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Eleventh Hour Super Power
"Make the final effort! Shoot the star to defeat the final enemy!"
The Star Rod's description, Kirby's Adventure

Many times, right as The Hero is facing his Darkest Hour before The Climax and final battle, he's rewarded one final gift from fate that gives him the strength to see his quest through. Exactly how such a thing manifests varies widely: Perhaps it was triggered by The Power of Love or The Power of Friendship (or at least some good old Heroic Resolve).

In any case, he has just received the ultimate Heroic Second Wind and resolution of the narrative can't be far off.

Note that where Video Games are concerned, if the superpower is a new gameplay ability or Power-Up for the character acquiring it, it is often Purposefully Overpowered (i.e. if the player could acquire it earlier, it might prove a Game Breaker) — but the game may also regulate or limit its usage to ensure that the player can only use it at its designated time. For example, a plot-oriented Final Boss may start out as a Hopeless Boss Fight until the player uses the superpower, which cuts the boss down to size for the more-traditional pounding that follows.

Such a power should probably be given a hint of Foreshadowing earlier on (and hopefully nothing too obvious), otherwise it may feel like a cop-out. Also, if the story does not end soon after the power is introduced, it can turn into a Story-Breaker Power though sometimes players may get access to the power-up after they have beaten the game making it a sort of Bragging Rights Reward.

This type of power-up is most likely to fall prey to the Bag of Spilling if a sequel is released, even if the character has access to the other abilities they learned in the previous game this one will be noticeably absent (sometimes with a justification like the power-up being temporary or the character losing access to the item needed for it) though they may be able to regain it again (after a lot of work).

See also the Sword of Plot Advancement, which tends to be something more like an "Eighth Hour" superpower (if not earlier).

Contrast Second Hour Superpower, which is a powerup, item, or skill obtained very early on (often after the first chapter or tutorial) and is a staple (if not keystone) of a character's repertoire.

Also contrast A Taste of Power, which is basically a "First Hour Only" Superpower, and is subsequently lost. A subtrope is the Last Disc Magic.

Since this article is obviously about something that happens at the end of the game, spoilers abound below.

Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the climax of the Soul Eater animé, all three meister protagonists get one of these. First, Kid and Blackstar's, whose actually came from later chapters of the manga: Kid's stripes connecting and Blackstar becoming insanely more powerful after a pep talk with the Will of Nakatsukasa. Except he dies in this version, but whatever. He gets better. But notably, Maka, the last protagonist standing against Asura, who has somehow defeated the other six has one ability manifest that is not from the manga: she's a weapon. Whether this is because of her father being one or the Black Blood she got from Soul is not stated. It immediately turns a seemingly hopeless battle over, putting Asura on the defensive for the first and only time in the series.
  • Tenchi Muyo!:
    • In the final episode of the first Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA, the titular character was able to summon the Light-Hawk Wings (something that normally couldn't be done except by divine trees) to defeat Kagato where no one else could. In a later episode of the extended OVA, he was able to do it once more to rescue two of the girls from a black hole.
    • In the animé, Ayeka manages to tap Jurai Energy (an energy that only the royal family can access, but Ayeka never did) to shatter her bonds and send a death wave at Kagato. Unfortunately, Kagato is immune to Jurai Energy and sends the attack back. However, Tenchi then busts out Jurai Energy and combines it with Earth Energy to defeat Kagato with the power of trees, neither of which he had access to because he was still learning the nature of his power.
    • In the first movie, when Tenchi's mother realizes who Tenchi is, and thus what she is, she instantly gains access to all of her latent powers and kicks the Big Bad's ass long enough for everybody to escape. Word of God states this attack weakened her, and it's why she died so young.
    • In the second movie, when Tenchi is trapped in the dark world and unable to access his light-based powers. Ayeka uses a branch from her brother's tree-ship to project herself (and a source of light) into the dark world, granting Tenchi the ability to use his standard light-powered sword-based badassery. This functions as a double case as both Ayeka used a never-before seen power, and catapulted Tenchi to new levels of power.
  • Right before the final battle in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Chrono receives the Durandal, a powerful Storage Device that was able to freeze a huge, bio-mechanical Eldritch Abomination along with a large chunk of the sea surrounding it.
  • Digimon Adventure: Almost every Big Bad was defeated this way — Devimon through Takeru and Patamon learning to evolve at literally the last second, Etemon through Taichi and Agumon activating his crest for the first time, Vamdemon through Hikari and Tailmon finishing becoming Sixth Rangers and again through two of the protagonists learning to reach the Ultimate level, and Piemon through Takeru and Patamon (again) activating his crest for the first time; the last being the straightest example in that it took place at the climax of the third-last episode. This does tend to be something of a recurring tendency across the franchise as a whole in how new evolutions are obtained — at practically the last second when fighting a powerful enemy. As the series went by, when dealing with a Big Bad it only happened once or so per series and restricted themselves to dealing with the actual biggest Big Bad; these being Dukemon Crimson Mode, Susanoomon, ShineGreymon Burst Mode and Shoutmon X7 Superior Mode.
  • The third part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure features Star Platinum, Kujo Jotaro's Stand, who has a very short range, so it should be very powerful... but he only seems to have an outstanding speed, great strength, and surprising sight and precision. On the last fight against Dio, the stand-using vampire who can stop time, it's revealed that the apparent super speed of Star Platinum was in fact its own ability to briefly stop time. Epic ensues.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiyans, firstly done by Goku in order to beat Freeza, and the other is pulled by Gohan in order to beat Cell. Both involve the bad guys doing something to trigger the heroes' ultimate anger. Both of these incidents début real SSJ 1 and 2 into the main series. While the first level of the Super Saiyan transformation becomes invokable by will, the Saiyans are always striving for bigger and badder iterations.
  • In the animé version of YuYu Hakusho, Yusuke, after recovering from a mid-battle Heroic BSOD against Yomi and regaining a purpose in life, temporarily achieves Sacred Energy, which provides enough of a power boost to fight one of the most powerful demons alive to a near draw, Yomi only winning by passing out mere seconds after Yusuke.
  • Haruka of Kotoura-san reads the minds of everyone around her whether she wants to or not, but she can't transmit her own thoughts to people. Until episode 11, that is, when she manages to telepathically call for Manabe's help while the criminal who had been attacking high schoolers is trying to kill her.
  • The Naruto movies are big fans of this trope, as Naruto combines his Rasengan with some other form of power through unexplained or convoluted means to create a brand new version of the Rasengan to defeat the film's Big Bad.

    Comic Books 
  • In one of the last story arcs of Etrigan's title, Hell is being invaded by forces led by a powerful angel of war, who is tearing through Etrigan and his demons with ease. Etrigan eventually defeats him by finding a crown embodied with all the power of Hell and curbstomps him.
  • In the DC Our Worlds At War event, Superman temporarily merges with Kismet, the living embodiment of the universe, to help defeat Imperiex. Later he gains enough power by flying into the sun to stop War World.
  • During Marvel's Chaos War event, Thor is fighting an eldritch abomination named Glory, and losing, but manages to pull out the strength to win via a powerup from a woman who was praying to him.
  • The Hulk's "Worldbreaker" form basically counts as this.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In A Pony Out of Place, Flare Blitz, a Ponyta, evolves into a Rapidash during an important race, giving him a speed boost and access to unicorn magic, which comes in handy during his battle with Arceus.
  • The entire cast of Latias Journey at the end of the last battle.
  • Transcendence: Digital Curse. After spending most of the story cursed by the Chronodata and unable to digivolve, Agumon is finally able to use it to digivolve and fight off the unstoppably powerful Abyssgreymon in the climax.
  • In addition to Mario getting his required Eleventh Hour Superpower (crossover with the Paper Mario series, after all), all of the non-Mario characters in the Paper Mario X series also gain Eleventh Hour Superpowers:
    • Link gains the Master Sword, Malon and Zelda gain Light Arrows, and Ganondorf can turn into Ganon.
    • Eggman's machine gets upgraded and everyone else turns Super.
    • Kirby gains the Dragoon Rider and the Star Rod while Meta Knight gains Master.

    • Samus can use her Zero Laser.
  • Sonic turns into Super Sonic during the Final Boss fight of Sonic Generations: Friendship is Timeless, of course, but the Mane 6 also gain Super forms of their own.
  • In Pokémon: The Great Adventure, before they awoke, As's latent Aura Powers had the habit to kick in and take him out of a tight spot ... such as being cornered by a pack of angry Mankey.
  • In Revelations, Túrante gets a new power in chapter 29, just in time to save her allies. She uses the power to destroy some enemies and summon The Cavalry.
  • The Pony POV Series has an example during the Final Battle of the Wedding Arc: during Cadence and Queen Cadenza/Alicorn!Chrysalis, Chrysalis lets slip that alicorns have the abilities of all the tribes of ponies, including changeling Voluntary Shapeshifting. As such, Cadence is able to tap into this, beginning a Shapeshifter Showdown.
  • The Facing The Future Series gives us a new ghost form that gives Danny a massive power boost. However, it has two side effects as Danny not only loses control of his rage, but the energy generated by his new form could cause his form to burn out.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Tangled, it's revealed at the climax that Rapunzel's tears share the same regenerative power as her hair.
  • In The Incredibles, baby Jack-Jack is thought to not possess any superpowers, but when the Big Bad kidnaps him in the final climax, he is revealed to have many, including bursting into flame, becoming metal, turning into a super-strong demon, and more. The only foreshadowing is a series of increasingly panicked voicemails his mother gets from the babysitter (with context later provided in the short film Jack-Jack Attack).

