Created By: Kazuhiro on November 10, 2010 Last Edited By: Kazuhiro on May 3, 2011
Nuked

Useless Iconic Weapon

An iconic sword immediately replaced by what the shopkeeper in the next town over has.

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Trope
A weapon, tool, character, or power that is iconic to a game or character, or that is famous/historically important in canon, that is actually a Pentultimate Weapon, or worse, a starter weapon that's replaced as soon as you find an upgrade. Usually a result of Gameplay And Story Segregation.

-Every starting weapon in FFVII, especially the Buster Sword. All characters are always pictured with their starting weapons. Every single one of those starting weapons is useless once you find a replacement.

-Ditto Soul Calibur.

-The Kingdom Key in Kingdom Hearts is a big-time example of this. In KH 2, it's common to opt for older Keyblades instead of newer ones because of the specific stats and abilities offered, but the Kingdom Key still remains inferior to almost all others.

-Pikachu is an aversion. He was a useless iconic pokemon, so they introduced a hold item that turns him into a killbeast.

-Weapons in the Mass Effect series. Characters are shown in cutscenes using the Lancer assault rifle, Mantis sniper rifle, and Kessler pistol long after you've upgraded past them. At the end of Mass Effect 2, Shepard and his/her squadmates are shown using the Lancer assault rifle even if none of them are even capable of equipping an assault rifle.

-Dave Strider gets an upgraded version of a "legendary" weapon at the very beginning of his adventure, from his future self. He's still required to actually acquire it at the proper time because it's a Sword of Plot Advancement, but he refers to it as a "legendary piece of shit."
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • November 10, 2010
    BaronGrackle
    The Dark Forces Saga always starts Kyle Katarn with his iconic Bryar Pistol. Of course, the only canonical way to play any of the Dark Forces games is to put on God Mode and only use your fists and/or your Bryar Pistol*.
  • November 11, 2010
    BaronGrackle
    No other replies? Well, let's see...

    For Castlevania games, most images of the Vampire Killer weapon show an unassuming, leather whip. In most games, however, the leather whip is soon trumped by a chain or fire version.
  • November 11, 2010
    TonyMuhplaah
    This trope seems too specific, it overlaps with both Sword Of Plot Advancement and Gameplay And Story Segregation.
  • November 11, 2010
    Kazuhiro
    A friend of mine told me that Pikachu is an aversion of this trope. He used to be an iconic shitty pokemon, so they introduced the Light Ball, a rare hold item which turns Pikachu awesome.

    Yes, there is an overlap with Sword of Plot Advancement but that trope on its own doesn't nearly describe this one.
  • November 11, 2010
    BaronGrackle
    Hmm. I miss the old title.
  • November 12, 2010
    the_it
    In Might and Magic 7, the promotion Archer's second promotion for the light side involves getting the Perfect Bow... which isn't so perfect after all.
  • November 12, 2010
    Kazuhiro
    So why the old title as opposed to this one?
  • November 12, 2010
    SeanMurrayI
    We generally don't put needless swear words in trope titles. Search engines like Google usually filter them out, and the word "shit" isn't exactly integral to the trope.
  • November 12, 2010
    BaronGrackle
    Hmm... I think I miss the word "iconic" over "legendary". Pikachu is iconic for Pokemon, but is he legendary? The same with the Mass Effect weapons, which certainly aren't legendary. Kyle Katarn's Bryar Pistol is iconic to Star Wars fans, but it's not legendary in that universe.

    And of course, I'm the type to prefer "useless" over "piece of shit", but that may just be me.
  • November 12, 2010
    ReplisMonathin
    Maybe rename to Useless Iconic Weapon?
  • November 12, 2010
    Twi
    The Power Beam from the Metroid series is a pretty good example of this. It's one of Samus' most iconic weapons, but you always get something better (Either a direct upgrade, or just alternatives that deal better damage/etc). The Varia Suit could be another example in one or two of the games, as while it is the ONLY suit you EVER see Samus in on boxart, it is either the shittiest suit or the second-best (With you usually upgrading to the Gravity Suit and then sometimes another suit past that).

