The Colosso Final Competitions is the final portion of the overall Colosso tournament at Tolbi, following the Colosso preliminaries, where the eight highest ranked Colosso Gladiators from the Colosso trials face off in a series of puzzle-like races that each ends in a one-on-one duel. In terms of story, after Isaac saves the life of the lord of Tolbi, Babi, within Altmiller Cave, Babi personally enters Isaac in Colosso's finals so that he may observe Isaac's Psynergy powers in action. From a gameplay perspective, Isaac's competing in the Colosso Finals is a major and unique mandatory episode for the overall Golden Sun series, with a similar type of gameplay event taking place in Golden Sun: The Lost Age at Trial Road.
First of all, while this event is technically structured as a laddered tournament in which eight warriors enter and one warrior triumphs, all that matters to the player is Isaac's perspective of the tournament, in which he, armed only with a Short Sword at the outset, will always compete against a total of three specific warrior opponents throughout three specific puzzle-based obstacle course matches. (Isaac will regain his original equipment and lose any equipment he gathers during the Colosso Finals once the Finals have concluded.) Each of these matches is essentially a series of elevated stages which have simple puzzles integrated into them, and the object is to make it to the small arena at the center of the whole area where Isaac will then engage in a one-on-one battle with one of the Colosso Gladiators. Isaac is always fully healed after he wins each match and battle.
What makes each match a race against time is that your opponent will be making his way through a mirrored copy of the series of puzzle stages you will be going through at the same time, and the two of you will try to make it to the central arena first. The progress of each contestant through their respective stages is indicated by a diagram on top of the screen which shows the two as blinking points marked "1P" and "2P". The advantage of making it to the center arena before your opponent is noticeable: lying on the ground of the central arena are two pieces of equipment, both of the same type but one far superior to the other. The contestant that makes it to the arena first will automatically pick up and equip the better item, then wait as the other contestant eventually arrives to the arena, picks up and equips the lesser item, and the battle begins. Isaac will have a statistically easier time battling his opponent if he arrives at the arena first, in other words, since his stats will be improved and the opponent's stats don't get an improvement. The winner of the battle is the winner of the overall match, and he will then compete in the next match, while keeping the piece of equipment he earned in the previous match, meaning that each time you beat out your opponent to the arena at the end of a match before defeating him in battle, you make your future matches easier. So, getting the strongest equipment at the end of each match is very important to Isaac, especially if his level isn't as high as it can be at this point.
The puzzles within each screen (stage) of the match are quite simple on their own and may seem trivial by Golden Sun standards. What makes them a challenge together is that they are to be completed in rapid succession, and doing them as fast as possible is encouraged. Adding to their complexity are treasure chests that can be found in out-of-the-way spots through some of the stages, and these chests contain consumable items that will help sustain Isaac in his fight with his Colosso opponent, but Isaac must use up time in getting to the chests and retrieving their contents. Each match has three chests distributed among three of its stages, and if Isaac completes all of the match's stages the "normal" way (possible "shortcuts" within each stage are discussed below) as fast as possible while opening each chest, you should notice that the movements of the two contestants on the top diagram are mostly synchronized, proving that your opponent in each match is always taking his time to complete each of his stages while opening up all of the chests within them. This means that if you purposefully skip at least one of the three chests on your version of the match's stages, you should arrive at the arena before your opponent.
Colosso is triggered after completing Altmiller Cave, and stepping in front of the Colosseum Entrance where all the soldiers and spectators are. After a series of cutscenes which does an adequately thorough job of explaining what the event is going to be like, you will end up at the ground level of the first match, in front of the cells where crowds of spectators watch the elevated stages in front of them, with an attendant blocking the entrance to each cell. Each attendant allows you to preview each stage of the match, and you are to place Isaac's three companions in three of the stages for the "purpose" of "cheering" while Isaac goes across the stages during the competition.
Having the other Adepts cheer at the ground level to particular stages is important to the gameplay of the Colosso Finals in its own way; it allows for an Adept to cast a utility Psynergy spell to alter a particular property of the stage he or she is cheering at before Isaac's match begins, which essentially allows Isaac to "cheat" and progress through the stages faster than normally possible. The strategy of the Colosso matches manifests as follows: First, before each match, Isaac and his party are at ground level in front of the cells where each stage and its respective cheering audience is contained. Isaac speaks with each attendant to preview each stage and look for stage elements near the audience that can possibly be influenced by a Psynergy spell from one of Isaac's Adept companions if he places that Adept in that stage's audience.
After placing each Adept in the stage's audience, Isaac heads off for the match that's about to begin, and the "Lend a Hand!" mode begins, where you control each of Isaac's individual party members within their small audience-filled cells temporarily. This is the only instance in the entire Golden Sun series where the player can actually physically control Garet, Ivan, and Mia in an overhead-style environment, and you'll find that while their walking animations have been coded, their running animations are merely sped-up versions, unlike Isaac's running animations which are different from his walking. When your control is shifted to a different Adept, you can try to see if there is a nearby stage element that can be changed by one of your Psynergy spells and therefore create a shortcut that will help Isaac go through that stage faster. Your session with that Adept will end if he/she successfully makes a change, but if the Adept is unable to do anything they will have to end their session by talking to the attendant below and say they're done cheering.
