Author Topic: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun *COMPLETED*

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Frostillicus

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Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun *COMPLETED*
« on: May 30, 2015, 10:53:40 PM »
Yeah, so. Gonna play through Golden Sun. Supposedly the finest GBA RPG there ever was (except for the 2nd, apparently). I had remembered seeing commercials for this game back when it was new, and wanted to play, but never had a GBA to do so.
I don't know of any notorious reputations this game has. Nor have I checked any reviews. Pretty much going in blind. This thread may be sparsely updated at times, as I don't have a lot of free time in my personal life these days, but updated it will be.

Anyway, now I can play this (apparent) fine game, so here we go:

The Adventures of:



That's right. It's what came to me first, and fits the allotted name space perfectly, so there. =P



See? I made the right choice.

Anyway, the adventure starts: Boner's mother, Dora the non-explorer, wakes him up and hurries him out of the house, because a big ass rock, or whatever is going to fall onto/into the village. Panic is ensuing all over. I like how Dora doesn't allow Boner any time to gather anything before leaving the house, even though she stops to ask if he has everything he needs. Pushy beeotch. That boulder better be inches away, lady! Unbeknownst to her, Boner went back to check the house after she left him, anyway. Guess she had a point, cuz there was nothing there.
Boner must make for the plaza with the other villagers in order to be safe. Away he goes. Garet joins Boner's party after Boner convinces Garet to leave his giant box of goodies behind. When an injured man asks Boner if he's going to die, Boner answers yes. What a jerk.

~Turns out the first town's name is Vane. Homage? Better be!

~ I like how the game VERY quickly switches to the battle screen. Extended "entering battle" animations can wear thin quick. I also like how battle flows, and how it's animated. Feels good. Feels fun. I do not appreciate that when a PC's picked target dies before the PC can strike, that PC won't automatically switch targets to a new enemy. That feels old school and tedious. Honestly, a small gripe for now, though. We'll see if it ends up being a factor in my losing of any major battles.

Boner runs into some typical JRPG stronger baddie types amidst the carnage. Obviously, they seem to have some association, or at least some knowledge, of the awful goings on. Boner fights them in an unwinnable battle. Neat. Usually, those come later in the game. That thar marks end of the opening.
3 years later, Boner and Garet are revealed to have been training in that time to not be such losers in future battles. After some camaraderie, their friend Jenna joins the party. Looks like we're off to the first dungeon now.

This is all I had time for today. Future play sessions should be longer.

~ During the chaotic intro, I checked every damn box and barrel in Vane. Nada. What a tease. Perhaps now there will be, now that I can more freely explore the place.
~ It's messed up, what happened to Jenna's family. (Apparent) Death by boulder.
~ Some conversations seem to be too wordy and take too long. The points being made could come across much more simply. Just a minor annoyance
~ So far, a lot of typical JRPG traits are apparent. Not a complaint. Just an observation.

So far, looking forward to this.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 02:35:18 PM by natros »

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2015, 11:19:39 PM »
I will comment on this after I finish a paper, but I laughed at the title and the "Boner" bit (which incidentally is what I caught while scrolling).


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MeshGearFox

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2015, 11:22:11 PM »
If you've ever played Shining Force 3 and Beyond the Beyond, you're gonna see a LOT of really familiar art assets.
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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2015, 11:29:25 PM »
I hated playing this game (and most games really) on my old GBA because seeing everything on screen I needed to was a pain in the ass without a backlit screen.

I mostly pop in occasionally to give my two cents on certain controversial things, so if you disagree then send a PM, because I generally don't check for replies in threads in case I feel like replying and then things get heated/derailed.

Annubis

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2015, 11:51:42 PM »
I liked the game at first but the constant backtracking killed my motivation.

Also...
I am the Boner of my sword.

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2015, 12:56:20 AM »
I like Golden Sun because of how simple it keeps things. The GBA really didn't have that many (good) RPGs which probably helped Golden Sun a lot. Kinda like how Pokemon Gold and Silver probably arn't that impressive when you compare it to lots of other RPGs, but it was really amazing compared to the other RPGs you could get on the GB. And yeah, the art style is very similar to Shining Force 3, but I don't think they actually reused entire assets for it.

Funny thing, I'm actually playing through Dark Dawn right now (I was excited when it came out but I never got around to playing it, like a ton of other games on my backlog), and so far my impressions of that game arn't really that good, and you outlined a lot of why that is. In the original Golden Sun you're informed of the importance of your quest pretty quickly, and characters are generally very straightforward about what they're saying instead of writing pages and pages of useless crap.

