Video Game / Golden Sun
aka: Golden Sun The Lost Age

"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 The Broken Seal 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.

Golden Sun The Lost Age is a Perspective Flip, centered around the least dangerous of those antagonists.

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 annoying.

The game's battle system revolves around the presence of Djinn, elemental manifestations of nature released from the Sol Sanctum, where the Golden Sun lies. They, like the adepts who wield them, make up the different elements; Mercury for water and ice, Venus for the earth, plants and death, Mars for fire and magma, and Jupiter, for wind and lightning. 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.

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


Tropes within the first duology:

    A - K 
  • 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.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Fire Clan.
  • An Ice Person: The Mercury Clan (such as Mia and Alex) and the Lemurians (such as Piers) tend to be this.
  • 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-Frustration Features: In some of the larger rooms that require you to run around a lot in order to complete the Block Puzzle, Random Encounters will be turned off for that room.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bag of Sharing: Averted; each character has his/her own inventory.
  • Battle Theme Music: Most of the boss battle themes are epic, even on the Game Boy Advance.
  • 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.
    • The emblem on the antagonists' armor can be seen as the kanji for "fire", fitting their element.
  • "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. This was fixed for Karst in The Lost Age, who used the exact same 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.
    • The Venus Psynergy "Fear Puppet" is translated as "Fire Puppet". Its attack sequence shows a ghost projecting out of the user to induce fear on the enemy, not spitting fire.
  • 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.
  • 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 (and outright necessary if you want to win quickly) than most attack Psynergy.
    • Passive PP regeneration items for mages are extremely unexciting yet highly valuable against most of the end-game bosses and the Arena mode.
    • Probably the most boring but practical strategy is to utilize shield Djinn. Flash gives you 90% damage reduction for one turn, and Shade gives you 60% damage reduction for another turn. Have two party members spend their actions alternating these two unleashes while a third heals any damage that you take, while the fourth party member chips away at the enemy's HP. You're essentially invincible against anything that can't mess with your Djinn, but don't expect this method to be any fun.
    • Learning equipment slots and making use of them all. Undershirts aren't very fancy (with the logical exceptions of the Mithril Shirt and the Golden Shirt in TLA), but give good stat boosts.
    • The default class, as in only equipping djinn to the character of that element. They may not offer anything fancy, but they are pretty reliable when it comes to elemental power and psynergy.
  • 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.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: In the early game, managing Djinn is very important and very difficult, because of the way the game assigns new Djinni that you find. Come endgame, you have enough Djinn to keep summoning various gods over and over again, and it's much easier to line up the correct numbers of Djinn for massive stat boosts.
  • 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 Gun: Pretty much any time you see a puddle of water before you acquire your party's Mercury Adept (or the Frost Jewel in the first game). The first game also has the heavy boulders that require the Lift Psyenergy (acquired roughly halfway through the game) located in the first couple of towns. Usually returning once you have the appropriate Psyenergy yields a bit of treasure, often including a Djinni. The second game, however, has one of the prongs of the Trident of Ankohl, a plot-critical item, hidden in the very first dungeon, unreachable on your first trip due to Piers not yet being in the party.
    • The Wise One's action before Isaac takes the Mars Star in the first game finally becomes significant in the ending.
  • Chest Monster: Played straight with Mimics in several areas in each game. They drop good items, though, so it's worth battling each one.
  • 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. The only exception is the Venus Lighthouse, which has walls as purple as the Jupiter Lighthouse.
    • 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 sometimes paired with green.
  • Composite Character: Some of the summons are a composite of deities from several myths; Atalanta is mixed with Artemis, Iris is a cross between her namesake in Classical Mythology and several solar deities and Coatlicue's animation is inspired from Aphrodite's birth from the sea.
  • 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.)
  • Cooldown Manipulation:
    • After Djinn are used to summon a spirit, they need to recover and are unavailable for use, becoming available one at a time per turn, in the order they were used. The Mercury Djinni Eddy resets one Djinn per character in a single turn.
