One Game for the Price of Two
So you Gotta Catch Them All
, eh? Well, the Marketing department has come up with a wonderful way to encourage social participation
! They'll divide some of the game's content (characters, mons
, subplots, or so on) between different cartridges! Sure, you can still play the game by yourself, beat the Final Boss
and watch the credits roll, but the only
way to get true 100% Completion
is to find other
people who have purchased the other
versions (or simply buy the other versions yourself) and trade your exclusive content for theirs. This is particularly common with Mons
Of course, this means that those same characters, subplots, and Mons
are now effectively interchangeable in the overall scheme of things, thus making characterization inconvenient. Also, anyone who doesn't have access to large gatherings of people with the other versions of the game is likely screwed.
And of course, if you want to acquire both versions yourself, this not only means twice the money (to purchase them with), but twice your free time (to actually play
Compare the Old Save Bonus
, where you need to interact with a separate game (generally of the same company) to unlock certain content, which is usually not central to gameplay but may be necessary for 100% Completion
. Also compare Socialization Bonus
, where it's the same game for everybody, but you still need to "connect" with someone else to unlock ... something.
Related to Player Data Sharing
and Version Exclusive Content
, as both are generally needed to enable this trope.
See also Episodic Game
, Expansion Pack
, Two-Part Trilogy
Please note that this trope is a case of Americans Hate Tingle
to some extent, as due to higher population density and the extreme popularity of handheld consoles it's much easier to find others with the required game in Japan. Which, naturally, most examples here originate from.
- Pokémon is the Trope Codifier. The Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald versions mix it up a bit by having different antagonists with different goals in each game. Other versions just have different Pokémon with varying rarities. Diamond and Pearl also include the ability to trade over Wi-Fi, theoretically allowing a player to collect all the Pokémon without knowing someone with the other version personally or buying it yourself. It's eased significantly from Diamond/Pearl onward; the GTS (Global Trade Station) feature allows you to use an online Pokémon-trading marketplace to fill your collection, but one can only search for Pokémon actually registered as "seen" in the game; however, the games do make an active effort to allow the player to see as many Pokémon as possible under the ownership of other NPC trainers. In recent entries, the player can now type in the name of a Pokemon they want through trade, making the GTS even easier to acquire what is needed.
- There are some critters the player can only get by trading - no one can catch them in the wild. Alakazam, Golem, Scizor, Steelix until Generation IV, Machamp, Kingdra, Politoed and the list goes on.
- The GTS in Diamond and Pearl aside, collecting Generation IV's massive list is further complicated (ignoring the GTS's obvious limitations) by the fact that in order to even see a Manaphy, one must physically import it from Pokémon Ranger; this was rectified in Platinum and later games, which allow the player to see a picture of Manaphy in books sitting around in certain locations, registering Manaphy as "seen" and enabling the GTS route. For those without a Wi-Fi connection, don't even think about trying to get a Spiritomb without the GTS. This near-impossible-to-achieve-alone feat requires meeting 32 players in the underground (or the same one person thirty-two different times).
- Pokémon Yellow brought this to an ultimate - it lacked Pokémon you could only get in Red AND only in Blue, so if you bought Pokémon Yellow, you also needed to trade with BOTH Red and Blue to get certain Pokémon. (The release of Pokémon Gold and Silver alleviated this somewhat with use of the Time Capsule- Silver and Crystal both have all the Pokémon that can't be found in Yellow, and also make it easier to obtain multiple Eevees and the other Tyrogue evolution, meaning if you can trade with one of those, you only need another RBY player for the fossil you didn't pick. You still need two other games, but it's not limited to only Red and Blue.)
- Of course, this was offset by giving you access to the 3 starters without trading and some overall updates, you were basically sacrificing 100% gameplay for much better normal gameplay.
- Pokémon also brought this to an extreme in its third generation. Ruby and Sapphire together had only about half of the Pokémon. FireRed and LeafGreen, having come out later, had most of the other half, leaving only a few. Emerald had a good chunk, and Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness had one of these each (Ho-Oh and Lugia, respectively). Jirachi was available from a connection bonus from Pokémon Channel in Europe and Australia only, or a preorder-only version of Colosseum in America only, and Celebi was available through the latter method in Japan only). That makes six games, one of them having to be preordered and bought twice in different languages (or once plus buying another game in Europe), on two consoles, for 100% Completion. Except there were still Pokémon you could only get through Nintendo arranged events, but these were not counted by the Pokédex.
- Speaking of Celebi, it was better in the second generation (for Japan at least) because back then all you needed to get a Celebi was a cell phone and a special link cable for the Game Boy. This connected you to a wireless trading/battle system that could also trigger an event to catch Celebi.
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon pushes this further to the extreme. The first set of games were at least released on different systems but the second set give absolutely no reason for the double release. Trading is not an option here so all but one of the few differences in Pokémon listings are solved by entering passwords which are far easier to find online than in the opposite version. It basically boils down to whether you wanted Mewtwo or Celebi after you've beaten the game. The third Mystery Dungeon (No Export for You) is One for the price of Three, and interconnectable with each other because they would all be on the same Wii.
- Explorers of Sky subverts this by having every Pokémon except Arceus available without any interaction at all, partially because the game uses a completely new password system that does not work with the previous games. Later PMD games like Gates and Super would also avert this by sticking to only one game instead of having different versions.
- And then there are the Pokémon Stadium games. Some do give you certain Pokémon that you can't get more than one of, but it requires completing several absurdly difficult challenges. On top of that, all the rental Pokémon that the games provide generally have bad stats and mediocre move sets, neither of which will help in the harder battles. In other words, you need to have a copy of your own handheld Pokémon game and import your own team over in order to even stand a chance of winning.
- Black and White Versions have notably been given some bigger differences: several routes and towns are significantly different in each version (what is a forested rural town in White Version is a heavily urbanized city in Black), one has one non-optional rotation battle and many triple battles while the other is the opposite, and the last Gym Leaders are different people (though their teams are roughly the same) depending on the version. It also introduces a new trading mode on the GTS which connects two players in realtime and allows them to trade any Pokémon in their collection, similar to trading locally with other players.
- They also reduced the number of version exclusives, instead opting for different rarities - Throh and Sawk, for example, are in both games, but only in rustling grass for one or the other.
- Black 2 and White 2 as well. This is the first time a pair of "third versions" were announced (Blue and Yellow were released at different times in Japan). It should be noted, however, that these games are sequels rather than the usual rereleases.
- Come X and Y, one doesn't even need to see the Pokémon before demanding it on the GTS, making the process even easier.
- The anime has used this starting with the first fifth-generation-based movies, Black: Victini and Reshiram and White: Victini and Zekrom. Just like the games, they are two versions of the same movie, with similar plots, but with Reshiram and Zekrom's roles swapped and a few different Pokémon appearing in the different movies.
- Also averted: Both movies were released together in a 2-disc DVD set, though played straight for the Australian and New Zealand release of these movies.
- Pokémon Sun and Moon introduces Cosmoem, a Pokémon that evolves into either one of two different options depending on which version is played. Sun players evolve it into Solgaleo while Moon evolves it into Lunala. In addition, Rockruff will evolve into a different form of Lycanroc (Midday or Midnight, respectively) depending on which version is played. (However, the Lycanroc forms are not version-exclusive- they can be obtained, at rare quantities, in the opposite games)
- Mind you, the only thing making the franchise as part of this trope is for completion of the Pokédex. Otherwise, buying only one game of the two versions is pretty much fine since you don't miss out a lot of game content. In fact, the game encourages you to trade with other people. The only time you would need to buy both games is if you couldn't trade at all.
- To put it simply, not counting spin-offs and console games, that's eight storylines in 26note games.
- The Mega Man Battle Network games started doing this with the 3rd installment. At first, it just affected side bosses and cards. Later, what version you got affected what storyline bosses you faced and abilities you acquired. This means that, for some reason, in one version of Battle Network 5, the Navi in charge of a water world is NapalmMan.
