Golden Sun/Tricks, glitches, and other minutiae

From Golden Sun Universe

A collection of details concerning the first Golden Sun that players often find intriguing. Also see Golden Sun: The Lost Age/Tricks, glitches, and other minutiae and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn/Tricks, glitches, and other minutiae.


Password data transfer to Golden Sun: The Lost Age

Main article: Data transfer

The Password function in the Golden Sun games is the way to transfer data from a Completed Data file in the first game into a game file in the second. When a Completed data file is present in the first game's file select, then at the main mode select screen, holding the R shoulder button and left on the D-pad simultaneously while pressing Start will cause the main menu to reappear with a new option, "Send", which provides the features that allows data transfer.

Rename characters other than Isaac

When beginning a New Game, when Isaac's name is brought up for the player to change if desired, press the Select button three times in a row will cause a "ding" sound to play, indicating that the other three characters of Isaac's party - Garet, Ivan, and Mia - can now have their names modified if desired. It is also possible to change the names of further characters relevant to the story - Felix, Jenna, and Sheba - by having Mia displayed on screen and pressing Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Up, Right, Down, Left, Up, and Select, which will sound a "ding" a second time if successful.

Return to the last visited sanctum

When selecting a game file to load, hold down the L shoulder button and the Start button simultaneously as you press A to load your game. You will start off in the Sanctum of the town you most recently visited, rather than the exact point in the game world you would have left off otherwise.

Whether due to a glitch or a block of intentional programming, there is one point where you cannot use this: At the end of the game on the top of Venus Lighthouse, right before triggering the cutscenes that lead to the series of final boss battles, if you save here, then attempt the sanctum trick on this file, you will get the yellow-text message "Unfortunately, your data could not be recovered." This does not mean your data has been corrupted, as the file can be loaded normally even after attempting this. This trick cannot be used in the room where you acquire Sand in TLA.

Get an alternate "bad ending" near the start of the game

After the events at Sol Sanctum transpire and Isaac and Garet are back at Vale in discussion with the town elders, and the Great Healer asks you "Isaac, will you accept responsibility for the fate of the land?" If you say no, you will be able to walk around freely and interact with the other people in the room, and you will be able to get the Great Healer to ask you the question again. However, if you walk out of the sanctum amidst the Great Healer's warning that once Isaac leaves the sanctum and the village he cannot take back his decision, the screen turns gray and the message "And so the world began drifting toward its fated destruction..." appears. The next menu lets you either restart the conversation in the sanctum or return to the file select screen.

Get a lot of easy money early on

After defeating the Vault gang of thieves and Ivan leaves your party temporarily, talk to Vault's mayor and he will give you a Water of Life. Though extremely useful as a consumable item, it is also of a very high monetary value, so you can sell it for an enormous 2,250 coins. This money is extremely useful for purchasing the strong equipment at the next town of Bilibin, for example. Because a Water of Life counts as an Artifact, selling it puts it in the Artifact menu of item vendors throughout the game, so it can be purchased back for 3,000 coins at a much later date.

Fight later enemies earlier

  • Southwest of Vault, there is a broken bridge leading to Kalay. If you stand on the southernmost point on the tip of land a bit east of the bridge, you will fight monsters you would normally fight later. Once Ivan gets 50 HP, it becomes much easier because he will usually stay alive when attacked once by an ape. It is highly recommended to save after each successful battle. This earns a great amount of EXP and coins this early in the game.
  • When you are in the area of Angara where Bilibin Barricade is located, go into the "crack between mountains" immediately southeast of Bilibin Barricade, then run to the right into the mountains, where you will be kept in place as long as you keep running right against the mountains (there should be one lone tree right at where you would be positioned). You will be getting into random battles with the enemies fought around Xian like Apes, which are much more powerful than the Rats and Rat Soldiers you would usually get.

Debug Rooms

Main article: Debug Room

Accessible only with a hacking device such as Action Replay are locations that are similar to locations in the game code of a lot of other games that are labeled "Debug Rooms". Golden Sun has two: Increase item and level and Menu test. These can provide you any item in the game cart, modify your levels, and other features, and once you're done you may save, then use the Sanctum trick above to start playing the game with many ill-gotten gains. Several items are included that are not seen anywhere else, and are covered below.


Non-transparent tornado

When you are at Crossbone Isle's overworld portion while the Tempest Lizard's pink tornado is present on the northwest beach, the tornado is ordinarily transparent, and remains so when you go into the Psynergy menu and then come back out. However, if you go to the Djinn, Item, or Status menus, it will lose its transparency to become fully "solid". It returns to its typical opaqueness once you enter Crossbone Isle and come back out to the world map area.

Disappearing energy balls

Venus Lighthouse has three puzzles involving energy balls released by statues, traveling along tracks which the player must fix. However, in all but the first one of these puzzles, the energy ball disappears when it reaches the end of the tracks, leaving only the sparkles it emits visible. Leaving and re-entering the room will make it visible again.

