Engineer Sure Wishes He Could See His Spine-Mounted Health Meter

USG Ishimura, Aegis 7– An engineer battling hordes of mutated Necromorphs aboard the planetary mining ship Ishimura sure wishes he could see the health meter built onto the back of his spacesuit.

“Who designed this stupid spacesuit?” asked Isaac Clarke, a systems engineer, while whirling around and craning his neck in an effort to view his own back. “They built the health meter on the spine? Really? On the spine? Who is this supposed to be useful for, someone standing behind me?”

Clarke was stationed aboard the USG Kellion, which was dispatched to the Ishimura to repair their malfunctioning communications array. After the Kellion crashed into the massive planetary mining ship, Clarke quickly found himself alone and surrounded by the twisted, reanimated corpses of the former crew of the Ishimura. Armed only with mining tools and fighting for his life, Clarke sure would like to know the status of his health and how close he is to dying.

“As an engineer, I don’t believe in form over function,” he said. “I guess the designer of the suit didn’t want to clutter my visor screen with data, or something. But building the heath meter on the back of my suit, where I can’t see it, while space-saving and aesthetically pleasing, isn’t exactly useful for me, the guy wearing the suit and wondering how close to death he is.”

“Is it blue? Is it red? I have no idea. I’m definitely on a need-to-know basis with how close I am to my own death, but unless I find a mirror or maybe someone to follow me around, walking behind and slightly to the side of me, constantly pointing out how badly injured I am in a loud voice, it’s gonna continue to be a flippin’ mystery.”

“Hey, random necromorph!” Clarke yelled sarcastically to the darkened, labyrinthine corridors of the ship. “If you’re creeping up behind me, before you rend me to bloody ribbons with your claws, maybe you could let me know my health status. Since I have no idea what it is. That’d be great. If you could do that.”

“Thanks,” he added.


  1. Random necromorph says:

    He was being sarcastic in the interview, but that’s the kind of thing [Clarke] keeps doing. I’m tired of telling him what the health status is. Sometimes he’ll call out in the middle of a corridor and I have to drop down from the vent, let him know and then scamper away before he turns around.

    I’m tired of doing all these favours, health status, opening doors, creating holes for him to climb through. Can’t believe he’s not dead yet.

  2. Sure, having vital information displayed in front of you is a plus. Unless you’re a covert goddamn agent and that goddamn information is your top goddamn secret goddamn objective. I am just about goddamn sick of that goddamn floodlight guy and his fancy little stencils following me around and blowing my missions.

  3. God damn it.

  4. You complain but I’d give my left flanking maneuver to have my vision unclouded by menus, health bars, time bars, indicators, and several things I’m not even sure what they do.

  5. You think that’s bad? Every time I get hit, shot, stub my toe, etc. I go colour-blind! I mean, yeah, I definitely know I’ve been hit, but the agonizing pain gets the same message across.

  6. Ramirez! says:

    Well, at least you aren’t in the US Marines. Whenever a bullet even comes close we start bleeding from the eyeballs! It goes away after a few seconds, but still. You ever bleed from your eyes? Not a comfortable experience.

  7. STATEMENT: This is why organic meatbags should not design armour.

  8. Seriously, can you guys even guess how much it sucks for me to have to look up to see my health status? All of you have it easy. I’m a top-level competitor in an international fighting ring, for Konami’s sake. Taking my eyes off of my opponent to even look at a weird guy standing in the crowd behind him can mean the difference between a successful dodge and a fist to my face, let alone having to turn my whole head and look up.

  9. Jack Thompson says:

    I just ask my nurse at the home for my health status. Seems to work pretty well.

  10. You guys have it easy. At least your health bars aren’t associated with some arbitrary symbol. Sometimes, I don’t even know how much I’m being hurt for, because, on top of everything, this arbitrary symbol system starts throwing fractions at me? How much health IS a quarter of a heart?

  11. Anonymous says:

    You assholes don’t know how lucky you have it. You only take damage when you get hit by enemies. Do you know how massively powerful the need is to gut those goddamn beggars or those goddamn crazy people who shove me right into the guy I’m trying to pickpocket?! And there’s not a guard within 400 miles, I could just spike them in the back and be done with it, but CHRIST I feel that backlash and it hurts like a motherf***er.

  12. Far Cry 2 guy says:

    I don’t like to boast, but in my experience there’s no punishment a bullet or twelve can inflict on my poor unarmoured body that can’t be completely healed by ducking down behind a rock for a few seconds and sipping a mouthful of water. I’d trade it all in, though, to be able to run more than ten yards without seeing spots and wheezing like an 80-year-old chronic smoker with emphysema.

