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Nostalgia Level

Go To
Above: 1985.
Below: 2008.

"Is it me, or is that place we were just in awfully familiar...?"

A form of Stylistic Callback or Retraux Flashback in which a level or area in a video game is designed in such a way as to evoke memories of a previous game in the series. There are various ways in which this can be done: the level may simply use graphics or music from the original, or it may have the characters return to a location visited earlier in the series. In extreme cases, an entire level may be reproduced exactly using updated graphics.

Also, if a game has a Level Editor, even if it has no official nostalgia level, you can expect fans to make plenty of remakes of iconic levels from older games in its series, and even some complete Video Game Remakes. It's a common idea when originality is a bit low.

Compare Legacy Boss Battle, which is basically a Nostalgia Boss Battle; Video Game Remake, which is basically a Nostalgia Game; Megamix Game, where most or all of the levels are Nostalgia Levels; and Embedded Precursor, where an earlier game is included in its entirety. Often brings a series' protagonist back Where It All Began. See also Continuity Cavalcade. Contrast Recurring Location, which is a location reused for plot purposes. This trope can also be a factor in the production value/story if the production is good, popular, or well-known enough to warrant a Finale Production Upgrade.


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  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 3:
      • Mario and Luigi can fight for items in an area based on the original Mario Bros. arcade game.
      • One of the e-Reader levels in Super Mario Advance 4 version of the game is a remake of World 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. The Japanese version (as well as the Wii U Virtual Console releases, worldwide) also released remakes of the rest of World 1 as well as 2-2.
    • Super Mario 64: The DS remake has a small tropical island world that uses the music from Super Mario Sunshine's Delfino Plaza.
    • Super Mario Sunshine: The FLUDD-less levels require Mario to get through with only platforming. These stages use a remix of the original Super Mario Bros. theme and some have nostalgic backgrounds to further add to this.
    • Super Mario Galaxy has Flipswitch Galaxy which has a background from Super Mario Bros..
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2 has even more references, the majority of which are in the bonus world:
      • Starshine Beach Galaxy is based on Super Mario Sunshine, complete with Piantas.
      • Throwback Galaxy is a remake of Whomp's Fortress from Super Mario 64. It also has more old music but fully orchestrated. It's even called "Nostalgic Fortress Galaxy" in the Japanese, Italian and Spanish versions.
      • Several bosses from the first Galaxy make a reappearance. One boss (Bugaboom) appears in a secret mission, while 5 other bosses (Dino Piranha, King Kaliente, Major Burrows, Bouldergeist, and Fiery Dino Piranha) are in the Boss Rush level.
      • Luigi's Purple Coins ("Luigi's Purple Coin Chaos" in Mario Squared Galaxy) and the Cyclone Stone (Stone Cyclone Galaxy) both return from the first game. They're both harder than the original versions.
      • The Rolling Coaster Galaxy is reminiscent of both Rainbow Ride and Rainbow Road.
      • World S also has another nod to Super Mario Sunshine. The Twisty Trials Galaxy is a remake of one of the FLUDD-less "secret" levels, specifically mission 4 of Ricco Harbor. Yet again, it's much harder than the original. Galaxy 2's physics engine is much less generous regarding how slanted the surface of the rotating blocks has to get before you fall off. And if the level still isn't difficult enough for you, the prankster comet makes the blocks rotate twice as fast, and places the power star above a rotating block rather than a stationary platform.
    • Yoshi's Island DS is chock-full of these, from one-upping The Very Loooooooong Cave from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island with The Cave That Never Ends to having twin Berts instead of one as the first boss, and even an imitation of Bowser's giant transformation through magic. And the game begins with direct remakes of the tutorial level and first level of the original game.
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii takes the first part of 1-1 for its 1-1 and aspects of the Airship from Super Mario Bros. 3 for Bowser Jr's Airship. Also, one of the levels in Coin Battle mode IS the original 1-1... With absolutely wonky physics. Prepare for the blocks to spin around on you, and to fall through several platforms on the grounds of them being fake.
    • New Super Mario Bros. 2: The sixth DLC level pack for the Coin Rush mode, the Gold Classics Pack, features 1-1, 1-2 and 1-4 from the first game, as well as 1-1 and 1-5 from Super Mario Bros. 3, the original Mario Bros. level as a secret area in the SMB3 1-1 level, and... 1-1 from New Super Mario Bros. 2.
    • Super Mario 3D Land: World 2-3 is made of several large images from the original Super Mario Bros as 3D platforms. Later on in the Special Quest a version of the same level appears with a nighttime appearance. Both also end with a 2D area replicating the original game's stepped platforms leading to the goal pole.
    • Super Mario 3D World features Tank levels, the concept alone being a callback to the tank levels of Super Mario Bros. 3, Plessie's levels reuse the race music from Super Mario 64, the Golden Express is a reference to the coin-heavy levels of New Super Mario Bros. 2; but the biggest references are the stages Super Block Land, Super Galaxy and Mount Must Dash.
    • Super Mario Maker: Some of the sample levels embedded in the game are remade versions of levels that first appeared in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, with some changes to suit the newer game's engine. Also, two of the official Event courses are based on the starting levels of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 respectively.
    • Super Mario Odyssey:
      • The game has 2D segments where Mario turns into his NES Super Mario Bros. sprite. Enemies are also in their original 2D forms. There are also two levels that reference Mario's past.
      • New Donk City has a number of references to Donkey Kong, including artwork and posters on buildings that appear to be pulled from the arcade cabinet. And DK's old captive Pauline is the Mayor. There's one mission where you can collect a hat, umbrella and purse, making the same sound effect the items did in Donkey Kong. There's also a 2D segment where Mario has to dodge barrels thrown by DK himself. Finally, a movie theatre will eventually open in the city. It's playing the original Super Mario Bros. Mario can enter the movie screen and play a slightly modified version of World 1-1, with an audience clapping as he gets items.
      • The game eventually lets you reach Peach's Castle during your world tour. The layout is technically original but the world is filled to the brim with Super Mario 64 jokes, down to replacing Power Moons with Power Stars (with the 64 Item Get! jingle!). Yoshi sleeps on the castle roof, hidden levels are reached through portraits, you get a Moon by trying to access the Wing Cap level, and the world-exclusive costume (bought with suspiciously nostalgic purple coins) is 64 Mario, huge polygons and blocky hands included. Wearing it lets you access a similarly low-res version of the castle courtyard. It also has a rendition of Yoshi's House from Super Mario World, though that one's a little off to the side and necessitates a warp from the Luncheon Kingdom.
    • Mario Party 2: Many minigames from the first game return here, and some of them now come in extra variations to keep them fresh.
    • Mario Party 4: The minigame Bowser's Big Blast from Mario Party 2 returns in this game, now with the name Bowser's Bigger Blast.
    • Mario Party 7: The DK minigame Jump, Man has a solo player race against Donkey Kong in a vertical racetrack that replicates the first level of the arcade Donkey Kong game. The minigame's name is also a reference to one of Mario's alternate names during the development of that game.
    • Mario Party DS: With the exception of Triangle Twisters, which is completely new and is unlocked upon completion of Story Mode, all minigames in the Puzzle category are brought from previous games in the series: Mario's Puzzle Party from Mario Party 3, Bob-omb Breakers from Mario Party 4, Piece Out from Mario Party 5, Block Star from Mario Party 6, and Stick 'n' Spin from Mario Party 7.
    • Mario Party: The Top 100: In addition to bringing back 100 minigames from past installments in the Mario Party series, this game also features modes hailing from said installments. Minigame Island revolves around the player completing minigames one by one as they pass by them in a world map, just like in the original Mario Party and equivalents modes from other games (like Mini-Game Coaster from Mario Party 2 and King of the River in Mario Party 7). Minigame Match revisits the mechanics from Balloon Bash, a mode introduced in Mario Party: Star Rush. Decathlon, in which four players play various minigames and earn points based on their performances, hails from Mario Party 5 and the similarly-named Decathlon Castle in 7. Lastly, Championship Mode is based on the idea of winning a certain number of minigames before the other players do that appeared in multiple games from 2 onward.
    • Mario Party Superstars: Not only does the game bring back boards and minigames from past installments in the series, but also the iconic Hub City from the very first Mario Party, Village Square.
    • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker: The first bonus chapter is composed of four levels from 3D World, reworked for Toad's controls. Furthering the reference, having 3D World save data unlocks them automatically. Also, the level Retro Ramp-Up is an homage to the original Donkey Kong arcade game. The Nintendo 3DS and Switch ports replace the 3D World-inspired levels with ones inspired by the levels from Super Mario Odyssey, which can be unlocked automatically by using the amiibo made for Odyssey.
    • Mario Golf: World Tour: Between the various DLC packs, every course from the N64 Mario Golf is available for play with updated visuals and music, although Shy Guy Desert, Yoshi's Island, and Boo Valley were redesigned after worlds from New Super Mario Bros. U.
  • Mario Super Sluggers: Luigi's Mansion is unlockable and playable at night. The spooky mansion and music greatly remind of, well, Luigi's Mansion.
  • Kirby:
    • The second-to-last level of Kirby's Adventure for NES has black-and-white graphics (besides Kirby himself; even the HUD is monochrome) and looks like the original Kirby's Dream Land for Game Boy. This is unusual among Nostalgia Levels in that Kirby's Dream Land was only released one year earlier. When Kirby's Adventure was remade as the Game Boy Advance game Nightmare In Dream Land, that level was included intact, where it made somewhat more sense, since the GBA was not only the Game Boy's successor but was backwards-compatible with its games. To add to the nostalgic appeal, while Adventure used monochrome versions of the higher-resolution NES graphics, Nightmare In Dream Land uses the original Game Boy tilesets (though enemy, item, and door sprites are the same full-color 32-bit sprites as what's used in the rest of the game).
    • A couple of levels in Kirby: Triple Deluxe involve the titular sphere using his Hypernova ability to unravel scenes from the first game as well as a timeline showing his history.
    • In Kirby: Planet Robobot the final stage shows a scene from Kirby's Adventure on a monitor. Floating to the moon in the top-right of the monitor and pressing up will take you to Fine Fields from Kirby: Triple Deluxe. (Entering the moon like a door is a recurring Easter Egg in the series, dating back to Bubbly Clouds in the original game; it's even present in the Adventure level mentioned above.)
    • In Kirby Star Allies:
  • Metroid:
    • Super Metroid towards the original Metroid. Early on, you go through the first few rooms of old Brinstar (one of which was the escape shaft); you even find the Morph Ball in the same place in which you found it in the original game. There are also dislodged pieces of Kraid's and Ridley's original hideouts, a "bubble" region of Norfair, and a new Tourian that is almost exactly the same as the original one that likewise serves as The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
    • Metroid: Zero Mission: Many areas of the game are throwbacks to Super Metroid, since a few of them didn't exist in the original Metroid.
    • Metroid Fusion: Near the end of the game, you end up in a section that looks like Tourian (including the acid that the Gravity Suit can't protect against). The boss of the place is an X Parasite that takes the form of Ridley (Samus' arch-nemesis) that rewards you with the Screw Attack (one of the staples of the series). And the first time you see Metroids in the game is just before you enter this area (Metroids made their debut in Tourian). The first sector of the game is also based on the ecosystem of SR388, the Metroids' home planet that Samus previously cleared through in Metroid II: Return of Samus.
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: While most of the multiplayer maps are designed based on environments from this game, a few of them are designed based on environments from the first Metroid Prime- Sidehopper Station evokes the Space Pirate Frigate (it's even in orbit around Tallon IV), Pipeline is based on Phendrana Drifts, and the Shooting Gallery is based on the Chozo Ruins.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games: The first dungeon's map in Oracle of Seasons is shaped similarly to Level 1 from the original The Legend of Zelda, and the entrance sits in an old tree in the center of an island connected by a bridge to the right, just like in the original game. And the treasure room is shaped like those in Zelda 1. Six of the eight dungeon bosses in that game are remakes of Zelda 1 bosses, with another being taken from A Link to the Past. As you may have figured out by this point, the game was originally planned as a remake of the first game.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords: The DSi rerelease of the game features the Realm of Memories, which has three different dungeons based on areas from A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, and the original.note 
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The entrance of the Temple of Time is very familiar to anyone who played Ocarina of Time. This stands to reason, since Word of God states that Twilight Princess is a distant successor (several generations later) to Ocarina. Also, Hyrule Castle in this game has many nods to its A Link to the Past version: Its inner areas have a remixed version of the Hyrule Castle theme from the SNES game, its dungeon design takes cues from that version (including having a tower-like area that can only be accessed from one of the outer doors), and there's a bunch of puzzles that involve using your lantern to light things, referencing how the lantern was the quest item in A Link to the Past.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: As a whole, the game bases its overworld layout almost exactly on that of A Link to the Past. Also, among the many returning dungeons, the Tower of Hera stands out the most for having a very similar map design to its SNES counterpart, even retaining the gameplay gimmick (blocks that can be toggled with switches to solve navigation puzzles) and the boss (Moldorm).
    • Hyrule Warriors: The Adventure Mode maps are all based on the world maps from previous Zelda games, remade in an 8-bit style based on the original game.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Lon Lon Ranch from Ocarina of Time appears as well as several locations from Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, all in ruin.
  • The final area in Mother 3 is largely intended to be a nostalgia trip to EarthBound Beginnings and Earth Bound, with one of the very last areas the player goes through containing a museum filled with items and characters (or replicas of them) from Earthbound, with the sprites being directly ripped from the previous game. Between the proportions and the palette differences between the SNES and GBA sprites, a lot of the sprites were particularly jarring (most notably a certain someone's spider mech being sized to match EarthBound's battle sprites rather than the overworld's). The music in the looooong hallway preceding that particular room is the same as the title screen of the first game, the very first tune you'll hear in the entire series. There are also a theatre screening a movie made of the major events of the second game. A snack bar has robot female servants modeled after a certain Dung Beetle-hating rich cold-hearted woman, complete with the same quotes! The villain room in the Thunder Tower has the Teddy Bear, and various other easter eggs. You can even engage in an Optional Boss battle for an equippable "Friend's Yo-Yo"!
