The Elemental Stars are four orbs of elemental power that play a central role in the Golden Sun series. Each Elemental Star is based on one of the four elements. They appear as small, perfectly round objects resembling precious or semi-precious stones. These treasures were guarded by the town of Vale and were hidden deep within the puzzling Sol Sanctum up until the events early in Golden Sun.
Each of the Elemental Stars serve as the source of Psynergy for their respective element:
The Venus Star is the source of Venus Psynergy. Kraden describes it as "the elemental stone of earth."
The Mercury Star is the source of Mercury Psynergy, "possessing the power of water's many forms."
The Jupiter Star is the source of Jupiter Psynergy, "bound with the wind's fury."
The Mars Star is the source of Mars Psynergy, "glowing red with the fire contained within."
Purpose and function
The Elemental Stars contain the purified essence of each element, and are meant to be cast into the wells at the summits, called Aeries, of the Elemental Lighthouses. Doing so releases that essence and forms a large, swirling sphere of elemental energy above the lighthouse, referred to as that lighthouse's Elemental Beacon.
If all four lighthouses are lit, the mix of energies emitted by the four beacons will put the world of Weyard in equilibrium and sustain it. The Elemental Beacons will then bring the power of Alchemy back to the world by shooting beams into the airspace above Mt. Aleph, merging into one unified, golden beam of pure energy known as the Golden Sun. The Golden Sun then infuses the mountain below to turn it into the Stone of Sages, the object that serves as the source of Alchemy.
It would appear that the Elemental Stars cannot be held in a person's bare hands, even an Adept's, as they are carried in Mythril Bags throughout both Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age. This is less obvious in Golden Sun because a Mythril Bag is removed from the player's inventory each time a Star is obtained. In The Lost Age, however, the Stars do not appear in the inventory directly; instead, a Mythril Bag is equipped to Felix. Its description changes in the later stages of the game, but often the description says that one or more Elemental Stars are being carried in the bag. Based on this it is more than reasonable to assume that Isaac still used Mythril Bags to carry the Elemental Stars despite the bags apparently disappearing.
As would be expected of such plot-centric items, the Elemental Stars cannot be sold or dropped and must remain in the party's inventory throughout the game. This is actually a bad thing from a gameplay perspective as they have no uses either in or out of battle. The Stars only comes into play during storyline-centric moments of the games. At all other times they simply take up an item slot that could theoretically be put to better use. Also, the Mythril Bag in The Lost Age is permanently equipped to Felix: it cannot be removed or even traded to other party members, permanently taking up one of Felix's item slots.
The story of Golden Sun revolves around two groups of Adepts. The first group, led first by Saturos and later by Felix, steal the Elemental Stars in an attempt to unseal Alchemy. The other group, led by Isaac, chase Felix's group across Weyard in an attempt to stop them, knowing little of the first group's motives.
Although large portions of the games may pass without so much as a mention of these objects, the Elemental Stars are still vital to the series' plot. The Mars Star in particular is notable, partly because its ownership changes many times near the end of The Lost Age and partly because of the actions of the Wise One.
In ages past
In the ancient past Alchemy and Psynergy were commonplace. Many civilizations thrived during this time and were able to build structures that can hardly even be accessed by the populace of present-day Weyard. As time passed, however, a thirst for power tainted this Golden Age of man and led some to misuse Alchemy for their own selfish purposes. War and strife threatened to tear Weyard apart; mankind was on a road to self-destruction. Fortunately, a group of brave and wise men foresaw this disaster and set out to save mankind by sealing Alchemy away. By removing the Elemental Stars from the Elemental Lighthouses and hiding them deep within Sol Sanctum, Alchemy was effectively removed from the world, saving Weyard and the human race from their own foolish actions.
However, saving the world also put it in danger, as Alchemy is Weyard's equivalent of a life force; with Alchemy sealed, Weyard was deprived of its "nourishment" and would slowly erode into emptiness. It was not just Weyard that suffered, but the people as well: the island-nation Lemuria, although still grand compared to present-day Weyard, entered a spiral of slow but steady cultural decay; it's possible that the sealing of Alchemy is what led the people of Anemos to lift themselves and their city into the sky (becoming the moon, according to Contigo legend); although it may not have happened immediately, by the time the games take place only a small handful of Weyard's population is able to use Psynergy.
