Psynergy (a portmanteau for "Psychic energy"; エナジー Energy) is the form of magic featured in the video game series Golden Sun. It similar to what is called Chi (せいしん Spirit) in the Fuchin Temple/Xian region of the continent of Angara. Chi, explained by the master, is energy from the body and has limits and psynergy (Ki) originates from the mind and is limitless. It is the ability to conjure sorcerous effects based on the elements and fueled by the spiritual power of the person's mind; a similar but distinct art exists in the form of Chi, which is the concept of harnessing the energy of one's body to achieve more physical effects.
Overview[edit | edit source]
Psynergy is basically the same as magic like what is found in many other computer role-playing games, such as Tales of Symphonia. Parallels can also be drawn between Psynergy and chi in Chinese meditation concepts.
Elements[edit | edit source]
- Venus Psynergy revolves around manipulation of Nature - plants and the earth.
- Mars Psynergy revolves around control of fire, heat, and lava.
- Jupiter Psynergy is based on the powers of wind, lightning, and the mind.
- Mercury Psynergy concerns the control of water, ice, and healing.
- Dark Psynergy revolves around the absence of light.
- Light Psynergy comes from the presence of Light.
Light and Dark[edit | edit source]
Events near the end of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn suggest that Light and Dark - the former represented by Sol and the latter associated with both Luna and Umbra - may be emerging as new elements. The Umbra Clan appears to be a group that uses "Dark Psynergy", and it is heavily hinted that the citizens of Belinsk have acquired Light-based Psynergy after being exposed to light from the Apollo Lens. Despite this, Light and Dark have not yet played a major role in gameplay, being only used by the Dark Adepts. It largely remains a plot device.
Non-elemental[edit | edit source]
Psynergy that is not aligned with the elements, meaning it is not used for attack or planned defense, is more or less like the classic description of telekinesis or psychic power. Adepts can use this power to move, levitate, and carry objects such as statues and boulders. However, certain elemental powers of Psynergy are used for both attack and usage outside of battle. These powers grow as time goes on.
There is also some mysteries to the power. Psynergy is revealed in the first game to sometimes act instinctively when the Adepts are in danger. In one part of the first Golden Sun game, the Adepts are shielded by strange blue barriers of Psynergy that protect them from danger. Strangely this does not make a direct appearance for the rest of the series. The power seems to come as a reaction, not through desire or concentration, and could possibly be an explanation to how Adepts can survive what would normally be fatal attacks like explosions and even Summons, not to mention being able to contend with far more experienced fighters with little difficulty. In particular, this would explain how Felix and Sheba survived the events at Venus Lighthouse.
In Golden Sun, the usage of Psynergy may be defined as the concentrating of the mind of a Psynergy-imbued individual to achieve an intentional effect that is not normally plausible through simple physical factors. Some may require outstretched arm and hand motions, but all aim to achieve magical, physical, psychic, and manipulative effects and results. Examples are the moving of a distant object, to the projection of fire outright, to the healing of bodily wounds, to the reading of any individual's mind. All this stems from the power of the supreme force of Alchemy.
Relation to Weyard and Alchemy[edit | edit source]
Alchemy is the supreme force that sustains and controls the building blocks of reality. According to Kraden, Psynergy is somehow related to Alchemy. When Alchemy was sealed away by the Sages in the ancient past, only the vague influence of Psynergy was left behind, and the people's ability to use it deteriorated over the ages. Now, only a few know about Psynergy and are able to wield it.
All life forms are wielders of Psynergy to varying degrees, depending on how much of their lives have been under the influence of a nearby source of Psynergy's essence. The essence of Psynergy is laced within purple-shaded stone formations known as Psynergy Deposits, and a select few of such deposits are scattered throughout the world of Weyard. A lifeform such as a human can only gain the ability to employ Psynergy upon prolonged exposure to the effects of a deposit, such as living near one for many years. Once a person has had the necessary amount of influence under a Psynergy Deposit, he or she starts developing an adeptness to Psynergy of a more concentrated, potent sort. Any person that has attained this status is thus classified as an "Adept".
All matter on Weyard is comprised of any combination of the four base elements of both Alchemy and Psynergy: Venus (the essence of the rocky ground and living plantlife, or more simply, Nature), Mars (the essence of fire and heat), Jupiter (the essence of wind and electricity), and Mercury (the essence of water and the cold). Adepts, therefore, can be considered as manipulators of these elements and their effects. The four elements of Weyard, however, are constantly in a game of balance, in which the elements of Venus and Jupiter (ground and wind) as well as those of Mars and Mercury (fire and water) are not in direct conflict, but induce change to one and another. This leads to an immutable concept where one individual is unable to develop Psynergy proficiency in more than one of the elements. As a result, all Adepts are considered "specialists", developing their Psynergy powers primarily around one base element each. However, this does not mean Adepts are unable to use Psynergy of the element opposite to theirs. Instead, they specialize in one element and simply have lesser levels of proficiency in others. Using Djinns, an Adept can further specialize, augment, or alter their Psynergy so as to allow them to develop new skills.
