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Remade for the Export

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Imagine this: You're the American branch of a Japanese game company. Your company has a catalog of successful, long-running franchises that could stretch across the Pacific; problem is, a good portion of them never actually made that jump themselves. Can you be blamed? It's not like the U.S. had a market in the early 90's for anything with more text than a hearty "Congraturation!" or more strategy than "jump on the enemies and don't get hit" (and even if there was, that's the company line and you're sticking with it).

But then, somehow or another, the fans find out. Maybe a character made an appearance in a crossover that did make the jump. Or maybe it's just that in this glorious age of the Internet where anyone who can use a web browser can discover that you've been holding out. Whatever the cause, your shortsightedness has reaped the wrath of a sizable chunk of your fanbase. Oops.

So, on a whim, perhaps due to pressure from your parent company or the fans who are flooding your inbox with death threats on a daily basis, you release the latest game in the series in America. Surprise, surprise: it's a hit, the fans want more, and now you've got the next game and the game after that lined up on your release schedule. And thus you have a successful franchise transplant, even if it was a decade or so late.

But what's this? The fans are still sore about the games they missed? What can you do? The consoles they were released for have been dead for years; outside that Vocal Minority of the core fanbase, nobody would buy the old games if you brought them over as-is. How can you make money off of these games when you have no profitable way of releasing them?

Honestly, not much. Not on your own, anyway. But your Japanese branch likes money just as much as you do, and seeing how many of the titles the U.S. fans want happen to already be well-established classics in Japan, you can expect them to get remade. They port the game to a new system, slap a fresh coat of paint on it and append a fresh subtitle to the name, and you can then localize the brand-new version, proudly declaring on all the merchandising (and maybe on the packaging too) that it's "a lost adventure available outside of Japan for the first time ever!"

It should be noted that while this does mostly apply to the trip between Japan and America, it often rubs off into the European export as well (because so few games are localised into UK English).

This scenario is the ideal remedy for the scourge of No Export for You, although there will always be those who won't be satisfied with anything but the unmodified original. Even beyond that, there's also the chance that the remake will be worse than the original. (gasp!)

A sub-trope of Video Game Remake. See also American Kirby Is Hardcore. May be a result of Sequel First, Adaptation First or Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros." Almost always a case of Late Export for You.

Video Game Examples:

  • Ace Attorney:
    • Gyakuten Saiban ("Turnabout Court") was originally a trilogy of Japan-only adventure games released on GBA, starring pointy-haired lawyer Ryuuichi Naruhodo and pitting the player against a set of diabolically-contrived frame jobs in order to see his innocent clients cleared of their charges and the guilty parties brought to justice. Featuring a strange blend of oddball humor and murder most foul, the games never saw the light of day in the U.S.... That is, until Capcom decided to remake the first title as a DS game: As it would give Japanese players the option to play the game in English, Capcom figured that they may as well try giving the game a U.S. release a shot, dubbing the game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, with the punny names of characters changed into puns easier for English-speaking players to get. Its resounding success inspired Capcom to bring its sequels to the US as well.
    • The Great Ace Attorney games on the Nintendo 3DS were not localized nor were the mobile ports, but the games were later announced to be released worldwide in 2021 for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam in the form of a Compilation Rerelease.
  • The original Adventures of Lolo for the NES was created specifically to introduce the Eggerland series to the American market and consisted entirely of recycled puzzles from the earlier Eggerland games released in Japan. The sequels to it were then brought to Japan, but with the title numbers bumped down and some puzzles swapped out for harder ones.
  • Animal Crossing (2001) is an enhanced version of Dōbutsu no Mori+, the initial GameCube port of the Nintendo 64 original, and was the first game in the series to be released outside Japan. Much of the game, including its character models, furniture, and holidays, were reworked to have a less uniquely Japanese and more "international" feeling, as the localization team wished to give players outside of Japan the same experience worldwide. The original development team was so impressed that they imported these changes back into the Japanese version with Dōbutsu no Mori e+, adding even more new features atop of that.
