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Video Game / Arkanoid

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The era and time 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......
— Original opening sequence

Arkanoid is a 1986 Action Game by Taito. It is very similar to Breakout, with the addition of powerups, enemies, multi-hit and indestructible blocks, distinct levels, and a boss at the end. These elements were quickly adopted by similar games.

Several sequels were made, such as Arkanoid: Revenge of Doh, Arkanoid: Doh It Again, Arkanoid Returns, Arkanoid DS, Arkanoid Live, and most recently, Arkanoid: Eternal Battle.

These works contain examples of:

  • 1-Up: The Player capsule grants an extra life when caught. This technically counts as a powerup, cancelling out any other powerup you might have when you catch it.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • Your reward for finishing each of the 7 main clear mode trees for the first time in Arkanoid DS is another skin for the Vaus.
    • Eternal Battle introduces cosmetic backgrounds and profile skins, customizable for use in the Battle Royale mode.
  • The Ark: Arkanoid, the Generation Ship in which the survivors escaped the devastation of their home planet.
  • Artifact Title: The Arkanoid only shows up in the backstory of the first game; it's not present in any of the sequels sans DoH it Again. Arkanoid DS takes it a step further and takes place in a completely different universe that doesn't involve the Arkanoid (or the Vaus, or DoH) at all.
  • Attract Mode: The NES version has a bug where you can continue from this and skip ahead several levels.
  • Bag of Spilling: Between levels, no less. Yeah, it would be great to start a level with Catch or Extend active... too bad you can't.
  • Battle Royale Game: The Eternal Battle mode, where 25 players duke it out for the highest score, and players get eliminated over time. Once four players remain, they fight against DoH to outscore the remaining opponents, and the last one standing must defeat DoH quickly in order to win. This is the first Battle Royale game where no players can win a match.
  • Big Bad: DoH, or Dominator of Hours, is the Reality Warper that attacks the titular mothership and goes after the Vaus spacecraft. In Revenge of DoH, it takes over the Xorg spaceship to get revenge, and in DoH It Again, it lures the Arkanoid with a fake planet to destroy Vaus.
  • Boss Button: The Apple Macintosh port of the game has one that brings up a fake correspondence, which, at one point, refers to "Arkaholics Anonymous".
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Every unlockable in the DS version is purely cosmetic, including those requiring 100% completion to access.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The final fight against DoH in DoH it Again has two arms to punch you with, which also means two separate targets you must kill, with their own lifebars. You must destroy them before you can damage him directly.
  • Difficulty by Region: The American version of the NES port has three extra levels, increasing the total amount from 32 to 35 (not counting the final fight against Doh as a level).
  • Dimension Lord: Whoever is in charge of Dimension-Controlling fort Doh rules the dimension in which the escape craft "Vaus" is trapped.
  • Downer Beginning: The mother ship Arkanoid has been destroyed, and while you've managed to escape in the Vaus Escape Pod, you're trapped in space warped by someone. What does that mean? Who knows, just break all these bricks.
  • Drought Level of Doom: Round 11 in Arkanoid, as well as similar levels that only have silver bricks that never release powerups. The ball will also speed up during these levels, which try to deplete your set of lives.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: DoH in Eternal Battle. It looms in the background as the game progresses, with its face becoming clearer in Battle Royale the closer a player is to getting eliminated, or, in Neo, as the player clears levels.
  • Elite Mook:
    • Silver blocks require between two to five hits to break (unless the Mega Ball power capsule is active) compared to their colored counterparts.
    • The black spheres in Revenge of DoH, which only can be destroyed by touching the Vaus.
  • Engrish: The opening and ending.
  • Escape Pod: The Vaus that the player pilots, though it has more mobility than your standard escape pod.
  • Every 10,000 Points: By default, you get your first two extra lives at 20,000 and 60,000 points, and then you get each subsequent extra life for every 60,000 points afterwards in the Arcade version of the original Arkanoid. This was changed to 100,000 points, 200,000 points, and for every 200,000 points thereafter in Revenge of DoH.
  • Excuse Plot: You're a spaceship trying to escape from DIMENSION-CONTROLLING FORT DOH, by destroying blocks with a bouncing ball. Right.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The iOS 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".
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The NES version has a glitch where if the player pauses the game on the same frame as a brick is being destroyed, the game will think that the brick is still there, rendering the level unbeatable even if every last brick has been broken. The only way to remedy this is to either get a Game Over or use the Cheat Code that lets you skip to the next level (if possible, since the code stops working at Round 16).
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: DoH's varying attacks during the boss fight in Eternal Battle, including an instant-kill to the player with the lowest score in the Battle Royale mode. It can even kill the player in first place should the player take too long to defeat it.
  • The Goomba: In the games that have enemies, everything except the bouncing orbs (deflects the ball) and the teleporting slimes (randomly moves 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.
