In the first half of 2002, I sent a letter to Camelot Software Planning on behalf of SFC & its visitors, to ask a number of questions about the Shining series and it's mysteries. I received a prompt reply by email from Yasuhiro Taguchi to inform me that a reply would be sent when time allowed. Well, on August 14th, I received a very long letter in response to the questions!
Taguchi-sama felt it best to reply in Japanese, to be sure he didn't make any mistakes through his use of English. So, I must say a huge thank you to Aspartate and Landius for translating the letter for all of us! If Taguchi-sama is reading this, I'd also like to say a giant thank you to him for all his help over the years, especially for taking the time to reply to these questions. Arigatou gozaimasu Taguchi-sama!
SFC: In the English version of Shining Force II, the tale of the Storytellers in Tristan has been mistranslated. I understand in the Japanese version they refer to “Lucifer” and not Dark Dragon. Who is Lucifer? How does he fit into the storyline of the series? Is Dark Dragon not a Devil King?
YT: In Japanese version, the story was told this way:
There were three powerful Demon Kings on Grans Island. Lucifer, who is excellent in magic; Darksol the tactful leader, who excel in intelligence; and the atrocious Zeon, who is good at both.
Dark Sol used his tactic to seal Zeon on Grans Island. Dark Sol and Lucifer are also exciled. Although Dark Sol appeared in SF1, Lucifer didn't show up in any other game in Shining Series.
As for Dark Dragon. We designed him as an ancient monster, released by Dark Sol. So he is not one of the Devil Kings.
We have no idea how the English version made this mistake. But this is how it's told in the original version.
Landius: "Sega screwed it! In SSoul they say Dark Sol MADE Dark Dragon in his petri dish"
Moogie: "I think we're going to need to get the original Japanese scripts and re-translate them into English. Looks like a lot of things have been mistranslated."
SFC: We also wondered how all the Devils (Devil Kings, Pazort, the Dark Titan and the Vandals) relate to one another in terms of timescales, power, intent and superiority. Do you have any information regarding this?
YT: Since I haven't hear about this, I don't know about the details. Neither has a famliy tree for devils has been made.
SFC: It’s also very interesting to consider Shining Geography. I’ve always wanted to try to map the Shining World from directions hinted at in the games. However, with so many lands, it’s very difficult! I placed the Rune continents and Grans/Parmecia on a map, but I do not know where Iom and Cypress fit in. I believe Odegan is far north of Tristan, past the mountains, and that Stormsong is to the west of that. Shining Force III takes place in east Parmecia, correct? I wonder – does Camelot have a map of these lands? I’d really love to see one!
YT: This world has undergone tremendous events such as total destruction. In different eras, some countries are established while some are destroyed. Sometimes even the landform would change due to diastrophism. So it's hard to combine all stories on one map. Camelot didn't make a map for the whole world.
SFC: The “useless items” in Shining Force (Teppou, Kenji, Kaku-chan…) seem to have no use in the game, and so we believe they have a meaning for the development team. Do you know what the items mean? I know Kenji is probably named after Kenji Orimo, who worked on the subscript.
YT: Yes. They are indeed useless items.
Kenji is the nickname for Mr. Kenji Orimo. Kaku-chan is the nickname for Mr. Kakusaka, one of the development staff.
Teppou is the Japanese word for gun. But it can't be used as a weapon. It's an itam made at will by a gun mania in development staff.
It's the same with Youji. But I forgot where to get it.
SFC: Is King Granseal in Shining Force II actually the original King Nosshu from Shining Force Gaiden Final Conflict? The timescales mean that he could be, however he does not seem to know Hawel well, and there is a book entitled “Granseal Kings” that suggests otherwise.
YT: King Granseal's ancestors were bandits all right. But we don't know any more than that. If it's true, it's highly possible for them to conceal this to protect the royal family's reputation.
SFC: Is Arthur in Shining Force III the same Arthur from the original Shining Force? Sega’s work on Shining Soul leads us to believe that Shining Force III takes place shortly after Shining Force. If this is true, it’s likely he may be the same centaur. However, this may not be according to Camelot’s plan! It would also mean that the mercenaries (Piper, Dongo, Twiggy and Elrick) could have ended up at Creed’s Mansion, for Shining Force II.
