Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict

Shining Force games on the Game Gear always struck me as sort of light weight fanservice style sequels.  Final Conflict, for example, has your team of heroes heading out to try to rescue or find the hero of Shining Force II.  You get to fight in similar areas, and there’s a cameo from Shining Force in the game as well.  When you discuss a strategy game like this, it’s really hard to do a traditional overview.

Note the mage in blue in the center of this screenshot. He is tucked behind the other soldiers to protect him from the dying enemy on the left.

After all, the plot is basically a lightweight filler between battles in the Game Gear games, and the gameplay is largely more of the same compared to the Genesis versions.  Final conflict does feel “sparse” compared to the tons of characters you can get in Shining Force II, but on the other hand, almost all the characters are useful.

This monk is casting heal. These battle cutscenes are a nice touch in the game and make your soldiers feel more individual.

In Shining Force, you move on a grid to approach an enemy, and your range is limited by “Land Effect”.  Land Effect also provides cover if you’re under attack, so hiding people in the woods, for example, can be a legitimate strategy.  You gain the most experience by killing an enemy, so there’s strategy in who you kill and when.  Once you gain enough levels, you can promote the character to a new job class.  This new job will have better stats (usually,) and more powerful abilities.

Trees are 30% land effect. Roads or bridges like this one tend to be 0% land effect. Birds, due to hovering, do not get land effect bonuses.

Shining Force is unusual in that clerics are usually ridiculously overpowered.  Spells like boost means they can get about a half level of experience every battle (due to boosting the stats of all your soldiers,) and aura similarly provides regular experience (via healing each soldier.)  Due to the higher levels, your cleric can stand in the front lines and draw enemy attention with minimal danger.  This makes the “fragile girl” persona used by the female clerics in the game pretty silly.


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