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • The Deathly Hallows in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The hallows are a trio of relics that are not mentioned until halfway through the last book. The final battle hinges on their existence. However, this is still a downplayed example. Harry has possessed one of the three hallows since the first book: the cloak of invisibility. Meanwhile, the ring (another one of the Hallows) was revealed relatively early in the sixth book. And the power given by the Hallows ( the ability to accept death), while essential to Harry's triumph, is not used directly against Voldemort.
  • In the last book of Galaxy of Fear, it is revealed that like his sister Tash, Zak is Force-Sensitive. Which is odd, because it's well established that for her entire life, Tash has been a little strange and psychic. She's been having her undeveloped Force senses go off often as the kids have been in danger, a Force-ghost seeing both of them said he could only be perceived by a Force-Sensitive, and she's explicitly able to tell if she meets someone who can use the Force. Zak's never been shown with any of that.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: In the final act of the climax, Benji awakens his latent dragokin powers.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Grand Finale of Earth: Final Conflict has the heroes storming the Atavus ship that was recently discovered, which is full of thousands of Atavus warriors in stasis. Suddenly, Hubble Urick brings them a dozen energy Hand Cannons capable of killing an Atavus with one shot. Prior to that, only Renée's energy pistol could do that, and it took several shots, with normal guns having no effect. However, those are clearly prototypes, so they may not have been available before.

    Roleplay 
  • Destroy The Godmodder: Several, near the end of several arcs, players gained extra powers, making them significantly stronger, notably in the final fight of the first game, where almost everyone got them, twinbuilder used his recently gained reality-warping Fez to great effect.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted during Return of the Scarlet Empress, the Five Maidens will unlock the highest tier of Sidereal Charms if things get dire enough. Considering that the Ebon Dragon is marching his army to Heaven, things are indeed dire enough.

