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  • Some moves from Banjo-Kazooie became this in Banjo-Tooie. The swamp boots are only used once and there's not much purpose to the Beak Barge move when you get much better attacks in the sequel. Some moves are as useful for mundane tasks as they were in its predecessor like how Talon Trot makes you go faster on land rather than rely on slow-ass Banjo, while Beak Bomb can be used to make your flight trips faster rather than for attacking.
  • Assassin's Creed:
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    • The Hidden Blade originally was the ultimate assassination tool, with the ability to one-hit counter kill even bosses. Its boss instakill abilities in combat were removed in the sequel, and from ACII onwards, it became just another weapon among others, being weak in combat and not mandatory in stealth any longer. From Unity onwards, it's become an assassination-only weapon, being unavailable for combat altogether. With the addition of more and more weapons to the games, its assassination abilities are often no match to anything that has any sort of range.
    • The conflict between the Assassins and the Templars has fallen into this a fair bit. It made perfect sense in the first game, which was set in the Crusades, and still flowed naturally in II's Renaissance-era subseries (considering the Pope was the Big Bad and all) - less so games taking place in Victorian England, the French and American Revolutions, or the Golden Age of Piracy, and even less so in ancient Egypt or Greece, a good thousand years before the actual historical organizations existed. Nonetheless, every game still attempts to hook its overall conflict into the Assassins and Templars, with varying degrees of sensibility or plot-relevance.
  • A common occurrence in many an MMORPG, as new content, released via patches or expansion packs frequently leaves older content of less importance. Some examples include:
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    • World of Warcraft's pre-expansion content had hints of this. Quest design was much more varied and interesting in Northrend, Outlands, or even the Bloodelf and Draenei starting areas. Blizzard attempted to fix this with the Cataclysm expansion pack, which changed the pre-expansion content (even for players who didn't purchase the expansion pack) to clear up any remaining artifacts and grant the older continents some of the smoother gameplay aspects developed in the expansion worlds.
      • Cataclysm's changes to Azeroth are a mixed bag between new content you'd see in the Cataclysm era and the Artifact content seen from original WoW, because of zones that barely had any changes or were just completely ignored. This is extremely apparent in areas such as Silithus and Arathi Highlands, which were left virtually untouched and left out of Cataclysm's current Azeroth timeframe, or taking part in the odd mix of Cataclysm and vanilla content seen in the Horde's Northern Barrens, where you start off in the Catalysm timeline to escort Kodo supply caravans to the Crossroads, but then get sent back to the vanilla quest-line to clear out the Kolkar centaurs and leaders amongst the three Barren oases. The fact that you're killing the same centaur leaders and ending with the same centaur Counterattack! on the bunkers west of the Crossroads makes the switch between the timelines even more confusing.
      • Azeroth's starting Draenei/Blood Elf zones added in The Burning Crusade also received no changes, because of Blizzard choosing to leave The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King content independent from Cataclysm. The outdated feeling when you're leveling in these starting areas compared to Cataclysm's updated Durotar and Elwynn Forest starter zones is painfully obvious.
      • Not surprisingly, The Burning Crusade races also suffered a fair bit of this from a narrative perspective after their introductory expansion. The draenei got the worst of it, what with their entire story arc being tied directly to their old homeland of Draenor and the Burning Legion and both of those plot threads falling Out of Focus for entire expansions. Until the reveal of Warlords of Draenor, it was clear the writers had no idea what to do with them in the interim. The Blood Elves didn't get it as bad and had a few factions and quest chains included for them, but a lot of debate centered around why they continued to ally with the Horde post-Outland. It took until Mists of Pandaria to give them a solid reason to continue working with the Horde.
      • Cataclysm itself has caused an entire expansion pack to practically define the term The Artifact. When originally released, Burning Crusade's content and mechanics were seen as an improvement upon Vanilla's. With Cataclysm modifying 'Old World' content to modern specificationsnote , Burning Crusade's content is now the chronologically oldest content in the game, and it shows - filled with Fetch Quests, group quests, and Plot Coupons that few players will bother using because there's better, easier-to-get stuff in later expansion content.
      • Even its art over the course of new expansion releases began to show Artifact material. By Wrath of the Lich King, the art had been improving to the point where you can actually see the improvement in the world environments. WoW's two jungle like environments, vanilla's Un'goro Crater and WOTLK's Sholozar Basin are a fine example of this. Today, Un'goro still, even after its make-shift Cataclysm makeover, looks like it was made from flat cardboard cutouts. Sholozar on the other hand, is seen to be more thickly detailed and natural looking. Un'goro ends up looking completely outdated in comparison. And it's not just the zones either. Cataclysm's Goblin/Worgen factions are, flatout, greatly more detailed than the playable vanilla/BC races. The older races, in return, are made into artifacts due to their plain, outdated look.
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    • Pre-issue 6 content in City of Heroes is in many ways quite lacking in comparison to what came afterwards. While the newer content that has been added since (including all of City of Villains) shows many of the lessons that the development team learned, especially in terms of writing and avoidance of Fake Longevity, they have done little to go back and fix the old content. As of 2010 only one zone, Faultline, has been revamped and brought up to the post-issue 6 standard back in issue 9. The main issues that the old content has are:
      • Sloppy, contrived writing.
      • Old contacts that require you to run to a mission, often several zones away, and back to them to get the next mission as much as ten times before giving you their cell phone number. Contacts added since issue 6 give their cell number by the 2nd mission at the latest.
      • Old contacts sending the player all over the city while newer contacts focus their missions inside the zone that they operate from.
      • Old story arcs being much, much longer than they need to be with redundant missions and overkill objectives (you only need to question the gang leader but still are required to defeat every gangmember, even if you stealthed past them all).
      • Old contacts sharing identical missions and story arcs rather than having unique content. That guy in Independence Port is likely to give you the exact same missions as that girl over in Talos Island, and chances are many of the missions will end up being over in Talos Island anyway.
    • This pops up in Dungeon Fighter Online particularly with later season 3 and season 4 content:
      • Legendary weapons and ancient dungeons. In 60-70 cap (seen in old DFO) they were more revelant than they are now as the questing/grinding needed for them outweighs the boost compared to the level you'd end up at when you're done. This is even after tweaking them to be beyond 70. Future content/current korean content promises a way to make them lv85
      • Various feat quests that give accessories (mainly requiring a large amount of a certain material from dailies) and one title have become this as the game content has exceeded the point where a player would have to stick around for those quests.
      • The skill trainers are still in the game but with the ability to adjust your skills at any time and the removal of some of the subplots of pre-metastatis Arad, they mainly hang around and occasionally give subquests and provide random chatter. GSD got hit pretty hard as he doesn't see any action anymore while Pungin the Fighter trainer has the practice room.
      • Chronicle gear subverts this as despite being lv60 to lv70 gear a bit better than Rare quality gear of the same level, their effects are THAT useful to make them still pretty revelant and to boot a future update promises a way to level them to lv85.
      • A notable subversion are the crew of the St. Horn, originally support characters in Female Slayer's subplot that was in S3 (never seen in the west), they've become Non Player Characters for Otherverse and Ancient dungeon related stuff.
    • This is very prominent in EverQuest. As the expansion packs mount up, old world content is increasingly useless - it's now possible to get armor dropped from random monsters better than the stuff you had to go through extensive questing to get back in the old days. Many zones, especially dungeons, lie abandoned for various reasons. Sometimes Sony reworks a dungeon to increase the level (this was notably done to Splitpaw and Cazic-Thule). However, since Everquest isn't designed well for solo play, people all hunt in the same few zones since all the other players are there, rendering most of the game an artifact.
      • EverQuest II doesn't have it quite as bad. For one thing, there are fewer outdoor zones, and thus nothing to be "reliced". Also, Sony frequently "de-heroics" zones - a "heroic" zone being geared for groups, while a non-heroic zone can be handled by a solo player. Still, some formerly high end dungeons like Solusek's Eye now have little point to them. Also, leveling is so easy now that the low end dungeons just aren't necessary anymore, as a player could gain five levels in less time than it would take him to find a group.
    • Runescape has been fixing this one: they eventually removed an ancient quest based on Romeo and Juliet and replaced it with a quest that, while not entirely original, at least is more than Romeo & Juliet via Fetch Quest.
    • Final Fantasy XI has managed to avert this for the most part. The original series of missions, despite technically being the easiest, is still the most important lore wise. Many of the missions intended to be difficult are level capped low enough that you cannot out level them. Some of them can be soloed by some classes, but it isn't substantially easier for a high level player to do so then a character actually at the level cap.
      • FFXI was made to work in conjunction with PlayOnline, an online hub that supported other online-capable Square games, such as Front Mission Online, Dirge of Cerberus (which had online multiplayer), and an online version of Tetra Master from Final Fantasy IX, in addition to chat rooms and other social media functions. As of 2013, FFXI is the only game that still uses PlayOnline. With most of its other functions going unused, PlayOnline has now been relegated to little more than a glorified launcher for FFXI.
    • Final Fantasy XIV zig zags with keeping old content relevant. To entice players that are at the endgame, the daily roulette will reward players gil, EXP, and tomestones currency while doing a randomly selected duty. However, there are skip potions that can be bought with real money that can allow a player to reach the level cap from the previous expansion on any job (and obtain the appropriate gear for it) or skip huge chunks of the main story.
  • Fighting games do use this trope every now and then. The King of Fighters is one of the bigger offenders — any character from series such as Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting that weren't Demoted to Extra got this. Terry Bogard, despite his iconic reputation in SNK, has been accused of being "just there" lately over the years just to appease older fans. (In which some think that's the real reason why the Ship Tease with him and Blue Mary isn't done so much anymore.) There is also Mai Shiranui whom nowadays they just use her eternally unrequited love for Andy Bogard as an excuse for her to even be there due to her popularity.
    • The inclusion of Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting characters was made as something extra for them since they were still in their own respective series as King of Fighters is an Alternate Continuity to those games. However over the course of the 2000s due to certain issues such as their financial status SNK pretty much focused on this series (with an occasional Samurai Shodown or crossover fighting game. Which ended up being a reason why some of these characters were starting to feel more like Artifacts lately.
    • Characters whom originated in the series were not always excluded, though after the NESTs saga for a while Kyo and Iori were in danger of becoming this. Fortunately SNK averted it by giving them bigger roles again.
  • Speaking of fighting games, the ubiquitous 99-second timer is this for the genre as a whole. It was an arcade feature intended to keep the game moving along if players were taking too long or walked away. It serves no purpose on console versions (especially if the game was never released in arcades in the first place), and most will have the option to turn it off. It is telling that professional wrestling, boxing, and MMA games, despite falling under the fighting game umbrella (albeit more on the technical side), aren't timed; they originated on the home systems.
