Bragging Rights Reward

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


The tendency for video games to reward you with the best items and weapons only when you don't need them anymore.

The Bragging Rights Reward is any gameplay reward you receive by defeating the most powerful monster, beating the hardest level, or achieving One Hundred Percent Completion. Why is it only for bragging rights? Because you've already conquered the toughest of toughest obstacles, or have already done everything there is to do. Quite simply, it doesn't help you that much anymore. Since you can already triumph over anything the game offers in your current state, anything more you receive is simply overkill.[1]

The classic example is any reward you receive when you defeat the hidden, optional boss that's by far the toughest enemy in the game. This is also often the fate of the Infinity+1 Sword (and making weaker weapons Infinity Minus One Swords). A New Game+ is an attempt at getting around this, by letting you carry your new stuff into a new game where it'd actually be useful.

Of course, none of this is meant to imply that the Bragging Rights Reward is necessarily a bad thing, as to many dedicated gamers, the satisfaction of accomplishment is reward enough.

In summary, the Bragging Rights Reward would be useful, if you weren't already so powerful that you didn't need it anymore. If the reward has no purpose other than to serve as proof of accomplishment, it's a Cosmetic Award.

As an odd side effect, it will often work out that the more difficult an optional boss is, the less useful its reward will be, and vice versa. It may turn out to be Purposefully Overpowered.

Examples of Bragging Rights Reward include:

Live-Action TV

  • The Daily Show gave this trope as the reason why the U.S. is still in Afghanistan in September 2009 -

Jon Stewart: So we are in some kind of inexorable slide to a painful and expensive defeat. We should cut our losses and get out now while we still have...
John Oliver: No! You can't give up now, Jon! Think of Empire as a Video Game. Afghanistan is the final level. Sure, other players have made it this far. But no one has beaten it yet.
Jon Stewart: But even if we do win, what do we win? Nothing of value.
John Oliver: Absolutely, you get nothing of value -- except your initials would reside as the high score on the big board of history. But whatever you do, do it quickly because China is standing right behind us, and they're jingling a handful of quarters.

  • Many Game Shows in Europe, particularly the UK, are played not for piles of cash or fabulous prizes, but simply for a trophy and the pride of being the series champion. Of course, these also tend to be difficult quiz shows where being the champion actually is quite impressive: Master Mind, Fifteen to One, Only Connect, University Challenge, and The Krypton Factor, just to name a few.
    • Throw Knightmare on to the pile.
  • If you're a big enough insomniac to see this [adult swim] bumper, congratulate yourself. Then go to bed.

