|The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass|
|Release date(s)||JP June 23 2007|
NA October 1 2007
AUS October 11 2007
EU October 19 2007
- "The evil king sought the sacred power passed down to Hyrulian princesses. He schemed to take the power and use it himself. The boy chased after him determined to save the princess... The journey was perilous. He slayed evil monsters and used their power to become a true hero. After long and hard adventuring he defeated the evil king. And beautiful Princess Zelda was rescued at last. Later the two set out with the brave pirate crew in search of new lands... Yes they set sail together! A happy pirate ending!"
- — Niko (Prologue)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (ゼルダの伝説 夢幻の砂時計 Zeruda no Densetsu Mugen no Sunadokei? literally "The Legend of Zelda: Hourglass of Fantasies") is the fourteenth installment in the Legend of Zelda series released on the Nintendo DS in Japan on June 23 2007 in North America on October 1 2007 in Australia on October 11 2007 and Europe on October 19 2007.
Phantom Hourglass is a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It features 3D cell-shaded graphics with a 2D overhead camera perspective and is played using several features of the DS for game controls including the Touch Screen and microphone. Although Phantom Hourglass is not the first entry in the series to include a multipla
Phantom Hourglass is a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and is set several months after the events of The Wind Waker. The game opens with a retelling of the events of The Wind Waker which ended with Link riding aboard Tetra's ship. Link Tetra and her pirates are at sea and encounter the "Ghost Ship" rumored to sail the waters in the area taking sailors and residents from the nearby islands. Tetra convinced that the Ghost Ship is simply a bunch of trouble-making pirates is determined to teach them that pirates have rules too. When a mysterious ship appears in the middle of a dense fog Tetra jumps aboard to explore. As Tetra screams the ship pulls away and begins to vanish with her on board. Link attempts to leap over and save her only to fall into the water himself.
After having a vision of Tetra being surrounded by darkness and calling for his help Link is washed up on Mercay Island and meets a fairy named Ciela. Ciela teams up with Link and tells him to see her "grandfather" an old man named Oshus. Oshus tells Link to meet Linebeck who is in the city but the bridge is out. When Link reports this to Oshus he tells Link of a second route that is filled with monsters. Ciela recalls seeing a sword in Oshus's warehouse which Link promptly retrieves. Oshus discovers that Link has stolen it but (unwillingly) lets him keep it. Link travels to the far side of the island and enters the Temple of the Ocean King where he comes across a trapped Captain Linebeck who had been searching for treasure inside. Linebeck tells Link that the temple drains the life out of living things if one stays in it for too long.
Link is given the task to restore the Three Spirits of Power Wisdom and Courage from the temples of Fire Wind and Courage respectively. These spirits who turn out to be Fairies join Link and assist him in the Ocean King's Temple where he receives the Phantom Hourglass a strange trinket that allows Link to resist the draining effect of the temple for a limited time depending on the amount of sand within. However after defeating the boss of the Temple of Courage the Fairy of Courage is saved but unlike the other two it has no color and lifelessly floats. Oshus arrives at the Island and fuses Ciela with the colorless fairy revealing that she is the Spirit of Courage herself. With the help of the spirits Linebeck and Link then set off to pursue the Ghost Ship. After rescuing and defeating four evil sisters on the ship Link and Linebeck find Tetra; however most of her life force has been drained from her and she has been turned to stone. Oshus arrives and reveals that he is in fact the Ocean King. According to him some years prior to the events of the game an evil monster named Bellum appeared hungry to consume the life force possessed by all living things. He used his absorbed life force to create powerful monsters such as the dungeon bosses and the Phantoms in the Temple of the Ocean King and to seal away the three Fairies of Power Wisdom and Courage. Ciela the Fairy of Courage was able to create a clone of herself (just as the Ocean King did) and fled but as a result lost her memory. The Ocean King tried to fight Bellum but failed with his true self still sealed by Bellum's evil.
Link then learns that the only way to defeat Bellum is to forge the Phantom Sword from three unique "Pure me
As the adventure closes the sand from the Phantom Hourglass is released back into the sea. Oshus now in his true form of a white whale readies to depart with the Spirits while Linebeck surprising everyone wishes not for treasure but for his ship back. The Ocean King reveals that they are not in their own world but that everyone was transported to his world when they boarded the Ghost Ship. After they all say their goodbyes Link and Tetra find themselves back on the pirate ship. It appears that only ten minutes have passed since Tetra jumped on board the Ghost Ship. The rest of the crew say that nothing momentous occurred and insist that Link and Tetra's adventure was a dream. However Link still possesses the now empty Hourglass and spies Linebeck's ship on the horizon knowing full well that his adventure was real.
