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Disc One Nuke
aka: Disk One Nuke
A minor form of munchkining, wherein a player exploits the ability to gain a powerful item or weapon early in the game. This allows the player to rush through the first (potentially tedious) parts of the game without major challenges. There are a few ways to do this, many involving patient use of the reset button and quick access to a save point:

  • Attack a relatively strong enemy near a restore/save point in the hopes it Randomly Drops a useful item to use or sell.
  • Abuse a game's Item Crafting mode. In most cases these involve using seemingly useless item(s) to craft a rare item either to sell or use.
  • Grind early mini-games as much as possible so that their (typically low) prize money adds up enough to swap for an item hiding behind a Cash Gate.
  • Steal equipment from a temporary party member (So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear in reverse).
  • Having the creator "encourage" buying a previous game to automatically obtain that item from the previous game.
  • Level grind and combine for hours to get the best Mon; either the Mon itself is the Nuke, or it enables access to it.
  • Being given a Taste Of Power, and then finding a way to keep those items forever.
  • Acquire a very niche spell which is normally highly impractical but very useful for grinding a particular species of a Beef Gate which is not supposed to be beatable at this point. Results in loads of EXP and an overpowered party.

It should be noted that the first three cases can be used together in tandem depending on the nature of the game itself. For example, a rare item from a enemy can used to craft another rare item to be used in another situation such as grinding in another area.

More dishonestly, you can outright cheat with various popular "all items" codes, as many of these items can be (patiently) used to achieve the effects of other codes that may wreck your game by screwing with Event Flags.

Depending on the game, this may be a form of Sequence Breaking, since many adventure games rely on the logical order of obtainable equipment or abilities (to reach the boss you need the grappling hook, found across the lake for which you need the flippers, found behind the boulder for which you need the bombs, etc. all the way back to you at the very beginning with nothing but your wooden stick sword and good intentions) to maintain the game's geographical and plot linearity. The "Breaking" part of the term is a deliberate cautionary word choice, since doing this in some titles can cause the game to crash entirely and necessitate a complete restart, sometimes many hours of play after the sequence is initially broken.

Distinct from a Game Breaker in that it's usually not enough to carry you through the entire game, although the two can overlap.

Level Grinding can theoretically get you to this point, but in most games it would take so ludicrously long that it's way more tedious than just getting on with the game. There are plenty of Disc One Nukes that exploit some aspect of the game to make grinding way more lucrative than it should be, however.

New Game+ is a form of this that requires you to complete the game without it first.

Compare Magikarp Power. Last Disc Magic is the inverse of this. See also Peninsula of Power Leveling, where you can gain experience early on rather than items or equipment. If it's potentially purchasable in a store, you may be looking at a case of Teaser Equipment.

Examples:

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     Action Adventure 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The classic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has a minor Sequence Break that allows the player to easily get the Magic Cape, which makes Link invisible (and by extension invincible...as well as somehow being able to walk through large bumpers found in some caves and dungeons) at a cost of draining magic when in use. To get it, the player just needs to go to the cemetery in the Dark World, get inside the fence surrounding the solitary grave in the upper right corner of the cemetery (which only requires the player to destroy one of the bushes surrounding it in the Dark World, while the Light World version of the location is surrounded by an indestructible stone fence with heavy black stones blocking the way which can be only lifted with the Power Glove upgrade), warp to Light World and dash against the headstone to reveal a secret passage.
    • The player could also get the second-strongest sword as soon as he had the item to the first Dark World dungeon, the hammer. It, along with the mirror, could be used to rush into the fourth Dark world dungeon, grab the upgraded glove, save the blacksmith south of the town early, and get your sword upgraded. This upgraded sword lets you kill the second Dark world dungeon boss in two hits.
    • Possibly the earliest such item in the whole series is the Ice Rod from Link to the Past. As soon as you obtain bombs (basically the instant you leave the Sanctuary, the game's tutorial zone) you can make a somewhat dangerous trek to the lower southeastern corner of the map. Blow up one wall and you've got access to the Ice Rod, an optional item that is usually obtained much later in the game. It will go through your early magic meter at an alarming rate, but it does ludicrous amounts of damage to early bosses, allowing you to two-shot the bosses in the second dungeon.
    • In the original game you could, with luck and perseverance, go into the first level with six hearts, the white sword, the blue ring, and the big shield. In the second quest you either had to get the whistle from the second dungeon or beat the first two dungeons before you could get the white sword (which, for the record, requires you to have five heart containers). It's also worth noting that, with just the bow from the first dungeon of the first quest, you could take an (extremely dangerous) trek to level eight to get the magic key, which, when successfully obtained, allows you to bypass large portions of entire dungeons.
    • One glitch from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening would allow the player to grab the final dungeon's weapon, the Fire Rod, at the very beginning of the game. Also, using the select-button warp trick in one room of the cave to the mushroom allows Link to enter a glitched part of Level 7 Eagle's Tower to get Level 3's power bracelet, then move over - then back, one can grab Level 7's upgraded Power Bracelet - which allows Link to go through several areas much sooner then he's supposed to and thus gain enough heart pieces/usable items/etc. to make many early boss fights much easier then they should be.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, at the very first dungeon, you can collect Deku sticks, which are twice as powerful as the Kokiri sword (your main weapon). When used with the jump attack, they are four times as powerful, allowing you to 2-hit kill the first two or three major bosses, and 1-hit kill everything in between. Also, within an hour or two of becoming Adult Link you can get the Biggoron's Sword. While it does take a little more dodging skill to get used to, it's considerably more powerful than the Master sword with better reach and more useful in most situations.
  • Castlevania:
    • Aria of Sorrow. With one of three possible soul combinations, it is possible to acquire by far two of the most powerful equips in the game as early as the midpoint: the giant sword Claimh Solais, which has both incredible reach and speed, a high attack rating and is holy attribute, making it effective against most enemies, and 2) the Eversing Armor. Additionally, grinding for one of those monsters' souls (Curly) can be done in the same room as the Valkyrie soul, which is expensive on MP but disgustingly powerful and one of the few forms of holy damage aside from the Claimh Solais itself. In yet another example, the Mystelain is one of the other holy swords, and while it's nowhere near as good as the Solais, it can be found in a secret room in the Clock Tower, which is a fair bit before that weapon. Again, it's the holy damage that's key, and it's very useful against Death, the boss of the tower.
    • In the sequel Dawn Of Sorrow, the Mandragora soul throws a shrieking mandragora into the middle of the screen, which explodes like the enemy does. It can be obtained pretty early if you're willing to grind for it, costs little MP, has very good range, and does quite a lot of damage and remains useful for most, if not all of the game.
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: Jewel Knuckles. You're supposed to not get them until you've got the mist form, but there's a secret lift that appears if you wait a while in the room above it, allowing you to get them earlier. They have little range, but are quite strong. Mastering the Holy Water early on also counts as this - the sooner you figure out how you can own bosses in seconds with it, the better. Figuring out the button combinations of certain spells too - these spells are good throughout the entire game, if you can get used to the control scheme and have some MP left.
  • Just before going to Kyoto the first time in Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, you'll have access to Roberto, whose unique ability is to move heavy objects, and Jubei, whose small size lets her maneuver in tight spaces, such as holes and narrow walkways. Backtracking to the first area of the game (The Plains Highway), you can now use these characters to create shortcuts through the area. This gives you access to a room with a Test of Valor/Secret Mission in which you must kill 100 enemies. Getting a Gold Ranking rewards you with the Red Bell, an accessory that makes enemies drop more red souls (which levels up your weapon and armor). You can repeat this mission as much as you want - and you will be overflowing with enough red souls to max out the weapons you can have at this point and build up your armor (as leveling up increases your number of accesory slots), which includes the Onimaru, if you have it. Subsequent rewards for Gold Ranking is the Sweet Herb, a fairly uncommon material that can be used to make strong healing items. All of this makes later stages like the Oni Mansion much easier to handle.
    • In Satta Pass/Fortress of Suruga, there's a door near Jubei's starting point (when you first entered the stage) with a number lock that normally you cannot get the clue to open it until the last quarter of the game. If you spare the time to fiddle with combinations (it's always a fixed number), you can unlock the door and get a Rare Antler, which can be used to make powerful equipment, such as the Blue Bell.
  • Mega Man Legends has the Machine Buster arm, a laughably weak rapid fire weapon that you can get as soon as you save City Hall (About a half-hour in). If you spend about three hours grinding the little bird Reaverbots in the nearby ruin that drop surprising amounts of Zenny and max out every stat of the weapon except "Special", the weapon turns deadly. It'll destroy the Marlwolf so quickly that the dialogue will glitch out, and mow down every boss up until Bruno in mere minutes. Even then it's not useless, just outclassed by other weapons and your now upgraded buster gun.
  • Tomb Raider: In parts made by Core Design, there is always a shotgun or other equally powerful weapon hidden right where the game starts.

     Action Game 
  • In God of War, an exploit involving the tutorial for using the Medusa's Head magic, the XP bonuses given by the combo system, and the Poseidon's Rage magic you get on the first level allows you to potentially stockpile enough experience to instantly max out the levels of every new spell you acquire the instant you get it, along with the gear you have at that point.
  • In the next-gen version of Spider-Man 3, the player can unlock all the webswing speed upgrades by completing races even before completing the the second story mission.
  • Resident Evil 5's stun rod is very much worthy of mention. Its shock packs a very heavy punch, prevents the plagas from manifesting after you kill the Majini, and there's hardly an enemy in the game that doesn't flinch when hit by it. And it can be bought as soon as the second mission for a meager 3000 gold, an amount of money you'll likely get on the first mission alone.
  • Resident Evil 6's own Jake Mueller can be turned into this. Equip him with the Melee, Defense, and J'avo Killer skills (If you've played the chapters in order, you'll have gained enough points to have level 2 of each of these skills). He'll be strong enough now to run right up to enemies (while being SHOT no less) and beat them to death with his Hand To Hand, and since your health regenerates, you don't have to worry about scratch damage. Not only is it actually easier to kill your enemies like this than it is to shoot them, but it let's you stock up on ammo to battle the Ustanak.

     Beat Em Up 
  • If you keep going through the first level of Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, you'll eventually have enough money to buy tonnes of upgrades from the shops in the first level. In particular though, if you stockpile the money to a ridiculous amount (just over $500, a lot in a game where most enemies have at most $1.50 on them), you can go to the video store, pay off Scott's late fees, and unlock some fantastic stat boosts for just $4.95 each. Once you've done this, you can easily unlock all the combat moves that make the game easier, not to mention enhance your stats to be able to one-hit kill most enemies, and even the first boss.
    • There's also a hidden shop on level one that has some items that give ungodly boosts to your stats without having to pay 500 bucks first. There's also a secret passage that you can reach that is filled with flying piggy banks that you can break for cash. Combined, you can attain high levels with ease. Of course, the shop's location is revealed in one of the trailers that promoted the game, so anyone who was watching the game before it came out would know exactly where it was. Look for stars.
  • Double Dragon:
    • In the NES version, the player can level-grind his way through the first few fight scenes alone by simply spamming the same basic punches and kicks on enemies. This is due the fact that the player gains experience points, not by defeating enemies, but by landing attacks. Since enemies aren't killed until they're knocked down to the ground, it's possible to attack an enemy as long as possible while they're still standing up.
    • There's also a glitch in level 2 that let's you erase an enemy from the screen by back-tracking. However, if you stand where he was and punch, the game will register it as a hit and you'll gain experience. It's possible to have max experience and all the available techniques in about 2 minutes.
  • In Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King from EA, a smart player will focus their skill points towards the purchase of the counter-kill "Bane" abilities, which is ridiculously easy to pull off and puts the character into Perfect Mode on a successful execution, making all resulting kills in that brief period "Perfect" kills, earning the player far more experience points.
  • Dark Souls:
    • The Drake Sword. You can obtain the sword very early in the game if you have a bow and a lot of arrows to shoot the Hellkite Dragon's tail off. The sword boasts 200 attack power, which is way stronger than anything else you're likely to have at that point. It will eventually become obsolete since it doesn't scale with your stats.
    • The Black Knight Sword, especially post Patch 1.5 where the drop rate was significantly increased, meaning players will most likely get the weapon from one of the three early nonrespawning Black Knights. Though the stat requirements are comparatively high (20 Strength, 18 Dexterity), but easily attainable. The weapon has extremely high damage throughout the entirety of the first playthrough and New Game Plus, scales very well with stats and is extremely easy to fully upgrade (Easily possible to do so before ringing the Second Bell of Awakening). It also has a very good, versatile move set with both wide sweeping attacks for attacking multiple enemies and a nice vertical combo when fighting a single opponent/tight areas.
    • With the Master Key, Astora's Straight Sword can be found very early without fighting the enemy that is supposed to be guarding it. The sword has low requirements, the base magic damage is very high compared to early enemy health (as opposed to when you would typically get it), and counts as a divine weapon, which allows skeletons to be permanently killed before the Divine Ember is found.

     Driving Game 
  • In Gran Turismo 4, you can import cash from your GT 3 save, up to 100,000 credits. With that sort of cash, you can buy a car that will storm all of the opening races without breaking a sweat. Or, you could get a decent car, work the licenses to an A grade, win the first rally and with a Cien, which will storm most races it can enter. Or, you could win the second rally and sell the car you win for a cool 250,000. Winning either of these rallies is easier than it sounds, as they are on tarmac and thus do not require dirt tires, an expensive option which shuts out most starters.
    • Gran Turismo 3 allowed you to do the Rally license tests without needing to complete the other license tests. This means that, provided you got the gold on all of the tests, you had access to the Subaru Impreza Rally Car Prototype, allowing you to plow through most of the early game races, as well as some mid-game and rally races, too.
    • Gran Turismo 2 has the Grand Touring Event Series. All of the 3 races. Every race rewards you a JGTC car and JGTC cars in this game are unrealistically fast. The last one, which requires a 550HP car to have a chance of winning, rewards you a JGTC Skyline, which for some reason has 700 HP. And GT 500 cars only have 500HP in real life. And it's a 4x4.
  • The 1989 Dynamix PC game Death Track allowed you to choose between three cars: Crusher (high firepower), Pitbull (heavy armor) and Hellcat (high speed). If you chose the high speed car, and in the shop sold a couple of the default weapons that came with the car, you could afford the fastest engine available, making you able to win all the first races by lapping everyone else. The frequent wins allowed you to fully upgrade your car early on, allowing you to beat the whole championship quite easily.
  • In Test Drive Unlimited, selling a car to a friend with high amounts of cash for an exorbitant sum allows one to buy advanced cars early on in the game, allowing you to smoke the competition using overwhelmingly fast cars.
  • In Need For Speed Most Wanted (the 2005 one), any of the Blacklist racers' cars. After beating one, you get two choices out of six markers, three of which are hidden. The markers are get out of jail free cards, extra impound strikes, various high-quality parts from the car shop, or the pink slip to the other racer's ride. Each of these cars is much faster than a) the same car bought from the dealership and upgraded to the same level and b) anything else you're going to find on the road. Often the car won't be unlocked for several more hours, and each car is more than powerful and agile enough to beat the next couple racers. Early on, this is crucial, because you'll be saving money on parts that you can use to keep your heat level down. Once you get the Lamborghini Murcielago, though, the game is essentially over barring a bit more level grinding with the police, as when fully upgrade it is faster than anything else, equaled only by the Infinity+1 Sword BMW M3 that this whole thing started over.
  • In Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, when you purchase the Metal Sonic DLC he's already at the highest possible level and has access to every mod including his Console Mod, which gives him low acceleration and turning for high speed and boost, turning him into a powerful Fragile Speedster/Glass Cannon who can make most A-class events a lot easier.

     Fighting Game 
  • In Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2 for both Wii and PS2, you can get ALL the Dragon Balls as early as in Chapter 4 of the Saiyan Saga, provided you know where they respawn. You can wish again and again for very powerful Potaras, thus having absurd stats to plow through Story Mode (and others as well) with little effort. This is averted in Tenkaichi 3: Dragon Balls are now randomly found among the rubble in the Story Mode fights, as there is no world map anymore. Then again, they won't be of much use as Story Mode characters have prescripted equipment, all the Potara system was reworked so that you couldn't max more than 2 stats out of four total, health not included, the high-level Tournaments are difficult for the wrong reasons (damage carries over to the next fight) and your skills matter way more than stats when playing online.
  • In Soul Calibur III, you can begin unlocking various helpful weapons and characters/character parts/classes soon as you boot up the game - if you have a spare controller to enable use of Versus Mode. Many of the aforementioned stuff can be unlocked in multiple ways, the simplest is fighting X number of battles (both wins and losses are counted). All you have to do is make a custom fighter, go to Versus, and choose the character for both player and opponent (with player 2 at 0% health). Defeat the opponent 50 times (setting VS. matches to 1 helps) and all the weapon styles for that class is unlocked. You can repeat this for the other default classes and you'll also be unlocking other things along the way - it's possible to have the Edge or Calibur type weapons before even setting foot in Tales of Souls. This method also makes going through Chronicles of the Sword much easier.

