So you Gotta Catch Them All, eh? Well, well, the good folks over in Marketing have come up with a wonderful way to encourage social participation! They'll divide some of the game's content (characters, mons, subplots, or so on) between different cartridges!
Sure, you can still play the game by yourself, beat the Final Boss and watch the credits roll, but the only way to get true 100% Completion is to find other people who have purchased the other versions (or simply buy the other versions yourself) and trade your exclusive content for theirs. This is particularly common with Mons games.
Of course, this means that those same characters, subplots, and Mons are now effectively interchangeable in the overall scheme of things, thus making characterization inconvenient. Also, anyone who doesn't have access to large gatherings of people with the other versions of the game is likely screwed.
And of course, if you want to acquire both versions yourself, this not only means twice the money (to purchase them with), but twice your free time (to actually play them).
Compare the Old Save Bonus, where you need to interact with a separate game (generally of the same company) to unlock certain content, which is usually not central to gameplay but may be necessary for 100% Completion. Also compare Socialization Bonus, where it's the same game for everybody, but you still need to "connect" with someone else to unlock ... something.
Please note that this trope is a case of Americans Hate Tingle to some extent, as due to higher population density and the extreme popularity of handheld consoles it's much easier to find others with the required game in Japan. Which, naturally, most examples here originate from.
The Trope Codifier
- Pokémon is the Trope Codifier, with each game in a pair having exclusive Pokémon or certain ones occurring in differing rarities. While other aspects such as story, locations, and gym leaders are occasionally played with, these differences in Pokémon availability remain a constant. If you want to catch them all and complete the Pokédex, you'll need to trade version exclusive Pokémon with other players, as well as Pokémon that only evolve via trading (of which there are several, with a few having additional conditions that need to be met as well). From Gen IV onward, the series has had the ability to trade over the internet via the "Global Trade System", allowing a player to collect all the Pokémon without knowing someone with the other version personally or buying it yourself. The system initially had the annoying limitation of only allowing the player to search for Pokémon they already had registered as "seen" in their Pokédex, but later games would allow you to simply type in the name even if you haven't seen them yet on that file.
- Pokémon also occasionally has "third versions" released shortly after each new pair of games, which are updated rereleases that combine elements of both versions while adding new ones. However, these games mix-and-match the version-exclusive Mons lists, meaning that players of these "stand-alone" third versions will need to trade with both previous versions to get a handful of remaining creatures and complete their Dex. Later on, even these third versions would come in pairs themselves (meaning one can once again trade with a sister game), though the first instance of this actually served as direct sequels.
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon has also dabbled in this, with the Rescue Team games justifying it somewhat by having each version released on different systems. Instead of directly trading Mons, the PMD games use a password system instead, which means anyone with an internet connection or guide book didn't really need to interact with someone owning the other copy. The Explorers games also got an updated release that gives access to the exclusive Pokémon from both versions without the need for these passwords. The third set of PMD games were No Export for You titles for WiiWare and were One for the Price of Three, with the interesting feature of being able to use the same save file for all three so long as you're playing on the same Wii (thus allowing to access to all the different Pokémon and dungeons). All subsequent PMD games like Gates and Super avert this entirely by being single releases, including the remake of the Rescue Team games.
- The Pokémon Stadium games aren't actually an example of this trope, but they're still considered this by the fanbase from a gameplay perspective. While you don't need to have a copy of a mainline titles to 100% complete any of the games, all the rental Pokémon you're provided if you don't connect one generally have bad stats and mediocre move sets that make beating the harder fights with them a ridiculously hard Self-Imposed Challenge; especially in regards to the N64 entries. In addition, every installment rewards you with items that you can transfer back to the main games, as well as exclusive Pokémon with unique movesets that you can't get anywhere else (such as Surfing Pikachu) if you complete several absurdly difficult challenges.
- My Pokémon Ranch is a companion app to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, essentially a glorified storage shed. You can play it standalone, as Hayley brings a new Pokémon to the ranch daily, but you'll need to connect your DS to unlock the biggest ranch, see all the Pokémon, and transfer rare Pokémon back to your own game.
- The anime of all things did this with the first Gen V movies, Black: Victini and Reshiram and White: Victini and Zekrom. Just like the games, they are two versions of the same movie, boasting similar plots but with Reshiram and Zekrom's roles swapped and a few different Pokémon appearing in the different movies. Averted when it came to the home media release, as both movies were released together in a 2-disc DVD set... outside the Australian and New Zealand markets, at least.
