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  • The Bard's Tale Trilogy: The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight ends mentioning The Castle of Candarr, but this does not show up in later games.
  • In Primal, Scree grills Jen about her Power Tattoo, saying the symbol is very important, and asking where the designer saw it. While the same symbol is seen all throughout the game, we're never told why it's so important, or what it means.
  • In the early days of Toontown Online, there was a video played during the download that featured a giant robot who was brought to life by Scrooge McDuck that creates the first Cogs, who would then go on to endlessly manufacture more. This video was taken down on some countries' versions of the site, particularly the American one. Since then, the releases of the Cog HQ's have made it seem like the four types of Cogs are separately ruled by four different bosses. However, defeating the CEO results in hearing a bit of his dialogue about the "Chairman," who some fans thought would turn out to be the robot from the download video. It's moot, since the game was discontinued before anything could come of it.
  • The Mega Man X series:
    • All games up through Mega Man X5 shed some light into the backstory of Zero, hinting time and again that he's originally a robot created by Dr. Wily of the previous series, and that he (Zero) is the true cause of the Maverick uprisings. X5 was supposed to be the Grand Finale of the X series, so this was naturally a given that the plot be somehow resolved in that game. And then, Post-Script Season kicked in, and aside from a few nods here and there this plot twist was never adhered to again, and the X series moved on to a different story direction. Ironically, even if fans disregard the post-script series, Mega Man Zero just made everything more confusing — dark secrets were explored all right, but they were brand new ones, and Zero didn't even remember the old.
    • Similarly was Sigma's "partner" whom he mentions in Mega Man X5. He goes off on how it's an "old man" who used be X's partner but now hates him, knows enough about Zero to be his father, and created Sigma's toughest body yet (one which more attentive fans will recognize as a modern update of Gamma, the Final Boss of Mega Man 3). It seems like he's setting up an entire new arc involving perhaps a Big Bad Duumvirate if not a new Big Bad altogether (not to mention everything he says is reminiscent of Dr. Wily), but this partner is never so much as alluded to ever again. Again, this was the result of Post-Script Season swing-kicking the game's narrative across the face.
  • Happens occasionally in City of Heroes.
    • A few epic archetypes, the Avilians and Blood of the Black Stream are referenced in the game but never seen while Incarnates were promised early on but never appeared until it was revealed that a certain few NPCs are of this type but the archetype is still not available to players. Also there is The Coming Storm, which has been coming for well over a year now and has not had any updates in just as long.
    • Each contact (Quest giver) has at least one group of missions that tells a story between them. Since you're not obligated to accept future missions from a contact if you don't want to, you can abandon arcs all on your own.
  • The "runner assassins" in Mirror's Edge are dropped without a trace. They appear in one mission and are made a big deal of, show up in one more mission as enemies, and then just disappear. Word of God has it that great swathes of her storyline were hacked out of the final product due to time constraints.
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  • After the disastrous launch of the original version of "Arcarum: The World Beyond" game mode in Granblue Fantasy, it was revamped to make it a single-player experience about the crew exploring Sephira after the Inchoate World attacks them in Amalthea, leaving very little of the story from the original version of the event which was about the mysterious Apostles recruiting the crew to fight a proxy war in Sephira.
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force leaves our beloved Shephard in a state that suggests (read: "practically begs for") his eventual return, but his narrative has yet to be picked back up, and the chances of Valve ever doing so are looking pretty dim, even if they do ever release more Half-Life games.
  • There are so many of these in World of Warcraft that they could form a folder all to themselves, although it's worth noting that Blizzard Entertainment has been revisiting some of them. A very concise summary:
    • The Chained Essence of Eranikus quest line from Sunken Temple ended with the Plot Coupon being handed to an NPC in Winterspring, with a promised followup that never occurred. Later, Eranikus was summoned and redeemed by players as part of the Ahn'Qiraj opening quest line, but the quests themselves are completely unconnected in gameplay terms.
