A rare, expendable RPG
item that instantly increases a character's stat or sometimes an entire level, permanently. If the former, they will usually come in varieties to cover all the stats. Mostly named after food items. If they're available relatively easily in infinite or very large quantities, they can become a Game Breaker
A favorite target for item duplication
Compare Heart Container
and Experience Booster
. The temporary-effect version is Power-Up Food
- Pokémon has:
- The Trope Namer, Rare Candy, which increased a Pokémon's level. Because a level is gained without battling, Effort Values (a mechanic that makes Pokémon stronger based on what types of enemies they faced) are not obtained and thus, a Pokémon raised to level 100 solely on Rare Candies will actually be weaker than a Pokémon trained to level 100, but this can be corrected by training or spamming vitamins (another example of this trope).
- Of course now in Gen V Pokemon EVs are added after each battle, not after each level up, so even if a Pokemon was brought to level 100 it could still get stronger. Deoxys is an exception, it does it that way since its debut in Generation III.
- Putting a Pokemon in the computer also forces stat recalculation, so in the first two generations, level 100 Pokemon can still be trained. (Not in the third or fourth, though, since there level 100 Pokemon simply don't get EVs, period.)
- Vitamins for each individual stat, which add 10 of said EVs (4 makes one point of a stat) and ten of an individual item at most can be used on an individual Pokémon (making up 100 of the 255 max per stat and 510 total).
- Finally, there's PP Up, which increase the number of times a move can be used by 20% of the original (up to three can be used on one move), but they're rare.
- Although they're not quite as rare in Generation III, where you can simply catch a Zigzagoon, whose Pickup ability randomly hands you everything from Rare Candies to PP Ups to Ultra Balls.
- And even less rare in HeartGold and SoulSilver, where you can trade "Athlete Points" earned at the Pokéathlon Dome for them on a certain day of the week.
- Starting in Gen III games, there's an item called "PP Max", which is basically 3 PP Ups in a single item. But they're extremely rare; you could only get one per file in the earlier games. Much like PP Ups, they've become slightly less rare over time - games starting with Emerald had a second one per file, Platinum onwards added a third, and in HeartGold and SoulSilver, level 91+ Pokémon with Pickup now have a 0.3% chance per battle of picking up a PP Max. (Now, if only they could pick up Master Balls...)
- Conversely, since Emerald there is a berry for each stat that does the opposite of a vitamin: it removes 10 effort values from that stat, freeing them up to use them on another.
- The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series has these in both the stat boosting and level raising varieties. Common to all of the games are various vitamins (Which raise a particular stat other than HP by a few points), Sitrus Berries and Life Seeds (Which raise your maximum HP by two or three points respectively), and Joy Seeds and Golden Seeds (Which raise your level by one and five respectively). While they normally only effect one Pokemon, it's possible to pass the effects to up to three of them by using a Pierce Band holding Pokemon to throw them through the rest of the party.
- Rescue Team and Explorers have gummis, which on top of boosting a Pokemon's IQ stat, can provide a small increase to random stat or sometimes even all of them. They're actually the easiest way to increase a Pokemon's strength, due to being fairly common compared to vitamins and the stat gains from level-ups being minimal.
- Explorers of Sky in particular introduces a serious Game Breaker in the form of Spinda's Cafe, where you can further increase the effects of gummis by turning them into drinks, on top of potentially getting stat boosts from various edible items that wouldn't have any effect on your stats if consumed normally.
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates To Infinity has devices, which will boost every stat other then HP on a particular type of Pokemon. While normally rare, you're guaranteed to find at least two of them each time you run one of the five DLC dungeons that house one of the starter Pokemon, which lets you easily turn any grass, water, fire, electric, or dragon type Pokemon into a Game Breaker (If you're willing to spend two dollars, that is).
- The Wild ARMs series has apples. It actually makes sense for apples to be rare and valuable in most of the games because of the rarity of successful plant life in Filgaia.
- Wild ARMs 1 had an easy dupe trick that could allow you to become a god once you got at least one of every apple.
