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Sonic and Camelot
Sega Saturn
Review : Shining Force 3: Scenario 2
Having completed Scenario I of the trilogy I was eager to continue my voyage in the world of Shining Force III, purchasing Scenario II at the first opportunity I had. Scenario II is now the most expensive of the three discs, regularly fetching up to £100 at auction, so I am doubly glad I snapped it up for less than half the price!


Prince Medion in action


Initially, Scenario II doesn't seem too different from the first Scenario, with your squad roaming around the Floating City of Saraband. However, Scenario II's main character is the Imperial Prince Medion, youngest of the Emperor Domaric's three sons and essentially the Imperial equivalent of the Republic's Lord Synbios. Whilst inspecting the docks, Medion stumbles upon a Bulzome monk preparing a set of explosives, intending to sabotage the ongoing peace conference between Aspinia and Destonia.


A narrow bridge here can cause problems


This will, of course, sound very familiar indeed to anyone who's played the first scenario, and this is because the two games take place simultaneously, using Camelot's infamous "Synchronicity" system. Using a completed save game from Scenario I allows you to commence Scenario II with extra routes open to you, and the possibility of extra weapons and characters later on. Depending on your actions in the first disc, it's possible to gain an extra archer, a new magic rod and find out what really did happen to the Republican Generals. One nifty feature of this system is that it saves the statistics of your previous game, so when a Scenario I character joins your squad later on [not saying who!] you can guarantee they'll have the same levels as they did when you finished the first scenario!


Heres the obligatory Scenario 2 birdman, Zero.



Not being fluent in Japanese, the plot remains largely a mystery to me, although I can give you a brief overview from what I've managed to surmise. The Bulzome Four are after a young boy named "Gracia", who is believed to have the power of the Innovator, the legendary spirit from Shining the Holy Ark, and with this power could halt the revival of the Vandal Bulzome. Medion and his group are charged with protecting young Gracia for a time, until it is decided that the young child of Elbesem must follow his own destiny in Scenario III. Throughout this scenario, Medion is seen as a protector, first escorting Gracia and later on his own father Domaric, when the latter decides to siege on Aspia in the final chapters.

A lot of the characters and situations will be very familiar to hardened Scenario I players, but fighting battles from another perspective is fascinating and serves to plump up what's going on. This is more of an accompaniment to Scenario I than the third scenario, which tends to bring in all-new characters and ideas. Scenario II serves itself adequately as a stand-alone game, yet is infinitely superior when played alongside the other scenarios, opening up new possibilities and giving another dimension to the epic story. Having said that, like the other two discs it takes a long time to really get into its stride, and your first few hours may seem tedious, as you travel around places you already know from Scenario I, although there are enough new sights and characters to keep it interesting. But once the story gets going, and your sqaud swells with new characters and attacks, you'll start to appreciate the finer points of the game. The highlights for me include the fantastic ship battles at sea and the incredibly cool scene inside the Governor General Garvin's palace [I don't want to spoil it, but trust me, it's amazing].

All in all, Scenario II is a fine game and a tasty appetiser for the feast that is Scenario III. Snap it up if you can, but just keep an eye on that bank balance!

Graphics - 9

Some very nice new effects, particularly the new summons spells, and a breathtaking rendered intro that sets the scene nicely.

Music and sound - 8

Great theme for Medion, some fantastic tunes elsewhere too - listen out for Dust Hill!

Gameplay - 8

More of the same for Scenario I veterans, although enough twists to make it worth playing, if not mind-blowing.

Lastability - 9

With the synchronicity system in effect, there are plenty of reasons to play this again.

Overall - 9

Hell, it's a great game. Buy it!



Music and Sound
Reviewed by: Newts
Date: 2002
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