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Last Chance Hit Point

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"Ensures you always retain 1 HP after an attack that would otherwise finish you off, unless you are already down to 1 HP."
Description of the "Second Chance" ability, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.

Normally in a Video Game, if your Hit Points bottom out at zero then Critical Existence Failure kicks in immediately: Game Over, man, try again. But in some games, the hit that reduced your HP to zero isn't allowed to be the one that actually knocks you out: The first time you take fatal damage, your character is allowed to remain standing (with just a tiny sliver left on their Life Meter, e.g. 1 HP) and keep fighting... but only this once; taking any more hits in this condition (even Scratch Damage) will be obviously fatal.

This can occasionally be Hand Waved if the character has multiple layers of Hit Points with different explanations, such as a character with a "Shield" or "Armor" meter where one layer must be fully depleted before the next layer is allowed to take damage.

On the bright side, this is an excellent opportunity to unleash a Desperation Attack of the highest order, but unless you're prepared to subsequently end the fight with a Finishing Move, improvise a No-Damage Run (if possible) or have some way to quickly get out of dodge and Heal Thyself, the risk of imminent Critical Existence Failure is a dire one to weigh; exploit this at your own risk.

Sometimes, a game may place restrictions on when characters are allowed to have a last-chance hit point, like requiring the character to be in good health before taking the fatal blow, or requiring that the attack would have inflicted massive damage (e.g. a One-Hit Kill) to begin with. Without these restrictions, this could lead to Game-Breaker situations where a character who can perform even trivial healing becomes Nigh Invulnerable since they don't remain on their last hit point long enough to take a second (fatal) hit. In action-based genres, Combos can sometimes bypass this, depending on whether the ability triggers based on individual hits or the attack chain as a whole.

Note that this trope only applies to cases where a character endures an otherwise lethal amount of damage without a knockout. If an attack happens to leave the player at 1 HP by exact count (say, they have 50 HP and a given attack inflicted 49 points), that's just luck, not an example.

Games featuring a One-Hit-Point Wonder are exempt from this trope as a rule, as any damage results in the loss of one life (and/or current Power-Up).

In RPGs, this may be one of the effects of the Luck Stat. From an In-Universe standpoint, this may be the result of the character's Heroic Willpower.

Compare Heroic Second Wind, which is this as a plot device instead of a game mechanic. Nothing says the two can't overlap.

Contrast Auto-Revive, a similar effect which occurs after the knockout blow instead of before it — meaning that any effects which reset upon KO (Status Buffs, etc.) are lost, whereas with a last chance hit point those effects are still active.

See also HP to 1, an enemy attack specifically designed to reduce the player to their last Hit Point regardless of their current HP.


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    Action RPG 
  • The "Hard to Kill" skill in Alpha Protocol provides this effect, combined with a few seconds of invincibility as well.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, characters can purchase and equip accessories that provides different variations of this effect.
    • Phoenix Downs and Phoenix Pinionsnote  are the most straightforward examples, which allow you to survive a killing blow with 1 HP or convert your bravery into HP respectively. Breaks upon use.
    • Final Position and Final Decision are this when it comes to brave attacks, with the former preventing break status from one attack while the latter has this for one combo.
  • Diablo II has a Good Bad Bug in that when a character is killed while shapeshifted, he shifts back and stays at 1 Hit Point but doesn't die.
  • This can be seen with certain Giant Flyer monsters in Final Fantasy X, who start out flying but are forced to land when their HP is too low. Even when your characters deal 5 9's of damage, the bird still goes through its landing animation with 1 HP left.
  • Final Fantasy XIII has the passive Sentinel ability Reprieve. If your Sentinel's HP is above 30%, taking a blow that would otherwise take him or her out will instead leave the victim with 1 HP.
  • In God Eater, certain pieces of equipment have either the passive skill "Firm Stand" or "Prepared". The former ensures that you will always survive any attack with at least 1 HP if you have at least 51 HP remaining when you get hit (which would be 51% of your base HP), provided you successfully guard the hit, which requires that you have enough stamina remaining. The latter is similar, but has no HP threshold. You're far from invincible, but with "Expand Guard Area" (extends your guard area so that it surrounds you completely) and skills to minimize stamina usage from guarding attacks...
  • The Kingdom Hearts series has the recurring "Second Chance" and "Once More" ("Withstand Combo" in Kingdom Hearts III) Abilities. The former allows you to survive any killing blow with 1 HP, while the latter allows you to survive any combo with 1 HP (unless the first hit kills you). The ease of accessibility to these Abilities varies between games, but they are mighty handy when facing Superbosses. Except for the ones that "ignore" them for no good reason.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on normal difficulty, the game will usually leave you with 1 HP from an attack that would have otherwise killed you in a single blow, as long as you had full health at the moment of the attack. However, if the attack was exceedingly powerful (as in, strong enough to kill you multiple times over), it will not take effect, and if the hit sends you tumbling over a hill or off a cliff, the subsequent environmental damage will still kill you. Guardian lasers will also ignore this, as do the Yiga Blademasters in the Yiga Clan Hideout (which are always an instant One-Hit Kill, even ignoring Auto-Revive mechanics). Master Mode also takes away this game mechanic.
    • Hyrule Warriors: Any attack that would otherwise kill you will instead leave you with 1 HP, as long as your health is above that number, although your health will be displayed as one-quarter of a heart (although health is displayed as hearts in traditional Zelda form, damage is actually measured in HP, with 400 HP for every heart).
  • Mass Effect:
    • This happens for enemies in Mass Effect 2 - in some cases you can whittle down their health so far that their health bar completely disappears but their name still shows on the top of the screen, and they can fight on until you land one more shot (or they take any tiny amount of damage).
    • Mass Effect 3 has this as a hidden gameplay mechanic, referred to as "healthgate". It is absent in higher difficulties or from certain enemy attacks, such as grenades or Damage Over Time effects.
  • In Metroid: Other M, Bullet Time accompanies the warning that Samus's HP is now flickering between 0 and 1 and the next hit will be fatal. This doesn't protect Samus against combos, and it's not present on hard mode.
  • Rock Volnutt (AKA: "MegaMan Volnutt") from Mega Man Legends always has this ability built-in. Any hit that costs the rest of his energy will still allow him to get up and keep on fighting with his life gauge glowing red. In the first game though, the final hit also takes out his Life Shield, so you might not want to get whittled down all the way even though it lets you get the best mileage out of your Energy Canteen.
  • Mega Man Battle Network 3 has the Undershirt program. Installing it in the Navi Customizer ensures that you will always have at least 1 HP after an attack. The sole condition for this is that you have more than 1 HP when the attack hits.
  • Monster Hunter Freedom Unite: One can actually make certain armor sets with a skill called "Survival", which allows the player to survive any attack with 1 HP if they were above a certain percentage of health beforehand.
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Travis gains an ability where if you shake the crap out of the controllers while he's falling from a death blow, he may stop falling and survive with five hit points. He can do this a maximum of five times, but there are less chances to do it on harder bosses, and it will not work on attacks where he is not falling, i.e. he is knocked to the ground by the move, or he is in a battle with different mechanics from the norm.
  • [PROTOTYPE] also has an unlockable upgrade that gives you temporary Critical Mass after taking damage that would normally be lethal. This allows you to pull off a powerful area-of-effect attack that gives you enough space to get away and recover the rest of your health.
  • In [PROTOTYPE 2] quest-important NPCs get this to prevent you from accidentally killed them with a stray explosion and such. Unfortunately for them Critical Existence Failure is not in effect, and they'll be stuck crawling around on the ground screaming about how their legs are broken until you put them out of their misery.
  • In Star Ocean: The Second Story, a character has a chance of surviving any lethal attack with 1 HP left, directly correlated with their Guts rating. Higher the Guts, higher the chance of survival, but it can still occur even if the character's HP is already at 1. Can get ridiculous (but awesome) when an opponent manages to connect dozens of lethal attacks on a character in rapid succession, the character surviving all of them due to their Guts alone.
  • Some party members in Tales of Vesperia possess an ability that makes it so as long as they're in Overlimit, they'll always have one HP left no matter how much abuse they take.
  • Tales of Symphonia has Sheena Fujibayashi and her Purgatory Seal arte, which functions as something between this and a standard Resurrection arte. Casting in on a fallen party member causes them to be revived- but without any HP, meaning that while they can be healed by normal means (Apple Gels and First Aid spells, etc.), they'll die again if they take any hit.
  • Velvet's Break Soul in Tales of Berseria puts her in a state where no amount of damage will kill her, as a trade off though, her health rapidly declines, and as soon as she's at 1HP, the effect turns off.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, the Unbeatable gem gives the user a chance to survive with one HP upon receiving a fatal blow, up to a 50% chance at most, depending on the gem's quality. This is made more useful by the fact that the gem can still work if the user is already at one HP, and that Shulk's visions of the future will warn whatever or not the gem is going to save its user.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor uses a variant where an incapacitating injury causes the protagonist to face a quick-time event to stave-off the enemy's finisher. If successful, the protagonist gets back into the fight with a sliver of life remaining and a narrower chance to succeed next time if you fall again (so you can't keep fighting indefinitely). Failure during the quick-time event results in death, where Death Is a Slap on the Wrist except for your killer becoming even more powerful and bearing a grudge. This can result in some random orc growing from Mook to a Worthy Opponent to a serious problem to That One Boss.

