Follow TV Tropes


Old Save Bonus

Go To
"Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando save data found. You got some free weapons!"
Megacorp vendor (via Slim Cognito), Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal

The ability to use old save data (or in rare cases, the presence of the game itself) from one game in a different game (often a direct sequel, though unrelated examples aren't unheard of) for a bonus. Mostly, this means a tiny change (such as an acknowledgment of your accomplishments in the first game), or an item that may or may not be useful, but in some RPGs (the main originators of this) it is possible to import the character from the last game, levels intact, to start the new one (the monsters would sometimes be scaled up, of course).

Sometimes, this is a way of avoiding the Bag of Spilling problem. Mission-Pack Sequel games are especially prone to using this, as the sequel is usually built on the same basic code as the previous entry, so it's easy to port over content. Note that this trope is specifically when having a save from one game changes a different game in some way. A game simply acknowledging past optional content or avoiding the Bag of Spilling trope regardless of having an old save isn't enough to be this trope; that's Continuity Nod.

Related is the specific bonuses achieved from linking a handheld with a specific game to a console with another. This began with the Nintendo 64 title Pokémon Stadium, which has a special adapter for importing Game Boy save data. The Game Boy Advance system has a link cable for connecting to the Nintendo GameCube, the Nintendo DS uses its Slot-2 to connect to GBA games and can connect wirelessly to the Wii, and the PlayStation Portable uses a USB cable to connect to the PlayStation 2. However, this can quickly enter One Game for the Price of Two territory if you need both to have a fulfilling experience.

On one hand, this is a fun way to reward players who have played previous games. On the other hand, this can be frustrating to those who don't have the time or money to invest in another game to get a fuller experience of the game they do have. Some games Take a Third Option where a later game instead assumes you completed all of the content and even DLC of previous entriesnote , but that isn't this trope.

Compare to; New Game Plus and Another Side, Another Story which reward you for playing the same game again after completing it once; One Game for the Price of Two, when both games are related to each other and released at the same time; Player Data Sharing, when it's data from another player's save rather than your own from another game; Demo Bonus, which awards a bonus for playing a demo of the game; and Continuity Nod, which is when past events and accomplishments are reflected regardless of having played the prior game or not.


    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • Assassin's Creed:
  • Castlevania:
  • Ganbare Goemon: Toukai Douchuu Ooedo Tengurigaeshi no Maki has several character cameos and a demo of Space Manbow that can be unlocked by putting Kessakusen! Ganbare Goemon 1+2 in the GBA slot.
  • If you have an ICO save file on your memory card, the mark on Agro's forehead in Shadow of the Colossus will resemble the hornlike letter "I" from the ICO logo.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons are meant to be played one after the other (in either order). Data is transferred between the games by a generated password allowing you to fight Twinrova and rescue Zelda in the second game. There are also dozens of passwords you can get from NPCs to perform multi-game sidequests, unlocking Bombchus, special rings, the Master Sword, Biggoron's Sword, and arrow/bomb capacity upgrades. You can also get a new code to port it all BACK to your old game, letting you play through the ending AGAIN with few if any additions- or you can use it to start from the beginning on the current game and play through both in the opposite order. And if you play either game on a Game Boy Advance, there is a door in one of the towns (Horon Village and Lynna Village, respectively) that's just a closed door if you play it on a Game Boy Color, but will be open in this case. If you enter, you are greeted by a man telling you that you are in something called an "Advance shop". One of the things for sale is a ring. If you get it appraised, the guy appraising it will tell you that it's a ring proving that you have a Game Boy Advance.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, scanning the Wolf Link and Midna amiibo summons Wolf Link as a travelling companion. By default, he only has three hearts' worth of health to his name. However, if you complete the Cave of Shadowsnote , the number of hearts you have remaining at the end of it (20 at max) will become the amount of hearts that Wolf Link has when summoned in Breath of the Wild.
    • In Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, having a save-game of Breath of the Wild on your Switch gives Link a wooden sword and shield.
    • If you have a save file for Breath of the Wild when playing its direct sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, you have the option to transfer over the horses you stabled from the previous game. Also, as you'd expect, all Breath of the Wild amiibo are compatible with Tears of the Kingdom, and scanning the Champion amiibo will grant their respective Divine Helms with the same appearance that they had in the first game.note  Also, if you bought and completed The Champions' Ballad DLC for the previous game, the framed picture of Link, Zelda, and the four old Champions will still be present in Link's House in Hateno Village.
  • LEGO Star Wars II has an "extra" that allows the player to import unlocked characters from the first LEGO Star Wars game, which can then be used in Free Play mode. While a pretty cool feature, it was made obsolete by The Complete Saga, which has both games in one package.
  • In Minoria, players with save files from Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight will receive the Blade of Judgment upon reaching the Library.
  • inFAMOUS 2 has various bonuses you get from getting trophies in the previous game, including bonus experience at the start and a full level of karma in whichever direction you played the previous game in. And in inFAMOUS: First Light, if you played Second Son you are allowed to play as Delsin in the Arena.
  • Shantae: Risky's Revenge: If you visit a certain store in Scuttle Town and you have a Mighty Flip Champs! and/or Mighty Milky Way save on your Nintendo DSi or 3DSnote , you'll earn some gems. Completing the games in question results in additional gems on top of those earned by merely owning the games.
  • If you have a save file for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, you can unlock ten alternate costumes in Spider-Man: Edge of Time.

    Action Game 
  • Several of Konami's games for the MSX, when played with another Konami game in the second cartridge slot, can gain various bonuses. To list a few examples (see here for a full list):
    • Playing Gradius with Twinbee in the second slot, or Gradius 2 with Penguin Adventure in the second slot, replaces the Vic Viper with the other game's player character and changes the power-up icons to match. This started the whimsical crossover concept that would continue in the Parodius series.
    • Salamander needs to be played with Gradius 2 in the second slot, or else No Final Boss for You.
    • When Q*bert is placed in the second slot, it unlocks cheat codes in Gradius 2; with many other games, it has the same effect as Konami's Game Master cheat cartridge.
  • Before it was discontinued, in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, you could choose a follower and a nemesis to carry over to Middle-earth: Shadow of War through the Nemesis Forge. When you played the sequel, you would casually rescue your follower in a story mission, but your nemesis would take the spotlight by becoming a Wake-Up Call Boss hoping for a Heroic Rematch in front of a coliseum full of orcs cheering for him.

    Action RPG 
  • Champions of Norrath characters can be imported into Champions: Return to Arms.
  • Loading a pre-2.0 savefile in the 2.0 version of Cyberpunk 2077 unlocks an extra side job called "Upgrade U", which serves as an introduction for old players to the overhauled cyberware mechanics in patch 2.0.
  • Dragon Quest Heroes II: Twin Kings and the Prophecy's End rewards you with extra costumes based on Luceus and Aurora's outfits if you have a save game from its prequel, Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and The Blight Below, and a Builder's Mallet (a hammer weapon) if you have a save from Dragon Quest Builders.
  • You can import save data from the original Dragon Ball Xenoverse into the sequel, allowing you to start with (most of) the moves and clothing your character had equipped, a boost to your new characters' Zeni and TP medal counts, and allows your previous character to appear in the storyline.
  • In Guild Wars: Eye of the North, there is a Hall of Monuments that can store mementos of character's personal achievements. It is possible to obtain special bonuses for characters in Guild Wars 2, based on the contents of the Hall.
  • .hack:
    • The original series of games is a serial game, one game in four parts. You keep all of your items, equipment, money, levels, etc. if you have a completed save from the prior game, as it is supposed to be taken as a single large game. Fortunately, if you do start your game fresh, you'll be started at a reasonable level (30 for part 2, 50 for part 3, 70 for part 4) with generic level-appropriate equipment, so you're not totally screwed for not having played the previous games, though certain things may be unavailable if not imported. The sequel, .hack//G.U., is a set of three games that work the same way.
    • .hack//G.U. also names one character after your main character in the original games, if you import as save file from any of the original 4 games, and gives you a secret Email. You get a second secret email if you import from the original game's fourth volume. The other three only give you one.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Transferring data from Monster Hunter Freedom (PSP) to Monster Hunter 2 (dos) (PS2) via an USB allows the player to unlock a quest to hunt Yian Garuga (since the latter game was only released in Japan, the connection can only begin with the former's Japanese version).
    • Some games provide the option to transfer a save file from a standard installment to a future Updated Re-release, as long as both are on the same system. It is one-way only, meaning that it cannot be transferred back: Monster Hunter Freedom 2 to Freedom Unite, Monster Hunter 4 to 4 Ultimate (only the Japanese versions, as 4 was never exported overseas and it's not possible to transfer between versions from the two different sides of the ocean due to region locking), and Monster Hunter Generations to Generations Ultimate (since the latter pushes forward the moment when the player's Hunter Rank can be freely increased, performing the file transfer after the restriction is lifted upon defeating Nakarkos in Generations will cause the player's HR to be dialed back to only 8; Generations Ultimate will revert this only after the player defeats Ahtal-Ka at the end of G Rank and reached HR 13).
    • Having a Monster Hunter: Rise save will net you a set of Kamura Garb layered armor for Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, modeled after the Rise player character's default gear. Players can transfer saves from the demo of Stories 2 to the full game. The game will resume from whenever the player last saved in the demo.
  • Persona 5 Strikers features a bonus that unlocks the original Last Surprise and Take Over. The track is unlocked on the PlayStation 4 version with the original game or its enhanced rerelease, while the Switch version will search for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate regardless of whether one has purchased the Joker DLC for that game or not. On Steam, where it is the first Persona 5 game released, it's instead a post-game and New Game Plus bonus.
  • Phantasy Star Online Episode 3 allows you to unlock certain cards if you have save files of certain Sonic games, Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, and Phantasy Star Online Episode 1+2. It also transfers your friends list directly from Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 and 2. While the online service was open, it was even possible to play both games with the same subscription.
  • The two Phantasy Star Portable games: characters created in the downloadable demo for both games can be imported into the full games to save time and effort. In addition, importing a character from PSP1 to PSP2 allows you to import certain base features of the character's appearance (name, height, build, class), gives you whatever costume parts you had equipped on them at the time, one of four different special-effect accessories depending on your chosen class (all of which are normally received at much higher levels), the special title 'Veteran Guardian', and also gives you the Exam saber, an ice-elemental sword that is one of the most powerful single-handed swords you can get during the first chapter.

  • In the second volume of Twilight Syndrome, having a memory card with good ending saves for all the main chapters in both of the duology's discs will unlock the secret extra chapter "Prank", which acts as a preview of sorts for the Canon Discontinuity sequel Moonlight Syndrome.

    Augmented Reality 
  • Pikmin Bloom: During the 2022 Pikmin 3 anniversary event, players could obtain a Onion-themed Planter Pack via the "My Nintendo" service provided that their linked account had play data from Pikmin 3 or the free demo version.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Samurai Warriors 2: The PS2 edition lets you play as Hattori Hanzo and Uesugi Kenshin from the start if you have the save file from the first game, as well as letting you use Honda Tadakatsu for having save data from Samurai Warriors XL. Otherwise, they need to be unlocked. Other Warriors XL series games give bonuses based on saves from the original series as well.
  • Warriors Orochi 4: If you've got a save file from Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, you'll receive a Growth Points bonus proportional to the total number of KOs you earned in WO3U. Loading a save file from the PS4 or Steam versions of Dynasty Warriors 9 grants special costumes for certain characters.
  • Save data from Yakuza will allow you to start Yakuza 2 with a collection of goodies in your item storage box, none of which you can acquire in any other way. They're presumed to be gifts from Haruka, the little girl you spend most of the first game protecting, and they include some pretty nice equipment and powerful healing items. Similarly, the PlayStation 3 games (starting with Yakuza 3) all give bonuses if you have save data from any of the previous Playstation 3 game, each game providing a different bonus. Starting with Kiwami and its release on PS4, if there is save data detected on the system, consumable items will be provided to the player.

    Browser Game 
  • The Flash RPG series Arkandian Legends not only gives you bonuses for achievements from earlier installments but allows you to play "extra" races if you played as a particular race/faction in the previous game.
  • The Flash RPG series MARDEK allows the player to carry over stats and items from chapter to chapter (all chapters are separate games), along with several other variables that are carried over (conversations with NPC's, prior events being referenced in later installments, etc). With the release of Chapter 3, a change in the game code made it so that older save files wouldn't be able to import, although it appears that this practice started up again due to the author remaking Chapters 1 and 2.

