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Numbered Sequels

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Better start learning those Roman numerals, kids!

A common way to name movie sequels is to take the title of the original, possibly abbreviated, and add a number. So Foomovie will be followed with Foomovie 2, Foomovie 3 (or 3D), etc. Also common is to follow Foomovie with Foomovie, Part 2, etc. — though the word "part" will usually be dropped when talking about the movies. (This is usually done when the stories of the movies are supposed to form one big story.) Sometimes there are subtitles as well. When the first film is made, the reason there is no number 1 in the title is because we don’t know yet if there would be a sequel.

The result of this is that the original Foomovie will become known as Foomovie 1, and on occasion will actually be rereleased this way (see Retronym). This is actually a recent practice, beginning in the 1970s.

If the movies in a series were made out of chronological order, the numbering can refer either to the order in which they were made or the order in which they take place. The latter gets you titles like Resident Evil 0 and The Lion King 1 ½. Very rarely, you'll see a prequel with a negative number. The print version of the webcomic Order of the Stick has two prequels, numbered #0 and #-1, and the French comic Donjon (planned to run from #1-#100) has spinoff series planned to run from #-99 to #0 and #101 to #200.

Some series use Arabic numerals, some use Roman numerals, and some use either. The distinction between Roman numerals and Arabic seems to be the distinction between grand-scale affairs that take themselves very seriously (and thus borrow a bit of grandeur from the western world's most prominent Vestigial Empire), and stories that either don't take themselves entirely seriously, or have a futuristic bent that makes the Arabic numerals look all sciency and mathematical. On occasion, the number in question is spelled out in word form; this can be either for an air of irony, parody, pretension, or some combination.

This trope can be subverted: The Marathon series started with Marathon and Marathon 2 but then jumped to Marathon Infinity. The subsequent release and open-source development of Marathon 2's game engine restored sequential numbering by naming the engine Aleph One, the next largest infinity. (See below.)

In the Horror genre, a sixth installment may be called 666 (Or sometimes called that even if it isn't the 6th) it will almost always be pronounced "six-six-six" rather than "six hundred and sixty-six".

This is, if anything, even more common in video games than in movies, although the "Part 2" variation is almost absent there. Literary examples, on the other hand, are very, very rare. Many video game series also use a variation where numbered sequels denote "significant", or "mainline" games, while other entries like spin-off, side games, or Gaiden Games will use subtitles or Word Sequel instead. While what distinguishes a numbered and non-numbered sequel is clear in some series, it is more arbitrary in others, leading to the weird phenomenon where some franchises have many more games than the title of the latest numbered sequel would implynote .

The first use of a number in a sequel title was probably Quatermass 2 in 1957,note  the follow-up to The Quatermass Xperiment.note  These were the original UK titles; in the United States the first film was issued as The Creeping Unknown so the second one had to be retitled as well: it was known as Enemy From Space. However such instances were rare, at least before the 70s, because studios at the time felt that it attached a film to an earlier film to the extent of alienating potential audiences who may not have seen the earlier film and so feel discouraged from seeing a sequel titled "Part II" if they had not seen "Part I". It's why all the James Bond films were titled differently and not James Bond 1-20,note  and why film-series such as the "Carry On" or the Pink Panther series often included "Pink Panther" but slight variations so as to not tie it exclusively. The first major film to change this was Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, Part II.

For some reason (Four Is Death? Rule of Three?), it's very common for Numbered Sequels to stop at 3, and any subsequent media to be given a subtitle alone instead.

Parodies take this to extremes with Ridiculous Future Sequelisation.

Compare Lettered Sequel, N+1 Sequel Title, Sequel Number Snarl, Episode Zero: The Beginning, Title 1. See also Un-Installment.

Contrast Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo, Recycled Title, Advanced Tech 2000 and Super Title 64 Advance.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • The eighth season of Boonie Bears is called The Adventurers and has its storyline continued in the season after it, which is known as The Adventurers 2.
  • The Lamput episode "Glasses" has a follow-up called "Glasses 2" which has a similar setup - Lamput takes off Fat Doc's glasses, but this time he puts them on Slim Doc to distract him, whereas he simply took them on and off of Fat Doc multiple times in the previous episode (Slim Doc doesn't appear in "Glasses").
  • The seventh season of Pleasant Goat Fun Class, Mighty Goat Squad, is followed by an eighth season simply titled Mighty Goat Squad 2.

    Comic Books 
  • 100 Bullets has an interesting twist on this- every story arc/trade paperback has a title that either incorporates its number into it (eg- book 4 is A Foregone Tomorrow, book 9 is Strychnine Lives) or uses part of a known phrase that includes the number, but leaving the actual number out (eg- book 7 is Samurai and book 12 is Dirty)
  • The Ultimates 2 and 3.

