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Serpent

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The Serpent (オロチ, Orochi?), referred to in retrospect as the Great Serpent in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, is a boss in Golden Sun: The Lost Age located in Gaia Rock on the island that is the site of Izumo.

This fierce dragon, more formally known as the Great Serpent of Mikage, slept in Mount Mikage on the island of Nihan. When the Venus Lighthouse was lit, the dragon awoke. Using sunlight to weaken it, the Warriors of Vale slew the beast.

As a boss[edit]

The Serpent, which resembles a long, green, snake-like dragon, is unique among bosses partly due to where it's battled: The Serpent's chamber is deep within Gaia Rock, where sunlight cannot normally reach. By exploring Gaia Rock and solving its puzzles, anywhere from one to four beams of light can reach the Serpent, significantly weakening it. In terms of the game's code, there are five separate versions of the Serpent boss that correspond to the five separate circumstances under which its encounter can be initiated. All of them, however, are especially likely to be affected by Defense-lowering effects and share the same baseline stats:

Name HP PP Attack Defense Agility Luck
Serpent 3536 160 249 76 135 46
Elemental Resistances and Levels Exp Coins Item Dropped Drop Rate
Star venus.gif 152 (Lv 4)   Star mars.gif 100 (Lv 2)   Star mercury.gif 100 (Lv 2)   Star jupiter.gif 48 (Lv 0) 1995 2898 N/A N/A

Out of four other parameters of the Serpent that get affected depending on the number of lights shining into the Serpent's chamber by the time it is fought, its HP regeneration value is the most significant by far; this is impossibly high without any lights entering the chamber. The number of lights also dictates whether it acts three or two times per turn, whether it uses a version of its command list that has different usage chances for each of its abilities, and the level of intelligence it uses its abilities with:

  • Zero Lights: 2430 HP regenerated per turn. Acts three times per turn, uses its exclusive enemy abilities more often, and does so with high intelligence.
  • One Light: 810 HP regenerated per turn. Acts three times per turn, uses its exclusive enemy abilities more often, and does so with high intelligence.
  • Two Lights: 270 HP regenerated per turn. Acts three times per turn, uses its exclusive enemy abilities more often, and does so with moderate intelligence.
  • Three Lights: 90 HP regenerated per turn. Acts three times per turn, uses its exclusive enemy abilities more often, and does so with moderate intelligence.
  • Four Lights: 30 HP regenerated per turn. Acts twice per turn, uses its eight abilities with equal probability, and does so with moderate intelligence.

The command list the Serpent draws from if anything less than all four lights shine into the chamber is more difficult because its three exclusive enemy abilities will be more likely to be called, while it performs its basic Attack rarely in comparison. All versions of the Serpent that use this command set act three times per turn:

Command Chance
to use
Elem. Stats
used with *
Description
Toxic Breath 53/256
(20.7%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Enemy ability where the user generates a cloud of yellow and green gas, dealing a Venus-based attack with 60 base damage, spread across 3 enemies with low damage distribution. The attack also has a chance of inflicting Poison on the affected targets.
Mighty Press 47/256
(18.4%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Enemy ability where the user leaps up and comes crashing down on a single Adept, letting loose a burst of purple energy on impact. This deals a Venus-based attack equal to its normal physical attack with an additional 50 damage points, unless the potential added effect of instantly downing the target kicks in.
Black Ice 41/256
(16%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Enemy ability where the user generates a barrage of black dust, dealing a Venus-based attack with 80 base damage, spread across 3 enemies with low damage distribution.
Briar 35/256
(13.7%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Psynergy costing 11 PP that summons a series of large spiky vines out of the ground to stab the party of Adepts. Deals a Venus-aligned attack with a power rating of 70, spread across 3 enemies with high damage distribution.
Quake Sphere 29/256
(11.3%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Psynergy costing 15 PP that causes three rectangular sections of ground underneath the party jolt upward and retract into the ground quickly thrice in succession. Deals a Venus-aligned attack with 65 base damage, spread across 7 enemies with high damage distribution.
Attack 28/256
(10.9%)
-- Standard physical attack.
Cure Well 23/256
(9%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Psynergy that restores roughly 150 HP to the user — effectively 165 HP because of its Venus elemental power rating.

