[[quoteright:324:[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LifeMeter_3298.png]]]]

A meter, usually a coloured bar, that displays the HitPoints of a character. If this shrinks to nothing, CriticalExistenceFailure is the result.

In single-character games, this is found on the {{HUD}}. In strategy games, this appears next to selected units, often over their heads, and by their portraits in the {{HUD}}. Sometimes, they are invisible most of the time, only appearing for a moment whenever your character loses or gains health.

The color of the life meter is often determined as a major stylistic point for the game. Red is a very common color, being strongly associated with blood and flesh, as well as the ubiquitous red-crossed [[HealThyself health packs]]. SciFi life meters often change color as health declines, from green, to yellow, and down to red. Other colors usually indicate something unique about the character or game. The life meter may also change color to reflect status ailments, such as poisoning. An alternate menu may note how many HitPoints that meter reflects. Fantasy games tend not to have the meter change color, and will instead have it remain a blue or green color. It may flash red when the PC reaches a critical threshold.

A LifeMeter may also be made of a line of symbols rather than a bar. Frequently, [[HeartsAreHealth hearts are used for this purpose]]. Some games may even use a "life counter" with numbers instead.

If your life meter [[CriticalAnnoyance also comes with an alarm sound to indicate low health]], that alarm will likely be the MostAnnoyingSound.

Running out can either lead to a GameOver, or simply losing one of the VideoGameLives.
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!!Video Game Examples:

* The life meter in ''PrinceOfPersia'''s "Sands Trilogy" is aqua blue, indicative of the use of water as life replenishment.
** In the original game, it was a set of triangles, like in Jordan Mechner's previous game ''{{Karateka}}''. Later ports (for Japanese home computers, the AppleMacintosh, SNES, TurboGrafx16 and SegaCD) changed this to a set of potions, identical in appearance to the games' {{healing potion}}s.
* The LifeMeter in ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' takes the form of a globe filled with red liquid, the same color as the life potions. The color changes to green if the character is poisoned. Also, in ''[[VideoGame/{{Diablo}} Diablo II]]'', the globe is held up by a little demon statue, characters turn green when poisoned, and other things (gas, throwing potions, damage stats) are [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience green when they relate to poison]].
** The same color convention -- red changing to green when poisoned -- was later used in ''Nox''.
** And a similar convention and life meter was used in the first ''LegacyOfKain'' although in this case, it's fairly clear what the liquid is supposed to be, since he's a vampire and all.
* ''VideoGame/{{Rayman 2}}'' introduced the series to the life meter. Before this, Rayman used a HitPoint system.
** Something funny used in ''Rayman 2'' is an image of Rayman's head in the upper left corner turning from happy to sad when low on life.
* In addition to the LifeMeter, ''EternalDarkness'' also features a SanityMeter, an affectation borrowed from Lovecraft-inspired role playing games. It effectively acts as a second LifeMeter (shocking but not physically harmful experiences deplete it, and physical damage occurs when it is fully depleted), but is also tied to the game's "insanity effects", where unexpected visuals, such as insects crawling across the screen, would simulate the player's decline into insanity. Of course, after finishing such mentally stressing levels, a HeroicBSOD (as opposed to an actual BSOD, which is one of the insanity effects) is expected from most characters.
* [[AvertedTrope Averted]], surprisingly, in a FightingGame. ''BushidoBlade'' and its sequel ''Bushido Blade 2'', is a game based around duels with melee weapons that's very unusual in the fact there are no life gauges whatsoever. You can literally be killed with a single blow.
* Likewise, ''OperationFlashpoint'' has no life meter; to determine the extent of your injuries, you simply check your body for wounds. Any wound to a vital area has a good chance of [[OneHitKill killing you outright]], and wounds to the limbs affect your movement and accuracy. Though there aren't any health packs as such, you can get the wound treated by a medic if you can find one.
* Many ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' games feature bosses that strike a cool pose whilst their life meter fills up before they fight.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends'' features a health bar and a shield. Taking damage causes the shield to deactivate, which makes Megaman more vulnerable to damage, but the shield will eventually recover. If Megaman gets hit by a particularly strong attack, however, the shield will break and will only recover after using a "Shield Repair" item. The shield will also protect Megaman from an otherwise fatal attack once when his health is reduced to zero.
