'''Cue the Original, Homage'''
Early September, 2009. [[VideoGame/TimeSplitters Karma Crow]], a hippie-psychiatrist estranged from his family of [[MadScientist mad scientists]], wakes up in the back of a dark, moving van. A man on the other side, standing against the back wall, lights a cigarette, giving some faint illumnination to the van. His clothes are very tattered and dirty, and his filthy hair reaches his shoulders. He introduces himself as [[Film/TheMummyTrilogy Rick O'Connell]]. He says he was arrested in Cairo, and a mysterious van saved him from death row.
Just then, the van stops. In is thrown a man in a green shirt and blue overalls. A thick moustache covers his slender face, and his nose separates his eye-covering hair. Donning a cap with the letter "L" on it, he introduces himself as [[SuperMarioBros Luigi, an Italian immigrant to Brooklyn who found work as a plumber, until he and his brother Mario were kidnapped by slave-trader turtles and deposited in a drug-feuled fantasy world, which he explored while Mario established them a role in the Royal Entertainment industry]].
Another stop. [[Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle Malcolm]] [[spoiler: Wilkerson]] and [[Film/InglouriousBasterds Lt. Archie Hicox]] emerge. They spot two young men talking, [[MajorasMask Link and Kafei]], and capture Link, narrowly saving him from being assassinated by [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI Alta´r ibn'La-Ahad]] who is then forced to interrogate Kafei.
Lastly, the mysterious expedition goes underwater and grabs a certain SpongeBobSquarePants, claiming his real name is Robert Kelsey, and then knocks out all five captives, who then wake up on a boat in the ocean. This boat lands at the southern tip of South Africa, and they are briefed on their holy mission.
They are to travel across space and time, looking in prescribed places for the "Pyramidion Shards", which are to be contructed into a pyramid shape, and placed on top of the [[AncientEgypt Great Pyramid of Giza.]]
Cue a journey across Africa, the Mushroom Kingdom, Hyrule, Rome, ancient Greece, America in several different periods at once, and through the [[MayIncaTec Land of Tenochtikuzcalitlan]] over which time they [[spoiler: die-- [[KilledOffForReal permanently]] or [[DeathIsCheap temporarily]],]] learn the truth about their task and [[ThePowerOfFriendship form a bond to last a thousand years]].
'''Cue The Sequel, Homage II: The Game'''
Starting with a narration from the PrinceOfPersia, son of Sharaman and heir to the throne, ("Most people think time is like a river, that flows swift and sure in one direction. But I have seen the face of time. And I can tell you; they have the basic idea, but are missing the lot of it. Time is indeed a river, but in flows in every direction. It can't just stand still; that would be a... erm, well, it's a river, one that has ''many'' tributaries, and you can stand on the levees... no, Time is an Ocean in a Storm.") The sequel then cuts to Seattle, Semptember of 2009. [[ContinuityNod With a van driving by in the background]], the Prince runs [[LeParkour parkour]] over the cityscape, along with [[ForeShadowing a few figures]] [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood in white robes]]. He reaches his goal; a schoolyard, where a young janitor named [[Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle Reese]] [[spoiler: Wilkerson]] eyes a special dagger. Reese is blissfully unaware that several assassins await him; bounty hunter [[VideoGame/TimeSplitters Jared Slim]] and U.S. government agent [[VideoGame/ResidentEvil4 Leon Scott Kennedy]], both of whom want to kill Reese for his recently dicovered crimes. He is also stalked by Alta´r (Who is seen handing a young man some robes beforehand).
Retrieving the dagger, the Prince [[spoiler: kills Alta´r by slowing down time, and then tells Reese to run.]] He subdues Jared and Leon, and tells them that if they help him do what he wants to do, he'll let them have Reese.
