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Super Street Fighter IV/Basic Elements/Life Meter
Lease On Life
We all know what the Life Meter is. It's that nice bar on the top of the screen that tells you how close you are to being defeated. Not too hard to figure out for even the most casual of Fighting Game fans. "Duh! We all know what the Life Meter is! So why bother talking about it?" you may want to ask me.
Well, there are a few things worthy to note about Super Street Fighter IV's Life Meters. There is a lot of good information that you can ascertain about the Life Meter thanks to the Training Mode in the home versions.
The main thing to note is that every character has a set amount of "Hit Points" and it's not always the same amount. Even though the Life Meters have the same length on screen, the amount of Hit Points in them are actually different between characters. So while it's easy to say things like "C. Viper takes more damage than Ryu" or "T. Hawk takes less damage than Guile," it's worth noting that this isn't actually true: every character takes the same amount of damage! The only difference is how many hit points they have total, and those with lesser amount of Hit Points just seem like they take more damage.
And this is because, as said earlier, the Life Meters are one fixed length visually on screen. So draining half of C. Viper's Life Meter means she has lost 450 Hit Points whereas draining half of Ryu's Life Meter means he has lost 500 Hit Points. But graphically, it will look like the same amount of life.
The average character has 1000 Hit Points. Characters with 1100 are considered characters with high health and characters with 900 Hit Points are considered characters with low health.
Hit Point Charts
Here are the Hit Point counts for every character in the game:
Health Damage Reduction Stages
The second thing to note about the Life Meter is that there are 4 stages in a character's Life Meter. The first stage is when you have 100% of your life: your Life Meter is pure Yellow. As soon as you take damage, your Life Meter changes to a gradient of red (low life) to yellow (full life). For the first 50% of your Life Meter, you will take 100% damage from all non-Damage Reduced hits. As soon as your Life Meter drops below 50%, you will begin taking 95% damage of all non-Damage Reduced hits. When your Life Meter drops below 30%, you start taking 90% damage of all non-Damage Reduced hits. And finally, once your Life Meter drops below 15%, you start taking only 75% damage from all non-Damage Reduced hits. So the closer to being defeated you are, the more resilient you become.
0% 15% 30% 50% 100% _________ _________ ____________ _______________________________ | | | | | | 75% | 90% | 95% | 100% | |_________|_________|____________|_______________________________|
You can see all these numbers easily in Training Mode, which presents to you the percentage of damage the move is doing. These values are also rounded up, in case anyone is wondering why sometimes in Training Mode you'll see some odd percentages like "76%" instead of "75%".
Obviously, these percentages are the percentage of total Hit Points you have. So for Ryu, who has 1000 Hit Points, his first damage reduction kicks in at 500 Hit Points. For Dhalsim, who has 900 Hit Points, his damage reduction kicks in when he has 450 Hit Points.
Also, keep in mind that damage reduction doesn't kick in until the meter drops below those percentages. In other words, let's just look at Balrog's Final Punch. The move does 560 damage. Now, Ryu has 1000 Hit Points. Once he drops below 500 Hit Points, he'll start taking only 95% of the damage of normal moves. Since Balrog's Final Punch drains more than half of Ryu's life, will the 60 points that it goes over be reduced by 95%? The answer is no: all damage calculation is based on how much life the character had before taking the hit. So Ryu will receive all 560 points of damage is he has anywhere between 501 and 1000 Hit Points.
Last but not least, this Life Meter damage reduction ignores any White Health (see White Damage section in Game Systems). So if your Life Meter is at 49% and you have a large block of White Health that extends passed the 50% mark, you'll still take 95% damage.