* The older ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' games had an EKG set as the player's health bar (only visible if the player pauses the game), and it would both change color (green-yellow-orange-red, or purple if poisoned) and decrease in heart rate as the player gets hurt; playing up the realism more is if the character was poisoned, his or her heartbeat would become irregular. Generally, though, the player could die in five hits or less (and {{Mooks}}, namely zombies, could instantly kill you without some serious button-mashing). Starting with ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', a more traditional health bar took place of the EKG.
* ''SpyroTheDragon'' and its sequels had a creative, if basic, adaptation: The dragonfly Sparx literally served as a health meter, changing colors from Gold at full health down to green, and then disappearing entirely. After that, a single hit would kill you. The game explained this by way of some vague protective magic Sparx generated.
** Similarly, early versions of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' had the color of Link's tunic and shield change to indicate his health. Of course, the final version just used collections of hearts like previous titles.
** The early ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' games, and some of the new ones, feature a similar approach with a hovering mask pickup instead of the dragonfly. Pick up a mask, and you can take an extra hit. Pick up two, and your mask turns golden, meaning you can take two hits. Pick up a third one, and you're invincible for a short while.
** The newer ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro'' games have actually stopped using Sparx as a health indicator and reverted to a conventional health meter, but for a good reason: The new combat system requires Spyro to have way more health than in previous games, which would have been difficult to show with Sparx.
* In ''VideoGame/JurassicParkTrespasser'', there is no HUD; your health is instead displayed by glancing down at a heart-shaped tattoo on your left breast (a rare example of a [[ThirdPersonSeductress First Person Seductress]]).
* ''VideoGame/{{Lugaru}}: The Rabbit's Foot'' has no HUD, but Life Meters for two types of damage which affect the same pool of HitPoints: Temporary damage, caused by blunt impact, is indicated by the character limping and the camera's view becoming blurry and shaky, it fades with time. Permanent damage, caused by cuts and stabs, which is only healed between levels, has the additional indication of pain skins (visible wound texturemaps).
* ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' have no LifeMeter per se. Instead, there's a meter for your energy shield. When it reaches zero, your now-unseen health bar can be diminished, obviously enough hits on you after the shield bar is depleted will result in your death. However, if not hit in a set amount of time, your health and shields will regenerate, the shield bar filling up again (Interestingly enough, Master Chief's health regenerates slower than his shields in Halo 3, meaning that if his health is low enough, but his shields have fully regenerated and were promptly depleted, he'd still have very low health. See the [[WordOfGod word of Bungie]] [[http://www.bungie.net/News/content.aspx?type=topnews&cid=13233 here]], under the OMG Fix Mayleeey, Bungle! section, sub-section The Nitty Gritty).
** The original ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'' has the energy shield in addition to a traditional Life Meter. Master Chief's health only drops once his shield runs out, and health can only be restored by [[HealThyself medkits]] scattered around. ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' also reverts to this setup, being a {{Prequel}} to the existing games, and only differs in that the medkits tend to be mounted on walls rather than lying on the floor, as well as the Life Meter having very minor regeneration at certain levels of injury.
* ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'' had bosses with multi layered life meters, deplete the top most layer and you start working on the next one. They where color coded to show roughly how many hp were left, as an absolute unit, not percent.
* While ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' and all following games used a green bar with green squares underneath representing the amount of health bars left for enemies, ''KingdomHearts I'' and the GBA game ''Chain of Memories'' used colored, multi layered health bars. This was kind of a problem in [=KH1=] with [[BonusBoss Sephiroth]], as he had so much health the developers ran out of colors to use, so he has all the normal colors up to purple and an additional invisible bar.
** In the case of the player and their party, the health bar circles around and over their portrait, then straightens out once it passes below it (Games past the first simplify the party member HP into a half circle).
* All of the ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' games, save for the first one, use a life meter to determine the judge's patience with you. Screwing up costs you some life and an empty bar results in a guilty verdict/Game Over. Some screw ups can cost you your entire life bar and sometimes a character in the courtroom wants to up the ante by '''increasing''' your possible penalty (life bar loss). They are also used in the Magatama segments, where it's implied that they show Phoenix's soul state. (If you empty it Pearls says you should stop before your soul shatters, and if you finish the sequence you regain energy).
