- "Sounds like a Phantom, my dear. They're the guardians of the Tower of Spirits. Though they look quite sinister, they won't harm anyone with a good heart."
- — Anjean
Phantoms (aka Phantom Guardians) are recurring enemies in the Legend of Zelda series. These heavily armored, massive enemies have near-impenetrable armor that cannot be overcome by traditional weapons. Until Link obtains the items required to defeat them outright, he must sneak around them, making sure to stay out of their field of view. Link can hide from them by standing in Safe Zones, special areas that shield whatever is inside them from the eyes of Phantoms. They may also be temporarily stunned with certain weapons, distracted by causing noise, crushed by rolling boulders, or disposed of by making them fall down trap doors.
Phantoms appear within the Temple of the Ocean King. If Link is hit by a Phantom, 30 seconds worth of Sand of Hours will be drained from his Phantom Hourglass and he will be returned to the entrance to the room he was in when attacked. Near the end of the game, Link obtains the Phantom Sword, the only known weapon powerful enough to defeat them. Large boulders and pits are also effective against them. They can be stunned for a short period of time if Link uses the Bow to fire at the eye on their backs, if he strikes at their weak points with a sword infused with the Spirit of Power, or if he strikes them with a charged Hammer. If a bomb is encountered in a phantom's path, they will instantly destroy it with their sword.
There are a total of four types of Phantoms in the game, but only three types of Phantoms are found in Adventure Mode: the most common variety are blue Phantoms, the slowest and most basic type. They are typically found in the earlier floors, or, in the later floors, standing in one spot guarding a switch or path. The red Swift Phantoms are more agile than blue Phantoms, and are therefore much more dangerous. Gold Phantoms are as slow as the blue Phantoms, but if one spots Link, all Gold Phantoms on the current floor instantly teleport to Link's current location. These Phantoms carry axes instead of swords. The last type of Phantom in the game, Silver Phantoms, are found only in the game's Battle Mode. They are similar in appearance to blue Phantoms, but have the agility of Swift Phantoms.
Phantoms are attracted to various things, mainly sounds. Some things that attract the attention of a Phantom through noise include using a bomb near one, pounding the Hammer on the ground, and the special floors that create a sound when ran upon. Similarly, they will be attracted to Link through Phantom Eyes if they see him.
Interestingly, in the trailer for Phantom Hourglass, a beta Phantom can be seen that is much skinnier than in the final release of the game. It is also a light yellow color, so these could possibly have been replaced by Gold Phantoms. They are also located where Blue Phantoms are found in the final release.
Phantoms appear within the Tower of Spirits. According to Anjean, they protect the tower from evil intruders and do not harm anyone with a 'good heart', as opposed to the Phantoms of the World of the Ocean King, who are created by Bellum, and thus evil by nature. However, a Phantom of the tower tried to attack Link, and when told this, Anjean deems that with the Spirit Tracks gone, the sentries have been possessed by evil spirits. The Phantoms appear sentient and unaware of their possession, as, when Princess Zelda talks to them in Phantom form, they often make casual comments regarding work: some seem bored, others view their employers with disdain, while others simply tell Zelda to get back to work.
There are three different varieties of Phantom in addition to the regular Phantoms; Torch Phantoms, Warp Phantoms and Wrecker Phantoms. The normal variety of Phantom also appears in the 4-Player Battle Mode as a hindrance to other players. The spirit of Princess Zelda can possess the bodies of Phantoms, allowing her to help Link while in the Tower of Spirits. When Link has gathered three Tears of Light, his sword is empowered, allowing him to hit a Phantom in the back, stunning it and allowing Zelda's spirit to control it. Once Link has obtained the Lokomo Sword, however, he does not need to gather the Tears of Light to stun the Phantoms; Light Arrows have the same effect. Phantoms under the possession of Zelda feature pink eyes and pink colored armor (possibly due to her dress).
While in Phantom form, Zelda can aid Link in a multitude of ways; she can attack certain enemies, distracting them and allowing Link to slip by them and attack their weak points. While in Phantom form, Zelda is invulnerable to fire and can pass by flame traps without taking damage. Phantom bodies can also cross Spike traps unharmed. By crossing these areas, Phantom Zelda can access otherwise unreachable areas to hit switches, allowing Link to cross safely. Additionally, Phantoms traverse lava pits, allowing Link to ride on their shields to safely cross the deadly lava, but only if he jumps onto Zelda from a platform. Phantom bodies are also invulnerable to electricity — at some points within the tower, Zelda must grab an electrified Boss Key and bring it to its lock while Link keeps Key Masters, that seek to return the key to its pedestal, at bay. Zelda can also possess the bodies of Warp Phantoms, Torch Phantoms, and Wrecker Phantoms, lending use of their powers along with the abilities of regular Phantoms. Despite these formidable abilities, Zelda is paralyzed with fear whenever she comes close to rats, reflecting her fear of rats. Once they are defeated, she settles down and can be controlled again. Her second main weakness is that like other Phantoms, she cannot traverse sand pits. She can also talk to and distract other Phantoms, allowing Link to slip by unnoticed. Other Phantoms may also reveal hints when talked to by Princess Zelda that aid Link with certain puzzles in the Tower of Spirits.
