A young engineer travels the land by train to retrieve princess Zelda's body from an evil chancellor and the Demon King.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Koki Harasawa ...
Chancellor Cole (voice)
Yuki Kodaira ...
Link (voice)
Akane Omae ...
Princess Zelda (voice)
Rie Takahashi ...
Anjean (voice)
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A young engineer travels the land by train to retrieve princess Zelda's body from an evil chancellor and the Demon King.

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Join Link and Zelda in an all-new adventure! See more »

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

E10+

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Release Date:

7 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks  »

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Follows BS Zelda no Densetsu: Inishie no Sekiban (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Train tracks in the Zelda universe?!
26 November 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

(www.plasticpals.com) The Legend of Zelda takes a detour in Spirit Tracks, the pseudo-sequel to 2007's Phantom Hourglass. Inspired by his son's favourite children's book titled The Tracks Go On and On, director Eiji Aonuma decided to include trains as a key ingredient, and the game takes off full-steam in this new direction. Although many classic Zelda elements are present and accounted for, half of the time you spend with the game will be aboard the train. Zelda purists may cry foul at the changes being introduced here, so what is the end result?

An evil king called Malladus was confined in the earth long ago, with the Tower of Spirits locking him away. The Spirit Tracks, which converge at the Tower, are energized by a race called the Locomos who watch over them. Soon enough a villain is revealed who smashes the Tower of Spirits (causing the Spirit Tracks to disappear) and steals Zelda's body. It's up to Link and Zelda (in spirit form) to fix the Tower and re-energize the Tracks to prevent the resurrection of Malladus. While not directly stated, the game appears to take place a couple of generations after the events of Phantom Hourglass, with which it shares many elements in common.

Graphically Spirit Tracks doesn't improve on Phantom Hourglass, a fine adaptation of The WindWaker's cartoony style given the graphical limitations of the system. The characters and monsters are cel-shaded, and while they're a bit on the chunky side they're full of personality. The environments are a tad boxy, and the pixelated textures are an eyesore, but the game's bright and colourful look more than makes up for that. The music is also very good and almost completely original, sparing us tiresome remixes of Zelda themes we've heard many times before.

I've long felt that Princess Zelda ought to take a more proactive role in these games, and Spirit Tracks gives her that opportunity. Zelda helps out by possessing the Phantom Guards that protect the Tower of Spirits. Once she has taken over an armoured suit, she'll follow Link automatically and can be given directions by simply drawing a path on the screen. Players will have to use both characters wisely, and while strictly speaking this is nothing new to the series, it is perhaps the best example yet.

The difficulty of the dungeons and some of the bosses has been cranked up noticeably higher compared to Phantom Hourglass, and feels just right. The Tower of Spirits will be visited several times over the course of the game, but thankfully unlike Phantom Hourglass' Temple of the Ocean King players can skip the floors they have already completed.

The touch-screen controls work just as well as they did in Phantom Hourglass, and the way in which you use Link's assortment of items is particularly fun. Simply draw the flightpath of your boomerang, or hold-and-release to fire an arrow. You'll keep important memos on the game's many maps by simply jotting them down with the stylus. I'm amazed that no one has copied this control scheme for similar games on platforms like the iPhone.

Let there be no doubt that Spirit Tracks is an improvement over Phantom Hourglass. It bumps up the difficulty to a more enjoyable level and features some exceptional boss encounters, very cool new items, and ingenious puzzles. Transporting passengers and items lends an air of consequence to your travels, and including Zelda as a secondary character that the player can control helps to spice things up. Crossing the world map is still a slow and repetitive task that can become tiresome, but going by rail is more entertaining than sailing the seas.

Nintendo has once again outdone themselves with the hardware's unique functionality, and it's all woven together by a cute story and endless questing that is hard to resist. It's quite possibly the best game available for the platform, so don't hesitate to pick it up.


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