When the first trailer for Spirit Tracks
was released earlier this year at GDC, the one thing that stood out to
people and stuck in their memory was undeniably the train, which played
such a predominant role in the trailer, the game’s title, and of
course, the game itself. People responded quite strongly. ‘A train in Zelda? What is the world coming to?’ People really need to realize that the train of Spirit Tracks isn’t anything to warrant such a response. It fits into the overall picture just fine.
Spirit Tracks, at the moment, has a timeline placement of 100 years after Phantom Hourglass. Phantom Hourglass, you know, the game that has the S.S. Linebeck. A steamboat. Hence the S.S. prefix. And what do we see in Spirit Tracks?
A steam train. Surely the progression of 100 years from steamboats to
steam trains really isn’t something that amazing. Actually, research
tells me that on earth, steamboats and steam trains were pretty side by
side in their invention and progression throughout the 18th Century.
Why didn’t Phantom Hourglass get the same reception for having
a steamboat? Probably because it’s not really steam technology in boats
and trains that you have the problem with.
but that’s pretty easily answered by the fact there were only minuscule
islands founded, which take about a minute to go for a jog around. Once
a larger land was founded, the progression and application of steam
technology to trains was a logical progression. After all, Hyrule and
the world, spans millenia across the timeline. To those of you who
place games after The Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks timeline arc, I ask you, how do you explain the recession in steam technology, without pinning anything on the developers?
there’s nothing to get worked up about here. The train fits in with
Zeldaran Era Technology without a fuss. Be glad it didn’t have a subway
like Valley of the Flood proposed, which would’ve compromised
the series, because this steam train compromises nothing. In an
interview with Reggie Fils-Aime on Spirit Tracks, MTV Multiplayer asked, “If you can have trains in the “Zelda” universe, can you have planes in the “Zelda” universe?”
Sheer ignorance I say. Mr. Fils-Aime simply forked any responsibility
for an answer to that onto Aonuma. But, seriously. Learn that this
train fits in. It isn’t a massive leap in technology that compromises
and changes everything. It’s okay young ones; Link will not travel by
an Airbus A380 in Zelda Wii.
For something so small,
it’s warranted such a negative response. All of you who frown and
cringe at the mention of the train need to simply get over it. There’s
nothing wrong with it. Realize that it is not the usage of a steam
train that will make or break a Zelda game. Maybe, worth more concern about Spirit Tracks,
is the continuing evidence of Nintendo’s turn towards targeting
hardcore casual gamers. For those who are really hardcore, at being
casual gamers. I think a lot of you are putting all of your anger and
blame about this casual turn on the train, even though it need not be
so. It’s a steam train – get over it!