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Video Game: Golden Sun
Ages ago, or so the stories tell, the power of Alchemy ruled over the world of Weyard...
Prologue of Golden Sun: The Lost Age

Golden Sun (known as Golden Sun: The Broken Seal in Japan) is a 2001 RPG from Nintendo and Camelot Software Planning for the Game Boy Advance, 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, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, was released in 2010 for the Nintendo DS.

Golden Sun tells the story of Isaac, a teenager from the village of Vale, gifted with the power of Psynergy, and his journey to stop a dangerous group of antagonists from releasing the ancient power of 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.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn takes place thirty years later and stars the 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 Games, they feature large, vibrant worlds, a deep character class system, superb music, clever 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 Random Encounters and Level Grinding annoying.

The game's battle system revolves around the presence of Djinn, a creative but blatant attempt to cash in on the popularity of Pokémon with a dash of Final Fantasy VIII'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 Gotta Catch 'Em All. Once you have them, you equip them to your characters, which alters their Character Class 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 Buffs, etc, and if you had enough unattached Djinn floating around, you could then use Summon Magic 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 character sheet, which all are invited to add to help out in.

Please post any Golden Sun: Dark Dawn tropes on the game's respective page.

Tropes within the first duology:

  • 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."
  • The Abridged Series: See Golden Sun The Abridged Series.
  • Aerith and Bob: 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.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Agatio and Karst. To elaborate, 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 The Generic Guy, 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, 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.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Fire Clan.
  • And I Must Scream: 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.
  • An Ice Person: Mia, Piers, Alex, and others.
  • Anime Hair: Largely averted, the more outlandish hair styles and colors belong to Adepts.
  • Another Side, Another Story: 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.
  • Anti-Grinding: The first game's first dungeon turns off Random Encounters when all three party members reach a high-enough level. This can be avoided by killing off Jenna.
  • Anti-Villain: 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.
  • Antlion Monster: 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 Says It With Hearts). The antlion monster itself is a Big Creepy Crawly the size of a car.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: 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.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: The Mercury (water) Adepts look like they couldn't be anything else than Mercury Adepts. Garet is also pretty obviously Fire-elemental, complete with explosive personality. Subverted with Ivan, however. When he first appears, he's quite the Creepy Child; not exactly what you'd expect your wind-user to be.
  • Atlantis: Lemuria, which is discovered and explored in The Lost Age.
  • Automatic New Game: Both games start by prompting the player to name the character, before proceeding into a New Game.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: 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.
  • Badass Normal: 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 DuelBosses), they are not noticeably less of a threat than standard bosses.
    • Briggs can be a slap in the face to some players. Especially those who engaged in some accidental Sequence Breaking and got to him underleveled and underequipped.
  • Badass Family: Briggs's family fits the bill nicely, with everybody from Obaba to baby Eoleo doing some awesome stuff.
  • Bag of Sharing: Averted; each character has his/her own inventory.
  • Bag of Spilling: 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 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.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The Kolima incident, which involves the village of Kolima getting transformed into trees.
  • Batman Gambit: 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.
  • Battle Theme Music: Most of the boss battle themes are epic, even on the Game Boy Advance.
  • Beef Gate: 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 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.
  • Behind the Black: Frequently pulls the old, "Door the protagonist should really see but the player can't".
  • Betting Mini-Game: 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 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. And the Darksword's "Acheron's Grief" unleash.
  • Bilingual Bonus: While the Western release lacks the overt Cthulhu Mythos reference, the Tomegathericon is still a neat treat. "To Mega Therion" is Greek for the Beast, as in the one in the Book of Revelations.
    • The city of Contigo has a Meaningful Name. "Con tigo" is a Spanish phrase meaning "with you". In Spanish-language versions, 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.
  • Black Mage: Mars (fire) Adepts.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Similar to the "Fire Bracelet/Breath" issue from Final Fantasy, 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 Size" attack.
    • The Lost Age had 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.
  • Blinding Bangs: Eoleo (though he grows out of it within 30 years in favor of a huge ponytail).
  • Block Puzzle: A lot.
