I'm really feeling it!

Everyone Hates Domingo In Shining Force

Shining Force is one of my favorite 16 bit JRPGs from back in the day. There are better JRPGs out there, but Shining Force is so playable and uncomplicated it often acts as a breath of fresh air for me amidst the myriad convoluted complications of JRPGs of that era. The game is a straight forward, no frills, tactics JRPG with a bunch of fun and cute characters and a simple good versus evil plot.

One of my favorite characters is Domingo, a secret character. You find a strange egg and hatch it later and Domingo pops out - Domingo is a sort of...floating magical cuttlefish? an anthropomorphic squid head with a shell? does Domingo wear a bucket as a hat? Is Domingo’s tendril pushing up the hat to let Domingo see? Does that mean the hat shell is soft? I have no idea. Domingo is weird and cute and a really good mage in the game.

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I recently started what I believe is my fourth playthrough of Shining Force on my Switch. It’s included (along with Shining Force 2) in the Sega Genesis Classics collection. This time while playing I realized a pattern that I’d seen in all my previous playthroughs. Once I recruit Domingo and use him in combat the enemies mercilessly attack him whenever they are in reach. For whatever reason, the enemy AI absolutely hates Domingo. They will ignore all others, even sometimes the main protagonist, to attack Domingo.

It’s one of those weird quirks in games that allow you to game the system. For most of Shining Force I can use Domingo, who is very mobile and has high defense, to draw away attackers away from other characters. Domingo is like an enemy magnet and (maybe because of the shell pail bucket head?) usually takes very little damage.

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Maybe the enemies don’t like that in Domingo’s regular attack tendrils appear, Domingo flies into the air, and just kinda splorps onto their faces. Maybe they just know Domingo is a badass spell caster and aim to remove Domingo from battle ASAP.

Either way, I’m glad they hate Domingo. It’s funny and silly and makes no sense and is probably just bad enemy programming but it’s fun to take advantage of and I like watching dangerous monsters attack Domingo’s strange mollusc body.

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