It's the reason that people look under every nook and cranny in any game that has weapons you can choose from. From FPSs to RPGs and adventure games, there's usually one weapon that shines over all the others and everyone wants it. Such weapons are often well-hidden and guarded by powerful enemies. They may require completing long quests, or may only be dropped by enemies on very rare occasions.
The most powerful weapons in any game can be broken up into three basic categories: ultimate weapons, legendary weapons, and prototypes.
The most typical kind of ultra-powerful weapon is the "ultimate weapon", which--simply put--is the most powerful weapon that a character in a game can obtain. A staple for role-playing games, it is usually won by defeating a boss, dropped in a random encounter with a hard monster, found in chests in hard-to-reach places, or obtained at the end of long quests. Usually there is one for each character you acquire through the story and they have powerful abilities.
- Cloud Strife's "Ultima Weapon" in Final Fantasy VII.
- Chrono's "Rainbow Sword" in Chrono Trigger
- Mario's Lazy Shell weapon in Super Mario RPG.
These weapons are frequently used as a plot device, particularly in role-playing games. The hero of the game often discovers early on that a powerful evil can only be defeated by a great weapon of legend. Consequently, part of the hero's quest is to find or restore this legendary weapon. A common form for this quest is that hidden pieces of the weapon must be found, after which the weapon must be reforged.
In other cases (such as the Soul Calibur franchise) the existence of legendary weapon is well known by many and is the primary cause for the central conflict in the game. In these cases one may have to defeat the final boss in order to obtain the legendary weapon.
- The Master Sword in the Legend of Zelda franchise.
- The Mana Sword in the Secret of Mana.
- The Armageddon Blade in Darksiders.
A gun or weapon so powerful, that only the experimental version can ever be found, usually due to the project being discontinued after the first one was made. There's usually a large drawback, either with limited ammo or causing damage to the user to offset the amount of damage and carnage the weapon itself does.