  • Blow You Away: 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.
  • Bonus Boss: Three in the first game and several in the second, including the hardest boss in the series, all but one located in a...
  • Bonus Dungeon: Several, and one in the first game even has its own Bonus Town outside (Lunpa)
  • Boring, but Practical: 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 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 psyenergy.
  • Boss Remix: Karst and Agatio's leitmotif is remixed when Felix's party finally gets around to fighting them.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Iris summon after defeating the Bonus Boss in the last Bonus Dungeon, for being Awesome, but Impractical, and the only boss left worthy of using her on is the Final Boss... who is fire-resistant.
  • Broken Bridge: 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.
  • Buffy Speak: Kraden amusingly refers to the Black Crystal that controls Lemurian ships as "The thingie...that makes it go."
  • But Thou Must: 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 Non Standard Gameover.
    • 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.
  • Butt Monkey: 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.
  • The Cameo: The Lost Age has a sprite sheet for Link in game but unused. Also, the fairy Mia summons early in the previous game is Primula from Shining Force III. Additionally, in the Japanese version, the Bonus Boss 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).
  • Can't Catch Up: 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.)
  • Cardboard Obstacle: Too many to list here.
  • Cassandra Truth: Feizhi has a bad case of this after developing the power of precognition.
  • Cave Behind the Falls
  • Chain of Deals: An example in The Lost Age involving the various islets in the Eastern Sea, which results in accessing a Bonus Dungeon containing a Bonus Boss on one of the islets.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: 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.
  • Changing of the Guard
  • Chaos Architecture: 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.
  • Character Class System: 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.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Subverted: When the party first enters an area cursed by Tret in the first game, they are protected from being turned into trees by some kind of subconscious force-field psynergy. 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 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  because their Fire Clan Psynergy shields them from extreme temperatures. In the sequel, Agatio and Karst, who are also members of the Fire Clan, freeze to death in Mars Lighthouse because the Baleful Polymorph and subsequent battle with the heroes they had been subjected to left them too weak to maintain this ability.
  • The Chessmaster: The Wise One and Alex. The latter is using both the heroes and the villains to 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 altered the Mars Star and saved Isaac at the beginning of the first game so that the ultimate power would be split between two vessels, making Alex weaker than the Wise One. The former also arranged for a Secret Test of Character 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.
  • Chest Monster: Played straight with Mimics in several areas in each game. They drop good items, though, so it's worth battling each one.
  • Cliff Hanger: The first game's ending, which occurs at a point where you'd assume you were halfway through the game.
  • Climax Boss: 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.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: 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 Mars Clan, though they do all have red eyes.
    • Venus/Earth is yellow, brown, or plant-green. Isaac is also a Primary-Color Champion (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 Psychic Powers are associated with. As a result, Jupiter is predominantly purple, but frequently paired with green.
  • Combat Tentacles: One of the bosses you fight in the first game is a Kraken.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: 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, 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).
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Exhibited by some of the higher-level enemies and Bosses.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: 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, 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 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 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 Garet comes home, finds Vale destroyed, and thinks for a moment that they all died.
  • Conveniently Coherent Thoughts: Mind-reading functions much the same as 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.)
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: 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.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Elemental Stars and their Elemental Lighthouses.
  • Critical Hit: Both normal critical hits and the special attacks each of the weapons may automatically launch on their own.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: 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.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: 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.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Alex. Exactly who he was disciple to varies by the translation. It's either Mia or Mia's father.
  • Delicious Distraction: When looking in ovens, the contents are sometimes remarked upon in-character, apparently by the Heroic Mime player character du jour.
  • Digitized Sprites: Almost all sprites were pre-rendered.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: The Venus Lighthouse in the first game. Your party has pretty lavish gear at this point and the lighthouse's background music practically screams Final Dungeon (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.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Venus Adepts. Isaac and Felix, naturally.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: 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. Isaac got a Hard Nut!
  • Doomed Hometown: Double Subversion. Golden Sun opens with a (mostly successful) attempt to keep it from happening to Vale, then 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 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.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Felix during the visit to Sol Sanctum.
