Storyline Summaries
Shining the Holy Ark

In the kingdom of Enrich, there was an outlaw that had been tracked to a mine near the backwater village of Desire. The kingdom was once a prosperous land blessed with precious mithril ore. However, the miners at Desire Village delved too deep to satisfy their greed, and they came upon an ancient shrine, sealed for thousands of years. When they opened the shrine, they found that they had unleashed an ancient evil, which spread from the mines of Desire to the rest of the land, also attracting shadowy visitors from neighbouring lands. Mithril was soon an extreme rarity, and the once-prosperous mining village of Desire was now a backwater village that was little more than a stop on the way to other lands.

The outlaw being tracked by the king's mercenaries was called Rodi, a renegade ninja that had become a marked man after a shift in power at the royal court. The wise sage Sabato had been overthrown and replaced by a mysterious old woman, called Rilix, in a floating chair and magical crystal. The king of Enrich, influenced by the powerful words of the old woman, dispatched the fabled mercenary team of Forte the sorcerer and his partner, Melody. Along with these two sorcerers, the king also hired a swordsman called Arthur who was starting to make a name for himself. With this, the king sent the mercenaries to exterminate the 'rat that had fled into the mine'.

When the mercenaries arrived, they quickly entered the mine and found where Rodi was cornered. Rodi spoke of "spinning the threads of destiny' and came to the conclusion that these people were enemies - seeing as how they were sent to kill him - and he attacked. A fierce battle ensued, and just before Rodi had a chance to escape from the mercenaries, a flash of light appeared in the room. Then a piece of the ceiling caved in; a gold and blue vessel crashed through the top of the room, destroying the entire room and sending Forte, Melody, Rodi and Arthur to the bottom of the mines, nearly killing every one of them.

Melody, Rodi and Arthur were all unconscious, and an evil spirit from the depths of the mine entered the room. It floated over to Rodi and Melody, screaming at the sight of these people. Suddenly, before the spirit was able to act, Forte cast a blinding spell of Blaze and sent the creature on its way. However, Forte was still crippled from his fall. The evil spirit crept up behind him, taking advantage of his weakened state. The creature possessed his body and took it out of the mine.

Arthur, during his unconscious state, saw three bright entities, two blue and one red, floating above his body along with Melody's and Rodi's, as well. Apparently he was having some kind of a vision. The blue spirit above his body spoke to him, saying that they had been accidentally caught up in the struggle between life and death. The spirits felt responsible for the wounds suffered by these people, and needed a body for safety from the evil that was stirring in Enrich. Therefore, the spirits became one with each of the three remaining people, healing wounds and repairing damage to their nervous systems. Melody and Arthur were acting of their own free will, but since Rodi had lost his memory in the accident, the spirits thought it best that they control his actions until he regained his strength and magical abilities. The spirits strongly noted that the three whose bodies had been imbued with spirits could not be separated.

After Arthur, Rodi and Melody awoke from their unconscious states, the three of them formed an alliance. Since they could not be separated, they might as well work together for mutual advantage. They fought their way out of the mines, slaughtering countless monsters along the way. They went to Desire Village to heal up and gain new weaponry, when they entered the local pub.

There, Arthur, Melody and Rodi encountered the legendary mercenary team of Basso the dragon warrior, and Lisa the female paladin. They spoke a bit, and our three heroes left the pub. They were then confronted by Basso and Lisa, who recognised Rodi from his description. Since they were out for his bounty, they wanted to capture him; however, the village elder intervened, saying that if they fought in the village, it would disrupt the simple lives of the townspeople. Also, the gate to Enrich would be open soon, and they could "settle their differences' there. But since the gate was not open at the moment, they all realised that no-one could go anywhere. Therefore, Basso and Lisa agreed to hold off fighting Rodi for the moment. Lisa added before they departed that she very much looked forward to crossing swords with Arthur.

Arthur and the others could not go anywhere except back to the mines. They re-entered the pub and decided to get a room for the night, when an unorthodox individual approached them, a creature that was half man, half wolf. He had apparently been eavesdropping on their conversation earlier. He said that he needed to get out of the village as well, and that he had a plan. Since they were going to get a room for the night, he noted that they could help each-other. Arthur agreed to let him visit, and they turned in for the night.

The halfling showed up at their door at a very late hour. Arthur opened the door, and spoke with him. They agreed to meet in the nearby Forest of Confusion, and they would leave separately. The halfling would leave after the three heroes so that they would not attract unwanted attention from the townspeople. They also agreed that if they got separated, that they would meet in the graveyard deep inside the forest.

The next morning, Arthur and the others gathered their things, bought new equipment and set off for the forest.

