* ''VideoGame/BrokenSword'' is named after the legendary Broken Sword of Baphomet from the first game and to be honest whilst it is an important plot element to the story it doesn't get a lot of screen time and is mentioned maybe about 5 times at most. Later games don't have anything to do with the sword. [[spoiler:Except the third game, which involved a different broken sword.]]
* ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'' suffers this in the English versions of the games since it uses the first game's SuperMode as part of the title, which then struck but the second game -- which had the added subtitle of "tribe" -- had absolutely ''nothing'' to do with the star force. The Japanese title is the more sensible ''Shooting Star Rockman''; this is fixed in the [[SurprisinglyImprovedSequel third game]], where the heroes form a team they intentionally named after the ability the Satellite Admins gave Mega Man in the first game.
* The first ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' game, ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'', was released in America after the third game in the series (''Gyakuten Saiban 3'') was already out in Japan. When it became obvious that the protagonist in the fourth game was not going to be Phoenix Wright, but a new character, Capcom changed the emphasis of the Western logos and branding to make ''Ace Attorney'' the franchise's title, while keeping the ''Phoenix Wright'' portion as a supertitle for the first two sequels.
* ''VideoGames/CrusaderKings''. In the sequel, you are no longer restricted to play as a King in the age of Crusades. Downplayed in that Kings in the age of Crusades will still be important (if you're not a crusader, you're either a target or someone that can take advantage while the crusaders are busy in the Middle East).
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Earth2150}} Earth 2160]]'', the plot no longer takes place on Earth.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** The series got its title because its main designer, Hironobu Sakaguchi, contemplated quitting Square if his next game bombed following up on the failures of his earlier games and he decided that his "final" game would be a "fantasy" RPG. Thus "Final" has technically been an artifact ever since ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII''. This goes even further when the title is applied to spin-offs that have no connection to the main ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' game and follows a completely different format.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' - the ''A'' stands for "Advance", as in the GameBoyAdvance, which is the platform the first title was on. This was retained to try and distinguish the two portable-only entries as a sub-series distinct from the first title, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics''.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Soul|Series}}'' series begins with ''Soul Edge'', which was then followed by ''Soulcalibur''. All the sequels afterward are titled ''Soulcalibur'' with a number. Technically this isn't an artifact title, because the weapon actually called Soul Calibur is still in the series, but [[SpotlightStealingSquad so much focus is put on Soul Edge that it just doesn't matter]]. In ''Soulcalibur II'', ''everyone'' gets a form of Soul Edge as one of their weapons, while you can count Soul Calibur wielders on the fingers of a single hand! This includes the {{guest fighter}}s [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]], ComicBook/{{Spawn}} and [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Heihachi]] (who fights barehanded).
** The title change was a result of Namco wanting to avoid legal issues with infamous trademark troll Tim Langdell of Edge Games, who wanted royalties due to the use of the word "Edge." This was also the reason why the [=PS1=] port of the original ''Soul Edge'' was retitled ''Soul Blade'' overseas.
** The creator of the series wanted to title each game after a different sword, in a similar way to the ''Franchise/{{Tales|Series}}'' series, but it never happened because ''Soulcalibur'' was so successful they wanted to keep the series name recognisable. Because of this, [[SequelDisplacement the first game became obscure]], even though it was very popular at the time.
** Similarly, ''Soulcalibur V'' director Daishi Odashima wanted to name the game ''Soul Edge 2'' in attempt to do away with this, [[PublisherChosenTitle but was shot down]]. The only feasible way ''SCV'', the ''sixth'' game in [[VideoGameLongRunners a series running since 1995]], could get away with that would be if the game was titled "Soulcalibur V: Soul Edge 2." The number of Soul Edge and Soul Calibur wielders, canonical or not, has also balanced out more evenly since ''SCII'' and not everyone is able to obtain a version of Soul Edge starting in ''SCIII''. [[note]]''III'': Soul Edge goes to Nightmare, Mitsurugi, and Tira; Siegfried, Kilik, Xianghua, and Talim get Soul Calibur; ''IV'': Soul Edge goes to Nightmare, Sophitia, Voldo, Cervantes, Maxi, Astaroth, Yun-seong, Tira, and Amy, whereas Siegfried, Seong Mi-na, Xianghua, Ivy, Yoshimitsu, Cassandra, and Setsuka receive Soul Calibur; meanwhile, Talim and Algol get ''[[YinYangBomb both swords]]'', and Kilik's Embrace of Souls is the end result of absorbing the energies of the soul swords into his Kali-Yuga (Zasalamel's Irkalla in ''III'' and ''IV'' is something similar); ''Broken Destiny'' (the PSP port of ''IV'') also gives Siegfried and Nightmare the [[TitleDrop Broken Destiny]], a fusion of Soul Edge and Soul Calibur similar to the Soul Embrace in ''III''.[[/note]]
* There is no "Franchise/FireEmblem" in the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Jugdral games]] (''Genealogy of Holy War'' and ''Thracia 776''). A small piece of dialogue in the former mentions a "Crest of Flames" (in Japanese, unlike the title's GratuitousEnglish), but that's as close as it gets. The rest of the series avert this, by calling the MacGuffin of each game "(The) Fire Emblem."
