Let's Play Golden Sun: Chapter 1
It's impossible to convey, but when this appears, it makes the Game Boy startup sound. That's pretty cool. Games that do that are pretty cool.
Uh, well, usually. I'm not so sure about this one.
LENS FLARES (there are two alternating frames that make this even MORE of an intense lens flare but the view is scrolling up so i can't make a gif)
Thank you for telling me your name, game.
You don't need to tell me again. Let's start a new game!
One day, his father thought to himself, "I will have a son. And one day, my son will become a man. This man will have the name (A)AAAAD."
AAAAD's mom wakes him up because terrible occurance and it turns out AAAAD can psychically control Master Hand. Oh, and something about a boulder.
This is Kyle. I don't remember him from the one time I played this game with lots of fastforwarding, so he probably sucks and is never seen again after the ungodly long introduction.
So, anyway, we have to go south to the plaza. (That there is a direct quote from the game. Don't expect many of those.)
The instant we try to listen to our mother like a good boy, the aforementioned boulder suddenly falls in our way. Well, that wasn't such a big boulder, but man, is it ever a jerk.
We try to go in this guy's house. I also don't know this guy. I'll admit it, I don't remember anyone except AAAAD and Felix because they're cool. At least, as cool as anyone in this game can be. But yeah he runs to the plaza via an ALTERNATE ROUTE. AAAAD isn't capable of this kind of thinking because we're controlling him.
Actually, come to think of it, I probably don't know him because he shows up once and disappears for the rest of the game. Silly me.
I'm going to find where these boulders are coming from and punch it in the mouth.
I seriously couldn't figure out where to go for a while and found this, which I thought was vaguely amusing. Unlike most of the text in this game. Which is really bad when you consider how much text IS in this game.
Anyway we have to develop a SUPREME kind of thinking and go north to find Gary pulling a chest and using an innovative "shuddering text" effect as seen in Paper Mario. He's trying to save the precious thing.
The game decides to go all moralizing on us and won't let us leave without him, so he leaves his stuff (which I'm sure would have been really helpful later in the game, what a jerk) and follows us.
Also, his name is actually Garet, but screw that. I would have typo'd it as Gary a bunch anyway.
We try going north but Gary doesn't want us to, because it goes to Mt. Alf. I don't see why we shouldn't go to the source of the boulders so I can punch them like I said. I guess it's because they're huge rocks that neither AAAAD's nor Gary's strength can budge.
Shake your monitor really hard here. (Yeah, I stole that from somebody. But it works, doesn't it?)
The screen scrolls up to some dudes and ladies trying to psychically stop a giant, pixelated Mode 7 Rockô. All of the aforementioned are flashing rainbow colors. Also apparently our village is called Vale. Because it is THE most generic valley.
Suddenly the dude/lady (it's an RPG with small sprites, okay?) turns around and STOPS TRYING TO SAVE THEIR VILLAGE FROM A HUGE FRICKIN' ROCK just so they can tell us to run. Seriously, dude/lady, if we weren't so interested in your conversation (WHICH WE'RE NOT BUT THE GAME THINKS WE ARE), we would have already been doing that. Oh, and then Gary has to tell me what he said AGAIN and THEN I can run. This kind of behavior will be the death of me one way or another.
Another boulder blocks our path. Anyone surprised?
And another one is already here when we get there. Seriously, this is way too convenient, and by convenient I mean infuriating. Also there's a dead guy here.
He just looks so satisfied (and goofy) saying it.
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS IS THIS SOME KIND OF RPG
Well we sure are beating this guy up.
Then for some strange reason, I got a bunch of level ups! How strange.
How strange indeed. (No spoilers!)
Felix is drowning. This is bad, seeing as he has to survive to be the main character in Golden Sun 2. Your mom is all like "I'M SURE HE'LL BE ALL RIGHT" then he suddenly falls into the water but then comes back up because he's badass. After like thirty freakin' dialogue boxes you can go follow your mom who's looking for someone who can use their psychic powers to save Felix. Man, can't anyone do any physical labor anymore?
This is balderdash. This is BOULDERDASH.
I actually started following my mom but I realized I was backtracking and was supposed to go the opposite way. I don't know where SHE was going. Maybe she has the strength to push boulders, I don't know.
You have no idea how hard it is to get a reasonable shot of these pulsating sprites. Have I mentioned how terrible the scaling effects look, and how horrifically often they're used? There's a reason there are likely to only be two battle screenshots, both of which you've already seen.