    Video Games 
  • The Dark Energy Gravity Gun in Half-Life 2 that appears in the penultimate level. Different only in that it's available for the last several levels instead of merely the final boss fight. It's also the only weapon you can use for these sections, requiring a bit of extra work; its range is still limited, but since it was rather good to begin with, and it now causes instant death of a bone-breaking, muscle-dislocating nature in all humanoid enemies (the only kind you'll face until the strider halfway through and the two gunships at the very end) and can rip bolted-down wall monitors with Breen on them ranting at you off the wall with a simple yank, this hardly matters. It is also very, very fun.
    • Episode 1 inverts this. It takes place directly after the events of Half-Life 2, and thus you get to use the Dark Energy Gravity Gun for the first few levels of the game. Then you lose it and go back to whacking zombies with bricks.
      • Word of God (the in-game commentary) explains that the developers made the specific decision to give the player all the weapons in reverse. You start with the Dark Energy Gravity Gun, then get the Rocket Launcher, and so on... until the last weapon you get: the crowbar.
    • Since Word of God says we won't ever see the Dark Energy Gravity Gun again, Episode 2 gave us the Magnusson Device, which is an instant kill if mounted on a Strider and detonated.
  • In Resistance 2, Hale defeats the Big Bad and absorbs his psychic powers, which reduce chimeras to chunky salsa. After a brief rampage, however, it turns out it wasn't probably wasn't for the best.
  • The very-definitely-final boss of Parasite Eve is impervious to everything you use on it — bullets, rockets, shotguns, ultimate techniques... and then the main character is given bullets laced with her own DNA, lethal to the creature's own cellular structure. The resumed boss fight takes less than a minute to complete.
    • Well, very nearly impervious. The boss still takes 1HP damage from every attack, so in theory it can be beaten. But, considering that the boss has about 3000 HP, and that the number of bullets/ordnance you can carry is limited, AND it can one-hit kill you...just use the damn special bullets.
  • Most of the Sonic the Hedgehog games from Sonic And Knuckles on end with a boss fight in Super Mode, though the ability was unlockable in normal gameplay as well up until Sonic Adventure, at which point it became a true Eleventh Hour Superpower.
    • Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic and the Black Knight did things slightly differently, giving you Darkspine Sonic and Excalibur-Sonic, respectively.
    • Averted in the Wii version of Sonic Colors, where the Nega-Wisp Armor is fought as normal Sonic and Super Sonic is once again unlockable for normal gameplay.
      • Played straight in the DS version, however. Collecting all the Chaos Emeralds just unlocks the True Final Boss, the Nega-Mother Wisp, which is once again a standard "use Super Sonic in space" level. Super Sonic doesn't carry over to the regular levels.
    • Generations has the final boss as both Super Sonics, and after that they are unlocked for use in normal stages, as an equippable skill that can only be used on its own.
  • Summon Night: Swordcraft Story and Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2 gives you the ultimate weapon before fighting the final boss.
  • Sly Cooper gains the ability to walk on laser beams mere moments before the final boss fight in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Doing the fusion with Nemesis for the fight against Apocalypse in Silver.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Dante's Sparda Devil Trigger in the first game.
    • To a lesser extent, the "Dark Slayer" Style in Devil May Cry 4, gained at the start of Dante's last mission. However, it is balanced against Dante's other styles, and isn't nearly as overpowered as most other examples.
    • The New Game+ element of the game results in you being able to permanently use it in all following playthroughs. Dark Slayer Style is actually an example of an ability that was obviously designed to be used with New Game Plus, as it is not particularly useful against Dante's final boss.
  • In Rune Factory 2, when you are near the end of the second generation, you gain a spellbook called "Dragon Break." This spellbook is only useful against the Final Boss. But, using it makes the final battle a Curb-Stomp Battle in your favor.
  • In Soul Calibur, Xianghua's mother's keepsake revealed itself to be the titular sword, which Xianghua would use to defeat Inferno. Gameplay and Story Segregation turns it into a subversion, as it isn't any better in battle than the Krita-Yuga was.
  • In the final battle of Gungrave: Overdose, your character is filled with so much rage that his appearance changes slightly (Beyond the Grave's eye glows completely white and his hair goes super-saiyan-ish, Rocketbilly suddenly becomes shirtless, and Jyuji wears Bunji's shades and the flame on his back turns blue). The demolition shot gauge then begins to regenerate and fill up on its own, which lets you use your D. Shots more frequently.
  • Happens to an extent in Knights of the Old Republic II, when after Kreia kills the Jedi Masters or talks to you after you kill them, you magically get either the dark side uberpower Force Crush or the Light Side uberpower Force Enlightenment, both of which are probably the best power for their respective alignments.
  • Throughout Little Nemo The Dream Master, your only weapons are thrown candy, which does no more than stun enemies, and whatever abilities are granted by the animals you charm. In the last level, Nightmare Land, however, you are given the Royal Scepter, which fires actual damaging projectiles.
  • Onimusha :
    • The powers granted by the five orbs in Onimusha 2, resulting in an Unexpected Gameplay Change into a third person shooter via turning the main character into a demonic equivalent of Mega Man.
    • In Dawn of Dreams, for one part of the final boss fight, Soki is given the Oni Gauntlet (which holds the soul and power of Nobunaga Oda), allowing him to transform into a huge, heavily-armored ogre warrior. He can fly and use both of his swords at once, as well as getting a new skill called "Ultimate Critical".
    • In the original game, if you've completed a very difficult side-quest, you'll later be rewarded with the Bishamon Sword. Its basic attack deals more damage than anything in your arsenal...save its magic attack, which can be used infinitely. You get to use it for all of one room before reaching the final boss.
  • For the final level in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, your awesome time-controlling dagger gets taken away, but you're given a sword that one-hit-kills any of the sand monsters, so fights generally go really fast. Then the sword gets taken away and the dagger is given back for the Final Boss fight (although the boss was human, so the sword probably wouldn't have worked on him anyway).
  • Resident Evil:
    • In the original Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2, and Resident Evil 4, you are thrown a rocket launcher with which you take out the final boss in the game. Meanwhile, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis ends with the player coincidentally finding the big boss in the same room as a giant stationary rail gun.
    • In 4, you CAN beat Saddler without the rocket launcher, though this is VERY difficult and a lot less fun. There are also less powerful rocket launchers available throughout the game, which will kill every other boss with one shot.
    • This trope is basically in every game. Including the Linear Launcher in Resident Evil: Code: Veronica.''
    • While it wasn't used on the final boss, the Kill Sat from Resident Evil 5 deserves a mention (imagine facing zombies with THAT).
    • Or Super Heroes.
    • In 6, at the end of Chris's campaign, Piers gets an actual superpower. His Emergency Transformation via C-Virus gives him Healing Factor and a Lightning Gun for an arm, but as it starts to affect his mind, he chooses to sacrifice himself in a supercharged attack that kills both him and the final boss. Also, Leon traditionally gets a rocket launcher to finish his final boss, and Ada steals a helicopter that makes her last level a lot more fun. Inverted with Jake, who gets in a Fisticuffs Boss fight with Ustanak.
  • Planescape: Torment:
    • The powerful "Symbol of Torment" is not available until the very final scenes of the game. Given the many ways available to deal with the final boss without fighting him, chances are good it never sees any use.
    • One of the Nameless One's normal abilities acquired at the beginning of the game is the ability to raise people from the dead, albeit with a lot of limitations. It doesn't come out until the very end that he can raise anyone from the dead. At will. Without cost.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • While some games partially avert this by making some legendary weapons available early on, they still qualify by not making The Hero's available until the final few chapters. In addition, most games in the series feature a super-powerful recruit who only joins for the final chapter. This character archetype is so common that it's got a nickname among the Fire Emblem community: the "Gotoh", after its first example. Others include Karel from Fire Emblem 6, Athos from Fire Emblem 7, and two Laguz kings and a third's top General from Fire Emblem 9.
    • Ragnell in Fire Emblem 9: Path of Radiance''. It's only usable for two-and-a-half chapters (out of more than thirty) in the entire game, but it's by far the best usable sword, being one of only two Unbreakable Weapons in the entire game, with good attack power and a ranged attack to boot. It allows the main character — who's arguably the best playable character in the game even with normal weapons — to rip through enemy hordes damn near single-handedly, and is the only equippable weapon that can damage the final boss. Ragnell goes to plot-defying lengths to conform to this trope. Ike presumably gets Ragnell much earlier in the storyline, but it doesn't appear in-game until the 3rd-to-last chapter. Even then, the sword waits until the end of that chapter to magically appear in Ike's inventory, at which point it becomes vital to use.
    • The sequel, Radiant Dawn, kicks this up another notch. In one of the last five chapters, you obtain Alondite, Ragnell's counterpart, except that any sword user can equip it. You also get every laguz king except Dheginsea before those final five chapters. Add to that that after 2 chapters you can make a weapon unbreakable for every character, you get a lot of these this game. On second playthrough, on you get Lehran; look at his stats — the cap in general is 40 and he has that in FIVE STATS to start. Granted, Lehran takes more work than any character ever in any Fire Emblem game to unlock, but he will make the fight easier.
    • Additionally, while it's only the Eleventh Hour Superpower of Part 1 (of four) only, you also get the Black Knight, who literally cannot be killed by any enemy units, but he still has a death speech.
    • A notable example is the titular "Sword Of Seals" in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, since it allowed you to dominate the remaining chapter (chapters if you had all of the other legendary weapons) with almost complete ease. The only real problem with it is that only the main character can use it. Which wouldn't be a problem normally (Roy's a pretty good character), but Roy doesn't class change until he gets the sword. What this means is that you're going up against basically level 36 enemies with someone at max level 21. Oh, that and the whole only 20 uses thing.
    • The Naga tome from Fire Emblem 4 also counts, as you get it nearly right before fighting the final boss, and it has 30 Might (though all holy weapons are that powerful) and adds a grand total of 80 points in stat bonuses (Most legendary weapons in 4 provide a total of 30 bonus stat points... while in other entries in the series, legendaries rarely provide over 5 bonus stat points) and negates the final boss's ability to halve attack power. It also summons a giant glowing dragon to attack.
  • Frequently used in the Metroid series.
    • In Super Metroid, the all-powerful Hyper Beam is granted to Samus halfway through the final boss battle for use there and during the Load-Bearing Boss escape sequence.
    • Metroid Fusion is unique in that the boss-killing superweapon is the Ice Beam, a series staple which is typically gained midway through the game.
    • In Metroid Prime, the Phazon Beam serves a similar purpose (your HUD even reads "Hyper Mode"). In fact, since Super Metroid, every game in the series has had an anti-final-boss weapon of this sort.
    • In Metroid: Zero Mission, the Fully Powered Suit is rewarded for beating the penultimate boss. By that point, very little game time is left unless you want to collect all expansions.
    • In Metroid Prime 2, Samus gets the Light Suit, which allows her to navigate Dark Aether unharmed (previously, the poisonous atmosphere of Dark Aether would make Samus take constant damage)and to travel across Aether through beams of light; however, she only gets this shortly before going to the Supervillain Lair.
    • In Metroid Prime: Pinball, the Force Ball is acquired at the start of the final boss fight.
    • Metroid Prime: Hunters features the Omega Cannon, which can later be unlocked for multiplayer (where it's an outright One-Hit Kill).
    • Metroid Prime 3 also put a twist on it by giving you access to the uber-weapon only a few hours in but limiting its usage; when the endgame hits, you lose access to all weapons but that one.Putting you in constant danger of death in the process.
    • In Metroid: Other M, the Power Bombs function as the ultimate boss-killing weapon. Too bad the game doesn't tell you they have been enabled. You keep them in the Playable Epilogue.
  • Dart's Divine Dragoon transformation and Rose's Dragon Buster sword in The Legend of Dragoon. Although you can backtrack through the last dungeon (but not out of it), you receive it literally just before the final boss.
  • Pandora's Box in the first God of War, and the Blade of Olympus in the sequel (although you could also use the Blade for a little while in the beginning of the game). Pandora's Box is interesting in that it doesn't actually make Kratos more powerful game-wise, but story-wise, it's what grants him the power to defeat Ares.
  • Kirby games love to give you a special power for the final boss. These include the Star Rod in Kirby's Adventure, the Rainbow Sword in Kirby's Dream Land 2, the Love-Love Stick in Kirby's Dream Land 3, the Crystal + Ribbon combo in Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards, the Master sword in Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, and the Triple Star in Kirby Squeak Squad. The latter two can be used in regular levels after beating the game (and, in the case of Triple Star, unlocking the ability room), and can take care of all otherwise ability-specific obstacles.
  • Sa Ga Frontier does this no less than three times — In Blue's game, after mastering magic after the battle with Rouge, finding T260's Omega Model body in the penultimate dungeon, and Red only gets learns Re-Al-Phoenix after he uses Al-Phoenix on The Dragon MBlackIII.
