In the same vein as The Film of the Book
: when a popular game is adapted into an anime. Extremely common in the case of Visual Novels
. A sister to Animated Adaptation
, only the source is Video Games
instead of Live-Action TV
. The difference being that video games, by their very nature, are already animated.
May involve Bleached Underpants
depending on the source
. RPGs in particular tend to have sprawling plotlines narrowed or cut entirely
If you're looking for the reverse of this trope—that is, the game derived from the anime—see Licensed Game
Examples of games adapted to anime:
- .hack//SIGN is an aversion. It's not an adaptation as much as a side story for the game, and a cross-promotional thing. However, others in the .hack// franchise exist. .hack//G.U. Trilogy The Movie is a CGI Alternate Universe of the G.U. games.
- SIGN acts more as a prequel but .hack//Liminality is a full blown side story.
- Adventure Island was very loosely adapted into the show Bugtte Honey, which in turn had it's own game adaptation.
- Angelique has 4 OVAs (2 of which make absolutely no sense if you don't play the games and read the stand alone mangas associated with them) and 2 separate TV series.
- Animal Crossing
- Ape Escape got one in the form of Saru Getchu -On Air-
- Arcana Famiglia
- Arc the Lad
- Art of Fighting (the Battle Spirits TV special)
- Battle Arena Toshinden had a 2-part OVA.
- BlazBlue was recently confirmed to be getting an anime adaptation, entitled "Alter Memory".
- Blue Dragon
- Bomberman has Bomberman Jetters, which was adapted back into a game.
- Castle Fantasia: Seima Taisen
- Chaos;Head although most fans prefer to think it never got one.
- Chrono Trigger had a Nuumamonja OVA.
- Cosmic Fantasy
- Comic Party
- Cosmo Warrior Zero: Based on a First-Person Shooter in the Leijiverse.
- Da Capo and its sequels.
- Danball Senki
- Dangan Ronpa
- Dante's Inferno. No, not the "piece of classic literature" one. I mean the game. They made an OVA based on it, and then Dante spun in his grave so fast that he went back in time.
- Darkstalkers (Night Warriors: Darkstalker's Revenge OVA), separate from the Western series.
- Devil May Cry: The Animated Series occurs after the first Devil May Cry but before DMC4, according to Word of God. note
- Devil Survivor 2: The Animation
- Dinosaur King, which then got adapted into another game.
- Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker.
- Dragon Knight
- Dragon Quest: Dai's Great Adventure.
- ef - a fairy tale of the two.: was adapted to ef ~ a tale of memories and then ef ~ a tale of melodies.
- Fatal Fury (the two Battle Fighters TV specials and The Motion Picture)
- Fate/stay night
- Final Fantasy: Unlimited
- Fire Emblem had a two-part OVA based on Mystery of the Emblem (which in turn was a partial remake of the original game). Was actually released in English (albeit rather quietly), predating Marth's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee by a few years.
- F-Zero: GP Legend/The Legend of Falcon, best known for
spawning ascending the FALCON PUNCH Meme.
- Gakuen Heaven
- Galaxy Angel, which turned Pragmatic Adaptation (the game was delayed but the anime wasn't) into an art form to create a downright hilarious Gag Series.
- Galaxy Fraulein Yuna (Most non-Japanese fans probably don't even know the games exist. Granted, they're kinda old .. but they did come first.)
- Galerians: Rion, an OVA produced in 2002
- Ganbare Goemon (aka Legend of the Mystical Ninja) had a single OVA (Jigen Jō no Akumu), which parodied other Konami games (namely Castlevania, Gradius, and TwinBee), and a TV series which lasted 23 episodes and a movie (as well as a tie-in manga).
- Gate Keepers
- Green Green
- Halo Legends. Unique in that it is not an adaptation of any game but rather an Expanded Universe anime anthology of a Western series, tailored exclusively for a Western audience.
- Hammerin' Harry has several online webisodes.
- Hiiro No Kakera
- Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi
- THE iDOLM@STER to Idolmaster: Xenoglossia
- Inazuma Eleven
- Kid Icarus: Uprising has three: Thanatos Rising (by Production I.G), Medusa's Revenge (by Studio 4°C), and Palutena's Revolting Dinner (by Studio Shaft).
- The King of Fighters: Another Day (web series produced as a tie-in to KOF Maximum Impact and King of Fighters 2003)
- Kiniro No Corda
- Kirby of the Stars. Unique in that Masahiro Sakurai, Kirby's creator, was directly involved and as such, most Kirby fans love it.
