Phantom Hourglass Game Overview

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The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass was released in 2007 for the Nintendo DS handheld gaming system. It was the fourteenth installment in The Legend of Zelda series and one of two games in the series released on the Nintendo DS.

Release Information

The Phantom Hourglass is a video game by Nintendo for the Nintendo DSi system. It was released on June 23, 2007, in Japan and North America, and on October 1, 2007, in Australia. Europe received the game slightly later than North America and Japan, on October 27, 2007. The player controls Link – a hero from Hyrule – as he tries to save his friend Tetra from an evil curse put upon her by a ghost named Bellum.

The Phantom Hourglass is not only the first original game in the series to be released on the Nintendo DSi system, but also for the whole Nintendo DS family.


Phantom Hourglass Game Overview

The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass is a game for the Nintendo DS which takes place several years after the events of The Wind Waker. Over the course of the game, Link must travel between two worlds to obtain and destroy a relic tied to an evil curse on his hand that is causing him pain and slowly killing him.

The protagonist and playable character of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is Link, a young boy living on Outset Island. One day, Tetra and her pirates attack Outset Island to search for the “Gonzo” that washed up on the shore, who is really a man named Linebeck.

Link’s sister attempts to convince him to help, and Tetra agrees to take Link along with them if he helps in the search; however, Tetra has no time for children and leaves him behind.

While journeying across the sea with Tetra and her pirates, Link discovers that his beloved friend Aryll is being held hostage by a large bird named Helmaroc King. Helmaroc King, once Linebeck’s ship, has since been commanded by an evil being named Bellum to kidnap the young girls in the sea.

Link successfully rescues Aryll but is not able to save Tetra before she is captured and turned into stone. Linebeck now thinks that Link is too dangerous for the crew, so he locks him away in the ship’s brig.

Link is freed by Ciela, a fairy who was also captured and turned into stone after her homeland was consumed by The Ocean King. She tells Link that Tetra is alive, but will disappear if the ocean current pulls her too far away from them; Linebeck still thinks that Link is too dangerous, but lets Link escape. The same goes for Jabun, who was captured by Bellum and holds the key needed to unchain Tetra.

Link successfully frees Tetra but learns that he needs to find the three pure metals of the sea in order to defeat Bellum’s evil curse on his hand. With the help of Linebeck who returns to his former self, Link successfully relieves each sea creature of its burden and obtains the three pure metals.

Link takes the three pure metals to the three sanctuaries so he can obtain the mythical rings needed to undo Bellum’s curse. He is stopped by Linebeck at first but manages to persuade him to let him proceed. Linebeck is still too afraid to face Bellum himself, so Link asks the ghosts of previous Phantoms for help.

They give Link Phantom armor that hides his true identity from Bellum, allowing him to obtain the three mystical rings.

Meanwhile, Oshus reveals himself as a younger version of the Ocean King, a legendary figure who can stop Bellum. He tells Link that he will give him the last pure metal the moment he faces the evil behind everything.

Link goes to where Bellum dwells and defeats it with ease after obtaining Phantom armor; however, Oshus reveals that Bellum is immortal and has fallen into an eternal slumber. Link takes advantage of the moment and attacks Bellum’s weak spot with a Phantom that has turned against him.

Oshus congratulates Link but is now in danger as well because Bellum will wake up from his slumber. Tetra steps in to save Oshus before he disappears, revealing herself as Princess Zelda before disappearing as well for some reason.

Link returns to Outset Island, where he sees Linebeck’s ship on the horizon. Linebeck has returned for good this time and has developed a newfound respect for Link. He reveals that Oshus is King of Hyrule, but no one knows it yet because he is cursed as well until Bellum is defeated.

Link, Linebeck, Ciela, and King Oshus-now actually in his true form-celebrate at the pirates’ departure. Aryll returns Link’s telescope to him as her way of thanking him for saving her life.

Link uses the Phantom Hourglass he received from Oshus to turn back time seven minutes; doing this allows him to relive the last seven minutes of his adventure.

