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Adaptation Amalgamation

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Sometimes there are not enough source material/original ideas for a complete work, like a book, or a movie. Other times there are multiple sources, each with their own merits. The result is this: a work adapted from more than one source material.

That method also sometimes used to cover the tracks in cases when plot was meant to be original but is too similar to plagiarism from some other work. The solution is to either purchase rights for something similar (yet not so expensive), or just add additional layers to the story from the other source which will confuse lawyers enough not to tell where it was plagiarized from.

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A type of Crossover. Also see Composite Character, and Broad Strokes. Often crosses with Dolled-Up Installment, but not always. May be a rare example of Adaptation Distillation and Adaptation Expansion at the same time. May take place IN SPACE!.

Also compare Merging the Branches, where the later canon combines several previously mutually exclusive story branches, Patched Together from the Headlines for a story that combines unrelated Real Life happenings, and Patchwork Fic, where the amalgamation only occurs in the fanfiction. See also Cut-and-Paste Translation and its more pejorative synonym Macekre, both mainly for Anime.


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Fallout: Equestria acts as a mash-up of plot elements and characters from all four main Fallout titles. 1 and 3 are the heaviest influences, with The Goddess and Red Eye serving as Expies of The Master and The Lieutenant from 1 and having the same plan as them, but Red Eye also takes numerous cues from President Eden and Ashur from 3, and most of the major locations visited are also based on locations from 3.
  • LEGO Equestria Girls combines various bits and pieces from the LEGO franchise. Most of its influences occur from the Clutch Powers movie (you can find it here), but the story is not shy about including references to The LEGO Movie (despite the fact that the first chapter was released before that movie).
  • Pokémon Crossing: Fly Me to the Moon combines multiple installments from both Animal Crossing and Pokemon. Almost every character from Animal Crossing is set to appear (with the exception being the player character), while multiple Pokemon entries are referenced through the story.
  • Sonic Generations: Friendship Is Timeless combines elements and characters from not just pretty much all the Sonic the Hedgehog games (even more so than the original game), but also from all the Sonic cartoons released at that point, all the Sonic comics released at that point, Sonic X, and even Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games games.
  • Coreline gets really, really absurd with these things. As an example, the story Regular Dinosaur Park features an alternate version of Jurassic Park's John Hammond that is a living LEGO figurine (so based on the film version) with the additional backstory that appears on Jurassic Park: Trespasser.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Peter's universe combines elements from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the main comics, including Peter's divorce from MJ, the Sokovia Incident, Kamala Khan and Mister Sinister.
  • Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee has characters from the main Pokémon games and the main anime, with Black and White and Black 2 and White 2 being the primary source of characters and there's more focus on Risa and Margo on the PokéAni side of things, adapts N's backstory pretty faithfully but with a slight twist as to who corrupted him originally, as well as Mega Evolution being taken from X and Y and Z-Moves taken from Sun and Moon, has characters and elements from Love Live!, with the Perfect Dream Project girls and certain Transfer Students having a major focus, has characters from both the Standard and Girl's Side braches of Tokimeki Memorial, but with the focus on characters from the Kirameki and Hibikino Sagas as well as Chikara Osako from 3rd Story and Pastel as the main representative of the Twinbee series.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: The final arc of the story combines elements of the "Twilight's Kingdom" two-parter finale of season 4 (unlocking the Chest of Harmony and gaining first Rainbow Power, then Twilight's new castle); the "Shadow Play" two-parter finale of season 7 (the story involves freeing the Pillars of Equestria and defeating the Pony of Shadows) and the "Siege of the Crystal Empire" arc from the comics (the Pony of Shadows is one of the Umbrum Forces, and goes to the Crystal Empire to free the rest of his people so he can use them to take over the world).
  • My Father's Son: In general, this story is more closely associated with the books with way more minor houses than in the show and also uses Asha for Theon's sister. However, there's also the show's family tree for the Targaryan line (no Jaeharys II), and a few incorporated elements from The Game of Thrones video game with house Forrester introduced.
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    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A lot of movies are adapted (most of them uncredited and unofficially) from two novels by Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest and The Glass Key, which are actually completely unrelated save for the same genre and writer.
