Review of Golden Sun: The Lost Age (GBA)

Have you ever traveled across the world, fighting so hard for something you believed in, only to find out that the entire time…you’d been wrong?

Oops.

In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, you take control of one of the villains from the first game: Felix. Felix is accompanied by Jenna, his sister, and Kraden, an old man from the village of Vale. The two siblings are also from Vale, but Felix disappeared three years prior and was presumed dead. He returned at the start of Golden Sun, and with the help of the other villains from the game, kidnapped his own sister and her mentor.

In addition to Felix, Jenna, and Kraden, they are also accompanied by another captive, Sheba. Felix kidnapped her as well, as they needed her Psynergy powers to access one of the Elemental Lighthouses.

Of these four characters, only three are ‘useful’. Kraden does not have Psynergy powers, and thus does not fight alongside your party. He will pop out now and then with some sagely advice, and then disappear until you forget about him again.

Felix, much like Isaac, is a Venus Adept. Jenna is a Mars Adept, and Sheba is a Jupiter Adept. Along the way you will come across Piers, a Mercury Adept, who will eventually join your party and take you to his homeland.

As the second game, Golden Sun: The Lost Age is a continuation of Golden Sun. The two were actually supposed to be a single game, but it was too big, so they split it into two. For those who have completed Golden Sun, you can actually transfer your in-game data, stats, items, and Djinn to The Lost Age, allowing your party to be just as you left them when the two groups meet up.

With simple controls that are easy to learn, you will quickly be accustomed to The Lost Age. With a turn based battle system, you fight a various number of enemies along the way to your end goal: light the Elemental Lighthouses and restore the power of Alchemy to the world of Weyard.

This is exactly what Isaac and his party are trying to stop you from doing, and when your groups meet up they have quite the discussion. I won’t spoil anything here, but let’s just say that they team up to save the world together.

Just like its predecessor, Golden Sun: The Lost Age places you into the world of Djinn and Psynergy. For the uninitiated, Psynergy is elemental power, identified by Mars (fire), Venus (earth), Jupiter (wind), and Mercury (water).

There are descendants of an ancient race of people who were able to harness these powers, and in the current age they are referred to as Adepts. Each Adept is born with the ability to control a single element, which is usually passed down from a parent.

Spread throughout the world of Weyard are creatures called Djinni, or Djinn (plural). These creatures are made of pure elemental energy, and will join your party and faithfully help you in your battles. Coming in four varieties, you can set a Djinni not of an Adept’s Psynergy category to give the access to both types of Psynergy.

For example, if you give a Venus Adept a Mars Djinni, they will then gain access to Psynergy abilities belonging to both Venus and Mars. This can be helpful, but some people prefer to keep their parties ‘pure’ and give each Adept the Djinni of their own category, which can arguably make them even stronger.

With an open world to explore, it is easy to grind but also very easy to get lost and confused. There is no real way to know your objectives in the game, so if you forget where you are going, it will take way too much time to find the way forward. It can be easy to miss Djinni and other items.

Additionally, even when you are going the right way, it can be tough to figure out what you are supposed to do to proceed. This can be a pain, and I found it quite annoying, especially if I went long periods of time without playing. This made it hard to pick up and play again, and I wish I had simply played it in one go from the start.

Despite these issues, I am willing to overlook them to appreciate Golden Sun: The Lost Age for what it truly is: a remarkable JRPG that meets its potential, and also runs an incredible story. If you have the time to play it in a single sitting (or the time span of about a week), do it. It will be fulfilling and remarkable, and I can guarantee that you will enjoy it.

The Lost Age is funny, exciting, surprising, heartbreaking, and so much more. I cannot recommend it more. With a beautiful soundtrack and exciting sound effects, this old school RPG is the best of the best. You can truly appreciate the familiar GBA graphics that are much like Final Fantasy, and playing it will take you back to those nostalgic good old days.

The Golden Sun series is my favorite, and I recommend each of the three games without hesitation. They are each a continuation of a single story, and I love them for that.

The Lost Age in particular is amazing. As the climax and ending to the first part of the story (looking at Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age as one), it is extraordinary. I absolutely loved this game.

Despite the fact that it can be annoying and complicated as well as confusing, I still love it. No game is perfect, but this game does come pretty close. The positive qualities truly do outweigh and outnumber the negative ones.

I honestly wish that every gamer could and would play the Golden Sun games. They are such amazing pieces of RPG history, as they truly set the ‘golden’ standard back in the day. It has become the game that I judge all other games by, and although I have found better games, it is still my favorite.

As my favorite, I’d better be getting back to it. The flat world of Weyard needs a hero to save it, after all…


Copyright 2018 Ammon Hansen

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The cover image was taken from:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Sun:_The_Lost_Age

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