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* In ''VideoGame/ToeJamAndEarl'', presents are initially unidentified. Though, since all presents of the same design contain the same item or effect, using one automatically identifies any identical ones (whether in the player's inventory or on the ground). The "man in the carrot suit" is a randomly-appearing [=NPC=] who can identify a present for a few dollars. This is important because one of the effects is the Randomizer, which ''un''identifies all presents and scrambles the design-effect relationships!

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* In ''VideoGame/ToeJamAndEarl'', presents are initially unidentified. Though, since all presents of the same design contain the same item or effect, using one automatically identifies any identical ones (whether in the player's inventory or on the ground). The "man in the carrot suit" is a randomly-appearing [=NPC=] NPC who can identify a present for a few dollars. This is important because one of the effects is the Randomizer, which ''un''identifies all presents and scrambles the design-effect relationships!relationships!
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames'', Magical Rings must be appraised by Vasu the jeweler for 20 Rupees before they can be worn.

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[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/AnimalCrossing https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/animal_crossing_i_dug_up_a_fossil.png]]]]

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* ''TabletopGame/TheOneRing'': ''Some'' properties of wondrous items can be deduced by {{Player Character}}s. Others, such as the nature of a CursedItem, can only be determined by spending downtime to consult an [=NPC=] Loremaster, such as Elrond or Gandalf.


* ''VideoGame/{{Angband}}'' and its variants have items start out unidentified: potions, scrolls, wands, staves, jewelry, armor, and weapons.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Angband}}'' and its variants have items start out unidentified: potions, scrolls, wands, staves, jewelry, armor, and weapons. You can identify items safely by magical means, but you can also identify any item by selling them to a shop that buys items of that type. Single- and limited-use items can also be identified by using them on yourself and praying that they aren't harmful. There are also a few artifacts which knowledgeable players can recognize even when unidentified because their base types are unique.

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** Fifth Edition keeps the two standard methods, the ''identify'' spell or studying the item over a short rest.


Whether or not the player can use an item before getting it identified varies -- do you ''really'' want to take the chance that the random glass bottle with purple goop you just picked up turns out to be a HealingPotion and not deadly {{poison|Mushroom}}, or that a shiny-looking sword is actually a useful weapon as opposed to rusty old VendorTrash (or worse, harboring a nasty -- and usually [[StuckItems clingy]] -- {{curse}}?) Some games won't let you use or equip the item at all until its true nature has been identified; others will let you do so at your own peril (but will usually disclose the item's true nature after the fact if you do).

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Whether or not the player can use an item before getting it identified varies -- do you ''really'' want to take the chance that the random glass bottle with purple goop you just picked up turns out to be a HealingPotion and not deadly {{poison|Mushroom}}, or that a shiny-looking sword is actually a useful weapon as opposed to rusty old VendorTrash (or worse, harboring a nasty -- and usually [[StuckItems clingy]] -- {{curse}}?) [[CursedItem curse]]?) Some games won't let you use or equip the item at all until its true nature has been identified; others will let you do so at your own peril (but will usually disclose the item's true nature after the fact if you do).


* In ''VideoGame/{{Onimusha}}: Dawn of Dreams'', whenever you find a treasure box and you can't solve the puzzle, you have the option of simply smashing it open, but then you will simply acquire an "Unknown" item. Once you reach the merchant, he can identify it for you... for a small fee, of course.

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* In ''VideoGame/{{Onimusha}}: Dawn of Dreams'', ''VideoGame/OnimushaDawnOfDreams'', whenever you find a treasure box and you can't solve the puzzle, you have the option of simply smashing it open, but then you will simply acquire an "Unknown" item. Once you reach the merchant, he can identify it for you... for a small fee, of course.


In some {{Role Playing Game}}s (and {{Roguelike}}s in specific), a DungeonCrawling party may obtain items whose exact identities and purposes are a mystery at first -- the characters don't automatically know what these items are supposed to be, and (more importantly) the game doesn't tell the player either; it's labelled as an "unknown" or "unidentified" item or given an extremely generic descriptor like "a red potion" or "[[VideoGame/NetHack a scroll labelled 'FOOBIE BLETCH']]" (as opposed to the usual "Healing Potion" or "Elixir of Life"). The task of divining the true identity of these items is the purpose of ''another'' item, a special skill, or an {{N|onPlayerCharacter}}PC specializing in identification/appraisal/whatever-you-call-it.

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In some {{Role Playing Game}}s (and {{Roguelike}}s in specific), a DungeonCrawling party may obtain items whose exact identities and purposes are a mystery at first -- the characters don't automatically know what these items are supposed to be, and (more importantly) the game doesn't tell the player either; it's labelled as an "unknown" or "unidentified" item or given an extremely generic descriptor like "a red potion" or "[[VideoGame/NetHack a scroll labelled 'FOOBIE BLETCH']]" (as opposed to the usual "Healing Potion" or "Elixir "Scroll of Life").Fireball"). The task of divining the true identity of these items is the purpose of ''another'' item, a special skill, or an {{N|onPlayerCharacter}}PC specializing in identification/appraisal/whatever-you-call-it.


* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, a low Alchemy skill prevents the player from determining the properties of alchemical ingredients. In some games, such as ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', ingredients that the player has not used in experiments always have unknown properties. However, tasting the ingredients exposes the player to diluted version of their powers -- as opposed to the stronger powers of potions brewed from these ingredients -- so it's almost always safe to taste them. The worst that might happen is having your health drained by a sliver for five seconds...in a game where you have RegeneratingHealth.