- Little Busters!
- Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!
- Mashiro-iro Symphony
- Mass Effect: Paragon Lost
- Mega Man: Upon a Star - A three episode educational anime based on the original series that was produced to teach western children about Japanese culture. The blue bomber is even addressed by his overseas name "Mega Man" in the original Japanese dub (one scene even has a Japanese kid inserting an NES Mega Man 5 cartridge on a new model Family Computer).
- Momotaro Densetsu
- Monster Rancher and its anime.
- Nanatsuiro Drops
- Ninja Gaiden - 1991 Japan-only OVA loosely based on the first two NES games.
- Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
- Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru
- Panzer Dragoon OVA
- Parappa The Rapper
- Persona -trinity soul- is a loose (and officially non-canon) sequel to the popular game Persona 3.
- Persona 4: The Animation, a seemingly straight adaptation of, well, Persona 4.
- Petite Princess Yucie, for Princess Maker.
- Phantom ~Requiem For The Phantom~ an adaptation of the visual novel Phantom of Inferno. It also got a short OVA that is mostly forgotten these days.
- Pokémon: Easily the most successful anime based on a game. They only loosely reference each other though.
- Power Stone
- Princess Lover!
- Professor Layton
- Psychic Force had a 2-episode OVA.
- Puyo Puyo
- Ragnarok The Animation
- Sakura Taisen known as Sakura Wars in the west, had various OVAs, a TV series and a movie.
- Salamander which were OAVs based off the Gradius universe.
- Samurai Shodown had the Motion Picture (actually a made-for-TV special), which completely deviated from the game's plot and characterizations, and in the case of Amakusa, gender.
- There are also two other OAVs that were never released outside of Japan. The first was a preface to Samurai Shodown: Warrior's Rage, while the second was based on a Japan-only visual novel game starring Nakoruru.
- Sands of Destruction
- School Days
- Sengoku Basara
- Si N
- Shukufuku no Campanella
- Soul Link
- Sister Princess
- Sonic X, which totally redid most of the plot and setting of the two Adventure games.
- Star Ocean EX
- Star Soldier is a very unique (not to mention odd) case, not only because the movie was released alongside the game to promote it (probably the first to do this), but because it is actually about how the game was made!
- Street Fighter
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Robot Wars Original Generation (Which is strangely recursive if you think about it too hard.)
- Super Robot Wars Original Generation: The Animation - A 3-episode OVA semi-sequel to the second game.
- Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Divine Wars - TV series re-telling of the first game from one protagonist's perspective.
- Super Robot Wars Original Generation: The Inspectors - A 2010 TV series based on the second game.
- The Tales Series has a Tales of Symphonia OVA series, a Tales of Phantasia OVA series and a Twelve Episode Anime of Tales of Eternia. There's also Tales of the Abyss, which aired in the fall of 2008. Tales of Vesperia got a prequel movie.
- Tears To Tiara
- Tekken: The Motion Picture
- To Heart and To Heart 2 and the three To Heart 2 OVA series.
- Touhou Musou Kakyou, a fan-made Touhou anime. Which somehow managed to nab professional actors.
- The Tokimeki Memorial series has three anime adaptations - a two-episode OVA based on the first game, a 25-episode TV series (plus one DVD-exclusive episode) based on the now-defunct Tokimeki Memorial Online, and another OVA that serves as a prologue to Tokimeki Memorial 4.
- Tokyo Majin
- Touka Gettan
- The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk and The Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk are based on The Tower of Druaga series of dungeon crawlers and set sixty years after the first one. One episode even focuses on references to the game and old style gaming arcades.
- Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever
- Tsukihime (What is this doing here?)◊
- Twinbee Paradise (OVA) is kind of a weird case, as it may have been based off of the Radio Dramas that were based on the video games.
- Uta No Prince Sama
- Valkyria Chronicles
- Variable Geo, an OVA loosely based on the game Advanced Variable Geo. There was a later hentai OVA based on one of the other games.
- Viewtiful Joe
- Virtua Fighter
- Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer (three part OVA titled Gowcaizer: The Voltage Fighters)
- When They Cry:
- Wild Arms: Twilight Venom is not an adaptation of one of the games, but a story separate from the game, but set in the same universe.
- World Destruction
- Xenosaga, but it was only based on the first game...
- Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito
- Yosuga no Sora
- Zone of the Enders: Dolores, i is not an adaptation, but a side-story that takes place both before and after the first game.