    On the subject of Final Fantasy, 10 did this as well; the weapon Tidus is holding on the cover is one that you get in a cutscene early on, if memory serves, and while it's good at the time it is easily replaced.
  • November 12, 2010
    Kazuhiro
    I liked the new title because of the Homestuck reference. I'll change it back.
  • November 12, 2010
    BaronGrackle
    I didn't know about Homestuck. It's up to you guys. I like the idea of the trope regardless.
  • November 13, 2010
    Twi
    In Tears To Tiara (At least... the SRPG/VN version) Arawn's weapon of choice counts as this. It is a blood-red sword that he is always using in cover art, in his in-game sprite, etc etc. You never see him wielding anything else. It's said in-game that the thing is steeped in history and such, which is why I think it fits.

    It is also the crappiest sword in that game, and one of the very first things you do is replace it.
  • November 16, 2010
    Kazuhiro
    hey Twi, the Brotherhood sword from FF 10 is an aversion. You get it pretty much at the beginning of the game, but IIRC it had the maximum number of upgrade slots.
  • November 16, 2010
    arromdee
    If this becomes a trope, please be sure that the games are named or at least linked. I have no idea who Dave Strider is.
  • November 16, 2010
    queenbri
    TMNT Leonardo's swords and Mikelangelo's Nunchucks have attained this status thanks to the Moral Gaurdians.
  • November 16, 2010
    Indalecio
    Just a minor nitpick. Infinity Minus One Sword is the one thats NOT useless.
  • November 16, 2010
    Kazuhiro
    Hm.

    After a bit of browsing, this trope strongly overlaps with Pentultimate Weapon.
  • November 16, 2010
    Generality
    In Okami cutscenes, Ammy will always be shown with her starting weapon, which is naturally the weakest you can get. It's very iconic though, as it bears the symbol of the sun, which Ammy is the god of.
  • November 17, 2010
    wanderlustwarrior
    I disagree with the trope name and am not sure we need this.
  • November 17, 2010
    deuxhero
    Pikachu is still useless with the lightball, being fragile and slow to use its newfound high attack.
  • November 17, 2010
    SweetMadness
    Pikachu certainly isn't Game Breakingly powerful like some other mons, but the Light Ball at least makes him a viable option over Raichu in the right hands. But don't expect to see it outside of Underused or Standard tiers.
  • November 17, 2010
    Cidolfas
    Seems to be covered by Sword Of Plot Advancement and Penultimate Weapon.
  • December 8, 2010
    Kazuhiro
    These tend to be Swords of Plot Advancement, but not always, and the Sword of Plot Advancement isn't necessarily about swords that do nothing else. Pentultimate Weapon doesn't cover this for similar reasons.
  • December 8, 2010
    DAN004
    This is more like Ornamental Weapon.
  • December 8, 2010
    peccantis
    In FFXII, the two swords the player gets during the plot and cannot get rid of are critical for the plot advancement, but by gameplay means useless by the time you get where you get them.
  • January 26, 2011
    Kazuhiro
    So.

    Who wants to help me write this up in proper style.
  • May 3, 2011
    Fanra
    In Ever Quest there are "Epic" weapons for each class. Long involved quests are required to obtain them. While they were great weapons in their day, mudflation has made them obsolete and the Developers refuse to upgrade them.
  • May 3, 2011
    jaytee
    How is this not just Gameplay And Story Segregation but more specific? I mean, the fact that we're discussing Pikachu shows that this is not limited only to swords or even weapons.

    This doesn't even seem like a trope, just a bunch of otherwise-unrelated examples of Sword And Story Segregation.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=wxtogxx8qv8houxkyt5y7gpi&trope=DiscardedYKTTW