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* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** Throughout the
series, [[AlchemyIsMagic Alchemical]] ingredients typically have up to four properties which, when combined with other ingredients having at least one of the same properties, will brew into a potion of that property. Having a low Alchemy skill prevents the player you from determining being able to see all of the properties of alchemical ingredients. In some games, such as ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', ingredients that the player has not used in experiments always have unknown available properties. However, tasting the ingredients exposes the player to diluted version of their powers -- as opposed to the stronger powers of potions brewed from these ingredients -- so it's almost always safe to taste them. The worst that might happen is having your health or one of your attributes drained by a sliver slightly for five seconds...a few seconds. (This also leads to the odd habit of [[ExtremeOmnivore eating precious gems, hunks of ore,]] [[OrganDrops raw creature parts]], etc. just to see what effects they might have.)
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' adjusts the system so that ingredients that the player has not used
in a game where you experiments always have RegeneratingHealth.unknown properties. However, tasting the ingredients will still reveal effects, with extremely minor and temporary side effects as the only possible downside.


* Scrolls of Wisdom double as PracticalCurrency in ''VideoGame/PathOfExile''. While equippable items need to be identified to use, maps and Strongboxes can be used without doing so, and running an unidentified map gives a boost to item drops. Unidentified items also provide better returns in certain vendor recipes.



* Scrolls of Identification double as PracticalCurrency in ''VideoGame/PathOfExile''. While equipments need to be identified to use, maps and Strongboxes can be used without doing so, and running an unidentified map gives a boost to item drops. Unidentified items also provide better returns in certain vendor recipes.


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* ''VideoGame/DivineDivinity'': Items may be identified either via a passive skill the player must invest skill points into leveling up or paying a merchant a fee to do the job.
* ''VideoGame/DivinityOriginalSin'': Identification requires a magnifying glass and a level of the Loremaster skill appropriate to the item or payment to an NPC with a high enough Loremaster for the service.

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* ''VideoGame/EarthAndBeyond'' allowed miners to extremely rarely find Artifacts inside asteroids. The mined Artifacts were tradeable but unusable, and it was only possible to tell what item rank they were. Once identified they turned into equipable devices but became untradeable. Most were fairly good, but a few were JunkRare. Buying/selling an unidentified Artifact was an expensive game of RussianRoulette.


This can be {{justified|Trope}} for certain kinds of items, like potion bottles (whose labels may be the only clue as to what's inside), or items that are stored/hidden inside a generic container. Until it's been identified, all the item really does is occupy space in the player's InventoryManagementPuzzle, which (depending on the size of said inventory) may require the player to decide whether it's ''really'' worth lugging around twenty extra pounds of useless inventory in the hopes that it turns out to be more than just VendorTrash, or if it's something they can safely toss out and/or come back for later (without it getting LostForever).

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This can be {{justified|Trope}} for certain kinds of items, like potion bottles (whose labels may be the only clue as to what's inside), or items that are stored/hidden inside a generic container. Until it's been identified, all the item really does is occupy space in the player's InventoryManagementPuzzle, which (depending on the size of said inventory) may require the player to decide whether it's ''really'' worth lugging around twenty extra pounds of useless inventory in the hopes that it turns out to be more than just VendorTrash, or if it's something they can safely toss out and/or come back for later (without it getting LostForever).
[[PermanentlyMissableContent lost]]).


* The NintendoDS version of ''VideoGame/GloryOfHeracles'' has rusty items which need to be taken to a polisher to make them proper weapons.

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* The NintendoDS UsefulNotes/NintendoDS version of ''VideoGame/GloryOfHeracles'' has rusty items which need to be taken to a polisher to make them proper weapons.


** The ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' series is the same. A character's "Lore" skill (based on intelligence and enhanced for some character classes) allows automatic identification of magical items. Cursed items are identified automatically if equipped.

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** The ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' series is the same. A character's "Lore" skill (based on intelligence and enhanced for some character classes) classes, Bards in particular) allows automatic identification of magical items. Cursed items are identified automatically if equipped.


* In ''VideoGame/{{ToeJam and Earl}}'', presents are initially unidentified. Though, since all presents of the same design contain the same item or effect, using one automatically identifies any identical ones (whether in the player's inventory or on the ground). The "man in the carrot suit" is a randomly-appearing [=NPC=] who can identify a present for a few dollars. This is important because one of the effects is the Randomizer, which ''un''identifies all presents and scrambles the design-effect relationships!

to:

* In ''VideoGame/{{ToeJam and Earl}}'', ''VideoGame/ToeJamAndEarl'', presents are initially unidentified. Though, since all presents of the same design contain the same item or effect, using one automatically identifies any identical ones (whether in the player's inventory or on the ground). The "man in the carrot suit" is a randomly-appearing [=NPC=] who can identify a present for a few dollars. This is important because one of the effects is the Randomizer, which ''un''identifies all presents and scrambles the design-effect relationships!



* ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' features unidentified items that cannot be used until they are identified by pouring rune potion on them.



* ''VideoGame/{{RuneScape}}'':

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* ''VideoGame/{{RuneScape}}'':''VideoGame/RuneScape'':



* {{Elsword}} has a variant in that all equipments come with four rarity variant the lowest one can be equipped immediately while anything beyond that needs to be identified before equipping, you can slot extra attributes in and/or add elemental effects to it, but you need to identify their bonuses first before equipping it. You do, however, knows what the equipment is before equipping

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* {{Elsword}} ''VideoGame/{{Elsword}}'' has a variant in that all equipments come with four rarity variant the lowest one can be equipped immediately while anything beyond that needs to be identified before equipping, you can slot extra attributes in and/or add elemental effects to it, but you need to identify their bonuses first before equipping it. You do, however, knows what the equipment is before equipping

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