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->''"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 UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance, who you may recall also made ''[[Videogame/SuperMarioBros Mario]] Golf'' and ''Tennis'' as well as Sega's ''Shining'' series. The sequel, ''Videogame/GoldenSunTheLostAge'', was released in 2003, while the third game, ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'', was released in 2010 for the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS.

''Videogame/GoldenSunTheBrokenSeal'' 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.

''Videogame/GoldenSunTheLostAge'' is a PerspectiveFlip, centered around the least dangerous of those antagonists.

''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 Game Boy Advance. Definitely worth a look for fans of the genre, although non-fans may find the RandomEncounters annoying.

The game's battle system revolves around the presence of [[OurGeniesAreDifferent Djinn]], elemental manifestations of nature released from the Sol Sanctum, where the Golden Sun lies. They, like the adepts who wield them, make up the different elements; Mercury for [[MakingASplash water]] and [[AnIcePerson ice]], Venus for the [[DishingOutDirt earth]], [[GreenThumb plants]] and [[{{Necromancer}} death]], Mars for [[PlayingWithFire fire]] and [[MagmaMan magma]], and Jupiter, for [[BlowYouAway wind]] and [[ShockAndAwe lightning.]] 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.

'''Each game in the series has its own page. Please keep this in mind before adding tropes that only apply to one game on this page.'''

!!Tropes within the first duology:

[[folder:A - K]]
%%* TheAbridgedSeries: See ''WebVideo/GoldenSunTheAbridgedSeries''.
* AbilityRequiredToProceed: Various psynergy powers are required to solve puzzles or remove barriers. Most notable is Grind from [[VideoGame/GoldenSunTheLostAge the second game]], which is almost never used after its first use to break the rock barriers that separate the oceans.
** Similarly, Lift is used maybe once or twice to get into Magma Rock, which [[VideoGame/GoldenSunTheBrokenSeal the first]] used quite a bit more.
* 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.
%%* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: The Fire Clan.
%%* AnIcePerson: The Mercury Clan (such as Mia and Alex) and the Lemurians (such as Piers) tend to be this.
* AnimeHair: Largely averted, the more outlandish hair styles and colors belong to Adepts which are the minority in the series.
* 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.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: In some of the larger rooms that require you to run around a ''lot'' in order to complete the BlockPuzzle, RandomEncounters will be turned off for that room.
* 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.]]
* 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 (9 Mars and 4 Mercury) 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. Adding to that, the only way to earn Iris is to defeat the secret bonus boss. There's nothing else to use the summon on except the final story boss, who has a slight resistance against it. \\\
However, Iris still has one effective way of using it in the final battle, as it revives all members of the party, including inactive ones. So if you prepare the Djinn of your second party to immediately summon Iris, you can easily revive your first party as soon as they are defeated. But that is pretty much the only use this summon still has at this point in the game.
* BagOfSharing: Averted; each character has his/her own inventory.
* BattleThemeMusic: Most of the boss battle themes are epic, even on the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance.
* 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 Franchise/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.
** The emblem on the antagonists' armor can be seen as the kanji for "fire", fitting their element.
* BlindIdiotTranslation:
** Similar to the "Fire Bracelet/Breath" issue from ''Franchise/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. This was fixed for Karst in ''The Lost Age'', who used the exact same 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''.
** The Venus Psynergy "Fear Puppet" is translated as "Fire Puppet". Its attack sequence shows a ghost projecting out of the user to induce fear on the enemy, not spitting fire.
* BlockPuzzle: A ''lot''. Several Psynergies are introduced to remove blocks in various ways.
* 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.
* 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 (and outright necessary if you want to win quickly) than most attack Psynergy.
** Passive PP regeneration items for mages are extremely unexciting yet highly valuable against most of the end-game bosses and the [[BossRush Arena mode]].
** 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 [[LevelDrain 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 elemental power and psynergy.
