Hou Zan

From Golden Sun Universe
Hou Zan
Hometown Tonfon
Hair color Grey
Eye color Dark Brown
Japanese name ホウザン

Hou Zan (ホウザン) is an aged martial artist from Sana and an important non-player character in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. He is the mentor of the hot-headed prince of Sana, Ryu Kou.



Hou Zan's pragmatic guardianship of the Sanan prince Ryu Kou extends to subduing him with a punch to the gut when the latter causes unneeded trouble for strangers.

Little of Hou Zan's past is revealed during the course of Dark Dawn. However, it is known that he lived in Belinsk for at least part of the occupation. After ten years of Sanan occupation, however, the beastmen executed a successful revolt, forcing Hou Zan and other Sanans to flee for their lives. However, Ryu Kou's sister Hou Ju, would be captured by Morgal forces, and was held prisoner by Volechek, Morgal's king. Hou Zan and Ryu Kou attempted to infiltrate Belinsk Castle but were unsuccessful, but they were allowed to escape with ease.

Hou Zan and Ryu Kou would make it to the safety of the nomadic village of Te Rya in the glacial midst of the Khiren Mountains. In exchange for safe haven, the duo offered to act as guards at the gates. When Matthew's group of Adepts encounter them for the first time, Ryu Kou thinks of them as enemies. Hou Zan subdues him with a decisive punch to the stomach, and warmly welcomes Matthew's group into the village. After noticing Matthew's group wandering around town, however, Hou Zan encourages them to leave by revealing a pathway to Morgal via the Teppe Ruins. They would come to trust the Adepts after the group returns some belongings of Hou Ju to Ryu Kou. After this, Ryu Kou and Hou Zan eventually climb back down into Morgal by scaling the sheer mountain face.

In Morgal

Hou Zan blames Arcanus for his role in compelling Ryu Kou to willingly power the Alchemy Dynamo.

At some point, Hou Zan and Ryu Kou would meet up with Sveta, a beastman who had offered her assistance to them. She instructs the two to meet Matthew's party at Talon Peak, and gives the Sanans the Slap Glove the Adepts would need for their quest for a Mountain Roc feather. Upon meeting with the Adepts, Hou Zan and Ryu Kou team up with them, presenting the Slap Glove in exchange for assistance in rescuing Hou Ju. After gaining the feather, the group is confronted by Blados and Chalis, who sic the Mountain Roc on the group. Hou Zan and Ryu Kou take cover while the Adepts successfully defeat the monstrous bird in battle. Afterwards, Ryu Kou would take a Magma Orb, which was, according to Blados and Chalis, necessary for breaking into Belinsk's fortress, despite warnings from the Adepts, who had been informed of a deadly machine located deep within the ruins. More reluctantly, Hou Zan would take a Magma Shard and the Slap Glove from Matthew.

The two men made their way back to Belinsk, and were able to sneak into the Belinsk Ruins via a secret entrance. As the two men proceeded, they suddenly found that their exit had been cutoff. The two are forced deep into the dungeon, where they meet with Matthew's party, which now includes Sveta. The party agree to put their differences aside for a time, so that Hou Ju can be rescued. Eventually, the group ends up at the Alchemy Dynamo, where they are confronted by Blados, Chalis and Arcanus. While, Blados and Chalis attack the Adepts, Hou Zan is knocked unconscious. Arcanus uses this opportunity to manipulate Ryu Kou into activating the Alchemy Dynamo, claiming Hou Ju would be killed if he didn't. When Hou Zan awakens, he realizes what has happened, and attempts to attack Arcanus, though he escapes. The group leaves the dungeon themselves, and travels to Belinsk's castle to rescue Hou Ju. Amazingly, Hou Ju is voluntarily released by Volechek. At the same time, Kraden appears, and encourages the Sanans to flee Belinsk, as a terrible catastrophe would soon take place.

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 Grave Eclipse

Hou Zan is done in by the monsters of the Grave Eclipse while trying to protect the Sanan royals at Iceberg Outpost.

Hou Zan, Ryu Kou, and Hou Ju would flee Belinsk on a ship that had been conveniently sent by Sana. During the Grave Eclipse, a result of Ryu Kou's actions at the ruins, the group would somehow end up far to the north, where the ship was wrecked, and most of its crew killed. Hou Zan, Ryu Kou, and Hou Ju would take shelter in a a small outpost, with Hou Zan using his martial arts skills to kill any approaching monsters. However, he only wounds the last one, and is injured. When Matthew's party finds the group, Hou Zan is close to death. Hou Zan leaves the two young Sanans in Matthew's care before dying. He is buried just outside the outpost, with Hou Ju's Echo Gem serving as a grave marker.