    • The Discs of Norgannon quest line, available to players after defeating Uldaman, was left hanging after the discovery of Uldum in Tanaris. This lasted for close to three years before Brann Bronzebeard began investigating Ulduar in Storm Peaks, using a similar set of discs as the Plot Coupon. That, too, was left hanging until the opening of Ulduar as a raid dungeon in patch 3.1. Uldum itself was opened as part of the Cataclysm expansion, revealed to be a zone which was previously hidden. However, the disks found in Uldaman (and the second set of disks that you were told that you needed to enter Uldum), turned out to be unnecessary and were forgotten about.
    • The Missing Diplomat quest line started in Stormwind and took players up to the reveal of King Varian Wrynn's abduction by the Defias Brotherhood. It was never followed up in-game, but did receive extensive treatment in the tie-in comics and novels. Come Wrath of the Lich King, Varian suddenly reappeared in charge of Stormwind with a Darker and Edgier look and a microscopically thin in-game explanation.
      • And then, if you started playing after Wrath of the Lich King came out (but before Cataclysm), then you find out the King has been kidnapped... and wonder what the heck they're talking about since the King is right there in Stormwind.
    • The human kingdom of Kul Tiras, a key player in Warcraft II and Warcraft III, was not even shown on the map, despite the fact that a large number of NPCs are stated to have come from there (including the major human character Jaina Proudmoore). The island nation was absent from the game until its addition in Battle for Azeroth, a fair eight installments into the game's history. Gilneas was in a similar situation until Cataclysm was announced.
    • The Shady Rest Inn quest line remained unfinished, until a patch during The Burning Crusade expansion.
    • The supposed alliance between the Blue Dragonflight and the Ethereum during the Nexus War in WotLK.
    • The "Purification of The Ashbringer" subplot. The Ashbringer is a powerful holy sword, owned by the paladin Alexandros Mograine and lost when he fell to darkness. The corrupted version could be acquired in old Naxxramas, kicking off a quest chain that ended with the promise of purifying the Ashbringer in a future expansion. Come Wrath of the Lich King, Darion Mograine, the son of the original bearer, gives it to uber-Paladin and general messianic badass Tirion Fordring in the midst of a Heel–Face Turn. Tirion's faith in turn purifies the Ashbringer. Players who owned the original sword were left disappointed.
      • Come Legion, every Ret Paladin is given Ashbringer as their Artifact weapon, acquiring it from a dying Tiron. The original plans are referenced with a hidden Artifact Skin that turns it into a new version of the corrupted Ashbringer, requiring players to find Nat Pagle's book, Nefarin's head and taking them to the prince in Dire Maul, bringing the arc back around full circle.
    • Related to the above, rumors were spread during the Burning Crusade expansion that the aforementioned purification of Ashbringer would involve Turalyon and possibly Alleria Windrunner, and a mysterious smith in Outland hinted to be another son of Mograine. Nothing ever came of this, and Turalyon and Alleria were not seen from until Legion, despite promises that all the members of the Sons of Lothar would be featured in The Burning Crusade.
      • One loading screen tip highlights this plot thread by noting nobody has seen Turalyon or Alleria in years. Legion adds "...until now!" once the two return, having spent the twenty years since they disappeared fighting alongside the Army of the Light against the Burning Legion.
    • The Vashj'ir storyline, and the war between the naga and Neptulon's forces. Toward the end of the storyline, Neptulon is forced to retreat to the Throne of the Tides, and at the end of the Ozumat encounter, he is abducted by Ozumat again after players reduce Ozumat to around 10% HP. There was going to be a five-man dungeon in the Abyssal Maw, in which players would go inside the third ancient of Vashj'ir, and among other enemies, fight the Battlemaiden they had been controlling in the past visions quests. Blizzard scrapped the Abyssal Maw zones, deciding that Throne of the Tides was the conclusion to the storyline. It was even twice aborted, as the five-man was planned to be a raid.