  • At the end of Star Trek: Elite Force, you encounter a recharge station that increases your health and ammunition to far beyond the previously imposed limits, just before the climactic battle.
  • Dirge of Cerberus has Vincent Valentine transform into Chaos and pull his ultimate weapon Death Penalty out of thin air for the final level.
  • Lost Planet: Extreme Condition gives you an incredibly agile, flight-capable Vital Suit very near the end of the game; prior only to a short corridor of enemies (to learn the controls) and the final boss. The suit controls so differently than any other that it might be considered an Unexpected Gameplay Change.
  • Zone of the Enders: the 2nd Runner has two of these. The first is Jehuty Version 2, gained just before the final dungeon, which is twice as strong as normal Jehuty. The second is Naked Jehuty, gained just before the final boss, which is ten times stronger than version 2 and can tear through former bosses like wet tissue paper.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2, Serph fuses with Sera into the superbeing Seraph, whose demon form has no weaknesses in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon (also a Point of No Return).
  • Done incredibly well in the game The Darkness. The final part of the game, an attack on the Big Bad's mansion, takes place during a solar eclipse which massively augments your darkness-based powers. Might not sound all that impressive until you actually see what you're capable of (which is mostly made up of cutscenes that showcase your newfound power). Darklings, goblin-like minions spawned in small numbers to help you out, are spawning of their own accord by the dozen and swarm all over the place. The Black Hole ability, which...well...creates small black holes, is powerful enough to rip walls to pieces and pull in enemies from dozens of metres away. The Darkness Shield, which protects you from attacks, is strong enough to withstand a minigun barrage from a helicopter gunship. The Demon Arm, a spiked tendril used to impale enemies and throw them about, is used by the protagonist to pluck said gunship out of the sky and smash it to pieces. The only ability that doesn't demonstrate any obvious increase in power is Creeping Dark, a wall-crawling demon head used to scout distant areas and attack from safety, but it still puts the fear of God into the mooks you're fighting to the point where one of them throws himself through an upper-story window to escape from it.
  • Either Li, Yuan, or Sammo from the Inheritance chapter of Live A Live, depending on who the Xin Shan Quan Master's Inheritor is, is granted one shot of their level 16 attack, Xuan Ya Lian Shan Quan, for the last boss battle of their chapter. This attack usually knocks off 1/3 to 1/2 of the boss' health. Since it's unlikely, verging on impossible for any of these characters to hit level 16 during their chapter, this counts as an Eleventh Hour Superpower. Of course, in the game's FINAL chapter, it's entirely possible, if not exceptionally easy, for these characters to hit level 16 and become gods of death, seeing as this is the only level 16 technique, save for Pogo's (which causes sizable stat debuffs on him after use), that fires off as soon as you select it.
  • Not a traditional game per se, but Avalon in Fate/stay night's "Fate" route works as such. Avalon is only returned to Saber before the final battle, who uses it when she was losing for a comeback victory (Shirou also Traces a copy, and does the same for his battle). Arguably, Unlimited Blade Works (in the route of the same name) and both the aptly-named Rule Breaker and Excalibur (in Heaven's Feel) also perform the same function.
  • In X-Men Legends II: The Rise of Apocalypse, you get to try out the powers of the Four long enough to trash Apocalypse's powering-up device (it's the only way to do it, and if you don't, Apocalypse simply revives there the instant you defeat him).
  • While this isn't really a solely end-game instance, it IS very late in the game and only available to one class. In Quest for Glory IV, as a Wizard, you get Erana's Staff (Erana, for those unfamiliar, was an extremely, EXTREMELY powerful magic user who, with her magic, managed to enchant no fewer than six different places as "Peaceful" areas, where no violence of any form can work. In QFG 3, you see a cheetah lounging near an antelope in one of these spots. Even after she died, her staff alone managed to generate spontaneous flora and the same peaceful-type area. Also, it was able to force lesser undead to stay away, and make greater undead REALLY uncomfortable near it.) After getting the staff, you can return to one of her enchanted places and face down the Faerie Queen. Doing this gives you access to the Resistance spell, which drastically reduces ALL magic damage done to you, and really costs nothing because of the staff itself being a veritable fountain of magic. So, this is actually TWO examples, the Staff and Resistance, which turns a Wizard into an engine of death (moreso than previously, at least.)
  • Drakengard has a strange example of this for its Final Boss fight. The Queen Mother of the Grotesqueries begins to sing once it arrives in Tokyo, of "light and dark, good and evil." The mission is to silence its song. To do this, you emit the song back at the monstrosity so that the two cancel each other out. While being deeply symbolic of the protagonist's embodiment of humanity as a whole, it is mind-bogglingly impossible to describe how this conflict would take place in any world other than that of Platonic Forms or similar realms of higher existence. The symbolism is the reality, which leaves one clawing out their own eyes wondering where the reality is.
  • In Age of Mythology, the ever-withholding Zeus finally hands down a blessing to Arkantos that makes him a demigod in, yes, the Final Boss scenario. Seems a lot more could have been accomplished by doing this earlier. Comes with free strange godly garb and echoey voice.
  • In God Hand, the player begins the game as Gene, having just had his dismembered arm replaced by the God Hand, an arm formerly belonging to a mythical fighter who originally defeated the Demon King Angra. Just before the player throws down against Angra himself, Azel, his rival, who possesses the aforementioned mythical warrior's other arm, dismembers himself and gives the extra arm to Gene before being possessed by Angra, enabling Gene to fight Angra with both of the original God Hands. During the fight, Angra will occasionally summon the demonform enemies that used to be full fledged minibosses in their own rights — you can now kill them with three moderately weak hits.) Finally, after that event, you learn (for the final fight only) the Double Shaolin technique. It's the most powerful attack in the entire game.
  • In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, you happen to be awarded the game world's ultimate weapon just before the final boss rush. This weapon isn't just extrememly powerful, but also makes you invincible, thereby turning what you'd think would be a tough climactic battle into a series of pretty mindless smackdowns.
    • This, in addition to the fact that there really aren't any boss fights in the game, just reinforces the idea that Lo K:SR2 is just a giant cut scene.
    • The Legacy of Kain games seem fond of this. Blood Omen 2 and Defiance both equipped you with the fully powered Soul Reaver for the end battle. It was, needless to say, utterly destructive.
      • Defiance actually does it twice.
      • Though the second time is meaningless in terms of gameplay: you only get to use it on the final boss. When used on regular enemies it only does normal damage (this is something that can only be achieved when in developer mode). It also renders you unable to open doors.
  • In Paper Mario, the Peach Beam, which you can't defeat Bowser without, is granted halfway through the final boss battle. What's more, the game doesn't allow you to keep playing after beating the boss, instead returning you to your last save point.
  • Don't forget about Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
    • Played straight with the Shadow Queen. Halfway through the battle, Mario's Crystal Stars go out to all over the world, and the various people they've met all give their support to him, causing the Shadow Queen to lose her invincibility.
  • In Mother (predecessor to EarthBound, known as Earthbound Zero by fans), the final boss is toppled by singing a song comprised of the 8 melodies collected during the game. The player receives the actual song prior to entering the final boss battle.
    • Earthbound's final boss was killed in a similar manner, where a character prays several times, using an ability that up to that point was almost useless. The only thing that prevents this from being a complete Guide Dang It is that Porky hints that you should use the command. Well, kind of...
    Porky: I know you have telepathy, or something. So just try and call for help, you pathetic so called heroes of justice!
    • The MASSIVE stat boost that Ness gets at the end of the Magicant level also counts as this.
    • MOTHER 3 has one too. You get PK Love Ω for pulling the sixth needle. There are seven needles.
  • In Secret of Mana, you didn't get access to the true power of the sword until you fight the final boss. One thing that was interesting is that the game leaves a gap in the spell lists of the Girl and Sprite and also doesn't allow you to upgrade to tier nine sword with the orbs, meaning that one could figure out something was going to happen if they stopped and thought about it a little (Dryad explicitly says that Thanatos sealed her magic).
    • Of course, using a glitch, the player is entirely able to get an extra orb for the sword and create the Mana Sword, which then becomes a Game Breaker in and of itself.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, after spending the entire game using stealth and the occasional small-arms shootout to make your way through the prison, the final level grants you access to a Giant, heavily armored walking tank.
  • In Halo 3's climactic (not) final confrontation for the fate of the galaxy, you're automatically given a Spartan Laser, which coincidentally is the only weapon capable of harming your opponent (while the weapon is occasionally available as a regular weapon earlier in the game, the fact you get it out of nowhere, absolutely must use it to win, and are even treated to a cutscene of your character being completely owned without it, seems to make it an Eleventh Hour Superpower).
    • It is one. If you kill Johnson, and take the Spartan Laser before entering the area, you can have two Spartan Lasers for the battle (the first will only have a charge for one shot), but only the one you get in that cutscene is effective. So, not only do you get a Spartan Laser out of nowhere, you get the only one (well, sort of...it isn't the same as the one you took from Johnson the first time when you killed him) which is effective.
      • Actually, there is an exploit where you can kill Johnson (with a headshot) and move his laser away from his body multiple times (he gets back up after a few seconds) before the final boss battle, allowing you to get the unlimited Spartan Laser outside of the control room. Spark becomes vulnerable (to any and only Spartan Lasers), but only AFTER Johnson blasts him away with HIS laser. Although it makes gameplay somewhat more slow-paced, if you leave one of them outside of the boss fight area, you can use the bottomless Laser as many times as you like. Since the Laser is just as powerful as a normal one, and since you get unlimited shots with it, a privilege the likes of which you never really get with any other weapon during the course of the campaign, it definitely counts as an Eleventh Hour Superpower.
  • Psychonauts' Eleventh Hour Superpower is a crackling field of psychic energy that allows you to grow to monstrous size, given to you by your father, who was secretly a psychic all along.
  • Condemned 2's Eleventh Hour Superpower is The Voice, which lets you explode the heads of your enemies along with disabling their brain-damage-causing emanations long enough for you to apply the beatdown.
  • In Aquaria, the Eleventh Hour Superpower was the character's final form, given just before the final boss: although, just as you were finally getting used to having a power that could kill nearly anything on screen, it was taken away after the first form of the final boss, until the LAST form, leaving you to have to figure out other methods for those in between.
    • Interesting in that you can stop the boss fight between the second and third forms and go off to do other stuff - but Celia apparently doesn't feel like stopping time anywhere else.
  • In the original Jak and Daxter, at the very tail end of the final battle with Gol and Maia's giant robot, all four benevolent forms of Eco combine to form Light Eco, the only substance that can completely negate the Dark Eco threatening to subsume the world. Once that happens, the entire remainder of the battle consists of simply getting to the stuff while the ground vanishes and the robot begins firing wildly at you and enemies attack from all directions. Since it seems to give you the abilities of all the other Eco combined and boosted, along with invincibility, the game just throws you into the end cutscene as the Curb Stomp Kill ensues. In short: once you grab it, you win.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Harbinger-possessed Collectors start dropping heavy weapon ammo in the final fight, which makes the whole thing massively easier.
  • The "anti-god" enhancements to your weapons in the Penny Arcade game On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 1. More or less justified since the characters specifically sought out something which would allow them to defeat a god, but this doesn't explain why your weapons were also ten times as powerful against ordinary mooks...
    • Would you want to be punched in the face with extremely concentrated urine? Or make raked in the face with the soul of the evil leader of a mime-ish cult? Rain-Slick Precipice takes plenty of Refuge in Audacity, but the second game runs things a little straighter, with a more gradual increase in weapon power. And then a giant doll shows up to viciously rape the end boss. Refuge in Audacity, Turned Up to Eleven.
  • The final boss of Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland sees Tingle use all the rupees he has collected in the game to power himself up so he can fly and shoot rupees. If all the rupee goods have been collected in the game, another power up will also be activated, boosting Tingle's stats and turning his suit pink.
  • Appears during the final battle against Cynder in the rebooted The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning videogame. You were given an immense purple fury which threw heads shaped like Spyro at your opponent until she fell down. Granted, it was pretty cool, and you weren't Immortal while using it.
  • At the end of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, you have to defeat the main enemy, Pious the Lich, as well as the dark god that the player chose at the beginning of the game while playing as Pious. You, as Alex Roivas, defeat them by summoning the dark god that directly opposes the one Pious summons. To summon it, you have to place the proper runes in a nine-rune "Circle of Power" which happens to be the largest circle in the game, in terms of having the most runes, in addition to spanning an entire city.
