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A common bonus feature or Easter Egg in later installments in a Video Game franchise is to hide a copy of an earlier game from the series in the current game.

This is usually (but not always) a hard-to-find special bonus, often an Old Save Bonus or New Game+. Additional rewards may be offered for beating the embedded game.

For technical reasons, this tends to be limited to games which have a very primitive previous incarnation. The earliest (known) example of this is Day of the Tentacle, which included a complete, playable version of its precursor Maniac Mansion.

Subtrope of Game Within a Game. See also Nostalgia Level. Has nothing to do with Precursors.

Video game examples:

  • Sega Smash Pack: Volume 1 for the Dreamcast doesn't include any older games per se, but it does secretly include an entire Genesis/MegaDrive emulator, allowing hundreds of old games to be played on the Dreamcast.
  • One of the bonuses for connecting Metroid Prime to Metroid Fusion was a playable copy of the original Metroid. And after beating Metroid Zero Mission once, the original Metroid was unlocked on the options menu.
  • Pitfall!: Mayan Adventure has a hidden copy of the original Pitfall hidden inside it.
    • So did Pitfall 3D Beyond the Jungle.
      • And Pitfall: The Lost Expedition. Hell, this trope might as well be called "Pitfalling."
        • Pitfall: The Big Adventure, a remake of The Lost Expedition, takes it one step further by having both the original Atari 2600 Pitfall games as unlockables.
  • The 2010 version of Splatterhouse includes the original original arcade game and both Genesis sequels.
  • Donkey Kong 94 has levels from original Donkey Kong as it's first four levels.
  • Donkey Kong 64 features working arcade machines on which the player can play the original Donkey Kong and Jetpac (Rare's first game back when they were named "Ultimate Play the Game") to win a reward token.
  • In Super Mario Bros. 3, players collect cards at the end of most levels. In a two-player game, if one player is on the same square in the map as the other player, either player can press a button to enter a fight. This fight is played as a round of a slightly modified version of the original Mario Bros. The player can steal cards from the other player to earn 1-UPs, and the winner gets to go to the next level.
    • One particular "feature" of this system is that the person who's currently waiting for his turn can initiate the versus battle, win, and get a new turn immediately. When playing against Jerkass brothers who are really good at the versus battle, this can result in a two player game being 100% completed by one player.
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit for Game Boy Advance contained every track from the original SNES game. Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii, in turn, contained a selection of tracks from every previous game in the series.
    • Mario Kart 7 also has selected track returning from the previous game (albiet modified to support the new features).
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time included the original Prince of Persia as a bonus. It was reached by opening a hidden door, walking up a staircase, and passing out of view. The dialogue sets it up just prior: "They say this castle was built on the ruins of an even more ancient one..." The Xbox version also included Prince of Persia 2.
  • The 1990s PC version of Space Invaders lets you play the original Space Invaders once you've beaten the game on Hard.
  • Sonic Adventure DX for the Game Cube and PC has every single Sonic Game Gear game released, from the original 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog (acquired by collecting 20 Emblems) to Sonic Blast and Tails Adventures (acquired by getting all Emblems and completing Mission Mode).
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein contained Wolfenstein 3D.
  • Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures for the SNES contains both Pac-Man and, in an example of a Sidequest for an Easter Egg, Ms. Pac-Man. The Genesis version had an original game, Pac-Jr., in lieu of Ms. Pac-Man (since Ms. Pac-Man already had a stand-alone release for the Genesis).
    • Pac-Man World 2 also includes Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Attack, and Pac-Mania.
  • Not exactly a copy, but in The Curse of Monkey Island, there were two scenes from the first game as easter eggs.
  • Panzer Dragoon Orta, the fourth game, contains an unlockable port of the first.
  • Day of the Tentacle was the sequel to Maniac Mansion and has a fully playable version of it in the game. Just like the original version, it only had one save slot.
  • A minor selling point for Star Wars: Rebel Strike (It was mentioned on the back of the box) was the fact that an almost complete version (minus the Empire based bonus missions) of the previous game, Rogue Leader, was available for co-op play. The game also includes ports of the Atari arcade games Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, which can be earned through game play and/or by pass code.
  • House of the Dead 3 for the Xbox contains the full version of House of the Dead 2. Incidentally, much later came House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return on the Wii.
    • Sadly, the Dreamcast version of House of the Dead 2 was supposed to include an Enhanced Remake of the original title, but it wasn't implemented due to time constraints.
  • Not exactly embedded, but the pre-order bonus for Shadow Hearts: Covenant was a copy of the original Shadow Hearts (which was actually released for the same console as the sequel, one of few non-primitive examples).
    • Considering the fact that Shadow Hearts had a limited release, this is actually a big deal. Until you realize that Covenant had an equally limited release. Brilliant!
