Created By: Pichu-kun on September 16, 2015 Last Edited By: Arivne on October 24, 2017
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Self-Contained Demo

A video game demo that isn't a portion of the final game

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Trope
Most video game demos simply use aspects of the game. Sometimes these demos use the first level of the game and sometimes they'll use random levels. In contrast, self-contained demos are not levels from the game itself. They use non-canon stories or side-stories to give you a feel of the game without spoilering anything or reusing a level.

Compare to Tech Demo Game.

Examples

First Person Shooters

Horror

Misc
  • In order to avoid spoiling the game itself, the creators of The Stanley Parable created a self-contained demo to promote it. The entirely original level contains the Narrator leading you through a tour of what is supposed to lead up to the Stanley Parable demo, but ends up becoming a surrealist nightmare. They even sent special editions of this demo to Let's Players Steam Train and Revision3 containing bits of dialogue directly addressed to them.
  • Glider PRO: "Demo House" served as the playable demo as well as the game's tutorial and Attract Mode. Though included with the full game, it is entirely separate from the game's primary scenario, "Slumberland.

Role-Playing Games
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire had a downloadable demo where you played as the male lead set in Mossdeep City where you encounter Team Aqua and Team Magma.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon had a downloadable demo where you played as the male lead (named "Sun" in the demo). It feature him arriving in Alola with his mom, but it's depicted in a completely different from the actual game. In the demo Sun receives a Greninja, which is a Kalos starter from Pokémon X and Y.

Real-Time Strategy
  • The original StarCraft I demo was a campaign made of four levels that play before the events of the actual game. It was later made available as an extended version with additional missions that could be launched as a custom campaign from within the game.
  • Empire Earth has tutorials that are unconnected to the game's campaigns, like Phoenician settlers or Roman soldiers.
  • War Craft 3: Had a demo that was an extended version of the tutorial prologue. The extended version was merged into the main game with the expansion pack.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • September 16, 2015
    Folamh3
    • In order to avoid spoiling the game itself, the creators of The Stanley Parable created a self-contained demo to promote it.
    • Half Life had a demo called Half-Life: Uplink, featuring a level which did not appear in the main game.
  • September 16, 2015
    Folamh3
    This is probably a Trivia trope, as it's for content which, by definition, doesn't appear within the work itself.
  • September 17, 2015
    henke37
  • September 18, 2015
    Prfnoff
    • Glider PRO: "Demo House" served as the playable demo as well as the game's tutorial and Attract Mode. Though included with the full game, it is entirely separate from the game's primary scenario, "Slumberland."
  • September 18, 2015
    PhantomDusclops92
    Other Pokémon games got demos similar to the Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire one, albeit are less known since they were playable only in select events and not released normally. Most of them feature slightly edited versions of a route from the game with some marginal differences in the wild Pokémon's availability and level, and same for the trainer teams. The demo for Pokemon Black And White, for example, features the main character fighting Cheren in Icirrus City, and he owns a Basculin (a Pokémon he doesn't get in the actual game), while the Pokemon Diamond And Pearl features wild Weavile in the grass.
  • September 18, 2015
    StarSword
    First Person Shooter:
  • September 18, 2015
    Tuckerscreator
    • The Stanley Parable demo is an entirely original level, during which the Narrator leads you through a tour of what is supposed to lead up to the Stanley Parable demo, but ends up becoming a surrealist nightmare.
    • Halo 2's demo at E3 2003 was an original level set in what became the New Mombasa levels. While the core mechanics demonstrated in it (dual wielding, vehicle hijacking, and enemy Brutes) were kept in the final game, the demo levels ran on an entirely different engine that was said to crash if the player went just the slightest Off The Rails.
  • September 18, 2015
    GKaiser
    The original Star Craft demo was a campaign made of four levels that play before the events of the actual game. It was later made available as an extended version with additional missions that could be launched as a custom campaign from within the game.
  • September 18, 2015
    Omeganian
    The Jedi Knight II Jedi Outcast demo was about investigating an enemy base that had no connection to the game itself.
  • December 14, 2015
    henke37
    • War Craft 3: Had a demo that was an extended version of the tutorial prologue. The extended version was merged into the main game with the expansion pack.
  • December 14, 2015
    Waddle
    (addendum on The Stanley Parable)
    • They even sent special editions of this demo to Lets Players Steam Train and Revision3 containing bits of dialogue directly addressed to them.
  • December 14, 2015
    Chabal2
    Empire Earth has tutorials that are unconnected to the game's campaigns, like Phoenician settlers or Roman soldiers.
  • December 16, 2015
    Arivne
    First Person Shooters
  • June 5, 2017
    Prfnoff
    I really don't think that "slightly edited versions of a route from the game with some marginal differences" should qualify as examples here.
  • June 6, 2017
    Basara-kun
    Role-Playing Games:
    • What's Shenmue? was a demo version of Shenmue made by developers as a way to compensate players who pre-ordered the game for the delay of the production. It's featured the first part of the game, in the native town of Ryo Hazuki, with the difference this time you've to find Mr. Yukawa, the Senior Managing Director of SEGA during the Sega Dreamcast era. If well it's similar to the actual game, the NPCs and objects you find during the demo are different, and the characters that returned in the game are dressed different. Also, there're 4 videos from Shenmue Passport that explains the mechanics of the game.
  • June 29, 2017
    Twiddler
    The We Know The Devil demo takes place shortly before the main game. It serves to have fun with the characters and works as a mini demonstration of gameplay — you pick character pairs to interact, and the balance of interaction determines the ending.
  • June 30, 2017
    Chabal2
    Empire Earth II: While the campaigns are mostly historical (the American campaign's last two levels are Twenty Minutes Into The Future with robots), the tutorials feature the survival and advancement all the way to WWII of the Aztec Empire.
  • October 8, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Does the description need more filling?
  • October 23, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Looks good. And it seems launchable.
  • October 24, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    So, it's launch worthy? I'll launch it within a day if no one complains.
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