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"A lot of people like to call 1-Ups 'extra lives', or 'free men'. I like to call them 'life insurance.'"

An item or event which increases the number of Video-Game Lives the player will have to continue following death. In simpler games, where the player is a One-Hit-Point Wonder, each time the player receives a critical injury or falls into an abyss, one life is deducted from his reservoir. When they are depleted, the game is over. More complex games deduct a life only when the Life Meter is emptied. Also, most modern games typically do something more friendly than simply end the game: the player is penalized, generally by having to restart the major area ("world", where losing a life with lives in reserve merely requires that the player restart the minor area), or from his last saved game. Some games used "continues", much like extra lives but senior to them.

The distinction between the stockpile of extra lives and the Life Meter has faded for most game genres. Consider that "arcade games" started as pinball machines, then moved to video game consoles. Customers paid for the games a nickel, then a dime, then a quarter or 50¢ or more at a time (as increased complexity and inflation increased prices). Charging for each life was essential for the game to be paid for. With games moving into home consoles, the game was paid for from the beginning, so having a limited number of lives to play is no longer necessary for most games.

Almost all games which measure lives include a means to increase the stockpile. Popular methods include:

  • A rare pickup item (or maybe common, if your game has Infinite 1-Ups). Often looks like a small version of the protagonist, or his face. It was even common once that the item's graphic would be no more than a literal rendering of the words "1 UP".
  • A reward for Every 10,000 Points or every 100 coins.
  • A reward for finishing certain levels.
  • An exchange for some other game resource (especially game money).
  • In arcade games, inserting more coins.

The term is a shortening of the phrase "Player 1 Up", traditionally displayed in older arcade games where multiple players took turns playing, to tell that it's the first player's turn (i.e. "Player 1, you're up. Start playing!"). The notion dates clear back to pinball machines.

See Justified Extra Lives when there is an in-universe explanation, often an expendable clone (or a clOne-up).

Compare Auto-Revive. Also see Meaningless Lives for games that don't really rely on the importance of extra lives for a reason and therefore practically throw excess amounts of 1-ups at the player when it's not really necessary (unless it is).


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    Action Adventure 
  • Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain has the Heart of Darkness, which, like previous examples, can instantly restore Kain to (un)life if he dies with at least one in his possession. They can also be used as healing items, and while they're available all over the place, there's a very sneaky (and awesome) way to instantly acquire 99 of them at once. And no, it's not a bug.
  • Drawn to Life has 1ups in the shape of your character's head. Which probably wouldn't be noteworthy, except that that means you determine what they look like; in this game, you're responsible for drawing your own player character.
  • In Ōkami, Amaterasu can come back to life with the help of her Astral Pouch, as long as it is filled with food.
  • In the SNES game, Legend of the Mystical Ninja, one late stage featured finding 1-up Icons sold in shops! Unfortunately, you had to make sure to buy the one for your character, or else you'd be spending your money on Player 2!
  • The fairies (or magic medicines in the case of the Game Boy and DS games) in The Legend of Zelda series will replenish your health when you run out, although in many cases it doesn't restore it all the way, so keeping a Healing Potion on hand alongside fairies is often a good idea. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is the only Zelda game to have traditional Video-Game Lives, and it portrays them as dolls modeled after the main character. Breath of the Wild also has the Champion's power Mipha's Grace, which replenishes all of Link's health and adds a few extra temporary hearts, though it has a real-time cooldown to make up for it.

    Action Game 
  • Battle City and Tank Force had extra life pickups. In the latter, they are much rarer.
  • D/Generation gives you an extra life for each civilian you save. You'll need 'em.
  • Hyperballoid: A bonus with "+1" grants an extra life. It's fairly rare.
  • Monster Hunter (PC) grants an extra life with each Crystal Ball collected.
  • Shatterhand lets you buy them for 2000 coins.
  • In Skweek, each "Baby Skweek" gives one extra life.