  • Another Code's sequel, Another Code: R - A Journey Into Lost Memories for the Wii, was only released in Japan and Europe and never saw a North American or Australian release. It wouldn't be until the 2024 remake of both games, Another Code: Recollection, that the game would finally see a release there.
  • Inverted with Balloon Kid, the sequel to Balloon Fight. The original Game Boy game was only released in the West, but there was a Game Boy Color version titled Balloon Fight GB that was released almost a decade later. There was also an earlier Famicom port titled Hello Kitty World that replaces all the original characters with Sanrio ones.
  • Although the original arcade version of Battle Garegga was released in the U.S., China, and Europe, the Sega Saturn port wasn't. It took 20 years for the game to have a consumer port for those regions, when Battle Garegga Rev.2016 was released not only in Japan for PS4 and Xbox One, but the rest of the world as well (including regions that never got the arcade version).
  • Bomberman '94, the third and final Bomberman game for the PC Engine, was ported to the Sega Genesis and released in the west under the name of Mega Bomberman after sales of the TurboGrafx-16 were discontinued in the States. There were no Bomberman games for the Japanese Mega Drive.
  • Due to the TurboGrafx-16 never taking off in the U.K., Bonk's Adventure and Bomberman were instead ported to the Amiga under the titles of B.C. Kid and Dyna Blaster respectively (with Dyna Blaster receiving additional ports for Atari ST and IBM compatibles).
  • Although Bravely Default: Flying Fairy was never released outside of Japan, its Updated Re-release, Bravely Default: For the Sequel, got an international release thanks to Nintendo.
  • Castlevania:
  • The international versions of Chaos Legion, as well as the Japanese PC port based on the Western PS2 release, had its gameplay mechanics changed (e.g. enemies can be either organic or metallic, and can take more damage some Legions while resisting others), nerfed Sieg's damage output and resistance to enemy attacks, and made some enemies more aggressive, effectively making the game harder than the original Japanese version after receiving criticism for the underused Legion system and Sieg being considered too powerful from the outset. New enemy types, altered enemy placements, and inflated EXP requirements for the Legion's abilities were also present in the international versions.
  • Chrono Trigger never saw a release in Europe. The DS port did, however, make it to the rainy shores of Britain and beyond in 2009.
  • The 1991 PC Engine CD-ROM game Cobra II: The Legendary Man was ported to the Sega CD and released in North America in 1995 under the title of The Space Adventure.
  • Clock Tower (1995) is one of the most classic Survival Horror games to be released in the 90's. It's also never seen an official western release in any capacity despite the game getting ported to PlayStation and computers (the series suffered a bad case of Sequel First, as Clock Tower 2 became the world's first exposure to the series), taking until 2024 for the first game to finally see a proper worldwide release thanks to WayForward Technologies announcing a remake for all modern systems back in July 2023.
  • Although the original Conker's Bad Fur Day was never released in Japan (owing at least in part to its very late release date of March 2001 leaving almost no room for translation; its European release was English-only), the Xbox remake Conker: Live and Reloaded was.
  • Crimzon Clover is a Japan-only release, but the game has no Region Coding and simply requires a PC with enough power to take it and a modern version of Windows. Crimzon Clover for NESiCAxLive is not only Japan-only, but is limited to the NESiCAxLive platform, a digital distribution service for arcade cabinets with service limited to Japan. CCfNxL was ported back to PC as Crimzon Clover WORLD IGNITION and released internatonally with seven language options, including English and Japanese.
  • Crisis Zone, the Gaiden Game of Time Crisis, zig-zags this. Even though the original arcade version was released internationally, the PS2 remake, with its Grassmarket District storyline and some new features, stayed outside of Japan.
  • When Capcom originally made the Disney's Magical Quest trilogy for the SNES, the third installment never made it out of Japan. When the series was remade for the Game Boy Advance in the early-to-mid 2000s, the third game was finally exported to countries outside Japan.