    • Yojimbo by Akira Kurosawa was this to a lesser extent but spawned a LOT of unofficial adaptations on its own, most of which contain at least one significant moment from The Glass Key and the main plot patterns of Red Harvest. The primary example is A Fistful of Dollars, which was considered a plagiarism of Yojimbo in court. Ironically enough, the official remake of Yojimbo, Last Man Standing, heavily borrows elements from both Red Harvest and A Fistful of Dollars.
    • The Coen Brothers film Miller's Crossing also combines these novels by Hammett, but borrows elements from both nearly 50% to 50%.
  • Russian 1995 Movie The Eggs of Doom (Rokovye yaytsa) was adapted from the short novel by famous writer Mikhail Bulgakov, but had many scenes, characters and themes actually borrowed from his most known work, The Master and Margarita.
  • Scary Movie was an amalgam of two separate screenplays.
  • Soviet 1987 surreal cult film Assa was adapted from an unpublished short story and song Hello, Bananan Boy but has excerpts from historical novel The Edge of the Centuries by Nathan Eidelman, which one of the characters reads, adapted as well.
  • RoboCop (1987): Screenwriter Edward Neumeier had written a screenplay about a robot that becomes a cop. When he met fellow writer Michael Miner it turned out that Miner was working on a screenplay about a human cop becoming a robot. They decided to combine the ideas and RoboCop was the result.
  • All the Die Hard sequels are based, mostly, on unrelated source material, but maintain John McClane as the protagonist.
  • Often found when you have an action or horror movie from Bollywood: they have a shortage of ideas in this area so they produce tons of unofficial remakes (and they've started to have a shortage there, as well: The Godfather was remade at least 7 times, for example). A particular example is a movie named Commando (no, not that one) by Bubbar Subhash starring Mithun Chakraborti, which combines Romancing the Stone with American Ninja.
  • After seeing The Terminator, Harlan Ellison thought that it was this for his two teleplays for The Outer Limits (1963): "Soldier" and "Demon With a Glass Hand". If so, it was very minimal, but Ellison sued the filmmakers, succeeded, and had his name added to the end credits. Which makes one wonder why he didn't sue the creators of Soldier, which was basically his short story/teleplay "Soldier" recycled in the universe of Blade Runner (which also makes it an example of the trope).
  • Blade Runner itself qualifies. The film was based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but the title and term "blade runner" were taken from the totally unrelated Alan E. Nourse novel The Bladerunner and screenplay adapted from it by William S. Burroughs, Blade Runner: The Movie. Ridley Scott specifically purchased the rights to the title, and both Nourse and Burroughs were credited in the end credits.
    • Burroughs' screenplay, in turn, was adapted to an already filmed, unfinished film starring Bill Paxton. The resulting movie released as Taking Tiger Mountain.
  • The screenplay for Naked Lunch is based not only on William Burroughs' novel, but also on other fiction by him (in particular, first half of the movie is mostly based on The Exterminator), and autobiographical accounts of his life.
  • The Lawnmower Man is a rather weird example, which was "adapted" from a short story by Stephen King using it as an In Name Only stunt for an original screenplay. King sued filmmakers to remove his name from the credits, and, especially, the film's marketing. It is weird because a) King actually liked the film and it has a lot of his common themes in it; b) the film actually featured a scene adapted straight from a short story and a dialogue between two policemen taken line-to-line from it.
  • Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon combines elements from two different Ryuonosuke Akutagawa stories. Most of the plot came from "In a Grove", while the framing device (of travelers trapped in a gate because of a rainstorm) and title came from "Rashomon".
  • In 1974, a pair of movie studios, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., had the rights to different books about a skyscraper on fire: "The Tower" and "The Glass Inferno". Rather than try to compete with each other the studios decided to team up, combining both books into The Towering Inferno.
  • Anime example: The live-action film Ghost in the Shell (2017) uses elements of the 1995 animated film as well as the second season of Stand Alone Complex.
  • The film Return to Oz takes elements from two of the Oz books by L Frank Baum: The Marvelous Land of Oz (which does not feature Dorothy as a character) and Ozma of Oz (which does), as well as the 1973 non-fiction book Wisconsin Death Trip as a historical source.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a combination of On Stranger Tides (although it's essentially an In Name Only adaptation) and characters and plotlines from the previous Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
  • After the James Bond movies started running out of novels to adapt, there were a few which combined elements from various short stories and scenes from the novels that were not used in their respective films (usually with a bunch of extra stuff added even so).
    • Dr. No follows the novel pretty closely, though it also takes scenes from Casino Royale (Bond using a strand of hair to see if someone's been in his room and his first meeting with Felix Leiter) and The Spy Who Loved Me (Bond fooling an assassin with the three-pillow trick).
    • For Your Eyes Only combines the plots of "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico". From the former, it draws the Havelocks, Gonzales, and Melina's revenge quest, while it lifts Kristatos, Colombo, and their rivalry from the latter. The scene in which Bond and Melina are keelhauled was adapted from the climax of Live and Let Die, and the Identigraph concept is from Goldfinger.