Video Games

  • In Ratchet and Clank, it's a high chance you'll get the 150,000 bolts required for the RYNO BFG only after you defeat the incredibly frustrating last boss.
    • In Ratchet and Clank: Deadlocked, the Ninja Ratchet cheat boosts Ratchet's speed. To get it, you need all of the Exterminator cards. How do you get those? By getting all of the Mega weapons, Omega Mods, and Skill Points, maxing out your health, and beating every mission on the highest difficulty. The only thing left to do afterward is to max out all of your weapon levels.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, you can unlock the headband, which gives you infinite ammo, by making it through the game without killing anyone. By the same token, you can get the stealth item by getting through the game without being spotted. What this means? You have to be good enough to not need ammo or better stealth to get it. Oh, and using them in later playthroughs means you won't be able to get certain emblems which require things like "Beat the game without healing, dying, being spotted or killing anyone, on the hardest difficulty, in five hours or less."
  • In Kingdom Hearts, getting the Defender shield for Goofy and the Wizard's Relic staff for Donald. The Wizard's Relic is only dropped by Wizards and has a 5% drop rate. The Defender is much harder to get since it is dropped only by—you guessed it—Defenders and has a 0.2% drop rate. It's easier to get Save the King and Save the Queen, their most powerful weapons, before eventually getting the two enemy drops.
    • The Ultima Weapon in both KH1 and 2 usually ends up becoming this for a lot of players. In order to even be able to make it, you have to level up your moogle synthesis (in the first game, you have to make every other synthesis item once), which will only likely happen when you decide you want the keyblade, since most early synthesis items are secondary at best, and are often easier to just buy or find in the game. After you've leveled up your moogles, you have to go on a collecting spree. Some of the things you have to collect (especially in the first game) are some of the rarest drop items in the game, and are only dropped from rather difficult enemies that appear in very few and very far apart places. The second game attempts to make collections easier by adding weapons with the Lucky Lucky ability, but while Donald and Goofy's Lucky Lucky weapons are at least moderately powerful, Sora's in the weakest weapon in the game. This means that in order to beat the heartless and nobodies that drop the Ultima Weapon items, you need to be at an almost ridiculous level, which is often only gained after intense level grinding of all your forms. And then, once you've found all the synthesis items needed, you look and see that you're probably missing a Orichalcum+, and it's probably the one you can only get by collecting at least one of every single synthesis item there is. Hope you weren't tired of using your Lucky weapon, because you've still got a few more hours of collecting to do. The result is a beautiful, super powerful weapon, but the effort required to get it usually means no one makes it until they've beaten the game at least once, and are now just doing everything they can.
    • One Winged Angel in the first Final Mix, and Fenrir in the second game, are the near definition of this trope. Considering you can only get them by defeating Sephiroth, who is an optional boss in both games, this isn't surprising. Fenrir has the highest attack in the game and an ability that allows you to turn every swing into a finishing move (which are much stronger than your normal melee attacks), but considering most guide books will tell you to avoid Sephiroth until at least level 80 (with good reason, unless you are a very skilled player), most people only get these keyblades for the bragging rights.
  • In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, defeating the ultimate bonus boss Baal earns you a custom title and makes the Dark Assembly always vote in your favor, as they are now terrified of you. If you can defeat Baal, there really aren't any bills left worth passing, and if there were, you could "pass" them at swordpoint anyway.
  • During the course of EarthBound, there are several items you that have a 1/128 chance of being dropped by a specific enemy. The most annoying to get is probably the Gutsy Bat. It is only dropped by a very powerful, rare enemy on the last screen of the game. Plus, even if you get it, chances are that Ness' Offense will already be at max!
    • The Gutsy Bat's offense isn't its best feature, though. It significantly increases your Guts stat, which makes you more likely to critical hit and increases the chance you'll survive a normally "mortal" blow with 1 HP (if you let it roll down that far).
    • Even more annoying is the Sword of Kings, which also has a 1/128 drop rate and is the only weapon that one member of your party can use that does not lower his attack. And it's a Lost Forever to boot.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!! The Sacred Cards, the object of the game is to collect the three Egyptian God Cards. You can easily dominate foes with them, but if you're already powerful enough to take down an Egyptian God, they're probably unneeded. As well, you only get the third card after defeating the final boss of the game, after which you don't get to actually play or save your game.
  • Defeating the ultra-powerful Bonus Boss in the penultimate battle at the Imperial Arena in Jade Empire earns you a superior warrior gem, the best single-stat accessory in the game. Additionally, beating the entire Arena (including aforementioned Bonus Boss, mind you) without losing once grants you a relatively minor stat bonus.
  • Final Fantasy IV DS has, in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, a Bonus Boss known as the Lunasaur. It is the only enemy in the game that has a global Bad Breath attack, and once you kill it, it cannot be fought again. The reward for beating it? Ribbons.[2]
  • Defeating the end boss of the Bonus Dungeon in Final Fantasy V Advance, Enuo, earns you the interesting Necromancer class, which makes you undead, and gives you new spells through killing certain monsters that have the spells. On the other hand, the original SNES version seemed to realize the pointlessness of giving new powers to players who'd already beat the hardest enemies in the game (Shinryu and Omega), and just gave tokens as rewards for defeating them (in addition to the Ragnarok that Shinryu guards]]).
    • The Necromancer isn't necessarily useless if you didn't defeat the two other Bonus Bosses, Neo Shinryu and Omega MK. 2. Also, a new area opens up that contains a Boss Rush against many of the storyline bosses, though none of them will be too difficult, since you'll likely have done everything else at that point.
  • In Final Fantasy VI Advance, defeating Kaiser Dragon will net you the Diabolos magicite. It teaches a new spell, which would be ridiculously powerful if not for the fact that, by this point, hitting or even breaking the damage cap is trivial. Plus, there's nothing left to do but beat Omega Weapon (who himself provides nothing) or go to the Soul Shrine.
  • Defeating the Emerald Weapon in Final Fantasy VII earned you the Earth Harp, which could be traded for ultimate mastered materia. Defeating the other Bonus Boss, the Ruby Weapon, earned you Desert Rose, which could be traded for a Gold Chocobo, which can be used to access the supreme Knights of the Round materia. Naturally, these are by far the two most powerful enemies in the game.
    • Note that these enemies are almost impossible to defeat without having the Knights of the Round materia in the first place. If you do it, however, you can brag. The ultimate mastered materia and Gold Chocobo are both attainable without taking on the Weapons, but it will take forever—one editor took about 120 hours to complete the game, largely due to obtaining them the long way.
    • In Crisis Core, beating Bonus Boss Minerva gives you the uber item Divine Slayer, while completing all missions, for which Minerva is usually the final milestone, gives the even more game breakingly super Heike's Soul. If you did manage to beat her, though, there should be nothing else you need to fear anymore.
  • Final Fantasy VIII's Omega Weapon gives you a item proving you've defeated it item that teaches an ability to a GF. Said ability lets you use up only one spell when using "Triple" to cast a spell three times. This would be amazingly useful earlier, since literally all that's left to do after that is to fight the final boss.
    • Beating the Omega Weapon also gives the player an extra menu option (hidden under a couple of submenus), which leads to a "certificate" saying that the player has beaten said monster.
  • In Final Fantasy X, defeating Penance, the ultimate Bonus Boss in the PAL version of the game and the non-North American released International Updated Rerelease, earns you ten master spheres, which allow you to activate any node on the sphere grid than an ally has previous activated. However, by the time you're strong enough to beat Penance, your stats are probably nearly maxed and you can easily defeat any enemy in the game.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, there's a powerful item called the Iron Duke, which raises virtually all your stats by either 100 or 50. Unfortunately, to acquire it, you have to beat a Bonus Dungeon and a pair of bosses, one of whom has 255 in all stats. The game has a New Game+ that lets you carry over your accessories but not your levels, so it's still useful there.
  • In Final Fantasy XII, three particularly grueling tasks—including fighting TWO of the most powerful bonus bosses available—grant you three Badges, which can be combined into the Wyrmhero Blade, the game's Infinity+1 Sword.
    • Perhaps some context should be provided to show just how unforgiving this particular challenge is. In a game where the damage cap is 9999 (discounting the use of Dark Matter or summons), one of the two bosses you must defeat has 1 million HP. The other has 50 million. Although in the latter's case, you can leave at anytime and come back, and it won't recover any HP.
  • Final Fantasy XIII has the Mission 55 monster Neoochu, a straight-up overpowered boss that can easily one-shot you on the first turn, and has a swarm of equally overpowered mooks to back him up. The reward for downing him is Growth Egg, an item that doubles the experience gain for whomever has it equipped. If you desire to bring him down the "fair" way (as in, without abusing Vanille's Death skill, which has a 1% success rate), you'll have to do so much grinding that the reward falls under Useless Useful Spell.
    • If you do manage to complete the mission during chapter 11, it is definetly worth the frustration.
    • Another example are the Tier 3 weapons. Each one requires a component that costs a whopping 2 million gil to purchase. Since you'll never get that much cash without a ludicrous amount of grinding for Vendor Trash, the only alternative is to collect them as rare drops from Adamantoise. Of course, by the time you get strong enough to kill an Adamantoise, you've probably already beaten the game.
      • Not quite. Tier 3 weapons are basically there so that players can kill Vercingetorix and Long Guis, but after them, there is truly nothing else to do.