- The game also hilariously inverts the trope in MMBN4, making you play the game over 3 times to get everything you need. In theory this made one game much longer in comparison since you got three times the play time. It even looked so, since there are 6 plotline bosses you can fight, with 2 completely new ones with their own side quests on each rotation. In practice, however, this was anything but fun, as apart from the 2 side scenarios (which are rather short and comprised about 20% of the overall game) everything else was the exact same, and while the enemies also leveled up through each run, they only got more HP and attacking power, rarely adapting their strategy. Effectively you invested three times the playtime for the same thing over and over again.
- Battle Network 4 also involved a rare chip called the Z-Saver. This chip can only be obtained by linking up your game boy to a Mega Man Zero 3 game. However, each Zero 3 cartridge only contained one copy of the Z-Saver chip, meaning that not only did you have to find another game, you'd also have to find one that hasn't been tapped of its chip (making rental store copies completely worthless, as their chips have already been gutted and put into their own Battle Network games). This basically meant that if you wanted the chip, you had to buy another game.
- Made worse (or better, depending on view) that said game is of a completely different genre (and a very hardcore iteration of said genre to booth!), so while it is vastly different and thus is not "more of the same", it also means that there were good chances that Battle Network players wouldn't enjoy the needed game at all.
- As a side note, when the Battle Network games were released on the Wii U's Virtual Console, which has no multiplayer capabilities, the multiple versions were retained- but made essentially redundant by giving you everything you needed to link for right off the bat.
- Mega Man Star Force is One Game for the Price of Three. However, through Wi-fi, you could get the benefits of all three games, making the differences effectively the high-end cards and one boss. Star Force 2 plays with this, with three versions consolidated into two distinct cartridges (Zerker x Ninja and Zerker x Saurian; at the title screen, you choose whether you play Zerker or your cartridge version, and each version has its own save file). Star Force 3 is back to just two versions.
- Resident Evil 7: biohazard has two Bowdlerised Japanese versions that censor some sort of explicit gore. The "normal" version gets heavily censored but available to public with Content Warnings ahead. The "Grotesque" version is still censored compared to export versions, even though it's Bloodier and Gorier than "normal" version and it's only available to adults.
- Demikids, aka Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children. Like in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games, the story is different depending on what version you play.
- For a while, the Bomberman games tried to add Mons called Charabombs to the series and started splitting up the portable games into two versions.
- A handful of the Digimon portable games do this. Notably, Cathode and Anode Tamer, and Digimon World Dusk and Dawn.
- Digimon Story (Dusk and Dawn's precursor) did something similar, although there was only one version of the game, several of the 'elite' Digimon required multiplayer features to access. Fortunately, most didn't and the ones that did were only necessary for multiplayer battles and a few side-quests.
- Veemon, a very popular Digimon with several possible evolutions, required the player to go on Wi-Fi, find someone with the game and match Digimon to make an egg that may turn into a Veemon. Also, several evolutions were there, but the pre-requisite was to, previously, having owned that evolution in your team. As in, you would have to do the matching, leave a special egg in the farm that would take eons to hatch, to get said evolution to THEN be able to evolve your Digimon to it.
- Medabots, a Mon series featuring children playing with alien robots rebuilt into toys (no, really) did this. The first three generations of the game subverted it with the Parts Collection games, which were just a series of battles allowing you to get a complete collection of Medals and Parts without having to trade, wrapped in a flimsy Excuse Plot.
- Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen and Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen did this. Though players had a very clear advantage starting a game in Darkside as level 5 characters, and then going to Clouds and open a can of whoop-ass on the baddies. Also, there was a final story that could not be reached (all of the level data files belonged to the "Darkside" game) and completed unless you bought the other game, to reach 100% Completion. Justified in that both worlds are just the two sides of the same slab of earth floating in space (one of the passageways even involves a Journey Through The Center Of The Earth ).
- Robopon did this, though the first set of games had only one released in the US.
