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Same Plot Sequel

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"Do the same thing as last time. Everyone's happy."
Deputy Chief Hardy, 22 Jump Street

So, a sequel to your favorite work has just come out. When you go see, watch, read or play it, you notice that the plot is strangely similar to the first one.

You've just encountered the Same Plot Sequel. It may feel like a traditional Remake, except it's still in the same canon as the original work, and has only a few minor details tweaked. Oftentimes this is done because studios wish to appeal to nostalgic fans, or because they're too afraid to actually hit the reboot button, or that the original is so iconic or omnipresent that a remake would hurt the franchise as a whole, or just because they want to make a quick buck. Note that this is not exclusively good or bad. Video Games in particular can get away with variations on the same basic plot due to focusing on game-play. It can also be used to recontextualise the original plot, such as with a change in setting or a switch from a dramatic tone to a parody.

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See also Soft Reboot, when the new entry straddles the line between "sequel" and "remake". May be the result of a Sequel Reset. If it's not, and the main character is the same, it probably incorporates Aesop Amnesia. Contrast with Spiritual Successor and In Name Only. Compare Mission-Pack Sequel.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 

    Film — Animated 
  • This is common for many Disneytoon Studios sequels:
    • In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Ariel's daughter Melody goes through pretty much the same plot as her mother in The Little Mermaid, only with the land and the sea inverted this time: teenage girl wants to live in the other element, overprotective parent stops her from doing so, she rebels and makes a deal with a power-hungry sea witch.
    • Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas is technically a midquel; it expands on the events that happened during the song "Something There" in the original Beauty and the Beast. Ultimately it tells exactly the same story: Belle is captured by the Beast, and they eventually soften up to each other and fall in love.
    • Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure has a street smart dog showing a house pet how to be a wild dog and falling in love over a plate of spaghetti, and running afoul of a dogcatcher only to realize they belong indoors with their family. The difference is this time the male (Scamp) is the house pet and the girl (Angel) is wild. Angel also has more desire to be domesticated than Tramp initially did in the first story, and she chews Scamp out for throwing away what he had, whereas Lady scolded Tramp in the first movie for getting her in trouble and taken to the pound.
    • Return to Never Land is a sequel to Peter Pan, and uses many of the same plot elements: a child (this time only one, Wendy's daughter, instead of three) ends up in Never Land (instead of willingly leaving the house like before, Captain Hook kidnaps her and takes her there), teams up with Peter Pan and gets pursued by Hook. Hook is still pursued by a hungry beast this time, except for some reason it's an octopus rather than a crocodile.
    • The Jungle Book 2, the sequel to The Jungle Book (1967), still revolves around the dilemma whether Mowgli belongs to the jungle or the man-village, and Baloo still wants him to live in the jungle with him, driving a plot where he brings Mowgli out of the man-village. Meanwhile, Shere Khan still pursues Mowgli to kill him, the difference being that not only does he fully know of Mowgli (he originally only learned about him through eavesdropping on Bagheera and Hathi), he attacks the man-village to find him.
  • Finding Dory has many of the same story beats as Finding Nemo. In both films the title character gets captured and put in an aquarium (a dentist's aquarium tank in the original, a public aquarium in the sequel), while two other characters (one being Marlin) try to find them. There's an opening flashback, a school field trip where things go wrong, a scene set on a shipwreck, a glow-in-the-dark predator (an Alluring Anglerfish in the original and a giant squid in the sequel), some predators (sharks in the original, sea lions in the sequel) who are friendly to the protagonists, a goofy bird, a gruff character who tries repeatedly to escape the aquarium, a reunion with lost parents, and a climax in which dozens of fish perform an unlikely escape.
  • Incredibles 2 also has many of the same story beats as the original The Incredibles. One of the Parr parents is given the opportunity to relive their glory days as a superhero while the other parent stays at home raising the kids. The benefactor, or in this case, his sister, turns out to be evil and the whole thing is a scheme to discredit superheroes.
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    Film — Live-Action 
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music reuses plot elements from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (Billie and Thea's subplot uses the same premise of using time travel to gather historical figures for a specific purpose) and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (a robot from the future travels back in time on a mission to kill Bill and Ted, sending them to the afterlife where they meet Death).
