I player through the entirety of Final Fantasy VIII without draining magic or upgrading my weapons. I just GFed everything to death and healed as needed. Once you get to disk 4 however, this strategy no longer works and limit breaks and junctioning magic is key. Unfortunately without ever upgrading my weapons, I had nothing but the first limit breaks and weak attack power. You also get locked out of towns on disk 4, so there was no way for me to upgrade my gear. My save file essentially became unplayable and never really finished the end of the game.
I was young and new to JRPGs...don't judge me!
That reminds me.
I went through all of Secret of Mana without ever equipping any of the weapons or gear that I bought/found.
I'm not sure how much of this was my fault, as I was never able to control the menus because I was always Player 2. My friend who was Player 1 was in charge of going through menus and such. But it was my first jrpg, so maybe I would have made the same mistake.
Near the end of the game the enemies would one-shot us, and since it's an action-rpg, avoiding getting hit can be more tricky than turn based rpgs where you can either get the first attack, or run away.
So our solution to getting through the last few dungeons was to 'baloon' the enemies, which basically paralyzes them for a few seconds. Then we just ran past them.
This would not work on the bosses however, but we found a glitch where if we transform ourselves into Moogles or shrink our size, we would get invincibility frames. So whenever we were about to be attacked, we used the Moogle drum or shrinkage item on each other to interrupt whatever we were doing (since you can't do it if you're in the middle of an attack).
Somehow we went through a loooot of trouble because of this one little thing we overlooked, but I'm kinda impressed that we made it work now, looking back. lol
I saved right before the "Roof of Riovanes Castle" fight and was literally stuck there for years. The assassin's would kill Rafa on their first turn of battle. Between that happening every time, and having to return to the main menu and reload the save all over again every single time, I would give up on even trying for years at a time. I actually just finished the battle for the first time last year when I read that if you unequip all of your armor the assassin's will turn their attention away from Rafa and towards you as the more vulnerable target.
I remember that battle as well being tricky. Not surprised some people got stuck on that one.
Interesting solution to the problem though. I know of that mechanic in some modern rpgs, but I was never aware it existed in games back in the 90s.
Either way, it's usually a hidden mechanic that the game doesn't tell you about, so you have to look it up either way.