A Heart Container from Breath of the Wild
Heart Containers are collectible items that increase Link's maximum number of hearts by one, also refilling his hearts to full if he has lost any. Heart Containers have been appearing since The Legend of Zelda and have since appeared in every title. They are most commonly found after defeating a dungeon's boss, but can also be found scattered around the landscape, usually in hidden locations. Occasionally, they can be obtained by completing difficult side quests.
Pieces of Heart
- Main article: Piece of Heart
If Link can collect four Pieces of Heart (five in Twilight Princess), he creates a full Heart Container. Pieces of Hearts can be found by completing side quests, getting good scores in mini-games, or searching various dungeons and overworld areas.
The Legend of Zelda
- Main article: The Legend of Zelda Heart Containers
In the first game, Link's maximum health can reach 16 hearts. Link begins with three and earns a Heart Container with every dungeon boss defeated. There are eight dungeon bosses giving Link a maximum of eleven hearts.
The remaining five can be found across the land of Hyrule in caves. Inside these caves, the Old Man offers Link either a Heart Container or a Water of Life. It is not recommended to take the Life Potion instead of the Heart Container, because Link can purchase an unlimited amount at the Potion Shop, but the Heart Container is gone forever if not chosen.
The Adventure of Link
- Main article: The Adventure of Link Heart Containers
The second game is unique in the series as Link's health is represented by bars rather than by hearts. Link begins the game with four bars. Additional bars can be added by locating Heart Containers concealed within hidden locations across Hyrule. There are four Heart Containers in the game reaching a maximum of eight bars. Link can also decrease the amount of damage he receives by increasing his Life level. Using the Shield Spell halves all damage taken, though only temporarily.
A Link to the Past
The third game returns to the traditional heart meter, but this time, Link can have a maximum of 20 hearts, ten of which are obtained by defeating dungeon bosses, plus one earned at the end of the game's prologue mission. This is also the first game to introduce Pieces of Heart. A Piece of Heart can normally be found in hidden locations or by completing side quests. If four Pieces of Heart are collected, it forms a new Heart Container. There are 24 Pieces of Heart scattered throughout the game, contributing six Heart Containers.
Link's Awakening (Game Boy) & Link's Awakening DX
In Link's Awakening and Link's Awakening DX, Link can obtain a maximum of 14 hearts. Eight are obtained by defeating dungeon bosses. The remaining three are obtained by collecting the twelve Pieces of Heart scattered across Koholint Island.
Link's Awakening (Switch)
- See also: Link's Awakening Heart Pieces
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Ocarina of Time
In Ocarina of Time, Link can obtain a maximum of 20 hearts. Eight are obtained by defeating dungeon bosses. The remaining nine are obtained by collecting the 36 Pieces of Heart scattered across Hyrule.
Majora's Mask also features a maximum of 20 hearts. Beginning with three Heart Containers, four are obtained by defeating dungeon bosses. The remaining 13 are obtained by collecting the 52 Pieces of Heart scattered across Termina.
Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages
In both games, Link can obtain a maximum of 14 hearts. Eight are obtained by defeating dungeon bosses. The remaining three are obtained by collecting the twelve Pieces of Heart scattered across Holodrum and the same number in Labrynna.
The Wind Waker
The Minish Cap
The Minish Cap features a maximum of 20 hearts. Five are obtained by defeating dungeon bosses. One is obtained by fusing a Kinstone with a Minish in Lake Hylia. The remaining eleven are obtained by collecting the 44 Pieces of Heart scattered across Hyrule.
The thirteenth game in the series features a maximum of 20 hearts. Eight are obtained by defeating dungeon bosses. Unlike previous games, Twilight Princess requires five Pieces of Heart to form a new Heart Container. The remaining nine are obtained by collecting the 45 Pieces of Heart scattered across the land.