Anyway, OF COURSE we need to save Felix. We understand the future now, and we cannot cause a paradox. Thus, he cannot be left to die. Some muscly guy who's standing on a big rock jumps down and he's going to help out Felix. Also the purple girl is Jenna, who I'll probably call Jenny a lot. The old guy is the worst character in this intro, and while I can't remember him much past it, he's probably just as bad for the rest of the game.
We come back to the river with muscly dude and BECAUSE WE HAVE A POINTLESS CONVERSATION WITH OUR MOM FROM THE BRIDGE we stop here (which is, arguably, equally dumb) because of some shaking and look around at each other wildly.
Now, normally, I wouldn't be able to capture the magic of the dramatic cutscenes of this game with screenshots, but this one has done it for me. These are actually freeze-frames ingame.
And it's all because of that friggin' dudegal who figured telling us to run was more important than saving the village. I'm so glad all these guys stop existing an hour or so into the game.
What? Hey, wait, we're alive? That's weird. And what's Jenny talking about?
So everyone's being pansies after getting crushed by a giant boulder with a really blocky shadow. But AAAAD is still strong enough to run off somewhere, because he is a man named AAAAD.
Gary isn't, though, because his name is Gary. But he thinks he is, so he follows us.
Suddenly some really ominous music plays and these cool-looking (but in actuality, not cool) people show up and talk about spoilers that will make sense by the end of this intro. Which is actually after a three-year break. And probably about a billion screenshots away. This GAME.
So Ricardo and Mirandi talk about THE AWESOME POWERS OF ALCHEMY and we listen in on their conversation, but RIGHT BEFORE THE GOOD PART Gary shows up and blows our cover. Freakin' Gary.
Look, Gary, you may not have been blessed with a proud name like AAAAD, but that's no reason to be a wimp. Anyway Ricardo and Mirandi attack.
And we beat them good.
You're heading further and further from the cool meter, Golden Sun.
Wait, did I press reset? No! It's just telling us its name again for no reason. (It doesn't actually say "press start" but I'm lazy. But hey, the designers sort of are too for using the exact same cutscene from the title.)
Three years later... (see my lp is of the highest caliber it uses italics for transcription)
THIS CUTSCENE is the worst cutscene. AAAAD fixes his house with psychic powers like the lazy ass he and everyone else is, then there's HILARIOUS dialogue on the roof of the house and HILARIOUS sweatdropping from everyone, then someone falls through the roof because they're fat and it's HILARIOUS. This is how it's gonna be the whole series, isn't it.
Somewhere in this cutscene is also Gary showing that he, too, has mastered Master Hand. There's some stupid stuff about being INSPIRED by the events of three years ago to learn psychic powers, which I wasn't aware was the kind of thing you could do, but the point is no one cares.
SIX HUNDRED BILLION DIALOGUE BOXES LATER you get Gary and Jenny in your party, and you're going to Mt. Alf.
Ricardo and Mirandi are back even though we beat them up three years ago. They do... pretty much nothing at all. Nothing at all. Nothing at all.
JESUS KRADEN SHUT UP. The worst form of exposition is when you have two cool(-looking, but not actually cool) characters tell an old man something offscreen, then you hear HIM awkwardly recounting what they said. He's not even talking to you directly.
There was a cutscene I turbo A'd and sped up through, and Kraden got something from his house and joined us (but not as a REAL party member, of course). Yes, he IS so horribly uncool that I'm not mispelling his name as Kraken.
I got lost again and discovered that the path out of the village has a FENCE blocking the way. NO ESCAPE.
I'm sure if I said yes, he'd go into a long explanation of SOME kind. I'm CERTAIN.
But since this is KRADEN, he does it ANYWAY.
This is totally unimportant, of course. I'll definitely sell it when I get back to town.
I know this is a first dungeon, but come on, it even opens up your item menu automatically after this message box.
Not to mention this.
It opens a passage, we go in it, Kraden goes on about secret passages he's too stupid to find.
Too stupid to find.
Lots of statues! But we can't reach them, so let's use PSYCHIC POWERS. On every single one. Until we find another minotaur head and put in another Small Eye-Shaped Jewel That Goes in a Relief of a Minotaur To Open a Passage Somewhere.
Kraden sucks, etc., etc., we found a sun room.