    Card Battle Game 
  • Buying Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales on GOG gives you cosmetics, card packs, and a set of Thronebreaker cards in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. Finding treasure chests and unlocking achievements in Thronebreaker grants more cosmetics, exclusive premium versions of those Thronebreaker cards, and reward points you can cash in for resources to buy card packs or craft cards.
  • Notice the 8-digit code on the lower-left corner of your physical Yu-Gi-Oh! cards? These are identification passwords that lets you acquire the very same card in most Yu-Gi-Oh! video games. Older games let you practically port your physical deck into the game for free, but when you can just look up card codes online and can use game-breaking cards from the get-go, later games now impose costs and restrictions on the cards you can get via passwords.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • Tag Force 2 lets you get three copies of a specific card when you use its UMD recognition system (think a handheld version of Monster Rancher's "monsters from CDs" gimmick). What makes this an example of this trope is what you get when you first use it with the first Tag Force game: one each of the Egyptian God Cards, very much playable and legal in-game.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tag Force 4 takes it one step further... sort of. Using UMD recognition with each Tag Force Game will unlock the Effect Monster (i.e. versions of the cards that can be used IRL) version of each of the God Cards as well as a lot of rare cards (including anniversary edition versions of popular cards, like Dark Magician Girl). Tag Force 2 and 3 also unlock alternate versions of Akiza Izinski and Kalin Kessler, respectively for you to duel.
    • Using UMD Recognition in Tag Force 3 unlocks Bastion Misawa by having the game recognize Tag Force 2.
  • If you connect your DS with Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2009: Stardust Accelerator to your Wii with Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds Wheelie Breakers, both games receive cards that you can't normally get without hacking them.

    Card Games 

    Compilation Re-release 
  • In the Game & Watch Gallery games for the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, you can eventually unlock the ability to link with previous games in the series to unlock more Museum pictures of classic Game & Watch games. To do this between 2 and 1, you have to get over 1000 points in every game in 2; between 3 and 1, you have to get over 1000 points in every game in 1.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:

    Dating Sim 
  • The Tokimeki Memorial series loves to do this with their Drama Series and Substories spin-offs:
    • In the 3rd game of the Drama Series, Tabidachi no Uta, having a Data save of the first two Drama Series games, Nijiiro no Seishun and Irodori no Love Song, in which the games were completed at least once and have their Albums unlocked, allows you to unlock two Bonus scenarios named "Nijiiro no Sotsugyoushiki" and "Irodori no Sotsugyoushiki", which act as the True Epilogue of both games ;
    • In the 3rd game of the Substories series, Memories Ringing On, having a Data save of the first two Substories games, Dancing Summer Vacation and Leaping School Festival, in which the games were completed at least once and have their Albums unlocked, allows you to unlock extra dialogues and Events in the sub-characters storylines.

