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->''"There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate -- more blood, more gore. Carnage candy."''
-->-- '''Randy Meeks''', ''Film/{{Scream 2}}''

Sometimes a {{sequel}} is just the same story as the last one (CapcomSequelStagnation), or downgraded by being DirectToVideo (''Film/StarshipTroopers II''), or a different story set in the same world (''Film/TheGodfather II'', the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' films), or just the next part in an ongoing series (''Franchise/StarWars'', ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' books and movies), or even a DolledUpInstallment (''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'').

This trope, on the other hand, is when a sequel is made to be "bigger and better" than the last film, by taking one or more elements from the first film and expanding upon it. The film makers feel a need to "top themselves" in a sort of way.

Take an action sequel, which has more explosions and fist/gun/martial arts fights than the previous film. Or a slasher sequel, which has more deaths, in [[BloodierAndGorier more gory]] (and [[MadeOfPlasticine less realistic]]) ways. Sometimes what get expanded is the plot: What started as a simple and straightforward plot (or even virtually non-existent plot in the case of video games) in the first part may become significantly expanded, deeper and more intricate in sequels.

How often this works depends on if the expanded element is the one the audience liked. Choose the wrong element(s), and it will be at the expense of the right element(s), and the audience will not be pleased. Wrong elements can often be the toilet humor, sexual situations, {{flanderization}} or meaningless action sequences.

However, choose the right element(s), and the sequel [[EvenBetterSequel may even be considered superior to the first film]]. Usually these elements involve the human element, expanding on the characters we care about, telling a dramatic (or hilarious) story, and making the action sequences revolve around that.

Usually, the result is somewhere in the middle, [[DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER often debated upon by the fans.]]

To avoid just rehashing examples from {{Sequelitis}}, examples here should discuss the expanded element(s) of the sequels.

Compare ActionizedSequel, SequelDifficultySpike, SendInTheClones, SerialEscalation, UpToEleven, SortingAlgorithmOfEvil, PowerCreep. BigDamnMovie is this trope applied to a film adaptation of a serial. DarkerAndEdgier often, but not always, accompanies the upping of the stakes in sequels.

Contrast LensmanArmsRace and PlotLeveling (both of which could be seen as symptoms of this trope's presence), SequelDifficultyDrop (difficulty getting lowered, although that doesn't preclude this trope in other ways).

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ZigZagged in the ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' franchise:
** The transition from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' to ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'' plays it straight: PowerLevels go even higher, SoLastSeason upgrades are applied, and the entire planet is at stake.
** Going from ''A's'' to ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'', this trope is inverted: the old guard is AllGrownUp but their powers are pretty much the same (except the title character who has actually been {{Nerf}}ed), while the new blood are all newbies whose PowerLevels cannot even approach those of the old cast (physically). There are no reality-shattering villains like before, but instead a QuirkyMinibossSquad, a horde of MechaMooks, and a DiabolicalMastermind, most of whom are eventually taken out by the aforementioned low-level new blood.
** The ''Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'' manga, the sequel to ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha [=StrikerS=]'', plays it straight again, by taking the old notion of AntiMagic and turning it UpToEleven. Where the old villains simply had Anti-Magic Fields, which amortized incoming attacks and made it impossible to cast magic from within (which was already treated as bad enough by the good guys), the new villains have Anti-Magic Beams that aggressively dispel any magic they hit. The {{Doylist}} explanation seems to be that since the heroes have already been established as the strongest mages in the multiverse ''back in season one'', the only plausible enemy the writers can invent for them now is an AntiMagic-wielding one, with a BiggerStick if needed. The fans' reactions were... mixed.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' does this with its pre- and post-TimeSkip seasons. While the pre-Time Skip episodes were like your typical SuperRobot show, only with bigger explosions and more [[HotBlooded hot blood]], the post-Time Skip episodes bring us [[spoiler:galaxy-sized mecha throwing galaxies and big bangs at each other.]] And in the second movie, [[spoiler:we get a mech that is not only a hundred times bigger than a galaxy, it's also ''on fire'' and ''designed after the resident MemeticBadass''. Its attack clashing with an identical attack from its EvilKnockoff ''ends and restarts'' the universe.]]
** In fact, the BeyondTheImpossible trope (of which ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' is the TropeNamer) used to have a definition similar to SequelEscalation, until it got redefined to 'events that break internal logic'. Says quite a lot about the show.
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'' contains one of the most notable examples of this in all of anime. [[Manga/DragonBall The first series]] was a rather light-hearted ScienceFantasy martial arts series with a lot of slapstick and [[CerebusSyndrome (at least initially)]] [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain goofy, weak-willed villains]]. Starting with [[Manga/DragonBallZ the sequel]], the franchise routinely featured villains (and heroes) who could [[PersonOfMassDestruction casually atomize planets and even entire solar systems with their attacks]], eventually ending at the point where the heroes and villains ''[[PhysicalGod surpassed the the setting's gods in power]]'' and could destroy the universe if so inclined. With the anime-only sequel, ''Anime/DragonBallGT'', [[UpToEleven this trend continued]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Boderline example: in the first generation of ComicBook/{{X-Men}}, the strongest person on the team was Beast, who was just, like, "two-normal-guys" strong. In the second generation, the strongest person is Colossus, the man of steel. Then we got Rogue, who for a long time was just as strong as Colossus, and could fly. Dunno where we're at now, but considering the current lineup includes Namor (who's stronger than the ComicBook/IncredibleHulk so long as he's underwater), Hope (who has AllYourPowersCombined) and Magneto (who once almost ''destroyed civilization''), safe to say that escalation has been maintained.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Fic]]
* Creator/PeterChimaera's TrollFic, ''Digimon savez teh wrold'' has a sequel called ''Digimon 2: Return of Digimon''. In the first story digimon has to stop the evil scientist from destroying the road, in the sequel he's up against an evil digimon who wants to destroy all the roads so no one can go on them. Also features FIGHTING IN SPACE!
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''FanFic/{{Windfall}}'' is a short, fluffy fic showing the Mane Cast--all of whom have gone their separate ways and are now OlderAndWiser--reuniting to witness the birth of Fluttershy's first foal. The sequel, ''FanFic/EarthAndSky'', has a much more detailed StoryArc, with multiple interconnected subplots, dealing with somewhat more serious themes and actual antagonists, and even ends up being ''four times'' as long as ''Windfall''.
** ''Pony'' fanfic ''FanFic/PostNuptials'' and its sequel ''FanFic/{{Families}}'' are much like the above ''Pony'' fics in terms of how they escalate, except the first story is about the main cast dealing with immediate emotional fallout caused by [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E26ACanterlotWeddingPart2 Queen Chrysalis' invasion]]--namely by trying to reconcile with Twilight after they ignored her warnings--and the sequel deals with more serious ramifications of the invasion and everyone's actions prior to it, including psychological trauma and a conspiracy to mire Princess Celestia's public image.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The more ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' movies get released, the more they become depressing and serious. However, it gets a lot more positive reception than many {{Disney}} sequels or the other {{Pixar}} sequels.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}} 2''. The original was about an [[SmallNameBigEgo egotistical]] race car getting lost in a small town and learning humility, while the sequel is about his tow truck friend Mater being mistaken for a spy and having to stop a large crime ring's evil plan. And one car DIES (off-screen, mind you, but still). And there's lots of explosions and gun fighting. [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids This movie is rated G, right?]]
* While the original ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' centered on a small mountain valley, and the villain had mostly personal motivation and acted alone, ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'' involves a big city and a villain who wants to TakeOverTheWorld and has an army of wolves, gunpowder cannons, and a freakin' river fleet at his disposal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The second and particularly the third ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' featured more and more insanely over-the-top CGI and action sequences, epic plotlines and 300-million budgets. The fourth movie, however, was intentionally scaled back, returning to the more modest and character-driven style of the first film.
* Some comic book movie sequels are considered superior by escalating the characterization and themes of the first film, that made the comics hits anyway. When they falter, it's often from adding new villains at the expense of the characterization and themes.
** ''Film/TheAvengers'' plays it straight - after all it's living up to five movies' {{Sequel Hook}}s. If JossWhedon is to be believed, though, the second ''Avengers'' movie will actually ''invert'' this trope.[[http://www.nme.com/filmandtv/news/the-avengers-director-joss-whedon-teases-sequel/262405]]
-->"[It should be] smaller. More personal. More painful. By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself."
* Parodied in ''Film/{{Machete}}'': "Machete will be back in... ''Film/MacheteKills!''... and ''Machete Kills Again!''."
* ''Franchise/TheMatrix'' sequels seemed to choose the right elements: the {{Wuxia}} martial arts and the philosophy. What the Wachowski brothers missed was that the martial arts were mixed with suspense, and the philosophy was mixed into the story, not just spouted out of nowhere.
** In the first ''Film/TheMatrix'', Neo fights Agent Smith who (almost) kills him. In ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'' Super-Neo fights dozens of Agent Smiths who almost kill him. In ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions'' Super-Neo fights Super-Smith who [[MindScrew (almost?)]] kills him.
* Creator/JamesCameron decided to escalate the numbers of ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' when he made that sequel, but since one was dangerous enough, the characters would have to be soldiers just to have some kind of chance. But he did not let that get in the way of the suspense, even with turning it into part action film.
** Cameron also did it with ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', which was the highest film budget at the time. And is widely considered as good or better than [[Film/TheTerminator the first film]].
