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Shining Hearts Has The "MOE" System

Details on the interactive conversation system in Sega's new Shining game. Plus, meet the latest cast members.

Main character Rick speaks with one of the targetable heroines, Neris.

You can look up the term "moe" for yourself. I'm here to tell you what "MOE" means to Sega's latest punch-in-the-gut to Shining Force fans, Shining Hearts.

As detailed in this week's Famitsu, Shining Hearts makes use of the all new "MOE System." This name is short for "Mind Over Emotion."

To understand how MOE works, you need to first know how Hearts work. As previously detailed, in Shining Hearts, main character Rick goes about collecting Hearts from people around town. Hearts are actually a parameter indicating how people feel about you. In response to your actions, people will release Hearts of varying color. The different colors represent feelings:

  • Red Heart: Happiness
  • Green Heart: Kindness
  • Yellow Heart: Anger
  • Blue Heart: Sadness
  • Black Heart: Hatred

By collecting Hearts, you'll bring about changes to the game's island setting and world, and also expand your adventure to new areas. Hearts can also be used in battle, although Sega has yet to say how. It also looks like you can use Hearts when preparing bread at your magic bakery.

The MOE System is one method for collecting Hearts. This is set up like the LIPS system of classic love sim Sakura Wars. During conversation, you'll occasionally be allowed to select a response under constraint of time. Depending on your selection, your conversation partner will release Hearts indicating their reaction. Their favor for you will change accordingly.

The Heart system also works in the other direction. Some responses can only be selected by exchanging a certain number of Hearts of a particular color. In one sequence, Rick is shown speaking with newly revealed character Rona (see below for a profile) in the magic bakery. It's only by exchanging 15 red Hearts that you can tell Rona that you want to enter the castle.

Your current count for each Heart type is shown in a visual chart in the lower right of the screen. Strangely, this chart only seems to show Blue, Green, Yellow and Red Hearts.

Hearts also appear to be used in battle. Your Heart count is shown to the lower right.

Other methods for getting Hearts include quests You can take on side quests from town folk. Clear these successfully, and you'll gain favor with the quest giver, and earn money and Hearts in return. You may even be able to get rare items. Fail at your quest, and you may lose favor with the person. Quests include such goals as killing off monsters and gathering items.

It's also possible to earn Hearts by simply greeting people. As you move about town, you can press square to give a greeting to passersby. You can do this while you walk and even while you run. As you become friends with town folk, a simple greeting will see Hearts released. You're free to set the greeting to your liking in advance.

Joining these details on the MOE System and Hearts, Famitsu introduces three characters this week:

Princess of Wynderia, and younger sister of Prince Ragnus. She's kind and gentle, and due to her interest in tea and herbs, she'll often be found in the palace garden. She takes a great interest in you and your party.
Prince of Wynderia, and older sister to Princess Rufina. He can often be seen dealing with herbs in the palace garden. He'll serve as a guide to you on your quest.
Rona is maid to Rufina, and also a cook. She's of the beast race, but she certainly looks human! She's an expert with blades, and she keeps a good store underneath her dress and in her bag.

Screenshots in the magazine show the three characters fighting alongside Rick, so it looks like they will join your party at some point. You can probably guess their abilities based off their profiles. Rufina is a healer. Rona is an attacker. Ragnus, whose artwork depicts him with a sword, is good in close range combat and has powerful skills, including the ability to summon "Holy Sword of Light."

Sega has been good about getting all the Shining Hearts media and details up at the game's official site every week, so we'll hopefully get an online look at all these gameplay systems (and Rona's artwork!) soon.

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