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The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks - Flutes and Choo Choo Trains

The new look at The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks when we went to visit Nintendo's office, but now we have our own build to play with, and we're able to share a few more details about the game. We'll have more impressions late next week, but right now what we're allowed to share with you is Zelda's Spirit Flute, which is a pan flute that can be played by moving the stylus and blowing into the DS. The flute takes up both screens, and to play it, you use the stylus to slide the pipes left and right to align the right colored pipe to the yellow line. Colored notes will be displayed at the top screen, so you'll have to listen for the timing as well when you blow. It's as close as you can get to mimicking playing a real flute on the DS--it's just unfortunate that your DS doesn't have a spit valve. It's an interesting mechanic, and the first time we used it was to play a beautiful duet, so if you appreciate music and Koji Kondo's score, this is a lovely addition.

For those of you who are wondering about how the train works, we did get to travel across Hyrule a little bit on Link's locomotive. Using the touch screen, you pull levers to change the speed of the train or put it in reverse. Train stations are marked on your map, and you'll see them as they come up. You just have to use some finesse and park at the gate without overshooting it. Similar to how the ship works in Phantom Hourglass, you can set your route ahead of time and just let the train go on its own. However, there is wildlife to avoid on the tracks, so you need to periodically pull the chord to blow the train's whistle to scare cows or large spiders out of the way. Your train does have its own health meter, so it's not wise to leave it on autopilot. By mapping out your route ahead of time, you don't have to worry about switching tracks because it'll be set for you. The first time we got on board, however, we had to learn how to switch tracks manually as a test, as well as avoid other trains on the track. Riding the train is fun but sometimes you wish it had a fast-forward button. The bright side is that it beats making the trip on foot.

For more detailed impressions of the first few dungeons, check out our last preview here. Stay tuned for more updates on The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, which is set to come out on December 7.



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