  13. Other Far Cry 2 guy says:

    Oh, man, other Far Cry 2 guy, do you have it right! I found that digging around in my bare flesh with pliers is usually more than enough to heal any major wounds, and I don’t even feel it, because I’ve been shooting up anywhere from 20 to 30 syrettes of morphine a day! I’m worried I might be building up a tolerance. Good thing I still have a steady supply of magic pills for that pesky malaria!

  14. Kellion engineer says:

    I keep telling Isaac that one’s for us to check each other’s suit integrity when we’re on the hull of the ship together, but does he listen? Noooooo, he’s always endlessly rewatching videos of his girlfriend instead.

    “But what if I get stranded on a ship full of scythe-armed space zombies and you’re not there to help,” he says. I never really continued the conversation after that – it seemed like kind of a stupid argument. Now that I think about it, maybe I should have talked to Frank in R&D.

    …Nah, it was just a fluke. I’m safe over here.

  15. Gordon Freeman says:

  16. Marcus Fenix says:

    I don’t even HAVE a health meter! If I’m about to die a fucking skull pops up in front of my face. Seriously, what does that even mean.

  17. Sgt. Joe Hartsock says:

    You think THAT’S inconvenient? For me to check both my own health and the status of my squadmates, I need to pause fucking time, zoom out to an isometric view and even then I only get some vague colored meters! Not even a number! Do you know how horrifying it is to see everything go black and white and zoom out in the middle of a warzone?

  18. RTS villager says:

    My Health Bar only display when A giant floating icon attacks me :(

    Then I suddenly get the urge to CHOP WOOD.

  19. MSgt. Matt Cooper says:

    I feel you, Marcus. I don’t have a health meter, either. I don’t even get a visual warning that I’m dying or anything.

    Hell, I’m lucky if I can even stay alive at all out here. People in Chernarus have some godlike aim.

  20. LaZodiac says:

    Chris! For the love of god I let this go on long enough.

    This is a newspaper. You are styling it like a newspaper. But what you are doing, putting occasional posts every once and a while when you think of them. THATS NOT HOW YOU NEWSPAPER!

    Keep it to one big update once a week. You know, like NEWSPAPERS. You can even do follow up stories, incorpurating these comments you love ever so much! Just please, stop doing it “whenever you think of something” or you will burn out on this like you did with LIO.

  21. Ishimura Crew Member says:

    Suck it up Isaac.

  22. Talon Company Merc says:

    Heh. You guys win. To see mine, I have to not only get shot, turn around, notice the damn Wanderer, then look almost at the barrell of his gun, but you can shoot me in the hand with a BB gun and my whole body explodes. You’d think after the deaths of waves and waves of men, my boss would send more than three of us.

  23. Bill Rizer says:

    In my day, we died in one hit! Bullet hits your leg? Dead. Pit? Dead. Enemy tickles you? Also dead. We had to preserve our lives, it’s not like there’s this “magic word” that gives you 30 of them or something.

  24. Stone. J, Sgt. Rainbow Six says:

    Must be some kind of new experimental thing. Wonder if the higher ups will employ them.

  25. Master Chief says:

    I remember the good o’l days when I had a health meter, those where the days. Now I don’t know how alive I am as soon as those shields of mine go down I just hide for a while. Even if it’s only one grunt left I’m not risking going down and waking up two minutes back in time. The funny thing is when my health bar left, so did all the health packs and medics! I thought for sure the normal marines would still need them. Maybe the have been all used up, who knows, but I sure do miss my health bar.

  26. You must be fighting the wrong kind of horribly disfigured undead, Isaac. Me and my pals must’a gotten some kind’a radiation or sumthin’, cause now not only can I see my health, I can see theirs too. That radiation also lets me see them through walls, also gas cans though I’m not sure why that would be.

  27. Captain MacTavish says:

    Annoying health bars are just the worst. When ever I get shot up a bit, blood splatters my eyes like I just got chainsawed in the gut! It doesn’t look like blood, it looks like f***in’ jelly! So what, am I just some Jelly doughnut shooting terrorists in Afghanistan or something?

  28. Commander Chris Damone says:

    My health bar is too big. I’m in the market for a new health bar, anyone know a good model?

  29. Gordon Freeman says:



  30. You youngsters think you got it tough? When I was your age, health bars DIDN’T EVEN EXIST. Even today, I go without a health bar. What’s more, we didn’t even NEED them! I ran from ghosts twice your size and ate three times as many pellets then you ever will, and back then, we weren’t crying about the position of our point counter. No, back then, in the good ole days, we were DAMN GLAD for the mere OPPORTUNITY to eat pellets.