  • The Chronicles of Riddick creators David Twohy and Vin Diesel expressed in interviews that they specifically wanted to avoid this when they made The Chronicles of Riddick by not simply doing a remake of Pitch Black only with bigger and meaner monsters. However, the sequel was then criticized for veering too far away from its premise by placing Riddick, a knife-happy Villain Protagonist in a Sci-Fi Horror—into a Star Wars-esque Science Fantasy space epic as the last hope of saving the universe from the thrall of an evil empire. The next movie, simply titled Riddick, then played this straight. Once again Riddick is stranded on an uninhabited planet before nightfall arrives and the whole planet is swarmed with hostile aliens, requiring the humans to retrieve energy batteries to power a ship and escape.
  • The Cutting Edge has three direct-to-video sequels. Each of those repeats the same basic formula: a professional ice skater needs a partner, who turns out to be someone from a different, less artistic sport (hockey player, rollerblader, hockey player, speed-skater). They become not only skating partners but also fall for one another. But there will usually be a Romantic False Lead or miscommunication to add some drama, only for there to be declarations of love right before (or even during) the competition. Also, in two of the four cases, the romance doesn't last to the sequel. Only the couple from the original movie stays together (even if played by different actors), while their daughter's marriage doesn't last, and the daughter's student's romance lasts only as long as her partner's skating career. We don't know anything about her second romance, since there wasn't a fifth movie. In every movie but one, the professional skater is female, while the amateur is male.
  • Escape from L.A. is essentially a remake of Escape from New York almost plot point for plot point. Snake is captured and then enlisted by the dystopian U.S. authorities to break into a former city that is now a huge prison island (Manhattan and Los Angeles, respectively) to retrieve an important person and prevent a war. Even characters are remarkably similar: Cuervo Jones is The Duke, Maps to the Stars Eddie is Cabbie, etc.
  • Fright Night 2: New Blood is an odd case where it's officially a sequel to the 2011 movie (which was already a remake to the 1985 movie), but it's really just the same plot *again*, character names and all. Teenage boy suspects that his neighbor is a vampire, recruits a horror TV star to reluctantly help him, his best friend and girlfriend get turned, final battle where the vampire is killed by sunlight. The only real difference is that the vampire is a woman this time around and is implied to be a historical figure like Dracula, namely Elizabeth Báthory. Which makes you wonder why they didn't just make it a Divorced Installment, since a bunch of rag-tag heroes fighting a vampirized Bathory has enough potential by itself.
  • The Hangover Part II was nearly a note-for-note copy of the original, with the gang getting together for another bachelor party, another drinking session, another morning hangover, another member of the party missing, Alan slipping the others drugs again, another madcap quest to find the missing person...
  • Home Alone 2 is basically the first Home Alone again. Complete with traps, Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold, being out in a city rather than at his house, and so on.
  • Jurassic Park: This happened not once, but twice after the series was revived:
    • Jurassic World, taking place two decades after the original Jurassic Park, borrows many elements from it. Two children visit a park of genetically engineered dinosaurs run by a relative of theirs (in the case of Jurassic World, said relative was the second-in-command of the actual owner) so that they can be away from their soon-to-be divorced parents. Due to an error in the security system, usually caused by a secretly evil person, dangerous dinosaurs escape and attack people, and the children get lost. The main antagonistic dinosaurs get defeated by the very same Tyrannosaurus in both movies. Also, the general theme of human greed and interfering with nature is the same.
    • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has been called essentially a remake of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, with a heavy-handed, almost obnoxious Green Aesop about an expedition being sent back to the dinosaur-filled islands after the original park broke down to retrieve as many specimens as possible, while a bunch of Smug Snake Corrupt Corporate Executives attempt to profit off it (the original outright had the heroes and villains in separate factions, whereas the later film had them initially work together only for the heroes to be betrayed). The dinosaurs (just Tyrannosaurus in the older film, multiple species of dinosaurs and the pterosaur Pteranodon in the later film) break free and cause a rampage on the mainland, leading to a Karmic Death for the cartoonish capitalist villains, and an ending speech by one of the previous film's characters (the later film straight up using the main character of the older film (Ian Malcolm) to deliver the speech) that people will have to learn to live with dinosaurs roaming the Earth.
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising follows the plot of Pacific Rim pretty much beat for beat. The main character of each film is a disgraced former Jaeger pilot who gets coaxed back into service and teamed up with a female rookie whose parents were killed by Kaiju. Both films start with a replacement for the Jaeger program being proposed, only for a sudden disastrous attack to make the Jaegers relevant again. Both film have the majority of the Jaegers destroyed so that there's only four left to repel the biggest kaiju attack to date. Both films' climaxes involve the heroes self-destroying their Jaeger in a last-ditch effort to avert a catastrophic event that is worse than any one Kaiju.
