Becoming truly skilled at something takes a long time and a lot of hard work. Sometimes, you can handle this with a TrainingMontage, but the plot doesn't always have enough time for this. So, how DO you go about transforming your UnluckyEverydude into a BadAss SuperHero in less than an hour?

Why, you hand him an UpgradeArtifact, of course! No hassle, no trouble, just pick this thing up, and you'll [[InstantExpert instantly learn an important skill]]! Real heroes [[HardWorkHardlyWorks work smart, not hard]], it seems...

If the object is a [[CoolSword magical sword]], expect instant ImplausibleFencingPowers.

Obviously, a natural result of PowersAsPrograms. Compare AmplifierArtifact and, for video games, HeartContainer. Contrast ExpositionBeam, when this is done with memories.

If the object has a variety of effects depending on the demands of the plot, it's GreenRocks.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Stand Arrow from ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''. Normally, it's used to turn normal people into [[PsychicPowers Stand users]]. However, someone who is already a Stand user will gain additional powers if shot by the arrow again (Yoshikage Kira gained the ability to create time loops near the end of Part 4 to try and escape the heroes), and when a ''Stand'' is shot by the arrow, it becomes a MUCH more powerful version of itself, as seen when Polnareff's [[RoyalRapier Silver Chariot]] becomes Silver Chariot Requiem and gains FreakyFridayFlip abilities. Likewise, Giorno's Gold Experience becomes Gold Experience Requiem and goes from being able to transmute objects into being able to divide by zero, thereby thoroughly trouncing [[BigBad Diavolo]] and his timeskipping abilities.
** And before it, the Stone Mask that turns humans into vampires. The Pillarman Kars originally created it to make his race stronger and immune to sunlight, but he discovered it would need to absorb a ridiculous amount of energy before it could upgrade beings as powerful as the Pillarmen. Dio Brando was the benficiary of this and the aforementioned Arrow in his lifetime, making him one of the most powerful and persistent villains in the series.
** In Part 7, Steel Ball Run, Johnny Joestar and others find [[MacGuffin Corpse Parts]]that allows them to awaken their Stands. [[spoiler:The Corpse Parts are actually pieces of ''Jesus Christ''.]]
* Right at the beginning of ''TowerOfGod'', Baam receives the [[EmpathicWeapon Black March]] from Yuri as to help him out a little. It works wonders, but even though the [[RoyalRapier Needle]] takes a liking towards him, she is almost never use and at one point given back to Yuri, kind of subverting the whole matter again.
* Nanoha and Fate in ''LyricalNanoha'' became the overpowered mages they are by [[TrainingFromHell training a lot]]. Hayate, who received the power and spells of the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Book of Darkness]] after she became its Master, beats them both in raw magical strength (but because she skipped the basics she suffers from AceLightningSyndrome).
** While training is responsible for much of Nanoha and Fate's crazy power level, a large portion of it is due to their [[AppliedPhlebotinum Velka Cartridge Systems]], which fall somewhere in between [[UpgradeArtifact Upgrade Artifacts]] and ''normal'' old [[MidSeasonUpgrade Mid-Season Upgrades]].
* Subverted/averted in ''Anime/DragonBallZ'':
** Master Korin tells Goku that the "Sacred Water" from a particular jar will make him stronger, but takes the jar away every time Goku wants to drink from it. In the end, the water has no effect: it's the exercise you have to do to get it that makes you stronger. Truth be told, Korin just fills the jar with ordinary water. When the assassin Tao Pai Pai scales the tower, Korin gives him the water straightaway, and even loans him an evil Flying Nimbus cloud to make the return trip down the tower, specifically to prevent him from exerting himself any more (and thus getting any stronger) before his rematch with Goku.
*** Though later he sends him after "Ultra Sacred Water", which DOES have magical powers but tends to kill everyone who can't handle it.
** The legendary sword which is supposed to make Gohan the strongest warrior in the universe is actually just very heavy. Gohan gets stronger because wielding it is like training with impossibly heavy barbells.
*** Also because it's a SoulJar containing an ancient Kai who enacts a power-unsealing ritual on Gohan. Admittedly it seems to be a few hours of him dancing around hooting and reading comic books, but it seems to have worked.
** The dragonballs can be used for anything from [[ResetButton resurrecting billions of people]] to [[AllMenArePerverts obtaining panties]]... except leveling up.