- The Mega Man Battle Network games started doing this with the 3rd installment.
- At first, it just affected side bosses and cards. Later, what version you got affected what storyline bosses you faced and abilities you acquired. This means that, for some reason, in one version of Battle Network 5, the Navi in charge of a water world is NapalmMannote . Amusingly, despite being the first game to introduce versions, Battle Network 3 zig-zags this; it was originally released as a single game in Japan, and then a later Black Updated Re-release was made that fixed some bugs and added exclusive chips and bosses. When the game was localized for the west, the original version became White and the updated version became Blue; unless you just wanted to see how the game originally was, there's technically no reason to ever buy White over Blue. note
- Mega Man Battle Network 4 inverts the trope in, making you play it over 3 times to get everything you need. In theory this made one game much longer in comparison since you got three times the play time. It even looked so, since there are 6 plotline bosses you can fight, with 2 completely new ones with their own side quests on each rotation. In practice, however, this was anything but fun, as apart from the 2 side scenarios (which are rather short and comprised about 20% of the overall game) everything else was the exact same, and while the enemies also leveled up through each run, they only got more HP and attacking power, rarely adapting their strategy. Effectively you invested three times the playtime for the same thing over and over again. You can also link with the other version and fight in a unique tournament against all of the other version's exclusive boss fights. However, while this is accessible right after the first tournament, doing it before 100% completing the game will not only break the game, it will leave it as nothing more than a piece of plastic. It screws up the order that you get the souls in, crashing the game so bad, you can't even access the title screen to start a new game.
- Battle Network 4 also involves a rare chip called the Z-Saver. This chip can only be obtained by linking up your Game Boy to a Mega Man Zero 3 game. However, each Zero 3 cartridge only contained one copy of the Z-Saver chip, meaning that not only did you have to find another game, you'd also have to find one that hasn't been tapped of its chip (making rental store copies completely worthless, as their chips have already been gutted and put into their own Battle Network games). This basically meant that if you wanted the chip, you had to buy another game. It was only revealed a decade later that a secret lotto number was discovered for this card, effectively averting the need to buy a copy of Mega Man Zero 3.
- Battle Network 5 was released as Team Colonel and Team Protoman initially, but later got a Compilation Rerelease for the DS as Double Team, which included both games on the same cart.
- As a side note, when the Battle Network games were released on the Wii U's Virtual Console, which has no multiplayer capabilities, the multiple versions were retained- but made essentially redundant by giving you everything you needed to link for right off the bat.
- Mega Man Star Force is One Game for the Price of Three. However, through Wi-fi, you could get the benefits of all three games, making the differences effectively the high-end cards and one boss. Star Force 2 plays with this, with three versions consolidated into two distinct cartridges (Zerker x Ninja and Zerker x Saurian; at the title screen, you choose whether you play Zerker or your cartridge version, and each version has its own save file). Star Force 3 is back to just two versions.
- Shin Megami Tensei:
- Devil Children: The story is different depending on what version you played first - Setsuna, the hero of Black Book, goes to the demon world to rescue his younger brother Nagahisa; Mirai, the heroine of Red Book, goes to find out about her father. It got a sequel set a few years later, White Book. Everything after that continued to be split - Light Book and Dark Book, then Fire Book and Ice Book.
- Digital Devil Saga is split between two games, with several choices you make in the first affecting the second via Old Save Bonus. In addition all the bizarre Foreshadowing of the first game is explained in the second, so it's hard to fully understand the plot of the first game without playing the sequel.
- Persona 2: All the choices you made in Innocent Sin will affect some minor things in Eternal Punishment; Tatsuya and Katsuya's names will change depending on what you put Tatsuya's name as, Tatsuya and Apollo will carry over their stats, and dialogue will change. However, most players out of Japan never got to experience the full duology in that manner, because due to No Export for You, the two games for them are on different consoles.
- Bomberman Max and Bomberman Max 2 are split into two versions, with the blue versions (Blue Champion for the first game and Blue Advance for the second) starring Bomberman and the red versions (Red Challenger and Red Advance) starring newcomer Max. Each game has 100 stages, but each version has 20 exclusives meaning that you can only get 80% completion without linking to the opposite version and obtaining their exclusive stages. Additionally, these games introduce Mons named Charaboms that can be battled and exchanged.
