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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Ununnilium: Moved the SAW example over to Game Breaker, since obviously that's not useless at all.

Man Called True: I take exception to the entry of "Showstopper" on that list. It's a godsend during some of the more frustrating fights in the Pit of 100 Trials; sure, it's not effective against bosses, but it's cheap (costs the same as Earth Tremor, the second Star Ability in the game), it's got an amazing effectiveness rate against regular enemies, and Star Power is the easiest thing in the game to regain.

Ununnilium: So, should it be taken out?

Tanto: Yeah, Showstopper is among the more useful Star Abilities. I'm deleting it.
Andrew Leprich: Does the Dragon Quest series actually avert this? I just played through Dragon Quest VIII a few months ago, and the status effect spells almost never worked on stronger-than-average enemies. In fact, as I played it I found it to be a huge offender of this trope. I don't have much experience with the series as a whole, though.

Nezumi: Dragon Quest 8 has it—although even in that, stat-up/stat-down spells, which are often lumped into this category, are very useful—but earlier titles tend not to have it. Status effect spells work against nearly every random encounter and even the occaisional boss. And given how powerful some of the random encounters have been in the series, poisoning or silencing them can give you an edge. Instant death or non-death "elimination" spells, TMK, work just against random encounter enemies but, again, they're highly useful there and work against nearly all of them, to varying degrees. Of course, I could be wrong. The whole issue of usefulness is inherently debatable except in the most extreme cases, and I haven't played the games as recently as I'd like.
Projection magic in Fate/stay night would be a subversion of the trope, not an example. Projection magic is supposed to be a waste of time, yet Shirou puts it to very good use. -Silmina

Qube: Request putting all the Final Fantasy examples into their own folder. Seriously, I scrolled down a third of the page just to get to all the other examples. I get it. Final Fantasy has useless spells. Final Fantasy inspired the trope. Great. But a third of the page? That's a bit much, man. Now, I imagine this wouldn't be as legitimate a complaint if it were for a series that had less than ten sequels, but... Well, you see my point.