Welcome to Nintendokusou’s new article series “Warning! Challenger Approaching!”.
Since some people are having trouble figuring out who they should vote for in the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot, I decided to make these articles in hopes of helping them choose a character that should be in the game and that really matters for Nintendo’s history.
We will be taking a look at the characters’ origins, importance and what they could eventually bring to the table if they end up joining the roster.
In the end, the choice still belongs to you, the fans! That said, I still hope this helps you somewhat in making this tough decision!
For our first article, we will be taking a look at Isaac from the Golden Sun series. Enjoy!
Who is Isaac?
Isaac is a Venus Adept and the main playable character in the original Golden Sun. Venus Adepts can use Psynergy (a type of “elemental magic”) to manipulate earth and other related forces, such as rocks, sand or plants.
He is also a silent protagonist and the party leader of the first game, gaining a speaking role in his second appearance towards the end of Golden Sun: The Lost Age as a co-leader of the game’s final party.
He later marries Jenna and becomes the father of Matthew, the main playable character of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn.
He is considered to be the most powerful Venus Adept in the Golden Sun series, due to the early age he started his psynergy training at and his various adventures across the world of Weyard. His powers are closely followed by fellow Venus Adept Felix, Jenna’s brother, and his own son, Matthew. They are the only three characters capable of equipping the games’ ultimate weapon, the Sol Blade, and share the same default Class series, Squire.
Because he is the most reliable “main representative” of the Golden Sun series, Isaac makes an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an unlockable Assist Trophy, where he uses the Move Psynergy three times, in an attempt to push enemies away from the player who summoned him.
Besides that, the Golden Sun series currently has two songs in the Super Smash Bros. games, a Remix containing the Battle Scene and Final Boss tracks from Golden Sun and Weyard the Overworld Theme from Golden Sun: Dark Dawn.
Battle Scene / Final Boss Remix:
What kind of game is Golden Sun?
This is going to be tough to explain without spoiling the games, so let’s see if I can summarize their plot and mechanics without ruining the experience for you. Please, bare with me…
Golden Sun is a series of role-playing video games created by Camelot Software Planning and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance and DS. At present time, three games have been released, with the first two also available through the Wii U’s Virtual Console. Meanwhile, Nintendo and Camelot have shown interest in producing a fourth entry in the series if there is enough demand for one (Like we haven’t told them enough times there is…).
According to the developers, when both of the GBA games are put together, they tell the player a full story that serves as a prologue to future events of greater importance involving the descendants of the original heroes. Those events will take place from the DS game onwards.
The first game in the series, Golden Sun, is sometimes referred to by its Japanese subtitle “The Broken Seal”, and was released worldwide between August 2001 and February 2002.
This first title focuses on the journey of Isaac, Garet, Ivan, and Mia, your party of four Adepts, in pursuit of a band of antagonists led by Saturos, Menardi and Alex.
Saturos’ group stole the four Elemental Star jewels from Sol Sanctum and intends to unleash the sealed power of Alchemy unto the world of Weyard. This is achieved by using the jewels to light the energy beacons atop the four Elemental Lighthouses situated across the world.
Isaac’s party is tasked by the Wise One, the omniscient guardian of the aforementioned seal, with the important mission of preventing this from happening. If such power were to be unleashed, it could spell potential cataclysm for the world if mankind were to abuse it wrongfully.
The world of Weyard is introduced to the player during their adventure, but only a limited portion of it is explored, for the majority of the plot progression takes place only on the continent of Angara and the upper half of the neighboring continent of Gondowan, to the south. Moreover, only two of the four Lighthouses are visited in this game’s part of the story, the Mercury and Venus Lighthouses (representing Water and Earth, respectively).
The first game is also responsible for, as you may expect, the introduction of the various base concepts and mechanics used throughout the series, including:
- the idea of exploring random encounter-filled dungeons containing environmental and layout-based puzzles;
- the Psynergy system, used both in battle and to solve puzzles in the field;
weapons with unleashes, special effects that trigger when a critical hit is performed;
- the character Class system, which grants different Stats and Psynergy to the characters depending on their class;
- the Summoning system, that let’s you invoke huge elemental spirits to help you;
- and the collectible Djinn system, which allows the two previously mentioned systems to work, by setting and unleashing the Djinn in a character’s possession.
It also has a Data Transfer feature, that allows you to send various amounts of information to the second game, via Password or Link Cable.
The second game, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, was released worldwide between June 2002 and September 2003, as a direct sequel to the first game.
