Embedded Precursor

A common bonus feature or Easter Egg in later installments in a Video Game franchise is to hide a copy of an earlier game from the series in the current game.

This is usually (but not always) a hard-to-find special bonus, often an Old Save Bonus or New Game+. Additional rewards may be offered for beating the embedded game. For technical reasons, this tends to be limited to games which have a very primitive previous incarnation.

Subtrope of Game Within a Game and as such has to be recreated/emulated by the game itself, it's not the original game bundled with the new one or downloadable for free. See also Nostalgia Level. Has nothing to do with Precursors.


Video game examples:

  • Sega Smash Pack: Volume 1 for the Dreamcast doesn't include any older games per se, but it does secretly include an entire Genesis/MegaDrive emulator, allowing hundreds of old games to be played on the Dreamcast.
  • One of the bonuses for connecting Metroid Prime to Metroid: Fusion was a playable copy of the original Metroid. And after beating Metroid: Zero Mission once, the original Metroid was unlocked on the options menu.
  • Pitfall: Mayan Adventure has a hidden copy of the original Pitfall hidden inside it. So does Pitfall 3D: Beyond the Jungle, via a password, and Pitfall The Lost Expedition. The Big Adventure, a remake of The Lost Expedition, takes it one step further by having both the original Atari 2600 Pitfall games as unlockables.
  • The 2010 version of Splatterhouse includes the original original arcade game and both Genesis sequels.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong '94 starts with all four levels from the original Donkey Kong arcade game. Stage 9-4 is a remake of the final stage from Donkey Kong Jr., while Stage 9-5 is an updated version of the very first stage balanced out for the game's new play mechanics.
    • Donkey Kong 64 features working arcade machines on which the player can play the original Donkey Kong and Jetpac (Rare's first game back when they were named "Ultimate Play the Game") to win a reward token. These tokens are actually necessary to beat the game.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time included the original Prince of Persia as a bonus. It was reached by opening a hidden door, walking up a staircase, and passing out of view. The dialogue sets it up just prior: "They say this castle was built on the ruins of an even more ancient one..." The Xbox version also included Prince of Persia 2.
  • The 1990s PC version of Space Invaders lets you play the original Space Invaders once you've beaten the game on Hard.
  • Sonic Adventure DX for the Nintendo GameCube and PC has every single Sonic Game Gear game released, from the original 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog (acquired by collecting 20 Emblems) to Sonic Blast and Tails Adventures (acquired by getting all Emblems and completing Mission Mode).
    • Sonic Generations includes a port of the original 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog as a bonus, but only in the console version (since the game is already available on Steam).
    • Sonic The Hedgehog Megamix is a Game Mod of Sonic 1 that not only remixes all of its zones, but also has their original versions kept intact with the bonus of being about to go through them using the hack's new characters, controls, and physics.
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein contained Wolfenstein 3D.
  • An Easter Egg located near the end of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood's Nightmare Level 1 allows you to play the first level from Wolfenstein 3D, original graphics preserved—even for the enemies. A small sequence also plays in which B.J. Blaskowicz's look changes from his look in this game to his more pixelated look from Wolf3D.
  • Easter eggs found in each stage of Doom (2016) allow you to play through classic Doom levels, complete with old art.
  • Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures for the SNES contains both Pac-Man and, in an example of a Sidequest for an Easter Egg, Ms. Pac-Man. The Genesis version had an original game, Pac-Jr. (not to be confused with Midway's Jr. Pac-Man arcade game), in lieu of Ms. Pac-Man (since Ms. Pac-Man already had a stand-alone release for the Genesis). Pac-Man World 2 also includes Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Attack, and Pac-Mania.
  • Panzer Dragoon Orta, the fourth game, contains an unlockable port of the first.
  • Day of the Tentacle was the sequel to Maniac Mansion and has a fully playable version of it in the game. Just like the original version, it only had one save slot.
  • A minor selling point for Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike (it was mentioned on the back of the box) was the fact that an almost complete version (minus the Empire-based bonus missions) of the previous game, Rogue Leader, was available for co-op play. The game also includes ports of the Atari arcade games Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, which can be earned through game play and/or by pass code.
  • House of the Dead 3 for the Xbox contains the full version of House of the Dead 2. Incidentally, much later came House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return on the Wii. The Dreamcast version of House of the Dead 2 was supposed to include an Enhanced Remake of the original title, but it wasn't implemented due to time constraints.
