Now, the main way of traveling around(obviously) is the train and the 'Spirit Tracks'. You start out as Link, obviously not in green and an Engineer in training. The person you live with? Niko from Wind Waker/Phantoms Hourglass. Now very old, but still making stories to give us some backstory about where they live. Obviously Tetra and Link found a new land to call home and then named it Hyrule. Which I have no problem with, it makes things less confusing.
Heading to the castle, Alfonzo gives you a train tutorial that isn't hideously long and not considerably invasive. You can jump into the game and learn most skills along the way. Although I never could master how to stop right at the station(to the disdain of any of my passengers). The one thing I noticed, which might be from playing Twilight Princess and THEN Spirit tracks is that the villages seem downright bare in Spirit Tracks. There's no hustle and bustle and I suppose from a plot perspective this makes since, seeing as it's only been a couple of generations since Tetra and Link first led the people there. Obviously, the entirety of the people of Wind Waker didn't migrate over as there is no Rito.With this fact glossed over, you enter the castle to get your official Engineer diploma. This is obviously the day that Link becomes a man, who will gloriously ride around in a train, carrying people and goods here and there for the rest of his life before retiring peacefully to his home in Aboda.(Heehee)
But what's this? There is something rather distinct about the castle guards in this game.
|Oh holy shit|
Sadly, these same guards end up hassling you and not letting you into the throne room. They don't seem to believe that a kid like you could be an Engineer and tell you to scram. I am sure all hope is lost before this guy shows up.
|No decent man wears two hats|
Entering the throne room, they show a window that makes me rather happy. Why am I such a dork for callbacks to the previous game? Regardless, they show this;
Of course you get yelled at for looking up at her. No big deal, it's not like she's Medusa or anything. She seems kind of beaten down by Chancellor Cole, and obviously giving out diplomas in this kind of ceremony was a big deal at one time. The first sign that something is 'wrong' is when she gives you, a perfect stranger, a letter. It says to go to her room and of course, since Link is such a good person he goes. Or maybe because the plot wouldn't progress if he didn't!
After a short minigame of distracting guards and controlling both yourself in Zelda(I can't tell you how many times I accidentally double tapped the screen and was switched back to Link) you leave the castle and it's revealed that at one time, Alfonzo was a castle guard and pretty important too. Of course, THIS piece of information will n e v e r come up again in the game. Zelda wants you to go to the Tower of Spirits because of the fact that tracks are disappearing is overwhelmingly fishy. You do indeed head there, but a cut screen happens very shortly after you get on the choo choo. The tracks disappear right from under you and Link barely keeps the train from rolling and possible injuring everyone inside. Of course, Chancellor Cole appears and the reveal happens. This is less of a deal than you'd think it would be.
|This is the face of a killer|
I would have been surprised if it hadn't been obvious from the get go, at the same time I do really think this game was poking and petting certain stereotypes. We also first get introduced to Byrne, who promptly kicks Alfonzo's ass. For all of the short term hype that Alfonzo is an awesum swordsman he certainly doesn't last long against the metal gloved(armed?) Byrne.
It's pretty obvious that neither Cole, nor Byrne(Dem names) are human, but before you get a chance to take this in, Byrne pimp slaps Link to get to Zelda. Then one of the biggest plot points happen-- Zelda loses her body. Obviously someone found you and Alfonzo and you wake up in the castle. I find it hilarious that Alfonzo is tall enough that they have to get a chair because he won't fit on the bed. Anyways, worried Link goes to find Zelda and spots her ghost floating around trying to garner some kind of help. Doesn't work, of course and she continues floating around. You follow her to her room and after some conversation you get the spirit flute. Which I personally thought was neat(and frustrating) since you have to blow into the microphone.
Since there is no spirit tracks anymore, you have to find a way to get to the tower regardless. This is when Link gets his trusty green clothes, which gets a less than excited response from Zelda. Another prod at classic LoZ traditions, but a fun one. I can only imagine she sees guys in green all day as it is. It's not some exciting new thing for her. You then work to get a sword and go through the basement. Now, this ain't a walkthrough so I'm not going to hold your hand as you kick monster ass. So, fast forward to entering the spirit tracks and you meet the first Lokomo of the game.(teehee)
|Wow this doesn't look familiar.|
|Not familiar at all.|
Now, I'm not one for theories but either Anjean really REALLY liked Tetras' hairstyle and wink or there is some serious what if's right now. Anjean gives more information, including on what the bad guys will do to her body. Needless to say, she proceeds to flip the fuck out in the most natural display of WHAT THE HELL I've ever seen in the series. After attacking Anjean, and then Link about his duties and her duties, Anjean cuts in and tells Zelda that maybe SHE should go with Link and this seems to surprise her, just a bit. This is a sign for things to come, obviously
You then find yourself having to go up to the tower. It's generally very classic dungeon, with those infuriating phantoms that frankly piss me off no matter what game they're in. I don't care if we get to control one through Zelda. I hate them. Although, the conversations that you can have with them are pretty amusing. I actually purposely have Zelda talk to them for these little tidbits. The one phantom the comments that Zelda-Phantom seems 'cuter' was a highlight of this tower of spirits.
The tower is definitely a Temple of the Ocean King 2.0. You don't DIE SLOWLY, thank god. And you can leisurely hide in corners or in safe spots and wonder what to do next without worrying about imminent doom. You have Zelda helping out as well, which is basically limited to the tower itself. She won't help you anytime during your adventure, she's barely even there for most of the journey, and lacks a lot of the annoying sidekick traits. Overall, I liked her character in this game. It poke at the 'Princesses must stay at the castle and possibly get kidnapped by the bad guy' trope that has been around for a long time.
Another point that thrilled me was the Lost Woods being included into here. Now I'm not going to go into the chicken or the egg on here, but seeing the Lost woods sort of affirmed that there could be games after this in the timeline. Or they could even run with it and make a new game.
Overall, I really enjoyed playing this game. The concept of a train as I said made me giggle like a child and I like the game enough to be replaying it to get all the stamps, and force gems, and find out all the secrets since the first play through was rushed because I only cared about the plot.
I actually have my DS in standby because I'm fighting through the Tower of Spirits after the fire temple and procrastinating because I fucking hate floormasters.
Until next time, everyone!
Next Up; Pokemon Black