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.
- 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:
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is rather known for the huge ammount of Sidequest Sidestories it features. Fortunately, this is the first and thus far only game in the series to include a daily planner to help keep track of them all.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has lots of extra content besides the usual ones. These include completely optional islands with their own puzzles and enemy matches, treasure charts to find sunken treasure, and the notoriously long Nintendo Gallery. Even just filling the Great Sea's map can take a while.
- 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.
- Final Fantasy:
- Final Fantasy VI has practically the whole last half of the game composed of sidequests.
- The Final Fantasy Tactics subseries is centred around a large number of sidequests. In the first two games, most of the sidequests were "Dispatch" missions where the player takes the right party for the job, and then sends them off to take care of business while they went about on their own. Final Fantasy Tactics A2, on the other hand, made things get nutty by making nearly all of the several-hundred-strong sidequests directly playable.
- Final Fantasy X-2 has an astounding number of sidequests, most of which can easily be missed. Most of them are required to get 100% completion and the Golden Ending, but the game can be completed with around 50% completion, meaning that about half the game's content consists of sidequests.
- Final Fantasy XII has tons of these, ranging from hunting marks and getting rewards to pretty much just running around and running stuff. It could be said that the amount of extra content is larger than the main plot.
- Shadow Hearts: Covenant has a truly obscene number of side quests and subplots, though most of the time they do offer worthwhile things (like powers to the party members or new weapons). A lot of them are under the pretense of being a club or society the party is randomly asked to join, varying from dog fighting to step counting. Yuri lampshades it:
"What, another club? We don't have time for this!"
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has a decent number of side quests given by NPCs. Then there are the Star Pieces, Shine Sprites, Badges, Recipes to find/make, the Pit of 100 Trials, and so forth.
- In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, there are several "quests" given by the Katz guild. They involve either defeating one enemy, or slaying monsters in long, simplistic dungeons. There are lots of neat items to gain from these quests, so go ahead, the salvation of the world can wait.
- Xenoblade Chronicles features hundreds of sidequests, ranging from simple Mass Monster Slaughters, to major Sidequest Sidestories; the biggest sidequest by far, the reconstruction of Colony 6, even slowly grants more sidequests as it's completed. Besides money and loot, oftentimes these grant generous experience, so completing them as the story advances is a good way to avoid pointless Level Grinding later on.
- About half the 108 playable characters in the Suikoden series are optional, and the optional ones usually have some kind of sidequest that needs to be completed before joining. Everyone seems to think one has hours available to go cooking, fishing, exploring dungeons, backtracking, fetching things, taking them to see people... and even after you recruit them, a number of them still have minigames to play.
- Chrono Trigger has practically the whole last half of the game composed of sidequests.
- Nier. The game can be finished in 15 hours (there's even an achievement for it) but can take over seventy if you do the sidequests, especially if you want to max out all your weapons which requires a massive amount of item farming.
- 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.
- Megatraveller 2: Quest of the Ancients had an large number of sidequests, including Fetch Quests and hunting wanted criminals for the bounty money.
- Wasteland Empires has a ton of sidequests... not sure how many yet, but they seem to never end.
- 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.
- 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 DragonFable, A Qworlds and WarpForce, all have this.
- The Grand Theft Auto series in general, with its trademark Wide Open Sandbox gameplay, falls into this. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the biggest offender in this regard, as the story missions only count for a very limited percentage for the 100% Completion.
- 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.
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