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Little Recovery Hearts


Sage of Tales
X-Posted to North Castle, in response to a thread questioning what rupees really are and where they come from.

I was just reading a fan fiction today that treated the recovery hearts rather blantantly, as in the game - Link was hoping to bust a box and find recovery hearts to ease his aching muscles. I never really thought of using them so blatantly in a story. This was a serious type of story, too. I've seen this used in a pardoy/humor story, but not in a serious story like that before (that I recall in recent memory).

It got me to thinking... what do you think the recovery hearts in the games are *really?* I've always ignored them when writing serious fan fiction stories and figured them to be a purely gameplay aspect, not a story aspect and that they perhaps represent strength. Or, maybe they represent random food that Link finds while cutting grass and such - a fruit or vegitable he can eat to keep up his stamina. (Maybe I'm just getting this idea from Smash. Bros. - where food recovers the fighters). Perhaps they even represent medicine, as in, he's cutting through some grass and weeds and discovers some aloe which he can take and put on cuts and scrapes he's suffered.

I have my own opinions on the Heart Containers - which are in the Heart Containers thread. This is about the little recovery hearts.

If they are supposed to be like food - why would food be inside a rock, for instance? I can see medicinal plants being in among grass...

In the end, I think it's just a gameplay aspect that doesn't much affect any kind of "reality" of the world as far as story.

So, what do you think?
usually ignore them when I write me some for srs fanfiction as well XD But you know, with some of the injuries he'd get while going off and saving the world, I'm surprised he hasn't fallen apart yet. [such as falling from rediculously high ledges and some of the attacks he gets from monsters] I guess they're some kind of magic medicine then.
Oct 31, 2009
Wow, I never really gave the recovery hearts much thought... I like the idea of them being food, Link needs to eat sometime! Another idea I had is maybe they're little containers of red potion? But why would there be countless containers of red potion scattered about the world?

Personally, I have never incorporated hearts and heart containers into my fan fiction. I think they're just a gameplay device to keep the player floating, like 1-ups and mushrooms in Mario.


Resident Cartographer
Jul 18, 2009
Cloud 9
PH, while it doesn't flat-out say it, gave me an idea of what hearts might be-FORCE GEMS!!! eh-hem. sry.

here me out-the sand in the hourglass is said to be a physical maifestation of life force, right? and the sand is also smashed-up force gems, right? and eating hearts recovers some of Link's life force, so it makes sense.

Hearts = life force = sand of hours = force gems.

sry if that doesnt make sense...o.o


Feb 25, 2010
i think it is some sort of magic powder in a vial. that when link steps on it he breaks the vial and the powder replenishes their health


The Mask Salesman
Apr 18, 2010
Happy Mask Shop
I'm more prone to the idea of maybe medicinal plants and whatnot. I've always just looked at it as game logic, and something they've stuck with cause it's always been there. Just a staple of the series, you know?


Mother Hyrule
May 17, 2009
on a crumbling throne
I always considered them to be like... little heart-shaped balls of energy. Touch 'em and the instantly replentish lost energy (health). Seems more believable that way- I don't think there are random, rotting hearts from various animals and people laying about for Link to come along and devour.

Master Kokiri 9

The Dungeon Master
Aug 19, 2009
My ship that sailed in the morning
I think they're life force. PH basically brings the idea of Life Force into the game with Force Gems (granted they were in FSA, but all you knew about them in that game was that they were the way of restoring power to the Four Sword). It might not be much of a stretch to say that Recovery Hearts are another form of physical manifestation of Life Force. From breaking rocks and killing bugs that live under them, you get Recovery Hearts. From breaking boxes and killing bugs inside, you get Recovery Hearts. From killing monsters, you get Recovery Hearts. Just about every way you get Recovery Hearts, you get them from killing things. I think the answer stares us right in the face, and the game it stares at us from is PH.


Why so logical?
Nov 30, 2008
I'd say one of two things. Either they are something magical, something that casts a spell to heal. This could then follow and say that red potions are simply condensed hearts. Or, they are simply a representation of anything that might heal, food, medicine etc., but being too specific would drag away from what is truly important in the game.

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