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Loads and Loads of Sidequests
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.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 

    Eastern RPG 
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI has practically the whole last half of the game composed of sidequests.
    • 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.
    • 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 unit 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Opoona features tons of sidequests—some are simply part of larger, ongoing sidequests through the whole game, like collecting all the art or puppies, and some are connected to the game's "license" system that shows the jobs you hold. There are also a ton that are connected to raising the friendship of several side-characters in the game, and you'll need to complete at least a few of those to have the required number of friends (at least 7) to complete the game. There are also a ton of one-offs not connected to anything else, even the license system.

    Hack And Slash 
  • 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.

    Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game 
  • 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.

    Platform Game 
  • Megaman ZX has many sidequests and quest chains. It's justified, though, as the main character is a delivery person.

    Puzzle Game 
  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 

    Web Games 
  • Wasteland Empires has a ton of sidequests... not sure how many yet, but they seem to never end.

    Western RPG 
  • 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.
    • Skyrim integrated the sidequests with the main quest; the "Civil War" questline was a fully fledged B-plot which tied into the main one (with some parts of each changing based on progress in the other).
  • 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. Don't worry, the guy that shot you in the intro isn't going anywhere.
  • The Drakensang games are full of sidequests of any kind. Given that experience points are really precious there, their presence is tolerated and justified.
  • Planet Alcatraz features a lot of sidequests. Some requires you to run a mere 30 meters, others are optional Preexisting Encounters on the planet map.
  • 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, AdventureQuest Worlds and WarpForce, all have this.

    Wide Open Sandbox 

    Other 
  • 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.

SidequestRole-Playing GameSidequest Sidestory
SidequestInteractive Storytelling TropesPlot Tunnel

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