* ''Film/{{Jaws 2}}'' ramped up the body count. Also, they tried to increase the shark's "scariness" factor by scarring it with fire. ''Film/Jaws3D'' increased the size of the shark from the still-believable 25 feet of the first two films to an impossible 35 feet. ''Film/JawsTheRevenge'' had the shark be 35 feet long ''and'' have a vendetta against the Brody family as well as psychic abilities.
* The immediate sequels to ''Film/ScaryMovie'' and ''Film/HaroldAndKumarGoToWhiteCastle'' upped the raunchy humor. Fans are split as to whether this was a good idea.
* The ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' series often does this. The first film was a dark and down-to-earth. (Or at least as down-to-earth a movie about a giant dinosaur could get) The sequel added another monster, but the realistic tone remained for the most part. However, ''Film/KingKongVsGodzilla'' not only gave the series a much larger scale, and a bigger budget, but it was a lot lighter than the previous two. ''Film/MothraVsGodzilla'' was bit darker, but the film did explore into fantasy elements. The next two films featured beings from space, and the tone on the two was light. The following two had no space elements, but were still very light in tone, and featured many monsters. ''Film/DestroyAllMonsters'', originally intended as the finale, not only had aliens, but 11 monsters, and a fun, light, tone. The next film, brought the series to a whole new level, gearing it towards little kids, and having Godzilla be portrayed as a fictional character. The films from the seventies were filled with aliens and monster, and had over the top stories, and very light tones. However, 1975's ''Film/TerrorOfMechagodzilla'', while still had aliens, was given a far darker tone, and while the film has been well-received by critics, the film failed at the box-office, leaving Godzilla on a 9-year hiatus. To be continued....
* ''Film/Speed2CruiseControl'' was likely the worst choice of the element to escalate. Did it increase the suspense? The Danger? The velocity of the vehicle? Nope. It escalated the size of the vehicle, and actually downgraded the other elements.
* ''[[Film/TheKarateKid The Karate Kid Part III]]'' inverted this, and got a lot of criticism for it, among...other things. After the first film ended with Daniel winning a tournament, the second film had him fighting for his life, even including the line "This is for real." Then the third film went back to ending with a tournament.
* ''Film/HighSchoolMusical 2'' was a bigger and better sequel, and ''High School Musical 3'' went even biggerer and betterer than ''[=HSM2=]'' by getting a cinema budget and a cinema release. The dance scenes become almost absurdly more elaborate, and the sets improve noticeably. It's even partially lampshaded in the song 'I Want It All' when Sharpay notes that 'sequels pay better'
* ''Film/ThePinkPanther'''s first follow-up, the DolledUpInstallment ''A Shot in the Dark'', proved that focusing on EnsembleDarkHorse Inspector Clouseau was a wise move. Once Creator/BlakeEdwards and PeterSellers revived the series in 1975 (TheOtherDarrin that was ''Inspector Clouseau'' went on without them), they in essence picked up where that movie left off and began escalating the best points of ''Shot'' in ''The Return of the Pink Panther'': Clouseau's increasingly thick accent and odd disguises, his battles with manservant Cato, Dreyfus' insanity and murder attempts, and the overall level of slapstick. This worked ''very'' well, and two more films (''...Strikes Again'' and ''Revenge of...'') were similar successes, though they also shaded into {{Flanderization}} and {{Sequelitis}}.
* ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen'' had this trope in abundance given that Michael Bay has managed to convinced the [[BackedByThePentagon Department of Defense to provide him not only with top of the line military hardware and personnel]], but managed to get them to sign off on what the DOD is calling the single largest collaboration with a Hollywood movie ever.
** Case in point, the primary focus of the first film was to just show the robots, make them believable, and make sex jokes. Good and done. For the second movie, there are several times more Transformers, explosions, and deaths, all manner of designs that go ''far'' beyond "car turns into metal human." [[note]]I give you Arcee (one Transformer with three bodies. Neither of the bodies look particularly humanoid), Demolishor (main body suspended between two giant wheels, one on ground and one in air, and can switch), "Reedman" (the preliminary name stuck 'cause they never bothered giving him an actual name. Anyway... thousands of tiny spheres roll their way through small spaces to get where they need to go, then combine and ''flatten out'' into a robot form that is so razor thin as to be nigh-invisible when seen head-on), and the tiny insectoid spies.[[/note]] Oh, and there's Devastator. (Ironically, [[UnpleasableFanbase people who complained there were not enough robots in the first film were now complaining about any time at all being spent on Sam]].)
*** Thing about the new Devastator versus the old, as well as ''Anime/TransformersEnergon'''s "Constructicon Maximus:" Once, no attempt was made to keep the robots' relative sizes consistent, or in line with their likely actual sizes given what they turn into. The CombiningMecha Devastator was at most twice the height of Optimus Prime. Not so in the film, where small vehicles turn into small robots, and large vehicles turn into large robots. So what happens when ''[[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome seven]] [[{{HSQ}} very large]] [[OhCrap vehicles]] [[CombiningMecha combine]] [[RuleOfCool together]]?'' As Creator/MichaelBay said, if you can make Creator/StevenSpielberg swear...
**** When people first saw pictures of the gigantic Demolishor with Prime hanging onto him, they thought he was Devastator. Nope, it turns out that he (or someone indentical in every way... [[spoiler: Demolishor looks pretty much dead at the end of his of a ten-second FightUnscene]]) is in fact ''one-seventh'' of him. You may [[BringMyBrownPants leak lubricants]] now.
** ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen'' is a great example of both sides of this trope. Michael Bay threw in an ''almost'' impossible amount of robot violence, with half of the new villains being at least four times bigger than any of the heroes, along with much much more of the sex jokes and cool military stuff from the first movie. The people who liked these things had to change their pants at least three times during the course of the movie. The people who didn't like it tended more towards a [[BerserkButton murderous rage]].
** The third film had a)raised stakes, and b)about five million plot twists.
* The first ''Film/JamesBond'' film, ''Film/DrNo'', had the tight budget of $1 million - and sometimes it's easy to see it. The huge success of that movie allowed the next movie, ''Film/FromRussiaWithLove'' to double the budget, with more action scenes and locales to shoot. And many installments in the series try to top their predecessors since then.
** One of the justifications Sean Connery had for quitting the Bond role after the effects-heavy ''Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice'' was that "after blowing up the volcano, where do you go?"
** The Bond franchise has also inverted this a few times over the years. The best examples are ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'' being followed by ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'' and ''Film/DieAnotherDay'' followed by ''Film/CasinoRoyale''.
* The Film/DieHard series is a clear example of this:
** ''Die Hard'': In a skyscraper.
** ''Die Hard 2'': In an airport.
** ''Die Hard with a Vengeance'': In New York City.
** ''Live Free of Die Hard'': All over the East coast of the US.
** ''A Good Day To Die Hard'': Moscow and Chernobyl.
* Several instances in ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** In [[Film/ANewHope Episode IV]], the Empire pursues Rebels in a Star Destroyer. In [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack Episode V]] the Empire pursues Rebels in a Super Star Destroyer that is many times the size of a Star Destroyer and is the flagship of a fleet of Star Destroyers. [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi Episode VI]] shows dozens of Rebel ships fighting the Super Star Destroyer, even more regular Star Destroyers, and the second death star.
** The Death Star II was much larger than Death Star I.
** Episode IV introduces TIE Fighters, Episode V introduces TIE bombers (with two cockpits), and Episode VI introduces TIE interceptors.
** Each installment adds another climactic scene at the end happening simultaneously. In Episode IV, there was just the battle against the Death Star. Episode V had Luke confronting Darth Vader with the rest of the heroes escaping the Cloud City at the same time. Episode VI had Luke against Vader and the Emperor, Han, Leia and Chewbacca taking out the shield generator and Lando blowing up the second Death Star itself going on almost all at once. Episode I then goes a step further, with Padme infiltrating the palace to arrest Gunray, Anakin blowing up the control ship, the gungans fighting the droid army to keep them away from the city, AND Qui-Gon and Obi-Van's duel against Maul.
** Even further, ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' brought in just about every Jedi turning on their lightsabers all at once and a massive Clone Trooper/Battle Droid War Sequence. Then ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' gave us a huge Space Battle right off the bat, multiple simultaneous wars, [[LateArrivalSpoiler the extermination of the Jedi]], and almost as many lightsaber battles as the rest of the trilogy combined.
* ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreetPart2FreddysRevenge'' was really aiming for this trope, as later described in interviews by the creators. The idea was that, if Freddy is really scary in his victims' dreams, then how much scarier would he be if he were in real life? Though the film had its moments, general consensus is "not very" and its often seen as the OddballInTheSeries.
* ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'' broke the record for most vehicular collisions in a single movie, and its sequel made sure to smash the record again.
* The first ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' movie was fairly low-key compared to its sequels. It's rather obvious they got bigger budgets after the first one became a hit.
* The ''Film/ResidentEvil'' movies. In the first movie, the T virus was confined to the Hive. In [[Film/ResidentEvilApocalypse the second movie]], it had spread to all of Raccoon City. In [[Film/ResidentEvilExtinction the third movie]], it infected the entire world, and there are tougher and faster Super Undead.
