Golden Sun: an introduction

The good guys are the bad guys and vice versa

Though originally intended as one game, the narrative was split between Golden Sun and the sequel (subtitled The Lost Age). When that happened, Camelot took a cue from its masterpiece in three parts, Shining Force III, and decided the second game would finish the story from the opposite side. As we go into more detail, a warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Above: Isaac and friends in Golden Sun

The first game's hero was Isaac, a young man who lived in a village near an inactive volcano, which held the key to the sealing away of the power of Alchemy, a magical pseudo-science from long ago. After his parents are kidnapped, he and three fellow travelers hunt for the kidnappers, who are trying to break Alchemy's seal. The villains also have Isaac's childhood friend Felix, long thought dead, and have forced him into fighting his boyhood chums. Isaac eventually beats the kidnappers, but not before they light two of the four Elemental Lighthouses. Thinking he had freed Felix, Isaac asks him to join them; Felix refuses and decides to continue the quest to unleash Alchemy. The first game ends with Isaac in hot pursuit.

Above: Our two heroes, Isaac (left) and Felix (right)

Once The Lost Age came out, some might have thought you'd continue as Isaac, but instead you take over as Felix and his own party of four. Now you're out to finish lighting the Lighthouses to break the seal, with the former protagonist becoming one of the many obstacles in your way. Midway through, you find out that Isaac's plans were misplaced, and the first villains were accidentally right in their selfish goals: the world of Weyard is dying without Alchemy. Despite the possibility that freeing it could instantly destroy everything, it's a risk Felix wants to take, and eventually he even convinces Isaac to turn on his master, who wants to uphold the seal.

Above: Happy endings all around (images from Golden Sun Universe)

This kind of change between the two games again shows how grown-up Golden Sun was, despite its kid-friendly looks. After the pretty standard RPG storyline of the first game, the heroes learn to not be afraid of the unknown, and despite the risk involved, it's better to have freedom of choice than to slowly die worrying about the dangers. Ultimately the theme was maturity, developing the ability to embrace possibilities and change rather than keeping the status quo - an idea that Golden Sun played subtly and well.

Fun Fact: The past was the prologue

Interest in a third Golden Sun game has been brewing for a long time among devoted fans, and not just because they love the series. Though there is closure to the tale of Felix, Isaac and their friends by the end of Lost Age, some plot threads were left dangling, seemingly to be picked up in a later game. Additionally, the game makers mentioned in interviews that the first two games were just the beginning of the real story. Our bet is that the main character will be revealed as Isaac's son, who must fight the abuse of Alchemy, and that an old running buddy of his father’s –  the opportunistic Alex – will be an enemy. We can’t wait to find out next year.

Above: The kid in the center sure reminds us of Isaac, even down to the color of his clothes

Jul 14, 2009

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  • Kytl - January 15, 2010 2:57 a.m.

    i wonder how many games this series will get, if the first 2 are really a prologue, DAMN I CAN'T WAIT
  • secretsearcher - October 16, 2009 10:31 p.m.

    OK. These are totally EPIC games. I just finished Lost Age. It knocked my socks off :D @EnigmaticMan You really have to play through both games in order to appreciate the series. In my opinion, the second one is far superior.
  • Charon - August 3, 2009 4:36 p.m.

    Best games I ever played, even for the 10th time xD. Genius. Anyone who never heard of those, go get them somewhere!
  • dreamgor - July 16, 2009 9:18 p.m.

    what can i say that hasn't been said already: awesome article, golden sun pwns, the biggest announcement was GS DS (look at the trailer feature for a detailed description of my reaction the trailer the first time i saw it)
  • AgentLym - July 16, 2009 12:22 a.m.

    Can't wait can't wait can't wait!! I recently just bought both games for GBA, so... No DSi for me until I transfer my data over! lol
  • Firebaby - July 16, 2009 12:10 a.m.

    Ok i made an account here just so i could comment on this because i freakin love golden sun so much i just finished the playing the first one the other day for like the 1000th time i was so lucky that i pretty much stumbled on these games by accident when i was like 10 or 11!I cannot wait for GSDS Ps golden sun saved my baby she was on fire but i was just able to cast "Douse" and it worked out fine...
  • shelcobsohn - July 15, 2009 9:03 p.m.

    i was addicted to golden sun for like 3 months when it came out. finally i can have another rpg worthy of my precious time. send me things. 8==D rofl
  • RandomIdoit - July 15, 2009 7:43 p.m.

    I've never actually played this series, but it does look very promising. Just another Ds game I'm looking forward to.
  • darkwolf908 - July 15, 2009 5:40 p.m.

    Golden Sun is one of the best games ever...thanks for makin the article=]
  • iluvmyDS - July 15, 2009 3:31 p.m.

    I agree with Amnesiac, best damn thing announced.
  • AssassinRoxas - July 15, 2009 3:16 p.m.

    ive played the original two and it was preety good, now im waiting to see whats in store for the ds version of golden sun!=) golden sun rules
  • Fizzmonkey - July 15, 2009 2:05 p.m.

    i loved the first 2 games (couldnt beat the final bosses tho...) but i forgot how awesome the games were until i saw this.
  • The_Lurcher - July 15, 2009 8:57 a.m.

    @ Turkeykilla7: Thankyou I am Enlightened. ReCAPTCHA: Party Bedtimes (New game for the wii)
  • super0sonic - July 15, 2009 5:44 a.m.

    I enjoyed playing GS until the random battles threw me off. I never got to the second one. But i am looking foreword to this game.
  • AHolyMonk - July 15, 2009 4:39 a.m.

    This looks awesome! I played the original, and its one of my favorite games of all time. Old GBA games that are being revived like this and Advance Wars really make me embarrased to consider myself a gamer since I dont have a DS. Somethig on the to-do list now...
  • Defguru7777 - July 15, 2009 4:26 a.m.

    Golden Sun 1 and 2 were some of my favorite games of all time. I can't wait for GS DS.
  • secretsearcher - July 15, 2009 1:59 a.m.

    Ok wow. I can't believe I never gave this series a try. It looks awesome. I guess I'll have to get the first two and play those before I play the DS one. Thanks for the article, GR. I wasn't sure whether to give these games a try or not. P.S. Those summoning scenes were impressive.
  • GoldenMe - July 15, 2009 1:40 a.m.

    Thanks for making an article about this series. Camelot did a great job making such a excellent story and amazing gameplay. It was one of the only game on the GBA that looked so great. I played both, beat both, wanted to have a threesome with both, and I can't wait till it comes out.
  • MechGyver - July 15, 2009 12:56 a.m.

    Satch Boogie is good though
  • c03n3nj0 - July 15, 2009 12:10 a.m.

    Man I really need to get the original two.

Showing 1-20 of 41 comments

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