  • Dual Boss: Several times throughout each game, usually against Proxians.
  • Dub Name Change: 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 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).
  • Duel Boss: Happens three times in a row during the first game's Inevitable Tournament, leading to Isaac's Heroic RROD.
  • Dummied Out: Various Psynergy that have no effect outside of the debug room can be obtained via cheating. After beating the Final Boss 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 Hooks in the Mind Read "conversations" seen here (obviously spoilers are contained within).
    • Link is among the unused sprites.
  • Dungeon Master: The Wise One
  • Egopolis: The city of Lunpa, named after its founder.
    • Sublime Rhyme: Some of the 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 (she's actually from Contigo), Tolbi's tyrant ruler Babi, and Uzume the elder of Izumo.
  • Elemental Hair: Venus Adepts have brown hair, Mars Adepts have bright red hair (unless from the Mars Clan of Prox), and Mercury Adepts have blue hair. Jupiter Adepts tend toward blonde (with overlap for light-haired Venus Adepts) or purple, but Dark Dawn gives them more variety.
  • Elemental Powers: Virtually every major character except (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.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: 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 Experience Points/money and better chances for rare item drops.
  • Elemental Tiers: The ultimate weapon in both games is earth-aligned. The Infinity Plus One summon is fire-aligned, but so very impractical (and seeing little use) that the Infinity Minus One summons are used (and more for their effects than straight damage).
  • Encounter Repellant: The Avoid Psynergy and Sacred Feather item.
  • End of an Age: The results of sealing off Alchemy and letting the world waste away for centuries.
  • Enemy Summoner: Several common monsters, and bosses like Briggs and Star Magician. The Bonus Boss Valkular can even turn your own Summons against you, at the expense of your party's Standby Djinn.
  • Engrish: The people of 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.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Alex. Saturos, Menardi, Karst, and Agatio fit as well. Depends on who's the minion.
  • Everyone Calls Her Grandma: Obaba, which is pretty much just Japanese for "Grandma".
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Elemental Lighthouses, sort of.
  • Excalibur in the Rust: 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.
  • Eyelid Pull Taunt: Briggs gives one to Felix after he escaped.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: In Japanese, the town Vault is called Coopup.
  • Fake Balance: 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 Yes, this includes Doom Dragon and Dullahan., making Venus-based offenses useless most of the time.
  • Fake Difficulty: Everything which can use Djinn Storm is very hard; everything which can't is very easy.
  • Familiar: Djinn act mostly like familiars, enhancing or changing the abilities of their Adept master and granting Summon Magic.
  • Fanfare: The overtures.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: 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.
  • Fat Bastard: 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
  • Fetch Quest: Plenty.
  • Flat World: Weyard is a flat world that is eroding as water spills over its edges. Its up to you to fix that.
  • Floating Continent: Mentioned in gossip in the second game that this world's moon is one of these. Source of many Epileptic Trees.
    • And the main world itself appears to be a giant floating landmass above an abyss.
  • Floating Platforms
  • Four Element Ensemble
  • Flunky Boss: Briggs and Moapa, who are accompanied by Sea Fighters and Knights, respectively. The Star Magician, who happens to be a Bonus Boss, also has "Ball monster" minions that fight alongside him.
  • Food Porn: Looking in the ovens and stoves in both games can get you 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 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!
  • The Foreign Subtitle: 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 Playable Epilogue 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 Big Bad in the sequel, long after it's been forgotten. 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 how to navigate the Sea of Time and get to Lemuria.
  • Fragile Speedster: Ivan, Sheba, and Jenna. And Karst on the opposing side.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Many summons and a couple weapon Unleashes.
  • Frictionless Ice: Several puzzles like this in The Lost Age.
  • Fusion Dance: Each game's 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.
  • Genius Loci: Tret Tree in the first game, the Great Gabomba in the second.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Rescuing the tree from being swept downstream in the first game.
    Jill gave Isaac a nice surprise! Isaac got a Hard Nut!
  • Get on the Boat: The ship gained about 25% into the second game, which becomes the Global Airship close to the end.
