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Golden Sun: The Lost Age/Tricks, glitches, and other minutiae

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


The Lost Age interface improvements[edit]

Golden Sun: The Lost Age has a couple improvements to its interface not present in the original games:

  • Holding B during a cutscene will cause that cutscene's dialogue to automatically progress, no longer necessitating constant pressing of the A button. However, simply holding B will not advance the text as quickly as pressing A or B repeatedly.
  • When shopping, pressing select while highlighting an item for sale will bring up a new text box that shows the data that would be shown when checking an item's Details in the inventory screen, meaning you no longer have to buy an item to see its statistics.
  • Because it is reasonable for characters in The Lost Age to attain four-digit numbers for HP meters, the various menu screens and other screens that display an Adept's HP meter will now display any HP rating over 1000 properly.
  • When one out of several enemies in a given battle is felled, the remaining enemies will now re-center themselves on their side of the battlefield rather than remain on their off-to-the-side positions.
  • Pressing L+R+Select will put the game into Sleep Mode, repeat the combination to get out of Sleep Mode. The bonus of this is that it works anywhere, even during battles.

Rename characters other than Felix[edit]

When beginning a New Game, when Felix's name is brought up for the player to change if desired, pressing the Select button three times in a row will cause a "ding" sound to play, indicating that the other three characters of Felix's party - Jenna, Sheba, and Piers - can now have their names modified if desired. It is also possible to change the names of the playable characters of the previous Golden Sun - Isaac, Garet, Ivan, and Mia - by having Piers 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. Whatever new names are input for these last four characters will apply to when they rejoin Felix's party late in The Lost Age, regardless of whether the game has been enhanced with Password data transfer in which the characters had their names different in the previous game or not.

Return to the last visited sanctum[edit]

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.

A minor trick that can be done with this feature is that at the start of the game, while you're still on Idejima and can now control Felix while the other characters are lying unconscious on the ground, save, turn the game off, turn it back on, and use the Sanctum Trick on the file. You will appear in Daila with just Felix in your party, and the others will not be available because Idejima can no longer be entered. This will not last long, however; as soon as you leave Daila and the Venus Djinni Echo joins you, Jenna and Sheba will have reappeared in your party.

Different battle themes[edit]

By the time Isaac's party has joined late in the game and you have eight different characters, the battle theme that plays during random encounters will be different depending on whether your frontal party contains certain characters or not. For the most part, the music oft-identified as "Felix's battle theme" is what plays, but if Felix is not in the frontal party but Isaac is, then the previous game's random battle theme - that is, "Isaac's battle theme" - will play. Similarly, if neither Isaac nor Felix are in the frontal party but Jenna is, then "Jenna's battle theme" from the prologue segments of The Lost Age will play. If none of these characters are present, Felix's battle theme will play.

Incidentally, when Isaac's party has joined, the battle theme that played when sailing out at sea will no longer play, instead choosing one of the above themes as though you were fighting on land.

Song selection[edit]

Main article: Sound Test

An NPC at the lower left corner within the game's Battle Mode lobby provides a hidden feature if she is spoken to while the R or L shoulder button is held down; a tiny menu consisting of a number will appear. You can scroll left and right to scan from numbers 0 to 96, and when on a certain number, pressing A will play music the game internally assigns to that number. This music list features every single piece of music found in both Game Boy Advance Golden Sun games, including those normally heard in Golden Sun only - these are ordinary locked away, however, depending on the state of completion of the game file you used to enter Battle Mode, and more get opened up as the game is progressed through and more music is heard. When you save a Completed Data File and use that to load Battle mode, all 97 tracks will be unlocked for you to listen to.

Debug Rooms[edit]

Main article: Debug Room

Accessible only with a hacking device such as Action Replay are locations in the rooms that are similar to locations in the game code of a lot of other games that are labeled "Debug Rooms". Golden Sun: The Lost Age has four: Icon Test, Psynergy Test, Psynergy Test 2, and Shop 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 visuals are present that are not seen anywhere else, and are covered below.

Fight later enemies earlier[edit]

When you have the ship and the Great Eastern Sea is made explorable, sail into the river in upper Gondowan that leads behind the town of Kibombo, and disembark north into a relatively enclosed area of land. The enemies here are actually the stronger enemies fought on land throughout the Great Western Sea. This also applies to the area of land just outside the entrance to Treasure Isle.

