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Bragging Rights Reward

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10. Unlocking Crap - I will no longer play through a game nine times on Ultraviolence mode with the declawed kitten character so I can unlock the infinite-ammo laser chain gun. All I've proven to anyone is that I clearly don't need the thing.
—'s Top 10 Videogame Resolutions

The Bragging Rights Reward is a powerful gameplay reward you can only obtain past the point where you can actually make use of it, making it Awesome, but Impractical. Generally, in order to have earned the reward, you had to have proven you didn't need it in the first place.

Such a reward is typically found by defeating the most powerful monster, beating the hardest level, clearing the hardest difficulty, earning a perfect score on every level, or achieving 100% Completion. It's only for bragging rights because you've already conquered the toughest of obstacles, or have already exhausted all of the game's content, making the reward mostly or wholly redundant by this point.

The classic example is any reward you receive when you defeat the hidden, optional boss that's by far the toughest enemy in the game. This is also often the fate of the Infinity +1 Sword (and making weaker weapons Infinity -1 Swords). As an odd side effect, it will often work out that the more difficult an optional boss is, the less useful its reward will be, and vice versa. It may turn out to be Purposely Overpowered (essentially the game designers hanging a lampshade on this trope). A New Game+ is an attempt at getting around this, by letting you carry your new stuff into a new game where it'd actually be useful.


In some contexts, the reward might be Not Completely Useless. Some players might derive enjoyment from using the reward when replaying earlier levels or goofing off in a Wide-Open Sandbox. And even if the reward is overkill by the time you can get it, There Is No Kill Like Overkill. Generally, though, the reward would have much more practical use if you had gotten it earlier. Of course, this is not to imply that this trope is a bad thing, as to many players, the satisfaction of accomplishment is reward enough, and the Bragging Rights Reward is seen as more of a cool Easter Egg than something to truly be disappointed in.

Note that the Bragging Rights Reward has an actual effect on gameplay and would be useful if you could get it earlier. If the reward exists only to serve as proof of accomplishment and has no other purpose (such as a medal in your inventory or a star next to your save file), it's a Cosmetic Award. See also Junk Rare.



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  • Castlevania
    • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night defeating Galamoth, the hardest boss, gives you two Life Max Ups and a Heart Max Up, and the ability for your Mist form to harm enemies. Of course, none of them could challenge you by this point, not even Dracula himself, who isn't hurt by your poisonous gas anyway. It's basically just ripe fodder for some fart jokes (Unless you find a certain "well-hidden" item which renders you immune to his lightning, allowing a patient player to beat him with ease much earlier).
    • In Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, defeating the Forgotten One gives you the Black Orb, which provides you with a new set of sub-weapon options. This would be really awesome, except that at this point you have already pretty much finished the game. While the Black Orb does help out against the next-to-last boss, the final boss (Death) is unaffected by your sub-weapons, rendering the Black Orb useless against him.
    • Similar to Diablo 2, the real purpose behind Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is building your characters up as much as possible, and grinding for rare drops so you can attain a full item list. Many item drops are useless, but a large number of them are quite powerful, and in turn useful for running stages faster so you can cut down on grinding time. Soma and Jonathan take it Up to Eleven. Jonathan's whip power is raised by leveling his 12 subweapons (5 more of which are DLC only and don't contribute to stat growth), while Soma can get up to 9 copies of every enemy in the game's souls, and there are over 150.
    • Special mention goes to Charlotte Aulin. Her basic attack gets more intricate and deadly the more spells she knows, with 3 overall 'forms', the last of which is reserved for when you've maxed out all her spells. You can still use her for grinding money and items, but as she cannot change her basic weapon, weapons do not drop for her, so grinding for items is less effective than with other characters, like Soma and Alucard.
  • In Ittle Dew 2, we have the Exploding Flaming Chainsaw Shotgun. It deals great damage and has great range, and even better, it can open any door, allowing you to perform a Dungeon Bypass. The Bragging Right's part? You get it at the end of the Tomb of the Simulacrum, home to the toughest fights and puzzles in the game, and which can only be accessed after beating the Final Boss. However, you can still use it against the Bonus Boss, though it may be hard to do so since it is a Charged Attack. However, it is Averted against That Guy, since the boss is immune to everything except the Exploding Flaming Chainsaw Shotgun.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time:
    • The Fierce Deity Mask in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask can only be used against bosses, but it's so overpowered that it makes them a joke. However, unlocking it requires getting all 24 masks, at least one of which is That One Sidequest, and it can't be unlocked until literally seconds before the Final Boss.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
      • In the original Nintendo GameCube version, the Hero's Charm allows you to see enemy HP and is earned by collecting 40 Joy Pendants, an uncommon but not difficult item to find. If you're wondering why we're bothering to describe a non-example, well, the HD remaster of the game turned this into a bragging rights reward by instead locking it behind the Savage Labyrinth, a level similar to the Cave of Ordeals mentioned below. If you made it to this point, you've probably already memorized most enemies' HP anyway. And the thing doesn't even work on the Final Boss!
      • The original version also has a Piece of Heart at the very bottom of the Savage Labyrinth - another thing you don't need if you're good enough to obtain it in the first place. Though this was still an improvement from the downright insulting 10 Rupees in that chest in the original Japanese version.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Biggoron will upgrade your defensive item to the Mirror Shield for you if you go and do something "impressive". What do you have to do to impress him? Beat the game, by which point the Mirror Shield becomes irrelevant.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • There's a Poe-collecting sidequest that, like OoT's Skulltula one, rewards you with infinite money. While this game does have more use for rupees, thanks to the invincible Magic Armor being fueled by it, it still counts as this trope since a) You don't get infinite Rupees on hand, just have a quick source to max out your wallet, and b) The only location in the game where most players would want to use the item that benefits from the infinite money reward, the aforementioned Magic Armor, is the Cave of Ordeals...but you won't be heading in with the advantage of this sidequest's reward because the last Poe needed to complete it is located on one of the final floors of said 50-floor dungeon.
      • The bug hunt is a maddening example. Every unique bug you give the girl gets you money. She gives you a total of 150 Rupees for every matched male/female pair. And the reward for giving her all 12 pairs of bugs? The ability to carry 1000 Rupees. It would've been useful before she gave you 1800 Rupees. And by the time you could do this, you have been given enough Rupees to buy pretty much everything of value. It does synergize well with the Magic Armor, however.
      • Completing all fifty levels of the Cave of Ordeals in grants you the ability to refill your empty bottles with Great Fairy's Tears (and fairies while you're at it) at any spring. If you were able to complete the Cave of Ordeals though, you'll likely not need the Great Fairy's Tears for any other part of Twilight Princess.
      • You can only get Great Fairy's Tears if you don't already have a bottle. However, the Cave of Ordeals will award Great Fairy's Tears regardless, as long as you have an empty bottle. If you have Great Fairy's Tears you didn't use, you've largely proven you don't need them anyway. You can get a third bottle by doing the Cave of Ordeals again, with an extra Darknut added to the already tough final battle. And yes, a fourth bottle by doing it a third time, which is doubly only for bragging rights because Rare Chu Jelly has the same effect and is far easier to get (but Rare Chus only spawn if you don't already have one).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:
      • The Hylian Shield can seem like one of these, since it's available very late in the game and getting it requires beating eight bosses in a row, proving you don't really need it. However, it's still useful against the Final Boss, and you can use it in another run of the Boss Rush.
      • What absolutely is an example of this trope is the reward for beating all twelve bosses, which is filling your wallet to max capacity. At this point, you probably bought everything useful ten hours ago.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • The strongest weapons in the game are the Savage Lynel varieties. Of course, the only places to get these weapons are by defeating high-level Lynels, who are the strongest enemies in the game, with Silver Lynels being more powerful than the final boss. And even if they weren't Too Awesome to Use to begin with thanks to the breakable weapons system, there are a handful of weapons that are slightly less powerful but far more easily obtainable and have more durability.
      • Only available with the Master Trials DLC pack, the Gold Lynels are even worse. Like a lot of other things on this list, the spoils are worth having in theory, but in practice, getting them is so much harder than anything you'd be using any of it for, even The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and the Final Boss, putting it squarely into this trope. From the same DLC, there's a No-Gear Level Marathon Level that makes the Master Sword permanently in its "unlocked" state, but by the time you're strong enough to get it, it's likely all you have left to do is conquer Hyrule Castle... where the Master Sword is already in its "unlocked" state (it does also get a massive increase in durability to sweeten the pot).
      • Finding and completing all 120 shrines rewards the player with the Hero of the Wild armor set, which resembles Link's iconic green outfit and cap from every previous game that his blue Champion's Tunic replaced as his "default" outfit. The Wild set can serve as an easy substitute for more nostalgic players, but at that point in the game there's not much left to do. By contrast, the only requirement to obtain the Champion's Tunic is to recover one memory.
      • The Ancient armor set provides great resistance against Guardian attacks... and can only be obtained by killing many Guardians and harvesting their parts.
      • The Bow of Light, which spawns infinite arrows that deal 100 damage each. Pity you only get it in the very final battle. To make matters worse, you don't even need the Bow of Light to defeat Dark Beast Ganon, since he can just as easily be felled by Ancient Arrows, beams from the Master Sword, or the amiibo-accessible Twilight Bow. That said, some players have been able to exploit a glitch that lets you leave in the middle of the fight and experiment with the Bow of Light in the Wide-Open Sandbox.
      • The Master Cycle Zero, a motorcycle that's not only faster and easier to control than any horse in the game, but it can be summoned almost anywhere and there's no risk of possibly losing it like you would with your horse. The only thing you'll have to worry about is refueling it, but that's easy since most materials in the game are capable of refueling. How do you get this Master Cycle Zero? Aside from only being obtainable through the Champions' Ballad DLC, the game first requires the player to have freed all four of the Divine Beasts. Then they must complete a series of rather tedious quests, plus a rematch with each of the bosses of said Divine Beasts, before they can get their hands on the Master Cycle Zero. If you managed to do all that, then there will probably be not much left to do in the game unless you've held off on a lot of the shrine or side quests.
  • LEGO Adaptation Games:
    • Studs X8 and X10 in the various games serve little to no purpose since they are absurdly expensive, difficult to unlock, only available very late in the game (typically only available after Story Mode is complete), and most of all because the stud multipliers stack. Studs X2 can always be easily unlocked right at the beginning (though sometimes it's tricky) and X4 can typically be unlocked fairly early, and those two together will give you 8X more money which is enough to purchase everything as it becomes available. It actually takes genuine effort to unlock Studs X10 before you've already purchased pretty much everything.
    • Both LEGO Harry Potter games have such a reward you can get after collecting all the golden bricks:
      • Finding all golden bricks in Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 ultimately allows you to unlock Voldemort as a playable character. But he is not any different from any other dark wizard in the game, and seeing as you already require a dark wizard to find some of the required gold bricks, he is not the most useful character...except to show everyone that you finished the game at 100% completion.
      • The ultimate reward in Years 5-7 is even more useless. Finding all the golden bricks there allows you to build a golden miniature version of Hogwarts in one of the rooms of the Leaky Cauldron that continually spawns studs (the in-game currency).
    • In LEGO Indiana Jones, beating the game causes money and health to rain from the sky... unfortunately this occurs after you've already bought everything that you can and in a location where you can't die.
    • In LEGO Batman 2, Supergirl can only be unlocked by collecting all 250 gold bricks. Since by that point there are no more levels or sidequests to complete, she's only useful for messing around in Gotham City.
    • Getting 100% Completion in LEGO DC Super-Villains unlocks Lex Luthor's mech as a vehicle. Considering there's nothing left to do at that point in the game, its only use is goofing around in the hub.
  • Metroid games tend to scatter far more health and missile upgrades than any sane person would need. They're often hidden behind rather tricky challenges or difficult-to-find secret passages, but really don't serve a purpose past a certain point besides rewarding exploration and giving another percentage point towards 100% Completion.
    • Both Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission hide several of the weapon upgrades behind obstacles that can only be cleared during the endgame, at a point when the plot is pushing the player to finish up and conclude. Notably, in the case of Zero Mission, collecting 100% of the items has an unintended side effect — it greatly increases the difficulty of the final boss.
  • In Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, you get a bonus item drop from every boss if you can beat it without taking damage. But this is a hard game, so if you can beat any boss (apart from maybe the first one) without taking damage, you probably don't need the extra items to beat it anyway. This goes double for the item you get for beating the end boss flawlessly (the Birthstone) which doesn't actually do anything.
  • In Ōkami, collecting all 100 stray beads allows you to create an accessory that gives you invincibility, infinite ink, and a 10x strength bonus. Want to know how you get the last bead? You receive it as a gift from Issun after you beat the game.
    • Fortunately, you can keep it in a New Game+. In fact, this is the whole purpose of it.
    • Likewise Ōkamiden gives you the same accessory for use in new game plus, as well as a costume of Shiranui Chibi.
  • Achieving 100% Completion in Rise of the Tomb Raider unlocks the Thunderclap, a gilded double-barreled break-action shotgun with a maxed-out damage rating that can kill just about anything in the game with one shot. However, the game can only be 100%ed by/after finishing the story, so the only things you can actually shoot with the Thunderclap are occasional Trinity patrols in the Playable Epilogue, as well as the mostly docile wildlife. It basically exists to take a screenshot of Lara holding it as proof of you having beaten the game.
  • Shadow of the Colossus features a huge assortment of weapons and items, all of which can only be acquired after you've beaten the game. They can't be used in the Time Attack mode, but have some use in a second playthrough. The exception is the Sword of the Sun, which enables you to use a light beam anywhere. In this game, light beams direct you to the next Colossus or, if you're in battle, its weak points. By this stage of the game, you'll have fought all of them at least twice and know where their weak points are on both difficulty levels.
  • In Timespinner, the final item the Merchant Crow sells is an accessory that increases familiar experience when equipped; it costs 99,999 entropy. You're not going to be able to afford it without some serious grinding for money or running through the game multiple times, at which point you're probably so strong that you didn't need more help from your familiars anyways.
  • Tomb Raider II and Tomb Raider III grants you all weapons with infinite ammo to use in any level if you find all of the secrets (and beating the Bonus Level in the latter's case). By the time you unlock this reward, there's nothing to do with them other than replaying levels and blasting everything with the grenade/rocket launcher.
  • In Uncharted, you can't unlock infinite ammo, one-shot kills, or the ability to pull out the last three weapons whenever you want (rather than having to find them) until you've beaten the game on Crushing difficulty (in which those cheats are disabled anyway).

    Action Games 
  • Spider-Man (2000) has a Captain Universe costume, who has unlimited health, webbing, and can do double damage. However, you get it after beating Hard Mode, which means that since you were able to do that, you probably never even needed the suit.
  • In Twisted Metal: Black, Minion is unlocked after you have completed the game with all other characters, regular and hidden. While nerfed from his boss form, he is still a Game-Breaker.

    Adventure Games 
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Monokuma offers Hajime a special reward if he finds all of his hidden figures. After collecting all of them, Monokuma will show up in Hajime's cabin to congratulate him, and give him his "prize". Which is just Monokuma posing in his various sprites before leaving. Hajime, understandably, is upset.
  • In the insult swordfighting segment of The Secret of Monkey Island, Guybrush must memorize the insults and comebacks used by his opponents to make them easier to defeat. When fighting the Swordmaster, Guybrush learns a unique set of insults that cannot be countered by other pirates. Using them is pointless, because they prevent you from learning new comebacks, and by the time you've met the Swordmaster the only reason you'd have to fight other pirates is to learn new comebacks.

    Beat 'em Ups 
  • Viewtiful Joe has Captain Blue as a playable character. To unlock him, you need to beat the game on the hardest setting called "Ultra V-Rated" mode, where enemies don't call their attacks, many of the mooks are replaced with their upgraded counterparts, many of those guys' attacks are faster, bosses have nearly a dozen health bars, and you take quadruple damage from everything. Combine that with a two-stage final boss whose most common attack now takes a monstrous eight hearts out of your life bar (the maximum being 16 with all upgrades), and you're in for a bumpy ride. Totally worth it to see that fatass fly at supersonic speeds with his hands on his hips, though.