    • Octopussy combines plot elements from "Octopussy" and "The Property of a Lady". "Octopussy" forms the backstory for thef ilm's female lead, while the auction scene was adapted from "Property of a Lady".
    • Licence to Kill draws Felix Leiter's shark attacknote  from Live and Let Die and the character of Milton Krest from the short story "The Hildebrand Rarity". Sanchez, meanwhile, borrows heavily from the novel version of Francisco Scaramanga; Bond's plan to go undercover within Sanchez's operation and bring it down from the inside also parallels how Bond dealt with Scaramanga in the books.
    • In addition to updating the original novel to a contemporary setting, Casino Royale takes Bond winning a car in a card game from Goldfinger, the plot of Bond coming between an unhapilly married couple from the short story "The Hildebrand Rarity" and the name Solange from the short story "007 in New York".
    • Die Another Day contains elements of Moonraker. As confirmed by Rosamund Pike, Miranda Frost was originally named Gala Brand, which was the name of the Bond girl in the original book. Gustav Graves, meanwhile, is based upon the original novel's version of Sir Hugo Drax. Also, Bond talking to M while separated by glass is a nod to the opening chapter of The Man With Golden Gun where a brainwashed Bond attempts to assassinate M, only to be foiled by a plate of glass. Colonel Moon was a nod to Colonel Sun. In fact, he was supposed to the same character, but legal reasons prevented this.
    • Skyfall's plot of Bond being presumed dead and M writing his obituary is taken from You Only Live Twice, while the shooting contest is taken from The Man with the Golden Gun.
    • No Time to Die incorporates elements of the book and film versions of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and the You Only Live Twice novel (Safin's "poison garden" mirrors that of Blofeld in the novel), while featuring a high-stakes plot reminiscent of classic films like The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.
  • Film versions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland tend to combine the first book with its sequel, "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There."
    • The 1933 and 1985 films both devote their first halves to Wonderland and their second halves to Looking-Glass, but make them both part of the same dream. The 1999 TV version takes just three episodes from Looking-Glass (the White Knight, the Garden of Live Flowers, and Tweedledum and Tweedledee/The Walrus and the Carpenter) and puts them all together in between the Mock Turtle and Trial scenes from Wonderland. The 1972 British film is mostly jut Wonderland, but it does include Tweedledum and Tweedledee too.
    • The 2010 Alice in Wonderland (2010) film is based on a combination of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking-Glass. The sequel is, despite debate, in face only based on ATTLG, as this story included Lewis Carroll's poem "The Jabberwocky" (on which the film is also partly based) as some of its prose. Of course, this is only very loosely based on Carroll's work, as pretty much the only things in common are a couple of character names and the premise of a world Down the Rabbit Hole.
  • Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy incorporates a number of scenes and elements from The Lord of the Rings that weren't used in Jackson's earlier LOTR films. These include the appearance of the Maiar Radagast the Brown and Saruman deriding him as a weirdo, both of which were related after the fact by Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring. It also borrows plot elements from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings and some of Tolkien's writings that were published after his death. Since the studio didn't own the film rights to the latter, they had to do some Writing Around Trademarks. Still, big chunks of the movies (Azog's vendetta, Kili and Tauriel's romance, Laketown's politics) are original material that Peter Jackson's team came up with.
  • Everest (2015) was based on the memoirs of several of the climbers rather than being a straight adaptation of just one, as the previous TV movie about the disaster had been.
  • Arsène Lupin (2004) takes its plot from several of the original stories, focusing largely on Lupin's history and the crucifix plot with Josephine.
  • Little Shop of Horrors is mostly based on the 1982 musical of the same name but Bill Murray's Arthur Denton character is based on one from the original 1960 movie who wasn't in the play.
  • Almost happened, but averted, with the Harry Potter adaptations. The original plan was to take the beginning of Sorcerer's Stone and then re-jig scenes and plot points from the second and third novels to create Harry Potter: The Movie. But then, a smarter but unprecedented idea came up: "What if our audience could grow up along with the characters?" What might have been an easy cash-in became a straight adaptation of the first book....and then the following six.
  • Full Metal Jacket is based on the semi-autobiographical novel The Short-Timers published in 1979 by former Marine Gustav Hasford. However, the script was co-written by Micheal Herr, who incorporated a large amount of his Gonzo Journalism book Dispatches from the Vietnam War. The result is an odd fusion; the plot is drawn from The Short-Timers, with the first half an extremely faithful adaptation and the second half an amalgamation of events from the second and third stories, while almost all the film's iconic dialog and surreal moments are taken word-for-word from Dispatches. This led to some friction over who would be given full credits. In the end, it was given to both authors.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 