  • Getting the best equipment in Dissidia Final Fantasy. The Lufenian gear (best armors, some of the best weapons) and the ingredients to make each character's Level 100 Exclusive plus the best accessories can only be gotten by a long and grueling slog through the game's Lunar Whale course. The Lunar Whale has enemies at the highest CPU strength/intelligence, at level 120 when the player is capped at level 100, in the worst stages in the game, in special rulesets, decked out in the finest equipment and accessories the game has to offer, with a hefty dose of cheating and My Rules Are Not Your Rules. Surviving the Lunar Whale course long enough to get the gear for even one character, let alone all 22, only demonstrates that the player clearly doesn't need it.
  • Beating the Driving missions in Gran Turismo 4, or getting gold medals on the license tests, requires insane driving skills, and the cars you unlock may not be needed by the time. Also, completing many of the more difficult and costly events rewards you with some useless classic car and a paltry sum of cash.
  • The rewards for achieving 100% Completion in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are a Rhino tank and Hydra jet that continually spawn at your hideout, as well as infinite ammunition for all weapons. Of course, since this is a sandbox game, it's still a lot of fun wreaking havoc with these things, so they're only useless in the sense that there are no more missions to complete.
  • In Jak II, the odds are strongly in favour of only getting enough Metal Head skulls to buy the Dark Giant power after you've beaten the end boss.
  • Fallout 2 allows you to obtain the Fallout 2 Hint Book after you clear the game. Reading it—and you can do so multiple times—boosts all your skills to 300% and gives you 10,000 exp. The in-game description explicitly states "Well, THIS would have been good to have at the beginning of the goddamn game". (The game is not designed for it if you do, though. If you hack it in to your inventory, the game won't load properly. On the other hand, if you hack it into, say, being on the ground in front of the Temple of Trials, use it a few times, put it on the ground again, save, and then proceed...)
  • While less egregious than the Hintbook, Fallout 3 has the Experimental MIRV. Getting it requires completing a lengthy, unmarked quest, and it uses eight rounds per shot of the very expensive Mini-Nukes. Incidentally, it packs about double the punch required to kill Super Mutant Behemoths, the toughest enemies in the game.
  • In Guild Wars, there is a certain sidequest. It requires you to have all three campaigns in addition to the expansion. You then need to cart one character all over the world, from a newbie area to the end of a massively difficult and long bonus dungeon to collect items. The result? An entirely cosmetic mini-pet.
  • The sequel, Guild Wars 2, has this as the entirety of its endgame. Nothing you can get in the most advanced dungeons or in the highest levels of PvP combat will ever give you a statistical advantage over other endgame gear or the standard PvP gear that everyone gets for free. The only reason to grind is to be the prettiest flower in the bouquet, not the toughest. In effect, you get to show off that yes, you are hard enough to handle the best the game has to throw at you...and given some of the content shown so far, like traps, jumping puzzles, and half the dungeon bosses seen thus far, that's a worthy endeavor.
  • The longest and most difficult sidequest in The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, the Skulltula hunt, rewards you with a source of unlimited money... however, in this game, money is useless, and your wallet probably already hit the cap long ago anyway.
    • A similar reward to a similar subquest (substituting Skulltulas with Poes) is found in Twilight Princess. Though at first it may seem to be much more useful this time around, as money provides fuel for your invincible Magic Armor, it isn't once you realize that:
      1. You don't get infinite Rupees on hand so much as you now just have a quick source to max out your wallet, and
      2. You already had to go through the ungodly hard Cave of Ordeals you were probably planning to use the armor for in order to get the last few Poes.
      • You don't have to complete the entire cave to get the last poes, though; you can get them and leave without finishing. So it helps, but only if you're aching for 100% Completion and just have to finish the cave.
    • Twilight Princess's bug hunt is a maddening example. Every unique bug you give the girl gets you money. She gives you a total of 150 Rupees for every matched male/female pair. And the reward for giving her all 12 pairs of bugs? The ability to carry 1000 Rupees. It would've been useful before she gave you 1800 Rupees. And by the time you could do this, you have been given enough Rupees to buy pretty much everything of value.
      • That said, a larger wallet can be somewhat useful in using the aforementioned money-eating Magic Armor since it will last longer.
        • Or in buying one of the pieces of heart from the old man in Hyrule Castle Town, since he wants 1000 rupees in "donations."
    • In Minish Cap, Biggoron will upgrade your defensive item to the Mirror Shield for you if you go and do something "impressive". What do you have to do to impress him? Beat the game, by which point the Mirror Shield becomes irrelevant.
      • Minish Cap also has a few subversions. The Carlos Medal, which you get for having all the figurines, gives you quite a few rupees (which are pointless by the time you get all the figurines anyway), but you also get a Piece of Heart and the game's sound test. The Tingle Trophy for fusing all the Kinstones is a more conventional example, as it does absolutely nothing. However, fusing all the Kinstones provides a lot of rewards itself, including rupees, pieces of heart, bag expansions, and weapon upgrades.
    • Completing all fifty levels of the Cave of Ordeals in Twilight Princess grants you the ability to refill your empty bottles with Fairy Tears (and fairies while you're at it) at any spring. If you were able to complete the Cave of Ordeals though, you'll likely not need the Fairy Tears for any other part of Twilight Princess.
    • Going through the Cave again allows you to get additional Fairy Tears (you're normally limited to one), but the Cave is even harder the second time, pitting you against four Darknuts at once (in the normal dungeons, you fight three in total unless you take the harder route in the final dungeon, which additionally pits you against 2 Darknuts at once, but they can be separated), so they actually are pretty useful then.
    • The Hylian Shield in Skyward Sword can seem like one of these, since it's available very late in the game and getting it requires beating eight bosses in a row, proving you don't really need it. However, it's still useful against the final boss, and you can use it in another run of the Boss Rush, which now counts as an example, because the reward for beating all twelve bosses is all the rupees your wallet can possibly carry, and you probably bought everything useful ten hours ago.
  • Late in Planescape: Torment, one of the earlier areas is updated to include new monsters with ultra-powerful equipment as random drops. The only problem is that by that point in the game you no longer have any real use for said equipment, because the only area left in the game separates you from your party members and contains almost no combat.
  • Defeating Morgoth in Angband rewards you with two absurdly powerful pieces of equipment, the hammer Grond and the Iron Crown of Morgoth. But at that point the file is flagged as a winner, and all that's left to do is to beat up lesser foes to boost your score or quit and claim your victory.
  • In Okami, collecting all 100 stray beads allows you to create an accessory that gives you invincibility, infinite ink, and a 10x strength bonus. Want to know how you get the last bead? You receive it as a gift from Issun after you beat the game.
    • Fortunately you can keep it in a New Game+. In fact this is the whole purpose of it.
  • In Dark Cloud, you obtain the Infinity+1 Sword at the end of a dungeon only available after you beat the game. Luckily, thanks to the upgrade system, you can get it before then—not that that's an easy feat.
  • Getting all 120 stars in the original Super Mario 64 will open a cannon just outside of the castle. You can use it to blast off to the castle's roof, where you'll meet Yoshi, who will give you 100 lives and an improved triple jump. You also get a Wing Cap to fly around the grounds with.
    • In the DS version, when you get to the roof, you get a winged cap and can fly around the castle grounds. It's actually pretty fun for about 30 minutes or so.
      • If you visit the roof as unlockable Luigi, one of the 8 minigame bunnies will greet you.
  • In Puzzle Quest: Challenge of Warlords, one of the last available Rune Stones is the Rune of Life. It adds + 20Exp for every victory (boostable to + 50 with the right modifying rune). Of course, at this point, you're going to be at least level 45, and the Cap is level 50—and the buyable-from-the-start Horn of Triumph gives you that same + 50 boost, and the Medal of Selenia (earned in one of the earlier sub-quests) doubled all Purple Stars gained. It should be noted that, at least in the PC version, runes are available at random at shops. So there's a small chance you could get the Rune of Life right off the bat. (If you have the money and Levels to buy it).
  • Getting all of the gems and orbs in Spyro the Dragon 2 allowed access to a hidden area full of mini-games, and a door that you can open up that gives your character a permanent Fireball breath upgrade.
    • Similarly, Spyro 2 and 3 contained "skill points, tasks you can perform that will net you an extra life butterfly for your trouble.
    • It also bears noting that the infinite super fireball can actually be carried into a new game if you open the gate, get the powerup, save, and instantly start a new game, allowing you to use your infinite super fireball to make the game significantly easier... and much more fun.
  • Every Wild ARMs game features the Sheriff Star, usually (but not always) the reward for beating the hardest Bonus Boss in the game. In most incarnations, it has the power of every other accessory in the game.
  • Each quest you complete in Fable I nets you a trophy that is in essence a useless trinket; you can't really sell them for much, if at all, and aside from an equally useless side quest, showing it off to the locals only builds up your renown, which is easily accrued by other means.
    • There was one good use for them: gold farming. Buying a house with a lot of trophy display space, decorating it, and selling it results in a tidy profit for the player. You can then proceed to break into the house, steal the trophies back, buy the house again, redecorate it, and repeat ad infinitum. Of course, the money isn't all that useful, either...
    • Fable II has a unique crossbow that can only be gained for shooting all the gargoyles. Thing is, one gargoyle is only accessible after you've beaten the story and bought the most expensive building in the game, so by the time you get it, there's not much left to do with it.