    Eastern RPG 
  • In The Denpa Men series, you can use your hero from any previous game in the later ones. In the second game, importing caught Denpas is free and you can do it as often as you like. In the third game, it costs money to import older Men, but they gain new powers as an additional form of bonus.
  • The original Japanese release of Dragon Quest XI let you start a new game with a password save from Dragon Quest or II to have some extra money or some items from the two prior games. This makes it possibly one of the oldest save bonuses around, being between games released over 30 years apart. Since the western versions of the NES Dragon Quest games had battery-backed saves, this was removed when Dragon Quest XI was localized for the west.*
  • Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard has some minor bonuses if you entered a password obtained by beating the original game. While no characters transfer over, people recognize the name of your Guild and that you are "experienced adventurers", and several password-exclusive secrets are unlocked. However, this also has some disadvantages, such as the tutorial guard not giving your group free Medicas because he assumes your "experienced" Level 1 heroes are strong enough to make it back without any help.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Leviathan summon materia in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth can be obtained if your system has a save file for Final Fantasy VII Remake. Ramuh, in turn, requires a save file for INTERmission.
    • The original release of Final Fantasy VIII had a tie-in game, Chocobo World, which was released exclusively for the Pocketstation portable system in Japan. Playing and exporting data from it allows you to get additional items in VIII, including exclusive gear like Mog's Amulet (which allows you to teach the miniMog command to a GF), the Ribbon and the Friendship item (which summons a Moomba). With the release of the PC version, the mini-game is integrated into the launcher and can be imported into the base game.
    • While Final Fantasy XIV was still in its 1.0 phase, linking a PlayOnline account that also had a Final Fantasy XI subscription, you got a special item called "Hermes' Shoes" that gave a substantial movement speed increase... for 15 minutes per day. After the shutdown and rerelease of FFXIV the boots are no longer obtainable, but those who had them on their character and imported them to the new version got to keep them with a different effect: while in a city, the duration of Sprint is increased to match its cooldown, allowing you to use it indefinitely.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII-2, if you have a Final Fantasy XIII file, you unlock a PS3 theme or Xbox 360 gamer picture (depending on your console). You also unlock the Eternal Crystal item, which improves your odds at the in-game casino's slot machines. In addition, you can find masks of Lightning and Serah as adornments if you beat XIII.
    • In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, you'll get Lightning's outfits and weapons from the previous two games for her to wear if you have save data from the games in question. While the outfits are not particularly powerful, their lack of locked-in abilities allows them to benefit from Elite Tweak.
    • Dissidia 012 Duodecim allows the player to transfer the levels of characters, many things unlocked from the PP Catalouge (Such as the villains and bonus chacters, costumes and player icons) as well as a few other things, from their saved data of the previous game. The player is also give the choice of importing everything, or everything but the levels (or as they call it, Restarting from Level 1.)
  • Fossil Fighters Champions allows you to send over fossils from the first game. This makes certain vivosaurs much easier to obtain, as some 'saurs that are only available late-game can be gotten from the start in the original FF. There are also some fossils that can only be obtained in FF, as some vivosaurs only have head fossils in Champions.note 
  • Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2 has a few bonuses if it recognizes game save data from Fuga: Melodies of Steel, including Throwback Threads for the returning children, additional battle resources, the ability to switch between the old and new intermission themes if you beaten the first game, and a special commemorative photo if you got that game's Golden Ending.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age allows players of the first game to link the first game's clear data to the sequel. This requires either use of a link cable, or a password- and since the full Gold password that transfers the characters' levels, Djinn collection, stats, items, and money is 260 characters, there are also lower-tier passwords that can be used for convenience: the 61-character Silver password transfers only the levels, Djinn, and stats, while the Bronze password is only 16 characters and transfers only levels and Djinn. Notably, up until the two parties unite, it's possible to re-enter a different password to update the save, in case you happened to go back to the first game and found something you missed before reclearing it. There are also hidden scenes in The Lost Age that can be accessed based on certain actions taken in the first game. Finding out through an NPC that the thieves from Vault escaped means they will appear in the second game and fight your party. A girl from one of the towns from the first game appears halfway through the second game to give Isaac a gift for helping her friend. The warriors from the Colosso appears late in the sequel once Isaac and his party joins your party and they fight you, accusing Isaac of cheating when they fought him. Also, getting into the final Bonus Dungeon requires you to find all the Djinni - in both games.
  • Unlocking Japanese as an audio option for Theater Mode instead of the default English in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ requires having a finished Re:Chain of Memories save file on the memory card. Notably, Final Mix+ added a few cutscenes not in the original edition of the game, which means that there is no English voiceover available for them. This, in turn, means that these cutscenes are essentially muted until you get around to finishing the other game. Which, naturally, is entirely in Japanese. At least Re:Chain of Memories comes with Final Mix +. The connection goes both ways: Re:Chain of Memories added several enemy cards representing the members of Organization XIII introduced in II and attack cards featuring Keyblades from the same. Acquiring them requires a completed Final Mix+ save. When Re:Chain was localized as a standalone game, this was understandably dropped in favor of needing the story to be completed. The 1.5 HD Remix version instead requires having watched all of the 358/2 Days content, and changed the attack cards to depict some of Roxas's Keyblades from that game.
  • In Legend of Mana, one of the early quests introduces the player to the mechanics of catching monster eggs, which eventually hatch into friendly monsters the player can bring along. The starter monster is always a Rabite (a small, relatively weak rabbit monster) unless the player happens to have a save from Final Fantasy VIII on their memory card - in which case the monster is a Chocobo. Also, having a SaGa Frontier 2 save file allows you to find a secret sword in Bone Fortress, and having a Chocobo Racing save nets you a ring accessory from Polpota Harbor.
  • Lie of Caelum: If the player loads a completed save from the demo, the game will tell them to start again under "their rules" to get a reward. The game then deletes all save files and creates a config file that causes a secret package to show up in the Regami mailbox.
  • Lunar Knights gives different bonuses for having the various Boktai games inserted in the GBA slot, in the form of reading the sunlight input. The Boktai games themselves have passwords at the end that can be used to carry over a character's rank.
  • Putting any GBA Mega Man Battle Network game in Slot 2 while playing Battle Network 5 DS nets you bonuses in-game. A Boktai or Boktai 2 cartridge also nets bonuses; 2 (3 in Japan) netting MegaMan the overpowered Sol Cross.
    • Also, if you have a GBA copy of BN5 in Slot 2 that has the Bass/Forte icon on the title screen (acquired by beating said boss not once, but twice, and he's stronger the second time), you can access Bass Cross, with different bonuses in that form depending on which version-half of BN5DS you're playing. You can also import your old folder from the GBA version to the DS version - the only restriction being you have to be able to equip it as you are (which, if you're using Sol or Bass Cross, you most likely can't, due to -1 Mega Chip). Importing a folder made for the endgame at the start of the new one makes it so easy it's almost funny.
    • Also, oddly enough, the bonus for the Japan-only 4.5 game exists in non-Japanese versions of 5.
    • Putting a Battle Network game in Slot 2 while playing the first Mega Man Star Force unlocks a mini-quest that gets you the BN Buster, which is quite a good weapon for the entirety of the game. A similarly unlockable sidequest in Mega Man Star Force 2 provides not only a new weapon but also an epilogue to the Battle Network series.
  • Various games in the Monster Rancher franchise generate certain special monsters by reading other Tecmo game discs, such as Dead or Alive. Previous games in the series also unlock special monsters, as do certain CDs (or DVDs for the PS2 titles).
  • Panzer Dragoon Saga will give you extra money based on how long you've played Panzer Dragoon Zwei. You can also get a music box as a bonus item later in the game, and Saga will also unlock any bonus features in Zwei that haven't been unlocked yet.
  • A game-clear save from Phantasy Star Generation:1 is required in order to even attempt the long, arduous road to reviving Nei after her Plotline Death in Phantasy Star Generation:2.
  • Pokémon:
    • In Pokémon Gold and Silver, after reaching Ecruteak City it's possible to use the Time Capsule to trade with Pokémon Red and Blue, as long as the player's party consists only of Pokémon that existed in the previous games and don't know any newly-introduced moves. This is the only way to obtain the Kanto starters, fossil Pokémon, and legendaries that are found in the older games, and also allows some Pokémon in the first-generation games to have moves that they couldn't otherwise learn. All first-generation Pokémon also hold items when traded to the second generation games, despite held items not being implemented until Gen 2; this was the only way a few items could be obtained in Gold/Silver/Crystal, like the TwistedSpoon, Light Ball, and Lucky Punch.
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and the rest of the third-generation games introduced the concept of the regional and National Pokédex; while the regional dex required trading between only the two paired versions to complete, the National Dex required trading with other compatible games (in Gen III's case, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, LeafGreen, Pokémon Colosseum, and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness). In the case of Ruby and Sapphire, the National Dex could only be unlocked by trading with FireRed, LeafGreen, or Emerald.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl allows you to transfer Pokémon from your Game Boy Advance games to the Nintendo DS games at the Pal Park after getting the National Pokédex. Transferring in Regirock, Regice, and Registeel from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire is the only way to encounter Regigigas. Also, having different cartridges in the second slot will make new monsters appear in the wild (specifically, version-exclusive Pokémon for the four paired games and Generation II Pokémon in Emerald). Naturally, this is the only way to obtain several Pokémon in D/P. HeartGold and SoulSilver have the same function.
    • Pokémon Black and White have two ways to transfer Pokémon from previous versions: the normal way is a "Poké Transfer" minigame download to another system that has a Gen IV game in it available after getting the National Dex, while the "Relocator" is a secret method to move over a few specific Pokémon from promotional events that were held for the previous games just before the new games' release. It can be used as soon as you reach the city it is in.
    • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 have the Memory Link function, which connects the game to a Pokémon Black and White save file and adds a few bonus cutscenes to the game as well as references by name to the previous game's protagonist. Also, in the companion game Pokémon Dream Radar, after catching Landorus, it's possible to unlock new search methods to get Dream World versions of Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Ho-oh, and Lugia by inserting a copy of Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, or SoulSilver (respectively) into the 3DS while starting the game. (These Pokémon are only available once per both each Dream Radar save and each save of Black 2 or White 2).
    • Pokémon X and Y introduced the cloud service-based Pokémon Bank as a companion app, which allowed for Pokémon to be stored and retrieved from all the sixth-generation and, later, seventh-generation games. A free Poké Transporter app is provided in-app to help you bring forward Pokémon from the fifth generation. And yes, this means you can transfer a Pokémon from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/FireRed/LeafGreen to Diamond/Pearl/Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver, from there to Black/White/Black 2/White 2, and finally to X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire. If you use all these transfer methods to bring a Pokémon from the original Hoenn games all the way to their remakes, you can get a special certificate for your Secret Base. The Transporter is also compatible with the 3DS Virtual Console releases of Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions, meaning Pokémon obtained in those games can be transferred to Pokémon Sun and Moon and later games in the series. However, even with the Bank, Pokémon still can't be transferred back to older games- any Pokémon that has been saved into a file of a seventh-generation game becomes inaccessible to the sixth generation.
    • Pokémon transferred from the Virtual Console games will — thanks to the modern stat calculating system not being implemented until Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire — always come with three perfect IVs when transferred. The Mythical Pokémon Mew and Celebi will have five perfect IVs when transferred, though only the latter can be captured and transferred without technical tomfoolery. In addition, every Pokémon will come with their Hidden Ability, provided they have one.
    • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon: If you bring a Pokémon from a previous generation to the Alola Photo Club, you can use a special background when taking pictures with them. Each one depicts a notable location from the relevant region: Indigo Plateau, Bell Tower, Seafloor Cavern, Spear Pillar, Skyarrow Bridge, and Lumiose City. However, due to Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness being spinoffs (and not recording their home region as anything beyond "a faraway land"), there is no extra background for bringing over a Pokémon from the Orre region.
    • Sun and Moon give you special dialogue if you bring in specific Pokémon from the Virtual Console releases of Red, Blue, and Yellow to the Game Freak office, while Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon give you a set of Apricorn Balls and additional dialogue for bringing in Pokémon from the Virtual Console releases of Gold, Silver, and Crystal.
    • Having Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! save data awards you a special Pikachu/Eevee (depending on game version) in Pokémon Sword and Shield. The Pikachu and Eevee you get from this method have the Gigantamax factor, which was originally exclusive to this method for these species (since the release of Isle of Armor, you can now give a freshly-caught Pikachu or Eevee the Gigantamax Factor with Max Soup).
    • Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have two NPCs in Floaroma Town who will give you a Mew if you have save data from Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! or a Jirachi if you have save data from Sword and Shield. As of March 2022, having a Pokémon Legends: Arceus save that the main story has been completed on rewards the Azure Flute needed to battle and capture Arceus. And like in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, showing a Pokémon from the original Nintendo DS Sinnoh games to the Game Director at Hotel Grand Lake grants you a certificate.
    • Similarly, in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, having a Sword and Shield save will give you a Shaymin-themed kimono and a quest to obtain a wild Land Forme Shaymin, having a Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! save will give you masks based on Pikachu and Eevee, and having a Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl save will give you a Team Galactic outfit and a quest to obtain Darkrai. (Thankfully, neither of these two count towards the goal to complete the Pokédex in order to face the True Final Boss.) In a variation, there's one sidequest in Legends Arceus, leading to Manaphy and Phione, that is freely available in the story, but the clue about what to do to finish said quest is found in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. The player is meant to complete the quest by owning both games and reading the clue, but there's nothing stopping one from getting the information elsewhere.
    • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, your player character can get a custom phone case for their phone if their system has save data for Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Eevee!, Pokémon Sword and Shield, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, or Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
    • The successor to Pokémon Bank, introduced after Pokémon Sword and Shield, is Pokémon Home. As with Bank, it allows Pokémon from previous games to be transferred to the Switch titles- specifically, from Pokémon Bank, Pokémon GO, and Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!. It also reintroduces the ability to transfer Pokémon backwards from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet to the previous generation games.
    • This all means that you can still play with Pokémon that were generated in late November of 2002 at the earliest; old enough to get a driving license (if they weren't video game data of course) and older than the main demographic.
  • Digital Devil Saga 2 has a ton of save bonuses if the player has completed the first game. Bonuses include improved starting stats, special abilities, anti-element rings (gained by defeating the Bonus Bosses in the first game), and even getting Heat back into your party.
  • In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, you get some bonuses for having a completed save from Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army.
  • The Persona series:
    • Most American gamers are unaware of the fact that Persona 2 is a duology. If you complete Innocent Sin, you can transfer Tatsuya's stats to Eternal Punishment. Unfortunately for non-Japanese players, the only translated versions of the two games are on different consoles.
    • If you have an existing Persona 3 save when you load FES, you can transfer your attributes and Personae Compendium, effectively making FES a New Game Plus.
    • Predating all of these is Shin Megami Tensei if.... Upon reaching the World of Sloth, having save data from other Atlus games will get the player a large number of bonuses; having all the correct saves can get the player 3 free points in strength, 5 in intelligence, and 10 in agility. While this may not sound like much on paper, in gameplay it's like getting 18 extra levels, leaving the player just shy of being able to max out every stat.
    • The Updated Re Release of Persona 5, Persona 5 Royal, rewards players of the original game with 50,000 Yen, 3 Band-Aces (50% HP revival) and 3 Hogyoku Apples (Full Party Heal) if they have a save from the original on their system.
  • The Suikoden series uses this trope liberally.
    • By importing save data from the first game, a lengthy bonus scenario involving several of the previous game's main characters becomes available in Suikoden II. Additionally, one of the recipes (Gremio's Special Stew) can only be obtained by importing a savefile with all 108 Stars recruited.
    • Data can be copied from Suikoden II to Suikoden III to unlock hidden plays (with further bonuses for copying a save from Suikoden II that has had its bonuses unlocked by the copying of data from the first Suikoden — and in Japan, yet further bonuses for routing a Suikoden II save through the two Suikogaidens and then into Suikoden III, but those games never came to the US), and between Suikoden IV and Suikoden Tactics to unlock two extra characters. However, because IV jumps back in time 150 years, it doesn't accept load data from the earlier games... and V jumps back ahead to shortly before the first game, so it doesn't accept load data either.
  • If you unlock mecha in Super Robot Wars Link Battler, you can transfer them over to Super Robot Wars 64.
  • Tales Series
    • A completed Tales of Symphonia save file nets you a reward in its sequel if you plug the Gamecube's memory card into your Wii. Said reward is random, ranging from small/cheap healing items that end up saving you some cash to experience boost items for monsters.
    • Tales of Symphonia Chronicles rewards the players who have Save Datas from previous Tales games on the PS3 with costumes from said games (and Tales of the Abyss as well,) with them being Tales of Graces, Tales of Xillia and Tales of Vesperia; the funny thing is the Western version of Chronicles rewards the player for having a Save Data from Vesperia too, the Japanese Data, Vesperia on the PS3 never got released outside Japan. The only other way to unlock said outfits is to beat the game once.
    • Tales of Xillia 2 gives the player a pair of attachments, if the console contain previous Tales' save data. Having a save file for Tales of Graces gives the player a plushie Yuri Lowell and Sophie. And having the prequel's save data gives the player a plushie of Jude and Milla in their Xillia attire. DLC is also carried over to X2, and rather conversely, certain Xillia 2 costume DLC can be carried back over to the first game.
    • Tales of Zestiria carries on the tradition. The same saves (Graces, Xillia, Vesperia in Japan) add the same Sophie and Yuri plushies as well as Jude and Milla's for a Xillia 1 save, and now a save from the Chronicles versions of Symphonia and its sequel gets you a doll of Lloyd Irving and Marta Lualdi respectively, and a save from Xillia 2 gets you a Ludger Will Kresnik doll too.
  • A staple of the Trails Series games, starting with The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. If you have a cleared save file from First Chapter, you'll start off with Estelle at the level she last was at by the end of FC, capped at level 40 for balance purposes. You'll also be given a few goodies if you have 100% Completion. Several NPC characters will acknowledge jobs you've done for them, and there's a few scenes that change depending on the choices you've made in the prior game. The 3rd follows suit from SC, and the The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure and Trails of Cold Steel games have similar importing within their own arcs.
    • The Erebonia arc games requires some elaboration- namely, some choices you made on the first game will be reflected in the second game. And most of the choices made in the third game will be reflected in the fourth game. However, choices made in the second game will not influence the third game in any way due to a design decision by Falcomnote . However, the fourth game will also reward you handsomely if you have saves from the previous 3 games on your PC. This is also true for the PS4 edition of the game (with a gotcha in that the requirement is you have saves made by the "kai" PS4 remasters of the first two games).
  • Valkyria Chronicles:
    • Valkyria Chronicles II will allow you to unlock several bonus characters, including Isara Gunther who died in the original game if you have save data from Valkyria Chronicles moved over from your save there. She's an Armored Tech, and a good one too.
    • Having save data from II will get you Anisette as a playable character in Valkyria Chronicles III.
  • Wild ARMs 4 will give you a ton of rather sizable bonuses if you have a cleared Wild ARMs Alter Code: F save.
    • At the start of the game you'll recieve additional levels, Gella, and items, based on amount of obtained Sheriff Stars, number of killed enemies, and Mariel's level, respectively.
    • Certain locations have special red chests, which require either New Game Plus or Detector (acquired in the final dungeon) to find. With the bonus you'll be able to see them right off the bat.
    • Two of Raquel's special swords will become stronger based on amount of fought and avoided battles in WAAC:F.
    • Upgrades of Rudy'a ARM will give you a special badge and improve a certain ability of the Guest-Star Party Member.
    • Certain enemies will give more money and experience.
  • Starting Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Definitive Edition with a Xenoblade Chronicles 2 save on your Switch allows you to accept a one-time gift of 100,000G.
  • In Xenosaga, possessing Game Clear data from Episode I when starting Episode II gives your entire party the ability "Swimsuit", which dresses them up in swimsuits of various appeal, but more importantly is one of the only ways to boost your Speed, and can't be obtained any other way. Game Clear data from Episode II to Episode III also unlocks a couple new costumes as well, such as Shion's Vector uniform from I/II, which are again otherwise unobtainable. Both game's save data also allow for a bonus in starting XP and skill points for characters in the next game, though the benefits are severely curtailed; maxed-out levels in the first game will add perhaps 4-5 levels to your starting total in the second.
  • Several cases in the Yo-kai Watch games. Owning a copy of the first game lets you have access to three exclusive Yo-kai in the sequel (Komasan, Noko, and Buchinyan) - though, this is done by reading a photo taken using the Yo-kai Cam feature in the first game, rather than reading a save file directly. It's also possible to import save data from the Bony Spirits or Fleshy Souls games to Psychic Specters, allowing players to access the new content without having to start a new game. Linking the second game with Yo-kai Watch Blasters and Yo-kai Watch 3 gives you access to an S-Rank mascot (Jibanyan S, Komasan S, Komajiro S). Linking Blasters with the third game gives you the Blaster-variants of mascots (Jibanyan B, Komasan B, Usaypon B), as well as the Japan-only Sangokushi giving you six Commander Yo-kai (changed in localization to a pair of QR codes)
  • Ys IX: Monstrum Nox will give you strong accessories for save files of Ys: Memories of Celceta and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. Somewhat justified, given that IX takes place after these games, and these items can be Adol's keepsakes from past adventures.

