Shining in the Darkness

Shining in the Darkness

released on Mar 29, 1991

Shining in the Darkness

released on Mar 29, 1991

Dark Sol has vowed to reign over the enchanted Kingdom of Thornwood, and only you can stop him. Find the powerful Arms of Light and battle the deadly beasts that keep your people desperate and starving in this epic journey for peace. Roaming the dark Labyrinth, you'll seek out enemies and collect weapons, all of which will help you pass the test of the Ancients and become a shining knight. Get into the adventure with a stunning 3-D perspective, amazing cinematic views and fast-paced scrolling. You'll move from battle to battle, solving puzzles and discovering secret items in this engrossing struggle between good and evil.


Also in series

Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict
Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict
Shining Force II
Shining Force II
Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya
Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya
Shining Force Gaiden: Ensei - Jashin no Kuni he
Shining Force Gaiden: Ensei - Jashin no Kuni he
Shining Force
Shining Force

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This feels like Wizardy with a graphical update, or in other words, a rather lazy dungeon crawler for a game that released in 1991.

"I don't think you'll like this." Jokes on you, I'm very boring.

Tengo sentimientos encontrados. Como jugador, me costó mucho. Hay que grindear una bocha, y lo llevaba con paciendia hasta que me cansé y metí códigos para trampear un poco. La historia, por otro lado, no es lo mejor ni más elaborado pero linkea con los Shining Force, y eso siempre me suma a mí.

Un juego que empieza bien pero se vuelve un poco tedioso al poco tiempo con una exploración de mazmorras demasiado casi sin variación ni profundidad. El diseño de personajes y menús sí me parecen destacables, hay algo en este juego que me recuerda a Golden Sun en este apartado en concreto.

Not nearly on the level of its successors, Shining in the Darkness is an incredibly repetitive dungeon crawler made more palatable by being able to grind certain guaranteed encounters to allow for easier clearing of the map. There isn't a lot to get out of this experience and it was so unremarkable when I finished it that I forgot to log it.

Shining in the Darkness is one of the games that most influenced my interest in games. It's essentially a pure first person dungeon crawl: An RPG consisting of a giant multi-part dungeon, a small town with shops and an inn, and a castle where NPCs dispatch us to the next part of the dungeon. That's it - pure undistilled dungeon crawling.

The dungeons are sprawling and increasingly complex, and the game maintains a steep difficulty curve throughout. Failed runs mix with those where to crawl out by the skin of your teeth, victorious and terrified. Every new section - first the Trials and then the levels of the labyrinth proper - have new challenges to overcome, secrets to find and story beats to advance.

Visually, the developers were clearly constrained with a small cart size (4 megs), and it shows in the lack of enemy animation and environmental variety. Along with the sometimes too-frequent encounter rate, those are really the only flaws I'd note.

This is also the start of the incredible genre-hopping Shining series, and is fascinating to see how the story in the other games wraps around this one. I love this game and still revisit it every few years.