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Antidote Effect

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The Antidote is a staple item in just about every RPG that has ever existed. It has a simple use: it will cure a character from a Status Effect. However, shortly into the game, the character will usually acquire some kind of Anti-Debuff spell that serves the same purpose, rendering any antidotes in your inventory redundant. Some games also have status effects go away if you win the battle or wait a certain number of turns, meaning that you can tough it out if you want to.

But wait, you say, they aren't completely pointless! And you're right... there are exactly seven situations where they still come in handy:

  • If your spell-casting party members are unable to do the job themselves due to being silenced, out of Mana, or knocked out. Alternately, they may be preoccupied fighting other monsters, or you may need to conserve their MP for an upcoming Boss Battle. Either way, you need someone else to do the job in the meantime.
  • You find a dungeon or cave where magic isn't allowed or doesn't work, or an enemy who can negate it.
  • In some systems, spells require more time to execute than using items; if a character is dying of poison, this could make the difference between keeping them alive and having to resurrect them later. This also applies to the "tough it out" strategy — if the poison is likely to kill a character in two turns, the fact that it will go away in three is irrelevant.
  • The magic or abilities used to cure status effects is difficult to find, far more expensive to buy than items, or costs too much to cast, thus making it not worth your time.
  • The game's Limited Move Arsenal is more strict than its inventory limit, making it easier to carry around an item to cure status effects than to carry a technique which takes up space that could be used to hold more generally useful techniques.
  • Some lazy NPC can't run to the store and get one himself.
  • They allow you to make bulks of much more efficient healing items.

This is the Antidote Effect. It happens when items (or spells, for that matter) have a very specific, strategic use that doesn't often come up in normal situations. It is related to Too Awesome to Use; players will be tempted to keep them in their inventory but will never use them because — surprise! — that specific situation never arose.

Compare Com Mons and Highly Specific Counterplay. Contrast Useless Item and Useless Useful Spell.


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  • Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King has an abundance of spells, attacks and items you can obtain, but most of them are essentially minor variations of the same projectile attack or Area of Effect attack. While some of these do have specific situations where they're useful (like melting an ice wall with a fire spell), in normal combat they're more or less interchangeable. So you're likely to end up with a lot of stuff in your inventory that you will seldom or never use.

    Collectible Card Games 
  • In games like Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh!, you generally prefer to have general-purpose answers to opponent's threats in your deck since you can't really count on what you'll be facing in the next match. More specialized cards don't see regular play, but can be put in the sideboard, waiting to be swapped in once you know you're in a matchup where it would be beneficial. The cards that are subject to this trope will vary depending on the opponent one expects to face.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Battlefield 2142 features unlockable weapons — and very limited slots to put them into. Several unlocks are useful in extremely specific situations but are far outclassed by other, more generally useful unlocks.
    • The AE Defuser's exceedingly limited range makes it outclassed by safer explosive removal weapons.
    • The Smoke Grenades don't last long enough or provide enough smoke to provide you with sufficient concealment. Radar Grenades work exactly as well for concealment AND reveal enemy locations.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 4 has this bad on New Game Plus modes, especially with unlockable weapons. The Infinite Rocket Launcher all but eliminates the need for Hand Grenades, while the PRL does the same for Photon Grenades. The Chicago Typewriter renders automatic weapons (and by association their ammo) comparatively pointless, and the Hand Cannon can punch through virtually anything, often killing it in a single shot. The yellow herbs, which increase your health cap upon use, turn your Green+Red herb mixes into incredibly shiny Shop Fodder once you max your (and Ashley's) health cap. And of course, maxing your money capacity (which admittedly takes several playthroughs) makes even Shop Fodder worthless.
    • In Resident Evil 5, every weapon (barring grenades and mines, but including the Rocket Launcher) can unlock infinite ammo. And because of the chapter system, all you really have to do to get this is grind your favorite level for money and player score points.

    Roleplaying Games 
  • The Baldur's Gate series of games made antidotes useful, especially in the first game. Even in the later games, the Vancian Magic and (in Throne of Bhaal) the existence of potion bags meant that every spell slot counted, so being able to carry around twenty or so antidotes in a single inventory slot was not something to sneeze at.
  • Baten Kaitos Origins, an RPG with a card-based battle system, contains literally hundreds of cards with various esoteric effects, from completely restoring one character's HP (but at the cost of putting that character to sleep) to reducing the frequency with which the enemy party's turn comes up to restoring a character's HP equal to the amount of overkill damage they do. However, the normal, no-frills healing items are perfectly effective, and including a lot of extraneous situational cards is a good way to get your hand bogged down with useless junk in a critical situation. The most efficient deck setup for nearly the entire game is twenty to twenty-five basic attack cards, ten to twelve super moves, three to four healing items, and one revival item. Thankfully the developers realized this and allowed you to create multiple decks and switch not only anytime from the inventory screen but also before continuing after a Game Over; you can create extra decks that utilize these esoteric cards and only switch to them when in the rare occasions they'll be useful. Multiple decks can even use the same copy of any one card.
  • In Citizens of Earth, most status-healing items only remove a single stack of their corresponding status ailment, but most ailments only get bad when you have several stacks of them at once. Even then, it is usually a better use of your time to just attack and ignore the status effects, or use a status-healing skill, which generates energy for the user in addition to healing a party member.
  • Culdcept, drawing from its Magic: The Gathering roots, has quite a number of very useful if situational spells/creatures/items to draw from or creatures that have useful powers (or combos) given time to develop. However, due to the way the game works (money is mana, functionally, and only earned by rent or passing Go), the strict deck building rules, and the random nature of moving around the board (you roll dice), it's usually a better idea to stick with more simple and straightforward combos.
  • Darkest Dungeon plays this straight: the antivenom and bandage take up spaces in the extremely limited inventory and cost gold, so it is normally better to bring cure abilities, which only take a skill slot. But there are occasions where the healer is unavailable or the Damage Over Time ticks for extremely high damage — and that is where it's best to use these items instead of waiting for the healer to become available.
  • The Disgaea series features "Fairy Dust", a cheap item that removes status effects. It's rendered almost entirely useless once you get a character with access to the "Espoir" spell which does the same thing, and like all spells can be cast at a long range over a wide area with advancement. Technically it could be useful if you are on a map with lots of Silence Geo Effects, but that's probably not common enough to require carrying one (and Geo Effects never happen on your base panel, so there's always at least one safe place to cast from).
  • In Dokapon Kingdom Trap Dodgers are this. The purpose of a Trap Dodger is to automatically negate a trap when one lands on one. Traps can only be placed by players and their effects are random, ranging from a small amount of damage to a easily cured random status effect. Players can only carry 6-10 items at a time depending on class, a Trap Dodger would take up a slot and can only be used once. Thus Trap Dodgers are almost never used because they take up valuable inventory space, trap effects are easily dealt with, and traps are rarely used.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, when a character gets knocked out, they wake up with an injury that penalizes a random stat until cured with a rare Injury Kit... or for free with Cleansing Aura at will. The Aura user can't heal her own injuries, however.
    • The sequel has injury kits drop much more frequently (you'll rarely have less than 10 before the last sections of the game, especially since any injuries are healed just by going to Hawke's house, unless playing on the hardest difficulty with a poorly organized party), but considering the fact that you could theoretically have a party with no mages, the lyrium potions become so much free, overabundant cash. The same could be said for the stamina potions in a party with three mages and a single tank. A Mage Hawke with the Spirit Healer specialisation has access to the Second Chance passive ability, which makes party members immune to injuries. Given that Hawke must always be in the party, this applies the Antidote Effect to injury kits.
  • The Ur-Example and Trope Maker, of course, is Dragon Quest, specifically Dragon Quest II, with its Squelch spell and antidotal herb. In this series, there's also the moonwort bulb, which cures paralysis. You won't be paralyzed often before one of your party members learns Tingle, though. And, even if you're not prepared, the status goes away after a few turns and after the battle ends!
