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The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is an action-adventure played from an isometric perspective, following the series' landmark DS game Phantom Hourglass and starring a similarly expressive, cartoonish Link as its hero. In some platform puzzle-solving sequences, players use both touch-screen directions and traditional D-pad and buttons to control two characters at the same time. For example, Link may need to distract guards while Zelda sneaks by, or a Phantom companion may need to inhabit the body of an almost-invulnerable statue, to stand in the way of a lava flow and allow Link to pass. Some overworld parts of the game are played, quite literally, as an on-rails shooter, with players using the stylus and touch-screen to aim ranged cannon attacks at enemies and obstacles, as Link's train moves forward down the tracks automatically. When the tracks split, players will need to choose which direction to take. Set about 100 years after Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks plays out in a world that barely remembers the legends of a demon king, who was defeated and bound with powerful chains many lifetimes earlier.
These magical chains still run far and wide across the landscape, but oblivious to their true purpose, the people now use them as train tracks to move carts full of cargo. As the story begins, Link is set to start his new career as a train engineer, when he is told by Princess Zelda that the magic tracks have been disappearing, and that she fears there is some great evil at work. The two escape from Zelda's suspicious overseers in the castle and ride Link's train as far as the tracks take them. The adventure leads to ruins and dungeons below ground, where Link must battle enemies and solve puzzles, using a whip as both a weapon and a tool to extend his reach. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
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