Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
There is one thing you learn about any game that is essential to survival. Above all else is the ability to maintain your health status. While some games in today’s age have a regenerating bar, other games have taken a boss level approach to the world of health status. Back in my day, the regenerating bar didn’t exist. Gaming’s best replenishers had to be unlocked. They hid in the deepest darkest realms of human imagination and that is why today, we break down gaming’s Top Health Items.
5. Nuka Cola: Fallout
There is no end to the array of health items in a Fallout game. Snack cakes, strange meat (a kabab of human flesh). Hell, you can even drink the toilet water. One thing has come to the to be synonymous with Fallout, and that is Nuka Cola. Just like Coca-Cola in real life, Nuka Cola is plentiful and the best means of gaining health by mouth in fallout. You can always go to sleep, or pay someone to fix you. Why would you do that, though? It’s not as delicious.
4. Red Mushroom: Super Mario Brothers
We have to get the most recognizable and classic health item out-of-the-way. Mario’s red mushroom may be the most taken for granted health item in gaming history. The development of this item gave gamers a recognizable health status at all. It gave us our first glimpse into what would become a complex system in the future based on many intricate bars and nuances. For its time it was the at the forefront of health technology and grabbing one meant you could make it through that extra difficult level just perfectly. Today the red mushroom is a symbol that is almost a permanent part of Mario. While originally Mario started his title out as a small version of himself, today you almost never see him in a smaller version unless he is Baby Mario. That’s because Mario never leaves home without a mushroom.
3. Soul Sphere: Doom
Doom’s soul sphere was a blue orb usually hovering in the distance just out of reach. It resided on the other side of a trail of lava or just behind some closed metal bars. Getting to this mysterious item meant putting your life at risk to even reach it. If you could reach it, you could consume the essence of tormented shade that it contained and gain a health above 100%. Truly a treat of the demonic forces to be reckoned with. This item while first experienced in 1993, was possibly one of the first items that required you to injure the player to gain a special item. This idea would be continued in future titles, especially first-person shooting titles.
2. Herbs: Resident Evil
Resident Evil’s herb health system really took the idea of health to the next level. In fact, at the beginning of any resident evil game you can typically choose a level of difficulty and in early RE titles this meant “how many herbs and bullets do you want to find on your journey?” The amazing thing about the herb was the ability to mix herbs to gain health. While there were a decent amount of green herbs lying around the landscape (mushrooms and herbs? What exactly is going on here?) the real challenge with RE’s herb system was mixing them to become a botanist. Blue and green herbs would up your health and reduce poison, red and green herbs would triple the health effect, and later games would allow you to take yellow herbs to increase your health bar completely. All of this was coupled by the fact that your character only had so much room in his/her pockets to carry items. A lot of times herbs had to be dropped for the vacant space which meant you literally were in constant battle for the use of a much-needed health item.
1. Bottled Fairy: Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda is full of health items which include hearts that fill a single heart space and heart pieces which can be collected in groups of four to increase a player’s overall health. The game also includes various health potions but maybe the most notable item is the bottled fairy. Bottled fairies are quite rare but may be one of the most powerful items in gaming that can be carried around. Fairies will restore your entire available health hearts in one single swoop and if Link is killed, a bottled fairy will automatically escape his pocket and bring him back to life. The item actually requires two separate components which include an empty bottle and a lone fairy. Fairy’s are pretty far between residing at various fairy fountains or in the rare instance a random broken jar. However, an empty bottle may be the most challenging part of this duo to come by. Jars are difficult to find in of themselves but having an empty one is even more difficult. The maximum amount of jars in any game is limited and those may be filled with difficult to find potions or special items which the jar keeps safe in route. Because of the complexity of this particular item bottled fairy makes it to number one on our list.