[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/golden-sun.jpg]]
-->''Ages ago, or so the stories tell, the power of {{Alchemy|IsMagic}} ruled over the world of Weyard...''
--->--'''Prologue of''' '''''Golden Sun: The Lost Age'''''

''Golden Sun'' (known as ''Golden Sun: [[TheForeignSubtitle The Broken Seal]]'' in Japan) is a 2001 [[RolePlayingGame RPG]] from Creator/{{Nintendo}} and Camelot Software Planning for the GameBoyAdvance, who you may recall also made ''{{Mario}} Golf'' and ''Tennis'' as well as Sega's ''Shining'' series. The sequel, ''Golden Sun: The Lost Age'', was released in 2003, while the third game, ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'', was released in 2010 for the NintendoDS.

''Golden Sun'' tells the story of Isaac, a teenager from the [[HiddenElfVillage village of Vale]], gifted with the power of [[ElementalPowers Psynergy]], and his journey to stop a dangerous group of antagonists from releasing the ancient power of [[AlchemyIsMagic Alchemy]] and to rescue his friend Jenna. The resulting journey takes him and three companions through many lands and cultures to the Elemental Lighthouses, the seals preventing Alchemy's release.

The sequel/second half, ''Golden Sun: The Lost Age'', changes the viewpoint to that of Felix, one of the enemies from the first game, and has you trying to release the same power you wanted to keep sealed in the first game, for equally good reasons.

''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' takes place thirty years later and stars the [[SpinOffspring children]] of the characters from the original game, who are collectively called the Warriors of Vale.

Although the games lack the character depth and intricate plotting of many {{Role Playing Game}}s, they feature large, vibrant worlds, a [[ClassAndLevelSystem deep character class system]], [[AwesomeMusic/GoldenSun superb music]], clever ''[[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Zelda]]''-style puzzles, and some of the best graphics and sound to be found on the GameBoyAdvance. Definitely worth a look for fans of the genre, although non-fans may find the RandomEncounters and LevelGrinding annoying.

The game's battle system revolves around the presence of [[OurGeniesAreDifferent Djinn]], a creative but blatant [[FollowTheLeader attempt to cash in]] on the popularity of ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' with a dash of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''[='s=] Guardian Forces thrown in for good measure. There are a number of Djinn scattered throughout the gameworld (28 in the first game alone), and you GottaCatchEmAll. Once you have them, you [[PowersAsPrograms equip them to your characters]], which alters their CharacterClass depending on how many Djinn of which element you gave them. Of course, in battle you can also ''deploy'' your Djinn for burst damage, {{Status Buff}}s, etc, and if you had enough unattached Djinn floating around, you could then use SummonMagic for extra beat-down. ...Of course, deploying Djinn removed them from your character, reducing their stats and even changing their class mid-battle, so there was a trade-off involved.

There is a [[Characters/GoldenSun character sheet]], which all are invited to add to help out in.

'''Please post any ''Golden Sun: Dark Dawn'' tropes on [[VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn the game's respective page]].'''

----
!!Tropes within the first duology:

* [[AbsentAliens Absent Elves]]: While gnomes are random monsters, Loho has dwarfs (Who are explicitly called such in an item description), Prox has some kind of dragon-people and there's even a town of werewolves, the only mention of elves is a relatively weak weapon called the "Elven Rapier" and the relatively-weak-yet-practical "Elven Shirt."
* TheAbridgedSeries: See ''GoldenSunTheAbridgedSeries''.
* AerithAndBob: The antagonists, especially: you have Alex and Felix alongside Karst (the most normal of the others), Saturos, Menardi, and Agatio. Though it's somewhat justified as they're a slightly different civilization from a distant corner of the world, and possibly not even human to boot.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler: Agatio and Karst.]] To elaborate, [[spoiler: after they are unknowingly killed by the player party in dragon form, both fully set aside their anger and beg Felix to light the Lighthouse for them. For Agatio, the whole situation's pretty darn depressing even though he ''is'' TheGenericGuy, and Karst gets it even ''worse'' - her death involves Felix comforting her, warming her with the heat of his hands before finally heading off.]] Following all that, [[spoiler: both of them vow to stay alive until they see the last lighthouse lit - it's unclear if they did, since it would have arguably revived them the way it did Isaac's dad and Felix and Jenna's parents.]]
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: The Fire Clan.
* AndIMustScream: You can find an entire town of people who have been turned into trees. You can ''read their minds.'' Fortunately, while some are terrified, many are relatively cool with it, though they'd much rather be turned back. Good thing you can fix that.
* AnIcePerson: Mia, Piers, Alex, and others.
* AnimeHair: Largely averted, the more outlandish hair styles and colors belong to Adepts.
* AnotherSideAnotherStory: The first game takes place through Isaac's perspective, as he chases down Felix. Meanwhile, the second game takes place through Felix's perspective, as he's chased down by Isaac.
* AntiGrinding: The first game's first dungeon turns off RandomEncounters when all three party members reach a high-enough level. This can be avoided by killing off Jenna.
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler:Saturos, Menardi, Karst and Agatio, ruthless in their aim to release the potentially dangerous force of Alchemy to the world but motivated by the fact their hometown, and eventually the world, would deteriorate and collapse over time if they didn't.]]
* AntlionMonster: In the Lamakan desert, one can use Reveal on circles of rocks to see if they contain life-restoring oases. Sometimes they are revealed to be traps where an antlion's pincers are waiting; if it is, the party is forced to enter battle (sometimes Isaac is seen running as he is dragged backwards while the antlion [[SayItWithHearts Says It With Hearts]]). The antlion monster itself is a BigCreepyCrawly the size of a car.
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: Used by the end of ''The Lost Age'' when the party is twice as large as the 4-member battle cap, the other four are a "backup team" that you can swap in one of each turn, and if your entire front party is annihilated your back party automatically switches in.
* AstonishinglyAppropriateAppearance: The Mercury (water) Adepts look like they couldn't be anything ''else'' than Mercury Adepts. Garet is also pretty obviously Fire-elemental, complete with [[PersonalityPowers explosive personality]]. Subverted with Ivan, however. When he first appears, he's quite the CreepyChild; not exactly what you'd expect your wind-user to be.
* {{Atlantis}}: Lemuria, which is discovered and explored in ''The Lost Age''.
* AutomaticNewGame: Both games start by prompting the player to name the character, before proceeding into a New Game.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Iris, the game's ultimate summon, simultaneously completely heals your ''entire'' party (all eight, including dead party members) AND deals an insane amount of damage, more than three times as much as a level four summon. The drawback? It requires 13 standby djinn to unleash. If you don't set them to standby outside of battle, you'll need a minimum of three turns dedicated solely to setting up for this summon. And don't forget that setting djinn to standby temporarily gimps your characters stats. Also factor in three turns of recovery after doing the summon before your stats return to normal, and you've got an incredibly high cost summon that, while nice, isn't nearly worth the effort when you could accomplish the same thing with mundane but effective healing skills.
* BadassNormal: The Colosso gladiators, Briggs, and Moapa (alongside Briggs and Moapa's unnamed "Sea Fighter" and "Knight" goons, respectively) lack any form of Psynergy. With the exception of the first group (due to being a trio of [[DuelBoss DuelBosses]]), they are not noticeably less of a threat than standard bosses.
** [[WakeUpCallBoss Briggs]] can be a slap in the face to some players. Especially those who engaged in some accidental SequenceBreaking and got to him underleveled and underequipped.
* BadassFamily: Briggs's family fits the bill nicely, with everybody from [[NeverMessWithGranny Obaba]] to [[GooGooGodlike baby Eoleo]] doing some awesome stuff.
* BagOfSharing: Averted; each character has his/her own inventory.
* BagOfSpilling: Averted in that a data transferring feature at the end of the first game (either by Game Link Cable or by a HUMONGOUS 260-character password) lets [[spoiler:the party of the first game keep their equipment, levels, stats, and everything else when they are added to the new party near the end of the second game.]]
* BalefulPolymorph: The Kolima incident, which involves the village of Kolima getting transformed into trees.
* BatmanGambit: Briggs pulls one on his own grandmother to get her to oppose Felix & Co. in ''The Lost Age''. Backfires twice-- once when Felix & Co. win, once when Obaba finds out about his shenanigans.
* BattleThemeMusic: Most of the boss battle themes are epic, even on the GameBoyAdvance.
* BeefGate: Poseidon in ''The Lost Age'', as he bars the way to Lemuria and is 100% invulnerable without a certain weapon that you need to scour the Eastern Sea to find. Even with it, he's still [[ThatOneBoss quite difficult]].
** The Serpent is able to recover '''all''' of its HP each turn unless you solve the puzzles to expose it to light. And even after you do, he still regenerates quite fast if at least three of the four beams don't reach him.
*** In a NewGamePlus, it is possible to exploit game mechanics to defeat the Serpent before his first move ([[{{Badass}} faster than he can regenerate]]).
* BehindTheBlack: Frequently pulls the old, "Door the protagonist should really see but the player can't".
* BettingMiniGame: Lucky Dice (Dice-throwing for coins) and the Lucky Medal Fountain (tossing coins and Lucky Medals into a fountain for equipment) are introduced in Tolbi in the first game. They return in different towns in the second with a new game, Super Lucky Dice (random dice-throwing and betting on if the value would sink or rise).
* {{BFS}}: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin aptly named]] Huge Sword from the second game and its Unleash effect, "Heavy Divide". Also, Felix and Isaac's Ragnarok/Odyssey Psynergy spells. And the colossal sword held by the multi-elemental summon Catastrophe. And the Excalibur's "Legend" unleash. And the Gaia Blade's "Titan Blade" unleash. [[LongList And the Darksword's "Acheron's Grief" unleash]].
* BilingualBonus: While the Western release lacks the overt CthulhuMythos reference, the Tomegathericon is still a neat treat. "To Mega Therion" is Greek for ''the Beast'', as in the one in [[Literature/TheBible the Book of Revelations]].
** The city of Contigo has a MeaningfulName. "Con tigo" is a Spanish phrase meaning "with you". In Spanish-language versions, [[KeepItForeign the city's name is changed to Mitdir]], from the German "mit dir" with the same meaning. Contigo/Mitdir is the city where Felix's group and Isaac's group finally settle their differences and team up with each other for the final parts of the game.
** The name of the werewolf town in ''Lost Age'', "Garoh", is possibly derived from the French "loup-garou", meaning werewolf.
* BlackMage: Mars (fire) Adepts.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: Similar to the "Fire Bracelet/Breath" issue from ''FinalFantasy'', there are several enemy moves in the first game called "Blessings" (Fire Blessing, Water Blessing, Evil Blessing), where the foe would spout said "Blessing" from its mouth. These were properly translated as "Breath" attacks in the second game.
** Menardi's "Death [[SinisterScythe Size]]" attack.
** ''The Lost Age'' had [[BonusBoss Dullahan's]] Fulminous Edge attack mistranslated as "Formina Sage", and his Dark Contact attack mistranslated as "True Collide". Both were corrected in his appearance in ''Dark Dawn''.
** Possibly "Elven ''Rapier''?" Seeing as its special attack is "Vorpal ''Slash''," and rapiers are only used for stabbing, it may be a cultural form of this trope.
* BlindingBangs: Eoleo (though he grows out of it within 30 years in favor of a [[RapunzelHair huge ponytail]]).
* BlockPuzzle: A ''lot''.
* BlowYouAway: Jupiter Adepts. Ivan and Sheba's wind-based powers, for starters.
** Also, the Jupiter Djinni Gale deals damage and has a chance to literally blow the enemy "far away!", removing the enemy from battle.
* BonusBoss: Three in the first game and several in the second, including the hardest boss in the series, all but one located in a...
