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Don't be afraid to go outside the boundaries of my walkthrough, and explore everything this game has to offer or you will miss out on a lot of the gaming experience as well as some easy-to- find items that I can't remember where to locate or that I can't be bothered to discuss. Keep in mind that many chests can be opened both while exploring and while battling. It is imperative to open chests as soon as you can, as you may not be able to later.

Also, realize that I won't tell you when to change your active force. All I'll say is that Balbaroy and Amon are the first characters who start in headquarters. (Assuming you're picking up EVERY character.) Don't follow my recommended levels to the tee. They are on the higher side, and the game can be enjoyed at lower levels, as I have done on numerous occasions. Remember that some characters only have one class. Thus, my recommended levels do not apply to them.

Finally, a word of caution. When gaining a level in this game, you do not carry over excess experience like in future Shining Force games. In other words, if you have 99 experience points (XP), and your next attack earns you 23 XP., you will gain a level, but will start with 0 XP on your new level, rather than 22 XP. If you remember this, your levels will be far more balanced, and you will not to level up as much, for there are fewer wasted XP.

Chapter 1

Guardiana: You start outside the side door of Guardiana's chapel. Varios will tell you you've had enough practice for the day. Enter the chapel and talk to Lowe. Afterwards, exit the chapel from the side door and talk to Varios again. He'll be sent to the castle by a guard. Go to the castle and listen to the King and Varios, and afterwards, talk to the King. He'll send you to the Shrine of the Ancients. Now exit the castle and Lowe, Ken, Tao, Luke and Hans will join the force. Return to the castle. The king will give you 100 coins, and you will be free to leave the city. Save your game in the chapel and exit town. You'll ride a cart to the Shrine of the Ancients.

New Force Members:

Max is the default name for the main character. This will be the name used throughout this guide.

Shrine of the Ancients: You'll fight your first battle here. When it is Max's turn, leave the shrine, (Walk south) and head to the small house next to the shrine. You'll find a monk inside who serves as a friar. Talk to Gong, who joins you at this juncture, and to Jogurt, to trigger the events that can cause him to join you much later in the game. Save your game with the monk/friar and return to the first battle at the shrine and win it.

New Force Members:

Recommended level after battle 1: 3

Road to Guardiana: After this battle, you'll leave the shrine and see Guardiana attacked by soldiers. You have to fight another battle to get into Guardiana. Egress if anyone died during the first battle, or if you wish to save your game at the monk's house.

Recommended level after Battle 2: 4

Guardiana: After you win the battle, enter Guardiana. You'll see that the town's been severely crippled by an attack from Runefaust. Go to the bar to get Gort (the old dwarf with the axe) to join you, and proceed to enter the castle. Explore the castle area to find the treasury and collect the treasure. (You couldn't do this earlier because there was a guard stopping you.) Afterwards go to the throne and you'll see Kane attacking the King and Varios. Talk to the King and his daughter, Mae will join the force. The armory is now open. Check it out and buy any better weapons that you find. Save your game and leave town.

New Force Members:

Road to Alterone: There's another easy battle here. Win it and enter Alterone.

Recommended level after battle 3: 4-5

Alterone: Explore the whole town as there is A LOT of treasure. When you're done, go to the armory/bar and talk to the people there. One of them will ask you if you're from Guardiana. Answer yes to this question and to the guy's other question so that the guards will let you enter Alterone castle. Enter the castle, and explore it thoroughly for treasure. Again, there's quite a bit.

Talk to the King and he'll ask you to follow him to meet "an advisor" (read: Kane). Talk to Kane and you will be imprisoned in the dungeon. Talk to the imprisoned friar to raise dead characters and save your game. Then, search the cell door. A young Elven healer named Khris will come to unlock the door and she will enter the cell. She'll open up a secret passage to allow you to escape. She also joins the Force at this point.

