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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 A back-attack is always favorable
Shining Force III SEGA Saturn Big CG-portrait (Intro)
Shining Force III SEGA Saturn Title-screen of the PAL-Version
Shining Force III SEGA Saturn A spell in the works (Intro)

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
Shin Force Jan 18, 2001 9.7 out of 10 97
Hobby Consolas Sep, 1998 92 out of 100 92
GamePro (US) Oct, 1998 4.5 out of 5 90
Joystick (French) Jul, 1998 90 out of 100 90
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Sep, 1998 8.8 out of 10 88
RPGFan Sep 08, 1998 83 out of 100 83
Mega Fun Aug, 1998 81 out of 100 81
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Aug, 1998 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
RPGDreamers 2004 8 out of 10 80


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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