Shared Universe

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shared_universe.jpg

When The Verse is shaped by multiple creators writing independently, such as how many different comic book titles can be set in a collective continuity. This makes it easy to have a Crossover. In contrast, a single TV series with multiple writers is just the Verse with subcontractors. Likewise, when different continuities by the same author are tied together later by an Intercontinuity Crossover, that's Canon Welding.

As a rule, simply having a Crossover is not enough to qualify as a Shared Universe, as those tend to be standalone stories and have no further connections beyond that. Major events should be referenced across the different projects or characters are mentioned as having their own adventures somewhere else.

The nature of the Shared Universe — multiple independent creators creating one continuity — can easily lead to a Continuity Snarl if it lasts a long time and the different creators don't take care to keep things straight. If a Shared Universe starts relying too heavily on continuity, especially if it's obscure or too reliant on each work in the Verse, a Continuity Lock-Out may occur. When creators disagree on the direction the Verse should take, they may fight Armed with Canon. If some corners of the continuity are "off limits" to some characters to avoid theme-drift or plot derailing, then Superman Stays out of Gotham.

When they go back centuries, and even further and further, long before copyrights and trademarks, the Shared Universe turns into one or more actual mythologies. Compare with The Verse, Expanded Universe and Canon. Contrast with Shout-Out.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • A truly bizarre case is GaoGaiGar and Betterman, which take place in the same universe despite the former being a Super Robot Reconstruction and the latter a Real Robot horror series.
  • Cromartie High School and Di Gi Charat.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! universe consisting of the NAS adaptation and all most of its spin-offs.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler and Sore ga Seiyuu!.
  • Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump exist in the same universe, with characters having made appearances in each others' franchise at some point. Arguably Nekomajin, another work by Akira Toriyama also exists somewhere in the Dragon Ball universe, since one of the characters claims to have been trained by Goku and featured a saiyan named Onio.
    • There's also Jaco The Galactic Patrol Man, which is revealed in the end to be a prequel to Dragon Ball, in which the title character is sent to find a dangerous threat to Earth, which turns out to be an infant Goku. Bulma's sister is a main character, and both she and Jaco make appearances in Dragon Ball Super; in fact, Jaco is something of a recurring character.
  • Leiji Matsumoto has a connected universe too - of a sorts, since continuity has never been his thing. But you get Harlock showing up on the Galaxy Express, Cosmo Warrior Zero saw the hunt for Harlock from the other side. Yamato would have had a Harlock encounter, but it was cut for time (but the Yamato has shown up in the background in some of Harlock).

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Safe Havens and On The Fastrack, both comics done by Bill Holbrook, take place in the same universe and have on occasion crossed over with each other (the major point being Fastrack funding the mission to Mars Samantha of Safe Havens is planning). It's implied that Kevin & Kell is a parallel universe connected to their universe, but it's unlikely to be confirmed since K&K is under a different syndication, therefore little chance of a Crossover.
  • Little Orphan Annie and Dick Tracy, given how the Fully Absorbed Finale of the first was handled.

    Fan Works 
  • YuYuGiDigiMoon has a shared universe consisting of YuYu Hakusho, Yu-Gi-Oh! (up to 5D's), Digimon (which starts off with Tamers and Frontier, then Adventure/02 and Data Squad are added), and Sailor Moon.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic stories Rainbow in the Dark and Racer and the Geek have small nods, links and references. Both authors have implied that their stories exist in the same universe, although perhaps not in the same continuity. This is still completely nebulous.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Black Queen, Red King by wille179 and Gatekeeper: Prince of Darkness by InfiniteBrony are two sides to the same story, crossing over at several points. Even more authors are attempting to join, according to Word of God.
  • Dangerverse fans have written numerous fics of their own set in the same universe, many of which have been integrated into the canon, as well as Alternate Universe Fic aplenty. The author has no qualms about working in ideas from her friends and fans.
  • The AU Shadowverse stories about Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha characters Lutecia and Vivio, created by RadiantBeam, also involve many other writers who write about secondary characters in that universe. Each of the various authors tend to write around different themes (spy-thriller, emotional drama, political-thriller, etc.) despite writing in the same AU.
  • More than a decade after the release of Under The Bridge, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers fan fiction writers love to include enough elements from The Nowakverse into stories of their own, especially the main original characters.
  • Most fanfiction writers seem to incorporate Ranma ˝, InuYasha, and other works by Rumiko Takahashi in the same universe.
