Heart (item)

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This article is about heart-like items from the Mario franchise. For other uses of the term "Heart", see Heart (disambiguation).
Heart SMO unused shop icon.png
A Heart from Super Mario Odyssey

First appearance

Game & Watch Gallery (1997)

Latest appearance

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Nintendo Switch) (2018)

Hearts are recurring items in gaming, including the Mario games. They can usually be amassed to gain more hit points or chances.


Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic[edit]

DDP Heart.png

In Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, up to two hearts are located in each stage, and are found only in specific Subspace locations within the stage. They add an additional mark or heart to the life meter, up to a maximum of four. The meter then resets to two marks at the start of the following stage. Hearts were replaced by Mushrooms in the altered Mario version of the game, Super Mario Bros. 2.

A small version also appears in this game, which is retained in subsequent versions.

Game & Watch Gallery series[edit]

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 will only appear if the player has one or two misses. Obtaining it will remove a miss from the screen.

Paper Mario series[edit]

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; when they're all returned, the fountain they fill heals Mario instead.

Mario Bros.[edit]

Hearts appear in the GBA version of Mario Bros. included with the Super Mario Advance series and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. They are one of three items that can appear from an Egg in a garbage can, which is exclusive to 2-Player Vs. Mode; if found, they work as they do in Super Mario Bros. 2, turning Small Mario into Super Mario.

Luigi's Mansion series[edit]

A heart in Luigi's Mansion.

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. Hearts appear again in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon where they function similarly to in the original game, however they now only restore 10 HP at a time.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

The Heart item in action in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, hearts are 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.

Yoshi franchise[edit]

Small hearts are present in Yoshi Topsy-Turvy where they 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.

Small hearts with eyes and feet appear in Yoshi's Woolly World, Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World and Yoshi's Crafted World, in a role similar to Stars in the Yoshi's Island games. They help restore lost energy and can be collected by touching or eating them. They often come out of Winged Clouds in groups of three or five. In addition, any enemy that is caught on-screen when Yoshi reaches a checkpoint turns into a heart. Once they land on the ground, hearts begin hopping in a certain direction, falling off ledges and turning the other way if they meet a wall. They start flickering and eventually disappear if Yoshi does not collect them in time. Unlike Stars, hearts do not appear as coins when Yoshi's energy bar is full.

Wario Land series[edit]

While hearts appeared in the Wario Land series, they did not serve their traditional purpose in the first 3 games. In Wario Land 4, Wario's health is represented by hearts. He can have a maximum of 8 hearts at any moment, and there are 3 different types of hearts that can be collected: "regular" hearts, which replenish one unit of health and can be found in set positions within levels, "big" hearts, which fully heal Wario and can only be obtained from Heart Boxes, and little hearts, which appear as red dots that most enemies drop when defeated. Collecting 8 little hearts replenishes one unit of Wario's health.

Hearts are also used as Wario's health in Wario Land: Shake It!.

Donkey Kong series[edit]

The health of the player is measured in heart points in several Donkey Kong games, namely New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and every Donkey Kong Country game from Donkey Kong Country Returns onward. Enemies and obstacles can take away one heart from the Kongs' health meter. Heart points can be restored by collecting heart items, found throughout the course of most levels, where they can be encountered either floating in mid-air or inside Item Containers and Item Handles. In the latter case, if the Kongs are already fully healthy, they might obtain a banana instead.

In the Donkey Kong Country games, an alternative way to regain health is by breaking a DK Barrel. Also, during boss battles, should the Kongs lack hearts, they can replenish them by simply dealing damage to the boss enemy and collecting the heart that appears. Hearts are completely removed during Mirror Mode in Returns and Hard Mode in Tropical Freeze, thus making heart points impossible to restore.

Mario Party 10[edit]

Hearts appear in Mario Party 10 exclusively to the Bowser Party and Bowser Challenge modes. In this game, the characters start off with six hearts, which are lost when taking damage in a Bowser Minigame. The characters can gain extra hearts from various events and locations around the board, however they can also lose hearts from Bowser spin wheels and other events. If a character loses all of their hearts, they will leave the vehicle and will no longer be able to roll Dice Blocks. In Bowser challenge mode, the player will play through all of the Bowser Minigames as Bowser, and will aim to obtain as many hearts as possible from the other characters. The final score is given as the number of hearts that the player managed to collect in total at the end of all twelve minigames.

Super Mario Odyssey[edit]

A Heart in Super Mario Odyssey
SMO 8bit Heart.gif
Heart SMO.jpg

Hearts make their first appearance in the Super Mario series in Super Mario Odyssey, where they are red with black eyes. Each heart restores a wedge of Mario's health. Hearts give 5 coins when collected while being at full health. Another item known as the Life-Up Heart, which works like the Life Mushroom does in the Super Mario Galaxy games, also appears.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ハート[1]
French Coeur Heart
Italian Cuore Heart


  • If a character activates a heart in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! after shrunken by Lightning, the hearts circling the kart remain small when the kart reverts to normal size.


  1. ^ Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic instruction booklet, page 25.