  • Global Airship
  • Going Through the Motions
  • Good Morning, Crono: In the middle of the night though, with the impetus being 'a giant rock is falling towards our village!'
  • Go Wait Outside: The entire village of Yallam, that is, so that the blacksmith there can do Item Crafting for you
  • Green Rocks: 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.
  • Green Thumb: some Earth psynergy, though Isaac & Felix can't do it in their default classes.
  • Grim Up North: The blizzard-ridden bleak setting of the final dungeon of Golden Sun: The Lost Age
  • Guest Star Party Member: Jenna joins the party for the Sol Sanctum in the beginning of the first game.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • There are Djinn that are fought as Random Encounters 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. 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. 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:
    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?
    2. Bald, muscular guy on the left side of the room: What? Ohhhh, noooo... Are you going to make me row?
    3. The chef: You... You must be joking. You want me to row?
    4. The old guy right near the staircase: Out of all these people, you're asking a frail old man like me to row?
  • Hailfire Peaks: Mars Lighthouse, a fire-based dungeon that has frozen over.
  • Happily Adopted: 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 don't mess with them. Ever.
  • Headless Horseman: The Dullahan appears as the Bonus Boss to end all bonus bosses, but his horse is strangely absent.
  • Healing Hands: Mia, primarily a healer, is first seen healing a bedridden old man like this.
  • Heroic Mime: 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, 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 "???".
  • Hero of Another Story: Humorously, Isaac is presented this way in The Lost Age, at least until he joins your party.
  • Hidden Elf Village: 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 persecution for the whole werewolf thing.
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: 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.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: In the dark and stormy prologue in the first game.
    • And the 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 Lord British Postulate; the first fight is not actually impossible 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.
    • Poseidon can be one of these too if you don't meet him on the right circumstances.
  • Walk Hop On Water: the first section of Mercury Lighthouse involves reaching and activating a statue that lets you do this.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Jenna and Kraden in the first game, Felix's parents in the second
  • How Much Did You Hear?: 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.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Agatio and Karst, though the latter isn't particularly tiny.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: When you're faced with the very last boss of the second game, even if you may not have guessed exactly who it is, you probably remember that big dragons tend to be transformed people. And you've already got rid of all the baddies... so this can only be innocents. Unfortunately, Stupidity Is the Only Option. You're even asked afterwards if you knew what you were doing. Whatever you answer, though, be informed that Isaac knew that he was 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.
  • I Have Your Wife: Revealed to be Felix's and Jenna's motivations for helping Saturos and Menardi light the lighthouses; their parents and Isaac's father are being held hostage in Prox.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Agatio and Karst, justified in that they're dying of hypothermia.
  • Inevitable Tournament: An annual tournament of gladiators held at Tolbi that just happens to be in effect when Isaac's party comes along. Isaac is automatically entered into it after he rescues Tolbi's ruler Babi from death in a nearby cave.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Gaia Blade in the 1st game, Sol Blade in the 2nd.
  • Indy Escape: Sparked by Violation of Common Sense instead of grabbing a sacred relic - specifically, 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 Boss Room.
  • Informed Ability: 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 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 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.
  • Informed Flaw: Garet's gluttony, mentioned by his siblings when you're leaving Vale and never heard from again.
    • Agatio is billed as the Dumb Muscle villain in Nintendo's strategy guide for The Lost Age. 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).
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Dragons serve as a penultimate boss in the second and final bosses in both. Actually, they're just people turned into Dragons.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: 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)
  • Invisible Means Undodgeable: To at least the people in universe who can't see Psynergy.
  • Invisible to Normals: 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. Whether or not they notice it...
  • Item Crafting: A straightforward but entirely randomized setup (give the Blacksmith in Yallam a material item and buy whatever he decides to make with it).
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: 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.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Tolbi's Colosso competition.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The prologue to the first game.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Isaac and Felix.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Kikuichimonji (try saying that five times fast) in the first game.
  • Keep It Foreign: 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 Dark Dawn, we get things like Stella -> Sveta as well.
  • Kick the Dog: While they have very good reasons for doing what they are doing, the "enemies" of the first game nonetheless do some fairly dickish things, like shoving what is a 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 destroying a major shipping road to slow you down.