    Fan Works 
  • Examples from the Calvinverse:
  • Metro: The series has stories in multiple parts, named after the principal character of each story, a number, and a subtitle. Even the first one, implying that further stories are planned:
    • Metro series:
      • Metro 1: Chewing Through The Straps
      • Metro 2: Running With A Devil
    • Smithy series, as of this writing, only has Smithy 1: If I Had A Hammer
  • The Past Sins series: Glimpses 2, repeats the ideas of Glimpses, but with more variations.
  • The Story Shuffle series, with the second story being Story Shuffle 2: Double Masters.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Godfather:
    • The first major film to start using this Shakespearian title technique was The Godfather Part II. It was one of Francis Ford Coppola's three demands for working on the sequel. His two other demands were approved, but the studio highly objected to simply following the title with a number. Its success began the tradition of numbered sequels.
    • Oddly, enough, this was inverted for The Godfather Part III. Coppola wanted to call it The Death of Michael Corleone but the studio wouldn't let him. Coppola's reasoning is that the first two Godfather films necessarily covered a single extended story and made at a short interval with the same cast. Part II carried forward the dramatic currents of the first film whereas Part III was essentially a Distant Finale and epilogue, and largely self-contained.
  • Grandmother's Farm: The movie's sequel is known as Grandmother's Farm 2.
  • Before the Godfather there had already been the Kraut Westerns Winnetou I, Winnetou II, and Winnetou III (1963-1965), although these were named after the books they were based on. Although these examples of the highly successful Karl May franchise did not sell that well outside Germany, they were taken notice of in America because they showed that the Western genre was not dead yet.
  • The Ur-Example is probably Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible, which was released in two parts in 1944 and 1958. Coppola himself cited Eisenstein when arguing for The Godfather Part II; the studio dismissed this argument on the grounds that Ivan was a Russian film, and no one had seen it.
  • The Rocky series followed this trope until the sixth installment which was called Rocky Balboa (as if the other movies were about some other guy named "Rocky"). Word of God says that the movie was not called "Rocky VI" to avoid any possibility of another Rocky installment. That didn't stop Stallone from reprising the role in the spin-off/sequel Creed, though, which itself got two numbered sequels.
  • Parodied by The Naked Gun series; The Naked Gun was followed by The Naked Gun 2½ and The Naked Gun 33⅓ (33⅓ is the speed one plays an LP). Another sequel, provisionally titled The Naked Gun 444.4 or The Naked Gun 4 Score and 3 Sequels Ago was in development in the late '90s, although obviously nothing came of it.
  • ZAZ didn't want to have anything to do with Airplane II: The Sequel, (and even claim to this day to have never watched it), even though they'd later make sequels to The Naked Gun and Hot Shots!. Airplane II lampshades the trope with the announcement at the end of the credits "Coming soon from Paramount Pictures : Airplane III" followed by William Shatner saying "Wait! That's exactly what they'll be expecting us to do!"
  • The sequel to Hot Shots! was Hot Shots! Part Deux ("deux" is French for "two"), with the tagline, "Just Deux It!"
  • The Ocean's Eleven remake proved popular enough to warrant a couple of sequels. Instead of using the rather cumbersome Ocean's Eleven Two or somesuch, the makers dubbed the sequels Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen. This led to many jokes about where the first 10 movies went. And the titles end up being spot-on with the number of people involved in the main heist (12 adds Ocean's wife, 13 adds the antagonist of the other movies and a technical expert).
  • Likewise, the second live-action 101 Dalmatians film was titled 102 Dalmatians. Although there was a straight-to-video follow-up to the original animated film (42 years later!) called 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure.
  • Many Star Wars fans were rather confused when the 1977 original, simply titled Star Wars, was followed by Episode Five, The Empire Strikes Back. A rerelease of the original rechristened it "Episode Four: A New Hope", paving the way for later prequels. Despite the initial confusion, there was a level of optimism that resulted from the episode numbering system that opened the door for prequels. In the meantime, the Classic Trilogy continued to be marketed by the movies' original release names: Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, with the episode numbers confined strictly to the opening crawls. The Phantom Menace began the trend of prominently featuring the episode number in marketing the movies, to the point where theaters often listed it as "Star Wars Episode I" rather than "The Phantom Menace". When the Classic Trilogy received its first DVD release in 2004, the movies were now labeled Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope, etc. The first film of the sequel trilogy was marketed simply as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in contrast to the prequel films. Unlike the prequels, this is also its official title – although it is still called Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens in its opening crawl. Likewise for the next film, The Last Jedi, and the final film, The Rise of Skywalker.
  • For its European release, Italian director Dario Argento heavily re-cut George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978) to produce what was a fairly different edit, which he titled Zombi. After its success, Lucio Fulci went on to produce five unofficial sequels, which were titled Zombi 2, Zombi 3, and so forth. Zombi 2 was simply retitled Zombie for its North American release, but the later sequels shared their numbering on both sides of the pond, meaning Americans could find Zombie, Zombie 3, and Zombie 4 at local video rental outlets. Recent US rereleases now bear the Zombi 2 title though.
  • According to popular myth, the reason the play The Madness of George III was filmed as The Madness of King George was in case people avoided it until they'd seen The Madness of George and The Madness of George II. A similar joke is used in a 3rd Rock from the Sun companion guide, which features the aliens documenting their understanding of Earth. When describing the concept of movies, Dick cites Apollo 13 and The Seventh Seal as examples of movie sequels. He then mistakes the film Se7en for being a prequel to the Blake Edwards film 10.
  • Back to the Future Part II is a is an example of this trope, along with Back to the Future Part III, though using the "Part" titling is pretty appropriate as the sequels are direct continuations of the first film, complete with a "To Be Concluded" at the end of the second (the third actually says "The End"). The two sequels were shot back-to-back, a practice that has become more common since the films' release.
  • The entries in Matthew Barney's avant-garde "Cremaster cycle" were filmed out of their numerical order: Cremaster 4 (1994), Cremaster 1 (1995), Cremaster 5 (1997), Cremaster 2 (1999), and finally Cremaster 3 (2002).
  • In the Jerry Stiller film The Independent, long-time exploitation film director Morty Fineman is asked by the filmmaker — it's a Mockumentary about Fineman's fictional career — if it's true he invented the sequel. Fineman corrects that, saying he invented the Roman numeral after the title. The film then shows the title card from his post-nuclear sequel, World War III II.
  • The Friday the 13th series is surprisingly consistent with this, though it shifted from Arabic numbers to Roman numerals after the second movie. Of the 10 movies (excluding Freddy vs. Jason), 7 of the movies were numerically numbered, with #4 being (the misleading) The Final Chapter, and #9 being Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. #10 uses the Roman numeral X. Because it's cool and took place in space.
    • Spoofed in the British slasher satire Unmasked Part 25, which also ends with the killer shouting a Big "NO!" upon seeing Unmasked Part 26 on a cinema marquee.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street was similar, with five numbered sequels, then Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (which is not much misleading, as all the following sequels and Freddy vs. Jason have him truly dead) and Wes Craven's New Nightmare.
  • A gimmick employed by a few franchises is to have the second sequel to the original movie filmed in 3-D, so the number affixed to its title can be "3-D" instead of just plain 3. See Third Is 3D.
  • The four movies of the Rambo franchise were originally named and ordered thusly: First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III, and Rambo. Note how "Rambo" goes from being the subtitle of the second movie to the main title of the third. The fourth movie, released twenty years after the third, is a clear case of Stopped Numbering Sequels.
    • In France, the exported titles are Rambo, Rambo II, Rambo III and John Rambo.
    • In Brazil, it's more straightforward, with some subtitles added: Rambo - Programmed to Kill, Rambo II: The Mission (fun fact: "The Mission" is the equivalent of "Electric Boogaloo" in that country), Rambo III and Rambo IV.
    • The planned fifth movie was titled Rambo V. This sounded fine, and actually logical, until you realized that meant they were following up Rambo with Rambo V. It was eventually released as Rambo: Last Blood, which does at least hearken back to the first film.
  • Each of the sequels to The Fast and the Furious uses a different title format, most of which incorporate the movie's number in some way. The second movie was titled 2 Fast 2 Furious. The next two were unnumbered: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious – these names make more sense than it appears, as Tokyo Drift is as more of a Gaiden Game while the fourth film is a return to the original cast and setting. (This did not stop theaters from listing the third film as "3 Fast 3 Furious," which got the idea across and took a lot fewer marquee letters than the actual title.) Then the fifth movie goes back to numbers is called Fast Five, followed by Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7. The eighth movie, The Fate of the Furious, is technically unnumbered but does incorporate the sound of the number in its title (i.e. "F8"). Riffing on this, the next film is simply called F9, and the one after that Fast X. Apparently, two sequels are in development to (finally) end this Cash-Cow Franchise, and one can only assume that their titles will start to incorporate graphemes from outside the Latin Alphabet as there is nowhere else for them to go.
  • Parodied in National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1, which does not have any sequels to justify the "1."
  • Also parodied in Leonard Part 6, which claims that the first five adventures of the hero are so secret that the movies were covered up.
  • The Star Trek movies did this starting with Wrath of Khan and ending with Undiscovered Country, spanning all of the films based on the original series. Movies based on The Next Generation abandoned it though they are sometimes referred to as 7 through 10 by the fans. As the 2009 film is simply called Star Trek, it is also unofficially referred to as Star Trek XI.
  • The Saw film series pulled this off longer than most horror franchises, going from 2 to 6 (using Roman numerals). This was finally averted with the seventh film, which was called not Saw VII but Saw 3D. This continued with the next film, Jigsaw.
  • King Kong Lives was released as King Kong 2 in several countries.
  • The two movies based on the last Harry Potter book are titled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The choice of Arabic numerals over Roman numerals is odd, as these films are the epic finale to the whole series and also decidedly lack any kind of futuristic bent.
  • The first three Mission: Impossible films do this. From the fourth movie onwards, they use subtitles instead.
  • Men in Black has two sequels but the first uses Roman numbers (Men in Black II, stylized MIIB) and the latter using regular Arabic ones (Men in Black 3, stylized MIB3). The 2019 spinoff movie averts the numbered sequel structure, however.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe generally averts numbered sequels, with some exceptions:
    • The Iron Man movies are all titled in numerical order, 1 — 3.
    • Subverted by the Guardians of the Galaxy series, which labels its sequels Vol. 2 & Vol. 3, emulating the mixtapes seen (and heard) in those movies.
    • Avengers: Infinity War was originally a two-part film with numbered halves (Part 1 & Part 2), but it was later decided they would have their own titles. Part 1 retained Infinity War, while the new title of Part 2 (Avengers: Endgame) wasn't revealed until months after the former.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf has a live-action film titled I Love Wolffy. Its sequel is simply titled I Love Wolffy 2.
  • The Scary Movie sequels began with numbers but switched to Roman numerals for Scary Movie V.
  • The second sequel to Alien was titled Alien³.
  • True Romance: Discussed In-Universe. Hollywood producer Lee Donowitz is most famous for his 80s Vietnam action movie Coming Home in a Bodybag. When he asks his assistant Elliot (who's an informant for the cops by that point) about ideas for a sequel title, the latter just replies "Coming Home in a Bodybag 2". Donowitz snarks that his member is more creative than that.
  • The first two sequels to The Terminator used numbers and subtitles, but removed the word "The" from the original title.
  • Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight: The sequel is Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight II.
  • White Wolves: The sequels are numbered rather oddly due to the White Wolves title having more brand familiarity than A Cry in the Wild, leading to two different movies being numbered II and the fourth movie being numbered III.'

