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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.


  • 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.
  • 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 tornados 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.