Chapter 12: The Dark Realm

Part 1: Entering the Dark Realm

Now that you’re in the lobby of the Tower of Spirits, hop on your train and tell Zelda you’d like to go to the Forest Realm. The entrance to the Dark Realm is located on the southwest corner of the Forest Realm map – you can go straight there, though you’ll probably want to stop at either Castle Town or Whittleton to get some potions, which you’ll definitely need for the upcoming battle. If you’re already full up on potions, then head straight to the Dark Realm at your leisure.

There shouldn’t be anything blocking your way there outside of the normal slew of enemies, though you will have to go through a cave beyond Aboda Village, where mini Rocktites await you. You’ll get through those without any trouble for sure, before coming out the other end of the cave to see the mysterious island containing the portal to the Dark Realm.

Ajean will tell you that you must gather courage to proceed as you speed toward the portal, and the music will fade from the overworld. If I were you, I’d save right here, then continue on forward. At once, you’ll be transported through the green portal and into the ominous Dark Realm.

Part 2: Bombarding Armored Trains

This is the first challenge of the Dark Realm – you’ll have to pay close attention to the upper map if you want to succeed in this fight. Scattered across the death-ridden realm are six Armored Trains – the most powerful Dark Trains in the game. They’re smart, fast, and you’ve got to defeat them all. But how do you defeat these trains? Well, the answer is simple! Also scattered about the realm are eight Tears of Light – run through them with your train to become energized with light!

The basics of having an energized train go like this:

  • The Spirit Train is invulnerable to damage.
  • It also travels really fast – backwards and forwards.
  • You can make it go even faster by blowing your whistle; as long as you keep the whistle blowing, you’ll keep traveling at this high speed.
  • Touching an Armored Train when energized destroys the Armored Train.

The Tears of Light will regenerate after a short amount of time, so you’ll never run out of Tears. In addition, to get to some of the trains, you’ll have to utilize orange, hexagonal portals on the edges of the realm. Each portal on the left and right edges connects to the portal directly across from it – think Pac Man. There are also two extra portals close to the left edge of the map; they connect to each other, and you’ll have to use those two to get the Armored Train in that little area.

You’ll have to strategically use the Tears of Light, orange portals and your own judgment of the Armored Trains’ movements to determine which ones to go for first. There is no set way to go about clearing this stage; you can go for any Armored Train you wish at any time.

Of course, be warned: If you are hit by an Armored Train and your Spirit Train is not energized, you’ll die and have to start all over. What a pain!

If you’re confused about how to go about this, here’s how I beat this section: I started by doing away with the first Armored Train you have the possibility of encountering. From there, I went for the lone Armored Train in the upper, center portion of the map, then moved back down to get the other Armored Train maneuvering around the bottom portion of the map. This effectively clears out all of the easiest trains first.

Now you’ve got three trains left – one in the upper left and two in the upper right corners of the map. You can reach the train in the upper left by going into the center portal on the right side of the map. This will take you through a short bit of track containing a Tear of Light. Your train will become energized; blow you whistle and continue on to demolish that next Armored Train.

Now, the tricky part: If you blow your whistle this whole time, you’ll have just enough energy to go through the portal connecting to the top right side of the map and still be energized enough to do away with at least one of the two armored trains there. Then all yu need to do is get the Tear of Light in the upper right corner, and demolish that last train.

Part 3: Facing the Demon Train

With all the Armored Trains demolished, you’ll now be driving trackless through the dark abyss as someone shouts that Cole is just up ahead. Four tracks will materialize beneath the Spirit Train, and the Demon Train will rush up from behind you through a large green portal, roaring menacingly, signifying the start of Malladus’s final struggle for dominance in this world of good.

The Demon Train is about to come at you, full force – so be ready!

The Demon Train

You’ll start out to the right of the Demon Train, one track to the left of the edge of the field. There are three phases to this fight, and each one must be completed before you reach the end of the tracks far up ahead. You progress along the tracks can be seen on the righthand side of the upper screen. The map also shows the location of the Demon Train relative to your Spirit Train.

The first phase consist of the Demon Train tossing out explosive barrels from its rear car. There are five compartments in this rear car that each contain an explosive barrel. Occasionally, the Demon Train will open up one of these compartments to toss out a barrel onto the tracks. Before it can escape the compartment, explode the barrel with a shot from your canon. The compartment will be destroyed. If you do not shoot the barrel in time, or you miss, the barrel will fall onto the tracks and cause you damage.

