up", is a term in console video gaming that commonly refers to an item that gives the player an extra life
Health is a game mechanic used in role-playing, computer and video games to give value to characters, enemies, NPCs, and related objects. This value can either be numerical, semi-numerical as in hit/health points, or arbitrary as in a life bar....
, to complete the game. In certain games, it is possible to receive multiple extra lives at once. When this happens, the number of extra lives obtained sometimes changes the notification from "1-up" to the number that reflects the total lives earned: Two lives would be "2-up", five lives would be "5-up", and so on. Games that don't do it this way often simply repeat the "1-up" notification in rapid succession concurrent with the number of lives awarded.
The term "1-up" appeared in American pinball
Pinball is a type of arcade game, usually coin-operated, where a player attempts to score points by manipulating one or more metal balls on a playfield inside a glass-covered case called a pinball machine. The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible...
games in at least the 1970s, perhaps earlier. These games often gave players multiple chances. When a ball was lost in the gutter, the next ball was loaded and the game continued. If a player met certain conditions (such as a high score), they received an extra ball. Later, this concept was applied to arcade game
An arcade game is a coin-operated entertainment machine, usually installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars, and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games, and merchandisers...
s. The inclusion of extra lives was very common in video games from the 1980s on, even in otherwise 'realistic' combat-themed games.
"1-up" was first seen in multi-player pinball and other arcade games. In these games, "1UP" meant that it was player one's turn. Likewise, "2UP" meant it was player two's turn, and so on. In some cases, arcade games also used this terminology to designate which score was whose. "1UP" followed by a score indicated it was player one's score, for example. It is believed in some circles to be short-hand for "player 1
, step up
to the machine," since a standard pinball table only has enough space and control mechanisms for one player to operate at a time.
The use of the term "1-up" to designate an extra life (attempt) first appeared in Super Mario Bros.
is a 1985 platform video game developed by Nintendo, published for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. In Super Mario Bros., the player controls Mario as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist...
, where the player could gain an extra life in one of three ways: 1) Collect 100 coins 2) Find a green mushroom (later called a 1-up Mushroom) 3) Jump on eight consecutive enemies without touching anything else in the process, or use one enemy shell to kill eight consecutive enemies.