A {{Leitmotif}} that doesn't apply to a particular character; instead, it applies to a particular work or series. Sometimes a character's {{leitmotif}} is even reused in an installment of a series where that character is not part of the story. Very popular in [[VideogameTropes Video Games]], but by no means exclusive to it. If used across a series, it can have nostalgic connotations. Obviously, {{Crossover}} games like ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' use the themes of the games represented to form the majority of the soundtrack.

No relation to the ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' character [[TheSmartGuy Riff]]. See RecurringElement for non-music examples, and ThemeTuneCameo for the series theme appearing in-universe.

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[[foldercontrol]]

!!Examples of a musical theme throughout a series

[[folder:ActionAdventure]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''. That fairie fountain/choose a file music just does not die.
** The original overworld tune may be seeing less use these days, but snippets of it still crop up, [[MusicalPastiche pastiche]]-like, in the overworld music of the newer games.
** The series also has two commonly-reused fanfares. The "Quest Item Obtained" fanfare and the "Puzzle Solve" fanfare are repeated frequently in the series, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPf3m2yeKIY the former has undergone MemeticMutation amongst gamers]].
** Some of the recurring tunes from previous games in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'': Dinosaur Boss Battle, especially during the Stallord battle, the first riff of the original Kakariko Village music interpolated with a slow variation of the Dark World theme from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'', Goron City, Zora's Domain (almost identical to its ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' incarnation), the opening riff of the title music from the original ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'', used in the intro sequence, Hyrule Castle, and Saria[='s=] Song, which is used as the Sacred Woods theme. Sadly, the original overworld theme is almost completely absent. The tune pops up on a more triumphant note about halfway though the ending credits and a few bars appear in the overworld music, but that's more-or-less it.
** Not to mention the Song of Time used in the [[spoiler: Time-travelling Temple of Time]].
*** A droning synthesized chant similar to the Shadow Temple music is used in the Goron Mines and a couple other dungeons.
** Particularly notable use of the theme in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'': You hear bars of the Zelda overworld theme during scenes which Link's heroic legacy and destiny are discussed, but never anywhere else.
*** FridgeBrilliance in that during ''Wind Waker'', Hyrule no longer actually exists and is only discussed of in oral legend.
*** Strangely, the ambience heard emanating from the warp leading to and from Hyrule Castle is also heard in the Final Hours music from ''Majora's Mask''.
** In addition, almost every game that has a dungeon taking place inside Hyrule Castle will have a variant on the Hyrule Castle theme from ''Link to the Past''.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', the musics for each of the "provinces" (Woodfall, Snowhead, Great Bay, Ikana/Stone Tower) all share a common riff/melody with different instrumentations, which in turn, is based on [[{{Leitmotif}} Majora's theme]]. The FinalBoss musics are also variations of its theme.
** The Title theme from ''A Link to the Past'' was used in ''The Wind Waker'' when [[spoiler: Tetra is revealed to be Princess Zelda,]] and also makes a small cameo in the scene where the Great Deku Tree tells the story of the Triforce, as well as being remixed for the theme of the Bridge of the Sages in ''Ocarina of Time''.
** The Light World dungeon theme in ''ALTTP'' reuses the bassline from the original Underworld theme, if you listen closely.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'' naturally reuses many themes from ''A Link to the Past'', and also borrows the temple theme from ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'' for its Shadow Link battles.
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' has the classic "Vampire Killer" tune which appears in some form or another in most of the games, though it has remained absent from many of the later ones. In general, the series ''loves'' this trope, with the Big Three recurring tunes being "Vampire Killer" (from [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI the first game]]), "Bloody Tears" (from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'') and "Beginning" (from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse''). Once Theme of Simon was introduced in ''VideoGame/SuperCastlevaniaIV'', it started popping up a lot as well, even in games where Simon isn't present or even ''mentioned''. Truely WolverinePublicity in music form.
** "Heart of Fire", which was the background music to stage 5 of [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI the first game]], returns in a glorious BossRemix in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow'' as the boss music of [[spoiler:Julius Belmont]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:AdventureGame]]
* ''SpaceQuest'''s title theme. A somewhat altered version was used in ''SQ IV'' and up.
* One of the elevator muzak songs from ''PoliceQuest: Open Season'' was reused in ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry 6'', in the hotel lobby.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:BeatEmUp]]
* Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles tends to do this with a recurring riff in many of the level themes. In the old arcade game look out for '[[http://youtu.be/XTWCnjyJmqo?t=22s Hero's]] [[http://youtu.be/7rTVHFfqD_o?t=25s in]] [[http://youtu.be/dUydvsoRMjE?t=10s a]] [[http://youtu.be/2QVNUXGlddI?t=16s Half]] [[http://youtu.be/BfTrejmnbYo?t=33s Shell]]' to come out,
** In the first game for the 2003 series it was the 8 notes of '[[http://youtu.be/c8pmkRNTbwQ?t=1m59s Teen]]-[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4PvRzWjVC4 age]] [[http://youtu.be/eiGWow14IDY?t=45s Mu]]-[[http://youtu.be/TBq6bHvx07g?t=30s tant]] [[http://youtu.be/qn09oZQOv9w?t=1m30s Nin-Ja]] [[http://youtu.be/L3dW06Ujz_Y?t=20s Tur-tles]]'
* Many of the ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' games uses the same title theme. In fact, the few games that don't use the classic ''Double Dragon'' theme in some form or another tend to be the crappier games in the series (namely the arcade version of ''Double Dragon 3'' and ''Double Dragon V''). ''Super Double Dragon'' also uses the first stage theme from the original game in one level, while ''Double Dragon Advance'' has a soundtrack composed entirely remixes from the first two games (including the FinalBoss theme from the second NES game, which is played when the player faces [[TheDragon Raymond]]).
** The Japanese version of ''Super Double Dragon'' actually plays the original theme on its title screen. The City Slum theme from the original was also remixed in ''[=SDD=]''.
** The PCEngine CD version of ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon II'', while otherwise regarded as the best version of the game, ironically lacks the classic theme tune.
** ''DoubleDragonNeon'' also reuses many of the classic themes, some of which are recurring riffs within the soundtrack. For example, Skullmageddon's theme is in fact a highly reworked version of the second cave theme from the first NES game.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXDwSsb48gM In your Belief]], the absolute TearJerker of an AwardBaitSong from ''AsurasWrath'' can be heard all of the place, such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVnJtXsTrEs the ethnic version of the theme]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy_msenGEMQ The Repirse of the theme]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRkDs0xxYtM Vajra Asura vs. Vajra Deus]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryv-fb_Fcz4 Bonds]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:DrivingGame]]
* The title screen music of every ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' game to date has contained a remix of the original ''VideoGame/SuperMarioKart'' theme.
** The Rainbow Road music from ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'' frequently gets implemented in an inverted form of SecondVerseCurse.
* In the first ''TwistedMetal'', the main riff of "Asphalt Assault" recurs alot, most prominently in "Cyburb Hunt" and "Cyburb Slide".
** "Quake Zone Rumble" is almost identical to "Snowblind" from ''Jet Moto''.
** The "Suburbs" music from ''Black'' is a remake of "Drop Dead" from the first game.
** The strings riff from "Drop Dead" is reused in "The Drop Zone" in ''2''.
** "Suicide Slide" sounds like a darker version of "Cyburb Slide", also using elements of "Drop Dead".
** "Field of Screams" is a more rock & roll sounding remix of "Asphalt Assault".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:FightingGame]]
* Geese Howard from ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' has a remixed version of his original theme song present in every game he appears in, with the title and instruments changing but the composition staying more or less the same. The title of the song is always "X for Geese" ("Soy Sauce for Geese", "A Kiss for Geese", "Stiff Shoulder for Geese", etc.). The lone exception is the Infernal Gate stage theme in ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters: Maximum Impact'', which is named "Kiss Geese Once More".
** Similarly, the ''Fatal Fury'' games' other BigBad, Wolfgang Krauser, appeared accompanied by an OminousLatinChanting excerpt from Mozart's ''Requiem'', either "Dies Irae" or "Lacrimosa."
* ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' uses "Esaka?", the theme of the Japan Team in ''KOF '96'', quite a bit, from its original use in that game to the remixes (actually used for the various Kyo clones) in ''[='99=]'' and ''2003''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:FirstPersonShooter]]
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' has its characteristic theme.
** Many recurring themes abound throughout the trilogy, including "Enough Dead Heroes"(the middle section is often heard during battles with Hunters), "Brothers In Arms"(most notably in the third game), "Perilous Journey", "A Walk In The Woods", "Under Cover of Night"(one of the most common themes), "Shadows"(the Flood theme), "On a Pale Horse"(a variation of this theme is used in "Leonidas", ie the music during the gondola rides in Regret), "Broken Gates"(remixed in the Tsavo Highway mission as "Out of Shadow"), "High Charity", "Perchance To Dream", "The Last Spartan", the Delta Halo theme, and the Arbiter's theme.
*** Leonidas itself got an epicness upgrade in Halo 3 as Leonidas Returns. High Charity's Rue and Woe was remade as Heroes Also Fall in Halo 3, and Respite was remade as Tribute. Earth City, Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, and Unreconcialed all share the same format (strong opening, fast-paced supporting melody with powerful main melody, quietened down in the middle, reprise of main melody towards the end) and are all recurring themes in their respective games.
** The opening cinematics of all three games feature a characteristic strings motif, which also appears in the intro to the Delta Halo level in ''Halo 2'', and the Legendary ending of ''Halo 3''.
** "Unyielding", itself a recurring theme in part 2, is based on "Rock Anthem for Saving The World" from part 1.
*** As is the latter part of "Greatest Journey" from part 3.
*** In turn, parts of "Unyielding" were remixed in "One Final Effort".
** The ending riff of "Brothers in Arms" recurs several times in ''Halo 2''.
** The first half of the song "Heretic, Hero" in part 2 uses both the motifs of "Truth and Reconciliation" and "The Gun Pointed At The Head of the Universe". The second half is "A Walk In The Woods".
** The "Pursuit of Truth" movement of the High Charity suite is based on the song "Leela" from the ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}} 1'' soundtrack (heard in the second level among others), the series that ''Halo'' is the SpiritualSuccessor to.