  • Star Fox: Assault: Several missions take place in planets that were visited in Star Fox 64, while another one takes place in Fortuna from the original Star Fox (albeit previously unexplored in the continuity that began with 64, so it also doubles as Mythology Gag), and yet another in Sauria from Star Fox Adventures (implied to be close to Walled City, due to the pyramidal ruins). Considering the very high stakes raised by the threat of the Aparoids in all of Lylat System (even surpassing that of Andross in previous games), this trope is fitting for the game.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Most stages are reworked versions of levels and locations from the original games the fighters came from (along with games with no playable fighters such as Electroplankton), with some being near-perfect recreations (such as the Mario Bros. stage in Brawl and the Duck Hunt stage in 3DS/Wii U).
    • Within the context of the series itself, each entry from Melee onwards also has stages taken directly from the Smash games that preceded them, referred to as "Past Stages" or "Familiar Stages". Melee itself brings back three stages from the original game, Brawl brings back ten stages from Melee (though none from the original), 3DS/Wii U brings several stages from its three predecessors (and are now grouped alongside the new stages), and then Super Smash Bros. Ultimate takes this trope as far as possible by including almost every stage from every previous Smash game, this time remade with better graphics instead of just being direct copies.
  • Pokémon:
    • After becoming the Johto Champion in Gold, Silver, and Crystal, you are given a boat ticket to Kanto, the entire setting of the first generation. You can then collect the original games' badges there, battling the Gym Leadersnote  and traveling a Kanto whose geography has changed quite a bit in the past three years. After getting all the Kanto badges and beating the Elite Four again, you can then go on to fight against the protagonist of the first game as a superboss. HeartGold and SoulSilver take this even further, not only containing all of the Johto and Kanto areas from Gold and Silver but also restoring locations that were pared down or completely removed in the Game Boy originals (Viridian Forest, the Seafoam Islands, and Cerulean Cave to be precise, complete with Articuno and Mewtwo still in the latter two). Furthermore, you can now battle the Big Bad of Red and Blue. The remakes also hang one on this when you talk to your Pokémon while in Pallet Town.
      "Your Pokémon seems to be smelling a nostalgically familiar scent..."
    • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 include the World Tournament, where the player can battle numerous trainers, including most Gym Leaders and all the Champions from the previous generations. Complete with remixed battle themes!
    • Pokémon X and Y have Santalune Forest, which recreates Viridian Forest from Red and Blue/FireRed and LeafGreen in 3D, down to the Caterpie, Weedle, and Pikachu. It's even right before the city with the first gym.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon:
      • The game has, in the middle of Malie Garden, an old man and a bunch of children reenacting the Nugget Bridge from Pokémon Red and Blue, down to their dialogue and their teams (especially blatant because while Nidoran and Ekans are everywhere in Kanto, they stick out like a sore thumb in Alola; plus they even have mainland Rattata rather than the Alolan subspecies). The old man eventually admits to being a former Team Rocket member, who felt nostalgic about the old days and decided to play around with the kids.
      • The Battle Tree allows you to face off and fight alongside some characters from previous games, such as Wally and Cynthia. When you first reach the location, you also have the choice to fight either the protagonist or the rival from Red and Blue.
    • Even spinoffs have this. Mt. Travail from the second set of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games reappears in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong for the Game Boy uses this to pull off a clever Bait-and-Switch: It starts off with the same four levels from the original arcade version of Donkey Kong (made significantly easier because Mario has many more tricks and can fall from greater heights safely), only for DK to get up and run off with Pauline, starting the game for real. Later, Mario has to contend with running through several of the levels that he forced Donkey Kong, Jr. to deal with in the latter's game while trying to dodge Junior's interference - fittingly, the last stage with Junior is the last stage of Junior's game (with the difference being that Mario is locking Junior up instead of Junior rescuing his father from Mario).
    • The DS remake of Diddy Kong Racing includes a new secret world evocative of Donkey Kong Country, which the original lacked—two of the levels play variations on the classic DKC theme. Also, while it cuts the Silver Coin Challenge mode from the main game, it includes it as an unlockable extra. In turn, Jet Force Gemini includes one of Diddy Kong Racing's tracks for its own racing minigame.
    • In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, World 6 is based on the previous game, Donkey Kong Country Returns, with each of the eight main levels being based on the eight worlds from that game after being taken over by the Snowmads. Some of these levels also have explicit callbacks outside of the theme, such as the "Blurry Flurry" stage (based on the "Cave" world) having the giant bat from the game's That One Level in a frozen block of ice in the background.
      • "Homecoming Hijinxs" is based on the first world, "Jungle".
      • "Seashore War" is based on the second world, "Beach".
      • "Aqueduct Assault" is based on the third world, "Ruins".
      • "Blurry Flurry" is based on the fourth world, "Cave".
      • "Forest Folly" is based on the fifth world, "Forest".
      • "Cliffside Slide" is based on the sixth world, "Cliff".
      • "Frozen Frenzy" is based on the seventh world, "Factory".
      • "Meltdown Mayhem" is based on the eighth and final main world, "Volcano".
  • Whenever a Fire Emblem game is set in the same continuity as a previous game, it almost invariably has a few maps that will feel very familiar to anyone who played that game.
    • The Blazing Blade has several references to its chronological sequel The Binding Blade. "False Friends" is a near-perfect reproduction of "Collapse of the Alliance" (in story as well as in map; they even share the same boss), "Cog of Destiny" has the same goal as "The Binding Blade" (though the map is fairly different as the Shrine of Seals is in the northwest of the former and the southeast of the latter), "Valorous Roland" takes place in the same cave as "The Blazing Blade", "The Berserker" is a slightly modified "The Axe of Thunder" (the goal being in the northwest rather than the northeast as it was in Binding Blade), "Sands of Time" takes place in the same castle as "The Reunion", and "Battle Preparations" takes place in the same town as "The Rebellion of Ostia".
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has "Just Cause", set on the same bridge as "The Great Bridge" from Path of Radiance.
    • Cross-generational examples include both the top level of the Tower of Valni, in The Sacred Stones, and "The Alterspire", a gaiden chapter in Shadow Dragon, both being based on the map from Binding Blade's "The Pinnacle of Light".
    • Inigo's paralogue in Fire Emblem: Awakening is almost a direct recreation of one of the maps from Fire Emblem Gaiden, and the boss even has the same name. Most of the first series of DLC maps also take place in remakes of maps from earlier games: "Champions of Yore" recreates the original game's Chapter 1, "Lost Bloodlines" uses Genealogy of the Holy War Prologue map, "Smash Brethren" recreates Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade's Dragon's Gate and "Rogues and Redeemers" uses Path of Radiance's Chapter 8.
    • Fire Emblem Fates: Various DLC maps are based off of levels found in previous games. Before Awakening is a smaller version of the map from Chapter 2 of Fire Emblem: Awakening, Hidden Truths I uses the map from Chapter 16 of Awakening, Anna on the Run is quite similar to Paralogue 4 from Awakening, and Vanguard Dawn is based off of the map used in Chapter 2-E of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
    • The Emblem paralogues in Fire Emblem Engage are all based on levels from each Emblem's respective game, generally ones with significant ties to the Emblem's story.
  • F-Zero:
    • F-Zero X featured two of these in the Joker Cup. The first is Mario Kart 64's Rainbow Road, and if you're playing on the Japan-only Expansion Kit for the Nintendo 64DD, it even features a metal remix of the Mario Kart 64 Rainbow Road theme music as well. The other is Port Town 2, which is a remake of the track of the same name from the original F-Zero on SNES.
    • The Platinum Cups in GP Legend and Climax were made up of remakes of certain tracks from the SNES game, and Climax even expanded on four of them.
  • The Advance Wars series recycled most of the maps from the earlier Famicom Wars games in the War Room modes for each game. At the very least, you can always expect to find some version of Bean Island in each game, which was the very first map in the original Famicom Wars.
  • The golf holes in Wii Sports are all remakes of holes from Golf for NES. In turn, all of those holes reappear in Wii Sports Resort under the "Classic" category, while the all-new holes are within the "Resort" one. Wii Sports Club features its own set and the previous two.
  • The setting of the jogging courses from Wii Fit was eventually reworked into Wuhu Island in Wii Sports Resort, which has become a recurring setting for Nintendo games, appearing in not only the later games in the Wii Fit series, but also in Pilotwings Resort, Mario Kart 7, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Planet Puzzle League ditched the mascot characters from previous games in the series, but did include Lip's stage from the SNES Panel de Pon as an unlockable skin. However, this was nowhere to be seen in international versions.
  • The Second of Two Intensity Gates in Chapter 5 of Kid Icarus: Uprising leads to a large square room made out of blue blocks and a picture of the shop from the original Kid Icarus. Pit remarks that the room "brings back some good memories".
  • Mario Kart:
    • In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, all the Super Mario Kart tracks are unlockable (though they are arranged in five cups of four tracks each rather than four cups of five, to match the format of the newer tracks- this also leads to ruining the pattern of the first three cups ending with a Bowser Castle track followed by a Mario Circuit track).
    • Mario Kart DS set the tradition in itself and subsequent games to feature eight cups and 32 tracks by default: four Nitro cups (Mushroom, Flower, Star and Special) with 16 new tracks, and four Retro cups (Shell, Banana, Leaf and Lightning) with 16 retro tracks from previous Mario Kart games. Among the revisited games, Mario Kart 64 has contributed the most by having each track save for Wario Stadium popping up in a later game:
      • Moo Moo Farm, Frappe Snowland, Choco Mountain and Banshee Boardwalk appear in Mario Kart DS
      • Mario Raceway, Sherbet Land, DK's Jungle Parkway and Bowser's Castle appear in Mario Kart Wii
      • Luigi Raceway, Koopa Troopa Beach and Kalimari Desert appear in Mario Kart 7
      • Toad's Turnpike, Royal Raceway, Yoshi Valley and Rainbow Road appear in Mario Kart 8 (the Booster Course Pass for Deluxe later added Choco Mountain and Kalimari Desert)
    • Airship Fortress, Figure-8 Circuit, and Desert Hills in Mario Kart DS all contain references to Super Mario Bros. 3 (the airship levels, the platforms, and all of World 2, respectively).
    • Mario Kart DS also started the trend of revisiting courses for Battle Mode. The biggest contributors of retro courses are Mario Kart 64 (again) and Double Dash!!, with three each: Block Fort (in DS), Skyscrapper (in Wii), Big Donut (in 7); Pipe Plaza (in DS), Cookie Land (in Wii), Luigi's Mansion (in 8 Deluxe).
    • Mario Kart Wii has a couple nods to Super Mario Galaxy in its courses. Maple Treeway, later a retro course in Mario Kart 7, revisits the autumn scenery and themes of Gold Leaf Galaxy; Rainbow Road, meanwhile, not only has Star Bits in many parts but also remixes the music theme of Good Egg Galaxy in its soundtrack.
    • Mario Kart 7:
    • Mario Kart 8: All the retro tracks take the trope to the next level by remaking the old tracks with updated HD visuals, new set pieces and remastered music, compared to the previous games which just ported the old track and incorporated the new game physics into them. Not only do the retro tracks look and feel new with the upgrades, they also still play in a way most old fans would remember them for. On top of all this, some retro tracks use the anti-gravity and glider mechanics to give the old tracks a fresher feel to them without deviating too much from the original design of the tracks. The game's DLC (which was later integrated into the base content of 8 Deluxe) combines this trope with Embedded Precursor, as it not only adds more retro tracks alongside new ones, but also imports two tracks from the F-Zero series (Mute City and Big Blue) and a track based on Excitebike. The Booster Course Pass DLC adds even more, as the whole package (divided in six waves) consists of 48 courses, the majority of which hail from past games as well as Mario Kart Tour (which was released after 8 Deluxe).
    • Mario Kart Tour: Befitting its name, the game brings back a very large number of racetracks from all previous games (except Mario Kart 8, likely due to the lack of the anti-gravity assets). Its biggest source of nostalgia is Mario Kart 7, as it not only brought back nearly all new tracks from it (the only exceptions are the Wii Sports Resort-based ones, Music Park and DK Jungle), but also all retro tracks that were present there.
  • Pikmin:
    • Pikmin 2: Three of the four mainlands explored are mildly modified versions of mainlands seen in the first game. Namely, Awakening Wood is Forest of Hope, Perplexing Pool is Distant Spring, and Wistful Wild is a combined form of Impact Site and The Final Trial. Olimar gets to notice this, even having nostalgic feelings towards them.
    • Pikmin 3: The Forgotten Cove Mission Mode DLC level (part of the base game in Deluxe) is modelled after the Forest Navel from the first game. Two key differences being that it is by a tropical lake rather than within a cave, and that the areas away from the landing site are removed or truncated. The Collect Treasures version leans harder in to this, as the types of Pikmin available are the types from the original game, and there is a Baldy Long Legs where the Beady Long Legs is.
    • Pikmin 4:
      • Kingdom of Beasts is a throwback to two caves from Pikmin 2, Bulblax Kingdom and Hole of Beasts, down to its name being the names of the latter caves put together. Like both caves, it is heavily themed around the Grub-Dog family of enemies and has the Bulblaxes as boss fights. The Empress Bulblax is fought in a long room just like in the Hole of Beasts, and a pair of Emperor Bulblaxes are fought in a round room that leads to a puzzle with water and fire geysers just like in Bulblax Kingdom (except the latter only had one Emperor).
      • Engulfed Castle. It's basically an abridged remake of the Submerged Castle from Pikmin 2, with many of its sublevels being recreated down to the placement of enemies and hazards (with a few exceptions and substitutions). And, of course, the infamous Waterwraith returns as well.
  • Rhythm Heaven:
    • In Fever you can unlock remastered versions of four minigames from the first installment on the GBA. Since that game was never released overseas, this was the first time people in the West were able to play them. The NSTC and PAL versions also include a remastered version of "Mr. Upbeat", an endless minigame from the GBA installment.
    • Rhythm Heaven and Rhythm Heaven Fever both feature Karate Man, the first minigame from the original Gameboy Advance game, as their final regular minigame, albeit with a different song and new audio cues.
    • Rhythm Heaven Megamix contains a whopping 70 Nostalgia Levels from the first three games, along with two new versions of Karate Man, one significantly easier and one significantly harder.
  • Wii Play: Motion: In the Trigger Twist minigame, the first level takes place in a similar plain and features all the targets from its predecessor Shooting Range from Wii Play, namely the balloons, targets, ducks, cans and UFO.
  • The final dungeon of StarTropics 2 is the same as the first dungeon from the original game, only with updated graphics and an extra boss fight at the end.


