Health (also called condition in the early Resident Evil games) is common factor in video games, including the Resident Evil series, measuring the current condition of the player character.
Starting with the original Resident Evil, the player's health is shown in the inventory menu/status screen, and is represented by an electrocardiogram (ECG).
Depending on the condition of the character, the ECG will read the following:
- Fine (green) - the character has none to minimal damage taken.
- Caution (yellow) - the character has taken moderate damage, but health is still above half.
- Caution (orange) - the character has taken significant damage, health is below half.
- Danger (red) - the character has taken major damage and health is almost gone. In this state, one or two more hits will result in death.
- Poison (purple) - the character is poisoned, and health will deplete gradually over time.
Excluding the original game, the character's movement animation will change depending on the condition they are in.
In Resident Evil 5, a "Dying" status was added when the character's main health is gone, requiring the assistance of the partner character. Self-resuscitation is available when playing the Mercenaries on single player. Death occurs when the Dying meter is depleted. The gauge drains by itself and the rate depends on the chosen difficulty, the meter will also be drained further from additional damage. Recovering from the Dying state restores a difficulty-varied amount of health.
Resident Evil: Revelations doesn't feature a health gauge; the player's health is instead indicated by the clearness of the screen. The bloodier the screen is, the more health has been lost. In addition, when a player is on a critical health level, the screen becomes monochromic except for the blood indication. The only healing item available is the green herb which fully heals the character.
Resident Evil 6 features a health gauge similar to Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5's, but is now clearly segmented into six pieces, which is universal among all playable characters (including Agent Hunt characters and creatures). One Herb represents one segment and following tradition, First Aid Sprays heals the character to full, and green+red herb mixes provides 6 blocks worth of recovery. Dying Status returns, but characters in this state can recover if given enough time, provided they don't take any additional damage during this phase. Recovering from Dying status grants the player with one "temporary" block of health which depletes quicker than a standard one, emphasizing the need for healing items.
Resident Evil 6 added a subtle feature called "natural recovery", which is a slow health regeneration of the nearest undepleted block. Piers Nivans is given a much faster health regeneration during the final battle of Chris' scenario, though this is not tied to the mechanic.
In Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, only the player's health is shown along with the character they selected. During Co-op the meter is lengthened considerably and shows the names of both characters despite a few inconsistencies (i.e. Wesker & Wesker or Rebecca & Rebecca). In Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles no matter what both characters get a health meter with a few exceptions (such as Krauser in Darkness Falls).
Before Resident Evil 4, there was a status effect known as "Poison" which was purple in color. Poison can be afflicted by several enemies throughout the series and can be cured with a Blue Herb or in special cases, Serum.
In Outbreak there is another status effect called "Bleed" which is multicolored depending on how much health the character has. It is randomly acquired but is often afflicted by the Leech man in "The Hive" scenario. It can go away over time but can also be cured instantly with a Hemostat.
Starting in Resident Evil 2, health was indicated with body language from a player character. This was mostly done because health could only be seen in the pause menu. In "Fine" characters stand upright and can move smoothly.
In "Danger" characters limp and move sluggishly. In "Dying" characters move much more slowly and can even end up crawling on the ground.
"Poison", "Virus", and Bleed" all have the same animation as "Caution" unless they are taken into "Danger" in which case they'll limp.
In other media
Marvel vs. Capcom series
In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Jill's Heal Type assist move shows her pulling out a Mixed Herb (G + R). If a character touches the herbs the ECG graphic will be shown next to them and they will be healed slightly and an additional ECG animation depicting their health going from "Danger" to "Fine" will be shown. The graphic in question is purely aesthetic due to Jill being a Resident Evil character. The same effect was not carried over to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 nor its Ultimate expansion. In both games Jill (in both incarnations), Chris Redfield, Albert Wesker, and Nemesis T-Type all use the same standard life bars as other characters to indicate their remaining health.
Health in the Resident Evil DBG works somewhat differently than in the main games in the series. Like in many games, all characters have different amounts of health. So far the highest amount of Health is 120; which is held by Chris Redfield, and the lowest is 70; which is held by several characters. Infected Characters (introduced in the Outbreak expansion) all have 140 health. Health can be regained by using Green and Red Herbs as well as First Aid Sprays. Certain characters can also heal themselves through their own abilities. Like in Resident Evil 4 health can be upgraded with the use of Yellow Herbs. Characters that take damage can "die", but in accordance with the game's rules, simply reappear with 20 less health. However, if a character is whittled down to 20 or less maximum health and dies, they are taken out of the game. Infected have Health similar to the characters. The highest amount is 90 (held by Uroboros Aheri and Albert Wesker) while the lowest amount is 10 (held by Bui Kichwa and Lurker). Infected do not "respawn" when they are killed nor does their health regenerate