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Castlevania Wiki

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.

HP Max Ups first made their appearance in Symphony of the Night and have become a staple for most of the metroidvania-styled games, with some notable exceptions being Aria and Dawn of Sorrow.

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

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

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.

Life Vessels can also be found in fixed locations throughout the castle, whether it is in hard to reach places or inside secret rooms hidden behind breakable walls.

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.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

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

Item Data: HP Max Up
Image Name - Game
Type / Users Attributes / Consume Statistics / Sell Found Notes
Life Vessel Icon.png Life Vessel [alt] - Symphony of the Night [edit]
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
HP Max Icon.png HP Max - Circle of the Moon [edit]
' Item
Max HP +10
Find: Throughout castle (all)
Effect: Fully restores HP and increases Nathan's Max HP.
Life Vial Icon.png Life max up - Harmony of Dissonance [edit]
' Power-Up
Juste, Maxim 
Max HP +5
Find: Throughout castle (all)
Effect: Fully restores HP and increases Max HP.
Hpup.gif HP Max Up - Lament of Innocence [edit]
Increases the amount of Leon's maximum HP count by 10. Item
Leon Belmont 
Max HP +10
Find: Throughout castle (all)
Hpup.gif HP Max Up - Curse of Darkness [edit]
Health increased. Pick-Up
Max HP +30
Find: Abandoned Castle, Baljhet Mountains, Garibaldi Temple, Eneomaos Machine Tower, Infinite Corridor
HP Max up Icon.png HP Max Up - Portrait of Ruin [edit]
' Item
Jonathan, Charlotte 
Max HP +15
Find: Throughout castle/paintings (all)
Effect: Fully restores HP and increases a hero's Max HP (hard capped at 32)
HP Max up Icon.png HP Max up (jpn) - Order of Ecclesia [edit]
Increases your maximum HP. Item
Shanoa, Albus 
Max HP +20
Find: Throughout areas (all)
Effect: Fully restores HP and increases a hero's Max HP (hard capped at 30)


See also