link and zelda spirit tracksEarlier today, Nate told you delinquents about Kotaku’s breakdown of Spirit Tracks’ multiplayer mode—what it was, what needed to change, what should say, etc. Those lucky bastards also had a chance to run through the game’s second dungeon, the Snow Temple, which they’ve broken down in a similar fashion. Apparently, it’s a three story dungeon, featuring a main room that requires Boomerang and the Whirlwind, and, overall, felt like coming home. Sounds like good shit to me.

What Is It?

The Snow Temple was described to me as the “second” dungeon in the game once Zelda and Link are sent to the Tower of Spirits to restore the Spirit Tracks of Hyrule. The level began outside the snow-covered structure with the train parked out front and Zelda hovering beside Link.

What We Saw

The temple had about three floors and judging from the main room that requires puzzle solving, I’d say I completed three quarters of it before having to stop to play some multiplayer.

How Far Along Is It?

The game comes out December 7. I was playing on a normal-sized cartridge that could well be a final version of the game.

What Needs Improvement?

My Snow Temple For An Item-Toggling Button: Link started this dungeon with the Whirlwind item and earned the Boomerang about halfway through. To use an item, you’ve got to select it from a menu so that it appears in an icon in the upper right hand side of the lower screen. Tapping that icon activates the item and then you do whatever is required of you to use it (blow in the mic for the Whirlwind, draw a path on the screen for the Boomerang). There came a point in this dungeon where you had to use the boomerang to create a path of ice over water (by crossing its path through an ice torch and back across the water) – and then quickly change to the Whirlwind to activate a switch out in the middle of the water. Because the ice path melts quickly, your timing has to be spot on and it can get pretty fiddly when you’re trying to bust out the Whirlwind, aim it and THEN blow into the mic. I died at least twice, wishing in vain that a tap of the shoulder button would switch between items.

Dude, Where’s My Zelda? As soon as I set foot in the Snow Temple, Zelda shrank and faded away with a sigh. It turns out she can’t go with you or help you within the Temples and you can’t talk to her for advice the way you could with other companion characters in other Zelda games. This turned Spirit Tracks into an experience that was an awful lot like Phantom Hourglass. Phantom Hourglass was good, so that’s not an automatic minus – but I think people were expecting the all-new Zelda gameplay to be a consistent feature instead of an area-specific thing.

Finish reading here.

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