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The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is the first game in the series to use a Phantom protagonist. The player uses Link, Princess Zelda, and Alfonzo throughout the game.
Key Details Up Front
Spirit Tracks is a fun and engaging game, with a great art style and music, that’s easy for beginners to play. There is a familiar storyline, characters, and weapons, making it a great way to introduce yourself to the Legend of Zelda franchise without getting overwhelmed.
Spirit Tracks was released November 19, 2009, in North America and December 7th, 2009 in Europe. It’s available for the Nintendo DS. It was released in Japan on November 23, 2009, and the first print included a stylus modeled after Phantom Zelda’s sword as well as an art book.
The Spirit Tracks take Link, Princess Zelda, and Alfonzo to a land called New Hyrule. This land is ruled by King Cole who has been possessed by the Demon King Malladus, which was previously sealed within Princess Zelda’s spirit. Now that the spirit has escaped, Cole wants to use Malladus’s power to rule New Hyrule.
In order for this to happen, the Spirit Tracks that run throughout New Hyrule must be destroyed. Link and Princess Zelda embark on a mission together to defeat Cole and seal Malladus away again.
Gameplay involves controlling Link as he/she fights enemies using several different kinds of weapons – swords, boomerangs, bombs, etc. – while exploring dungeons for items and solving puzzles to progress through the game.
Spirit Tracks introduces a train mechanic for travelling between locations, using the Nintendo DS stylus controls to steer and draw tracks with different functions such as bridges, switches, and tunnels. As is traditional with the series, Link collects many different items in order to progress further into each dungeon.
Spirit Tracks features a new multiplayer mode; Spirit Train. In this mode, players use the stylus to control not only Link but also Phantom Trains. These trains can perform various functions in order to help the player complete different areas of the game’s overworld.
For example, if there is an area where you need to move a bomb so that it explodes, you can transport the bomb train to that area. You can help free frozen Gorons or carry water to a desert village – all in the name of helping your fellow player advance through the game!
There are many notable weapons in Spirit Tracks. Some are new and some weapons from other Zelda games return.
Bow of Light
The Bow of Light is a magical bow that turns into the sacred Four Sword when in dark areas. When Link splits into four during single player, he can shoot his own arrows and attack enemies with ease.
This item is the same as in other Zelda games; it’s a weapon that can be thrown at enemies to defeat them or collect items such as Rupees.
This item allows you to blow up objects that are blocking your path or blow up enemies that are in your way.
A cannon that fires directly forward, destroying any enemies or rocks in your path. It is often found at key points in the game where you need to destroy something quickly without being able to get any closer by foot.
The Sand Wand can be acquired in the Gerudo Desert and it allows Link to create quicksand in order to sink certain objects or enemies safely.
Tunic of the Wild
This tunic has been seen in many other Zelda games. It is a special tunic that Link can wear in order to withstand extreme temperatures without being hurt or catching fire.
There are many notable items in Spirit Tracks, some returning from previous Zelda games and some new.
Zelda takes on the form of a Phantom, which aids Link throughout his journey and helps him reach new areas by using her unique abilities.
The game’s central mode of transportation, the Spirit Train, is used to travel between different parts of New Hyrule while also helping Link progress through difficult areas in order to advance further into the game.
Epona from Ocarina of Time returns in this game, being used to travel faster and jump higher than you could on the standard train.
These large guardians were created by Cole to protect him and Zelda while he tries to release Malladus from his prison.
The Spirit Flute is an ocarina that allows Link to play songs and progress further into the game. It also has a special song called “Song of Healing” which heals cursed humans and brings them back to their normal selves.
The enemies in Spirit Tracks are simple yet effective, ranging from your average enemies to the more difficult boss battles.
The possessed Zelda is one of Cole’s servants and can shapeshift into various forms like a Deku Scrub, Goron, or human depending on what she needs in order to accomplish her goal. She has many abilities; it’s best to take her down quickly.
The Animated Armor is an enemy that moves its sword back and forth, requiring Link to time his attack in order to defeat it successfully.
The Stalfos is a recurring enemy in the Zelda series, doing more damage than other enemies but also having more health.
An armored train that is much faster than your own, it travels across the tracks and can easily kill you with its cannonballs. It’s best to dodge the shots or take it down with a bomb before doing anything else.
Spirit Tracks features many different decorations, ranging from posters to signs to even a stained glass window.
Piece of Heart
A Piece of Heart is an item that recovers four hearts, allowing Link to gain more health and become stronger. There are thirty-two Pieces of Heart in the game; collecting them all will reward you with another heart container, which increases Link’s health.