  • Banjo-Tooie managed to parody this quite well. The game contained a few, animated, cartridges of the original game Banjo Kazooie, that your character would have to break open to get special hidden items from the first game, to unlock hidden features. Originally, this was intended for "Stop 'n' Swop", where the player would turn off the system, swap cartridges, and turn the system back on with the DRAM not fully decayed, but changes made to the Nintendo 64's memory controller late in the life of the system made this impractical: when Stop n Swop was conceptualized, if a cartridge was removed the RAM would persist for 10 seconds, more than enough time to switch cartridges before it was wiped, but a later revision to the hardware (made before the release of Banjo-Tooie) reduced this time to 1 second.
  • Speaking of Banjo, pre-ordering Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts gave you a code for the Live Arcade re-release of the original game three weeks early.
  • Tetris Worlds contained a re-creation of the original Tetris, prior to the Executive Meddling that introduced infinite spin and T-spin triples, complete with monochrome blocks made out of bracket characters.
  • Not exactly the same, but Super Smash Bros Brawl features the ability to unlock several games from the various video game franchises represented. These are all timed demos though due to the existence of the Virtual Console. (In fact, people complained about the demos being merely advertising for the VC when they were revealed.) With Wii modding, it is possible to play these games not as timed demos, but as full games. Ooooohhhhh...
    • Similar to Mario Kart above, it also has a selection of stages from the previous games, and the music from the missing stages can still be unlocked to play on the stages that are available.
      • Most of the music. For some reason (presumed to be legal ones), there are zero songs that originated in Earthbound (as opposed to Mother or Mother 3) in Brawl, meaning Fourside's tune got dropped too.
      • Brawl contains Melee's physics, after a fashion. In Special Brawl, set gravity to "heavy" and damage ratio to 1.2.
  • Metal Gear:
    • The second disc of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence includes the original Metal Gear 1987 and Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake. The ports included on the disc are actually based the cellphone rereleases that were released in Japan around the same time as the original Metal Gear Solid 3, meaning that the updated Metal Gear 2 no longer used the photo-realistic character designs from the MSX2 original (thus, no more Sean Connery as Big Boss and no more Mel Gibson as Solid Snake).
    • Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for the GameCube was also sold in a special console bundle in Japan that included a bonus game disc featuring the Famicom version of the first game.
    • En route to its Nostalgia Level, Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots fades out and the heliport stage from Metal Gear Solid loads up. Upon completing it, modern-day "Old" Snake snaps awake. It's presented as a recurring dream of his.
    • While technically not a video game, the Metal Gear Solid 2: Bande Dessinée DVD in Japan includes a fully voiced version of the original Digital Graphic Novel that was released for the PSP.
  • While not technically the same game, the Collectors Edition of The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker included a second disc with a port of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, as well as the Master Quest version of the same game.
    • On the used video game market, this second disc usually sells by itself for 2 or 3 times the price of the Wind Waker disc. In the United States, this disc was a Preorder Bonus for The Wind Waker rather than bundled in with a collector's edition.
  • Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS features the NES versions of Contra and Super C, but they're only available after completing 4 and 8 stages respectively in Challenge Mode. They play almost exactly like the original NES games, right down to having the same cheat codes, except there's no proper 2-Player mode in either game. Instead, both characters are mapped to the same d-pad, but their firing and jumping buttons are mapped differently (Y and B for Player 1, X and A for Player 2).
  • In something of an inversion, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night had the final boss fight from the preceding game as the opening level (although it's referred to as "Bloodlines" in the English localization). Furthermore, the player's performance in the flashback level determines Alucard's starting stats and items.
    • And then The Dracula X Chronicles, the PSP remake of Rondo of Blood, contains both Symphony of the Night and the original Rondo of Blood.
    • Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness allows the player to unlock remixed versions of Reinhart's and Carrie's quest from the previous Castlevania game for the Nintendo 64, complete with cut-scenes and everything, but only after completing the main quest with Cornell. However, since Cornell's portion is technically a Mission Pack Sequel to the first N64 Castlevania, Legacy of Darkness as a whole is really more of an Updated Rerelease of the first game than a sequel.
  • Kingdom Hearts :Final Mix+ has a remade midquel given almost equal billing to the game itself, Re: Chain of Memories, which takes the GBA sprite game and turns it into a full-fledged 3D Play Station 2 game. However, that is standalone release in America (and thus merely an remake), with no signs of Final Mix going overseas.
  • Pre-ordering Command and Conquer: Tiberium Wars at EB or Gamestop landed you a bonus game case with bonus videos and both CDs from the first Command and Conquer. Now it does not really matter as the first game and Red Alert for free as a download from Fileplanet.
