Storyline Summaries
Shining Force III Scenario 3: Bulzome Rising
CHAPTER 1 - RECAPTURING THE IMPERIAL CAPITAL

The game begins shortly after Julian, Donhort and Gracia left Medion's team in scenario 2. On the boat - Flagship - Donhort and Gracia are conversing with Bresby - the Imperial advisor who hired them - and Kate, an attendant. The most popular topic of discussion is the growing bond of friendship between Synbios and Medion, despite them coming from opposing nations.

However, Gracia senses evil approaching them. As Julian comes out onto the deck, a group of masked monks fly in and attack. Realising that the monks will alert their comrades to their existence, the team take out the monks.

(If Stella was killed in scenario 2, Edmund will also be with the team.)

The rest of the voyage to Destonia is thankfully pretty uneventful. The team arrive at night, only to be greeted by a small group of monks guarding the village - Bresby has decided to dock at the small port town rather than the city itself. Julian, Donhort, Gracia and Kate easily overcome the monks. As it turns out, they were placed there by Goriate, one of the Bulzome High Priests...

As the team go to the church, they are greeted by Scholar, the local priest, and also the leader of a resistance movement against the Destonian aristocracy - he used to be one of the Emperor's advisors alongside Grantack and Bresby. He informs everyone of the Walcuray - the huge, Vandal-constructed flying machine that is now heading towards Destonia Castle. Not even a place that tough can withstand a powerful attack from the Walcuray for long. However, Gracia is aware of a staff that controls the Walcuray - Goriate must have it. If Gracia can use his Innovator magic on it, it will cause the staff to short-circuit and disable the Walcuray.

Into the room come Bridget - a female wizard - and Isabella - Medion's sister-in-law. Isabella wants to protect her Aunt Melinda - Medion's mother, who is staying in Destonia Castle, and Bridget wants to come along too. Scholar reluctantly agrees to let them join Julian's team.

(If Edmund is on the team, Isabella won't join until later, though Bridget still joins.)

Heading through the valley that leads to the castle, the team find themselves face to face with the Walcuray. At first, it looks impossible to avoid the attacks from the machine. However, a distant voice advises them on the best way to get through the valley... By using the rocks and dugouts as cover, the team successfully make it through the valley, the voice beckoning them closer...

In the castle grounds, Goriate threatens Prince Mageron, and Imperial general Steel, with the Walcuray's power. Just when it looks like they're on the verge of surrendering, Julian and his team arrive, causing Goriate to focus their attention on the team instead. Though the battle is tough, Gracia is bang-on with his theory - using his magic to short-circuit the staff controlling the Walcuray, the team are free to attack Goriate.

Just before Goriate can be finished off though, the voice's owner - a woman called Jane, with both light and dark powers in her, and also Dessheren's sister - arrives and pleads with Julian to let her leave with Goriate. In the end, Julian agrees, and Jane takes Goriate away, the Walcuray returning to it's place of origin in the far north... While none of them can figure this strange turn of events out, Mageron and Steel arrive.

Mageron cannot express enough thanks to the team for saving Destonia. However, Steel isn' convinced - the aristocratic class system of Destonia has blinded him to the team's achievements, simply because they're not part of an Imperial army. He's quick to make Mageron see this point of view (he's somewhat impressionable, by the look of things), and the team now receive no credit, since they are a band of 'rogues and thieves'. Bresby argues in the team's defence, but Mageron and Steel brand him a dangerous figure for bringing mercenaries to Destonia, and relieve him of his advisor position. It's also evident that they want to get their hands on Gracia, as per Domaric's wishes...

CHAPTER 2 - BETRAYAL OF MAGERON

Bresby, thoroughly disillusioned by the unfair Imperial laws and how Mageron has let himself be blinded by them, decides to follow Donhort's lead, and stay to assist Gracia. Everyone else on the team is quick to support them. However, Scholar arrives with worrying news - Mageron and Steel have sent a pursuit army after Julian's team, hoping to capture Gracia and the Elbesem Staff he's carrying.