    Fighting Games 
  • Getting the best equipment in Dissidia Final Fantasy. The Lufenian gear (best armors, some of the best weapons) and the ingredients to make each character's Level 100 Exclusive plus the best accessories can only be gotten by a long and grueling slog through the game's Lunar Whale course. The Lunar Whale has enemies at the highest CPU strength/intelligence, at level 120 when the player is capped at level 100, in the worst stages in the game, in special rulesets, decked out in the finest equipment and accessories the game has to offer, with a hefty dose of cheating and My Rules Are Not Your Rules. Surviving the Lunar Whale course long enough to get the gear for even one character, let alone all 22, only demonstrates that the player clearly doesn't need it.
  • In Magical Battle Arena completing Nowel's story, which ends with a horrific one-on-five battle where the enemy team isn't handicapped, unlocks a Gadget Drone. Yes, the mooks you always face at the beginning of every story.
  • Completing all the challenges in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U grants 2,000,000G. The structure of the games, and the fact that several of the challenges involve getting all the equipment and most of the trophies, means that by the time this is obtained, there's almost nothing left to spend the money on.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • The golden guns in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare — with the exception of the Golden Desert Eagle, you get one golden gun in each class after performing challenges such as "100 headshots" with each weapon. They ruin what little camouflage you had, and they don't provide any damage bonus, but GOD DAMN they look cool.
  • In a similar vein are the "Golden AK-47s" of Far Cry 2. Hidden throughout the world, you can find one and use it until it degrades and explodes (unless you glitch it into repairing itself with a standard AK-47).
  • In the Police 911 games, reaching the 10th and final rank of Commissioner grants 100 lives. Pretty amazing...until you consider that 1. if you're good enough to survive (and avoid tagging noncombatants) for that long, you don't need all those lives, and 2. your game still ends once you run out of time (which is only awarded at the 2nd and 4th ranks). Worse, if you continue, your lives are reset to 3.
  • In Turok 2, clearing the Oblivion Portal in each level gives you a piece of the Nuke weapon. Unfortunately, by the time you complete the weapon in Level 6, there is no practical use for it on mooks other than watching the cool death animations, and the bosses are immune to it.
  • Urban Chaos: Riot Response replaces your pistol with a Minigun if you get everything there is to get in the single player. Lots of bullets, nothing to use 'em on.
    • Some players might not even consider this a reward, as it is entirely possible that the Pistol was their go-to weapon for the entire game.
  • In Verdun, you get medals for exceptional performance on the battlefield. They serve no function other than looking good. Considering the game itself, that's not surprising.

    Hack and Slash 
  • Bayonetta has the Climax Bracelet, that gives you automatic Wicked Weave attacks for every punch and kick, an ability that normally only appears in Boss Battles. To get it, you have to collect all the "Umbran Tears of Blood," a task which includes getting every Achievement/Trophy in the game. One of which involves beating the game on Nonstop Infinite Climax anyway! Just to hammer in the point, the game won't save your score when using it so you can't even use it to get Pure Platinum ranks on all the levels. That's because it's a total Game-Breaker.
    • The Climax Bracelet makes the fight against the Bonus Boss about a million times easier, downing its difficulty to just Nintendo Hard (yeah, he's that tough). Winning gives you another Bragging Rights Reward (a shape shifting Swiss Army Weapon) that is totally useless to get any pure platinum (it has terrible combo points) but is actually very useful against the bosses of Angel Slayer.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Completing the "Must Die" difficulty in Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Devil May Cry 4, and Devil May Cry 5 unlocks a "Super Costume" for Dante or the other playable characters. These costumes are all purposely overpowered as they grant unlimited meters for the Devil Trigger transformation, and other mechanics like Nero's Exceed. In Devil May Cry 2, completing said mode unlocks a cheat code that enables unlimited Devil Trigger regardless of the equipped costume. The Special Edition of Devil May Cry 3 gives Dante and Vergil additional Super Costumes that have more benefits than their standard Super Costumes (unlocked by completing the Very Hard difficulty or Bloody Palace mode), such as health regeneration and unlimited usage of DT-reliant abilities. In DmC: Devil May Cry, they are classified as Perks instead of costumes.
    • Beating the last of 12 Secret Missions in the first game offers you a Bangle of Time. Equipping it changes Devil Trigger to stop time, though it doesn't work on bosses and it's obtained so late in the game you only really get to use it during New Game+.
    • In Devil May Cry 5, each character has a special "EX Provocation" taunt that you can buy for 3,000,000 red orbs. It raises the Style gauge more than the regular taunt, but really, was it money well spent?
  • God of War:
    • Multiple games unlock special alternative outfits with special bonuses if you defeat local Harder Than Hard difficulty. Some of those are especially pointless since they serve only to further penalize you.
    • In God of War (PS4), the only way to get the final upgrade for the Leviathan Axe is to clear some of the game's most difficult combat challenges, including beating some of the Valkyries. Same goes for the Blades of Chaos with the Heart of Muspelheim. Sigrun, Queen of the Valkyries, drops some pretty good loot as well, but she's also the most difficult enemy in the entire game. By the time you beat her, you've probably got nothing left to do. You're certainly good enough to clear the final boss without needing anything she could provide.
  • In Ninja Gaiden Black, you need to collect all 50 scarabs to get the Dark Dragon Blade, the strongest BFS in the game, barring the Unlabored Flawlessness at low health. The last scarab is on the second to last mission, near the end of the level. Then the last level is nothing but a single boss fight. No New game+ in this release; there was one in the non-Black edition though.
  • Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams has two sets of four accessories that when equipped will either give a character infinite magic or infinite super mode. Either one of these can be abused to essentially make your invincible, but for either set two accessories are hidden somewhere in the game (one of the four being somewhere in the middle of the final boss rush) and the other four accessories are received by beating the 100 floor battle arena with 4 of the 5 characters. Easily the hardest challenge in the game, but they're still not entirely useless as you can use the infinite magic to help beat the arena with the last two characters and the final level, but all you can use the infinite super mode with is a few bosses at the end of the game.
    • The weapons you get at 100th floor of the Dark Realm from the same game count as well. Last 10 floors contain the combinations of the enemies much harder that anything you find in the game itself, including really nasty Genma Black Captains in packs, and since you cannot use them at other Dark Realms they are really pretty much just for bragging. Weapons from 50th floor are much faster to get by comparison, are not much weaker and come with magic, especially with very useful Light Magic in the case of Excalibur from Soki.
    • Onimusha 3 Has the Ultimate Whip and the Sword of Bishamon. Both of these are obtained at Honnoji Temple in a Demon Realm Battle Arena for both characters respectively. They're powerful with unlimited magic power and can easily wreck any boss you would use them on. The problem here is that you've obtained them in the very endgame, where you probably have maxed out everything including weapons. Jacques can at least use his on his version of Nobunaga for an easy victory so it's not so bad in his case. But Samanosuke can't even do the same for his, the only thing you can really use it against is the enemies in the Demon Realm. The same one you just cleared without it.
  • If you do absolutely everything in Warriors Orochi 2, you can unlock a superpowered version of Orochi called Orochi X. However, by the time this is done, it's time to put down the game...

  • Final Fantasy XIV has the weapons and titles from Ultimate Trials, which are among the hardest content the game has to offer. The weapon itself, at least relative to the content on release, is actually identical in stats to the weapons found in the relevant Savage-tier raids, meaning there's no real reason to take down Ultimate for more power, when you've already pushed your skill and tenacity to the absolute limit trying. That said, the weapons do look cool when held, and the title you get from clearing the fight is basically a badge of honor on how much ass you kicked. Back in the day, the "White Ravens" earrings were also this - you got them from defeating the most difficult boss in the 1.0 game, but they were basically useless unless you were going for a very specific and odd build. They were later re-released as a seasonal event item, years after they'd been surpassed by even very basic equipment; the Replica White Raven earrings are available on the real-money cosmetics store, but those are purely cosmetic and have the stats of tissue paper.
  • In Guild Wars 2 Legendary items require massive amounts of resources to create, representing hundreds if not thousands of golds invested into one item. However they are exactly as powerful as the much more accessible Ascended items, meaning there is no gain in character power for possessing one. The only real advantage of a Legendary is that it will always have the same stats as the current most powerful tier should the developers add a new level of equipment above Ascended.
  • Capes of Achievement serve this purpose in Runescape. There's a cape for maxing out each skill, a cape for continuing to train said maxed out skills to the point where you could've used the XP to max out 7 or 8 other skills, a cape for maxing out all skills, a cape for completing all quests, and a cape for completing everything.
    • In Old School Runescape, Capes of Accomplishment can be used while equipped to boost the associated skill to 100 for a short while. Due to how the game engine is programmed, for any non-combat skill (Hitpoints, Attack, Defense, Strength, Magic, Range and Prayer) this is entirely useless. It will not improve your ability to perform that skill. Thankfully, it was later improved to have unique functions tied to the skill, such as Cooking making it so you never burn food (something that will happen on high level food otherwise), Construction letting you teleport to any house portals for free, so on and so forth. It also improved the Max Cape (99 in every skill) to have the functions of every single Cape of Accomplishment at once, making it easily the most valuable piece of equipment in the game. It can also be combined with the lava/inferno cape (the latter of which is the best offensive cape) so that it's the best cape in the game in every way. Plus, you aren't guaranteed to have done everything, unlike...
    • The Max Cape, the Completionist Cape, and especially the trimmed Completionist Cape in particular, are this in Runescape 3. The Max Cape isn't too different than the OSRS version, though it only has the perks of three capes of your choice, rather than all of them. The Completionist Cape requires you to complete the vast majority of the game, including getting skills that go up to level 120 to that level, getting all the spells from the infamous Livid Farm (which takes a minimum of 48 hours), and other various tasks. The trimmed version requires you do literally everything in the game, including massive time sink content that provide no meaningful rewards like the Champion's Challenge (1/5k chance to get each scroll from monsters that have no meaningful drops, and there's 12 of them), killing 4000 chompy birds, 1300 black knights, and much more. What does trimming it do? Slightly changes the emote.
  • While the majority of rewards in World of Warcraft that are not simply standard loot are cosmetic awards, there are some extremely difficult (or at least time-consuming) efforts you can embark on that reward you with items that actually improve your character in a significant way. These specifically include Legendary items, which require the combined effort of an entire guild over many months to acquire for one player; and ultra-fast flying mounts, which range from extremely rare drops to rewards for completing very difficult Achievements. None of these are required to beat any of the content in the game, but they sure do look cool.
    • Legendary weapons are also prone to becoming outright Cosmetic Awards shortly after you receive them, since by that time the next expansion is usually right around the corner, which means that items which will completely overshadow your legendary weapon will become readily available to everybody. However, since legendaries typically have unique and awesome graphics many players that have one will equip them inside of capital cities and other places with a high concentration of players, so that everyone can see that they do indeed have them.
    • The Legendary Cloak questline in Mists zig-zagged this trope. Most Legendaries come from grinding the last tier of raids, which means you really don't need them to do the content. For the cloak, the questline started when Mists launched and ran through every patch since; but Wrathion upgraded the player's cloak to the Legendary before entering the Siege of Orgrimmar, so they had it when they needed it most... until Blizzard completely removed all the quests relating to the cloaks, so now they're unable to be acquired by new players at all.
    • Legion introduced Artifact weapons, which (at the time) grew in power as the player used them, gaining new powers and greater stats. The developers also introduced two versions of this trope as well: "Hidden" skins for the weapons, and eventually "Challenge" appearances. Hidden skins could be (and still are) obtainable by everyone; some are as simple as buying the appropriate object from a shop, others involve tedious repetition until you get the drop, or worse yet, an entire hidden quest chain - by which we mean "there is no indication you are doing the right steps until you actually get the required object". Challenge appearances, however, are now completely unobtainable - they required the player to successfully complete an extremely difficult damage, tank, or healing scenario completely solo before the Battle for Azeroth prepatch was released.

    Platform Games 
  • Unlocking Curly Brace in 1001 Spikes — A character with air mobility that utterly destroys the difficulty of some levels — ultimately becomes this, due to having to obtain 30 hard-to-get objects with the normal main protagonist to get her, by which point you pretty much need to have mastered the game. She also only becomes playable in the second half of the game by beating all the levels as the main protagonist too. However, she IS admittedly useful for grinding money for the other Bragging Rights Reward — Thompsoncare. It gives infinite lives. In a game that secretly already has infinite lives. It just removes the lives counter and the risk of the Death Is a Slap on the Wrist style game overs. Annoyingly, buying that is needed for two achievements.
  • The final room in Banjo-Kazooie holds four doors that only open if you collected enough musical notes throughout the game. One won't budge without a whopping 882 notes (900 exist), but behind it is a jigsaw puzzle that doubles your life bar when completed. Unfortunately, you can't complete it without having gathered and used 98 Jiggy pieces. This means all you can do with your improved stamina is... get the last two and fight Grunty.
    • Stop 'n' Swop II in the XBLA version of Tooie as getting these hidden eggs will allegedly unlock more content for an upcoming Banjo-Kazooie. That game has still not existed so for now, the eggs only check off a few achievements. The damning part is that one had to complete the first Stop 'n' Swop to get to this point!
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • Crash Bandicoot (1996) has one secret path with a tons of extra lives. However said path is A) in Castle Machinery, which is rather late into the game, and B) needs to be unlocked by getting the Green Gem, which is obtained via No Death Run in The Lost City. If you got it, you probably don't need that many lives anyway, especially since gems require a No Death Run.
    • Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back has a secret path with the Purple Gem on it, which is obtained very early, and afterwards the path gets a Difficulty Spike squared. Since that gem stays in your inventory even after death, completing the path effectively amounts to this. Same for Sewer or Later and the 2nd Clear Gem, except that one isn't that hard.
    • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped has Platinum Relics, which aren't needed at all, and Gold Relics, which, while they do count for extra percentage, aren't needed to unlock this game's Golden Ending. Same goes for the Gems and Relics from super secret levels Hot Coco and Eggipus Rex.
    • Then there's Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, in which you don't even need the Gold Relics at all anymore. In fact, to get the last ending, you need only gems and relics are needed only to unlock levels that contain gems.
    • Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time upgrades Platinum relics to necessary if you’re going for 100% Completion. Instead the new Purple relics, awarded for beating times set by the game developers, take their place as the “insane-display-of-skill-but-for-no-tangible-reward” award.
  • In Fe, the final unlockable ability, which allows Fe to fly everywhere at will, requires you to collect all 75 Crystals, the last of which you can only get either near the end of the story or during the post-credits Playable Epilogue. Other than the achievement, there's little to no use for it by this point, since you've pretty much seen everything there is to see.
  • Iji parodies this trope with the 'Reallyjoel's Dad' mode. It seems, seems as though it'll grant you some spectacular badge or benefit upon beating the game. But ultimately, it's totally impossible: the exit is blocked off, because you're not actually Reallyjoel's Dad.
  • In Jak II: Renegade, the odds are strongly in favor of only getting enough Metal Head skulls to buy the Dark Giant power after you've beaten the end boss.
  • Completing every stage in Jumper 2 rewards you with an invincibility cheat. Completing all the stages involves speedrunning each Nintendo Hard level to shave seconds off your total time to unlock the even harder special stages. In addition, you have to collect all the gems. A stage's red gem only appears after collecting the blue gem in that stage, requiring at least two playthroughs of each level. Plus, the red gems are often very out of the way and require tricky platforming to reach. Not much you can do with your power except mock the levels for all they put you through.
  • In Mega Man ZX, going through Area N and defeating Bonus Boss Omega Zero allows access to an item that gives you Model OX when brought back to the HQ. The catch? Omega is EVEN HARDER than the already difficult final boss, and you can only get said item AFTER you cleared the game. To make matters worse, you can't even get it in Easy mode in the first place, making Model OX a textbook example of this trope. That is, unless, if you want to stuff Prairie's room full of plushies with level 4 victories and beat the Boss Rush and final boss silly with another run...
  • Street Fighter moves in Mega Man X series are all but useless, but really cool-looking and a nice 100% Completion marker.
  • In Ori and the Will of the Wisps, the last Mysterious Seed is for Sela Flowers, which produce respawning Spirit Light pickups in the Wellspring Glades. By the time you find the Seed, unless you're playing on the Hard difficulty, Spirit Light is practically worthless as you've probably already purchased and upgraded most if not all of the Shards and Abilities.
  • Psychonauts 2: Getting Rank 102 unlocks the ability to use all your psychic abilities with no cooldown. To get Rank 102, however, you must have beaten the entire game and completed all sidequests.
  • Rockman 4 Minus ∞ has the ?Dagger, which makes every attack a critical hit. You get it by defeating a Bonus Boss that only shows up near the end of the game if you get to that point without having died even once, and there's only two boss fights left after it.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, by completing all the bonus stages, earning all the chaos emeralds and collecting 50 rings in a level afterwards you can transform into Super Sonic, granting extra speed and invulnerability (except to squashing and falling down holes). Which is great, except by the time the average player has had enough tries to finally earn it, it's fairly useless. Not to mention Wing Fortress Zone requires precision jumps, which having super speed actually hinders note , and the final boss battles don't contain any rings at all, meaning you can't even use it there.
    • However, this is averted for a higher skilled player in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles as there are various opportunities to obtain the Chaos Emeralds in the early zones. A player can obtain Super Sonic in Emerald Hill Zone and Hydrocity Zone, respectively, and breeze through the rest of the game provided one collects 50 rings first (easiest in Sonic 3 & Knuckles as the Big Rings are worth the needed amount).
    • Sonic Colors has a truly insane example that one can obtain. To obtain this reward, you have to get every single red ring in every single level, then you have to beat every single level in the "Sonic Simulator" game. There are a lot (180 rings, to be precise). Your reward for this? Super Sonic playable in every single level so long as you can get 50 rings. This is the first time this has ever happened in a 3D Sonic game. However, you cannot use him during bosses. What exactly can you do with this unfathomable reward? Not much, given that the only thing you can possibly have left to do since you've already gotten all the red rings is to S Rank every single mission. The reward for completing the insane task makes this absolutely trivial - usually. Using this reward negates Sonic's ability to use any Wisp power - even before collecting the 50 rings required to activate super mode. Some of their powers are replicated, but not all. As a result, large swaths of every stage are unreachable. Most stages are so short that by the time you get the 50 ring required to use the power you'll be near the goal, and some don't even have enough rings. Some stages are changed to no longer require Wisp powers, but since Wisp powers are essential to getting S Ranks and exploring and enjoying stages, the reward is purely bragging rights. It's fun, but there's not much you'll be doing with it. That said, he turns the last stage into a joke, but chances are you'll have already beaten and S Ranked it with your own skill before even knowing that there was a Red Ring reward.
    • The Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors doesn't make it any better. Super Sonic is obtained normally by obtaining all 7 Chaos Emeralds, but its only purpose is to make the true final boss accessible. As for the Red Rings? Getting them all nets you infinite boost, which you may never use anyways.
  • Getting a lot of the gems and orbs in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! allowed access to a hidden area full of mini-games. Getting all the gems and orbs allows you a permanent fireball upgrade.
    • Similarly, Spyro 2 and 3 contained skill points, tasks you can perform that will net you an extra life butterfly for your trouble.
    • It also bears noting that the infinite super fireball can actually be carried into a new game if you open the gate, get the powerup, save, and instantly start a new game, allowing you to use your infinite super fireball to make the game significantly easier... and much more fun. This was made an official feature in Spyro Reignited Trilogy. This comes in doubly helpful given this upgrade makes it substantially easier to clear some of the "No Damage" boss challenges which net you an achievement/trophy for doing so, so there is a tangible benefit to obtaining this if you're struggling with the Skill Points.
  • Completing Super Mario Bros. 3 rewards you with a full inventory of P-Wings, which you probably mostly shied away from using during your initial playthough.
  • Getting all 120 stars in the original Super Mario 64 will open a cannon just outside of the castle. You can use it to blast off to the castle's roof, where you'll meet Yoshi, who will give you 100 lives and an improved triple jump. You also get a Wing Cap to fly around the grounds with.
    • In the DS version, since Yoshi was Promoted to Playable, you only get the Wing Cap and three 1-ups. If you visit the roof as Luigi, one of the 8 minigame bunnies will greet you.
  • In Super Princess Peach, the game's most powerful ability, Endless Vibe, isn't bestowed upon you until you've already achieved 100% Completion.
  • In Toree 3D and its sequel, the hidden characters require the player to have already cleared all of the stages in order to unlock them. While they do come with additional perks that could make it easier to clear stages quickly, the game does not grade your performance in the stages unless you play as Toree. The only real purpose for any of them comes in Toree 2, where Macbat is the only character who can access the hidden discs.

