If you appreciate the work done within the wiki, please consider supporting The Cutting Room Floor on Patreon. Thanks for all your support!
This article has a talk page!

Shining Force

From The Cutting Room Floor
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Title Screen

Shining Force

Developers: Climax Entertainment, Sonic! Software Planning
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Genesis
Released in JP: March 20, 1992
Released in US: July 16, 1993
Released in EU: September 1993

EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
Sgf2-unusedicon1.png This game has unused abilities.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.

PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article
DCIcon.png This game has a Data Crystal page

So very stubbly.
This page is rather stubbly and could use some expansion.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue this article?

Shining Force: The Legacy of Great Intention is a top-down strategy RPG by the developers who would go on to make Golden Sun. It was originally developed as the spiritual successor to Shining in the Darkness, and was revolutionary at the time of its release for utilizing large, colorful screens for battle simulations as well as offering a diverse selection of possible characters for use. The game has been re-released numerous times as part of Sega game collections and for cellphones. It is the direct predecessor to Shining Force II. A remake titled Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon was released for the Game Boy Advance.


Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info

Debugging Functions

To enable debug mode in the US version of the game, Hold A, B, C and Start on the second controller, reset the game with those buttons still held, and release them at the Sega logo or later. On the Title Screen, hold Up on the second controller and press Start. For the JP version, hold Start and Up on the second controller, reset the game with those buttons still held, release them when the Sega logo appears, then immediately hold A and C on Pad 2 before the logo vanishes. You can release them on the Title Screen. An alternate way to activate debug mode is to change the byte values on address 0x30D4 of the ROM (0x33CC in the JP version) from C1 CA to 4E 71.

After enabling debug mode through one of the methods above, one out of three debugging features can be accessed by holding a specific button while loading or starting a new save file. Holding A access the Battle Test mode, holding B access the Chapter Select menu, and holding C shows the game ending and credits.

(Source: Shining Force Central & Claire Starsword)

Battle Test

Battle Test menu screenshot, priest submenu is open.

The Battle Test is loaded by holding the A button. The Left and Right buttons on the D-Pad scroll through the numbers 1~30. Hitting A or C loads the selected stage. The Start button does nothing. Hitting the B button calls the church menu, which is fully functional except the game can never be saved while it is in debug mode. It also loads Max's portrait instead of the priest's. Hitting B again loads Nova's portrait and the headquarters command menu. Character data is loaded from the save file used to access debug mode, and all characters are unlocked. If entering a battle that allows for more characters than the save file currently has in the active party, characters from the bottom of the list (Bleu, Zylo, Adam, Musashi, Hanzou and Jogurt) will be automatically added to it.

Max's stats, beefed up to debug battles.

If the Battle Test is accessed by starting a new game, Max has his Agility and Movement both set at 98, he may move freely through enemy-occupied tiles, he knows the Blaze 1, Freeze 4, and Bolt 4 spells and has 98 magic points to cast them (probably to test spell ranges and area of effect rings). He also has more than 100 hit points and can take quite a beating despite his low defense. Although it doesn't appear in his stats screen Max has a KindanNoHako placed in his third inventory slot each time a battle loads. If the KindanNoHako is sold another will be generated to replace it. This item will appear on the stats screen if Max's second inventory slot is filled and a new battle loads. It functions exactly as described below.

Screenshot of Max in Alterone early, priest is missing.

Casting the Egress spell from a chapter not previous accessed in that save file returns Max to what would be considered the last church for that chapter, with exception of Chapter 2 battles, which return to the Chapter 3 church, and Chapter 7 battles, where the game just hangs with a black screen. Story event flags will not be set in this case, so it is possible to get into areas where the player isn't supposed to be yet, like an empty Alterone in Chapter 1. The game's hidden chests are also in a completed state and cannot be found and looted because the game thinks that has already been done. Exiting any map via a warp returns to the Battle Test menu.

Chapter Select

Chapter Select menu screenshot.

Holding the B button results in this debugging option. The chapter selection menu can warp the player to any of the game's 8 chapters. It unlocks all characters just like in the Battle Test but does not alter Max's stats and there are no sub-menus on the chapter select screen. The game cannot be saved. Activating this through an existing save file causes story flags to be set up incorrectly at times and softlock. An example is Chapter 5, which tries to run the event with the mermaid after the ship battle despite Max spawning in the priest's room, which eventually causes him to get locked inside a wall. Chapter 7 also cannot be accessed through existing save files, as the game again hangs in a black screen.