The amount of time Isaac can save when making use of successfully prepared shortcuts during his matches will better allow him to open up all three chests in each match and make it to the end arena in time to pick up the better equipment, and therefore have a comparatively easy battle with the opponent at the end. If Isaac has been obsessively leveled up by the player at this point, however, then it probably wouldn't matter as much how many shortcuts and chests he takes advantage of since he'd be strong enough to take on his opponents and survive regardless, and it should be stressed that the only actual objective Isaac has in the Colosso Finals is to defeat the three boss-like opponents in one-on-one combat.
Requirements and Rewards
This event is mandatory for Isaac to compete in, and the first two matches are required to be won. However, Isaac can lose the third match and still progress through the rest of the game without any actual penalty. But if Isaac wins the third match and therefore the Colosso tournament, he will receive a winner's prize from Babi later on, which is the Lure Cap, which is not useful as an item to have when fighting boss battles but is very useful for leveling up, since it increases the rate at which monsters appear. Afterwards, if this game file is completed and saved as a Completed data file which is used for data transfer into Golden Sun: The Lost Age, later on in that game the Colosso opponents you beat will make a return appearance and demand a rematch, and defeating them again will net you the unique Golden Shirt.
If Isaac loses either of the first two matches, what happens is rather interesting; the screen fades out as the "Sleeping at an Inn" jingle plays, and Isaac wakes up in a bed in Babi's Palace, and the cutscene that follows shows that Isaac was only dreaming that he was competing and losing at the Colosso Finals, which haven't even started yet. Isaac, as the game would have you believe, went to Babi's Palace to have a quick rest in the warrior's beds and was having a nightmare about the upcoming competition, the nightmare being the playthrough you were attempting and failing. Isaac and his party regroups and can be controlled as normal, and when he comes back to the Colosseum Entrance to enter again it's as if this is his first time entering. This is the game's gameplay equivalent of "Try Again" and can occur repeatedly if you keep on losing either of the first two Finals Matches.
Colosseum Final 1
- Main article: Colosseum Final 1
The first match Isaac goes through is a comparatively quick and easy series of four screens/stages that grants you one minute and five seconds before your opponent, Azart, reaches the central arena. Three of the stages have shortcuts available by the Psynergy of a cheering Adept; to maximize them you should have Garet cast the Move Psynergy on the earth pillar at the first stage, have Mia cast the Douse Psynergy on the empty square receptacle on the second stage, and perhaps have Ivan's class arranged so he is in a class that has the Growth Psynergy, which he can use on the small plant in stage three before the start of the match. The chests in the match include a Nut on stage 1, an Oil Drop on stage 3, and a Nut on stage 4, and the equipment at the end is the Iron Shield with 20 Defense and the Padded Gloves with 2 Defense.
Colosseum Final 2
- Main article: Colosseum Final 2
The second match Isaac must complete is a series of five screens/stages that you must complete in under one minute and fifteen seconds if you plan to arrive to the central arena before your opponent, Satrage. While four of the stages have shortcuts available by the Psynergy of cheering Adepts, the shortcut on stage 2 is not recommended. Have Garet cheer at stage 1 and use the Move Psynergy to move the center earth pillar one space left, have Ivan cheer at stage 5 and use the Force Psynergy on the half-broken log pillar, and have Mia cheer at stage 3 and use the Frost Psynergy on the left puddle of water. The chests in the match include a Nut on stage 2, a Smoke Bomb on stage 4, and a Nut on stage 5, and the equipment at the end is the Chain Mail with 25 Defense and the Cotton Shirt with 3 Defense.
Colosseum Final 3
- Main article: Colosseum Final 3
The third and final match Isaac will compete in is a series of six screens/stages that you must complete in under one minute and twenty-five seconds in order to grab the better equipment than your toughest opponent, Navampa. Four of the stages have shortcuts available by the Psynergy of cheering Adepts in the audiences prior to the match's start, and this time you have a choice of which of the lesser shortcuts you should choose. Having Mia use Frost on the puddle in stage 1 is the one great shortcut of the match, and the other three equal and smaller shortcuts are at stage 2 where you can have Garet cast Move on the earth pillar to move it right, at stage 3 where you can have Ivan cast Halt on the human operator, and at stage 5 where you can have Ivan cast Force on the wooden log. The chests in the match include a Smoke Bomb on stage 1, a Nut on stage 3, and a Sleep Bomb on stage 6, and the equipment at the end is the Claymore with 70 Attack and the Hunter's Sword with 28 Attack.