Fortunately, Scholar knows a way to escape - through an underground passage formed by earthquakes years ago. To assist in their escape, Cyclops - a Dragonman - volunteers to go with the group (he has the unique ability to tame and control dragons after defeating them, adding to the team's ranks).

Working their way through the underground caves, the team find themselves against ghosts of long-dead thieves and pirates, who now attack anyone who dares to pass through here - the dark powers down here are very strong. In defeating a particularly large monster, the monster destroys the safe way out just before it dies. Seeing no other way, Cyclops leads the team to the Dragon Graveyard, the place where old dragons go to die.

In the graveyard, Cyclops tries conversing with the dragons there to ask them to let them through safely. However, the dragons don't listen, and attack the group. It's then that Jane appears, informing the group that the Bulzome Sect are controlling the dragons here, to stop people reaching Destonia - there's no way to convince them to help. She also has a gift for Julian, since he allowed her to let Goriate go. She introduces the team to Rollie, a unicorn who joins as part of Julian's forces. It's clear that Jane has a crush on Julian - something that doesn't suit well with Kate, who also has a crush on him.

Working their way through the graveyard, the team are suddenly accosted by the sacred White Dragon. Though the creature attacks them, Cyclops manages to calm him down, and convinces him that Julian and his allies are not the enemy. The White Dragon - who's name is Sauzan - wants revenge against Bulzome for attacking his kin, and decides to join Julian's forces. He also leads the team to Foothill Village, a place cut into the hills themselves where Sauzan is worshipped by the people. The villagers wonder where Sauzan is going, but are confident knowing he'll be fighting for the peace of the world.

Leaving Foothill Village, Bresby leads the way to Bariere Fortress - the last Imperial blockade before leaving Imperial Territory. Outside, they see a warrior - Leon - being attacked by soldiers - he was trying to get through to join up with Julian's army. The team fight off the soldiers and manage to save Leon, who reveals that Bariere Fortress is all but invincible. What needs to be done is for two teams to attack - one as a distraction, while the other sneaks inside and destroys the fort's defences. So Donhort leads a team to sneak inside, while Julian takes the decoy team to the front.

At Bariere fortress, they meet Imperial general Defenda. Despite the fact that he's a good person, he cannot ignore the Emperor's will. So the team are reluctantly forced to fight him. Fortunately, Donhort's team manage to turn the fort's cannons against the Imperial soldiers, and eventually Defenda himself is forced to fight, and is soon defeated. It's a shame that Defenda was defeated - he was still a decent person who loved his country too much. Before he dies, he wishes the team luck with the expedition.

CHAPTER 3 - ASHORE ASPINIA

Passing beyond the border into neutral territory, the team are accosted by Mageron and Steel, who followed them here by ship. As it turns out though, they're not here to fight - they've received a letter from Domaric, thanks to Holly, who turns up here. Thanks to Medion's team, he is safe. Arrawnt and Garvin were behind the abduction, and now Medion's army is marching overland to conquer Aspia, since the criminals stole the Seagate. Even Mageron is shocked to learn about what Medion is doing.

As it turns out, Julian's battalion is to escort Madam Melinda to Aspia. Although the team are puzzled by this, Mageron and Steel don't wait for an answer - they've got to go back to Destonia and assist with the reconstruction. As Mageron leaves, he points out that Melinda may well be Medion's last hope. However, when Mageron's back is turned, Steel vows to capture Gracia one day... The two of them then leave, leaving Holly and Melinda with Julian's forces.

(If Edmund is on the team, then Isabella joins now.)

In the base, Holly and Melinda reveal the truth about that little scenario - it turns out that Holly showed the letter to General Rogan. The content was for Mageron to hold Melinda hostage, and kill her if Medion disobeyed Domaric. Rogan forged Domaric's handwriting, and wrote a new letter giving orders for Julian to escort Melinda to Aspia instead - since Rogan has been copying a lot of things Domaric has done for years, not even Mageron can spot the fake. Unfortunately, Rogan can't help them now - he's currently serving in Domaric's forces.

(This is only if Synbios got the Ship Key in scenario 1 - if not, Rogan has drowned in the sinking Executor.)

