Basically when a series is rolling along, and doing decent, if a bit obscure. Then one installment is released, and that installment takes over the series. Occasionally, a fan might go back and look at the obscure earlier entries, but within the general fanbase, this entry is the series from the moment of its release.
Often caused by a Surprisingly Improved Sequel, and related to Adaptation Displacement, More Popular Spin-off, and Older Than They Think. The aforementioned hardcore fans sometimes declare that It's Popular, Now It Sucks. Usually happens with video games, but can apply to series in other media.
This does not count series which simply avert First Installment Wins by having a non-iconic first installment that was never displaced from popular consciousness.
Exceptionally likely in video games when an old series, beloved by those who remember it but well vanished from the public consciousness, gets a new installment. See Metal Gear Solid and Street Fighter II.
Contrast It's Popular, Now It Sucks. The exact opposite of this is First Installment Wins.
Obligatory Tropes Are Not Bad note: please don't call people stupid for finding out late and starting with a sequel in the middle of the series, therefore not knowing the previous ones, especially if there are no numbers in the title. If they refuse to acknowledge what came before, then you have a case of Fan Dumb. Starting with a sequel might lead to Early Installment Weirdness.
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Media in General
Any franchise released Sequel First in some part of the world.
To the point that in America at the least, the series was localized with Chapter Three first, half of four next, and the rest ignored. This leads to a lot of Marth Debuted in Smash Bros. in some discussion forums.
The video game adaptations have it even worse: first a Dreamcast fighting game based on 3, then a cel-shaded PS2 3D action game based on 5, and a beat 'em up based on 1.
Also notable on Jump Super Stars: The first game had Jôtarô and Dio (The Hero and Big Bad of chapter 3) as playable and nobody else. The sequel promised including all the chapters, and they delivered... by making the other mains Assist Characters, but Dio and Jôtarô still as the only playables.
While Dio is also the Big Bad of Chapter One, it is his Chapter Three incarnation that is most... iconic. In fact, every one of his panels and almost all of his moves come from Part 3.
UFO Robo Grendizer: In France, Grendizer was aired before its predecessor series, Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger. It became fenomenally popular in that country, but almost nobody knew it was the third part of a trilogy, to the point that, when Mazinger-Z was broadcast in France ten years later, people accused it of being a Grendizer rip-off.
In Detective Conan, what many don't know is that Kaito Kid originally appeared in a short-lived manga, Magic Kaito, written by Aoyama. His appearance was just a mere Crossover. He was so popular, that he eventually became a main character and recurring nemesis of Conan.
Dragon Ball Z: The original series had several false starts in the U.S. Harmony Gold took a crack at it with a drastically altered dub in the late '80s, though this was quickly cancelled. Later, U.S. licensee FUNimation bought the rights to the entire animated canon at once with plans of selling the entire thing to syndication, starting with the first series. It flopped so hard, they stopped production after only 13 episodes and skipped ahead to the more action-oriented sequel series. The rest, as they say, is history.
This isn't exclusive to the USA. Z is more popular everywhere, no matter what some say. Even in Japan, where most memes and shout outs come from Z.
Sailor Moon was a spinoff of an earlier manga titled Codename: Sailor V, which starred Minako during her days as Sailor V. The creator was asked to expand it into a team format which led to Sailor Moon. Codename: Sailor V had only been released in a handful of countries outside of Japan, and never in parts of North America that are not Quebec.Codename: Sailor V got an official English release in September 2011 alongside a new translation of Sailor Moon; though it is doubtful it will become more popular, at least people will know it exists.
Tekkaman Blade (a.k.a. Teknoman): Many people are not aware that it was a sequel of an earlier Tatsunoko anime, Tekkaman. It doesn't help that Tekkaman Blade is barely a sequel, much less a remake.
The presence of both in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom should help remedy this. Blade is still more popular, but the original now has SPACE LANCE for people to remember him for...
Outside of Japan, the first season of Jewelpet is frequently ignored by anime watchers due to lack of a complete subbed version. Some sites even mistakenly replace videos from the first season with videos from the second season.
Although created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, X-Men didn't take off as a franchise until its relaunch by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum with the addition of new and highly popular characters like Storm, Nightcrawler, and especiallyWolverine. Today, most people remember that particular team when asked to describe the X-Men.
Adaptation Displacement is also in effect here, as the later additions to the team became far better known thanks to the movies and the variousanimatedseries. Characters like Wolverine and Storm are now largely recognizable, while far fewer people would be likely to identify someone like Angel or Polaris.
Like the X-Men example above, nobody really cared much about Supreme until Alan Moore came along. Many modern readers are unaware that there were already 40 issues prior the start to Moore's run.
The second volume of Doom Patrol wasn't popular at all until Grant Morrison took over, and the title subsequently became one of the most iconic comics of the '80s and early '90s. Today, few people remember the initial 18 issues that preceded Morrison's run.
Naturally,most people were unaware of the 1986 Superman reboot Man of Steel or anything that continued from it. When The Death of Superman was released after a flurry of media coverage unheard of for a comic book saga, some more familiar with earlier comics or the character's various film and TV incarnations may have been confused to learn that Ma & Pa Kent were alive or that Superman and Lois were officially a couple with her knowing his secret identity. New and returning fans may have been even more confused by subplots born of elements introduced in the period between 1986 and 1992.
When most people think of Rambo, they picture the character shirtless in the jungle, slaying hundreds of mooks with machineguns and explosive arrows. In Rambo's first film, First Blood, he's fighting American lawmen and only kills one in self-defense with a rock (and the man's death wasn't even intentional, or even really directly caused by Rambo). And it's also a relatively anti-war movie, though not nearly so much as the original book, focusing on the shameful reception of Vietnam veterans upon their return home. The film ends with Rambo crying his heart out over the injustice of war and those who wage it. The sequels are pure war porn.
At least the second and third movies were fairly plausible. Most of the violence in First Blood Part 2 consists of Rambo methodically taking out soldiers one at a time, with one firefight against a small group of enemies and a couple wrestling duels with Yashin; the bulk of his kills happen after he commandeers a helicopter. 3 has him defeating an army, but with the help of a smaller army. The fourth movie, on the other hand...can you say Up to Eleven?
Partially because of its title and partially because it came out literally months after the first, only die hard Pink Panther fans realize that the first sequel was not Return of the Pink Panther, but the less well-known A Shot in the Dark. Ironically, it's Shot that brought in many of the elements (Clouseau's karate "prowess", the increasing tomfoolery of his accent) and characters (Dreyfus and Cato) that were key to the later films; it's also commonly regarded as the best film of the series.