  • In the first Elder Scrolls game, Arena remains in the title due to the initial design of the game focusing on a gladiatorial arena, though the final game does not include such an arena. When the game became a wide-open fantasy world instead, the Arena was said to be a nickname for Tamriel's violent atmosphere, and remained in the title. Later games do not even refer to Tamriel as the Arena.
  • Pokémon:
    • "Gotta catch 'em all!" was the catchphrase of the franchise, up until the Generation III games on the Game Boy Advance. The phrase was pulled two-fold; initially because the third-generation games were incompatible with the first- and second-gen games (and not all the Pokémon of the third gen were initially available in those games, unlike the previous two generations), and criticism of equaling it to "gotta buy 'em all" came to a head. Also, getting 151, or even 251 Pokémon isn't a stretch, but bear in mind that, as of Generation VII, there are 807 Pokémon, including a ton of elusive legendaries not obtainable without real life events! However, around Gen VI the slogan returned to use in the marketing, if not quite to its former prominence.
      • Also, the games themselves have become much more story-oriented, whereas the first game had an Excuse Plot; catching them all was more important. The most important mons to catch in the fifth game series are the legendary Pokémon that play a vital role in the battle against the Big Bad, Ghetsis.
    • It's traditional for there to be a series of checkpoints just before Victory Road (the last cave area that has to be traversed before reaching the Elite Four) where you're checked to be sure you have all eight badges that will make you eligible for the Pokémon League. In the original games, these served a valid purpose in gameplay, since you could get to the checkpoints from the first major city you reach. In the next four generations, however, it's not even possible to reach the area where the checkpoints are until after you have the eight badges anyway, due to there being some obstacle in the way that you can only traverse with a Hidden Machine move that requires the eighth badge, making the checks a mere formality in gameplay terms. Averted in Pokémon X and Y, where it's once again possible to go to the gate before Victory Road after the first major city.
    • Hidden Machine moves being impossible to forget (at least without consulting the Move Deleter NPC from Gen II on) is a Scrappy Mechanic that persisted because in Generation I and II games, it was possible to leave an HM in your PC, making it theoretically possible to render the game unwinnable if you forgot an HM move and found yourself trapped in an area that required said move. In Generation III, the expansion of the backpack meant that the player would always have all their HMs on hand and could relearn a move if necessary, rendering the issue moot; however, you can still only delete HM moves with the help of a Move Deleter. note 
      Along these lines, the reason why HMs and TMs were originally distinguished is that TMs were only learnable once and then discarded, and could also be sold, both because of limited bag space. Selling TMs you didn't use was often a good way of making extra cash quickly. This persisted until Gen V, when they had unlimited use and couldn't be sold anymore. The sole difference between HMs and TMs now is that the HMs are required outside of battle to get past certain obstacles in the game. There are a number of new ways in Gens V and VI to make extra cash, to make up for the lack of selling TMs.
      The change to TMs had the additional effect of preventing them from being held by Pokémon. Previously, there was nothing to stop enterprising players from trading them to new games and blasting through the early gyms with powerful late-game moves like Earthquake, Blizzard and Hyper Beam.
      In fact, Sun and Moon did away with the HM concept entirely, with the field move functions now being found on Ride Pokémon, who can be summoned anytime, anywhere as needed, and are granted to you as part of the plot, leaving your party Pokémon to just fight. As a matter of fact, former field moves can't even be used the way they were in previous games since the game does not provide the option, not even non-HM moves like Sweet Scent. While some of the better HM attacks were converted to standard TMs (a fact lampshaded by several NPCs), most weren't, leaving Kartana (an Ultra Beast) in the amusing position of being the only thing able to learn Cut.
    • In Gold and Silver, one of the 10 phone numbers you can have at a time is Bill's, which is useful as he tells you how many spaces are left in your current Pokémon storage box. He also calls you to tell you when your current box is full, which is very useful because if both the box currently being used and your party are full you can't catch anything. However, in the third generation, the box system was fixed so that a full box simply meant the captured Pokémon went to the next box, making registering Bill's number in the fourth generation remakes of those games largely pointless (he instead tells you the number of spaces left in all of your boxes in total, in which case you are SOL if you manage to fill all of them). On the other hand, you can register all the numbers you want in the remakes, so he's not hampering you, either.
    • Lampshaded in Indigo Plateau in HeartGold and SoulSilver. In the original games there was a nice man who would have his Abra teleport you home, since you couldn't fly between Kanto and Johto and thus your only other way back until you beat the Elite Four was walking back. In the remakes you can now use Fly to get back (this also works at the entrance to the building before Victory Road), but the old man is still there offering his services...only to note that because of Fly most trainers turn him down. In fact, the game doesn't even let you take him up on his offer, not offering a Yes/No choice after he's finished talking.
    • The Pokémon cries from each past generation become this. Gaming technology has come a long way since even the Game Boy Color, and each Pokemon from Gens I and II still sound just like their original 8-bit counterparts. Some of the spinoff games, such as Pokémon Stadium, redid the old cries to sound more modern, but this wasn't fully carried over to the main series until X and Y. This may also be one of the reasons (the other being the medium they're most associated with becoming Snark Bait) the Pokémon besides Pikachu still don't talk in Pokémon Speak note . The original reason was because of the limitations of the Game Boy system (they had to go through Development Hell to get Pikachu's voice in Yellow), as according to in-game dialogue from some NPC Pokémon, they're still meant to say their names in the games. And the core series games and a few spin-offs are one of the only Pokémon media to lack this, the others being the Pokémon card game where they don't speak at all due to the format, Pokémon Adventures (the other manga do include Pokémon Speak) and some anime specials based directly off the games.
    • Nidoran is the only Pokémon whose male and female versions are considered separate species, but given the same name (aside from the gender marker). In Gen I, the gender trait did not exist, and thus the male and female Nidoran were classified as different creatures altogether, with their own bios and everything. With the introduction of genders and breeding in Gen II, male and female Pokémon of the same species have since been classified together even if they have different appearances and/or evolutions based on gender—such as Jellicent and Snorunt (the diverging evolutions themselves—Glalie and Froslass for Snorunt, for example—are considered separate Pokémon, however). But Nidoran♂ and Nidoran♀ remain differentiated, possibly because combining them would screw up the number count. Though they actually have different names and were introduced after breeding was introduced, Volbeat and Illumise are in the same boat.
      It's made even more jarring by the fact that a female Nidoran inexplicably becomes sterile upon maturing into a Nidorina, apparently originating from an oversight in Generation II. Fifteen years since the breeding mechanic was introduced in the Pokemon games and Game Freak still has yet to fix that problem with no official explanation as to why this is still the case. Pokémenopause?
    • Dive Balls, introduced in Ruby and Sapphire, originally worked better on underwater Pokémon, but excluding Emerald and the remakes, in every game following them there aren't any underwater Pokémon. They were changed to work better on wild Pokémon found while fishing or surfing. Notably, there was already a Ball for Water Pokémon, the Net Ball. And the G/S/C remakes brought back the Lure Ball, making the Dive Ball even more redundant.
    • In Gen I, it's mentioned in the Pokémon Mansion journals that Mewtwo was born directly from Mew like a mammal, as opposed to hatching from an egg (as is established to be the standard method of Pokémon reproduction in Gen II). FireRed/LeafGreen doesn't change the journals to accommodate, making it seem out of place (then again, it's possible Mew giving live birth is unnatural, owing to Mewtwo's unusual creation).
      • It's mainly a case of Early Installment Weirdness. First, this journal was written in the first generation, where Pokémon breeding wasn't even an implemented mechanic, much less talked about - Pokémon were only obtainable via capturing or trading, and that's it, so of course details about reproduction were sketchy at best. And second, the same journal also mentions that Mew was found in Guyana. As in, one of the three small countries to the north of Brazil, in South America. In-game references to real places were discontinued from Gen II onwards, with the various countries the games take in meant to stand-in for real-world locations.
    • The way some old Pokémon evolve hasn't aged well, and can come off odd given the weird ways that certain Pokémon evolve in later generations due to improved gameplay mechanics to allow for more complex evolutions to happen. For example, Gen IV's Mantyke can only evolve if a Remoraid is in the party, yet the same case doesn't happen for Gen I's Slowbro despite it being well-known in the lore that Slowpokes evolve only when a Shellder bites their tail.
    • Stunfisk, a Ground/Electric Pokémon, can have the Limber ability, which protects it from paralysis. It was introduced before Electric-types were buffed to be immune to paralysis, with the latter fact now making the ability completely useless most of the time. note 
    • Unown has bad stats all around, with its only halfway passable stats being in Attack and Special Attack. But it only knows one move, Hidden Power, which is a Special move, so that Attack stat serves no purpose at all. It's a relic of the days when Hidden Power's damage type (and the types of all moves, really, but Hidden Power is the one most famous for having different possible types) varied depending on its typing. If an Unown had, say, Hidden Power Rock or Ground, that Attack stat would have actually meant something. When the physical/special split occurred in Gen IV, though, this was lost, so Unown just has an oddly high stat that it can never use for anything.
    • The physical/special split did this to a number of other moves as well. For instance, look at the Pokémon that learn the special move Hyper Beam by level-up, and you'll notice the majority of them from earlier generations are physical attackers: Aerodactyl, Snorlax, and Gyarados, for instance, all consider Hyper Beam to be a remarkably useless move (there are unevolved starters with better Special Attack than any of the three), and only Snorlax even gets STAB on it, yet they all learn it by leveling. This is a relic of the days when Hyper Beam, like all Normal-type moves, was physical, meaning they could get some mileage out of it.
    • The Move Deleter NPC became this by Gen VII. The only reason you ever needed the Move Deleter mechanic was to get rid of a Pokémon's HM moves, but since Sun and Moon removed HMs in favor of Ride Pokémon, it made the Move Deleter completely obsolete. Despite that, a Move Deleter still exists within Hau'oli City's Pokémon Center, even though everyone pretty much glosses over ever requiring his services.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Fans don't like to admit it, but this has happened to Knuckles in the games. His Back Story got completely fleshed out in Sonic Adventure, and since then, Angel Island and the Master Emerald's relevance has decreased dramatically, with Knuckles himself having been replaced by Shadow as The Rival. Now, Knuckles only appears because people expect him to. At least Tails gets to serve as the local Gadgeteer Genius, though even he seems to teeter on this and is in most games Out of Focus. However, Knuckles did get some focus in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, which was actually very good at giving nearly all of its playable characters equal screen time.