  • Star Wars
    • The Force Awakens, the seventh installment in the Star Wars film series, has a similar plot to the original trilogy, particularly A New Hope, to the point that The Force Awakens comes off as a soft remake. An evil Nazi-esque army, commanded by (though not lead by) a sinister figure in black, constructs a space weapon that can destroy planets (and unlike the Death Star in the original, this one can destroy multiple planets in the same solar system together). A resistance member hides some information the villains also want in the memory of an astromech droid, who gets stranded along with a second character (a protocol droid in the original, a reformed stormtrooper in the later film) on a desert planet and found by an orphan with affinity to the Force. They escape the villains and encounter an old mentor figure who fought in the previous war and has a connection with the main villain. They go to the villains' base, the mentor confronts the villain and gets killed by him. Then an Ace Pilot of the resistance group destroys the base. A lot of the same things also happen in the same order and around the same time as in A New Hope.
    • To a lesser but still noticeable extent, this also applies to its sequel The Last Jedi, which has a very similar plot to The Empire Strikes Back. Both film start with the heroes' base being attacked by the villains. The heroes escape and are pursued, leading to a Chase Scene in space (The Last Jedi notably has this stretched out over several scenes compared to the original due to the First Order tracking the Resistance through hyperspace). Some of them go to a new planet and meet an unsavory character who eventually betrays them (who, unlike Lando in The Empire Strikes Back, never defects back to the side of the heroes). Meanwhile, the main protagonist is trained by an old Jedi Master on a remote planet. They venture to a place connected to the Dark Side where they have visions of themselves. Later, they go confront the main villain, who reveals the truth about their parentage. The film also contains a few scenes that are quite similar to those of Return of the Jedi, notably when the protagonist is brought to the throne room of a powerful Dark Side-user who ends up killed by his own apprentice.
  • Superman Returns: Superman arrives from outer space, makes his debut saving Lois Lane from a falling aircraft, spends his On Patrol Montage saving people and stopping petty crime, then tries to take on Lex Luthor only to be weakened by kryptonite, thrown in water and saved before drowning, fights to protect citizens from major disasters and earthquakes, and then foils Luthor's plan by performing a ludicrously impossible feat in outer space. If it weren't for the sub-plot about a possible son, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was just a remake of Superman.
  • Teen Wolf Too follows a cousin of the main character in Teen Wolf, who is also a teen and also discovers that he is a werewolf. The only difference is that instead of using it to become an ace at basketball, he uses it to become an ace at boxing.
  • Actually subverted by Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which sets itself up as being this to The Terminator: the machines send a Terminator back in time to kill John Connor before he can become a resistance leader, and so Connor sends someone to protect his own past self. The film's first act contains many scenes that mirror the first, with the Terminator played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and his mysterious opponent, played this time by Robert Patrick, making their way around in the present day and trying to find their quarry, the only difference being that now they're looking for John himself rather than his young mother. Then comes the shocking twist that reveals that Patrick's character is actually the Terminator the machines sent, while Schwarzenegger's Terminator is a re-programmed model sent by John, at which point the plot goes off in a much different direction than the first film. Then again, there are some similarities: The heroes are pursued by Patrick's T-1000 driving a semi tanker in a freeway chase. The destruction of the tanker seemingly kills the T-1000, which rises again and pursues the heroes inside a factory. After a pitched battle, the heroes succeed at the cost of one of their own. Additionally, there were cut scenes from Terminator where Sarah wants to attack the Cyberdyne factory, so it wasn't such a coincidence that's where they ended up.
  • The Thing (2011) is officially a prequel to The Thing (1982), but recycles its whole plot, beat-for-beat, to the point that many reviews refer to it as a remake.
  • Wild Things 2 is pretty much a carbon copy of the original Wild Things, set in South Florida, two high school girls as the main characters (one a white trash tomboy, the other a feminine rich girl), a fraudulent court case that ends with somebody being awarded a lot of money, a threesome scene between the conspirators, then an ensuing Gambit Pileup with lots of other characters turning out to have been in on it all along, then either ending up dead themselves in a series of backstabs or revealed to have faked their deaths. There's even a montage of scenes over the ending credits to fill in the gaps in the plot.