The continuation focuses on Felix, Jenna and Sheba, members and former captives of the original game’s antagonistic party, conducting their own journey across the world of Weyard, now as your playable characters. They are soon joined by a new ally named Piers and, using his personal Lemurian ship, explore the oceans of Weyard, stopping by many of the islands and continents surrounding the original two continents of the first game.
Felix leads the group towards their objective, to complete Saturos’ goal of lighting the remaining Elemental Lighthouses and releasing Alchemy upon the world. Meanwhile, they are pursued by the heroes of the previous game, who intend to stop them at all costs. However, our friends must contend with a new pair of warriors, Karst and Agatio, who are seeking out Isaac so they can avenge the death of Saturos and Menardi, who were previously killed at the top of Venus Lighthouse. They must also deal with Alex, who keeps manipulating everyone so he can achieve his own objectives.
Eventually, Felix’s and Isaac’s parties learn of a shocking truth about their world and the relation of Alchemy to it, and end up joining forces, forming a final traveling party of eight Adepts. That said, nothing could ever prepare them for what awaits at the top of the final Lighthouse…
In terms of gameplay, this game expands on the previous basic features with new Classes, Psynergy, Summons and Djinn. It also introduces a new randomized item crafting system, where you can transform collectible forgeable materials and rusty items into new weapons and gear for your characters to use.
For a more visual summary of the first two games’ story you can always watch the Golden Sun Saga books from Dark Dawn, right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_XUfEfeLg4
Last but not least, we come to the third title in the series, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, which was released worldwide between October and December 2010.
The game takes place some 30 years after Golden Sun: The Lost Age, and revolves around the descendants of the Warriors of Vale. Now that the power of the Golden Sun has been set loose, the world has changed drastically. Continents have shifted, new countries have emerged, and new species have appeared. However, the world is now imperiled by a new threat, the Psynergy Vortexes that are spreading across the world, sucking the elemental Psynergy from both the land and fellow Adepts. Our heroes are drawn into the mystery behind the vortexes, seeking to understand what is causing them.
When Garet’s son accidentally breaks a flying machine critical to Isaac’s work, they send their descendants, Matthew, Tyrell, and Karis (Ivan’s daughter), in a mission to find a rare Mountain Roc feather required to fix it. After meeting up with Kraden and Rief, they are suddenly ambushed by three mysterious Adepts named Blados, Chalis, and Arcanus. Because of this unexpected event, the group must find another way to reach their destination. During their travels they are required to activate two ancient Alchemy Machines to unlock a new path, and are progressively joined by Amiti, Sveta and Eoleo.
After completing their original mission, the group eventually activates another machine hidden in the ruins of Belisnk, unknowingly triggering the Grave Eclipse and causing death and suffering across much of the continent. After that, Matthew’s party learns that in order to stop it they need to use the Apollo Lens, another alchemy machine. In order to reach it, they must find the legendary Umbra Gear first, enlisting the aid of a priestess named Himi, to do so. After confronting Blados and Chalis and activating the Apollo Lens, the group manages to put an end to the Grave Eclipse. At the end of the game, Matthew, Karis, and Tyrell part ways with their friends to return home, however, they return to find Isaac and Garet missing and an unusually large Psynergy Vortex hovering above Sol Sanctum… (Cliffhangers… Deal with it!)
This game doesn’t add or change much mechanically in relation to its predecessors, simply expanding upon the already existent concepts.
Why is Golden Sun important to Nintendo’s history?
Why should it be in Smash?
Golden Sun is an important series for several reasons!
First and foremost, it is the only classic fantasy RPG series Nintendo has in its huge library of titles. This alone makes Golden Sun extremely unique among the various franchises that constitute Nintendo’s multiverse, making it a prime candidate to supply Smash with varied characters, stages and music.
The first two games were very well received by players and are often considered some of the best games available in the GBAs library. Many praised the games’ vibrant graphics, high-quality sound, and varied, refined RPG gameplay. The Djinn-based gameplay systems were particularly helpful in distinguishing this gem from other RPGs. The games can also be considered graphically stunning for the limitations of the GBA’s 32-bit color support.
In 2001, Golden Sun won the Nintendo Power Award for the best Game Boy Advance game of the year. Golden Sun was also ranked 94 on IGN’s Readers Choice Top 100 games ever. The game has sold around 1,760,000 copies worldwide.
Golden Sun: The Lost Age was ranked 78 on IGN’s Readers Choice Top 100 games ever and was rated as the 69th best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Power’s “Top 200 Games” list. The game has sold around 1,220,000 total copies worldwide.
Although the third game wasn’t as well received as its predecessors, it still got good review scores. This can possibly be blamed on the 8 year gap between the release of this game and it’s predecessors. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has sold around 760,000 copies.