    Puzzle Games 
  • In Puzzle Quest: Challenge of Warlords, one of the last available Rune Stones is the Rune of Life. It adds + 20Exp for every victory (boostable to + 50 with the right modifying rune). Of course, at this point, you're going to be at least level 45, and the cap is level 50 — and the buyable-from-the-start Horn of Triumph gives you that same + 50 boost, and the Medal of Selenia (earned in one of the earlier sub-quests) doubled all Purple Stars gained. It should be noted that, at least in the PC version, runes are available at random at shops. So there's a small chance you could get the Rune of Life right off the bat. (If you have the money and Levels to buy it).
  • Defeating the massively overpowered Green Dragon in Puzzle Quest 2. The Xbox Live Arcade and Steam versions will net you some achievement points. The non-Steam PC, Nintendo DS or PSP versions? Merely a checkmark in your completed missions ledger. Even the gold and XP aren't much help, as you're probably somewhere in the upper 40s, level wise (cap of 50) by the time you're strong enough to beat it.

    Racing Games 
  • Burnout Paradise has two of these. After you get the second-to-last-level license (Burnout Elite) by beating all the events, you can give your cars a golden paint finish. If you then proceed to beat the Time Rule and Crash Rule on every single road of Paradise City, and find all the Smash Gates, Super Jumps, Billboards and Drive-Thrus, you are given the final license (Criterion Elite), and can give your cars a platinum paint job. Thankfully, you don't have to beat the events and find the discoverables on Big Surf Island to get the Criterion Elite License.
    • One such reward that does require the Big Surf Island DLC is the Jansen P12 Diamond car, which is awarded for clearing out all 500 Freeburn challenges in the game. Its stats are nothing special (better than the stock P12 but otherwise unremarkable).
  • The last course to be unlocked in F-Zero GX is the Sonic Oval beginner course from AX, which isn't even used in the Grand Prix. It doesn't even provide a major challenge, as it's just a simple oval with two turns.
  • Beating the Driving missions in Gran Turismo 4, or getting gold medals on the license tests, requires insane driving skills, and the cars you unlock may not be needed by the time. Also, completing many of the more difficult and costly events rewards you with some useless classic car and a paltry sum of cash.
    • True for the Sauber Mercedes C9 as well; in the international versions of the game, this car is unlocked by beating the Formula GT World Championship (Formula 1 expy), the toughest and longest championship in the game, which really needs a Formula GT car of your own (from Nürburgring 24hrs), which is in most respects (top speed excepted) is better than the C9. The C9 is useful for 24hrs at Le Mans and other prototype events, but by the time you obtain it you'll probably already have something else that can do the same job, like the Toyota 88-CV from winning the Endurance Race at El Capitan. This is averted in the Japanese version however, which has the C9 as a prize from the Grand Valley 300km endurance race, with the Formula GT championship instead giving you another Formula GT in a special black color (which in the international versions can only be obtained through 100% completion).
    • In 4, getting all golds on the Super License (the final set of licenses; each test is a one lap time trial) rewards you with a 1915 Ford Model T, which can't even be raced in career mode without hacking the game (though even then it would be largely useless anyway).
    • Both 3 and 4 give you a formula car for 100% completion, with the one in 4 coming in a special black color otherwise available only from the Formula GT Championship in the Japanese version.
    • Scoring gold on all license tests in Sport gives you the one and only Nissan GT-R Pace Car, which features the same livery as the R34 pace car in 4.
  • Midnight Club 2 has a particularly annoying example. You get the absolute best car in the game, the SLF450X, incredibly fast and stable...after beating every opponent in career mode and winning every circuit race. And you can't use it in career mode. (So what the hell is this for, anyway? Extreme sightseeing?)
  • Beating each boss in Need for Speed: ProStreet wins the player the bosses' car. Great... except the bosses' car isn't even fully upgraded, let alone fitted with any unique parts or hidden extras. The only unique thing is the paint job.
  • In Ridge Racer Type 4, by completing Grand Prix mode with a given team and a given manufacturer, you'll unlock Extra Trial Mode for a chance to win the Devil Cars. There are 16 available (4 manufacturers x 4 teams, each with slightly different stats), and while the MMM and PRC versions are easy/very doable, the RTS and particularly DRT versions will take a lot more effort. You cannot use them in Grand Prix Mode, so in practice they're restricted to Time Trial, Vs Mode, and racing against themselves in Extra Trial; it doesn't help that the Terazzi Utopia comes with a little Awesome, but Impractical issues. This is also true for the Pac-Man Racer that you get for acquiring all 320 other cars in the game (including the aforementioned Devils).
  • Sonic Riders and its sequel Zero Gravity play with / subvert this trope. The big prize is Super Sonic (more precisely, the Extreme Gear "Chaos Emerald" available for Sonic, allowing him to go Super during the race). Both games require you to complete every single mission with an S Rank, with some of missions being already hard to complete period. As for the reward, it has its flaws: unlike other characters, Sonic needs rings to go Super (walking when out of rings, even starting that way in the sequel) and while he's quite fast in that mode, accelerating burns your rings — your fuel — rapidly. This is worse in the sequel, where using Gravity Control (essential for winning) depletes them even faster. So Super Sonic is Difficult, but Awesome in the first game, not so much in the second.
  • In Star Wars Episode I: Racer, the final unlockable podracer is Ben Quadinaros, the character who stalls out at the starting line in the movie.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Super Robot Wars tend to have numerous units and pilots that tend to be these kind of prizes. Amongst those:
    • Quess Paraya of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack in Super Robot Wars 3, who has high NT (Newtype) levels, yet she's utterly out of the way, Amuro is the only one who can find her and when you get her, she's Level 1.
    • Keeping Black Getter Robo and Musashi Tomoe in Super Robot Wars Alpha 2. While the villain recruitable that goes with the two is perfectly fine, the problem is is that Musashi and Black Getter are dead weight, since Musashi is stuck riding Lady Command (a support unit) and even then, he and Michiru can't ride Black Getter and by that time, you just got Getter G and heading for Shin Getter! It's even worse in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 - you HAVE to use Michiru and Lady Command to get it and she STILL can't use it!
    • Great Zeorymer of Zeorymer in Super Robot Wars Judgment. Getting this thing is a massive Guide Dang It!, requiring you to play through Zeorymer's entire story (in practice this means that you can't ever deploy it unless the game auto-deploys it for you in levels relevant to its story), skip over a number of other secret units (just about all of them, actually!) and Zeorymer's the only one who can beat the bosses from his series! By the time you get the unit (if you do it right), it's already near the end of the game and it's more than likely units like Mazin Kaiser and Freedom Gundam are already leveled up by then!
  • Wanderers of Sorceria, a Game Mod for Warcraft III has secret classes for the three main characters. These classes are stronger than their average classes, but obtaining them requires you beat the game once, find 180 Sorcerian Journal Fragments throughout the entire campaign (60 for each character), restore certain magical obelisks hidden in 9 campaign missions and defeat 3 secret bossfights in a New Game+. After you obtain them, there is nothing really left to do, except enjoy playing the game again in New Game+ with rather overpowered heroes.

