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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.

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, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, was released in 2003.


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Tropes within the Broken Seal

  • And I Must Scream: The entire population of a town called Kolima gets turned into trees as punishment for trying to cut down their forest's guardian spirit. And while the spirit's still rampaging, anyone else who tries to so much as even ENTER the forest gets turned into one too. Reading the minds of these "trees" reveals that they are fully conscious, and well aware of their inability to speak or even move. Unusually for the trope, the victim's reactions vary - some are about as horrified with the situation as you'd expect, but others are relatively cool with it and feel no need to scream even if they could. Regardless, almost everyone would much rather be turned back. Good thing you can turn them back.
    • This is also somewhat subverted, as the point of the glamour was not to trap the townsfolk as trees forever. Rather, while the experience could count for this trope, the whole point was actually an attempt by Tret to invoke Karmic Death because when Tret dies, so does the forest... including all of the transformed townsfolk.
    • Of the trees that are horrified, by far the ones that have it the worst are the three trees that you meet along the way to Kolima. When you first see them, they're all stacked on top of one another - with the bottom tree thinking about how heavy the others are. You have to leave them there to bear the weight for days. And then they get knocked over and one of them falls into the river, to be washed away and most likely killed if you don't tow it back to shore!
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    • The "cool with it" side of the spectrum, on the other hand, includes... A child who happily realized that her mother can't send her to bed if she's unable to move. And another that was upset with being turned human again because he enjoyed how good all the water he was planted in tasted while he was a tree. These villager's mileages sure do vary.
      Child: If we were all trees, there'd be no more wars. 'Cause we'd be trees.
  • Anti-Grinding: The 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-Hero: Babi's role in the first game is to assist the protagonists, but his methods and ends are ruthless and selfish. He kidnapped a young woman from Lalivero to force her people to build a lighthouse for him, and the reason why he wanted that lighthouse built was so that he could find Lemuria and replenish his Elixir of Immortality.
  • 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.
  • 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 an 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.
  • Badass Normal: The Colosso gladiators lack any form of Psynergy, but are capable fighters stronger enough to challenge and defeat Isaac.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The Kolima incident, which involves the village of Kolima getting transformed into trees.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Toadonpa, who is only fought if player decided to rescue Master Hammet from Lunpa. Toadonpa isn't to difficult, but he counts for this trope because you have to backtrack a fair bit into the earlier areas to find Lunpa.
    • The Tempest Lizard is located out of the way of the exit to Suhalla Desert, requiring a detour to his location instead of continuing to Venus Lighthouse.
    • Deadbeard is the strongest boss in the game, and he's only fought at the bottom of Crossbone Isle.
      • Crossbone Isle is full of Bonus Bosses, though the earlier ones aren't terribly challenging and would probably be better classified as Unique Enemies.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Crossbone Isle. You never need to visit it for story completion, and it holds the most powerful enemy encounters in the game.
  • Cassandra Truth: Feizhi has a bad case of this after developing the power of precognition.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: There is one in Fuchin Temple, where the Orb of Force resides.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Subverted: When the party first enters an area cursed by Tret, 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, 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.
  • Cliffhanger: The first game's ending, which occurs at a point where you'd assume you were halfway through the game.
  • Combat Tentacles: One of the bosses you fight is a Kraken.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Inverted in the first boss fight with Saturos atop Mercury Lighthouse. The ambient Mercury Psynergy severely weakens Saturos, who is a Mars Adept... but your Mars Adept Garet suffers no such effects.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Returning to Vale after a certain point in the game (necessary if you want 100% Completion) gets you yelled at by Isaac's mom for backtracking instead of continuing to look for the others.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus:
    • Worshippers 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.
  • Dirty Old Man: The mayor of Vault when you read his mind after Ivan joins your party.
    "Hey! That tickles... Being tickled by a boy isn't so fun."
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The Venus Lighthouse is... technically this. 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.
  • 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!
  • Dramatic Unmask: Felix during the visit to Sol Sanctum as a guarantee that Kraden and Jenna will be safe in Saturos' and Menardi's hands.
  • Duel Boss: Happens three times in a row during the Inevitable Tournament, leading to Isaac's Heroic RRoD.
  • Egopolis: The city of Lunpa, named after its founder. Also combined with Sublime Rhyme for some cases, a number of location names sound similar with their leaders'-either due to coincidence, translator's choice or plain laziness in the original names. Examples include Hama of Lama Temple (she's actually from Contigo), Tolbi's tyrant ruler Babi, and Uzume the elder of Izumo.