* BonusDungeon: Several, and one in the first game even has its own Bonus ''Town'' outside (Lunpa)
* BoringButPractical: Due to certain pieces of equipment having the capability of boosting Unleash rates (certain combinations allow up to ''one hundred and four percent'' chance to Unleash, normal attacks generally outclass attack Psynergy (with the exception of psynergy such as Astral Blast, Planet Dive, and Cutting Edge, which factor weapon damage into the damage of the psynergy) in terms of sheer damage. Especially deadly when combined with the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Sol Blade's]] Unleash effect, which does three times the normal damage every time. Granted, many of the endgame weapon unleashes are even more fantastical than most attack Psynergy.
** Passive PP regeneration items are extremely unexciting yet highly valuable against most of the end-game bosses.
** Probably the most boring but practical strategy is to utilize shield Djinn. Flash gives you 90% damage reduction for one turn, and Shade gives you 60% damage reduction for another turn. Have two party members spend their actions alternating these two unleashes while a third heals any damage that you take, while the fourth party member chips away at the enemy's HP. You're essentially invincible against anything that can't mess with your Djinn, but don't expect this method to be any fun.
** Learning equipment slots and making use of them all. Undershirts aren't very fancy (with the logical exceptions of the Mithril Shirt and the Golden Shirt in TLA), but give good stat boosts.
** The default class, as in only equipping djinn to the character of that element. They may not offer anything fancy, but they are pretty reliable when it comes to psynergy.
* BossRemix: Karst and Agatio's {{leitmotif}} is remixed when Felix's party finally gets around to fighting them.
* BraggingRightsReward: The Iris summon after defeating the BonusBoss in the last BonusDungeon, for being AwesomeButImpractical, and the only boss left worthy of using her on is the FinalBoss... who is fire-resistant.
* BrilliantButLazy: Sunshine is a genius blacksmith, but his laziness prevents himself and his family to become rich from his talents.
* BrokenBridge: Several straight examples that occur in the overworld map and fix themselves later. Also done differently with a raised drawbridge, and the guy who would gladly lower it is unable to do so because the {{curse}} on a nearby town has transformed him into a tree.
* BuffySpeak: Kraden amusingly refers to the Black Crystal that [[spoiler:controls Lemurian ships]] as "The thingie...that makes it go."
* ButThouMust: In every cutscene you're presented several yes/no choices of opinion that don't affect anything other than the next two lines of the dialogue, except for ''once'' early in the game, where refusing the quest results in a NonStandardGameover.
** ''The Lost Age'' spoofs it if you answer no on every question up to a certain point.
** There is one scene at the beginning of the first game where Jenna will keep asking Isaac the same thing over and over until you says yes.
** The same goes for Flint and Echo, the first Djinni in each game. After enough refusals, the Djinn force themselves into the party anyways.
** Double-subverted in Champa in the second game. When Obaba asks Felix to leave, the player can choose to say "Yes" and walk away without a fight. The problem is: The plot can't progress until after the boss battle at Champa, meaning that at some point, Felix will have to go back and refuse to back down.
* ButtMonkey: The town of Madra in ''The Lost Age'', at least early in the game. As if the tidal wave isn't enough, it is also attacked repeatedly.
** Among the fans, it is Mikasalla, dubbed the most useless settlement ever. That place is often being made fun of even though some other towns were not much better in the useful department.
* TheCameo: ''The Lost Age'' has a sprite sheet for [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]] [[http://kprs.laronmi.net/taow/miscellany/link/link.htm in game but unused]]. Also, the fairy Mia summons early in the previous game is Primula from ''ShiningForceIII''. Additionally, in the Japanese version, the BonusBoss of the first game, Deadbeard, is called Talos, which is the name of a recurring boss from the Shining series (which would explain why he looks less like a pirate and more like a giant suit of armor).
* CantCatchUp: When Isaac's party joins in ''The Lost Age'', they may either be a significant ways behind Felix's party or completely outlevel them, so unless you're willing to grind your first or second party them they'll probably stay that way (the inactive party only gets half experience.)
* CardboardObstacle: Too many to list here.
* CassandraTruth: Feizhi has a bad case of this after developing the power of precognition.
* CaveBehindTheFalls
* ChainOfDeals: An example in ''The Lost Age'' involving the various islets in the Eastern Sea, which results in accessing a BonusDungeon containing a BonusBoss on one of the islets.
* ChangingClothesIsAFreeAction: At some point between falling off a lighthouse and washing ashore on an island, Felix switched out his old sprite (which made him look like he had stick legs when viewed from the side) for one with baggier pants and a blue cape.
* ChangingGameplayPriorities: In the early game, managing Djinn is very important and very difficult, because of the way the game assigns new Djinni that you find. Come endgame, you have enough Djinn to keep summoning various gods over and over again, and it's much easier to line up the correct numbers of Djinn for massive stat boosts.
* ChangingOfTheGuard
* ChaosArchitecture: Averted. The first opus only takes place on one continent (and the northern part of a second continent), while the second one takes place all over the world ''except'' that continent and area.
* CharacterClassSystem: A very elaborate one based around equipping the Djinn-- having more Djinn equipped unlocked more advanced classes, while putting Djinn in standby or recovery modes disabled the classes. Different combinations of Adept and Djinn produce different classes. Many players simply equip every party member only with Djinn of their own default element (default classes), which makes using Djinn for their own abilities more convenient at the expense of limiting the versatility of the characters, while others experiment to find classes suited to their play style, which could result in very powerful characters that get utterly ruined the moment they try to use a Djinni's power.
** ''The Lost Age'' also has equipment items that, in conjunction with Djinn, can allow party members to access specific classes. These are useful because no matter how many Djinn a character uses they'll always be in some form of the item-specific class.
** Piers suffers under the class system-- Mercury Adept cross-class options are primarily mage-types, and he's a warrior-type character. Jenna is a mage-type Mars Adept whose cross-class options are mainly warrior-types, but she doesn't have it quite so bad.
** Certain utility Psynergy, such as Whirlwind and Growth, are only usable by specific classes, hampering use of the class system. ''Dark Dawn'' addressed this issue by making these powers character-specific rather than class-specific.
* ChekhovsSkill: Subverted: When the party first enters an area cursed by [[WhenTreesAttack Tret]] in the first game, they are protected from being turned into trees by some kind of subconscious [[DeflectorShields force-field psynergy]]. [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment This is never mentioned again]], though one character uses this as the in-story explanation for weapon unleashes and critical hits, and {{Fanon}} uses it for [[WildMassGuessing all sorts of things]].
** Played straight: At one point in the first game, Master Hama speculates that Saturos and Menardi were able to pass through the Lamakan Desert without Reveal [[note]]the spell that the heroes use to pass through the desert, and the Proxians do not possess[[/note]] because their Fire Clan Psynergy shields them from extreme temperatures. In the sequel, [[spoiler: Agatio and Karst, who are also members of the Fire Clan, freeze to death in Mars Lighthouse because the BalefulPolymorph and subsequent battle with the heroes they had been subjected to left them too weak to maintain this ability.]]
* TheChessmaster: [[spoiler:The Wise One]] and [[spoiler:Alex]]. The latter is using both the heroes and the villains to [[spoiler:light all four lighthouses so he can go to Mt. Aleph and gain ultimate power]]. It's not the most complex plan, but it actually works... or at least it would have if not for one tiny detail: the former [[spoiler:altered the Mars Star]] and [[spoiler:saved Isaac]] ''at the beginning of the first game'' so that [[spoiler:the ultimate power would be split between two vessels, making Alex weaker than the Wise One]]. The former also arranged for a SecretTestOfCharacter to ensure that the heroes were committed to their task and ready to complete it. That's how to win in just three moves, kids.
* ChestMonster: Played straight with Mimics in several areas in each game. They drop good items, though, so it's worth battling each one.
* CliffHanger: The first game's ending, which occurs at a point where you'd assume you were halfway through the game.
* ClimaxBoss: The first fight against Saturos in the first game and the fight against Karst and Agatio in the second game, both at the top of one of the elemental lighthouses.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: In general, the elemental affinities are treated this way. Adepts will have hair, eyes, and/or clothes that follow the color scheme for their element.
** Mars/Fire is red, orange, or yellow-- the "warm" colors. The main exception is the [[AmazingTechnicolorPopulation Mars Clan]], though they do all have red eyes.
** Venus/Earth is yellow, brown, or [[GreenThumb plant-green]]. Isaac is also a PrimaryColorChampion (as is his eventual son) while Felix gets green.
** Mercury/Water is, of course, blue.
** Jupiter/Wind is a strange case since it's also the element typical PsychicPowers are associated with. As a result, Jupiter is predominantly [[SupernaturalIsPurple purple]], but frequently paired with [[WindIsGreen green]].
* CombatTentacles: One of the bosses you fight in the first game is a Kraken.
* ContinueYourMissionDammit: In the first game, Layana tells Ivan off for trying to rescue Hammet from being held for ransom with the explanation that whatever quest he's on with Isaac & Co. must be more urgent, ''even though she doesn't know what it is''. In ''The Lost Age'', [[spoiler: his sister Hama]] tells him off for trying to find out more about his birth family for similar reasons (though at least she knows what's going on).
* ContractualBossImmunity: Exhibited by some of the higher-level enemies and Bosses.
* ConvenientlyAnOrphan: Zig-zagged for all of the main cast.
** Isaac's father and Jenna's parents and brother are killed off right in the intro. Then it quickly turns out that the brother survived and seems to be an enemy. Then in the second game, [[spoiler:it turns out the trope is completely subverted: the parents and Isaac's dad also survived and were made hostages, and saving them is a big motivator to the quest. So the kids are not actually orphans... then [[SelfMadeOrphan they accidentally almost kill their own parents themselves]] near the end of the game.]]
** Poor Isaac's mother has to almost force her son to keep going on his quest and is a source of worry, as she falls gravely ill in his absence.
** Ivan is an orphan and his adoptive father is kidnapped as you meet him, but the trope is toyed with: you're told that you can't do anything about it and you should just leave the father behind, but Ivan worries a lot, and you get an optional sidequest to free his father and ease his mind; and in the second game [[spoiler:Ivan's mysterious parentage is a plot point]].
** Sheba is also an adopted orphan and joins the group because ''she'' was kidnapped, but she's an inversion of the trope: in the second game, she refuses to drop by her hometown because her worried adoptive family would force her to stay.
** Piers is a straight and extreme example: he spends the first half of the game trying to go home, then when he finally does, he learns that his mother just died and he quickly gets exiled.
** Mia would be a straight example, having simply no mentioned family at all... but she is the one character who is sad to leave (she says farewell to her two young apprentices) and it's more a case of "conveniently rid of her town-healer duties".
*** ''Dark Dawn'' implies that Mia and Alex are related, but since Alex doesn't live in Imil, the trope still applies to her.
** And Garet is a complete inversion: he's the only cast member who has a large, living and functional family, but they all encourage him to leave the town and fatherless Isaac gets more angst (since he's leaving his mother alone); then in the ''epilogue cutscene'' of the second game [[spoiler:Garet comes home, finds Vale destroyed, and thinks for a moment that they all died]].
* ConvenientlyCoherentThoughts: Mind-reading functions much the same as [[WelcomeToCorneria dialogue]], typically adding to or clarifying whatever an NPC says. (This can be amusing if you read someone's mind before talking to him, and he thinks something related to a question you haven't yet asked him.)
* CorridorCubbyholeRun: One of the puzzles in the Jupiter Lighthouse involves dodging a statue spitting whirlwinds at you.
** Revisited in Mars Lighthouse, with a dragon statue spitting fireballs at you.
* CosmicKeystone: The [[MineralMacGuffin Elemental Stars]] and their [[ItsAllUpstairsFromHere Elemental Lighthouses]].
* CreatorProvincialism: A variation that applies to character classes; the Ninja and Samurai classes gets the strongest and fanciest spells while having high stats for everything compared to the others.
* CriticalHit: Both normal critical hits and the special attacks each of the weapons may automatically launch on their own.
* CrossoverCosmology: The summons features gods and creatures from Greco-Roman, Phyrgian, Norse, Egyptian, Aztec and Chinese pantheon in addition to some demons to the measure.