** The last track of the ''Halo 1'' OST includes a hidden easter egg, the TearJerker piece "Siege Of Madrigal" from the ''Myth'' games.
** ''In Amber Clad'', ''Unforgotten'', and the beginning of ''High Charity Suite'' share a recurring slow strings motif.
** "Finish the Fight" is a combination of the main ''Halo'' theme and "The Last Spartan".
** "Dream Again" is "Under Cover of Night" done InTheStyleOf "Perchance to Dream".
** "Farthest Outpost" uses the beat of "In Amber Clad" with the Ark theme.
** The ''VideoGame/{{Myth}}'' series, also developed by Bungie and scored by O'Donnell, uses lots of recurring riffs.
** Even ''HaloReach'' subtly reprises many older motifs, such as "On a Pale Horse"(in "Noble Mission"), the Covenant/Arbiter theme (in "Inbound Imminent"), "Farthest Outpost"(in "From the Beginning" and "Sword Control"), "Destroyer's Invocation"(in "Aim to Please" and "War Machine"), "Ghosts of Reach"(in "The Battle Begins", "Make it Count" and "Shipbreaker"), "In Amber Clad" (in "Before the Fire" and "We Remember"), "Move On"(in "Breaking Point"), "Leonidas" (in "Time to Dance"), "Keep What You Steal"(in "Say the Words"), "Respite/Tribute"(in "Hymn for Reach"), "Enough Dead Heroes" (in "The Fall" and "Ashes"), and the original ''Halo'' theme (in "Immemorial", "Latchkey", and "Unreconciled").
** Although its soundtrack had a different composer, ''{{Halo 4}}'''s title theme briefly reprises the "Finish the Fight" piano motif from ''{{Halo 3}}''. "Never Forget" is also reused during the "Midnight" mission and ending credits.
* The ''MedalOfHonor'' series has these in spades; eg "Main Theme", "Locating Enemy Positions", "Attack on Fort Schmerzen", "The U-Boat", "Panzer Attack", "Rjukan Sabotage"(reworked for the first part of "Escaping Gotha"), "Nordhausen"(reprised in "Schmerzen" from ''Allied Assault''), "May 10th, 1940"(the title theme of ''Underground''), etc. In fact, most of ''Allied Assault'''s soundtrack is lifted straight from the first two games.
* One song in ''ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4hZ2Yfb34Q "Mission"]], is a remake of "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsg8XNFSNr4 Get Them]]" from the original ''VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D''.
* ''[[VideoGame/GoldenEye1997 GoldenEye (1997)]]'' does this in spades, featuring roughly ''fifty'' tunes that utilize the James Bond theme in some way.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:General]]
* Nintendo composer Kazumi Totaka has hidden [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLMAgcGA8Dw a short song]] in many of his titles, often in very obscure places. It has now achieved Easter Egg status.
* The original ''MarioParty'' includes shout-outs to earlier games. The tracks "Slowly, Slowly" and "Dodging Danger" are based on the World 6 and 8 map themes, respectively, from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3''. And the Magma Mountain course includes a section based on Bowser's Keep from ''SuperMarioRPG''.
* For the very observant, the ''Super Mario RPG'' Mushroom Kingdom theme was reused from Final Fantasy V's Tycoon Castle theme.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:HackAndSlash]]
* ''{{Drakengard}}'' has a theme called "Growing Wings" which represents the series (all two of 'em) as a whole. A version of it is played when [[spoiler:the main protagonist from the first game dies in the second]] which is just heart-wrenching.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:PlatformGame]]
* Several of the riffs from the ''[[VideoGame/MontyMole Monty on the Run]]'' theme song are reused in ''Impossamole''. In turn, the Bermuda Triangle and Ice Land themes in the TurboGrafx16 version use riffs from the title theme.
* The ''SonicTheHedgehog'' series has its classic theme song music from the first two games (which was mixed with "Hall of the Mountain King" and "Flight of the Bumblebee" for the syndicated cartoon), which was even referenced as late as 2001 in ''Sonic Advance''. A bit more commonly, though, is the Round Clear music from ''Sonic 3 & Knuckles'', which has been used for over ten years when a character completes a stage.
** It's also heard as Sonic's victory theme in ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl]]''.
** Some Game Gear spin-offs had ''Sonic - You Can Do Anything'' from ''Sonic CD'' as an level theme or invincibility jingle.
** The series also has its infamous [[NightmareFuel Drowning Theme]], officially called "I Wanna Breathe", that is guaranteed to appear in any Sonic game where you can go under water [[SuperDrowningSkills without instantly dying]].
** ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure''[='s=] Twinkle Park/Circuit level reused the music from ''Sonic3DBlast''[='s=] Panic Puppet Zone.
** It's also common for Sonic games that have Zones split into individual acts to have different tracks for each act (starting with ''Sonic3AndKnuckles''). Each track will usually share some kind of RecurringRiff between them, though.
* The ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' games have a few pervasive tunes.
** World 1-1, the above-ground theme from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'', is the main theme and the most famous one. Many games bring back the World 1-1 music, not for above-ground levels, but for some other purpose.
*** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' hid this tune as an EasterEgg in the [[BrutalBonusLevel Special Zone]].
*** In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioKart'', the Results theme for Mario (and to an extent, Bowser) is based on the World 1-1 theme. In ''VideoGame/MarioKart7'', the music for Piranha Plant Side uses part of the World 1-1 and 1-2 themes.
*** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' remixes it at Mario's Pad.
*** ''VideoGame/MarioParty 1'' remixes it for the tutorial, and also includes part of it in the theme for Peach's Birthday Cake.
*** ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'' games often use it for tutorials or mini-games. ''Superstar Saga'' also brings back Mario's Pad (from ''Super Mario RPG'') for the green-pipe menu screen.
*** ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' remixes it for Petal Meadows. A second remix plays when Luigi describes his adventures.
*** The "doo-doo doo doo-doo doo, doo" riff from the beginning of the World 1-1 theme returns in a few places. ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' plays it on the star-select screen when Mario first enters a world. ''Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door'' plays it to open each chapter.
** World 1-2, the {{underground|level}} theme from ''Super Mario Bros. 1'', is much more commonly remixed and reused, because it often returns as the underground theme.
*** Remixes of World 1-2 play underground in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'', some ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'' games, ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros'', and ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario''.
*** ''Super Mario RPG'' plays a remix in its underground Pipe Maze, and plays a more frantic remix when Mario chases the Axem Rangers in Barrel Volcano.
*** ''Super Mario 64'' has several dynamic variations, changing as Mario goes deeper underground.
*** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' has an awesome moment where the first six notes are played on a heavily distorted guitar when Shadow Mario first appears.
*** This is taken to such extremes that in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'', the Shadow Mario theme is a remix of a remix of a remix.
** ''Super Mario Bros. 1'' also launched the [[InvincibilityPowerUp Starman]] theme. Almost every Mario game with invincibility stars plays this theme, including many platformers, some [=RPGs=] and all ''Mario Kart'' games. The {{aver|ted trope}}sions are ''VideoGame/SuperMarioLand'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioLand2'', where these stars play unique themes. Although there aren't any invincibility stars in ''Super Mario 64'', the game remixes this theme for all of the power-ups. A metallic-sounding remix is used for the Metal Cap.
** ''Super Mario Bros. 1'' also contributed two classic fanfares for losing a life and for hitting GameOver. These ten notes for losing a life return in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' and later platformers. The game-over fanfare also returns, though players might have [[MeaninglessLives too many lives]] to hear it. ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' games play this game-over tune when Mario has zero HP.
** The airship tune from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' is so common, that when later Mario games bring back airships, they remix this theme. The one aversion is in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'', where the Sunken Ship plays the ghost-house theme.
** The "Peach's Castle" theme from ''Super Mario 64'' is also frequently used, to a far lesser extent. Nearly every game that has a segment that takes place in Peach's Castle will use a variation on that theme, even as a simple cameo. It was even in the SNES game ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry3''.
** The original Underwater music from ''Super Mario Bros. 1'' is often heard as well; notably, ''not'' often as an Underwater theme. First it was remixed as the title theme for ''Super Mario Bros. 2'', from which it spread to the title screens of ''All-Stars'' and the Game Boy Advance games.
** ''Super Mario Kart'''s Bowser Castle courses use a remix of the FinalBoss music from ''Super Mario World'', and the Ghost Valley courses use the [[BigBoosHaunt Ghost House]] theme from said game.
** The 64DD expansion pack to ''F-Zero X'' had a remix of the Rainbow Road music from ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'' for its track of the same name, in place of "Driving Through On Max" from the regular game.
** ''Super Mario World'' remixed the ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' fortress music for the Valley of Bowser map.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' has remixes of World 1-1 and World 1-2 (and a cameo of the underwater music) from the original game, the athletic theme and airship theme from ''Super Mario Bros. 3'' and the Bowser stages from ''Super Mario 64''.
** ''Mario Kart Double Dash'' and ''Mario Kart 7'''s respective Rainbow Road music use part of said circuit's ''Mario Kart 64'' theme. The ''Super Mario Kart'' Rainbow Road riff is used as the intro of many of the later Rainbow Road themes.
** Bowser's Road (the theme for the Bowser levels in SuperMario64) in general. It's been in SuperMario64, SuperMarioGalaxy, SuperMarioGalaxy2 and two Mario and Sonic olympic games already and possibly a few more not listed. Also, the main theme for Delfino Plaza in SuperMarioSunshine, Peach's Castle from SuperMario64 (it's appeared in most Mario {{Role Playing Game}}s and spinoffs in history now) and various others.
** Don't be surprised if you find the music for the Hammer Bros. battles from Mario 3 pop up, whether it's for proper world map battles, bonus houses or the Koopa Bros' theme from Paper Mario.
* Most ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' games use variations on a four-measure riff ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHS97lomzUk heard here]]) when a stage has been selected. The piece's name is "Robot Master Chosen."
** Likewise, the jingle for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFFyc38jFkM defeating a Robot Master]] has appeared in most of the classic games.
** Another example is Proto Man's Whistle, which heralds his appearance starting in ''VideoGame/MegaMan3''. It's even played with in ''5'': [[spoiler:when an off-key version is played, it's the indication that the Proto Man that appears is an impostor.]]