Enter the passage and you'll end up in headquarters. Exit to the town, and you'll find yourself in the final battle of the chapter. Win the battle, and return to the castle. Explore the castle again, as there are a few chests which you could not previously access. Afterwards, speak to the King and he'll apologize for betraying you. Accept his apology and he'll tell you to pull the chain in the dragon's head southwest of the throne. Find it near a waterfall and pull it. Enter the passage that appears and go through it. When you reach the end and exit, Chapter 1 will come to a close.

New Force Members:

Recommended level after battle 4: 5-6

Chapter 2

Rindo: You'll start the chapter just outside of the town of Rindo but the only thing you can do is enter town as the paths to the north and to the west are both blocked by fences. Upon entering the town, you can head to the theater and watch the play for a good laugh. When you're down exploring town, head to the armory. (Didn't I say to do that in every town? Oh well, this is the last time I'll tell you, unless I have a good reason to.) Upgrade your weapons, remembering especially to buy Power Staffs for your mages and healers. They will now be fighting machines for the balance of the chapter. Afterwards, go to the mayor's mansion and talk to the mayor. He'll tell you that you can't have his boat. Leave town and the west fence will be gone, allowing you to exit the area. You'll enter a battle as you head to Manarina.

Recommended level after battle 5: 6

Manarina: After winning the fight, enter Manarina and go to the chapel to save your game. Afterwards, talk to one of the mages not far from where you entered the city. His name is Otrant. He'll tell you to get the Orb of Light from the Cave of Darkness. Explore this city of mages and look for Anri (she talked to you when you first entered) and she will join the Force. Also find the Domingo egg in a room off the library with a mage and an odd machine by searching the machine. Now, head to the Cave of Darkness.

New Force Members:

Cave of Darkness: Fight the battle and win. (Unless, of course you WANT to lose...) Search the chests along the battlefield for some nice items. The Orb of Light, which you need to proceed further into the game, is behind the skeleton. (Shivers: Don't forget to hand this thing off. You will never use it in battle, so give the Orb to someone who doesn't attack much, and then hand it to the first person you leave waiting at HQ, or you'll waste one of Max's inventory slots.)

Recommended level after battle 6: 7

Manarina: Go north of the stairs by which you entered the cavern to talk to the Spirit of the Holy Spring. Use the Orb of Light when standing on the eye to hear what she has to say. Now go talk to Arthur to get him to join the force. Afterwards, leave town and return to Rindo.

New Force Members:

Rindo: Enter the town and talk to the mayor again. He'll tell you that he'll do whatever you want if you bring his grandson back from the circus. Exit the mayor's house and head for the circus tent near the dock.

Circus Tent: Enter the tent and you'll run into Mishaela (whom you may have spoken to in Alterone) and she'll send the Marionette and some other monsters after you. Defeat Marionette to rescue the mayor's grandson. Search the chests for an iron arrow (thank God) and some other nice stuff.

Recommended level after battle 7: 8

Rindo: Talk to the mayor and he'll let use his ship. Proceed to the ship and Mishaela will burn it. Return to the mayor and talk to him and his SON (not grandson). They'll tell you to head to Shade Abbey. If you want to, you can watch the new version of the theater's play for another laugh. Leave town, and head north (the north fence is now gone) until you reach a small building. Enter this building.

Shade Abbey: You are now in Shade Abbey. Talk to all the people including the "friar", and head due north from the entrance. Keep going until you reach a large chapel. Enter the chapel and all the people will follow you and block your escape. (Hopefully you'll be able to figure out that something nasty's goin' on by now.) Head towards the stoned Balbaroy (heh heh) and the friar will teleport in. It's Darksol! He will leave you to fight another battle. After you win this battle, Amon and Balbaroy will join you.

New Force Members:

Recommended level after battle 8: 9-10

Chapter 3

Bustoke: You begin this chapter in the town of Bustoke. Explore the town (the armory and item shop have no logo here), and speak to the Queen to find out about Runefaust and the Quarry. Afterwards, speak to Diane to get her to join the force. Also find out about Moon Stone, Lunar Dew and how they'll help Zylo. When you're done, head to the Quarry.

