References to popular culture
Golden Sun, The Lost Age, and Dark Dawn contain a number of hidden references to popular culture.
- After the episode at Kibombo, the Kibombo warriors stationed at Kibombo Mountains will disappear, making the town of Naribwe south of that breathe a sigh of relief. One woman in town, when Mind Read, says "I'm so glad the Kibombo aren't lurking over us in the hills anymore... They were here, they were there, they were everywhere!" The second half of that is likely a reference to lyrics in the song "Pink Elephants" in Disney's animated feature Dumbo ("They're here and there/Pink elephants ev'rywhere!")
- In Kolima, after freeing the people from Tret, a man on one of the higher floors of one of the buildings, when mind read, says "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay with that". This is a reference to the British comedy Monty Python's Flying Circus's Lumberjack song sketch, the first line of which is "I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK."
- When entering Alhafra, when the Madran mayor and elder's group arrives in Alhafra shortly after Felix, an old man recites the following: "Haaa hoo hooo... Are we...here? I feel like I just walked 500 miles. I'm fine... I feel like I could walk 500 more!" This is a reference to the lyrics of "I'm Gonna Be (500 miles)".
- In Alhafra, after defeating Briggs but before he escapes, one of Briggs' crew mates says "Everything would have been fine if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!" This is a reference to Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, in which every episode ended with the villain uttering some variation of the now-famous catchphrase: "And I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!"
Camelot Software Planning, prior to the Golden Sun series, created the well-known series of RPGs/Dungeon Crawlers with the term Shining in their titles, such as Shining Force. Games such as Shining Force II share many aesthetic similarities with Golden Sun, such as character facial portraits next to text boxes, icon-based menu navigation, and battle scenes where the playable characters' backs are visible on the foreground while they battle the enemies facing them from the background. In addition, there are some easter eggs hidden within Golden Sun games that reference Shining:
- When you first come into Madra in The Lost Age, go to the cave house behind the item shop to see the normal shopkeeper injured in bed. Cast Mind Read to hear her think "Eyes... Shining in the darkness... No! Go away!!!" Shining in the Darkness is the first title developed by Camelot Software Planning (then "Sonic! Software Planning"), and it was one of the first RPGs on the Sega Genesis and began the celebrated Shining Force series.
- The original Shining Force, released after Shining in the Darkness on Genesis, featured a character named "Darksol" as the primary villain, whose signature attack is "Demon Breath" and whose goal is to resurrect a monster named "Dark Dragon", which serves as the game's final boss. In The Lost Age, the final boss, also a dragon, has an offensive enemy ability named "Darksol Gasp". This monster skill is also present on the final boss of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn.
The Legend of Zelda series
- Hidden in the code of The Lost Age is a full sprite set for Link, the protagonist of The Legend of Zelda series, also published by Nintendo.
- The Search Psynergy's visual effect is similar in appearance to the Lens of Truth item from The Legend of Zelda series. Furthermore, the Lens of Truth in these games is also used to allow the player to see the unseen.
The Sixth Sense
- When Matthew, Tyrell, and Karis are able to explore Belinsk during the epilogue sequence, one of the surviving female beastmen at the pier describes what her newfound Light-based powers allows her to perceive: "I... I can see people who shouldn't be here...walking around. Sometimes they call out to me..." This references the iconic lines of the character Cole from the 1999 supernatural thriller film The Sixth Sense, who can see ghosts when others can not, and explains himself by saying "I see dead people", "walking around like regular people."
References to Golden Sun in other games
- In Animal Crossing for the GCN, Gulliver -- an NPC who regularly gives the player an item -- sometimes mentions he found the item in the Karagol Sea.
- Near the beginning of Megadimension Neptunia VII -- which is a franchise that is predominantly focused on satirical depictions of the video game industry and its trends -- the eponymous character Neptune says the following line: "So, that means our first quest is to find a boat, just like that one famous RPG!"