    Mythology and Religion 
  • While technically any Arthurian story which involves both the Grail Quest and Lancelot is this by very definition, special note should go to The Once and Future King, as it was T. H. White's attempt at creating an Arthurian super-myth, which incorporated as many of the myriad Arthurian myths and legends into one cohesive story as possible. Although how well this succeeded is debatable (there are a number of myths missing, but the overall quality is unquestionably excellent nonetheless), it is still the most "complete" of all Arthur myths, and borrows from at least a dozen stories.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theater 
  • Carrie: The musical keeps the parts of both Carrie (1976) and the book as it wishes. For instance, Margaret dies the same way as her book counterpart (via a stopped heart), it returns the frame story of Sue's interrogation from the book, and Carrie dying in Sue's arms but takes Sue going to see Tommy and Carrie at the prom from the film and surviving because Miss Gardner threw her out, and the massacre being limited to the school gym rather than destroying the town.
  • The play Universal Robots by Mac Rogers is partly an adaptation of R.U.R., but also includes autobiographical details of the author Karel Capek and his (imaginary in real life) twin sister.
  • Evgeny Schwartz's play "The Emperor's New Clothes", in addition to the eponymous tale, also uses elements from "The Princess and the Pea" and "The Swineherd" (on the background of A Nazi by Any Other Name, no less).
  • Shrek: The Musical is otherwise based on the first movie but it starts the same as the original book with Shrek's parents throwing him out of their house.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame is mostly based on the Disney film, but incorporates multiple plot points from the Victor Hugo novel. Shockingly, this includes Esmerelda and Quasimoto's original deaths. Any music from the movie has been stylistically and lyrically tweaked to be more similar to that other Victor Hugo musical. One review called it "Music by Disney, darkness by Hugo".
  • Jasper In Deadland is mainly based off of Orpheus, with some elements from The Divine Comedy, and a few cameos by other characters from various mythologies. Jasper even gets compared to Orpheus and Dante at different points.
  • Saturday Night Fever: The Musical is based on the original movie but ends the same as the sequel, Staying Alive with Tony announcing that he's going to strut and then walking around to the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive".
  • Westeros: An American Musical: The play contains both elements of A Song of Ice and Fire that didn't make it to Game of Thrones and elements from the latter that weren't present in the books.
  • Eva Le Gallienne's 1932 stage play of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Elizabeth Swados's 1978 musical Alice in Concert (originally starring Meryl Streep as Alice and later filmed for TV as Alice at the Palace) both adapt the first book in the first act and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass in the second act, but make both part of the same dream, with Alice falling asleep at the beginning of the first act and waking up at the end of the second.
  • Evil Dead: The Musical is The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 if they both happened in the same night, plus a couple of the iconic lines from Army of Darkness. Ash goes to the cabin with a gang of his friends like in the first movie but bar his girlfriend Linda, they were removed from the Broad Strokes sequel. Then the cabin owner's daughter shows up thinking Ash killed her parents like in the second movie.
  • The 2010 Swedish Dracula: the Musical is mostly lot to the original Dracula novel, it borrows heavily from Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula movie.