    Adventure Game 
  • Dark Seed II has a curious example of this. Any time you witness the death of a Dark Worlder you receive a 1-up; if Mike is killed, their life-force will be sacrificed in Mike's place. The very first 1-up you receive upon entry to the Dark World must be used to die in a specific place after obtaining a key item, or else the game is rendered Unwinnable.
  • Fairly early in Fahrenheit, a character offers you a cross for protection. Accepting gives you an extra chance at quicktime events, and after the prompt (whether you accepted or declined) you'll start to find more crosses lying around on the ground in out-of-the-way places. Depending on the situation, the extra chance may mean shrugging off the failure (for instance, if you just got punched in the chest), or restarting the event (for instance, if you just got hit by a car.) Sadly, they provide no protection against failure from Sanity Meter loss, failure in the Stealth-Based Mission, or the occasional Nonstandard Game Over like taking aspirin with alcohol.
  • In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, crests are chances for presenting the correct evidence during trials. Additional crests can be obtained by performing unique actions during investigations or saying a certain statement.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • In Devil's Dare, there are the Soul Tokens, which give an extra life to the player, when they're otherwise forced to buy far more expensive continues.
  • In the Streets of Rage series, 1-Ups can be rarely found in certain stages. In the first game, it was an icon of the main characters grouped together, the sequel has a simple 1-Up icon, and the third game has an icon of Adam Hunter.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, extra lives could be gained upon achieving 100 points... an achievement which could be sped up by defeating enemies with the powerful jumping kick attack.
  • Similarly, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time had such a system, but scoring could be sped up by hurling as many enemies as possible toward the screen.
  • TMNT III: The Manhattan Project had scores in the ten thousands, and would give an extra life based on your score. Its high-scoring move was away+B.

    Casual Games 
  • Angry Birds 2 has a meter at the top of the screen that is filled as you destroy stuff in a stage. Each time it completely fills, you get back one of your spent birds, or sometimes a spell although this is fairly uncommon. You can also hit a golden pig to instantly fill the meter.
  • Progressbar 95: Beating a level with the bar being 100% blue grants an extra life.
  • In the WarioWare series, an extra live is given if a Boss Stage is reached and completed, failing the stage does not yield one.

    Fighting Game 
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl has Stock Balls, which only appear in The Subspace Emissary.
    • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U introduces the S-Flag item, which grants an extra life if used in a stock match (in a timed match, it grants one KO point instead). The catch is that you must hold it in a specific pose for a few seconds, during which you cannot perform any other actions, not even to cancel out of the pose, so unless you've managed to get your opponent(s) out of the way, you're likely asking to be sent to the blast lines instead.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In Descent and Descent II, 1UPs were in the form of extra ships, suspended in a green orb similar to shield orbs. You also got an extra life every 50,000 points, and when you finished the final level, each of your remaining lives added to your score.
  • Classic games in the Doom franchise used Soul Spheres, which were originally extra lives during development, but changed to give players 100% health (beyond the 100% maximum, in a way acting as an extra life by doubling the chances of surviving) when the concept of lives were removed from the game. However, Doom Eternal revisits this concept: extra life pickups make you Respawn on the Spot on death, rather than have you start over at the last checkpoint.
  • Rise of the Triad has two extra-life power-ups, which give 1 or 3 lives. There is a little catch, though: if your health is less than 75% when you pick one of these up, one of the lives from the power-up restores you full health instead of giving you an extra life. The game also include life items which will give you an extra life if you collect enough of them (they come in values of 1, 5, 10, and 25; and 100 are needed for an extra life). The game also gives you a bonus of 10000 points for every extra life you have when you finish the game.
  • Serious Sam has extra life pickups in some of the games and some of the gamemodes of other games.
  • Wolfenstein 3-D has them in the form of blue spheres with the protagonist's face on them.

    Light Gun Game 
  • In the Time Crisis clone Gunfighter: The Legend of Jesse James (both games) Jesse can gain an extra Continue by shooting Wanted Posters of himself.
  • In Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, the First Aid Spray that usually serves as a full health restore in the series acts more like an extra life, letting the players immediately continue a fight instead of being sent back to a checkpoint after dying. Notably, the instruction manual for the former game says the player can hold up to three of these items at once, but there's always exactly one per chapter and they don't carry over, so the limit never actually matters.
  • Time Crisis gives us perhaps the most difficult method of obtaining a 1-up in any Light Gun Game: you need to score 40 hits on enemies without missing a shot. Project Titan makes this method easier by lowering the requirement to 30.

