"They were independent, separate stories. But now...the stories are combining, that's why the worlds are becoming one."
When an author or creator takes two previously unrelated works and puts them into a single, shared continuity
No, it's not about welding two weapons together to make a double barrel cannon. That would be cannon
welding, and that would be awesome
and fantasy authors don't always write all their novels in the same continuity
. A budding new author's first published book might be about space pirates
in the 27th century, while his sophomore effort might instead be about 21st century scientists reverse-engineering a flying saucer. In response to popular demand, he might end up writing a sequel
to one, or even both of these novels. Flash forward about 20 years — the author has grown wealthy from writing stories about Captain Flash Orangebeard and Dr. Smith of Mars, but he's running out of ideas and the two long-running series
are in danger of getting stale. What does he do to keep the public's interest, and breathe new life into the storylines?
Many long-lived genre authors tend to resort to Canon Welding, usually at a later point in their career. They combine two or more distinct series they've created into a single continuity
. This isn't just a one-off Crossover
; for series with radically different premises, the foundations of one or both stories can be altered forever.
By combining the two series together, the author can introduce fans of one series to characters they may not be familiar with, inducing them to go out and buy the works in that series, and hopefully attract high sales from fans of both storylines. When done well, it can add a more epic feel to the tale, explore aspects of the two storylines not previously delved into, and make lots of money for the author and his publisher (and there are many examples of this, perhaps most famously Lord of the Rings
). When done poorly, especially with stories with radically different settings or styles, it looks and feels like a shallow money-grab and can potentially be a shark-jumping
moment for both series.
is when it's done at a corporate level. Compare Shared Universe
, which can be created through Canon Welding if it wasn't shared from the beginning.
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- The Chris Boucher Doctor Who Expanded Universe Past Doctor Adventures novel Corpse Marker and semi-licenced audio series called Kaldor City places Blake's 7 in the Whoniverse. Specifically, these show that Blake's 7 takes place in the same time period as Boucher's popular Doctor Who story "The Robots of Death".
- This was very nearly canon, as it happens; the invasion force from another galaxy from the finale of Season 2 of Blake's 7 were intended to be the Daleks at one point, but for one reason or another the idea was dropped.
- Douglas Adams' character Professor Chronotis from the novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency originally came from Adams' TV script Shada (which was only partly filmed due to an electricians' strike). In the Dirk Gently novel, it's not spelled out that Chronotis is a Time Lord in hiding, for copyright reasons, but it's clearly meant to be the same character. There's even an oblique little reference at the end that a strange young man came and permanently disabled his time machine, while the POV character wasn't around...
- Super Robot Wars is already a Crossover series, with nearly as many canons as it has games - most entries take place in their own continuities, created by fusing together the stories of whichever mecha shows are featured in that particular game. But there are a few characters who show up in multiple continuities, and while most of them are Alternate Universe versions of each other, Gilliam Yeager, whose gimmick involves hopping between universes, has been implied to be the same person in all his appearances, no matter what continuity you're in. Which in turn means that any games with Gilliam in them would be part of the same multiverse.
- The Kamen Rider franchise has had this going since the beginning. The Showa-era shows (original through Kamen Rider Black RX) explicitly took place in the same universe, and the previous Riders would often show up near the end of the latest series to help out the current hero. The movies produced in the hiatus years (Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue, Kamen Rider ZO, Kamen Rider J) and the Heisei shows (Kuuga onwards) abandoned this, except for a few rare Crossover events. Kamen Rider Decade deliberately says that the Heisei shows all occupy their own separate universe...and then has the first nine (Kuuga to Kiva) forcibly merged, with Decade forced to travel to alternate versions of said worlds in an attempt to fix everything...and then there's the Decade movie All Riders vs. Great Shocker, which crosses over with the entire Showa-era universe as well. Movie War 2010 also adds Kamen Rider Double to the mix. Then Kamen Rider Fourze decided to just bite the bullet and imply at the end of episode 2 that every show in the franchise is set in the same universe, with Word of God saying that they're going to Retcon the elements of Decade that didn't work. For extra humor, Kamen Rider Kabuto has a brief in-character cameo by the actor who plays Rider-1 in The Remake Kamen Rider: The First, and Kamen Rider Ryuki had a DVD-exclusive joke episode where the protagonist dreams that he teams up with Kamen Rider Agito to battle Agito's Evil Twin.
- ZO and J fight a multi-seasonal batch of monsters in Kamen Rider World (8-minute theme park thingy, may not be canon but never said not to be, and not contradicting anything) which puts all three hiatus movies (yes, Shin provided a monster) into old-school KR continuity. Kuuga's mention of a Professor Hongo (and an imitation of him, which means he must have known the Hongo) put Kuuga and Agito into it as well. However, Decade makes the multiverse more complicated with its alternate universes bearing variable resemblence to - and rarely literally being - the worlds of the actual series it's crossing over with. We even get Black and Black RX as separate worlds, as well as Kuuga and Agito, with alternate versions of some of the same people. Even moreso, late in Double a member of Foundation X can be seen looking over data on OOO's Core Medals. Nothing came of this for over a year, until the crossover Kamen Rider X Kamen Rider Fourze And OOO Movie War Megamax revealed that Foundation X would be playing a role, this time using the Astro Switches from Fourze...and that Double and the first seven Showa Riders would be teaming up with Fourze and OOO. Given how Astro Switches pretty much are Gaia Memories this makes some sense (except for the Last One thing).
- Some Decade worlds have versions of Riders of other worlds with no dimension-hopping. For example, Dark Kabuto, Dark Kiva, Ryuga, and Orga live in a world where monsters rule, and have no connection to Kabuto, Kiva, Ryuki, or Faiz. It's the second Ryuga we meet, and no, the first wasn't in the World of Ryuki, either.) It also means Double and OOO take place in the World of the Rider War, as Double does no dimension hopping to meet Decade, and OOO does no dimension hopping to meet Double in any of their multiple teamup occasions.
- Decade's own Mind Screw-itiude and A Wizard Did It attitude makes it nigh useless for working out continuity issues or finally answering which of your favorite Riders can kick the other's ass. Post-Decade teamup occasions not requiring any dimension-hopping (as it was with pre-Decade teamup occasions) would seem to have all things Kamen Rider in one universe, with past Riders still out there after they leave our sight (like any character in any show who has been Put on a Bus.) It would seem that none of the AR Worlds were the one universe KR usually takes place in.
- As closest anyone can figure, here's how the Kamen Rider multiverse seems to work: The Showa era Riders and the 3 intermediate Riders (Shin, ZO, and J) take place in a singular continuity, as we saw. The Heisei era shows from Kuuga to Kiva (plus most of their movies) appeared to each take place in their own continuity, so completely separate were they, with the notable exception of Kiva and Den-O (the second Den-O movie has the Kiva gang cameo, and Kiva himself joins in the final battle) and the possible exception of Kuuga and Agito (there's a reference, and there are a few points that take some Fan Wank to make fit neatly.) Decade takes place all over the multiverse, but the opening episode and and the end of Movie Wars takes place in the same continuity as Double (who's appearance in Decade's movie can be chalked up to his universe meshing with Decade's). Speaking of Double, all of the series from Double onwards exist in the same continuity, which also contains variations of every Rider from Ichigo to Kiva, just not exactly as we saw them in the series. As far as OOO is concerned, his movies seem to be more canon than his actual series is.
- However, the more we see of Riders old and new makes it more sense to just toss Decade out: its "AR Worlds" are clearly not the originals, so the World of Blade that's like a workplace sitcom with Riders and the World of Ryuki that's like a legal drama with Riders being separate worlds tells us nothing whatsoever about the canonicity of the series that they resemble In Name Only. When it comes to the actual shows, the assumption made by fans that when Superman Stays out of Gotham it means Metropolis and Gotham are in completely separate and unrelated universes is something that never had canon support, and now that Riders meet all the time it goes from plausible Fan Wank to something that really doesn't have a leg to stand on.
- However, don't put away your migraine medicine just yet: OOO, Den-O, All Riders: Let's Go, Kamen Rider would have the Decade World of Kuuga Big Bad instead of the Kamen Rider Kuuga Big Bad representing the Grongi in the Legion of Doom, which would have welded Decade and its madness right back in...if it weren't for the fact that the movie's ending implicitly makes the whole ordeal non-canon to everything by virtue of settling on a Close Enough Timeline where, in regards to Kamen Rider OOO, Hina doesn't know Eiji. (Also, every character who appeared in Decade had their updated design from that series instead of their original designs, but that can be ignored - you'd use the shiny Decade suits instead of making all new ones that don't look as good in order to perfectly match the 1970s versions.)
- More out-of-series welding: Let's Go, Kamen Rider also gives us cameos of Inazuman, Kikaider, Kikaider 01, and even Kaiketsu Zubat. So basically everything with Shotaro Ishinomori's name on it officially coexists now, even if you didn't take Goranger vs. JAKQ (which had Kamen Rider V3, Kamen Rider Amazon, and Kikaider stated to be fighting the same Legion of Doom overseas.) seriously before. Then one of the Kamen Rider Fourze movies goes and introduces Inazuman... based on Inazuman the manga, not the show, and so not the Inazuman encountered in Let's Go Kamen Riders.
- Masked Rider, the not well received American adaptation of Black RX was launched with a Poorly Disguised Pilot in a Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers episode; much later, Power Rangers in Space crossed over with Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, which makes all three American series share a Verse. All three are produced by Saban, which wasn't so bad back then, but as of 2009...
- Take all the crossovers above, put two plus two with the Kamen Rider and TMNT multiverses separately established by Decade and Turtles Forever respectivelynote , and toss in both the Canonical Samurai Sentai Shinkenger arc of Decade and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash Up for kicks. End result? Kamen Rider, Power Rangers, Super Sentai, TMNT, the Ultra Series, and Raving Rabbids are all part of the multiverse. It's gotten to the point that, near as anyone can tell of the yet-unreleased Kamen Rider X Super Sentai Superhero Taisen movie, nobody except Marvelous and Decade know what the hell is going on. Even the narrator is baffled. And with Compati Hero Series The Great Battle IV this would tie in Gundam, the Ultra Series, and Kamen Rider, et al. with the aforementioned Super Robot Wars and...well. Just let your imagination go wild, one supposes.
- Speaking of Transformers, it was split from its very beginning into separate comic and cartoon continuities. However, this rapidly splintered further and further, with different comics in different continuities being introduced, anime series being created, the introduction of the Beast Wars and Beast Machines ranges which combine elements from previous continuities, the live-action movies and so on.
- In the mid-2000s, writer Simon Furman ruled that every single Transformers continuity forms part of a massive multiverse of different timelines, dimensions and universes, and sometimes featured Crossovers in his stories (for example, the 'Generation One' Galvatron and several others making a cameo appearance in a Transformers Armada comic). He also ruled that Unicron and Primus are constant forces in this multiverse, and though they can be destroyed in one reality their consciousness lives on in another. Curiously, his next range of comics for IDW seemed to separate from this idea altogether.
- The canonical explanation of how Multiversal Singularities work, using The Fallen as an example, truly has to be read to be believed. Link.
- It gets better. Courtesy of Axiom Nexus, any Transformers series can interact with any other.
- Even better, the Transformers franchise itself was an amalgamation of several unrelated lines of Japanese die-cast toys (Jetfire/Skyfire was a VF-1 Valkyrie), with most of the welding done by the fine folks at Marvel Comics.
- The Transformers also went full circle when they crossed over with the New Avengers. To say nothing of their participation in the Infestation crossovers at IDW, which suggests that, among others, Star Trek and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are also part of the same multiverse.