Mind-reading Colosso attendants

When Isaac's party members are given the opportunity to manipulate the stages at Colosso from the sidelines, a given member can either successfully manipulate an element of the stage with Psynergy or talk to the attendant to pass up on the opportunity to do so; either way, the player's control and screen immediately leave that character. Because of a minor oversight, however, casting Mind Read on an attendant from behind as Ivan will count as the former outcome and will end the player's time controlling him perhaps earlier than desired (though this, strangely, does not also happen when casting Halt on the attendant).

Use Retreat to warp

If the Retreat Psynergy is set to a shortcut with L or R, and is used by means of this shortcut when Isaac does not have sufficient PP to cast the Psynergy, it puts the game into a glitched state, which is cleared when entering a battle. The state does not have any visual effects, but if the room is exited while the state remains in effect, the game will not proceed correctly. When leaving through a door or a stairway, you will warp to another location, depending on the exit used - usually a location within the dungeon or right outside the dungeon, although occasionally you will instead warp back to the world map right outside Vale. Depending on the situation, this can either be useful or render the game unplayable. This use of the glitch is known to create shortcuts through Mercury Lighthouse and Vault Cave, and possibly other locations. Alternatively, if the game is saved and reset while the glitch remains in effect, it can cause the player to wind up in other locations, sometimes outside the game's boundaries, depending on the exact position of the player when saving. Like the previous glitch, it will normally warp the player to locations within the dungeon, but will sometimes cause them to be placed in Vale's plaza. This use of the glitch is known to create shortcuts through Sol Sanctum and Goma Cave, and possibly other locations.

Possibly the most notable application of this glitch is that, when used in Mercury Lighthouse, it can be used to warp from one of the first rooms directly to the aerie. This makes it possible to skip Mia entirely, and complete the game with only three characters. This leads to a number of other implications throughout the game - all Djinn except for Fizz can be collected without Mia, so those 27 Djinn will be distributed among just the other three characters, making it possible for them to get up to 9 Djinn each. This results in visual glitches on the Djinn screen, but allows them to access certain classes that are only otherwise available in later games because of the high Djinn requirements. However, these classes lack the additional Psynergy they gain in those later games. This has strategic uses, which would seem to be balanced out by the fact that it results in only having three characters to work with instead of four. However, a conflict with the events in Colosso removes this downside. In Colosso, it becomes necessary to control Mia at certain points, who instead appears outside of the game's boundaries and must be navigated back into the game to proceed. After this occurs, and likely because of this, a fourth character appears in the party. This fourth character is a copy of one of the other three characters, and it can be changed to be a different character by changing their order. The fourth character is not even really separate from the original - Djinn, weapons, and statistics are shared between the two. If either one is hit by an attack or uses Psynergy, the points are deducted from the same HP or PP pool. If both are hit by an area-effect attack, their shared HP is decreased twice. At the same time, however, each version can act each turn, and beneficial effects are also shared - a Wish spell will heal them twice, party-wide buffs (such as Protect) will count twice, and twice as much Exp is gained after each battle. This can be thought of as highly useful, and perhaps even superior to actually getting Mia in the first place.

This glitch can also be performed in The Lost Age, although it is not known to have an application that affects the progression of the game as much as skipping Mia. Using a data transfer from a Golden Sun file without Mia is not known to result in Mia being unavailable in The Lost Age, although it has other implications that seem to vary depending on the method of data transfer used. The Retreat glitch cannot be performed in Dark Dawn.

Caution is advised when using this glitch. Without caution, it is possible to render a file impossible to complete, if the game is saved after being sent back to Vale at a time when it would normally be inaccessible. However, a player cautious enough to identify these situations and reset without saving when they occur should be able to avoid any lasting repercussions. Reseting without saving is not an option when using a save to warp, but the only known way to become trapped immediately after using a save to warp is winding up stuck outside of the game's boundaries and unable to move to recover PP for Retreat, and this can be fixed by using the above trick to return to the last visited Sanctum.

