One Game for the Price of Two
So you Gotta Catch Them All
, eh? Well, the Marketing department has come up with a wonderful way to encourage social participation
! They'll divide some of the game's content (characters, mons
, subplots, or so on) between different cartridges! Sure, you can still play the game by yourself, beat the Final Boss
and watch the credits roll, but the only
way to get true 100% Completion
is to find other
people who have purchased the other
versions (or simply buy the other versions yourself) and trade your exclusive content for theirs. This version is particularly common with mon
Of course, this means that those same characters, subplots, and mons
are now effectively interchangeable in the overall scheme of things, thus making characterization inconvenient. Also, anyone who doesn't have access to large gatherings of people with the other versions of the game is likely screwed.
A variation of this involves ending a game's story on a Cliffhanger
and having the sequel pick up where the first game left off, giving the player the feeling that the entire series was, narratively, one game split into multiple parts. However, this practice isn't as well regarded here as it is in other media: Individual volumes of a series of novels, films, or television shows frequently are not expected to be anything but
the continuation of a single, overall work in progress. Videogames, meanwhile, are largely expected to stand as discrete, complete works in and of themselves.
Novels, films, and television shows also do not cost $40-60 an installment. (Though TV seasons
do, and hardback
editions of novels can come pretty close sometimes...)
Of course, if you want to acquire both versions yourself, this not only means twice the money (to purchase them with), but twice your free time (to actually play
Compare the Old Save Bonus
, where you need to interact with a separate game (generally of the same company) to unlock certain content, which is usually not central to gameplay but may be necessary for 100% Completion
. Also compare Socialization Bonus
, where it's the same game for everybody, but you still need to "connect" with someone else to unlock ... something.
See also Expansion Pack
, Two Part Trilogy
Please note that this trope is a case of Americans Hate Tingle
to some extent, as due to higher population density and the extreme popularity of handheld consoles it's much easier to find others with the required game in Japan. Which, naturally, most examples here originate from.
There are three sections to this article: Examples of one game in multiple concurrent versions, examples of one story being split over multiple games, and examples of this phenomenon outside of games and gaming media.
Examples of one game with multiple versions
- Pokémon is the Trope Codifier. The Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald versions mix it up a bit by having different antagonists with different goals in each game. Other versions just have different Pokémon with varying rarities. Diamond and Pearl also include the ability to trade over Wi-Fi, theoretically allowing a player to collect all the Pokémon without knowing someone with the other version personally or buying it yourself. It's eased significantly from Diamond/Pearl onward; the GTS (Global Trade Station) feature allows you to use an online Pokémon-trading marketplace to fill your collection, but one can only search for Pokémon actually registered as "seen" in the game; however, the games do make an active effort to allow the player to see as many Pokémon as possible under the ownership of other NPC trainers.
- There are some critters the player can only get by trading - no one can catch them in the wild. Alakazam, Golem, Scizor, Steelix until Generation IV, Machamp, Kingdra, Politoed and the list goes on.
- The GTS in Diamond and Pearl aside, collecting Generation IV's massive list is further complicated (ignoring the GTS's obvious limitations) by the fact that in order to even see a Manaphy, one must physically import it from Pokémon Ranger; this was rectified in Platinum and later games, which allow the player to see a picture of Manaphy in books sitting around in certain locations, registering Manaphy as "seen" and enabling the GTS route. For those without a Wi-Fi connection, don't even think about trying to get a Spiritomb without the GTS. This near-impossible-to-achieve-alone feat requires meeting 32 players in the underground (or the same one person thirty-two different times).
- Pokémon Yellow brought this to an ultimate - it lacked Pokémon you could only get in Red AND only in Blue, so if you bought Pokémon Yellow, you also needed trade with BOTH Red and Blue to get certain Pokémon.
- Of course, this was offset by giving you access to the 3 starters without trading and some overall updates, you were basically sacrificing 100% gameplay for much better normal gameplay.
- Pokémon also brought this to an extreme in its third generation. Ruby and Sapphire together had only about half of the Pokémon. FireRed and LeafGreen, having come out later, had most of the other half, leaving only a few. Emerald had a good chunk, and Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness had one of these each (Ho-Oh and Lugia, respectively). Jirachi was available from a connection bonus from Pokémon Channel in Europe and Australia only, or a preorder-only version of Colosseum in America only, and Celebi was available through the latter method in Japan only). That makes six games, one of them having to be preordered and bought twice in different languages (or once plus buying another game in Europe), on two consoles, for 100% Completion. Except there were still Pokémon you could only get through Nintendo arranged events, but these were not counted by the Pokédex.
