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Set in a world of fantasy and magic, Shining Force III places you in the boots of a young general, fighting to preserve the peace in your world. The story starts out as the Emperor is abducted from within the city of Saraband, and you must go on the run with your king, who is suspected of being the mastermind behind the abduction. Of course, things are not as they seem, and you will be taken through a web of lies and deceit in your quest to prove the King innocent.

The game is very similar in style to the earlier Shining Force titles, so anyone who's played them will be comfortable with the game, though likely they'll also be happy to find the game graphically overhauled, with a 3-D landscape and 3D characters during the battle animations. As ever the main game is controlled like a traditional RPG, with you controlling the main character, talking to NPC's and searching various items. However, the main selling point of the Shining Force series has always been its battle sequences.

The combat system is amended from the earlier titles, with a new and unique "friendship" system, whereby the more two characters work together (helping each other out, healing each other etc.) the closer they bond, and they will start to give each other bonuses on the battlefield. Other traditional features, such as the rock-paper-scissors nature of the weapons (sword beats axe, axe beats spear, spear beats sword etc.) and the terrain effects (someone hiding in a forest is going to get better protection than someone on an open road) remain fully intact, and anyone who's played the earlier titles in the series will likely be very comfortable with the combat system.

It should be noted that this is actually the western conversion of Shining Force III: Episode I, and was therefore only the first episode in an intended series of three. Unfortunately the other two titles were never released outside of Japan, so most western gamers were only able to experience a third of the storyline.


Shining Force III SEGA Saturn Preparing for a critical hit
Shining Force III SEGA Saturn The inhabitants often have useful information to offer
Shining Force III SEGA Saturn The big polygonal models are only seen in close-up battles
Shining Force III SEGA Saturn The trading post is always open for merchants

Promo Images

Shining Force III Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "光明力量III" -- Chinese Title (Simplified)
  • "Shining Force III Scenario 1: Outo no Kyojin" -- Japanese Title
  • "Guangming Liliang" -- Chinese Title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Quite Possibly The Best Game In The Series. MasterMegid (902) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

Critic Reviews

Bravo Screenfun Aug, 1998 1 out of 6 100
Hobby Consolas Sep, 1998 92 out of 100 92
SegaFan.com Jul 01, 2002 9.1 out of 10 91
Joystick (French) Jul, 1998 90 out of 100 90
RPGFan Jun 06, 2000 88 out of 100 88
GameSpot Jul 10, 1998 8.5 out of 10 85
Gamers' Republic Jun, 1998 B+ 83
RPGFan Sep 08, 1998 83 out of 100 83
RPGDreamers 2004 8 out of 10 80
RPGFan Apr 17, 1999 70 out of 100 70


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1001 Video Games

Shining Force III appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
yprbest (128) added Shining Force III (SEGA Saturn) on Jul 16, 2003
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