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Video Game Effects and Spells

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So what can you do in a video game? Jump, attack, swing your sword, rain fire and destruction on your enemy, heal your friends, or maybe do a backflip? This is an index of all the things that video game heroes and villains can pull off.


Tropes:

  • Always Accurate Attack: This attack will never miss its target. Ever.
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  • Anti Escape Mechanism: A move that can be used against fleeing foes in order to thwart their attempts.
  • Area of Effect: Attacks that hit a wide area, rather than a specific target. Beware friendly fire!
  • Arrows on Fire: Arrows can kill you. But they can kill you better if they're on fire!
  • Attack Reflector: A technique that reflects an attack back to the attacker.
  • Auto-Revive: With the right item or spell, a character will be automatically revived in the event of their own KO.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A great, flashy move, which is hard to use or does little damage.
  • Back Stab: A stealth attack from behind that does massive damage.
  • Ballistic Bone: An attack that launches bones.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: The way to free a cursed or possessed person is to beat him up.
  • Beehive Barrier: A barrier made up of geometric shapes.
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  • Booze-Based Buff: Video games portray drunkenness in silly ways, often with positive status effects.
  • Boring, but Practical: The mainstays of your skillset that you use over and over again, because they are the most effective.
  • Bubble Gun: The gun shoots bubbles. Lame.
  • Cast from Hit Points: A spell that draws from the user's own health or life energy.
  • Cast from Money: It costs money every time that power is being used.
  • Chain Lightning: A multi-hit lightning attack.
  • Charged Attack: Charge up a skill by either collecting items or holding a button.
  • Circling Birdies: A visual indicator of being dazed and/or confused and/or under certain Standard Status Effects.
  • Combination Attack: A special attack that occurs when two or more characters use certain attacks at the same time or in rapid succession.
  • Combos: A sequence of moves that string together.
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  • Cooldown Manipulation: Where you can manipulate the Cooldown of your abilities (or your foes').
  • Counter Attack: When the enemy attacks, you swat him right back.
  • Critical Hit: An attack randomly does extra (or double) damage.
  • Critical Failure: A chance for automatic failure (or Epic Fail) when executing a skill or spell.
  • Damage Discrimination: In videogames, things that do damage to one thing don't always do damage to something else.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: A status ailment making its subject take more damage somehow.
  • Damage Over Time: A negative status that inflicts a small amount of damage on a unit at regular time intervals.
  • Damage Reduction
  • Dash Attack: An attack that simultaneously moves the user in a forward direction.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: A high risk attack that can be very powerful but can also backfire or disadvantage you.
  • Desperation Attack: A super-attack available (or more powerful) only when the user is near death.
  • Disadvantageous Disintegration: Your attack destroys not only your enemy, but also all the valuable stuff he would otherwise have dropped.
  • Disc-One Nuke: An exploit where a powerful item or technique is achieved early on in the game.
  • Double Jump: Jump once, then you jump again in mid-air. No, it shouldn't be possible, but it's fun.
  • Draw Aggro: Abilities that make enemies focus on one player, usually the tank in the party.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Ice beats water. Water beats fire. Fire beats... spooky?
  • Elemental Tiers: Elemental weapons (and sometimes spells) are drastically different in power level.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: A powerful, unique weapon or ability suddenly obtained near the end of the game to help the hero get through the final challenges.
  • Enemy Scan: HP: 200 MP: 90 Element: Potassium Weakness: Widdle Kitties
  • Evolving Attack: An ability which can grow or change as you use it or gain levels.
  • EX Special Attack: A special attack that has been powered up by spending part of a meter.
  • Field Power Effect: When the characters get supernatural bonuses or weaknesses based on the battlefield conditions.
  • Finishing Move: A special combat maneuver you can only use to finish off a battle.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The three most common elements in RPGs.
  • First Person Snapshooter: The increasingly common gameplay feature that has the player taking pictures of enemies, items, NPCs, or features in the environment.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: A skill that does a set amount of damage, regardless of the caster's or target's statistics, or pretty much anything else.