    • The Jupiter Djinni Kite gives one character an extra turn on the turn after it's used.
    • The Bonus Boss Valukar can use your own summons against you, after which your Djinn will need to recover. Thankfully he often uses this ability without waiting for strong, multi-Djinn summons to be available and his speed is nothing to write home about.
    • In the second and third games, some enemies have abilities that put Djinn in the recovery state one or two at a time. One of the (many) reasons the Dullahan is so feared is because he can force every Djinn on every character into recovery (an ability shared with the Final Boss), not only massively lowering their stats, but also depriving them of Summon Magic, group healing and revive spells.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Elemental Stars and their Elemental Lighthouses.
  • Creator Provincialism: A variation that applies to character classes; the Ninja and Samurai classes gets the strongest and fanciest spells while having high stats for everything compared to the others.
  • Critical Hit: Both normal critical hits and the special attacks each of the weapons may automatically launch on their own.
  • Crossover Cosmology: The summons features gods and creatures from Greco-Roman, Phyrgian, Norse, Egyptian, Aztec and Chinese pantheon in addition to some demons to the measure.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Venus Adepts. Isaac and Felix, naturally.
  • Divine Race Lift: The Nereid summon is a turtle-riding Japanese princess in the first two games. The Lost Age also introduced Coatlicue and Ulysses summons, both who vaguely resemble Japanese shrine maidens.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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
  • 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 Nation: The Adept clans of Golden Sun fall into this, particularly the Mars Clan of Prox, the Mercury Clan of Imil, and the (functionally-extinct) Jupiter Clan of (vanished) Anemos. Lemuria would also qualify, being exclusively Mercury, though it doesn't identify as such as readily as the others. There's no sign of where or who the Venus Clan was, and Adepts of all four elements have been known to exist elsewhere.
  • 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).
    • However, about 80% of the enemies and bosses are weak against Jupiter and resists Venus including the Final Boss of the second game, making Venus-based offenses not worth using most of the time. This is even more obvious in Dark Dawn, where the Venus mage Himi is difficult to use due to her assigned element and being a mage (mages tend to fizzle out late-game, but she's an Eleventh Hour Ranger). The fact that most mid-to-end game weapons having powerful Jupiter unleashes also says something about said element's complete dominance in battles.
  • 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 Valukar 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.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Elemental Lighthouses, sort of.
  • 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 Ankohl Ruins are obviously Cambodian-inspired.
    • Gondowan is Africa, with Arabic influences around the Suhalla desert and more stereotypically African influences further south.
    • Indra, east of Gondowan, is India, complete with a town called Daila for Delhi. Osenia's culture is a mixed bag, but it does resembles Australia geographically with Air's Rock in the middle of the central desert.
    • The Eastern sea features Polynesian equivalents on the various islets and the Apojii Islands, a Japan equivalent in Izumo, and Tundaria for Antarctica.
    • Finally, the Western Sea has native Americans in Hesperia, and a Mayincatec civilisation in Atteka.
  • Feelies: Each game comes with a map of the game world, and a character chart on the flipside
  • Fetch Quest: Plenty.
  • Fission Mailed: After Isaac and Garet get wiped out by Saturos and Menardi in the prologue, the scene cuts to the title screen as if the game had reset (albeit with more somber music than the title screen's)... but then, "Three years later..."
  • Five Races
    • Mundane: Non-adept humans
    • Stout: The dwarves of Loho
    • Faerie: The Proxians
    • High: The Lemurians
    • Cute: The werewolves of Garoh
  • 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: Many dungeons feature these.
  • Four Element Ensemble: Each game features a playable party of four with each member representing one of the four elements in the series.
  • 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!