    Literature 
  • Crops up in some Goosebumps sequel books. In particular, the Night of the Living Dummy books all have a female protagonist who has issues with one of more siblings (or cousin, in III); the living dummy (first Mr. Wood, later Slappy) comes to life and does cruel pranks, which the protagonist is blamed for; he declares the protagonist to be his slave, and then gets defeated with help of the sibling(s). Most have a twist where another dummy/doll is actually alive, too. The Most Wanted book Son of Slappy finally mixes things up somewhat by having a male protagonist and a plot about Slappy putting him under Mind Control (though this is still mostly a variant of the "protagonist blamed for the dummy's pranks" idea).
  • Despite being much longer and more epic in scale, The Lord of the Rings recycles a lot of plot elements from The Hobbit. Both books star a hobbit named Baggins, who gets sent by the wizard Gandalf, against their will, on a quest to a mountain in a desolate land. After resting in Rivendell and getting crucial advice from Lord Elrond, Baggins and his companions attempt and fail to cross the Misty Mountains due to a storm, so they decide to go through the tunnels under the mountains instead. In the tunnels, they fight some orcs/goblins and lose one of their companions who returns more powerful (Bilbo returns with the Ring, Gandalf returns as the White). As they carry on with their journey, they visit a forest kingdom of elves (Mirkwood/Lothlorien), encounter giant spiders (the Mirkwood spiders/Shelob), and travel on a river. They eventually arrive to a kingdom of humans without a king (Laketown/Gondor), ruled by a corrupt nobleman (the Master/Denethor) next to the desolation where the Big Bad resides. A descendant of the lost king of the kingdom (Bard/Aragorn) participates in defeating the Big Bad and reclaims his throne. A battle is fought near the gate of the villain's domain, which is joined by the eagles on the heroes' side.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Planet of the Daleks" is notoriously a near-remake of the first Dalek story "The Daleks": Thals versus Daleks on a planet full of random monsters, with the Daleks planning to do something that will make it inhospitable to everyone but them.
    • "Revenge of the Cybermen" is a near-remake of "The Moonbase": Cybermen using a fake plague attack a human outpost somewhere in the solar system intending to use it as a base for an attack on another planet.
    • In the new series, "Night Terrors" is extremely similar to "Fear Her": a kid with out-of-control reality warping powers becomes a threat to a working-class contemporary community when their phobias become real. The difference is that in "Fear Her" the powers come from an alien that has become emotionally attached to the child, while in "Night Terrors" the child is actually an alien himself.
  • Helix Season 2 changes the location from the Arctic to an island in the Pacific Northwest, but otherwise is pretty much the same as season 1: CDC officials have to contend with a viral outbreak at a remote complex with all sort of access points and secrets, and led by a mysterious leader who is actually an immortal member of a centuries-old conspiracy, with at least one member of the CDC team having unofficial ties to the conspiracy. Over the course of the season, the situation deteriorates until the number of infected reaches a critical point and the whole site has to be destroyed.

    Scripts 
  • Had it gone into production, the Circle 7-produced Toy Story 3 would have been a blatant rehash of Toy Story 2 - one of the main toys (Woody/Buzz) would have been forcibly taken to another location (Al's Penthouse/China), forcing the other main toy (Buzz/Woody) to form a team of other toys (Mr. Potato Head, Rex, Slinky and Hamm, with both Jessie and Bullseye tagging along in the latter) to save them. The captured toy would have befriended a group of similar toys (Jessie and Bullseye/Jade and Cozy Rosey) during their efforts to escape and become enemies with another toy from their line (Stinky Pete/Daxx Blastar), all of the toys would have had to deal with a delusional Buzz, and Andy's toys would have returned to his room without Andy realizing anything was amiss.

    Theme Parks 
  • Two of the American-based Finding Nemo attractions: The Seas with Nemo and Friends and the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage present themselves as stories of Nemo getting lost once again, while replaying all of the original film's major setpieces as if it were one of the more traditional Disney dark ride adaptations.
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    Video Games — Nintendo 
Nintendo loves to do this with a lot of its core franchises, from those with long scripts and deep narratives, to those with an Excuse Plot and the ones in-between.

  • Animal Crossing: You are a young adult moving out and you arrive in a village where you are the Token Human. You don't have enough money to pay for a house but are allowed to pay your debt little-by-little. New Leaf changes up the plot with you becoming the mayor of the town.