When they arrived, the halfling was not there. They waited for him, but he never appeared. They decided that he must have gotten there before them somehow, and made his way to the graveyard. They broke through the hordes of monsters in the forest, and reached the graveyard. They approached a coffin, and before it appeared a Wraith. The heroes fought gallantly, and exorcised the evil creature. They then heard the voice of the halfling, and he appeared to them. Apparently, the halfling was called Doyle, and was Rodi's right-hand man when he was living in Far East Village, Rodi's old home. Rodi explained to Doyle that he did not have all his memory, and Doyle advised Rodi to run from Melody and Arthur. He said that since they were mercenaries hired to capture him, they intended to turn him in at Enrich. Rodi pointed out that if they wanted to turn him in, they would have done so already, and this was enough to convince Doyle; for now, at least.

The halfling produced a key, and unlocked the crypt in front of them. He said to follow the cavern until they appear at Enrich. He then disappeared, warning Arthur and Melody that he could appear and disappear anywhere and anytime he wished, so they should watch their actions. Before he left, Doyle gave Rodi an iron mask to hide his features from the townspeople in Enrich, along with - hopefully - the king and Rilix.

The team fumbled their way through the dark caverns until they reached the exit, and made for the castle town of Enrich.

Arriving in Enrich, Melody and Arthur received a summons to appear before the king. Since it probably involved Rodi, he decided to go with them. They went to Enrich castle, and were escorted in by the guards. They appeared before the king, bowed before him, and approached.

Rodi, Arthur and Melody all noticed at once that Forte was to the left of the king, and the old hag Rilix was to the right of the king. Rilix looked through her magic crystal at them, and saw that there were lights surrounding their bodies. Melody confronted Forte about how he left them there in the mine. He said he had no idea what she was babbling about, and that he was perfectly fine. Rilix spoke with them, saying that she would not let them inherit the Spirit, and revealing that she was one of the Vandal clan, a clan that sought to resurrect the Thousand-Year Kingdom. This was the kingdom in which her ancestor and the ancestor of the entire Vandal clan - Vandal, ruled. She knew that Rodi was who he was; his mask had not fooled her. Rodi began to cast spells, and saw the evil spirits possessing Forte and the king. Rodi was about to attack when Rilix sneakily dropped the floor beneath all of them, sending them straight to the dungeons.

Arthur regained consciousness, seeing that Rodi and Melody were already awake, when Doyle appeared. Doyle removed Rodi's mask, as it was useless now, and unlocked their cell. He said that since Melody and Arthur had come this far without turning Rodi in, that he could trust them; at least for now. He said to go beneath the well in the dungeon, and work their way out. He told them he had left the key in the bottom of the well. With that, he departed, leaving the heroes to their quest.

They made their way partway through the well, when they encountered the sage Sabato, the former chancellor to the king of Enrich. He said that there was a golden key in the bottom of the well that they needed to seek out in order to open the doors of the Aborigine mansion in the west. Here, they would find the mansion's master, a Vandal called Galm. Galm apparently was on the side of Enrich, but did not support them directly. He did not want to get involved. In any case, the key they sought was in the well somewhere, and Sabato would benefit them all he could.

After searching through the maze, the three came upon a skeleton, which gave them a hint: "The hidden door in the mansion can be opened with a furniture switch, and the power of the invisible spirits can be calmed with holy water. When the non-ticking hand says tea-time, and if the grey knight, who challenges everyone to a duel, can be made to serve, then the ruler's door will be opened from the bed of the dead'. This was the key to solving the mansion's riddles, and the golden key they sought was behind the remains of the skeleton.

Exiting the well, the heroes of Enrich gathered new equipment, and passed a strange boy on their way out of town. He asked them to go and look for his father, who had gone to the Aborigine mansion. If they did, he said that he would give them the most important thing he had as a reward...

...Anyone who has played Shining Force III should know that this child was Julian. This was where his sorrowful past began to take root in his soul, when his father was never found...

They exited the town, and made their way into the Forest of Aborigine. Here, they came upon an extensive cemetery. Past the graveyard was the mansion that they sought. They swallowed their fear, inserted the golden key into the lock, and threw open the doors.

After a bit of exploration, the heroes came upon a puzzle that led to a furniture switch, and opened new pathways with the key acquired from the hidden room behind the switch. They also came upon an odd situation when they opened the door to a room on the bottom floor. The furniture and a single book was floating violently in mid-air; it must have been the invisible spirits the skeleton in the well had warned them about. Unfortunately, the heroes didn't have holy water. After exiting the room, and crossing over a few corridors, Melody, Rodi and Arthur encountered their rival Basso that they encountered in Desire. He was frightened, and apparently had followed Arthur and the others past the paths in the Forest of Confusion after they had left Desire. When they arrived in Enrich, his partner Lisa decided to sneak into the throne room while he did some investigating of the mansion. The door was locked, so he tried the graveyard nearby, wherein he found a secret passage. He was attacked by a vicious creature, the first thing he had been scared of in his life. Basso decided to join the group until they found his partner.