* The ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'' series counts definitely, since [[Film/FirstBlood the first movie's]] action was more about guerilla warfare, hunting and survival, while the sequels were pretty much just loads of machine gunning, shotgunning, bow-and-arrowing, explosive bow-and-arrowing and knife throwing with the occasional melee kill. All the strategy of the first movie is shrunk down to a single montage, and even then the kills are more flashy and improbable.
** The best way to measure it is to look at the kill count. Rambo kills one person in the first one (which barely counts since it was an accidental death in self-defense). He kills 58 men in [[RamboFirstBloodPartII the second film]].
** [[http://www.hibbenknives.com/MovieKnives.htm His knives also got bigger and flashier through the first three films]].
* ''Film/{{Crank}}'', [[UpToEleven big time]]. While ''Crank'' was already over-the-top, they pulled all stops on second one and included more [[{{Gorn}} violence]], [[{{Fanservice}} sex]], {{Squick}} and [[RefugeInAudacity general absurdity]] in [[CrankHighVoltage the second one]].
* ''HomeAlone II: Lost In New York'' is very RecycledInSPACE in terms of plot, but the traps are much more brutal. One of them even ending in an explosion!
** The third ''Film/HomeAlone'' movie was even worse about this, with one of the traps being ''a lawn mower falling on a man's face''. They also changed the bad guys from petty thieves with big asperations to terrorists/smugglers and made the traps much more elaborate; at one point the main character has a budgie riding a remote-controlled car strike a match to light some dynamite to blow up the criminal's leader.
* You can tell from the opening disaster alone that the filmmakers intended to take ''Film/FinalDestination 2'' UpToEleven. And the sequels kept on growing and growing, to the point where the over-the-top deaths were ''parodied'' in ''Final Destination 5''.
* ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars'' was a fairly low budget movie, with a small cast and a story confined to a single small town. ''Film/ForAFewDollarsMore,'' its sequel, had much more action and featured several locations, as well as a larger cast. The prequel, ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'' is nothing short of ''epic,'' with a cast of thousands, huge battle scenes, impressive set pieces, more elaborate music, a staggering body count, and nearly double the runtime of either of the previous movies.
* ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead'' was a very low budget, low-key movie about some people in a farmhouse fending off a few dozen zomibes. ''Film/DawnOfTheDead'' and ''Film/DayOfTheDead'' had two more groups of people, in a shopping mall and an underground base, fighting hundreds of zombies. ''Film/LandOfTheDead'' had an entire ''city'' defending itself from ''thousands'' of the undead. Also note that the level of {{gorn}} increases in each movie...by a lot.
* Here's a little experiment you can do at home: go watch ''Film/TheHumanCentipede'', a film about three people who get sown together by their mouths and anuses. Note that its sequel has the subtitle ''The Full Sequence''. Look at an actual centipede. Then look back at the three sown-together people. Do the math.
* ''Film/BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure'' sent the characters through time, but ''Film/BillAndTedsBogusJourney'' sent them through both Heaven and Hell.
* True to the title, ''Film/HellboundHellraiserII'' took a few of the same characters from the first film, which was essentially a haunted house story, and placed them in, well, Hell. The makers of the third film, ''Film/HellraiserIIIHellOnEarth'', tried to get around the problem of topping Hell itself by promising a film where the series' antagonists, the Cenobites, are unleashed in an urban setting. The end result was not well-received, to say the very least.
** ''Film/HellraiserBloodline'' gives us not one but three different stories about the Lament Configuration, and the framing story [[RecycledInSpace doesn't even take place on Earth]].
* ''Film/{{Scream 2}}'' lampshades this trope as it pertains to horror movies, providing the page quote in the process. It also tops the original by having, among other things, [[AllPartOfTheShow a murder in a crowded movie theater]] and the killer crashing someone's car.
* Many viewers who watched ''Film/TheTexasChainSawMassacre1974'' forget that, for all the hype and controversy surrounding the film's content (a group of teenagers stumble upon a family of cannibals in the American backwoods), the violence and gore were almost all off-screen. [[Film/TheTexasChainsawMassacre2 The sequel]], however, took Leatherface and his family from the farm into the big city, ramped up the {{Squick}} factor and added in a copious amount of dark humor and over-the-top violence.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Film/LastActionHero''. Fictional action movie star Jack Slater moans that his adventures seem to get tougher and tougher. Danny comments that the sequels are ''supposed'' to get harder. Jack's not amused.
* The ''Film/{{Saw}}'' sequels saw the traps and "games" becoming increasingly elaborate, and the violence much more explicit (most of the violence in the original film was offscreen: the two most gruesome acts in the film, [[spoiler: Lawrence sawing off his own foot and Adam beating Zepp to death with a toilet lid]], happen almost entirely offscreen). Curiously, the original film's twisty plot structure and use of AnachronicOrder was something also escalated by the sequels, to the point that trying to synopsize the overarching plot structure is a very challenging task indeed.
* ''Film/KingKongLives'' adds a female Kong to the equation, and more destruction.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' escalates in a way that works quite well with the progression of the story. Fellowship has a few fights, but focuses mainly on the beginning of the journey and the formation of the titular Fellowship. Two Towers brings us two large battles. Return of the King has the largest battle of the Third Age, and boy does it show. The number of effects shots for the Pelennor Fields battle alone was as high as the total for the first film.
* ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' is an adaptation of one of the most epic and ambitious storylines in the ComicBook/XMen comic's history, upping up the stakes, action, and the sheer number of mutants.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Creator/MatthewReilly has this trope as a self-stated aim. In each book, he tries to include more action, MoreDakka, bigger threats... and tries to make it go faster.
** After ''Scarecrow'', he did a change of genre to escape from this, and immediately started all over again with his new trilogy.
* With a few exceptions, the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series sees Honor move up to command a larger navy in a larger plot for larger stakes up to Book 12 at least.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is this to ''Literature/TheHobbit'', albeit not a deliberate example; it "grew in the telling". ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' is an even-more-escalated ''prequel'' with a scope that includes the creation of the universe, battles between angels with powers we would associate with gods, the rise and fall of multiple civilizations and the sinking of a couple major continents, although compared to [=LotR=] it's a mile wide and an inch deep.
* Inverted in Creator/LSpragueDeCamp's "Johnny Black" stories. In the first story the titular [[UpliftedAnimal uplifted black bear]] saves the world, in the final one he saves his creator from getting fired. In an afterword de Camp apologized to the readers for that, saying he had forgotten while writing them that the next story wouldn't seem as good if it didn't top the previous one.
* The violence and level of dystopia seems only to increase with each ''[[Literature/TheHungerGames Hunger Games]]'' installment.
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series. The second book downgrades the stakes (it's the fate of the school rather than the entire world), but upgrades the set pieces (encountering one creepy guy in the Forbidden Forest vs. encountering a colony of {{Giant Spider}}s in the Forbidden Forest, for example). The third book has the lowest stakes of any book in the series, as the danger is essentially only a threat to one specific individual (Harry) and even that turns out to be an illusion. After Voldemort returns to power, the stakes remain constant (the entire world, again), but with Voldemort's power constantly increasing. The last book itself is the biggest and most epic in the series.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': The scale of just how powerful the people involved in the plot are increases over time. In the first book, Harry can channel lightning. Third book, he empowers an army of ghosts to fight for him. Seventh book, [[spoiler:he raises a TyrannosaurusRex from the dead]], and in [[WhamEpisode Changes]], he ''[[spoiler:genocides]]'' the Red Court of Vampires.
* Creator/IanFleming's ''Literature/JamesBond'' novels escalated very quickly in the beginning. The first novel, ''Literature/CasinoRoyale,'' essentially boils down to Bond playing a high-stakes game of cards with a communist agent followed by a car chase. By the time the third book, ''Literature/{{Moonraker}}'', came about, Bond was battling Neo-Nazis planning on destroying London with a nuclear missile. Later Bond stories would weave back and forth between fairly mundane crimes like [[Literature/DiamondsAreForever diamond smuggling]] and more extravagant situations like [[Literature/{{Thunderball}} nuclear warheads being stolen]].
* ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'' seriously ups the stakes from its predecessor series, ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians''. Instead of fighting the Titans to stop Olympus from crumbling, the second series involves fighting ''Gaea'', the ''progenitor'' of the Titans aka the ''Earth itself''.
* Inverted by ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline''. The series ''starts'' with ten thousand people trapped in an online death game. Then the sequel lowers the stakes to just a few hundred survivors of the first incident now stuck in a coma and being used as test subjects by a CorruptCorporateExecutive. The third arc lowers the stakes even further, focusing on a murder mystery with a relatively small body count. The fourth arc is simply a quest to obtain an in-game sword in a perfectly safe MMORPG.
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheGreatGlassElevator'', the ActionizedSequel to ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'', has a first half set in outer space as Willy Wonka and the Bucket family wind up in orbit in said elevator and manage to rescue most of the crew of a space hotel from carnivorous aliens. After a HalfwayPlotSwitch, the heroes are back in the factory, but the three still-bedridden grandparents have a misadventure with FountainOfYouth pills that requires an OrpheanRescue of Grandma Georgina. In both halves, the stakes are life-and-death and taken a bit more seriously than in the first book. As well, Willy Wonka is the protagonist this time rather than AudienceSurrogate Charlie, and his eccentric hijinks are given a lot of page time (i.e. a stretch in which he basically ''trolls Earth'' by claiming he and his companions are aliens), and besides three new Oompa-Loompa songs, there are also several songs/poems for Willy Wonka and even one for the President of the United States's nanny/vice president!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Each subsequent season of ''Series/TheWire'' explored a new element of Baltimore (in addition to the cops vs. drug dealers element introduced in the first season) while adding [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters many, many new characters]] each year, many of whom stayed on the show till its end.
