search it AFTER you are imprisoned by the King of Prompt, and Musashi will be in HQ.
Jogurt: He's somewhere around the chapel in the first Pao. Stand to the left of the friar and he'll appear just outside of the chapel. He will now be in headquarters.
Domingo: In the town of Manarina, there's a room with a mage and a strange machine. Search it for a Domingo Egg. Keep the egg with you until you get to the second Pao and give it to a guy looking for weird eggs. He'll get it to hatch and Domingo will emerge from the egg and join your force.
Kokichi: After you beat the Quarry Battle in Bustoke, explore the houses. One of the houses will have a guy trying to make a device to fly. Search the machinery, then talk to him and he'll ask you to follow him. The man, who is Kokichi, will test the flying device and fall into the fields of Pao. Wait until the next Chapter, and he'll join you after the wagons in the first Pao move.
9) I want my characters to level up, how do I do this?
Kill everything in a battle except one enemy and cast Egress to leave the battle. Keep fighting the battle over and over until you reach the desired level.
10) Where is the dragon head with a chain that the King of Alterone talks about?
Southwest of the throne not far from a waterfall. Note that pulling it will accomplish nothing until you talk to the King upon beating the Alterone battle.
11) How many times have you completed this game, Sephirstein?
Many times on a Genesis but I no longer have my Genesis and I have only completed once or twice using emulators.
12) Is there an advantage to giving knights both a spear and a lance?
Though lances are often more powerful than spears, it's also a good idea to give a knight a spear as a secondary weapon so that they can equip it and attack enemies from a range of two squares if need be.
13) I have a new character and they're not appearing in battle, how do I get them to join?
Egress from the battle and return to the headquarters of the nearest town and talk to Nova to be given the option of changing characters. Note that you can only take 12 characters into battle at once.
14) There's a chest in Alterone that's on an island surrounded by water. How do I get it?
I told you to explore everything. See what happens if you don't listen? There's a girl near the water. Push the nearby cart towards her and it will splash mud on her. Talk to her and she'll push you in the water. You can swim in the area you're in and onto the island. Open the chest (it contains a Power Potion) and swim back to the mainland of the town.
15) When and on whom should I use Power Potions and Defense Potions?
Don't use them until you're promoted, otherwise, your stats will be lowered more than usual by your promotion. Just use them on whichever character you feel will most benefit from it. It's a judgement call really.
16) Why do my stats go down when I promote characters?
It's part of the game. Don't worry though, because you get massive stat improvements when you level up. Just wait until at least Chapter 4, Battle 2 (Balbazak's fortress gates) to start promoting characters. Shivers: I think that there are set numbers for what your stats become, depending on what level you promote at.
17) Are there any cheap tricks to make my characters stronger?
Yes, when using an emulator, save you're state when you're about to gain a level. If you're not satisfied with your stat improvements, load your state and keep trying till you get a good level since level gains are random. Since this is a form of cheating, I advise you to actually beat the game at least once before you start doing this. I do, however, condone doing this if you gain a level in which your stats do not improve at all even if you have never beaten the game.
18) Some enemies have Shield Rings. How do I get one?
You can't, as far as I know. Hack them in if you must.
19) What are the URLs of all the websites you mention above without giving the URL?
Read the links section.
20) How do I use a special ability of an item or a weapon while in battle?
Select use from the item menu and select the item you wish to use. Make sure to repair the item at a weapon or item shop if you are warned of damage (i.e.. Smoke rises from the heat axe or the ring cracks). You can load your state if your piece of equipment is damaged and try again to make sure it doesn't get damaged.
21) What do I do to finish the game after I've done everything that I needed to in Runefaust and Runefaust Castle?
Leave Runefaust and go to the westernmost point on the outdoor map. Now use the Chaos Breaker from the wilderness and a castle will appear in the water. You can teleport to it from the nearby shrine.
22) What are good areas to train ridiculously strong characters?
Any battle from the second battle on Chapter 4 to the last battle of Chapter 5 is good because the enemies are insanely weak and give a good amount of experience until your levels are quite high. Another good idea to train characters with ranged weapons is too stand two squares from a boss who doesn't move and has no ranged attacks or has run out of magical ranged attacks. Since the boss will recover HP and won't hurt you, you can do this indefinitely. I got Diane to Level 16 unpromoted in the first battle of Chapter 3 by using this trick on the Master Mage boss. The battle against Ramladu also works for this trick. Keep killing the robots and than Egress. I heard you can get up to Level 40 Promoted with this trick. Thanks to Karl Plouffe for the Ramladu trick.
23) When should I promote my characters?
Don't promote them right away when they hit Level 10 or the game will be extremely tough. Get them up to Level 13 or 14 and promote them at Battle 2 of Chapter 4 (Battle 13). You may also be better off waiting until there is a weapon available for a characters that is only usable when he or she is promoted (middle of Chapter 5, usually). This does not apply to characters who fight unarmed.
24) Why are General Elliot and Balbazak more resistant to magic than Darksol or Dark Dragon?
I know it makes no sense, but ask the programmers.
25) What's the deal with Cain?
Like they did with much of the Phantasy Star series, Sega of America probably butchered a lot of the translation. The error in which Kane was referred to as "Cain" when you fought him was particularly glaring. I do not know why Sega did this. Shivers: At one point I wanted to be a linguist and learned a little Japanese. It's actually more likely that "Cain" was what they were looking for, and EVERYWHERE ELSE, they got it wrong. How's that for glaring?! All the other mis-translations are easily explained the same way.
26) Sephirstein, how did you first find Shining Force?
I was bored one day during the summer and rented it at Microplay a year or so after completing the sequel. I believe it was the summer of 1995.
27) Why are Chapters 4 and 5 so much easier than the rest of the game?
This is a questions I have pondered countless times while playing Shining Force or working on this guide. Fortunately, Sashanan proposed an interesting theory in his magnificent Shining Force review (available at GameFAQs). Basically, he argues that Chapters 4 and 5 were dumbed down to compensate for the fact that you lose stats once promoted. Unfortunately, this dumbing down was taken to a ridiculous extreme, and characters start gaining levels extremely quickly for doing next to nothing upon being promoted. Since promoted level gains bring HUGE statistical increases, these enemies quickly become outgrown, and will provide no challenge whatsoever to the force, while at the same time giving a considerable amount of experience.
28) Why isn't the entire guide your original work?
Put it this way, what's the point in going through the game to copy enemy, spell and item lists if its already been done? Besides, give me a break. I did correct any errors that were found and I did have permission.
29) Between the two Sega Genesis Shining force games, which is better?
Whoa...This one's a toughie. Shining Force 2 has considerable better AI, a cleaner and easier to use interface (Shining Force is very annoying to control for a while after playing through SF2), far better game balance, more overall challenge (including a much harder sequence of battles approaching the end of the game), a tougher final boss, a longer game, more freedom, more overall polish, and a better variety of character classes. In other words, Shining Force 2 is a technically superior game that reflects the experience of the developers. Shining Force, on the other hand, features more interesting locales (nothing in SF2 even touches Manarina or Waral), a wider variety of character designs (except of course for those darn centaurs), and a more whimsical feel. In other words, it reflects upon the exuberance felt by the less experienced (at the time) developers. I also find that Shining Force had nicer looking enemy mages. As for story, it's really hard to compare the two. Both have stories that ultimately involve saving the world from the Devils, and both have a general lack of character development. SF2 has Peter, a deeper more coherent story,and much better dialog (in spite of some questionable translations). Shining Force has a funner story though, and the whimsical touch and the exciting locales really do a much better job of fleshing the world of Rune. Again, it's a toss-up between the technical superiority of SF2, and the artistic superiority of the original (sorry for sounding like a figure skating judge). Overall, they both tickle my fancy depending on my mood, and I'll leave it to the reader to judge the game from his/herself.
30) How should I choose my Force?
In my opinion, the question of choosing a Force is much more important in Shining Force 2 than it is in the original Shining Force, because choosing the best mix of strength, mobility, and magic requires considerable more thought and can make the difference between able to play a well-flowing, technical masterpiece of a game with, little-to-no leveling up, and being forced to play a monotonous game of overpowered whack-whack, in which most of the game consists of greatly overpowering your force so as to completely outmuscle your enemies. I won't go into more detail to avoid straying too far off topic. The most important thing to consider when choosing a Force in Shining Force 1 is this single question: Do I want to choose characters such as Pelle or Musashi, who will give me good power right out of the box, or would I rather spend a few hours leveling-up someone like Bleu, and massacre everything in my path with him for the rest of the game? Answer this question for yourself, and you'll have little-to- no-trouble choosing the Force that's right for you. Just make damn sure you know how to tell the difference between a good Knight like Pelle and a shit Knight like Earnest. Shivers: To save from wasting special weapons, you'd need at least one sword-user in addition to Max, one to two axe-wielders, two to three lance/spearchuckers, and one archer. That's Max and 5-7 others. This means a third to half of your force will be using off-the-shelf weapons depending on if you use cursed weapons. Next up is 1-2 healers and 1-3 magi. There's 7-12 positions suggested, but don't be afraid to play around with that, especially since unarmed fighters aren't covered by that list. You can play through this game with just about any combination and win, so have fun! No matter what Sephirstien or I may say in the character guide, drop ANYONE that's not working with your playing style or has lagged so far behind they're dying in one hit.
31) Why are there so many Knights anyways?
Of the 30 characters in Shining Force, there is 1 Hero, 1 Ninja, 1 Samurai 3 Wizards, 1 Miscellaneous Magic Users, 2 Warriors, 4 Unarmed Physical Fighters 3 Healers, 1 Monk (also unarmed), 3 Archers, 2 Birdmen, 6 Centaur Knights, 2 Miscellaneous Knights. Needless to say, these numbers are very unbalanced in favor of knights. Of course, the two Miscellaneous Knights (Guntz and Kokichi) and Arthur are nice to have, as they are specialty characters with attributes that differentiate them from generic Centaur Knights. Having 5 other Centaur knights is ridiculous (especially considering that 3 of them suck pretty bad to begin with), and the game was designed that way because of artist laziness. Sorry, I just can't think of a better theory.(Shivers: Memory limitations in the cartridge?) Oh well, at least this game doesn't have Higgins.
You don't frighten us, Eenglish peeg-dogs! Go on, boil your buttons, son of a silly person! I blow my nose on yeu... You and all yeur silly Eenglish kuuuuhhh-ni-guhts!
32) How big a stat gain is possible upon gaining a level after promotion?
Theoretically, I do not know if there is a limit. The highest I can remember gaining is probably 12 Defense with Anri. Force2000 claims to have gained 25 Attack with Zylo. Submit any spectacular stat gains to me.
33) What does the Muddle spell do?
It was useful in the original, "Shining in the Darkness", but in this game, um... nothing. I have no clue why they didn't just drop it like they did 4 other spells. (although they DID bring "Blast" back in later SF games, albiet horribly weakened.)