It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
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 instalment. (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. Player Data Sharing
is often used to enable this trope.
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.
- 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.
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon pushes this further to the extreme. The first set of games were at least released on different systems but the second set give absolutely no reason for the double release. Trading is not an option here so all but one of the few differences in Pokémon listings are solved by entering passwords which are far easier to find online than in the opposite version. It basically boils down to whether you wanted Mewtwo or Celebi after you've beaten the game. The third Mystery Dungeon (No Export for You) is One for the price of Three, and interconnectable with each other because they would all be on the same Wii.
- Explorers of Sky subverts this by having every Pokémon except Arceus available without any interaction at all, partially because the game uses a completely new password system that does not work with the previous games.
- And then there are the Pokémon Stadium games. Some do give you certain Pokémon that you can't get more than one of, but it requires completing several absurdly difficult challenges. On top of that, all the rental Pokémon that the games provide generally have bad stats and mediocre move sets, neither of which will help in the harder battles. In other words, you need to have a copy of your own handheld Pokémon game and import your own team over in order to even stand a chance of winning.
- Black and White Versions have notably been given some bigger differences: several routes and towns are significantly different in each version (what is a forested rural town in White Version is a heavily urbanized city in Black), one has one non-optional rotation battle and many triple battles while the other is the opposite, and the last Gym Leaders are different people (though their teams are roughly the same) depending on the version. It also introduces a new trading mode on the GTS which connects two players in realtime and allows them to trade any Pokémon in their collection, similar to trading locally with other players.
- They also reduced the number of version exclusives, instead opting for different rarities - Throh and Sawk, for example, are in both games, but only in rustling grass for one or the other.
- Black 2 and White 2 as well. This is the first time a pair of "third versions" were announced (Blue and Yellow were released at different times in Japan). It should be noted, however, that these games are sequels rather than the usual rereleases.
- Come X and Y, one doesn't even need to see the Pokémon before demanding it on the GTS, making the process even easier.
- The anime has used this starting with the first fifth-generation-based movies, Black: Victini and Reshiram and White: Victini and Zekrom. Just like the games, they are two versions of the same movie, with similar plots, but with Reshiram and Zekrom's roles swapped and a few different Pokémon appearing in the different movies.
- Also averted: Both movies were released together in a 2-disc DVD set, though played straight for the Australian and New Zealand release of these movies.
- Mind you, the only thing making the franchise as part of this trope is for completion of the Pokédex. Otherwise, buying only one game of the two versions is pretty much fine since you don't miss out a lot of game content. In fact, the game encourages you to trade with other people. The only time you would need to buy both games is if you couldn't trade at all.
- To put it simply, not counting spin-offs and console games, that's seven storylines in 22 (23 in Japan) games.
- The Mega Man Battle Network games started doing this with the 3rd installment. At first, it just affected side bosses and cards. Later, what version you got affected what storyline bosses you faced and abilities you acquired. This means that, for some reason, in one version of Battle Network 5, the Navi in charge of a water world is NapalmMan.
- The game also hilariously inverts the trope in MMBN4, making you play the game over 3 times to get everything you need. In theory this made one game much longer in comparison since you got three times the play time. It even looked so, since there are 6 plotline bosses you can fight, with 2 completely new ones with their own side quests on each rotation. In practice, however, this was anything but fun, as apart from the 2 side scenarios (which are rather short and comprised about 20% of the overall game) everything else was the exact same, and while the enemies also leveled up through each run, they only got more HP and attacking power, rarely adapting their strategy. Effectively you invested three times the playtime for the same thing over and over again.
- Battle Network 4 also involved a rare chip called the Z-Saver. This chip can only be obtained by linking up your game boy to a Mega Man Zero 3 game. However, each Zero 3 cartridge only contained one copy of the Z-Saver chip, meaning that not only did you have to find another game, you'd also have to find one that hasn't been tapped of its chip (making rental store copies completely worthless, as their chips have already been gutted and put into their own Battle Network games). This basically meant that if you wanted the chip, you had to buy another game.
- Made worse (or better, depending on view) that said game is of a completely different genre (and a very hardcore iteration of said genre to booth!), so while it is vastly different and thus is not "more of the same", it also means that there were good chances that Battle Network players wouldn't enjoy the needed game at all.