* The locales for the first three seasons of ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' became progressively harder for the contestants to live in. During Borneo, the contestants were merely very uncomfortable. During Australian Outback, Elisabeth almost died of starvation, Barramundi's camp was completely flooded out, and early on there were wild fires near Ogakor's campsite. During Africa, which had the most oppressive heat of any season by far, several contestants contracted various illnesses which took them months or even years to recover from, plus the extreme scarcity of water and the very likely chance that one of the players could have been eaten by one of the wild animals roaming around. Season 4, which was supposed to take place in Jordan(apparently it was supposed to be called ''Survivor: Arabia") would have continued this escalation, but the events of September 11th stopped this dead in it's tracks.
* The first season of ''Series/TwentyFour'' had Jack Bauer fighting to prevent an assassination that also tied in with a personal vendetta being carried out against him and his family. The following season has him trying to stop a nuclear bomb from eradicating the entire city of L.A. and then preventing global war.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* Parodied in the ''[[TheFarSide Far Side]]'' cartoon "Psycho III" depicted a showering woman being [[ItWasHisSled suddenly attacked]] by a ''tank''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* ''Pinball/TheGetawayHighSpeed2'' takes the HotPursuit of [[Pinball/HighSpeed the original]], then adds a Supercharger accelerator, a {{Determinator}} cop, more cars, and police helicopters authorized to use ''lethal force.''
* Occurs with Creator/WilliamsElectronics' "rollercoaster" pinball series (''Pinball/{{Comet}}, Pinball/{{Cyclone}},'' and ''Pinball/{{Hurricane}}''):
** ''Pinball/{{Cyclone}}'' is ''Comet'' with a circus, a ferris wheel, and '''two''' rollercoasters!
** ''Pinball/{{Hurricane}}'' is ''Comet'' with '''two''' rollercoasters, '''two''' ferris wheels, and a '''LOT''' of clowns!
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' started out as a simple proof of concept with some witty writing and some brand new game play. In other words a test. Now look at ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', the full length single player campaign is 3-4 times longer than the original, has a lot more areas to explore, a very well written story without telling us outright what happened, some very memorable characters, and some scenery that will make any other laboratory feel insecure (admit it, Lower Aperture Laboratories took quite a few elements from fictitious 1960s nuclear bunkers, the Modern Laboratories have bottomless pits (still above the older labs) and the testing rooms where they might remind some people of the floating mountains from ''Film/{{Avatar}}''.) Now this is just single player, the co-op missions have two players with two portals of their own to shoot, and as a result, the puzzles are a lot more complicated.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' upped the scale from one mansion to the whole town.
** ''[=RE2=]'' mostly takes place in the city's police station, but ''[=RE3=]'' allows you to visit more places such as the Downtown and Uptown portions of the city, a Hospital, and a Park.
** Ditto ''[[VideoGame/HouseOfTheDead House of the Dead 2]]''.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' started a Sequel Escalation after taking the jump to full 3D. ''GTA III'' and ''Liberty City Stories'' take place in a very small Liberty City, ''Vice City'' and ''Vice City Stories'' take place in a larger Vice City, and ''San Andreas'' finally upped the ante and placed the action in ''an entire state''. Then it seemed to have crossed something akin to the BishonenLine and shrank back down to a DarkerAndEdgier version of the small Liberty City with ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV''. ''GTA V'' has been promised to be bigger than the maps of San Andreas, IV, and RedDeadRedemption ''combined'', however.
** The [=GTA4=] version of Liberty City was of comparable size (but not quite as big) as San Andreas, though, but with greater detail in the area depicted.
* The first ''VideoGame/GranTurismo'' had atleast 150 cars. Then ''Gran Turismo 2'' came out and they added a whooping 500 cars to the list. Gran Turismo 3 however invert this due to the Generation Jump, but 4 does it again. Then 5 came up and managed to have a total of ''[[UpToEleven 1000 cars]]''. AND THEN 6 got released and had 1200 cars. There are some drawbacks of this, such as in 5 they imported alot of the cars from the previous games with no change at all and [[CreatorProvincialism most of the cars being Japanese and from Nissan.]]
* Creator/HideoKojima did this semi-purposely in the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series to keep it from getting stale. The villains in the games up to the original ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' were basically just extraordinary soldiers. In order to keep fans interested he gave the villains in ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty Sons of Liberty]]'' super-powers. In the next installment, ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater Snake Eater]]'', the player fought World War legends, one of which [[BeeBeeGun attacked the player with bees]]. This maybe an accidental subversion as well since in ''Snake Eater'' the player takes control of the future Big Boss, the antagonist of ''Metal Gear'' and ''Metal Gear 2'', meaning that Solid Snake already beaten the toughest character in the series all along.
** There were super-soldiers in the first game too, in fact if anything FOXHOUND were more impressive than Dead Cell, as only Vamp had genuine super-abilities (and Fortune isn't technically a "boss fight" in any meaningful sense). In FOXHOUND, Vulcan Raven is a giant Shaman, Psycho Mantis is a powerful psychic, and Liquid is a literal super-soldier genetically engineered for the purpose (Solidus, from the second game, is also a such a person but Liquid was designed to be the superior). You also have to take on a cyborg ninja version of another legendary soldier, whereas in the sequel a lesser version of this character actually helps you out. As far as the villains go, the first lot were superior to the second, in terms of supernatural abilities.
** Don't forget that the latest model of Metal Gear itself was always the penultimate boss in each game up until ''Metal Gear Solid''. In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'', Raiden fights not just one, but a whole bunch of them that were built to overpower the last model from the previous game. In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'', Old Snake fights a pseudo-Metal Gear model called Gekko as a common enemy in the very first level.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', Solid Snake fights a [=HIND=] helicopter piloted by Liquid Snake. In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'', Raiden fights a ''Harrier Jet'' piloted by Solidus Snake.
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' did this to phenomenal effect, largely because the first game was already over-the-top, but it also left many fans wanting so much more. For example, the first game hinted at a major boss battle featuring a bipedal dinosaur like creature called a brumak, but you never got to fight it until the [[UpdatedRerelease PC version.]] In the sequel, one level has '''five''' of these...''at once''. But they not only ramped up the scale, they also included a surprisingly powerful character story with Dom searching for his wife.
** ''Gears of War 3'' keeps things rolling by fleshing out an entire new faction only previously mentioned (the Lambent Locust). It also shows humanity to be in widespread disarray and on the verge of collapse with no real government remaining. The final parts of the campaign are the resolution of the question of which of Sera's three sentient species will annihilate the other two--and it's a ''very'' close race.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' slowly ramped up the events of the plot. [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved The first game]] had more in common with ''Film/DieHard'' in that Master Chief was the right person in the right place to deal with these event. Even still, the scale of the flood threat was more implied then actually seen. ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' made Master Chief to be humanity's only hope, and featured the scarab, an enemy vehicle that took half a level to destroy. ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' gave you four of those to destroy.
** The scale of threat was practically exponential. First you're exploring a new territory and defending an alien star system, then you're back home defending the ''Solar'' system, then in ''Halo 3'', as one character points out, "the fate of every sentient being in the galaxy rests in your hands!" But y'know, no pressure.
** ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' and ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' both scale things back a little: the former because it's a LowerDeckEpisode focusing on a squad of Marines, and the latter because it's a prequel to the whole trilogy detailing the destruction of one planet.
* ''Turrican II'' took the first ''VideoGame/{{Turrican}}'''s already large levels and made them [[MarathonLevel ludicrously enormous]]. It worked amazingly.
* ''VideoGame/TetrisTheGrandMaster'' peaks out in speed and difficulty when pieces start dropping instantly. ''Tetris: The Grand Master 2'' made the game even faster and more NintendoHard than its predecessor by gradually decreasing the delays for piece appearance and piece lock delay, shortening the line clear animation after you reach instant-drop speed, and adding an invisible credit roll challenge to get the titular Grand Master rank. ''Tetris: The Grand Master 3'' shortens these even more, and scores you on finesse during the credit roll challenge, in addition to requiring you to get a Grand Master-worthy score 4 out of 7 games before giving you the Promotional Exam in which you can actually earn the rank.
* ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander'' was fairly involved in terms of creating and managing your army, with the final mission putting you up against one of the Aeon experimental units as a sort of BossFight. The ''Forged Alliance'' standalone expansion sics a Serphim experimental on you in the very first mission, and it only gets more intense from there.
* The console installments of the ''VideoGame/{{F-Zero}}'' series crank up the maximum speed with each new installment. In the first installment, you normally can't go faster than 478 km/h, but dash arrows allow you go up to about 970 momentarily. ''F-Zero X'' sets the norm to 700-800 km/h, with boosts enabling you to reach about 1,300-1,400. ''F-Zero GX'' brings average speeds to the 970-1,100 range, with boosts speeds going beyond 2,000.
* ''VideoGame/KidIcarus'' is the story of Pit the angel fighting to defeat the evil goddess Medusa. ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'' features more-or-less the same story...for the first third of the game. [[spoiler:After Medusa's defeat, the BiggerBad Hades promises to make Medusa look like "a cute, cuddly bunny" compared to him. From there, Pit must butt heads with a nature goddess with an arsenal of [[FantasticNuke Fantastic Nukes]] at her disposal, an alien race determined to consume the world, an ancient monster that possesses his goddess Palutena, and various members of the Greek pantheon of Gods on his way to fight Hades.]]
* ''VideoGame/AceCombat'': The first superfighter, the XFA-27 in ''2'', didn't have anything particularly OTT apart from being able to launch four missiles in one salvo. If we skip over the planes from ''3'', the X-02 Wyvern from ''4'' is next, still not OTT in weapons although it has switchblade wings now. The ADF-01F Falken from ''5'' was the first (ignoring ''3'', as aforementioned) to mount a laser weapon. The ADFX-01 Morgan from ''Zero'' added the nuke-like MPBM. Then the CFA-44 Nosferatu from ''6'' swaps the MPBM out from the cluster missile ADMM. ''X'' may fit in there somewhere...
** It does, the Fenrir has the ungodly LSWM, which if you hit the missile at a specific target, the blast radius will be enough to destroy all the targets and win you the match, in theory...
** When it comes to the amount of enemies and the scale of battlefields, the series has zig-zagged all over the place, but ''[[VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies 04]]'' and especially ''[[VideoGame/AceCombat6FiresOfLiberation 6]]'' both played this trope straight (being the first installments for the [=PS2=] and the Xbox 360 respectively is no coincidence), and both also had the [[VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar following]] [[VideoGame/AceCombatAssaultHorizon installment]] heavily inverting the trope. However, when it comes to the amount of flyable aircraft, they invert it, particularly ''6'' which has the ''lowest'' amount of aircraft in the main series.
* ''VideoGame/GigaWing'': [[PinballScoring 14-digit scores]]. ''Giga Wing 2'': 17 digits. ''Giga Wing Generations'': [[UpToEleven 20 FREAKING DIGITS.]]
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF1HVlcXBmA intro video.]] ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u39KZJIJ7VA intro video.]]
* Sony's ''VideoGame/{{Resistance}} 2'' and ''{{Uncharted}} 2: Among Thieves'' are bigger than their originals in every way.
* The first game in the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' sub-series deals with civil war between TheFederation and a WellIntentionedExtremist, while throwing in an extraterrestrial invasion in the second half of the game. The sequel throws in the first again, but adds in an AlternateUniverse faction deciding to perform WarForFunAndProfit and an EldritchAbomination bent on committing a KillEmAll scenario on a planetary scale.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Glider}}'' was a 15-room adventure (1 room = 1 screen). "The House" of ''Glider 4.0'' went on for 62 rooms. Finally, ''Glider PRO'''s "Slumberland" filled 403 rooms, including outdoor areas which previous games had nothing like.
* {{Rhythm game}}s tend to do this with their "boss" or "extra" songs:
** ''VideoGame/GuitarHero II'' had "[[Music/LynyrdSkynyrd Free Bird]]". ''Guitar Hero III'' upped the ante with "[[Music/{{Dragonforce}} Through the Fire and Flames]]".
** ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' started with a difficulty scale from 1 to 8 footprints. Then came the escalation:
*** ''DDR 3rd Mix'' introduced 9-foot ratings.
*** ''DDRMAX'' (6th Mix) introduced the Extra Stage system, with MAX 300, a song with a tempo of 300 BPM (beats per minute) with 555 steps (18 of which were jumps, and 2 Freeze Arrows) in a minute and a half, which initially had to be played at 1.5x Reverse scroll and a life bar that wouldn't replenish, and was later assigned a 10-foot rating. Completing MAX 300 with a grade of AA or better would earn you the One More Extra Stage, which was Candy, a normal song but played on 3x Reverse, and you fail if you get less than a Great on any step or release a Freeze Arrow too early.
*** ''DDRMAX 2'' (7th Mix) added [=MaxX=] Unlimited with 555 steps 45 jumps, and 56 Freeze Arrows, which started at 300 BPM and would speed up and slow down many times, eventually screeching to a halt before jumping to 320 BPM and staying there for the rest of the song, and was to be played on 1.5x Reverse Dark (couldn't see the gray arrows that told you when to step). The One More Extra Stage song became Kakumei, which was slightly significantly more complex than Candy.
*** ''DDR Extreme'' set the bar even higher with The Legend of MAX, at 333 BPM and 1.5x Reverse, plus a faster-depleting lifebar. One More Extra Stage was a song titled Dance Dance Revolution, which was actually not any harder, but rather a tribute to previous DDR songs.
*** ''DDR [=SuperNOVA=]'' had Fascination MAXX and Fascination -eternal love mix-, both of which went up to 400 BPM and would repeatedly halve or double its speed, down to 100 BPM, in addition to pausing briefly at certain points. Extra Stage retained 1.5x Reverse. The One More Extra Stage was CHAOS, which turned the InterfaceScrew UpToEleven with its pauses, in addition to disallowing modifiers (no 3x Reverse, either), which actually made CHAOS ''harder'' to read.
*** ''DDR [=SuperNOVA 2=]'' changed the Extra Stage to use the Oni Mode lifebar, where you lose one segment every time you get less than a Great on any step or release a Freeze Arrow too early, and you fail when you lose the last segment. In addition, the Extra Stage system was slightly overhauled - you actually have to EARN lifebars for it![[note]]If you just barely earned the Extra Stage, or you're only getting to play Extra Stage because the other player earned it, you get the Encore Extra Stage lifebar - break your combo and fail instantly. You also had to get an A or higher on a stage before your final stage to get Extra Stage, although this is a piece of cake for anyone who could get Extra Stage at all with the old requirement.[[/note]] (However, it does allow picking mods.) And of course, there's Pluto, Pluto Relinquish, and Dead End Groove Radar Special.
*** ''DDR [=X=]'' made a well-needed adjustment to the difficulty scale by re-rating every chart on a scale that goes up to 20. Thanks to how it was done, existing "non-flashing" 10's were ranked around 15 and 16, and the harder "flashing" 10's now got actual difficulty counts, usually either as 17's or 18's. No songs had been introduced that rate as a 19 or 20 yet.
*** ''DDR [=X2=]'' adds Replicant-D-Action on top of the usual extra stage system for even more boss song unlocking goodness, including the nasty ''New Decade'', which is a 17 on expert and runs at 400 bpm. After you're done with all 6 of those boss songs, you immediately take on ''Valkyrie Dimension'', which is an 18... on expert. Yes, Challenge difficulty was DDR's first ''19''! Plus the requirement to get Extra Stage was increased to getting a AA rank on ''every'' stage, not just the final stage.
*** ''DDR [=X3 vs 2nd Mix=]'' adds ''Paranoia Revolution'' and ''Tohoku Evolved''. In the former, it had to be unlocked in 2nd Mix mode, which meant 1x, Flat (no colour difference between 4th and 8th notes etc.) and difficulty unheard of in the source game. A NostalgiaLevel with its Expert chart made of the hardest parts of older boss songs, it doesn't seem to warrant an 18, until you notice that it ends with the steps of Challenge ''Fascination Eternal Love Mix'', ''Pluto Relinquish'' and ''Valkyrie Dimension''. It's Challenge chart is the only other 19 footer and breaks the DDR record of fastest interval between notes - 16ths at 360bpm! The latter breaks the record for highest reading speed - a random corner jump at ''1020 bpm''.
** ''VideoGame/{{Beatmania}} IIDX'' started with a 1-7 difficulty scale. ''5th Style'' had the kanji for "forbidden" for some harder 7's, which were later displayed as "flashing 7's" and even later named as "7+". Eventually, the 7+ difficulty became an 8, and the 8+ was introduced. The scale now ranks up to ''12''.
** For most of the series' history, ''VideoGame/GuitarFreaks'' and ''VideoGame/DrumMania'' have had a scale with a 2-digit number for difficulty, with the boss songs usually having a rating in the 90's on Extreme difficulty. In [=V5=], performing well on the Extra Stage earns you the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS5EdxIZ31c Infinity Stage, with the song Rock to Infinity]], which is rated ''infinity'' on Extreme and gives Through the Fire and Flames a run for its money.
*** For those only familiar with Guitar Hero or Rock Band, a note on how Guitar Freaks works, which will help appreciate the video: even though there are only three buttons on the guitar, you must never be holding extra buttons, even for single notes (forget about hammer-ons and pull-offs). Also, those white icon things on the rightmost side of the track are where you are required to raise your guitar neck into the air. Finally, there is no star power equivalent, and your accuracy is graded in a similar manner to Beatmania or DDR, adding another level of difficulty to the game.
** ''VideoGame/RockBand 2'' upped the ante by having more metal than the first game, pushing the boundaries for drums and guitar, but the maximum difficulty was really pushed in ''Rock Band 3'', which introduced the pro modes (while keeping the normal ones). The number of buttons on the guitar fretboard jumped from 5 to ''102'' (68 for bass), with the other hand handling six (four) 'strings' instead of one. Drums just added cymbals, jumping from 5 inputs to 8, and Keyboard, which was new anyway, jumped from 5 keys to 25. Moreover, some of the drum charts in [=RB3=] (pro or not) are just insane.
* The ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' series keeps upping the odds and the drama with each case. The first of the Phoenix arc is simply rescuing your long-lost best friend from a false murder charge, the second involves intrigue in show business and [[spoiler: the kidnapping of your assistant/friend Maya as insurance against the (guilty) client being found guilty.]], and the third has Phoenix facing off against [[spoiler: the vengeful spirit of his serial killer ex-girlfriend]] before the true murderer is even found. Apollo Justice deals with a seven-year-old BatmanGambit and pushing through a completely new trial system, while ''Investigations'' puts Edgeworth against a smuggling ring that [[spoiler: is responsible for or connected to every murder in the game.]]