  • Similarly, it's almost more common to see writers have Sailor Moon and Ranma in a shared universe than not, most times with the justification that "They're from different wards in Tokyo" (Minato and Nerima, respectively).
  • Harry Potter fanfiction often has cameos from Wizards of Waverly Place and Hellsing, due to the similar premises of the first and the second occurring in England as well. Crossovers with Percy Jackson are also not uncommon.
  • Naruto and Bleach cross over so much that it is very common to see OC ninja share their names instinctively.
  • The bulk of the Pony POV Series is written by the same guy and his editors, but quite a bit of the Recursive Fanfiction has been declared officially canon (or at least Loose Canon) by said author.
  • The Lunaverse is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic AU where Celestia became evil instead of Luna. It started with one story by RainbowDoubleDash who promptly opened it up to anyone else who wants to write in it. Multiple writers took him up on this offer.
  • Lunaverse alum GrassAndClouds2 is now running a Shared Universe of his own, The Cadanceverse. It is music-themed, and features Cadance as the princess (after both Celestia and Luna were corrupted), Octavia as her student, and Vinyl, Fluttershy, Lyra, and two background ponies as the other Element Bearers.
  • Like the Lunaverse, Life in Manehattan (aka the Manehattanverse) is an AU of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, this one based on the premise that the Elements of Harmony were found some time before the pilot and taken to a museum in Manehattan; therefore, it's there that Twilight Sparkle goes for the Summer Sun Celebration, makes friends, and ends up living. The first story by the original author covers the alternate events of the pilot, after which other authors have started writing their own tales of the Manehattan 6.
  • In perhaps the greatest example of universe welding, the efforts of the author of The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds created the ultimate shared universe. The Discord from a universe where neither Celestia nor Luna were corrupted won for a few years thanks to the plunder seeds, but grew bored, and thus recruited Spike from the Flipverse, Rainbow Dash from the Dashverse, Pinkie Pie from the "Hasbroverse", Ditzy from the Lunaverse, Octavia from the Cadenceverse, and Auntie from the Maehattanverse to go on an epic quest across 6 locations to find that universe's new Elements of Harmony in Multiversal Harmony.
  • After the original Pokéumans story became popular and successful enough to have its own spin-offs on the same concept, these all the share the same universe and characters from one series occasionally appear or get a notable mention in another series. Said shared universe is the world — the real world.
  • The story Avalon by Dave19941000 is an Neon Genesis Evangelion/Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover which shares its setting with the writer's Stargate SG-1/Battlestar Galactica (2003) crossover Brother's Betrayal, and the Stargate SG-1 fanfic Stargate: Triangulum.
  • The Axis Powers Hetalia AU fic Monarchy Over The Danube makes a number of nods to the fanfic Eva by Marj. With Eva herself visiting her sister, the future Danubian Federation.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged and Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, seeing as how often they've appeared in each other's shows, especially as one video claims that Kaiba is a robot built by Frieza.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines forms the core of what fans have dubbed the Resetverse, containing side stories and one shots.
  • The Pixar Theory, a fan theory (or group of theories) that postulate that all Pixar movies are a shared universe using the different Easter Eggs as proof of that. Of course the detail of such connection will depend on who you ask as the theory already has several notable exponents like Jon Negroni or the Supercarlin brothers, and countless fan theories in Reddit and other forums from lesser notable fans. In case you wonder, Pixar creators already debunked it, Brad Bird the director from The Incredibles even said explicitly that the movie happens in a different universe than all other Pixar films.

     Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • The Cthulhu Mythos is a famous and early example of this; professional fanfiction set in his world is not only published, but was also acknowledged and supported by Lovecraft before his death.
  • The Wild Cards Super Hero books were designed as Shared Universe Anthologies from the ground up.
  • Bordertown is a city between the "real world" and Faerie. It was originally created by Terri Windling, but Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Charles de Lint and several other writers have written stories set there.
  • 1632 was originally to be a one-off novel, but due to favorable fan response went beyond that, later expanding into The Grantville Gazette, one of whose main goals is to give previously unknown authors a way to be published, and paid for their work at professional rates instead of less generous fanzine ones. Unlike with many anthologies, the contributions from other authors affect the "main" story line works. There are very few aspects that are truly forbidden to these authors, primarily those where it would interfere with the prerogatives of Eric Flint, the series creator.