  • Record of Lodoss War for the Dreamcast does this twice. Ramala the green dragon gives you random equipment during the battle; each time you hit, you gain a new item, which useful if you haven't gathered all the full armor sets yet (don't forget to go into this battle with an empty inventory). It's unlikely that you will actually need these armors, as many of the best are given or earned from boss fights or rare enemy encounters in previous areas. Narse the black dragon, however, is worse. Narse is far more powerful than Ramala, and requires a lot of grinding and weapon forging just to hurt. Prior to facing him, you must face 31 minibosses and their normal retinue. (These 31 must be faced a second time in the game's overworld to collect 31 tokens required to summon Ramala, so this is either your first or second time fighting them all.) To prove yourself worthy of an audience, you must also be wearing the armour of the dragon avatar, the pieces of which are found by facing 3 more super-tough minibosses. After all that work, and after delivering over 25 million HP worth of damage, Narse finally falls... and leaves you with the Dragon Killer runestone. If Ramala is still alive, this kills her in about 8 hits, which you don't want to do regardless, as filling your inventory with the best armors to sell requires some love-tapping. If she isn't, then there are no more dragon enemies in the entire game, save for the baby drakes in the ice caverns who already die in a single hit. The only bonus is that it makes for some funny damage totals on said wussy drakes (you can max out the damage counter at 99 million).
  • A variation appears in the first .hack game. It has the standard bonus dungeon at the end, which gives a powerful item for defeating the boss. By this point in the game, you're far too powerful for it to matter... except that the game is split into four games, so that the treasure won at the bonus dungeon can be carried over into the next game, where it's quite useful.
    • The second series of games (.hack//GU) has the Doppleganger, a Bonus Boss. Doppleganger can be fought at any time in any chapter, but the best items reduce damage to 1/4 and convert HP damage on yourself to MP damage, and require defeating Doppleganger after the end of the last game. You can't even use them unless you are at maximum level. Even if you are maximum level, all that's left is the Bonus Dungeon. The Bonus Dungeon itself provides better item customizations and infinite-use versions of common usable items that cannot be obtained in the main games, but all that's left to use them in is the remaining part of that dungeon.
  • Exception: Completing the extremely difficult Labyrinth of Amala in Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne lets you learn the Pierce skill, which makes your physical attacks bypass an enemy's physical defense and/or immunity; you'll get quite a bit of use out of it, as you can only complete the Labyrinth before entering The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. It also lets you fight a Bonus Boss after the normal final boss, who just so happens to be resistant to all damage, making Pierce very useful against him. Oh, and it gives you the last of the game's Multiple Endings.
    • Also exception: the Masakado Magatama. It Nulls ALL damage except for Almighty. Combined with the above Pierce, it will make the protagonist a nigh-unstoppable engine of death.
    • Another exception: the extremely hard Grave Run in the Labyrinth of Amala, where all past bosses must be confronted and destroyed in a record amount of turns. Doing so does nothing for the current playthrough, but in New Game+, it nets you an extra Press Turn.
  • Completing the highest "Dante Must Die" difficulty in the first, third and fourth Devil May Cry titles unlocks one or more "Super Costumes" for Dante or the other playable characters, which grants unlimited energy for the Devil Trigger Super Mode. In this case, the game can still be hard for players in certain games, even for a maxed-out character. The 3rd game however has a number of Super Costumes. Among them is the final unlockable which grants unlimited devil trigger abilities AND essentially puts you in god mode since you can't take damage while wearing that costume. And in the 3rd game, one of the styles SLOWS DOWN TIME by draining your devil trigger energy. So if used together with any costumes with unlimited devil trigger, you have an infinite slow-down effect as well. The 4th one however is still hard even with the super costumes because you are not invulnerable and you do not regenerate any health.
  • The Omnipotent Orb in Persona 3. It makes its bearer immune to most types of damage, but can only be obtained either by beating the Bonus Boss or from a 1/100 drop from a certain Persona. And even if you manage to get one before fighting the Bonus Boss, it's still useless for that fight because she'll instantly kill you if you have it equipped when you fight her. Also, said optional boss gives you a Platinum Bookmark upon her defeat, which does nothing except prove that you beat her.
  • As noted in the Awesome but Impractical page, the Mega Man X - Street Fighter moves are all but useless, but really cool-looking and a nice 100% Completion marker.
  • In Mega Man ZX, going through Area N and defeating Bonus Boss Omega Zero allows access to an item that gives you Model OX when brought back to the HQ. The catch? Omega is EVEN HARDER than the already difficult final boss, and you can only get said item AFTER you cleared the game. To make matters worse, you can't even get it in Easy mode in the first place, making Model OX a textbook example of this trope. That is, unless, if you want to stuff Prairie's room full of plushies with level 4 victories...
  • Completing the Ho Yay-filled Man Tower in Shadow Hearts: Covenant upgrades Joachim's Grand Papillion form into the Great Question... which is functionally identical to the Grand Papillion, although noticeably more powerful.
    • In Shadow Hearts: New World, your guitar-playing bard can eventually pick up a spell that costs 750 mana—more than you're likely to have until well beyond the end game and as you get this around the 98% completion milestone, you're almost done anyway. Granted, the effect is bad-ass (Third Key effects on all party members for a round), but it's instantly dispelled by bosses, who are pretty much all that's left by then.
  • Beating each boss in Need for Speed Pro Street wins the player the bosses car. Great... except the bosses car isn't even fully upgraded, let alone fitted with any unique parts or hidden extras. The only unique thing is the paint job.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ has the Final Cut version of the Organization XIII bonus bosses and Terra: One half of the Org. hands out rare synthesis items, significantly less useful at this point in the game, and the rest hand out items that boost stats by a single digit—which are previously synthable, and if you beat them, of course, you don't need to raise Sora's stats anymore. Also, Terra hands out a synthesis item...that can be found elsewhere. Gee, thanks.
    • Beating Terra also upgrades your Drive Gauge, but chances are that if you can beat Terra you have already reduced the other bonus bosses to a pulp without said upgrade.
    • In normal mode you need to get One Hundred Percent Completion to unlock the super-special secret movie...that you can find anywhere on the net.
      • Said movie can also be unlocked by beating the game on Proud Mode, a supposedly "hard" mode, where in, yes, Sora does take more damage and enemies have more health etc. but its laughably easy compared to the Proud Mode of the first game. So, in this case, One Hundred Percent Completion is more of a pain in the ass then beating the game on Proud Mode. And yes, One Hundred Percent Completion does include those annoying as hell Gummi ship missions.
  • The golden guns in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare—with the exception of the Golden Desert Eagle, you get one golden gun in each class after performing challenges such as "100 headshots" with each weapon. They ruin what little camouflage you had, and they don't provide any damage bonus, but GOD DAMN they look cool.
    • In a similar vein are the "Golden AK-47's" of Far Cry 2. Hidden throughout the world, you can find one and use it until it degrades and explodes.
    • Unless you glitch it into repairing itself with a standard AK
  • In The World Ends With You, completing the Final Time Attack yields 50,000 yen worth of pins and the Angel Feather, and on hard or ultimate difficulty puts your time in your profile (which fellow players will see if you and said players are in Mingle mode and pass by each other).
    • Granted, this is much less of a BRR: you'll need that equipment to take on the bonus boss. His reward fits into that category.
    • In a similar vein, the Game Breaker "Darklit Planets" set of pins is only available as incredibly uncommon drops from the game's hardest bosses - including the Bonus Boss—on the game's hardest difficulty. The only way to get them otherwise is by having a friend who will sell them through Mingle mode, with exception of a single one that is chosen at random to be sold from one of the game's shops.
    • A good portion of the game is about manipulating drop rates: there are four difficulty levels (some are unlockables) that can be changed at any point in the game (other than the middle of battle). The game's bestiary contains the exact rate at which pins are dropped for each difficulty level (an enemy will only drop one type of pin per difficulty level). It then allows you to multiply this drop rate by reducing your level (only your HP is reduced) and using the number of levels dropped as a multiplier. You can take it a step further by chaining battles, the number of which is an additional multiplier. Drop rates of 0.03% become a guaranteed drop before you even start the battle. The catch is, you now have to fight some of the games hardest bosses, on its hardest difficulty levels, and survive another ten matches afterwards. Did we mention the game only allows six items per battle, all healing items have a limited number of uses, the only one that doesn't has a terrifyingly long wait between uses, and damage carries over between bouts? Oh and remember you're also operating at less than a tenth of your maximum health?
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age, which unlocks the Easy Mode (effectively a New Game+) after killing the game's Final Boss.
    • The Iris Summon. Collect all djinns from both games, do the bonus dungeon and beat the extremely hard Bonus Boss, and you get the most powerful summon. Yet, at that time there is almost no use to it anymore, after everything has been defeated (Unless you skipped one of the other bonus bosses, who you could easily defeat by then.). Furthermore, it requires an absurd high amount of djinns. In the end, there is rarely a moment where the summon would actually be useful. To add insult to injury the final boss resists it. A glitch can give access to Iris relatively early, with around a third of the game left, though all but one of the remaining non-bonus bosses still resist it.
  • In the Playstation 2 version of Romancing SaGa, killing the Jewel Beast - a gigantic, ancient monster that, if you wait too long, will roam the countryside systematically destroying entire towns - nets you a paltry amount of currency and a ring you can buy in a shop in one of the game's central cities.
  • After completing the final achievement in the console version of Spider-Man 2, the player can purchase the final webswing speed upgrade. However, this is the final upgrade to purchase and therefore the player no longer needs it to win races in order to earn points.
    • In the next game, after you defeat the final boss, spider emblems appear around the city, and if you collect all fifty, you can unlock the black suit under your control (i.e. you no longer have a problem with rage). Unfortunately, since you can't re-fight bosses, you get the suit back when all you have to beat up are gang mooks.
  • Very cruelly subverted in La-Mulana, in which your final reward for beating the Hell Temple, a Brutal Bonus Level that more than lives up to its name, turns out to be a Stripperiffic female swimsuit. Which you then see the very hairy male main character wearing. The game warns you—twice—that you will regret it. To make things even worse, the swimsuit doesn't even show up in your inventory, so you literally have no way to show what you went through to get it.