    Platform Game 
  • In The Adventures of Lomax, some of the breakable pots contain 1-Up balloons.
  • Banjo-Kazooie has these in the form of golden statues in the shape of the bear; a life is also gained if all 100 musical notes are collected in a level (though their bigger purpose is to dispel musical gates that are in the way of the protagonists in Gruntilda's Lair). All subsequent games opt for unlimited lives.
  • In Bomb Jack, extra lives were obtained by collecting "E" coins. These would appear only after collecting a certain number of gold coins.
  • Bubble and Squeak: They look like little doll versions of Squeak.
  • Lives in Bug look like golden award medals of Bug's head (since he's a movie star), are generally easy to find, and easy to obtain via Bonus Levels. You're going to need them.
  • Commander Keen:
    • In the first trilogy, get a 1-up every 20,000 points.
    • In games 4 through 6, three different ways:
      • A one-up after the first 20,000 points, then double the points after (40 thousand, 80 thousand, 160 thousand, etc.).
      • Collecting 100 of the life items: Lifewater droplets (4), vials of Vitalin (5) or flying creatures called Vivas (6).
      • Collecting a big version of the aforementioned life item: a flask of Lifewater (4) a Keg O' Vitalin (5) or a Queen Viva (6).
    • In Keen Dreams, a figure of Keen waving. You can also get three 1UPs and eight "flower power" seeds by getting an "all-seeing eye".
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day provides a handy explanation to the one-up system: upon dying for the first time, the player is taken to Death's door where Death explains that squirrels, much like cats, are exempt in death as they have as many lives as they "think they can get away with". From that point on, the player can collect squirrel tails around the game world to score extra chances.
  • The Darkwing Duck (Capcom) game has dolls of Darkwing serving this purpose.
  • In Donkey Kong Country you collect balloons with a picture of Donkey Kong's head (or Diddy or Dixie's heads in the first two sequels). When you die, one of your balloons pop, and when they're all gone, it's Game Over. There are also green 2-ups and blue 3-ups. There's even an enemy that takes 1-ups from you instead of killing you. Subsequent balloons don't show any character's face.
  • The Fairyland Story has this in the form of the Book of Life.
  • In Freedom Planet, they can be found in some stages as disembodied head creatures resembling your chosen character. Freeing and collecting them gives you an extra live. Alternatively, collecting 200 crystals yields an extra life.
  • Frogger's Adventures: Temple of the Frog has butterflies that Frogger can eat using his tongue that grant him extra lives.
  • Garfield's Nightmare: Collecting a silver talisman showing Garfield's face gives hin an instant extra life. It can be found in secret areas of levels.
  • In the Glider series, pieces of paper. (You're a paper airplane.)
  • The titular rabbit's head in the Jazz Jackrabbit PC game. A "One up!" sound effect plays when the item is collected. In the second game, the item was changed to a text item that said "1Up."
  • In Kao the Kangaroo, you get an extra life whenever you collect 50 coins, and occasionally when you pick up the question mark powerup (which gives you a random pickup).
  • Kero Blaster: Extra lives can be found in some obscure or tricky-to-reach locations, and are randomly but rarely dropped by enemies. You can also buy 1-ups outright with coins, but it costs 1,500 coins each.
  • In the Kirby series, 1-ups are represented by an icon of the words "1-UP" in earlier games, and a toy-like miniature of your current playable character in later games. They tend to be uncommon, since Kirby games avoid Continuing is Painful and that usually means lives are meaningless (often, getting a game over will send you back to the same exact place you died in). However, in the more difficult modes where you can't continue, they become much more valuable, and thus much better-hidden.
  • In Magical Doropie, the 1-ups were miniatures of the heroine.
  • In Mega Man (Classic), the 1-up item was a Mega Man head. In later games, the item became a copy of Mega Man's helmet. The Mega Man X series returned to the disembodied heads for the first three games, before the remainder of the series used helmets, while the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series both resorted to simple Z and ZX icons. In Mega Man Battle Network, the BckupChps, represented as blue-colored computer chips, instead raises the maximum number of Back Ups (i.e. lives) MegaMan can use when entering the cyberworld.
  • In Mighty No. 9, 1-ups take the form of Xel Cores surrounded by multi-colored rays of light, however, unlike most platformers, the extra lives do not carry over between stages and instead resets to the default value.
  • The classic platformer Monster Bash allowed the character to gain more lives by collecting voodoo-dolls of himself.
  • Muri: Picked up in levels. Usually hidden in some way. They look like the protagonist's armored head.
  • Pac-Land: The Trope Maker for the collectible kind is the Special Pac, which appears when Pac-Man uses his hover boots above a specific location on the fourth and sixteenth levels.
  • In Rolo to the Rescue, the extra life items are the elephant icons that are particularly plentiful in the Bonus Stages.
  • In Scooby-Doo: Mystery Mayhem you can earn an extra life by collecting enough ingredients to make a sandwich.