  • Thieves' World was a dark fantasy Shared Universe created by Robert Asprin in the late 1970s. It had contributors like Poul Anderson, John Brunner and Marion Zimmer Bradley and generated 12 anthlogies of short stories, seven official novels and a bunch of roleplaying adaptations before writing stopped in 1989, with a short revival in the early 2000's. It preemptively dealt with Continuity Snarl with a preface framing story about an old timer talking to a new arrival in the city about how one should not believe everything in the stories one hears, as everyone spins the stories to fit their agendas, to make themselves sound more important in a good story, or less to blame in a bad one, and two people telling the same story may have wildly different variations.
  • The universe of the Bolo super-tanks, originally by Keith Laumer, has been shared by everyone from John Ringo to Mercedes Lackey.
  • The Russian Death Zone series is worked on by several known Russian sci-fi authors and is loosely based on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. Unfortunately, this tends to create certain lapses in continuity. For example, in Andrei Livadny's novels, the Order is portrayed as a rational group that believes in the existence of an otherdimentional point known as the Node based purely on empirical evidence. In Roman Glushkov's books, they are fanatics spouting religious nonsense about the Holy Node before sacrificing themselves for the cause. It could be explained that these are different members of the Order interpreting their teachings, if they were not using the same characters.
    • Other major differences involve the very nature of the Zones. For example, in Livadny's novels, there is no plant or animal life in the Zones, as anything exposed to the scorgs gets "upgraded" (i.e. it becomes a weird mix of flesh and metal bearing little resemblance to the original). Rust by Aleksey Kalugin shows the Moscow Zone full of plant and, occasionally, animal life with only a few examples of bio-tech mixes. Kalugin's nanobots (the word "scorgs" is never mentioned) only care about consuming metal and reanimating machines.
  • The Liavek anthology series- stories by several different authors, set in and around the city of Liavek. Apparently the setting started out as a RPG invented by Will Shetterly for his writer's group, The Scribblies; they later fleshed out the setting and produced five volumes of short stories (and a few poems). Two of the authors, John M. Ford and Pamela Dean, later wrote more stories in the same universe.
  • The Midnight Rose collective, a group of British SF writers, published several shared-universe anthologies in the early 1990s, with settings including Temps (tongue-in-cheek superhero stories) and The Weerde (shape-shifting aliens are the source of all the world's myths and conspiracies). Contributors included Stephen Baxter, Neil Gaiman, Mary Gentle, David Langford, Kim Newman, and Charles Stross.
  • Merovingen Nights was an anthology series set on the planet Merovingen, in an islolated corner of C. J. Cherryh's Alliance/Union universe.
  • Heroes in Hell was an anthology series with a concept similar to Riverworld: all the dead wind up together in Hell, where they pick up where they left off when still alive.
  • The universe of the Malazan Book of the Fallen was jointly created by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esselmont, and both authors have written their own novels for the setting. This setting is home to:
    • The Malazan Book of the Fallen: Erikson. The main ten-novel sequence comprised of three major Rotating Arcs that eventually converge into a central Myth Arc dealing with the Crippled God.
    • Tales From the Malazan Empire: Esselmont. Six loosely-connected novels that deal with events not part of the Book of the Fallen's major arcs, though they are very significant to the broader world and sometimes pick up lingering threads from the other series.
    • Bauchelain and Korbal Broach: Erikson. Series of novellas chronicling the misadventures of a pair of eccentric, homicidal necromancers and their put-upon manservant.
    • Kharkanas Trilogy: Erikson. Prequel in the Lost Age trilogy primarily dealing with the Tiste and the civil war that led them to become sundered into the Andii, Edur and Liosan peoples.
    • The Path to Ascendancy: Esselmont. Projected trilogy chronicling the early adventures of Kellanved and Dancer and how they would eventually come to found the Malazan Empire.
  • The '80s Magic in Ithkar anthologies were more of a shared setting; all the stories started with the setting of Ithkar Fair, detailed in the anthology prologues, but other than that each author's stories were free-standing, sharing no characters, events, or settings beyond those established in the prologues. Most notably, one story ended with the Fair being shut down due to plague; this was not reflected in any of the others.
  • The Spore Wiki Fiction Universe began life as a Spore fan fiction continuity but eventually separated itself. It's shared between multiple writers and is open to anyone willing to write for it.
  • Galactic Crucibles, which also originated as Spore fan fiction, is a shared Space Opera universe between numerous authors with a large focus on worldbuilding. Interestingly enough, it is implied to be part of the same multiverse as the Spore Wiki Fiction Universe.
  • As well as the The Infernal Devices prequel series, The Mortal Instruments is said to be set in the same universe as the Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black. Val and Luis from Valiant are the homeless kids Clary sees in the first book and Simon listens to Stepping Razor, Ellen's band from Tithe.
