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General Gameplay Concepts and Troubleshooting (DS titles)

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The Golden Sun series utilizes both common and unique RPG gameplay mechanics. However, players, especially those new to the RPG genre, may struggle with some gameplay concepts such as the battle system and utility Psynergy. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is the first Golden Sun game released for Nintendo DS. It maximizes the use of the console's dual screen and touch screen systems. Some controls have remained the same since Golden Sun: The Lost Age like having the utility Psynergy shortcut buttons.

Effective use of Controls[edit]

Nintendo DS.png

D-pad: Not likely needing explanation, the directional pad allows the player to navigate menus and move their party about in 8 directions. Contrary to the GBA games, the controlled character will "Run" automatically when the D-pad is pressed.

A: Interact with characters and the environment, as well as confirming menu options.

B: Used to cancel out of menus within and outside of battle. Unlike in the GBA titles, you cannot hold this button to "Run" .

X: Brings up the Main Menu where you can toggle between the Settings, Travel Log (saving), Psynergy, Djinn, Items, Status, Encyclopedia, Djinn Guide, and Atlas options.

Y: Open or Close the in-game map shown in the upper screen. If map is closed, a screen where the party's status and Djinn on standby is seen.

L and R: Psynergy shortcut buttons - these shoulder buttons can be set to activate a specific utility Psynergy of the players choice; one Psynergy to each button. They can be set by entering the Psynergy menu and viewing the list of spells for the particular Adept, pressing the shoulder button to set the Psynergy to, and selecting with A after scrolling to the desired utility.

Start: Has no function in the game.

Select: Has no function in the game.

Touch Screen/Stylus: The touch screen serves as an alternative to pressing the previously mentioned-buttons. The stylus can be used to navigate through the menu, or direct utility Psynergy. Rearranging Djinn or party members can be done by selecting the Djinn/Character and dragging them to the desired spot. In addition, the player's party can be maneuvered by pressing and holding the stylus in the direction the character should go. The further from the character the stylus is, the faster the character will run.

Differences Between Earlier Versions[edit]


Early preview pictures of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (as seen in the right) shows that the Map Button was initially planned to be assigned to the Select button and the Menu with the Start button. However, in the final version, the Map and Menu buttons were assigned to the Y and X buttons, respectively. This is probably because of the buttons' convenient position in the DS and players would have opted to touch the screen instead of reaching out to the Select and Start buttons.

Recommended pages for reference[edit]

Gameplay elements and mechanics
Collectibles: ArtifactsBroken EquipmentClass ItemsCoinsConsumable ItemsCursed EquipmentEquipmentForgeable ItemsPsynergy ItemsQuest ItemsRusty WeaponsStat Items
Travel: BlacksmithsBoat (TLA)Boat (DD)Fortune TellersInnsItem ShopsPsynergy StonesPsynergy VortexesSanctumsSummon TabletsTreasure ChestsUmbra GearWings of Anemos
Combat: AdeptsAttackBeastformBossesClassesDefendDjinnElementsEnemy Abilities (GS, TLA)Enemy Abilities (DD)LevelMad PlantsMimicsMonstersPsynergyStatus ConditionsStatsSummonsUnleashesWeapon Mastery
Information: AtlasDjinn GuideEncyclopediaSun SagaTravel LogUmbra MapWorld Map (GS, TLA)World Map (DD)
Minigames: ColossoLucky DiceLucky Medal FountainsLucky WheelsPsynergy Training GroundsSuper Lucky DiceTrial Road
Modes: Battle ModeEasy ModeHard Mode
Features: Data TransferSound TestThe Reunion
Other: Debug RoomsGlitches (GS)Glitches (TLA)Glitches (DD)Master List of DjinnOptional DungeonsRandom Number GeneratorTroubleshooting (GS, TLA) Troubleshooting (DD)Unacquirable ItemsUnacquirable PsynergyWalkthrough (GS)Walkthrough (TLA)Walkthrough (DD)