** If the rumors are true, ''Investigations 2'' starts off with [[spoiler: the assassination of the Zheng Fa president.]] And since it probably only ramps up from there, the end case will probably involve Miles Edgeworth saving the world.
*** In fact, ''Investigations 2'' does begin with [[spoiler: an unsuccessful attempt on said president.]] It ends with [[spoiler: a successful one.]]
** This goes UpToEleven in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' thanks to a transfer from Nintendo DS to Nintendo 3DS. It ''starts'' with a courtroom bombing and gets bigger from there.
* Each game in VideoGame/DonPachi progressively gets crazier with even more BulletHell and a TrueFinalBoss that takes BulletHell to [[SerialEscalation progressive levels of insanity.]]
** Also, the combos. Getting a 100 combo in ''[=DoDonPachi=]'' is an achievement, while in ''[=DoDonPachi=]'' it simply takes some effort. ''[=DoDonPachi=] dai ou jou'''s [[SuperMode Hyper]] system makes that trivial, and in ''[=DoDonPachi=] Dai-Fukkatsu''? Come back when you get a 10,000 combo.
** In an inversion of this trope, most players regard ''Dai-Fukkatsu'''s first loop as easier than those of its predecessors. [[PublicMediumIgnorance No one's listening, though.]]
* The main ''RockBand'' games present an inversion of this trope. The final challenge (barring the [[FinalExamBoss Endless Setlist]]) in the first game has you playing to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, whereas the second has you playing to be featured in ''Rolling Stone'' magazine.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFight 2'', the straight-to-Super NES sequel to the original ''Final Fight'', changed the setting from Metro City to various cities around the Eurasian continent. Despite this, the game is barely that different in terms of gameplay compared to the original game and was mostly made to make up for the lack of a 2-Player Mode in the original SNES port.
* In the first ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'', the player's mission is to [[SaveThePrincess rescue]] [[DistressedDamsel Marian]]; in the second game, the objective is to [[Film/RevengeOfTheSequel avenge]] [[DisposableWoman her]] [[SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome death]].
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' features cool teammates, [[CutscenePowerToTheMax action cutscenes]], [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome epic]] [[BadassCrew badassery]], [[TearJerker emo]][[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments tion]] and [[OneOfUs geek]] [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments humor]]. ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' features more teammates, more [[CutscenePowerToTheMax action cutscenes]], MoreDakka, more [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome epic]] [[BadassCrew badassery]], [[TearJerker more]] [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments emotion]] and more [[OneOfUs geek]] [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments humor]]. You may guess [[SoCoolItsAwesome the]] [[EvenBetterSequel results]]. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' is taking this [[DarkestHour even]] [[ApocalypseHow further]] by ''starting'' the game with the massive invasion of [[spoiler:a race of EldritchAbomination AbusivePrecursors by the thousands who have wiped out all galactic civilization countless times before]], who are ''very'' angry with the player character.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' is kind of an aversion: the first game has the fate of all organic life in the Milky Way at stake, whereas the second focuses on attacks that only target humanity; sure the Collectors kill hundreds of thousands of people, but if Sovereign had succeeded, the death toll would have been at least in the hundreds of billions. Played straight when comparing 3 to its predecessors: while the threat to the galaxy is the same throughout the series, it's much more direct, and the odds of success much worse, in the third game.
* In ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 1'', the [=Kick13=] move was a single roundhouse and its [[SuperMode Devil Triggered]] version was a punch-kick combo. In ''4'', the combo is now standard and the DT version has even more hits. In ''3'' the Drive move was a single, somewhat slow shockwave, while in ''4'' it comes out faster and Dante can use three in a row. In ''3'', the YouWillNotEvadeMe move was only available as a situational part of the StanceSystem, while in ''4'' it becomes integral to the combat
* The "Meet the Team" videos in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' become a lot more ambitious as they go. Compare [[http://www.tf2.com/heavy.htm Meet the Heavy]] and [[http://www.tf2.com/spy.htm Meet the Spy]] for the best example. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36lSzUMBJnc Meet the Medic]] takes it to new heights. And then there was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUhOnX8qt3I Meet the Pyro]].
* In going from ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' to ''Modern Warfare 2'', the killstreak rewards got bigger and better. There's also the fact that [[spoiler:America]] gets invaded, you get to play as more people and the plot takes you to locations all around the world. And of course, the TwistEnding.
* In the first ''VideoGame/MetalSlug'', basic enemies were limited to the usual Rebellion Army soldiers, the only Slug you used was the basic tank, and the final boss was Morden in a helicopter. By the time ''Metal Slug 3'' rolls around, that very same final boss and level are only the ''halfway'' point of the game, and you've already fought zombies, mummies, man-eating plants, and the Mars People. The final fight of ''3'' takes you to space to battle the Mars People mothership, and to even access the interior you have to fight ''Metal Slug 2'''s final boss again. The actual final battle is a free fall to Earth versus Rootmars, the alien commander.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' drove this to an insane degree. In [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI the first game]], the main characters had about 30 HP to start, which grew to about 500-750 by the end. The final boss here had exactly 4000 HP. In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', the starting HP is about 500 and it's about 2500-3500 HP near the end. This game's final boss has [[MarathonBoss over A QUARTER MILLION HP]], and you can only hit four digits of damage. And that's not even counting the latest release, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' - There are trash mobs with health in the millions.
** The magic and summon animations also have gotten flashier and longer as the series progressed. What used to take nothing more than a few seconds to watch Bahamut blast every enemy on the field in the earlier games evolved to an extended sequence showing Bahamut flying up high in the sky, charging his attack, and then watching the attack shoot down to the ground and explode on all enemies. Depending on the game, some players may find it easier and faster to level grind and just smash everything with swords than to use powerful magic that takes a while to finish its animations.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' does this to a smaller extent than ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''. The first game has bosses that have about 300-1500 HP (according to the Guide) which are represented by bars. A boss with ''four'' was considered a lot, and the BonusBoss Sephiroth has about six. Meanwhile in ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth By Sleep]]''? There are enemies with a ''lot'' more than just four health bars, even if the health bars deplete faster after ''II''. (this includes ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories Chain of Memories]]'')
** Compare any of Sora's limits from the KHI or KHII to what Ven, Terra, or Aqua can do with their normal fighting styles. Sora's Trinity Limit almost pales in comparison to some of their attacks, and it was the strongest move in the original game and took all Sora, Donald, and Goofy to use, the BBS trio travel alone all the time, and perform moves that make the Maleficent dragon boss battle seem like a cake walk compared to her [[ThatOneBoss first dragon encounter]] from the first game. This is at least {{justified|Trope}} since Aqua is a Keyblade Master, Terra is only a few good deeds short and all three got training from an actual Keyblade Master, where as Sora learned from his own experience.
* During Creator/{{Nintendo}}'s E3 2010 Presentation, while Reggie Fils-Aime mainly placed emphasis on the social element of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'', he does have this to say about the rest of the game's content:
-->"You could describe it just by the numbers: with 120 [[{{Sidequest}} mini-quests]] and additional wi-fi mini-quests, over 300 monsters, over 900 items to customize your character, and an infinite number of randomly generated treasure maps. But that would be selling it short."
* The ''VideoGame/SimCity'' series was originally developed with this in mind. While the games share a lot of the same core gameplay elements, the range of facilities that could be built and the size of land at the player's disposal grew exponentially, peaking in [=VideoGame/SimCity 4=], where utterly large regions containing significant numbers of connected cities could be created. Creator/WillWright would later comment that the series has ended up being inaccessible to new players due to its sheer complexity, which led to the reformulated but simplified ''[=VideoGame/SimCity Societies=]''.
** In that vein, ''VideoGame/TheSims'' changes significantly with each sequel. Even customization options and the way the Sims can change themselves is dramatically different: in the first game, there are adult Sims and child Sims, and never the twain shall meet. In the second game, your Sims age and die, and can also gain and lose weight in a "pop" effect. In the third game, your Sims can age and die and changes due to weight gain and loss, muscle gain and loss, and pregnancy are subtle and incremental. And that's not even including the expansion pack options...
* ''Franchise/BioShock'' is an interesting case. [[VideoGame/BioShock2 The sequel]] has an equally good story, but the villain has the opposite philosophy as [[VideoGame/BioShock the first one]]. The combat, on the other hand, is so far escalated to be ridiculous. DualWielding, playing as a Big Daddy with equally scaled up weapons (from crossbow to spear gun for instance), and the plasmids... The Incinerate alone goes from tossing fire, to tossing ''exploding fire'', to being able to shoot a solid stream of fire. WordOfGod even states that Jack wouldn't have survived Rapture if he came at this time.
* ''VideoGame/WeCheer 2'' in terms of the VirtualPaperDoll and CharacterCustomization.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan2'' upped the number of bosses and special items, but also gave a massive increase in the size and variety of the regular enemies you fought. Compare the Mooks of [[http://spriters-resource.com/nes/mm/sheet/32924 Mega Man 1]] to [[http://spriters-resource.com/nes/mm2/sheet/32920 Mega Man 2]].