- Speaking of Celebi, it was better in the second generation (for Japan at least) because back then all you needed to get a Celebi was a cell phone and a special link cable for the Game Boy. This connected you to a wireless trading/battle system that could also trigger an event to catch Celebi.
- Pokemon Mystery Dungeon pushes this further to the extreme. The first set of games were at least released on different systems but the second set give absolutely no reason for the double release. Trading is not an option here so all but one of the few differences in Pokémon listings are solved by entering passwords which are far easier to find online than in the opposite version. It basically boils down to whether you wanted Mewtwo or Celebi after you've beaten the game. The third Mystery Dungeon (No Export for You) is One for the price of Three, and interconnectable with each other because they would all be on the same Wii.
- Explorers of Sky subverts this by having every Pokémon except Arceus available without any interaction at all, partially because the game uses a completely new password system that does not work with the previous games.
- And then there are the Pokémon Stadium games. Some do give you certain Pokémon that you can't get more than one of, but it requires completing several absurdly difficult challenges. On top of that, all the rental Pokémon that the games provide generally have bad stats and mediocre move sets, neither of which will help in the harder battles. In other words, you need to have a copy of your own handheld Pokémon game and import your own team over in order to even stand a chance of winning.
- Black and White Versions have notably been given some bigger differences: several routes and towns are significantly different in each version (what is a forested rural town in White Version is a heavily urbanized city in Black), one has one non-optional rotation battle and many triple battles while the other is the opposite, and the last Gym Leaders are different people (though their teams are roughly the same) depending on the version. It also introduces a new trading mode on the GTS which connects two players in realtime and allows them to trade any Pokemon in their collection, similar to trading locally with other players.
- They also reduced the number of version exclusives, instead opting for different rarities - Throh and Sawk, for example, are in both games, but only in rustling grass for one or the other.
- Black 2 and White 2 as well. This is the first time a pair of "third versions" were announced (Blue and Yellow were released at different times in Japan). It should be noted, however, that these games are sequels rather than the usual rereleases.
- The anime has used this starting with the first fifth-generation-based movies, Black: Victini and Reshiram and White: Victini and Zekrom. Just like the games, they are two versions of the same movie, with similar plots, but with Reshiram and Zekrom's roles swapped and a few different Pokémon appearing in the different movies.
- Also averted: Both movies were released together in a 2-disc DVD set, though played straight for the Australian and New Zealand release of these movies.
- Mind you, the only thing making the franchise as part of this trope is for completion of the Pokédex. Otherwise, buying only one game of the two versions is pretty much fine since you don't miss out a lot of game content. In fact, the game encourages you to trade with other people. The only time you would need to buy both games is if you couldn't trade at all.
- The Mega Man Battle Network games started doing this with the 3rd installment. At first, it just affected side bosses and cards. Later, what version you got affected what storyline bosses you faced and abilities you acquired. This means that, for some reason, in one version of Battle Network 5, the Navi in charge of a water world is NapalmMan.
- The game also hilariously inverts the trope in MMBN4, making you play the game over 3 times to get everything you need. In theory this made one game much longer in comparison since you got three times the play time. It even looked so, since there are 6 plotline bosses you can fight, with 2 completely new ones with their own side quests on each rotation. In practice, however, this was anything but fun, as apart from the 2 side scenarios (which are rather short and comprised about 20% of the overall game) everything else was the exact same, and while the enemies also leveled up through each run, they only got more HP and attacking power, rarely adapting their strategy. Effectively you invested three times the playtime for the same thing over and over again.
- Battle Network 4 also involved a rare chip called the Z-Saver. This chip can only be obtained by linking up your game boy to a Mega Man Zero 3 game. However, each Zero 3 cartridge only contained one copy of the Z-Saver chip, meaning that not only did you have to find another game, you'd also have to find one that hasn't been tapped of it's chip (making rental store copies completely worthless, as their chips have already been gutted and put into their own Battle Network games). This basically meant that if you wanted the chip, you HAD to buy another game.
- Made worse (or better, depending on view) that said game is of a completely different genre (and a very hardcore interation of said genre to booth!), so while it is vastly different and thus is not "more of the same", it also means that there were good chances that Battle Network players wouldn't enjoy the needed game at all.
