US : December 7, 2009
Japan : December 23, 2009
Europe : December 11, 2009
Australia : December 10, 2009
Publisher : Nintendo
Developer : Nintendo EAD
Director : Daiki Iwamoto
Producer : Shigeru Miyamoto
Genre : Action, Adventure
Platform : Nintendo DS
Game Type : 128 Megabit Cartridge
Mode : Single Player, Multiplayer
ESRB : E (Everyone)
Metacritic : 87%
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is the second Zelda game for the Nintendo DS, released in December 2009.
The game was announced to the public by Nintendo on March 25, 2009 at the Game Developers Conference. A playable version was available at the E3 expo in June, 2009, and PAX in September 2009.
It uses the same stylus control system as Phantom Hourglass. It takes place about a century after Phantom Hourglass, and features a new Link.
Many years ago, a great evil known as the Demon King was sealed away in a dark realm by the spirits. A tower and great shackles that ran across the earth, known as the spirit tracks, sealed the Demon King in the realm. Now, someone is trying to remove the spirit tracks and release the Demon King. It is up to Link, an apprentice train engineer on the verge of graduation to restore the spirit tracks and stop the Demon King breaking free before it is too late.
In Spirit Tracks, Link travels across the land by train. As he travels, he needs to plot the best route along the tracks to get to his destination, being careful of animals who may wander onto the tracks, and enemies who attack the train. Link will be able to customise the train and at some point in the game he'll gain the ability to lay down his own train tracks to go where he wants, meaning that the spirit of exploration that's always been a big part of Zelda will remain.
Along with the train, Link will discover other items that are new to the Zelda series, including a whip, and an item called the Whirlwind which utilises the DS's microphone. Link also has a new companion, a Phantom. Phantoms were heavily armoured foes in Phantom Hourglass, but this Phantom is under Link's control; players tap the Phantom with the stylus to gain control of him, and can plot his movements by drawing a path. There are some obstacles that Link won't be able to pass without the Phantom's help, as the Phantom's suit of armour can ward off fire, and he can even carry Link.
The game includes two multiplayer modes, tag mode and battle mode. In tag mode, players who have their own copy of the game can swap items and trade treasures. In battle mode, players compete to collect the most Force Gems. Only one player needs a copy of the game for battle mode.