Golden Sun (2001)

by Ji-yeong
7 minutes read


Golden Sun is a landmark RPG by Camelot Software Planning that combines deep storytelling, strategic gameplay, and groundbreaking graphics for the Game Boy Advance. Following the journey of Isaac and his friends, it delivers an unforgettable adventure rivaling console classics.


Golden Sun (2001) is a seminal RPG for the Game Boy Advance, developed by the creators of Shining Force, Camelot Software Planning. It blends traditional RPG elements with a captivating storyline and innovative gameplay, setting a high standard for handheld gaming.


“Golden Sun” is a role-playing video game developed by Camelot Software Planning and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance. Released in August 2001 in Japan, November 2001 in North America, and February 2002 in Europe1, the game has since become a classic in the genre.

The story of “Golden Sun” revolves around a group of magic-attuned teenagers known as Adepts. These Adepts embark on a mission to protect the world of Weyard from alchemy, a potentially destructive power that was sealed away long ago.

The game begins in the village of Vale, at the foot of Mt. Aleph. Mt. Aleph is known to be the dwelling place of the powerful elemental stars, which represent the fundamental elements of Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind. The protagonist, Isaac, along with his friends, Garet, Ivan, and Mia, are Adepts, each capable of harnessing the power of a specific element.

The plot thickens when two mysterious figures, Saturos and Menardi, along with their accomplices, attempt to steal these elemental stars from Mt. Aleph. Their goal is to light the four Elemental Lighthouses spread across Weyard, thereby breaking the seal on Alchemy. They believe that the return of Alchemy will restore the world to its former glory.

Isaac and his friends, understanding the potential catastrophe that could befall Weyard if Alchemy were to fall into the wrong hands, set out on a journey to stop Saturos and Menardi. Along their journey, they develop new magic abilities called Psynergy, assist others, and learn more about why Alchemy was sealed away.

The game’s world is rich and immersive, filled with towns, caves, and dungeons. Players explore this world from a top-down perspective, interact with other characters, battle monsters, and acquire new abilities and equipment. The game also features an optional battling mode accessible from the menu screen, where players can enter a team from their saved game files into an arena environment to battle CPU-controlled enemies.

One of the unique aspects of “Golden Sun” is the use of Psynergy, both in and out of combat. Many puzzles in the game require the use of Psynergy, making it an integral part of the gameplay. For instance, players might need to create makeshift bridges by pushing logs into rivers or shift the track of a mine cart to gain access to new areas.

The climax of the game occurs when Saturos and Menardi merge to form a massive two-headed dragon in an effort to defeat the party. However, Isaac and his friends manage to overcome this challenge, marking a significant victory in their quest to save Weyard.

“Golden Sun” was critically and commercially successful, being the top-selling game for four months in Japan and selling more than one million units worldwide. The game was praised as one of the best RPGs on a handheld, rivalling those on full-size game consoles. The game spawned a series that includes three games and appearances in other media.

In conclusion, “Golden Sun” is a captivating blend of adventure, strategy, and fantasy. Its engaging storyline, innovative gameplay, and rich world-building have cemented its place as a classic in the realm of role-playing video games.


Isaac (the protagonist swordsman), Garet (Isaac’s childhood friend), Ivan and Mia (adventurers who join Isaac’s quest), along with various other allies and antagonists encountered throughout the journey


The gameplay combines traditional RPG elements such as turn-based battles, exploration, and character development, with a unique Psynergy system for puzzle-solving and combat. Players also collect and utilize Djinni to customize characters’ abilities and summon powerful entities.


Golden Sun (2001) remains a defining RPG of the Game Boy Advance era, beloved for its engaging story, innovative gameplay, and stunning graphics. It has left a lasting legacy as one of the handheld platform’s finest adventures.

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