So you're playing your favorite RPG. It's been a while since you hit the inn, and your character is feeling it: his HP is pretty low. He can't take much more...
What happened? Whence come these new found Hit Points
? You didn't use a potion or heal spell, so it must be... a Level Up Fill Up
Commonly occurs either after defeating an enemy or at the end of a battle when Experience Points
are distributed. Depending on how scarce healing is, and when hit points are restored, this can be a major factor in your strategy. Usually though, it's just a perk. Frequently averted in more "realistic" games where a level up increases your health total, but not your current health; this leaves you "injured" when you previously weren't, but can be explained as needing rest to gain the benefits of training. Other games increase your current health, but only enough to leave you with the same number of missing hit points or the same percentage
A similar phenomenon is the Healing Checkpoint
. Not to be confused with After Boss Recovery
where your health is restored after a boss fight, regardless of experience point totals (although boss fights do frequently cause characters to level, and they overlap when a Heart Container
is involved). Can be semi-justified as Heroic Second Wind
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- Partially used in Batman: Arkham Asylum, every time you get EXP, it refills your health gauge an equivalent amount. Since you only get EXP after defeating all enemies in an encounter it won't save you in the middle of a fight, but it's convenient to heal you immediately after.
- In The Legend of Zelda games, when you get a new Heart Container, all of your hearts fill up. Overlaps with After Boss Recovery, since it's usually released by the boss.
- Zelda II The Adventure Of Link distinguishes between heart containers, magic containers, health level-ups AND magic level-ups. Only their respective gauges would be restored on pickup or level-up.
- In Beyond Good & Evil Jade gets fully healed whenever she gets a new PA-1. PA-1s are "Physiological Accelerators", literally "Your energy gauge increases by one heart."
- In Metal Gear Solid it also overlaps with After Boss Recovery. When you defeat a Boss Fight Snake smokes a celebratory cigarette. Although smoking normally drains your health, on these occasions it expands your health gauge and fills it. This is very helpful when trying to beat the game with low ration use in order to get the higher codename rankings.
Beat Em Up
- When this happens in Senran Kagura, HP and Ninja Arts energy are restored. Any damage to clothing remains as is.
- In Castle Crashers, HP is refilled to full after a level up.
- No matter where you put the stat point gained for an Omega Factor entry in Astro Boy: Omega Factor, you get your HP restored.
First Person Shooter
- The player character instantly regenerates all health and shields upon level-up in both Borderlands games. However, there is also a very rare enemy example of this present in Borderlands 2. The Goliaths are unique in that they can level-up by killing off their bandit buddies when you shoot of their helmet, causing them to fly into a rage (each level only takes a common enemy or two). Every time they do, their health instantly refills; while this can make killing them more difficult, it also makes it easier to "feed" them a large number of enemies to increase their level then kill that Goliath for more XP and better loot.
- In PAYDAY: The Heist, when you get a Reputation Level increase, your health gets reset back to maximum, you get placed back on your feet if you're downed (and it counts as being helped up for the purposes of challenges), and if you just unlocked your first secondary weapon, you also get that weapon at however much ammo you would've had at the start of the mission. Very handy, but if you hit level 145, you won't be getting another one until another skill tree gets added. Playing on Overkill or Overkill 145+ removes this.
- The first two F.E.A.R. games do this for your health (in the first game) and Slow-Mo bars every time you pick up a health or reflex booster. They're more useful for saving up medkits in areas where they're scarce rather than as a quick boost mid-combat, though, as boosters are typically hidden in areas where there is no combat and your Slow-Mo bar will have already refilled on its own anyway. F.3.A.R. plays it even straighter with actual level-ups that increase your total health and/or Slow-Mo bar.