- Wild ARMs 3, in addition to LVL Apples that give a full level up, has the Grab Bag and Big Grab Bag, which provide 500 and 1000 EXP, respectively.
- The Shining Series has food items. Quick Chicken boosts dexterity, Power Potions or Power Wines boost attack, Defense Potions or Protect Milk raise defense, Bright Honey increases mana (MP), and Life Bread boosts HP.
- However, be careful when using them in the original game. Due to a bug, the boosts are lost if you promote the unit you used these items on, so it's always better to use them after promotion. This has been fixed in the sequels and remakes.
- In the Rune Factory series of games, you can use hard-to-find items from Randomly Drops battles to create a wide variety of Rare Candy to raise your levels and various stats, once your Pharmacy skill is high enough.
- And in most of them, having a vibrant field with many plants will attract Runes and Runeys, which increase your skills and stats respectively.
- Most of the Final Fantasy series had these, they were usually quite rare. In Final Fantasy VII, they were called Sources, and could be obtained in unlimited quantities by killing the right Random Encounters in the right manner. Final Fantasy XI isn't the type of game to have any sort of permanent stat boost items, but it does offer experience point scrolls, which can level you up if they give enough EXP for the next level. Doesn't work with Merit Points, sadly.
- This is the only way to level up Mons in Final Fantasy XIII-2. Fortunately, the majority of the Candies are not particularly Rare.
- Makai Toshi SaGa has HP-boosting potions to buy, which boost HP by a random amount (Save Scumming anyone?). However, after reaching the HP level indicated by the item name, the potion would only boost one HP. Still, comparing costs it turns out cheaper (if slower) to max out your HP by constantly buying the low-end potions. The game also has potions called STRONG and AGILITY to boost those respective stats and are priced rather cheaply early in the game. You can juice those stats far beyond the displayable cap by about halfway through the game. The other two Game Boy SaGa games make these potions dungeon items only.
- Lufia has Sources for each stat, as well.
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time had stat berries (and better stat berry+ items), which came in very limited supply. One of the Bonus Dungeons has a sizable amount of each berry, but it's still limited to only a scant amount of each type.
- Your stats are also affected by the equipped weapon. There is an item called Orichalcum that can be forged into your weapons and give them +500 attack. They're hard to get, but unlimited, and you can attach as many as you want. Mmmm, +2000 attack sword.
- Even better, the Veinslay has 8 Slots, so you can cap at an 8,000 damage bonus on Fayt's weapon alone.
- Star Ocean: The Second Story also has forged medals, which reduce the experience needed to gain the next level to 1. Up to level 100, anyway; you're on your own for the next 155 levels.
- The Sonic Adventure series had the Small Animals for your Chao that would boost up their stats.
- Chaos drives also serve a similar role (minus the ability to alter or add body parts of your chao like animals could). However, they also will hinder the methods it takes to turn that chao into a Chaos chao (unless they are either character chao like the Tails Chao, or are already a Chaos chao).
- The Dragon Quest games have "seeds", one for every stat (the exception being the games with a Style stat, which is increased by a flower instead).
- In the remakes of Dragon Quest III, part of 'recruiting your party' involved feeding a prospective ally five stat-raising seeds in whatever combination you wished, to help determine their Personality. It's justified by them being "A gift from the king"...but if that's the case, then why can't the king give you a few bags of those delightful seeds?
- Golden Sun had peanuts, cookies, bread, apples, mint leaves, and... pepper. Ground pepper.
- Rock Candies in Earthbound raise a random stat...which could be combined with an easily purchasable item to increase your stats as much as you wanted.
- More common (disregarding the above glitch) are "capsule" items, which raise individual stats (usually Vitality and IQ, which affect HP and PP growth respectively.)
- Castle of the Winds had Draughts of Increase Strength and so forth for each stat and whole level as well as cursed counterparts that permanently did the opposite!
- Shin Megami Tensei has Incense, one for each stat. Each of the varieties were incredibly rare and, if you wanted them, you either had to get lucky opening up a Mystical Chest (doing it during the Full Moon helped) or by getting it from exchanging 10 Lucky Tickets at a shop in Nocturne.