* BossRush: The battle mode has a potential to turn into this, as it randomly selects creatures you have encountered during the main game. Sometimes, the game selects multiple bosses in a row. This can become very painful with an endgame party in The Lost Age, as you can potentially encounter multiple of the game's superbosses, all of which were difficult on their own, but almost impossible when fighting them without a pause.
* BraggingRightsReward: Beating the bonus boss [[spoiler:Dullahan]] rewards the player with the Iris summon, a ridiculouly powerful and impractical summon that has no use except as eye candy because you've already defeated the strongest enemy in the game to get it. After you earn it, you'll never encounter another battle where you need it.
* 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.
* TheCameo:
** The fairy Mia summons as her Ply spell is Primula from ''VideoGame/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).
** ''The Lost Age'' has a sprite sheet for [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]] [[http://kprs.laronmi.net/taow/miscellaneous/link/link.htm in game but unused]].
* 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.
* ChekhovsGun:
** Pretty much any time you see a puddle of water before you acquire your party's Mercury Adept (or the Frost Jewel in the first game).
** The first game also has the heavy boulders that require the Lift Psyenergy (acquired roughly halfway through the game) located in the first couple of towns. Usually returning once you have the appropriate Psyenergy yields a bit of treasure, often including a Djinni.
** [[spoiler:The second game, however, has one of the prongs of the Trident of Ankohl, a plot-critical item, hidden in the very first dungeon, unreachable on your first trip due to Piers not yet being in the party.]]
** The Wise One's action before Isaac takes the Mars Star in the first game [[spoiler:finally becomes significant in the ending]].
* ChestMonster: Played straight with Mimics in several areas in each game. They drop good items, though, so it's worth battling each one.
* 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. The only exception is the Venus Lighthouse, which has walls as purple as the Jupiter Lighthouse.
** Mercury/Water is, of course, [[WaterIsBlue 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 sometimes paired with [[WindIsGreen green]].
* CompositeCharacter: Some of the summons are a composite of deities from several myths; Atalanta is mixed with Artemis, Iris is a cross between her namesake in Myth/ClassicalMythology and several solar deities and Coatlicue's animation is inspired from Aphrodite's birth from the sea.
* 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 second, [[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 cousins, 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.)
* CooldownManipulation:
** After Djinn are used to summon a spirit, they need to recover and are unavailable for use, becoming available one at a time per turn, in the order they were used. The Mercury Djinni Eddy resets one Djinn per character in a single turn.
** The Jupiter Djinni Kite gives one character an extra turn on the turn after it's used.
** The BonusBoss Valukar can use your own summons against you, after which your Djinn will need to recover. Thankfully he often uses this ability without waiting for strong, multi-Djinn summons to be available and [[MightyGlacier his speed is nothing to write home about]].
** In the second and third games, some enemies have abilities that put Djinn in the recovery state one or two at a time. One of the (many) reasons [[BonusBoss the Dullahan]] is so feared is because he can force ''every Djinn on every character'' into recovery (an ability shared with the FinalBoss), not only massively lowering their stats, but also depriving them of SummonMagic, group healing and revive spells.
* 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...
* 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.
%%* DishingOutDirt: Venus Adepts. Isaac and Felix, naturally.
* DivineRaceLift: The [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Nereid]] summon is a turtle-riding Japanese princess in the first two games. ''The Lost Age'' also introduced [[Myth/AztecMythology Coatlicue]] and [[Literature/TheOdyssey Ulysses]] summons, both who vaguely resemble [[{{Miko}} Japanese shrine maidens]].
* 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]].
%%* 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).
* 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/miscellaneous/mindread/mindread.htm here]] (obviously spoilers are contained within).
** [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]] is among the unused sprites.
%%* DungeonMaster: [[spoiler:The Wise One]]
* 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.