  • The Smurfs (1994): Smurf dolls provide the player with extra lives in all versions except the Gameboy Advance version, where the player has unlimited lives.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: In all of the mainstream platformers you get a 1UP by destroying TV monitors with the character's head on it. In some games that don't have the TV monitors, it's simply an icon of Sonic's head; Sonic Generations has both variants. Additionally, you can get a 1UP via Law of 100 with the rings you collect in the levels, though this noticeably harder compared to other series, due to Sonic losing rings when he takes damage.
    • Starting with Sonic the Hedgehog 2, you also get lives for every 50,000 points you score in most installments.
    • Some Zones in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, as well as some special stages, allow you to gather hundreds of rings. However, the Law of 100 only counts for when you reach 100 and 200 rings.
    • One of the main reasons why Sonic Colors is the first Sonic game in ages you're likely to see the Game Over screen in more than once is that, for the first time, you don't get an extra life by collecting 100 rings. The only way to get lives is to find them hidden in levels, get A rank or better, or attack your score during the results screen.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 4 on consoles, you can match 3 cards with the Sonic symbol on it to get free lives in Casino Street Act 2. If you only get 1 or 2 cards at one time, they will stay on screen for 15 seconds or so. You can also match ring symbols (worth 10 rings for 3) or Eggman symbols (worth nothing).
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • You get a 1-up from purple chests that blink. The 1-ups are mini-figurines of Spyro himself. In addition to that, if you defeat enemies that you have already killed for their gems, they will drop either the 1-up statues (very rarely), or the much more abundant silver orbs. Collecting 20 of these orbs gives you another life.
    • In Ripto's Rage and Year of the Dragon, the 1-up statues were replaced with blue butterflies. They could be found in either Glass Jars, after completing a Skill Point challenge, or after killing every 10 fodder.
  • In Stinkoman 20X6, collecting an icon of Stinkoman's head grants the player an extra life. In an homage to this trope, the 20X6 version of Homestar is named 1-Up.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The traditional 1-up item in Super Mario Bros. is the green mushroom. Additional lives are also awarded for certain scores, or for collecting 100 coins. Before this usage, 1-up indicated it was the first player's turn in a multiplayer arcade game, such as Galaga.
    • Super Mario Bros. 2 keeps the mushroom as a very rare item, but also allows the player to win 1-ups in a slot machine based game between levels (one life is granted when all three items except cherries match; a life is also granted when the first items is a cherry, two when the first two are cherries, and five if all three are).
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 has a sort of slot machine at the end of every level, where the player character jumps and strikes the box to make it stop on one of the images inside — a fire flower, a star, or a mushroom. If you can hit the same symbol at the end of three levels in a row, you will be rewarded with a number of 1-ups: 2 for three mushrooms, 3 for three fire flowers, and 5 for three stars. Even if the cards don't all match, you can still earn a 1-up for every three you collect.note 
    • Super Mario Land and its sequel use the traditional heart shape as its 1-up. Because of the greyscale graphics, it wouldn't be possible to tell Super Mushrooms and 1-up Mushrooms apart, so in these two games the 1-ups are hearts. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins even has four different slot machines where you can get 1-ups, and the more expensive slots can give you multiple lives at once. At the most costly slot machine (requiring the maximum of 999 coins for one play), you can win a 20-up, a 50-up, or even a 99-up.
    • Super Mario World has, in addition to the traditional 1-up mushroom, the rare 3-up moon. The game's signature bonus round is unlocked every time the player accumulates 100 red stars by touching the moving ribbon of the levels' exits (the amount in each case will depend on the height of the ribbon; however, it's important to touch the ribbon and not just walk across the exit, or else no stars will be given). In the bonus round proper, you're playing with a 3 x 3 Lucky Slot machine where eight blocks circle around the ninth which is in the center, and the blocks are also reeling between three images (Mushroom, Fire Flower, Star). You can hit the circling blocks to stop their reels and get item images, whereas the central block already has an image shown. In a manner of Tic-Tac-Toe, you have to time your hits to the blocks so you can form matches, and for every completed line you'll receive an 1-up mushroom. And if the images you get with the blocks match that of the central block, your chances to form lines will be much higher.
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island has 1-up clouds that are held by the feet of Fly Guys.
    • In the New Super Mario Bros. series, there are Toad Houses with minigames where Mario and his friends can earn multiple lives. These houses have the shape of the green-colored 1-up mushroom.
  • In Toy Story, Woody gets extra lives from picking up cowboy hats.
  • Ty the Tasmanian Tiger has the traditional floating-head variety.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Jardinains! and its sequel have 1-ups as randomly appearing power-ups.
  • In Wizorb, they're known simply as Extra Life.

    Role Playing Game 
  • Brandish has the Ring of Life which similarly revives you right where you fell. Considering that you can find many health potions lying around, you can rest anywhere to quickly restore HP, and you can save at will, you might be able to go for a while without consuming the one you start the game with.
  • Breath of Fire III has the Soul Ring which saves the wearer from death with full HP, once. Through the Faerie Village Side Quest it is possible to get a near infinite amount of them, and you will likely need them to take on the superbosses Berserker and Archmage.
  • You can buy Potions of Resurrection in dnd that bring you back to life once when you're killed, as a replacement for revival spells that your fellow players could cast on you in multiplayer tabletop RPGs. They are ludicrously expensive and even when you use one, you lose all the gold you have on you when you're killed, so you never want to have to use it.
  • Fable and Fable II have "Resurrection Phials", which activate automatically from the player character's inventory upon death to let them get right back up. They're sold in shops for around the price of a decent sword, yet none of the NPCs seem to use them.
  • The Mario & Luigi games have a 1-up Mushroom that restores the target player's health with half of his maximum HP. The 1-up Super does the same with full HP. In both cases, a character in the party must still be alive to administer it, and he uses his turn to do so.
  • Paper Mario and its sequels have an item called a Life Shroom which automatically activates from inventory when Mario (or his partner, in Thousand-Year door) dies, keeping him alive and giving him 10 HP. They may also be selected from inventory.
  • Secret of Evermore has an item called Pixie Dust and a call bead spell called Regenerate which will restore a small amount of HP if the Boy dies before they wear off. There's also an alchemy spell literally called "One Up", but it's not an example of the trope; it's just a full heal for the still-living Boy.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • Battle Garegga gives you an extra life every 1 million points, and also offers one in stage 3 if you destroy a midboss in a particularly specific manner. Given that keeping the game's Dynamic Difficulty managable involves, among other things, dying at periodic intervals to tame it, you will need those lives.
  • Centipede (1998): Little sunburst collectibles occasionally spawn in the levels, and award an extra life when collected. You also receive a sunburst-thingy for every sub-objective (rescuing Wee people, defending buildings, etc) maxed out in a level.
  • In the Every Extend series, you start with 12 lives, blow yourself up (and thereby lose a life) to attack, and gain extra lives very, very quickly. In fact, the term "extend" (a Japanese pseudo-anglicismnote  used as a synonym for One Up) itself is in the title.
  • Genetos: Circular, drops from enemies occasionally, and releases the word "Extend" when picked up.
  • Judgement Silversword:
    • The original Judgement Silversword and its successor Eschatos have extra lives drop after destroying a certain amount of enemies. The counter is never shown to the player and resets upon using a continue. Certain enemies in Eschatos, like the spider mini-boss in Area 18, will always drop a 1-up.
    • In Cardinal Sins: Judgement Silversword Recycle Edition, one stage tasks the player with collecting as many 1-ups as possible. The catch is that the 1-ups can be shot — if a 1-up is shot too many times, it will explode and a "NO!" message will pop up.1
  • Meritous: Justified Extra Lives as physical vitality:
    You can improve your vitality by collecting PSI crystals that have formed into a heart shape. [...] If you already have three hearts, they will go towards improving your physical vitality. Collect enough and your number of lives will increase.
  • In the Raiden Fighters series, the only way to get an extra life is to complete one loop on a multi-loop difficulty level. In Raiden Fighters Aces, those levels don't even have leaderboards.
  • In Space Invaders Extreme, there are two ways to obtain extra lives:
    • In the background, there are lights that correspond to different types of combos (i.e. shooting nothing but an entire column, shooting 10 enemies of the same color, etc). If you light all of these up, you get an extra life.
    • The roulette mini-game, comprised of spinning colored invaders, sometimes throws a yellow invader or two into the wheel of invaders. If you shoot the yellow invader, you get an extra life.
  • Stargunner offers three ways of getting an extra life (none of them easy): collecting a rare extra life powerup in the game, buying them at the store between levels (they're quite expensive), or just getting enough points for a free one. The game awards free lives at 500000 points, 1 million points, and every million from then on. Mind you, it does take a lot to get a million points in the game and even the default top score (held by Duke Nukem) is 2 million points.
  • The Touhou games have experimented with quite a few ways to gain extra lives: Score, collecting enough point items, collecting fragments for performing certain actions, feeding items to summoned UFOs...
  • In Twin Cobra, 1-up items only start to appear when enough bonus stars have been collected.
  • While Xevious has the player getting these at certain point values, they also come in the form of hard to find S-flags,note  which unlike Sol towers, don't cause the Solvalou's bomb sight to flash when putting it over them. They are only found in specific areas, and their exact location changes every time the game is played.
  • Zero Wing has not only a conventional 1-up item, but also a very rare 10-up.

    Survival Horror 
  • The Resuscitate item in Dino Crisis acts as a 1-Up; it revives Regina if she is killed, thus you can continue the game without having to reload your last save.
  • The Japanese survival horror game Fatal Frame has a particular item, the Stone Mirror (Mirror Stone in V), that will replenish all of your health should you ever drop to zero hit points, in effect acting as a 1-Up. However, you could only ever carry one of them at a time... except for V, which allows you to carry multiple Mirror Stones at once.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Total Overdose has Rewind Icons, which if Ram takes a fatal blow can wind back in time with half health.

    Trivia Game 
  • HQ has Extra Lives, which will allow the player to continue even if they get a question wrong. They can be earned by having a friend use your referral code when signing up or be awarded by the administrators.

Non-video game examples:

    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece: More than fifty years ago, Brook ate the Revive-Revive Fruit (Yomi Yomi no Mi), which gave the ability to return from death once. However, Brook died in a remote, foggy area and it took so long for his soul to return from the afterlife, he had rotted to a bleached skeleton (but still retaining his afro). Because It Runs on Nonsensoleum, he still came back to life as a walking skeleton. He was pretty shocked at first, but gradually found there were a lot of advantages to being a skeleton, first and foremost it makes him a lot tougher to kill the second time around.

    Comic Books 
  • Discussed in an episode of "Howard and Nester" in Nintendo Power, where Nester is called in to consult on a Ninja Gaiden movie. Seen here.
    Umberto: Come, tell Umberto how you know so much about up-ones?
    Howard: Up-whats?
  • A one-up in the shape of Scott Pilgrim's head appears in Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness, just after he defeats his love interest's third "evil ex-boyfriend". It briefly creeps him out before he collects it.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used in the sci-fi horror film Arcade. Where the heroine receives one for rescuing another player trapped inside the murderous machine's game world. Naturally, it becomes a Chekhov's Gun at the end.
  • Parzival in Ready Player One receives one early in the film, though he doesn't know it at the time, making it a Chekhov's Gun, too.

