"A fierce battle with Dark Dragon ensued when the Runefaust Army invaded. The heroics of Max and the Shining Force, Dark Dragon was defeated.The victors returned to their normal lives, vowing for renewed peace.Some disappeared, some left for further adventure,some returned to their homes and families and Anri returned to her kingdom as the Queen of Gardiana. With help from Ken, Lug and Lowe they rebuilt the kingdom from the ashes of the Runefaust invasion.The story begins 20 years after."
After choosing a New Game, the player is asked to choose which book they wish to read from, either "Towards the Root of Evil" or "The Evil God Awakes". The books follow on from each other but there are completely separate teams for each book.
Towards the Root of Evil
Towards the Root of Evil starts in the throne room of Queen Anri where generals from the foreign land of Cypress attack her guards. Ken attempts to attack them but is ordered to stop by Anri. The lead general then presents a "gift" from the King of Cypress which ends up poisoning her.
After the Gardiana army is presumed lost after being sent to attack Cypress, a group of youngsters come together to offer their services as a new Shining Force to recover a cure for Anri. Many of them are related to members of the original Shining Force, including Ken and Hans' sons and Gong's nephew. They are led by an outsider named Nick who came up with the plan. Lowe also comes along as the Forces mentor, performing the same role as Sir Astral from Shining Force 2.
The Evil God Awakes
As the story starts, the player learns that the armies of Gardiana and Cypress have joined forces to stop the evil Iom. The game then cuts to a scene where Warderer sacrifices the king of Cypress to Iom. One of Warderer's generals, Barbara, informs him that the trap has been set for the Cypress army and it will be too late for the Gardiana army.
Warderer then talks about needing the Sword of Hajya which is currently in the possession of Prince Nick of Cypress and concocts a plan to steal the sword from Cypress castle while the army marches on Iom.
The gameplay consists of a series of battles interspersed with story elements. This differs from previous Shining Force games in that there is no overworld travel directly controlled by the player.
In battle, the combat plays out like previous entries in the series, with each side moving its characters and then attacking with either physical or magical abilities. Once all of the enemies are defeated or in some cases, a more powerful boss enemy is destroyed, the battle ends and the story continues.
Each member of the team handles very differently in battle depending on which class they are. This determines their stats, their abilities and which weapons they can wield.
Once characters gain 100 experience through attacking and destroying enemies, they level up, increasing their stats. At level 10, players are able to visit the camp and have the character promoted a more powerful version of their starting class.
When players visit towns between battles or when the Egress spell is used in battle, the game handles in a format similar to the town section in Shining in the Darkness, with the playable characters scrolling left to right and players being able to choose to enter locations such as the camp, to resurrect defeated team members, or to shop where new equipment can be purchased.