  • In Video Game/Tales Of Symphonia, there's the Devil's Arms, which are worthless at first (except Raine's which is always useful because it adds 50 to her INT), but when you defeat the Bonus Boss, Abyssion, they become the amount of kills each character has. However, there's nothing really left to do at that point besides the final boss. Or the Bonus Level of Hell which is very easy anyways.
    • Also: Defeating the Bonus Level of Hell's Bonus Boss, Living Armor, gets you the Persian Boots, which is an accessory that halves any damage that the character equipping it takes. It's also pretty useless at the point when you get it.
    • Both the Devil's Arms and the Persian Boots have one place where they're useful: The Meltokio Arena. The single character challenges can be a nightmare, especially for Genis and Raine, who will have one hell of a time getting a spell off (unless you have their random-cast-time skills or Concentrate equipped). Then there's the Tales Trio, a group of characters from earlier Tales (series) games that have been known to reduce grown men to tears due to their insane difficulty. Less skilled players will need all the game breakers they can get here.
    • Using your grade to buy things from an old save to a new game gives the option to bring the amount of kills from the old to the new. This increases the damage of the Devil's arms dramatically.
      • ....after you beat Abyssion again in the New Game +. So still pretty useless aside from eventually one-hit KO-ing the final boss.
        • You can actually get all the Devil's Arms and restore their full power before the "Night in Flanoir" (assuming you can beat Abyssion at that point). Even though this still doesn't give you much chance to play with them it does allow you to beat the hell out of both Pronyma and Yggdrasill in less than 15 seconds total.
    • The Catalysts in Tales of the Abyss are even worse than the Devil's Arms. At the very earliest point you can unlock their power, the only thing you have left to do plot-wise is beat the final boss. Also, the Bonus Boss for the Catalysts is harder than Abyssion.
      • The bonus dungeon is a confusing Marathon Level that burns quickly through your money and practically requires a map to navigate, but doing it is the only way to get a costume and title for Tear that prevents all battles except bosses. Like the above, by the time you can explore the bonus dungeon, you've beaten everything in the storyline except the final boss. (Though if you have the grade to carry over titles to the next playthrough, this can become very useful.)
  • In Magical Battle Arena completing Nowel's story, which ends with a horrific one-on-five battle where the enemy team isn't handicapped, unlocks a Gadget Drone. Yes, the Mooks you always face at the beginning of every story.
  • Mewtwo in Pokémon Red and Blue/Yellow. It's very powerful, but you can only catch it after beating the Elite Four, by which time you've already battled most of the trainers in the game. You can battle the Elite Four again, but you get very little more out of it, so it's essentially useless unless you intend to fight in Serious Battles, many of which ban Mewtwo anyway.
      • This goes for any of the legendary Pokémon you can only catch after the Elite Four. And there were 14 legendaries introduced in the last generation.
      • You can trade Mewtwo to Pokémon Gold and Silver/Crystal and use it normally there in the second half of the game (after defeating 7 gym leaders, so level 70 traded mons obey you). It's pretty much a Game Breaker, although you don't want to use it so much that other mons never gain experience.
    • Then there's the Battle Tower/Battle Frontier. You simply cannot stop until you've won 100 straight matches.
    • Also, Shinies. Yes, they look cool, but they're exactly like a normal Pokémon except with an 1 in 8,192 chance of appearing.
    • Need we forget the quintessential goal? GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL! POKEMON!
  • If you make the high score list of Missile Command, you won't get taken to the nightmare- and seizure-inducing "THE END" screen.
  • The cross-platform western sandbox Gun gave you the BFG that was effectively a rapid-fire, 5-barreled shotgun after killing the final boss. The problem was the only thing to do was to beat a few leftover missions with it. If you had already beat all the side missions before taking on the final boss, the 5-barreled shotgun got upgraded to a 5-barreled explosive shotgun. At this point there was nothing left to kill with it besides a few random bandits and innocent townfolk. To add to the awesomeness, remember that these guns were used in a game where you primarily wielded 19th century bows and rifles.
    • Not to mention the practically immortal horse (heals so fast nothing can damage it enough to kill it) when you reach 100% completion, at which point there is nothing left to do with it. Especially annoying when you consider that when on horseback, the horse takes all damage for you.
  • In the Frogger game for Playstation, if you beat the final level (Tropical Trouble) without all of the Golden Frogs, the camera will just zoom in on the door at the other side of the room and the game plays the credits. However, if you got all eight Golden Frogs, the camera goes into a wide shot of the entire room as the door opens and all the Golden Frogs enter it one by one, followed by Frogger himself. You'll then see a movie where a wooden door opens, and Frogger and the Golden Frogs come out and approach a house with a pink frog standing out front. Frogger croaks at you, and the camera booms up to reveal that the backyard of the house is showing gameplay footage of the original arcade Frogger as the Golden Frogs happily bounce around it, and the music eventually reverts to that of the same game.
  • In Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, defeating a boss without getting hit nets you a Medal. These Medals are utterly useless and only exist as proof of your accomplishment over the boss.
    • In Symphony of the Night defeating Galamoth, the hardest boss, gives you two Life Max Ups and a Heart Max Up, and the ability for your Mist form to harm enemies. Of course, none of them could challenge you by this point, not even Dracula himself, who isn't hurt by your poisonous gas anyway; it's basically just ripe fodder for some fart jokes.
    • In Lament of Innocence, defeating the Forgotten One gives you the Black Orb, which provides you with a new set of sub-weapon options. This would be really awesome, except that at this point you have already pretty much finished the game. While the Black Orb does help out against the next-to-last boss, the final boss (Death) is unaffected by your sub-weapons, rendering the Black Orb useless against him.
      • Better yet, the bonus character Joachim can also fight the Forgotten One, also getting the Black Orb...except that for him it does absolutely nothing.
  • Beating Bonus Boss Culex in Super Mario RPG netted you 244 EXP points and the Quartz Charm. The game really obfuscates just what the hell it does, so many people have the wrong idea about it. What it actually does is silently auto-cast Attack and Defense Up on the character, as well as prevent instant KO attacks (the stat gains showed on the equip screen are really just predictions of the effects of the attack and defense ups). Of course, Geno can give the entire party Attack and Defense Up in one turn for a piddling amount of FP, and there are two other, easier to obtain accessories that grant instant KO protection and provide other actual benefits to boot. So unless you really really need to have all three characters have instant KO protection (hint: you don't), it's pretty worthless even if you hadn't just beaten the toughest boss in the game.
  • One of the games listed on the Top 15 Worst Endings list for Computer Gaming World's 15th anniversary gave the player 150,000 experience upon completion. As they put it, "for what?"
  • Akachi's Scythe and Spiritual Evisceration in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. Well, you can save the character to play on different module, but no one is going to let any character with Spiritual Evisceration one-shot kill everything in their modules.
    • A couple of different NWN2 fan modules give you an Infinity+1 Sword at the exact moment you no longer need it.
  • Defeating the uber Bonus Boss Demi-Fiend in Digital Devil Saga earns you...absolutely nothing. However, if you port a game complete save with the Demi-Fiend beaten to Devil Saga 2, you'll gain the Amala Ring in the second-last dungeon. Amala Ring boosts all stats by 10, which is nice, but if you're aiming for the uber Bonus Boss of DDS2, Satan, it's ultimately worthless, and you'll also be gaining the Aura Ring from another Bonus Boss in the game, which boosts all stats by 20 anyway. Which is even more pointless, since you don't really need those stats by then anymore. Also, beating Satan earns you absolutely nothing, again.
  • After defeating the Final Boss in the dungeon crawler From the Abyss, you can send your character back to the shop owner after saving your game clear data, and he will reward you with the Rubengart ring, the best accessory in the game (+ 15 to all stats, and resistance to every element). Of course, you've already defeated the Abyss Demon King, the most powerful monster in the land, so a few extra points to INT doesn't really mean much at this point.
  • After catching every insect/fish in all three Animal Crossing games, you are rewarded with a Golden version of the Bug net/Fishing rod, which allows you to catch the two more easily. However, at this point, you'll have no need to catch any more of the things and the items are therefore useless. Also, in the DS version, there is no bonuses for paying off your final debt at all (the Gamecube version had a Golden Statue in front of the Train Station for paying off the last debt).
    • Actually, fishing and bug-catching are two of the easiest ways to make money in Animal Crossing, so being able to do it better isn't a useless reward.
    • You do get a reward for paying off your debt in the Wii version..... a flag with the town emblem on it outside your house. Of course comparing a cool golden statue to a tiny flag is rather sad. Guess old Nook is getting cheap in his old age.
  • The final room in Banjo-Kazooie holds four doors that only open if you collected enough musical notes throughout the game. One won't budge without a whopping 882 notes (900 exist), but behind it is a jigsaw puzzle that doubles your life bar when completed. Unfortunately, you can't complete it without having gathered and used 98 Jiggy pieces. This means all you can do with your improved stamina is...get the last two and fight Grunty.
    • Still pretty darn useful, considering the fight with Grunty is fairly long and she's bound to get a good number of hits in on you unless you're either very skilled or you've had practice fighting her before.
    • Stop 'n' Swop II in the XBLA version of Tooie.
  • In Valkyrie Profile, defeating the last Bonus Boss nets you the Tri-Emblem, a super-powerful accessory which you obviously won't need anymore. But it doesn't end here. In fact, you can go and beat said boss nine more times before you get, after your tenth victory, a totally overpowered sword, which would be neat if you weren't already totally overpowered after going through this dungeon no less than ten times.
    • It should be noted, however, that the Angel Slayer has an amazingly low Trust. This means that it could deal over 50,000 damage on one hit, and less that 1,000 on the next!