    • Garrosh Hellscream's character arc was one that was changed so significantly it may as well have been aborted. Garrosh was intended to be a hot head struggling with the reigns of leadership and ultimately growing into an appreciable character who fit well with the dichotomy of the Horde. Unfortunately, the writers flubbed Garrosh's writing, making him unsympathetic with his positives being an Informed Ability. Once the developers realized their mistake, they gave up on making him a character the players were supposed to like or understand, turning him from "harsh but fair leader the people need" to "violent, xenophobic Tyrant Takes the Helm who needs to be deposed."
    • Many intriguing storylines in Warlords of Draenor were dropped or cut short due to a troubled development cycle. Examples of stories either cut short or outright removed include Yrel's character arc; the home islands of the Laughing Skull and Ogres; the titular Warlords and the Iron Horde being defeated quickly; and the sub-plot of Cho'gall and his connection to the Void.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Morrowind, the plan to infiltrate Red Mountain that Vivec gives you has the line "If Nerevarine can equip an item [Sunder or Keening] while not wearing Wraithguard and receive no injury, it is counterfeit." If you look into the game files, Dagoth Ur, during the final battle, has a Dummied Out line mentioning a false copy of Sunder, and the game indeed has two different, unused items called "false_sunder" and "sunder_fake", likely meaning that the Nerevarine was at one point going to be tricked into finding a fake copy of the weapon, an idea which was ultimately scrapped.
    • Skyrim:
      • If you speak to the Thieves' Guild member Rune, he will tell you his backstory and the reason for his peculiar name and you can offer to keep your eyes open in order to help him discover his origins. And then... nothing. It's never brought up again in the Thieves' Guild questline and there is no quest having anything to do with Rune's backstory.
      • There's Mjoll, a former adventurer trying to clean up the corruption in Riften. You never get a chance to help her deal with either the Thieves' Guild or Black-Briar family. This option was originally planned but was cut for time during development.
      • It's mentioned when you talk to people in the College of Winterhold that the previous mage group before yours went missing. You can happen upon their bodies by chance, and pick up unique items of theirs, but you can't do anything for them, find out whether the deaths were connected, or bring anyone any closure. This is actually a glitch, as Phinis Gestor was supposed to offer you the quest, but never does.
      • One quest has you tracking a man's wife who was kidnapped by bandits, but it turns out she's taken over the band and enjoys her new life, so she asks you to lie about her fate to get rid of him. When you do, she says she owes you a debt and will see you again someday because she means to repay it. She doesn't; you two never meet again.
      • In Dawnguard, if you side with the vampires, it's a plot point that two of Harkon's top lieutenants are feuding, and both are plotting to overthrow Harkon. The end result of this is that each of them sends a guy to kill you during your first quest for Harkon. After this, the plot is never mentioned again, even after you kill Harkon and take over as lord/lady of the castle. Presumably you keep around two guys who are trying to kill one another, and really want your job.
      • One that was thankfully cut was that Mephala's quest would result in all of Jarl Balgruuf's children seeking him out and committing patricide. The scripts are completely finished and in game, but unused. It's probable that the testers felt this was an undignified end for the Jarl and would take away a major moral dilemma of the Civil War arc.
      • The player can invoke this in-universe. Guards around Solitude will mention a huge upcoming wedding, being held in public with everyone allowed to attend, between the Emperor's cousin Vittoria Vici and Asgeir Snow-Shod, a native Nord. It's supposed to be the precursor to peace in the Civil War, everyone important is showing up, guests from far away are riding in, it's all Vittoria herself talks about... The quest is supposed to culminate in the player joining the Dark Brotherhood and assassinating Vittoria in full view at the ceremony. But if you take the option of destroying the Dark Brotherhood (or never meeting Aventus Aretino and starting the whole thing), nothing ever comes of it. You can actually end the Civil War, one way or another, and people will still be riding into attend and Vittoria will still be going on about it.
