Drought Level of Doom: Round 11 in Arkanoid, as well as similar levels that only have metal bricks that never release powerups. The ball will also speed up during these levels, which try to deplete your set of lives.
Excuse Plot: You're a spaceship trying to escape from DIMENSION-CONTROLLING FORT DOH, by destroying blocks with a bouncing ball. Right.
"THE TIME AND ERA OF THIS STORY IS UNKNOWN. AFTER THE MOTHERSHIP "ARKANOID" WAS DESTROYED, A SPACECRAFT "VAUS" SCRAMBLED AWAY FROM IT. BUT ONLY TO BE TRAPPED IN SPACE WARPED BY SOMEONE........"
Fun with Acronyms: The iPod Touch version finally gives DOH a meaning. It's an acronym for the Arkanoid's crew's term for the thing on account of its control of the fabric of time-space, "Dominator of Hours".
The Goomba: In the games that have enemies, everything except the teleporting slimes that randomly move your ball to somewhere else in the level. They go down in one hit, and touching the Vaus kills them not you: Their purpose is not to inflict direct harm, only to throw your ball off trajectory. On the other hand, bosses do kill you with their attacks.
I Am Not Shazam: Arkanoid is a spaceship destroyed in the opening scene. The "paddle" you control is an escape craft named Vaus.
Luck-Based Mission: Playing the mid-Nineties Macintosh version on a black and white monitor? The odds were against you finding the right spot to beat Doh. True to an extent in all versions, because unless your grasp of geometry is at PhD level, you won't be able to precisely predict the trajectory of or aim the ball correctly every time.
Mutually Exclusive Powerups: Only one powerup is allowed at a given time. However, if you pickup a Disruption followed by a Mega Ball, the extra balls remain on the screen and can quickly clear the board. There is also a rare glowing powerup that combines these two powerups for you.
Nintendo Hard: Missions involving mostly gold bricks tend to be this. An entire mass of them with only a few, or even a single, destructable brick is a common sight in later levels.
Power-Up Letdown: The Twin powerup, as of Arkanoid II: The Revenge of DoH. The Vaus would split into two smaller copies that would move together. It only barely increased the surface area of the Vaus, was distinctly smaller than both the Extend powerup or the Image/Illusion powerup (the latter was longest, but only active while in motion), and there was a gap between the two Vaus units that the ball could fall through, costing a life.