As if the audacity of Domaric wasn't enough, then Gracia realises something else - if Synbios and Medion are forced to fight, then that would surely spell disaster, and all chance of stopping Bulzome will end. So it's decided - the team must beat Medion to Aspia, and avert this coming war. Holly also joins the team.

Fighting their way up north, the Bulzome Sect pull out all the stops to ensure Julian's team don't reach Aspia. They set up several traps, but Julian and his forces are triumphant. However, the Gatebridge, near the Great Lighthouse and the last checkpoint before reaching the continent of Aspinia, is guarded by Baersol soldiers, who are in league with Bulzome... A direct assault is suicide, and the controls for the bridge are inside the lighthouse...

That night, the plan to take over the lighthouse is put into action. Under the cover of darkness, the team manage to sneak inside the lighthouse and destroy the forces inside. Suddenly, a masked monk is about to destroy the gateswitch, but Jane stops him, incinerating him. While pondering why Jane keeps helping them, the team manage to lower the bridge and get safely across.

On arrival in Baersol, the coastal country in southern Aspinia, who should the team run into but Produn and Stella, who have been given express orders from Brutus - the lord of Baersol and second-in-command to Benetram - to stop Julian's forces getting through. However, their attitudes change when they discover that Gracia is with the team. More importantly, with Melinda accompanying the group, Produn remembers his old promise to help Medion, since he spared Stella's life.

However, a masked monk appears, and takes Stella hostage, forcing Produn to fight the group to save her. Thankfully, the team manage to destroy the monk holding Stella captive, without hurting Produn - through the fight, he deliberately uses weak moves. As his means of thanking the team, and hoping to stop Bulzome, Produn decides to join the team. However, Stella can't go... she's pregnant with Produn's child.

(If Stella was killed in scenario 2, then things are radically different. Produn attacks the team out of pure hatred - he sees killing Melinda will be his form of payback for Medion killing Stella, in which case the team are forced to kill him.)

It now seems to be the case that Brutus is conspiring with Bulzome, so the team head into Baersol to investigate. Exploring the basement of Brutus' mansion, they find Brutus' wife, and his son Harold, locked up in the wine cellar. They explain that Brutus has changed ever since a Bulzome Monk visited before the peace conference in Saraband. They heard Brutus' screams but were too late - the monk had done something to Brutus, and he wasn't the same, locking them up in here since they suspected something. In order to get to the bottom of the mystery, Harold decides to go with the group.

Outside Baersol, the team spot Brutus working his way up north, to Aspia. From the conversation, it seems Brutus was also in on the abduction/takeover plot with Arrawnt and Garvin. With him is Edmund, somehow alive after his fall into the Barrand waterfall. While Brutus heads north, Edmund stays with a group of troops to delay the team. The team fight onwards, but sadly are forced to kill Edmund - it seems he's been looking for a place to die ever since his fall.

(I've heard it's possible to spare Edmund without killing him, but since he still attacked me even after I beat the monk boss, I had to kill him to move on. I dunno if it was a glitch or what. Bear in mind that it's impossible to have both Edmund and Produn on the team - it's one or the other.)

The team manage to catch up to Brutus at an ancient temple. However, who should be with him but none other than Yasha, informing Brutus that Garvin was forced to start his invasion early after being chased by Medion's team. It also turns out that there are several Yasha ninjas - 3 to be exact.

Things take a drastic turn for the worse when Julian's team is spotted. It turns out that the Bulzome monk implanted a demon known as Kudan into Brutus' body. Confirming Harold's suspicions, Kudan reveals his true form - Brutus is well and truly dead. A hard fight follows, but finally Kudan is destroyed and Yasha is defeated. Near-death, this second Yasha heads to Aspia, to inform Domaric of what's happened. Donhort, Isabella and Holly volunteer to get to Aspia as fast as possible, to prevent a fight breaking out between Synbios and Medion. Julian and the others move quickly to catch up.

It seems luck is on their side, since they arrive just before Synbios and Medion fight. Everyone recounts their adventures so far - it also turns out that Domaric DID send the Rainblood after Gracia and Medion in Elbesem. However, Domaric is now finally forced to admit defeat, seeing that no-one supports the war, and that their power alone cannot stop Bulzome. The one thing left for Gracia to do before heading to the Remotest Shrine is to solve the mystery of 'Jumesyn'. Synbios and Medion volunteer to lend their forces to the cause - Synbios will head north first to search for Jumesyn, while Medion will escort Domaric back to Destonia and join later, with Melinda claiming asylum in the Republic.

