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Intra-Franchise Crossover

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In this instance, 1987 meets 2003, with a pinch of 1984

Sometimes when a series is rebooted or adapted to another medium, the different iterations of the franchise will crossover with each other. This is much more likely to happen in series that are fantasy or sci-fi bent or if the successor doesn't have the same cast.

In particular, when a Long Runner does a crossover with itself, there will usually be so many iterations that it has to narrow down which ones to focus on. Sometimes they focus on the original version which started the franchise, sometimes they focus on the most popular. It could also be some sort of education about the more unknown versions for casual viewers, and can be the most recent version since that's what is producing more money now. Regardless of which, such crossovers usually give equal focus to two or more versions if both are loved and well-known.


The explanation for how such crossovers can happen may vary: the most common is that all the different versions of the same characters exist as part of a Multiverse, and once the characters can jump from one universe to another with the required Phlebotinum, they can meet themselves. Another (similar but more rare) explanation is that all these versions exist in the same universe, but are separated by a time period and so once they have Time Travel, the Super Team from the recent cartoon can meet themselves from the original 1960 cartoon. This can get weird when the old characters aren't meeting their descendants or substitutes, the characters are the same — but thanks to a redesign or a Tone Shift, they will look similar but still different enough to stand apart, and you're expected to believe that the character changed his looks and his personality over time, so, usually, the "new one" doesn't remember being the "old one".


Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness is common when the two iterations have major differences between each other. See also Crisis Crossover, Bat Family Crossover, The 'Verse and The Multiverse. Compare Spinoff Sendoff, where a new iteration of a franchise is launched with a supporting appearance by someone from the immediately previous version. Sister Trope of Alliance of Alternates, where the crossover happens in the same iteration of the franchise (but overlap between the two tropes is not unheard of). Should not be confused with Intercontinuity Crossover, in which 2 different franchises clash together.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Digimon
  • Lyrical Nanoha
  • Pretty Cure has Pretty Cure All Stars, a series of crossover movies that teams up all of the Pretty Cure teams. Each film features Cures from all continuities joining forces to combat a new powerful foe, with focus given to the teams from the currently-airing season and the recently-ended one.
  • Super Dragon Ball Heroes: In the Prison Planet saga, Son Goku from Dragon Ball Super meets Son Goku from Dragon Ball GT. Also, some characters from other media like Ozotto and Slug appear as enemies in the series.
  • The seven seasons of Jewelpet take place in alternate continuities, with the main settings and human characters changing each season along with the Jewelpets' personalities. In episode 21b of Jewelpet: Magical Change, Ruby gets a call from her Jewelpet (2009) self and learns about her human partner Rinko and her search for the Jewelsticks, followed by the Rubys from the remaining five seasons giving the Magical Change Ruby a call as well. This culminates in the Magical Change Ruby somehow calling herself on her Jewel Pod, which the Ruby receiving the call doesn't seem to be confused by.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Verse is a major example based on the Spider-Man character; promising "Every Spider-Man Ever", it's a comic-book arc focused around the many different versions of the hero, joining forces in a quest to fight a villain who wants to wipe out all of them. Along with the multiple Spider-Men from comics, ranging from alternate universes, alternate timelines, alternate identities and other superheroes that also have a spider theme, they also mixed in other Spider-Men from animated and live-action series, manga and videogames.
    • Among the weirder versions of the character featured in that arc, we find Spider-Man from the corny 60s cartoon, Six-Armed Spider-Man, Spider-Ham, the pig from an alternate universe populated by funny animals, and Takuya Yamashiro AKA Japanese Spider-Man, from the 70s live-action series where he has a giant robot (which he brought to the crossover) as well as both Japanese versions from the manga.
    • However, thanks to copyright issues, they couldn't include every version of Spider-Man as promised. In particular, the famous versions from live-action movies couldn't be shown on panel, but one Spider-Man mentions that he saw another one that looks like the guy from Seabiscuit, another movie by Tobey Maguire, and another one mentions one that looks the guy from The Social Network, another movie by Andrew Garfield.
    • Also, there's the Spider-Men series (2012 and 2017), in which Miles Morales meets Peter Parker from Earth-616 (before the Secret Wars Crisis Crossover) and learns some classes about how to be Spider-Man. This plot and Spider-Verse were combined to make the 2018 CGI movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
  • The DCU:
    • Of all Crisis Crossovers DC Comics has had in its history, among the most fitted to this trope is Final Crisis, especially when Superman goes into the Multiverse in the Superman Beyond tie-in and meets a lot of his Alternate Selves from parallel universes, with a lot of known Supermen like the Red Son, as well as new versions of him, like Overman (an ex-Nazi Superman) and President Calvin Ellis (basically Barack Obama as the Son of Krypton). All of them work together to stop Darkseid and end the Crisis. It has a spiritual sequel in the Superman (Rebirth) storyline "Multiplicity", with Supermen from across the multiverse being kidnapped by a new enemy.
    • Another fitting version of this is Convergence, in which versions of DC characters from virtually every Alternate Universe they published up to that point are forced to fight.
    • An earlier form of this happened in Crisis on Infinite Earths, where Superman met his Earth-2 and later Earth-Prime counterparts, which became a major part of the plot of its sequel Infinite Crisis.
    • And going even further backward, it all started with Flash Of Two Worlds, in which Earth-1 Flash (Barry Allen) first encountered Earth-2 Flash (Jay Garrick) after Barry accidentally crossed the "vibration barrier" between dimensions. This was just the start of the Crisis Crossover events DC would have across all of its history.
    • Issue 13 of the DC Super Hero Girls: Spaced Out digital series features Zatanna showing the Super Hero High students a peek into the universe of the television series that premiered in 2019.
    • A case is seen in the events surrounding The Final Days of Superman; the pre-New 52 Superman and Lois Lane have ended up in the New 52 timeline, staying off the radar as they raise their son Jonathan. After the N52 Superman falls in battle against a powerful enemy, the pre-N52 Superman decides to take over for him. At least until much later in Superman Reborn, when the two Supermen and Loises merge with each other.
  • Ghostbusters (IDW Comics): after a crossover with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles taught them how to travel the multiverse, the original Ghostbusters from the 1984 movie encountered those from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. In a sequel, the crossovers expanded to include the remake, Extreme Ghostbusters, and several video game versions.
  • Transformers: The Transformers Universe comic book was about Unicron abducting Autobots, Maximals, Decepticons and Predacons throughout the multiverse. The later collectors' club comics take an approach more akin to a Cross Through, with fixed protagonists traveling through the many Transformers universes.
  • The comic book Battlestar Galactica vs. Battlestar Galactica is a crossover between the two versions of the show.

    Fan Works 
  • Carefree is a Sonic The Hedgehog crossover oneshot where SegaSonic canon meets Sonic The Comic canon. Fleetway's Sonic gets stranded on SegaSonic's Earth. He's surprised by how different their Sonic is and how more carefree he seems.

    Film - Animated 


    Live-Action TV 

  • In one strip of the Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf manhua, Wolffy in his Mr.Wolffy, Mr.Right! design meets Sparky and Weslie in their designs from the normal show. Wolffy doesn't stick around for very long.

