Sounds like you're referring to something like the basic compiler that came with some of the earlier versions of DOS. Where, instead of running the .BAS source file through the interpreter, it could be compiled into a .COM file. And later on it could compile into a larger EXE in Visual Basic.
Those compiled programs came in 2 flavors. One was a respectably small program, but it required the presence of a 'runtime' DLL. Otherwise, it could be compiled into a version which didn't require the presence of a runtime module, but it was much larger, because it contained support for pretty much everything in the language. A "hello world" program could be several hundred KB in size.