    • The KO status effect is different, though. Reviving items have a 100% chance of resurrecting a party member. The basic resurrecting spell, Zing, has a consistent chance of failing. Its 100% accurate version, Kazing, can usually only be learned by a character class that sacrifices a lot of combat effectiveness for that. So even if you actually have a party member able to cast Kazing, you'll end up stocking a couple Yggdrasil Leaves on everyone else for those boss battles where every turn counts.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Morrowind:
      • Curing diseases can be done via spells, scrolls, potions, or at shrines. After a certain point in the main quest, you become immune to diseases, rendering these potions and scrolls only good for selling.
      • Similarly, the teleportation spells (Almsivi Intervention, Divine Intervention, Mark/Recall) can be used via item enchantments or scrolls. However, in the long run, it is simply cheaper and more convenient to just buy the spells and sell any such items you pick up.
    • The same cure disease spell is available in Oblivion as an alternative to potions.
    • Continued in Skyrim, where an easy enchantment renders all those Cure Disease potions useless. You can also become either a werewolf or a vampire, both of which grant extra awesome powers and full disease immunity.
  • In the Etrian Odyssey series, your healing potions, and Theriaca A and B (which cure binds and ailments respectively) generally gets used less if you have a healer who can cure them with their skills, and the inventory system also means that if you pack a large stock of those items, you have less space for loot and utility. That said, if your healer dies or can't cast spells, you're out of luck, so it's always a good idea to keep a small stock of healing items in reserve for those situations. Later games try to minimize this trope by including Item Caddy skills, so that certain party members not specialized for healing can serve as a reserve healer.
  • In Exit Fate, you don't have a Bag of Sharing for items in combat, so you can only equip each party member with two items they can use — there are several status effects, many of which are rather devastating, so you probably won't cover everything. On the other hand, your supply of available magics is shared, so as long as you've purchased a few and you have the MP, you can save yourself fairly easily.
  • Present in pretty much every other Final Fantasy game, although there's still some use to carrying them around in your Hyperspace Arsenal. This applies especially to cures for poison (which may need to be cured before the healer's turn) and silence (because it would be necessary if the effect was cast on the character that knows the silence-removing spell).
  • Kingdom of Loathing's soft green echo eyedrop antidote is a cure-all for any status effect. It's possible to perm all skills to heal status ailments, these are easy to farm and preferable to hoard. There are many other items with the Antidote Effect that may be hoarded and be left unused at the end of ascension ("Why do I still have a dozen gobs of wet hair, two 8-balls, fourteen chaos butterflies, and a depantsing bomb?")
    • The anti-anti-antidote is useful, though, since there aren't any spells to remove poison that can be used during combat, and in many cases you'll want to remove the poison before the combat ends.
  • Medpacs and adrenals in Knights of the Old Republic are generally speaking much less useful once you acquire a Jedi party member, since the corresponding Force powers are much better at healing and buffing. But using a Force power takes up a character's turn, while using an item doesn't. (It should, but doesn't — if the item is used from the inventory screen and not the in-combat menu.) The main circumstance where medpacs are actually useful is in Boss Battles where every turn counts, particularly the Final Boss, Malak.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon there are some nasty status effects that do not go away after battle and magic is rare. This ought to make items more useful, except for the fact that the player has a paltry 32 inventory slots and nothing stacks. This leaves very little spare room for situational items and so if a particularly nasty enemy manages to poison two of your team members then you may be better off simply reloading your last save.
    • Or simply turn into a Dragoon which cures status effects.
    • The game's "Guard" battle command also reduces the need for status-curing items, as using it prevents the character from being hit with status effects until their next turn on top of its normal 50% damage reduction.
  • Potions, scrolls and otherwise useless weapons with a certain ability (like shock damage) that could come in later against an otherwise invulnerable boss in the Neverwinter Nights franchise, especially if your character is a non-magic build.