YT: The story from Holy Ark to SF3 belongs to a different era from previous Shining Series. If you see characters with the same name, please consider them as different people. But they do look very similar. Perhaps people in SF1 and SF2 came to the world of SF3 through metempsychosis?
Aspartate & Landius: "Are you serious?!"
Moogie: "It seems as though Shining Force III & the earlier Shining games did not happen at the same time, no matter what Sega tells us in Shining Soul."
SFC: The Camelot timeline says that Shining & the Darkness is before Shining Wisdom. However, in Shining Wisdom it is said that Stormsong is a recently founded city. How can this be the case if Stormsong has ancient proving grounds (the labyrinth) and has clearly been founded for much longer? Is Shining & the Darkness actually a long time after Shining Wisdom? But, that would mean that Melvyl should be much older by then, since he was born in Final Conflict. Perhaps this is explained by him staying in the evil realm, where devils seem not to age? This is a very confusing issue. Perhaps it’s just a mistake in Shining Wisdom?
YT: We made a mistake in the present page. Sorry about that. The correct order is the one below, with SD after SW. We will change the present page as well.
(he then included the timeline, but with SitD & SW swapped around)
SFC: Is Simone granddaughter of the old man in the beginning of Shining & the Darkness?
YT: I don't quite understand the question.
a. Taguchi-san doesn't even think there would be a confusion from "Jiisan" (grandpa). Since in Japan, youngsters should call an elder "jiisan" or "baasan" instead of calling by name, whether they are related or not.
b. Taguchi-san doesn't know who Simone is. "Simone" is a name that only appears in English version. In Jpn version she doesn't have a name and people only call her "yonde musume" (meaning: "read it" girl.)"
SFC: Are the fairies in Shining Force II and Shining Wisdom Fey (Akyuu) or Primrose (Primula)?
YT: Uh-un. They are different. But they may be relatives.
SFC: Are Jane and Fey the same person, as shown at the end of Shining Force III?
YT: You got this idea from that picture? Yes. That's correct.
SFC: Who received the last Innovator Spirit in Shining the Holy Ark? Would Camelot like to continue this story if invited by Sega to work on the next Shining game?
YT: We still don't know who remained as an Innovator at the end.
SFC: Would Camelot like to continue to work on the series?
YT: Shining Series is now developed by Sega. Such as the Shining Soul released a while ago. As well as the new Shining Force game announced in May.
I regret to tell you we are not participating in any Shining Series development now. (I can't go into more detail on the reason why. Sorry about that.)
Although it's developed by different staff, it's a good thing Sega is continuing the Shining Series. Right now we are putting our endeavor on making Golden Sun Series Camelot's new RPG masterpiece, or even exceed the success of Shining Series.
And when playng Golden Sun, don't you feel the true spirit of Shining Series is continued in Golden Sun? At least that how we, the development team, felt.
SFC: I'm sure you are familiar with the "Stalker" series: Landstalker, Ladystalker, Dark Saviour, Climax Landers (Time Stalkers). Well, because of the appearance of Pyra Myst (S&TD) and Jogurt (SF1) in the game, some fans are saying they are part of the Shining series. Many Shining fans won't accept this information in our quest to uncover Shining History, because the games are not "Shining" games.
What we are wondering, is whether the Stalker series should be considered part of the Shining series? If they do belong together, then we must investigate much more for the Shining History. Unless we have an official answer from Camelot, I can only see more arguments happening as a result of this conflict of ideas :(
If you can spare a couple of minutes just to give us an answer - "yes, it's part of the series"; "no, it's not part of the series". Perhaps the relationship is just because Climax wanted to continue the series, even though it was no longer their job... and so there may be connections, but the information should not be considered accurate for Shining History.
YT: Stalker Series, as well as Shining Soul, should be separated from the Shining Series.
Wouldn't it be better to consider them as a game with Shining characters making an appearance? You know, like how all Disney characters star in one special movie? It's the same in this case.
No matter what Sega or Climax say, our answer is NO.
By the way, isn't "Stalker Series" an impressive name? In Japan, "stalker" is about the same as criminals.