Best Treasure Ever

Link opens a treasure chest

Announcing “Best Treasure Ever”: A Gameological Subjective Judgment Bracket

Before the tournament begins, help us complete our bracket of gaming’s finest loot.

By John Teti • September 10, 2012

Last year, I attended a lavish preview event for a run-of-the-mill role-playing game. It was held at a hip Soho museum in Manhattan, and part of the evening was taken up with an on-stage interview featuring one of the game’s designers. This guy had been making video games for over a decade, and his entire philosophy seemed to be that people love treasure: “Players just get so happy when they open up a box full of goodies!” he squealed. He further explained that in order to make his company’s game fun, he had been sure to include many, many treasure chests—go figure.

If only it were that easy! Unfortunately for this enthusiastic fellow, nobody is more jaded about virtual treasure than the present-day gaming audience. Your average video game player has opened countless thousands of treasure chests in her lifetime. We play stuff like Diablo III, in which we click on a parade of ghoulish piñatas until they die, spewing make-believe trinkets that are slightly better than the ones we already have. Your average Facebook game will barf a thousand “gold coins” or “buxxxxxx” in your direction just for showing up.

Virtual treasure is a fiat currency, and inflation rates long ago entered the realm of the silly. So contrary to what Mr. Peppy was saying at the preview event, truly effective treasure isn’t about quantity; it’s about quality. A zillion treasure chests will always be less impressive than one extraordinary on-screen bauble that has craft and cachet.

But what makes a great treasure? We’ve put together a little bracket-style tournament to let you decide. Over the next couple of weeks, some of the greatest treasures in video game history will duke it out, with your votes deciding which treasures advance and, ultimately, which one earns the title of Best Treasure Ever.

Over the course of a surprisingly intense and grueling afternoon, the Gameological staff assembled the bracket you see above. We’ll have further details on our picks in the days to come. The treasures are divvied up into four divisions: animal-themed items, weapons, “throwback” (pre-Dreamcast/pre-1998) items, and miscellaneous.

We need you to help choose the No. 4 seed in each division. (Why the No. 4 seed? Just because. Don’t take the seed numbers too seriously; we didn’t.) Make your nominations in the comments, and be sure to “like” the nominations you support, too. We’ll take the four most convincing nominees and use them to complete the bracket.

The criteria for a bracket-worthy treasure is whatever you want it to be. There’s a reason it’s called a “Subjective Judgment Bracket.” But if it helps, we gravitated toward these qualities in making up our list:

Rarity and obscurity. How hard is it to acquire the treasure? An item feels more valuable if you need persistence, skill, intelligence, or all of the above to acquire it.

Originality. Oh, your game has a sparkly blue crystal? Join the club.

Power. In other words, what the treasure does for you, functionally. This one cuts two ways. As the staff debated the most memorable video game treasures of all time, ultra-powerful items naturally came to the fore. But we also found ourselves fondly recalling treasures that did absolutely nothing—whose value was simply in having the item itself.

Memorability and comedy value. Since the whole notion of virtual loot has a certain inherent silliness to begin with, we applauded treasures that had a sense of humor about themselves or boasted some other cleverness of construction. Silliness is a good thing. Embrace it.

Voting begins in earnest tomorrow when the No. 8 seeds face off against the No. 1 seeds. Until then, let’s hear your nominations!

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287 Responses to “Announcing “Best Treasure Ever”: A Gameological Subjective Judgment Bracket”

  1. NFET says:

    The Gatito pin sets in The World Ends With You were all hard to get, and all of them were pretty awesome too. 

    • Darklit Planets. (Weapon or wildcard? They’re just pins, after all.) The most powerful set, and only available by farming bosses on Ultimate difficulty after finishing the game. And, well, they’re called DARKLIT PLANETS.

  2. PugsMalone says:

    Fixed Dice! Fixed Dice!

  3. Mr. Glitch says:

    Well, I’m going to be yammering on incessantly about Doom soon enough, so I might as well throw my lot in with the BFG9000. It may burn 40 cells per shot, but that high-pitched windup that culminates in a giant green orb of electric death is enough to give the fearsome denizens of Hell reason to pause.

    • Cheese says:

      It’s a classic. I think you have to put it up there.

    • caspiancomic says:

       BFG9000 is gaming royalty, definitely a great addition.

      • litebeer says:

         I vote for BFG9000 and Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker.

        Kinda the first Legendary from WoW, which I’m surprised isnt represented above and has become an annoying WoW meme in game.

        • litebeer says:

          or how about cowboy boots in River City Ransom.  those were game changing.  (technically, you could say brass knuckles too, as they did roughly the same thing)

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      The BFG9000 did essentially define the tone for the FPS as it stands to this day.  A rare game item that is arguably more iconic outside of the game than it is in.

  4. Cheese says:

    Knights of the Round, if it doesn’t need to be a physical thing.

  5. Cloks says:

    Pew Pew from FO:NV. You had to get fifty star bottle-caps and it came alongside a dead guy.

    • Mr. Glitch says:

      Ooooh, good one! How about the anti-material rifle? That thing’s a beast!

      • Cloks says:

        That’s my favorite gun for walking around the map and picking off people who can’t see me, but it’s not hard to get. There’s probably a powerful unique in NV with an interesting back-story that I’m not thinking of.

    • Effigy_Power says:

       I was going to say Thump-Thump, which is easy to get and hilariously awesome, but Pew Pew might be a step up.

  6. Awriiight, this’ll be a ton of fun to read through.  And I take it we should make each item a separate comment, so the “likes” are easier to tally.  My kind-of spur-of-the-memory nominations:

    Animal:  The Tanooki Suit (Super Mario Brothers 3, 1990).  I had no idea what a tanooki was before I played that game, and I bet you didn’t, either.  It’s a raccoon power-up cross-bred with a Snuggie, it can turn you (bafflingly) into a statue also, and there was only one of ’em in the entire game (am I right?  It’s been awhile).

    • PugsMalone says:

      The Hammer Bros Suit beats it hands down. You can beat Bowser with the hammers, and the coolest part of all was that it wasn’t mentioned at all in the manual. And there are only a few, and one of them is in the Mushroom House behind stage 6-5, the one with the hidden exit.

      “Hey you! How about lending me your clothes? No dice? What a drag!”

      • LoadRanPimp420 says:

        agreed. and on top of that, you had to be GOOD to keep it. one hit and your suit was gone forever

    • James says:

      I think you might be thinking of Kurobei’s show, with regards to rarity. There’s a fair number of Tanooki suits (maybe more than frog suits question mark?), but there are only 2 (3?) Kurobei’s shoes, and they’re only in one level.

      Fun Tanooki fact: they have giant testicles. Also, the statue into which Mario turns is another traditional Japanese image.

    • Captain Internet says:

      A human wears a racoon, we vote for it; a racoon wears a human, and we destroy it.

      We are poor stewards of the planet.

    • The Tanooki suit is actually somewhat more common if you know where to look. I agree with James – Kuribo’s Shoe should replace the magic whistle. I’m pretty sure there’s only 2 levels with it. That’s one less than the magic whistle!

      And the tanooki’s ability to change into a statue I believe reflects the Japanese folklore of tanookis being magical, mythical beings. I THINK they’re tricksters, but I can’t guarantee that.

      • BarbleBapkins says:

        If I am not mistaken, there is only a single solitary level in the whole damn game with Kuribo’s Shoe (5-3 maybe?). Its rare, its awesome, its kind of stupid at the same time; what more could you ask for!

      • Yes, Tanookis are considered tricksters, and they supposedly have magical shapeshifting abilities. I recommend the movie Pom Poko (made by Studio Ghibli, although not directed by Hayao Miyazaki), in which a tribe of tanookis try to battle humans who are cutting down their forest in order to build on it. Those crazy raccoons take on a bunch of different forms, often using their testicles to do so. Classic children’s entertainment.

    • Ralphie_in_Vegas says:

      Definitely the Tanooki suit.  For some reason that one was always my favorite in SMB3, and it was damned hard to find.  I was playing SMB3 a couple weekends ago and found it completely by accident in a treasure chest, and nearly squealed with delight, even as a 30-something year old man.

  7. Throwback:  The Screw Attack Ball (Metroid, 1986).  Because, admit it, you just jumped everywhere for the rest of the game as soon as you obtained it.  Watching those bats disintegrate as they tried to attack from the ceiling was sheer power.  I recall it was kind of tough to get to, also, so, points for that.

    • LoadRanPimp420 says:

      I would have to go with the samus-in-her underwear ending. it signified your superiority as a player more  than nearly any item of the whole era of gaming, even

  8. HobbesMkii says:

    You got something for killing all 100 pigeons in GTAIV, and then in each of the DLC episodes, you got something else for killing all 100 seagulls (per DLC episode). I only did one of these, because there was no way I was gonna kill 300 different little birds smuggled all over Liberty City. I just don’t have that kind of patience. I think it was a tank in the base game, a “cooler” motorcycle in the motorcycle DLC (that one was so obviously out), and an armed Little Bird helicopter in the Gay Tony DLC.