  • The Hardened and Prestige Editions of Modern Warfare 2 include a free redemption code for the Xbox Live Arcade/PlayStation Network port of the first Call of Duty.
  • Tetris Worlds contained a re-creation of the original Tetris, prior to the Executive Meddling that introduced infinite spin and T-spin triples, complete with monochrome blocks made out of bracket characters.
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance included all of the tracks from Super NES original, rearranged from the original's four cups of five into five cups of four.
  • Mario Kart games beginning with Mario Kart DS began to feature 32 tracks. These tracks were divided into four "Nitro" Cups (the cups containing all-new tracks), and four "Retro" cups (containing old tracks from previous Mario Karts). While there are 16 retro tracks per edition, how many are from each previous edition differs.
    • As the fifth ported version, DS has four tracks each from the SNES, four from Mario Kart 64, four from Super Circuit, and four from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
    • Mario Kart Wii brings back two courses from Super Mario Kart, four from Mario Kart 64, two from Mario Kart: Super Circuit, four from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and four from Mario Kart DS. Many of the courses are modified to reflect the new stunt abilities.
    • The retro cups in Mario Kart 7 bring two courses from Super Mario Kart, three from Mario Kart 64, one from Mario Kart: Super Circuit, two from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, four from Mario Kart DS, and four from Mario Kart Wii. Almost all of the retro courses have been modified in some way to incorporate the new underwater driving and/or hang gliding mechanics.
    • In default form, Mario Kart 8 has 16 retro tracks: one track each from Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, four tracks from Mario Kart 64, two each from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart Wii, and three each from Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart 7. As with the retro tracks from 7, those in this game feature altered sections that incorporate the game's hang-glider, underwater, and anti-gravity features. The DLC packages add an additional seven retro tracks (one track from Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart Wii, and Mario Kart 7, and two from Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!) and nine new ones.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl features the ability to unlock several games from the various video game franchises represented. These are all timed demos, though, due to the existence of the Virtual Console. With Wii modding, it is possible to play these games not as timed demos, but as full games.
  • Metal Gear:
    • The second disc of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence includes updated versions of the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which were originally released for the MSX2. Both games are included in the HD Edition of MGS3 released for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Vita, where they're selectable via the main menu.
    • The Metal Gear Solid 2: Digital Graphic Novel DVD in Japan includes a fully voiced version of the original Digital Graphic Novel that was released for the PSP.
  • Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS features the NES versions of Contra and Super C, but they're only available after completing 4 and 8 stages respectively in Challenge Mode. They play almost exactly like the original NES games, right down to having the same cheat codes, except there's no proper 2-Player mode in either game. Instead, both characters are mapped to the same d-pad, but their firing and jumping buttons are mapped differently (Y and B for Player 1, X and A for Player 2).
  • Castlevania:
    • In something of an inversion, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has the final boss fight from the preceding game as the opening level (although it's referred to as Bloodlines in the English localization). Furthermore, the player's performance in the flashback level determines Alucard's starting stats and items.
    • The Dracula X Chronicles, the PSP remake of Rondo of Blood, contains both Symphony of the Night and the original Rondo of Blood. The former has revised dialogue and an additional playable character, and the latter is fully translated to the west.
    • Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness allows the player to unlock remixed versions of Reinhart's and Carrie's quest from the previous Castlevania game for the Nintendo 64, complete with cut-scenes and everything, but only after completing the main quest with Cornell. However, since Cornell's portion is technically a Mission-Pack Sequel to the first N64 Castlevania, Legacy of Darkness as a whole is really more of an Updated Re-release of the first game than a sequel.
  • Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ has a remade midquel given almost equal billing to the game itself, Re: Chain of Memories, which takes the GBA sprite game and turns it into a full-fledged 3D PS2 game. However, that is a standalone release in America (and thus merely an remake), with Final Mix+ itself taking its sweet time coming overseas in the form of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 (containing a remake of Birth By Sleep due to the remake of the first game having Re: Chain of Memories).
  • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon: Tokiwasure no Meikyuu features a mini-game with card-based battling... Effectively the entire battle/gameplay of it's DS predecessor, Chocobo Tales.
  • Rodland. In the arcade version, imputting a code on the title screen once you put a coin in unlocks a sequel that never saw a standalone release.
  • TMNT2: Battle Nexus and TMNT3: Mutant Nightmare include ports of the original arcade game and Turtles in Time respectively that sadly does not have some of the original music and voices due to legal issues.
  • The Premium Pack/Kollector's Edition of Mortal Kombat: Deception has the original Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks has Mortal Kombat II as an unlockable (relevant as Shaolin Monks is essentially a retelling of MK2), and looking at the pattern, you can tell what the Limited Edition of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon includes.
  • Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X (PSP) features (an updated version of) Tales of Phantasia in the same UMD.
  • The Wii version of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings includes the PC game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (voiced version).
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena contains its Xbox predecessor Escape from Butcher Bay with enhanced graphics.
  • The Nintendo GameCube version of Fight Night: Round 2 includes the SNES version of Super Punch-Out!!.
  • The Xbox version of Ninja Gaiden features the three NES games in the franchise (although they're based on the updated versions from the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy compilation for the SNES and not on the actual NES originals). To play them, you need to find their corresponding cartridges and use them with an arcade cabinet in Tairon. If you beat the game after finding the cartridges, you can play them from the main menu. The expanded version, Ninja Gaiden Black, replaces them in favor of the 1988 arcade game.
  • Wrecking Crew '98 for the Super Famicom includes the original NES game.
  • The arcade version of Dance Dance Revolution 3rd MIX has a hidden "2nd Mix" mode that allows you to play songs from DDR 1st and 2nd Mixes, with the exception of "Strictly Business". And much thankfully, with 3rd Mix's difficulty selection method so you don't have to enter a code for Another or Maniac difficulties. In comparison, 2nd MIX gets revisited as a separate mode again in Dance Dance Revolution X3, this time in higher resolution and with the actual 2nd MIX interface, rather than just swapping out songlists and keeping the interface intact. Subverted, in that 2nd MIX mode includes two brand new boss songs that weren't there in the original version.
  • In Kirby Super Star, the first game that you're allowed to play, Spring Breeze, is actually a condensed remake of the first game in the series, Kirby's Dream Land. (minus Castle Lololo and Kaboola)
  • Kirby Super Star Ultra not only has Spring Breeze, but a remake of Dream Land's Extra Game (essentially Hard mode) called Revenge of the King (which brings back Kaboola).
  • Tekken 5 included fully-playable Arcade versions of the first three Tekken games. You can also unlock the full version of Namco's old space shooter Star Blade by finding the spaceship from that game in one of the stages of Devil Within. Usually you get to play the first part of the game when Tekken 5 itself is starting up.
  • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem had this in a sense. It contained both a remake of the first and its sequel, though both were available from the beginning. In turn, its remake New Mystery of the Emblem contains remakes of the obscure BS Fire Emblem: Akaneia Saga Satellaview games as unlockable bonuses.
  • The Xbox version of the remake of Spy Hunter included the original Spy Hunter Arcade Game.
  • Super Famicom Wars has all the maps from the original Famicom Wars in addition to all the new ones made for the game.
  • Unusually for a current-gen precursor, the entire (slightly-altered) Story Mode of Dissidia: Final Fantasy is included in its sequel.
  • A visual novel example, Narcissu is added as an embedded package to its prequel, called "Narcissu ~Side 2nd~".
  • Alice: Madness Returns includes a high-definition port of the original game as a bonus to players who are willing to pay extra, or those who preordered the game in advance.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 now contains ports of all the campaigns from the first Left 4 Dead.
  • Tron 2.0: Killer App for the Game Boy Advance incorporates the old Tron Arcade Games by Midway.
  • Played with in Tony Hawk's Underground. After creating a character, you can briefly see the game box for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 on the desk.
  • First editions of the PS3-version of Assassin's Creed: Revelations include the original Assassin's Creed.
  • The PS3 version of Bioshock Infinite comes with the original Bioshock.