    Action Adventure 
  • Anodyne 2: Return to Dust, which is otherwise unconnected to the first game, features two post-game levels that take you to the original overworld, The Land, but having been long-since abandoned, and numerous misplaced tiles thanks to the overuse of the Swap tool, as well as the Nexus.
  • The Batman: Arkham Knight DLC side mission "Wonderland" seems to be rather dull, with Batman rescuing hostages from hidden police cars. That is until you return to Mad Hatter with a book from the final car. Things escalate, and Batman finds himself fighting cartoon versions of thugs in the pop-ups of Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Gotham City.
  • Dragon Slayer series: Sorcerian had one scenario which was effectively a shortened remake of Romancia: Dragon Slayer Jr.. Curiously, the localized version by Sierra changed the dialogue and music to make the reference to Romancia less obvious, though Romancia was never released outside Japan.
  • Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future includes two hidden levels that play like the 2D Sega Genesis games from earlier in the series; one of them is actually called Passage from Genesis. Slightly more subtle are the Hanging Waters levels, which harken back to the water tubes from the second Genesis game.
  • The UGC feature in Infamous 2 inspired some people to create remakes of certain side-missions from the original game.
  • Being based around Time Travel, the Legacy of Kain series has fun with this, often revisting locations from the first game Blood Omen, sometimes even at the same time.
    • In Soul Reaver, the second game which takes place in the far future, Nupraptor's keep is revisited, which has long since dropped from its cliff.
    • Also in Soul Reaver, the Chronoplast is directly under the Oracle's cave.
    • The Sarafan Stronghold visited in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance is explicitly modeled on the building seen in Blood Omen's intro cinematic.
    • Defiance also revisits Kain's mausoleum, Vorador's mansion and Avernus Cathedral.
  • La-Mulana has a hidden area based on the first level of Knightmare II: The Maze of Galious, the MSX game it was inspired by. Behind the same door in the remake lies the Gate of Time, which consists of parts of the early levels with the original Retraux 8-bit graphics restored.
  • NieR: Automata has two small areas that are throwbacks to the original NieR:
    • Help Emil recover his memories by finding Lunar Tear flowers and he'll give you a key to a cave containing Kaine's shack, where "Kaine ~ Salvation" plays.
    • The Tower's memory storage area appears as an all-white verison of Popola's library, complete with appropriate music and effigies of defeated bosses in the trophy room.
  • It's only an Easter Egg, but Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, as well as including the original Prince of Persia as an Embedded Precursor, also has the first level of it rebuilt in 3D.
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse has a section of the Dribble Fountain from the GBC game hidden in the Spittle Maze, complete with 8-Bit graphics.
  • A flashback level in Tomb Raider: Legend has young Lara wearing her outfit from the original Tomb Raider game.

    Adventure Game 
  • Before the action begins in Myst III, you can snoop around Atrus' office and find Riven's descriptive book, which belonged to Gehn, the Big Bad of the second game: you can open it, and you can even touch the linking window, though nothing happens, as the Age fell apart and collapsed due to Gehn's lousy writing and the events of the second game.
  • In Myst IV, you can cause two optional flashbacks to FMVs from Myst III.
  • Uru: Path of the Shell features the Myst library and K'veer. And in Myst V, the player can visit a dilapidated version of Myst island in the bad endings. Myst V also returns you to the Great Shaft seen in Uru: To D'ni previously. And Uru also includes several locations mentioned in the books, such as the Cleft.
  • The Flash adventure game series Prawn to be Wild, made as a prequel to the events of the popular Flash animated series On The Moon, ends with the events of the first episode of On The Moon... which the player must replicate exactly. The player must complete a multiple-choice quiz in order to make the main character say exactly what he originally said.
  • Monkey Island did this at least twice, although these are easter eggs and don't actually allow much gameplay.
    • In Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, during the last sequence in the underground tunnels, if you go up the lift you can exit to a back alley on Melee Island (from the first game).
    • In The Curse of Monkey Island, you can stick your head in a wall at the crypt on Blood Island and it'll "pop out of the ground" in the middle of the forest on Melee Island (complete with the original MIDI music that accompanies that scene in the first game). Also, the LeChuck doll uses the same sprites as LeChuck himself in Monkey Island 2, causing it to stand out against the more cartoony graphics of The Curse of Monkey Island.
    • It's probable that Escape from Monkey Island intended the Melee Island and Monkey Island sequences to be nostalgia levels. The Scumm Bar, the giant clock in town, Carla and Otis and Meathook, then Herman Toothrot, the banana picker, and the giant monkey head. Too bad it was done poorly.
  • Space Quest 4 has a section where Roger Wilco travels back in time to Space Quest 1. The backgrounds are low-res, 16-colour graphics as in the original, while Roger and his time machine are in high-res 256-colour graphics. When Roger enters the bar, he is beaten up by some monochrome biker NPCs who are jealous of his VGA graphics (oddly enough, they’re also in high-res compared to everyone else).
  • In Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, you revisit 3D versions of Venice and Marcuria which have gone to seed since the original The Longest Journey.
  • King's Quest: Mask of Eternity: Castle Daventry. It's less colorful than last time around, though. Graham makes an appearance, and both Graham and Valanice are shown in classic paintings from the sixth game.
  • Towards the end of Syberia II, Kate revisits Valadilène, the town where the first game begins, during a Dream Sequence.

    Beat 'Em Up 
  • Double Dragon Advance features the Chinatown and Truck stages from Super Double Dragon, as well as a new stage based on the Cavern stage from the first NES game, and a temple resembling the Mansion of Terror from the second NES game.
  • River City Ransom: Underground uses the assault on River City High from the original game as a tutorial sequence that leads into the main game's story.
  • In the 2010 remake of Splatterhouse, there are side-scrolling segments reminiscent of the stages to the original games, complete with death traps, similar-sounding music, and the ability to knock enemies into the back wall with weapons.
  • Streets of Rage 4's first level is implied to be the same starting stage from 1 and 2.

    Collectible Card Game 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The game has Time Spiral as its Nostalgia Block. Time Spiral and Planar Chaos are chock-full of nostalgia, and Future Sight has...future nostalgia.
    • Scars of Mirrodin revisits the popular Mirrodin setting, chock full of robots and metal. It doesn't end well for Mirrodin, as the world becomes the new homeworld for one of the game's once-thought-to-be-dead Big Bads.
    • Return to Ravnica revisits the popular City Plane setting. Ravnica winds up a lot better off than Mirrodin, with peace restored to pre-Ravnica levels and most of the guild having undergone significant reforms.

    Driving Game 

    Fighting Game 
  • Several entries in The King of Fighters feature stages that are either references to or straight up lifted from previous games.
    • '94 had the Italy Team's stage resembling Andy's stage from Fatal Fury 2 while the Mexico Team (AKA the Kyokugen Team)'s stage was the Pao Pao Cafe, more often seen in the Fatal Fury series.
    • The console ports of 2000 included stages not just from previous KOF games but from other SNK games as well.
    • XIII had Adelheid's SkyNoah stage from 2003 as a selectable locale for the console ports and also added three new arenas corresponding to its three DLC characters. NESTS-Style Kyo had a remake of the Japan Team's '96 stage, Iori with Flames got a remake of the '95 Rival Team's background and Mr. Karate got a version of his final boss arena from the original Art of Fighting. Wow.
    • Despite being Dream Match Games that included nearly all of the previous titles' casts, '98 and 2002 avert this save for one example: the stage of the Final Boss, Omega Rugal, is always a version of his Cool Airship/Airborne Aircraft Carrier from '94, the BlackNoah. As Rugal blew it up his during his attempt to take the Hero Team with him to the grave post-defeat, the '98 version is at the bottom of the sea while 2002 depicts the wreckage of the airship on a seemingly uninhabited island. Interestingly, 2002's Updated Re-release, Unlimited Match (see below), has the BlackNoah repaired and mid-flight for Omega Rugal's appearance as the True Final Boss.
    • '98 Ultimate Match included all the previous stages from the original game as well as two stages from '96 (the '96 Boss Team's canal beneath an estate likely belonging to Krauser and Goenitz's destroyed arena) and four from '97 (every individual arena for the Orochi Team and Orochi himself) along with the palette-swapped "Bousou" ("Delusion") stages used for the battle with Orochi Iori/Orochi Leona in the latter game.
    • 2002 Unlimited Match had all new arenas for the most part but the bosses each had variants of their familiar arenas. Krizalid's and Original Zero's are semi-remasters of their stages from '99 and 2001 while Clone Zero's 2000 stage is now at a different angle than it originally was and Igniz's stage, while somewhat keeping the idea of his old 2001 stage, now looks much different, akin to an observation room instead of a church hall. Rugal's is an interesting take as his stage in the original PS2 port was actually a port from the PS2 and Xbox versions of the original 2002 (which had 3D stages). The XBLA version remade Rugal's stage from the ground up afterward.
  • Mortal Kombat:
  • PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale does this with Dojo and The Graveyard (the very first levels of their games, Parappa The Rapper and MediEvil, respectively). For fans of the 6th generation, this also counts with Sandover Village (from Jak and Daxter) and Paris (from Sly Cooper), both intro levels. Ratchet & Clank's Metropolis is here as well, though it's closer to the version seen in Tools of Destruction.
  • Street Fighter V has the Air Force Base, which is an almost exact copy of Guile's stage from Street Fighter II, right down to a remix of Guile's theme playing in the background. note  Subsequent patches have introduced updated versions of Balrog, Vega, Bison and Ryu's stages from SFII, with more to come.
  • A few Tekken games update older stages with a few new tweaks and such, not counting the original Tag Tournament remixing every Tekken 3 level. Tekken 6's Noh Theater updates Jin's Tekken 3 stage, while 7's Dragon's Nest is an update of the stage of the same name from 5. Tag 2 features a hefty amount of these, like Moonlit Wilderness and Snow Castle from 5, complete with remixes of their respective stage themes.

  • One of the later stages of Bayonetta 2 has the eponymous character return to an area of Vigrid she visited in the first game. The difference is that she returns there in a past era.
  • Devil May Cry 2: Lucia's levels replicate some gimmicks from the missions of DMC1. Strangely enough, these aren't present in Dante's levels even though he's the only playable character from that game.
    • Lucia's first mission begins with her needing 45 Red Orbs to get past through a sealed door. Dante's first obstacle in the first game is a red door that requires 45 Red Orbs to open.
    • The Evil Heart attaches itself to Lucia and slowly drains her health, just like how the Guiding Light slowly drained Dante's health in 1 before it's removed.
    • There are underwater levels just like in the first game, although they are only available on Lucia's campaign. She gets to fight Sargasso and Blade demons from DMC1, and the latter type can swim around just like how they did in that game.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening:
    • The Leviathan's Womb Level is basically a throwback to the Mission 22 Underworld level from DMC1; both are made up of fleshy and organic structures including a giant beating heart, large vessels serving as passageways, flesh doors that must be struck to open, and a lot of platforming. This area also contains living doors that are opened and closed by moving "tusks", behaving just like a completely identical door that you have to backtrack in the first game.
    • The Netherworld in Mission 19 contains mirror portals that have the same appearance and functionality as the late-game mirror portals that appear in the castle from the first game. Backtracking is involved again, and you also need to find an item that lets you activate a portal leading to the final sections of that area, just like how a late-game DMC1 mission played out.
  • Devil May Cry 5:
    • Mission 18 is one to the first game, given that Dante fights V's familiars, who are based on DMC1 demons, complete with remixes of their original themes.
      Dante: It's like I'm back on Mallet Island!
    • Just like DMC1, there's a Secret Mission where you must expose a Death Scissors' weak point and kill it with one shot. The Death Scissors demons are basically this game's version of the Sin Scissors demons from the first game. The resemblance is more obvious in the vanilla DMC5 as said Secret Mission is played using Dante.
  • One of the later levels of Drakengard 2 is one of the first levels of Drakengard, but in reverse. Instead of entering the castle and ascending it, you start from the top and work your way down. Which, interestingly, is exactly what you do in the Free Exploration version of that mission in the first game.
  • Dark Souls III includes several areas designed to resemble locations from past games, if not the actual locations themselves.
    • The main game includes the Anor Londo cathedral, now under the ownership of Aldrich and his Deacons of the Deep. Aldrich himself is fought in Ornstein and Smough's old boss arena. The Darkmoon Tomb (a.k.a. Gwyndolin's old boss arena) is still beneath the cathedral and accessed from the same rotating bridge/elevator as before.
    • A side area in the Painted World of Ariandel is identical to Priscilla's boss arena from Dark Souls I's Painted World of Ariamis, and is now home to an NPC invader.
    • Earthen Peak from Dark Souls II makes a reappearance in the Dreg Heap, although you don't get to go inside it this time since it's been tipped over and totally destroyed. Also, the boss's arena in the Dreg Heap greatly resembles the original Firelink Shrine from Dark Souls I.

