Spirit Tracks LogoThere’s a lot of gaming news to be spread around due to the E3 rush, and amongst that news is information beyond the new trailer for Spirit Tracks. That’s right, we now have a glimpse deeper into the gameplay mechanics of Spirit Tracks, if just a small one, from Nintendo’s official E3 Spirit Tracks press kit. Read on for more.

1. The “Deku Fan” is called the Whirlwind.

Yep, that green fan Link has been wielding now has an official name – the Whirlwind. To make the fan blow gusts of wind, you must blow into the microphone of the DS. Here’s Nintendo’s official statement from their Phantom Hourglass fact sheet:

“Link uses a variety of new items and weapons, including the Whirlwind, which players activate by blowing into the microphone of the Nintendo DS or Nintendo DSi™ system.”

2. The Phantom gets friendly.

Link and the Phantom: Best Buddies!

Link and the Phantom: Best Buddies!

We knew that Link controls either one or multiple different Phantoms throughout the game. Now we know that there’s only one Phantom, and it only appears inside dungeons. The Phantom is described as Link’s “valuable new companion… a hulking suit of armor that responds to his [Link’s] commands.” Tapping on the Phantom itself – not the Phantom icon – initiates control over the armor. In addition, the Phantom can move through otherwise deadly obstacles such as lava and fire.

The rest we’ve found out from the original trailer and the recently released trailer as of yesterday – drawing a line from the Phantom directs it, and now the Phantom can be used to “run interference” and block obstacles such as fire, protecting Link from harm.

3. The train is a puzzle game.

You heard right. The many yellow tracks may all go to the same place; it’s up to the player to determine which path is the quickest and safest to travel by. The Spirit Tracks fact sheet describes “ever-moving obstacles” scattered about the world (which is still unnamed). Nintendo’s fact sheet states

“When Link conducts the train, players determine which track to take and how to best manipulate their speed. […] While en route, Link might need to fire an onboard cannon at enemies who attack the train or sound the whistle to scare animals off the tracks.”

The game mechanics of Spirit Tracks are becoming more clear with each passing announcement. All of this information will be added to our Spirit Tracks section shortly, as well as new information we’ve learned from the latest trailer. In addition to that, we’ve got a gaggle of new screenshots and artwork heading to the Spirit Tracks Gallery, so watch out for those as well. As usual, an announcement will be posted once everything’s been updated!