The HP Max Up, also known as Life max up or Life Vessel, is a potion that increases the Max Hit Points of a character. They also completely restore the character's life meter upon contact. Most of the entries in the series with role playing elements (colloquially known as "metroidvanias") feature these potions spread throughout the castle and other locations that may be visited, although in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Life Vessels also materialize after defeating most of the game's bosses, replacing the iconic Magic Crystals from previous games.
Due to the New Game+ feature introduced in Aria of Sorrow and the other metroidvania-styled games that followed, Konami has implemented a hard cap to the amount of HP Max Ups that may be in effect on a player character. Once that cap is reached, any further HP Max Ups will simply fully restore the character's wounds.
Game specific information
Symphony of the Night introduced the HP Max Up item into the series, although originally called Life Vessel in the game, mainly as a replacement to the classic Magic Crystal from previous games. The similarities between both items go as far as the Life Vessel also materializing out of thin air in the center of the room right after an area boss has been defeated (although it won't restore the player character's MP bar and much less start a Hearts bonus counter). Upon pick up, the player character's HP bar will be fully restored and increased by +5 HP.
The Life Vessel/Max HP Up would become a staple within the series from then onward, especially in titles that implemented role playing elements, some of which that feature both HP Max Ups and Magic Crystals.
In Portrait of Ruin, HP Max Ups increase the character's maximum health by 15 points each. When the hard cap for HP Max Ups collected has been reached, they won't appear anymore in any of the next locations where otherwise one would be found. In a Normal game, this translates to only one HP Max Up removed from the playthrough if all others have already been collected.
|Item Data: HP Max Up|
|Image||Name - Game|
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|Increases the player's maximum HP (life) capacity.|| Item (standard)|
| Maximum HP + 5|| Find: Found throughout the Castle, often in containers.|
Drop: Most bosses.
| Effect: Restore all life and increases Max HP|
| Max HP +10|| Find: Throughout castle ()|| Effect: Fully restores HP and increases Nathan's Max HP.|
| Max HP +5|| Find: Throughout castle ()|| Effect: Fully restores HP and increases Juste's Max HP.|
|Increase HP Max.|| Item|
| Max HP +10|| Find: Throughout castle ()|
|Health increased.|| Pick-Up|
| Max HP +30|| Find: Abandoned Castle, Garibaldi Temple, Eneomaos Machine Tower, Infinite Corridor|
| Max HP +15|| Find: Throughout castle/paintings ()|| Effect: Fully restores HP and increases a hero's Max HP (hard capped at 32)|
|Increases your maximum HP.|| Item|
| Max HP +20|| Find: Throughout areas ()|| Effect: Fully restores HP and increases a hero's Max HP (hard capped at 30)|