The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (2007)

by Ji-yeong
7 minutes read


The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is an innovative and critically acclaimed addition to the Zelda series, notable for its touch screen gameplay and direct continuation of The Wind Waker’s storyline. As a trailblazer for Zelda games on the Nintendo DS, it remains a memorable and engaging adventure.


The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is a pivotal entry in the storied Zelda franchise, bringing the series to the Nintendo DS with groundbreaking touch screen gameplay and a direct narrative connection to The Wind Waker. Released in 2007, this game blends classic Zelda exploration and puzzle-solving with fresh, innovative controls.


“The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass” is a captivating action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. Released in 2007, it is the fourteenth installment in The Legend of Zelda series and serves as a direct sequel to the 2002 GameCube title “The Wind Waker”.

The game’s story unfolds with the protagonist, Link, embarking on a thrilling journey to save his friend Tetra from the antagonist, Bellum. The adventure begins when Tetra and her pirate crew, along with Link, chase down a ghost ship rumored to have kidnapped sailors and residents of the local islands. Upon discovering the ship, Tetra ventures aboard to explore but mysteriously disappears. Link attempts to follow her but ends up adrift in the ocean.

Washed ashore on an island, Link is awakened by Ciela, a fairy suffering from amnesia. As he explores the island, Link finds the Phantom Hourglass filled with the Sands of Hours. He also meets an old man named Oshus, who expresses his desire to help Link find the Ghost Ship and reunite with Tetra.

To locate the Ghost Ship, Link must find the Spirits of Courage, Wisdom, and Power, using maps and clues hidden in the Temple of the Ocean King. However, overcoming the evil forces in the Temple requires Link to use the Sands of Hours within the Phantom Hourglass. These sands prevent his life force from being drained.

Link’s journey is not a solitary one. He enlists the help of the reluctant Captain Linebeck and his ship, the S.S. Linebeck, after saving him from the Temple of the Ocean King. Linebeck agrees to assist, albeit with the expectation of finding treasure along the way.

The gameplay of “The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass” is divided into two types: sailing between islands and exploring the islands and their dungeons on foot. While on land, Link discovers and utilizes many items, including the classic boomerang, bow, and bombs. When sailing, the game displays 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 game features 3D cel-shaded graphics with an overhead camera perspective. It employs controls involving the console’s touchscreen and microphone. The game also took advantage of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for online play until the service was discontinued in 2014.

“The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass” received critical acclaim, with praise for its control scheme, world design, and graphics. Despite some criticism for its online features, which were considered too simple, the game received several video game industry awards. It was the best-selling game in its first month in Japan, with 302,887 copies sold. In the United States, it was the fifth-best-selling game in the month it debuted, with 262,800 copies sold. By March 2008, 4.13 million copies of Phantom Hourglass were sold worldwide.

“The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass” is a remarkable game that offers an immersive gaming experience. Its engaging storyline, innovative gameplay, and stunning graphics make it a must-play for any gaming enthusiast. A sequel, “Spirit Tracks”, was released in December 2009.


Key characters include Link, the courageous protagonist; Tetra, the pirate captain and Link’s friend; and Linebeck, a cowardly sailor who assists Link on his quest. Players also encounter a cast of foes and allies, each contributing to the rich narrative tapestry of the game.


Gameplay in Phantom Hourglass is divided between sailing across the open sea and exploring islands and dungeons. The touch screen allows for intuitive control of Link, navigation of his ship, and interaction with the environment. Players can draw paths for boomerangs, chart courses on sea maps, and engage in combat by tapping and swiping.


The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass stands as a testament to the Zelda series’ ability to evolve and embrace new technologies while maintaining the core elements that fans love. Its blend of innovation, adventure, and storytelling ensures its place as a beloved installment in the franchise.

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