** Oddly, how well you did in court effects how much health you have in your Magatama investigations, and every time you start the trial the next day, your health is full again. However, during the last case, your Magatama health is restored in the middle of your investigation... but doesn't recover when you go to court the next day. Considering how troubling the last investigation segment is, you're likely only going to have a smidge-higher than half health, making almost all mistakes fatal.
** The "one health bar" was actually a mistake in ''Justice for All''. It was fixed in ''Trials and Tribulations'', where the Magatama meter is totally separate from the court meter (though the graphics do not reflect this). Meaning, in JFA, if you had 80% life at the end of an investigation, you'd start off the court session with 80%. In T&T, if you ended the first day investigation with 80%, you will not start Day 2 Trial with 80%, but with a full health bar. Only mistakes and health on its own section carries over to the next respective session. Taking the T&T example, if you ended the first day Investigation with 80% HP, you will start off the Magatama session in Day 2 Investigation with 80% health. Same goes for trial sessions.
* In the early ''Franchise/TombRaider'' games, it's only visible, if you get hurt or heal yourself.
* The life meters in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' are vertically-oriented bars, and extend into both screens along the right side. Either half of the meter could be gone, gone, gone, but you're both still fighting until the whole thing is gone. It refills after every battle (counting a chain reduction battle as a single one). The bar itself is green, with empty sections of bar as gray. Bosses also have a life meter that depletes from each side of the screen and has a second, yellow bar over the green one.
** The colors for bosses go farther, too.
** Players can easily be confused by the life bar. It's shared by both Neku and his partner... but the gap between the two screens is not counted in the bar. So it's pretty easy to think "Oh I have a lot of life left..." but it isn't nearly as much as you think.
* OlderThanTheNES: [[{{Rare}} Ultimate's]] ''AticAtac'' featured a graphic of a chicken, which decreased down to bare bones as you lost energy. (Eating food replenished it.)
* The above was directly lifted for the classic kid's TV show ''Series/{{Knightmare}}'', except that it was a human face instead of a skeleton and the skeleton would eventually also disintegrate away into nothing. That one also used green to yellow to red backgrounds as a more general measure.
* ''Zelda'' games, with the notable exception of ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'', use a hearts system in place of a regular life meter. Link invariably starts the game with three hearts. Unlike most games, he can acquire more by locating a HeartContainer; the more of these he gets, the longer his string of hearts becomes and, therefore, allows him to take significantly greater damage before dying.
* "Shounen Kininden Tsumuji" starts with Tsumuji having 3 flames which can go up to 12 flames after collecting enough Life Candles to increase his health.
** Similarly, [[{{Metroid}} Samus Aran]] always begins with 99 points of energy, usually displayed as a simple white meter on the HUD, and adds 100 more points with each [[HeartContainer Energy Tank]] she finds, displayed as boxes above the meter.
* The swordsmanship minigame in the old computer game ''Sword of the Samurai'' (programmed by SidMeier of ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'' fame) has an interesting spin on it, in keeping with the game's feel, which is to contain absolutely no anachronisms. Each time a combatant takes a hit, a brush draws the strokes in the kanji for 'life'; when it is complete, they die.
* ''VideoGame/TheWarriors'' uses a standard life meter designed as a circle around your character. It starts out at green and changes colors from yellow to orange to red as you get injured, and the characters themselves also suffer bruises and cuts and grow in number and intensity when their health grows lower. Strangely enough, all those visible injuries magically vanish once you use some Flash.
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' uses a health meter like most other Valve games. What sets it apart from other games is that as your health decreases, your mobility because more compromised: you start off able to run at a brisk pace, but as you sustain damage, your movement speed decreases until your left with a limp barely faster than walking. Pain pills can grant a temporary boost in health, as can adrenaline shots (not as much health, but it increases your movement speed back to normal for a while), but the only way to actually recover health is by using medkits, which are far and few between.