Although most people were unaware of Weyard's decay (owing primarily to how gradual it was), a handful of people knew that inaction would doom the human race. One person in particular is Hydros, king of Lemuria. Perhaps the only human still alive who lived in the Golden Age, Hydros could do little but watch as his once-grand kingdom grew stagnant. His fears grew when one day, about 150 years before Golden Sun, two strangers arrived in Lemuria: Lunpa the Righteous Thief and Babi, the man who would eventually become the ruler of Tolbi. These two shipwrecked travelers brought with them a map of the world. Not only had Weyard grown smaller, but what was once a vaguely crescent-shaped super continent had broken into multiple, smaller continents that had drifted from their original positions.
Hydros' only conclusion was that Alchemy was the fuel that kept Weyard alive, and without it their world would perish. He confided this fear in Lunpa, but he would soon have more to worry about: Babi stole a Lemurian ship and some of the mythical draught Lemurians used to slow the aging process. Using his newfound longevity, Babi accumulated enough wealth to conquer Tolbi. Of course, Babi knew that his supply of draught would eventually run out, so he funded expeditions in the eastern sea to locate Lemuria. Unfortunately, Lemuria was located in the Sea of Time, a misty region with strong currents and sharp rocks. Babi didn't give up searching for Lemuria, but as an alternative he built a laboratory in his palace dedicated to researching Alchemy. One of Babi's most prized scholars, Kraden, was sent to Mt. Aleph to further his research. Kraden would eventually settle down in a cottage on the outskirts of Vale.
On that night, three years ago...
Another group who knew of Weyard's peril were the Proxians, Puelle specifically, who had a front row seat to the edge of the world. Knowing that Weyard would vanish if they did nothing, and especially worried since Prox would be one of the first places to be destroyed, Puelle sent a group of emissaries to retrieve the Elemental Stars and return them to the Elemental Lighthouses, restoring Alchemy to the world and saving Prox and the rest of Weyard from its otherwise inevitable destruction. Upon arriving in Vale they tried to convince the village elders of the world's fate, but the elders either did not or stubbornly refused to believe them and drove them out of town. With negotiations no longer an option, the Proxians scaled Mt. Aleph on their own in order to infiltrate Sol Sanctum and take the Elemental Stars, with or without Vale's consent.
Unfortunately, not only did the Proxian raiding party fail to retrieve the Elemental Stars, but they also triggered Sol Sanctum's final trap: A powerful storm that engulfed both Mt. Aleph and Vale, as well as dislodging a large boulder referred to as the Mt. Aleph boulder. The Mt. Aleph boulder landed in the river that runs through the center of the village, supposedly killing Felix, his parents, and Kyle. Kyle's son, Isaac, ran back to the plaza for help but stopped when he overheard Saturos and Menardi, the only Proxians to survive the storm, discussing their failed attempt. The two Proxians did not notice Isaac until his friend, Garet, started calling his name. Not wanting the villagers to learn of their actions, Saturos and Menardi quickly attacked and defeated the two young Adepts, leaving them for dead. During their escape, Saturos and Menardi came across Felix and the other victims of the Mt. Aleph boulder. For whatever reason, they took the weary Valeans back to Prox with them.
Sometime during the next three years, Saturos and Menardi crossed paths with an Imilian called Alex. Alex was once a part of the Mercury Clan, a group of Mercury Adepts charged with keeping Mercury Lighthouse sealed. Alex and Mia were among the few surviving members of the Mercury Clan, but one day Alex left for reasons he never told anyone. Alex knew that once the Elemental Lighthouses were lit, the light of their beacons would merge atop Mt. Aleph in the form of the Golden Sun. Alex planned to be at the mountain's summit when this happened, absorbing the raw Alchemic energies released at this time, granting him immortality and omnipotence. Keeping his true motives to himself, he allied himself with the Proxians, intending to use their quest to make his dream a reality.