- Mega Man Star Force is One Game for the Price of Three. However, through Wi-fi, you could get the benefits of all three games, making the differences effectively the high-end cards and one boss. Star Force 2 plays with this, with three versions consolidated into two distinct cartridges (Zerker x Ninja and Zerker x Saurian; at the title screen, you choose whether you play Zerker or your cartridge version, and each version has its own save file). Star Force 3 is back to just two versions.
- Demikids, aka Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children. Like in the The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games, the story is different depending on what version you play.
- For a while, the Bomberman games tried to add Mons called Charabombs to the series and started splitting up the portable games into two versions.
- A handful of the Digimon portable games do this. Notably, Cathode and Anode Tamer, and Digimon World Dusk and Dawn.
- Digimon Story (Dusk and Dawn's precursor) did something similar, although there was only one version of the game, several of the 'elite' Digimon required multiplayer features to access. Fortunately, most didn't and the ones that did were only necessary for multiplayer battles and a few side-quests.
- Veemon, a very popular Digimon with several possible evolutions, required the player to go on Wi-Fi, find someone with the game and match Digimon to make an egg that may turn into a Veemon. Also, several evolutions were there, but the pre-requisite was to, previously, having owned that evolution in your team. As in, you would have to do the matching, leave a special egg in the farm that would take eons to hatch, to get said evolution to THEN be able to evolve your Digimon to it.
- Medabots, a Mon series featuring children playing with alien robots rebuilt into toys (no, really) did this. The first three generations of the game subverted it with the Parts Collection games, which were just a series of battles allowing you to get a complete collection of Medals and Parts without having to trade, wrapped in a flimsy Excuse Plot.
- Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen and Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen did this. Though players had a very clear advantage starting a game in Darkside as level 5 characters, and then going to Clouds and open a can of whoop-ass on the baddies. Also, there was a final story that could not be reached (all of the level data files belonged to the "Darkside" game) and completed unless you bought the other game, to reach 100% Completion. Justified in that both worlds are just the two sides of the same slab of earth floating in space (one of the passageways even involves a Journey Through The Center Of The Earth ).
- Robopon did this, though the first set of games had only one released in the US.
- The portable Shaman King games do this, turning the ghosts of the series into collectible mons.
- While you can go through the single-player campaign of the Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War Expansion Pack Dark Crusade with all seven races by itself, in order to play any races other than the Tau or Necrons in multiplayer, you have to have the original game(for the first four races) and the first expansion, Winter Assault (for the Imperial Guard).
- Given that it was a stand-alone, expansion-pack priced game, this was more like 2 games for the price of one. Dark Crusade got a lot of accolades for its format, even if you do need the other games to fully access the features.
- Winter Assault also averts the Expansion label to a degree, as not long after the release of Dark Crusade, both the original Dawn of War and Winter Assault were starting to be packaged together for a lower price, meaning it's fully possible to play any of the games without the other, and all three (Soulstorm followed a similar format as Dark Crusade) were rather well priced given what you got.
- Tales Of Hearts has a twist. One version has prerendered FM Vs for its cutscenes while another version has hand drawn anime for its cutscenes.
- And as largely suspected by any fan of the series, the sales of the former so far were barely over 1/10th of the latter.
- Probably as much because the CG version, while having gorgeous effects, left all the characters sitting in the Uncanny Valley.
- DJMAX Portable 2 has six unlockables that must be obtained by winning multiplayer matches. Barring that, you can play lots of songs (360 at the least for one of these six, and 2,284 at the most for another). Yet more unlockables can be obtained either in Link Disc mode (which requires you to have a copy of the original DJMAX Portable); many of which can't be unlocked in any other ways!
- The Transformers movie games for the DS (but not the Transformers Animated game, also on the DS) are basically the same games split between 'Autobot' and 'Decepticon' versions. Naturally, some vehicles are only available on one or the other...
- This is lampshaded in an early mission, on either game; whichever version you are playing, you get a short piece of dialogue with what's implied to be the protagonist of the other version, in which the Decepticon tells the Autobot that 'we may be on different sides, but we're both still playing the same game.'
- The now-defunct company Smilesoft is probably the KING of this trope: All of their monster-collection RPGs had two versions. The Telefang series came in Speed and Power versions, each focusing on Mons with that attribute, Bugsite had Alpha and Beta versions (Though they're equally buggy hahaha) and the Dino Device games came in Dragon and Phoenix versions.