* The second and third ''StreetsOfRage'' have a standard health bar for players and {{Mooks}}, but a boss' health bar is slightly different from the player's. In game 2, the boss' health bar was shown in blue and the number of stars under their name showed how many health bars they had. By the 3rd game, they changed the stars to a number next to the health bar, which makes it look like the amount of "lives" the boss had. Once all the extra bars of health were gone, the boss' life bar would be shown in yellow/red like any other enemy. On higher difficulty levels, even some {{Mooks}} can have multiple bars of health like a boss.
* The arcade game ''VideoGame/RollingThunder'' has a segmented life bar, though this feature is hardly necessary: colliding with or getting punched by {{Mooks}} takes out half of the bar, and getting hit by any projectile kills the player outright!
* Much like ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' above, ''VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRaccoonus'' had horseshoes Sly could pick up to get more than one hit. Get one, and a silver horseshoe would appear on his backpack. Get another, and the horseshoe turns gold. Dropped outright for a standard health meter in the sequels.
* ''VideoGame/SuperStarWars'' has it as a lightsaber on the upper left corner of the screen.
* In ''VideoGame/RogueSquadron'' there is a small icon of the current starship on screen. Damage taken changes the icon's color. It's blue (After obtaining a powerup to increase them) and goes through green to yellow as your shields take damage, then orange to red if you continue to get shot up before your shields recharge.
** In the following sequels, the icon was converted into a small, fully 3D wireframe of the ships (humans for on foot missions) surrounded by a thinning circle which would swerve as you moved around, but would spin if you took any damage, the speed and intensity which increased depending on how strong. This would result in incredibly erratic spinning if you were continuously taking fire, though it gets kinda funny when it happens to the human wireframe.
*** Both games feature an instant shield recharge option if you were low while using a ship that had a R2 unit. Though if you get hit again, you'll lose it before you can press it.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Gungrave}}'', your character has two meters--a red bar for his vitality and a blue bar for his regenerating shield. The shield will recover if Grave takes no hits for a few moments, however, explosions and some boss attacks will break the shield completely. Once his shield is gone he will lose his health rapidly, and will fall if the red bar reaches zero.
* ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' and ''VideoGame/RockBand'' play with this by having a "Rock Meter" (Guitar Hero) or "Crowd Meter" (Rock Band) that tells you how much the crowd is liking your performance; it increases with notes hit and decreases with notes missed. While not technically a "life meter" per se, it serves the same purpose; if the meter hits bottom, you fail out of the song and either must restart it or must be saved by a bandmate, depending on the situation.
** RockBand's crowd meter isn't a straight life meter in multiplayer, either - if the meter itself hits bottom, the entire band fails out automatically. However, each member has a slider on the meter, and if a member's slider hits bottom, they fail out, and the meter starts being drained until all failed members are recovered. The amount of the meter that is filled is around the average of the band member's positions on the meter.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' with it changing colors from green to yellow to red.
** And a very annoying [[CriticalAnnoyance looped beeping noise]] when it's in the red.
*** In ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', this is replaced with the looped beeping noise remixed into awesome music.
** It also has numerical values with HP being a stat that can be increased, but you can only see the exact value for your own Pokemon.
* Ever since ''Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain'' and ''WWE Day of Reckoning'' (at least), the WWE-based ProfessionalWrestling games on consoles have had a variant on the health meter: it's represented by a humanoid figure with four sections (head, torso, both arms, both legs). As each region gets worked over, the meter goes from no damage to, normally, yellow-orange-red. Submission holds have better chances if you're working them on a red region, and if the head is red (on a male), certain headshots will cause bleeding.
* Some {{Rhythm Game}}s' life meters [[OurTropesAreDifferent are different]].
** ''VideoGame/{{Beatmania}}'', ''Beatmania IIDX'', and ''VideoGame/PopNMusic'': Your life meter starts at 22%, and you must build your life up to (by hitting notes) and finish the song with at least 80% of your life intact to clear it. On the plus side, a drop to 0% life (or 2% on ''IIDX'') won't result in a fail. There's also the gauges for Expert mode, ''Pop'n'''s Extra Stage, and ''IIDX'''s Hard modifier, in which you start full and any amount of life left results in a clear, but running out of life will kill you.