* CrystalDragonJesus: Sanctums (usually staffed by priests and monks) that drive away evil spirits, a Clan's worship and protection of its corresponding element/sacred place, calling upon pagan gods to smite thine enemies into oblivion...
** Worshipers at the church in Kalay make reference to a shepherd and the people as a flock. One NPC seems to describe the God of Abraham, but doesn't actually know what it is.
** Sheba is worshiped in her village as a god-child, due to having fallen from the sky and possessing mysterious powers.
* DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: More like a heavy strap. If you have access to the Revive psynergy, "downed" characters aren't much of a problem, but during the first half of a game a fallen ally means walking all the way back to the nearest Sanctum to pay a hefty fee in order to bring them back. Waters of Life accomplish the same thing, but those are expensive, and very hard to come by.
* DeceptiveDisciple: Alex. Exactly ''who'' he was disciple to varies by the translation. It's either Mia or Mia's father.
* DeliciousDistraction: When looking in ovens, the contents are sometimes remarked upon in-character, apparently by the HeroicMime player character du jour.
* DigitizedSprites: Almost all sprites were pre-rendered.
* DiscOneFinalDungeon: The Venus Lighthouse in the first game. Your party has pretty lavish gear at this point and the lighthouse's background music practically screams FinalDungeon (which is technically true since this is the end of the game), but you discover that after the boss fight, Felix still plans to ignite the remaining lighthouses, Isaac still has to keep his promise to Babi to find more mythical water to keep him alive and Isaac also promised to rescue Sheba. These issues are addressed in ''The Lost Age''.
* DishingOutDirt: Venus Adepts. Isaac and Felix, naturally.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: At some point, you can choose to pull a tree from a riverbank, so it doesn't float away. It turns out to be a transformed woman who wants to give you a "Special Gift" for saving her. [[spoiler: Isaac got a [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar Hard Nut!]]]]
* DoomedHometown: [[spoiler:Double]] Subversion. ''Golden Sun'' opens with a (mostly successful) attempt to keep it from happening to Vale, then [[spoiler:the town is destroyed anyway after the finale to ''The Lost Age''. And subverted again at that point since Mr. Floating Rock warned the villagers of the impending catastrophe beforehand, allowing them to stay out of town before it happens]].
** Also, an inversion when it turns out [[spoiler:that Saturos and Menardi were motivated by the fact that their home town of Prox was on the verge of being consumed by an encroaching abyss, and only the restoration of Alchemy would save it]].
* DramaticUnmask: Felix during the visit to Sol Sanctum.
* DrowningMySorrows: Implied when Felix's party reached Lemuria and they were greeted by Piers' uncle, [[spoiler:telling him that his mother had passed away during his absence]]. Notice the huge number of fancy-colored bottles inside his house.
* DualBoss: Several times throughout each game, usually against Proxians.
* DubNameChange: Most of the playable characters (Robin, Gerald, Mary, Garcia, Jasmine, and Picard to Isaac, Garet, Mia, Felix, Jenna, and Piers. And those only for the English version. See the character sheet for details.), and several of the Psynergy, itself changed from Energy, to give a better idea of their functions (such as changing the [[StatusBuffDispel debuffer]] Psynergy known as "Splash" in the Japanese version to "Break" in English) or to fit within the character limit ("Scramble Beam" in Japanese became "Searing Beam" in English, for example; also applies to several character names).
* DuelBoss: Happens three times in a row during the first game's InevitableTournament, leading to Isaac's HeroicRROD.
* DummiedOut: [[http://goldensunwiki.net/List_of_unacquirable_Psynergy Various Psynergy]] that have no effect outside of the debug room can be obtained via cheating. After beating the FinalBoss in the second game, there is a brief sequence where you walk around the final town, Prox; normally, you don't have access to the Mind Read Psynergy at this point (as the two party members with it aren't in the party at this point), but if you hack to obtain it, there are major {{Sequel Hook}}s in the Mind Read "conversations" seen [[http://kprs.laronmi.net/taow/miscellany/mindread/mindread.htm here]] (obviously spoilers are contained within).
** [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]] is among the unused sprites.
* DungeonMaster: [[spoiler:The Wise One]]
* {{Egopolis}}: The city of Lunpa, named after its founder. Also combined with SublimeRhyme for some cases, a number of location names sound similar with their leaders'-either due to coincidence, translator's choice or plain laziness in the original names. Examples include Hama of Lama Temple ([[spoiler:she's actually from Contigo]]), Tolbi's tyrant ruler Babi, and Uzume the elder of Izumo.
* ElementalHair: [[DishingOutDirt Venus Adepts]] have brown hair, [[PlayingWithFire Mars Adepts]] have bright red hair (unless from the [[AmazingTechnicolorPopulation Mars Clan of Prox]]), and [[MakingASplash Mercury Adepts]] have [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair blue hair]]. Jupiter Adepts tend toward blonde (with overlap for light-haired Venus Adepts) or purple, but ''Dark Dawn'' gives them more variety.
* ElementalPowers: Virtually every major character except ([[EpilepticTrees maybe]]) Kraden is an Adept of a specific Element, meaning he or she can use Psynergy of that element. A lot of monsters can use these too. Depending on Djinn setup, the characters can even use Psynergy they normally wouldn't be able to use otherwise.
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: Severely downplayed. Most monsters aren't identified with a specific element, and no "Element X does this to that" tutorial is ever given. The only even remotely obvious ingame sign of it existing is the punctuation used in the battle messages when enemies get hit by elements they're weak, neutral or strong against: the said messages will end with !!!, ! and ., respectively. In addition, elements are only weak to the opposing one (Fire takes and deals more damage to Water and vice versa), simplifying things.
** However, it's useful to know what enemies are weak to what element when you're farming for loot or experience, since dealing the death blow with an advantageous Djinni results in more ExperiencePoints/money and better chances for [[RareDrop rare item drops]].
* ElementalTiers: The ultimate weapon in both games is earth-aligned. The {{Infinity Plus One|Sword}} summon is fire-aligned, but so very impractical (and seeing little use) that the {{Infinity Minus One|Sword}} summons are used (and more for their effects than straight damage).
* EncounterRepellant: The Avoid Psynergy and Sacred Feather item.
* EndOfAnAge: The results of sealing off Alchemy and letting the world [[spoiler:waste away for centuries]].
* EnemySummoner: Several common monsters, and bosses like Briggs and Star Magician. The BonusBoss Valukar can even turn your own Summons ''against'' you, at the expense of ''your party[='s=]'' Standby Djinn.
* {{Engrish}}: The people of [[{{Wutai}} Xian]] have a few noticeable lines with odd grammar ("Using much armor is good for them") and use a number of 1- or 2-word sentences in sequence ("Relax. Stay long."). Thankfully, it is done pretty subtly.
* EnigmaticMinion: Alex. Saturos, Menardi, Karst, and Agatio fit as well. [[ManipulativeBastard Depends on who's the minion.]]
* [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep Everyone Calls Her Grandma]]: Obaba, which is pretty much just Japanese for "Grandma".
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: The Elemental Lighthouses, sort of.
* ExcaliburInTheRust: You can find rusty weapons in ''The Lost Age'', which can be refurbished by the blacksmith Sunshine into pretty decent weapons at the earliest you can find them, but pretty quickly outclassed otherwise.
* EyelidPullTaunt: Briggs gives one to Felix after he escaped.
* FailOSuckyname: In Japanese, the town Vault is called ''Coopup''.
* FakeBalance: The first game isn't that bad with this, but ''The Lost Age'' is a serious offender. About 80% of the enemies and bosses are weak against Jupiter and resists Venus for no reason [[spoiler:Yes, this includes Doom Dragon and Dullahan.]], making Venus-based offenses useless most of the time. This is even more obvious in ''Dark Dawn'', where the Venus mage Himi is difficult to use due to her assigned element and being a mage ([[CrutchCharacter mages tend to fizzle out late-game]], but she's a latecomer in her own game).
* FakeDifficulty: Everything which can use Djinn Storm is very hard; everything which can't is very easy.
* {{Familiar}}: [[OurGeniesAreDifferent Djinn]] act mostly like familiars, [[CharacterClassSystem enhancing or changing the abilities of their Adept master]] and granting SummonMagic.
* {{Fanfare}}: The overtures.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Weyard is basically a loose analogue of Earth:
** Angara is Europe in the West, with Tolbi a budding Roman Empire, and Asia in the East with Xian and the Fujin and Lama Temples connected to the west by the Silk Road. The Angkohl Ruins are obviously Cambodian-inspired.
** Gondowan is Africa, with Arabic influences around the Suhalla desert and more stereotypically African influences further south.
** Indra, east of Gondowan, is India, complete with a town called Daila for Delhi. Osenia resembles Australia geographically, with Air's Rock in the middle of the central desert.
** The Eastern sea features Polynesian equivalents on the various islets and the Apojii Islands, a Japan equivalent in Izumo, and Tundaria for Antarctica.
** Finally, the Western Sea has native Americans in Hesperia, and a {{Mayincatec}} civilisation in Atteka.
* FatBastard: The Mayor of Alhafra is a greedy jerk.
* {{Feelies}}: Each game comes with a map of the game world, and a character chart on the flipside
* FetchQuest: ''Plenty''.
* FiveRaces
** '''Mundane:''' Non-adept humans
** '''Stout:''' The dwarves of Loho
** '''Faerie:''' The Proxians
** '''High:''' The Lemurians
** '''Cute:''' The werewolves of Garoh
* FlatWorld: Weyard is a flat world [[spoiler:that is ''eroding'' as water spills over its edges. Its up to you to fix that.]]
* FloatingContinent: Mentioned in gossip in the second game that [[spoiler:this world's ''moon'' is one of these]]. Source of many EpilepticTrees.
** And the main world itself appears to be a giant floating landmass above an abyss.
* FloatingPlatforms
* FourElementEnsemble
* FlunkyBoss: Briggs and Moapa, who are accompanied by Sea Fighters and Knights, respectively. The Star Magician, who happens to be a BonusBoss, also has "Ball monster" minions that fight alongside him.
* FoodPorn: Looking in the ovens and stoves in both games can get you [[RareCandy power-up food items]] or descriptions of what the people who live there are having for dinner. Some of these can be quite appetizing, others are a [[ForeignQueasine bit more exotic]].
---> Felix looked in the oven. It's lamb on the bone, broiled over an open flame. The lamb is golden brown and juicy. They'd probably notice if I took some... too bad.
---> Felix looked in the oven. Ew! They're frying up bug larvae! It looks awful... but it smells great!
* TheForeignSubtitle: An {{inversion}}; the first ''Golden Sun'' game lacked its "The Broken Seal" subtitle in the English release. Nowadays, said subtitle is utilized by English fans at times to differentiate the first ''Golden Sun'' game from the sequels, as well as the series as a whole. The other games kept their subtitles, though.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the PlayableEpilogue of the first game, an NPC mentions Champa, a town of pirates on the continent of Angara. One such pirate causes problems in ''The Lost Age'', and his hometown is visited later.
** One of the weirdest, seemingly most random parts of the beginning of the first game goes toward defeating the BigBad in the sequel, long after it's been forgotten. [[spoiler:More specifically, The Wise One has Isaac take out the Mars Star for a moment, then put it back. This was apparently to take a small part of its power and give it directly to Isaac. This means that when Alex takes the power of the Golden Sun in the Epilogue, he doesn't have ALL of the power he's supposed to, and The Wise One is able to defeat Alex.]]
** While you're in Yallam, a group of kids will teach you a song and an oddly specific looking dance. A few dungeons later, you find out that the kids were teaching you [[spoiler: how to navigate the Sea of Time and get to Lemuria.]]
* FragileSpeedster: Ivan, Sheba, and Jenna. And Karst on the opposing side.
* FriendlyFireproof: Many summons and a couple weapon Unleashes.
* FrictionlessIce: Several puzzles like this in ''The Lost Age''.
* FusionDance: Each game's [[spoiler:final boss is a fusion of characters; Saturos and Menardi in game 1 become a two-headed dragon, and the parents of Felix and Isaac's dad are turned into a three-headed one.]]