The command list the Serpent draws from while all four lights shine into the chamber is less dangerous because its basic Attack is comparatively more likely to be called and its exclusive abilities are less likely than before. Also, the Serpent only acts two times per turn when fought under that circumstance:

Command Chance
to use
Elem. Stats
used with *
Description
Attack 2/8
(25%)
-- Standard physical attack.
Toxic Breath 1/8
(12.5%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Enemy ability where the user generates a cloud of yellow and green gas, dealing a Venus-based attack with 60 base damage, spread across 3 enemies with low damage distribution. The attack also has a chance of inflicting Poison on the affected targets.
Mighty Press 1/8
(12.5%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Enemy ability where the user leaps up and comes crashing down on a single Adept, letting loose a burst of purple energy on impact. This deals a Venus-based attack equal to its normal physical attack with an additional 50 damage points, unless the potential added effect of instantly downing the target kicks in.
Black Ice 1/8
(12.5%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Enemy ability where the user generates a barrage of black dust, dealing a Venus-based attack with 80 base damage, spread across 3 enemies with low damage distribution.
Briar 1/8
(12.5%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Psynergy costing 11 PP that summons a series of large spiky vines out of the ground to stab the party of Adepts. Deals a Venus-aligned attack with a power rating of 70, spread across 3 enemies with high damage distribution.
Quake Sphere 1/8
(12.5%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Psynergy costing 15 PP that causes three rectangular sections of ground underneath the party jolt upward and retract into the ground quickly thrice in succession. Deals a Venus-aligned attack with 65 base damage, spread across 7 enemies with high damage distribution.
Cure Well 1/8
(12.5%)
Star venus.gif 110 Power Psynergy that restores roughly 150 HP to the user — effectively 165 HP because of its Venus elemental power rating.

Battle strategy[edit]

Because the Serpent is the only boss in Golden Sun that allows the player to "choose" how much health it has, it is difficult to propose one unifying battle strategy. If the player has not weakened it with all four light beams, it will recover virtually all health after an initial summon rush the player may opt to use. The battle is essentially unwinnable in this situation. If the player did uncover all four light beams, it only recovers 30HP a turn; very unlikely to cause much trouble. This is the optimum way to defeat the Serpent.

The next step for the player is largely up to them. This boss can be dispatched through Summon rushing, but as always, the player must keep in mind that their party will be very vulnerable to all of the Serpent's Venus-based Psynergy and Monster Skills. The Serpent can also be slain through conventional battling technique, granted that all members are at least at level 20+ and with most available Djinn acquired. Sheba's Plasma may see heavy usage in this battle; even though there is only one target, Plasma is generally the strongest option aside from Jupiter Djinn, as Sheba will have no single-target Psynergy. Having Piers or any other Adepts in a class that allows access to the Cure Poison spell will be immensely helpful to the party should the status condition Poison connect when the Serpent unleashes Toxic Breath.

In both cases, players should continue casting offensive Psynergy whenever possible to keep on top of the Serpent's replenishing health meter. By this point Felix should know Revive, and because his Venus Psynergy is not very effective here, he can be designated the party's quasi-healer for this battle. Jenna and Piers should utilize their single target spells to their full potential, but a more effective method would be to use the "unleash Djinn, summon next turn" strategy. The Serpent should eventually fall.

Above, it is stated that the battle is virtually impossible to win if no lights are shown on the serpent. It is possible, but extremely difficult. The simplest way is to survive long enough to summon Meteor, Boreas and Thor twice to raise your own elemental strength, then summon them again along with Judgment to finish it off with the second summon rush, killing it in a single turn. On Hard Mode, this will not be enough; it is necessary to furthermore lower the Serpent's elemental resistance with the Psynergy Weaken or the Djinni Sour. Such tactics can also make a summon rush easier on Normal Mode.

