7) The Arena
The Arena in Golden Sun has a handful of uses. To get to it, choose Battle instead of the usual Load Saved Game when you press A from the Main Menu screen. In this mode you'll notice that you can use your "Clear Data" file that contains the save you made once you beat the game if you have one (this leads me to believe that you will be transfering your data via a link cable as oppossed to another method.)
When you select a file to load you'll find yourself in the lobby area. You'll notice that in this lobby none of your Psynergy works, but this doesn't matter because there won't be any monsters or puzzles to fight in the lobby. You also won't take home any experience points, items or health that you may get as a result of fighting in the Lobby. The Lobby is more of just a practice area where you can battle other monsters or a friend. So, you want to head to the girl at the counter north-northwest of the door to set up either a Monster Battle (single player) or a Linked Battle against another player.
Talk with the lady at the counter and step onto the cirlce in the middel of the two desks. In here the bars to the stairs will open and you'll start to head up it. These monster battles won't give you any experience points, but they can be reasonably fun. In here you'll find any monster or monster-type boss that you've already faced in the save file you have loaded. When you defeat a monster you'll arrive back in the circle in the Lobby and you'll be asked if you want to fight another battle. You won't have time to change around Djinn, so make sure that you stick with a solid plan before staring your first monster battle. Take note, however, that if you quit your consecutive monster battle tally will be stopped and you'll have to start over again.
If you've beaten the game expect to see several odd monsters that you usually aren't used to seeing in regular random encounters. Some of these monsters include Bosses, Mimics and tough monsters from Crossbone Island. If you're struggling to defeat some of these monsters, try leveling up in one of your games, saving it, and then playing again. This should make monster battles a lot easier.
The Monster Battle Consecutive Win Record doesn't seem to affect anything in the game, although I could be mistaken. Has anyone gotten anything special by winning a *lot* of monster battles in a row? If so, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Linked Battles are probably the best part of Golden Sun once you've beaten the game. They offer a great deal of challenge (pending that you can actually find a friend with another Game Boy Advance and who has this game) and are generally very exciting. Before I go into strategies, here is some general information on Linked Battles
•The 3 left-most characters will participate in the battle. To change the order of the characters, go to Status, and press L and R to swap around character order.
•Talk with the lady at the counter when linked to propose a linked battle, then talk with her again once your friend accepts your offer. Next, head into the white circle to enter the arena.
•In the battle you will have as long as your rival takes to make his or her move and 15 seconds afterwards. If you fail to choose a command for any character before the clock runs out, those characters will be assigned to defend.
•Feel free to use any items in the battle as these won't transfer over to your normal game (read: you won't lose your items that you consumed in the battle.)
•Agree with your friend to OUTLAW PSY CRYSTALS. This is for the best because if both you and your friend are at high levels and have many Psy Crystals the battles will go on for a *long* time.
Now, here are a few strategies for Linked Battles:
•Turn your sound all of the way down, even before the battle. This will prevent your friend from listening in on what you're doing and planning a counterstrike against you. Alternatively, if you hear your friend inactivating all of his or her Djinn, be prepared for an onslaught of summons at the beginning of the battle.
•In your first battle, put enough Djinn on standby so that you have 3 Level-4 Summons. Unleash these your first time to catch your friend off guard.
•In the remaining battles, don't try the same Summon-First strategy for a while. Instead, try faking your friend out by turning up your volume before the battle and having him listen to your putting all of your Djinn on standby. Then, as soon as the battle begins, simply do stat boosting spells while your friend uses his defensive Djinn, etc. If it works you should be able to catch him or her off guard in the next round and blast him with summons.
•Even if you're going for a normal battle, you will probably want to have atleast 1 Level-4 summon handy. These will do 200-350 damage against your opponent which is a sure-fire way to hurt him when he's down. Since the battles are usually long, you should be able to get back the stats by regaining Djinn after casting the summon anyways.
•Djinn like Kite and Flash are your friends during this battle. Make sure that you have these Djinn active at all times.
•I like Mia over Ivan, but you may have your own preference.
•The Spell "Break" is one of the best spells in this battle. If your friend spends all of his time boosting his stats, simply cast 1 Break spell on him to return his stats back to normal.