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An ability or a situation that prevents the use of items. If the character's power mostly comes from his or her items, this can be a serious threat to them, even if they're high-level, and possibly one of the only ways to bring them down.
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See also: No-Gear Level and Mooks Ate My Equipment. In a world where superpowers come from equipment, a Power Nullifier has the same effect.


Examples:

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     Card Games  

  • A number of cards in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game do this: Jinzo, Royal Decree, Prohibition and Naturia Bamboo Shoot, just to name a few.

     Tabletop Games  

  • Dungeons & Dragons: in 1st and 2nd Edition the Wand of Negation could prevent magic items from using their spells and spell-like functions.

     Video Games  

  • Pokémon:
    • The moves Embargo and Magic Room for any items and Heal Block for any held healing items (since Generation V), and the ability Unnerve for held Berries. The moves Knock Off and Corrosive Gas disable the target Pokémon's held item for the rest of the battle, even if they are switched out.
    • Several more "competitive" battle environments disallow the use of any items on your Pokémon, with the only assistance allowed being held items. This included all battles against other players until Pokémon Black and White, which introduced a "Wonder Launcher" option to include items in battle.
  • The White Seal floors in Dark Chronicle do this for healing items.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VII, one of the random effects that can be activated while you're fighting in the Golden Saucer Arena is the deactivation of your Item-command.
    • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in Final Fantasy VIII has restrictions on what command can be used in battle, and the restrictions can be broken by defeating the bosses in it (not too hard if you know what you're doing). The restrictions include No GF, No Magic, and No Item.
    • For much of the lifespan of Final Fantasy XI food buffs were considered very important to have up while exping,note  and players who refused to buy and use food would find it difficult to get invited to parties. Then came the 3rd expansion, Treasures of Aht'Urgan, and its Colibri birds. These little buggers had an attack that would strip players of food buffs. That's right, they'd apparently fly right down your throat and rip the food out of your stomach.
    • In Final Fantasy XII, the climb up the Pharos tower requires you to make a sacrifice before proceeding up the second section (which is five floors and one Boss Battle). One of the sacrifices you can choose is to give up your Items command. The boss fight against Exodus also has this as a static effect.
    • In Final Fantasy XIV, one of the random floor effects that can occur during the special dungeons Palace of the Dead and Heaven-on-High disables items. Fortunately, the item that removes random floor effects is exempt from this.
  • In Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (the one by Criterion Games), the Racers can activate a Jammer weapon that not only prevents Cops within the radius of the Jammer's effect from using any weapons, but also makes the minimap disappear for Cops, reveals any Roadblocks called in beforehand and causes any Spike Strips deployed beforehand (by Cops, of course) to disappear.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, your weapons are de-activated when you enter the Nuclear Warhead Storage hangar, and being spotted in there is a guaranteed Game Over since not only can you not fight back but they lock you in and flood the place with gas if you're spotted.
    • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the Final Battle against Senator Armstrong will only let you use Jetstream Sam's sword. Not only is it the only thing capable of actually harming Armstrong, but the big guy already made quick work of Raiden's sword. No items (except for healing), no subweapons, and no other boss weapons.
  • In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, one possible bad result of the Luck Roulettes is not being able to use items.
  • In Super Mario RPG, Bowyer shoots arrows to disable buttons on your controller, thus preventing Mario from either attacking, casting spells or using items. Later, in the Moleville Mines, Croco will challenge you to a fight. After he loses half of his HP, he will steal all of your items, and you won't be able to use them again until you defeat him.
  • Paper Mario:
    • During the final fight with Bowser in the first Paper Mario game, Bowser could stomp Mario and prevent him from using items, jump attacks, or hammer attacks for a couple of turns. The Spy Guy's hammer attack can do the same thing.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has a battle arena where random conditions must be followed to win a match. The inability to use items is one of those conditions. Note that you can still use the items and win the fight, but you won't progress to the next rank if you do.
    • Paper Mario: Sticker Star: When Mario falls into Rustle Burrow, he's stripped of some of his inventory items. You can't use your hammer until you find it again, and Kersti is stuck in a spider web, so you can't paperize or use the Battle Spin. Both of these are regained by the end of the level, though.
    • In Paper Mario: The Origami King, you can't use Fire or Ice Flowers against Tape during its second form. It'll turn its roll so that the projectiles pass through it. Similarly, you're not allowed to use Mushrooms to heal during the Boss Rush on Scuffle Island or the theater battles, although you're warned of this. This same restriction applies while fighting the Paper Mistake Buzzy Beetle towards the end of green streamer and the bucket-carrying Shy Guys in the Fire Vellumental Cave, and you're not informed of this beforehand. In the former case, your item will be burnt and wasted, while in the latter, Olivia tells you that you can't heal "for some reason".
  • Mario & Luigi:
    • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the Boos in Bowser's castle can steal command blocks from the brothers during a battle. Depending on which block is stolen, the brothers can't jump, use their hammers or use their hand powers for the next turn. The same happens during the battles with Popple.
    • The Bonus Boss of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Bowser X, temporarily steals your special attacks as you use them.
    • The Bonus Boss in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Bowser Jr., does the same. Also, in the dream arena battles, your items are replaced with a predetermined and limited inventory, and the turn limit discourages item usage. This is inverted with Thunder Sass, who you're supposed to beat with counterattacks, and thus you can't use anything except items. If you don't want to use one, you can idle to make him attack again.
  • Bayonetta:
    • Attempting to access the item screen during an Alfheim portal challenge? You'll be greeted with this. Angel Slayer, the Lost Chapter, takes place entirely within Alfheim, and this restriction is not lifted.
    • Because items lower your score, the entire game is this when going for Platinum trophies and the like.
    • You also can't use items while fighting the Bonus Boss, Father Rodin.
  • The Wonderful 101 also restricts item usage in Kahkoo-regah. Unlike Bayonetta, there's no message if you attempt to access the item screen. You're just denied access to that section of the menu if you pause the game. And once again, the special Operation 101 contains the same restriction.
  • In Dm C Devil May Cry Definitive Edition, the new Gods Must Die difficulty disables all consumable items and Green Orbs, making it impossible to heal Dante or Vergil should they take any damage. This is just one of many reasons why it's considered Harder Than Hard.
  • There are several sections of Super Mario Sunshine where Shadow Mario steals Mario's FLUDD (water-shooting device), thus preventing him from hovering and forcing him to stick with his basic physical abilities like jumping.
  • In many Roguelikes, if an equipped item (a wielded weapon or worn piece of armor/jewelry) is cursed then it can't be removed. While the equipped cursed item can still be used like normal, this prevents the player from swapping in a different piece of equipment of the same type. Some games go further and take equipment layers into account: in NetHack, if you're wearing cursed gloves then you'll be unable to change which rings you're wearing on your hands, since you can't take off your gloves to get at your bare fingers.
  • The Arenas in most games of the Tales Series prohibit item use.
    • Equipping the Barbatos Ring in Tales of Vesperia or using a piece of equipment with the "Barbatosian" quality in Tales of Graces also prevents you from using items. They're named after the infamous Barbatos Goetia, who really doesn't like it when you use items while fighting him.
    • Barbatos' boss fights throughout the series are essentially this. Oh you can use items if you dare, he'll just immediately toss a hard hitting spell at you in the original Destiny 2, or a specially made Mystic Arte for such an occasion in other games.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In most games, there are items that cannot be used in all places. The most common example of this is not being allowed to use weapons when you're in someone's house. Many games in the series also feature 'cursed' enemies who often have blue flames or smoke (dark purple in Skyward Sword). Instead of burning Link, they will restrict the usage of his items for as long as the effect lasts.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: The Final Boss has a downplayed version. Ganon knocks Link's Master Sword out of his hand, effectively making him unarmed. Link can still use other items like the bow, hammer, bombs and even his other sword if you managed to get it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask disables all items when you use a transformation mask to assume another form with bottled items being the only exception to the rule.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: The Gohma, Kalle Demos, Jalhalla, and Molgera rematches in Ganon's Tower take away any and all items that were not present in your inventory at the time of the initial battle. Link's bottle collection is left intact, however.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Item usage as a whole is disabled during the very last fight of the Take 'Em All On! minigame.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:
  • Azure Dreams: Anorexia ability prevent monsters from eating consumables (i.e., the kind that heals HP or cures status ailments). They are mildly Goddamned Bats when they appear as enemies, and completely useless when they are your allies.
  • Particularly Egregious example in Heroes of Might and Magic IV: if a monster or character has protection from magic, they will also be unable to drink potions. So the choice is between brutally mauled by magic but able to heal, or brutally mauled by fangs/claws/fists/whatever but unable to heal.
  • During one dungeon in Shadow Hearts, Yuri and Zhouzen are forced to split off from Alice and Margarete and have their ability to use items confiscated (hopefully you've leveled Zhouzen enough so that he's learned his healing spell). Alice and Margarete, meanwhile, have their skills sealed. Later, Yuri and Zhouzen have their skills sealed off, but don't get the ability to use items back until they get out of the dungeon. This isn't a complete case, though, since you can still use items outside of battle (though the game pretends otherwise).
  • The SNES adaptation of Magic Knight Rayearth features the Forest of Silence as in the manga and anime, but in addition to preventing the use of magic, it also (somehow) blocks the use of items.
  • Team Fortress 2's Medieval Mode takes away the ranged weapons of all but three classes (Scout, Sniper, and Medic with the Flying Guillotine, Huntsman, and Crusader's Crossbow respectively) and forces everyone to fight with melee weapons. Stick grenades and car batteries are still allowed in though. As it's not a huge focus of development, this can make tremendous differences in the value of the class. For instance, it hurts the Engineer tremendously since he doesn't get any of his buildings, and his low health and subpar weapon damage turn him into a Joke Character nobody plays unless they're trolling.
