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Shining the Holy Ark

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Title Screen

Shining the Holy Ark

Developers: Camelot Software Planning, Sonic! Software Planning
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Saturn
Released in JP: December 20, 1996
Released in US: June 1997
Released in EU: July 19, 1997


DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
BonusIcon.png This game has hidden bonus content.


Hmmm...
To do:
  • There's debug stuff still in the game, it loads into memory during file select.
  • Go through the script to see if anything else is unused.
  • Go through files to see if anything's unused.

Shining the Holy Ark is a much improved sequel to Shining in the Darkness.

Bonus Content

ABSTRACT.TXT

その昔セガ・メガドライブで一世を風靡したあの名作
シャイニング・アンド・ザ・ダクネス!
五年の歳月を経て、ついにサターンに登場
超・体感RPG、その名も
シャイニング・イン・ザ・ダクネス改め
シャイニング・ザ・ホーリーアーク!!
あっと驚くびっくりどっきりダンジョンが君を待つ
企画・開発:株式会社ソニック
The former SEGA Masterpiece "Shining in the Darkness" dominated a generation on the Mega Drive!

After 5 Years, finally Saturn makes its extreme appearance with this RPG experience called "Shining the Holy Ark" similar to the previous "Shining in The Darkness!!"

An unexpected surprise and shocking Dungeon is waiting for you | Planning * Development: Sonic Corporation
(Source: Sessh from the Shining Force III Discord)

Unused Splash Screen

STHAKARIOWAR.PNG

KARIOWAR.SPR contains what appears to be a placeholder splash screen from early in development. The text reads "終" (end).

Debug Menu

STHADebug.png
Using the action replay code 36021876 0001(US Version) will enable a debug mode. After the code is entered, pressing B + Start when out of battle/dialogue will open the menu An alternate method(SSF/Cheat Engine) is as follows:

Open cheat engine with the emulator already open. Change the Value type to Array of byte. Search "06 06 51 54 06 07 35 F4 06 06 BB C0 06 06 C0 98 06 06 C1 EC 06 06 C3 84 06 06 C8 DC 06 06 D1 68". You should get 1 result. Change 07 35 F4 (it's the 6th, 7th and, 8th values there) to 06 51 54.
(Source: [1]RikaPSO via Shining Force Central)

Functions are as follows:

Name Explanation
a -- KODERA TEST Changes the position of the camera, can be quite disorienting. It also seems to utilize Controller 2 for additional movement, however, once this is accessed, there doesn't seem to be any way of turning it off.
b -- CANCEL Exits the menu.
c -- Param Change Modifies HP/MP. Why this needed to be separated from Level Up is unknown.
x -- FLAG SET Sets flags, much more minimalistic compared to Shining Force III. C sets them to On, A to Off.
y -- WINDOW TEST Some kind of report function for testers. As-is, most of the options in this menu don't appear to function, but you can still use it to save/load your game, as well as gives you many power items, such as the Cygnus Axe and Pixie Bell.
z -- Level Up Levels your character up, and allows for toggling between classes
TL - MAP CHANGE (Left Trigger) Allows you to swap between different Areas, as well as set what enterance you spawn from.
TR - Battle! (Right Trigger) Allows you to set an enemy to fight, as well as what item it may drop when defeated.
X+Y+Z Freezes the game, which can then be advanced frame by frame using any button. Pressing Start exits this mode.
  • World Map

Pressing Start on the world map with debug on will unlock all areas, allowing you to travel anywhere in the game. It also seems like doing this enables something called a "Search Code" when you attempt to use the search function in the menu. This seems allows you to play back search dialogue, though whether it's map dependent or not is unknown.

Flags

Hmmm...
To do:
There's definitely more.

A number of Flags enable further debugging functions, they are as follows:
34 - Disables encounters
44 - Displays "encnt" and "Step" at the bottom of the screen. encnt seems to be what enemy will spawn if an encounter is triggered, while step may be how likely it is to spawn.
47 - Automatically ends fights.
48 - 100% Run chance during battles
49 - Effectively enables/disables KODERA TEST
56 - Enables "FreeTexArea"(Some kind of resource manager)
61 - Removes sprites, including NPCs and objects.
62 - Removes the map graphics entirely
81 - Allows you to clip through a door's invisible wall, while doing this the game displays the entrance number at the top left of the screen.

Sound Test

Download.png Download STHA Sound Test SSF External BIN save
File: Shining the Holy Ark Sound Test.zip (info)

For whatever reason, the developers left a sound test in the game without any way to access it normally. It can be accessed by setting flag 64 to ON in debug mode, then go into the menu, Selecting Tactics, Customize and then pressing the Right Trigger. Alternative, using the save file above will enable it, even if loading a different save or starting a new game.

(Source: [2]RikaPSO via Shining Force Central)

Removed Jingle

Became an ally
Became an ally (sad)
Victory
Item found
Congratulations
Save
Recovery
Class change
Revive
Level-up
Inn
Cursed
Picopin

The dialogue for the sound test lists a jingle called "Picopin", which comes right after the final playable jingle on the list "Cursed". Nothing else of the track seems to exist within the game.