  • Pre-ordering Command and Conquer: Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 at EB or Gamestop gave you a copy of Red Alert 2.
  • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon: Tokiwasure no Meikyuu features a mini-game with card-based battling... Effectively the entire battle/gameplay of it's DS predecessor, Chocobo Tales.
  • Rodland is perhaps the strangest inversion ever — in the arcade version, imputting a code on the title screen once you put a coin in unlocks a sequel that never saw a standalone release.
  • TMNT2: Battle Nexus and TMNT3: Mutant Nightmare include (arguably butchered) ports of the original arcade game and Turtles in Time respectively.
  • The Premium Pack/Kollector's Edition of Mortal Kombat: Deception has the original Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks has Mortal Kombat II as an unlockable (relevant, as Shaolin Monks is essentially a retelling of MK2) and looking at the pattern, you can tell what the Limited Edition of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon includes.
  • Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X (PSP) features (an updated version of) Tales of Phantasia in the same UMD.
  • The Wii version of Indiana Jones and The Staff of Kings includes the PC game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (voiced version).
  • The metal cased-special edition Xbox version of Doom 3 included copies of the previous two Doom games, Ultimate Doom and Doom II
    • The Xbox version of the stand-alone expansion, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, included the above, in addition to the Doom II Master Levels.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena contains its Xbox predecessor Escape from Butcher Bay with enhanced graphics.
  • Not exactly the same series as the only connection between the two games is that they are boxing games, but the Game Cube version of Fight Night: Round 2 includes the SNES version of Super Punch Out.
  • The X Box version of Ninja Gaiden features the three NES games in the franchise (although they're based on the updated versions from the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy compilation for the SNES and not on the actual NES originals). To play them, you need to find their corresponding cartridges and use them with an arcade cabinet in Tairon. If you beat the game after finding the cartridges, you can play them from the main menu. The expanded version, Ninja Gaiden Black, includes the arcade game as well.
  • Wrecking Crew '98 for the Super Famicom includes the original NES game.
  • The arcade version of Dance Dance Revolution 3rd MIX has a hidden "2nd Mix" mode that allows you to play songs from DDR 1st and 2nd Mixes, with the exception of "Strictly Business". And much thankfully, with 3rd Mix's difficulty selection method so you don't have to enter a code for Another or Maniac difficulties.
  • In Kirby Super Star, the first game that you're allowed to play, Spring Breeze, is actually a condensed remake of the first game in the series, Kirby's Dream Land. (minus Castle Lololo and Kaboola)
  • Tekken 5 included fully-playable Arcade versions of the first three Tekken games. And man, oh man, has Yoshimitsu changed over the years!
    • You can also unlock the full version of Namco's old space shooter Star Blade by finding the spaceship from that game in one of the stages of Devil Within. Usually you get to play the first part of the game when Tekken 5 itself is starting up.
  • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem had this in a sense. It contained both a remake of the first and its sequel, though both were available from the beginning.
    • In turn, its remake New Mystery of the Emblem contains remakes of the obscure BS Fire Emblem: Akaneia Saga Satellaview games as unlockable bonuses.
  • The Xbox version of the remake of Spy Hunter included the original Spy Hunter Arcade Game.
  • Super Famicom Wars, much like Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo, has all the maps from the original Famicom Wars in addition to all the new ones made for the game.
  • Unusually for a current-gen precursor, the entire (slightly-altered) Story Mode of Dissidia Final Fantasy is included in its sequel.
  • A visual novel example, Narcissu is added as an embedded package to its prequel, called "Narcissu ~Side 2nd~".
  • Alice: Madness Returns includes a high-definition port of the original game as a bonus to players who are willing to pay extra, or those who preordered the game in advance.
  • Sonic Generations includes a port of the original 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog as a bonus.
  • Early copies of the PlayStation 3 Twisted Metal come with a download voucher for Twisted Metal Black.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 now contains ports of all the campaigns from the first Left 4 Dead.
  • Tron 2.0: Killer App for the Game Boy Advance incorporates the old Tron Arcade Games by Midway.

Non-videogame examples:

  • Tabletop Games example: the Dungeons and Dragons boxed set Return to the Tomb of Horrors had a copy of the original module S1 Tomb of Horrors included in it. The original Tomb was placed within the larger adventure and could be entered and explored.
  • The Commodore 128 turned itself into a Commodore 64 if you typed "Go 64." The ZX Spectrum did the same thing (the +2 had a 48K mode, selectable from the startup menu) for the exact same purpose: backwards compatibility.
  • Leonard Bernstein wrote a sequel to Trouble in Tahiti, the full-length opera A Quiet Place, which in the end included all seven scenes of Trouble in Tahiti as a pair of Pensieve Flashbacks in the second act.
  • The Brazilian publisher of Disney comics released a collection to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their Donald Duck comic. A fac-simile of The Donald Duck #1 (yes, the first issues had an article) came along with the first issue.