** In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones The Sacred Stones]]'', as well as the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Tellius saga]], the Fire Emblem is merely an alternate title of the MacGuffin, while most people refer to it by other names (the Sacred Stone of Grado and Lehran's Medallion, respectively).
* The ''[[VideoGame/NintendoWars Advance Wars]]'' series was no longer on the GameBoyAdvance when the series moved on to the NintendoDS with its third and fourth installments, ''Advance Wars: Dual Strike'' and ''Advance Wars: Days of Ruin''. The title can still be justified, since "Advance" by itself is still a real word. On the other hand, the Japanese version of the series reverted to the even more antiquated ''Famicom Wars'' name for its [=GameCube=] (''Battalion Wars''), Wii (''Battalion Wars II'') and DS installments.
* In the early games of the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series, a major part of each game's plot involve destroying the brand new Metal Gear tank in the hands of the enemy. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' and ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' emphasizes the Patriots conspiracy in which the main characters are involved, while reducing the role the mecha has in the plot. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', a prequel to the previous games, has no mecha with the Metal Gear name, but a tank that fills its role, as well as a single scene involving the original creator of the Metal Gear itself showing his plans to Naked Snake.
** The name Metal Gear eventually became more of a concept than the name of a something. "A ''metal gear'' to fill the role between tank and infantry", which happened to be a ''walking'' tank most of the time. By ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', any unmanned weapon along the lines of ''[=MGS4=]'''s Gekko are referred to as "[=UMGs=]" (Unmanned Metal Gears) rather than the typical UAV or UGV as in the real world.
** The NES port of ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' left out the Metal Gear itself (the tank is still mentioned, but the player has to destroy a Super Computer that controls its activities instead of Metal Gear itself).
** The meaning of the original ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'''s title is twofold: it was the third game in the series (following the {{MSX}}2 games ''Metal Gear'' and ''Metal Gear 2'') and it was the first one developed in 3D (produced during the early days of 3D gaming). The former meaning is now rendered nonsensical in light of the numbered sequels released since, while the latter is redundant since 3D is now the norm.
** The "Solid" in ''Metal Gear Solid'' can also refer to Solid Snake, who's only the protagonist in two ''MGS'' games (though he was a DecoyProtagonist in ''2'') and out of those two games, is only referred to as Solid Snake in the first.
* ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' refers to the starship of the first game, which has been conquered and dismantled for at least 17 years in the last two games. At least Durandal, and sometimes even Tycho, still identify themselves by the Marathon emblem. So they're kinda trying.
* ''VideoGame/NetHack'' is an odd variant of this trope. It was named back in the 80s, originating as ''Hack'', as in HackAndSlash. The Net part was added when the original author turned development over to the [=DevTeam=], who work together over the Use''net''. Both elements of the title still hold true, but in today's day and age most people looking at the title would assume it was a game about being a PlayfulHacker, rather than a high fantasy dungeon-fest.
* ''VideoGame/GalaxyAngel'' is a strange inversion, a straight example and the logical extreme all at the same time. The main characters are only called the Galaxy Angels in the third game, where before they are called the Moon Angels. Come ''Galaxy Angel II'', though, they're back to Moon Angels and their replacement main characters are the Rune Angels, so there are ''no'' Galaxy Angels. And in [[Anime/GalaxyAngel the anime]] and [[GalaxyAngelRune its sequel]], they're just Angels, and the name "Galaxy" isn't mentioned at all...[[DubNameChange except in the English version]].
* ''BaldursGate II: Shadows of Amn'' had nothing to do with the city of Baldur's Gate, though at least it did take place in and around Amn.
* Similarly, only the original campaign of ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' has anything to do with the city of Neverwinter. ''Shadow of Undrentide'' starts in Hilltop and never visits the city, and ''Hordes of the Underdark'' starts in Waterdeep and traverses the Underdark and the infernal planes, again never visiting Neverwinter. ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' finally returns to the title city... then ''Mask of the Betrayer'' promptly leaves it again.
* ''The VideoGame/HouseOfTheDead'' was named as such because it took place in a mansion. Naturally, none of the sequels feature said mansion - though the first stage in ''[[VideoGame/TheHouseOfTheDeadOverkill Overkill]]'' takes place in ''a'' mansion.
* On a similar note to ''House of the Dead'', due to copyright issues with the original title of ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' (''Biohazard''), the dev team came up with the former as a reference to the mansion that [[VideoGame/ResidentEvil1 the first game]] was set in. Also like ''HOTD'', later games in the series are not set in a mansion, with the exceptions of the Ashfords' mansion and the replica of the Spencer mansion in ''Code: Veronica'' and the Umbrella Training Facility in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil0'' (the game starts out on a train). The Japanese title, ''Biohazard'', references the viruses that drives the plot.