    • Another Eleventh Hour Superpower is essentially an Infinity+1 Sword that can only be obtained by collecting and placing various figures at certain chapters throughout the game. Alex Roivas collects it at the beginning of the final chapter. It's permanently enchanted, plus it can be thrown at enemies (making it an infinite-ammo ranged weapon, since it reappears in her hands shortly after).
  • In Final Fantasy VII, if by the very last battle you don't have the Limit Break Omnislash yet, you automatically get it, and it's the only command available. Unless you select 'Defend' or just sit there not choosing anything - then Sephiroth hits Cloud once, and Cloud counterattacks once, and the final cut scene plays as normal.
    • Perhaps the coolest part about that battle is that, using the in-game explanation of Limit Break being the result of increasing anger, Cloud's limit break gauge slowly increases during the intro to the battle, showing him getting angrier and angrier until he devastates with Omni-Slash.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 has the High-Frequency Blade, a katana-like blade that slices enemies up and can even block bullets. The catch? You don't get it until almost at the end of the game, when Solid Snake gives Raiden his clothes back and also gives him the HF Blade, and it's only useful during the battle in the infamous FISSION MAILED chamber and in the very final battle with Solidus Snake.
  • Trauma Center has a strange one. At the end of the final operation, your 'Healing Touch' (which seemingly slows down time) automatically activates, as it has in operations before. The twist? If you haven't used it yet, you can use your use-anytime HT as well on top of the scripted one, and stop time, which indicates that Derek is activating the healing touch with both hands. This is the only way to win.
    • In the sequel, New Blood, your time-slow Healing Touch gets upgraded to stop time in the last part of the final operation (where it is again needed to win). This is not explained. Or mentioned. Or even noticeable most of the time, since the final boss spends most of the window you have to activate it standing still. But it happens.
  • In the final level of Crysis, your suit gains the (plot-dependent) ability to short out the alien drones, and you get a nuclear grenade launcher, both expressly for the purpose of taking down the final boss. You're not even allowed to use the cannon on anything else. It is available in Multi-player as a Doomsday Weapon, though.
    • The Expansion Pack Crysis Warhead lets you grab an absolutely overpowered plasma rifle that can one shot a heavy tank, something nothing else can do except the demo charges. However, it's not required to kill the final boss (since the thing is vulnerable to other weapons), but it makes killing it both easier (because of its ridiculously high firepower) and harder (very limited range, it's not a sniper rifle), as well as extremely fun.
      • It will also compel you to shout Get some! as you rip through the enemies you've been running from for hours. This will cause confusion for those in the adjacent room.
    • In Crysis 2, the last 3 levels have most of the MIKE maser guns found in the game, which is good news considering the fact that every alien in Manhattan is out to get you as you're heading straight for their HQ. The suit also gains the ability to re-purpose their supervirus into a weapon against them, which is how you win.
  • The expansion pack Sin: Wages of Sin similarly gave you a nuclear rocket launcher at the end of the game, although you were free to use it on anything you wanted (but you were probably better off saving it for the final boss).
  • The final level of Unreal II: The Awakening gave you a gun that shoots black holes, which pretty much suck up and kill any enemy they even come close to. This weapon is the only thing that can kill the game's final boss monsters (whom it dispatches in one shot), but they're also armed with one, and can do the same to you. This weapon is so overpowered that a hit from an enemy will kill you even if you have god mode turned on.
    • The kicker is that you first have to kill one of those creatures with only your regular weapons, while IT is armed with THE black hole gun you're going to be using the rest of the level.
  • In Persona 3, during the final confrontation, the Main Character draws power from all the people he's helped throughout the game, giving him the power of the Universe Arcana. Then the other team members give their encouragement, powering up a final attack that saves the day. And takes his life.
  • Final Fantasy VIII: You can draw a magic called Apocalypse from the final boss's final form. This magic isn't available anywhere else in the game (hence you can't Junction it; hacking it shows that it works better than practically anything) but can be used for some major damage, as it's one of the only abilities which goes above the normal damage limit of 9999.
  • Chrono Cross: The eponymous "Chrono Cross" is actually an optional Element you can only get near the end of the game. Although it does refill your used Elements under certain circumstances, its main use is to get the good ending when used against the final boss, which also completely bypasses the final boss fight.
    • It's also used in a special spot to combine party members from other saves.
  • Kingdom of Loathing: The final part of the final boss needs a special object in your inventory, the Wand of Nagamar. It takes the boss's powerful spells, and changes the way they work by turning them into anagrams. When you get this far, you can't lose.
    • It should be noted that the Wand of Nagamar (Nagamar is an anagram of... well, Anagram, for those who hadn't figured it out yet) is practically useless outside of that particular fight due to its abysmal power; a mere 40 out of a possible 200. This can actually make it hard for non-combat classes such as the Sauceror and Pastamancer to progress in the initial two stages of the boss fight due to having to rely on their spells — which may not always work — and having no real melee power as backup with which to finish off the stages.
    • This has been changed, though — now you don't have to actually equip the wand, you just have to have it in your inventory.
    • Facing your Nemesis' final form turns your Legendary Epic Weapon (which by this time is obsolete) into your Ultimate Legendary Epic Weapon, with its own Ultimate Special Attack. It's only 11th Hour in terms of that questline, though — defeating the Nemesis leaves you with the weapon and special attack, both of which are gamebreakers for the remainder of the main questline.
  • Mega Man X 5 hides the Ultimate Armor for X and Black Armor for Zero in a wide pit in the third fortress stage, although you can technically start with them by using built-in cheat codes at the character select.
    • The first Mega Man X has Zero give you his Arm Cannon in the final stage, which upgrades your blaster significantly. Of course, experienced players will be well aware that you can find this upgrade (and several others) much earlier, but it's nice that the game gives you a freebie if you didn't find it before.
    • In X3, you can get the golden armor (upgrading all your armor parts at once) and Zero's saber near the end of the game.
    • In Rockman 4 Minus Infinity, if you find yourself losing the final battle against the Petit Robot Masters, Proto Man comes in to give you the Wily Buster and refill all your health. The Wily Buster shoots charged shots instantly and reduces all damage taken from the bosses.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network, Mega Man.EXE gets a special update just after losing to The Dragon in the end, making it possible to win. Technically, you probably could win without it, though.
  • In Tomb Raider Legend, you get Excalibur in Nepal. It's used only to break open a door to leave and to fight Amanda and the unknown creature.
    • In Underworld, you acquire Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, several levels before the end, and get to use it to wreak godlike havoc on enemies, be they simple gun-toting humans, sharks in water(!), or the various thralls emerging from the depths of Nifleheim, before ultimately planting it into the Big Bad's backside.
  • In Homeworld: Cataclysm, the manual says something easily forgettable about your fighter designs (which were traded to you) having their original weaponry replaced by standard guns, as the designs didn't work. In the last mission, you get the corrected plans — and find out that your standard fighters now use ion cannons, which are usually mounted on capital ships.
  • In SaGa 3, the only way to actually damage Xagor is to have the 4 Mystic Swords; magic helps, but the swords are the only weapons that will actually deal physical damage to him.
  • The World Ends with You has a strange example of this occurring mid-game. Joshua gains a powered-up attack at the very end of the fifth day of his week. You get two days with his powered up form. This sounds longer than it is - a "day" is essentially a "chapter" in the game, and the final two days are relatively short and constrained to a relatively small area. After they're up, Joshua and his superpowered form leave until after you complete the game.
    • There is another, straight version of this trope applied during the final boss battle. During this battle, you're forced to fight alone. However, at regular intervals throughout the fight, an Action Command will appear on the top of the screen, healing you and boosting your attack power. Once you get the boss's health low enough, a gigantic Fusion Pin appears on the screen, allowing you to use your Fusion Attack with all three partners at once. While this "Quad Fusion Attack" merely serves as a flashy ending, it does reinforce the whole Power of Friendship theme.
  • The final level of Gears of War 2 puts you in the pilot seat of a 40-foot tall Brumak, bustling with machine guns and rocket launchers. Suffice it to say, from that point on everything that gets in your way dies really quickly.
  • Both Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia have a Phoenix-based projectile, only unlocked in the last area, and the only way to damage the final boss. However, Soul Blazer does unlock it in the middle of the last zone, and you can leave and use it in previous areas.
  • The last mission of Hostile Waters gives you the Vulture, a quick, cheap, heavily armed air unit. Unfortunately, it is utterly useless in that particular mission.
  • At the end of Chelsea's part in Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils, Chelsea fights Dechronos's second form. The player then starts playing as Bunny wearing a new gold bunny suit, which makes her automatically parry any attack and gives an ability to throw big fragging swords.
    • Justified in that Bunny was body-jacked by Dechronos just moments before said Hopeless Boss Fight, as Bunny only has the gold suit in the battle against her and this final battle - and nowhere else in the game. Dechronos really should have known better than to use for his mortal vessel (however temporary) a character who is aware of him and had every intent to shut him down.
  • In the strategy game Warhammer: Mark of Chaos and its novelization, both playable sides get this: The chaos champion transforms into a Daemon Prince after obtaining the MacGuffin while the Empire protagonist is given back his family's title of Elector Count, which carries with it access to a cool rune sword and the imperial menagerie containing a rideable griffon. In the game, the placement of both are more Sword of Plot Advancement with a full chapter remaining, while the novel had them used only for the last battle (especially the griffon).
  • Before the final mission of Superhero League of Hoboken, Toastbuster and Zaniac join the party. Toastbuster has the highest Brawn in the game, and Zaniac comes with the insanely powerful Power of Confusion.
  • In the final mission of Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, you are given the Vatonage Styler, which allows you to befriend any Pokémon, even if it has been hypnotized by Gigaremo Units. This is an Eleventh Hour Superpower because there are no Gigaremo Units in the game after this mission is completed. Also, you cannot even damage the final boss (Darkrai, implied to be the King of Almia reincarnated) until said Vatonage Styler is further upgraded by fusing with the Tears of the Princes. There is no use for this gem power outside of the final boss fight, so enjoy the pretty animation while you can.
  • There are many boss fights and quest-related events in World of Warcraft that give your character a temporary (and occasionally massive) increase in power, which is generally required to overcome the challenge in question. Specific examples:
    • One of the earliest examples occurs in Blackwing Lair with Vaelastrasz, a corrupted, fully-grown red dragon capable of wiping the floor with you and your friends. Fortunately, he wants to be killed and so gives the raid a buff that enables everyone to go crazy with maximum damage output for three minutes.
    • Kael'thas in Tempest keep (not to be confused with his weakened Magister's Terrace version) also does this — the fight begins with him sending his four advisers at you one at a time. After killing them, their weapons spring to life, and killing them allows the entire raid to loot them to temporarily use as Infinity Plus One Swords, which are necessary in order to handle fighting all four of the aforementioned advisers at once and kill them before Kael'thas himself finally decides to start attacking you. The weapons in question fade after 15 minutes or when you leave the zone, but after the dungeon was changed to not require killing the first three bosses in order to fight Kael, a bored guild took these weapons to one of the earlier bosses and beat her down in record time.
    • Kil'jaeden in Sunwell Plateau is another example — at certain points in the fight, some of your characters can turn into dragons which can shield your group from his ultimate attack and breathe on them to drastically increase their attack and casting speed or regenerate large amounts of their health and mana.
    • Towards the end of the Death Knight starting quest chain, when you are taking part in the assault on Light's Hope Chapel, your character is given higher health and damage output (among other things) in order to compete with the Elite mob enemies at the Chapel.
      • Likewise when you have to defeat Patchwerk back in Acherus almost immediately afterwards.
    • Much the same thing occurred during the now unavailable Battle for the Undercity quest — if you were an Alliance player, you got to be escorted by Varian Wrynn, while if you were with the Horde, you got to run with Thrall — in either case, you got a HUGE buff to your health, damage, and healing that turned you into an unstoppable one man army.
    • The Ulduar raid dungeon features some bosses whose mechanics involve powering up the raid. The first is Hodir, a frost giant whose room comes prestocked with frozen allies that you can thaw out to get some nice buffs, which are necessary for most groups to kill him within the time limit. It's taken to the ultimate conclusion in the Final Boss fight with Yogg-Saron, in which you can choose to be assisted by any or all of the four bosses you freed from its Mind Control earlier. They buff the raid's health, damage, healing, and damage resistance; however, you will gain more loot and bragging rights for killing him with the help of fewer Keepers. "One light in the darkness" indeed.