  • Ancient Domains of Mystery:
    • The Scroll of Omnipotence requires an absurdly long and complicated quest line, even worse than the infamous quest to receive the Trident of the Red Rooster, with hardly any hints that the quest line exists. Furthermore, you can only reach the Ultimate Dungeon after closing the Chaos Gate, which normally marks the point when you would end the game. As for the scroll itself...nobody knows how to read or use it, making it little more than a fancy trophy.
      • It may be a reference to the Ultimate Scroll from the first Torneko's Mystery Dungeon game. In it, you don't have to go to level 99 of either the main dungeon or the bonus dungeon. Getting the Box of Happiness (or the Box of Mystery) is gained at level 28 (and 30) and reverses all the stairs so you go back up them. If you avoid each dungeons boxes, you can go all the way to level 99 and get the "Ultimate Scroll." The description of the scroll is simply that you are the best Mystery Dungeon delver. If you use it, it wakes up all monsters on that floor and changes the music. (and like every other scroll, gets used up)
    • True Strength, the best girdle in the game, can only be acquired by maintaining Paragon of Order status, meaning the player must be crowned a Champion of Law and must never have committed so much as a single chaotic act. Not only is maintaining this status fairly difficult due to the sheer number of actions and quests that the game considers chaotic (including several quests leading to the Ultra Ending), but the reward is only gained on the very bottom floor of the Caverns of Chaos, meaning the only real use for it is dealing with the hazards on that single floor. Worse still, if you commit a chaotic act while it's equipped, it will kill you, meaning it can actually be quite dangerous to use if you're careless.
  • Defeating Morgoth in Angband rewards you with two absurdly powerful pieces of equipment, the hammer Grond and the Iron Crown of Morgoth. But at that point the file is flagged as a winner, so here's what's left to do: beat up lesser foes to boost your score, quit and claim your victory, or farm Great Wyrms for the One Ring (which at that point is nothing more than an even bigger bragging rights reward).
  • The Disc One Final Bosses in The Binding of Isaac Rebirth after the first all give you notices for beating them with each character. However, the True Final Boss only gives you its ending for beating it the first time. You only need to beat him once; never again with any other character except for the bragging rights.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Veteran Mode in Alpha Protocol. To unlock it you have to beat the game in Recruit mode which gives you the least amount of skill points. Veteran mode gives you the biggest amount of skill points, but unlocking it means you've proven that you're capable of beating the game with a severely gimped Player Character anyway.
  • Your reward for getting 100% completion in Baten Kaitos, which takes a minimum of 336 real time hours, is the sound test being fully unlocked. There are a lot of cards you can't get until the final dungeon, by which point you'll have most of the music tracks unlocked in the sound test anyway.
    • The infamous Pac-Man sidequest in Baten Kaitos Origins requires you to collect a copy of every quest item obtainable in the game and feed it to Pac-Man. The reward is permanent critical hits, but you can't complete this until pretty much all that's left is the final dungeon, and the final boss is a Puzzle Boss that can't really be beaten down with brute force anyway.
  • The first Boktai game got really carried away with these:
    • The Azure Sky Tower. Beating it the first time was worth it, as it was only 12 floors to go up and would net you one of several rather handy gun parts (which one you got was random). Doing the trade mini-quest (which required several other players, games, and link cables) to get additional ones or actually building the tower up to 99 floors (Which took hours and you couldn't save) was not, as all you got was the handy but rather underpowered Guardian Frame.
      • Similarly, the Dark Gun parts were not worth beating the game three times over with a good rank. They had the highest ratings of all the gun parts in the game, but were also Dark-Elemental and couldn't be used with any other parts. Since most enemies and bosses were also Dark-Elemental, the gun couldn't even stun or damage them.
      • There is also the Infinite Battery (Sheesh, guys). You had to beat the game on Hard with an overall S rank and the pink solar tree obtained (which took about four play throughs already to obtain).
      • Thankfully they learned their lesson by the time Lunar Knights rolled around. The Vambery is difficult and takes forever to beat, since it's a less tedious spiritual successor to the Azure Sky Tower, but the items you earn are well worth the effort.
  • Discussed in Byteria Saga: Heroine Iysayana. The title character expects a great reward for beating the Bonus Boss that follows the main plot. The Programmer points out that it would be useless as they have done everything now.
  • In the DS release of Chrono Trigger, you receive Crono's best weapon, The Dreamseeker, (essentially a slightly more powerful Rainbow; about 20 more power and 20% more critical hits) after beating the Bonus Boss. By this point you almost certainly have an attack power of 254 without it, just one point below the cap. Even if there was anything worth using it on, it still wouldn't be much of an upgrade.
  • Crash Fever: Black Jerry has some of the highest offensive prowess in the game. However, you have to get through a VERY hard stage to snag him (stages are usually rated Easy to Spectre. His is rated Insane.)
    • Getting some of the units from Ultimate invasion quests.
  • In Cthulhu Saves the World, the reward for beating the Soulcaster cameo Bonus Boss(es) is a massive stat boost for all party members. Not only even getting a chance of beating these guys requires copious Level Grinding, they give by themselves enough experience for the party to gain multiple level-ups from defeating them.
  • In Dark Cloud, you obtain the Infinity +1 Sword at the end of a dungeon only available after you beat the game. Luckily, thanks to the upgrade system, you can get it before then — not that that's an easy feat.
  • Dark Souls:
    • The game throws the Asylum Demon at you twice. Once before you've acquired any weapons beyond a dull, broken sword hilt, which you're supposed to run away from, and again after you've got your starter gear and can fight him properly. If you manage to kill him the first time, you're given the Demon's Great Hammer. However, its Strength requirement is so ridiculously high that by the time you can use it, you'll have certainly found something better. For instance, the Great Club found in Blighttown is 10 pounds lighter, requires 18 less Strength to wield, and its superior Strength scaling means that if you actually do bother to get the obscene amount of Strength required to wield the Demon's Great Hammer, the Great Club will actually be very slightly stronger than it (assuming both are at the same upgrade level).
    • The Hellkite Drake is an enormous drake who will breath huge amounts of flame whenever you try to cross a specific bridge. Upon first reaching the bridge, the player will be not anywhere remotely close to strong enough to challenge the drake, so they are forced to find a way to sneak around it. It is actually possible to kill the drake, but by the time the player grows strong enough to do so, there's little reason to (they will have long since cleared out all the items in the area). Further, the only reward there is for killing it is 10,000 souls, and at the level the player is likely to be at if they do manage it, that's essentially pocket change.
    • The Obsidian Greatsword is obtained by cutting off the tail of Black Dragon Kalameet, the Bonus Boss of the DLC. Kalameet is very difficult. Cutting off his tail is even harder. You are rewarded with an extremely powerful weapon that can do a devastating AoE attack... but you just beat the hardest thing in the game so what do you even need it for (outside of PvP and New Game+, of course)? To make matters worse, upgrading the sword requires a special upgrade material that can only be obtained from winning PvP duels as a member of a certain covenant or as a disgustingly rare drop from a certain Demonic Spider-class enemy. To make matters even worse, this sword has absolutely no stat scaling. Every level you put into Strength or Dexterity beyond the requirement to wield the sword is essentially a wasted level. If you want to use this sword and optimize your character build, your damage will be very poor going into the Kalameet fight, making cutting off his tail that much harder.
  • The Lost Crowns in Dark Souls II is a straighter example. If you've killed Vendrick and obtained the three Lost Crowns in the DLCs, Vendrick's past self inside the Memory of the King will bless all four crowns (the three DLC crowns plus his own), making you immune to Hollowing as long as you are wearing one of them. By the time you receive this blessing, you will get little use out of it outside of making Nashandra's fight even more trivial than it already is, and possibly fighting any Bonus Bosses you have neglected. You don't even get to keep the blessing in New Game+. Even though you keep the crowns, you will still need to get them again to regain the blessing.
  • In Deus Ex:
    • Sam Carter, the quartermaster at the UNATCO HQ, will give the player some extra sniper rifle ammo if the player didn't kill anyone on one of the previous assignments. Handy if you decide to change your mind about the whole 'no-killing' thing, but otherwise, not terribly useful.
    • Similarly, in The Nameless Mod, you can deal with a gang in the area you start in by explaining the situation to their leader and kindly asking them to leave, and doing this gives you some ammo for your signature dual pistols when you talk to someone at PDX. Trestkon is quick to lampshade how he's being given lethal ammo for solving a problem peacefully.
  • Defeating the Bonus Boss in Devil Survivor grants you the ability to fuse a massively depowered mons version of that boss. At that point you literally have only two fights to go until the end: Not only will you be so ludicrously overleveled at that point that you could beat the game without the use of mons, but the new monster you unlocked will likely be weaker than the two (unique) demons you'll have to fuse together to get it.
  • This is what the entire gameplay of Diablo II is about. The game goes something like this: make a new character. Beat Normal difficulty. Farm some items and levels before continuing. Beat Nightmare difficulty. Farm some items and levels before continuing. Beat Hell difficulty to complete the game. Proceed to grind a specific dungeon/boss hundreds of times looking for powerful items. Trade those items for even better items. Level Grind to 99 by doing a different dungeon/boss hundreds of times. Continue grinding for items. Trade more. Perhaps buy some for real money off third party item sweatshops. Eventually after many many hours you have the best and most optimal item setup for your character, with which you can... grind for items even faster.
  • Diablo III introduced "Ancient" versions of legendary items, which are the same but stronger. Patch 2.5.0 introduced "Primal Ancient" versions of the same, which are Ancient items that roll with "perfect" stats, or the highest rating that stat could possibly give.note The only way to make Primal Ancient items start dropping is to beat Greater Rift Level 70, which is even harder than the game's highest difficulty of Torment XIII. While you can keep going into even higher Greater Rifts, you can't fight bosses on anything higher than Torment XIII. So you'd have to beat something even harder than the game can normally throw at you to get the best possible loot.
  • Defeating the uber Bonus Boss Demi-Fiend in Digital Devil Saga earns you...absolutely nothing. However, if you port a game complete save with the Demi-Fiend beaten to Devil Saga 2, you'll gain the Amala Ring in the second-last dungeon. Amala Ring boosts all stats by 10, which is nice, but if you're aiming for the uber Bonus Boss of DDS2, Satan, it's ultimately worthless, and you'll also be gaining the Aura Ring from another Bonus Boss in the game, which boosts all stats by 20 anyway. Which is even more pointless, since you don't really need those stats by then anymore. Also, beating Satan earns you absolutely nothing, again.
  • In Disco Elysium, it is possible to collect a set of the insanely powerful Fairweather T-500 Armour over the course of the story. But the last piece, the helmet, is only obtainable in the penultimate scene of the game, after which all there is to do is a conversation scene and the game's end credits, during which there are no checks left for the player to roll. The game lampshades that that you got it too late for it be of any real use, but encourages you to put it on anyway. As further bragging rights, you get an achievement for it if you've found the other three armour pieces as well.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition has dragonbone, which can be used to craft the most powerful weapons in the game. As you might expect, you get dragonbone from killing dragons, meaning that in order to get enough of it to make a weapon, you have to kill half of the most powerful monsters in the game without it. Some of the DLC makes dragonbone buyable, but it's such a small upgrade from the relatively easy to find metals on the next tier down that it's still a borderline example of this.
  • In many of the Dragon Quest games, you receive an item called the Gospel Ring which eliminates random encounters when you equip it on one of your characters. But to get the ring, most games make you defeat every type of enemy at least once, including the Final Boss and every Bonus Boss, making it all but useless unless you feel like wandering around.
    • In the DS remake of Dragon Quest IV there's a spell called Magic Burst that deals massive damage to all enemies. It does also count as Awesome, but Impractical because it drains all of the caster's MP, but you get it very late in the bonus chapter once the secret character Psaro levels up to 60 after joining your party at level 35. Already you can only recruit Psaro after you've beaten the Bonus Dungeon and a difficult Bonus Boss, Foo Yung and Chow Mein. Assuming you've been steadily leveling up the rest of your party too, once Psaro is up to level 60, any random encounters are just a nuisance. Even Ammon, the True Final Boss, can be pretty easy once the average level of your party gets around level 53. The only likely use for Magic Burst would be to use it to help beat Foo Yung and Chow Mein in under nine turns, which lets you get the final possible addition to Immigrant Town and is in of itself a Bragging Rights Reward.
  • During the course of EarthBound there are several items you that have a 1/128 chance of being dropped by a specific enemy. The most annoying to get is probably the Gutsy Bat. It is only dropped by a very powerful, rare enemy on the last screen of the game. Plus, even if you get it, chances are that Ness's Offense will already be at max!
  • Elden Ring: Malenia's Great Rune is both this and a Power Up Letdown you acquire by beating the hardest boss in the game. Said Great Rune's effect lets you heal back health you've recently lost by attacking enemies (a la Bloodborne), but reduces the healing received from your flasks. However, not only will it be hard to find the opportunity to heal back lost health against anything that isn't a trash mob, the amount of healing is rather small, and you'd be lucky to heal more than 30-50% of the health you've lost back from one hit that late in the game. The few endgame bosses left will give you little opportunity to hit them for you to heal, and you'll likely receive less healing overall thanks to the reduced flask healing.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    • The Dragon Priest Masks. There are eight undead Dragon Priests scattered around the country. Each one is a powerful and tough spellcaster. For each one you destroy, you get his unique enchanted mask. If you collect all eight masks and place them on the special altar in Labyrinthian, you get the golden mask, Konahrik. Konahrik heals you when you're badly injured and has a chance of damaging nearby enemies, an enchantment that's not as powerful as some of the others, and not very useful for somebody strong enough to obtain it. Further making it useless, one of the masks is obtained from a Dragon Priest in the final dungeon of the main story that you're unable to return to, making it potentially Permanently Missable.
    • Prior to the update that lets you raise your level above 81, the Ebony Warrior was this. He will only show up once you've hit level 81 and is armed to the teeth with powerful enchanted armor and weapons, and has access to Thuums as well (he has Fus Ro Dah, and you meet him on a cliff...). He will be guaranteed to be stronger than any other enemy you face and you can loot his incredible gear afterwards. But to have reached that level, you would have had to grinded all of your skills to maximum. While it's not required to do everything in the game to get there, you pretty much have to if you don't want to spend hours grinding away. And even then it could take some time. Unless you intentionally try to summon him before everything else, you will probably not have much to do with that fantastic gear after you beat him (other than some random Radiant Quests).
  • Epic Battle Fantasy:
    • Getting the ultimate sword in Epic Battle Fantasy 4 surely qualifies. It is a weapon that grands you 50% resistance to both Dark and Holy element, the strongest and most dangerous elements in the game, doubles Matt's attack and magic power, makes him immune to dispel, basically guarantees to siphon enemies upon hit if they are susceptible to that status, making them unable to use skills that need MP and randomly grants Auto-Revive to Matt from time to time. Where it is? At the top of Battle Mountain. You need to defeat upgraded version of previous bosses and evil versions of players just to get there, and making the weapon appear requires defeating four bosh rushes of basically anything in the game stronger than mook. Good luck.
    • You can catch enemies and use them as summons in Epic Battle Fantasy 5. This includes bonus bosses. The Dark Players have all powerful attacks as summons, but you need to catch them (which is in their case much more difficult than just defeat them), and there is not a stronger enemy that them. However, God really takes the cake, as he is much stronger than all of them, but once you catch him, he costs 180SP to summon, much more than anything else.
  • The Etrian Odyssey games have so far played it straight, giving you the best katana in the game for beating the biggest bonus boss, leaving nothing to actually use it on. Similarly, you get an extra accessory that boosts all stats for recording all available items in the game, which actually requires you to kill all enemies in the game multiple many times over (depending on the game).
    • Taken Up to Eleven in its third and fourth games due to the quirks of the forging system. The ultimate weapon has 8 empty forge slots for maximum customizability, but for each slot you need to use an item you sold to the shop - which happens to be the unique drop of the ultimate Bonus Boss. Hence, you'll need to kill that boss 9 times in order to fully empower that weapon. It gets more tedious in the fourth game as there is a total of eight different types of Infinity +1 Sword that behave like that, forcing the player to slay the boss at least 72 times to get the perfect gear for their party.
    • In The Millennium Girl, the boss drop that forms the ultimate katana will only be obtained from the fight at the conclusion of Story Mode. While this does mean that you have an entire sixth stratum to use it, none of the Story Mode party can equip katanas without assistance from Grimoire Stones. Start a New Game+ in Classic Mode, though, and you can have a Ronin tear up enemies with that ultimate katana.
    • Defeating the toughest DLC Bonus Boss in The Fafnir Knight on Expert difficulty awards the Ragnarok, a sword that grants a massive HP and TP bonus and is usable by all classes, while outstripping the ultimate katana. But because you've defeated the toughest boss the game has to offer complete with all its unfair gimmicks, you've nothing left to use it on.
  • In Eye of the Beholder 3 an optional dungeon called The Mausoleum near the start of the game gives you a "Rod Of Restoration" as a reward... guess where the only enemies that use what it cures are.
  • Each quest you complete in Fable I nets you a trophy that is in essence a useless trinket; you can't really sell them for much, if at all, and aside from an equally useless side quest, showing it off to the locals only builds up your renown, which is easily accrued by other means.
    • There was one good use for them: gold farming. Buying a house with a lot of trophy display space, decorating it, and selling it results in a tidy profit for the player. You can then proceed to break into the house, steal the trophies back, buy the house again, redecorate it, and repeat ad infinitum. Of course, the money isn't all that useful, either...
    • In the original version, you could get the Sword of Aeons after beating Jack of Blades. While the sword was twice as strong as any other weapon in the game, Jack was also the Final Boss, leaving players with nothing worth using it on. This also had the unfortunate side effect of neutering the grand moral choice of the climax, whether to kill your own sister to gain the sword. That you can't use in any real fights anymore.
    • Fable II has a unique crossbow that can only be gained for shooting all the gargoyles. Thing is, one gargoyle is only accessible after you've beaten the story and bought the most expensive building in the game, so by the time you get it, there's not much left to do with it.
  • Fallout 2 allows you to obtain the Fallout 2 Hint Book after you clear the game. Reading it—and you can do so multiple times—boosts all your skills to 300% and gives you 10,000 exp. The in-game description explicitly states "Well, THIS would have been good to have at the beginning of the goddamn game". (The game is not designed for it if you do, though. If you hack it in to your inventory, the game won't load properly. On the other hand, if you hack it into, say, being on the ground in front of the Temple of Trials, use it a few times, put it on the ground again, save, and then proceed...)
  • Fallout 3
    • Experimental MIRV. Getting it requires completing a lengthy, unmarked quest, and it uses eight rounds per shot of the very expensive Mini-Nukes. Incidentally, it packs about double the punch required to kill Super Mutant Behemoths, the toughest enemies in the game.
    • Destroying the Citadel with the Kill Sat at the end of Broken Steel permanently makes the Brotherhood hostile, but allows you access to the Armory in the ruins, along with Callahan's Magnum.
    • Broken Steel also has the game-breaking Tesla Cannon, which is only accessible once you initiate the final quest, "Who Dares, Wins", and the Almost Perfect and Nuclear Anomaly perks when you reach the level cap of 30.
    • The Search For Cheryl is one of the most Guide Dang It!-prone unmarked quests, but following it only leads you to some minor loot from graves, and the location of a Behemoth, which you may have already discovered and defeated.
    • Completing the main Point Lookout quest line earns you the Microwave Emitter (basically a Mesmetron on steroids), but by this time you've probably completed most if not all of the other base game and DLC quests.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has these weapons but in different ways, economics and leveling. Many of the best weapons in the game use expensive ammo which may barely be available through scavenging. Thus, if you want to use the best weapons in the game, you must scrounge ammo and money, and one of the best ways to do that is to become effective with a less costly weapon. This is true of the previous games but the Gun Runners Arsenal DLC really exacerbates the issue. The DLC adds in a bunch of new weapons, many of which are unique, and ammo types to the game, none of which can just be found lying around and must be purchased. Often the player only has the wealth to use these weapons regularly when their weapons skills are so high that that extra damage you're buying is almost always overkill by that point, so even carting around some powerful guns is wasteful in the added weight alone.
    • Lampshaded in the unmarked quest "Not Worth a Hill of Corn and Beans", which requires you to collect a load of junk items to repair Camp McCarran's food processor, but only earns you a discount at the cafeteria, no experience, no caps, nada.
    • Launching nukes at the NCR and/or the Legion at the end of Lonesome Road unlocks two rather difficult bonus dungeons with unique weapons and armor, but if you can conquer these, you're already powerful enough to curbstomp the opposition at Hoover Dam anyways.
    • The level 50 perks are undeniably good but come on, it takes so long to reach level 50 you'll probably beat the game before that, and even if you reach it, you're obviously so strong you don't need the perks anyway. One even relies on racking up lots of karma, but by that point, you probably blew through all the big karma opportunities in the game.
    • The special perk Meat of Champions can only be gotten by having the Cannibal perk and eating the bodies of the King, Caesar, Aaron Kimball, and Mr. House. It provides +1 to Strength, Intelligence, and Charisma for a minute after eating someone's body—but Aaron Kimball can only be encountered in the second-last mission of the main quest, and he's surrounded by soldiers attending his speech (the mission meeting him involves either preventing or causing his assassination). Oh, and if you've eaten Caesar and House and you're willing to eat Kimball, chances are you're doing an Independent playthrough, in which case killing Kimball fails the quest (you can keep going from there, but you lose the attendant rewards). Chances are that if you ate the corpse of the President in front of his guards and lived to tell the tale, you aren't going to notice some measly stat boosts.
  • Fallout 4's Final Judgement, a suped-up Gatling Laser wielded by Elder Maxson, is only obtainable once you initiate the penultimate main quest when siding with the Institute or Railroad, and just before you destroy the BOS airship. By the time of the subsequent final battle and/or epilogue, your stats and skills are probably high enough that you'll have little use for it.
  • Final Fantasy
    • Every character in the iOS/PSP release of Final Fantasy II has their own Infinity +1 Sword, which can only be obtained by taking a specific path through the game's tripartite Bonus Dungeon and fighting a Bonus Boss. Though these weapons are incredibly powerful, many of them are for characters who are only in the party briefly, and traversing the dungeon even once can take longer than they're actually there, while you only get one item on each run through. Minwu, Josef, and Ricard can at least put them to use in their own Bonus Dungeon, but Gordon and Leila, not so much.
    • Defeating the end boss of the Bonus Dungeon in Final Fantasy V. The game seemed to realize the pointlessness of giving new powers to players who'd already beat the hardest enemies in the game (Shinryu and Omega), and just gave tokens as rewards for defeating them (in addition to the Ragnarok that Shinryu guards).
      • The Advance version adds the final job, the Necromancer, which is pretty powerful as jobs go. Unfortunately, to get Necromancer requires you to beat Enuo, the Bonus Boss, who's found at the very end of a long line of Bonus Boss characters (including stronger versions of Shinryu and Omega). The game also has the courtesy to open up a final dungeon, but the Cloister of the Dead is so pathetic in comparison to what you've done before that it's the equivalent of clearing out a termite infestation with a hydrogen bomb.
    • In Final Fantasy VI Advance, defeating Kaiser Dragon will net you the Diabolos magicite. It teaches a new spell, which would be ridiculously powerful if not for the fact that, by this point, hitting or even breaking the damage cap is trivial. Plus, there's nothing left to do but beat Omega Weapon (who himself provides nothing) or go to the Soul Shrine.
    • Final Fantasy VII Defeating the Ruby Weapon earned you Desert Rose, which could be traded for a Gold Chocobo, which can be used to access the supreme Knights of the Round materia. Naturally, this by far the most powerful enemy in the game. Note both bonus bosses are almost impossible to defeat without having the Knights of the Round materia in the first place. If you do it, however, you can brag. The ultimate mastered materia and Gold Chocobo are both attainable without taking on the Weapons, but it will take a long time, resulting in taking over a hundred hours to beat the game.
    • In Crisis Core, beating Bonus Boss Minerva gives you the uber item Divine Slayer, while completing all missions, for which Minerva is usually the final milestone, gives the even more game breakingly super Heike's Soul. If you did manage to beat her, though, there should be nothing else you need to fear anymore.
    • Final Fantasy VIII's Omega Weapon gives you a item proving you've defeated it item that teaches an ability to a GF. Said ability lets you use up only one spell when using "Triple" to cast a spell three times. This would be amazingly useful earlier, since literally all that's left to do after that is to fight the final boss. Beating the Omega Weapon also gives the player an extra menu option (hidden under a couple of submenus), which leads to a "certificate" saying that the player has beaten said monster.
    • Final Fantasy IX
      • Excalibur II, Steiner's Infinity +1 Sword, is available if you get deep inside the final dungeon within twelve hours of starting the game. Just getting there is going to require some Speed Run tactics, never mind skiping every cutscene and getting there with just minutes to spare. And all of this for a sword that is only slightly better than the Excalibur, his Infinity -1 Sword. If you're good enough to reach the final dungeon in twelve hours, you definitely don't need the sword.
      • In order to get Ark, the strongest eidolon in the game, you have to get the Pumice. To get the Pumice, you need both Pumice Pieces. One you get from Ark the boss - which is easy enough. You can get the other through two ways: completing the Chocobo Hot and Cold sidequest or as the rarest steal from the ultimate Bonus Boss, Ozma. After that, you need to beat the other Bonus Boss, Hades (who's actually scared of you for beating the last guy), and then you can synthesize a Pumice and learn Ark. Or, you can just beat Ozma by yourself in the first place and use it to beat bosses you've already beaten. On top of that, Ark is Awesome, but Impractical, since it has an Overly Long Fighting Animation that doesn't even break the damage cap, forcing you to wait for two minutes every time you use it. By the time you can get Ark, you could do way more damage with other attacks than you could with this one move.
    • In Final Fantasy X, defeating Penance, the ultimate Bonus Boss in the International and HD Remaster versions of the game, earns you ten master spheres, items that allow a character to activate any node on the sphere grid that another party member has previously activated. However, by the time you're strong enough to beat Penance, your characters' stats are probably maxed and you can easily defeat any enemy in the game. At that point, the notion that you'll need any help traversing the sphere grid is laughable.
    • In Final Fantasy X-2, there's a powerful item called the Iron Duke, which raises virtually all your stats by either 100 or 50. Unfortunately, to acquire it, you have to beat a Bonus Dungeon and a pair of bosses, one of whom has 255 in all stats. The game has a New Game+ that lets you carry over your accessories but not your levels, so it's still useful there.
    • In Final Fantasy XII, three particularly grueling tasks — including fighting TWO of the most powerful bonus bosses available — grant you three Badges, which can be combined into the Wyrmhero Blade, the game's Infinity +1 Sword. Perhaps some context should be provided to show just how unforgiving this particular challenge is. In a game where the damage cap is 9999 (discounting the use of Dark Matter or summons), one of the two bosses you must defeat has 1 million HP. The other has 50 million. Although in the latter's case, you can leave at anytime and come back, and it won't recover any HP.
      • The issue with Wyrmhero Blade gets both negated and aggravated in Zodiac Age version. Here you can steal the weapon from the enemy on 50th floor of the trial mode, which is no problem at all even with the low steal rate of stealing it, as you can immediately reload auto-save if you don't succeed. The enemy in question is Famfrit, so anyhow this weapon (or multiple copies) can be obtained much sooner than in vanilla version of the game. This, however, makes getting the copy from Yiazmat+Omega+Fishing even more pointless.
    • Final Fantasy XIII The Tier 3 weapons. Each one requires a component that costs a whopping 2 million gil to purchase. Since you'll never get that much cash without a ludicrous amount of grinding for Shop Fodder, the only alternative is to collect them as rare drops from Adamantoise. Of course, by the time you get strong enough to kill an Adamantoise, you've probably already beaten the game.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: The final boss drops a unique double-bladed weapon, with good but not game-breaking stats. The base drop rate is 5%, or 15% on New Game+ mode. If you're capable of farming the harder New Game+ version of the final boss for a weapon ... then you really don't need it.