Gameplay and Controls

Phantom Hourglass Game 1

Phantom Hourglass is a top-down action-adventure game in the same vein as Link’s Awakening and The Wind Waker. The gameplay is almost identical to that of The Wind Waker, with players using the stylus instead of the joystick for combat and Link’s sword swinging. In order to fight, players must draw an object to fight with on the screen.

The game also features a new mechanic known as the “Tingle Tuner,” which allows players to direct Tingle to other places in order to solve puzzles or find out treasure for Link, but also increases the difficulty.

Link controls nearly the same way he does in The Wind Waker, with a few exceptions: Link now has the ability to jump, and there are a few additional items at his disposal. One item is a hammer that can be used to smash rocks, pots, and other obstructions in order to find hidden treasures or open up new paths for Link.

Also, Link can roll into certain bushes or statues to reveal hidden staircases. Link also can find many items that give him new abilities, like “fire arrows” or the ability to break metal blocks.

Controls are for the Nintendo DS system with stylus controls. The game is best played on a Nintendo DS LITE, as the original Nintendo DS and the Nintendo DSi will cause some problems from not having a top screen.

Key Characters

As always, Link is the protagonist, a young boy who is trying to save his friend Tetra. He has the ability to turn back time for seven minutes, allowing him to redo recent events or find secrets he’s missed.

Linebeck is a cowardly captain Link meets early on in the game. He will help Link throughout the game until he betrays him and leaves at the end of the first half of the game. However, he returns as a ghost and swears to help Link defeat Bellum.

King Oshus is also known as Lord Ciela, Oshus’s right-hand man who keeps King of Hyrule shielded from outsiders and safe from Bellum. After Link defeats Bellum, Oshus reveals himself to be the king and stays behind while Linebeck and Ciela leave.

Princess Zelda is captured by Oshus early on in order to protect her from Bellum and is saved by Link later in the game. She has a strange connection to Tetra that no one knows about until near the end of the game.

Bellum is a massive, evil squid that crashes into Tetra’s ship and turns her crew into monsters. He can only be defeated by using Phantom Hourglass and drawing his true form on the screen; unfortunately, this also weakens Oshus and Zelda because of their connection with Tetra.

Tetra (real name: Atra) is a childhood friend of Link’s and the captain of her crew. She was captured by Bellum early on in the game but manages to escape with Link’s help.

Key Weapons and Other Items

Phantom Hourglass Game

The Phantom Hourglass is the titular item of the game, it is the only way to defeat Bellum and must be used as such. It also allows Link to turn back time for seven minutes if he needs to redo recent events or find secrets.

Link’s new bow can fire three arrows at a time and is the key item for defeating some bosses and enemies. He can also use it to hit targets in order to solve puzzles and find new areas.

The Sand Wand is a powerful weapon given to Link by Oshus in order to defeat Bellum and his monsters. It allows Link to fire blasts of energy but drains magic over time so it must be used sparingly.

Link can slip special shoes on to dash quickly, allowing him to travel faster and jump further. He also has a pair of climbing gloves that allow him to climb vines or grip onto boat masts after unfurling them.

Like in The Wind Waker, Link uses a grappling hook to swing from one platform to another or pull himself towards platforms.

The Salvage Arm is an important item given to Link by Linebeck early in the game that allows him to collect treasure from the seafloor. It can only be used near whirlpools, however (which are often found near foes), and drains magic while it’s used.

Linebeck’s Sword allows Link to cut bushes, vines, etc. in order to create new paths and also attack foes (but not bosses) when his magic power is drained.

The Bell can be used once per room to awaken sleeping statues that give Link important hints or items. It only works on the ground, however, so it’s useless while riding on a boat.

Other important items include bombs, a boomerang, and the compass that allows Link to see where bosses are located.

Key Locations

Phantom Hourglass Game

The Ocean King’s Temple is where Oshus lives and keeps the Phantom Hourglass from Bellum. He also fills it with life force when Link brings him spirit energy from monsters or fallen allies.

Linebeck Island is where Link and Linebeck meet Oshus for the first time and also where the majority of the trading sequence takes place.

The Isle of Frost is a mysterious location that houses three hidden treasures. It is surrounded by whirlpools and has no discernible entrance or exit, making exploration difficult.