As you can see, overall the series has numbers and praise to back up its desired inclusion in Super Smash Bros.
Besides all of this, Isaac has already been considered as “Smash material” by Masahiro Sakurai in the past, but was relegated to the role of an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This shows he acknowledges the series’ potential to belong in the Smash world, something that has unfortunately been hindered by several questionable decisions made by the creators of both series. The Smash Ballot could single-handedly change the fate of Golden Sun both in Smash and outside of it.
What can Isaac bring to the table as a playable character?
I would like to start this section by briefly discussing costumes.
When it comes to this matter, I suggest they give Isaac four costumes with colors taken from his party members and then we can have the other four costumes represent Matthew and his own party.
Since Isaac and Matthew are literally the same (even their in game stats follow an identical pattern) and both could be easily made by slightly tweaking the same model, we could have both join the battle at the same time, representing this way the full spectrum of Golden Sun games. This would also allow us to use a couple of psynergies from Matthew’s game in Isaac’s moveset.
Speaking of movesets, it’s really difficult to make one for him while including all the battle related elements from Golden Sun, but I miraculously managed to do it. I personally feel really proud of myself, so I hope you like it too!
Here it is, illustrated with GIFs just for you:
Entrance – Isaac casts the Retreat/Teleport Psynergy and warps into battle.
Shield – Isaac unleashes Granite “creating a mighty earthen barrier.” (His shield could be yellow since Granite is a Venus Djinni and his barriers have that color)
Dodge – Isaac casts the Cloak Psynergy, temporarily making himself invisible. Alternatively, he could cast Teleport or simply move out of the way, since in Golden Sun Cloak only works in the shadows.
Neutral A – Isaac does a regular slice with his sword.
Neutral A x 3 – Isaac does three diagonal slices with his sword in quick succession. Looks similar to the Sonic Smash unleash but much slower.
Running A – Isaac jumps forward and unleashes Flint “striking opponents with a blow that can cleave stone”. (Similar to Link’s running A but maybe with more knockback)
Ledge Attack – Isaac jumps up and attacks while casting the Helm/Skull Splitter Psynergy.
Ground Attack – Isaac gets up while casting the Growth Psynergy, making small vines sprout around himself. Maybe the vines could trip opponents!?
Up Tilt – Isaac swings his sword upwards while casting the Thorn Psynergy, spiking opponents from below with thorny plants.
Side Tilt – Isaac swings his sword sideways while casting the Ragnarok Psynergy. If you hit an oponent’s head with the tip of the psynergy blade while he is grabing a ledge, this tilt will meteor smash them.
Down Tilt – Isaac swings his sword downwards while casting the Spire Psynergy, making a stone spire fall on top of his opponent’s head. When used near the ledge, the spire will keep falling down until it’s off-screen.
Up Smash – Isaac thrusts his sword towards the sky while casting the Punji Psynergy, hitting opponents from below with a flurry of punji sticks that surround him.
Side Smash – Isaac swings his sword sideways while casting the Odyssey Psynergy. This is a two-part smash where Isaac binds his opponents with two small blades on the first hit and then slams them away with a giant psynergy sword for the second hit. (Similar to Link’s side smash but you can’t escape the second hit if you get caught in the first one)
Down Smash – Isaac thrusts his sword into the ground while casting the Rockfall Psynergy, making a flowing stream of rocks surge from underneath his opponent.
Neutral Air – Isaac does a full spin while using an Oil Drop to emulate the Flare Storm Psynergy, surrounding himself with flames that burn his opponents.
Forward Air – Isaac uses a Weasel’s Claw to emulate the Sonic Slash Psynergy, slashing his opponents with wind blades.
Up Air – Isaac uses a Bramble Seed to emulate the Nettle Spynergy, spiking opponents from below with thorny plants.
Back Air – Isaac uses some Crystal Powder to emulate the Hail Prism Psynergy, throwing hail crystals at his opponent’s face.
Down Air – Isaac throws down a Smoke/Sleep Bomb that can meteor smash opponents with the explosion. When it explodes on the ground it can delude opponents with a smoke cloud or put them to sleep depending on the type of bomb used. (Sleep bombs could be made less common to avoid constant “free kills”)
Air Grab – Isaac casts the Grip Psynergy in mid-air. This move can be used as a tether recovery, using the hand to pull Isaac towards a ledge. When used against opponents, it could give them a small pinch or pull them towards Isaac.
Grab – Isaac casts a combo of the Catch/Grip and Lift/Carry Psynergies to grab opponents and move them around.