    • At the end of the final boss encounter in Throne of the Tides, Neptulon buffs the party with PURE WATER, giving ridiculously high health and power to everyone, which you need in order to defeat the kraken Ozumat.
    • Other times, you are simply given control of a powerful vehicle, drake or other things that are much more powerful than your character would usually be at that level. Though in those cases, if you were to go back for a daily quest or something one expansion later, you'd most likely be more powerful on your own than these, if there is a choice.
  • Similarly, each class has a special skill available for the fight against Shiro Tagachi, final boss of Guild Wars: Factions. The skill temporarily replaces one of your other 8 skills, is lost when you enter a town or outpost, and is very good. Also, you're gonna need it.
  • In Crystalis, only seconds before the final boss do you merge your elemental swords together into the eponymous blade, which, amongst having the attack power needed to defeat the final boss, also allows you to shoot out giant orbs of power at any time, essentially turning the final boss into a shoot-em-up game.
  • The first two Valkyrie Profile games do this. In the first's best ending, Lenneth is the only one who can do any significant damage to the Final Boss because she creates the sword Glance Reviver before the fight. This also gives her access to the full version of her Limit Break. In Silmeria, this happens when all three Valkyries and Alicia merge into one being, The Valkyrie, essentially a full-blown goddess, and again, only she can do any significant damage to the final boss, though there is apparently a hidden scene only shown if you slog through the battle without her.
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles does this with Ultracite. Only available during the very final boss, automatically casts Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, Curaga, or a brief period of Invincibility.
  • In Vay, right before you head to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, all of the elemental orbs combine with the pieces of Vay Armor you've found to allow it to be used to its full potential. It's the only weapon capable of dealing significant damage to the Final Boss (as even PJ's Megablast and Inferno spells will barely scratch him), and reduces all magical damage against the hero to 25%. Simply put, if he gets killed at any point during the battle and you don't have a Phoenix Heart or Lifestone handy, consider yourself boned.
  • Unusually for the genre, the shmup RefleX has one in the final two stages: when fighting the ZODIAC Virgo, a Humongous Mecha that has been totally owning everything else in the game up to this point, your ship is destroyed when hit with More Dakka than its shields and armor can handle. Then it is revealed that your ship is in fact powered by a ZODIAC core itself (ZODIAC Ophiuchus, to be precise), and it suddenly gains glowing wing things and a reflection shield with infinite power. The rest of the fight is you owning the Virgo, as only one of its super-powered attacks can even harm you now (so long as you keep the shield up). You keep this upgrade when fighting ZODIAC Libra and two Kamui fighters in the Very Definitely Final Stage.
    • Sadly, it does have a vicious twist. The No-Holds-Barred Beatdown delivered by the boss kills the pilot, and when she is dead the ship's AI (aka ZODIAC Ophiuchus) kicks in and activates the ship's full power.
  • Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg gives you the ''Light Ball' (which apprently stems from the Courage Emblems you've been collecting), and allows Billy to turn the Shadow Balls that Dark Raven shoots at him into 'Light Balls', which can be used like regular eggs, and is the only thing that can make Dark Raven vulnerable to damage.
  • City of Villains has one for each character class in the Barracuda Strike Force. The 5th Column's leader, Reichsman, is completely and utterly invincible thanks to the effects of a machine that takes energy from others and siphons it into him. The heroes defeat him in the Dr. Kahn Task Force by making a gun to nullify the effects of the machine. The villains instead round up the four Arachnos Patrons by lying to Lord Recluse, throw them in there, and siphon the power of the Patrons themselves into the team so they can stand against and strike down Reichsman. In addition to defense and damage buffs, Brutes gain an immunity to the effect that causes Reichsman to be near lethal in close-quarters combat, Corruptors get the ability to summon devils, Dominators get the ability to keep the entire room bar the team and Reichsman still, Stalkers get access to the swith that kills all of Reichsman's minions, and Masterminds can switch off Reichsman's invincibility. If you lack any of them, you're in for a tough fight.
  • In Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, Aqua gets the game's best Keyblade in the Final Episode, the semi-hidden true conclusion to the game's storyline. It also forces you to use it in the secret episode added in the final mix version.
    • Plus, for the final battle of the prologue section of Kingdom Hearts II, Roxas gets to dual wield keyblades for the final showdown with Axel. It plays like Sora's drive version, except there isn't a gauge, so it's basically unlimited.
    • Also in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, on the 358th day, Roxas gains the ability to wield two keyblades at once. Shame it's only for a few screens.
      • In fact, you can't even use it on the final boss, due to Roxas giving said boss one of his keyblades before the battle!
  • The second half of Nox is completely dedicated to assembling the ultra-powerful Staff of Oblivion, and yet you only get to use it against Hecubah and a few Mooks.
    • Ironically, although the Staff does effortlessly vacuum up Hecubah's mooks, it's actually only modestly effective against her (despite the whole point of assembling it being to have a weapon capable of defeating her). Instead, its best use seems to be stunning her for a second so you can hit her with a heavy spell like Fireball or Fist of Vengeance.
  • In the last level of BioShock 2, you get the final plasmid, which is rightfully described as "It's Bring Your Daughter to Work Day". You're the strongest and most powerful thing in all of Rapture, and Eleanor is just like Daddy. Together, you can just plow through about everything the city has to throw at you.
  • In Star Control 2, you receive a fleet of ridiculously powerful battleships free of charge just before you venture into the final battle.
    • On the flip side, your main ship — which you can build into an even more ridiculously powerful badass of a ship before that point — gets neutered into near uselessness at the same time. Considering that the main ship, when fully specialized for combat, is more powerful than all twelve of your other ships put together, this is actually a downgrade if you ignore the one-shot plot weapon added to the main ship.
      • Contrary to general opinion, it is possible to unlock Chmmr Avatar ships before the final ship refit. And they will be sold for money, and not for free. On the other hand, the last leg of the plot consists of a grand total of a single run through hostile territory (where it's entirely possible to avoid anyone and everyone - as your movement isn't impaired), and a grand total of two battles (one of which is basically autocombat with 6 Chmmr Avatars, and the second one is a cakewalk by Pkunk Fury).
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Battle of Aces, Reinforce's Final Boss fight against Material-D is greatly simplified by Hayate acting as a unison device for her (!), giving her all 18 Power Ups in the game.
  • In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, the Arcade Mode's final battle is against Hazama/Terumi. As Ragna, you get Blood Kain always-on without its life-loss effects.
    • Ragna's Azure Grimoire (the source of said powerup) in general. It's permanently grafted into his arm, but he seldom uses it. It's seen in action only in the aforementioned Terumi battle, his final battle with Unlimited Hakumen and Nu in Calamity Trigger's true ending, and as a probably non-canon Bonus Boss in Calamity Trigger arcade mode. Why he dislikes using it is yet to be revealed.
      • CS's story mode reveals why: Ragna's Grimoire is actually what's left of the Black Beast. In his Bad Ending, its power consumes Ragna and turns him into another Black Beast that has to be put down by Jubei and Rachel.
  • In SaGa 2, aka Final Fantasy Legend 2, your world's Crystal Dragon Jesus joins your party for the final dungeon. Her stats are completely maxed out and she's got the best attacks in the game. However, she leaves just before you fight the (very tough) final boss.
    • To be fair, she leaves you to go fight an exact clone of the final boss all by herself.
  • If you get a new mecha in the last few stages of a Super Robot Wars game, expect it to be a total gamebreaker. Here are a few: the Nirvash Spec 3 from the last stage of SRW Z, Alfimi in Impact and in OG 2, and in the good ending of Alpha 3, you get reinforcements on the last stage in the form of the Nashim Gun Eden, the final boss of Alpha 2, WITH HER FINAL BOSS STATS INTACT. It's pretty much impossible for her to be killed because of that massive HP bar, but you only get her after the final boss is around half dead.
    • At the second-to-last stage of OG Gaiden, Raul rescues his companions, who board the Excellence Lightning. And start acting as subpilots for the Lightning. It carries over into the final stage as well. Well-upgraded, Raul can practically solo the last two stages after this event.
    • Alpha Gaiden offers Sanger Zonvolt in his Thrudgelmir; although it is downgraded from his self, it's pretty much the best unit in the game. It has high HP and Armor, not so bad mobility (which isn't really needed), a nice set of weapons, and EN and HP regeneration L, making it pretty much unkillable. Considering the game is pretty Nintendo Hard, it isn't enough to solo the remaining stages alone, but getting him makes the True Final Boss fight against Shu Shirakawa MUCH more easier.
    • In Dark Prison where Shu Shirakawa is the headlining protagonist, him acquiring the Neo Granzon is treated as an Eleventh Hour Superpower as he first has access to it after conning Shiva Volkruss, who surprisingly is just a Disc One Final Boss as you still have 7 more stages to go and at the final stage of the game. He doesn't use it during the other stages because he treats it as his trump card.
  • In Indigo Prophecy, Lucas Kane gains implausible martial arts skills just as he's being held up by several police officers. Granted, this happens at a point that's equivalent to the Disc One Final Dungeon.
  • Sudeki does this too. After collecting the people of your own realm and their darkness counterparts, you set our for the final boss battle. Before engaging him, each of the characters fuse with their darkness counterparts to become complete and overly powerful, but you only get to play one full character out of the remaining four. The others are parted by a barrier.
  • In Final Fantasy X, after beating the final forms of Braska's Final Aeon (Jecht), another series of battles starts up to eventually show the True Final Boss. Because the Fayth as a whole want this to happen, they aid you by giving your characters a permanent Auto-Life - the only way to die is to suicide by stoning.
  • In Wild Arms 2, the protagonist's Super Mode is powered by a demon sealed away hundreds of years ago combined with the holy sword used to seal it away. The final battle occurs after the demon breaks free, leaving only the sword that the protagonist was unable to draw at the beginning of the game. One "World of Cardboard" Speech later, he's blasting the demon with Combined Energy Attacks in his new "Hero of the Sword" form while the rest of humanity makes speeches about not leaving him to fight alone.
  • In Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour, the title character gets one in the form of a sword called "the Power of Understanding", after realising that he and the Big Bad Gideon are Not So Different. Natural, due to the heavy video game influences.
    • Not just that, but in the video game adaptation, you get the obscenely-powerful Power of Love Sword in the final stage of the game, and you only have it for fighting the penultimate boss. Luckilly, there's a cheat code that allows you to use it throughout the entire game.
  • In Wing Commander: Privateer, as you're headed towards an ambush planned by the navy for the Steltek drone that was following you the whole game, a Steltek ship appears and offers to upgrade the (already super-powerful) Steltek gun you've found earlier. You can decline, but it's unwise, since the upgrade is the only thing capable of even making a dent in the drone's shields.
  • In the Wii version of A Boy and His Blob, you get the Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha jellybean right after Blob is brought back to life via the boy's Swiss Army Tears. Because you can easily trample over all enemies with it, you only use it in the last two levels.
  • In Fine Structure, Ching absorbs the power of the Big Good just in time for the Final Battle with the Big Bad.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, you gain the ability to call upon reinforcements during the siege of Denerim. It helps even the odds in the Final Battle, since the Final Boss is summoning its own reinforcements too. In Awakening, you can activate Tevinter Towers in the final dungeon that will grant you several one shot combat abilities such as mass healing, mass stun, and a damaging fire blast that are only available during the Final Battle. Siding with the Architect will also grant you an even more powerful fire attack aptly named "Cataclysm".
  • In the sixth scenario of Radical Dreamers, a previously found jewel enables Serge to summon a giant to fight against Lynx's giant mecha.
  • Just before the Final Boss of Bionic Commando: Rearmed, you get the Bazooka upgrade, which allows you to freely control its shots. However, you can keep playing after beating the game and use this weapon everywhere else.
  • In Purple, you get Final Frisbee right before you fight the final boss's enlargened form.
  • In Fable I, you get an Infinity+1 Sword - two variations with the different flavor but same function depending on alignment - at the end of the core story. It is pretty much guaranteed to be your main weapon throughout the short and brutal Lost Chapters.
  • In Rogue Galaxy, the main character Jaster gets a glowy power aura of strength and a BFS with infinite reach to defeat the final form of the True Final Boss.
    • He also gets this with his fight with Seed and another person in the desert town, only minus the BFS.
  • In Everquest II, this trope is in full force in the Vasty Deep: The Vestigal Cella zone. The boss of the zone can summon her elite guard, who can one-shot most people. If you burn her slowly, though, a dragon who you fought before will fly in and imbue you with the power of the seas, massively increasing your health and your damage to fight off the elite guard.
  • Might and Magic VII gives you blaster guns for your final two missions, the latter of which will upgrade you to BFGs. It's a considerable upgrade from the swords, daggers, and staves you'd been using up to that point.