- A handful of the Digimon portable games do this. Notably, Digimon Adventure: Anode/Cathode Tamer, Digimon World Dawn/Dusk, and Digimon Story Super Xros Wars Red/Blue are all paired games with Digimon exclusive to each version.
- Medabots, a Mons series featuring children playing with alien robots rebuilt into toys (no, really) heavily utilizes this gimmick. Nearly every single game is split into Kabuto and Kuwagata versions (Rokusho and Metabee outside of Japan) and has version-exclusive parts and Medals, to the extent that even the Compilation Rereleases have two versions. The only games that are not split into two versions are the non-handheld games and the Parts Collection games, the latter being a series of companion games with flimsy Excuse Plots that allow you to get a complete collection of Medals and Parts without having to trade.
- Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen and Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen did this. Though players had a very clear advantage starting a game in Darkside as level 5 characters, and then going to Clouds and open a can of whoop-ass on the baddies. Also, there was a final story that could not be reached (all of the level data files belonged to the "Darkside" game) and completed unless you bought the other game, to reach 100% Completion. Justified in that both worlds are just the two sides of the same slab of earth floating in space (one of the passageways even involves a Journey Through The Center Of The Earth ).
- Robopon did this, though the first set of games had only one released in America.
- The movie games for the DS (but not the Transformers: Animated game, also on the DS) are basically the same games split between "Autobot" and "Decepticon" versions. Naturally, some vehicles are only available on one or the other.
- This is lampshaded in an early mission in Transformers: The Game (DS); whichever version you are playing, you get a short piece of dialogue with what's implied to be the protagonist of the other version, in which the Decepticon tells the Autobot that "we may be on different sides, but we're both still playing the same game."
- The DS versions of Transformers: War for Cybertron did the same thing. Notably, each version of the game featured 5 levels from the other and the "Arena" mode was identical. The only real difference between versions is the story and the roster of characters you can unlock for multiplayer (Though you could "bet" your multiplayer characters with other players).
- The movie games for the DS (but not the Transformers: Animated game, also on the DS) are basically the same games split between "Autobot" and "Decepticon" versions. Naturally, some vehicles are only available on one or the other.
- The now-defunct company Smilesoft is probably the KING of this trope: All of their monster-collection RPGs had two versions. The Telefang series came in Speed and Power versions, each focusing on Mons with that attribute, Bugsite had Alpha and Beta versions and the Dino Device games came in Dragon and Phoenix versions.
- In the second Dragon Quest Monsters game, your choice of game (Cobi's Journey or Tara's Adventure) was also your choice of Purely Aesthetic Gender. While the two games had virtually identical main storylines, the real differences came to play in the Playable Epilogue, when they opened up two completely different new areas to explore. Both versions needed to trade in order to unlock the final world.
- Tokimeki Memorial Pocket, the Updated Re-release of Tokimeki Memorial: Forever With You on Game Boy Color, has two versions: the Sports one, subtitled "Koutei no Photograph" (Campus' Photograph), and the Culture one, subtitled "Komorebi no Melody" (Melody of the Sunlight Filtering Through The Tree). They're the same game, aside from the fact the cast is divided in half between the two versions (including the three new characters), the clubs are divided between the two versions depending on their nature (Sport-type or Culture-type), and an additional club visiting sequence in the prologue.
- Gundam: Battle Assault 2 got this treatment in Japan, where the game's roster was split in half and sold as two budget priced titles, one focusing on Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz and the other on G Gundam, with the other suits from the original series and Zeta/ZZ also split between them.
- Inazuma Eleven, starting from the second game, there are multiple versions of the same game with different additional features.
- The arcade release of Cyber Troopers Virtual-ON: Oratorio Tangram splits the original cabinet configuration into two flavors, known as DNA side and RNA side. Both have different interface colors and soundtracks as well as Virtuaroid colors but plays the same.
- Fire Emblem Fates follows this trope, with each version being the same up until the sixth chapter, when it will then branch off into a different story and gameplay depending on which version the player is playing: Birthright has the player align with the peaceful Hoshido kingdom with opportunities for level grinding, while Conquest focuses on the militaristic Nohr with more limited resources. Access to the other campaigns, including a post-release third option campaign called Revelation, is restricted to DLC. Only the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition offers all three campaigns without further payments required. This has caused mixed reactions among non-Japanese gamers, especially when the edition with all the content ended up being shipped out in very limited numbers, many of which were snapped up by scalpers. Downplayed thanks to the fact that after the sixth chapter the campaigns are very different in terms of story, with a mostly different cast of characters and different stages to play in, and the fact that each other campaign can be purchased as DLC at half the price, effectively turning them into expansion packs. Due to their differences in resources and ability to grind, each campaign also works as a separate difficulty setting.