  • German novelist Karl May was a pioneer of this when he started to publish his adventure stories into volumes. It began in 1892 when he wrote Winnetou I as a prequel to the existing stories featuring the Apache chief, some of which were collected in Winnetou II and Winnetou III, which came out the same year; Winnetou IV was published in 1910. Other May book titles with Roman numerals are Old Surehand I-II (1894-1895), Im Lande des Mahdi I-III (1896), Satan und Ischariot I-III (1896-1897), Im Reiche des silbernen Löwen I-IV" (1898-1903), and Ardistan und Dschinnistan I-II'' (1909).
  • One of the few literary examples is Rama II, and there the title can also be taken to refer to the spaceship the book features.
  • The sequel to E. E. "Doc" Smith's The Skylark of Space was called Skylark Three, again after a ship starring in the story.
  • Isaac Asimov:
  • Psycho was originally a book. The sequel (which was never filmed) was called Psycho II. None of the actual Psycho sequel films adapt Bloch's sequels, Psycho II and Psycho House.
  • A similar situation exists with Brian Garfield's sequel to Death Wish, Death Sentence. None of the Charles Bronson sequel films adapted it. Death Sentence was later filmed with a different hero.
  • Martin Caidin's first book about Steve Austin, Cyborg, had three sequels, with the last named Cyborg IV (the other two had completely different names).
  • Gary Brander wrote Howling II and Howling III.
  • Numerous paperback original series such as the Destroyer, the Penetrator, the Marksman, etc. had numbered titles.
  • The UK versions of The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot have fun with this; the sequels are called The Princess Diaries: Take Two, The Princess Diaries: Third Time Lucky, The Princess Diaries: Mia Goes Fourth, The Princess Diaries: Give Me Five, The Princess Diaries: Sixsational, The Princess Diaries: Seventh Heaven, The Princess Diaries: After Eight, and The Princess Diaries: To the Nines.
  • The Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich take this to the extreme, being no more than a short phrase containing the number in the series (except for holiday specials). The series goes from One For the Money, Two for the Dough and Three to Get Deadly all the way to Explosive Eighteen in 2011.
  • Megan McCafferty's popular Jessica Darling series includes Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, Charmed Thirds, Fourth Comings, and Perfect Fifths.
  • Several Marcus Didius Falco novels had a count down. Thus Three Hands in the Fountain was followed by Two for the Lions and then One Virgin Too Many. Since the Romans never got around to inventing the number zero, subsequent novels had to drop the Numerical Theme Naming.
  • David Charney wrote Sensei and Sensei II: The Swordmaster.
  • The second to fourth The Science of Discworld books are numbered and subtitled as The Science of Discworld II: The Globe, The Science Of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch and The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day.
  • Some printings of The Second Jungle Book use the title The Jungle Book II.
  • Waylander II by David Gemmell
  • Whateley Universe: Some of the stories use a Protagonist Title, a number, and a subtitle, for this. For example:

    Live-Action TV 
  • The BBC science fiction comedy series Red Dwarf opened its third series with a Star Wars spoofing scroll past of text ending with the line Red Dwarf III: The Same Generation (Nearly). This led the BBC's official listings magazine, the Radio Times, to list the series as Red Dwarf III. Subsequent series were likewise shown as Red Dwarf IV, Red Dwarf V and so on. Eventually, the creators began numbering the series on screen... after which the Radio Times just called it Red Dwarf. This was dropped for the Back to Earth three-parter, although it is referred to (usually unofficially) as Series IX.
    • The 2012 series is referred to as Red Dwarf X which does officially make the Back to Earth three-parter a mini-series.
  • Another BBC comedy, Black Adder, was followed by Blackadder II, Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth
  • In Robot Wars if a team came back with a new version of an old robot they would often call it (Name of Robot) 2 (or whichever number they got up to), one example would by Firestorm which by the time the series ended had got up to Firestorm 5!
  • An early episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was called "Closure." In the second season, the victim from that episode was brought back as a vigilante. The follow-up episode was called "Closure 2."
  • Stranger Things Season 2 named itself as Stranger Things 2.