* The two ''VideoGame/TimeCrisis'' games with Richard Miller (the original and the obscure PSX-only ''Project Titan'') have a timer that starts at 60 seconds, [[TimeKeepsOnTicking keeps running in between action scenes]], and every section cleared adds a certain amount of time. The game ends if it runs out. That's where the title comes from, the constant race against time. Every game since (including the companion games ''Crisis Zone'' and ''Razing Storm'') has a timer which ''resets'' after a section is cleared, and ''also'' resets if you take a hit. Furthermore, if it runs out, you only lose one life box (and this also resets the timer). Speed is vastly less important now; it's all about recognizing enemy patterns and accuracy, and almost nobody has had time run out on them.
** Completely done away with by the FPS levels of 4's Complete Mission, which have no time limits whatsoever.
* ''{{Lufia}}'' qualifies in America, as the character for which the series is named only appeared in the first game, ''VideoGame/LufiaAndTheFortressOfDoom''. Notably, the series is titled ''Estopolis'' in Japan. Since the first game [[SequelFirst was not released in Europe]], the European localization of ''VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals'' renamed the Dual Blade to the Lufiasword in order for the title to make an ounce of sense.
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei''. The first two games in the series weren't '''''Shin''' Megami Tensei'' at all, but rather ''Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei'', based on a late-80s sci-fi novel. "Megami Tensei" means "Reincarnation of the Goddess", which is only a plot point in the very first title (where one of the characters is the reincarnation of the Japanese goddess Izanami). Furthermore, the "Shin" in the title is actually a pun: "Shin" meaning "new" was often appended to the titles of franchises that made the jump to the SNES in much the same way as "Super", but the "Shin" in "Shin Megami Tensei" means "true." Interestingly enough, ''Shin Megami Tensei'' is more of an Artifact Title in the U.S. than it is in Japan, where most ''[=MegaTen=]'' games aren't actually prefixed with the ''Shin Megami Tensei'' name: by contrast, ''every'' ''Shin Megami Tensei'' game released in the U.S. (save for ''Jack Bros'', ''Persona 2: Eternal Punishment'', and ''[=DemiKids=]'') have been released in the U.S. under either the ''Shin Megami Tensei'' banner, or in the case of Atlus' earlier attempts (''Persona'' and ''Last Bible/The Demon Slayer''), the "Revelations" name.
** [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]], debatably. Some games do have ''resurrection'' of a ''goddess'' in their plot, such as [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} Nyx]]]], [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} Izanami]]]], and [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney Mem Aleph]]]].
* The ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'' series. Quake was a codename for the villain of the first game (who turns out to be [[Creator/HPLovecraft Shub Niggurath]] in the end). For whatever reason, they kept the name (which was also the name of the game engine). ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' was supposed to have a different title on release; id discovered too late that it was trademarked, so they went with a name that they already had the rights to. It just kinda snowballed from there. Also, Quake was the name of the game's original protagonist from the game's planning stages, when the game was being developed as a side-scrolling Action RPG under the title ''Quake: The Fight for Justice'' starring an unstoppable barbarian god.
* The ''[[VideoGame/PanelDePon Puzzle League]]'' series was originally called that because of ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Puzzle League'', in which the main story mode had Ash battling through the Puzzle League, a puzzle-game version of the regular Pokémon League, but now they don't use Pokémon for it anymore, instead opting for generic motifs.
* ''GuitarHero'' isn't purely guitar from ''World Tour'' onwards, as other instruments were introduced.
* And ''RockBand'' isn't purely Rock, now that Harmonix have been offering DownloadableContent from genres like pop, country, disco, and funk. [[BrokenBase Some people take issue with this]], but Harmonix themselves insist that the ''RockBand'' moniker doesn't refer to the kind of music played, but the ensemble itself.
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' series. The title tournament hasn't actually been held since the second game in the series. To be fair, spelling aside, the games still are arguably about "Mortal Kombat" in concept if not in reference to the tournament.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''. The eponymous scrolls are really only important in the [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena first]] and (numerically) [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim fifth]] games; otherwise, they appear only in a faction quest-line. In fact, the title was only chosen because [[RuleOfCool it sounded cool]]: someone at Bethesda Softworks came up with the term, and then the developers decided what the scrolls actually ''were for''.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena Arena]]'', the title of the first game in the series, also is an example. The original concept for the was a team based, gladiator game where the player took his team from arena to arena fighting in tournaments. None of this stuff was even coded into the game, but the advertising material had already been produced, so they kept the title despite arenas and gladiator combat not actually being in the game in any form. They got around this by adding a TitleDrop to the intro that mentions Arena as a nickname for Tamriel.
** Also, M'aiq the Liar was first in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' as an Author Avatar offering cryptic take-thats. His [[LegacyCharacter later appearances]] have significantly toned down the in-universe untruthfulness.
* The [[FunWithAcronyms First Encounter Assault Recon]] group is not present in ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon FEAR]] 2'', nor are the subjects of Project Origin, which was only picked as the (sub)title because Monolith didn't have the rights to the ''FEAR'' name at the time.
* ''VideoGame/FarCry2'' has nothing to do with the original ''VideoGame/FarCry'' or its expansions, though [[WildMassGuessing some say otherwise]]. ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' shares a similar setting, but is otherwise also unrelated.
* The ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' games have plenty of fighting, but most of the stages aren't actually set in streets at all. [[Film/StreetFighter The movie]], on the other hand, doesn't have much fighting at all.
** In fact, ''very'' few of the martial artists in the series are truly "street fighters" by the very definition. The only real examples are Cody and Birdie. You could arguably include some or most of the transplants from the ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' series, honestly -- even Sodom's skills are self-taught and he works as an enforcer for a crime racket.
*** At least in the first game, the title more or less fit the premise. In it, a rootless warrior seeks battles with worthy opponents around the world strictly for the sake of the fight. Ryu hasn't changed much since then, but over the years, his simple story has been overshadowed by the great secret evil organization and soul transferences and memory loss and human cloning and DNA scarring and sinister agents with artificial body parts and Dark Hado and competing wrestling leagues and that ''other'' great secret evil organization etc. etc.
*** The ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Alpha]]'' series, ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterIII Street Fighter III: Third Strike]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterIV Super Street Fighter IV]]'' are at least half-subversions as well. While the aforementioned evil organizations were at the center of the plot, there was no actual tournament going on (in the case of the ''3S'', the tournament had mostly wrapped up by the time ''2nd Impact'' ended/''3rd Strike'' began, whereas ''SSFIV'' is simultaneously set during ''IV''[='s=] tournament and right after its close); the various cast members were simply touring the world and challenging each other to fights basically everywhere while attempting to get to the bottom of it all.
** The original ''Final Fight'' got its title since the game's plot involved Haggar, a retired pro wrestler who sets off to take justice into his own hands and challenge the Mad Gear gang for his "final fight." However, quite a few ''Final Fight'' sequels (''2'', ''3'', ''Revenge'', and ''Streetwise'') were released afterward, all involving Haggar being brought back out of retirement again to face newer enemies.
* The ''Franchise/SilentHill'' games have generally avoided this by having all of their protagonists visit Silent Hill at some point within the game -- the only exception being ''VideoGame/SilentHill4'', which takes place in South Ashfield ("a few hours' drive away"). While it's revealed that the protagonist ''has'' gone to Silent Hill in the past, he never visits it in the game, only coming as close as the woodlands surrounding the town. There are several references to the town regarding several character backstories, but none really justify the title. In fact it was originally given a completely different title, although still set in the SH universe.
* This almost occurred in the NES version of ''VideoGame/{{Double Dragon|I}}'', but the developers managed to work around it. The original arcade version allowed up to two players simultaneously, taking control of twin martial artists named Billy and Jimmy Lee (hence the game's title). When working on the NES version, the programmers were unable to adapt the arcade's 2-players co-op mode. Since the title wouldn't have made much sense with just one of the Lee brothers, the other one now appears as the final boss after Machine Gun Willy (the final boss from the arcade version) is defeated.
** Siblings battle also occur in the arcade version when two players defeat Willy together. Whereas in the arcade version the Lee brothers fought each other over Marian's affections, in the NES version it is revealed that Jimmy Lee was [[AdaptationalVillainy the true leader of the Black Warriors.]]
** The later Game Boy version played this straight, as it lacked both, the 2-player co-op mode ''and'' the final battle with Jimmy. However, this version does feature a one-on-one versus {{minigame}} via link cable where the second player controls Jimmy (which itself was a carry-over from the NES game).
** The arcade version of ''VideoGame/{{Double Dragon}} 3'' allowed up to three players simultaneously depending on the game's settings. The third player controls a previously-unseen/unmentioned Lee brother named Sonny, meaning that the eponymous duo became a trio. "Triple Dragon" apparently didn't have the same ring to it.
* Despite being based on the core gameplay elements of ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'', the [[RunningTheAsylum fan-developed]] MissionPackSequel ''Painkiller Overdose'' removes the Painkiller weapon (a weed whacker) and replaces it with the [=RazorCube=] (a cube that breaks into sharp pieces and [[EverythingsBetterWithSpinning spins around really fast]]).
* ''Videogame/AloneInTheDark2008'': you're not alone, and it's not dark ([[IncendiaryExponent because everything is on fire]]).
** Made especially ironic because the fire physics are the best part of the game. Subverted slightly (but no less ironically) when an upgraded version was given the subtitle ''Inferno''.
* In Europe, the early ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}'' games for home consoles were released under the title of ''Probotector''. This was because the European versions of the games turned the enemies into MechaMooks and replaced the original human commandos with robotic counterparts called "Probotectors", which comes from a portmanteau of "robot" and "protector." When the Game Boy installment of the series, ''Operation C'', was re-released in Europe as part of the ''[[CompilationRerelease Konami GB Collection]]'', it restored the original human main character, but still kept the ''Probotector'' title.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriorsGundam'' doesn't involve any dynasties, Chinese or otherwise, it simply got the title for being a ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}''-themed spinoff of the ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' series. The Japanese title is ''Gundam Musou'' (a play on ''Sangoku Musou'', the Japanese title of the ''Dynasty Warriors'' series).