    • LoadRanPimp420 says:

      those TOTALLY were NOT lego heads. they were servbot heads from Mega Man Legends. geez!

    • KidvanDanzig says:

      I don’t believe leveling was required for creating new stuff in DR2. In fact that would have been an incredibly fatal flaw in the system were it actually the case. It’s just that sometimes, if you leveled and hadn’t discovered a combo, one would spontaneously reveal itself.

      • HobbesMkii says:

         The Super Slicer was only available by leveling. Some of the combo cards only came that way. The other ones you could find all over the place.

        • Mookalakai says:

           What he’s saying is you could still create a combo item without previously having the card, it just gave you less PP and you couldn’t do the special move with it.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          @Mookalakai:disqus Well, that headbutt move that was the primary attack with the Super Slicer kinda sucked. The charge is the only thing it’s useful for.

    • I collected all 100 hidden packages in Vice City (using a guide, obviously) and that was pretty tedious. The worst part is that the radio doesn’t play when you’re on foot or in a police helicopter. 

    • djsubversive says:

      Far Cry 2 has the diamonds, sure, but the real sweet loot is the Golden AKs scattered around.

      • HobbesMkii says:

        Oh, yeah, I forgot there was a gold version of that. Gold guns for FPS games are the most ridiculous treasure, ever since they chose not to make them the Golden Gun from GoldenEye and let them instead be a skin to show that you put 800 hours into perfecting your headshot ability.

    • Asinus says:

      Or how about a “Best Worst”? Because I don’t know where else to classify “The Stoppable Force” in WoW. 

  9. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    O, Glorious Day!  Rend and ruin finally come to Gameological!  This shall be the proclamation that brings holy crusade to a formerly chummy little group of game hobbyists.
       Will you stand under the bloodied and tattered banner of the Clawshot?  Coldly tearing into one, that in another time you may have called “Internet acquaintance”, simply for the sin of being wrong about a fake magic item?
       Or will you staunch your wounds with a thousand-word holy scrit proclaiming the superiority of the Varia suit?  When neither family nor drink numb the pain , only the objective truth of a purple suit of lava-resistant power armor may provide succor.
       It is Ragnarok come.  And when Jörmungandr uncoils from the world tree, lifting it’s great jaws to consume the world, I only hope I may stand before it bearing the Spread gun so that I may stand below it and still hit its head.  Which I know is vulnerable, because it’s the only part that glows.
       But really, I was originally going to say Crissaegrim from Symphony of the Night, simply because it’s such a ridiculous piece of treasure.  But it is game-breaking enough that a lot of people reasonably think it detracts from the game.
       So I’ll say, Rat Tail from the the first Final Fantasy.  The item itself does nothing, but is the quest locus needed to unlock the advanced classes.  Every time I played FFI, which was many, that quest and the subsequent character avatar-swap was my favorite section of the game.

    • Mr. Glitch says:

      Yeah well, we had a good run.

      I kill you!!

    • caspiancomic says:

       I have been waiting for an excuse to kill you guys for so long, and now you’ve made it seem like it’s the climax all of Gameology has been building towards. See you bastards in hell!

      (Seriously though, the Crissaegrim fucking rules. You can have one in each hand! How does that even work!)

    • Ew, it smells, throw it away. No! Don’t do that!

    • CrabNaga says:

      My vote is for the Crissaegrim. It took ages to find, since it was only a rare drop from an enemy that showed up in like one room. It worked completely differently from any weapon in the game, since you could attack while moving. It absolutely destroyed everything (although I know there are much better and more obscure ways to destroy demons in that game, such as the Shield Rod with the Iron Shield) and almost everybody remembers it from Symphony of the Night as “that weapon.”

      • WorldCivilizations says:

        I believe you’re referring to shield rod + the Alucard shield. Gives invincibility, plus touching anything deals 256 damage, restores some health, and recovers a heart every quarter second or so. I cannot imagine what the developers were thinking when they included it, but I’m glad they did, just so I could kill Galamoth in 5 seconds, then put it away forever.

    • The_Misanthrope says:

       Liked for Crissaegrim.  It took me forever to get it, but so worth it.

      While we’re on the subject of swords, Excalibur from Final Fantasy Tactics.  A pain to get, but you can use the dupe glitch on the PS1 version to get 99 of them.

  10. Weapons:  Mechanus’ Cannon (Planescape: Torment, 1999).  This is a category I expect to be dominated by the games of the 21st century, and there are acres of weapons I’ve loved using that will prove way more popular than my choice (all-time favorites include the M-920 Cain in Mass Effects 2 & 3, Lincoln’s Repeater and the Shishkebab in Fallout 3, and, yep, the handheld Snarks in Half-Life).

    But the most jaw-dropping weapon I can recall didn’t come from an FPS at all, and wasn’t technically a “weapon” itself, as it was written on a scroll.  The 8th-level D&D spell, Mechanus’ Cannon, was something you’d be lucky to get a chance to use more than once in the game, based on both the level cap and the inevitable ability score compromises you’d be forced to make.  But once you unleashed that sucker, the action paused completely and cut away to a completely different plane of reality, unbound by mere laws of swords and sorcery, where a gigantic gun was waiting with your victim’s name on it. 

    Shit, son.  Anyone getting up from that–or the idea of that, which is what really appeals to me–isn’t someone you want to spend any more time fighting.

    • Wearedevo says:

      Awesome spell, but as a treasure I don’t recall it actually being very hard to find. Could be wrong though.

    • Captain Internet says:

      Surely the most prized loot in Planescape: Torment is the Modron Cube. It’s the true Kinder Surprise of gaming- not only does it come with a funny mechanical character inside in the form of Nordom (voiced by Homer Simpson actor Dan Castellaneta no), but it’s also considered a public health risk by the FDA

    • Fluka says:

      Oh good.  Someone mentioned the M920 Cain.  I <3 you, you lil' handheld nuclear missile launcher you.  Even if you did eat about 10 missions' worth of power cells.  And if you killed my entire squad if used in a semi-confined space.  You put a nice dent in that Thresher Maw, didn't you?  Yes you did!  Good girl!

      *Leans back and daydreams about the M920 Cain.*

  11. Wild Card:  “The gray dot” (Adventure, 1979).  So tiny that most people didn’t know it existed?  Check.  Unprecedented in any Atari game to that point, and an original execution of its concept?  Check.  Emphasizing, creatively, the ultimate power in works of art, the power of authorship?  Check.  About as useful as a screen door on a submarine?  We have a winner. 

    Forget hunting for a chalice, I’d rather hunt for some Easter eggs any day.

  12. Ghostfucker says:

    I’ll nominate the ‘shield rod’ from Castlevania: Symphony of the night. It had a different special attack effect depending on whatever shield you had equipped, so naturally it was a ton of fun to play around with. And if you were equipped with a leather shield it would summon a cow….so that’s pretty awesome.

    • caspiancomic says:

       If I had to nominate one thing from the Castlevania series, it would be SOTN’s Shield Rod. If you know what you’re doing you can collect it less that a quarter of your way through the game, but it’s so good (not to mention its usefulness scales to your off-hand equipment) that you can use it right up to the end of the game.

  13. LoadRanPimp420 says:

    for the animal divison i nominate Potts from Jet Grind Radio. you pretty much have to ace the entire game to unlock him. I never did get him. godDAMN that game was hard!

    • caspiancomic says:

       My greatest shame is that I only ever had Potts because I downloaded a save file off GameFAQs with the Dreamcast’s 56k internet. My second greatest? I only unlocked Green Hill Zone in Sonic Adventure 2 by doing the same. Third greatest is that thing I did to that guy in Brighton, Ontario that some other guy did time for.

    • craigward says:

       if you played JGR at all, how did you not play it 100+ hours and just get that good at it so you could pull off the ridiculous challenges to unlock him?

      I don’t care if you’re an astronaut president banging sweet babes 24/7.  your real life is not more important than Jet Grind Radio.

  14. George_Liquor says:

    I nominate you from Galaga, You are the only power-up in that game, and you have to decide whether the loss of a ship is worth the doubled firepower every time the Galags come at you with that tractor beam.

  15. adkomarek says:

    Animal (or Weapon, really): Pokemon Red/Blue: Mewtwo.
    You just rocked the Elite four, and you managed to survive the high-level dungeon just to get to the bastard. You are now the master of the greatest force of destruction in the game. Go murder your friend’s loser Venusaur. (Bonus points if you caught him the hard way.)

  16. Would Gon and Doctor B. from Tekken 3 count? I remember spending many’a afternoon as a young boy trying to acquire the secret fighters through the horrific minigame known as Tekken Force.
    The fact that neither Gon nor Doctor B. were able to do anything other than (basically) fart was just the kind of secret I didn’t know I was looking for.