Scoop up items anywhere[edit]

Scoop, when used anywhere on certain surfaces such as general sand, always has a slim chance of digging up a randomly determined cheap item. Meaning that with Scoop, you can potentially get the following items free of monetary cost:

Sunken Treasure[edit]

While sailing in shallows on your ship, there is a random chance of finding Coins by pressing A.

Quick Game Ticket Accumulation[edit]

First, gain some game tickets. Then go to any item vendor that sells herbs, and sell all of the tickets. Now, without leaving the screen, go to the artifact shop menu and buy one of your game tickets back, and the shopkeeper should give you another one. You can likely do this for quite a while, but it will stop eventually. This is extremely cheap to perform, since 5 coins is the difference between the selling price and the buying price of a Game Ticket.

Alternate Djinn Tutorial Music[edit]

At the start of the game, as soon as you take Daila's south exit into the overworld, hold Up as the Venus Djinni Echo notices you and approaches you. If done correctly, the music track that plays while Echo gives his tutorial of the Djinn system will be track 20 - the percussion version of Yepp's Song - instead of track 35, the music heard when Briggs steals the sailing ship from Alhafra.


Duplicate items through Trial Road[edit]

When you are able to compete against Moapa in the Trial Road event at Shaman Village (but have not defeated him yet), drop any number of the party's artifacts (not drop them into the chests, drop them as though to permanently get rid of them), then step on the floor tiles that allow you to end the Trial Road competition and leave. All the artifacts you dropped will now be back in your inventory and equipped. Then, travel to a town that has shops, and you will find that their artifact menus will now have the same items as those you dropped added to them, ready to be bought, allowing you to duplicate many types of important items such as Water of Life, Lucky Medal, and forgeable items (all of which can be duplicated in stacks) as well as ordinarily one-of-a-kind equipment like Cloud Brand, the original and reforged forms of rusty items, Guardian Ring, the Golden Boots, and the class-changing items and valuable equipment like the Crown of Glory. This requires having the items equipped beforehand; artifact equipment that is not equipped will disappear while playing Trial Road. This cannot be used to duplicate stat-boosting items such as the Power Bread because those always disappear while playing Trial Road.

Gain infinite Sol Blades as early as Air's Rock[edit]

In general, the Retreat glitch from Golden Sun also works in The Lost Age and can produce incredibly game-changing or game-breaking effects. Perhaps the most spectacular application yet discovered arises in Air's Rock early in the game. Once you have progressed far enough into the dungeon that you can exit the bottom floor of the interior through a small entrance-way into a segment of the exterior where there is an earth pillar to your immediate left, re-enter into the interior, then manually backtrack all the way to the top floor of the interior. The Psynergy stone near the upper-right stairwell of this room is what the player ordinarily picks up right after first beginning the interior portion of the dungeon following the completion of the exterior portion.

If the Retreat Psynergy is assigned to a shoulder button and you attempt to cast it by means of this shortcut while the Venus Adept attempting to cast it does not have enough PP for it, Retreat will fail. Interacting with the Psynergy Stone after this will suddenly reward you with a copy of the Sol Blade instead of restore your PP. Then, simply go downstairs and then upstairs to be able to perform this exploit again and get more free Sol Blades from the same Psynergy stone; not only will Felix be able to overpower most of the rest of the game with the most powerful weapon and Unleash in the game (and therefore both Venus Adepts can have usable Sol Blades by the end of the game), but the party will effectively be afforded infinite wealth as well because of the massive sell values of the surplus weapons.

Gain the Iris summon early[edit]

The other particularly noteworthy known use of the Retreat Glitch is as follows: As soon as the Great Western Sea segment of the game is accessible, the player can ordinarily reach Contigo and go through the front "dead-end" entrance of Anemos Inner Sanctum to find a chest with a Dragon Skin. Trying to use Retreat in this room through a shoulder button shortcut but failing due to insufficient PP will make it so that subsequently interacting with the chest will suddenly reward you with the most powerful summon in the game, Iris, regardless of whether the chest containing the Dragon Skin is closed or opened to start with. This can allow players playing game files that will not let them assemble the 72 Djinn necessary to access the proper dungeon portion of Anemos Inner Sanctum gain one of the two Summons that would ordinarily be unattainable in this scenario.