- The Transformers movie games for the DS (but not the Transformers Animated game, also on the DS) are basically the same games split between "Autobot" and "Decepticon" versions. Naturally, some vehicles are only available on one or the other.
- This is lampshaded in an early mission, on either game; whichever version you are playing, you get a short piece of dialogue with what's implied to be the protagonist of the other version, in which the Decepticon tells the Autobot that "we may be on different sides, but we're both still playing the same game."
- The DS versions of Transformers: War For Cybertron did the same thing. Notably, each version of the game featured 5 levels from the other and the "Arena" mode was identical. The only real difference between versions is the story and the roster of characters you can unlock for multiplayer (Though you could "bet" your multiplayer characters with other players).
- The now-defunct company Smilesoft is probably the KING of this trope: All of their monster-collection RPGs had two versions. The Telefang series came in Speed and Power versions, each focusing on Mons with that attribute, Bugsite had Alpha and Beta versions and the Dino Device games came in Dragon and Phoenix versions.
- In the second Dragon Quest Monsters game, your choice of game (Cobi's Journey or Tara's Adventure) was also your choice of Purely Aesthetic Gender. While the two games had virtually identical main storylines, the real differences came to play in the Playable Epilogue, when they opened up two completely different new areas to explore. Both versions needed to trade in order to unlock the final world.
- Tokimeki Memorial Pocket, the Updated Re-release of Tokimeki Memorial : Forever With You on Game Boy Color, has two versions : the Sports one, subtitled "Koutei no Photograph" (Campus' Photograph), and the Culture one, subtitled "Komorebi no Melody" (Melody of the Sunlight Filtering Through The Tree). They're the same game, aside from the fact the cast is divided in half between the two versions (including the three new characters), the clubs are divided between the two versions depending their nature (Sport-type or Culture-type), and an additional club visiting sequence in the prologue.
- Gundam: Battle Assault 2 got this treatment in Japan, where the game's roster was split in half and sold as two budget priced titles, one Focusing on Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz and the other on G Gundam, with the other suits from the Original series and Zeta/ZZ also split between them.
- Inazuma Eleven, starting from the second game, there are multiple versions of the same game with different additional features.
- The arcade release of Cyber Troopers Virtual-ON: Oratorio Tangram splits the original cabinet configuration into two flavors, known as DNA side and RNA side. Both have different interface colors and soundtracks as well as Virtuaroid colors but plays pretty much the same.
- Fire Emblem Fates follows this trope, with each version being the same up until the sixth chapter, when it will then branch off into a different story and gameplay depending on which version the player is playing: Birthright has the player align with the peaceful Hoshido kingdom with opportunities for level grinding, while Conquest focuses on the militaristic Nohr with more limited resources. The downloadable version comes with neither campaign, and so lets you choose which one to download for free once you reach the decision point. Access to the other campaigns, including a post-release third option campaign called Revelation, is restricted to DLC. Only the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition offers all three campaigns without further payments required. This has caused mixed reactions among non-Japanese gamers, especially when the edition with all the content ended up being shipped out in very limited numbers, many of which were snapped up by scalpers.
- Downplayed with Time Crisis (a co-op arcade game series) starting from the second game. The player will play as one of two characters depending on the cabinet side, and 4 has a part in Stage 1 where VSSE agents use two different weapons depending on how good you play, but it's one for each player. Other than this and the angles, it's pretty much the same.
- The original release of Yo-kai Watch only came as one edition, but Yo-Kai Watch 2 learned from Pokémon's success and was first released as Ganso and Honke (Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls in the US) which had exclusive Mons, and then Shin'uchi (Psychic Specters), which at least gave a New Game+ option for people who already cleared one of the first two versions. The same goes for the Yo-Kai Watch Busters spinoff (which was split into Red Cat and White Dog versions, a third Moon Rabbit version was added later but as a free update for the first two), Yo-Kai Watch 3 (Sushi, Tempura, and later Sukiyaki), and Yo-Kai Watch Busters 2 (Sword and Magnum).