* GeniusLoci: Tret Tree in the first game, the Great Gabomba in the second.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Rescuing the tree from being swept downstream in the first game.
--> Jill gave Isaac a nice surprise! Isaac got a [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Hard Nut]]!
* GetOnTheBoat: The ship gained about 25% into the second game, [[spoiler:which becomes the GlobalAirship close to the end]].
* GlobalAirship
* GoingThroughTheMotions
* GoodMorningCrono: In the middle of the night though, with the impetus being 'a giant rock is falling towards our village!'
* GoWaitOutside: The entire village of Yallam, that is, so that the blacksmith there can do ItemCrafting for you
* GreenRocks: Purple Psynergy stones showered over the world by the eruption of Mt. Aleph change everything -- wild animals becoming monsters, normal people gaining Psynergy powers, etc.
* GreenThumb: some Earth psynergy, though Isaac & Felix can't do it in their default classes.
* GrimUpNorth: The blizzard-ridden bleak setting of the final dungeon of ''Golden Sun: The Lost Age''
* GuestStarPartyMember: Jenna joins the party for the Sol Sanctum in the beginning of the first game.
* GuideDangIt:
** There are Djinn that are fought as RandomEncounters on the overworld map in somewhat arbitrary regions that don't look like they could be hiding anything, and there's only a ''chance'' they'll appear in battles instead of the usual monsters when you wander in those areas. In ''The Lost Age'', though, most people never realize that the fortune teller in Naribwe is a hint-system that gives a vague clue as to where the next Djinni not yet in your collection is. Just show him one of your pieces of armor.
** Killing an enemy with a Djinni unleash of the element it's weak to will give you a major boost in XP, coins, and item drop probability.
** Getting into Lemuria in The Lost Age. [[spoiler:It involved learning a children's song in some town in the middle of nowhere, which had the way to sail to Lemuria in the lyrics. THEN there's a boss which needs a special weapon to defeat. This weapon was split into three parts, and hidden in three dungeons, so you have to travel the entire world for the three dungeons. THEN, to get through one of the dungeons, you first need to do a sidequest involving ANOTHER hard to beat boss. And when you finally got all the pieces, there's still another boss before you can forge it together. THEN you can sail into Lemuria.]] Try finding all that out without a guide. Sure, there's enough hints going on, but it's still quite difficult.
** Visiting Crossbone Isle before you enter Tolbi on the first game. [[spoiler:When you're on the ship crossing the Karagol Sea, you have to pick rowers in a certain order that will unbalance the two teams, sending the ship north. One confirmed order is this:]]
--> [[spoiler:'''1. Guy in the green cape on the right side of the room:''' Hey! You're not thinking of making me an oarsman, are you?]]
--> [[spoiler:'''2. Bald, muscular guy on the left side of the room:''' What? ''Ohhhh, noooo''... Are you going to make me row?]]
--> [[spoiler:'''3. The chef:''' You... You must be joking. You want me to row?]]
--> [[spoiler:'''4. The old guy right near the staircase:''' Out of all these people, you're asking a frail old man like me to row?]]
** Some [[MechanicallyUnusualClass Mechanically Unusual Classes]] are like this. Of course classes like Brute, Hermit and Swordsman are intuitive, but classes like Ninja and Samurai[[note]]The best character classes in the game, even better than the Swordsman and Squire series[[/note]] require a specific number and type of Djinn on a specific type of adept. If you did not have the guide (the only official mention of those two classes) even when you discovered this game years after it was sold out, [[FandomBerserkButton some fans will mock you]] and say "{{You Should Know This Already}}, read the [[IncrediblyLamePun guide dammit]]!"
* HailfirePeaks: Mars Lighthouse, a fire-based dungeon that has frozen over.
* HappilyAdopted: Sheba. None of her family even mention that she's adopted, despite her unknown origins being a plot point.
** Ivan doesn't even bother referring to Hammet and Layana as his parents, as he's fully aware he's fostered... but [[BewareTheNiceOnes don't mess with them]]. [[RoaringRampageOfRescue Ever]].
* HeadlessHorseman: The Dullahan appears as the BonusBoss to end all bonus bosses, but [[SadlyMythtaken his horse is strangely absent]].
* HealingHands: Mia, primarily a healer, is first seen healing a bedridden old man like this.
* HeroicMime: Isaac and Felix. Possibly the most ridiculous example of silent protagonists in any RPG, seeing as both talk like anything at times when they're not playable (Felix in the first game; Isaac in the second game). In fact, [[spoiler:Felix gives up the idea in ''The Lost Age'''s ending and talks to Isaac, Garet, and Kyle to reassure them.]] Although at some point in both games, when they are assigned the silent protagainst role, they do make some form of expression. Isaac goes "!!!" at the end of the events in the Venus Lighthouse and Felix pulls the classic "..." on Piers after Jenna and Sheba harrass Piers about his age. At one point, Felix breaks the mute hero rule and blurts out "Why?" when someone was explaining the rules to a competiton he was in. This is a slight mistranslation when the Japanese version text is just "???".
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Humorously, Isaac is presented this way in ''The Lost Age'', at least until he joins your party.
* HiddenElfVillage: Vale is this, keeping themselves secret so knowledge of Psynergy doesn't get out. Shaman Village fits too--when you arrive, the inhabitants won't even speak to you. Garoh as well, because they're afraid of [[FantasticRacism persecution for the whole werewolf thing]].
* HitchhikerHeroes: Ivan and Mia in the first game, Piers in the second game... And then the two parties unite, so ''everybody'' technically fits by the end.
* HopelessBossFight: In the [[ItWasADarkAndStormyNight dark and stormy prologue]] in the first game.
** And the [[PuzzleBoss Serpent]] in the 2nd game, if you haven't lit any of the special lights inside Gaia Rock before fighting him.
** Oddly enough, both of these are cases of the [[LordBritishPostulate Lord British Postulate]]; the first fight is not actually impossible [[spoiler:Saturos and Menardi]] can be defeated, unfortunately when the fight ends your characters are still the ones lying on the ground. The Serpent fight, however, is a complete aversion; given a sufficiently powerful character(most likely New Game+), it's possible to kill the Serpent in a single round, completely bypassing its full health regeneration, and bypassing the zone entirely.
** [[BeefGate Poseidon]] can be one of these too if you don't meet him on the right circumstances.
* [[strike: Walk]] [[WalkOnWater Hop On Water]]: the first section of Mercury Lighthouse involves reaching and activating a statue that lets you do this.
* HostageForMcGuffin: [[spoiler:Jenna and Kraden in the first game, Felix's parents in the second]]
* HowMuchDidYouHear: In the first game's prologue, said by Saturos and Menardi to Isaac and Garet. Doesn't go well for the latter two.
** Echoed by the same two in the proper intro of the same game, only to decide it's not worth the effort to beat the kids up this time.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Agatio and Karst, though the latter isn't particularly tiny.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: When you're faced with the very last boss of the second game, even if you may not have guessed exactly [[spoiler:''who'']] it is, you probably remember that [[spoiler:big dragons tend to be transformed people. And you've already got rid of all the baddies... so this can only be innocents]]. Unfortunately, StupidityIsTheOnlyOption. You're even asked afterwards if you knew what you were doing. Whatever you answer, though, be informed that ''Isaac knew'' that he was [[spoiler:''killing his father and your parents'']] and ''still'' did it. Even considering the alternative would have been the end of the world, that's... rather cold.
* IHaveYourWife: Revealed to be [[spoiler:Felix's and Jenna's motivations]] for [[spoiler:helping Saturos and Menardi light the lighthouses; their parents and Isaac's father are being held hostage in Prox. Note that the Proxian duo didn't mention the whole world-saving stuff to Felix and Jenna. Or even about Kyle to Isaac.]]
* ImColdSoCold: [[spoiler:Agatio and Karst]], justified in that they're dying of hypothermia.
* InevitableTournament: An annual tournament of gladiators held at Tolbi that [[ItsAlwaysMardiGrasInNewOrleans just happens to be in effect when Isaac's party comes along.]] [[spoiler:Isaac is automatically entered into it after he rescues Tolbi's ruler Babi from death in a nearby cave.]]
* InfinityMinusOneSword: Gaia Blade in the 1st game, Sol Blade in the 2nd.
* IndyEscape: Sparked by ViolationOfCommonSense instead of grabbing a sacred relic - specifically, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynp-M0xwUVQ&feature=related hitting a wall for no apparent reason besides seeing a sign that said not to hit the walls]]. Played entirely for funny, though, and the point of the sequence was so that the boulder could open the way to the BossRoom.
* InformedAbility: Kraden says even a single one of the elemental stars would allow one to conquer the world, but you carry one around for the majority of both games with no [[spoiler:gameplay-related]] effect other than having one inventory spot being taken up by them.
** According to the {{Feelies}} for ''The Lost Age'', Sheba has the power of precognition. Aside from claiming that it's her destiny to help Felix light the Lighthouses, which she later admits was a lie, it never comes up.
** Hama states in the first game that Ivan has the power of precognition. Ivan replies that [[LampshadeHanging it's news to him]]. Though by the time the parties meet up in the second game, both Isaac and Ivan point out how much the ability has developed since then. At least for short term predictions.
* InformedFlaw:
** Garet's gluttony, mentioned by his siblings when you're leaving Vale and never heard from again.
** Agatio is billed as the DumbMuscle villain in Nintendo's strategy guide for ''The Lost Age''. [[GenreSavvy This isn't entirely accurate]].
** A popular fanon idea back in the day was that the Adepts were naturally averse to their opposite elements, such as Mars Adepts being afraid of water and Jupiter Adepts hating the desert. Obviously, this holds up in battle, but not so well outside of it (for instance, Garet, the first party's Mars Adept, is the most excited to see the ocean). Some Mars Djinn prefer icy areas, the Fire Clan Prox settled far north[[note]]under normal circumstances they can withstand it, otherwise the cold weather can severely weaken them[[/note]] and [[BlowYouAway Sheba]] spent her childhood in the desert settlement Lalivero.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: Dragons serve as a penultimate boss in the second and final bosses in both. [[spoiler: Actually, they're just people turned into Dragons.]]
* InsurmountableWaistHeightFence: And not just the fences. Oftentimes your path is blocked by knee-high ROCKS.
** Played with in the prologue of the first game, when Saturos and Menardi jump up and down ''cliffs'' without a second thought.
** Similar thing with the Living Statues - you see the Statue cast frost on a puddle, then proceed to jump up a precipice and onto the frozen pillar, rather than just jumping up on the other side...
* {{Invisibility}}: the Cloak Psynergy, a pretty lame variant that only works in shadows in a few particular areas (and not at all in the second game)
* InvisibleMeansUndodgeable: To at least the people in universe who can't see Psynergy.
* InvisibleToNormals: Psynergy cannot be seen by non-Adepts. This disparity naturally comes into play during a few different places during the story, for instance, when the party first meets Piers. However, if the Psynergy produces any ''physical'' effects, then anyone can see it. [[WeirdnessCensor Whether or not]] they ''notice'' it...
* ItemCrafting: A straightforward but entirely randomized setup (give the Blacksmith in Yallam a material item and buy whatever he decides to make with it).
* ItsAllUpstairsFromHere: With four lighthouses (technically five and a mountain sanctuary) between two games, expect to be doing a lot of climbing.
** Compared to the lighthouses, the hugenormous Elemental Rock dungeons involve long stretches of literal mountain climbing.
** And the three towers containing the Trident of Ankohl also qualify -- though one of them had an elevator, so there wasn't as much climbing involved there.
* ItsAlwaysMardiGrasInNewOrleans: Tolbi's Colosso competition.
* ItWasADarkAndStormyNight: The prologue to the first game.
* JackOfAllTrades: Isaac and Felix.
* KatanasAreJustBetter: The Kikuichimonji (try saying that five times fast) in the first game.