  • No fewer than two separate examples of this in Breath of Fire IV:
    • Thanks to Capcom's Bowdlerisation of non-Japanese, non-PlayStation versions of the game, there is an Aborted Arc where Fou-lu is stabbed by Soniel...and then after Fou-lu looks astonished, the game fades to black. In the Japanese versions, this goes to Fou-lu dementedly laughing about foolish mortals, then the screen goes to black-on-red silhouette as Fou-lu goes Ax-Crazy and decapitates Soniel with the very sword he pulled out of his own back. This would normally fall under What Happened to the Mouse?, but as this is actually a major plot-point in the game, it's better treated here.
    • Game designers were intending to kill Yuna off in the original script. In fact (according to Word of God) they had not one but two proposed methods: Mauling By Fou-Lu's Foo Dogs, or General Rhun killing him — neither of these got implemented, though, because the game ended up on a very tight schedule due to (at the time) a very real fear of Game Publisher Existence Failure and they didn't have time to code that part of the script. Yuna's death ended up just not happening.
    • The manga adaptation of IV gave some satisfaction on one end, and Much Cursing Ensued on the other. The manga adaptation of the scene between Fou-lu and Soniel features Fou-lu backstabbed and run completely through—with Fou-lu manifesting an energy sword and decapitating him whilst still having the Dragonslayer sticking through him; Fou-lu then shoves this out by hand. Yuna, on the other hand, survives — and this is especially maddening, seeing as other material in the artbook that didn't get the chance to be included in the game was included in the manga. This also pretty makes Yuna a complete Karma Houdini.
  • Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier gave Daxter a Dark Eco-powered Evil Side just like his buddy Jak. It had interesting story potential since the Always Chaotic Evil Dark Makers were Precursors corrupted by Dark Eco, and Daxter was revealed to be a Precursor in Jak 3: Wastelander. This went nowhere.
  • Capcom left the original Dino Crisis story hanging, in favor of Dinosaurs In SPACE In the Future for the third (and final) installment.
  • It has been speculated that Chrono Cross was originally intended to contain a subplot going into greater detail about Serge's role as the Arbiter of the Frozen Flame. More generally, there are suspicions that Chrono Cross was intended to be significantly longer than it was, as many of its plot threads are concluded only in the form of a massive Info Dump right before the final battle that was added to the North American version of the game.
  • In Chapter 1 of Valkyrie Profile, Lenneth decides to commit a vampire's name to memory after hearing about it after performing soul transfer on Belenus. However, we don't actually meet this vampire.
  • In the second Black Mirror game, there is talk early in the game of a woman named Kerry who committed suicide in the small Maine town. You never hear of her again once you leave the town.
  • In Gears of War 2, Delta Squad visits New Hope, an abandoned COG research facility filled with horrible humanoid mutants called "Sires." They are never explained in the game canon. The only evidence about them came from an Epic developer's post on the official forums where he claimed their story had been cut from 3. Fanon has it that they were performing horrible research on humans and Myrrah was one of the subjects, and with her Human/Locust hybrid DNA, she was able escape and become leader of the Locust horde. A comic later revealed that she the daughter of one of the humans who escaped the facility with the offspring of the sires.
    • This arc was finally resolved in Gears 5.
  • In Super Princess Peach, there are a series of cutscenes that talk about Perry (Peach's talking umbrella), and how he was once human. However, this is never expanded upon and we never learn who was responsible.
  • The first Marvel Ultimate Alliance ended with a Sequel Hook where Galactus was revealed to be planning a strike against Earth. This was completely ignored in the sequel in favor of an adaptation of the Civil War storyline, with Galactus' planned attack only mentioned in passing.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Tali's recruitment and loyalty missions feature a subplot about dark energy reducing the mass of a star's interior, causing it to age unnaturally quickly. Data on this phenomenon is considered important enough for the quarians to sacrifice whole teams of elite commandos in order to obtain it. Come the third game, this is never mentioned again. This was originally going to be the motive behind the Reaper cycle. Use of the Mass Relays causes dark energy (which is what was prematurely aging the star) to spiral dangerously out of control, threatening the whole galaxy. The Reapers cull advanced civilizations to stop this from happening. However, the departure of several key dev members caused Bioware to change it to the more controversial motivation that we actually got. There is the question of how this would have made sense, however, as civilizations finding and using the Mass Relays (which the Reapers built in the first place) was crucial to the Reapers' plans since the first game.