** ''DJMAX Technika'': In Technical mode, you must finish with at least 75% life on stage 1, 50% life on stage 2, 25% on stage 3, and simply live to see the end of stage 4. It's harder than it sounds because on each successive stage, it takes more notes to recover your life.
** ''VideoGame/OsuTatakaeOuendan'' and ''VideoGame/EliteBeatAgents'': Your life meter (called the "Elite-O-Meter" in ''EBA'') continously drains, even if there aren't any notes to hit. This can lead to some cases where you fail the song ''in mid-combo''.
** Averted outright in ''VideoGame/ReflecBeat'', which simply require you to obtain at least 70% of the maximum score to clear the song.
** ''VideoGame/{{jubeat}}'' also has the "70% of maximum score" (or in this case, 700,000 out of 1 million) passing condition in place of a life meter, but there is also a bonus that increases as you hit notes accurately, up to 100,000 points even if hitting notes would otherwise cause the bonus to continue increasing. Missing causes the bonus to decrease, to a minimum of 0 points. In a sense, there is still a LifeMeter of sorts, but it's used for score bonuses.
** ''VideoGame/{{Cytus}}'' also requires a score of 700,000 out of 1 million.
* The ''VideoGame/TokyoXtremeRacer'' racing game series has life meters, but not for how much more your car can take; rather, during races, you lose life when you are trailing behind your opponent or run into something. Whoever runs out of life first loses the race, as opposed to whoever reaches a goal first like in most other racing games (although this is an alternate way to win in ''Kaido Battle'').
** The original ''WanganMidnight'' arcade game, being based on ''Shutokou Battle'', also has this system, but you can also win by [[HoldTheLine being ahead of your opponents when the time runs out]]...unless you are on the last stage's second phase, in which case the time limit is disabled, so the only way to win is to run down the bosses' meters.
** The ''Kaido Battle'' series also featured a twist in this system. Running out of life does not equal an instant loss if you're either ahead of your opponent, or are following close enough so the meter won't start draining.
* In ''VideoGame/TheConduit'', not only does the life meter change from green to flashing red when the player's life meter is low, but the game also desaturates the colors and turn down ambient sounds when the player is low on life. This is needed because it is possible to play the game without a HUD (thus hiding the regular life meter all together).
* ''VideoGame/{{Nightfire}}'' features an interesting design for the life meter: it's based on the James Bond Gunbarrel. As you start to lose life points, the damage eats away at the barrel, wedge by wedge, as the remaining wedges change from green to yellow to red. After the last sliver falls, the "game over" screen is represented by blood pouring down from the top of the screen.
** If only in the PC version, armor is used in the place of healthkits, with simple armor plates restoring two or three wedges and a bulletproof vest restoring the entire meter. So perhaps the wedges signify undamaged armor plates, and Bond uses BodyArmorAsHitPoints?
* ''VideoGame/EarthBound'''s is rather unique. It's a scrolling meter of numbers. Instead of actually taking damage and instantly being drained of your health directly, you get damaged, but you won't die instantly, instead, the meter will just drop up until it reaches zero. It also applies when your healing.
** It's even more unique because you can slow down the scrolling health bar by using the Guard command.
** Arguably, it could be considered a (very good) way to subvert CriticalExistenceFailure. That is, a badly wounded character will not die instantly, but will die if not healed quickly. (Thankfully if someone's headed for 0 HP, you are warned that the character has [[OhCrap "suffered mortal damage!"]]) On the other hand, healing is also not instantaneous in real life. As for guard, it could have the character place greater priority on defending him/herself or staying alive than actively attacking.
* ''EchoNight: Beyond'' uses an EKG monitor; Richard's heartrate jumps whenever he encounters ghosts, but will even out if the ghost is friendly. ''Hostile'' ghosts, on the other hand, along with other disturbing phenomena, can push his heartrate up much higher... Reaching 300+ immediately kills him.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' games combined a percentile health meter with a central character face portrait that got progressively more bloody as your health decreased.
** Same deal with ''VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D'' and the ''[[VideoGame/CatacombFantasyTrilogy Catacomb]]'' games (the sequels to the original ''Catacomb 3D'').