  • In Phantasy Star Online, antidotes are more or less useless, since poison deals little damage, is generally easy to avoid, and all characters either gain access to a tech that heals it at Tech Level 1 almost immediately, or are just flat-out immune to poison. However, Antiparalysis and Sol Atomizers can be a bit more useful, as they can heal Paralysis and, in the case of the latter, Shock - two status effects which can be crippling and which cannot otherwise be self-healed. However, high level characters often get access to Cure/Status armour slots, which render that character immune to certain status effects.
    • This also tends to be true of healing items. Aside from Androids (which cannot cast Techs), all characters quickly gain access to Resta, which can be used far more readily than healing items and costs almost no money to recharge. However, at high levels, Trimates and Star Atomizers remain useful for the fact that they heal instantly and cannot be cancelled by an enemy attack; although the casting time for Resta is very short, it does exist and if the player is surrounded, healing items can prove to be the difference between life and death.
  • Several examples from Pokémon:
    • Healing items are less necessary than in traditional RPGs, thanks to Pokémon Centers fully healing and curing everything for free. You'll be able to save virtually every item in the game for the Elite Four.
    • Throughout the series, Full Heals become available around halfway through the game. While more expensive individually than single-purpose healing items (Antidotes, Awakenings, Burn Heals, etc.), they can cover any status effect you need to treat. This is especially important in the first two generations which have strict item type limits.note 
    • Pokémon Red and Blue gives the player the Poké Flute item about 1/3 of the way into the game. It is an infinite-use cure for sleep that renders the one-use-only Awakening item completely useless.
    • Similarly, in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, a set of volcanic glass flutes are available to cure certain status effects at will; Blue for sleep, Red for infatuation, and Yellow for confusion. The latter two are especially useful, as the only other means to cure those ailments (short of switching out or waiting) are single-use hold items that must be set up before the fight.
    • All generations of games eventually make Full Heals available, which will cure any major status effect, plus confusion. Even later, you'll get access to Full Restores, which do the same thing while also healing your Pokémon back up to full health. The only reason these don't make everything else redundant is because they can't be used as held items.
    • The Call command in Pokémon Colosseum and XD causes a Pokémon not in Hyper or Reverse Modes to wake up from sleep or (in XD) increase their Accuracy, essentially rendering the Awakening and X Accuracy items completely useless.
    • For certain Pokémon, their own moveset can negate the need for healing items or vice versa. For instance, the move Heal Bell can remove most status effects from the entire team (making status-healing items nearly pointless) or the X Defense item can increase the Defense stat (negating the need for the move Harden).
    • Pokémon X and Y added another nail in the coffin of status-healing items with Pokémon-Amie; if you interact with your Pokémon enough, it'll get a chance to randomly shake off a status condition at the end of the turn. When Pokémon Sun and Moon upgraded the feature into Pokémon Refresh, they kept with the trend, adding the ability to cure status effects outside of battle for free.
  • Radiant Historia has this pretty badly with its status-curing items. Who's going to spend even a paltry 50 G on an Antidote (which may or may not be useful in any given battle) when the money could instead be put toward items that restore characters' MP (which is pretty much guaranteed to be useful in any given battle and can more often than not be used to cure the status effect anyway)? For the status effects that outright prevent characters from acting (Sleep, Paralysis, etc.), it might be useful to have a few items to get rid of them in case the character with the curative spell gets hit by the status effect, but since MP-restoring items in this game are relatively easy to come by and most of the status-curing spells are very cheap to cast, Antidotes and the like end up either simply staying in your inventory just because (there are virtually no limitations on inventory size) or sold.
  • Shining Force gives you four inventory slots per character, one of which is taken up by their weapon. Any poisoned character takes 2 damage at the end of each round, regardless of level or health. On your absolute weakest character at the lowest possible level, this amounts to only 1/5 of their HP. You start the games with a Healer that learns Detox at very low levels, and poison can be cured in any town between fights for less than the cost of one Antidote.