Reaching the top floor of the mansion, they found a key that wound the giant clock in the mansion. Arthur inserted the clock key and began to turn it. At first, nothing happened; but as they walked past the face of the clock, a platform began to extend from the innards of the clock, revealing a living statue with the intent of removing the intruders. Luckily, our heroes dispatched the Time Warrior with little resistance, and flipped the odd-looking switch behind it. They then heard the sound of something moving far away.

The four people followed the sound to the crypt that Basso had entered, and they ventured forth into the darkness. They were in graveyard catacombs that led to an open door. The door read that it would only open to those who defeated the Warrior of Time; this must have been what the switch opened. Passing the door, they were led to stone steps leading into the base of the mansion. Here, they encountered a ravenous Vampire, which they killed, summoning the master of the mansion.

The Vandal, Galm, appeared before them. Apparently, he had been the one that attacked Basso. Galm healed them, and told them of their destiny. He told them that they must stop the rebirth of the Thousand-Year Kingdom, and to do that, they needed to conquer the three ancient shrines, acquire the sacred treasure from each shrine, and climb the Tower of Illusion to become Innovators. With the abilities and enlightenment acquired as Innovators, they would be able to stop the Vandals from resurrecting the Thousand-Year Kingdom of darkness and save the land of Enrich from corruption. First, however, they needed to exterminate the guardian of the Mountain Caverns to get to their next goal. Galm then gave them an item called the Gravity Stone, telling them to use it when heaven and earth turned upside-down, and sent them on their way. Basso said he was finished for now, and went to meet up with Lisa while Arthur, Rodi and Melody went to the mountain caverns.

As soon as the trio entered the Caverns, however, they ran across Basso. He said that Lisa had never been late for anything in her life, and that he searched all over but had no trace of her. Therefore, he thought he could travel with them until he found Lisa; providing Rilix hadn't already killed her.

The four of them fought their way through the Mountain Caverns, destroying the tail of the Guardian piece by piece, until they fought the head of the giant serpent, extinguishing its evil flame. They went past the Caverns into Rodi's home of Far East Village.

They arrived in the village, and sought out its lord, Rodi's father. They were informed that they needed to know nothing other than what Galm told them. They must acquire the Sacred Sword from the Shrine in the South in order to progress.

Entering the shrine, they found it to be a puzzling environment, with twists and turns on the ceiling. They encountered hundreds of monsters, and came upon a few spiral passageways: it was time to use the Gravity Stone. Fighting their way up and down the shrine, they entered the treasure room, solved its riddle, defeated the guardian of the shrine, retrieved the Sacred Sword, and returned to Far East Village.

Here, the lord of the village called for Doyle's advice, and found him injured by a rogue ninja that had betrayed the village and swore his allegiance to the Vandals: his name was Panzer. Panzer appeared as well, and was stopped from taking the Sacred Sword by Rodi's sister Akane, who had grown up with Panzer. Since the sword was still in Arthur's possession, and since Akane's presence would probably stop future attempts from Panzer to steal the blade, Akane joined the force.

The village lord said that to free the king and Forte from the evil spirits, they would have to cut the ethereal cords binding them to the spirits using the Sacred Sword. Akane knew a hidden passage that lead into the throne room via the dungeon well, so she set off for Enrich with Arthur and the others.

Exiting the hidden passageways, the force appeared in the throne room. They fought with the spirits inside the king and Forte, until the sage Sabato appeared. He told Arthur to quickly cut the cords that bound the spirits to the king and Forte. Arthur did so, and freed the prisoners from the spirits. They then killed the spirits, wounded Rilix, and Rilix fled. The king thanked them, and Forte rejoined Melody and her group. The next stop was the West Shrine.

In the shrine, they broke the sacred barrier leading into the rest of the shrine with the Sacred Sword, and continued on. They came upon the Eye of Truth, which allowed them to see a hidden stone path, giving them a one-way ticket to a fight with the shrine's guardian. Arthur plunged the Sacred Sword into the great beast, killing it. Galm then appeared to them again, bearing a gift: Basso's partner, Lisa. Lisa joined the force, and Arthur took the next sacred treasure: the Sacred Mirror.

In the last shrine, the East shrine, They broke the final barrier with the Sacred Mirror, and encountered special plant-creatures that gave them access to the upper floors of the shrine by use of their vines. There were crystal artifacts found throughout the shrine that were placed on various statues, except for one: a crystal jug. Puzzled, they continued. They discovered a well of healing waters that had risen to the surface after they had completed the statue puzzle, and drank deeply from it. They all noticed immediately that their wounds were healed from this sacred water.