    Video Games 
  • The Legend of Zelda: In Hyrule Warriors, all the playable characters in the base game of the original Wii U version that aren't legacy characters or original come from the Adult Link games: Ocarina of Time (original and popular), Twilight Princess (popular) and Skyward Sword (modern). There's also an entire mode dedicated to the original NES The Legend of Zelda. Eventually, through DLC and updated versions such as Hyrule Warriors Legends on the 3DS, characters from other Zelda games were added to this game, including ones from Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, Link's Awakening, Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks and A Link Between Worlds.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • Sonic Generations
      • The game features the modern Sonic from the Dreamcast era, that was redesigned with green eyes, longer legs and smaller belly, meeting through time travel the classic Sonic from the Genesis/Mega Drive era who is pudgy, has black eyes and short legs, and also never talks.
      • The gameplay is divided between the two characters, the Classic Sonic levels are played just like the Genesis 2D platformers but with 3D graphics, while the Modern Sonic levels are similar to Sonic Unleashed, having 3D gameplay but some 2D sections, but in those 2D sections, Modern Sonic can use moves that his classic counterpart can't.
      • The game features levels based on all main series games, dividing them up into three categories, Classic (Genesis/Mega Drive era), Dreamcast (includes Sonic Heroes) and Modern. Back are iconic level themes like Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant Zone, and also modern levels like City Escape and Seaside Hill, and all levels are divided in two parts for the two characters, modern levels and their gimmicks are adapted for the pure 2D classic gameplay, and classic levels are adapted with gimmicks from the 3D games for the modern gameplay.
      • Each Era has its own boss fights too, there is the final boss of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 fought by Classic Sonic, and Perfect Chaos (Sonic Adventure) and Egg Dragoon (Sonic Unleashed) fought by Modern Sonic, the 3DS version has different bosses, and there's also rival battles, with Metal Sonic being the first and fought by Classic Sonic, Shadow and Silver being the second and third and fought by Modern Sonic.
      • The Final Boss is both Classic and Modern Sonic uniting themselves and using the Chaos Emeralds to fight the Time Eater, alongside Modern Dr. Eggman and Classic Dr. Eggman, who is called Dr. Robotnik by Classic Tails, until he points no one calls him that anymore.
    • Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic once again team up in the sequel game Sonic Forces, the other part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the franchise, in which the player can choose between 3 different styles, Classic Sonic style, Modern Sonic style and an Avatar style, a mode in which the player can create his own character.
      • However, Sonic Forces retcons Sonic Generations by stating that Classic Sonic is not Sonic from the past, and is instead another Sonic from another dimension, something fans were not pleased.
  • The Super Smash Bros. series is about multiple franchises crossing over, but some examples fit the trope:
    • Just like in Hyrule Warriors, the The Legend of Zelda franchise has multiple characters from different eras. In Smash 64 and Melee, Link, Zelda, Sheik, Young Link and Ganondorf are based on their Ocarina of Time designs. Brawl and 3DS/Wii U change them to their Twilight Princess designs, but Young Link is replaced with Toon Link from The Wind Waker. Ultimate embraced the multiple eras, as Link has his Breath of the Wild design (with Sheik having a Breath of the Wild-based design, despite not being in that game), Ganondorf and Young Link use their N64 designs, Zelda has a design based on A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds, while Toon Link of course represents The Wind Waker again. The series also has many Assist Trophies, stages and music from different Zelda games that don't have a playable fighter.
    • Fire Emblem has multiple playable protagonists from across the series in the roster; for its debut in Melee, Marth from Shadow Dragon and Roy from The Binding Blade were implemented as newcomers. Brawl would drop Roy, but return Marth and bring Ike from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. The next instalment, for 3DS/Wii U, would return Marth and Ike while adding Robin and Lucina from Awakening, return Roy as DLC and also bring in Corrin from Fates as one of the last doanloadable fighters. Ultimate would bring all of them back, while also introducing Chrom from Awakening in the base game and Byleth from Three Houses as DLC. Like Zelda above, it also has secondary content from other games without a fighter.