* In the original ''[[VideoGame/BackyardSports Backyard Baseball]]'', there were only three fields that did not take place in a backyard: Sandy Flats, Tin Can Alley, and Cement Gardens. In ''Backyard Baseball 2010'', only one field ''does'' take place in a backyard: the [[BigFancyHouse Webber Estate]]. See how much ''that'' has changed.
* Interesting case: The producers of ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: VideoGame/ModernWarfare 2'' initially wanted to drop the ''"Call of Duty"'' supertitle, but re-appended it to the game's standard packaging and press releases after they took a few surveys and realized removing it decreased brand awareness. On the other hand, in-game menus and the console/PC refer to the game without the supertitle, and the developers officially call it just ''Modern Warfare 2'' to indicate its status as a new IP. So while ''Call of Duty'' is still an Artifact Title, that only applies to the game's publicity campaigns.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** Any modern game involving Mario that includes the prefix "Super" is somewhat anachronistic since, outside of the ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros'' series, ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld'', turning from small Mario to "Super Mario" has ceased to be part of the play mechanics.
** The original ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1 Super Mario Bros.]]'' itself lacked the 2-player co-op mode from the original ''VideoGame/MarioBros.'', which is the reason why the preceding game was titled ''Mario Bros.'' in the first place. While ''Super'' has a 2-Player mode, it is of the alternating type, which reduces Luigi's role in the game to a mere afterthought (since there's no point of having a separate Player 2 character if both players have to take turn). ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioBrosTheLostLevels The Lost Levels]]'' would try to justify Luigi's inclusion in the game by removing the 2-Player mode and making Luigi [[DivergentCharacterEvolution an alternate character with his own characteristics]], while the 2-Player mode in ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3 SMB3]]'' allows both players to split the stages among themselves rather than having separate playthroughs for each one.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld'': The "3D" in the title refers to it being a sequel to ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand'', despite this game not being in actual stereoscopic 3D. Only because its predecessor had [[Nintendo3DS such visuals]].
** Also true of the ''VideoGame/WarioLand'' series, since [[VideoGame/WarioLandSuperMarioLand3 the first game]] was technically still part of the ''Super Mario Land'' series despite not having a whole lot in common with its predecessors.
** In ''VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon'', Luigi is busting ghosts in several different places, none of which are his, and only two of them are mansions.
** From ''VideoGame/MarioKartDoubleDash'' onwards, many karts don't look like such at all, being modeled after train wagons, baby strollers and fancy convertible cars. In ''Mario Kart Wii'', bikes were added to the vehicle options, while ''Mario Kart 8'' added ATV options.
** In March of 2013, Nintendo began to promote that year as TheYearOfLuigi to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Luigi's first appearance in ''VideoGame/MarioBros''. Near the end of 2013, it was decided to extend the celebration into 2014. Depending on your interpretation of this event, it's either played straight or subverted (as in, it could be a literal 365-day celebration that starts on March 2013 and ends on March 2014).
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' seems to be desperately trying to avoid this:
** By ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'', the Metroids have been exterminated by the protagonist, who to justify the game's title is now physically bonded with DNA from the last remaining Metroid. Every game since then has been a prequel, most of them [[{{Interquel}} set between]] the first two games.
** The second and third ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' trilogy avoid falling into this. Dark Samus, the main antagonist of ''2'' and ''3'', is in fact the eponymous Metroid Prime, bonded with the Phazon Suit after the battle at the end of the first game. It's very easy to miss this, however, as it's never explicitly mentioned anywhere, and the only real hint (seeing Dark Samus' hand emerge from the puddle of Phazon) is only shown after the credits of the first game--IF you've found every last secret in the game.
** ''Hunters'' is indeed devoid of Metroids. Except for the demo version.
** Another attempted handwave claimed that the title creatures were named after the Chozo word for "Ultimate Warrior", meaning the term can be applied to Samus as well.
* The NES version of Creator/{{Capcom}}'s ShootEmUp ''Section Z'' features numbered sections instead of the alphabetized ones like the original ArcadeGame. Thus the final area in the NES version is actually Section 59, rather than Section Z like in the arcade version.
* ''Quartet'' was originally a four-player ArcadeGame that played like a side-scrolling ''VideoGame/{{Gauntlet}}''; a version titled ''Quartet 2'' was released as a conversion kit for two-player cabinets, but it allows each player to select from among the four characters. The SegaMasterSystem version, however, only has two playable characters: Mary and Edgar were kept, but Joe and Lee were removed. The Japanese Mark III version was retitled ''Double Target'' to reflect this change, but the overseas release kept the arcade game's original title.
* At no point in ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland'' do any of the characters set foot on Monkey Island, although it is referenced several times. The island also was not featured in ''VideoGame/{{Monkey Island 2|Le Chucks Revenge}}'', although ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'' later retconned this. Only to be expected when the first game "The Secret of Monkey Island", neither mentioned nor revealed the title's secret. A fact repeatedly lampshaded throughout the series.
* Only one of the ''VideoGame/{{Ys}}'' games involves the FloatingContinent Ys.