- Duke Nukem Forever, like Borderlands 2 above, also gets a rare enemy version, where sometimes after dealing enough damage to a Pigcop it will enter a berserker mode and regain all its health.note
- Medal of Honor: Airborne gets a minor version, where whenever you make enough kills with a weapon to unlock an attachment or upgrade to it, time slows down as you're given that attachment and the game tells you what it does, leading to things such as the military-style foregrip on your Thompson instantly transforming into a gangland-esque pistol grip or the magazine loaded into your gun magically doubling in length or taping a second one to itself. You also get infinite ammunition for the duration of the slow-down effect, making it easier to clear out an area if you level up after killing one or two of five-plus guys.
- In World of Warcraft leveling up restores all health and mana. Very handy if you happen to level up while fighting lots of tough enemies.
- You also used to be able to level in restricted battlegrounds or while queuing for these, having access to new abilities or even a mount for one match.
- Interestingly, Combat Pets also heal some of their health after each fight based on how much experience they got besides getting healed completely when leveling up. This may be because they can't heal themselves outside of fights unlike players can.
- Happens in Free Realms when you level up a combat job.
- Phantasy Star Online plays this trope straight. Heck, it's even a recommended strategy for beating challenge mode in the fastest time possible. Timing your level ups so you can restore your TP at the right times is an art in this game.
- Occurs in City of Heroes, although this is a relatively new addition to gameplay. If your character levels up while defeated (i.e. killed) due to team shared experience, they will be revived during their Level Up Fill Up.
- It was added in a deliberate move to make leveling up even more rewarding - both health and endurance are fully restored and the character receives the effects of all the strongest inspirations in the game - essentially boosting all their stats for a short time. Especially stylish if you can time it to occur during a boss fight by killing a mook.
- MapleStory both plays this trope straight and averts it. Leveling up increases your HP and MP to their max base values. Have equipment that grants you extra HP or MP? The level-up fillup doesn't care; you'll have to gain those points through standard gameplay means.
- Guild Wars 2 gives full health and endurance, revives you if you're downed, instantly charges certain class abilities, and launches nearby enemies. Tomes of knowledge give a level on use. Cue underleveled players using them to instantly heal and send enemies flying, especially in World Vs. World. This has since been corrected by making them unusable in combat.
- Played straight in Elsword. Very handy in the middle of a dungeon run; less so in the field when you can duck back into a safe zone.
- In every Ratchet & Clank game starting with the second, you have two kinds of fill-ups. When Ratchet's health levels up, he gets fully healed (in most games) and emits a flash of energy that kills every nearby enemy. When a weapon levels up, its ammo gets refilled.
- Leading to the odd effect that it's often easier/better to be lower levels than be full-up, due to the rate of growth; especially egregious is the Harbinger weapon in the 4th game that pretty much doesn't run out of ammo until you reach max level with it, at which point it's often Too Awesome to Use.
- Castlevania II Simons Quest does this and gives you more health as per the level up.
- La-Mulana doesn't actually have character levels, but it does have an EXP bar. When you fill it up, it replenishes your life meter.
- In Skylanders, bolts of lightning announce every level-up; this not only refills the current character's HP, but smites any nearby enemies with a One-Hit Kill.
- NetHack does this to a certain extent. It's not a complete fill up, but Hp remain proportional to Max Hp. For an early character that gains Hp quickly when leveling up this can be the difference between life and death in a fight with a group of monsters.
- A vital strategy in puzzle/roguelike Desktop Dungeons, where natural regeneration is very finite and arranging to level midbattle is almost necessary to defeat strong monsters.
- In Dungeons Of Dredmor, leveling up fully restores both your Life Meter and your Mana Meter.
- Even an RPG that has been stripped down to its simplest mechanics can have this, as seen in Parameters.
- Science Girls for the PC has this trope kick in for whichever of your characters levels up after combat. Due to the general scarcity of healing items, this can be a real life saver.
- Mega Man X: Command Mission not only refilled your LE, but also removed negative status conditions and restored your Hyper Mode turns.