At the very top floor of the shrine, there was a plant that was as feeble as they had ever seen.

They then realised what to do with the jug.

They filled the jug with the sacred water, and returned to the feeble plant. They poured the water on it, and it instantly sprung up with life, attacking them. The warriors destroyed the plant with flame and blade, and removed the final sacred treasure from its open maw: the Sacred Pendant, also called the Serpent's Tooth.

On their way back to Enrich, they stopped by Desire, having the blacksmith make new equipment for them. While they were waiting for their new items, Rodi searched an odd-looking tree, and found that it was Doyle in disguise. He joined their ranks to be near his master, and the Shining Force retrieved their gear and traveled back to Enrich via the re-opened gate.

Presenting the treasures before the newly re-appointed chancellor Sabato and the king, they were instructed to go to Mirage Village beyond the paintings in the mural room. The force presented the three sacred treasures to the painting in the centre of the room, and they were transported into the land without time.

The villagers, who offered the travelers any assistance they needed, welcomed their arrival. They pointed out the Tower of Illusion, where the High Priest had gone to wait for them. In front of the Tower, the Force completed the riddle of the stone tablets, which allowed them inside.

In the Tower, they found seven floors of pure madness, each one looking just like the last, until they reversed the Tower with its own artifacts, killed the guardian, and arrived at the feet of the High Priest. From him, they learned that Panzer and the other Vandals, including Rilix and her more powerful sister, Elize, had begun the ceremony of opening the Holy Ark atop the pinnacle of the ancient shrine uncovered in the mine, called Godspeak. The Vandals recovered the Holy Ark from the spirits when their ship crashed. The Holy Ark, it was said, contained all the evil that emanated from the Thousand-Year Kingdom centuries ago.

However, they had met with the high priest for another reason; to unleash the power of the spirits inside of Melody, Rodi and Arthur, and become Innovators. The Priest performed the ceremony, and the spirits inside the three of them matured, giving the new Innovators special magic abilities. They departed from the illusory world, and returned to Enrich.

The Shining Force arrived before the king and Sabato, and the two of them were completely taken by surprise. Apparently, Mirage Village was on a different time stream than Enrich, for it seemed to the king and Sabato that the force had just left, though they had spent days figuring out the riddles of the Tower. However, there was no time to lose! They hurried on to Godspeak, where Arthur used his newly acquired Inferno magic to dispel the barrier created by Rilix to turn away any intruders. The force arrived at the pinnacle, where Panzer and Rilix were opening the Holy Ark, chanting.

Rilix sensed their presence, and attacked. She was helped only by her sister, Elize, giving her slightly more powerful monsters to attack with. However, the warriors struck Rilix down and killed her. Panzer was enraged, and Galm suddenly appeared. He reminded Panzer that he was still rather weak for a Vandal, and that his efforts were greatly decreased with Rilix's death. However, this only egged Panzer on, and using what little evil that was released from the Ark, Panzer accepted the evils of the holy vessel into his body. He emerged transformed, a hideous, inappropriate reflection of his former self. Using all his power, Panzer attacked.

A great battle ensued. Panzer released evil magic unheard of in history, but he was countered by the strong abilities and unbreakable will put forth by the team guided by the Powers of Light. Panzer eventually fell, and Galm congratulated them. Also, surprisingly, so did Rilix's sister. Apparently, she had sided with Galm the entire time, going against her sister's wishes of resurrecting the Thousand-Year Kingdom. Galm noted to Elize that if they stayed there any longer, the Ark would consume them; they had to leave. Elize and Galm bid them farewell, and the new ship to take home the spirits inside the Innovators arrived.

However, something odd happened: only two of the spirits separated from their hosts, and it was impossible to tell which, for the ceremony of the Innovators had rendered the spirits colourless. These two spirits rose with the Ark into the ship, and ascended into the heavens.

Arthur and the others returned to town, where a great celebration was in motion. That night, the wine cellars were opened to all, and the town was celebratory and gleeful. However, Arthur returned to the throne room alone.

Here, the king offered Arthur the position of Defense Minister of Enrich. Yet even though Arthur noted that the king's offer was very generous, he valued his freedom more than a position. As a backup offer, the king told Arthur that if he ever got tired of roaming around and needed a place to settle down, Enrich would always welcome him. Arthur kindly accepted, and returned to the city gates.

Here, he encountered Rodi, who said he understood how Arthur felt. He bid Arthur a final farewell, and disappeared into the night. Arthur entered the pub, and said farewell to the rest of his companions.

Arthur took a final look at Enrich, and walked out of the city gates to the end of a day and the beginning of a new era of peace.