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Sure, these days have almost every game sporting the newfangled 3D, but way back when, everyone had to live with plain old 2D. 2D, or two dimensions, limit the game to scrolling backgrounds, but some games even now make use of this basic concept.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, commonly refers to the programmed behaviors of NPCs in a game, whether it's the fact that a soldier takes cover behind a wall in Gears of War, or that townspeople cheer upon your arrival to their village in Fable.
Betrayal is when a person breaks the trust and faith that others have placed in them.
A boss fight is a culminating challenge that pits the player against one or more enemies representing a greater threat and/or difficulty than those previously faced. These scenarios typically feature unique antagonists.
Whether it's a hero's turn to the dark side or a villain becoming a hero, it's usually unexpected and will bring a whole new moral dimension to the story. Sometimes, they change they sides more than once.
A page describing the concept of class change, otherwise referred to as changing classes or class promotion. Characters are able to change classes, either growing in strength from one class to the next or as a means of changing a characters range of abilities entirely.
Classes are different archetypes and playstyles that players can choose to play their game with.
One of the age-old narrative structures in literature, in which a young protagonist faces conflict that transforms him or her into a mature adult. This is an especially common device in RPGs.
An action that is sensitive to context. Like going up to an object and pushing a button, which would normally perform a different action, to interact with it.
In a franchise, it entails the second game that takes on a gritty and dark tone to distinguish it from the first.
Dragons were originally messengers from heaven, according to early Buddhist texts. In games, they can be among the most fearsome of adversaries, but there are some exceptions.
A theme used very often in fantasy and sci-fi settings is that of a brutal, totalitarian empire or kingdom whose armies oppress the common people. Evil Empires appear under many names in various game worlds, including simply "The Empire".
Experience Points are part of a character advancement system commonly found in RPGs. These points are generally gained by defeating an enemy or completing a task.
A powerful release of energy. This energy is usually expelled in all directions very quickly, typically giving off orange or red flames.
An industry game design convention that's appeared in many games over the years. The fetch quest involves sending the player out to collect a certain number of items, and return them to complete the quest. A staple of the RPG and Adventure game genre.
A fictional currency is one where the object being exchanged does not exist in the real world, such as Final Fantasy's Gil, or are not used for exchange in the real world, such as Fallout's bottlecaps.
The last boss you face in a game, usually representing the final climax of the game.
FMVs are pre-rendered videos used in place of real-time graphics. Using FMV was an attempt to make videogames look "more like movies", sometimes with CGI animation and others with live-action actors speaking directly to players. The downside is that FMV requires a lot of disk space, and live-action FMV in particular can look terrible by comparison.
An interesting revelation. While some games will only accept a START button press, many other games aren't as strict.
Greatest hits is a general term for re-releases of games which have sold a certain number of copies, as part of a program managed by the console manufacturer.
Grid-based movement limits players, and other entities in a game, to moving through the game world in increments of whole squares on a grid. It has been a common staple of turn-based strategy games since the earliest board games of antiquity. It was also used by early RPGs.
More commonly known as a "time loop", these games feature events that force the players through the cycle of repeating one (or a few) day(s). This is often presented as the result of time travel or other strange phenomena.
Health is a value that gauges how much damage players can take in a game before they die or pass out. Also known as life in some games. Health is usually represented by a bar or a percentage instead of an exact amount. Found in most non sport games
This concept involves a character of the hero archetype that at some point in the storyline, turns against the forces of good and becomes evil or is revealed to have done this in secret at some point in the past.
A plot device where innocent characters are killed. Sometimes players forced to watch it happen and can do nothing to prevent it.
A parallel projection technique used in 2D sprite-based games to fake the appearance of 3D depth.
The concept of affecting the universe through supernatural methods, breaking the fundamental laws of science.
The concept of minimizing undesirable qualities of a character so as to maximize desirable qualities in order to achieve the most powerful character possible in an RPG.
A box, chest, or similar reward beckons you to come near, but it is actually an enemy in disguise. Sometimes can be difficult to differentiate from a real treasure chest.
A system in which the player is allowed to control multiple characters. Most commonly seen in role playing games. Can also be used to describe party systems in the MMORPG genre, which brings a group of players together to accomplish various tasks.
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