  • Used and twisted in Super Mario RPG Early on from the first shop you can grab Trueform and Wake Up Pins for cheap The Wake Up pin is for free if you know where to grab it, accessories that negate a certain type of status effect, conveniently both status ailments that will be used in the next area. And then there's the Safety Ring in the sunken ship which while also making the wearer immune to status ailments also completely Antimagic's certain enemy spells. (But not all of them) From roughly the halfway point onward, Toadstool joins the party, while already having access to both a single-target and an entire-party spanning spell that cure every status effect on top of restoring health, making Able Juices and Freshen Ups virtually useless.
  • As an MMORPG, Ultima Online is set up so that cure potions are inferior to cure spells, but still preferable in certain cases. If one party member gets poisoned, it's trivial for another member to cure them with a quick spell. However, if a solo player gets poisoned, this can be problematic, because casting a spell requires them to stand still for a few seconds, and if they take damage during the casting, it can cause the spell to fail. Thus, trying to cast a cure spell on yourself can be tricky since the poison keeps dealing damage over time, as well as the fact that you'll be stuck in place, unable to put any distance between yourself and whatever monster poisoned you.

    Survival Horror 
  • Resident Evil has only two enemies that can poison you and both only appear in one area. Blue Herbs cure poison and can be mixed with other herbs to let you heal and cure poison at the same time. You can wind up carrying Blue Herbs or its mixtures and never needing to use them once you get past the enemies that can poison you. The sequels keep up the same trend. Blue and Red Herbs can't be mixed together either, but Resident Evil 2 (Remake) does give the Blue Herbs a secondary effect by giving you temporary increased defense when mixed with a Red Herb. Capcom seems to know about the phenomenon and pokes fun at it on the RE 2 remake statistics site by showing an animated image of Claire tossing away a blue herb in the "discarded items" statistics section.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In Minecraft, drinking a bucket of milk will remove all status effects, including poison and similar. There's little worry of Too Awesome to Use — buckets are reusable, cheap, and easy to craft, while milk can be harvested infinitely from a single cow or mooshroom. But a single bucket of milk takes up an entire space in your limited inventory, so you won't want to carry very many, and if you ever find a reason to use them often enough that running out is a problem, you'll have to run back to your home for more whenever you run out.

  • Avoided in the first four DotHackR1Games. There are exactly two healing items, each healing approximately 6 out of 12 status ailments that can be inflicted to you. Also, higher level dungeons start having enemies that do cast those ailments to you so not bringing any is actually foolish (and suicidal). This game also notably averts Useless Useful Spell with regards to status ailments, but that's for another trope entry.
  • Fantasy Life's healing magic takes some time to charge up and makes you vulnerable. If you're an Alchemist or Cook, Food or Healing Potions are relatively easy to make, making Earth Magic pretty useless.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Inverted in Final Fantasy. For the price of learning the PURE spell, you can buy 53 Pure potions, which is more than you're likely to ever need. The situation is similar for Soft potions and the SOFT spell, plus the spell charges are better spent on EXIT or INV2. The GBA and PSP remakes change the magic charge system to a magic point system, and the Poisona and Stona spells are comically cheap in terms of MP cost... but learning the spells still cost you the equivalent of numerous Antidotes and Gold Needles.
    • In Final Fantasy II, the Esuna spell cures all permanent status effects. However, ailments other than poison and blind require higher levels of Esuna to cure, and in battle there's a chance of failure depending on Esuna's level and the user's Spirit stat. Items will always work in battle, and avoid the need to grind up Esuna.
    • Avoided in Final Fantasy Tactics, where casting spells takes time, leaves your White Mage vulnerable while casting, and is not 100% effective. The "Item" skill works immediately and always works. It remains valuable throughout the game.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance not only has several spells or skills available to easily get rid of most effects (especially the Paladin skill Nurse, which affects the user and nearby targets, has no cost and heals some hitpoints), it also makes you choose between being able to use items at all or using the skills from another job instead. And many status effects fade after a few turns anyway. The sequel makes item a bit more useful with Rangers being able to reverse the effect and use them to harm enemies. Unfortunately, the status effect items aren't any more reliable than job alternatives which are often either free or can hit several targets, and may have a wider range and/or deal damage, too. However, there is one job (Alchemist) which gives you Item as a third slot, leaving you able to use that, your primary class abilities, and a secondary class.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, it is possible to use GF abilities to refine various antidotes into either magic of a similar effect, or of the affliction they would normally cure. It is also possible for the GF Siren to learn an in-combat Action Ability called "Treatment," which completely cures all status effects on a party member. Although the "Treatment" Ability falls even more neatly into this trope than regular antidotes. You can only equip three Action Abilities (not counting "Fight", which is permanent) and equipping "Treatment" means you've spent a slot that could be used for something else.