Most people also think of the series as centering around the humorous slapstick misadventures of Inspector Clouseau, which started with A Shot in the Dark. The original Pink Panther film actually had the Phantom as the main character with Clouseau as an antagonist. It's just that it was so hard not to relate to him.
The original Mad Max (which was only given limited release in America) is far more obscure than its two sequels Mad Max 2 (renamed The Road Warrior in America) and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Notably, while the sequels became highly influential visions of an After the End world in their depictions of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the original film is set in a pre-apocalyptic civilization that is on the verge of/in the process of falling apart.
Many people have no idea that Robert Rodriguez's Desperado is actually the second film of a trilogy, the first being El Mariachi, which was made on a shoestring budget and never received a wide release.
In the Evil Dead series, most people remember the ass-kicking character of Ash, toting a shotgun and sporting a chainsaw for a hand. The first film of the series, however, is a more straight horror film with an ensemble cast. Ash is just a regular college kid who happens to make it to the end. Producers were even reluctant to call the second film Evil Dead II out of the belief that few people had even heard of the first film.
Batman Begins is considered a pretty good Batman film, especially compared to the Schumacher horrors that preceded it. However, it's The Dark Knight that is considered the great film of this generation, and thus is more remembered and acclaimed. This caused some confusion with The Dark Knight Rises's plot, as it pulls more from the events of Batman Begins than of The Dark Knight. Subverted in that "Batman Begins" is far from forgotten.
Although it works fine as a stand-alone film, Film/Another Time Another Place is actually a sequel to a Made-for-TV Movie based on another Jessie Kesson novel called The White Bird Passes, which deals with the protagonist's childhood.
Tom Laughlin released Born Losers in 1967, a typical biker flick featuring a half-breed Indian ex-Green Beret named Billy Jack. The movie proved a surprise success and Laughlin made an even more successful sequel, Billy Jack, three years later. These days Born Losers is fairly obscure while Billy Jack has a massive cult following, followed by two sequels of its own.
James Branch Cabell wrote 20-odd books set in his "Poictesme" universe. They were little-read until the 7th one, Jurgen, appeared in 1919: that one inspired the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice to attempt to prosecute Cabell for obscenity, naturally giving the book great publicity. Afterwards Cabell went right back to obscurity. Jurgen is still by far the best known book in the series, although, in the author's own opinion and that of some fans, it's not the best. (One reprinted edition of his works gave a collection of pans from the critics... then after 1919 he issues book after book to be told that it was "not nearly as good as JURGEN.")
Lampshaded in his later novel SMIRT, where the author Author Avatar protagonist talks God out of writing a sequel to the Bible, knowing how critics would treat it.
Dan Brown's runaway success The Da Vinci Code was a sequel to the much less known Angels and Demons. This was retroactively countered by publishers and filmmakers, who hoped to take advantage of lingering Dan Brown fever by snapping up Angels and Demons and marketing it aggressively. Most people probably think Angels and Demons is the sequel; certainly this is the case for the movie.
The Silence of the Lambs is the second part in a series, though it's an easy mistake to make. As protagonist Clarice Starling is investigating her first case during the said book, and due to the movie adaptation's huge popularity, many fail to realize there was a first book; Red Dragon covers the last case of Will Graham, and is connected through later-recurring characters like Hannibal Lecter and Jack Crawford.
Following a proper film remake of Red Dragon and a prequel series, however, the series better known as of late.
Although not a Real Life example, in Dune, Duke Leto, who was a charismatic and powerful leader that purchased one of the most important planets in the political system and created the second-best army in the universe, was completely overshadowed by his son, Paul.
H. G. Wells' The Crystal Egg, a short story about an alien artifact sent to Earth to spy on it in preparation for a coming invasion isn't remembered very well by most, especially compared to the story of said invasion.
Little House in the Big Woods was Laura Ingalls Wilder's first book, but it is the second in the series, Little House on the Prairie, that is better known, to the extent that it is the name by which the whole series is now known.
It's extremely common for a television series to become more popular after a few episodes or even after a few seasons (which makes Early Installment Weirdness possible) but sometimes a pilot or even a season is so different and/or obscure that it constitutes this.
The Seinfeld pilot and the ensuing four-episode mini-season were more-or-less displaced by the later, more famous episodes and when the pilot and other shows air, fans are sometimes caught off guard.
Saved By The Bell is more-or-less a sequel to a series titled Good Morning, Miss Bliss.
In today's world, many people remember that sitcom about a short sassy black kid and another one about a quartet of girls in a school for girls. Not many realize that The Facts of Life is a spin-off of Diff'rent Strokes.
Most people today think of Kelsey Grammer as that pompous but likeable radio psychiatrist Frasier Crane from that sitcom Frasier. Some older viewers may remember him as that pompous and initially very unlikeable psychiatrist from that other sitcome, Cheers.
In-universe example: In an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, it's revealed that the aliens' favorite film is Arthur 2: On The Rocks. One day, Harry discovers the original Arthur:
Harry: There's a prequel! Sally: Well, who knew? This is going to answer so many questions about Arthur 2. Harry: Yeah, like the "2".
Red Dwarf. For many fans, the show didn't really establish it's status quo until the third series (Red Dwarf III).
The Barenaked Ladies are probably best known in the US for their border-crossing breakout hit "One Week" from the album Stunt (1998). It's possible, even likely, that most Americans believe Stunt is their first album. The band had been together for a decade before that and had recorded nine albums, Stunt included, in that time. In fairness, of those nine, five were independent demo recordings, three of which weren't even widely released (one wasn't released at all), but even if you lived in Canada, it's unlikely you knew they even had an album before 1992's Gordon.
Deadmau5's debut album wasn't Random Album Title. His first two albums aren't even mentioned on the official website, despite having one of his more popular songs, 1981.
Felix Mendelssohn's first violin concerto is relatively obscure. His second is one of the most recognizable pieces from the early Romantic period. Most people think he only wrote one.
Did you know that that famous piece Liebestraum by Franz Liszt is actually Liebestraum No. 3? Now you do.
Similarly, Fryderyk Chopin's first piano sonata, in C minor, is often overlooked and rarely performed. The second, in B-flat minor, is much more famous, as it contains a well-known Funeral March as the third movement. The third, in B minor, is also better-known and much better-received than the first.
Sergei Rachmaninoff is perhaps best known for the virtuoso piano writing and lush romantic melodies of his second (C minor) and third (D minor) piano concertos, the latter of which was featured in The Shining. The first concerto, in F-sharp minor, is rarely heard, as is the fourth, in G major.