- The first Final Fight installment had two different SNES ports. There's a few differences in the Dynamic Difficulty and power-ups, but the biggest difference is that the player characters themselves are Version-Exclusive Content, since apparently they couldn't fit both characters on one cartridge; the story in the ports explains that, depending on which version you're playing, either Guy or Cody gets too caught up with business in Japan to get involved.
- Downplayed with Time Crisis (a co-op arcade game series) starting from the second game. The player will play as one of two characters depending on the cabinet side, and 4 has a part in Stage 1 where VSSE agents use two different weapons depending on how good you play, but it's one for each player. Other than this and the angles, it's the same experience.
- The original release of Yo-kai Watch only came as one edition, but Yo Kai Watch 2 learned from Pokémon's success and was first released as Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls which had exclusive Mons, and then Psychic Specters, which at least gave a New Game Plus option for people who already cleared one of the first two versions. The same goes for the Yo Kai Watch Blasters spinoff (which was split into Red Cat Corps and White Dog Squad versions, a third Moon Rabbit Crew version was added later but as a free update for the first two), Yo Kai Watch 3 (Sushi, Tempura, and later Sukiyaki), and Yo-Kai Watch Blasters 2 (Sword and Magnum). In the case of Yo-Kai Watch 3 though, the international versions instead combined all three games into one, averting this. Yo Kai Watch 4 also averts this, with only a single version.
- Nier had two versions which were broadly the same except for changing the main character. In Replicant (Japanese PS3 version, later used as the basis for the remake ver.1.22474487139...), Nier was a young lad trying to keep his sister Yonah safe. In Gestalt (Japanese 360 and all international versions), Nier was an older man trying to keep his daughter Yonah safe.
- Idolm@ster Must Songs, an Idolm@ster spinoff with Taiko no Tatsujin-style gameplay, has 2 versions, Red and Blue, where the only difference is the songs available (Red mostly focusing on songs from the first games while Blue has more newer songs, including from the anime) and some costumes and other unlockables. Both games share a save file and trophy list.
- Nintendogs is a rare case of One Game for the Price of Three (Later five). It was actually planned to have FIFTEEN different versions, but was scrapped as the debugging each version would be too time consuming.
- Even Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon got in on the action with Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage and Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy, two minigame collections on the Gameboy Advance. Each game had trading cards exclusive to their version that you could trade with others, however the cards didn't affect either game in any way.
- The doujin game Magical Battle Arena NEXT plays with this: while two versions were released (Fantasy World Side, featuring Touhou Project characters and stages and Magical Girl Side, which had characters and stages from various Magical Girl works), the latter one was released later. Both can also be combined together for a more complete game.
- Dragon: Marked for Death has an interesting relation with this: The digital release of the game is split into two $15 packs that each contain two characters; one pack gets you the Empress and the Warrior, while the other pack gets you the Shinobi and Witch. Buying one pack allows you to buy the other as DLC. However, just buying one pack nets you the entire campaign and story in question, as the characters are interchangeable narrative-wise, and the only things you'll miss out on is the chance of being able to collect the unique weapons and equipment of the other characters as well as the Golden Ending, which requires the campaign to be completed with all four characters. The physical edition itself can be bought for $50 and contains all the characters, the $10 DLC, and the limited edition DLC weapons based on Azure Striker Gunvolt.
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games: Played with. The games by themselves are completely different (items, dungeons, bosses and so on), but if you want to complete the storyline you need to play a Linked Game requiring both games. And a linked game is a sort of New Game Plus. You start off with one more heart container than normal and can access more things than a fresh game.
- Star Wars: TIE Fighter was a rare and somewhat infamous example involving a single game. In addition to its own storyline with seven chapters, two expansion packs were released, adding another six in total. The catch is that only the first expansion was released as an expansion - the second was held over to be added to a Collector's CD edition. Nowadays it doesn't make much of a difference, since digital storefronts give you the Collector's CD edition and anyone who buys it is invariably either an old player replacing worn-out CDs or a new player checking out a game they never had before, but for players who bought the game when it first came out, it meant that they would end up having to buy the entire game a second time to actually finish the story.