- Regeneration One, the continuation of the original Marvel series (disregarding the Generation 2 series), concludes that the Grand Plan of Primus is to eventually create one "optimal" universe that comprises the best features of the various realities of the multiverse. And yes, Simon Furman wrote that series. (It also features a team-up of Rodimus Prime and his cross-dimensional counterparts.)
- The Transformers and G.I. Joe often takes place in the same universe. The G1 cartoon continuity also includes Jem, Inhumanoids, and COPS. My Little Pony was close to being in the same universe, due to My Little Pony The Movie nearly included scenes where Firefly encounters Shipwreck of G.I. Joe (who was drunk) and Optimus Prime.
- The Hasbroverse follows a similar premise, which also includes My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Dungeons & Dragons. The author sets the G1 MLP as G4's distant past, and used some Broad Strokes by using mostly Marvel's G.I. Joe and having the G1 Transformers each possess a spark (a concept introduced in Beast Wars).
- Shotaro Ishinomori's later Skull Man manga incorporates his earliest concept for the titular character of Kamen Rider, monsters from said show, Kamen Rider himself, appearances of Joe Shimamura from the anime Cyborg 009, as well as cameos from Himitsu Sentai Goranger, Robot Detective, Inazuman, and Kikaider. A later anime version of Skull Man has a Downer Ending that connects it even more explicitly to Cyborg 009: Skull Man is defeated and turned into Black Ghost, the Big Bad of 009.
- The OVA Giant Robo: The Day The Earth Stood Still and its companion manga The Day The Earth Burned incorporates practically all of Mitsuteru Yokoyama's work, including the first magical girl Sally the Witch, the tokusatsu show Iga No Kagemaru, the eponymous giant robots, and historical characters from both the Water Margin and Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
- Once Matt Tracker figure was released as Specialist Tracker in one of G.I. Joe toy series, M.A.S.K. has been adopted into G.I.Joe Universe.
- Inverted with the Starship Titanic and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Despite both featuring similar Starship Titanics which undergo similar events in similar settings, the game explicitly states that they're different universes.
- Witch Girls Adventures is a 'verse created almost entirely through Canon Welding. The 'verse started as a fetish e-zine called "The Shrinking Sorceress" by MANGA GRAPHIX, dedicated to sorceresses transforming people into animals and inanimate objects. Later on, many of the same people went on to write Witch Girls Tales, theoretically a comic about young witches getting into mischief with their powers, and several characters and concepts from MANGA GRAPHIX stories ended up in the new 'verse. Completely independently, a different author wrote a comic called "Princess Lucinda," about the titular princess' love for wickedness and transforming people over the slightest offense. The Witch Girls Adventures game was created as a team-up between Channel M (the reconstituted MANGA GRAPHIX) and Abby Soto (the creator of Princess Lucinda), using characters from "The Shrinking Sorceress" (including some that hadn't yet appeared in Tales), Witch Girls Tales, and Princess Lucinda all in a single standalone universe.
- Return To Labyrinth:
- The OEL manga sequel to the film Labyrinth, has cameos by Uncle Traveling Matt from Fraggle Rock and the devils from the "Soldier & Death" episode of The Story Teller, establishing that these Jim Henson Company works share a Verse.
- Fraggle Rock (the location) is basically a canon-welding tool, since it's established in the fourth season of the show that the Rock can magically link to many locations - some in our world, some in others. Uncle Matt also turned up in The Muppets Take Manhattan, and other creatures from the Rock have appeared as extras in Muppet productions throughout the 1990s. In turn, the Muppets share a universe with Sesame Street. Additionally, one creature occasionally seen in Fraggle Rock resembles Fizzgig from The Dark Crystal, suggesting another link.
- The guest characters of the Soul Series imply that the series shares a multiverse with The Legend of Zelda, Star Wars, God of War, Keroro Gunso, Image Comics (or at least Spawn), Tales of Symphonia and Assassin's Creed.
- The Soul Series is also seem to take place in the distant past of the Tekken universe due the presence of Yoshimitsu in every installment of both series.
- Video game Blair Witchproject I: Rustin Parr sets the original Blair Witch movie and video game Nocturne, made by the same creators in one world.
- And apparently the first BloodRayne game implies several times that it's set in the same world as Nocturne.
- There is a crossover between Wonder Woman and Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. The latter's world was adapted into Dungeons & Dragons setting. Of course, there was a fair amounts of retcons in The DCU and revised editions of D&D, but it's quite possible that the link establishing connection between the three still exist in some form.
- Thanks to the d20 edition of Call of Cthulhu you can play as Dungeons and Dragons characters in Call of Cthulhu and introduce the Cthulhu Mythos into Dungeons and Dragons. It however doesn't stop there as the Call of Cthulhu sourcebook known as The Malleus Monstrorum not only mentions every major Mythos entity, the book also manages to throw in The Thing (1982), The Martians of The War of the Worlds, and The Wicker Man and several of Stephen King's characters as avatars of Nyarlathotep.
- D&D's crossover with the Mythos and Nehwon goes back to the AD&D 1st Edition version of the Deities & Demigods Sourcebook published in 1980, along with the heroes of Arthurian legend and the deities of Michael Moorcock's world of Melnibone. The Cthulhu Mythos and Melnibonean material nearly brought down legal action from Chaosium, which had the game license rights to both at the time, and so they were left out of subsequent print runs since TSR didn't want to provide a reference to a competitor in the publishing credits. Obviously, copies of this first printing are hard to find.
- Neil Gaiman's American Gods had a cameo from Delirium of the Endless from The Sandman. Given Endless' nature it is entirely vague if that means the book takes place in DC Universe or just is the part of the same multiverse.
Anime and Manga
- Manga creator Go Nagai does this often with his various works, although Mazinger Z and UFO Robo Grendizer were already part of one continuity from Grendizer's get-go.
- Shin Mazinger is quickly reaching a critical level of this, with a woman from Violence Jack turning out to be Kouji Kabuto's mother.
- Violence Jack has incorporated Devilman and later Devilman Lady as taking place in one Universe that resets itself and all main characters are really incarnations of Akira Fudou. And because the series is also Deconstructor Fleet for all other Go Nagai's manga, there are many theories incorporating them into it in all incarnations, which is possible thanks to the nature of this world. Cameos and crossovers between his works are so often it's pretty easy. Then there's Devilman Grimoire, where Jun Fudo and Aoi Kurosaki from Devilman Lady are shown to be teachers at Akira and Miki's school. They are also lovers. Alphonse and Himura, from the 1970s Devilman anime series, also feature.
- Gosho Aoyama's three main works Detective Conan, Magic Kaito, and Yaiba!, have the tendency to merge into one universe. Magic Kaito was more or less put on hold in favor of Detective Conan, but its characters occur so frequently in Detective Conan to be the latter's recurring characters. Although, Aoyama also drew the line: Detective Conan does not deal with the daily life of the Magic Kaito characters.
- On the other hand, Magic Kaito is definitively in the same universe of Yaiba!; the characters went to the same school called Ekoda, and the Detective Conan OVA Conan vs Kaitou Kid vs Yaiba was originally a Magic Kaito story arc (and not All Just a Dream), in which Kaito attempts to steal a magic sword, just before he found out what he was meant to be going after. Not to say, Aoko's gossip mill friend Keiko's "very reliable source" is Sayaka, the main girl in Yaiba!.
- The Gundam started off with only the Universal Century timeline under the auspices of creator Yoshiyuki Tomino. When he stepped away from the franchise in 1993, Sunrise introduced the concept of Alternate Universes to allow new creators to explore their vision of Gundam without creating a Continuity Snarl, resulting in the Future Century, After Colony, and After War timelines. Then Tomino returned for the 20th anniversary and created Turn A Gundam, set in the Correct Century timeline, which was eventually revealed to be the Distant Finale of all of Gundam, including the AUs. Afterwards came more Alternate Universes (Cosmic Era, Anno Domini, and Advanced Generation), with Word of God confirming that they're part of the timeline created by Turn A as well. Tomino's latest work, Gundam Reconguista In G, takes place in the Regult Century timeline, which is explicitly stated in-series as being the era that came after the end of the Universal Century. The sole exception to the rule is Gundam Build Fighters, which takes place in a Twenty Minutes into the Future setting where Gundam is a popular anime franchise. Presumably the same applies to Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G, which is Build Fighters' Spiritual Precursor.
- The mangaka group CLAMP has been known for self-crossovers for many years, but their twin series Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and Xxx HO Li C are meant to tie all their works—both present-day and fantasy—into a single continuity.
- Pretty Cure All Stars. 14 magical girls from 4 different continuities save the day. Awesome.
- The second All Stars-movie features 17 magical girls from 5 different continuities. From the previews it seems to feature some of the different baddies, too.
- All Stars DX 3 ups the number to 21 from 6 continuities and the brand-new New Stage brings it to a grand total of 28 from 7. It overlaps with Remember the New Guy as a lot of Cures that show up in one movie weren't in the movie before that.
- All Stars New Stage delivers a Retcon of sorts now stating that 23 magical girls from 6 different continuities saved the day. Then 5 more from the 7th hopped in and it was madness.
- Interestingly, it seems that Smile Pretty Cure! is attempting a bit of a Canon Weld experiment themselves - an episode midway through reveals that Yayoi's mother works for Fairy Drop, the store owned by Erika Kurumi's mother. And said mother is mentioned, at least by last name.
- Eiichiro Oda re-used Ryuuma, a character from his one-shot manga Monsters, as a (zombified) villain in One Piece and his home country was mentioned to be part of the New World (the second half of the Grand Line). He later confirmed that Monsters was incorporated into the backstory of the setting.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! reveals that all of Ken Akamatsu's major works exist in the same universe. The ties between Negima and Love Hina are obvious with Setsuna being a Shinmeiryuu swordswoman, which is lead by the Aoyama family from Love Hina; the reference to AI Love You is found in a single panel, although it's kinda important, as the protagonist of that series is implied to have written the code that enables Chachamaru to have a soul.
- Before he gave the world Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama's first popular series was a comedy called Dr. Slump, about a robot girl and the slob scientist who created her causing havoc in a weird place called Penguin Village. About a year into Dragon Ball, Toriyama had Goku visit Penguin Village and meet most of the Slump cast, thus joining the two series into one universe. This was mostly done as an attempt to use Dr. Slump's popularity to help increase readership of Dragon Ball, as it wasn't the huge hit it would eventually become yet. In contrast, the crossover has had the opposite effect in later years: many fans, especially outside of Japan, only know the Dr. Slump cast because of their guest spot on Dragon Ball. It's gotten to the point that Arale's made it into at least three Dragon Ball video games as a playable character! Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Origins and Revenge of King Piccolo, to be precise. The first one also caused a good amount of rejoicing for those who knew her.
- The canons of Tsukihime, Fate/stay night (plus others) are generally grouped together and called the Nasu Verse. There's rarely direct crossover of the characters, except in spin-off games and non-canon side-comics. Word of God on each canon's characters respective power levels in relation to each other (can Shiki kill Servants?) is conflicting. Even better: it is canon in the series that alternate timelines exist in which different events took place, and that travel between them is possible (albeit extremely difficult, this being the Second Magic), so it can be said that all routes of all materials are canon in one universe or another.
- Leiji Matsumoto is notorious for this, with Galaxy Express 999, Captain Harlock, Queen Millennium, and Space Cruiser Yamato crossing over to various degrees, not always following a consistent continuity.