  • Foreshadowing: If you have played The Lost Age and know Saturos and Menardi's true intentions, Jenna's actions in the Mercury Lighthouse suddenly seem a lot more like her trying to bring Isaac, Garet, Ivan, and Mia up to speed but being intimidated by Menardi (and being shuffled away quickly), rather than her attempting to warn them of Saturos hiding nearby.
  • Fragile Speedster: Ivan, Sheba, and Jenna. And Karst on the opposing side.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Many summons and a couple of weapon unleashes only affect enemies. This becomes ridiculous in the first game when fighting the Kraken on the Tolbi-bound ship. You can use the Meteor and Judgment summons against it and said ship will not be damaged in any way.
  • 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.
  • Get on the Boat: The ship gained about 25% into the second game, which becomes the Global Airship close to the end.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Subverted and lampshaded. Just before the Final Boss, the Wise One says this:
    "I cannot stop you. But... what if some miracle were to occur, one that prevented you from igniting the beacon?"
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Some classes ended up relatively obscure. While classes like Brute, Hermit and Swordsman are intuitive, classes like Ninja and Samurainote  don't as they require a specific number and type of Djinn on a specific type of adept. Some players may figure out other classes outside of internet guides and manuals but the same usually cannot be said for those two.
    • Most players have a hard time even knowing about the existence of weapons and gear obtained through Rare Drops without a guide since the chances of getting such items are very low under normal circumstances.
    • There are no indications on what spells and weapon unleashes actually do in-game, especially the ones with fancy effects and damage multipliers.
  • 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.
  • He Knows Too Much: During the prologue, Isaac and Garet overhear Saturos and Menardi. Even if you tell them you didn't hear much, they say that they will "Help you forget" and proceed to beat the tar out of you.
  • 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 protagonist role, they do make some form of expression. Isaac goes "!!!" at the end of the events in the Venus Lighthouse and Felix pulls the classic "..." on Piers after Jenna and Sheba harrass Piers about his age. At one point, Felix breaks the mute hero rule and blurts out "Why?" when someone was explaining the rules to a competition he was in. This is a slight mistranslation when the Japanese version text is just "???".
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Ice Magic Is Water: Mercury adepts have abilities mainly based around water, but use ice for several of their offensive abilities, and start off with Freeze as a field move.
  • Informed Flaw:
    • A popular fanon idea back in the day was that the Adepts were naturally averse to their opposite elements, such as Mars Adepts being afraid of water and Jupiter Adepts hating the desert. Obviously, this holds up in battle, but not so well outside of it:
      • Garet, the first party's Mars Adept, is the most excited to see the ocean.
      • Some Mars Djinn prefer chilling out in icy dungeons, likewise the Fire Clan settled far northnote .
      • Sheba, the second party's Jupiter Adept spent her childhood in the desert settlement Lalivero.
  • 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 less-than-knee-high ROCKS.
    • As lampshaded by Feizhi, "Waah! Silk Road! Boulders block the road!".
    • Played with in the prologue of the first game, when Saturos and Menardi jump up and down cliffs without a second thought.
    • There's a Venus Djinni in Kolima walled-in by fences that might or might not be the same height as said Djinni. The only way to obtain it is to find a secret passage leading to said spot, and not simply climbing over the fence.
    • Another Venus Djinn near the Kalay Docks is trapped behind a landslide-which are around Isaac's height at most on the overworld.
    • Similar thing with the Living Statues - you see the Statue cast frost on a puddle, then proceed to jump up a precipice and onto the frozen pillar, rather than just jumping up on the other side...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: The party leaders Isaac and Felix are quite well-rounded and can fit in various roles.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Kikuichimonji and Muramasa in the first game, Masamune in the second.
  • 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.
  • 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: Most fire-breathing enemies are weak to water, including the Proxians.