The Eskimo-like creatures that live on the western end of the Isle of Frost. The Anouki are constantly terrorized by the Yook another species that lives on the Isle of Frost. They are lead by a tribal chief.
The Yook are hairy yeti-like creatures that live on the eastern side of the Isle of Frost. They show the ability to transform and tend to lie on impulse. They are fierce enemies with the Anouki.
There are at least three fairies called spirits in Phantom Hourglass known as the Spirits of Courage Wisdom and Power. Link's fairy is Ciela this time around.
Gameplay Return to the directory »
The gameplay in this Nintendo DS game is mostly viewed from above similar to most 2D Legend of Zelda titles. Utilizing the full capabilities of the Nintendo DS the character models and the environments are in 3D. The rendering environment is similar to Animal Crossing for the Nintendo GameCube and somewhat like the Nintendo DS sequel to Animal Crossing. The touch screen is used to show the main gameplay used to control Link or to solve puzzles while the upper screen is mostly used as a map and menu screen. At one point in the game it is required to close the DS (which usually puts the DS in sleep mode) to solve a puzzle. The map can also be brought down to the touch screen allowing the pla
Link again has a Fairy Companion. Ciela the fairy acts as the cursor for touch screen input with the stylus. However unlike in the Wii version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess the fairy and Link communicate throughout the game. Ciela is not the only fairy two more are acquired along the adventure Leaf the Spirit of Power and the Neri the Spirit of Wisdom. Special gems for each fairy can be collected throughout the game and yield special abilities for each; the Spirit of Wisdom generates a magical shield that decreased the ***age done to Link the Spirit of Power increases attack ***age and the Spirit of Courage Ciela allows Link to shoot beams from his sword essentially rendering it a ranged weapon as well as a melee one. For these powers to work ten gems must be found for each fairy and for them to reach their maximum power twenty for each must be found. They are activated on Spirit Island.
Sailing in this title similar to the sailing system found in The Wind Waker. Instead of a sail boat however a steam boat the S.S. Linebeck is Link’s mode of transportation requiring no manipulation of the wind. The boat’s course is plotted ahead of time using the stylus allowing the pla
Treasure hunting works differently than in The Wind Waker - instead of using the Grappling Hook and waiting for it to hit the bottom of the ocean and dig up the chest a mini-game is activated where using the Salvage Arm Link must guide it down the the bottom of the ocean avoiding explosive sea creatures nab the chest and bring it back up.
There is one "master dungeon" that Link must complete in the game called the Temple of the Ocean King. However he can make only limited progress he and must work through other dungeons before he is able to proceed farther in the primary dungeon. In the "master dungeon" and other locales there are enemies known as Phantoms. These enemies follow the pla
Most of Link's classic equipment returns like the Boomerang the Grappling Hook Bombs Bombchus the Bow and the Shovel. Items can be accessed by a touch panel on the lower right corners of the touch screen.
Link can be caught by some enemies or forced into a grind with one's sword forcing them to rub the screen back and forth when prompted either to escape or force the enemy's weapon away.
Link’s goal is to grab a Force Gem from one of the many zones and carry it to his own ba
If the pla
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Nintendo WFC is the engine behind Nintendo's online structure and is required for the online section of Phantom Hourglass' Battle mode. Friends from around the world can challenge each other by using unique friend codes. It also allows for random matching with other pla
Development Return to the directory »
The main objective in the game’s creation was to fully utilize the DS’s hardware having a Zelda game controlled by the stylus/touch screen alone. Eiji Aonuma's ambition was that the new control scheme would follow through into future Zelda titles and maybe even other adventure games for the DS.
