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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LOTR_fellows_5788.jpg]]]]

->''"Where the road is dark and the seed is sowed''
->''Where the gun is cocked and the bullet's cold''
->''Where the miles are marked in the blood and gold''
->''I'll meet you further on up the road"''
-->-- '''BruceSpringsteen,''' ''Further On Up The Road''

The ''defining'' HighFantasy storyline. [[IncrediblyLamePun The quest means business.]]

Quests feature TheHero and a bunch of supporting cast members traveling across the world with a firm goal in mind: to recover a McGuffin, collect all the {{Plot Coupon}}s, SaveThePrincess, defeat the BigBad, [[IWillFindYou locate a loved one]] or all of the above. Quite possibly an ImpossibleTask, to get rid of him. Will usually involve lots of [[WackyWaysideTribe incidental]] [[SideQuest minor adventures]], running into [[BlindSeer oracles]] and [[OldMaster wise men]], fantastic creatures and [[DamselInDistress damsels]] [[TheLadysFavour dispensing]] [[ItWasAGift items]] that may [[ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest help you on your quest]]. A great device, because it allows the writer to do character interaction and showcase exotic locations, and give TheHero a good reason to WalkTheEarth. Used mostly in a fantasy world, but can also take place in a modern or mundane setting with enough work-around.

Older versions just set the character off on his quest in [[GhibliHills the wilderness]] about them.

Often undertaken by HitchhikerHeroes or people on TheHomewardJourney.

The problem with such a story from a modern perspective is that they can actually tail off too ''much'' into the various side-stories and forget the main goal that the characters originally started out on. This was less of a problem before, as Medieval writers often deliberately wrote a network of plots, subplots, and sub-subplots branching out like a tree. Examples of this are Spenser's ''Fairy Queen'', ''Arabian Nights'', and ''Romance of the Three Kingdoms''.

Christopher Booker's ''TheSevenBasicPlots'' separates ''The Quest'' from ''Overcoming the Monster''. While both involve a journey, the ''Overcoming the Monster'' plot is far more focused on heading straight for the [[BigBad Monster]] (with perhaps a side quest for [[AppliedPhlebotinum magic weapons]]), while ''The Quest'' concentrates on a variety of obstacles including Monsters, Temptations, [[ScyllaAndCharybdis Deadly Opposites]], and a Journey to the Underworld. (This probably indicates that if the heroes don't realize there's a BigBad to fight until after the halfway point, it's following ''The Quest'' plot.) Also, ''The Quest'' is the plot most likely to include companions (a small group, or just one companion - or, as with ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', a RedShirtArmy).