  • Kid Hero: 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 when at Imil and winter to have just ended when in 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.
  • Kill It with Water: Mercury Adepts are this and White Mages in one handy package
  • Kill Sat: 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 Evil Twin.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero
  • Knight, Knave and Squire: At the beginning of the first game, Isaac is the Knight (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 Mia turns up.
  • Last Disc Magic: Several final summons in game 2.
  • Leaked Experience: 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 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 Bonus Boss as well. The Lost Age gives Briggs a laid-back one that plays during one scene, specifically during 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.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Magma Rock, Mars Lighthouse, underground of Taopo Swamp...
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Not in the attacks but in the healing Psynergy. Isaac's (the leader and warrior type of the team) healing psynergy exactly doubles whenever he learns another. Mia's (The Medic and White Mage of the group) healing Psynergy doubles and then pentuples as they are learned.
  • Lighthouse Point: They are called lighthouses, but they're really more towers that store magical energy.
  • Little Miss Badass: Karst has a huge variety of attack (including a One-Hit Kill), buff, debuff (including a Djinn nerf), and heal options, and is generally considered Menardi's Stronger Sibling 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 Gameplay and Story Segregation as Towards the end of the game, Saturos and Menardi are outright stated to be Prox's strongest warriors.
  • Little Professor Dialog: 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 kids-turned-trees in Kolima are remarkably philosophical about their predicament, both during it and after they're cured.
  • Locked Out of the Fight: 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 healing magic and 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.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: 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.
  • Lost Forever: If you didn't transfer data, after a certain event the Bonus Dungeon (and thus the Bonus Boss) is not accesible anymore.
  • Lost in Translation: 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.
  • Lucky Translation: Briggs's gesture upon 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.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Strangely played. 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.
  • Machete Mayhem: Your weapon in the prologue/tutorial.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Daedalus summon
  • Magic by Any Other Name: Psynergy is elemental magic with psychic trappings and design influences.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Inverted. The end goal is to bring the magic back.
  • Magic Knight: Almost everyone who isn't a Squishy Wizard, since all the characters have access to attack magic.
  • Magic Missile Storm: 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.
  • Making a Splash: Mercury Adepts. Mia, Piers, and Alex.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Alex.
  • Marathon Level: 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.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: 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 Bonus Boss and the Final Boss's last form have one that hits every Djinni on every party member, nearly guaranteeing Total Party Kill.
  • 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 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).
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Alex getting screwed out of achieving god-like powers at the end of the second game by a Chekhov's Gun that was set up at the start of the first game by the Wise One, who 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.
  • Meaningful Name: Karst's name may or may not be derived from the Lithuanian for "hot" (karŝta). Since she's both Ms. Fanservice and Playing with Fire, this is completely appropriate.
    • Piers, the sailor. Also applies to his Japanese name, Captain Picard.
    • With a side of Bilingual Bonus: 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 Bilingual Bonus: "Garoh" is possibly derived from "loup-garou", which is French for "werewolf". Guess what all the people who live in Garoh are.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • 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 Ninja, Samurai and Dark Mage require three of each. This tends to verge into Awesome, but Impractical 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.
  • The Medic: 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, regardless of your current class setups.
  • Medium Awareness: In the scene displaying the forcefield power, Garet explicitly compares the forcefields to scoring critical hits in battle. Like the rest of the scene, this never comes up again.
  • Metal Slime: Phoenix and its palette-swapped variants.
  • Mind Over Manners: Averted by Ivan, who doesn't see problems with invading people's mental privacy. Garet objects, and it's implied that Isaac does, too.
  • Mind over Matter: Many non-combat Psynergy.
  • Mind Probe: One of the trademark skills of the Jupiter element.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Elemental Stars
  • Minigame Zone: Tolbi in Golden Sun and Contigo in The Lost Age have several gambling minigames each.
  • The Missing Faction: 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.
