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Common video game terms.

Action Screen

The Action Screen (アクション画面 Akushon Gamen) is the screen where the player controls a character to navigate through stages and fight against enemies.


A boss is an enemy from the game that is stronger than the enemies faced before him. Bosses are faced by the player in the end of stages or certain parts of the story, and a final boss must be defeated in the end of the game. Some games contain optional bosses that the player don't need to defeat to proceed in the game, like PharaohMan.EXE in the first two games from the Mega Man Battle Network series. Some bosses from the series were created in Boss character contest.

Some games also contain a sub-boss (also known as miniboss and midboss), a boss that is usually weaker than the main boss of the area or a normal boss that add an extra challenge, like Proto Man in Mega Man 3 and Vile in Mega Man X8.



Checkpoint is the local where the player begins the stage when a life is lost, so the player doesn't have to restart the stage from the beginning. In the Mega Man games, the hallway before a boss room is a common checkpoint area. In Mega Man Powered Up, checkpoints are represented by a Retry Flag (リトライフラグ Ritorai Furagu), an orb that releases a flag when touched. In the cancelled game Mega Man Universe, checkpoints were represented by a blue robot.[1]


A fictional currency is used for several purposes, such as buy, trade and sell items. Zenny is the currency from the Mega Man games, but P Chips, Screws, Energy Crystals, Refractors and Bug Frags also serve a similar role.


An enemy is a character from a game who is designed to cause damage or hinder the player character in some other way, such as restricting their movement or causing the area to go dark. Most of them can be killed by one of the player's weapons, but others must simply be avoided.

Game Over

Game Over is a common video game event that where the player's character is defeated, resulting in the end of the current stage and, in some cases, of the game. This usually occurs when the Life Energy gauge is depleted and there are no Extra Lives left, but on rare occassions it may be caused by other reasons. In most games a screen with the message "game over" is displayed when it occurs.


Mega Man's explosion in Pocket Fighter

In most games from the Mega Man franchise, the player's character (Mega Man, Proto Man, Bass, X, Zero, Axl, Vent, Aile, Grey, Ashe, and others) explodes when defeated, scattering spheres of energy and doing a "tiun tiun tiun" (ティウンティウンティウン "byoo byoo byoo" in the Short Circuits from Mega Man #55)[2][3] sound. In some games the character also screams, examples being Mega Man 8 and Mega Man ZX Advent. This defeat animation also appeared in games from other series, like Pocket Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

In the Mega Man Legends series, Mega Man Volnutt will collapse when defeated instead of exploding, leading to the Game Over screen. However, early footage from Mega Man Legends shows that he was originally planned to explode when defeated.[4] The game was also planned to have different voices talking in the game over screen.[5]

Non standard game overs include:


When the player's character is defeated, some games allows to Continue the game from a certain point, usually from the beginning of the current stage. The amount of continues vary between game, some having unlimited continues and others having none.

In Mega Man IV and Mega Man V, getting several game overs will result in a scene where Dr. Light upgrades the Mega Buster to make it charge faster. This upgrade isn't saved by passwords.

In Super Adventure Rockman, the player can only continue when defeated by some bosses, resulting in a cutscene where Mega Man is rescued (or challenged to continue in the battle against Quick Man) and can try again to face the boss again. The exception is Shadow Man, who destroys Mega Man. Curiously, Ra Thor and the New Yellow Devil also destroy Mega Man, but the player can continue against them, possibly due to them being the final bosses.

In the first Mega Man Zero game, extra lives count as continues. If none is available, the player is forced to quit the current mission, which will be considered a failure. The first mission and late game missions can't be quit, and losing on them results in a game over.

In The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, a game over only appears if the player is defeated in the Nakkai Desert early in the game or in the final mission. Those are also the only missions with a continue. Being defeated in other missions will result in the characters retreating back to the Gesellschaft to try again later on.

Head-up display

Head-up display, HUD for short, is the interface method by which some of the game's informations can be seen by the player during the game, the most common being the character's health.

In addition, the HUD also sometimes refers to the actual visual perspective from various robot characters. A notable example of this is with the ending for Vile Mode, which showcased Vile's perspective after he was hit by X's charge shot, which showed a red-toned background and glitched graphics due to Vile being heavily damaged.


Main article: Item

An item is a game object designed to produce an effect when picked up or activated by the player. Most are beneficial, like recovering health and energy, although "power-downs" exist in some games, such as Poison Mushrooms from the Mario series and Eggman items from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Non-player character

Non-player character, NPC for short, is a character from the game that can't be controlled by the player.

Save and load

Long games have a save feature to allow the player to stop and continue later by loading the saved game data.


Passwords were used to record the game's progress in the NES, SNES, and Game Boy Mega Man games. To continue from a specific point, players must insert the right password in the Password Screen. The passwords are made of dots, icons, or numbers, depending of the game.

Stage Select Screen

Main article: Stage Select Screen

The Stage Select Screen (ステージセレクト画面) is a recurring screen in the Mega Man and Mega Man X series that allows players to select the stages available in any order.

Sub Screen

Sub Screen (サブ画面 Sabu Gamen), also known by other names and nicknames such as "Pause Screen", is the screen that appears when the player presses a button (usually the "Pause" button) in the Action Screen. In the Mega Man franchise, the screen was originally named Cockpit (コックピット)[6] and only occupied part of the screen. In Mega Man 4 onward it became the Weapon Select Screen (武器選択画面 Buki Sentaku Gamen), occupying the whole screen. This menu displays the player's Life Energy, Extra Lives, and allows to change Special Weapons. In later games it also included items and options like Tanks, Sub Tanks, and Escape.

With the inclusion of more items in games like Mega Man 7 and Mega Man IV, the screen was divided into the Weapon Select Screen and Item Select Screen (アイテム選択画面 shortened as Item Screen in some games), the two screens being collectively known as the Equipment Select Screen (装備選択画面 Soubi Sentaku Gamen) in Mega Man & Bass.

In the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series, the screen became the Sub Screen, which is divided into different screens depending of the game: the Status and Options screens in all games; Elf List, Form, EX Skills, and Chips in the Mega Man Zero series; and Item and Mission screens in the Mega Man ZX series. The name Sub Screen is also used in Mega Man Xtreme 2 and Mega Man X: Command Mission.

The Sub Screen is named Menu Screen in Mega Man Legends and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne. In Mega Man Legends 2 and Mega Man X7 it is named Status Screen.

Title Screen

The Title Screen, also known as the Menu Screen, is one of the first screens the player sees when starting a game. It displays the game's title and the Main Menu, with the options to start a new game or access a screen to continue the game, like the Password Screen and the Save Data Screen. Additional screens seen after the Title Screen include the Player Select Screen and the Mode Select Screen.

Some Title Screens also contain additional options in the Main Menu, like an Options menu to change game configurations, a gallery, database, challenges, and minigames.

See also