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Shining Force 2


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On 12/02/2023 at 15:58, OCH said:

So yeah, on to my last two bosses of the game - Odd Eye and, King of the Devils, Zeon.

When two bosses translates into five battles😄





Technically, this isn't the final screen of the game. But it brings up a dissonance I had with said ending. The lack of interaction. Obviously, this is a 29 year old game. But I can't help but see it in the same light as the other SRPG I'm currently playing - Valkyria Chronicles 4. Other than the fact I can visualise this game in that latter game's engine. The characterisation of VC is nonexistent here. For example, there are two archers (dressed in green and pink respectively above) called Elric and Janet. Now Janet joins you in pursuit of Elric, her love. To fight by his side. The problem is they have zero dialogue together. Even on the rare caravan/base maps that have you entire party idling. By the same token, there is a Centaur that says he is looking for a magic sword. A Dwarf that says he has a family in a nearby town. Neither of these statements are elaborated on. Upon recruiting, a good 85% of your party never utter a plot/opinion relevant point again.

Which brings us to the elephant in the room, the above image. The above protagonist (Bowie, canonically) and Princess Elis. They speak about three lines together in the entire game. Through >spoiler free< plot twists. She has to be awakened by a kiss from her true love. You. Naturally this is a "save the princess" trope. But in 2023, I can't help but see how shallow it is. They are basically strangers.


Also, funny story. There are 15 out of 30 characters in the final village sequence. The rest, barring a plot specific omission, are absent. Including the seven characters you have to go out of your way to recruit.

It reminded me of the purposeful absence of Yuffie and Vincent from the FF7 final cinematic. Didn't recruit Kiwi (the turtle)? Don't worry, it won't affect the ending.

Still love this game. But ...I don't think I'll play it again. Certainly not all the way through. The ending just gave a bit of tonal whiplash that I didn't experience back in '94. 8/10

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