Psynergy (a portmanteau for "Psychic energy"; エナジー Energy), also called Ki (せいしん Spirit) in the Fuchin Temple/Xian region of the continent of Angara, is the form of magic featured in the video game series Golden Sun. It is the ability to conjure sorcerous effects based on the elements and fueled by the spiritual power of the person's mind; a similar but distinct art exists in the form of Chi, which is the concept of harnessing the energy of one's body to achieve more physical effects.
Psynergy is basically Golden Sun's equivalent to magic, of the sort that is found in many other role-playing games, such as Final Fantasy. Parallels can also be drawn between Psynergy and chi in Chinese meditation concepts.
- Venus Psynergy revolves around manipulation of Nature - plants and the earth.
- Mars Psynergy revolves around control of fire, heat, and lava.
- Jupiter Psynergy is based on the powers of wind, lightning, and the mind.
- Mercury Psynergy concerns the control of water, ice, and healing.
Light and Dark
Events near the end of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn suggest that Light and Dark - the former represented by Sol and the latter associated with both Luna and Umbra - also exist as elements which Adepts can use. The Umbra Clan appears to be a group that uses "Dark Psynergy", and it is heavily hinted that the citizens of Belinsk have acquired Light-based Psynergy after being exposed to light from the Apollo Lens. Despite this, Light and Dark have not yet played a major role in gameplay, instead remaining plot devices.
There are some Psynergy-related effects which do not seem to be associated with any particular element. There are a very small number of Psynergy which have no associated element, such as Force. Some general-purpose Psynergy like Move also have inconsistent elements in the series, being Mars-aligned in the GBA games, despite being usable by several Venus Adepts, and then becoming Venus-aligned in Dark Dawn. In general, it appears that non-elemental Psynergy is more or less like classic telekinesis and can be used to move or manipulate objects, levitate, or achieve similar effects. In addition to spells like Force, an example of this is the monks of Kandorean Temple, who due to Master Poi's teachings are able to achieve limited levitation through meditation, despite not appearing to be Adepts aligned with any particular element.
Some abilities seen in the playable characters also appears to be non-elemental in nature. For instance, in the first Golden Sun game, the members of the player party are shielded by strange blue barriers of Psynergy which protect them Tret's attempt to transform them into trees. Ivan theorizes that this is a subconscious projection of their Psynergy, which acts whenever it is needed, and additionally postulates that this is the same effect which allows them to strike critical hits in battle.
Relation to Weyard and Alchemy
According to Kraden, Psynergy is deeply related to Alchemy, the supreme force that sustains and controls the building blocks of the world. When Alchemy was sealed away in ancient times, Psynergy largely disappeared from the world; only in certain locations in Weyard, such as towns near important landmarks such as Mt. Aleph, the Elemental Lighthouses, and the Elemental Rocks, did the ability to wield Psynergy continue to be passed down. However, even in many of these places, knowledge of Psynergy was diluted, with residents not knowing the true name or nature of their unique and mysterious powers.
In ancient times, inhabitants of Weyard were classified into various groups depending on whether they could use Psynergy: the Jenei were those who were able to use Psynergy and held great power; the Exathi did not possess Psynergy, but were said to be master craftsmen; finally, the Fori possessed neither Psynergy nor the craftsmanship of the Exathi.
In the era in which the games take place, the distinction between Adepts and Non-Adepts is not so clear-cut. While for the most part only those near sources of Psynergy's power could use Psynergy, there are some apparent exceptions. After the eruption of Mt. Aleph, Psynergy Stones were scattered throughout the land, and some individuals who were struck by these stones such as Feizhi and Eoleo developed the capability to use Psynergy. Additionally, some monks throughout Weyard including Nyunpa of the Fuchin Temple and Master Poi of the Kandorean Temple seem to have developed an ability equivalent to Psynergy through sheer training and meditation.
The elements in the games are identical to the four ancient Grecian elements (fire, water, wind and earth), and like the five Chinese classical elements (fire, water, earth, metal, and wood), they are named after major planets. Owing to this mix of influences, a planet may not necessarily represent the same element in the games as it does in Chinese Taoism.