    • In June 2013, Drew Karpyshyn, the former lead writer for Mass Effect 1 & 2, confirmed this theory and elaborated a little bit on how the original Dark Energy ending for the trilogy would have played out. However, he also emphasizes that it was only one idea of many and they never developed it very far.
  • In Fear Effect, Fear Effect: Sedna doesn’t try to follow, not even throw hints towards, the planned love triangle between Hana, Glas and Rain that would have happened in the cancelled Fear Effect: Inferno''; Sedna has Glas as someone who had become estranged from the team, while Hana and Rain seem really close only towards each other, as they always were, with Glas completely out of the equation.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The localization team of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, possibly assuming Ike/Elincia would happen in the sequel, ramped up the Ship Tease for the two. There was indeed some basis for it in the original script, but Ike says that he's going to go back to being a simple mercenary at the end, which would effectively kill his chance at a marriage with a ruling queen. Yet many players were surprised when the sequel not only sank the ship, but treated them as if there was no possibly romantic subtext between the two in the first place.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, due to the Story Branching nature of the game, many plot points can end up either being dropped or given a payoff depending on the chosen route. That being said, 2 paths have clear aborted arcs of their own:
      • At one point of Part I, Byleth suddenly faints out of nowhere, which is something Sothis comments upon by claiming to have experienced a similar feeling before; it's also heavily implied this event is connected somehow to the Crest of Flames, as on the Black Eagles route, it's implied Edelgard, another bearer of said crest, also went through it around the same timeframe. This event is never brought up again in any route and the mistery surrounding this particular episode is never resolved.
      • On the Crimson Flower route, it is said multiple times that the collaboration with “those who slither in the dark” is merely temporary and that they’ll be eventually dealt with once the war is finally over. Not only that, after the fall of the Leicester Alliance, Hubert mentions that Lord Arundel has started collecting the heroes’s relics found in the territory, which would indicate he’s up to something. Due to the storyline ending after defeating Rhea and conquering Faerghus, this plot thread ends up being cut short and resolved offscreen.
      • On the Azure Moon route, while Dimitri seeks answers for the Tragedy of Duscur during Part 2, he learns that his stepmother Patricia not only may have had a hand in what happened, but that she went missing instead of being killed like everyone in the Kingdom had previously assumed, and could potentially be still alive somewhere, which is brought up again after the Death Knight's defeat. This plotline is eventually cut short and left unresolved as the storyline ends after the fall of the Adrestian Empire.
  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars indicated that the Scrin force you fight off in the GDI and Nod campaigns is only a mining colony, and there's a whole invasion fleet waiting in the wings. C&C4: Tiberian Twilight completely ignores this plot arc.
    • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars and Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun imply Kane is an alien — as the Scrin recognize him during their invasion (and he's not human), and he shows awareness and affinity to Alien technology like the Tacitus. However the fourth game abandons most of it. Turns out Kane is the biblical Cain and he really was doomed to walk the earth - the alien tech is just a means to an end to resolving that.
  • In Metroid: Other M, a subplot arises concerning a traitor among the Federation soldiers, killing the others to preserve the Bottle Ship's secrets. However, the subplot just sort of drops off, and by the end of the game all the likely suspects are dead with no confirmation as to who the traitor was. The potential clues the game drops our way make it fairly easy to deduce it was James Pierce. Still, this is never addressed at any point, and there is no indication that Samus herself ever makes the connection.
  • In Heavy Rain, the recurring blackouts Ethan suffers after Jason's car accident that lead him to think he's the Origami Killer are no longer mentioned starting around the last quarter of the game. It was originally intended that the Killer's being present at Jason's accident formed a psychic link between him and Ethan that caused him to black out when the Killer committed his initial kidnapping, but this was dropped due to realism concerns.