  • The Ur-Example of a Shared Universe book is The Bible, although it is chiefly notable as an object lesson in the importance of having an editor.
  • Rick Riordan's various mythology series The Camp Half-Blood Series (actually three different series), The Kane Chronicles, and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard all take place within the same universe. The Kane Chronicles contains several hints towards this end, culminating in a crossover. Magnus Chase is actually Annabeth Chase's cousin. This usually doesn't affect the series much, as by-and-large the various gods and mythologies avoid interaction in a sort of deliberate Mutual Masquerade, but later books tend more and more towards inter-connectivity, with characters from one series showing up in another.
    • This is currently set to be averted with the 'Rick Riordan Presents' series of books, which while edited by Riordan and using similar themes will not be explicitly in the same universe, at least at the start.
  • Philip Jose Farmer's "Doc Savage" books have a number of other writers' fictional characters exist in the same continuum, using the device of a comet that struck a group of people leaving a party, resulting in their offspring becoming many famous characters from fiction. Since many of these creations were still covered by copyright at the time, one wonders how he got away with it!
  • As mentioned below in Multiple Media, the Dungeons & Dragons setting Forgotten Realms is notable for having over 70 novel series all set in the same world with minimal Continuity Snarl. The Other Wiki has a page
  • Stephen King is fairly notorious for this amongst fans of his work, with nearly all of his novels containing either major or minor references to each other and sharing the overall connection of The Dark Tower series. It's recently further expanded to include references to the works of his son Joe Hill.
  • Isaac's Universe is a shared setting created in the 1990s by Isaac Asimov, which resulted in two novels (Fossil by Hal Clement and Murder at the Galactic Writers' Society by Janet Asimov) and three volumes of short stories (edited by Martin H Greenberg and containing stories by Poul Anderson, David Brin, Hal Clement, George Alec Effinger, Karen Haber, Janet Kagan, Rebecca Ore, Robert Sheckley, Robert Silverberg, Allen Steele, Harry Turtledove, and Lawrence Watt-Evans).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider: The Showa-era shows all exist in the same universe as evidenced by the presence of a common enemy called "The Great Leader", who is eventually revealed to have been the leader of all the evil organizations the Riders faced throughout the 70s. At the start of the Heisei era, Kamen Rider Agito has hints of being in the same universe as its predecessor Kamen Rider Kuuga, but the producers pointedly avoided making it a direct sequel to prevent Continuity Lockout. Kamen Rider Decade in 2009 seemingly ended with the Rider shows being merged into a single universe, with past Riders showing up to help out if a crisis gets too big for the current guy to handle; specifically, the Movie Wars series Crossover films links every series from Decade onwards in a single universe by having the current Rider and his immediate predecessor (and sometimes others, depending on which actors are willing to return) join forces. There's also the additional element of Foundation X, a sinister organization first established in Kamen Rider Double as funding the research of various power sources and occasionally serving as villains (most commonly in Movie Wars); it seems the intent was that they would be the Heisei-era equivalent of the Great Leader, but this concept was mostly done away with following Kamen Rider Fourze.
    • Kamen Rider Build is the first modern-era show not to be a part of the "Decade universe", because its backstory (in 2007, Japan was split into three separate countries by the sudden appearance of mysterious "Skywalls") is completely incompatible with any other Rider series. In order for the requisite Movie Wars crossover with Kamen Rider Ex-Aid to even take place, the plot had to involve reality-warping shenanigans.
    • Archaia's graphic novel adaptation of Cyborg 009 got into the mix by revealing that Foundation X was one of the financial backers of Black Ghost, the organization that created the Double-0 Cyborgs. The company had plans to develop this into a Shared Universe for all of Shotaro Ishinomori's works (they also referenced Skull Man and said they would have done a Kikaider series next), but plans fell through because Archaia and Ishinomori Productions couldn't agree on the direction of the series.
  • The various seasons of Power Rangers are shown to exist in the same Universe. This was most obvious in the early years of the series, which had one, continuing storyline culminating in Power Rangers in Space. Later seasons tend to downplay this, but the various crossovers and reappearing characters establish that the universe is the same. However, Power Rangers RPM takes place in an Alternate Universe, something not made obvious until its crossover with Power Rangers Samurai.
  • JAG, First Monday, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, and the new Hawaii Five-0 are a shared world, as evidenced by Kensi's presence in Hawaii, and later Sam and Callen's trip to Hawaii, followed by Chin Ho and Danno's visit to Los Angeles. And now it's further established that Scorpion is now part of this verse, thanks to the Scorpion team's visit with Hetty. Macgyver2016 is now apart of that universe, after the Five-0 team referenced a phone call from the Phoenix Foundation.