    Beat em Up 
  • Astro Boy: Omega Factor has this happen, but only on Easy mode. If Astro takes a hit that would drop him to 0 hit points, he stays alive with his health at exactly 1, and will only go down if he gets hit again before finding a health item. It comes across as an exceedingly overt shift in your favor since Astro starts with 30,000 hit points and everything deals damage in units of 100 or more, but you'll wish it still applied on Hard mode when the enemies start killing you in one or two hits.
  • Fight'N Rage has an interesting example: when two or three players are present (AI included), if one (or two) player(s) lose out of lives but the other(s) doesn't, the Life Meter will recover slowly until it fills up, then the downed player(s) will revive with 20% of their life, and you can use this indefinitvely. At least, until all the players lose all of their lives.
  • God Hand gives you one last chance to fight back, just as long as you weren't hit by a lethal attack.
  • The very first Devil May Cry is just like the God Hand example. Nightmare on Dante Must Die also has an attack that puts you into this state instantly.
  • This is a normal mechanic in Bayonetta. Contrasting to the Devil May Cry and God Hand examples, no matter how powerful an attack is, no attack will kill you instantly (unless it's normally an instant kill or cutscene death), provided you have some health before entering critical mode.
    • This can be taken to Game-Breaker levels, provided that you have the Star of Dineta equipped.
    • There is, however, one exception to that rule in Bayonetta: Father Rodin has a grab attack that reduces you to critical health no matter how much health you have left, and it kills you outright if you were below half health.
    • Some game modes also disable Last Chance Hit Point, though usually under certain circumstances such as the hardest battles of the second game's Tag Climax mode.
  • The Wii version of Punch-Out!! allows the player to mildly recover if the character (Little Mac) is about to lose by KO or TKO during a fight. One of the Exhibition challenges actually require this to be done during the fight against Mr. Sandman in Title Defense.
  • Even if you're at zero health in Double Dragon, you won't actually die unless you're knocked down (unfortunately, this applies to the enemies as well.)

    Card Battle Games 
  • Super Sentai Battle Dice O - in either single or two-player mode, it's possible to regain ten points when you should have been KO'd due to your characters' Heroic Spirit.
  • In Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, the Mage spell "Ice Block" makes the player immune to damage if they would be killed by an attack, and - since this means that their opponent is currently able to kill them - essentially gives the player one more turn to try to turn the tide. Paladin has their secret "Redemption" that sort of does this to his minion instead: When a minion is killed, the secret revives that minion with 1 health left.

