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Shining Soul II Project

Discuss the second installment of the Shining (Soul) series for GBA!

Shining Soul II Project

Postby hobbstarrunner » Fri Jun 06 2014 3:30pm

Hi everyone.

I've been playing Shining Soul II for a long time, but to me, a lot of the fun derives from playing the multiplayer mode with 3 friends. Regardless of how you do it, it's always an undertaking, but very worth it.

We've been dabbling with emulating the game via Hamachi and VBA Link, and I think it's finally possible (whereas a few years ago, it still seemed kinda hit or miss). This would be fun, sure, but not nearly as fun as local multiplayer.

Then I found out about the Gameboy Player, the Gamecube GBA add-on device. The device has a link cable adapter built in, so you could conceivably play multiplayer games. According to the manual, Nintendo had advised not to link multiple Gameboy Players, but from everything I've heard, it works without any issues, since the Player is essentially just a Game Boy Advance.

What I need:

4 copies of Shining Soul II (check!)
4 Gamecubes
4 Gameboy Players
4 TVs
1 4-way Link Cable

If and when this all comes together, I'll post some pics of the final result. I've seen videos of a similar set-up used for Four Swords (5 TVs and 5 Gamecubes linked via 5 Gamecube to GBA cables!), so I'm not too worried.

Has anyone ever tried doing this? To me, this will a religious experience. :shock:
 
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Re: Shining Soul II Project

Postby Lord Oddeye sama » Fri Jun 06 2014 6:06pm

I'm interested to see footage of that if it succeeds. I'd also like to play this game in multiplayer at least once if possible. xD Over the years I've only succeeded to link two VBA processes on the same computer (with a custom build geared toward "hot seat" multiplayer), anything else done over a Hamachi network refused to work.
I despise berzerk attitude.
¿ ? The OddBlood ¿ ?
/ Because Life is Odd. \
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Jinx unto ye!

Wargasm @ Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:26 am wrote:Vous êtes tous douches. J'aime le monde des poissons bleus.

Do you like Shining Force 1? Do you like orchestral remixes? Then this is for you: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=24551#p668069
I despise berzerk attitude.
¿ ? The OddBlood ¿ ?
/ Because Life is Odd. \
Secretary of Odds and Ends, Rainblood Secessionists
Jinx unto ye!

Wargasm @ Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:26 am wrote:Vous êtes tous douches. J'aime le monde des poissons bleus.

Do you like Shining Force 1? Do you like orchestral remixes? Then this is for you: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=24551#p668069
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Re: Shining Soul II Project

Postby hobbstarrunner » Sat Jun 07 2014 12:08am

We've dabbled with split screen gameplay, which is the next best thing (a la opening multiple instances of an emulator on one computer).

You really owe it to yourself to get a big 4 player game at least once. I wish the game had been better advertised as the big multiplayer game that it is. I know plenty of people who would've jumped at a 4 player portable Diablo-like.

**UPDATE**

I tested the process last night with 2 Gamecubes and it definitely works. I'm not sure why Nintendo didn't advertise that the Gameboy Player was capable of GBA LANs (they actually advised against linking the systems this way, even though there are no issues.)

We're determining the best way to play it currently. We're either going to try to run 4 Gamecubes on 4 TVs, or we're going to try and finagle a splitter set-up that runs all of the AV cords to one TV for 4 player split screen. Will post our results once this all comes together.

***UPDATE #2***

Welp, we finally went and did it.

Last Friday, we had a Shining Soul II LAN. It was glorious.

Here are some pictures:

Setting up:
http://i.imgur.com/CxzI6PW.jpg

The final set up in action:
http://i.imgur.com/uSSw3UT.jpg

Playing a warm-up round of classic Super Mario Bros multiplayer (actually really fun):
http://i.imgur.com/26JUT8c.jpg

Everyone on the world map in SS2:
http://i.imgur.com/j2PEEbU.jpg

Our team set-up:
Brawler (Won every single Colesseum match. It had nothing to do with "Guts". Nope. Not at all.)
Sorceress (turning enemy sprites into giant ice blocks? So satisfying.)
Priestess (one word: BLESS. Also, why does she get the flail? No fair.)
Ninja (my pick. I was having a lot of fun using "Debris" on enemies, even though it's super slow.)

I didn't get a chance to snap a video (too busy playing!), but it works. We played for 5-6 hours with almost no issues. Near the end of the playthrough, we got disconnected once near the end of Demons Tower (Arbiter II's animation crashed the game, for some reason), but thankfully we had been saving regularly in case.

We had a lot of fun. Honestly, it felt like the "true" way to experience the game. If anyone plans on trying this out for themselves with some friends, here's some tips:

-Create the "host" game character first and skip through the intro as quickly as possible. If all 4 characters create characters fresh by choosing "Multiplayer", all players will have to sit through the entire intro without a skip cutscene option. If the host game is created, all 3 other players can create fresh characters by choosing "Multiplayer" and will all wake up in the respawn bed with no intro. This saves a lot of time.

-Don't be afraid to use a smaller TV. It doesn't necessarily look bad on big screens, but it looks very clean on small screens (which are also easier to transport!)

-Pool/share gold. Playing with 4 people limits the amount of gold one character can spend, and it's more fun because of it. When you find really good items, it makes it way more impactful. There were a lot of times where we had to help each other out and drop a couple hundred G to help teammates out. We would occasionally find an item with the "Gaiety" modifier, which we would sell to gain some group Identify $ (you'll need it).

-If you see a treasure chest, throw an angel wing at your friend who also sees it. THIS NEVER GETS OLD.

-Play Colesseum mode. It's a good way to take a break from straight missions every once in a while and lets you try out your new abilities.

We're looking to do this again in the near future to finish the game out. I can't wait.
 
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Re: Shining Soul II Project

Postby NekomeKozo » Sun Jul 19 2015 7:32pm

If you happen to grab some Youtube LP style footage of this setup, or even a few sessions, I'd really love to know about it.

Shining Soul II might be the most under appreciated of the series, it was the sequel to the first action oriented game by Goichi Suda's Grasshopper Manufacture and the only one of the series that they publicly take credit for. :) I suppose in retrospect, having a company known for adventure games behind an RPG was likely to bring up some issues.

There was a sentiment back then that the game was inferior not just for the looming shadow of Shining Soul 1, but for not having been a Camelot Shining title. Back when the possibility of Sega and Camelot working together again seemed like it wasn't so remote, given amends.

The first game was extremely ropey but the sequel's just plain fun, and it's the last Shining game with Yoshitaka Tamaki designs where I feel like he really put his heart into it. Just good stuff all around. Would love to share some of that with my LP-digesting friends.

EDIT: Something like Pokecapn's Four Swords Adventures playthrough would be most excellent, and you wouldn't even need a fifth TV for it. :thumbsup:
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