Walk the overworld areas of Angara and upper Gondowan[edit]

The normally unexplorable areas of the overworld of The Lost Age that are the areas that could only be explored throughout the previous game can be accessed through a slight layout oversight in the overworld; If you position your ship at the southernmost tip of the beach immediately southwest of Loho on Angara, you can disembark in the southeastern direction and suddenly be able to explore the area where Altmiller Cave used to be located. This connects to the large majority of the aforementioned areas, but none of the previous game's locations can be entered. Many of their overworld icons have been removed as well, with only the Golden Sun icons representing Mt. Aleph, Vale, Mercury Lighthouse, and Venus Lighthouse remaining (understandably so, as these are reused in The Lost Age cutscenes). Also, most of the explorable areas use the same bestiaries for random monster encounters normally fought throughout the lands in the Great Western Sea. The ship can be easily returned to.

Sail without random encounters or PP consumption[edit]

When you have the Wings of Anemos attached to your ship so that you'll be able to fly around in the overworld by holding down B, open the Psynergy menu and cast the Hover Psynergy. Now, without pressing any other buttons, sail around; you will be sailing around in normal sailing speed while the "hover sound" plays and the yellow bar representing the party's collective Psynergy meter is visible, but will not be losing any PP over time or getting into any random battles. The effect ends once you press A or B.

Telepathically converse with Galahad[edit]

In a game that has been Password-enhanced with data from a Golden Sun file in which Isaac won Colosso, when Felix's party is able to come across the gladiator Galahad in the Inn at Mikasalla, his initial series of lines to Felix will be presented entirely in "Mind-Read mode" rather than normally spoken text if he is Mind Read before being interacted with using the A-button.

Get stuck in Alhafra[edit]

Right after the sailing ship docked at Alhafra is fixed, Briggs will escape the jail. While the townspeople are arranged like a "wall" to prevent you from leaving the town until you get to the scene where Briggs steals the ship, save your game, and perform the Sanctum trick. When the file is reloaded, you will end up at Alhafra's sanctum, which is outside the "wall" that the NPCs provide. If you save here, you will be permanently stuck, because the people of Alhafra are now blocking your way to the important cutscene where Briggs takes the ship back to Champa, and they will not change position whether you enter and exit the town or do anything else. The only thing that can help you in this case is a walk-through-walls Action Replay code to let you reach the cutscene.

Get stuck in N Osenia Islet[edit]

In N Osenia Islet, after giving the Red Cloth to the cow, but before leaving the map, if you save where the cow was standing, upon reset Felix will be stuck inside the cow's sprite, unable to move. Since you cannot use Retreat or Sand, it is impossible to escape without using the Sanctum trick.

Get stuck in SW Atteka Islet[edit]

At SW Atteka Islet, after pressing the box into the water where it would stay put because of an earth pillar in the water below it preventing it from getting carried away down by the water, saving right near the treasure chest, turning the game off, turning it back on, and reloading the save will cause the box to disappear, and you will be stuck until you reload the game while doing the Sanctum Trick. If you saved while on the box itself and reloaded the file, you will be standing on the water, and can now walk on water in a small area enclosed by invisible barriers.

Get stuck in lava in Magma Rock[edit]

In each of the three main interior floors in Magma Rock, there is a massive moai head statue that would fill an empty floor with lava if you cast Burst on one of the smaller moai head statues nearby pointed toward it. Every one of these statues respond to Burst even if you are standing on the lower level of the floor and casting Burst on what would seem to be the walls immediately underneath where the statues are situated. The resulting income of flowing magma will cause you to literally be walking around inside a pool of molten lava (without any physical repercussions), though you won't be able to climb back up to where you should be. However, if while on the lava-filled lower level you find and go down the stairs to the floor below, the floor below will not be completely filled with lava as logic would dictate.

Get stuck falling in Taopo Swamp[edit]

In the interior portion of Taopo Swamp, in the hallway where you can push earth pillars to have the Venus Djinni Flower blown down to the floor below with air, from any of the three "lower slopes" to the right of Flower's area, slide down them while holding B and the down-and-right directions on the D-pad. You should find yourself not emerging into the room below, but staying in the current room offscreen. You can run around far offscreen, and still engage in random battles, but the only way to leave this situation is to cast the Retreat Psynergy.