Story[edit]

Little is known about the Serpent before the events of Golden Sun: The Lost Age, but an old legend in Izumo tells of how the Great Serpent of Mikage would sleep with its body crossing the river. Where its tail fell, the Cloud Brand was hidden.

Kyle.gif Spoiler warning: The following section(s) contain plot details that some people may not wish to learn before reaching this point in the game on their own.

The Serpent once slept peacefully within Gaia Rock (known to locals as Mt. Mikage) but, during a festival in the nearby village Izumo, the Serpent was aroused and went on a rampage. The exact cause of the Serpent's awakening is unclear; although the residents of Izumo believe their festival awoke him, it would not be unreasonable to assume that the true cause was the rain of Psynergy Stones following Mt. Aleph's eruption (the cause of many of the obstacles faced throughout the series). Since both Gaia Rock and the Serpent are aligned with the Venus element, it may also be possible that the lighting of Venus Lighthouse caused the Serpent to stir (this is also what caused Poseidon to awaken, and consequentially the tidal wave). Whatever the case may be, the Serpent quickly made its way to the village and consumed all the food the villagers prepared for the festival.

In order to satiate the Serpent's hunger, the villagers decide to sacrifice one of their maidens to the Serpent. A lottery is held to determine who the sacrifice will be. Ironically, the sacrifice ends up being Kushinada, a close friend of Lady Uzume, the village's leader, and the fiance of Susa, Uzume's younger brother. Lady Uzume prophecies that a hero will come to vanquish the Serpent and orders barrels of Dragonsbane (Sake in the Japanese version) to be taken to the Serpent's lair. Not wishing to see Kushinada die, Susa takes it upon himself to destroy the Serpent, taking the Cloud Brand with him. Upon entering the Serpent's chamber, Susa begins feeding it barrel after barrel of Dragonsbane, gradually weakening it.

Susa attempts to vanquish the Serpent before Kushinada can be sacrificed.

During the course of The Lost Age, Felix and his band of Adepts, as well as the scholar Kraden, finally arrive in Izumo. Initially they are only searching for unique types of Psynergy (in this case the Sand Psynergy), but, upon hearing the plight of the townspeople, they selflessly embark on their own quest to defeat the Serpent. After scaling the Elemental Rock of Earth, Felix's party come across the Dancing Idol, a peculiar animate doll that acts as a skeleton key for Gaia Rock: when placed on special altars, the Dancing Idol causes statues to move, either opening new paths or allowing light into the Serpent's lair. While Susa continues to feed the Serpent Dragonsbane, the foreign heroes flood the chamber with light. Their combined efforts weaken the Serpent enough that it can be fought outright, although it is still strong enough to deflect Susa's initial attack.

Susa recovers from the Serpent's counterattack by the time Felix's team defeat the Serpent through conventional battle. After the Serpent has been pushed to its limit, Susa again attacks the Serpent with the Cloud Brand, turning it to stone and causing its tail to melt into an odd liquid. Susa then thanks the Adepts for their help and returns to Izumo, but not before hiding the Cloud Brand at the end of the "river" of liquid, where the tip of the Serpent's tail would be (in reference to the old legend). Before Felix has a chance to follow him, a tablet appears before the Serpent. Like with the other Elemental Rocks, this tablet grants a Venus Adept, in this case Felix, a brand new Psynergy, Sand. With both their goals completed, Felix's party leaves Gaia Rock, although if the player wishes they may try out their new Psynergy to reach the Cloud Brand. Whether or not Felix takes this legendary weapon, Susa later tells him where it was hidden.

Dora.gif Spoilers end here. Those who did not want the plot ruined for them may now continue reading as normal.

Cultural reference[edit]

The serpent bears a great resemblance to the Japanese Shinto serpent-dragon, Yamata no Orochi, which was defeated by the god Susanoo in order to free the princess Kushinada. The Cloud Brand found near its tail is the same as the legendary sword Kusanagi found in the Orochi's tail.

Trivia[edit]

  • The Serpent is the only enemy in The Lost Age with a unique death cry.
Bosses
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Bosses in Golden Sun: The Lost Age
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