New Force Members:

Quarry: Win the battle and enter the cave. You'll find a chest with the Moon Stone. Return to Bustoke afterwards.

Recommended level after battle 9: 10-11.

Bustoke: Talk to the old alchemist and he'll make Lunar Dew from the Moon Stone. When done, head to the jail cell where Zylo is found and talk to the girl just outside of the cell. She'll open it. Now use the Moon Dew (from the item menu) on him. He'll join the force, and is a valuable asset. Head to one of the houses and find Kokichi trying to make a flying machine. Search the machinery and then talk to Kokichi. He'll offer to test it for you. Follow him, and he'll fly around and fall off Bustoke Mountain. Now, leave Bustoke.

New Force Members:

Road to Pao Bridge: Win this easy battle and head to Pao Bridge.

Recommended level after battle 10: 11

Pao Bridge: Win the Laser Eye battle to win the chapter and Pelle will join you.

New Force Members:

Recommended level after battle 11: 11

Chapter 4

Pao: Explore the town and talk to Elliot. Afterwards, explore the new wagons that the guards now let you enter. Once inside, talk to the Princess, the engineer, and than the Princess again to get Pao to move. Once again, the armory is unmarked and remember that you must buy new weapons before Pao moves to use them in the next battle. Make sure to buy Power Spears for Pelle, Kokichi, and Vankar (As many as you need for those of them you will take) because it's easy to forget like I often do.

When Pao moves Kokichi will join, and you can also get Vankar by finding him around the area. If you want Jogurt in the force, go to the friar's house. Go left while standing in the doorway, and go stand in the back corner. Jogurt will fall over outside, and then will be at headquarters.

New Force Members:

Elliot: One of the Lizardmen carries a heat axe. In addition to having a strong physical attack, the heat axe lets Luke and Gort cast Blaze 2 by Using it during battle. So, kill this Lizardman, Egress, and do it again so you can give one to each of them. (Shivers: And make sure you keep track of which one has the heat axe. His attack is 11 points higher than the others.)Defeat Elliot to win the battle. You'll notice that Pao has moved to a new location.

Recommended level after battle 12: 12.

Pao II: There are new chests abound, as well as a man that will warm your Domingo Egg (assuming you remembered to find it in Manarina) to allow Domingo to hatch and join you. The armory may also have new stuff, but I can't remember. Head to the Sheep Pen and Guntz will join the Force. Now leave town, and it's onward to the Wimpy Fortress of Balbazak.

New Force Members:

Fortress of Balbazak: Win the easy battle.

Recommended level after Battle 13: Train to Level 13 or 14, promote all characters currently having weapons available which require promotion, as well as all character who fight unarmed, and train them to about Level 4. The others are fine at 13 - 14

Uranbatol (Nice pun...:)): Nothing to do here. Earnest will join you and you have to talk to a guard to get him to open the shipyard. Now remember your two Heat Axes from the Elliot battle? Equip 'em on Gort and Luke now that they are they are promoted to make them fighting machines.

New Force Members:

Shipyard: Kill Balbazak and get the ship to win the chapter.

Recommended level after battle 14: 4 Promoted, 14 for unpromoted characters

Chapter 5

Ship: Wimpy monsters attack your ship. Beat them and your now-damaged ship will drift to the island town of Waral.(If you go downstairs or Egress before winning the battle, all the characters say slightly funny things....)

Recommended level after battle 15: 5 Promoted, 14 - 15 for unpromoted characters.

Waral: Uh oh, your ship is damaged and you cannot sail onward. Talk to the King (who is also the weapon and item shop salesman) and explore the town on foot before getting on guest boat. Note that you need to use the guest boat to access the chapel. At this point it may be a good idea to promote everyone who is still first class, because the next two battles are EASY, and new weapons requiring promotion are now available. Now head to buoys and talk to the Mermaid blocking the opening. She'll move out of the way if you answer yes to her questions. Go through the opening and you'll drift and get knocked out.