  17. LoveWaffle says:

    I’ll go for something a bit more obscure and go with Blue Dev’s Ring of Viewing from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind‘s Bloodmoon expansion.  It’s only available after the main quest is completed, and is found in the mouth of a stuffed creature hanging from a ceiling.  And it has a power that’s difficult to measure – it breaks the 4th Wall.  Unlike other loot in the game that can be pretty powerful, this ring allows you to view all the cutscenes from the game that you might have missed.  That’s pretty f***ing awesome.

    Regardless, some loot from The Elder Scrolls series needs to be in that bracket.

    • dreadguacamole says:

        I’d nominate the Fork of Horripilation from Morrowind. Simply because it’s called The Fork of Horripilation.

    • Effigy_Power says:

       I managed to snatch Balbus’ Fork, Wylandriah’s Spoon and Ysgramor’s Soup Spoon (which is a fork) in Skyrim and they were all pointless. So that was pretty fun.

    • Peter Marotta says:

      What about the Elder Scrolls them selves. It is the namesake fo the game.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      If we’re going with Morrowind, I’d nominate the Blinding Boots of Speed.  Incredible speed at the cost of total blindness…unless you cast a 1-second duration protection from magic spell JUST before wearing them, then you get the speed and no side effects!

      • LoveWaffle says:

        The best thing about the Blinding Boots of Speed is how it was treated during the Museum quest in the Tribunal expansion.  They basically say “We don’t know why this exists and what purpose it serves, but we’ll take it from you anyway.”  And then you only get 250 gold for donating it, substantially less than other artifacts.

      • WorldCivilizations says:

        This is a glorious suggestion. Boots of Blinding Speed + the levitation shrine in Vivec = fly across Morrowind in 30 seconds. I agree it’s the best choice out of a game full of solid choices. I’ll also throw out there that amulet that gave 80% chameleon for 60 seconds, the scrolls of icarian flight, and the crescent sword – it was easy to make a better weapon, but it was so cool and required such a weird string of tasks to get.

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          Heh, I don’t think I ever tried the shrine…enchanting some other piece of armor with a tiny bit of levitation allowed me to fly anywhere already.  If I hadn’t already started to get a bit bored with the game, I would have been really disappointed when I was able to defeat the big boss by flying up into the corner of the cavern and filling him full of arrows.

          And then I bought the first expansion, where they disabled levitation in the new areas.  Okay, sure…you caught on that it would be too easy, but that was kind of a lame way to handle the problem.

        • WorldCivilizations says:

          Yea the difficulty of the expansions was pretty crazy. They basically acknowledged that the game could be exploited in a lot of ways, so they calibrated the difficulty to the god-like character that you were probably going to begin with… same with the little DLC with the island full of skeletons – kill like 500 weak-ass skeletons, followed by boss 5x stronger than Vivec

        • LoveWaffle says:

          @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus : Levitation was disabled in Mournhold not because it would make things too easy, but because it wasn’t an open world.  Each section of the city loaded separately from each other, so levitating would quickly get you into an area that wasn’t coded.  This is the same reason why levitation hasn’t returned in Oblivion or Skyrim – the cities load separate from the rest of the map, so levitation would just get you into barely constructed areas.

  18. Allandaros says:

    Miscellaneous: the Modron Hero from Planescape: Torment. It’s a cute little Modron action figure! It lets you get *to* the Modron Maze, unlock one of the companions who can follow the Nameless One, and go through a fun sendup of hack’n’slash gaming. 

    The Mechanus Cannon that Mattman Begins mentioned? Can’t get that without the Modron Hero, baby!

    Plus there’s this sequence of interacting with the Modron Hero:

    • Wearedevo says:

      As you might guess from my avatar, I’m very much in favour of this one.

    • EmperorNortonI says:

       So much of that game it seems I simply missed by playing a dumb, somewhat violent brute.  Sigh.

    • Captain Internet says:

      I wish I’d waited until I saw this comment to post what I posted in response to Mattman. 

      But is Nordom the loot, or is it the Modron Cube itself?

    • Too true.  I’ll give a vote your way for linking to that dialogue (I remember the description of the Modron Hero as planar champion with fondness and laughter), and because everyone with a heart loves Nordom, too.

  19. Merve says:

    This is going to be lengthy.

    Animal – I was going to nominate the space hamster from Mass Effect 2, but it looks like the little guy’s already in the bracket. Harumph. So I’d like to nominate the Pyrite Parrot from the Tales of Monkey Island series. The little “golden” bird accompanies Guybrush through the greater part of his adventure, and it comes in handy to solve multiple puzzles. There’s nothing funnier than fooling somebody with a squawk of “It’s me, Guybrush Threepwood!”

    Throwback – I can’t count the number of hours I whiled away playing Commander Keen IV: Secret of the Oracle when I was a kid. Revisiting it in my teenage years, I discovered many of the secrets that had eluded me on my earlier playthroughs. Most of these secrets involved obtaining lifewater flasks, which would automatically grant Keen another life. These were often fiendishly difficult to obtain, requiring precision jumping over a pit of spikes or tar while avoiding a throng of enemies. In particular, there were a bunch of them in the “Lifewater Oasis” level that seemed impossible to get. My younger self spent hours trying to discover a sort of secret tunnel or portal that would take me down to the oasis where the sweet water of life could be drunk. Eventually, realizing that it was no longer 1994 and that the Internet did indeed exist, I Googled for a solution, only to find out that there was no way to get the flasks in “Lifewater Oasis” without using cheat codes. Well, that’s 12 hours of my life that I’m never getting back.

    Weapon – Originally, I was going to choose a weapon from the Worms series, like the Concrete Donkey or the Salvation Army, but I found it too hard to single out just one weapon. So instead, I’m going with the Dragon’s Tooth sword from the original Deus Ex. For some reason, the game had mêlée weapons, and using them was way more fun than it had any business being. Knocking a guard unconscious with a baton was just so darn satisfying! But halfway through the game, things got even better. After completing some quests in Hong Kong, JC obtained a hi-tech nano-sword called the Dragon’s Tooth. And boy, was it ever overpowered. If you had poured any of your skill points into mêlée weaponry, then it became, in many situations, a one-hit kill weapon. Now, if you activated ballistic protection or health regeneration, JC could run through a group of enemies, slashing anyone who got in his way, while bullets bounced pathetically off his chest. Doing that made me feel like King of the Freakin’ World.

    Wildcard – The Fuzzy Dice from Kingdom of Loathing. What could be more random than a pair of dice? Plus, they’re a Familiar, so I guess they could fit under the Animal division too. Hmmm…

    tl;dr – Merve nominated stuff.

    • djsubversive says:

      I knew I’d find the Dragon’s Tooth here somewhere. No matter how stealthy I am, once I get the Dragon’s Tooth, JC becomes a cyber-ninja, just in time for a massacre at the club. 

      Also, you get the DT in Hong Kong, home of the most hilarious accents in the game. Louis Pan almost never survives.

      “JC Denton, in da fresh!”

      • Merve says:

        But Louis Pan is just a boy! YOU MONSTER.

        (I will admit to killing the kid in the Paris catacombs in at least one playthrough, though.)

  20. Wearedevo says:

    I nominate the chainsaw in the original Doom. Reasonably well hidden, hugely effective and iconic.

  21. colin whitworth says:


    • Marnie Twigg says:

       I can’t believe the Goron sword wasn’t on here in the first place. If you hadn’t said it; I would have.

  22. colin whitworth says:

    beat from mega man. it’s a robobird that fucks shit up. that should be enough

  23. KidvanDanzig says:

    No Dog / God mode from Rise of the Triad? What an utterly meaningless bracket.


  24. Citric says:

    The Blonde Wig in FFVII, because winning the squats competition is very rewarding.

  25. I have to second whoever mentioned Knights of the Round, from FFVII. Yes it offered the most spectacular and powerful attack in the game. But the genius of it was the journey it took to get there. You had to breed chocobos. No one in the game tells you to do this. But there’s one farmer who lets you rent a stable, and then only if you feel like it – you can embark on this pastoral side activity. Eventually, if you get good at selecting the right mates and buying the right feed, you can breed super strong chocobos which are rugged enough to carry you to terrain which had been unpassable.

    This is part of a long history of Final Fantasy side quests where you start out by tugging on a small thread which just keeps unraveling and taking you to new places until you’ve unlocked the ultimate power. KOTR is your reward for playing the game with excellence.

    (The Earth Harp – don’t really care. It means you levelled everyone up forever to beat a really hard boss. And what use is a power-up prize when you’ve just beaten the best the game has to offer to get it?)

    • Yim Yames says:

      I agree, the Earth Harp is really not much use by the time you are strong enough to get it, I never cashed it in, always kept as a little trophy. The Desert Rose is even worse.

  26. caspiancomic says:

    A bandanna! Controversial choice. I’ve always preferred the stealth camo, but I’ve always derived great joy from convincing genome soldiers they were going insane. Also, I was a little concerned for my own well-being to learn almost my entire gaming history is considered “throwback” territory. I guess time marches on.