      • On hard mode the final boss also drops the otherwise unavailable elementaga spell. Like many of the other abilities in the game this spell has different power levels that can be improved by merging multiple copies of it together, meaning that creating an ultimate version would require dozens of separate hard mode playthroughs and final boss kills. It doesn't help that elementaga is horrendously expensive to cast, making it Awesome, but Impractical.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age
    • Unlocks the Easy Mode as a New Game+.
    • The Iris Summon. Collect all 72 djinn from both games, do the bonus dungeon and beat the extremely hard Bonus Boss, and you get the most powerful summon. Yet, at that time there is almost no use to it anymore, after everything has been defeated. Furthermore, it requires an absurdly high amount of djinn, using 9 Mars djinn and 4 Mercury djinn per cast. In the end, there is rarely a moment where the summon would actually be useful. To really drive the nail in, the only remotely challenging thing left by the time you get this summon is the final boss... who's resistant to the summon's element.
  • A variation appears in the first .hack game. It has the standard bonus dungeon at the end, which gives a powerful item for defeating the boss. By this point in the game, you're far too powerful for it to matter... except that the game is split into four games, so that the treasure won at the bonus dungeon can be carried over into the next game, where it's quite useful.
    • The second series of games (.hack//GU) has the Doppleganger, a Bonus Boss who can be fought at any time in any volume. On the first defeat, he only drops a key item proving that you beat him, but acquiring the key item during the first volume before moving to the second, and beating him two times there, causes him to also drop his weapons, which are the most powerful weapons in the game. Beating him in all three original volumes causes him to also drop his armor and accessory, which make Haseo Nigh-Invulnerable, and after this there's still a 100-floor Bonus Dungeon to use all this overpowered gear in. The Bonus Dungeon itself provides better item customizations and infinite-use versions of common usable items that cannot be obtained in the main games, but all that's left to use them in is the remaining part of that dungeon and the fairly short fourth volume.
  • In Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk II, you get an item from the highest leveled Bonus Boss that breaks your Damage Cap of 9999. Sounds fine and dandy, but the problem is that you've got the protagonist who can do the same thing by placing her as a support unit.
  • Defeating the ultra-powerful Bonus Boss in the penultimate battle at the Imperial Arena in Jade Empire earns you a superior warrior gem, the best single-stat accessory in the game. Additionally, beating the entire Arena (including aforementioned Bonus Boss, mind you) without losing once grants you a relatively minor stat bonus.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts, getting the Defender shield for Goofy and the Wizard's Relic staff for Donald. The Wizard's Relic is only dropped by Wizards and has a 0.2% drop rate. The Defender is dropped only by — you guessed it — Defenders and also has a 0.2% drop rate. It's easier to get Save the King and Save the Queen, their most powerful weapons, before eventually getting the two enemy drops.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is unique among the series for not having any bonus bosses whatsoever; once you can reliably beat the Final Boss, there's no point in leveling up further or perfecting your deck unless you're going for 100% Completion or just optimizing for fun. Especially when you're playing as Riku, since he can't even collect new cards.
    • Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ has the Final Cut version of the Organization XIII bonus bosses and the Lingering Will: One half of the Org. hands out rare synthesis items, significantly less useful at this point in the game, and the rest hand out items that boost stats by a single digit—which are previously synthable, but is at least mildly useful for preparing for the fight with the Lingering Will. Also, speaking of the Lingering Will, he hands out a synthesis item... that can be found elsewhere and is obtained far more easily than by fighting him. Beating him also upgrades your Drive Gauge, but chances are that if you can beat him you have already reduced the other bonus bosses to a pulp without said upgrade.
    • The Winner's Proof keyblade in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+. It's right there in its name. It is obtained after finishing all Mushroom XIII challengers, most of which are far from easy and one cannot be even accessed until you complete the game once. The keyblade itself provides nice stat bonuses and has the highest magic stat increase, but it's hindered by its ability that prevents user from getting any experience, so outside of LV1 Critical run it's practically for bragging only.
    • Kingdom Hearts coded has the Ultima Weapon, that can be bought in a hidden, 13 floor Sector after you clear the game. In coded, Sectors are dungeons with special challenges in each floor. You start up with a bit of SP, then you can bet a share of SP into the challenge so you can purchase the items later on. Ultima Weapon costs 1.5 million SP, meaning you're pretty much forced to make the highest bets and clear every single challenge without failing once in order to buy it... 13 times in a row. In the 12th floor, you'll have to face the Eliminator and in the 13th you'll face Buggy Roxas, this Kingdom Hearts' trademark insane Bonus Boss. Once again, you can attempt this insanity after you have beaten the game, so... yeah.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix follows the same pattern. Defeating the Bonus Boss No Heart gets you Royal Radiance, a Keyblade even more powerful than Ultima Weapon... except there's no-one else to use it on, as you just beat the strongest enemy in the game.
    • Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance also follows form by granting you Ultima Weapon, one of the Infinity Plus One Swords (there are similarly powerful Keyblades available through slightly less silly means), upon defeating Bonus Boss Julius.
    • Kingdom Hearts III averts it for once: the Ultima Weapon can be created before facing the Final Boss or any Bonus Boss, and it's the game's strongest sword. Similarly, the Golden Highwind Gummi ship, which is over three times as powerful as any other ship, can be acquired before the fourth world by photographing the Endymion constellation and using the Endymion to defeat a somewhat difficult bonus boss. The Re:Mind DLC plays it straight again: some of the new superbosses provide things like Elixirs, which are useful for the upcoming fights, but most of them provide accessories that are almost certainly outdone by anything that Sora has already found throughout the main game. The last bonus boss unlocked after beating all of the others gives the Crystal Regalia+, which gives the greatest boosts to Strength, Defense, and AP of any accessory, but the last boss is quite possibly the hardest fight in the entire Kingdom Hearts series. If you can defeat this boss, you definitely do not need to be any stronger.
  • Legend of Grimrock: Beating the True Final Boss in the second game rewards you with the Wizard's Virge, a staff that can One-Hit Kill any enemy with its Disintegrate ability. Since getting to that point means you've probably already beaten almost every encounter in the game, there aren't many enemies left to use it on.
  • The reward for catching the biggest possible fish in the Fishing Minigame of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is a key item that allows you to buy fishing bait instead of getting it as random drops. But at that point, there's no longer any need to go fishing anymore.
  • The Radiant Medal/Medal of Dawn in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel gives massive stat boosts and immunity to virtually all status effects. However, getting it requires completing all quests and sidequests perfectly, even the ones that take a Guide Dang It! to even find. By the time you get the 430 AP needed to receive it, the final dungeon will be over, meaning that all that is left to fight is four battles, none of whom inflict status effects. It does have value in New Game+, however, and having the Academic Rank at which the medal is awarded in a carry-over save file results in extra bonuses when starting the sequel.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals rewards the player with the Egg Ring for defeating the Egg Dragon. The Egg Ring's passive ability reduces IP costs to zero, allowing unlimited spamming of IP abilities. But in order to fight the Egg Dragon, you have to have collected all eight Dragon Eggs, one of which is obtained by defeating the final boss in less than a minute (which requires absurdly-high stats or Charred Newt abuse). Its unlimited-IP effect isn't even that useful against the True Final Boss.
  • Might and Magic VII contains a Wishing Well in Eofol, which grants you a random reward ranging from free skill points to an Eradication. If you have grandmaster Protection from Magic it is basically a source of unlimited skill points, XP and gold. However, the Eofol will be the last zone you'll reach barring Shoals, and just getting there is grueling, as you need to get through Eofol Tunnels packed with Medusae immune to magic and Behemots, one of the most worrisome enemies.
  • Monster Hunter does this quite often, especially with the Training Quest rewards and the weapons unlocked by clearing the game (in Unite). The classic example is the weapons and armor you can make out of the last bosses of the game. By the time you can forge a full set of armor (and maybe a weapon or two), you have most likely already killed everything there is to kill in the game multiple times(including said last boss). This is lampshaded in the description of the Azure Dragongem, a rare carve from Tri's Final Boss: "The fact that you are even holding this legendary jewel means you are FINISHED."
  • Beating the Total Pandemonium enemy lair and the twin boss at the end of it in Muramasa: The Demon Blade gives you the Narukami Bracelet, which gives you infinite soul gauge, meaning your swords never break and you can use unlimited special techniques. This would be a complete Game-Breaker, but you've just beaten the hardest challenge in the game.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer:
    • Akachi's Scythe and Spiritual Evisceration, the weapon and powers obtained for killing the game's final boss and initiating the game's bad ending. You only get to use them for a single fight afterward, which basically serves as a final Kick the Dog moment for your character. Well, you can save the character to play on different module, but no one is going to let any character with Spiritual Evisceration one-shot kill everything in their modules.
    • A couple of different NWN2 fan modules give you an Infinity +1 Sword at the exact moment you no longer need it.
  • In Ni no Kuni, beating the Bonus Boss of the game gets you... a car. This would have been fine if it weren't for the fact that you have a dragon as your transportation. The Bonus Boss fight however is repeatable and does get stronger whenever you fight it though.
  • Octopath Traveler: Defeating the True Final Boss rewards the Spurning Ribbon, which eliminates all random encounters when someone has it equipped. Said True Final Boss is the single toughest fight in the game, so if you've got the Spurning Ribbon, it's safe to say nothing else in the game can threaten you. On the other hand, it also means you no longer need to gain Experience Points, so you can now afford to eliminate random encounters entirely and roam the world without being interrupted.
  • Odin Sphere: The Royal Orb, an endgame-grade equipment item that is acquired from beating Churning Rift of the World. It gives as much DEF as an Ancient Crystal +2 and burns through Phozons at an abnormally high rate in exchange for a percentage increase in damage to normal attacks that's equivalent to your Level as long as you have Phozons left to burn. Unfortunately, if you're strong enough to beat Churning Rift of the World, you don't need it anyway, and unless you go out of your way to max out every single skill, it's Awesome, but Impractical due to how fast it eats Phozons.
  • Persona
    • The Omnipotent Orb from 3 onward. It's an accessory that grants its wearer complete immunity to all damage except for Almighty. The player obtains it either by defeating the Bonus Boss, or as a 1/100 drop from a certain Persona, depending on the game. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth gives the Orb as a quest reward for defeating The Reaper. As amazing as this accessory is, the Bonus Bosses tend to instantly kill you with Almighty attacks when having it equipped.
    • The protagonist's Ultimate Persona. Persona 4 and Persona 5 unlock them automatically while fighting the True Final Boss of their game, while Persona 3 only unlocks Orpheus Telos upon maxing out every Social Link in one playthrough, which is a difficult task to achieve, making Orpheus Telos itself a Bragging Rights Reward.
      • And the Ultimate Persona from Persona 4 cannot be registered in the Compendium, so any Golden New Game Plus allows the player to only use it between the protagonist reaching Level 93 and the end of the game.
    • Persona 5
      • Downplayed when it comes to its Ultimate Persona. Satanael can be registered into the Compendium, and even with it being Level 95, the player can get use out of it for further playthroughs. A maxed out Strength Arcana allows the player to create any Persona above the protagonist's level, in exchange for a hefty price, meaning the player could create Satanael at any point, once the Strength Confidant begins the beginning of May.
      • The Eternal Lockpick, which is a lockpick that can be re-used as often as one wants. However, unless the player takes time to farm materials for it, chances are there are only one or two Palaces to complete by the time one can be created. And infiltration tools do not carry over to New Game+, and by the time you're able to craft the Eternal Lockpick, you can get much better equipment from itemizing Personas than whatever you'd find in a locked treasure chest. So the only reason to make one is to work on the "Craft Every Infiltration Tool" achievement. This is alleviated in Royal, as once you make it, it carries over to a New Game+.
      • The Speed Reading book. The book is locked behind three books that each have three bookmarks in it, meaning they require three reading activities to complete. These books are also in Jinbocho, a location that isn't an early unlock, and the Speed Reading book itself costing 12,000 Yen. As a result, by the time the player has finished reading this book, there's only an odd book previously missed to read. Mitigated in Royal as you can check out the book from the library as early as July.
      • Valentine's Chocolates from romanced Confidants. They are consumable items that fully restore the party's SP, but they are only obtained after the player has beaten the Final Boss. They do carry over into New Game Plus, but chances are the player has already better resources for SP management, and SP Adhesives also carry over. Since each chocolate is unique to each romanced Confidant, the player may not even want to use them.
    • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: The Reaper drops an item that allows the player to craft armor that halves all parameters, but doubles earned EXP. By the time the party is strong enough to defeat The Reaper, especially multiple times to gain all gear, there's no need to grind again.
  • In the mainline Shin Megami Tensei games, if a superboss is a fusable demon, they can only be unlocked for fusion by defeating them. But by unlocking the fusable form of the superboss, you've already become strong enough to beat the game's hardest challenge and probably don't need it except for 100% Completion.
    • Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne lets you unlock an extra Press Turn. (As in, you start all battles with more turns than normal.) Doing so requires beating a Boss Rush of every boss in the game, on a New Game+, within a turn limit.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV has Masakado's Shadow, a demon who, among other things, boasts two extremely powerful skills: Curse Thy Enemy, an Almighty-elemental attack that always hits as enemy weakness, making it an easy source of extra turns; and Guardian's Eye, which adds three extra turns. However, to obtain this demon, you need to beat it in the final DLC boss quest, which requires the abilities of demons obtained from all of the previous DLC boss quests to even stand a chance against as it is the hardest boss in the entire game.
  • Late in Planescape: Torment, one of the earlier areas is updated to include new monsters with ultra-powerful equipment as random drops. The only problem is that by that point in the game you no longer have any real use for said equipment, because the only area left in the game separates you from your party members and contains almost no combat.
  • Pokémon:
    • What happens when you finally catch 'em all? You get the ultimate prize worthy of such a player: a diploma that tells you you cleared the Pokédex. That's it. Fortunately, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 onwards give out more worthwhile rewards: a charm that make eggs more likely to appear in the Day Care, and a charm that makes finding Shiny Pokémon easierhowever .
    • Getting a Pikachu that knows Surf from Pokémon Stadium. First, you have to clear everything in Stadium to unlock Round 2, the game's hard mode, and then use a Game Boy-transferred team, that isn't registered, with any Pikachu you have in the party. Then you have to go through the R-2 Prime Cup Master Ball Division - the hardest in the game — with a Pikachu as one of your three Pokémon, which already limits your options. Using Pokémon Yellow cuts out having to capture a Pikachu the hard way, but you still have to pretty much clear your respective Game Boy cartridge and Pokémon Stadium and then, if you want to stand a chance, practically max out your party's levels, which is pretty time-consuming. And all of this for a single move that isn't all that special, and a basic Excitebike-esque minigame with no other rewards.
    • Assist Mode in White 2. It's essentially an easy mode that you get by beating the Elite Four, and if you can get that far in the game, you probably don't need much help for the post-game stuff. You can transfer it to another cartridge that's earlier in the game, but if you use it in the cartridge that you unlock it on, it's pretty much useless.
    • A lot of Pokémon (often bonus bosses) tend to be this in their debut games, such as Mewtwo, Tyranitar, Metagross, Zygarde, Necrozma etc. These Pokémon are only accessible after clearing the main story (outside of trading), at which point there's not much they can be used for outside of Elite Four rematches (especially true for Mewtwo in Gen I, where catching it was the only post-game content). Later games include extra sidequests and the Battle Frontier and its derivatives, but for the latter most of the big-name legendaries are banned from it anyway. Non-legendary Pokémon are often more readily accessible during the main story in future games, however (e.g. Larvitar can be found in the Safari Zone in HeartGold/SoulSilver long before its original appearance in the endgame Mt. Silver).
    • Shiny Pokémon are very rare Pokémon with different colors from their usual palette, and are something of a holy grail among players. They're also no better than normal Pokémon, so having one is more or less a sign of good luck.
    • Mythical Pokémon are often only accessible through real world events, making them very hard to get without cheating. They make up for it by being very powerful Pokémon, however... it's just too bad that most of them are kept secret by Game Freak for years, meaning by the time one is revealed, you'll have likely beaten the main story, leaving it with almost nothing to do (and like major legendaries, their use is restricted if not outright banned in Battle facilities and online play). They're not even necessary to complete the Pokédex. Some of them may avert this depending on when they're available, but even then they usually have some restriction (such as a gimmick OT and/or high level) that causes them to be disobedient until later on.
  • In the PlayStation 2 version of Romancing SaGa, killing the Jewel Beast — a gigantic, ancient monster that, if you wait too long, will roam the countryside systematically destroying entire towns - nets you a paltry amount of currency and a ring you can buy in a shop in one of the game's central cities.
  • Secret of Mana:
    • The final weapon orbs randomly drop from enemies in the final dungeon (The Mana Fortress). The final boss can't be hurt with the weapons these orbs power up, though admittedly he comes straight after another, somewhat more conventional boss. Besides, you'd have to go all the way back to the beginning of the dungeon just to be able to use them!
    • There's also the fact that the so called level 9 weapons have no added effects like the previous levels do (save for the level 1/2 versions).
  • Completing the Man Tower in Shadow Hearts: Covenant upgrades Joachim's Grand Papillion form into the Great Question... which is functionally identical to the Grand Papillion, although noticeably more powerful.
  • In Shadow Hearts: New World, your guitar-playing bard can eventually pick up a spell that costs 750 mana — more than you're likely to have until well beyond the end game and as you get this around the 98% completion milestone, you're almost done anyway. Granted, the effect is bad-ass (Third Key effects on all party members for a round), but it's instantly dispelled by bosses, who are pretty much all that's left by then.
  • The Dreamcast version of Skies of Arcadia is notable for having an absurdly high random encounter rate. However, there is an Encounter Repellant you can equip that slightly reduces the frequency of random battles. Unfortunately, you get it as a reward for finding all of the Discoveries in the game, which can take nearly forever without a game guide (and still takes some time if you have one), and which requires you to have almost beaten the game. So by the time you get it, you will have acquired the ability to fly above the clouds (which means no battles in the world map), and you will have probably beaten all the dungeons. Therefore, you have no use for it anymore.
  • In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, you can earn the Scumbag Slayer as one of the rewards fighting in the arena late in the game, which is a knife that automatically kills Scumbags. Unfortunately, Scumbags are a first level enemy only found at the very starting area of the game, so by the time you reach the arena you're already high enough level that if you ever somehow found yourself fighting a Scumbag for any reason you'd automatically kill it in a single blow.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Beating Bonus Boss Culex in Super Mario RPG nets you the Quartz Charm. The game really obfuscates just what it does, which is auto-cast Attack Up and Defense Up on the character, as well as grant immunity to instant-KO attacks. The stat gains showed on the equip screen are really just predictions of the effects of the auto-cast spells. Of course, Geno can give the entire party Attack and Defense Up in one turn for a piddling amount of FP, and there are two other accessories that grant instant KO protection and provide other actual benefits to boot. So unless you really need to have all three characters have instant KO protection (and you don't), it wouldn't be that useful even if you hadn't just beaten the toughest boss in the game.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has Bonus Boss Bonetail at the very bottom of the Pit of 100 Trials. You have to fight increasingly difficult enemies on the way down to Bonetail and Bonetail himself is stronger than the final boss, including having 200 HP while the final boss only has 150 HP. Beating Bonetail earns you a badge that automatically reflects half of the damage that Mario takes, but you still take the full amount of damage that the enemy deals and it only works on direct attacks, so you're better off just guarding normally (which chances are you're already good at if you finished the Pit).
    • The trend continues in Super Paper Mario. Your reward for beating the Pit of 100 Trials (found in Flipside) is a Pixl that lets you move faster and it unlocks the Flopside equivalent of the Pit of 100 Trials. This is where BRR comes into play. For beating Flopside's pit, you're told to do it again. For this? You get capture cards of the party (increasing your power), capture cards of the boss (who cannot be fought again), and unlimited flip time for Mario. At this point there's really not much, unless you have yet to conquer the Sammer Kingdom duels, which becomes a bit easier. Of course finally, the reward for that is merely capture cards of your party from the previous game, which do nothing.
    • In the Mario & Luigi series, much of the bonus equipment comes under this in general. For instance, getting a huge amount of beans by carefully scouring the overworld in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time may get you the (insanely overpowered) Ulti-Free Badge, but you only have the required amount of beans by the Very Definitely Final Dungeon if you don't grind mini games for hours, so it's not that practical in the main adventure. In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, you get the best gear for the Mario Bros and Bowser by beating all the Bros Attack challenges... something which takes longer and is arguably far more difficult than beating the actual final boss or bonus boss you'd like to use them against. And in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, you have both this and Junk Rare in one foul swoop, with the Mad Skillathon and Battle Broque Madame prizes being both not worth the effort to get and outclassed by items you can just buy in shops to begin with.
  • Tales Series:
    • Several Tales games — including Symphonia, Abyss, Vesperia, and Xillia — include a set of weapons for each character that have attack power which scales based on the number of enemies that character has defeated in battle. In order to empower the weapons, you have to collect all of them and then defeat a Bonus Boss, and it can't be done until very late in the game, usually after you've completed the entire story up to the final boss. Also, since they scale for each character based that character's individual kill count, the weapons for party members that you don't use or that focus on support will most likely be useless. By the time you can properly use these weapons, you won't need them, and they might only be useful for a scant few of your party members to begin with.
      • Zigzagged with the Playstation 3 and Definitive versions of Vesperia. After beating the final boss, extra levels of one of the bonus dungeons opens up, which is filled with very difficult enemies. The aforementioned weapons can be unlocked by this point and will be helpful in clearing these floors. These levels culminate in by far the hardest bonus boss in the game and definitely where these weapons would most come in handy...except at this point the power of these weapons are completely stripped and only restored after boss is defeated.
    • The reward for beating Tales of Phantasia's Bonus Dungeon is an orb that increases or decreases the encounter rate based on player's choice. Said dungeon is unlocked only once the player reaches The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, at which point the only remaining points of interest are a Wutai village and a colosseum, where Random Encounters are non-existent, not to mention the Rheiards that the party can fly on to avoid random encounters on the overworld.
    • Tales of Legendia has the puzzle booths. Stupid, pointless booths that are never fully explained. But if the player solves them all without skipping a single one, you get a title for Senel. Sadly, the title barely increases his stats, outdone by almost every other title he naturally obtains just by gaining levels in combat. You'll probably get it on an initial playthrough to prove you can do it, and then never get it again.
  • Touhou Labyrinth has the True Final Boss of the game drop an equipment piece that provides a hefty boost to both defensive stats, providing what at first appears to be a standard form of the trope. However the equipment piece provided doesn't even get the honour of being the most powerful equipment piece, that distinction belongs to the item dropped by the boss that comes right before the True Final Boss. You do get a star on your savefile though.
  • The Updated Re-release of Trials of Mana adds a few rewards for doing particularly challenging tasks, all of which prove you're good enough to not need them.
    • Defeating the Black Rabite gives the "Obsidian Power" skill, which reduces the MP costs of all spells to zero in battle. But the Black Rabite is Level 83, has the game's strongest skills by far, and is the game's hardest Bonus Boss. In order to fight it, you have to have beaten the Final Boss of your main character's story. By the time you're strong enough to defeat the Black Rabite, you won't really have anything left to use it on. At least the skill carries over to New Game+, so it's useful there.
    • A skill you get from Anise the Witch grants infinite item use in battle. Not only does this allow you to cover any holes in the party's line-up, it allows for infinite amounts of healing too. The only thing deflating it is that Anise is the second-most powerful entity in the entire game (surpassed by the Black Rabite alone), and you have to beat her on Hard mode in under two minutes to get this skill. And Anise is the only boss in the entire game that has more than one form, since she gets Scaled Up into a dragon after beating her human form. If you can beat Anise in less than two minutes on the game's hardest difficulty, you could already break the game in half as is without the need for infinite items.
    • Finding Li'l Cactus all fifty times grants a skill that gives 200% to everyone's CS gauge at the start of battle, along with the Cactus Ring that fills the CS gauge while the equipped character walks around. Bare minimum, it's going to take the entire game to find Li'l Cactus in all fifty spots, and you'll probably have to use a guide. It'll at least let you clear out trash mobs pretty quickly with the right characters if you can use the skill, but the game is basically over by the time this can happen.
  • Undertale:
    • The Real Knife and The Locket are two items you can only get near the end of the Genocide Route that raise your ATTACK and DEFENCE with 99 points each. While conceivably useful, they are actually completely useless because there's only one enemy left in the game, who attacks by inflicting damage in lots of 1 HP increments over time and defends by dodging your attacks since he has only one HP. This is very deliberate, since the entire point of this run is to emphasize what terrible lengths the player'll go to just to get pointless power.
    • Similarly, you only hit the LOVE cap of 20 when you defeat the Final Boss; the one enemy you see after that is killed automatically when you encounter them.
  • In Valkyrie Profile:
    • Defeating the last Bonus Boss nets you the Tri-Emblem, a super-powerful accessory which you obviously won't need anymore. But it doesn't end here. In fact, you can go and beat said boss nine more times before you get, after your tenth victory, a totally overpowered sword, which would be neat if you weren't already totally overpowered after going through this dungeon no less than ten times.
    • This also applies to Silmeria and Covenant. Same dungeon, same amount of runs, same boss. Quite amusingly, since there's already an Angel Slayer in Covenant, they have to separate the I+ 1 sword from the Hel sword by use of (TM). Yeah, they put a trademark on the real sword's name.
  • Every Wild ARMs game features the Sheriff Star, usually (but not always) the reward for beating the hardest Bonus Boss in the game. In most incarnations, it has the power of every other accessory in the game.
    • In Wild ARMs 5 the Bonus Boss now drops The Omega, a badge that gives 100% Critical Hit chance.
    • It's possible to create the Sheriff Star through badge synthesis in Wild ARMs 4 and 5. In fact, in the 5th game you can get enough materials for 1 Sheriff Star and a half in treasure chests.
  • If you have no access whatsoever to the online servers of Xenoblade Chronicles X, the powerful Ares 90 Skell becomes one. The Ares 90 requires two Golden Yggralith Hearts, a drop from an online-exclusive raid boss, to craft. The only way to obtain these drops offline is by purchasing them with Reward Tickets. How do you obtain Reward Tickets offline? By completing the survey of Mira, which rewards you with 5,000 of them. This task requires you to defeat the final boss, complete every normal and non-DLC affinity mission, plant every data probe, max out your field skills, max out most of your team members' Affinity, and defeat Telethia, the Endbringer, the highest-leveled enemy in the game, plus a majority of the Tyrants. Doing this probably required you to build a top-notch Skell that is likely superior to the Ares 90 and can handle the other superbosses better than the Ares 90.
  • The Bonus Boss of Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim is a Guide Dang It! to find, and to beat it, you need to be near the Absurdly High Level Cap. By that time, you probably won't even need the Eldian Orb from the treasure chest in its room. However, if you discover the room at a lower level, you can still dodge its attacks and grab the orb as a Disc-One Nuke.