    Fighting Game 

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In Battlefield: Bad Company and its sequel, players who own previous games in the series (or played the free game Battlefield Heroes) are considered "Battlefield Veterans" and receive a free F2000 (first game) or M1 Garand (second) for use in multiplayer. This continued in Battlefield 3, where Veterans receive three versions of the M1911 for multiplayer, and in Battlefield 4, where Veterans received a "Veteran Battlepack" including a camo pattern, the ACB-90 knife from BF3, and a scope for the .44 Magnum revolver.
  • In Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, you get an experience bonus based on how much experience you earned online in the first game.
  • Halo: Reach gives you extra money for armor if you've made progress in Halo 3 and ODST beforehand.
  • A Perfect Dark Zero save automatically unlocks four cheats on the Xbox Live Arcade version of Perfect Dark — the same four cheats that can also be gained through a Transfer Pack and the Game Boy Color Perfect Dark game on the Nintendo 64 version.
  • Having Resistance 2 for the PS3 linked up with Resistance: Retribution for the PSP will allow for PSP Plus, giving the player an almost entirely different storyline and locations to access within the PSP game.
  • The Borderlands franchise has several loyalty bonuses that are unlocked if the player has one or more savefiles from previous titles.
    • Having a savefile from the original game on your computer unlocks a set of heads and skins styled after the original Vault Hunters for Borderlands 2.
    • Having save data from Poker Night 2 (a Telltale Games tie-in product) and acquiring all of the bounties in that game unlocks several skins and heads for 2 (including Salvador's "Nothing Ventured" skin, Gaige's "Hippity Hoppity" mask, Axton's "Guy With The Gun" head, Maya's "Bluffer's Bane" poker visor, and Zero's "Are You Still There" skin).
    • Savefiles from one or both of the previous games unlock additional bonuses when importing into Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!. If data from one game is imported, the player receives a blue-quality weapon, 10 Moonstones and a set of skins (while importing only a file from 2 gives additional Badass Ranks). Importing data from both games gives all of the additional skin/head customizations, 30 Moonstones, two weapons and 500 Badass Ranks.
    • Importing data from Tales from the Borderlands into Pre-Sequel awards an additional set of head/skin customization options.
    • Importing data from a previous version of either 2 or Pre-Sequel into the Handsome Collection next-gen release offers 75 Golden Keys, a large chunk of Badass Ranks and additional customization options for both games, regardless of whether the data was imported for one game or the other.
  • Garry's Mod is capable of porting models from other Source Engine games installed on the system for use in the program. On a related note, Source Filmmaker is compatible with Gmod models but not always vice versa due to a difference in the source engine versions. However, Gmod models have a tendency to not render correctly in SFM; the most common problem being missing eye textures.
  • Minor example: if you have the Wolf Pack DLC for PAYDAY: The Heist, that same DLC is available to you in PAYDAY 2 without needing to purchase it separately.
  • Equally minor example in PAYDAY 3 - via the Infamous Rewards system, owning PAYDAY 2 and finishing particular achievements in that game would earn you cosmetics for the next one.
  • Existing Overwatch players will immediately gain access to the hero Kiriko in Overwatch 2, who is normally locked behind the game's battle pass. Since the second game replaced the first game, all 32 heroes of the first Overwatch remain playable in Overwatch 2, and many of the first game's maps and game modes are still available in the second.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III carries forward almost all of the content of the previous year's game - with the exception of War Tunes (which are simply not carried forward) and the maps (which are suggested to be added in later updates), everything that was available in Modern Warfare II can be purchased, unlocked or otherwise accessed in MWIII, and if you already unlocked or bought it in MWII then you will already have it in MWIII.

    Mecha Game 
  • Armored Core games within the same generation tend to allow you to transfer your pilot data between them— the reward being starting with your mech and cash from the other game. The option isn't available if you're playing the PAL version of Armored Core 2 and Another Age
  • Having Gundam Breaker save data will transfer all the Master Grade parts you've earned into Gundam Breaker 2, albeit scaled down to High Grade Lv.0.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Encounters In Space, having a completed save file from Mobile Suit Gundam Journey To Jaburo on the same memory card gives immediate access to TV Mode of the White Base campaign.

    Minigame Game 
  • Putting a Sega game in the GBA slot while playing Feel the Magic XY/XX on Nintendo DS unlocked special hats for the girl. The same items can be unlocked without the GBA games, but it takes a lot longer.
  • WarioWare: Touched!: Placing a WarioWare: Twisted! cartridge in the GBA slot of your Nintendo DS while playing Touched! will unlock the Mona Pizza music video. North American gamers probably didn't know about this Easter Egg at first, because Touched! was released before Twisted! in the States (in Japan, the reverse is true). This doesn't work in Europe, because Twisted! wasn't released there, and due to region lockout it's not possible to use a foreign copy. In Korea, where Twisted wasn't released either, the video is instead unlocked using WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$

  • A quasi-example. When the original release of Final Fantasy XIV was a colossal failure, Square Enix did not instantly close its servers. They instead allowed players to continue playing for free while they improved the game working towards its rerelease. When it was relaunched as 2.0: A Realm Reborn all accounts from 1.0 were transferred to the new servers. This let players come into the newly released game with fully level and geared characters (and also saved them from having to repurchase a new game), in much the way some games allow final phase beta players to keep their progress. Such "legacy" characters also get some different dialogue in parts of the game. In addition, during the final section of 1.0 they started to require subscriptions again; those who subscribed during that time got a permanent subscription discount, as a thanks for supporting the game even during its lowest moment.
  • Guild Wars 2: If you played the first game, owned the Eye of the North expansion, and linked your GW1 and GW2 accounts, you can get several items (from weapons and armor to titles to special Ranger pets) that can only be obtained by players who meet this description.
  • Downplayed in Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis: the two games were part of the same package in the initial release, and thus every single cosmetic item from base PSO2 transitioned to New Genesis intact. The downplay is that while the weapons and armor also carried over, they lost nearly all of the power they once had note , the powerful augments from before were downgraded to Legaro augments which were a pale shadow of their original state, and none of them can be upgraded in New Genesis. Still, they lack a level requirement, so you can use them while you get actual New Genesis gear. A thousand years of military technological evolution will do that to all your old stuff.
  • If you ever logged in RuneScape Classic, you'd unlock a special "Classic Cape" that could be worn in the modern game.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party: Star Rush: If the player uses an amiibo with save data from Mario Party 10 in certain game modes, they can unlock special perks, including more powerful Dice Blocks.

    Platform Game 
  • Kirby:
  • Having BoxBoy! and/or BoxBoxBoy! on your 3DS system will unlock the Qucy costume and Game Boy color palette option in the final game of the trilogy, Bye-Bye BoxBoy!. Otherwise, these are unlocked through 100% Completion. You'll also be able to use every costume you've unlocked in those games.
  • "Stop 'n' Swop" in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie was meant to be a rare cartridge-based form of this, whereby you could swap the two games over during play, taking items from one game to another to unlock secret bonuses. Changes to the Nintendo 64 prevented the idea from being fully realized until the Xbox Live Arcade remakes, where Stop 'n' Swop also unlocks additional content in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Doing Stop 'n' Swop between the Xbox Live Arcade versions of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie will give you three new bonuses in Tooie on top of the original four: a gamerpic, a Banjo-Kazooie theme, and Stop 'n' Swop II, which apparently involves three new eggs.
  • Loading Jenka's Nightmare with a save file from the Golden Ending of Cave Story unlocks several bonus goodies depending on which weapons, items, and Life Capsules were collected in the original game.
  • Putting one of the Game Boy Advance Kim Possible games into the GBA slot when playing the Nintendo DS game Kimmunicator would unlock one of three bonus outfits for the title character, one for each title.
  • In Mega Man X8, having a Mega Man X: Command Mission save on your memory card will let you fight Cut Man from the original Mega Man as a bonus boss in Optic Sunflower's stage, right before the boss proper. The PC and Legacy Collection ports scratches that (mainly because Command Mission never had a PC release), instead having you complete every area of the stage at the highest level to be allowed to meet Cut Man.
  • Putting Mega Man Zero 3 or 4 in the GBA slot when playing Mega Man ZX allows you unlock a door that lets you fight four of the bosses from said games. Doing both and defeating all eight bosses will unlock Model O. Without one of these two games, you'll instead have to fight a brutal Superboss to get it. In the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection, you can use the Link Mode feature to access the doors and fight the bosses.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime can be linked together with the Gamecube/GBA cable. You can wear the Fusion Suit in Prime, and play a port of the NES Metroid on your GameCube.
    • You can connect Metroid Fusion to Zero Mission (via link cable) for some bonus pics, including all the ending images from Fusion as well as the Japanese-exclusive ending pictures.
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has an unlockable feature that gives your ship bumper stickers for other Wii games on your system. These include Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which came out after Metroid Prime 3.
  • The web games Mega Man vs. Metroid and Mega Man vs. Ghosts 'n Goblins have interacting save files - beating Samus gets you the Missile Launcher and beating Arthur gets you the Lance, and both weapons can be used in either game. Beating both games unlocks the ability to play either game as Protoman.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
    • The Ratchet & Clank (2002) sequel Going Commando rewards players of the previous game with any of the five returning weaponsnote  being sold for free at the Gadgetron vendor on Barlow if you bought them in the first game. However because of the way enemies get stronger as you go through the sequel, the non-upgrading weapons from the first move into Scrappy Weapon status with frightening speed.
    • The third game, Up Your Arsenal, does it for the two previous games separately. Firstly, a 10% price discount on returning Gadgetron weapons if you have a Ratchet & Clank save from after the Hoverboard race on Kalebo IIInote , and Ratchet's Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal outfit from the first game as a skin if you have any save from that title. Secondly, if you had bought any of the five returning Going Commando weaponsnote , they'll be free of charge from Slim Cognito on Aquatos (and unlike the R&C1 weapons in 2, these weapons are overpowered, making it a real boon to get them for free).
    • The Future Story Arc does it too: while Quest for Booty doesn't reward a Tools of Destruction save, A Crack in Time gives bonuses for both predecessors. A Tools of Destruction save gets you a discount on returning weaponsnote , and a Quest for Booty save earns you a skin that adds a pirate hat and eyepatch to Ratchet's normal armour (which comes in handy if you got the final armor but want to have Ratchet's face exposed).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Early Sonic example (though also applicable in Mega Collection): The number of Chaos Emeralds obtained and level reached in Sonic 3 transfers over to Sonic & Knuckles, to say nothing of the Lock-On Technology of the latter game allowing either Knuckles in Sonic 2 or the minigame Blue Sphere to be played with certain Genesis/Mega Drive games.
    • Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Adventure 2 Battle have Chao systems that are cross-compatible with each other as well as with the Sonic Advance games.note  Using the GBA it's possible to bring Chao from one game into the other. A few other games, such as the GameCube version of Phantasy Star Online, include a downloadable Tails Chao that can be brought into the other games. The original Dreamcast versions of the games allow imports from the first Adventure game to the second, but not the other way around. Getting Maria's theme for the menu in SA2B also requires you to link the game with Sonic Advance.
    • Playing Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II on a system which has a saved game file for Episode I will unlock Episode Metal, in which you can play through several levels from Episode I as Metal Sonic, as well as using the updated physics engine from Episode II.
  • In Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! starting a new game on the same memory card as an already 100% completed save grants the player with the use of the permanent superflame powerup at the start of the new game.
  • Super Mario 3D World lets you play an altered version of the original Mario Bros. (entitled Luigi Bros) if you have New Super Luigi U data in celebration of The Year of Luigi. Without the previous save, you have to beat the game first in order to play Luigi Bros.; and since there's no compatibility between the respective Switch versions of New Super Mario Bros. U (which has Luigi U embedded) and 3D World, completing the latter will be the only possible method in that case anyway, thus averting this trope. In turn, having 3D World save data unlocks the first bonus chapter of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (composed entirely of reworked levels from the former title).
  • Tomba! 2 has several quests that can only be accessed by completing the first Tomba to a certain point and transferring the data over.
  • In the Gamecube version of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, you can unlock the original Prince of Persia by linking the GCN and GBA versions — but this isn't the only way to do it.
  • The Bionic Commando (2009) game has an unlockable "retro" skin for players who own both Bionic Commando and Rearmed on the same system, in addition to a secret room in Bionic Commando for players who have beaten Rearmed 100%.
  • This is a major mechanic in Skylanders.
    • Because the toys save all the data for the characters, it is not only possible, but encouraged to get a character to maximum level in the first game and just roll through the first few levels of the sequel.
    • The sequel also has an in-game "Accolade" and accompanying EXP multiplier for having Spyro, Gill Grunt, and Trigger Happy, the three characters packaged with the original game. (You can also get this by buying the sequel's versions of the characters separately, but those who bought the first game will have them by default.)
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt Series: Having save data for Azure Striker Gunvolt on your system will unlock a special piece of equipment for each of the playable characters in Azure Striker Gunvolt 2. Gunvolt himself recieves the Memento Pendant, which caps his maximum health to 100, but increases his chances of activating Anthem upon death. Copen, on the other hand, can activate the Shield Construct subroutine, which caps his maximum health to 100, but doubles his attack power. In the later Compilation Re-release Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack, which includes updated versions of both games, these bonuses are unlocked automatically.
  • Owning the original A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda on your Steam account along with its EX remake will unlock an Apollo drone for the latter, which help draw in lose materials from defeated enemies.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Some hats in Team Fortress 2, once purchased and in a player's backpack, will then be available in Portal 2 co-op.
  • You can import the stars you've made in Katamari Damacy into We Love Katamari, where they can be viewed on the Cosmos Map and rolled up in the "Roll Up the Sun" mission.
  • Professor Layton works in both directions: In addition to the first game giving you a password to unlock content in the second, the second game contains a password that can be used in the first game to unlock bonus content there, as well as a password for the third game. The third game has its own password that works in the second game. The pattern is repeated in the second trilogy of games. In all but the last two games, the passwords from future games unlock a Concept Art Gallery, while the passwords from the previous games unlock a bonus puzzle. In the case of the last two games, using the password from Azran Legacy unlocks an extra Sequel Hook cutscene in Miracle Mask, while using the Miracle Mask password, or just having a save file on the 3DS, unlocks a concept art gallery for the whole series along with an extra set of the daily download puzzles.