  • Goomba Stomp: Enemies in Platform Games can be defeated just by landing on top of them.
    • Goomba Springboard: Games where you can stomp on an enemy to end up higher than where you started from.
  • Gradual Regeneration: Hit Points and/or Mana Points are restored over time, depending if it's an ability or an item.
  • Grapple Move: An attack done by grabbing an enemy and usually throwing them after.
  • Grind Boots: Characters can grind a rail without a skateboard—just with their shoes.
  • Ground Pound: The player jumps, ducks or crouches in the air, and comes down powerfully onto the ground.
  • Ground Punch: When one or several of a character's attacks or moves involves punching the ground.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: An attack that makes standing around in a group a bad idea.
  • Home Run Hitter: An ability that hits so powerfully that the opponent is knocked all the way into the distance (twinkle!)
  • HP to 1: An attack that always reduces its targets' Hit Points to one (i.e. 1 HP away from death).
  • Immune to Flinching: The ability to avoid the recoil/stun animations when being hit.
  • Infinity +1 Element: A unique spell or element only usable by bosses or special units, with no weaknesses.
  • Invulnerable Attack: An attack that makes you invincible while it's charging or executing.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: An incredibly destructive, solid blast of Pure Energy emitted from the hands.
  • Knockback Evasion: An action performed to stop being knocked back by a hit.
  • Lag Cancel: A move you can do to shorten the amount of lag time after an attack, letting you move again more quickly.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: If a normally lethal amount of damage instead reduces a character to their last Hit Point, and they can endure one more attack before being knocked out.
  • Last Disc Magic: In Eastern RPGs, although magic is usually less efficient than melee attacks, a spell or set of spells later in the game will be much better than the rest.
  • Last Ditch Move: An attack thrown by an enemy just before it dies.
  • Level Drain: In RPGs, certain enemies can take Character Levels away from you (usually temporarily).
  • Life Drain: An attack that hurts your opponent and heals you.
  • Limit Break: A powerful attack or technique available after some requirement during battles (e.g. damage received) is fulfilled.
  • Limited Move Arsenal: Characters can't just use everything they know; they have to rely on a limited subset of them during battles.
  • Loot Command: A specific command you need to loot something from a defeated enemy.
  • Loot-Making Attack: An attack or ability that creates items after attacking an enemy.
  • Magikarp Power: A character or ability that seems completely useless at first, but with repeated use and patience can be highly effective later.
  • Mana Burn: An attack that damages the target's magic points.
  • Mana Drain: A skill that drains a target's magic points and gives it to the caster.
  • Mana Shield: A skill that makes attacks damage your magic points instead of your Hit Points.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: Attacks that reduce the maximum number of Hit Points, not just their current amount.
  • Mutual Disadvantage: When two sides are equally impervious (or vulnerable) to the other's skills or powers.
  • New Skill as Reward: You received your flashy new ability or crafting technique as a reward for completing a task.
  • Non-Elemental: An enemy or spell that has no elemental affinity and hence no strengths or weaknesses against elemental opponents.
  • Non Standard Skill Learning: This skill is learned in a different way than other skills in the game.
  • One-Hit Kill: A spell or attack that will instantly defeat the target... if it hits.
  • Only Flesh Is Safe: This attack only damages or affects inorganic and inanimate matter. Biological life is immune.
  • Percent Damage Attack: A spell or attack that lowers the target's HP by a fraction of the current amount regardless of other factors. Often cannot inflict a killing blow.
  • Player-Guided Missile: You can personally ensure your attack hits its target, by guiding it there yourself.
  • Power Copying: Where the hero can copy the abilities of bad guys and use them from then on.
  • Quirky Bard: A gimmick class, character or unit often added by game designers trying to add variety.
  • Random Effect Spell: Nobody knows for sure what will happen ... do you feel lucky, punk?
  • Randomized Damage Attack: An attack/ability that has its damage/quality etc randomized per each usage, forcing you to be wise on using it.