    Platform Game 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sky Sanctuary Zone in Sonic 3 & Knuckles features two Nostalgia Bosses. Mecha Sonic shows up piloting the boss vehicles from the first zone of Sonic the Hedgehog and the eighth zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 before you fight him quill-to-quill. And said hog-to-mecha-hog fight shares some patterns with the Sonic 2 version of Mecha Sonic.
    • Getting all 180 emblems in Sonic Adventure 2 unlocks a 3D version of Green Hill Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • Sonic Advance features a Nostalgia mini-Boss Rush in the final level, as Eggman's first two forms mirror those that he used in the first boss areas of Sonic the Hedgehog (Egg Mobile armed with a wrecking ball) and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (A slow-moving drill car), complete with the boss music from their respective games.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog's stages has several stages from Sonic Adventure 2. Prison Island which takes elements of stages from the aforementioned island (Metal Harbor and Green Forest), except it's added with acid. The stages from the Space Colony ARK, namely Space Gadget, The ARK, and Cosmic Fall - have similarities of stages such as Crazy Gadget, Final Rush, and Final Chase.
    • Sonic Battle has Green Hill Zone as an unlockable stage.
    • Sonic Advance 3's Sunset Hill Zone. The level's layout isn't from a previous one, but its general aesthetic is very similar to Green Hill Zone (except, as the name suggests, at dusk), and it features remixes of its music.
    • Wave Ocean from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) is very much like Emerald Coast in Adventure 1, intentionally of course. Both are beach levels with a lighthouse, and feature Sonic getting chased across a bridge by an orca.
    • Sonic Rush Adventure's Hidden Island 16 is a remake of Act 1 of Leaf Storm, the first zone of Sonic Rush.
    • Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games:
      • Dream Alpine level uses the first stage, and one of the more difficult enemies, from Sonic Heroes, right down to the music.
      • Dream Bobsleigh, despite being named after an area of Sonic Chronicles, is the bonus stage from Sonic Heroes.
      • Many of the dream events in the game are like this. Dream Snowboard Cross is Radical Highway from Sonic Adventure 2. Dream Ski Cross is a Mario Kart pastiche, right down to the opening fanfare and countdown.
    • Then there's Sonic Chronicles, which not only re-used old levels, but hides an old EggRobo enemy and a Mega-Drive (Genesis in the US) in one of the level art, recycles old music in some of the stages, puts old sound effects to use (albeit in inappropriate places), and brings back enemies from the non-game canon. Chronicles doesn't contain so much as a nostalgia level, as it is chock full of nostalgic moments for the fans of all Sonic canons.
    • Adabat's levels in Sonic Unleashed are very similar to Emerald Coast and Wave Ocean, though without any chase scene.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is pretty much a Nostalgia Game, particularly Episode I whose levels and even bosses are generally inspired by various areas from the first two games.
    • Game Land from Sonic Colors has several stages based off of Act 1 level layouts for all of the zones from the original game.
    • Sonic Generations: You have 2.5D and 3D re-imaginings of levels from almost every major game from Sonic 1 to Colors. You also have Sonic, Tails, and Eggman in their classic looks, with Sonic being voiceless, and Metal Sonic returns as a boss. The level design will frequently make call-backs to other levels as well, like the water current tunnels from Hydrocity Zone appearing in Seaside Hill.
    • Sonic Mania features remastered versions of the zones from Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Examples include Green Hill, Chemical Plant, Flying Battery and Stardust Speedway.
    • Sonic Forces has a Green Hill Zone covered in sand, and Shadow's levels remix music from Sonic Adventure 2.
    • Sonic Frontiers's Cyber Space areas are taken directly from previous Sonic games. For example, the very first one is based on Windmill Isle from Sonic Unleashed, with the aesthetics taken from Green Hill Zone. 1-4 and 1-6 are more directly based on Green Hill Zone as it appeared in Sonic Generations — specifically Modern Sonic's version and Classic Sonic's version, respectively.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man 7 features a level taking place in a museum featuring statues (actually the actual deactivated bodies) of past Robot Masters. Dr. Wily steals one of them, Guts Man, who Mega Man later fights after Dr. Wily has finished modifying him into a hulking super-robot. This short level also has a medley of various old MM songs as its BGM.
    • Mega Man & Bass begins with another museum level, this time having the player play through rooms based upon levels from previous games (i.e. Metal Man's, Toad Man's). On top of this, the level's boss is Green Devil, the second of the recurring Gel Devil bosses that appear throughout the series. Green originally appeared in Mega Man 8, but he was a nostalgia boss of the Yellow Devil from the original and Mega Man 3. Mega Man X5 did this with the Black Devil boss, and Mega Man Zero had the Rainbow Devil.
    • Mega Man 9 is designed with an overall Retraux aesthetic. Some of the random sections in the Endless Stage DLC are copied and pasted directly from the first two games.
    • Mega Man 10 features several more obscure Nostalgia Levels; the Special Stages are based off of the fortress stages of the first, third, and fourth Game Boy installments of the series with some alterations, up to and including the boss fights with Enker, Punk, and Ballade. (Quint is strangely absent.) You even get their weapons for use in the main game for beating them. In the main game, the Weapons Archive is a Nostalgia Boss, imitating one boss from each of the first nine numbered Mega Man games.
    • The final area in Mega Man X 5 is intended to evoke all of Mega Man history, leading up to the climactic end of the X series (before they released three more games). They also tried to evoke nostalgia for Quick Man's level. And at the end of that section, you fight the Devil robot from Mega Man.
    • And one of the most iconic fortress bosses from the X series returns in the second final stage: the wall-mounted face machine, Rangda Bangda, complete with a remix of the Vile/Fortress Boss theme from X.
    • Part of Mega Man ZX's Area D is a remake of the Central Highway stage from the first X game. To emphasize it, the first time you go through this stage the only Biometal you have is Model X, so it really is just X doing that stage again.
    • In ZX Advent, Floating Ruins, Highway, Scrapyard, and Control Tower are all implied to be the locales of the previous installment (Area A, Area D, Area F, and Slither Inc. building), between being located in the same general area relative to each other and reusing graphics, just with new phenomena affecting them. Master Mikhail says that the machines in the Scrapyard used to be covered in snow (as they were in Area F in ZX) and you can spot the broken glass capsules Serpent used to contain Cyber-elves in Control Tower's Boss Corridor.
    • The second half of the first stage in Mega Man X7 is also a rendition of stage in Mega Man X.
    • The Undernet 2 area of Mega Man Battle Network 4 looks almost exactly the same as the Undernet 2 area of Battle Network 2. The most noticable difference is that the portal to the (relatively speaking) friendly Undersquare is now a giant black hole of doom leading to a (completely unrelated) Bonus Dungeon swarming with even more evil.
  • The level "Metropolis" of the planet Kerwan from the Ratchet & Clank series appears many times throughout the series. Megapolis in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is a callback, but Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, by virtue of taking place in the Solana Galaxy (the setting of the first game), features the most of these.
    • Namely, the game starts on Planet Veldin, and the end of this level is actually the 'beginning' of the original. Later, Ratchet will find himself back in Blackwater City, Aridia (although this one takes place in Outpost X12, as opposed to X11, so the level is really only the same in name and in theme), and of course, Metropolis, which even features a boss fight on the trains from the first game.
    • Ratchet: Deadlocked will bring the player back to Planet Orxon, though the level is a much darker green combined with a lot of dark gray and black, as opposed to the neon green mist from the first.
    • The first level of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is, once again, Planet Kerwan. The level takes place in an area much different from the originals, however. There's also the IRIS Supercomputer, which is filled with monitors that show scenes from the PS2 games.
    • Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault features DLC that allows you to play in... you guessed it; Metropolis. Molonoth Fields is another multiplayer level.
    • Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus features what is likely the greatest Nostalgia Level of all, however... Meridian City, Planet Igliak, from Tools of Destruction! No, it's not the fact that Meridian City is from a past game, but the level starts in a museum that covers the history of the entire series, featuring every old villain and plenty of callbacks to the original games, and even a miniboss fight against a small-scale model Biobliterator.
    • At least half of the levels of the re-imagination of the original game are clearly based on the original levels, but with superior graphics. While there's some differences here and there, they usually play almost identically too.
  • Castlevania:
    • The entry hall part of the first level in the original Castlevania has made numerous re-appearances throughout the series. And the ascent to Dracula's throne room is practically the same in almost every Castlevania game since the beginning. The ascent even makes up the Castlevania section of I Wanna Be the Guy, albeit with less safe place to stand, and more enemies.
    • Every level of the original Castlevania, as well as several from Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, appear in most of the subsequent 2D versions of the game - however, as many people never got far in the game, they're not as immediately recognized.
    • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow's Julius Mode is an example of this. The entire mode is supposed to be an homage to Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. Julius takes the place of Trevor, Yoko takes the place of Sypha, and Alucard... replaces himself. There was evidence found in the game's files that Hammer, the shopkeeper, was meant to be a playable character as well, meaning that he would probably take the place of Grant Da Nasty. Adding in Awesome Music, The song "Beginning" from the first level of Castlevania III plays in the Lost Village (the first area of the game) and the song "Bloody Tears" from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest plays in The Dark Chapel.
    • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair has Chapter 10: Origins, a remake of the entirety of the first Castlevania, with the retro enemies and bosses and even all the breakable walls and other secrets from the original. Beating it once also unlocks all the original 8-bit tracks, making it even better. Chapter 11 is similarly based on Getsu Fuma Den, an Action-Adventure game originally released for the Famicom in the same year.
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's Clock Tower and Castle Keep are very similar to their counterparts from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, with a few new areas. In addition, the game opens with the final boss battle against Dracula from Rondo of Blood (albeit simplified to ease players into the game).
  • Crash Twinsanity opens with a jungle level, which very much evokes the mood of the (usually early-found) jungle levels of the first two games in the franchise. Later, if you explore a little, you can find a recreated version of Papu Papu's hut, the first boss level in the series, as an easter egg.
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Banjo-Tooie: Two of the first-person segments are taken from maps that were used for levels in GoldenEye (1997) (by the same company).
    • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts has Banjo Land, which is set in an enormous museum filled with remnants from nearly every level from the previous games. The background music of Banjo Land is also a medley of various level tunes from the previous games.
  • Rainbow Islands had a couple of Shout-Out levels based on other Taito games, but the last of the three secret islands that truly close the story is a true nostalgia level, where Bub (and Bob) have to yet again fight against their old enemies on Bubble Island, a huge throwback to Bubble Bobble. Unfortunately, they're already red and their attacks have been expanded. This time.
  • Parasol Stars: The Story of Bubble Bobble III had the eighth planet being based on Rainbow Islands, complete with a rematch of that game's True Final Boss (that is, the one from Bubble Island, not Dragon Island). And that's the last stage unless you did certain actions during a certain point in the game, at which case the game continues with two extra levels, both being nostalgia levels: the first of these is based on Bubble Bobble itself, with the boss being Super Drunk, the last boss of that game. The world after that, the true final world, is based on Bubble Bobble's spiritual precursor, Chack'n Pop. It's filled with nothing but Stoners, Belugas, Hullaballoons, (If you ain't fond of Woolseyisms: Mightas, Monstas, and Pulpuls respectively) and evil Chack'ns. You even rescue Chack'n himself in the end!
  • Bubble Bobble and Bubble Symphony reference the first level in Chack'n Pop. Symphony goes further by having Nostalgia Levels based on other games in its TV Machine world, including the aforementioned Chack'n Pop level. On a further note, the first boss of Bubble Symphony (no matter which of the first 3 doors are chosen) is a severely nerfed Super Drunk who is mainly easier, though reverts to his old Bubble Bobble pattern when he Turns Red. Even the level is a direct copy of Bubble Bobble's level 100. The True Final Boss lets an even more pathetic puppet version of Super Drunk fight you before revealing himself to be Hyper Drunk.
  • Stage 8-10 of Giana Sisters DS is a remake of the entire original Great Giana Sisters. Of course, to unlock it, you'll have to beat the game without getting a game over.
  • The Contra series has plenty of these.
    • The final stage in Contra III: The Alien Wars has you facing against bosses from the first two games (both arcade and NES versions) in alien womb similar to the original game.
    • Contra: Shattered Soldier:
      • The fifth stage is set in the jungles of Galuga Island, the setting of the original Contra and has the first stage theme from the original game as a background music. The Boss Rush after Lance includes the Alien Heart, Beast Kimkoh, and Emperor Devil Gaba.
      • The first half of Stage 2 is a throwback to the first part of Stage 4 from Contra III, and the second half is based on a level from Hard Corps.
    • Many of the levels from Contra 4 were shout backs to the early games (including Operation C).
    • Contra Rebirth is a Nostalgia Game, with the entire soundtrack being comprised of remixes from previous games. Area 2 and Area 5 in particular bear strong similarities to Contra III: The Alien Wars, which make certain bosses a homage to a homage.
  • Rolling Thunder 3 featured a cobweb-filled version of the Warehouse from the first game as a hidden level.
  • Level 11 of A Boy and His Blob for Wii is a remake of the beginning of the NES game, complete with orchestrated music.
  • Sector 8 of Jumper Two consists of a selection of levels from original Jumper. Namely: 6-1, 2-5, 4-4, 6-4 and 3-4.
  • The first area of Wonder Boy in Monster World right after leaving your house is just like the beginning of Round 1 of Wonder Boy in Monster Land. Things change once you reach the castle.
  • The prologue of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap is a reenactment of the Final Dungeon of WBML. This in turn appears as a hidden Retraux Flashback in Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom.
  • Fixation, being a prequel to The Company of Myself, naturally has one in "Chapter Five: The Meadow", which is visually designed after the setting of the original game. Then you get to the final level, and it is completely dark. You move to the right of the stage, and the darkness disappears, revealing that the level is actually Level 17 from the original game. The premise of the level is even the same — you deactivate the barrier that blocks Jack (using a smoke ring instead of a lever, due to the game's mechanics), followed by Jack activating a switch that allows him to progress... but also drops you down a pit.
  • The first stage of I Wanna Be the Guy is revisited in Gaiden, with new traps and a new boss.
  • The Royal Palace rooms of Mighty Bomb Jack are this in terms of gameplay, though not graphics.
  • The final two stages in Strider 2 are recreations of the 3rd and 5th stages in the original, albeit with their own twists added here and there.
  • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc has a minigame called 2D Madness, which is a 2D platforming level based off of the first Rayman's Dream Forest area. There's also a Dummied Out second level based on Picture Land.
  • Rayman Legends has the optional Back to Origins area, which contains 40 of the previous game's 66 levels.
  • Something series:
    • According to Yogui, Oldschool Temple is a level from an unfinished hack, so its quality is worse in comparison to the other levels in Something.
    • Else Castle :3 has Yogui's past levels because of an increase in vanilla levels, but they are randomized.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2 has the third episode, aptly called "Flashback" for consisting only of remakes of Episode 1 of the original game.
  • In Stage 2-6 of Mappy Land, after collecting all of the keys outside, you enter a mansion where the interior resembles the original Mappy arcade game, and the stage and death music are changed to match. However, instead of trying to recover stolen treasure, your goal is to try to escape through the door on the top.
  • Main Street in Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is based heavily on the tutorial stage of the first game, with similar or identical setpieces, a remixed version of the original music, Tinkerbats using a battering ram to create temporary platforms, and a boss battle against Risky's ship at the end.
  • The first level of the Fan Sequel Yo! Noid 2: Enter the Void is a wharf with rising water, similar to the first level of Yo! Noid, with a rearranged version of the background music.
  • The Super Mario fangame Mario Adventure combines this with Macro Zone for World 6, Colossal Classics - every level is a giant-sized Nostalgia Level.

    Puzzle Game 
  • The Classic tribe from Lemmings 2: The Tribes has a tileset themed around the Roman pillar stages from the first game, has the same set of skills as the first game in each level, and even has Lemmings explode in the same manner as the first game (while they ordinarily just explode as soon as their countdown timer reaches 0, here they hold their head, shake violently, and explode).
  • Any Bomberman game that features a battle mode will almost always feature a stage that visually resembles the identical stages from the very first Bomberman game.
  • The Japanese-only Super Bomberman 5 takes this to ridiculous extremes: There are five zones in the game, and the first four are each dedicated to the preceeding four games in the series, complete with the same graphics and enemies.
  • The first chapter of Portal 2 takes place in dilapidated versions of test chambers from the original Portal, specifically Test Chambers 00-05 (With 04 and 05 having been combined into one chamber, followed by two new chambers), 07, GLaDOS's chamber, and finally Test Chamber 19 (Starting backwards from the empty Fire Pit). Author commentary states that the objective was not only nostalgia, but also introducing the players to the updated graphics.
  • Super Scribblenauts and Scribblenauts Unlimited both have puzzles requiring the player to get a starite out of a tree, identical to the first level of the original Scribblenauts game. In Super, a random event when using the Time Machine instead takes you to the first level of the first game, complete with the collectible Starite in the tree and a past Maxwell wandering around.
  • RHEM 3: The Secret Library calls back in multiple places to the first two games.
    • Kales has two pairs of screenshots in picture frames in his office and apartment
    • His video iPod has some FMV clips, including the first game's ending fly-by and a rail car ride from the 2nd game.
    • One of the "connections" between portions of RHEM is the isolated balcony overlooking the cave with a rotating bridge from the 2nd game. But the bridge controls are locked down.
    • Solving the two bonus puzzles gives access to a room with design sketches from the developer, Knut Muller, and photo albums full of Polaroids of all three games.
  • Level 194 in Chip's Challenge 2, aptly named Memories. Its design incorporates setpieces and snippets from several levels that appeared in the first game, including the last level. A similar concept is also seen in the first game's Fan Sequels, though with different executions.
  • Professor Layton: Scotland Yard is an important location in Unwound Future, present in London. It makes a return in Last Specter (during the playable prologue and some later chapters), Azran Legacy (in Chapter 3, as London is one of the many playable areas in the game), and Layton's Mystery Journey (London is once again the main setting). In the latter game, River Thames (which was a key location in Unwound Future) is revisited as well.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • In Warcraft III, the seventh Undead mission ("Blackrock & Roll, Too") pits you against a set of Orc bases which function much more like the old Horde from Warcraft II: goblin sappers, ogre magi casting bloodlust, and even fire-breathing dragons.

    Rhythm Game 
  • Guitar Hero has a whole game made entirely of Nostalgia Levels: Guitar Hero: Smash Hits is basically a Mission-Pack Sequel of Guitar Hero: World Tour except the songs are taken from previous Guitar Hero games, with added note charts for drums and vocals.
  • Cytus II: has several returning songs from Cytus:
    • The first one added was "Hard Landing", found in Neko's chapter. The 2.0 update added more: "New World" for PAFF, "Nocturnal Type" for ROBO_Head, "Realize" for Cherry, and "Biotonic", "DRG", and "Area 184" for Ivy. "Light up my love!!", a remix of "Light up my LOVE", shows up as part of the "Featured Article Vol. 1" Black Market song pack. Version 2.7 adds "Halloween Party" to Ivy.
    • AEsir's songs (CHAOS and V.) contain several riffs from Cytus songs.
    • Several more Cytus songs are available through the CAPSO system, such as "Saika", "Bloody Purity", and "Masquerade".
  • In beatmania, the video for the song STARLIGHT DANCEHALL on copula (the 23rd edition), is comprised of all the themes of previous IIDX games.
  • DanceDanceRevolution has "PARANOiA Revolution" from X3 vs. 2ndMIX on Expert (both Single and Double), which borrows note patterns from various boss songs. Since A, selected songs from previous versions are available in a "DDR Selection" folder, which loads them up in a recreation of the gameplay UI from an older version (either 2ndMIX, Extreme, SuperNOVA 2, or X2).


    RPG — Eastern 
  • Absinthia: In Freya's flashback sequence, she and Ruthea explore the Lair of Typhus the Younger, the first dungeon of Knight Bewitched. The boss battle with the Shadowbeast in that dungeon also uses the boss theme of Knight Bewitched.
  • Featured multiple times in the Suikoden series:
    • Suikoden II had you visiting the city of Gregminster and the battle music in that area even uses the one from Suikoden. Have an Old Save Bonus with 108 Stars, and you even get a dinner scene that mirrors the one near the start of the first game.
    • In Suikoden IV, the mushrooms and mint that can be grown in your ship can engage in a strategy battle of the type otherwise found only in Suikoden.
  • The first Xenosaga game had an 'escape' sequence where you are chased by automated attack drones through a sewer, duplicating a scene from the Spiritual Predecessor Xenogears.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed features many locations from the original Xenoblade Chronicles, including Colony 9 (complete with original music), Gaur Plain and Prison Island, integrated into its world.
  • The Legend of Heroes - Trails:
    • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, Chapter 2 takes Class VII to the city of Crossbell, the main setting for The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero. The layout for the city is exactly as seen in Zero, also containing many call-backs to events and quests that occurred, with visits to familiar locations and the Special Support Section's building.
    • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie, players get to explore places that only existed in Cold Steel I and II but didn't exist in Cold Steel III and IV like Ymir, Eisengard Mountain Range, some parts of the Eastern section of Heimdallr, and Nord. Meanwhile, the places that players couldn't explore in Crossbell in IV are fully explorable like Armorica Village, Rosenburg Studio, and Mainz.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • The Time Crash segment of Chrono Cross ends in a temporally-displaced version of Leene's Square from Chrono Trigger. You also have the option of using Kid's memories to travel back in time to her orphanage, which is Lucca's old house.
  • Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria has plenty of these, although it's justified because it is a prologue instead of a sequel. Which makes this an Inverted Trope.
  • In Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, the final stage is reminiscent of the opening of Lufia & The Fortress of Doom complete with a remix of its musical score. Not only is the final stage reminiscent of the first from the original, it IS the same accounted for by the fact it is a prequel, in which the characters from the second game were included in the first at the very beginning as a Tarantino-esque pre-emptive recap of sorts.
  • Several Tales Series games contain games that are very similar but not identical to early Namco releases. For example, Tales of Destiny contains a Bonus Dungeon based around The Tower of Druaga, and Tales of the Abyss has Dragon Buster instead starring the main game's protagonist.
  • Traverse Town is like this in Kingdom Hearts coded and Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], with many of its major areas visitable and barely changed from their original appearance in Kingdom Hearts, mainly modified by simply adding blocks and street lamps respectively in order to let you make use of each game's unique mechanics.
  • The DLC dungeon in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is the Diamond Realm from the SNES games, and while it's in full 3D for the first time, it looks a lot like how it did in Shin Megami Tensei I and is still run by En no Ozuno with help from Zenki and Goki. The boss goes further, with said boss being Stephen, a Recurring Extra who has appeared in every numbered game except the third, and your allies during this fight being alternate versions of the four main numbered protagonists, with the first game's representing the period of choosing and the later three representing the main alignment their game focuses on - Aleph for Law, Demi-fiend for Chaos, and Flynn for Neutral.
  • Persona 4:
    • The game has the Void Quest dungeon, meant to evoke the feeling of classic JRPGs in general as well as the older MegaTen games in specific. The player's first visit to the third floor even includes a reprise of the Good Morning, Crono opening dialogue to Shin Megami Tensei I - a Call-Back that Western gamers wouldn't have understood unless they had played the fan translation of the older game, as it didn't officially come out in English until an iOS release in early 2014.
    • You also visit Gekkoukan High from Persona 3 on a school trip, and every area uses music from the game. Persona 3 Portable returns the favor with the newly added female protagonist getting a brief trip to Yasogami High and the Amagi Inn from 4.
  • Both Shadow Hearts and Covenant has you return to the burned-down ruins of Nemeton Monastery, the site of the previous game Koudelka.
  • Bravely Second allows you to re-visit most of the dungeons from the original Bravely Default, but they're reduced to optional sidequest locations, while the plot-relevant dungeons are all new. Overlaps with Legacy Boss Battle, since you usually wind up fighting one of the first game's bosses at the end of the re-visited dungeons.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Monster Hunter 2 (dos): After defeating Lunastra (the offline Final Boss) and completing certain special requests, you'll be able to travel to Kokoto, the village of the first generation's games (the village of 2 is Jumbo); this also allows you to take quests set in Forest and Hills, one of the hunting areas of the very first game and its re-releases. This game also marks the first of many reappearances of the Boss-Only Level Castle Schrade (the battlefield of Fatalis), which debuted in the first generation as well.
    • Monster Hunter Freedom Unite brings back the hunting mainlands of the first generation (Forest and Hills, from the first game, was also present in Freedom 2), which become accessible once the player reaches High Rank. The Great Forest from Monster Hunter Frontier accompains them as well.
    • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate: In addition to the original settings from Tri, the game also features the Misty Peaks from Monster Hunter Portable 3rd and the Tower area from the second generation of games.
    • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate: The Old Desert mainland from the very first game makes a return as the Dunes, as do the Boss-Only Level Polar Field from Portable 3rd and the Great Desert from Tri (though this one was also present in the original Monster Hunter 4). Among the town/village maps, there's Dundorma (the online city from Monster Hunter 2, now available offline).
    • Monster Hunter Generations revolves around visiting villages that appeared in previous games in the series, namely Kokoto (from the very first generation) Pokke (from the second) and Yukumo (from the third). These add to the new villages Bherma and (only in the Ultimate expansion) Soaratorium. This also leads to the return of several familiar hunting grounds, like the Forest and Hills (now renamed Verdant Hills), Primal Forest, new Volcano, and Misty Peaks.
    • Monster Hunter: Rise features the return of the Flooded Forest and Sandy Plains from Monster Hunter 3 (Tri), which have been reimagined into massive, seamless areas instead of the ones divided into smaller, segregated zones from the original game. The Jungle from the second generation would later join them courtesy of Sunbreak, as would the Tower battlefield via an update.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest II: The Dragonlord's castle has more-or-less the same layout as it did in the first game. You even find the Sword of Erdrick in the same place you found it previously.
    • Dragon Quest III (Dragon Warrior III in North America) has a final map that is nearly identical to Dragon Quest. During this final stage, it is revealed that the game is actually a prequel of the first game and is set 100 years in the past. Your main character is Erdrick, whose items are so powerful in the first game and Dragon Quest II.
    • The Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS versions of Dragon Quest XI feature a realm known as Tickington where the player can use "pastwords" they've learned to travel to 16-bit renditions of locations from every previous Dragon Quest title.
  • Etrian Odyssey Nexus, being a Megamix Game, has several dungeons from previous games in the series, with their map designs overhauled to keep them fresh: Primitive Jungle and Sandy Barrens from the first, Ancient Forest and Petal Bridge from the second, Waterfall Wood and Undersea Grotto from the third, and Lush Woodlands and Golden Lair from the fourth (there are no dungeons from the fifth game, nor a dungeon that was originally the fifth in any of the other games, due to lore reasons). One of the fourth game's mini-dungeons, Small Orchard, returns in this one as well. The other dungeons (namely the Shrines and Yggdrasil Labyrinth) and mini-dungeons are new.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy 5 has the Data Bunker in the V2 update. It is an optional location where the player fights select enemies and bosses from the first four games, and it replicates the fights down to having the same pre-Art Evolution assets, every enemy being immune to the statuses that were not introduced at the time, evasion not being possible for the foes from the first installmentnote , simplistic element weaknesses, using older music, and for the most part restricting party members to the number of party members the player had in that gamenote . In-universe the Data Bunker is a place focused on re-creating and preserving old Flash titles, 5 is a soft-reboot of the series, and apparently variations of the first four games existed in-universe off the internet.