  • In Mario Party 9, one event lets the current captain temporarily seal all the other player's special dice, keeping them from using them for their next turn.
  • Dark Souls has the throwable "Lloyd's Talismans", which disable the use of Estus Flasks in a limited area. While computer-controlled enemies that use Estus are somewhat rare and generally don't have so much health that it makes a difference, they are almost a requirement when invading in PvP to keep your foe from just running away and chugging Estus every chance they get (though if someone deliberately sought out invaders to duel it's generally agreed they shouldn't be doing this anyway).
  • The final battles in Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga both disable your weapons and have you dodge their Bullet Hell for 60 seconds.
  • In Chrono Trigger, there are a number of enemies who have the ability "Lock-All", which prevents the player from using items or techniques. The enemies that do this are all Metal Slimes, having high evasion rates, giving lots of experience, and (in some cases) dropping rare items.
  • The Last Federation, if the player challenges Burlust warlord into a duel, his special abilities are disabled.
  • Monster Hunter has the "stench" status, which prevents you from using items that you use on yourself. Tossing a Deodorant or stepping into another player's active Deodorant cures it. Expect to get stenched frequently when fighting Congala, who farts and throws excretement like no tomorrow.
  • Picking Roo in Streets of Rage 3 prevents you from using any weapons until you switch to another character. Makes sense, since he's a Boxing Kangaroo.
  • The Impossible Quiz occasionally gives you "Skip" items that lets you bypass a question, but some questions disable Skips. It doesn't matter. You need all seven skips to complete the final question. The sequel allows you to use Skips freely again (except on the last question), but there are a few questions with a bomb that can disable the Fusestopper note , meaning you must deal with the bomb in the question.
  • Warcraft III: The Backpack upgrade in the expansion gives most ground units a pair of item slots to carry additional items (heroes only having six slots). However, non-hero units can't use the items they're given, nor do they get the boosts or auras. It's possible to allow this, but telling them to pick up a stat-boosting powerup has a tendency to crash the game.
  • Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim has Catastrophe mode, which prevents the player from using items in boss battles. The only items that can be used outside of boss fights are the nerfed Capla Waters and stat boosting seeds. Additionally, all consumables from chests are replaced by Capla Waters and any consumables from enemy drops are used up immediately.
  • Warframe: one possible mission condition for sorties is restricting the player to use one type of weapon. It is explained in-universe as interference prevent the use of other weapons.
  • In Ratchet & Clank, there will be at least one level in each game (aside from the first level, obviously), where Ratchet will have to do without Clank. This can be an unexpected hindrance because at the point these levels occur, the player will be very used to using Clank's Heli-Pack/Thruster Pack boosts to get around and cross gaps, resulting in some unexpected deaths.
  • The Cursed status effect in Terraria prevents the player from using any items including weapons, leaving the player mostly helpless. Thankfully it only lasts for a very short while.
  • Judgment: The game's Bonus Boss, Shin Amon, will try to steal Yagami's phone in the fight's early phases, making you unable to access your item menu (or pause) for the rest of the fight. You can still use items (up to 3) assigned to the D-pad shortcuts before this happens, but you can't swap these.
  • Bug Fables:
    • When the team fights Astotheles, leader of the Desert Bandits, he would prevent them from using any items by destroying them the moment they pull it out in order to keep the fight fair. He would even free himself from any paralyzing status effect (Freeze, Numb or Sleep) just to destroy an item.
    • Also, Mimic Spiders and Delilah of Team Slacker both can inflict the Sticky status effect that seals off item use with their attacks, with gluey bubbles in case of the former and one of the many projectiles fired from the latter's BFG.
  • All boss fights in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island disables your items to prevent you from cheesing the battles.
  • Persona Q: Shadow Of The Labyrinth: The boss of the Group Date Cafe, the Merciful Clergyman, casts "vows" that the party members must obey. If you go against them, you're immediately hit with a very powerful attack. These vows restrict you from using skills, items, or physical attacks. However, they wear off after a turn or two.
  • One mission of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves has the surprisingly Genre Savvy villain steal the gang's laptop. Without it you can't access ThiefNet to sell stolen treasures or buy new powerups, being limited to using what you currently have until you complete said mission.
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    Other Examples 
  • In DEATH BATTLE!: Goro vs. Machamp, after Goro pulls out his Shokan Blades and attacks Machamp with them, the Pokémon uses Knock Off to knock away the blades, stripping Goro of his weapons for the rest of the fight.
  • Played for Laughs in Metal Gear Awesome 2 when Snake gets to the Nuclear Warhead Storage Building and is told by Naomi that she's disabled all his weapon usage, as mentioned prior. Snake quickly gets spotted, can't defend himself, and is brutally gunned down much to Naomi's chagrin.
    Naomi: Oh... I guess that was kind of stupid...

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