Grammy awards for Best New Artist are often given to new stars whether or not they have released any albums prior to their break-out success.
Paula Cole received a Best New Artist Grammy for her second album.
Kenny Chesney won a Best New Male Vocalist award shortly before the release of his fourth album.
Shelby Lynne won this award in 2001, and in her very irritated acceptance speech reminded everyone that she had been recording and releasing albums for over 10 years.
Welcome Interstate Managers was the third album by Fountains of Wayne, released seven years after their first, self-titled, album. But the breakaway hit "Stacy's Mom" (the first - and usually, only - Fountains of Wayne song the general public is widely familiar with) from Managers led to Fountains of Wayne getting nominations for Best New Artist.
Amy Winehouse. Won Best New Artist although she already had a best-selling album in Britain beforehand. Back to Black is her second album.
Bon Iver won the 2012 Grammy for Best New Artist, despite their first album being released in 2007. Skrillex also already had several EPs before being nominated.
Similarly, Suzy Bogguss had been recording since 1981, but won the Country Music Association's Horizon award in 1992. The fact that said award is now called the New Artist Award should clue you in as to how her win fits this trope.
Gary Allan won the same award in 2003, even though he had been recording since 1996.
And Justin Moore won the Academy of Country Music's Best New Artist award in 2014, months after the release of his third album. And it's not like his previous albums were flops, either — the first two both went gold and produced a combined three #1 hits.
Bob Dylan's first album was not The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan but a self-titled album containing only two original songs.
Anything an artist records before they score a major studio deal is usually ignored. For example:
Only hardcore Eminem fans even know of his first album, which was notThe Slim Shady LP. Only 250 copies of Infinite were sold.
Good News For People Who Love Bad News was the fourth Modest Mouse album and their second album on a major label. Their first being The Moon & Antarctica in 2000.
Green Day exploded in 1994 with the hit single "Basket Case", from their third album, Dookie. Unless you were a major follower of the independent punk rock scene, you probably thought Dookie was their debut. They actually released two EP's, 1,000 Hours (1989) and Slappy (1990), as well as two full albums, 39/Smooth (1990), and Kerplunk in 1991. The first three were re-released in 1991 in one extended recording, now called 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. Unless you're a huge Green Day fan, you likely have still only ever heard of Kerplunk and even that is unlikely.
Fall Out Boy's From Under the Cork Tree, often listed as their debut by even music writers, is their second album. While "Take This To Your Grave", their first album, and "Evening Out With Your Girlfriend" (their second ep and an Old Shame for the band) are more often listed as their debut, but that honor goes to a split EP they did with drummer Andy Hurley's then current band Project Rocket. The split EP featured songs that would later appear on "Evening Out" and Andy would later join Fall Out Boy after Project Rocket's breakup in 2003.
Yes, Nirvana made an album before Nevermind. "About A Girl" is most likely the only song non-fans would know from Bleach, due to the Unplugged In New York version getting radio airplay. The studio version of the song is the only Bleach track on the self-titled Greatest Hits Album too. Kurt even lampshades this in the Unplugged album: before playing "About a Girl," he quips "This song is off our first album, which means no one has ever heard it before."
Kurt Cobain's death and subsequent legendary rock-martyrdom (as well as being labeled "The Godfather of Grunge" even while still alive) has provided Bleach with some retroactive recognition but it's not impossible that if Cobain was still alive, no one would remember that Nirvana had an album before Nevermind. Also, considering the number of compilations, live albums, et al released well after Cobain's death, it's possible for many to forget that they only had three studio albums, the third and last being 1993's In Utero.
Switchfoot's three albums prior to The Beautiful Letdown, featuring "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move", are largely unknown outside the Christian Rock fandom.
Good Charlotte made a self-titled album with a different drummer before they achieved worldwide success with The Young and The Hopeless. At concerts they'll sometimes say they were going to play a song "off our first album", and everyone would cheer thinking it was from The Young and the Hopeless... Then they'd play "Festival Song" and half the audience would get really quiet... and the other half would scream even louder!
In the UK, this is in place even more so than America - the self-titled album was only released after The Young and The Hopeless, and the music videos have never seen any airplay in the country.
Wiz Khalifa's Rolling Papers is his third album, but his first on a major label, and his first with a major hit in "Black and Yellow".
Drake released his first mixtape, Room for Improvement, in 2006 but didn't get a record deal until 2009. Only hardcore fans really know about that and the other mixtape he made. A weird version with this, because his first hit single, "Best I Ever Had", was actually released on a mixtape made before he had a record deal.
Tears For Fears's second album, Songs From the Big Chair was far more popular than their first and contains their best-known songs, including "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", "Shout" and "Head Over Heels". The main reason for its success is that it was huge in America, whereas their first album "The Hurting" and its singles had mostly had success in the UK. "Mad World" was a hit single in the UK at the time, but gained worldwide popularity when it was covered byMichael Andrews and Gary Jules. years later. The band have gone on record saying that they love this Cover Version.
Despite the title track being one of their best known singles, The Who's My Generation album was out of print in the UK for decades, and prior to 2005 only an altered U.S. release was available on CD.
Six years before his breakout album Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf recorded a duets album with Stoney Murphy. Even the record's producers forgot about it in the intervening six years, reissuing it with Edwin Starr's vocals in place of Meat Loaf's. After Meat Loaf became a household name, the album was reissued again, with his lyrics restored, but Stoney's removed.
Japan's first two albums 'Adolescent Sex' and 'Obscure Alternatives'. David Sylvian has even gone on record saying they should never have released their first album. This isn't surprising because the album is a So Bad, It's Good attempt at jazz influenced glam rock. They did however perform tracks from 'Obscure Alternatives' up until they broke up, but it divides fans due to Sylvian's completely different vocal style and the occasionally banal lyrics. The compilation 'Assemblage', which features a couple of tracks from their first album is much better remembered, and some people believed it was their first album until the remasters came out, which contains an image on the spine which can only be completed by buying all the albums in the set.
Many people are unaware that Bob Marley And The Wailers released many singles and four albums in Jamaica before signing with Island in 1973. This happened 11 years after Bob released his first single.
Many people think that New Gold Dream was Simple Minds' first album, despite the fact it was their sixth (or fifth if you count Sons And Fascination and Sister Feelings Call as a double album).
Hardly anybody knows Supertramp's first two albums, which preceded a revamp in line-up (only the two bandleaders stayed) and sound.