    Racing Game 
  • Rockstar Games made two games for the launch of the PlayStation 2: Smuggler's Run and Midnight Club. Players who have a save file from Smuggler's Run on their memory card get to drive the Baja Buggy from that game in Midnight Club, but only in free roam mode. Midnight Club 3: Remix also included a variation of this trope; by starting the game with a save file from the old, 'original' version, an option is provided to the player which transfers their entire progress on to the new version.
  • Burnout Revenge rewards Burnout 3: Takedown players with a borderline Game-Breaker - the second most powerful crash car in the game unlocked right at the start. And if you have a Madden NFL 06 save game on your memory card, a special Madden van will be unlocked when you start up Burnout Revenge on PlayStation 2.
  • The Crew Motorfest allows you to import most of your vehicles, vanities, and liveries from The Crew 2 at the beginning of the game. If this is declined for starting from a fresh slate instead, you can chose to import their content later. Not all cars can be transferred though, and any attached performance parts on them aren't carried over either.
  • Gran Turismo 4 gave bonuses for players who have a Gran Turismo 3 save file:
    • Transfer credits, up to 100,000. Normally, you start off with 10,000, which makes this a Disc-One Nuke that allows you to bypass the typical early-game money constraints and allowing you to purchase much more powerful cars and performance upgrades right from the get-go.
    • The B- and A-Licenses are also unlocked if you had them in GT3. However, the license trophies do not transfer and you will still need to earn them if you want the License Test prize cars.
  • Linking the PlayStation 2 and PSP versions of Crash Tag Team Racing unlocks two Battle Arenas and several PS2 cars.
  • Forza Motorsport:
    • All Forza games tie into Forza Rewards, which gives out weekly payments of extra credits in each game based on your play metrics across the whole series.
    • 4 will handsomely reward players with a Forza 3 game save in the form of extra credits, up to 8 free cars depending on the save level along with all the ultra-rare Unicorn Cars transferring, and an achievement.
    • Forza Horizon rewards the player who has any Forza Motorsport game save on their console with free cars, as well.
    • Forza Horizon 3 rewards players who have either Halo 5: Guardians or The Master Chief Collection with a code that adds the franchise's Warthog to the list of available vehicles, which really doesn't look that out of place on the game's Australian setting.
    • Forza Horizon 3 also rewards players who have, of all games, Final Fantasy XV, by adding the game's signature vehicle, the Regalia, to the list of available vehicles.
  • F-Zero GX actually allows the sharing of data between itself and the Arcade Game F-Zero AX. As AX machines are hard to find in the US (at the height of their popularity there were a grand total of 20 of them available to the English-speaking world) and few people read the back of the box, hardly anyone ever noticed. The AX version does contain a semi-exclusive cup, which can be unlocked in GX if you beat the courses in AX with a GC memory card inserted to the machine; but because of the rarity of the AX machines, the only way to unlock this AX cup that most players have access to is to beat every cup on Master difficulty. This becomes slightly less hard to do when it was discovered that AX is actually contained within GX!
  • In Jak X, if you have a save from Jak 1, II or 3, you'll unlock that game's version of Jak as a racer, and the Sandshark from the third game too! As well you can hook up a PSP via USB and unlock the main cast of Daxter as racers. This was retained in the PlayStation 4 version as all four PS2 titles were ported, although the Daxter skins unlock automatically.note 
  • Mario Kart Wii: Having a save game from Super Mario Galaxy and then playing 50 races is the easier method for unlocking Rosalina as a playable character. In comparison, the default unlocking method consists of earning a Star rank in all eight cups in Mirror Mode.
  • Arcade Games with card systems will often allow you to transfer data from the previous game in the series, carrying over data that otherwise will have to be earned all over again. Some examples:
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2005 start you off with $30,000 to buy your first car, which basically means a choice of three out of the four initially unlocked cars. If you're playing this game on a system that also saw the release of Need for Speed: Underground 2, if you have the save file for that game (all platforms) or at least installed it (PC), you get an extra $10,000 to start with, expanding your available starter choices to all four. This also applies to its direct successor with Most Wanted.
  • Pokémon Dash unlocks extra maps based on the Pokémon in the active party of the game in the GBA slot.
  • Shady Lewd Kart has a menu option called "Lock 'n' Lewd", which checks if your PC has any save data from other Shady Corner-published games and unlocks corresponding karts, gallery images, pillow designs, hats, and sacks of coins.
  • Split/Second: The decal "Have We Met Before?" which requires you to have a save file from Pure. It's the only decal that doesn't also grant you an achievement/trophy.

    Real Time Strategy 

    Rhythm Game 
  • Patapon 2 allows you to carry over a saved file from the first game- you don't get to keep any of your troops or weapons, but you keep all of your materials, you can find a select few of your previous file's weapons during the first hunting mission, and any Rarepons you had can be made instantly without having to go through the whole evolution tree.
  • DanceDance Revolution:
    • The Japanese console games have an inverted example: each succeeding game offers you an option to update the preceding game's save file, which will automatically open all content from that game you have yet to unlock. For example, you can use DDRMAX2 to unlock all songs on DDRMAX and in turn you can use EXTREME to unlock all songs on DDRMAX2. This feature is never implemented in the Anglophone PS2 or Xbox games, but does appear in the Wii games.
    • STRIKE allows you to unlock three crossover songs by default if you have the save file for the original games. Having a beatmania IIDX 10th Style, pop'n music 12 Iroha, and GuitarFreaks V& DrumMania V save files will unlock "DoLL", "Knock Out Regrets", and "MIDNIGHT SPECIAL", respectively, by default.
    • 3rd Mix includes a disc swap option that lets you play all of the songs in 2nd mix with 3rd Mix's interface.
  • DJMAX Portable 2 has the Link Disc feature, which, with a copy of DJMAX Portable, allows you to play every song from DJMAX Portable on the interface of Portable 2. With UMDs, this is easy enough, but with ISOs, which most players are using, the process is more complicated. DJMAX Portable Clazziquai Edition's Link Disc is limited to unlocking songs in Clazziquai, and DJMAX Portable Black Square enables Portable 2-style linking with Clazziquai.
  • Rock Band:
    • If you own a copy of the game and its sequel on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, you can import nearly every song from the first game and play it on the second one at little cost. The same goes for the third and fourth games; in essence, each new title inherits the tracks and DLC packs from its predecessors.
    • This trend has continued for the numerous spin-off games in the series, such as LEGO Rock Band (where you can export the tracklist to Rock Band and Rock Band 2, and play child-friendly import and DLC songs) and Green Day: Rock Band (which is also compatible with pre-bought Green Day DLC). The Beatles: Rock Band notably does not include this feature; Beatles songs and non-Beatles songs are mutually exclusive.
    • Implemented similarly to Rock Band's Track Packs in Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero, with respect to Guitar Hero World Tour and Smash Hits - you only need the manual, whose code on the back is unused, and enough money to cover the cost of relicensing. The reason is that instead of exporting the data, you actually download revised data (same charts, only with new features like band moments and Expert+ for Drummers where applicable). The disc is not needed at all.
  • The Dreamcast version of Space Channel 5 Part 2 allows you to unlock Mr. Blank and Cecil right off the bat if you have save data from the first game.
  • If you have save data from Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F, any character costumes you acquired in that game will be unlocked right away when imported to Project Diva F 2nd without the need to purchase them again.

  • Absented Age: Squarebound: After the ending, the player will be sent back to Mika's house, where an anchor appears in the bathroom. The anchor is supposed to help the player transfer bonuses from their clear save to the sequel, Absented Age: Ghostbound.
  • The JauntTrooper games can be completed in order by a single character.
  • Castle of the Winds came in two parts. The Shareware first part allows you to save your game after beating the Big Bad of the game, where you can then continue it in the commercial second part exactly as left. This created a bit of a problem for characters created anew in the second part, since it's tuned for an already-leveled and geared character. It got around this by giving new characters some instant levels and gear, although characters brought forward from the first part are typically significantly better off.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Red (for GBA) and Blue (for DS) can connect to each other. In addition to item trading and rescue missions, the dual slot mode allows you to fight your Red team as an Optional Boss in Blue. These were removed in the DX remake, as it essentially combined both games together.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • There is a system in Geometry Wars Galaxies for both the Wii and DS which is unlocked by linking them via wireless connection. As these are among the highest-scoring levels in the game, it is nearly impossible to ascend the scoreboard without linking.
  • In the Xbox Live Arcade version of Radiant Silvergun, having at least one achievement from Ikaruga unlocks Ikaruga Mode, which uses the chain combo system from that game.