  • In Arcana Heart 3, if a single hit would kill you via Block Damage, you are instead left with 1 health left.
  • Most Capcom fighting games will occasionally allow players whose health meters are completely red to stay alive. (In the event that player were to win that round, the player won't receive any bonus points for leftover health.) The Street Fighter II games on Super NES have this, possibly due to rounding 1 of 176 hit points down to 0 of 88 pixels. Taken advantage of to devastating effect in this Street Fighter III: Third Strike match.
  • In Senko no Ronde, losing all of your health would put you into "Armor Vanish" mode. In this mode, your Rounder's core becomes exposed, and one more hit will result in a KO. On the other hand, "Armor Vanish" mode gives you access to "Final B.O.S.S." mode.
  • The fighting game adaptation of Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story has a very unique variation on this trope: once you lose the last of your lives in single-player mode, you will be thrown into a fight against the Phantom, who otherwise serves as the final boss, with only a small amount of health. If you manage to defeat him or survive long enough for him to leave, your lives will be restored. If you lose to him, it's Game Over.
  • In Mortal Kombat X, Jason Voorhees's "Unstoppable" variation allows him to regain a small portion of HP upon losing all of his health before being KO'd. How much health he recovers depends on how much meter he has built up, from a piddly 5% with no meter to approximately 20% with full meter.
  • The Terminator in Mortal Kombat 11 has a special ability where, if he is reduced to or beyond less than 10% of his health on the final round, his skin burns away to reveal his robotic exoskeleton. It's more of a Power Up Letdown, however, since his moveset and even basic controls are heavily restricted in this form.
  • Little Mac has a chance of getting this in Punch-Out!! for Nintendo Wii. When hit by an attack that should deliver an instant knockout, Little Mac has a chance of channeling some Heroic Resolve and managing to stay on his feet with a piddling sliver of health remaining. In Title Defense mode, Bald Bull also does this if you try to knock him down with anything but a Star Punch.
  • In Dragon Ball Legends, some characters have Endurance skills that lets them tank an otherwise fatal blow and recover with a set percentage of health. This isn't always useful, as some attacks and characters are designed to bypass these skills no matter what.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Ashes 2063: The legendarily rare TITAN Stim is this trope in a power-up. Once used, Scav's health will not drop below 1 for 30 seconds for any reason, although anything above that, and any armor at all, are fair game for damage. It's even explained in-game by character dialogue that this was the exact effect during testing in the Old World: the subject fell down a building dozens of stories tall, survived and ran away, only to be killed by being bumped into by a bus that wasn't even going fast.
  • In Atomic Heart, the very first character upgrade you obtain allows this to happen to you, with a cooldown before it can be triggered again. Immediately after getting the ability you end up putting it to the test against an otherwise impassable laser wall.
  • BioShock series: On easy and normal difficulties, any hit that would kill you instead reduces you to 1 HP, requiring another hit to kill you outright. In BioShock 2, getting dropped to 1 HP activates one second of invincibility.
  • In Borderlands, a severe hit that would otherwise kill you will often leave you standing with no shields and only a sliver of health. However, this only works if the damage isn't too much over your limit. A truly epic attack will still kill you in one hit.
  • Borderlands 2:
    • So long as you're above 50% health, nothing can kill you in one hit, no matter the level. This is useful in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, as you can make it so you can take a lot of punishment before dying. This is why the Complacent Gaming Syndrome of the game's community revolves around Life Drain weapons, specifically slag variants of the Rubi, while keeping max HP as low as possible. Life-draining weapons heal you for a percentage of the damage you deal, which can easily fill your HP bar above half provided it's low enough.
    • Every point put in Axton's Grit skill (up to 5 without other boosts) gives you a 4% chance to ignore otherwise lethal damage. And not only is the damage ignored, but you get half your health back!
  • Call of Duty has the last stand perk, which has you on the ground, hardly able to move, with a pistol to defend yourself. You can also be revived if a team-mate happens to come across you.
  • Singularity uses the same mechanic as BioShock 2.
  • In the Dark Forces Saga games Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy, you'll find yourself getting knocked down to precisely 00 shield and 01 health a lot more often than can be explained by coincidence.
  • In its original form, the Croc-O-Style item set in Team Fortress 2 would allow the Sniper wearing it to survive otherwise lethal headshots with exactly 1 HP. As long as he had more than 1 HP, that Sniper could never be killed by headshots and would always be knocked down to 1 HP. That bonus has since been removed, and traded for a bonus that is functionally identical, but only works against 'quickscopes,' the act of firing a headshot immediately after zooming in and not charging the damage meter.
  • In Doom (2016) and Doom Eternal, the Saving Throw rune prevents your death and slows down time for a few seconds, then is disabled until you die. The Ancient Gods - Part 1 DLC adds a new Support Rune called Take Back, which lets you recover the 1-Up you lost by killing the enemy that killed you within a short timeframe.
  • In Blood deathmatch, a player taking mortal damage will sometimes be knocked to his knees instead of dying. If he presses the action key fast enough, he can get back up with a single health point.
  • Present in Far Cry 3 and 4 and accompanied by a sting and the world turning black and white. Considering how tough later enemies are, expect to be in this state almost constantly.
  • In Overwatch, barrier abilities like Zarya and Winston's bubbles and Reinhardt, Orisa, and Symmetra's shields have an HP value after which they break, but they always absorb the entirety of the attack that breaks them. This makes them good for defending against ultimate abilities that deal their damage in a single massive explosion, like Junkrat's Riptire and D.Va's Self-Destruct. The latter does 1000 points of damage to an unprotected target, but if there's even 1 hp worth of barrier in the way, it does nothing.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Darktide: The Zealot Preacher's has the innate class feat Until Death, which allows them to survive at 1 HP and become invulnerable for five seconds upon taking a lethal hit, but refreshes only after 90 seconds. One of their possible tier 4 talents is Holy Revenant, which restores their health based on the damage they dealt during Until Death (with melee damage giving back twice as much), allowing them to come back from the brink of death, possibly even back to nearly full.

    Match Three 
  • Some monsters in Elemental Story can revive with 1HP at certain probability, but this does not work against multi hit skills because surviving such attack requires the revival to happen for each hit.

  • Not long after PvP was introduced into City of Heroes, a mechanic was added so that no single attack could kill a player (regardless of level difference) if they were at full health. This was done mainly to mitigate the Stalker's arguably One-Trick-Pony Assassin Strike ability and give their opponents a fighting chance, with the side effect that even a brand new character could survive in the highest level zones - provided they only got hit once. Useful if your mentor was suddenly out of sidekick range and everything turned purple.
    • This came back to annoy them when they introduced a power called Self Destruction, which dealt the maximum hp in damage to the character. Unfortunately, the one-hit code prevented characters who were at full health from dying. Doubly unfortunately, the power blew up the character who used it, leaving them unable to do anything until they went to the hospital (Paragon City's hospitals can fix anything), but as they were still alive, the "go to hospital" prompt didn't show up...
    • City of Heroes also handles falling damage like this. No matter how far you fall, it can never bring you below 1 hitpoint. Land next to some enemies and you're in trouble though.
  • In Guild Wars 2, everyone has this. If your character loses their last hitpoint, you'll go down into a "Survival Mode". The screen encourages you to "Fight to survive", and gives you the use of four skills unique to each class. If you kill an enemy, live long enough to use the Bandage skill to heal yourself back up, or get revived by another player, you can get back up without respawning. Even if you bleed out, you can choose not to respawn, and another player can still revive you. There are penalties for this, of course.
  • In Mabinogi, there is a small chance that a lethal attack will send your health into negative values but not kill you, creating what is known as Deadly status. The Will attribute increases the chance of invoking this. Additionally, any attack that does more than your total health while you have more than half of it left will automatically send you into deadly. Unusually for this trope, Deadly status doesn't automatically mean the next hit kills you - just that you need to keep making Will saves when hit further (although as your health starts dropping below negative ten times your maximum this becomes very unlikely, and getting back out of Deadly status in a hurry tends to invoke Continuing is Painful in various ways).
  • In Vindictus, (otherwise known as Mabinogi Heroes in Asia), a skill called "Life Flare" allows the player character to survive nearly any attack with one health point. The skill can be upgraded to allow a whopping 55% chance to occur.
    • In a similar example, new comer Hurk's ability "Impenetrable/Stonewall" reduces all incoming damage (when fully upgraded) by 65% and prevents any attack from dropping his health below one point. This skill is dependent entirely on the player's ability to dodge and counter attack, allowing a skilled player to survive an encounter on a single point of health no matter how many times they are hit.
  • The Rogue class in World of Warcraft has access to a deep Subtlety talent called Cheat Death. If an attack would kill the rogue, they have a set chance to survive it with a small portion of their total health remaining. An internal cooldown prevents this from happening too often.
    • Fire mages have a talent that, if an attack would kill them, heals them back to 40%... but sets them on fire for 12% of their max health per 1.5 seconds. This DOT can be avoided by using Ice Block (for 15 seconds, you take no damage and lose most debuffs, but otherwise can't move, attack, or cast).
    • In the Chimaeron battle, the raid gets a buff that enables attacks that would kill them to reduce them to 1 HP if they have more than 10,000 HP at the time, which is necessary to survive some of Chimaeron's attacks. For part of the battle, however, this is knocked offline, and the raid must stack up and get AOE heals to survive.
    • Paladin tanks have a stronger version of this, where they can activate an ability that causes them to take reduced damage and automatically heal for a significant amount of health when they suffer a blow that would kill them. The death prevention used to be active all the time on a cooldown.
    • Death knights are slated to get this option as a talent in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, on an automatic cooldown. They develop a shield that prevents damage but absorbs healing equal to the damage they would have suffered. If there's any absorption left in it when it expires they die, so they need to have a substantial heal coming in to survive.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has two of its tank classes with abilities that let them survive a mortal blow. Warriors have Holmgang, which binds the user and its target in place, but the player's HP cannot go below 1. Dark Knights have Living Dead, which prevents them from being knocked out, but it gives another status called Walking Dead where the player will be defeated in 10 seconds if they do not recover their maximum HP (they don't need to be healed to full, but they need to recover as much HP as their max value). Gunbreakers are an odd example, because technically Superbolide gives them invulnerability for a few seconds but sets their HP to 1, forcibly invoking this trope.