    • A good portion of Sonic's friends have become this, being reduced to cheerleaders for Sonic's final fights. The Wisps themselves recently became this, now only appearing because of their popularity. A lot of this comes from fan criticisms that Sega was introducing too many playable characters and thus having to give each of them different play styles that detracted from the series' standard high-speed platforming. With Sega responding by cutting down the playable cast to just Sonic and a couple of other characters, the rest of the cast had little purpose.
  • Flying medusa heads in the Castlevania series are somewhat an example. In the first game, Medusa herself was a giant severed head, and was fought in the stage that introduced the heads. Since then, Medusa has almost always appeared with a body, and is even absent in most games - but the flying heads remain.
    • The subweapon-heart system in the early NES games was meaningful because the whip was an incredibly crappy weapon in combat. The Axe could hit enemies diagonally up, the Holy Water could hit enemies too low to attack, and the Boomerang killed everything. Even the infamous Dagger was a cut above the whip, with its better range and less delay. In Super Castlevania IV, the whip was massively upgraded in range, power, speed, and versatility, becoming easily the best weapon in the game. However, the subweapons and heart drops remained, leaving many a player with a massive pile of unused hearts. This is one of the reasons that the later games nerfed the whip, as well as introducing Item Crashes to make the subweapons more useful.
  • The eponymous Metal Gear tanks were somewhat unimportant to the plot of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, aside from one boss battle where the player controls Metal Gear Rex in order to destroy Metal Gear Ray. The closest thing to a new Metal Gear model in MGS4 were the AI-controlled Gekko mechs, which are not officially considered to be Metal Gear tanks as they do not use nuclear weaponsnote . While the final act does revolve around an Arsenal Gear, those are also not at all similar to earlier Metal Gear models.
    • The Nintendo GameCube remake of Metal Gear Solid carries over many of the features from its sequel. This includes the ability to hold guards up and steal dogtags from them - minus any non-bragging rights- or cruelty-related incentive to actually do so, since the unlockable pieces of equipment (stealth camo, infinite-ammo bandanna and alternate costumes) are still unlocked simply by beating the game with a specific ending regardless of how many tags you grab.
    • Most of the well-known elements of the Metal Gear saga become this in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The game retains the manual save system of its predecessors along with introducing an auto-save system. However, loading a manually-saved game will still put you at your latest checkpoint, making manual saving redundant. It also gives you the possibility of using long-ranged guns and grenades like in every game, but since the game is so focused on close combat with a sword, the use of these weapons would more times than not feel redundant and even useless. The game also gives you many of the classic elements for stealth play, like the cardboard box, and even variations of the magazines for dealing with cyborgs. But since this game is way more focused on hack-n-slash gameplay, stealth becomes unnecesary and even a burden at some points (if you manage to go through an area without activating an alarm, the game will never initiate the fighting scenario, therefore you won't be awarded any rank for the battle, which is necessary to gain some bonuses and achievements).
    • Solid Snake himself hasn't canonically appeared in a game since Metal Gear Solid 4, stated by Word of God to "absolutely end the Solid saga" and all but confirmed to have died of old age shortly afterwards. New entries to the franchise have all focused on either Big Boss (in prequels) or Raiden (in sequels). Big Boss (Naked Snake) is even starting to eclipse Solid as the series' main protagonist.
    • The infamous cardboard box becomes one in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It's there, and even has new features, but it doesn't really mesh well at all with the game's Darker and Edgier tone. The fact that you can complete the whole game without ever using it - and the fact that it was even cut from Ground Zeroes and only returned because of fan outcry - further cements its status as this. Ocelot even lampshades this.
    • Most of Snake's appearances, especially in spinoffs, feature him wearing his Sneaking Suit from the first Metal Gear Solid, a skintight but padded outfit which is designed to look like a mixture of military gear, cold weather gear and a wetsuit, and is light blue and grey in colour. This is perfectly suitable for a game which requires Snake to swim in the seas of Alaska, and even makes plenty of sense when he wears it without the thick thermal vest for infiltrating a tanker in the opening of Metal Gear Solid 2, but begins to look a bit strange when he's running around in a Central African jungle in Metal Gear: Ghost Babel or a southern African island in Metal Gear Ac!d.
  • Though the Metroid series' doors serve the purpose of disguising load times, the fact that they are opened via gunshot doesn't make a whole lot of sense even with the in-universe Hand Wave (why would the protective force fields need to be deactivated by being shot? And why would the pirates install doors that only Samus can open?). Nevertheless, they were in the first game, so they're in all the games.
    • The doors get varying forms of hand-waves in some games, particularly the Prime series. In some cases, they're not designed to be shot; rather, by shooting them, you're overloading their defenses, and different doors have different strengths and properties that make their defensive fields vulnerable to different exploits. In other cases, they were only meant to keep out the local wildlife.
    • Of course, the real reason the doors open through weapon fire is to encourage the player to hunt down weapon and missile upgrades to open them, in keeping with the series's theme of exploring your environment organically and using the items to open up new areas instead of just hunting for keys.
    • The Metroids themselves have fallen by the wayside, thanks to the second game being all about the player hunting them to near-extinction. It got to the point where the Metroid Prime Trilogy games feature severely weakened Metroids in the Pirate bases even though it might have made more sense in terms of plot if they had been absent. Metroid: Other M reverses this trend. Metroid Prime: Hunters plays the trope straight by having no Metroids at all in the full game (they were in the First Hunt demo, however), despite having their name in the title.
    • The Varia Suit for the Metroid Prime Trilogy. In the first game, it was a standard upgrade that boosted Samus's defense and allowed her to travel through superheated rooms without being roasted. In the next two games, she has the Varia Suit from the start, but it's her basic suit and doesn't offer anything compared to the suit upgrades she obtains later on. It's likely that she starts with the Varia Suit since it's her iconic design.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • The three day trial system initially served as a time limit of sorts to the plot at the beginning of the series. However, when it became clear that a two-day trial was more than enough to keep the plot moving without the case dragging on for too long, subsequent games have never attempted another three day trial anymore. Strangely, Rise From the Ashes lasts three days despite having been released after the original trilogy, presumably because it's a bonus for a rerelease of the original game, and moving from a game full of three-day trials to one that was only two would have made things even more jarring.
    • The main character facing a lousy prosecutor who can only win against rookies whose last name is Payne has become a staple for the series, despite the main attorneys being anything but rookies in later entries. Sometimes the games have an actual reason for this (such as having the first case being taken by the new character of the game) but in other cases, the trial just ends up becoming a battle between the main attorney and the actual culprit, leaving the Payne prosecutor as a side note comedic relief.
    • Phoenix's rival and one of the most popular characters of the series, Miles Edgeworth, became Chief Prosecutor during the Apollo Justice era, thus he no longer had any reason to involve himself in regular trials with the main cast. This was true for the fourth game, but for the next two, he reappeared and got heavily involved in at least one case per game.
    • After Trucy Wright's story was resolved in the fourth game, she no longer had any reason to stay in the game aside from being Phoenix's daughter (Athena replacing her as the assistant from the fifth game onwards was the final nail in the coffin). Thus she almost disappeared completely in the fifth game. For the sixth she had some sort of a come back by having a case dedicated to her, but after it finished, she disappeared once more, only occasionally appearing for comedy relief.
  • Valve's Source Engine is a heavy/complete modification of the licensed Quake engine, to the point of having none of the original's code. Most of the console commands, however, remain the same as the various id Tech engines. Same for Call of Duty's IW Engine, built from the Quake III: Arena engine used in the first game and used in essentially the same form for every game afterwards.
    • This may or may not have been why Call of Duty: Black Ops runs on a modified version of Call of Duty 4's engine, which was three years old at Black Ops' release, rather than the much younger version of the engine from Modern Warfare 2 (on top of the overlapping development meaning that a completed version of that engine iteration simply wasn't available until they were already a third of the way through development) - MW2 took out leaning and dedicated servers from the PC version, Treyarch wanted those in their game, and they probably figured it would be easier to make the engine that already had those features look better than it would be to add those features back to a newer engine.
    • Similarly, the Dunia Engine that runs Far Cry 2 contains something like 1%-5% of the original source code from the CryEngine that powered the first game.
    • Duke Nukem Forever is an interesting case. Rather than scrap the project or update it for modern engines, as had already been done multiple times when 3D Realms was still working on it (and was responsible in part for its infamously-protracted development time of 15 years), the entire game runs on the relatively ancient Unreal Engine 1. They just added enough graphics modifications to make it look pretty on-par with contemporary releases on Unreal Engine 3. This also has the side-effect of its recommended system requirements being much lower than contemporary games - about on par with Crysis, infamous four years prior in 2007 for being essentially a supercomputer, but having quickly become old-hat by 2011.
  • The Turok games take their name, and a few other aspects, from a series of comic books about a Native American who finds a Lost World valley of dinosaurs. In the games, the main storyline has to do with the job of an ancient warrior trying to keep The Omniverse from collapsing and using his ancient wisdom to survive in a dark, alien land. They could just have easily have come up with some pretty strange creatures for the Lost Lands, and they did in later games, but solely because the Turok name is associated with dinosaurs, there are bio-mechanical dinosaurs for no reason. Then again, maybe dinosaurs don't need a reason.
  • A small handful of perks in Fallout: New Vegas suffer from being this.
    • Tag! is one of the more obvious examples. A tagged skill in Fallout and Fallout 2 leveled up twice as fast as a normal skill. This skill also became available around the same point in the game where Energy Weapons and Big Guns started to legitimately be useful weapons. Instead of the ignorable +15 skill points, the old version was +20 skill points and it now progressed twice as fast as normal like the other tagged skills. On top of that, it worked retroactively with skill points already spent in the skill. Taking this skill could basically turn a skill too low to be useful to being essentially mastered.
    • Swift Learner used to make at least some sense to take. You didn't normally hit the level cap in the old games unless you intentionally farmed random encounters for experience for a long time. In the newer games, hitting the level cap is easy even with all of the DLC's increasing it, which makes taking this perk completely useless.
    • Life Giver was a much better perk in the older games. Even enemy mooks could potentially one hit kill you, so extra health by any means possible was a legitimately useful thing to have. The problem with it now is that the true source of its usefulness has been negated by the new gameplay mechanics - in the old games, gaining extra health on a level-up wasn't guaranteed without Life Giver. Now, you always gain a little extra health when you level up, so Life Giver has been changed into a one-time boost of 30 HP - a noticeable boost, to be sure (about equivalent to how much you'd get from six levels), but still small enough that any enemy capable of killing you will usually have no trouble going through the perk's extra health.
