Released in North America in 2001, Golden Sun for the Game Boy Advance is a game generally not known to many, but one that creates an avid and original world. The setting of this game takes place in a world called Weyard. The interesting idea of Weyard is that it is flat, just like how we used to think the world was. Weyard is place where people called Adepts practice alchemy and psynergy, or the ability to manipulate the elements of Venus (earth), Mars (Fire), Jupiter (Wind) and Mercury (Water). Many years before the story, alchemy was sealed away by people who feared that humanity would use it to destroy the world. The seal is set up by 4 lighthouses, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Mercury, which, when lit by special items called stars, would reignite and unleash the seals. Due to this, very few people The seal is slowly starting to kill the world and push all land masses off the edge of the world, but I’m not going to dive into that since that is explained in it’s immediate sequel Golden Sun: The Lost Age.
The story starts with in a small town called Vale, at the base of Mt. Aleph. Vale is one of the few places in the world where everyone can practice Psynergy. At the start of the game, a boy named Issac is fleeing toward a safe house with his mother in the middle of a storm since an avalanche is happening on Mt. Aleph. His father has gone to help the citizens escape. On the way, he bumps into his friend Garet and they begin to flee until they notice their other friend Jenna who is freaking out near the river, as the approach her, they realize that her brother, Felix is caught in the middle of the river holding onto a rock while Issac’s father and Felix/Jenna’s parents are out on a dock trying to help him. At this point the largest boulder from Mt. Aleph is bouncing down the river, the adepts of the village no longer to prevent it from falling. Everything happens very fast and the next thing you know, Issac’s father, Felix and his parents have been swept away by the boulder. While everyone is in shock, Issac and Garet run off to find help, as they do this, they run into 2 warrior, who are strange colors, who seem to know about the temple inside Mt. Aleph (called Sol Sanctum) and they seem to have caused the storm and avalanche. When they notice you’ve been listening, they attack to make you forget. You easily loose and pass out. The game then progresses to three years in the future where Issac, Garet and Jenna are apprentices to the local wise man, Kraden. As the run to see Kraden one day, they run into the two warriors from three years ago, though none remember them.
The two seemed to have confronted Kraden about Sol Sanctem, they let you go this time and you head to Kraden. He expresses his concern about the two and decide they should all investigate Sol Sanctum just in case. As they make their way through the temple, the eventually get to the inner most sanctum, they find 4 gems, called the elemental stars, sitting on 4 pillars. Issac and Garet go to retrieve the stars to study them, when they get the third star, a group appears and holds Jenna and Kraden hostage telling them to hand over the stars. The group consists of the two warriors, whose names are Saturos and Menardi, a masked man and another blue haired man named Alex. The demand the stars in return for the others safety, Issac and Garet agree, handing over the 3 stars. They then tell them to retrieve the 4th star. Issac and Garet get angry at them and ask them what guarantee they have that the group won’t hurt Jenna and Kraden. The masked man takes off his mask and it is revealed to be Felix. Issac and Garet agree to go and get the star, as they take it off the alter, the temple starts to shake and fall down. The group of enemies retreat taking Jenna and Kraden with them, and Issac and Garet are saved by a giant rock with a face called The Wise One. He explains that if the stars are used to light the lighthouses, then it will be the end of the world, so he tasks Issac and Garet to get them back.
As they travel the world, they meet two other adepts that help them, a wind adept named Ivan and a water adept named Mia. They prevent the enemies from lighting one lighthouse before having a showdown with them at the next one. While they manage to kill Saturos and Menardi, the lighthouse is still lit. The game ends here as they set sail for the next lighthouse.
Golden Sun was a very good game for its time. Granted, it is not a fantastic game, it is rather cliche at times and just what you’d expect from a game of it’s time. That being said though, it is a really fun game to play through at least once. The games battle system is turn by turn system. The players have access to mystical creatures called Djinn, who are pure elemental beings. They enhance your battling skills and help you summon giant creatures to assist you in battle.
My only issues with the in game battle is the weapons. The weapons could get very powerful in regards to the moves that let you do. My issue was that they didn’t bother differentiating the weapons in the battle. The strongest sword in the game looks like the one you get at the beginning, except the thumbnail it has when you attached it looks completely different.
The game is really fun, and a must for anyone who has a Gameboy Advance, though cliche, it’s story is really interesting and the game will thrill you, no matter what your age.
Writer Rating: 7.8/10