I'm a couple hours into Dark Dawn and I feel like I'm running a mundane errand for Boner to stop some vague threat that might crop up sometime in the future. There's no urgency to what he's asking me to do, considering how he probably could've gotten it done himself in a fraction of the time (Isaac you don't get to order me around, I actually was you like 15 years ago), and the game constantly infodumps me with a ton of stuff I can't possibly give a crap about.

The gameplay in the sequel is more or less the same but that's pretty bad, honestly. Maybe I'll open up new combat options as I get further but there was a lot of progression in Shining Force 1 to 3 and that was over the course of about 5 years. Golden Sun GBA and Dark Dawn had like a decade gap in between and they basically changed nothing.

Sorry for the rant. Hope you enjoy GS, but I don't think you'll understand the level of praise it gets too much unless you played it when it was released.

Frostillicus

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2015, 01:05:47 PM »
I will comment on this after I finish a paper, but I laughed at the title and the "Boner" bit (which incidentally is what I caught while scrolling).

That name works on so many levels.


I liked the game at first but the constant backtracking killed my motivation.

Dang. Not a fan of excessive backtracking. Here's hoping it doesn't wear me down like Paper Mario: TTYD did.


I like Golden Sun because of how simple it keeps things. The GBA really didn't have that many (good) RPGs which probably helped Golden Sun a lot. Kinda like how Pokemon Gold and Silver probably arn't that impressive when you compare it to lots of other RPGs, but it was really amazing compared to the other RPGs you could get on the GB. And yeah, the art style is very similar to Shining Force 3, but I don't think they actually reused entire assets for it.

Funny thing, I'm actually playing through Dark Dawn right now (I was excited when it came out but I never got around to playing it, like a ton of other games on my backlog), and so far my impressions of that game arn't really that good, and you outlined a lot of why that is. In the original Golden Sun you're informed of the importance of your quest pretty quickly, and characters are generally very straightforward about what they're saying instead of writing pages and pages of useless crap.

I'm a couple hours into Dark Dawn and I feel like I'm running a mundane errand for Boner to stop some vague threat that might crop up sometime in the future. There's no urgency to what he's asking me to do, considering how he probably could've gotten it done himself in a fraction of the time (Isaac you don't get to order me around, I actually was you like 15 years ago), and the game constantly infodumps me with a ton of stuff I can't possibly give a crap about.

The gameplay in the sequel is more or less the same but that's pretty bad, honestly. Maybe I'll open up new combat options as I get further but there was a lot of progression in Shining Force 1 to 3 and that was over the course of about 5 years. Golden Sun GBA and Dark Dawn had like a decade gap in between and they basically changed nothing.

Sorry for the rant. Hope you enjoy GS, but I don't think you'll understand the level of praise it gets too much unless you played it when it was released.

Rants are always welcome.
Yes, the characters, and set up in general, seem pretty generic. A lot of things about the game seem that way, actually. I can roll with it if the game play is good. So far, it seems to be. That being said, it's unfortunate to hear that they didn't seem to change much in between the two games. I guess they were going with the whole ideal of "If it ain't broke...".
I was kind of betting on the idea that this title wasn't a complex epic. Given the limited time I have to play video games these days, it'll be easier to pick up between sessions.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 01:07:31 PM by natros »

Jimmy

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2015, 03:08:48 PM »
I loved the GBA Golden Sun games back in the day. They play pretty similar to oldschool Dragon Quest games, but they do so very well. Graphically they were top notch when they were released, and the particle effects still look pretty cool and the battles are quite cinematic as a result even when you aren't actually summoning. The Djinn system was a good idea, and it allows you to customize your characters' Psynergy skills. If you're like me though, you'll just equip the Djinn to the character with the same element. The story and characters aren't really anything to write home about, but they aren't bad either though the villains are pretty badass. I don't remember any backtracking in the first game to be honest, unless you miss a Djinni somewhere. That can really suck sometimes as I don't remember there being a good way to get around the map quickly (though I could very likely be forgetting).

My only real complaint is that your party didn't auto-attack a different enemy when the original enemy you select is defeated. That was irritating.

Frostillicus

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2015, 12:11:11 AM »
So, now i am at the point where you actually leave Vane and first get to the world map. After going through the first dungeon (Sol Sanctum - i think it's named), I can say I am getting into this game. The plot thickened greatly upon
Code: [Select]
the arrival of Felix, Jenna's (assumed dead) brother. Also, the kidnapping of Jenna and Kraden
I'll admit it took an embarrassing amount of time to figure out how to get to Sol Sanctum, after stocking up on newer gear. Doesn't help that:





There were dangerous, ravenous puppies blocking a path!!?? What kind of fucked up town is this? I mean, who wants to invite certain death!!?? Not me, buddy! Not me!