CHAPTER 4 - SHINING FORCE, TO THE NORTH

Later, after Synbios and Medion leave, Julian meets up with Benetram and Gracia - it turns out Melinda has solved the mystery of Jumesyn. The word is actually composed of the first couple of letters of each of the leader's names - i.e. JUlian, MEdion, SYNbios. Realising that Synbios may very well be marching to danger, the team decide to catch up to Synbios as fast as possible. Benetram joins the team as advisor, while Bresby stays behind to look after Melinda.

While wandering through the remains of Aspia, the group also comes across a creature called Pendolf, who I assume is Penn and Penko's mentor - incidentally, it seems the two penguins are now courting. To show his appreciation for the team finding his friends, Pendolf joins the force.

The team finally reach the huge gate inside the Great Wall, that seperates the country from uncharted lands. The gate opens, and Julian's team marches through. As they go through, we also see former Imperial general Spiriel come out of the Vagabond caravan, hesitate for a moment, then follow them through.

(This event only occurs if Synbios didn't kill Spiriel in the battle in Aspia catacombs in scenario 1.)

Heading through the countryside north of the Great Wall, it's apparent that Benetram seems to know a lot about the area for someone who's never set foot there. Outside the village of Aural, Spiriel catches up to the team. She's been drifting ever since Synbios saved her from Basanda's mind control, seeking revenge against Bulzome, unable to trust either Empire or Republic again. To reclaim her shattered pride, she joins forces with the group.

Stopping off in Aural village, the team meet up with Oneanera, an ancient Keeper of the ancient secrets. It's here that Benetram is revealed to be a direct descendent of the Navigator - the one destined to lead the chosen warriors to the source of evil. (Incidentally, Conrad - Synbios' father - was a direct descendant of the Warrior, the first one to battle the Vandals, destroying the Thousand Year Kingdom. Naturally Synbios has inherited this mission, though neither he nor Conrad were aware of their ancestry.) That's why he knows so much about the northern regions.

It is here that Oneanera has Gracia perform a test, to see whether he is truly an Innovator. Curiously, he fails the test, so he is not an Innovator. However, he is in possession of the Spirit - a source of tremendous powers, given to only a select few, so they become either Innovators or Vandals, depending on the host's disposition towards good or evil (a bit like the Force from Star Wars). To unlock Gracia's power, they must travel to Ark Hill, where the Holy Ark is said to have been created, and complete the trials there.

Working their way north, the team come across many monsters. However, Benetram makes a shocking discovery - an Imperial battleship was moored nearby, but has now disappeared. It can't possibly me Medion's team... it's too early...

Heading through the mountain pass, the team come across Jubei, a samurai, who warns them that two of the Rainblood are up ahead - Bishop and Pawn. So the Rainblood were on the boat Benetram saw earlier. No doubt Domaric, still bent on his desire of conquest, has sent them here to destroy the three teams. Jubei reveals an important piece of information - the Rainblood act like chess pieces, and just like in real chess, they're considerably weaker when seperated. With Jubei's help, the team manage to destroy the two Rainblood. It seems the rest of them are after Synbios' and Medion's teams, and defeating them all won't be easy. Jubei also decides to join up with the team.

On the other side of the mountains, the team search around for Maya Village - Oneanera mentioned it before they left. However, there's no sign of the village. Oddly enough, there's a sound like bees in the distance... then a sound like wings. Looking up, the team find Maya Village - suspended in mid air by powerful spinning blades, like a helicopter. The team head towards the village, to get further information on Ark Hill.

CHAPTER 5 - LEGACY OF THE CREATOR

On arrival in the village, it soon becomes apparent as to why the people of Maya village keep their homes in the air - the monster activity is getting stronger and stronger. Fighting off the monsters, the team wait until dawn to gather information.

