Games are awesome, right? We love spending countless hours inside each of these meticulously-crafted worlds, getting lost on adventures. So naturally, if there's an excuse to spend extra time with them by knocking out some extra quests, that's pretty cool, right? It's even better when we get something sweet for the effort we've invested. But that's not always the case.
When you spend hundreds of hours collecting arbitrary items or working on a side quest, it's a real punch in the junk when you find out that the fruits of your labor turn out to be a worthless trinket. Or a dumb shirt. Or you end up getting a powerful item that you've already earned in the process of getting said item. Either way, it sucks when the rewards we work so hard to collect aren't worth the effort to get them. Here are some of the biggest offenders.
100 Skultulla Coins get you infinite Rupees when you don't even need them in The Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda series is rightly regarded as a collective masterpiece, but each game is also filled with all sorts of inane collectables for the truly masochistic completionist. One of the most painful 'what-am-I-doing-with-my-life' moments comes when you collect all 100 Gold Skulltulas in Ocarina of Time and get a handful of rupees as a reward.
Make no mistake, finding a few dozen of these gilded spiders is totally worth it, as it's the only way to unlock the biggest wallet. But finding every last one simply nets you 200 Rupees every time you visit the quest giver. It sounds like a big deal, having an infinite supply of money at your fingertips, but by the time you've scoured Hyrule to find all these damn bugs, the only thing left to buy is nasty potions. And it's not like Rupees are that hard to come by in the first place, as people just leave them lying around in tall grass. It's like discovering you're a billionaire, then realizing the only thing available to purchase in the whole world is a single copy of Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous on DVD. I mean, sure, you can buy the one if you want, but what do you do with the rest of your fortune?
Catching 10,000 moat carp gets you a fishing rod and a whole lot of regret in Final Fantasy 11
MMORPGs aren't just about killing countless enemies to grind out levels and gain loot. They're also about performing countless menial tasks to grind out skills and gain loot. While this may be standard fare in the genre, there isn't a sidequest quite as mundane - or insulting - as trying to catch an assload of moat carp in Final Fantasy 11.
This is something you're clearly meant to do over the course of hundreds of hours, as you gather these easy-to-catch fish (or work smarter by buying them) and turn them in. Once you nab that final, elusive fish, you're rewarded with a better fishing rod and a special item called Testimonial, which reads as follows: "This certifies that you have gathered no less than ten thousand carp. Please spend your time in a manner more beneficial to society. Your achievement is noteworthy for its utter lack of meaning." Uh thanks for nothing, game.
Assassin's Creed 1 and 2's bullshit flags and feathers
Want to know what the pointlessness of existence truly feels like? Try hunting down all 420 flags in the first Assassin's Creed. Each flag is cleverly hidden in areas Altair would likely never have to go, mostly because there's little reason to explore much of each map other than to find these dumb flags (and maybe stab a few templars in the process). And your prize for this Sisyphean task? A handful of Achievements. Goodie.
At least Assassin's Creed 2 had the decency to tie its pointless collectathon quest to the plot, as you hunt down your dead brother's feather collection, one quill at a time. That doesn't make the sting of the reward less painful, as you're gifted with a new cape that causes every guard, soldier, and bandit in the area to swarm after you like hungry hungry hitmen.
Beating Weapons in Final Fantasy 7 gets you some powerful rewards which you probably needed to beat them in the first place
If you've played Final Fantasy 7, then you've probably seen the imposing Emerald and Ruby Weapons wandering around as you explore. They're hulking, screen-filling brutes, and if you're not prepared, they'll likely annihilate you in one fell swoop. But if you are, the rewards for defeating them are great. Destroying Emerald Weapon will grant you an item you can trade for a few maxed-out Materia, while besting Ruby Weapon will give you an item that can be swapped for a Golden Chocobo. That Golden Chocobo can go places even the airship can't reach, including a cave that houses Knights of the Round, the most powerful summon in the game. The only problem? You probably got all this stuff by the time you could actually beat them.
See, the Weapons are
There's a 1/128 chance of finding the Gutsy Bat in EarthBound, and it's not worth getting
There are two weapons in EarthBound that are incredibly difficult to find. Not 'oh, you have to beat this powerful boss' hard or 'gee, this puzzle sure was tricky' hard. More like 'I have to spend five hours fighting the same enemy over and over until the random number generator causes one to finally drop' kind of hard. And only one of those is even remotely worth it.
Both the Sword of Kings and the Gutsy Bat have a one-in-128 chance of being dropped when you defeat a two specific enemies. The Sword of Kings is worth the grind (as much as any sort of repetitive task for a fleeting, digital reward can be worth it), as it's the only weapon Poo can equip that doesn't cause massive stat drops, and you've still got a third of the game to go by the time you nab it. No, it's Ness' ultimate weapon, the Gutsy Bat, that is totally not worth the effort, as you have to fight the incredibly difficult Bionic Kraken a gazillion times before it drops - and by the time it does, your attack power will likely be maxed out anyway. Besides, you're already on the last dungeon, so it's not like it'll get much use. You could spend that time trying to develop your own latent psychic abilities and it'd feel like less of a waste.
Finding Donkey Kong 64's 949 Banana Coins only gets you an extra 1 percent on your completion rating
Everyone knows that Rare's N64 heyday was riddled with pointless items to collect, but you don't really realize just how deep the collectathon rabbit hole goes until you play Donkey Kong 64. In order to get the coveted 101 percent completion listed on your save file, you have to find every last Banana Coin in the game. All 949 of them.
This is painful in couple ways. There are five playable Kongs, and each one has a unique set of moves - which, of course, means that you have to constantly switch between them in order to find all the the coins. Plus, you only need 160 of the damn things to unlock every single move available to your primate compatriots. Your only reward for getting them all? A single digit. Add in all rest of the bananas and other doodads Rare threw in here, and you've officially entered collectible hell.
Get a paltry Achievement for completing Rock Band 2's Endless Setlist without pausing
The Rock Band games have always had killer song lists, but how would you feel about marathoning every single track in the game, back to back? What if you couldn't pause? Hopefully you've got a good set of friends to rotate in, or you've all taken care of your bathroom needs before you started, because you're in for the long haul.
Completing all 58 songs in a row will take you almost four hours to complete, and after you've belted your way from 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl?' to 'Won't Get Fooled Again', you're finally rewarded with a tiny little icon next to your character's profile. If you're feeling particularly masochistic, you can go for the Steel Bladder Achievement in Rock Band 2. Six hours, 84 songs, no pausing, no hitting the Home button, and no failing - which means whoever's trying this with Peter Moore (opens in new tab) is in for the heartbreak of a lifetime. Your reward? 25 Gamerscore and all the undying respect that it comes with. By which I mean just the Gamerscore.
Collecting one million roses in We Love Katamari gets you a single new song
The Katamari Damacy series has always been weird, but this tops it all. In We Love Katamari, there's a bonus level that tasks you with gathering one million roses. If it seems like a lot, that's because, well, it is, as you can only pick them up in bunches of ten at most. Luckily, your progress is saved when you leave the level, so you can keep coming back to it and slowly chip away at the total.
Not that it's worth it. Once you finally roll up that last flower, the King of All Cosmos congratulates you (but in that way that makes you wonder if he's actually mocking you (opens in new tab)), and plays a bonus song for you in the background. You get your results, the King sends the wad of roses into the heavens and you get booted back to the level select screen. That's it. Nothing else. You can go back to the level if you want to hear that song again, but that is all it's good for. It's enough to make you quit video games forever.
Collecting all the hidden remotes in Gex rewards you with a secret, 20 minute cutscene that berates you
The Gex series is probably more infamous for its strangely NSFW ads (opens in new tab) than it is for a single moment of gameplay. How a C-list platformer made it to three entries is beyond me, but it's the secret ending in the first one that makes it go from curiosity to insult.
If you find every last hidden remote, you're treated to a slow text scroll on top of an endless loop of TV static and horrible '90s house music. First, the game starts congratulating you on a job well done. Then it starts breaking out the insults, telling you all the things you could have done instead of played this stupid game. Then, you get a bunch of low-res concept art celebrating the dumb game that apparently its developers thought you were an idiot for playing. This is what the video game equivalent of a middle finger looks like.
Not worth the trouble
I've never had a problem with wasting time playing a game for far longer than I should, but in light of all this, I'm now forced to rethink my entire life. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some Platinum trophies to earn. Have you earned any game rewards that weren't worth the hassle? Let me know in the comments!
Looking for more? Check out the worst launch glitches and how developers tried to fix them (opens in new tab), or these 8 iconic game gadgets which are actually useless (opens in new tab).