*** Unless you count the immortality the balls are capable of granting. Given that Saiyans get stronger every time they get badly beat up, this is all they'd need.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** The [[MacGuffin Hougyoku]] does this to anyone it comes in contact with. Not only is it responsible for Aizen's MANY {{Squick}} and {{Narm}} filled transformations in the Deicide Arc, but its presence in Karakura was also partly responsible (along with contact with Ichigo's overactive reiatsu) for Chad and Orihime unlocking powers in the first place.
** The Sanrei Glove Uryuu uses to power up for the Soul Society Arc has the capacity to do this twice over: its primary effect is to make it harder for the user to gather spirit particles, so it's like training with wrist and ankle weights for added resistance. Removing the Glove after training with it, however, results in a huge temporary boost...that in turn causes complete power burnout. Uryuu ends up using the dangerous secondary effect against Mayuri to try and avenge his grandfather's death.
** The anime-only {{Filler}} arc that follows this restores Uryuu's powers temporarily with a bracelet-like UpgradeArtifact that breaks at the end of the arc, just in time to rejoin the manga plotline where [[ParentExMachina his father]] restores his powers permanently.
* Pactio cards in ''MahouSenseiNegima'' work like this, allowing the [[SquishyWizard magister magi]] to buff the [[BattleCouple partner's]] physical abilities, [[CallOnMe summon them from a great distance]], [[PsychicLink talk to them telepathically]], [[TransformationTrinket transform]] and most importantly gain a new artifact. In most cases this artifact is a reflection of the [[PersonalityPowers partner's personality]], often giving otherwise [[{{Muggles}} mundane girls]] an ability to fight on the same level as trained martial artists and [[{{Obake}} demons]] (Asuna's {{BFS}} before her TrainingFromHell, though she already had a ChekhovsArmoury) or a new strength atop their fighting skills (Setsuna's [[ReverseShrapnel floating Tanto knives]]). In some cases, the use of this artifact can be determined by the girl's [[MartialArtsAndCrafts inherent skills]], (Haruna's [[ArtInitiatesLife drawing speed]], Chisame's [[ExtremeGraphicalRepresentation hacking-skills]]). Otherwise it usually serves as a tactical advantage as not to [[HardWorkHardlyWorks offset the earned talents of trained characters]] while making weak girls useful in combat (Nodoka's [[MindProbe mind-reading book]], Yue's {{Magitek}} GreatBigBookOfEverything). In exceptional cases, a girl will gain some tactical advantage while already being trained (Kaede's {{Ninja}} [[BiggerOnTheInside scarf]]).
* In a twist, any previously-used object can work like that in the hands of a high-level Psychometrist in the ''ZettaiKarenChildren'' universe. Shiho (A [[PowerLevels Level 7]] Psychometer) easily wins a fishing-competition despite having never fished before, simply by using her powers to 'read' the fishing-rod, instantly knowing how best to use it - and later gains ImplausibleFencingPowers when handling a 5000-years old saber, since she can copy the abilities of all its previous users.
* In ''{{Guyver}}'', the Gigantic upgrade takes the form of a large piece of Creator technology which can be swapped between the Guyvers. It actually began as an escape pod for a Creator ship which was physically and mentally tied into Sho while it crashed.
* ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima'' presents this in the form of familiar runes. When a mage summons their familiar, the contract of servitude is manifested by a set of runes imprinted on the familiar. This can grant the familiar abilities or attributes they previously lacked, such as near-human intelligence, the ability to speak, or, in the case of the eponymous character, the ability to wield any weapon with ease.
* In ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'', Father Anderson, while otherwise an ImplacableMan, simply cannot muster enough gumption to go against Alucard, so he decides it's TheLastDance for him. [[spoiler: He tributes his humanity to God by stabbing himself with the Nail of Helena, turning him into a divine monster on par with Alucard and a HumanoidAbomination.]]
** Alucard himself loathes the use of the trope, as he thinks only a real human has the right to truly defeat monsters, otherwise you're just replacing a monster with a stronger one.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Prometheus, a supervillain of TheDCU, can download the abilities of 30 of the world's best martial artists into his mind by inserting a small CD into his helmet. Batman eventually figures this out and foils him by replacing the abilities with those of Stephen Hawking.
* The alien symbiote suit of SpiderMan fame. It makes its own webbing, increases his agility and fixes itself when damaged.
** Don't forget Cosmic Spider-Man, as a result of the Enigma Force choosing Spider-Man as the next Captain Mar-Vell.
* This is a very common theme in comics in general, as a way of creating new heroes and villans without all that mucking about with backstories.
* [[DoctorFate The Helmet of Fate]] will grant anyone who [[EmpathicWeapon it allows]] to wear it incredible magical power and knowledge.
* In the DC versus Marvel crossover, Wonder Woman acquires Thor's hammer and becomes so powerful that she feels she must discard the hammer before her match with Storm because Storm deserved a fair shot at defending her universe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'', [[VisualNovel/AceAttorney Phoenix's]] mystical LieDetector, the Magatama, ended up working like this when [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Twilight]] made contact with it [[WrongContextMagic through her magic]]. It gave her the ability to see Psyche-Locks[[note]]Visual representation of how deeply someone is hidding a secret[[/note]] without needing to hold the Magatama with her; albeit only temporarily.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The Monolith in ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' comes in handy for our ape-man ancestors.
* Used in ''Film/TheMatrix'', of course - rather than spend time actually learning Kung Fu, Neo just has it uploaded directly into his brain. Voila, I know kung fu! At various other points in the series, other characters also gets instant uploads of useful skills, such as flying a helicopter, or hotwiring a motorbike.
** The second is gently spoofed when, before Trinity can be given the hotwiring skills, the Keymaker simply gives her the right key to turn on the bike.
* The movie ''Film/DarkCity'' combines the UpgradeArtifact and the TrainingMontage. The psychic hero John has been captured and will be brainwashed, but the doctor in charge of the operation instead uses a different syringe containing the memories of a lifetime of training and use with his fledgling powers. Needless to say, much ass kicking ensued.
* Used in ''Film/BattlefieldEarth'', though when the humans need to learn how to fly Harrier Jets, they inconveniently forget about the UpgradeArtifact and learn how to fly Harriers thorough trial and error in a few days. There's a reason this movie was so critically panned. (If only it was just that; other movies survive nonsensical plot holes; Battlefield Earth doesn't for other reasons.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Applied, sort of, in Michael Stackpole's Age of Discovery novel trilogy. Those who are supremely skilled in something can tap into magic through their skill, and they infuse their tools with magic in the process. Anyone who uses the tool thereafter will find his capability vastly increased... until the magic drains out through use. So an untrained peasant could pick up a master's sword, and fight like a master for a little while, slowly getting worse, until they're back to their own natural incompetence when all the magic "battery power" is used up.
* The ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series has two: The [[GreatBigBookOfEverything Book of Magic]] and [[MagicMusic the Platinum Flute]]. The Book lets anyone who possesses it to cast magic spells at an Adept's power level (It let a troll with no inherent magic become the new Red Adept). The Flute enhances the innate magic of anyone who holds it (allowing Stile, the Blue Adept, to use his magic within the AntiMagic influence of a unicorn circle). Anyone who can actually play the damn thing gains Adept-level magic. A master musician? Becomes stronger than all the other Adepts put together.
* Both applied and lampshaded in [[Literature/InheritanceCycle The Inheritance Cycle]].
** First lampshaded when Eragon asks [[spoiler:Oromis]] if there is no way to give him the skills he needs, and [[spoiler:Oromis]] responds that, while there is, this would make Eragon startlingly unable to use these acquired skills.
** Applied later, when Eragon[[spoiler:'s back is healed by the dragons, and he is given some upgrades to his abilities. Surprisingly few negative effects, despite Oromis' earlier statement]].
** Later applied when [[spoiler:Murtagh]] is trained by Galbatorix, who himself has acquired this through [[spoiler: the Eldunari]].
** Applied yet again when Eragon [[spoiler:gets the remaining Eldunari in book 4]]. While this doesn't give him new abilities, it does make him far more able to use the abilities he already has.
* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's short story ''Profession'', schools have been replaced by teaching machines that implant the contents of education tapes into young people's minds. General knowledge, including the ability to read and write, is implanted at the age of eight. The knowledge and skills required for a specific profession are implanted at age eighteen, following a test of the individual's abilities, interests, and attitudes.
* Used in ''Literature/WarcraftTheLastGuardian'', when the wizard Medivh teaches his apprentice Khadgar how to ride a gryphon.
* The [[CoolSword magical sword Need]] in the ''HeraldsOfValdemar'' books will give its bearer magical protection if a fighter, fighting skills if a mage, or both if the bearer is neither. Then things get more complicated...
* The Literature/{{Helm}} is an unusually slow-acting example -- much of the knowledge it imparts is not accessible by the wearer for months.
* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Harry Dresden]] was already a powerful wizard, but he'd usually run into bad luck using [[LandOfFaerie The Never-Never]] as a shortcut to get places. But when [[spoiler: his daughter]] was kidnapped in ''Literature/{{Changes}}'' he needed to go from Chicago to South America in a hurry, which was when the Leanansidhe gave him [[spoiler: the jewel from his mother's amulet]], which contained secret knowledge of the paths through that realm.
* The Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration novel ''Debtor's Planet'' had a 'learning helmet' that was widely used on the adult population of a low-technology planet during one phase of trying to turn it into a pirate base to trouble the Federation. It could, in a single session, implant advanced technical knowledge equivalent to several years of intense study, equivalent to, for example, attending Starfleet Academy. It also left many people with profound psychological problems, such as one character who frequently finds herself curled into a ball under her desk. One man who was deemed too crippled to bother with is glad he wasn't taught this way, and is glad that children are being taught in recognizable, traditional schools.
* When [[{{Nightside}} John Taylor]] gets Excalibur his hand-to-hand combat skills, speed and efficiency all improve and he gains considerable fencing prowess. According to him it's more like Excalibur is making moves and just needs the wielder for the ride. Overlaps with ''EmpathicWeapon''.
* ''OutOfTheDark'': The Shongairi test direct "neural education" on humanity and finds us surprisingly better at receiving it than most of the Hegemony's species. [[BlatantLies This is no way]] [[HoistByTheirOwnPetard comes back to haunt them]] [[ForegoneConclusion in the end]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' 'verse has an Ancient library that can imprint itself into a human mind, resulting in major technological advances. The drawback is [[spoiler: the human brain can't handle it and the Ancient knowledge must be removed before there's permanent damage.]]
** ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' has a device that accelerates a human's evolution to that of an [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens Ancient]], granting him PsychicPowers such as telepathy, telekinesis, healing, and super-intelligence (even more if the human in question is already a genius). Unfortunaly, the goal of the device is to force [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Ascension]]. If the subject is not ready mentally to become an EnergyBeing, he will die in a matter of days. Fortunately, it is possible to revese the process.
* In ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' the episode "Spock's Brain" has a Teacher which gives whoever uses it the ability to perform brain transplants and removal, perfectly. The downside is [[spoiler:the knowledge is short-lived]].
* In ''PowerRangers'', any Ranger will instinctively know how to use all of his or her gear and HumongousMecha, and generally only needs to be taught an [[ByThePowerOfGreyskull activation phrase]] or two. Fighting skills also seem to come with the suit. Billy, the very first Blue Ranger, used Ranger fighting skills while in Ranger form, but in human form, didn't have them and still had to be taught karate to use it out-of-suit. Later Rangers have kept their fight skills in civilian form.
** Justified in some seasons, where it shows the Rangers have been training for a while before ever getting a morpher. Subverted in ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'', where Ziggy's fighting abilities still merely approach competence even after FallingIntoTheCockpit.
* Vampirism in the [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffyverse]] consists of losing your soul, needing to drink blood, getting reversibly ugly, and spontaneously becoming a hand-to-hand martial artist, even if you were the uncoordinated nerd who'd never even seen ''TheKarateKid'', let alone received any actual training. Those who have had training in life get a serious boost as vampires.
** Lampshaded in "Lessons" when Buffy is teaching Dawn to fight, and, referring to a vampire who's just crawling out of the grave, Dawn says: "He's new. He doesn't know his strength. He might not know all those fancy martial arts skills they inevitably seem to pick up."
** Not quite a LampshadeHanging, but it is explained in the series that a person who becomes a vampire loses his soul and has it replaced by a demon's; it's not a stretch to assume that all demons have combat ability already.
** On the other hand, [[TheDitz Harmony]] still had absolutely no idea how to fight when she first became a vampire. Also in one episode, Buffy fights a newborn vampire which she usually kills easily, but because he had martial arts training in life it takes her the whole episode to kill him.
*** Don't forget Buffy went to high school with the vampire, which made it awkward. He was AffablyEvil, and as psych student, he got Buffy to open up to him and discuss her feelings in between rounds.
** Also {{lampshaded}} in another episode where a vampire, who used to be a gymnast in his human life, gives the heroes trouble.
*** In some of the official books with original stories (especially the first ones), some vampires outright said things along the lines of "You can't beat me little girl, I was top of my Taekwando class for two years before I died." and so on.
* ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'' averts this. Main protagonist Shinji Kido, who gains the power to become a Kamen Rider but still has the martial arts ability of a civilian. He slowly develops his abilities as the series progresses, eventually becoming quite a proficient fighting.