At dawn, Primrose, a fairy, joins them, saying that 'the Old Man' wants to speak to them. The Old Man turns out to be Master Gabriel, the wizard you meet when starting up the game (it may not actually be Gabriel, bus since the two look so similar, I'll refer to him as Gabriel). Gabriel decides to show them Ark Hill, by taking the house up into the sky. Ark Hill, as it turns out, is a desert - the first test is to turn it into a hill, though as Gracia points out the 'hill' is likely to be a monument or temple of some kind.

Gabriel takes the house up above the clouds, and the team get their first good look at Remotest. Just beyond Remotest is the Bulzome Shrine, located on the mountain, with two towers on either side of it at the base of the mountain. While wondering what all this could possibly mean, Gabriel takes them back down to the village. He asks one of his attendants to fetch a book that'll tell everyone what they need to know. However, the book is missing - it was stolen by Bulzome monks when they passed through here some time ago. It's up to the group to solve the mystery by themselves. Primrose also decides to join the group.

At Ark Hill, the team fight off an endless tide of monsters, finally cutting down the leader. It's then that Ark Hill appears - a massive temple. The team head inside, and meet one of the Great Priests. The second test is designed to test the abilities of the Innovator's companions. The test is to guide a set of mud dolls around the temple, avoiding booby traps and eventually surrounding Gracia. The team manage to pass the test with few problems.

Just then, several star-like objects appear, and surround Gracia - these are the spores of light, that will grant Gracia the full power of the Innovator. Before the ceremony proceeds, Benetram asks what the purpose of the Spirit is. As the priest reveals, the Creator sent the Spirit to Earth to measure the balance of power in the world, to measure the human's cpabilities. If Darkness is allowed to overpower the Light, then the Creator destroys all life on the planet, building from the ground-up. Several champions - or 'Shining Forces' - have succeeded in preventing this from happening. Now it's Gracia's turn... and perhaps the last time such a battle will have to take place...

The ceremony then proceeds, and after a blinding flash of light, the team find themselves outside. Gracia himself is now a full-fledged Innovator. The priest mentioned that Gracia now has the power to promote the team to the level of Apostle of Light, and decides to give that a try. Julian volunteers to be the first one to be promoted, and Gracia promotes him to the rank of Light Bearer. However, his power has been temporarily used up by this - from now on though, when someone reaches level 20, you can have Gracia promote them.

Proceeding up north, the weather steadily worsens, until finally the team find themselves heading through a snow blizzard. The group take shelter in a small wood cabin on the mountainside. However, they don't have much chance to relax, since a snow witch called Marki appears, threatening to drain the group of their blood. As it turns out, Bulzome cursed her when she disobeyed her, meaning she can only live in freezing climates, and requires human blood to live. Only the power of the Innovator can end her curse...

Julian takes pity on her plight, and manages to persuade Marki that they're the Innovator's expedition. Gracia uses his new powers to free Marki of the curse, restoring her to her true self. To repay their kindness, and take revenge on Bulzome, Marki joins the group.

Heading onward, the team start to wonder how they can attack Bulzome's shrine. However, who should turn up but Galm. Julian seethes with anger - he's been hunting Galm ever since the Vandal murdered his father (remember meeting Julian as a boy in Shining the Holy Ark?). However, Galm states that he can tell the team everything they need to know... if they can defeat him in battle. There is, however, one catch - Gracia cannot use the Staff of Elbesem. To everyone's amazement, Gracia actually throws the staff away - severely lowering their chances of survival against Galm.

A tough battle follows, but the team are finally triumphant over the powerful Vandal. As he promised, Galm reveals that the secret to unlocking the Bulzome Shrine lies in Jumesyn - the two armies without the Innovator must take over the two towers at the mountain's base to unlock the path to the shrine, and while the path is open, the Innovator's group must get inside the shrine. However, it's not enough just to defeat Bulzome - he mentions that Gracia must put on 'his little show', but before he syas anything else Holly arrives with the Elbesem Staff, and Galm escapes while the group is distracted. Benetram figures out what Galm meant - they must work with Synbios' and Medion's armies to get inside the shrine, defeat Bulzome, then use Gracia's power to seal him away from this world. This is the only way to completely remove the threat of the Vandals.