    • The only playable character from the Mega Man franchise is Mega Man from the Classic series, but in his Final Smash, he brings X from Mega Man X, MegaMan.EXE from Mega Man Battle Network, MegaMan Volnutt from Mega Man Legends and Star Force Mega Man from Mega Man Star Force. Ultimate added Proto Man and Bass, and the game also has Zero from Mega Man X as an Assist Trophy.
    • For Castlevania, Ultimate introduced both Simon Belmont, from the original game in the series, and Richter Belmont, from Rondo of Blood, as playable fighters, with Alucard also appearing as an Assist Trophy deliberately designed after his Symphony of the Night incarnation. Likewise, there's various music tracks and spirits of characters from multiple games in the series.
    • The Dragon Quest franchise has four different heroes from four different games in one fighter slot: Luminary from Dragon Quest XI, Erdrick from Dragon Quest III, Solo from Dragon Quest IV and Eight from Dragon Quest VIII. Luminary is the main character, and the other three work as alternate costumes.
  • Castlevania: Judgment: The character Galamoth plots to send the Time Reaper from 10,000 years in the future into the past to destroy his rival Dracula and change history. A man named Aeon discovers this and pulls together champions from different eras of history into a time rift, in order to find a chosen one capable of destroying Galamoth's servant, the Time Reaper.
  • Commonly seen in M.U.G.E.N, in which you can make the roster as you like, so you can put the same character from different games in the same created fighting game you like. As example, you can put Ryu from Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, Marvel vs. Capcom series, SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, Capcom vs. SNK series and even Street Fighter in the same roster and make them fight against each other.
  • This is commonly seen in the Mega Man series:
  • Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, a game in which you can manage Spider-Men from different alternate realities, the mainstream one (Peter Parker), Noir one (also Peter Parker), Marvel 2099 one (Miguel O'Hara) and Ultimate one (Peter Parker once again) to find a shattered cosmic MacGuffin and stop their respective villains from using the pieces to become immensely powerful.
    • There was a follow-up called Spider-Man: Edge of Time, although this one was only about the mainstream one and the Marvel 2099 one working together to prevent the death of the former from happening, which somehow caused Alchemax from the Marvel 2099 reality to Take Over the World.
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam is an installment from the Mario & Luigi series where characters from the Super Mario Bros. games meet their paper counterparts.
  • Fate/Grand Order pulls from all over the Fate Series, including its alternate universes (Prototype and the universe Musashi comes from, for starters), offshoot timelines (Hollow Ataraxia, EXTRA), and even its gag series (Koha-Ace and Learning with Manga!). Unfortunately not everyone could make it to the game, as most of the cast of strange fake is on embargo until it wraps up.
    • Grand Order incorporates the greater Nasuverse even outside the Fate subseries; one of the first "collaboration" events of the game was with The Garden of Sinners.
  • Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid features a host of characters from across the franchise (including a villain from the comic book adaptation that had never appeared in the series proper).
  • Persona Q is a non-canon game featuring the playable characters from Persona 3 and Persona 4. Oddly, despite the original games being only a few years apart in places so close that characters from 4 have visited the setting of 3, this game still had to resort to Timey Wimey shenanigans due to the protagonist's death at the end of Persona 3.
  • Pokémon: The "core" games are generally treated as one continuity, the long-running Pokémon anime another, and each "spinoff" game its own separate pocket universe. This doesn't stop the anime from periodically passing through other continuities, though:
    • Pokémon Red and Blue: Despite being a canon game, the third of the trio, Special Yellow Pikachu Edition, uses the anime designs instead of the ones from Red and Blue/Green. This includes replacing the generic Team Rocket grunts with Jessie and James (and Meowth). The main character is locked into a Pikachu as a starter instead of being able to choose from Bulbasaur/Charmander/Squirtle, like Ash did in the anime, and starting off the rival with Eevee, just like Gary did.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon: Special "Ash's Cap" Pikachus were given out for the 20th anniversary of the franchise, as well as for a tie-in with the I Choose You movie. Meanwhile, a Greninja with the Ash-Greninja ability from the anime was given out as a thank-you for playing the game's demo. These Pokémon also showed up in Pokémon Shuffle and Tretta.
