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Awesomeness Meter

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Sometimes video games say "Forget realism, let's go for awesome." This video game trope covers all instances where a game gives an award, even if it is just points or the simple spectacle, for creating a showy or flashy death for your enemies or performing incredible death-defying stunts, striving to facilitate maximum awesome.

Such games often go to great lengths to allow such spectacles, making huge amounts of ways to kill and often include large numbers of Mooks that function as little more than punching bags to allow this. May be related to Kill Streaks, or enable a Score Multiplier.

Check out the subtrope Idiosyncratic Combo Levels, where the reward is a different name for the length of your combo, which is generally specific and special to the game itself.

In other media, this is likely to be a Thing-O-Meter.

Examples of games with some form of Awesomeness Meter

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • Too Human has a combo meter that increases as you kill things in awesome ways. It doubles as mana to power some abilities, making them fueled by the main character's sheer awesomeness. There's also a counter that keeps track of how many times in a row you've hit something, and gives progressively more benefits at higher values.
  • Ōkami has a "Godhood" gauge that increases with consecutive attacks and Traveler's Charms (and decreases by taking damage and running away from battle). The higher the gauge, the more damage Ammy can take before it starts affecting her HP.
  • Go Vacation awards "Great Performance" stars for performing specific, crazy stunts in the overworld. The message balloons you can find give you hints as to what these stunts are, like jumping over a bridge with a marine bike or jumping between two tiny rocks on a snowboard.

    Action Game 
  • Devil May Cry gives its letter grades extended names: D(ull/eadly, etc.), C(ool/arnage, etc.), and so on, up to SSStylish. You build them up by continuously switching your tactics during battle. In Dante's Awakening, a well-placed taunt raises the meter, as well as filling your Devil Trigger indicator (and changes depending on what rank is displayed).
    • Devil May Cry 5 takes this to a whole new level, that the music gets more intense with each Stylish rank (More specifically, The music stays the same from D to B, but then changes at A, and then reaches the maximum at S and stays at it up to SSS.) This is only exclusive for the theme songs for each character (The Extra music that can be bought won't be affected by this system), but it's still satisfying and makes the game fun, as well as encouraging the player to get better rank.
  • Bayonetta ranks you from Stone, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum to Pure Platinum depending on combo score, how much damage taken, if items were used, if you fought every verse (basically Gotta Kill 'Em All on the angels), and the number of halos obtained at the end of each chapter.
  • MadWorld... oh, merciful mothers. Shoving a tire over someone's torso, ramming a street sign through their neck, and throwing them into a rotating fan is graded Routine. You want a higher score? Stick a couple more street signs through their temple before throwing them so that they take two or three friends with them.
  • Each God of War game has a meter that fills up by killing enemies (or, more rarely, collecting gold orbs) and briefly grants Kratos invulnerability when used - Rage of the Gods (God of War), Rage of the Titans (God of War II), Rage of Sparta (God of War III), and Spartan Rage (God of War (2018) and God of War Ragnarök).
  • Using a Demolition Shot in Gungrave Overdose to take out enemies gives your character the "Jackpot" bonus, which not only affects how many skulls you'll get at the end of the stage/act, but will also refill the Shield and Vitality meters depending on how much Jackpot damage you caused (Ranging from "Cool!" to "Wicked!" to "Awesome!" and so on). Chaining normal attacks ("beats") in both games in rapid succession fills your Demolition Shot Gauge which in turn allows your character to launch an over-the-top, often screen-clearing special attack (which is, the aforementioned Demolition Shot).
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum has the Freeform Combat that lets you seamlessly maim and knock down mooks in one free-flowing motion. As you get more continuous, uninterrupted hits on enemies, Batman gets progressively more brutal in his attacks, and you gain the ability to activate special finisher attacks, such as instantly and horrifyingly crippling one opponent (taking him out of the fight immediately) or throwing one mook at his friends. Finally, the longer the combo, and the more variation you use in it, the more upgrade points you get after the fact. By the time you're done demolishing 20 mooks in one continuous combo, you'll feel like the Goddamn Batman indeed.
  • Viewtiful Joe also grades you on "missions". from D('oh!) to C(rappy!) to B(aaaad!) to A(wesome!), all the way to V(iewtiful!). Your grades on time (how fast you win), defense (how well you avoid getting hit) and V points(how many V points you got by doing combos and collecting medals). Top scores require you to be really stylish by evading attacks, pulling off insane slomo multipliers for your base combos, and doing it all fast. Getting all Vs earns you a Rainbow V ranking for the mission. Getting Rainbow V for all missions the chapter will get you Rainbow V for the Chapter, and getting Rainbow V for every chapter will unlock infinite VFX mode. note 
  • Dynasty Warriors rewards you with a morale boost for killing hundreds of enemies (which ultimately determine how well your side fights) and gives you better items when you kill a single unit with a particularly long combo (like a better stat boosting item).