Compare TheHerosJourney.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': A ragtag pirate crew seek out a massive treasure horde.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'': Ash goes on a voyage spanning the entire globe to bring glory to his name.
* ''WolfsRain'': Four wolves traveling the earth to find the fabled paradise.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' involves this in each of its [[StoryArc eight]] [[ArchivePanic parts]]. In Part 1, it is to kill Dio (who is an evil vampire) and destroy the [[ArtifactOfDoom Stone Mask]], which can create vampires such as him. In Part 2, it is to kill the Pillar Men, the creators of the Stone Mask, and to stop them from obtaining the Red Stone of Aja. In Part 3, it is to rescue Holly Joestar by killing Dio, who survived from Part 1. In Part 4, it is to find and stop Kira Yoshikage (a serial killer) before he can claim more victims. In Part 5, it is to find the Stand arrow and to stop Diavolo from obtaining it, or killing Trish. In Part 6 it is to stop Pucci from realizing his plans and resetting the entire world. Part 7 starts off with the Quest being an EpicRace, but as it goes on it becomes a matter of finding the Corpse Parts. Part 8 is so far a JigsawPuzzlePlot focusing on various mysteries relating to "Josuke".
* ''InuYasha'': A group of demon slayers venturing through Japan to reclaim every shard of a shattered jewel.
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', which started out as a RoaringRampageOfRevenge plot, has turned into one of these, as Guts and his companions seek the land of Elfheim in search of a cure for Casca's post-Eclipse insanity.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'' started out as one of these, with Goku originally leaving is home with Bulma to find the titular PlotCoupons.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* ''ElfQuest''
* Common for the more "epic" stories in the ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse. Though there are many, perhaps the most notable variant is the one where Scrooge and/or his nephews search for a lost legendary treasure or something similar. These exist in more than one variant, too, from DonRosa's [[ShownTheirWork historically well-researched]] stories to the Italian ones where Scrooge typically kidnaps his relatives to go along against their will to search for something bizarre like the key to time or the gigantic coins of the cyclopes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* The Vasyn quest in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. [[spoiler: Even though it turns out to be a setup.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Folklore]]
* Innumerable fairy tales. In his analysis of Russian fairy tales, Vladimir Propp described the basic functions as revolving about a quest. Some of these include:
** "Literature/EastOfTheSunWestOfTheMoon": a quest for a lost husband.
** [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/swanmaiden/stories/lang.html "The Nine Pea-Hens and the Golden Apples"]]: a quest for a lost wife.
** "Literature/KateCrackernuts": a quest for her fortune, and her stepsister's (although getting away from her mother, who was a WickedStepmother to her beloved stepsister was a major factor).
** "Literature/{{Catskin}}": an escape from an ArrangedMarriage.
** [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/firebird/stories/greekprincess.html "The Greek Princess and the Young Gardener"]]: a quest for a magical bird.
** ''Literature/TheFeatherOfFinistTheFalcon'': to find and cure her love.
** [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/jacobs/moreenglish/buriedmoon.html "The Buried Moon"]]: to find the moon of the title.
** "Literature/TheLoveOfThreeOranges": To find a bride, in most variants, often the one he's cursed to have to find.
** "Literature/SoriaMoriaCastle", the search for the lost wife.
** "Literature/TheFireBirdTheHorseOfPowerAndThePrincessVasilissa": to get the princess, and then her wedding gown.
** "Literature/TsarevichPetrAndTheWizard": To find the MissingMom.
** "Literature/TheBrownBearOfTheGreenGlen": To find a cure for the king.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars''
* ''Franchise/IndianaJones'', particularly in [[Film/TheLastCrusade the third movie]], being a quest for the HolyGrail and all.
* Ironically, probably not ''The Quest'', Jean-Claude Van Damme's esteemed directorial debut
* {{Pixar}} does this often:
** ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'': Two toys are whisked from their home and attempt to find their way back.
** ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'': Buzz Lightyear goes to rescue his friend Woody from the kidnapping hands of a toy collecter.
** ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'': A clownfish goes to find his kidnapped son.
** ''WesternAnimation/WallE'': A waste management robot falls in love and follows her into space.
** ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'': An old widower travels to South America to fulfill a promise he made to his deceased wife... by tying eighty balloons to his house and making it fly.
* ''Film/{{Willow}}''
* ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'', which parodies various elements of the trope.
* The original ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'', which involves the duo out to save an orphanage.
* ''Film/TheGoonies'': A group of teenagers seek the treasure of One-Eyed Willy in order to save their town.
* ''{{Yeelen}}'' ("Brightness"), Souleymane Cissé's 1987 classic of Malian cinema.