Ring Reef: You'll wake up in a house. Talk to the friar and exit the house to find yourself on Ring Reef. Enter this little blue thing in the walled area to go to the Shining Path area.

Shining Path Area: Follow the Skeleton and you'll fight a battle to gain access to the Shining Path. Win the battle and the Master Mage boss will sacrifice its life to block the Shining Path. If you Egress during the battle, you'll wind up back in Waral. Just go to where you originally got the guest boat and a new one will magically appear, allowing you to return to Ring Reef. This time, you must get there on your own without getting knocked out.

Recommended level after battle 16: 7 Promoted.

Waral: Talk to the King to get your ship back and you'll leave Waral. Answer his question however the heck you want.

Ship: Another easy sea battle (yawn). Just win to complete the chapter.

Recommended level after battle 17: 7-8 Promoted

Chapter 6

Rudo: You start Chapter 6 in the town of Rudo, which has been overrun by children. The layout of the town may be slightly confusing at first, but you'll get the hang of it after exploring thoroughly, which you will have to do anyways as you are blocked off from leaving the town. Pay special attention to the buildings, as Lyle can be found in one of them and he will join the force. When you're done doing that, talk to Karen, who will tell you about Bleu, visit Krin in the library, and talk to Karen again. You will now be able to leave Rudo. Do so after getting all the chests and upgrading your weapons as necessary.

New Force Members:

Road to Dragonia: Win this battle. It's not too bad.

Recommended level after battle 18: 9 Promoted

Dragonia: Note: do not enter the city until you are ready, you cannot leave until you defeat Kane, and there's no Weapons shop. Explore the town, getting all the chests. Talk to Bleu when finished. Follow him as he runs away and then talk to Karen. Karen will leave, and then call for help. Again, follow Bleu and he will torch an enemy knight (Hey, he's a dragon). Bleu then joins the force. When the scene is done, talk to Kane, who will announce his intent to fight you after giving you time to prepare.

Go to the local Headquarters to resurrect dead characters, save your game, and make any necessary changes to your party before leaving. Kane will attack you when you exit HQ. Defeat him in battle. Go to the shrine doors, and then find Kane in the lower corner of the shrine. Kane and Max will walk to the doors, which will open for the two heroes. Go down the stairs and you will see a chest. Darksol will appear, take the contents of the chest and then proceed to severely injure Kane. After that, leave Dragonia and return to Rudo.

New Force Members:

Recommended level after battle 19: 10-11 Promoted

Rudo: Return to the library and talk to Karen and then to Krin. They will tell you about a castle that appeared somewhere outside of town. Leave town to fight another battle.

Recommended level after battle 20: 11 Promoted

Skull Castle: Defeat Mishaela. Just be careful not to get the Sword of Light until you have gotten all the other treasure chests (It's in the chest closest to Mishaela's throne). Defeating Mishaela AND retrieving the Sword allows you to continue you to Chapter 7. (If you want to pick it up so you can use it to beat Mishaela, you can send a flying character to grab it. Just don't forget to loot the rest of the castle first!)

Recommended level after battle 21: 11-12 Promoted Note: Do not worry as much about levels any more. You should easily be strong enough to finish the game without any more leveling up.

Shivers: If you are trailing, now would be a good time to level up. The next battle has a lot of enemies with specials, and you can have leading characters hit for 40 or 60 damage before they can retreat. Just clear out everything but Mishaela and start over.

Is it just me, or does the end of Ch. 6 sound like the end of an episode of a soap opera? "Will Darksol release Dark Dragon from the bonds of the ancients? Or will Max stop Darksol and save all of Rune from the ultimate evil?" I can just hear "Tune in tomorrow for another exciting episode"...