    Adventure Game 

    Beat Em Up 
  • God Hand adjusts its Dynamic Difficulty by how well you do in battle. You get a lot more money for defeating foes on Level Die than Level 1.

    Driving Game 
  • Carmageddon gave an 'Extra Style Bonus!' for spattering a pedestrian with a handbrake turn.
  • The Burnout series gives you extra boost points when you chain together dangerous stunts (drafting, near-misses, driving on the wrong side of the road, etc.)
    • Burnout Revenge actually places more importance on being awesome than winning. Each event has five stars available- up to four are awarded for filling the Awesomeness Meter, regardless of placing. Getting a Gold medal simply adds one more star to your haul, but getting a Bronze medal deducts a star.
  • Project Gotham Racing doles out "Kudos" points, in a manner similar to the Burnout example above.
  • Split/Second (2010) rewards your awesome driving (drifting, drafting, jumping, and getting way too close to explosions and surviving) with the ability to blow stuff up.

    Fighting Game 
  • The first two Super Smash Bros.. games featured in-game achievements that were awarded after matches for doing certain things, like KOing a certain character with very low damage, taunting after a KO, having a come-from-behind victory, etc, etc. (A full list can be found here.) Taken out of Brawl because of the hair-tearing difficulty of earning all of them.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom lets you re-enable your controls for a few seconds after winning the match by hitting start as your point totals for the match appear. Just before your character's win quote is displayed, your current character's sprite freezes and flies to the middle of the screen in front of a space-like background. Catching characters in this frozen state in cool-looking poses will make a score bonus appear, with the hardest-to-get frames being worth up to a whopping 50,000 points. Admittedly, the only ones that could probably be pulled off consistently were only worth about 1000, and not all characters had super-huge pose bonuses.
    • The biggest points were awarded for panty shots - even the male version (as seen with Jin).

    First Person Shooter 
  • In Metroid Prime 3, you get friendship vouchers for killing certain enemies in a certain way, like making aerial Space Pirates have a crash landing.
  • A Half-Life 2 mod known as The Opera based it's entire score system on awesome. As it was emulating Hong Kong Heroic Bloodshed films, the score that players received for a kill was based on how difficult it was to pull off and how awesome it looked.
    • Example: Shooting someone dead with a pistol while standing still = 200 points. Killing someone with a throwing knife that was thrown in mid-cartwheel = 1300 points.
  • Bulletstorm rewards players with Skillshot Points every time they destroy an enemy in an outlandish, brutal way. This is one of the main draws of the game—without Skillshots, there's no way to purchase fresh ammo and weapons.
  • Unreal Tournament awards you with a background voice giving you various titles according the number of kills you have in a killstreak.
  • House of the Dead: OVERKILL has a "Goregasm" mode unlocked by making enough hits in a row without missing, which gives you bonus points and is accompanied by a waving American flag in the background.
  • ULTRAKILL has a Devil May Cry-esque Style Meter that rewards you for doing various unique actions such as environmental kills, close-range kills or trick shots.

