F - Gaming Terms Lexicon Guide - IGN (2024)


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Short for FAMIly COMputer, the Famicom is the Japanese name for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).


A special move that can be executed in some fighting games (chiefly the Mortal Kombat series) after a match is over. The results of such an action results in a graphic death of the losing character. Variations include Animalities (where the character turns into an animal before killing its opponent), Babalities, where the loser turns into a baby, and "friendship" moves, where the character does something goofy, like signs an autograph for the loser.



The image on a TV screen is drawn in two parts. First, the odd lines (across) are drawn, then the even lines are drawn (see interlace). Together these two images are known as a frame. A field is one half a frame, one scan pass of the electron gun that draws the image on the TV screen.

Fighting Game

A game which consists of fights between two or more characters, one controlled by the player, the other controlled by either another player or the computer. The fighting may be executed hand-to-hand, but characters may also use weapons, or have supernatural powers such as the ability to throw fireballs. See also 2D fighting game, 3D fighting game.

Fill Rate

Fill rate is the rate at which pixels are drawn into the screen memory. Fillrate is a common measure used to illustrate the capabilities of today's 3D graphics processors. It depends on the width of the memory bus, the speed of the memory transactions, and the 3D processor's ability to saturate the memory interface with transactions. Fill rate is usually measured in millions of pixels/second (Mpixels/sec).

First Party

The manufacturer of a hardware system. The term is used to describe the origin of software for a given system. First party software comes from the manufacturer. For instance, Nintendo is the first party publisher for the Nintendo Wii and 3DS. See also Second Party and Third Party.

First Person

A perspective in which a player's character is not represented on the screen, but rather the view is such that the player "sees" what he or she would if they were actually performing the actions found in the game (looking through the window of a co*ckpit, for example). See also third person, simulation.

Flat Shading

Rendering a polygon with a uniform color across its face.



Mainly a problem of 16-bit systems. When too many sprites appear on-screen at once they would begin to flicker and lines of sprite graphics would disappear from the screen. This was the 16-bit version of the polygon glitch.

Flight Sim

A simulation which attempts to duplicate as closely as possible the experience of flying an airborne craft. The game may be based on a real craft (Falcon 3.0, Apache), or an imaginary one (the Wing Commander series), but the game must be designed with an emphasis on realism and include as much detail as technically possible.

Flight Yoke

A hardware input device that is a facsimile of the flight yoke used on airplanes, it is used by some people to provide maximum realism in flight simulators. Flight Yokes are generally analog devices.


(1) In pinball machines, a pivoting platform (controlled by the player) on the playfield which deflects the ball as part of play. (2) Nintendo Gamecube's 202.5 mhz graphics chip, designed by Palo Alto-based ArtX.

FMV (Full-Motion Video)

Pre-recorded video files used as a narration technique in video games such as using FMV for cutscenes.

Forward Scrolling

A perspective in which objects in the background scale out "toward" the player, typified by games like Space Harrier, Burning Force, and Afterburner. This differs from first-person, 3D games by the fact that the perspective is simulated by scaling 2D sprites.



(1) Frames Per Second.

(2) First-Person Shooter.


Made of two scan fields (See Field and Interlace), it is the "complete" image that appears on a TV screen.

Frame Buffer

An area of RAM used to store the pixel data for a single screen image, or frame.


The number of complete screens or frames drawn per second (FPS). Higher frame rates provide smoother motion.

Frames Per Second (FPS)

A measure of how many frames are drawn per second on a screen. In standard US NTSC TV broadcasts, 30 frames (and 60 fields) are drawn on the TV screen per second whereas standard motion pictures run at 24 FPS. The more frames drawn per second, the greater the realism of the motion shown on the screen. Many games draw less than 30 frames per second to the screen. The TV image is still refreshed at a rate of 30 FPS, but a new image simply isn't drawn with each new pass.


Free Guy

In a game, when you get an extra life, either by reaching a certain number of points or finding a one-up icon, it is often referred to as a free guy (see also Life).

Full Scene Anti-aliasing

Anti-aliasing is a graphics procedure designed to eliminate a stair-stepping effect, known as jaggies, occurring at low resolutions. It works by blurring pixels at edges of lines to make the difference between two color areas less dramatic. Full Scene Anti-aliasing uses something called supersampling, which means that the image is rendered internally at a higher resolution than the screen resolution and then downsampled to the actual screen resolution. This is done on a per tile base, which means that a 32x16 microtile will be downsampled using bicubic filters to a 16x8 tile before it's written to the screen buffer.

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