The raid on Sol Sanctum
Three years after the initial raid, Saturos and Menardi left their home once again to return to Vale, this time with Alex and Felix's assistance. Though Puelle did not wish to stoop to such a level, Saturos insisted on holding the adult Valeans hostage to ensure Felix's cooperation. During these past years, Isaac and Garet, along with Felix's younger sister Jenna, have been studying Alchemy under Kraden. It was on one of the children's trips to Kraden's cottage that Saturos' party returned to Vale. Though Felix remained at the inn and Alex was in parts unknown, Saturos and Menardi had gone to meet with Kraden. Because of their first-hand experience, the Proxians knew more about Sol Sanctum than even the elders of Vale did. The duo revealed to Kraden that they planned "to set [the elements] into motion" and that "the four Elemental Stars are the key," which seemed to be more than enough to pique the elderly scholar's curiosity. As they left Kraden's cottage, the Proxians encountered Isaac and his friends, whom they apparently did not recognize. After a brief confrontation, Saturos and Menardi allowed the children to continue on their way to Kraden.
Sharing his concerns with the young Adepts, Kraden grabbed some Mythril Bags from his cottage and set off with them to Sol Sanctum to see if Saturos and Menardi truly had been in the Sanctum, unaware that the Proxians and Felix were following close behind. After delving further in than Kraden ever had alone and disarming the trap that caused the storm three years ago, Isaac and his companions arrived at the innermost chamber of Sol Sanctum, the very room the Elemental Stars had rested since the sealing of Alchemy. At Jenna's request, Isaac and Garet took Kraden's Mythril Bags and set out to retrieve the Elemental Stars. Kraden took no effort to disguise his excitement when the Venus and Mercury Stars were acquired, so when Kraden failed to respond to their securing the Jupiter Star, Isaac and Garet grew concerned. Their fears were well founded, as Saturos and Menardi had finally surfaced and were holding Jenna and Kraden hostage. The Proxians demanded that Isaac hand over the Elemental Stars in exchange for his friends' safety. To prove that they would not go back on their word they had Felix reveal himself, since Felix would not allow his childhood friends to come to harm.
With little choice left, Garet took the Stars and handed them over to Alex, who had just arrived. Although Garet expected the hostages to be freed immediately, Alex and Saturos made it quite clear that he and Isaac were to bring them all the Elemental Stars, including the Mars Star. This turned out to be a grave mistake on Alex's part, in more ways than one. As soon as the Mars Star had been removed from it's resting place, Mt. Aleph began experiencing volcanic activity, beginning in the Elemental Stars' chamber. Fortunately, the Wise One arrived to keep the mountain under control. Knowing that they would be no match for the Wise One even if Mt. Aleph wasn't in danger of erupting, Alex suggested taking Jenna and Kraden with them, knowing that if Isaac and Garet survived they would come to rescue the hostages, bringing the Mars Star with them.
The Wise One, however, knew Alex's true goal and quickly took precautions should Alex succeed: Wise One imbued some of the as-yet-unformed Golden Sun's power into the Mars Star, which in turn would grant Isaac a fraction of the Golden Sun's power should it ever be formed. The Wise One then instructed Isaac and Garet to take the Mars Star and flee before Mt. Aleph erupted. With the young heroes running as fast as they could, the Wise One opened a fissure in Angara that would divert the lava flow, protecting Vale and its citizens.
Mercury - The Wise One's mission
Later, after Isaac and Garet informed their parents, the mayor of Vale, and the healers about what happened in Sol Sanctum, the Wise One communicated with the Great Healer telepathically. The Wise One described Alchemy as "a terrible power," one which could bring about the end of the world. Although that much is true, he intentionally left out the part about how leaving Alchemy sealed would doom Weyard as well. The heroes would later theorize that this was a test of Isaac's virtue: if he could accept the truth about Alchemy rather than blindly following the Wise One's orders, then he and his companions may be able to prevent Alchemy's abuse. In the end, the responsibility of retrieve the stolen Elemental Stars, as well as the decision whether or not to do so in the first place, rested in the hands of Isaac and Garet. Unsure of what to do, Garet left the decision up to Isaac. Although players are allowed to refuse, the canonical decision is that Isaac accepts the Wise One's quest.