  • 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 this game, an NPC mentions Champa, a town of pirates on the continent of Angara. One such pirate causes problems early in The Lost Age, and his hometown is visited later.
    • One of the weirdest, seemingly most random parts of the beginning of this 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Rescuing the tree from being swept downstream in.
    Jill gave Isaac a nice surprise! Isaac got a Hard Nut!
  • Good Morning, Crono: In the middle of the night though, with the impetus being 'a giant rock is falling towards our village!'
  • The Great Flood: Apparently, Weyard had one during Babi's youth. It was mentioned by Babi when he traveled to Lemuria with Lunpa, and then brought up again by an old man in the town of Lunpa, who related its times to the eruption of Mt. Aleph.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Jenna joins the party for the Sol Sanctum in the beginning of the game.
  • Guide Dang It!: Visiting Crossbone Isle before you enter Tolbi. 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?
  • 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.
  • Healing Hands: Mia, primarily a healer, is first seen healing a bedridden old man like this.
  • Henpecked Husband: Lord McCoy spoils Lady McCoy in just about every way that he can. His intent is to make sure that she lives the highest quality of life possible, but the effects that his submissiveness has on her personality isn't pretty. After the events of the Kolima curse make him realize that he's become far too subservient to her, he finally puts his foot down and cancels construction of her palace. The NPCs in his manor are very pleased with him.
  • Walk Hop On Water: the first section of Mercury Lighthouse involves reaching and activating a statue that lets you do this.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: In the dark and stormy prologue, the player fights Saturos and Menardi with the two having their endgame stats. While they can be defeated if you hack Isaac and Garet's stats, when the fight ends your characters are still the ones lying on the ground.
  • How Much Did You Hear?:
    • In the 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.
  • Immortality Immorality: Babi is determined to replenish his stock of Lemurian elixir, and what he's willing to do to get it makes him an Anti-Hero at best.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • The Kikuichimonji (try saying that five times fast) is a random drop from enemies, so the sufficiently patient player can get multiple copies. It's classed as a "light blade", meaning the only person in your party who CAN'T wield one is Mia.
    • Special mention goes to the Swift Sword, a light blade that can be bought in Lalivero. While slightly weaker than Kikuichimonji, its unleash can even overpower the Gaia Blade when it does triple damage. It is one of the best weapons for Ivan due to being a light blade and its Jupiter unleash. This weapon gets a successor in The Lost Age-Excalibur.
    • The Silver Blade is very easy to obtain — it's sold at the armory in Lalivero — and is the most powerful weapon Isaac can get his hands on before nabbing the Gaia Blade.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • The Gaia Blade is the most powerful weapon in The Broken Seal, and Isaac's best weapon if he's still using all Venus Djinn. It's located in the last story dungeon, Venus Lighthouse.
    • The Muramasa is another contender, being almost as powerful and Garet's best weapon if he's still using all Mars Djinn. It's located in the final puzzle room at Crossbone isle.
  • Informed Flaw: Garet's gluttony, mentioned by his siblings when you're leaving Vale and never heard from again.
  • 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).
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Tolbi's Colosso competition happens once a year, right when you happen to arrive. But you arrived just to late to sign up for it, oh well...
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The prologue. The only reason you're up and out is because something unrelated to the storm is going to smash your house, but the weather sure does reflect the mood, doesn't it?
  • Kick the Dog: While they have very good reasons for doing what they are doing, the "enemies" 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.
  • Kill It with Water: One does not necessarily need to kill Tornado Lizards with water, but they are functionally invincible until they get wet.
  • 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.
  • The Law of Power Proportionate to Effort: There's a psychic power that activates exactly once without any effort on the heroes' part and is never heard from again (in Kolima forest, the pollen that turns people into trees starts falling towards the heroes, when Psynergy bubbles grow around them and prevent the transformation).
  • Little Professor Dialog: Some of the kids-turned-trees in Kolima are remarkably philosophical about their predicament, both during it and after they're cured.
  • Machete Mayhem: Your weapon in the prologue/tutorial.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mundane Utility: Isaac is also infamously repairing his roof with Psynergy in the beginning of the game.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Tret the Holy Tree is brought back to his senses by Isaac and his friends, he feels genuinely sorry for losing control of his anger and spreading the curse around, and undoes it as soon as Isaac heals him.
  • Mysterious Waif: Sheba in this game, before getting more characterization in the sequel.
