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In many role playing games, particularly Japanese RPGs, there exist spells or moves which have a seemingly useful effect, such as inflicting a status on the opponent like sleep, poison or confusion, or one-hit KOing the opponent outright. From time to time the player will come across enemies utilising these spells against them, in which case they seem amazingly useful because of their ability to incapitate the player or instantly kill them.
However, when the player gets their hands on one of these such spells, they find that the uses of the spell are very limited. In an effort to prevent players from cruising through the game by killing off all of the biggest, baddest boss characters with ease, the developers set several limitations around these seemingly useful spells, so that bosses and harder enemies were completely immune to the spell's effects.
The result of this is that the only use of the useless useful spell is against regular dungeon enemies. These enemies would die much more quickly from regular attacks for status inflicting moves to be useful, and be far too plentiful for the player to want to waste their scarce magic power against with costly one hit KO moves.