CHAPTER 6 - METROPOLIS AT THE END OF NORTH WORLD

On the other side of the mountain, the team finally reach the main road to Remotest. On the way, they stop off at Dormante Village to gather information. It is here that the party makes a shocking discovery - Synbios' team hasn't arrived here yet, despite setting out earlier. Did something happen to them? Perhaps something to do with the Rainblood? The team abandon their trek to Remotest to look for Synbios and his companions.

Coming out of Dormante Village, who should bar their way but two more of the Rainblood - Rook and Queen. Both are shocked to learn of Bishop and Pawn's defeat, and both charge into battle. It is a tough fight, but Julian's team prove victorious. However, Queen's dying message is truly chilling - Synbios' team will avenge them. It's all too obvious that Synbios has fallen into some kind of trap...

Heading inside the cave the Rainbloods came out of, who should the team run into but the third and final Yasha. The ninja is holding Synbios, who is trapped inside a block of ice. It's then that they're accosted by Dantares, Masqurin, Grace, and other members of Synbios' team. They explain that Julian and Gracia must give themselves up, or Yasha will have Synbios killed. Synbios' friends are prepared to use force if necessary to save their leader, and the two teams are reluctantly forced to fight, Yasha fighting with them.

A hard fight follows, but finally Yasha is defeated. In his dying breaths, he reveals the history of himself and his brothers... and mentions the name 'Rodi'. Julian remembers meeting Rodi in Enrich - he was one of the warriors who stopped the Vandals' plot to open the Holy Ark and revive the Thousand Year Kingdom (as chronicled in Shining the Holy Ark). Ever since Rodi was branded a rogue ninja, he has had several assassins sent after him from other clans, all of which he has defeated. Yasha and his brothers were trained as assassins, and sent after Rodi. Of course, they were all defeated, but after getting a taste of the world, they decided to become rogues themselves. This wasn't taken too kindly - especially since they killed the Ninja Master of Far East Village to get their hands on an ancient scroll - and they found themselves the target of assassins. In the end, they managed to avoid this by gaining employment with Emperor Domaric.

His last words are truly chilling - since he's now dying, Synbios will die with him. When he dies, Palsis, Kahn and Fynnding rush in, and confirm what everyone feared - only Yasha knew how to free Synbios from his prison. That's why his team were forced to cooperate...

Just when all seems lost, Jane arrives. She reveals that, by combining her dark powers with Gracia's Blessing magic, there is still a chance Synbios can be saved. In doing this, Jane seems to be hurt by Gracia's magic, but the plan works - Synbios is freed, though he's barely alive. To revive him, Holly and Fynnding take him to the hot springs in Dormante Village. Even though the group is concerned about Jane, there's no sense staying here. Jane bids them farewell, saying she'll see them again once she recovers.

Back in Dormante Village, Synbios is recovering well, thanks to the hot spring. However, he won't be fit enough to fight for some time yet, despite his best efforts to prove otherwise. Gracia suggests staying in Dormante until Synbios recovers. However, that idea is shattered when Donhort arrives with worrying news - Medion's team are now heading up north, but the last two Rainblood are in hot pursuit. Synbios tells Julian to go on ahead and catch up to Medion before the Rainblood do - he and his forces will follow as soon as he's recovered.

While in Dormante, the team come across Turk, a leprechaun, who needs help finding his ogre buddy. With Julian's help, the oddball pair are reunited. To show their appreciation, they join Julian's forces.

The team fights their way northbound, passing through a valley full of active volcanoes, the Bulzome cult doing everything to stop them. While heading through, Benetram spots a ship get caught in the lava, and sink. He fears that this has happened to Medion, but the team hurry on.

Further north, the weather gets colder, and snowstorms start blowing around them. Near a large glacier, the team spot Flagship, stuck in the ice. They go on board, but it seems Medion's team have already disembarked. The only way they could've possibly gone is across the glacier, and no doubt the Rainblood weren't too far behind...

