Golden Sun, one of GameBoy Advance’s most popular RPGs and a cult game, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Back on the history of a license that lots of players would like to see return …

When we think of the GameBoy Advance, the first names of games that come to mind are ultimately quite classic for a Nintendo console: Pokémon Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire, Mario Kart Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion … But quickly, a license born on the portable console entered the top of many players for the platform: a certain Golden Sun. For many, it was the first RPG and the perfect introduction to the genre. On August 1, 2021, this famous game of a generation, which has since become cult and the source of many hopes for a return, will celebrate its 20th anniversary.. We come back to the reasons for such success: why did Golden Sun have such an influence on GameBoy Advance owners in the early 2000s?

An ingenious and addicting game
An ingenious and addicting game

Golden Sun, or Ōgon no Taiyō Hirakareshi Fūin in Japan, was released in August 2001. When we look at the team responsible for development, we understand that we are not dealing with a small project that came out of nowhere. Among the creators of the game, we can count Hiroyuki Takahashi (responsible for all the Shining Force games, which were very successful in Japan), Hiroshi Yamauchi (at the time CEO of Nintendo, who acts as producer on the title), Shin Yamanouchi (character designer on all the Shining Force games) or the composer Motoi Sakuraba (who we know as the man behind the music of the series Tales of, Baten Kaitos, Mario Golf, Star Ocean or even more recently the Dark Souls). In short, a real dream team, for a game that is damn awaited by lovers of Japanese RPG.

Impressive graphics for the time
Impressive graphics for the time

Golden Sun finally comes out, and it’s the raid: the critics are unanimous and the sales at the rendezvous. It reached an insane score of 91% and 90% on the reference sites Metacritic and GameRankings, still remaining today considered one of the best games in the history of the GameBoy Advance. But then, what differentiates Golden Sun from the rest of the RPGs offered on the GBA, to justify this incredible success? First, there is a narration: the player embodies a game of man, Vlad, accompanied by four companions, in a context of good (the followers, young magicians) against evil (alchemy). Like that, the storyline may seem simple, but what makes Golden Sun different is its propensity to offer unexpected twists and colorful characters over the forty or so hours it takes to overcome it.. Here, the habit does not make the monk, on the contrary …

The gameplay is simple, quick to learn and offers tons of puzzles when exploring the vast world set up by the Camelot studio, based on abilities offered by Djinns, these little beasts based on the various elements main (earth, water, fire, etc.). These same Djinns are also very useful in combat, since they offer various powers and actions to the various playable protagonists. Once unleashed, they can even cast powerful Summons, much like some Final Fantasy. In addition to this very addicting gameplay and this striking narrative, Golden Sun also marks the players of the time by its dazzling graphics, especially for the GameBoy Advance: the game alternates between 3D (combat) and 2D (exploration), and offers some some of the most impressive technical effects of the Nintendo portable console. Overall, Golden Sun, first of the name, is a true classic of the 2000s, and even if it was entitled to two sequels (one on GBA and another on DS), we must admit that we impatiently awaits a return … Even if it seems unlikely.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here