* KeepItForeign: A few of the Japanese names were actually typical Western ones, and got changed in Western releases to sound a bit more exotic. Notable examples include Robin -> Isaac, and Mary -> Mia. In ''[[VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn Dark Dawn]]'', we get things like Stella -> Sveta as well.
* KickTheDog: While [[spoiler:they [[AntiVillain have very good reasons for doing what they are doing]]]], the "enemies" of the first game nonetheless do some fairly dickish things, like [[spoiler:shoving what is a [[BalefulPolymorph Baleful Polymorphed]] human in the water to drown if you don't save them]] for no reason, bringing a plague to Imil (never made clear if it was purposeful) and [[spoiler:destroying a major shipping road]] to slow you down.
* KidHero: Most of the playable cast is 18 or under. The only exceptions are Piers, who is probably several hundred years old and Felix (who is 18), though most of the cast is 17 with implications that the journey has taken a year or more (It is stated to be winter [[spoiler:when at Imil]] and winter to have just ended when in [[spoiler:Contigo after lighting the light house]] with many references to months between the events indicating it is not the same winter, Colosso is mentioned to have taken place last year in the final stretch of TLA), making Ivan and Sheba the only examples by the end.
* KillItWithWater: Mercury Adepts are this and {{White Mage}}s in one handy package
* KillSat: The Venus final summon, Judgment, who is a giant knight that shoots a bolt of destructive energy from a lion head on one arm. Eclipse, a giant dragon who fires a breath weapon from low orbit, and Catastrophe, who's Judgment's EvilTwin.
* KleptomaniacHero
** KleptomaniacHeroFoundUnderwear
*** [[PantyThief Kleptomaniac Hero Steals Underwear]]... or tries to anyway. "Isaac! Put that back!"
** A subversion early in the first game where a group of actual thieves said that the townsfolk were asking for it because [[YourDoorWasOpen they'd left their doors wide open]].
** Lampshaded(?) in the second game when you read the mind of a child in Alhafra, who tells himself that he shouldn't peek in other people's pots.
* KnightKnaveAndSquire: At the beginning of the first game, Isaac is the Knight ([[SilentProtagonist based on his characterization in the subsequent games]]), Garet is the Knave (not underhanded, but he's quite impulsive and aggressive) and Ivan is the Squire (being younger than the other two and not as worldly). This dynamic lasts until [[TheChick Mia]] turns up.
* LastDiscMagic: Several final summons in game 2.
* LeakedExperience: Party members not in battle gain half experience.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Babi has one in the original game, as did Ivan. The latter is also used for Hama [[spoiler:because, as revealed in ''The Lost Age'', she's Ivan's sister]]. Even though a dramatic track plays in the presence of the villains in the same game, it's used for the game's BonusBoss as well. ''The Lost Age'' gives Briggs a laid-back one that plays [[LongSongShortScene during one scene]], specifically during [[spoiler:his getaway scene]]. The same game gives the game's villains, Karst and Agatio, one that's used more often (and unlike what their predecessors had, it's used exclusively for them), with theirs being a dramatic-sounding one that their battle music is based on.
* LethalLavaLand: Magma Rock, Mars Lighthouse, underground of Taopo Swamp...
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards:
** Played straight with healing Psynergy. Isaac's (the leader and warrior type of the team) healing psynergy exactly doubles whenever he learns another. Mia's (TheMedic and WhiteMage of the group) healing Psynergy doubles and then pentuples as they are learned.
** Inverted in the case of attacks, warriors are weaker than mages early-game but as the player progresses warriors get stronger weapons, superior weapon unleashes[[note]]only if you're lucky[[/note]] and EPA Psynergies (see LightningBruiser below) while the mages are stuck with the inferior set damage Psynergies that are expensive to use but only deal pitifully small damage.
* LighthousePoint: They are called lighthouses, but they're really more towers that store magical energy.
* LightningBruiser: The [[GuideDangIt Ninja class]] is this, with high stats in everything and ''two'' [=EPAs=][[note]]Stands for Elemental Physical Attack, a type of Psynergy where damage is calculated with the user's attack stat and since those who can access this class are mostly warriors(who generally have high attack stat) the damage output is way higher than other kinds of Psynergy while being cheaper to use as well[[/note]]. The Samurai class is borderlining on MightyGlacier but can be this once they reached a high-enough level to access their own EPA Helm Breaker.
* LittleMissBadass: Karst has a ''huge'' variety of attack (including a OneHitKill), buff, debuff (including a Djinn nerf), and heal options, and is generally considered Menardi's StrongerSibling despite being the younger sister. She's also usually estimated to be a teenager, with some guesses going as young as fifteen (the same age as Ivan and Sheba), making this A case of GameplayAndStorySegregation as Towards the end of the game, Saturos and Menardi are outright stated to be Prox's strongest warriors.
* LittleProfessorDialog: Eoleo, the son of the pirate Briggs, who is capable of Psynergy (and effectively uses it to break his father out of prison), seems to be unusually verbose for his age... when you read his mind, that is, since he ''isn't able to talk yet''. Talking to the other kids in Champa reveals that none of them are impressed with his "grown-up attitude".
** In the first game, some of the [[BalefulPolymorph kids-turned-trees]] in Kolima are remarkably philosophical about their predicament, both during it and after they're cured.
* LockedOutOfTheFight: Agatio and Karst make use of one of Jupiter Lighthouse's traps to separate Mia (who they believed would be their most dangerous opponent, due to her [[ShootTheMedicFirst healing magic]] and [[ElementalRockPaperScissors Mercury Psynergy]]) from the rest of the group. Garet ends up falling in as well, leaving Isaac and Ivan to fight Agatio and Karst two-on-two.
* LongSongShortScene: Briggs has a {{leitmotif}} in ''The Lost Age'' that is used in only one of the many scenes featuring him.
** It's also quite easy to go without hearing the theme for multiplayer battles more than once, because outside of that it only plays when Isaac's party has to outrun a boulder in the first game and only has the former usage in the second.
* LostForever: If you didn't transfer data, after a certain event the BonusDungeon (and thus the BonusBoss) is not accesible anymore.
* LostInTranslation:
** The island nation of Izumo is full of references to Japanese mythology, like the story of Yamata-no-Orochi, or the dancing goddess Uzume, which are understandably lost on international audiences.
** A literal case regarding forged items. A quirk in the translation leaves out their price tags in Sunshine's wife's dialogue when you want to collect said forged item. The catch is you still need to pay for it.
* LuckyTranslation: Briggs's [[EyelidPullTaunt gesture]] upon [[spoiler:escaping from jail on the ship]] is more along the line of flipping someone off in Japan; outside it, it's just silly. Luckily for the scene it's noted how pathetic "payback" it is and adds to Briggs's childishness.
* LuckBasedMission:
** Items forged by Sunshine are randomly-generated. However the randomness are heavily skewered against the player for the more luxurious materials, leading to unlucky players didn't even know stuff like [[GuideDangIt Excalibur]] exist in the game, resulting them calling the existence of said weapon [[UrbanLegendOfZelda a total fan-made fraud]] just because the RNG hates them.
** Weapon unleashes. Due to the SequelDifficultySpike in ''The Lost Age'', they're the only practical offense method while the summons took turns to set and everything else deal ScratchDamage. But unleashes are unreliably random and equipments to boost said unleash rate are limited and difficult to find.
* LukeIAmYourFather: Strangely played. [[spoiler:The final boss of ''The Lost Age'', the Doom Dragon, is a monster the Wise One forcibly fused together from Isaac's father Kyle and Felix's and Jenna's parents.]]
* MacheteMayhem: Your weapon in the prologue[=/=]tutorial.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The Daedalus summon.
* MagicByAnyOtherName: Psynergy is elemental magic with [[PsychicPowers psychic]] trappings and design influences.
* TheMagicGoesAway: Inverted. The end goal is to bring the magic back.
* MagicKnight: Almost everyone who isn't a SquishyWizard, since all the characters have access to attack magic.
* MagicMissileStorm: Several summons that take this form: Mercury hits the enemy with blasts of water, Atalanta with hundreds of magic arrows, and Boreas with huge chunks of ice.
* MakingASplash: Mercury Adepts. Mia, Piers, and Alex.
* ManipulativeBastard: [[spoiler:Alex.]]
* MarathonLevel: Plenty to be found, and most are necessary stops on the way to completing the game. Air's Rock in the second game is by far the worst offender.
* MaximumHPReduction: A variation: Stats and classes are mostly determined by what Djinn are on a character, and using them in battle cancels the stat boosts (including HP) until summoned or reset. Some bosses have abilities that "drains" the Djinn, causing loss of all stats until they recover. The BonusBoss and the FinalBoss's last form have one that [[ThatOneAttack hits every Djinni on every party member]], nearly guaranteeing TotalPartyKill.
* McGuffin: For the longest time the four elemental lighthouses fulfill this role. It's not until late in both games that their true purposes are revealed, and in either case they could simply be swapped out for any other elementally significant object or location. Your goal in the first game is to reach the lighthouses before your enemy does [[spoiler: and unsuccessfully, I might add]], and lock it so that they can't light it. In the second game your goal is the same: to reach the lighthouses first (but with slightly different intentions).
* MeaninglessVillainVictory: [[spoiler:Alex getting screwed out of achieving god-like powers]] at the end of the second game by a ChekhovsGun that was set up at the start of the ''first'' game by [[spoiler:the Wise One]], who [[spoiler:altered the Mars Star in some way so that part of its power would be given to Isaac if all of the lighthouses were ever activated]].
* MeaningfulName: Karst's name may or may not be derived from the Lithuanian for "hot" (''karŝta''). Since she's both MsFanservice and PlayingWithFire, this is completely appropriate.
** Piers, the sailor. Also applies to his Japanese name, [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Captain Picard]].
** With a side of BilingualBonus: ''Contigo'' is a Spanish phrase meaning "with you". Contigo is the city where Isaac and Felix join forces. In the Spanish version of ''The Lost Age'', the city's name is instead the German "Mitdir" (''mit dir''), with the same meaning.
** Also falls under BilingualBonus: "Garoh" is possibly derived from "loup-garou", which is French for "werewolf". Guess what all the people who live in Garoh are.
* MechanicallyUnusualClass:
** The vast majority of classes depend on what Djinn are attached to the character (giving a Mars Djinni to a Venus character makes him go from Squire to Brute, for example). Most non-standard classes require all but two Djinn to be of the same element, but some like the [[AllThereInTheManual Ninja, Samurai]] and Dark Mage require three of each. This tends to verge into AwesomeButImpractical territory, as Djinn can be summoned in battle as spells, which lowers stats and completely changes available spells.
** In ''The Lost Age'', there are items that can be equipped to change the character's class. These tend to be drastically different from the base classes made through djinn.
* TheMedic: If you can be bothered to play around with the Djinn, nearly every character can be a healer. However, whenever someone needs healing in-story, it's usually provided by Mercury Adepts Mia and Piers, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation regardless of your current class setups]].
* MediumAwareness: In the scene displaying [[ChekhovsSkill the forcefield power]], Garet explicitly compares the forcefields to scoring critical hits in battle. Like the rest of the scene, [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment this never comes up again]].
* MetalSlime: Phoenix and its palette-swapped variants.
* {{Miko}}: Two summons, [[AztecMythology Coatlicue]] and [[TheOdyssey Ulysses]] resemble Japanese shrine maidens by design [[SadlyMythtaken for some reason.]]
* MindOverManners: Averted by Ivan, who doesn't see problems with [[MindProbe invading people's mental privacy]]. Garet objects, and it's implied that Isaac does, too.
* MindOverMatter: Many non-combat Psynergy.
* MindProbe: One of the trademark skills of the Jupiter element.
* MineralMacGuffin: The Elemental Stars
* MinigameZone: Tolbi in ''Golden Sun'' and Contigo in ''The Lost Age'' have several gambling minigames each.
* TheMissingFaction:
** A lot is made about the Anemos tribe, of which (at least) two major characters are descendants and whose entire city apparently lifted off to become the Moon. Guess who ''doesn't'' show up in ''Dark Dawn''?