** And with ''Nitemare3D'', but rather than getting bloody, the skin wore away like in ''Series/{{Knightmare}}''. You'd be down to a skull when you were on your last 10% health, and when you died, the skull went dark.
* ''VideoGame/{{Heretic}}'' had a numerical life meter, but also a red gem on a chain that moved from right to left as health decreased. This interface was carried over to the first ''Hexen'' game as well.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bug}}!'' has a can of "Bug Juice". Taking damage greys out a fraction of it, and when it becomes depleted, Bug dies and the can "melts".
* TruthInTelevision: EKG, EEG and other lifesign indicators used in hospitals.
* ''{{Sapiens}}'' uses a single symbol as a LifeMeter. When you're in perfect health, the meter depicts a large heart. As you receive damage, the heart decreases gradually, then disappears, then is replaced with progressively larger skulls.
* ''VideoGame/IndianaJonesAndHisDesktopAdventures'' has a circle-shaped life meter, initially completely green. As you receive damage, the circle loses more and more "slices" (like a pie graph), gradually turning yellow. Once it's completely yellow, the yellow begins to peel away in the same way, revealing red. Then, once it's all red, it begins giving way to black. Once it's all black, guess what happens.
* ''Catacomb 3-D'' has a human face which is slowly replaced, from the bottom up, by an image of a skull.
* In the old ''Batman: The Movie'', the Life Meter is Franchise/{{Batman}}'s face, gradually replaced by the Joker's face as the hero receives damage.
* Shows up in the games ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'', ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2''. They even come with one when you are swimming: if you stay underwater too long, you will drown.
** The one in ''64'' actually ''doubles'' as Mario's health ''and'' oxygen, leading to a [[GoodBadBugs glitch where you can completly refill Mario's health by dunking in some water and coming up for air.]]
* In ''VideoGame/AladdinVirginGames'', depending on the platform, Aladdin's health is measured by a trail of smoke coming out of the lamp in the top left corner of the screen--or by a hourglass with sand being drained, accompanied by an increasingly nervous face of the Genie.
* The ''Madou Monogatari'' [=RPGs=] for the {{MSX}}2, GameGear and PC98 did the furthest to avert conventional analog or digital representations of the player character's health, which is represented instead by changing facial expressions.
* ''VideoGame/LegendOfSuccessJoe'' gave the player a three-part life bar; half-empty bars would refill between stages but not fully empty ones.
* In the Brazilian game ''[[http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/guimo/screenshots Guimo]]'', the life meter is a pair of eyes, that get bloodshot with every hit (when they're completely red, the player dies).
* Most ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games have one for the player character, either as hearts or as a bar. Older games had one for bosses too.
* The platform games Creator/{{Rare}} developed for the Nintendo64 has an idiosyncratic, unique life meter each:
** Honeycombs in ''VideoGame/{{Banjo-Kazooie}}'' and its sequel.
** Watermelons in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64''.
** Chocolate units in ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay''.
* Your life meter in the ''VideoGame/SuperStarWars'' series is displayed as a lightsaber.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Ib}}'', the characters' lives are represented by roses with a number showing how many hitpoints they have left. The more damage they take, the more wilted their rose becomes. If it becomes a bare stalk, it's Game Over.
* In ''Flink'', Flink's life meter is the big red bottle in the corner of the screen, labeled "MAGIC" since it doubles as his MagicMeter.
* ''LastNinja'' uses a bar, but twisted into a spiral.
* ''VideoGame/{{Kolibri}}'' averts this, having no status display. Health is instead indicated by the number of small hummingbirds that fly out after taking a hit.
* The {{NES}} [[PortingDisaster port]] of ''DragonsLair'' infamously subverts this, as you have a life bar but almost everything is instant death.
* The ''VideoGame/StarFox'' games have a life bar for your character and most of the bosses (the general exceptions are some of the Final Bosses, such as Andross [[spoiler: except in ''Adventures'']] and the Slot Machine in the first game's alternate ending). In ''VideoGame/StarFox64'', Slippy provides the boss life meters and if he isn't around, either due to him being down or Fox being alone to fight Andross, the life meter will not show up.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Astal}}'', Astal's HitPoints are represented by fruit.
* There's a very clever in-universe example in ''[[{{Franchise/DeadSpace}} Dead Space]]''. Every adult has a device called a RIG attached to them. One of a RIG's main features is a spine-mounted bar that scans the users body and gauges their overall health.
* All ''SilentHill'' games except ''4'' and ''Homecoming'' avert the onscreen lifebar tactic, instead letting you gauge how much you had left by a colored screen in the pause menu, or a percentage in ''Downpour''.
* ''Dungeons of Daggorath'' for the ColorComputer had no visual indicator of the player's health, just a heartbeat sound that would quicken as the player got closer to death.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Hellsinker}}'', enemies that don't die in one hit and bosses have percentages displayed over them when their health falls below 70%. Certain bosses feature a health bar alongside their percentage.
** The pre-FinalBoss, Unnamed 290, inverts this: it has a "Satisfaction Gauge" that starts ''empty'' and needs to be ''filled'' to at least Level 1 before [[TimeLimitBoss time runs out]] by shooting it.
** Inverted again with the Level 3 FinalBoss, Garland. It starts with an empty boss meter that is filled up by shooting Garland. If the meter is filled and the "Did you forget something?" dialogue triggers before the time limit runs out, the game moves on to the TrueFinalBoss; otherwise the game just ends there.
* ''MarvelVsCapcom3'' combines this with NinjaProp when one of Deadpool's Hyper Combos has him attack his opponent with both his health bar and hyper combo meter.
-->'''Deadpool''': HEALTH BAR IN YOUR FACE!
* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' has Travis' health represented by an 8-bit heart, with each "pixel" being a unit of health (though if his health is upgraded, some of the pixels change color to represent more than one health unit.) Enemy life meters are a ring of "pixels" around the enemy, with each pixel getting smaller in a clockwise pattern as the enemy takes damage.
* In ''VideoGame/PrimalRage'', the energy bars are veins connected to a heart at the end, and the special bar below is a nerve linked to a brain. Winning a match causes the loser's heart to explode and the brain to melt into ashes. It gets better in the subsequent rounds.
* ''VideoGame/MadStalkerFullMetalForce'' has its life meters represented by energy bars that changes from green to red to empty as the player(s) take damage.

!!Non-Video Game Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Pinball ]]

* The {{pinball}} machine ''Pinball/RevengeFromMars'' uses these during the "Secret Weapon" mode, which is an UnexpectedGameplayChange to a FightingGame.
* Used during the Jedi[=/=]Sith duels of ''Pinball/StarWarsEpisodeI''
* Samus has one in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimePinball'', and can die instantly if it is depleted.
* ''Pinball/TheChampionPub'' has the player fighting various opponents, both of which have life bars. You start out with three points and have to get more by training; filling it up completely lets you start a fight.
* ''Pinball/{{Hyperball}}'', a ShootEmUp pinball game, requires the player to defend his base from attacking lightning bolts. The game ends when all of his [[CallAHitPointASmeerp "Energy Centers"]] are destroyed.
* In Creator/SternPinball's ''[[Pinball/StarTrekStern Star Trek]]'', the ''Vengeance'' is shown with a Life Meter during "Vengeance Multiball"; it takes damage based on how many points the player scores.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Parodied rather well at the climax of ''ProblemSleuth''. [[spoiler:The final boss, Demonhead Mobster Kingpin, has three forms, each with its own health bar. The first regenerates slowly. The second has two which regenerates two times faster than damage can be inflicted. The third, however, starts with three bars that literally must be broken themselves. Right before Problem Sleuth can activate his Bad-Ass FinishingMove, DMK literally GROWS an infinite number of life bars, which are physically real and break through the Earth's surface all the way down to {{Hell}}.]]
** An interesting variation from ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': Health is represented by a colored bar suspended inside a clump of gel, called a "Health Vial". As you take damage, the bar is forced out of the gel, and falls to the ground and shatters when your health is depleted. When leveling up, instead of gaining a longer health bar, you get a more viscous gel.
* In ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'', Scrolls have an app that shows a person's remaining Aura, and it is used to this effect.
* In the OriginalCharacterTournament ''WebOriginal/SanctumOCT'', every contestant has one above their heads, which is visible to other contestants. Justified because they're in a virtual reality tournament of sorts.
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