Bubbles’ Crypt is a hidden cave that can only be accessed if Link has the power bracelets. Inside, he finds a strange monster who gives him the Sand Wand in return for freeing her from a curse.

Breath of the Wild is a small island filled with vegetation and rare insects where Oshus hides Princess Zelda away from Bellum. Link visits here after rescuing her in order to get the Iron Boots, which allows him to enter the Temple of Ice.

The Temple of Ice is the last temple in the game and features a boss fight with Gleeok. Link must collect four key items to open up the boss room and also two other rooms where he can obtain many useful items.

Ocean King’s Palace is where Bellum makes his home and holds Tetra captive for much of the game; it features a boss fight with Phantom Ganon and requires Link to use the Phantom Hourglass and his bow to blind its eye and kill it.

Other important locations are the Earth Temple, the Ghost Ship, the Isle of Ember, Linebeck’s Island, Mercay Island, and Oshus’ home.

Key Bosses and Battles

The most important bosses in the game are Bellum and Phantom Ganon, both located in the Ocean King’s Palace. Bellum cannot be defeated without the use of the Phantom Hourglass, however, while Link can kill Phantom Ganon with his sword.

Other bosses include Molgera (Temple of Wind), Gohdan (Temple of Fire), Jalhalla (Earth Temple), and Big Octo (Ghost Ship).


If you enjoy playing the Phantom Hourglass, you may want to check out some of these other alternatives. Some are part of the Legend of Zelda franchise and others aren’t, but the gameplay is similar.

Spirit Tracks

Spirit Tracks

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is another game in the franchise that follows a similar style to Phantom Hourglass. The player still has to solve puzzles and explore dungeons while fighting enemies, but it’s set on land rather than the sea.

Link’s Crossbow Training is compatible with the Wii Zapper and lets players use Link’s bow in order to attack enemies while riding on a train. It’s more similar to the Twilight Princess games than the Phantom Hourglass ones, but it does have a similar art style and some of the same gameplay elements.

Four Swords

Four Swords

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords is a multiplayer game for Game Boy Advance that’s not part of the official series, but does have many plot similarities with Phantom Hourglass and makes use of similar items and gameplay elements. It can be played alone or with three other people and won’t be spoiled if you’ve never played any of the Legend of Zelda games before.



Oceanhorn is an action game that’s largely similar to Phantom Hourglass. It follows a boy on his quest to defeat an evil monster, and players need to explore various islands by boat while defeating the enemies they find along the way.

It has its own story, but you’ll still be able to enjoy it even if you’ve already played Phantom Hourglass.


If you’re interested in the Phantom Hourglass or similar games, these frequently asked questions should help you understand a bit more.

Question: Where are the Water and Fire Temples?

Answer: The Water Temple is in the Temple of Ice, while the Fire Temple is located in Hyrule Castle. The Earth Temple, which was originally planned for Phantom Hourglass but didn’t make it into the final game, can be found in Spirit Tracks instead.

Question: What’s Different About Four Swords?

Answer: Four Swords is compatible with three other Nintendo DS systems and lets you play in multiplayer mode. It doesn’t follow the same story as Phantom Hourglass but has similar gameplay elements like solving puzzles, exploring dungeons, fighting enemies, and using items.

Question: What’s Different About Oceanhorn?

Answer: Oceanhorn takes place on islands rather than at sea; it has its own story and doesn’t spoil the plot from any Legend of Zelda games, but it does have similar gameplay elements like solving puzzles, exploring dungeons, fighting enemies, and using items.

Question: Will I Enjoy this Game if I Don’t Play Many Video Games?

Answer: Yes, although how much you’ll get out of it will depend largely on your interest in fantasy RPGs and Zelda games.


The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is a game in which you explore the sea while solving puzzles and fighting enemies, all while trying to save Tetra from Bellum. The story isn’t directly linked to any previous games in the franchise, but it has many gameplay elements that are similar to other games in the Legend of Zelda series.

More related overviews:

The Legend of Zelda Original Overview

Twilight Princess Game Overview

A Link to the Past Game Overview

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