  • Harmless Enemy: The aliens, which are destroyed on contact with the Vaus or the ball but deflect the ball in the process. Arkanoid II adds aliens which bounce off the Vaus rather than disintegrate.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Played with. After the ending comes a Game Over screen. Doubles as A Winner Is You.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: The last level is the only one where you can lose a life other than by dropping the ball: The Final Boss is lobbing projectiles at you. In the Amstrad CPC version, said projectiles have a hitbox much bigger than they appear.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The ball that the Vaus uses to destroy blocks. It can be split apart into multiple units with either the "Disrupt" or "Node" powerups and be upgraded to travel through blocks with either the Mega or Giga powerups.
  • Invincibility Powerup: The Mega Ball. For one, it can plow through the black sphere enemies. More importantly, it instantly plows through any brick - even gold and silver bricks. The only things it will bounce off are the walls and the Vaus. However in all games starting from DoH it Again, it receives a Nerf to where it can no longer destroy gold bricks.
  • Leitmotif: While the stages themselves have no music playing, the "level start" music is iconic within the series - each game has its own remix of the original tune to start each level.
  • 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.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Revenge of DoH has a Starfish Alien revive DoH, with the player defeating it after the DoH boss battle.
  • Minus World: If you use cheats to skip past DoH's stage in the arcade version of the first game, you will find yourself with levels arranged with no pattern or design, some mis-colored blocks (only in official versions, bootlegs don't have any mis-colored blocks), some blocks that are completely invisible, and Silver blocks that take many hits to destroy, rewarding about 200,000 points per Silver block. You can also glitch the ball off the play field and make it reach ridiculous speeds if it hits the roof of the play field.
  • Mook Maker: The unnamed miniboss (which resembles some sort of pulsating alien egg) at the halfway point of Revenge of DoH. It's fought similar to DoH, but instead of projectiles, it constantly spawns Mooks to make it more difficult for the Vaus to hit it with the ball, which can be particularly frustrating if it spawns a mook right in front of the ball to block a hit. Which set of mooks spawned is randomly chosen; woe betide the player if the black spheres were chosen.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups: Only one powerup is allowed at a given time. However, if you pick up 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 in Revenge of DoH that combines these two powerups for you.
  • Nerf:
    • In Revenge of DoH, it was possible to combine the Disrupt and New Disrupt powerups with other powerups while the extra balls were active. Starting in DoH it Again, acquiring any other Powerup will cause all but one of the balls to disintegrate in the spot.
    • Revenge of DoH's Mega Ball powerup was capable of tearing through any block, whenever they be colored, Silver, or Gold. DoH it Again altered it so it now rebounds off Gold Blocks.
  • No Fair Cheating: If you use the Arkanoid DS Paddle Controller with Space Invaders Extreme, your high scores will be marked to show that you used it. Additionally, it can't be used for Ranking Mode. Space Invaders Extreme 2 lifts the Ranking Mode ban. Paddle users will have a "P" shown next to their scores, but there is no way to separate ranking by input method. However, in versus mode, there is an option that prevents the game from matching you up with paddle players.
  • Point of No Continues: You can't continue anymore once you reach Round 33, which houses DoH (the Final Boss); should you totally lose to him, your game will be over instantly and for real even if there are credits available!
  • Poison Mushroom: The Reduce powerup, which shrinks the Vaus. For expert players, this is Cursed with Awesome, since you then get doubled points as long as it's active, and extra lives are available at certain point plateaus. However, for less expert players, and any player who sees one rolling down right where the ball is about to fall, it clearly is detrimental. On top of that, it is almost identical visually to the Player capsule.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • The Twin powerup in Arkanoid: Revenge of DoH. The Vaus splits into two smaller copies that move together. It only barely increases the surface area of the Vaus, was distinctly smaller than both the Extend powerup or the Image/Illusion powerup, and there is a gap between the two Vaus units that the ball can fall through, costing a life.
    • In any game, the Laser powerup if there are gold bricks between the player and breakable bricks on the playfield.
  • Reset Button Ending: Beating the first game causes time to start "flowing reversely", bringing the Arkanoid back from its destruction. The arcade version even shows the opening cutscene in reverse, with an enemy fighter swooping by in reverse and sucking up the fatal laser beam.
  • Sound of No Damage: The ball makes a different sound when it bounces off a gold brick or a silver brick that needs more hits to break.
  • Updated Re-release: Arkanoid R 2000 is this to Returns, which adds an extra campaign with 100 levels.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Uranoid in the DS version.
  • Warp Zone: The Break powerup opens up the path to the next level (or levels, in later installments). However, unlike a proper level clear, it does not cause the ball to vanish, so a player hoping to take the warp can still lose a life if the ball drops out of the play field before the Vaus can get to it (and for insult on the injury, if the player fails to make it, the Warp Zone closes upon the start of the next life).
  • A Winner Is You: The Commodore 64 version uses the standard Game Over screen in place of the ending.

Alternative Title(s): Arkanoid 2