    RPG — MMO 
  • World of Warcraft:
    • There are plenty of zones which allow you to visit locations from previous Warcraft games. The Dark Portal the orcs entered through in Warcraft I is still standing in the Blasted Lands, and Outland itself was introduced in the MMO's first expansion. Alterac lies in ruins after turning traitor in Warcraft II, while the old orcish stronghold of Blackrock Mountain is the site of several instances and raids. Stratholme is still burning after Arthas torched it in Warcraft III, and if you explore the ruins of Lordaeron and enter the throne room, you can see the bloodstains from where Arthas murdered King Terenas. And so forth.
    • The Caverns of Time is designed for this, sending players back to pivotal moments in Azeroth's history like the Battle of Mount Hyjal, the Culling of Stratholme, or Thrall's escape from Durnholde Keep to ensure that they happen as they are meant to.
    • The Assault on Violet Hold instance is a remake of the Violet Hold instance from Wrath of the Lich King, and features several bosses that are familiar to those who played Wrath - a crypt lord, a faceless one, an abomination, a San'layn princess, a frost wyrm and Milhouse Manastorm's wife.
  • A side-quest in Kingdom of Loathing is written and played in old Interactive Fiction style, as many of its fans were playing back in those days.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, you get to revisit Taris for the first time since the first Knights of the Old Republic, which was released ten years prior. However, Taris is a more naturally oriented planet after the Sith bombing three hundred in-universe years prior. Also, suppose you decide to play through the storyline of another faction's class. Since Taris and Balmorra are swapped depending on which faction you arenote  you will experience a nostalgia level as you walk through the same zones you either conquered, liberated, colonized, or fought on on the other faction.
  • Vindictus, the ultraviolent prequel to Mabinogi, features a Nostalgia Boss Battle in the 8th episode (currently available only in Korea) in the form of the episode's raid boss, who is none other than Glas Ghaibhleann, the final boss from Generation 1 of Mabinogi. And if you thought he was tough in that game, he is utterly hardcore here!
  • Final Fantasy XIV has optional dungeons and boss battles against classic Final Fantasy bosses:
    • A Realm Reborn has the Crystal Tower raid, inspired by Final Fantasy III. Fittingly, the last boss in the questline is the final boss from III, the Cloud of Darkness.
    • Heavensward has a questline that pits players against the Warring Triad of Final Fantasy VI fame.
    • The Omega Deltascape raids from Stormblood pits players against Exdeath from Final Fantasy V and Kefka from Final Fantasy VI, in addition to a special series of large-scale raids that take place in Ivalice, the location of Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics (which also includes an in-lore analogue to Ramza from Tactics).
  • Long after Tutorial Island was removed from RuneScape in favor of Taverley, then that was replaced as tutorial area by Ashdale, quest "Beneath Cursed Tides" revisits Tutorial Island after it was cursed to sink into the ocean. The inhabitants are fine, having turned into crab-like Crassian hybrids, and are still trying to teach you gameplay basics because they have nothing else to do, even if you're a veteran player whose account dates back to the original Tutorial Island (if your account is that old, they will have dialogue recognizing you). The background music is an updated arrangement of "Newbie Melody" with bubbly aquatic distortions.

    RPG — Western 
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the return to Dantooine and the Jedi Enclave may have been this. Korriban as well. For both planets, you see how they changed in the five years between the two games - mostly for the worse, as Dantooine has a weak and ineffective government without the Jedi around, and Korriban has become but a shadow of what it was five years prior thanks to the squabbling of various Sith Lords trying to exert their own authority after the disappearance of Revan and the death of Malak.
  • Gothic II: Night of the Raven features a Nostalgia Quest to guide Diego to the entrance to Valley of Mines, which is the place where you met him in the very beginning of Gothic. After getting there, you receive a chunk of XP referred in-game as "nostalgia bonus".
  • Fable II has the return to the (now destroyed) Oakvale, as part of the Wraithmarsh. It was the birthplace of the original hero from Fable.
  • Wizardry 8 has hidden levels that looks like the black-and-white wireframe ones from early games in the series.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim DLC Dragonborn is set on Solstheim, an island that was the setting for the Morrowind expansion pack Bloodmoon. By extension, it harkens back to Morrowind itself, as the southern half of the island is covered in ash from the (nowadays constantly erupting) Red Mountain, which, combined with typical Vvardenfell architecture and flora, paints a very nostalgic picture. You can even see the northern Ashlands across the strait from Tel Mithryn, for maximum nostalgia trip.
  • The Elder Scrolls Online features several locations familiar to those who've played previous Elder Scrolls Games, such as Windhelm and Stros M'Kai.
  • Ultima Underworld 2 had a level done in white line drawn graphics meant to mimic the style of Akalabeth World Of Doom.
  • Diablo II had one quest which ended with a return to the town of Tristram, where the first Diablo game took place. Except that, typically for the series, everyone had been turned into zombies. The developers even took the time to position corpses where each of the NPCs from the first game were standing, and you end up having to fight Griswold the Blacksmith as a unique enemy.
  • Diablo III likewise has Tristram as one of the locations, and the 20 year anniversary saw The Darkening of Tristram special event where you can basically replay the original campaign... and get Diablo's Soulstone as a socketable gem you can insert in your head(slot).
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War has a level in the UNATCO building of the first game as well as some other locations. There is also a point in Deus Ex: Human Revolution where the Music for the Hong Kong level can be heard.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2 has an entire DLC dedicated to this: "Normandy Crash Site". After your original Cool Starship is destroyed (you get a replacement), you can visit the planet where she crashed. Even though the Normandy is in pieces, you can still recognize the familiar rooms and equipment among the wreckage. For extra nostalgia, you get situational flashbacks of your old crew and must collect their dog tags from the wreckage.
    • The final level of the Mass Effect 3 DLC "Omega" takes place in the plaza before Aria's nightclub and the nightclub itself, both of which served as a Hub Level in ME2.
  • Rengoku: H.E.A.V.E.N. in the second game is a copy of the Purgatory tower from the first game, along with the music.

    Shoot 'Em Up 
  • Andro Dunos have a sequel, Andro Dunos 2, where you can unlock stages from the original game as a bonus feature, despite having a three- decade Sequel Gap. The returning stages is even titled "Respect", as a nod to the original arcade classic.
  • The third bonus level (the appropriately tittled "Reminiscence" ) of Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth takes place in a 3D remake of the first level of the original game. Two of the bosses of Star Soldier are also fought, with one quipping "This is the first game in a long time."
  • Almost every Gradius game has a volcano stage and a Moai stage. Worth mentioning is Stage 7 of Gradius Gaiden, which starts off as an innocent-looking volcano stage...that gets sucked into a black hole as you progress.
    • The volcano stage in IV turns into a Lethal Lava Land halfway through.
    • The second stage of Gaiden is a junkyard full of wrecks of Core bosses from previous Gradius games, some even partially functioning and trying to avenge themselves.
    • The Boss Rushes generally contain upgraded versions of bosses from previous games.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Satori Komeiji in the eleventh game, Subterranean Animism, is a Nostalgia Boss as all of her spell cards except for the first are directly lifted from your current partner's previous appearance as a boss in preceding games.
    • Stage 4 in Imperishable Night, the eighth game, is sort of a throwback to Lotus Land Story, the fourth game. The enemy patterns present are similar to those in LLS, and the boss is Reimu or Marisa (depending on who you're playing as), just like in LLS. The package is completed with nostalgic music for either boss.
    • Undefined Fantastic Object has a Nostalgia Attack, the aptly named "Great Magic: Devil's Recitation" If only Shinki was the one using it...
    • The Extra Stage of Ten Desires calls back to the previous EX-bosses in the series. The boss attacks with red humans (Flandre) green foxes (Ran), red birds (Mokou), teal frogs (Suwako) blue humans (Koishi) and the Extra Midboss is Nue, who even preserves an attack from the EX stage of Touhou 12.
  • The R-Type series absolutely loves this. For instance, there is always a stage that revolves around slowly destroying a massive enemy warship, in homage to the third stage of the original, and occasionally sections of levels will be modeled after particularly memorable past areas. And Dobkeratops, Stage 1 boss of the original, who has appeared in some form or another in every single game save Leo (Gomander, the Stage 2 boss, makes frequent appearances as well). But the best example is likely Stage 5 of Delta, which is made up entirely of enemies and ruined architecture from the original game, ending with a Boss Rush against the Ring of Turrets, Gomander and its Outslays, and the giant warship from Stage 3 split in half.
  • DonPachi:
    • Level 5 of DoDonPachi: DaiOuJou looks like a Darker and Edgier version of level 1 from DoDonPachi. Kakou, Raikou and Rankou (the bosses of levels 3, 4, and 5 from DoDonPachi) appear as a Boss Rush as well (Raikou first, a grounded Kakou second, and Rankou third).
    • In DoDonPachi: DaiFukkatsu, the bosses from DoDonPachi (Suzaku, Senkou, Kakou, Raikou, Rankou and Ryuukou) can appear as mid-bosses, depending on how well the player is doing. If they do, a slightly different version of the BGM that includes a lietmotif from a song from DaiOuJou is played instead of the regular version.
    • In DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou, all of Hibachi's patterns are taken from the Hibachis of previous games. Inbachi's final pattern, in particular, resembles a combination of the final attacks used by the first two incarnations of Hibachi, namely DoDonPachi Hibachi's stinger barrage, and DaiOuJou Hibachi's "Washing Machine Attack".
  • In Fire Hawk: Thexder The Second Contact, the opening of mission 2 looks a lot like the beginning of Thexder.
  • In Star Parodier (where Bomberman is one of the three playable characters), Scene 6 starts taking backgrounds from Bomberman games after the mid-boss. This culminates in a Boss Battle with Black Bomberman, who uses bombs and power-ups exactly as in Bomberman.
  • Stage 5 of Sol Cresta, titled "Terra", takes place on Earth, complete with a remix of Terra Cresta's main theme and culminates in a Boss Battle against a fake Mandler.

    Shooter — First-Person 
  • Towards the end of Borderlands 2 you end up back in a destroyed and abandoned Fyrestone, the very first area in the previous game. You can even locate some old hidden chests, fight a throwback boss, do a side-quest reminiscent of the "Scavenger" quests in the first game, do another sidequest involving the niece of an NPC from the first game, and find the remains of the hidden Claptrap.
  • Turok 3 had a level set in a ruined version of the first level of the original game.
  • Halo:
    • The last level of Halo 3 is set on a rebuilt version of Installation 04 from Halo: Combat Evolved, with the portion you visit heavily resembling "Assault on the Control Room" from that game. Afterward, you play through an Escape Sequence in which you drive a Warthog across a ramp-heavy landscape as you drive through or around hundreds of Flood, similar to the final sequence of Combat Evolved.
    • The "Nightfall" mission in Reach, being a Sniping Mission set at night, is highly reminiscent of "Truth & Reconciliation" from Halo: CE.
    • The first level of Halo 4, where you wake up from cryosleep and fight the Covenant boarding your ship, is reminiscent of CE's first level. Except this time you don't have any allies other than Cortana.
    • On the multiplayer side, the games have often remade prior maps in new instalments, often with a new name that subtly references the original:
      • Halo 2 brings back many maps from Combat Evolved: "Beaver Creek" ("Battle Creek"), "Coagulation" ("Blood Gulch"), "Warlock" ("Wizard"), "Elongation" ("Longest"), "Desolation" ("Derelict"), and "Tombstone" ("Hang 'Em High"). There's also a cross-continuity nod to Marathon, with "Foundation" being a remake of the Marathon 2: Durandal map "Thunderdome".
      • Halo 3 continues the trend with many Halo 2 map remakes: "Last Resort" ("Zanzibar"), "Blackout" ("Lockout"), "Heretic" ("Midship"), and "Icebox" ("Turf"). There's also a single returning Combat Evolved map too: "Cold Storage" ("Chill Out").
      • Halo: Reach features more Halo 2 remakes with "Asylum" ("Sanctuary"), "Pinnacle" ("Ascension"), "Reflection" ("Ivory Tower"), and "Hemorrhage" ("Coagulation", also the first map to return more than once). Alongside the release of Combat Evolved Anniversary, a map pack was created containing five remakes of Combat Evolved maps: "Battle Canyon" ("Battle Creek"), "High Noon" ("Hang 'Em High"), "Penance" ("Damnation"), "Ridgeline" ("Timberland"), and "Solitary" ("Prisoner"). This map pack also contains another Halo 2 remake, "Breakneck" ("Headlong"), for good measure.
      • Halo 4 features a pair of Halo 3 map remakes: "Ragnarok" ("Valhalla") and "Pitfall" ("The Pit"). Like Reach, the release of Halo 2: Anniversary introduced a whole new series of map remakes from that game, this time alongside tweaked mechanics and additions to bring gameplay closer to that of 2. These maps are "Bloodline" ("Coagulation"), "Lockdown" ("Lockout"), "Shrine" ("Sanctuary"), "Stonetown" ("Zanzibar"), "Warlord" ("Warlock"), "Zenith" ("Ascension"), and "Remnant" ("Relic").
      • Halo 5: Guardians gives us "Mercy" as a remake of "Haven" from 4, "Deadlock" as a remake of "Standoff" from 3, and "Guillotine" as a remake of "Headlong" from 2.
      • Halo Infinite features "Empyrean" ("The Pit" from 3), "Salvation" ("Damnation" from Combat Evolved), "Solitude" ("Plaza" from 5), and "Dredge" ("Countdown" from Reach).
  • The Citadel prisoner pod ride in Half-Life 2 is designed to be reminiscent of the introductory tram ride of the original Half-Life.
    • The tech-demo, non-canon Lost Coast is said in the commentary to be a gameplay callback to the cliffside fight with the marines from the Half-Life chapter "Surface Tension", in that much of the combat involves you looking almost vertically at enemies.
    • Some of the level architecture from the first game's cliffside fight was ripped fresh into Nova Prospekt. When you get past the beach bunkers and start climbing the cliff, note the similarity of the pair of pipelines coming down. The only difference is that you approached it from the side and passed above it in the first game instead of climbing along it from the bottom up. Even the stinger that lurked just inside the exit tunnel was brought back (as a fast zombie instead of an ordinary headcrab, though).
  • Doom:
    • Doom: The music in E2M2 is a remix of Wolfenstein 3-D's E2M10 music. Additionally, one of the Episode 1 maps was supposed to have some machinery in the shape of a swastika (only obvious when looking at it in the automap), though they were forced to change it before release.
    • Doom II: Its two secret levels are set in Castle Wolfenstein. The first one is E1M1, complete with the same secret exit as in that game, which here takes you to E1M9, the Boss Level - with a Cyberdemon replacing Hans Grosse. That level auto-ended when you ran across a certain spot in the last room in the original; that room is now where you must kill four Commander Keens to finish the level.
    • Final Doom: The level "Go 2 It" from The Plutonia Experiment collection is an expanded retake of the first level of Doom II but... considerably harder.
    • Doom 64: "Level 9: Even Simpler" plays a lot like "Dead Simple" and has a similar arena-style layout, but has the player face a wider variety of monsters rather than just Mancubi and Arachnotrons. The level now has a hell-themed motif instead of a tech base theme like its predecessor. The level's name also hints at it being a sequel of sorts to Doom II's iteration.
    • Doomł:
      • The Expansion Pack Resurrection of Evil is a remake of the second area of Doom 3, except that the whole area is ruined and constantly shaken by dimensional shockwaves.
      • The Classic mod reproduces all of the levels from the first episode of Doom 1 using the Doom 3 engine, weapons, and monsters.
    • Doom (2016): Every level has a secret lever that opens an area using textures, sprites, maps, and music from the first two Doom games. Finding one allows you to access the full map it's based on from the main menu.
  • Marathon Infinity:
    • The first level was designed to remind players of the dark, convoluted first level of the first game. The game also featured a trip into Durandal's core recycled from Marathon 2.
    • The Vidmaster Challenge levels, which consisted of the hardest level from each game made even harder by noted modder Frigidman.
    • "G3 Sunbathing at 300 MHZ" from the Game Mod Marathon RED, an homage to the infamous "G4 Sunbathing" from the first game. It's worse this time, as there are no oxygen supply stations.
    • The Marathon Infinity Game Mod Return to Marathon involves revisiting the now abandoned colony ship, and the levels are mainly remixed areas from the first game.
  • In Marathon 2: Durandal, there is a point in which you are sent to Durandal's ship, the one he hijacked from the Pfhor in the first game. The textures in this level are new, but the geometry is a copy of the part of the ship that the player first visits in the original.
  • Unreal series:
    • Unreal Tournament has Curse, Deck16 and Morbias from the original Unreal; later Downloadable Content added Cybrosis (with a mirrored CTF version), HealPod, Mojo and Shrapnel.
    • Unreal Tournament 2004 has Deck-17note , Face Classic and Face3,note  Flux and Osiris,note  December and Januarynote , Curse, HyperBlastnote  Magma,note  Gael,note  Morpheus and Plunge,note  Phobos and Orbital. There's also Insidious, based on Unreal's DeathFan.
    • Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict has Gauntlet, Tempest, Legacy,note  and AcidRain and Furynote  from Tournament.
    • Unreal Tournament III has levels carried over from 2004 such as Torlan Delta, retooled from Onslaught to a Warfare map), and even some from the original, resurrected in UTIII after being passed over for 2003/04: Coret, Hydrosis,note  KBarge,note  Morbias and Turbine. There's also a Hyperblast-Phobos hybrid called Deimos.
  • The Quantum of Solace game includes the Facility multiplayer map from the N64 GoldenEye (1997).
  • Perfect Dark:
    • The original game has a couple of GoldenEye's multiplayer maps, including the classic Facility. Although in Perfect Dark, the name of the map is changed to Felicity, which is a clever nod to Perfect Dark being starred by a woman.
    • Zero has DLC of a few GoldenEye and Perfect Dark maps, including Facility.
  • Generations Arena is a class-based Quake III: Arena Nostalgia Mod featuring five classes that aim to replicate the weapons. physics and mechanics of Wolfenstein 3-D, Doom and the first three Quake games (well, actually, the Quake III class is "vanilla" Q3 left unchanged (duh) except for the BFG and the Wolfenstein class is best described as a loose adaptation for obvious reasons). Of course, it also includes some Nostalgia Levels to go with the premise.
  • Just when you thought the multiplayer of Quake IV couldn't get even more familiar (sans the addition of the nailgun), this installment actually has a couple of levels remade straight from Quake III: Arena. Including fan-favourites The Longest Yard, The Very End of You (rechristened as Xaero's Gravity) and The Camping Grounds.
  • Blood II:
    • The game gets into this with the first level of the second chapter, which is a near-exact replica of the first level of the first chapter, right up to ending by the subway train you're on crashing into another one. Later on in the second chapter you get an expanded version where the train doesn't crash.
    • The expansion pack The Nightmare Levels features levels that are essentially the characters' personal hells. The first level is an amalgamation of three or so levels from the original game's second episode, complete with the original Cultist enemies with their peculiar speech and use of the Sawed-Off Shotgun.
  • Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword reprises "Steel Wind" from the first game and "Sargasso Fade" from Rogue Spear. In turn, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 updates the Refinery, Airport (now Junkyard), Estate, and Import/Export maps from 3.
  • In Descent III:
    • There's a level taking place on the Moon. The moon was the location of the first level in the first Descent. You can fly into the ruined remains of that first level, fight a single example of the very first enemy you encountered (albeit reduced to little more than a Kamikaze drone), and park your ship in the very spot your ship first appeared when you first played ''Descent'' as a kid.
    • Several levels in the Mercenaries Expansion Pack are remakes of levels from Descent II and its Vertigo expansion pack.
  • The TimeSplitters games reused old arenas in the sequels, with the Chinese Restaurant being in all three.
  • In Medal of Honor: Allied Assault's fourth mission, you visit the area that Patterson traversed in the original's first mission, rescuing the pilot of the deceased G3 officer, and Manon Batiste also has a cameo appearance. The next level is in the area where the Greta railroad cannon was destroyed.
  • Team Fortress 2: 2Fort, Badlands, Dustbowl and Well are call-backs to the maps of the same name (though not necessarily the same layout) in Team Fortress Classic.
  • Call of Duty, particularly the Modern Warfare series, has tons of multiplayer maps that are remakes of ones from past games. Some are straight-up ports, for instance the CoD4 maps "Crash", "Overgrown", "Strike", and "Vacant" were all ported to MW2 with its Map Packs, while MW2's own "Terminal" was ported to MW3 in a free patch, but others are re-imagined versions of previous maps: CoD4's "Chinatown" and MW2's "Wasteland" are, respectively, Chinese- and Chernobyl-themed remakes of the Call of Duty and 2 maps "Carentan" and "Brecourt", the latter also incorporating landmarks from CoD4's "All Ghillied Up" campaign mission. Black Ops II likewise got a 2025 rendition of the original game's "Nuketown", with DLC adding a reimagining of Firing Range, and its own "Hijacked" map was eventually reimagined for its sequel as well.
  • The sequel to The Darkness has you revisit the Canal St. subway station from the original game, on the first mission no less. It's noticeably bigger, though, but given the two year time gap it's not too far fetched to imagine the subway just got some major renovations.
  • Several levels from Nexuiz made the cut for Xonotic, its Spiritual Successor, namely Stormkeep, Final_rage, Runningman, Warfare and Xoylent. Both games have also a version of Quake's DM6 (The Dark Zone).
  • OpenArena has a lot of influence from the Quake and Unreal franchises, and it shows: it has all the Deathmatch-specific maps from Quakenote  and a version of e1m7 called ce1m7, two levels based on III's q3ctf4 (cbctf1 and oa_ctf4ish), one based on q3dm17note  and Hydro 16note , Morbias/Gael and Deathfannote  from the Unreal franchise.
  • The Battlefield series is prone to this. Wake Island in particular is essentially the "mascot" map from the series, with every game from the original 1942 up to Battlefield 3 having a version of it either at release or added in a patch. Battlefield 3's "Back to Karkand" DLC even had this as a selling point: in addition to Wake Island, the other three maps added with it were all ports of popular maps from Battlefield 2 - and to further the nostalgia, all ten weapons added in the DLC were also previously available in BF2 and its expansions.
  • Part of the Playable Epilogue in BioShock Infinite involves Elizabeth taking herself and Booker along with Songbird to Rapture; specifically, the part where Jack gets his first plasmid.
  • Wolfenstein:
    • In Wolfenstein: The New Order, sleeping on a certain mattress in the Kreisau Circle HQ would trigger a dream sequence — namely, all of E1M1 from the original Wolfenstein 3-D in all its 2D sprited glory. The dream would of course end once you died or took either the normal or secret exit.
    • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood expands on this by featuring a hidden usable mattress in each chapter, each triggering a level from 3D's first episode, right up to a boss fight with a very retro, very 2D Hans Grosse. E1M1 thus returns, only this time the secret exit will actually take you to E1M10!

    Shooter — Third-Person 
  • The Flashback Map Pack for Gears of War 2, which consists of ports of five multiplayer maps from the first game. More maps from the first game showed up in subsequent map packs, including ones exclusive to the PC version. Gears of War 3 and Judgment continued the trend of bringing back old maps. Community favourites Gridlock and Blood Drive both appeared in 4 games each (Gridlock in 1, 2, 3 and 4; Blood Drive in 2, 3, Judgment, and 4).
  • Max Payne:
    • The second mission of Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne takes place at the Vodka club, the same place where the climax of the first chapter in the original Max Payne took place (only then it was called Ragnarock), after Vladimir Lem bought it out, renamed it and started renovating.
    • Max Payne 3 does away with the dark, stormy New York setting of the first two games in favor of levels set in tropical, sunny Sao Paulo. There's two chapters, however, that pay homage to the earlier aesthetic by taking place in New Jersey during a snowy night.
  • Dead Space 2 does this near the end with the player revisiting the Ishimura, complete with revisiting the medical section of the ship making it the third time you've played through that area over the course of the main games.
  • Splatoon:
    • In general, each entry enjoys mixing in revamped versions of older stages with the new ones, with the alterations made to the stage layouts ranging from minor (e.g. Mako Mart) to nigh-unrecognizable (e.g. Hammerhead Bridge). The more drastic changes usually have some in-universe justification. For example, in Splatoon 1, the aforementioned Hammerhead Bridge was still under construction. Splatooon 3, taking place seven years later, has construction completed.
    • Splatoon 3 has the first wave of its Expansion Pass DLC feature Inkopolis Plaza, the Hub World from the first game, as an alternate Hub World to make use of, with most of the characters from that original installment making a return as a result.

    Simulation Game 
  • The arcade mode of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War takes place over the same continent the previous game was set in. Most recognizably, the hardest version of stage 6 takes place over the island from the first mission in 04. In turn, Zero reuses a number of maps from 5 for missions taking place in Belka.
  • One of the missions in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is a revisit of the Stonehenge railgun network from Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, but this time, you're defending Stonehenge instead of attacking it. Another mission has you fighting in Erusea's capital, Farbanti, on September 19, 2019, taking place exactly 14 years after the equivalent mission in Ace Combat 04.
  • Pick any Star Wars flight simulator where you play as the Rebels. Odds are there will be a Death Star trench run or a level where you go inside a large ship and blow up a reactor.
    • There will also, almost invariably, be a Hoth level that involves bringing down AT-ATs with a Snowspeeder. It got to the point that, when World War II games like the older Medal of Honor and Call of Duty games got really widespread, some started to say that "Normandy is the new Hoth".
    • Jedi Starfighter was released as a tie-in for Attack of the Clones, but one of its bonus missions is "Classic Dogfight", a two-player mini-game that lets players control an X-Wing and a TIE fighter in a dogfight at an abandoned Trade Federation station. It's essentially a beefed-up Sixth Generation version of LucasArts' old X-Wing and TIE Fighter PC games.
  • Twisted Metal:
    • Head-On has updated recreations of several old arenas from the older games, like "Los Angeles" and "Paris" from Twisted Metal 2, or "Egypt" and "Tokyo Rooftops" from Twisted Metal 3 (thought those may have been not intentional)
    • Twisted Metal 2 included an updated form of the first game's massive "Cyburbia" stage, as well as the "Rooftops" stage as secret arenas.
  • Chapter A-4 in Trauma Center: New Blood has Under the Knife/Second Opinion protagonist Dr. Stiles supervising a simulated series of operations featuring GUILT strains.
  • Armored Core Nexus was packaged with a 2nd disc titled "Revolution", featuring 40 missions based on the original PS1 trilogy. The missions are divided in straight remakes, "extend sides" (brand new missions set in the original Armored Core universe) and "reverse side" (classic missions done from the perspective of the opposing side).
  • MechWarrior Living Legends has Lunacy, a modified recreation of the first level in Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance, released a decade prior. The lunar level was expanded and modified for the Terrain Control multiplayer gamemode.