* ''VideoGame/ThemePark'' gets this trope in two directions:
** The original game was ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. The title of the sequel, ''VideoGame/ThemeHospital'', made less sense.
** The ''Theme Park'' title ''itself'' is an Artifact Title. Traditionally, a "theme park" is a distinct ''style'' of amusement park, with landscaping, buildings, and attractions that are based on one or more specific or central themes. Over the years the term become interchangeable with the more generic "amusement park." The game uses this definition, as parks in ''VideoGame/ThemePark'' are essentially just a generic agglomeration of rides and attractions.
* ''VideoGame/TheSpiritEngine2'' is an InNameOnly sequel to the original. It has a completely different setting -- the only things connecting it to the original are the battle system and the "choose-your-own-characters" feature, making it a ThematicSeries.
* [[VideoGame/DragonQuestI The first game]] in the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series was originally about some warrior on a quest to go slay the Dragonlord, hence the title "Dragon Quest." Future titles in the series would still have you take on quests, but the importance of dragons would further diminish to the point where they have little-to-no importance, only serving to be the typical mook you see around the end of the game.
* Since the second game, the ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey'' series has had an artifact title. The first game takes place in Etria and the nearby labyrinth. However, the second and third games take place in Lagaard and Armoroad respectively, the second having passing references to the first only if you used a special code.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' was almost this, as the creators originally wanted to focus on a different puzzle aspect as opposed to more Portals, but they eventually kept the Portal puzzles in.
* Interesting case with {{Beatmania}} and PopNMusic. In the beginning, Beatmania's turntable produced scratches (usually), while the keys corresponded to the notes, sound effects, samples, beeps, spoken words, etc. to be placed into the background music. It was actually fairly similar to how a disc jockey would use "beats" to create a mix. Likewise, Pop 'n Music started out with almost exclusively several variants of pop music, and was intended as a casual, fun, light gaming experience for multiple players. Two types of player, specifically: 1) a boyfriend and girlfriend on a date, and 2) kids. After both franchises took off and became popular, however, branching out into different genres became a necessity, as was making more challenging notecharts (with the bar going higher and higher as players just kept getting better and better). Beatmania has long since done away with hip-hop and R&B, once the backbones of the franchise, while Pop 'n Music has covered everything to Country to Percussive to Opera to Thrash Metal to Eurobeat, and every ancient traditional Japanese music style ever.
* ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon Castlevania: Circle of the Moon]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Dawn of Sorrow]]'' are set in castles alright - just not Dracula's castle (which is referred to sometimes as Franchise/{{Castlevania}}). ''Circle Of The Moon'' is set in Camilla's castle, while ''Dawn of Sorrow'' is set in the castle owned by Celia Fortner's cult. The ''Dawn of Sorrow'' castle is apparently an "exact replica", but this attempt to smooth out what is otherwise a minor piece of trivia [[VoodooShark creates serious confusion]] as the castle is the {{Trope Namer|s}} for ChaosArchitecture, making any "replica" impossible (unless it's an "exact replica" in that it mimics the castle's nature; either way, it's a bit confusing).
* Subverted with ''VideoGame/GodOfWar''. While Ares, the original God of War, does die in the first game, one must remember that Kratos has taken up his position afterwards, so the games are still about the God of War.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** Save for a very brief glimpse in the ending cutscene, the ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' campaign doesn't a contain a RingWorldPlanet, "Halos" which the plot of the first three games revolve around. One does, however, show up prodominantly in some multiplayer maps (purely as FanService according to WordOfGod).
** ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' also does not feature the title ring. The number is somewhat misleading as well, as the game takes place during the events of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''. It is, however, running on ''Halo 3'''s engine.
** ''VideoGame/HaloWars'' also does not feature any of the the aforementioned rings.
** ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'' never sees the Master Chief set foot on a Halo installation (though he can *see* one from an orbiting space station at one point). However, the plot is focused on a new kind of artificial planet, a Shield World called Requiem.
* The ''VideoGame/IL2Sturmovik'' series was so named because it began as a detailed simulation of that one plane. As of the latest revision, the Ilyushin Il-2 is still present, but so are 228 other planes, not counting those added by [[GameMod modders]].
** The sequel takes place during the Battle of Britain but still references the original with its title ''Cliffs of Dover: Il-2 Sturmovik'', despite the fact that the title plane hadn't even had its first flight at that time. This was caused by ExecutiveMeddling wanting to emphasise the connection between the original game and ''Cliffs of Dover''.
* An in-game example: Several of the Ghost characters in ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 6'' that use Armor King have customised him to not wear armor.
* Nintendo's {{Mii}}s got their name as a pun on "Me" and "{{Wii}}", the console on which they made their debut. Half of that pun now makes little sense if you use them on the [[Nintendo3DS 3DS]].