    • This also applies to Silmeria and Covenant. Same dungeon, same amount of runs, same boss. Quite amusingly, since there's already an Angel Slayer in Covenant, they have to separate the I+ 1 sword from the Hel sword by use of (TM). Yeah, they put a trademark on the real sword's name.
  • Blast Corps featured what is possibly the cruelest award ever for 100% completion. After getting Platinum medals on every single stage, you get the standard periodic "Congratulations on your Promotion!" message. Your rank? "YOU CAN STOP NOW".
    • And getting this far takes a very long time.
      • It's a game about breaking things. Eventually after breaking enough things the government would be like "Whoa, okay, we got this... no, seriously, that's enough... REALLY, STOP BREAKING THINGS."
  • Monster Hunter does this quite often, especially with the Training Quest rewards and the weapons unlocked by clearing the game (in Unite).
  • Princess Maker: If you can defeat the War God in the second installment, you get his sword. It's pretty powerful, but since the War God is by far the toughest enemy in the game, it doesn't really matter much since everything else is going to be a cakewalk anyway.
    • Climb up the second stair after beating the War God. Your daughter's patrol deity will grant you a bonus to one of your stats (dependent on her birthday).
      • The said sword needs to be in inventory at the end of the game to get the Hero ending for your daughter, so don't rush to sell it off immidiately.
  • In Ninja Gaiden Black, you need to collect all 50 scarabs to get the Dark Dragon Blade, the strongest BFS in the game, barring the Unlabored Flawlessness at low health. The last scarab is on the second to last mission, near the end of the level. Then the last level is nothing but a single boss fight. No New game+ in this release; there was one in the non-Black edition though.
  • Emblems in Sonic Adventure used to be this. For the Updated Rerelease though, you actually get stuff for them. Gradually getting Emblems unlocks playable Game Gear games, while obtaining all 130 unlocks Metal Sonic as a playable character.
    • But then, in the XBLA and PSN releases of Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure DX, the Game Gear games were taken out. Collecting every single Emblem requires a TON of work, skill, exploration and patience. (Holly hell, do you need patience...) Emblems will do absolutely nothing until you've gotten every single one, and once you do, you earn a trophy/achievement and you can now play as Metal Sonic. Why? Well, considering you've already explored the game and perfected every known mission, it's not really known just what you're supposed to do with Metal Sonic, especially since he can only do Sonic's levels (obviously).
  • There are two unlockable weapons in Resident Evil 4 of this nature: the Handcannon, which can be upgraded to have unlimited ammo and have obscene firepower, and the P.R.L. 412, which, when fully charged, instantly kills everything in the area. The former is unlocked by getting five stars on all four levels with all five characters in Mercenaries mode, and the latter by completing Professional Mode, and those are the two most difficult tasks in the game—accomplishing both tasks means that you've proven that you're capable of conquering anything the game throws at you, and it has some pretty nasty things within arm's reach.
  • In Dragon Quest V: The Hand of the Heavenly Bride, you are treated to the Bonus Boss, Estark, Lord of the Underworld. Although defeating him is a challenge enough, slaying him in 15 turns earns you the Catas Trophy (say that as one word, you'll get the pun), a knick-knack that serves no real purpose other than finishing the in-game Knickknackatory.
    • Catass trophy. Heh heh.
  • In Dragon Quest VII, beating the bonus bosses will cause God to move to your immigrant town. This doesn't actually have any gameplay effect, or even help make the town larger (in order to get to the bonus bosses, the town needs to be at its final stage of development), you just get the almighty one to move into a small city you've been developing. None of his new neighbors seem to notice or care.
  • Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception has you unlock the game's best Game Breaker cool planes, the Fenrir, only after completing the campaign on the highest Ace difficulty. There is a similar case for the XFA-27 in Ace Combat 2 on Hard Extra mode. Averted with the best planes in 4, 5, 0 and 6 though, where you can unlock them without needing to beat the highest difficulty.
    • In fact, with Ace Combat 0, you can get the Game Breaker Cool Planes from Ace Combat 4 and 5 at the beginning of the game by having a memory card with saves from each respective game when you first start.
    • As well as the Super Planes, in the more recent Ace Combat games, they require extreme amounts of playthroughs and score perfecting to earn extra paint schemes for planes you buy.
  • Airforce Delta Strike features bonus planes from older, famous Konami games that are unlocked only after beating the game; they each come with their own background music.
  • While the majority of rewards in World of Warcraft that are not simply standard loot are cosmetic awards, there are some extremely difficult (or at least time-consuming) efforts you can embark on that reward you with items that actually improve your character in a significant way. These specifically include Legendary items, which require the combined effort of an entire guild over many months to acquire for one player; and ultra-fast flying mounts, which range from extremely rare drops to rewards for completing very difficult Achievements. None of these are required to beat any of the content in the game, but they sure do look cool.
  • Guitar Hero Van Halen has two achievements that just show off how little of a life you have: The Woodshed (5 star all 3 guitar solos and Little Guitars on Guitar-Expert) and Guitar God (5-star all songs on Guitar-Expert in Career mode). Considering how hard some of the songs are to 5-star...
  • This is the purpose of the Ranking System in Conker's Pocket Tales. You can increase your ranking by collecting Blue Presents, Red Presents, and Invitations. Blue Presents are actually required to move on to new areas, but Red Presents and Invitations do nothing else (OK, Invitations do open doors in a certain cave... that lead to more Red Presents). The rank itself changes nothing.
  • The Dreamcast version of Skies of Arcadia is notable for having an absurdly high random encounter rate. However, there is an item that you can equip that slightly reduces the frequency of random battles. Unfortunately, you get it as a reward for finding all of the Discoveries in the game, which can take nearly forever without a game guide (and still takes some time if you have one), and which requires you to have almost beaten the game. So by the time you get it, you will have acquired the ability to fly above the clouds (which means no battles in the world map), and you will have probably beaten all the dungeons. Therefore, you have no use for it anymore.
  • Burnout Paradise has two of these. After you get the second-to-last-level license (Burnout Elite) by beating all the events, you can give your cars a golden paint finish. If you then proceed to beat the Time Rule and Crash Rule on every single road of Paradise City, and find all the Smash Gates, Super Jumps, Billboards and Drive-Thrus, you are given the final license (Criterion Elite), and can give your cars a platinum paint job. Thankfully, you don't have to beat the events and find the discoverables on Big Surf Island to get the Criterion Elite License.
  • In The Godfather: The Game you get Bottomless Magazines as a reward for becoming Don of NYC. Unfortunately, to do so you'll most likely have taken over all businesses, rackets and other stuff belonging to the other four families. There is also no New Game+. As a result, while there are The Remnant lying around there's no real need for this endless ammo.
  • Partial example: The final weapon orbs in Secret of Mana randomly drop from enemies in the final dungeon (The Mana Fortress). The final boss can't be hurt with the weapons these orbs power up, though admittedly he comes straight after another, somewhat more conventional boss. Besides, you'd have to go all the way back to the beginning of the dungeon just to be able to use them!
    • There's also the fact that the so called level 9 weapons have no added effects like the previous levels do (save for the level 1/2 versions).
  • In the first Fatal Frame, the Bragging Rights Reward would be the upgrade you get as a reward for getting max rank on every battle mode challenge. It's by far the hardest camera upgrade to unlock, and while it would have been quite useful early on (it gives you infinite ammo), by the time you complete this challenge you've probably already gotten the game's Infinity+1 Sword and beaten the game on the hardest difficulty.
  • In the DS release of Chrono Trigger, you receive Crono's best weapon, The Dreamseeker, (essentially a slightly more powerful Rainbow; about 20 more power and 20% more critical hits) after beating the Bonus Boss. By this point you almost certainly have an attack power of 254 without it, just one point below the cap. Even if there was anything worth using it on, it still wouldn't be much of an upgrade.
  • Warblade has a lot of these:
    • There are 36 achievements that give special, permanent bonuses for a New Game+, as well as 30 "secrets" that give you a score bonus or some unusual effect for fulfilling the requirements to. Some of these have rather brutal requirements:
      • Play 100,000 levels in total (even if you factor in a secret which adds 500 levels to this total, it should still take three weeks of solid gameplay).
      • Get 200,000,000 points before level 100 (you need to be really lucky with bonus rounds and multipliers for this one).
      • Get 20,000,000 in time trial mode (it's rare to get more than three million),
      • Collect a money doubler with zero cash(A bit of a waste of a rare powerup, but aside from that, you can use the New Game+ to start with a money. Because of the annoying prices for things, it's difficult and dangerous to end up with no money at all)
      • Complete a level in one second (good luck with that).
      • Collect the E-X-T-R-A powerups in correct order (reverse order works too)
      • Collect rank markers in rainbow order to get a secret which gives an extremely expensive item for free when completed.
      • Rank markers in the opposite order is the secret which adds 500 levels, as above.
    • Champion Rank requires competing 24 bonus levels perfectly in a row.
    • The real Bragging Rights Award is God Rank. Do get it, you need to get the six badges:
      • Get all 36 achievements
      • Get all 30 secrets
      • Finish a game with $999,990 (The normal maximum is $99,990. You need to do a difficult, time consuming, and seemingly unrelated process to limit break. This is also one of the 30 secrets.)
      • Complete 5 Meteor Storm bonus rounds in a row with a speed percentage of 95% or more (probably the easiest badge).
      • Completing just one Meteor Storm bonus round with a speed percentage of 95% or more while a powerup that reverses your controls is active.
      • Finish 501 bonus levels, at least 376 of which must be perfectly completed.
      • When you have all the badges, get all 30 secrets in one game. The final secret must be unlocked somewhere after level 500.
      • Finally, as a very easy last step, collect all six rank markers.
    • THEN, there are the planet ranks, which are so difficult that nobody knows how to get them.
      • Says's Warblade hint on unlocking the planet ranks:

