Created By: DudeBob on August 12, 2012 Last Edited By: Diask on October 28, 2012

Max HP Special

Special attack that is only usable when uninjured and unfatigued

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Trope
The polar opposite of Desperation Attack (which is only usable when near defeat), the Max HP Special is a move that can only be used by someone who is perfectly healthy. Unlike cases of Cast from Hit Points, a Max HP Special does not necessarily drain the user's stamina when used; it merely requires them to be at full.

In video games, this mechanic provides a means of rewarding the player for playing cautious and avoiding taking hits in the first place, instead of relying on their health meter to keep them alive while they plow recklessly through scores of squishier enemies.

Comes in two flavors...

  • Ability is completely unusable at anything less than full health. This type often compounds the annoyance posed by Goddamn Bats, as even the slightest Scratch Damage will disable the ability.

  • Ability can be used at less than full health, but will be far less effective than if it were used a full health. Often works on a sliding scale, with the effectiveness of the attack directly proportional to the amount of health remaining. This can cause Unstable Equilibrium if both sides have access to such an ability.

Needs Examples

Examples

Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • August 12, 2012
    abk0100
    The original Zelda used this even before A Ltt P
  • August 12, 2012
    Bisected8
    ^^, ^ All of the Legend Of Zelda games have it in some form or other.

    • A recurring theme in the Final Fantasy games is that an Infinity Plus One Sword will do an amount of damage based on how much HP the character has left (amongst other deliberately broken methods of calculating it).
    • In Prototype, you can use excess health to fuel special attacks which kill everything on the screen.
  • August 12, 2012
    MyTimingIsOff
  • August 12, 2012
    abk0100
    ^^ pretty sure that's not true.
  • August 12, 2012
    KZN02
    Pokemon: the ability "Multiscale" doubles defense if the Pokemon is at full health.
  • August 12, 2012
    Arivne
    There's a similar attack type, where you have to maximum magic/psionics/(etc.) points in order to use a certain power or cast a certain spell.
  • August 12, 2012
    Mauri
    Seems like a variation of cast from hit points to an extent but the "best status" of full hp... it might be difficult to say on some cases. Still to some extent I'm a lousy editor so I'll just provide help. Still there are some examples to be found in certain games:
    • trickster online has one charm skill tied to the hp (Final Blow under Charm tree). Type 2 Inversion.
      • Siren Song skill is based on Current HP so it is a straight Type 2.
    • A variation in GhostsNGoblins (SNES edition) with the last weapon being at best power with the more powerful armor but when you lose it... well you might as well be farting with that range. Type 1

  • August 13, 2012
    Koveras
    • In Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2, you can run faster and jump further if your Water of Eden meter is maxed out.
  • August 13, 2012
    Diask
    ^^^^^^ There, removed the type labels.
  • August 13, 2012
    Astaroth
    Weapon skills in the Shin Megami Tensei series are often the 'damage relative to HP' variant of this trope. They're also Cast From Hitpoints, so using them repeatedly offers diminishing returns in addition to leaving your team vulnerable.
  • August 13, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ You can give the types names though. I did the same with Free Rotating Camera.
  • August 13, 2012
    BOFH
  • August 13, 2012
    Stratadrake
    • Also in Pokemon, the "Sturdy" ability enables a user to survive any attack (even a One Hit Kill) with one HP but only if they were at full health prior to the hit.
  • August 13, 2012
    captainsandwich
    In Pokemon there is an item called Focus Sash that functions similar to sturdy, except it gets expended after it does its thing.
  • August 13, 2012
    captainsandwich
    do all abilities count if the creature/character in question is a One Hit Point Wonder?
  • October 26, 2012
    TrueShadow
    In Disgaea 3 : Absence of Justice, Kyoko and Asuka have Evilities that increase their Speed and Attack Power, respectively, when they're at max HP.
  • October 27, 2012
    Chabal2
    Oracle Of Ages and Seasons fire beams at full hearts. There are several rings that allow you you keep firing even when missing hearts (up to three).
  • October 27, 2012
    GKaiser
    The Pokemon attacks Water Sprout and Eruption are at their strongest when the user is at full health and get weaker as they do.
  • October 27, 2012
    Bisected8
    • In Borderlands 2 Amp Shields deal bonus damage on the first shot (at the cost of some of their power) as long as they're fully charged.
  • October 27, 2012
    DRCEQ
    The original The Legend Of Zelda started the tradition for (most of) the whole series. When Link was at full health, he'd fire a beam outward when he attacked. It didn't matter what sword he had either.
  • October 28, 2012
    Stratadrake
    While "Max HP Special" is a bit catchy, I'm wondering if we can't find some alternatives that don't rely on abbreviations.
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