    • Inverted in Final Fantasy XII. There is an accessory you can get a little into the game which allows curative items to inflict the status they cure, with 100% accuracy (unless the enemy is immune to that effect). note  Predictably, this makes the spells which actually cause these effects (often with less accuracy) as their primary purpose much less useful. The main benefit of using healing items over spells in FFXII is that their action bar charges waaaaay faster.
    • Final Fantasy XIII:
      • Potions heal 150 HP, or 5% of your Max HP(thus only increasing in power at 3000+HP, which you won't get until the very end of the game). There's an accessory that slightly increases that but ultimately potions lose their usefulness shortly into the game when the Medic paradigm becomes available.
      • Items that cure status effects, on the other hand, avert this. While they can only be used by the player, they're very cheap, can be used without a Medic in the party, and don't use up any of the party leader's ATB gauge. Even a Dazed character (who normally cannot act at all) can use a Foul Liquid on themselves to cure Daze.
      • The sequel, XIII-2, has Phoenix Down grant Protect and Shell in addiction to reviving the character, something Raise won't do. There's also a new item named Phoenix Blood, which revives and grants Haste, and the only other ways to get that status effect is to either get a pre-emptive strike on an enemy or use accessories that grant it when you're low on HP.
      • In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, abilities that cure status effects are extremely rare, and thus items are the main means of curing status effects.
    • In Final Fantasy X:
      • You can use items to customize your armor. 99 Echo Screens, for example, will let you customize one piece of armor to protect against Silence or one weapon to inflict silence on enemies. However, rarer items produce better effects; 99 Echo Screens gives you Silence Touch, which silences enemies sometimes, while a sufficient number of Silence Grenades gives you Silence Strike, which almost always causes silence. So they're useful for something besides the single use, which may either be Square admitting to this trope or just weaseling out of it.
      • And then there's the CTB system where the next few turns can shift slightly depending on what action you use. Most of the time, items could give your character an extra turn after using the said item, making item use somewhat useful.
      • A set of rare items is supposed to be used for weapon/armor customization, but the abilities they give are kind of lame. However, you can use them for Rikku's best overdrives: Trio of 9999 and Hyper Mighty G. The former makes all blows and healing do a minimum of 9999 HP damage/healing, while the latter grants the entire party Protect, Shell, Haste, Regen and Auto Life. You WILL need Hyper Mighty G when fighting some of the Monster Arena creations.
      • An interesting variant occurs in Final Fantasy X where items that are already very useful can be made even better. Mega-Potions and Megalixirs restore all three of your onscreen party members when they're used in battle...but when they're used in the menu screen, they heal all seven of your characters.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • There are various types of potions, ethers, and status curing potions which are incredibly handy for new players/players using a new class, but the items get outclassed very quickly; healers will have spells that not only restores HP in amounts far beyond what potions can heal, but they also get a spell that removes nasty status effects from a player. Granted, potions are instant use (with no class restrictions), but they have lengthy cool downs to prevent them from being spammed, which limits their overall usefulness. For example, an Elixir, which restores a few hundred HP and MP at once, requires the user to wait several minutes before they can use another or any other similar item. Spell casting is only limited by cast time and the user's remaining MP. Even physical classes on their own have limited self-healing abilities (such as Second Wind) that they can use instead. Gold Needles are an exception since Petrification can only be cured with the use of a Gold Needle (Esuna/Leeches doesn't cure it, despite the spells being able to cure everything else).
