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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 has levels from the original Donkey Kong as its first four levels, and a more balanced to the game's mechanics remake of the first level as one of its last levels.
    • 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 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).
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein contained Wolfenstein 3D.
  • 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., 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: 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.
  • 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 the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. The ports included on the disc are actually based the cellphone rereleases that were released in Japan around the same time as the original Metal Gear Solid 3, meaning that the updated Metal Gear 2 no longer used the photo-realistic character designs from the MSX2 original (thus, no more Sean Connery as Big Boss and no more Mel Gibson as Solid Snake). Both games are retained and also selectable form the main menu in the HD Collection version on the PS3 and Xbox360.
    • The Metal Gear Solid 2: Bande Dessinée 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.
    • 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 no signs of Final Mix going overseas.
  • 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.
  • 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 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, includes the arcade game as well.
  • 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.
  • Sonic Generations includes a port of the original 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog as a bonus, but only in the console version.
  • 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.
  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix has regular SSF2T inside.
  • 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 prequel 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.
  • Bayonetta 2 will come 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 will also bring said predecessor to a Nintendo console for the first time.

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.

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alternative title(s): Embedded Prequel
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