- Persona 3 has Minor Arcana cards (obtained by trading Gemstones found from boss fights, or doing well on tests) that boost stats. There's also the arcade, and a rare benefit from Cups during Arcana Chance.
- Digital Devil Saga had Noises that corresponded to each stat, like HP Noise, MP Noise, Magic Noise, etc. Most of these were gotten as occasional drops from random battles later in the game, but Magic Noises could easily be harvested from Horus' in the optional 3F area of the Brutes base. They're the only enemy you encounter in that area, and they're weak against Death, which by that time any competent player should have Mudoon to quickly dispatch them.
- The incenses in Persona 2: Innocent Sin are absurdly common compared to other MegaTen games. If you want to unlock the (ridiculously high-level) Satan and Lucifer personas, the most convenient dungeon for late-game Level Grinding has a fairly common monster that can drop the All Incense, which works just as it sounds. Combined with other ways to enhance stat growth, it's very possible to achieve max stats for all party members. (Then again, if you're going for Satan and Lucifer, you're obviously after the Armageddon fusion spell that makes a joke of even the final boss, so it's not like perfect stats matter.)
- Manuals/Tomes of [adjective] [noun] in Dungeons & Dragons give a permanent "inherent bonus" to abilities. They come in a range of strengths, but only the largest single bonus for a given stat applies.
- In 3rd Edition, at least. In the various Bioware Infinity Engine games based on the 2nd Edition rules (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, etc), they only added one point per book, but the effects were cumulative. Fortunately, you typically couldn't get more than one book per stat per game, but item duping was possible both with and without cheating. Of course, since stats only went up to 25 and anything above 18 (normal human maximum) was obscenely powerful...
- You could - assuming you got a perfect stats roll at the start of the first game - end up with all 25s by the end of Throne of Bhaal.
- Not to mention the Book of Vile Darkness and Book of Exalted Deeds, which gave a free level to evil or good divine spellcasters respectively. Both in-game items happen to share a name with splat books focused on especially evil/good characters.
- The Last Story has random drops that can raise Zael's stats. Rarer drops are five times as effective, and even rarer ones affect the entire party.Also, there is a single item that can be found in only one part of the town or determined sidequests that increases damage done by the crossbow's basic ammo.
- In the Dragon Age series:
- Dragon Age: Origins has tomes that give stat, talent, and skill boosts, as well as books that allow you to learn specialisations. There's also certain objects that you find in the Fade that increases the main character's stats. Finally, some of the DLC allows you to have skill/stat boosts as soon as your character comes under your control.
- Dragon Age II also has stat and skill increasing items, though they're not as common as in the first game. Also, the Night Terrors side quest has 3 different ways of increasing Hawke's attributes, although 2 of them can be Lost Forever because failing the barrel puzzles causes monsters to appear, and the puzzles can't be repeated once failed. Finally, in Act 3, you can brew the Elixir of Heroism, which can only be crafted once-per-playthrough if you found its unique and easy-to-miss recipe in Act 2 and have a ton of resources (including the unique, easy-to-miss, and completely unobtainable in certain story branches Ambrosia), but gives your entire party a free Level Up.
- NetHack has countless permanent boosts to stats and even a few for levels, including eating a mind flayer corpse (int) or royal jelly (str), or being attacked by a nurse while naked and unarmed (hp), or successful "grappling" with a Succubus/Incubus.
- Chrono Trigger has tabs/capsules that increase Power, Magic, and Speed (sadly, none for the other stats).
- You can charm one Power Tab per battle from an infinitely-respawning enemy: The Tubster in the Black Omen, right after the room with the two Nu. However, since the only characters that won't max out their Strength by the level cap don't use the stat, and the fact that this exploit is only available very late in the game, it might not be very useful.
