[[VideoGameTropes Video games]] tend to give you awesome stuff to play with and immediately take it back, giving you little to no time for playing with it, be it awesome and flashy InfinityPlusOneSword which you get to kill the final boss, an interesting and powerful character or a tank you get for only one mission.

Very common in ClassAndLevelSystem {{RPG}}s, if you get your final levels and most powerful skills near the very end of the game.

A SuperTrope to:
* If it happens at the beginning of the game, it's ATasteOfPower.
* If it's a character who appears too late, it's EleventhHourRanger. If it's a superpower, it's EleventhHourSuperpower.
* If it's a character who appears early and then leaves or falls behind, it's a CrutchCharacter.
* If this happens between games, it's BagOfSpilling.
* If it happens after finishing the hardest challenge in the game, it's BraggingRightsReward.
* If your wonderful toy is lost because the game ends, NewGamePlus fixes it, too.



[[folder: Action Adventure]]
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''. Sure you get the awesome Fierce Deity's mask at the end of the game, but the game's time reset gimmick let's you go back in time and redo any of the old dungeons of fight previous bosses as much as you want with your current equipment.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Onimusha}}'' game features the unlimited-magic-attack, superpowerful Bishamon Sword... immediately before the final boss. And only if you've collected all of the random hidden collectibles throughout the game. Thank god for NewGamePlus.
* Samus' Power Bombs in ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM''. In the beginning of the game, you're allowed to use it as a part of a tutorial. After Samus agrees to help Adam and his men on their mission, Adam forbids the use of Power Bombs due to how destructive they can be to humans. From there, you can't use Power Bombs for the entire game except at the very end when it is needed to beat [[spoiler: the Metroid Queen]] and even then, the game never tells you that you can use the Power Bombs [[GuideDangIt but will say you can after you beat the game and start the]] PlayableEpilogue!

[[folder: First Person Shooter]]
* Some have complained that the various vehicle segments in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' games are sometimes too short, with the SpaceFighter segment in ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' being a particularly notable example. (These are somewhat mitigated, though, as crafty players can often find ways to keep those vehicles long after the level designers intended for the player to relinquish them.)
** [=JollyJack=] mentioned this in a "how to play" comic.
* Notably averted in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' with the gravity gun, which you get comparatively early.
** Played straight when you only get the super upgraded version which can even grab people for one level. However, you get to play with it again at the very start of Episode One.
* ''VideoGame/JediAcademy'' has the duel sabers/saber staff/[[StanceSystem three style]] single saber option only usable in the last set of missions. Mods exist to allow you to use them from the start of the game ''Jedi Academy'' also features a neat but mostly useless and forgettable little trick with Tauntauns in the first Hoth level. There are a few fallen rocks where you are intended to abandon your initial ride (and have an encounter with a Wampa), but it is possible to use the Tauntaun's momentary boost to clear the rocks with it.

[[folder: Hack and Slash]]
* Slashers love to do that. ''Franchise/DevilMayCry 4'' gives us Lucifer (a very interesting and unique weapon) and Pandora (a suitcase full of awesome) when it's almost time to say "Good-bye, Dante!" And this is why you get NewGamePlus and Bloody Palace.

[[folder: Platform Game]]
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** Whenever ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros'' gives you a Starman, you'll probably get a nice stretch of enemy-filled land to exercise your invincible bashing capabilities on.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' gives you the Red Star powerup that grants flight in any direction... near the end of the game, and you can only use it in a handful of levels and the HubLevel. In a broader sense, many powerups such as the Fire Flower which traditionally last until you get hit are instead on a timer, forcing the player to rush to do everything they need with them and making it impossible to use them in levels they're not included in.

[[folder: Racing Game]]
* ''VideoGame/Burnout3Takedown'' has "preview races" in which you and your opponents have much faster cars than you normally would for that point of the game.

