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The Heart is a recurring item in the Mario series.
Hearts first appear in the modern Game & Watch Gallery series. They can usually be obtained by getting 200, 500, and 700 score points, but they'll only appear if the player has one or two misses. Obtaining it will remove a miss from the screen.
Hearts later appear in Paper Mario. After defeating enemies in battle, Mario and his partners may find Hearts left behind in the overworld. Each Heart found will restore 1 HP to Mario and whichever partner is active at the time. It returns with the same purpose in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, they are made of cardboard and replenish 5 HP of Mario's health, and are found in other places such as behind bushes. In Paper Mario: Color Splash, each regular heart restores 40 HP. One heart is also found at the Prisma Fountain for every Big Paint Star retrieved.
Hearts also appear in the rendition of Mario Bros. included with Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and the Super Mario Advance series. It only appears in the Mario Bros. Battle multi-player mode from an Egg, which in itself only comes from a garbage can; if found, it transforms Small Mario into Super Mario, effectively making it the equivalent of a Super Mushroom except it does not slide.
In Luigi's Mansion, hearts come in two sizes. The smaller restores 10 HP and the bigger restores 50 HP. In the PAL version of the hidden mansion, hearts are quite rarer.
In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, it is the special item of Princess Peach and Princess Daisy, but Petey Piranha and King Boo can also use the item due to them being able to use any special item in the game. When used, two small pink hearts will appear and circle around the kart. These hearts will protect the kart from up to two obstacles or weapons on the course.
The racer can then use the new item as he or she pleases. However, Spiny Shells, Chain Chomps, and Bob-omb explosions will penetrate the protective barrier. Lightning attacks and falling off the course destroy both circling hearts. Also, any fireballs received do not multiply by five when thrown. If a green fireball hits a heart, the icon for the green fireball received is a red fireball.
Hearts reappear in Yoshi Topsy-Turvy. They are small hearts that restore one point of Yoshi's health meter when swallowed. There is a rare variation of these hearts called Big Heart, which restores all of the health back.
Similar-shaped items known as 1 UP Hearts previously appeared in the Super Mario Land series and Donkey Kong, awarding Mario with an extra life. Prior to that, Small Hearts appeared in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and Super Mario Bros. 2, restoring health.
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