    Shoot 'em Ups 
  • In Judgement Silversword's Special mode, the Final Boss drops a 3-Up upon defeat. You don't need any more extra lives at this point to finish the game, but the three extra lives do add to your massive end-of-game bonus points.
  • If you make the high score list of Missile Command, you won't get taken to the nightmare- and seizure-inducing "THE END" screen.
  • Both SUGURI and its prequel sora feature the Accelerator, which grants, amongst others, increased passive dashing speed, the ability to increase the hyper meter and Heat cooling and the use of Bullet Time as a hyper which, so long as you've got 1 bar of hyper left and you can keep building up the meter to cancel it into more hypers, basically grants you invincibility. The only caveat is that unlocking it in the first game requires defeating Hime in the Boss Rush mode on Special mode, which is no easy feat. By the time you manage to beat her, chances are you're probably skilled enough to not even bother with using the thing. Unlocking it in sora is slightly easier though, since other than beating Suguri in Boss Rush on Special, you can also unlock it by playing and clearing 100 stages, which is admittedly a rather grindy process.
  • Defeating the Final Boss of M.U.S.H.A. awards 100 million points, which also gives you roughly 10 extra lives even though the game is over at this point.

    Simulation Games 
  • Ace Combat:
    • Ace Combat 2 requires beating Extra Hard mode to unlock the XFA-27, the best plane in the game.
    • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown requires you to earn an S-rank on every mission on the highest difficulty just to unlock a Cosmetic Award skin for the F-104C Starfighter— an extremely outdated fighter that is severely outclassed in stats by nearly every single plane in the game (except for its speed.)
    • Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception has you unlock the game's best Game-Breaker cool planes, the Fenrir, only after completing the campaign on the highest Ace difficulty.
  • Air Force Delta Strike features bonus planes from older, famous Konami games that are unlocked only after beating the game; they each come with their own background music.
  • After catching every insect/fish in all the Animal Crossing games, you are rewarded with a Golden version of the Bug net/Fishing rod, which allows you to catch the two more easily. However, at this point, you'll have no need to catch any more of the things outside of maybe earning money for upgrades to your house/town. Also, Wild World, there are no bonuses for fully paying off your house at all. The rest of the games gave you something to reward your diligence: a statue outside the train station in the Gamecube version, a personal flag for your house in City Folk, eligibility for Happy Home Academy themed challenges in New Leaf (which unlocks special housing exterior choices), and lifetime free house remodeling in New Horizons.
  • Marrying the Harvest Goddess in Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. By the time you've filled all the requirements to marry her (shipping one of every item, completing the recipe list, etc.), you've mostly likely done everything there is to do in the game except get married and have a kid. Even after you're married, she still lives in the Goddess Pond, you still have to give an offering just to talk to her, and she only even shows up in your farmhouse for special events.
    • In similar vein, marrying the Witch Princess in Harvest Moon DS is like marrying the Harvest Goddess. She requires several requirements, too, where marriage and a child are the only things still left to be done. The difference is that the Witch Princess does live with the player character, and has the other side-effect of the townspeople hating you because you had to kill off at least 50 of your animals, and donate a toadstool to the harvest festival for several years.
    • Alisa the priestess in The Tale of Two Towns: She shows up later than any other marriage candidate (there's also a time range for her debut cutscene, so if you miss it, you'll have to wait another in-game year to try again.), has totally different dating mechanics than the others (she has no special date events, for instance), has the same Heart Meter of regular villagers (leading many to assume she's not a marriage candidate) AND you have to use the Wonderfuls to ask the Harvest Goddess for permission to marry her (which is a hassle in and of itself). And when it's all said and done, you actually get less out of a Alisa marriage because you can't have children with Alisa.
  • In Plantasia, there are five secret flowers unlocked by getting to high enough levels in Challenge Mode. Afterwards, they have a chance to randomly appear during subsequent Challenge Mode playthroughs.
  • In the first Rune Factory, marrying Lynette was pretty much all about the bragging, as you couldn't even start courting her until after finishing the whole plot
    • Rune Factory 4 has Doug, who's in town from day one but whose heart level won't pass three until you clear the main plot, and you need ten hearts to marry. He's also nigh-useless in dungeons as a partner. Like Lynette, he's a member of the Sechs Empire, too.
    • The entire third act of the game, which starts off with a randomly-occurring event, takes you through a dungeon with six parts each as big as a dungeon from the former two arcs, with beefed-up enemies, cryptic challenges and brutal bosses, and forces you to fight Ragnarok, a boss who spams devastating attacks through the whole screen, to eventually revive Ventuswill. What happens then? She and the other villagers just give you some generic thanks and life goes on as usual, no credits or ending cutscene. Adding insult to injury, Ragnarok drops the most worthless item in the entire game: a picture of Ethelberd. It sells for exactly 1 Gold, gives negative stats if used to upgrade equipment, and causes a massive drop in friendship with whoever you give it to. Even using it to upgrade a staff makes it Awesome, but Impractical at best, since it has a high charge time for a small and inaccurate magic explosion.
  • Stardew Valley
    • A minor example: Completing the Game Within a Game "Journey of the Prairie King" rewards the player with their own arcade cabinet for the farm. Same with "Junimo Kart".
    • Zigzagged with the magical obelisks. If you complete the quest for the wizard to enter the witch's hut, he unlocks several warp obelisks you can place on your farm, the ones for the mountains and beach cost each half a million gold, while the desert and island each cost a million gold. And while instantaneous warping is nice, it's to pass over a minor inconvenience, and it's possible to create Totems that do the same thing which can be used anywhere, but the downside is that they require resources to craft and have only one use.
    • The Golden Clock. In addition to requiring the Double Unlock by first completing a quest for the wizard, it's the most expensive thing in the game at ten million gold, and the only thing it does is stop debris from appearing on your farm. By the time you can earn that much money, debris is a pitiful concern.
    • Completing a Secret Note challenge to reach floor 100 of the Skull Cavern earns you a maximum health boost from Mr. Qi. If you're good enough to clear a hundred floors in the game's hardest dungeon all in one sitting, you definitely don't need a health boost.
    • The Statue of True Perfection, which is awarded for achieving 100% Completion, it gives a free Prismatic Shard every day, but at that point you've done pretty much everything there is to do in the game.
    • Golden Eggs which are also unlocked after getting 100% Completion, you can incubate them and hatch a golden chicken, which will lay golden eggs that can be sold at 500-1000 gold, but since you've already built the Golden Clock that costs a whooping ten million gold, their value looks like peanuts in comparisson.
  • In Zoo Tycoon 2
    • Completing the final scenario unlocks a shiny gold panda statue for use in all modes. But it's very tiny and guests tend to not notice it. If you're looking to satisfy their amusement rating, you're probably skilled enough to amass fame for bigger and better decorations at this point.
    • The Endangered Species expansion pack does give you a worthwhile reward though. The final scenario is tougher than that of the original game, but completing it unlocks the Conservation Breeding Center, which helps endangered and critically endangered species breed easier.
  • The Truck Simulator games have a skill tree that maxes out at level 37. There is, however, no actual level cap, every level beyond the last practical one being purely cosmetic/bragging rights. Even the escalating titles max out at level 100.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Assassin's Creed II has the Armor of Altaïr, which requires that the player clear six platforming side missions (mostly with very little in the way of combat), but its only unique property is that its pieces can't break. By the time you would be able to acquire it, your character would likely have been swimming in more than enough money to both buy the Missaglias armor set (which has the same number of health squares) and keep it repaired. Likewise, although the Sword of Altaïr is the bar-none best medium weapon in the game, it's still second to the Hidden Blade(s)' ability to fatally counter attack any non-boss enemy in the game, which is available far earlier.
    • The nature of the 'Synchronization' stat suggests that Ezio historically acquired all of them, which was confirmed in Brotherhood.
    • The true example: Spread throughout the world, which spans five large cities, there are 100 feathers. They shine just a little bit, and are hidden in every nigh impossible spot to find. The reward one gets for finding all these (which would take anyone using a Guide Dang It! near two hours) is a 20 second cutscene in which Ezio's mom says thanks, then gives him the Auditore Cape, whose only function is make everybody attack him on sight. Everywhere.
      • But on the bright side, it's just about the only cape that goes well with that Armour of Altair you got earlier.
      • You get an achievement for getting all the feathers (and another for wearing the Auditore Cape in every area), so this is required for 100% Completion. Take that for what it's worth.
    • And this is re-done, of course, in the next two games.
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag gives your ship an upgraded ram attack as a reward for defeating the four Legendary Ships, which are the hardest naval battles in the game.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots:
    • You can unlock the headband which gives you infinite ammo by making it through the game without killing anyone. By the same token, you can get the stealth camouflage which turns Snake invisible by getting through the game without being spotted. In other words, you have to be good enough to not need lethal ammo or better stealth to get infinite ammo and perfect stealth. Oh, and using them in later playthroughs means you won't be able to get any other emblems.
    • It's actually possible to obtain the infinite ammo and the invisibility items by other means: buying them from the in-game store. They still count as Bragging Rights Rewards, because even at their cheapest, the items cost 2.5 million Drebin Points. The only way you could ever get that many DP is beating the game multiple times, and while spending as few DP as possible on anything else. So, even if you aren't good enough to beat the game with the strict requirements, you're still good enough to clear the game so many times that you still don't need them!
    • At least you can actually get the bandana and stealth camo on the lowest difficulty settings and use them on the highest difficulty setting if you don't care about rankings or the emblems. If you do care about emblems, however, the Big Boss emblem is totally bragging rights-oriented. To get it, the game requires you to beat the game in under five hours, kill no one, never get spotted, never use the headband or stealth camo, and use no healing items, all on the hardest difficulty. Your reward for doing so is a facecamo that makes enemies scream or faint upon seeing you, as well as drop free items. If you can manage to meet the requirements to get the highest ranking in the game, then the facecamo isn't worth it. You're definitely good enough to not need it.
  • In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, there are a number of rewards that can only be obtained after mastering the game.
    • The Naked (Silver) and Naked (Gold) camouflages are awarded for completing all high-difficulty missions and completing all of them with an S-rank, respectively. Additionally, using an all-gold loadout in the Japanese version causes Snake to say certain phrases just before the mission starts — which is an interesting Easter Egg, but by the time you get it, you've already mastered the game and there's nothing else left to do.
    • Just like prior games, once the secret mission ("The Man Who Sold The World") is completed, the player receives the Infinity Bandana, along with a Leather Jacket (the same jacket the real Big Boss wears in the final cinematic) that provides no camo bonus and simply looks cool.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker's more powerful weapons, such as the M134 or the Dragon, or the infinity bandana, require beating some of the game' s hardest bonus bosses with an S-rank.

