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A Heart Container as seen in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask
|Game(s)|| Every Zelda game|
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
|Use(s)||Increases Link's total life.|
As Link progresses through the games, he will require more and more health in order to survive the greater challenges. This additional health is acquired in the form of Heart Containers, with each Heart Container adding one whole heart to the amount of hearts Link has (again, excluding The Adventure of Link wherein the Heart Container adds an extra block to Link's life bar). A Heart Container is awarded after every major boss in most games. Most games finish with Link having gained a total of 20 hearts. Four Swords Adventures breaks from the series standard since Heart Containers are not permanent upgrades. Most stages in this title contain Heart Container upgrades, but Link begins the next stage without the benefit. It is possible to finish some games without getting the Heart Containers received from bosses.
Heart Containers can apparently form when people display deep affection for each other, as seen in Twilight Princess where Yeto and Yeta create Recovery Hearts and Heart Containers in their embrace. As a matter of fact, Twilight Princess also considers Heart Pieces to be sources of love, as seen with Madame Fanadi when she asks Link for what type of prediction he wants to see.
Heart Containers Summary
Note that in The Adventure of Link Link's health is illustrated by blocks instead of hearts, and that in Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures Heart Containers are not permanent upgrades.
|Obtained from Bosses||8||10||8||8||4||8||6||5||8||7||5||6|
|Found in the Overworld||5||4||1||1||6||8||2|
|Formed by Pieces of Heart||6||3||9||13||3||11||11||9||6|
Piece of Heart
|Piece of Heart|
A Piece of Heart, as seen in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask
|Game(s)|| A Link to the Past|
Ocarina of Time
Oracle of Ages
Oracle of Seasons
The Wind Waker
The Minish Cap
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
|Use(s)||Forms a portion of a Heart Container|
In many games, a Heart Container can be built manually by collecting four Pieces of Heart, which were introduced in A Link to the Past, and have since then have appeared in every other title following it, excluding Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, in which only full Heart Containers could be found, and Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures, in which Heart Containers are not permanent upgrades. These are scattered throughout the world, and can be found in treasure chests, won in mini-games, or given as thanks for helping someone. Obtaining a Piece of Heart will immediately refill all of Link's health, regardless of whether or not that Piece of Heart is completing a Heart Container. The amount of Pieces of Heart depends primarily on how many Heart Containers are in the game; the Pieces of Heart, combined with the Heart Containers, typically add up to a total of 20 Hearts by the end of a game. Interestingly, the number of Heart Pieces in a game is inversely proportional to how many dungeons (therefore, bosses with Heart Containers) are available in that adventure. Because of this, Majora's Mask holds currently the record for having the highest number in the series (52, this for featuring only four Heart Containers).
Twilight Princess breaks the tradition by requiring five Pieces of Heart in order to create a Heart Container instead of the normal four. This is likely due to the high number of Heart Containers present in the game, and so more Pieces of Heart were required to keep the number of them higher than in Ocarina of Time (which had the same number of Heart Containers, but only 36 Pieces of Heart because of the old four-piece system) and narrowly The Wind Waker (44), having therefore 45 in total. Although in Twilight Princess heart pieces are collected in fifths, Link still loses health in minimums of fourths.
In Skyward Sword, there are only 24 Pieces of Heart. This is due to the fact that Link starts off with three more hearts than usual, making it so that he begins with six, earns six from defeating bosses, and obtains six from Pieces of Heart, with the last two Heart Containers being potentially temporary items in the form of the Life Medals, which take up a spot in Link's Adventure Pouch if he wishes to use them.
It's also worth noting that The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword are the only games in the series to have in-game "guides" showing the player where the Pieces of Heart are. The Wind Waker has a Special Chart that reveals where the Pieces are; in Twilight Princess, Madame Fanadi the fortune teller can guide Link to them; and in Skyward Sword, a fortune-telling character similar to Fanadi, Sparrot, will give Link hints on where to find Pieces of Heart.
It is unknown if any character other than Link understands the use and purpose of the Pieces of Heart, or if any character other than Link can use the Pieces of Heart, as very few characters ever have anything to say about them, even when handing them out as rewards. In Twilight Princess, if Link catches the Piece of Heart while fishing in the Upper Zora's River Fishing Hole, Hena will remark "Whose heart did you catch? You big sweetheart!" In Skyward Sword, Beedle will eventually sell Link a Piece of Heart starting at 1600 Rupees. If Link asks Beedle about the item so that he can buy it, Beedle will tell him that he does not actually know what it is, and that he found it somewhere nearby. In The Lumpy Pumpkin, one of the first Pieces of Heart available in the game is located on the chandelier hanging in the center of the place. If one speaks to Kina, she remarks that the Rupees on the chandelier may have caught Link's eye, and that he cannot get them, nor should he even think about trying. She makes no mention of the Piece of Heart on the chandelier, a glaring oversight, as it is likely the first thing that catches the attention of players upon entering the restaurant. It is also worth mentioning that the Fortune Tellers who give hints leading to the Heart Piece Locations refer to them as something having to do with love.
Number of Pieces of Heart per game
In the Super Smash Bros. Series
The Legend of ZeldaZeldaDungeon.net's Guide
The Adventure of LinkZeldaDungeon.net's Guide
A Link to the PastZeldaDungeon.net's Guide ZeldaInformer.com's Guide
Link's AwakeningZeldaInformer.com's Guide
Ocarina of TimeZeldaDungeon.net's Guide
Majora's MaskZeldaDungeon.net's Guide ZeldaEternity.com's Guide
Oracle of AgesZeldaDungeon.net's Guide ZeldaUniverse.net's Guide
Oracle of SeasonsZeldaUniverse.net's Guide
The Wind WakerZeldaInformer.com's Guide ZeldaUniverse.net's Guide
The Minish CapZeldaDungeon.net's Guide Zelda Temple's Guide
Phantom HourglassZeldaDungeon.net's Guide
Spirit TracksZeldaDungeon.net's Guide
Heart Container artwork from the original The Legend of Zelda
Link finds a Heart Container in The Adventure of Link
Heart Container artwork from A Link to the Past
Heart Container as seen in Ocarina of Time
Heart Container as seen in The Minish Cap
Heart Container in Four Swords
Heart Container in The Wind Waker
Heart Container in Twilight Princess
Heart container in Skyward Sword
Heart Container in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Piece of Heart
Piece of Heart in Skyward Sword
- ↑ "Pick up the Heart Container to add it to Link's Life Gauge, which allows Link to absorb more damage." (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. (Prima Games), pg. 15)
- ↑ "Link receives a Heart Container in most dungeons after defeating the dungeon's boss." (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Prima Games), pg. 15)
- ↑ "TIP: For every four Pieces of Heart you find, you complete another Heart Container." (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Prima Games), pg. 15)
- ↑ "Find and open Treasure Chest #11 to pull a chest from the Great Sea near Crescent Moon Island. The chest contains Piece of Heart #4." (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Prima Games), pg. 146)
- ↑ "Enter the lighthouse building [on Windfall Island] and talk to Salvatore, the man behind the counter, to play the Squid-Hunt mini-game...If you're successful, you win Pieces of Heart #2." (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Prima Games), pg. 139)
- ↑ "Find and open Treasure Chart #32 to pull a chest from the Great Sea near the Boating Course. The chest contains the Sea Hearts chart [which contains all locations of Treasure Charts that lead to Pieces of Heart]." (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Prima Games), pg. 154)
- ↑ "Find and open Treasure Chart #19 to pull a chest from the Great Sea. The chest contains the Island of Hearts Chart [which include locations of all Pieces of Heart that aren't found in Treasure Charts]." (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Prima Games), pg. 157)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Heart Container||Piece of Heart|
|Japanese|| 命の器 (Inochi no Utsuwa)
ハートの器 (Hāto no Utsuwa)
|ハートのかけら (Hāto no Kakera)|
|Spanish||Cont. de Corazones||Pieza de Corazón|
|Contenedor de Corazón||Pieza de corazón|
|French||Réceptacle de Cœur||Quart de Cœur / Fragment de Cœur|
|Italian||Portacuore||Frammento di Cuore|
|Majora's Mask Trade Sequence|
|Moon's Tear > Land Title Deed > Swamp Title Deed > Mountain Title Deed > Ocean Title Deed > 5x Piece of Heart + 200 Rupees|