Progression through Story
Psynergy and its relation to Alchemy and the four elements plays an integral role in the Golden Sun series. Prior to the Golden Sun event, the majority of the world's populace is unaware that such a force exists, and as such any person who is an Adept is among the only people able to recognize a Psynergy spell on sight. The games frequently contradict this notion, however: spectators at Colosso cannot see the Psynergy Isaac employs against his opponents, but Tolbi's soldiers witness Alex conjure blasts of water from nowhere. In any case, this inability to perceive appears only apply to the "classical telekinesis" styles of Psynergy. Ordinary people otherwise would not be able to tell if someone was reading their minds through Psynergy. The main town of Golden Sun, Vale, as a guarding force of the ancient art of Psynergy and Alchemy, makes it a point to refrain from ever showing Psynergy when outsiders pass through the village, for it is stated by a long-standing custom that Psynergy must never be used for evil as it was during the world war of Alchemy so many ages ago.
Part of the reason why nearly all the Valeans are Adepts is because an imposing Psynergy deposit lies right near the town's entrance,
and as such over the past many years the townspeople have been imbued with Psynergy. As Isaac and Garet are two such people, their ability to control Psynergy is quite effective, therefore allowing for their development of their powers to great levels when the time comes to embark on the worldwide quest as seen in Golden Sun. Vale is but the most prominent case where a locale's residence gains proficiency in Psynergy to a slight degree on account of living near a Psynergy deposit. In the settlement of werewolves known as Garoh, the lycanthropes have gained minor aptitude in the Jupiter-affiliated abilities to conjure whirlwinds and perceive hidden truths. The source of this is a Psynergy deposit in the rather remote Air's Rock, the mountain that embodies Jupiter Psynergy, but one would think that Garoh is too far from Air's Rock to be under its influence. However, as a locale for Jupiter energies, the area around the rock is constantly windy, and this wind travels in Garoh's direction regularly. Therefore, particles of the Psynergy deposit constantly ride amongst the winds, resulting in the werewolves of Garoh gaining Jupiter powers.
When Mount Aleph erupted after Saturos's second raid, it spewed out hordes of chunks of the Psynergy deposits within it, and these Psynergy stones, as they would be called, landed in all parts of the world, radically altering the lives of both people and animals. For humans, such as the girl Feizhi from Xian village, sudden, harsh contact with a falling Psynergy stone (in her case a stone right to the head) abruptly "unlocks/forges" Psynergy powers within that person's body. For less mentally capable animals, however, the new presence of these stones caused a great many of the wildlife of the world to lose their natural senses and become ferocious monsters, therefore serving as battle obstacles for Isaac, Felix, and the rest of the Adepts in the game to have to battle through the entire course of their journey.
Both the four Elemental Stars and their four corresponding Elemental Lighthouses contain the purified Psynergy essence of the four elements, and as Kraden puts it, "With a single gem [star], one could conquer the world!" These various core sources of elemental Psynergies come into play when the Mars Adept Saturos activates the Mercury Lighthouse with the Mercury star. As he is required to fight the young Adepts Isaac and his friends right afterward, in spite of his superiority in battle he is weakened by the Mercury influence of the Lighthouse beacon he just activated, and thus he is beaten by Isaac's party. During the battle, the Mercury Adept Mia finds that her Psynergy reserves for casting spells are highly bolstered owing to the potent Mercury influence. Finally, the balance between the elements and the consequences of its disruption is demonstrated late in the story, when three of the Lighthouses are activated. The elements of these Lighthouses, Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter, begin overpowering the element of Mars (fire and heat), and as such the climate of the world suddenly becomes dangerously and increasingly frigid. Only when the Mars Lighthouse is activated is the natural balance restored and the climate re-stabilized.
When the four Elemental Stars were removed from Sol Sanctum, the Elemental Djinn were released into the world. Djinn are small creatures that contain pieces of the core essence of each of the four elements, and as such they come in four varieties representative of each element. When Isaac's party during Golden Sun and Felix's party during The Lost Age encounter Djinn, they join up with the Adepts and exert influence on their Psynergy powers relative to the innate elements of both the Adept and the Djinni involved.