    Survival Horror 
  • For finding every in-game trading card in Deadly Premonition, your reward is a Laser Blade: An unbreakable two-handed melee weapon with a fast attack, huge range, and the ability to down just about every enemy in one shot. However, getting every trading card in the game means doing just about every sidequest... including replaying all the combat areas one more time in order to find the trading cards hidden there. Unless you left the combat areas immediately after finding the cards, and thus forgot to pick up the other hidden superweapons left lying at their very ends, there's nothing left to do with said sword. Except break crates.
  • Beating Hardcore Mode in Dead Space 2 unlocks the Hand Cannon, a giant foam glove that one-shots almost every enemy in the game (as well as not needing ammo, a very handy trait in a survival horror game). Because Hardcore mode is a separate difficulty, it's entirely possible to obtain it before you've unlocked everything, and as Hardcore mode isn't actually as hard as the game gets (it's between the top two difficulties, but you only get 3 saves), it can be used to breeze past Zealot mode. In practice, however, players who beat Hardcore mode before beating Zealot are rare indeed.
  • Getting all three endings in Eternal Darkness unlocks "Eternal Mode," where the player has infinite health, infinite magic, and infinite sanity. But, by that time, there's nothing left to see in the game. Plus, playing on the game on low sanity is arguably more fun, if only for the interesting and unique sanity effects.
    • Not to mention, having infinite health means that while you don't take actual damage from attacks, you can still be affected by damaging attacks even if they don't hurt you. If you want to run through a level and blast every creature with offensive attack spells, you'd have to keep a Shield spell active to do so... otherwise you'll be interrupted every time you try to cast. Also for the later levels, you have to manually unlock the five- and seven-pargon version of spells to use everytime you load a level this way (despite having them permanently unlocked by now).
    • Also, Eternal Mode gives you unlimited ammo for your weapons that you gain access to across the level. It's pretty nice if you get the Elephant Gun... but not so much for the poisoned Blowdart Gun. At the very least, running through Michael's level with his machine gun and grenade launcher is a bit more enjoyable with Eternal Mode on, if nothing else.
  • The Evil Within 2 unlocks infinite ammo for all your weapons if you manage to beat the game on Classic mode. Classic mode is the game's hardest difficulty; note  enemies almost never drop anything, ammo and crafting components are rare to non-existent, there are no checkpoints, you are only allowed 7 saves throughout the entire playthrough, and the player cannot upgrade their weapons or skills. Beating this particular mode means you have conquered the absolute worst this game has to offer, but it most certainly is worth it.
  • Fatal Frame
    • The special function that allows the player to take pictures without wasting film. Depending on the game, it's either called None or Infinity. Depending on the game, it's unlocked by completing all Battle Mode missions with the highest rank or completing the game on Nightmare difficulty. For Fatal Frame V, the game had to be completed on Normal and Nightmare, with 100% mission completion also referring to Ayane's extra missions.
    • The Festival function is the second-best and most difficult to unlock. Its function is to maintain full charge at all times, making any shot very strong. The exception is for Fatal Frame V, where it merely causes any shot to be a Fatal Frame. For Fatal Frame III and Fatal Frame V, it's obtained by completing all missions with the highest rank — S for Fatal Frame III and SS for Fatal Frame V — and the later requires the player to have achieved that on Normal and Nightmare difficulty. Deep Crimson Butterfly allows the player to purchase the function after taking a picture of all ghosts in the game, something that requires at least two playthroughs.
  • Almost every game in the Resident Evil franchise has at least one item, usually a weapon, that can only be unlocked through difficult means. Though the fact that you can replay the game with what you earned does soften this a bit.
    • From the very first game, you can unlock a rocket launcher with infinite ammo by finishing the game in three hours or less. You know what would be handy on a speedrun? A powerful weapon which would quickly finish any undodgeable enemy, and didn't require you to spend time looking for ammo... note 
      • What do you get for doing everything you could possibly do in the GameCube remake? note  An honest-to-God letter from the development team that thanks you for putting that much into it and goes on to tell you how much it means to them that you enjoyed their game that much. Admittedly it is quite nice to read.
    • Resident Evil 2 has the Rocket Launcher and Gatling Gun. The former requires you to speedrun through the game in less than two-and-a-half hours, the latter requires completing the game without saving, and both require an A or B rank. These two items return in the 2019 remake, but now have to be obtained by beating the campaigns (Leon's for the former and Claire's for the latter) on Hardcore mode in less than two-and-a-half hours — or two straight hours if you're playing as Claire — with an S+ rank, which is arguably even more difficult to accomplish than the original. In fact, it was considered so difficult that Capcom was actually nice enough to offer a DLC where players can simply purchase these particular weapons (plus a few others that could only be obtained through in-game challenges).
    • There are two unlockable weapons in Resident Evil 4 of this nature: the Handcannon, which can be upgraded to have unlimited ammo and have obscene firepower, and the P.R.L. 412, which, when fully charged, instantly kills everything in the area. The former is unlocked by getting five stars on all four levels with all five characters in Mercenaries mode, and the latter by completing Professional Mode, and those are the two most difficult tasks in the game — accomplishing both tasks means that you've proven that you're capable of conquering anything the game throws at you, and it has some pretty nasty things within arm's reach.
    • The Infinite Rocket Launcher makes a return in Resident Evil 5 by completing all chapters in less than 5 hours. By the time you made it, you probably wouldn't need it. Although you can redo stages in Level Selection to reduce the total time, easing the difficulty somewhat. Plus it serves some good use for score farming in Professional Stage 6-2...
    • Resident Evil: Revelations once again features the Infinite Rocket Launcher, but this time the player is required to beat the game on Infernal Mode. If you managed to beat Infernal Mode, you've proven that you don't actually need an Infinite Rocket Launcher.
    • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has several of them:
      • The infinite Rocket Launcher returns again, this time by beating the game in less than three hours. If you could beat the game that quickly with just your regular weapons and skills, having an infinite Rocket Launcher will probably feel redundant.
      • Unlocking infinite ammo requires players to beat the game on No Escape Mode, the game's hardest difficulty. Doing so means you'll probably have no need for infinite ammo in the first place. The difficulty of this, however, is reduced by the fact that you're allowed to use the aforementioned infinite Rocket Launcher on this mode if you managed to obtain it beforehand (although using said Rocket Launcher will automatically reduce your score).
      • Moria can get a Katana to replace her crowbar by beating the main on Invisible Mode, where all the enemies are invisible. The Katana is far more powerful than the crowbar, being able to kill most enemies in just one strike, but if you're able to beat the game in a mode where you can't even see your enemies, then you once again probably wouldn't need an anymore powerful weapon.
    • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard lets you have infinite ammo after beating the game on Madhouse mode. In doing so, you've probably proven that you wouldn't have needed infinite ammo in the first place. The same applies to the "Not a Hero" and "End of Zoe" DLCs.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Max Payne 3: Some unlockable rewards aren't too unreasonable, but the unlimited Bullet Time needs you to get all gold awards in Score Attack, while One-Hit Kill needs you to beat Hardcore, and goodness forbid you want to go for the extra character models...
  • In Ratchet & Clank, it's a high chance you'll get the 150,000 bolts required for the RYNO BFG only after you defeat the incredibly frustrating last boss.
    • In Ratchet: Deadlocked, the Ninja Ratchet cheat boosts Ratchet's speed. To get it, you need all of the Exterminator cards. How do you get those? By getting all of the Mega weapons, Omega Mods, and Skill Points, maxing out your health, and beating every mission on the highest difficulty. The only thing left to do afterward is to max out all of your weapon levels.
  • Red Dead Revolver's cheats are only accessible by completing challenges, which themselves can only be accessed upon completion of the game. The invincibility cheat notably requires defeating the game's Final Boss in under a minute.
  • Completing Red Faction on the Harder Than Hard difficulty unlocks God Mode, which is pointless if you can beat the game on that difficulty in the first place.
  • Your reward for defeating Inner Agent 3 in Splatoon 2's Octo Expansion is the Golden Toothpick, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a golden toothpick with a gold piece of takoyaki impaled on it that player can wear as headgear. It's a 3-star item of clothing that grants Special Charge Up (which increases the speed your special weapon charges up) as its main ability, but there are plenty of other clothes in the game that do exactly that, and any that aren't 3-star can be upgraded until they're functionally as powerful. The same applies to all the clothing rewards you receive in the process of 100% Completion of the DLC campaign.
    • The game's main campaign awards the player with access to a "Hero Replica" of one of the nine Hero Weapons if you manage to beat every single level and boss with said artillery. To get all nine replicas means beating every level nine times for 1000% completion, and all for weapons that are just reskins of other weapons in the game. Weapons that you can easily purchase from the store after raking up cash and leveling up in online multiplayer matches, which you'd have to do anyway if you want to add the Hero Replicas to your inventory, as the award is actually just making them available for purchase. For example, even if you went through all the trouble of unlocking the Herobrush Replica in the store, you still have to be Level 10 and cough up 9400 Cash in order to buy the thing, those being the same two conditions for purchasing the normal Octobrush.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Devil Survivor has Lucifer, whose level far outstrips everything else in the game while the strongest enemies to grind off caps at level 65 or so. This means an absurd amount of grinding to even approach his level. Unlocking him for fusion means that your demons in stock can practically curb-stomp everything else in the game.
  • Devil Survivor 2 has Alice, fought at level 99 and standing head and shoulders above everything else in the game. Fortunately, the game has several other bonus bosses who offer enough experience that the player need not grind too much on mobs to stand a chance against her. The playable version of Alice, unlocked on her defeat, isn't even the demon with the highest base level upon fusion, and only brings to the table an unremarkable passive skill.
  • Disgaea does this often with its bonus boss fight with Overlord Baal. Often, Baal is the absolute hardest optional boss in the entire game, and he'll often net you something incredible like the Super Robo Suit... but you just literally beat the toughest boss in the game, so unless you feel like challenging yourself in the later titles by jacking the difficulty way up just to test your skills, there's no reason to bother using it at this point.
  • In multiple games in the Fire Emblem series, it is possible to unlock certain otherwise impossible to get boss characters (usually up to and including the respective Big Bad)... for Trial Maps, which have no experience gain, no story and no real purpose other than kicking some ass with your high-level endgame army. Oftentimes, they aren't even that much better than your actual army. You usually get these by beating the game multiple times.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, the secret characters are unlocked by doing the Tower of Valni or Lagdou Ruins a certain number of times. The ones obtained from the Tower of Valni aren't AS bad, since it's easier than doing the ruins. The ruins a) open up pretty late, and b) are easily the hardest part of the game. The final secret character requires you to beat the Ruins three times. By the time you've done that, there's nothing left to do in the single player aspect.
  • In Makai Kingdom, defeating Prinny Baal will net you the Yoshitsuna battleship, the best vehicle in the game. But you've just beaten the toughest boss in the game, so there's nothing you really need it for anymore. (And you already have a powerful enough squad to tackle anything.)
  • The Energy Blaster in Odium. By the time you find it, you're three battles away from the ending, and it's useless in one of them because the monsters are immune to it, while the second one can be easily won without using it. You'll at most use it once or twice against the final boss.
  • The Blaster Launcher in XCOM: Enemy Unknown borders on a Cosmetic Award when compared to its predecessor, granting only a 50% increase in damage over the rocket launcher it replaces and the ability to shoot around corners (though the same limited range). You get it by downing and clearing a battleship, the hardest challenge in the game. This may be why the "Operation slingshot" DLC revolves around luring a battleship into a trap for an early battleship mission, where the reward shows a greater improvement.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule GB, Yami Yugi's figurine can only be unlocked after training Yugi to the maximum level and using an Evolution Chip, and Yugi can only be unlocked if the player has rescued all of his friends (meaning you can't get a single Game Over in an RPG World}. Yami's tied for the strongest monster in the game alongside the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, but the sheer amount of effort needed to get him means that when you finally do, not much can stop you to begin with.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In The Godfather: The Game you get Bottomless Magazines as a reward for becoming Don of NYC. Unfortunately, to do so you'll most likely have taken over all businesses, rackets and other stuff belonging to the other four families. There is also no New Game+. As a result, while there are The Remnant lying around there's no real need for this endless ammo.
  • The rewards for achieving 100% Completion in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are a Rhino tank and Hydra jet that continually spawn at your hideout, as well as infinite ammunition for all weapons. Of course, since this is a sandbox game, it's still a lot of fun wreaking havoc with these things, so they're only useless in the sense that there are no more missions to complete.
  • The cross-platform western sandbox Gun gave you the BFG that was effectively a rapid-fire, 5-barreled shotgun after killing the final boss. The problem was the only thing to do was to beat a few leftover missions with it. If you had already beat all the side missions before taking on the final boss, the 5-barreled shotgun got upgraded to a 5-barreled explosive shotgun. At this point there was nothing left to kill with it besides a few random bandits and innocent townfolk. To add to the awesomeness, remember that these guns were used in a game where you primarily wielded 19th century bows and rifles.
    • Not to mention the practically immortal horse (heals so fast nothing can damage it enough to kill it) when you reach 100 % completion, at which point there is nothing left to do with it. Especially annoying when you consider that when on horseback, the horse takes all damage for you.
  • Red Dead Redemption gives you the Bureau Uniform after 100% game completion. This outfit gives you complete immunity from the law (even in Mexico) no matter what you do. The only problem is with 100% of the game done, there is not much one can exploit with this outfit.
    • Although since this game is a sandbox, and the law is a continual thorn in your side while trying to reach 100% completion, it can be considered an opportunity to really have fun getting up to no-good mischief and murdering civilians without having to worry too much about Save Scumming.
  • A few of the abilities you can get in Saints Row: The Third is abilities to reduce, and ultimately wipe, your police and gang notoriety levels. Unfortunately, your level needs to be in the high 30s/40s (of 50) to purchase them (beating the campaign will naturally put you at around level 35), you can't use them in story missions, and if you've beaten the game the streets are nearly wiped of gang members, cops, and STAG troopers, leaving the abilities useless unless one continuously plays the random stronghold defense missions over and over.
    • Notoriety wipe returns in Saints Row IV, and it's even more useless because of both your super powers and the fact that an easier and faster way of wiping your wanted level exists: Chasing down and destroying a gold ball for 20 seconds.
  • In Scarface: The World Is Yours, getting 100% Completion gets Tony's ladies to come along as additional firepower. Unfortunately, by this point you won't have any real opposition, only some weak gangs in the unsettled areas, making them a waste.
  • After completing the final achievement in the console version of Spider-Man 2, the player can purchase the final webswing speed upgrade. However, this is the final upgrade to purchase and therefore the player no longer needs it to win races in order to earn points.
  • In Spider-Man 3, after you defeat the final boss, spider emblems appear around the city, and if you collect all fifty, you can unlock the black suit under your control (i.e. you no longer have a problem with rage). Unfortunately, since you can't re-fight bosses, you get the suit back when all you have to beat up are gang mooks.
  • Terraria:
    • Players often display the various armors that can be created as bragging rights.
    • Banners are dropped by enemies every 50 kills, and there are banners for almost every enemy. They give you a bonus in combat with them when they're placed near you, which is useful for common, predictable enemies like zombies. Less so for obscenely rare ones such as the Nymph.
    • The Axe, an electric guitar which serves as an axe/hammer with the highest Axe and Hammer power in the game. There is a 2% (0.5% in some versions) chance of Plantera (a boss who's hard to farm due to its random location nature) dropping it. It is only moderately faster than other tools of its type and has +1 to range, neither of which matters when hammers and axes simply don't see as much use as the pickaxe.
    • One of the two rewards for killing the last boss, the Moon Lord, in Expert Mode is an accessory that lets the wearer invert their own gravity at will. Because the player is likely wearing a pair of wings or is riding around in a flying saucer at this point in the game, and because there are craftable potions that grant the same effect as this accessory (and are actually better, since those potions allow inversion in midair, while the accesory doesn't), this item has no practical purpose. Thankfully the other reward is the best light pet in the game.
    • The end game armors and weapons dropped by the Moon Lord are extremely powerful, being some of the best in the game. However, to get them, you must fight the Moon Lord and the Lunar invasion several times to get the materials necessary to craft them and/or get them to drop from the Moon Lord. So when you complete the set you'll have already beaten the hardest event and enemy in the game, leaving nothing new to use them on.
    • The Drill Containment Unit is the fastest mining tool in the game, but crafting it requires a large amount of almost every ore, as well as having beaten the Moon Lord at least twice. At that point, you will already have pickaxes that are only slightly slower and are much more precise, and have enough ore that bulk mining isn't an issue. It also allows for endless flight, but end game wings fly faster, as does the flying saucer which also has endless flight, and can be obtained earlier. This leaves the DCU with little use besides bragging rights or griefing.
    • The Terraprisma is one of the most powerful summon weapons in the game, but since it is only dropped by the Bullet Hell that is the Empress of Light during during the day, when she is capable of killing any player instantly, anyone who gets it is probably skilled and well-equipped enough to beat the rest of the game's bosses without it.
  • Getting the Golden Ending on the highest difficulty in Way of the Samurai 4 will give you Hihi'irokane. This piece of ore will give you one free upgrade for your weapon. However, this reward can be considered useless, as you probably upgraded your weapon to the max to beat the game on the highest difficulty already.