  • Heroes of the Storm: One of Zul'jin's heroic abilities, Taz'dingo!, makes him unkillable for 4 seconds. Very similarly to Tryndamere below, this combos well with his trait that grants increased attack speed based on Zul'jin's missing health. At level 20, he can also pick up a talent that lets him heal for 50% of the damage he dealt during Taz'dingo after it ends, turning it from a revenge button to an actual chance to recover.
  • From League of Legends:
    • Tryndamere's ultimate ability is "Undying Rage", which makes him unable to have his health reduced below a single hitpoint for 6 seconds. This works in conjunction with his passive, which increases his attack damage for each percentage of his total health currently lost, allowing him to annihilate teams or escape.
    • Renata Glasc has a variation of this with "Bailout", a basic ability. Normally, slapping it onto an ally grants them an attack and movement speed steroid, but if they hit 0 HP, they're put into a state where their health resets back to 100%, but automatically diminishes very quickly, giving them mere seconds at most to live. However, if an ally kills (or helps kill) an enemy while in this state, they'll exit the state and be given a chunk of their health back, allowing them to live by claiming someone else's life.

  • Bang-On Balls: Chronicles: If you're on your last or second last hit point, you heal to 3 hit points if you survive long enough.
  • Among the many Castlevania tributes in Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is that bosses have a final, showy attack which can't kill you, Rondo-style.
  • Castlevania examples:
    • In a rare instance of a boss getting this, Elizabeth Bartley of Castlevania: Bloodlines takes a fixed five bars of damage any time you successfully negate her magical attacks, represented by rings of orbs circling her petering out one by one. The only exception is what would logically be the final pattern, where she inexplicably only takes four bars of damage, leaving her with one and a final magic attack to be dispelled with it.
    • Conversely, the player character has this privilege in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, but only when it comes to the unique attack each boss makes when it dies. You've had no chance to study this one, so it's only fair that it can't kill you. (But of course there's one exception to trip players up: Shaft can kill you in his death throes.)
  • Any otherwise-fatal attack in Copy Kitty brings Boki and Savant down to one hit-point (represented by a number flickering between 1 and 0).
    • If you use one of the game's many cheat codes to play as one of the Constructs, you are unable to survive fatal damage in this way.
    • Both of the True Final Bosses also get one last hit point, likely due to them being entanma just like your player characters.
  • Bottles of vitamins in Friday the 13th are normally used to heal counselors you encounter inside cabins, but if you take a fatal blow while carrying some, they are used up to give you a few more health points and keep going.
  • In Mischief Makers, Marina can take one more hit after her HP is lowered to zero (with that last hit being represented by her gauge being all black & flashing red.
  • The Skull Amulet in Rockman 4 Minus ∞ has this effect (formerly cursing Hell Wheel).
  • There is an optional item in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal called Nano-Pak tha serves as this - it can be filled by spare Nanotech Orb, and if it is full and Ratchet is hit by an attack that would defeat him, he gets recovered by the health from it, even if the attack is stronger than Ratchet's remaining HP plus what's in the Nano-Pak.

  • Rad Racer plays this trope, despite it being a cross country racing game. For most games of the same genre, it's a game over once the clock runs out. In Rad Racer, if the clock runs out, your car starts decelerating until it comes to a complete stop. This makes it possible to crawl over the checkpoint/finish line and keep playing. As long as your car is still moving when the clock runs out, you still have a chance.
  • When your car in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2010 is in critical status, bumps against the road that normally caused your armor to go down won't to you in, sometimes you can even survive crashes in critical status. Get tapped by a cop from behind however...

  • Excessive Rate mode in SOUND VOLTEX (which fails the player when they hit zero life, instead of the standard "finish song above lifebar quota" setting) normally subtracts about 10% of the life gauge per miss, but will drop the player to "0%" before failing them outright, after which one more misstep without raising the bar even slightly results in a TRACK CRASH.
  • In Muse Dash, Zombie Girl Buro can activate "Dying Mode" if she runs out of HP, in which she becomes invincible for 15 seconds. Once it ends, she can keep going, but cannot trigger it again without picking up a heart.

  • 30XX has the Auto Tank, which gives you whatever health it has stored upon taking fatal damage once per run.
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery has your character survive a powerful attack with one last lousy hit point suspiciously often, provided their Luck Stat (and presumably your own) is high.
    • In the vaguely similar Caverns of Larn, upon receiving a blow that would normally kill you, you will occasionally be informed "you feel wiiiiiiierd all over" (sic) and survive, with one HP left.
  • Some 1-Up items in The Binding of Isaac work like this. Respawning in Isaac typically takes you outside the room you died in, and leaving a room resets it to how it was before you entered. You'll get a second chance to beat the room, but you have to do it perfectly.
    • Dead Cat gives 9 extra lives, but you only respawn with one red heart each time.
    • Guppy's Collar gives you a 50% chance to respawn every time you die, but you only start with half a red heart.
    • Lazarus' Rags breaks the normal room rule and revives you on the spot, but you still only get one red heart.
    • As of Afterbirth, Missing Poster will bring you back to life as The Lost.
  • In Balatro, Mr. Bones prevents you from losing a run once before self-destructing if your chips are 25% that of the required chips for the blind. However, you won't be able to earn any winnings from the blind.
  • Chrono Ark takes after the "Death's Door" system in Darkest Dungeon but differs in that hp can still go negative and that characters, by default, have a 100% chance of fainting upon taking damage at Death's Door. Certain items and effects give faint resist as a stat but usually in rather small amounts.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, a hero whose hit points have reached zero will be at Death's Door. From there, they receive a severe debuff to accuracy, damage, speed and stress received, and any sort of damage may or may not be a Death Blow. That includes Status Effects, self-injury from certain Afflictions, and traps - exception being heart attacks, which are guaranteed instant death to a hero in Death's Door. Being healed for even a single hit point ends the Death's Door effect, and the character will again not die the first time they are brought back down to 0 HP. On the other hand, the hero is left with a "Recovery" debuff for the rest of the current dungeon, which is less severe than Death's Door itself, and that effect lasts until the end of the quest unless it's treated by a teammate with particular camping skills.note 
  • Dead Estate has an item called "Second Chance?" which will cause your character to explode upon taking a fatal hit. If the explosion kills an enemy, they gain an additional health point. Another item, the Chrysus Medallion, will allow a character to stay alive after their HP reaches 0 - the payoff being that their money will drain rapidly until it reaches $0, after which it's game over.
  • In Desktop Dungeons, Death Protection is an uncommon effect which puts the user at 1 HP if an attack were to kill them. It's most commonly given by the CYDSTEPP glyph, which is the most costly spell in the game and requires you to be at more than 50% health to cast. Warlords are built around abusing this, as they gain a damage boost when at below half health and can cast CYDSTEPP at any HP. Also, the Animated Armor enemies have layers of Death Protection to make up for their fragility. The boss in one of the Bonus Dungeon has 50 layers of it.
  • Nuclear Throne:
    • The Strong Spirit mutation lets you survive a lethal blow at 1 HP once, but healing back to full health will enable it again at the next level.
    • Chicken has a variant of this; if her health drops to 0, she won't immediately die, but her head will fall off and she's able to live a few seconds longer at 0 health. If she can find a way to heal while headless, it will revive her, but her max health is permanently lowered each time this happens. The camera will also focus on Chicken's head, so it may be difficult to find enemies or pickups that are off-camera.
  • The Gutsy IQ/Team skill in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series gives you a high chance of surviving a fatal blow, even if your HP is already at one. Enemy Pokémon with the ability are understandably extremely annoying to deal with at times.
    • Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon replaces this with the "Toughness" emera; with one of those set in your Mon's looplet, the emera will shatter and leave them with one HP instead of being KO'd.
  • A 1.5% chance of this can be purchased in Rogue Legacy up to 10 times, for a cumulative 15% maximum chance of avoiding death with one hit point left. The ability can also be triggered multiple consecutive times.

  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, there’s the “Life+” status, which will automatically bring you back to life at 1 HP the next time you die. There are three ways to gain this status – with the aid of a certain accessory, by using Tyalie’s megahax, or as a random effect from Nihilerror’s “Cosmic Breakdown” attack.
  • Breath of Fire II and Breath of Fire III have this. If a character is knocked out, there's a chance that they'll automatically get up afterwards with a tiny amount of hit points, along with a quote from each character (or a brief description of the Heroic Mime).
  • Clock Tower 3's Panic Mode. While Alyssa is generally invincible, if the Panic Meter fills up, she freaks out, and the player must guide her away from that area's Big Bad until the meter lowers enough, if Alyssa is hit by any attack while in Panic Mode, she dies.
  • Dark Souls:
    • Dark Souls 2 introduces Denial, a Miracle that gives you this as a passive buff.
    • Dark Souls 3 brings it back under a similar name. Unlike the other buffs in the game however, it does not expire with time, it lasts until it's triggered.
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth and Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory have an ability called Safety Guard that grants this by way of a status effect. When an affected Digimon is hit for lethal damage, their HP goes to 1 and the status effect vanishes, needing to be reapplied if they want to stave off lethal damage again. All but one of the Digimon that learn the ability are Mega-level or Ultra-level.
  • The Guardian Spirit passive in the Spirit mage tree in Dragon Age: Inquisition bestows a barrier upon the mage when they take a blow that would otherwise kill them. Also, the Champion specialization for Warriors has Unyielding, which also bestows temporary invulnerability when it activates.
  • Dragon Sinker: The passive ability of the Revenant job is that the character cannot be killed unless they are at 1 HP; otherwise a fatal strike leaves the character with 1 HP instead. Interestingly, you can have multiple passives from different jobs, and the passive ability of the Dancer job makes the character regenerate 10 % of their maximum HP each turn. So, dual-classed Revenant/Dancer simply cannot be killed unless they suffer multiple hits in one turn.
  • EarthBound (1994)'s Guts stat, along with affecting Critical Hit rate, gives a character a small percentage chance to endure an attack that would have dealt mortal damage, leaving them at 1 HP instead. This is indicated when the message that would otherwise read "mortal damage" omits the "mortal" part of the message — even if the damage dealt matches or exceeds the character's HP, characters only head toward 0 HP when mortal damage has been suffered. Secondly, even if a mortal blow is incurred, the rolling HP meter mechanic allows the player to avoid a KO if they can finish the battle or heal before the character's HP actually rolls down to zero.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy series:
    • Epic Battle Fantasy 2 has the Survivior skill bonus, which gives Matt a 1/3 chance of surviving an otherwise-lethal attack with 1 HP.
    • Epic Battle Fantasy 4 introduces the Morale status effect. With it, a character will survive any otherwise-lethal attack (even if it inflicts Instant Death), as long as they had at least 49% health remaining when hit. Morale would return in EBF5, gaining the ability to block defensive buffs from direct attacks in the v2 update.
    • Epic Battle Fantasy 5 features the Pixel Glasses, a Flair which lets its wearer survive a single lethal attack, albeit with 0 HP. They will die at the start of their next turn unless healed, however, and taking another hit will obviously kill them.
  • In the Exile and Avernum RPG series, characters who hit zero HP were still able to fight, but one more hit would kill them and scatter their inventory about the battlefield.
    • Furthermore, having a high Luck stat gives you a good chance to survive that One Last Hit several times in a row.
  • Final Fantasy X: The Zu Giant Flyer monsters and their palette swaps have two sets of animations: one in flight and another on the ground. They switch to the latter when heavily damaged and cannot be directly killed: no matter how many 9s of damage they took, they'll always have at least 1 HP before you can kill them.
  • Granblue Fantasy
    • The "Undying/Lethal Attack Dodged" buff allows a character who has it to survive a fatal attack with 1 HP.
    • Vaseraga, at level 95, gains the Feel No Pain passive which makes him unable to be knocked out for the first 20 turns of a battle.
    • Nier's Death Reversed passive allows the main character to survive a lethal hit with 1 HP (provided they aren't already at critical health) as long as Nier is a sub-ally, and this effect can be used 13 times per battle.
  • The "Persistence" passive ability in Lost Odyssey has this effect once per life (i.e. the character must die and be revived to reactivate it.)
  • Elwyen in MARDEK: Chapter 3 has a defensive reaction ability along these lines, which allows her to survive an unlimited number of attacks with 1 HP remaining so long as she had more than 1 HP before the attack. It's a bit overpowered, and one of several factors that contribute to Elwyen being anything but spoony.
  • Energetic Miis in Miitopia have a quick called "Hang On" that sometimes allows them to survive an otherwise lethal attack with 1 HP.
  • In the Monster Rancher series, monsters can sometimes endure a KO hit with the Grit ability. In certain games, all monsters have the ability to endure with Grit, but in others (such as 2 and DS,) only those with the specific talent for it can pull it off.
    • Notably, this can happen repeatedly over the course of a single fight, with an enemy who is consistently flattened by every attack, only to stay up with that one final hit point.
  • Nioh has a passive chance of defying death any time you take an obliterating hit, but it only works if you aren't below 30% health, and if you were on fire or something, your last hit point dies immediately. You can also use a limited Ninja Log ability to respawn a few meters higher than your death point, but you're close to death again and any aerial attacks the enemy may use will likely pulverize you before you can pop a heal or another log.
  • Octopath Traveler: One of the Merchant's skills grants this ability. If the Merchant takes otherwise-fatal damage and isn't in Near Death status at the time, they'll survive with one HP.
  • OMORI ends in a Game Over if Omori specifically dies, so as an Anti-Frustration Feature, he can survive a fatal hit once per battle ("OMORI did not succumb.").
  • Pokémon:
    • The move Endure guarantees the user will survive the next attack (even a One-Hit Kill) with at least 1 HP, but may fail to take effect if used consecutively. The Focus Band held item also provides this effect 10% of the time.
    • The Focus Sash item can guarantee this if the user's HP is full when they take a fatal hit, though the item is consumed after it has successfully been used. And it is very expensive to replace.
    • The Sturdy ability also provides this effect from Pokémon Black and White onward, but unlike the Sash item can activate multiple times as long as the owner's HP was restored to full. Multihit attacks still bypass it.
    • From Generation 6 onwards, any Pokémon with maxed-out affection has a chance of withstanding a lethal blow with one HP remaining a la Endure, no matter how damaging the hit nor how much HP they had remaining.
    • Exploited by the F.E.A.R. strategy, which allows a Mon of any level to defeat an enemy of any level: the Focus Sash leaves the mon with 1 HP, using Endeavor makes their HP equal, and using Quick Attack ensures your mon hits first to kill the enemy. For extra humiliation, this strategy was originally used with the Com Mon Rattata (hence its other acronym, Fucking Evil Annoying Rodent).
    • The buff to Sturdy (mentioned above) led to F.E.A.R. gaining a sister strategy in S.A.B.E.R. This involves using Sturdy on a level 1 Aron with Shell Bell and Endeavor; Shell Bell allows Aron to Recover all of its HP upon triggering Sturdy and knocking an opponent down to 1 HP with Endeavor, letting it reuse Sturdy. Unlike Rattata, Aron doesn't have a move that hits first to remove that last hit point from its opponents, though residual damage like Toxic Spikes and Sandstorm can finish them off.
    • Shedinja is the only Pokémon to be a One-Hit-Point Wonder. Since its max HP is 1 HP, somehow getting Sturdy onto it results in a Pokémon that cannot be fainted through direct damage, although it can still fall to poisoning, weather effects, etc. You can only pull this off legitimately in a doubles battle and it requires some easily telegraphed setup, so it's not a common strategy by any means, but in the Hackmons format on Pokémon Showdown, where any mon can be given any moves and abilities, it's a big part of the metagame.
  • Shin Megami Tensei has the Endure passive skill, in which the user, upon death, gets revived with 1 HP remaining. However, this can only activate once per battle. Enduring Soul takes it further, giving the user a full heal upon death, again no more than once per battle. V has the Whittled Goat, which is an item version of Enduring Soul. Treasure the damned thing.
  • Super Mario RPG has certain enemy attacks that cause instant death to a party member. All of these attacks are classified as physical, and almost all physical attacks can be blocked by pressing a button just before the attack hits. If one of these attacks is blocked, that character will not die, but will be left standing with only 1 HP (though if the block timing is truly impeccable, that character may take no damage at all).
  • Undertale:
    • The final boss battle against Sans gives your HP meter a time delay similar to the rolling HP meter in EarthBound (1994). This is only in effect for that one battle though, and all the other fights in the game feature a standard HP meter.
    • King Asgore is very reluctant to kill you, so you'll never die from any attacks in that battle unless your HP is already at 1.
  • In Unleash the Light, Garnet's "Rally: Survive!" ability prevents an ally's HP from dropping below 10% if an enemy's attack would otherwise bring it below that level.
  • The "Guts" ability and "Angel Curio" items in Valkyrie Profile enable this, giving the character a chance of surviving any attack with a few hitpoints. Notably, it doesn't have a lower threshold for working, so it's possible for a character with 3 HP to survive attacks dealing hundreds of thousands of HP worth of damage round after round, and when they finally DO end up dying, another character with Auto-Item can revive them right afterwards without using up their turn, the only penalty being that they're not able to act on their next turn. The game expects you to abuse this. The final bosses have multiple attacks that either deal several times more damage than your HP cap or kill you outright without a miss chance.

    Shoot em Up 
  • In Akai Katana, if you're on your last life and have bombs in stock, taking an otherwise lethal hit will automatically trigger a bomb, which in turn gives you a moment of invincibility and allows you to escape unscathed. However, this comes at the cost of all your bombs, even though it only has the effectiveness of one bomb.
  • Any attack that would kill you in Alien Soldier will leave you with 1 HP, if you had more than that. Since you can create healing items (by hitting enemy attacks with a certain attack of your own), this can help keep you alive for a while. And yet, the game still manages to be Nintendo Hard.
  • In the Gundam Vs Series, the older games had the Revival ability, which would sacrifice a Mobile Suit's limb (and a degree of performance) in exchange for about 100 hit points. If you stay alive long enough to refill the meter, you can get another Last Chance Hit Point, losing another limb. In the crossover games, a few MS have the ability in imitation of Signature Scenes from the anime; for example, the Zeong's head can continue fighting without the body, while Gundam Exia becomes the Repair version from Mobile Suit Gundam 00's second season.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: If your health drops to zero your health bar shatters, leaving you in "Crisis Mode". At this point any more damage is fatal. Survive for long enough and your health bar comes back with a very small amount of health on it.
    • It is possible to survive a single very weak attack in Crisis Mode, but it's more luck than anything. Conversely, if you get hit by a very powerful enemy at low health, you may get killed instantly without going into Crisis Mode.
  • Star Fox 64's health bar will drop to empty and give you one more chance, even if the hit should have been enough to kill you. At that point, any hit will destroy your ship unless you get more health first. Also, the heat in Solar can empty your health bar but won't destroy you.
  • In Touhou Kaeidzuka ~ Phantasmagoria of Flower View, the characters have hit points, but the last hit point (or rather, half a point) is special - anytime a character would've lost all her HP while having more than half a point, she would instead keep that last half a point until she gets hit again, and her spell gauge will max out (rather than increasing by one level as per when she's hit otherwise).
  • The Guardian Legend has your character's shields. If you take an otherwise lethal hit with shields remaining, they will drop to zero. You will be killed if you get hit by anything at zero shields.
  • In Wartech: Senko no Ronde, each player is given a last chance hit point when their lifebar is zero, indicated by a full flashing bar and the pilot exclaiming something. This not only gives them more maneuverability, but also makes their hitbox smaller and maximizes their energy bar (This is called "Vanish" mode). If they have at least one B.O.S.S. Stock left, the B.O.S.S. Mode will be inordinately stronger, gains new and more powerful attacks, and the energy bar depletes slower. This allows for very cinematic (and sometimes frustrating) comeback battles. Savvy players use their B.O.S.S. Mode when their opponents reach this last chance hit point, to utterly seal their fate. Of course, if the opponent is skilled enough, they might survive anyway.
  • In Super Aleste, getting hit reduces your shot power by four levels (out of six), or level 0 at level 1-3. Getting hit at level 0 kills you. However, you can never die at level 1 or higher unless it was due to geting crushed by a wall, so as long as you keep yourself out of level 0 you can keep going.

  • Fall damage in Satisfactory is capped at 97 out of 100 HP. Therefore, if you forgot to implement OSHA compliance in your factory and end up falling from a 600 meter tall platform, you will not die — but you'd better get your health back to 100 HP if you intend to survive another fall. And of course, this limit does not apply to environment, creature or industrial accident damage.