- The SNES port of Final Fight was released in two editions: the original release only had two of the three characters from the arcade game (Cody and Haggar), while the second edition (titled Final Fight Guy) brought back Guy by removing Cody. There are a few other minor changes between the original release and the Guy edition (such as new power-ups and new difficulty settings that alter the enemy placement), but for the most parts they're the same port with one character changed for another. You need both versions to have the full roster and you'll still be missing the Co-Op Multiplayer mode and the Industrial Area stage with Rolento from the arcade game.
- Vampire Savior (the third Darkstalkers game) was released for the Japanese arcades in three versions.
- The original release (and the only that came out overseas) featured the roster from Night Warriors (the previous game), leaving out Donovan, Huitzil and Pyron in favor of four new characters (Jedah, Q. Bee, B.B. Hood and Lilith).
- Vampire Savior 2 brought back the missing characters from Night Warriors by removing Jon Talbain, Rikuo and Sasquatch. There were also a few rule and system changes from the original Vampire Savior that made it played differently.
- Vampire Hunter 2 featured the entire Night Warriors roster (Vampire Hunter being the Japanese version of Night Warriors) by leaving out the new characters from Vampire Savior. The rules and system are closer to Savior 2, but with a few slight differences.
- The console versions of Vampire Savior for the Sega Saturn and PlayStation (the latter which was released as Darkstalkers 3 in the U.S.) featured the entire roster from all three versions. The Saturn version was based strictly on the original Savior, while the PS version featured different game modes based on each version.
- Inverted with the Vocaloid release for Len and Rin Kagamine. It's two voices for the price of one!
- Inverted with Xonox◊ video games featuring two games packed in unique "double-ender" cartridges.
- In the second Dragon Quest Monsters game, your choice of game (Cobi's Journey or Tara's Adventure) was also your choice of Purely Aesthetic Gender. While the two games had virtually identical main storylines, the real differences came to play in the Playable Epilogue, when they opened up two completely different new areas to explore. Both versions needed to trade in order to unlock the final world.
Examples of single games released in multiple parts
- The Sims games are an especially outstanding example: one game for the price of eight (nine for The Sims 2). Both the original have many "expansion packs" which are all the hefty price of a full game, though they can't be played independently.
- Sega originally planned to release Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic and Knuckles as a single, mammoth game. However, time constraints and the manufacturing costs made that impossible, so Sega dropped the ability to play as Knuckles and released the levels they had (Angel Island through Launch Base Zones) as Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Later, the remaining levels (Mushroom Hill through Doomsday) were released as a second game, Sonic and Knuckles. The latter game featured unique "Lock-On Technology", which allowed the games to be combined and played as they were originally intended. To be fair, Sonic and Knuckles also allowed the player to use Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, something that would not have been possible had the game been released as a single cart, so it wasn't a total loss. It also contained about a zillion Special Stage levels that could be played independent of the main game by attaching something other than Sonic 2 or 3, although that was possible to include without lock-on.
- You could even write down the password given out after the special stage and use it when you locked-on Sonic The Hedgehog, making the game just packed with special stages (this feature was called Blue Sphere when Sonic Mega Collection came out, where the game was an actual unlockable.)
- The .hack games are the most guilty of this. They are literally one game split across three or four parts, each full-priced, and with an incomplete story unless one buys the whole series. If you bought them at retail price in the US, it took 200 bucks to finish the first group and 120 to finish the second.
- And that isn't the half of it. Crack is Cheaper if you want the full story of .hack.
- Even worse is that about half of .hack's story hasn't even made it out of Japan as Ban Dai has yet to license some of that material for release elsewhere and the fact that the fourth game, Quarantine, tends to be the most expensive product in the series with its used copies being the only ones not cheaper than its original retail price, online or offline.
- Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga exists as a two-part game, with the second game continuing the story directly from the ending of the first.
- The Boktai series was also going to do the whole intergame Password deal but just changed it to mere stat boosts, depending on what you did in the previous game (which was not included in Lunar Knights, being that Boktai 3 never made it here). Odd considering the fact that the password contains a whole lot of information about your game, from your name to how many enemies you felled, even to which weapon you liked to use the most.
- Syberia was originally to be one standard adventure game. Due to a rushed timetable, it was released as two separate games that had identical gameplay and graphics, AND were half the length of an ordinary point-and-click adventure.