~FINALLY started finding things in crates/boxes/jars. I was about to give up on checking them.
~Dying for a dash button. These people walk slooooow.
~I appreciate how the first dungeon(s) is maze-like and has puzzles. Looking forward to this being expanded upon in future dungeons.
~Also appreciate that MP (Psynergy juice?) replenishes upon walking. Gives you a chance to be creative with Psynergy, which I guess is the point. From what I understand, Psynergy is used many times in and out of battle. Cool beans.
~The whole PCs not attacking when their intended target is already defeated is indeed a bit annoying, but at least they block by default. Honestly, it kind of adds a bit of strategy to battles.
~There are an excessive amount of yes or no questions to answer.  I guess to make conversations feel more interactive? I feel a bit more moderation would have been good here, as it doesn't seem necessary in many of the instances it comes up.

*Apparently, there is a trick/code upon entering the name of the main character that makes it possible to name all of the characters. I really wished I had known this at the time... I'm very tempted to start over so I can do so. I mean, I'm only just past the first dungeon. Decisions...
I'll sleep on that.

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2015, 12:09:30 PM »
So, now i am at the point where you actually leave Vane and first get to the world map. After going through the first dungeon (Sol Sanctum - i think it's named), I can say I am getting into this game. The plot thickened greatly upon
Code: [Select]
the arrival of Felix, Jenna's (assumed dead) brother. Also, the kidnapping of Jenna and Kraden
I'll admit it took an embarrassing amount of time to figure out how to get to Sol Sanctum, after stocking up on newer gear. Doesn't help that:





There were dangerous, ravenous puppies blocking a path!!?? What kind of fucked up town is this? I mean, who wants to invite certain death!!?? Not me, buddy! Not me!


~FINALLY started finding things in crates/boxes/jars. I was about to give up on checking them.
~Dying for a dash button. These people walk slooooow.
~I appreciate how the first dungeon(s) is maze-like and has puzzles. Looking forward to this being expanded upon in future dungeons.
~Also appreciate that MP (Psynergy juice?) replenishes upon walking. Gives you a chance to be creative with Psynergy, which I guess is the point. From what I understand, Psynergy is used many times in and out of battle. Cool beans.
~The whole PCs not attacking when their intended target is already defeated is indeed a bit annoying, but at least they block by default. Honestly, it kind of adds a bit of strategy to battles.
~There are an excessive amount of yes or no questions to answer.  I guess to make conversations feel more interactive? I feel a bit more moderation would have been good here, as it doesn't seem necessary in many of the instances it comes up.


Puzzle games always have that "it's actually easy" puzzle that just takes me years to get.  I remember being on Sol Sanctum for a while too, maybe it was just the new game awkwardness coming off though.  The use of Psyenergy to solve puzzles I think is as brilliant as having Wild Arms use "tools" for the same end --- both working well within their respective worlds/plots (Golden Sun as a world filled with magic and Wild Arms filled with cowboys, drifters, and explorers).  And yeah, the fact it recharges is a blessing.

I remember the "Yes/No" thing only getting worse in GS:DD when 4 emotions take the place instead and it's hard to know how to react and then predict the NPC's reaction to it....  You think you're making the right choice, but really you just came off as an asshole. :(
Still I don't think it affects a damn thing.

...also, tell me you don't love the emote-bubbles and the way characters 'bounce' when they're sort of "piping up" or panicking.

Those dogs are totally doing it.

I actually hated the whole kidnapping B-plot till Golden Sun 2 made it awesome.  Which reminds me, when is Camelot delivering GS4???  Dark Dawn ends of a small cliff-hanger dammit.

And no, strategy or not, I hate the characters don't just attack the next enemy in line. >:(

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2015, 12:12:17 PM »
I actually hated the whole kidnapping B-plot till Golden Sun 2 made it awesome.  Which reminds me, when is Camelot delivering GS4???  Dark Dawn ends of a small cliff-hanger dammit.


Never knew you to be one to understate something ;)

Seriously, I was just asking my friend the other day how Camleot stays afloat when they seem to make one game every decade lately.

Frostillicus

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2015, 01:34:30 PM »

Puzzle games always have that "it's actually easy" puzzle that just takes me years to get.  I remember being on Sol Sanctum for a while too, maybe it was just the new game awkwardness coming off though.  The use of Psyenergy to solve puzzles I think is as brilliant as having Wild Arms use "tools" for the same end --- both working well within their respective worlds/plots (Golden Sun as a world filled with magic and Wild Arms filled with cowboys, drifters, and explorers).  And yeah, the fact it recharges is a blessing.

I remember the "Yes/No" thing only getting worse in GS:DD when 4 emotions take the place instead and it's hard to know how to react and then predict the NPC's reaction to it....  You think you're making the right choice, but really you just came off as an asshole. :(
Still I don't think it affects a damn thing.

...also, tell me you don't love the emote-bubbles and the way characters 'bounce' when they're sort of "piping up" or panicking.

Those dogs are totally doing it.

I actually hated the whole kidnapping B-plot till Golden Sun 2 made it awesome.  Which reminds me, when is Camelot delivering GS4???  Dark Dawn ends of a small cliff-hanger dammit.

And no, strategy or not, I hate the characters don't just attack the next enemy in line. >:(



I'd bet that there will be some future puzzles (that are considered simple) that will stump me as well.

I'd also bet that characters not automatically attacking the next enemy (there's gotta be a way to reference that in a shorter fashion) will become much more of a PitA when battles become more serious/difficult.

I admit that I do appreciate the emoticon bubbles. Saves dialogue, which is good, as this game is verbose as it is.



I did end up restarting so I could rename all of the characters, which is why there has been no progress in the last week.
Doing so gave away (not that it was a secret) that there are 4 important playable characters. Garret was renamed Dude (which actually works well in dialogue: "Dude, come over here!", or "I'm really angry with you, Dude!", or Dude hands the stars to <insert name here>.). The next character (can't remember his original name - I think it was Ivan?) was renamed McAss, and I can't even remember what I renamed the fourth character. It'll be a nice surprise later in the game, I suppose.


Should have an actual progress update pretty soon.

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2015, 09:08:12 PM »
Got to the town of Vault. Joined up with McAss for a bit, but then he took off once he got what he needed. When I cornered the thieves (or vice versa?) in the loft area, I answered 'No' to letting them go. Resulted in kind of a tough battle (toughest one yet, anyway), which netted the party enough experience to raise both Boner and Dude a level each. I'm wondering if things would have actually gone differently if I had let them go... Doubt it.
Once I was done with that mess, I grind-ed outside of town for a bit to raise enough scratch to get Dude an axe, which gave him a much-needed boost to his attack.
I found out the dog by the grave stones in town does a happy dance and ultimately moves his position when you give him/her a bone. Not sure if there is any actual purpose to that... I also found out ringing the town bell causes a Djinni to move to a still currently unreachable area. Later, I guess...?

Ok, so West Lunpa Cave. Not sure if it was because a week had passed since I last played, and maybe forgot some vital info from a Vault citizen, but I had no idea what the fuck to do here. Wasn't I supposed to go to a cave in the north?
There is a gate/door right away that you can't walk through. There's a switch next to the door. Press it, and the door closes... further?
Whoops. Wrong cave. Found out I went in the wrong direction from Vault. Makes sense that I couldn't do jack squat at the cave. Was supposed to go east, THEN north.
Embarrassing. I'm so used to modern RPGs (games in general) and their mini maps pointing out where to go. I forgot how to retain directions from townsfolk. The 90s me would have been so ashamed...

OK, found the right one, apparently. Goma Cave. Met up with McAss again. He insisted on joining us because he felt sympathetic to our plight (plus, he couldn't get what he wanted done on his own anyway - meh, we all have hidden incentives to do things now and then).
Gained Forge, the mars Djinni in the cave. I should have saved the game before fighting him, because I didn't count on the challenge, but I won. Can't keep forgetting to save. Got out the other side of Goma Cave. Gained a few levels getting through, and more psynergy spells in turn.
Next, the town of Bibilin. First greeted by some sort of still life tiny treeant. Word in town it's a curse on a local member of the community by some big ol' angry tree somewhere.

Had to stop here for now. I had an audience for part of this play session - my 3 year old. He was cheering me on in all of the battles to which he was a witness. 'Tis so very awesome. =)

~ So far, I'm really into the whole using psynergy to solve dungeon puzzles thing. Me likey.
~The whole Djinni (who look suspiciously like generic Pokemon) aspect at least enables a little bit of character customization.


Saw another one of these... swinging nuts when I stopped by Lunpa.
 


I remember one also being in Vane. The Move psynergy does nothing... No idea if these swinging nuts are anything at all. Assuming it involves a psynergy obtained later on.


I am lovin' the names I picked:







Although I'm REALLY wishing I had named McAss, MyAss. That would have made some dialogue that has already been said so very excellently hilarious. I'm not restarting again, though. I'm just going to pretend it's MyAss from now on.



Yeah. I chose well.

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2015, 09:22:40 PM »
Had to stop here for now. I had an audience for part of this play session - my 3 year old. He was cheering me on in all of the battles to which he was a witness. 'Tis so very awesome. =)

~ So far, I'm really into the whole using psynergy to solve dungeon puzzles thing. Me likey.
~The whole Djinni (who look suspiciously like generic Pokemon) aspect at least enables a little bit of character customization.

Games are always better with an audience! ;)

Also, look forward to collection more Djinni, as it's going to open up some cool stuff later on. Do your best to catch 'em all find them! ;)

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Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2015, 11:28:49 AM »
Also, look forward to collection more Djinni, as it's going to open up some cool stuff later on. Do your best to catch 'em all find them! ;)

Will do! I've been trying to be thorough with exploration, so hopefully I won't miss too many. ;)



Journal Update

Bilibin's music is depressing. I hope it's due to the cursed tree man's plight. If not, screw that place. I discovered the moving statue in the center of town. A ladder underneath took me to McCoy's Secret Warehouse. I don't even want to imagine what happens down there. I saw a Djinni just hanging out there, but couldn't get to it.

After looking around town, I decided to go grinding/exploring on the over world map to be able to afford a broadsword for Boner, which would greatly increase his attack power. Slaughtering rat enemies proved to be profitable, making the purchase easy. Weird how regular rats had better attack and defense than Rat Soldiers... I found the Bilibin Barricade while on the walk. Nothing to do there yet, of course.
 
Back in town, I met up with Lord McCoy, who apparently did not have much luck hiring warriors to handle the tree curse. McCoy had a reputation for being "difficult". He did seem quite the condescending douche at first, but perhaps that is due to the amount of failures of warriors hired before me. In the end, he seemed genuinely concerned for my party's well being, given that they are youngins, so I couldn't hate on him. The aforementioned barricade was his doing, and he wouldn't take it down until the tree curse was lifted. Thankfully, mind reading an unintentionally helpful guard helped me to discover a structural weakness in the barricade.
There were more tree people, stacked on top of each other like a totem pole, on the other side of the barricade... Weird shit. I've got to put an end to this!

Went into nearby Kolima Forest, and was immediately mind-raped while enjoying pretty sparkles on the ground! Turns out this was how people got turned into trees (and was later revealed to be referred to as "Tret's glamour" - ooookay). Thankfully, the party's Psynergy powers saved them. Astonished the party couldn't be fucked with, Tret the big magic tree and someone/thing else I believed to be his wife(?) started talking smack. Seems Tret was pissed about deforestation, and was exacting vengeance on the local populace. His wifey told me I need to try help him be kind again. Whatevs. This "dungeon" made me feel like I was playing one of those old school puzzle video games where you'd have to push and slide blocks around to get through them. Only here it's with logs. I eventually ran into the tree wife, and she was all like "Wahhhhh! Shit's fucked! I'm giving up, and so should you!" Adios, defeatist. Down the way from her was head honcho tree Tret, who's face looked like a mix between a troll and gorilla.



Sexy. Up we went on the vines, into Tret. Turned out his insides and outer branches conveniently resemble a wooden maze, of sorts. Pretty much a dungeon within a dungeon. Cool beans. I like how troll enemies here recovered HP every round. True to the nature of the beast. I ran into a Jupiter Djinni in the top branches. I wailed on it for a round, and... it ran?? I really hoped I didn't have to chase that f-er all over the tree... Finally got to Tret's angry soul face thing in his basement. I'd say it's up there on the list of creepy looking bosses.



A face only a mother could love. I felt like I was fighting The Lawnmower Man.




During the battle with Tret, I learned that sleep status in this game means outright coma. The fight was a little tough (McAss almost died), but it was quick. Tret obviously didn't have a lot of HP. His new found friendlier self tried to reverse the curse of Kolima, but he was too weak, and keeled over. Dang.
After this event, I went all the way back up the tree to fight the Jupier Djinni again... and it ran again. WTF?? Luckily, I saved it right before I fought it this second time. I kept reloading and fighting him until I won. Was this cheating? Nah. I mean, how else would you eventually beat this punk without having to exit and reenter repeatedly anyway? I just cut out the middle man. Interestingly, the Djinni's attacks were much more potent than Tret's.

Went to Kolima next. Stopped here for now.
 
Good times!



EDIT: Kept mixing past and present tense. Attempted to clean it up.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 11:41:22 AM by natros »