[[folder: Role Playing Game]]
* By the time you get the [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement Dual Blade]] in the ''VideoGame/{{Lufia}}'' games, all that's left to fight are the {{Final Boss}}es.
** ''VideoGame/LufiaAndTheFortressOfDoom'' actually averts this, as you get the Dual Blade quite a bit earlier than TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon. [[spoiler:Then it gets taken from you and destroyed...and then you get it back just before the Final Bosses.]]
** In ''VideoGame/LufiaCurseOfTheSinistrals'', the Dual Blade also comes with a nifty time-controlling power. Naturally, you only get to use this on the FinalBoss. [[spoiler:In NewGamePlus, it gets {{Sword Beam}}s...which likewise are only used for the TrueFinalBoss.]]
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'': most truly awesome styles (e.g. Dual sabers and Iron Palm), but especially the Jade golem and the Red Minister, which you get when the game is almost done. Thankfully, there is a ridiculously difficult [[NewGamePlus Jade Master difficulty]], in which they become upgraded from cheap immunity-bearing {{GameBreaker}}s to essential life-savers.
** Also there are these little things called 'Harmonious combos' that can you can use as soon as you are through with the practice fights but which are unfortunately denied to the player later on. These godlike moves are mostly only useful in the first chapters of the game as the story progression introduces you to a number of enemy types that these combos will not work on (monsters, demons, ghosts) and from then on when you actually are fighting puny humans it is usually an important battle for the plot, and your devastating combos will not work in those either.
* In the first ''ShinMegamiTensei'', Law-path players are granted three outrageously powerful seraph companions for a time in the final dungeon. However, they have to give them up in order to fuse a necessary MacGuffin.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' does this twice.
** First, they give you Jade Curtiss, who is less a mage and more a tactical nuclear weapon (since he's about 40 levels higher than you are). He helps you out during an unwinnable boss fight. His power is then promptly sealed and he's reverted to party level.
** Quite a bit later, they give you Asch, who is basically a better version of your main character with better equipment and a lot more skills. He's only available for a short time, as well. (Later on in the game, he comes back, but by then he sucks).
* While not exactly a weapon, a bicycle is available during a small section of ''Videogame/{{Earthbound}}''. The bike lets you get around faster in outdoor areas, is capable of outrunning most enemies, and comes with its own background music (with optional bell-ringing sound effects). Following on the heels of your new bike is a second party member, who renders your single-seat bike useless. Heck, the bike comes at a time when you can start buying teddy bears, which follow you like party members, and they render the bike useless too. This actually leads to one of the strangest secrets in the game: [[spoiler: a sound effect that can only be heard by riding the bike in the swamp. This is only possible by ''beating the final boss'', ditching all your partners in the extended epilogue, heading to the swamp, and, of course, remembering that you have an otherwise-useless bicycle in the first place.]]
* ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2 Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days]]'' and ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'': Roxas DualWielding [[InfinityPlusOneSword Oathkeeper and Oblivion]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Makai Toshi SaGa}}'' (''The Final Fantasy Legend'') has the King equipment to collect in the very first world. [[PlotCouponThatDoesSomething It is some of the best equipment in the game, but you have to give it up to advance the plot]].
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration 1'', the first time your units get to combine into [[SuperRobot SRX]], it only lasts 3 turns and you won't get this ability back until near the end of the game. You also only get 2 of the best characters on the last mission of the game.
* Some of the better {{Guest Star Party Member}}s are like this, for instance, in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', [[spoiler:Beatrix]] is only with you for one short but fun section of the game.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel'' has two {{Guest Star Party Member}}s, Instructor Sara and Angelica, both of whom are extremely overpowered but only with you for a very short time. Another example is Sara's Master Quartz, Thor. While she's with the party it's locked to her and can't be removed, but it's extremely powerful, causing every attack to restore HP and SP. You won't get it permanently until nearly the end of the game, and not only do you have to earn all 3 Lionheart Medals, but it's one of two rewards you can choose (the other being an equally powerful Master Quartz that you haven't seen before), so it's possible to ''not'' get it back.

[[folder: Third Person Shooter]]
* Some people find those missions in ''VideoGame/RedFactionGuerrilla'' when you crush random stuff on a NighInvulnerable mech best and painfully short.
* The final weapon which requires near 100% completion in ''VideoGame/{{Gun}}'' comes when there is nothing (as the only things not required are non-combat missions) to use it on.

[[folder: Turn Based Strategy]]
* In the fifth prologue of ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone'', [[VideoGame/ResidentEvilRevelations Chris and Jill]] arrive with a MAP attack that deals ''a lot of damage'' compared to what you can pull off at that point in the game. Naturally when the stage ends, you won't have access to any MAP attacks for awhile unless you LevelGrind [[VideoGame/DeadRising Frank]] and [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Lei-Lei/Hsien-Ko]].
* [[Anime/SpaceBattleshipYamato2199 Yamato]]'s WaveMotionGun is shown multiple times throughout ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsV'' but isn't usable for most of it.


[[folder: Wide Open Sandbox]]
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'' combines this with ATasteOfPower immediately after tutorial.
** Da Vinci's flying machine in [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII the sequel]]. We saw more footage of it in the trailers than was actually available for use in the game, sadly.
** In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'', the carpenter at the Davenport Homestead tells Connor that he found designs for Da Vinci's flying machine and has built it. Connor immediately goes to the cliff overlooking the homestead's bay, climbs onto the flying machine, leaps from the edge...and promptly flies right into the water.