The Life Gauge,(OoT3D) also known as Life or Life Hearts,(TLoZ) Life Points,(TAoL) Heart Containers,(ALttP) Life Energy,(MM | OoS | OoA | TWW)[note 1] and the Heart Meter,(LA | FS | TMC) is a recurring element in The Legend of Zelda series. It is a meter that measures Link's current amount of health in Hearts.
- 1 Uses
- 1.1 The Legend of Zelda
- 1.2 The Adventure of Link
- 1.3 A Link to the Past
- 1.4 Link's Awakening
- 1.5 Ocarina of Time
- 1.6 Majora's Mask
- 1.7 Oracle of Seasons
- 1.8 Four Swords
- 1.9 The Wind Waker
- 1.10 Four Swords Adventures
- 1.11 The Minish Cap
- 1.12 Twilight Princess
- 1.13 Phantom Hourglass
- 1.14 Spirit Tracks
- 1.15 Skyward Sword
- 1.16 A Link Between Worlds
- 1.17 Tri Force Heroes
- 1.18 Breath of the Wild
- 2 Other Appearances
- 2.1 BS The Legend of Zelda
- 2.2 Ancient Stone Tablets
- 2.3 Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
- 2.4 Tingle's Balloon Fight DS
- 2.5 Link's Crossbow Training
- 2.6 Ripened Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love
- 2.7 Zelda (Game & Watch)
- 2.8 The Faces of Evil
- 2.9 The Wand of Gamelon
- 2.10 Zelda's Adventure
- 2.11 Battle Quest
- 2.12 Hyrule Warriors
- 3 Nomenclature
- 4 Notes
- 5 References
The Life Gauge measures Link's current amount of health, represented in the form of Hearts (with the exception of The Adventure of Link, where Link's health is instead represented by square segments). Whenever Link takes damage, either by an enemy attack, a hazard, or by falling from a high altitude, Link will lose a certain amount of Hearts or part of a Heart equal to the damage taken. In earlier games, the Life Gauge's Hearts are in fractions of two. Starting from Ocarina of Time, Hearts are in fractions of four. When Link loses all of his Hearts, the game ends with a Game Over. Link's Life Gauge can be replenished by picking up recovery Hearts. The Gauge can also be replenished by drinking recovery Potions, using a Fairy, visiting a Great Fairy, or by resting while Sitting or Sleeping. In many games, Link can also instantly be revived and some or all of his Hearts restored provided he has a Bottled Fairy or a Potion with the effect.
In most multiplayer games, such as Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures, the Links each have their own Life Gauge. The Life Gauge is shared in single-player campaigns, as well as in Tri Force Heroes, wherein the Links all share the damage taken.
In most games, but not all, Link's Life Gauge starts with three Hearts. The Life Gauge can usually be increased by obtaining Heart Containers, which add an additional Heart to the Life Gauge for every Heart Container acquired. In some games, Link can also temporarily increase his maximum health through the use of items or equipment. The maximum total of Hearts the Life Gauge can have varies by game.
Often it is also possible for Link to enhance his defense against enemy attacks, thereby taking less damage than normal. This may either take the form of wearing certain equipment, using items, or by receiving permanent upgrades.
|The Legend of Zelda||3||16|
|The Adventure of Link||4||8|
|A Link to the Past||3||20|
|Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch||3||20|
|Ocarina of Time||3||20|
|Oracle of Seasons||3||14|
|Oracle of Ages||3||14|
|The Wind Waker||3||20|
|Four Swords Adventures||4|
|The Minish Cap||3||20|
|A Link Between Worlds||3||20|
|Tri Force Heroes||8|
|Breath of the Wild||3||30|
|The Legend of Zelda Game Watch||3||5|
|The Faces of Evil||3||6|
|The Wand of Gamelon||3||6|
|BS The Legend of Zelda||3|
|Ancient Stone Tablets||4|
|Cadence of Hyrule||3||16|
The Legend of Zelda
Link's Life Gauge is known as Life or Life Hearts in The Legend of Zelda. Link's Life can be extended to a total of 16 Hearts. When Link is full on Life Hearts, he can throw his Sword. Link can also permanently decrease his Life Hearts as well. In the Second Quest, Old Men encountered in certain Dungeons will request that Link either pay them an amount of Rupees or give up one of his Life Hearts in order to pass. If Link chooses to sacrifice a Heart, it can never be recovered.
The Adventure of Link
In The Adventure of Link, Life Points are represented as a meter marked in square segments as opposed to Hearts. Link's Life Points start with 4 segments and can be extended to a total of 8 segments.
