In Donkey Kong 64, after they are collected, the watermelon slices partially refill the player's health meter, if the current playable character has taken any damage. The health meter is composed by full watermelons, each one divided into four slices. The player starts a new game file with the health meter of a single full watermelon, and eventually receives two more watermelons by expending Banana Coins at the Candy Kong's Music Stores.
Usually, when the primates are harmed, a single watermelon slice is lost at the health meter. If all watermelons of the meter are lost, the player will be sent back to the previous checkpoint of the game, usually a passage with screen transition between two areas.
Upon being defeated, regular enemies in the game usually drop a single watermelon slice, but the item soon disappears after a few seconds. Inside levels of Donkey Kong 64, there are also Melon Crates that, after they are broken, release four watermelon slices for the player to collect and refill health. And accessing a Tag Barrel, even without changing playable characters, completely refills the health meter.
In Donkey Kong 64, there are also many Bonus Stages where the player has to control a cursor and shoot watermelons at targets within a time limit to earn Golden Bananas. The ammunition inside most of these Bonus Stages is limited, and eventually the player will need to move the cursor over a watermelon emblem and press the "A" button to reload their ammo. In "Kremling Kosh!", the player must hit Kritters appearing from multiple barrels. In "Searchlight Seek!", the cursor becomes a searchlight, and the player must search and shoot at Klaptraps around a dark room. In "Krazy Kong Klamour!", the player must shoot at a Golden Banana multiple times, and avoid to shoot at the Kongs, with the six targets constantly changing places. In "Peril Path Panic!", the player must shoot at Klaptraps to make them temporarily faint and provide safe path to Banana Fairies traverse the room. In "Teetering Turtle Trouble!", the player must shoot at snakes to feed them after they ran out of energy while spinning turtles around on their tails.
- The fact that watermelons are the symbol for the health meter in the game Donkey Kong 64, instead of bananas, can be seen as odd considering how bananas are the Kongs' favorite food.
- In the game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, there are Watermelon Bombs. However, these bombs are throwable weapons to harm enemies and destroy barriers, instead of healing items.