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Spirit Tracks (Object)

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This article refers to the train tracks that serve as the shackles of the Demon King Malladus. You may be looking for the game of the same name, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
Quote1.png With their remaining power, they buried the Demon King's spirit in the ground. They built shackles to imprison him, and a tower that acted as a lock. These shackles cover the land to this day. Quote2.png
— Spirit Tracks prologue
Spirit Tracks
Spirit Tracks.png
A section of the Spirit Tracks, running into the gate of the Forest Realm at the Tower of Spirits.
Game(s)
Use(s) Binding the Demon King, Malladus
Public Transportation
Comparable Object(s) Tower of Spirits
Spirit Train

The Spirit Tracks are a series of special train tracks that span in four directions across the land of Hyrule that also serve as the titular object featured in the game of the same name, Spirit Tracks.[1] Not only do the rails of the Spirit Tracks provide a means of transportation for Hyrule's people,[2] they also serve an even larger purpose as the chains that bind the evil Demon King, Malladus, in his prison, as the Spirits of Good were not able to destroy him.[3] They carry through their rails the energy that sustains their existence and powers the Tower of Spirits at the center of Hyrule that is generated from four special temples located all across the land.[4] The Spirit Tracks go all over the land, across fields, through snow, under the ocean waves, over mountains, and even into the Dark Realm.

There are several ways to restore the Spirit Tracks throughout the kingdom: either by retrieving a Rail Map atop the Tower of Spirits,[5] playing a Lokomo Duet,[6] restoring a Force Gem inside each realm’s temple, receiving a Force Gem from a grateful citizen,[7] or by obtaining the Compass of Light.[8] Link must do each of the mentioned methods to fully recuperate the lost tracks and thus completely energize both the Rail Map and the Tower of Spirits.

History

Main article: Spirit War
The Spirit Tracks are created as Malladus's shackles by the Spirits of Good.

The Spirit Tracks have a long history behind them dating back even before the reinstatement of the kingdom of Hyrule in the land of the legendary Spirits of Good. The first settlers of the land lived in harmony under the protection of the Spirits of Good for some time, until an evil entity known as the Demon King, Malladus, rose to power and threatened the land with destruction and ruin.[9] The spirits engaged him in a long and bloody conflict for the fate of the land and its inhabitants.[10] After realizing they did not possess the strength to truly kill him, the spirits devised a way to halt his reign of terror, by locking him away in an underground prison. This prison would have a unique system of shackles and a central lock. Those shackles, a large set of train tracks that would come to be known in time as the Spirit Tracks, would span all across the land in four directions, so as to chain Malladus in his prison, with the Tower of Spirits acting as the lock. So to this end, the Spirits of Good used their last remaining power to drive Malladus deep underground and crafted the tracks and the tower to seal it, bringing the war to a successful end.[3] The spirits, their powers greatly depleted, departed for the heavens, giving the land over to the Hyrulean settlers led by the Hero of Winds and Tetra (who rechristened the land as the reborn kingdom of Hyrule) and leaving their servants, the Lokomo, to guard the land and mankind against the return of the Demon King.[11][12]

Appearances

Thus far, the Spirit Tracks have only made one appearance in the series, in the game of the same name, Spirit Tracks. Here they appear to cover all the realms of Hyrule with their central hub at the Tower of Spirits near the center of the kingdom, making constant appearances as Link uses them to travel on his adventure to save Hyrule.[13]

Spirit Tracks

A full map of the Spirit Tracks that cover Hyrule.

In Spirit Tracks, the titular Spirit Tracks are revealed in the introduction to have been a creation of the Spirits of Good to bind the Demon King Malladus in his prison deep beneath Hyrule.[3] By the time of the main events of the game a century later, the tracks have taken on another purpose as the primary source of transportation for Hyrule's people, who have developed transportation by trains in the interim period.[2][14] A century after the land the Demon King once terrorized was re-branded as the re-established kingdom of Hyrule, the Spirit Tracks begin to mysteriously vanish, causing Hyrule's Princess Zelda to suspect one of her officials, Chancellor Cole, of a plot to destroy the rail system to set Malladus free upon the land once again.[1] These suspicions are confirmed when the Chancellor shatters the Tower of Spirits that serves as the central hub of the rail system.[15]

Link and Princess Zelda eventually meet Anjean, who reveals what is really happening: the Spirit Tracks are disappearing because something has happened to the four temples that sustain them and send their energy through the tracks into the Tower of Spirits, thereby providing it with the energy that powers it. Without this energy flowing into the tower from the temples, the Spirit Tracks have gradually begun to vanish and the Tower of Spirits has been weakened to the point that Cole was able to shatter it.[4] The wise old Lokomo tasks the pair with retrieving the sacred Rail Maps found throughout the tower to reach each of the temples and reactivate their energy beacons in order to fully restore the Spirit Tracks and the Tower of Spirits to their original states.[16]

Each realm's guardian Lokomo sage is able to restore much of the Spirit Tracks in their respective realms by means of a Lokomo Duet with Link, who wields the Spirit Flute.[17] With each temple the pair succeeds in cleansing, the Spirit Tracks of each of the realms are restored and one of the fragmented sections of the Tower of Spirits is re-fused with the base. Eventually, the duo succeeds in restoring all of the Spirit Tracks and ascends the Tower of Spirits to reach the Altar of the Demon King, the one place Malladus can be revived. After Malladus is successfully infused into Zelda's vacant body by Cole, the evil Chancellor escapes to the Dark Realm, where Spirit Tracks are also located.

Though the tracks are restored and the tower rebuilt, Malladus escapes and once more is a large threat to the land. Link and Zelda eventually defeat the Demon King and, with this, the Lokomo depart for the heavens as they are no longer needed to guard the land, leaving Link and Zelda to protect it along with the tracks in their stead along with their descendants.[18] It is presumed that the Spirit Tracks remained as a very important part of Hyrule thereafter, though now solely functioning in their role for transportation, as evidenced in one ending of the game showing Princess Zelda running to her window in Hyrule Castle at the sound of a train whistle, presumably to greet Link, who chooses to remain a Royal Engineer in this ending.

Trivia

  • The age of the Spirit Tracks is not made entirely clear in the game due to conflicting statements from a few citizens of Hyrule. It is implied that the tracks predate the reinstatement of Hyrule, though exactly how long before this is disputed.[19] An aged Niko implies that the Spirit War and the establishment of the tracks took place not long before his arrival with Tetra and the Hero of Winds, as evidenced when he states that following the war, the land was given over to them.
  • In the Spanish version of the game, the Spirit Tracks are known as the "protective seals."
  • The tracks of different realms all have different appearances. The Forest and Snow realms' tracks look identical to each other and do not have anything special. The Ocean realm tracks are similar, but take on a more grayish appearance. The tracks of the Fire realm are probably the most unique; they are really only make of reddish-brown rock. The Spirit Tracks of the Dark Realm look similar to standard tracks, although gray rocks line either side of them.

Nomenclature

TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.gif
Language Name Meaning
French-speaking countries French Voies Sacrées Sacred Tracks
Federal Republic of Germany German Schienen der Götter Tracks/Rails of the Gods
Kingdom of Spain SpanishEU Sellos Protectores Protective Seals
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States SpanishLA Vías Sagradas Sacred Tracks