  • Many a Chronological Album Title overlaps with this trope.
  • Led Zeppelin's self-titled debut album was followed later the same year by Led Zeppelin II, and by Led Zeppelin III the following year. The untitled album that followed it is informally called Led Zeppelin IV by fans.
  • Meat Loaf's breakout album Bat Out of Hell was followed sixteen years later by Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, with Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose following thirteen years after that.
  • Metallica released the song "The Unforgiven" on their self-titled album. Six years later, on the album Reload, came the song "The Unforgiven II". Subverted a bit in the lyrics; they are about the Unforgiven from the previous song finding a lifemate and asking "are you unforgiven too?". Another twelve years later, on Death Magnetic, Metallica released "The Unforgiven III". Strangely enough, it's the only song in the cycle that doesn't contain the word Unforgiven in any of the lyrics, and musically and lyrically it has very little to do with the other two. Although it doesn't contain the musical motif or the word "Unforgiven" it does have the lyrics "And how can I blame you, when it's me I can't forgive?"
  • Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion I & II (though released simultaneously)
  • Pink Floyd's The Wall has the three-part song "Another Brick In the Wall" (the one involving schoolteachers is Part II).
  • King Crimson started the "Larks' Tongues In Aspic" sequence of songs with Parts 1 & 2 bookending the Larks' Tongues In Aspic album in 1973, continued with Part III (switching to the Roman numeral convention) on 1984's Three Of A Perfect Pair, and concluded it with Part IV (which itself consists of three separate but identically-titled tracks) in 2000, on the album The ConstruKction Of Light.
  • Like Led Zeppelin, Queen's debut album was the eponymous Queen, which was followed by Queen II a year later.
  • Chicago. They're up to about Chicago 30 now.
    • Some album titles avert this trope. Their debut is The Chicago Transit Authority and their second is simply Chicago, both being self-titled with a name change between the two. Their fourth is an internal example without being an example itself, At Carnegie Hall, vol. I-IV with each of its four records being numbered. They have several compilation albums that are officially numbered, but only the first Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits has the number in its title. Their twelfth, Hot Streets and twenty-second Night and Day: Big Band also don't include numbers in their titles. Most entries with numbers in their titles also use roman numerals, the exceptions being 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, and Twenty 1. With XXV, they started giving albums with numbered titles subtitles as well, with the most recent (as of July 2022) being Chicago XXXVIII: Born for This Moment. The other wiki has more data.
  • Johnny Cash's six-album "American series" started with American Recordings. The third through last entries were American III: Solitary Man, American IV: The Man Comes Around, American V: A Hundred Highways, and American VI: Ain't No Grave. The second album was officially titled Unchained, but is widely referred to by fans as American II.
  • Overkill's self-titled song has currently four sequels.
  • The Dethalbum by Dethklok was followed by The Dethalbum II. Also, "Murmaider" from the former was followed by "Murmaider II: The Water God" on the latter.
  • Most of Nine Inch Nails' albums, singles and EPs have a "Halo number" appended to the title, indicating the chronological order of its release. The Downward Spiral, for example, is designated "Halo 8", while their most recent release, The Slip, is "Halo 27". Usually the releases that don't have a Halo number are releases that Reznor's record company forced him to release and fall under Canon Discontinuity.
  • As a response to the NWOBHM, Guitar Player columnist Mike Varney established the Shrapnel Records label, and issued a U.S. Metal compilation to spotlight unsigned American metal bands. U.S. Metal Vols. II-IV followed.
  • An unusual case of this happening with a band name: King Missile III, so named because it was the second time they'd made significant lineup changes since forming. Technically, there was never a King Missile II: The first incarnation of the band was King Missile (Dog Fly Religion) and the second was simply King Missile.
  • Big Audio Dynamite became Big Audio Dynamite II once Mick Jones was the only original member left.
  • Normally, in classical music, a number of works isn't really that important, but there's a particular superstition around writing exactly nine numbered symphonies...
    • Gustav Mahler, superstitious that several other previous composers had died either leaving 9 symphonies, or 8 and an unfinished 9th, at one time said that the symphony now numbered his 9th was actually his 10th, by counting the symphonic cantata "Das Lied von der Erde" as a symphony and thus as his actual ninth (this is what qualifies him for this trope). Subverted in that nobody else has since accepted that renumbering, so "Das Lied" remains defined as a symphonic cantata, is NOT counted in the sequence of symphonies, and the 9th symphony as a 9th. The reason? Well, even if this composition features a greater range of instruments than normal cantatas (classified as chamber music), it doesn't follow a symphony's structure. Oh, and he died shortly afterwards, leaving sketches for a half-completed 10th.
    • Double subverted in that the examples Mahler was thinking of were Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak and Bruckner... but of those, Schubert's "7th" never existed beyond the sketch stage (and still doesn't), the 8th is famously unfinished (and performed in its incomplete version), the 9th *was* completed, but none of them beyond the 6th were published during his lifetime: Bruckner died part-way through writing his own 9th (still performed in its incomplete version) but left at least two "unnumbered" published student works to which critics have given the numbers "0" and "00": and Dvorak retired after *his* 9th, lived quite a few years afterwards without attempting to write another one, but had attempted to withdraw his first four symphonies from publication and refer to symphonies 5-9 as 1-5, and they were published under those numbers for years until the earlier ones were rediscovered... leaving only Beethoven as someone who had definitely written exactly 9 symphonies. (And also left partial sketches for one or two movements of a 10th, but had apparently not touched them for some time.)
    • On the other hand, both Ralph Vaughan Williams and Malcolm Arnold have written 9 symphonies and then died. At a very advanced age in both cases.
  • Van Halen has a weird case: Van Halen II is a Chronological Album Title (and basically a sequel to the Self-Titled Album as well). Van Halen III is the band's 11th - but third line-up.
  • The Beatles' sixth album released by Capitol Records in the U.S. was Beatles VI.
  • The first two albums by Queen are titled Queen and Queen II. They also released Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits II and Greatest Hits III.
  • Periphery title their albums like this; Icarus Lives (sometimes just called Icarus or Icarus EP) and Clear are exempt because they're eps. As is Juggernaut Alpha/Omega as that's a (technically two) concept album(s) outside of their regular releases. That leaves us with Periphery and Periphery II: This Time it's Personal with Periphery III on its way.
  • Jean-Michel Jarre named the 2016 second "sequel" to his 1976 classic Oxygène Oxygène 3. While he was at it, he renamed the 1997 first sequel (formerly known as Oxygène 7-13) Oxygène 2. Yes, this interferes with the track naming on many Jarre albums including all three Oxygènes that uses numbers instead of titles, too; "Oxygène 2" and "Oxygène 3" are shortened names for "Oxygène (Part II)" and "Oxygène (Part III)" from the first Oxygène.
  • The Dear Hunter is writing six concept albums that tell one continued story, which are entitled, in chronological order, as follows: Act I: The River South, The Lake North, Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding, Ms. Leading, Act III: Life And Death, Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise, and Act V: Hymns With The Devil In Confessional. As of yet, Act VI has not been released.
  • Deep Purple number their lineups, though not every lineup change increases the number. Their second line-up "Mk. II" originally split in 1973, and reunited twice, still using the "Mk. II" designation each time (though some sources, such as the other wiki refer to them with alphabetical notations as "Mk. II a," "Mk. II b" and "Mk. II c," they are officially considered simply reunions of the "Mk. II" lineup, being followed by "Mk. III," "Mk. V," and "Mk. VII" respectively.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • WWE's WrestleMania pay-per-view events are normally numbered (although they seem to have trouble deciding whether to use Roman or Hindu/Arabic numerals), with three exceptions: the sixteenth was dubbed WrestleMania 2000 in reference to the year it took place, and the seventeenth and eighteenth were WrestleMania X-Seven and WrestleMania X8, respectively, for Xtreme Kool Letterz effect. Their other Pay-Per-View events don't use any form of numbering, instead being identified by the year in which they were held
    • The only other WrestleMania not to use Roman numerals was 13 - which was promoted with Arabic numerals.
      • 21, 22, and 23 used Hindu/Arabic numerals as well (the installments between 2005 and 2007).
      • 2012 saw a return to Hindu/Arabic numbers with 29, although its logo is still shown as "WrestleMania NY NJ". 29 also began a trend of the logos just dropping the number altogether (31 is "WrestleMania Play Button", 32 is "WrestleMania Star", and 33 will be "WrestleMania Sun"; although all the shows are still appropriately numbered on the WWE Network). 30 is the exception to this, as it's a Milestone Celebration so they retained the numbering with a Roman numeral (WrestleMania XXX).
    • WrestleMania XXV was promoted as "WrestleMania 25th Anniversary" or "The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania".
  • WCW's first nine Superbrawl PPV events were appropriately numbered, then the next was named Superbrawl 2000 much like WWF did with WrestleMania. This was followed by Superbrawl Revenge, the final Superbrawl before WCW was closed down.
  • When TNA, now Impact Wrestling, began numbering its annual Slammiversary show (so named because it marks the anniversary of the company's founding) beginning with the 2010 event, it decided to number the shows based on which anniversary it was celebrating rather than how many Slammiversary events had been held. This means that the 2014 event, Slammiversary XII, was the tenth event in the series. After the 2019 event, Slammiversary XVII, Impact averted the trope; each Slammiversary show since has been promoted with the title only.
  • The NWA started promoting its Anniversary Show in 1998, the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organization. Each Anniversary Show has been promoted as "Nth Anniversary Show", with "Nth" representing the ordinal number of the anniversary being celebrated. It was an annual affair until 2005, and then took a long hiatus, interrupted only by the 60th Anniversary Show in 2008 and 70th Anniversary Show in 2018. It became an annual event again in 2021; the upcoming 2023 event is the 75th Anniversary Show.

  • Survival of the Fittest, a RP board, is split up into "versions" by Danya. Each version takes place on a different island with ~150 characters trying to be the last one standing. Version 0 refers to the final "test run" which was only shown on an obscure channel, and Version 1 was shown nation-wide (and the first where people started writing). These were followed a year later by Version 2 and another year later by Version 3. The fourth version takes place in 2008.

  • Each Super Bowl is known by its Roman numbered ordinal, except the 1st and 2nd which predate this convention and were retronymmed into Super Bowls I and II, and the 50th which used the Arabic numeral 50 to avoid calling it Super Bowl L.
  • The Olympic Games are officially referred to by Roman numerals. The upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics will be the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, and the most recent 2022 Winter Olympics were the XXIV Olympic Winter Games. (The Olympics canceled due to the World Wars still count for the Summer Games, but not for the Winter Games. The 1906 Intercalated Games don't count in the numbering.)
  • In boxing and mixed martial arts, rematches between notable competitors are often numbered, such as Ali-Frazier II. The third Ali–Frazier fight averts this trope, as it's universally known as the Thrilla in Manila, derived from a pre-fight Ali promo.
  • The Ultimate Fighting Championship began using numbered sequels after the first event, which was retroactively renamed "UFC 1: The Beginning". Interestingly, there was much fanfare over UFC 100, even though it was actually the 105th UFC event due to the fact that five previous events did not follow the traditional numbering scheme. The smaller Ultimate Fight Night series of events used a numbering scheme until UFN 6, after which they were usually named after their headliners. The Ultimate Fighter reality series is numbered based on season. A new line of free events airing on the Versus channel is set to debut with "UFC Live on Versus 1", a rare instance of a work receiving a number before it has any sequels. Many other mixed martial arts promotions have followed suit by numbering each of their events.
  • In rugby league, the Super League of Europe (OK, mostly England, but with one team in France) has officially numbered its seasons with Roman numerals since its creation in 1996. The current 2023 season is Super League XXVIII.