  • Two Worlds II seems to suffer heavily from this. The story goes on nicely until you finally make it out of the Goddamn Swamp, then you have to head out for the Big Bad's fortress only to end up being handed a Twist Ending the size of the castle you're infiltrating. It seems the game was originally planned to be significantly larger but the developers had to shorten it due to time and money constraints, so you get the feeling of having "skipped" a certain portion of the story when getting an ending which doesn't make much sense and feels extremely rushed.
  • Silent Hill 2, which arguably codified the series and ever game in the franchise thereon, dropped certain important plot points from Silent Hill, such as the presence of an addictive drug that the cult was using to control key members of the town. Arguably justified, as James's issues are far different from Harry's issues.
  • Swordquest: Airworld, the fourth and final installment, would have the Real Life contest winner receiving the Philosopher's Stone, and facing off against the winners of the Talisman of Penultimate Truth, the Chalice of Light, and the Crown of Life, for the grand prize, the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery.
  • The preview for the final episode of the Ambition series states that you'll advise Rolf Klink as he negotiates with "pure evil". This is not what happens in the episode at all, which instead focuses on the trial for Angie's murder.
    • From the same creator, Sir Basil Pike Public School mentions subplots based around a Big Game and a school dance, which are never brought up again.
  • What happens when you take about 30 arcs that never get resolved and stitch them together with a storyline that goes nowhere? Treasure Hunter G on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Awesome music and a unique battle system thankfully keep you from realizing it.
  • Tales Series:
  • Assassin's Creed: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, along with its sequel, contains a hidden scene of Subject 16 desperately begging Desmond to find Eve, as in Eve the first woman, and implies that her bloodline will have some Messianic-level of importance in the future. This has never come up again. Not even when Subject 16 actually appeared in the next game for extended periods of time.
  • Sabre Man: Mire Mare, Sabreman's third destination, required to defeat the third and final guardian, was mentioned in the preceding three games, and never shows up.
  • In Star Trek Online, your Federation player is asked by an admiral to invade a Romulan outpost in search of illegal weapons. Instead, you find out that the weapons were actually equipment to find the Undine and the admiral is an Undine, who replaces the Romulan commander you just murdered and escapes. However, this isn't followed up on afterwards, with Cryptic Studios mentioning that, yes, they were, but they never could and they hate that they couldn't.
    • This is hardly the only aborted arc (the most prominent one is probably the Klingon Fek'Ihri arc, which ends with a blatant sequel hook in the form of evidence the Fek'Ihri may have been bioengineered creatures, possibly using Hur'q (the Hur'q being an alien race that once enslaved the Klingons) technology. Nothing ever comes of this), though sometimes it's complicated by picking up the arc again but after enough time in-universe that there were changes and events during the skip never entirely explained, and in at least one case an arc was 'unaborted' by Word of God exposition not actually mentioned in-game.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, you can find a positive pregnancy test in the Joker's office, indicating that Harley Quinn is pregnant. In the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC, you find several negative birth control tests and the test's box has been changed to read "may give false positive". Seems the writers got cold feet and quickly backtracked.
  • In Batman: Arkham Origins, it is revealed that the Joker has taken over Black Mask's gang and taken Black Mask hostage. When you rescue Black Mask, he threatens Batman to stay away from the Joker, claims that the Joker is his kill, and runs off when Batman is ambushed by Copperhead. He never follows through on this threat and is never seen again outside of his "most wanted" mission, which involves destroying drug caches and has nothing to do with the Joker. The closest the Black Mask vs Joker plot gets to resolution is in Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, where both Black Mask and Joker are in prison and Black Mask attempts to destroy all of Blackgate, supposedly just to kill the Joker.
  • The Secret of Monkey Island has one point like this early in the game. where Fester Shinetop (LeChuck in disguise) lures you to a back alley and threatens you. In this alleyway, there is a door which Guybrush comments is locked. The original plan for the game was to use this scene to show you this alleyway, then later on have LeChuck bring Elaine through this door and into some underground tunnels, where you would rescue her, but space and time reasons meant they aborted this arc. They instead replaced it with the scene in the church. However they left the alley scene in for the sake of establishing Shinetop's character. The next time you see him, he is about to kidnap Elaine but doesn't because you are there. They would return to the idea of LeChuck hiding in underground tunnels for the second game, and the elevator in those tunnels even opened at that door and alleyway (using the same artwork, slightly modified with barricades preventing you from exiting). This doesn't stop it from qualifying though as LeChuck doesn't actually capture Elaine at all in the second game.
  • In Shockwave: Operation Jumpgate, the Omaha discovers alien prison transports carrying non-human prisoners, establishing that the invaders are not the only aliens in existence. While Shockwave 2 explores other alien races further, the prisoners from Operation Jumpgate are forgotten. From the dynamic between the races in Shockwave 2, they are likely Sensci.
  • A secret message from the original God of War had Kratos revealing he discovered a secret chamber containing the soul of the god Ares he just defeated. Then he considers using it against Zeus. This is never addressed in the sequels and as of the third game, it will never be again since Zeus and most of the gods are dead.
  • As many have noticed, every central character in Xenogears besides Fei, Citan, Elly, and Bart is kind of shunted to the side story-wise after the arc they make their first appearance in. One of the more notable instances being Emeralda, who gets a whole sidequest devoted to her growing up so she can be more useful to her 'father,' Fei, only to fall out of the story for the remainder of the game- and that's if you did that sidequest to begin with.
  • The English prototype of Earthbound Beginnings that eventually was released in Japan in the Compilation Re-release MOTHER 1+2 ends with two Sequel Hooks: Giygas/Giegue promises to the hero Ninten that they will meet again and in The Stinger, Ninten's father calls him to inform that "Something new has come up". Neither EarthBound nor Mother 3 address this as they have different main characters and, in fact, aside from Giygas' origin, those two games are disjointed from the original.
  • The second game of the Lemmings series deals with the 12 Lemming tribes fleeing a disaster that destroys their home island. Four follow-up games were supposed to be made, dealing with three of the tribes each, which detailed the Lemmings discovering and settling a new island chain. Unfortunately, only one - Lemmings Chronicles was actually made and it did not do well critically or commercially, so the entire arc was shelved.
  • Depending on your choices, you can ultimately reduce the Bhadra subplot of Far Cry 4 to this. If you side with Amita as leader of the Golden Path, Bhadra is "sent away" in the ending and all the game's carefully constructed Foreshadowing about Bhadra becoming The Chosen One goes absolutely nowhere.
  • A rather odd example in the Tom Clancy-verse video game franchises: Rainbow Six Vegas and H.A.W.X. 2 gave hints that the conflicts in those games were being masterminded by some kind of ultra-powerful international organization hellbent on destroying the United States. Splinter Cell: Conviction then revealed the existence of an Ancient Conspiracy called "Megiddo" that was bigger than nations, corrupted that game's Big Bad, and convinced him to betray his country. But after Conviction's reveal, Ubisoft apparently decided to discard this plot device: Ghost Recon Future Soldier (which took place in the same war as HAWX 2) showed that the instigators of that conflict were an arms trafficking group called "Raven's Rock", and Splinter Cell Blacklist never mentioned Megiddo at all (though it may have brought the idea back vaguely, as the Big Bad of that game mentions he is being backed by 12 nations in the ending). Rainbow Six Siege and Ghost Recon Wildlands are multiplayer shooters with not much plot, and The Division has a completely different story.
  • The whole matter with Dex that started in Saints Row 2. You find out he was one of the few who had set you up to be killed at the end of the first game. But he runs off to escape retribution with the Boss vowing to hunt him down by the end of the game. However the third game never even continued said storyline and he only gets a (rather humorous) mention in passing in the 4th game. You do somewhat get to kill him in Gat out of Hell (several times over, in fact!) as part of an Author's Saving Throw, but even then it does feel somewhat moot since he was killed when the Earth was destroyed and already in Hell being tortured. The justification Volition gave was that the arc depended on people having played the first game and the DLC of the second, neither of which are available on PC, and they didn't want that portion of their player base to feel left out of the loop— which didn't stop them from packing Saints Row IV with all kinds of other Continuity Porn stretching all the way back to the original game.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Freya in Final Fantasy IX appears this way as she and her relationship with Fratley was never explored. It's never revealed what happened to him during his time away, and their last scene together in the ending (long after you see him again) ends with little closure as to what will happen to them.