- Endings of Getter Robo Armageddon and New Getter Robo in which Armageddon versions of Ryoma, Hayato and Benkei and New version of Ryoma ends in Warrior Heaven, alongside countless Getters, fighting unknown monsters has hinted that all Getter's separated continuities (two mentioned above, Ken Ishikawa's manga continuity, Getter Robo DASH manga and anime Getter Robo Go and Shin Getter Robo Vs Neo Getter Robo) might exist in the same Multiverse.
- Madhouse Studios anime adaptations of four Marvel Comics' titles - X-Men, Iron Man, Wolverine and Blade - are set in one Universe, confirmed both by Word of God from Marvel and the same Wolverine appearing in all four anime.
- GaoGaiGar FINAL has blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos of characters from Betterman, establishing those two series takes place in one Universe.
- Red Line does this by making main characters from two different anime - Miki and Todoroki from Mole Brothers and Trava and Shinkai from Trava First Planet - participating in the eponymous race.
- Several years ago, Hidenori Kusaka and Satoshi Yamamoto worked on a short Pokemon Ranger manga that was only released online. As it turns out in the Platinum arc of Pokémon Special, the events that occured in that online comic are indeed canon.
- Yoru No Yatterman has the cast encountering characters (or in some case, blatant Expies)) from various other shows produced by Tatsunoko. One episode even has Galina and Alouette driving the Mach 5!
- This seems to be tradition for Yatterman: the original and 2008 series crossed over with several Tatsunoko shows, and even placed them in a "Tatsunoko Kingdom" where all Tatsunoko characters appeared to reside in during one OVA.
- Jack Kirby is the Trope Codifier.
- The DC and Marvel universes were born from this trope; originally, the titles published by each company did not overlap, but over time, cameos, Crossovers, and inside references combined to form the comic books into one big, interconnected web. That's not even counting the Amalgam universe.
- Mind, Marvel started this with the first issue of Spider-Man. And even before that, Marvel started this 21 years earlier in the Timely Comics era, when Human Torch faced off against Namor the Submariner for the first time. They teamed a few more times over the next few years, and some of the less prominent characters occasionally got involved. Then, in 1946, Timely launched the All-Winners Squad, teaming up existing characters like Captain America, the Human Torch, and the Sub-Mariner (among others).
- DC started it twenty years earlier in All-Star Comics #3 with the Justice Society's first meeting. To this day, it's generally accepted that the Justice Society is the first-ever example of a super hero team lasting longer than a single issue in comics history.
- DC has also historically made a habit of assimilating the characters of other comics companies into their multiverse - Quality Comics (Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, Plastic Man, Blackhawk), Fawcett Comics (Shazam, Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family), Charlton Comics (Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, The Question), Wild Storm Comics (The Authority, Wild CATS), Milestone Comics (Icon, Hardware, Static) and Archie Comics' Red Circle superhero characters. Generally, these characters start off in alternate timelines, and then some sort of universal crisis reboots the DC Universe yet again, merging the timelines.
- Shazam and Kid Eternity are a particularly interesting example. DC acquired the rights to both from separate comic companies. Eventually, they realized that Shazam's Freddy Freeman and the nameless Kid had remarkably similar back stories—both were raised by a grandfather who died in a boating accident, which also resulted in the grandson getting superpowers activated by saying a magic phrase. As a result, Freddy and "Kit Freeman" were revealed to be brothers.
- Image Comics is an interesting case. Originally, all of its titles took place in a shared universe. Over time, the original Image partners focused on their own corners of the Image Universe, causing the continuity to split into several distinct sub-continuities. The Shattered Image crossover made the split official. But Image partners still occasionally "borrowed" each others' characters, so the sub-universes still interacted. As new, non-partner creators become more prominent in Image Comics, they started building universes of their own, and they occasionally used the Image partners' characters. For example:
- Characters from Jay Faerber's creator-owned series (Noble Causes, Venture, Firebirds, & Dynamo 5) appear in each other's books all the time, creating a loose-knit "Faerberverse".
- Robert Kirkman's characters occasionally cross over in a similar fashion (and some times become supporting cast - especially in Invincible). The Kirkmanverse and Faerberverse intersect at a number of points, especially The Pact mini-series. Other Image characters, such as Savage Dragon and Shadowhawk, often pop up. So far, however, Spawn had yet to make an appearance. This changed with Image United, which brings together characters of all of the current Image partners (Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Robert Kirkman, and Jim Valentino), as well as Whilce Portacio and several other creators.
- Angela from the Spawn universe jumped ship to the Marvel Universe at the close of Age of Ultron. Though it's made clear that her home dimension exists outside the Marvel U.
- Eclipse Comics' four-part crossover mini-series, Total Eclipse brought together virtually all company-owned and creator-owned characters that the company published.
- The Harlem Heroes strip in 2000 AD (about a basketball team with jetpacks in 2050) appeared to be totally unconnected to the 22nd centuy of the Judge Dredd universe until the son of one of the Heroes (John "Giant" Clay) joined the Judges (as Judge Giant). The Judge Dredd story "Hammerstein" suggested ABC Warriors was also set in the past of the Dreddverse, but later ABC Warriors stories contradicted this.
- Dredd has also had crossovers with other 2000 AD strips whenever the writers felt like it, most notably Strontium Dog and the story Helter Skelter (where Garth Ennis basically crossed ALL his favourite strips over with Dredd).
- Meanwhile, 2000 AD stalwart Pat Mills has crossed over everything he's ever written for 2000 AD with each other. Invasion!/Savage, Flesh, Ro-Busters, ABC Warriors, and Nemesis the Warlock all slot together.
- Ian Edginton does the same thing with his 2000 AD strips: both Stickleback and The Red Seas share a secret organisation, little mentions and character cameos abound, and the same brand of monster appears in Stickleback, Ampney Crucis Investigates, and Detonator X.
- Even more Edginton crossovers: Sir William Ashbless, immortal designer of the titular ship in Leviathan made a cameo appearance in Stickleback and his shipping company, White Hart Line, got name dropped in Ampney Crucis Investigates. Also a few locations have been repeated across the various strips at different periods in history.
- John Smith did a similar thing from the start in order to make his stories stand out: all his initial Future Shocks linked in to an organisation called Indigo Prime, and a couple of Indigo Prime agents also appeared in Tyranny Rex. Indigo Prime then got its own series, and eventually crossed over with Smith's DC Comics series, Scarab.
- Alan Moore, as time has gone on, has turned League of Extraordinary Gentlemen into this, making vague references to the source material for Ozymandias and The Black Freighter. Oh, sure, it's only references to the inspirations for them, and Moore would probably rather have his skin boiled than actually go further than that, but this is Alan Moore, there are no coincidences.
- Frank Miller's Batman stories: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Strikes Again, and All-Star Batman and Robin were originally supposed to be in separate universes, with only Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again having any clear continuity with each other. With the restoration of the DC Multiverse, all of the Frank Miller-penned Batman stories are now set in Earth-31.
- This article suggests that all of Mark Millar's later Marvel works (1985, Fantastic Four, Kick-Ass, and Old Man Logan) is all interconnected. (Three of those are automatically canon to each other anyway, of course, but Kick Ass is more of a surprise.)
- Even ealier Millar estabilished connections between three comics published by different companies - Wanted, Chosen and The Unfunnies. The reason why at the end of the Chosen media doesn't report Antichrist's miracles is that they're controlled by supervillains from Wanted. And Troy Hicks from Unfunnies helped Satan rape Antichrist. Never published Run! was supposed to be set in that world too.
- Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman and DC One Million seemed to be tied in the same continuity.
- Of course, Grant Morrison is one of the architects of Hypertime (the other being Mark Waid) which posits that it is all true. Under this concept, the events of DC vs. Marvel exists somewhere in continuity.
- Almost all of Morrison's DC works are tied to each other, as well to the real world, forming a big "Morrisonverse". Here's how it goes: In All-Star Superman Superman creates the infant universe Qwewq. In JLA we see the heroes discover (a version of) Qwewq. Both in ASS and in JLA: Confidential we see that Qwewq actually contains "our" Earth, i.e. a realistic Earth with no superheroes. The final Morrison-penned issues of Doom Patrol and Animal Man take place in a realistic world with no superheroes (and they both share the same colour scheme, meaning it's the same world in both), which is presumably Qwewq, i.e. "our" world. In Seven Soldiers we find out the ultimate fate of Qwewq (or at least one version of it). Final Crisis (which takes place in the same universe as JLA) refers to Bleed (the "sea" that separates different universes in the DC multiverse) as "ultramenstruum", and the same term is used is The Invisibles, implying that the Invisibles universe is a part of the larger DC multiverse. If we accept that Qwewq is "our" universe, this means our universe exists inside a larger universe populated by superheroes. Both Flex Mentallo and The Filth feature the "real" world to which superheroes from outside this world burst in; thus, the real world in both these comics could be (a version of) Qwewq. And then a huge chunk of the Damian Wayne stories written by Morrison that take place in the not too distant future were revealed to be set in the past of DC One Million and ends with Damian training Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond to become his successor. Lastly it also seems that DC One Million takes place in the future of All Star Superman as Solaris and Kal Kent appear and happens to be the story of how Superman ended up having to fix the sun. To sum it up, almost all of Morrison's major works for DC are welded together, though admittedly some of the links between them are vague.
- When Semic Comics, a French comic publisher, decided to revive the characters it inherited from defunct Editions Lug, editor Jean-Marc Lofficier set out to link over 2000 largely unrelated characters from just about every comic book genre into a single continuity. Some characters had to be revamped fairly drastically to fit in, and a few had to be revamped to avoid duplication.
- In Non Sequitur, Wiley frequently used four separate sets of recurring, originally nameless, characters: a silent Everyman who'd observe some of the comics' less absurdist strips, a Leisure Suit Larry-ish barfly, a snarky Bratty Half-Pint girl and the Sunday-only diner owner "Offshore" Flo (and her tall-tale telling patron, Eddie). Gradually, the characters started interacting: the Everyman and the barfly were seen hanging out at the bar, the girl and Flo would occasionally be seen reacting to something from the Everyman's radio talk show. Eventually, Wiley brought all these elements together to form a central cor: Joe (the everyman) and Bob (the barfly) are brothers, Danae (the little girl) and her little sister are Joe's daughters and Flo is Joe and Bob's mother. Eddie remains "just" Eddie.
- In one Super Special Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic finds himself universe hopping to the Sonic Underground universe. In the 25 Years Later storyline, he names his children after his counterpart's siblings.
- Present in horror films long, long before Freddy vs. Jason. In the Universal Horror series, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man triggered the tendency to pile on the monsters, insisting that Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster all existed in a common universe. This does not work well with continuity (The Wolfman (1941) takes place in the present day while the others happen in a dimly-characterized past), but they didn't care much by that point (Universal's horror films of the 40s are strikingly dumber and more juvenile than those of the 30s).
- Predating even these examples: Fritz Lang's Das Testament des Doktor Mabuse (1933). Nominally a sequel to Lang's Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922), it also incorporates Inspector Lohmann from M (1931) as the main protagonist. Blending the super villain from a pulp thriller with the hero of a police procedural works surprisingly well. Well enough that a 1960s revival of the Mabuse series retains Lohmann as its protagonist.
- Quentin Tarantino has created a largely common universe of his films by including subtle crossreferences (for instance, characters commonly refer to others; Mr. White mentions Alabama and Mr. Blonde has Scagnetti as a parole officer, Vic Vega and Vincent Vega are brothers, etc.) and cameos, but he says that his movies are divided into two universes.
- The first is an alternate reality where Hitler was shot down in a theater causing Americans to be obsessed with pop culture and extremely violent, which consists of Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, Inglourious Basterds, Death Proof and possibly Django Unchained.
