The Ankohl Ruins is a main dungeon-style location in Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Located at the bottom coast of Angara, the Sand-based dungeon is explored and looted during the major portion of the game taking place throughout the Great Eastern Sea, and is the site of the Left Prong key item which is needed to forge the Trident of Ankohl in the nearby town of Champa.
This dungeon is located on the bottom coast of Angara, shortly east of the town of Champa. In the context of the gameplay, this is one of three tower dungeons accessible while you sail the Great Eastern Sea on the Lemurian Ship for much of the game, each one containing a piece of a weapon called the Trident of Ankohl. You need to collect all three pieces, and then have it forged into the special weapon at nearby Champa, so that you can properly attempt to enter Lemuria at the end of the Great Eastern Sea arc. This dungeon is one of the later dungeons the player generally goes through while at this arc of the game, because it requires the Sand Psynergy acquired at the end of the Gaia Rock dungeon elsewhere in the Sea.
This dungeon-style location is definitely one of the larger, more complex, and easy-to-get-lost-in dungeons in the game because of the intertwining nature of the dungeon's layout, which often encourages the player to cast the Retreat Psynergy once they solve a puzzle in a specific room so that they may then reenter the room from a different entrance and go into the newly opened exit. There are also many rooms with multiple entrances and exits.
The prerequisite for playing through and completing this dungeon is the Sand Psynergy found in Gaia Rock, and it is recommended to have Sand as a shoulder-button shortcut, and Move as the other. Upon entering Ankohl Ruins from the overworld map, go past the tree through the crumpled portion of the wall to the left of it, and enter the actual tower structure. The room you immediately enter has Whirlwind-able bushes to the left, right, and north ends, with entrances behind each of them; you can enter the rooms behind the left and right bushes, but the chests inside them will only open up to reveal themselves as empty. (This is because these are the chests from which the shopkeeper at Champa found her Artifacts that she sells in the shop.) So, go through the north door to begin the actual dungeon portion.
The horizontal hallway-like room here, lined with seven stone heads (with the center one having an open entrance immediately visible and reachable by hopping) is the closest thing this dungeon has to a "hub". There are also exits at the hall's two far ends. What many players never realize, however, is that each of the other six stone heads in the room actually has a hidden entrance behind it just like the visible entrance behind the center head, and that each head's entrance can be opened by hopping onto the platform in front of that head and casting Move to pull out the portion of the head obscuring the entrance and drop it into the abyss. Using this method, enter and explore each of the closed six heads, preferably from right-to-left; the first head from the right end of the hall hides a small room with a chest containing a Crystal Powder. The second from the right end, with a small room with a Whirlwind-able bush behind it concealing another entrance, leads to an area with an earth pillar near a chest; stand north of the earth pillar and Move it one space to the right. The third head from the right only hides a dead-end room. Now, go to the leftmost head in the hall, and you'll get to the area with the earth pillar you just moved; cast Sand while standing on the yellow sand stream on the ground, and move upwards under the blocks, surfacing right next to the earth pillar. This demonstrates how the Sand Psynergy will be used throughout the dungeon. Collect the Nut from the chest, then exit, and explore the entrance in the head to the right of the leftmost one. The chest here contains 210 coins. The last stone head's entrance contains a dead-end room with a Whirlwind-able bush that is not hiding anything.
The Left Wing
Exit the main hall by going through the door below the leftmost statue. In the new room with 2 Whirlwind-able bushes, the left one is covering an entrance; paying close attention to the slight visual differences between the bushes here can help you determine which of the many other bushes throughout the dungeon are worth using Whirlwind on, if you don't want to have to Whirlwind every bush you come across. The entrance here leads to an area that's important later on, but not right now, so go clockwise around the room to the upstairs to the lower left. In the floor above, you are led to a sand path that goes under a wall, so use it by using Sand. You should notice that this sand trail ends near a chest to the right, so travel under the wall and surface near the chest to get the Thanatos Mace, which can be a powerful weapon depending on your current inventory. Now use the Sand trail again and surface at the corner of the trail, and go up into the entrance above. You'll be led to where a piece of a stone head can be shoved into the nearby head to complete it; do so, and it will spawn a channel with sand. Now, either retrace your steps back to the entrance to the aforementioned "important area", or cast Retreat and make your way to that location, and follow the path until you're at the room where a pool of sand has appeared. Climb down and go across it, collect a nearby chest containing Power Bread, then use Sand and go up under the wall and surface on the other side, in front of this stone statue you just activated. Climb up and go up the stairs to the right.
