Legend of Zelda: The Spirit's Flute is a game for the Nintendo Switch. It features some more traditional Legend of Zelda gameplay, with the addition of The Spirit's Flute, an item used to summon forth the Spirit of Courage. Said Spirit is used to help Link solve various puzzles, which will be needed, for a dark being disrupted the Spirit Realm, throwing most Spirits into a frenzy. It's up to Link and the Spirit of Courage to undo the damage, and restore order. The game is in 3D, and features a graphic style similar to Wind Waker.
Before the game starts, players are given the chance to name the player character. For the sake of this article, the player character will be named Link. The game begins with an opening narration describing Spirits. The game says that, since the dawn of time, unseen entities reside in a Spiritual Plane, each with the power to manipulate the mortal realm. Some Spirits spread Courage, Wisdom, and Power to the world. Some spread fortune to the world, and some spread disease, and so much more. These Spirits could alter the very fabric of reality, but the goddesses make sure to maintain control of them through a mysterious stone found deep in an ancient temple.
After the narration, players are shown the depths of the Spirit Temple, housing a mighty, amber colored stone. A figure approaches the stone. This figure is red, stands at 8 feet tall and buff, bears what looks like a bull's skull, and appears to have a pair of bug-like wings protruding from its shoulders. It looks upon the stone, wordlessly. Then, it lifts a hand, coursing with a dark energy, and thrusts that hand forward, sending a black lightning bolt into the stone, which shatters and loses its color. A loud hum echoes throughout the chamber, and the ghastly figure looks pleased with themselves. Their wings curl around themselves, and the figure completely disappears, the humming slowly starting to sound more like shouting and screaming.
The game then cuts to a normal town. Many member of many races are marching about. Some Gorons are carrying construction materials. This place is called Castle Town. The camera then travels to one house. In it, there's a kid, sound asleep. This is Link. In the middle of his sleep, a loud trumpet sounds from below, jolting Link awake. After the noise is over, a voice from below shouts for Link to finally come down. Link groggily got to his feet, and players get to control him.
Players bring Link out of his room and down the stairs, where players are introduced to Fogo, a man that sells instruments and teaches people how to play them. Fogo then tells Link that it's already noon. He then decides to brush that off, and ask if Link took stock of the equipment. Link's eyes shot open, and he checks his pockets before pulling out a sheet of paper. He holds out for Fogo, who takes it and looks it over. He nods approvingly, and thanks Link for the performance.
After that, he gets back behind the counter. He tells Link that some of the citizens will be expecting to receive instruments some time today, so he asks Link to deliver them. Players then explore the castle town, searching for each person. First is a Korok named Dvon, who ordered a cello. Upon speaking to him, he mentions that he has to play for the Burial Ritual. Next is a Goron named Lokro, who ordered a drum set and says he has to play for the Spirit Ceremony. Lastly is a Rito named Honnz, who ordered an accordion and says that he's been chosen to play for the annual ceremony. Link then runs to the house he woke up in.
Recognizing that Link handed off the instruments, Fogo hands off some rupees, jokingly telling him not to spend it all in one place. Link is about to walk out, when Fogo remembers something. He shouts for Link to halt, causing him to trip and fall onto his front. Fogo tells him that the royal guard needed some instruments as well, and that he needs him to tag along behind him and help deliver the large shipment.
A cutscene plays, showing Link following behind Fogo as the latter pushes a crate full of instruments down the streets and up to the castle. The two cross a bridge, and Fogo remarks how this is the first time Link gets to go into the castle. He assures him that words can't do the place justice.
The duo eventually come close to the castle, and Link stops in place, taking in the full majesty of the place. The pair cross a bridge into the castle, and are greeted by many soldiers. They usher the duo in, and they each hand over some instruments. As they do, Fogo tells Link that the royals are hosting a parade for the spirits that provide for them. One of the easiest ways to commune with the spirits is through music.
After the guards each get an instrument, Fogo tells Link there's one more person to provide for. He pulls out a baton, and directs Link towards the throne room. Upon entering, he sees the King of Hyrule, looking rather jovial upon his throne. And standing next to him is his dear daughter, Zelda. Link can't help but look on in awe, holding the bat on. She approaches, and Link nervously hands it over. The princess holds the baton up to her face, examining the glorious item.
She thanks him for this, and informs the rest of the soldiers that the time to commune. The soldiers each salute, and head outside, instruments in hand. Outside, many citizens are gathered around the main square, soldiers getting into position. Zelda then stand before them, and readies the baton. With that, she directs them each to play for the spirits.
After a bit of playing, a strange air fills the atmosphere. Everyone present looks around in a panic. Then, the being that smashed the amber structure suddenly appears in front of them. He introduces himself as Imperum, the Spirit of Power. He shows off some of his power by emitting an aura that makes everyone feels powerful. It then dissipates that aura. It then begins to tell them that they've relied on the spirits for too long.
It tells them that their kind have relied on the spirits to exist. Without their kind, the mortals would've perished long ago. So, he decided to break the goddesses stranglehold over spirit kind and allow the spirits to do whatever they wish instead of serve for mortals. To demonstrate, it snaps their fingers, and something begins to move through the air before slamming down at the square. Lizard-like beings that were translucent and green brandished ghostly claws.
Many citizens ran away, and a lot of the guards run to Zelda. She begins to sing, and a magical essence flows into their weapons. Each of their weapons glow like gold. Then, they ran towards the attacking spirits, and attacked. Fogo grabs a glowing sword and charges a spirit. He slashes, but it catches his blade with its claws. It pulls it out of his hands, and throws it elsewhere, it landing near Link. Link grabs the sword and holds it shakily.
Then, Fogo shouts at Link to try and tell him how to use the sword. The player is thrust into a tutorial fight to learn how to use the sword. At the end of the tutorial, the spirits are quelled and leave the kingdom. However, many citizens left the kingdom, and the royal guards retreat into the castle. Link and Fogo follow suit. Once they cross, they notice a tall, athletic lady spreading salt over the perimeter of the front door. Then, Zelda addresses everyone in the room.
She says that history has never spoken about the spirits going on a rampage. However, she did hear about an artifact deep in the Spirit Temple that may keep harmony amongst the spirits. An amber stone the goddesses speak through. If something went wrong with it, then maybe that'd explain why they were rampaging. So, someone must go to the Gerudo desert to reach the temple. However, she can't let them go alone. As such, she chooses to entrust one person with a strange item carefully passed from generation to generation.
Another guard comes forth with a velvet pillow, a cerulean flute resting on it. She takes it into her hands, and states that the flute will only respond to one person. As such, she orders everyone holding a sword to try and play it. Several get no response, but soon Link is given the flute to try out. The layer is prompted to press up on the Switch controller, and, upon pressing, he blow into it. After that, a green energy swirls in front of him. It forms into a wolf, who howls to the sky.
After that, the green wolf turns towards Link, and asks if he was the one that blew into that flute. Link, while surprised, nods. The wolf introduces himself as the Spirit of Courage, a spirit tasked with bringing courage to mortals. Upon seeing him spawned to life, Zelda declares Link the chosen hero. As such, she sings, blessing his weapon with a taming power, giving it the power to repress spirits. She then orders him to go to Gerudo desert to find the Spirit Temple.
Link nods, and heads over. Upon entering the desert, he can see several Gerudo warriors looking upon a temple surrounded by a deep moat. The tower is surrounded by a swirling vortex, a tough, mountainous cover over it, and the remnants of a bridge. One of the Gerudos notice Link and the Spirit Flute and wave him over. Then, she tells Link that when the spirits began rampaging, three mighty spirits blocked the way to the temple. She says the spirit of growth, the spirit of fortitude, and the spirit of change, have gone to Korok woods, Death Mountain, and the Rito tribe.
The Gerudo points Link in the direction of Korok woods, and he heads off in that direction, which is westwards. After traveling Hyrule Fields, Link reaches Korok woods. It appears empty initially, but as Link travels deeper, he begins to see more and more Koroks. Eventually, he finds his way to a village of the Koroks, though a few seem to be growing weak. Speaking around the village reveals that, ever since the spirits went on a riot, the Koroks have been feeling weaker and weaker. He even meets Dvon, holding his cello dejectedly. He says he didn't get to reach the Forest Crypt, and fears that everyone's growing weak because he didn't get here fast enough. He also says now spirits are rampaging around, making it impossible for him to get in.
The Spirit of Courage suddenly leaps out, and speaks with Dvon. It says that Link has the power to tame the spirits, and they should be able to escort Dvon down to the depths of the Forest Crypt. Believing in them, Dvon eagerly asks them to help him into the Forest Crypt, and then players are able to enter the first dungeon.
Gameplay for this game is very similar to traditional 3D Zelda games, such as Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, etc. Link travels a large over world, sword and shield in hand, and can enter dungeons to solve the puzzle within, collect an item, and use said item to explore more of the world. However, there is a key difference here. This game gives players the ability to use the Spirit of Courage, by using the Spirit's Flute.
Throughout the game, Link acquires items. The majority of these items are acquired through story progression, either completing story quests or exploring dungeons. These items each help Link access areas he couldn't before.
- Boomerang - This is gotten in the Forest Crypt. With this boomerang, Link can target multiple objects and throw it, the boomerang always returning to him. This item typically stuns most enemies, and can even kill smaller enemies, and it's useful for slicing strung-up objects attached far away.
- Bomb Bag - This is gotten in the Sulfur Alter. With these bombs, Link can toss bombs forward, in an arc, where it'll then explode after a couple of seconds. This can be used to hurt groups of enemies for heavy damage and blow up weak walls and rocks.
- Roc's Feather - As part of a trial from the Ritos, Link receives a Roc's Feather. With this, Link is able to leap great heights into the air, and catch rising air currents in the feather to rise up.
- Bow - This is found in the Heaven Scraper. With this bow and some arrows, Link can fire sharp projectiles far away. This can damage foes and be used for puzzle solving.
- Fire Rod - A magical staff found deep within the Smiting Chamber. With this, Link can send forth balls of flame, though the Rod has limited charges. Said charges can be refilled by collecting certain items from pots, bushes, rocks, etc.
Spirit of Courage
The Spirit of Courage is a dark green spirit taking the shape of a wolf. It's one of the few Spirits not in a frenzy, and seeks to undo the chaos. Link can blow into the Spirit's Flute in order to summon the Spirit in front of him. Then, he can do various things with it. He can pick it up and throw it elsewhere, he can team up with it to battle other foes, he can let the Spirit dig stuff, the Spirit can grab items Link can't normally grab, and the Spirit can change. If Link has an item equipped when he plays the flute, the Spirit will come out looking different. These changes typically make Link's equipped weapon more effective.
- Boomerang - If Link has the boomerang equipped when he summons the Spirit, he appears smaller than a pot. In this form, the Spirit can be carried off easily. Link could throw the boomerang somewhere, the Spirit could leap up onto it, and then get carried off by it and land at the destination. The Spirit deals less damage like this.
- Bomb Bag - If Link has the Bomb Bag equipped when he summons the Spirit, its tail now resembles a catapult. Link can drop a bomb into it, and the Spirit will fling the bomb far forward.
- Roc's Feather - If Link has the Roc's Feather equipped when he summons the Spirit, the Spirit now has a large feather protruding from its forehead. If Link jumps in front of it, it'll whip its head downwards, sending forth a gust of wind that can propel Link further forward. In combat, the Spirit can push smaller enemies away with a gust of wind.
- Bow - If Link has the Bow equipped when he summons the Spirit, it comes out with a smooth track of fur running from the top of its head down to the tip of its tail. Link can fire an arrow at the Spirit's head, the track will suck up the arrow, and send it down the track elsewhere. Before firing the arrow, Link can aim or z-target an item and press the flute button to have the Spirit focus on it. Link can then fire at the Spirit to send the arrow flying at his target from an entirely different angle.
- Fire Rod - If Link has the fire rod equipped when he summons the Spirit, the wolf will spawn with its tail being longer and standing upright. If Link lights the tail, it'll create a flame that'll steadily burn down to its rear before causing the Spirit to despawn. With it like this, Link can direct the Spirit to go to places he can't in order to have it light up objects or torches from afar.
The Spirit of Courage isn't terribly reliable in combat. While it deals a significant amount of damage, at the start of the game, it can only take one hit before it fades. It can be re-summoned with the flute.
- Forest Crypt - the burial grounds of Koroks. A Korok is selected once every year to commune with the grand spirit said to be responsible for their birth. When the spirits went into a frenzy, the Crypt became a battleground full of dangerous spirits and demons.
- Sulfur Altar - a religious spot within Death Mountain. Families of Gorons typically go here to be motivated into being the strongest Gorons they can. However, following the frenzy, the realm lost its empowering atmosphere.
- Heaven Scraper - a place of worship among the Rito. Before one could enter, a Rito would undergo a trial, meant to express their proficiency with flight, as a form of thanking the Spirit of Change, Roclara. Following the frenzy, a powerful malestorm began reigning over the Rito Village, making flight impossible.
- Dekulossus - the Spirit of Growth. A spirit that's communed with deep in the Forest Crypt. Legends speak of how this being was responsible for the birth of Deku kind. After the spirits went into a frenzy, Koroks began starving, a sign that the Spirit of Growth wasn't aiding them.
- Dodandla - the Spirit of Fortitude. A spirit that's communed with deep in the Sulfur Altar. It is said to be responsible for giving Gorons their immense spirit. During the frenzy, the volcano began to fall apart, and the Gorons fear that the lava will pour out if it falls apart too much.
- Roclara - the Spirit of Change. A spirit that's communed with deep in the Rito Sanctum. It is said to be responsible for the change from zoras to rito, among other changes. The wind's been blowing in a single direction, which makes movement for rito very difficult.