    • VI does something similar (the third mission from the end is all about getting blasters, but the second-to-last mission is non-combat and rather short), with the addition that blasters are actually necessary to win the game, rather than just very, very useful. Of course, in both games, you might want to go off and get a few more levels (for the skill points necessary to get better at hitting with your new 'superpower') before continuing with the main story, and it is entirely possible to have much of the game left after getting the blasters (the games do not end after the main quest does, and there are plenty of side-quests).
  • Fallout 3 has the Tesla Cannon from the Broken Steel DLC, an incredibly powerful shoulder-fired electric cannon that uses only one Electron Charge Pack, one of the most common ammo types, per shot. The earliest you can obtain it is at the final battle against the Enclave at Adams Air Force Base. Where it will be incredibly useful, given the insane number of Power Armor-wearing Enclave personnel there. And unlike "Take It Back!" from the core game, you have to fight them by yourself, with no Liberty Prime or Lyons' Pride backing you up.
    • Speaking of Liberty Prime...
    • Likewise on of the more powerful armors in the game, the Tesla armor is only found after you are kidnapped by the Enclave, who also tend to carry high end and hard to find guns.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion inverts this: Martin who is the only one who can fix the Oblivion Crisis has spent the whole game tagged as Quest-Essential, meaning he can't be killed. In the last two main quests (the Great Gate and the Seige on the Imperial City) he looses that tag meaning he can be killed, which gives you a game over. And seeing as friendly NPC's tend to have suicidal tactics...
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the other hand gives you a shout called Dragon Rend that makes dragon killing a LOT easier and is received towards the end of the main quest line. Bonus points as you often find or are taught shouts throughout the main quest line and receive Dragon Rend because you are trying to find out how Alduin was beaten last time.
  • Secret of Evermore has the Energize power, granted via Call Bead near the end of the game: It allows the use of Charged Attacks instantly, meaning your robot dog can rather effortlessly Beam Spam the final bosses to death. It's not very beneficial to the player character, due to his ultimate weapon of a bazooka lacking a charged attack (though it doesn't need it).
  • In Iji, the Massacre, which is obtained after completing a successful pacifist run.
  • inFAMOUS: the final karmic choice, just before the final boss has you decide to activate or destroy the Raysphere. Destroying it sets your karma to maximum whereas activating it sets your karma so low it will never rise, gives you an extra 6 health slots and gives you a damage boost and cool colour change
    • inFAMOUS 2 has this in the second-to-last story mission. A thunderstorm moves in when the mission begins, allowing Cole to draw power from the storm itself, allowing the player to recharge anywhere.
    • inFAMOUS: Second Son plays with the trope: Delsin finally gets the Concrete power... at its lowest strength, and can't change it to one of his better powersets. Luckily, Eugene brings in Core Relays to power it up.
  • Played straight and averted in the Deus Ex series:
    • Highly averted in the original game, as most of the high-damage weapons can be obtained early on. The rocket launcher (GEP Gun) can be received in the first level. The plasma gun is obtained roughly a third of the way through the game (in a military base). The best melee weapon is found roughly halfway through the game. The only problem is finding the space to store all of them.
    • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the Plasma Rifle is only received after fighting the second-to-last boss.
      • At which point there's an Unexpected Gameplay Change, and the weapon becomes almost useless, since you don't really have any heavy enemies to fight (just a bunch of freaked out civvies who rush you). It may become useful again when facing the Final Boss, though.
  • In Si N, the experimental fusion pulse rifle can only be obtained three levels from the endgame, and requires the assembly of several different pieces (the first of which is obtained very early in the game). Somewhat toyed with; while it is a deadly weapon in its own right, and is capable of killing most enemies from that point on with a couple shots, it won't do much good against the final boss.
  • The battering ram from Bastion, although due to its limited range and slow attack speed, you might wish you could just use your normal weapons instead.
  • Demon's Souls, of all possible games, gives you this in the Shrine of Storms, to avoid forcing an effective game restart for any melee-focused character. Against the Storm Ruler, the final boss of this world, make a dash for the abandoned Stormruler sword, and you'll be throwing Razor Wind around like so much candy. It's strong enough to be superior to the innate damage potential of most ranged or magical characters, making it a weapon of choice for them as well, and to avoid balance issues, it loses most of its power outside of the Storm Ruler's domain. Not, of course, that an Infinity+1 Sword will make this boss easy... it's still not that kind of game.
    • No, what makes this boss a joke is the safe spot behind the ruined house which protects you from his one, telegraphed attack.
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia gives you a glyph that allows unlimited flight... halfway through the final area. To be fair, you can use it in one of the bonus dungeons. The one that's entirely focused on combat.
  • Warhammer Online has the Lost Vale, one of the hardest PVE raid areas in the game. The final boss, N'Kari, is a terror - but this is offset by colored orbs floating in the arena that increase your DPS, healing, or hitpoints to crazy levels for a short time. Just make sure they pick up the right ones - having your ranged attackers gain a truckload of hitpoints, your healers get a buff to damage dealing, and your tanks become very good at healing is not good.
  • Asura's Wrath has two. The first one is at the end of Act 2 Episode 12, where Asura turns into Berserker Asura, where he gains massive Glowing arms and can shoot down an entire space fleet with no effort, and it's never used again afterwards. The second time happens in act 3, Episode 18, and it is a really extreme example of this trope, Asura gets powered up by Mithra's prayer combined with her mother's guidance. He gains not 4, not 6, but OVER 1000 pairs of arms that fuse into humongous gauntlets for the final battle.
    • Humongous gauntlets with rocket-boosters in the elbows (or at least that's what the effects look like).
    • What makes this even more ridiculous is that it's hinted that his six-armed form was originally this at the beginning of the game, as Asura never was able to use this form in any of the flashback episodes that had him fighting. This makes all the examples really extreme, because it implies he'll eventually regain the ability to use all of the power-ups by sheer ANGER alone!
    • An even better example of this is Destructor Asura.
  • It's not in the last level, but the RCP-120 comes at just the right moment in the hardest level in the game for Joanna Dark to grab it, activate the Invisibility Cloak, and sneak past a dozen guards to defuse a bomb before it destroys the Institute.
  • In MS Saga: A New Dawn, it's both the Nu Gundam and the Sazabi.
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood plays with this trope. You get the Apple of Eden, basically the tool of God, late in the game. Besides counterkilling, which only kills one person at a time, it also has a special attack in the form of an Instant Death Radius and a wider, second radius that makes those within kill each other or kneel before you. With the Apple, you destroy the armies of main villain Cesare Borgia and get him arrested for his crimes. It is subverted, however, when you have to fight and kill him in a classic swordfight in the very last level.
    • In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, the final Altair level has a 93-year old Altair use the Apple of Eden to fight the Mongol Horde sacking Masyaf. Unlike Ezio, the Apple is not Cast from Hit Points. Also, near the end of the game, Ezio leads the Assassins on an all-out assault upon the Arsenal. During the assault, he has infinite Assassin Signals, meaning that he can call upon assassins to rain down arrows as many times as he wants.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, you are given the Three Sacred Treasures to use in Chapter 9 and the ensuing fight against Medusa. Subverted, however, since Medusa is far from the final boss, and Hades, the real villain, outright destroys the Three Sacred Treasures when Pit tries to use them against him. This is followed by Pit obtaining the Great Sacred Treasure, a giant, all-powerful mech suit. However, Hades inflicts more and more damage to it throughout the battle, causing it to change into smaller and smaller forms; he outright destroys the Great Sacred Treasure near the battle's end, and (after some timely and completely unexpected assistance from Medusa) you are forced to use the G.S.T's cannon to charge up the final strike that decimates Hades' body, defeating him.
  • In Duel Savior Destiny, this happens multiple times by use of differing forms of various characters, but the most obvious of these is the one that takes place right before the final boss, where Taiga transforms into Super Taiga, which in terms of gameplay is Taiga with far better range, slightly better speed and damage, and the ability to autoblock like bosses do. In terms of story, he's actually more powerful than God.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, during Dr. Eggman's final mission, Cosmic Wall, you are already quite possibly the strongest, most broken character in the game due to other Hour Superpowers. You have the energy bombs that can bust through steel like paper while locking on to enemies (Large Cannon and Laser Blaster), health unmatched by tanks independent of the usual rings, but during this mission, you gain his final upgrade, which increases his health further (Protective Armor). Also, for this stage alone, his hovering abilities (Jet Engine) let him glide upwards for about 5 seconds, due to lower gravity. Which, combined with the above and the stage's incredible length, makes this the only stage in the game where one can get 100,000+ points in their score.
    • This isn't even getting into the final battle, where Sonic and Shadow simultaneously activate their Super forms. Unfortunately, this winds up being a Deadly Upgrade for Shadow, who would have died if not for Dr. Eggman's intervention.
  • The XCOM: Enemy Unknown remake has your squad Storming the Castle in the form of a giant Temple Ship. One member of the squad, the Volunteer, has reached a point in his or her psychic training that a new psi-ability is unlocked — the Rift, which creates a Swirly Energy Thingy that persists for a few turns, dealing damage to anyone in its radius. Since you're constantly getting stormed by the aliens, the ability is useful, although not really a Game Breaker. In fact, the first time you use it, the Big Bad will compliment the Volunteer on his or her achievement (it turns out that the whole Alien Invasion was a Secret Test to turn humans into powerful warriors, combining strength, endurance, intelligence, and the Gift for... something. Given that you destroy the aliens at the end of the game, the plan has Gone Horribly Right. Also, the Big Bad pretty much states that all the aliens you have been fighting were earlier failures to create the perfect soldiers).
  • BioForge: Near the end of the game, your character acquires the ability to fire a destructive beam out of his wrist.
  • ShadowWarrior: Upon re-forging the Nobitsura-Kage shortly before the final level, you are now able to perform your greatest crowd control technique WITH EVERY NORMAL SLICE (comparable to throwing chainsaws with the speed and skill of throwing shurikens). It is as awesome as it sounds.
  • In BioShock Infinite, your Eleventh Hour Superpower comes in the form of being able to control Songbird, just in time for the final battle. It proves to be extremely effective, being able to down gunships and large areas of enemies with ease.
  • Dark Messiah:
    • While not introduced in the finale, but certainly in the protagonist's darkest hour, Sareth learns he is the titular Dark Messiah, and the son of what is essentially the deity of evil. His darkest hour? He was impaled on a spike by Arantir. His son-of-a-god revelation brings him back from the dead.
    • Also at this point, Xana, the succubus living in his head for most of the game, grants him a temporary demon form which deals mass amounts of damage and moves extremely fast. Very useful considering you have to get back all of your equipment.
  • Dawn of War:
    • Dawn Of War II has the final mission against the Tyranids. You start with your four squads as usual while your strike cruiser is attacking the hive fleet in orbit. When the Armageddon is too heavily damaged, your other two squads come in via emergency drop-pod. Then Gabriel Angelos shows up, and helps you fight the final boss. Who has a damage shield. Good thing Gabriel comes with an ability that destroys shields and one that makes all squads invulnerable.
    • In Retribution, the final battle against Azariah Kyras gives you a free orbital bombardment to take him out.
  • The Binding of Isaac's Very Definitely Final Dungeon starts you off with a room containing four locked chests. Better have four keys ready, because these chests are programmed to give you items normally found in the Treasure Room. And there's a pretty decent chance that one of these items will guarantee your survival.
  • In Vanquish, after destroying one of Zaitsev's suits, the other one starts moving much more quickly, so Sam has Elena disable the limiters on the ARS to even the odds. Gameplay-wise, this doubles the amount of time you can spend in Augmented Reality.
  • In Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Rex gains the Killstar in the penultimate mission of the game. It's essentially the glaive from Krull if it fired a laser that insta-gibbed enemies. While it is Cast From Hitpoints, the drain is slow enough to be largely inconsequential. However, doing the mission that nets you it automatically puts you in the endgame, forcing you into the final mission.
  • In Tales of Xillia 2, Ludger unlocks the full power of his Corpse Shell during the final boss fight, which gives you a fancy new Mystic Arte to finish him off with. You can carry it over into a New Game+, too.
  • In Saint Seiya Ougon Densetsu Kanketsu Hen, Seiya gets an inmense boost in "Sevensenses", a new really strong attack and the ability to refill his life and Cosmo bar every turn after doing the right moves against the Final Boss. This makes the player virtually invincible.
    • The other three Saints (Shiryu, Hyoga and Shun) gain a new ultra-powerful attack (or two) during their respective boss battles in the previous three Temples. What makes them fit here is that these boss battles are their last, since (in concordance with the manga/anime the game is based off) they each "die" (are removed from play, here) fighting their bosses.