David Bowie had recorded 2 entire albums and released one before Space Oddity (titled Man of Words, Man of Music until a 1972 reissue) made him famous and codified his style. His 2nd album in recording order, Love You Till Tuesday, was a casualty of Deram Records' financial problems, and received no authorized release until recently (although the lead single was released, complete with an ad for the thought-to-be-upcoming album on the sleeve).
Journey released 3 albums, with 2 different frontmen, in a weird experimental style that drifted between jazz and techno, before Steve Perry and an arena rock sound made them superstars.
Queen's first (self-titled) album is largely forgotten or unknown by all but the most hardcore Queen fans. Their popularity began to pick up with Queen II, spiked with Sheer Heart Attack and probably peaked with A Night At The Opera, but Queen has (almost) never had a single song featured on any collection albums. This is a shame, because it's a strong debut.
In fairness, the band only included Top 20 hits on Greatest Hits, thus several later period singles don't appear on it either. The band remained proud of "Keep Yourself Alive" and performed it constantly later on, however, so this is simply a case of too many hits.
Possibly because Queen II was where the "classic" sound came together. One can argue the merits of their debut, but it had a noticeably different sound to their later work, with a more pronounced early '70s Zeppelin-influenced hard rock feel and some religious themes.
Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon was either their sixth or eighth album, depending on whether or not you include two albums the band made as soundtracks for obscure French hippie films. Either way, you'd be surprised by how many casual/new fans earnestly believe the band's debut album was Dark Side.
The band did have two top 20 hits in the 1960s, but only in Britain. Most Americans aren't familiar with it.
Not really surprising, seeing the band themselves admitted they didn't really know what they were doing before Dark Side or possibly Meddle.
Elton John made an album before his self-titled one. But almost no one has even heard of it, except for Americans who think it's his tenth album (it was released there six years after it was released in Britain).
Wicked Lester, founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Nobody remembers it. KISS, however, is quite well known.
No one remembers a Fleetwood Mac without Stevie Nicks, even though she didn't join the band until 1975, a full eight years after the band was formed. Not even Fleetwood Mac.
Mobb Deep's first album, Juvenile Hell, is mostly forgotten. Their follow up, The Infamous is what really made the duo stars of the New York hardcore hip hop scene.
Genesis' first album, 1969's From Genesis to Revelation, was recorded by a lineup which featured Anthony Phillips on guitar and John Silver on drums. It was marred by Johnathan King's string-laden overproduction and Decca Records' Executive Meddling. The group do not own the rights to the album and appear to have disowned it. The more Progressive Rock -based Trespass, from 1970, featured more of the band's trademark sound and style, but was, like FGTR, a commercial failure. The first major Genesis success was 1971's Nursery Cryme, featuring the cult hit, "The Musical Box". By then, the classic line-up of Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, and new members Steve Hackett and Phil Collins was established, and the group's sound better defined and produced.
Genesis have indeed disownedFGTR, and stopped performing numbers from it very early on. The majority of the fans agree with this and discount FGTR from the canon discography or treat it like an outtake or bootleg. Lineup and style aside, Trespass still has a firm place in the fandom's hearts, however, and numbers from it have made regular appearances at gigs, especially "The Knife".
Shania Twain released an unsuccessful self-titled debut album in 1993 featuring a more traditional country-pop sound and style, before making it big with the Robert John "Mutt" Lange-produced, more rock-flavored hit style the introduced on its followup, The Woman In Me.
Carole King's Tapestry was a huge hit in part because of the perception that after a successful songwriting career she was finally stepping out to make a statement as a performer. But she'd already released a smattering of singles in the '60s, including one ("It Might as Well Rain Until September") that became a fairly big hit in both the US and the UK. Then in 1968 she released an album with her band The City (Now That Everything's Been Said) that was basically a Carole King solo album, since she wrote all the songs and sang lead on all but one. Then a year before Tapestry she released her first official solo album, Writer.
Jimmy Buffett's 1973 album A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean marked the debut of the style that would make him famous, but it was actually his second released album and third recorded album (after his folk-pop debut album flopped his former label refused to release the similar-sounding second album, claiming they lost the master tape. After his later success they miraculously found the tape and released it).
Warren Zevon's debut album was not his self-titled 1975 set, but 1969's ultra-obscure Wanted Dead or Alive. And before then he recorded a couple singles as a member of the duo Lyme & Cybelle.
Nickelback's debut album was released in the late '90s, and it was not Silver Side Up, the album that got them popular even in their own homeland of Canada. Even though the group previously had rock radio hits in "Leader of Men" and "Worthy to Say" (the former went top 10 on the Mainstream Rock charts), most people don't appear to remember anything before Silver Side Up's "How You Remind Me".
Jean Michel Jarre released a couple of albums before his international breakthrough Oxygène (one intended as library music and the other a film soundtrack), though both remained obscure and the former is still out of print.
Michael Jackson's solo debut isn't Off the Wall - his fifth album (but like the rap examples above, the first after a label change).
While everyone knows that Jackson was a member of the Jackson 5, one of Motown's most successful groups, few people know that he actually had solo hits "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," let alone singles. "Got to be There," "Rockin' Robin," and "Ben" were all top 10 hits, with the lattermost song becoming his first number-one.
His little sister also falls into this. Most people tend to think Janet's first album was Control. It is actually her third. In all fairness, however, Janet stated herself that she sees Control as the official start of her music career.
Iron Maiden's first two albums have their fans, and the first has the self-titled song that closes all concerts. But the albums are easily overshadowed by The Number Of The Beast, which introduced charismatic front-man Bruce Dickinson.
Remember those 2 albums MC Hammer made in the '80s? No, you don't, because you'd never heard of him back then, because it was his third album, "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em" that he finally had his first hit with "U Can't Touch This".
Red Hot Chili Peppers started their breakout with their fourth album, Mother's Milk... and after a label change became superstars with the fifth, Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
Luckily, their third album The Uplift Mofo Party Plan will always be remembered because it's the only one they made with the original lineup of guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons. Hillel's death a year after its release affected the band so much that they constantly reference it in their music.
Though Split Enz had a few hits with their third and fourth albums Dizrythmia and Frenzy, it wasn't until their fifth album True Colours that their success really took off.
No Doubt was endlessly amused when they were nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy for the wildly popular Tragic Kingdom album. It was actually their third album, and they had been performing for nearly a decade. David Letterman even referred to Tragic Kingdom as their first album when No Doubt made their first appearance on his show.