** To a lesser extent, there is the ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' ending theme, which shows up in some later games, usually during the credits, though is most famous as the title them for ''2''. Even appeared as Mega Man's theme in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom''
** The first three games of ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' also use variations of the same main theme, which also made the occasional appearance in later games (such as in the credits music for 5). 5 also uses a variation of 4's theme.
* The prologue sequence in ''Wonderboy III: The Dragon's Trap'' reprises the final dungeon music from ''Wonderboy In Monster Land''. The cave music from the arcade version of WBML also returns at one point.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Kirby}}'' series has several of these, most notably Green Greens, Gourmet Race, and King Dedede's Theme.
** The original ''Kirby's Dream Land'' title screen music appears to be getting more use these days (it showed up in ''Kirby Super Star Ultra'' and ''SuperSmashBrosBrawl'''s "Butter Building" music, among other places). As well, each game uses some variation on the classic death theme, with varying degrees of disguise.
** The "Stage Clear" theme (also known as the Kirby Dance jingle); a variation on the general melody appears in ''every'' Kirby game.
** In ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar'' in particular (and its remake), there's one recurring riff which is heard in various songs, the most glorious example being during the destruction of the final boss (and his Cosmic MacGuffin).
** In ''VideoGame/KirbysEpicYarn'', an 11-note motif is heard in many songs in the game.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wsv5ofGeTJs A song originally used in the]] BossRush of ''Kirby's Dream Land'' shows up [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgme6flm6Lc as the Choose Weapon theme]] in ''KirbySuperStar'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8EedeY7HE0 the Sound Test theme]] in ''Kirby's Dream land 3'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e87ufc_tQC0 the Enemy Info theme]] in ''VideoGame/Kirby64TheCrystalShards'', and finally [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx_rA3uWLYY the Boss Game Select theme]] in ''VideoGame/KirbyCanvasCurse''.
* In the ''{{Contra}}'' series, the "Stage Clear" jingle from the first game and the "Game Over" jingle from ''Contra III'' are frequently reused. ''Shattered Soldier'''s fifth mission features a remix of the first game's first stage music.
** Cross series: The "Battle Train" and "Mr. Heli Robo" musics have the same beats as "Look To The Sky (True Color Mix)" and "Dynamite Rave (Down Bird SOTA Mix)", respectively, from ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution''. All were produced/remixed by Sota Fujimori.
* In the ''{{Metroid}}'' series, Brinstar's theme is in common use, Samus' theme has been in nearly every game since ''Super Metroid'', all the various Brinstar themes were in ''MetroidPrime 2: Echoes'' as multiplayer songs, and finally, Crateria's theme was used in [[spoiler:The Pirate Homeworld]] in ''MetroidPrime 3''.
** There's also the 13-note "item obtained" theme, and the "game start" theme, as well as the "Chozo statue room" theme (which is mostly electronic beeping). Most of all however, is the title screen theme from the first game.
** The Lower Norfair theme from ''Super Metroid'' is also used for Magmoor Caverns in ''Prime.''
* The Naughty Dog ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' games repeat Dr. Cortex's and N. Gin's {{Leitmotif}}s.
** All recurring bosses have their themes remixed throughout the original trilogy (this is kept in ''CrashBandicootTheHugeAdventure / XS'' as well, albeit mixing up the roster each theme plays for). The ''Warped'' title theme is also remixed into several later titles, acting as a BootstrappedTheme of sorts. The ''Videogame/CrashTwinsanity'' theme is also reused in numerous segments of ''CrashTagTeamRacing''.
* ''Franchise/TombRaider III'' reused several music themes from the first game; eg a music used in St Francis Folly was remixed [[InTheStyleOf Indian style]] for the India Jungle level. Also, the recurring title theme.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:PuzzleGame]]
* Several tunes in ''VideoGame/KatamariDamacy'', most notably the main theme, "Katamari On The Rocks".
* "The Game" from ''VideoGame/TheSeventhGuest'' and ''The 11th Hour''. Most of the characters' {{leitmotif}}s are variations of this riff. There are also a few other recurring themes, like the OminousMusicBoxTune(heard in the mouse puzzle and the tower), the library theme and the Stauf Train theme in ''[=T11H=]''.
* ''ProfessorLayton'' has the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=silTahU0T8w Puzzles theme]]. It was played during puzzles for the first two games, but after the melody is replaced in ''Unwound Future'', it is moved to the respective Puzzle Keeper's house (Beasley, Puzzlette, Keats, etc.). It's also used in the bonuses menu of ''Last Specter''.
* VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'s '[[BilingualBonus Cara Mia Addio]]' can be heard here and there throughout the game-- most notably in (the suitably named) "Love as a Construct"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RealTimeStrategy]]
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' has the Hell March tune. The [[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberium Tiberium]] universe, on the other hand, tends to use snippets from Act On Instinct and Industrial.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RolePlayingGame]]
* The ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games use this in extremes; background music such as defeating a Trainer, the Gym interior, etc. are rearrangements. Not to mention the original games' opening/title screen music showing up in various places, including the Champion/Mt. Silver battle of ''[[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Gold/Silver/Crystal]]''.
** To list every riff would take a lot of time, but in one of the stranger examples, ''Pokémon Pinball'''s Blue Field theme was rearranged as the more relaxed motif of Ecruteak and Cianwood in ''Gold'', ''Silver'' and ''Crystal''.
** Most themes change from game to game. The Pokémon Center music, however, is always a variation on the same theme, as with the Gym interior and title screen themes.
** The themes from the various Battle Towers (Battle Subway in ''Black'' and ''White'', Battle Chateau and later Battle Maison in ''X'' and ''Y'') tend to be a remix of the original Battle Tower music from ''Pokémon Crystal''.
** The EarWorm-y music that plays when someone is bringing you somewhere to show you something (known as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wskGh5rYAQ "Follow Me" or "Guidance"]] in the games; [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJdVAFza1E8 "Silly Psyduck"]] in the anime) is always a variation on the same theme.
*** Not to mention, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZCZ7M_lifM this version]] used in ''Pokemon 2000''.
** Each game's theme for entry into the Hall of Fame is always remixed from ''Red & Blue''. It was extended slightly beginning with Gen III.
** The spinoffs have their own riffs as well. Among other songs, the VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon games use a variant of the same song whenever you choose your species, and each [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo set of games]] has its own internal riffs; even In The Future Of Darkness, despite being a side story that doesn't feature the player outside of flashbacks has its own distinct jingle.
** Since it's introduction in the Admin Battle Theme of ''Pokemon Colosseum'', a riff is featured prominently in the console installments of Pokemon battling, commonly referred to as Cipher's theme. Both ''Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness'' and ''Pokemon Battle Revolution'' use it in multiple songs, despite the latter having nothing to do with Cipher.
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series has a number of these.
** Tied for most famous are the "Prelude" (or "Crystal Theme") and the series's main theme, "Final Fantasy" (aka "Prologue" or "Bridge Crossing Theme").
*** Notably, the main theme is missing from most of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''... until it appears as a TriumphantReprise of sorts just before TheEnd.
** Right behind those are the victory fanfare and the Chocobo theme (all its variations are named "X de Chocobo"). All four tend to be subject to minor tweaks per game, but are still recognizably the same tune.
** In addition, almost all of the battle themes share variations on the opening bass riff, but they all diverge from there; noticeable stylistic similarities exist between many of them, though, particularly those composed close together.
*** After being absent for most of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', said bass riff finally does appear for the final boss music.
** Like ''Zelda'', ''Final Fantasy'' has a jingle for obtaining key items, though mainly used in the older games.
* The thematic ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' theme is reused several times in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'', as well as Lucca's victory fanfare theme. In addition, CC's theme for bustling Termina is reminiscent of Guardia's Millenial Fair in CT, and [[spoiler:the first ending theme contains parts of "Schala's Theme", which makes perfect sense.]] In addition, since CC started life as a game called VisualNovel/RadicalDreamers, many themes from the original Satelliview game are remixed for CC, including the main theme, the battle theme, "Frozen Flame", and "Star-Stealing Girl".
* The ''VideoGame/{{Ys}}'' series has several recurring riffs, for example, "Adol's Theme", which is one of the opening musics for ''Ys Book I and II'', recurs in some of the dungeons of the other games (eg. the Canal in ''Ys II'', Mountain Shrine in ''Ys IV'', the stage entrance and Ilbern Ruins musics in ''Ys III'', and the ending of ''Ys V''), and the ''Ys IV'' overworld theme not only has many variations in its titular game(Field, Great Forest of Selceta, Blazing Sword, Beyond Reminiscence, Valley of Quicksand, etc.), but in ''Ys VI'' as well(Release of the Far West Ocean, Windslash Steps, Mountain Zone, which also partly sounds similar to the Solomon Shrine music in Ys II, and Defend And Escape! (when you escort Olha and Terra out of the Romun ship), which also resembles part of Niena's theme from ''Ys V'', and the latter part of "Field Of Gale" in ''Ys V''. "Overwater Drive", heard in the Limewater Cave in ''Ys VI'', is roughly a remake of "Beat of the Terror", the Abandoned Mine music in ''Ys I and II''. The motif during the cutscene where the Ark of Napishtim is revived recurs during the second half of the final boss battle(The Depth Napishtim), as well as in Defend And Escape!.
** The boss themes "Holders of Power", "Protectors", and "Shock of the Grim Reaper".
** "Armored Bane" reprises the riff from "Battle Ground" and "Over Drive".
* ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER|1}}'' introduced several themes that appear elsewhere in the series - "Pollyanna (I Believe in You)", "Eight Melodies (Queen Mary's Lullabye)", "Humoresque of a Little Dog", and the theme to the NewAgeRetroHippie. ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' also introduced "Eight Melodies (Sound Stone)", which was also reused multiple times (including being remixed with the first "Eight Melodies" tune to make "Sixteen Melodies" in ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'').
* Practically every major tri-Ace game (''StarOcean'', ''ValkyrieProfile'') contains a bonus dungeon with the theme music "Mission to the Deep Space". Several iconic battle themes can also be heard across games, such as the battle theme from the first ''Valkyrie Profile''.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' reuses all the exploration and battle themes of the original's worlds that also appear in the sequel.
** All of Organization XIII's themes in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' contain a piece of the Organization's main theme, "Another Side." These pieces have been collected in to an orchestrated work called "[[CrowningMusicOfAwesome The 13th Anthology]]".