When Link is at full health, he can shoot Sword Beams from his Sword.
Whenever Link loses all of his Life Points, he loses an Extra Life and restarts at the entrance of the area he was last in. However, if Link loses all of his Lives and perishes, he will be forced from restart from the North Castle. The exception to this is if Link loses all his Lives while in the Great Palace, where he will restart from the Palace entrance instead.
Link can enhance his defense to enemy attacks by increasing his Life whenever he Levels up; this is separate from extending the meter, which can only be extended by collecting Heart Containers. Link's Life can be leveled up a total of eight times.
A Link to the Past
When Link is at full health, he can shoot Sword Beams with the Level 2 Sword.
Link can temporarily enhance his defense to enemy attacks by picking up a Guardian Acorn, which reduces damage taken by half. In Link's Awakening DX, Link can permanently enhance his defense by selecting the Blue Clothes after clearing the Color Dungeon, which holds the same effect as a Guardian Acorn.
Ocarina of Time
The Life Gauge, originally referred to as Life Energy, can be extended to a total of 20 Hearts in Ocarina of Time. This is the first Zelda game where Link can take a quarter of a Heart of damage.
Link can enhance his defense to enemy attacks by receiving an upgrade from the Great Fairy of Courage found in the Fountain near Ganon's Castle. The upgrade creates a white outline around the Hearts in Link's Life Gauge, signifying the enhancement.
Nayru's Love can be used to temporarily negate all damage taken.
Link can enhance his defense to enemy attacks by receiving an upgrade from the Great Fairy of Courage in the Great Bay Coast. The Great Fairy will enhance his defense after Link brings back her scattered Stray Fairies from the Great Bay Temple. Identically to Ocarina of Time, this upgrade creates a white outline around Link's Hearts to signify the enhancement.
Oracle of Seasons
In a non-Linked Game of Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, the Life Gauge, originally referred to as the Life Energy Meter, starts with 3 Hearts. In a Linked Game, it starts with 4 Hearts. The Life Gauge can be extended to a total of 14 Hearts in a non-Linked Game, a total of 15 Hearts in a Linked Game, and a maximum total of 16 Hearts in a Linked Game while exchanging Secrets.
When Link is at full health, he can shoot Sword Beams with the Noble Sword or Master Sword. While wearing the Light Ring L-1 or Light Ring L-2, Link can shoot Sword Beams up to two and three Hearts missing, respectively.
Link can enhance his defense to enemy attacks by wearing certain Magic Rings. Some Rings will reduce damage taken overall, while others will reduce or negate damage taken only from specific attacks or hazards. The Protection Ring ensures that all damage taken is always equal to one Heart. Conversely, the Cursed Ring increases damage to attacks.
In Four Swords, the Links each have their own individual Life Gauge, and start with 6 Hearts each. In a single-player game in Four Swords Anniversary Edition, the two Links each share a Life Gauge. The Life Gauge can be temporarily extended by collecting Heart Containers, however, this extension lasts only for the duration of the Stage.
When all four Links are at full health, the Stage enters Rupee Fever, where the value of Rupees are doubled for as long as the Links maintain their health. This occurrence does not happen in a single-player game. If the Master Sword is obtained, Link will shoot Sword Beams when he is at full health.
Whenever a Link loses all of his Hearts in his Life Gauge, a Rupee penalty is paid in order to revive the fallen Link. The cost will increase each time a Link is revived. If the Links do not have enough Rupees to revive the fallen Link, the Stage ends.
A Link can temporarily enhance his defense to enemy attacks by picking up Armor Seeds, which reduce damage taken by half. This effect lasts only for the duration of the Stage.
The Wind Waker
The Life Gauge can be extended to a total of 20 Hearts in The Wind Waker.
Four Swords Adventures
In a single-player game of Four Swords Adventures, the Links share a single Heart Meter and start with 4 Hearts. In a multiplayer game, the Links each have their own individual Heart Meter. The Heart Meter can be temporarily extended by collecting Heart Containers, however, this extension lasts only for the duration of the Stage.
Whenever a Link loses all of his Hearts in his Heart Meter, a Force Fairy is used to revive him. If the Links do not have any Force Fairies to revive a fallen Link, the Stage ends.
A Link can temporarily enhance his defense to enemy attacks by finding a Blue Bracelet, which reduces damage taken by half. This effect lasts only for the duration of the Stage.
