|Golden Sun: Dark Dawn|
|Developer(s)||Camelot Software Planning|
|Composer(s)||Motoi Sakuraba |
Japan: October 28, 2010
|Genre||Hand-held role-playing game|
|Media||Nintendo DS cartridge|
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is a role-playing game for the Nintendo DS developed by Camelot Software Planning. It is the third title in the Golden Sun series, and is set 30 years after the events of the first two games. It was featured in Nintendo's E3 2010 presentation, where its official name and release window were revealed.
The game features a world with 3D environments and entirely 3D battles, and it features optional touch-screen stylus control. Stylus control is an additional way of controlling the functions that can otherwise be handled with the base control scheme from previous games, with touchable icons on screen that quickly and easily select and use Psynergy shortcuts.
The game features an encyclopedia system designed to tell players history of the world (including information about the previous games), and explain plot and character elements occurring in the present. As characters talk, specific text will highlight with hyperlinks, and if the player taps on the text with the stylus, that term's page from the encyclopedia will open up on the upper screen to fill players in on the details. If the page has already been read beforehand, the hyperlink will remain, but in a darkened color.
Eight all-new playable characters comprise the eventual final party, and unlike in previous games where there would be four characters at first and then suddenly jump up to eight, the full party is assembled at a steady rate as the game progresses. Characters are more-or-less similar in battle to previous games, but one of the characters, Sveta, has an entirely different battle style in which she transforms between humanoid and werewolf forms, where even her Attack and Defend commands are altered. Once again, there are 72 Djinn to collect, 18 for each element and therefore 9 for allocation to each of the eight playable characters; however, there are new Djinn introduced, and Djinn that are missing from the previous games. Some of these Djinn are present on adult Isaac and Garet, who join battles as uncontrolled "guest" characters in the beginning stages of the game. The system was also altered to allow each Djinni to have a unique design to differentiate it from all other Djinn of the same element.
The Class system is very similar to the original games in terms of how Djinn influence them, but in accordance with the new characters there are four new mono-element classes and two new dual-element classes, and some of the existing classes have been slightly retooled, such as with the Wind Seer series now having its own party-healing Psynergy. Classes provided by Class-changing items like in The Lost Age no longer exist, however.
All 29 Summon spirits from the Game Boy Advance titles return in Dark Dawn, redesigned for 3D presentation, with a few being changed more drastically, such as Boreas. One all-new summon, a Venus-aligned summon named Crystallux, was added, and appears identical to the chandelier in the "Culture Advanced" commercial for the original Golden Sun. This makes for a total of an even 30, and like in The Lost Age, the party starts out with access to the "initial 16" and must collect the other 14 by finding their Summon Tablets in the game world. Djinn that are on Standby now wander around the top screen of the DS in 2D while the battle takes place in 3D below. When a summon is used, the appropriate amount of Djinn will be removed from the top screen.
Psynergy old and new make fully 3D appearances as well, such as the Move Psynergy, which is used to shift objects around. Growth, is now inherent to Matthew, regardless of class series (without its upgraded forms, Mad Growth and Wild Growth), so that he can use it as a utility Psynergy effect without having to constantly change classes, as was required in the original games.
Items and their categories are similar to the previous games, but with several important changes and additions. Staffs have been divided into Staffs and Ankhs, the latter of which is a more restricted sub-category. Bows are introduced as an all-new weapon type and Sveta uses her own category of weapons called Claws. Defensive equipment on the whole is less changed, though Shirts have been removed as supplementary equipment, while Rings have more of an emphasis on increasing stats, where before they had been almost solely about being usable items. Every weapon in the game has its own, unique 3D model that appears held by a character during battle. All weapons have Unleash effects, and most have multiple unleashes. Weapons will unlock unleashes when the character gains experience with the weapons in battle in a new weapon-experience system. Unleashes themselves have a wider array of effects as well, such as being able to hit all enemies on the battlefield at once.
Battle is very similar to the previous games, in that a party of four characters fights an enemy group, reserve party members may be switched in once per turn, and when the first party is all downed, the reserve party jumps in. Perhaps the most critical change is that when a character is set to attack an enemy, but another character has defeated that enemy beforehand in the same turn, the character will no longer automatically Defend; their attack will be redirected to another enemy on the battlefield.
There is no connectivity with Golden Sun: The Lost Age, even though GBA games can be inserted in the GBA slot of older DS systems. Furthermore, there is no Easy mode or Hard mode to replay the game with.
The game picks up 30 years after the first two games in the series left off. At the end of Golden Sun: The Lost Age, the heroes succeeded in bringing the world-healing power of Alchemy back to the world of Weyard. In the years since, the immense power of Alchemy has changed nearly everything. Continents have shifted, new countries have emerged, and new species have appeared. But the world is now imperiled by a new threat. Psynergy Vortexes, which suck the elemental Psynergy from both the land and power-wielding Adepts alike, are spreading across the world. A new generation of heroes - the children of those from the previous games - are drawn into the mystery behind the vortexes, as they cross a chaotic world that is succumbing to a new evil.
The story begins at a cabin that overlooks the site where Mt. Aleph sank 30 years ago. There, a grown up Isaac and Garet live and observe the site with their sons, Matthew and Tyrell respectively. Karis, the daughter of Ivan, has come to visit and is chastising Tyrell when he commandeers the Soarwing, a flying device developed by her father for reaching Sol Sanctum, which may still contain mysteries pertaining to Alchemy. Unfortunately, Tyrell loses control and crashes, prompting the others to go rescue him from the nearby Tanglewood forest.
In a psynergy crystal mine, the group encounter a large Psynergy vortex and a plant creature that has been mutated by the phenomenon. After defeating the creature and saving Tyrell, Isaac and Garet decide to task the children with retrieving a Roc feather from the legendary Mountain Roc bird, which is a vital component for making another soarwing. Isaac decides to contact Kraden, who like Garet and himself, has not aged much since being exposed to the Golden Sun. At the camp where they are to meet Kraden, an accident makes the bridge inaccessible, and forces a change in plans. At the caverns beneath a crumbling temple, Matthew and his friends finally meet up with Kraden, who is accompanied by Rief and Nowell, two water adepts and the children of Mia.
However, Matthew, Tyrell, and Karis are ambushed by mysterious soldiers and are forced to fight, during which Rief is kidnapped. The soldiers are led by two men, a masked figure and a swordsman named Blados, who belong to a group called the Tuaparang. They promise to release Rief, but do not say which exit, which forces Matthew and the others to take the nearest exit in the hopes of finding and saving Kraden's apprentice. Luckily, Rief is found unharmed, but Blados has sealed the exit behind the group, forcing them to pass through the Ei-Jei region of Angara to reach Morgal and Kraden.
Matthew and the party make their way to the village of Passaj. There, they discover a device called the Alchemy Forge, one of two devices that may help the party reach Morgal. However, the device will not fully activate without the Sol Mask, which is hidden in a labyrinth called the Ouroboros beneath the kingdom of Kaocho. In Kaocho, Matthew and the others are greeted by a woman named Chalis, another member of the Tuaparang. Chalis has convinced King Wo of Kaocho that Matthew and the gang can infiltrate the southern kingdom of Ayuthay and obtain the means to entering the Ouroboros. But when they refuse, the four are nearly trapped in the labyrinth.
After escaping, they head for Ayuthay, where they meet Amiti, another Mercury adept whose father was a mysterious and powerful adept who passed by 20 years ago, activating the Alchemy Well, which generates water. Amiti joins the group and eventually they are able to make their way over Craggy Peak and arrive in a small village called Te Rya, where they meet Ryu Kou and his tutor, Hou Zan. The two are attempting to save Ryu's sister, Hou Ju, from the country of Morgal, which is ruled by the beastmen, a race of animal/human hybrids that emerged after the Golden Sun event. Ryu Kou's father was killed during a bloody conflict with the beastmen, and his sister is set for execution on the next full moon.
On their way to Belinsk, the capital of Morgal, Matthew and the party encounter a beastman girl named Sveta, a Jupiter Adept who can read minds (much like Karis' father, Ivan) who briefly joins Matthew to help his party reach Morgal, but departs when she learns of the party's intention to fight the Mountain Roc. In Belinsk, the group are unable to find Kraden, and decide to explore the surrounding area. In Port Rago, Matthew meets an aged Briggs (a pirate encountered in the Lost Age) who is preparing to invade Belinsk in order to save his son, Eoleo, who was captured by King Volechek, the ruler of Morgal. Traveling to Kolima Forest (a location from the first game, which was moved eastward after the Golden Sun), Matthew and the gang meet Tret and Laurel, two guardian trees that had aided Isaac and his party 30 years ago. Before helping Matthew on his way, Tret hints that Amiti may be somehow related to Rief, while Laurel instructs the group to avoid activating the Alchemy Dynamo located in the ruins beneath Belinsk.
Before reaching Talon Peak and the nest of the Mountain Roc, Ryu Kou reappears with a message from Sveta. Here, the group learns that she is Volechek's younger sister, and that she left in order to help procure a means for Matthew and the others to gain access to the Mountain Roc. After accquiring the feather, Blados and Chalis appear, and coerce Ryu Kou into betraying Matthew and taking the Magma orb, a stone necessary for activating the Alchemy Dynamo. Returning to Belinsk after reuniting a band, as their secret song is needed to access the ruins, Matthew and the others once more meet up with Sveta, as well as Ryu Kou and Hou Zan.
At the heart of the ruins, Blados and Chalis reappear, along with the masked man, who addresses himself as Arcanus. After fighting Blados and Chalis, the party discover that Arcanus has forced Ryu Kou into activating the Alchemy Dynamo. Arcanus then explains that the ruins are really a tower, much like the Lighthouses from the previous games, and that it is a machine that harnesses light.
After securing Ryu Kou's sister and saving Eoleo, the Grave Eclipse appears over Belinsk, covering much of Weyard in darkness and summoning terrifying monsters. In the confusion, Briggs is killed trying to reach his son and the gang, and Volechek resigns himself to staying in his now destroyed kingdom, but not before giving Sveta an orb that may help them reverse the Grave Eclipse. Eoleo then appoints Matthew captain of his father's ship, while Kraden informs Rief that his sister has left to sail with Piers.
Traveling the world for clues, Matthew's party learns that the only way to stop the Grave Eclipse is the Apollo Lens, a device built by the ancients of Weyard. Along the way, they meet a Venus Adept named Himi, who is the daughter of Susa and Kushinada, who were originally encountered in Izumo (an area from the Lost Age), but are now the rulers of Yamata City, and collect a set of armor called the Umbra Gear. Traversing the massive Endless Wall, the gang reaches the Apollo Lens, where they are once more confronted by Arcanus and the Tuaparang. Here, it is revealed the Arcanus is none other than Alex, who has seemingly survived his apparent demise at the end of the previous game. In a strange twist, Alex stalls Blados and Chalis for time and allows Matthew and the others to reach the device.
Before they can reach the Lens, a mysterious creature called the Chaos Hound appears, and Matthew and the others are forced to fight both it and Blados and Chalis. After either defeating Chaos Hound or both Blados and Chalis, the Dark Adepts summon dark spirits to increase the monster's power, only to be pulled in with it and merge to form Chaos Chimera.
After the battle, Sveta tearfully realizes the creature is her brother, Volechek. When Matthew attempts to activate the Lens, the pure light radiating from the area repels him. Sveta resigns herself to activating the device herself, despite the risk to her life. Linking her spirit with Matthew, the two prepare to activate the Lens, until Volechek intervenes, having regained his senses. The beastmen King slaps her away and onto the ground. He activates the Lens, sacrificing his life and ending the eclipse, saving the world from its darkness.
Sometime later, Sveta has been crowned the new Queen of Belinsk and sees Matthew and his friends off along with the others as they prepare to leave. Rief decides to continue traveling with Kraden in the hopes of reuniting with his sister, Nowell, while Eoleo plans on returning Himi to her home in Yamata City before heading back to Champa. Saying their farewells, Matthew, Karis, and Tyrell head back home to Goma Plateau.
After the credits, Matthew and his friends return to the cabin near Mt. Aleph. Their happy return home is cut short when they witness a massive Psynergy Vortex of immense size appear (presumably the Mourning Moon), and the words "The End...?" flash across the screen.
The game's core team of characters is made up of the sons and daughters of the previous two games' heroes. Characters from the original games including Isaac, Garet and Kraden return, some of whom are playable at certain points.
Matthew is a Venus Adept, the son of Isaac and Jenna, and Dark Dawn's main protagonist. Tyrell is a Mars Adept like his father, Garet. Karis is a Jupiter Adept and daughter of Ivan. Rief is a Mercury Adept and the son of Mia, and is an apprentice of Kraden's, along with his sister Nowell. Antagonists include three new characters called Blados, Chalis, and Arcanus, who are members of a clandestine group from the militaristic nation of Tuaparang.
Other characters include Himi, a priestess of Yamata and a Venus Adept who possesses the power of prophecy that she inherited from her mother, Kushinada; Eoleo, a Mars Adept, son of Briggs and the new leader of Champa now a pirate kingdom (Eoleo was seen in the previous game as a toddler, and was seen using psynergy several times, although it was weak and he had little control over it); Sveta, a female Jupiter Adept and member of the new beastman race that has mutated from humans since the Golden Sun came into existence. Excelling in the 5 senses, she can read the minds of her company and sense unique smells, and is able to use visualized Psynergy. Amiti is a Mercury Adept and a prince of the water kingdom Ayuthay. Tret also mentions that Amiti has a similar aura as Rief, meaning Amiti is related to Rief through the Mercury Clan and possibly the son of Alex. Blados and Chalis are Dark Adepts.
There are 72 usable Djinn in the game, with 11 others owned by Isaac and Garet that are unusable. While some of the Djinn return from the original series, many are brand new. All Djinn now have a distinct appearance, and many unlock abilities that help your characters progress through the game.
Nintendo Power gave the game a score of 8 out of 10. Praise was given to the game's graphics and puzzles, while some criticism was given to the game's low difficulty. 1UP gave the game a B. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn currently has a metascore of 79 out of 100 on Metacritic and has a 80.64% score on Gamerankings. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game a 7.5 out of 10, praising the game for its clever puzzles and battle system, but complaining about the lengthy dialogue and cutscenes. X-Play rated the game 4 out of 5 stars, stating the game is great for fans of the series and fans of RPGgames. The Official Nintendo Magazine gave it 92%. Destructoid gave it an 8.5 out of 10. Edge awarded the game 8/10 stating that "despite its lack of teeth... Golden Sun remains a franchise with plenty to say."
- E3 2010 Showfloor Map on GameSpot. Published by E3.gamespot.com. Accessed on 2010-06-15.
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- Edge #223, January 2011 (Future PLC)
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Golden Sun Universe, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|