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kyatdg2USLI Dearly Beloved]].
** "Destati" is used and remixed repeatedly throughout the series as well.
* Almost every ''DragonQuest'' game has the same introduction music, as well as the same "item found!" five-note tune.
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PanyifCWFIc Saturos theme]] for ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'', which, as of Dark Dawn, seems to be becoming the BonusBoss battle music.
* Overlapping at times with MusicalNod, a lot of the earlier ''Franchise/{{Yu-Gi-Oh}}'' video games had a tendency to reuse songs, although not necessarily for the same characters (the only exceptions usually being [Yami] Yugi, Seto Kaiba, Darknite/Nitemare, and their expies/alternate selves). In particular, music from ''Dark Duel Stories'' for the Game Boy Color regularly resurfaced in ''[[VideoGame/YuGiOhForbiddenMemories Forbidden Memories]]'' ([=PS1=]), ''The Duelists of the Roses'' ([=PS2=]), and ''[[VideoGame/YuGiOhTheFalseboundKingdom The Falsebound Kingdom]]'' ([=GameCube=]).
* ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' Often has the theme of the first game in the series pop up, particularly when fighting Elder Dragons.
* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'':
** All games in the series use a variation on ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga''[='s=] "key item" theme.
** ''Superstar Saga''[='s=] ending theme is reused in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime''.
** Bowser's leitmotif from ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory'' reappears in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:ShootEmUp]]
* ''{{Gradius}}'' has "Aircraft Carrier," which is originally used for boss battles in the first ''Gradius'' game, and is used for the wave of item-carrying Zubs that appear before a BossRush in subsequent games.
** When fighting a boss returning from a previous game, the boss music from that game is usually used, eg "Poison Of Snake" for ''Salamander/Life Force'' bosses, "Take Care" for ''Gradius II'' bosses, and "Dark Force" for ''Gradius III'' bosses. Exceptions include the BossRush in ''Gradius IV'', which all use the "Take Care!" music from ''Gradius II'' regardless of their game of origin, and the reappearance of the Rolling Core in ''Gradius V'', which uses "Aircraft Carrier" instead of the Gradius IV boss theme.
* The first stage music from ''RType'' and ''R Type 2'' are both remixed in ''R Type 3'', and ''Delta''.
* Most of the BGMs from ''Raiden II'' were remixed in ''Raiden IV'', including "Repeated Tragedy", "Tragedy Flame", "All or Nothing", "Depression", and "Flap Towards The Hope".
* All Windows generation ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' games have more or less the same riff for the menu screen. It even extends to some fangames (namely ''Concealed the Conclusion'').
** ''Scarlet Weather Rhapsody'' has a very distinctive riff that plays in some fashion in ''every single song in the game'' that isn't a battle theme (so, the opening theme, the title, every pre-battle sequence, the credits...)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:SportsGame]]
* The riff of the ''Skate Or Die'' theme song ("SKATE OR DIE! DIEDIEDIEDIEDIE!") recurs in several variations in the second game (eg the mall theme, at least one of the cutscene musics).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:StealthBasedGame]]
* The ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series did not let the "Operation Intrude N313 ~ Theme of Tara" piece die. It's first heard in the original ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' as Snake comes up from the water and begins the mission, and while the N313 fanfare only plays once in the whole game, the piece tends to be treated as an amalgam. Later sightings -
** There's a comical mix of "Theme of Tara" during the indoor infiltration segments in ''Snake's Revenge'', all the more unusual because it was for the NES, and the NES version of ''Metal Gear'' featured a completely different infiltration theme. The TX-55 Metal Gear theme from the first game is also used in the attract mode and when Snake faces the new Metal Gear at the end of the game.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'' used a squint-and-you'll-hear-it mix of the "Theme of Tara" in the background to some of the sneaking stages.
*** Also, "Killers", "Night Sight", and "Big Boss" shared the same or a similar riff, "The Front Line" and "Level 1 Warning" are remixes of "Advance Immediately" (which itself resembles the first game's alert theme), and "Mechanical" is a remix of ''VideoGame/MetalGear'''s boss theme.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and ''VideoGame/MetalGearGhostBabel'' used it as the backdrop to the VR Training missions with the "Opening Intrude N313" fanfare playing over the briefings. In ''Ghost Babel'', the music played as Snake parachutes into the jungle is a mix of the Opening Intrude N313 fanfare, directly paralleling his previous entry to the same fortress (the plot revolved around him re-infiltrating the building that had once been Outer Heaven).
** ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance]]'' used the Intrude fanfare/Theme in VR, when playing as Snake in his [=MGS1=] costume. Pay attention during the "Opening Infiltration" segment of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'', and you'll hear a little nod to the Fanfare as Snake lands on the Tanker.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', the music that plays while Snake stalks the Resistance member is a heavily modified mix of "Theme of Tara." It's also possible to hear sounds of the original Theme emanating from a house - someone appears to be playing the original ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' and really ''failing'' at it.
** In ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'', it's one of the songs initially available on the Shadow Moses stage, complete with the Fanfare lead in. It also plays over Snake's introduction in the Story mode.
** "Zanzibar Breeze", a track first heard in ''Metal Gear 2'' over the opening movie, reappears a lot, usually as an EasterEgg. In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', a mixed version of the opening bars was used as the Main Menu theme (it also showed up as an EasterEgg in ''Metal Gear Solid: Integral''). It showed up again in ''Metal Gear Solid 4'' as an EasterEgg track on the [[ProductPlacement iPod]].
** ''Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions'' also feature plenty of remixed versions of music from the first two [=MSX2=] games. ''Metal Gear Solid: Integral'' also features a remixed version of the "Theme of Solid Snake", in addition to "Zanzibar Breeze", as an easter egg via Codec.
** The final boss theme of "VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance" is a rock remix of the theme from Peace Walker.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:SurvivalHorror]]
* The music from the first chapter of ''HouseOfTheDead 1'' returns in Chapter 2 of [=HotD2=], and the FinalBoss Magician's theme from the first game is reused for his reappearance in Chapter 5.
* Many songs in the ''SilentHill'' games (Theme of Laura, I Want Love, Your Rain, Waiting For You, etc.) feature a guitar riff from the latter part of the opening theme of the first game. Variations of this theme occur in the TearJerker scenes with Lisa in [=SH1=](Not Tomorrow) and Angela in [=SH2=](Theme of Laura Reprise).
** "Home Town", the ending theme from ''SilentHill3'', is a vocal version of the opening theme from SH 1.
** "Dance With Night Wind" in the third game resembles "True" from the second game, and both are {{Tear Jerker}}s.
** "Promise" in ''[=SH2=]'' is another pastiche of the [=SH1=] theme, and is in fact used as Alessa's theme in the movie.
** The intro of "Sickness Unto Foolish Death" from ''Silent Hill 3'' is reused in ''The Room'' whenever Henry returns to the apartment from the otherworld.
** A melodic line from the guitar solo in "I Want Love (Studio Mix)" from the ''Silent Hill 3'' soundtrack shows up again in "Your Rain" from ''SilentHill4'' and "Hell Frozen Rain" from ''Silent Hill: Shattered Memories''.
*** On a similar [[IncrediblyLamePun note]], a melodic line from "Theme of Laura" also appears in the second solo of "Waiting For You" from [=SH4=].
** A variation of the "White Noiz" motif from ''SilentHill2'' is used in "A Stray Child" in ''SilentHill3''.
* "Wreckage of the Mad Experiment from ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' was remixed and used as Wesker's theme in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilTheUmbrellaChronicles''.
* Most of the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' games starting with ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica'' feature variations of the first game's save room theme.
* The beginning of Salazar's boss theme in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' sounds similar to the main riff of ''{{PN 03}}'''s FinalBoss theme. In addition, ''RE4'''s Mercenaries minigame directly recycles two ''P.N. 03'' songs.

[[folder:ThirdPersonShooter]]
* The ''SyphonFilter'' games have a memorable title theme(the Omega Strain version is the CrowningMusicOfAwesome), along with several recurring in-game motifs. The title theme motif recurs the most in the PS2 games.
** The Pharcom Expo Center music from the first game, and its "danger" variation, are reused when you revisit the center in ''Syphon Filter 2''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:TurnBasedStrategy]]
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' has a title theme and an Encounter-ally/Recruitment theme introduced in ''Sword of Seals'', the latter recently known as "Together We Ride", in most of its games.
** "Together we Ride" is not the Encounter theme in ''Path of Radiance'', but it does appear during one dialog between Kieran and Elincia combined with "Knight's Oath" a secondary recruitment theme used throughout the seris.
** Fittingly enough, the theme used for the ''Fire Emblem'' characters in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Melee'' was a combination of these two themes.
** The [[LightGunGame Super Scope shooter]] ''Metal Combat'', the sequel to ''BattleClash'', uses the level-up jingle from the ''Fire Emblem'' series when you complete a training stage. Intelligent Systems, the makers of ''Fire Emblem'', also made the ''Battle Clash'' games. Ironically, ''Metal Combat'' only came out in North America and Europe, and during a time where none of the ''Fire Emblem'' games were released internationally.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' features a recurring riff that functions as some sort of brief (but very nice) main theme for the game. Although it never appears on its own, rather appearing attached to other themes. A clear example are the first 20 seconds of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLIZd7NpTbo Opening Theme]].
* Many NipponIchi games (''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'', and ''MakaiKingdom'' especially) will use music samples from ''LaPucelle'', particularly the Rosenqueen Shop and Dark World themes, in various situations
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VisualNovel]]
* The ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' series has a bunch of songs that can accompany its courtroom drama, but when it ''really'' counts, they use the first game's crisis theme, "Investigation ~ Cornered".
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMxGHvoK9XI Search - Core 2001]] has appeared throughout the series whenever Phoenix discovers crucial piece of evidence during investigations.
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3PwjzsR7pY suspense theme]] is present in every single game of the series.
** Many tracks in ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth'' contain portions of the song "Great Revival ~ Miles Edgeworth," which originated in the second ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' game. Rather appropriate, considering [[CaptainObvious he is the main character.]]