  • The Filmways-produced Petticoat Junction and Green Acres were both set in the town of Hooterville, and characters from each gravitated to the other fairly regularly.
  • "The Girls Of Hollywood High," the second of two Poorly Disguised Pilots (for a proposed series about Texan private detectives called Eyes Of Texas) which aired as BJ And The Bear episodes, established that this shares a universe with another Glen A. Larson series - at one point the female PIs pay a visit to the Los Angeles Coroner's Office. John S. Ragin and Robert Ito turn up as the characters they play on that particular series, but Jack Klugman, alias Quincy, M.E., is conspicuously (and given how he felt about Glen Larson understandably) absent.
  • Most of the series produced by Jack Webb take place in the same universe, including Dragnet, Adam-12, Emergency! and the short-lived Robert Conrad vehicle, The D.A.
  • Magnum, P.I. had two crossover stories that concluded on Simon & Simon and Murder, She Wrote.
    • Simon & Simon also had meetings with Whiz Kids.
    • Murder, She Wrote also shares a universe with an obscure 1949 film-noir called Strange Bargain; 40 years after the movie, Jessica Fletcher helped uncover the real killer from the original movie.
  • Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life and Hello, Larry.
  • Diagnosis: Murder shares a universe with Matlock (Matlock defended Dr. Jesse Travis in a murder case), Mannix and Mission: Impossible (due to an appearance by Barbara Bain as Cinnamon Carter).
  • Barnaby Jones shares a universe with Cannon, as shown in the former's pilot episode (Cannon is friends with Barnaby's soon-to-be-murdered son).
  • The Whoniverse, consisting of Parent Show Doctor Who and its spin-offs K-9 and Company, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, Torchwood: Children of Earth, Torchwood: Miracle Day, and Class (2016), and (at least the quasi canon parts of) Big Finish Doctor Who and K9.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Spin-Off series Angel shared a universe, albeit with only a few cross-overs. The canon was thoroughly welded back together in the sequel comics.
  • Once Upon a Time got a Spin-Off in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Given that Wonderland starred a protagonist from Victorian England (Alice), whereas Storybrooke had a protagonist from modern-day NewYork, it was up in the air how connected the two series would be. However, the writers decided to pull a big ol' Timey-Wimey Ball and have major characters interacting with one another across the two series and times. The Knave of Hearts from Wonderland is first seen breaking into Granny's diner in Storybrooke before somehow going to Victorian England to convince Alice to break out of the insane asylum she's being kept in. Then in the third episode, he's shown as one of Robin Hood's (a significant character in the third season of OUAT) Merry Men.
    • Actually it's not Time Travel. Alice, like Cruella De Vil, comes from a land where it is just perpetually Victorian England. We learn in the 4th season that some lands of storytelling are just stilted in certain periods, where the inhabitants aren't aware of the year. That being said, Once Upon A Time is just one big shared universe between live action Disney, literature, and fairytale pieces.
    • One episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland included the Sarlacc in a list of monsters, implying that its cosmology might also feature events that happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
  • Cheers had one direct and well known spin-off in the form of Frasier, but both shows also shared the same universe with Wings, which was created by former Cheers showrunners David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee, who would subsequently go on to create Frasier. While several Cheers characters appeared in both Wings and Frasier, there were never any cross-overs between the latter two shows; there was a plan to have Wings character Antonio first season of Frasier, but it was canned after actor Tony Shalhoub refused to go along with it.
  • Maxine and Kyle from Living Single appear in an episode of the UPN sitcom Half & Half, at that point having been married with a child.
  • Arrow, based on the DC Comics hero Green Arrow, and spin-offs The Flash (2014) and Legends of Tomorrow all take place in the same universe, and characters from one series often make guest appearances in the others. Hints have been dropped regarding the existence of other DC heroes such as Green Lantern and Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), but (according to Word of God) Batman and Superman explicitly do not exist — nor does the universe extend to Gotham.
    • Constantine seemed originally part of another universe, but a crossover was planned before it was cancelled. After its cancellation, it was retroactively made part of the "Arrowverse" with the titular character appearing in Season 4 of Arrow.
    • Supergirl is an interesting example, as it has been made part of the Arrowverse's Multiverse, and features a crossover episode where the Flash ends up in this universe and needs help finding a way back to his own. After Supergirl moved to the CW for its second season, the result was a four-night crossover event with Flash enlisting everyone to stop an alien invasion.