  • Giana Sisters DS has every level from the original Great Giana Sisters as an unlockable.
  • White Knight Chronicles 2 came with the predecessor as well, updated to reflect the changed (read: better) combat system.
  • EA Sports will tend to include a classic iteration of a sports game; Madden 2002 included Madden '92, FIFA 06 included FIFA International Soccer, and NHL 06 included NHL '94 (due to licensing issues, all the older versions contained modern rosters instead of their original ones).
  • Rayman Legends contains levels from its prequel, Rayman Origins that you unlock by collecting Lucky Tickets. Later Ubisoft released complitions of Rayman Origins and Legends which make the levels redundant.
  • Bayonetta 2 comes with its predecessor packed in with some Nintendo-related costumes and reskins included (Wicked Weaves being replaced with Bowser's limbs, for instance). Notably, it also brought said predecessor to a Nintendo console for the first time.
  • Final Fight Streetwise contains the unlockable Final Fight arcade game. Unfortunately, they didn't get the sound and controls right.
  • Time Crisis Razing Storm for the PlayStation 3 boasts that it includes the arcade version of Time Crisis 4, which is essentially the same game as its individual release, only with Playstation Move support, and the complete story mode completely absent (not that many people minded). Dead Storm Pirates (which isn't a precursor) was also thrown in for good measure.
  • Dead Space 2 Limited Edition on PlayStation 3 included the HD remastered version of Dead Space: Extraction (being a prequel to the first game), complete with move support, and an additional difficulty level.
  • Sonic Robo Blast 2 includes as an unlockable all the levels of the original Sonic Robo Blast running on the SRB2 engine (including all the 2D that comes with it).
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End has a segment in which Nate plays through the Boulders level of the first Crash Bandicoot.
  • Homefront: The Revolution has a hidden arcade cabinet in one of the levels, which when activated will launch a fully functional emulation of Time Splitters 2, though only the prologue and first couple of levels are included.
  • Doom 3 Collector's Edition for the X-Box included PC-perfect ports of Ultimate Doom, and Doom 2, complete with four player split screen multiplayer. All copies of its stand alone expansion pack, Doom 3 Resurrection of Evil, also includes the first two games, plus the Master Levels of Doom 2.
    • There is also Doom 3 BFG Edition that includes Doom 1 and 2. The X-Box 360 and PS3 versions play much the same as their downloaded counter-parts, while the PC version uses the original wad files and makes it play just like how it did when it was initially released (sadly with no multiplayer support), and also included the campaign: No Rest for the Living. Thankfully, you can still extract the wad files and use it in various source ports to make up for the lack of multiplayer, and more.
  • Quake 4 Special Edition for PC included a second disc that includes Quake II and all its expansions. X-Box 360 owners have a similar deal: A faithful 360 port of Quake 2, playing exactly like its PC counter part, with the added bonus of four player split-screen, plus up to 16 players via a local area network. The only downsides are no expansions are included, no auto-aim, and no online play.
  • New copies of Gears of War Judgment include a download code for the first Gears of War.
  • The X-Box One version of Rainbow Six Siege includes the 360 versions of Rainbow Six Vegas 1 & 2, fully playable on the X-Box One.
  • A subversion of this trope: Mass Effect 2 for the PS3 was released before the Mass Effect Trilogy, and as such, there was no PS3 port of Mass Effect 1. To make up for this, Bioware includes an interactive comic book that summarizes the events of the first game and allow the player to make decisions on important events to determine how some set pieces are arranged.
  • Parodied with Duke Nukem 3D. The first level has an arcade cabinet that runs Duke Nukem II. Interacting with it simply has Duke say "Hmmm, don't have time to play with myself."
    • However, this is played straight for the DOS versions released at retail. When installing the game, you have the option to install demos to other DOS games, as well as all episodes to Duke Nukem I, and Duke Nukem II.
    • It does get parodied again with Duke Nukem Forever, where the first level is a recreation of the final stage of Duke Nukem 3D
  • PAYDAY 2 has an example similar to Left 4 Dead 2 mentioned above: Two levels from PAYDAY: The Heist, being First World Bank and Slaughterhouse, were remade to accommodate the play-mechanics of Payday 2, and included for free as of the Black Market update. Owners of the Wolf Pack DLC for the first game also receives Undercover and Counterfeit. It should be noted that it is now possible to fully stealth First World Bank and Counterfeit.
  • The Day One Edition of Dark Souls III on Xbox One includes a digital copy of Dark Souls I, playable via the Xbox One's backwards compatibility mode.
  • In Wolfenstein: The New Order, taking a nap on a specific bed in the base causes BJ to have a nightmare. Said nightmare is E1M1 of Wolfenstein 3D.