     First Person Shooter 
  • The GEP Gun in Deus Ex. You can get it within a minute of starting the game, and assuming you explore a bit, rockets are very easy to come by. With it, you can breach locked doors and chests, and one-shot kill Anna Navarre and Gunther, if you don't use their kill phrases. The Dragon Tooth Sword takes over for the breaching potential halfway through, but it is still useful afterwards.
    • Obtaining it does not involve Sequence Breaking or glitching, though first-time players might fall into the trap. Right when the game starts, you need to start a conversation with Paul. He asks you if you want a tranquilizer crossbow (About a quarter of the mooks in the first level drop these), a sniper rifle (a bit rarer but still fairly easy to get in the first mission) or a GEP gun (Unobtainable until much, much later in the game). Anyone who played the game once know what your answer should be.
    • The player can also obtain an Assault Rifle and an extra clip (which normally isn't obtained until the end of the third mission) in the first mission by searching the sunken freighter near Harley Filben's shack and killing the (only non-invincible) UNATCO trooper walking up the stairs right after you interrogate the NSF leader. Combined with the mods you find on the first two missions, none of which are difficult to find, you can make the Assault Rifle a fearsome weapon (very accurate, with extended mags and a targeting laser) that can easily take down a crowd of targets by the time you get to the second mission of the game.
    • Even the pistol, which the player starts out with, is a fearsome weapon. It's highly lethal, killing most human enemies on headshot and the more durable ones in two or three hits to the head. It's compatible with the laser sight and/or scope, which are found in the first level, making it viable for sniping even at a low skill level. And speaking of skill level, the default skill level for the pistol is "Trained", unlike the other weapons ("Untrained").
    • This is also the case in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. After being augmented, the Zenith Pistol is carried by the first enemy you come across, is incredibly common, uses cheap and easy to find (or farm) ammo, Can be upgraded with a Silencer, Laser sight, and the Armor Piercing mod (the latter of which is found in your own apartment) before leaving the first hub world. The armor piercing mod makes the Pistol's shots ignore all armor modifiers, allowing you to headshot any mook in the game for an instant kill. Due to the number of generic upgrades the pistol can take, it is just as useful near the end of the game as it was early on.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has several.
    • In Shadow of Chernobyl, you can acquire the Stalker suit (later patched into a slightly weaker Mercenary suit) in the first town in the game, by climbing on top of roofs and searching for a hole in a roof with the suit inside. This is pretty much only a helpful nudge, though, considering the small portion of combat damage even the best armors in the game reduce and how annoyingly fast the same armors turn into Swiss cheese with zero protection. There's the fast firing AK as well: it can be found with a bit of exploring in the third area and boasts a rate of fire that won't be matched until the final third of the game. Even after more advanced weapons start turning up, it's still better to stick with the fast firing AK until weapons using NATO rounds start dropping. But the Most Triumphant Example is the OC-14 "Groza" chambered for the ubiquitous 5.45mm. Its advantage over anything else with the same caliber is that its damage attribute is the exact same of its common brethren in 9x39, meaning that it punches far above the weight of the AK or the Abakan using ammo that weighs far less than the 9x39. The problem is that the gun is both a Guide Dang It and a ridiculous Cash Gate if you're trying to get it from Sidorovich at the start of the game, and unless the only stalker that has one of these dies of natural causes, you can't get it at all without becoming enemies with one of the Zone's most powerful factions.
    • Earlier in the game, you can get lesser Nukes if you're willing to be a complete and utter bastard (or a total One-Man Army). In the first map, there will often be military troops walking around (there's a base to the south of the starting village, but assaulting it with nothing but a leather jacket, a pistol, and possibly a sawed-off double barrel is virtually suicide) who can be ambushed or led to the Loner village nearby. It's a tough fight and will probably get most of the Loners killed if you use them, but winning will net you several AK-variant rifles, which are hilariously overpowered for that part of the game. IF you're very lucky, one or two will have an Abakan, which when toggled to it's 2-shot burst mode can economically down anything you'll be seeing for a good while, which leaves getting ammo as the only complication (easy enough to pull it off all the dead military guys you'll be slaughtering). On the other hand, the friendly Loner Bes you meet early on the second map has a unique silenced AKSU, so delaying that battle until you have something more suited for ambushing is also an option if you're willing to shoot him in the head or let him get killed by bandits and/or mutants. There's also an SMG in a nearby railroad tunnel that uses the same ammo type that is used in your silenced pistol and is present on virtually every body you come across until you start finding guys using .45 pistols. Between these two weapons, you'll be set for the next several maps, after which you'll probably switch to NATO weapons... which you can get several of on a mission you take for an informant, who sends you to kill a "master" stalker who is carrying an L85 that is lighter than the standard model. The guy right next to him has a silenced version. And while you're in that area, stop by the village (and dodge those bloodsuckers in the process) and get a revolver grenade launcher, which falls under Awesome, but Impractical due to ammo scarcity but can be traded to the Duty leader for a load of high-end weapons and armor. And over in the Dark Valley where you raid a bandit base, one of them will have a "Storming Abakan", which has an underbarrel grenade launcher grafted on with no weight penalty. Finding grenades is tricky, but not impossible at that stage of the game, letting you hit harder than anything you'll be facing for several hours if you attach a scope that can be pulled off the rifles of the snipers in the Wild Territory to it.
    • Shooting the bandits at the first town often yields a grenade or two. With a slight amount of stalking you can get to the downslope past the road the military patrols on, hit the soldiers with a grenade and then rush the survivors with a sawed off. They don't yield much as stated but if you hit the first group another larger patrol will roll through later with precisely the same results. If you got the merc armor before, now you have grenades, military medkits, 5.45 ammo and maybe even an Abakan. This is more of a disk one nuke than anything because it really just requires one or two good grenade throws. If done at night or at least in the dark it might not even require that.
    • The subsequent games are even worse about this. In Clear Sky you can find your character's old Vintorez near the top of the first map where he dropped it, and while ammo is scarce for a while you can repair it for 9000 rubles—easy to make. You can exploit a clipping bug to steal an AK and scope from the CS mechanic, and the game practically throws high-end weapons at you constantly. The way they did stashes in Call of Pripyat, though, takes the cake—they're more realistically hidden in cubby holes and other out-of-the-way places rather than randomly appearing in containers, but that means that once you know where they are you can go fetch game-breaking weapons and supplies pretty much the moment you start the game. From the exact beginning of Call of Pripyat, a player can find; the second-best shotgun in the game, a nice mid-tier assault rifle, the best scoped rifle in the game, the second-best pistol and an upgraded version of the beginner armour set for free, without even talking to anybody. Or firing a single bullet. Through Nimble (who is located at the very first hub of the game), however, a perspective player with some extensive artifact moneymaking can outfit himself with some of the best equipment in the game before he even begins the plot.
  • System Shock 2 has a somewhat mild form of this. By abusing an exploit in the training rooms in the tutorial level, you can start the game proper with- among other things- a Laser Pistol in perfect condition, maintenance tools, an assortment of healing items, a Standard Pistol, and a Psi Amp. The weapons in perfect condition are the biggest boon, since it takes a while to fully upgrade the maintenance stat.
    • Additionally, you can unlock an armory very early on if you already know the code (which normally is given to you three levels later), gaining access to the game's best weapon before you could possibly have the skill to use it- but ensuring that you'll already have it whenever you do acquire the skill.
    • Further abuse of memorization provides early access to other keypad locks. You can skip the entire first level this way, not to mention large sections of other levels.
  • To an extent Borderlands, because of a promise to play with and give loot to anyone who proved they preordered the game. This resulted in many low level people getting guns they couldn't even use yet, though they could sell them for plenty of money.
    • Borderlands 2 doesn't have that specific issue, but due to the random-gun spawning algorithms that generate loot, in any playthrough there's a decent chance of stumbling over a gun (usually legendary weapons) that are powerful enough to let the player steamroll through the next few story missions.
  • Metroid Prime, at least the original, non-Players' Choice version, allows you to cheat the system and get the Space Jump Boots right as you land on Tallon IV. As a result, you can skip every single boss in the initial run of the Chozo Ruins except for the Incinerator Drone. It also allows skilled players to skip right through the Magmoor Caverns without the Varia Suit, a feat considered impossible otherwise. Basically, once you land on Tallon IV, you can snag the SJBs, speedily grab the weapons and Energy Tanks, and be in the Magmoor Caverns faster than you can say "Metroid".
  • Halo 4's Spartan Ops have a small-scale version of this in many chapters, if you have a lick of common sense. You can steal Wraths instead of destroying them. The developers did not plan for this, and so often, you'll have a a plasma-firing tank when you are supposed to have two sticks and a rock, and you're got to share the rock. It makes stuff on Legendary possible without invoking We Have Reserves. Over time, they've wised up... and put in barriers you can easily get around if you're smart (break the wings off, normally).
  • The Ranger Pack DLC in Metro 2033, along with the Season Pass in Metro Last Light, can make their respective games quite easy by giving the player access to ridiculously powerful weapons early in the game. The Ranger Pack bestows the Volt Driver, which can kill virtually anything short of a Librarian in one or two hits, as early as the second mission of 2033's Chapter 2, while both it and Last Light's Season Pass give the option to purchase the Heavy Automatic Shotgun. As the pages for both games state, "nothing that can be killed survives the entire belt".
    • In Last Light, you get to pick your choice of weapons and attachments from the Ranger armory in D6. At the end of the first mission, you get captured by Nazis and your weapons are taken away. On regular difficulties, you have to make do with looted enemy weapons upon your inevitable and prompt escape from captivity. In Ranger mode (now DLC only, unfortunately) you can find your weapons on a rack not long after starting your escape, letting you rock out with silenced assault rifles and silenced six-round shotguns when the human enemies are packing cobbled-together submachine guns and pistols. Of course, this being Ranger Mode, you're going to need the extra firepower.

     Four X 
  • Master of Orion 2. There are a number of "special" systems which generally have some kind of reward for reaching them and a top quality planet to colonise. The catch is, they have a big space monster who will kill any interlopers. It seems expected that you need to build up a strongly armed ship or two in order to kill the monster. However, generally a fleet of about 10 scout sized ships armed with MIRV nuclear missiles can take them out - even if you lose most of your fleet in the process. This trick works because most of the monsters have only 1 or 2 extremely powerful attacks - each will easily kill a ship, but only one at a time. Doesn't work on hydras, the Guardian, or Antarans though, they have too many attacks.
  • Civilization 4: Emphasize science and tech straight to Feudalism to get Longbowmen, a vicious defensive unit that can protect your cities well up until you unlock riflemen. This is doubly true of any cities you founded on hill tiles.
  • Civilization 5: Play as Persia. Go hell bent for bronze working to get Immortals. Build up an army and declare war on someone immediately; score as many great generals as you can. Start a golden age, which lasts twice as long as any other civ. Keep extending it with every great general you get. Sit back and laugh as you conquer the world, since the golden age also makes your military units stronger.
    • Play as Greece and get hoplites, which replace spearmen and are only one point weaker(and much cheaper) than swordsmen, the default assault unit after basic warriors. Hoplites also have the added benefit of tearing apart cavalry.
  • Ascendancy: Find a planet with xenoarcheological ruins? Drop a colony module right down next to the ruins, start digging them out, and on the day before the dig is complete, save. Advance a day, and if you discovered tech you don't like, reload and let the RNG give you something else. Doing this can net you the various nano-level technologies, maxing out your civilization's propulsion, weapons, energy generation and shielding systems, potentially before leaving your home star system.
  • X-Universe series:
    • In an early mission, X2: The Threat gives you temporary control of a fairly well-outfitted Argon Express. If, upon returning to Terracorp HQ, you sell off the shields and rear gun, you'll get over 200,000 credits, enough to fix up the stripped Argon Mercury you're about to be given and still have enough to make a decent trading run.
      • This is actually The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, the condition you get the Mercury in is directly proportional to the condition you return the transport in. If you give the ship back with the shields and weapon, the mercury will already be near full health.
    • X3: Terran Conflict has many abandoned ships drifting a little off the beaten path that you can find, and either sell or use. Some of them, like the Advanced Barracuda, are powerful enough to last for large chunks of the game.

     Hack And Slash 
  • The Diablo-like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance series allows you to import character from other save files - even the character that you are currently playing. Abuse of this can enable a player to max out their character's levels and equipment as soon as they reach the town.
  • Diablo II:
    • The game allows you to trade between your characters online. One neat trick is to make Khalim's Will, which is usable by characters of any level (because it's a quest item) and provides obscene amounts of damage for most if not all characters below level 25 (when you acquire it, you're generally around level 21-24).
    • Enchant Skill, while normally a relatively useless sorceress skill that adds fire damage to a target's weapon, with incredible amounts of + skills, can get fire damage added up to somewhere between 3000 and 9000. It's still somewhat useless by the time you can get it there barring a very specific build. However, joining a normal game and giving that much damage to a character in normal mode essentially means anyone can go through the whole of normal one or two-shotting every monster with a regular short bow. To put it in perspective, Diablo only has 14,000 HP on Normal (though fire resistance does factor in) and Baal, the boss of the expansion only about twice that. The most a regular enemy has is about 3000. Makes early level grinding in Hardcore a breeze.

     Mecha Game 
  • MechWarrior 3 had a salvage system which allowed you to get just about any enemy mech, provided you shot one of it's leg off (and anything could be equipped on any mech). As a result, you could end up with a 75 ton mech after mission 4 (that one is canonic, according to the novelization), and 2 100 ton mechs after mission 8.
  • MechWarrior 4 Mercenaries features a gladiator arena, where you can play 24 missions very early on. When you get out, you have enough money to buy a few of the best mechs on the market, and the in-game time has advanced enough for them to be available.

    MMORPGs 
  • It was more common in older games to allow high-level characters to give high-powered equipment and Status Buffs to low-level characters (aka twinking). Newer games generally try to prevent this by having minimum experience requirements.
  • Heirloom items in World of Warcraft can make leveling alts ridiculously easy, as they scale with character level and have stats appropriate to rare items. The weapons can also be enchanted with level-60 endgame enchants such as Fiery Weapon, +90 Spellpower, and Crusader (+200 strength proc, which is overkill at low levels). This is intentional, as you have to already have a level 80 character and spend a fair amount of justice points to acquire them.
    • In the Good Bad Bugs camp, there have been a few instances where Blizzard forgot to make quest reward gear Bind on Pickup, meaning that, since they have no level restriction, players could equip them on their low level alts. These bugs were quickly squashed, however.
    • Another of those bugs involved Entei's Quenched Sword, a grey (lowest level quality) sword, basically intended as vendor trash for high level players, but it had no minimum level to equip and so could be sent to a low level alt. While its base damage was ridiculously low even compared to the weapons you started with, it still counted as a high Item level item, and could therefore have the high end weapon enchants applied to it, which when sent to a low level alt, gave him a VERY powerful weapon. Sadly the lack of a minimum level to equip was fixed in the next patch.
  • In the original Guild Wars campaign, there was a lively economy of high level players who would party up, for a price, with low level players and run their party from the first non-tutorial town (or, more commonly from the last outpost before the high level enemies show up) to the last large town where they could get the best armor in the game. Both the running service and the armor would cost much more money than a beginning character has, but since you can freely transfer money from all other characters on your account this was not much of a problem.
  • In RuneScape, grinding your mining and smithing levels while selling off the goods gets you not only a good amount of cash, but also some very powerful weapons and armor— and since the enemies around the first couple of towns generally don't aggro on sight, it's easy for your fighting levels to be too low to use said weapons and armor. Likewise, grinding your fishing and cooking stats can give you lots of powerful food items for health recovery, enabling you to tank around monsters with a significantly higher danger rating.
    • There is a member's only quest called the Waterfall Quest that can be completed at the beginning of the game as there are no required quests to complete, no level requirements, no enemies that need to be fought (though you have to avoid some), and the items required to complete it cost very little. The reward is a sizable amount of experience, enough to jump from level 1 all the way to level 30 in Attack and Strength, which improves one's damage rate significantly.
  • Formerly possible in zOMG!— experience is tied to the rings, so at the time the game debuted it was possible to simply buy high-level rings off the Marketplace. Gaia Online staff quickly realized the many problems with this and locked the rings.
  • Realm of the Mad God is one of the few games that doesn't have level requirements for equipment AND they don't have vendors to buy unwanted items. Not surprisingly, one may see level 1 characters with top tier equipment, and veterans will frequently give their unwanted items to newer players. On the downside, one will also frequently hear newer players begging for items.

     Platform Game 
  • Intrepid Metroid players often abuse the open-endedness of the game's levels to get new weapons or items much earlier than intended.
    • In Super Metroid, this was practically encouraged by the inclusion of the obvious but difficult-to-master Wall Jump technique, which lets Samus climb walls and jump way higher than intended very early on in the game.
    • And in Metroid Zero Mission this actually was encouraged, as there are pictures obtainable only by completing the game with a minimum percentage.
    • By the time Metroid: Fusion came out, Nintendo was well aware of the sequence breaking that had occurred in earlier games — so much so that there is a certain cutscene in Fusion that can only be obtained by sequence breaking.
  • LEGO Harry Potter contains a nice little gem. After the second level in the whole game (the first one at Hogwarts) you have the ability to get to the "Collect Ghost Studs" Red Brick powerup, before the plot would normally allow you to. It only costs 50,000 studs, which can easily be obtained by this point, but it allows you to collect the "Ghost Studs" dropped by Nearly Headless Nick as he leads you to the next level/lesson/cutscene, which are worth 1,000 studs each. You can easily get the 4 million needed to get Accio (which makes a lot of the puzzles moot by just giving you potion items) as well as other spells in just an hour or so of grinding. Makes 100% Completion extremely easy. Add to this a glitch that sometimes allows you to collect ghost studs after you finish year 4 (when you shouldn't be able to) and this really edges into the territory of Game Breaker.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had a way for determined players to get hold of all seven Chaos Emeralds - and therefore, gain the Super Sonic ability - in the very first Act of the very first Zone through judicious use of the reset button.
    • And even without the reset button, it's possible, with skill and patience, to get all 7 before the end of Act 2 of the first zone.
  • Sonic 3 had a continually spawning enemy whenever you stood between two alarm points. It suicide dived at said alarm. Put yourself into a Spin Dash, but don't release and it'll rack up the points to eventually give you loads of lives. Not really a Disc One Nuke as it occurs in the last zone of Sonic 3, but if you're playing Sonic & Knuckles connected you can breeze through Sonic & Knuckles with tons of lives.
    • In Sonic 3, a skilled player can get all of the Chaos Emeralds within the first two levels of the game. Angel Island contains two giant rings per act, so before finishing the first level a player could have four of the seven, then another four, two in each act in Hydrocity. Alternatively, one can wait and not get any of the giant rings the first two levels, and just use the eleven chances available in the third level, 8 rings in the first act and 3 in the second. Needless to say that getting it on the first two levels means the rest of the game can be blown through.
      • This was also possible in Sonic & Knuckles. Both acts of Mushroom Hill combined have at least 7 giant rings. It was much harder to do as Sonic (but still possible), and much easier to pull off as Knuckles (due more to the amount of special stages available on Knuckles' unique routes than the difference in abilities.)
  • One of the most famous examples is the Metal Blade from Mega Man 2; it is unquestionably the most powerful weapon in the game, and one of the most powerful in the entire series; besides being very easy to acquire from the start due to it's easy to beat robot master, it delivers high damage and can cut through multiple mooks at a time, has a machine gun rate of fire, fast speed and long range, the ability to shoot in eight directions, and an ammo capacity so ridiculously large that would take a conscious effort to deplete it! And on top of that, it's the only weapon in the game that, some more than others, works effectively against all the robot masters (it's a major weakness for four of them and the second-to-last boss, and it even kills its own boss with one shot). If it weren't for it's sole handicap of several enemies being completely immune to it, it would make the Mega Buster all but obsolete!
    • Mega Man 10 has a similar instance with the Triple Blade, obtained from Blade Man. He's the easiest boss once the player gets his strategy down, and is thus a good contender to fight first. Although it doesn't have as much ammo as the Metal Blades, the Triple Blade also allows you to attack forward and diagonally with a Spread Shot, each shot is stronger than the standard weapon, and they also penetrate foes they destroy.