As soon as you hit the first barrel, the Demon Train will scream and begin to shift tracks. If you don’t avoid the Demon Train some how, it’ll hit you and cause damage, so hit the emergency breaks and avoid it as it shifts. You’ll soon come to a section of track you can use to shift over to another section of track – head over to the left side of the track arena and continue along with your assault of the explosive barrels. After each barrel, the same formula will repeat, so continue destroying compartments and shifting along the track until all five compartments have been destroyed.

Once all five compartments are destroyed, the rear car will break off and the Demon Train will wail and hurry into a giant green portal; you’ll automatically follow it into the portal and restart at the beginning of the track arena for the second phase.

Phase two consists of four deadly lasers inside of a new rear car. Just like with the compartments before, occasionally the Demon Train will unveil one of these laser guns and it will fire horizontally along the track. Before the laser can retract, hit it with your canon – each laser gun takes two hits to completely destroy. Make sure to maintain your distance so as not to get hit by the lasers.

As with before, the Demon Train will switch from one side of the track arena to the other. Hit your emergency brakes to avoid being smashed by the Demon Train, and use the diagonal tracks up ahead to move to the opposite side of the arena yourself. Continue hitting the laser guns until all four are destroyed; once done, that car will also break of and explode, and the Demon Train will escape once again through a green portal, into which you will also automatically follow.

The third and final phase of this battle takes you right up to the front of the Demon Train. Its front car is lined with five gears that rotate around in opposing directions. As you near the Demon Train, the lights on the gears will blink from red to blue, before finally halting as blue laser lights. These lasers are not harmful; in fact they are the same laser lights that appear from crystal switches when you play the Song of Light. You can shut off these five lights on the Demon Train by hitting them with your canon.

Shift to the fastest speed on your train and speed past the five blue lights, hitting each one with your canon as you go. If you hit all five, the car will explode and the Demon Train will scream and begin to fall behind you. Turn your camera around so you’re facing behind the Spirit Train, and fire right into the Demon Train’s face. The Demon Train will then begin to speed up past you, and might shift tracks, so be prepared for that if it happens.

You’ll most likely need to go through one more round of light-destroying, and then then the Demon Train will become fed up with your antics and begin to ram you from behind instead of letting you avoid it with your emergency brakes. When this happens, make sure your train is moving as fast as possible, and just continue hitting the Demon Train’s face over and over again until its final car begins to explode.

You’ll be asked to save at this point – feel free to do so, there’s no detriment to saving and it’s not a “point of no return.” You’ll be able to return to the rest of the world; you just won’t have to repeat the first two parts of the Dark Realm again! Once you’ve saved, it’s time for the final battle – make sure you’re mentally prepared, and continue on forward.

Part 4: The Final Battle

You’re in for a wild ride – and a long cutscene – as you near the very end of The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. The cutscene focuses on everyone’s battle preparations. Ajean states that she will go with you henceforth, but Byrne insists that he go instead. In the end, Zelda and Link agree to go face Malladus and Cole together – but Zelda’s not much help in her current form! To aid this, Ajean will conjure a lifeless Phantom shell for Zelda to possess.

Link and Zelda will exit the Spirit Train’s cabin and begin climbing upon the Demon Train together. After a bout with Cole, the Demon Train will begin to move, leaving the Spirit Train behind. Malladus will complete his resurrection, and will fully awaken inside Zelda’s body, positioning himself at the far edge of the Demon Train. It’s time to begin the final battle!

Cole and Malladus

Cole will bounce around in the air, laughing at you. The only goal of this fight is the guide Zelda up to the front of the train where Malladus is standing. Along the way, Malladus will fire red laser beams at you, which Zelda can block by standing in front of them. This entire segment of the final battle can go rather quickly if you’re able to accomplish only one thing: keeping Cole from possessing Zelda’s Phantom shell.

Yes, Cole will make attempts to possess Zelda’s armor as you both make your way up the train. Cole will often launch small glowing mice make of electricity that act as the medium of possession. They scare Zelda into submission, so she doesn’t move forward at all when they’re out.

You can kill these mice with any weapon in your arsenal, but if any of them touch Zelda, Cole will begin controller her suit of armor with marionette strings. Zelda will swing her sword at you and make her way down the opposite direction along the Demon Train, effectively setting you back a bit, and if you attempt to run behind her to strike Cole down you’ll most likely be shot by a laser from Malladus, preventing you from hitting Cole.

While it’s possible – but tedious – to try and hit Cole directly with your Whip, Bow and Arrow or sword, the easiest and most effective way to break the possession is to use your Boomerang to target him from afar. The strings will break and you can move Zelda once again towards Malladus.