- In 2015, Arc System Works released Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butouden; the following year, it released One Piece: Grand Pirate Colosseum. While both of them were stand-alone fighting games, a later patch allowed crossover cross-play between both titles.
- Both played straight and averted with the two versions of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance released for the Game Boy Advance: each version had a different roster, with only Scorpion, Quan Chi and Shang Tsung being available in both versions, and it was possible to connect both of them for matches... but only the three characters available in both versions could be used in these matches.
- Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator feature different trucks and environments, but are updated side-by-side and have the same engine and basic gameplay loop.
- In an odd variation, Sonic 3 & Knuckles actually was one game that was split in half to meet time constraints. The first half, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, contains the first six zones, Tails, and the Competition Mode. The second half, Sonic & Knuckles, contains the remaining zones and an additional campaign with Knuckles. The Sonic & Knuckles cart came with a slot on top that allowed it to use what was called "Lock-On Technology" — placing Sonic 3 inside the slot would combine the two carts into the complete Sonic 3 & Knuckles, unlocking Tails in the Sonic & Knuckles levels, Knuckles' Sonic 3 levels, and the hidden Super Emeralds.
Non-Video Game Examples
- As a whole, this happens a lot with anime. DVD sets tend to have a pitiful two episodes per disc, despite being able to carry far more with just a single one. Presumably, this started with the Laserdisc (which only has the capacity to hold two episodes), but carried over even as media became more expansive to maximize profits. On the other hand, the standalone DVDs tend to have ludicrous amounts of bonus material, comparable to a Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition, justifying the cost for die-hard fans. Localized releases, when they aren't one-to-one with the original, usually split the difference and cut the bonus material in favor of having the whole series in one box.
- The trade paperbacks for Crisis Crossovers tend to be this way. If they release a book at all for the crossover, it's only for a select group of comics and often omitting major parts of the story. Sometimes it's trimmed to the point that it's completely non-comprehensible. Civil War (2006) is probably the worst offender, with the trade paperback crossing several comic books from the buildup culminating in the character choosing pro or anti-registration, and two comics from the demount. Captain America and Spider-Man appear for handful of panels and the story makes no sense because it omits 90% of the plot.
- Lampshaded in With This Ring, when the April Fool's Day episode dances a fandango all over the fourth wall. At one point, the protagonist finds himself facing Amanda Waller, who is about to form the Suicide Squad, and he decides to get involved just to stop her going too far — only to have her tell him that he can't, because "You didn't buy the DLC."
I boggle. "Suicide Squad is DLC!?"
"But the basic game references it about a.. dozen times. There were event triggers and everything!"
"I don't make the rules."
"This is ridiculous! The content's on the disc! A bunch of procedurally generated missions using characters in the main game and one unique scenario, which would be pretty weak even if it was new content."
"You bought the Hellblazer DLC. I can see it on your hard drive."
- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is a rare film example. The film was originally released in two versions showing the different perspectives of Conor (Him) and Eleanor (Her). The films are not sequels to each other but rather two different versions showing different sides to the story. A third version showcasing the most crucial parts of each side has been released subtitled Them.
- Strangely enough, this happened to the first two books in The Wheel of Time series. About a decade after their initial release, Tor reprinted the first two books with two parts each. Giving us two books for the price of four. It's mitigated slightly by the first book getting a new prologue, and all four have illustrations not included in the originals, but considering that the reprints were meant specifically to market toward the young adult market... You can almost hear the cash register chiming.
- A situation like this happened in Canada during the late 90s/early 2000s. To make a long story short, CTV had by 1998 been taken over by Baton Broadcasting, owners of CTV's flagship station in Toronto, CFTO-9. A few years prior to gaining control of the network, they'd launched a secondary system on both their CTV stations, as well as independent and even private CBC stations they owned, known as BBS. The BBS lineup had American imports bought and aired separately from CTV's national schedule. Where they didn't own stations, they usually would license the BBS programming to the CTV station in that area. In Vancouver they went to the long-standing CTV affil CHAN-8, known as BCTV, and Victoria-based sister station CHEK-6. CHAN's relationship with CFTO/Baton was never the best (chiefly because CHAN knew and accused CFTO of having too much influence over CTV) and their affiliation deal was set to expire in a few years. In 1997, shortly after making a deal with WIC (CHAN and CHEK's owners) to air BBS programming, Baton launched CIVT, an independent known as "VTV" on channel 32. They promptly took the BBS programming and put it therenote . In the rest of Canada the BBS lineup had already merged with the CTV schedule, but in Vancouver, this resulted in shows swapping between stations, as Baton further screwed with CHAN. Eventually when the dust settled, CIVT was now the CTV station for real and the whole "one network for the price of two" situation was done.