    Toys 
  • When Hasbro imported Takara's toy lines Diaclone and Microchange, they were combined in a new franchise with an invented plot: Transformers.

    Video Games 
  • Several Chinese bootleg video games use some old games and just stash new sprites into them to release them as 8-bit cash-ins on recent movies. As a result you'll have Harry Potter and SpongeBob SquarePants games made of engine from one game combined with sprites from another and bizarre Cut-and-Paste Translation to fix at least some of the holes.
  • Somari, also a Chinese Famicom bootleg, puts Mario, using his Super Mario Bros. 3 character design, in the game world of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • The video game of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End actually combines the stories of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and At World's End into one game. This is actually quite odd, given that Dead Man's Chest is the film before At World's End, and so the game would have been more expected to be named after the earlier film (since that obviously comes earlier in the game, too) — or even for that film to have had its own game adaptation previously that excluded it from being part of the later one (it had but on different consoles). The title signifies how the plot of the third film overtook the second. The Dead Man's Chest story features quite a few game-exclusive scenes as well, some of whom show Tia Dalma and even Captain Teague calling for the Pirate Brethren to assemble with every plot point leading At World's End.
  • The plot of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is mostly a loose adaptation of The Shadow Over Innsmouth, but it also includes elements from another (unrelated) H. P. Lovecraft novella, The Shadow out of Time, especially in the prologue and the ending.
  • Batman: Arkham Series: While the games have an original plotline, they incorporate elements of several story arcs and characterizations from the original comics, the Burton-Schumacher and Nolan films, and the DCAU.
  • The video game adaptation of Quantum of Solace actually consists of that movie as well as the events of Casino Royale (2006). The levels based on the latter occur in the game as flashbacks.
  • Electronic Arts' Licensed Game of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is an amalgam of said film and The Fellowship of the Ring. Vivendi Universal's stand-alone The Fellowship of the Ring game, by contrast, is directly based on the original novel, since they held the rights to video game adaptations of Tolkien's literary works, while EA held the rights to adaptations of the films.
  • In the Alternative Continuity mobile game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, the canonical characters look like they do in movies but their personalities are more in line with the books.
  • The PlayStation version of Doom combines the campaigns of The Ultimate Doom and Doom II, along with adding a few exclusive levels, although it lacks a couple enemies from the PC version such as the Arch-Viles and Icon of Sin. On higher difficulties, Doom II enemies will show up in The Ultimate Doom's levels.
  • The "Mac Family" ports (SNES, Macintosh, Jaguar, 3DO) of Wolfenstein 3-D incorporate three bosses from the PC Mission Pack Prequel, Spear of Destiny.
  • In Sega's 1985 arcade adaptation of Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns, Stages 1 and 2 are based on the first and second Atari 2600 games, respectively, while Stages 3 and 4 take place in new environments inspired by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  • Friday the 13th: The Game incorporates any version of Jason you please (except Jason X, for legal reasons), the creepy mother's-head-in-a-shack from the second film and it even offers the same way to kill Jason, Tommy Jarvis as he appears in the sixth film, and characters based on archetypes from all over the series.
  • The PS2/Wii version of the Coraline video game takes various elements from both the novel and the film and puts them together into its own game story. More notably the tennis court that in the book but not in the film. Coraline herself in particular is a Composite Character of both her book and movie versions.
  • In Japan, Yo-kai Watch 3 was a case of One Game for the Price of Three, but the English version merged all of the content into a single version of the game.
  • A fan hack of Mega Man Star Force (here) merges all of the content from Leo, Pegasus, and Dragon into one version, while also adding quality of life features from the two sequels.
  • The first Discworld game has the basic plot of Guards! Guards!, and the second is more loosely based on Reaper Man. Both of them star Rincewind, who was in neither book, and borrow heavily from other novels in the series, especially Moving Pictures.
  • Wild Arms Million Memories tries to amalgamate plots from no less than six games. The widest plot is taken loosely from 1 with elements from 3, 5 and XF woven in. However, Chapters 21 to 30 bring in more elements from 2 and 4, to the point where the stuff from 1 almost vanishes until Chapter 31 and onward.

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 
  • Episodes of Thomas & Friends not only takes cues from The Railway Series books, but multiple promotional medias such as its annuals and magazines. Multiple writers of all these forms have even had direct involvement in the show.
  • The Christmas Special Sonic Christmas Bash is mainly based on Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, but also includes elements from Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) such as the Robotropolis setting, SWAT-Bots, and Princess Sally.
  • The Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Laughing Fish" is mostly adapted from the comics storyline "The Laughing Fish"/"Sign of the Joker!" (Detective Comics #475-476), however, the final act is largely drawn from the unrelated comic story "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge" (Batman #251). This was mainly due to the fact that the ending of the original was devoted to tying up plot threads that were never introduced in TAS or were introduced in a manner that decoupled them from the storyline as presented in the episode as aired. note 
  • Some episodes of Moominvalley combine elements from different The Moomins stories:
    • "The Golden Tale" is based on the Moomins comic strip story of the same name, but is set around the Moomins putting on a play at Emma's theatre, a part of the novel Moominsummer Madness that was cut from the episode of that title. And the play is based on Moominpappa's memoirs, resulting in a few set-pieces from The Exploits of Moominpappa.
    • "The Secret of the Hattifatteners" starts off with the short story of that title, and then moves on to the Hattifattener sequence in Finn Family Moomintroll.
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation was marketed as a sequel to the 1983 He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe but had some elements of the 2002 reboot such as Prince Adam looking different from He-Man to help keep his secret identity and Robot being built by Man-At-Arms rather than coming from space.

Alternative Title(s): Adaptation Combination

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