There are even separate sub-balances in addition to the direct balance between the four base elements. The elements of Venus and Mars (earth and fire) are said to have a symbiotic relationship, and this is explained and demonstrated by the Mars Adept Saturos at the top of Venus Lighthouse when he activates it. When the Venus Beacon appears, Saturos and Menardi are recharged in spite of not being the same element as the Lighthouse, but rather are of the element towards which Venus does not conflict. Likewise, the elements of Jupiter and Mercury (wind and water) share a symbiotic relationship, and though there is no case in the games where it is explicitly demonstrated, it is signified when the Wings of Anemos (wings constructed by a Jupiter clan) are attached to Piers' Lemurian ship (a ship constructed by the Mercury-affiliated Lemurian society in the ocean).
After the Golden Sun event, the release of Psynergy into the world caused a great upheaval. Alchemy's sudden influence resulted in natural disasters across the globe. In addition, masses of land, such as Angara, underwent massive geographical changes. At certain intervals, Psynergy Vortexes began to appear. These dense spheres would absorb Psynergy from the land and any Adepts in range. Isaac and Garet would make it their mission to study this phenomenon, as well as any other after effects. During this time of upheaval, the existence of Adepts and Psynergy became more widely known, particularly in Angara. Some developing kingdoms desired to recruit Adepts to assist in their expansion. Also seemingly linked to the awakening of Alchemy, was the radical mutation of certain humans and animals into a hybrid race known as Beastmen. Some Beastmen proved to be Adepts, with unique Psynergy abilities never seen before.
Types of Psynergy
Psynergy, from a gameplay perspective, can be categorized one or both of two very different ways: Utility Psynergy and Battle Psynergy.
Utility Psynergy can be used in a non-battle environment to affect an aspect of the environment, such as casting Douse to put out a fire. Many Utility Psynergies are granted by equipping Utility Psynergy items, such as the Cloak Ball providing the Cloak Psynergy to whoever equips it. Some items, however, can only be equipped by an Adept of a certain element.
A limited number of Utility Psynergies can be learned inherently. These Psynergies usually come from unique sources and do not require that an item be equipped. For example, each of the four Elemental Rocks grant a unique Utility Psynergy associated with that element to a compatible Adept. In other cases, an item, such as the Insight Glass or the Third Eye, will choose their wielders and bond with them, granting them the ability to use the Psynergy contained within.
Battle Psynergy can only be used during combat and always involves either inflicting damage or some otherwise negative status effect to enemies or supporting your own party. Psynergies such as Quake damage enemies, Impair lowers an enemy's Defense rating, Cure restores some of a target Adept's HP, and Resist increases all party members' Resistance ratings by 20 each. Battle Psynergy can be broken down into smaller categories:
- Attack Psynergy. This directly inflicts damage or status conditions on enemies. Examples: Flare, Sleep.
- Support Psynergy.
- Buffing Psynergy. This is Psynergy that increases one or more of your Adepts' statistics. Examples: Ward, High Impact.
- Debuffing Psynergy. This is Psynergy that decreases one or more of your opponents' statistics. Examples: Impair, Dull.
- Healing Psynergy. This is Psynergy that restores one or more of your Adepts' Hit Points. Examples: Pure Wish, Succubus. Revive, Lich, and Phoenix are also considered Healing Psynergies.
The Mars Lighthouse reveals that each element has had a strong symbol attached to it since ancient times.
- The Venus Element is the element of Man. "Mankind: With the power of wisdom, they ruled the earth."
- The Mars Element is the element of Dragons. "Dragons: Burning with might, they ruled the fires."
- The Jupiter Element is the element of Birds. "Bird: On the wings of truth, they ruled the winds."
- The Mercury Element is the element of Fish. "Fish: With cold courage, they ruled the water."
|List of Venus Psynergy
List of Mars Psynergy
List of Jupiter Psynergy
List of Mercury Psynergy
|Force • Orc • Roc • Wild Wolf
|List of unacquirable Psynergy
|Alchemy • Chi • Psynergy Stone • Psynergy Vortex