holy ark

Shining the Holy Ark

Shining the Holy Ark is a first person role-playing game released for the Sega Saturn. It is a part of Sega's Shining series of video games, and a prequel to Shining Force III.


Three mercenaries - Arthur, Melody, and Forte - are hired by the King of Enrich to hunt down and capture a renegade ninja by the name of Rodi. The group pursues Rodi to the nearby mines, whereafter a brief skirmish, an unknown craft crashes through the roof. All four characters are gravely injured, but soon healed by being possessed by strange spirits. While those inhabiting Arthur, Melody, and Rodi seem benevolent, Forte is occupied by an evil spirit. From here the story follows the three unwitting heroes as they fight to stop the revival of the legendary 1,000 year kingdom, which would return the world to an age of darkness.

Shining Series continuity

Shining the Holy Ark takes place 10 years before Shining Force III. While in the town of Enrich, Arthur and the others meet a young boy named Julian. He tells them that his father went to investigate a haunted mansion in the woods, but never returned. Since that time he has been in the care of a family friend. It would later be discovered that Julian's father was killed by Galm, one of the mythical Vandals that ruled over the world during the time of the 1,000 year kingdom. His father's death compels Julian to seek revenge against Galm, which set into motion his involvement in the events of Shining Force III.


Gameplay is most similar to Shining in the Darkness; the player explores towns and dungeons in the first-person view, with battles almost exclusively taking place in dungeons. Battles take place in a turn-based format, maintaining the first-person view but also allowing the player to view allies as they take their actions. One unique mechanic is the "pixie" system, where the player can befriend pixies that will attack enemies as the party encounters them.


  • Arthur - a mercenary swordsman, silent protagonist, and host for the spirit. With experience, gains the ability to use both support and offensive magic. The player sees through his eyes.
  • Melody - a mercenary shaman, and host for the spirit.
  • Rodi - a renegade ninja, and host for the spirit
  • Forte - a mercenary wizard. Possessed by an evil spirit for a while.
  • Lisa - a mercenary soldier skilled in swordsmanship and support magic, a Paladin.
  • Basso - a dragonman mercenary, and companion of Lisa.
  • Akane - a kunoichi, and sister of Rodi.
  • Doyle - a wolfman ninja. Appears several times as an NPC, and later as a secret character.


  • Panzer - the half-human, half-Vandal son of Galm, he seeks to revive the 1,000 year kingdom.
  • Rilix - a Vandal who secured a position as the king's advisor and court wizard; seeks the revival of the 1,000 year kingdom.
  • Galm - the most powerful Vandal, yet for unknown reasons does not wish to see the 1,000 year kingdom revived, which puts him at odds with his brethren.
  • Elise - a Vandal who appears human and has maintained her youth by draining the life of young girls; she is in a tenuous relationship with the other Vandals, and like Galm doesn't seem too interested in reviving the 1,000 year kingdom.


The game's soundtrack was composed by Shining series veteran Motoi Sakuraba.

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