  • Bayonetta 2 despite having a different initial premise than its predecessor (in the first game, Bayonetta investigates her past while in the second she tries to find a way to rescue her friend Jeanne from Hell) ends up rehashing several plot points and scenes. In both game, Bayonetta wanders in an old city with ties with the supernatural (Noatun and Vigrid), stumbles upon a mysterious child who's being targeted by the ennemies (Cereza and Loki) and regularly fights with a Evil Counterpart (Jeanne and the Masked Lumen) who turns to be a pawn of the Omnicidal Maniac Big Bad (Father Balder and Loptr). At the end of both games, the Big Bad uses the Eyes of the World to summon a gigantic mass destroying deity (Jubileus and Aesir). Bayonetta and her redeemed rival defeat it by summoning an even bigger one (Queen Of Sheba and Omne).
  • There are two Excuse Plots that the Donkey Kong Country series has used. The first is that someone has stolen DK's Bananas. The second is that someone has kidnapped the other Kongs. Donkey Kong 64 managed to do both, and adds the caveat of K. Rool planning to destroy the Kongs' island.
  • EarthBound: Earth is being invaded by aliens and you and the friends you make along the way must travel around the Earth collecting portions of a special melody. In fact Earthbound's plot is so similar to that of EarthBound Beginnings that it could be considered a stealth remake.
  • Fire Emblem has a whole series of archetypes that recur between games but are typically played with and subverted. On the other hand, there's Roy's game, The Binding Blade, which arranges these elements like Marth's first title and plays out like am mix of Shadow Dragon and Mystery of the Emblem.
  • Subverted by Kid Icarus: Uprising. While the premise is essentially an inversion of Kid Icarusnote , it follows several very familiar story beats, such as Pit fighting Twinbellows, Hewdraw, Pandora, and T(h)anatos; collecting the Three Sacred Treasures in order to defeat Medusa; and then celebrating his victory with Palutena as the 8-bit credits roll. And then Hades tears through the credits and reveals that the game isn't even halfway over yet! After that point, Uprising features a completely new story that no longer relies on repeating the original game's beats.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • There are several recurring elements and plots beats in many of the major games. Particularly the ones that revolve around the Triforce.
    • In particular, Ocarina of Time (officially a direct prequel) reuses and fleshes out a lot of plot elements that were introduced in A Link To the Past. After a great war, the Triforce was lost to another realm. Lately, an evil priest/foreign king has gained the favor of the King of Hyrule and is using his position to manipulate events in order to steal the Triforce. After witnessing the tragic death of his father figure, Link goes on an adventure to acquire three Plot Coupons so he can retrieve the Master Sword, which ends up locking him in another dimension. After mastering the different dimensions Link rescues and awakens the Wise Men/Sages and their power combined forces the evil manipulator to reveal himself as Ganon. In the final battle Link defeats Ganon. Several sidequest characters even had appropriate counterparts.
    • Ocarina of Time later had its own Same Plot Sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which was a deliberate return to form after the initially-divisive reception of the more experimental previous games. Link is raised in the forest of southern Hyrule, where he is friends mainly with children. After meeting an Exposition Fairy, he embarks on his journey and obtains three Plot Coupons from dungeons: one in the forest, one in Death Mountain (passing through Kakariko Village and befriending the Goron chief along the way), and one in Zora's Domain (helping the Zora royalty along the way). He also has to navigate the Skull Kid-populated Lost Woods by following the sound of Saria's Song in order to find the Sacred Grove. After Princess Zelda disappears due to the Big Bad's actions, Link acquires the Master Sword from a temple and now has to acquire more Plot Coupons from even more dungeons, including one in Gerudo Desert. Finally, he goes to Hyrule Castle and ascends the tower to face Ganondorf, who assumes the demon Beast Ganon form during one phase of the battle. The Exposition Fairy leaves, Zelda and Link say goodbye, and Link returns to his old life (before soon embarking on a new journey).
