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Shining The Holy Ark was the ninth installment of the Shining Series but the gameplay shares more in common with the original Shining in the Darkness than any other title in the franchise. It was a first person Dungeon Crawler rather than a strategy game. It’s also an indirect prequel to Shining Force III as several characters reappear in that game.
In game three mercenaries Arthur, Melody and Forte are tasked with hunting down a ninja called Rodi who has holed up in an abandoned mine. When the group finally catch up to the ninja, a space-ship smashes through the roof mortally wounding everybody involved. In order to save their lives the Spirits inside the ship possess Arthur, Melody and Rodi. While still retaining their free will they gain additional skills. During this however Forte gets possessed by an evil spirit and goes missing.
Arthur, Melody and Rodi decide to temporally combine forces in order to escape the deadly mine, find Forte and find out just what is going on with these mysterious Spirits. Along the way they uncover an evil plot to revive a powerful Vandal that would doom the world to an age of darkness.
To help them out they meet up with female paladin Lisa, dragonman Basso, female ninja Akane and the half-wolf ninja Doyle.
Shining of the Holy Ark Contains the following tropes:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit
- Cardboard Prison
- Chest Monster
- Chokepoint Geography
- Dark Is Not Evil: Galm, while we may not know his reasons he seems pretty neutral.
- Defeat Means Playable: For all the characters, bar maybe Akane.
- Evil Chancellor: Rilix
- Evil-Detecting Dog
- Fairy Sexy
- Faux First Person 3D
- First Person Ghost
- Frictionless Ice: While traveling through the mountain pass. Thanks to all the holes that would lead drop you into the previous areas this was pretty tedious.
- The Good Chancellor: Sabato.
- Guide Dang It: To find Doyle you have to revisit the first village and search a "suspicious looking tree", but only after a set point. Also the infamous stone puzzle.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Basso and Panzer.
- Haunted House
- Heroes Prefer Swords
- Hit Points
- Infant Immortality: Julian. But averted with stories of Elise eating children.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence
- Kleptomaniac Hero: You can steal 1 gold from under a bed and then get told off by a NPC.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Rodi.
- Last Chance Hit Point: An odd one. Only the three characters that are possessed with spirits will automatically revive after being "killed" in battle, with a measly 1 HP. All the other characters required a trip to a church, items or spells.
- The Lost Woods
- The Maze: Every. Single. Level.
- Medieval European Fantasy
- Only Smart People May Pass
- Optional Party Member: Doyle.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Basso
- Our Fairies Are Different
- Our Spirits Are Different
- Overrated and Underleveled: Rodi.
- Palette Swap
- Random Encounters
- Red Right Hand: Rilix.
- Respawning Enemies
- Scratch Damage
- Sealed Evil in a Can: the Vandal that the bad guys are trying to release. In fact Vandals in general, only the weakest ones weren't sealed away with Galm being the exception.
- Shifting Sand Land: The South Shrine.
- Shining Goodness: Well of course!
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World
- Tank Controls
- Temple of Doom: The three Shrines.
- Trauma Inn
- The Unfought: Elise, maybe even Galm depending on how you felt about him.
- Wall Master
- When Trees Attack
- Wutai: Far East Village.