- Specifically, the Idolo OVA takes place before the first game, and the actual Dolores, i series takes place between the original and Second Runner.
- Ape Escape now has a Nicktoons flash-animated cartoon.
- Backyard Sports had a TV special, NFL Backyard Basics: Football Tips from the Pros.
- Battletoads had a pilot episode aired as a try-out for a potential series. It bombed on a spectacular level.
- A Bubsy pilot was made and broadcast. Calling it a "crime against humanity" is entirely too kind.
- Captain N: The Game Master is a borderline case, since it is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover in an original setting.
- Darkstalkers had a short one-season series.
- Donkey Kong Country, a French-made adaptation of a British-developed installment of a Japanese franchise
- Double Dragon - 26-episodes in 1994 and 1995. It barely had anything to do with the original games as Billy and Jimmy were turned into twins separate from birth and were given beam-shooting swords and dragon masks. It had a tie-in fighting game for the SNES, Genesis, and Jaguar.
- Dragon's Lair
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Earthworm Jim, which was also one of the few Western Animation examples that was well-received.
- An Eternal Champions series was planned, but the franchise as a whole was stopped dead in its tracks early on in its life to pump Sega of Japan's Virtua Fighter.
- Heavy Gear: The CGI series suffered from Adaptation Decay to the point where the tabletop RPG retconned it as in-universe Southern Republic propaganda.
- Super fighting robot... Mega Man!
- This one is an interesting example, as it was a joint effort between Ruby-Spears and a Japanese animation studio, and has a somewhat Animesque artstyle.
- Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, which also marked the debut of antagonist Quan Chi, who would go on to later appear in future games, starting with Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero and Mortal Kombat 4.
- Mutant League had a cartoon that ran for two seasons, which is pretty lengthy considering most video game cartoons don't last past one season.
- Pac-Man, twice.
- An American-animated cartoon based on Pa Rappa The Rapper is in the works, and is set to air on Cartoon Network in Fall 2013. This one will be way more accurate to the games than the anime, and will be animated just like the games (Paper People in a 3D environment).
- Pole Position, In Name Only
- The Power Team (aka Acclaim Masters), a cartoon co-produced by DIC Entertainment, Bohbot Entertainment and Acclaim, which took the basic premise of Captain N and inverted it by having five characters from different Acclaim-published video games (NARC, Wizards & Warriors, Arch Rivals, Kwirk, and Bigfootnote ) transported to the "real world" in order to protect it from either Mr. Big and his gang (from NARC) or the evil wizard Malkil (from Wizards and Warriors) depending on the episode. The cartoon originated as a series of shorts that aired within the first season of Video Power (i.e., when it was a game reviewing show). When Video Power became a game show in its second season, the Power Team segments were then re-edited into half-hour episodes.
- Rayman had a 3D series that only lasted four episodes. A full season was planned, but it's rumored that the company didn't have a large enough budget for the rest of the episodes.
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police is another borderline case, based on a game based on a comic.
- Saturday Supercade had several: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Frogger, Pitfall and Qbert. In the second season, Kangaroo and Space Ace replaced Frogger and Pitfall.
- Sonic the Hedgehog had three, with "SatAM" being the most popular amongst the fandom (YouTube Poop fans may have to disagree with that, though). There's also the two anime (above). And let's not forget about Sonic Underground!
- Street Fighter, although this one was actually written as a semi-sequel to the movie.
- The Super Mario Bros. Super Show is technically a live-action series, but it had animated segments based on Super Mario Bros. 2 (with Bowser/King Koopa substituting for Wart) and The Legend of Zelda. It was retooled for the second season as a purely animated show based on Super Mario Bros. 3 and for its third and final season, it was reduced to 15-minute segments based on Super Mario World alongside Captain N.
- Tak and the Power of Juju; this caused slight Adaptation Displacement when the characters appeared in the Nicktoons Unite series alongside other Nickelodeon TV series (It doesn't help that Hal Sparks, Tak's TV actor, voices the protagonist here and there instead of Jason Marsden, his game VA.).
- The original game was actually supposed to come out shortly before/around a TV series, but it got delayed so much that it became more famous for a game series.
- Tomb Raider had an online series on Gametap.
- Viva Pińata
- The animation is part of an MMO/cartoon/TCG cross-media, but the game's universe was the first to be established, it being a continuation of its predecessor Dofus.
- Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?
- Wing Commander Academy, done by the same guys that made Exo Squad.
Examples of games adapted to Live Action TV:
Examples of games adapted to Live Action film:
Examples of games adapted to Web Animation: