As in all other RPGs, equipment can be bought or found throughout the Golden Sun series and is an integral part of the gameplay experience. Equipment can be equipped to any Adept in the party in order to increase that Adept's statistics or grant them other abilities, such as increasing the chance that an Unleash will occur or automatically recovering HP and PP during battle. Many weapons also have Unleash effects, special attacks that occur randomly in place of the Adept's normal attack. Some equipment can even be used to grant and Adept new Psynergies that can be used outside of battle to solve puzzles (some of these Psynergies can be used in battle as well), although they do not affect any other aspects of the Adept in question. These Psynergy-bestowing items are often required to beat the game, and cannot be sold or dropped. The most common use for equipment, however, is to increase an Adept's Attack and Defense specifically.
- 1 Types
- 2 Armaments and Protection
- 2.1 Weapons
- 2.2 Bodywear
- 2.3 Headgear
- 2.4 Armwear
- 2.5 Supplemental
- 2.6 Other
- 3 Equipment Availability
- 4 See also
Some pieces of equipment have special abilities that can be "Used" in battle like normal items, although there is always a chance they might break when Used. Broken equipment can still be equipped to gain its normal stat boosts, but its "Use effect" cannot be activated. If broken, equipment can be taken to any vendor (regardless of whether that shopkeeper sells that type of equipment) to have it repaired to full working condition; repairing broken items costs one-fourth the item's purchase value. Broken equipment can be sold, but for only one-half its purchase value. If sold, the broken equipment is automatically repaired (items normally sell for three-fourths their purchase value, meaning broken items have the repair cost deducted from their sell cost). It should be noted that a piece of equipment does not have to be equipped for its effect to be activated, although it must be in the inventory of an Adept that can equip it.
Most equipment count as Artifacts, special items that, if sold, can be repurchased from any appropriate vendor. Many equipment Artifacts are unique, either found while exploring towns and dungeons or naturally appearing in the vendors' inventory as the game progresses (equipment Artifacts found by vendors appear in both games and can be transferred from Golden Sun to Golden Sun: The Lost Age, allowing players to obtain multiple copies of these otherwise one-of-a-kind items). Most other equipment Artifacts are won as spoils during combat, although this is often a rare occurrence and may require the use of RNG-manipulation. There are even some pieces of powerful equipment that can only be obtained by taking Forgeable items to a blacksmith, such as Sunshine or Obaba, who will turn it into an item, a feature introduced in The Lost Age. The few remaining Artifacts are often acquired in unique ways, such as receiving them as gifts or winning them in minigames.
Armaments and Protection
Most equipment can be labeled as one of four main types: Weapons, Bodywear, Headgear, and Armwear. The latter three are often grouped together as "armor". Each Adept can only be equipped with one item from each of these types at a time. Each type can be divided into several classes of equipment, which determine which Adepts can equip which items. There are also a number of miscellaneous classes that, like the main types of equipment, an Adept can only equip one item of at a time (with the exception of Psynergy-bestowing equipment). However, these items are rare and relatively minor compared to the other types. This is reinforced by pre-Dark Dawn game mechanics: a window appears that shows an Adept's current equipment when holding the R button while viewing that Adept's inventory, but only the four main types of equipment are shown.
Weapons are perhaps the most notable type of equipment, due in large part to their Unleash effects. Unleashes are special attacks unique to each weapon that occur randomly when an Adept performs a physical attack. Unleashes increase damage done, sometimes outright multiplying it, and often come with an additional effect, such as lowering the target's statistics, inflicting them with a status condition, or replenishing the wielder's HP or PP, among other effects. Also, almost all Unleashes are aligned with a certain element, causing the damage it does to be dependent on the wielder's power in and the target's resistance to that element. Unleashes also have a unique visual effect, some of which are relatively elaborate.
Until Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, not all weapons had Unleashes, but they all share a single purpose: to artificially increase an Adept's Attack rating. The Attack stat primarily affects how much damage is dealt by a physical attack, which does not cost any PP and is the only way to activate an Unleash, but it also affects the damage done by certain Psynergies (such as Ragnarok and Heat Wave) and all offensive Djinn. Because of all this, having a strong weapon equipped is recommended even for characters who are not likely to use physical attacks often.
Interestingly, an Adept's battle sprite changes to reflect which class of weapon that Adept currently has equipped. This is taken to its logical conclusion in Dark Dawn, where the actual weapon can be seen in battle (as opposed to the generic images used in previous games).