  • Kill Sat: The Venus summon, Judgment, who is a giant knight that shoots a bolt of destructive energy from a lion head on one arm. Eclipse, a giant dragon who fires a breath weapon from low orbit, and Catastrophe, who's Judgment's Evil Twin.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero

     L - Z 
  • Least Common Skin Tone: Averted amongst the NPCs at least - with its liberal use of Fantasy Counterpart Culture, the player will meet Africans, Middle eastern people, Asians, Native Americans, and even Pacific Islanders. The party members, however, all share the same ethnicity. Justified in that the majority of them literally came from the same hometown and general area.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards:
    • Played straight with healing Psynergy. Isaac's (the leader and warrior type of the team) healing psynergy exactly doubles whenever he learns another. Mia's (The Medic and White Mage of the group) healing Psynergy doubles and then pentuples as they are learned.
    • Inverted in the case of attacks, warriors are weaker than mages early-game but as the player progresses warriors get stronger weapons, superior weapon unleashesnote  and EPA Psynergiesnote  while the mages are stuck with the inferior set damage Psynergies that are expensive to use but only deal relatively small damage. This is because physical damage scales with level, while Psynergy scales with the number of Djinn attached to your characters, of which there a finite number, and therefore, a finite amount of power increase.
  • Lighthouse Point: They are called lighthouses, but they're really more towers that store magical energy.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Ninja class, with high stats in everything and two EPAs. The Samurai class is borderlining on Mighty Glacier with some traits of a Support Party Member but can be one once they reached a high-enough level to access their own EPAs Helm Breaker and Quick Strike. The only really useful spells they don't have access to are healing spells.
  • 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, Jupiter with blasts of wind, 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-unsuccessfully, and lock it so that they can't light it. In the second game your goal is the same: to reach the lighthouses first (but with slightly different intentions).
  • 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.
  • Metal Slime: Phoenix and its palette-swapped variants.
  • 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: Several.
    • A lot is made about the Anemos tribe, of which (at least) two major characters are descendants and whose entire city apparently lifted off to become the Moon.
    • There are at least two elf-related artifacts in the first game. There's no sign of elves anywhere else in the series (unless you count the Mars Clan, who are more draconic).
    • While the Anemos tribe is at least mentioned, there is no explanation at all for the missing Venus Clan. Are they hunted to extinction or still in hiding? Nobody in the game knows.
  • Monster Arena: The Battle mode in each game, including elements of a Boss Rush.
  • 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.
  • Necromancy: For some odd reason Venus not only have powers over rocks and plants, but also have access to death curses and haunting spirits. The "odd' part comes from how Venus having domain over these powers-yet are never alluded in game dialogue. Isaac and Felix cannot use such spells in their default classes however.
  • Non-Elemental: Some Psynergies are not identified with any element.
  • Non-Lethal K.O..
  • Noob Cave: Sol Sanctum in the original, Kandorean Temple in the sequel.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Everything the Proxians do.
  • Oculothorax: The Wise One.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Party in My Pocket: Your travelling companions, including the Djinn and Kraden.
  • 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 Poseidon, 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:
    • Kalay, Lalivero, Alhafra, and Champa.
    • Lemuria seems to have been a more active port town in its 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).
  • 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.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Jupiter, represented by the color purple is the most effective element in the series from The Lost Age onwards, being super effective against 80% of the enemies and bosses. The same bunch of enemies and bosses are highly resistant to the intended strongest element (Venus) making said element's offenses ironically useless most of the time.
  • Quicksand Box: The first game is fairly straightforward despite having a vague goal of "Stop Saturos and Menardi". There's only a bit of freedom, but also little opportunity to get lost. The second game, however, sets you in the entire rest of the world - with even more vague goals and the only thing indicating that you should probably be exploring a bit are areas you cannot pass and will need to pick up a psynergy to bypass this obstacle. It's highly likely for you to sequence break without even knowing it, the only indication that you probably shouldn't go that way were trash mobs and bosses who're disproportionately powerful compared to how you are.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Or as Agatio puts it, "This is an unlikely bunch of ragamuffins."
  • Random Encounters: As expected from an RPG.
  • 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.