Ending Test

Holding the C button will cause the screen to flicker briefly then fade out again as the game's ending sequence loads. It will start with Simone's ending dialogue and play through the entire credits.

Sound Test

Japanese North American
Japanese, correct version. North American version with tile oversight.

The game's sound test is accessible without any sort of hacking, but the method of entry is so obtuse it went undiscovered for well over a decade until hackers began disassembling the game's code. In order to access it, the player must have beaten the game, allowed the ending sequence to completely finish and the game to reset. This sets an event flag in the backup RAM. Once this value is set, the sound test is opened by loading a saved game or starting a new one, and holding the Start and Down buttons while Simone finishes speaking and the screen fades to black. If done correctly, the screen shown in the comparison screenshots above will load. There is no way to exit the sound test without resetting.

The four musicians, who are not NPCs elsewhere in the game, are animated. Due to a developer oversight, the North American release has a pointer that is off by 32 bytes and thus loads the wrong tiles for the window border, but this has no effect on its functionality. Selecting a track to play is done by using the Left and Right buttons on the D-Pad and the C button to play. Pressing B makes a selection fade out and stop. The A and Start buttons do nothing. Values 1~39 are the game's music tracks. Values 65~108 are sound effects. Many of the sound test values are just silence.

Message Test

Elementary, my dear Cactus.
This needs some investigation.
Discuss ideas and findings on the talk page.
Message Test menu is open.

The Message Test can be used by downloading a hacked savestate. Left and Right on the D-Pad changes the value by 1 increment. Up and Down changes it by 10. A and C displays the selected message. If the message ends on a new window cursor the player must press B or the text will repeat.

Medical Herb is item 00 and will be displayed as the default for item names, with some exceptions. Max is character 00 and is the default for character names. This can result in otherwise impossible combinations such as Nova's line saying Max needs to be revived. (Max can never be revived in a church as he is the only character to automatically resurrect on defeat.)

Some of the messages have timing code in them and there is a delay in line display or before control returns to the menu. The menu goes up to 2239 but only 2230 are valid. 2231 will outright crash and the remaining 8 values read beyond the game's text banks and spit out gibberish and a long string of nonsense. Numerous entries are just placeholders and display a lone 0.

Unused Item


The Kindan NoHako [sic] (trans.: Forbidden Box) is an item usable by the SDMN, HERO, MAGE, WIZD, HEAL, and VICR classes. Max is programmed with one in the 3rd slot of his starting inventory but it will only be generated if the game is in debug mode or if another item is added to his 2nd starting inventory slot with SF1 Editor.

It raises the levels of everyone in the battle party to level 19 when used. If any player characters are already level 19 the game cannot complete this process and will hang. It can be sold at any shop for 48,000 coins and bought back in the deals section of any item shop for 65,000 coins although when the shopkeeper quotes the price in the North American version of the game an error causes the price to be listed as a ludicrously high number. A similar item existed in the game's predecessor, Shining in the Darkness, but in that game the KindanNoHako would randomly cast spells when used in battle and could be obtained through normal play.

Unused Magic


The game's single unused spell is simply called "dummy". It costs 20 MP to cast but none of the spell's four levels have any effect. Its icon is that of Egress from Shining in the Darkness.

Unused Enemies

Among the game's foes are two copies of the base Dark Mage that aren't used. The first, enemy 62, is a Dark Mage that is a bit weaker then those encountered throughout the game. It has the following stats: Attack: 6, Defense: 6, Agility: 9, Move: 5, HP: 13, MP: 26, drops 120 coins when killed, and has an effective level of 8 for experience purposes. The second, enemy 67, is a stronger Dark Mage with the following stats: Attack: 7, Defense: 13, Agility: 26, Move: 5, HP: 22, MP: 32, drops 850 coins when killed and has an effective level of 21. Both use the same sprite and palette as their used peers. (Shining Force 1 assigns equipment and spells as part of map scripting, unlike the sequel.)