* ElementalNation: The Adept clans of Golden Sun fall into this, particularly the Mars Clan of Prox, the Mercury Clan of Imil, and the (functionally-extinct) Jupiter Clan of (vanished) Anemos. Lemuria would also qualify, being exclusively Mercury, though it doesn't identify as such as readily as the others. There's no sign of where or who the Venus Clan was, and Adepts of all four elements have been known to exist elsewhere.
* 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 [[AwesomeButImpractical impractical]] ([[BraggingRightsReward and seeing little use]]) that the {{Infinity Minus One|Sword}} summons are used (and more for their effects than straight damage).
** [[SubvertedTrope However]], about 80% of the enemies and bosses are weak against Jupiter and resists Venus [[spoiler:including the FinalBoss of the second game]], making Venus-based offenses not worth using most of the time. The fact that most mid-to-end game weapons having powerful Jupiter unleashes also says something about said element's complete dominance in battles.
* EncounterRepellant: The Avoid Psynergy and Sacred Feather item lowers encounter rates.
* 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.]]
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: The Elemental Lighthouses, sort of.
* {{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 Ankohl 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's culture is a mixed bag, but it does 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.
* {{Feelies}}: Each game comes with a map of the game world, and a character chart on the flipside
%%* FetchQuest: ''Plenty''.
* FissionMailed: After Isaac and Garet get wiped out by Saturos and Menardi in the prologue, the scene cuts to the title screen as if the game had reset (albeit with more somber music than the title screen's)... but then, "Three years later..."
* 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: Many dungeons feature these.
* FourElementEnsemble: Each game features a playable party of four with each member representing one of the four elements in the series.
* 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!
* {{Foreshadowing}}: If you have played ''The Lost Age'' and know [[spoiler:Saturos and Menardi's true intentions]], Jenna's actions in the Mercury Lighthouse suddenly seem a lot more like [[spoiler:her trying to bring Isaac, Garet, Ivan, and Mia up to speed]] but being intimidated by Menardi (and being shuffled away quickly), rather than her attempting to warn them of Saturos hiding nearby.
%%* FragileSpeedster: Ivan, Sheba, and Jenna. And Karst on the opposing side.
* FriendlyFireproof: Many summons and a couple of weapon unleashes only affect enemies. This becomes ridiculous in the first game when fighting the Kraken on the Tolbi-bound ship. You can use the [[ColonyDrop Meteor]] and [[KillSat Judgment]] summons against it and said ship [[UpToEleven will not be damaged in any way.]]
* FusionDance: Each of the games' [[spoiler:final boss is a fusion of characters; Saturos and Menardi in game 1 become a two-headed dragon, the parents of Felix and Isaac's dad are turned into a three-headed dragon, and in ''Dark Dawn'', Volechek as the Chaos Hound, Blados, Chalis, and the Dark Adepts are turned into the Chaos Chimera.]]
%%* GeniusLoci: Tret Tree in the first game, the Great Gabomba in the second.
* GoingThroughTheMotions:
** Basically every emotional reaction is represented by ''jumping up and down''. There is even a scene in the first game where the two main-characters try to explain that the world is going to end and stuff by [[CrowningMomentOfFunny running around and jumping.]]
** Luckily they still have PictorialSpeechBubbles to express emotions with.
* 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.
* 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.
** Some [[MechanicallyUnusualClass classes]] ended up relatively obscure. While classes like Brute, Hermit and Swordsman are intuitive, classes like Ninja and Samurai[[note]]The best character classes in the game[[/note]] don't as they require a specific number and type of Djinn on a specific type of adept. Some players may figure out other classes outside of internet guides and manuals but the same usually cannot be said for those two.
** Most players have a hard time even ''knowing'' about the existence of weapons and gear obtained through {{Rare Drop}}s without a guide since the chances of getting such items are very low under normal circumstances.
** There are no indications on what spells and weapon unleashes ''actually'' do in-game, especially the ones with fancy effects and damage multipliers.
* 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]].
* 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 protagonist 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 competition he was in. This is a slight mistranslation when the Japanese version text is just "???".
* 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.