The mice come in several formations – they will either follow one another in a straight line of four mice, or circle around Zelda and make the circle tighter and tighter. The Whip is an effective and efficient means of getting rid of the mice at all times, though if the mice are circling around Zelda the spin attack works quite well also. Of course, killing the mice makes them drop arrows and hearts – and you’ll need those arrows as soon as you reach Malladus.

Once you’re halfway up the Demon Train, its compartments will begin to shift; the final two compartments will shift in opposite directions, first to the right and then to the left. Don’t worry – Zelda’s path will always correct iself so that she follows along a continuous ground. You won’t need to change the path she’s walking along if you’ve set it. However, at this point Malladus will be firing lasers quite often, so you only recluse of safety is to hide behind Zelda and get her to Malladus quickly. What’s worse, Cole will be launch out mice even more often than before, so be very careful as you move along the Demon Train to destroy them all, or you could face a major setback.

When you finally reach Malladus, guide Zelda to him and target him with her. Zelda will grab hold of Malladus and begin to float in the air with the struggling Demon King. Cole will follow, in a panic, moaning.

You’ve got to shoot Malladus with a Light Arrow as quickly as possible. Although it seems like this is easy, there are several obstacles that prevent you from shooting Malladus as quickly as you have to – Zelda will rotate around in the air, and her armor may block your shot. In addition, she will be floating left and right along the top screen – and her being on the top screen doesn’t make the shot any easier.

If you fail to shoot Malladus in time, he will escape and you’ll be set back a little bit. If you successfully shoot Malladus he’ll become electrocuted with holy light and begin to writhe in pain in Zelda’s arms, effectively defeated and ejected from Zelda’s body – for the moment.

A cutscene will follow in which Cole scrambles from the scene and Maladus loses his possession of Zelda, causing the Demon Train to die in an explosive burst. Screaming, the entire crew will tumble to the land below the tracks. Link will awaken to Zelda’s voice, and you’ll be in a circular arena. Malladus, floating above, is struggling to maintain his possession of Zelda’s body, and is finally ejected entirely as a blue spirit in the shape of a skull.

Zelda will immediately attempt to regain her body, but to no avail – and Cole will urge Malladus to regain the body first. Malladus, rushing to the body, will be stopped by a force field created by Byrne, who’s appeared at the last minute to save the day! Zelda, shocked by this, awakens the latent spiritual power within her body and is able to repossess it.

Of course, she didn’t anticipate that gravity would kick in after she’d gotten her body back, and so begins to fall from the sky. Link will run to catch her, and the two will rejoice – but not for long. On the other end of the arena, Malladus now has Byrne in a stranglehold on energy, and within moments his entire body will be destroyed as a puff of particles. Elated, Cole will cheer Malladus on and urge him to destroy Link and Zelda.

Of course, Malladus has other plans – he takes Cole’s body for himself and transforms into a giant blue beast, crashing down upon the arena with great force.

Cole’s body will reject Malladus’s spirit, and so with the time he has left he vows he will make the world crumble. Zelda and Link, full of resolve, agree to end this once and for all – and the last phase of the final battle will begin.

Malladus, the Demon King

Phase One

The fight consists of two parts: Protecting Zelda and fighting Malladus directly. During the first phase, Zelda will channel her sacred power, and you’ll need to shield her from Malladus’s attacks, which mostly consist of flinging flaming red boulders at her – and you by proxy.

You must use your Lokomo Sword to slash these boulders away – luckily, you can slash them just by tapping them; there’s no need to swipe your stylus across the screen. If any of the boulders hit Zelda, you’ll have to start from the beginning. The battle will go on as long as it takes for Zelda to fully channel her power, and the battle can restart as many times as necessary for this to occur – so don’t let Zelda get hit at all, or you’re in for a long fight!

Malladus will begin by launching a single flaming boulder straight at you. Tap it to get rid of it; Malladus will then follow up with three boulders in succession, again straight at you, followed by another two boulders, and then another two boulders, also all straight at you. It’s significant to know that the boulders will stop going straight at you at this point – and that boulders in general do not have to go straight at you, as now they’ll begin showing strange behavior.

Malladus will launch two boulders; one that arcs to the right, and the other that arcs to the left. They will travel to the far edges of the screen before heading toward Zelda, undoubtedly from below where you’re standing at the time. You’ll have to turn around and tap them, then quickly get the one coming from the opposite direction.

