The Let's Play Archive

Shining Force 2

by inthesto

Part 4: Get out of jail free

Part 3: Get out of jail free

While everyone else is talking about something that happened, Bowie's just gonna wake up and get a new pair of kicks.

Fun little change in this hack: The chirrup sandals give +1 MOV in addition to making people squeak when they walk. Jaha will be receiving them as a reward for being MVP.

By the way, check out this unique sprite for the rat who's going to join us shortly:

Meanwhile, some talk happens about how Galam (the place where we're jailed now) is going to invade Granseal (our home country). Whatever, let's just get out of here.

Part of our hidden escape route. Mithrils are still in the same place, but they're not as important in this hack. I'll be collecting them regardless, but mostly as a cash reserve should I paint myself into a bad corner.

Yo, I don't suppose you could send me a postcard

On second thought maybe not

I could make a dozen snarky comments about how shitty the security is around here, but the proper answer now is “by stepping over your corpse”.

Most of the enemies here are the same soldiers and archers from the last fight that don't hit too hard anymore. However, there's two new enemies on the map:

The mage casting Blaze 1 can hurt, but it's not too threatening, especially since the AI is stupid and will choose to instead do a regular attack most of the time. On the other hand, the galam knight really hurts. He also has a spear like Chester, meaning he can hit both in melee and ranged, which will bypass my shitty formations, as we'll see in the near future.

The first wave of hostiles is two soldiers and an archer. This is a great situation, since I have to enemies leashed onto Jaha, and they do only 1 damage a hit to him. Down in the corner, I have Kazin tucked safely out of harm's reach, where I can feed him the kill to catch him up in experience.

Kazin starts with Blaze 1, much like enemy mages. Blaze 1 has a range of adjacent and ranged, much like a spear. It also does a set amount of damage, ignoring enemy defense and terrain effect. Blaze 1 does 6 or 7 damage. Not an impressive amount, but bypassing defense is a good thing when all the enemies have jacked up defenses. There are elemental resistances in the game, but they're rare enough that I won't worry about them for now.

The animation for Blaze 1.

After the first three enemies are wiped out, the next wave comes in strong. Like I said, the AI is terrible and chooses to do a normal attack, which only hits Chester for 4 HP. However:

Of course, this happens again before Sarah gets a turn, and Kazin's taken out of the fight yet again. Mages are almost more trouble than they're worth, really.

Chester, Bowie, and Jaha are all in position to beat down the galam knight. Kazin used to be parked behind Bowie, emphasis on the past tense. I don't really want to kill the knight first, because doing so would end the fight regardless of all the other enemies on the map. However, the knight and the mage together are doing enough damage that trying to kill all the other enemies runs a high risk of getting me killed. Focus fire the knight and miss out on the experience and gold from the rest of the enemies is my only feasible option.

He goes down in two turns anyway.

Battle Report!

Level 6
Level 6
Level 7 1 HP/1 ATT/1 DEF/1 AGI
Level 7 1 HP/1 ATT/1 DEF/1 AGI
Level 5 1 HP/2 MP/1 ATT/1 DEF/1 AGI, learned Blaze 2 (but dead again)

Yawn, you're not even a proper boss. Get out. Also, the rat guy Slade joins us. He's really bad right now. Like “does 2 damage and dies in two hits” bad.

New weapons for Chester and Sarah in this shop. The bronze lance lacks the ranged attack of his short spear, so we're going to keep both weapons in his inventory. This way if he is in a position to use a melee attack, we can equip the lance for more damage, but if he's not, we can equip the spear for better positioning. Common Shining Force strategy. The short rod for Sarah brings her up to 16 attack, just one short of Bowie. Not good, but it gives her a viable option when there's nobody to heal.

They're comfy and easy to wear! Wait, wrong game.

Yeah just try and stop me

Okay I guess this would be the trying part.

Only one new enemy this time around:

I forgot to include Slade's stats in the screenshot, but suffice it to say that his attack is lower than Sarah's and his defense is on par with Kazin's.

Oh hey, thanks for starting Slade on a 0% terrain effect square and not giving him a chance to move before something wrecks his shit. If there's one minor thing Shining Force really could have used, it's the ability to place your characters before the fight starts.

So the galam knight got to move twice before Sarah moved once to heal Slade. If you've played Shining Force 2 before, I know this has happened to you too. There's a good reason for it, which I'll explain in a separate post. For now, I'll just say that the algorithm for determining turn order in Shining Force 2 is really bad and leave it at that.

As I noted, Kazin learned Blaze 2 last fight. It has an area of effect, so when I can get enemies to sit adjacent to each other, it really cranks up his damage output. I skip it this time, because the knight on the right only has 2 HP left, so I'd be wasting experience gain – you can only get up to 50 experience per action, and usually only get up to 48 unless the planets align.

Every enemy except for the three at the very bottom has bum rushed me. This is a less than ideal situation. Although archers aren't too scary anymore, it's leashed onto Sarah who's kind of the lynchpin of my strategy. The knight is on 0% terrain, but both it and the soldier leashed onto Bowie. I'm really damn lucky the mage didn't also leash onto Bowie, else I'd be getting my second loss of the game.

I'm also lucky that enemy mages don't do this every turn, else I'd be hurting a lot more. Two turns of focus fire on the knight, I manage to transform the situation into something much safer:

Bowie and Sarah in 30% terrain, Chester and Jaha beating down the mage before it can cast Blaze more. Leaving Kazin exposed is a bad idea, but none of the enemies break leash, to my relief.

Mages in general are resistant to all types of magic, but it goes both ways. Kazin himself has 25% resistance to all element types except wind.

Conserving MP is good, yes. One of my largest complaints with Shining Force in general is that magic isn't very good, or at least that it's too much effort for the return you get. The problem is twofold: Magic doesn't scale the same way normal attacks do, due to only learning new spells at given intervals whereas attack power goes up with nearly every level and get larger boosts with every new weapon. The other issue is that because magic consumes MP, it's unsustainable. Normal attacks have no such issue.

I'd actually really like to make a hack of this game that addresses these issues (and other things) at large, but

After cleaning up the first cluster of enemies, I tackle the last three: a mage, a soldier, and the dark priest. The priest is a bit beefier than everyone else:

But he comes with a real perk:

Normally this would be dangerous, but it means that enemies have more effective HP, which means that I get to dish out more damage, which means that I get more experience. Because healer AI prioritizes healing over almost anything other than dropping a killshot on Bowie, it's easy to engineer situations where the healer just sits around and drops healing spells.

Like so. This is also my using the knight's re-equipping abilities to my advantage. Had I sold Chester's spear, he would have been out of the fight at this point. After draining the priest's MP, I beat him down like any other enemy.

Battle Report!

Level 7 1 HP/1 ATT/1 DEF/1 AGI
Level 6
Level 7 1 HP/1 ATT/1 DEF/1 AGI
Level 8 1 HP/1 ATT/2 DEF/1 AGI
Level 7 2 HP/4 MP/1/ATT/2 DEF/3 AGI
Level 5 and dead

Before I move on, I have to hoof it back to Galam.

Town priests, whom I have not shown until now, can save your game and revive dead guys. I have a feeling I'm going to be dragging Slade's corpse to these guys on a regular basis.

Second mithril. I also head into the cave and pick up a Power Water. Back in Granseal,

Hey there little buddy. Something tells me you're actually useful in this hack.

Can't be any worse than Slade, I'll give you that.

NEXT TIME: Bet you didn't know the Dark Smoke was a boss!