    Hack And Slash 

  • Shadow of Rome (for which there's an awesome Let's Play here), has a meter representing crowd satisfaction in Gladiator matches. The higher it is, the better the weaponry the crowd will throw in for you. It goes up if you pull off impressive stunts and provide gory deaths for your foes.

  • CABAL Online focuses on its combo system and rewards chaining special attacks with extra experience points. Mooks of the recommended level are usually little more than punching bags to be gathered in vast numbers for longer combos.


    Platform Game 
  • Catherine got this with Bronze (A simple Block), to silver (A angel) and gold (Midnight Venus). Getting Gold usually requires you to keep climbing, reset a move, and not to spend any points during the hub levels since the points from the previous level carry over to the other.
    • It should be noted that Hard is very, very difficult, due to the game's Nintendo Hard tendency. That and the reset function has been removed, meaning that getting a good score requires you to think fast, string climbs together, and not screw up! Speaking of not screwing up, some blocks compared to Easy and Normal have been changed making it harder to use previous tactics used on lower difficulties.
  • Sonic Adventure 2 added the concept of special bonuses for doing high-speed tricks off of jump ramps, destroying multiple enemies with the Homing Attack without touching the ground, and doing certain fanciful things, like jumping from rail to rail without screwing it up. Every time you did something that would reward a bonus, it would display a word ranking on screen, usually things like COOL or AWESOME; the highest was a rainbow-colored PERFECT.
    • When the bonus was done building and your score was awarded, the character would spout a one-liner in relation to the score. The best would have to be E-123 Omega's "Worthless consumer models!" in Sonic Heroes.
  • Mega Man X8 would reward you with a better score and a flashier attack sequence if you killed a boss with a tag-team attack.
  • Pizza Tower has both a combo counter, increased by hitting enemies, and a combo expiration timer that's reset by both hitting enemies and gathering pickups.

    Rhythm Game 
  • Guitar Hero and Rock Band have an awesome meter in the form of the Star Power meter, which fills as you hit star phrases. Activate Star Power to double your score multiplier!
    • Guitar Hero 5 has another meter that fills based on how well you're fulfilling the requirements for that song's challenge (although whammying as much as possible is not awesome, so this meter is exempt from this trope for those challenges)
  • Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and it's sequel both have the flames of a hot blooded manly cheering spirit rising up behind your troupé if you do good and flawless. They can, on some levels reach the upper screen of the NDS. One mistake though and you will be back to no flames at all.

    Role Playing Game 
  • The third installment of the Xenosaga series has a system where if an enemy is finished off with a special attack ("Finish Strike" will appear over them), extra skill points, experience, and money is awarded.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door performing flashy moves during combat fills your star meter faster. Some hammer attacks let you do entirely superfluous triple backflips, complete with confetti.
    • Sort of carried over into the sequel, where shaking the Wiimote after a Goomba Stomp will give you a few extra points.
  • In Endless Frontier, this is essentially the role of the Frontier Gauge, which fills up as you deal damage to enemies, especially by performing long combos. When it's full, it can be used to perform the selected character's Overdrive, which will result in an experience multiplier if it's used as a finishing move.

    Simulation Game 
  • Evil Genius gives you money whenever enemies fall victim to a particularly nasty series of traps.