    • The Flash (1990) was also made a part of the multiverse retroactively with Easter eggs in the 2014 show.
    • The 'verse has also expanded to include short web animation series Vixen (set in the main 'verse) and Freedom Fighters: The Ray (set in yet another alternate universe).
  • Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. A Muppet Family Christmas also had characters from Fraggle Rock appear. Mr. Rogers appeared in an episode with Big Bird and vice versa.
  • Bobbie Fleckman, was the manager of the band that was making a music video in Maxwell Sheffield's house where Fran Fine was living/working as The Nanny. Fran went to high school with Frank Barone, who was friends with Doug Heffernan before he moved to Queens, New York.
  • One episode of Make Room For Daddy was a Poorly Disguised Pilot for The Andy Griffith Show, which led to Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and Mayberry R.F.D..
  • Friends , Seinfeld and Mad About You shared the same universe.
  • Since Alan Brady of The Dick Van Dyke Show had a cameo on Mad About You, The Dick Van Dyke Show is also part of that universe.
  • Joked about In-Universe on Mystery Science Theater 3000 The bots spin an elbaroate yarn about how there is an entire Carnival Magic universe comprised of prequels, sequels, spin-offs and a reboot. Hilariously, Jonah actually believes them.

    Multiple Media 

    Radio 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 was long rumored to exist within the same universe and galaxy; Fantasy's planet being a single planet existing outside the scope of the galactic warfare of the wider galaxy of the 40k setting. A common theory was that Sigmar, founder of the Empire in Warhammer Fantasy and somewhat of a demigod was a Primarch, one of the God-Emperor of Mankind's genetic sons who was somehow lost on the planet.
    • This was later subverted in the End Times campaign of Warhammer Fantasy, in which a group of heroes venture into the Realm of Chaos and encounter a "silvery knight speaking a strange accent", hinted as being Grand Master Kaldor Draigo, a Space Marine lost on the Warp in the 40k setting. This confirmed the longstanding theory that, while the two settings weren't set in the same world, it was connected by the same immaterial plane of Chaos called the Warp.

    Video Games 
  • Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt (both developed by Rockstar Games) take place within the same universe, as confirmed by overlapping references like place names, vehicles and fictional brands. Rockstar's Bully is also a possibility though there are not enough references that verify this. Although the HD series exists in a different universe than the Trilogy, both Carcer City and the Bullworth Academy were referenced in GTAV.
  • Portal shares a universe with Half-Life.
  • Cing's adventure games Another Code and Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (and their respective sequels) take place in the same universe, but are otherwise unrelated.
  • The Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong series exist in the same universe, by virtue of sharing a common first game. Additionally, due to first appearing in Super Mario World and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins respectively, the Yoshi, Wario Land, and WarioWare series are also part of the expanded Super Mario universe.
  • Street Fighter, Final Fight, Saturday Night Slam Masters, Captain Commando and Rival Schools take place in the same universe.
    • A few Final Fight characters (namely Guy, Sodom, Rolento, and Cody) have appeared as fighters in the Street Fighter Alpha series, with stages and endings featuring cameos by other characters. Andore appears in Street Fighter III under the name of "Hugo" with Poison acting as his manager. Both Guy and Cody returned in Super Street Fighter IV. Additionally, Chun-Li makes a cameo in Stage 1 of Final Fight 2, the portable versions of Alpha 3 features Maki from Final Fight 2 as an extra character (based upon her Capcom vs. SNK 2 incarnation), and Cammy is a secret challenger at the Fight Club in (the non-canon) Final Fight: Streetwise. (It's also believed by several fans that The Ghost, another pit fighter, is Joe due to their similar appearances and fighting styles.) Hugo and Rolento later returned in Ultra Street Fighter IV with Poison as a newcomer (all three being ported from Street Fighter X Tekken). Even more recently did Abigail, the boss of the original game's Bay Area, show up as a playable character in Street Fighter V, much to the surprise of many.
    • Haggar appeared in Slam Masters as a wrestler. The U.S. localization refers to him as the "former mayor of Metro City," although the original Japanese storyline actually places the games before Haggar was elected. A couple of Street Fighter characters have cameos in the Slam Masters series (such as Chun-Li, Honda, and Balrog) and the Slam Masters are referenced in Hugo's ending in 2nd Impact.
    • Captain Commando takes place in a futuristic version of Metro City. A sculpt of Mike Haggar is featured in the game as an bonus item, and Ginzu the Ninja is a future successor of Guy in the Bushin style of Ninjutsu.