    Anyway, let’s get some proper nominations going. My first instinct was to go with something from my beloved Bastion, like maybe the Calamity Cannon, which when fully upgraded fires explosive homing energy balls at an absurd rate. But you don’t really earn it, it just sort of falls in your lap, so it isn’t ideal. I thought maybe something from The Binding of Isaac ought to be represented, since it’s basically Treasure: The Game. My first instinct was to go for Brimstone, but it’s actually kind of crap on its own and needs to be paired with something like Polyphemus before it’s really into gamebreaking territory. Really any one item from BoI isn’t an ideal choice since it’s your build as a whole, not any individual item, that tends to stick out in your memory.

    I’ll divide my proper nominations across multiple posts, @MattmanBegins:disqus style, to make voting easier. First up!

    MediEvil: The Chicken Drumstick- This weapon is Sir Daniel Fortesque’s reward for engaging in an optional sidequest for a witch who needs the hero to recover some amber from an ant hive. The quest shrinks Sir Dan down to the size of an insect and sticks him in the darkest, most confusing, and arguably most difficult level of the game. It’s also almost totally useless, dealing much less damage than basically anything else in your arsenal. Its only practical application? There is exactly one type of enemy appearing in exactly one level of the game that, if struck with a drumstick, will turn into a roast chicken that Dan can eat to replenish his health. Although useless for 95% of the game, the drumstick makes this one level a breeze.

  27. caspiancomic says:

    Next nomination!

    Wild Arms: The Sheriff Star- A classic example of a game only allowing you access to a certain item once you’ve proven you don’t need it. You collect the Sheriff Star in an optional dungeon called the Abyss, which is actually in a satellite orbiting Filgaia and can only be accessed by approaching ancient mystic Elw technology used to travel the globe and hammering on it like a TV with poor reception. To collect the prize you have to defeat Ragu Ragla, who appears in various forms and various accuracies of translation throughout the series. Although he’s without a doubt the toughest boss in the game, the reward is worth it. Strength, Vitality, Sorcery, and Resistance all shoot up by 100 points, Magic Resist and Defence by 50, 60% chance to parry, 25% HP and MP increase, immunity to all debuffs, HP recovery with every round of battle or step on the field, twice the money after battle, and Luck stat set to maximum for non-stop crits and absurdly high success rate for Jack’s steal technique. In other words, whoever wears the Sheriff Star isn’t just the lawman of the old west, he’s the God-King of Space.

  28. caspiancomic says:

    Another nomination!

    Power Stone 2: Gigantic Hammer- This one is sort of personal. My friends and I have a peculiar way of playing Power Stone 2. Set the optionss thusly: 7 Stones on the field, invincible while transformed, power level doesn’t decrease automatically, no time limit. This results in a game where the first two people to transform basically stay that way until the end of the game if they decide against using their Power Fusions, and the game becomes opening as many treasure chests and collecting as many items as possible. You can revive dead players if you get to them fast enough, so the untransformed players end up one-hit ragdolls pretty quickly. The Gigantic Hammer was so cherished in our circle because it had one unique property: if you hit a transformed character with it, they immediately dropped their Power Stones and became mortal again. This made every match we played a huge ridiculous, often several hour long endurance match in which we attempted to find the coveted 100 Ton monstrosity. It sounds like a pointless tedious grind, but to us, there was no other way to play, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

  29. caspiancomic says:

    And finally:

    Bastion: Calamity Cannon- YEAH, FUCK IT, I’M GOING FOR IT. THIS THING RULES. My actual subjective favourite weapons are the Brusher’s Pike and the Galleon Mortar, but the Calamity Cannon is almost unarguably the game’s “best” weapon. Hit’s like a truck delivering a shipment of smaller trucks, potentially homing, and with complementary skills that cause it to either fire with head-spinning rapidity or have individual shots break up into clusters of shots, which themselves break into clusters, creating a patently unsurvivable ocean of carnage wherever the Kid goes. You only get it in the penultimate mission, but then again, Bastion is the game New Game Plus was made for…

  30. GhaleonQ says:

    You can’t just spring this stuff on us.  Do it like the short film contest and give us multiple weeks and a small budget to make collage-argumets or something! Okay:

    1. Downtown Hotblooded Story/River City Ransom: free smile!  I believe that it only comes from 1 store, and if my wapaneze animaez video games have taught me anything, it’s that nothing is more powerful THAN BELIEVING IN YOURSELF AND YOUR FRIENDS.

    2. Castlevania/Demon’s Castle Dracula: Circle Of The Moon: BEARTANK.  So, the 2 rarest cards, Pluto and Black Dog, and 1 of the rarest items, the Bear Ring, combine to turn you into a crayon-colored bear with 1-hit kill offense and (unfortunately) defense from Konami’s somewhat obscure and somewhat fun child’s-imaginary-friend-based fighting game Rakuga/Scribble Kids?  It’s made for this series!

    3. Captain Rainbow: Birdo’s vibrator.  Guys, Nintendo characters of the past have problems.  Sex problems.  By some of the same people that brought you the (occasionally silly and crass but) greatest game ever, Moon: Remix R.P.G. Adventure, comes a video game where you help Subcon’s most memorable villain come to term with its sexuality.  It’s mandatory to finishing the game, and mandatory for settling the nightmares that haunt you until Birdo is freed from Mimin Island.

  31. Jake Farley says:

    The Auditore Cloak from Assassin’s Creed II- stylish, took forever to get AND was unexpected. The best part of all is the effect though- constant guards at full alert. So cocky and badass, to just stride around, showing your true colors.

    • HighlyFunctioningTimTebow says:

      While we’re on the topic of AssCreed II, AssCreed2Bro had these V.R. Missions that were more or less very fluid tutorials accessed early on in the game. At first you’re all like “funny name,whatevs”. But after completing all of them and achieving a Bronze or higher in each you get… Raiden’s Ninja Suit!!! From Konami’s Metal Gear Solid 4!! And it’s visible on Ezio in cutscenes!!!
      * Record Scraaaatch!?! *

  32. ThePhantomGuinness says:

    Goron Sword (Ocarina of Time), Knights of the Round (FFVII), and (from childhood) the Power Bracelet (Legend of Zelda). Such a simple thing, but still so useful. Much better than that damn whistle. When I found that after staying home sick from school, my older brothers treated me like a king…until the next day.

  33. Staggering Stew Bum says:

    This probably fits in Wildcard — the Ladies Man achievement in Mafia 2. Spread (no pun intended) through the game there are 50 playboy centrefolds to find and available to look at in the menu later if looking at women who (if they didn’t die from drug overdoses in the 1950s) would be in their 80s now is your thing. But it’s worth at least finding the one with the woman in argyle socks, if you’ve played this game you know the one I mean.

  34. Dingo Hilgard says:

    Lazy Shell – Super Mario RPG (SNES)

    Ultimate Armor – Multiple versions of MMX 
    (SNES)Hadouken / Dragon Uppercut  – MMX 1 & 2 (SNES)
    Atma weapon – FF VI 
    (SNES) Tintina Bar – FF VI 
    (SNES) Red potion – Snow Bros. (NES)Burren Mobile Weapon – Front Mission (SNES / DS)
    UFO power – Kirby’s Adventure (NES)Gades Sword – Lufia II Rots / CotS (SNES / DS)
    Hive Gun – System Shock 2 (PC)

  35. EmperorNortonI says:

    Ultima – The Codex of Ultimate Wisdom.  You never actually use it, and it only fucks shit up throughout the series, but the very idea of this being the final quest item in a game is so . . . oddly enlightened that it has stuck with me.

    Another mention from Ultima is the Apocalypse spell.  You learn it from the Wisps, which are some sort of alien extra-dimensional entity that don’t really like humanity all that much.  Casting the spell kills everyone in the whole game world, except Lord British, making any further progress in the game impossible . . . but I doubt there’s anyone who’s played Ultima VI or VII who didn’t cast it once, just to see what would happen.

    I’d like to nominate something from one of my other favorite games of all time, StarControl 2, but none of the items seem terribly memorable. 

    • The Chmmr ship, maybe?

    • dreadguacamole says:

       Heh, nice one.

       This actually reminds me – I’d like to posit the Genocide spell from various roguelikes. Don’t like Mind Flayers? wipe them out now and forever (or at least until you roll another character).

    • Captain Internet says:

      I wish I’d seen this before posting below- if it’s Ultima, it’s got to be The Hoe of Destruction. 

      Having said that, I’ve not played any of the Ultimas before VII- I was too young at the time, and when I got hold of them they were too fiddly, so I’m willing to defer.

    • George_Liquor says:

       Well, with the Hyperwave Caster, you can incite war between the Ilwrath and the Thraddash. That’s pretty memorable.