     Puzzle Game 
  • Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords has the Knight class. Abusing the Divine Right spell (which collects every Purple Star on the board for + 1 EXP each) and putting all the upgrade points into Battle (Attack power) and Morale (HP and spell resistance) allows you to easily create a Level 50 death dealer, before even reaching the Dragon Realms, the game's halfway point. And that's even if you don't get lucky with which Runes are being offered in the shops (in the PC version, at least).
    • The game's crafting and spell research and skill buying systems also allow for severe Game Breakers. The above mentioned Divine Right spell can be learned by any class after capturing a knight and building a mage tower, which can be done before reaching the first boss. Similarly, the chill tough spell, which causes your opponent to miss 3 turns, can be learned at about the same time. Similarly, the components for the absolute best gear in the game can be acquired at about the game's halfway point, allowing for every boss from then onward to be a cakewalk. Normally, leveling up only helps with certain enemy, as the game scales Random Encounters. However, you can buy skill points without leveling up, allowing for a level 1 character to have more attack power than any enemy in the game.
    • Another skill combo that can be a Game Breaker is the Warrior skill Berserker Rage combined with Conflagration. The former converts all red gems into skulls, and the latter changes all gems of a particular colour into red gems. With proper items it's possible to achieve turn one kills from level 20 onward, making for very disappointing boss and multiplayer battles.

     Real Time Strategy 
  • Unusual for a strategy game, completing the second mission of James in Sacrifice in the 'good' (and most obvious) way gets you the support of Sirocco, a hero-version of Persephone's strongest unit, in further missions. The fact that the player's avatar is needed to permanently beat enemy wizards is pretty much the only reason why you can't point Sirocco in the general direction of the enemy and win the next 3 missions while you go and get a drink.
  • In Mech Commander 1, the game allows you to salvage fallen enemy mechs, provided they aren't written off (i.e.: power core explodes) It's possible to salvage a Mad Cat mech in the 3rd mission of the game. The Mad Cat is one of the best mechs available - in the Heavy class, but with a speed of 24 m/s it can outpace most medium mechs. Having it makes the game a lot easier (although it's kinda pot luck in terms of getting it - at the time of the level, your mechs are unlikely to beat it normally - you have to detonate some explosive gas silos that the Mad Cat runs by).
    • The developers did release a patch that gave you a Mad Cat at the start to reflect the opening cinematic (though that looked like a power core breach). Getting the second Mad Cat through sheer persistence (20th time lucky...no, 21st time lucky...no...) was still important though to split the enemy fire between two targets.
  • In the sixth mission of Homeworld: Cataclysm, it was possible to capture a Taidani Battlecruiser when the most advanced vessel you could build yourself was a frigate. This ship would then be able to carry you through the next 8 or so missions, only becoming vulnerable to destruction when you gain the ability to build your own big ships. Really takes the fear out of those Escort Missions.
  • In Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising your Space Marines start at level 20 of 30. After the first mission you can reset and reassign their skill points and thus, through min-maxing, aquire the high-tier abilities, such as infinite, stamina-based mines and frag grenades in bundles and artillery strikes. All of them are easy and safe to use and ridiculously powerfull. Except for some particularly nasty bosess, the game will become a walk in the park.
  • For that matter, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade's Space Marines have a disc one nuke of sorts in multiplayer gameplay. By going straight for T2 and immediately purchasing Grey Knights and a Chaplain, you'll cripple your economy but gain a small squad that deals substantial damage and is extremely difficult to kill, plus possessing a snare (thanks to the Chaplain) and a high-damage, morale-breaking AoE spell (thanks to the Grey Knights. The Chaplain's cost was intended to discourage players from purchasing him so early in a match, but it can be done and is very effective, often requiring the entire enemy team to coordinate to take out the squad.
  • In Earth 2150, the UCS plasma cannons are available much earlier than similarly powerful weapons from other factions. Add to this the weapon's Game Breaker status (high damage, high rate of fire, infinite ammo) and you can utterly annihilate the other factions with an early rush.
  • The First Shogun Total War has Warrior Monks, provided you didn't start the 1580 Scenario, or the Mongol Scenario. The Warrior monks are amongst the strongest melee units in the game, and to top it off, they also give a morale penalty to any non-christian unit they encounter. They can be got simply by building a garden (which trains emissaries) and then a temple. On top of this, most early factions deploy large numbers of ashigaru, which have terrible morale; the result is that one unit of these monks can potentially scatter armies if judiciously deployed. They can also unlock the No-Dachis, which gives the single strongest offensive infantry unit in the game. The Warrior monks main listed weakness is that if the opposition is christian, they lose their morale debuff. However, the main balance against warrior monks is in fact the humble Samurai Archer, which can bring them down by the dozens and potentially scatter them if combined by a judicious flank assault.
  • The Total War mod, Thera: Legacy of the Great Torment, has a fair few, actually:
    • In the desert landmass of Syrianna, some provinces allow you to hire a Monster Bombard as a mercenary unit. It costs a whopping amount of upkeep to maintain, and you need to actually get to Syrianna and back if your civilisation isn't already on it, but... It's a Monster Bombard! It's an elephant-sized superweapon that flings half-ton cannonballs! It's the final word in anti-fortification fire-power, and it renders any fortress or city wall a sad joke.
    • The Ducado and Faustian Reich have access to cannon carracks while everyone else has galleys, dhows and longboats. I bet you can see where this is going. No faction can match them on the water, except for maybe the Privateers, with their startlingly powerful pirate ships.
    • In a similar vein to the Monster Bombard example, if you can get to the south-west continent, where Lao Che is, you can hire elephant units, including ones with rockets and cannons on them. They are decisive. If not, you could head instead to the dark mountains of the northern continent, Norselund, where the Jotnarr have been known to offer their services...
  • Depending on how you arrange your skills in Warcraft III, many spells can be this when rushing against the computer (where taking out the hero or making him run away early on until your troops come in is crucial). The Paladin's Divine Shield makes him invulnerable, the Death Knight's Unholy Aura makes him run and heal faster, etc.
    • The Alliance used to have one, where you could build a town hall near the enemy's base, continuously building peasants and making them into militia (same damage, twice the armor, half the health and cost of a footman) to swarm the enemy. Now only the starting town hall can convert them.

    Roguelike 
  • Sacrificing for Artifact Weapons in Nethack is an example of this. Certain roles get powerful weapons as guaranteed first-sacrifice-gifts, and Wizards get their best weapon as a guaranteed first. An early co-aligned altar virtually guarantees ascension for a well-played Wizard.
    • The spell of Charm Monster for a Tourist (their special spell) or Wizard. No one ever does it because it requires spell-friendly armor to cast during combat, getting the spellbook is not guaranteed, and it takes even more patience than normal NetHack play. (Which requires a lot of patience.)
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery has these en masse. There's a waterproof blanket guaranteed to spawn in a cave near the beginning, greatly helping the player against rusting from water. The cave does contain tougher-than-usual monsters though. Some chaos mutations may give a lot of advantage. Some characters may start with magical boots that make them outrun almost any monster. And finally, in early-midgame the player may find "Si", an artifact that duplicates itself and provides infinite amount of money for the player who wishes to take advantage this power.
    • There's a massive one for players who get the Raven starsign. Completing a certain quest nets normal players the Rune-Covered Trident, a very powerful artifact weapon, when they reach level 36, but usually that's a little too late to make a big difference. Raven-born characters, however, get the trident at level 16, and at that point it's almost guaranteed to be a major upgrade to their current weapon.
    • The 'Heir' talent, a semi-hidden talent obtainable at the start of the game, provides your character with an item - usually an improved weapon or armor piece. These range from 'slightly better than starting equipment' to 'carry you through a good chunk of the game'.
  • Even in the original Rogue, it was occasionally possible to obtain both a wand of polymorph and a wand of lightning/fire/cold on the first level of the dungeon. If you polymorphed the creature you were facing into a high-level monster (say, a Griffin or a Jabberwock), and then killed it with the damage-dealing wand, you'd instantly earn enough experience points to jump to level 10 or 11. The next ten or fifteen dungeon levels are trivially easy to survive with that many hit points.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light has this due purely to the random nature of the game. It's quite possible to acquire some powerful gear right out of the gate—for instance, you could jump into a debris field in sector 1 and find a Halberd Beam, which, while not the most destructive of the beam weapons, can still tear right through many early enemy ships. However, it's notable for being very hard to veer into Game Breaker due to no single weapon being flat out superior to any of the others (the aforementioned Halberd beam, for instance, will be laughed off by a level 2 shield or higher).

     Roleplaying Games 
  • Telefang is a strange example: to get a monster on your side, you phone them up. If you know a powerful monster's phone number, then you can get it early.
  • The Red Eagle in Treasure Of The Rudras. You can get this badass weapon for Surlent at the start of his scenario in the Sakkara Desert by killing a certain enemy, not only is it powerful but you can immensely level grind by killing that enemy and the Red Eagle sells for around 2000 Ragu. Only problem is that you need an very powerful Lightning Mantra to toast that enemy.
    • Of course, some experimenting with random Mantra entry can result in this sort of nuke as well, assuming you have the MP for it. And most players are likely to be willing to play with that system anyway...which can result in hideously powerful spells of every element that cost only 1 MP to cast.
    • Also from the same game are the Axis Shields which sell for 200 Ragu a pop and Beze wings which sell for 480 Ragu each also the Bezeweigns that drop those wings give a solid amount of Experience, but are very quick and can escape without speed/power/critical buffs on your characters.
  • Metal Saga has the Abrams tank, costs a bundle (20K+ Gold), but it does pay off as being one of the best tanks in the game up until you get the Red Wolf or Whitemuu and even then it still is useful.
  • One of the most ridiculous examples was also patently deliberate- in the obscure PS1 RPG The Granstream Saga the most powerful weapon in the game, the Onimaru, could only be acquired right at the very beginning, even before your first battle. You have 1 chance to get it by using a secret-revealing item on a seemingly random piece of wall to find it. Once you have it, you can basically trash the entire game without raising a sweat- it has almost twice the power of any other weapon in the game and is easy to use too (compared to the next strongest weapon which is unwieldy and tough to use).
  • In Lufia: the Legend Returns , the game's strongest weapon, the Alumina sword, is sometimes dropped by normal enemies very early in the game.
    • In Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, about halfway through the game, the party is able to go visit the Ancient Cave. The Ancient Cave has 99 Randomly Generated Levels, your party stripped of all equipment and items and reduced to Level 1, and you have to find items and equipment in randomly placed chests while dealing with increasingly strong monsters. In addition, there are blue-colored treasure chests, many of which bear some of the most powerful weapons and equipment in the game. And when you leave, you lose everything gathered in the cave except what you find in blue chests. Should one spend enough time in the Ancient Cave, their party becomes Nigh Invulnerable until the end of the game.
  • Albion
    • This game has an instance of this. Careful exploration and talking to NPCs in the prologue will allow you to find a powerful gun, with ammo. However, you must also figure out how to smuggle it past the guards. Once you do, you have a limited but extremely powerful gun, perfect for the difficult early battles.
    • Another example of this is the ultimate "freeze everyone" spell Frost Avalanche, which can be acquired for free on the first island if you reach level 9. This is possible if the player skips through most fights during the main quest of this island to acquire the spellcaster, and then wipes the island almost clean of monsters. If this is done successfully, the Frost Avalanche spell will enable player to freeze every group of monsters anywhere in the game (except some bosses); and because the spell also damages enemies significantly, the combat becomes reduced into a repetitive casting of F.A. If the player does not acquire the spell on first island, he or she can buy it some 20 hours (of gameplay) later on the third island.
  • Faxanadu had a magic store early on, which sold one of the most powerful spells in the game - Death. Unfortunately it was set at such a high price that affording it would require several hours of Level Grinding (which, again, would take as long as it'd be to get it "honestly") or a cheat code (in which case, why don't you just cheat up the Death spell itself?).
    • Not to mention it's far cheaper later on as well. Though it's only two hours, not several, if you know the correct spots.
    • Said store also sold the Magic Shield, the best shield in the game.
  • The Playstation RPG Star Ocean: The Second Story is a perfect example of this. Using a bit of Level Grinding to gain skill points, you can acquire an item early on called the Mischief. This item drops a random item into your inventory every 15 seconds, one of which is called the Forged Medal. The Forged Medal reduces the EXP needed for a character to reach the next level to 1. With a bit more grinding, you can get the ability to replicate the Forged Medal, allowing you to level your characters insanely high in little time at all. Of course, if you spend just a tiny bit more time grinding, you won't need to copy Forged Medals until the game's second disk...it's entirely possible to gain the most powerful sword in the game before you're even halfway finished with the game's first disc!
    • Getting as far as you can in the tournament in Disc 1 nets you a sword which can only be obtained this way. All you need after that is two Mithrils, which you can get randomly by using particular items made via item creation. Customizing using the two Mithrils yields the Eternal Sphere, possibly the best weapon in the entire game, which renders Disc 1 a joke and everything up to the final boss (not including the Bonus Dungeon) at least easily doable.
    • It is also possible to obtain at least 2 copies, possibly 3 of the second most powerful armor during the first disc. Get Ernest to join your group and you can pickpocket one from him in two specific towns. You can also pickpocket one from one of the soldiers on Claude's dad's ship (assuming you chose Claude as the main character). Any character equipped with this armor will be invincible throughout the first disc and probably throughout the entire second disc except the Final Dungeon and the Bonus Dungeon. The Bonus Dungeon is the only place you can find even better armor.
    • If you get your pickpocketing skill high enough in Disc One, you can pickpocket an item called the Treasure Chest from a guy in Mars Village. The Treasure Chest produces three items at random when used. It can potentially give you the Marvel Sword, which Claude won't have to replace for a stronger sword until halfway through Disc Two. It raises your offense and defense to extreme levels, effectively turning one character into a super tank.
    • And on the subject of skills, a lot of other ones can fall under this trope on their own, even before they combine into abilities. Some of the best examples would be Biology (A boost of (skill level squared times 10) to your HP, meaning a 1000 HP boost at maxed level), Herbal Medicine (+ 3% to the effect of Blue/Blackberries per level, which start off restoring 22% of your max HP and MP respectively, but at max level will recover a much more useful 52%), Danger Sense (+ 3 Stamina per level, Stamina will recover HP and MP after battles, which is INSANELY helpful), and Playfulness (gives some cash upon gaining a level in the skill, giving HUGE amounts at the higher levels; maxing out this skill for ONE character will take care of your money problems for the entire first disc). The better ones are balanced out by extremely high SP costs, but by leveling the Perseverance skill and doing a bit of grinding, they can be easily be bought before leaving the first continent.
  • The tradition continues in the Playstation 2 RPG Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. It might be considered a Guide Dang It, but some stumble upon it on their own. In Star Ocean 3, you get bonuses for "completing" a map (walking every single portion of it), which is a rather tedious process. The rewards range from ostensibly lame to quite good. Early on, the rewards err on the side of lame. However, even the ones that suck sell for quite a bit of currency. If you complete all of the areas which can be completed up until a certain town not particularly far into the game, and fight the encounters that result from wandering around the map to complete it, you will have enough money to purchase one or two items that would otherwise be teaser gear in an improbably powerful shop. Normally, you would have to wait until later in the game to come back and buy the high-powered items. Needless to say, the difficulty takes a rather sharp dive at that point, and it could even be considered a sequence error due to sloppy programming under a liberal definition.
    • In the middle of the first disk, after obtaining the second best alchemist in the game, you can obtain some Orichalcum. It looks useless, until you forge it into a weapon. It adds 500+ attack and gives you a 50% chance of surviving a fatal blow if you have Fury. They're also not that expensive to make (10,000 Fol)... Well you can probably afford four-five at most, but still, 2000+ attack to go around in that point is pretty darn impressive. They were likely put in for the sake of playing on Universe and 4D difficulty, where things like abusing selling the model bunnies and Orichalcum become rather necessary. Though one has to wonder if that is the case, why didn't they just lock them out in Galaxy mode...?
      • Said Orichalcum is available behind a hill you can access incredibly early. The theory is that you'll die a horrible death if you go there before the game expects you to. In reality, one of the random encounters there is a ball type enemy that does nothing but damage your MP. By rushing in and killing that enemy, you can gain dozens of levels in no time at all, then move on to beating up the enemies for the Orichalcum and other rare ores in the area behind the hill. And all of this is absolutely required on the Nintendo Hard higher difficulty levels.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, near endgame weapons are sold early on at shops for ridiculously high amounts of Gald, but become cheaper and affordable as the plot progresses and your characters actually build up to that level. However, the ability to transfer Gald to a new record once you complete the game allows you to afford the weapons at that point, which is very useful if one chooses to play the game using a Nintendo Hard difficulty level.
  • In the first Xenosaga game, the player can finish the tutorial for the game's Humongous Mecha system without actually using the AGWS mecha to gain the rare points used to level up Limit Breaks. Grinding the tutorial while it's available lets the player have access to very potent attacks much earlier than what would be possible by playing "fair".
  • Also present in its spiritual predecessor Xenogears. If you grind up enough cash early in the game, you can purchase an Ether Doubler from Nisan, which powers up your magic attacks in exchange for increased Mana cost. Once Elly joins your party with her Gear, she can use Aerods, which are basically a multi-target magic attack that costs fuel instead of ether but still counts as an ether attack. With an Ether Doubler, Elly goes from mediocre Squishy Wizard to Goddess of MT Death, and can tear through most enemies in the early-mid game (including bosses) with only one or two rounds of aerod abuse.
  • Valkyrie Profile gives the player a number of staves that allow mages to use Great Magic early in the game, though they have a high chance of breaking after each use.
    • Except, they only break if you do regular attacks with them. If you keep your mages only using magic attacks, they can use ludicrously overpowered weaponry way before you should get it, and you keep getting better overpowered ones til the end of the game.
    • The Character Arngrim easily falls under this category, considering he has the highest stats out of any Heavy Blade, and is quite literally the first party member you acquire.
    • Also except if you do some roundabout moves, you can acquire the Unicorn's Horn, which is an unbreakable Great Magic staff, in Chapter 4. And it's more powerful than all but one of the breakable ones. Expect to hear the invocation to Celestial Star (by far the spell with the most hits and the fewest enemies that resist it) and Meteor Swarm (second-most hits and hits everything that resists Celestial Star) repeatedly after acquiring it. Quite a Guide Dang It, though.
  • A little grinding on the tutorial of Kingdom Hearts II will increase your stats enough to make the initial gameplay ridiculously easy - even though you don't have stats during the tutorial.
    • Additionally, stepping on to a save point and going to the world map while in a Drive Form will reset you to normal with a maxed out Drive Gauge(even if it was nearly empty), making it possible to stay in Drive Form nearly continuously and level up much more quickly than is intended.
  • It is also possible to grind in the first Kingdom Hearts game by sparring with your friends before the heartless attack. Tidus is ridiculously easy to parry. You get EXP for parrying attacks and grinding enough this way makes the early game much easier.
  • Kingdom Hearts 358 Over 2 Days gives us its hysterical joke weapons, which can be obtained after the tutorial missions by going back via Holo-Missions and earning their respective Challenge Sigils. Joke Weapon or not, they're more powerful than the basic Kingdom Key you start with, and make some of the earlier missions much easier.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 3D, repeatedly allowing the easily reobtained AR card dream eaters to die off and harvesting their dream pieces can allow to you make some dream eaters normally available only in the endgame at the very start of the game and take advantage of the powerful commands they provide. The Ryu Dragon is probably the most notable in this regard, providing both the highly destructive Meteor Crash and the screen clearing Mega Flare, on top of being a very competent fighter in its own right.
    • Abusing the Flick Rush can result in a simmilar case. Simply spent your hard earned medals on Slot Edge, each can be bought for 150 Medal, and sold for 600 Munny each, rendering the majority of the prize being worthless in comparison. With enough munny, you can make a Star Rank Spirit with +20 level with almost every one of their abilities unlocked that can last you through the entire game right after finishing the first world.
  • The first special attack you have access to in Super Mario RPG can potentially be a Disc One Nuke. Mario's standard Jump attack actually makes a slight gain in power every time it is used. This can be done up to 255 times, and by that time, Jump will be the most powerful skill in the game by far (with the possible exception of 100 Super Jumps, and this is much easier). Of course the very first dungeon contains Spinies, which are immune to Jump attacks, which make them the perfect candidates to practice the move on. Unsurprisingly, this strategy is one of the major keys to a Low Level challenge in SMRPG.
  • The very first level of Super Paper Mario contains a creature that spits out infinite numbers of projectiles that the player can jump on to gain points. Because the points earned increase with each successive jump, with the only limit being the end of the screen (at which point you have to start all over, but you can easily make several thousand jumps before then), it's possible to level the character up far past what it would take to beat the game's toughest Bonus Boss... in less than an hour. Did I mention you can do this on the very first level?
    • The classic "infinite 1-Up trick" is also performable. However, the experience starts going negative after a certain amount of jumps.
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star also have aDiscOneNuke in the form of Paperization block, which is hidden, but once uncovered can be used to upgrade your weaker stickers into its more powerful forms. These blocks are available as early as the first world.
  • In the third chapter of Dragon Quest IV, it is possible (though very time-consuming and even more boring) to obtain a sword that is by far the strongest weapon available in the chapter before fighting even a single battle, if you're willing to sit through hours upon hours of running a weapon shop until somebody sells you the sword and you earn enough money to buy it (the player character doesn't own the store, he's just hired help). Saving up the money is by far the more time-consuming part of the process. An added complication is that customers may try to buy the sword before you have enough money for it, and sometimes they stubbornly refuse to take no for an answer. By the time the chapter 3 character returns in chapter 5, his once-overpowered sword has become mediocre in the face of much tougher enemies. All in all, it's far more trouble than it's worth; conventional Level Grinding would be more efficient and less boring.
    • You can get the money in other ways, though; in fact, you're required to earn several times the cost of the sword in order to beat that section of the game, and many fast-money tricks are specifically provided to this end. So if you happen to have the weapon appear, you can just call it a lucky break, leave your job, and come back halfway through the chapter to buy it... when it's nice to have, but not that overpowered. In later chapters you can just buy it from stores anyway.
      • But then again, the main reason to get the sword to appear isn't so that you can use it yourself, it's because it's also the most expensive weapon in the chapter and thus makes it a prime subject for the most effective of these in-game money tricks. So in other words, ultimately you'd want to buy as many of these swords from the original weapon shop as possible, sell them at your own weapon shop for 50% profit and repeat until your Bag of Sharing is filled with 99 copies of every item you can possibly acquire in the chapter. And after that's done, give yourself a huge amount of cash and use that to buy all the casino tokens you could ever need. If you're wondering why just not amass a huge fortune and not screw around with buying excessive amount of equipment to sell, that's simply because while money doesn't carry over between chapters, equipment will.
    • A much better example from DQ4 would be Save Scumming at the casino to win 4 Metal Babble Shields, 8 Meteorite Armbands, and a couple dozen Wizard Rings in Chapter 2.
      • You might also consider the fact that you can leave behind one of the Broad Swords in the Silver Statuette cave for the hero to pick up in early Chapter 5.
    • Dragon Quest V, by contrast, allows you to obtain the Metal King Sword from the casino, reachable not long after getting clear of the game's prologue. If you have the patience to win the tokens for it at the casino, it really is the best sword in the game.
    • In the Mons spinoff games, there are often several examples of powerful early or mid game monsters that are available if you understand the breeding system.
      • For example, in Dragon Quest Monsters Joker, capturing the first enemy you see, the humble Rank F Slime, opens up the option to breed 4 of them together across two generations. (not that it mentions this in game, mind you.) 2 Slimes bred together that both have 2 Slime parents results in a Rank C King Slime, a reference to how they appear in Dragon Quest IV (8 slimes all jump together and merge into a King Slime). The King Slime will dominate the early game due to it's "Cleric" skillset (which is a mistranslation of "Hero", aka the Dragon Quest hero's skillset of Cure spells, Lightning spells, and outrageous sword techniques).
      • Even better, if you do the same thing with 4 King Slimes, you get a Rank B King Cureslime, which will inherit the Cleric skillset, as well as the most powerful healing skillset in the game. Taking a Rank B King Cureslime and breeding it with a Rank F Bubble Slime (easily available early in the game, or breed-able using a slime and a platypunk, which is available right next to the slimes) will lead a Rank A King Bubble Slime, which gets Bad Breath, one of the best debuff skillsets in the game — as well as Cleric and Heal-All. In addition, these powerful Rank C/B/A monsters also play hell with the game's monster recruitment system, allowing you to catapult past the Rank F/E/D part of the early game. Of course, going all the way to Rank A would take an incredibly huge amount of work to do, but you could still do it literally within hours of the game starting.
      • Not to mention that it's pretty easy as it is to synthesize a Rank A monster by the third island if you've scouted a good amount and already synthesized a couple times. I managed to get a King Bubble Slime early on without even needing four King Slimes. Once you really dig into the mechanics of the game it's possible to have a team of Rank A/B monsters by the time you hit Infern Isle, which is mostly comprised of C/D monsters.
  • In Sword of Mana on the Gameboy Advance, playing as the girl gives you Light magic at the start of the game, bats are weak against Light magic and are found in the first cave area you come across. Grinding until you kill 1000 bats transforms them into Doomy Bats of Doom which can be hit with Light magic, which in turn grinds up your Light skill until it's powerful enough to kill them, thereby allowing you to level up really easily and quickly, making the rest of the game a breeze.
  • In Crisis Core you can do optional side missions (300 in total!). You can access the missions from any save point but some are locked until you progress in the story. If you do a lot of missions, you will gain a lot of levels and some pretty good equipment. The problem is that the main story does not scale with your level.
    • Not even to mention how the game's Materia Fusion system acts, in a particularly creative player's hands, as a massive Game Breaker factory. With shrewd materia fusing (there are guides to teach you how) you can have your six equipped materia provide you the + 999% HP bonus twice (combined with the HP Break ability, you have 99,999 health instead of the standard maximum of 9,999) as well as + 100 on your attack, agility, vitality and luck stats, making you a living god when combined with the game's best armor. In fact, this is pretty much the ONLY way to face the game's ultimate optional boss and not being killed by her first attack (never mind the hundreds of attacks she'll use as you try and whittle away her TEN MILLION HP)
    • There's also a hidden shop you can get fairly early in the game through the side missions. It sells materia that let you attack with and defend against any statuses attached to the other materia you have equipped. The same shop sells the Hell elemental materia, which are essentially the top Ice/Fire/Lightning spells, with Death/Stop/Poison/etc. slapped on. With enough cash, you'll be simultaneously immune to and dishing out half of the most debilitating status effects in the game.
  • In Digimon World, it is technically possible (though very difficult) to raise your first Digimon into an Ultimate; start with Agumon, get him to evolve into Centarumon, and then try to go for Giromon. The only reason this is at all possible is because of Giromon's relatively lenient requirements for Digivolution in comparison to other Ultimates, which by all means you should be unable to obtain until later when you have more things unlocked to help you train Digimon. If you manage to get a Giromon (and teach it some good moves) you can go through the tougher areas and get a lot of the stronger recruitable Digimon into the city fairly early, completing the game much faster than normal.
  • In later Mega Man Battle Network games, you gained fairly early access to a thing called the Number Trader, which you input a set code into to gain items, including ridiculously powerful chips and Navi Customizer parts you shouldn't have yet. Mega Man Star Force does this too, with Cipher Codes. The Chip Traders in Battle Network can be used for this too, although those are fairly random and luck-based.
    • In Battle Network 1, simply acquiring the Pop Up chip can make you nigh unbeatable to most enemies and bosses because you remain invisible for the duration fo the turn. As long as you just use a charged buster attack (which deals a fair amount of damage), you can attack without being hit back unless you get careless. This tactic works best on the final boss when your effort is not timed.
    • By the same token, in Battle Network 3, Mega Man has to fight FlashMan, the very first boss in the game. With a little trial and error, one can create a folder based around the chip and effectively destroy every boss in the game.
      • Also in 3, a Life Sword folder is pretty easy to make early in the game if you know where to look (SciLab GMD and Swordies), and lasts though most of it.
    • BN 5 had Dark Invisible, a Dark Chip obtained through the Number Trader using a code you can easily find on GameFAQs. The chip itself is pretty powerful since it provides an 8-second invincible berserker mode, but if you're playing Team Colonel you can use it to activate ShadowMan's Chaos Unison after the 4th Liberation Mission (where you regain control of Mega Man and he gains ShadowMan and TomahawkMan's Double Souls). Combine with proper timing and abuse of pausing and you've got yourself a recipe for easy victories.
    • The most ridiculous example though is in the DS version of BN 5. In it, you can import your folder from the GBA version. If you have beat the cartridge version and import it to the DS version, You now have a folder that can beat the end boss and you may use it on the first area.
    • In Star Force 2 (both versions) one can go overboard with this if you know what you're doing:
      • You can register Brothers VERY early in the game. The trick comes up when you know you can register the other version on the same card as a Brother; if you've completed that version, you can get a good number of pickups when you first reach them earlier than you're supposed to, and you can send end-game cards via mail from your completed game.
      • There are in-game, legitimate codes that can be entered to grant you various cards, abilities, etc, which can be entered as soon as the opening cutscenes finish. One category of these is known as the 'leveling' codes, which give MegaMan more HP, a stronger buster, etc. The strongest of these gives you an HP count around what you might have endgame without it (+ 990, you start with 100), a standard buster that renders a fifth of your starting folder obsolete, and as many Giga Card slots as you can EVER (reasonably) have without it, among other things. At the START OF THE GAME. The kicker is that those loosened card restrictions and extra ~1000 HP are just as useful against the strongest version of the final boss, making this a bit of a Game Breaker.
      • In the most literal example, there are cards called Blank Cards in the game that can be overwritten with essentially any card in the game. You get the first one fairly early on. There are cards in the game that, unmodified, can nuke the entire enemy area of the battlefield for about 400-500 damage. Most end-game bosses have less than six times that, so...
  • The World Ends with You features the ability to evolve existing pins into more powerful forms. Pins require one of three types of experience points to do so. While the selection of pins is rather limited, it is nonetheless possible to get the Yoshimitsu pin (the most powerful Shockwave pin), as well as the most powerful versions of the Natural Puppy energy blast pins... during the first week (chapter) of the game. It's not even that hard-Shutdown and Mingle PP aren't affected by what point of the game you are at, so a game-end player with 100% Completion will get those points in the same amounts that a newbie just starting his game will. If only pin evolutions weren't such a Guide Dang It...
    • Speaking of Mingling, using it around other players allows you to buy powerful pins and threads sooner than you'd normally obtain them. The catches? If you buy the entire Darklit Planet set, you can't fully utilize its power until you have six pin slots (you need all six pins equipped at once for them to inflict lots of damage), and in the case of threads, many powerful threads have a high Bravery requirement.
  • Savvy players of Mega Man X5 can get X's Ultimate Armor and/or Zero's Black Armor early; they simply need to fire the Enigma cannon and/or launch the shuttle at the space colony before striking out on any of the eight Maverick levels, then go through the first three Sigma levels and slide down to where the armors are being held.
    • Of course, doing this is pretty much a one-way ticket to the bad ending, and usually makes it impossible to get Zero's upgrade unless you're insanely lucky.
    • I'll just input the Cheat Code at the character select screen, thanks.
    • A better, more "legal" example would be Zero's C-Sword skill, obtained from Grizzly Slash. It has good range, and can strike multiple hits. To top it all off, defeating Slash also rewards you with the Double Jump ability, which, as many fans would know, is very useful. What makes it a Disc One Nuke is that Grizzly Slash is the easiest boss (and level) in the game, and a good choice to start on the 8 bosses.
  • In Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, Storm Tornado is the most powerful weapon in the game, able to destroy nearly every enemy that gets hit with it. You can easily obtain this if you destroy Storm Eagle first.
  • Contact features Blue Pillbugs, which show up in one room on the second island and are definitely something you'll want to avoid engaging normally until you're strong enough to kill them so that you can grab the Armor Breaker weapon, which increases the odds of triggering the Armor Break ability (if you have it) by twenty percent. However, thanks to a trick involving a nearby stairwell and some tricky maneuvering, it's possible to repeatedly kill one of them, allowing you to quick level offensive stats, and, if you grind for long enough or just get lucky, you can get it to drop the Armor Breaker. Said weapon has an offense of twenty-seven. The highest offense for a weapon that you could ostensibly get at that point in the game normally? Eight. The boss of that island gets turned into a joke, taking three hits for each hand and the head. It also tends to render enemies rather frightened, allowing you to progress relatively unmolested and smash anything stupid enough to attack you.
  • Infinite Undiscovery released a few DLC (downloadable content, from Xbox Live's Marketplace) "vouchers" that allow you to purchase exceptionally rare materials from merchants anywhere in the world. Coupled with several profitable alchemy recipes to choose from, a player could raise the money for expensive components and craft themselves some of the best armors and weapons in the game before even finishing Castle Prevant (the third dungeon).
    • Understatement. With Edward in your party, buy as many Sheep Hides as you possibly can, and turn them into Smiley Charms. Sheep Hides cost 120 fol apiece, and Smiley Charms sell for 1500, do the math. It gets even more ridiculous if you can download the free vouchers that let you buy practically every single material needed for item creation, from every merchant in the game, hrmm... Well, if you are stocking up on materials and feel as if the Smiley Charms aren't going fast enough, never fear, most likely during the process Edward will have become a level 6(max)smith, while you only have to be level 3 to make Horseshoes. They sell for 2600 fol, while you need one granite and 2 iron metal to make(which you can buy ANYWHERE after you download the vouchers)which collectively costs 750 fol. So, with the vouchers, you can legitametaly get pretty damn near getting the last equipment for all of your characters, in the first or second town. So while the vouchers help, you don't even need them if you want ridiculous amounts of money, all you need is a TV and some extra batteries.
  • Obscure Game Boy Color RPG Lil Monster has a Disc One Nuke from the first boss, Gyro. You don't have to beat him to advance the game, but if you do, he drops the one-of-a-kind Dowser gem. Dowser's power isn't that impressive, but it can be used to summon a different monster, who, while difficult to beat at an early stage, is still defeatable with Save Scumming... and the gem he drops doubles your damage delt. Plus, the Dowser gem itself can be used to make Gyro your mon, and his power is decent for that early game stage.
  • Paladin's Quest has the Gomutai, a sword which can be found in the middle of the game and which has an attack power of 300 when the next best sword (found much later) has 100. It seems to be a Disc One Nuke, but ends up not imbalancing the game despite performing exactly as advertised, since you have a four character party and doubling the power of one character doesn't double the power of the party.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, it is possible to level up Dart's additions to max early on. This gives a huge heads up. Early disc 2 you have a chance to fight 00Parts, a high level minion that can insta-kill, but also gives absurd cash on defeat, which can be used to buy the best armor and helmet in the game, and an accessory which makes the Additions automatic.
  • Oracle Of Tao has a way two ways to level to 20 in the first town. The first is beating a certain type of ghost near the graveyards, and the second is a random room which has a priestess that gives levelups to the party (up to level 20).
    • Stealing from the second boss in the game yields a Dark Sword which is much more powerful than any of the current weapons before this point.
    • Since few enemies drop actual money in the more recent updates, money is usually made selling Vendor Trash. It is possibly to make money very fast though, by selling Blackmail pictures of one of the party members crossdressing.
  • SaGa Frontier allows you fast access to several very powerful weapons very early in the game. The most spectacular of these? At the beginning of Asellus' quest, she starts out in the village of the craftsman of the Infinity+1 Sword which means, for a small sacrifice of life points, you can have the second strongest sword in the game available to you roughly thirty minutes in. To balance this, however, there is an essentially optional boss battle near the end of this quest that is extremely difficult to beat, even with this sword.
  • SaGa II (known in the states as Final Fantasy Legend II) randomly awared new mutant powers at the end of battles based on the level of the monsters fought. One particular boss encountered relatively early in the was a class "9", more or less meaning that a little bit of Save Scumming would net you a power far more advanced than you were meant to have at that point in the game.
  • The second and third parts of the Lufia series have those, in the second you need a bit of grinding to beat Gades, but his blade onehits every critter for some time, and it's special ability is among the very best in the entire game. The third game needs a bit more grinding, and a certain strategy, but you can get a few very nice items by beating a few Bonus Bosses early. And then there is Alumina Sword, which you can get early just by a lot of luck (or grinding again, of course).
  • In Suikoden I, if you enter the forest beside Seika early you will meet Kobolds, monsters FAR stronger then what you should be facing. However you can wipe them out in one fire spell. Because you get more experience the bigger the difference in levels between you and the enemy, ten minutes of fighting can set you FAR ahead of the curve before you even have your fortress, which just happens to be where one of the hardest fights in the game is.
    • In Suikoden II, you have the opportunity to get through a gate into one of the later areas, Matilda, and pick up two characters that import from the first game. Your levels will jump significantly, making much of the rest of the game, at least until well beyond that area, nearly trivial.
  • In the Gameboy Color RPG Magi-Nation, a basic healing item could be sold for considerably more (taking into account the low max-money cap) than it cost to buy it. It doesn't take half a brain to figure out the consequences of this.
  • In Chrono Trigger, you reach a town run by monsters (Medina) fairly early in the game. The weapons and armor shop has very good equipment, but the shopkeeper sells them at ridiculously high prices because he hates humans, preventing you from buying it (you can purchase the same equipment at reasonable prices in 12,000 BC, but you get there much later on). It is possible to raise enough money to buy it early, making combat a bit easier for a while. The best way is by buying weapons and armor in 65,000,000 BC (where they trade it for random items you get after beating enemies instead of gold), and then selling it.
  • Light Crusader has two examples. First, you can get the best armour in the game from the Lily pad enemies, which are all over the place in the first two levels of the dungeon. Second, you can fill up your magic completely if you find the hidden green potion in the second level.
  • In Tales of Innocence Guild Dungeons' chests give randomly generated loot. However, some of the items in the tables are very, very good. Therefore, it is possible, in a rank 2 dungeon, to obtain a "Mythril" Sword with 110 attack and a casting speed bonus at a time where the normal swords you can buy in shops and/or loot in dungeons have maybe 18 attack.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has the Megaflare command, a massive and massively powerful fire-based attack that pretty much wipes the field, plus, using it is practically a guarantee of entering a Command Style, in case anything survived that blast. When can you get it? At the latest, after beating two of the first bosses. The Megaflare command is only available via the game's "command melding" system, but even if the longest, most round-about way is chosen (for the benefits of passive abilities, which can also be used to increase the damage your fire attacks do), it still boils down to only needing three individual commands (3 Aero commands, 6 Fire, and 3 Stop/Slow) all of which can be bought in any shop after beating the second boss. Sure, the commands have to be "leveled up" before being melded, but if you're not fond of fighting monsters, there's a minigame that can be played that will level them up FOR you. And the self-same minigame is home to yet another nuke, if you're decent with the Shotlock system. Sufficiently determined players can have Megaflare before the third world, and if you're playing as Terra, it's even easier: In the early Snow White world, Fission Firaga, the final ingredient, falls into your lap and from that point can be bought in stores. The only semblance of balance is the time involved leveling the commands and the fact that some enemies resist fire.