    • In Rival Schools, Sakura has a cameo in the first game as an unlockable Guest Fighter while Hinata and Tiffany make background appearances in Street Fighter V. In addition it's implied that Ran may be related to Dan, both sharing the last name of Hibiki and the latter mentioning the existence of a younger sister.
    • There's also Akuma's appearance in Tekken 7.
  • There's a few blink-and-you'll-miss-it examples from other Capcom series. In Dino Crisis, one can spot the Umbrella Corporation logo on several boxes found in-game. Light gun shooter Gaiden Game Dino Stalker also features Umbrella Easter Eggs in the form of the "Woman Drawing Water" statue seen in the Spencer Mansion's exhibition room and an abandoned Umbrella building, both seen in the fifth stage. The first game's setting, the Borginian Republic, is reused as a location in the Ace Attorney series (called the Republic of Borginia there). Furthermore, the dog that you can rescue from a bear trap early on in Resident Evil 4 is none other than Hewie from sister Survival Horror game Haunting Ground.
  • Koei's Warriors Orochi was made to confirm that its series Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors take place in the same universe but the second trailer of Warriors Orochi 3 more or less confirms Koei's other games Warriors: Legends Of Troy and Bladestorm The Hundred Years War due to the presence of Achilles and Jeanne D'Arc. It also confirms that its business partner Tecmo's series Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive take place there due to the presence of Ryu Hayabusa, Ayane, Momiji and later Kasumi. Also, Naotora Ii makes an appearance in Dead or Alive 5 Last Round. Fatal Frame is also in this shared universe due to Ayane's side story in Fatal Frame 5.Also Video Game/Nioh is a prequel to Ninja Gaiden due to that fact that ancestor of Ryu named Jin Hayabusa appears.
  • The Ultima series features references to the Wing Commander series. In Ultima I there were spaceships that in Ultima VII: The Black Gate was explained to be the spaceship of the Kilrathi. As pointed out by Spoony here.
    • Origin seemed to be trying to establish this in all of their mid-90s games- in addition to the connections between Wing Commander and Ultima, the manual for Wing Commander Arena has, among other things, an advertisement for a No Remorse movie.
  • Dig Dug, Baraduke (or Alien Sector if you prefer), and Mr. Driller are set in the same world, by virtue of Taizo Hori and Toby "Kissy" Masuyo being the parents of Susumu, Ataru, and Taiyo Hori (the first of the three being The Hero of the Mr. Driller series) and the events of the first Dig Dug being referenced directly in Mr. Driller (the "Dig Dug incident").
    • Additionally, Pookas often show up in Pac-Man titles, hinting that they might possibly share a universe, although considering the number of elements that overlap in Namco games in general (the Special Flag from Rally-X showing up in several other games for instance), this might not be the case.
    • The United Galactic Space Force links thirty games into the same universe, known as the UGSF Series.
  • EVE Online and the FPS DUST 514 are part of the same universe... literally. Players can accept contracts and do missions for the player-run companies of EVE Online, and even form their own corporations that EVE Online players are able to join.
  • The Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series both take place in the same universe, complete with having characters originating in one becoming plot-integral in the other. Of course, characters will change looks to match the art style of the respective games.
  • The presence of both Seath the Scaleless and Patches the Hyena seem to indicate that Dark Souls shares the same world and universe as the King's Field series and Demon's Souls. With Patches returning as Patches the Spider, Bloodborne seems to be connected as well.
  • Brřderbund Software tried to work the Bungeling Empire into most of its early 1980s action games. Choplifter! and Lode Runner had it All There in the Manual; Raid on Bungeling Bay had it in the title but wasn't really a sequel to anything.
  • Space Harrier is set in the Fantasy Zone; several Fantasy Zone games reference it to various degrees. The culmination of this was the unreleased crossover game Space Fantasy Zone.
  • Marathon takes place in the same universe as Pathways into Darkness, and possibly Halo. There is even a terminal in the first Marathon game (which is a historical record) that talks about the events of Pathways.
  • The entire premise of the Reality-On-The-Norm project. It is a shared universe set around the eponymous City of Adventure.
  • The Tom Clancy series games (Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, and H.A.W.X.) share a single universe, and often have crossover cameos with each other.
    • This is particular apparent between the Ghost Recon and H.A.W.X. games - multiple missions in the latter have the player supporting Ghost teams, and (plot inconsistencies aside due to them coming out two years apart) Future Soldier depicts the same conflict as in H.A.W.X. 2. There's also Ghost Recon 2's plot kicking off from the sinking of the USS Clarence E. Walsh, an event depicted about halfway through Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, and both Future Soldier and H.A.W.X. 2 mention Voron, the Russian equivalent of Third Echelon from Conviction.
