In the noncanonical Ocarina of Time manga, author Himekawa Akira depicts Zelda requesting her true identity be sealed. Impa then actually transforms Zelda into a male, adding some controversy as to the exact nature of Zelda's Sheik transformation. Sheik also depicted as Zelda's alter-ego and a playable character in Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors Legends
Question mark boxes are arrayed on the race tracks and give power-up items to a player-character if their vehicle passes through them. Common power-ups include the Super Mushroom, which gives players a speed boost; the shells of Koopa Troopas, which can be thrown at opponents; banana peels, which can be laid on the track as hazards; Boo, who turns the player's kart invisible so that obstacles will not hit it and steals for them an item from another racer; a Bullet Bill, which sends the player rocketing ahead, plowing over other racers who get in the way; lightning bolts, which a player can use to electrocute and weaken all of the other racers; and the Starman, which renders the player's kart temporarily invulnerable to attack. The type of weapon received from an item box is often random, though sometimes influenced by the player's current position in the race. For example, players lagging far behind may receive more powerful items while the leader will only receive small defensive items. This gameplay mechanic is designed to give other players or computers a realistic chance to catch up to the leading player.
Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that Zelda's name was inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald. The name Zelda is generally believed to be Germanic in origin, meaning "gray fighting maid" or "woman warrior" and derived from the Old German Griselda ("dark battle"). Another possible origin is the Old English word selde ("companion"). Additionally, it is a Yiddish name meaning "happiness" or "luck".
In most Zelda games, the player's life meter is represented as a line of hearts. The life meter is replenished a number of different ways, including picking up hearts left by defeated enemies or destroyed objects, fairies or springs located in specific locations, or consuming items such as potions or food. Fairies can be kept in bottles and act as extra lives, reviving the player if they run out of hearts. Players are able to extend their life meter by finding heart-shaped crystals called "Heart Containers". Full heart containers are usually received at the end of dungeons and dropped by the dungeon boss. Smaller "Pieces of Heart" are awarded for completing certain side quests or found hidden around the game world in various places, and require a certain number (usually four) to form a full heart container.
According to the in-game backstories, the world of Hyrule was created by the three golden goddesses: Din, Farore, and Nayru. Before departing, the goddesses left a sacred artifact called the Triforce, which could grant powers to the user. It physically manifests itself as three golden triangles in which each embodies one of the goddesses' virtues: Power, Courage, and Wisdom. However, because the Triforce has no will of its own and it could not judge between good and evil, it would grant any wish indiscriminately. Because of this, it was placed within an alternate world called the "Sacred Realm" or the "Golden Land" until one worthy of its power and has balanced virtues of Power, Wisdom, and Courage in their heart could obtain it, in its entirety. If a person is not of a balanced heart, the triforce part that the user mostly believes in will stay with that person and the remainder will seek out others. In order to master and control the triforce as a whole, the user must get the other parts found in other individuals and bring them together to reunite them. The Sacred Realm can itself be affected by the heart of those who enters it: those who are pure will make it a paradise, while those who are evil will transform it into a dark realm.