      • Many status effects only last for a short amount of time anyway (unlike the older games) and those that are critical to manage in boss fights usually can't be cured at all except for specific elements of the boss arena itself (such as fruits or specific areas).
      • Phoenix Downs also suffer from this, unusually for the series. They are rare and you can only carry one at a time, but they can also only be used out of combat and can only be used on people within your own party, which is rarely useful. At best, it skips the waiting period after changing to a different class so you can cast Raise. Phoenix Downs do get some use in the Deep Dungeon content where you may not have a healer in your group, but the out of combat restriction still applies.
  • In Infinite Undiscovery, having a steady supply of minor Antidote-type items stops the dumb AI allies from using the far more valuable Cure-All items on trivial statuses. They seem to do this even if they have a spell to fix the statuses in question.
  • In Legend of Grimrock, there straight up is no status-curing magic. Items (antivenom for poison; antidotes for disease) are the only option other than waiting for the status to expire. Legend of Grimrock 2 adds paralysis, also cured by antidotes, which never expires by itself.
  • Monster Hunter zigzags this trope all over the place. While there are monsters able to apply afflictions to your Hunter, the major threats usually only apply one or two, so you can tailor your gear and inventory towards whatever you're fighting. Even then, actual Antidotes do have a use in completely curing Poison and Venom statuses - especially the latter, which Poison protection skills can only blunt, not negate. Nulberries, which cure elemental blights, also have their uses, as the nature of armor and armor skill allocations mean you risk getting a blight you can't block against Alatreon and they help mitigate the effects of the Magalas' Frenzy Virus.
  • In Parasite Eve you have one ability that removes poison and another that can remove everything, but costs a bit of parasite energy to use (using too much parasite energy in battle greatly reduces its recharge rate). Items that cure status ailments are plentiful to find and they also have a secondary use; using a curative item while you are healthy will grant you immunity to that status effect once. The sequel uses the same system for items as well.
  • In Phantasy Star III the "Anti" spell isn't 100% effective, leaving a choice between a renewable (but not guaranteed) cure or a limited-availability, 100% effective cure.
  • Avoided in Resonance of Fate, where the ONLY way to cure poison is to use an item or wait it out, and poison in this game is incredibly dangerous. In fact, most of the time the antidote is useless because by the time you're able to cure yourself with it, it's already done a tremendous amount of non-regenerating health. The best option is really to never let yourself get hit by poison attacks.
  • Salt and Sanctuary solves the issue by making it so that the healing and Cleanse prayers require significant investment in the prayer skill tree to even equip, and also require you to use Focus, depleting your maximum stamina. Therefore, your healing potions and antidotes never become obsolete. Those prayers also take longer to use than a healing item, making them more impractical for the middle of a fight.
  • Averted (mostly) in the Shin Megami Tensei series, in particular Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. Very few demons tend to learn even one status-healing spell and frequently accommodating these skills infringe on the Limited Move Arsenal, so such items can be quite valuable. Especially since having even a generally mild status effect like poison can mean death if caught without a status healing item.
  • In Skies of Arcadia somewhere around the first dungeon (or earlier if you get lucky with random drops) you will gain access to a skill that protects your entire party from magic for a turn that is inexpensive enough to be used every turn. It also blocks your own magic, but items work just fine. Furthermore, the game's battle system uses a party-wide resource bar for special attacks and spells, but items do not consume this bar, so you're indirectly increasing your damage by using items instead of spells. Finally, the game throws money at you, especially during the later half, and healing items are always inexpensive.
  • Since combat in the Tales Series takes place in real time, magic takes several seconds to use, while items take effect instantly. Generally speaking, when you want your party members cured, you want them cured now. The best strategy is therefore to use items in battle, and spells outside it when casting time doesn't matter, so that you can keep those items for when you really need them.
    • Grade complicates this, though. Using items to heal yourself in battle can reduce the amount of grade you get, but letting the battle finish while someone is poisoned is bad for your grade too.
  • In Wild ARMs: Alter Code F you can't use spells outside of battle, so if combat ends before you heal people, you're stuck using healing items.