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So the game actually has a Hero Mode which is unlocked when you beat the game.

What are the changes that I can expect when playing in Hero Mode? What remains?

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Here's the changes that I was told by characters in the game or have observed so far:

  • The slot in the quest selection screen will have the goddess insignia on it.

  • You can Skip almost all cinematic and dialog sequences

  • Keep all bugs and treasures from previous adventure

  • Some characters will acknowledge that you're playing in Hero Mode as they speak with you** What they say to you will change telling you what has changed or allowing you to skip some explanations.

  • You lose hearts twice as fast as you normally do

  • All hints are unlocked at Sheikah Stones

  • Maximum strength Skyward Strike always
    Every Skyward Strike you perform will have the strength as if you had used the Master Sword, including the faster charge. After getting the actual Master Sword, charging is instantaneous.

  • Hearts and Heart Flowers no longer appear normally in the game*
    Monsters, pots and other sources do not drop hearts anymore. You will have to heal by using potions, fairies, sleeping or sitting in chairs. *Equipping the Heart Medal will provide a reduced chance for Hearts and Heart Flowers of appearing.

  • Fi will remember how many of each type of monster you defeated from your previous adventure
    When Fi analyzes a targeted enemy, the count will continue from where you left off.

  • Your high score at Bamboo Island and other places that keep records will remain from the previous adventure

  • The Boss Rush challenge now includes the game's final battle, in addition to the other eleven battles you could access in regular mode. You must have defeated the boss at least once before they are playable.

  • Beating the game this time around will allow you to save just before the final battle and you get a Triforce icon in the quest selection screen.

To all hardcore Zelda fans out there, the game is a lot more challenging in this mode so it's definitely worth it to play through.

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You can skip cinematics the first time around too by pushing <kbd>②</kbd>. –  CyberSkull Nov 23 '11 at 7:12
    
Are you sure about that @CyberSkull? The first time around, I am pretty sure you must wait through it all. –  Jeff Mercado Nov 29 '11 at 0:41
1  
The game seems to log cut scenes. I went and reset after a scene, and when I did it again the <kbd>②</kbd> prompt appeared with "Skip" next to it. –  CyberSkull Nov 29 '11 at 1:52
2  
If you die and have to watch a cut scene again you can skip it, I know. Not sure about otherwise. –  Ullallulloo Nov 29 '11 at 2:00
    
Ok so you have to see it at least once before you can skip. I never died on my first run so I wouldn't have known. :) –  Jeff Mercado Nov 29 '11 at 2:36

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