  • 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.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In a fashion; Garet is by no means stupid, but is often assumed to be so due to his recklessness.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Ivan's staff is necessary to complete the quest and it was known long ago that it would be needed when Ivan came of age. So naturally it gets stolen.
  • Palette Swap:
    • Isaac's and Garet's mothers look exactly alike barring hair colors to distinguish between the two of them.
    • Jenna's in-battle sprites during the brief time that she's in your party in the first game are nearly identical to Mia's. Subverted in that there are minor differences between the two sets of sprites, since even if their outfits are similar in basic design, they're still ultimately wearing different outfits. The sprite sets are nonetheless VERY close in appearance to one another, though, so it's obvious that one was made by editing the other. She even gains completely different battle sprites in The Lost Age, where she's a major playable character and would thus be expected to have more effort put into her sprites.
    • The Fusion Dragon's Outer Space and Dragon Driver attacks are recolored version of the Meteor and Tiamat summon sequence respectively.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Just past the barricade there is small area just outside of the barricade where you can run against the mountains and fight much stronger monsters.
  • Rated M for Manly: Averted. The Colosso apparently, according to one of the women in Kalay, contain many competitors and warriors with "large, defined muscles" that she really admires. This is averted because your party participates in it. Garet may pass for this in spite of being seventeen, but Ivan and Mia certainly do not.
  • Rich Bitch: Lady McCoy, in no small part due to her husband spoiling her. When one of the construction workers that she sent to manage construction of her palace starts to chop one of the forest's guardian spirits down and causes it to turn all the workers and everybody in Kolima into trees, her primary concern is that the incident has delayed construction on her palace. She's even more unhappy once Lord McCoy decides to outright cancel the project in favor of leaving the forest at peace.
  • Schmuck Bait: There are at least two cases of a sign telling you not to do something necessary to advance in the game. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Easily possible in both games, though this one is more clear about it since the second game is a little murkier about what the proper sequence is. 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. And of course, due to a glitch you can skip the portion of Mercury Lighthouse where Mia is recruited and thanks to the Frost Jewel obtainable in Mogall Forest, you can still advance.
    • 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 if it's in Piers's possession when he temporarily leaves the party in Lemuria.
  • Sequential Boss: The final bosses of both games. In this game, Saturos and Menardi battle Isaac's party, revitalize themselves after the fight and fuse into the Fusion Dragon.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Lamakan Desert in particular DOES become too hot for the group and they start taking damage from heatstroke unless they rest at hidden oases.
  • Skippable Boss: The Storm Lizard, provided the player is able to successfully run from it.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: One of the thieves in Vault starts accusing the party of accusing them of stealing "Master Hammet's Treasured Shaman's Rod" instantly upon talking to him possibly before you've even heard of it, and if you say no he'll claim he doesn't even know what what stolen after having just told you what it was.
  • Take Your Time: Lampshaded when Layana scolds your party after you rescued Hammet.
  • Teleportation Rescue: Alex uses his short-range Teleport Spam to rescue Saturos after his first boss fight goes wrong, preventing the heroes from finishing him off (whether they actually would kill him off is discussed by the villains, who escape just after).
  • Transflormation: The Kolima incident, in which the entire village and many who follow after them are turned into trees.
  • Tree Trunk Tour: The climax of the Kolima arc features climbing up the giant tree Tret (both inside and outside), then dropping down to the roots in order to vanquish his soul from the inside. Notable for being one of the main possible instances of Sequence Breaking: the player is supposed to get healing water from Imil to revive Tret, but it's possible to go to Imil and finish the entire arc before even finding out about Tret.
  • 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.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Tret the Holy Tree takes this to literal levels. He was rightfully pissed when lumberjacks from Kolima tried to cut him down, but then Psynergy Stones fell from the sky, amplifying his anger to the point that he didn't even have control over his own actions anymore.
  • A Way Out of a Cave-In: The Mogall Forest is a maze with multiple-door Wrap Around areas that can be cleared by trial and error or by acquiring the (optional) Force Orb: On entering the forest, an ape jumps into a hollow stump. Hitting the stump causes the ape to jump out and run away, identifying which exit is the correct one. This is repeated several times throughout the forest, until the final stump where the dungeon boss (a gigantic ape) is hiding.
  • 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.
  • When Trees Attack: Tret, a talking tree that has been given a violent split personality, is one of the earliest boss battles.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Played with at the end of the 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 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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