  • Magna Carta 2 allows you to buy a complete collection of gag weapons for the small price of 400MS. Not only are these weapons given to you (almost) straight away, but they're the most powerful weapons in the game and will destroy any semblance of challenge right up until the final boss.
  • In Grandia using healing magic in the field generates water magic experience points. Since the game features both MP restore at save points and damage-dealing traps in the field, all it takes is one near the other to level water magic as high as you want (and since levelling magic improves stats, this is nothing to shake a stick at). This can also be done with earth magic and a poison trap, though this is so slow as to be useless to any but the most persistent munchkin.
  • Grandia III features Magic Eggs, which can be equipped to boost magic of certain elements or consumed to gain access to certain magic spells...and you soon gain the ability to combine them together to make better eggs. The game gives you quite a few eggs from the get-go, which can be combined into the best eggs in the game. Equipping them is gated by level, but the spells are only gated by mana cost, with the very most powerful/expensive ones using 99 MP...and your mages start with at least 200, and there are plenty of mana-restoring items. Also, while the eggs that give stats such as +3 in multiple elements are too high to equip early, you can easily get a +3 (which is the max) in one element that anyone can equip early. While this can't be spammed all over the place on random encounters due to mana costs, the random encounters are easy anyway...its real value is in making boss fights complete jokes by spamming enormous nukes that do ~3000 damage on bosses that have about 6000 HP. Also, your character can equip skills to reduce the mana costs and regen their own mana, and the most damaging spell learnable isn't even 99 MP, it's 84, with the caveat that it's only single-target.
  • In the SNES version of Wanderers from Ys, the outdoor areas of Ilvern Ruins have flocks of birds that respawn at a high rate, allowing you to grind up to 65535 EXP when you're barely a third of the way through the game.
  • In Record Of Agarest War, there's a means of getting this without DLC. Simply save up 250 TP, and buy 10 Vessels of Life from the Adventurer's Guild. Grab the title...and then sell them all. You now have 250,000 gold as early as Generation 1, and can easily get a few other titles with ease...and 3 pieces of Mithral. And the smithing guide for Mithral gear, which in turn means that you can create a few Mithral items as soon as Platinum gear is available. A bit of a late example, but it helps with trashing late Generation 2/Early Generation 3. Some of the actual items from the Adventurer's Guild can be this as well, provided you save up for them in lieu of manuals.
    • In terms of characters, there's the first generation protagonist Leonhardt Raglen. Once you get him to level 10, he gets his first Willpower: Unleash All. What this does is that by having him at 25% HP or less, he gets a massive boost to his attack, defense, magic, and magic defense. Needless to say, any boss battle consists of having Leo killed (or at 25% HP), have an EX Skill handy and watch the fireworks. After his generation though, you lose him and you get his replacement, his son Ladius until you can find a Forbidden Tome to revive Leo.
  • In The Genius Of Sappheiros, it is possible to recruit Byakuren and Mokou, normally the last two characters unlocked, before starting Chapter One. Head to the Myouren Shrine and wait for an hour (of real time) to get Byakuren, and go to the Bamboo Forest Of The Lost and enter the Konami Code to trigger Mokou's arrival. Having five characters plus a commander makes the first handful of chapters much easier.
  • Phantasy Star IV has this in the form of its combo system. Set up a macro to use the techniques FOI, WAT and TSU. TRIBLASTER can carry you through most of Motavia although it's inefficient against later bosses.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia has dungeons ranging from level 1 to up to level 1000. There's nothing stopping you from going into a high level dungeon with a lot of care and grabbing a powerful weapon very early. There's also no level system with equipment so there's no reason not to equip it.
    • Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory has an accessory available at the start of chapter 2 that gives +2500 HP, more than doubling a character's health at that stage of the game. It's not even hidden, being up for sale at the shop for a substantial, but not unrealistic price. This may well have been deliberate to ease the grinding required to pass the Beef Gate the game suddenly throws at you.
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, if you held on to those Lucky Medals, you can win the powerful Water/Wind summon Eclipse from Lemuria's Lucky Fountain as soon as you arrive. Most of the significant boss enemies in The Lost Age are Fire/Earth-aligned, including two of the Bonus Bosses and nearly all the significant dragons. If your play style involves using the summons at all, Eclipse is a game-breaker.
    • In the first game, by using glitches to skip recruiting Mia and her Djinni and acquiring the rest of the Djinn normally, you can end up with twenty-seven Djinn and three characters to divide them between, instead of twenty-eight Djinn and four characters. This will give you nine Djinn per character instead of seven, and understanding how the Djinn are used in Golden Sun's Class and Level System will allow your remaining characters to access some of the most powerful class tiers that would normally be inaccessible until The Lost Age's endgame.
    • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, there's an item acquired about a third of the way through the game called the Ice Queen Gem, which enables all stages of the Cold Snap Psynergy, including its pricy-but-powerful final form, Frostbite. Rief, otherwise despised for his Crippling Overspecialization, has very high Psynergy Points and Mercury affinity, and can comfortably spam Frostbite to great effect, from the moment you get the Gem until weapons outclass Psynergy altogether.
  • Might and Magic VI actually has one as an intended feature. In the starting town of the game, you can find a hidden fly spell scroll, in the wall of one of the town's buildings, which you can use to fly atop another building, which, in turn, features a hidden portal to another map (Dragonsand), which is filled with the toughest foes of the entire game: dragons. This portal places you near the shrine of the gods, which greatly ups your stats (you can normally access the area, with extensive travelling through dangerous territories). It's not gamebreaking but it gives you a fair advantage to make things much easier, at least at the very beginning.
    • Might and Magic VII gives you the opportunity to kill a dragon, in the first map of the game. You can either do it with a spell staff, which you can conveniently accept from one of the peasants (although this has implications, later on) or you can go by the process of exploiting the AI and employ the tactic of shoot and hide. This is a freakishly time-consuming process but dragons give of the best loot. Given the fact that you can multiloot the dragon, you can outfit your entire party with the best gear in the land!
  • The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall allows you to generate your character with an ebony dagger (second-best material in the game). It is very difficult to find, requiring the player to generate their character via questionnaire and hinges upon one of the twenty or so questions.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind it is possible to get one of the most powerful swords in the game with a little swimming, a little gold and a lot of waiting.
    • In the town Balmora, you can easily steal a magical ebony broadsword by jumping just out of line of sight of a nearby guard. So, you can have a very powerful weapon only minutes after character creation!
    • Two other of the most powerful items in the game are easily available by starting characters: The Amulet of Shadows gives you 80% Chameleon (effectively invisible) for a decent amount of time and is found in the custody of an easy to kill archer in the middle of the wilderness. The Masque of Clavicus Vile is a very strong helmet that boosts your personality by 30 points (making everybody like you) and is owned by a relatively low-level wizard.
    • In the first version of the game, one could obtain a game-breaking item very early on. There is a cave near the starting town where you'll find a robe with constant effect of health regeneration, making you almost invincible for the rest of the game. The cave contains some relatively powerful enemies, but you don't have to fight them. As long as you have a couple lock-pick scrolls and buy some levitation potions, even a Level 1 character could potentially get it. Bethesda seems to have noticed this, as the robe was heavily nerfed in a later patch.
    • Thorough players may notice that the three houses in Vivec (Hlaalu, Redoran and Telvani) each have their own vaults. The lower Redoran vault is easily openable when you have the key, which is located in dresser on the top floor of the manor across the street. Stealing it doesn't get you a bounty, even if you're seen, and the items you can get there are made of Ebony and Glass, making it highly profitable if one repairs them and takes them to the mudcrab merchant (alternatively, one could use them, but glass and ebony are inferior to a number of also easily obtainable weapons).
    • Morrowind, featured a very easily stolen Grand Soul Gem with the soul of a daedra in it in the Mages Guild of the second town. It could be used to either create a perma-enchanted item (provided you also had piles of cash), or alternatively was worth 50.000 gold by itself. Two catches however : no merchant in the world had that much cash on him (but that could be circumvented through outside-the-box bartering) and, more importantly, because of the way the "stolen" flag worked in that game, stealing that gem flagged ALL Grand Soul Gems as stolen, meaning you could later lose all of those you earned honestly just by talking to a guard.
    • In Morrowind the amount of easily obtainable magic rings you can pick up just after the start of the game can also help make early levels a breeze. Denstagmer's Ring gives you 30% resistance to Fire, Ice and Shock. Mentor's Ring boosts your Intellegence and Willpower by 10 and the Ring of Phynaster grants 20% resistance to Poison, Magicka and Shock. All of them can be found in caves just outside of towns and are not too badly guarded.
    • And of course, there are wonders of Alchemy, being able to cyclically boost your ability to make better and better potions right at the start of the game, culminating in utter unstoppability note . Disc One Nuke comes in form of a second-best alchemy set available for free in a town not far from the start of the game.
  • Spellcrafting and object-enchanting abilities in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion can be exploited by low-level characters to craft One-Hit Kill weapons and highly unbalancing spells.
    • The Honorblade of Chorrol can be obtained through the "Separated at Birth" questline which can be started as soon as you leave the tutorial. It's as powerful as a standard Ebony Longsword and unenchanted, meaning that you don't need a Repair of 50 to fix it. And since it's a quest item, it's completely weightless until you hand it in.
    • In Oblivion it's possible to get one of the strongest swords (if not the strongest) in the game very early. It's held by a very strong NPC and it would normally require an intense battle with her to get it, but all one really has to do is attack her, and then hop on a horse and lure her to the nearest city and let the guards kill her for you.
      • There's also an area of the battleground you're supposed to fight her in that, if reached, makes you impossible to hit. You can then spam arrows at her at your leisure, as long as you've got enough to kill her with.
    • In the Shivering Isles expansion, one of the early quests gives you an enchanted sword which self-repairs its damage and its enchantment, along with having a fire or ice power (depending on whether it's day or night), and can become more powerful as long as you've killed a good amount of enemies. You can access the expansion world anytime you want, meaning those with a GOTY edition can easily get the sword quickly.
      • Although, the sword is leveled, and it will become useless if you get it too early.
    • Weapons aside, in Oblivion you can create enchanted armor that renders you invisible at all times, thus making you almost unbeatable.
      • Or, the very first time you encounter a enchantment pedestal you can create multiple items enchanted with continuous heal making you very nearly unbeatable. If there was an enchanting thingy sitting outside the prison you could pretty-much do it then and there.
    • The Weak Fireball spell (5 damage in for 3 seconds) in Oblivion is very easily obtainable (start the Skingrad recommendation quest for the Mages' Guild and you get it for free), is reasonably powerful, and has an extremely low magicka cost compared to other comparable spells, making it extremely useful for the first 10 levels or so.
    • Of note: One does not need to level up in either. Doing so allows you to raise your stats. But it's possible to max out your skills while remaining at a very low level. Since skill level and not stat progression is what makes the adventurer, and all enemies "level" according to your level and not skills, this can mean your "weak fireball spells" and "simple on-hit nuke daggers" remain useful indefinitely.
  • In Skyrim, joining the Companions, likely the first guild you'll encounter in the game, and going through their quests nets you a Skyforge Steel weapon, which is as powerful as an equivalent Elven weapon but weighs less and is easier to upgrade via smithing. The Companions also give you the opportunity to become a Werewolf, and their final quest gives you access to a powerful shield and a unique two-handed axe with Daedric stats (though it can't be upgraded).
    • Even earlier in the game, Bound Weapons. Three are available, the first two being on sale in the second town visited for the storyline, Whiterun. All three are on par with Daedric weapons, and the Sword is a Novice Conjuration spell, allowing any player to use it. They also cannot be confiscated by NPCs due to being generated by spells, allowing a character in prison to use them against guards, and preventing disarmament.
    • Another easy one, once you reach Whiterun, just take the carriage to Solitude. Then just follow the road over that goes near the harbor and to the lighthouse. Before the lighthouse, there is a pirate ship, that is also marked on the map. Some of the pirates carry Scimitars, which is every bit as good as the skyforge sword, though it don't sell for a good price.
    • Not to mention Soul Trap, which, whilst only effective against living enemies still gives you XP when used on dead ones. The fact that its a high level spell that's obtained very early on lets you grind an easy 50 conjuration skill levels in about 30 minutes, meaning that it gives you a minimum of 10-20 player-levels if you use the exploit early on. Given that your health is replenished to max whenever you level up, this makes it very hard to die even in the harder dungeons, so long as you're paying attention. The fact that it gives you access to a LOT of perks and high-level summons helps a fair bit as well.
      • A bit of Fridge Brilliance with the stats similar to Daedric weapons, considering they are shaped like the Daedric weapons you can smith yourself later in the game.
    • Also, by completing an early Main Storyline quest, you are made Thane of Whiterun and given Lydia as a Housecarl. She serves rather impressively as a melee tank and can be relied on to deal with troublesome foes.
    • Forsworn Bows can also be easily obtained by immediately heading to the Reach and fighting the random Forsworn in there. It is about equal as a Dwarven Bow.
    • Dawnguard DLC gives you two. First is crossbow though you need to be of enough level to initiate it. Then there is Zephyr, the unique Dwarven Bow with faster draw rate that can be obtained at level 1.
    • The Mace Of Molag Baal is the only Daedric item who's quest you can literally initiate at level one and have an expectation of completing before level 5. It's enchantments aren't very notable, barring the ever useful soul trap, but that's not what makes it a nuke. It's raw physical attack with no upgrades is on par with a base Ebony weapon, and while you won't be able to improve it's base attack until you have smithing at level 60, it's still plenty powerful, and armor enchants to boost attack damage will still work to boost it. Plus, with the perks that allow maces to ignore enemy defenses, this makes it an incredibly useful weapon until you can make your own ebony and daedric weapons.
    • The Oghma Infinitum can be exploited into an unintentional Disc One Nuke. While only obtainable after level 15, it doesn't take long to reach the level, especially if you're of the Thief class. Once awarded to you, the tome can effectively be used to empower your character to absurd levels so early in the game, future quests will seem trivial from a story perspective.
    • The basic conjuration spell Raise Zombie is this plus a Game Breaker. You can buy it cheap in the first town you come across, and you can buy Bound Sword in the second town. Together, they will allow you to build your conjuration to 50 by the end of Bleak Falls Barrow. Simply cast the spell on any basic enemy corpse (Skeever, Bandit, or Drauger), regardless of whether you killed it or not, cast Bound Sword, then use either your bare hands, or if you are a Khajit, an iron dagger to strike the zombie until it becomes hostile. Your Conjuration will go up at least on level, maybe two if your level is low. There are enough enemies and already killed corpses available to raise your conjuration to level 50. Before the end of the first official dungeon in the game.
      • For even more fun, one can abuse their horse by using a Fork (a weapon with a damage rating of 1) to sneak attack the beast repeatedly, or one can cast Soul Trap to boost Conjuration, or one can combine Flames and Healing Hands to boost Destruction and Restoration... the possibilities are endless, for the low low price of 1,000 gold!
    • On the subject of questlines that give big rewards, there's the Dark Brotherhood, your best friend if you are the sneaky thief/assassin type. Initiate the questline, and by the end of the quest With Friends Like These, you'll be able to get a suit of light armor AND a suit of clothes/robes that carry enchantments. The most important? The shoes, which carry the Muffle enchantment, an enchantment that you normally won't find until you have reached much higher levels. While you can't break them down for their enchantment, you can wear them any time you need to sneak, negating any noise you make by moving, allowing you to sneak MUCH easier.
    • The Dawnbreaker sword. A unique enchanted weapon that can be obtained relatively early in the game, when an item from a random drop appears to guide you to its location. Its effects will kill all undead in the game easily making any quests involving tombs with skeletons and draugrs (zombies) a breeze. More than that, it has a very large amount of charges before it loses its powers, which means you can use it as your primary weapon for a very long time before collecting soul gems to replenish it, which is difficult to do in the early game. You will eventually find or make stronger weapons with better enchanted effects, but for the early game it is the ultimate weapon. This is sort of balanced by the fact it's guarded by very powerful mooks and a truly difficult boss battle.
  • In Fable I, the player is given the opportunity to gamble in certain areas, with a 2-1 return on their wager should they be victorious. This doesn't seem like a big deal at first, given that the games are largely luck-based and you're just as likely to end up broke as you are to strike it rich... except in one case, where you are required to win a childishly simple card-pairs style game. There is no element of chance involved whatsoever here, making the game a sure win once one gets the hang of it. A patient player can easily rack up hundreds of thousands of gold in very short order, allowing them to purchase the strongest equipment that money can buy and enough health and mana potions to last for the entire game. This is presented to you in the very first city you come across, to boot.
    • An even faster way to gain money is by exploiting the game's economy, specifically the "Buy/Sell Maximum" buttons. Merchants in Fable adjust the price of an item based on how many of them they have in their inventory at the moment, without taking into account how many you're buying or selling. Gather a few dozen of any item, then sell them to a merchant all at once. The merchant now has many of them, so he sells them low. Buy them for a song. Now he has none, so he buys them high. Sell them for huge profit. Repeat until sufficiently wealthy.
    • Compounding the ridiculous simplicity of getting gold here is the fact that the Slow Time spell affects the timer in the game, meaning that you would have to be in a coma to fail at the game.
      • A word of caution though, this doesn't work in the expanded Fable: The Lost Chapters
    • Also, it is possible to abuse the Hero Save feature, which resets the player to the beginning of a quest, up to and including resetting all item spawns, conversations and Hero doors opened during the quest, every time they save, to attain both a ridiculous amount of money and enough silver keys to open every chest in the game. Including the one in the Hero's Guild, which contains a legendary weapon.
    • Also of note is the Magic Shield spell. Playing the game normally, delivering large combos without being hit raises the Combat Multiplier, which multiplies any experience gained. This means that players who fight well and avoid getting hit will level faster, right? The catch is that in Fable, "being hit" is defined as "taking HP damage". Magic Shield redirects any damage taken into MP, thereby preventing the Combat Multiplier from being cancelled and allowing the character to level up much faster than he could without it. Turn it on, wade into a crowd, and take out the trash with no skill involved. Then once the CM gets high enough, use those super-experience potions you've been saving up and Kill 'em All.
    • It also has Skorm's Bow, the most powerful ranged weapon in the game and if you play your cards right (and are not too squeamish) it can be yours before your first mission.
    • There's also Wellow's Pickhammer, which you can get literally in the first 30 minutes of the game if you know what you're doing. It has about four times the damage of anything you can afford when you start the game, and remains the best weapon up to and including the Arena quest, which is about two-thirds of the way through the game. All you have to do to get it is murder one or two people in front of the Demon Door guarding it...or just eat 15 or so crunchy chicks.
    • If one feels like it, it is entirely possible to get a character fully decked out in the best purchasable arms and armor before even completing the first quest. With a little more time, you can even go into this quest with a fully maximized character.
    • In Fable II it is possible to make obscene amounts of money early in the game. Your character starts out with a cheap house as an adult, which you can set to rent out. Save, exit the game and wind your system clock forwards. Your character still makes money from real estate even when you're not playing (though it's a fraction of the amount you would while playing you're just winding a clock forwards anyways). Repeat this process by buying more houses with the money you've made. With a bit of patience your character can be making more money every five minutes than you can possibly spend.
    • In Fable II, you can create a guest account, sell all of its stats and quit; all the experience will go back to your main character. you can then use that exp to buy more stats, create a guest, sell those stats, quit, and repeat over and over again. before to long all your stats can be maxed out before you even meet the first boss.
    • In Fable III', you can do something similar by having somebody join your game as a friend. You can send that friend money and items, and they can send it back. After disconnecting from the game, that gold is returned, along with the money already returned. 100 Gold turns into 200, then 4, 8, 16...
  • In Gothic 3, after you gain control of the unnamed hero, you had the opportunity to buy a flaming sword for a ridiculously low price. This could be accomplished after rescuing a blacksmith (he's the one selling it). This was unfortunately fixed in a patch.
  • In Neverwinter Nights you had the option of using a created character in a character battles optional side-game. However one of these arena's required level 10 characters or higher, and if you were less than that, it would automatically increase your level to level 10. So create a 1st level character, import, export and then load him into the game and you'd begin the game with 10 levels ready to go.
    • In Hordes of the Underdark, the player was immediately given enough XP to hit level 15. Which could be used in the same fashion. Almost as egregious as making a module consisting entirely of user-created ubergear and weak monsters with a massive challenge rating, giving XP through the nose. Not that anyone would ever do this.
    • You could easily make a custom module that did nothing but shot you up to an arbitrary level and gave you great gear. The developers were canny enough to prevent you from linking a script to any of these items to do whatever you wanted, although those of us who wanted this power for good, not evil, were bummed. By far the worst, though, was the Appraise skill. It decreased the amount you paid for items from vendors and increased how much they'd give you for 'em. If you had enough Appraise skill (which was by no means easy, but quite possible) you could make money by buying and selling an item ad nauseum.
  • Not quite a nuke but useful early game. In The Dark Spire, from the tower entrance go north 6, east 9, south 4. You should be in front of a locked door. Save, open it, follow very short path to basement. Once there go north 1, west 2, south 1 and face the east wall. Behind a secret door you find a very good weapon you normally can't obtain for another 25% of the game or so. Careful though, as the enemies in the basement can easily annihilate you, especially if you're heading here at game start. Save anywhere comes in handy here.
  • In Sudeki, a sufficiently savvy or even just sufficiently nosy player can find all four characters' ultimate weapons well before the halfway point of the game. (They also tend to end up overleveled, thanks to one weapon requiring completion of That One Sidequest which requires 21 of a rare randomly dropped piece of loot.)
  • Secret of Evermore features a glitch which can be exploited for Disc One Nukedom-if you save the game while a character is buffed and quit, when you start the game again you'll still be buffed, but your actual stats will be at their unbuffed level. Since the game still thinks you're buffed, when the buff wears off it'll reduce your stat...and if it's low enough, it'll wrap around to be super high, and you'll be able to one-shot almost anything. Balancing this is the fact that if you level up your stats will increase as normal, meaning if you're not careful you could wind up with stats even lower than your starting baseline.
  • There happens to be a fellow running a shop in a secret underground passage in the Docks district of Kirkwall in Dragon Age II who sells a ridiculously powerful bow for a reasonable price in the second chapter. Makes the game a lot easier, actually. Also, all you have to do to receive Hanlon's Razor, easily the best greatsword until Act II, is to beat the demo. Most of the DLC equipment and unlockable Extra equipment is this as well. Items such as the Staff of Parlathan, which can be obtained by registering for the newsletter, are powerful in Act I but are eventually outclassed in Act II. One exception is Hindsight — its "Enemies drop better equipment" property makes it useful for the entire game.
    • In terms of abilities, the rogue's "Pinpoint Strikes" functions as this. It guarantees critical hits for a time, which dramatically increases the character's damage output. With the right build, you can have both the base ability and the duration upgrade (meaning that you can auto-crit for 20 seconds of every 40, boosting overall damage output by about half) by late act 1. It qualifies as a Disc One Nuke rather than a proper Game Breaker because high level rogues have high critical hit chances naturally: 100% crit chance is a much bigger improvement over 20-35% than 50-75%.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has similar items. Completing (or simply having, in some cases) the various DLC packs gives you one of the better two-handed weapons, a pretty-good massive chestpiece, the best longbow, the best mace, a decent longsword, the second-best amulet, the best light armor, the best mage robes, and two great belts. The best mace can also be sold for 339 gold (or even more, if you're a Dwarf Noble) - enough to buy any two Cash Gated items. You get these items in your inventory right at the start of the game.
    • Not to mention the two new Talents you can gain by drinking the diablery potion in the Warden's Keep DLC. The Mage's are particularly potent—a very powerful nuke and a mana regenerator that cost about a papercut's worth of HP to activate.
    • One exploit in Dragon Age: Origins allows the player to sell an item for twice it's sell value by putting it in the junk tab and then quickly pressing the Sell and Sell All Junk buttons, then buy it back for the original sell cost. This can be repeated ad nauseam, giving the player an infinite source of money as soon as they reach the first shop and allowing them to buy anything they want as soon as they come across it. Since most of the (non-DLC) best gear in Origins is on vendors rather than in dungeons or as quest rewards, this allows you to potentially get some of the best items in the game right off the bat. Sure, some of it has level or stat requirements to use, but most players will reach those long before they'd had the money to get around the Cash Gate, and even settling for the Infinity-1 Swords will make you broken at the beginning of the game. And this glitch also works in the second game.
  • The Lord Of The Rings The Third Age makes it possible, if insanely tedious, to grind ability points in single battles, purely by focusing on defensive abilities throughout combat, and healing whenever necessary- or not, since Berethor's awesome Leadership party buffs can regenerate health and power points. What follows is Berethor using a speed buff for more turns before enemy turns, followed by an action point regeneration buff, followed by a hit point regeneration buff- rinse and repeat until you have everything you need.
  • In Mass Effect 1, on Eden Prime, you can encounter some colonists hiding from the geth. If you talk to them, they reveal they have some smuggled weapons. You can confiscate a pistol from them, which turns out to be powerful enough to last you for quite a while.
    • As soon as you get Tali, max out her 'Quarian Machinist' skill and give her a shield boosting armor mod. Doing so will give her enough shielding to turn her into a shotgun-wielding Stone Wall for the next few hours.
    • Completing Pinnacle Station allows players to get most of the best equipment in the game at the maximum grade at any level for less money than it legitimately costs to buy it from a merchant. This allows a low level player to get equipment that isn't possible, under normal circumstances, to get without beating the game once to change the level cap from 50 to 60.
    • Mass Effect 2 gives us the Locust SMG, obtained during Kasumi's loyalty mission. Said weapon can be obtained before Horizon.
    • In Mass Effect 3, the N7 Crusader shotgun is a perfectly accurate semi-automatic slug shotgun. It's essentially an unscoped sniper rifle, and while it's eventually surpassed by other weapons, it's an excellent weapon for quite a while. In fact, each of the N7 weapons qualifies as a solid Disc One Nuke. The Eagle combines the high fire rate and light weight of a burst fire SMG with the accuracy of a pistol. The Valiant deals nearly as much damage as a single-shot sniper rifle, but has a 3 shot magazine and much faster reload time. The Hurricane, while not very accurate, has extremely high DPS for an SMG. All of them are very good weapons in their own right, and all are available within a few hours of starting the game.
  • In TaskMaker for the Mac, you're given an Ethereal Potion in the (optional) Tutorial level. It can either be sold for a high price to a shop, or used to phase through a wall and access a passageway with three of the most powerful weapons in the game — and while one of the three is in the same chamber as some highly powerful monsters, they will spawn far enough away for you to grab it without being hit.
  • In Dark Souls, the Drake Sword, easily the strongest Straight Sword without upgrades or scaling in the game (and one of the strongest sword type weapons period), can be acquired very early in the game if you have a ranged weapon, tons of ammo, and know that severing a dragon boss' tail always gives you a powerful weapon.
    • It's possible to run through the Catacombs early and get weapons comparable to the Drake Sword, but scale better later in the game. You can join the Gravelord Servant covenant very early to get the Gravelord Sword. While it needs some stat investments, you'll likely have enough souls to 2-hand the Gravelord Sword after you defeat Pinwheel. Another alternative is to find Vamos and upgrade a weapon of choice to a Fire +1 weapon. Also, taking out Pinwheel early is fairly trivial with a good melee weapon, and gets you the Rite of Kindling, letting you get up to 20 Estus Flasks out of bonfires. However, it's easier said than done; this involves rushing through hordes of respawning skeletons and dashing through a big open room full of Skeleton Wheels.
    • If you're lucky enough to find one, Black Knight weapons have great physical damage and are useful through the entire game and even New Game +.
  • In Chrono Cross, the Profiteer's Purse, obtained by checking the stairs in the mansion in Another Termina, is this in two ways. You can either disassemble it to its base components (letting you forge far better equipment than would otherwise be possible) or give it to Serge for a 33% bonus to all money gained from battles (which adds up very quickly).
    • The same game has the Plasma Pistol, wielded by Norris or Starky. It has the power of a late-game weapon, but can be obtained far earlier than other weapons of its power (right after recruiting Starky, in fact).
  • DragonFable has the Doom weapons, available from the Mysterious Stranger outside of Falconreach. While prohibitively expensive at 28000 gold, if the player grinds a lot of gold, they can have one of these as soon as level 8, and can upgrade them to higher level versions by grinding materials from various quests. Regardless of how far they are upgraded, these weapons are MUCH stronger than anything remotely close to their level, and if the player stays on top of their upgrade path, they're a viable option until shortly before the level cap. They also have a light-based variation, the Destiny weapons, which are obtained by taking a Doom weapon to Artix in Doomwood and purifying them, takes this even further, as they reach their maximum level much quicker than the Doom weapons (and, in fact, are stronger than a Doom weapon of a similar level), but aren't as viable towards the level cap as a result.
  • It's possible in Vagrant Story to get the ultimate dagger early on. As soon as you reach the section of the Undercity entered via Shandras Park, all the doll enemies carry knives (the Khukuri, Hatchet, and Baselard). If you have the patience, you can win these items, and combine them at the nearest workshop into the Jamadhar, the best dagger.
  • Robopon has quite a few of these.
    • In the first game, you can find a LostCode in the first town, which acts as a free evolution. Depending on what TV remote you have or what button you press, you can also find a hidden treasure chest with a Shortcut in it, which acts as a free level up.
    • Pegs in the first game; it is practically one robot that most players will have in their party due to its reliability. It became even better in the sequel with an evolution, PegSS... but sadly wasn't available til near the end of the game due to its rare sparking combination.
    • Replacing Pegs in the sequel is Hexbot (Cross), which you can immediately spark after getting all of the batteries from the Cave, including the hidden one. It can use instant death software and has decent growth compared to other Robopon you can spark early on in the game.
    • Gigapon and its evolutions fill this role in Ring, and is useful even in the endgame.
  • In Breath of Fire II it's possible to recruit the optional character Bleu as soon as you have access to the Whale, roughly halfway through the game and before you've even recruited Spar. She comes in at level 35, at a point when the rest of your party is probably about level 20, with a great array of damaging, buffing and debuffing spells, and her stat growths remain extraordinarily high even after level 60. And as if that wasn't enough, her in-battle ability Shed allows her to regain all her health at no AP cost (albeit lowering her defence in doing so), making her nearly unkillable.

     Shoot Em Up 
  • A rare Shoot 'em Up example: The Plasma Storm in Tyrian. Although it has very limited ammo, it can destroy most bosses in a matter of seconds. And it's obtainable even before the first stage of the first chapter of the game!
  • An early Wave in Raptor: Call of the Shadows has a Air-Ground Missile pickup from a destroyed building about 30 seconds into the Wave. You can then quit out to the hangar menu, keeping the weapon, and sell that weapon for half price on the Black Market (in this case, 70K). Repeat this process until you have enough money. Alternatively, if you're more patient (or have access to the level warp cheat), there's a later Wave that drops a Dumbfire Missile worth even more credits.
  • The Tektite Blaster (T-Braster) in Gaiares, which has a bit of a Guide Dang It on how to get it (Fire the TOZ 6 times, missing all of them, and then capture an enemy weapon with the 7th TOZ shot).
  • In the tank-based Seek And Destroy The Challenger is unlockable in the third town. It just happens to be one of the best armoured tanks in the game second only to the Maus (unlocked at the endgame), and has a large amount of carry weight meaning that it can be upgraded with sufficient weaponry and armour to make the game something of a cakewalk...

     Simulation Game 
  • Harvest Moon, surprisingly. In Harvest Moon 64, you can get Karen up to a pink heart in a matter of minutes, just by showing her your dog a couple hundred times. Also, this might be debatable as "early" depending on your priorities in the game, but by getting a seed maker in A Wonderful Life and a fruit tree you could sell fruit tree seeds and be easily set with money for the rest of the game. Another Wonderful Life tried to tone it down by making fruit tree seeds sell for less, but it was still a huge cash cow compared to... well, raising cows.
    • Rune Factory does it one better by making it possible to mine high-quality sapphires in the second dungeon. The sapphires reset once you come out and go back in, leading to a lot of players becoming millionaires in no time at all. House and farm upgrades became an instant piece of cake.
    • No Harvest Moon embodies the Disc One Nuke better than Harvest Moon DS. With clever Save Scumming while mining, the right guides, and a fair bit of patience, it's possible to become a multi-millionaire who can work past exhaustion without penalty, have access to the ultimate crop-growing area, AND have all of the legendary tools within the first two days of the game.
  • Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception has the XFA-27. It can be unlocked as early as five missions in, yet its stats are comparable to lategame fighters even before tuning. Plus it comes with QAAMs out of the box. At 26k it's only slightly more than half the cost of the much later-appearing F-22 and can be bought one, maybe two missions after unlock if you're stocking up the cash from doing well. Given that it was the Game Breaker superplane of Ace Combat 2, though, this is perhaps unsurprising.
    • In Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, the F-5E starting plane can carry a few QAAM missiles, which are essentially guaranteed kills against aircraft. The Su-37 Terminator is also unlocked after mission six and has very good special weapon options (and 82 standard missiles).
  • SimCity 2000 allowed an easy solution to power problems for very cheap. By starting the game via map editor, the player could begin in a territory with a "pyramid" of waterfalls - free of charge. Filling this pyramid with hydro plants would provide power for the entire city, making early game a breeze as unlike most other plants, the hydro plants don't need to be rebuilt after a set period.
    • In the original SimCity, a player could completely ignore roads and build only rail lines. While they cost twice as much to build per tile, the citizens don't seem to care about the inconvenience and it eliminates an enormous chunk of your pollution and all of your traffic.
  • In the first two Naval Ops games, blueprints for advanced ships (as in guided missile destroyers when the enemies are still using WWII tech) can be obtained fairly early on with the right research and come with weapons and auxiliary systems that would not be normally obtained until much later. Advanced anti-sub missiles for your battleship are especially welcome.
  • Finding your Dwarf Fortress site contains a volcano or a magma pipe near the surface: Priceless.

     Sports Games 
  • EA Sports is notorious for this
    • In the NHL series, EA frequently inserts a Make-a-Wish kid as a free agent with extremely good stats and little to no salary demands. In 09 it was Sabrina Ladha, a 95 Overall goalie who wanted only $500k a year, a pittance. Virtually any team could become a Stanley Cup contender by picking her up and using their existing goalie and salary cap room as trade bait. And since she was a pre-teen, she'd be kicking ass for decades.
    • Madden NFL had a similar situation happen with Steve Young and Barry Sanders, who both retired early. EA placed them in the free agent pool the following year with 90+ ratings, allowing owners to scoop them up and instantly have an elite offense.
      • Madden games also have "money plays" — plays which will always work against even an All-Madden level computer-controlled team for a guaranteed five yards, at least. Here's an example play from Madden 10.
      • The games from the early 2000s had a nuke in the form of any "play action" play. Safeties, even with maximum awareness on the highest difficulty settings, would bite on the play fake with near 100% consistency, leaving the corner one-on-one with the receiver (and usually a step behind him) deep down the field. It was not unheard of to set NFL passing records with an otherwise mediocre offense simply by abusing this exploit. (This became less and less prominent in the latter part of the decade as the overall AI of the games began to improve.)

     Stealth Based Game 
  • Assassin's Creed games have the Hidden Blade and its Counter Attack. It's Difficult but Awesome, but if you master it early enough you can One-Hit Kill everyone.
    • In Brotherhood, while the parts of the game where they are received vary by player, the crossbow and poison darts make most of the guard encounters a breeze, even in stealthier missions. The ability to instakill most enemies silently is extremely boring, yet practical!
    • Revelations is full of these, largely due to the fact that basically everything opens up to you fairly early on in the story. The Master Assassin Armor set is attainable as early as Sequence 3, giving you massive amounts of health compared to the two pieces of basic leather armor available at blacksmiths at that point.
      • Another example is the Datura Bomb. Easy to create, as bombs and bomb ingredients are unlocked rather early, yet makes every mission where getting detected is a fail incredibly easy. Just get high up in a rafter and toss a Datura down upon the unsuspecting Mooks. Watch in glee asyour enemies choke and drop dead. As an added bonus to not being detected for it, nearby mooks will then walk over to see what happened. Right into the line of fire for the rest of your Datura Bombs... Rinse and repeat as needed.
  • The Cardboard Box in the NES port of Metal Gear, due to the fact that you could shoot from it and guards ignore it even when it's in front of them, murdering them. You pick it up very early in the game.

     Survival Horror 
  • Resident Evil had the shotgun which could be obtained very early in the game. Normally you are supposed to get the broken shotgun, which you can't get for a while, and swap it for the real one otherwise you set off a trap. However, you can go straight there as Jill and take it, and Barry will save you from the trap at the last second. Since it can one-shot zombies (by aiming up and shooting right before they grab you), it lets you stock up on other ammo for everything else.

     Tabletop Games 
  • In Exalted, it is entirely possible to create a character capable of hitting anyone, aywhere, with the spell "Total Annihilation". Or how about being able to create a curse that kills off everyone who falls within a broad category - say, humans? Or any number of combinations of spells, charms, artefacts and/or backgrounds that will make your character able to do one thing, and one thing only - but that thing will most likely involve a LOT of pain for whoever gets hit. In fact, most of the effort when creating a character goes into resisting the urge to crank up your favourite attack before you even begin playing.
    • Pretty much the defining characteristic of Mage: The Ascension in the minds of most players. A game where the progression and power limits were entirely defined in terms of a single character, with a loosely-written "cooperative casting" mechanic written in about five minutes before publication that essentially allows you to add mage statistics together with a spell and keep rolling until it was as powerful as you want? That definitely won't be a problem at all.
      • For reference, you put build points into schools of magic, and most effects need a couple points in several schools (for instance, you need a few dots in forces to start a fire, but can't hit a person with said fire without life, and have to aim it manually without space). So on an individual level dumping all of your initial points into a single sphere is crippling. Not so much with rituals and cooperative casting, a group of four or five players can essentially throw the sun on top of anyone on the planet they've ever met while sitting safely on the Moon from session one.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the infamous Pun-Pun, a kobold (or other reptilian creature, but kobolds are traditional) "Squishy Wizard" who is able to have any special ability, and has "arbitrarily high" stats. Strict mechanics allow this as early as 11th-level, but technically it could be done as early as 1st with the right magic item, or demonic knowledge. The key to this is one random (but official) splatbook for the Forgotten Realms setting.
    • The game has plenty of more mundane examples and in fact a number of mechanics have been used at various times with low level survivability in mind. But third edition had some doozies, not the least of which was Haste, which was a result of the dev team not understanding the change in action economy from 2nd edition to 3rd, allowing wizards to cast two spells per round without suffering the second edition drawback of aging more rapidly (which itself could be mitigated somewhat by playing an elf but 3rd edition made that part unnecessary.) Of course the trade off is you blow through your spells that much faster but you can usually talk your party into letting you recoup after an intense battle.
    • Certain classes have a delayed casting progression, like the paladin, which only ever learns fourth-level spells and gets them much later. To compensate, these classes also learn some spells earlier, so they can remain competitive; the aforementioned paladin learns the useful Lesser Restoration as a 1st-level spell, while the cleric gets it as a 2nd-level spell, so the paladin only gets it a level later. Then there's the archivist, who can add any divine spell to his spellbook and cast it at its original level. A canny player will abuse this ability to obtain spells at a far lower level than normal. The aforementioned Lesser Restoration is one of the most common choices, as well as the 4th-level Scrying and Freedom of Movement as 3rd-level, the 6th-level Heal and Antilife Shell as 5th-level, and the 8th-level Summon Giants as 4th-level. This is all up to Rule Zero, of course, but by pure rules-as-written, an archivist could learn a spell that summons a CR 12 fiendish fire giant or three CR 9 fiendish hill giants at a level where a CR 3 howler is the best summon otherwise available.
  • Age of Aquarius First Edition had the infamous "Psychic Vampirism" exploit. Psychic Vampirism is a power that lets you drain psychic energy from any random Joe Shmoe and claim it for yourself; (un)fortunately, the authors forgot to specify how many Confidence points you are allowed to store, which means as many as you wish. And six Confidence points and above make you into a psychic god. Just go down into a crowded subway and drain one Confidence point from every random passer-by; you'll be able to levitate mountains, fire lightning from your fingertips and mind-blast Cthulhu himself.

     Third Person Shooter 
  • In SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 on PSP, the OC-14 or RA-14 mentioned above is also a relatively easy to get and useful gun. Although to get it you have to score 750 kills, but you can just bang away in the first mission or custom missions with the lowest difficulty. It uses 7.62x39 rounds which is abundant in the 3rd and last mission, kills with 3 body shots at most, and had better overall stats than the AK103 used by Elite Mooks. Plus, it also can be fitted with a silencer which the AK103 can't.
  • An intrepid player can get a distressing amount of equipment within the first missions of the Crusader games; notably, can usually acquire the shotgun and rocket launcher in the first mission of each with relative ease, while finding secret areas later in the game can result in the character being fully-armed and armored by halfway through the game.
  • Gotcha Force has the Barrier Girl. She has a fairly quickly charging normal attack, a melee attack that drills opponents (so it does several rapid hits, good for juggling), and a fairly quick charged shot that she can use if the situation warrants. All of that would make her decent if not spectacular, except for the "barrier" part of her name. Said barrier is a shield that will simply absorb a decent amount of damage, and can be redeployed. Granted, it takes a while (unless Power Burst is active) for said barrier to recharge, but Barrier Girl is one of the more agile combatants - she's quick enough that she can strafe opponents without taking damage even without the shield. Even the wonky AI can abuse her ability to tank unless the player abuses the only early attacks that can chip the shield quickly (drilling attacks... like the one a Barrier Girl does in melee), and the computer can't handle them without breaking out the very powerful opponents using a Wave Motion Gun or a BFS.