Finger Eleven is a very strange Canadian example. Most people first heard of them during the release of their self-titled album (which spawned a couple of big hits), which was released in 2003. However, the band (minus one member who left in the mid-90's) previously played as a group called Rainbow Butt Monkeys, which had already produced a debut album before they changed their name to Finger Eleven. Furthermore, their self-titled disc was their third studio release - the band had already released two albums in 1997 and 2000.
Not only that, but their most famous song never came until their fourth album, "Them vs. You vs. Me". That song? A little ditty called "Paralyzer."
Kardinal Offishall signed to Akon's Konvict Muzik Records in 2007, and promptly released his (to date) best-selling single (and his only American hit) "Dangerous" on his first album with the label, Not 4 Sale. Akon was the guest artist on the song, was the main reason it became a hit in America, where the song is still more associated with him than with Offishall. However, many people who bought the album and enjoyed it in the U.S. apparently didn't realize that Offishall had been a household rap name in Canada for a good 9 years beforehand. Not 4 Sale was Kardinal's fourth studio album, and he had already received critical acclaim and Canadian awards for several chart-topping hits.
Many people haven't heard any of The Human League's material prior to their third album Dare, which included the breakout single "Don't You Want Me?".
Deep Purple's first three albums, while fairly popular in the United States (like their cover of "Hush"), are generally overshadowed by their fourth album Deep Purple in Rock, which set them on the road to pioneering Heavy Metal.
Many My Chemical Romance fans are unaware the band made music before Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and are typically surprised upon discovering 'I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love''.
Abba's first album Ring Ring wasn't widely known until the band became big later in the 70s. Most people think that their Eurovision entry "Waterloo" was their first single, when it was on their second album.
KMFDM's debut, Opium, was initially only released as a limited run of 200 casettes, and due to the tapes being lost for a long time, didn't see a rerelease until 2003. Thus, to most fans, What Do You Know Deutschland was their first album.
You've Come A Long Way Baby was Fatboy Slim's mainstream debut. Before that, he had Better Living Through Chemistry.
The original lineup of The Moody Blues was an R&B-influenced British Invasion quintet with Denny Laine (later to join Wings) on vocals and guitar, and Clint Warwick on bass. They had a minor hit with a cover of Bessie Banks' Go Now", and an album called "The Magnificent Moodies" in 1965. Laine and Warwick were replaced by Justin Hayward and John Lodge, respectively, who created the progressive sound the Moodies are known for with their second album, 1967's ''Days Of Future Passed" (which featured "Nights In White Satin").
Franz Ferdinand's video for "Take Me Out" was the one that shot them to fame, no doubt due to the rather avant garde style used in the video. It was actually their second video, their first was "Darts of Pleasure", which was a more typical video.
Many Kelly Clarkson fans outside the US never saw her on American Idol and assume her incredibly popular album "Breakaway" was her first when it's really her second after "Thankful".
Def Leppard made two albums before its breakthrough Pyromania. Even the band itself tends to ignore them.
Practically any huge act past its prime has a tendency to ignore songs from its two albums previous to their latest tour unless some song from said albums was a huge hit. These acts prefer to only play their classic-era songs and songs from the new album they are promoting at the time.
Nor does Paul McCartney play stuff from his catalog of songs written between 1984 and 1994.
The Who don't play in concert songs from the Kenny Jones era that much either.
The only post-Back in Black songs AC/DC plays regularly are "For Those About to Rock" and "Thunderstruck". The ones from the album being promoted are included, and Who Made Who" has some rare appearances.
Edguy's first album was not Kingdom of Madness, but The Savage Poetry, released two years before Kingdom. To further confuse fans, they remade The Savage Poetry in 2000 (removing the The from the title in the process). However, the first Savage Poetry was self-published, while Kingdom was their first album with a record label.
Eurythmics' first album In The Garden wasn't much of a success at the time and is still generally overlooked today. Their career really took off with the Surprisingly Improved Sequel, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).
Even less well known is Lennox and Stewart's first band, The Tourists, who had one minor chart hit (a cover of the old Dusty Springfield song I Only Want To Be With You).
Both "I Only Wanna Be With You" and the follow-up "So Good To Be Back Home Again" went top ten in the UK, only for the band to almost instantly fall apart. Interestingly, the album both these hits came from, Reality Effect, was itself an example of this trope, being the more successful follow-up to the largely overlooked The Tourists.
Alice Cooper's first big album was Love It to Death. However, that was their third album and the last of a three record deal. The previous two albums, Pretties for You and Easy Action, tanked commercially and critically and it wasn't until Love It to Death that the band clued in on its signature sound. No song from the first two records has been played since the tour of the third and most people forget they exist.
The Black Eyed Peas are an interesting case. Elephunk is often considered to be their breakout album, but not many know that they had two prior albums that were released by Interscope prior to this - Behind the Front and Bridging The Gap. Very few people know about the existence of these records - not only did both of them fail to crack the Top 50 U.S. albums on Billboard, but they had a different female vocalist (Kim Hill), and the production values were smaller-scale and focused on "preemo" beats.
Shakira's first two albums (Magia and Peligro) were only released in Colombia and have been long-since deleted. She also had two Spanish-language albums (Pies Decalzos and ¿Donde Estan Los Ladrones?) that were huge hits before Laundry Service launched her in the English-speaking world.
Three of Imagine Dragons' first four hit songs-"Radioactive", "Demons", and "On Top of the World"-premiered on an EP titled, Continued Silence. Its name sets it up as the follow-up to Imagine Dragons' second independently-released EP, Hell and Silence. None of the songs featured there charted as highly as the most popular tunes from Continued Silence. Additionally, only one song from Hell and Silence made it onto the original releases of the band's first studio album, Night Visions, while all but two of the tracks from Continued Silence earned inclusion. Consequently, only the most hardcore Firebreathers remember it (as well as the other two independent EPs), for now.
Vocaloid didn't become a big hit as a software until Miku Hatsune, which came out with Vocaloid 02, grew in popular
To the point where most people who are not into the tabletop gaming scene will refer to 40k simply as "Warhmammer," sometimes to the point of not even realizing that there is a medieval fantasy version.
The debut of Hour Of Penance is mistaken to be The Vile Conception when it's actually Disturbance. Pageantry for the Matyrs is also quite to overlooked album.
Bungie's Marathon introduced a lot of things to the first person shooter genre and the video game industry as a whole, but everybody just remembers Halo. This might be considered a case of Spiritual Successor Displacement.