Other minutiae

  • Hidden within the code of Golden Sun (and The Lost Age by extension), even beyond the reach of what the various Debug Rooms showcase, is this second portrait of Alex that appears very similar to, yet somewhat different from, the image of Alex seen throughout the actual games. It is placed in a block of the game's code inhabited by the portraits of Isaac's party, Felix, Jenna, and Sheba, whereas Alex's normal portrait is placed in a block of code inhabited by NPC portraits; This may suggest that Camelot, early on in development, possibly considered making Alex a playable character, but redrew his portrait for whatever reason when they decided to make him an NPC.
    • AlexBeta.png
  • The following unused items are present on the Golden Sun game cart and may be acquired through the Debug Rooms or some other hacking:
    • Sol Blade.gif Sol Blade: A Long Sword without an Unleash effect but with 138 attack. If it is present in the game's party when a Completed Data file is saved and used for data transfer into The Lost Age, this becomes a copy of the proper Sol Blade with 200 attack and the Megiddo unleash.
    • Kusanagi.gif Masamune: A Long Sword without an Unleash effect but with 135 attack. No relation to the Masamune in The Lost Age; in fact, if this Masamune is transferred to The Lost Age, it becomes a copy of the Fire Brand.
    • Masamune.gif Kusanagi: A Light Blade without an Unleash effect but with 135 attack. This has the item graphic of the Masamune from The Lost Age, and when it is transferred to that game it becomes a copy of that very sword.
    • Mysterious Robe.gif Mysterious Robe: A Robe that increases base Defense by 40. If transferred to The Lost Age, it becomes a copy of the familiar Mysterious Robe that provides massive boosts to HP and PP recovery.
  • There are several Psynergy spells that are either fully coded and animated or partically coded that are never seen in normal gameplay, but can be seen and made use of through hacking devices. All of these reappear in their exact same forms in the game code of The Lost Age. For full details, see the list of unacquirable Psynergy:
    • Charm: A Jupiter Psynergy spell with no icon, no animation, and no gameplay effect costing 9 PP and having a range of 1 target. The battle text may report you "stole the enemy's heart", but nothing comes of this.
    • Confuse: A Jupiter Psynergy spell with no icon, the same animation as Delude, and no gameplay effect costing 6 PP and having a range of 3 targets. The battle text may report the enemies are "confused", but nothing comes of this.
    • Paralyze: A functional Jupiter Psynergy spell with no icon, but a unique visual effect and the possibility to Stun the target, costing 7 PP and having a range of 1 target.
    • Poison: A functional Venus Psynergy spell with no icon but a unique visual effect shared with Taint and a chance to afflict the targeted enemy with Deadly Poison. It costs 6 PP and has a range of 1 target ally. Poison is the "next level form" of Taint.
    • Reflect: A Mercury Psynergy spell with a unique icon and the same visual effect as the Wish Psynergy, but has no gameplay effect other than reporting that the targeted ally "feels the effects of Reflect". It costs 5 PP and has a range of 1 target ally.
    • Regenerate: A functional Mercury Psynergy spell with no icon and the same visual effect as the Wish Psynergy, but has the gameplay effect of dealing over 50 damage to the targeted Ally but then causing the target to regain 60% of his or her maximum HP at the end of each of the next 4 turn. It costs 6 PP and has a range of 1 target ally.
    • Taint: A functional Venus Psynergy spell with no icon but a unique visual effect shared with Poison and a chance to afflict the targeted enemy with Poison. It costs 4 PP and has a range of 1 target ally. Poison is its "next level form".
  • All the enemy abilities with "Blessing" in their names were renamed properly with "Breath" in The Lost Age. Incidentally, Dark Blessing has a black inky visual and inflicts Delusion, while Acid Blessing has a pink visual and drops defenses; Toadonpa has Acid Blessing amongst its abilities, but for some reason that move is also named "Dark Blessing" for Toadonpa.
  • The game's bestiary includes enemy data for what is apparently a Venus Djinni, as though three of the seven Venus Djinn collectible in Golden Sun were to be battled to be obtained instead of the two that actually are battled in the game. It may have been planned to be used for when you get Bane, but was eventually unused.
  • Though the Crossbone Isle is located in the Karagol Sea story-wise, the island that represents it on the World Map does not actually exist in the Karagol Sea's area of the World Map. The island is instead located far beyond the boundaries of the main World Map area, to the west of Imil in Golden Sun, and can only be reached through use of a walk through walls hack via an external exploit device, such as an Action Replay or Code Breaker Advance.
Gameplay elements and mechanics
Collectables: ArtifactsBroken EquipmentClass ItemsCoinsConsumable ItemsCursed EquipmentEquipmentForgeable ItemsPsynergy ItemsQuest ItemsRusty WeaponsStat Items
Travel: BlacksmithsBoat (TLA)Boat (DD)Fortune TellersInnsItem ShopsPsynergy StonesSanctumsSummon TabletsTreasure ChestsUmbra GearWings of Anemos
Combat: AdeptsAttackBeastformBossesClassesDefendDjinn (Master List) • ElementsEnemy Abilities (GS, TLA)Enemy Abilities (DD)LevelMad PlantsMimicsMonstersPsynergyStatus ConditionsStatsSummonsUnleashes (List)
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 ModeDebug Mode
Features: Data TransferSound TestThe Reunion
Other: Debug RoomsGlitches (GS)Glitches (TLA)Glitches (DD)Optional DungeonsRandom Number GeneratorTroubleshooting (GS, TLA) Troubleshooting (DD)Unacquirable ItemsUnacquirable PsynergyWalkthrough (GS)Walkthrough (TLA)Walkthrough (DD)