Grab A – Isaac casts the Grind Psynergy, squeezing his opponent inside his “hands”. (It looks similar to when Master Hand does the same to the player)
Forward Throw – Isaac casts the Force Psynergy, punching his opponent forward.
Up Throw – Isaac casts the Scoop Psynergy, throwing his sand covered opponent upwards.
Back Throw – Isaac casts the Slap Psynergy, smacking his opponent behind his back.
Down Throw – Isaac casts the Pound Psynergy, slamming his opponent against the ground.
Neutral Special – Isaac casts the Move Psynergy, pushing his opponents away. Can be used to deflect attacks and projectiles or push falling opponents away from ledges.
Up Special – Isaac’s Sol Blade unleashes Megiddo. He jumps up and swings his sword against a giant plasma sphere, making it crash diagonally against his opponents.
Side Special – Isaac casts the Gaia Psynergy, directing it under his opponent before releasing a torrent of rocks that flow upwards. (Similar in appearance to Palutena’s Up Smash but controlled like Greninja’s Shadow Sneak. Can you picture that?)
Down Special – While holding B, Isaac casts Tremor, slightly lifting opponents off the ground. Once B is released, Isaac casts Quake, raising earth pillars that hit the opponent from below, sending them flying. This move kind of combos with itself, so it might need some tweaking.
Final Smash – Isaac summons Judgement, one of the most beloved and well recognized Golden Sun Summons. (I set the video time to when Judgement is summoned)
Taunt 1 – Isaac stands in his Psynergy casting pose while Venus energy flows around him.
Taunt 2 – One of Isaac’s Djinn jumps out, circles around Isaac and jumps back towards him, setting itself.
Taunt 3 – Isaac throws a Lucky Medal into the air and catches it when it falls back down.
Victory 1 – Isaac pets one of his Djinn.
Victory 2 – Isaac smiles and pumps his glowing fist while using Psynergy to lift rocks around himself before letting them fall back down.
Victory 3 – Isaac sheathes his sword, closes his eyes and stands there with his back facing the screen while his yellow scarf waves around in the wind.
As you can see, Isaac could make for a pretty interesting character overall! He would obviously be stronger on the ground, since he is a Venus Adept, but he wouldn’t be as bad as Little Mac is in the air, mind you. Moreover, he would make for a very unique character that focuses in grabs, throws and ledge control, with some precision moves thrown in that only advanced players would be able to take full advantage of.
What can Golden Sun bring to the table as a series?
Besides interesting characters, the Golden Sun series is also home to memorable locations and a high quality soundtrack. Moreover, several of its weird creatures could be used as enemies in modes like Smash Run. Also, when it comes to trophies, the various main characters and djinn alone could make for more than 100!
My first suggestion for a stage will always be the Venus Lighthouse. It’s an important place in the games that appears at both the end of the first game and the beginning of the second (even in the title screen), serving as a linking element between them. Besides that, Golden Sun’s final boss battle happens there, ripping the lighthouse apart and triggering an earthquake that will end up setting Felix’s own adventure in motion.
If they made a stage based on Venus Lighthouse, it would be set at the top of it and could have Saturos, Menardi and their fusion, the Fusion Dragon, as stage hazards. After defeating both of them, they would light the beacon and fuse into the dragon. After defeating the dragon, the lighthouse would shake and split apart, leaving less ground to stand on. After that, the lighthouse gets back together like in the games and they can just rinse and repeat the sequence.
Other memorable locations from the games that could easily become stages include (and you can look these up on your own):
- Sol Sanctum and the Elemental Star Chamber;
- Mercury, Jupiter and Mars Lighthouses;
- Kolima Forest;
- Lucky Medal Fountains at Tolbi and Lemuria;
- Colosso Tournament Arena;
- Pirate Ship at Crossbone Isle;
- Shrine of the Sea God;
- Air’s, Aqua, Gaia and Magma Rocks;
- Great Gabomba Statue;
- Piers’ Lemurian Ship;
- Tundaria Tower;
- Ankhol Ruins;
- Lemuria and the Sea of Time;
- Gaia Falls;
- Anemos Inner Sanctum;
- Lookout Cabin;
- Konpa Ruins;
- Barai Temple;
- The Ouroboros;
- Harapa Ruins;
- Craggy Peak Ruins;
- Phantasmal Bog;
- Talon Peak;
- Belinsk Opera House;
- Belinsk Ruins;
- Apollo Sanctum;
Finally, the games have an amazing soundtrack with several tracks that would fit Smash well and others that could fit in if given a small remix. Here’s a sample list of tracks I think could work for this purpose:
Isaac’s Theme (GS)
The First Book (GS)
The Elemental Stars (GS)
Battle with Saturos (GS)
Ready for a Challenge (GS)
Battle in Colosso (GS)
Venus Lighthouse (GS)
Fusion and Crysis (GS)
Linked Battle (GS)
The Second Book (TLA)
Jenna’s Theme (TLA)
Felix’s Theme (TLA)
Battle with Briggs (TLA)
Kibombo at Daylight (TLA)
Battle on the Ship (TLA)
Tundaria Tower (TLA)
The Mysterious Aqua Rock (TLA)
The Western Sea (TLA)
Moapa’s Challenge (TLA)
Mars Lighthouse (TLA)
Battle with Doom Dragon (TLA)
The Golden Sun Rises (TLA)
Battle – Isaac’s Theme (DD)
Battle – Matthew’s Theme (DD)
Battle in the Ship (DD)
Battle with Sand Prince (DD)
Rainbow over Koba Desert (DD)
Opera House (DD)
Battle – Formidable Enemy (DD)
Arangoa Prelude (DD)
Battle – Eclipse (DD)
Snowdrift Shrine (DD)
Battle – Summon Guardians (DD)
Ascend to Destiny (DD)
The Final Challenge (DD)
Battle – Blados and Chalis (DD)
Battle – Chaos Chimera (DD)
The Third Book (DD)
And that’s all of the music!