- In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the four kinds of beans can be blended into seven different kinds of coffee: one to increase each of the brothers' six stats, and one to increase a randomly selected stat. Making them also gave you a very powerful accessory item for each one, and an amusing scene with Professor E. Gadd. Each of these beans were hard to obtain, at first. But later in the game, you'll see that the Woo and Hee beans are very easy to obtain. The Hoo and Chuckle beans become increasingly rare the more you dig them up, though there is a way to easily get them late in the game. Beat the time of 40 seconds in the Surfing game to get one of each. Beat the course in 38 seconds and you get two of Woo, Hoo, and Chuckle beans. (Note: Times are rounded down.)
- Bowser's Inside Story reduced the variety of beans to three (one for HP, one for Attack, and one for SP), but you could eat them right on the spot.
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has beans for every stat, which permanently raise said stat by one, as well as more powerful 'deluxe' versions that raise it by three (dropped by the game's Gold Beanie enemy). There's also an item called the Wellington Boots which lets you grind them by making enemies dropped beans instead of coins when defeated.
- Many Roguelikes feature potions or scrolls of gain level.
- The original Rogue had potions of raise level and potions of gain strength. In addition, drinking a healing potion while at maximum hit points would increase that maximum.
- Many Roguelikes also have a difficulty curve, though, a mixture of dungeon level plus character level, divided by two. Using a lot of Potions of Gain Level early on, without acquiring the material one needs to progress properly, can result in a very fast Yet Another Stupid Death.
- WarCraft 3 had tomes that could be used by hero units to raise any of their primary stats or experience. World of Warcraft, on the other hand, has no such items whatsoever.
- The original Diablo had elixirs for the four primary stats (Strength, Dexterity, Magic, and Vitality) which were occasional drops in the dungeon and even rarely purchasable in the stores from level 26. With enough cash, one could patiently reach the maximum values for three of the four stats (Vitality potions aren't on sale) by repeatedly joining multiplayer games and seeing if Adria sold any elixirs. Diablo 2 also had some similar items, but typically as one-shot quest rewards.
- The Tales Series has various herbs like sage and saffron that would increase various stats. Frequently, another item could be used to boost their potency.
- Ancient Domains of Mystery, apart from the normal potions of [stat], has morgia root and moss of mareilon, both references to Zork. In a variation on the trope, they can simply be picked from the right herb bush, but stop working once the stat reaches a certain level. Characters with the Food Preservation skill could also generate corpses from slain monsters, and eating corpses had a wide variety of effects, including stat gains in some cases (but other corpses could do nasty things, necessitating lots of experimenting or a Guide Dang It).
- Fire Emblem has a different item to increase each of a character's stats, although what they are called varies from game to game (ie, a goddess icon in one game is an Ashera icon in another). In the eighth installment, there was an item that decreased a character's level by 2-5. More useful than it sounds, since a character using it keeps their old stats, so they get that many more level-up boosts worth of stats, though it could only be obtained by either hacking or by use of a bonus disc sold with certain copies of Mario Kart: Double Dash.
- Additionally, similar to Pokemon's Vitamins above, the seventh and eighth installments had an item that you could use on one, and only one, character to slightly increase their growths. These only affected the chance of getting better stats, so using it on a character with capped levels or stats made it useless.
- Xenogears had Drives. Interestingly, the story presented drives as horrible, mind-altering, addictive stimulant drugs. One character uses one and goes temporarily insane. As items, they just up a stat. They are also the key to making the Joke Character lethal in the final stages of the game where almost everything is done in Gears and character stats stop being relevant for everyone else.
- Kingdom of Loathing has many different items that give experience towards raising a stat. Since gaining levels is just a matter of raising your main stat to a certain point, these could theoretically give you a level as well, but the only item that specifically gives you enough to raise a level is the Ultimate Wad, which is obtained by destroying an Ultra-Rare item. And when they say Ultra-Rare, they mean it. Ultimate Wads are almost never actually used, since even at absurd levels it's not really worth the expense (currently, one Wad costs about $30 of real-life money).
- Gothic 2 has the dragon root herb for strength and goblin berries for dexterity. These can be also brewed into potions which provide a greater increase in stats (+5 as opposed to +1) but are very hard to get or create.