Non-videogame examples:

  • Tabletop Games example: the Dungeons & Dragons boxed set Return to the Tomb of Horrors had a copy of the original module S1 Tomb of Horrors included in it. The original Tomb was placed within the larger adventure and could be entered and explored.
  • The Commodore 128 turned itself into a Commodore 64 if you typed "Go 64." The ZX Spectrum did the same thing (the +2 had a 48K mode, selectable from the startup menu) for the exact same purpose: backwards compatibility.
  • Leonard Bernstein wrote a sequel to Trouble in Tahiti, the full-length opera A Quiet Place, which in the end included all seven scenes of Trouble in Tahiti as a pair of Pensieve Flashbacks in the second act.
  • The Brazilian publisher of Disney comics released a collection to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their Donald Duck comic. A fac-simile of The Donald Duck #1 (yes, the first issues had an article) came along with the first issue.
  • The DVD releases of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge include a few unedited original episodes of Takeshi's Castle which is longer than the show's edit that puts the show into it's proper context. The catch is however that it contains forced proper english subtitles and an optional english announcer (but only for the first season, that option's been removed for Season 2, Volume 3, and the Volume 4 and 5 two pack.).
  • The DVD for House of Wax (1953) includes the film it was a remake of, Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) as a bonus feature.
  • The mid-2000s anime The Tower of Druaga based on the 1984 NES Video Game The Tower of Druaga has an episode where the party, while climbing the titular tower, arrive on a floor which contains the original tower from the 1984 Video Game. When the main character enters it the other characters are able to use a nearby control console together with a Guide Dang It obtained from a nearby shop to 'body control' him through the very trials from the video game, even inserting coins into the console and respawning him on level 1 of the tower each time he died, just like the very Guide Dang It game.
  • Selected Baen Books hardbacks include a CD which often contains the earlier books in the series.
  • When automatic couplers were introduced on British commuter trains in the 1950s, they were of a design that incorporated a hidden old-style screw coupler, so that in an emergency the unit could be towed by a steam or diesel locomotive.
  • The two-disc DVD of the 1960 version of The Lost World includes the 1925 version which the later film is a remake of as a bonus feature. Ironically, the release is generally more sought-after because it has the 1925 film in fairly good quality and not because of the 1960 film, which is advertised as though it's the main attraction.
  • Some releases of the special editions of the original Star Wars trilogy include the original theatrical versions as bonus features. Like the above example, these discs are in high demand because of the theatrical versions, although they're presented in very low quality compared to the special editions.
  • Metallica: All of the tracks from their 1987 all-cover $5.98 EP, as well as the original "Garage Days Revisited" (released in Europe as a B-side to the "Creeping Death" single), were included on Garage, Inc. which is a full-length Cover Album.

Alternative Title(s): Embedded Prequel

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EmbeddedPrecursor