The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass ( Zeruda no Densetsu Mugen no Sunadokei) is the fourteenth game in Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series. It was released after The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii and before The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for the Nintendo DS. An action-adventure game developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS, Phantom Hourglass was released in Japan in June 2007, and in North America, Australia, and Europe in October 2007. The game features 3D cel-shaded graphics with an overhead camera perspective, uses Nintendo DS features for game controls including the touchscreen and microphone, and takes advantage of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for online play.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass’s story follows that of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and focuses on Link as he journeys to save his friend Tetra from the story’s antagonist, Bellum, with the help of Captain Linebeck and his ship, the S.S. Linebeck. Critics were generally positive towards Phantom Hourglass. Its control scheme was praised, while criticism focused on its online features, which were considered too simple. The game received several video game industry awards, including the Nintendo DS Game of the Year award from IGN, GameSpy and GameSpot. Phantom Hourglass was the best-selling game in its first month of June 2007 in Japan, with 302,887 copies. In the United States, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass was the fifth best-selling game when it debuted in October 2007, with 262,800 copies. Over four million copies of Phantom Hourglass were sold worldwide by March 2008.
Phantom Hourglass is an action-adventure game with gameplay similar to other games in The Legend of Zelda series. The player controls Link, the protagonist, and explores the world to find new items, information, and allies to help him save his friend Tetra and defeat the antagonist Bellum. The game is divided into two gameplay types: sailing between islands, and exploring the islands and their dungeons on foot. When on land, the game shows a map of the area on the Nintendo DS’s top screen, and a 3D top-down view of Link and his nearby surroundings on the lower touchscreen. The player can bring down the map from the top screen to the lower screen to make notes. During certain events, including all boss battles, a 3D view is shown on both screens, allowing the player to have a wider view of their surroundings. The player controls Link with the stylus, moves him by pointing to the sides of the screen, and uses the stylus to interact with objects and people or attack foes by pointing at them. To travel between islands on the Great Sea, the player controls a paddle steamer called the S.S. Linebeck. The player can plot a course by drawing on a sea chart, redraw the course to make any necessary alterations, shoot at enemies that attack the ship using a cannon, and jump to avoid obstacles.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass includes a one-on-one multiplayer battle mode. In an arena, one player controls Link, while the other player, on defense, controls three Phantom Guardians. Players of both sides are aided by power-up items that appear on the playing field. Link’s goal is to grab a Force Gem and carry it to his base. The other player, controlling the three Phantom Guardians, must find and catch Link before he returns any Force Gems. When Link is caught, or if the round is over, players switch sides. Each multiplayer game consists of three rounds, and in each round, each player takes a turn at both sides. The maximum length of a multiplayer game is 12 minutes, assuming Link does not get caught. The game supports multiplayer both locally and online through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, as well as Download Play. The game is the third The Legend of Zelda game to include multiplayer, following Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures.
The story follows Link and Tetra, who live in a flood-covered Hyrule called the Great Sea. Traveling on Tetra’s pirate ship, the pair discover a ghost ship. Immediately after Tetra boards the ship, she screams for help. While Link attempts to follow her, he slips and falls into the ocean. Washed ashore on an island, Link is awakened by Ciela, a fairy. Exploring the island, Link finds the Phantom Hourglass, filled with the Sands of Hours, and meets an old man named Oshus, who wants to help Link find the Ghost Ship and reunite with Tetra. To aid him in his quest, Link enlists the help of Captain Linebeck and his ship, the S.S. Linebeck, which Link, Ciela, and Linebeck use to visit islands.
After scouring the Great Sea, Link learns that he must use maps and clues hidden in the Temple of the Ocean King to find the Spirits of Courage, Wisdom, and Power, which in turn will help him locate the Ghost Ship. With the help of the Phantom Hourglass, Link finds the Spirits of Wisdom and Power. When Link asks Oshus where to find the Spirit of Courage, Oshus explains that it is in fact Ciela, after which she transforms into her true form. Now in possession of the three Spirits, Link, along with Ciela and Oshus, locate the Ghost Ship and find Tetra onboard, who has been turned to stone. While Link determines how to save Tetra, Oshus reveals that he is the Ocean King and that he and Ciela had to change their appearances to hide from Bellum, a life-eating monster that Link must destroy to save Tetra. Oshus also mentions that Bellum was the one who created the Ghost Ship and trapped Tetra in a statue, and that he has taken residence deep in the Temple.
To defeat Bellum, Link learns that he must forge the Phantom Sword from three unique, “pure” metals located on nearby islands. After collecting and using the metals to forge the Phantom Sword, Link descends to the bottom level of the Temple to face Bellum. After intense fighting, Link appears to defeat Bellum, and Tetra is freed from her statue. After Link and Tetra hurry back to the S.S. Linebeck to find Oshus, Bellum emerges and sinks the ship, capturing Link and Tetra in the process. Link continues to fight Bellum, eventually defeating it, saving Tetra and Linebeck, and releasing the sand from the Phantom Hourglass back into the sea. Oshus, now in his true form as a Blue Whale, departs with the Spirits of Power, Wisdom and Courage, and Tetra and Link teleport back onto Tetra’s pirate ship, where its crew tells them that only ten minutes had passed since the pair left the ship, insisting that their journey was a dream. However, Link still possesses the now-empty Phantom Hourglass, and sees Linebeck’s ship on the horizon.
|The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass|
|Series||The Legend of Zelda|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer, online multiplayer|
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