- Persona 2 was released as two games, each of which told a relatively self-contained story that also paralleled and linked to the other. There was also an Old Save Bonus in the second that let you keep the money you'd deposited into the lucky cat in the Kuzunoha Detective Agency (Important for an unlockable), and what you'd selected for Tatsuya's name and in-battle nickname. ... Unfortunately, the first game never came to the US due to concerns about its use of guns and largely high-school-age mains in a time shortly after the Columbine shootings and the Old Save Bonus was similarly removed from the one that did come to the US.
- Variation in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, which are two totally different games that connect together to merge the two plots into one and provide an extra final boss and a "true ending". So really, more like Two Connected Games For The Price Of Two.
- Originally, a third Oracle game was planned to complete a Triforce analogy, but connecting the games together proved too difficult and they scaled the number back to two.
- Didn't stop them from giving out a code at the end of the "true ending" that could be used on the other game again giving you nothing but a few more items and another go for the same ending.
- They were pretty much screwed by the math. There are two possible orders for playing two games, but six for three games.
- Shenmue was originally going to be many chapters long, but the games that were released, Shenmue and Shenmue II, gave you chapters 1 and 3, 4 and 5 (chapter 2 was supposed to chronicle's Ryu's adventures on the boat ride between games). Shenmue II allowed you an Old Save Bonus if you transferred a save from the original game, but unless you were prepared, all of your ready money from the first game would be irrevocably stripped from you unless you swapped it all for capsule toys very, very quickly. Guide Dang It.
- The Xenosaga series' first two games were supposed to be the same installment. It just got worse when it was noted that it would only be a trilogy instead of six installments.
- To some controversy, Blizzard Entertainment announced that Starcraft II will be one game for, some cynics say, the price of three. More accurately, the initial release will contain the Terran single-player campaign, supposedly long enough to surpass the original StarCraft. This release will also include full multiplayer capability for all three factions. The first Expansion Pack will be the Zerg single-player campaign (again, intended to be about as long as the original StarCraft by itself,) supposedly including new units for all factions and "RPG Elements." The second expansion pack will be the Protoss single-player campaign, also including new units for all factions and "diplomatic elements." A single main story will run through all three installments, requiring players to buy the other packs if they want to finish the story or play their favorite race outside of multiplayer. Blizzard have claimed they are doing this to get the initial release out quicker, as well as to tell the story properly; others find this difficult to believe. As of the moment, Blizzard has claimed that the second and third games are considered expansion packs and will likely be priced as such.
- Complaints about this have lowered a lot since the game's release, as their talk about the size of the campaign turned out to be true.
- Final Fantasy IV: The After Years deserves special mention. The game itself sells for 800 Wii Points (i.e., $8 U.S.), but that only includes the first three "chapters". if you want to actually play the entire game, you'll end up spending $37 total for the other ten installments. So it's more like "One Game For The Price Of Almost One But Seperated Into A Bunch Of Cliffhangers".
- Although The After Years and Final Fantasy IV are being released as a PSP compilation, so this game inverts it as well. Two games for the price of one.
- The Gran Turismo Prologue games (4 and 5) were essentially extended demos of the perpetually delayed full games. Mercifully, they were priced accordingly and also featured additional bonus content.
- Inherent in the release of the episodic expansions to Half-Life 2. Valve was originally going to work on Half-Life 3 next, but decided to release lots of small episodes in sequence instead of waiting several years for another game, keeping up the momentum of consumer interest.
- However, this led to Valve suffering from Hype Backlash due to the release schedules getting more and more drawn out.
- It has been pointed out that episodic releases would work great, if Valve weren't perfectionists that had to get every little thing just right.
- On the other side, knowing that trend you could say it is working out great. We have 2/3rds of a game that otherwise wouldn't have been playable until our (if in your twenties) grandchildren were gamers.
- Tomb Raider Legend and Underworld. Both are rather short, with a Cliffhanger between. Then there's the Expansion Pack to Underworld.
- An Xbox 360 exclusive expansion pack, no less. Marvelous.
- Tokimeki Memorial Pocket, the Updated Rerelease of Tokimeki Memorial : Forever With You on Game Boy Color, has two versions : the Sports one, subtitled "Koutei no Photograph" (Campus' Photograph), and the Culture one, subtitled "Komorebi no Melody" (Melody of the Sunlight Filtering Through The Tree). They're the same game, aside from the fact the cast is divided in half between the two versions (including the three new characters), the clubs are divided between the two versions depending their nature (Sport-type or Culture-type), and an additional club visiting sequence in the prologue. As far as the character repartition go :
- Shiori, Rei, Miharu, and Yoshio are in both versions ;
- Saki, Yukari, Nozomi and Megumi, along with new characters Patricia and Naomi, are in the Sports Version ;
- Ayako, Yumi, Mio, Mira, Yuko, Yuina, along with new character Kyoko, are in the Culture Version.