- Nier had two versions which were broadly the same except for changing the main character. In Replicant (Japanese PS3 version), Nier was a young lad trying to keep his sister Yonah safe. In Gestalt (all other versions), Nier was an older man trying to keep his daughter Yonah safe.
- Idolm@ster Must Songs, an Idolm@ster spinoff with Taiko No Tatsujin-style gameplay, has 2 versions, Red and Blue, where the only difference is the songs available (Red mostly focusing on songs from the first games while Blue has more newer songs, including from the anime) and some costumes and other unlockables. Both games share a save file and trophy list.
- Nintendogs is a rare case of One Game for the Price of Three (Later five). It was actually planned to have FIFTEEN different versions, but was scrapped as the debugging each version would be too time consuming.
Non-Video Game Examples
Anime and Manga
- Strangely, the Japanese DVD releases of Suzy's Zoo: Daisuki! Witzy is hit by this- the first season is released across two volumes. The US release, however, combined both volumes into a single disc.
- The trade paperbacks for Crisis Crossovers tend to be this way. If they release a book at all for the crossover, it's only for a select group of comics and often omitting major parts of the story. Sometimes its trimmed to the point that its completely non-comprehensible.
- Civil War is probably the worst offender, with the trade paperback crossing several comic books from the buildup culminating in the character choosing pro or anti registration, and two comics from the demount. Captain America and Spider-Man appear for handful of panels and the story makes no sense because it omits 90% of the plot.
- Strangely enough, this happened to the first two books in The Wheel of Time series. About a decade after their initial release, Tor reprinted the first two books with two parts each. Giving us two books for the price of four. It's mitigated slightly by the first book getting a new prologue, and all four have illustrations not included in the originals, but considering that the reprints were meant specifically to market toward the young adult market... You can almost hear the cash register chiming.
- With the advent of CD in the late 80s, UK record companies figured out that they could make people buy the same single twice if they gave you different b-sides on CD 1 and CD 2, even though C Ds had more than enough capacity to fit all from both singles on. Especially egregious examples happened when an interview would be split into a Part 1 and Part 2 to make the buyer HAVE to buy both to hear it all. What's more, in the UK, CD singles were not allowed to exceed 20 minutes, so you would often get dance mixes that were edited down...with the helpful notice that the full version was available on the DJ 12", thus often necessitating collectors would have to splash out for 3 20 minute releases that would have all fit on one 80 minute CD. This practice pretty much stopped in the mid 2000s, when one of the CD singles legally had to be two tracks long and at a fixed price of £2 or lower.
- Simple Minds did a variation on this when the first 1990 CD release of "Sons And Fascination / Sister Feelings Call" omitted "League Of Nations" and "Sound In 70 Cities", claiming it was for space reasons, but in reality to sell copies of the Themes box set on which they appeared the same year (since it was pretty thin on exclusives). Since the 2002 remaster, they have always been reinstated.
- Fictional, action figure version: Johnny Longtorso, the Man Who Comes In Pieces.
- Build A Figure toys released in many action figure lines including Star Wars, Marvel Legends and DCU Classics are essentially a real-life version: pieces of a figure that come packed in with other figures, usually requiring you to buy 6 to 8 different toys to complete - the ones in Star Wars are just additional droids, but both of the superhero lines usually feature more important characters.
- In a similar vein, any time a Combining Mecha set comes out as the multiple parts instead of the whole set (Voltron, Power Rangers, combining Transformers, etc.) it could count as this; each toy is perfectly playable on its own, but you need to have them all if you want to do what it's supposed to do! Power Rangers Samurai was particularly egregious about this - it requires eleven full sized Zords in order to complete the Samurai Gigazord. Most series limited the number of mecha to 6 or 7, to match the number of rangers plus one unmanned extra.
- Sadly, this is a common problem with DVD releases of Western Animation TV series in the US. Many shows don't get season boxsets, often they're broken down into "volumes" and with the episodes released out of order sorted by theme instead. This unfortunately also means that certain episodes will never get released.