    Simulation Game 
  • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War has a couple of these. If you have an Ace Combat 04 save on your memory card, you can unlock one of the superplanes, the X-02 Wyvern, after the very first mission (rather than having to complete the game twice with two different Ace styles). If you have an Ace Combat 5 save, you can unlock the ADF-01 FALKEN without having to get all three Supreme Ace medals (instead settling for 3 normal Ace medals like with the ADFX-01 Morgan). If you have saves from both games, both the Wyvern and the FALKEN will be unlocked after the first mission. This would dip into Game-Breaker territory, were it not for the fact that the player still needs to purchase the planes with in-game currency.
  • The Animal Crossing series makes use of this quite a bit.
    • A month after the release of Doubutsu no Mori +, Nintendo opened a Data Moving Service where, for a ¥630 fee (approximately $6 USD), players could send them an N64 Controller Pak with save data for the original Doubutsu no Mori and a 59-block GameCube memory card with save data for + and transfer over their player data to the latter game. Player characters, catalog information, encyclopedia information, saved letters, and pocketed items could all be carried over (including the Dreadful Painting and Novel Painting, which are not otherwise obtainable in + without hacking thanks to the source art still being under copyright at the time), but not letters stored in the player's inventory, favor-exclusive items, the I Love 64 Shirt and N64 Shirt (which are instead replaced with Patched Shirts), and catalog information for both those two clothing items and the Dreadful and Novel Paintings (as mentioned before, the painting items themselves are transferable, they just won't be added to the catalog and can't be donated to the Museum). The Data Moving Service eventually shut down a few years after it began; no information exists as to when exactly occurred, but the site for it went offline in 2005.
    • Doubutsu no Mori e+ would later offer a similar system as the Data Moving Service, in which players could copy their characters from + into the newer game, along with their name, birthdate, encyclopedia information, personal patterns, and catalog information. Admittedly, the feature considerably less comprehensive than the Data Moving Service but still useful, plus the player can import the data themselves this time (thanks to + and e+ being released on the same console) and doesn't have to worry about sending anything over to Nintendo.
    • Animal Crossing: City Folk lets a player import a character from the predecessor Animal Crossing: Wild World. Only the name, face, hair, and catalog transfer; relationships, clothing, items, and money do not. The data on Wild World stays intact after this is done, so the data that isn't transferred isn't gone for good. Resetti will also appear at the start of the game to thank you for playing both versions.
    • amiibo save data from Happy Home Designer on Nintendo 3DS can be transferred to amiibo Festival on Wii U.
    • QR codes for designs are fully cross-compatible between New Leaf and Happy Home Designer, and through the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app can also be used in New Horizons.
    • In Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome amiibo, there is a new option in the title screen menu called "Link HHD Data", which unlocks the Happy Home Challenge furniture from Happy Home Designer if the player has it. The game makes a distinction between the retail and downloadable versions — if the player has the retail version of Happy Home Designer, they'll need to replace the New Leaf or New Leaf - Welcome amiibo Game Card with the one for Happy Home Designer in order to read its data.
    • Players of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp can unlock exclusive items in the catalog for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
  • Gas Station Simulator is the beginning of a Shared Universe involving two other upcoming titles, Road Diner Simulator and Motel Simulator, and player saves will affect each other. Patrons and facilities of one will influence the others, as will player behavior; one example cited by the developers is breaking into cars in Gas Station will make customers leery of staying in the motel due to feeling unsafe.
  • Newly matched couples from Kitty Powers' Matchmaker can be transferred over to Kitty Powers' Love Life with a code. However, you won't be able to receive your client's letter about how their relationship is going if you export the couple.
  • Monster Rancher:
    • In Monster Farm DS, one method of unlocking monsters is by inserting a game - any GBA game - into the GBA slot, and some formula works out what monster to make, but is still played straight as there are two special monsters that can only be unlocked with this feature, with the required games being the two GBA games of the Monster Farm franchise. (That is, the Japanese versions of those games. Monster Rancher is the English name of the franchise, and the English versions of the GBA game do not give the special monsters.)
    • The PS1 game Monster Rancher 2 gives a Sueki Suezo, which has extremely high stats but low lifespan, when you insert the Monster Rancher 1 disk during monster creation.)
  • Story of Seasons:
    • In Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (GBA) connecting to a Gamecube with Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life unlocks Van and Ruby, from whom you can buy certain bonus items. On the flip side: playing AWL with FoMT connnected unlocks the hot springs (where your character can recover lost health and stamina without the use of foodstuffs).
    • If you play Harvest Moon DS with Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town in the GBA slot, the inhabitants of Mineral Town will visit Forget-Me-Not Valley periodically. You can even date and marry some of them, though the game will end the moment you marry them. Going even further, if that particular copy of Friends of Mineral Town has linked up with a copy of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, then a tombstone for that game's character will appear in game.
    • In Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns, having a cleared sava data — meaning the player has gotten all the towns up to Rank A, seen the resulting cutscene, and completed the Farming Tips — unlocks two new personalities that the player can choose for a new game. Miracle Worker allows the player to carry over the money, the clothes in the closet, and their stamina hearts to a new game, making the beginning much easier. In contrast, Weakling sets the new game to something of a hard mode, where nothing is carried over, and the player starts with two hearts instead of the typical five. This can be done as long as the save exists.
    • Having Rune Factory 4 Special save data will cause two of the bachelors from the game, Doug and Margaret, to appear in Rune Factory 5.
  • On the PC, the SimCity series has a long history of cross-version and even cross-product examples:
    • SimCity 2000 allows you to load SimCity games
    • SimCity 3000 lets you import SimCity 2000 and SimCity games
    • SimCity 4 lets you import sims from the first The Sims as citizens.
    • Streets of SimCity and SimCopter both let you import SimCity 2000 cities.
    • The Sims 2 allows you to import small cities from SimCity 4 as a neighborhood.
  • Players of The Sims 4 receive special plumbob-shaped lamps if they also own The Sims 3, one each for the base game and every corresponding Expansion Pack.

    Sports Game 
  • WWE Legends of Wrestlemania uses a save file from SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 to import characters from that game. While it doesn't include the entire roster (anyone who was no longer part of the WWE roster didn't carry over) or the DLC characters, it does let players import their created characters.
  • Inazuma Eleven 3 has a "Super Link" feature where you can import many (but not all) characters from your save file on the second game. However, to prevent you from immediately assembling a team of Disc One Nukes right out of the gate, EXP and learned techniques can't be imported; you simply get a clean-slate copy of the character.
  • A save for Backyard Basketball unlocks Barry Dejay in Backyard Baseball.
  • Most EA Sports titles reward players for playing earlier versions of the game, specifically versions from the previous year.
    • The 2004 version of EA Sports releases (NHL 2004, NASCAR Thunder 2004, Madden NFL 2004, NBA Live 2004, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004, etc.) have an interconnected profile feature for the player called EA Sports Bio, where you can view your achievements and playtime for several 2004 year EA Sports games on the same platform. Through gaining "levels" on your Bio through playing the games, you also earn rewards within the games.
    • The College Football players you create in later editions of EA's NCAA Football series can have pro careers by being imported to your copy of corresponding editions of the Madden NFL series. If you also own NFL Head Coach 09, you can use its advanced play editor to import custom plays into ''Madden 09.
    • Loading NASCAR Thunder 2003 with a save from that year's Madden unlocks the secret track Tiburon International Speedway.
    • If you load up EA Sports UFC 2 with an EA Sports UFC save on your profile, then you get to play as Bruce Lee (normally a DLC character) for free.
  • Unlocking the hidden character Jake "The Snake" Roberts in WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006 requires connecting with the PSP version of the same game. Yes, that's right, you need to own the exact same game on two different platforms for this one.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • If data from the mobile game Deus Ex GO is imported into Deus Ex: Mankind Divided with several accomplishments completed (namely, completing the main campaign, getting Mastermind Status for every level and completing two weekly level packs), the player will begin the game with up to five extra Praxis Kits.
  • Metal Gear Solid:
    • The first game used the save data to mess with the player's head. Psycho Mantis can read your mind (actually, your memory card), and will not only comment on your playstyle, but also tell you what games you like to play. In the original PSX version, it looked for Konami titles (such as Suikoden, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and even Snatcher and Policenauts in the Japanese version - having a save file for both unlocks a special message from Hideo Kojima); in the GameCube version (The Twin Snakes), it looks for Nintendo titles (including Super Smash Bros. Melee and Eternal Darkness, made by the same team behind the remake). This also appears in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, when Mantis returns and tries to read your memory card... then realizes there is no memory card, and freaks the hell out.
    • Completing both Metal Gear Ac!d and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater allows you to hook your PSP up to the PS2 via a USB cable and automatically unlock three bonus items which can only be obtained otherwise by long, difficult and arduous means. This also applies to the Subsistence edition of MGS3 and Metal Gear Acid 2.
    • In the PSP game Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, having a save from the two Acid games and the Digital Graphic Novel unlocks Teliko, Venus and Zero respectively for the second playthrough.
    • Data from Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes can be imported into the associated mobile companion app to unlock additional officers, soldiers, armored vehicles and Metal Gear models based on certain feats that have been done during the main game.
    • Data from Ground Zeroes can be imported into Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. This includes any soldier or POW extracted by helicopter (who become units in Mother Base over the course of the first 12 missions). Additionally, depending on whether certain missions were completed ("Deja Vu" and "Intel Operative Rescue"), you can unlock Hideo as an S-Rank Intel specialist early, as well as get the SV-Sneaking Suit and Solid Snake uniform from the game. Any savefile imported also unlocks a gold-plated Bionic Arm once the Bionics Specialist is rescued in Mission 5.
  • In Dishonored, it's possible to retain the Chaos levels and all purchased upgrades in the transition from the two story DLCs The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches.
  • The equipment in Hitman (2016) carries over into Hitman 2 via The Legacy Pack DLC, which ports the entirety of the former game into the latter. You still have to unlock the weapons again. Played straight between Hitman 2 and Hitman 3, which lets you carry progression from the former into the latter.

    Strategy RPG 
  • If you have a saved file of SakuraWars on your PS2 memory card, it will allow you to unlock otherwise un-playable levels and secrets when you play Sakura Wars 3 and Sakura Wars V: Episode 0 with the same memory card. The Dreamcast version of Sakura Wars 3 also opens up new dialogue options if you have a save from the first two games.
  • Having a save from Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness on the same memory stick as the PSP port of Disgaea 2 will unlock the Female Samurai class, which wasn't in the base game. She's included by default in the PC release.
  • If you have a Disgaea 3 save on your PlayStation 3 when you play Disgaea 4, you'll unlock a few Cam-Pain symbols ahead of time. If you perform this with their respective Play Station Vita releases, you'll instead unlock Stella and Rutile in the latter game.
  • The various Arc the Lad sequels have bonus content and characters that can only be unlocked by save files from the previous games.
  • Having Yggdra Union in the GBA slot while playing Knights in the Nightmare gives you the opportunity to recruit Pamela at a random point later in the game, and the tutorial will have Yggdra as its guide instead of Maria, with arranged music from Yggdra Union in the background.
  • Playing Final Fantasy Tactics A2 with Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in the GBA slot unlocks the Clan Privilege Libra early (which shows traps).
  • Fire Emblem:
    • If you have a GameCube memory card with Path of Radiance save data plugged into your Wii when you make a new game on Radiant Dawn, characters that are in both games (everyone from Path of Radiance except Largo) can have their stats improved. In theory anyway. A rather nasty bug in the North American version of Radiant Dawn, caused by the arbitrary renaming of difficulty settings in the localization, makes the game crash when this is attempted if there are any easy difficulty saves on the memory card.
    • Path of Radiance also has some bonus unlockables of its own that can be achieved by linking up with a GBA with Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, or (Japanese version only) Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade inserted.
    • In order to hear a conversation between Soren and Ike in Radiant Dawn, you'll need a save game file from Path of Radiance. The relationship level between both characters needs to be A in both games. There are other requirements but this is the main one.
    • If you have StreetPass data from Fire Emblem: Awakening on your Nintendo 3DS system, you can get Awakening's Emblem Shield as an accessory in Fire Emblem Fates.
    • Players who bought Fire Emblem: Three Houses and redeemed Gold Points for the game prior to June 29, 2020 would get the main character, Byleth (male), as a hero in Fire Emblem Heroes.
    • Players who bought Fire Emblem Engage and had a My Nintendo account could redeem a reward in Heroes, earning five Summoning Orbs for the mobile game and the Order of Heroes Item Set (three weapons and three stat-boosting rings, based on the three main protagonists of Heroes) for the console game.
  • Super Robot Wars W and K both give you very good mech parts if you use one of the Japanese GBA cartridges in the Slot-2. And a very good part if you use the Game Boy Super Robot Wars 2 (part of the Famicom Mini collection).
  • If you have Super Robot Wars: Original Generation 1 or 2 in your GBA slot when you first start playing Endless Frontier, you're given a corresponding accessory that provides decent stat boosts.

    Survival Horror 
  • Resident Evil: Outbreak File #2's option menu allows you to import your purchased characters/costumes from File #1, as well as export those you purchased in File #2 back into File #1. They planned ahead and had characters and costumes that would have appeared in File #3 had it been released, but these can only be accessed with a cheat device or by hacking the game.
  • In Dead Space 2, starting a new game with a save file from Dead Space will give you access to a "refurbished" plasma cutter - which is really just the weapon from the first game (that can't be obtained any other way). Starting a new game with a save file from Dead Space: Ignition will net you a Hacker RIG (which can be very useful in later parts of the game).
  • Silent Hill 3 has an Easter Egg only available if you have a Silent Hill 2 save file on your memory card. Examine a toilet in one of the mall's bathrooms, and the game will say there's something stuck in here, then ask if you want to retrieve it. If you say "yes", Heather will try to get whatever is stuck here, but will eventually gross out and refuse to do it. This is a Shout-Out to Silent Hill 2, where you must retrieve a safe box combination from a wallet stuck in a toilet. You can find a few other easter eggs if you examine the mailboxes in Woodside Apartments, inspect the fencing on the roof of Brookhaven, and look around Heaven's Night.
  • The Silver Falls franchise has the Code Linker system. Each game provides a five character blue code that can be entered into other games to to create a yellow code; entering the yellow code into the original game unlocks extra content in it.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves awards bonus in-game money in the multiplayer mode for playing Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, up to $100,000 for unlocking the Platinum Trophy.
  • The Suffering lets you do this. The sequel not only has multiple ending but multiple beginnings. Normally you start with the neutral beginning, but having a savegame from the first game lets you chose the appropriate start.
  • Unlocking three achievements in the first Gears of War game unlocks three multiplayer characters in Gears of War 2, and having any achievement in Gears 1 on the PC is the only way to unlock the Chrome Sawed-Off Shotgun in Gears of War 3.
  • Splatoon 3: Save data for Splatoon 2 can be transferred to this game. Doing so will give the player three Gold Sheldon Licenses to unlock any main weapon irrespective of their level; immediate access to the ranked modes (starting at Rank B- instead of C- if they reached or surpassed that rank in 2) and matchmaking to players of similar skill level; give Captain (aka the original Agent 3) and Eight their appearances from Octo Expansion if they'd played that campaign; and a truncated version of the Salmon Run tutorial if they'd played that mode, with Mr. Grizz acknowledging you as a returning employee. In addition, if the player has any amiibo that they used in Splatoon 2, then using them in Splatoon 3 automatically unlocks all of their related gear.

