In a realistically portrayed fight, a fighter who gets knocked to the ground tends to have a hard time getting back on their feet unless their opponent allows it. Not so in {{Video Game}}s, which have to make this ability to quickly return to action possible, or else the (NPC) opponent could make the game NintendoHard or even [[UnwinnableByDesign impossible]] to complete. If taking a single hit, when you can still take more, is functionally a game over, this causes every attempt to be a NoDamageRun, and completely counters the point of even having defense at all, [[MightyGlacier slower characters who rarely hit first]], or many other game mechanics.

So, one safe way to counter an opponent's strategy of AttackAttackAttack? Grant that strategy to the player. The RecoveryAttack is where a fighter can attack while recovering from being knocked down. They may still be able to be damaged, but the ability to return fire causes the player's character to have a safe way of stopping damage, and starting to turn things around.

MercyInvincibility and ComboBreaker are other ways a character can be granted emergency defense. Compare LagCancel and KnockbackEvasion.

Contrast the OneHitPointWonder.

Not to be confused with HealingShiv.

* In ''VideoGame/XMenNextDimension'', these are called Tech(nical) Attacks.
* Travis can perform one to recover in ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes''. When crowded by enemies, this can knock them back giving room to plan and counter-attack.
* In the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series, a RecoveryAttack can be performed both from knockdown and when hanging from a ledge on the end of a stage to make a safer recovery. However, once a fighter's damage exceeds 100%, the fighter's ledge recovery attack typically has a slower animation but deals slightly more damage.
* In the ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'' games, Joe has a move called ''Ukemi'' where he can recover, decrease damage taken, and counterattack all in one.
* In ''[[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy]]'', one of the special moves when you are knocked down involves using TheForce to propel yourself off the ground and kick the enemy directly in front of you in the chest, knocking him down, in turn. The animation time of the move, unfortunately, means you might not be able to move out of the way when your opponent uses the same move, potentially leading to a kick-falldown-kick loop.
* In ''VideoGame/UndercoverCops'', it's possible to do one of these when button-mashing. It doesn't do a lot of damage but it gives some breathing room.
** The same goes for its SpiritualSuccessor, ''VideoGame/NinjaBaseballBatMan''.
* Present in ''KingdomHearts'' series as an ability that can be used if you get knocked back with sufficient force. Needs to be used with caution against enemies that are ImmuneToFlinching, as it can lead to receiving more abuse if you time it poorly, due to the lack of invincibility towards the end.
** Sora's version of the Wargoyle boss in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'' can also use this ''against'' the player. Attacking while it's down can get you caught in a pillar of flame.
* Shows up as an ability in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy''.
* Heihachi can do this in the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 version of ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soul Calibur 2]]'', where he jumps up from lying down on his back and kicks with both feet. Throughout the rest of the series, most characters can only use rolls away or quick stands to get back up.
** Several characters in ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' (where Heihachi [[GuestFighter originates from]]) can also perform this handspring technique on wakeup starting in the third game.
** Heihachi is also the only character in ''VideoGame/PlaystationAllStarsBattleRoyale'' with wake-up attacks, whereas everyone else can merely roll forward or backward (he can low-kick to sweep enemies off their feet, or roll forward into a lunge/cross chop).
* All of the classes in ''VideoGame/DragonNest'' are capable of performing this if knocked down or knocked into the air, with different variations of attacks with each class, from the Cleric performing a GroundPound to the Archer doing a [[EverythingsBetterWithSpinning spinning]] kick.
* ''VideoGame/DoubleDragonII'' on the NES has the Hyper Uppercut and Flying Knee, both of which are executed by a button press while your character is crouching as a result of getting up from a knockdown or a fall or landing from a jump. The timing is pretty tricky but these moves are very powerful, and if you can time it correctly, you can chain as many Flying Knees as you want since each one causes you to jump.
* Wake-up Attacks are possible in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'', where they can consume some of the super meter if used instead of an evasive roll.
* ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' has a rage-based twist on this; press A after taking significant damage from a pushback attack, and Asura defies all gravity with a somersault and heals a portion of the damage.
* The [[GunFu Ranger]] class from ''VideoGame/DungeonFighterOnline'' can use it's [[HurricaneKick Windmill/Topspin kick]] after being knocked on the ground when a certain passive skill is acquired.
* In ''VideoGame/KaneAndLynch 2'', if you are knocked down you can still crawl to nearest cover, get up and fight back.
* ''VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo'' has a rising uppercut that can function as this, along with somersaults and other varieties.
* Violent Dong Dong from ''VideoGame/DongDongNeverDie'', being an {{SNKBoss}}-tier character, always gets up from a knockdown with a kicking motion that can hurt his opponent if they don't back off while he's down.
* The all-class skill "Downed Fire" in ''VideoGame/{{Brink}}'' allows a person to fire their secondary weapon while down but not completely dead yet.