The Minish Cap
The Life Gauge can be extended to a total of 20 Hearts in Twilight Princess.
In Twilight Princess HD, enabling Hero Mode will make Link take double damage.
In Twilight Princess HD, tapping certain amiibo will have an effect on Link's Life Gauge. Upon completing a section of the Cave of Shadows, the Wolf Link amiibo may be tapped to save a checkpoint of the amount of Hearts Link has preserved. The saved amount can then be used to restore Link's Life Gauge to that amount by scanning the amiibo while in the Cave of Shadows, and is also used to determine the number of Hearts Wolf Link will have when scanned into Breath of the Wild. Scanning Ganondorf's amiibo will make Link take twice as much damage, and will turn his Life Gauge blue to signify the change. Scanning the amiibo while in Hero Mode quadruples the damage taken.
The Life Gauge can be extended to a total of 16 Hearts in Phantom Hourglass.
In addition to Link's Life Gauge, the S.S. Linebeck also has its own Life Gauge to measure its endurance and stability. Its Life Gauge is represented in Green Hearts. These Hearts will deplete whenever the ship is attacked or crashes into an obstacle. When the Life Gauge is fully depleted, the ship is destroyed, resulting in a Game Over. The ship's Life Gauge can be replenished by finding Green Hearts in the overworld, either by defeating enemies or destroying objects, or can be fully replenished by disembarking at an island. Initially, the default ship starts with four Hearts, and can be increased by assembling matching Ship Parts.
The Life Gauge can be extended to a total of 16 Hearts in Spirit Tracks.
Identically to the S.S. Linebeck in Phantom Hourglass, the Spirit Train also has its own Life Gauge represented in Green Hearts. Its Hearts will deplete whenever the train is attacked or crashes. The Train becomes destroyed if its Life Gauge is fully depleted. It can be replenished by finding Green Hearts in the overworld or fully recovered by disembarking at a station. The default train starts with four Hearts, and can be increased by assembling matching Train Cars.
The Life Gauge starts with 6 Hearts in Skyward Sword. The Life Gauge can be extended to 18 Hearts by collecting Heart Containers and all Pieces of Hearts. It can also be extended by an additional Heart by wearing Life Medals, which altogether can extend the Life Gauge to a maximum 20 Hearts.
Playing in Hero Mode will make Link take double damage.
A Link Between Worlds
The Life Gauge can be extended to a total of 20 Hearts in A Link Between Worlds.
Playing in Hero Mode will make Link take double damage.
When Link is at full health, he can shoot Sword Beams with the Master Sword and its upgraded forms.
Drinking a Yellow Potion will temporarily negate all damage taken.
Tri Force Heroes
In Tri Force Heroes, the Links (as well as Doppels in a single-player game) all share a single Life Gauge and start with 8 Hearts. The Life Gauge can be extended whenever the Links wear the Jack of Hearts Outfit (which extends the Life Gauge by one Heart), the Queen of Hearts Outfit (which extends by three Hearts), or the Lady's Ensemble (which extends by one Heart). After acquiring 30 Hero Points, wearing the Bear Minimum extends the Life Gauge by two Hearts.
When Link is at full health, he can shoot Sword Beams if he is wearing the Sword Suit, the Sword Master Suit, or the Fierce Deity Armor. The Fierce Deity Armor can still shoot Sword Beams even without full health if a Spin Attack is charged.
Whenever the Life Gauge is fully depleted, a Fairy is used to revive the Links and the Level's Stage is restarted. If the Links do not have any more Fairies to revive themselves, the Level ends.
Breath of the Wild
In Breath of the Wild, the Life Gauge can be temporarily extended by consuming certain Foods that grant Link yellow temporary Hearts. These Hearts are lost when Link takes damage and cannot be recovered. The Life Gauge starts with 3 Hearts and can be extended to a total of 30.
Wolf Link, when scanned into Breath of the Wild with the Wolf Link amiibo, has his own Life Gauge. The amount of Hearts in his Life Gauge can be increased by scanning the amiibo in Twilight Princess HD after completing a section of the Cave of Shadows, which saves a checkpoint of Link's number of preserved Hearts that determine Wolf Link's health in Breath of the Wild. When all of Wolf Link's Hearts are depleted, he will vanish and cannot be scanned into the game until the following real-world day.
Damage numbers are shown numerically in Breath of the Wild. Each point of damage deals a quarter of a Heart to Link. For example, an attack with a power of 4 will damage Link by one full Heart. However, Link can increase his defense by wearing Armor. Each piece of Armor adds to Link's defense rating, which is subtracted from the strength value of physical attacks. But no matter his defense, Link will take at least a quarter of a Heart of damage from any attack, and elemental damage such as fire and electricity cannot be reduced without special resistances.
