Created By: ccoa on July 7, 2009

Cartography Sidequest

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A type of minigame within a game where you are rewarded for completing each map. Typically, the game will have a minimap that will fill in as the player explores them. Once the map is 100% complete, the player will typically receive some sort of reward.

On larger maps or games where the map only fills in small areas surrounding the player, this can quickly turn into Last Lousy Point for each and every map.


  • Star Ocean 3, which had huge maps and lots of little crevices you had to walk into to complete the maps. Most people only bothered for the really good rewards, if they bothered at all.
  • The DS remake of Final Fantasy IV has this sidequest given to you by NamingMappingway. Not only do you get rewards for each map completed, but you also get the Treasure Hunter augment if you complete them all.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • June 11, 2009
    • World Of Warcraft, with the title "The Explorer" and a rather unattractive tabard for full completion.
  • June 11, 2009
    • I believe Metroid Prime rewarded you with collectible information for completing maps of areas.
  • June 12, 2009
    @Dcoetzee: No, exploration just counted towards your completion percentage, which determined which ending you got.

    Ultima Underworld awarded experience points for exploring the Abyss.
  • June 12, 2009
    In Uncharted Waters 2, this is actually the main quest for one of the six characters, Ernst von Bohr, whose life dream is to compile the map of the entire world. Other characters, especially of the Adventurer background, may take it as a side quest, too, if only to make a quick buck.
  • July 7, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Fallout 3, Reilly, a mercenary leader, will ask you to map out the Capital Wasteland in exchange for saving her squad (and for caps).
  • July 7, 2009
    Before I launch this, would Mapping Minigame be a better title? It has Added Alliterative Appeal, but I'm not sure it's a better name for the trope.
  • July 7, 2009
    You get titles for exploring the map in Guild Wars--there's a series of titles, so you'll get a "reward" for considerably less than every pixel, but they're given for mapping out the entire game rather than one area, so it'll take a while anyways.
  • July 7, 2009
    Test Drive Unlimited has an Achievement for finding all the roads on Oahu.
  • July 7, 2009
    @ccoa: I dunno about others, but I think Mapping Minigame is a bit too contrived for a title.
  • July 7, 2009
    Wind Walker had this.
  • July 7, 2009
    Known Unknown
    Retro Mud gives bonuses to gaining certain levels if the player explores a certain percent of the world(s).
  • July 8, 2009
    World Of Warcraft actually does this for each zone, giving a lesser achievement for each, and then the overall achievement, title and tabard for getting ALL of them ('The Explorer'). You don't have to cover every inch of the map, though, just visit each named sub-zonal area; there are about 10-30 per zone on average.
  • July 9, 2009
    All right, going to launch this under the original name today unless anyone else has input on the name.