Shining in the Darkness

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ShiningInTheDarkness title.png
Shining in the Darkness
Publisher: Sega
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Virtual Console, Steam
ROM size: 1MB
Genre: RPG

Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
1991-03-29 ¥8,700 G-5506
Sega Mega Drive
1991-10Media:SegaPro UK 01.pdf[1] $79.95 Media:CGW US 091.pdf[2] 1310
Sega Mega Drive
1991-10Media:SegaPro UK 01.pdf[1] £49.99 Media:WhatIsItNow GG MD SMS UK PrintAd.jpg[3] 1310
Sega Mega Drive
1997-09 R$? 041260

Wii Virtual Console
700 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
800 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
800 points ?

$2.99 ?
£1.99 €? ?

Shining in the Darkness, called Shining and the Darkness (シャイニング&ザ・ダクネス) in Japan, is a 1991 game by Sega and Climax Entertainment for the Sega Mega Drive. It is the first game in Sega's Shining series — but unlike most of the rest of the franchise, this one is a 3D dungeon-crawler RPG.


You are the son of Mortred, a warrior who was last seen near a dungeon known as the Labyrinth in the kingdom of Thornwood with the Princess Jessa. King Drake summons you to go find her, but just as that is about to happen, the evil Dark Sol appears and offers a ransom — Mortred and the Princess for the kingdom. It is now up to you to save the two and defeat Dark Sol before he destroys King Drake instead...


The game takes place in three areas — the castle (where you talk to the King and his servants), the town (where you can buy weapons, armor, and items, save your game and heal in the church, and talk to townsfolk), and the Labyrinth (the actual dungeon). In the castle, towns, and buildings, use Left and Right to navigate and A to interact.

The Labyrinth is (appropriately) a 3D maze. Up moves forward, Left and Right turn, and Down moves backward. A and C open a menu at the bottom of the screen where you can do mundane things to the members of your party. Enemy encounters happen randomly throughout the Labyrinth — the same menu is used to attack. Should you die in battle, you will be taken back to the church in the town, losing half your collected gold in the process.



Shining in the Darkness was a joint venture developed by Sega's Consumer Development Studio #4 division (renamed Sonic Co. before this game's release) and a team at Climax Entertainment, headded by Hiroyuki Takahashi, a rising stars in the world of RPG development (Takahashi had previously been involved in Enix's popular Dragon Quest series, so were seen as a good fit for the project). However, corporate reasoning gave Shining and the Darkness a minimal development budget, and a small four-man team, meaning Climax were responsible for the bulk of the game's development.

Nevertheless Shining in the Darkness was a success for the company, and led to other entries in the Shining franchise, most notably the next game, Shining Force.

Production credits

Written and Produced by: Hiroyuki Takahashi
Special Effects: Yasuhiro Taguchi
Assistant Director: Yoshinori Tagawa, Bob Timbello
Artwork and Design: Hidehiro Yoshida
Outline and Storyboards: Yoshitaka Tamaki
Music: Masahiko Yoshimura
Visual Support: Ryutaro Ishimatsu
Technical Support: Haruki Kodera
Director: Kan Naitoh
Special Thanks: Media Mixture, Mad Cap
Executive Producer: Sega Enterprises
Created by Climax


Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: Shining in the Darkness/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
91 2001-12-12
68 №3, p92/93Media:ConsolesPlus FR 003.pdf[4]Media:ConsolesPlus FR 003.pdf
91 №12
80 №27
91 №22, p121Media:Joystick FR 022.pdf[5]Media:Joystick FR 022.pdf
75 №5, p63
№5, p94
89 №18, p71
72 №1, p80Media:MegaTech UK 01.pdf[6]Media:MegaTech UK 01.pdf
69 №14, p112/113Media:MeanMachines UK 14.pdf[7]Media:MeanMachines UK 14.pdf
89 №15, p58/59Media:PlayerOne FR 015.pdf[8]Media:PlayerOne FR 015.pdf
100 №23, p54
92 №28, p38/39
100 №46, p98Media:SegaPower UK 46.pdf[9]Media:SegaPower UK 46.pdf
93 №1, p58-60Media:SegaPro UK 01.pdf[10]Media:SegaPro UK 01.pdf
90 №6, p28Media:SegaPro UK 06.pdf[11]Media:SegaPro UK 06.pdf
88 №18, p67
90 №1, p52/53Media:SegaForce UK 01.pdf[12]Media:SegaForce UK 01.pdf
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
18 reviews

