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Level-Up Fill-Up

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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...

Level Up!

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. Not all games are equally generous, though, so any of the following can happen:

  • The more generous games heal you fully.
  • Others keep your current health percentage the same: If you're at half health before your maximum health is raised you will still be at half health afterwards.
  • Others still add to your current hit points the same amount they added to your maximum HP. Which means full health stays full health, and in other cases you're healed a tiny amount.
  • Or the game could decide to completely avert the trope: Your maximum HP rise but your current HP stay the same. Which means, quite annoyingly, that leveling up wounds you.

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.

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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    Action Adventure 
  • 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.
  • Dead Rising games refill your health completely, regardless of whether your level would give you another block of life or not.
  • 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 Hyrule Warriors, get your experience bar filled up, and all of your health and special gauge is restored.
  • 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.
  • In Spud's Adventure, gaining 100 EXP will level you up and restore all your health, making it useful even in cases where you can't increase your max health anymore.

    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.

    Dungeon Crawler 
  • In Minecraft Dungeons, leveling up instantly refills the player's health, no strings attached. Can be a huge boon if it activates if you're surrounded by mobs and at the shores of death.

    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, as does playing the sequel, which only actually gives you your earned experience at the end of a day or heist.
  • 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 Titanfall 2, the Monarch Titan gets a free shield recharge every time it levels up its Upgrade Core. Given that the Upgrade Core's Meter rolls back around to the beginning after getting a full level, a savvy Monarch pilot can stay in their mech for a very long time, especially in Attrition, Bounty Hunt, and Frontier Defense games.

  • 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 when this happens.
    • 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. Originally, leveling up would only restore your health and mana to their natural (that is, without equipment bonuses) maximums. But now, it also fully restores both your health and mana AND instantly killing any non-boss monsters onscreen at the time, giving you extra experience. At very low levels, it's even possible for this effect to chain off itself, giving you multiple levels as each one kills enough foes to trigger the next.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Leveling up in Star Wars: The Old Republic grants you full HP. Since xp are granted as each enemy is killed, not after you exit combat, leveling up while still in combat is both possible and helpful, essentially granting you Heroic Second Wind.
  • Wizard101 restores your health, mana and energy on level ups. Energy is especially notable as lots of players will use their newly restored energy to train their pet if they are working on one.

  • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest does this and gives you more health as per the level up.
  • Gun Witch: Levelling up refills Beretta's Hit Points and Mana.
  • 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. This is highlighted in a puzzle where you need to traverse a body of water that hurts you: no matter how much life you have, you will die before reaching the other side, unless you almost fill up your EXP, and kill some enemies partway through to refill your life.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • F-Zero 99:
    • If you KO another player-controlled vehicle, your maximum Power will increase and your Power will immediately refill back to full.
    • When you get a health extension via KO'ing a Gray Bumper or getting a Team KO in Team Race, your maximum Power will increase, but instead of getting a full Power refill your current Power will only extend for the amount of added gauge.

  • Absented Age: Squarebound: Leveling up will instantly fill the characters' HP and MP, unless that level is gained from a Level Tonic in Arcade Mode.
  • 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 Dicey Dungeons, levelling up refills your health.
  • In Dungeons of Dredmor, leveling up fully restores both your Life Meter and your Mana Meter.
  • In For the King, leveling up heals a fraction of your new maximum hit points and restores two Focus points. XP is usually awarded after each fight, but a level-up can be triggered mid-battle with an XP-boosting Rare Candy.
  • Leveling up in NetHack doesn't fully restore health, but Hp remain proportional to MaxHp (i.e. 50/100 Hp and +10 MaxHP through level up will bring you to 55/110). 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.

  • In Odin Sphere, your HP will be refilled every time you gain a new HP level.
  • Parameters: Even an RPG that has been stripped down to its simplest mechanics can have this.
  • 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.
  • Paper Mario:
    • The series as a whole restores Mario's Heart Points whenever his health increases, whether that's by leveling up (64, The Thousand-Year Door, Super) or by collecting an HP Up Heart (Sticker Star, Color Splash). The first two games also restore Flower Points (used for special moves) at this time, and they also defer Star Point (xp) gains, and therefore level ups, to the end of battles. It's a useful 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.
    • Color Splash refills all 3 colors of your paint whenever your paint capacity increases.
  • Averted in Pokémon, when a Pokémon 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 Pokémon will keep the same amount of damage as before.
    • It is, however, played straight in the spinoff game Pokémon 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- if a character's maximum HP increases, their current HP will not. This usually comes into play as a free chance to allow your staff wielders heal and get XP themselves.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim lets you level up at any time. And not only that, but after leveling up, you aren't healed until you choose a stat to increase. This gives you the opportunity to intentionally wait to choose a stat until you're in a fight and you need healing.
  • Also occurs in Diablo and the sequels, where both your health and mana is restored on leveling.
    • Diablo III even takes this further where you shoot off an aura that damages your enemies on Level-up. When you gain a level or Paragon Level, not only is your health and whatever form of Mana your class is using fully restored, but all enemies are knocked away from you.
  • 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. When a character levels up, their HP is fully restored.
  • 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. The 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 whether 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.
  • Luminous Arc: 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 leveling. Yes, you can level up by being a nice guy and healing enemies (as long as you heal the caster with the same spell). 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, whose primary attacks are also 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. In Shin Megami Tensei V, healing upon levelling up is locked behind two passive abilities. The first will only restore 50% of HP and MP, and the second fully replenishes the character who levelled up.
    • Same for some games in the Persona series, like Persona 2, where HP and SP is fully restored.
    • Averted in some of the newer Persona games, such as the fourth and the fifth. If, for example, you have 50/100 HP and 40/80 SP when you level up, and gain 5 HP and 3 SP, you will go up to 55 HP and 43 SP, rather than full health and SP.
  • 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.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The 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 Witch's 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.
  • Might and Magic X: Legacy almost plays the trope completely straight... except for the fact that leveling up still gives each character skill points they can put into skills that raise their HP and MP, and ALSO gives them points they can put into their stats including the stats governing how much HP and MP they have. Still, it's still possible for a character to level mid-combat, allowing them to then fire off their super-powerful spell a second time that combat.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals fully restores HP, AP, and status upon levelling up. An NPC in Parcelyte will even suggest to you that if a party member is injured, you can just switch to another character and wait until the injured character gets a Level Up Fill Up via Leaked Experience.
  • Used against you by Legendary enemies in Fallout 4. When they reach a certain health threshold, they "mutate," gaining all their health back and a boost to their stats.
  • The Trails Series has this two-fold: filling up your HP and your EP (essentially magic points). Very useful if you have consecutive or multi-stage bosses and you can keep your characters alive. The one thing that doesn't fill up is your CP, which are used to execute crafts and Limit Break-like moves called S-Crafts.
  • Lunarosse gives you full HP and MP. Very handy, due to the rarity of MP-restoration items.
  • Ni no Kuni gives a full fill-up of HP and MP, but only if a player character levels up and not any of their familiars. Especially helpful in early game when you don't have a full party, or a healing spell right at the very beginning.
  • Rakenzarn Tales refills HP and RP, but not SP. It was added in Version 1.2 to help moderate the game's difficulty.
  • In Stella Glow, when a character levels up their HP and MP are fully restored, which is very helpful given the limited MP you have each map. Also, this can save a character's life if your your hard-hitting but squishy characters are low on health (looking at you, Rusty and Nonoka.)
  • Levelling up in SoulBlazer refills your hit points completely. Later spiritual sequel Terranigma is an aversion.
  • Leveling up in Wasteland 2 restores health to full, but you can't use this mid-battle because the level represent a rank increase that you need to call in by radio to receive once you have enough XP.
  • The 3DS remake of Dragon Quest VIII does this, completely refilling a character's HP and MP when they level up. Handy when it happens in the middle of a dungeon.
  • Yandere Simulator: The internal game Yanvania, has this. When you level up, your Life Meter is refilled. But that stops after you reach the Cap at Level 99.
  • In Miitopia, leveling up the relationship between two Miis during a battle will instantly restore all their HP.
  • Final Fantasy Record Keeper fully restores HP and cures any negative status conditions, and most importantly ability uses (AP), when a character levels up. In its early days when orbs were handed out with an eyedropper making it slow and difficult to hone abilities, level cap was 50 and Record Materia had yet to be introduced, Soul Breaks were rare and single hit, and Boss Rush stages consisted of 5+ boss fights (as opposed to the max of 2 that exist now); it was a common tactic to carefully manage EXP so that characters would level after the 2nd or 3rd boss to restore their extremely limited ability count.
  • The World Is Your Weapon: Upon leveling up and choosing a level up bonus, Weaco's HP will be restored, though her SP won't be restored.
  • In the Harry Potter Game Boy Color games, leveling up a character fully restores that character's health and magic.
  • Levelling up in Aground fully restores your Health and Stamina. This is a reliable source of healing early game where you level fast but quickly becomes a much less reliable way to recover later on where it is noticeably slower to level up.
  • In Octopath Traveler, leveling up fully restores the character's HP and SP.
  • The Of Pen and Paper series: Knights of Pen and Paper and Knights of Pen and Paper 2: For Hit Points and Mana Points.
  • Demon Hunter: The Return of the Wings: Leveling up refills the health and mana bars, and also knocks back nearby enemies.

  • 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 its highest class, further level ups only provide a few additional hitpoints, making the free heal the most significant benefit.
  • In the Kingdom Rush series, your Hero Units will have their HP restored to full upon leveling up.

    Tower Defense 
  • Levelling up in Arknights restores your sanity points by the maximum amount you could possibly get this way, with your current one likely ending up way over the cap. While this may seem unconventional at first, it has the advantage of not discriminating players who had it high to begin with, after all the bonus is likely going to be spent on grinding for resources.

Non-Video Game Examples

    Anime & Manga 
  • In So I'm a Spider, So What?, when Kumoko, the spider protagonist, gains a new level, her old carapace molts away and any injuries and Status Effects she suffers are instantly healed, which has saved her life on many occasions. This is a function of the unique skill [n%I=W] which consumes soul energy to restore her body.
  • Evolution in the Pokémon: The Series is treated this way, unlike in the games. No matter how beaten up a Pokémon is in battle, once they evolve, they are raring to go. Many a battle in the series has been swung by a mid-battle evolution. This became a more downplayed example as seasons went on where evolution is treated more along the lines of a Heroic Second Wind with a few cases of Pokémon evolving and beating their current opponent but then still going down later due to all the damage they accrued beforehand.

    Fan Works 
  • Vow of Nudity: Averted. Despite Haara following D&D leveling mechanics, the series breaks from the core rules by preventing level-up until her current adventure is over. Any XP earned in between is backlogged and granted as a starting bonus in the next story.

  • The Stormlight Archive: Downplayed with the Knights Radiant. When they swear a new Ideal and advance in the ranks, the moment of spiritual connection gives them an influx of the Stormlight that fuels their powers.
  • Threadbare: In the world of Generica Online, leveling up refills all your pools except for health (Stamina, Sanity, Moxie, and Fortune). Normally you can't level in the middle of combat, preventing the most obvious exploits, but it is possible to accept a Job you unlocked earlier mid-combat in order to gain the benefit of an instant level-up.
  • Worth the Candle: Juniper levelling up has this effect, saving him several times early on when level-ups were common. As level-ups become rare this aspect becomes less significant, though culminating in him instantly regrowing a whole arm in front of a large audience, helping cement his status as The Chosen One in the public eye.


Video Example(s):


MAX UP Heart HP fillup

Whenever Mario increases his max HP with a Max Up Heart, his HP goes up to full.

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Example of:

Main / LevelUpFillUp

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