- Main article: Phantom Hourglass Heart Containers
The first DS game of the series features a maximum of 16 hearts. Seven are obtained by defeating dungeon bosses. There are no Pieces of Heart in Phantom Hourglass, only full Heart Containers. The remaining six are found scattered across the sea.
- Main article: Spirit Tracks Heart Containers
The second DS game of the series also features a maximum of 16 hearts. Five are obtained by defeating dungeon bosses. Like its predecessor, there are no Pieces of Heart in Spirit Tracks, but only full Heart Containers. The remaining eight are found scattered across New Hyrule.
The sixteenth game in the series features a maximum of 20 hearts. Unlike previous games, Link starts with six hearts instead of three. Six are obtained by defeating dungeon bosses and another six are found by collecting the 24 Pieces of Heart scattered across the land and sky. Skyward Sword is also unique because two of the Heart Containers are obtained through Life Medals. There are two Life Medals in the game. When Link carries them in his Adventure Pouch, he is granted an additional Heart Container. If the medals are removed, then a Heart Container will be lost.
A Link Between Worlds
There are a maximum of 20 hearts in A Link Between Worlds. Link begins with three, ten are obtained from dungeon bosses, and the remaining seven are formed by collecting the 28 Pieces of Heart scattered across Hyrule and Lorule.
Breath of the Wild
In Breath of the Wild, Heart Containers can be obtained by returning four Spirit Orbs to a Goddess Statue. They can also be obtained by defeating each of the four Divine Beasts. An additional Container/Vessel can be obtained with the completion of the DLC-exclusive EX The Champions' Ballad, which awards an extra four Spirit Orbs.
Each of the Containers amounts to 4 HP for Link, meaning that he starts with 3 hearts / 12 HP. The completion of all Shrines awards Link with a total of 34 extra containers that can be distributed between Heart Containers and Stamina Vessels. In total, Link will have a total 120 HP having full health with 30 hearts (3 preset containers + 27 obtainable containers), or 108 HP having full stamina with 27 hearts (3 preset containers + 24 obtainable containers). It is not possible through regular means to have both full health and stamina due to the limited allotted containers/vessels given.
Depletion of the Heart Containers depends on the enemy's attack output, the weapon they're using, and the armor that Link is wearing. The particular armor's defense effectively multiplies Link's HP. The more the armor is upgraded (if enhanceable), the less hearts/HP Link will lose. Link tends to lose more hearts if attacked from the back.
Temporary heart containers can be obtained by sleeping in Stables across Hyrule and selecting the "Soft bed" option, or by consuming heart-replenishing meals that awards extra hearts. Yellow in color, as many as 27 temporary heart containers can be awarded. Obtaining a new Heart Container, or engaging in any heart-container related activity, momentarily removes temporary heart containers the player may have.
A minimum of 13 Heart Containers (3 preset and 10 obtained) are required to lift the Master Sword at the Korok Forest. Temporary heart containers cannot be used to obtain it. The 10 obtained heart containers can be attained like so:
|Containers||Orbs (1 per Shrine) to Containers||Containers per Divine Beast|
|40 Orbs = 10 Containers||None|
|36 Orbs = 9 Containers||1 Beast = 1 Container|
|32 Orbs = 8 Containers||2 Beasts = 2 Containers|
|28 Orbs = 7 Containers||3 Beasts = 3 Containers|
|24 Orbs = 6 Containers||4 Beasts = 4 Containers|
Given the possibility that Link has chosen to spend containers on Stamina Vessels, the Horned Statue at Hateno Village can be used to exchange the Vessels for Heart Containers at a total price of 20 Rupees per exchange.
Heart Container Official Artwork from The Legend of Zelda
Heart Container Artwork from The Adventure of Link
Heart Container Artwork from A Link to the Past'A Link to the Past
Heart Container artwork from Link's Awakening (Game Boy)
Heart Container Sprite from Link's Awakening DX
Heart Container Miiverse Stamp from Twilight Princess HD