- The second is a universe that takes place in Tarantino movies that are supposedly released in both the real world and the main Quentin Tarantino Universe, which consists of Kill Bill, From Dusk Till Dawn, Natural Born Killers, and possibly Machete and Planet Terror because of cameos of Earl and Edgar Mcgraw in both movies. Interestingly, the title character in Machete appears in another of Robert Rodriguez's films...Spy Kids.
- Tarantino has also stated that Django and his wife Broomhilda are intended to be the ancestors of John Shaft.
- In all honesty Alien and Predator were never really meant to part of the same universe. The Xenomorph head seen near the end of Predator 2 was only meant as a joke but inspired dozens of video games and comic books until the connection was made completely canon in the Alien vs. Predator movies. Hints placed by Ridley Scott in Prometheus and in the latest re-edit of Blade Runner suggest that they (and of course the rest of the Alien franchise, and transitively Predator) share the same continuity.
- Any Kaiju film made by made by Toho is prone to become part of the Godzilla universe. In fact some of Godzilla's most recognized enemies came from their own movies, including Mothra and Rodan. Even the 1998 version of Godzilla is canon due to him getting his butt whooped by the real Godzilla in Final Wars.
- Before Final Wars, in Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! (aka GMK), there's another acknowledgment of the US Godzilla that works even better at integrating it into canon. In this film's continuity, Godzilla hasn't been seen since the original 1954 attack on Tokyo, and many people no longer remember what he looked like. It's said that there was a reported Godzilla attack in New York a few years earlier, but it's unconfirmed whether it was the real Godzilla. This fits perfectly with the US film, wherein Japanese characters identify the creature as "Gojira." Indeed, GMK has characters mistaking another monster (Baragon) for Godzilla, which may be an intentional retcon for how the creature in the US film got misidentified that way.
- In an interesting note that there is a Toho version of King Kong existed in the Godzilla universe that first appeared in King Kong VS Godzilla and later got his own movie called King Kong Escapes. The Toho version of King Kong was a very altered version though considering that he had more raw power, was intelligent enough to learn and adapt to situations, and lived on Mondo Island instead of Skull Island. Oh and he was able to draw power from electricity.
- Fantasy author Michael Moorcock gradually connected almost every single character he'd created into a Myth Arc revolving around the concept of the Eternal Champion. Indeed, this article was originally titled "The Moorcock Effect" in reference to him.
- Moorcock's Doctor Who novel The Coming of the Terraphiles features a Captain Cornelius, who may or may not be another aspect of the Eternal Champion (much like Jerry Cornelius) which ties the Eternal Champion into the Whoniverse as well! There's also a Second Aether, referencing Moorcock's Second Ether sequence which also takes place in the Eternal Champion continuity.
- In the 1980s, Isaac Asimov wrote a series of novels that linked his Robots, Empire, and Foundation novels into a single continuity. He also even went so far as to in Foundation and Earth suggest (via throwaway reference in dialogue) a tenuous connection between the Robots/Empire/Foundation series and an otherwise seemingly unrelated, comparatively obscure time-travel novel, The End of Eternity, which he wrote in the 1950s (interestingly enough, if they were in the same continuity, the end of the novel would effectively have caused the entirety of the events in the rest of the series, because said ending revolves partly around allowing humanity to expand into space instead of mouldering on Earth).
- Don't forget throwing in a reference to his standalone novel Nemesis in one of the later Foundation books, despite the fact that Nemesis and the Robots/Empire/Foundation books taking place in the same universe makes no sense whatsoever (not even the space-travel physics work the same way). Though it may have been a literal reference to his novel.
- The officially licensed Fan Sequel, Psychohistorical Crisis retcons a number of aspects of the Foundation series, and also ties in Asimov's otherwise unrelated short story Nightfall.
- The final novels in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles tie Lestat's story into that of The Mayfair Witches.
- Actually, they were tied together much before that, notably by the Talamasca (introduced in Queen of the Damned and later a key player in both the vampires and witches novels) and a few common supporting characters like Aaron Lightner. In other words, the Witches novels avowedly take place in the same world as the Vampire Chronicles from day one, though their interactions increase substantially over time. Hints in The Vampire Lestat also indicate that Rice's least-liked novel, The Mummy, also shares a continuity with these series.
- The novel The Queen of the Damned establishes that witches and spirits are real. Memnoch the Devil claims that God, the angels, and The Devil are all real.
- J. R. R. Tolkien:
- The Hobbit was not, at the time of its writing, intended to be in the same continuity as The Silmarillion, which Tolkien regarded mainly as personal recreation and had as yet no intent of publishing. Despite this, he couldn't help throwing in a few names and locations that referenced The Silmarillion. When he began writing the sequel that would become The Lord of the Rings, he went whole-hog and moved The Hobbit to Middle-Earth, The Silmarillion becoming the Back Story of the novels. In fact, the ring that Bilbo found was originally just an ordinary, harmless magic ring and nothing more, and Gollum, having no motive to kill Bilbo, happily led him to safety at the conclusion of the riddle game. It wasn't until The Lord of the Rings was being written that Tolkien decided that it was the ring, and he altered the Bilbo/Gollum encounter to be a little more sinister. The in-universe explanation for the altered narrative is that Bilbo wrote the first version while under the influence of the ring as he wanted to conceal the actual circumstances of his acquiring it, while the revised, true version was written later, after he was no longer in the ring's grasp.
- Tom Bombadil, Goldberry and Old Man Willow originally appeared in a poem published in 1933. They had no connection to Middle-Earth until the writing of The Lord of the Rings was in progress, and that didn't turn them into anything more significant than a Wacky Wayside Tribe.
- Robert A. Heinlein did this towards the end of his career, incorporating all his previous stories (often with radically different universes) into one meta-universe, thanks to a handy trans-dimensional device invented by one of his characters. Then he brought the John Carter of Mars series in, and the Oz books, and eventually all fiction ever created.
- Though he did give preference to the ones he liked, and especially those written by authors with whom he was personally acquainted; one of the transdimensional 'jumps' involved taking the characters into the Lensman universe created by his friend, E. E. “Doc” Smith.
- Nearly all main characters he ever wrote are in one scene at the end of The Cat Who Walks Through Walls.They try to recover Mycroft Holmes, whose death was perhaps the biggest Tear Jerker Heinline ever wrote. Towards the end the characters are aware they are in a story, and find the Author to be a bastard...
- Larry Niven originally had two continuities: the first was the "slowboat" stories of early colonization of space by humanity (featuring the novels "World of Ptaavs", the Gil Hamilton stories, and "A Gift From Earth"), while the second featured faster-than-light travel and aliens (featuring the stories of Beowulf Shaeffer, Louis Wu, and the Ringworld. And then he wrote his short story "Relic of Empire", which combined the two continuities and created the Known Space universe.
- The first novel in Terry Pratchett's Nomes Trilogy, Truckers, takes place in the (real) town of Grimethorpe, but in the later books the Store is relocated to Blackbury, which is also the setting of the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs did this when Tarzan first traveled to the underground world of Pellucidar to rescue that title's hero. It grew from there under his pen and under the pen of others using his characters.
- There was a series of action figures: "Tarzan on Mars". Of course, poor Edgar had nothing to do with it.
- In A Fighting Man of Mars, Jason Gridley appears. Since Gridley met Tarzan in Tarzan At the Earth's Core, a Pellucidar novel, this links Tarzan, Barsoom, and Pellucidar.
- Gridley is also mentioned in the Amtor (Venus) series, linking those five books as well.
- Tarzan is mentioned by the narrator as having participated in some historical event prior to the main story of the first story. Even then, the Tarzan books, and by association, everything Tarzan had appeared in, were part of the Amtor universe within the first twenty five pages of Pirates of Venus.
- Also, the technology for the Moon mission from The Moon Men was Barsoomian in origin.
- And Tarzan is a supporting character in The Eternal Lover, whose central character is the sister of the hero of The Mad King; thereby bringing those otherwise non-series novels into the fold.
- Terry Brooks' Shannara series was always established as being set a fantasy world that formed After the End of modern civilisation. The Genesis of Shannara series is set during the collapse of civilisation, and establishes the past of the Four Lands as the Urban Fantasy setting of his The Word and the Void novels.
- What August Derleth called the "Cthulhu Mythos" (a term never used by H.P. Lovecraft and only by Derleth after Lovecraft's death) originated from cross-references by Lovecraft between his own stories and that by other writers. He (Lovecraft, not Derleth) Lovecraft referenced passages from the Necronomicon, other forbidden books, or placing offhand comments during the expository monologues, about various Eldritch Abominations that have no bearing on the current story. Specifically, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath ties most of his early standalone short stories into the Dreamlands Cycle, and also brings in Pickman's Model and the Randolph Carter stories. At the end, the Dreamlands Cycle is linked to the so-called Cthulhu Mythos, though a few stories (such as the early "Dagon") may be outside the grand continuity. Several other authors have tied them together, notably August Derleth and Clark Ashton Smith. Even the demonic race beneath the Earth from "The Rats in the Walls" seems to be referenced in "The Whisperer in Darkness".
- Clark Ashton Smith's Xiccarph and Zothique series were not originally connected to the "mythos" in Smith's own writings.
- Lovecraft and others tied works by earlier writers he did not personally know. Examples: RW Chambers' The King in Yellow (referenced in "The Whisperer in Darkness"), to the work Arthur Machen (a mention of the Aklo language) and Lord Dunsany (Bethmoora).
- Beginning with It, Stephen King began tying many of his novels into The Dark Tower series, to the point that every single novel he wrote during the early 2000s was somehow related to the epic. The process included bringing back a character he Put on a Bus (literally) in 'Salem's Lot and retconning the Big Bad from The Stand into the Crimson King's Dragon. (Indeed, the Crimson King himself made his first appearance outside The Dark Tower series.)
From Desperation (1996) to From a Buick 8 and Everything's Eventual (2002), 100% of King's fiction output (six novels and two story collections) tied into The Dark Tower (at least retroactively). These were bookended by Wizard and Glass in 1997 and the conclusion of The Dark Tower series in 2003-04. Plus the aforementioned incorporation of everything back to Salem's Lot and The Stand, written before The Gunslinger.
And lest we forget, 'Salem's Lot takes place in the same city as Jerusalem's Lot, an earlier short story, confirmed to be in the Cthulhu Mythos. Therefore, The Dark Tower series is part of the Mythos by extension. Oh and as mentioned above Transformers, Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, and pretty much everything else on this page has crossed over with the Cthulhu Mythos.
- It's also been established that if there's anyone in a King story with the initials R.F., they're probably a very particular person: Randall Flagg, the Big Bad of The Stand, The Eyes of the Dragon (as Flagg, no first name), and the Crimson King's Dragon. Except for (presumably) Rudy Foggia of The Jaunt, who is quite dead at the beginning of the story.
- It also contains an appearance by Charles Pickman, from the H.P. Lovecraft story Pickman's Model — which ties it to all the Lovecraft stories mentioned below. King's next novel, The Tommyknockers, not only crossed over with It, but also tied in several of King's other novels, including Firestarter and The Talisman.
- Also, the books Dolores Claiborne and Gerald's Game refer to each other as the female protagonists of the books have a psychic link, having times when they suddenly get the feeling that this other person, who they don't know, is somehow in danger.
- Misery refers to The Shining at one point, when Annie mentions the ruin of the Overlook Hotel.
- Tony Hillerman once had two series, one featuring Navajo cop Jim Chee and one featuring Navajo cop Joe Leaphorn. There is now only the Leaphorn & Chee Mysteries.
- Though to be fair, from the beginning the Chee stories (which came second) would reference Leaphorn and characters and events from his stories—they just weren't featured in the same books for a while.