Malladus will then jump to the left side of the screen and fire three boulders straight at you before jumping back to the center and launching his most difficult to avid attack: four boulders at once, in an overreaching arc. More likely than not, you’ll have trouble blocking this at first – to knock all the boulders out of the way, stand as close to Zelda as possible and perform a spin attack just as the boulders are about to hit her. All of them should be properly deflected.

Malladus, at this point, can perform pretty much any number of randomized attacks based on what you’ve seen already – he can even launch two of those boulder arcs in succession, so be prepared to do some fancy spin attacking if you want to see Zelda through to safety. And again, if any boulders hit her, you’ll need to start from the beginning – meaning Malladus will switch back to the lightweight boulder attacks and then start building them up again.

If you keep Malladus at bay for long enough, Zelda’s power will channel fully and she’ll glow gold. Thanking Link for her service, she’ll ask to combine her power with the power of the Spirit Flute. Without warning, you’ll launch into the final Lokomo Song – the song that will ultimately weaken Malladus into a defeatable state.

You have no practice session for this song, but don’t feel too pressured to get it right the first time; if you get it wrong, you’ll simply be asked to try again. The song is the most complicated in the game; five notes long, the majority of them two notes apart from the previous note. The song is as follows: orange, purple, yellow, blue, orange. You’ll immediately recognize this as the main theme of Spirit Tracks, which you’ve heard on the title screen and in various places throughout the game.

If you perform the song successfully, Zelda and Link will launch into a beautiful, sacred duet in which all of the Lokomo from around New Hyrule appear and play their instruments in a grand orchestral display. At the end of the song, a glowing weak spot will appear on Malladus’s back, and you’ll move on to phase two of the final battle.

Phase Two

Your job is now to distract Malladus from Zelda, who is armed with your Bow of Light and poised to fire Light Arrows into Malladus’s weak spot. You can take Malladus on directly with your sword now; just do whatever it takes to get him to face away from Zelda. You can look at Zelda’s view of the battle from the top screen, and when Malladus’s weak spot is in range a target mark will appear upon it. Once that happens, it’s the right time to make Zelda fire a Light Arrow by tapping the Bow of Light icon on the bottom of the screen.

If you hit the button at the right time, the arrow will hit Malladus’s weak spot, causing him to roar. If you missed, well, the arrow will simply bounce off of him. Luckily, you’ve got unlimited arrows, so don’t worry about having to collect refills or anything like that. You’ll need to sink two more Light Arrows into his back before he finally topples over in a fit of rage and pain.

Now that you’ve got Malladus knocked out, run to his head and start slashing it with your sword. Continue slashing it until one of his horns breaks – at this point, he’ll stand up, leap away from you, and begin firing boulders at you. It becomes significantly more difficult to keep him away from Zelda at this point, and when he’s away from Zelda he’ll leap and spin around, making it also more difficult to fire an arrow at his back accurately.

If he faces Zelda for too long without a proper distraction, he’l ram her and shell be knocked unconscious, giving you a good few seconds without anyone to fire a Light Arrow at him. Once again, you’ll need to sink three arrows into his back to make him fall. Time your shots right, and he’ll topple over once again. Slash his head until his second horn shatters, and he’ll get back up for one last round.

This is the end of the battle – Malladus will throw everything he’s got at you now. He’ll throw boulders at you – great quantities of them in rapid succession – he’ll leap around, spin, and attack Zelda every chance he has. Amongst all this movement, you’ll be glad to know that you only need to hit him with one solitary Light Arrow from Zelda’s Bow of Light to fell him; once you do, he’ll topple over.

Run up to his head and slash it – you’ll launch into a stale mate battle between Link and Malladus, in which Malladus will attempt to defeat Link head on. You, on the other hand, will be shoving the Lokomo Sword deeper into the jewel on Malladus’s forehead, so rub the screen as fast and as much as you can to get the edge on Malladus in this locked fight. Zelda will also work her way over to you to help you push the sword deeper into his skull. After a short while, you’l no longer need to rub the screen, and the Lokomo Sword will be pushed fully into Malladus’s weak spot. He will be finished – once and for all.

The crystal upon Malladus’s head will shatter, and he will grab his head, roar, and perish in a great flash of light.

The cutscene that follows is the end of the game, and it’s quite long – don’t bother reading here for a description, because you deserve to watch it for yourself. Congratulations on beating The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks! You’re surely an engineering legend by now, so just sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor – an excellent ending to an excellent game.

Make sure to watch for a short scene between Link and Zelda after the credits as well! And congratulations once more.

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