Sure enough, as the team cross the glacier, not only do the Bulzome fanatics try to stop them, but the last two Rainblood - Knight and King - arrive to worsen things. Despite the difficulties though, the team are triumphant. However, in his dying breaths, the Bulzome monk talks about 'fighting poison with poison'. There's little question that Medion's fallen into some kind of trap - all the more reason to hurry to Remotest.

Finally, the team reach the great citadel of Remotest... However, a Great Priest of Bulzome blocks the way. When the group demand that he release Medion, it's then the priest reveals a nasty surprise... Medion and his team arrive, completely under the priest's control, now servants of Bulzome. Just as Basanda did to Spiriel... Yet Spiriel was saved when Basanda was defeated... could the same idea work here?

A hard fight follows, with the team battling the priest while fending off relentless assaults from Medion's team. Finally, the team are triumphant over the priest.... But Medion and his forces remain unchanged. In his dying breaths, the priest reveals only the negative force can release Medion from the spell - not even Blessing can break the spell. Julian tries everything to revive Medion, but to no avail.

However, it's then that Jane arrives - Julian's distress at losing his friend has called her here. Despite the incredible amount of risk to herself - she'll surely be branded a traitor to Bulzome for helping them - she decides to use her dark powers to save Medion.

Just as she finishes removing the spell, the Walcuray suddenly appears. Jane realises the ship is coming for her - she has brought Bulzome's wrath upon herself. Medion and his companions come to just as Jane is taken by the Walcuray. Moments later, Synbios and his team arrive - Synbios recovered sooner than expected, and they got here as fast as they could.

With the three forces reunited, Julian is still concerned about what is happening to Jane. No doubt she will be taken to Bulzome's shrine. Synbios and Medion vow to do what they can to help Julian save her - they owe her this much, since none of them would've made it this far without her.

It's then that the inferior Innovator - Keeper, the very same one who helped Arthur and his companions in Shining the Holy Ark - arrives, welcoming the expedition. Despite the high presence of Bulzome fanatics in Remotest, there is an Innovator's sanctuary still standing. So the three forces head inside.

CHAPTER 7 - SHINING FORCE FOREVER

Inside, the three relay their accounts of their adventures, Keeper explaining that the three forces' destinies are intertwined - Jumesyn. The three forces all need to be promoted to Apostles of Light, so the teams decide to prepare themselves for the hard battle ahead.

(It's here that you can control all three teams, and get them up to their third class promotion - you'll be controlling all three in the final battle.)

While making preparations for the final battle, Julian runs into Unoma - Irene's sensei (if you remember, Irene is a monk in Synbios' army). Turns out he's been following them for some time - ever since Medion met him in Storich, in fact. Unoma becomes the final member of the force.

Amusingly, Synbios discovers that Penn and Penko are now the parents of a whole penguin family... and typically Penn is left with the kids. :P

When the preparations are finally finished, the plan of attack is decided. Synbios' forces will attack the west tower, Medion's forces will assault the east tower, while Julian's forces will wait by the cliff for the stairs to open once the other armies are successful. So everybody sets off, bracing themselves for the final hour...

As was expected, all three armies meet heavy resistance. Synbios and Medion battle against more of Bulzome's Great Priests, who are guarding the towers. Julian's army has it especially bad - not only must they dodge the Walcuray's attacks, but they must also battle the recently-resurrected Basanda, as well as her son Braff (in scenario 1, Synbios defeated both Braff and Basanda. Braff's father - General Fafhard - was murdered by Fiale).

A series of difficult fights follows, but finally the teams are triumphant. The Great Priests guarding the two towers are slain by Bulzome for failing to live up to his expectations, and the switches to reveal the passage are thrown.

In their dying breaths, Braff and Basanda finally show their true feelings for Fafhard, and for each other - they had truly become such a commiserable family. Bulzome is the one responsible for ruining so many lives....

The Shining Force's resolve to end Bulzome's reign of tyrrany is hardened by what they witness. With new determination, Julian's forces head up the newly-revealed passage to Bulzome's shrine...

Inside the shrine, Bulzome has Jane encased in a capsule of negative force - she will remain a prisoner for as long as the positive force resides within her. Also in the shrine are Fiale, Dessheren and Goriate, back to full power after their respective defeats at the hands of Synbios, Medion and Julian - it is at this point that we learn that Jane and Dessheren are sisters.

