Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #2683: DarkKobold's GBA Shining Soul in 49:46.88

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: Shining Soul
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Shining Soul (U) [!].gba
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 49:46.88
FrameCount: 179213
Re-record count: 222377
Author's real name: K. Thomson
Author's nickname: DarkKobold
Submitter: DarkKobold
Submitted at: 2010-05-24 02:11:32
Text last edited at: 2010-06-01 20:55:47
Text last edited by: Velitha
Download: Download (22090 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Here is another 'Shining' example of a TAS, by DarkKobold. (Don't worry, the puns only get worse.)

Shining Soul

Shining Soul is an Action RPG by Atlus. It is the first 'Shining' game to not be produced by Camelot Software Planning, and thus is not considered canon in the 'Shining' universe. However, the game serves as an internal homage to much of the 'Shining' series. Almost all of the enemies and bosses are from a previous 'Shining' game. This is the reason I love this game, as I get to revisit favorite bosses from previous 'Shining' titles. A great deal of time and effort went into this run, so I hope you enjoy it.

Character Selection

The Archer was selected for his range. Since we require quite a bit of enemy killing, it pays off to not have to walk the entire way towards an enemy to kill it. While the Archer starts with a low attack power, every level gained is spent on attack power, negating the character choice.


The layout of each level of the Dungeons are fixed, as far as the physical layout and the enemy spawn points. The player's start location is either fixed, or chosen randomly from 2 points. Additionally, whether or not a chest or monument will appear in a fixed location is also random. These placements are determined for all floors once you enter a dungeon, hence, they need to manipulated en masse.


Each level in a dungeon requires the killing of either a single 'level-boss' enemy, or all enemies in the level, with the majority of levels requiring the former. However, the game engine is limited to only having 5 enemies spawned, as well as 2 enemy-types spawned. Thus, to get the 'level-boss' to spawn, it requires no more than 4 enemies of a single type be currently spawned. This requires that I kill many enemies on the way to boss spawn points. When it doesn't interfere with monument manipulation, I try and manipulate the player start point to be the one closest to the level-boss spawn point, which means less killing of other enemies.

Additionally, multiple enemies may spawn from a single point, which means I must kill an enemy, and wait for the next to spawn, or else it will spawn behind me. This gives rise to the single glitch I found. If you kill an enemy the first frame it spawns, you don't have to wait for it to go through its death animation for the next to spawn. This especially important for 3 stacked enemies. You'll occasionally see or hear an attack hit nothing, or critical stars appear over nothing. This is the glitch in action.

Luck Manipulation

The RNG in SS1 is manipulable by controller input, unlike its sequel, Shining Soul II, which is frame based. This is ironic, as the same exact change happened between Shining Force and Shining Force II.

Monument Luck Manipulation

A big part of this run was the ability to manipulate the occurrence of monuments. As noted previously, all monuments are placed at the start of the dungeon. With luck manipulation, I make all but 4 monuments that are possible appear within the game. Often, an entire dungeon will randomly produce no monuments. Thus, the 2-6 I see per dungeon is extremely rare. It is also difficult when a monument is on the first floor, as I need to manipulate it to be the correct monument as well. This is the reason for the notable delay entering level 5. Subsequent levels can be manipulated at the previous level's staircase.

There are a 10 possible monument types. The majority used in this run are Monuments of Power. Each monument doubles my base attack rate. Up to 3 monument powers are stackable at once, which means for some parts of the run, I have 8x attack. With a critical, I do 16x my normal damage! Needless to say, this was 'monumental' to increasing the speed of the run. (Sorry, I'll stop with the horrid puns.)

Attack Manipulation

The attack is changed by moving to a different position, and also the frame the attack is started on. After I reach critical level 2, in the otherworldly forest, it becomes possible to reasonably obtain criticals on every attack.

You'll see a large number of criticals during this run, displayed by additional stars next to attacks. Each critical was painstakingly manipulated by hand. I can't express how much time was spent, especially in the later part of the run, where 60-90% of attacks result in misses. This was a 'critical' part of making the run faster and more entertaining. (Oh god, please don't kill me!)


Beast Mountain

There are 3 available monuments in this level. I make the first monument a Luck Monument, as I won't see another monument in the next dungeon until the 4th floor. I also manage to manipulate a Bandanna with +4 Str, which I wear the rest of the run. Plus, I pick up a Iron Bow + 3.

Boss: Beast King

(Behemoth from the Shining Tears saga)

Labyrinth of Death

The starting location of Floor 4 was the optimal one, it gave me the ability to kill the boss and walk the rest of the floor. Otherwise, a pretty standard dungeon.

Boss: Colossus

(Shining Force III: Scenario 1, seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0XXp55f_Zs#t=1m43s)

I manage to kill the 2nd phase of Colossus as it spawns.

Egual Dungeon

The first RNG freeze happens in this dungeon, after the rocks fall.

Boss: Bulzome

(Shining Force III: Scenario 3, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zgw3ugOGk-Q#t=3m53s)

Otherworldly Forest

Boss: Mishaela

(Shining Force I, Shining Force: Final Conflict) Poor Mishaela dies in only 2 hits, thanks to two monuments in effect

Glaybull Temple

This is probably the most onerous of all the dungeons, as every single enemy in the entire temple must die. I lose my power monument for about 3/4 of floor 7, and the effects are obvious, slowing the run down considerably.

Boss: Iom

(Shining Force Gaiden II, Shining Force CD: Book 2)

The timing on this boss is very important, as I may hit Iom's guard worms instead if I don't fire the arrows at the right time.

Deol Waterway

Boss: Zeon

(Shining Force 2)

Poor Zeon, they turned him from the big baddie of SF2 to a whack-a-mole game. Of course, I manipulate his first and only pop-up to be right next to me, and score 3 consecutive criticals to kill him.

Dark Tower

Boss: Darksol

(Shining in the Darkness, Shining Force 1, Shining Force: Final Conflict)

The most often reoccurring boss of the series, Darksol, returns for his final battle. Unfortunately for me, I don't have any power monuments on board, which makes the fight one of the longest boss fights in the run.

Dark Castle

Dark Dragon

(Shining in the Darkness, Shining Force 1)

Each head only has 600 HP, and I've got two power monuments running, which means a single critical kills each head.

Suggested Screen Shot Frame: 157,402

Shining Status

If it isn't abundantly obvious, Z and I are trying to TAS the entire 'Shining' Series.
  • Shining in the Darkness - Done
  • Shining Force - Done
  • Shining Force II - Done, may do one more try.
  • Shining Force Gaiden - On SFCD, not worth doing alone
  • Shining Force Gaiden II - Also on SFCD
  • Shining Force CD - In Progress
  • Shining Force: Final Conflict - Crashes in Dega, hoping for SMS/GGjin with Lua
  • Shining Wisdom - Doesn't work in yabause.
  • Shining the Holy Ark - Hoping for Lua in yabause or another Saturn emulator
  • Shining Force III Sc.1 - See StHA
  • Shining Force III Sc.2 - See StHA
  • Shining Force III Sc.3 - See StHA
  • Shining Soul II - In Progress
  • Shining Force Feather - May wait for a translation patch. Otherwise, it is on the list.
  • Shining Force: ReturnResurrection of the Dark Dragon - Surprisingly, this game doesn't actually exist, despite the fact that you can buy the cartridge, download the ROM, etc. It never existed. Ever.
  • Various PS2 'Shining' games - No PS2rr emulator... yet.

adelikat: Good viewer response, accepting for publication.

Velitha: Processing...

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