Serpent glitches[edit]

After defeating the Serpent and getting the Sand Psynergy in Gaia Rock, use Sand to travel underneath the Serpent's body. If you press A repeatedly enough times while constantly going around in random directions under the Serpent, you should eventually find yourself resurfacing on top of the Serpent's body. You can cast Sand again to leave.

Also, if you walk to the left of the Serpent, then walk right and press A as soon as you get to where you would collide with it and the message about the serpent's eyes being closed would pop up, properly timing it will cause Felix to appear to walk in place while the message remains on screen.

Create a crack in midair in Mars Lighthouse[edit]

After the battle with the Flame Dragons in Mars Lighthouse, simply cast Blaze on the fire-lit torch to set off the fireball-launching mechanism again. Even though there is no massive block of ice this time, the fireballs will appear to explode in collision with something and a large crack will appear in the air where it would have if the ice were still there.

Ankohl Ruins "fall from the ceiling" glitch[edit]

At a certain point in the dungeon, you will slide down a black hole and abyss in the ground into the larger room below, where there is both an earth pillar to the left and a piece of stone head to the right that can be pushed. There is a slight visual glitch that occurs the first time you exit this room via either the nearby door above or the door below that you climb the ivy down to; when the next room is brought up on screen, Felix will appear to "drop down" into the room from the ceiling in front of the doorway he would normally have walked through. This is practically guaranteed to happen in one's game, and it happens only once, since afterward when you exit and reenter these rooms you do so normally.

Anemos Sanctum collision detection oversights[edit]

There are two instances of glitches present in Anemos Inner Sanctum that are the result of overlooked patches of collision detection, and the two occur in neighboring rooms. The first is in the large room that features a Liftable boulder, and whose overall goal is to push the earth pillar to the right of the boulder onto the switch tile to the boulder's left, where the pillar settles permanently. Once you achieve that, however, if you stand just to the right of the pillar and walk left, you will walk "into" it right before instantly warping to the top of the pillar, and be rendered completely unable to move around. You can easily get out of this glitch by casting Retreat.

The other glitch is in the small room that connects the top center and right doors of the big room together. When you enter the small room through the top center door so that you're in its upper left area, hug the wall in front of you and you should find that the upper leftmost patch of wall can be walked through as if it were an illusion. You can then walk into the black "abyss" surrounding the room and walk the whole way around it, with random encounters as usual.

Make Prox bright[edit]

While in Prox prior to the final battles, the "dark" aspect of its "dark and stormy" state will temporarily disappear if you cast Reveal and get out of the effect. It will reset once you leave and reenter the screen/town.

Loho text space glitch[edit]

When at the item shopkeeper, buy 30 Herbs for 1 character, then try to buy another herb for that character. The shopkeeper's message - "Looks like [character] can't hold any more stuff, huh? Who should I give this Herb to?" - is large enough to extend the text box "out of bounds" and end up partially behind the shopkeeper's portrait to the upper left.

Hoppable rocks in Shaman Village Cave[edit]

In the main big room of Shaman Village Cave, several of the rocks on the ground (for example, the rock immediately to the lower right of the puddle) can be hopped over by pressing down against them. You cannot hop over them by pressing up, left, or right against them.

Obtain multiple Golden Shirts[edit]

In a password-enhanced game in which Isaac won Colosso, pressing A immediately after picking up the Golden Shirt from the Colosso warrior event will immediately cause the fight to repeat. The post-battle dialogue will repeat should the party win, and the warriors will drop another Golden Shirt. While one could potentially obtain as many copies of the item as desired, the glitch does not always take effect.

Other minutiae[edit]