- Deathspank was a single game that was very obviously split into two parts (the "sequel" was announced and released two months after the first installment) so that EA could charge people $30 for a downloadable title (the industry standard averages at about $10; $15 for high-profile games.)
- The contents of the 2004 PC and PS2 compilation Atari Anthology was split into two different volume Atari Greatest Hits compilations - featuring arcade games and 30 something 2600 games each - for the DS (they even came out at different times, Volume 1 in late 2010, and Volume 2 in early 2011), despite the fact that 2600 games take up only, at most, 8KB of memory (most only came in around 2KB), and the faithful arcade ports aren't very space consuming either.
- The 18 arcade games split amongst the two DS games are the same as featured in Atari Anthology, but there are about a dozen 2600 games that appear only on the DS games, like the previously unreleased prototype of the 2600 version of Tempest.
- Shining Force III followed one overarching story from the viewpoints of three different protagonists, and each protagonist had his own game. You had to play all three to see the beginning, middle and end of the plot. This led to much confusion in the west, given that only the first game was given an English version.
- The Simulation Game Daiva had seven different versions released on seven different platforms (in order: PC-88, FM-7, X1, MSX, MSX2, Famicom and PC-98), each of which followed the same story from a different viewpoint.
- Nintendo, in the days of the Famicom Disk System, released each of their Famicom Mukashi Banashi, Famicom Tantei Club and Time Twist games on two disks sold separately. Some of these were rereleased on the Super Famicom and Game Boy Advance, with the halves joined together.
- Gundam: Battle Assault 2 got this treatment in Japan, where the game's roster was split in half and sold as two budget priced titles, one Focusing on Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz and the other on G Gundam, with the other suits from the Original series and Zeta/ZZ also split between them.
Examples outside of games and gaming
- Harry Potter's 7th book's movie version spans two movies. (in this case to avert Compressed Adaptation)
- The 4th book of The Twilight Saga is also getting this treatment.
- It has been announced that the film adaptation of Mockingjay, the third book of the The Hunger Games trilogy, will be released in two parts.
- The Hobbit movie adaptation was originally slated to be broken up into two movies. It will now be a trilogy, incorporating story elements from some of Tolkien's many appendixes/anthologies.
- Non-game-example: SMBC's take on Science publishing.
- Similar to the Star Craft II situation: the final book of the Wheel of Time series has been announced to actually be three books. To be fair, fans of the series, who are aware of just how many Kudzu Plot threads were left dangling by Book 11 (namely, umm, all of them), aren't surprised by the idea that they can't all be wrapped up in only 1,000 pages.
- Not so much not surprised as sighing in relief. The first two books are about 1,000 pages each, and still had to have a large number of plotlines ended suddenly, or just forgotten about, in order for the final book of the three to finish the story. To fit this in one book would have murdered the ending.
- Similarly, the final book of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn was so big they couldn't bind it as a single paperback- it was released in two books.
- Robert Stanek's Ruin Mist series is the literary variant. It comes in four different versions - the adult version, the children's version and two different alternate histories. Each version is deceptively marketed as a completely different series, which the books in each having completely different titles, yet the difference between them is minimal at best.
- The album Crystal Heart in the Fountain by the Japanese progressive metal band Marge Litch was released as a double CD, despite containing music that could easily have fit on a single disc. This was presumably for conceptual continuity; disc one was a 21-minute “suite,” while disc two consisted of discrete songs that were not thematically connected to the suite.
Toys and Action Figures
- Fictional, action figure version: Johnny Longtorso, the Man Who Comes In Pieces.
- Build A Figure toys released in many action figure lines including Star Wars, Marvel Legends and DC Universe Classics are essentially a real-life version: pieces of a figure that come packed in with other figures, usually requiring you to buy 6 to 8 different toys to complete - the ones in Star Wars are just additional droids, but both of the superhero lines usually feature more important characters.
- In a similar vein, any time a Combining Mecha set comes out as the multiple parts instead of the whole set (Voltron, Power Rangers, combining Transformers, etc.) it could count as this; each toy is perfectly playable on its own, but you need to have them all if you want to do what it's supposed to do!