Thanks for reading until the end, let’s wrap this up, ok!?
After reading through all of that, you must now realize that the Golden Sun series’ appearance in Super Smash Bros. is long overdue, right? The series could contribute to the game with all sorts of assets, expanding greatly on the already represented Nintendo universe. Moreover, its inclusion in Smash could give its popularity a much needed boost, introducing new players to the wonders of Weyard and allowing the fans to finally receive the long awaited 4th entry in the series. If we get lucky and Isaac/Matthew does get in, it also opens the doors for other unique and interesting characters to eventually join the roster one day!
If you think Isaac is deserving of being in Smash and that people should vote for him in the Smash Ballot, feel free to share this article with them in an attempt to convince them! Also, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IsaacForSmash or #Isaac4Smash on the social networks!
I personally voted for Isaac because Golden Sun has a special place in my heart and childhood memories, and because I feel like he would become an irreplaceable addition to the roster.
Finally, I must give special thanks to:
- All the Golden Sun fans who upload art and videos of the game because they allowed me to make this article that much more colorful;
- Everyone who compiled information on the Golden Sun Wiki and Golden Sun Universe;
- The Isaac supporters at Smashboards for giving me a few ideas for the moveset;
- aviacsa55 on Deviantart for the Challenger Approaching template;
- And the most important of all, my friend Lionel, for giving me the idea for this series of articles and helping me out with some details of the structure and content of this article.
Now it’s time for you to voice your opinion!
Do you think Isaac and Golden Sun deserve to be in Smash?
Did you like his potential moveset or have ideas of your own you want to share?
Have you played the games before? If you didn’t, do you feel like playing them now?
Let me hear your thoughts by leaving me a comment down below or sending me a tweet @Nintendokusou!
Don’t forget to share the article with your friends and to ask them for their opinion too!
Come back next time for a “puzzling” article about everyone’s favorite Fairy of Flowers!
See you around everyone! *
* But before you go, please read these extra announcements:
– Marvelous Europe has offered me a review copy for Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven, saying the e-mail with the download code will arrive in about two weeks.
That said, I wanted to know if you have any specific questions you would like me to address in the review of the game!?
I’m also debating if I should use some sort of score system or keep it more of a personal opinion and general advice, what do you think?
(I’ll try to play as much as I possibly can before publishing the review around June 4th, but strategy games tend to be lengthy… let’s see what I can do…)
– In addition to the next article in this series, I’m thinking about writing two other articles, an E3 predictions article and another one about a Zelda Wii U theory I have, involving Link’s identity in the game. Would you like to see those?
– I also wanted to let you know that I will try to get in contact with the rest of the PR teams I haven’t talked to yet during the week, so news will be arriving after I’m done with that, ok?
– Finally, I wanted to ask you all if you would like to see a playthrough/let’s play of the three Golden Sun games in the future? I have all three of them but I still need to get me some money for extra devices first, like a capture card for instance… So, we have three options now:
- I emulate the games and risk Nintendo getting angry at me, something I will probably avoid for now;
- I get a TV Capture Card and use the Gamecube Game Boy Player to play the original GBA cartridges on the TV (probably has worse image quality);
- I get a TV Capture Card and download the VC version of the games from the eShop (probably has better image quality);
Still don’t know about Dark Dawn but I will figure something out later, right?
Do you have any advice or ideas on how I should do this? Leave me your opinion, please!