Some enemies in Breath of the Wild are quite powerful, and may do more damage in one hit than Link has health. As long as Link's Life Gauge is full, he is protected from one-hit kills and will instead be left alive with a quarter Heart remaining. However, this has limitations: if the damage is more than five Hearts above Link's maximum health, he will still fall. Many powerful attacks also knock Link down, and it only takes a small roll downhill to lose that last quarter Heart.
Damages are displayed briefly as white hearts as Link loses health.
BS The Legend of Zelda
Ancient Stone Tablets
Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
In Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, no named Life Gauge for Tingle appears. Instead, Tingle's health is measured in the Rupees he has collected, which in addition are also used in the exchange of items and services. Whenever Tingle engages with an enemy, he will gradually lose Rupees by a varying amount for as long as the battle lasts. Tingle can also lose Rupees if he gets hurt through other means, such as by falling into water.
Bodyguards have their own Life Gauge, known as Hearts. Like stats, each Bodyguard has a different total of Hearts. Bodyguards will gradually lose their health as they engage with enemies and take damage. When a Bodyguard's health is fully depleted, they will leave Tingle's side. Their health can be restored by providing them with Power-Up Potions or by using Rupees.
Tingle's Balloon Fight DS
Link's Crossbow Training
Ripened Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||ライフゲージ (Raifu Gēji) (TWWHD)||Life Gauge|
|SpanishLA||Medidor de energía vital||Life energy meter|
- Ocarina of Time 3D manual, pg. 8
- "-LIFE-" — Inventory (The Legend of Zelda)
- "If you could get this heart, you could add to Link's Life Hearts." (The Legend of Zelda Tips & Tactics (Nintendo) pg. 34)
- The Adventure of Link manual, pg. 18
- "Heart Containers This displays the extent of your life-force with Heart Containers. If you are hurt, your Heart Containers will empty. If all your Heart Containers are empty, the game ends." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 11)
- Majora's Mask manual, pg. 16
- "Sturgeon's One-Point Lessons
The Energy of Life
To be young is to know no limits to one's stamina. To become stronger, one must first know oneself. The in the upper left shows one's current life energy. Perhaps a fancier way to describe it would be to call it a life gauge. As one experiences trials and hardships in life, one will naturally gain more s. However, if one is injured and takes damage, those s will decrease. At such times it may be possible to replenish one's health by using a potion or a fairy." — The Energy of Life (The Wind Waker HD)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening — Nintendo Player's Guide by Nintendo of America Inc. pg. 14
- "Heart Meter This is each player's endurance. When it runs out, your character is downed." (Four Swords Adventures manual, pg. 22)
- "Life Gauge: This decreases when you are wounded. If it reaches zero, the game ends." (A Link to the Past & Four Swords manual, pg. 16)
- "Heart Containers This displays your life force in Heart Containers. Each time you get hurt, your Heart Containers will empty. If all your Heart Containers empty, your quest ends." (Link's Awakening DX manual, pg. 12)
- "Life Energy" (Ocarina of Time manual, pg. 12)
- "The hearts represent Link's life gauge. When you take damage it will decrease and if it runs out your game will be over." (Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages Virtual Console manual, pg. 8)
- "Your life energy is represented by Hearts. The Life Energy Meter decreases as you take damage. When your life energy is all gone, your game will be over." (Oracle of Seasons manual, pg. 20)
- "The filled hearts in your life gauge will decrease when you take damage from an enemy. When all of your hearts are empty, it is game over." (The Minish Cap Virtual Console manual, pg. 10)
- "Heart Meter Decreases whenever you take damage. Once it runs out, the game is over." (The Minish Cap manual, pg. 10)
- ""Watch the Hearts" You have to hear this!" — A Solana (Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland)
- "Your health is measured in Life Hearts. The number of Life Hearts you currently have is shown in the upper left corner of the screen when you are walking around the island." (The Faces of Evil manual, pg. 7)
- "Your health is measured in Life Hearts. The number of Life Hearts you currently have is shown in the upper left corner of the screen when you are walking around the island." (The Wand of Gamelon manual, pg. 8)
- "Each time Zelda finds and grabs one, her Life Meter increases by one heart." (Zelda's Adventure manual, pg. 3)
- "Health" (Hyrule Warriors manual, pg. 4)