- 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 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 40,000: 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 FMVs 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 DS versions of Transformers: War For Cybertron did the same thing. Notably, each version of the game featured 5 levels from the other and the "Arena" mode was identical. The only real difference between versions is the story and the roster of characters you can unlock for multiplayer (Though you could "bet" your multiplayer characters with other players).
- The now-defunct company Smilesoft is probably the KING of this trope: All of their monster-collection RPGs had two versions. The Telefang series came in Speed and Power versions, each focusing on Mons with that attribute, Bugsite had Alpha and Beta versions and the Dino Device games came in Dragon and Phoenix versions.
- 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. All three characters, 2-player co-op, and the Industrial stage were finally implemented in the 2001 Game Boy Advance version.
- 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.
- Sega originally planned to release Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & 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 & Knuckles. The latter game featured unique "Lock-On Technology", which allowed the games to be combined and played as they were originally intended (the title of the combined game being called Sonic 3 & Knuckles). As a bonus, Sonic & Knuckles also allowed the player to use Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and 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.
- Likewise, Camelot's plans for Golden Sun were so massive they wound up splitting the game in two. The Link Cable or a password could transport your progress in the original to "Book 2", The Lost Age.
- A hack called "Sonic 3 Complete", was created to mimic the original form of Sonic 3 & Knuckles (that is a contiguous game from the Sonic 3 sections into the Sonic & Knuckles sections and using the Sonic 3 sound bank; so themes such as Knuckles and the mid-boss are their Sonic 3 versions instead of their Sonic & Knuckles versions).
- 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.
- Tokimeki Memorial Pocket, the Updated Re-release of Tokimeki Memorial : Forever With You on Game Boy Color, has two versions : the Sports one, subtitled "Koutei no Photograph" (Campus' Photograph), and the Culture one, subtitled "Komorebi no Melody" (Melody of the Sunlight Filtering Through The Tree). They're the same game, aside from the fact the cast is divided in half between the two versions (including the three new characters), the clubs are divided between the two versions depending their nature (Sport-type or Culture-type), and an additional club visiting sequence in the prologue.
- 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.
- Gundam: Battle Assault 2 got this treatment in Japan, where the game's roster was split in half and sold as two budget priced titles, one Focusing on Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz and the other on G Gundam, with the other suits from the Original series and Zeta/ZZ also split between them.
- Inazuma Eleven, starting from the second game, there are multiple versions of the same game with different additional features.
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS has different stages and collectibles for each version, intended to honor the different legacies of Nintendo's home consoles and handhelds, but it unfortunately makes cross-play between the versions an absolute impossibility.
- Nintendo has done their best to downplay this. Certain unlockables can be transferred between the systems, and you can use your 3DS as a controller in the Wii U version. Several game modes are also exclusive to each version, supposedly to make the customer feel better about having to buy it twice for all the game modes.
- Metal Gear Solid V is separated between Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Originally, they were meant to be a single game, but it was Divided for Publication in order to give The Phantom Pain a greater amount of development time.
- .hack has two game series that fit this trope. One of them is split into four separate games. While it has a large world made from generating levels from keywords, the actual story parts are short. While a case could be made that cutscenes and FMVs take up too much space for one disc, this example is egregious by having all previously unlocked videos available in later games in addition to previously explored areas. All of the content needed to make the series is on the last disc.
- The Sims 3 is known for this, for example the expansions Late Night and Showtime both have half the content of The Sims 2's Nightlife expansion. The neighborhoods available on the official website also often end up being $25 each.
- The trade paperbacks for Crisis Crossovers tend to be this way. If they release a book at all for the crossover, it's only for a select group of comics and often omitting major parts of the story. Sometimes its trimmed to the point that its completely non-comprehensible.
- Marvel Civil War is probably the worst offender, with the trade paperback crossing several comic books several from the buildup culminating in the character chosing pro or anti registration, and two comics from the demount. Captain America and Spiderman appear for handful of panels and the story makes no sense because it omits 90% of the plot.
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 DCU Classics are essentially a real-life version: pieces of a figure that come packed in with other figures, usually requiring you to buy 6 to 8 different toys to complete - the ones in Star Wars are just additional droids, but both of the superhero lines usually feature more important characters.
- In a similar vein, any time a Combining Mecha set comes out as the multiple parts instead of the whole set (Voltron, Power Rangers, combining Transformers, etc.) it could count as this; each toy is perfectly playable on its own, but you need to have them all if you want to do what it's supposed to do!