    • Detective Pikachu: Tim and Detective Pikachu briefly run into another Pikachu early on in the game. A line of dialogue implies it's Ash's Pikachu, specifically:
    Detective Pikachu: "Tell your buddy to be the best, like no one ever was."
  • Fire Emblem: Then were two attempts to make a crossover from all the franchise in the same year (2017), one is a musou featuring characters from Archanea, Ylisse, Nohr, Hoshido, two girls from Valentia and Elibe respectively, and a few Original Generation people and the other is a gacha that have a more complex variety. Not only adding characters from the previously mentioned worlds, but also characters from other worlds like Jugdral, Tellius, Magvel, Fodlan, and even freaking Tokyo.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Fairly OddParents episode "The Crimson Chin meets Mighty Mom and Dyno Dad", the Crimson Chin meets several wildly different versions of his Era-Specific Personality, from the 30s pulp-fiction Chin, to the "super-edgy" 1985 Chin, who got cancelled for swearing.
  • The Alvin and the Chipmunks episode spoofing Back to the Future has the 1980s Chipmunks meeting their 1960s counterparts from The Alvin Show.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one version of the Couch Gag, the Simpsons run in and find the original versions of themselves already sitting there.
    • In "The Day the Violence Died", the day is saved by Lester and Eliza, who are basically the Bart and Lisa from The Tracey Ullman Show shorts.
    • In the thirteenth Treehouse of Horror episode, Homer makes clones of himself during the segment "Send in the Clones". After the clones cause trouble, Homer attempts to abandon them and the hammock that created them, but the clones just use the hammock to create even more clones; one of the degraded clones looks like Homer from the early Tracey Ullman Show shorts, who says "Let's all go out for some frosty chocolate milkshakes!"
    • In a later Treehouse of Horror segment (XXV's "The Others"), the Simpsons are haunted by the ghosts of the Tracey Ullman-era Simpsons. The ending of that segment featured various derivatives of the family wanting to move into the Modern Simpsons' house after they were killed. Most of the alternate Simpsons were created specifically for this scene, but three previous versions do make an appearance here — the "Island of Dr. Hibbert" ("Treehouse of Horror XIII") Simpsons in their animal forms (Panther Marge, Spider Bart, Aardvark Maggie, Owl Lisa, and Walrus Homer), the LEGO Simpsons from "Brick Like Me", and Sylvain Chomet's version of the Simpsons from "Diggs"'s Couch Gag.
  • Predating Spider-Verse by decades, Spider-Man: The Animated Series has the "Spider Wars", in which Madame Web (and later the Beyonder) first recruited Spider-Man from the main universe of the series and later recruited various alternate versions of him, including Armored Spider-Man (a kind of "Tony Stark" version of Peter Parker), Six-Armed Spider-Man (a mutated version of him that permanently has six arms, seen in comics and the same series but Gone Horribly Wrong), Spider-Man with Doctor Octopus' arms (also predating Superior Spider-Man by decades), Spider-Man as an actor, and even the Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly as in The Clone Saga). This group is simply named the Spider-Men.
  • The Justice League episode "Legends" was initially intended to feature the Justice Society of America. The rights weren't cleared (possibly because the superheroes involved were portrayed as somewhat bigoted), so the writers instead used a Captain Ersatz version called "The Justice Guild".
  • Ultimate Spider-Man did their own version of Spider-Verse (once again preceding Into the Spider-Verse by five years) by having Peter interact with Noir, Spider-Ham, 2099, Spyder-Knight, Spider-Girl (in this case though, a genderflip version of him named Petra Parker) and Miles Morales (who made his animated debut with this show). It even got a sequel in which the obscure Blood-Spider and Spider-Gwen (likewise making her animated debut here) got to join the fun.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) did something similar to Turtles Forever, with an episode crossing over with the 1987 cartoon with a plot similar to Turtles Forever. Since the 1987 cartoon was hand-drawn but the 2012 cartoon was CGI, the episode uses Art Shift, alternating between hand-drawn animation and CGI depending on which universe the scene takes place, and converting the look of the Turtles in the process. For some reason, 1987 and 2012 Donatello stay in their original 2D and 3D forms when they enter the 1984 comic universe, even having colors when the whole comic book world is black and white.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


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