If you know, you know; if you don’t, you’re about to have a chance to find out. 23 years after its debut for the Game Boy Advance, classic JRPG Golden Sun is getting a Nintendo Switch port. Alongside its continuation, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, it’s a fondly remembered game with an extremely loyal fan base. And if the reaction to the announcement is anything to go by, it looks like that fan base is thriving.
Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack members will find the games in the Game Boy Advance — Nintendo Switch Online library starting tomorrow. And if easy access isn’t enough reason to give these games a go, let us present you with a few more:
A Two-Sided Story
It’s worth noting that Golden Sun and The Lost Age aren’t technically a first game and sequel so much as two halves of a whole. In the first game, protagonist Isaac is betrayed by his long lost friend Felix, who’s setting off across the world of Weyard to return the power of Alchemy to the people. It’s up to you as Isaac, along with your fellow Adept friends, to keep the world’s four magic lighthouses from being reactivated.
So what’s Felix up to with his party? You find out in The Lost Age… because you play as Felix! “Good” and “evil” aren’t a simple either/or in these games, as you will end up delving deep into the motivations of both sides of the conflict.
In the present day, sprite games belong to the retro game movement. But there was a time when pixels were the norm and beautiful games were all about making those pixels count. And boy, did Golden Sun make those pixels count. As players lead their intrepid party across the world of Weyard, they’ll witness a variety of settings, both natural and man-made. And they’re all gorgeous.
These stunning graphics are thanks to Camelot Software Planning, the team behind Sega’s Shining Force games. In recent years, the company has been almost entirely devoted to Mario Golf and Mario Tennis. Which, in fairness, are really good-looking games. But the combined beauty and nostalgia of these GBA titles is something everyone should have a chance to experience.
As a standard-style JRPG, Golden Sun has turn-based party combat. You can use standard attacks as well as Psynergy: elemental magic that has both functional uses (like moving items and freezing puddles to solve puzzles) and combat uses (like stabbing your enemy with icicles). These elemental powers are granted by finding and collecting adorable little buddies called Djinn scattered around the overworld. By assigning, arranging, and using them, you can equip your heroes with godlike summons.
These summons can completely turn the tables in the midst of combat. The knight-like Judgment rains down apocalyptic destruction from on high, while Thor (as you might guess) doles out massive lightning damage. And in The Lost Age, you can mix and match elements to make even more powerful summons — like Iris, who revives and fully heals your entire party, or the insta-kill dealer Charon.
Get even more magical with this season’s twists on the isekai genre!