The Prince tells of his plan to reconstruct the cap-stone of an ancient monument to the West of his Kingdom of Persia. It is said to bestow a marvelous reward to the person who does it. To do so, however, the Prince needs to collect several things back in his homeland, then travel to certain places, where the pyramidion shards are held. They are followed by a very strange and ultimately benign salesman, [[TheOffice Dwight Kurt Schrute]], who thinks he was destined to be a hero and they are his underlings, despite not being so much as noticed by them and often getting lost.
[[spoiler:After a disastrous trip through the trap-laden castles of Persia, in which Jared, Dwight and Leon meet their end and the Prince's [[MythologyGag clothes are terribly]] [[ClothingDamage ruined]], he and Reese]] arrive at Giza, while a great battle goes on between the rest of the teams, including Karma's. In the struggle, [[spoiler: Rick O'Connell]] slyly sneaks up to the top of Khufu's Great Pyramid and places the Pyramidion in its place, which sets off a great explosion of light, killing him and transporting all of the survivors to a mysterious, infinte white room where all of their wounds are healed, and their equipment is restored to what they had when they first set out.
'''Cue The Threequel, Homage III: Denoument'''
After an opening credits sequence set to [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Cream's "White Room"]], we pick up right where we left off, except there are seven doors. They lead to: Seattle for Karma, Hyrule for Link, Mushroom Kingdom for Luigi, Madrid for [[VideoGame/ResidentEvil4 Luis Sera]], Persia for the Prince, a mysterious unmarked door and Renaissance-era Florence for the new arrival in the room, [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII Ezio Auditore da Firenze]], who has found them with the help of the Apple of Eden. When asked what they should do next, Ezio tells them that the Pyramidion Shards from the last films were strange artifacts known as [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood Pieces of Eden]], and were not meant to be handled by the hands of mankind. The five of them are meant to restore things to their natural order, which was disrupted by their escapades over the last two films. As for Ezio, he [[spoiler: finds himself wandering into the wacky and wonderful world of the Mushroom Kingdom.]]
After a brief PlatformHell segment made possible by the Dagger of Time, the group ends up on the campus of [[Literature/HarryPotter Hogwarts]]. [[EpicFail After trying to learn magic, necromancy in particular to raise the characters killed in the last films, they unintentionally start a zombie apocalypse and incite a Hogwarts CivilWar that ends up destroying the place entirely, with only Hagrid, Sirius Black and Dumbledore escaping, only to wonder if they're infected.]]
The team goes around ressurecting their dead comrades , their journey taking them to Victorian England, modern Venice, and ancient Israel, and eventually separating the prince from the rest of the gang. When they are reunited after a [[spoiler: seven-year]] TimeSkip, The Prince reveals that should the Dagger fail, he has two chances to return afterwards before he's KilledOffForReal. [[IdiotBall Coincidentally, one of those times comes quickly, as he runs out of sand and falls off of Mt. Sinai]].
Later on, the characters, [[ClothingDamage clothes torn to shreds]] and hair twice as long, realize that they have no hope of finishing the task laid in front of them, as it quickly undoes itself afterwards. The Prince decides that there is only one thing to do; Plunge the Dagger into the Hourglass of Time, atop the Tower of Dawn in Azad, near his home castle. Once there, however, the Prince drops his Dagger down a shaft, and while the characters go to retrieve it, the Prince gets nervous and wall-runs across a long drop too early and fatally wounds himself. He manages to get out of the shaft, and in his last moments of being able to fight, he gives Karma the Dagger of Time and his scimitar, taking a small machete from a dead body in the courtyard. While Karma, Luigi, Link and Luis run to the Tower of Dawn, the prince stays behind to fight the sand-zombie of [[VideoGame/Left4Dead Bill Overbeck]]. Just as he loses consciousness and dies, the Prince utilizes his final chance.
Later on, the Prince, pristine and with weak weapons and no Dagger, fights his way to Karma Crow, who is fighting the the Special Infected of VideoGame/Left4Dead. Just as the Prince makes himself known (And is about to [[NoNameGiven reveal his name]]) he is killed by a zombie that tackles him off a cliff. Karma takes an incredible journey through his own mind, and then ends up in Luigi's bedroom, the doorway to a "Power Star World". When Mario comes upstairs and threatens to kill Luigi for not letting Mario stuff John Leguizamo inside of his skin, [[ChekhovsGunman Ezio Auditore]] emerges from the level door with both The Apple of Eden and the "Power-Up of Eden". He entrusts his team of assassins to Luigi and Karma, who escape through the level. The fates of Mario and Ezio are never given.
After the level, Luigi tells Karma he must go, which leaves Karma with his team- [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Primo Penna]] and his lover Beatrice Simoni, [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Nestore Nucci, Ercole Esposito]], [[HeterosexualLifePartners Piero Piacentini and Lorenzo la Falce]], Laura Boccanera, [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Fabiola Fornari, Severino Sabelli, Paolo Profeta, Guido Tucerini, Desideria Donati, Anna Abette,]] [[ChekhovsGunman Kafei]] and [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Giovanni Gugliemi.]] After many adventures, in which Karma briefly re-unites with [[spoiler: Rick O'Connell]] and explores his own mind, Karma learns that the hourglass has been shifting position, and is now atop the ancient Stone Tower of a place called [[MajorasMask Ikana Canyon]]. Karma leads the assassins into battle against the undead Ikani army, who are blocking entry to Stone Tower. All of the assassins except for [[spoiler: Beatrice are killed, and Beatrice stays behind to help hold them back.]]
Karma, running past sand zombies of his former friends and teammates, uses the skills he's learned from his friends and allies to climb Stone Tower. As it is about to teleport, Karma plunges the Dagger into the Hourglass of Time, whilst the PinkFloyd song [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome "Wish You Were Here"]] plays in the background. All of the trilogy is erased, including all of the battles, accomplishments, meetings, and bonds, and Karma find himself in the van, holding the Dagger of Time, as Rick ignites his cigarette. "I'm Rick O'Connell. Who're you? What's that face about?"
Cue the credits, and the song [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome "Gypsy" by The Moody Blues...]]
!! This Work Contains Non-Alphabetized Examples Of:
* AncientEgypt: The plot of the first two films involves restoring the Great Pyramid of Khufu. The third film briefly snaps back in time to its initial construction.
** Piero Piacentini and Lorenzo La Falce
** Karma and Rick
* MayIncaTec: The land of Tenochtikuzcalitlan.
** [[ModernMayIncaTecEmpire They return briefly in Denoument.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: A few examples.
** [[spoiler: Spongebob blows the police station while he's inside of it to distract the local law enforcement, who wrongly imprisoned the rest of the group.]]
** [[spoiler: Luigi dies stallling Akhenaten when they're entering the temple.]] Undone soon afterwards.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: Jacob Crow gets shot with a shotgun, falls down three stories, accidentally lights himself on fire and gets eaten alive by scarabs]] for killing millions of people in the name of entertainment-science.
** Captain Ash
** The Prince, [[BadAssDecay before he goes insane and starts talking to himself.]]
** Link, to an extent. Views all of his gagedtry as run of the mill tools and finds adventuring and killing to be everyday work.
** The Assassin Recruits. In particular, Primo, Beatrice, Piero, Nestore and Lorenzo.
** According to Luigi, Mario destroys entire universes single-handedly for cake. He likes cake.
* ClothingDamage: Not so prominent in the first film until the end, but from the Prince's entry onwards, characters take the [[PrinceOfPersia Sands of Time]] approach and lose large bits at sparse times.
* ShiftingSandLand: Karma visist the TropeNamer in the first one, and the desert below it in the third.
* LethalLavaLand: Rick visits the TropeNamer in the first one.
* ContinuityNod: The series loves these.
* DisproportionateRetribution: The group is briefly jailed in the first one for entering the (Fictional) city of Constantinople, Idaho with under six cents each.
** It turns out that four of them actually did have the required cents, and that the police [[spoiler: really just wanted to fill up the jail to appear competent for some young children on a field trip]].
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler: Reese, an ordinary, unarmed teenager, charges screaming into a battle full of magic, electricity and rifles]]. It goes as well as you'd expect.
* ShoutOut: Anything that couldn't be incorporated into the series without being a BigLippedAlligatorMoment finds its way into the sequence where Karma is trapped inside his mind.
* KnightTemplar: Jacob Crow
** Moctezuma murdered his way to power because he beleived that the political situation of
Tenochtikuzcalitlan was terrible, and that he was chosen to lead the people by the gods.
* ChekhovsGunman: Kafei is seen at the very beginning of the first film, when Link is abducted. He is later seen as one of Ezio's assassins.
** Ezio himself. He was destined to enter the [[spoiler: Mushroom Kingdom]], and later saves Luigi and Karma from Mario by entering the castle from there.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The fates of Shaggy Rogers and Lenny Oldburn are never, ever revealed. They are [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] though.
* [[BadAssCape Badass Side-Cape]]: Ezio, Primo, Nestore, Piero and Lorenzo have one, and dyed all different colours too. Beatrice gets one after [[spoiler: Primo dies]].
** In his after-the-credits sequence, Karma gets a tattered, black regular cape with a hood.
* ArtisticLicense: Karma, [[VideoGame/TimeSplitters in the game he's from]], is actually just an alternate costume for main villain Jacob Crow, not his brother, or even a less evil version of him. Luigi really is a paranoid wimp, and Link, in addition to being mute, knows damn well how important he is. Jared Slim is the kind of person that Leon would aprehend, not Reese, and he (Leon) would likely try to kill the Prince after the whole subduing shenanigans. Luis is a pervert, but he's no idiot. Alta´r did not recruit assassins. Other than that, the characters stay fairly true to their original selves, especially the Prince and Rick.
* GreatWhiteHunter: Captain Ash
* ResetButton: The ultimate resolution of the franchise. [[spoiler: As evidenced by the credits, did more harm than good.]]
* CrapsackWorld: The after-credits montage. [[spoiler: Karma's mind breaks down and he wanders through the mountains of Romania with the Dagger slowly going into a deep depression. Luigi's spirit is broken and he essentially become a zombie. Rick gets killed by living mummies. [[spoiler: Link and Kafei get killed by Alta´r, who ends up being shot by Jared Slim, who gets shot by Leon, who shoots the Prince and arrests Reese. Luis gets killed like he does in the game he's from.]] The only characters whose lives are actually ''better'' in the end are Spongebob, Shaggy, Lenny Oldburn, Captain Jack, Harry Tipper and Captain Ash.
* FiveManBand: While the filsm star either a five-or-four man band, they don't really fit into the roles perfectly, though some characters do.
** TheHero: Karma
** TheLancer / TheSmartGuy: Luigi
** TheLancer / TheBigGuy: Rick
** The other fellows: Link, Shaggy
*** Homage II
** TheLancer: Jared
** TheSmartGuy: Leon
** TheBigGuy: Reese
** The Prince is too much of a MagnificentBastard to be considered TheHero.
** The other bloke: Dwight
*** Homage III
** TheHero: Karma
** TheLancer: The Prince
** TheSmartGuy: Luigi
** The others lads: Link, Luis
* MagnificentBastard: The Prince gets Leon and Jared to be subordinate through manipulation. Rather easy to do, since the Dagger essentially makes him unkillable.
** Jacob relies on Karma's refusal to let him get killed to evade death ''and'' taunt the heros to their faces throughout the original. [[spoiler: Rick gets fed up and shoots him off a cliff into being eaten AND burned alive]].
* LargeHam: Dwight, who has been tagging along with everyone in II unnoticed, gets to have his moment finally near the end, [[spoiler: staying behind to hold off the Taliban, and dies when Leon dies]].
** Matthew Patel, right up until he [[spoiler: becomes Kafei's first kill]].