    • A Link Between Worlds is a deliberate homage to A Link to the Past and therefore unsurprisingly follows a very similar story. Once again, an Evil Sorcerer causes havoc in Hyrule and abducts the descendants of the seven sages to resurrect Ganon. You are tasked by Zelda and Sahasrahla to find the three Pendants of Virtue and obtain the Master Sword. Once you've done it, you land in the Dark World and have to rescue the descendants of the sage before facing the sorcerer in his lair. This is an Invoked Trope on the part of the antagonists, not too dissimilar from Metal Gear Solid 2. The Triforce of Courage was sealed away in an unknown location, bound to the soul of the Hero, between the events of A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds. In order to break the seal on it, the hero’s successor must show a display of true courage–so the antagonists set out to goad the new Link into reenacting out the closest thing they know to such a feat, the events of A Link to the Past, in order to unseal the Triforce of Courage. This goes off without a hitch, but Link manages to keep the Triforce from their grasp in the end.
  • Metroid:
    • Super Metroid is essentially a fleshed-out version of the original Metroid, predating the actual remake by a full decade: Space Pirates steal a Metroid and bring it to their fortress on planet Zebes with the intention of breeding Metroids as bioweapons, so Samus Aran is hired to stop them. She goes to Brinstar, where she defeats Kraid and acquires the Varia Suit; she goes to Norfair, where she defeats Ridley and acquires the Screw Attack; she activates statues based on Kraid and Ridley in order to enter Tourian; she fights her way through the Metroids in Tourian and defeats Mother Brain; and finally she escapes Zebes before a time bomb explodes. Completing the game fast enough removes Samus's helmet, and completing it even more quickly shows her in a revealing outfit.
    • Metroid: Other M is a Same Plot Prequel to Metroid Fusion. In both games, Samus must investigate a massacre in a space station (Biologic Space Laboratories/BOTTLE SHIP) divided into sectors based on habitats from Zebes, follows the order of someone named Adam (a computer/Adam Malkovitch), finds herself reminiscing about her past and finds out that the Federation plots to recreate the Metroid through a secret hatchery. Notably in both games, Samus faces Nightmares and a resurrected Ridley. The main difference is that Other M has subplots not present in Fusion (the Deleter and "MB").
  • Pokémon: Every main series game starts with a rookie trainer in a small town who gets a starter and a Pokedex courtesy of the local professor, goes on a quest to catch em all and become champion, and along the way takes down a crime syndicate that wants to exploit (legendary) Pokémon for their own personal gain. The closest things to exceptions are Pokémon Black and White, where the crime syndicate is the Final Boss instead of the Elite Four and Champion, and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, where the main antagonist is instead a Pokémon itself.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Bowser invades the Mushroom Kingdom and kidnaps Peach, so Mario has to travel around the country/island/world/galaxy to save her. In most scrolling games he just has to get from point A to point B. In most 3D games he has to collect about 70 MacGuffins of power to find Bowser's true hiding spot, and can keep going to collect all 120 for 100% completion.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2 bizarrely went as far as to have the same plot of Super Mario Galaxy. In both games Bowser invades on the day of the Star Festival which only happens once every 100 years. Meaning the ending of the first game reset the timestream, the sequel takes place 100 years in the future, or the creators really don't care about the details of reusing an Excuse Plotnote . The main difference is in the first one Mario ends up on the comet observatory with Rosalina, and in the sequel he's on the Faceship Mario with Lubba.
    • Paper Mario 64 began its life as a sequel to Super Mario RPG, which might explain why the two games revolve around Mario going on a quest to find stars that have the power to grant wishes.
  • Yoshi's Island: The Stork carrying Baby Mario and Baby Luigi (and potentially more babies) is attacked by Kamek. Kamek kidnaps Luigi, but Mario is accidentally dropped and falls onto an Island of Yoshis. The Yoshis band together to defeat Baby Bowser and deliver the child to their parents.

    Video Games — Other 
  • Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation is a Whole Plot Reference to Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, except with shinier new tech (both in-universe and console-wise) and taking place on a different continent of Strangereal about 11 years down the timeline.
  • Armored Core: Master of Arena is a retelling of the original Armored Core. In both games, the player character a mercenary who does random jobs and is found to be too much of a threat to the social order due to his skills. He is lead into a trap by #1 mercenary Nineball (who in both games is revealed to be a mass-manufactured AI rather than an individual), but defeats him and destroys the A.I. responsible for ruling the Raven's Nest and manipulating the whole world.