* The composers for the ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' VisualNovel use this quite often. [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome zts]] is quite notable for using this; for example, parts of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAupQUUglkU goldenslaughterer]] have been reused for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuRRe1moVhY dreamenddischarger]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqjm6QZOeUs resurrected replayer]], and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euezX9D3aDE the_executioner]]. The aforementioned resurrected replayer also reuses a part of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqvl3aTztPQ far]].
** Furthermore, ''HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' has "you", which appears in multiple forms throughout the visual novel, anime, and image songs.
* VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors has Morphogenetic Sorrow, which plays before a puzzle room, is the main theme of the game and it's sequel, also serving as [[spoiler:Akane's]] {{Leitmotif}}.
[[/folder]]

!!Non-video game examples:

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* The instrumental version of "Ai o torimodese" that plays when Kenshiro launches a major attack in ''FistOfTheNorthStar'' is practically an anthem for FightingSeries as a whole.
** The very final episode of the original anime series (well, the sequel series actually) features a medley of all the vocal opening and ending themes that were ever used on the show.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' and especially ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' all did several takes on their opening themes for use as background music, more often than not with a more melancholic bent, with the ''Tamers'' theme in particular lending itself very well to this and getting more such takes of it done; ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' did the same for a piece of music which, while a definite leitmotif for the series, is not either of its opening themes.
* Amazingly, ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'' uses this: While the [[EarWorm opening and ending themes]] are for the most part played only during the [[CaptainObvious opening and ending sequences]], you're gonna be hearing [[http://josh.agarrado.net/music/anime/getfile.php?file=963 "Saa, Hajimari You"]] (AKA: the middle and end-of-episode preview theme) or [[http://ichigos.com/res/getfile.php?id=655&type=midi "New School Term 6"]] somewhere in the music. And once you've heard them, you'll recognize them showing up ''all over the place''.
* In ''KoreWaZombieDesuKa'', the first 10 seconds or so of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82B7ZFiJKGA Kumori Nochi Hare]] seems the find its way into almost every background music played in the anime in some form or another.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Film}}]]
* Known through PopCultureOsmosis to nearly the entire planet, ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'' has a recurring riff that will live on forever as the sound of the western, aa-AA-aa-AA-ahhhh.
* Every ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' movie used similar instrumental music when replaying scenes from different perspectives (such as the lighting hitting the [=DeLorean=] at 88 MPH from the first movie, which is replayed at the end of the second and consequently the beginning of the third).
* ''StarWars'' and ''IndianaJones''. The former also has its famous Imperial March, better known as the theme of Darth Vader.
** ''StarWars'' uses this a lot, despite many themes apparently being intended to mainly represent specific characters. The "Main Theme" was originally meant to be Luke's theme, but was used as this [[BootstrappedTheme less and less]] as the series went on. In ''TheEmpireStrikesBack'', Yoda's theme is often used at seemingly unfitting times. The original film uses Princess Leia's theme at odd points as well, such as when Obi-Wan dies. Most prominently variations of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcZ9kQ1h-ZY The]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjDaPOWdx6s Force]] [[http://youtu.be/GW-E0dOfdoc?t=1m54s Theme]] are common in a lot of StarWars tracks, especially in the more important scenes.
* ''PacificRim'' has a magnificent riff by [[RageAgainstTheMachine Tom Morello]], that plays whenever ''badassery and awesome'' are on their way.
* "He's a Pirate" from the ''PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' series, has been featured in almost everything related to it, from all three films, to being the battle music in the ''Pirates'' themed world in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', to playing in the queue for the original ride.
* Chico Marx's theme appears in several MarxBrothers movies, including Harpo's solo in ''Monkey Business'' and Chico's [[OverlyLongGag endless piano solo]] in ''Animal Crackers''. It even has two different ForgottenThemeTuneLyrics ("I'm Daffy Over You" and "Lucky Little Penny").
* The ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' series tend to use riffs of "You've Got a Friend In Me", and ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' also uses riffs from "When Somebody Loved Me"
* ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' has an ongoing theme in "Arabian Nights", "One Jump Ahead", "Friend Like Me", "Prince Ali", and the CutSong "Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim".
* Due mainly to there being only a handfull of films in the "James Bond" series that weren't composed by either John Barry or David Arnold, there's a lot of this, with four themes that find themselves in nearly every film, and a few others that make apearances in other films. You can make a game of setting the scores on random and guessing which film it's actually from.
* Every film in the TransformersFilmSeries has at least one version of "Arrival to Earth" from the first movie in some form or another.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has used variations of the same theme song since 1963.
** The new series went on to use it as a basis for several character themes (notably the Doctor's, while the "sound of drums" heard by the Master is the main melody from the theme itself.)
** A rare CD of ''Doctor Who'' music was once released, entitled "Variations On A Theme". Guess what was on it. On every track.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'''s first season uses pretty much remixes of the closing theme as the only pieces of music. It's actually quite aggravating.
** Although not as prevalent, the second used several remixes of "Tongue Tied" throughout.
* Another non-game example: the "Life and Death" theme from ''Series/{{Lost}}'', which has been used since the first season every time a character dies.
** There is also music related to the freighter that plays several times during seasons 3 and 4, with an action packed variant playing at the very end of the season when [[spoiler:the freighter explodes]]. However, for some reason, the theme continues being used in season 5, suggesting it is becoming some kind of general action music.
* The ten-note ''Series/GoodEats'' theme makes appearances throughout the show's background music, including some rather surprising places (as part of a SuspiciouslySimilarSong, for example).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Music}}]]
* Classical music example: Four different works by Beethoven use the same original theme: the ballet ''The Creatures of Prometheus'' (Op. 43), No. 7 of the Twelve Contredanses ([=WoO=] 14), a set of variations for piano (Op. 35), and the finale of the "Eroica" symphony (Op. 53).
* J.S. Bach has his own recurring theme, found in many of his most famous cantatas. A good example of the theme can be found in the first aria of ''Ich habe genug'' (BWV 82) and the aria "Erbarme dich" from the ''St. Matthew Passion'' (BWV 244).
* SoundHorizon uses recurring riffs as an indicator that certain songs (often on separate albums) are connected to each other in some way (such as suggesting that the Rose Princess's abandoned child from "Bara No Tou De Nemuru Himegimi" is Lafrenze from "Majo to Lafrenze", or that Michelle Malebranche from the cage trilogy is responsible for Hiver's inability to be born into the world in ''Roman'').
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebComics]]
* Parts of "[[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/sburban-jungle Sburban Jungle]]", "[[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/descend Descend]]" and "[[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/black-rose-green-sun Black Rose/Green Sun]]" pop up a lot in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'''s extensive library of music.
[[/folder]]

!!Examples of a musical theme throughout a single work

[[folder:ActionAdventure]]
* ''[[VideoGame/NiGHTSIntoDreams NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams]]'' does this with the main theme....a lot. The song occurs at least a dozen times. Once of the girl main character, once for the guy main character, twice for a duet between the two, once for the final stage, once for each of the four multiple endings, etc.
** Each separate stage in the worlds will use a different mix of that world's theme song.
** Along with the boss-fights having re-mixes for the second go at them.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'' uses its main title theme liberally throughout the soundtrack. The remix used for the final boss of the first game is particularly epic.
* Almost every song in ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion'' is a variation on the Mansion theme. And those that aren't generally have multiple variants, too, though not as much as the Mansion theme.
* ''VideoGame/{{Aquaria}}'' does this. There are at least five "different" tracks on the soundtrack that are slight variations on a basic (gorgeous) theme, and two or three really different tracks that still work in elements. There's one particular motif which is worked into so many of the songs because it has gameplay significance.
* ''VideoGame/{{KidIcarusUprising}} has a lot of ongoing riffs that repeat constantly throughout the many chapters, but almost always in a different style to represent the mood of the moment. A particularly epic example is the tragic Chaos Kin arc, which has its own theme that you'll hear a lot until that monstrosity is dead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:AdventureGame]]
* ''VideoGame/TheJourneymanProject'' has several variations of a recurring theme; a new-age version during the opening sequence, an "elevator muzak" version in the apartment hallways, an orchestra version when you first arrive at the TSA, and a rock version during the credits.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Flower}}'', one motif is seen in almost all songs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:DrivingGame]]
* ''VideoGame/MarioKart DS'' does this with a lot of its track themes using riffs from the title screen music.
* In ''TwistedMetal: Black'', the melody of Music/TheRollingStones' "[[RealSongThemeTune Paint it Black]]" pops up at several points in the soundtrack. Blink, and you'll miss it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:EdutainmentGame]]
* ''VideoGame/OregonTrail II'' uses many variations of its TitleThemeTune, for the town you start in and certain sections of the trail.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:FightingGame]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'' has a good deal of its original music based around an orchestral piece composed by NobuoUematsu, which has [[OminousLatinChanting lyrics written in Latin]].
** ''Melee'' did the same thing, with a tune that sounds similar to Bowser's theme from ''SuperMario64''. It shows up predominantly as the Menu theme, but can also be heard in [[MultiMookMelee Multi-Man Melee]] modes, and boss battles. ''Melee[='s=]'' own opening theme shows up in some tracks as well, with the alternate menu music, some event matches, and an alternate track for Final Destination.
* The soundtrack of ''SoulCalibur II'' does this a lot, and several tracks (If There Were Any Other Way, for example) carry over to ''SoulCalibur III''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:FirstPersonShooter]]
* Negative example: One of the criticisms for the ''{{Halo 3}}'' soundtrack was the repetition of the piano theme from the debut trailer.
** AKA "Finish the Fight".
** Especially during the Covenant mission.
** There's also "Truth's theme", "Farthest Outpost", and a few shorter themes.
* ''VideoGame/{{Turok}} 2'': The River Of Souls and Lair Of The Blind Ones musics are both somewhat based on the main title theme, the Death Marshes theme uses riffs from both the Hub and Save Room musics, and the Lightship music in turn reuses a hook from Death Marshes, as well as the Oblivion Portal theme in its latter half.
* ''{{Halo 2}}'': a variation of the opening riff of "Blow Me Away" is heard during the sniper alley sequence in Outskirts. Blow Me Away proper, of course, is used during the Mausoleum battle in Gravemind.
** "Unyielding/Reclaimer", a variation of the Halo theme with a characteristic piano hook, recurs at least twice in the game.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' and ''TheNamelessMod'' both have their main theme pop up in various parts of the sound track.