There are many different kinds of signs in the game, from signs warning you to stay away from a certain area to signs showing how much money Link has.
The items in this game range from weapons to shields to even useful clothing that gives Link special abilities. They can be found or earned from doing certain things throughout the dungeons and the overworld.
The Hookshot is the same as other games, allowing you to pull yourself toward objects or enemies and hit them with your sword. Link can use it to swing across large gaps in order to reach other areas.
Like previous Zelda games, Spirit Tracks features many shields for Link to use. These shields offer different abilities, such as the ability to deflect arrows or generate sandstorms with the Sand Wand.
Train Cars are items that Link can use in order to move faster or travel longer distances. They can be found in most dungeons and allow you to get through certain areas quickly with the right timing.
The dungeons in the game are fairly difficult, but if you follow a certain pattern and a map a lot of them can be very simple to complete.
City in the Sky
The City in the Sky is one of the first dungeons you come across, featuring many enemies and obstacles to stop Link from progressing.
The Forest Temple is fairly simple, though it contains the first boss of the game and some tricky puzzles that trademark every Zelda game. It is located deep in the Forest Realm.
The Fire Temple is a dungeon filled with lava, fire, and many dangers that await Link. As new additions to the Zelda series, there are rooms that rotate and spin around while you’re inside them, making it a difficult task to make it to the end.
The Water Temple is a lengthy dungeon filled with water and puzzles that need you to have the Zora Armour in order to complete. It is located deep under the ocean, requiring a key from a certain merchant.
Spirit Temple Parts 1 and 2
The Spirit Temples are two dungeons that require you to traverse from the beginning to the end twice, as it is split up into different sections. The first one is filled with puzzles and enemies that require the Sand Wand to complete, while the second is more combat-oriented.
If you like Spirit Tracks, you may want to try some of these other games. Some are part of the Zelda franchise while others are not, but they’re all stylistically similar.
A sequel to Ocarina of Time, this game features the same cast but takes place in a vastly different world. It offers new items and challenges that are sure to keep you entertained for hours.
This game is a puzzle game where you push around boxes to make the correct path for yourself. There are 100 levels and if you get stuck on a level, there’s even an offline level editor.
Taking place after Link destroys Ganon in Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess follows Link as he tries to find his companion Midna. It offers a large overworld and many dungeons that will keep you occupied for hours.
The first 3D Zelda game, Skyward Sword features many new items and an innovative combat system that innovates the franchise. Many puzzles require the Wii Motion Plus controller in order to complete, giving it a fresh new take on the franchise.
Darkstone: Evil Reigns
A top-down dungeon crawler, this game features an item system similar to the one in Dark Souls and a story that may remind you of A Link to the Past. It has some unique gameplay mechanics such as being able to create your own potions and upgrade your items throughout the game.
Link’s Crossbow Training
A first-person shooter-type game that requires both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. In this game you must shoot as many enemies as possible to receive a high score, using all sorts of different types of ammunition from bombs to ice arrows.
If you’re interested in learning more about Spirit Tracks and other Zelda titles, these frequently asked questions are a great place to start.
Question: What is the Difference Between Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass?
Answer: They are very similar games, apart from some differences in in-game mechanics. Both games were released around the same time for the Nintendo DS system.
Question: Why Was Spirit Tracks Split Into Two Halves?
Answer: Nintendo wanted to vary gameplay with each section of the game but failed to do so with the second section of the game. Because of this, they later released a second version of the game that was basically just “Part 2”. However, this has an extra dungeon and various other changes.
Question: What Differentiates Spirit Tracks from Other Zelda Games?
Answer: It is one of two games in which Link can not become human. The other game that features this is Link’s Awakening for the Game Boy.
It also has a slightly different version of Princess Zelda, who remains in her normal form for much longer.
Question: What are the Items that are Available?
Answer: There is an item system similar to A Link Between Worlds where you can buy and upgrade items throughout the game. The main weapon is the Whirlwind, which allows you to command Spirit Tracks.
The secondary weapon is the Sand Wand. The primary collectible item is the Whip, which can be used to grab objects and attack enemies at a distance (similar to the Hookshot).
Question: Why Do I Need an Actual Nintendo DS System to Play it?
Answer: The game can not be played on any other hardware because of its use of the touchscreen and microphone.
Spirit Tracks is an epic adventure that any fan of the Zelda franchise will enjoy. It is one of the best games in the entire series, with an engaging story, great gameplay mechanics, and plenty of extra content to keep you entertained for hours on end.