Hit Points (commonly abbreviated as HP, and otherwise known as Health or Health Bar) are a statistic found in most Castlevania games. They are a representation of the player's remaining amount of health and are usually portrayed as a red bar which represents the actual numeric value of Hit Points left on the heads-up-display (HUD).
In most of the classic titles, Hit Points are referred to as "Energy", while in the Metroidvania-style titles (games with role playing elements) they are properly referred to as "Hit Points" and the actual numerical values can be viewed by the player, either that be in the PAUSE menu or, in some games, in both: the PAUSE menu and the HUD. They are still called "Energy" in some non-Metroidvania titles, such as Adventure Rebirth; however, they are also called "Hit Points" in Judgment, in order to differentiate them from the "Special" meter.
In Castlevania: The Adventure, when the player's health isn't full, it doesn't represent the empty part in outline parameters of the whole health bar, not showing the maximum health. This is due to the sprite graphic limitations of the Game Boy.
Losing Hit PointsEdit
Hit Points may drop in the following situations:
- Every time a player touches an enemy.
- Every time a player is hit by an enemy attack.
- Every time a player comes in contact with other hazards (such as spikes or fire traps).
- Every time a player is inflicted with the Poison status ailment (or its variants).
- Every time a player falls into an "endless" pit (a feature used most prominently in the classic titles).
When the player's Hit Points have been fully depleted, the character will die. In the classic titles the player will lose one life; if no extra lives remain, the game will end (prompting the player to continue the game if there are "continues" remaining). In most recent games, however, only one life is used and if the HP bar is depleted, the game will also end. The game may be then resumed from the latest point it was saved.
In classic titles, falling into a pit or landing on spikes would instantly deplete all the player's Hit Points, regardless of the amount they had. As the games became longer and more complex, the use of spike-covered areas became more prominent, leaving the "endless" pits on second term. Landing on a spike-covered area will usually deal high amounts of damage and knock the player back (probably sending him or her to land on yet more spikes). Spikes will commonly deplete a player's full HP bar in three or four hits.
Restoring Hit PointsEdit
Hit Points are not regained by acquiring Hearts, as many newcomers to the series tend to believe (although hearts do replenish the energy meter in Adventure). They are usually replenished with meat or by consuming other healing items, such as a variety of potions or food, or also by conjuring some specialized spells.
As the series progressed, many new and innovative ways to regain health have been implemented in the various games' mechanics. Here are some examples:
- Activating the altars found inside of Save Rooms will completely refill the protagonist's HP and MP bars.
- Alucard has two spells that serve as means of healing the wounds he suffers in combat. Use of Dark Metamorphosis allows him to heal via drinking blood spilled from his enemies, caused by inflicting a cutting attack on them. Soul Steal, on the other hand, damages everything near Alucard, causing small orbs of light to fly over to him. These orbs restore HP upon contact.
- A variety of weapons and body armors allow the protagonist to regain health, like the Healing Mail, Muramasa or the 7 Bladed Sword.
- Nathan can combine the Unicorn DSS attribute card with other action cards and find many ways to replenish health, like swinging his whip or summoning the Unicorn itself to heal him.
- Charlotte is capable of learning a healing spell which not only affects her, but also other nearby hunters.
- There are some souls that Soma Cruz can make use of, such as Drain Seed or Magic Vacuum, to drain enemies' health while replenishing his own.
A common threat inflicted by the Poison status ailment is that the protagonist's HP will be continuously drained by a set amount for an extended period of time (although this doesn't happen in Symphony of the Night, Aria or Dawn of Sorrow, where only the hero's attack power will be significantly reduced for a brief period of time instead). This effect can be counteracted by consuming an anti-venom. In later entries in the series, altars found inside of Save Rooms can also cure heroes of any poison. Most of the time, poison alone cannot cause a hero to die, although at least one exception does exist for this rule.