* Most unofficial fan sequels to the popular [[NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]] game ''VideoGame/DuckHunt'' actually do not involve shooting any ducks at all, since there aren't any there -- you now instead shoot ''dogs''.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' features a protagonist named [[VideoGame/MegaManX Zero]], not Mega Man. Ironically, the manga adaptation of ''MMZ'' made this mistake about Zero, among many other errors/deviations. It was so notable that, years later, Zero's ending in ''[[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 Marvel vs. Capcom 3]]'' specifically made a point of [[LampshadeHanging poking fun at this]]. Averted in ''VideoGame/MegaManZX'', but Mega Man is now a ''[[LegacyCharacter title]]'' referring to people who can use the Biometal UpgradeArtifact, rather than an individual.
* ''{{beatmania IIDX}}'' was originally meant to be titled simply "beatmania II", with a bigger and better "deluxe" version of the arcade cabinet available as "beatmania II DX." The latter proved to be much, MUCH more popular and quickly became the norm, so Konami stopped production of the non-deluxe cabinets. Since the logo had the "II" and "DX" close together, the game became known as "beatmania IIDX" and Konami decided [[AscendedFanon "Sure, Why Not?"]]
* The first mission of ''Creator/TomClancy's VideoGame/{{HAWX}}'' is the retirement flight of the eponymous squadron; for the rest of the first half of the game, you're a part of the PMC Artemis' "Reaper Flight." Zig-zagged later on: [[spoiler: after Artemis betrays the United States and the player squadron defects, they return to active service as HAWX flight.]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperSentaiBattleDiceO'' originally represented the strength of your characters' attacks by rolling dice. After it was updated to ''Dice-O Deluxe'' to go along with ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'', this was changed to a spinning wheel, yet the title was kept. There is, in fact, *one* rolling die that remains in the game (one of the special move cards replicates the default ground finishing move from the original ''Dice-O'', in which your team fired a giant die at the opponents) but it isn't central to the gameplay anymore.
* While the sequel ''{{VideoGame/Riven}}'' and odd-game-out ''Uru: Ages Beyond Myst'' avoided this, the island of ''{{VideoGame/Myst}}'' was not seen in ''Myst [=III=]: Exile'' or ''Myst [=IV=]: Revelation''.
* The ''VideoGame/SaintsRow'' franchise has fallen to this - although the eponymous Row was still there in the 2nd game, it was the only territory you couldn't retake. ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'' doesn't even take place in the same city anymore, though one mission in ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV'' takes place in [[NostalgiaLevel a VR simulation of the Row from the original games]], complete with a guy selling watches and a prostitute propositioning the Boss just like the opening cutscene of the first game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Torchlight}}'' starts off in the eponymous town and explores the dungeons beneath it. In its direct sequel, ''VideoGame/TorchlightII'', the town is destroyed even ''before'' the start of a new game and explores the regions ''around'' the town, but not the town itself or the dungeons beneath it.
* The ''VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga'' features something of a subversion: the ''VideoGame/DarkForces'' title is a reference to the first game's Dark Trooper project. Said project plays no part in the sequel, ''VideoGame/JediKnightDarkForcesII'', which ''would'' render it this trope... if not for the connotations that the term "Dark Force" carries in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' universe.
* ''VideoGame/JediKnightIIJediOutcast''[='=]s refers to Kyle no longer being a Jedi, but is erroneous for two reasons - one, Kyle wasn't forced out of the Order like the title implies (he left of his own free will, afraid of falling to the dark side again like he did in ''Mysteries of the Sith''). Two, you only play two levels before he becomes a Jedi again.
* The title of ''VideoGame/GuildWars'' actually refers to a series of wars which took place before the events of the original game. By the time the player character comes along, they have ended. They make sense in the context of the game since players can form guilds and engage in matched combat against other guilds, but the title is a hangover from the early days of its development when this aspect of the game was the most important. ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'' is set 250 years after the original game, and guild versus guild combat is not a feature.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Alundra}}'' game is centered around Alundra, but he doesn't appear or gets mentioned in the sequel.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series can sometimes dabble into this trope, as there are games where Zelda has little to no role in the story. However, she is still very much a central character to the series overall, more so after TheReveal in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]''.
* While ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfileCovenantOfThePlume'' does have a Valkyrie as a driving force of the plot, she's a background character at best, only showing up as a boss fight. All the playable characters and many of the movers and shakers in the plot are actually mortals. This is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in the BrutalBonusLevel when Freya, another Valkyrie with the minimal role of appearing in side scenes when you change [[MultipleEndings plot paths]] and dispensing the NonStandardGameOver appears as a BonusBoss. Wylfred asks what she's doing there, since he hasn't used the Destiny Plume enough to get her attention. Freya points out [[BreakingTheFourthWall the game's not called "Mortal Profile"]] and she intends to off him and take his place as main character.
* The word "Version" in each of the main ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games. Originally, it referred to differently-colored game paks, and until ''Yellow'' came out, ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Red and Blue]]'' (or ''Red'' and ''Green'' in Japan) were ''just'' called "Pokémon", rather than actually being part of the title of each version of each game (minus "Version"). ''[[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Diamond and Pearl]]'' were the first pair of games not to have color-coded cards, and each game's version name from there on referred only to the cover art. This made the title of the games Pokemone Black Version 2 and Pokemone White Version 2 a little bit confusing to some, as it sounds more like a "version 2" of a game (ie - a fixed, patched or updated game) rather than the sequel it was. Starting with ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'', "version" has since been dropped from titles of the games.