    • Pyromaniac is an interesting example. The Perk itself has remained useful, to the point of being a key component of the highest melee-DPS build in Fallout 3, but the requirements to take it have reached this status. Originally, it required a certain number of ranks in Big Guns to take — this made sense, as the primary source of fire damage in the original games were Flamers, which were classed as Big Guns. For Fallout 3, it was moved to Explosives, despite flame damage being found in Big Guns and Melee Weapons. By Fallout: New Vegas, Pyromaniac's requirement remained in Explosives. However, Big Guns had been removed as skill, putting flamethrowing weapons in Energy Weapons (the perk was actually meant to be attainable with either Explosives or Energy Weapons, but because of a glitch this didn't work). Later DLC added the mighty Flare Gun (Guns), Dragon's Breath ammo (Guns), Shishkebab (Melee Weapons), Superheated Saturnite Fist (Unarmed), and the weak Molotov Cocktail (Explosives), meaning that Pyromaniac requires the character to have ranks in the least relevant combat skill.
    • Fast Shot used to be an amazing trait. You gave up the Aimed Shot skill, which is mostly useless anyway (by the time you can reliably hit specific body parts, you should have little trouble just killing enemies), to reduce the AP needed per shot by 1. Depending on your weapon and Agility, this could very well mean you were shooting twice per round rather than once, meaning it doubled your damage output from the get-go, making it the trait to have (alongside Gifted) - and that's not getting into some of the more amazing things you could do with it later on, such as having 10AP per round and getting the .223 Pistol (the most powerful Small Gun in the game) to 2AP per shot (five shots per round), or the Super Sledge (the most powerful Melee weapon) to 1AP per hit (ten swings per round). Due to the 3D, first-person games not needing the Aimed Shot skill, the new version simply reduces accuracy (which VATS already suffers at in engagements further than melee distance) for a minor AP reduction.
    • Skilled, meanwhile, is something of an inversion. In the first two games, it gave you a rather negligible boost to your skills in exchange for only getting perks every four levels instead of three like normal. Come New Vegas (or rather, the Old World Blues DLC), you get a +5 boost to all skills for a small reduction in exp gain (which can easily be negated by taking the aforementioned Swift Learner, if you feel so inclined), with skill points being harder to come by in this game than the first two. For added fun, you can abuse some Good Bad Bugs in character creation or with the Auto-Doc in Old World Blues to get the bonus multiple times and then "lose" the penalty from it for good measure.
    • On a non-perk front, it's clear that the NV designers didn't really have any use for the Karma Meter, focusing much more heavily on Alliance Meters, and keeping it solely because the Fallout series was the Trope Codifier. It affects whether one companion will stay with you (everybody else that can turn down your offer will do so based on your reputation with a specific faction, even if it's similar to a second karma meter by making most everybody only care whether you're friendly with the openly-evil Caesar's Legion), and determined which of three Level 50 perks you could get (if you had all the DLC to raise the level cap that high, that is)... and that's pretty much it. For added uselessness, all three of those Level 50 perks gave essentially the same set of bonuses, and all either require neutral Karma or reset it to neutral anyway. Fallout 4 noted this and responded, as part of a general overhaul of the series' gameplay, by ditching the mechanic entirely.
  • Persona 4 has a couple of minor details carried over from its predecessor that didn't make a lot of sense. First, some enemies on the map look like the "Maya" enemies from 3, which aren't actually present and fightable here (the game makes it clear that shadows transform when you get into a fight with them). Second, maxing out a social link triggers a note that you have forged an unbreakable bond. This was an important point in 3, where social links that weren't maxed would break after a certain amount of time. They don't do that anymore in 4, so now it's just congratulatory.note 
  • Super Mario Bros. series:
    • Extra lives became completely pointless since Super Mario 64, where you have the option to save your progress after collecting every new Star and key; reaching Game Over has no negative effect besides placing you outside the castle. Lives were finally abolished in Super Mario Odyssey so the only penalty for dying is the loss of 10 coins and restarting a boss fight from the beginning if you were fighting a boss.
    • You get points for doing things in the original Super Mario Bros. These have absolutely no impact on gameplay (even the players in the 1980s noticed this), but it was a Video Game, and video games have points!
    • Super Mario World and the New Super Mario Bros. series still have points, despite the fact the game doesn't keep track and the way it's designed, the worse you do, the higher your score will be. The 3D games up to and including Super Mario 3D Land merge them with Coins so you'll be rewarded with a 1-Up if you do well enough and most of them also add high scores, adding incentive, but later games, including the sequel Super Mario 3D World restore them while still keeping the high scores for incentive.
    • Coins, at least, are often re-purposed as restoring Mario's Hit Points. Of course, he probably only has about 3-6 of those, so littering the levels with hundreds of coins is rather pointless, unless the player is just not any good at the game or deliberately injuring Mario.
    • The first Super Mario Advance game included remakes of both Super Mario Bros. 2 and Mario Bros.. To tie the games together, a few of Mario's abilities from SMB2 were included in the Mario Bros. game, such as the charged crouch jump and the ability to pick up and throw POW blocks. Later Super Mario Advance games plus Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga also include the same Mario Bros. game, including the SMB2 abilities, even though Mario plays differently in the other games or is not the player character at all.
    • The franchise still has its trademark green pipes, despite Mario not doing much plumbing lately.
    • Mario's status as a plumber is this in itself. His first games took place in semi-realistic industrial environments, and the first game to treat him as a plumber (Mario Bros.) took place in what appeared to be a sewer, which would make perfect sense for a plumber. Super Mario Bros. was therefore something of a Genre Shift focusing on that same plumber adventuring through an Alice in Wonderland-esque fantasy land. But due to Sequel Displacement, pretty much every game since then has taken place in the Mushroom Kingdom, making Mario seem fairly unusual - to the point that Super Mario Odyssey bringing back a semi-realistic modern city setting (implied to be the same one as in those early games, even) was seen as very unusual.
    • Half of the original concept of the "world" as a collection of stages is beginning to become an artifact with more recent games in the series. A world is still a grouping of levels that end with a major boss fight, but unlike in older Mario games, the levels in a world are mostly no longer thematically related to the world map itself — you can be in the desert world and still end up playing grassland stages.
    • The concept of coin blocks and brick blocks were explained in the first game as Toads being transformed by Bowser's magic. Nowadays, the blocks are there for the sake of containing coins, power ups, or to serve as platforms. On a similar note, the first game explained that Princess Peach was kidnapped by Bowser because her magic had the power to undo Bowser's magic. Nowadays, Bowser only kidnaps Peach to lure Mario into traps and the only time Peach's powers ever come into play is in the RPG spin offs.
    • Luigi himself was starting to become this in The '90s, especially when it came to the main platformers. His role as a Palette Swap of Mario for the second player didn't give him much opportunity to be showcased when games like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario RPG were single-player adventures. Even Luigi's voice clips in this period tended to just be the same clips of Charles Martinet's Mario voice digitally pitch shifted. It wasn't until Paper Mario 64 and Luigi's Mansion ramped up the Divergent Character Evolution that he became a much more integral part of the franchise.
    • Princess Daisy was hit with this the moment she came back in Mario Tennis. While she was a princess in Super Mario Land, all of her later appearances regulated her to just being a selectable character in spin off games. Her background as a princess has been completely ignored, even though she's still called a princess officially.
    • Starting with Super Mario 64 Piranha Plants started being depicted with green lips rather than the more familiar white lips. One of the last games to do this was Super Mario Sunshine, which introduced Petey Piranha. The Piranha Plants have since reverted to white lips, but Petey's lips are still green to this day. Even the Petey expies in Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 have green lips rather than white.
  • Mario & Luigi series:
    • Bean collecting. Every game has the player dig up beans from specially marked spots in the ground, either to consume directly or use as currency for a special sub-quest shop. This made perfect sense in the first game, since it was in a kingdom that was bean-themed to the same extreme as the Mushroom Kingdom's mushroom theme, and it worked well in the second as an excuse for a cameo from the first, but as the series has gone on the beans have been further and further removed from the overall theme of things.
    • The first three games featured Save Blocks which were the only points at which the game could be saved. Dream Team added in the ability to save anywhere, at any time... but keeps Save Blocks around for some reason. Apparently the developers wanted to clearly demark where you should be saving, like right before a major boss fight.
    • In Partners in Time, instead of using BP to perform powerful Bros. Attacks, the party collected single-use Bros. Items that served as special attacks. After Partners in Time, the series switched to special attacks that cost SP/BP like in the first game; each one features a brother pulling out an item to perform the attack, even though Bros. Items no longer exist (a few of the Bros. Items were even converted into regular attacks).
    • When Starlow first appeared in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, she was as much an Exposition Fairy as she was in later games, but had some mild plot relevance, showing up at Peach's castle as a representative of the Star Sprites and ultimately getting dragged into the main adventure. She has less of a reason to be around in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, especially given the presence of Prince Dreambert, but she at least gets some character development. By the time of Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Starlow is seemingly only around because it would be weird to get rid of her at this point (a fact which she lampshades when she calls herself the "de facto leader" of the group). Notably, she's the only character to appear in said game who doesn't also appear in a main-line Mario platformer.
  • The Final Fantasy characters in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Initially, Kingdom Hearts was marketed on the basis of being crossover of Disney and Final Fantasy, but with each new game, Final Fantasy's roles get smaller and smaller. In fact, in Birth By Sleep, Zack was the only character featured from a Final Fantasy game... and in Dream Drop Distance, there were no Final Fantasy characters at all, replaced by the cast of The World Ends with You! Kingdom Hearts III only has moogles and a few cameo like a giant Cactuar toy.
    • Maleficent, once a Big Bad, has lost relevance since the first game. Starting with KH2 onward, she appears to do evil... just because. The sole exception is Birth by Sleep, which gives some background to her rise to Big Bad status in the original game.
    • The Disney elements have also taken ever more of a back seat to the series' own original mythology and plotlines. By this point, the worlds' plots and characterizations are lifted directly from the movies, and the Disney villains are almost never more than Minibosses, who understand the metaplot even less than the heroes, and exist only to be manipulated by the real bad guys (who are all the same person). The only Disney character to maintain a consistently major role is Mickey Mouse. With Donald and Goofy back to being party members and actual reasons getting given for going to the Disney worlds, the Disney elements are set to return to prominence in Kingdom Hearts III
    • As a side-effect of this, Kairi, the supposed female lead of the series, also became an artifact from Kingdom Hearts II and onward, since her main role as a Princess of Heart meant squat since the other Princesses of Heart were all Disney characters and thus the whole lot of then fell Out of Focus. However, the end of Dream Drop Distance doubly reverses this by bringing the Princesses back into play in the metaplot AND finally paying off on the Foreshadowing of Kairi as a Keyblade wielder from KH2.