** There are at least two elf-related artifacts in the first game. There's no sign of elves anywhere else in the series (unless you count the Mars Clan, who are more draconic), including ''Dark Dawn''.
** While the Anemos tribe is ''at least'' mentioned, there is no explanation at all for the missing Venus Clan. Are they extinct or still in hiding? Nobody in the game knows.
* MistakenNationality: [[spoiler:After the Jupiter Lighthouse event, the heroes meet Hama in Contigo, Weyard's {{Mayincatec}} city, along with Garet and Mia remembering meeting her in not-China. (Note that she was accompanied by the [[{{Wutai}} Xianese]] music theme. But suddenly she revealed that she was actually born and raised in Contigo. And also Ivan's sister. None of them saw this coming since she looks nothing like Ivan and more like her student [[AnimeChineseGirl Feizhi]]]].
* MonsterArena: The Battle mode in each game, including elements of a BossRush.
* MonsterTown: [[spoiler:Garoh, a town filled with hospitable werewolves]], and possibly Prox.
* MsFanservice: Karst, a teenage CuteMonsterGirl in a [[BareYourMidriff midriff-baring]] [[HellBentForLeather black leather]] ''[[{{Stripperiffic}} micro-mini]]'' with [[ZettaiRyouiki thigh-high boots]]. Everybody else in the entire series is dressed quite modestly, so she stands out even more.
* {{Muggles}}: A strong majority in Weyard. Usually can't even ''see'' [[InvisibleToNormals Psynergy in action]] (though they can see its effects just fine), let alone use it. In ''Dark Dawn'', an NPC discussing the {{Precursors}} of Weyard's peoples even mentions a racial group of ancestral {{Muggles}} called the Fori.
* {{Mukokuseki}}:[[spoiler:This is the reason why many players did not see "Hama is Ivan's sister" thing coming. The former founded a temple nearby Xian and looks Chinese while the latter lived in Kalay and looks European. But they are actually from [[{{Mayincatec}} Contigo.]]]]
* MundaneUtility: A Catching magic spell to pluck nuts and apples off trees, and various powers to mend or clear paths throughout the games.
** Isaac is also ([[CrackPairing infamously]]) repairing his roof with Psynergy in the beginning of the first game.
* MysteriousWaif: Sheba in the first game. This is never explored in the second, though.
* {{Necromancy}}: For some unexplained reason this power is affiliated with [[GreenThumb Ve]][[DishingOutDirt nus]], though Isaac and Felix don't have access to such spells in their default classes.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Obaba, Briggs' grandmother, who is a highly skilled smith/alchemist/Adept (and probably the oldest character in the game who isn't ReallySevenHundredYearsOld), who summons a salamander to fight the party when Briggs convinces her that they want to rob their town, and, after learning about Briggs' pirating and giving him a good scolding, reforges the Trident of Ankohl.
* NewGamePlus. Literally, a ''new game''.
** ''The Lost Age'' also included a more traditional NewGamePlus by allowing you to restart on "Easy Mode" with clear data, which just carried over your levels and money.
* NonElemental
* NonIndicativeName: Sunshine the depressed blacksmith.
* NonLethalKO.
* NonstandardGameOver: At the start of the first game when the bad guys make off with the Elemental Stars, you are asked (not told) by your village elder to go after the stars. Refuse twice and the screen fades to a sepia tone, accompanied with the text "And so, the world drifted towards its fated destruction." You are then given the option of continuing from the beginning of the conversation. This is ironic because the destruction it is describing [[spoiler:is actually the slow erosion described in the second game, because alchemy would never be unlocked. The player at the time would assume the world ends because alchemy IS unlocked.]]
* NoobCave: Sol Sanctum in the original, Kandorean Temple in the sequel
* NotHelpingYourCase: ''Everything'' the Proxians do.
* NotTheFallThatKillsYou: Played straight when [[spoiler:Sheba falls off Venus Lighthouse and Felix jumps after her; both]] survive thanks to [[DeusExMachina the sea miraculously rising up as they fell]].
** Sheba has a history of this. That crater by Lalivero? Yeah, that was her, falling from the sky ''as an infant''.
*** In ''The Lost Age'', Kraden theorizes that, being a Wind Adept, Sheba can use her powers to break her fall with strong gusts of wind.
* NowWhereWasIGoingAgain: After getting a boat in the 2nd, you have to get three items in no relevant order.
** The continent of Osenia. Without directions, you're likely to head straight east through Yampi Desert to Alhafra, when you're actually supposed to go south to Mikasalla and then east from there to Garoh and Air's Rock. Doing the former [[WakeUpCallBoss can come back to haunt you]]. To make matters worse, there's a plot hook for Garoh ''in Alhafra''.
*** What direction you're "supposed" to go in Osenia is debatable. After all, [[FridgeLogic why would they include a one-way shortcut to Air's Rock]] ''[[FridgeLogic right next to the Alhafra exit in Yampi Desert]]'' [[FridgeLogic if you weren't supposed to go to Alhafra before then?]] Not to mention you need an item from ''Yampi Desert'' to get a Djinni in Mikasalla, but if you went to Air's Rock first [[GuideDangIt you'd have no reason to ever be in the Mikasalla area for the rest of the game...]]
* ObfuscatingStupidity: In a fashion; Garet is by no means stupid, but is often assumed to be so due to his recklessness.
* {{Oculothorax}}: The Wise One.
* OldSaveBonus: You can transfer party and event data from the first game for some really ''necessary'' bonuses
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: [[spoiler:The Wise One, particularly for what it does to the entire group at the end of The Lost Age]]
* OneGameForThePriceOfTwo: The two games can be played alone, but you won't make much sense of the story, or get the best possible summons, magic and equipment.
* OneHitKill: The Crystal Rod's unleash, Drown, will sometimes cause this via suffocation. No better is the Thanatos Mace unleash, Heartbreak, which summons some kind of demon to literally tear out your enemy's heart and crush it in his hand.
* OrphansPlotTrinket: Ivan's staff.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent with a dash of OurElvesAreBetter: Excluding the random encounter dragons, the Proxians may well be "dragons". They tend to transform into dragons, plus have oddly colored skin, pointed ears and patches of scaly shoulders (though the last is only noticeable on official art and a few it is designed in a way that it may be mistaken for armor). They seem to have a higher adept ratio than any of the other modern civilizations around the Lighthouses (and the Mars Lighthouse mentions dragons as masters of Mars Psynergy).
* OurGeniesAreDifferent: For one thing, they don't grant wishes; they just increase your characters' power, change their classes, and give them special abilities. For another, they aren't trapped in bottles, rings, or lamps. Though sometimes {{Muggles}} keep them as pets.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: They're psychic, and the result of [[GreenRocks Psynergy-stone exposure]].
* OutGambitted: Oooh, you ''almost'' had ultimate power, [[spoiler:Alex]]! Too bad [[spoiler:The Wise One]] took a moment at the start of the ''first'' game to set up a plan to screw you over at the last possible second, huh?
* PaddedSumoGameplay: For all the flashy Psynergy and Summon Magic, endgame LevelGrinding is a lot faster if you just hit the "Attack" option over and over again.
* PaletteSwap:
** Occurs frequently with many monsters in the RandomEncounters, but this trope also applies to the Linked Battles where your friend's party appears as different colors to help distinguish themselves should you be using the same party and are dubbed with "Enemy" before their name, such as Enemy Isaac.
** Isaac and Garet's mothers look exactly alike barring hair colors to distinguish between the two of them.
* PalsWithJesus: "Isaac, since when were you on a first-name basis with the Wise One?"
* PartyInMyPocket: Your travelling companions, including the Djinn and Kraden.
* PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling: Just past the barricade in the first game there is small area just outside of the baricade where you can run against the mountains and fight much stronger monsters.
* PetalPower: Flora, an early-game summon in the second game.
* PersonalityPowers: Mostly averted, as the characters don't all have clearly defined personalities, except for Garet and Jenna who are both {{Fiery Redhead}}s, and Piers, who gives the party [[IncrediblyLamePun the cold shoulder]] [[DefrostingIceQueen for a while]]. Mars Adepts in general seem to be a HotBlooded lot.
* ThePhilosopher: Kraden the Sage.
* ThePhoenix: The Phoenix enemy line, consisting of the Phoenix, Fire Bird, and Wonder Bird. These monsters are renowned for acting multiple times per turn and having a high ExperiencePoint yield. The Phoenix monster is also seen in the Mars-based Phoenix Psynergy in the Lich Psynergy set.
* PlanarShockwave: Seen in quite a few Summons' attacks and weapons' Unleashes. Sol Blade's Unleash, Megiddo, is one of the more prominent examples.
* PlayerVersusPlayer: Both games have a two-player duel mode.
* PlayingWithFire: Mars Adepts. Garet, Jenna, and each game's antagonistic duo.
* PlotCoupon: This game has many a plot coupon. Most of them are a specific Psynergy that is gained by completing a quest (or series of quests), and are required to proceed to the next stage of the central story.
** However, the most notable example of Plot Coupon in these games is the Trident from The Lost Age. To obtain it, the player must first obtain the three prongs of the trident by travelling to 3 separate towers across a great sea. The Trident is then forged at a fourth tower and at the conclusion of an entirely separate story arc. The Trident's only function is to weaken an otherwise immortal boss (called Poseiden, by the way) so that they don't heal every other turn. The Trident is never seen, heard of, or used again.
* PokeInTheThirdEye: Adepts can detect their minds being read, and respond in a way that interrupts the reading. Alex, for instance, asks aloud if you really thought he'd let you do that, while Karst notices and starts mocking and threatening you in her mind. Even Garet gets in on this in the first game, [[PsychicStatic shielding his thoughts with mental complaints about Ivan reading his mind]].
* PoorCommunicationKills: [[spoiler: The Proxians' goals are actually in the world's best interests and you end up siding with them in the end. If Saturos and Menardi had just bothered to explain, you would not have needed to fight and kill them.]]
** Unfortunately, [[spoiler: they did try to warn the elders of Vale about the end of the world, and probably reasoned that Isaac, having come from Vale, wouldn't listen either]].
* PortTown:
** Lalivero, Alhafra, and Champa.
** Lemuria seems to have been a more active port town in it's heyday.
* PowersAsPrograms: Quite apart from the [[ClassAndLevelSystem Djinn-based class system]], many "utility" powers are [[UpgradeArtifact gained from certain items]] -- most {{Broken Bridge}}s throughout the games are dealt with by finding the relevant item. With the exception of Grind, which is limited to Earth adepts for some reason, these powers can be used by anyone who equips the item (''Dark Dawn'' changes this; ''all'' the psynergy-granting items - except the Slap Glove, which you only have for a single dungeon - are locked to certain elements like Grind was).
* PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo: In ''Golden Sun: The Lost Age'', you take on the role of Felix, who was a minor antagonist in the first game, and take on three new party members with him. Eventually, you run into the original party from the first game. [[spoiler:They join up with you in Contigo after the conflict that occurs at Jupiter Lighthouse.]]
* PsychicPowers: Some forms of Psynergy.
* PunnyName: The Mercury Adept sailor named ''Piers''.
** Air's Rock. It's a massive singular rock in the middle of a desert, [[FantasyCounterpartCulture on the Australia-based continent]].
** Steel, originally [[KissOfDeath Kiss]], ''steals'' the opponent's HP.
** Tret Tree (treachery) in the first game.
* PurpleIsPowerful: Jupiter, represented by the color purple is the most effective element in the series from ''The Lost Age'' onwards, being super effective against 80% of the enemies and bosses. The same bunch of enemies and bosses are highly resistant to the intended strongest element (Venus) making said element's offenses ironically useless all the time.
* PuzzleBoss: Serpent in Gaia Rock.
* QuicksandBox: There is a part in the second game in which you aren't told what you have to do other than "Go to Lemuria", and a "Get to the other side of the world" but it's blocked by an obstacle. While it is a little more non-linear and some people actually really like that; the game doesn't really keep track of the stuff you had done so the only way to figure out whether or not you completed certain dungeons was to go explore them and find that that was the trident piece you had in your inventory. The other half of the world is thankfully a lot less...vague about where to go since there isn't as much content.