  • William Shakespeare's Henry IV, part 2, and Henry VI, parts 2 and 3.
    • Spoofed by The Book of Sequels, a book consisting of humorous fictional sequels, spinoffs, and adaptations of famous works, with Romeo and Juliet Part 2, which reveals that Romeo's poison was actually a sleeping potion, the knife was actually a fake prop knife, and that Romeo and Juliet live on to go on a bunch of wacky adventures.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney qualifies, but only in Japan. The main six games are numbered Gyakuten Saiban 1 through 6 in Japan, but the second installment onwards get different names in Western countries. The Ace Attorney Investigations spin-off series counts as well, with the second installment titled Gyakuten Kenji 2. The Fan Translation follows the precedent set by the main series, giving it the subtitle Prosecutor's Path. The Great Ace Attorney duology retains its numbering in the localization, with the two games translated as The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve outside of Japan.
  • Namco really, really didn't want to make a fourth game in the Ace Combat series. When they had to, it was only under condition that its number was padded to Ace Combat 04. After Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation they Stopped Numbering Sequels for a while, but that's in part because they seemed reluctant to continue the original storyline past 6 - between that in 2007 and the announcement of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown eight years later, none of the games were set in the same continuity.
  • After dozens upon dozens of Angry Birds games and spin-offs, we finally have an official Angry Birds 2.
  • The Anno series started with Anno 1602, then 1503 (yes, exactly like that), then 1701, 1404, and 2070. The only pattern in this sequel numbering is that the numbers add up to 9.
  • Assassin's Creed, which consists of the original game, Assassin's Creed II, and Assassin's Creed III. Also includes a pair of non-numbered sequels, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations to the second game. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag added a subtitle and every game since Assassin's Creed Rogue has dropped the numbering convention entirely. However, the chronology of the past characters does not always match the sequel numbers because the games are following a present-day timeline. For example, the Past!protagonist of IV is the grandfather of the Past!protagonist of III. Rogue's past timeline also takes place after IV but before III.
  • The Battlefield franchise has 13 or so full games, and 21 installments if you include expansion packs. Sure enough, it eventually fell into this trope.
    • It began with Battlefield 1942, indicating its World War II setting by year, and was remade much later as Battlefield 1943 for seventh-generation consoles. They also reused the yearly title format for Battlefield 2142 to convey its future setting.
    • The straighter example of sequel numbering began with Battlefield 2 and the "modern day" series along with it, although it's the third game in the franchise after Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield Vietnam. It may have been named that due to being a truly "second generation" of Battlefield, with significant updates to the Refractor engine used at the time while Vietnam was more or less a total conversion of 1942.
    • Battlefield 3 (the eleventh game) and Battlefield 4 continue the trend of numbered entries being "modern combat" titles, but Battlefield 1 subverts it by having a World War I setting - essentially the Episode Zero: The Beginning clause, but plus one.
    • Battlefield: Bad Company also got a direct sequel called, quite unsurprisingly, Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
  • Most BEMANI series use "[game title] nth Mix" (such as DanceDanceRevolution, up to 7th Mix), though beatmania IIDX used "beatmania IIDX nth Style" up to 10th Style. From IIDX 11 onards, IIDX uses just numbers followed by a subtitle ("RED" for 11, "Happy Sky" for 12, etc). pop'n music uses numbers too, with the 12th main installment onwards having subtitles ("Iroha" for 12, "Carnival" for 13, and such).
  • The sequel to the original BioShock was BioShock 2, but that was followed by BioShock Infinite.
  • Bubble Bobble: Oddly named Non Linear Numbered Sequels: First there was Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble II, and Parasol Stars: The Story of Bubble Bobble III (whose subtitle was often altered to "Rainbow Islands II" by the European publisher). Then a Bubble Bobble Part 2 comes out for NES and Game Boy, and then Bubble Symphony aka Bubble Bobble II comes out, and Bubble Memories: The Story of Bubble Bobble III. This makes three second-installments and two third-installments.
  • The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle series takes the concept up a notch. Besides the original NES game, there are The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2, Bugs Bunny: Crazy Castle 3 (both created for the Game Boy), Bugs Bunny in Crazy Castle 4 (Game Boy Color), and Woody Woodpecker in Crazy Castle 5 (Game Boy Advance) - a sudden switch of the protagonist for the final game.
  • The only numbered sequels to the original Castlevania were Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse for the NES, as well as the oddly named Super Castlevania IV for the SNES. Ironically III is actually a prequel to the first game in terms of setting, while IV is often seen as a remake; neither had a numbered title in Japan. Castlevania: The Adventure for the Game Boy had its own sequel, titled Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge. The rest of the series simply used subtitles (most of the time), until the Continuity Reboot Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
  • Chase H.Q. 2 is actually the fourth game in the series, after Special Criminal Investigation and Super Chase.
  • Contra III: The Alien Wars on the Super NES is the U.S. title of what was otherwise known as Contra Spirits in Japan, being the third Contra game on home consoles following the original Contra and Super C on the NES. Operation C, a Game Boy title, was not taken into account into this numbering (due to Konami's policy at the time of numbering console and portable entries of the same IP separately). A Game Boy port of Contra III was later released simply titled Contra: The Alien Wars, dropping the numeral. An official Contra 4 was eventually made, ironically as a Nintendo DS game, after several non-numbered Contra sequels have been released on various platforms such as Contra: Hard Corps and Contra: Shattered Soldier.
  • Devil May Cry has its sequels numbered 1-4 and then switched to the roman numeral V for 5.
  • None of the Dizzy sequels carried numbers in the titles, but Treasure Island Dizzy, Fantasy World Dizzy, Magicland Dizzy and Spellbound Dizzy displayed "Dizzy II," "Dizzy III," "Dizzy IV" and "Dizzy V" on the Status Line.
  • Dragon Age initially followed this by naming the sequel to Dragon Age: Origins (not counting the Expansion Pack Awakening) Dragon Age II; however, that is the only numbered sequel in the game series.
  • The Dragon Quest series has numbered entries in the mainline series much like its stepsibling Final Fantasy (as of this writing, the latest entry is Dragon Quest XI; Dragon Quest XII is currently in production), but they’re also subtitled in an alliterative fashion that relates to the storyline of that particular game (i.e. Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen refers to The Chosen Many ensemble and the chapter system, Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride refers to the marriage of your character and the heavenly bride). However, only the first three and eleventh games in the series are directly linked to one another, while Zenithian trilogy which follows after it is more vaguely connected, and the other titles are stand-alone.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • All the mainline entries have been numbered with a Roman numeral (with the latest one as of this writing being Final Fantasy XVI), despite the fact that each entry in the series is essentially a stand-alone story with no ties to previous titles.
    • When it came to make a direct sequel to Final Fantasy X, they titled the game Final Fantasy X-2 (as in "Ten-Two") and likewise the direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII is Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Thirteen-Two), although other sequels/spinoffs to specific entries (such as Final Fantasy IV: The After Years and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII) opted to use subtitles instead.
    • Note that Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI were renumbered to Final Fantasy II and III respectively when they first released in North America due to the fact that Squaresoft only translated those two and the first FinalFantasy in English. Later translations of those games in other platforms has since used their actual numbering.
    • The franchise also had a spinoff on the Game Boy titled the The Final Fantasy Legend, which spawned two numbered sequels. However, this was actually a separate IP in Japan known as SaGa, which became a franchise of its own.
  • Fire Emblem is a notable aversion. Officially, the games are primarily identified by their subtitles, not numbers. However, the internal programming for most of the games and official sites do use numbered titles reflecting their placement in the series (i.e: the GBA games are numbered 6 to 8) and the English speaking fandom do use numbered titles as a shorthand for the sake of simplicity due to the lack of any consistent localized titles for the first six games.
  • Fire Pro Wrestling had two numbered sequels on the PC Engine, and Super Fire Pro Wrestling had two numbered sequels on the Super Famicom. The rest of the series Stopped Numbering Sequels in Japan, though the second Game Boy Advance installment was released as Fire Pro Wrestling 2 in the U.S.
  • Gamer 2 is an unusual case, as the original Gamer was an unfinished short story, not a video game.
  • Gauntlet was soon followed by Gauntlet II, and the non-arcade sequels valiantly attempted to carry on the numbering. Gauntlet: The Third Encounter was released exclusively for the Atari Lynx, while U.S. Gold and Software Creations were authorized to make the entirely different Gauntlet III: The Final Quest for the European home-computer market. Gauntlet IV is actually a port of the first arcade game for the Sega Genesis with an added quest mode, although the Japanese version had no numbering on the title.
  • Grand Theft Auto started out as Grand Theft Auto, then got expansions, and was followed up with Grand Theft Auto 2. Grand Theft Auto III (notice the change to Roman numerals) was released as a whole new gameplay style. Afterwards, they cut the numbers and started using the fictional city names as subtitles. They also released prequels, with the city name, and "Stories" in the title. Then, they released Grand Theft Auto IV (thus grouping all the city-ed games together as Grand Theft Auto III games), and made special episodes. So you can have people who believe that Vice City is GTA I, Liberty City Stories is GTA II, San Andreas is GTA III, and Ballad of Gay Tony is GTA IV. And if you show them Grand Theft Auto 1 or 2, they will assume they are simply handheld ports of whatever they think I and II are. Rockstar seems to follow the "It's not a sequel unless the engine changes" rule of numbering. Most of the games between III and IV are referred to as "the GTA III era" for the dual facts that A) all of them use the same engine as III with minor updates and changes, and B) they're also the first games in the overall GTA series to have concrete story links to previous games - whereas the first two are entirely self-contained and separate stories, III ended up with a storyline spanning five distinct points in time over the course of 17 years.
  • Half-Life being followed many years later by Half-Life 2, then the sequels (which even Valve admits should be referred to as Half-Life 3) being called Half-Life 2: Episode One and Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
  • The Hitman series of games generally used subtitles for sequels, save for the first sequel Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. The World of Assassination Trilogy does use numbers though (well, roman numerals). Hitman 3 is the sequel to Hitman 2, which is the sequel to Hitman. However, the trilogy is also a continuation of the other games so technically 1, 2, and 3 are actually 6, 7, and 8.
  • id Software likes to do this with their DOOM and Quake games, even if they tend to switch between Arabic and Roman for little reason (e.g. Doom II followed by Doom³, or Quake III: Arena followed by Quake 4). The Wolfenstein series, however, has generally avoided this since 3D, probably thanks in part to the fact that it's been switching developers after every game or two - 3D was followed on by Return to Castle Wolfenstein, then just Wolfenstein, and now Wolfenstein: The New Order. Finally averted (well over 30 years after the series started) with the 2017 sequel to The New Order, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage used "Initial D Arcade Stage ver. n" for the first three releases; the fourth game onwards drops the "ver," signifying an overhaul in the game's mechanics.
  • The sequel to Jardinains! was simply called Jardinains 2!.
  • The Jumper series, consisting of Jumper, Jumper Two and Jumper Threenote .
  • The Kingdom Hearts series can get confusing. Only console releases are numbered, meaning that Kingdom Hearts II was the third game released and Kingdom Hearts III the tenth. However, as fans constantly stress, the handheld games are not spin-offs, but full entries in the series that are vital for understanding the plot. The compilations, in turn, are numbered 1.5, 2.5 and 2.8. Complicating matters further, the games are not released in chronological order. Tetsuya Nomura has stated that Kingdom Hearts χ is "0", as it is chronologically first, Birth by Sleep is "0.1" since it comes after that, and Dream Drop Distance is "2.6" because it happens after all of the games contained in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. Following this, the standalone installment of the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue compilation, following the adventures of Aqua after the events of Birth by Sleep's Secret Episode, is titled 0.2 Birth by Sleep. Kingdom Hearts III explicitly pokes fun at this naming convention, by having the game's first world preceded by a title card telling the player that this is... Kingdom Hearts 2.9.
  • There are two Klonoa games designated as Klonoa 2; Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil and Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Most games lack numbers in the titles; one of the few exceptions is Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which was a direct sequel to the original game. Most of the others are Nonlinear Sequels, which probably accounts for the lack of numbers, although older fans sometimes do refer to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past as "Zelda III".
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is called "Kamigami no Triforce 2" (Triforce of the Gods 2) in Japan, making it a numbered sequel to A Link to the Past. Strangely, "Triforce of the Gods 2" is also the name used in Korea, even though "1" was released as "A Link to the Past" there, just like the other international releases.