    • Both the openings of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage show clips from the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts II which is odd because the Keyblade Armors of Terra, Aqua and Ventus no longer have capes in the game proper (they were removed due to frame rate issues).
      • Terra's armor bounces back and forth on if it's this trope or not. While it didn't appear in BBS due to the aforementioned issues, it did appear in the HD Remix port of the Final Mix version as at the very end of the game, it suddenly sprouts from the armor, to explain why the Lingering Will in KHII Final Mix has one.
  • In Kingdom Hearts χ, certain avatar parts carry benefits known as "raid boss perk" or "raid boss omega perk." These are supposed to increase the chance that a raid boss or a more powerful raid boss omega will appear after completing a quest. However, in 2019, at least for the Global version, the game was altered so that raid bosses no longer appear outside of raid boss events, which were made to always be available. As such, these particular perks no longer have any effect whatsoever. If Square-Enix wanted, they could just change them to do something else, but apparently it isn't a priority.
  • Cursed equipment in the Dragon Quest series. In the early games, you had to be careful what equipment you put on. If you equipped something cursed, you'd suffer from ill effects and had to go to a church to remove it. However, later games have descriptions of items available in the menu, and all cursed equipment include not very subtle warnings that they're evil. No player will ever accidentally equip something cursed anymore, making their inclusion as traps pointless. Also related is the ability to examine items in the menu. It no longer appears in newer games, but remakes of older games will still include it even though it won't give you any information that isn't already in the item's description.
  • Limited lives on PC or console games, period. The reason games had limited lives in the first place was because they were originally developed for arcade machines, and making players pay up to keep playing meant more profits for arcade owners, whereas you don't pay to keep playing games on your personal gaming systems. As the Meaningless Lives trope will attest to, many games even in the NES era included a lives system for no other reason than that lives are something games were expected to have, and in the modern era, it's frequently seen as a Scrappy Mechanic, due to the balancing problems inherent in punishing players who are already struggling and the unfun nature of being set back.
    • Scores have a similar placement, though they still crop up in games that lack a narrative or that reward mechanical mastery (especially Stylish Action games). In the second generation, the majority of games derived challenge from mastering a very brief and simplistic gameplay loop, either because they were a primitive early cartridge game, or because they were arcade games meant to be played in short bursts or until the player died (and in the latter case, you could even see how well you did next to other players). In the third, the challenge in most home console games shifted from "get the biggest number in a game" to "get to the end", partly due to the games being difficult enough that farming for points wasn't as impressive as getting to the end credits, and partly due to the concreteness of beating a level being more impressive than a big meaningless number. You couldn't even compare your numbers to other players, because chances were that only you (or maybe a sibling) could log scores on the game to begin with. Despite that, a lot of third- and fourth-generation games had score mechanics that most players never even noticed, because... well, scores were what games had. Some even kept in items that didn't do anything but increase that meaningless point total. A fairly indicative example of this transition period is in The Wizard from 1989, where the final challenge is a points race in Super Mario Bros. 3, and the main character is cheered for finding the warp whistle—an item that does not provide points and instead skips to later stages, which would make you get fewer points by playing less of the game and playing harder portions of it. The writers knew it was valuable, but didn't understand why it would be other than "it provides really big points, right?"
  • Score keeping in Wolfenstein 3D engine titles is an artifact. According to id, they kept the arcade feel because early '90s gamers wanted an arcade feel. Unfortunately, the later titles using the engine had to keep the score and lives intact leaving the game with a dated element while a modern Doom was out removing lives and scores.
  • Link is a Heroic Mime in The Legend of Zelda series because... well, he's always been a heroic mime. This was justifiable with the earlier games which had excuse plots, and the developers have defended keeping him that way because he's an Escapist Character. However, over time the series has grown more story-driven, and Link's role in the plots have become more defined and personal than Save the Princess Because Destiny Says So. He's given closer relationships to other characters, shows more emotion and occasionally reacts in ways the player may not agree with. Despite this, he's been a silent protagonist in every game so far and there's no indication that's ever going to change, because most fans just can't imagine him with a voice (or are afraid to imagine such). The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild introduced voice acting again and it's miles better than the infamous CDi games, but Link is still silent and the game does provide an explanation for it. With Link being Zelda's appointed knight, he chose to stay quiet in order to maintain his image as a professional and also avoiding saying anything that could tarnish his image. Because Link slowly became his own character over the course of the series, Breath of the Wild did away with the renaming feature so that the voice acting could refer to Link by name.
  • The pipe-based hacking system in BioShock is a holdover from when the vending machines had human operators on a drip-feed of ADAM, and he'd spot you some goodies for increasing the flow to him. However, considering the vending machines are now purely mechanical, this makes no sense.
    • The vending machines themselves in BioShock Infinite are a relic of Rapture's obsessively open market. Columbia's overly-controlling government would want to put a check on weapons being sold, given the looming threat of the Vox Populi. Amusingly, despite the presence of these vending machines around every corner, a major plot point about halfway through the game revolves around the Vox Populi's apparent inability to get their hands on enough weapons without the player's help.
    • Taking things a step further, the ability to hack BioShock's vending machines in order to make other items available is carried over from System Shock 2, in which the vending machines assemble items on a nano-scale using nanites, the game's currency. Hacking thus allowed items such as guns and ammo to be replicated when the machine was originally only designed for basic vending machine fare. While this is somewhat justified in BioShock with the idea that Frank Fontaine keeps some products away from the general public, it does not mesh quite as well with the setting. Infinite took steps to lessen this, by changing the mechanic into simply messing with the vending machines with the "Possession" vigor, which does nothing more than making them drop some cash.
    • The cameras are another example of this; hacking them to change their targeting parameters makes much more sense in a cyberpunk setting than a 1960s dieselpunk world, but their presence was a major enough part of the feel of System Shock 2's gameplay to keep it as a part of its Spiritual Successor.
    • Zero Punctuation argued that the "vigors" in Infinite are effectively this, as they serve the same function as the plasmids in the previous BioShock games, but little in-universe justification is given for their presence aside from a Hand Wave until Burial at Sea reveals the technology actually was taken straight from Rapture.
      • Of course, in the same manner as the cameras, plasmids themselves were this. Why do stem cells from sea slugs let you see ghosts and shoot ice, fire and lightning from your hands? Because System Shock 2 had psi powers that let you do those very things.
  • In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, a collectible was added in the form of intelligence laptops, which unlocked cheats for you to use when replaying the game. The various other games since then have kept them or equivalent collectibles relevant in various ways - World at War replaced them with "Death Cards", which unlock bonus options for co-op modes. Black Ops lets you actually read the intelligence after you've collected it. Ghosts and Advanced Warfare followed suit, the former replacing intel with "Rorke Files" that you can listen to once found which give some background on the antagonist in question, and the latter bringing back intel pickups which give a recorded message from Jonathan Irons when you collect all the pickups in a level. Black Ops II added a set of ten challenges to every level that allow you to unlock extra weapons and items for the campaign, with one of the universal challenges for each level being picking up all the intel; Black Ops III similarly replaced them with new types of collectibles that go towards the player's singleplayer experience, thus giving more sense for why they're there and a real incentive to pick them up again. In Modern Warfare 2 and 3, however, intel is just there to have something to collect, but confers no sort of bonus or unlock for doing so other than an achievement.
    • Modern Warfare 3 added the "Hybrid Sight" and "HAMR Scope" attachments, both of which are essentially dual-purpose scopes for respectively assault rifles and submachine guns. The version for assault rifles cannot be attached to a weapon which also has a Grenade Launcher, because the key to switch zoom modes is the same for switching between the rifle and its launcher. Black Ops II switched to a combined "Hybrid Optic" for assault rifles and light machine guns, which switches modes by pressing the sprint key while aiming instead, but nevertheless cannot be combined with either a grenade launcher or the new Select Fire attachment (which shares its control with the launcher), simply because the original version couldn't. This in spite of Strike Force missions still allowing the use of grenade launchers and select-fire, despite the fact that the control for using them is used as part of the squad controls. The control for switching optics also makes no distinction between the console versions, where left trigger or L1 is invariably held to aim down the sights, and the PC version, where the right mouse button is set by default to toggle aiming, so unless you set the game to hold the right mouse button to aim, switching modes on the hybrid optic on PC requires pulling out of aiming just to go back in and hold the button for a second to switch before letting go.
  • Donkey Kong Country had bananas scattered throughout every level because the Kremlings stole Donkey Kong's banana hoard and dropped them as they ran along. All Donkey Kong games after that had bananas just exist for the sole purpose of Law of 100 and Follow the Bananas. Except for Donkey Kong Country Returns, where the villains do actually steal the bananas.
  • Stan's jacket in Monkey Island has a checkered pattern that always remains stationary. This was because of technical restrictions in the first game, however it has since become his signature and remains in all games; the devs even replicated it with great difficulty in Escape from Monkey Island, the first 3D game in the series, simply because of its association with him.
  • The input for Jump Kicks in the original arcade Double Dragon is different depending on the direction the player is facing. Pressing the kick button while jumping only does jump kicks to the left and in order to do a jump kick to the right, the player must use the punch button instead. This is actually a leftover mechanic from when the game was conceived as a sequel to Renegade, which used direction-based attack buttons.
  • Tekken has Paul Phoenix, who was once The Rival to icon Kazuya but has now been Demoted to Extra and is little more than a running gag in the story. Still, he appears in every game because he's a popular fighter and people expect him to be there.
  • The illustrations on the side of the original Tempest cabinet show actual monsters rather than the abstract squiggles that serve as the enemies/targets in the actual game. This was because they were designed and printed at a time when the plan was for them to look like that. By the time the developers threw in the towel on making credible-looking monsters with the game's vector graphics, it was too late to change the art.
  • Power in Touhou. In Story of Eastern Wonderland getting to and maintaining max power was both reasonably difficult and fairly important. Immediately after that regaining lost power from dying became easy and the drop in damage fairly small besides. Since then Mountain of Faith and Subterranean Animism brought it back to relevance by tying it to bombs, but then that went away and now collecting power is back to just being something to do during the first stage.
  • In Killing Floor, one of the bonuses the Field Medic perk gets as it levels up is increased capacity for its submachine guns. Initially, the only Medic-specific weapon was the H&K MP7, which in reality can use both 20- and 40-round magazines - hence, the in-game weapon uses 20-round mags, and the Field Medic's capacity bonus allows for up to double their weapon's mag capacity. This ends up working in the player's favor for later Medic weapons added through patches, all of which start with close to their highest real-world capacities and then can double that to absurd levels - players that had fully-leveled the perk by the time the first alternate weapon for it was added were greeted with the ability to somehow stuff 64 bullets into the magazines of their new MP5s.