Mars Star in tow, Isaac and Garet worked their way north to Mercury Lighthouse, the closest of the Elemental Lighthouses. Along the way they met Ivan, a young Jupiter Adept entrusted with his master's treasured Shaman's Rod. Ivan had used his telepathic abilities to learn of the quest the two Adepts were given and, unable to save his master from Lunpa's devious grandson, had chosen to accompany them. The trio met Mia not long after arriving in Imil, which was suffering from an epidemic. They didn't have time for introductions, though, as a bright light from the lighthouse caught Mia's attention. Mia soon realized that Alex had returned, as nobody else besides her could enter the lighthouse. Mia immediately left for the lighthouse, with the other three Adepts in hot pursuit.
After the male Adepts helped her repeatedly, Mia decides to work with them to reach the Aerie at the summit. Just before the four reach the Aerie, however, Saturos' party tossed the Mercury Star into the heart of the lighthouse, restoring the Mercury Beacon. Although they were too late to keep Mercury Lighthouse sealed, they managed to see Jenna and Kraden, still held hostage by Felix and Menardi. Garet demands their friends and the Elemental Stars be returned, so Saturos remains to stall the children while Menardi's group escapes with the Venus and Jupiter Stars. After Saturos' defeat, Alex appeared and explained that the newly-restored power of Mercury weakened Saturos, a Mars Adept. Alex then helped Saturos escape, leaving the four Adepts to contemplate their failure. Mia was not put down for long though: although she couldn't protect Mercury Lighthouse, she chose to continue helping Isaac's group in the hope that they could keep the other three lighthouses unlit.
Venus - Passing the torch
The lighting of Mercury Lighthouse actually proved beneficial, as the Water of Hermes, a liquid with potent healing properties, once again flowed in the lighthouse's fountains. Isaac's party needed this water to continue their pursuit of Felix's group, who were already on their way to Venus Lighthouse. During this time, Babi had ordered construction of a new lighthouse to aid his exploration of the Sea of Time. This lighthouse was built on ruins connected to Venus Lighthouse, and construction was performed primarily by the citizens of Lalivero. To ensure their cooperation, Babi kidnapped Sheba, who was considered a "holy child" by the Laliverans. As Babi Lighthouse neared completion, Babi prepared to have Sheba returned to encourage the Laliveran workers. Before this time, however, Isaac's party arrived in Tolbi and aided Babi in recovering what remained of his draught. After seeing the group use Psynergy and learning of their quest, Babi asked them to find Lemuria for him, granting them access to the tunnels beneath his lighthouse.
As the group worked their way across northern Gondowan, they encountered Tolbian soldiers tasked with escorting Sheba back to Lalivero. Saturos, knowing that an Adept of the appropriate element is needed to enter each lighthouse, had kidnapped Sheba and added her to their group of hostages. Isaac's team chased Felix and the Proxians to the top of Venus Lighthouse, not only to keep the lighthouse sealed and to save their friends (who had been sent with Alex to Saturos' ship), but to rescue Sheba as well. At the Aerie, Saturos struck a deal: Sheba would not be harmed if Ivan handed over his Shaman's Rod, which was needed to enter Jupiter Lighthouse. Ivan agreed, but to the heroes' and Felix's surprise, Saturos quite literally meant that Sheba would not be harmed, not that she would be set free. A battle broke out between Isaac's party and the two Proxians, and Felix and Sheba watched from the sidelines. Isaac and company emerged the victors, but they couldn't stop Saturos from hurling the Venus Star into the lighthouse's well.