    Webcomics 
  • In El Goonish Shive, this happens three times. One had to be justified later, another is justified in previous development, and the last one was built up in more than two years so that it was bound to appear and could not be anything less than Summon "Oh, Crap".
  • In MS Paint Adventures, pretty much everything that Problem Sleuth does after using Sepulchritude counts here, ending with him using a burst of righteous charisma to destroy all of DMK's health bars.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the middle of the third season of Transformers Animated, Prowl picks up the ability to use "processor over matter", which is basically telekinesis. In the finale, Prowl and Jazz use this to pull together scattered pieces of the Allspark and convert them to use against the Lugnut Supremes — and when that's not powerful enough, Prowl uses it to pull out his own spark.
  • In the second seaon finale of Ben 10: Alien Force, Azmith grants Ben the ability to control and transform into ALL the aliens in known existence in the Omnitrix (and there are a LOT more than 10,000 btw). He was able to transform without having to manually slap the switch down, which helps them get out of a prison situation. The Omnitrix resets back to its original settings after Ben uses it to save the dying DNAliens with splicing their DNA with other aliens. It later comes to bite Ben in the ass when he and Kevin decide to hack it and get the same power in the upcoming fight with Vilgax in the new season... only to not only get the aliens rampant and rogue, but mutated Kevin with an array of metals and substances making up his body.
  • The series finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender gives us energybending, which acts as a Power Nullifier.
    • It came even earlier than that with the finale of Book One. After the moon is destroyed, Aang fuses with the ocean spirit, turning into an insanely powerful, kaiju-like being that annihilates the Fire Navy Armada.
    • The first season finale of The Legend of Korra plays with this trope. In the last episode of the first season, Korra gains airbending, but only after she loses the ability to bend the other three elements. Later, she regains those bending abilities and gets access to the Avatar State... but this is after the Big Bad has been defeated. However, she also gains the ability to restore bending to anyone who lost it, which lets her help the Big Bad's victims.
  • Kim Possible's battlesuit in So The Drama was originally supposed to be used only in one final showdown with Drakken and Shego. Then the series was Un-Cancelled and the writers had to find ways to keep things challenging. In the first Post Script Season episode, Professor Dementor hacks into the suit to remote-control it, providing a rationale for Kim to be cautious about using it.
  • In that Christmas perennial How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch gets super-strength from his doubly-undersized heart "Growing three sizes that day".
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "Hearth's Warming Eve", when Windigos are attracted by the hatred between the three pony tribe leaders and begin freezing everything, the new friendship between the tribe leaders' assistants manifests as a magical flame that shoots from Clover the Clever's horn, vanquishes the Windigos, and melts the ice along with the leaders' hearts.
    • Towards the end of the two-part season finale "A Canterlot Wedding", when Queen Chrysalis and her Changeling army have taken over Canterlot and left Shining Armor too weak to recast his defensive shield, Princess Cadance casts her love spell on his horn, creating a barrier of love that expels the Changelings.
    • In Twilight’s Kingdom Part 2, "Rainbow Power", the force that was locked inside the box, is unlocked after Twilight turns over all the alicorn magic she had been storing and proves to be the key to defeating Tirek. However the key to unlock the box is generated from Discord's artifact he received from Tirek and he's only released after the exchange to turn over the magic to Tirek occurs, meaning Tirek had literally won by the time the Rainbow Power box is unlocked (so it's really more of a "Twelfth Hour Superpower").

    Real Life 
  • The creation of the atomic bomb during the final days of World War II. The project to develop an atomic bomb did start in 1939, and the war might have ended much later than Summer 1945 if they hadn't been used, but to the general publicnote  the bombs seemed to come out of nowhere and then suddenly, peace.note 
  • A close villainous example with Adolf Hitler. Soon after the landings in Normandy, he began to boast that Germany would soon possess incredible new "wonder weapons" which would completely destroy all the Allies. These included the Me 262 (the first operational jet fighter), the Type XXI submarine (the first true submarine, as it was built only for underwater use), and, most iconically, the V1 guided and V2 ballistic missiles. Up to the last days of the war, these were reported to be capable of turning the increasingly desperate tide. However, all were a case of Awesome but Impractical, consuming vast amounts of Germany's rapidly dwindling resources while having almost no tactical or strategic value. The V2 rockets, in particular, killed more people building them (through slave labor) than their actual use on London.

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