Top 10 Hardest Pieces of Heart and Heart Containers in The Legend of Zelda Series

Pieces of Heart and Heart Containers are among the most sought after items in any Legend of Zelda game. They increase your life bar by one heart if you get 4 pieces of heart (or 5 in Twilight Princess) and a heart container will do so instantly. Naturally, a bigger life bar means that Link can take more damage before you stare at a Game Over screen. Pieces of Heart were actually introduced in Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and was the game to establish the 20 heart life bar used in many games. Anyway, Pieces of Heart and Heart Containers can be found in a wide variety of ways; some are just out in the open for easy pickings while some require special items to grab, others are given as favors in side-quests and quite a few are rewards for winning mini-games. While some are easy, others are so infuriatingly difficult some people think it would be easier to try and beat the final boss with less than 20 hearts than get every last one. So here's a list to start of 10 of the hardest Pieces of Heart and Heart Containers in the Legend of Zelda series. And please don't include any bosses as those deserve their own list.
The Top Ten
1 Bombchu Bowling - Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

When you arrive to Hyrule Castle Town, you can enter the building for the Bombchu Bowling, but you can't play it yet. You need to clear the Dodongo's Cavern first. After that, get ready for the most infuriating pieces of heart in the game. In order to win the prize, you need to let loose a bombchu and make it hit the black hole. The first round is easy as it's dead center with only a spike trap getting in your way. But the 2nd round is the hardest as the hole is either right next to one of the walls or next to the ceiling and you have to watch out for a cuccoo that wanders around randomly. The third round isn't as bad, but still frustrating. You now have a pit where a huge cuccoo wanders and you have to get the bombchu to hit the target at the very end while avoiding all aforementioned obstacles and you have only ten tries to do so. But the most frustrating part is that the woman running the game rotates the prizes so if you fail to win the piece of heart, you have to keep playing ...more

2 Octoball Derby - Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Southeast of Thieves' Town in Lorule is the Octoball Derby. Here, Link can get a piece of heart if he's able to score at least 100 rupees with 30 balls. However, each pot is worth only 1 rupee and gold pots only worth 5. Hitting the crabs resets the pot, but even that won't be enough. The trick is to hit 3 pots in a row to make a crow appear which is worth 20 rupees. What makes this mini-game difficult is getting the ball to go left, right or straight. The only thing you can directly control is how high the ball goes. It took me many tries and I wouldn't be surprised if anyone replied to this entry on how they got 99 rupees when they ran out of balls.

3 Snowboard Race - Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Once you clear Snowpeak Ruins, you'll get to see Yeto and Yeta engage in their favorite past time of snowboarding. Return to the mountain where you met Yeto and he'll challenge you to a race. He's pretty easy as he moves slowly and doesn't turn well. But after you beat him, Yeta will challenge you and her body lets her glide down the slopes like greased lightning and negotiate some really tight corners. There's a tricky shortcut that you'll need to take in order to have a chance at beating her and even though you can hit Yeta with your sword to slow her down, she won't stay far behind for long.

4 Savage Labyrinth - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Located behind Link's house on Outset Island, the Savage Labyrinth is basically an endurance test against 50 floors of enemies. While the earlier floors are pretty easy, things start getting nasty around the 30th floor. You'll obviously need the Mirror Shield from the Earth Temple to advance this far. Also, the enemies don't drop any items so you'll need your Grappling Hook if you're low on health or magic. You do get to replenish your health every 10th floor and gives you a few rupees, but that's about the only mercy this place gives you. Floor 49 is where things get nasty. You have to defeat 4 Mighty Darknuts at once and there are also 6 Moblin busts that will spring to life and breathe fire at you if you get too close. You know, the Japanese consider the number 4 and 9 bad luck because 4 and death share the same pronunciation as well as 9 and agony. So the number sums up the whole experience nicely. It's no wonder that the HD remake moved this Piece of Heart to Two-Eyed Reef.

5 Anju's Cucco Rangling - Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap

This Piece of Heart almost made me throw my Gameboy Advance in the dumpster. This one requires you to find Anju's escaped Cuccos scattered all over town and return them to the pen within the time limit. You need to complete a few rounds and they get harder each time. The later ones will introduce yellow Cuccos that can escape Link's hold if he holds onto them for too long. Also, you'll need the flippers for the final round and I very strongly recommend the Pegasus Boots. Have fun.