** Not only that, but once you get the ship, there's very little telling you that you have to do certain things - For example, there's very little reason to go to Tundralia Tower to get that Trident Piece.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Or as Agatio puts it, "This is an unlikely bunch of ragamuffins."
* RandomEncounters
* RandomlyDrops: The game uses this, but it was discovered that the random number generator used to determine drop rates wasn't really random at all. Thus, by making a specific party and conducting battles in ''just'' the right amount of turns and action orders, you can ''guarantee'' that an enemy will drop [[InfinityPlusOneSword even the most powerful weapons and armor]] in the game.
* RareCandy: Peanuts, cookies, bread, apples, mint leaves, and... pepper. Each will boost a single stat.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: [[spoiler:Babi]] and [[spoiler:the Lemurians]]. This is played with in the case of [[spoiler:Piers/Picard, the Lemurian sailor]], who refuses to admit his age.
* RedHerring: In Lemuria, reading a dog's mind provides a hint to dig around for buried items. When the player uses Scoop near the dog, yields a bone - a completely useless item. The dog may have actually been referring to a rusty sword buried some distance away on the same screen.
* RegeneratingMana: Walking around restores Psynergy Points.
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: The Djinn.
* RunDontWalk: You walk so slowly outside of battle it is practically required to hold the B button down at all times.
* SadlyMythtaken: Over and over. The way the elements are associated is hint enough of not following any mythology to a T. Too many examples to list, but some bizarre ones are below;
** It becomes very interesting when you summon Neptune against Poseidon. Poseidon, stop hitting yourself!
** Coatlicue, the hideous all-devouring snake goddess of the Aztecs, is routinely portrayed in summons as a cute ShrineMaiden who heals your party. In comparison, Boreas the giant snow-cone machine doesn't seem nearly as bad.
** Similar to Coatlicue example above, Nereid in the GBA games is a turtle-riding Japanese princess.
** Moloch is a big fluffy dog that has a blizzard breath.
** Mother Earth Cybele looks like a fusion of [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Grotle and Politoed]]. Though Frog!Cybele comes before Grotle. Averted in ''Dark Dawn''.
** Ulysses (Latin for Odysseus) is even worse-how does a male Greek hero in The Odyssey ends up being an ofuda-throwing ''female'' Japanese mage?
*** Most of the summons were corrected or at least enhanced in ''Dark Dawn'', though the trope is still played straight occasionally. See the [[GoldenSunDarkDawn Dark Dawn]] page for more details.
* SavePoint: Averted -- you can save anywhere, anytime outside of battles and cutscenes. Once the final battle is done in the second game, the game refuses to save if you try to do it until after the credits are over.
* SavingTheWorld: [[spoiler:But ''Felix's'' party is the one that is actually working towards that goal, although no one (not even Felix himself) knew it until Lemuria.]]
* ScarfOfAssKicking: '''Isaac'''. 17-year-old + bright yellow scarf = many dead monsters.
** Menardi's Sash of Asskicking.
** Felix, too, has an amazing cape that billows over his shoulder.
* SchmuckBait: There are at least two cases in the first game alone of a sign telling you ''not'' to do something necessary to advance in the game. HilarityEnsues.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: [[spoiler:The Wise One gives one to the Adepts at the end of the second game in the form of tricking them into murdering their own parents before being able to light the last Lighthouse; when the heroes do light it, the parents are revived, and ThePhilosopher Kraden figures it was a test.]]
* SequelHook: At the end of the first game, setting up the second. At the end of the second game, too, when [[spoiler:The Wise One takes some of the power from the Golden Sun and seals it away in the Mars Star]], not to mention the fact that the villain, though vanquished, did not technically die, setting up...over six years of waiting until ''Golden Sun DS'' was finally revealed at E3 2009.
* SequelEscalation: The final boss for ''Golden Sun'', the first game, had about 5000 HP. The first form is two targets with 3000 HP each. In ''Lost Age''? You meet a boss with 3000 HP in the ''middle of the game''. The final boss has a good ''10,000''. Also, you could beat the first Golden Sun decently equipped at level 24 - The second will push you at least to level 30 if you're fully equipped, otherwise you may need to go much higher.
* SequenceBreaking: Easily possible in the first game. You can easily choose to go straight to Imil before ever going to Kolima, and you don't really ''have'' to go to the Fuchin Temple to beat the first game (you can get through the Mogall Forest by TrialAndErrorGameplay, and after that, all that Force is used for is getting one optional scene.) Unfortunately, if you fail to pick up the Orb of Force, you'll be unable to get OneHundredPercentCompletion in ''The Lost Age'', as two of the Djinn in that game cannot be reached without the Force Psynergy.
** Normally, you need the Orb of Force to get the Lift Psynergy, getting through the mines in Altin and ultimately progressing in the game - but if you failed to pick it up, the game will [[CrowningMomentOfFunny change a few things to let you keep going]] and prevent an UnwinnableByMistake situation. Likewise with the Lash Pebble in TLA.
** Possible in the second game, too, if you make the mistake of going to the Yampi Desert and Alhafra right away instead of heading south to Mikasalla. Unfortunately, in that case the consequences are a little more dire-- Briggs and his friends are geared towards a higher-level party that picked up better equipment in Garoh and Air's Rock, and as a result can be ''[[WakeUpCallBoss devastating]]'' to a party that didn't.
* SequentialBoss: The final bosses of both games. In the first game, [[spoiler:Saturos and Menardi battle Isaac's party, revitalize themselves after the fight and fuse into the Fusion Dragon]]. In the second game, [[spoiler:although you fight the Doom Dragon in one long battle, it has three forms with their own separate HP meters]].
* ShiftingSandLand: ''Two'' deserts in ''Golden Sun'', one in ''The Lost Age''. Lamakan Desert in particular DOES become too hot for the group and they start ''taking damage from heatstroke'' unless they rest at hidden oases.
* ShipperOnDeck: A rather notorious scene in ''The Lost Age'' has Sheba asking Jenna about the nature of her relationship with Isaac.
** During [[ChineseGirl Feizhi's]] [[TheCameo transfer-data appearance]] in ''The Lost Age'', Kraden recognizes and encourages her crush on Isaac, much to Feizhi's embarrassment.
* ShipTease: What powers the above developed shipping fandom. Most of the major ships get a moment or two. I.e: Jenna blushing when Kraden and Sheba call her and Isaac an "item."
** How about a ShipTease for both Valeshipping ''and'' Mudshipping in the first game? Go back to Vale, and some of the [=NPCs=] will express alarm that you're traveling with a girl who isn't Jenna. Isaac, you old two-timer, you!
* ShockAndAwe: Ivan and Sheba again.
* ShootTheMedicFirst: Invoked [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy on the villains' side]] in ''The Lost Age''. Agatio sets a trap at Jupiter Lighthouse to get Mia out of the picture before attacking Isaac's party, reasoning that as a Water Adept and a medic she's the single biggest threat they have.
* ShoutOut: To...''[[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus Monty Python]]''? ''Yes.'' Amazing the {{Easter Egg}}s you can find with Mind Read... (in Kolima, one of the [=NPCs=] is thinking the Lumberjack Song to himself)
** If you keep telling the first Djinni in the second game "no", he'll eventually launch into a Creator/BillyMays-esque sales pitch.
** There's a mob in the second game called an Alec Goblin, which may or may not be a shout out pun to Alec Baldwin.
** The Japanese version has a [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Captain Picard]].
** Due to Camelot's (then Sonic! Software Planning) involvement with the ''Franchise/ShiningSeries'' there are a number of nods to it. Beyond the the easily noticed graphical similarities in the interface, one injured person in the 2nd game thinks "Eyes... ShiningInTheDarkness... No! Go away!!!" and the final boss has an attack called "Darksol Gasp".
*** Mia's Ply power, the few times it can be used in the overworld, is represented by Primula from ''ShiningForceIII''. Additionally, Deadbeard, the bonus boss of the first game, is referred to as Talos in the Japanese version (Talos is the name of a recurring enemy/boss in the Shining series).
** TheIncredibleHulk is referenced with a random castle guard, who is thinking "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" when you mind read him.
** [[strike:Chi]] Ki is named [[StarWars Force]] in the West. Makes sense in context, and probably was unintentional, but it was too funny to let it pass.
** The Djinni Rime is found in Old Lemuria... home of the "[[Literature/TheRimeOfTheAncientMariner ancient mariner]]".
** At the lucky medal fountain in Tolbi, the obstacles in the fountains are [[VideoGame/MarioBros crabs and turtles that change colors and speed up when struck]].
* ShownTheirWork: ''Golden Sun'' is good at geography and history. Most of the {{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}}s have reasonably authentic architecture, attire, and even local cuisine.
* [[strike:[[BlindIdiotTranslation Sinister Size]]]] SinisterScythe: Menardi and Karst's.
* {{Sidequest}}: Important if you want HundredPercentCompletion.
* SlapOnTheWristNuke: Being tossed into the sun, for starters.
* SleevesAreForWimps: The Proxians seem to follow this trope, and it [[JustifiedTrope makes sense as well]] - look closely, and you realise that their arms are actually covered not in armour, but scales (with what seem to be jutting spikes on their shoulders). This is a fairly good hint towards their more draconian-than-human traits, too.
* SorryImLate: [[spoiler:The fight against Karst and Agatio on Jupiter Lighthouse]] works like this--much to the enemies' chagrin since their original plan was to fight the group two at a time.
* SoleEntertainmentOption
* SoundTest: ''Golden Sun: The Lost Age'' has a pretty well-hidden one as an EasterEgg, which requires talking to a specific NPC (the woman in the lower-left-most corner of the area) in the multiplayer Battle Mode lobby while holding the L or R button. The Sound Test only lets you play songs that you'd already heard on that save file, but using a completed save file unlocks every track. ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' contains no such feature, however.
* SpeakingSimlish
* SpellMyNameWithAnS:
** Some characters that appear or are referred to in both games have differently-spelled names, or different names altogether. The most notable are Hsu in the first game -> Ulmuch in the second, and Hama in the first game -> Hamma in the second.
*** Speaking of "Ulmuch", by [[IncrediblyLamePun spelling -that- with an S]], one can derive "Urumqi" - a real-world city located approximately where you save Hsu in the first game.
** One of [[BonusBoss Dullahan's]] attacks is called "Formina Sage". However, in ''Dark Dawn'', this attack is called "Fulminous Edge", most likely the correct translation.
* SpiderSense: apparently all Jupiter Adepts develop this after a while. Hama is particularly good at it.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The ''Golden Sun'' series is this to the ''ShiningForce'' series, at least as it was back on the Sega Genesis and Game Gear, when Camelot was the developer. Those original ''SF'' games were strategy RPG's instead of ''Golden Sun's'' traditional RPG style, but the plots, graphics, menus, and visual effects carry obvious similarities regardless.
** More directly, to Beyond The Beyond, which itself was a Spiritual Successor to Shining in the Darkness and Shining the Holy Ark.
* SpitefulAI: The Djinn you fight as random encounters plus the phoenix type monsters will usually decide to run away from battle before you can finish it off. In dungeons, Djinn that flee can be fought again by just leaving the area and returning while those on the overworld map just have to be found in the area again. The phoenix monsters, however, appear randomly like any other monster, but since they are MetalSlime type monsters, they give TONS of experience points.
* SquishyWizard: Ivan, Sheba
* StartXToStopX: Restoring Alchemy might destroy the world, and will most likely cause wars. Not restoring Alchemy will destroy the world eventually.
* StatusBuffDispel: The Break Psynergy, which eliminates the status boosts of all enemy party members.
* StealthBasedMission: [[BonusDungeon Lunpa Fortress]] in the first game, Kibombo Mountains in the second, both with SwissCheeseSecurity.
* TheStinger: The first game has this as a setup for the sequel. The second game has this as a setup for... nothing, for six years. Then ''Dark Dawn'' happened, but it still [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot resolved very few]] of the {{Sequel Hook}}s set up in ''The Lost Age''.