  31. Yeah, I don’t have a health “bar” so much as a health “diamond.” It’s this big green jobbie that’s constantly floating six inches above my head, although sometimes the color changes based on my mood. You think I have it easy, don’t you? Just look up and see how I’m doing? This thing may be more convenient than a spinal-mounted health bar, but it also creeps me the hell out. Seriously. Every time I look up there’s this really sharp point hanging directly over my head like the goddamned Sword of Damocles, and I’m always wondering when it’s going to fall down and skewer me. And how does it know my mood, anyway? Is it a telepathic diamond? Am I being monitored for something? I could swear someone is watching me…always watching…

    Also, I’ve been swimming in this pool for a while now, and I can’t seem to find the ladder to get out. If anyone in the neighborhood is reading this, please help!

  32. Commander Shepard says:

    Hah! You think you’ve got it tough?

    I used to have a simple display that showed me exactly how my health is doing but now whenever my kinetic barriers go down and i start to take hits, i get some-kind of strange red veins everywhere and all i can hear is my own heartbeat.

    on an unrelated note, do any of you guys get the feeling that someone is making you decisions for you while your on a mission?

  33. Dom Santiago says:

    Ugh. The skull is annoying, but you know what the worst is? When I die. I just kinda, sit there. I can crawl around sure, and I seem to bleed a lot, but thats about it! I just gotta sit there until Marcus picks me up.

    And where does this blood even come from? After I get back up, there isn’t a wound or anything…you would think there would be a big one!



  34. Are you kidding me? I was wandering around Rapture the other day when I came across a Big Daddy. Being a Big Daddy myself and having no need at the time to kill him, kidnap his daughter, and force her to extract blood from corpses before freeing her, I cheerfully asked “Hey man! How are you feeling today?”

    He looked at me for a minute and said “I can’t tell. I need a mirror.”


  35. It’s a-easy to tell-a how much-a life you have-a left. How tall are you right-a now? Can you shoot-a fire from-a your hands? Are you flashing lotsa different-a colors?

    If-a the answers are “about three feet, no, and no, then go find a mushroom before a-fighting any more monsters. A-simple.

  36. Sonic The Hedgehog says:

    At least you have a means of telling how much health you have.

    For some odd reason I’m practically invincible assuming there are rings around, but if I’m stranded without rings somebody could look in my general direction and kill me. It makes no sense.

    Hell half the time I’ll go through a level and collect like 3 rings because as long as I just keep running around and picking them up after getting hit I’m alright. Thought the fact that an icon with my face on it displays how many “lives” I have left is pretty ominous. Almost as ominous as picking up a random head I found that happened to look exactly like mine, without wondering how it got there, or better yet who put it there, and why I need it.

  37. Well, have the rest of you tried Katarn class commando armor?

    Excellent equipment. Built in shielding and the like are vital, of course, but the integrated collapsible bio feedback readouts for the entire squad are downright vital for anyone attempting a long form operation.

    1207 is taking heavy fire? You’ll know quickly enough to rewire the turrets reducing him to ribbons.

    The only drawback is the integrated radio lacking a mute function. RC 1262 may be know demolitions, but he needs better understanding of radio silence.

  38. That Guy from the Getaway says:

    You think you have it bad? The only way I can check my health is by seeing how much blood is on my back? I guess it’s okay though, if I want to heal all I need to do is lean against a wall.

  39. note from Gordon says:

    Currently have larengitis so cant talk but not having any display on my suit I have to gauge not only my health but ammo count for everything

  40. note from Gordon says:

    In MY HEAD!!!!!!!!!

  41. CT Agent says:

    @Gordon Freeman you sure those aren’t just your high tech glasses? I remember trying one of those fancy things out in the field. Showed health, armor, ammo, even what was in my pistol holster, down to all the modifications. Figure the Gman must’ve given you some sort of deluxe model…

  42. JC Denton says:

    My vision is augmented.

  43. You think THAT’S hard? Next time, try being an ODST. Every time I stub my toe, accidentally bite my tongue or get a freaking headache, My vision goes all red and I run out of breath!! I still dunno what happens, I don’t thing getting shot makes you run out of breath. All I know is that I need more medkits.

    Ah, shit. I just heard the Jonas Brothers. SOMEONE GET ME A MEDKIT.

  44. Anti-Health Kit Plan Activist says:

    And this is yet another reason why the plan sucks. If the med kits weren’t so thinly distributed around space, there would be more on the damn ship, and he could just pop one open every couple minutes. But now, he’s screwed.