* Back in ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'', the villains were a bunch of common thugs, the focus of [[ExcusePlot what little plot the games had]] was on beating the Elite Four in [=Gen1=] and [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo Red]] in [=Gen2=], and the Legendaries, while conceptually interesting in some cases, generally stayed OutOfFocus in favor of the ToBeAMaster, GottaCatchEmAll stuff except for Suicune in ''Crystal''. Then we hit ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', where the villains were out to expand the land or sea, and where the [[OlympusMons Legendary Pokémon]] began to play a role in the plot. But it wasn't over yet: Cyrus, head of ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'''s Team Galactic, was actively out to destroy the universe and remake it in his own image. Beating him involved, depending on your version, catching either the god of space, the god of time, or the EldritchAbomination personification of antimatter who had a few parallels to {{Satan}}. And then you could catch {{God}} Himself, if you attended a Nintendo event or used a [[GameShark cheating device]].
** ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' scaled things back a bit as far as ''Platinum'' is concerned, but having the main villains [[spoiler:actually catching and keeping either Reshiram or Zekrom (depending on your version) and fighting you with it ''and'' practically taking over the Elite Four]] is pretty huge. It also introduced some fairly adult themes.
** There's also the mechanics and the number of Pokémon that are catchable in each generation. ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' were good games, with a total of 151 Pokémon, which was considered many at the time. ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'' doubled the size of the map, upped the ante with 100 new mons and added much depth to the gameplay. ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'' temporarily reversed the tide as for the number of mons and total playable area, but when Generation III is taken as a whole it became huge, defining many aspects of modern gameplay. Generation IV was softer concerning new mechanics, and went back to a regional Dex of only 150 (210 in Platinum) but it included a much longer post-game that made it really easier to catch previous generations' Pokémon. Not even counting new mechanics, the series escalated further with ''VideoGame/PokemonHeartGoldAndSoulSilver'' and its many starters and legendaries, ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' and its 156 brand new Pokémon, ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite2'' and its expanded region with ''301'' Pokémon in its Dex, now culminating with ''VideoGame/PokemonXandY'' which, according to early leaks, features '''''450''''' Pokémon in its three-part regional Pokédex alone.
* Not necessarily a "sequel", per se, but the continuation of the Franchise/SpiderMan set of games: In ''VideoGame/SpiderManWebOfShadows'', the final mission revolves around [[spoiler: blowing up a single S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, an aircraft roughly the size of a small building, to take down Venom once and for all.]] In ''VideoGame/SpiderManShatteredDimensions'', the Carnage level has [[spoiler: one Helicarrier pre-crashed as an integral part of the first fight with Carnage, and Ultimate Spidey has to outrun another crashing Helicarrier later in the stage.]]
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] in the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series:
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' depicts an epic struggle against TheLegionsOfHell led by an insane dragon god bent on wiping out all life on the planet.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening'' has a smaller scope story-wise than the original game (the Wardens are mopping up the stragglers from the already-defeated hellish legions), but the PowerLevels of ''everything'' are through the roof--regular bandits in ''Awakening'' have more HP than endgame ''Origins'' bosses.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' is decidedly smaller-scale (rumor has it that it was originally planned as a GaidenGame), with a more personal quest that revolves around the protagonist Hawke finding a place in the world after Lotharing was destroyed. The horrible things that happen in this game have little to do with ancient evils and dark gods [[spoiler:except for the lyrium idol though things would have gone to hell even without it]] -- [[GreyAndGrayMorality they happen because different people with different ideas of right and wrong]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist are unable to let go of their inner demons for the sake of peace.]]
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' takes it right back to the epic lands, with the new protagonist building up an international power base (the eponymous Inquisition) to uncover the mystery of why every major faction on the continent suddenly stopped taking its meds and went to war against everyone else all at once.
* ''Bug Too!'' to the original ''VideoGame/{{Bug}}!''. It did take out certain elements (especially the zap cap) but added many new ones in, such as curved platforms, ability to run and hover for the characters, and level selection for each world. It may not have been a good thing, [[{{Sequelitis}} though]].
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars II: Lords of Winter'' will start in the Cruiser-Fusion era and have a "tech forest", multi-planet systems, even bigger ships and generally lots more options to play with.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' has enemies with HP averaging from 10-20 points for most of the game while bosses hovering around the 50s more or less and the FinalBoss and BonusBoss having 99 HP. Mario's HP and FP can only max out (without the use of badges) to 50. The sequel, ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', ramps this up greatly; Mario's HP and FP can reach higher than 50 thanks to the level cap being raised, but boss enemy HP is beefed up as well, pushing near 70 by the last quarter of the game. The FinalBoss has 150 HP and the BonusBoss has 250 HP! In ''Paper Mario'' standards, that's a crapton of HP. It's stretched even ''further'' in ''[[VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar Sticker Star]]''. All bosses after the first have at least 300 HP, and the final boss has 500 HP!
** The plots of the game were also escalated. The original had a fairly standard Bowser-kidnaps-the-Princess plot, and other than Mario none of the characters were in much danger (though the Star Spirits were concerned this might change if Bowser [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity kept the Star Rod for too long]]). ''Thousand-Year Door'' featured a group of scientists trying to release an EldritchAbomination, believing she will reward them with money and power, but who really just wants to TakeOverTheWorld ([[ICanRuleAlone and can rule alone]]). ''Super Paper Mario'' featured a villain who wanted to destroy the entire {{multiverse}}.
* The ''VideoGame/SaintsRow'' series.
** In the first game, you're a nobody in a downtrodden neighborhood who gets caught in a gang fight, joins a new gang and buys a pistol to "clean up the hood".
** The second game features lots of explosives, radioactive waste, chainsaws, a gang boss with a minigun, and eventually you fight a private military contractor.
** The third game features regular mooks with miniguns, airstrikes, hoverbikes, battles against entire enemy platoons of tanks, laser guns everywhere and you blow up two aircraft carriers, including a flying one that's bombing the city into rubble.
** The fourth game features a full-scale alien invasion where you play as the president of the United States who gets kidnapped by the aliens, is put in Franchise/TheMatrix and then fights them with superpowers.
* Generally speaking, FightingGame sequels--especially those created within a couple of years of each other--like to increase the number of fighters from one game to another. ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'' is a perfect example. There ''are'' exceptions--the SoulSeries seems pretty consistent at around 20 characters per game, and the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series stayed between 15 and 16 non-pallete swap characters for the first 3 games--but an increased headcount is usually on the menu for a sequel.
* ''[[VideoGame/BanjoKazooie Banjo-Tooie]]'' is this compared to its predecessor ''Banjo-Kazooie'': The latter was a kind of enhanced ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', with more transformations, more collectibles, the ability to shoot eggs, and some other moves. Then ''Banjo-Tooie'' retained (almost) all the old moves of the first game ''since the beginning'', introducing more new moves than the total number of moves in the previous game, five new types of eggs, transformations in ''every'' level, and these aren't even all the new gimmicks of the game. The size and scale of each stage also increased dramatically, making the first game's stages feel claustrophobic by comparison.
* The second ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'' game is this. While the first one started its gameplay with the protagonists suddenly being attacked by demons spawning out of their [=COMPs=], the second one kicks off the main storyline by having a ''subway de-rail and nearly kill off the main characters'' (after showing them their horrific deaths before it happens). The second game also has FAR more on-screen deaths (one instance being the EldritchAbomination-[[MonsterOfTheWeek of-the-day]] ''incinerating'' four bystanders), a more epic scope (complete with a shadowy underground organization dealing with Japan's paranormal issues over the years and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s wreaking havoc), [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters more characters]], more locations (taking place in multiple cities as opposed to the first one's single place), more cursing, [[NintendoHard more difficulty]], and [[WorldOfBuxom bigger cup sizes]].
* The ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series: ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' (Mushroom Kingdom and Subcon, respectively) --> ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' (multiple kingdoms). There's also ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' (a castle) --> ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' (an island) --> ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'' ([[ExaggeratedTrope the entire universe]]).
* Present and accounted for in the ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series:
** ''Quest for Glory I'' has few particularly powerful threats for you to deal with. There's the Kobold Wizard and Baba Yaga, but the ominous Brigand Warlock [[spoiler: turns out to just be the local ''court jester'', who has little real magical power and left the castle to find the Baron's missing daughter]]. There's not even really a Big Bad to speak of, unless you count Baba Yaga, as the Brigand Leader [[spoiler: is the Baron's enchanted daughter, and is "beaten" with a dispell potion]].
** In ''Quest for Glory II'', the Hero must square off against four powerful elementals, each of which can destroy the city of Shapier, before confronting the [[ManBehindtheMan wizard]] attempting to release an [[SealedEvilinaCan evil djinn]] on the world.
** ''Quest for Glory III'' raises the stakes even further, with the plot of the game being manipulated by a demon attempting to cross its master over into the world (the Quest for Glory series is RIFE with Sealed Evils attempting to be released). Notably, the Coles have specifically said that Wages of War was not part of the original story, and was added ''specifically'' because the Hero would not have been strong enough to face the enemies of the next game.
** ''Quest for Glory IV'', in which the Hero now faces undead in spades, the resurrected [[spoiler: Ad Avis]] and his Dark Master, the vampire [[spoiler: Katrina]]. Oh, and now he's trying to stop a full-blown ''EldritchAbomination'' from being freed! Notably, Baba Yaga, who in the first game pretty thoroughly outmatches the Hero, by the fourth is no longer quite so menacing.