    • Some weapons have mounted flashlights to allow you to light the way through the game's selection of dark and cramped maps. For the purpose of adding a challenge and some horror, however, not every weapon has a light attached; players are often forced to choose between using a weaker weapon not suited to taking out the approaching enemies, but which has a light to let you actually aim at them, or using a stronger weapon that will do a better job but forgoing a light and having to let the enemy get closer to aim properly. In the initial release of Killing Floor 2 it worked the same way, with only a couple weapons having mounted lights. Eventually, however, the game was modified to mount flashlights on the chests of the various player characters like in Silent Hill, letting you keep a light active regardless of equipped weapon. Nevertheless, the weapons that already had lights mounted to them never had their models changed to remove the lights, even as players lost the ability or need to use them, or as more and more weapons without attached lights are added to the game.
  • Many video games impose a limit on how many save files a single user can have, usually around 3. This goes back to when games came on cartridges, so each game had its own fixed amount of save storage, and limited the number of saves to whatever could fit. However, most modern game systems save data on media shared between software (such as memory cards and hard drives), and while some games take advantage of this by allowing users to make as many save files as they have room for, others still maintain caps on the number of save files.
  • The name of a game mode in the Battlefield series suffers a bit from this. While PC players of modern Battlefield games will know of the game mode Rush, where one team tries to plant explosives on two computer-looking M-COM stations in an area while the other team defends them, they may not understand what the name has to do with a standard bomb planting and defusal mode. The game mode originated in the console-exclusive Battlefield: Bad Company, where it was called "Gold Rush", and the objective was to plant a bomb on an enemy team's metal crate containing gold bullion to break open the casing, befitting the game's primary single-player theme of stealing gold. When Bad Company 2 came to PC as well as consoles, it removed all of the gold references and instead substituted a generic "destroy an enemy team's communications" objective, even though in Bad Company 2 the objectives were still the same metal crates from the previous game, just with some electronics added on them.
  • The Soul Series:
    • Mitsurugi became this later on. He was one of Soul's icons and has remained in every game to date. He was most prominent in Soul Edge but hasn't had any relevancy to the plot whatsoever since Soulcalibur, yet he remains because he's expected to be there. He even survived the roster cut of V, whereas other more plot-relevant characters like his rival Taki got replaced by less-liked successors. He did get a bigger role in Soulcalibur VI, but that's a reboot set at the time when he was most relevant, so it remains to be seen if he can avert this later on.
    • Soulcalibur V featured Nightmare continuing to use his signature One-Handed Zweihänder style. Problem is, this version is a Legacy Character when the original was Siegfried, thus his style was based on Siegfried's own. Even when they were separated, he maintained that style without a host because he retained his most recent memories of Siegfried. It makes less sense here, as not only is this a different host, but that host is Raphael, a fencer. Logically, Nightmare should be using the rapier style rather than the zweihander. A justification was that Soul Edge preferred this form, but it doesn't really explain it as Soul Edge is a weapon beyond mortal understanding and unlikely to prefer one shape over another. It also had no problem adapting to Pyrrha's shield and sword style when she claimed it. The real reason is that Nightmare is the Series Mascot who was made famous for that style, and thus changing it wouldn't be right.
  • Team Fortress 2 has several cases.
    • In the early stages of post-release content, Valve released class-specific updates that awarded players new weapons for reaching milestones by completing a specific amount of achievements that were released for that class. Nowadays, items are gathered instead through the in-game Mann Co. store, random drops, and trading with other players, leaving the process to get items through attaining achievements in the dust. The process to get the original weapons through achievement milestones are still in the game, but it is an example of an obsolete mechanic that will most likely never be used again.
    • Even within the class-specific updates, the first one for the Medic is an artifact for two reasons: one, getting all three of his new weapons originally required completing all of the new achievements, and two, the vast majority of those achievements ranged from counterintuitive to outright counterproductive, the worst of them requiring cooperation with opposing team members and ignoring or even sabotaging your own team. Later class-specific updates before the milestone system was abandoned not only lowered the thresholds that unlocked specific weapons to more reasonable levels (the threshold for getting all three of the Engineer's new weapons was still lower than the threshold for just two of the Medic's), but also had the achievements more in-line with actual teamwork and what the class in question was meant to be doing rather than weird things the class could theoretically do under controlled circumstances.
    • Random Crits have been in the game since the very beginning, but are the very definition of a rage-inducing Scrappy Mechanic amongst the more competitive players of the player-base, such that Random Crits will always be turned off on servers that surround competitive play, and damn near every single community-made weapon will have "no random crits" as its first (if not only) drawback. Unless it's a "fun" server, or a server run directly from Valve, you'll almost never see this mechanic active due to people hating all their hard work being suddenly ruined, because they were unlucky enough to get hit by a Random Crit.
    • The map cp_fastlane. Due to the poor layout of the final cap, balanced match-ups would turn into a turtle fest that could never be pushed through when the defending team is forced to hold the line. Nowadays, the map lives down in the depths of never being played anymore, and has been left untouched.
    • Several game-modes are this:
      • The primary example is "Territory Control," which was only ever created for one map, tc_hydro, at the initial release of the game. This game-mode, and obviously the map it was used for, was so hated for its constant stalemates that it has become non-existent in the gaming community, and has never been touched upon again. The reason it is an artifact? The map is still in the game, and serves as a reminder as to how not to design a map, or one based on this game mode.
      • Another example of a game mode that has nowadays become this, is "Arena". Arena was an attempt to implement a mode similar to Counter-Strike to appease said demographic where the players get one life, and must kill off the other team before the three-minute round ends. The problem was that Team Fortress players just wanted to come back and continue playing (and Counter-Strike players just kept playing Counter-Strike), and having to wait for two-plus minutes half the time before being able to respawn for the next round was a major turn off for a lot of players. Over time, people went away from it, and Arena has since become a dead game-mode living down in the depths with the Territory Control mode. However, like before, it is still possible to play the maps designed for Arena. You'll just be lucky if you find a server that wants to run them.
  • In Mutant League Football, a number of players are named after famous football players of the late 80s to the early-mid 90s — for instance, Bones Jackson (after Bo Jackson), and Reggie Fright (Reggie White). The sequel, Mutant League Hockey, featured many of the best players from MLF, but with the game now being about hockey, the ones named after football players are out of place. This also extends to a team name: in MLF, the Deathskin Razors parody the Oakland Raiders, but they keep their name in Mutant League Hockey.
  • In Rayman 2, Rayman must collect the yellow lums that are the fragments of the Heart of the World destroyed by the space pirates when they invaded the Glade of Dream. Since the Heart of the World was restored at the end of Rayman 2, yellow lums no longer have a role in the plot, and yet they still appear as the basic collectible in later games to unlock levels or for 100% completion.
  • A few once basic and useful items in The Sims have become artifacts much like their real life counterparts. In the third game (released in 2009), walled phones were rendered useless once the game was updated with smart phones to match real life (around 2012 or so) and the newspapers were also no longer necessary once seeking jobs became a basic function of the smart phone. In fact, in The Sims 4, even computers have taken a small backseat to tablets.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • A number of characters in the game either haven't been in any new games for years (Captain Falcon, Ness) or no longer play nearly as large of a role as they used to (Jigglypuff, who was one of the most popular Pokémon when the first game came out due to the anime, but by the time of Wii U/3DS was just another mon out of around 700), but they remain on the roster on the basis of their popularity in Japan and the fact that they've been around since the first game, and it just wouldn't be Smash if they weren't included.note  Similarly, Sheik hasn't been in a Zelda game since around the time that the first Smash Bros game came out (the only exceptions being the 3DS remake of Ocarina 13 years afterward, and then the non-canon Hyrule Warriors), but she's a popular enough character that she was not only retained, but actually split into a separate character from Zelda. Also happened to Lucario and Ike during the transition from Brawl to Wii U/3DS, who were added to Brawl to promote their then-recent debut games, but were kept due to popularity. Averted with Pichu and Roy from Melee to Brawl, however, despite them similarly promoting their games, they were cut for Brawl (but Roy returned for Wii U/3DS DLC, and a fan-theory is that Pichu simply evolved into the Pikachu from Brawl), although this could also be due to their nature as clones. Sakurai has also said he dislikes having to remove characters, which contributes to this.
    • Marth continued to speak only in Japanese even though his debut game was released and translated in the West by the time of Wii U/3DS. This is likely due to the lasting effect his appearance in Melee had more than anything else. In Ultimate, he was finally given an English voice.
    • In all five (or six, depending on how you view Wii U/3DS) games, Yoshi has the same set of Stock Sound Effects originating in Yoshi's Story, even though as early as pre-Brawl, there have been games where he has received new voice clips.
    • Ganondorf didn't use a sword in his default moveset despite being based on his more aged appearance in the Era of Twilight, until Ultimate finally retooled him to do sonote . Originally, his elemental hand-to-hand style was due to him being a last-minute addition to Melee and thus needing to be a clone character, chosen to be one of Captain Falcon because the two shared the same powerful, streamlined, athletic body type at that time, and also due to the fact that in the game his Melee incarnation was based upon, he doesn't personally wield any weapon, instead opting for magic blasts (albeit the Ganon form uses two swords instead of its signature trident). After the release of Melee, Ganondorf appeared in a more mature version of his human form in two timelines: in The Wind Waker, he wielded twin katana, and in Twilight Princess, upon which his Brawl and Wii U/3DS appearances are visually based, he used the Sages' Sword, a memento from a failed execution. Smash Bros. reflects none of this, nor his paralytic orbs of magic from Ocarina, instead retaining his more powerful but laggier and slower version of Captain Falcon's moveset, with slightly different animations to reflect his less flashy, less nimble style. However, other characters like Bowser and Pit have received heavy moveset changes between installments to more accurately reflect their games, yet Ganondorf's moveset was changed little between Melee and Brawl and only had a few animation revamps between Brawl and Wii U/3DS, despite being based on a much older Ganondorf with a vastly different appearance and fighting style from both his first appearance and his Smash appearance. Due to all this, and the fact that even his reworked moveset is still fairly similar, many suspected that the only reason for keeping Ganondorf a semi-clone of Falcon is Sakurai's personal preference.
