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Published November 5, 2019

Back during the Sega Genesis age, there were a lot of good games. Landstalker, Shining Force II, Castlevania Bloodlines and many, many more and I beat them all including the “pie in the sky” Shining Force 1. Now, I’ve beaten this game over 25 years ago and swore that I’d never play it again because I always felt it was inferior to its successor, Shining Force II. However, I picked and played a little bit of the game recently because I have some theories I have to test as it were.

That aside, I played a little of the game as I previously mentioned and it brought back a wealth of nostalgia and decided that I’m going to take up the “mantle” once again. Incidentally, I thought it was crazy, that I was crazy for picking up this game to play again because I swore long ago that I’d never play it again because I felt the game was just over complicated, inferior and the characters did not stack up next to their Shining Force II counterparts.

However, since I got back into the game, I came up with a few strategies and tips for those of you like myself who still play this old game which I’ll discuss in this post.

Give healing items to your healers

A particular rule that I follow when I play Shining Force II and it has always been enough to get me through any battle and now it is a rule I follow in Shining Force 1 as well, give healing items to your healer. Here is why I say that and why you should. One, your healers are known to last longer than anyone in the party so it is only logical that they should be given your healing items.

Second, healers burn through their magic points healing everyone else in the party so it stands to reason that they should be in charge of everything healing including healing items. Finally, healers also, despite their horrible attack power, still attack but need to also heal themselves so it’s important that they have the healing items to do just that.

Overall, if you still want to give healing items to other characters then that’s your choice but if you’re going to give them to the healers, which you should, make sure that the healers are not out in the open and are protected via square-shaped. What I mean is use your characters to form a square around your healer so they are less likely to be targeted.

Don’t work hard to get enemies farther away

Now, this is something I used to always do in Shining Force 1, work to get enemies or get at them even if they’re far or farther away. But, don’t do it. Why; you have an archer (Han) and a mage (Tao) starting out. The two aforementioned characters are going to, and you’d do well to make them the go to, be able to reach those enemies that want to fly or move out of range or move farther away so as to lure your character away.

If you attack an enemy and they get away from you or if they get away from you to re-position themselves, wait until they come to you which they do when you’re making your way to them or put yourself on their route. The point of this is for you to outwit evasive enemies and make them come to you so they can meet their end at your party’s hands.

See, the goal is to keep everyone as safe and as “ever living” as possible, enemies will try to lure someone in your party away especially if you’re close to killing that enemy. Don’t let them outsmart you, be the one to smart them.

Learn from Death

Normally, when you die in Shining Force 1, you might feel like you have an obligatory duty to restart the game or restart from the previous battle considering that your battle wounds have added up. Here’s the thing about that, learn from death. The biggest takeaway from dying is that you get to do the battle all over again and kill the same enemies or enemy that killed you. In so doing, you’ll go up several levels or at least one or two levels which will prepare you for the next battle after that one.

For example, let’s say in the battle with Mishaela where you’re trying to get the Sword of Light. You get the Sword only to be killed by Mishaela. That’s okay, you got the Sword at least and you’ll be able to use its great power to weaken numbers quickly by abusing the Sword of Light’s Bolt 2 special ability i.e. using it as an item.

But more importantly, you’ll restart the entire battle over again which means that you’ll be able to kill enemies and go up a few levels in the process so definitely learning from death has an advantage or dying in general gives you an advantage over your enemies. Think about it!

Getting Tao’s Blaze spell to Lv. 2 is mandatory

Tao is your mage and later, after promotion, your Wizardess. As such, her element is fire which makes her the go to when you need to lessen enemy numbers. Tao learns Blaze Lv. 2 at Lv. 5 and when she does, you’re to use it to redeliver every blow that those Runefaust idiots have made against your kingdom as well as your country. A little later, Anri joins and her element is ice. Anri will learn Freeze Lv. 2 at Lv. 5 as well.

Anri also becomes a wizardess after promotion. But back to Tao, after you get Tao’s Blaze 2 spell, use it to destroy enemies that are clustered together preferably three or more. Anri & Tao are the weakest party members of the bunch but you’ll want them at the head because their level 2 spells are going to make the going easier the same can be said of Tao’s Blaze Lv. 2 spell earlier on.

Shining Force 1 is all about the abuse and in some cases, experimentation of powers on certain enemies so as to lessen their numbers and get where you’re going at a decent pace so you’re not fighting the same battle again and again.


Shining Force 1 is a game that came out for the Sega Genesis long ago, but many things about it still make it a playable classic today like making sure that your healers get all healing items and are protected by your party members by forming a barrier around the healer. Not working hard to get enemies far away will make the game go swimmingly.

Learning and taking advantage of death as well as using the full extent of Tao and Anri Lv.2 elemental powers will also make dying a lot harder. So what are your thoughts on my post, do you think its good, bad or even true or even false? Leave me a message and I’ll get back to you immediately. Thank you and Happy gaming.


  1. WalterWalter

    Not familiar with Shining Force 1. I’ve never played it, but after reading through your article, I’d like ti try it.

    Not only looks like a fun game, despite being old, but now I also have some tips and tricks I can use. Thanks for taking the time to write an article about a game so old. Sadly, many games like this one get lost in this race of better and better games.

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      That’s why there are gaming emulators with this game on it, so you can play it and preserve it for all time. I have a gaming emulator and I love mine.

  2. RodarrickRodarrick

    This is rather a classic retro game here. I remembered all those good old days when I played the shining forces exceptionally well mostly, to explore all the posibilities of fun that could be gotten from playing a game. This is very great and I truly fancy everything you have shared about it. Maybe I should go and get it from the retro stores and play with my son.

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Thanks Roddarrick, I would. I wasn’t going to ever pick up and play Shining Force 1 ever again, but there was something, something about the game that made me realize how important my theories were plus, I was trying to play it differently back in the day like trying to promote everyone at Lv.20 instead of 15 or 17.

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