Mega Drive, US
SitD MD US Box.jpg
SitD md us cart.jpg
Mega Drive, EU
SitD MD EU Box.jpg
SitD MD EU Cart.jpg
SitD MD EU Manual.jpg
Mega Drive, JP
SitD MD JP Box.jpg
SaTD MD JP CartTop.jpg
SitD MD JP Cart.jpg
Shiningdarkness md jp manual.pdf
Mega Drive, BR
SitD MD BR Box.jpg
SitD MD BR Cart.jpg

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 File:SegaPro UK 01.pdf, page 9
  2. File:CGW US 091.pdf, page 22
  3. File:WhatIsItNow GG MD SMS UK PrintAd.jpg
  4. File:ConsolesPlus FR 003.pdf, page 92
  5. File:Joystick FR 022.pdf, page 121
  6. File:MegaTech UK 01.pdf, page 80
  7. File:MeanMachines UK 14.pdf, page 112
  8. File:PlayerOne FR 015.pdf, page 58
  9. File:SegaPower UK 46.pdf, page 98
  10. File:SegaPro UK 01.pdf, page 58
  11. File:SegaPro UK 06.pdf, page 28
  12. File:SegaForce UK 01.pdf, page 52
Shining series of games
Sega Mega Drive Shining in the Darkness (1991) | Shining Force (1992) | Shining Force II (1993)
Sega Game Gear Shining Force Gaiden: Ensei Jashin no Kuni e (1992) | Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya (1993) | Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict (1995)
Sega Mega-CD Shining Force CD (1994)
Sega Saturn Shining Wisdom (1995) | Shining the Holy Ark (1996) | Shining Force III (Scenario 2, 3, Premium Disc) (1997-1998)
Nintendo Game Boy Advance Shining Soul (2002) | Shining Soul II (2003) | Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon (2004)
Sony PlayStation 2 Shining Tears (2004) | Shining Force Neo (2005) | Shining Force EXA (2007) | Shining Wind (2007)
Mobile Phones Shining Road to the Force (2005) | Shining Force Chronicle I (2005) | Shining Force Chronicle II (2005) | Shining Force Chronicle III (2006) | Shining Road II (2006) | Shining Wind X (2008)
PC Shining Tears Material Collection (2006) | Shining Wind Fan Fest (2009)
Nintendo DS Shining Force Feather (2009)
Arcade Shining Force Cross (2009) | Shining Force Cross Raid (2010) | Shining Force Cross Elysion (2012) | Shining Force Cross Exlesia (2013) | Shining Force Cross Exlesia Zenith (2014) | Blade Arcus from Shining (2014)
Sony PlayStation Portable Shining Hearts (2010) | Shining Blade (2012) | Shining Ark (2013)
PlayStation 3 Shining Resonance (2014)
Shining related media
Albums Sound Story of Shining and the Darkness (1991) | Shining Force Special Sound CD (1992) | Symphonic Suite Shining Force II (1993) | Symphonic Suite the Another Story of Shining Force (1994) | Shining Wisdom (1995) | Shining the Holy Ark Original Soundtrack (1996) | Shining Force III Original Soundtrack (1998) | Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon Original Sound Tracks (2004) | Shining Tears (2004) | Shining Force Neo Music Collection (2005) | Shining Theme Music Shiro SAGISU Collection (2005) | Shining Tears Music Collection (2005) | Shining Force EXA Music Collection (2007) | Shining Wind Music Collection (2007) | Shining Tears X Wind Original Soundtrack (2007) | Shining Force Feather Soundtrack (2009) | Shining Hearts Kaizoku Hihou Fan Disc (2010) |Shining Force Cross Raid Original Sound Track (2011) | Shining Hearts Original Soundtrack (2011) | Shining Blade Haru no Shin Seikatsu Ouen Fan Disc (2012) | Shining Blade Character Song Album (2012) | Shining Ark Tenshi no Fandisc (2013) | Shining Force Cross Original Sound Track (2014)
Audiobooks Shining Tears Drama CD Vol. 1 Dark Side: Memories and departure (2006) | Shining Tears Drama CD Vol. 2 Light Side: Yuusha Teihanjouki (2006) | Shining Wind Drama CD Vol. 1 (2007) | Shining Wind Drama CD Vol. 2 (2008) | Shining Force EXA Drama CD (2008) | Shining Wind Drama CD Vol. 3 (2008) | Shining Wind Drama CD Vol. 4 (2009) | Drama CD Shining Force Feather (2009) | Drama CD Shining Hearts (2011)