  • Donkey Kong Land III, three years after being released in North America and Europe, made it to Japan in the form of a Game Boy Color remake (titled Donkey Kong GB: Dinky Kong & Dixie Kong) that was released nowhere else.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest: The North American version of the game received a graphical facelift as well as a battery-backed save instead of a 20-character long password system used in the Japanese version.
    • The whole series is a curious case: While its popularity in Japan has never spread beyond its borders, it's one of the few franchises where the publishers didn't monkey with the numbers to hide missing entries. Adding to the bizarreness is that it was never the publisher's decision not to release the missing games outside of Japan: it was the developers. Given the choice between localizing their latest title for the overseas market and starting work on a sequel, they chose the latter — twice in succession — thus condemning Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest VI to import-only status for many years and leaving a curious gap between the fourth (for NES) and seventh (for PlayStation) entries.
    • A remake of the fourth game was made for PlayStation and announced for the U.S., but due to the aforementioned development team disbanding, it never came to fruition without someone to program the game to implement the English script, and the frustration continued when Dragon Quest V was remade for PlayStation 2. Finally, post-merger Square Enix came through for the U.S. market, delivering the "Zenithian Trilogy" — Dragon Quest IV, V and VI — all on Nintendo DS.
    • While the U.S. had never seen the DQIV remake before 2008, Europe had never seen DQIV at all, or any of the preceding games, originally leading to the curious decision to ax the numbers from the European titles and refer to them solely by their subtitles of "Chapters of the Chosen" and "Hand of the Heavenly Bride", possibly in a vain attempt to hide this fact, though Dragon Quest IX and Dragon Quest VI were released with the numbers intact. Thanks to Internet, nobody was fooled by the ones with the numbers removed.
  • Fahrenheit was remade for North American release as Indigo Prophecy, largely due to explicit sexual content which was edited out for that region. Fahrenheit features some explicit sex scenes (one of which was player controllable!). Indigo Prophecy retains only one of these scenes (because it results in a significant pregnancy), and the 3D models are given different skins so that the woman has no nipples in the amended scene.
  • The Famicom Detective Club duology, probably due to their heavy subject matter (both games are murder mysteries) and text-heavy nature (which Nintendo may have seen as unlikely to appeal to Western audiences), evaded any form of export for quite some time. For a lot of Western Nintendo fans, it was simply known as "the game where that one schoolgirl Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee comes from" (her only other appearance outside Japan was as an unlockable costume in Super Mario Maker). In 2021, it was announced that the remakes originally thought to be Japan-only would actually be seeing international release that same year.
  • Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse was originally produced for the Wii in 2008, and it never was released outside of Japan. Fast forward fourteen years later, it was announced on 09/13/2022 that the game would be remastered for ninth generation consoles and released in 2023.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Due to fact that Nintendo released Final Fantasy a bit late in the American market (three years after the Japanese release to be precise), Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III for the NES were skipped, with their numbers being appropriated by Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI; Final Fantasy V for the SNES was also passed over for American release, and no Final Fantasy games came out in Europe before Final Fantasy VII. After FFVII for the PlayStation brought the series international recognition, Square released remakes of five of the previous six games for that system (generally in two-packs) in the U.S. and Europe with their proper titles. The actual Final Fantasy III was the one older Final Fantasy game which never saw release on the PlayStation nor Game Boy Advance, but it was later remade for the Nintendo DS with a massive overhaul and finally saw its long-awaited international release. That being said, fans outside of Japan couldn't officially experience a version of FFIII based more closely on the original Famicom version released in 1990, notably featuring four nameless Onion Knights as the protagonists instead of the four named characters from the DS remake. That changed 31 years later with the release of its Pixel Remaster remake in 2021.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics was translated to Engrish and released in the USA, but it never saw the light in Europe until the PSP port, with a much better translation.