  • Recovery Attack: An ability to fight back after getting knocked down.
  • Reduce Aggro: Items and abilities that make foes less likely to go after you.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: An ability that surrounds the user with deadly items, which then home in on enemies.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Situation where an undead or zombie enemy is damaged by healing magic or items.
  • Rolling Attack: You roll yourself into stuff to travel quickly, and deal damage in the process!
  • Sacrificial Revival Spell: This spell kills you, but it brings someone back to life.
  • Secondary Fire: Where a gun can have a second "fire" button with a different effect than the primary "fire" button.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Where a boss or character can smash on the ground and send out a wave of energy that causes damage.
  • Situational Damage Attack: An attack that depends on some certain variable/action that can make it more powerful.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: A powerful attack that is nonetheless far less damaging than its depiction implies.
  • Slide Attack: A low-sliding action that sits between offensive option and a means of mobility.
  • Special Attack: Any weapon, move, or tactic that is normally not a basic punch, kick, or whatever other forms of attack the user normally uses. May or may not require some form of Mana or energy to power it.
  • Spell Crafting: When a setting lets you make up or cobble together spells or powers.
  • Spin Attack: You spin around like a maniac in an attempt to make cheeky enemies give you a little breathing room.
  • Splash Damage: An attack that does damage in a radius around where it initially hits, dealing less damage farther from the center.
  • Splash Damage Abuse: Abusing an attack's Splash Damage or Area of Effect to get enhanced performance.
  • Sprint Shoes: An item, ability, or spell that enables the player character to move around cities and town faster. May or may not have any use in actual combat.
  • Stage Fatality: A finisher that sends the opponent into some environmental hazard.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: A spell that negates Status Buffs that enemies (or the players) have cast on themselves.
  • Status Effect: Anything that changes how a character plays or battles, whether for good or ill:
    • Status Ailment: Negative secondary effects that impair one's ability to fight an extended battle.
    • Status Buff: Positive secondary affects in one form or another to a character or an ally.
  • Strong Flesh, Weak Steel: Where meat trumps metal and fleshy characters are (sometimes inexplicably) more durable than armored tanks.
  • Summon Magic: The ability to call on a magical, often mythological entity without the hassle of actually having it follow you around.
  • Super Mode: A mode where an individual temporarily becomes much stronger, almost always accompanied by a visible change towards the badass end of the spectrum.
  • Sword Beam: You swing your sword, and a beam of energy shoots out to hit opponents from a distance.
  • Time Rewind Mechanic: An ability to rewind in-game time at any point.
  • Too Awesome to Use: It's so awesome, you actually don't want to use it; usually because It Only Works Once.
  • Tornado Move: The ability to throw tornadoes or hurricanes to your enemies.
  • Turn Undead: A standard spell which causes The Undead to panic or be destroyed, depending on the work.
  • Unblockable Attack: An attack that can't be blocked; it breaks any defense or counter. Can usually be dodged or interrupted, however.
  • Useless Item: Man, this would be a great item if the programmers remembered what it was meant to do.
  • Useless Useful Non-Combat Abilities: Abilities that let you get through situations without fighting, but end up not being all that useful.
  • Useless Useful Spell: A spell or effect which sounds useful in theory, but rarely ever works in your favor.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: When sneaking past an opponent isn't as easy (or rewarding) as just plain fighting them.
  • Video Game Dashing: For when a character zooms forward for no explainable reason.
  • Video Game Flight: Somewhat ironically, video games that actually let your character fly freely about the world don't always let your character fly freely about the world.
  • Video Game Stealing: YOINK! You stole PIANO!
  • Wall Jump: Who needs stairs? Just bounce yourself off the wall!
  • You Nuke 'Em: Tactical or strategic nuclear warheads used in gameplay.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: You get an item or instrument that can do all sorts of things - but you can't do them yet, because your in-universe character hasn't "learned" about them yet.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: A move that pulls a target to your location.


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