  • Well-known in the community is this unused portrait that never appears in the game, which can be viewed in the various Debug Rooms. While the only reason this portrait is visible in the debug rooms is that it is digitally attached to an overworld sprite sheet in the same way that any other NPC ordinarily is with its respective portrait (unlike the other unused portraits below), nothing could be concluded about her despite being the subject of much speculation. However, even more debug rooms were subsequently discovered in the game's code that cannot be reached with Action Replay or similar utilities, and among them are a series of "Face Test" rooms that display the official names and portraits of the NPCs when the player interacts with them. This secret has confirmed that this portrait belongs to a generic item shopkeeper that was apparently planned to appear somewhere in the game in a similar capacity to other shopkeeper portraits that only occur in specific towns.
    • UnidentifiedOverworld.png Unidentified.gif
  • Hidden within the code of Golden Sun: The Lost Age (and the original game as well), even beyond the reach of what the various Debug Rooms showcase, are these portraits. The one of Alex that appears very similar to, yet somewhat different from, the image of Alex seen throughout the actual games is placed in a block of the game's code inhabited by the portraits of both of Felix and Isaac's respective parties, 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. The second portrait appears to be an odd corruption of the masked Felix portrait.
    • AlexBeta.png FourthFelix.png
  • Furthermore, an NPC resembling Link from The Legend of Zelda series has its full overworld sprite sheet animated and designed, but unused.
    • LinkOverworld.png
  • Many enemy lines battled throughout The Lost Age have only two variants seen throughout the game; as a matter of fact, each of these lines has a third palette-swapped variant which has its own coloration and even its own name, but all of these have very weak statistics and abilities that suggest "placeholders" in the data. For a full list, see the category for unused enemies.
  • Hidden among the game's internal battle animation collections are the graphics for what appear to be two entirely original but unused enemies, neither of which appear in either game in any form (even in hidden internal bestiary data). One resembles a nue from Japanese folklore, and the other resembles a crustacean with a single cycloptic eye.
    • UnusedMonster1.gif UnusedMonster2.gif
  • There are several Psynergy spells that are either fully coded and animated or partially coded that are never seen in normal gameplay, but can be seen and made use of through hacking devices. All of the ones that were hidden in the original Golden Sun are present in The Lost Age, alongside new unused effects named A?? (Arrow), Ma???? (Magnet), and Aurora Field. these reappear in their exact same forms in the game code of The Lost Age. For full details, see list of unacquirable Psynergy:
    • A?? (most likely meant to be "Arrow"): A Jupiter utility Psynergy spell with a unique icon, a fully animated field effect, and a technically working field effect as well. It conjures a bow that shoots out a magic arrow in a compass direction, and while the arrow can collide with things and walls, it does nothing other than disappear. There are no specifically programmed effects in the normal game that accommodates this ability, but there are in the Debug Rooms. It costs 2 PP.
    • Aurora Field: A non-elemental Psynergy spell with no icon, no animation, and a free PP cost, but with the very powerful effect of fully restoring the HP of all four currently battling Adepts, including Downed adepts which gets revived..
    • 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.
    • Ma???? (most likely meant to be "Magnet"): A Venus utility Psynergy spell with a unique icon, a fully animated field effect, and a technically working field effect as well. It causes a large, glowing, electric circle around Felix to maintain itself for a short while. There are no specifically programmed effects in the normal game that accommodates this ability, but there are in the Debug Rooms. It costs 1 PP.
    • 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 enemy. 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 enemy. Poison is its "next level form".
  • Several characters and objects have had their names changed between Golden Sun and The Lost Age: Hama is now spelled "Hamma", the Black Orb is now named the "Black Crystal", and perhaps the most unusual, Hsu is called "Ulmuch", which is his name in the Japanese version of the Golden Sun series. These can generally be chalked up to localization inconsistencies and oversights.
  • The small underground lake under Mikasalla can be evaporated with Parch, though this serves no further purpose.
  • The utility Psynergy Retreat, normally ineffective in towns, can be successfully cast in Shaman Village.
  • 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 Prox in The Lost Age, and can only be reached through use of a walk through walls hack via an external exploit device (such as an Action Replay, Code Breaker, or GameShark).
  • Likewise, the watery area enclosed by spires where Lemuria is found is located in the Sea of Time story-wise, but does not actually exist in that area on the World Map. Instead, it is located far to the north of Treasure Isle, and the boundaries of Gaia Falls, meaning it can only be reached through use of a walk through walls hack.
  • If the first encounter with Piers in Madra is skipped through use of the Retreat glitch or a previously mentioned walk through walls hack, the dialogue that the party has with him when they meet in Kibombo is different, involving Piers questioning the party for looking for a boat deep in the middle of the continent. Piers remains in Madra's prison even if he joins the party this way in Kibombo, oddly placing Piers in two locations at once; even if used by the Piers from Kibombo, Frost does not work on the puddle in Madra's prison while the Piers from Madra is standing on it.