Bulzome is also concerned about what Galm's doing. Galm is said to be the strongest of all the Vandals... so why has he been helping the force?

It's then that Julian and his forces arrive. Gracia and Bulzome exchange words - both want to create worlds that the other cannot stand, since they both come from the same origin but with different agendas. Just as was said... two sides of the coin...

In the end, it's clear that there's not going to be any peaceful settlement - Bulzome vows to annihilate the group. Dessheren also figures that if Julian is defeated, then Jane's feelings for him will be lost, so the negative force will consume her completely...

As if to make matter worse, Fiale, Dessheren and Goriate all combine their powers, to encase Bulzome in an unbreakable barrier. The only way to remove the barrier and strike at Bulzome is for all three High Priests to be destroyed...

A hard fight follows, both sides determined to wipe out the other. Eventually though, the High Priests fall - with Dessheren's death, Jane becomes maddened with grief, and the negative force within her begins to grow. However, through the use of Blessing, Gracia manages to dispel the negative force within Jane, and free her from her prison. Jane is still understandably upset by her sister's death, but her feelings for Julian are just as powerful, and she vows to aid the team in their fight.

With the High Priests finally dead, Bulzome's barrier is broken, and so he decides to fight them himself. To strengthen himself further, he transforms into a gigantic demon, and displays incredible dark powers. However, Julian and his friends prevail, and with Jane's help, Bulzome is finally defeated.

(Some parts of the ending still aren't really clear to me, since the translation I have is incomplete. I'll fill in the gaps with my own thoughts based on what I see onscreen.)

With Bulzome weakened, he seems to have time to exchange words with the group. For as long as both good and evil exists in this world, these wars will continue into eternity, and no doubt someone else in the future will follow Bulzome's dark footsteps. However, as Gracia points out, even if such an evil arises again, there will always be good people willing to stand up and fight for what they believe in... just like he and Julian do. Using every last inch of his power, Gracia seals Bulzome in the dark abyss...

Synbios and Medion arrive in the shrine to find everyone unconcious. They manage to rouse everyone, but Gracia, while alive, is totally exhausted. The light from the Elbesem Staff fades away - Gracia has used all of his Innovator power, and no longer possesses the Spirit. Then a very grateful Jane arrives - she can't thank Julian enough for saving her, and for ridding her of her cursed inheritance.

Later, back outside Remotest, the Shining Force is preparing to leave - Flagship has had to be altered so that it can carry everyone, but at least the weather's fine for sailing back to Aspia. Since several team members - most notably Medion and his team - will surely face death if they go back to the Empire, for defying Domaric's orders, Benetram has granted them all refuge in the Republic. Several team members are heading to Elbesem, to assist in the reconstruction of the shrine there.

One thing still bothers everyone's mind... Why did Galm, the most powerful of the Vandals, help them in their struggle? What's really on his mind? David has the theory that he planned all this to remove the Innovator's presence from this world... While the team ponder this, they await for the arrival of their leaders, who are giving their farewells to Keeper... and to Julian.

For Julian has decided to travel further north with Jane - she wants to return to her hometown Sorrows, and Julian has decided to travel with her, to find his own meaning in life. He now understands how pointless it is to hunt Galm, knowing the true power of the Vandals. Synbios and Medion try to talk him out of going, but Julian remains adament. In the end, everyone says their goodbyes, Gracia giving one last farewell before he leaves with the others.

As for Julian, he and Jane start their journey north - Jane's nervous about going, but she knows she'll be alright as long as Julian is with her. As they pass through the snowy fields, they look up as the ancient ship that carries the Holy Ark flies overhead, towards its final resting place.

Now the events set in motion in Shining the Holy Ark have been concluded...

For on a distant mountain, Galm and Elise - the last two Vandals in existence - survey the events. Elise has figured out Galm's plans by herself... It turns out Galm has been subtly manipulating the heroes all along. Even killing Julian's father was all part of his plan to destroy Bulzome, and stop the revival of the Thousand-Year Kingdom.

For Galm truly is - and always has been - the Master of all Vandals...

SCENARIO 3 END