* ''VideoGame/ActionDoom2UrbanBrawl'' has one of these. It first appears at the very beginning of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYXRhqzPuNE intro theme]], then (if you're going the good way, because there are multiple paths through the game) pops up in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeev8am5D0M first stage intro]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO6S8fFPMnU bar music]], end of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZHp75UeGhM the final level music]] and (in a warped form) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1Mnu2uZVak the final boss theme]], until it finally ([[MultipleEndings hopefully]]) returns [[BookEnds at the very end of]] the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0D3MkaDFPo good ending theme]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}} 1'' used a recurring theme in "Landing", "New Pacific/Reprise", and "Rapture". The melodic theme of "Flowers in Heaven" is reprised in "Splash (Marathon)" during the final stage. Also, "Guardians" and "What About Bob?".
* ''MedalOfHonor: Frontline'', in addition to the themes from the first game, features:
** The middle of "Operation Market Garden", the first part of "Border Town", and Patterson's theme (appears throughout the soundtrack)
** "Shipyards of Lorient" and the third part of "Escaping Gotha"(played during the final confrontation with Sturmgeist)
** The climax of "Border Town", and "Emmerich Station/Thuringer Wald Express/Sturmgeist's Armored Train"
** "Manor House Rally" and "The Halftrack Chase"
** "After the Drop", the last part of "Kleveburg", and "Approaching the Tarmac/Clipping Their Wings"
** "Nijmegen Bridge" and the first two parts of "The Rowhouses"
* "Immemorial", "Remember Reach", "The Fall", "The Battle Begins", "Lone Wolf", "Distress", "Free Fire Zone", "Latchkey", "Return", etc. in ''HaloReach''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{MMORPG}}s]]
* ''{{Runescape}}'' has some riffs and melodies that occur in various different pieces of song, like ''Runescape''[='s=] main theme.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:PlatformGame]]
* ''SonicTheHedgehog'' again; often, the various in-game jingles (Invincibility, Speed Up), the menu screens, some specific cutscenes, the title screen, and recently the final boss all match the same theme, but with variations.
** The original ''Sonic Rush'' took this to extremes; there's only ten-odd songs, one for each stage and a few for the boss fights, but the majority of the rest of the game's soundtrack is just rearrangements of those tunes. So, you'll be hearing "What U Need" a lot earlier than the level it's featured in, as it's also the Main Menu music.
** Much of ''Sonic Adventure 2'''s soundtrack is built around a single motif, which finally comes to a head with the song "Live and Learn" during the game's final boss fight. It's [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome pretty sweet.]]
* ''Sonic 1'' uses a scary remixed version of the main boss theme (Robotnik's {{Leitmotif}}?) for the final battle, as well as the cutscene at the end of Scrap Brain Act 2 where Robotnik drops you down the TrapDoor.
** The boss music in ''Sonic 2'' also seems to be loosely remixed from the ''Sonic 1'' boss theme, which, in turn, was remixed and used in the final boss for that game.
*** In fact, although it had a different composer, the first half of the S3&K main boss music is a MusicalPastiche of ''Sonic 1'''s boss theme, more resembling the FinalBoss remix of it.
* Some ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' games have a musical motif.
** In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'', all six stage themes (above ground, switch palace, athletic, castle, ghost house, underwater) are the same song, altered slightly.
** ''VideoGame/YoshisStory'' has does this with every stage. The pipe theme, jungle theme and castle theme are more unusual, but still versions of that one song.
** ''VideoGame/YoshisIslandDS'' does this again. It's obvious if one tours the Museum and listens to all the arrangements of that one tune.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' uses many versions of the Delfino theme, because all levels are on Isle Delfino.
** Don't forget ''VideoGame/SuperMarioLand2'' for the Game Boy.
** ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros'' downplays this; the athletic theme is a remix of the above-ground theme, but the other level themes are different.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' stands out as the biggest post-NES Mario game that '''doesn't''' do this, and even there, several of the musical pieces have a similar recurring segment.
* In the NES version of ''Bionic Commando'', the main riffs of the Area 1/3/4/7(Bionic March) and Area 5/6/10 musics have a common theme. Same chord progression/bassline, but different melodies. The Area 1/3/4/7, Area 8, and Area 12 themes are remixes of the Stage 2, 4, and 5 themes respectively, from the arcade game.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan 9'' has several of its [=BGM=] tunes use a recurring riff based on its title theme.
** ''4'' has several variations on a five-measure riff in some of its stage themes - to wit, Ring Man's stage, Dust Man's stage, Drill Man's stage, and the first two Cossack stages.
** Ditto for Snake Man's and Spark Man's themes, possibly others, in ''3''. Another recurring theme is used in the Wily Stage musics.
** ''5'' has one in the Gravity Man, Napalm Man, Charge Man, and Proto Man's Castle stages, et. al.
* In ''Zeta's World'', same thing.
* NES game ''VideoGame/{{Predator}}'', same thing too.
* The theme from ''Videogame/CrashBandicoot3Warped'''s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxsu3ytYark hub]] appears several times in bonus stages, as well as the title screen.
** In ''Videogame/CrashTeamRacing'', the opening theme has five variant themes for each of its hubs, from the [[PatchworkMap tropical beach to the frozen wastes]].
* ''DonkeyKongCountry2'' has the title theme developed into the boss theme, Klubba's theme, and the theme for levels atop ship rigging.
* ''Franchise/TombRaider 3'' has several of these, eg the opening and title theme motifs. ''[[VideoGame/TombRaiderLegend Legend]]'' has a recurring OneWomanWail and "[[OminousLatinChanting Ave Maria]]" motif.
* ''VideoGame/{{Rayman 2}}'' has one which is played constantly. You hear it every time you die, and almost every song starts with it. However, there is no actual song from which all the others are borrowing, it's simply a few notes which most of the songs use.
* ''TowerOfHeaven'' has one motif going through all the songs.
* ''VideoGame/TumblePop'' is the same example as ''PunchOut'' below. The main theme is always the same, but remixed every time according to the countries the player is traveling to: with oriental instruments for the Japanese stages, percussions for the Brazilian ones, chimes for the Antarctic ones and so on.
* ''[[VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts]]'' features thematic links between the six stage music tracks and the corresponding six (non-final) boss music tracks, apart from the tracks for Stage 3 (which is instead thematically linked to the Stage 5 boss music) and Stage 5 (which shares melodic elements with the Stage 3 boss music).
** Same for the original ''Ghosts 'n Goblins''.
* ''VideoGame/AngryVideoGameNerdAdventures'' uses variations of the Nerd's theme tune in the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJhpPCd92Wk title theme]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4beXNN8O3M tutorial]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YDhQQsun6k level select screen]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euH0FsoIJ18 Future Fuckballs 2010]], the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9InIQ5MZnI boss theme]], and the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv9AVOQjnPg Stage Clear jingle]].
* ''VideoGame/DuckTales Remastered'' hides snippets of the iconic Moon theme throughout many tracks in the game.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:PuzzleGame]]
* ''KatamariDamacy'' remixes the main theme [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5QPSvOsS8o many times in each game]]. The second game even featured a version sung a capella by ''cats and dogs''.
* The song ''Cara Mia,'' better known as [[spoiler:The Turret Opera,]] plays a few times throughout VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}.
** First, it plays when you approach a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75RLvXmAUeY Companion Cube.]]
** Then, a minor key version is sung by [[spoiler:[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcBVf5Nq-To PotatOS.]]]]
** Finally, it shows up in its full operatic glory at the end of the game, sung by [[spoiler:[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kPyGvqNn4Y the Turrets.]]]]
** Of course, if you listen ''real'' closely, you can hear bits of it in the VariableMix that comes up when you use a puzzle element in the early stages.
** Wheatley has a somewhat eerie theme that repeats throughout the game, even in "Reconstructing More Science." However, it is best heard in the climax of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XpgchQnaUY "I AM NOT A MORON!"]] It is also heard during [[spoiler:[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atIOn96scyI his boss theme.]]]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RealTimeStrategy]]
* ''DawnOfWar II'' likes using the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cn-QyhHayQ "Dark Future of War"]] theme. For example, the part from 1:35 to 1:50 is used as the "mission complete" jingle and the melody (especially the four notes at 1:45) can be heard in the planetary map background music.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RolePlayingGame]]
* ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' has a downright creepy sequence of notes that plays in various locations and battles.
** ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' also has Tazmily's theme and its "Love Theme", both of which reappear throughout the game to great effect. Particularly jarring is the penultimate appearance of the love theme, which begins [[spoiler:in the middle of a hellishly discordant final boss theme as a similarly discordant, echoing version of itself before transitioning into a more natural-sounding rendition (this makes a lot of sense if you consider the events of the final battle).]] The Pigmasks' theme also shows up in a ton of different variations.
*** Even the Tazmily theme is a remix of the Hotel music from ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', although it'll take you a while to notice it.
*** "Porky's Porkys" is essentially an 8-bit version of "Mr. Batty Twist", incorporating elements of the Pork Army march.
*** Don't get me started on Mother 3's soundtrack. It would be more expedient to list the songs that ''aren't'' recurring riffs.
* Any individual ''FinalFantasy'' game contains several leitmotifs. You can hear some recurring tunes in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' (such as the overworld theme and the "Red Wings" theme (which, for example, furnishes the "X joined your party!" riff)), but it's more prominent in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' (where the main theme of the game is basically also Terra's {{leitmotif}}, and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' (which literally has a soundtrack entry called the "Main Theme"; if you don't know what I mean, try singing "do re mi ti la").
** If there's a vocal track in the game, you can expect to hear several versions of it, often considerably altered.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has perhaps the most extensive use of this, for example:
** Variations of Melodies of Life show up in at least eight places: it occurs briefly in "Memories Erased in the Storm", it's the main theme of "Sto, len Eyes", it's part of the overworld music "Crossing Those Hills", Dagger sings it "Song of Memories", it's the main theme of "At the South Gate Border", it's "Garnet's Theme", it shows up in the ending in "Towards That Gate", and you have the full version in the end credits "Melodies of Life" (which eventually changes into the "Final Fantasy" music).
