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Shining Force II

aka: Shining Force II: Inishie no Fūin
Moby ID: 7027
Genesis Specs
Buy on Genesis
$99.00 used on eBay
Buy on Windows
$0.99 new on Steam
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Conversion (official)

Description official descriptions

Shining Force II is a strategy/RPG hybrid with cartoon-like graphics. The game is comprised of two modes: exploration, in which the hero and his companions engage in the role-playing game standard of talking to townspeople, exploring new lands, and furthering the plot; and battle mode, in which the combat is resolved from a tactical point of view, with individual combats being resolved from a close-up view with animated characters.

The plot consists of such quests as saving a princess from the clutches of demons, rebuilding the hero's hometown, and uniting the various forces of good together against the hero's nemesis. Along the way, the hero will be joined by many characters who seek to aid him in his journey. Several of these characters can only be obtained by completing side quests. In addition, random battles can occur between the programmed scenarios, giving the hero's party a chance to obtain experience and gain levels outside of the set scenarios.

There are several difficulty levels in the game, selectable when starting a new game. In addition, there is a configuration code that allows cheats to be activated, including the ability to control the enemy units.


  • シャイニング・フォースⅡ 古えの封印 - Japanese spelling
  • 샤이닝 포스 2 - Korean spelling

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Credits (Genesis version)

59 People (46 developers, 13 thanks) · View all



Average score: 88% (based on 23 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 51 ratings with 3 reviews)

Chess with a story line

The Good
Shining Force 2 basically plays like a version of chess, with players taking turns manipulating pieces with various strengths and weaknesses around a checker board. The game has a decidedly kooky story to sweep you along- something about devils fighting for jewels, colonizing new lands, and somehow the Incan Nazca carvings sneak in there. It's marvelous window dressing for a challenging game, the heart of which will get you the same way a good chess opponent will.

The Bad
The game suffers from a few strange glitches, like every time you play you eventually have one or two characters that no matter what cannot fight. That, and the soundtrack will occasionally make you reach for a shotgun that, hopefully, is far out of reach.

The Bottom Line
Part puzzle, part turn-based tactics game, and part scatological Japanese mad-cappery. All fun.

Genesis · by Ian Kelleher (7) · 2006

One of the best Tactical RPGs on the Mega Drive

The Good
Shining Force II is much less linear than the first game, which had a chapter based system so you couldn't go back to towns visited in the previous chapters and buy/find items or characters you missed the first time around. Here you can travel all over the game world and explore.

Shining Force's biggest strength, at least for me, has always been the character roster and this game doesn't disappoint in that regard: thief rat, phoenix, tortoise and golem (along with wolfman, birdman and robot classes from the first game). Adding to good replay value is the fact that there's quite a bit of secrets you can find in Shining Force II. Along with stat boosting items which were in the first game, now there's also secret promotion items with which some characters can be promoted to a special fighting class (the Sorcerer class has some wicked spells). There's also Mithril, which you can find in various spots and bring them to a blacksmith in a secret village who then makes powerful weapons out of them.

The first game had some good map design and so does this one - the fight with a sea monster on a narrow raft, chess board battle and one of the final battles where you're making your way up a tower. Some interesting enemies as well: Burst Rocks that explode and damage anyone near them, Prism Flowers that fire lasers which hit everyone on a direct line in a vertical or horizontal direction and Mist Demons that cast muddle (a spell that basically lets the AI hijack your characters and make them waste their MP or go after your own units). I only wished they were used more and in combinations.

Most of the stupid menu controls from the first installment have been fixed, for example, now you can just walk up to an NPC you want to talk to and press a button, in the first game you had to pull up a menu and select the "talk" option every single time. The AI makes moves quicker, acquired items are automatically passed to whoever has the inventory space to carry them and weapon vendors ask if you’d like to immediately equip newly purchased items. Also, like in the first game, you need 100 experience points to level up, but now you don’t lose the points that pass the 100 mark, like before.

Difficulty wise there's 4 options: normal, hard, super and ouch! (you'd expect "Ouch!" to be the hardest, however Super is actually the hardest difficulty setting). I played it on normal and the game starts out rather tame, but gets more challenging as you go on. I would say there's little to no grinding involved, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. The graphics have been given a boost, with more colorful and detailed characters sprites.

The Bad
The story is rather lousy and cliché, here you have the typical "some clueless guy (or rat) breaks a seal releasing evil and now it's up to you, the chosen one, to defeat it". Add to that a very stereotypical "rescue the princess" trope and a plot twist you can see coming from a mile away and you have the story of Shining Force II.

The non-linear style of the game can sometimes lead to confusion on where to go next. It also leads to poor gating on at least one occasion where you can fight the very strong (at that point) Kraken which you're not supposed to fight just yet.

Speaking of confusion, there's a completely unnecessary control method, where the C button automatically searches, while the A button allows you to manually select the search option and on one occasion (getting the "Holy Sword"), an item cannot be found using the C search option, only by using the A button. Also, in the English localization the "Search" option in battle is gone, meaning every treasure chest and searchable spot only reachable in battle become useless.

The bosses are still annoyingly cheap as far as I'm concerned, some of them can get as many as three turns before you even get one. And yeah, I get that it's a design choice from making it too easy, but there are better ways of handling boss battles.

The Bottom Line
Most of the interface inefficiencies from the first game have been fixed in Shining Force II, delivering a more streamlined game that easily ranks amongst the best in it's genre on the Mega Drive. However, taking into consideration that there weren't a lot of tactical RPGs on the system (only the Langrisser a.k.a. Warsong games come to mind) that's not really saying a lot. When compared to SNES/Super Famicom tactical RPGs such as the Fire Emblem games, Bahamut Lagoon, Front Mission, FEDA or Tactics Ogre, it might come off as bit simple, lacking the complexity of the aforementioned titles. Nevertheless Shining Force II is still a highly enjoyable game with plenty of interesting characters and mechanics that set it apart from other games.

Genesis · by Infernos (44139) · 2014

Simple and engaging

The Good
This game was great when released. An entertaining sequel and yet a great game in its own right. For its time the format and gameply were very well constructed. Harmless to the brain and still addictive.

The Bad
The only drawback of these older games is that they dont go any further. After the introduction of the playstation lots of these smaller software firms either lost contracts or simply fell out of favour. People were so tied up in the PS's new graphics no one thought " Well what happens when our graphics become common place". One of those genres and games that fell between the cracks in the advancing technology market.

The Bottom Line
This is one of those old games that takes you for a good ride. The story line is a little bit "cutesie" compared to modern games but you have to put it in context with the time it came out. Its one of those games that you can play now and realise how far gaming has come in some ways and how little it has come in others. The best gamers I know were brought up on these games. A building block if you will. The traditional battle of good versus evil without all the gore and guts of modern games.Fun, good natured adventure. One of yesterdays games that deserves a few honest hours of gameplay.

Genesis · by kurikthebasher (4) · 2003



  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #60 (Best 100 Games of All Time)
  • GameFan
    • 1994 - Overall Best Strategy Game of the Year
    • 1994 - Best Genesis Strategy Game of the Year* Game Players
    • January 1995 (Vol 3, Iss. 1) - named best Genesis RPG game in 1994


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  • MobyGames ID: 7027
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Daniel Reed.

Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. Windows added by yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy). Macintosh, Linux added by Foxhack. Wii added by gamewarrior.

Additional contributors: RKL, Alaka, j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】, Big John WV, Rik Hideto.

Game added July 31, 2002. Last modified February 15, 2024.