** As for the other Kamen Riders, only the ones that would have plausible ability at fighting frequently engage in hand-to-hand combat, such as Ren (bar room brawler), Sudou (hardened cop) and Asakura (psycho outlaw). The others frequently rely on their armour and special abilities to compensate: for example, Kitaoka is mainly a ranged combatant.
** The ''Series/KamenRiderDouble Returns: Accel'' has the Gaia Memory Enhancing Adapter which triples the power output of any Gaia Memory it is attached to. When attached to the Accel Memory allows Ryu to become Kamen Rider Accel Booster.
** ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'' also averts this as protagonist Gentarou Kisaragi has no real martial arts ability and usually just fights by the seat of his pants even after becoming a Rider. Later on, he ends up taking some kickboxing lessons. However, when he becomes Kamen Rider Fourze Meteor Fusion States, he ends up gaining the Jeet Kun Do skills of his ally.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': as of the season 3, [[spoiler:having the new Intersect means you have a GreatBigBookOfEverything worth of feats at your disposal]].
* Imprinting can work this way in {{Dollhouse}}.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' and other cyberpunk [[TabletopGames tabletop roleplaying games]] use "skill softs" and linguasofts, datachips containing memories and trained reflexes or foreign languages copied from a donor and uploaded into the recipient's brain via a datajack. For physical skills like combat or piano playing, it's necessary to install a skill wire cyber system into the body's nervous system and limbs which basically remote-controls the body and overwrites its reflexes with new ones while the skill chip is activated. In ''{{GURPS}} Cyberpunk'', "slave chips" can be used to paralyze a subject (usually a prisoner) or overwrite his personality with a new subservient one, for example to turn someone into a sex slave.
** Naturally, these were both invented by William Gibson, the latter in ''{{Neuromancer}}'', the former in ''Mona Lisa Overdriv''e. The sex chip was usually implanted voluntarily (it makes earning money as a hooker less... icky) and the knowledge imparted by the memory chips vanished as soon as they were removed.
*** His choice of name for memory chips, ''micro softs'' dates the novel somewhat.
** Also notable is the fact that a skillsoft [[TechnicianVersusPerformer cannot make you nearly as capable as normally-trained experts]], represented as a cap of rank 4 on the skillsoft's rating as opposed to rank 6 in the skill (7 with natural talent) trained normally.
* One of the most disturbing [[UpgradeArtifact Upgrade Artifacts]] is a specific torture rack in a level of Hell in the 3rd Edition [[DungeonsAndDragons D&D]] cosmology. Each round a character remains in it, they must not only make a Fortitude save (to avoid passing out) and a Will save (to avoid ''screaming in agony''). If they miss one, they get no benefit. The longer they stay in, the better the benefits, up to fifteen rounds (ninety seconds). However, the benefits must be renewed after 99 days.
* 1st Edition AD&D included magical books and ioun stones that granted you a free experience level if you read or used them. These were dropped from later editions of the game, on the grounds that levels should be earned through actual play, not found lying around in dungeons.
** There remain certain artifacts in edition 3.5 (The Book of Vile Darkness, etc) that grant this effect, though they can only be used by divine spellcasters, and then only once in a lifetime.
** The Deck of Many things in Third Edition can still award enough XP to gain multiple levels. Or it can kill you, or worse. But, up through 3rd edition, the game also had magical Tomes and Manuals that gave the user permanent irreversible upgrades to their physical or mental stats. There are tons of items in the game that make you better at any given skill or task while you're wearing them.
*** One example is the [[StealthPun Skillful]] melee weapon ability from [[{{Sourcebook}} Complete Arcane]] which allows one to competently operate a weapon without the necessary learning
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' features grimoires, books of magical knowledge that allow those who read them (and have the proper Arcana) to instantly learn spells. Somewhat justified in that a grimoire is created when one mage removes all knowledge of a spell from his mind and puts pen to paper, allowing for ease of instruction and duplication; in addition, the ''mage who created the grimoire'' can use it to relearn the spell, and having it around afterwards allows for easier casting of the spell, since you can use it to lighten the mental workload.
* ''{{Munchkin}}'' has any number of "gain a level" cards, with excuses like "pay for the pizza", "shut up about your character", and "convenient addition error". Though the often ignored rules state that you can't reach level 10 (and thus win) using one of those cards.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Frequently used in the ''FinalFantasy'' series of games.