- Mega Man X: Command Mission. The best are the rare Build Hyper items, which extend a character's Hyper Mode duration by one round. Doesn't sound like much, but Hyper Mode is so overpowered that one more round may just decide a tough boss fight. Unlike the other Build items in the game that increase base stats (which can be gotten as drops from normal enemies), there's only 12 Build Hypers in the entire game, and roughly 3-4 of them can be permanently missed if you don't steal them from one-time bosses.
- Boktai 2 introduced a level system to the series. Django gets three stat points per level-up and can distribute them as he likes. But he can also find Tarot cards, of all things, and some of these increase a particular stat ala Rare Candy.
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia has various colours of candy, each which increased your attack strength with a certain element.
- Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II both have stat boosters, but they're quite hard to make, so until the inevitable grind to 100% Completion, they're Too Awesome to Use.
- Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days has a unique variation, where the Rare Candy is the only way to raise your character's level. In exchange, however, you get one every time you gained enough EXP to legitimate a "Level Up". The Rare Candy can then be equipped and unequipped every time you want to. There's also special panels that double, triple or even quadruple their effect.
- Kingdom Hearts 3D has a variety of sweets you can give your Dream Eater allies which each provide a chance to boost a particular one of their stats. They're easily obtained, as well, able to be purchased from stores, received as drops, or given as rewards from clearing link portals.
- Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 have various rare, single use stat boosts you can obtain. In the first game, there are Skill Books that raise skills, although unlike the newer games, each stat doesn't have a Skill Book. In the second game, most stat boosts are memory modules that a super computer surgically implants in your character.
- Fallout 3 had these in the form of Bobbleheads; there are 13 (one for each skill), that increases a skill by 10 points, and 7 (one for each SPECIAL stat) that increases a stat by 1. There's also Skill Books, which increases a skill by 1, or by 2 with the Comprehension Perk.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, Skill Books return, but there's far fewer in this game than in 3. To compensate, they increase a skill by 3 points, or by 4 with the Comprehension Perk. You can also find Skill Magazines, which give a temporary 10 point boost (20 points with comprehension). Surgical implants are also available, most of which raise a SPECIAL stat by one, although your implant limit is based on your Endurance (5 Endurance = maximum of 5 implants).
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have skill books that were thrown in with the normal books and would increase a skill one point upon reading them.
- Skyrim also has the Oghma Infinium, a reward for a Daedric Quest. It was a one of a kind book that raised Stats in one area of Combat (Fighting, Magic, Stealth) ONCE, and then it vanished- until a Good Bad Bug involving bookshelves turned it into a Game Breaker.
- Skill Trainers are a form that skips the middleman (you pay them, they raise a stat). Most trainers, however, can only train you to a modest cap of 50, while the best trainers can only get you to 90 (100 is the cap). In addition, you can only receive 5 trainings in total per level (however, it's not hard to level up before using up your 5th training when you're still in the early stages of the game). Normally you'd have to pay a hefty fee for their services, but certain trainers are also followers, and you are fully capable of taking the money back immediately afterwards.
- Shadow Hearts has Seals, which up a stat by one if you use it in the menu. But if you use the item in battle, a Judgment Ring pops up and if you're lucky to hit the red critical area, the stat will be upped by as much as 5 points. They are naturally hard to come by, but in Covenant, Anastasia can learn a stealing ability, which she can use to snag seals from bosses fought in Pit Fights.
- Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis had a slew of stat increasing items, the Stone of Swiftness for speed, Sword Emblem for strength, Cup of Life for HP, Crown of Intellect for intellect, Sorcerer's Cup for MP, and three items that altered alignment.
- And OgreBattle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber had those same items, except that there was an easy to do and very abusable item duplication glitch which allowed you to get as many of those items as you wanted and more! Champion statuettes, anyone?
- Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis with different "Stat" Fruits, as well as a "Youthful Apple" (HP) and "Eternal Peach" (SP).
- In Skies of Arcadia, there are stat-boosting Seeds. You can buy as many as you want, provided you've got the money, once you recruit a certain character to run an item shop on Crescent Island. However, one of the Seeds (Dexus-Agility) is not available for sale.