Summer Carnival shoot 'em ups has a really weird case of this. First of all, Recca might be mistakenly considered a sequel displacement because there was a game that was released year earlier, Spriggan, which kept the same Summer Carnival brand name. Moreover, the latter games from this series, Alzadick and Nexzr, may also be mistakenly considered follow-ups, but in reality... Not only Recca and the remaining SC games were released on different platforms and developed by different teams, they have absolutely nothing shared in general, save for the genre, the setting and belonging to the same somewhat forgotten gaming event, which is arguably the real example of this trope.
Also, have you ever heard about Alzadick having its' own sequel on PlayStation 2?
Street Fighter, released in 1987, introduced many of the same concepts later used by its sequel Street Fighter II, namely a six-button configuration and command-based special moves, but the game was merely a cult hit due to its stiff controls and lack of any playable character other than Ryu and Ken. The six-button configuration was an afterthought, created as a cheaper alternative for arcade owners who couldn't afford the deluxe cabinet that used two large mechatronic punching pads for each player that determined the strength of the player's attacks based on how hard they were pushed. Street Fighter II refined all the mechanics from the original game, keeping the six-button configuration, while adding multiple player characters, essentially giving birth to the fighting game boom of the '90s. Also, while everyone knew about the player's special moves in Street Fighter II from the get go because the commands were printed on the instruction card. Because of this, people often forget that Ryu and Ken's three special attacks in the original were literally secret techniques that the player needed to discover for themselves. The (subsequently unchanged) control sequence was devised so it could be hit on by accident, provoking players to spend lots of time (and credits) trying to find out how the hell they'd done it.
Interestingly enough, the exact same thing has happened to II. Ask any hardcore fan for their opinion of The World Warrior, and you'll most likely get a litany of gripes. Horribly unbalanced, tons of cheap tricks (including the infamous "tick throws"), tons of glitches, Guile rules the universe, way too easy to do ridiculous damage, redizzies, infinites, etc. Anyone who just started picking up Street Fighter II would find The World Warrior just about unrecognizable.
It may be the case with the Grand Theft Auto series when it leaped into 3D. With the release of III, to be precise, which discarded both, the original and Grand Theft Auto 2.
The Super Mario Bros. series is an unusual example. Most people are cognizant of Mario's adventures in the original Donkey Kong, but the first game where he was billed as a star, Mario Bros.. (without the "Super"), was comparatively obscure, though a redone version ended up as "that minigame from Super Mario Bros. 3." However, Mario Bros. is likely more well known these days, especially since Nintendo put a remake of the game in multiple Game Boy AdvanceMario games and, unlike the minigame in Super Mario Bros. 3, referred to said remake using the original's name, with the games it is packaged with including the Super Mario Advance games and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Until then, the Mario series really didn't take off until Super Mario Bros. 1Super Smash Bros. Brawl seems to make an effort towards its recognition, by including a "Mario Bros." stage.
While many people are aware of Soulcalibur, even though it was the sequel that had greater prominence and sales, there are a handful that have even heard of Soul Edge/Soul Blade, an arcade/PlayStation game that preceded the first Soulcalibur.
The PlayStation version sold well at the time of release (garnering a platinum release), but became overlooked upon the release of Tekken 3.
Not only that, but the official name of the series is the Soul series, yet 99% of all video gamers know the series as the "Soulcalibur series".
Who hasn't heard of Rayman: Raving Rabbids? Yet, not many people realize it was part of a platforming series called Rayman, the first installment of which was released in...1995! For the Atari Jaguar and Sony PlayStation (also, the PS1 version was one of the best-selling PS1 games ever, especially in Europe).
Rayman 2 is a rather well-known platformer, at worst a Cult Classic, and outshines the original.
Secret of Mana, a.k.a. Seiken Densetsu II from the World of Mana series. Even in Japan, the first game was released with the subtitle of Final Fantasy Gaiden and was presented as more of a Final Fantasy game than its own entity. In America, it was only released as Final Fantasy Adventure, leaving many Americans unaware that it was even a Mana game at all. In both cases, Secret of Mana greatly overshadowed it and came to define the series worldwide. A later remake of the first game even redid several key mechanics and the entire aesthetic to look more like Seiken Densetsu II and its sequel.
Shadow Hearts. Koudelka, the first game of the series that was released on the original PlayStation, tends to be described just as "The prequel of Shadow Hearts".
While the Fallout series of PC games is still critically acclaimed and has a loyal following, Fallout 3 is a far more mainstream success, and most modern fans were probably introduced to the series through it.
TimeSplitters 2. Timesplitters 1 was not as well known and only saw a PS2 release.
Dune II. Yes folks, there was another Dune video game. And not even a bad one at that. Just of a completely different genre than Dune 2.
The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall single-handedly invented and refined The Elder Scrolls' trademark roleplaying system, introduced the open sandbox game world, and defined the non-linearity characteristic to the series. Arena, by comparison, was quickly forgotten, only brought up ten years later, when it was released for free to promote Oblivion...
Each subsequent Elder Scrolls game does this to previous games in the series.
Steins;Gate is a sequel to Chaos;Head that ended up being far more popular in the West than its predecessor is. In addition to Steins;Gate largely being considered a better story overall, one of the biggest reasons for Chaos;Head's comparative lack of popularity is that its anime adaptation was by and large considered to be subpar, even without the source material taken into account. Most visual novels become popular outside of Japan as a result of people enjoying their anime adaptations, so the fact that Steins;Gate's adaptation was generally very well received gave it a major advantage over Chaos;Head in terms of popularity. Also, since Steins;Gate is only connected to Chaos;Head in the first place due to them taking place in the same world, all of the Continuity Nods made to Chaos;Head in Steins;Gate won't be understood by anyone unfamiliar with the former story, and you don't need to read Chaos;Head first in order to understand Steins;Gate at all, most Steins;Gate fans aren't even aware that the two stories are connected in the first place. Further hurting its accessibility is that, as a direct result of the sequel displacement, Steins;Gate is the only visual novel out of the two to have an official translation note there is allegedly one in progress for Chaos;Head right now by the same publisher, JAST, but it seems to be stuck in Development Hell at the moment. While the Chaos;Head visual novel can be read by English speaking audiences via a completed Fan Translation, the legality of this translation is under even more dubious legality than usual because it was taken down from its website of origin shortly after its release due to an agreement with its Japanese publisher, Nitroplus.
This is also prequel first. Symphonia is a sort of origin story to Tales of Phantasia, the first game in the series.