** The first one is possibly the most notable, in that the UpgradeArtifact in question is a ''rat's tail''. As in the literal tail of a rat, which you give to Bahamut to upgrade all four of your characters. Note that the tail itself bestows nothing; it's just a stinky rat tail, but you going to fetch it proves to Bahamut that your party is worthy to receive the [[TookALevelInBadass permanent class change]] he grants.
** In both ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', the characters gains access to the skills of 'ancient warriors' by picking up the shards of the Crystals.
** Has a small presence in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', as Rydia can gain several hidden summons from [[RandomlyDrops randomly dropped items]].
*** In the DS remake, you can find or receive items called Augments that permanently grant the user new abilities.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' features Magicite, stones that contain the spirits of dead Espers, which can be used to learn spells and gain stat bonuses by carrying them in battle. Characters can also learn spells from certain weapons and armor found in the game.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' had a slow acting version, with gemstones and special weapons that contained special abilities that they "taught" to the character. Characters had to wear the item though enough battles to fully learn the ability. Afterward, they could throw away the mentor-item like so much used tissue paper.
*** ''FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' did something similar. Characters had to go through a certain amount of battles with a particular weapon or armor equipped to get abilities.
** In ''FinalFantasy X-2'', Dress Spheres serves the same function, with the same explanation - they contain the abilities of legendary warriors. This became [[PlotCouponThatDoesSomething a plot point]], as the memories fueling Yuna's Songstress Dress Sphere are connected to the BigBad.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' the characters had no skills (apart from unique limit breaks). EVERY skill that the player characters had was determined by what "Materia" was inserted into their weapons and armor. Some Materia could be "chained", having one Materia cast another's power when it finished with its own (making for some incredibly powerful combinations such as Final Blow + Phoenix - which made that character unkillable unless Phoenix failed).. One Materia (the Yellow Materia) would even let you use certain enemy skills against them - ''once the materia had "learned" the skill by being equipped AND having that character get hit by the skill in question''. This of course was problematical for skills such as Death, which would kill the character after a timer runs out if it hits.
* Applied without much explanation in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' - when picking up a new hammer or set of boots, Mario automatically learns a new skill, for no apparent reason. Granted, there ''is'' a brief [[HeKnowsAboutTimedHits tutorial session]] with Toadette; maybe Mario's just a [[InstantExpert quick learner]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' you can find a number of mysterious memory modules which claim to permanently boost base stats, if you figure out how to use them, they allow you to undergo powerful operations... that take weeks to recover from.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has a better example, in the form of bobbleheads and books that raise a specific skill when grabbed.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' brings back the implanted stat boosters, except this time you'll be back on your feet in a matter of hours. There are also some new, more situational implants in the ''Old World Blues'' DLC that do things like making you move faster while sneaking.
* All of the weapons in ''{{Drakengard}}'' come with a magical spell the protagonist can use perfectly once he equips the weapon. He can also use a variety of weapons and weapon styles perfectly, but that's [[HandWave probably because he's a]] BadassNormal.
* In the ''{{Metroid}}'' series of games, not only does Samus acquire new powers and skills by collecting artifacts, she often [[BagOfSpilling loses these artifacts]] and has to collect them all over again.
* In ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', Emiya Shirou's (and by extension, [[spoiler:Emiya/Archer]]'s) unique [[FunctionalMagic Tracing]] allows him to gain the abilities of his faked weapons' previous owners. Each of the three scenarios also has another UpgradeArtifact: In ''Fate'', it was [[EleventhHourSuperpower Avalon]]. ''Unlimited Blade Works'', it was the eponymous [[FieldOfBlades Reality Marble]]. In ''Heaven's Feel'', Shirou is BlessedWithSuck as [[spoiler:his left arm is lost in a fight and replaced by Archer]]'s, which allows him to match up against Servants but quickly overwhelms his mind and body.
* The ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' series of portable [=RPGs=] features items which teach specific psyenergy (the game's equivalent to magic) abilities to the character who equips them.
** However, these items can be unequipped to be equipped by other characters, making this more a sort of Device Magic. A more fitting example is perhaps the Psyenergy-tablets in the elemental rocks in ''Golden Sun: The Lost Age''.
* The [=TMs=] and [=HMs=] in ''{{Pokemon}}'', [=CDs=] that you stick to your Pokémon's foreheads. Somehow Pokémon can download the data off the disc like that.
** The various evolution items straddle the line between this an TransformationTrinket. They grant new stats and moves, but unlike 'Trinkets, they aren't reversible.