* In ''Saint-Jacques… La Mecque'', a group of siblings has to walk the Way of St. James together in order to inherit their mother's money, facing mostly mental and social obstacles.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* J.R.R. Tolkien's ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' and its prequel ''Literature/TheHobbit''. ''Lord of the Rings'' was unusual in that, unlike the fantasy sagas that came after, the hero was not on a quest to acquire some item of great power, but to ''[[MacguffinEscortMission destroy]]'' one.
** [[spoiler:Even with that, WordOfGod states that Frodo failed in his quest when he was on the verge of completing the quest. The ring is only destroyed when Gollum takes the item in question.]]
** According to ''Webcomic/ArthurKingOfTimeAndSpace'', [[OscarBait they did that too]].
* As its title indicates, this is the main plot of ''[[{{Deryni}} The Quest for Saint Camber]]''.
* Stephen King's ''Franchise/TheDarkTower''. (The protagonist is such a {{Determinator}} that we're never really allowed to forget the main thrust of the quest, no matter what tangents he falls afoul of.)
* In ''Literature/WatershipDown'', somewhat unusually, the protagonists' quest is simply to find a new home where they can live in peace.
* During the {{denouement}} of Creatot/JamesSwallow's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/BloodAngels'' novel ''Red Fury'', Rafen is told that Fabius Bile got away with some "sacred vitae" and is charged with preparing a ship and going after him. [[SequelHook The book ends there.]]
* In Creator/GrahamMcNeill's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/{{Ultramarines}}'' novel ''Dead Sky Black Sun'', Uriel is sent, as punishment, on a quest to find and deal with a vision that a Chapter Librarian had. The vision contained neither locations nor names for him to identify.
* ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' -- possibly the first novelistic Quest in the West -- to return home and defeat his wife's suitors.
* ''[[Literature/TheBible Exodus]]'' -- a quest to escape Egypt and found a new nation in the Promised Land.
* ''Literature/JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth''
** Also a musical example if you count the Rick Wakeman version
* ''Literature/AroundTheWorldIn80Days'' -- a quest to do [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin exactly that]].
* ''Literature/TheBelgariad''
* ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'' and its many adaptations, including ''Manga/DragonBall'' and ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}''.
* In John Barnes's ''Literature/OneForTheMorningGlory'', all knights are supposed to go on a quest. Sir John is sent after [[SoulJar Waldo's heart]] because he had never performed a proper quest before.
* In Creator/JamesThurber's ''Literature/The13Clocks'', Prince Zorn is sent for a thousand jewels, to be found within ninety-nine hours.
* ''Quest for Fire''
* The first few ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' books.
* In the ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' books, the occasional quest is standard for the demigods being trained at Camp Half-Blood. The books themselves follow the various quests of [[TheHero Percy Jackson]], with the quests heavily influenced by ones undertaken in ClassicalMythology.
* All Literature/{{Redwall}} books will include a quest as one of their TwoLinesNoWaiting.
* In Creator/MichaelFlynn's ''[[Literature/SpiralArm The January Dancer]]'', the harper claims that the quest is not important, since the object must be a MacGuffin: it's Jason and Medea that matter, not the Golden Fleece. Donovan disagrees; the qualities of the object matter and affect the nature of the quest.
** The narration at the opening of ''On the Razor's Edge'' describes it as a quest.
* In Creator/EDBaker's ''Literature/TheWideAwakePrincess'' and its sequel ''Unlocking The Spell'', Annie goes on a quest in each book to break a spell.
* In Creator/RuthFrancesLong's ''Literature/TheTreacheryOfBeautifulThings'', Jenny tells Jack that she's looking for her brother Tom. That invokes his promise to help those on a quest.
* In Creator/SusannaClarke's ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell'', Mr. Honeyfoot and Mr. Segundus go looking for Mr. Norrell in part because of the tales of medieval magicians who would go looking for things and return after AYearAndADay.
* In Creator/JulieKagawa's ''Literature/TheIronKnight'', Ash is on a quest for a soul.
* [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]]: Essentially, how Agawin's story begins: a pilgrimage to see a dragon leads to a quest to save a girl.
* The titular character Zahrah of ''Literature/ZahrahTheWindseeker'' ventures into the [[DontGoInTheWoods Forbidden]] [[HungryJungle Greeny Jungle]] for an unfertilized elgort egg because it's the only thing that will cure her friend of a venomous snake bite.
* In Creator/SusanDexter's ''The True Knight'', Wren and her master are forcibly recruited to help retrieve the prince in swan form. After they escape the attack and realize that the queen will have Galvin killed for failure, Wren and Titch go to retrieve him.
* The last book of ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'' has Alanna meeting several new companions as she goes on a quest for the Dominion Jewel so she can return to Tortall as a hero rather than a disgrace or a curiosity. It was added at the behest of Pierce's editor because "fantasy books always have quests," although the Jewel is mentioned in the subsequent series.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]
