Merging the Branches
Parts of mutually exclusive story branches are retroactively merged into the new canon.


(permanent link) added: 2013-03-06 10:00:35 sponsor: Koveras edited by: Halen (last reply: 2013-06-21 21:52:57)

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A specific form of Cutting Off The Branches where events from several story branches or endings are declared canon by a later installment, even though it is impossible for all these events to occur in the same playthrough of the previous game.

Overlaps with Third Option Adaptation (which is about Taking A Third Option when adapting interactive works to non-interactive media). See also Broad Strokes.

Examples:

Real-Time Strategy
  • Installments of the Dawn of War series set after Winter Assault imply that the latter's true ending contains elements of both Ork and Eldar campaigns (Taldeer survives the Orks, Chaos and Necrons on Lorn V but is taken out by the Blood Ravens on Kronus in Dark Crusade), while Crull is defeated and his skull taken by Gorgutz 'Ead'unter (the Chaos faction takes it back from him in Dark Crusade).

Role-Playing Game
  • The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall had seven mutually exclusive endings, but The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind revealed that all of them took place at the same time due to a rare cosmic event called Dragon Break.
  • In Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, you have eight possible party members but you can never recruit the one of the same class as yourself. Nevertheless, all eight are regarded the Companions of the Avatar in later installments.
  • In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, several characters were only recruitable in gaiden chapters that required several playable characters to die to access them. In New Mystery of Emblem, however, all returning gaiden characters except Nagi are treated as if they joined Marth's army despite the fact that every playable character from the previous game survived to see the sequel.
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War uses a combination of the three possible but mutually exclusive endings of Deus Ex.

Simulation Game
  • In Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, Cipher fights five out of eleven elite Belkan squadrons in any given playthrough (which ones depends on your Karma Meter). However, the in-game Assault Records and later lore implies that at the branching points, Cipher faced all three respective bosses at the same time.

Visual Novel
  • Melty Blood, a sequel to Tsukihime, declares a combination of two endings (Ciel's and Kohaku's) plus events that never actually happened in any route canon.

Wide-Open Sandbox
Will go under Interactive Storytelling Tropes.
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