** ''Quest for Glory V'' at first seems like it's going to be an inversion, as the Hero arrives to effectively investigate a murder plot. At least until the world-destroying [[NamestoRunAwayFromReallyFast Dragon of Doom]] is unleashed by the BigBad (have we mentioned the series' love of Sealed Evils?)
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' and its sequel ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity''. It's in the title.
* There are exactly two things which New World Computing did not escalate between ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic I'' and ''II'': the number of campaigns (four to two -- but see below) and the scale of the war (the sparse story of ''I'' was a free-for-all war over the throne of Enroth between four contenders, ''II'' was a war over the throne of Enroth's succession with two claimants). ''Everything'' else -- the number of towns, how many artifacts there are, how much actual ''story'' there is in the campaigns, how different the campaigns are from each-other (''I's'' were literally the ''same'' except for your starting town and each campaign lacking the map about attacking your own stronghold), the number of creatures, the complexity of the skill system, how many spells there are, etc -- gets escalated.
* ''VideoGame/ZombiesRun'': We'll let the developers explain.
--> The story’s even more tense, the risks even greater, and the rewards higher - if things go right you, Runner 5, might just save the world.
* The ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series, good grief. In the Genesis era we started with a super-fast hedgehog freeing his animal buddies from a mad scientist, which went to preventing Eggman from ruling the world with his Death Egg station in three sequels that expanded the scope of the world and introduced more characters. Come the Dreamcast and modern eras, Sonic is facing [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure a gigantic deity made of water]], [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 an out-of-control space colony controlled by the prototype of the ultimate life form]], [[VideoGame/SonicHeroes his evil robot double's super transformation]], [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 an insane god of time and space]], [[VideoGame/SonicUnleashed a continent-sized manifestation of the Earth's dark side]], [[VideoGame/SonicColors Eggman enslaving five planets to create a mind-control weapon]], and [[VideoGame/SonicGenerations a being that can destroy time and space]].
** ''VideoGame/SonicLostWorld'' takes a step back by returning to Sonic saving animals and maintaining the beauty of the world, but still manages to escalate that by having Sonic now saving animals in the hundreds and thousands per zone instead of dozens and magnifying the threat to the planet from Eggman building resource-destroying factories to [[spoiler: the entire world being sapped of its life energy by the Zeti, killing it and everyone on it including Sonic's friends, [[DarkestHour and the plan actually goes off without fail to the bitter end before Sonic can fix things.]]]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' had a lot of neat boss fights, decent story with an OK villain, an intimidating final boss, and a neat Bonus Boss in Crawmerax. Then ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' came along and... totally blew it out of the water. The boss fights were more intense, often had hazards littered about them with extremely inventive fights, a story that plays out amazingly (so much so you'd swear they purposely wrote everything very basic in the original just to expand it further with its incredible plot twists, a BigBad to top all Big Bads, Handsome Jack, the manipulative sociopathic monster who is always two hundred steps ahead, a final boss that is far harder to kill and is NOT a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere, and a new bonus boss in Terramorphous, who makes Crawmerax look like a chew toy. They increased the guns, increased the areas, and total went balls out on making everything new.
** This applies to the DLC as well. General Knoxx, Island of Dr. Ned, Moxxi's Underdome, and the Claptrap invasion were okay, but Captain Scarlet's, Campaign of Carnage, Big Game Hunt, and Assault on Dragon's Keep clearly had way more effort put into them, and the last one especially seems to be taking the game engine and what they can do with it as far as they can, playing with the characters themselves and just having fun exploring how nuts the gameplay can get when they go all out on it, along with trying out how silly objectives can get. Additionally, the four campaigns from two seem to be more generally received by critics on websites like IGN and GameInformer, whereas General Knoxx had the unfortunate inability to make multiple fast travel stations in the DLC, forcing you to painstakingly make your way back to where you were every time you needed to get there, and Moxxi's underdome was often far too difficult for a solo player to handle, giving an individual much less incentive to play it unless with friends... and they dragged on and on.
* ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' invokes this trope in regards of the scale of the adventure. The first game is about Tallon IV, the second is about Aether and Dark Aether, and the third is about ''an entire galaxy''. The threat of Phazon (TheCorruption) increases considerably upon each game, as well.
* A meta-example with {{Blizzard}} games- with every new game, the game engines' capacities have increased, and thus the LevelEditor has gone from Map Editor (''VideoGame/WarCraftII''), Campaign Editor (''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}''), World Editor (''VideoGame/WarCraftIII''), to Galaxy Editor (''VideoGame/StarcraftII''). For the games themselves, ''[=WarCraft=] II'' featured CosmeticallyDifferentSides, a Good/Evil divide, missions consisiting of "kill the enemy base", and IsometricPerspective. ''[=WarCraft=] III'' had four completely different factions, some murkiness on the good/evil, extremely varied missions and a lot more dungeon crawls, cutscenes, leveling hero units, mercenaries, and was in 3D.
* The VideoGame/{{Shockwave}} games increase in scope with each installment:
** ''Invasion Earth'' is a defense of Earth against an invading force; the ''Omaha'' does not go further than the moon.
** ''Operation Jumpgate'' sees the ''Omaha'' traversing the solar system to go on the offensive and fight the aliens back through the jumpgate before they finish preparing for a second invasion.
** ''Shockwave 2'' opens twenty years after the ''Omaha'' has been lost been lost through the jumpgate, and has the crew of the ''Cortez'' exploring other solar systems, searching for the jumpgate code that will send them home.
* The first ''VideoGame/KamenRiderBattrideWar'' gave almost all the Riders the ability to access their [[SuperMode final forms]] temporarily; the sequel takes it a step further with "Ultimate State", which grants some Riders access to their movie-exclusive {{Eleventh Hour Superpower}}s, such as Series/KamenRiderOOO' Super Tatoba Combo or Series/KamenRiderFourze's Meteor Fusion States.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Animation]]
* The ''Litigation Jackson'' movie franchise in the ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' universe. The poster for the first movie showed the main character diving out of an exploding building with a box that said legal documents.'' The sequel's poster shows a similar poster only now the box says '''important''' legal documents. Clearly the stakes have been raised.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The first anniversary of Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses was a gigantic crossover brawl involving WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic, WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd, [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]], [[WebVideo/TheAngryJoeShow Angry Joe]], [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]], WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick, and many, many other popular internet personalities. So how did they top it for the second anniversary? Why, they got even ''more'' people together and ''invaded the micronation of Molossia,'' [[http://www.molossia.org/article202.html of]] [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/video-updates/21528-two-year-anniversary-trailer-kickassia course,]] in a six-party mini-series spanning about ''[[TheMovie 90 minutes.]]''
** And then, for the third anniversary, they make a [[UpToEleven 2 hour and 10 minute]] fantasy film called Suburban Knights, with roughly the same amount of people, but with more plot!
*** And the Forth (To Boldly Flee) is even longer and with even more plot, more character development and more references.
* In the first ''LlamasWithHats'', Carl killed a man. In the second, he sinks a cruise ship. In the third, he topples a South American government (after pushing [[LaResistance the resistance leader]] into a giant vat... for trying to stop him from pushing ''other'' people into it). In the fourth, he [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking tracks mud on the carpet]]. [[spoiler:And nukes an entire city.]]
* ''WebVideo/TheCartoonMan'' is a live action comedy with some animated effects near the end. The sequel has a more complex plot, animated effects throughout, and an over-the-top cartoon chase scene as its climax. [[spoiler:The third is a straight-up epic that mostly takes place in an animated world, and concludes with the biggest cartoon battle yet.]]
* A series of [=YouTube=] videos that takes [=YouTube=] comments that criticize [[Creator/TheKingOfHate Dark Side Phil]], particularly his run on the Metal Gear Solid franchise, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZfxcLMN8r0 the first one is only a mere 57 minutes long]]. The second one, centered around ''Metal Gear Solid 3'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSH39aiTx2A was around 2 hours]], and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ziXMBuqOQ the third one]] is around 20 minutes longer, and demonstrates what the poster feels are Phil's most prominent flaws.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' is an example of season escalation. The first season was a parody of reality shows, and the cast did standard ''Survivor''-style challenges on an island. The second season, ''Total Drama Action'', put them on a larger abandoned film set where the challenges were based on movie genres. The third season, ''Total Drama World Tour'', was about (you guessed it) the contestants going around the world, and every episode had a song along with the challenge. The fourth season, ''Total Drama Revenge of the Island'', had a new cast on the same island as before, but this time everything was radioactive and there were mutant animals all over the place.
** Chris [=McLean=], the host of the show, also gets gradually more sadistic as the series goes on. Case in point: Season 1's eliminated contestants left the island by boat. Season 4's left by ''catapult''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/WorldWarII: Although calling it a sequel might be a bit disrespectful, World War II followed as a consequence of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, which itself had the Franco-Prussian war as a background precursor due to France's involvment in both conflicts, and was fought on a scale that will hopefully never be seen again. Most of the world had a connection to a conflict during the time period, be it by way of occupation, direct involvement in the primary conflict, resuming old rivalries, or simply having colonial garrisons reinforced to protect against other colonial powers' opportunism. World War I, by comparison, was mostly fought in Europe.
* UsefulNotes/EvelKnievel, famed daredevil of TheSeventies, built his career on this trope; each successful RampJump he performed would inevitably be followed by another, bigger one.
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