    Simulation RPG 
  • The Fallout: New Vegas Dead Money DLC, if played on hardcore mode, enforced this. It started you without any health items and forced you to run around a gas cloud which gradually drained your health... but stopped at 1HP. You still had to fight enemies (who were in hazmat suits and thus not affected by the cloud), effectively making you a One-Hit-Point Wonder unless you were incredibly lucky filling up on health items during the entire first half of the DLC.
  • Berethor's "Last Gasp" ability in The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age provides this effect one time only.
  • In Rune Factory 3, you can also build this up as a stat. Getting KO'ed builds your resistance to Death (which is distinct from the Knockout stat, where you're just dizzy and immobile). This will cost you much cash (as going to the hospital cost you a chunk of your money every time), but this will give him a chance to weather an otherwise lethal attack with time to whip out a healing spell or item.
  • Several Shin Megami Tensei related games have such a skill for your characters, which is quite useful if you get a game over when your hero dies. In Persona 3 and Persona 4, there is even a stronger version of that skill (or item) that replenishes your HP when you die once per battle.
  • Persona 5: At Rank 8 of their Co-Op, non-Protagonist party members will be able to endure one lethal attack per battle, leaving them with a single hit point instead of outright fainting.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • The Assassin's Creed series has used this since the very first game. The player character will never die from one hit as long as their health is above zero, and will regenerate that last hit point even if the game does not otherwise have Regenerating Health. Moreover, the game goes into a Critical Annoyance mode when your health is that low, showing visual distortion as a sign that the Animus is about to desynchronize (since the historical character you are playing as obviously did not die there). Assassin's Creed: Unity mysteriously abandons the mechanic; you can easily get one-shotted by powerful enemies, especially early in the game when you have weak armor.

    Survival Horror 
  • In Parasite Eve 2, you can pick up a piece of armor called the Chicken Plate; if you wear it, then receive a blow that would normally kill you, it will keep you alive for exactly 1 HP. This item is only available if Flint the dog dies after an important boss fight.
  • In Resident Evil 4, if Leon is at low health and is hit by a non-lethal attack, he will fall down, then stand back up, giving the player one last chance to heal or escape.
  • World of Horror has a variation with the "Last Stand" rule, which dictates that if you sustain damage in battle or an event that would reduce your Stamina or Reason to zero or lower, the game will not immediately end, giving you a chance to turn the situation around by restoring your Stamina or Reason before concluding the event, and letting you continue a battle and potentially win. Conversely, if either stat remains below zero when the encounter or event is concluded, it's Game Over. You will also lose immediately if either Stamina or Reason is reduced to -5 or lower.

    Tactical RPG 
  • The Super Guts evility in in Disgaea 3 and Disgaea 4 allows its user to survive a fatal attack with one HP if they had full HP when it connected. The Deathsabers in 4 have a variation on it that works as long as their HP is above one, but puts them to sleep after the hit lands.
  • Devil Survivor has the "Endure" ability, which allows a character to survive death (by having the would-be killing attack simply reduce his/her HP to 1) once per attack scene. What makes this ability a royal pain in the ass is that later on in the game, you'll often encounter teams of demons consisting of two Berserkers, both of which have Endure. So if they're led by a demon with a heal spell and you have trouble knocking them out...
  • In Front Mission 3, a skill called "PrvntLoss" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: If any one part is about to be blown up, the skill activates, and the damage is limited so that the part will have exactly one HP left. This often means the difference between victory and defeat.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals has this for three of the six characters — Maxim, Selan, and Dekar can, after specific story events, obtain titles that give them this property.
  • Mega Man Battle Network has an equippable program ("Undershrt") providing this effect. This can lead to a Game-Breaker in the right circumstances. If you use a Wood style (which regains health while standing on grass), and turn the stage to grass, and your opponent has no way to change the stage tiles and no fire attacks (which burn grass) — then you become impossible to kill with Undershirt. Whenever your opponent hits you with a mortal blow, you'll hit 1 HP for a split second, then immediately start gaining health before they can hit you again. (That said, many opponents do have ways of changing the stage tiles, so you'll have to use one of the other many game breakers in the Battle Network series against them.)
  • Likewise, Mega Man in Mega Man Star Force can also equip this ability and the aforementioned combo still works, though it's more troublesome to get grass panels on your side of the field.
  • In Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity, one of the final bosses had this.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • In Splatoon's single-player Hero Mode campaigns, you wear a Hero Suit. When you would receive a hit that should have splatted you, your suit will break instead and you'll be surrounded by a red aura, during which your movement speed is reduced and, more importantly, you will die if you get hit by another attack. Fortunately, your suit will regenerate if you avoid damage for enough time. This mechanic does not exist in online play, and C.Q. Cumber's ink bag and O.R.C.A.'s ink dump will ignore this and instantly splat you if you fail a mission objective.

    Tower Defense 
  • There is an ability in The Battle Cats called Survive which allows the unit that has it to survive a hit that would normally kill them no matter how powerful the attack is. However, like most abilities in this game, it is usually up to luck as to whether or not the ability will activate, although there are some units who have a guaranteed chance of this ability activating for them (Examples: Jiangshi Cat, Mekako Saionji, Togeluga)

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • A recurring Skill in the Fire Emblem series called Miracle usually allows a playable unit to survive otherwise fatal attacks, often based upon their Luck stat. (In the games (Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776) that first introduced Skills, Miracle instead raised the Avoid/Evasion stat to achieve the same general effect.)
    • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Mist and Ena start out with the Skill, which has a chance equal to their Luck to halve any lethal damage, making it possible to survive with or close to 1 HP. Of course, if even half damage isn't enough...
    • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the Skill was changed so that, when it activates, it halves the unit's HP (or deals 0, if the unit is down to 1 HP already).
    • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, Miracle is the class Skill of Clerics and Priests; if it activates when the unit has more than 1 HP, the attack reduces their HP to 1 instead.
    • Fire Emblem Fates, in addition to Miracle (now exclusive to Shrine Maidens and Monks, the game's equivalents of the aforementioned Cleric and Priest classes), gives Kaze a personal Skill called Miraculous Save, allowing him to prevent another unit's death if he's supporting them. Like Miracle, the activation rate is dependent on the lead unit's Luck and they need to have more than 1 HP.
    • Fire Emblem Heroes includes Miracle as a high-cooldown special, and several characters have the effect as part of their prf weapon, such as Hel (but only for non-magical attacks) or Brave Seliph (when he already has over 25% health at start of combat). When the skill is combined with after- or in-combat healing, such as the skill Mystic Boost, you get 'Miracle-spamming', in which the Miracle effect is almost always active. This tactic can be frustratingly difficult to combat without specialised counterplay such as Area of Effect specials, which can reduce a foe to 1hp before combat begins, but are difficult to charge.
  • In Fire Emblem Engage, equipping Emblem Roy's ring to an ally gives them the "Hold Out" skill, which guarantees that they will always survive combat with 1 HP remaining, provided they enter combat with their HP percentage above a certain threshold. Leveling up the unit's bond with Roy gives access to improved versions of the skill which lower the percentage of HP required for the skill to trigger. When six of the Emblems, Roy included, are stolen and used against you, Mighty Glacier Marni is all too happy to combine this skill with Multiple Life Bars.
  • The elvish faction in Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes has an artifact which revives their walls at 1 HP when destroyed. Since elvish walls have a natural Healing Factor, this is quite powerful.
  • Rondo of Swords: Equipping and setting the passive skill Persistence allows a unit to survive a killing blow with only 1 HP, and leveling it up will increase the activation chances.
  • In the Super Robot Wars Z series, Gurren Lagann's Full Upgrade Bonus (specifically the one it had in Hakai-Hen) allowed it to live one hit at 10 HP one time per scenario.
  • In the remake of Super Robot Wars Advance (A Portable), the Full Upgrade Bonus for Wufei's Gundam Altron allows him to use the Spirit "Selfdestruct" once without dying.
  • X-COM
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown:
      • A lucky (?) soldier can be "critically wounded" rather than the usual instant death, requiring the attention of a Medkit or to complete the mission before they bleed to death in three turns. A stabilized soldier remains unconscious, with 1 hit pointnote , is still vulnerable to Area of Effect damage, and will be out of commission for a fair length of time, plus a permanent Will stat reduction, which is still much better than losing them permanently. The "Don't Die On Me" upgrade purchasable at the Officer Training School makes critical wounds more likely the higher the unit's rank is. Supports with the "Revive" skill can, instead of stabilizing, outright reviving the fallen operative at 33% max health and with one time unit to act in that same turn.
      • The Enemy Within DLC adds a Gene Mod, "Secondary Heart", that guarantee the first fatal hit taken by a gene modded operative will be a non-lethal critical wound, with two more turns to stabilize them, and no Will penalty on recovery. This only goes for the first fatal hit — any others are a toss-up.
    • XCOM 2
      • Psi Operatives have "Sustain", which protects them form a lethal hit once per mission and stabilizes them at one HP. As a bonus, the affected soldier will enter Stasis, making them immune to any damage or interaction until your next turn, and, as opposed to "critically wounded", they will be able to act normally once Stasis wears off.
      • The critical wound status also makes a comeback, explicitly called "Bleeding Out".

    Non-Video Game Examples 
Anime and Manga
  • Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense. has the skill Stout Guardian, which ensures that anyone who takes a lethal attack will be left with one last hit point, with the skill itself being on a timer.
    • Chrome/Kuromu also has the skill Dead or Alive, which grants him a 50% chance of surviving any one lethal attack. Notably, this skill does not have a cooldown timer.
  • So I'm a Spider, So What? has the Perseverance skill; among its other effects, it makes any damage that would drop the user's HP below 1 reduce MP instead.
  • Shangri-La Frontier has the skill Clencher, where if your Luck stat is above 50 you have a chance to survive a fatal hit with 1 HP. They later adjust it so it also works on a guarantee if the damage is self-inflicted or from Recoil.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has seen this happen occasionally. In the Orichalcos Arc of Duel Monsters, Atem uses a card called "Relay Soul" that lets him special summon a monster from his hand after his LP become 0, and he remains in the game unless that monster (in this case, Dark Magician Girl) is destroyed. In 5Ds, Leo uses a card called Morphtronic Lantron, which allows him to regain 100 life points after his LP drop to 0, as long as he succeeds in a coin flip. Most controversially, in VRAINS, the duel between Lightning and Varis concluded with the former transforming part of the consciousness data of Jin into an extra life point when both players would have had their LP reach 0 simultaneously, winning Lightning the duel. Many fans consider this to be an example of blatant cheating, as it was not because of a card or other game mechanic, but something outside of the duel itself.


  • Dungeon Crawler Carl has a sapient cat who gains the "Cockroach" ability, allowing her to sometimes survive (with critically low health) hits that should have killed her. It saves her when she's backstabbed by an assassin and is able to kill him before he hits her again.

Live-Action Television

  • Super Sentai, Power Rangers, and Kamen Rider all share the rule that you can't actually die while you're transformed into your superhero form. Even taking outlandish amounts of damage only ever causes characters to transform back into their civilian forms with some injuries. Exceptions to this are rare enough that they often receive story justification for why they'll die if beaten while transformed, such as the Necro-Overs in Kamen Rider Double being zombies that can't take the shock.

Tabletop RPG

  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The 3rd Edition Rogue Class can get "Defensive Roll" which lets them try to halve the damage from an attack that would otherwise kill them.
    • The "Diehard" feat in 3.5 Edition allows a character to keep acting (albeit at a reduced level) until they reach -10HP; without Diehard or a similar ability, a character automatically falls unconscious when their HP is in the negatives.
    • The 5th Edition half-orc and orc lineages and Barbarian Class gain the "Relentless Endurance" and "Relentless Rage" abilities respectively, which lets them drop to 1 HP when an attack or spell would otherwise knock them to 0. It works once per long rest (roughly once per day), although this applies to each ability independently.
    • In 5th Edition zombies gain the ability to make a saving throw against an attack that would destroy them, and if they pass, it doesn't. This can keep happening until they fail the save, or the attack is a Critical Hit or radiant damage.
    • Samurai in 5th Edition at 18th Level gain the "Strength Before Death" ability, which upon being reduced to 0 HP (but not killed outright), allows them to use their reaction to delay falling unconscious and immediately take an extra turn, only falling unconscious if they are still at 0 HP at the end of that turn. This ability can be used once per long rest.
    • Path of the Zealot Barbarians have the "Rage Beyond Death" ability, which is pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin — if they're raging and get reduced to 0 HP, or even take enough damage/fail enough death saves to automatically die, they can keep acting as normal as long as they're still raging (and can still be healed as normal even if they would otherwise br dead). And remember this is alongside the above mentioned Relentless Rage!
    • Other subclasses which can, at sufficiency high levels, come back on one HP instead of or soon after dying include Oath of the Ancients Paladins, Shadow Magic Sorcerers (if they succeed on a saving throw), and Undead and Undying patron Warlocks (although the former is likely to come back with a few more than one HP, it is the theoretical minimum).
    • The spell Death Ward lasts eight hours and turns the first time they'd be reduced to 0 HP into reducing them to 1 HP instead, no matter what the context. It even negates effects like Power Word: Kill and Disintegrate that would instantly kill the victim completely.
  • Pathfinder adapts the Diehard feat from Dungeons & Dragons, allowing a character to remain conscious at negative Hit Points up to their Constitution score. The Ferocity trait gives the same ability to certain monsters, and half-orcs have an ability that essentially gives them the benefits of the Diehard feat for a single turn every day.
  • In Rifts, if your MDC armor is totaled, it absorbs all the damage from the attack that destroyed it - no spillover. This is an example because one point of MDC damage to an unarmored human invokes the Chunky Salsa Rule.
  • The "Hard to Kill" ability in Malifaux is a straightforward example: So long as a hard to kill model was not on its last wound already, any attack will only drop the model to one wound.
  • Fabula Ultima:
    • Mastering the Guardian class allows you to take the "Unbreakable" heroic skill, which lets you withstand an attack that would knock you out with one HP once per scene.
    • Any creature marked with a Symbolist's Symbol of Rebirth can sacrifice the symbol to prevent damage from reducing them to 0 HP, bringing them down to 1 HP instead.