* HostageForMcGuffin: [[spoiler:Jenna and Kraden in the first game in exchange for the Mars Star, Felix and Jenna's parents in the second in exchange for lighting the Lighthouses.]]
* IceMagicIsWater: Mercury [[PsychicPowers adepts]] have abilities mainly based around water, but use ice for several of their offensive abilities, and start off with Freeze as a field move.
* 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.
* InformedFlaw:
** 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:
*** Garet, the first party's Mars Adept, is the most excited to see the ocean.
*** Some Mars Djinn prefer chilling out in icy dungeons, likewise the Fire Clan settled far north[[note]]normally they can withstand it, but if it's too cold the weather can severely weaken them[[/note]].
*** Sheba, the second party's Jupiter Adept 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 less-than-knee-high ROCKS.
** As lampshaded by Feizhi, "Waah! Silk Road! Boulders block the road!".
** Played with in the prologue of the first game, when Saturos and Menardi jump up and down ''cliffs'' without a second thought.
** There's a Venus Djinni in Kolima walled-in by fences that might or might not be the same height as said Djinni. The only way to obtain it is to find a ''[[BehindTheBlack secret passage]]'' leading to said spot, and not simply climbing over the fence.
** Another Venus Djinn near the Kalay Docks is trapped behind a landslide-which are around Isaac's height at most on the overworld.
** 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...
* 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...
* 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.
* JackOfAllTrades: The party leaders Isaac and Felix are quite well-rounded and can fit in various roles.
* KatanasAreJustBetter: The Kikuichimonji and Muramasa in the first game, Masamune in the second.
* 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.
* 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: Most fire-breathing enemies are weak to water, including the Proxians.
* KillSat: The Venus 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.

[[folder: L - Z]]
* LeastCommonSkinTone: Averted amongst the {{NPC}}s at least - with its liberal use of FantasyCounterpartCulture, the player will meet Africans, Middle Eastern people, Asians, Native Americans, and even Pacific Islanders(though the sprites are recycled from one edge of the world to another). The party members, however, all share the same ethnicity. Justified in that the majority of them literally came from the same hometown and general area.
* {{Leitmotif}}:
** Babi has one in the original game.
** Ivan does too, which 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 original, it's used for the game's BonusBoss as well.
** Briggs has a laid-back one that plays [[LongSongShortScene during one scene]], specifically during [[spoiler:his getaway scene]].
** The sequel 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.
* 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[[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]] while the mages are stuck with the inferior set damage Psynergies that are expensive to use but only deal relatively small damage. This is because physical damage scales with level (up to 99), while Psynergy scales with the number of Djinn attached to your characters (up to 7 in the first game, 9 in the second and third), of which there a finite number, and therefore, a finite amount of power increase.
* LighthousePoint: They are called lighthouses, but they're really more towers that store magical energy.
* LightningBruiser: The Ninja class, with high stats in everything and ''two'' [=EPAs=]. The Samurai class is borderlining on MightyGlacier with some traits of a SupportPartyMember but can be one once they reached a high-enough level to access their own [=EPAs=] Helm Breaker and Quick Strike. The only really useful spells they don't have access to are healing spells. Most of the other tri-element classes also qualify to a lesser degree, having higher stats and more diverse Psynergy options than the dual-element classes.
* LongSongShortScene: It's 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.
* 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, Jupiter with blasts of wind, 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.
* MasterOfNone: Putting Djinn of every element on a character gives much worse results that sticking to a single one. All classes are either based on a two-element structure (capping at seven Djinn of the other element and two of the character's own) or a three-element structure (capping at five of the primary added element and four of the secondary), with most of the three-element classes being considerably stronger than the two-element ones. ''Lost Age'' introduces classes which require equipping a certain key item and using an equal number of Djinn of every element ''except'' the character's own, though since there are only three of these items to go around, at least one character will be stuck as a MasterOfNone if any of the item classes are used.
* 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:-unsuccessfully]], 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).
* 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]].
%%* MetalSlime: Phoenix and its palette-swapped variants.
%%* 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: Several.
** 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.
** 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).
** While the Anemos tribe is ''at least'' mentioned, there is no explanation at all for the missing Venus Clan. Are they hunted to extinction, still in hiding or just vanished? Nobody in the game knows.
* MonsterArena: The Battle mode in each game, including elements of a BossRush.
* {{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.
* MundaneUtility: A Catching magic spell to pluck nuts and apples off trees, and various powers to mend or clear paths throughout the games.
* {{Necromancy}}: For some odd reason Venus not only have powers over [[DishingOutDirt rocks]] and [[GreenThumb plants]], but also have access to death curses and haunting spirits. The strongest Venus summon is even Charon, who creates a shadow attack that [[OneHitKill has a chance to instantly kill enemies]]. The "odd' part comes from how Venus have dominion over these powers yet are never alluded in game dialogue.
* NonElemental: Some Psynergies are not identified with any element.
%%* NonLethalKO.
%%* NoobCave: Sol Sanctum in the original, Kandorean Temple in the sequel.
%%* NotHelpingYourCase: ''Everything'' the Proxians do.
%%* {{Oculothorax}}: The Wise One.
* OhCrap: Quite a few actually.
** Isaac gets one right before a giant boulder falls down in Altin mines and threatens to crush him. Should have listened to the sign, Isaac.
** When Ivan realizes that Saturos and Menardi have not only tricked them into handing over the Shaman's Rod, but are also now going to try and kill them. [[RecurringBoss Again.]]
** Piers, similar to Ivan, when he realizes that Agaito and Karst are going to try and murder him and Felix after stealing the Mars Star.
** Kraden right before the FinalBoss, when he realizes that [[spoiler:the Doom Dragon is actually Isaac's father and Felix's parents.]]
* 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.
** Some of the darker Venus Psynergies tend to do this; there 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, the Charon summon, the Death Card and Condemn to name a few.
* 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 (though gold and experience increase, and drop chances are multiplied by 4 if an enemy is killed with the right Djinn).
* 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.
* PartyInMyPocket: Your travelling companions, including the Djinn and Kraden.
* 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 Poseidon, by the way) so that they don't heal every other turn. The Trident is never seen, heard of, or used again.
* PointOfNoReturn:
** There's a point in Mogall Forest after which you can no longer backtrack, though you can circle around to pick up anything you might have missed the first time around.
** Yampi Desert has a sandfall that you can't climb (yet). They are nice enough to put a sign warning you though.
* 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:
%%** Kalay, Lalivero, Alhafra, and Champa.
** Lemuria seems to have been a more active port town in its 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).
%%* 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 most of the time.
* QuicksandBox: The first game is fairly straightforward despite having a vague goal of "Stop Saturos and Menardi". There's only a bit of freedom, but also little opportunity to get lost. The second game, however, sets you in the entire ''rest'' of the world - with even ''more'' vague goals and the only thing indicating that you should probably be exploring a bit are areas you cannot pass and will need to pick up a psynergy to bypass this obstacle. It's highly likely for you to [[SequenceBreaking sequence break]] without even knowing it, the only indication that you probably shouldn't go that way were trash mobs and bosses who're disproportionately powerful compared to how you are.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Or as Agatio puts it, "This is an unlikely bunch of ragamuffins."
* RandomEncounters: They're used constantly. You'd get into fights every few steps if your party's level was below or around the levels of the enemies. Being higher leveled reduces the encounter rate. Using a certain spell/item also helped reduced the encounter rate, depending on your level. One piece of equipment actually ''increases'' the encounter rate.
** The piece of equipment in question, however, is incredibly useful near the end of the second game, because you ''will'' need to {{level|Grinding}}-grind to beat the {{Bonus Boss}}es, and the best place for doing so has a below-average encounter rate. Annoyingly enough, it's only available in the first game, so people who threw it away going "the encounter rate is high enough, thank you very much" (or didn't transfer data at all) end up having to spend even more time doing so than everyone else.
