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Hit Points of a character. If this shrinks to nothing, Critical Existence Failure 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 health packs. Sci-Fi 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 Hit Points 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 Life Meter may also be made of a line of symbols rather than a bar. Frequently, hearts are used for this purpose. Some games may even use a "life counter" with numbers instead. If your life meter also comes with an alarm sound to indicate low health, that alarm will likely be the Most Annoying Sound. Running out can either lead to a Game Over, or simply losing one of the Video Game Lives.
Video Game Examples:
Non-Video Game Examples:Pinball