- First The Poet and Blood Work got sucked into Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch universe, now Void Moon has been caught in the gravity well, too. Unlike many of the other entries here, Harry Bosch's "world" is that of LAPD Homicide, and so referencing or including a few of Michael Connelly's stand alone novels doesn't really require much in the way of a Retcon.
- Before he's done, F. Paul Wilson's Adversary Cycle bids fair to weave in practically every book and short story the man has ever written.
- Mercedes Lackey's assorted Urban Fantasy stories seem to be set in different continuities, until mention is made of the west coast elfhames (from the Bedlam's Bard series) in the SERRAted Edge novels, and of Tannim, the mulleted protagonist of the SERRAted Edge novels appearing as a bit character in his teens in Jinx High, a Diana Tregarde investigation.
- Since Jinx High was Tannim's first appearance, and the Bedlam's Bard events were namechecked in the first SERRAted Edge novel, this one was evidently intended from the start, or nearly so.
- Kate Elliott has confirmed that her new Crossroads trilogy of fantasy novels is actually a fictional story within the context of her earlier Jaran series of SF novels.
- Peter F. Hamilton retconned several of his earlier SF short stories to be set in the same universe as his immense, later Night's Dawn Trilogy and published them in a collection called A Second Chance at Eden. However, he has avoided this phenomenon elsewhere and has created no less than three distinct SF universes existed at similar points in history, making it impossible for them to coexist in the same continuity.
- Alastair Reynolds did something similar with several of his early SF short stories, retrofitting them into his Revelation Space series of books and publishing the results as a collection called Galactic North.
- Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry presents the world of Fionavar as so significant that echoes of it appear in the mythologies of every other world in The Multiverse. His subsequent stand-alone novels Tigana and The Lions of Al-Rassan, although each set in a different world, each has a moment showing that to be true. Ysabel is more overt, actually featuring several characters from the Fionavar Tapestry later on.
- The Peter David novel Howling Mad mentions Mayor Penn, who is the returned King Arthur from Knight Life.
- A particularly confusing example is The Well of Lost Plots, which ties the world of Thursday Next into a book (now a series) that Jasper Fforde wrote first, but which was published afterwards (The Big Over Easy, originally Nursery Crimes), and does so by establishing it as fictional within the Nextiverse, although, like all works of fiction, Thursday can enter it, and spends most of the book inside it, being ultimately responsible for its odd mix of genres. Everyone follow that?
- To further confuse things, the Thursday Next stories are themselves fictional within the Nursery Crimes series.
- Agatha Christie's Author Avatar Ariadne Oliver seems to tie several of her series together. She originally appeared in the Parker Pyne stories (as did Miss Lemon). Then she became established as a Hercule Poirot character, starting with Cards On the Table (which also featured Superintendent Battle, who'd previously appeared in the two novels starring Bundle Brent). Then she was the main character in the 1961 novel The Pale Horse, which also featured the vicar's wife from the Miss Marple novel The Moving Finger. And in Murder in Three Acts, Poirot meets Mr Satterthwaite, who previously appeared in The Mysterious Mr Quin collection of short stories. Tommy and Tuppence are also linked, since the same slightly unhinged old lady appears in The Pale Horse, the Miss Marple novel The Sleeping Murder, and the Tommy and Tuppence novel By the Pricking of my Thumbs, despite Partners in Crime having them refer to Poirot as a fictional character.
- Tommy and Tuppence can also be linked to the others through a mysterious character who is only referred to as Mr. Robinson. This character appears with Poirot in Cat Among the Pigeons, Marple in At Bertram's Hotel, and Tommy and Tuppence in Postern of Fate. He also appears in Passenger to Frankfurt, which does not feature any of Christie's series detectives.
- While Kim Newman has seeded connections between his books since the beginning, the short story "Cold Snap" seems to be a concentrated effort to tie them all together. A "Diogenes Club" story (and therefore featuring characters whose Alternate Universe selves appear in the Anno Dracula novels) it adds characters from his early work such as Jago, and even features the villain from his Doctor Who novella Time And Relative.
- Under the pseudonym Jack Yeovil, Newman wrote a number of books based on Games Workshop properties. Krokodil Tears, one of the Dark Future books, had its Big Bad have a vision of an alternate version of himself as the Big Bad from his Vampire Genevieve series of Warhammer books.
- Kim Newman isn't the only author to tie his personal 'Verse into the Whoniverse. Iris Wildthyme was a character in Paul Magrs' Magic Realism novels, before he revealed she was an extremely eccentric Time Lady.
- Iris Wildthyme, in her appearances in novels and audios, occasionally interacts with an organisation called MIAOW, The Ministry for Incursions And Other Wonders (simultaneously a parody of Torchwood and Doctor Who's UNIT). This organisation has also turned up in his Brenda and Effie series of novels set around Whitby. Charaters from his Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Mad Dogs and Englishmen, his Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama The Boy That Time Forgot, and the Pheonix Court series that featured the original version of Iris have also appeared in this series. A character from one of Magrs' Tenth Doctor novels also reappeared in an Iris Wildthyme short story, along with a character from the Brenda and Effie series.
- H. Rider Haggard's novel She and Allan brought together Ayesha from She and Allan Quatermain from King Solomon's Mines.
- E. E. “Doc” Smith's Lensman series of novels was originally 4 books long (initially published in serial form in an SF magazine). In the late 1940s or early 1950s, he took an early work of his named Triplanetary and retrofit it in with the rest of the Lensman universe. He wrote an additional novel, First Lensman, to bridge the gap between the two storylines.
- Jules Verne did this quite a bit:
- David Gemmell has stated that all his books take place in the same world, despite covering vastly different territory, such as a low-magic fairly standard fantasy world (Drenai Tales), a post-apocalyptic world (The Jerusalem Man) and our own world (an Arthurian duology and a duology set in ancient Greece).
- L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, also wrote Oz sequels and non-Oz works of fantasy. Through several Crossovers, he established that all of them take place in the same magical continent, called Nonestica.
- The ninth Fighting Fantasy gamebook, Caverns of the Snow Witch, took the player on a tour of the major locations from two of the previous books (Warlock of Firetop Mountain and Forest of Doom), establishing that they all took place in the same land of Allansia. (It also name-checked a character from Forest of Doom.) The monster manual Out of the Pit then expanded this world: Allansia and The Old World, the setting for the Sorcery series of gamebooks, were two continents on the world of Titan.
- Many, if not all, of the books written by Ted Dekker are in the same continuity, as one book references characters from seemingly unrelated books.
- Leslie Charteris introduced Inspector Teal in the novel Daredevil featuring Storm Arden before Teal appeared in the Saint series.
- Poul Anderson's Nicholas van Rijn stories and Dominic Flandry stories weren't, originally, part of the same universe. But a bit of prodding by fans, and he wrote some bridging so that now they are both part of the Technic History.
- Dale Brown has done this. Rebecca Furness and Daren Mace, characters originally in the non-Patrick McLanahan book Chains of Command, joined the main continuity in Battle Born and Warrior Class respectively. The eponymous space station of Silver Tower, thought a victim of Canon Discontinuity because of its long absence from his books, joins the main continuity in Strike Force. The Dragon of non-Patrick McLanahan book Storming Heaven, Gregory Townsend, is Dragon Ascendant Big Bad of main continuity title The Tin Man.
- Iain Banks, in his mainstream (non-SF) literature has said he doesn't do sequels/prequels; though he did include one subtle crossover in Complicity: Cameron's friend Al, an engineer he met on a paintballing weekend, is Alexander Lennox, recovered from his car-crash in The Bridge.
- All of Christopher Moore's varied books appear to take place in the same verse, whether the setting is modern suburban California or Israel in Jesus's time. Various characters make appearances outside of their respective novels, like angels and vampires and fruit bats. Of course, whether this is actual canon welding or just his Verse depends on whether Moore had the broad strokes sketched out from the start or just made it up as he went (and tied it together afterwards)!
- Philip Jose Farmer took this to the extreme in his creation of the Wold Newton Universe. His novels Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life link the two heroes' respective families to the same event, the meteor strike in Wold Newton, Yorkshire, England, on December 13, 1795. Other stories, both by Farmer and other writers, have expanded the Wold Newton universe to demonstrate links to The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sherlock Holmes, The Spider, James Bond, Nero Wolfe, Sam Spade, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, and even Star Trek.
- In a way, his series of books beginning with To Your Scattered Bodies Go could be considered the logical conclusion of this trope, as he intentionally designed a world in which he could bring in any character from any story written by anyone.
- Madeleine L'Engle first connected her "Kairos" and "Chronos" series when Canon Tallis from Kairos novel The Arm of the Starfish appears in Cronos novel The Young Unicorns; several characters from each series would cross over later.
- In The Art of Detection, Laurie R. King welds her wildly successful series about Sherlock Holmes' female apprentice to her lesser-known series about a modern San Francisco cop.
- Simon R. Green's series The Nightside, Secret Histories, and Ghostfinders take place in the same world. And constantly reference each other. There are also very strong connections to his Deathstalker, Forest Kingdom, and Hawk and Fisher series. And all his other writings.
- In the latest Nightside novel there's even a perspective-flipped recreation of a scene from a Hawk and Fisher novel, of the duo waiting at a tavern to meet Razor Eddie.
- Since Nightside is a Cosmic Horror Story & Urban Fantasy Kitchen Sink set in London, it shouldn't be terribly surprising that John Taylor has had a few brushes with the Wandering Doctor.
- An unreleased series of novels (Alien Exodus and The Human Exodus) in the Star Wars Expanded Universe would have done this between Star Wars, THX 1138, and American Graffiti. The novel would have had descendants of the characters from the latter two works warp across time and space to A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away... and become the first humans in that place.
- Narita Ryohgo wrote links estabilishing that his three series of light novels - Baccano!, Durarara!! and Vamp! - all take place in one Universe. For example, Shizuo from Durarara mentions getting into a fight with person strongly implied to be one of Baccano! characters.
- It's not clear if this was intended from the start, but a minor character in the Starbuck series (set in the American Civil War) by Bernard Cornwall was revealed in the second book to be the son of Richard Sharpe, the hero of the Sharpe series, Cornwall's earlier and more famous series set in the Napoleonic Wars.
- Neil Munro wrote two series of short stories for the Glasgow Evening News: Erchie, My Droll Friend about a Glaswegian waiter, and Para Handy, Master Mariner about a steamboat going up the West Coast of Scotland. When Erchie needs to take a ship to his daughter's wedding, naturally it's Para Handy's Vital Spark.
- Andrzej Pilipiuk has connected his Jakub Wędrowycz stories with his more serious trilogy called Kuzynki (Cousins) - Jakub is mentioned by name in second volume and makes a cameo in third, combined with the illustration to leave no doubt that this is indeed him. This is odd, because in first book of the trilogy Jakub is clearly fictional as one of the characters reads his books and considers them the evidence that modern Polish literature is terrible.
- E. F. Benson's Mapp And Lucia series only came together with the novel of that title, which brought the characters of Miss Mapp together with those of two previous Lucia novels. Although not regarded part of the series per se, another earlier novel Secret lives was also subsequently tied into the same continuity.
- Anne McCaffrey wrote Pegasus In Flight and Pegasus In Space to officially merge the older To Ride Pegasus to The Rowan and the rest of the Tower and the Hive series.
- Just about every book by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child take place in the same fictional universe. They're probably best known for the Agent Pendergast series, but even their non-Pendergast books share characters that tie in with one another. For example, one of their earlier books, Thunderhead, introduced anthropologist Nora Kelly and featured William Smithback from their first Pendergast-related novels; Kelly was later made a recurring character in the Pendergast novels. Two Pendergast novels feature a wheelchair-bound profiler named Eli Glinn, he was introduced in an earlier novel entitled The Ice Limit and has later appeared in their new Gideon Crews series of novels. Mime, a hacker from the duo's second book Mount Dragon, has appeared in their later Pendergast novels.