    • For that matter, a number of characters who debuted early had mostly made-up movesets. Captain Falcon and Fox, whose games at the time never featured them fighting outside of a cockpit, suddenly gained fire-based powers, for instance. They maintain these movesets even after later fighters have debuted with nearly every move being a reference to something in their games, even characters like Villager and Duck Hunt Dog. In Fox's case, this also comes after games like Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox: Assault, which feature Fox fighting on the ground and being nothing at all like his Smash counterpart. In their case, it generally comes from them simply being too well-liked to revamp. Samus is a weird case, as her moveset at the time of the first game and Melee was reasonably accurate to what she could do in Super Metroid, her then-most recent solo outing - but then her series came back with several new games between Melee and Brawl, giving her several new weapons and abilities and the like... none of which was ever reflected in future Smash Bros. games. The closest we got was splitting off a version of her in her Zero Suit as a new character, who also got an entirely new made-up moveset rather than reflecting how she played when debuting the Zero Suit.
    • The addition of Echo Fighters in Ultimate effectively consolidated the more blatant Moveset Clone characters, such as Lucina and Dark Pit, as more alternates than solo fighters in their own right. However, some other Decomposite Characters who had varying attempts at Divergent Character Evolution remain in their own slot - most notably, Dr. Mario, who would never warrant his own slot were he added in Ultimate, but had developed just enough differences in his moveset by then to not easily fit under the label.
    • The Boxing Ring stage is based on the Punch-Out!! series, but it has an alternate version that replaces all of the Punch-Out logos and graphics with generic Smash Bros graphics. This was so the stage could be used in the game's first official trailer without spoiling Little Mac as a new character, as he wasn't revealed until months later. (Although the nature of the stage led to a lot of correct fan guesses.) The Smash Bros version of the stage is therefore completely unnecessary now, but it still returns as an option for Ultimate.
  • The clown job in Space Station 13. In the early days of the game it was intended as a "punishment" role, humiliating and removing disruptive players while letting everyone else continue enjoying the game. Somewhere along the line it was decided to elevate the job to a regular random job for the sake of humor. The job is comically useless and hated by pretty much everyone except regular clown players (clowns tend to be notoriously disruptive and annoying, especially in roleplay servers, where they wreck the mood/immersion just by existing). So why's it still around? Because the clown has inadvertently become a Mascot Mook for the game, to the point that art and homages to it almost always include them in some way, so it's virtually unthinkable to ditch them now. Note though that due to the rather wide variety and fractured nature of SS13, this isn't always the case. Some servers have gone ahead and removed the clown completely.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Typewriters in the first Resident Evil 1 served to fit the motif of the creepy mansion in the first game, as well as gave a reasonable enough excuse to limit saving by requiring an ink ribbon for each save. It made less sense for typewriters to pop up all around the police station, the sewers, the park, and the hidden futuristic laboratories of Raccoon City in Resident Evil 2 and 3, or the vaguely Spanish village, medieval castle, and Umbrella-esque futuristic laboratory in Resident Evil 4 (which made them even less necessary by letting you save between chapters), but these weren't abandoned until the more mission-based / episodic nature of Resident Evil 5, which did away with them altogether in favor of an autosave feature.
    • The first game had a separate inventory slot for a "personal item", with Chris being able to put the lighter in that slot and Jill receiving a lockpick. Resident Evil 2 followed on by giving the same respective items to Leon and Claire, and promptly demonstrated that they were artifacts not only by having the characters simply start with the items in their personal slots (raising the question of why Claire has a lockpicking kit) but also by having, respectively, only two situations where a lighter is necessary and three doors you can open with a lockpick. Later games expanded the concept of personal items into things other than lighters for guys and lockpicks for girls, up to and including one character's personal item being a stronger handgun with a unique ammo type in Resident Evil Outbreak, and when Resident Evil 4 finally did away with the concept entirely, it had to imply several times that Leon was a smoker who had quit prior to RE2 to justify why he even had a lighter on him back then.
  • Max Payne 3 changes the run-and-gun, PC-optimized game style of the first two games to a more console-friendly, Gears of War-influenced style, which turned some of the most notable features of the franchise into artifacts:
    • The first two games channeled Heroic Bloodshed films to allow Max to use "Bullet Time" to maneuver and shoot in a badass ballet of bullets. The third game, however, uses a Take Cover! system. Bullet time is much less exciting and useful when you're simply popping out from behind cover to shoot at a guy you already put your crosshair over while staying safe behind that cover.
    • In spite of the different gameplay, which involves more episodic confrontations rather than the continuous battle of the first two games, Max still uses painkillers as Health Potions rather than receiving the now more industry-standard After-Combat Recovery. Using a bunch of painkillers in one confrontation makes it too easy, so the game limits your supply, but this also makes it common to run out of painkillers and start some combat sections with low health, making the confrontation impossible. The game does start giving the player more painkillers with each restart, but this still effectively forces the player to die a few times to get back to a winnable state. Avoiding this sort of issue was the whole reason after-combat recovery became standard in the decade between the second and third Max Payne games.
  • Saints Row IV, as part of a series that started as a GTA knockoff, features a pretty extensive system of driveable vehicles, just as much as the prior games. The problem? IV's biggest new mechanic is superpowers, similar to Crackdown, and those don't play well with driveable vehicles. Put a couple points into Super Speed and jumping, and you're faster and more mobile than literally every vehicle in the game. There are multiple missions that force you to use vehicles (which can usually be completed by picking them up and carrying them) and/or take away your powers, however, and accessing vehicles has also been made easier, by simply letting you scan whatever you're driving then call a number to teleport it to you for free, rather than having to physically store it in a garage then take it back out or call a guy to deliver it to you. It's probably not a coincidence that it's the first game to let you listen to music while you're not driving, since otherwise you'd almost never hear it.
  • Video games for PlayStation systems still list support for DualShock controllers as a special feature. This made sense back in the time of the original PlayStation, because the DualShock was a special enhanced controller for that system that came out just shy of three years into the system's life, so not all games supported it. Starting with the PlayStation 2, however, the DualShock, or controllers that look and function almost identically to it like the early PlayStation 3's Sixaxis, has been the standard controller for all PlayStation consoles, making it pointless for games to point out that they specifically support it on the box.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Crystals were very important in the Hironobu Sakaguchi-directed games. They were part of the founding myth of the series in Final Fantasy, were highly important in Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V, and had a less important but still notable role in Final Fantasy II. One of the series' main Leitmotifs is even called "The Crystal Theme". When Yoshinori Kitase took over directing and established a new Darker and Edgier tone, the Crystals got the boot, with Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X all involving Crystal-like objects of power (Magicite, Materia, and Spheres), and Final Fantasy VIII not including any crystal-like objects whatsoever. Crystals do appear in Final Fantasy IX, but the intent was that it was Revisiting the Roots, and not that including crystals was really relevant to the series as it had now become. An attempt was made to rehabilitate the crystals for the series's new edgy tone in the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy arc, and is semi-successful, although the Troubled Production kind of garbled any real coherent vision for it.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has a lot of gameplay elements which were highly used in the old versions of the game and have been either made less important or ignored entirely:
      • Elemental resistances played a big role in 1.0 as well as the Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors, but they were heavily downplayed in later versions; elemental resistances are mainly used as mechanics for specific boss fights and the elemental weaknesses were completely removed so that casters wouldn't be screwed in certain fights. Elemental resistance potions and materia still existed, but no one ever used them before patch 4.2 removed elemental resistances entirely.
      • Certain stats were redone or removed entirely by the Stormblood update. Parry was a main stat for Paladins, though it could also be used by anyone. The parry stat was seen as useless for Paladins due to the block stat on shields making parry redundant. Parry was eventually removed as a stat, but all jobs can still parry attacks naturally with a random chance.
      • The system of Classes advancing into Jobs by way of Soul Crystals once they reach level 30 has become this, with producer Naoki Yoshida going on record stating that he hates the system for being, at its least disruptive, a completely unnecessary stepping stone to leveling the starting classes; probably best exemplified by the fact that of all the classes added post-2.0 release, only the first one, Rogue, doesn't start as a full Job. The initial Stormblood update removed the secondary requirement of getting another unrelated class up to level 15 before you could advance the level 30 one to a full Job, but the system is otherwise still in place, the only reason being that removing it and having characters start as their selected Job would require massive changes to the class/job stories and the leveling system itself.
      • Attribute points in A Realm Reborn through to the end of Heavensward were a holdover from 1.0, where advancing to a level past 10 would give you a single attribute point to increase one of your attributes - a bonus which was ultimately irrelevant because, due to how the game works, putting the bonus point into any stat other than the primary combat stat your class/job used would be a waste of that point. The Summoner and Scholar jobs had it even worse due to sharing a base in the Arcanist class, meaning one would either have to split the points between the Intelligence (offensive magic) and Mind (healing magic) stats, giving them less of a bonus overall, or put most of the points into one stat and cripple themselves from adequately performing the other role. As of 4.0 with the release of Stormblood, assignable attribute points were removed from the game entirely, the game instead simply giving you bonuses with each level to the stats your class will actually use.
      • A similar case comes with stats for crafters, as Disciples of the Hand (crafter classes that actually make things, as opposed to Disciples of the Land which gather the crafting materials) used to work off of one primary stat the same way combat classes do. You can still see hints of the old system, such as the fact that Armorer will gain noticeably more Strength with level-ups than other crafter classes like Weaver because that's the stat they used to work from, but in practice it's totally pointless now since your abilities as a crafter are entirely based around the stats of your crafting gear.
      • One-handed staves and wands used alongside a shield for Conjurer/White Mage and Thaumaturge/Black Mage. They were common in the 1.0 days, but by 2.0 and onward they're little more than a curiosity that only exist for low-level Conjurers and Thaumaturges; by the time you have either of the classes leveled to the point you can advance to the Job versions, your only options are the larger and better two-handed staves and wands, meaning there are no more shields for you to collect as that class.
      • Similarly but in the opposite direction, there are some pieces of gear for the body or legs that restrict your ability to wear gear for the head or feet while they're equipped, such as long cowls with hoods or heavy armor sets with helmets built in. While their stats compensate for this, such that wearing an outfit which restricts a gear slot will give similar stats to a comparable set with two separate pieces, they're still all but gone by the expansions in favor of separate gear pieces, presumably for the greater ease of using glamors.
      • The Main Scenario option for the Duty Roulette was apparently added without much forethought, since even after the 2.x questlines and the expansions, it still only ever sends you to Castrum Meridianum or The Praetorium. The only reason it remains relevant, and therefore still in the game, is because it's the simplest way to grind out a lot of Allagan tomestones for post-level-50 gear in the long stretch between the end of the original 2.0 questline and the beginning of Heavensward.
      • The new jobs added with Stormblood, Red Mage and Samurai, only need you to reach level 50 before you can unlock them and can in fact be used for the final stretch of 2.0 content if you're fast enough in getting them, as part of an effort to respond to complaints about how Heavensward's new jobs (Astrologian, Machinist and Dark Knight) needed you to complete all of the 2.x content and reach the expansion itself before they could be unlocked. The problem here is that while the quests don't technically require you to be at the expansions to unlock them, the way they're designed means you most definitely do need to be to have the gear to stand a chance. Whereas their level 50 quests are glorified tutorials and almost impossible to fail, even by the level 52 quests, if you're still using the starting equipment for those jobs (stuff which is already good enough that even the augmented versions of the aforementioned post-level-50 gear bought with tomestones is only barely an improvement), you'll suddenly find yourself pitted against people who paste you in four hits.
      • Zig-zagged with the questlines added after the initial release of any given expansion. Since the story for the initial release and any given expansion requires you to reach its level cap (e.g. 2.0 questline ends at the original level 50 cap, 3.0 at Heavensward's level 60 cap, etc.), the string of story quests added in patches between expansions do not grant you a whole lot of experience (at best, with the main story, you'll get experience that would have been appropriate for half of what the level cap was at the time, and at worst, with stuff like the Hildibrand quest line, you only get gil), which makes it particularly difficult to level up just from playing the main story at this point. However, as far as weapon rewards from quests go, this is averted, as quests have been updated to add weapons from new classes when appropriate so players switching over to them aren't left out - e.g. Rogue's knives were added to the 2.0 through 2.3 quests after their introduction in 2.4, the aforementioned Red Mage and Samurai can get weapons from 2.1 quests onward, etc.
    • Final Fantasy XV ends on the reveal that Luna is the woman in the game's logo, showing Noctis flashing into place alongside her. This is pretty baffling, as Luna's really not a particularly major character (she appears for about a half hour in cutscenes and she's dead in some of them), and her romance with Noctis is reserved to a few short scenes that don't exactly sell them as a love for the ages. Compare that to VIII, where Rinoa and Squall embracing is the logo, but their love story is the focus of a good chunk of the game, so it makes sense. But when the game started life as Versus XIII, there was a female character named Stella who appeared in a lot of the promotional material and looked quite a lot like Luna, though her personality seemed to be very different. It's really not hard to guess that Stella would have been a major character in the narrative and that her relationship with Noctis would have been similarly important, but when Stella was dropped and Luna was added and made largely irrelevant, the logo became a remnant of this.
  • Obsidian Entertainment games have a minor form of this with their typical "influence" systems, wherein some aspect of an NPC can be boosted or changed depending on how much they like you. In the game that introduced it, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, this turned out to be a major plot point: the Exile had a tendency to unconsciously and easily create strong Force bonds with people, thus when the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars at Malachor V killed off basically everyone under her command, she had to cut herself off from the Force - rather than the Council doing so as part of her punishment, as she assumed - just to survive the backlash through the Force from all the people she was bonded with dying horribly all at once. The only reason she can use the Force now in gameplay is because, returning to the galaxy and traveling with people again, she's started making those bonds once more and is subconsciously drawing off of their Force potential to make use of her own abilities, which also explains why you can train almost everyone who joins your party as a Jedi and why your influence can change their alignments to match yours (even unintentionally explaining why one character doesn't have enough influence gains to change his alignment or learn more of his backstory). One of the Big Bad Duumvirate even acts as a sort of Evil Counterpart to the Exile in the narrative, apparently having found himself in a similar situation to the Exile but choosing instead to drain power directly from others to fill the void - sort of an active Force vampire, versus the Exile being a passive Force black hole, which becomes a big part of why you're able to beat him near the end. Kreia even uses the Exile for her plan to kill the Force, rather than the aforementioned evil counterpart, because he is still entirely reliant on the Force, but the Exile was able to cut herself off and survive without it - and now, as a black hole in the Force, she sees in the Exile a way to kill the Force entirely. Later games of theirs keep the system, and it still works because that's how human beings work (minus the Force bits, of course), but it's never had any sort of major story connection like it did the first time.
  • A lot of things in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature and its related games are artifacts from Harvest Moon 64 (which it began as a straight port of):
    • Ann has a "rural" look with her overalls and sneakers. This is because she was originally a tomboyish farmer's daughter, not an innkeeper's daughter.
    • Ann, Gray, and Rick all have red hair. In 64 Ann and Gray are siblings, and Rick is their cousin. In BTN, Rick is siblings with Popuri and the son of Lillia (two pink haired characters, though his father is a redhead).
    • Elli wears an apron, despite being a nurse, because she was a baker in 64.
    • Hard-Drinking Party Girl Karen was originally the daughter of Gotz and Sasha, not Jeff and Sasha. Karen's parents lived on a vineyard that they inherited from Eve of the first game. Karen also worked at the local bar at night. Karen in 64 was more depressed and angry, making her more of an alcoholic character, but FOMT removed that.
    • Cousins Cliff and Karen in 64 received their blonde highlights from Eve of the original SNES game, who was their grandmother. This isn't referenced in future games.
    • Popuri, Basil, and Lillia are a family of chicken farmers. Their Floral Theme Naming made more sense in 64 when they owned the local flower shop instead.
    • Gray's look isn't exactly odd for a blacksmith's apprentice, but it makes more sense for a farmer, which he was in 64.
  • The adult flash game Trials in Tainted Space has this with its very name. Originally, it was intended to be similar in plot to the author's previous game, Corruption of Champions IN SPACE!, but the corruption idea was dropped early in the game's development in favor of making the game about space exploration. The name was retained only because the creator couldn't think of a better acronym.
  • In many Mega Man games and spinoffs, especially the later Mega Man X games, this happened to Mega Manning. In the early classic series, it made a lot of sense, because the Mega Buster was a pretty piddly weapon and it was really all you had, so anything else was much appreciated. But when the charge shot was added, the X series introduced armor upgrades, and the overall toolbox became a lot bigger, the boss weapons gradually became a lot less important, and not really useful for much besides exploiting weaknesses in comparison to the Boring, but Practical buster. But, of course, it would be hard to justify a Mega Man game without this feature. Needless to say, this seesaws a fair bit, depending on the game and how useful the boss weapons are.
  • The Homefront games were originally intended to use the People's Republic of China as the antagonist, but changed it to the DPRK after fears of upsetting the Chinese government. Needless to say, a lot of Homefront material certainly seems like it was originally intended to have the massively-populated and economically-booming powerhouse of China rather than the notoriously backward and ramshackle North Korea posing a threat to the United States. Both games end up having to construct rather elaborate Alternate History scenarios that effectively turn North Korea into a Suspiciously Similar Substitute of China.
  • Fate Series:
    • When the series was in its infancy, it was established that The Berserker class's Mad Enhancement also made its user inarticulate, mindlessly violent, and unable to talk beyond grunting and growling. Understandably, past Fate/stay night, this turned out to be rather inconvenient for characterization when at least one member of your cast would inevitably be mute and mindless. This was downplayed to Berserkers indeed being able to talk and show distinct personalities, typically by using their strong will to power through the Mad Enhancement or by the Mad Enhancement itself having a low rank (though they remained violent and impulsive). Nonetheless, earlier Berserkers like Hercules and Lu Bu who were established as mute tend to still be written as such, even though they're now the exception rather than the rule.
    • In the original visual novel, it was claimed that the only Assassin-class Servants that could be summoned were members of the Hashashin, and that Sasaki Kojiro was a unique exception due to Caster mucking with the Grail War's spells. Later entries in the series have completely ignored this rule, with Assassins being as diverse as any other class.
  • The Marvel vs. Capcom games have Sentinel, originally a character in the X-Men fighting games. Making a Sentinel a playable opponent would make a lot of sense in an X-Men fighting game, and it made equal sense to add it to MVC when the games were already recycling so much from those games, especially with 2 being a Dream Match Game featuring everyone from series history. It's a lot stranger in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, where Sentinel had to be recreated wholecloth; Sentinels are basically just Mecha-Mooks and have nothing even resembling the star power to get a fighting game appearance on their own merits, and even as an Unexpected Character angle would fall flat by virtue of not really being a character at all. Even the one featured in-game is a design that seems to have been created for the series, rather than being based on a specific model. It's also notable considering 3 greatly lessened the focus on X-Men after they were a Spotlight-Stealing Crossover beforehand, with only 7 reps in total including Sentinel, and there being many more popular characters that could have been carried over from 2 such as Cyclops, Iceman, Psylocke, Rogue, Gambit, Juggernaut, Colossus and Sabretooth, but were passed in favor of him. The reason was simply that Sentinel was one of the more famous characters in 2, due to the iconic Magneto/Storm/Sentinel team that dominated the tournament scene for many years between 2 and 3, and therefore had enough of a history with the series that he warranted it over other X-Men reps. Had 3 been the first game in the series, it's hard to imagine Capcom even considering the idea of Sentinel at all.
  • The original Ratchet & Clank (2002) had a clunky, mechanical, Used Future aesthetic. This defined a lot of aspects of the series, from the names of the main characters, to the signature weapon (an oversized sci-fi spanner wrench) to the main currency (bolts). The 2016 reboot goes for a more traditionally sleek and futuristic look, but as all the above aspects are kind of core to the series, they stuck around, leading to smooth, deco-designed robots disgorging rusty bolts when killed.
  • StarCraft II has this when it comes to its campaign achievements. When playing through the first campaign for Starcraft II Wings Of Liberty, there's hidden achievements the player could come across called "Feats of Strength" that they will complete after pulling off something amazing, such as destroying an enemy base that's not part of the mission objectives. This was changed by the time of the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm campaign and beyond where Feats of Strength are instead updated to become "Mastery Achivements" where each mission has a tough mastery achievement that the player can go about completing. Despite this change, the Wings of Liberty campaign still lacks its own version of Mastery Achievements to this very day, and is the only campaign that still uses hidden Feat of Strength achievements.
  • Arguably, finishing moves have become this for the Mortal Kombat series. Fatalities might be the centerpiece of the entire franchise, but the later games have placed more emphasis on the story and relationships between the characters. With Mortal Kombat X having a 25-year Time Skip, you now have active romantic partners squaring off, and parents fighting their children, requiring some Willing Suspension of Disbelief when you see Johnny Cage ripping his own daughter's head off.
  • Many elements of Monster Girl Quest become this in the sequel Monster Girl Quest: Paradox. One example is the various skills that Luka picks up throughout the story. In the original MGQ, these were extremely important since Luka was the only character fighting for the vast majority of the game. However, Paradox is an RPG that allows you to form a party of multiple characters, and Luka doesn't need to be in the (active) party so his skills are now largely irrelevant. This is best illustrated through the Meditation skill: in the original MGQ it's the primary way for Luka to regain HP during battles, but in Paradox it's obsoleted by the many other healing skills.

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