  • Random Drop Booster: Killing monsters with the elemental Djinn they're weakest to gives more experience, money, better stat boosts if levelling up, and increases the item drop chance.
  • 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.
  • Regenerating Mana: Walking around restores Psynergy Points.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Djinn. Some NPCs even keep them as pets.
  • 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. There are many examples, but some bizarre examples stand out:
    • It becomes very interesting when you summon Neptune against Poseidon. Poseidon, stop hitting yourself!
    • Coatlicue, the hideous all-devouring snake goddess of the Aztecs, is routinely portrayed in summons as a cute underwater-dwelling Shrine Maiden who heals your party. In comparison, Boreas the giant snow-cone machine doesn't seem nearly as bad.
    • Cybele is a dopey tree-horned frog who spits seeds at enemies.
  • 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 Asskicking:
    • Isaac. 17-year-old + bright yellow scarf = many dead monsters.
    • Menardi's Sash of Asskicking.
    • Felix, too, has an amazing cape that billows over his shoulder.
    • Isaac's son inherited the scarf and kicks just as much ass.
    • The Lachesis' Rule's unleash summons a heavenly maiden who uses her scarf to attack the enemy.
  • Scenery Porn: Golden Sun was, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful handheld titles ever released if not the most beautiful at its time. One reason the game stood out a lot was the fact that you started off in a Medieval European Fantasy and spent it climbing mountains, going to Wutai, ending in Shifting Sand Land, and even parts that looked directly inspired by Africa and the Americas.
  • 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. Don't forget that if you cheat, you can give Felix Mind Read and you can read the minds of the people in Prox. This is normally impossible, but if you do do it, you will hear thoughts that hint at a sequel.
  • Sequence Breaking: 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.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Two deserts in Golden Sun, one in The Lost Age.
  • 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: The second element associated with Jupiter.
  • 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 Force series there are a number of nods to it. Beyond the the easily noticed graphical similarities in the interface, one injured person in the 2nd game thinks "Eyes... Shining in the Darkness... No! Go away!!!" and the final boss has an attack called "Darksol Gasp".
    • Mia's Ply power, the few times it can be used in the overworld, is represented by Primula from 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".
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: In-Universe example: When Babi first came to Lemuria, he got so sidetracked by the Lucky Medal Fountain that when he returned home, he immediately had one installed in his home of Tolbi.
  • Sinister Scythe: Menardi and Karst's Death Scythe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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 and 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.
  • 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. Master Hama also speaks normally, but that's because she's not from Xian.
  • Summon Magic: The Djinn. And, you know, the Summons themselves and some weapon unleashes. Also the magic provided by the class-changing Trainer's Whip and Tomegathericon items.
  • Takes One to Kill One:
    • While Jupiter and Venus are supposed to be super-effective against each other most enemies who are obviously Jupiter-aligned (e.g.; flying monsters with wind attacks) are only weak to their own element and highly resist Venus attacks, completely defying the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors that has been established in the first place. However, the same cannot be applied to Venus-aligned monsters (with the exception of Skeleton Warriors and Gargoyles) resulting in only a handful monsters being weak to Venus-based offenses.
    • Call Dullahan, a spell exclusive to the Dark Mage class series is super-effective against its namesake.
  • Take Your Time: Oh, yes.
  • 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 a Bonus Boss as a Psynergy attack.
  • 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.
  • 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 (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.
  • Translation Correction: A few of the Djinni 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. Note that 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Venus Psynergy are mostly useful all-around, but most of their status effects are flat-out worthless in your hands. Condemn and Death Card calls upon the Grim Reaper to perform an instant kill, but fails most of the time. Curse and Haunt are more reliable note , but who wants to wait for the effects to activate while normal attacks dispose enemies much faster? To add insult to injury, enemies and bosses with such spells will almost always successful in using them.
