The Status Screen (or HUD) is the various graphical images shown during gameplay.
Self-explanatory. Using a continue will add one point (up to nine) to the player's score, although in certain versions a continue will reset the score to zero (which naturally happens in a Game Over).
A player's number of lives: 1UP representing the first player and 2UP for the second player. Three lives is the default amount for a continue and no lives can be earned by any means.
In Metal Slug 4 and 5, the 1UP/2UP symbol is replaced by the player's character.
The time a player can stay at a specific area. The timer starts at 60 by default and counts down every four real-time seconds. When the timer reaches 10, an alarm will play. All players die when time runs out.
The timer will reset when the player reaches a new checkpoint or dies.
The number of ammo a weapon has left. the maximum being 999. The amount is based on the weapon the player is holding on at the moment. A Slug has infinite ammo and wont take any arms from the player, the exception being the LV Armor who was its own weapon supply.
The number of grenades, fire bombs, or stones a player has, the maximum being 99. When collecting a new type of bomb, all current bombs will turn into the new type. Either way, the amount resets to 10 standard grenades (20 for Eri in 6 and 7/XX) upon a loss of a life or the start of a new mission.
A Slug has its own amount of cannon shots. Collecting a bomb crate while riding a vehicle Slug will give cannons. A crouched SV-001 is able to throw grenades rather than cannons. An Armor Piercer or a Normal Cannon can be only grabbed by a Slug, anyone on foot earns points instead.
A vehicle Slug's health, which varies on the game and character on board. The meter will start flashing in its last hit point. In Metal Slug Advance, Walter and Tyra's health meter is colored green while the Slugs are colored in the usual orange.
In most games, the meter will be empty (or not present in 4 and 5) until a Slug has been ridden.
The number of prisoners a player has tagged, which is then taken for bonus points at the end of a mission. The amount resets upon a loss of a life.
A maximum of fourteen counters appear at once even if more POWs are tagged. Extra POWs are still counted regardless. Starting with Metal Slug 6, it has been replaced with a number counter.
Exclusive to Metal Slug 4
The timer a player has to collect medals when collecting an Emblem in Metal Slug 4. Since it shares the same spot as the Slug Gauge, the Emblem will not take effect or end prematurely when boarding a Slug.
The number of medals collected during the Emblem's effect, which is then taken for bonus points at the end of a mission. For every four medals, the next medal will be a different color with four silver medals being the maximum amount. The counter resets when the player dies.
Introduced in Metal Slug 6
A score multiplier. Every time an obstacle is attacked, the meter will rise and then slowly deplete. For every meter maxed out, the multiplier increases to x2 -> x4 -> x8 -> x16. Hitting the x16 meter (called MAX) causes a fever: coins start to pop out of defeated foes for a limited time. Once time runs out, the meter resets back to x1.
Players are able to hold two weapons at once and use their standard pistol without worrying about wasting their special weapons. Both weapons are shown on the bottom of the screen, with the highlited selection representing the weapon the player is holding at the moment. The player loses all weapons upon losing a life (or in Leona's case, a continue).
If a player collects a new weapon while already holding onto two, the weapon not being used is replaced. When holding a pistol, the weapon least used is then replaced. Note that the Big weapons are counted as separate weapons.
The icons were made larger in Metal Slug 7/XX.
The number of continues a player has. Depending on the version, both players can either share the same pool or have their own set of continues. Playing with unlimited continues shows the words Free Play.
The game's difficulty being played shown on the bottom of the screen, with higher numbers representing a harder difficulty. This is present from Metal Slug 1 to 5 and can be hidden in the settings.