There’s nothing like the right power-up to give you that much needed edge. You’ll do just about anything to give you that gameplay breaking gun, sword, or whatever. You’ll sink 100s of hours just trying to get it and a few more abusing the power. There are some power-ups that are worth all the blood, sweat, and tears you poured out. But there are some that just aren’t worth all the trouble you have to go through. This is the list of power-ups that you might want to take a pass on because either it’s way too much trouble or they don’t provide the bonuses you were hoping for. And one more thing; these have to be optional.

What it is: A bracelet that lets you block and use Secret Arts without expanding soul power.

How to get it: Acquire the ability to break white barriers and clear the White Barrier Challenge “Total Pandemonium”.

Why it’s not worth it: Total Pandemonium is, without a doubt, the hardest enemy lair challenge in the whole game. You have to have your level maxed out (despite the recommended level being 92), have the strongest swords available, as many recovery items as you can grab, and some really mad evasive maneuvers because you fight 25 waves of enemies and the difficulty escalates rather quickly. In fact, it becomes harder than the final bosses of either characters' story.

Better Alternative: The Nio Bracelet comes in at a close second, fixing the attack power of all blades at 700, and there are only 2 blades in the whole game that surpass that number.

What it is: It’s basically a light sabre. Nothing else special about it.

How to get it: Collect all 50 golden scarabs and bring them to Muramasa.

Why it’s not worth it: The very last golden scarab is near the end of the second last chapter, which means you have to hike all the way back to Tairon to trade it in. Plus, its statistics aren’t much (if any) different from the True Dragon Sword. Come to think of it, if you were able to make it this far with what you already have, then why would you need this at all? I didn’t.

Better Alternative: Um, you’ve had your True Dragon Sword and other weapons for quite some time. They should be fully upgraded by then.

What they are: A gold chocobo that lets you get to places even the airship “Highwind” cannot land and the master Red, Green, and Yellow Materia set.

How to get them: Kill the Ruby Weapon wandering the Corel Desert and kill the Emerald Weapon wondering around underwater. Then bring their dropped items to the item collector in Kalm.

Why they’re not worth it: Come on. These guys have over 1 000 000 hit points each and can dish out massive damage. And you have to take unconventional precautions to ensure you stay in the fight. Plus, without the Knights of the Round Summon Materia, pulling off a victory will be nothing short of a miracle.

Better Alternatives: You can get a Gold Chocobo the old fashioned way; breed one. And if you were able to save the big materia of all colors, you can get as many master materia as you want, provided you’ve got the patience to grind for AP, or a Gameshark to shave hours off all the grinding.

What they are: The Tales series staple cursed weapons that start out as the weakest weapons in the game, but after a lengthy side-quest, can become stronger with each kill.

How to get them: You get your first Catalyst Weapon about halfway through the game automatically, but you have to find the other five yourself. Then you must defeat the optional super boss Nebilim and then talk to Maestro Tritiem to unlock their powers.

Why they’re not worth it: Normally, you can carry your weapons, armor, and accessories over to the beginning with New Game+, but not this time. If you want them back, you have to go through the whole thing again. I’m not sure if the kill count with the weapons carries over, but then again, do you really want to go through that arduous fight a second time? And besides, you’ll be next to the final boss fight when you do get the final weapon.

Better Alternative: You can get each of the characters’ best weapons by fighting all single rounds in the coliseum. And you can steal the strongest capacity core from Nebilim, Tutti, and the Capacity Cores carry over to the next game.

What they are: Um….the best gear for every party member. That’s all you need to know.

How to get them: Surprisingly, you can get all the best weapons and armor by defeating the Reaper. Just open 20 chests and save. Then go to a dungeon floor and open the 21st chest. When you hear his chains, there’s a chance you’ll fight him the next time you open a normal chest.

Why they’re not worth it: The Reaper is insanely difficult. He has high HP, can attack twice in one turn, nasty attacks and instant kill attacks of both light and darkness that can wipe out your entire party in one fell swoop. And there are very few Personas that give the main character immunity to both light and darkness. Unless you’re as prepared as you can possibly be, you won’t be able to stand your ground and live to tell the tale.

Better Alternatives: If there’s one trinket that’s worth it, it’s the Omnipotent Orb, which grants you immunity to all attack types except almighty attacks. If you’re able to get all the characters in your party their strongest weapons, then there’s a slight chance that the Reaper will drop this after battle instead of the Godly Robe, and it’s definitely worth. Just make sure to unequip it before fighting Margaret or you’ll be sorry.