Chapter 7

Prompt: You begin the chapter in Prompt. Head to the Castle and talk to the King after having explored the city. You will be imprisoned, and some guy named Boken whom you may have met over the course of your travels will save you. When you are freed, talk to the King again and you will be forgiven. Go talk to Kane, who is severely injured in bed. The King will then give permission for you to leave town.

Leave the castle and look for a big building in the city with twodoors and a white sign between them. Search the sign to get Musashi to join your force. Don't forget to add him to the battle roster, as he is God-like. Leave town after checking out the weapon shop and go to the Tower of the Ancients.

New Force Members:

Road to the Tower: Win the battle and head East.

Tower of the Ancients: Enter the Tower, get the chests, and win the battle. Note that there is a chest in the battlefield that contains the almighty Valkyrie, the best Spear in the game. You may need a flying character to get it. Make sure you get it during the battle though, it's empty afterwards. After winning the battle, you will encounter Alef and Torasu, a wizard and a priest from Prompt. They join the force, but are in desperate need of leveling up (15 unpromoted...lol).

You must then proceed to a certain place in the tower where you will again encounter Darksol trying to get an important item for the release of Dark Dragon (I think he was named Lucifer in the Japanese version. The name was changed to avoid offending any redneck Christian fundamentalists). Kane will appear and Darksol will kill him as he tries to save your butt. After you have finished with the with the tower, return to Prompt.

New Force Members:

Prompt: Return to the King, who will tell you about another way to the Shining Path that can be reached from the castle. Otrant from Marinara puts in a cameo appearance, and the King will give you the Sword of Darkness. Talk to the scholars in the castle library and then go through the Shining Path, which can be accessed on the floor just below the Castle, to reach Metapha.

Metapha: Metapha is not a town. It actually feels like an extension of Prompt Castle. Explore the area until you find a pool. Use the Orb of Light to contact the Sprit of the Spring as you did in Chapter 2 and she will tell you about the Chaos Breaker (CB) (the most powerful non-cursed sword in the game) and about your quest. Talk to Adam, who is near the spring, and a sequence will trigger in which Chaos will attack you with some other monsters. Adam is in your force now, and if for some strange reason you feel like taking him, Egress to put him in your battle party.

Defeat Chaos and you will be able to progress into a new area of Metapha. Read the four stone slabs, and create the CB by using the Sword of Light and the Sword of Darkness as prescribed by the signs. Unfortunately, you will lose the two swords, but the CB looks a Lightsabre. (Well, you have to have priorities :-) When you are finished, return to Prompt.

New Force Members:

Prompt: Talk to the King and then leave town.

Road to Runefaust: Head South and you will see a gate guarded by enemies. This is the gate to the Kingdom of Runefaust. Kill all the enemies to win the chapter.

Chapter 8

Runefaust: You will now be inside the gate. Enter the city of Runefaust. When you enter, search the bush immediately above you with the star/flower/shuriken/whatever and Hanzou the Ninja will join your force. Explore the city, upgrading your weapons if necessary (though I doubt you'll need to). Next, talk to Mahtato in Runefaust Castle, and the guards blocking the way to Ramladu's castle will leave. Head West to what looks like an exit out of the city. In reality, it leads to Ramladu's Castle (Not to be confused with Runefaust Castle).

New Force Members:

Ramladu's Castle: In the first battle, get all the chests in the area. Then, head farther up to fight King (Emperor?) Ramladu. When you defeat King Ramladu, return to Runefaust if you lost anyone, or just take the secret passage. Go to the westernmost point of land and use the Chaos Breaker. The castle of the ancients will rise from the water, and you can enter it through the gate (The small building to the north that's exactly the same as the one from battle 1).

Castle of the Ancients:You will teleport to the Castle of the Ancients and fight the three Colossuses. Defeat the center Colossus and continue through the Castle of the Ancients to fight Darksol. Defeat Darksol, who will resurrect Dark Dragon as he dies, and you will battle him right away. Defeat Dark Dragon to finish the game. Remember, however, that Egressing while fighting Dark Dragon will force you to rebattle Darksol.