Error Handler

Error Handler STHA.png

The easiest way to access it would be to use Action Replay code 16020780 01D2 then attempt to use an item.

Unused Areas

Hmmm...
To do:
Hope and pray that a earlier version of the game comes out. The file M911.MDX seems to have been written with an earlier version of the game's binary in mind.
  • A_PASS 521 M521.MDX

STHAWorldmaplocation.png
It seems that the Forest Cave was originally going to be a floor bigger than what it eventually ended up being. Strangely accessible through the world map(It's above Desire Village, in an out of bounds area. Can only be accessed through debug.) as-is it appears to be a 1 square map with no graphics, and an mostly untranslated script.

  • CHARTEST 911 M911.MDX

STHACHARTEST911.png
Using Map Select, the area "CHARTEST 911" can be accessed. However, attempting to load the area causes a General Undefined Instruction error.

Removed Areas

320px Additionally, the maps "DUNTST 701" "DUNTST2 702" "DUNTST3 703" "TWNTST 704" and VILTST 711 will complain about the files "M701.MDX", "M702.MDX" "M703.MDX" "M704.MDX" and "M711.MDX" respectively not being present.

Unused Classes

STHAUnusedClasses.png
The characters Doyle and Lisa are programmed to join the party already promoted, but functional base classes, Halfling and Knight respectively, exist within the game, and can be accessed through the debug's Level Up option.

Unused Items

Use 16020780 00XX (with XX being the following values) to place these in the first item slot in your character's inventory.

Values Icon Name Description Dialogue Notes
CB
Cygnus HammerSTHA.png
Cygnus Mallet Can warp space and time Whoa! A black hole has appeared! When used out of battle the game seems to act as if you're about to use it before giving the standard "nothing happened" response. The next two items also give similar responses. Item is functional, using it instakills enemies.
CC
Giant BombSTHA.png
Giant Bomb Damages all with a gigantic blast Whoa! A giant bomb was dropped! Deals massive damage (roughly 595 to the weakest enemies).
CD
Shark FinSTHA.png
Shark Fins It summons a giant shark Whoa! An ocean has formed! Functions similar to Giant Bomb.
CE
Treasure ChestSTHA.png
Treasure Box It can acquire a tool None Attempting to use it acts like any normal consumable, but no effect is applied, in fact, using it in battle will just skip that character's turn. Also called TreasureBox in battle.
D2
BlazeSTHA.png
Blaze Dagger None It seems the item list was cut down during development. The name is drawn from the first spell slot, but the description is clearly not.

Unused Spells

Using 360207a4 XXXX (XXXX being the values below) will set the following unused spells in Arthur's 5th spell slot.

Animation Icon AR Code Name Description Notes
STHATalismanicon.png 001b Talisman Decreases enemy magic damage Targets your party. Functional, but it seems the spell was set to always add 0 resistance. The most fitting characters would be Rodi or Akane.