*** Not to mention Porygon evolves through an item named Upgrade.
** Don't forget Rare Candy, a level in a wrapper.
* ''ShiningForce II'' has {{Upgrade Artifact}}s for certain characters that let them promote to different classes than they would under normal circumstances (Mages can upgrade to Wizards or SummonMagic-using Sorcerers, Priests [Healers] can become either Vicars or Monks, etc.)
* The same thing applies in ''FireEmblem,'' where all base classes can promote at level 10 when using the right item. However, doing so also means missing out on the other 10 levels the character can gain in that class, so it's better to wait until the character has reached the level cap. Unlike a level, a promotion adds predefined stats to the character, and sometimes gives them a new ability and/or the ability to use new weapon types.
* In ''MegaManZX'' you acquire new biometals.
* ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'' had you collect eight orbs each for your eight weapons. Once hammered into place by a trusty dwarf, you could then proceed to ... wait a bit longer for your strongest charge attack (it also increases the base attack of the weapon).
** The second and final class changes in ''VideoGame/SeikenDensetsu3'' are sealed, requiring characters to not only reach level 38, but to have an item to break the seal. The item is different for each and every class, and must be "grown" from a seed that RandomlyDrops from a few specific (though thankfully unlimited) monsters. [[GuideDangIt That last part is never explained in-game.]]
* The augmentation canisters in ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'' can instantly give your character new abilities or more points in a skill. Unfortunately, they tend to make you more arrogant, violent, and inhuman. Using more than a certain number of them will alter the [[MultipleEndings ending]] you get.
* The mysterious Monoliths in ''SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'', which not only repair damaged units, but somehow increases their fighting skills too.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' features this too: Sometimes it's an item which the player character can create themselves through their profession to give them a small bonus, while other times its an actual book item that the player uses once to learn a particular skill (Or more likely, upgrade to their profession), such as improved Fishing. A lot of items and weapons DO require the player to be a certain level before they can use it (Including an entire class of Armor).
* The ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' series centers around a device called the Animus, which allows a user to experience the lives of their ancestors stored in GeneticMemory via a virtual reality simulation. Prolonged use of the Animus causes something called a "bleeding effect", whereby the skills of one's ancestors imprint themselves upon the user. Thus, someone can learn to be a master Assassin through mental osmosis of a sort, with only a few potential side-effects... like insanity.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'', players literally find "artifacts" that they use to apply [[FireIceLightning elemental effects]] to their action skill.
** The main storyline in the ''Claptrap's New Robot Revolution'' DLC offers a corner case--one of the quest rewards is a skill point, meaning your character suddenly improves a skill just for finishing that quest.
* The ''{{Videogame/STALKER}}'' games features [[ILoveNuclearPower radioactive objects]] that grant you immunities to environmental hazards, [[HealingFactor the ability to mend your wounds]], or [[SuperStrength extra weight capacity]] depending on the artifact.
* The relics in later ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games are like this, often cube shaped things that give you magic powers. You can even turn them on and off at will!
* In ''NexusTheJupiterIncident'' you manage to acquire a disabled mechanoid. Angel, the ship's AI advisor, subsequently integrates the mechanoid craft into the Angelwing at a molecular level, in spite of being told not to. The Cptn. Cromwell, while already having gotten several ship upgrades, [[TakingALevelInBadass takes a new level of awesome.]]
* ''Circuit's Edge'', the cyberpunk murder-mystery adventure based on ''Literature/WhenGravityFails'' by Creator/GeorgeAlecEffinger, features a wide variety of mind-enhancing and skill-providing software directly installed in one's brain in a vein similar to fellow cyberpunk pioneer, Neuromancer.
* This is how you improve your ship in ''DarkstarOne''. By collecting enough artifacts, you can upgrade the Darkstar's wings, hull or engines, and unlock new abilities for the Plasma Cannon.
* ''VideoGame/{{Snailiad}}'' has the Devastator, which upgrades all three of your weapons.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' has The Thirty-Six Lessons of Vivec, which are scattered around the world for you to read and upgrade your skills by one of the demigods.
** Morrowind, and all Elder Scrolls games since then (and possibly even before) have many, many skill-enhancing books of this sort
* ''InazumaEleven'' features skill manuals, items that instantly teach a character the new skill, which becomes a plot device as the rookie Raimon team keep relying on getting new GameBreaking abilities every chapter to climb up the tournament. It doesn't work by the half of the game and the heroes are finally told they need to train properly instead of spending times looking for papers.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'' the eponymous Overlord has to track down and return Tower Objects to his ominous dark tower in order to upgrade his stats, gain/upgrade spells, and access better armour.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The ancient spirits in ''[[http://www.revenant-braves.schala.net Circumstances of the Revenant Braves]]'' give an individual instant special powers as well as the skill to use them.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', while Redcloak is a formidable spellcaster in his own right, his Crimson Mantle artifact grants him longevity, resistance to disease, and the knowledge needed to alter the order of the cosmos (with the [[CosmicKeystone right tools]], of course).