What they are: A magic ring that increases your defense by 3, but decreases your attack by 3 as well and a magic ring that increase your attack by 3, but increases damage by 8 as well, respectively.

How to get them: Complete Ages or Seasons and start a new linked game in the other game. Then complete the Hero’s Cave located where you would’ve gotten your sword in an unlinked game in Seasons and near the Maku Tree’s alcove in the present in Ages.

Why they’re not worth it: They’re monstrously difficult obstacle courses that require pretty much your entire repertoire of items and some mad evasive skills. And the fact that you take an insane amount of damage when wearing the Power Ring L3 doesn’t make it a good deal. The Armor Ring L3 is just as much a rip-off.

Better Alternative: You can acquire the Red Ring in Seasons through a side-quest which involved killing golden enemies that doubles your attack power without sacrificing any of your defense strength. And the Blue Ring in Ages can be acquired during or after Level 8.

What it is: New sets or armor that you can craft with the Dragonborn add-on.

How to get it: You need to complete a series of quests in order to learn how to craft them. You can’t do so the minute you install the add-on, but you can at least make improvements to them provided you have the needed perks. You’ll also need to search for raw materials.

Why it’s not worth it: The Daedric Armor and Dragonscale Armor are still the best types of Heavy and Light Armor respectively (at least the ones you craft). Not to mention that the raw materials to craft these are difficult to come by. Stalhrim, for instance, requires 30-35 in-game days before any source you’ve mined regenerates and you need the Ancient Nordic Pickaxe to mine it. Not to mention that the rare time that vendors carry it, it can cost up to 200 septims for once piece. Yikes!

Better Alternative: There’s a set of armor called the “Deathbrand Armor” that offers some nice bonuses. You just need to complete a simple treasure hunting quest to get all four pieces and when worn together, they rival the armor rating of the Daedric Armor. If you can improve it to the max and pick the appropriate light armor perks (yes, it’s a light armor), the armor rating is just insane. I got all the appropriate Light Armor perks and improved it to legendary and the total rating was 618.

What it is: It’s a magic arrow that freezes enemies. Yes, that’s it. Nothing else special.

How to get it: Once you rescue the carpenters, you’re given access to the Gerudo Training Ground. Simply go through their obstacle course of death and grab enough keys to unlock the doors that guard it in the central chamber. Oh, and four of these chambers have time limits. And you’ll need all the items up to and including the ones found in the Spirit Temple as Child Link.

Why it’s not worth it: I have no recollection of ever finding this useful. When I walked my cousin through this game, I skipped this part completely and everything was just fine.

Better Alternative: The fire arrow, of course. It does the same amount of damage and you can get it easily after clearing the Water Temple.

What they are: The stealth makes you invisible and the Bandana give you unlimited ammo.

How to get them: Beat the game without getting an ALERT and without killing anyone, respectively.

Why they’re not worth it: Um….if you were able to beat the game without being seen when you’re not supposed to and hardly firing a single round, then why would you need them?

Better Alternative: Your own stealth skills, plus with Drebin’s shop, the ammo you need is always on hand, provided you have the money.

What it is: Steiner’s strongest weapon in the whole game, and pretty to boot.

How to get it: Get to the Gate in Space in Memoria and beat the boss in less than 12 hours. Then examine the “!” near the right pillar.

Why it’s not worth it: We’re talking from the moment you select “New Game” to practically near the end of the game in less than 12 hours. Seriously? Final Fantasy IX was old-school not only in its appearance and gameplay, but also its difficulty. How in the hell can Square expect us to speed run through it all? Not to mention that there are way too many good items that you can’t get once you reach that point. You people might be able to do this, but I’ll take a pass.

Better Alternative: Once you’ve come to your senses, you’ll want to be satisfied with the Ragnarok. Or you can just use cheat devices like GameShark.

You know the old saying, “Be satisfied with what you have rather than covet something you don’t”. This list is proof that sometimes you need to think; “Is it worth all the trouble just for this?” There might be more power-ups that aren’t worth wasting time on, but I’m not going to spend what’s left on my time here on Earth trying to find every single last one. So what power-ups did you shed all the blood, sweat, and tears for, only to find out that it just wasn’t worth it all?

List by Raidramon0 (06/17/2013)

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