Both the fourteenth mainline installment in The Legend of Zelda franchise and the first for the Nintendo DS, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is a direct follow-up to The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. Phantom Hourglass uses the same cel-shaded toon-like art style of Wind Waker and nautical premise to see Link and Princess Zelda (reassuming her pirate captain alias Tetra) sail around the Great Sea in search of land to establish a new kingdom of Hyrule. As one of the two Zelda games on the DS, Phantom Hourglass is the first game in the series to implement touch-screen controls.
In addition to being one of the best-selling games on the Nintendo DS in the month of its release, Phantom Hourglass is the recipient of numerous awards. The title won DS Game of the Year from several major outlets and received numerous Game of the Year nods from some publications. Phantom Hourglass‘ worldwide release in 2007 precludes the title eventually arriving on Nintendo’s Virtual Console service for the Wii U nearly 10 years later. Its own follow-up, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, would arrive in 2009.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Premise
The tale of Phantom Hourglass begins almost immediately following the conclusion of The Wind Waker. Given the chance to either resurrect Hyrule or move forward in a new kingdom free from the ghosts of its past, Link and Zelda choose to search for new land in which to establish a brand new kingdom of Hyrule. Setting sail once again on the Great Sea, the duo come across a drifting ship, which turns out to be inhabited by an evil entity, placing Zelda (aka Tetra) and her crew under a curse which forbids them to leave its confines. Of course, Link sets off in search of a cure for the curse keeping Zelda and her crew on the ship.
Gameplay in Phantom Hourglass is largely similar to that of other Legend of Zelda games, albeit with the unique wrinkle of its touch-screen controls. Players assume the role of Link once again, viewing him from a top-down, third-person perspective. Just like in Wind Waker, gameplay is split between sailing the Great Sea between islands and then occasionally stopping and exploring these islands on-foot. The islands typically contain caves or dungeons for Link to explore, in which the player fights enemies and solves puzzles akin to other games in the Zelda series.
Phantom Hourglass‘ unique touch controls provide some interesting changes to the gameplay, such as being able to chart Link’s ship’s course on the sea chart displayed on one of the DS’ screens and then seeing the ship sail that same path. Additionally, players can use the stylus to execute basic actions such as movement and interacting with objects. Interestingly, Phantom Hourglass is one of the few games in the series featuring a large dungeon that Link returns to several times throughout the course of his adventure.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Main Characters
Many of the same key characters from Wind Waker make return appearances in Phantom Hourglass, and of course the titular Princess Zelda and recurring hero Link feature prominently in the game’s story. In addition to the returning cast, Phantom Hourglass features a new companion character who assists Link as well as a brand-new series antagonist in the form of Bellum. Main characters in Phantom Hourglass include:
- Link: The “Hero of Time” and sometimes “Hero of Legend”, Link is the recurring protagonist in The Legend of Zelda series, continually reborn throughout the ages to defend the descendant of the goddess Hylia and the Triforce.
- Princess Zelda/Tetra: Princess Zelda is the recurring descendant of the goddess Hylia and the sworn protector of the Triforce as the royal heir to Hyrule. In both Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass she assumes the double identity of the young pirate captain Tetra.
- Oshus: Oshus, otherwise known as the Ocean King, is in reality a massive white whale that appears to Link in the form of an old man. He is the creator of the Phantom Hourglass and introduces Link to his new fairy, Ciela.
- Linebeck: With Tetra and her crew imprisoned within Bellum’s ghost ship, Link is without a vessel to use in sailing the Great Sea. Linebeck comes along and agrees to help Link by sailing him around Phantom Hourglass‘ world in his steamboat, the SS Linebeck.
- Bellum: Bellum is a new antagonist for the Zelda series and only appears in Phantom Hourglass. A large, malevolent squid-like creature, Bellum’s main goal is to steal away the life force from all living creatures in the Great Sea.
Games in The Legend of Zelda Series
Phantom Hourglass is the 14th game in The Legend of Zelda series, and to date there are a total of 20 mainline games thanks to this year’s Tears of the Kingdom. The Zelda series continues to be one of the most important and noteworthy franchises in gaming, with most of the titles across its history revolutionizing the design and direction of other action-adventure games. Mainline games in The Legend of Zelda series include:
- The Legend of Zelda (1986)
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (1987)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (1993)
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000)
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages (2001)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003)
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (2004)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (2004)
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (2007)
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (2009)
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013)
- The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (2015)
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019)
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (2023)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Cheats and Secrets
While there are no “cheats” for Phantom Hourglass, there are plenty of secrets that players can take advantage of to make their time in the game easier.
Switch Puzzle Order in the Ghost Ship
Orienting from the direction Link faces the switches (e.g., “1” is the leftmost switch), the order is:
4, 1, 5, 2, 3
- Dee Ess Island, SE Sea – Players can find this island east of Goron Island
- Harrow Island, SE Sea – Located west of Isle of Frost
- Maze Island, NE Sea – Discoverable just northwest of Isle of Dead
- Spirit Island, SW Sea – Just south of Molida Island players can spot three boulders. Spirit Island lies in the center of the boulders
- Uncharted Island, NW Sea – Just below Bannan Island on the map
- Zauz’s Island, NW Sea – Just northwest of the Isle of Gust
Easy Rupees Glitch
In Phantom Hourglass, players can locate the Traveler’s Ship and help the man aboard by slaying all of the enemies. After doing this, he’ll gift Link with several pieces of treasure. After locating the Traveler’s Ship and slaying all the enemies, turn off the DS, turn it back on, and go into the settings menu. Adjust the time and date of the DS system by moving it forward one full day, then boot up Phantom Hourglass. Find the Traveler’s Ship again and repeat the time maniupulation of the DS hardware until you have plenty of treasure in your inventory. After using this method several times and selling all the treasure acquired, it’s easy to quickly get a full wallet with 9,999 Rupees.
If a particular jump happens to be too far for Link to clear alone, look to see if there are any cucoos nearby. Jumping while Link holds one of Zelda‘s chicken-like creatures will give him some extra airtime and slow down his rate of descent.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Cheat FAQs
How do you get more time in Phantom Hourglass?
The maximum amount of time that players can store in the Phantom Hourglass is 25 minutes, and the only means to refill it are to enter dungeons and fight bosses.
How do you get treasure in Phantom Hourglass?
There are several ways to get treasure, although one of the easiest is to use the Traveler’s Ship time maniupulation method explained above. Additionally, players can get treasure by bringing up chests with the Salvage Arm, completing mini-games, or purchasing it from various shops.
How long is Phantom Hourglass?
A typical playthrough of Phantom Hourglass will run about 17 hours on average. However, attempting to 100% the game and complete every aspect will extend that runtime to just over 30 hours.
How do you get the Salvage Arm for cheap?
The price of the Salvage Arm varies between 200 and 1000 Rupees, and players can earn a discount by utilizing the DS’ microphone to yell loud enough to get the price down lower.
How many Power Gems are in Phantom Hourglass?
There are a total of 20 Power Gems in Phantom Hourglass, with each 10 that Link collects improving his abilities.