Unused Text

Unused line from Khris in Alterone castle.

Khris has a unique line if talked to while Alterone castle is still blocked by guards, which can only be done with walk through walls cheats. Notably, she's in a different position in the castle as well. In the Japanese version, she's also oddly rude.

(Source: Claire Starsword)

An unused NPC can be found at the corner of the same map. After the battle in town, she's replaced by another NPC. While other NPCs can be found in corners like this, they are only placed there before and after their scene scripts have run, and have only empty dialogue, or read the line of another character in the map. These two seem to have their own lines instead.

Map before battle Map after battle
Unused NPC in Alterone castle before the battle. Unused NPC in Alterone castle after the battle.

Message 1367 is an unused line from Anri.

What, you again? Go away!

The ROM editor shows that it's meant as a line for when you talk to her in the entrance of Manarina, but it checks for an event that is never set. Also, talking to her there for the first time already sets other story events instead.

Unused line from Alef in the ship HQ.

Alef has a unique line when talked to in the special ship HQ of Chapter 5, even though she's not unlocked until Chapter 7. This can be seen by using debug mode to unlock all characters early. Notably, this line is not in the Japanese version, where she has an empty placeholder line like the other characters unavailable in Chapter 5.

(Source: Claire Starsword)
Inaccessible bookshelf from Krin's room.

A bookshelf in Krin's room has text set for it even though it cannot be reached normally. The same does not happen for the two other inaccessible bookshelves in front of her desk.

Unreachable machine in Prompt castle.

While most machines in Prompt castle give only the flavor text "Very odd equipment.", there is a different one next to the staircase before the Shining Path. It cannot be normally reached since there are other objects and a NPC in the way. The Japanese version clarifies that Max recognizing it is just a false impression.

(Source: Claire Starsword)

Message 1588 is an unused line from Adam.

There's the weapon to seal Dark Dragon. Take it, Max!
Out of bounds sprites of the removed event.

This and the next messages up to number 1595 are set up in a script for a conversation involving Darksol, Kane and Adam, however the other messages are only empty placeholders. The character sprites for this unused event can also be seen outside the map's boundaries, along with Max, Chaos, several copies of Adam, and a fireball (the fireball and Darksol can only be seen with the editor as you cannot go any further with cheats than what is seen in the screenshot, as the next step takes you out of the map). Notably, this resembles a flashback seen in the GBA remake of the game. The sprites however do not have any movement script or interaction when brought into the map's boundaries via editor.

Obscure Text

Right after the title screen, Simone gives some introductory dialog. Here is her full dialog:

Wow! Dark Dragon, Ancients... Let's see now, what else does this old book say?
Hmmm. One thousand years have passed since they vanquished Dark Dragon.
And this book says Dark Dragon threatened to return right about now.
I bet anything that Dark Dragon is behind the evil hordes of Runefaust!
I need to tell someone about this! But who would listen to a kid like me?
Oh, hi! I didn't notice you there at first. Maybe you'll listen. Nobody else will.
This book tells of an ancient evil that threatened our land long ago--Dark Dragon!

I think Dark Dragon's coming back! Will you help us? C'mon, it'll be an adventure!

Depending on whether a button is being held down, either before or even during this sequence, the game will skip to later in the dialog, with two particular lines being easy to miss.

  1. If no buttons are being held down at the start of this sequence, Simone starts at the beginning of her dialog. If you tap a button to advance the text, then she will go through all her dialog, however if any button is being held down—whether A, B or C to advance the text automatically, or any other button while tapping A, B or C—the dialog in red will be skipped.
  2. If any button is being held down before she starts her dialog, she skips ahead to the end of the introductory text, marked in blue.
  3. If any button is being held down but then released in a very short window just as her text box rises onto the screen, she instead starts at the text marked in red.

Getting her to start with the red text requires very precise timing, and since this text skipping can be triggered by holding down any button, the dialog in red is extremely easy to miss. These two lines can be found as messages number 41 and 42 in the Message Test shown above. In the Japanese version of the game, her dialog is arranged differently, and there are only two possibilities: either she starts from the top of her dialog, or skips to the middle of the dialog if a button is being held when she begins. There is no third possible start point and no way for any of the dialog to be missed if she starts from the top.