    •  The Ultron, of course.  (hides face under mask of “@twitter-16826090:disqus beat me to it” shame)

    • Dave Solomon says:

      The Burvixese Caster felt like a real find. It was functionally identical to the Umgah Caster, except you had to find it yourself, and the only way to do that was through historical research – i.e., pay the Melnorme for back story. It says a lot about the quality of the game’s writing that they came up with tons of back story that players would actually pay to read. The story of the Burvixese foreshadows the (bad) ending of the game, makes the Kohr-Ah more badass and tells you everything you need to know about the Druuge: a lovely example of  ‘show, don’t tell’.

      The Burvixese Caster could also be traded with the Druuge for the Rosy Sphere, so you could fix the Ultron without selling your crew as slaves. If you were playing as a nice guy, then that was great too. This item exists purely to expand and bolster the narrative; it fills in some of the detail of the game universe.

      But for sheer ‘holy crap, look what I can do now’, the Portal Spawner is the one. Suddenly, that huge starmap was completely open for exploration: you didn’t have to plan every flight like a five-day road trip with rest stops, since you could always get home with 16 fuel units. You could also escape any pursuer, as no ships could follow you into QuasiSpace. 

      It made the Flagship feel techno-magical, appearing and disappearing at will, eluding your lumbering enemies. Everything was ‘realistic’ before: fuel gets you places, there are relative speeds and so on. Once you have the Portal Spawner, you can leave some of the pedestrian aspects of real-world physics behind.

      Also, nobody wanted to watch the Flagship fly for five minutes at a time to cross the map (although the HyperSpace music was great), so this was a great solution to a user experience problem too. It got you where you wanted to be, with a brand-new wow factor.

      SCII was a masterpiece. The more I think about these items, the more it reveals about how well-designed the game is.

  36. The red crystal that turns you into a dragon in “EVO: The Search for Eden”. It’s well hidden inside a maze of clouds, and the dragon form is super-powerful as well as cool-looking. Make sure to make a record of evolution so that you can recall it with a green crystal.

    For those unfamiliar with it, EVO was an action/platform game by ENIX for the SNES. You are an animal that can use experience points to evolve their body. It’s a neat game, but not worth the $100-$200 it goes for on eBay these days.  

  37. Swadian Knight says:

    The Oboro Muramasa, from Muramasa: The Demon Blade

    It is the very last blade you can forge, and it only becomes available after you’ve already acquired every single one of the other 107 swords in the game – a feat that can only be accomplished on your third playthrough of the game.

    It is the most powerful sword in the game (so much so that the japanese version’s title features its name), but it’s true use is not restricted to combat: using this blade to defeat the last boss is the only way to reach the third variant endings of the game, in which the Oboro Muramasa’s impossible sharpness allows the main characters to cut through fate itself and travel back through time to carve out a better future for themselves.

  38. Effigy_Power says:

    AC2 was already mentioned, but I would say that the Armor of Brutus was the greatest thing ever, if mostly for its hilarious ridiculousness.
    Not only was it a joy to get by defeating the followers of Romulus, it was also perversely overpowered, essentially making you invulnerable.
    Apart from that it was gigantic, heavy and clunky and therefore utterly unsuitable for a skippy Second-Story-man like Ezio. Considering that his ancestor Altair couldn’t even swim in leather pauldrons (I guess they later devised that the water in the middle east was actually acid) it is pretty funny to see Ezio do a backstroke in 60 pounds of metal.
    To top that off, when used with the Dagger of Brutus, which was still caked with Caesar’s blood and therefore frightened everyone terribly, the game became even more broken, melee-wise.
    Invulnerable and scaring hapless henchmen and papal guards to death? Yessir.

    Less of a treasure and more of a curse, I was really surprised when my Sim in Sims 2 was not only abducted by aliens, but came back pregnant and gave birth to a green baby. Apart from the lightheartedness of rape, it was just the beginning of a long line of green people. Got a little less special when suddenly you could be vampires and werewolves and plant people and whatnot, but at the beginning it was bizarre.

    Finally, and I think @caspiancomic:disqus will agree with me there, finding the exit out of Ravenholm after Father Grigory helps you to the mine shaft and you fight your way through even more head-crabs and zombies underground… I’ve rarely been so happy to see light. Sure, I had my head popped like a ripe melon a few minutes later by a sniper, but to walk towards the shaft of light coming from above… Night replaced by day, the horror and claustrophobia of that terrible town replaced with the bright, open beaches… It’s truly a treasure.

    • Staggering Stew Bum says:

      I was criticising the Borderlands 2 adverts before it was cool.

      • Effigy_Power says:

         When I said “we”, I really meant you anyways.

      • HobbesMkii says:

         Looks like we got a rare Borderlands Hipster on our hands here, folks. Better call the Park Service to tranq gun him so they can radio collar him for study.

    • Merve says:

      To be fair, an ad that features text saying “96.5% MORE WUB WUB” and “870 GAJILLION MORE GUNS” is probably being at least semi-ironic.

    • Electric Dragon says:

      The garden gnome to be found in HL2:Episode Two, which you have to cart with you to White Forest to get the “Little Rocket Man” achievement. The problem is there’s nowhere stable to keep it in the muscle car so it keeps falling out and then you keep getting bombed by the helicopter while picking it up again and then you keep dying and then you give up and do something else whilst repeating to yourself that achievements are stupid.

  39. Electric Dragon says:

    Weapon: Euclid’s C-Finder (Fallout:New Vegas)
    Rarity: Unique. Plus you have to complete the HELIOS ONE repair quest, and end it by channelling its power to the Archimedes II satellite rather than, you know, people who might need it.
    Originality: Targetting controller for space-based solar energy weapon.
    Power: Fire the controller at your target and Archimedes II rains down a focussed beam of solar energy at them causing huge damage across a large area of effect. It can only be used once a day, though.
    Memorability: It looks like a toy ray gun! Plus did I mention that it’s a space based solar energy weapon? (I chose a different ending for the HELIOS ONE quest because I’m a goody two-shoes, so I’ve never actually tried it out, but I’m still hankering after it. Next time. Next time.)

  40. Kevin_The_Beast_King says:

    This is a bit obtuse, so I don’t know if it counts, but one of my favourite treasures is repairing Lucca’s mother’s legs in Chrono Trigger. It doesn’t make the game easier, and you don’t really get any prize apart from her happiness, but when I played it felt significant and valuable.

  41. CrabNaga says:

    For Fez, I’m not entirely sure why “The Tome” was selected as the ultimate treasure. What about the 3 heart cubes that took the combined forces of the internet like 2 weeks to actually acquire?

    I’m pretty sure that down the line, I’m going to remember that way more than the tome, which was a puzzle in itself, although it provided no real input other than flavor text once it was all figured out (after about a week).

    The heart cubes are so hard to get and obscure that they don’t even show up in your inventory when you find them, and your “helper” (only by the loosest definition) is baffled at their very existence when and if you find one. 

    The real kicker is when the dust was finally settled, the players found that the heart cubes did absolutely nothing but appear in some area that you needed to 200% the game to find in the first place. Then again, it might just be because nobody found the true meaning of the heart cubes…

  42. Destroy Him My Robots says:

    What’s the only logical thing to do after you’ve gotten your overall ‘S’ ranking in a manly man’s action game like Neo Contra? Why, ramp up the homoeroticism of course! Enter the swimsuit outfits: They have no practical effect, and they’re only available for the male characters. Behold:

  43. The_Misanthrope says:

    Is Gogo (from FFVI) an animal?  No?  Well, how about Umaro?

    I can think of quite a few unique Binding of Isaac treasures, but very few that are especially rare.  I guess I’d go with Technology or Lord of the Pit.


  44. zebbart says:

    The Jetpack from Spelunky. Especially if you get the shot gun with it you suddenly go from a puny human in a death trap to a being a god in a shooting gallery.

  45. Bad Horse says:

    Surprised to see no mentions of the Ryu moves from Mega Man X 1-3. You know, the ones that are nigh-impossible to find but can end the final bosses in 1-2 hits.

  46. Cohen says:

    Earthbound: Sword of Kings.

    1/128 drop from a rarely-appearing enemy, in an area that will become totally unreachable when completed. It’s the only weapon that Poo, the psychic prince of Dalaam, can even equip without lowering his stats. It’s part of a set of gear for him: The Diadem of Kings, the Bracer of Kings, and Cloak of Kings. But it’s the 1/128 drop and easy-miss nature of the Sword of Kings that sets it apart.

    • What makes the Sword of Kings extra-tedious is the dreaded homesickness. Plus, your Dad calling all the time. Screw you, Dad, for butting into my life! And screw you, Mom, for making me miss you so… damn… much… *sniffle*

  47. Captain Internet says:

    Animal: as you may have inferred from my avatar, I really like Psychonauts, and so my vote for animal loot has to be Mr Pokeylope from Psychonauts. You have to save him from Doctor Loboto right at the end of the game, and you only have a very brief time with him, but he’s easily the coolest turtle with the voice of a laid-back cowpoke in history. He’s a massive hit with the ladies, and showing him to your friends leads to some of the most entertaining dialogue that most people have never seen.

    • Merve says:

      Wait, that guy has infinite Psy-Blast? By what manner of witchcraft or sorcery is this possible?

