10 Games You Didn’t Know Were Secret Sequels

Even when a game doesn’t have an official sequel, it might have a secret sequel. Secret sequels are games with different names, from different series and sometimes with different genres, but they share plot elements that link the games together. Usually these games are spiritual successors — but that isn’t always true either. Secret sequels take many forms, and sometimes they’re so well hidden, the main developers will deny any explicit connections.

Those denials can be legally motivated — sometimes developers just love their games so much, they have to continue the story somewhere else. Sometimes, you’ll get sci-fi reboots like with Captain Commando, a secret sequel to Final Fight — which is itself a secret sequel to Street Fighter. Final Fight was originally meant to be a direct sequel to Street Fighter, but with the gameplay switched to something unrecognizably Street Fighter. You can see the connections everywhere; Cody, Guy, Poison, and other Final Fight characters are now fully integrated back into Street Fighter.

That’s just one example of a secret sequel, and there are many more. From Halo, to Dark Souls and Deus Ex, there are lots of games we never knew were secretly sequels.

Stuck at home? Revisit some lists on Gameranx:

Control Is A Secret Sequel To Alan Wake

Thanks to a brand-new DLC trailer, Control’s secret sequel status is anything but secret — but when this paranormal adventure first released, you had to search all the files to discover the Alan Wake connection.

Hidden away in the archives, you could find notes that mention the Cauldron Lake Incident, and even namedrop Alan Wake himself. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to fans — Matthew Porretta, the actor that portrayed Alan Wake appears in Control too. This time, he’s playing the indispensable Dr. Darling.

In a way, Control is a secret sequel to both Max Payne and Alan Wake. Max Payne’s voice actor James McCaffrey also plays the voice-in-your-head and former Director of the FBC. It’s almost like Max Payne and Alan Wake are passing the action-hero baton to Jesse Faden.

Nier Is A Secret Sequel To Drakengard

Most of us probably never touched a Yako Taro game until Nier: Automata made the man into a gamer household name. Before his biggest hit, only the most hardcore could deal with this mad genius’s completely bizarre output.

The Drakengard series is where Yako Taro cut his teeth. They’re dragon-based action games, and they’re packed with dark themes — like, insanely dark themes. Most of the endings in the series lead to tragedy, or the complete destruction of the human race. This is (kind of) one of those.

And that’s where Nier comes in. In Drakengard Ending E, war spills across dimensions, taking the fantasy-based heroes into a final battle over the skies of modern-day Tokyo. Nier is heavily implied to take place in this future, where beings from another dimension invaded and (almost) wiped out humanity. Oh, and both games feature a main character named Caim.

Discover more secret sequels in gaming on the next page.