After fusing into a two-headed dragon, Saturos and Menardi were defeated once and for all. Felix, however, had previously spoken with Kraden, who had reached the same conclusion as Hydros: Alchemy was the life force that kept Weyard alive, and must be restored to save their world from destruction. In addition to this, he had told Jenna and Kraden that their parents were being held hostage in Prox. The combined weight of his parents' and the world's fates kept Felix focused on lighting the Elemental Lighthouses. But an earthquake ravaged the Venus Lighthouse after its ignition, dropping Sheba and Felix into the ocean, and with them the Jupiter Star and the Shaman's Rod. Isaac's party, still in possession of the Mars Star and ignorant of Weyard's gradual decay, departed in Babi's old Lemurian ship, seeking not only to find Lemuria but also to stop Felix and save his companions, whom Isaac's party still considered hostages.
Jupiter - New heroes, a new mission
After falling off Venus Lighthouse, Felix and Sheba washed ashore on Idejima, a peninsula that broke off the mainland during the earthquake. Already on Idejima was Jenna, Kraden, and Alex. At about this time, Hydros asked one of his most trusted associates, Piers, to leave Lemuria and confirm his fears of Weyard's decay. But because of the lighting of the Venus and Mercury Lighthouses, a great tidal wave prematurely carried Piers out to sea and smashed Idejima into Indra. A group of pirates, also caught in the tidal wave, soon raided the town of Madra, where Piers washed up, was mistaken for a member of their crew, and was arrested. Meanwhile, Felix's party was in search of a boat so they could continue their quest, as the Jupiter and Mars Lighthouses were accessible only by sea. Alex was also in search of a boat, but had left Felix's group.
As they worked their way southward, Felix's party eventually found Piers' boat, although they could not use it without its power source, the Black Orb. The Adepts soon learned of Piers when they arrived in Madra, and promptly left to track down the pirates and prove his innocence. After freeing Piers and helping him recover his stolen Black Orb, Piers accompanied the Adepts on their quest, with the five heroes setting sail at last. Unfortunately, because of the tidal wave, the continent of Indra was now wedged between Gondowan and Osenia, blocking the only route to the remaining lighthouses. Instead, the group decided to travel to Lemuria, with Kraden hoping to confirm his theories about Alchemy. In the process, Felix and his friends met Agatio and Karst, the latter of whom was Menardi's sister. Seeking vengeance on Isaac for killing her sister, Karst allied herself with Alex for the time being.
After finally reaching Lemuria, Felix, Jenna, Sheba, Piers, and Kraden met with Hydros and Lunpa, who confirmed Kraden's fears. Hydros asked the young Adepts to continue lighting the Elemental Lighthouses, also giving them a tool that helped them reach the western sea. Felix exchanged the Shaman's Rod for the Hover Jade in Hesperia, and used the Hover Jade to enter and scale Jupiter Lighthouse. Unfortunately for Felix's party, Isaac's team had chased them all across the eastern sea and were quickly gaining, Mars Star in hand. Unfortunately for Isaac's party, Agatio, Karst, and Alex had also arrived, and Alex told them that Isaac still had the Mars Star. The two Proxians set a trap for Isaac's party, just barely defeating them in battle. Felix's team arrived just in time to stop the duo from killing Isaac, but the Proxians have Felix take the Mars Star from Isaac. Trusting Felix, Isaac allows him to take the Star.
At the Aerie, Felix casts the Jupiter Star into the lighthouse, igniting the Jupiter Beacon. By this point, Agatio and Karst no longer trust Felix. Since Mars Lighthouse is near Prox, the duo steal the Mars Star and attack Felix's team. Regardless of which team wins, Alex arrives and helps the Proxians escape with the Mars Star. Moments later, Isaac's team finally catches up to Felix. Ivan suggests both teams regroup in Contigo and sort out their differences.
Upon meeting in Contigo, Kraden helped explain Felix's actions to Isaac: Felix helped steal the Elemental Stars and light the Elemental Lighthouses to save their parents, still held captive in Prox. Kraden also explained to Isaac that Weyard was dying, and the only way to save it was by restoring Alchemy to the world. Although Alchemy might be abused if unsealed, Kraden stated that they "can fight to save the world from withering away due to the actions of men." At this time Ivan's sister, Hama, arrived. Skilled in prophecy, Hama told them that Agatio and Karst could not light Mars Lighthouse on their own. As if that wasn't enough, the elements were unbalanced: if Mars Lighthouse remained unkindled, Weyard would eventually freeze over. The eight Adepts then joined forces and, with Kraden, departed for Prox.
Mars - An end and a beginning
By the time the combined party reaches Prox, the Wise One had prepared a few last-minute tests for them. First he kidnapped the Venus Adepts' parents, transforming them into a three-headed dragon, called the Doom Dragon. Agatio and Karst, in the basement of Mars Lighthouse, also had an encounter with the Wise One; stating that they "lacked the will to go any farther," he transformed them into dragons as well, freezing them with the Mars Star. When the heroes finally arrived in Prox, they found that their parents were gone and many Proxian warriors, including Puelle, were worried about Agatio and Karst's extended absence. With none of their own warriors strong enough to climb the lighthouse, Puelle and the others entrusted the heroes with the fate of the world. Isaac, Felix, and the rest eventually found and freed Agatio and Karst. Still in their dragon forms, the Proxians lost their sanity and attacked. After defeat, the duo regained their senses and, before passing away, gave the Mars Star to Felix.
After using the Mars Star to unlock large portions of the lighthouse, the heroes reach the Aerie and are confronted by the Wise One. The Wise One asks Isaac why he has abandon the quest he was given, to which the Adepts reveal what they have learned of Weyard's decay. The Wise One then reminds them that if Alchemy is restored, mankind could destroy itself, in the process telling them of Alex's true plan. This does not deter the heroes, so the Wise One summons the Doom Dragon to serve as their final test. Kraden, however, remembered Saturos and Menardi's fusion technique, and realized that the Doom Dragon must be the adult Valeans. Kraden failed to warn the heroes in time, though, and the Doom Dragon was slain. Shortly afterwards, the adults' identities were confirmed, and Mia and Piers did what they could to revive the parents, but failed. Nearly overcome with grief, Isaac reminds them that the fate of the world still rested on their shoulders, and that their parents would understand why they did what they did.
While the heroes battled with their transformed parents, the Wise One took measures to protect the rest of Weyard. Knowing that the lighthouses would become dangerous after Mars Lighthouse was lit, he sent telepathic messages to Hama and the other two Mercury Clan survivors, asking them to keep people away from the lighthouses and Mt. Aleph. This message also reached Vale, giving the citizens enough warning to evacuate to Vault. The Wise One himself traveled to Mt. Aleph in order to confront Alex, who even then was scaling the mountain.
After failing to save their parents, Felix tossed the Mars Star into the lighthouse. With Mars Lighthouse lit, the heroes were able to contact Hama and the Mercury Clan. Hama assured the heroes that the Wise One did care for them, saying that "if the Wise One were truly evil, he would not be warning [her] of danger." Soon, though, the Golden Sun began to form, and the heroes made a mad dash from the lighthouse, carrying their parents with them. Fortunately, and perhaps according to the Wise One's plan, the energy from the Mars Beacon revived the nearly-dead parents, allowing the group to escape in time.
Alex made it to Mt. Aleph's summit in time to absorb the Golden Sun's power, but found himself far less powerful than he expected. The Wise One then appeared and explained how he infused the Mars Star with some of the Golden Sun's power, granting that power to Isaac. Paralyzed by the Wise One's power, Alex presumably died when Mt. Aleph sunk into the earth.
- It is interesting to note that, in the first game, the Mars Star can be given to Ivan as soon as he joins your party. This means that when he temporarily leaves your team and before rejoining at Goma Range, Ivan takes the Mars Star with him. This would be a disaster to the storyline if he never returned. (Flint can also be given to Ivan, but is returned before he leaves the party.)
- Something to take into account is that the positions of the Statues holding the Elemental Stars (Mercury northeast, Venus southeast, Jupiter southwest and Mars above all the others at the northwest) strongly resembles the locations of the Lighthouses.