      • Cloks says:

        It’s a reward for getting to one of the higher levels. By the time you hit level 101 you can do pretty much anything and you get a special cut-scene.

  48. Electric Dragon says:

    Wildcard (or Throwback if you prefer): The Thing Your Aunt Gave You Which You Don’t Know What It Is from the Infocom Hitch-hiker’s Guide text adventure. You always have it; even if you drop it, it catches up with you later, it performs no plot related purpose whatsoever in the game, its existence and abilities are never explained….and yet it’s awesome because it’s (SPOILER) an infinite Bag of Holding, allowing you to carry far more stuff than your inventory normally permits.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      AHA, but it DOES have a plot-related purpose…(SPOILER FOR NEARLY 30-YEAR OLD TEXT ADVENTURE)it’s the only way you can manage to carry tea and no tea at the same time to prove your intelligence to a stupid door.

      • Electric Dragon says:

        (SPOILER) Really? I thought the only way to do that was by removing your common sense in the maze of twisty little synapses, all alike.

  49. doyourealize says:

    My vote is for the Pure Bladestone in Demon’s Souls. It’s used to upgrade your weapon to the most powerful kind of weapon for a DEX based characters, and it’s an ultra rare drop from one of the hardest enemies in the game, and only in Pure Black World Tendency, which makes everything even harder. Beyond that, only one of these enemies actually drops it, and he’s behind a hidden door that leads to a narrow pathway, ramping up the difficultly due to hardly any space to move around. The weird thing is, by the time it actually drops, that once extremely difficult enemy (the black, dual-uchigatana-wielding skeleton) in a narrow space becomes almost ho-hum. You could spends hours trying to get it to drop without ever seeing it, just type in “Pure Bladestone” in the search bar on the GameFaqs board. But once you do see it, that silver cubed stone with rounded edges is maybe the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.

    Unfortunately the rarity of this item became moot when people discovered you exploit the online features to dupe items, but finding one the right way is hugely satisfying.

    • SnugglyCrow says:

      I saw lots of people complaining about the Bladestone but I went into NG+ with way too low of an experience level and spent hours/days trying to finish the Shrine of the Storms so I could start farming souls from the Storm Demon’s area.  I spent so much time grinding on 4-2 that I lucked into one just trying to get through the level.  I think the more problematic Pure was the Darkmoonstone because you only had a few attempts to get it on each playthrough due to the non-respawning lizards.  Only three lizards had the possibility of dropping it, one of which quickly ran off a cliff when it saw you and the other two were clustered together so you could only get at one before the other one burrowed off.  I had to use the quasi-cheat reset method where I would turn the game off and then respawn right in the middle of the lizards.  I finally got the Darkmoonstone at the very end of my third playthrough but missing it would’ve cost me at least another 10-15hrs to get another attempt. 

      And I’d like everyone here to know that I got the Platinum Trophy on Demon’s Souls because nobody I tell(my wife, my non-video game playing friends, co-workers) care.

      • doyourealize says:

        Yeah, and the Pure Moonlightstone had the same problem. There was a limited number of tries to get it, and if you didn’t, on to the next playthrough. I don’t know if this is just me, though, but I never had a problem with the PDMS. Going into that area with PBWT, I sometimes would pick up two or three a playthrough. Same with the Pure Moonlightstone.

        The other problem with Darkmoonstone is that is wasn’t nearly as useful as the Pure Bladestone. If you’re going to go with a magic character, Moon weapons were superior to Crescent weapons. Sharp was the only way to go for a DEX build (or maybe Fatal I guess.)

        And I also got Platinum on Demon’s Souls. That and FFXIII are the only two I’ve done that with. I’m on 90% now in Dark Souls. Still need all the weapons (the tough one) and miracles (which isn’t too hard).

  50. Noasis says:

    Are Easter-Eggs considered treasure to any degree?

    If so, there’s no shortage of delights in Duke Nukem 3D.

    I remember getting lost for ages – to the point where there were practically no other noises save for Duke’s grunting, when I happened upon an impaled Indiana Jones and some quip to that effect.

    As an 8 year old at the time, that was awesome.

    Regards actual treasure… Probably the Bubble Gun in Just Cause 2, or the Bombchus in the GBC’s Oracle of Whichever Zelda series. 

  51. The Biggoran Sword for Ocarina Time. The product of an increasingly elaborate and ridiculous fetch quest that culminated in a mad dash sprint across ALL OF HYRULE to give a giant some Eyedrops.

  52. hornacek says:

    Golden pantaloons?

  53. artielange23 says:

    What about the stop n swop items from Banjo kazooie/tooie??

  54. dreadguacamole says:

     I’m not sure if it’d be appropriate – it’s more of a McGuffin than a treasure – but The Cake from Portal is one of my favorites.

     Weirdly enough, despite my RPG fixation, most of the ‘treasures’ I can think of would be intangibles; achievements, or that wonderful scene you can unlock in Psychonauts when you nab all the figments. I guess the Black Dyes in various MMORPGs would count?

  55. jimboch02 says:

    The Pink Tail in Final Fantasy 4.  

  56. Lasagna42 says:

    My vote would be for the golden / silver / bronze pantaloons in the Baldur’s Gate trilogy.  Here’s why:

    Rarity and obscurity: Paydirt on this section.  Your character picks up the golden pantaloons in Baldur’s Gate I, the silver in BG II: Shadow’s of Ahm, and the bronze in Throne of Bhaal. These games were released years apart.  Plus in order to keep them – you need all three – you had to use the character you started in BG1 and port him through all three games while keeping the pantaloons in your (limited) inventory the entire time.  And you had to do this even though the pantaloons, individually, served no practical purpose whatsoever.  You did it on blind faith.

    Originality: I can’t think of any other fantasy-world RPG where fancy pantwear had to be carried across across two sequels in order to make the uber-mega magic pants in the third.  More on this below.

    Power: This section cuts two ways?  These PANTS cut two ways, buddy. On their own, they were worse than useless, as they occupied a coveted and limited inventory slot.  But if you persevered (even though you had absolutely not reason to do so, since nothing in the game suggested these items were worth anything) and broought them to an easily-missed tailor in Throne of Bhaal, he would turn them into an nigh-impenatrable set of armor that turned any character into an Adamantite Golem when worn.  Awesome.  

    Memorability and comedy value.  Oh, I don’t know: how about the only hint about the nature of the pantaloons found during the trilogy came in the form of a difficult to obtain and hard to decrypt cypher: 
    Qc terxepssrw evi jypp sj aiewipw. Mrjsvq xli Uyiir, ws xlex wli qmklx wlss xliq eaec. Livi ai ks ‘vsyrh xli qypfivvc fywl. Ks qsroic KS!When finally translated, this gave you the following:My pantaloons are full of weasels. Inform the Queen, so that she might shoo them away. Here we go ’round the mulberry bush. Go monkey GO!This is why my vote is for “Pantaloons” – best treasure ever.
    Qc terxepssrw evi jypp sj aiewipw. Mrjsvq xli Uyiir, ws xlex wli qmklx wlss xliq eaec. Livi ai ks ‘vsyrh xli qypfivvc fywl. Ks qsroic KS!

    When finally translated, this gave you the following:
    My pantaloons are full of weasels. Inform the Queen, so that she might shoo them away. Here we go ’round the mulberry bush. Go monkey GO!This is why my vote is for “Pantaloons” – best treasure ever.

  57. yimyamet says:

    Earthbound: Sword of Kings. Takes so long to get, but man does it kill everything.

  58. Peter Marotta says:

    Im really surprised about the lack of classic gaming treasures. even though you got it on every level, the Hammer from Donkey Kong has to be on this list. And might we even consider the bananna from Pacman.

  59. yimyamet says:

    Eternal Sphere in Star Ocean: The Second Story, it takes so insanely long to make it (and resetting the game a hundred times), but once you do, you win at everything.

  60. Captain Internet says:

    Weapon – it’s got to be The Hoe of Destruction from Ultima 7. This is notable for two reasons:

    Firstly, it’s a plowshare more powerful than any sword, making it the idea weapon for anyone looking to adhere to the whole ‘non-violence’ thing the Bible has going on whilst scratching that Second Amendment itch I know all you folks in the US have.

    Secondly, like Mr. Pokeylope above, it is found in one of the best games ever. Metacritic doesn’t go back that far, so it doesn’t have a rating, but this can be proved by making comparisons to other games that do. First, it’s a lethal farming implement that isn’t a scythe, which is means the game is more interesting than Darksiders 2 (Metascore: 84). Second, it’s found in a shed next to a crashed alien spaceship, rather than in a a crashed alien spaceship, which means the game is more interesting than Fallout 3 (Metascore: 91).

    The average Metacritic score of Fallout 3 and Darksiders 2 is 87.5, which adjusted for inflation since 1992 gives Ultima 7 a Metacritic score of 147.88

    I rest my case.

