Up for Grabs
, Needs a Better Description
When a video game contains a truly baffling number of Sidequests
and other odd jobs. Many games thrives on replay value, and so with more stuff to do in more varieties of ways, a game in theory, gain more replay value and thus general value.
Often it's a wonder the Player Character
has time to do them all
with the world about to end/be taken over/succumb to darkness/all that generally not nice stuff.
Western RPGs in general tend to have a relatively short 'main' questline, with the majority of content being in the form of sidequests. Depending on how the difficulty/balancing works, it will often be expected that the player spend some time on side missions between parts of the plot in order to earn new abilities and equipment before pushing on to harder areas.
Games that feature this generally fall towards the open end of the Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness
. Compare Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer
, where a particular sidequest is so good and addictive it might distract one from the main quest altogheter, as well as Quicksand Box
, when the sidequests are so expansive one gets confused on what one should actually be doing. See also Play the Game, Skip the Story
Hack and Slash
- Most entries in The Legend of Zelda series feature several sidequests ranging from simple Collection Sidequests to potentially massive Fetch Quests, but two entries in the series stand out:
- Ōkami has enough sidequests to double the total play time, which is already quite big with the main story alone. They can be anything, from making the biggest snowball or catching a huge fish, to a Nintendo Hard Multi-Mook Melee.
- Batman: Arkham City is like this, especially in comparison to its Prequel Batman: Arkham Asylum. While in Asylum the only true "sidequests" were the Riddler challenges, with all the other boss battles being integrated into the main story, City needs a separate menu to list its sidequests, and ignoring them completely grants only 45% completition.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
- Sacred 2 has a shedload of them: there's loads of people you can talk to that will give you quests. It's around the 400 ballpark in total.
- Believe it or not, World of Warcraft does have main questlines in most of, if not all of its areas. They're buried so deep in side quests that they sometimes are impossible to make out. Alhough since "Cataclysm", most zones have been greatly enhanced so that most questlines are directly related to the story at hand.
- EverQuest and EverQuest II are both ALL ABOUT THIS. They both have Quest their names! The majority of the thousands upon thousands of quests found in each game are sidequests compared to the few quests actually relating to each expansion's storylines.
- Megaman ZX has many sidequests and quest chains. It's justified, as the main character is a delivery person.
- The Professor Layton series has shades of this. While the entire gameplay is always puzzle solving, some puzzles are relevant to the story, either with the puzzle directly being related or the giver using a puzzle to test Layton's ability, but many puzzles are just completely random. This is often lampshaded in The Curious Village, when people keep stopping Layton to have him solve random puzzles despite Layton telling he's has more important matters on his hands.
- Wasteland Empires has a ton of sidequests... not sure how many yet, but they seem to never end.
Wide Open Sandbox
- Dragon Age: Origins goes so far as to give you an achievement, "Easily Sidetracked," if you complete 75% of the sidequests.
- Sidequests have been the focal point of The Elder Scrolls series ever since Daggerfall.
- Morrowind justifies it, as the player is supposed to get a cover ID as an errand boy.
- Oblivion's sense of urgency for the main quest makes a stark contrast with the still sidequest focused gameplay.
- Fallout: New Vegas is an excellent example of this. Even without the downloadable content, there's still a lot of interesting places to visit and sidequests to undertake that aren't touched by the main plot at all. It's probably a good idea to spend some time doing just that too, as focusing entirely on the main plot can lead to finding oneself sorely underleveled and underequipped to deal with the mid/late game challenges.
- The Drakensang games are full of sidequests of any kind. Given that experience points are really precious there, their presence is tolerated and justified.
- Planescape: Torment, if played thoroughly, is mostly sidequests. Considering the point of the game is finding out who you are and where you came from (instead of, say, defeating an Evil Overlord), it's justified, since the sidequests all develop the Player Character in some way.
- Baldur's Gate has so many that they will consume the bulk of the time for any player willing to do them as compared to the mainline quests. Might well be a BioWare staple on reflection.
- The online game AdventureQuest and its variants Dragon Fable, A Qworlds and WarpForce, all have this.
- The first Nintendo DS entry for Chronicles of Narnia has around 70 sidequests. The creatures of Narnia will ask the player to do things for them in exchange for new skills. Most are fairly simple, and can be ignored without a hassle... At least until the very end of the game, where it turns out that to face to White Witch one has to complete ALL of them.