Vitality

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Vitality (also referred to as HP, Health, Life or Stamina) refers to the amount of damage Kirby or another entity can sustain before being defeated or otherwise losing. The concept of vitality has been in the series since its first iteration and has recurred in nearly every game since then.

Vitality by entity

Kirby and other playable characters

In early games in the series, Kirby had distinct bars of vitality, and anything that dealt him damage (and was not immediately fatal) took exactly one point away. The only exception were Gordos, which dealt a much more painful three bars of damage. As such, restorative items tended to also heal in these discrete fashions, with Energy Drinks restoring a small number of bars, and Maxim Tomatoes restoring all of them.

In later games, starting with Kirby Super Star, and most games since then, Kirby and his allies' vitality is represented not as discrete bars, but as one continuous bar. In addition, damage sources could vary in severity, with some hits dealing minor damage, taking only a small portion away, and others dealing a comparatively large amount of damage. In addition, smaller Food items such as cherries would appear in these titles, to heal minor amounts of vitality.

In most games in the series, a high-pitched beeping noise plays when Kirby reaches a significantly low threshold to his vitality, warning the player of the situation. In later games, such as Kirby's Return to Dream Land, having sufficiently low vitality would also cause Kirby or his friends to adopt an exhausted look when standing still, and cause their portraits to sweat and exhibit sad expressions.

Some titles, including Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, allowed Kirby to extend his maximum vitality by collecting special items in the levels. Other titles had Extra Games which reduced Kirby's maximum vitality to increase the challenge.

Standard enemies

Apart from a select few games in the series, enemies' vitality is not shown to the player. However, each enemy has a specific amount of vitality, just like Kirby or a boss, and the enemy is defeated when its vitality reaches zero. Most enemies are defeated in one hit by most moves however, so vitality is not hugely important to consider.

Bosses and mid-bosses

In most every game in the series when a boss or mid-boss is encountered, its vitality is displayed to the player, often overlapping a previous display to avoid taking up extra space on the screen. Despite earlier bosses showing their vitality as discrete units, it may in fact take several hits to deplete one unit of their vitality, as is the case with the boss Kabula. Bosses in particular typically have a very high vitality, and will take several hits to defeat. Some of them may not necessarily be defeated when their vitality bar is emptied, instead taking on a new form and displaying a new vitality bar to drain. Others, particularly in later games, will enter different phases of attacks depending on how much vitality they have remaining.

Other

Some other entities in the series have vitality, such as items and vehicles. In Kirby Air Ride, each vehicle has a set amount of HP, which can be drained or augmented in modes such as City Trial. When a vehicle's HP reaches zero, it explodes, which has various consequences depending on the mode being played.

Trivia