    • Rainbow Six, the original Tom Clancy game, may also be part of the shared universe - Vegas 2 has one mission in which you receive support from an "NSA Agent" who dresses very similarly to Sam Fisher.
  • This easter egg from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag heavily suggests that Assassin's Creed and Watch_Dogs share a universe. Considering that ACIV's MacGuffin would be of tremendous use in Watch_Dogs, this is unsurprising.
    • Oliver Garneau from Black Flag's Frame Narrative leaves for Chicago (Where Watch_Dogs is set) during the game. In Watch_Dogs, Aiden kills him as part of an optional side mission under mysterious orders from "The Brotherhood." There are also several references to Abstergo Industries, and, at one point, a child can be found playing Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, which is a video game produced by Abstergo Entertainment in-universe.
    • Far Cry is in on the action, too. One mission in Far Cry 3, which discusses "strange scientists" and "genetic memories", takes you to an abandoned Abstergo laboratory. Far Cry 2 is definitely set in the same universe as its sequel, but whether the original or the fourth entry are still in the universe is yet to be seen.
      • It seems likely, considering a number of Continuity Nods and Mythology Gags referencing the previous games in Far Cry 4, including a few returning characters.
    • Rayman and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon are also video games in-universe, presumably by Abstergo Entertainment.
  • Mega Man (Classic), X, Zero, ZX, and Legends, all on the same timeline despite the tone reaching further and further away from the original series with each new series.
  • According to a 1982 issue of Electronic Games magazine, Robotron 2084 takes place in the same universe as Defender and Stargate (aka Defender II). The hardly released Blaster is a sequel to Robotron.
  • Harvest Moon has a vague continuity, not helped by the amount of reusing the same characters. It has been proven that some games share a universe though:
  • Downfall and The Cat Lady share a universe. The 2016 remake of Downfall make this even more obvious, having The Cat Lady herself, Susan Ashworth, show up at the end. This indicates that Downfall takes place sometime after the events in The Cat Lady.
  • Although it's a crossover game, Namco × Capcom is a special case. The game itself has a world with the settings and characters of several contemporary Namco (Tekken, Wonder Momo, .hack, etc.), Capcom (Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Dead Rising, etc.), and as Project X Zone shows up, even Sega (Fighting Vipers, Dynamite Cop, etc.) properties co-existing, and implies that Xenosaga is its future. Crossover shenanigans involve other universes, then the main characters from the game (and Xenosaga) appeared in the Endless Frontier games, which is a side realm of the Super Robot Wars Original Generation universe. This came back when characters from the Frontier and OG universes appeared in Project X Zone, then went back to Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers discussing their appearance in the previous game.
  • BioShock, which has ties to Gone Home, with one of the SNES game cartridges you can find in Sam's room being Super Spitfire, which references a minigame called Spitfire in BioShock 2: Minerva's Den, which the developers of Gone Home previously worked on, and from there to Firewatch, with one of the novels you can find in the caches being a copy of The Accidental Savior, the novel written by the protagonist's father in Gone Home. Also implied by this interview with Fullbright co-founder Steve Gaynor.
    Steve Gaynor has previously stated that the developer "very lightly implies" that Gone Home takes place in the same reality as BioShock. Gaynor's team has also inserted a small reference to Firewatch into the console version of its game.
  • Through Canon Welding, and Akuma's Guest Fighter status, it's suggested that Tekken and Street Fighter are set in the same universe (or, at the very least, a version of Street Fighter exists in the Tekken universe). Likewise, with Geese Howard making an appearance as DLC, Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters can be lumped in there as well.
  • Several of SNK's properties are set in the same universe, if The King of Fighters is of any indication. The King of Fighters XIV backtracks slightly with its Another World Team (consisting of Samurai Shodown's Nakoruru accompanied by Mui Mui and Sky Love, respectively from the pachinko games Dragon Girl and Love Heart, all drawn into the KOF world because of a rift between dimensions), suggesting that the various SNK titles that may or may not fit neatly into the KOF continuity (itself already an Alternate Continuity of the joint Art of Fighting/Fatal Fury timeline by virtue of Geese Howard being Killed Off for Real in 1995's Real Bout Fatal Fury but sporadically appearing in KOF alive and well starting the following year) exist as part of a greater multiverse.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Alternative Title(s): Shared World

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