It is commonplace in current video games that bosses, most likely final bosses, have multiple HP bars so that depleting one fully reveals another underneath, usually a different color, or sometimes represented by some counter that decrements as the HP bars depletes.

Historically, what was the first boss in a video game to have their health layered in such a fashion?

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    Does it specifically need to have multiple (visible) HP bars, or does it also count when the HP bar gets fully restored, or is hidden behind armor which needs to be broken first? What about bosses with invisible HP bars (like bosses that transform once they're hurt enough)?
    – Nolonar
    Apr 7, 2020 at 9:18
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    I'd say specifically either multiple HP bars visible from the start, or overlapping HP bars of various colors.
    – JRodge01
    Apr 7, 2020 at 12:03
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    Hi @JRodge01, I would suggest uploading an image or linking to a video example. Final Fight (Arcade) and Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis) come to mind as good, early examples. Apr 7, 2020 at 15:37
  • I would further suggest researching the genre's where this type of context bar would have been most effective. I would suggest searching early Japanese RPG games, possibly for their various PCs, as well as Japanese arcade games from 84-89 with a focus on shooters and beat'em ups. Hardcore Gaming 101 may be a good resource. Apr 7, 2020 at 15:39


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