Created By: Adbot on March 22, 2013 Last Edited By: Adbot on March 23, 2013

Health Loss Means Attack Buff

Taking hits means you hit harder

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Most seen in RP Gs, this trope describes a spell or ability where the character's attack power is increased by the difference between their current and max health. Even a papercut would provide an attack bonus, albeit a small one.

Abilities of this type use mathmatical formulae to determine exactly how much they buff the attack. The calculation might be done at the time the buff is applied or when the attack connects.

Compare Desperation Attack, when an attack can only be triggered when at low health, and Critical Status Buff when an ability is applied when the player loses enough health. Examples:

  • Valiant in Wild ARMs 3 boosts the affected party members attack by the difference between their current and max HP, recalculated at an as of yet undetermined point. The spell wears off after 3 turns normally.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy 4 has Matt's ability Revenge, where not only does his health loss mean the attack gains power, but if any of his team mates are KO'd the attack also increases in strength.

Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • March 22, 2013
    Wild Arms needs more info, at the moment it's a Zero Context Example

    • Certain attacks in the Final Fantasy series, such as Steiner's Minus Strike and Quina's Pumpkin Head from Final Fantasy IX, inflict the difference between the user's current HP and max HP as damage.
  • March 22, 2013
    Well, the Wild Arms 3 one is the exact definition of the trope. I've fleshed out the description a bit more, though.

    Not sure about the protocol for YKTTW, though. Do I add the examples added in the replies to the main article, or not?
  • March 22, 2013
    Pokemon has the move Belly Drum, which cuts the user's health by half, but boosts their attack to its maximum in exchange.
  • March 22, 2013
    Don't we already have this as Limit Break?
  • March 22, 2013
    ^Limit Break is a specific attack or technique made available to a character after some requirement is filled. This is a character that gains a buff to their attack damage stats as they lose health.

    adding a tag because this needs a better description.

    Compare: Combat Sadomasochist

  • March 22, 2013
    This trope is already covered in Critical Status Buff, the heroic version of Turns Red.
  • March 22, 2013
    Also covered by Desperation Attack
  • March 22, 2013
    It is similar to Critical Status Buff and Desperation Attack, yes. However, there are fundamental differences.

    Critical Status Buff is automatically triggered when the player reaches low health, whereas these examples can be activated at any time, though using them AS a Critical Status Buff is their majority use.

    And Desperation Attack is where the attack can ONLY be used when at low health. Again, most of the time this is when you would use an attack like this, it does not describe the ability in full.

    This trope is for when the power of their attack is mathmatically proportionate to the health lost.
  • March 22, 2013
    Real Life

    When wasps are killed in an attack on their hive, they release a pheromone that drives their hive mates to fight harder.
  • March 22, 2013
    • Warhammer 40 K: Black Templars have a special rule where losing one of their squadmates causes the whole squad to charge the enemy in melee.
    • Some weapon effects in Final Fantasy X double or triple damage when HP is low.

  • March 23, 2013
    Other Pokemon examples:
    • Bide causes the user to wait for a few turns, then delivers twice the amount of damage it has received in that time back towards the enemy.
    • Flail becomes more powerful if the user's hitpoints are low.
    • Rage becomes more powerful if the user takes damage on the same turn it was used.
  • March 23, 2013
    Most of this is already covered by Critical Status Buff. The specific example of a Fixed Damage Attack doing (max - current HP) damage are probably Too Rare To Trope outside of it (and in Pokemon's case, Bide is specifically a Counter Attack).