Follow TV Tropes


Intra-Franchise Crossover

Go To
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). Dream Match Game is a very specific variation found in Fighting Games where (nearly) every playable character in the series up to that point will be brought back for a single installment, usually ignoring continuity in the process. Should not be confused with Intercontinuity Crossover, in which two different franchises clash together.


    open/close all folders 
    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The comic book Battlestar Galactica vs. Battlestar Galactica is a crossover between the two versions of the show.
  • 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.
    • There's also The Button and Doomsday Clock which featured the ultimate confrontation between idealism and cynicism; Superman vs. Dr. Manhattan.
  • 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 2016 remake, Extreme Ghostbusters, and several video game versions.
  • The Judge Dredd story "Trinity" sees Dredd pulled into an alternate universe, where he has to team up with his counterparts from both movies to catch the perp and return home.
  • 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 video games.
    • 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.
  • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: "What if they were all from different AUs á la Into the Spider-Verse?" has one Animorph from each official alternate universe being transported to the "prime timeline". Cassie is from book canon, Jake is from #11, Marco is from #41, Rachel is from Megamorphs #3, Ax is from Megamorphs #4, and Tobias is from the TV show.
  • Arc Royale is a rare example of a fanfic author doing this with their own fics. In it, the Gods are tired of watching the stalemate between Oz and Salem, and decide it would be more interesting to have the matter settled through a combat of champions. In the supposed interest of fairness, the main combatants are all various incarnations of Jaune Arc (the weakest member of the main cast), each hailing from one of Coeur Al'Aran's many RWBY AU fics and bonded to one of the other characters ala the Fate Series.
  • 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.
  • Dark World Role Play (Deltarune, Undertale): Even though the roleplay takes place mainly in Cyber World, Jevil also has found his way into the world. There are also channels for specific AUs, and channels so that those AUs can interact with each other.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 

    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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 are no longer the same franchise, but because there are several common elements (chiefly the Chaos gods), some of their units can be used interchangeably between games.
    • The Liber Chaotica is an in-universe book written by a (Fantasy) Imperial scholar on Chaos daemons, with one section on 40K daemon engines related faithfully despite his utter lack of comprehension at what's going on.
    • Some extremely destructive weapons can occasionally be found in the Chaos Wastes (a Grim Up North place where the Warp intersects with reality) that can be recognized as 40K weapons such as power swords and plasma guns.

