Hit points (abbreviated as HP) are the value of damage a character in the Mother series (playable or opposing) can withstand before they are knocked unconscious. Playable characters can replenish this value by eating food or utilizing appropriate PSI (e.g. Lifeup, Refresh) to recover.
Unique to EarthBound and Mother 3 is that playable characters's hit points are represented by a rolling meter not unlike an odometer. This means that if a character who has 75 HP is inflicted with 75 or more points of damage, their HP will not immediately drop to 0 and knock them unconscious. Instead, the player can utilize the time it takes for their HP meter to roll down to 0 to try to heal the threatened character, or end the fight by either fleeing from the battle or defeating all enemies in the time that remains for the character. If a player is not healed or the fight is not ended by the time the player's HP drops to 0, the player will be rendered unconscious. In rare cases, players with high Guts stats will survive with 1 HP, even after a seemingly mortal blow. This means Refresh in Mother 3 is actually much more useful than it first seems, since it will also save a mortally wounded character from death by healing them when their turn comes around.
Initial gameplay features that creator Shigesato Itoi had in mind involved an unconventional hit points system of hit point boxes made like pachinko balls that would fall off the screen whenever a character was damaged. However, this was later changed to the odometer counter because the pachinko balls did not work very well when characters had large amounts of hit points.
- ↑ http://yomuka.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/weekly-famitsu-september-9-1994/ A translated interview with Shigesato Itoi, held by Weekly Famitsu on September 9, 1994