Herzog Zwei for Herzog. The fact that the original Herzog was only released in Japan for the MSX didn't help with its recognition. Most people who don't know German probably weren't even aware that it was a sequel.
Even EGM didn't realize it was a sequel — on a list of games they felt needed sequels, they referred to a hypothetical Herzog Zwei sequel as Herzog Zwei 2, rather than Herzog Drei.
The Shin Megami Tensei series suffers terribly from this thanks to the vast majority of the franchise never leaving Japan. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is in fact SMT3, the firsttwo being released only in Japan on the SNES. Its spinoff series, Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army was also in fact the third Devil Summoner game, as the first game never came over to the US and it wasn't until 2013 that any version of the second game, Soul Hackers, left Japan. Add in the fact that events in DS3 reference events in SMT1 and 2, and that the sequel to DS3 was released as Devil Summoner 2 in the U.S. On top of that, the 3DS port of Soul Hackers that was the first version of the game to leave Japan included a bonus dungeon with Raidou in it, further cementing his duology as the more well-recognized entries of the series.
Not to mention the original Megami Tensei games on the Famicom, the first one being based on a novel from an unrelated trilogy.
Spinoff series Persona has this with Persona 3, which introduced Dating Sim elements, generally reworked the series, and became hugely popular. Persona 4 continues with this template by being extremely similar to Persona 3, and the popularity of the changes seems to ensure that any future Persona 5 release will do the same.
In fact, the original Persona is probably the least remembered (aside from "Mark danced crazy!") and well regarded game in the series. Persona 2 was at least a Cult Classic.
The first Megami Tensei game released in North America was the obscure Jack Bros., for the even more obscure Virtual Boy. In fact, the game is so rare, it's the only Virtual Boy game The Angry Video Game Nerd doesn't own, out of his whole North American library of VB games. Apparently it isn't worth Jack shit, either.
Quite ironically, in contrast to what the Angry Video Game Nerd has said, it's considered to be the second best Virtual Boy game on the handheld (the best game being Virtual Boy Wario Land) and collectors are willing to pay hefty fee for it (around 200$, approximately).
Most fans of the Touhou series are only marginally aware of the first five games before the jump to Windows. It doesn't help that the PC-98 is long dead.
The PC-98 games were made by a partnership, Amusement Makers, of which ZUN was only a single member. As he only had the rights to a few of the characters (Reimu, Marisa, Alice, and Yuuka, along with a handful of more obscure characters), he couldn't build off of the old series even if he wanted to. The most obvious sign of this break was Mima, a huge player in the old series, appearing in four games, who didn't (and never can) make the jump to the Windows series. Of the other PC-98 characters he can use, he draws blanks on how to fit them in.
Team Fortress 2 is a perfect example, given that the original game was a Quake mod subsequently tweaked by the creators of Half-Life (see Team Fortress Classic). It also came out many years after the original, it's a complete change of tone from the original (the original had a realistic artstyle and a serious tone), and the classes all look completely different than they did in the original.
Glider PRO displaced Glider 4.0 and the original Glider.
In a mix of this and First Installment Wins, many less-hardcore fans of the Gradius series don't seem to know that Gradius II exists, thinking that the series goes from Life Force (NES) to Gradius III (SNES), and magically becomes Gradius V somehow (Gradius III & IV being nonexistent).
Just to make things even more confusing, Salamander (Life Force) got a 1996 sequel in Japan, which, of course, never got an American release and has not been ported to any console.
Additionally Parodius Da! for the arcade is actually a sequel to the original Parodius for the MSX2.
The Ganbare Goemon series originally began with a Japan-only arcade game called Mr. Goemon, from which the original Famicom game Ganbare Goemon was loosely based on as well. Some gamers even assume that the first SNES game in the series, the one that came out in America as Legend of the Mystical Ninja, was the first game in the series period.
While the original Twinbee was released for the arcades in 1985 and had a few straight-to-Famicom sequels, the arcade sequel Detana!! Twinbee was the first one to feature the series' iconic character designs of Shuzilow Ha.
Thunder Force II is far more well-known than its predecessor. It doesn't help that the original Thunder Force lacked the Horizontal Scrolling Shooter action the series is best known for, was released in Japan only on some now-obscure computer platforms, and was never ported to any console system.
While the Call of DutyFPS series was fairly well-known (perhaps even very well-known) and acclaimed from the start, it didn't turn into the household name we know today until Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
It came to the point where developer Infinity Ward simply titled their next sequel Modern Warfare 2 and considered it a new intellectual property. Activision added Call of Duty back into the title, however, for name recognition. An alarming number of people seem to think the series started with Call of Duty 4, despite it having "4" in the title.
Crystal Quest thoroughly displaced Crystal Raider, a shareware prototype so primitive that it didn't even have a Quit command. (You had to physically reboot the computer to escape it.)
Although the Final Fantasy series was already somewhat popular prior to 1997, Final Fantasy VII brought in an overwhelming wave of new fans, making a rather large amount of people think that it was the first title in the series despite the number "VII" in it. In fairness to Europeans, it was the first Final Fantasy to be released there.
And even before VII, there was still IV and VI, released in America as "II" and "III".
The Goonies II was a relatively popular NES game, somewhat based on the movie. There was an earlier Goonies game for the Famicom, which wasn't even released outside Japan except for the Vs. System arcade cabinet, which in turn many people never really noticed.
Red Faction: Guerrilla has had this effect on the Red Faction series. Not many people know about the first two games.
The Silent Hill franchise now spans eight main games, but the second game is by far the most famous, with memes and parodies based on it frequently showing up in news coverage of later titles to which it has no connection. This even extends to the joke endings of Silent Hill 3, Shattered Memories, and Downpour, all of which feature a cameo appearance from the protagonist of Silent Hill 2 for no real reason.
EarthBound is a bit of a cult classic, but it's less well known that it's in fact the 2nd game in the Mother series. Justified though, in that it was the only one released in the US, the other two launching in Japan only.
The main reason people know of "EarthBound" but not "Mother" is because of Ness's appearance in the "Super Smash Bros." series.
Few people remember Kingdom Under Fire: A War Of Heroes for PC... despite it being more unique than its sequels. It was one of the first RTS titles to have RPG-style upgradeable hero units — years before Warcraft III — as well as making the odd choice to combine RTS and Diablo-style stages.
Very few Legacy of Kain fans played Blood Omen and Blood Omen 2. In fact, many assumed Soul Reaver was the first game in the series and never even knew that the SR games were spin-offs of the original Blood Omen.
