This game was the second of the turn-based tactical RPGs in the Shining Force series that released on the Sega Game Gear. The Japanese release is known as Shining Force Gaiden II: The Evil God Awakens, whereas the North American release was known as Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya. It was re-released as part of the Shining Force CD release for the Sega CD.
This game was the first of the turn-based tactical RPGs in the Shining Force series. Players control their team of characters as they engage enemies on a grid-based battlefield. The characters have the ability to attack, cast a spell, use and item, or search the area. The units also gain experience by completing actions and defeating enemies.
This is the first sequel to Shining Force Gaiden. The story takes place after the kingdoms of Cypress and Gardiana have brokered a truce in order to work together as they try to push back the invaders from the evil kingdom of Iom. Nick is now the prince of Cypress and is the leader of the coalition. His arm was turned to stone before the events in this game, and this handicap prevents him from wielding the legendary Sword of Hyjya. He leaves the sword in the castle under the protection of Deanna while he goes abroad seeking allies to join the opposition of Iom.