  • Fire Emblem was first introduced to Western gamers through the appearance of Marth (from the original Fire Emblem for the Famicom) and Roy (from the then-upcoming Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade) in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Shortly afterward, Nintendo began releasing the series outside Japan, beginning with Fire Emblem: The Blazing Bladenote . So far, three of the six preceding Fire Emblem games have slowly undergone the remake process; the first and third games were remade for the Nintendo DS (though only first remake was exported), while the second was remade for the Nintendo 3DS as Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia following a huge Newbie Boom.
  • A Nintendo DS remake of the original Front Mission was released in North America, after Square Enix had released two later sequels there.
  • Gundam Battle Assault, a Street Fighter (and, later, Virtual-ON) pastiche, is an entire series of this.
    • The first game was a remake of the Japanese game Gundam: The Battle Master 2, tweaked to focus on Gundam Wing (which was prominent in the States at the time due to its airing on Toonami), complete with Wing Gundam replacing the Hamma-Hamma (Wing being little more than a Palette Swap of the Zeta) and a plotline centering on Heero Yuy kicking everyone else's butts to bring peace.
    • A couple of years later when G Gundam was brought to America, the game was remade again as Battle Assault 2, bringing in machines from G as well as the Wing movie Endless Waltz (as well as several characters from Zeta and ZZ being removed to avoid spoilers in anticipation of their American release, which mostly fell through).
    • Then, when Gundam SEED came to the States, its own action game for the PlayStation 2 was remade as Battle Assault 3, becoming a 3D fighter (and gaining Wing Zero, Tallgeese, God Gundam, and Master Gundam, their character models taken from the earlier game Encounters in Space).
  • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature For Girl was never released on its home console, the PlayStation, outside of Japan but was directly ported to the PlayStation Portable.
  • Ikaruga, released in 2001, was a victim of this, just like its Spiritual Predecessor Radiant Silvergun. The original arcade game, as well as Dreamcast port, were Japan-only. The GameCube port was made for international markets in 2003, two years after its original release.
  • The first three Inazuma Eleven games were originally for the DS, but later received a bundled-up remake entitled Inazuma Eleven 123: The Legend of Endou Mamoru for the 3DS. Europe had previously received localized versions of the first two games, but around the time it was to receive the third, the DS's life was gone for all intents and purposes and Europe instead received the 3DS port. Some time later, North America (which had never received the game up until then) finally received the first game, carrying the European DS version's translation with some edits for localization on the 3DS port. Most of Europe also received the remake as well... except for the UK, which wasn't as lucky since the North American localization had redubbed voices that differed from the already-established British voice actors.
  • Similar to MangaGamer and their remakes of older Visual Novels mentioned below, we have JAST USA's localization of nitro+ titles. Older titles are ported to the newer engine Nitroplus has been using since 2008.
  • The Kamen Rider Ryuki game for the original PlayStation was remade for the Wii as a Kamen Rider Dragon Knight game, with an added Beat 'em Up mode. Bonus export remake points: Developer Eighting recycled the engine and many assets from the PlayStation 2 game Kamen Rider Climax Heroes. In turn, the stuff created for Dragon Knight was recycled by adding the rest of the Ryuki cast to Climax Heroes OOO.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts coded was remade as Re:Coded on the Nintendo DS for a non-Japanese release... because Coded was only for cell phones.
    • The Final Mix versions of I, II, and Birth by Sleep at long last made it to Western shores as part of the HD ReMIX collections for PS3 and PS4. This was also the first time the European region got Re:Chain of Memories.
    • Kingdom Hearts χ, a Japanese-only browser game, was remade and localized for mobile devices as Kingdom Hearts Unchained/Union X.
  • Left 4 Dead 2, already released internationally, has a specific version called LEFT 4 DEAD: SURVIVORS for Japanese arcades, which features greatly toned-down violence and gore along with a brand new cast of survivors and Japanese voice acting. In addition, it allows the player to unlock new skins and coins are used to buy play time instead of "lives".