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "I have to ask a favor of you, [Link]. As you know, the Tower of Spirits has protected our kingdom for ages. The tower connects all the Spirit Tracks that crisscross the land. However, for some reason, they seem to be vanishing from everywhere. Something must have happened at the tower to cause all this. I must go there to investigate." — Princess Zelda (Spirit Tracks)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "So I hear your graduation is today. You know, I've always had a lot of respect for engineers. Thanks to them, we can go anywhere we want in the kingdom. Plus, they even transport our goods to different places for us." — Man in Castle Town (Spirit Tracks)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "With their remaining power, they buried the Demon King's spirit in the ground. They built shackles to imprison him, and a tower that acted as a lock. These shackles cover the land to this day." — Introduction (Spirit Tracks)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "It's not chains or bars that keep him imprisoned, but an energy that flows between the tower and the four temples that surround it. Correct, my dear. The Spirit Tracks carry that energy. If the tracks are lost, the tower's energy will fade, and so will the Demon King's prison. And that's just what the evil ones are after! They aim to resurrect Malladus, the Demon King. Right now, my strength maintains his shackles, but it's only a matter of time until they're broken." — Anjean (Spirit Tracks)
  5. "The answer lies above us in the floors of this tower. Four stone rail maps are enshrined there. You must retrieve them. As you know, this tower connects our kingdom. Right now, the tower is filled with an evil energy. If you can get far enough to retrieve a rail map, a portion of the tracks will be restored. Start your search by climbing the stairs." — Anjean (Spirit Tracks)
  6. "You completed the duet with Gage, the Lokomo of the Forest Realm! The Forest rail map has started glowing! New tracks have appeared!" — N/A (Spirit Tracks)
  7. "You got a Force Gem! The Ocean rail map has started glowing! This Force Gem has energized the rail map. New tracks have appeared!" — N/A (Spirit Tracks)
  8. "The Forest rail map has started to glow ominously. The Compass of Light has revealed a track leading into the darkness!" — N/A (Spirit Tracks)
  9. "This is a tale from long ago. It's the tale of the first settlers of this land. In the beginning, the people followed the spirits of good, and all was peaceful. But that era of peace soon came to an end. The evil Demon King rose to power, destroying everything in his path. The spirits of good had no choice but to face him in battle." — Introduction (Spirit Tracks)
  10. "The war that ensued seemed to last an eternity, and much blood was shed. Finally, the spirits subdued the Demon King, though they could not destroy him. Their powers were greatly depleted." — Introduction (Spirit Tracks)
  11. "With their power drained, the spirits of good returned to the heavens. Suddenly bereft of both demons and spirits, this land was entrusted to us." — Introduction (Spirit Tracks)
  12. "Indeed. We are called the Lokomos. We are servants of the spirits. They have entrusted us with protecting the temples and the Spirit Tracks. By playing our sacred instruments... We generate energy that powers the Spirit Tracks." — Anjean (Spirit Tracks)
  13. "It's said that our kingdom was established about a hundred years ago... But I hear that the Spirit Tracks are even older than the kingdom. And did you know that they all meet at the Tower of Spirits that's nearby? It's all very mysterious, don't you think?" — Woman in Aboda Village (Spirit Tracks)
  14. "They say the Spirit Tracks have disappeared. We bring in food and other things by train, so now what are we going to do? I always get fresh fish delivered from the Ocean Realm." — Woman in Castle Town (Spirit Tracks)
  15. "And the Tower of Spirits breaking apart... You saw it too, didn't you, [Link]?" — Princess Zelda (Spirit Tracks)
  16. "At the top of this tower is your body. The Demon King's spirit is also there. To prevent him from possessing your body, you must fortify his prison. To do this, restore the energy between the temples and this tower. In other words... Restore the tracks between here and the temples." — Anjean (Spirit Tracks)
  17. "To restore the tracks that disappeared, you need to know a special song. This Lokomo Song is a duet that requires two sacred instruments. My cello and your Spirit Flute should do the trick! With both instruments playing the song... We can restore the rail map's energy!" — Gage (Spirit Tracks)
  18. "But our protection is no longer needed. Even without the spirits' guidance, you will do well. So I think I will return to the heavens... In the company of my old friend Byrne. Please watch over this land, my dear. And, [Link]... You must help her. Good-bye... And thank you. Thank you both." — Anjean (Spirit Tracks)
  19. "It's said that our kingdom was established about a hundred years ago... But I hear that the Spirit Tracks are even older than the kingdom." — Woman in Aboda Village (Spirit Tracks)