In turn, this gives a sub-classification system that identifies an Adept based on the base Psynergy element he or she specializes in: Venus Adept, Mars Adept, Jupiter Adept, and Mercury Adept.
- The elements in the games are identical to the four Greek classical elements (fire, water, wind and earth). However, like the five Chinese classical elements (fire, water, earth, metal, and wood), they are named after major planets. Due to this mix of influences, a planet may not necessarily represent the same element in the games as it does in Chinese Taoism.
Progression through Story[edit | edit source]
Psynergy and its relation to Alchemy and the four elements plays an integral role in the Golden Sun series. First off, the majority of the world's populace is unaware that such a force exists, and as such any person who is an Adept is among the only people able to recognize a Psynergy spell on sight. The games frequently contradict this notion, however: spectators at Colosso cannot see the Psynergy Isaac employs against his opponents, but Tolbi's soldiers witness Alex conjure blasts of water from nowhere. In any case, this inability to perceive appears only apply to the "classical telekinesis" styles of Psynergy. Ordinary people otherwise would not be able to tell if someone was reading their minds through Psynergy. The main town of Golden Sun, Vale, as a guarding force of the ancient art of Psynergy and Alchemy, makes it a point to refrain from ever showing Psynergy when outsiders pass through the village, for it is stated by a long-standing custom that Psynergy must never be used for evil as it was during the world war of Alchemy so many ages ago.
Part of the reason why nearly all the Valeans are Adepts is because an imposing Psynergy deposit lies right near the town's entrance,
and as such over the past many years the townspeople have been imbued with Psynergy. As Isaac and Garet are two such people, their ability to control Psynergy is quite effective, therefore allowing for their development of their powers to great levels when the time comes to embark on the worldwide quest as seen in Golden Sun. Vale is but the most prominent case where a locale's residence gains proficiency in Psynergy to a slight degree on account of living near a Psynergy deposit. In the settlement of werewolves known as Garoh, the lycanthropes have gained minor aptitude in the Jupiter-affiliated abilities to conjure whirlwinds and perceive hidden truths. The source of this is a Psynergy deposit in the rather remote Air's Rock, the mountain that embodies Jupiter Psynergy, but one would think that Garoh is too far from Air's Rock to be under its influence. However, as a locale for Jupiter energies, the area around the rock is constantly windy, and this wind travels in Garoh's direction regularly. Therefore, particles of the Psynergy deposit constantly ride amongst the winds, resulting in the werewolves of Garoh gaining Jupiter powers.
When Mount Aleph erupted after Saturos' second raid of it, the volcano spewed out hordes of chunks of the Psynergy deposits within it, and these Psynergy stones, as they would be called, landed in all parts of the world, radically altering the lives of both people and animals. For humans, such as the girl Feizhi from Xian village, sudden, harsh contact with a falling Psynergy stone (in her case a stone right to the head) abruptly "unlocks/forges" Psynergy powers within that person's body. For less mentally capable animals, however, the new presence of these stones caused a great many of the wildlife of the world to lose their natural senses and become ferocious monsters, therefore serving as battle obstacles for Isaac, Felix, and the rest of the Adepts in the game to have to battle through the entire course of their journey.
Both the four Elemental Stars and their four corresponding Elemental Lighthouses contain the purified Psynergy essence of the four elements, and as Kraden puts it, "With a single gem [star], one could conquer the world!" These various core sources of elemental Psynergies come into play when the Mars Adept Saturos activates the Mercury Lighthouse with the Mercury star. As he is required to fight the young Adepts Isaac and his friends right afterwards, in spite of his superiority in battle he is weakened by the Mercury influence of the Lighthouse beacon he just activated, and thus he is beaten by Isaac's party. During the battle, the Mercury Adept Mia finds that her Psynergy reserves for casting spells are highly bolstered due to the potent Mercury influence. Finally, the balance between the elements and the consequences of its disruption is demonstrated late in the story, when three of the Lighthouses are activated. The elements of these Lighthouses, Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter, begin overpowering the element of Mars (fire and heat), and as such the climate of the world suddenly becomes dangerously and increasingly frigid. Only when the Mars Lighthouse is activated is the natural balance restored and the climate restabilized.
When the four Elemental Stars were removed from Sol Sanctum, the Elemental Djinn were released into the world. Djinn are small creatures that contain pieces of the core essence of each of the four elements, and as such they come in four varieties representative of each element. When Isaac's party during Golden Sun and Felix's party during The Lost Age encounter Djinn, they join up with the Adepts and exert influence on their Psynergy powers relative to the innate elements of both the Adept and the Djinni involved.
There are even separate sub-balances in addition to the direct balance between the four base elements. The elements of Venus and Mars (earth and fire) are said to have a symbiotic relationship, and this is explained and demonstrated by the Mars Adept Saturos at the top of Venus Lighthouse when he activates it. When the Venus Beacon appears, Saturos and Menardi are recharged in spite of not being the same element as the Lighthouse, but rather are of the element towards which Venus does not conflict. Likewise, the elements of Jupiter and Mercury (wind and water) share a symbiotic relationship which is signified when the Wings of Anemos (wings constructed by a Jupiter clan) are attached to Piers' Lemurian ship (a ship constructed by the Mercury-affiliated Lemurian society in the ocean). Additionally, it is speculated by Kraden and Hama that Weyard grows colder after lighting the Mercury, Venus and Jupiter Lighthouses because Water and Wind both share aspects of coldness, which Earth cannot even out on its own.
After the Golden Sun event, the release of Psynergy into the world caused a great upheaval. Alchemy's sudden influence resulted in natural disasters across the globe. In addition, masses of land, such as Angara, underwent massive geographical changes. At certain intervals, Psynergy Vortexes began to appear. These dense spheres would absorb Psynergy from the land and any Adepts in range. Isaac and Garet would make it their mission to study this phenomenon, as well as any other after effects. During this time of upheaval, the existence of Adepts and Psynergy became more widely known, particularly in Angara. Some developing kingdoms desired to recruit Adepts to assist in their expansion. Also seemingly linked to the awakening of Alchemy, was the radical mutation of certain humans and animals into a hybrid race known as Beastmen. Some Beastmen proved to be Adepts, with unique Psynergy abilities never seen before.
Types of Psynergy[edit | edit source]
Psynergy, from a gameplay perspective, can be categorized one or both of two very different ways: Utility Psynergy and Battle Psynergy.
Utility[edit | edit source]
Utility Psynergy can be used in a non-battle environment to affect an aspect of the environment, such as casting Douse to put out a fire. Many Utility Psynergies are granted by equipping Utility Psynergy items, such as the Cloak Ball providing the Cloak Psynergy to whoever equips it.
A limited number of Utility Psynergies can be learned inherently. These Psynergies usually come from unique sources and do not require that an item be equipped. For example, each of the four Elemental Rocks grant a unique Utility Psynergy associated with that element to a compatible Adept. In other cases, an item, such as the Insight Glass or the Third Eye, will choose their wielders and bond with them, granting them the ability to use the Psynergy contained within.
Battle[edit | edit source]
Battle Psynergy can only be used during combat and always involves either inflicting damage or some otherwise negative status effect to enemies or supporting your own party. Psynergies such as Quake damage enemies, Impair lowers an enemy's Defense rating, Cure restores some of a target Adept's HP, and Resist increases all party members' Resistance ratings by 20 each. Battle Psynergy can be broken down into smaller categories:
- Attack Psynergy. This directly inflicts damage or status conditions on enemies. Examples: Flare, Sleep.
- Elemental Physical Attack: These derive power from the character's attack stat and are single target. They are often the most powerful attacks in the game. Most have two versions: 1 that comes with a class and a second that replaces it when the character has a sufficient amount of Djinn. Examples: Planet Diver and Planetary, Cutting Edge and Plume Edge, Astral Blast and Thunder Mine or Ragnarok and Odyssey.
- Elemental Magical Attack: These make up the vast majority of Attack Psynergy. They often deal damage to multiple foes and vary in power. As the character levels up, they learn additional Psynergies that are upgraded versions of these. However, unlike Elemental Physical Attacks the player can use any iteration of the line (such as using both Spire and Clay Spire). Examples: Plasma, Ice, Volcano, Gaia, Ray, Beam.
- Support Psynergy.
- Buffing Psynergy: This is Psynergy that increases one or more of your Adepts' statistics. Examples: Ward, High Impact.
- Debuffing Psynergy: This is Psynergy that decreases one or more of your opponents' statistics. Examples: Impair, Dull.
- Healing Psynergy: This is Psynergy that restores one or more of your Adepts' Hit Points. Examples: Pure Wish, Succubus. Revive, Lich, and Phoenix are also considered Healing Psynergies.
Combination[edit | edit source]
Symbolism[edit | edit source]
The Mars Lighthouse reveals that each element has had a strong symbol attached to it since ancient times.
- The Venus Element is the element of Man. "Mankind: With the power of wisdom, they ruled the earth."
- The Mars Element is the element of Dragons. "Dragons: Burning with might, they ruled the fires."
- The Jupiter Element is the element of Birds. "Bird: On the wings of truth, they ruled the winds."
- The Mercury Element is the element of Fish. "Fish: With cold courage, they ruled the water."