  • Devil May Cry 2 essentially rehashes the same plotline as Devil May Cry. Devil hunter Dante is invited by an Action Girl to a remote island in order to stop demonic forces from raising an ancient demon sealed away in the Demon World by Dante's father Sparda. The Action Girl is later revealed to be a demon created by the Big Bad. Dante comforts her by telling her "Devils never cry" and, after defeating the Big Bad, the Action Girl joins Dante's agency. The main difference between Trish and Lucia is that the former was actually working for Mundus then turned good at the end of DMC1 while Lucia defected from Arius before the beginning of DMC2's story. In the Final Boss fight of his campaign, Dante also kills The Despair Embodied with a powered-up shot from his handgun, just like how he defeated Mundus in the first game.
  • Apart from the intentional call-backs and Continuity Nods, the story of Devil May Cry 5 has several parallels to that of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. A tall demonic structure suddenly appears in the middle of a city (Qliphoth and Temen-ni-gru), Dante is drawn to the action by a mysterious man who always carries a book (V and Arkham), Vergil ventures through said structure and seeks something that would grant him power (The Qliphoth's fruit and the Force Edge), although his demon half Urizen is responsible for it this time around. Dante's battles with Urizen in 5 also follow the pattern of his battles with Vergil in 3, namely; Dante loses the first fight, gains a new demonic power after being stabbed by Rebellion, their second fight technically ends in a draw, and Dante emerges victorious in the third. Vergil is the Final Boss again and he mostly fights just like how he did back in 3 (though Nero is the last person who defeats him this time). And just like the finale of 3, Vergil dives into the Underworld again, but Dante follows him this time instead of letting him go alone.
  • Both Dishonored games have the same basic plot; the empress is removed from her thronenote , and the player finds and (potentially) kills everyone involved in the conspiracy. Taken Up to Eleven as you can even play the second game as Corvo, the protagonist of the first game, who even spends most of it trying to rescue the same person as last time. The Outsider even lampshades the similarity if you play as Corvo.
  • Dracula Unleashed plays with very similar plot points to the Bram Stoker novel Dracula, with the characters even noticing how similarly things are progressing to the previous time they had a vampire enter their lives. They even lose one woman to the Count while another one is threatened to soon follow if they don't stop him.
  • Dynasty Warriors pretty much lives on this trope, at least since the second one. Each new game starts with the Yellow Turban Rebellion, more or less, and up until the seventh entry ended at the Wuzhang Plains. Each new entry has added new game mechanics, previously generic NPCs now available to play as and more/different parts of the story to go through. When the franchise is based on a book, there's only so much you can really do.
  • Groundhog Day: Like Father, Like Son, the Sequel in Another Medium to the movie Groundhog Day, is essentially just Groundhog Day with a Setting Update. You play as the son of Phil Connors, Phil Connors Jr., who starts out as a Jerkass social media influencer (rather than a weatherman), becomes trapped in the titular "Groundhog Day" Loop, finds out that he's in a time loop, and uses it to become a progressively better person and break out of the loop.
  • Gunstar Super Heroes, while formally a sequel to Gunstar Heroes, recycles almost every level, boss fight, plot point, and music track from the original game.
  • Kingdom Hearts χ, originally a desktop browser game exclusive to Japan, was remade as Unchained χ for mobile devices, but the remake curiously omits the climactic ending of χ. The sequel arc, Union χ, reveals that Unchained χ was actually an example of this trope, with the new Union leaders using their power over dreams to allow the other, slumbering Keyblade wielders to relive the events of χ without the trauma of the Keyblade War. The implication is that Unchained χ is actually this sanitized dream.
  • Metal Gear:
  • Persona 5 Strikers recycles more than a few plot elements from Persona 5 with a few thematic elements from Persona 5 Royal for flavor, with many major new characters in Strikers having obvious parallels to characters from the original and even some story beats being recycled. The Final Boss is even called "The Demiurge", which is just an alternative name for Yaldabaoth in mythology.
  • Shin Megami Tensei V reuses many plot elements from Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, including the premise that a student from modern-day Tokyo being thrust into a new world, becoming a half-demon, and given the responsibility to choose the ultimate fate of the world. It is likely not a coincidence that Nocturne saw a remaster a year before V's release, as well as the protagonist from Nocturne appearing as a Downloadable Content boss and party member.

    Visual Novels 
  • Happened deliberately in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: the Big Bad planned their viral infection of the Neo World Program around the fact that the survivors or the first killing game were watching the carnage unfold and knew they would (like heroes) jump inside the program to at the first opportunity if they saw students dying in droves in nearly the same manner they almost did. This both gave them an opening to escape into the real world along with a chance at revenge on the three survivors that did arrive in the final class trial.


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