- "Goddess of rainbows, guide of souls."
Iris is a Summon sequence of the Mars element found only in a password-enhanced game of Golden Sun: The Lost Age and in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. It is the ultimate Mars summon and is widely considered the ultimate move – Psynergy, Summon, Weapon Unleash, Monster Skill, and otherwise. When nine Mars Djinn and four Mercury Djinn are on standby, and Iris’ Summon Tablet has been collected, the Iris Summon sequence can be activated. It resembles a matriarchal goddess garbed in a divinely textured array of clothing. She summons up the battle’s foes and projects them into outer space, where they are sent into the blaze of the sun itself.
Iris has an intimidating base Mars power of 800 and also does additional damage equivalent to 40% of the enemy’s maximum HP. In addition, all eight Adepts are revived and have their HP meters completely cured. Iris, however, is not automatically summonable once one collects the required Djinn. Iris can only be summoned once the Summon Tablet containing the sequence has been found at the end of Anemos Sanctum near the end of the game. Obtaining the Summon Tablet is no small feat, demanding that the player collect all 72 Djinn in order to simply grant them access to the Inner Sanctum, followed by traversing the most difficult dungeon of the game, which is filled with the strongest randomly encountered enemies and a vast array of mindbending puzzles. Once a player has successfully navigated their way through the dungeon, they will find that their quest to obtain the ultimate summon has only just begun. It is only when players pass the seemingly overwhelming challenge presented by the undeniably fearsome superboss, Dullahan, that they can finally access the Iris Summon sequence.
Iris is undoubtedly the game’s ultimate Summon sequence and is certainly the game's strongest Mars-based attack, much stronger than even Charon. The extreme Djinn requirement, along with the lack of bosses to fight in The Lost Age at the point in time Iris would be attained, means that there is scarcely an opportunity for Iris to be put to very practical use as its only real use is as a "trump card" from when the team is failing badly (with the exception of battle mode). Iris is more meant as a “bragging rights” summon for players who have conquered The Lost Age's ultimate challenge in Anemos Sanctum, and actual uses of the summon are mainly for show.
If players want to put Iris to practical use against Doom Dragon and the remaining superbosses (granted that the other superbosses haven't already been defeated), the best setup is to make sure that the back row of fighters has nine Mars and four Mercury Djinn on standby, using Iris only as an emergency-call. It is highly recommended that a single Adept be given all nine of the standby Mars Djinn, and that one other Adept have the remaining four of the Mercury Djinn on standby that will be needed for the summon. When the front row of fighters has been downed, causing the back row to automatically switch places with them, the Adept with the highest agility should unleash the Summon, reviving every character to full health as well as delivering a colossal amount of damage, which is often enough to finish the boss off (unless you were having already having difficulty dealing damage to the boss in the earlier stages of battle). If the boss, however, survives the hit, immediately switch out the Adept who had the nine Mars Djinn, followed by exchanging the adept with the four Mercury Djinn for more suitable combatants. Keep in mind the following notes on bosses:
- Using Iris against Valukar is not recommended, as he can also turn it against you.
- Using Iris against Star Magician is rather tricky. Any Guardian Balls that are present will cut the damage significantly due to their guard aura ability. If you decide to use Iris and all of the balls are defeated, but Star Magician survives, continue the onslaught and make sure you immediately destroy any Refresh and Guardian Balls before they can perform their actions.
- Doom Dragon's final boss battle is not conducted as one battle, but rather three battles in a single setting. This means that any damage dealt to Doom Dragon will only apply to whatever battle phase it is currently in. Note that Doom Dragon also has a guard aura ability.
(Really)Early Iris trick!:
It is possible to obtain Iris as soon as you enter Contigo. Go into the Sanctum with reveal (where you have to teleport with all Djinns) and go to the chest. Use the retreat warp glitch (set retreat as smartcast to L or R, get like 4 PP use Retreat which fails) and open the chest. The rune letters appear and you now have Iris way before you should have it. Here the link to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFvWDkaU0AE
Iris in Greek mythology was the personification of the rainbow and was the messenger of the goddess Hera, who was the queen of the gods. The Mars and Mercury Djinn as the Djinn used to summon her are well-placed, as the rainbow only appears when the Sun (Mars) breaks through the clouds after a rainstorm (Mercury).
Another goddess in Egyptian mythology that may have influenced the summon is Isis. In many accounts, Isis revived her husband Osiris from death, after he had been murdered by Seth. Coupled with the fact that she was considered the protector of the dead, this may be a reference for Iris' ability to revive party members.
- Interestingly, a "goddess of rainbows" was referenced to in the first Golden Sun, when Isaac and his party climbed the Mercury Lighthouse in pursuit of Saturos and Menardi. The final waterfall passage leading to the Mercury Lighthouse's beacon is activated by casting Ply on the Aquarius statue. This message appears as a hint to the player: "He who honors (ply) the goddess of rainbows (possibly Iris) shall be guided to the heavens upon wings of fluid grace." The visual effects of the Summon consist of Iris appearing, then casting the enemy party into the sun (a heavenly body) using beams of light, which reflects the message.