  45. Sgt. Scott Mitchell says:

    @Anti-Health Kit Plan Activist Yes because before public distribution there were sooo many health kits in the field. Even back then we had to ration our health kits, one per squad member and even if we brought a medic one enemies rocket meant limping through the battlefield knowing the one remaining health kit could only save one soldier alive.

  46. the Demoman says:

    aye laddies, ya think ya all have it so rough do ye? WELL YA DON’T!
    All I got is this wee heath meter at the bottom of my screen, and it has 175 possible positions! oh I’m 25/175th’s of the way dead, I’ll consider the ramifications of that while I’m dodging death from every possible angle, and don’t even get me started on comprehending that thing when I’m drunk. The medic might understand it, but he’s always wandering about with the heavy so that’s no good. ya know what would be nice? a 3 step system.

    step 1: your fine
    step 2: your not so fine
    step 3: RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

  47. Well not to worry, I’m sure if Mr. Clarke ever gets out of that sticky situation alive, there’s going to be a brand new suit for him, completely redesigned for fighting necromorph scum. Who knows, maybe they’ll even give him some sweet additions like those fancy jet-boot prototypes I’ve been seeing lately on the news.

    Above all, I’m sure the suit’s healthbar will be somewhere visible. Whoever designs space suits surely can’t make the same mistake twice.

  48. The Engineer says:

    Doesn’t seem to me like that suit design solves many practical problems.

  49. The Spy says:

    How useful! For me, I mean.

  50. The Eylander says:


  51. Prince Of Persia says:

    You guys are so lame, my healthbar is friggin huge and I can’t even die!

  52. At least you have a fancy suit that displays your health and ammo for you. All I get is this breast tattoo that vaguely shows how close to death I am.

  53. Pac-Man says:

    What in the name of all I fought for is a health meter?
    You damn kids are so ungrateful.
    Back in my day, we didn’t have these flashy ‘health bars,’ or ‘bullet time,’ and if the Translucent Menace got you, well, that was it.

  54. Ramirez says:

    You think you have it bad, our military grade health meters show us our health status by clouding our vision with bits of jam. Red stuff everywhere. Maybe they think we’re stupid and we won’t know how close we are to dying from the pain of getting shot every couple of seconds, but this just makes it harder to shoot our enemies, and our eyes get covered in more jam!


  56. Master Chief says:

    at least he has a health meter i only have a shield meter that just flashes red when my shields are down my last armour was better at least it had a health meter.

  57. Engineer (From Halo 3: ODST) says:

    Click, click.

    *Purring noises*


    *Moar purring noises.*

    Google translate:

    This suit looks like it sucks.

    Can I take it apart? No?


    My head looks like a penis, so I explode when everyone near me dies.

  58. Why do I have the weirdest feeling that someone is following me around with a camera? It’s freaking me out.

  59. Health… bar… Hurr hurr hurr… Bar… hurr hurr hurr, ya gettin’ it? Bar! Ah ya people dun ken any humor. Wynne’s more open to that than you. Ya gettin’ it? More open! Har hahaha!

  60. What a weird system. Although what we have here at the TCTF is a little odd too–whenever anyone gets into a fight, colored flashes appear around them whenever they get hit. It even happens to regular people! Did they put something in the air to make this happen?

  61. Aku Aku says:

    Consider yourself lucky Isaac. At least you’re not used AS a healthbar.

  62. Nathan Drake says:

    Man, stop whining. The only way I know how close to death I am is if my vision becomes saturated. And that only happens when I’m pretty much going to die.

  63. Marcus Fenix says:

    Oh yeah? Every time I’m gunning down one of these Locust creeps, this random red gear pops up dead center of my vision when I get shot!

    It isn’t all bad, though. Sometimes it helps me aim.

  64. You think that’s bad? I have hearts at the top of my screen to show how my health is. I’m a warrior for christs sake, at least make it look badass! That’s not even the worst part, when my health goes down really low, this really annoying beeping noise starts beeping every second, and the only way to make it stop is to go scavenge for hearts, and the hyrule morgue is only open on tuesdays. I end up rolling into trees and fighting more monsters to get health, or drink milk. I’m lactose intolorant, I get hives everytime I drink it. FML.

  65. Peter Venkman says:

    I got the same problem. My energy meter is located on my Proton Pack, which I WEAR ON MY BACK.

    Spengler’s an idiot.

  66. Alec Mason says:

    It’s not just health bars. My Jetpack and other backpack-mounted tools of destruction have the same style of meter. Why did Samanya think it was important to tell EDF soldiers sneaking up behind me whether I could fly away or not?

  67. BLU Engineer says:

    I built that.

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