- Several of Piers Anthony's works. The last book of the Mode series featured a brief trip to Xanth. The 27th Xanth book included a visit to Phaze, a world from the Apprentice Adept series.
- At the end of Christopher Anvil's "War With The Outs" series, humanity learns that beyond the Outs' territory, space is controlled by two new alien races, the Stath and the Ursoids. Both of these had previously made appearances in his "Colonization" series, suggesting that the "War With The Outs" stories take place earlier in the same universe.
- Susanna Clarke published a short story where one of characters from Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norell visits village from Neil Gaiman's Stardust, making both stories take place in one world. As far as we know, this is still canon.
- Older Than Radio: French writer Honoré de Balzac wrote a few independant novels and short stories before making recurring characters. He next made the project of making a study of human society and called his work The Human Comedy (in reference to The Divine Comedy).
- Older Than Print:
- As the original versions of the stories have been lost and had to be speculatively reconstructed by scholars from the evidence of the various German and Scandinavian versions it is hard to tell, but it is quite clear that the Nibelungenlied is an amalgam of some quite different stories, and it is a matter of conjecture to decide when the welding of the elements occurred and which ones are to be attributed to the author of the Nibelungenlied. The story of the dragonslayer called Siegfried or Sigurd accounts for the first half of the main plot and the originally unrelated story of the death of the Burgundian kings at the hands of the Huns and their king Atli (Attila) for the second. The welding necessitated some changes, thus in the Scandinavian epics that contain just the Atli saga, the sister of Gunther, who is married to Atli, kills her husband to avenge her brothers. In the Nibelungenlied Kriemhild kills her brother using the army of her second husband Etzel (Attila) to avenge the murder of her first husband Siegfried.
- A canon-welding that does seem to be the idea of the writer of the Nibelungenlied is the inclusion of Dietrich and his knights in the finale, which fuses the Nibelungen story to the cycle of epics about Dietrich of Bern (Theoderic the Great). In that cycle Attila was presented essentially as a sympathetic character and generous host, not the kind of treacherous and cold-blooded killer as in the Atli sagas.
- George Mann's timeline of the Newbury & Hobbes universe, at the back of The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes, includes his Sherlock Holmes novel, his Doctor Who Expanded Universe work and his Diesel Punk Two-Fisted Tales of the Ghost.
- Robert E. Howard did this a lot with his historical, horror and fantasy stories. Just to name a few examples: Kull was explicitly tied with Conan the Barbarian in the essay "The Hyborian Age". Both was tied with the historical-fantasy character Bran Mak Morn through the Kull-Bran crossover "Kings of the Night". The ring of Thoth-Amon, from the Conan stories, and worshipers of Bran are featured in Howard's modern horror stories, while both Bran and Kull are mentioned in one of his Turlogh Dubh O'Brien stories set in 1200's. It wouldn't be unreasonable to consider all of Howard's speculative fiction to be part of the same verse, even if Howard never lived to point it out himself. And of course Howard and H.P. Lovecraft making references to each-others in their works was the foundation of the Cthulhu Mythos mention above.
- Members of a family named "Hempstock" have appeared in quite a few seemingly unconnected works by Neil Gaiman, including Stardust, The Graveyard Book and, most predominately, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Death from The Sandman also gets a mention in Stardust.
- Indie author Royce Day's Space Opera The Red Vixen Adventures series and Diesel Punk novella Prisoner of War both involve characters of a species that resemble humanoid foxes, feature characters who express similar religious and political views, and have a protagonist named Lord Rolas Darktail. But it wasn't confirmed as the same 'verse until Shadow of her Sins in the former series, which featured a minor character from Gerwart, an expy of Germany from "POW".
- There's a Flashman book where the title character (himself originally from Tom Brown's Schooldays) encounters Sherlock Holmes, Watson and their nemesis Tiger Moran.
- Steve Alten 's flagship Meg series and his seventh novel, The Loch, became part of the same continuity with the latter book's sequel Vostok.
- An unusual example of an author allowing someone else to Canon Weld their work: the Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime series by Paul Preuss have as their premise that many of Clarke's stories are set in a single Verse.
- Roland Smith linked his Jacob Lansa series with the standalone book Sasquatch by having Buckley Johnson, a character from the latter, appear in the third Jacob Lansa book. Lansa later appeared in Tentacles, the second of the Cryptid Hunters series, and returned in the sequels alongside Dylan Hickock, the protagonist of Sasquatch.
Live Action TV
- Robin Hood went through several rounds of this, along with Adaptation Displacement. Maid Marion, Friar Tuck, and Alan-a-Dale were all characters from separate folk tales, and it was only later that Robin Hood stories had anything to do with Richard the Lionheart or Prince John.
- The Equivicatio Romana by which each of the gods and goddesses of the other pantheons the Romans encountered was said to be another name for the nearest equivalent in their pantheon—sometimes by a great deal of squinting.
- Euhemerism which postulates that the pagan gods and goddesses were actually great heroes and heroines who lived between the Creation and the Flood.
- An odd version of this exists in Dungeons & Dragons. Gods cross over from one campaign setting to another, spells exist under different names, and so on. Initially the settings were welded only by implication, mostly mythological crossovers (shared gods) and in the names of spells ("Bigby's Grasping hand", "Mordenkainen's Hound") indicating that divine beings and powerful wizards COULD go where they wished, but providing no actual explanation. Later, the Planescape and Spelljammer meta-settings provided two (amusingly contradictory) explanations: in Planescape a stock-fantasy multiverse exists, with the added benefit of explaining where all the more biologically impossible elemental and evolutionarily improbable critters come from. In Spelljammer the medieval cosmology turned out to be true, and adventurers can sail between the various crystal spheres in mighty magical craft riding currents in the lumnoferous aether.
- There was also the World Serpent Inn, which even links campaign settings which are explicitly not part of the Planescape/Spelljammer cosmology, such as Eberron.
- Ravenloft is, itself, a product of Canon Welding, as its Patchwork Map incorporates several domains that were inspired, copied, and/or outright stolen from other AD&D campaign worlds. Literally stolen, in some cases.
- The "legendary" settings of the various AD&D Historical Reference books were eventually revealed - in the appendix to Chronomancer - to be the past of Gothic Earth from Ravenloft: Masque of the Red Death...which in turn may the past of one of the magical d20 Modern settings - probably Shadow Chasers (the Red Death gets mentioned in the Menace Manual).
- The Old World of Darkness was originally a set of unrelated tabletop RPGs which shared the same basic gameplay. Then White Wolf decided to link them all together, with rather strange results. While werewolves could reasonably fit into the same setting as vampires or mages, trying to jam vampires and mages into the same setting was a trick endeavour, given that both groups were said to have been secretly manipulating human history since the dawn of time (also because "being alive" is the primary protection against a mage lighting something on fire with his mind and mages can identify other supernaturals and tag them as dangerous instantly, so vampires tended to last about a minute tops in those crossovers). The new version is made with the possibility of such crossovers explicitly in mind, at the same time keeping each group at arm's length - the storyteller is not required to have them all exist if she or he doesn't want to, but the crossover rules ensure there'll be few to no snarls if they do. For example, the Supernal Realms of Mage: The Awakening and the Shadow World of Werewolf: The Forsaken have little to do with each other, but equally don't step on each other's cosmological toes.
- The Shadow World is also explicitly part of the Mage cosmology. The only problem we currently have with the cosmology is the "Two Arcadias" hypothesis. In Mage, Arcadia is the Supernal Realm of Time and Fate, and separated from the human world by the Abyss, a massive rent in reality; while in Changeling: The Lost, Arcadia is a realm where humans are kidnapped off to and transformed into Changelings. Some believe that these are two different realms, while others believe they are the same realm. The books state that the answer is to be determined by the Game Master, but offers suggestions for both options. It's also possible that both are true: there is a "Fallen" Arcadia and a "Supernal" Arcadia which were originally one realm and are now separated by the Abyss, but the Watchtower of the Lunargent Thorn bridges the gap and allows them to intersect and interact.
- Actually, in both iterations of Mage no one actually knowing the origin of Mage civilization and the ultimate destiny of the ascended is both a plot point and a core theme. All of these things are not only possible, but a storyteller is actively encouraged to change which is implied to be true from moment to moment, sometimes imply that some, all, or none are true at once, etc more or less at random. It's intentional that the players, like the magi, should always feel that there's information that's absolutely vital that lies just beyond their grasp: finding out for sure is called 'ascending', and either you can't come back or no one's bothered yet.
- Exalted was an inversion. The original concept for the game was for it to be set in the forgotten, mythical prehistory of the Old World of Darkness... but it was ultimately decided not to make this an absolute of the setting, and reduce the connections to common setting elements and parallels that hint at the possibility. The tagline "Before there was a world of darkness..." is The Artifact of the original concept.
- Rifts. Want Robotech mecha to fight the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles alongside unicorn-riding cyborgs, only to have them all ambushed by eldritch abominations? Rifts. Palladium games specifically published conversion books for incorporating their other franchises into Rifts rules.
- Which is mostly a case of converting some things to MDC. Other than that, every Palladium game uses the same basic rules. Another bit of Canon Welding comes in-universe. Hints have been dropped in the books that Rifts Earth is either a future version of Beyond the Supernatural, Heroes Unlimited, or a bizarre combination of the two.
- The Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes used to be linked, although the linking statements were made by mad characters. The whole saga/background is told through an Unreliable Narrator anyway. Games Workshop has stated that the link is now done away with, since it was mostly silly anyway. Warhammer world used to be a planet in the 40k universe, surrounded by warp storms that made it inaccessible for the rest of the galaxy. Nowdays they exist in separate universes, but there appears to be a small link between them in the form of the Warp (the Chaos Gods are the same in each universe, and some people in Warhammer world have gotten visions of Chaos in 40 universe. For example, in Liber Chaotica: Book of Khorne, it's all but outright stated the author is having visions of Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade. Also the Old Ones in Warhammer appear to be the same as the ones in 40k, and a fan theory suggests they escaped from 40k universe to Warhammer one after the War in Heaven). There is no real interaction between the two universes, however, unless you count some daemon characters popping up in both universes and a few magic items that have a suspicious resemblance to 40k technology.
- It also used to be fairly heavily implied that Sigmar (the fantasy Empire's messiah figure and founder) was one of the missing Primarchs (genetically enhanced superhuman offspring of 40k's Emperor).
- Warhammer 40 000 is now considered to be simply the Spiritual Successor where everything is an expy of the original Warhammer Fantasy.
- The GURPS Infinite Worlds setting ties together every alternate universe they ever came up with and every licensed work ever adapted to GURPS from Uplift to Discworld to Hellboy.
- Earthdawn is canonically set in the distant past of the Shadowrun setting.
- In Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast, all of the Nicktoons are shown as existing together in a large multiverse, with the soundstages acting as portals between their worlds.
- The Green Hornet was the son of The Lone Ranger's nephew back when the two were on the radio. However due to legal issues between those who currently own the two franchises, the connection isn't used at all anymore.
- When The Last Chance Detectives were adapted to radio, their premiere episode included an appearance by Jason Whittaker of Adventures in Odyssey, welding the two previously unrelated Focus on the Family franchises.
- Bioshock Infinite combined all of the previous Bioshock games, and perhaps even the System Shock titles, into the umbrella of the multiverse. Logistically, this is Ken Levin's way of hand-waving his recurring power-ups and obstacles.