    Game Shows 
  • A British game show called Breakaway offers these as rewards for answering a Fame Game-style question correctly. (In the first season, the contestant that answered it correctly could choose to have their 1-up be at the expense of another player's lives, if anyone else had a life, but for the second season, that option was removed). Unlike most game shows that use the concept of lives, all lives are spare lives, which means that in and of itself, running out of lives does not eliminate you (in fact, nobody starts out with any lives at all). In the first season, the lives only come into play for players who have chosen to attempt a "Breakaway" (they're trying to claim all the money by finishing the stack on their own, or with only one partner), but now, on a wrong answer, anyone who had lives can choose to give up a life to avoid zeroing out the pot.
  • Fifteen to One gave any player who made it to the final round enough extra lives to give them a full set of three. It was slightly advantageous to have all three of your original lives in hand, though, since you started with one point per leftover life. (Slightly, because each question was worth 10, so the leftover lives from the earlier rounds were little more than a tiebreaker if two people survived to the end.)
  • Minute to Win It, on those shows that it offered the "Blueprint Bonuses," had a 1-up as one of the two possibilities (the other was a 10-second bonus that you could apply to one attempt at one game).
  • Starting in the second season, Raven offered a 1-up to any player who could collect seven (later nine) gold rings by winning challenges.


    Tabletop Games 
  • A savvy Dungeon Master in Dungeons & Dragons can require a special rare spell reagent (or, in Fourth Edition, ritual component) for resurrection magic. Popular choices range from Phoenix Feathers or Anima Crystals all the way up to the tears of a dead god. The point is to maintain the game world's verisimilitude and give a reasonable explanation for why death is still treated as permanent and tragic by the majority of the people in the world despite the fact that resurrection magic exists. It also allows the players to loot "extra lives" from particularly difficult enemies (who are likely to have them in their treasure hoard as a form of life insurance anyway.) It's an elegant solution for keeping death from becoming cheap at high level without making it absolutely final.
  • The One Ring: Bardings can gain the cultural Virtue "Birthright" for, among other benefits, a single-use Unexplained Recovery from otherwise certain death.
  • Shadowrun has the 'Karma Pool' (1st-3rd edition) and the 'Edge' stat (4th+ edition), which is used as a Luck Manipulation Mechanic by letting the players manipulate their dice rolls. Permanently burning Edge or reducing your Karma Pool allows for the player to pull a No One Could Survive That! and effectively counts as this. Note that even if the player isn't dead (and is protected from further death for the rest of the scene), they are very likely knocked out of the game for a long time.
  • The Fate Points in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Dark Heresy and their respective spin-off games function similarly to the Shadowrun example above. Fate Points can be spent on re-rolls (in which case they replenish at the end of milestones), or permanently burned to avoid certain death.

  • In Homestuck, every player has a dreamself on either Prospit or Derse, which can be used as Extra Lives if the players get killed. There are a few exceptions - Sollux had two dreamselves due to his bifurcation gimmick, while Aradia didn't have one at all due to being a ghost. It later turned out that she did have a dreamself on Derse, it was just sleeping on a Quest Bed in a crypt instead of inside a tower like the rest. This turns out being very handy when Jack blows up Derse, allowing Aradia to ascend to the God Tiers. However, dreamselves have other uses aside from being spare lives, so oddly enough, the extra life is more valuable than the player's actual life. Having a dreamself alive in some way is necessary if a player is going to ascend to the God Tiers.
  • Wooden Plank Studios had a story arc where Sephiroth killed everyone else in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, so survivors Kazuya and Incineroar had to find ways for revival, mostly being extra life methods such as green mushrooms and 100 rings.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Extra Life


Gold Bones

The Polterpup revives Luigi if he has a Gold Bone

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / OneUp

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