Unused Text

  • M521.MDX
Hmmm...
To do:
* There's some very juicy looking unique dialogue in here, but with the equally unique Japanese encoding that's all i can gather.
    • Partial Translation
[003][{15}{02}Choose an adventure.]
[005][{15}{02}Select which Backup RAM.]
[00F][{15}{09}{07}To save your game,you need {10}{03}memory blocks.If you start{03} now you won't be able to save.{05}{03}]
[011][{15}{02}There is no Backup Data.]
[014][New]
[015][New Game]
[016][Number of ]
[017][System Memory]
[018][Cartrige Memory]
[019][Start at]
[01A][Continue]
[01B][Copy]
[01C][Delete]
[01D][memory]
[01F][Gold]
[020][{15}Saved Data ]
[021][Gold]
[2A8][Arthur]
[2A9][Melody]
[2AA][Roadie]
[2AB][Basso]
[2AC][Akane]
[2AD][Folte]
[2AE][Doill]
[2AF][Risa]
[2B0][Sabato]
[2C2][Sword Man]
[2C4][Ninja]
[2C6][Kunoichi]
[2CB][Summoner]
[348][Far East Village]
[349][Enrich Town ]
[34A][Enrich Castle ]
[34B][Desire Village]
[370][Maple]
[371][Cherry]
[372][Willow]
[373][Chedder]
[374][Parm]
[375][Apple]
[376][Lime]
[37A][Daisy]
[37B][Iris]
[37C][Camellia]
[3A2][Pixie]
[3A3][Fairy]
[3A4][Succubus]
[3A5][Incubus]
[3A6][Leprechaun]
[3A7][Joined Pixies]
[3A8][{16} the {17} has joined the force.]
[48D][Short]
[48E][Middle]
[48F][Long]
[490][Steel]
[491][Achilles]
[492][Broad]
[493][Buster]
[494][Great]
[495][Critical]
[496][Battle]
[497][Force]
[498][Counter]
[499][Levanter]
[49A][Dark]
[49B][Wooden]
[49C][Short]
[49D][Bronze]
[49E][Spear]
[49F][Steel]
[4A0][Power]
[4A1][Heavy]
[4A2][Javelin]
[4A3][Chrome]
[4A4][Valkyrie]
[4A5][Holy]
[4A6][Mist]
[4A7][Halberd]
[4A8][Evil]
[4A9][Wooden]
[4AA][Short]
[4AB][Bronze]
[4AC][Iron Rod]
[4AD][Power]
[4AE][Flail]
[4AF][Guardian]
[4B0][Indra]
[4B1][Mage]
[4B2][Wish]
[4B3][Great]
[4B4][Supply]
[4B5][Holy]
[4B6][Freeze]
[4B7][Goddess]
[4B8][Mystery]
[4B9][Demon]
[4BA][Iron]
[4BB][Short]
[4BC][Dagger]
[4BD][Knife]
[4BE][Thieve's]
[4BF][Power]
[4C0][Brass]
[4C1][Iron]
[4C2][Misty]
[4C3][Gigant]
[4C4][Evil]
[4C5][Short]
[4C6][Hand]
[4C7][Middle]
[4C8][Power]
[4C9][Battle]
[4CA][Large]
[4CB][Great]
[4CC][Heat]
[4CD][Atlas]
[4CE][Ground]
[4CF][Rune Axe]
[4D0][Evil Axe]
[4D1][Wooden]
[4D2][Iron]
[4D3][Steel]
[4D4][Robin]
[4D5][Assault]
[4D6][Great]
[4D7][Nascar]
[4D8][Buster]
[4D9][Hyper]
[4DA][Shut]
[4DB][Evil]
[4DC][Wooden]
[4DD][Short]
[4DE][Middle]
[4DF][Long]
[4E0][Steel]
[4E1][Achilles]
[4E2][Broad]
[4E3][Buster]
[4E4][Great]
[4E5][Critical]
[4E6][Battle]
[4E7][Force]
[4E8][Counter]
[4E9][Levanter]
[4EA][Dark]
[4EB][Wooden]
[4EC][Short]
[4ED][Bronze]
[4EE][Spear]
[4EF][Steel]
[4F0][Power]
[4F1][Heavy]
[4F2][Javelin]
[4F3][Chrome]
[4F4][Valkyrie]
[4F5][Holy]
[4F6][Mist]
[4F7][Halberd]
[4F8][Evil]
[4F9][Wooden]
[4FA][Short]
[4FB][Bronze]
[4FC][Iron Rod]
[4FD][Power]
[4FE][Flail]
[4FF][Guardian]
[500][Indra]
[501][Mage]
[502][Wish]
[503][Great]
[504][Supply]
[505][Holy]
[506][Freeze]
[507][Goddess]
[508][Mystery]
[509][Demon]
[50A][Iron]
[50B][Short]
[50C][Dagger]
[50D][Power Ring]
[50E][Protect Ring]
[50F][Magic Ring]
[510][Artemis Pias]
[511][Attack Ring]
[512][Master Ring]
[513][Wisdom Ring]
[514][Marsenary Dagger]
[515][Sky Orb]
[516][Cannon]
[517][Dry]
[518][Explosive]
[519][Arm of]
[51A][Pegasus]
[51B][Worrior]
[51C][Silver]
[51D][magatama]
[51E][Vigor]
[51F][Cotton]
[520][Chirrup]
[521][Cheerful Bread]
[522][Bright]
[523][Powerful]
[524][Protect]
[525][Quick]
[526][Juice]
[527][Lucky Cookie]
[528][ninniku]
[529][tamanegi]
[52A][Brave]
[52B][Medical Herb]
[52C][Healing]
[52D][Healing]
[52E][Healing Rain]
[52F][Fairly]
[530][Healing]
[531][Antidote]
[532][Fairly]
[533][Angel]
[534][Blizzard]
[535][MisrilKakera ]
[536][Misril]

At first glance, the dialogue for A_PASS 521 appears to be completely untranslated in the US version, but it seems as if some work was done on the text, as there's a very, very rough translation on a couple handfuls of lines.

  • Summons
Whoa! A giant leg has appeared!
Whoa! A giant leg has appeared!
Whoa! A giant mushroom grew!
Whoa! A black hole has appeared!
Whoa! A giant bomb was dropped!
Suddenly, a virtua fighter jumped in!
Whoa! A giant palm appeared!
Whoa! An ocean has formed!
Whoa! The {0E}{03}{15}has appeared!
Whoa! Before {0A}{03}a chest full of tools appeared!
Wow! An evil witch has appeared!
Wow! {10} gold coin{18}{03}appeared out of nowhere!
Wow! A flock of sheep has appeared!
Wow! Angels have appeared!
Wow! A blacksmith has appeared!
Wow! An old joker has appeared!

It seems more items like the Pixie Bell were planned. The 4th, 5th and 8th lines are used by the unused Cygnus Hammer, Giant Bomb and Shark Fin, and the 10th may have been intended for the Treasure Box item based on its description. It is unknown what the control codes refer to.