6 Beaver Brothers Race - Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

For many fans, Zelda games and swimming sections are a bad mix and this area is proof of that. Located in Great Bay, you need to Hookshot your way to a cave at the top of the waterfall and don your Zora Mask so you can speak to them. You must then race through a bunch of rings (Superman 64 vibes anyone?) placed by the beavers. The younger brother will give you 20 rings to swim through while the older one will give you 25 rings and both must be completed in 2 minutes. But the thing is they give you an empty bottle on your first victory. That means you have to beat their silly game twice and on the second round, they shave 10 seconds off your time limit. It's even harder in the 3DS remake because Link can only swim fast if he has his electric barrier activated and that consumes magic. There might be magic jars that allow him to continue at top speed, but it's still unpleasant.

7 Romantic Fishing - Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

If you thought fishing in Ocarina of Time was nasty, Phantom Hourglass cranks it up. You first need to acquire the Fishing Rod from the Old Wayfarer on Banaan Island by reuniting him with Joanne the pretend mermaid. You then need to catch a Skippyjack, Toona and Loovar and show them to the Old Wayfairer. Now comes the hard part. You need to catch a Rusty Swordfish and show it to him and these huge fish are very difficult to land. And finally, you need to catch a special Rusty Swordfish called Neptoona and there's no margin for error in catching this leviathan. One screw up is all it takes for him to wrestle free of your line.

8 Pumpkin Pull - Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Shooting galleries in the Zelda series can be hit or miss. Some require pure skill and some require some luck. The Pumpkin Pull in Skyward Sword takes both of those and adds in the frustration of motion controls. In order to obtain the Piece of Heart from Fledge, you have to score 600 points within 90 seconds. The key to getting a high enough score is to keep shooting the pumpkins without missing as consecutive shots will increase how many points each pumpkin is worth up to 50 points/pumpkin. One factor that makes this one difficult is that the arc in which Fledge throws them is very inconsistent. The pumpkin could land close to him or on the other side of the Training Hall building. But probably the biggest issue is how the sensor calibration continues to go on the fritz, thus forcing you to aim the Wii Remote at the center of the screen and pushing down on the D-Pad. Even the best sharpshooters will have trouble with this one due to technical problems. This made me thankful as to ...more

9 Stranded on Eventide - Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

While Breath of the Wild doesn't have Pieces of Heart as in past Zelda games, the system still works in the same fashion. You need 4 Spirit Orbs found from Shrines to exchange for either a Heart Container or a Stamina Vessel. One of the hardest Shrine Quests in the game has to be "Stranded on Eventide". Located at the very southeast corner of the map is Eventide Island. Once you walk onto the beach, Korgu Chideh talks to you and tells you about the trial. You need to find 3 orbs and place them in the recesses of 3 pedestals. It sounds simple but here's the super duper caveat; almost all your items are taken away. All your weapons, shields, armor, items and food. The only things you're left with are your Shiekah Slate, Paraglider and any Champion's abilities you've acquired. And another issue is that you can't save your game while doing this quest. If you die (and you probably will), you have to start from Square One. This makes the list because of how this comes completely out of ...more

10 Maple's Piece of Heart - Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages / Oracle of Seasons

I don't know how Maple travels between the lands of Lanayru and Holodrum, but she seems to be carrying all sorts of goodies with her whenever she does. The most valuable is, of course, the Piece of Heart. In order for her to even appear, you must kill 30 enemies and go to a spot where she appears. If she appears, the music will change and you'll see her shadow. Now here's how to tell if she might have a Piece of Heart. If her shadow does a U-Turn in the middle of the screen, then there's no chance. If she does an S maneuver in the middle, there's a chance she's carrying one. Four factors make this difficult; it doesn't land far from Maple if you bump into her, if she does have it, that's the first item she'll always go for, there's a chance it could land in an area Link can't get to but Maple can and repeated thefts will result in Maple getting a vacuum cleaner and even a UFO in a linked playthrough and each one is faster than the last one. Even though you can technically get this at ...more

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