     Turn Based Strategy 
  • In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, it's possible to exploit the hospital prizes and the Dark Assembly's promotion exams to get very powerful equipment, a huge amount of money, and all your units above level 20 before so much as setting foot on the first non-tutorial map.
    • That's still lots of grinding, and still somewhat ineffectual as it only carries you to about episode 5 or 6 depending upon the amount of people you did get to 20. It's much easier to abuse the random dungeons in Phantom Brave, mostly due to the entire fusion system. Getting to level 100 takes only a couple hours if you know what you're doing with your weapons, and in fact in that time you can also create a weapon that will demolish everyone up to and including the final boss, as once you have about level 70 or 80 and a good beefed-up weapon, you can pop a 'bad' title on a level 400-500 dungeon, stealing high mana items with your bottlemail, and supercharge that weapon to be totally invincible. Just remember to stay away from those fraggin' weapon-stealing mushrooms! (Or select a weapon whose final abilities have insanely large areas of effect to kill them all at once, like a bomb, egg, or vase. RES weapons work the best as they can complement Marona's own gigantic RES stat which renders her nigh-invulnerable to damage.) Also you gain much more experience for tilted-level kills, the only grinding necessary in the game is for facing down the final three EX bosses and building up the amount of attacks you can do. (Instead of SP your amount of attacks is tied to weapon experience level.) But with a + 28000ATK weapon in the first few hours of the game, who needs that! (At least to complete the initial game)
    • The level 20 thing is a relatively small bonus, though, in comparision to having the funds to buy end-game quality equipment before the first map. Not to mention the the Muscle Star, Chaos Orb, and Testament, which will send the Attack, Magic, HP, and SP of whoever equips all three that early on through the roof, which makes all grinding until level 50 or so ridiculously easy. And it takes only about six promotion exams per chartacter to get that grinding over with, so it doesn't take that much time.
    • Pleinair, in the DS version, is a Double Subversion, as she can only be persuaded to join you upon starting up a New Game+, but since losing to the boss in chapter one counts as finishing the game, you can still get her within about half an hour.
      • In the PSP version of Disgaea 2, the game just gives you a level 100 Pleinair at the start of a new game if you've downloaded the free DLC pack she comes in. You can then use Pleinair to easily beat level 100 Sapphire (also a free DLC download) and have her join as well. Presumably this could be done with paid DLC characters as well.
    • Disgaea has yet another easily abuseable method of game breaking. Go to the item world until you find one with an invincible geo panel. Level up Laharl's spear mastery to 25 — takes about an hour if you're lucky. You can then get the second best spear in the game, Longinus. Using the aformentioned lose-to-Mid-Boss trick, you can get it AGAIN, and sell it to make a TON of money.
    • The second one has a more blatant example. One of the levels about a third of the way through pits you against a squad of enemies sitting on effect panels that level them up by 10% of their current level every turn. It takes a little mindless, repetitive turn ending, but after a while they get all the way up to the max level of 9999, starting at about 10. Because you can capture any monster that's at most 2-3x the level of your highest level character, this allows you to quickly build up to having a team of these 9999 level monsters within five hours of starting the game. By comparison, the final boss of the main story is level 90. The PSP version patched out this exploit in 2 ways. The first by not allowing you capture any monsters that you can't create, the second by not allowing you to capture anything whose level is higher than your highest levelled party member.
      • But wait, there's more. At the end of the third chapter, you are thrown into a Hopeless Boss Fight against an enemy who is on average one hundred times your current level, with the gear to show for it. Typically, you would now be resigning yourself to getting mercilessly ground into pixellated paste or trying to line up the odd Fastball Special maneuver to nab a few treasure chests. However, due to the way the item stealing probabilities are calculated, even the most basic stealing item used by the most recently-generated thief will always, always, always have a 1% chance to steal one (and only one) item from said opponent. Now, the item to go for here is something called a Testament. It gives any character equipped with it a whopping 200 points in every single stat, apart from health, which gets twice that bonus. At a time when your average attack stat is roughly 100. Add to that the fact that character equip multipliers add another ten percent at least on top of that, and you have yourself a character whose curent level is 12, but whose effective level (i.e. the level at which he would possess stats of this kind without equipment) is pushing 50. Just keep reloading, and sweet sweet overpoweredness is all yours.
      • And then, coming off that honking stat jack, we have the Item World. Summarising briefly, it is a completely randomly generated dungeon created entirely off an item, and is crucial to postgame powerlevelling. Early on, it is mostly where you go to build up Felonies. But there's a twist: infrequently, you might be attacked by enemies called pirates - retitled versions of normal enemies. These are usually well above your current level, but your main character is now not only more than a match for them (thanks to having endgame gear at the start of your adventure), but also has an ability which does a percentage damage boost as long as his level is below that of his opponent. Proceed to demolish pirate booty with extreme prejudice, and appropriately massive experience points are all yours. Do it all right, and we have ourselves a level 25 character with nearing a thousand HP, easily 600 attack, and one metric shedload of Mana to pour into creating better Player Mooks... while the rest of your team is woefully underpowered in comparison. Mind you, considering that this is Disgaea we're talking about, this'll save you about 0.0003% of your actual levelgrinding time.
  • Speaking of Phantom Brave, it's possible to get a Bottle Mail (a phantom that easily "steals" items it is confined into) as soon as you start a new game and create enough characters to make a human pyramid so that Ash can reach the highest point on the map (this also earns his first Changebook that allows for Phantom Brave's spin on the Reincarnation ability that resets a character level to 1 with stat bonuses equal to the number of levels he gained before). It takes only a little bit of grinding after that to start exploiting random dungeons to farm items, mana, money, and titles.
    • Then there's the trolley — an improbable weapon that boosts Speed and uses Speed to determine the strength of its attacks. Since Speed also determines how often you get to go, grabbing a high-level trolley through "failure dungeon" grinding breaks the game in half and lets you clear all the main story stages without the enemies getting a single turn.
    • One map in the second chapter contains two enemies who will constantly level up on each turn. However, although their stats - including defense and maximum hitpoints - increase, they only retain the fifty or so hitpoints they start with. Also, the Titlist class has a special skill, "Big Bang", which causes damage to everyone around them when you confine them, and it ignores defense, doing damage proportional to the character's level. In other words, as long as you have two Titlists (or fuse Big Bang to another character) of enough level, you can just start the level, wait until those two enemies reach level 9999, then take them out with Big Bang. Instant massive level up, and absurd amounts of money.
  • Makai Kingdom: Fill up your favorite characters with bonus points by repeatedly confining them to starred items and killing them by wishing for huts. Reincarnate into classes with stat-boosting skills so those bonus points boost everything. Grind map 3-4 by taking out the "invincible" level 101 superfortress with your overpowered character. Congrats, you've made the main game a cakewalk. And you're in a good position to start preparing for the postgame.
  • In Fire Emblem 8 there is a colosseum in the fifth stage. If you have Seth with you when you enter the stage have him go there. Its risky, as the opponents range from weak to insanely powerful, but played right you can grind the Crutch Character up to a ridiculous degree and reap a whole lot of cash in one go.
    • Joshua can also be leveled up in the arena fairly easily. However, the usefulness of this is tempered by the fact that you have no class-changing items at this time and won't be getting a Hero Crest until Chapter 9. Of course, you're about to get a Guiding Ring, and sending Seth and Joshua into the arena so many times is bound to provide plenty of healing opportunities...and you can certainly afford to continually restock your healers with more staves...yeah, that's right, you can have a Bishop by the start of Chapter 6. As in, the class that absolutely destroys all of the monster enemies. This is totally broken.
    • You can pull the exact same stunt in Fire Emblem 7, but thanks to a Good Bad Bug involving Ninian, you can also have your character possess a godly defense boost virtually assuring they will never actually die in the arena. By only taking bets in the 700-730 gold area (Anything less is practically a waste of a turn, and anything more is pretty dangerous) you can easily level every single character to 20 (Even healers) if you care enough to spend all your time on it (Not only that, but you'll end up with far more money than you put in, especially considering that using the arenas doesn't use up weaponry and equips you with their weaponry.) The only exception being axe users, which are vastly unreliable against swords (The arenas almost always pit you against the type you're good at and it's essentially Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors with swords and lances, and quite literally with magic, with the loser not being as likely to hit.) in that they won't have a good enough hit to do damage and will often get double attacked due to high speed sword users. Not only that but it's a recurring situation; there's arenas in levels 16x and 23 in FE7, 5 and 12 in FE8, etc.
    • From the first game and its remakes, the Excalibur tome. It's obtained in Chapter 4 and only Merric can use it at that point. It is powerful and also has a high critical hit stat and is also effective against any flying enemy. Couple that with mosto f the enemies not having any resistance...
    • The "split story" nature of Genealogy of the Holy War makes for an interesting one. The second half of the game begins at Chapter 6 featuring the children of the characters from the first half, and their equipment will be determined by what their same-gender parent had in their inventory at the end of Chapter 5 (except for Briggid's kids, who inherit from their opposite-gender parent instead). If Lewyn's son is a magic-user like his father, he'll inherit the ultimate wind magic, Forseti, as long as Lewyn received it near the end of Chapter 4. Tailto's son Arthur is a mage who arrives in Chapter 6, so if she was paired with Lewyn... On another note, Shanan gets the Balmung almost as soon as he joins up at the start of Chapter 7 and will be able to dodge pretty much everything due to the massive speed boost it grants, making him your premiere boss-killer until other legendary weapons are obtained.
    • Ares's Mystletainn is a Double Subversion. He arrives midway through Chapter 7, and he already has his legendary weapon, so it'll be one of your first and should kill just about anything. However, when he first arrives, it's almost a liability as it provides no bonuses to dodging or physical defense, it can't attack at range, and the AI seems to love to target Ares, not to mention the fact that since it will kill almost any enemy on the counterattack and enemies tend to come in large groups in this game, he's going to get mobbed and can easily be attacked 10-15 times in a single enemy phase. However, the final two chapters are filled to the brim with enemies that wield long-distance magic and/or Sleep staves (which in this game automatically hit if the target's magic resistance is lower than the wielder's magic), and many of the bosses are also magic-wielders, making Ares one of the most useful units in the game—Mystletainn gives a healthy boost to magic resistance.
  • In Super Robot Wars Z save your money until stage 10. Full upgrade Kei's Bronco II weapons after this stage.(upgradeing his Bronco is cheaper) When you get him back in his Orguss a few stages later, congratulations! You now have the most powerful character in the entire game.
    • Setsuko's route lets you get the Mega Bazooka Launcher and Great Booster attacks MUCH earler, as well as most her early stages giving you Ace Pilot Kamille Bidan.
    • In Super Robot Wars Judgment, the Original Generation are insanely powerful, especially Granteed; you get them on the first (Toya's route) or second (Calvina's route) stage and never lose them.
    • One of the problem that the Mazinger units has(in term of balancing), is the fact that they are acquired early, and really often also has one of the, if not THE highest offensive power in the entire game, while also having the highest raw Armor out of any unit in the game. This is at its worst in Super Robot Wars Reversal where they acquired an extremely overpowered Finisher move WAY too early(not long after Tetsuya's Game-Breaking Injury is cured), at the point where the other Mid-Season Upgrade is nowhere in sight, while also having a numerous amount of extremely useful Combination Attack, and favored by the game's Relationship Values. Sometimes it make you wonder why they even bother giving the other Mid-Season Upgrade that late.
    • Aside form the Crutch Character in Super Robot Wars L, Kotetsushin Jeeg started with Jeeg Bazooka and the Mach Drill, both of which is an extremely powerful Combination Attack beetwen Jeeg and Big Shooter that cost Ammo instead of EN. Just like the Mazingers in R, they acquired their final Mid-Season Upgrade midway through the game in form of slightly more powerful (Old)Jeeg which comes with an even more powerful Combination Attack with beetwen both Jeeg. Put simply, the only thing that stopped them from being the best unit in the game is Gaiking The Great, and Koji/Tetsuya.
    • Speaking of Gaiking, while Kaiking is a relatively mediocre mecha, its first early game upgrade, Gaiking is a powerful L Size mecha with Armor/Hit/Evasion/Critical boosting ability, essentialy turning it into a Lightning Bruiser. Midway through the game(unlike K where it is a late game upgrade), you can combine it with Raiking and Vulking into Gaiking the Great, who is even more powerful, has S Rank on every terrain, and have amazing stats, well worth the deployment slot that you need to spent to deploy it.
  • Age of Wonders II, courtesy of the Design It Yourself Equipment system. The system itself prevents most Game Breaker items from being made. However, in a campaign game you can bring equipment and heroes across scenarios. Lingering on the first level to build superior equipment for later scenarios shatters any difficulty, as your heroes can handle any enemy troops, allowing you to leave the entire rest of your army on defense. Nothing like giving your hero a sword with Double Strike, Extra Strike, and Life Stealing. And if you're worried about dying, there's always equipment to make your hero take only 50% damage from any element type, or heal all your HP at the end of a battle, or...
  • The Crescent Hawk's Inception starts you off in a Chameleon training Battlemech. If you play out the story as intended, you're jumped by four Jenners and lose the 'mech, but escape with your life to begin seeking your revenge. Except that it's possible to simply run away as soon as the Jenners appear, letting you begin the game in a 50 ton Chameleon. Considering that the largest enemy 'mech you'll ever face in this game is only , it makes you the biggest badass on the planet from the very start of the game!
  • In Project X Zone, Frank-Lei-lei/Hsien-ko and Chun-li-Morrigan are the two units who probably will blast through the early-middle stages of the game. Frank and Lei-lei learn their Multi-hit attack at a a really early level which can make them blast through Mooks really easily, and they're attacks are also easy to chain. In Chun-li and Morrigan's case, the first attack skill they learn is Chun-li's Focus Attack that obliterates an enemy's barrier, which is perfect for almost everything in this game. And they learn their Multi-attack faster (but not as fast as the former mentioned unit) than anyone else and they learn their final attack skill a lot earlier while everybody else is learning their Multi-attack skill. The only problem is that Frank and Lei-lei are more of the Mighty Glacier people though this is almost easily remedied by placing Alisa with them to let her cast her spell that doubles the speed of the unit plus Frank's skill that enables them to move 2 more squares. Plus triple the Chainsaw Good usage!

     Turn Based Tactics 
  • In Jagged Alliance 2 right from the get-go you can hire the best mercs in the rooster armed with high-end weapons. Sure, with your starting funds you can only afford a couple of days of their service, but that'll suffice. They'll curb stomp through the first several missions, and then you can strip them of all their fancy gear, hire some more affordable mercs and carry on with a substantial edge.

     Wide Open Sandbox 
  • With the right strategy in Minecraft, it's possible to obtain a few diamonds within minutes of spawning. That'ssss a nice diamond sword you got there...
    • Finding a NPC village also counts, as you get a safe place, a source of food and a way to get rare items all in one.
  • Thanks to the incredibly open-ended gameplay structure of the Grand Theft Auto games, you can complete many sidequests, and in doing so, acquire extremely high-powered weapons and accumulate hundreds of thousands of dollars ? all before even accessing the game's opening tutorial missions.
    • Out of all the deliciously abusable sub-missions in San Andreas, one of the easiest ways to gather funds early-on is (un)surprisingly the the oldest profession in the book. Provided you can find the right type of car for the Pimping submissions and have lots of time to burn, you can gather completely ridiculous amounts of money early on.
      • Or, if you have something else to do, in San Andreas you can go to a strip club near your starting location, and stand on the stage, where patrons will throw money. As long as you don't touch the stripper, you can stand there, collecting money (albeit at the slow rate of like 5-20 dollars a minute). This adds up after a day or so of leaving the game on, however...
      • You can also simply save the game, go to the horse track, bet everything on the long odds, reload if you loose, save if you win, and rinse and repeat until you're filthy stinking rich.
      • Same can be done at the Casino, but that doesn't come until later in the game.
      • Hands down the best one is the Hunter helicopter (basically an Apache). It flies, it has a machinegun, it has missiles, it's insanely hard to kill, and you can do Vigilante missions in it. Take the Vigilante Missions to Level 150 or so and you'll have in excess of $40,000,000 in about an hour. Oh, and you can do this in Vice City as well.
      • Drug dealers are often hanging out around Grove Street and usually have around $1000 and a gun on them. If you get a wanted level killing them, just save back at CJ's crib to erase that. $5,000-$10,000 will be more than enough to carry you through the early stages of the game
    • The off-track betting place can serve a similar purpose if you bet on the horse with the longest odds and abuse the save/reload system. Similarly, the drug-trading mini-game in Chinatown Wars can effectively render the in-game economy meaningless after a good hour or so of savvy trading.
    • If you are pretty good at losing wanted ratings you can go to the UN building in GTA4 and kill the guards to aquire their M4s long before they are made available in the game. Also works with getting the last available weapon, the Combat Pistol - attack a gun dealer and take it. Or if you'd rather play it safe, the Combat Pistol and M4 (as well as all other weapons with the exception of the Rocket Launcher) can be picked up at various locations even on the first open islands.
    • In Grand Theft Auto V, you can recruit Packie McReary as a crew member almost immediately after you start the game. He's a rather skilled gunman and takes a lower cut than other gunmen of his skill level, meaning that once you find him, your firepower throughout heists will be pretty well covered throughout the rest of the game without tearing into your profits.
  • Scarface: The World is Yours let you play as your henchmen for quick cash once you got the ability to unlock them. What made them easily abused was taking their preset weapons and stuffing them in Tony's car, adding it to his collection. One of the henchmen starts out with a grenade launcher! Do this enough times and Tony will pretty much have all the ammo he needs with very little effort.
  • Crackdown has two major Disc...erm...Island One Nukes. First off, buying the DLC gives your character some ridiclously powerful weapons accessible at any time - including your first loadout screen. However, you can also get the most powerful weapons in the game by driving to the third island first and killing basic street thugs that have them - once you reach a Supply Point with them in hand, they're yours for the rest of the now significantly easier game.
  • In The Godfather game, the aversion of Broken Bridge means you can, if you so desire, grind your way to high levels and the cash needed to upgrade your weapons through various means as soon as you can start free-roaming.
    • The sequel has Broken Bridge preventing you from getting the best henchmen and weapons early on, but you can still earn the cash needed to fully upgrade yourself not far from the start.
  • Saints Row 2 has 2 possible disc one nukes. As soon as you get your first crib it's possible to store any ground vehicle at it and be able to retrieve it whenever you want even if it's destroyed. It's easy to get a high wanted level and steal an APC with a machine gun mounted on it then use it for the rest of the game. The second Disk One Nuke can be gotten as soon as you have your hideout. The hideout has a helipad on it and through a combination of skill, luck, and persistence it's possible to jump out of your own helicopter and parachute onto a SWAT attack helicopter that comes for you when you're at the highest wanted level. If done properly you can enter the SWAT attack helicopter and store it at your helipad where it can be retrieved later. The attack helicopter's secondary fire is laser guided/homing missiles that make any combat where it's usable ridiculously easy.
    • Or, for the more feeble among you, simply head to the top of the Police Station and nick one. They don't always spawn though.
    • Side quests that gives you infinite ammo perks. Doesn't really matter which one. Pick one that's the easiest.
  • Saints Row 3 follows similar suit. Once you gain a garage, and access back to the National Guard Depot, you can enter the depot, and hang around until you gain enough wanted stars to spawn tanks, you can then steal the tank and take it to a garage. In Saints Row 3, you also have the option of using your own vehicle on some of the side-missions, which means you can do Drug Runs in tanks, operating the mounted machine gun (or laser gun, at later tanks) while the dealer drives around the city in the tank.
    • Likewise, once you gain access to a HQ with a helipad, you can raid the National Guard depot again for armed helicopters.
    • Some of the DLC for SR3 gives you a Saints-themed STAG quality laser-armed tank and armored car from the beginning, as well as guns like the Professor Genki mind-controlling cuddly octopus gun and the sewer-shark summoning shotgun. These make the early game near trivial, even on the highest difficulty.
  • Because of random enemy equipment generation and a complete aversion of Unusable Enemy Equipment, Mount & Blade will sometimes do this. It's not impossible to run across bandits or deserters wearing surprisingly good armor (including strength modifiers like Reinforced or Thick) or wielding weapons bearing the Tempered/Balanced/Heavy/Strong/Masterwork modifiers, all of which improve the weapon in some form or fashion. This can lead to low-level, just-starting characters riding around Calradia on an old nag of a horse dressed in shabby commoner's clothing, but carrying a powerful high-quality sword plucked from the corpse of some bandit.
  • Terraria has loads of them. Depending on world size, you could find iron, silver, maybe even gold as soon as you spawn. There's also a small amount of demonite that can be found throughout the world. Another way to nuke is to join any multiplayer server. Someone in the server WILL be either fighting a boss (who usually drop loads of items used in the making of the third best metal armor, or some better weapons/tools) or just giving out random things. One other way to nuke is to head to the dungeon. You usually have to drop down a few feet before you're really in trouble, so stay up in the lobby. You might find anything between a water candle (which are common), a water bolt (a pretty cool spell), or even a chest with dungeon loot.
    • In 1.2, the Truffle NPC shows up when you have a house open in a surface mushroom biome in a Hardmode world. If you create one prior to Hardmode (which is easy, if rather time consuming), he'll show up almost immediately. If you have enough gold, you can buy the Mushroom Spear right away, which outclasses pretty much every weapon you'll be making for a while.
    • Ice Golems show up in snow biomes during blizzards in Hardmode. Killing Ice Golems with pre-Hardmode equipment is difficult, but possible with the right buffs (the aforementioned Mushroom Spear helps). Ice Golems drop Frost Armor pieces, Ice Feathers, and the Frost Staff, as well as lots of money. Within ten minutes of entering Hardmode, you can have the ingredients for a set of wings, a suit of armor that outclasses Adamantite armor, and a ton of money.
  • In Dead Rising, if you get the Zombie Genocide achievement early, the game rewards you with the Mega Buster. It's insanely powerful, capable of downing most psychopaths in 5-10 shots. On top of that, it has a massive clip (300 shots) and if you use it up, it respawns. It is very tempting to just plow through the entire game with the Mega Buster alone.
    • More famously is the mini-chainsaw, a one-handed juggling chainsaw. Two of them can be obtained by killing Adam early on (though the fight can be difficult, it's easily beatable by a low level character if the player is savvy and prepared beforehand), and it respawns at his death zone afterward. When you unlock the passage between the plaza where the chainsaw spawns and the opening area linked directly to your safehouse, you can pick one up any time you want. Not that you'll need to do that often: with the right combination of durability-enhancing books taken from the various bookstores in the mall, you can make a single chainsaw last an obscenely long time. Couple that with high attack power and speed and capable of being stored in the inventory (whereas the full size chainsaw is too big), and you've now broken the game.
    • Zoo Tycoon 2 and it's Extinct Animals expansion gives one the ability to create animals from fossils. While it costs 8000 and requires you to find the fossils first, what you end up with is the potential for unlimited, free animals who start off young, and thus live longer than purchased animals. In Challenge Mode, this can be a handy little trick


Disadvantageous DisintegrationVideo Game Effects and SpellsDouble Jump
Dead Character WalkingError IndexDummied Out
Destroyable ItemsVideo Game Items and InventoryElaborate Equals Effective
Disc One Final DungeonRole-Playing GameDude, Where's My Respect?

alternative title(s): Disk One Nuke
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