    Turn-Based Strategy 

    Western RPG 
  • Mass Effect is famous for this on a level above and beyond most other games: the entire trilogy is treated as a single saga, with a large focus on player choices affecting the story. Thus, the showcase feature is that your choices are remembered in your save files, and a completed save from one game can be imported into the sequel, affecting the story and game world. This can range from small details like radio ads to whether major characters are alive or not, which compound over the course of the trilogy (this is also used for choices with results in the same game, too!). The brilliant part is that every decision you make is tracked in your save even if they're never brought up in one game or another, meaning any given decision you make might be important later after all. However since the trilogy is over and millions have played it back-to-front, the decisions that are reflected later have been well-documented by this point.note . Regardless, Mass Effect 2 and 3 also offer rewards for importing profiles from the previous entry, a more traditional application of this trope.
    • In Mass Effect 2, having Level 50+ or Level 60 Shepard imported from Mass Effect 1 will start the game off with more XP (up to 4,000), bonus money (up to 50,000) and resources (up to 10,000 of each), and slightly filled Paragorn and/or Renegade bars. Getting the Rich achievement for holding 1,000,000 credits in your wallet at once will also gift 100,000 credits when imported to ME2. Every import also preserves the decisions made in the first game, the biggest of which being whether or not you saved/killed the Rachni Queen, the Council and/or Wrex, the Virmire survivor, etc. Notably, not importing a ME1 save will give you the worst possible start in ME2 (a Shepard that is assumed to have taken all Renegade options and killed the Council/Wrex/the Rachni Queen), and certain conversations will be different and assume the player is unfamiliar with the lore and world. Mass Effect 2 also has a DLC interactive catchup comic that lets players make the six most important choices from the first game... and nothing else. As well, there are exactly three decisions a player can take in the first game that don't carry over properly into the second:
      • If Conrad Verner is still alive, a bug in the first game means that both the paragon and renegade flags are set for his scene, and Mass Effect 2 reads the renegade flag first so assumes this is the path Shepard took (and this is Lampshaded by Conrad himself in the third game, hence why the Legendary Edition doesn't fix it). There is however a Game Mod which does fix this.
      • The paragon-exclusive mission to save a science group from some terrorists (with the best result being the terrorists dead but all the scientists alive) also doesn't set properly, so should the player listen to the news reports in the second game, it's implied that while the scenario did take place, the scientists didn't survive and the company is going to be forced to close. This is fixed in the Legendary Edition.
      • At the end of the first game, the player can choose either Udina or Anderson to represent humanity on the Council. Due to a design oversight, this decision doesn't happen until after the importable save file is generated, so the player has to be asked again at the beginning of Mass Effect 2. This is changed in the Legendary Edition, adding an extra save point after the decision and removing the subsequent question in the second game.
    • If the Mass Effect: Galaxy mobile game is completed and its save data imported into Mass Effect 2, additional dialogue options will be available in Mass Effect 2 if both Jacob and Miranda are in the party during the Omega: Packages for Ish sidequest.
    • In Mass Effect 3, upgrading the Normandy, holding a lot of material resources, and completing the DLCs will boost several of your War Assets. Your level is also carried over so that Shepard starts 3 at the same level they ended 2 at (helpful since 3 has doubled the level cap)note . As before your decisions from the previous two games are carried over, including actions in 1 that were never referenced in 2. The DLC catchup comic also returns and is expanded to cover the events of 2, although as before this is rather limited and it's impossible to get anywhere close to the positive outcomes possible by using the comic compared to just playing the first two games outright.
      • Plot choices are of course carried over as well, including the Mass Effect: Genesis interactive comic if applicable, the DLC-only characters Zaeed Massani and Kasumi Goto, and DLC missions which have direct influence on the world. Depending on which characters lived or died, certain sidequests will have different dialogue/cutscenes or will be permanently inaccessible. And again, starting 3 from scratch leads to negatively-assumed decisions: apart from the defaults in 1 mentioned above, DLC squadmates are never recruited, virtually no loyalty missions are completed, Tali is exiled, and Grunt, Thane, Jack, Samara, Legion and virtually the entire Cerberus crew of the Normandy SR-2 are dead.
      • Several items were originally only available through completing tie-in products. Playing and completing the demo of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and having it on your Origin Account would unlock the Reckoner-Knight Armor and Chakram Launcher weapon (though the latter was later included proper in the Omega DLC and the armor in Legendary Edition, helpful since the original method stopped working once EA shut down Amalur's servers). Completing the demo for Battlefield 3 and importing it into the game also unlocked a special armor for multiplayer early, before its inclusion in the Retribution DLC pack.
      • The Citadel DLC carries over certain characters (like Wrex/Wreav), romance options and plot flags from the main game, (only Lair of the Shadow Broker from 2 does this to a similar degree).
      • Probably the most obscure is the special Intel Bonus for +10 Weapon / Power damage, which is unlocked by importing a save from 2 where Kelly Chambers is alive, you bought the Prejek Paddlefish and kept it alive until the end of the game, imported that save into 3, finishing 3 with that save and then starting New Game Plus with it. There is no hint whatsoever that this exists until you actually unlock it.
      • Within the Expanded Galaxy Mod, the cabin items obtained in previous games (including Shepard's dogtags and the Prothean Sphere) can be reacquired and displayed in the Captain's Cabin, whereas they cannot be acquired in the base game. Additionally, certain feats performed in previous games (including, but not limited to, whether or not the Krogan were helped across all three games, or whether Cerberus were hindered at every possible opportunity in the series) are the only way to get the best outcomes - and exclusive items - during the Tuchanka mission and Minuteman Station Assignment.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda, being the intended start of a new storyline, also has this feature in the save data. However since Andromeda got a rather tepid reception at best, it's unlikely that this save information will ever be used in the future, making it an Aversion of sorts.
  • In a rather painful example, if you import a character from Alternate Reality: The City into Alternate Reality: The Dungeon, they are woefully underpowered compared to a native created character. The original concept of the Alternate Reality series was to be 8 games which, when complete would form one large world which the player could move around at will. It would not be necessary to import saves from one module to the next, the character would move to a new/previous area just by inserting the appropriate data disk (this was before hard drives were common, let alone standard equipment). Unfortunately, due to corporate problems, the game only made it as far as the second installment and ended up with a one-way import from the first game to the second.
  • A new game from Chapter 2 of Deltarune may be started using data from a completed save file of the previous chapter, which allows items, equipment, and money to carry over from Chapter 1 to Chapter 2. It also allows the game to remember your dialogue choices from the previous chapter.
  • Penny Arcade Adventures allows you to keep your characters' levels by transferring a completed game save from Episode 1 to Episode 2. Any extra experience points that you earned above the initial level cap of 15 are still counted toward the next level, and will make your quest for earning level 30 a bit easier.
  • The Might and Magic series does this amazingly well, and is a rare two-way example. Characters can travel back and forth freely between games IV and V, Clouds of Xeen and Darkside of Xeen. Having both games installed at the same time also opens up a new high-level endgame called World of Xeen.
  • Sierra's Quest for Glory. Every game in the series after the first allows importing earlier characters, meaning that if you play your cards right you can start each game significantly stronger than a brand-new character, and with a ton of cash to boot. In Quest for Glory II, a player who's conducted the entire game virtuously and gone well out of his way and against common game mechanics (for instance, returning a reward) to do so will have his character receive a Flaming Sword and the hidden "Paladin" class as the last scene of the ending; both are only usable in the sequels. Fittingly enough, the Paladin's hat is selfless good. Since it's permanently missable, Quest for Glory III features a Paladin quest that only takes up half the game, while Quest for Glory IV lets one change an imported character due to a bug in reading the old save files.
  • Though this was dead for many years, it's not really all that new on computers: in early installments of Ultima, Bard's Tale or Wizardry, it's possible to import a player from each game in the same series into the next game - although this ended at least a decade before the release of Ultima IX.
    • This trope resulted in the quirk of a game that in itself does not favour a gender having a Game-Favored Gender: in the first two Bard's Tale games, the gender of the adventurers is not selectable, and they are all male. In the third, females are an option, and equal to creating a male character... but since they hadn't been in the earlier games female characters can't get any of the very useful old save bonuses.
  • Wizardry:
    • The series lets you do this in the second, third, and fifth games by letting you import characters from previous games (except the fourth, which is a standalone adventure) to make descendants as playable characters. These have greatly lowered stats, and are at level one. However, they keep the same job as their parents, letting you start out with the advanced classes.
    • Wizardry VIII, the last game of the series, pushes the envelope by having you not only keep your character, but some of the allies and affiliations they had made in the previous game. This changes your starting location to your ally's base, and severely alters the way in which you can resolve the plot... assuming, that is, you were one of the few who still had their Wizardry VII saves from nine years ago!
  • Both Neverwinter Nights games allow you to save your characters and load them into the Expansion Packs and free content modules so that you can continue their adventures over multiple stories.
  • The Baldur's Gate series has this in two main ways: Character Exporting and Save File Importing.
    • Character File Exporting gives the player the chance to play with a Player Character used in a previous campaign. This allows the player to start at a higher level, benefit from the use of manuals and tomes used to raise their character stats and keep their Bhaalspawn powers.
    • Save File Importing allows the player to transfer their save files from one chapter of the series to another. Like Character File Exporting this is useful for increased XP and better stats via manuals and tomes, but it also allows them to keep specific pieces of equipment from game to game. As of the release of Siege of Dragonspear, this is how it works:
      • Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition (which includes Tales of the Sword Coast) files can be exported to Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear or Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition. This allows the player to bring a party of their choice into Siege of Dragonspear as well as certain magic items they otherwise can't obtain during the Dragonspear campaign. It also allows the player to pick certain items to export to Baldur's Gate II, which it shares with Siege of Dragonspear below.
      • Siege of Dragonspear save files can be imported into Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition. This allows the player to import items from the following tables: The Golden Pantaloons, a Joke Item that serves a purpose in the endgame of the saga, one of four magic armoursnote , one of four mid-to-high-tier magic itemsnote , certain magic weapons note  and up to ten magic weapons and items found during the Dragonspear campaignnote . The items from the original game can be found throughout the initial dungeon, while the Dragonspear items are scattered throughout the rest of the Shadows of Amn campaign in the loot piles of certain dungeons and the inventories of certain merchants.
    • Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition allows files from its Shadows of Amn Campaign to be imported into its Throne of Bhaal campaign. Some weapons and items can only be brought over in this way (including crafted weapons like Crom Faeyr), but its most notable quality is that the Golden Pantaloons from the first game, along with the Silver Pantaloons obtained during Shadows of Amn and the Bronze Pantalettes obtained during Throne of Bhaal can be combined into the Big Metal Unit, a highly-powerful armour that comes with its own unique weapon.
  • Fable II has a little quirk which means that in order to achieve 100% Completion on it, you also have to buy the Xbox Live Arcade game Fable II Pub Games, which basically uss a relatively obscure gameplay mechanic of Fable II to give the player otherwise unobtainable items which are then transferable to the main game. They later released the DLC "See The Future" which allows players to obtain the items via an in-game store tacked on with the DLC. The third game refers to the second's protagonist as either King or Queen of Bowerstone based on your choice in Fable II. Dialogue that would reference major story choices was planned, but ultimately not implemented.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Expansion Pack Awakening allows you to import your character from Dragon Age: Origins. If you don't take precautions you can lose all the uber-gear that was equipped on your teammates for the Final Battle, as well as most DLC gear other than that from Return To Ostagar. It's still better to start with your old character (who is already regarded as a national hero, as opposed to an interloper from a neighbouring and rival nation) from the original game than with a new one—you can start at a much higher level, with more talent and ability points if you found tomes throughout the original game.
    • Dragon Age II imports decisions from Origins, including some from the expansion and DLC. Most of these result in certain events getting a mention, particularly during Alistair's cameo.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition can do this either from reading the data from your save files or through Dragon Age Keep, which includes allowing you to retell pretty much all the events of the past two games, as well as playing around with The Hero of Fereldan's and Hawke's appearance to use in game.
  • In Unlimited Adventures designs, every time you save the game, the characters from your party are also saved as .cch files which can be transferred to another design (try dropping a powerful party into a low-level design and wipe the floor with all enemies). The general unwritten rule among the community is that every design should offer the player a chance to save at the very end, after all the battles are fought and all the treasure and experience is gotten; designers who forget that incur the players' wrath.
  • The Millennium RPG series by Aldorlea Games allows the player to import their characters' weapons, armor, items and skills across all five of its installments. Notably, this is the only way to keep certain powerful weapons and skills (such as one character's "Omega Red" skill, which is only found in a secret room in the third game and cannot be acquired again any other way). However, the save transfer doesn't carry money, titles bestowed at shrines or levels over, meaning that players are encouraged to spend their money on valuable items to resell at the beginning of the next chapter.
  • The Someguy Series, a series of mods for Fallout: New Vegas, have this functionality built in due to a master file that keeps track of which mods in the series have been completed, and has alternate dialogue (and even some mutually-exclusive side content) that is only accessible if certain mods have been completed beforehand.
    • While New Vegas Bounties III can be played as a standalone mod, additional dialogue options are unlocked if the player has finished the first installment of the series. Notably, the mod even has a save bonus based on a weapon picked up in the first part — if you bring Sweet Revenge, the weapon Randall left behind before he was presumably executed by The Judge, to Utah, Marko/Virgil will have unique dialogue remarking on it. There's even a special speech option if you bring it to the final confrontation against him in the graveyard!
    • The only way to access "The Enemy of My Enemy," an exclusive (and lengthy) side mission involving the rescue of slaves from a sprawling Legion camp, is to complete both The Inheritance (and making a choice to let one of the villains go after she baits you into a Sadistic Choice) and completing the main plot of Bounties II. And if you've done both of those, completed the side mission and met two side characters in Bounties III, three characters will make a reappearance in The Better Angels, the Grand Finale of the series, with the latter (your Mission Control) giving you the mission as a means of apology, and the latter potentially getting a Golden Ending depending on whether they survived the Legion assault at FOB Omega.
  • Dummied Out text in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall includes a backstory for the main character of Arena, if they were chosen to also be the protagonist of Daggerfall. It was one of many features cut from the game before release, unfortunately, so every character in the final version is a separate person from the original Eternal Champion.
  • The Witcher:
    • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: Importing a save from Witcher 1 can give you better starting equipment, and various characters will reference choices you made in the last game. For instance, if you supported the Order of the Flaming Rose in Witcher 1, you can have a brief, but friendly conversation with Grand Master Siegfried in Witcher 2, chapter 3.
    • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: Importing a save from Witcher 2 does not provide any gear but it does automatically apply all choices made from the previous game. However, nothing from Witcher 1 will persist into Witcher 3 - for example, a certain character can die in Witcher 1 but will always be alive in Witcher 3.
  • In a rather bizarre instance, the obscure Centauri Alliance allowed you to import characters from The Bard's Tale, Wizardry, Ultima and Might and Magic, even though those were all released by different companies. And all of those are fantasy games, while Centauri Alliance is science fiction.
  • Eamon uses this as a central feature of its design and is likely the first game to ever use the bonus. A master disk for the program allowed creation and storage of characters along with access to various services. Once a character was selected, the master disk was replaced with one of over two hundred adventure module disks. Completing the module would allow the character to be imported back to the master disk along with any lost or gained treasures and stats to prepare for another adventure.
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire picks up five years after the original, and opens on the destruction of the Watcher's keep, Caed Nua, by this game's Big Bad. This leaves the player Not Quite Dead, prompting to either create a new character or port one who completed Pillars of Eternity. A new character is given the choice of six generic endings for the first game, varying from the Golden Ending to Earn Your Bad Ending. An imported character has more nuance in their decisions. Worth noting is that three of the first game's companions return...unless they died during the first game. Éder's absence in particular will ramp up Early Game Hell as he can be specced into a tank and won't be replaced with anyone else if he died back in the Dyrwood.
  • Solasta: Crown of the Magister's newest DLC, the Palace of Ice, allows you to import your saved game from the main campaign or the Lost Valley DLC. Your wealth, equipment and skills will follow your characters' newest adventure.