  • Leisure Suit Larry series: The first three games were numbered normally, but after the third one the series' primary game designer realized he'd painted himself into a corner by giving the franchise closure in the third game. He then decided to skip the fourth chapter in the series altogether, and went on to make Leisure Suit Larry 5 while leaving the events of the fourth game to the players' imaginations, so that he himself wouldn't have to explain how Larry got to where he was in the fifth game.
  • The fourth Magical Drop game was titled Magical Drop F instead of Magical Drop IV, in a blatant case of tetraphobia.
  • Marathon was followed by Marathon 2 which was followed by Marathon Infinity. Infinity was then given a joke award by MacFormat for "largest version number increase." As if this wasn't enough, the game engine for Marathon 2 was subsequently released and developed into an open-source version named Aleph One, thereby restoring sequential numbering at the expense of being understandable by anyone who wasn't a math major.
  • Mega Man:
    • The original Mega Man sequels used Roman numerals in the actual games, even though the packaging logos always used Arabic numerals. This caused a bit of confusion when the Sequel Series Mega Man X was eventually released, as some people assumed the letter "X" was the Roman numeral for ten and not the letter, even though a Mega Man VII was eventually released for the SNES alongside X2 and X3. Capcom switched to Arabic numerals for the in-game logos starting with Mega Man 8, so there wasn't that much of a confusion anymore by the time the actual Mega Man 10 came out.
    • In regards to the Game Boy games, both the ingame titles and the packaging logos always used Roman numerals... except for the fifth game, which still carried a Roman numeral for the title screen, yet the packaging logo had the same Arabic numeral problem as the console games at the time.
    • Note that this was never an issue for the Japanese versions, where the Rockman sequels always used Arabic numerals, while the Game Boy versions were actually part of a separately spinoff line known as Rockman World.
  • The first Metal Gear Solid game is actually the third Metal Gear game, following Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake on the MSX2, but uses the word "Solid" as a substitute for the number "3" in the same manner multiple other games entering their third iteration around that time would call themselves 3D. The subsequent sequels kept the word "Solid" as part of the title and began a new line of numbered sequels (MGS2, MGS3, and MGS4). Peace Walker, a PSP side-entry similar to the earlier Portable Ops, at one point carried the working title of Metal Gear Solid 5, likely to emphasize series's creator Hideo Kojima's involvement with the title (in contrast to the minimal involvement he had with Portable Ops), but the numbering was dropped from the final title. Despite this, Peace Walker does set up the plot for what eventually became the official Metal Gear Solid V.
  • The Metroid series is a weird example. Metroid II: Return of Samus is the only game in the mainline series that's numbered as part of its official title, but future entries would continue to have them as a secondary title shown during the game's opening (i.e., the title screen of Super Metroid is prefaced by "Nintendo presents Metroid 3"). Meanwhile, the Metroid Prime sub-series plays it straight, using both numbers and subtitles for every major entry (i.e., Metroid Prime 2: Echoes). The only games in the franchise that aren't numbered in any way are interquels such as Metroid: Other M and spinoffs such as Metroid Prime: Federation Force.
  • The Might and Magic series tends to follow this trope but two entries are an exception. The fourth game dropped the number and called Might and Magic: Clouds of Xeen while the fifth game was Might and Magic: Darkside of Xeen. Both can be combined to form one world and were later released as one game called Might and Magic: World of Xeen. This can be confusing for those who only know of the combined version, as they assume World of Xeen is #4 then wonder what happened to #5 when the next game in the series is Might and Magic VI.
  • The Neptunia series is an odd case. The first game, Hyperdimension Neptunia, was developed on a shoestring, so the game was developed to be a one-off with a completely satisfying Golden Ending that left no loose ends. When the game turned out to be a Sleeper Hit in both Japan and the West, a sequel was announced and properly funded. Rather than completely abandon all the characters and/or blatantly Retcon the first game, the developers instead opted to reboot and retell the story while still marketing it as a sequel, branding the result Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2. When it came time for the third game, a direct sequel to mk2 without any reboots, they simply spared everyone the confusion and titled it Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory.
  • Operation Wolf 3 was the only numbered sequel to Operation Wolf.
  • OutRun 2 was finally released to arcades in 2003, though it was actually the fourth Sega Arcade Game to have OutRun in the title.
  • The sequel to Panzer Dragoon has the Roman numeral II followed by the Gratuitous German "Zwei" on both the cover and title screen. Presumably the latter was intended as the Alternate Character Reading for the former.
  • Persona has six main games, even though the latest one released is only titled Persona 5. This is because Persona 2 was split in half. The spinoff sequels of the fourth and fifth games are simply named Persona 4 *insert subtitle here* and Persona 5 *insert subtitle here*, but Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, which is an Interquel to both the third and fourth games (weird time shit is involved) drops the numbering rather than associating it with one game over the other. Persona Q itself would get a numbered sequel in Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth.
  • Sony's PlayStation line of home consoles: PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.
  • Pokémon Gold and Silver's Working Title was Pocket Monsters 2: Gold and Silver. Years later, sequels to Black and White were made and titled Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.
  • Princess Remedy In A Heap Of Trouble: On the Steam store page, and an official blog post, it's sometimes called "Princess Remedy 2", with or without subtitle.
  • The three Compile-developed sequels to Puyo Puyo have puns on numbers. Tsū, the Japanese word for expert, also sounds like the English word two; SUN, when pronounced in English, sounds like the Japanese word for three; and the "yon" in Puyo Puyo~n means four.
  • The Ratchet & Clank series gets hit with this in regions outside the US:
    • In some PAL territories Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal are Ratchet & Clank 2 and Ratchet & Clank 3 respectively. In Australia the latter gets this and the subtitle, becoming Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal.
    • In Japan the first three sequelsnote  + Size Matters get numbered as Ratchet & Clank 2 - 5 (the last one being a strange example seeing as the game was not developed by Insomniac). Additionally, A Crack in Time was titled Ratchet & Clank Future 2.note 
    • The second and third games technically are this in the US as well, albeit in a very subtle manner — the backing of the logo for Going Commando forms a "2", while the ampersand in Up Your Arsenal's logo is flipped to resemble a "3". That being said, the official titles for both games do not recognize these thereby leaving them as simply easter eggs (which in the latter case is probably for the best as otherwise it'd be Ratchet 3 Clank: Up Your Arsenal).
  • Rayman has had two numbered sequels with subtitles, Rayman 2: The Great Escape and Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. Later for Rayman Raving Rabbids with Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 (RRR itself was tentatively titled Rayman 4). Averted with Rayman Origins, which is a prequel to the first game.
  • Resident Evil:
  • The second and third game in The Room series are named simply The Room Two and The Room Three. However, the subsequent installments drop the numerals (The Room: Old Sins, The Room VR: A Dark Matter).
  • The Saints Row series went all over the place with its sequel numbering. Saints Row 2 used an Arabic numeral, but Saints Row: The Third had no numeral at all (playing on the title gang's full name, "Third Street Saints") and Saints Row IV switched to a Roman numeral. The switch from Arabic coincided with the shift in tone from the gritty realistic Mob War of the first two games to the Denser and Wackier epicness of the later titles.
  • The sequels to Sakura Wars are Sakura Wars 2, 3, 4... and V.
  • The Sam & Max: Freelance Police episodes have tv-production-style episode numbers, in the form of "101" to "106" for Season 1, "201" through "205" for Season 2, and "301" through "305" for Season 3.
  • All of the 2D Samurai Shodown sequels received consecutive numbers from II to VI (plus V Special); however, in Japan, each game had a variation of the Samurai Spirits title and some were prequels. Still, Samurai Shodown V in Japan was Samurai Spirits Zero. The fictional chronology goes like this: V, VI, I, III, IV, and II.
  • Secret Files: The third game is just called Secret Files 3.
  • The Japan-only Shin Megami Tensei NINE is almost a subversion: 'nine' is the number of endings. At the time of its release on December 2002, there was the only two mainline entries (both on the Super Famicom), although Shin Megami Tensei III would be released a few months later on the PS2 in Japan on February 2003.
  • All the Silent Hill games developed by KCE Tokyo were numbered, with Silent Hill 4: The Room being the last game developed by the original team. Afterward, the franchise started being outsourced to western developers and the newer titles were no longer numbered, although Silent Hill: Origins by Climax Studios was titled Silent Hill 0 in Japan, being a prequel to the first game. Silent Hill: Downpour at one point carried the working title of "Silent Hill 8".
  • The SimCity series has had a lot of fun with this one: the first sequel was named SimCity 2000, presumably in homage to the year 2000, one of the game's optional starting dates. The third game was then named SimCity 3000, presumably because it would be odd to go from 2000 to 3 in terms of sequel numbering. Of course, the fourth game was called SimCity 4. The game that should be SimCity 5 is simply titled SimCity because it's a reboot of the series.
  • The Sonic series has become very cluttered with sequel numbers.
  • Two different games titled Spelunker II were released in Japan: one for arcades, one for the Famicom.
  • The Star Wars Dark Forces series seems to be afraid of the number 3, instead numbering both the second and third game "2": after the original Dark Forces was Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, and then Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, dropping the "Dark Forces". They then dropped the numbers entirely with Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (not Jedi Outcast II or Dark Forces III).
  • Street Fighter II, the sequel to Street Fighter, had its own sub-series of pseudo-sequels, none of which were named in anyway that reflected their release order. On the other hand, the original Street Fighter III was followed by 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike, and before that there was the Street Fighter Alpha prequel series, which had its own pair of sequels (Alpha 2 and Alpha 3), as well as the EX series (EX 2 and EX 3). Then there's Street Fighter 2010, an obscure NES platformer that has nothing do with the rest of the series and is named after the year it's supposed to take place.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Every game in the Super Real Mahjong series used Roman numbers for the title, until P7 switched to Arabic.
  • The Super Robot Wars franchise includes numerous numbered sequels, though the Japanese titles use Sino-Japanese ordinal numbers. The actual Japanese title of Super Robot Wars 2 is Dai-2-Ji Super Robot Taisen, which is analogous to the Japanese name for World War II, "Dai-2-Ji Sekai Taisen."
  • The console games based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise fall into Sequel Number Snarl, but in North America they are as follows:
  • The Tengai Makyou Gaiden Game Fuun Kabuki Den has a fake title screen reading Tengai Makyou III. The real Tengai Makyou III was not released until eight years after Tengai Makyou IV.
  • Touch Detective called its sequel Touch Detective 2½ as an homage to the Naked Gun.
  • The Unnkulia series features "Unnkulian Underworld: The Unknown Unventure", followed by "Unnkulia 2", "Unnkulia Zero", and "Unnkulia One-Half".
  • The Unreal Tournament series also had its share.
    • The original was called simply Unreal Tournament, the sequel was Unreal Tournament 2003 (to sound like other sports titles such as Madden 2004 - they wanted to emphasize the 'bloody sporting competition' aspect). The Madden-esque sequel/re-tool of that was Unreal Tournament 2004. The next game was originally Unreal Tournament 2007, but now it's just Unreal Tournament III. Apparently, even the developers didn't think 2004 was that different from 2003.
    • The 200X games were both based on the Unreal Engine 2. UT 3 uses an entirely new engine (The Unreal Engine 3, naturally), and is therefore the third generation of the series.
      • There's more reasons, too. UT2003 was rushed, so they released UT2004 as sort of an upgrade. As such, they count as one game. The series also had singleplayer-oriented games, with the original Unreal and then Unreal 2 The Awakening between UT2003 and 2004. UT3 has both a singleplayer campaign and Tournament-like multiplayer modes, so it counts as Unreal 3 as well as Unreal Tournament 3. Phew.
      • And to cap it all off for extra confusion, Unreal Tournament 2015 did away with numbers altogether and is just Unreal Tournament, with official sites instead retroactively referring to the first game as its post-2003 Fan Nickname of Unreal Tournament '99.
  • The sequel to Vigilante 8 was titled Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense (2nd Battle in Japan).
  • The Wild ARMs sequels are numbered 2 to 5 in America, but in Japan the sequels have the following subtitles: 2nd Ignition, Advanced 3rd, The 4th Detonator, and The Vth Vanguard. Yes, that's a Vth. However, the Turn-Based Strategy game in the series inverts this pattern, being Wild ARMs XF in its North American release and Wild Arms Crossfire in Japan.
  • Wizards & Warriors for the NES was followed by two sequels on the same console, Ironsword: Wizards and Warriors II and Kuros, Visions of Power: Wizards and Warriors III. There was also a side-game for the Game Boy titled Wizards and Warriors Chapter X: The Fortress of Fear, which came out between II and III, making us wonder where IV to IX went.
  • Depending on which games you count as canon, Worms 4: Mayhem was either the sixth, seventh, eighth or ninth Worms game.
  • The Ys series had two different fourth installments produced concurrently: Ys IV: Mask of the Sun for the Super Famicom and Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys for the PC Engine. The seventh game was titled Ys SEVEN instead of Ys VII.
  • Zork series/universe started with Zork I, II and III, but after that got complicated, with the Enchanter Trilogy (Enchanter, Sorcerer and Spellbreaker) and then titles like Beyond Zork and Zork Zero.