** To the dev's credit, they do usually turn off random encounters (or turn the rates down) in rooms with particularly difficult puzzles, which makes it a great deal less frustrating than it would have been. If the puzzle in question spans the entire dungeon *cough elemental rocks cough*, you're out of luck.
** Lampshaded by Amiti in ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' when [[spoiler:The Luna Tower is activated and unleashes dark monsters on the world. He complains that the party could not walk five feet without being attacked.]]
* RandomDropBooster: Killing monsters with the elemental Djinn they're weakest to gives more experience, money, better stat boosts if levelling up, and increases the item drop chance.
* RareCandy: Peanuts, cookies, bread, apples, mint leaves, and... pepper. Each will boost a single stat.
* RareRandomDrop: The games use this, but it was discovered in the GBA titles 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, armor and materials]] in the game. So far no such methods are discovered for ''Dark Dawn'', [[LuckBasedMission making obtaining such items near impossible]].
* 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.
* RegeneratingMana: Walking around restores Psynergy Points.
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: The Djinn. Some [=NPC=]s even keep them as pets.
* RunDontWalk: You walk so slowly outside of battle it is practically required to hold the B button down at all times.
* RuleOfThree: [[UndergroundMonkey Monster lines]] come in three variants. Though some only appear to have two, the third is present but DummiedOut.
* SadlyMythtaken: Over and over. The way the elements are associated is hint enough of not following any mythology to a T. There are many examples, but some bizarre examples stand out:
** 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 underwater-dwelling ShrineMaiden who heals your party. In comparison, Boreas the giant snow-cone machine doesn't seem nearly as bad.
** Cybele is a dopey tree-horned frog who spits seeds at enemies.
* 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: Yes, that's what they're doing. [[spoiler:Or at least that's what they think they're doing. 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.
** Isaac's son inherited the scarf and kicks just as much ass.
** The Lachesis' Rule's unleash summons a heavenly maiden who uses her scarf to attack the enemy.
* SceneryPorn: Golden Sun was, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful handheld titles ever released if not ''the'' most beautiful at its time. One reason the game stood out a ''lot'' was the fact that you started off in a MedievalEuropeanFantasy and spent it climbing mountains, going to {{Wutai}}, ending in ShiftingSandLand, and even parts that looked directly inspired by Africa and the Americas.
* SequelHook: At the end of the first game, setting up the second. At the end of the second game, too, when 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. Don't forget that if you cheat, you can give Felix Mind Read and you can read the minds of the people in Prox. This is normally impossible, but if you do do it, you will hear thoughts that hint at a sequel.
* SequenceBreaking:
** Possible in the second game, 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 devastating to a party that didn't.
* ShiftingSandLand: Two deserts in ''The Broken Seal'', one in ''The Lost Age''.
* 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 Ship Tease 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: The second element associated with Jupiter.
* ShoutOut:
** To... [[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus Monty Python]]? Yes. Amazing the EasterEggs you can find with Mind Read... In Kolima, one of the {{NPC}}s 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 Billy Mays-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 Creator/AlecBaldwin.
** The Japanese version has a [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Captain Picard]] (Piers in English).
** Due to Camelot's (then Sonic! Software Planning) involvement with the [[Franchise/ShiningSeries Shining Force]] series 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... Shining in the Darkness... 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 ''VideoGame/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).
** ''Franchise/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.
** Chi/Ki is named [[Franchise/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 "ancient mariner".
** The Excalibur is one to the famous sword wielded by King Arthur, but its status as a late game weapon and being Wind-elemental will bring ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'''s Excalibur tome to mind.
* SidetrackedByTheGoldSaucer: InUniverse example: When Babi first came to Lemuria, he got so sidetracked by the Lucky Medal Fountain that when he returned home, he immediately had one installed in his home of Tolbi.