    Visual Novel 

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In the second Creatures game, an item called the Nornverter allows you to import Creatures from the first game.
  • Having save data of No More Heroes on your Wii gives Travis's room an aesthetic change in the sequel.
  • Your Pod, outfit, and unlocked stuff in LittleBigPlanet (if you have any) is carried into the sequel upon startup. You also get a slightly altered opening narration that welcomes you back to the world of LittleBigPlanet. This also carries over into LittleBigPlanet Karting. Though you cannot import things like your pod (after all, it's big enough to fit four cars now), you do carry over costumes and some items, DLC included.
  • The Sega Dreamcast version of Shenmue II allows players to transfer collected items over from the first game. Unfortunately, the American version was never released, so the few U.S. gamers who imported the European version could only exploit this feature by hacking the Shenmue I save file to add the flags indicating it is a European save file (though the game does play fair by giving Ryo a few collections by default to sell for cash).
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Having a save of the 7th gen (Xbox 360 and PS3) version of Grand Theft Auto V on your XBLA or PSN account will get you an exclusive railgun weapon on the 8th gen (Xbox One and PS4) version. Also works cross-platform (PS3 -> Xbox One, 360 -> PS4) if you've linked both your Xbox LIVE and PSN accounts to the same Rockstar Social Club account.
    • Having a prior-gen-console save also unlocks several side-missions and bonus items in the storyline, such as Gotta Catch Them All missions involving taking photos of well-hidden murals. However, only online game progress is transferred, meaning if you only played the storyline of the 7th gen version of GTAV, you don't get access to most of the bonus features, and game progress in the storyline isn't transferred over, regardless. (Despite this players can still engage in some of the additional content, such as the monkey mural collecting, and receive some awards for doing so, just not all.)
    • Finding the double-action revolver in GTA Online and getting 50 headshots with it will unlock it for Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell will base its version of The Boss on your character from Saints Row IV, otherwise it will default to the first male Boss.
  • In Sleeping Dogs (2012), having save data for Just Cause 2 will unlock a Rico Rodriguez costume for Wei Shen, which is alternatively available as DLC; true to its inspiration, the costume makes it easier to hijack moving vehicles.
  • In the Toca Boca game Toca Life: World, you can redeem content from previous apps if you have them installed.
  • Owning a copy of Mafia II: Definitive Edition and/or Mafia III: Definitive Edition unlocks the default outfits for Vito and Lincoln in Mafia: Definitive Edition along with their respective vehicles.

    Tabletop Game 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Many, many licensed games from this series published by SSI featured this, forming several separate continuums. The classic "Gold Box" games include two separate series set in Forgotten Realms, and one in Krynn, in addition to the sci-fi Buck Rogers games. Later series which also allow character importing include Eye of the Beholder, Dark Sun and Ravenloft series.
    • SSI also made a Mini Game and Side Quest compilation, Hillsfar, in which you can import your Gold Box characters and play through a series of events that give the characters increased experience, skill and valuables before you export them to another adventure.
    • None of the sequels actually let you keep your loot from the prior games - instead, each starts with something happening to take away any equipment you might already have, such as being teleported thousands of miles away or being captured by the enemy.
    • This also happens quite a bit in tabletop D&D. It's not at all uncommon to dig up old, high-level, characters for an epic campaign.
  • Due to the immortal nature of many PCs in The World of Darkness, in the Classic WoD and Vampire: The Masquerade especially, it's entirely possible to carry a PC from the 12th Century (The Dark Ages) to the 19th Century (The Victorian Age, and related) to the modern nights, and as such, you'll end up as a massively powerful being.
  • Interestingly enough, Warhammer 40,000. All of the old Rouge Trader models are still technically legal to use in play. This can be useful in building larger armies by simply using the older models. The interesting part comes when said models have different sizes than the newer models. The Land Raider, Rhino, and Tau Broadside are quite smaller than their current sizes. Another unit is the Space Marine Terminators, as the models used to be on smaller bases. This is due to a GW ruling stating that models use the base they where supplied with.
  • In Exit The Game: The Forbidden Castle, upon winning the game, the players are rewarded with a different bonus based on which of two puzzles they chose to encounter partway through the game. These bonuses (either a bonus to completion time or a free hint) are meant to be applied to The Sinister Mansion, a later-released game in the series.

  • In the four-part Sorcery! Gamebook series (part of the Fighting Fantasy series), you can carry over all your equipment and stat modifications from one book to another. The benefits range from minor shortcuts to vital hints to allowing you to skip particularly annoying Luck Based Missions.
  • It is very well advised to Play the Lone Wolf Gamebook series right from Book 1 to the end and ESPECIALLY Book 2 for a super-powerful magic sword called the "Sommerswerd" if you don't want hair-rippingly frustrating and frequent "instant death" entries from Book 3 on. Though a couple of battles are actually easier without the Sommerswerd.note 

  • NES Remix 2 contains Championship Mode, a game mode inspired by the 1990 Nintendo World Championship, where players play through three consecutive challenges based on Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and Dr. Mario and post their cumulative score on Miiverse. It requires the original NES Remix to play.
  • The StreetPass function of the Nintendo 3DS creates a few of these thanks to how Miis are collected in StreetPass Mii Plaza. For example, playing Mario Kart 7 online will collect a number of Miis, which will then appear in Super Mario 3D Land to give you items.
  • Similar to the Portal 2 example, playing Heroes of the Storm is the easiest way to obtain the Oni Genji and Officer D.Va skins for Overwatch.
  • Frogger:
    • Frogger: Ancient Shadow (a game for PS2, GameCube, and Xbox) and Frogger: Helmet Chaos (a game for PSP and DS) have codes that be used in the other game to get things.
    • In addition, playing the latter game while you have certain games in the GBA slot will earn you secret costumes.
  • The Wii U includes a built-in Wii Menu, with a Wii Shop Channel within which the Virtual Console games released for the Wii can be purchased. If you get a VC game in the Wii menu by either buying it or transferring it from the Wii, you get a discount (having to pay only $1 for NES games or $1.50 for SNES games) on the Wii U version, allowing you to pay only for the new features.
  • After upgrading to another version of Microsoft Windows (starting with Vista), the system will drop a "Windows.old" folder in the root of the hard drive. This folder contains files from the older operating system that weren't overwritten or removed during installation. If you rummage around the folder a bit, you'll find your previous version's pre-installed wallpapers, sounds, and cursors, among other things.
  • Most franchised arcades that use power cards can be used at other locations of the same franchise, meaning you can use your card anywhere.
  • In Life Is Strange 2, Chris wears the outfit you gave him in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit if you have save data for that, Brody will mention Arcadia Bay's fate if you have save data from the original Life Is Strange in addition to it being reflected on the game's map, and in the final episode, David Madsen will discuss either surviving the storm or Chloe's death, depending on which ending you got in the original game. Also depending on which ending you got in the original game, the phone call he takes at the end will be from either Chloe or Joyce.

  • Electronic Arts seems to love cross-promoting its games with this premise. Owning a copy of Battlefield 3 on Origin will unlock a new character class for Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, and ME3 itself will unlock a new RIG option for Isaac in Dead Space 3. This also applies to console releases, where a save file from Black will unlock instant access to the vehicular equivalent of an Infinity +1 Sword in Burnout Revenge; this occurrence makes sense, considering the circumstances of their existence.

    Other Media 
  • Sword Art Online: This benefits Kirito greatly during the Fairy Dance arc. Since SAO and ALO are built on the same source code, when Kirito starts ALO, all of his compatible stats from SAO are transferred over, granting him a massively overpowered avatar. However, he considers it cheating and once he saves Asuna and defeats Sugou/Oberon, he resets his stats so he can make a proper Spriggan build and have fun with it.
    Abridged Kirito: This game is completely broken... In my favor! Haha, 10/10 Game of The Year!