Elizabeth: (delighted) A Sky-Hook!
Booker: A "Sky-Hook"? You mean the Air-Grabber? Kids use 'em to ride up around the pneumo lines.
Elizabeth: Air-Grabber, huh. "Constants and variables"...
Booker: Constants and what?
- Street Fighter Alpha effectively combined the Street Fighter and Final Fight franchises into one shared continuity, by featuring Guy and Sodom from the first Final Fight as playable characters, followed by Rolento in Alpha 2 and Cody in Alpha 3..
- Mega Man Legends was originally in its own continuity (hence jokes and references to the original series being a Show Within a Show). However, Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX games have more directly connected it as being the far distant future of the original Mega Man (Classic) and Mega Man X.
- When SNK made Art of Fighting 2, they decided to officially make the Art of Fighting series part of the same continuity as the Fatal Fury series. To explain why the Art of Fighting cast were not around during the events of the Fatal Fury games, they made the Art of Fighting series a prequel to the Fatal Fury series by setting it ten years before and putting a young Geese Howard as the True Final Boss in Art of Fighting 2 (back when he was still the police commissioner of South Town). When SNK later wanted to cross the Fatal Fury cast with the Art of Fighting cast in The King of Fighters games, they had to place the third series in a separate continuity.
- And from there, it starts getting really weird, with Ralf and Clark from Ikari Warriors and Athena from Psycho Soldier (who is the descendant/ambiguously-the-reincarnation of the Athena from Athena) appearing in The King of Fighters — despite Psycho Soldier involving an invasion of monsters from beneath the Earth that you'd kind of think would get mentioned at some point in KOF canon if it happened — and then both Ralf and Clark and KOF original Leona appearing in Metal Slug 6 and Metal Slug 7. At this point, the only sane response to the SNK canon is to throw up your hands and shout "I don't know!"
- And that's still not the half of it. Other SNK titles, from Samurai Shodown to The Last Blade to Savage Reign/Kizuna Encounter, have been alluded to in varying extents throughout KOF's run.
- The Final Fantasy series has a few counts of direct crossover, such as Gilgamesh (seems to be the same person in every game he appears in, which was finally confirmed in Dissidia 012) and Cloud (who features as a guest character in Final Fantasy Tactics) The remastered version of for Tactics for PSP, also adds Balthier and Luso
- Ivalice Alliance series was the first attempt to make a Final Fantasy universe that included more than one game and in fact includes games without the Final Fantasy name. Final Fantasy Tactics, the Final Fantasy XII titles, Vagrant Story, Crystal Defenders, and the not yet released Fortress are among the comfirmed games to take place in the Ivalice universe.
- Hints have been dropped here and there (and Word of God has outright stated) that Final Fantasy VII takes place in the far future of the Final Fantasy X world, on a different planet.
- And then Dissidia: Final Fantasy made it so they're all parallel worlds in a shared multiverse, although its canonicity is uncertain. Would make sense, though. It is a series.
- Final Fantasy IV: The After Years reveals that every crystal-based Final Fantasy game is in the same universe. The crystals are placed on a planet with promise, both to guide and record the evolution of the planets; hence why they all have humans, and not-entirely-different environments from the other Final Fantasies. To prove it, the party fights such recorded monsters as The Four Fiends, the Dark World Crystal Guardians, Gilgamesh, and the superbosses Omega, Shinryu, Death Gaze and Ultima Weapon.
- When the Czech developers of Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis (their first game) Bohemia Interactive Studios split with the publisher, they were able to keep the "assets" (i.e. the game engine) but not the name, so they ended up creating a Spiritual Successor called ARMA. However, BIS has since come out and said that both series are in a Shared Universe, as will be BIS' spin-off Take On Helicopters.
- The latest patch for Operation Flashpoint even renames it to ARMA: Cold War Assault. Talk about paying attention to details.
- Super Smash Bros. takes place in a universe in which the characters of every single Nintendo series from Super Mario Bros. to The Legend of Zelda to Kirby as well as Sonic the Hedgehog and Metal Gear co-exist in the same verse. However, it's obvious that the series takes place in an Alternate Continuity as the canon backstory of the series is that Master Hand brought to life Nintendo characters from the form of dolls (that would later be replaced with trophies from Melee onward) in order to have them fight one another.
- The Ultor Corporation, from Red Faction, a science-fiction series about Martian rebels, makes an appearance in Saints Row, a series about gang warfare in a contemporary American city. Red Faction: Guerilla references this with "Mount Vogel", named after the CEO of Ultor in Saints Row 2. This started off as a Shout-Out in the original Saints Row, with a few references to Ultor here and there. Then Saints Row 2 ran with it, and made Ultor a major faction that is clearly the same one as in Red Faction. However, Saints Row IV separates the canon, to say the least. Maybe. The ending implies a certain amount of time-travel, so who can say?
- The sheer amount of shout-outs to NiGHTS in the Sonic the Hedgehog series has led some people (including those of semi-official status) to claim they are in the same universe.
- Elemental - War of Magic shares a lot of its terminology (especially in its backstory) with Galactic Civilizations, indicating that the game may be set on ancient Altaria and the channellers are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
- Betrayal at Krondor and Riftwar.
- Easter eggs in Sierra's adventure games point to a shared continuity.
- Namco Bandai seems to have merged parts of the previously unrelated (despite numerous Shout Outs) Galaxian/Galaga series, Ace Combat series, Ridge Racer series, and some other games into an overarching United Galaxy Space Force series.
- In the PC game series Dark Parables, all fairy tales are true, and they're all pretty much part of one gigantic story. Sleeping Beauty is sister-in-law to The Frog Prince and Gerda is descended from Hansel, for starters.
- Commander Keen and Wolfenstein 3D are linked together by way of Commander Keen's Billy Blaze being the grandson of Wolfenstein's B.J. Blazkowicz. A common fan theory is that the protagonist of Doom is also part of the family. The RPG versions of their respective games go with this - the "Harbinger of Doom" from Wolfenstein RPG is basically Doom's Cyberdemon without prosthetics, and the hero of Doom RPG is explicitly given the last name "Blazkowicz".
- Doom II's Commander Keen and Wolfenstein 3D Easter Egg Bonus Level, though no in-story reason is given for their existence.
- Ever since 2004 Ninja Gaiden has been established to be in canon with Dead or Alive series with Ryu being the canonical winner of the second tournament and Dead or Alive character Ayane acting as a support character throughout many Ninja Gaiden installments.
- Up until Fire Emblem Awakening, it was assumed that barring remakes and direct sequels/prequels, all Fire Emblem games were set in different universes and did not impact each other. However, SpotPass and DLC content for Awakening used characters from previous Fire Emblem games—including ones that were not set in the Archanea universe—and so to get around this, introduced a "gateway" (the Outrealm Gate) that allowed characters to travel between the different universes. This would imply that all of the worlds are connected, physically or otherwise, as part of some greater universe rather than separate, alternate worlds.
- Could very well be happening to Assassin's Creed and Far Cry, if Far Cry 3's DLC is anything to go by.
- Discussed in Project X Zone where (on top of canonizing about a dozen other crossover games) the characters from the many different universes have some fun trying to link them together. For instance, the characters of Gods Eater Burst find it plausible that their world would continue on a downward spiral, necessitating the construction of Basel in their far future. However, it's also acknowledged that certain universes are mutually exclusive with each other (Sakura Wars is technologically and geopolitically incompatible with modern earth) or completely isolated (Tales of Vesperia is shown to be in its own disconnected bubble), so nothing is set in stone.
- Quake III: Arena mashes Doom, Quake, and Quake II into a single continuity.
- The PS2-era Grand Theft Auto games are in the same continuity as the Manhunt series - Carcer City is explicitly stated to be a location in the Grand Theft Autoverse, and it was introduced even before Manhunt was released. And the Grand Theft Auto IV universe (which it shares with Grand Theft Auto V) may be shared with Bully, with the appearance of the Bullworth Academy on TV.
- Some of Capcom's more robust crossovers, like Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, imply that many a Capcom franchise share some implicit but mostly unexplored degree of connectivity (going beyond the Shared Universe the Street Fighter franchise is known to be part of). For example, Morrigan in TvC expresses disappointment that Viewtiful Joe didn't live up to what she learned from Joe's rival Alastor. Alastor, as per the PS2 version of Viewtiful Joe, is the spirit of the sword Dante picks up in the original Devil May Cry and Dante's (admittedly non-canon) story in Viewtiful Joe has Mundus, the Big Bad of DMC1, as The Man Behind the Man. Likewise, Dante and Joe are shown to be buddies/friendly rivals in their MvC3 intro quotes for each other, which would be strange (seeing as they never actually met in Viewtiful Joe) if not for the fact that Dante was a playable character in the PSP port of Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble.
- Way back in the Amiga days, Super Turrican took place on the planet of Katakis. This was referenced in the Turrican clone Hurrican, which took place on the planet Takatis (which was the name of a clone of Katakis by the same team, Poke53280).
- The Ultima series has Seggallion, the hero of Origin's Knights of Legend, set in the world of Ashtalarea, and Gorn, the hero of Origin's The Quest and Ring Quest, set in the world of Balema. The Kilrathi ship in Ultima VII and the Trilkhai in Ultima Underworld II link the Ultima multiverse with Wing Commander.
- Par for the course in the Super Robot Wars games, due to their Mega Crossover nature. The Super Robot Wars Original Generation series even more so, as they have the unenviable task of integrating the countless Original Generation stories into a cohesive whole and often filling in the blanks left by licensed characters with Banpresto Originals from different games. For example, Super Robot Wars Alpha's Ryu-Ko-Oh/Ko-Ryu-Oh was originally connected to the Mazinger mythos, but in the OG series it was created to fight the Einsts, which debuted in the Pact series. Better still, more recent games are putting more and more emphasis on dimensional travel shenanigans, which is a handy way of working in anything that can't be shoehorned in to the main timeline.
- Several Sony Online Entertainment employees have joked that their zombie apocalypse sandbox game H1Z1 and their MMOFPS PlanetSide 2 exist in the same universe, where Planetside is a Lost Colony of escapees from H1Z1. The Nanite Systems Mega Corp. that makes vehicles and weapons in Planetside appear in H1Z1, apparently as a pharmaceutical company. The New Conglomerate Mega Corp. likewise appears in H1Z1 as a manufacturer of bluejeans. However, in practice it is just a Production Throwback.
- The MS Paint Adventures series Problem Sleuth was tied into the earlier Jailbreak series when Zombie Ace Dick and his whale crashed into the jail where Jailbreak was set. Indeed, a dead whale was part of an early Jailbreak puzzle, and ZAD and the Completely Sane Man were revealed to be the skeletons in one of the cells.
- Homestuck's Comic Within A Comic Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff predates Homestuck. It was originally written as a parody of another webcomic called Higher Technology, and was written into Homestuck as a webcomic run by Dave Strider.
- In a semi-canonical donation extra the Problem Sleuth characters did battle with the Midnight Crew. That gang would later become extremely plot important in Homestuck. Even though both Problem Sleuth and the Midnight Crew exist as fictional works in the Homestuck universe - in fact, instead of Homestuck, in-universe the adventure following Problem Sleuth was based on The Midnight Crew. To confuse the issue further, an Easter Egg in Homestuck implies that Problem Sleuth took place on Prospit, making Problem Sleuth canon to the Homestuck multiverse.