Guide book:Shining and the Darkness Koushiki Guide Book (1991) | Shining Force Kanzen Kouryaku Guide (1992) | Shining Force Battle Guide (1993) | Shining Force II: Inishie no Fuuin Game Guide Book (1993) | Shining Force CD Koushiki Guide Book (1994) | Shining Wisdom Koushiki Guide Book (1995) | Shining the Holy Ark Koushiki Guide Book (1996) | Shining Force III Scenario 1: Outo no Kyoshin Official Guide (1997) | Shining Force III Scenario 1: Outo no Kyoshin Perfect Navi (1998) |Shining Force III Scenario 2: Nerawareta Miko Official Guide (1998) | Shining Force III Scenario 2: Nerawareta Miko Perfect Navi (1998) | Shining Force III Scenario 3: Hyouheki no Jashinguu Perfect Navi (1998) | Shining Soul Kanzen Kouryaku Guide (2002) | Shining Force: Kuroki Ryuu no Fukkatsu Final Complete Guide (2004) | Shining Tears Final Complete Guide (2004) | Shining Tears Saikyou Kishidan Ikusei Guide (2004) | Shining Tears Official Strategy Guide (2005) | Shining Force Neo Force Master Ikusei Guide (2005) | Shining Force Neo Final Complete Guide (2005) | Shining Force Neo Official Strategy Guide (2005) | Shining Force EXA: The Master Guide‎ (2007) | Shining Force EXA Official Strategy Guide (2007) | Shining Force EXA Final Complete Guide (2007) | Shining Wind Saisoku Guide Book (2007) | Shining Wind Final Complete Guide (2007) | Shining Tears X Wind Original Soundtrack (2007) | Shining Force Feather: The Master Guide‎ (2009) | Shining Force Feather Complete Guide (2009) | Shining Hearts Saisoku Guide Book (2010) | Shining Hearts Complete Guide (2011) | Shining Force Cross Raid Guide Book 1st (2011) | Shining Force Cross Raid Guide Book 2nd (2011) | Shining Blade First Blader's Guide (2012) | Shining Blade Complete Guide (2012) | Shining Force Cross Settei Shiryoushuu (2012) |

Art book:Works for Shining the Holy Ark (1996) | Shining Force III Koushiki Settei Shiryoushuu (1999) | Shining Force EXA Visual Settei Shiryoushuu (2007) | Shining Force Feather Visual Settei Shiryoushuu (2009) | Shining Hearts Visual Settei Shiryoushuu (2011) |

Unsorted: Shining and the Darkness Kouryakuhon (xxxx) | Shining Force: Kamigami no Isan Hisshou Kouryaku-hou (xxxx) | Shining Force Kouryaku no Tebiki (xxxx) | Shining Force II Inishie no Fuuin Hisshou Kouryaku-hou (xxxx) | Shining Force II Inishie no Fuuin Kouryaku no Tebiki (xxxx) | Shining Force Gaiden Final Conflict Hisshou Kouryaku-hou (xxxx) | Shining Force Gaiden & Gaiden II Hisshou Kouryaku-hou (xxxx) | Tony's Artworks from Shining Worlds (xxxx)

Anime Shining Tears X Wind (2007) | Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan (2010)
Characters | Equipment (Items, Accessories, Weapons) | Magic | Geography | Timelines