%%* SinisterScythe: Menardi and Karst's Death Scythe.
* {{Sidequest}}: Important if you want OneHundredPercentCompletion.
* SlapOnTheWristNuke: Being tossed into the sun and back, for starters.
* SleevesAreForWimps: The Proxians seem to follow this trope, and it 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.
%%* SoleEntertainmentOption
* SpeakingSimlish: Females get higher-pitched squeaks than males.
* 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.
** One of 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 Shining Force 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 and Sheba.
* StartXToStopX: Restoring Alchemy might destroy the world, and will most likely cause wars. Not restoring Alchemy will destroy the world eventually.
* StealthBasedMission: 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 resolved very few of the Sequel Hooks set up in The Lost Age.
* 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. Master Hama also speaks normally, [[spoiler:but that's because she's not from Xian.]]
** According to the 4 Koma Gag Battle, becoming a Samurai class causes you to use AntiquatedLinguistics ("This one shall summon Venus!").
* SummonMagic: The Djinn. And, you know, the Summons themselves and some weapon unleashes. Also the magic provided by the class-changing Trainer's Whip and Tomegathericon items.
* TakesOneToKillOne:
** While Jupiter and Venus are supposed to be super-effective against each other most enemies who are ''obviously'' Jupiter-aligned (e.g.; flying monsters with wind attacks) are only weak to their own element and highly resist Venus attacks, completely defying the ElementalRockPaperScissors that has been established in the first place. However, the same cannot be applied to Venus-aligned monsters (with the exception of Skeleton Warriors and Gargoyles) resulting in only a handful monsters being weak to Venus-based offenses.
** Call Dullahan, a spell exclusive to the Dark Mage class series is super-effective against its namesake.
%%* TakeYourTime: Oh, yes.
%%* ThatsNoMoon: [[spoiler:Anemos]]
* TitleDrop: [[spoiler:The Golden Sun is a mass of energy that rises above Mt. Aleph in the second game indicating the restoration of Alchemy to the world.]]
* TomeOfEldritchLore: Tomegathericon, a spellbook in the second game which gives you a demon-summoning character class. The Japanese version even calls it "Necronomicon". It lets you summon a BonusBoss as a Psynergy attack.
* TookALevelInBadass: Isaac and Felix, in different ways in The Lost Age:
** Once he stops the Heroic Mime 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 when the two parties join up near the end of The Lost Age.
* TooAwesomeToUse: Waters of Life and Psy Crystals, although the second game is a bit more generous with the amount you can get (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.
* 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. Note that being haunted by the Grim Reaper can be fixed with Restore. Being haunted by evil spirits requires a professional exorcist.
* TheUnfought: [[spoiler:Alex, through ''three' games.]]
* UpgradeArtifact: Psynergy-bestowing equipment, Psynergy-teaching tablets in the Elemental Rock dungeons, etc.
* 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 [[StatusBuffDispel Break]].
** Venus Psynergy are mostly [[JackOfAllTrades useful all-around]], but most of their status effects are flat-out worthless in your hands. Condemn and Death Card calls upon the Grim Reaper to perform an instant kill, but fails most of the time. Curse and Haunt are more reliable [[note]]Curse takes 7 turns to kill the target while Haunt is a randomized version of the Poison status[[/note]], but who wants to wait for the effects to activate while normal attacks dispose enemies much faster? To add insult to injury, enemies and bosses with such spells will [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard almost always successful in using them.]]
* UtilityPartyMember: It's possible (but frankly stupid) to make one character hold all the non-combat Psynergy-bestowing items (such as freezing water into ice pillars or lifting boulders out of the way). Stupid because the game averts BagOfSharing, every character has at least one non-combat skill that sees regular use, and mana is regenerated by walking around, making it more efficient to spread it around the party.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: Venus Lighthouse in Golden Sun, Mars Lighthouse in The Lost Age. Initially, many gamers are disappointed to find the Venus Lighthouse battle is the end of the first game before The Lost Age is announced.
