Lamakan Desert (ラマカン砂漠, Lamakan Desert) is a desert in central Angara that serves as a dungeon-style location in Golden Sun. It is passed through from east to west after Isaac's party learns the Reveal Psynergy at Lama Temple close by the desert entrance, and leads to the southwest region of Angara where Kalay is located. The general object of the area is to avoid taking damage from the stifling heat by finding hidden oases with Reveal.
When you enter the desert, you see something to the left of your screen that is seen nowhere else in the series: A meter that measures how much heat you've accumulated. This meter fills up from top to bottom as you walk along any sandy surface in this dungeon-area, and when it reaches the top, a large chunk of each Adept's HP meter is deducted and the meter goes back down to zero. To avoid taking this damage, when walking through the sandy areas, cast the Reveal Psynergy acquired at Lama Temple around any ring of stones, and there will likely be a hidden, circular pool of water in there for you to jump into and reduce the meter down to zero. The meter will also stay at its current value whenever you walk on a rocky surface as opposed to a sandy one. Unavoidably, however, is that each time the meter rises up to one of the three quarter marks, one of Isaac's party members chosen at random will complain about the heat.
From the starting area, go up along the rocky surface until you have to step into the sandy portion to continue up, left, and down. Cast Reveal on the first circle of stones you see and make use of the hidden oasis there, and continue down and along the left. Another ring of stones hides a Psynergy Stone, and both paths north at either side of this ring lead to the same ring of stones that contain an oasis of its own. From there, go up, and when you
Go back down and take the right fork, but be wary of the next ring of stones you come across, for they contain a hidden pit with a monster in it called an Ant Lion, a strong and durable enemy with 400 HP that automatically attacks if you're close enough while still in "Reveal mode". Even if you defeat it in battle, the next time you cast Reveal another Ant Lion will take its place, ready to do battle. Since you can do this unlimited times, you might decide this, or other Ant Lion pits in Lamakan Desert, is a good spot for level-grinding, because it awards over 200 EXP and 400 gold whenever you land as your killing blow the offensive effect of the Mercury Djinn Sleet or Mist, and doing so also gives you a 50% chance to earn a powerful Vial each time. Funnily enough, rings containing Ant Lion pits can be crossed over entirely safely as long as you don't use Reveal around them. Proceed north to one more ring of stones that contain an oasis, then exit off the north end of the area.
The next screen is a massive desert area with lots of different circles of stones. Go immediately left to get to a circle of stones that hide a chest containing a Potion, then go west beyond that to get to a ring hiding an oasis. Northeast of that is a ring with an Ant Lion pit, then northeast of that is a ring with an oasis. Northwest of that are two conjoined rings of stones, and while the right ring hides an Ant Lion pit, the left ring hides a Jupiter Djinni, which you don't even have to battle; you will gain Smog right away. Southwest of that is a ring with an oasis, then southwest of that is a ring with a chest containing 777 Coins, and southwest of that is another ring with an oasis. Go up along the rocky surface to the left (this area has an exit off to the left), and go up beyond to get to another ring containing an Ant Lion pit, then go north beyond that to find a pair of conjoined rings, within the left of which is hidden a chest containing a Lucky Pepper. Go back down to the rocky surface to the left, go back down and soak in the oasis below that, come back up, and enter the next screen to the left.
The next screen features sandfalls and sand rivers, so run across both sand rivers you find, and go left and down. You are lead along a twisting, linear path that eventually seems to lead to a dead-end with a sandfall, but cast Reveal here to see a door behind the sandfall, and enter it. You are led through a short cave path back outside, and now go left to find another pair of sand rivers. Run across the first river, but let the second river carry you down to the lower ground, and to your immediate left is a ring of stones hiding an oasis. Bordering that to the upper left is a ring hiding an Ant Lion Pit, but bordering that to the upper right is a ring hiding a chest containing a Mint. Go right and climb back up to the elevated, rocky ground, and run across the two sand rivers again and go northwest to find another apparent dead-end with a sandfall.
Cast Reveal while standing up against the sandfall and you'll see a large monster blocking a large cave entrance, which causes Isaac to jump back a bit. While the Reveal field is still up, interact with the monster to begin the boss fight with the Manticore; the main thing of note with this boss is that this is the first boss you fight that acts multiple times each turn. After defeating the boss and getting a Psy Crystal, cast Reveal again and enter the large cave entrance, and the short cave path leads you back out into the overworld in the lower left region of Angara.
|Bestiary of Lamakan Desert|
|Monster Name||LVL||HP||ATK||DEF||AGI||EXP||Coins||Weakness||Drop||Drop Rate|
|Rat Fighter||13||143||146||39||58||63||83||Smoke Bomb||1/32|
|Manticore (boss)||20||1700||168||48||61||590||3400||Psy Crystal||1/1|
- Group 1: Orc x1-2
- Group 2: Grub x1-2, Rat Fighter x0-2
- Group 3: Orc x1-2, Rat Fighter x1-2
- Group 4: Fighter Bee x1-2, Orc x0-2
- Group 5: Fighter Bee x1-2, Grub x0-2
- Group 6: Salamander x1, Grub x0-2
- Group 7: Salamander x1, Fighter Bee x0-2
- Group 8: Salamander x2
Unlike most enemies, Ant Lions aren't fought in random encounters. Instead they hide in stone circles identical to the ones containing oases. The good news is, like the oases, they cannot be seen (or battled) unless the Reveal Psynergy is used. The bad news is that the Ant Lions have a pitfall trap similar to real life antlions, though obviously on a much larger scale; if a player strays too close (with Reveal active) they will be caught in the pitfall and be forced into battle. It is recommended that players who do not wish to battle Ant Lions remain outside of the stone circles (and therefore outside of the Ant Lion's trap) when casting Reveal.
Smog - Invisible, in a circle of stones beside an Ant Lion in the second, large screen of the desert. It is not fought.
777 Coins - In a hidden chest in a circle of stones in the large second screen.
Lucky Pepper - In a hidden chest left of a visible Psynergy Stone.
Mint: In a hidden chest in a circle of stones near the fight with Manticore.
Potion - In an invisible chest on the bottom area of the large second screen.
Vulcan Axe - In a chest at one end of a split path early on, hidden in a circle of stones and must be made visible with Reveal.
Background and story
Lamakan Desert, located at the southwest foot of the Khiren Mountains, is one of the portions of the Silk Road merchant caravan route that extends between Xian to the east and Kalay and Tolbi to the west. It has always been a hot desert, but the state it was in prior to Golden Sun was infinitely more bearable; when the eruption of Mt. Aleph transpires and Psynergy Stones shower all across the world, the stones that fall into the desert cause an evil influence of some sort to grip the desert as a whole, and the heat is driven up enough to render the desert impassable by normal human means. This would directly cause the silk trade between the towns on Silk Road to grind to a halt. Various oases remain in Lamakan Desert, but due to distortions of perceivable space caused by the extreme heat, these oases are veiled by mirages, and therefore, they can only realistically be discovered and made use of by those with Psynergy that enhances perception.
The band of Adepts led by Saturos cross west through Lamakan Desert in their flight west to Gondowan, bearing the heat along the way without the need to use the veiled oases. While one might figure that Alex's membership as a Mercury (water) Adept contributes to their ability to keep cool, Master Hama of nearby Lama Temple has a different guess: Saturos and his partner Menardi's control over fire and heat allows them to somehow suppress the heat from above for their group. She provides this information to Isaac's passing party of Adepts, as well as teaches Ivan the Psynergy of perception and explains that one use for that power will be to allow them to find the oases obscured by the mirages. While it is never elaborated as to why Garet, being a Mars Adept in Isaac's group, cannot grant Isaac's party a similar protection from the heat like Saturos and Menardi can for their own group, it can be guessed that Saturos is able to do so simply because he has far more mastery over his control of his element as an Adept than a younger Adept like Garet. Isaac & Co. thus successfully cross the monster-infested, heat-intensive desert with the help of the revealing Psynergy, and make it to the Kalay region of Angara to the west.
30 Years Later
By Golden Sun: Dark Dawn thirty years later, the Lamakan Desert is barely recognizable. The Golden Sun effect had an enormous hand in reshaping the geography of its region of Angara, like it had on the rest of Weyard; its western third or so is the only remnant of the sandy and rocky composition of the old desert, and it is no longer under the influence of intense heat brought on by evil. The Konpa Ruins at the north end of this western third have recently been discovered. The other two thirds of the former Lamakan region have been incorporated into the Ei-Jei region. This area has been replaced with grasslands supported by flowing rivers, and it is likely this is not solely the work of the Golden Sun event: located at the bottom of the former desert area is the kingdom of Ayuthay, which has a giant Alchemy Machine called the Alchemy Well that produces water in mass quantities. It was not active thirty years prior, but when it was turned on ten years after the Golden Sun event, the kingdom's fortunes turned and it became a water kingdom, and some water was spread north. Finally, above the northeast end of the former desert area is the secluded mountain settlement of Passaj, resting within the Khiren Mountains.
- Lamakan Desert likely takes its name from the Taklamakan Desert in western China; this desert was also along the Silk Road, is in the center of the Asian continent, and deathly dry, to the point that caravans would parch themselves at any oases they found. Interestingly, the Taklamakan is one of the coldest deserts in the world, as opposed to the Lamakan, the hottest desert in Weyard.
- In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, the player can reach Lamakan Desert on the world map using cheat codes. It can even be entered, but will strangely take the player to Yampi Desert instead. Entering Suhalla Desert in this way has the same effect.