    Sports Game 
  • Backyard Skateboarding has the Juice Meter, which fills as you do awesome tricks.
  • In NBA Jam, getting three baskets in a row will cause the announcer to call out "He's on fire!" - to which your character literally catches on fire and moves faster for a time. Their shot accuracy also greatly increases until they either miss a basket or sink another four baskets in a row.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • Manhunt, though "awesomeness" might be not the accurate term in this case.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Stranglehold's Style Points, which build up your Tequila Bomb meter and allow you to unleash Tequila Bomb attacks.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine gives you more Experience Points for headshots, long-ranged kills, revenge kills etc.
    • The single-player campaign also included a Fury Meter filled by killing bad guys that when full could be activated for a brief burst of Bullet Time with a ranged weapon or absurdly powerful melee attacks otherwise.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • The Godfather: The Game has more than 40 different ways to "execute" enemies, including garroting people from behind, faking a traffic accident, and burning people alive in ovens. You get a bonus for completing every single execution and most hit contracts give you extra money for assassinating the target in the specified manner.
  • [PROTOTYPE] has so many ways to kill Marines, infected, or just plain civilians, it's crazy. Punch a guy's head into pulp? Check. Cut him in half? Check. RIP him in half? Check. Throw a helicopter at another helicopter? Can do. Jump on a helicopter, rip off the door, throw one pilot out and crush the other one's head against cockpit glass? Squish. This game simply revels in the myriad ways you can kill someone and after you're done, it'll tell you exactly how many people you killed and how much damage you did just in case you want to gloat.
    • In particular, the game specifically promotes absorbing people into your own fleshy mass. If you do it with regular civilians or soldiers, you will regain health. If you do it with some specific people signaled by the in-game interface, you will gain their memories, which will be saved into a Web of Intrigue that will slowly help you unravel the truth behind the game's entire story.
  • The original Grand Theft Auto gave multiplied your points for killing someone with their own car, killing someone with a flamethrower or if you manipulate a cop into shooting someone. If you killed enough people at once you got a 'Psycho Bastard Bonus!'.
    • And the Gouranga for flattening an entire Hare Krishna procession with your car.
  • Saints Row 2 pretty much scores every degenerate act that you can commit with bronze, silver then gold stars appearing next to the name of whatever it is that you were doing. Roof surfing, streaking, flashing, headshots, vehicle stunts, base jumping... the list goes on.
  • Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 have "credits" at the end of a campaign, listing off all the various statistics (accuracies, headshot percentage, fewest times revived, etc.) Although you're not outright GRADED, it can be fun to compare and/or trash talk with friends over who did the best. And of course the final line, "X zombies were killed in the making of this film."
  • In the second movie-based Spider-Man game, you had a "style meter", which was depleted when you used Spider Reflexes. You refilled it by doing "cool" things—air tricks, not smacking into buildings, that sort of thing. The more "cool" things you did at once, the higher you refilled it.

Non-video game examples:

  • Guns N' Roses (Jersey Jack): During song modes, the Rock-It Meter (which steadily decrease when the player isn't making any relevant shots) drains faster if the player holds the flipper to trap a ball, encouraging more active and flashy playing.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted gives you bonus dice based on how epic a stunt you describe is, and restores Essence if you succeed.
  • Feng Shui encourages the game master to give die bonuses to players doing ridiculously awesome stuff (i.e. the more awesome your attack is the more likely it is to succeed) and penalties for players who get too predictable (either by just saying "I attack" or by doing the same stuff over and over again)
  • 7th Sea also encourages players to ham it up, giving bonuses for throwing out insults in combat, and describing their attacks in the Flynniest ways possible.
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken has the five Renown tracks, each earned by particularly impressive deeds in line with a different Urathara virtue. Many of a werewolf's powers key off his Renown scores, and his total Renown helps determine his Rank when dealing with spirits.
    • Cunning Renown is earned by outwitting or outthinking enemies, luring them into traps or tricking them into oaths or bindings that can be used against them.
    • Glory Renown is earned by challenging powerful enemies, not backing down from hopeless battles, or by challenging your leaders or packmates.
    • Honor Renown is earned by doing that which is right despite personal cost, by accepting punishment for your crimes, impartially judging disputes, or by standing against your packmates when they are in the wrong.
    • Purity Renown is earned by devotion to the Oath of the Moon and to the legacy of Father Wolf, by sacrificing to uphold these principles or by showing respect to prey and to fellow wolves.
    • Wisdom Renown is earned by discovering secrets or lost lore, and by resolving conflicts through diplomacy and negotiation rather than battle.