While technically not a sequel, many World of Warcraft players are unaware that three WarCraft RTS games and their expansions came before it. Some players were surprised to learn that WoW was released on the franchise's 10th birthday.
Lampshaded by one of Blizzard's April Fools jokes where they announced the development of three RTS games to cover historical events from before WoW, namely the storylines of the original series.
Need for Speed became excessively popular with the release of Underground in 2003, and spawned an even more popular sequel in 2004. Then another in 2005... and another in 2006... and 2007... and 2008... Then after five years, the series became stale, and each game was significantly less well received, before finally shifting back to its roots with 2010's Hot Pursuit. Due to a split fanbase, EA knew there would be still some of the newer fans who yearned for the Most Wanted 2005/Carbon-style gameplay and customization, hence the World was released alongside Hot Pursuit 2010.
The Sims 2 is more popular than the original, and can sometimes be this. This is despite the glaring "2" on the box and multiple references to the original game. Nowadays there are The Sims 3 players who are totally unaware of the first two...
Quake was a hugely influential game (it almost single-handedly invented Tournament Play, for instance) but was later overshadowed by the multiplayer-oriented Quake III: Arena. It wasn't until Quake IV was released years later that the series got back to its roots with a single-player campaign.
The Korean SRPG The War Of Genesis II not only displaced, but also outright replaced the first game, as it repeated most of the story, embedded into a greater narrative.
The old Minecraft Classic — the one where there's an unlimited number of blocks, simple shading, no monsters or items, and no day/night cycle — seems to suffer from it when compared to the regular Minecraft. The comments on this video show that some people aren't even aware of Classic:
Why do the blocks destroy so easily???
how do you break the blocks so fast and how do you do the unlimited block thing
The "unlimited blocks" (and easy block destruction) function in Minecraft Classic now appears in a mode of regular Minecraft called Creative Mode, which may further push Minecraft Classic into obscurity.
The Ultima series started with Akalabeth, a game which is remembered mainly because it established many tropes that were made far more famous by its sequels.
Conkers Bad Fur Day. How many people know much about the game that starred Conker that came out between it and Diddy Kong Racing? Very few people know about the E rated Conker's Pocket Tales which came out on the Game Boy Color a few years before Bad Fur Day, or that his more well known Nintendo 64 game was originally meant to be a light hearted Banjo-Kazooie like 3D platformer.
The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fandom suffers from this, as some of the many people who started the series with the Explorer games have no idea that the Rescue Team games exist or just ignore them.
Tribes is an enormously popular team based first person shoot with jetpacks and guns that shoot exploding blue frisbees. The games that Tribes takes its plot and name from is the games from the Starsiege universe, best known as "that other Real RobotHumongous Mecha game that isn't MechWarrior".
Jet Set Radio Future for the Xbox is more well-known than the first Jet Set Radio, which was on the Dreamcast. This is because of two reasons: 1) The first game was released when the DC was losing its popularity in America and Europe, and 2) Future and Sega GT 2002 were put together on one disc and packaged with Xboxes during the holiday season of 2002, so everyone who got an Xbox for Christmas that year had no choice but to play it. When the first JSR got the HD makeover in 2012 for all download services (except Nintendo ones), a lot of people who only played Future complained about how different this one was.
The Sega Genesis is a well-known video game console from the early 90s.. The Sega Master System is not. More people know the Game Gear, and its ports, better than the actual Master System.
The original Cool Boarders was released very early in the Playstation's lifespan, and was essentially a glorified tech demo that had a handful of tracks, five boards, no competition mode (or anything besides time trial) and next-to-no replayability. Cool Boarders 2 was essentially a remake of the first game, with some of the original levels appearing as well as many more levels, multiple characters/boards and several different modes. Notably, the original Cool Boarders is the only one of the first four games not to sell over a million copies.
Sonic Robo Blast 2, a popular 3D freeware game based on Sonic the Hedgehog. You want proof? The original Sonic Robo Blast game doesn't even have a page on This Very Wiki.
Punch-Out!! is an iconic NES title, but few remember the original arcade title or the sequel. The 2009 Wii reboot fairs better though.
Zone of the Enders' success mainly derived from how it drew in fans of Metal Gear Solid with a demo of its high-anticipated sequel it was packaged with, and many consider Zone of the Enders an average game at best. It was successful enough to gain a sequel in 2003, which was bigger hit with critics and fans of action games alike, so much that most people forget about the original. This also became the case with the series' HD re-release with most of the pre-release hype being centered on the second game.
MS Paint Adventures offers an internal example with Homestuck compared to its immediate predecessor Problem Sleuth. Homestuck is a megahit and the most popular webcomic today. Problem Sleuth had a popular run but nowhere near the insane popularity of Homestuck.
Hey, kids! Ever heard about "Unsound of Mind"? No? Well, how about Heart Core? In fact, many of the characters in Heart Core originated from Uo M, wich has become the Old Shame of the creator.
In universe example: in The Simpsons episode "Bye Bye Nerdie", Millhouse comments that the present situation is, "like Speed 2, but with a bus instead of a boat." He later refers to the new girl with no friends as being Babe: Pig in the City.
The Apple II compared to its predecessor the Apple I, and the Apple Macintosh compared to its predecessor the Apple Lisa. The Apple I was literally just a circuitboard. You had to build the actual computer yourself, including the keyboard. This was not unreasonable at the time; many computers were sold as kits at the time. In fact, the Apple II is often credited with sparking the microcomputer revolution.
World War I for many countries. In spite of being called The Great War, it's far less known than World War II. Beyond trench warfare and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, most people know next to nothing other than that it was the big war that came before World War II. This is less the case in some countries with more active involvement in the war.
The United States Constitution was specifically meant to replace the Articles of Confederation, which formed the basis of a very different United States of America. Almost nobody remembers that there were several Presidents of Congress under the Articles of Confederation before George Washington became President under the Constitution, mostly due to the fact that the position was much less important.
Also in American history, the French and Indian War was an obscure and relatively unimportant part of the global Seven Years' War. Except for the fact that it laid important technological, cultural, military and political groundwork for the events which would eventually spiral into The American Revolution barely a decade later, therefore directly leading to the creation of the independent United States (officers on both sides, including George Washington, first gained experience in the French and Indian War). However even in the Americas it's been greatly overshadowed by the War for Independence and remains an obscure and little-mentioned piece of American history.
Doritos were introduced in 1966, but Nacho Cheese (debuted in 1972) is now considered the flagship flavor, and Cool Ranch (debuted in 1986) has also overshadowed the original (which is now labeled as Toasted Corn).