    Video Games 
  • If it's a Bomberman work, chances are Power Bomberman has represented it in some way, mainly through characters. It doesn't just limit itself to the main series of games, either, as it also takes from the spin-offs, cancelled titles, the various manga, the two anime series (Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden and Bomberman Jetters), and even promo art.
  • 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.
  • Fate Series:
    • 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.
  • For Fire Emblem, there were two attempts to make a crossover from all over the franchise in 2017. One was a Musou-styled game featuring characters from Archanea, Ylisse, Hoshido, and Nohr along with two girls from Valentia and Elibe respectively and a few Original Generation people. The other was a gacha that has a more complex variety of characters, not only adding units from the previously mentioned worlds, but also from other worlds like Jugdral, Magvel, Tellius, Fódlan, Elyos, and even freaking Tokyo. This concept was revisited again in Engage nearly six years later, and this time at least one character from each mainline game released up to this point take the form of spirits known as "Emblems" that inhabit rings or bracelets that fight alongside characters original to the game, while a vast majority appear as bond rings, with the added bonus that the "crossover" bit plays a major role in the game's plot.
  • While many Gundam games are adaptations of a single work or serve as What If?/Expanded Universe material, several others are more traditional Crisis Crossovers between the various timelines, often with an Excuse Plot thrown in. Examples include the first Gundam Battle Assaultnote , the Gundam Vs Series starting from Gundam vs Gundam and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam.
  • 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.
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam is an installment from the Mario & Luigi series where characters from the Super Mario Bros. games meet their paper counterparts.
  • This is commonly seen in the Mega Man series:
  • 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, the Marvel vs. Capcom series, the Capcom vs. SNK series, SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, and even the original Street Fighter in the same roster and make them fight against each other.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 4: Arena is a Fighting Game sequel to the events of Persona 4 wherein the Investigation Team crosses paths with a few former members of S.E.E.S. (Mitsuru, Akihiko, and Aigis), now calling themselves the Shadow Operatives, as well as Elizabeth, the third game's Velvet Room attendant. Where this trope really kicks in is the sequel, Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, which sees not only the majority of the other Persona 3 party members return to action (though Fuuka remains on the sidelines, unlike fellow Support Party Member Rise), but several NPCs from Persona 4 (Golden) get Promoted to Playable, accounting for most of the still living major players in P3 and P4. And even then, it turns out that Ikutsuki, the Mole in Charge for S.E.E.S., is responsible for one of the main antagonists and gets several fakes in his likeness to cameo throughout Ultimax despite being confirmed dead. Unlike the Persona Q titles below, this duology is canon.
    • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth 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. Once the Reality-Breaking Paradox that brought both groups together is dealt with, they return home without any knowledge of what happened, hence why no one recognizes each other during the events of Persona 4: Arena.
    • Its sequel, Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, reunites the P3 and P4 casts on top of bringing in the Phantom Thieves of Hearts and the female protagonist exclusive to Persona 3 Portable (who is implied to be an Alternate Self to her mainline counterpart). While the same Timey-Wimey shenanigans ensue once again to get around the P3 protagonist's canonical death (as well as the fact that P5 is at least a few years farther along in the timeline than P4 was), Joker, the Player Character of 5 and Q2, appears to be the only person outside of the Velvet Room attendants to exhibit Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory after returning to his time, as he recognizes Hikari while attending a high school film festival in the epilogue.
  • 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 (but later can obtain them anyway), 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.
  • 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).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Generations:
      • The game features the modern Sonic from the Dreamcast era, who 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 (which includes Sonic Heroes) and Modern (Sonic '06 and onward). 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, controlled by Modern Dr. Eggman and Classic Dr. Eggman, the latter of which is called Dr. Robotnik by Classic Tails, prompting him to point out 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 three different styles, Classic Sonic style, Modern Sonic style and an Avatar style, a mode in which the player can create their own character. However, Forces retcons Generations by stating that Classic Sonic is not Sonic from the past, and is instead another Sonic from another dimension (presumably because the events of Generations created an Alternate Timeline that branched off from Sonic 3 & Knuckles, leading to Mania for Classic Sonic), something fans weren't pleased to learn.
  • Spider-Man:
  • 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 keep Marth and bring in Ike from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. The next instalment, for 3DS/Wii U, would bring back Marth and Ike while adding Robin and Lucina from Awakening, then reintroduce Roy as DLC and also bring in Corrin from Fates as one of the last downloadable 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 his Final Smash features X from Mega Man X, MegaMan Volnutt from Mega Man Legends, MegaMan.EXE from Mega Man Battle Network, and Star Force Mega Man from Mega Man Star Force. Ultimate added Proto Man and Bass to said Final Smash, 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.
    • Subverted with Xenoblade Chronicles. While the first game and 2 can be enjoyed as standalone adventures and the representatives from each on Smash (Shulk for the first game and Pyra/Mythra for 2) don't meet each other canonically in the series proper (they do get crossover DLC in 2), the big twist of 2 is that their respective worlds were split apart from each other and that their adventures are happening simultaneously. Not only that, but Xenoblade Chronicles 3 drops all pretenses of this being a spoiler of any kind by explicitly being set in the future of both worlds and having characters from both meet each other, albeit not Shulk and Pyra/Mythra.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Go-Busters and Go-Busters

To fight Azazel, Nick brings the Dobutsu Sentai Go-Busters from an alternate reality to team up with the Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters from the main universe.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / IntraFranchiseCrossover

Media sources: