Sega Announces Shining Wind
01.25.06 - 4:27 PM

Sega today revealed the third incarnation of its long-running Shining series on PlayStation 2. Following the action-oriented Shining Tears and Shining Force Neo, the company is now working on a third RPG, entitled Shining Wind. For Shining Wind, Tsuyoshi Sawada is resuming his position as producer, while Tony will return as character designer. Characters will be two-dimensional. While Shining Wind could be called a spiritual sequel to Shining Tears, producer Sawada emphasized that it won't be a sequel. Instead, Sega promises improved controls and visuals as well as more entertaining battles thanks to the Tag Battle system. Shining Wind will offer a battle and an adventure mode. The former will allow players to engage in group battles on huge maps. The adventure mode will let them walk around freely on the field map, explore environments and take on enemies as they appear.

The game will take players to the world of Endias, where man's feelings turn into so-called Soul Crystals. In this world, an area known as Liberia is home to three states. One ruled by humans, another one by elves, and a third by beastmen. But at some point the energy of chaos begins to flow and at the same time otherwordly warriors appear. The game's protagonist Kiliya Kait is a young man yielding from this other world. He gets caught up in the struggle of two states over the Mind Sword. Kiliya posseses a special ability known as Soul Blader. This ability allows him to turn his battle spirit into a special Soul Crystal shaped like a sword, a Soul Blade. This Soul Blade's strength is determined by the level of trust that exists between the protagonist and his partner. This trust can be built up through conversations with partners in the adventure mode. Conversations, however, are not the only way to increase a partner's trust in you. Players will be able to enter a partner's imaginary world and find mini games and adventure games inside. Since enemies will also have partners, it will be possible for you to talk your enemy's partners into joining your party, while enemies will try to convince your partners to change sides.

So far only two partners have been revealed: One is Firias, the human princess who has inherited a legendary shiled from the holy woman Minas. Because she always can be found at the front, her people call her "Goddess of War". Sheena Kanon is a childhood friend of the protagonist. She is cheerful and open-hearted, but also quite hot-blooded. The other is Jincrow, a bird man wielding two katanas. On the enemy side, Zekti is a powerful female elf. As a weapon of the Empire, she is trying to prevent the protagonist from moving forward.

Last, but not least, Shining Wind is apparently not the only Shining game currently in development at Sega, even though producer Sawada refused to go into specifics at this point.

Shining Wind has yet to receive a release date in Japan.

Chris Winkler

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