  • The Jaleco arcade game Avenging Spirit uses a Body Surfing gimmick as part of it's gameplay, seeing as how you play as a ghost. You can possess every enemy in the game to get through the stages, but achieving 100% Completion via finding three keys strewn throughout the levels allows you to possess and use your girlfriend, who you have been trying to save throughout the entirety of the game. Girlfriend is invincible and is the fastest and strongest character in the game, but the only thing left for her to fight is a handful of mooks in a corridor and the Final Boss. At least you get a nice Golden Ending for your troubles...
  • One of the games listed on the Top 15 Worst Endings list for Computer Gaming World's 15th anniversary gave the player 150,000 experience upon completion. As they put it, "for what?"
  • In Dark Ball 2 you must crete a rare power up to warp into a secret level set and clear 99 levels to fight its Bonus Boss. It's the only boss in the game (besides the Final Boss) that will not give you an Upgrade Artifact, just a new form.
  • After defeating the Final Boss in the dungeon crawler From the Abyss, you can send your character back to the shop owner after saving your game clear data, and he will reward you with the Rubengart ring, the best accessory in the game (+ 15 to all stats, and resistance to every element). Of course, you've already defeated the Abyss Demon King, the most powerful monster in the land, so a few extra points to INT doesn't really mean much at this point.
  • Some ports of arcade games and some arcade-style games start you with a limited supply of continues (often two or three) that increases the longer you play the game, with Gradius V, The House of the Dead series, and Ikaruga being several examples. In some of these games, you can eventually unlock free play (i.e. infinite continues). However, the longer one plays a particular game, the better they tend to get at it, meaning that by the time they've unlocked the maximum credit allotment or free play, they probably don't need it to finish the game anymore.
  • In League of Legends you get gold for almost everything you destroy- enemy champions, minions, jungle creeps, enemy wards, epic monsters, turrets etc (the only exception is inhibitors since they're structures that respawn). The enemy Nexus is no exception, giving the player who delivers the last hit to it an extra 50g. But since destroying the Nexus is how you win the game, what are you going to spend it on?
  • Plague Inc. has three bonus "cheat" modes – Immune Plague (which cannot be cured), Hidden Plague (which humans never try to stop), and Unlimited Plague (which starts with enough "DNA" points to buy all disease symptoms, transmission vectors, and special abilities instead of having to earn DNA as you go). You can pay to unlock them early (for several times more than the game cost in the first place), or do it in-game by beating every non-cheat level first. On the hardest difficulty setting.
  • Record of Lodoss War for the Dreamcast does this twice. Ramala the green dragon gives you random equipment during the battle; each time you hit, you gain a new item, which useful if you haven't gathered all the full armor sets yet (don't forget to go into this battle with an empty inventory). It's unlikely that you will actually need these armors, as many of the best are given or earned from boss fights or rare enemy encounters in previous areas. Narse the black dragon, however, is worse. Narse is far more powerful than Ramala, and requires a lot of grinding and weapon forging just to hurt. Prior to facing him, you must face 31 minibosses and their normal retinue. (These 31 must be faced a second time in the game's overworld to collect 31 tokens required to summon Ramala, so this is either your first or second time fighting them all.) To prove yourself worthy of an audience, you must also be wearing the armour of the dragon avatar, the pieces of which are found by facing 3 more super-tough minibosses. After all that work, and after delivering over 25 million HP worth of damage, Narse finally falls... and leaves you with the Dragon Killer runestone. If Ramala is still alive, this kills her in about 8 hits, which you don't want to do regardless, as filling your inventory with the best armors to sell requires some love-tapping. If she isn't, then there are no more dragon enemies in the entire game, save for the baby drakes in the ice caverns who already die in a single hit. The only bonus is that it makes for some funny damage totals on said wussy drakes (you can max out the damage counter at 99 million).
  • Skullz has a Bonus Boss that is only unlocked after the final boss is defeated. Beating it nets you two new weapons, which is pretty awesome considering you've been using the same weapon for the entire game, and they both have pretty badass effects. There's nothing left to use them on except enemies, as all the bosses are defeated, and it's more than likely that your stats are just about maxed at this point.
  • Complete all the achievements in flash game Tripod Attack to unlock the "cool menu," which lets you double your damage, armor, and shields. Completing all the achievements involves beating the game and all the challenge modes.
  • Warblade has a lot of these:
    • There are 36 achievements that give special, permanent bonuses for a New Game+, as well as 30 "secrets" that give you a score bonus or some unusual effect for fulfilling the requirements to. Some of these have rather brutal requirements:
      • Play 100,000 levels in total (even if you factor in a secret which adds 500 levels to this total, it should still take three weeks of solid gameplay).
      • Get 200,000,000 points before level 100 (you need to be really lucky with bonus rounds and multipliers for this one).
      • Get 20,000,000 in time trial mode (it's rare to get more than three million),
      • Collect a money doubler with zero cash(A bit of a waste of a rare powerup, but aside from that, you can use the New Game+ to start with a money. Because of the annoying prices for things, it's difficult and dangerous to end up with no money at all)
      • Complete a level in one second (good luck with that).
      • Collect the E-X-T-R-A powerups in correct order (reverse order works too)
      • Collect rank markers in rainbow order to get a secret which gives an extremely expensive item for free when completed.
      • Rank markers in the opposite order is the secret which adds 500 levels, as above.
    • Champion Rank requires competing 24 bonus levels perfectly in a row.
    • The real Bragging Rights Award is God Rank. Do get it, you need to get the six badges:
      • Get all 36 achievements
      • Get all 30 secrets
      • Finish a game with $999,990 (The normal maximum is $99,990. You need to do a difficult, time consuming, and seemingly unrelated process to limit break. This is also one of the 30 secrets.)
      • Complete 5 Meteor Storm bonus rounds in a row with a speed percentage of 95% or more (probably the easiest badge).
      • Completing just one Meteor Storm bonus round with a speed percentage of 95% or more while a powerup that reverses your controls is active.
      • Finish 501 bonus levels, at least 376 of which must be perfectly completed.
      • When you have all the badges, get all 30 secrets in one game. The final secret must be unlocked somewhere after level 500.
      • Finally, as a very easy last step, collect all six rank markers.
    • THEN, there are the planet ranks, which are so difficult that nobody knows how to get them.
      • Says's Warblade hint on unlocking the planet ranks:
    Get to the point where you are eligible for "God" rank, but are currently at "Champion" rank. First, have at least $500,000. Get six rank markers and become a Warblade God. The message "A new climb is now available" will appear. Go to the shop. There will be a new "CLEARS shields" option at the top. Buy one for $500,000. Your completed bonus levels will go down to 451 in your profile, and you will lose all of your shields (God badges). Purchase a game secret at the shop. The message, "FOR A MINI GUN GRAB TWO SLOW ENEMIES BASH TRI MOUSE WILL REWARD SUCCESS" will appear. Notice that the last letters of each word will spell "RAINBOW SHIELDS". This is a clue that you must get the shields in order, one to six. Get the shields in the order they were on your profile, from left to right. A message stating "Planet ranks now available" will appear.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • In the board game Arcadia Quest, the Dragon Expansions come with a deck of Level 6 items that have enormous attack power and incredible potential to really turn the tables of the entire campaign, but by the time you even get a chance to buy these items, you're in the final mission of the game. Unless the player who buys them can use them to tie the game with the leader, then they just exist to be fancy new duds to use on a Bonus Boss in one competitive map and then immediately against a cooperative fight with the dragons. Items do not carry between campaigns, and soon enough with a new game you're staring at the useless Starter cards from your beginning inventory.
  • A Pinball example: In Data East's Checkpoint, the player with the best score in a multiplayer game gets to play the "Winner's Circle," a special 20-second multiball mode to rack up additional points.
  • Referenced in So This Is Basically... Pokémon when he introduces the game's Bonus Dungeon:
    ...And since you clearly like wasting time, once you beat the game be sure to hop aboard the Battle Funicular and try your hand at Diagonal Battles! Gotta get good so you can beat all... both... NPCs that know it! And don't forget the rewards! Hooray, a Dire Hit! Yaaayyy...?
  • Some interpretations of alchemy hold that the Philosopher's Stone and Elixir of Life were essentially Bragging Rights Rewards: by the time the alchemist was wise and experienced enough to create both, he was also wise enough to realize he didn't need them, and the purification process was more a journey of self-discovery.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Bragging Rights Award


Permanent Superflame

Find every gem, orb, talisman and Dragon Shores Prize and you win access to a permanent Superflame Powerup.

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Example of:

Main / BraggingRightsReward

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