  61. Jim Weber says:

    The Crissaegram in Castlevania:Symphony of the Night. Spend an hour grinding in the inverted castle’s library just so you can run through to the end of the game in 20 minutes. It’s the Castlevania equivalent of giving you a howitzer. 

    • PaganPoet says:

      Jesus, I posted this 9 minutes too late.

      Anyway, I agree with you 100%. Spending hours reentering the same room over and over to kill the ghost monster. The worst was I would get into a rhythm. Walk in, kill the monster, backslide out of the room. It happened once or twice that I was so used to doing that that I didn’t notice he had dropped the sword until it was too late. That’s controller-flinging stuff right there.

      • Jim Weber says:

         I have a tradition of going on vacation with some friends of mine. We rent a house in Ocean City, MD and I bring my XBox, because God forbid the house doesn’t have a DVD player. Part of this tradition is that on the second day, I wake up with my hangover, sit down, and beat SOTN. I cannot fully enjoy my vacation until I’ve beaten it. That being said, what you just described is part of the tradition. It happens at least once.

  62. PaganPoet says:

    Best weapon ever? The Cressagrim (SP?) from Castlevania Symphony of the Night, of course!

  63. Xenomorph says:

    I’m gonna say the Masamune from Final Fantasy VII, just so I finally have an actual use for it…

    • Yim Yames says:

      But it’s not overpowered or anything, nor tricky to get.

    • Cheese says:

      If they didn’t already have the Nagette Bromide (which, props to whoever came up with this list. There are some deep cuts on here), I’d nominate the Masamune from Chrono Trigger. A large fraction of the game revolves around it, and it’s not even the hero’s sword, nor is it particularly powerful, unless you do MORE quests centered around it.

      Maybe “Masamune” should be its own category. There are probably enough of them to fill it up.

  64. James says:

    Boba Fett in Tony Hawk 4. Awesome specials and you can pretend it’s actually Boba Fett.

  65. * the pink tail from ff4! insanely hard to find, and it let you get the best armor in the game. this would be the throwback or wild card division. much better than the aforementioned rat tail, which was necessary for the game (or at least harder to miss… it’s been a long time).
    * similarly, the spoon from that same game, which was (if i recall correctly) the best knife in the game, completely weird, and not easy to find.

    • Polite players should find the spoon with ease! Mrs. Yang lends you her frying pan, and if you return it to her, then she gives you the spoon.

      Much better reward than those Sylphs. Useless summon.

  66. Drundar says:

    Perhaps Wildcard: As Deckard Cain would like to point out, “[I] have quite a treasure there in that Horadric Cube”. Not exactly flashy and you are guaranteed to get it but you are certainly not guaranteed to know how to use it.

  67. ItsTheShadsy says:

    For Animal, there is no choice but Dog Mode from Rise of the Triad.  Rather than making you invincible like a typical god mode, Dog Mode turns you into a dog with the ability to emit a supersonic Barkblast that kills everything nearby.

    For Wild Card, you should throw in either Beetle Mania (Super Mario RPG) or Astro Lander (TimeSplitters 2). Both are quite far out of the way and let you play a minigame at any time you choose.

  68. Wild Card (or Animal?): The Horse Wiener from Disgaea. 

    Most people don’t know it’s there, you get a (small) chance to steal it once per playthrough at most (a unique zombie that only appears the first time you play that level has it), it’s an excellent accessory at that point in the game, and, well. I’d say it’s more memorable than the other component parts of that particular Frankenstein’s Ûbermensch, although the very idea of being able to yoink the parts off him and use them on your characters is pretty unique in itself.

    • caspiancomic says:

       Oh man, the Horse Wiener is super rad, great choice. The cutscene before the battle was pretty funny, but sizing up that zombie and seeing it actually equipped with an item called ‘Horse Wiener’ was the icing on the cake. And you know I stole that thing.

      • Cheese says:

        I’ve never gotten it, because I’ve never had a competent thief at that level. But I want that horse wiener. I want it bad.

  69. stakkalee says:

    I still need to read all the comments, but I wanted to jump in first and nominate The Big Metal Unit from the Baldur’s Gate series.  This is a super-powerful suit of armor that any character class can wear, but the only way to get it is to import a character from BG1 to BG2 with a particular item, the Golden Pantaloons, which were found very near the beginning of BG1.  After importing into BG2, you have a chance to find 2 more items, the Silver Pantaloons and the Bronze Pantalettes, which you could then combine in a machine in the Throne of Bhaal expansion pack, getting you The Big Metal Unit.  This link has more detail about the whole process, but I don’t think any list will be complete without including TBMU.

    EDIT: I see @lasanga42:disqus had the same idea.

  70. The_Bor says:

    The Shoes of Happiness from Dragon Warrior III!
    These were VERY infrequently dropped by a ridiculous enemy called a ‘metal babble’.  Metal babbles looked like droplets of mercury, and would immediately flee when you’d encounter them.  You had one chance to score a hit with your fastest player before they scuttled, and you’d almost always miss. 
    The Shoes gave you an experience point for every step you take.  This is theoretical because I never was able to acquire them, but they were listed in the item spread in the instruction manual.

  71. I’m a bit confused by the Bubba Duck treasure in Ducktales. I played it the other day and found him in an instant. If anything, I would say the “best” ending of Ducktales, where you have to find all the hidden treasures and get one million (or two) in cash. But that wouldn’t quite fit the bill.

  72. Raging Bear says:

    I haven’t really thought this through as I’m posting illicitly at work and that always makes me panicky, but: the umbilical cord from Silent Hill: The Room.

  73. Yim Yames says:

    Resident Evil 4: Infinite Launcher

  74. Ghostfucker says:

    Okay…thought of a few others. 
    For animal themed : The alligator hat from Metal Gear Solid 3.
    For throwback : The Undead Ring from Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre
    For weapon : already mentioned shield rod from Castlevania:SOTN
    For Misc: Hmm…How about the Mantorok rune from eternal darkness

  75. dreadguacamole says:

     The… collectibles… in Shadow Hearts – Covenant.
     You know the ones I mean if you played it – remembering that game still makes me laugh.
     You collected them for tailors to make new clothes for one of your party members, who happened to be a marionette.

     And speaking of party members, the best one ever (sorry, Planescape!) has got to be Democratus in Anachronox – a miniaturized, populated planet, following you around…
     Man I wish that game got a sequel.

  76. Molemaniac says:

    Don’t think I’ve seen this one yet:

    Probably Creature class, maybe wild card, but:  Hydralisk, Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos

    Rarity/Obscurity:  In an otherwise normal mission of an RTS, spend god knows how much time exploring a map, including a significant bit of trailblazing through a forest using siege engines.  After which a slavering hell monster joins up with you, no questions asked.

    Power:  He’s a bug/lizard/snake monster that shoots spikes.  Not too powerful.

    Originality:  Low.  You’ve sent thousands of these guys to their deaths…

    Memorability:  …in a game that came out years before, and in a sequel that you won’t get to play for eight years.  In single player, it’s probably the only Zerg you’ve seen in at least four years in either direction.

  77. Mercadier says:

    I gotta give a brief shout-out to the Masamune on the original Final Fantasy. Sure it wasn’t particularly difficult to get, just buried in the second to last level of the last dungeon diametrically away from the direction you’re supposed to be going. And it makes your white wizard hit like a TRUCK. Holy cow! Three characters with useful melee attacks? (Four if you were saucy like me and thought black magic was a waste of time) Possibly one of the biggest game-changing moments and not a second too soon. 

    Also the Mysterious Hat from DW3. Reduces magic consumption… 1/128 drop from Glacier Bashers. Many Glacier Bashers died to bring us this information.

  78. Cornell_University says:

    Doesn’t the Red Ring come a little too late in the game to be particularly useful?  By that point you’ve had to get good enough to dodge and kill most of the beasties in Death Mountain, my first playthrough as a lad had me distinctly feeling like “oh great, where were you when I needed you in Level 6?”.  Finally buying the blue ring felt like a much greater leap forward in abililties, ditto getting the Magical Sword.

    and I pined much more for the Hammer Suit in SMB3 than the Warp Whistle, as there were 3 of the latter and the Hammer Suit was so obnoxiously rare.

    • doyourealize says:

      I still have never beaten level 6. Not for lack of trying, but since there was never an NES at my house, I had to rely on friends’ systems, and LoZ just never received much playtime. Until emulators and Game Boy Advances came along that is. In any case, while I’ve never had it, the Red Ring sounds like a godsend for level 6.

      • Cornell_University says:

        Wizzrobes man.  Fuck them right in the ear.

        That’s the problem with the Red Ring to me.  It’s impossible to enter Death Mountain without the Triforce, so you have to have survived all the other dungeons already.  I suppose it’s better late than never, but it still seems like anyone that gets that far has already the necessary mastery to beat the game equipped as they are.