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', the Dewitchery Diamond awakened Elliot's magical potential and created Ellen who's potential was awakened from the start.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Evon}}'', a good spellbook is this for magic users. Not only do the books give the user access to a wider range of spells, but by studying and meditating on the spells within, a caster's understanding of magic, and with it, his power, increases. Evon was a much stronger caster with just a couple of days with her father's book.
* In ''Webcomic/{{GirlsInSpace}}'' , the Universal Upgrader [[http://www.girlsinspace.co.uk/comic/one-for-one-page-21/ instantly cures Fergus's gambling addiction and gives him enormous muscles]]. There are also Infobadges, which are Upgrade Artifacts used to teach the characters [[http://www.girlsinspace.co.uk/comic/one-for-one-page-09/ language]] and [[http://www.girlsinspace.co.uk/comic/colourblind-page-11/ other skills]].
* In ''Webcomic/DemonFist'', Pandora's Spear gives the wielder SuperSpeed, SuperStrength and a HealingFactor. It may also grant knowledge of [[BladeOnAStick spear-fighting techniques]], but it's unclear since the only observed wielder had been obsessed with it for years.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the WhateleyUniverse, the sentient magic sword ''Destiny's Wave'' granted [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Alex Farshine]] ''qing gong'' agility, Taoist healing knowledge, peak physical fitness, superb martial-arts skills, ImplausibleFencingPowers, and the ability to speak, read and write Chinese. Oh, and [[GenderBender transformed him]] into a hot ChineseGirl.
* Subverted with the Wiki/SCPFoundation's [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-572 SCP-572]], a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana]] which makes the wielder ''think'' they're an invincible badass. And not only does it give the wielder delusions of grandeur, it's badly balanced and its edge is blunter than a butter knife.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The series finale of ''GetEd'' features an alien artifact simply known as "The Machine" which, when activated, will grant Ed superpowers (flight, energy blasts, etc). However, rather than turning Ed into a singular, superpowered teen hero, the artifact mistakenly splits the power between Ed and the BigBad Bedlam, who has cloned Ed's DNA onto himself.
** Half the episodes of this series involve various attempts of both Bedlam and Ed to get ahold of other Ed artifacts. Only two of those artifacts make lasting reappearances: Ed's Slammer, an extendable energy beam weapon that works like a sword or whip. And Ed's Optical upgrades that allow him to see in the dark.
* In the ''Westernanimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode "It's a Bird, It's Insane, It's Dale!", the eponymous Dale comes into possession of an alien rock that cause anyone who comes in contact with it to become stretchy and bouncy. Naturally, the episode's villain ''also'' acquires a piece, and uses it to commit CarmenSandiego-scale acts of theft. Rubber Bando!
* The magic orb from one of ''TheSwanPrincess'' movies that has power of granting perfect mastery of all three disciplines of mystic arts - Creation, Change and Destruction.
* The Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles receive these in the fifth season of the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 second cartoon]], in the form of amulets which, along with the new weapons they're given, allow them to use ninja abilities reminiscent to those in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''.
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'', where [[spoiler:Po trains for most of the film to become the Dragon Warrior and be granted the Dragon Scroll, only to discover that the scroll is a mirror.]]
** It pulled double-duty as a SecretTestOfCharacter: [[spoiler:neither Shifu nor Tai Lung, nor even Po at first, could figure out why it was "empty," just apparently a blank but rather reflective scroll. It took learning there is no secret ingredient to [[ChekhovsGun Secret Ingredient Soup]] for Po to realize that the scroll didn't MAKE you the Dragon Warrior, but made you realize you had it all inside of you already.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' had the collecting of magical artifacts as its whole MacGuffin, but still, the young monks would sometimes be presented with particularly powerful ones as a reward when they had officially reached a new level of skill.
** Certain Wu, however, took a fair bit of training to use correctly. The Tangleweb Comb comes to mind.
* Cyborg of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' once had a super processing chip named the Max-7 installed to increase his speed, strength, and intelligence. Unfortunately, he overloaded it and had to have it removed.
[[/folder]]

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