*** Not to mention a pipe organ version that plays while Steiner is hiding Garnet in a bag, a high speed version that plays during the beginning scenes and the remix used for the FF IX Coca Cola ads. The game also has the Burmecia theme appear in at least three different versions, both sad and dramatic versions of Beatrix's theme, and instances of music from other games in the series.
*** One scene had Melodies of Life played over Eiko's (melody-lacking) theme. As Melodies of Life is properly Garnet's theme, and the scene in question involved both Eiko and Garnet, this makes a certain amount of sense.
** The 'World' Theme that plays during in the video sequence in the title screen "The Place I'll Return to Someday" eventually appears in the game itself in "Oeilvert", "A Transient Past", "Ipsen's Heritage", "The Four Medallions", and "Terra".
** The 'Action' Theme that plays during the fake sword fight "Vamo' alla flamenco" early in the game, reappears in "Limited Time", "Rose of May", "Black Mages' Theme", "Protecting My Devotion", "Terra", "You're Not Alone!", and "Passing Sorrow".
* A particularly good ''FinalFantasy'' example is the thirteen or so different versions and variations of Hymn of the Fayth from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. There are also ten variations of ''Suteki da Ne'', five of ''Seymour's Theme'', and four of ''To Zanarkand'' (which takes on a whole different character as ''Revealed Truth'').
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII CrisisCore'' follows this example, with nearly every track that isn't a remix of a ''FFVII'' song being based around the same theme. Including the ''final boss music''. In the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', the main theme appeared as a recurring riff as well.
* Fragments of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'''s OminousLatinChanting orchestral opening piece Liberi Fatali are re-used in battle themes, background music and cutscene themes.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' features a multitude of variations on Geno's theme song, from the cutscene in which he is introduced to the last bit of the ending. The Mushroom Kingdom theme song is also used to a lesser extent.
** The [[spoiler:second]] arrangement of Bowser's Keep repeats a segment of the opening battle with Bowser (itself an arrangement of the final battle from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'').
** ''Super Paper Mario'' has two songs that get a lot of mileage throughout the game as well (especially towards the end), the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxtbIkAK3IA Memory]] theme and the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEK4n3wCN1Q Main Theme fanfare]].
*** Fun fact: even ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VxKluLUGmE Count Bleck's leitmotif]]'' is a variation of the Memory theme, it follows the same chord progression at the beginning if you listen, (and could probably also count as a MusicalSpoiler once more of the story is revealed.)
** ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam''[='s=] normal battle theme incorporates a few riffs from the title theme, more obvious in the real-world battles.
* ''VideoGame/AzureDreams'' uses multiple remixes of the tower theme as you ascend ([=PlayStation=] version only; the Game Boy Color version's tunes are distinctly different).
* As mentioned above ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' uses its main theme in many parts, most noticeable being the "Heroic theme" and the Final boss areas.
* ''PlanescapeTorment'' has three musical themes that are used in a number of variations (and sometimes combined together) throughout the game's soundtrack.
* The later ''{{Wild ARMs}}'' games (3-5) overuse this trope incessantly, to the point where almost a third of the admittedly enormous soundtrack consists of remixes or variations on previous tracks.
* In fact, practically every Japanese RPG will fall prey to this, at the very least remixing its main theme three or four times. Examples include ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', ''VideoGame/BahamutLagoon'', and ''VagrantStory''.
* ''TheForceUnleashed'' reuses its main melody on occasion, usually during a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* The soundtracks to the ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' games have similar riffs, such as the "Sith Theme" and a lot of the music in ''KOTOR II''.
* Many songs in ''SuikodenV'' use one of two riffs--a fairly upbeat one from the world map theme and a melancholy one that appears pri-marily in cutscenes. The former riff in particular shows up all over the place.
* ''VideoGame/{{Ys}} IV''(some of which were mentioned in the "series" section):
** "Field", "Forest of Selceta", "Beyond Reminiscence" and "Eldeel"
** "The Dawn of Ys" and "Temple of the Sun"
** "Battle 58", "Lava Area/A Kiss from Eldeel", and "The Heat in the Blaze"
* A large fraction of the music tracks in ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'' are spun in some way from the theme that plays most frequently when you are aboard the Yggdrasil.
* Starting with ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' when Music/JeremySoule came aboard as composer, ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' has had what has become known as the "Elder Scrolls theme". It tends to show up in at least two or three music tracks per game, including the main menu theme.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' has a strong recurring theme, one that plays quite prominently in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' when the ''Normandy'' SR-2 is revealed. The riff also has a {{dark reprise}} in the ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' ending theme, "An End, Once and For All" .
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'''s title motif is used in the exploration, [[BattleThemeMusic battle]], GameOver, and LevelUp themes. Also, the music box tune heard during "Baby Steps" is reprised for the "Tranquility Lane" quest. The ''FO3'' title theme returns in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', which was also scored by Inon Zur, and which also includes some of Mark Morgan's themes from the first two games, including the strings riff from "Vats of Goo", the original intro theme.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:ShootEmUp]]
* ''Zanac'', one of the first games to feature recurring riffs in its soundtrack. The music itself was ahead of its time too. Recurring motifs include the title theme and the first stage music.
* ''RadiantSilvergun'''s songs use the same "Tadadah tadadah! Tadada tatadaa!" motif in almost every song.
* ''Radiant Silvergun''[='=]s SpiritualSuccessor ''{{Ikaruga}}'' has much of its soundtrack consisting of various remixes of ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRZz1HugwNo Ideal]]''. [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Nobody particularly minds the repetition]]. The only music in that game that doesn't use any recurring riffs is "Faith".
* ''RType Final'': The music to Stage F-B is an extended reprise of the TitleThemeTune.
* The main riff of ''Raiden II''s Stage 1 theme ("Repeated Tragedy") is reused several times, eg in Stage 3("All or Nothing"), Stage 4, and Stage 7("Flap Towards The Hope").
* ''VideoGame/StarFox'' has at least three recurring riffs: the select screen and Stage Clear themes, the planet themes, and the Sector X, Asteroid Field, and Space Armada themes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:SimulationGame]]
* Every ''AceCombat'' starting with ''04'' does this often. ''Ace Combat 6'' has ''three'' different recurring themes, with at least one of them being present in roughly half of the game's tracks.
* Sharp-eared players will notice that in the SNES port of VideoGame/SimCity, the theme for each city size is in fact a heavily-arranged version of the same melody.
* ''{{Descent}} 3'' has an eight note riff recurring throughout most of its soundtrack.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:SportsGame]]
* ''PunchOut Wii'' is an interesting example, as each enemy fighter has a remixed version of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjyuBRvdZ20 the classic NES theme]], remixed to fit their nationality or personality, for instance:
** [[CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys Glass Joe]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I80kXW6o3aY light hearted French-sounding music.]]
** [[GermanicDepressives Von Kaiser]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adl-e-pz1b4 dramatic militaristic music]] (with Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries for the first tunes!).
** [[DiscoDan Disco Kid]] has... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnjgyveA6Qg well, I'll let you figure that one out.]]
** [[WildSamoan King Hippo]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV1SJOJ30bo tropical sounding music.]]
** [[TheQuietOne Piston Honda]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItprjzyTzgs Oriental music.]]
** [[CanadaEh Bear Hugger]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J3O5xI2mVI fast paced banjo and harmonica music.]]
** [[SimSimSalabim Great Tiger]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0S9Xxtn2N8 Indian mystical sounding music.]]
** [[TorosYFlamenco Don Flamenco]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z0ffVTJGdE Spanish music. Note the castanets in the backround.]]
** [[{{Oireland}} Aran Ryan]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkdNG4s4HUw a jaunty Irish jig.]]
** [[GloriousMotherRussia Soda Popinski]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_gBME8px3U a dramatic Cossack choir.]]
** [[BaldOfEvil Bald Bull]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZgj9J5NfF8 some distinctly Turkish sounding music.]]
** [[SurferDude Super Macho Man]] has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP8YvPYZ3mM Surfer music.]]
** [[ScaryBlackMan Mr Sandman]] has a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiuGgeDLM1s Heavy Metal version]].
** And finally, VideoGame/DonkeyKong has, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRacwLijpDY well, Donkey Kong-esque music.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:SurvivalHorror]]
* The ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series: A recurring riff can be heard in many of the [=BGMs=] in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'', including the beginning scene on the street and the musics played while fighting William's many mutations(would that be a {{Leitmotif}} instead?). Also, the Extreme Battle Mode musics in the Dual Shock Edition are further variations of this theme.
** The original version of ''[=RE1=]'' has the mansion theme, which occurs in different variations on the first and second floors, and gets remixed into even scarier form when you come back to the mansion from the guest house, which is major NightmareFuel, especially when fighting the [[DemonicSpiders Hunters and spiders]].
* In ''SilentHill2'', the music piece "White Noiz" heard at the beginning of the game reappears in several variations later in the game, for example "The Day of Night", "Heaven's Night", and "Prisonic Fairytale"(played immediately afterward, when Mary's letter is read).
** That motif also seems to recur in "A Stray Child" from [=SH3=], which also has the "witch doctor" vocal sample heard in [=SH2=] and [=SH4=].
** The "Theme Of Laura" and "Promise" motifs recur throughout the game. EG, the cutscene music when James reminisces about Mary on the overlook is a variation of Promise.
** In the hospital after Maria's death, a piano hook from "Forest"(the graveyard cutscene music) is reused, in TearJerker fashion.
* In ''VideoGame/ClockTower'', the notes that you hear in the track "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Glw0GrUAwDo I'm Looking for Mary]]" are repeated throughout many songs. It's played for NightmareFuel, as with many things in the game.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:ThirdPersonShooter]]
* In ''SyphonFilter 2'', the musics in Rocky Mountains, Interstate 70, and Slums District use a recurring theme, as do Mackenzie Airbase and I-70 Bridge, and the guitar motif from the opening cutscene is repeated in Union Pacific Train 101, Club 32, and Slums District Action.
** The boss themes in the first game were mostly based on the same riff. Also, the Subway, Pharcom Expo, and Missile Silo [[BattleThemeMusic danger themes]] use a recurring riff, which also appeared in ''2'''s Prison Escape/Biolab Escape theme.
** ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIIIVzv0qIk Item Room Ambience]]'' has occasionally cropped up in the ''Metroid'' series, especially in the older side-scrolling titles. Unfortunately it appears to be out of use as of late.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:TurnBasedStrategy]]
* ''FinalFantasyTactics'' has a reoccurring four-measure riff in nearly every song.
** ''FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' may be another example. The tune in question is "so, so, so, mi fa so, ^do, (b)ti, (b)la, so" etc..
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic V'' has its main theme recurring ''everywhere'' in the game. About 2/3 of the tracks have at least part of the riff of the main theme.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WideOpenSandbox]]
* ''NoMoreHeroes'' is positively filled with remixes of its main theme, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMMphBe36FQ Beam Katana Chronicles]], with variations popping up as in-game battle music, background music in cutscenes and occasionally doing a ThemeTuneCameo when whistled by the protagonist.
** It even makes its way into the ShowWithinAShow, Bizarre Jelly 5, in NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle, ending up in the boss theme for the UnexpectedShmupLevel video game mashed up with the Bizarre Jelly 5 theme song.
* Nearly every ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' game, starting with the 3rd game, has a short riff of the game's main theme every time you complete a mission.
[[/folder]]

!!Non-video game examples:

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''ShugoChara'': Yuuki No Uta and ''especially'' the Open Heart theme, which has an honestly hilarious amount of variations, for such differing situations. [[CrowningMusicofAwesome Not like either of them are or get tired/boring, though.]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' has several recurring themes. "Decisive Battle" in particular is remixed several times, as "Magmadiver" and "Spending Time in Preparation." (''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' goes especially wild with this one, with at least five variatons of the main theme.) "Three of Me, One of Someone Else" is a slower and softer version of Ritsuko's theme. "The Beast" reappears as Eva-00's leitmotif, and "The Beast II" as "Normal Blood." And of course, the opening makes a LastEpisodeThemeReprise as an instrumental piano piece.
* ''Anime/{{Stratos 4}}'' has a number of tracks, including one labeled "Mikaze's Theme" (for the lead main character), that all share a tune. At the last episode, this is revealed to be the tune of the second ending theme (which is used for the ends of whole seasons).
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' has the song Rap is a Man's Soul (Row Row Fight The Power) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2srghhXrIG0 appear at various]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHuIva7PaQE points with]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJEtRtlmidk wildly]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAlztMvvNkk varying remixes]].
* The soundtrack for the second season of ''SpiceAndWolf'' has a number of recurring themes remixed with different combinations of instruments and at slightly different speeds. The most prominent tune is repeated in five separate tracks: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0weEEULdw8M Shukusai no Hajimari]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El7kM2H5V1Y Ki no Ii Hitobito]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz19GjfNhcU Ookami to Odoru]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyGE2g0VclU Nezumi no Shippo Tei]], culminating in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8YWxcv_ZVg Matsuri wa Owari, Tabi wa Tsuzuki]].
* ''MaiHime'': The tune in Hime Hoshi (the first track in the first disc in the OST) appears many times, [[spoiler:up to and including in the final battle versus the Obsidian Lord]]. If you wonder which one, it's the one with OneWomanWail "[[{{Foreshadowing}} come ye, come ye]]".
** YukiKajiura is fond of this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Film}}]]
* The film ''GiveMyRegardsToBroadStreet'' (a vanity picture for Paul [=McCartney=]) uses the verse melody for "No More Lonely Nights" ("I can wait another day") as a Recurring Riff.
* ''DangerousMinds'' uses the chorus of [[ChorusOnlySong "Gangsta's Paradise"]] as a recurring riff.
* Throughout ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', the Joker has a very noticeable {{Leitmotif}} - a shiver-inducing electric guitar riff. It appears in five of the songs on the film's soundtrack, each of which plays during a scene in which he features heavily.
* ''SinCity'' has the saxophone in the background of its score repeat in several tracks. So does the singing and modified versions of the bass riff in the opening.
* Whenever one of the main characters in ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'' does something cool, the background music goes "oo-ee-oo-ee-oo!". The same applies to ''Film/ForAFewDollarsMore'', except that the sound effect is "DYEEEW".
* The [[Film/StarTrek 2009]] ''Film/StarTrek'' [[Film/StarTrek movie]] uses the main theme ("Enterprising Young Men") in several places, including part of the credits.
* ''{{Film/Scrooge 1970}}'' has "I Like Life" as a recurring theme.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* The bass riff in ''{{Seinfeld}}''.
* The theme music for ''Series/StargateSG1'' is a remix of the theme from the original ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' movie.
* "Carry On Wayward Son" by Music/{{Kansas}} plays during the [[PreviouslyOn The Road So Far]] section of [[Recap/SupernaturalS01E21Salvation "Salvation" (S01, Ep21)]]. It will play during future [[SeasonFinale season finales]], and is the closest thing ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has to a ThemeSong.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Music}}]]
* Many a RockOpera. WASP's ''The Crimson Idol'' comes to mind in particular. Also notably, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's ''Jesus Christ Superstar'' uses the same pieces of music many times throughout the album set to different lyrics.
** Also, ''The Downward Spiral'' by NineInchNails and ''Music/TheWall'' by ''Music/PinkFloyd'' both feature their own recurring and mutating theme; just a short 4-note pattern in the latter, but ''eight measures long'' in NIN's work.
** The Who's double album RockOpera ''{{Quadrophenia}}'' features four "themes", or tunes, found in part of the songs of the album. Listen to the whole album, and those four themes, (each representing a different side of the protagonist Jimmy, who has four personalities) will grow on you.
* ModestMussorgsky's piano solo suite ''PicturesAtAnExhibition'' does this with the "Promenade theme" (which is also non-prominent enough that it counts as a {{leitmotif}}).
* ''Music/DreamTheater''.
* Throughout Christopher Tin's ''Calling All Dawns'' album, there are several recurring riffs, most notably that of bits of [[VideoGame/{{Civilization}} Baba Yetu]] appearing throughout the album.
* Each song on BradPaisley's ''This Is Country Music'' ends with a snippet of the title track, themed to the next song on the tracklist.
* Funker Vogt has used variations of an eight-bar progression in many of their songs.
* Covenant's "Greater than the Sun", from ''Skyshaper'', has a synth riff nearly identical to "Xrds", the B-side to "Ritual Noise".
* The Genki Rockets have a recurring theme in "Heavenly Star", "Fly", "Breeze", and probably others.
* Recurring Riffs are used prominently and masterfully in J.S. Bach's works.
** ''Die Kunst der Fuge'' (The Art of Fugue), an unfinished masterpiece consisting of 19 parts, is a ThemeAndVariations work, with the main theme being the simple subject (D-A-F-D-C-sharp-D-E-F-G-F-E-D). This theme is used as a subject and countersubject in each of the 19 Contrapunctuses and Canons, except the last, unfinished part. This simple theme rapidly expands in complexity, especially in the later parts, where the theme or its inversion turns up as the bass line or a secondary melody. The first few bars of certain parts of the work appear in other parts. The end result is, as Angela Hewitt (who is known for her masterful performances of Bach's keyboard works) describes, something that "makes [Bach's] ''Goldberg Variations'' look like child's play".
** Bach's most famous Recurring Riff is the famed Passion Chorale (O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden), so named because of its usage in the St. Matthew Passion. Each time the chorale appears, it is transposed one half-step down until in its very last iteration, the chorale shifts into a minor key.
* There is a particular riff in the middle of Music/FatboySlim's "Song For Lindy" that makes another appearance in "Love Island".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Theatre}}]]
* This is very popular in modern musicals. Shows like ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'', ''Theatre/LesMiserables'' and just about anything by AndrewLloydWebber have about five tunes reconfigured into twenty songs.
** Those are usually {{leitmotif}}s or [[DarkReprise dark reprises,]] though.
** ''Wicked'' has the Overture chord progression, the melody and chords of "No One Mourns the Wicked" and the "unlimited" line from "The Wizard and I" as recurring themes.
* ''Theatre/LesMiserables'' does this a lot too, especially with "Look Down", which appears whenever something related to prison or misery comes up (Work Song, beginning of The Confrontation, Look Down, in the sewers), and "Fantine's [[spoiler:Death]]", which appears in relation to some main characters' deaths. In fact, most of the musical is built on recurring riffs.
* Running throughout the score of the musical ''[[OneTenInTheShade 110 In The Shade]]'' is one EarWorm of a melodic hook. It appears as a fully developed song at the start of first act as "Gonna Be Another Hot Day" and at the start of the second as "Evenin' Star" (though this latter one was a CutSong for many decades). A shorter {{Fanfare}} version turns up at a few highly dramatic moments.
* The interludes in BenjaminBritten's opera adaptation of ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew'' are all based on a single theme.
* ''Vanities'' somewhat has this in "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing", "Fly Into The Future", "Let Life Happen", and "Letting Go"(although the last was a CutSong when the first debuted). Another recurring theme is in "An Organized Life", "Cute Boys with Short Haircuts", and "Friendship Isn't What It Used to Be". The bridge of "Hey There, Beautiful", the chorus of "Feelin' Sunny"([[CutSong both cut after the 2008 Pasadena production]]) and the verse of "I Can't Imagine" also have a common theme. The intro of "FITF" uses the melody of the CutSong "Nothing Like a Friend". The ACT production's version of "Letting Go" reprised part of "Mystery", that show's act opening number.
* In ''Theatre/WestSideStory'', every song has the three notes that make up the Jets' distinct whistle hidden within them.
* "All Come Together" from ''Amaluna''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman''. Over and over and over again.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** ''loads and ''loads'' of remixes of the main theme used as background music throughout the series.
** Not to mention all the versions of the love theme from "The Cave of Two Lovers" whenever things get, um, [[ShipTease interesting]] between Aang and Katara. [[spoiler: The very last scene of the series features a full orchestrated version of this love theme... which then fades into the main theme at the same time the words 'The End' are spelled in the screen. [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome It's awesome.]]]]
* SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' uses several remastered versions of tunes from its predecessor.
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'' features a riff from "Forbidden Friendship" in many different contexts: first played in a minor key when Hiccup [[spoiler: attempts to kill Toothless]], on xylophone as Toothless and Hiccup become friends, as bagpipes and orchestra as they take their first flight together, on strings and xylophone in 3/4 time when Astrid rides Toothless for the first time, and continues to reappear throughout the score.
[[/folder]]

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