And he can't see the moon room a couple of feet away until we go over there. I wonder if there's a puzzle involved with this!!! Also the game thinks it's cool because it's calling them "Luna" and "Sol." At this point Kraden gives up and lets you solve the puzzle for him.
We again go a couple feet away up some stairs and push a statue, which causes a bunch of lightning to strike in the room Kraden is in but alas doesn't kill him somehow. He runs up and babbles to us about the trap we just fell for and the obvious puzzle involved.
I CAN'T SCREENSHOT THIS ANY HARDER
So we have to go to the room on the left and push two statues to shine light on the same place, which makes a hole, then we can pull a statue holding a sun symbol into it. That's psychokinesis, AAAAD. Then we can push the statues on the right and after we push ONE STATUE Kraden bothers us AGAIN to tell us that we DISARMED THE TRAP and we can keep doing what we're doing. I don't know why a designer would ever think they need to present forty text boxes to tell us we're correctly doing an obvious puzzle.
We go back downstairs and Kraden is all like "HEY LUNA CHANGED TO SOL BUT THAT'S ALL THAT HAPPENED" and once again has the worst vision ever and doesn't see that the other room has changed Sol to Luna and there's a beam of light coming out of the floor. We inspect the wall it's shooting at and a portal opens up.
What? That doesn't even look like the ocean, Kraden. What's wrong with you? I find it amazing that in an introduction filled with stupid people, they all shut up when you come in and it makes you look even stupider.
At least, I WISH they'd all shut up. Okay that's pretty much going to be all for the screenshots of this place. Overdrive text mode!
Kraden pretends to be smart and says the ocean is a thing at THE END OF THE WORLD but these days you can't see it because of all the black holes in the way. (Which might explain how Kraden somehow mistook this place for the ocean.)
Apparently this place holds the Elemental Stars which Kraden babbles to himself about as the rest of the party (vocally, of course) learns from what he's saying. Because he's Kraden, he HAS to pan the view over to each one and tell us the name of each one, which are all just planets connected to generic elements via Japanese days of the week anyway.
Kraden is so stupidly excited he tries to do the jumping puzzles on his own, but suddenly realizes he's a feeble old man and doesn't want to find out what "the ocean" REALLY is firsthand, so he has you do it instead. You go to each statue and put the star in a bag and pillars pop up to let you go to the next statue because this game hates giving you options beyond yes/no ones that change, at most, one line of dialogue that you probably won't be reading anyway.
After getting three stars, you suddenly look over to Kraden and notice Ricardo and Mirandi are there. How Kraden managed to not say anything when they showed up, I have no idea, but the whole cast needs to do more of that not-talking thing.
A guy who's obviously Felix shows up and he's like Ricardo and Mirandi's master. They want you to give them the stars but Kraden really doesn't want you to but screw him. Felix takes off his mask pretty much instantly, so there's at least one cliche Golden Sun avoided.
As Gary goes over to give them the Elemental Stars, a guy named Alex (who I forgot to mention is also with Ricamirandix) teleports to him and takes them, then they seriously have about 10 to 20 textboxes clarifying that they want the fourth star, too. I'm not even kidding.
After getting the fourth star, the room starts shaking and the floor turns into a volcano.
Obviously! He's an incredibly important character. Maybe. I think.
It takes about a hundred text boxes, but everyone slowly leaves without the fourth star (the Mars Star, not like you care) and AAAAD and Gary are stuck on the platform with it. But then the rock (also known as THE WISE ONE) teleports you out after a hundred more text boxes. Except you still have to escape Sol Sanctum, so he's kind of a jerk.
After running through the whole dungeon backwards (without a time limit at least), you find the whole town being like "LOOKS LIKE MT. ALF WAS A VOLCANO WHOOPS" and demanding you explain what happened there. Which we do, in sepia tones and with a lot of running around like a lame version of SMRPG.
The GREAT HEALER knows we're telling the truth because he has had GREAT VISIONS of THE WISE ONE and drops a lot of exposition on us. Basically we go to lighthouses and we do things there. But we have to LEAVE THE VILLAGE which of course NEVER happens in the normal lives of RPG characters so there's a big leaving party for us.
No one told them about the massive, massive amounts of text.
Two random people we've never met and will never talk to again give us random items that we'll probably never use. So we leave the village once and for all to...
OH DEAR GOD WE'RE ON THE OVERWORLD.