|“||Every time you take damage, your vitality will be reduced. When it becomes zero, you will lose one Kirby.”|
|— Kirby's Dream Land 3 instruction manual|
Health (also called Vitality, Stamina, strength, or life force) is the visual representation of how many hits Kirby can take before he loses a life. All playable characters have this and bosses, mid-bosses, and in some games, enemies have their own separate health bars shown while fighting them.
Most of the time health is represented by bars in a meter that disappear as Kirby takes damage, while boss characters get a gauge; though in Kirby Super Star, its remake, Kirby: Squeak Squad, and Kirby's Return to Dream Land onward (excluding Kirby and the Rainbow Curse) Kirby and his helper use a gauge for their health as well.
Kirby most often has a default of 6 bars, but it changes from time to time. In Kirby's Adventure and Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, when played on extra mode, Kirby has only 3 bars. In Kirby's Dream Land 3, he has 10 health points. In Kirby & The Amazing Mirror he could increase the amount of life unit bars by 4, for a total of 10 bars. In Kirby: Canvas Curse, Kirby starts with 4 bars and can increase it to be up to 7 bars. In Kirby: Squeak Squad, Kirby could also increase his life gauge.
Starting in Kirby Super Star Ultra, life bars will sometimes display how much damage was taken from an attack by showing a section (representative of damage taken) on the life gauge changing color or flashing, rather than the life gauge immediately depleting as it had in prior titles.
In Kirby Super Star Ultra, damage taken reflects by flashing a segment on the life gauge, and then receding. This is displayed on all life gauges in the game.
In Kirby: Squeak Squad, damage taken is reflected by a red colored segment on his life gauge. Bosses do not have a damage gauge, instead receiving all damage immediately.
In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, the playable characters have a red colored segment for their life gauge, similar to Squeak Squad. Mid-bosses and Bosses have a flashing damage gauge very similar to that of Kirby Super Star Ultra. This is carried over into the next title, Kirby Triple Deluxe.
In Kirby: Planet Robobot, the damage gauge was altered slightly. While Kirby and Meta Knight share the same red colored damage gauge similar to previous installments, the mid-bosses and Bosses now get an orange colored damage gauge, instead of a clear flashing gauge. It would continue to function this way in Kirby Star Allies.
Bosses usually have a longer health gauge than the players, and some bosses might have special health bars, such as Void Termina, who has 5 eye-like segments that covers the original health bar.
Most games have food items that recover lost health by various increments. The most famous of these is the Maxim Tomato, a large red tomato with an "M" on it that recovers all of a character's health and is said to be Kirby's favorite food. Another common health item is the Energy Drink, a drink that generally recovers a third of Kirby's health. Kirby can also share recently-eaten health power-ups with a Helper or another player in a move called "Face-to-Face" by touching them a short time after eating it.
|Main article: Vitality|
|Main article: Life Piece|
|“||Kirby begins with six bars of vitality. When injured by an enemy, his vitality will decrease by one or more bars depending on the enemy that injures him.”|
|— The number of Kirby's vitality bars. • Kirby's Dream Land Instruction Booklet|
|“||The life meter is reduced as Kirby takes damage.”|
|— Game Screen • Kirby's Dream Land 2 Instruction Booklet|