|This article is about a device in Kamen Rider Ex-Aid.|
A Rider Gauge (ライダーゲージ, Raidā Gēji) is an energy meter on the chest armor plating of a Kamen Rider. Its function is to act as a way for the user of a Gamer Driver to see how much damage they have taken. If the Gauge energy reaches its lowest point, an alarm klaxon will sound and the Gauge will flash. The Rider or Riders in question who are in this predicament must do one of three things:
- Abort their operation by deactivating the Gamer Driver and retreat to tend to their injuries or to form a new strategy for fighting the enemy.
- Find a Recover Energy Item to heal or a defense-type energy item to enhance them to evade or negate oncoming attacks.
- Continue fighting while dodging attacks and avoid getting hit to defeat the Bugster.
While Lazer Bike Gamer Level 2 is not in human form, the main Gauge is hidden and two side Gauges appear on both sides of the bike form. Each side Gauge has only half of the normal Gauge energy, each also have all four buttons. The Bike Gamer summoned through Bakusou Bike Gashat also have side Gauges and are full of energy. When Lazer Bike Gamer Level 2 levels up to higher levels, the main Gauge reappears on his chest. While the side gauges are kept, now relocated to his shoulder pads, their purpose is now solely aesthetic, as all functionality is shifted to the main gauge. This also carries over to Ex-Aid Bike Action Gamer Level 0.
Legend Rider forms do not have their Rider Gauges visible on the chest armor. It is instead replaced with detail resembling the chest designs of their respective Legend Riders. Ride-Players also do not have a Rider Gauge, as the intent of Kamen Rider Chronicle is to kill the users with as little effort as possible. Thus, Ride-Players possess a limited threshold for a certain amount of damage they may sustain before dying from a Game Over.
Possibly due to their nature as Bugsters, Kamen Riders Para-DX and Poppy do not have a Rider Gauge in their default forms, though a Rider Gauge is present on Para-DX's Level 99 form. This is most likely due to the reprogramming performed on him by Emu that gave him human data and the ability to use a Gamer Driver.
While Cronus retains the four-button design on his chest, the rest of his Rider Gauge is instead replaced with a unique pattern.
When a Rider Gauge is fully depleted, it will flash red for a few seconds, and the Kamen Rider will be deceased. Genm cheated the process at this step by using the Gashacon Bugvisor to transfer the data of his death away from him and into the Dangerous Zombie Gashat. 「Who's the Black Kamen Rider?」 Assuming no interruption, the Rider's transformation is broken and he will collapse in exhaustion. His body, covered with yellow sparks, begins to glitch-out and turn transparent. After a few minutes, a "Game Over" announcement is heard from the Gamer Driver as the Rider is deleted from existence. 「Christmas Special: Targeting the Silver X mas!」 Parado's forceful infection of Kuroto with Dangerous Zombie caused him to fade and die while out of his transformation, though "Game Over" was still announced. 「To The Max, Dead or Alive!」 It would eventually be revealed that the Proto Gashats contain the data of those who have vanished.
In Kamen Sentai Gorider, during an incident where Emu was trapped in the Game World, he is mortally wounded by Kuroto Dan who disguised himself as Kazuma Kenzaki/Kamen Rider Blade. He is then given a Game Over by Totema, before he regains consciousness back in the real world. 「Maze 2: Escape」
A notable exception to the Game Over rule is when the Rider fails to follow the objective of the game they are playing, as seen when Brave defeated Motors in the VR game Bakusou Treasure and when Ex-Aid failed to bypass the treasure door after being attacked by a security unit assuming the form of Genm. 「Kamen Rider Ex-Aid "Tricks": Kamen Rider Lazer」
- List of Game Over Kamen Riders
- Kuroto Dan (negated through Zombie Gamer, effect reversed through reprogramming)
- Kiriya Kujo (later revived by Masamune; later Game Over again, but saved by reprogramming)
- Emu Hojo (Only in Game World, respawns in real world)
- Parado (later revived by Emu; later Game Over again, but revived once again)
- Poppy Pipopapo (later revived by Kuroto via his Bugster abilities)
- Masamune Dan (humanity erased after fused with Gamedeus; later committed suicide after his humanity restored; later Game Over again)
- Various Ride-Players
- In terms of decorations on the actual costumes for filming, the Rider Gauges seem to be represented by 4 pre-made switchable states, with any transitions being done by computer effect: full, half full, minimal (2 bars left), and empty.
- The Rider Gauge is based on the video game staple of the Hit Point meter, a gauge that measures a player's health which is used in a wide variety of game genres such as fighting games, RPGs, Shooters, and action games.
- The sound it makes when the energy is low is often used in RPG games such as Pokemon when one of the player's party is in the red zone of their HP meter.
- Genm bypassing his own Rider Gauge may be a reference to cheats or glitches in various games which allow the player to either fight without receiving any damage at all, or continue to fight even if the health has dropped to zero.
- The Kamen Riders' deaths from Game Over parallels the deaths of SAO players from the light novel/anime series Sword Art Online.
- The icons beneath the Rider Gauge represent the forms and modes of the Riders' weapons.
- Genm Zombie Gamer Level X's Rider Gauge has the icons replaced with glowing white orbs.
- Genm Zombie Gamer's Rider Gauge being filled that rendered its resurrective immortality useless is a reference to RPGs like Final Fantasy where undead creatures can die when any recovery spell or item is used on them, which damages them instead of healing them.
- Emu's Game Over in the Game World is unique compared to Lazer and the Ride-Players, not unlike Kuroto having a unique Game Over. Like Kuroto, he received his Game Over outside of his transformation, but dissolved into blue data instead of purple like Kuroto.
- Emu's Game Over in this case is also so far the only Game Over that doesn't result in his permanent death (not counting Genm's first Game Over which was interrupted by external means), instead returning Emu to the real world.
- While there is no apparent pattern of who uses a Rider Gauge, there are three elements that play into the gaming aesthetic of the series:
- All users of the Gamer Driver representing either protagonists or antagonists of a game, possessing health and the potential of defeat for either the former or latter.
- Genm's usage of Dangerous Zombie representing a player using cheats, while still appearing as a standard player.
- Poppy and Cronus representing either NPC's that affect the game/environment either for the benefit or to the detriment of the player, or a major boss appearing at a point the player is unable to fight/defeat them, thus their respective circumstances negate their inclusion in the current fight, and not showing an indication they can be damaged/defeated.
- Gamedeus's power is mentioned to be equal to 50 Rider Gauges.