  • Mistaken Nationality: After the Jupiter Lighthouse event, the heroes meet Hamma in Contigo, Weyard's Mayincatec city, along with Garet and Mia remembering meeting her in not-China. (Note that she was accompanied by Xianese music theme. Cue music stop when Hamma revealed that she was actually born and raised in Contigo. And also Ivan's sister. None of them saw this coming since she doesn't look any different from her student Feizhi.
    • Considering that she founded her own temple nearby Xian teaching people Chi this is justified.
  • Monster Arena: The Battle mode in each game, including elements of a Boss Rush.
  • Monster Town: Garoh, a town filled with hospitable werewolves, and possibly Prox.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Karst, a teenage Cute Monster Girl in a midriff-baring black leather micro-mini with 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 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.
  • Mundane Utility: 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 (infamously) repairing his roof with Psynergy in the beginning of the first game.
  • Mysterious Waif: Sheba
  • Never Mess with Granny: Obaba, Briggs' grandmother, who is a highly skilled smith/alchemist/Adept (and probably the oldest character in the game who isn't Really 700 Years Old), 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.
  • New Game+. Literally, a new game.
    • The Lost Age also included a more traditional New Game+ by allowing you to restart on "Easy Mode" with clear data, which just carried over your levels and money.
  • Non-Elemental
  • Non-Indicative Name: Sunshine the depressed blacksmith.
  • Non-Lethal K.O..
  • Nonstandard Game Over: 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 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.
  • Noob Cave: Sol Sanctum in the original, Kandorean Temple in the sequel
  • Not Helping Your Case: Everything the Proxians do.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Played straight when Sheba falls off Venus Lighthouse and Felix jumps after her; both survive thanks to 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.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: After getting a boat in the 2nd, you have to get three items in no relevant order.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In a fashion; Garet is by no means stupid, but is often assumed to be so due to his recklessness.
  • Oculothorax: The Wise One.
  • Old Save Bonus: You can transfer party and event data from the first game for some really necessary bonuses
  • Omniscient Morality License: The Wise One, particularly for what it does to the entire group at the end of The Lost Age
  • One Game for the Price of Two: 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.
  • One-Hit Kill: 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.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Ivan's staff.
  • Our Dragons Are Different with a dash of Our Elves Are Better: 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).
  • Our Genies Are Different: 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.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: They're psychic, and the result of Psynergy-stone exposure.
  • Out-Gambitted: Oooh, you almost had ultimate power, Alex! Too bad 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?
  • Padded Sumo Gameplay: For all the flashy Psynergy and Summon Magic, endgame Level Grinding is a lot faster if you just hit the "Attack" option over and over again.
  • Palette Swap: Occurs frequently with many monsters in the Random Encounters, 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.
  • Pals with Jesus: "Isaac, since when were you on a first-name basis with the Wise One?"
  • Party in My Pocket.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: 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.
  • Petal Power: Flora, an early-game summon in the second game.
  • Personality Powers: Mostly averted, as the characters don't all have clearly defined personalities, except for Garet and Jenna who are both Fiery Redheads, and Piers, who gives the party the cold shoulder for a while. Mars Adepts in general seem to be a Hot-Blooded lot.
  • The Philosopher: Kraden the Sage.
  • The Phoenix: 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 Experience Point yield. The Phoenix monster is also seen in the Mars-based Phoenix Psynergy in the Lich Psynergy set.
  • Planar Shockwave: Seen in quite a few Summons' attacks and weapons' Unleashes. Sol Blade's Unleash, Megiddo, is one of the more prominent examples.
  • Player Versus Player: Both games have a two-player duel mode.
  • Playing with Fire: Mars Adepts. Garet, Jenna, and each game's antagonistic duo.
  • Plot Coupon: 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.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: 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, shielding his thoughts with mental complaints about Ivan reading his mind.
  • Poor Communication Kills: 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, 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.
  • Port Town:
    • Lalivero, Alhafra, and Champa
    • Lemuria seems to have been a more active port town in it's heyday.
  • Powers as Programs: Quite apart from the Djinn-based class system, many "utility" powers are gained from certain items — most Broken Bridges 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).
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: 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. They join up with you in Contigo after the conflict that occurs at Jupiter Lighthouse.