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • At one point, Red XIII asks Tifa if his history of experimentation by Hojo means that he'll eventually go mad like the other subjects, suggesting that this might happen... and it's never brought up again. Red XIII was one of the first characters added to the game and had an extensive storyline worked out for him, focusing on the results of his time as a test subject. Virtually all of it was cut mid-development, meaning that he has the least to do out of all the party members with the exception of optional character Vincent.
      • The chronological last event to happen in The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII (besides the "500 Years Later" coda featuring the older Red XIII) is Genesis Rhapsodos recovering Weiss's corpse with some vaguely defined plan in mind. This was intended to foreshadow Genesis's involvement in Crisis Core, which was to come out later and chronologically preceeded Dirge, but failed to resolve (or even touch upon) what Genesis had been up to. The ending of the Compilation line — which was not unexpected, but built in — means it will never be resolved, although Dirge of Cerberus's Fanon Discontinuity status means few care.
  • King's Quest (2015) suggests pretty strongly that the dragon will return. Especially in chapter 3, where it's revealed that Manny is trying to train it. Sadly, the dragon does not show up in the finale.
  • The comic tie-in for Team Fortress 2 wraps up the game's story (teams of Palette Swapped mercenaries fighting it out on behalf of two construction companies) in the first entry with some liberal Bridge Dropping and Hand Waving, and then spends the rest of the time acting as though it (and the poor blue team) never existed.
  • 2012's Soulcalibur V did a 17-year Time Skip meant to be a Soft Reboot of the series that would introduce a new generation of fighters to the mix, and continue the story in a new status quo. Because the game underperformed, was hit with backlash over said story, setting and characters, went on a long hiatus afterwards, the man responsible for the time skip left less than two years after release, and the general consensus was that the series needed to return to the roots to survive, whatever plots V set up were promptly abandoned. Soulcalibur VI, released in 2018, ended up as a Continuity Reboot that completely undoes everything V tried to do (even going as far as painting the events of V as a Bad Future that must be prevented at all costs), returning the series and status quo back to normal, leaving all lingering plots related to it currently unresolved.
  • Kingdom Hearts I ended with Sora, Donald, and Goofy coming upon Pluto, bearing a note from King Mickey. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories opened with the same scene, but took the story into a completely different direction: the trio's pursuit of Pluto just happened to lead them to Castle Oblivion, where the Myth Arc of the series began to rear its head. The note was never recovered from Pluto, its contents never revealed, and hasn't been mentioned in any game since.
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors may be based on a popular franchise, but it does leave these out:
    • The Kuro, Skypiea, Thriller Bark and Amazon Lily arcs are all left out of the first game unfortunately.
    • The second game brings some of those lost locations back, but still skips over a few, like Fishman Island.
    • The third game mostly averts this, as it goes out of its way to cover the entire manga, but still relegates some "minor" arcs to references in cutscenes, like Amazon Lily.
    • Aside from a DLC Mission in Pirate Warriors 3 using the title "Davy Back Fight", the Davy Back Fight arc is barely referenced at all in any of the three games. The only allusion it gets in one of the actual base games comes from 3, where the scene with Aokiji is used as an introduction to the Water 7 level.
  • For the Western audience, Splatoon's first attempt at an online Splatfest event ended up as a Postponed Arc. After lots of buildup including elements gradually being added to the plaza, Nintendo decided to delay the event to the following month in order to fix technical issues discovered during the Japanese Splatfest. There was no in-game acknowledgment of the delay, only social media posts, so in game terms all the preparation suddenly disappeared only to restart from the beginning a few weeks later.


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