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Heart Container

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"You got a Heart Container! Your maximum life energy is increased by one heart. Your life energy will be totally filled."
— In-game description

Heart Containers, also known as Container Hearts, are recurring items in the Legend of Zelda series. These heart-shaped containers are visual representations of Link's current health. The more Heart Containers Link collects, the more health he will have. The number of Heart Containers Link has reflects the maximum amount of health he can have at one time. Heart Containers are traditionally displayed in the upper-left corner of the screen. When Link's health is full, the Heart Containers are filled with a red color. As Link loses health, they lose their color or disappear. In some games, Link can lose quarter hearts or half hearts.

Link usually starts his adventure with three Heart Containers; the limit for how many Heart Containers Link can obtain in all depends on the game. Heart Containers are typically left behind by bosses upon defeat. Heart Containers may also be "created" by collecting Pieces of Heart; the most common number of Pieces of Heart needed to complete another Heart Container is four, however, there are exceptions. Some games omit Pieces of Heart in favor of completed Heart Containers. Occasionally, a specific number of Heart Containers is needed to complete certain tasks.

Appearances

The Legend of Zelda

Container Heart

Container Hearts are left behind in the wake of defeated bosses, and may also be found by completing puzzles. There also are several caves throughout the overworld in which an Old Man will offer Link a Heart Container or a Red Potion. Acquiring the White Sword from an Old Man requires Link to have at least five Heart Containers. In order to obtain the Magical Sword from an Old Man, Link must have twelve or more Heart Containers.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Heart Containers are replaced by a health meter, which measure Link's current health. This meter can be extended by collecting Heart Containers, which are found scattered across Hyrule. Instead of losing whole, half, or quarter hearts, damage simply decreases by varying amounts. By collecting Experience and leveling up, Link can choose to upgrade his defense, which decreases the damage caused by enemy attacks.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Heart Containers can, for the first time, be collected up to a total of twenty. They can be found after defeating bosses, and one can be found within a chest in the sanctuary. Pieces of Heart can also be found, four of which will combine to form a Heart Container. The Heart Containers left behind by defeated bosses must be collected before the Pendant of Virtue or an imprisoned Maiden will appear.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Heart Containers can be collected up to a total of fourteen; eight Heart Containers are retrieved from defeated bosses, and the remaining three can be obtained by collecting Pieces of Heart. Four Pieces of Heart form a heart container.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Heart Container (Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask)

Heart Containers can be collected up to a total of twenty; eight Heart Containers are retrieved from defeated bosses, and nine more can be completed by collecting Pieces of Heart. Link's defensive capabilities can also be enhanced by the Great Fairy of Courage who resides near Ganon's Castle, which results in halving of all damage received and the adding of a white outline to the Heart Containers in the heart meter. The game also marks the first time Heart Containers occasionally appear at the very point of the boss' defeat; for example, the Heart Container received after defeating Volvagia appears exactly where its decapitated head ends up.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Heart Containers can be collected up to a total of twenty; four Heart Containers are retrieved from defeated bosses, and the remaining thirteen can be obtained by collecting Pieces of Heart. Link's defensive capabilities can be enhanced by the Great Fairy of Courage who resides near Zora Cape, again resulting in halving of all damage received. They are identical in appearance to the Heart Containers found in Ocarina of Time.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

During a Linked Game, Link begins the game with four Heart Containers rather than the standard three. Also, during a Linked Game, a Heart Container can be received using password swapping. The limit in a normal game is 14; however, in a Linked Game, the extra Heart Containers adds up to a total of 16.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords

Heart Container (Four Swords)

This game is vastly different than most Zelda titles when it comes to Heart Containers. Each Link player starts off with six heart containers, instead of the usual three. Bosses do not drop heart containers upon defeat. Heart Containers are not kept throughout the entirety of the game, but only during a stage, and they are thus lost at the beginning of a new stage. Two Heart Containers may be found at the end of every level of every stage before the boss fight.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The shape of Heart Containers is slightly more oval than earlier designs; this also applies to Pieces of Heart. Six full Heart Containers can be obtained by defeating the bosses, and the remaining eleven are from Heart Pieces.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

Link starts off with four heart containers instead of three. Bosses do not drop heart containers upon defeat. Heart Containers are not kept throughout the entirety of the game, only the stage, and are thus lost at the beginning of a new stage. Each Heart Container is hidden in a level, not unlike Heart Pieces.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

A total of twenty Heart Containers can be collected. Five Heart Containers are found from each of the five bosses in the game. Additionally, 44 Pieces of Heart can be found, adding for a total of nineteen Heart Containers. The final Heart Container is a secret in the game, involving multiple Kinstone fusions in order to obtain it. During the Picori Festival, Pina offers Princess Zelda a heart-shaped stone, which looks identical to a Heart Container, but cannot be obtained at any point in the game.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Heart Container (Twilight Princess)

Twenty Heart Containers can be collected in all, of which eight are boss spoils and the rest gathered by means of collecting Pieces of Heart. The shape of Heart Containers, as well as Pieces of Heart, is somewhat similar to those from The Wind Waker; however, instead of being all glass, they consist of a glass container whose edges are sealed tight by metal. The number of Pieces of Heart needed to complete a Heart Container is five, rather than four.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Heart Container (Phantom Hourglass)

Completed Heart Containers are used in the place of Pieces of Heart. There is a total of sixteen Heart Containers in the game, seven of which are received after the defeat of a boss, and the rest through sidequests. Also, if Link fails to get the Heart Container left behind by defeating the Diabolical Cubus Sisters, he will be offered it in the mail, but if he refuses it there, he cannot obtain the container for the rest of the game.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

As in Phantom Hourglass, completed Heart Containers are found instead of Pieces of Heart. Again, there are sixteen Heart Containers in the game, however, only five are received after bosses, and the other eight must be obtained through sidequests.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Heart Container (Skyward Sword)

Heart Containers appear once again upon the defeat of bosses. They are red in appearance, with gold lining making the shape of a smaller heart inside the container. Due to many of the game's enemies dealing one whole heart's worth of damage, Link starts out with six heart containers as opposed to the traditional three. Six more Heart Containers are obtained through bosses, another six are assembled from Pieces of Heart, and the last two from Life Medals.

Unlike other Heart Containers from previous 3-D Zelda installments, Heart Containers do not spawn from a boss's remains. Instead, they form from a ball of light in the air.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Similar to A Link to the Past, Heart Containers can be found by defeating bosses, and can also be formed by Pieces of Heart.

Non-canonical appearances

Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Legend of Zelda series and should not be considered part of the overall storyline.

Super Smash Bros. series

Heart Containers appear in the Super Smash Bros. series as healing items. There are a few differences between how much they heal in each game.

  • In the original Super Smash Bros., Heart Containers heal all damage. If a player picks one up, all of his/her damage is decreased all the way to 0%. Its appearance is similar to that of Heart Containers from Ocarina of Time.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Melee, they heal 100% damage. However, there are three in All Star Mode that heal all damage. As in the first title, their appearance is very similar to the ones found in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, their appearance is based on the Twilight Princess design and still heal 100% damage. In All Star Mode, as well as Boss Battles, they once again heal all damage.
  • In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, their appearance is based on the Skyward Sword design and still heal 100% damage. In All Star Mode, only one appears in the rest area (two if every character has been unlocked), as several different healing items now appear.

Hyrule Warriors

Heart Containers in Hyrule Warriors have the same effect they would in any canon Zelda game. They give characters one more heart, adding to their maximum health. They are found most often hidden on the map and require a certain character to be used. They will always be found in chests. They can be obtained from Legend Mode, Free Mode, or Adventure Mode. Also similar to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, a characters' Heart meter will increase upon reaching a certain level.

Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.

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