  • Psychic Powers: Some forms of Psynergy.
  • Punny Name: The Mercury Adept sailor named Piers.
    • Air's Rock. It's a massive singular rock in the middle of a desert, on the Australia-based continent.
    • Steel, originally Kiss, steals the opponent's HP.
    • Tret Tree (treachery) in the first game.
  • Puzzle Boss: Serpent in Gaia Rock.
  • Quicksand Box: 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.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Or as Agatio puts it, "This is an unlikely bunch of ragamuffins."
  • Random Encounters
  • Randomly Drops: 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 even the most powerful weapons and armor in the game.
  • Rare Candy: Peanuts, cookies, bread, apples, mint leaves, and... pepper. Each will boost a single stat.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Babi and the Lemurians. This is played with in the case of Piers/Picard, the Lemurian sailor, who refuses to admit his age.
  • Red Herring: 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.
  • Regenerating Mana: Walking around restores Psynergy Points.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Djinn.
  • Run Don't Walk: You walk so slowly outside of battle it is practically required to hold the B button down at all times.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: 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 Japanese Shrine Maiden 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 an Ugly Cute big fluffy dog that has a blizzard breath.
    • Mother Earth Cybele looks like a fusion of 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 Dark Dawn page for more details.
  • Save Point: 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.
  • Saving the World: 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.
  • Scarf Of Ass Kicking: 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.
  • Schmuck Bait: 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. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Secret Test of Character: 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 The Philosopher Kraden figures it was a test.
  • Sequel Hook: 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.
  • Sequel Escalation: 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.
  • Sequence Breaking: 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 Trial-and-Error Gameplay, 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 100% Completion 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 change a few things to let you keep going and prevent an Unwinnable by Mistake 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 devastating to a party that didn't.
  • Sequential Boss: The final bosses of both games. In the first game, Saturos and Menardi battle Isaac's party, revitalize themselves after the fight and fuse into the Fusion Dragon. In the second game, although you fight the Doom Dragon in one long battle, it has three forms with their own separate HP meters.
  • Shifting Sand Land: 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.
  • Shipper on Deck: A rather notorious scene in The Lost Age has Sheba asking Jenna about the nature of her relationship with Isaac.
  • Ship Tease: 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!
  • Shock and Awe: Ivan and Sheba again
  • Shoot the Medic First: Invoked 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.
  • Shout-Out: To...Monty Python? Yes. Amazing the Easter Eggs 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 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 Alec Baldwin.
    • The Japanese version has a Captain Picard.
    • Due to Camelot's (then Sonic! Software Planning) involvement with the Shining 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 Shining Force III. 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).
    • The Incredible Hulk 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 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".
    • At the lucky medal fountain in Tolbi, the obstacles in the fountains are crabs and turtles that change colors and speed up when struck.
  • Shown Their Work: Golden Sun is good at geography and history. Most of the Fantasy Counterpart Cultures have reasonably authentic architecture, attire, and even local cuisine.
  • Sinister Size Sinister Scythe: Menardi and Karst's.
  • Sidequest: Important if you want 100% Completion.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Being tossed into the sun, for starters.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: 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.
  • Sorry I'm Late: 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.
  • Sole Entertainment Option
  • Sound Test: Golden Sun: The Lost Age has a pretty well-hidden one as an Easter Egg, 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. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn contains no such feature, however.
  • Speaking Simlish
  • Spell My Name with an S:
    • 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 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 Dullahan's attacks is called "Formina Sage". However, in Dark Dawn, this attack is called "Fulminous Edge", most likely the correct translation.
  • Spider-Sense: apparently all Jupiter Adepts develop this after a while. Hama is particularly good at it.
  • Spiritual Successor: 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.
  • Spiteful A.I.: 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 Metal Slime type monsters, they give TONS of experience points.
  • Squishy Wizard: Ivan, Sheba
  • Start X to Stop X: Restoring Alchemy might destroy the world, and will most likely cause wars. Not restoring Alchemy will destroy the world eventually.