- While HP in The World Ends with You always fills up between battles (counting chain battles as a single battle), Exp is earned when you defeat an enemy (there's also another way: if you get the Technical [EXP] sticker, you get [EXP] related to how high you can make your [HITS] counter go), so you can level up in mid-battle. Useful if you're getting low and one or more of the remaining enemies is pretty tough.
- The Paper Mario series restores Mario's Heart Points when he levels up. The first two games 1) also restore Flower Points at this time, and 2) defer Star Point (exp) gains, and therefore level ups, to the ends of battles. It's a reliable way of recovering HP in dungeons without using many items or if you can't find heart boxes.
- The Thousand-Year Door also restores your partner's HP during level ups. The level-up refill is also much more useful in this game. There is a point in the end-game where you must fight two bosses in a row, and if you time your level-up to happen after killing the first one, you get back all your HP and FP for the second one. It is also a very useful tool for refilling health during the Pit of 100 Trials, where healing items are scarce.
- Super Paper Mario is more platformy, and takes each enemy as a separate deal.
- Averted in Pokémon, when a Pokemon levels up, its current HP is increased by the same rate as the increase of its maximum HP, so it's not much in most cases, and your Pokemon will keep the same amount of damage as before.
- It is, however, played straight in the spinoff game Pokemon Ranger, and its sequels.
- This happens even if a Pokémon is fainted (where it is still possible to use a Rare Candy), which causes the Pokémon to revive. Evolution is also deferred until after battle and can also cause even fainted Pokémon to gain HP.
- In Planet Alcatraz, leveling up restores full HP, but doesn't heal critical wounds. Also, unconscious characters also have their HP filled, but don't wake up until all hostiles on the map are dead.
- In Fire Emblem a few games have HP restored when a character classes up, but averts it with normal level ups, leaving a character with 1 hp of damage (if at full health). This usually comes into play as a free chance to allow your staff wielders heal and get XP themselves.
- In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion at least, you have to rest in a bed to level up, so you heal up regardless. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the other hand lets you level up at any time, which naturally allows you to use a level up in the middle of a fight for cheap, one-time healing.
- Leveling up also restores all HP and MP in Final Fantasy XI. It's actually employed as a strategy in certain fights by using an EXP scroll with your EXP towards the next level at the minimum for leveling up.
- Also occurs in Diablo and the sequels, where both your health and mana is restored on leveling.
- Diablo3 even takes this further where you shoot off an aura that damages your enemies on Level-up.
- In the game Sailor Moon: Another Story, characters are given all their HP back when they level up, unless they're knocked out which means they don't level up with the others.
- In the Knights of the Old Republic series, leveling up restores all hit points (once you pick your skills and whatnot). Leveling up during the middle of a fight is not always advisable, since you have essentially a free massive medpac should things go south.
- Happens in Secret of Mana and Dawn of Mana.
- Super Mario RPG also exhibits this trope.
- Final Fantasy Adventure had a pop-up message when the main character leveled up, which basically said "Level up - HP and MP restored".
- Disgaea completely averts this: Not only you get no full heal, but you don't get a "percentage heal" either. So, a character at full HP looks damaged after leveling up. Tne only exception is the Wood Golem's evility "Fresh Green Sprout", which invokes this trope, but given that it's a later evility, it's up to the player as to wether they use it or not.
- At least one of the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles games do this. Somewhat bizarre if you're familiar with the regular Final Fantasy games, which don't even bother to heal you you by the amount your HP increased.
- Taken up to twelve in the first Luminous Arc. To elaborate: Your HP and MP refill whenever you level up. If one of your units heals or buffs any of your other units, it gets 30 EXP; if one of your units heals or buffs itself and any other unit (enemies included) at the same time, it gets 30 EXP. You level up at every 100 EXP. You can see the infinite loop where you can get your White Mage to Lv.99 in a single battle as soon as she's able to cast a multi-target heal spell that heals as much damage as the weakest enemy in the game can deal (for the record, the basic multitarget heal spell heals about 4x the caster's level); if she's too weak to take out enemies on her own at the time, bring a unit that can buff her for even more levelling. Yes, you can level up by being a nice guy and healing enemies (as long as you heal the caster with the same spell). Why is this Up To Twelve instead of Up to Eleven? If you repeatedly cast healing spells on a character enough times, they'll get an Anti-Magic shield that lasts for 3 hits. And the next time you cast a heal spell on them after the shield disappears? They'll probably get another one, even if it's not in the same battle. Yes, this makes preparations for the final boss much easier: did I mention its primary attacks are magic? So, in short, not only does Luminous Arc give you a Level Up Fill Up, it rewards you for abusing it.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, leveling up restores health and mana/stamina. Note that you can't select new abilities or stats (as per usual leveling up) while still in combat.
- Shin Megami Tensei games have this, except Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, where this only happens sometimes.
- Same for some games in the Persona series, like Persona 2, where HP and SP is fully restored.
- Games from the Digimon World series usually feature this. In Digimon World 2, though, it's quite welcome, since you don't have that much space for healing items, anyway.
- Dokapon Kingdom maxes your HP at a level up. Given that you move around the board based on a spin of a dial, it can be frustratingly difficult to heal yourself on a whim, so this HP handout is a welcome gift.
- Dragon Ball Z: Legend of the Super Saiyan restores your HP and KI at a level up without having to go to an inn or using an item card. It helps when you're in a dangerous situation because if your character's HP reaches zero, they're dead.
- The Scott Pilgrim game has this, which is a life-saver, since unless you've grinded 500+ dollars or found the secret shop, there's only 1 extra life in the game.
- Muramasa The Demon Blade employs this trope... unless you're playing in Shigurui Mode. Due to Dynamic Difficulty and Level Scaling, the game is always intended to be a challenge, so just to keep up, one must be overlevelled for the last Bonus Dungeon. Not to the level cap of 99, however, due to this trope. It's a recommended tactic to level to the mid-nineties or a little lower, and use level ups in place of healing items, which you can only carry a limited amount of at any time.
- Resonance of Fate characters will be healed when they level up, especially useful as they will typically level up mid battle rather then after.
- Rondo of Swords doesn't have it by default, but certain characters can learn and set the Eternal Rage skill, which completely restores HP and MP upon leveling up.
- Radiata Stories.
- In Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, you get an HP and SP refill when you level up, as well as when you exit a dungeon. Once you hit the level cap, you can still earn EXP to fill up the level progress ring; doing so gets you another free refill and empties the ring again.
- Rune Factory games do this with both Health and Rune Power (magic).
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance has a variant; HP gets automatically refilled between battles, but your energy bar (which marks how many battles you can participate in and normally takes six hours to completely refill once it's empty) will fill up to the maximum each time you level up.
- The Super Famicom game Shiki Eiyuuden has this. Since the game is very hard, you might as well not make it to level 2 without going to the shrine to fill your HP.
- Kabuki Rocks has this.
- In Twilight Heroes, your HP and PP are refilled once you pay to reach the next level.
- Grinsia downplays this: Upon a level-up, HP is restored and status effects are removed, but MP is not.
- In A Witchs Tale, this trope is the biggest incentive to just spam Liddell's Ancient Magic on everything. More often than not, she'll gain a level before fully running out of MP.
- Faria refills your HP when you gain a level.
- Rare strategy example: Civilization
- In Civilization IV promoting a unit heals it partially, frequently allowing the player to attack multiple consecutive turns with the same unit if it has leveled. This can frequently be the difference between capturing a city or being unable to move forward, too injured to continue.
- Civilization V exchanges this for a different mechanic: one can choose to completely restore the health of a leveled-up unit in exchange for not selecting any permanent bonus for them that level.
- Units in Battle for Wesnoth regain all their hit points when they level up... leading to a dilemma of whether or not to attack a wounded unit that's about to fill its XP bar.
- Once a unit has reached it's highest class, further level ups only provide a few additional hitpoints, making the free heal the most significant benefit.