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure went unreleased in the west for years due to a variety of reasons note . It wasn't until 2022 and 2023 that players are able to play the duology with NISA and the Geofront fan translation team using the Kai version.
  • Like a Dragon: Ishin!, a Like a Dragon spinoff based in feudal Japan, only came out in Japan during its initial release in 2014, but its 2023 remake got an international release.
  • Nearly thirty years after its original, Japanese-exclusive release, Live A Live got this treatment in 2022 for the Nintendo Switch, with new HD-2D graphics akin to Square Enix's other games at the time, such as Octopath Traveler and Triangle Strategy, and full voice acting.
  • Magi-Nation did this in reverse, taking a U.S.-made Game Boy Color game and giving it a Game Boy Advance remake that was exclusive to Japan (though they changed the Deadpan Snarker hero into an Idiot Hero).
  • Over time, MangaGamer has been remaking older Visual Novels in modern engines for the English releases, such as Higurashi: When They Cry, which was remade in Unity in 2009/2010, and A Kiss for the Petals: Remembering How We Met, which was remade in Ren'Py in 2015, roughly half a year after its original Japanese release.
  • Mary Skelter 2 debuted on the PlayStation 4 in Japan, but received a late Nintendo Switch port; the latter was the only version of the two that Idea Factory International chose to localize. The Chinese PS4 version of Mary Skelter 2 infamously had its Purification mode Dummied Out post-release, corresponding with several other Fanservice-heavy games on the PS4 receiving last-minute Bowdlerization, so the Switch version likely happened to avoid having to take those measures for the North American and European releases.
  • Medabots did this for the Game Boy Advance, remaking the second game for the Game Boy Color (Medarot 2) for it (Medarot 2 Core) when the anime was released in America. However, they didn't continue to export the next games of the franchise (remade or not) because it died in Japan around 2004 (and eventually Medarot DS was released on 2009, with no export for the West.
  • The original MSX2 versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake were never released outside Japan (with the exception of an English version of the first game that came out in Europe). Around the time Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater came out, Konami remade both games for mobile phones, although these were still strictly Japanese releases. It wasn't until their inclusion in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence that both games saw a proper international release.
  • Metal Wolf Chaos, in spite of the premise consisting of the U.S. President and the evil Vice President duking it out in Ham-to-Ham Combat in mechs with lots of explosions and BURNING AMERICAN FREEDOM, originally was released in Japan only, partly due to the lack of a publisher willing to export it, partly because it's against U.S. law for non-government entities to use the POTUS seal, and partly the events of the 9/11 attacks played a role in why FromSoftware was reluctant on releasing the game overseas. 15 years later, it was remastered as Metal Wolf Chaos XD for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2019.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Monster Hunter Freedom features all elements that originally debuted in the Japan-exclusive Monster Hunter G, namely G-Rank quests, all subspecies and some quality-of-life improvements. And unlike G, it was brought overseas.
    • Monster Hunter 4 on the Nintendo 3DS stayed in Japan, but its Updated Re-release Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate saw an international release. It retains all the content from its original version and adds its own, robust content for a more complete experience.
    • Monster Hunter Generationsnote  was localized outside of Japan but its Updated Re-release Monster Hunter XX was not. At least, not on the 3DS. When the game was ported to Switch, it finally got an international release as Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate — a year later, to avoid "self competition" with the soon-to-be released (at the time) Monster Hunter: World.
  • Several NES ports of arcade games were ported twice, usually for different regions:
    • The NES port of Rampart was a straight port of the arcade version by Tengen, whereas the Famicom version by Konami retains the play mechanics, but alters the aesthetics and plot considerably.
    • The European version of Rainbow Islands is noticeably more authentic to the arcade original (with the exception of the music due to copyright issues, although the North American release had the same problem) and had the two player mode while the Famicom/North American release didn't.