    Web Animation 
  • An Adventure of Sheep and Chicken: Part Three of the first series is titled Part III.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Parodied with the movie, "Dangeresque 2: This Time, It's Not Dangeresque 1". The end of that e-mail announced "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective" (in 3D). In an e-mail concerning Dangeresque 3, Dangeresque 1 was revealed as "Dangeresque 1: Dangeresque, Too?" (not in 3D).
    • In the Halloween cartoon "Three Times Halloween Funjob", Coach Z tells Homestar he's dressed as Kool Moe Dee of the Treacherous Three (and not "Wesley Snakes"), and Homestar remarks "I only saw Treacherous 1 and 2, so I wouldn't know."
    • A Halloween cartoon is titled Jibblies 2, although it is pointed out that there was no original Jibblies. Quoth the Strong Sad: "Original? Horror movie? Not these days."

  • The Sluggy Freelance Story Arc "KITTEN" was based around parodying horror movie tropes. Naturally, it was given a sequel titled "KITTEN II."
  • El Goonish Shive, has had several numbered sequel storylines (most of which being consecutive are more like chapters) and one arc with sequels ("Sister" followed by "Sister II: Awakenings" then "Sister III Catspaws"). The story comic storylines with non-consecutive sequels were: "Shade, Part 1" followed by "Shade, Part 2", "Relations, Part 1" followed by "Relations, Part 2", "Guest Comics #1" followed by "Guest Comics #2", and "Q&A #1" through "Q&A #6" (after which the number sign was dropped and the Q&A storylines got names in addition to numbers). In EGS:NP, there was "Assorted 2015 01" through "Assorted 2015 03" and "Goonmanji" followed by "Goonmanji 2".