* ''VideoGame/TwoWorlds'': Before the game was even released, in fact. The website for the original game has an outdated synopsis that challenges you to choose which of the Two Worlds you will save. This has nothing to do with the released game or its sequel.
* With the availability of the updated PC version of ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'' as a digital download, and even on systems such as the Ouya which don't even have any disc drives at all, its title no longer makes sense. Sega took a swing at a HandWave by claiming "CD" now stood for "Chrono Distortion" for the HD rereleases.
* ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity: Override'' is a case of this happening to the subtitle of a specific game in the series during development -- the game began development as a total conversion to the previous game, and as a placeholder name the mod was literally named for what it was to do, namely override the previous game data (this being 1996, the term total conversion was not yet as common). The placeholder never found a replacement even when ''Override'' became the official ''[[ThematicSeries sequel]]'' to ''Escape Velocity''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Boktai}}'' is short for the series' Japanese title, ''Bokura no Taiyou'', which means "our sun." This makes sense for a solar-powered series, and it gets a climactic TitleDrop in the first game. The nickname was already established by the time the translation came out, so the translators kept it -- but of course it makes no sense at all in English, so they added a subtitle, "The Sun Is in Your Hand." (Certain manga and anime, such as ''[[LightNovel/BokuWaTomodachiGaSukunai Haganai]]'' and ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', have chosen this approach as a way to give a translation without losing the recognition value of the existing name.) In order to ''de-orphan'' the title slightly, they gave the name "Bok" to a common class of {{Mook|s}} that goes by "Ghoul" in the original version.
* [[TabletopGame/{{Freecell}} FreeCell]] in versions of Windows starting with Vista has an artifact ''icon'' -- originally, a chest-up shot of the King of Hearts was situated between the two sets of card slots at the top, and would face whichever set a card had most recently been added to (or moused over). He was nixed when Vista overhauled the look of all its games, but the icon remains. The king is dead; long live the king?
* If you think about it, ''GrandTheftAuto'' isn't really focused on the crime in question (stealing cars). And in later games, you may stop doing it altogether since you can stash cars away. Particularly in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'', where the three protagonists all have their own default vehicles with customization options, and the player has the option of respawning at a garage (making it much less necessary to steal cars to get around).
* The ROM hack series ''Super Mario World 2 +'' was, for its first two games, composed of ''VideoGame/YoshisIsland'' {{game mod}}s. The third installment is instead a hack of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'', but is still named "[=SMW2+3=]."
* While ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' did have the main ape himself as the leading character, the next two sequels would demote him to DistressedDude while having other characters being the stars of the games. Both sequels are still named after Donkey Kong, even though he doesn't do anything.
* [[VideoGame/KingsQuestIQuestForTheCrown Only]] [[VideoGame/KingsQuestIIRomancingTheThrone three]] [[VideoGame/KingsQuestVAbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder games]] in the ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'' series (out of 8) involve the titular king - King Graham -- embarking on a quest, and in the first one he's still just a knight and isn't crowned king until the end of the game. The other games instead have either [[VideoGame/KingsQuestIIIToHeirIsHuman Prince]] [[VideoGame/KingsQuestVIHeirTodayGoneTomorrow Alexander]], [[VideoGame/KingsQuestIVThePerilsOfRosella Princess]] [[VideoGame/KingsQuestVIIThePrincelessBride Rosella]], [[VideoGame/KingsQuestVIIThePrincelessBride Queen Valanice]], or [[VideoGame/KingsQuestMaskOfEternity a random knight from Daventry with no connection to the royal family]] as the playable character, while Graham only makes minor appearances, including [[VideoGame/KingsQuestIVThePerilsOfRosella spending one whole game bedridden and deathly ill]], and [[VideoGame/KingsQuestMaskOfEternity another turned to stone]] (and [[VideoGame/KingsQuestVIIThePrincelessBride in one game not appearing at all]].)
* ''Franchise/TombRaider'' was all about the tombs and raiding said tombs of their artifacts, but by the [[VideoGame/TombRaiderII second]] and [[VideoGame/TombRaiderIII third]] game in the series, there was less tomb raiding and more raiding in industrialized areas like oil rigs and disused subway tunnels. The fourth game, ''VideoGame/TombRaiderLastRevelation'', put the series back in the tombs, but all games after that went back to the mix of old tombs and industrialized areas.
** ''The Last Revelation'' itself was supposed to be Lara Croft's final discovery since [[spoiler:she is buried alive in a collapsing pyramid at the game's end]]. However, since there are games that take place afterwards, the title is outdated.
* ''VideoGame/DeadIsland2'' is set in modern day Los Angeles, California instead of the fictional island from the [[VideoGame/DeadIsland first]] [[VideoGame/DeadIslandRiptide two]] games, meaning the "Island" part of the name definitely doesn't apply anymore and is mainly just there for branding purposes.
----