At a fork leading left and down, go left, ignoring the nearby entrance you'll pass by, and follow the path down to a chest containing 365 coins. Retrace your steps back to where you entered the room, and follow the downwards path, which eventually leads you up to another fork which leads left and right. If you go left, you'll come to a setup where an earth pillar can and should be pushed one space to the left. Now you can go back down and around to the aforementioned "ignored" entrance, enter it, and now you can use Sand to reach the chest that the earth pillar you just pushed was blocking your way to. The chest contains a Vial. Now go back to the point where there is the aforementioned left-right fork, and go right this time. You will now be in a room with a huge amount of sand, a stone head, two switches, and a block covering the entrance you want to enter. To get past this room, step on the switch to the left, and the stone head will fill the room with sand in increments; run over to the second switch below the head, wait until the raising sand puts you on the same level as the switch, and step on it to make the block disappear and the right entrance enter-able. If you don't step on this second switch in time, you will have to exit the room so that it will reset itself and try again. But this time-based puzzle is pretty simple to clear, and a similar room with a similar mechanic will be cleared later on in the dungeon. For now, take the now-open right exit.
A long, winding, occasionally hopping path will eventually lead you to sliding off into a big hole in the ground, dropping you into a large area with many different aspects to it, such as both a nearby earth pillar and a nearby piece of stone head that can and should be put in their respective proper places right away. Then leave the room out of the door to the top. When you enter the room above (ignore a strange visual glitch that often occurs here where Felix appears to enter the room by falling from the ceiling), you'll see a nearby upstairs which for now leads to a dead-end, and two Whirlwind-able bushes next to it, with the right one obscuring an entrance which leads to what is pretty much always a dead end; check both of these if you want, but then go right to where an earth pillar can be moved once space to the right, and use Move to push it one space to the right, opening up an exit to a sand trail (doing this is basically the whole objective of the left wing of the dungeon). Go back to the previous room, climb down the vines to the left, and go into the door below the earth pillar you moved. The path you will traverse, with a Sand-based obstacle near the end, will lead you back into the main "hub" hall with the seven stone heads, with you exiting the door in the center head.
The Right Wing
Now that you're back at the main "hub" hall with the seven stone heads, you are now to go through the exit at the hall's right end, and begin essentially the second half of the dungeon. In the first room you'll find there, the three Whirlwind-able bushes you'll pass by have nothing behind them, so just go to where you use Sand to pass under a wall and then go up a nearby upstairs. The next room you'll enter has three of these bushes as well; however, the bush to the left does cover an entrance, behind which is a small room with a chest containing the useful Muni Robe. Go to the next room, which is a hallway with an incomplete stone head at the end; hop the gap to the left of it and climb up to the nearby upstairs entrance. That trail leads you to the place where you moved an earth pillar away from the exit of a sand trail near the end of your Left Wing run. Use the now-open trail with Sand, Whirlwind the nearby Bush to get to a chest containing a Sylph Feather, and continue on right and down.
You'll be in another "rising sand" room, which you solve the same way you solved this type of room the last time, only this time you have a stricter time in which to make it to the second switch. The path and hallway you then follow leads you past three Whirlwind-able bushes; the bush to the right leads you to a chest with a Potion you can get easily. At the left end of your hallway, go down the downstairs, and after following a long path you will end up at the incomplete stone head you came across earlier, but now in a position to push the piece of the stone head where it belongs, and the completed stone head will glow its eyes green once you do so. To make use of this statue, you will have to enter this hall from the bottom end like you did earlier, meaning you should cast Retreat, get back to the hub hallway with the seven stone heads, and reenter the Right Wing and go through the areas a second time in a row until you return to the hall with the completed stone head.
At the bottom of the hall with the stone head with the green eyes, as soon as you start walking up the hall, the stone head will suddenly slide down the hallway towards your position, and will push and settle at the bottom of the hall, blocking off your path until you exit and reenter the room so that the head will reset. To get past the statue, as soon as you trigger its descent, run as fast as you can to the patch of sand on the ground, and bring up the Psynergy menu while standing on the sand on the ground - time will "stand still' in regards to the head while the menu is up. Cast the Sand Psynergy, and you will be safe underground as the head slides over you. Resurface, and go to where the head used to be, where you'll see a sand trail entrance. Use the trail, and travel the subsequent route, casting Move on an earth pillar you'll pass by if you want, until you get to a room with a piece of stone head enclosed in a bunch of blocks. Use Move to move the piece up one space, then cast the Reveal Psynergy to show that the center block is actually a hole; while the Reveal field is still on-screen, Move the stone head piece left so that it falls into the hole. Then climb down the nearby downstairs, and move the piece so that it completes the stone head of this room and that it starts generating a sandfall. Achieving this sandfall has been the entire "main" objective of the dungeon the entire time; with that done, cast Retreat.
Return to the main hub hallway of the dungeon, and enter the center head, using sand to get past the blocks. You will be led to the room where you caused this sandfall to appear; stand at the sandy base of the sandfall, cast Sand, and climb your way up the sandfall slowly until you can surface at the top portion of the fall. Go right, climbing your way around up the green vines on the wall, and you'll be led to the base of another sandfall. Use sand to slowly climb up this fall exactly the same way as the last fall, then climb up the ivy to the upper left. You have now emerged on the top portion of the towering Ankohl Ruins, and the object you have been seeking to collect in the dungeon, the Left Prong, awaits on a pedestal. Climb up to it and get it, and you will have completed the dungeon. Cast Retreat once more and leave.
|Bestiary of Ankohl Ruins|
|Monster Name||LVL||HP||ATK||DEF||AGI||EXP||Coins||Weakness||Drop||Drop Rate|
|Living Armor||27||201||266||99||90||320||205||Water of Life||1/128|
|Wood Walker||25||230||213||75||94||242||201||Bramble Seed||1/16|
Left Prong: This key item, at the very peak of the dungeon, is the target treasure and main objective of Ankohl Ruins.
Several often-missed chests near the start of the dungeon:
210 Coins: In a chest behind the second head from the left in the hub hallway with seven stone head statues.
Crystal Powder: In a chest behind the rightmost head in the hub hallway with seven stone head statues.
Nut: In a chest in a room connected to the hidden entrances behind the leftmost stone head and the second stone head from the right in the hub hallway.
In the dungeon's left wing (as in, the portion of the dungeon accessed by exiting the hub hall off the left) are these treasures:
365 Coins: In a chest at the bottom end of a hall reached by taking the left fork from the top end of the hall.
Power Bread: In an easy-to-get chest next to a pool of sand.
Thanatos Mace: In a chest in an enclosed small portion of a larger room, reached by using Sand to travel under walls via a sand trail.
Vial: In a chest in a hallway, behind an earth pillar which should be pushed out of the way to open up a traversible Sand trail.
Whereas these other collectibles are in the dungeon's general right wing:
Muni Robe: In a chest in a small room behind a Whirlwindable bush.
Potion: In a chest in a room behind one of three Whirlwindable bushes in one particular hallway.
Sylph Feather: In a chest in a room behind a Whirlwindable bush that's shortly after a sand trail you opened up near the end of the left wing run.
Background and Story
The Ankohl Ruins is an ancient tower located on the coast of southern Angara shortly east of Champa. The tower was built by an ancient people called the Ankohl, who may have been present in the events of Weyard's ancient past, and the Ankohl culture was a master of the art of forging items from metal, and the ancestors of modern-day Champa. The culture was apparently based or focused on the Venus element, as is evident from the many still-active sand-spewing statues and traps, and plantlike overgrowth within the confines of the tower.
The tower, as its dilapidated remnant in the modern age, had only been partially explored by the people of Champa, only having the treasures near its entrance looted because the rest of the location is closed off to anyone who does not have specific sand-based Psynergy abilities. Lying at the top of the tower undisturbed is one of the prongs to a sacred weapon known as the Trident of Ankohl, of which its other two prongs are located within very similar towering dungeon ruins located across Weyard named Shrine of the Sea God and Tundaria Tower. The fact that these three towers enshrine the three portions of the same weapon would indicate that these towers, and the cultures they appear to have been respectively connected to, are connected together somehow. Should all three prongs be amassed and cast into a great forge of the Ankohl in Champa itself, the Trident will reforge itself. Whoever wields this weapon is said to not have to fear anything in the sea anymore, as it can slay even a sea monster such as the Lemurian demigod Poseidon and is the only weapon that can do so; the fact this weapon has this purpose would suggest that the Ankohl Ruins and the other two towers have some sort of ancient connection with Lemuria itself, as well.
During Felix's quest across Weyard in search of Lemuria, he and his party collect the Trident prongs from these three towers, and journey into and explore Ankohl Ruins in search of the dungeon's Left Prong. With Felix's recently acquired Psynergy ability to turn himself and his group into sand from Gaia Rock, his party succeeds in solving the dungeon's extensive setup of tricks and traps, and retrieves the Left Prong. When they have all three Prongs, they are able to have the living ancestor of the Ankohl, Champa's town matriarch Obaba, use the forge to restore the Trident. Felix and his companions use this weapon to battle Poseidon in the Sea of Time, and gain entrance into the lost city of Lemuria.
- The shopkeeper woman at nearby Champa, prior to when Briggs returns later in the game, tells that the high-priced artifacts she is selling in her inventory were acquired from exploring the Ankohl Ruins at some point back, which was an exploration for treasure she risked her life to obtain. The empty treasure chests at the start of the ruins are where the shopkeeper acquired her loot, so it can be assumed that the artifacts in Champa's vendor menu - a Demonic Staff, a Blessed Robe, and a Potion - were among the treasures here.
- Ankohl Ruins and its surrounding forest are located such that it would have been entirely visible on the overworld map to Isaac's party in the first Golden Sun if they travel as far southwest of Xian as possible until they reach the river that separates the "main part" of Angara from the "Lost Age part". Going to this area and zooming out the view of the overworld with the L button reveals that the tower and the forest are totally absent during the first game, and were only added there in the second installment.
- With the above area of the overworld in mind, it would appear that for anyone from Xian to get to Champa on land, (as they are indicated to do from time to time in The Lost Age prior to the present), they would have to cross above river. Which means that when Feizhi travels from her hometown of Xian to Champa to deliver her Golden Ring, she passes by the Ankohl Ruins during the trip.
- At a certain point in the dungeon, you will slide down a black hole and abyss in the ground into the larger room below, where there is both an earth pillar to the left and a piece of stone head to the right that can be pushed. There is a slight visual glitch that occurs the first time you exit this room via either the nearby door above or the door below that you climb the ivy down to; when the next room is brought up on screen, Felix will appear to "drop down" into the room from the ceiling in front of the doorway he would normally have walked through. This is practically guaranteed to happen in one's game, and it happens only once, since afterward when you exit and reenter these rooms you do so normally. The believed reason this glitch exists is that when you slide from the room above into the room below, a value is turned on that dictates Felix will appear in the new room with a visual "fall from the sky", but this value is mistakenly not "turned off" as soon as Felix falls into this room, unlike how it would happen with other slides leading to other rooms in other dungeons. Instead, the "fall from the sky" instruction only turns off the next time you enter a room and you appear to "fall from the sky" a second time in a row, which is how the glitch manifests. This glitch also can appear if you are attacked prior to leaving the room; once the battle is over Felix appears to fall again.
The Ankohl Ruins appears to be based off the real world Angkor ruins, a fallen civilization located in Cambodia. They are similar in name, style of architecture, and placement in the world of Weyard. The name Ankohl is quite obviously a play on Angkor, while there are several instances where the architecture of Ankohl and Angkor mimic each other, such as the stone heads lining the walls, the design of the doorways and brickwork, as well as the type of vegetation found creeping outside and throughout the ruins. Also, since Xian is generally thought to be the Weyard incarnation of real-world China, the location of Champa and the Ankohl Ruins directly south of it on the map is parallel to that of China in relation to Cambodia.