  • Status Buff Dispel: The Break Psynergy, which eliminates the status boosts of all enemy party members.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Lunpa Fortress in the first game, Kibombo Mountains in the second, both with Swiss Cheese Security.
  • The Stinger: 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.
  • Strange Syntax Speaker: 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.
  • Summon Magic: The Djinn. And, you know, the Summons themselves. Also the magic provided by the class-changing Trainer's Whip and Tomegathericon items.
  • Take Your Time: Oh, yes. Lampshaded when Layana scolds your party after you rescued Hammet.
  • That's No Moon: Anemos
  • Title Drop: The Golden Sun is a mass of energy that rises above Mt. Aleph in the second game.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: 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 the Bonus Boss as a Psynergy attack.
  • Too Awesome to Use: 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.
  • Took a Level in Badass: 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.
  • Tornado Move: All the Jupiter adepts have access to a 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.
  • Translation Correction: A few of the Djinn have their names changed to reflect their elements, and thus the Theme Naming, better (Such as Solo and Duo -> Flint and Echo).
  • Trauma Inn: 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.
  • Turns Red: Doom Dragon, as it loses its heads. Each form is programmed to act differently and has its own HP meter, which causes summon rush strategies to fail.
  • Unfamiliar Ceiling: During the Inevitable Tournament, 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.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Averted, The Dev Team Thinks of Everything. 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 Lunpa. However, if you can't use Lash, 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.
  • The Unfought: Alex. His final fate was left ambiguous (he was left atop Mt. Aleph as it collapsed).
  • Upgrade Artifact: Psynergy-bestowing equipment, Psynergy-teaching tablets in the Elemental Rock dungeons, etc.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: 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 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 "Golden Sun DS" really was announced at E3 2009.
  • Useless Useful Spell: 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.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Venus Lighthouse in Golden Sun, Mars Lighthouse in The Lost Age
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: 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.
  • Villain Episode: Subverted in The Lost Age; Felix's quest is just as heroic as Isaac's.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Subverted in The Lost age; your party acts, opposed by the Wise One. Inaction is what would end Weyard.
  • Violation of Common Sense: In The Lost Age, you must jump off the edge of the world to find a hidden Djinni.
  • Warmup Boss: The three thieves in the first game, the three gorillas Chestbeaters in the second
  • Warp Whistle: 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.
  • Watching Troy Burn
  • Welcome to Corneria: 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.
    • There's even a Lampshade Hanging: 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?"
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Whatever you choose to answer when asked to hand over the Elemental Stars in Sol Sanctum, either Garet (who wants to Always Save the Girl) or Kraden (who is in the Hostage Situation but tells you to forget about him) is going to call you out about it. Garet even kicks you.
  • What Were They Selling Again?: 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 in an opera house, followed by some musicians 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.
  • When Trees Attack: Tret, a talking tree that has been given a violent split personality, is one of the earliest boss battles.
  • Whip It Good: 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.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: 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.
  • Will They or Won't They?: 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.
  • World Sundering: Happens after Venus Lighthouse is activated. This is commented by several NPCs.
  • Wutai: Izumo, although it represents an older Japan than the standard trope.
  • Xanatos Gambit: 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. He gets Out-Gambitted at the last possible second by the aforementioned Wise One's plan.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: The shop and inn girls/dudes.
  • You Can Barely Stand: 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 Elemental Powers 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.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: 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.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: 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 skin colors.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Agatio and Karst try to pull this on Felix. It backfires if you win.
  • You Killed My Father: Definitely invoked by Karst, with the variation that it's her sister who was killed, and Karst doesn't know she actually committed suicide.
  • You Meddling Kids: One of the Champa Pirates delivers the line if Felix and the gang visit them in jail.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The Doom Dragon boss fight is set up in a way that severely nerfs summon damage and thus prevents "summon rush" strategies from working. ( You're not fighting one huge monster, you're fighting three forms, each with its own damage calculation for summons.)
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Played with at the end of the first game, where the party trades the 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.
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alternative title(s): Golden Sun; Golden Sun The Lost Age; Golden Sun The Broken Seal; Golden Sun The Broken Seal; Golden Sun The Lost Age
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