    Web Original 
  • In the Facebook app Rock Band World, the only goal to get one of these is the Scavenger Hunt goal "Rock Band Petting Zoo". With seventeen songs, "so think of this as the main event to Part 1's opening ceremony."

    Western Animation 
  • Spoofed in Steven Universe. Three episodes involving Lion as a driving force are titled "Steven's Lion", "Lion 2: The Movie", "Lion 3: Straight to Video", and "Lion 4: Alternate Ending". Despite their titles, the latter three are not Sequel Episodes to the first, the second is not The Movie, the third is not a direct-to-video special, and the fourth is not a Revised Ending for another episode. The subtitles refer to the plots of those particular episodes (Steven going to the movies, finding an old video tape, and finding another old video tape, respectively).
  • Starting from the third season of Miraculous Ladybug, a few episodes feature the return of previously akumatized villains, and are named this way. However, this is downplayed with "Gamer 2.0" where although his design is the same, the "2.0" is actually part of his name and his powers are different.
    • Also averted with Reflekta's return in the episodes "Reflekdoll" and "Guiltrip" which are both named after sentimonsters that were created for her; the former becomes the main threat after Reflekta is defeated about halfway through the episode, while the latter captures her and when the heroes reach her, she is too consumed by her own guilt to fight them.
    • Additionally, the episode "Felix" refers to Adrien's visiting cousin rather than the Punisher Trio (who are also previously akumatized villains), although Felix is responsible for their akumatization.
    • Played with in "Mr. Pigeon 72", as while there have not been 70 previous episodes about Mr. Pigeon, it is the 72nd time in the show's continuity that he's been akumatized.
  • The Simpsons "Treehouse Of Horror" episodes are numbered, accordingly going even past XXX.

    Real Life 
  • World War II, the "sequel" to the Great War also known as the War to End All Wars that is now commonly referred to as World War I. Of course, there is also the as yet hypothetical World War III. Higher numbered World Wars are occasionally referenced in media set far enough into the future.
    Albert Einstein: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
  • The Crusades were numbered retroactively by historians, from the First Crusade (1096-99) to the Ninth Crusade (1271-72) and many unnumbered Crusades also.
  • The European alliances that were fighting against France during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars were successively numbered coalitions of various countries opposing the expansion of French power. The coterminous military conflicts between the two sides are subsequently also most often referred to as "The War Of the First/Second/etc. Coalition".
  • The First Balkan War and Second Balkan War.
  • Microsoft Windows started off like this, with Windows 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. There were also numerous point releases in between the major version numbers, some of which were treated almost like full major versions of the OS. They stopped this for about 15 years following the release of Windows 95note , but went back to it starting with Windows 7 in 2009.
  • Most operating systems will suggest doing this if you try to move or copy a file somewhere that already has a file with that name in it. Usually the number will be in parentheses.
    • Bizarrely, the Ocean's Twelve-102 Dalmatians method crops up in the Linux screen capture app KScreenshot. Save a screenshot as "Left 4 Dead boomer.png", for example, and the next screenshot you take will suggest you use "Left 5 Dead boomer.png" as its title. Seriously.
  • Thinking Machines introduced its first supercomputer, the Connection Machine CM-1, in 1986. A year later, they introduced the higher-performance CM-2. Their next-generation supercomputer, introduced in 1991, was named the CM-5 in order to throw off customers who might have held off on buying a CM-2 if a CM-3 or CM-4 was in the works. The official excuse for this was that they were taking alternate numbers from the Fibonacci series, which would have made the next Connection Machine the CM-13, had one ever been developed.

Alternative Title(s): Numbered Sequel