* In a two-parter on ''Series/CriminalMinds'', "The Fisher King", the unsub frames his crime in the pattern of a quest, including macabre clues and even a damsel in distress...one chained to a bed and scheduled to die if the team doesn't find her.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** ''Doctor Who'' fits the classical Odyssey structure early on, when the Doctor is trying to return the teachers home and they face temptation ("The Aztecs"), hard journeys ("Marco Polo"), tests of character ("The Keys of Marinus"), ScyllaAndCharybdis ("The Aztecs", "The Sensorites"), monsters ("The Daleks", "The Web Planet", and [[MonsterOfTheWeek a lot more]]), and even a journey to the Underworld in "The Space Museum" when they are JustOneSecondOutOfSync, can't interact with anything or anyone and see their own corpses. Once the teachers get PutOnABus, these elements are discarded in favour of just a neverending story full of aliens.
** Subverted in "The Keys of Marinus" in which TheChooserOfTheOne informs them that they are the chosen people who must rescue the PlotCoupons and save their planet. GilliganCut to them walking off down the beach, Barbara remarking to Ian that "it's a shame we can't do anything for that poor man and his planet. Well, back to the TARDIS." Double subverted when it turns out the man has put the TARDIS behind a force field to force them into doing it.
** In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS15E5Underworld Underworld]]", the Minyan crew's guiding principle is "The quest is the quest." [[spoiler:They are rather stunned with success, but when they realize it will only take three centuries to get where they are going, they are delighted.]]
* In "The FisherKing" episode of ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', Arthur goes on a Quest to get the [[GoldenFleece Golden Trident]] and prove himself worthy of the throne. {{Subverted}} as it turns out Merlin was the one really on the Quest and the Fisher King gives him [[AllThatGlitters water]] from the Lake of Avalon. Arthur still gets the Trident and Merlin, Arthur and Gwaine are named Magic/Courage/Strength as a Trio by Grettir, the watcher of the bridge.
* Season ten of ''Series/StargateSG1'' has a two-part episode called "The Quest" where SG1, Ba'al, and Adria set out to find the HolyGrail. The journey is largely framed as an Arthurian-style high fantasy, though many elements are subverted since what the primitive folks think of as magic is actually very advanced technology.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* ''Happiness Stan Suite'' by TheSmallFaces.
* "The Fountain Of Lamenth" and "Xanadu" by {{Rush}}.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* OlderThanDirt: [[Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh Gilgamesh]] went on a quest for {{immortality}}, travelling through dangerous supernatural locales to find the survivor of TheGreatFlood.
* Every single hero myth ever, across any culture, relies on this. The Greeks and Romans had stories like Jason and the Argonauts, Hercules, and the Aeneid, with heroes being sent on quests by a god or a king. The Middle Ages had many legends based around knights going in search of holy objects or to save a kingdom or a damsel or something to that effect.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* More {{RPG}}s, {{Adventure Game}}s, and {{Action Adventure}}s than you can count.
** Many with the name "Quest" [[MadLibFantasyTitle in the title]]. [[SturgeonsLaw Usually]], [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin accurate]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'', based on FairyTale "The Buried Moon" involves a quest to retrieve the moon.
* Wouldn't be a trope page without ''[[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick Order of the Stick]]'', would it? The whole story is pretty much kicked off by Roy's quest to defeat Xykon. Needless to say, things got a little more complicated...
** ''Overcoming the Monster'' turned out to be only the first Act; just finding out they have a Quest, to protect or destroy the Gates, was one of the obstacles they had to overcome. The Act I Monster, NotQuiteDead, is still there as an obstacle, so the final Act could easily turn back into ''Overcoming the Monster''.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''. Build up, get through the gates, fight the denizens, kill the Black monarchs...though the kids are often more concerned with their own hijinks.
* ''LookingForGroup'' has Cale's epic-expanding quest to settle and rebuild [[ThePromisedLand Kethenecia]].
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'', a parody of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI''
* In ''Webcomic/RustyAndCo'', [[http://rustyandco.com/comic/7/ two at once.]]
* In ''ImpureBlood'', [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Chapter004 Dara explains /ib024.html they are -- or at least she is -- on a quest to find the last of the Ancients]].
* In ''Webcomic/ConsequencesOfChoice'' The Characters are on a continuously changing quest, all with the same intent, keeping the Invisus hidden.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2010-04-28 Slick's laptop goes searching for him while he's missing.]]
* In ''DragonMango'', [[http://dragon-mango.com/comic/chapter05/dm05-59.htm two sets of Dragonslayers set out on quests at the same time.]]
* ''CucumberQuest''. To defeat the evil queen and save the realm. [[http://cucumber.gigidigi.com/archive/page-113/ Almond insists on doing it the hard way.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* After his magic gun and all of his magical defences stop working, [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] sets out of a quest to find a magic user to help him out.
* The whole point of GreekNinja. Sasha Hunter sets out on one with her team, well, several of them, all leading to the ultimate goal of eliminating a power dangerous to the world.
[[/folder]]

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