The first concept for control was that the pla
The game was first shown to the public at the 2006 Game Developers Conference where Satoru Iwata revealed the game in the form of a trailer. At the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo a playable demo was available for the visitors. The convention also saw the introduction of the multipla
The reason for Phantom Hourglass' long delay was recently revealed in an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto. According to him he had been so busy developing Twilight Princess that he had not been able to get involved in the creation process for Phantom Hourglass at all. When Twilight Princess was finally finished he was able to look at the nearly finished beta for Phantom Hourglass and he desperately wanted to become creatively involved in it. He begged Iwata to delay the game in order to allow him that opportunity. In the interview Miyamoto apologized to fans for the delay but stated that the title would be "much better".
Four Swords DS
The project initially started out as a Four Swords game for the DS and the same team having discovered the potential of cel-shaded graphics on the console ultimately decided to opt for a single pla
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass was released in Japan on June 23rd 2007 at around 4 months ahead of the North American version. The North American version was released on October 1 followed by Europe on October 19th 2007. As a special bonus for Nintendo's rewards club My Nintendo members who registered their game and their Nintendo DS hardware at MyNintendo.com and filled out a short survey would receive a special Nintendo DS stylus that looks like an old-fashioned quill pen modeled after an item in the game (although the pen is subject to availability).
Reception Return to the directory »
Overall Phantom Hourglass was received well by critics and gaming magazines and went on to achieve some awards — at both E3 2006 and 2007 Phantom Hourglass won the Game Critics Awards for Best Handheld Game.
On the stylus-driven control scheme Chris Kohler of Wired gaming blog Game|Life noted that "there seems to be absolutely zero learning curve. Playing with the stylus feels totally natural" predicting that it "will be copied endlessly from here on out. It is like a textbook of how to use a touch screen for a third-person action game."
In issue 179 of Edge Phantom Hourglass scored 9 out of 10 the UK magazine saying "Phantom Hourglass is a game completely remoulded by its platform. It achieves the deep all-encompassing synthesis with the host hardware that Nintendo's designers are famous for but hadn't yet attempted with the idiosyncratic features of the all-things-to-all-men DS. It is an instinctive ingenious joy to play for every minute and it sets a new gold standard for game interface design on any platform."
Phantom Hourglass received a 97 out of 100 from Australian gaming magazine Hyper the highest score it has given to a handheld game.
IGN writer Mark Bozon gave the title a 9.0 saying that it was much more casual and less for the hardcore gamer but nonetheless was an enthralling piece of software for the Nintendo DS pushing the system to its limits and using the DS in every way possible. He did however criticize the game for being "too simple" and its online features citing the trading aspect as being unneeded and its Battle Mode for not being as deep or fun as Four Swords.
In terms of early sales reports Phantom Hourglass shipped 400000 copies to Japanese retailers and over 350000 of those sold in the first week. These sales on par with The Wind Waker's release (around 350000) in Japan and just behind Ocarina of Time (500000) and Majora's Mask (400000) as the third best opening week for a Zelda title.
As of December 17 2008 Phantom Hourglass has sold over 4 million copies worldwide with at least 910000 of those copies being sold in Japan. 
See also Return to the directory »
- Phantom Hourglass Characters
- Phantom Hourglass Glitches
- Phantom Hourglass Items
- Phantom Hourglass Locations
- Phantom Hourglass Prologue
- Phantom Hourglass Secrets
- Phantom Hourglass Walkthroughs
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass at Zelda.com
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass at Nintendo.com
- Gamespot page
- IGN page
Gallery Return to the directory »
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
|Bellum · Ciela · Linebeck · Link · Ocean King · Oshus · Tetra|
—Full list of characters
|Blaaz · Cyclok · Crayk · Diabolical Cubus Sisters · Dongorongo · Gleeok · Eox · Bellum · Ghost Ship · Bellumbeck|
|Bannan Island · Cannon Island · Goron Island · Harrow Island · Isle of Ember · Isle of Frost · Isle of Gust · Isle of Ruins · Isle of the Dead · Mercay Island · Molida Island · Zauz's Island|
—Full list of locations
|Temple of Fire · Temple of Wind · Temple of Courage · Ghost Ship · Goron Temple · Temple of Ice · Mutoh's Temple · Temple of the Ocean King|
|Oshus's Sword · Wooden Shield · Boomerang · Bombs · Bow · Bombchus · Grappling Hook · Hammer · Phantom Sword · Shovel · Fishing Rod|
|Leaf · Neri · Ciela · Pure me|
|Anouki · Deity · Fairy · Gerudo · Goron · Human · Hylian · Yook|