Get to the point where you are eligible for "God" rank, but are currently at "Champion" rank. First, have at least $500,000. Get six rank markers and become a Warblade God. The message "A new climb is now available" will appear. Go to the shop. There will be a new "CLEARS shields" option at the top. Buy one for $500,000. Your completed bonus levels will go down to 451 in your profile, and you will lose all of your shields (God badges). Purchase a game secret at the shop. The message, "FOR A MINI GUN GRAB TWO SLOW ENEMIES BASH TRI MOUSE WILL REWARD SUCCESS" will appear. Notice that the last letters of each word will spell "RAINBOW SHIELDS". This is a clue that you must get the shields in order, one to six. Get the shields in the order they were on your profile, from left to right. A message stating "Planet ranks now available" will appear.

  • Midnight Club 2 has a particularly annoying example. You get the absolute best car in the game, incredibly fast and stable...after beating every opponent in career mode and winning every circuit race. And you can't use it in career mode. (So what the hell is this for, anyway? Extreme sightseeing?)
  • Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams has two sets of four accessories that when equipped will either give a character infinite magic or infinite super mode. Either one of these can be abused to essentially make your invincible, but for either set two accessories are hidden somewhere in the game (one of the four being somewhere in the middle of the final boss rush) and the other four accessories are received by beating the 100 floor battle arena with 4 of the 5 characters. Easily the hardest challenge in the game, but they're still not entirely useless as you can use the infinite magic to help beat the arena with the last two characters and the final level, but all you can use the infinite super mode with is a few bosses at the end of the game.
  • In Eye of the Beholder 3 an optional dungeon called The Mausoleum near the start of the game gives you a "Rod Of Restoration" as a reward... guess where the only enemies that use what it cures are.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, by completing all the bonus stages, earning all the chaos emeralds and collecting 50 rings in a level afterwards you can transform into Super Sonic, granting extra speed and invulnerability (except to squashing and falling down holes). Which is great, except by the time the average player has had enough tries to finally earn it, it's fairly useless. Not to mention Wing Fortress Zone requires precision jumps, which having super speed actually hinders, and the final boss battles don't contain any rings at all, meaning you can't even use it.
    • Played straighter in later installments. In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, you get to keep all of your emeralds and can replay any level in the game - including the first act of the first zone - and go Super as soon as you get 50 rings. The final boss still doesn't give you the chance to collect 50 rings, which is a minor bummer.
      • And Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 features the Red Star Rings that were also featured in Sonic Generations. While the Red Star Rings in Sonic Generations actually unlocked abilities, in Sonic 4 they merely appear on the map screen and serve no other purpose. In addition, completing Sonic 4 without all seven Chaos Emeralds displays a message suggesting the player should go collect them, and doing so unlocks Super Sonic for play in any of the stages as per usual. Finishing the game with all seven emeralds affects the ending in one crucial way: the message about collecting them does not appear.
    • Sonic Colors has a truly insane Bragging Rights Reward that one can obtain. To obtain this reward, you have to get every single red ring in every single level, then you have to beat every single level in the "Sonic Simulator" game. There are a lot (180 rings, to be precise). Your reward for this? Super Sonic playable in every single level so long as you can get 50 rings. This is the first time this has ever happened in a 3D Sonic game. However, you cannot use him during bosses. What exactly can you do with this unfathomable reward? Not much, given that the only thing you can possibly have left to do since you've already gotten all the red rings is to S Rank every single mission. The reward for completing the insane task makes this absolutely trivial - usually. Using this reward negates Sonic's ability to use any Wisp power - Even before collecting the 50 rings required to activate super mode. Some of their powers are replicated, but not all. As a result, large swaths of every stage are unreachable. The shorter stages don't even have the 50 ring required to use the power anyway. Some stages are changed to no longer require Wisp powers, but since Wisp powers are essential to getting S Ranks and exploring and enjoying stages, the reward is purely bragging rights. It's fun, but there's not much you'll be doing with it.
      • That said, he turns the last stage into a joke, but chances are you'll have already beaten and S Ranked it with your own skill before even knowing that there was a Red Ring reward.
  • If a RPG or MMORPG has different damage types, chances are there's gonna be a quest where the reward is a weapon strong against the kind of enemy you just killed to complete the quest.
  • Defeating the Bonus Boss in Devil Survivor grants you the ability to fuse a massively depowered Mons version of that boss. At that point you literally have only two fights to go until the end: Not only will you be so ludicrously overleveled at that point that you could beat the game without the use of mons, but the new monster you unlocked will likely be weaker than the two (unique) demons you'll have to fuse together to get it.
  • If you do absolutely everything in Warriors Orochi 2, you can unlock a superpowered version of Orochi called Orochi X. However, by the time this is done, it's time to put down the game...
  • The Energy Blaster in Odium. By the time you find it, you're three battles away from the ending, and it's useless in one of them because the monsters are immune to it, while the second one can be easily won without using it. You'll at most use it once or twice against the final boss.
  • Minecraft's Ender Dragon Egg.
  • Bayonetta has the Climax Bracelet, that gives you automatic Wicked Weave attacks for every punch and kick, an ability that normally only appears in Boss Battles. To get it, you have to collect all the "Umbran Tears of Blood," a task which includes getting every Achievement/Trophy in the game. Just to hammer in the point, the game won't save your score when using it so you can't even use it to get Pure Platinum ranks on all the levels. That's because it's a total Game Breaker.
    • On the other hand, if you get it early with a cheat code, it is pretty useful on the Alfheim missions.
    • Except you can't use it in the Angel Slayer chapter. However, the Climax Bracelet makes the fight against the Bonus Boss about a million times easier, downing its difficulty from Nintendo Hard Up to Eleven to just Nintendo Hard (yeah, he's that tough). Which gives you another Bragging Rights Reward (a shape shifting Swiss Army Weapon) that is totally useless to get any pure platinum (it has terrible combo points) but is actually very useful against the bosses of Angel Slayer. Isn't this game well designed!
  • Completing the Invitational Circuit in Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer (whose courses are unlocked by completing the previous circuits) unlocks the Joke Character Ben Quadrinaros.
  • Super Robot Wars tend to have numerous units and pilots that tend to be these kind of prizes. Amongst those:
    • Quess Paraya of Chars Counterattack in Super Robot Wars 3, who has high NT (Newtype) levels, yet she's utterly out of the way, Amuro is the only one who can find her and when you get her, she's Level 1.
    • Keeping Black Getter Robo and Musashi Tomoe in Super Robot Wars Alpha 2. While the villain recruitable that goes with the two is perfectly fine, the problem is is that Musashi and Black Getter are dead weight, since Musashi is stuck riding Lady Command (a support unit) and even then, he and Michiru can't ride Black Getter and by that time, you just got Getter G and heading for Shin Getter! It's even worse in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 - you HAVE to use Michiru and Lady Command to get it and she STILL can't use it!
    • Great Zeorymer of Hades Project Zeorymer in Super Robot Wars Judgement. Getting this thing is a massive Guide Dang It, requiring you to play through Zeorymer's entire story, skip over a number of other secret units (just about all of them, actually!) and Zeorymer's the only one who can beat the bosses from his series! By the time you get the unit (if you do it right), it's already near the end of the game and it's more than likely units like Mazinkaiser and Freedom Gundam are already leveled up by then!
  • Destroy NED, and you can collect his laser. Then the game ends.
  • Defeating the massively overpowered Green Dragon in Puzzle Quest 2. The X Box Live and Steam versions will net you some achievement points. The Nintendo DS or PSP versions? Merely a checkmark in your completed missions ledger. Even the gold and XP aren't much help, as you're probably somewhere in the upper 40s, level wise (cap of 50) by the time you're strong enough to beat it.
  • Beating Hardcore Mode in Dead Space 2 unlocks the Hand Cannon, a giant foam glove that one-shots almost every enemy in the game (as well as not needing ammo). However, by the time you receive it, you'll have unlocked everything else in the game.
  • The last course to be unlocked in F-Zero GX is the Sonic Oval beginner course from AX, which isn't even used in the Grand Prix.
  • Beating the Total Pandemonium enemy lair and the twin boss at the end of it in Muramasa: The Demon Blade gives you the Narukami Bracelet, which gives you infinite soul gauge, meaning your swords never break and you can use unlimited special techniques. This would be a complete Game Breaker, but you've just beaten the hardest challenge in the game.
  • In Deus Ex, Sam Carter, the quartermaster at the UNATCO HQ, will give the player some extra sniper rifle ammo if the player didn't kill anyone on one of the previous assigments.
  • This is what the entire gameplay of Diablo 2 is about. The game goes something like this: make a new character. Beat Normal difficulty. Farm some items and levels before continuing. Beat Nightmare difficulty. Farm some items and levels before continuing. Beat Hell difficulty to complete the game. Proceed to grind a specific dungeon/boss hundreds of times looking for powerful items. Trade those items for even better items. Level Grind to 99 by doing a different dungeon/boss hundreds of times. Continue grinding for items. Trade more. Perhaps buy some for real money off third party item sweatshops. Eventually after many many hours you have the best and most optimal item setup for your character, with which you can... grind for items even faster.
    • Most players get "rushed" by other players and thereby "beat" the game in about two hours without killing more than a handful of monsters and while skipping most of the content. The entire game before that is considered a waste of time and something to get over with as soon as possible.
    • The vast majority of premade (unique/runeword/set) items are very unlikely to show up when you just play the game normally. You are pretty much expected to play like this.
  • In multiple games in the Fire Emblem series, it is possible to unlock certain otherwise impossible to get boss characters (usually up to and including the respective Big Bad)...for Trial Maps, which have no experience gain, no story and no real purpose other than kicking some ass with your high-level endgame army. You usually get these by beating the game multiple times.
  • Assassin's Creed II has the Armor of Altaïr, which requires that the player clear six platforming side missions (mostly with very little in the way of combat), but its only unique property is that its pieces can't break. By the time you would be able to acquire it, your character would likely have been swimming in more than enough money to buy both the Missaglias armor set (which has the same number of health squares) and to keep it repaired. Likewise, although the Sword of Altaïr is the bar-none best medium weapon in the game, it's still second to the Hidden Blade(s)' ability to fatally counter attack any non-boss enemy in the game, which is available far earlier.
    • The nature of the 'Synchronization' stat suggests that Ezio historically acquired all of them, which was confirmed in Brotherhood.
    • The true Bragging Rights Reward: Spread throughout the world, which spans five large cities, there are 100 feathers. They shine just a little bit, and are hidden in every nigh impossible spot to find. The reward one gets for finding all these (which would take anyone using a Guide Dang It near two hours) is a 20 second cutscene in which Ezio's mom says thanks, then gives him a cape that's only function is make everybody attack him on sight. Everywhere.
      • But on the bright side, it's just about the only cape that goes well with that Armour of Altair you got earlier.
      • You get an achievement for getting all the feathers (and another for wearing the cape in every area), so this is required for 100% Completion. Take that for what it's worth.
    • And this is re-done, of course, in the next two games.
  • Red Dead Redemption gives you the Bureau Uniform after 100% game completion. This outfit gives you complete immunity from the law (even in Mexico) no matter what you do. The only problem is with 100% of the game done, there is not much one can exploit with this outfit.
    • Although since this game is a sandbox, and the law is a continual thorn in your side while trying to reach 100% completion, it can be considered an opportunity to really have fun getting up to no-good mischief and murdering civilians without having to worry too much about Save Scumming.
  • Urban Chaos: Riot Response replaces your pistol with a Minigun if you get everything there is to get in the single player. Lots of bullets, nothing to use 'em on.
  • Similar to Diablo 2, the real purpose behind Castlevania HD is building your characters up as much as possible, and grinding for rare drops so you can attain a full item list. Many item drops are useless, but a large number of them are quite powerful, and in turn useful for running stages faster so you can cut down on grinding time. Soma and Jonathan take it Up to Eleven. Jonathan's whip power is raised by leveling his 12 subweapons (5 more of which are DLC only and don't contribute to stat growth), while Soma can get up to 9 copies of every enemy in the game's souls, and there are over 150.
  • Rage Racer, the third in the Ridge Racer series, is perhaps the worst offender of all these games combined. Congratulations, you've come in first on all of the races in both the regular and extra GP modes, purchased every single car in the game, managed to somehow win at Lakeside Gate on the Diable GP, earned gold trophies across the board and proven your worth in this game. Your reward for your efforts? Not being able to change the colors on the Grade 6/? cars, not being able to play as the non-purchasable cars in the game, but a gold-colored logo at the title screen. That's it, a simple recolor of the title screen after all that you have been through.
  • In Super Princess Peach, the game's most powerful ability, Endless Vibe, isn't bestowed upon you until you've already achieved 100% Completion.
  • In Baten Kaitos Origins, getting 99,999 RP in the Coliseum (no easy feat) gets you the final, secret prize. What is it? A portrait of Quaestor Verus. Actually subverted; show that to Gena and she'll give you Gena's Pinion, which prevents the heartwing meter from ever overfilling, essentially allowing you to start every non-boss battle at 5 MP.
    • Also subverted in the Pac-Man Sidequest. Completing this grueling quest nets you Pac-Mania, aka permanent critical hits. You shouldn't need to be told that's a massive Game Breaker.
    • Played straight with the Gatherings; in both games, picking up every magnus does nothing.
  • In Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, you get an item from the highest leveled Bonus Boss that breaks your Damage Cap of 9999. Sounds fine and dandy, but the problem is that you've got the protagonist who can do the same thing by placing her as a support unit.
  • A few of the abilities you can get in Saints Row the Third let you reduce, and ultimately wipe, your police and gang notoriety levels. Unfortunately, your level needs to be in the high 30s/40s (of 50) to purchase them (beating the campaign will naturally put you at around level 35), you can't use them in story missions, and if you've beaten the game the streets are nearly wiped of gang members, cops, and STAG troopers, leaving the abilities useless unless one continuously plays the random stronghold defense missions over and over.
  • Shadow of the Colossus features a huge assortment of weapons and items, all of which can only be acquired after you've beaten the game. They can't be used in the Time Attack mode, but have some use in a second playthrough. The exception is the Sword of the Sun, which enables you to use a light beam anywhere. In this game, light beams direct you to the next Colossus or, if you're in battle, its weak points. By this stage of the game, you'll have fought all of them at least twice and know where their weak points are on both difficulty levels.
  • The Jaleco arcade game Avenging Spirit uses a Body Surfing gimmick as part of its gameplay, seeing as how you play as a ghost. You can possess every enemy in the game to get through the stages, but achieving 100% Completion via finding three keys strewn throughout the levels allows you to possess and use your girlfriend, who you have been trying to save throughout the entirety of the game. Girlfriend is invincible and is the fastest and strongest character in the game, but the only thing left for her to fight is a handful of mooks in a corridor and the Final Boss. At least you get a nice Golden Ending for your troubles...
  • In Yakuza 0, beating a Mr. Shakedown gives a boatload of cash. However, by the time Kiryu or Majima is strong enough to treat them as farmable Giant Mooks rather than Skippable Bosses to Run or Die from, they'll also be strong enough that not much else is a challenge that needs the upgrades that windfall will purchase to overcome.
  1. Then again, There Is No Kill Like Overkill, right?
  2. For the uninitiated, Ribbons protect against most standard status effects.