** The Apollo Lens in ''Dark Dawn''.
* 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 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.
** The Anti-Grinding mechanic in Sol Sanctum can be duped by getting Jenna KO'd. You can also loot her stuff before she gets kidnapped.
* ViolationOfCommonSense:
** There is a sign, deep within the Altin Mines, that says, "Do not strike the walls! Rocks may fall!" Right next to it is one of those logs you keep knocking over with Force, positioned right by a wall... unfortunately StupidityIsTheOnlyOption in this case - using Psynergy on the wall/letting Garet kick it is necessary to advance further in the cave.
** In the Apojii Islands you must jump off the edge of the world to find a hidden Djinn.
* WarmupBoss: The three thieves in the first game, the three gorilla 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.
* WaterfallIntoTheAbyss: This appears here, which has a FlatWorld: the entire world map.
* WelcomeToCorneria: An interesting variation; all [=NPCs=] 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.
* WesternSamurai: PlayedForLaughs in the ''Golden Sun [[https://archive.is/20130109144116/goldensun4koma.livejournal.com/22550.html 4Koma]]'': Isaac (a blond teenager from the game world's equivalent of the Alps) changes to the Samurai character class and gains a black Samurai Topknot and AntiquatedLinguistics.[[note]]Notably, both times you visit Izumo (the Japan equivalent) three decades apart, there aren't any samurai to be seen.[[/note]]
--> '''Isaac:''' This one shall summon Venus!
* WhatWereTheySellingAgain:
** Golden Sun's commercials distracts the viewers from the actual product they are selling. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOvwdVp8Fvo The first one is notorious for this]]; it shows monsters rampaging in an opera house while being attacked by [[AnachronismStew tuxedo-wearing musicians]] using their violins as makeshift bows as commanded by the conductor. Following the destruction of those monsters, a chandelier dragon storms into the place. After mostly avoiding the dragon's attacks the conductor finally uses her magic wand to destroy it. The real content of the game is only shown in the last five seconds.
** While the setting is completely out of the games' timeline, said dragon is re-introduced in ''Dark Dawn'' as the new Venus summon Crystallux. An opera house is also featured in the summon sequence.
* WorldSundering: Happens after Venus Lighthouse is activated. This is commented on by several [=NPCs=].
* {{Wutai}}: Izumo, although it represents an older Japan than the standard trope. The first game plays this straight with the Chinese village Xian.
* YouAllLookFamiliar: The shop and inn girls/dudes are the same in all locations.
* 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 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 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.
** Quasi-inverted in ''The Lost Age''. You can see the part of the world map where the first game took place (it takes maybe 1/4 of the overall map used in part 2), but it is surrounded on all sides by mountains and impassible barriers making it impossible to access in Part 2; however, there is a glitch somewhere on the western shore where if you angle your ship just right, you can exit and your character will spawn on the other side of the mountains letting you onto the Part 1 world map complete with towns and dungeon icons all the way to Mt. Aleph and Venus Lighthouse. However, again, these icons aren't linked to any actual towns or dungeons; when your character walks over them, he passes right through them without shifting from the world map. Still, even though you can't actually go home, it makes for a nice sightseeing tour.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Lemuria in particular is dedicated to the color blue, but other examples appear here and there (not limited to just blue at that!) while The Fire Clan is as wild in hair colors as they are in skin colors.
* YouKilledMyFather:
** Definitely invoked by Karst, with the variation that it's her sister who was killed, and Karst doesn't know she actually committed suicide.
** Strangely averted when you would expect it: although they are blamed for the storm, no one confronts Saturos and Menardi for said storm having caused the death of Isaac's father and both of Felix and Jenna's parents. Well, they have to be stopped anyway, but revenge doesn't seem to be a motivation. Then again, all three are actually still alive... and held as hostages, but [[LockedOutOfTheLoop Isaac doesn't know that.]]