In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
  • In Te Rya:
Hou Zan: "My companion was rude. Please forgive him."
Ryu Kou: "But what if they're spies?"
Hou Zan: (Referring to Tyrell) "This one wears his fiery heart on his sleeve. He is no spy. And we're not in Morgal."
Ryu Kou: "True. But even if they aren't spies, they might unwittingly give us away..."
Karis: "Excuse me-I gather you've got things to talk about, but can we go into the village?"
Hou Zan: "You may enter. / Ryu Kou: "Of course not!"
Ryu Kou: "You still have to get past us!" / Hou Zan: "Many apologies, strangers." (Hou Zan punches Ryu Kou in the stomach)
Hou Zan: "I've got a good feeling about these folks. If they want to go to Morgal, who are we to say they can't?"
Hou Zan: (After Matthew returns Hou Ju's elegant bag to Ryu Kou) "Matthew, I thank you from the bottom of my old heart. You have done more good in this deed than you know."
Karis: "I-it was nothing..."
Hou Zan: "No, it most certainly was not. And our debt will be repaid."
  • On Talon Peak:
Hou Zan: "Young one... Ryu Kou... We don't have to do this."
Ryu Kou: "I'm afraid we do. Good-bye, everyone." (Ryu Kou and Hou Zan both leave.)
  • In Belinsk Ruins:
Hou Zan: "Please. Allow us to apologize for our recent actions."
Hou Zan: (After waking up to see Ryu Kou powered the Alchemy Dynamo) "Ryu Kou, why?"
Ryu Kou: "I didn't have a choice..."
Hou Zan: (To Arcanus) "This is your fault, monster!"
Arcanus: "In what way could this possibly be my fault? Ryu Kou has done this by his own hand."
Hou Zan: "Hide behind your excuses, coward. I swear you will pay for what you've done here."
Arcanus: "How many times must I demonstrate to you tiresome insects that you can't beat me in battle?"
Hou Zan: "At least once more, apparently." (Hou Zan rushes forward to attack, but Arcanus disappears using his warping Psynergy.)
  • In Belinsk:
Hou Zan: "We are in debt to all of you. I wish it could be otherwise... but farewell."
  • In Iceberg Outpost:
Ryu Kou: (With a fatally wounded Hou Zan) "As you can see, Hou Zan is in a bad way."
Hou Ju: "He fought off a horde of monsters to protect this place."
Hou Zan: "I thought I'd finished them all, but one was only wounded... I let my guard down... But now that Matthew is here, I can finally rest..."
Ryu Kou: "Hou Zan, no! You can't die in this forsaken place! I-I won't let you!"
Hou Ju: "Yes, hold on long enough for Matthew to take us all back home to Sana, Hou Zan..."
Hou Zan: "Ah, that would be a dream... But, alas, one that cannot be..."
Ryu Kou: "Hou Zan, no!"
Hou Ju: "Don't leave us!"
Hou Zan: "Take care of them... Matthew." (Hou Zan passes away.)
Ryu Kou: "Hou Zan..."
Hou Ju: "No..."
Hou Zan: (Spiritual message from beyond the grave) "With my young charges safe at last, I can finally rest without care..."
Main characters in the Golden Sun series
Playable Characters
Golden Sun Star venus.gif Isaac   Star mars.gif Garet   Star jupiter.gif Ivan   Star mercury.gif Mia
The Lost Age Star venus.gif Felix   Star mars.gif Jenna   Star jupiter.gif Sheba   Star mercury.gif Piers
Dark Dawn Star venus.gif Matthew   Star jupiter.gif Karis   Star mars.gif Tyrell   Star mercury.gif Rief
Star mercury.gif Amiti   Star jupiter.gif Sveta   Star mars.gif Eoleo   Star venus.gif Himi
Non-Player Characters
Golden Sun &
The Lost Age
Star mars.gif Agatio   Star mercury.gif Alex   Star none.gif Babi   Star none.gif Briggs   Star none.gif Dodonpa
Star venus.gif Dora   Star jupiter.gif Feizhi   Star jupiter.gif Hama   Star none.gif Hammet   Star mercury.gif Hydros
Star mars.gif Karst   Star none.gif Kraden   Star venus.gif Kyle   Star mars.gif Menardi   Star none.gif Moapa
Star mars.gif Puelle   Star mars.gif Saturos   Star venus.gif Susa   Star none.gif The Wise One   Star venus.gif Tret
Dark Dawn Star mercury.gif Arcanus   Star none.gif Baghi   Star dark.gif Blados   Star none.gif Bogho   Star dark.gif Chalis
Star none.gif High Empyror   Star none.gif Hou Zan   Star none.gif King Wo   Star venus.gif Laurel   Star mercury.gif Nowell
Star none.gif Paithos   Star none.gif Ryu Kou   Star none.gif Unan   Star none.gif Vande   Star none.gif Volechek