- In Starslip Crisis, the character of Vore is all but explicitly stated to be in fact Vaporware from the author's previous comic, Checkerboard Nightmare. However, this can be considered only to be a partial example, since said strip's events are never mentioned in Starslip and Vore himself seems to have lost his memory up to that point, causing a bit of a personality change (yes, Vaporware also expressed desires to exterminate mankind, but Vore's a lot more proactive about it), so for all intents and purposes Vore can be considered a separate character. Eventually he did regain his old memories and personality, and started calling himself Vaporware again...right before he was killed off for real.
- On the other hand, records of the past (or Real Life, 21st Century Earth) seem to be extremely sketchy, as evidenced by the Show Within a Show "Concrete Universe," where covered wagons exist at the same time as cloning.
- Crossover Wars and The Crossoverlord established many webcomics as part of the same multiverse with rules more akin to Westphall's mind. The Realitease page done by Crossoverlord creators contains interesting informations about which webcomics happens in the same universe with lists of proofs and explanations:
- Fans! and College Roomies from Hell!!! seems to be set not only in the same universe but also share it with eight other webcomics.
- Something*Positive shares a world with Queen of Wands, Punch an' Pie, Scandal Sheet, Girls with Slingshots, Questionable Content, Shortpacked!, Penny and Aggie and All New Issues. For example, the cats from S*P and GWS had a litter of hypoallergenic kittens.
- MegaTokyo, Applegeeks, Ctrl+Alt+Del, Questionable Content, Shortpacked! and Diesel Sweeties are all set in one universe. Also, one of the hypoallergenic kittens of Choo-Choo Bear and Sprinkles ("the fat one") was given to Leslie Bean by her lesbian lover's sister, Roz in a weird, drug deal-like handoff with Davan. In the words of David Willis, "Webcomics are so incestuous".
- Mindmistress shares a universe with Clan of the Cats and LCD, as well as with Zebra Girl or her alternate counterpart.
- Crossoverkill fueled the fire, not only adding more webcomics to The Multiverse, but also with revelation that Doppleganger Gang members are all alternate reality counterparts of one another and there are members from viarous webcomics among them, including several fantasy webcomics.
- Heroes Unite did it with a horrifying amount of Super Hero webcomics, hosted on Drunk Duck. First it estabilished that Energize, Bombshell, and an alternate counterpart of Acrobat share an universe, and then a bunch of other superheroes joined in. Some writers even took an advantage of it to make their webcomics more popular. The creators of Energize and Dasien did a short (currently on hiauts) crossover between their characters, while the former used a new Shared Universe to bring back his other webcomics - Fearless, SHELL teamed up with The Blonde Marvel and Bombshell and gets his ass kicked by one of Hero Force members before joining HU, and Vora, Princess Of The Skies, appeared a few times in HU before getting her own adventures. And it's all one reality in the webcomics multiverse. Having kickstarted the whole superhero crossover thing on Drunk Duck, Heroes Unite is now set in its own self-contained universe, but the crossover goodness continues in the spinoff Heroes Alliance with the characters from Karabear Comics Unlimited and even involved Jenny Everywhere and golden age characters like Madame Fatal.
- T Campbell has done this with various webcomics he's written or co-authored, both played straight and using alternate versions of characters.
- Penny and Aggie, Cool Cat Studio and Sketchies are set in the same universe. However, the SF and supernatural elements in Cool Cat Studio are absent from the other two comics. Campbell once explained this on the P&A forum by stating that such elements exist on the periphery of the comics' shared universe, so not all its inhabitants experience, nor are even aware of, such things. This is in contrast to the Fans! universe (and its alternate versions of P&A's characters), where, particularly after the Revival, paranormal occurrences are so frequent and prominent that the entire world is aware of them. Also, alternate versions of characters from Penny and Aggie and Fans! appear in each other's universes every so often.
- Barry T. Smith's Ink Tank appeared to be in an entirely new universe from the previous strips...until a story arc which ended with the Author Avatar having a nervous breakdown was resolved by Dante from Angst Technology turning up and treating him to a coffee.
- Artist Ursula Vernon's Digger, an anthro adventure about a mildly cynical wombat and a statue of the god Ganesh, has this if you start reading her other work. An awful lot of everything she's done seems to have characters in common with the Gearworld, her vaguely-steampunk clockwork-labyrinth art-and-fiction setting. It's only vaguely hinted at in Digger itself.
- Sugar Bits might have done it when one of the villains summoned Red and Big Bad Wolf from Ever After to fight protagonists. However, given the nature of the Sugar Bits world and Bleedman's own words, those two comics may or may not share an universe and this will remain unresolved until Endling, creator of Ever After, will confirm it.
- Shaenon Garrity's Narbonic and Skin Horse were officially confirmed to take place in the same continuity with the introduction of Artie Narbon to Tip Wilkin. Garrity had previously revealed in Narbonic Director's Cut that the main Narbonic characters, Dave, Helen, and Mell, came from three different comics she had drawn in high school and college. Mell also gets her own Spinoff Babies comic, Li'l Mell, and a character introduced in that comic has now shown up in Skin Horse. Garrity's lesser-known Smithson may fit into the same continuity as well; minor character Queensbury Joe appears to be the older version of Homeschool Joe from Li'l Mell.
- Mel has also appeared twice in Everyday Heroes - once in a brief flashback where Mr. Mighty thwarts one of Helen's capers and again where she appears as Dr. Unpleasant's lawyer.
- Eli Parker created several different web projects, including Too Far (a comedy space opera webcomic), Powerup Comics (a Stealth Parody of Two Gamers on a Couch webcomics), and These Web Comics Are So Bad (another Stealth Parody, this time of webcomic review blogs). Then Parker created Unwinders Tall Comics, which included cameos from all of the above, establishing that they (or at least their fictitious authors) all exist in some sort of continuity.
- There was earlier hints about Bob and George and its fancomics/subcomics taking place in the same multiverse. Ridiculous amount of cameos got finally an explanation, when Rick O'Shay and Chick-Bot appeared in the main comic to tell the true nature of White Space. It was a demi-plane that connected all the universes together. It was later abused by sending all the Mega Mans and other characters into one universe, to fight Bob.
- Glorianna and Sparky of Lady Spectra And Sparky shared an adventure when Glorianna was briefly transported to the 21st century (while Lady Spectra ended up in Glorianna's era).
- The (In)Famous David Gonterman, Ed Wood of the World Wide Web and the Internet's Most Dangerous Cartoonist; reuses characters, concepts and names so often that it more or less seems that every single thing he's ever written or drawn are all set in the same vague universe/multiverse. This may be partially intentional, but, well...
- That Guy with the Glasses likes this trope, finally creating an official merging of every TGWTG-involved character during the huge anniversary brawl, and again during Kickassia, Suburban Knights and To Boldly Flee, not to mention the millions of crossovers between producers.
- The Fear Mythos incorporates The Slender Man Mythos into their canon as well as The Black Dog from folklores of the British Isles and later incorporated the Smiling Man from The Jeanette Experience as a Canon Immigrant.
- The Cthulhu Mythos is a part of it too, with the blog Mephi, having many of Lovecraft's creatures being a major part of the story.
- The Friends and the High Council WMG is an attempt to do this with every Disney-owned property.
- Disney, if you can believe it, did this. Lilo & Stitch: The Series had Crossovers with Kim Possible, The Proud Family, Recess, and American Dragon Jake Long.
- Ingrid Third was also clearly visible in the background in American Dragon Jake Long, adding Fillmore! to the list.
- There was also an episode of Hercules in which Jafar and Hades cut a deal to eliminate each other's enemies, resulting in an Aladdin Crossover.
- While DuckTales and Darkwing Duck were obviously part of the same universe what with both shows having Launchpad McQuack, a Disney Adventures story known as The Legend of the Chaos God establishes Goof Troop, TaleSpin, and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers are part of the same universe as well.
- Gargoyles Word of God, Greg Weisman, says it shares its universe with Atlantis The Lost Empire—or at least, each 'verse includes a Broad Strokes version of the other franchise. (This occurred when Weisman worked on an Atlantis TV spinoff—but the series, including the Gargoyles Cross Through episode, got canned when the movie bombed.)
- The Kingdom Hearts series of video games has most major Disney worlds, or rather, explicitly AU versions of them, existing in a larger multiverse.
- In the South Park episode "Super Best Friends", there is a brief scene of the cast of That's My Bush! in the White House, indicating that the two series (both created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker) take place in the same universe (which is particularly silly, since That's My Bush! is a live-action show).
- There were reportedly plans to weld the canons of Exo Squad and Robotech back when the former was produced. Considering that their primary motivation seemed to be that both shows were Merchandise-Driven, your mileage may vary on whether it's a good or bad thing that this never happened. It went beyond just planning; there were figures of Robotech mecha sold in Exo Squad-branded packaging.
- American Dad!s Stan and Bullock try to stop Family Guy's Stewie plan to take over the world, with Stewie mistaking Stan for Joe. Of course, this takes place in a virtual reality simulation, so it's debatable weather it's canon or not. There have been a few other smaller cameos.
- There is a deliberate lack of crossovers between Family Guy and American Dad but they're considered to be part of the same universe. However at the end of the American Dad episode "Hurricane!", the houses of Cleveland and Peter end up on the both sides of Stan's house resulting in them going into a stand-off that ends with Francine accidentally being shot by Stan. It's never addressed in later episodes of any of the shows.
- Thanks to the Family Guy episode "Simpsons Guy", it can now be said that The Simpsons takes place in the same universe as the aforementioned Seth MacFarlane cartoons.
- ThunderCats (2011), as of the episode "Legacy" features new versions of characters from SilverHawks and TigerSharks, all of which were action shows produced by Rankin Bass in the '80s, sharing the same art style, writers, and voice actors. While the shows were incredibly similar and could easily be mistaken for being part of the same universe, it's only official now after twenty plus years.
- The Venture Bros. attempted to weld itself onto the Jonny Quest canon, even going as far as to feature Race Bannon as a character in one episode, but after Hanna-Barbera protested it, all references to Jonny Quest were quietly replaced with Lawyer-Friendly Cameo versions.
- Rankin/Bass Productions is also famous for its adaptations of Christmas stories, and eventually welded many of them together in a movie called Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July. Naturally there were a lot of elements that did not quite fit together—Santa Claus, for example, had a subtly different appearance and personality in each previous special—so decisions and adjustments were made. Likewise some scenes from Rudolph and Frosty's lives were shown that differed from their own specials, but kept the basic facts the same.
- Originally Static Shock referenced Superman as a fictional character but this was retconned allowing the show to be welded into the DC Animated Universe.
- The Critic Jay Sherman once showed up to judge the The Simpsons Springfield Film Festival, though Matt Groening was so against the idea that he took his name off the opening credits for that episode.
- The Transformers have already been listed, but deserve special mention here; in the '80s, it was broadly hinted that the original cartoon shared a universe with the G.I. Joe cartoon, and not-quite-as-broadly that the same was true for Jem and Inhumanoidsnote . This has been taken much further in the 21st century, where not only were the previous hints confirmed, but now every Hasbro cartoon from the time period has been stated to be part of the same universe, and pretty much every other Hasbro property exists within the Transformers multiverse.
- The original Space Ghost cartoon, via crossovers dealing with Time Travel in the last six original episodes, became part of the same universe of Dino-Boy, The Herculoids, Shazzan, Mighty Mightor, and Moby-Dick (the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, obviously not the book).
- Word of God places The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Wolverine and the X-Men, Hulk VS, and Thor: Tales of Asgard in the same universe. We have Wolverine appearing as a member of both the Howling Commandos and New Avengers and the Mutant Response Division imprisoning Whirlwind, as well as one Wolverine episode being a direct sequel to Hulk Vs.. (However, contradictions do exist, mainly in the portrayal of the Hulk and which eye Fury's eyepatch is on.)