Mandatory install. Red ring of death. Motion control. All terms that mean something in the current generation of gaming. But five years ago they meant a whole lot of nothing in the video game vernacular. Yes, things move at lightning-speed in gaming, and that includes the buzz-word obsessed language of gamer speak. The following is a collection of the forgotten and redundant words and phrases that have long-since disappeared from geek-edition dictionaries.
There was a time when arcades were full of games so good they were worth converting for home computers and consoles. It was common practice. And if the conversion was handled with exemplary craftsmanship it would be enthusiastically called 'arcade perfect'.
Above: A sad indictment on the health of today's arcades. The only thing worth converting here is the arcade itself. Into a pile of rubble.
The ability to effortlessly spam enemies was once a must-have controller feature for any serious gamer. The trailing decline of autofire is made apparent when typing 'autofire controller' into Google and the top search result is for Orton AutoFire Kiln Controllers. The glory days of the QuickShot II Turbo are well and truly over.
Battery back-up to save your progress
The best thing since password saves, the introduction of game cartridges enabled with battery back-up to store progress was a revolution in the 8-bit era and a bonafide back-of-the-box bullet point. Utterly brilliant until the battery ran out of juice.
Above: The Legend of Zelda for NES in 1987 was the first game to use a battery save system
Presumably everything pre-dating this was vinyl-quality audio.
This meant that a player had achieved the highest score possible, thus causing the score digits to 'clock' i.e. go from 99999 to 00001. As games grew more sophisticated and began incorporating such things as actual achievable endings, the word 'clocked' was replaced with 'completed'.
One of those techy-sounding phrases that every bedroom game critic picked up on. Probably because it was so bloody noticeable and it happened almost as standard in games for the ZX Spectrum. It made the puke-inducing graphics of the Speccy even more puke-inducing by mashing colours together like a big psychedelic potato. Check out the horror:
Above: Colour clash sponsored by Sinclair. Barf bucket sponsored by Commodore
Wonderfully quaint system for reviving a deceased avatar. What there used to be before save points and regenerative health came along.
The fact no one today is even remotely interested in digitized graphics smugly vindicates what we were saying way back in 1992 - that the first Mortal Kombat was, is and always will be downright fugly.
Crude and offensively inaudible binary noise that heralded the first examples of 'speech' in games. About as sweet on the ears as a Dalek reciting static through a megaphone. Be thankful for progress and the fact that in-game talking is now several million light years away from this:
Whether it's in reference to atrocious live-action games or pre-rendered cut-scenes, FMV has pretty much disappeared from the gaming lexicon. Unless it's to talk about how utterly pap Night Trap and the rest of its disc-festering ilk were.
The delicate click-click-click sound of a fully micro-switched joystick was music to the ears for gamers who - at the tail end of the 80s - hadn't been accustomed to such elegant joystick equipment. If it wasn't fully micro-switched, it wasn't worth wiggling.
More forgotten parlance on the next page.