    • Fantasy Zone was ported to the NES by Tengen in the U.S., but by Sunsoft in Japan. The Sunsoft version sports graphics that are a bit more colorful but also a bit more cramped. Its music may be more accurate in its bassline, but the Tengen version's music sounds more complete overall. For some reason, Tengen also reduced the number of targets per stage from eight to six.
  • Naruto games
    • Naruto: Ninja Council 3 was actually Ninja Council 4 in Japan, however when it was brought over to America, it was remade as Ninja Council 3, removed several characters (such as Kimimaro, the Sound Four's stage 2 transformations and Naruto and Sasuke's ultimate forms), edited some of the missions, and included a gallery, which the Japanese game did not have.
    • Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles also changed the story, and removed Itachi, Kisame and Tsunade to prevent spoilers.
    • Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution is Naruto: Gekito Ninja Taisen 3 in Japan, in the West, it added motion controls from Gekito Ninja Taisen EX, removed Kiba, Zabuza, Haku, Iruka and Mizuki, included 3 mini games, changed several story elements and added a new playable character, Kisame, using his model from Gekito Ninja Taisen EX.
    • Naruto: Clash Of Ninja Revolution 2 is actually Gekito Ninja Taisen 4 in Japan, however to prevent spoilers, the game had to be remade. Several characters were removed (the Sound Four, Hiruzen, Kimimaro, Iruka, Zabuza, Haku, Mizuki), some brand-new characters were added (Bando, Towa, Komachi, Kagura), motion controlled gameplay was added and the story was completely remade. The sequel, Naruto Shippuden: Clash Of Ninja Revolution 3, is a completely original game.
  • Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan was a successful rhythm action title for DS and one of the most highly-imported games for the platform. Smelling money, Nintendo reinvented the game for the Western market as Elite Beat Agents: different characters, different songs, exact same gameplay. It was good enough that Japanese gamers imported it as a sequel. Since then, Ouendan has seen an official sequel in Japan, though Elite Beat Angels has remained a one-shot IP.
  • Pokémon Red and Blue is an interesting case, as the Western releases were based both on the Updated Re-release Japanese Pokémon Blue (engine, sprite work, in-game text) and the original Red and Green (Pokémon encounters and in-game trades), rather than just being direct exports of either. The name change was also the result of marketingnote , but led to an odd situation when the 2004 remakes (FireRed and LeafGreen) retained the names of the Japanese releases internationally. As for the games themselves, the mish-mash of features resulted in some minor errors, such as an NPC saying that the Raichu you traded him evolved.
  • Psychic World, a side-scrolling action game for the Sega Master System and Game Gear, is a remake of an MSX2 game titled Psycho World. Notably the Master System version was only released in Europe.
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris had caught the interest of many international gamers back during its release in 2014. Despite this, the game was hit by a case of No Export for You, thanks in part to Ubisoft holding much of the Tetris license outside of Japan. For a while, the game seemed like it would get no international release due to being Screwed by the Lawyers. But then, they made a Nintendo Switch version, and Sega used the opportunity to get the Tetris license for that system outright. As an added bonus, they were even able to find a technicality in Ubisoft's license that allowed them to bring over the PlayStation 4 version as well.
  • Radiant Silvergun was a Japan-only vertical scrolling shooter released in 1998, despite being praised by the overseas critics. However, its Spiritual Successor, Ikaruga, was released internationally on GameCube. RS was rereleased internationally on Xbox Live Arcade in 2011, 13 years after its original release.
  • Rockman & Forte was released exclusively in Japan for the Super Famicom in 1998 (which was pretty late during its lifespan, since the platform was already discontinued in the West and the succeeding Nintendo 64 had been around for two years) and then ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2003, in which it received an official western release as Mega Man & Bass.
  • Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song is a PS2 remake of the SNES Romancing SaGa. Until its release in 2005, none of the Romancing trilogy had reached stateside — though the rest of the SaGa games arrived on their original platforms. Romancing SaGa 2 was later remade for Vita and mobile, but the Vita version wasn't released in English until 2017 where the game was also ported to PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC. Romancing SaGa 3 followed suit two years later on the same platforms. Strangely, the DS remakes of Final Fantasy Legend II and Final Fantasy Legend III were never localized, despite having brought over the original Game Boy versions.
  • The American version of Shenmue II for the Dreamcast was canceled a few months before its scheduled release date, so an Xbox port was released in its place a year later in 2002. Europe got both the Dreamcast version (which kept the Japanese voice acting and added subtitles) and the Xbox port.
  • The Sega CD version of Snatcher was made exclusively for the overseas market and never had a domestic Japanese release (although it was made using the PC Engine version as its base). Bonus points to the localization team for expanding the ending and explaining what happens to Mika, Katrina and Napoleon before Gillian leaves for Moscow.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom wasn't released in Japan, as THQ wasn't based in the country at the time. The Rehydrated Video Game Remake in 2020, however, was — it even got a new Japanese voice track.
  • The original Star Ocean was never released stateside; the franchise didn't gain ground in America until the coming of Star Ocean: The Second Story. In 2008, however, tri-Ace released PSP remakes for not only Second Story (as Star Ocean: Second Evolution) but, before that, the original (as Star Ocean: First Departure).
  • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels: The original game, known in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2, was originally exclusive to that country due to Nintendo of America's reluctance to import it (adapting Doki Doki Panic for the Western version of Super Mario Bros. 2 instead), but was then brought overseas when it was remade for the SNES as part of Super Mario All-Stars, with several changes to make its difficulty more bearable. A somewhat altered remake was included on Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the Game Boy Color, unlockable after completing the first game. The Famicom Disk System version was eventually released on the Wii's (and later systems') Virtual Console service outside of Japan and is sold as The Lost Levels, though the actual game is unaltered (i.e. the title screen still says "Super Mario Bros. 2").
  • Tales Series:
    • Although the original version of Tales of the Abyss was released in English in North America, Europe and Australia didn't get it at all. However, they did get the Nintendo 3DS Updated Re-release.
    • And even then, the American version contained NA Bonuses, which were faithfully ported to the 3DS version.
    • Tales of Graces was exported to North America, Europe and Australia as the PS3 version, the Enhanced Remake Tales of Graces ƒ.
    • Ditto with Tales of Hearts, which the West got in the form of said game's PS Vita remake, Tales of Hearts R.
  • The Tantei Jinguuji Saburo Visual Novel series remained Japan-only for two decades, until the original three games for the Famicom Disk System were remade for the Nintendo DS as Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles.
  • While Trials of Mana ended up getting a 3D remake for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, it was predated by the latter console's Collection of Mana, which includes the original game's first-ever release outside of Japan. In fact, the original plan was to just remake the game for international release, but the staff of Square Enix's Western divisions convinced the Mana series producer to make the original Super Nintendo version available worldwide as well.
  • Tsukihime was originally released a doujin project from Type-Moon back in 2000. It was later remade and released in 2021, with the remake set to come out in English 2024.
  • The first two Valis games were originally for the PC88, MSX and other Japanese computers; the internationally released versions were the considerably redesigned remakes for the TurboGrafx-16 and Sega Genesis.
  • Inverted with Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap for the Sega Master System. The game was meant to be released in Japan as well under the name of Monster World II, but the sudden discontinuation of the Sega Mark III in that region caused the game to be canceled. The game was eventually released in Japan, in the form of a PC Engine remake titled Adventure Island (retitled Dragon's Curse in the west to avoid confusion with Hudson's own Adventure Island series), and later as a straight Game Gear port of the original Master System title.
  • Slight variant for Yo-kai Watch 3. Though it was also on 3DS, Level-5 opted to take the three versions and combine them into one for a massive mega game for International players.
  • XZR II originally was a Japan-only computer game, but when it was greatly overhauled as Exile for the Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx-CD, both console versions were translated.
  • The combined remake of Ys Book I & II for the Turbo CD is an unusual example: the original Ys was previously released outside Japan in the forms of stand-alone ports for the Sega Master System and IBM PC, but not Ys II.

Non-Video Game Examples

  • In the 90's and up until the 2000's, it was pretty common for children's programming imported from other parts of the world to be repackaged for North America instead of being shown as their own individual show by adding new segments to the original show to extend the runtime or creating an entirely new show, which would be the Framing Device for the series they wanted to import. The shows that were subject to this treatment included:
    • Shining Time Station, a show about life at a train station, was made to frame episodes of Thomas & Friends.
    • The Fox Cubhouse centered around the adventures of a girl named Rosie and her puppet friends or a girl named Sunny (this varied depending on the season) and aired programs such as Johnson and Friends and Magic Adventures of Mumfie in between the live action segments.
    • The Amazin' Adventures version of Thunderbirds spliced in footage of two children interacting with the titular characters.
    • Big Bag played cartoon shorts from around the world like William's Wish Wellingtons, Koki and Slim Pig, surrounded by a main story about a general store. It also included two shorts that were made for the show, Troubles the Cat and Ace and Avery.
    • The American version of Tots TV added segments involving Mr. Noah, a storyteller, and Jane, an animal expert, to extend the normally 10-minute long runtime of the show.
    • Clips from TUGS were chopped up and reycled as part of Salty's Lighthouse, where they would play in 5-minute segments that showed what the tugboats in the harbor did when nobody was around.
    • The 1997 version of The Mr. Men Show was a Variety Show with various live action segments all tied to a theme with Mr. Men stories in between.
    • Noddy's Toyland Adventures was incorporated into The Noddy Shop, a series about an antique toy store where toys and a pet lobster come to life.
    • It's Itsy Bitsy Time! showed various cartoon shorts from around the world with transitions themed around a circus.
    • Early United States-version episodes of Caillou featured segments about Caillou's cat Gilbert and his toys Rexy and Teddy going on adventures, along with live action segments with children called the Cailettes.
    • Similarly, Hola Sproutitos framed episodes of Sesame English.
  • Another non-video game example is found in the Gormiti toyline. The "Series 1" of figures released in most countries in 2008 is actually a remake of the true first series released in Italy in 2005. Those figures were originally released in Italy as the "Energheia" series, presented as resurrected and buffed forms of the original characters, and then used to launch the franchise in the world.
  • Indonesian channel Trans TV at the time when the series was new, airs Blade: The Series and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as TV Movies in the same timeslot that covers re-airing of older theatrical releases, covering 4 episodes in the span of two hours.
  • Ms. Marvel (2022): The series was released in Pakistan and reassembled into three films through theater licensor HKC Entertainment. Each film contains two episodes released on a bi-weekly basis, within the original series release period. This was done to get around the lack of Disney+ availability in the country at the time.
  • Sprout programming blocks such as The Sunny Side Up Show and The Good Night Show aired gold-standard, curriculum based programs such as Dragon Tales, Angelina Ballerina, and Barney & Friends in between the host segments.
  • Episodes of Teletubbies often get repackaged for the countries they are shown in. For example, the segments involving the titular characters may remain the same, but some elements may be changed, like the Tummy Tales segments, the Magical Events, and in some cases, having half the episode being taken up by one of the spin-off Teletubbies Everywhere.
  • Even automobiles occasionally get this. A prominent recent example: for North American buyers (outside Mexico) who were jealous of world markets for their fire-breathing GR Yaris hot hatch, powered by a 1.6 liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine that makes 268 horsepower, Toyota promised a hot hatch Americans could call their own - and reverse-engineered another, larger chassis (the Corolla) and used that same engine, with some extra horsepower at that (300 - a significant jump) to make the GR Corolla, only sold alongside its little brother in its home country, and later Thailand, Malaysia, and Oceania.