Heart Container from Breath of the Wild
Heart Containers are recurring items in The Legend of Zelda series. They increase Link's maximum number of hearts by one, also refilling his hearts to full if he has lost any. 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 collects four Pieces of Heart (five in Twilight Princess), he will create a full Heart Container. Pieces of Heart 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 Legend of Zelda, 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 2nd Potion. It is not recommended to take the 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.
Unlike in later games, picking up a Heart Container does not refill Link's hearts to full, although at the end of a dungeon, picking up a Triforce fragment does.
The Adventure of Link
- Main article: The Adventure of Link Heart Containers
The Adventure of Link 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
A Link to the Past 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) and 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 Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, 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
Four Swords Adventures
Heart Containers work slightly differently in Four Swords Adventures. There are no Heart Pieces, so full Heart Containers can be found in chests. Heart Containers give the Links one extra heart and remain active for the duration of the stage. Once the Links complete the stage, they lose any Heart Containers they collected along the way.
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.
Twilight Princess 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
Phantom Hourglass 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
Spirit Tracks 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, only full Heart Containers. The remaining eight are found scattered across New Hyrule.
Skyward Sword 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, though if Link has a full set of hearts, the Divine Beasts will give Stamina Vessels. 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.
Distribution, Armor and Temporary Hearts
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. As long as Link has full heart containers at the moment of impact, and regardless of the amount of heart containers obtained, Link cannot be one-hit killed by overworld enemies, but his health will be reduced to a quarter of a heart at the bare minimum; the exceptions to this are, of course, not having a full set of hearts, being struck by Yiga Blademasters at the Yiga Clan Hideout during stealth quests, if the lethal attack does five more hearts' worth of damage than Link's maximum HP, or if playing on Master Mode.
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. Said temporary heart containers are not replenished when Link clears shrines, as the given monks only replenish actual hearts. The only way these containers are replenished is when Link is slain in battle and revived by Mipha's Grace, as she will award Link with the health he had at the beginning of the battle, plus 5 temporary heart containers.
Master Sword Requirements
- Main article: Master Sword
A minimum of 13 Heart Containers (3 preset and 10 obtained) are required to lift the Master Sword at the Korok Forest (since lifting it takes 12¾ hearts of damage). Temporary heart containers cannot be used to obtain it and armor does not diminish the rate of damage. The 10 obtained heart containers requirement can be reached like so:
|Containers||Spirit 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. It is not necessary for Link to have a free Weapons slot to pick up the Master Sword, though it occupies a permanent inventory space when picked up; this slot does not affect the number of slots that can be obtained through the exchange of Korok Seeds.
The Master Sword can shoot blade beams of energy in the "awakened" 60 damage state when it's charged to throw it. The distance covered by the beams depends on Link's total hearts at full health (the more hearts, the more distance), and the rate and frequency of beam shooting can be enhanced by wearing specific armor sets like the ★★-tier Hero of the Wild Set. Each beam spends one point of damage on the weapon.
Tears of the Kingdom
Heart Containers behave much the same in Tears of the Kingdom as they did in Breath of the Wild.
In Tears of the Kingdom, Link can have a maximum of 40 Hearts totaling 160 Hit Points. Link can receive additional ones by trading four Lights of Blessing to a goddess statue. In addition, six more heart containers can be obtained from defeating dungeon bosses, one additional container can also be obtained from completing the "Adventures in the Depths" side adventure. If Link chooses to spend his Lights of Blessing to max out his stamina, he will only be able to have 38 Hearts.
A minimum of four Heart Containers are required to open the door to the Temple of Time and a minimum of ten are required in order to access the Spirit Temple. As before, Heart Containers can be traded to the Horned Statue to get Stamina Vessels in exchange.
If Link is damaged by Gloom, his maximum number of hearts is temporarily reduced. The number reduced depends on the amount of damage he received.
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BS The Legend of Zelda
Similarly to The Legend of Zelda, which it is derived from, BS The Legend of Zelda has a maximum of 16 heart containers - three at the start, eight from bosses, and five found around Hyrule. However, one of the scattered heart containers is permanently missable, available only from 20 to 28 minutes on the clock during Week 1 on the south-eastern beach where Level 6 can be found during Week 3.
In addition, a timed event during Week 3 - from 32 to 42 minutes on the clock - temporarily gives the hero a full 16 heart containers regardless of how many they have acquired.
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Super Smash Bros. series
Heart Containers have been a standard item in the Super Smash Bros. series since the original Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64. Picking one up reduces the damage taken by a character by 100 percentage points.
Official artwork from The Legend of Zelda
Artwork from The Adventure of Link
Artwork from A Link to the Past
Artwork from Link's Awakening (Game Boy)
Sprite from Link's Awakening DX
Sprite from BS The Legend of Zelda
Ocarina of Time (N64) artwork
Ocarina of Time 3D icon
Artwork from The Wind Waker
Sprite from Four Swords Adventures
Sprite from The Minish Cap
Icon from Twilight Princess
Model from Skyward Sword
Heart Container trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee, with text
Icon from Tears of the Kingdom
Heart Container trophy from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, with text
Trophy from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Trophy from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U