- In the Chinese RPG Legend Of Sword And Fairy, many items that are valued in Chinese medicine such as ancient mushrooms, sariras (pieces of cremated bodies of Buddhist masters), and certain herbs can be used to gain stats. Most notable, however, is a "Golden Worm", which levels you up when consumed and could be Item-crafted without too much difficulty in the first game, allowing you to level your characters up by about 10 levels in the end of the game.
- Baroque has several unimaginatively named (Read: the item is called "Evolution") items used to raise your stats, as well as the stats of items you have equipped.
- The World Ends with You has many of these that aren't rare at all (and a good thing, too; they're the only way to raise a stat other than HP), but two that are quite hard to get—Curious Mushrooms and Absolute Shadow Ramen, both of which increase the drop rate.
- Both Dark Cloud games have the Fruit of Eden, which increases any character's life meter, and a specific favorite food for each character that increases their defense. (The first game also has Gourds to increase characters' thirst meters.) There are also items that instantly levels up a weapon: Power Up Powder (first game) and Level Up Powder (second game).
- Parasite Eve 2 has protein capsules that fully recover your HP, and raises its max by 5.
- Breath of Fire games have a share of rare candies. II has a Game Breaking moment where you can make use of a cooking function to max out EVERY stat with absurd ease. All it requires is patience and a bunch of money, and you can even cook up high-sell items to help with the latter requirement.
- The third game has its power up items which can be stolen from select enemies and received as gifts from faeries. They can also copy those items and you can assign more than 1 fairy to the task, but each attempt takes close to an hour and there's always a chance they're either unsuccessful at copying it or screw up completely and turn the original item into an useless piece of junk.
- In Risen you can mix potions to permanently raise stats if you have level 3 in alchemy and the appropriate recipe. Since raising stats in this game requires character points, it can help a lot, but the recipe does require the incredibly rare Hero's Crown plant, so players need to think of what to raise. You can also just eat the stat-raising ingredients on their own, but the effect will be less.
- Black Sigil has a secret shop that sells stat-boosting potions for all stats. If the player knows how to abuse the catalogues (required to use that shop) they can easily raise all the stats to maximum as soon as they got that catalogue.
- Dubloon features colour-coded capsules that permanently increase a specific stat each.
- Phantasy Star Online contains items called "materials." A character may consume up to 200 materials, each of which permanently increase a stat such as evasion, accuracy, damage, or mind strength.
- Suikoden I game had Rune Pieces, consumable items that would boost stats, permanently. Their rarity ranged from "only a few in the entire game" for some varieties to "technically infinite so long as you don't mind spending dozens upon dozens of hours farming" for others.
- Real Time Strategy example: The Mercantilism upgrade available from Church or Mosque (or Embassy) in Age of Empires III, which instantly levels you up so you can get another shipment from your Home City. It costs 1500 Coins, which is more than the highest amount of coin that can arrive in chests from your Home City...
- Elixirs and Wines in Vagrant Story. This is one of two ways (the other one is beating bosses) that Ashley can raise his stats, because the game has no experience points and levels.
- Opoona has several, including some which are easily purchasable. (However, the buyable ones tend to only raise stats that are important in the storyline, not battles.) Of particular note is the Roulette Pizza, which increases a random stat. Also notable are the Heart Cookie and White Chocolate, which increase your HP and FP in addition to your storyline stats. These can effectively be "bought," but only through the Points System.
- Praxis kits in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which gives you a praxis point upon being picked up. They are software packages that activate your dormant augmentations: you normally have to grow accustomed to your body to accept the augs' presence (itself a justification for the Experience Points system), but the Praxis system lets you skip some of it.
- Brewing flowers creates potions in Tales Of The Drunken Paladin. The flowers can be picked up in most of the maps and respawn once in awhile.
- Legend of Legaia has the various stat waters:
- Power Water, Guardian Water, Swift Water, and Wisdom Water permanently raise that character's ATK, DEF, SPD, or INT by +4.
- Life Water and Magic Water raise that characters HP or MP by +16 and +8, respectively.
- Miracle Water (and the Honey mentioned above) raises all of that character's stats by +4.
- There are similar items in Duel Saga