- Main article: List of Long Swords
Long Swords are among the strongest weapons in the series, and the most powerful of every games' weapons are all Long Swords (although weapons of other classes often come close). This makes them ideal end-game weapons for the above Adepts, although there are exceptions. Unlike other weapon classes, Long Swords are fairly balanced in terms of the elements of their Unleashes.
- Main article: List of Light Blades
Light Blades are some of the strongest weapons in the series, often falling just short of the power offered by Long Swords. This is made up for in that more party members can equip Light Blades than Long Swords, or any other weapon class for that matter. In terms of raw attack power, Light Blades are easily the strongest weapons available to most characters that can equip Light Blades but not Long Swords, although some other weapons may prove to have superior Unleashes for such characters. Most Light Blade Unleashes tend to be aligned with the Jupiter element.
- Main article: List of Axes
Axes are powerful weapons, often competing with Long Swords for the position of "most powerful weapon". Although many of the first Axes available are stronger than Long Swords available at the time, they are eventually overpowered by other weapon classes and, until the arrival of the Herculean Axe, would most likely end up serving as "placeholder" weapons. Most Axe Unleashes tend to be aligned with the Mars element.
- Main article: List of Maces
Maces are perhaps the weakest weapon class in the series, serving as little more than "placeholder" weapons for the "warrior-type" Adepts. But for some mage-type Adepts, who can only equip Maces and Staffs, Maces may prove to be powerful weapons until near the end of the game, where they are quickly overpowered by various Staffs. Most Mace Unleashes tend to be aligned with the Venus element.
Staffs and Ankhs
- Main article: List of Staffs and Ankhs
Staffs are some of the strongest weapons in the series, although they tend to be overpowered by Long Swords and Light Blades. Still, they often serve as the strongest weapons available to "mage-type" Adepts who cannot wield Light Blades. Interestingly, all but two Staffs (Wooden Sticks and the Shaman's Rod) are Artifacts. In Dark Dawn, the Staffs are divided into two categories. Standard Staffs can be equipped by all mage-type Adepts, while Ankhs are generally given to those Adepts who are less combat-oriented. Most Staff Unleashes tend to be aligned with the Mercury element, although there are also a large number of Jupiter Unleashes.
- Main article: List of Bows
Bows are a weapon class introduced in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, and are generally available to more combat-oriented mage-type Adepts. While the strongest Bow falls slightly behind the strongest Staffs and Light Blade in terms of attack-increase, nearly all bow-exclusive unleashes come with a good damage multiplier, making them reliable in terms of damage potential. Most Bow Unleashes tend to be aligned with the Jupiter element, although there are two each for Mercury and Mars.
Fists and Claws
- Main article: List of Fists and Claws
Fists and Claws are new weapon classes introduced in Dark Dawn. While technically separate classes, they are currently grouped together because, at the present, they can only be equipped by, and are the only weapons available to, Sveta. Currently, all weapons in these two classes are classified as Artifacts. All Fist/Claw Unleashes come with damage multipliers rather than set damage totals. In addition, most Fist/Claw unleashes are either Jupiter or Venus based, with only 1 Mercury based unleash and 3 Mars-based Unleashes.
Bodywear is one of the three armor-types of equipment. These items tend to give the wearer greater defensive boosts than the other types of armor, not surprising since it covers more of the body. Most equipment that regenerates HP in battle is Bodywear.
- Main article: List of Clothing
Clothing is the most basic class of Bodywear, and can be equipped by all Adepts.
- Main article: List of Armor
Armor is a class of Bodywear equippable by the "warrior-type" Adepts. Armor tends to give the wearer a greater defensive boost than other types of Bodywear.
- Main article: List of Robes
Robes are pieces of Bodywear equippable by the "mage-type" Adepts. Many Robes possess HP and PP regenerating qualities, as well as boosting the wearer's elemental Resistance.
Headgear is one of the three armor-types of equipment. These items tend to increase an Adept's ability to use or resist Psynergy, such as increasing or regenerating PP or increasing elemental Power. In fact, most equipment that regenerates PP is Headgear.
Hats and Crowns
- Main article: List of Basic Headgear
Hats and Crowns (and to a lesser extent, Caps, Hoods, and Masks) are pieces of Headgear equippable by all Adepts. Most items that grant "warrior-type" Adepts HP-regenerating effects belong to this class, which also has many items that can be Used in battle.
- Main article: List of Helms
Helms are pieces of Headgear equippable by the "warrior-type" Adepts. Helms tend to give the wearer greater defensive boosts than other types of Headgear.
- Main article: List of Circlets
Circlets are pieces of Headgear equippable by the "mage-type" Adepts.
Armwear is one of the three armor-types of equipment. Armwear is actually more defense-oriented than other types of armor, often boosting the wearer's elemental Resistance or providing Use effects that can disable enemies or defend or heal allies.
- Main article: List of Gloves
- Main article: List of Shields
Shields are pieces of Armwear equippable by the "warrior-type" Adepts. Shields tend to give the wearer greater defensive boosts than other types of Armwear and are the most likely to increase the wearer's Resistance.
- Main article: List of Bracelets
Bracelets are pieces of Armwear equippable by the "mage-type" Adepts. Many Bracelets can be Used in battle for defensive or disabling effects.
Interestingly, although the armor class is called "Bracelets", most of these items have Armlet in their names.
These pieces of equipment don't fall into any of the previous categories but, like before, only one of each of these three classes can be equipped to an Adept at any given time. These three classes of equipment are often grouped together because of a similar theme among them: three of each type of items can be won by playing the Lucky Wheels mini-game found in Tolbi in Golden Sun and in Contigo in The Lost Age; three more items of each class are coded into The Lost Age but are inaccessible without a hacking device (these may have been meant to replace the Lucky Wheels prizes from the past game, but this is pure speculation); by playing a password-enhanced game and completing certain side-quests in Golden Sun it is possible to obtain special "Golden" items (one for each class) during The Lost Age. These are not the only items belonging to these classes, however.
Since these are relatively minor compared to other types of equipment, they offer fairly minor defensive boosts and are most often equipped for their other effects. When buying them from vendors, Shirts and Boots count as armor and Rings count as items.
- Main article: List of Shirts
Shirts are items that can be equipped by all Adepts, although several are exclusive to male or female characters. There are fewer Shirts than the other classes of supplemental equipment and they are found later into the games than the other types, making them the least notable of the three. In fact, there are only seven Shirts: the three won playing Lucky Wheels, the three inaccessible Shirts, and the Golden Shirt, which increases HP slightly.
Shirts were removed entirely from Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. It is unknown if they will return in future games.
- Main article: List of Boots
Boots are items that can be equipped by all Adepts, with the exception of Greaves, such as the Silver Greave, which are limited to Warrior-style adepts despite being Boot-class items. Some Boots are designed to offer slight defensive boosts early in the game (when they are most likely to be worn to increases Defense), but these Boots often lower the wearer's Agility. The Golden Boots and Hover Greave, conversely, greatly increase Agility. Several pairs of boots introduced in Dark Dawn offer higher Defensive boosts, along with an additional benefit. Boots are unique in that they are the only non-major type of equipment with so much as one item that isn't an Artifact.
- Main article: List of Rings
Rings are items that can be equipped by all Adepts, and is one of the few classes where all items are Artifacts. Rings are the most unique class of equipment in terms of potential benefits. In Golden Sun and The Lost Age, nearly all rings are Usable items rather than ones a person would equip to boost their statistics. Exceptions are the Cleric's Ring, the only way to negate the effect of a cursed item without going to a sanctum, and the Guardian Ring, which increases the wearer's HP and Defense. They are also far more common than Shirts and Boots. The Golden Ring increases the elemental Resistance of all battling party members, similar to the Resist Psynergy.
In Dark Dawn, nearly all available Rings, barring the Cleric's Ring, instead provide a boost to one or several of an Adept's statistics, and must be equipped in order to gain their benefits. For example, the Lord Sun's Ring increases an Adept's Attack stat and Unleash ratio, while Lady Moon's Ring increases Defense and elemental Resistance.
The following items don't fall into any major equipment type and are too different from the supplemental equipment to be put anywhere but in a class all their own. This doesn't mean that they are completely unique (although some are), and in reality there are still many pieces of equipment that can be grouped together.
Utility Psynergy items
- Main article: List of Utility Psynergy items
Utility Psynergy is basically any Psynergy designed for use outside of battle, or a Psynergy that can be used in battle but has a separate effect outside of battle (it can be debated that any Psynergy that can be used outside of battle qualifies as a Utility Psynergy). Most Utility Psynergy that can't be used in battle does not appear in the party's arsenal by default and require that special items be equipped in order for them to be used. These items cannot be dropped or sold, but can be equipped by any Adept regardless of their elemental affinity (with the exception of the Grindstone, which can only be equipped by a Venus Adept). Also, unlike all other types of equipment, an Adept can be equipped with as many Psynergy-bestowing items as they can fit in their inventory (in other words, up to 15 but theoretically more). Most of these items are required to complete the games, while others allow players to explore otherwise inaccessible areas or make required areas easier (such as during Colosso). As of Dark Dawn, many of these items are element specific.
- Main article: Class-changing item
There is only one Card, one Whip, and one Book in the Golden Sun series (The Lost Age, specifically). Only one of these three items can be equipped to an Adept at a time, but they can be equipped by any Adept and change the person's character class when equipped. The classes granted by these items cannot be accessed in any other way and possess many Psynergies not available to any other classes. In order to advance to the next class in the series, the Adept must have an equal number of Djinn set for all three elements that Adept is not aligned with. These items are Artifacts and, if sold, can be bought from any item vendor for, interestingly, a multiple of 333 coins.
These are the truly unique items. Currently there are only two:
- Main article: Trident of Ankohl
The Trident of Ankohl (as an item, it is referred to simply as the Trident) is found in The Lost Age and is Used to break Poseidon's protective barrier; Using the Trident is the only way to do this, and if the barrier is not destroyed Poseidon cannot be defeated. When equipped the Trident increases the Adept's Mercury Resistance, making it useful for Jenna or, after the Reunion, Garet. The Trident must be forged from its three pieces, the Right Prong, Center Prong, and Left Prong, which are found in the Shrine of the Sea God, Tundaria Tower, and the Ankohl Ruins, respectively. Obaba's assistance is also needed to create the Trident.
- Main article: Umbra Goggles
The Umbra Goggles are found in Dark Dawn as part of the Umbra Gear equipment set. Like the other items in the set, it is unique and can't be dropped or sold and is required to enter the Apollo Sanctum. Unlike the other items in the set, it does not fall into any other category of equipment and on the character's equipment list, it is listed under "other".
Aside from an Adept's natural elemental affinity, the only constant about any given party member is the equipment he or she can wield. Because of this, most party members are divided into two groups, warriors and mages, based mainly on what types of armor they can equip. These two groups can further be divided based on what weapons are available to them, although they typically have at least one weapon-type in common.
As of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Sveta is the only party member who doesn't fall into either the warrior or mage mold. In addition to limited armor choices, the only weapons available to her, fists and claws, cannot be equipped by any other character.
"Warriors" are distinguished by the ability to wear shields, heavy armor, and helmets. As of Dark Dawn, all warriors can wield maces, light blades, and axes. Also, most warriors can wield long swords.
"Mages" are distinguished by the ability to wear armlets, robes, and circlets. Mages feature a greater variety in weapon limitations than warriors, although all mages can equip staffs. Some mages can also wield bows and light blades, while others are limited to maces.
Mage-type Adepts include Ivan, Mia, Jenna, Sheba, Karis, Rief, Amiti, and Himi. Mia, Sheba, and Rief can carry maces, while everyone else can equip light blades. Since bows weren't introduced until Dark Dawn, they can only be equipped by Karis and Amiti. Also, as of Dark Dawn, some staffs (referred to as "Ankhs") are limited to mages that cannot wield bows: Rief and Himi.
Equipment for everyone
Although most equipment is limited to certain characters, there is some that can be equipped by everyone. Most clothing, hats, crowns, and gloves, as well as most boots, rings, and undershirts, can be worn by all party members. Also, until Dark Dawn, most Psynergy-bestowing items could be used by any Adept, regardless of their element.
Some equipment can only be wielded by Adepts of a certain element. This feature first appeared in The Lost Age, where both the Sol Blade and the Grindstone could only be used by Venus Adepts. This was expanded on in Dark Dawn, where the Gaia Blade became another Venus-only weapon, and most Psynergy-bestowing items could only be used by Adepts of the same element as the Psynergy it teaches.
Some equipment can only be worn by male or by female characters. Female-exclusive equipment seems to be far more common than male-exclusive equipment. For a full list of gender-dependent equipment, see the respective categories for females-only equipment and males-only equipment.
The Umbra Gear
- Main article: Umbra Gear
|Items and Equipment (Comparison charts)|
|Weapons||Axes • Light Blades • Long Swords • Maces • Staffs/Ankhs • Bows • Fists/Claws|
|Body Armor||Armor • Clothing • Robes|
|Hand Armor||Bracelets • Gloves • Shields|
|Head Armor||Basic Headgear • Circlets • Helms|
|Accessories||Boots • Rings • Shirts|
|Misc.||Quest items • Consumable items (Stat-boosting) • Forgeable items • Utility Psynergy items|