Life points are creatures spawning in random places around the world, they grow to the size of an apple and resemble hearts made of crystal of various colours.

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They get their names from the ability to bring back to life and health various animals, including humans. How can the mechanism of how life points bring back to life dead animals be explained?

Requirements are that ressurected animals must be able to move and retain at least some of their memories, the mechanism must be entirely biological.

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    $\begingroup$ ’tgotyousleeping Welcome to WSE! I have a question about your hypothetical “life points”: do they have to bring an organism back to health permanently, or might they just keep them alive for a few more minutes? $\endgroup$ Jul 1, 2020 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ @FranklinPezzutiDyer permanently, or athleast until killed once again by something else. $\endgroup$
    – user76826
    Jul 1, 2020 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ Interesting, but how permanently is permanent? Does someone who died of old age get to live another fulfilling life, or does it reverse the direct cause of death, meaning they could drop dead from another cause at any time? $\endgroup$
    – Plutian
    Jul 1, 2020 at 20:13

4 Answers 4


One possibility is that your life points are a symbiotic parasite that seeks out wounded hosts. If they find a compatible wounded host they could use a large pool of undifferentiated cells to accept the DNA of the host and rapidly reform itself to be compatible with the host's body. Your new arm, leg, heart, or whatever it had to replace will function just like your old one, but they are actually a parasite that feeds off of your body's nutrients and injects its larva into you so that following some transaction with nature (feces, dieing, etc) You leave behind a bunch of eggs that grow into more life points.

As for resurrection, that is a whole other ball game. You can not create what is not there. Once the body dies, the brain begins to loose cohesion and memories start becoming irreparably damaged after just a few minutes. Some animals like the axolotl can regenerate a damaged brain just fine; so, repairing the brain of a recently deceased host and resuscitating him is theoretically possible, but his memories would be lost.

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea, and you might be in the right track. But repairing or healing a dead body is not equal to bringing it back to life. You'd just have a very neat and intact dead body. Unless it also controls your life and actions, in which case no memory nor character can be preserved. $\endgroup$
    – Plutian
    Jul 1, 2020 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ Repairing a dead body enough to bring it back to life is a thing doctors have been doing for years... they just can't do it to a body that has been dead for more than a few minutes. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Jul 1, 2020 at 22:19

The notion of information-theoretic death is probably relevant here. Whereas medical brain death is defined in terms of the loss of certain bodily functions and is typically irreversible (in real life), information-theoretic death occurs when enough of a brain’s information is destroyed to prevent the “original person” from ever being reconstructed. Brains are pretty complicated, so unless you’re willing to do some serious hand-waving, your “extra lives” probably won’t be able to protect against

  • Severe cranial injuries
  • Some neurodegenerative diseases

So if a boulder falls on one of your characters’ heads, you may be out of luck. However, we might be able to semi-plausibly deal with some common causes of death:

  • Blood loss. Have your “extra lives” contain lots of erythropoietin to stimulate production of red blood cells, as well as lots of coagulants to help block up open wounds.
  • Drowning/asphyxiation. Fill the “extra life” with oxygenated red blood cells or hemoglobin that can be added directly to the blood.
  • Starvation/malnutrition. Fill it up with a calorie-rich “ambrosia” that also contains many different essential nutrients and minerals. Even better, fill it with glucose that can be added to the bloodstream directly.

You get the idea. All of them could also be spiked with something like epinephrine, in order to temporarily make all systems functional again so that they can be healed more thoroughly. However, there are some problems with this approach that might make it less-than-ideal for your purposes:

  • It will be rather difficult to have an all-purpose “extra life.” Using this method, the “extra lives” will have to be specialized based on the cause of death. (Maybe the different colors correspond to different causes of death that they’re able to “reverse.”)
  • If you were intending for humans/animals to enjoy the effects of these “extra lives” by eating them, this approach won’t work because the effects will take too long to kick in. My examples require something to be injected directly into the bloodstream.
  • Like all medical solutions, they’ll have side-effects, especially if used by someone who doesn’t need them. For example, excess clotting agents in the blood could increase risk of heart attacks. I don’t know enough about pharmacology to tell you the specific side-effects for the cocktails I’ve proposed above.

Memory replication and transfer: These are cute little symbiotes that want humans to care for them. If we aren't simply hand waving and saying "because magic," then a thing like this exists as a memory sink, copying memories from the carrier. (insert memory replication method of choice here) If a person suffered a serious head injury, they would be able to download memory and personality from the stone to "fix" lost memories.

  • For anyone other than the original finder of the stone, these are very dangerous. The stones will transfer memories and personality from the original owner to the new owner. "Oh! look! a gem! I'll just pick this up and..." ZAP. First it would override the nervous system, paralyzing the person during memory synching. The resulting person would have a mix of memories and motivations from both persons, but whichever you wanted could dominate.
  • You could impose whatever limits or restrictions you wanted on this. It could be as innocent as a child carrying a parent's stored memories and granting the stored person occasional moments of life, to a dominating enslavement like in the movie The Host. Maybe the stone needs to be swallowed, and the digestive process makes it able to grow into the new host and transfer memories. Transfer can take as little or as much time as you might want. Different stones might each have differing effects. The possibilities are endless.
  • A person losing their stone would be vulnerable to having their memories essentially stolen. You want a brilliant general? Steal Alexander the Great's stone, and give it to a random person. Perhaps the abilities of the resulting person could be limited by the abilities of the new host. Give Alexander the Great a stone from your loyal servant, and you have a loyal servant who's a brilliant tactician and looks just like Alexander - and probably has access to Alexander's memories.
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea, but I’m not sure this is what the OP wants. Also, it’s going to be hard to make instantaneous memory transfer biologically plausible. $\endgroup$ Jul 1, 2020 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ @ Franklin Pezzuti Dyer No instant memory transfer needed. Slow is just fine, or the life point can function like an auxiliary brain and grow into the nerves of the host. Biological mind control is great. I love this wasp, and it's a jewel wasp, at that scientificamerican.com/article/…. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Jul 1, 2020 at 21:19

They don't bring back the dead, they bring what you thought of them to life.

You must agree with me that, unless we bring things such as souls and the afterlife, bringing an animal back to life (in the sense that every single cell in its body has already died and suddenly being reanimated) is impossible. Yet life points seem incredibly persistent into doing its best to comfort you by granting your wish of bringing someone back to life.

So what are they doing? Reading your mind, of course. Life points will probe the brain of the wishers for any information regarding what they're trying to bring back to life, such as species, overall behavior, mannerisms, habits, etc. Once it's complete, it will go haywire, absorbing as much components as possible to achieve the necessary mass. Once it's gotten what it needed, a life point will enter a pupa stage, creating a flexible cocoon around it and undergoing a metamorphosis stage, in which it will acquire the appearance and traits of the dead person/animal, doing its best to replicate as well as possible.

Once the pupa stage is over, your precious loved one, pet, friend or whatever being you wished for will return...kinda. Are you sure your friend who was so nice to you was nice to everyone? Or that your grandmother treated her friends exactly like you? A life point can't really bring the person to life, and in its attempt to grant your wish, it will replicate not the deceased person or animal, but your idealized version of them based on your own experience. That is why the ones brought back seem off to those other than you and don't seem to have many memories. How could the life point fully remember a party your grandpa went to if all you know about it comes from pictures and from your grandfather's stories.

Life points aren't perfect, they're biological organisms with incredible abilities, yes, but they aren't omniscient. It can't give back what was lost by the natural life cycle, but maybe it can make a desolate wishers happy by giving them an illusion that might just be good enough.


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