* StockForeignName: Feizhi's name in the Japanese version is Kouran, which is the second-most common name[[note]]the most common is Meiling, or some variation of it[[/note]] given to {{Anime Chinese Girl}}s like her in most Japanese media.
* StrangeSyntaxSpeaker: The people of Xian use some strange sentence structures (though not nearly as strange as some fanfic writers portray it), presumably to show that they normally speak a different language from the heroes. This is present even in the Japanese versions, as references to it are made in the ''4koma Gag Battle'' doujinshi. Curiously, Xian's successor-nations in ''Dark Dawn'' are filled with people who speak normally.
* SummonMagic: The Djinn. And, you know, the Summons themselves. Also the magic provided by the class-changing Trainer's Whip and Tomegathericon items.
* TakeYourTime: Oh, yes. Lampshaded when Layana scolds your party after you [[spoiler: rescued Hammet]].
* TakesOneToKillOne: While theoretically Venus and Jupiter are super effective against each other Jupiter-affiliated enemies (with the exception of Jupiter Djinn and BonusBoss Sentinel) are weak to their own element. [[FakeBalance This makes Venus-based offenses highly resisted by many enemies and bosses.]]
* ThatsNoMoon: [[spoiler:Anemos]]
* TitleDrop: [[spoiler:The Golden Sun is a mass of energy that rises above Mt. Aleph in the second game.]]
* TomeOfEldritchLore: Tomegathericon, a spellbook in the second game which gives you a demon-summoning character class. The Japanese version even calls it "[[CthulhuMythos Necronomicon]]". It lets you summon the BonusBoss as a Psynergy attack.
* TooAwesomeToUse: Waters of Life and Psy Crystals, although the second game is a bit more generous with the amount you can get.
** In the second game, you can get those as random drops, but both are in bonus dungeons, the latter of which is in the Anemos Sanctum, needing all djinn from the previous game.
* TookALevelInBadass: Isaac and Felix, in different ways in ''The Lost Age'':
** Once he stops the HeroicMime business, Isaac speaks like a kind but hard-cutting warrior, especially evident in the way he stands up to Karst and Agatio.
** Once Felix begins fighting for himself instead of apparently letting Saturos and Menardi kill everything, it's very possible for him to be more powerful than Isaac [[spoiler:when the two parties join up near the end of ''The Lost Age'']].
* TornadoMove: All the Jupiter adepts have access to a [[RuleOfThree trio of spells]] called Whirlwind, Tornado, and Tempest. Also available to Venus and Mars adepts are the spells Gale, Typhoon, and Hurricane. All six of these spells attack the enemy with electrified tornados.
** In addition, the third-level Jupiter summon sucks enemies up in a tornado before a bird-like goddess beats the snot out of them.
* TranslationCorrection: A few of the Djinn have their names changed to reflect their elements, and thus the ThemeNaming, better (Such as Solo and Duo -> Flint and Echo).
* TraumaInn: Only for HP and MP though. All status ailments like poison and death must be removed either by magic spells, elixirs or antidotes, or visiting the town's Sanctum and paying for each individual cure.
** Being haunted by the Grim Reaper can be fixed with Restore. Being haunted by evil spirits requires a professional exorcist.
* TurnsRed: [[spoiler: Doom Dragon, as it loses its heads. Each form is programmed to act differently and has its own HP meter, which causes [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle summon rush strategies to fail.]]]]
* UnfamiliarCeiling: During the InevitableTournament, dying in battle makes you wake up in the infirmary, surrounded by your friends, who will then inform you that you were just dreaming. Then you have to restart the tournament from the beginning. And if you win... you wake up in the infirmary, surrounded by your friends, who will then inform you that you won.
* UnwinnableByMistake: Averted, TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything. If you give the Lash Pebble to Piers and you go to Lemuria, when Piers will leave the party you will need to Lash once to enter the house of [[spoiler:Lunpa]]. However, if you can't use Lash, [[spoiler:Lunpa]] will insult you and throw down a rope instead, preventing you from getting stuck.
** In the first game, if you enter Altin Mines without the Force Psynergy needed to cause a path-opening rockslide, Garet will get frustrated and kick a wall, causing the rockslide.
** Used the Retreat glitch to skip getting Mia at Mercury Lighthouse? Well, you also skipped the only locations where Ply is needed to continue, and getting the Frost Gem enables you to solve Frost puzzles without her.
* TheUnfought: [[spoiler: Alex. His final fate was left ambiguous (he was left atop Mt. Aleph as it collapsed).]]
* UpgradeArtifact: Psynergy-bestowing equipment, Psynergy-teaching tablets in the Elemental Rock dungeons, etc.
* UrbanLegendOfZelda: Minor compared to several other examples of this trope, but there were long-running jokes that managed to fool a few poor newbies, such as getting Feizhi and Kraden to join the party (with Kraden being an incredibly powerful mage in the "Philosopher" class) and the infamous [[http://goldensunwiki.net/Wheat_Sword Wheat Sword]].
** "Golden Sun 3" itself was an April Fools' joke for several years, complete with several hoax box covers. So fans found it a little hard to believe when "[[VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn Golden Sun DS]]" really was announced at E3 2009.
* UselessUsefulSpell: Bosses in particular tend to shrug off status ailments in about a round or so. And your buffs are useless against the Fire Clan enemies, since they all apparently know Break.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: Venus Lighthouse in ''Golden Sun'', Mars Lighthouse in ''The Lost Age''
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: You know that guy at the beginning of the game who appears to be injured, and asks you if he's going to die? If you say "no," he gets up and finds that he's not injured at all. But if you say "yes," ''he actually dies.''
** Likewise, you can completely miss the tree situation at Bilbin Junction, so Jill the tree gets washed away downriver. Either she [[AndIMustScream never reverts to being a human when Tret restores everybody else]], or she reverts to human and then drowns, or she washes ashore far away from her home and everybody she's ever loved, probably in monster-infested territory. Pick your FridgeHorror.
** The AntiGrinding mechanic in Sol Sanctum can be duped by getting Jenna KO'd. [[SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear You can also loot her stuff before she gets kidnapped]].
* VillainEpisode: Subverted in ''The Lost Age''; Felix's quest is just as heroic as Isaac's.
* VillainsActHeroesReact: Subverted in ''The Lost age''; your party acts, opposed by the Wise One. Inaction is what would end Weyard.
* ViolationOfCommonSense: In ''The Lost Age'', you must ''jump off the edge of the world'' to find a hidden Djinni.
* WarmupBoss: The three thieves in the first game, the three [[strike: [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys gorillas]]]] [[CallARabbitASmeerp Chestbeaters]] in the second
* WarpWhistle: The Teleport Lapis, found in the second game's last dungeon.
** Retreat, a default power of the heroes, lets you escape a dungeon quickly, unless the plot actively wants to prevent you doing so.
* WatchingTroyBurn
* WelcomeToCorneria: An interesting variation - all {{NPC}}s seem to follow this trope to the letter, but each one thinks a second static line of dialogue you can Mind Read for. Oftentimes, these reveal they're hypocrites.
** There's even a LampshadeHanging: Talking to a certain servant will have him tell you to follow a red carpet to reach his master. Read his mind, and...
-->* Thinking* "How many times do I have to tell them? Why won't they leave me alone?"
* WhatTheHellHero: Whatever you choose to answer when asked to hand over the Elemental Stars in Sol Sanctum, either Garet (who wants to AlwaysSaveTheGirl) or Kraden (who is in the HostageSituation but tells you to forget about him) is going to call you out about it. Garet even kicks you.
* WhatWereTheySellingAgain: The game's commercials aren't known for their accuracy, and distracts the audience from the actual product they are promoting. The first game has a chandelier dragon attacking a woman doing a surfing pose in an opera house, followed by some [[AnachronismStew musicians in tuxedos]] using their violins as makeshift bows to attack the dragon. The real content of the game is only shown towards the last few seconds of the commercial.
** While the scenario is out of ''The Broken Seal'' 's timeline, the aforementioned dragon was reintroduced as a summon in ''Dark Dawn'' 10 years later and named Crystallux.
* WhenTreesAttack: Tret, a talking tree that has been given a violent split personality, is one of the earliest boss battles.
* WhipItGood: The Trainer's Whip in ''The Lost Age.'' It can't be used as a weapon, but it does bestow its wielder with (among other things) the Whiplash Psynergy spell.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Subverted. The Lemurians willingly keep drinking the elixir and could end their lives or choose to age normally at any time; a lot of them are simply supremely bored.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: [[spoiler: Isaac and Jenna take this to extreme levels. There are hints during the first two games that Jenna likes Isaac but it takes 14 years after then end of the 2nd game for them to have their first child. There are real people who have their first child in their 30s but those usually meet their wife/husband in their late 20s or early 30s, Isaac and Jenna have know each other since they were toddlers.]]
* WorldSundering: Happens after [[spoiler:Venus Lighthouse is activated]]. This is commented by several [=NPCs=].
* {{Wutai}}: Izumo, although it represents an older Japan than the standard trope.
* XanatosGambit: [[spoiler:The Wise One, knowing that someone might take advantage of the Golden Sun to become all powerful, modifies the Mars Star at the beginning of the first game so that whoever is at Mt. Aleph will only inherit 3/4 of its power. In addition to this, he sends Isaac on the quest to stop the lighthouses from being lit and, in case it fails, tests the group's resolve by pitting them against their transformed parents ensuring that they were willing to do whatever it takes to keep the world safe.]]
** Alex's {{plan}} is not this. [[spoiler:He gets OutGambitted at the last possible second by the aforementioned Wise One's plan.]]
* YouALLLookFamiliar: The shop and inn girls/dudes.
* YouCanBarelyStand: Inverted. Four teenagers battle the extremely powerful Saturos on the top of Mercury Lighthouse about 25% through the game and would normally not be a match for him, but the location's influence on ElementalPowers lets the group manage to defeat him and render him in this position.
** Inverted again [[spoiler:after the second-to-last boss of the first game, where they do it again only without the bosses being handicapped. Of course, said bosses end up getting [[FusionDance very creative]] with how they use the new fountain of Earth energy they just activated...]]
** And inverted again in the second game, when Felix & co. do this to Agatio and Karst.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Inverted; In the first game, after Isaac and Garet set out from their hometown on their journey after agreeing to the Wise One's instruction to stop the villains, they can return home at several points, and the villagers will even ask how things are going.
** This is double inverted because Dora apparently made Isaac promise (off-screen) not to come back before he has completed his quest, yet not only are you allowed to return to the home town, you are actually encouraged as there's a Bonus Dungeon hidden in there.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Lemuria in particular is dedicated to the color blue, but other examples appear here and there (not limited to just blue at that!)
** All Mercury Adepts have blue hair. The Fire Clan is as wild in hair colors as they are in [[AmazingTechnicolorPopulation skin colors]].
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Agatio and Karst try to pull this on [[spoiler:Felix]]. It backfires if you win.
* YouKilledMyFather: Definitely invoked by [[spoiler:Karst]], with the variation that [[spoiler:it's her sister who was killed, and Karst doesn't know she actually committed suicide]].
* YouMeddlingKids: One of the Champa Pirates delivers the line if Felix and the gang visit them in jail.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: The [[spoiler: Doom Dragon]] boss fight is set up in a way that severely nerfs summon damage and thus prevents "summon rush" strategies from working. ([[spoiler: You're not fighting one huge monster, you're fighting three forms, each with its own damage calculation for summons.]])
* YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo: Played with at [[spoiler:the end of the first game, where the party trades the [[PlotCoupon Shaman's Rod]] to Saturos for his hostage, Sheba, only to be tricked by crafty wording. (To be fair, Saturos only said he wouldn't hurt Sheba; her release was never mentioned.)]]
** Subverted with Jenna and Kraden at the beginning of the first game, as Isaac and Garet are unable to hand over the Mars Star before Saturos and Menardi's party is forced to flee with the hostages.