  • Utility Party Member: It's possible (but frankly stupid) to make one character hold all the non-combat Psynergy-bestowing items (such as freezing water into ice pillars or lifting boulders out of the way). Stupid because the game averts Bag of Sharing, every character has at least one non-combat skill that sees regular use, and mana is regenerated by walking around, making it more efficient to spread it around the party.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Venus Lighthouse in Golden Sun, Mars Lighthouse in The Lost Age. Initially, many gamers are disappointed to find the Venus Lighthouse battle is the end of the first game before The Lost Age is announced.
  • 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.
    • Likewise, you can completely miss the tree situation at Bilbin Junction, so Jill the tree gets washed away downriver. Either she never reverts to being a human when Tret restores everybody else, or she reverts to human and then drowns, or she washes ashore far away from her home and everybody she's ever loved, probably in monster-infested territory.
    • The Anti-Grinding mechanic in Sol Sanctum can be duped by getting Jenna KO'd. You can also loot her stuff before she gets kidnapped.
  • Violation of Common Sense: There is a sign, deep within the Altin Mines, that says, "Do not strike the walls! Rocks may fall!" ** Right next to it is one of those logs you keep knocking over with Force, positioned right by a wall...unfortunately Stupidity Is the Only Option in this case - using Psynergy on the wall/letting Garet kick it is necessary to advance further in the cave.
  • Warmup Boss: The three thieves in the first game, the three gorilla 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.
  • Waterfall into the Abyss: This appears here, which has a Flat World: the entire world map.
  • 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.
  • Wham Line: In The Lost Age, when you meet Lunpa, Jenna drops a low-key line that completely throws everything we thought we knew about the prologue of the original game and Felix's motivations down the drain.
    Jenna: Our parents were kidnapped by the Fire Clan, far to the north. We are only firing the lighthouse beacons to gain their freedom...
    • Not even two minutes later, we find out exactly who's quest is going to save the world.
    Lunpa: If your theories [that the seal on Alchemy caused advanced precursor civilizations to decline and vanish] are correct, the world itself will wane and vanish... Won't it, Kraden?
    • After the Final Boss is defeated and separates back into its components, the group comes to a horrible realization...
    Garet: Isaac! I... I know that guy! That's your dad!
    Jenna: Mom... Dad...
  • 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?: Golden Sun's commercials distracts the viewers from the actual product they are selling. The first one is notorious for this; it shows monsters rampaging in an opera house while being attacked by tuxedo-wearing musicians using their violins as makeshift bows as commanded by the conductor. Following the destruction of those monsters, a chandelier dragon storms into the place. After mostly avoiding the dragon's attacks the conductor finally uses her magic wand to destroy it. The real content of the game is only shown in the last five seconds.
    • While the setting is completely out of the games' timeline, said dragon is re-introduced in Dark Dawn as the new Venus summon Crystallux. An opera house is also featured in the summon sequence.
  • 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.
  • 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. The first game plays this straight with the Chinese village Xian.
  • 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.
    • Quasi-inverted in The Lost Age. You can see the part of the world map where the first game took place (it takes maybe 1/4 of the overall map used in part 2), but it is surrounded on all sides by mountains and impassible barriers making it impossible to access in Part 2; however, there is a glitch somewhere on the western shore where if you angle your ship just right, you can exit and your character will spawn on the other side of the mountains letting you onto the Part 1 world map complete with towns and dungeon icons all the way to Mt. Aleph and Venus Lighthouse. However, again, these icons aren't linked to any actual towns or dungeons; when your character walks over them, he passes right through them without shifting from the world map. Still, even though you can't actually go home, it makes for a nice sightseeing tour.
  • 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!) while 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.
    • Strangely averted when you would expect it: although they are blamed for the storm, no one confronts Saturos and Menardi for said storm having caused the death of Isaac's father and both of Felix and Jenna's parents. Well, they have to be stopped anyway, but revenge doesn't seem to be a motivation. Then again, all three are actually still alive... and held as hostages, but Isaac doesn't know that.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/GoldenSun?from=VideoGame.GoldenSunTheLostAge