  79. WorldCivilizations says:

    I think there is one treasure that I think is INDISPUTABLY the most important treasure in rpg history – the Stone of Jordan in Diablo II. Not only was it the best ring for most builds, but before the expansion and runes, it was THE currency for all trading. They even patched the game so that you could use the rings in the cube to try to craft the ultimate prize at that time in the game: an awesome randomly rolled rare weapon (e.g executioners sword). 

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      In my brief foray into attempting to make money via Diablo 2/eBay (spoiler alert – I failed), I picked up a couple of SoJs to kick-start my magic find.

      • WorldCivilizations says:

        I had a sorc with something like 900 MF. Oh, the hours wasted teleporting through the Durance of Hate..

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          Yep.  Whirlwind barbarian for me with hp/mana stealing…I could Cuisinart anything except the damn undead pygmies.

  80. Needs something/anything from the Ultima series.  I vote “Poisoned Bread”

  81. Jim Hall says:

    Two words: Chaos Emeralds. From Sonic The Hedgehog 1. Ok. that’s more than two words. When I got all 6 as a kid, then beat that game that was one of the greatest achievements of my life… still is sort of…

  82. Citric says:

    I briefly considered the porn magazine in FFIV, since it’s only available in the developer’s room – which wasn’t in the crummy first localization – but it doesn’t actually do anything, it exists purely as a silly joke. If it could be used as a weapon or something that would be great.

    But then, this morning, I seem to remember a game that had a porn mag that was hard (hur hur) to find and extremely useful as either an item or a weapon, but I can’t remember the game anymore.


    Weapon:  Grayswandir from Nethack (would also work for the throwback division). In addition to being a kick-butt weapon that’s hard to get, it’s a reference to a fantastic Fantasy Series. 

  84. Joseph Kulhavy says:

    In either “Animals” or “Throwback,” one would have to consider the Golden Chocobo in Final Fantasy VII, achieved after grueling effort and heartbreak following the breeding of multiple generations of flightless giant riding-birds. The Golden Chocobo is the only method of travel that can reach all parts of the game map, and is definitely one of the hardest treasures to acquire in any of the Final Fantasy games. Admittedly, there’s already an entry for another FFVII object, but the Golden Chocobo still deserves a nod.

  85. duwease says:

    Since there’s still a spot in the animal category, how about the Dead Cat from Binding of Isaac?  Its power is thematically consistent (9 Lives!), but also hilariously pointless (ONE heart per life?!).  Plus, it’s a dead cat.  Originality points and all that.

  86. duwease says:

    As for others, let’s see..

    Wildcard: “Horseback Riding”, from the Civilization series.  When you find it in some ruins, it sure is a treat..

    Weapon: Shrink Ray from Duke Nukem 3D?

    Throwback:  The Boombox from Toejam and Earl.  What better way to express the universal power of funk?

  87. PaganPoet says:

    What about the Heather Beam from Silent Hill 3? Nothing like an outrageous Sailor Moon-esque henshin sequence in the middle of your grotesque psychological horror game.

  88. Ralphie_in_Vegas says:

    You could probably make a whole other bracket for Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.  That game is downright cruel in how it will give you tons of a really rare item you don’t want but forever keep another just out of your grasp. 

  89. silentpunning says:

    Majora’s Mask bunny ears

  90. silentpunning says:

    GTA San Andreas jetpack.

  91. silentpunning says:

    SMB 3 tanooki, frog suit, or kuribo’s shoe

  92. James Bunting says:

    For me it would have to undoubtedly be the Masamune from Chrono Trigger. It manifests the inner purity of your frog knight and splits a mountain in half while memorable music plays.

  93. dmikester says:

    In Dragon Quest VIII, there’s the item/treasure Gospel Ring, which is only obtainable after defeating every type of monster in the game; there are something like two or three hundred different types.  But that also includes bosses, and about six or seven bosses are only even reachable after you beat the game the first time, and they are all insanely difficult.  What does the Gospel Ring do?  Well, its stats are terrible, but it makes it so that when you’re exploring the world with it equipped, you will never get into a random battle, so you can just explore at your leisure.  Extremely rare, incredibly difficult to get, and a kind of pointless but ultimately great reward.  

  94. Brainstrain says:

    I’ve heard of, like, three of these. Although Ashes of Al’ar is indeed a lovely, lovely mount.

  95. Effigy_Power says:

    If YouTube is any indication, and it isn’t, it must be this weird pony-thing that you somehow get on that game people are inexplicably still playing:

    Clearly a reasonably desired treasure.

  96. ChristianMomOf7 says:

    The treasures from the Swordquest series on Atari were actual physical treasures, like a golden crown, that you could only win by being the first to solve the game’s mystery.

    There was only one of each of four treasures in the world, and the final two (the Crown of Life and Philosopher’s Stone) were never even awarded after the contest was canceled due to Atari’s financial problems. There whereabouts, and that of the grand prize, are currently unknown. They should be in a museum!

    Gotta be the most ridiculous and exclusive videogame treasure ever. And most useful, since they were supposed worth $25,000 each. But I’d nominate the Grand Prize, the jewel-encrusted Sword of Ultimate Sorcery, valued at $50,000 (in 1982!).

    Check it out in the great AVGN video:

  97. Bowen Kerins says:

    No PORTAL GUN?  I vote for that, it’s pretty important and definitely some Epic Loot.

  98. Grant Hamming says:

    Should’t Space Hamster be listed under Baldur’s Gate?

    I nominate the Knights of the Round Materia from FF7

  99. Dudeskull says:

    Animal: Agro’s Ico Marking (Shadow of the Colossus, 2006) 

    Weapon: Muramasa (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, 1997) 
    Throwback: Hudson Bee (Adventure Island, 1988)
    Wildcard: Screw Attack, Mr. Saturn, or Tri-Force (Kirby Super Star – The Great Cave Offensive, 1996)

  100. getinthecarchris says:

    The Hadouken from Mega Man X (and/or the Shoryuken from Mega Man X2). Ridiculously destructive? Check. A cool throw back to a fellow Capcom series? Check. Nigh impossible to find (or at least obtain) without being told about it elsewhere first? Check. The hilarity / incongruity / awesomeness of seeing a robot with a gun arm eschew his built-in weapon to instead fireball / uppercut enemies into oblivion? Check.

  101. 1nkling says:

    Star Wars Galaxies was THE loot game. Every single item had a 3D model and could be dropped inside player housing, making even trash loot desirable (and auction-able) for its decoration value. The most desired and highest-priced items were not even combat gear but decor and trophies.

    No game has ever come close to the loot-centric gameplay of SWG; there are a couple dozen items from that one game that could vie for the title of Best Treasure Ever.

    I submit “Dusk in Kachirho.” The single rarest item in all of SWG, it was a painting of the sun setting on the Wookiee village Kachirho. Used as decoration for player housing, it was available only to accounts on the short-lived Japanese servers as a 1-year anniversary gift. When the Japanese servers shut down, some of those players transferred their toons to US servers and brought a handful of the paintings with them. When some of the US servers were merged, even more of those paintings were lost forever to inactive accounts. 

    Dusk in Kachirho routinely sold for over 2 billion credits, the maximum cash any one character could have (SWG limited players to one character per server, then later 2 characters per server).

  102. EmperorSeth says:

    Tossed in likes for Kuribo’s Shoe, the Bunny Hood, and the Crissagraem. And I’ll throw in the Massacre from Iji. It’s obscure, yes, but points for only being available if you go through an entire action/shooter game without killing anybody. Or maybe the Null Driver from the same game, which literally warps reality whenever you fire it.

  103. Sarapen says:

    Drizzt’s gear from Baldur’s Gate I and II. Not so much for their usefulness, although they weren’t bad, but mostly because looking at them reminded you of the time you murdered the poncy little shit.

  104. El Pollo Diablo says:

    Zelda: Link’s Awakening on the old school Gameboy has a few that stand out. Mostly, the animals/people you could get.

    Marin! When you get Marin to go with you to sing to the sleeping walrus, Link lifts her up as he does any item, the pickup music plays, and the text reads, ‘You’ve got Marin! Could this be your big chance?’.

    Bow Wow! Excellent fun, and a big reference to the Mario games. There were loads of these – collecting a magic mushroom, and obviously the side-scrolling areas with Goombas and Piranha Plants. 

    The Rooster! You could fly! Used only to cross a single gap (and get a Secret Seashell), but it opened up the possibility of flight and made the game seem bigger as a result.

    The Boomerang, as a quasi-hidden item, feels extra-awesome. Basically, it was the hook shot, only you could move while it fired, it killed enemies on the way back and it scooped hearts and Rupees too! It also got the useless shovel out of your inventory.

    Then there was the Roosterang. You needed the Boomerang and the Rooster to do it. Equip the Power Bracelet and the Boomerang, and enter a screen full of monsters. Throw the Boomerang, but grab the Rooster before it comes back. The Boomerang will spin in circles underneath Link, following you around the screen as you merrily float around, obliterating your enemies. Ridiculous and great, like firing the Bow and a Bomb at the same time to make a bazooka.

  105. shiwsn456 says: