Data transfer

From Golden Sun Universe
An example of a Bronze password.

The Send function in the Golden Sun series is a method of transferring game data from the original Golden Sun to its direct sequel, Golden Sun: The Lost Age. All versions of the games allow the use of a Password to achieve this, and when playing on original hardware, a far quicker alternative method can be used instead, involving a physical Game Link Cable linking two Game Boy Advance systems.

The GBA Wireless Adapter and the Nintendo DS' Wireless Connection cannot be used to perform the transfer in lieu of a Game Link Cable, and the option cannot be used in the Wii U Virtual Console releases either. On Nintendo Switch Online, the Game Link Cable method works, but it requires two separate Switches with two separate Switch accounts, each with their own NSO+Expansion Pack membership.

The primary purpose of transferring data between the two titles is to shape the levels, statistics, inventory, and Djinn collections of the original game's party members when they figure into events quite late into The Lost Age. Completing optional goals in the first game also unlocks a select few bonus events throughout the second game if data transferring is used.

Accessing the Send menu

When beginning a new game file in The Lost Age, you are given the choice of "enhancing" it with data "transferred" over from the first Golden Sun title. Instructions on achieving this without a Game Link Cable are not presented in either of the games themselves and are only printed in the manual packaged with Golden Sun: The Lost Age.

The hidden "Send" option successfully brought up in the title menu of the first Golden Sun allows party and event data to be transferred into The Lost Age.

To make the hidden "Send" menu appear in the first game's starting menu, press either B or Start while holding the R shoulder button and the left direction on the D-pad. The Send menu provides two transfer methods:

  • Password: Allows viewing of a chosen Clear Data file's data in password form.
  • Cable: Allows direct data transfer from a chosen Clear Data file to The Lost Age via Game Link Cable.

If a Game Link Cable connecting two physical systems is used, the data-transferring process is very simple. If you are using the far more laborious Password option, however, you must choose one of the three "medal tiers" shown in Golden Sun and replicate its password within the corresponding tier in The Lost Age.

After a password is accepted via this method, the game will first let you rename Isaac, and selecting "END" will then show you the effects your password has on the stats and inventory of the original game's party when they eventually figure into events later in this game. Once you push B to exit out of this screen, the game will bring you back to Isaac's rename screen, and selecting "END" again will start the game. (Do not mistake this process for the game having somehow "canceled" your hard work inputting the password.)

Update function

Whether or not Clear Data is transferred when starting a new game of The Lost Age, the option to do so remains available for a game in progress via the "Update" feature that appears on the second game's menu screen and still experience bonus events based on Isaac's accomplishments. It is even possible to apply different passwords to an ongoing game of The Lost Age, but doing so after Felix and his party have passed various thresholds in the story will not allow certain events to be retroactively enabled. The bonus events, their triggers, and their cut-off points are listed in the Data transfer effects section below.

The final story threshold is late in the game. Saving an ongoing game after this final cut-off point will make said file appear as "Post-Reunion Data" in the Update interface. That save file cannot be updated via Passwords, due to Isaac and his party's reappearance in the narrative.

Password flexibility

The password system is detached from any physical and hardware requirements, making it possible to have any version of the first game generate a password that will be accepted into any version of the second game even if they are on different platforms and in different languages. For example, a player who only owns a physical Golden Sun cartridge can generate a password and enter it into the Nintendo Switch Online version of The Lost Age.

It is even possible to "translate" a password from the Japanese version of the first game into a localized version of the second, and vice versa, despite the different alphabet used and the different character layout in the password entry interface. There are 64 characters used in any version, and all localized versions of the game use a character collection consisting of 24 capitalized Roman letters, 8 Arabic numerals, 24 lowercase Roman letters, and 8 miscellaneous text characters such as "!", "#", "&", and so on. The Japanese version uses all 46 basic Hiragana characters, plus dakuten variants for 18 of them. A given character in one script uniformly equates to a given character in the other script, without any overlap or conflicts.

Character equivalents in Japanese The Lost Age
W X Y Z 2
g  h  i  j  k
! W W ? #
3  4  5  6  7

m 0 p 0 n
& $ % + =
8  9  a  b  c
q  r  s  t  u

d 0  e  0 f
v  w  x  y  z
Character equivalents in English The Lost Age
X Y Z 2 3
4  5  6  7  8
9 R R R R
a  b  c  d  e
f  g  h  i  j
k  m  n  p  q
r R R R R
s  t  u  v  w
x  y  z  !  ?
# & $ % +
= R R R R

Data transfer effects

If a Game Link Cable is not used, it is up to the player how large of a password they want to manually enter to transfer important data between the GBA games.

If The Lost Age is played without having used the data transfer function at any point before reaching the Reunion event that takes place late in the game, then when Isaac's party appears at that stage, the four members will only possess a random assortment of 18 of the 28 total Djinn that can be amassed throughout the original Golden Sun. While four of those ten missing Djinn may then be discovered by Felix's party as extra "make-up Djinn" (at SW Atteka Islet, Magma Rock, Prox, and Treasure Isle), it will ultimately be impossible to collect more than 65 of the total 72 Djinn that can be found between the two games (since one of the new Djinn also depends on transferring from a Clear Data file in which the optional Orb of Force was acquired). There is also an extra-hard bonus dungeon that can only be entered by collecting all 72 Djinn; to play this content, the player must collect all 28 of the first game's Djinn as Isaac's party, then transfer that file's data into the second game, and then collect all 44 of the second game's additional Djinn as Felix's party.

Depending on the scale of the Clear Data that had most recently been transferred into a game file of The Lost Age prior to the Reunion, Isaac and his party will show up with all the exact levels, weapons, armor, items, Djinn, and even base stat values they possessed when the Clear Data file was created at the end of the first game. (See the Password tiers section below for a more detailed breakdown.) Without any data transferred, Isaac, Garet, Ivan, and Mia will all default to level 28, and their inventories will be populated with generic equipment like Steel Armor without any Artifacts or consumable items. Out of all the Utility Psynergy items available in the first game, Isaac will only bring with him the items that the player cannot avoid acquiring by the end of that game; the Orb of Force, the Halt Gem, and the Cloak Ball will be missing in this case. While the Cloak and Halt Psynergies provided by these items have no use in The Lost Age, the Force Psynergy is required to find both a Mars Djinni in Contigo and a powerful weapon in Yallam.

There are also several bonus events and cutscenes in The Lost Age that only take place in a Data-transfer-enhanced game file, some of which grant rare or unique item rewards. These events require that Isaac fulfill special objectives in the Golden Sun file that will eventually be used for the transfer, as detailed below (in order of when his party first comes across these objectives):

  • If Isaac returns to Alpine Crossing after Reveal was taught to Ivan at Lama Temple and casts the Lift Psynergy on the boulder pinning down Hsu, then a cutscene will take place the first time Felix enters Champa that will reward you with the Golden Ring.
  • If Isaac returns to Vale after exiting Lamakan Desert and visits Dora while she's sick in bed, then a line of dialogue in the epilogue will change to reflect Isaac's concern for her health.
  • If Isaac speaks to the mayor of Vault after exiting Lamakan Desert, then after Piers joins Felix's party and Felix receives the Cyclone Chip in Madra, a battle will ensue as Felix attempts to leave the town. Winning this rematch rewards you with the Golden Boots, though losing it will instead trigger a humorous alternative cutscene.
  • If Isaac wins the third round of the Colosso Finals, then a battle will take place at the entrance to Shaman Village Cave the first time Felix passes through it following the Reunion. Winning this rematch rewards you with the Golden Shirt. Winning the third round of Colosso also causes other Colosso Gladiators to appear in the second floor of the inn at Madra and in the inn of Mikasalla while Felix is exploring the first three continents early in the second game. (The presence of the Gladiators at Madra's inn amounts to the earliest point in the second game in which the player can tell that their inputted password had an effect on their game file.)
  • If Isaac rescues Master Hammet from Lunpa Fortress, then Felix will receive an Orihalcon at Atteka Inlet right after the Reunion, before the party departs the harbor.
  • If Isaac defeats Deadbeard in Crossbone Isle, then after the sailing ship sets out to sea from Alhafra, a bonus cutscene between two pirates will take place in the second floor of Alhafra's inn.

Password tiers

If you are using the Password method instead of the Game Link Cable method, each of the three "medal tiers" transfers over more data than the previous tier, but the tradeoff is that the password itself is far larger:

  • Bronze: This 16-character password preserves each original party member's level and changed name (their levels will be treated as 28 otherwise); how many of the original 28 Djinn were collected; which of the first game's non-essential utility Psynergy items were collected; and which optional story events were completed in the first game, which unlock bonus events and rewards in the second. This is technically the only password needed to access every optional dungeon and cutscene.
  • Silver: This 61-character password additionally adjusts each original character's statistics to precisely match their values at the end of Golden Sun, which is primarily meant to preserve the effects of any consumable items that permanently boost stats that were applied to the first game's party throughout that game.
  • Gold: This 260-character password additionally fills up each original party member's inventory with all the same items they had by the end of the first game, and it also preserves the amount of coins the party had amassed by that point.

Note that using any password, just like not using any password or data transfer at all, will result in all the Djinn owned by Isaac's party redistributed between the four members in a very slapdash manner, all total EXP on each party member reset to the lowest values their current levels will allow for, and all items in their inventories unequipped. This will cause them to join with very early-stage class series and meager stats, and so you will have to manually rearrange their Djinn to achieve the same high-tier class stages as they would have achieved at the end of the first game.

The Game Link Cable method, on the other hand, is a version of the Gold Password that preserves the exact ordering of each party member's Djinn and which items that party member ended the first game equipped with, and it additionally transfers Pause menu settings.

It should be noted that much of the equipment the first game's party can transfer over into the second game using the Gold Password will be outclassed by the equipment found later in The Lost Age, with only certain items such as Elven Shirt and Storm Gear counting as stand-outs and exceptions. However, the Gold Password is the only official method of granting the final party the first game's Cleric's Ring (which allows Cursed equipment like the Darksword to be used without randomly paralyzing the user), the Lure Cap (which raises monster encounter rate and is useful for late-game grinding), and a large stockpile of Lucky Medals (since the second game's supply of collectable Lucky Medals is decidedly finite, unlike the first game, in which the Orc Lord enemy can randomly drop them).


  • The capital "I" ("eye"), the small "l" ("el"), and the number "1" are not used in the password-input interface. If you are trying to find one of those three characters, it is likely you copied something down wrong. Given that the password still includes a lot of uppercase and lowercase versions of the same letters, it is recommended that you use a method of directly displaying a password from the first game (via either screenshots or running the game on a separate system) instead of relying on handwritten notes when inputting text characters into the second game one-by-one.
  • The last letter on every row of a password does not contribute to the final result of a password (except for the very last row of the password). For instance, if a row of a password contains the letters "sVEUU w#4yX", the final X can be replaced with any letter, symbol or number without impacting the password.
  • The player may find that the Colosso Gladiators are missing from the second floor of Madra's Inn on account of either no password being used at all or a password being currently in use that did not involve Isaac winning Colosso previously. In that case, it is possible to save in that room, then Update the file with data in which Colosso was won, then reload the save; the Colosso Gladiators will still not spawn in the second floor until the player leaves and reenters the room.
  • It is just barely possible to transfer all Golden Sun-exclusive items that the player is allowed to retain to the end of that game to The Lost Age, though there's no additional reward for doing so.
  • The Game Link Cable method incidentally starts off each original party member with any Cursed equipment equipped like all the rest, whereas the Gold password unequips cursed items.

External links

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