- With the advent of the Compact Disc in the late 1980s, UK record companies figured out that they could make people buy the same single twice if they gave you different b-sides on CD1 and CD2, even though CDs had more than enough capacity to fit all from both singles on. Especially egregious examples happened when an interview would be split into a Part 1 and Part 2 to make the buyer HAVE to buy both to hear it all. What's more, in the UK, CD singles were not allowed to exceed 20 minutes, so you would often get dance mixes that were edited down...with the helpful notice that the full version was available on the DJ 12", thus often necessitating collectors would have to splash out for three 20-minute releases that would have all fit on one 80-minute CD. This practice stopped in the mid 2000s, when one of the CD singles legally had to be two tracks long and at a fixed price of £2 or lower.
- Simple Minds did a variation on this when the first 1990 CD release of "Sons And Fascination / Sister Feelings Call" omitted "League Of Nations" and "Sound In 70 Cities", claiming it was for space reasons, but in reality to sell copies of the Themes box set on which they appeared the same year (since it was pretty thin on exclusives). Since the 2002 remaster, they have always been reinstated.
- The soundtrack of TRON: Legacy by Daft Punk was an extreme case of this. The standard release CD had 22 tracks, but other releases had different bonus tracks, forcing you to buy it multiple times to get the full thing.note The "Complete Edition" only came out in 2020, a whole decade after the original release.
- The first single "Hajimari wa kimi no sora" of Liella! from the Love Live! franchise has been sold in two different versions called "Minna de Kanaeru Monogatari Edition" and "Watashi wo Kanaeru Monogatari Edition". Both versions contains the main song and the song 'Dancing Heart La-Pa-Pa-Pa'. But the first variant has the song "Dreaming Energy" and the second variant has "Watashi no symphony" as their third song. Furthermore they differ in their voice dramas.
- Final Girl is a solo tabletop game that downplays this while still using it as the core of the game. To play it, you need, at minimum, the Core Box (which contains the bric-a-brac used for most of the game's actions) and a Feature Film (which contains the characters, villain, map, and other elements). However, any Final Girl and any Killer can be used with any of the maps, allowing for a great degree of customization. It doesn't change that you essentially have to pay for two games to play it at all, though.
- Railroad Ink: The base game comes in two versions: Deep Blue Edition and Blazing Red Edition. Each features two sets of unique dice in addition to the normal base set. Similarly, the Challenge releases Lush Green Edition and Shining Yellow Edition each contain a unique additional dice set.
- Fictional, action figure version: Johnny Longtorso, the Man Who Comes In Pieces is a parody of those British model magazines that sell you a part with each issue, requiring you to collect them all if you want to finish your model.
- Build A Figure toys released in many action figure lines including Star Wars, Marvel Legends and DCU Classics are essentially a real-life version: pieces of a figure that come packed in with other figures, usually requiring you to buy 6 to 8 different toys to complete - the ones in Star Wars are just additional droids, but both of the superhero lines usually feature more important characters.
- In a similar vein, any time a Combining Mecha set comes out as the multiple parts instead of the whole set (Voltron, Power Rangers, combining Transformers, etc.) it could count as this; each toy is perfectly playable on its own, but you need to have them all if you want to do what it's supposed to do, and Power Rangers Samurai was particularly egregious about this - it requires eleven full sized Zords in order to complete the Samurai Gigazord. Most series limited the number of mecha to 6 or 7, to match the number of Rangers, plus one unmanned extra.
- The FunkoVerse board games tend to give the more popular licenses multiple sets and split the characters and settings between them. The base Jurassic Park game includes Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, Ray Arnold, and a Velociraptor, while Ian Malcolm — the franchise's most popular human character — and the iconic T. Rex are in the Expandalone pack.
- Some Tamagotchi models - namely the m!x and the On/Meets, feature genes mixing, and different genes are split in multiple versions. To get some of the genes without using online features like the app, you'll need to collect more models.
- Sadly, this is a common problem with DVD releases of Western Animation television series in the United States, and children's entertainment in general. Many shows don't get season boxsets, often getting broken down into shorter "volumes". Some shows don't even get that, with the episodes released out-of-order and sorted by a shared theme instead. This unfortunately also means that certain episodes will never get released.