Link can also attack Phantom Zelda with various weapons, and in rare cases, this is the only way to make her drop an item she is carrying (such as an Arrow Aimer). However, if Link attacks Phantom Zelda too many times, she will eventually start to get angry at Link for attacking her, and if he keeps attacking her afterward, she will eventually attack Link back to teach him a lesson. Oddly enough, if Link gets Zelda angry enough by attacking her repeatedly while she is possessing a Wrecker Phantom, she will still use the sword, unlike other Wrecker Phantoms.
Before Link and Princess Zelda embark on their final fight with Malladus, Anjean produces a Phantom Suit for Zelda so that she can be unaffected by the laser attacks from the possessed Zelda.
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In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, there is an equipable Armor set based on the Zelda possessed Phantoms from Spirit Tracks which can be obtained via DLC which consists of the Phantom Helmet, Phantom Armor, and Phantom Greaves.
In the Phantom Hourglass & Spirit Tracks DLC, a Phantom appears being controlled by Toon Zelda in her Phantom Arms weapon moveset. Though it has the appearance of a normal Phantom, it also has abilities of both Warp Phantoms and Wrecker Phantoms. As a Phantom, Toon Zelda can fight using her sword and shield. She can also fire Sword Beams from her sword at the end of her one of her combos.
As part of the Phantom Hourglass & Spirit Tracks DLC, Princess Zelda's Standard Robes (Grand Travels) is a Recolor based on the normal Phantoms from Phantom Hourglass. This recolor can be unlocked on the Grand Travels DLC Map.
Zelda's down special attack, known as the Phantom Slash, consists of her summoning a Phantom and having it strike opponents in front of her. The longer Zelda charges the attack, the bigger the Phantom will be and the further it will move to attack. The customization system gives her access to two more variants of the attack. Phantom Breaker, which pushes opponents away and Phantom Strike which appears next to Zelda instead of rushing forward.
The Phantoms make a brief appearance in the manga as guardians of the Temple of the Ocean King. One initially frightens Link and Ciela in its quest for intruders, but they quickly realize that it can't see them on the Safe Zone. Right around the corner, another one chases them while they try to make off with a treasure chest, proclaiming "Intruders are not allowed!"
- Gold Phantom
- Phantom Eye
- Swift Phantom
- Torch Phantom
- Warp Phantom
- Wrecker Phantom
|Bellum · Ciela · Linebeck · Link · Ocean King · Oshus · Tetra|
—Full list of characters
|Blaaz · Cyclok · Crayk · Diabolical Cubus Sisters · Dongorongo · Gleeok · Eox · Bellum · Ghost Ship · Bellumbeck|
|Bannan Island · Cannon Island · Goron Island · Harrow Island · Isle of Ember · Isle of Frost · Isle of Gust · Isle of Ruins · Isle of the Dead · Mercay Island · Molida Island · Zauz's Island|
—Full list of locations
|Temple of Fire · Temple of Wind · Temple of Courage · Ghost Ship · Goron Temple · Temple of Ice · Mutoh's Temple · Temple of the Ocean King|
|Oshus's Sword · Wooden Shield · Boomerang · Bombs · Bow · Bombchus · Grappling Hook · Hammer · Phantom Sword · Shovel · Fishing Rod|
|Leaf · Neri · Ciela · Pure Metals · Phantom Hourglass · Spirit Gem|
|Anouki · Deity · Fairy · Gerudo · Goron · Human · Hylian · Yook|
|Anjean · Byrne · Chancellor Cole · Link · Malladus · Princess Zelda|
—Full list of characters
|Stagnox · Fraaz · Phytops · Cragma · Byrne · Skeldritch · Demon Train · Chancellor Cole · Malladus|
| Fire Realm · Forest Realm · Ocean Realm · Sand Realm · Snow Realm|
—Full list of locations
|Forest Temple · Snow Temple · Ocean Temple · Fire Temple · Sand Temple · Tower of Spirits|
|Lokomo Sword · Rail Map · Recruit's Sword · Recruit Uniform · Spirit Flute · Spirit Tracks · Spirit Train · Stamp Book · Tears of Light|
|Boomerang · Whip · Whirlwind · Bow · Sand Wand · Bow of Light|
|Anouki · Demon · Goron · Hylian · Lokomo|