    Sports Game 
  • Steele Stadium is an arena in Backyard Baseball 2005, looking exactly like it did in the original.
  • The Tony Hawk series of skateboarding games revel in Nostalgia Levels. The PC version of the second game started the trend by including a few stages from the first game and then the Xbox Enhanced Remake went all out and included every stage from the first game (even letting you complete the original game's career mode). Since then every game up to Project 8 has included a number of throwback stages with the exception of THPS4 (which instead had a cameo level from another Activision extreme sports game).
  • The Game Mod THUGPro, which allows you to play almost every stage in the Tony Hawk series' history. There's even online multiplayer. The mod's perfection brings a tear to one's eye.
  • Tony Hawk's Underground 2 starts you off in the very first game's first level, but then allows you to break into a whole new area left of the original stage.
  • The "Dragons on Ice" hole in 3D Ultra MiniGolf Adventures 2, an XBLA minigolf game, is a dilapidated, frozen-over version of "Dragon's Breath", a hole from the DLC pack for the first 3D Ultra MiniGolf Adventures.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • After you defeat the Many in System Shock 2, you end up in a rebuilt Medical level of Citadel Station, the first stage of System Shock. Well, except for the random geometric shapes floating around.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty features the Torture Room from the previous game within Arsenal Gear. There was a very good reason why, as most of the events in the game were deliberately orchestrated to remind Raiden (and the player) of Metal Gear Solid.
    • This was spoofed in Merry Gear Solid 2: Ghosts of Christmas Past, when after being captured, Snake wakes up naked in 14015 Hideo Drive, the setting of the original Merry Gear Solid, and has to retrace the steps of Santa with epic Christmas music playing.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots also goes so far as to recreate most of the entire setting of the first Metal Gear Solid with a major next-gen overhaul for Act 4 (after letting you play an emulated version of the original game's Heliport area, at that). Complete with audio and visual flashbacks and numerous winks to the first game's fandom ("A surveillance camera!?", weapons and items placed in almost exactly the same places they were originally, etc). The nostalgia gets even thicker fighting Crying Wolf in the same area as Sniper Wolf, and a melee battle on top of REX.
      Otacon: You alright, Snake?
      Spoony: [playing] I dreamed I was lo-res again!
    • Metal Gear: Ghost Babel averts this for most part, despite being set in a rebuilt version of Outer Heaven called Galuade. There's a part of the game which plays this straight though: the wreckage of the TX-55 Metal Gear from the first game can be found when the player reaches the 100th basement level of the final building in a room similar to that from the game.
    • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes has the "Deja Vu" mission, in which the goal is to recreate Solid Snake's infiltration of Shadow Moses Island on Camp Omega. Said mission includes classic PS1-era polygon graphics as an unlockable texture skin, the Hind D, a surveillance camera, the Genome Soldiers as guards, and cameos from Donald Anderson, Kenneth Baker and Psycho Mantis.
  • The second game of Thief takes the player back to both the Lost City and the Maw levels of the first game... but now with 100% less lava!
  • The subway levels in Syphon Filter 3 and The Omega Strain are throwbacks to the first game. The former is in fact the same subway in DC as the one in the original.
  • Hitman: Contracts has 47 reliving past missions as flashbacks during a near death experience. Many of these are recreations of missions from the first game, and the first level is 47 escaping from the aftermath of the climax of the first game.
  • Hitman 2 has a suburban level set in the fictitious US town of Whittleton Creek, with the location being a direct callback to the Hitman: Blood Money level "A New Life".
  • Tenchu:
    • The first stage in Wrath of Heaven is a throwback to the first stage in the first Tenchu, and is actually set in the same location, now owned by the son of the corrupt merchant that served as the original stage boss.
    • Tenchu: Fatal Shadows includes a pretty faithful 3D recreation of the first game's 3rd (The Cave) and 4th stages (the Checkpoint).
    • Several of the earlier stages also borrow heavily from some of the more memorable events in the first game, like running down an icy mountain outrunning explosions or jumping through a group of airships to reach a bigger one.

    Survival Horror 
  • Resident Evil:
    • The main hall and first few rooms of the mansion in Resident Evil are recreated, in real-time 3D, no less, in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, in a research facility in the middle of Antartica. This is, of course, before the Gamecube remake came along and blew them both out of the water with its gothic overkill.
    • Resident Evil 0 in turn features a Reverse Nostalgia Level (making it a Foreshadowing Level) by having Rebecca stop by the main hall of the Umbrella Underground Facility from Resident Evil 2 at one point.
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis likewise has Jill visit the police station from Resident Evil 2.
    • The Outbreak crew visits the police station again in File #2, and Birkin's lab in the original, including previously inaccessable areas.
    • The Resident Evil 5 Expansion Pack Lost in Nightmares is a flashback with Chris and Jill searching through Spencer's presumably new mansion, which looks exactly like the first mansion. Chris even remarks "Takes you back, doesn't it?"
  • When The Sacrifice is downloaded for Left 4 Dead 2, you also get the ported Left 4 Dead campaign No Mercy. A later patch added the rest of the first game's campaigns to the second.
  • Fatal Frame:
    • One level of III is essentially the first game all over again, complete with (an older and wiser) Miku as the protagonist, near-identical settings, familiar objects and puzzles, and a Boss Battle starring the Rope Shrine Maiden.
    • A similar level contains areas from the second game, albeit with the former protagonist's uncle chasing after her rather than her chasing her twin sister. It also reintroduces the Kusabi for a few chase sequences and a Boss Battle.
  • The last level of Penumbra: Requiem leads back to the cave-in where Red was trapped behind in the first game. But this time, you get a choice to either burn to death together with Red inside the incinerator, and leave the Tuurngait's mental labyrinth, or leave the room and end up on the boat again, in what is probably an infinite loop of Philip's entire adventure.
  • In Silent Hill 3 there are two areas of the previous two entries that make a return. Lakeside Amusement Park from Silent Hill makes a return as the game's next to last area (with it even being possible to locate the notepads that the first game's protagonist, Harry, used as save points, and finally read what he wrote), and Brookhaven Hospital from Silent Hill 2 is one of the levels Heather enters after arriving in the titular town (albeit with a different layout to various areas within said hospital). "New Silent Hill," also from Silent Hill 2, is the main area of Silent Hill that Heather first explores when she goes to the town (with the various locations from the second game still present, likely a case of the development team reusing assets to save on development time).
  • In Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location fulfilling the correct prerequisites allows you access to the "Private Room" on Night 5. The Private Room sets up an encounter much like the prior FNAF games in which the player must survive an animatronic's attempt to murder them until 6 am, where Sister Location had been using a format giving you a different challenge each night.
  • Skinwalker Hunt: The map from Witch Hunt is a secret level added in a Summer 2022 patch. It can be unlocked by drinking a bright yellow dream potion hidden somewhere in the French castle level. There is no saving on this map, so you must defeat the Skinwalker in a single sitting without dying once.

    Tower Defense 
  • Bloons Tower Defense 6 has Park Path from BTD5 as a Beginner track. It's received a visual upgrade, but the path and aesthetics are the same, and even the music is straight from 5!

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Almost every stage and area in both Namco × Capcom and Project × Zone are this to the several series and games that take part in these crossovers.
  • One of the custom maps in Warlords III: Reign of Heroes is the exact same map that the original Warlords played on.
  • XCOM 2 has the Tactical Legacy Pack DLC, which among other nostalgic goodness adds remade and updated versions of players' favorite maps from XCOM: Enemy Unknown and its expansion. And the docks from the "Site Recon" mission.

    Visual Novel 
  • In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the flashback to Phoenix Wright's last case uses graphics and music from the first game. It's a little jarring when Klavier makes his appearance, because of the graphical leap between the original Ace Attorney and this game. This is followed by an investigation sequence using Phoenix's gimmick from the second and third games, Psyche-Locks, as well as a new twist on that old classic: Black Psyche-Locks.
  • The DLC Case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice: "Turnabout Time Traveller". It features Maya as the assistant, Edgeworth as the prosecutor and Larry Butz being himself. Clearly, it is supposed to evoke the feelings of the original trilogy, and the first game in particular.
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair's final investigation takes place in a twisted up version of Hopes's Peak Academy from the first game, breaking apart because the Neo World Program is shutting down.
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony has a multitude of them.
    • The game's demo serves as one for the demo for the first game, both being centered around Yasuhiro being stabbed in the protagonist's bathroom.
    • The fourth case serves as an extended reference to the second game, involving the characters going into a virtual world called the Neo World Program.
    • The fifth case revolves around the game's Token Evil Teammate being lethally poisoned and masterminding an attempt to create an unsolvable murder, much like the fifth case of the second game.
    • The Outlaw Run minigame takes heavy visual cues from the spinoff Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • In a flashback in Assassin's Creed II, you get to play as Altair, the main character from the first game. Assassin's Creed: Revelations continues with these flashbacks, where you play as Altair and revisit familiar locations from the original Assassin's Creed, such as Masyaf and Acre. Masyaf, you even get to revisit them as Ezio.
    • The Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry has Adéwale performing multiple investigations across Port-Au-Prince before returning to the Assassin Bureau, a throwback to the way Altair investigated his targets in the series' very first game.
    • The main story of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag features a point where an entire city is a Restricted Zone - basically, if a guard sees you, you have about ten seconds before he'll start trying to kill you. This causes the kind of caution, rooftop-running, and paranoia that players haven't seen since Assassin's Creed, where basically every city had hyper-touchy guards that would kill you as soon as look at you.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle:
    • When Shinobu sets off to defeat the Ranked 8th assassin in the UAA, she goes to Bear Hug Studios from the first game with even the same music, Cashmere Cannonball playing. By the end of the level, she also fights the same boss Destroyman too, albeit revived as the two cyborg Destroymen since Destroyman was bisected in the first game.
    • The last side job minigame unlocked is the scorpion hunt from the first game, taking place once again in the grassy field of Santa Destroy. It's even played just like before, without switching to the Retraux style as done with all previous side job minigames.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • One mission late in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is set in Liberty City, the setting of Grand Theft Auto III. In turn, Vice City has a recreation of a street from Grand Theft Auto III in an in-game movie lot.
    • Grand Theft Auto V:
      • The game has the mission "Hood Safari" which is one big send up to San Andreas. It involves Franklin and Trevor having a shootout with the Ballas on Grove Street.
      • Grove Street itself is back, looking different but still somewhat reminiscent of how it did in San Andreas, except of course being altered to fit the new city layout. Memorable landmarks such as the bridge and the alley are gone, however.
  • Two homie rescue missions in Saints Row IV are like this. One takes place where you started the very first Saints Row. The other has you reliving events from the last two Saints Row games, such as the boss battle against DJ Veteran Child from 2 and Loren's private jet from The Third. In addition, one loyalty mission has you play through all of Professor Genki's game show stages from The Third (both from the main game and the Genkibowl DLC).

    Other Games 
  • Katamari Damacy:
    • We Love Katamari had the Cowbear level, which references the Tauros and Ursa Major levels of the original game. However, for most players the sigh of nostalgia was replaced by either a shriek of terror at recalling having to roll up the biggest cow or bear in a level full of them, or a sigh of relief that this version of the stage was relatively easier.
    • Katamari Forever includes a host of levels from past games in the series, played out in the King Of All Cosmos' mind as he suffers from amnesia.
  • In Ninja Jajamaru-kun: Onikiri Ninpou Chou for the Sega Saturn, the Bonus Stage is the original Ninja Jajamaru-kun in all its 8-bit glory.
  • In the "Jewel Baron" route from The Henry Stickmin Collection's Completing the Mission, Henry ends up in a remake of Crossing the Pit. The choices and outcomes are similar, except while in the original game you end up teleporting above the pit, Henry instead destroys the teleporter, doubting it would actually work. This causes the teleporter to go crazy and cause Henry to go into a Teleport Spam through various areas (including a brief Art Shift into the original minimalist graphics) before finally stopping at the other side of the pit, unharmed.
  • Many games in the Pac-Man series feature the maze from the original Maze Game in some fashion. This sometimes includes games in other genres.
    • Pac-Mania has Pac-Man's Park, which, while looking very different, has the same layout as the original maze, and its music makes use of the melody from the original game's intermission sequences.
    • The first maze in Pac-Man Vs. is called Original Pac-Man, and as advertised, is the same maze as the original game with no layout changes.
    • In the original Nintendo DS version of Pac 'n Roll, the final secret stage of the game is a maze with a layout and aesthetics that match the original game, but within Pac n' Roll's game engine.
    • The final race course in Pac-Man World Rally is Retro Maze, which takes place inside a tabletop arcade machine with a variation of the original maze inside. While the layout is similar, walls have been added in places they weren't before to make the track more linear, and giant pixelated ghosts patrol some of the branching paths, acting as obstacles.
  • Power Bomberman features several Battle Mode stages that are remakes of stages from earlier games in the series. Others look like stages from other games, but have new gimmicks to them, while others yet recreate old gimmicks in brand new locations.
  • The pinball table Junk Yard has the "Time Machine" mode, which lets the player access a mode from an earlier Williams/Bally pinball title — "Move Your Car" from Creature from the Black Lagoon, "Payback Time" from Terminator 2: Judgment Daynote , "Mamushka" from The Addams Family, and the "Saucer Attack" Video Mode from Attack from Mars. The last mode, "Knight Mission", is not a reference to Black Knight 2000, however, and its accompanying date is in 1999 - the future (at the time the game was made, anyway).

    Game Book 
  • The starting area of Return to Firetop Mountain's titular dungeon is exactly the same as it was in the first Fighting Fantasy book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Same layout, same corridors, same traps and most rooms are still there including the remains of the mobs that were in them the first time around and empty chests that have already been looted by the previous adventurer.

Cranky Kong: I can remember when the original versions of these levels were shown off like it was yesterday. Back then, it was flat out impossible to have a Nostalgia Level; video games were a completely new thing, so every level had to be completely new as well. It was the Golden Age of game level creativity, I tell ya!


Video Example(s):


Sly vs. Panda King

At one point Sly and The Panda King have their minds connected, and Sly is taken back to the boss fight with Panda King from the first game.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / NostalgiaLevel

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