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Fetch Quest

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Why she can't just do it herself is anyone's guess.

"Yet more meaningless endeavours?"
Magus, Chrono Trigger DS

Need to stretch the story out a bit? Time to send The Hero on an errand!

A Fetch Quest is a subquest of the overreaching plot which must be completed in order to trigger a vital Event Flag. Find a key, save a kid lost in the cave, defeat the monster attacking the town, rescue the trapped workers, resolve an Adventure Town's problem ... each of these is a Plot Coupon. Fetching back the coupons is name of the game.

Games will often use a Broken Bridge to browbeat you into solving a Fetch Quest even if you should intuitively have more important things to do.

This is also known as a FedEx quest, since they often consist of little more than receiving an object from an NPC and taking it to a particular person or place or going to a particular place and bringing back an object. The people, places, and objects themselves are largely inconsequential — you're just their mail carrier.

Sometimes it will provide essential exposition of the plot's backstory which would otherwise be awkward, obvious, or tedious if delivered another way, say by a monologue delivered by an NPC.

Novels, episodic shows, and games rely on these as subplots quite frequently.

Extend this ad infinitum, and you get a Chain of Deals. 20 Bear Asses is the variant where you have to collect a given number of objects dropped by enemies and is much more popular with developers than players. Herding Mission is the variant when you have to corral a group of animals into a pen. If you have to fetch a lot of items but there's no in-universe character telling you to do it, it's probably a Collection Sidequest. If the fetched item is being stolen, you may be dealing with The Caper. Super-Trope to Product Delivery Ordeal.

Video Game Examples

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    Action-Adventure Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: One of the early side-missions is bringing a cake slice to a nearby denizen living in the sewer. Later on, Ann is asked by the weapon shop owner to retrieve a module that was taken by a Giant Enemy Crab beneath Freeway 42. At the same area, several workers request for the gathering of ten rare coins scattered throughout the area.
  • Avencast: Rise of the Mage: Every single sidequest is a "go there, get this thing, see you back here in 10" fetch.
  • Castlevania:
    • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin has an NPC who rewards you with items and abilities just for doing nearly random fetch quests for him, such as gathering one of each of five item-drop playing cards from various enemies, entering in a button sequence, or buying a potion and the first castle map. Not to mention there are a total of 37 of these, and they make up just one of the many categories of things you can get 100% in in this game.
    • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia also features plenty of fetch quests with a difference: Whereas in PoR they were optional to some degree, in OoE they're practically mandatory if you want to survive the rest of the game as said quests are the only way to get the equipment, health items and other stuff you'll be needing by the end of the adventure.
  • An early quest in Final Fantasy Adventure requires handing out advertisements to 15 different people.
  • Killer7 will usually fill an Assignment's puzzle quota with nonsensical Fetch Quests. For every Assignment, you're tasked to find anywhere between one to seven "Soul Shells", which are the game's resident McGuffin, but also various kinds of rings, odd engravings, cassettes, and later on "color samples". Travis Bell has something to say on the subject of color samples:
    Travis: Straight up, this is a pain, man? Running around for some frickin’ color samples. What makes it worse? This town is a mess. THAT’S what makes it worse.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link has a number of these which Link is forced to perform in order to be taught the skills he needs to complete his quest. At one point, he has to fetch a kid, who is held up in the air and stored in inventory like anything else.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: There's a massive Chain of Deals whose completion is required to complete the game, as well. Most players don't even realize that they've started this quest until they're halfway through it.
      First: Pick up a Yoshi Doll playing the Trendy Game (a crane game).
      Second: Trade the Yoshi Doll to a child for a Ribbon.
      Third: Trade the Ribbon to a vain Chain-Chomp for Dog Food.
      Fourth: Trade the Dog Food to a canned-food loving alligator for Bananas.
      Fifth: Trade the Bananas to monkeys — they'll not only build a bridge for you, but also leave a stick behind.
      Sixth: Give the stick to Tarin (Marin's dad) who will then poke a beehive which results in you getting a Honeycomb.
      Seventh: Trade the Honeycomb to a chef for a Pineapple.
      Eighth: Trade the Pineapple to a hungry man for a Hibiscus.
      Ninth: Give the Hibiscus to a woman who will then ask you to deliver a Letter for her.
      Tenth: Deliver the Letter to Mr. Write to get a Broom.
      Eleventh: Give the Broom to a woman who was sweeping nonstop until just before you got the Broom and she'll give you a Fishhook.
      Twelfth: Give the Fishhook to a fisherman who will then give you his next catch: a Necklace.
      Thirteenth: Give the Necklace to the mermaid who lost it and you'll get one of her Scales. (Given that the necklace was a bra in the Japanese version, you now know why the mermaid was always blushing and why she started yelling at you whenever you dived underwater next to her).
      Fourteenth: Use the Scale on the Mermaid's Statue and it will open up a cave which holds a Magnifying Glass.
      Fifteenth: Use the Magnifying Glass on the small-print book in the Mabe Village library to find out how to get through the last dungeon.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: The Biggoron Sword quest spans up to 10 items to trade, one after another, taking place through most of Hyrule. And Link cannot use warp songs on timed trades, or else time will run out automatically (warp-based shortcuts are still allowed).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Several sidequests have become infamous for Fetch Quests, though most of them are confined to the large and frustrating Kafei/Anju sidequest that, thanks to the game's "Groundhog Day" Loop element, has to be repeated at least twice (for those who know exactly where to be) and as many as four times (for those who don't), to collect every item available from it. There's also the Gibdo Well in Ikana, where several Gibdos ask Link for different items, not all of which are available there; and that's a main quest objective.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games: Both Ages and Seasons each has a Fetch Quest to get the first sword upgrade, which in addition to dealing more damage to enemies also allows you to smash pots with your sword and fire Sword Beams when your hearts are full, although it is not necessary to complete the fetch quest in Seasons, if you know what to do in The Lost Woods.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has several fetch quests that take place in various islands of the Great Sea, making the Ballad of Gales a recommended ability for the first two and required for the third:
      • To get the Magic Armor, you have to trade items around between three Goron Traveling Merchants and pay their fees to get a new item to trade. This will supply Zunari's shop with the new item. The last item also gets you a Piece of Heart.
      • The Triforce Hunt. This piece of the Triforce has broken into shards. You need to salvage all of them to progress to the endgame. How do you know where to salvage? You have to find the chart for each one, but you can't read them yourself, so you have to take them to Tingle and pay 398 Rupees for each one to be interpreted before you can use it. The Ballad of Gales makes it more tolerable. The Wii U remake makes it easier by only three charts being required to decipher, as all other fragments of the Triforce are found directly.
      • The Korok quest. After you beat the Forbidden Woods, there will be several Koroks on islands throughout the world standing by plants that need water. To complete the quest, you need to take Forest Haven water to each one in an invisible time limit. The Wii U version makes this sidequest much easier.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is absolutely loaded with these, most of them needed to open up dungeons. While most of them let you explore the world a bit more and get to know the inhabitants, others are simply plain old padding.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The most common type of sidequest involves someone asking for items that can be gathered throughout Hyrule, in the varieties from animal, vegetable, minerals, or monster parts. These are often less difficult, due to the open-ended nature of the game and ubiquity of collectible items, there's a chance Link will already have the needed item.
  • Star Fox Adventures: Taken to great lengths. At one point you need to recover cogs to get a bridge to work. Most items in the game are held over Fox's head as he stares at it in awe (a trait borrowed from the 3D Zelda games), and the bridge cogs are no exception. Each bridge cog, as you collect them. There's also the retrieval and proper placement of the Krazoa Spirits, as even after Fox retrieves all Spellstones (the primary Plot Coupons) he still needs to find the remaining Spirits to save Dinosaur Planet, and this indeed lasts until the very last part of the game when the Final Boss is revealed. The trope in this game is lampshaded by Penny Arcade.
  • The Sun at Night has its share. One of the first involves retrieving a person's wrench for her.
  • In Westerado, some characters will only give you whatever information they know about the killer if you find stuff(i.e. a lost train ticket) for them. These tasks make a minority of requests, however, have good dialogue attached to them and it's entirely possible to finish the game without doing any.

    Action Games 
  • The Devil May Cry games often call on these; in fact, many a Boss Battle kicks off when you retrieve the quest object, Nightmare in the first game being notoriously bad about this.
  • Jet Force Gemini: Some of the ship parts can only be collected after tackling difficult fetch quests. One of them, for example, requires the main characters to find a pair of earplugs in a level that is otherwise unrelated to the one where they're requested. Another piece is earned after all Tribals in the galaxy are rescued.

    Adventure Games 
  • If you're not in court, this is the only other gaming aspect of Ace Attorney. Fetching information/items and presenting them to other people for even more information.
  • Creep TV: Courage has to walk around the house finding items to help him fix the TV, so he can save Muriel and Eustace, who have been trapped in there by poltergeists.
  • In Discworld II, Rincewind actually manages to complain his way out of an arbitrary fetch quest. The other character gives in and just gives him the item he's holding without having him bring him anything in return.
  • In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Harvey is asked by the prison guard to bring evidence of who's plotting to escape the prison. Afterwards, he has to find an electronic hacking device to prove Number 2 The Snowman is the culprit behind the sabotage of the prison's security.
  • Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures: You're going to meet a lot of people whose only function is to stand around (often surrounded by monsters and enemies who inexplicably ignore them), ask you for a specific item, and give you another in return. This is mainly because each new game randomly generates a world and a "plot" where you need to get things from areas and bring them to other areas to get new things.
  • Life Is Strange has one in episode 2, where Chloe asks you to go find five bottles in a junkyard so she can set up a shooting range. The first four bottles are easy to find, but one is hidden well enough that it can take longer to find than the other four combined.
  • The Night of the Rabbit: You need to gather some ingredients in order to get the medicine and the cake, which are needed to advance the plot.
  • The 1999 PC adventure game Outcast was essentially a gigantic series of nested fetch quests, and played like a flowchart. For example, Level One required the player to visit a character who would ask you to find another character who would request an object and then ask you to see a third character who asked you to find an object from a fourth character; at that point, you had to find a series of keys which allowed you to retrieve an object which you had to take to a further character who would ask you to retrieve some stones; and then you had to visit some more characters who would ask you to visit another character who would send you to visit another character who required a certain object before he would give you a message to deliver for another character who would ask you to find some dynamite. At that point, you were roughly three-quarters of the way through level one. There were five levels, which continued in the exact same vein.
  • One of the first quests you get in Quest for Glory I. A healer living just outside the First Town asks you to retrieve her golden ring, which quickly turns out to have been stolen by a small reptilian bird living in a tree outside the healer's hut. If you're a magic user, the solution to this side-quest is to cast a "FETCH" spell on the bird's nest.
  • Parodied in Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. Strong Sad keeps sending Strong Bad on pointless fetch quests to find things like "The Sigil of Dark Dampening" and "The Shimmering Trinket of Endless Bargain-Hunting." The reward for each quest? Another fetch quest, to fetch the next item! All of these are, in fact, the same item that keeps respawning in the same location. The only way to break this chain is to give Strong Sad a different item that will cause the King of Town to attack him.
  • The Licensed Game The Trap Door had the player as Berk gathering various weird items for the Thing Upstairs.

    Card Games 
  • This is lampshaded to hell and back in the Telltale Sam & Max: Freelance Police games, where half the gameplay is about getting or giving something. In one episode, Sam and Max hear the setup for a fetch quest (get ingredients for an exotic cake they need), and instantly accept it, but are told that it wouldn't matter anyway because the cake would take more than a day to make and they don't have time to wait.
  • Used in the DS SNK vs. Capcom CARD GAME, of all places, because the AI is so poor the game would be over in about 2 hours without it (there's an exploit to defeat any opponent in 3 turns, including the final boss). A player cannot get past the gate keeper without spending hours farming for 3 rare cards. And then it needs to be done later on. Oh, how fun.

    Edutainment Games 
  • Ubiquitious in The Learning Company's Edutainment Game series The ClueFinders. One game, The Clue Finders Search and Solve Adventures, even Lampshaded it:
    Joni: I think we're gonna need to find some keys to open these boxes.
    LapTrap: Oh, of course! Why can't it be easy for once?
    Owen: Hey, it's no fun if it's too easy, dude.
    Joni: Yeah, the tougher, the better.
    LapTrap: Oh, great! Here we go again.
  • All of the entries in The Magic School Bus video game adaptations except for Solar System, where you're trying to find Ms. Frizzle, and Dinosaurs, where you are taking photos, have you finding three or four objects related to the subject at hand.
  • Ollo in The Sunny Valley Fair has the titular character bring over gardening supplies for growing a tomato.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • A few quests in Borderlands require fetching. TK Baha runs you on at least two: collecting food stolen by skags, and collecting brains in the Zombie Island of Dr. Ned DLC. The second one is tricky; any quest items you pick up before getting the quest(s) don't count toward the prerequisite.
  • In Deus Ex: Nihilum, a bum will ask the player for a pack of cigarettes in exchange for a key to break into the XVA building. If the player lacks the cigarettes, the bum will congratulate the player on being health conscious, and give away the key anyways.
  • The Metroid Prime Trilogy games are often criticized for the fetch quests they use (respectively, Chozo Artifacts, Sky Temple Keys, Energy Cells, and Octoliths) to increase play time before the final boss, although it's only particularly annoying in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (where you can't get most of these Plot Coupons until the very moment right before the final battle). Metroid Prime 3: Corruption takes a more accessible approach as getting the cells is almost mandatory to finish certain tasks, so you'll only have to backtrack once or twice instead of nine or twelve times. Word of God says that the reason for the fetch quests was to allow you to have more time with the fully upgraded Samus, though probably padding, too.
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces: "Find the red key card" turns out you need three separate blue key cards to open the secret door that contains the red key card, which is locked in a hidden vault seven floors away from the door the red key card opens in the first place, but that's okay since the only purpose in opening the red key card door is to get the green key card which opens the exit back on floor seven.
  • Your very first objective in System Shock 2 is: 'Find the guy who has the key to this section of the ship, which contains this other guy who has the code you need to go down a level, where you can fix the elevator so you can go up a level...' Naturally it only gains more layers of complications as you progress. System Shock 2 actually gets less complicated as you progress. In fact, once you reach the sixth deck of the Von Braun, your objectives basically boil down to "Get in the escape shuttle, kill shit."
  • The entirety of the "story" of TimeSplitters, as well as a couple of the multiplayer modes.

    Four X Games 
  • Though all the X-Universe games have the normal variety of Fetch Quests (typically it's "pick up a delivery" or "gather up some materials from wherever"), X3: Terran Conflict ups the ante with a Fetch Plot. To repair the Hub, a control center for the game's Portal Network, Mahi Ma will have you gather (in chronological order) 400 computer components, 500 microchips, 10,000 energy cells, 150,000 teladianium (a ceramic used for structural components), 450,000 ore, 500 nividium, 250,000 crystals, 15 million credits (to pay a Paranid scientist for his help), 400,000 silicon wafers, and 75,000 more microchips. Finishing the plot in a timely fashion (as in, less than several months in Real Life) requires the player to build his own infrastructure to supply the materials. The good news is, the Hub is an extremely useful structure able to arbitrarily connect up to three jumpgate pairs through its sector, and the infrastructure you build to repair it will make ludicrous amounts of money afterwards. The absurd quantities are lampshaded in the Expansion Pack, with the quest giver noting that there's a cargo hold full of literally thousands of computer parts.

    Freeware Games 
  • Parodied (like every other video game trope) in Progress Quest. Quests are made from two randomized components, Action and Item. One of the possible actions is Fetch Me an [Item].
  • In the second Sluggish Morss game, one person won't let the main character pass without gathering four of a certain item. The character is later told that said items don't actually exist.

    Hidden Object 
  • Commented on in Ominous Objects 2: Phantom Reflection when Benjamin asks Leila to gather the instructions for one of his inventions.
    Leila: That's it? Are you sure you don't want eight random objects, or maybe a sandwich?

  • City of Heroes has many of these, often as a part of a story arc or task force. City of Villains not nearly as many, but they're still there. Sometimes called "Bathroom break" missions when in a group because one person can usually take care of it. The game often attempts to spice these missions up by having a group of enemy forces spawn to ambush the player. Since skilled characters with the right powers can move something like a hundred and eighty miles per hour in this game, the most common actual result is the ambush to spawn, be left in the dust without the player even noticing them, and ultimately make life very "interesting" for some much lower level character who blunders into them.
  • In EVE Online, your agent's division determines how many Fetch Quests you get. Note that the difference between Courier missions and Mining missions is the former is the typical go to location A and transport (an) item(s) to B while the latter is go to location A, mine a specific mineral (usually along the lines of thousands of units of ore), and take it to B. Effectively, they are both Fetch Quests.
  • The Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn era is filled with these, even ten years later when many of the old missions have been trimmed for a more stable experience. Probably the worst of these occurs around Level 42-44: The Warrior of Light, Alphinaud and Cid need a special elemental crystal to get through the massive wind storm generated by the primal Garuda. Thanks to a bit of Poor Communication Kills, it takes two false leads to find the one you need. Just to get that one crystal had you traveling to two different locations, the second location needing you to drive off a siren, and having to slay a beast that ate the crystal you needed. It's not a surprise that the NPC who tells you you got the right one quickly does a "Just Joking" Justification when he playfully claims you got the wrong one, suggesting that the Warrior of Light was on their last nerve at that point (and so would be the player)
  • Guild Wars: Nightfall: while the entire series is filled with fetch quests, one NPC is more than happy to go and collect the item they need by themselves (also dodging a potential Escort Mission in the process) while leaving you with the relatively "easy" task of guarding the ruins that is supposed to be their charge. Needless to say, once the NPC is out of sight, you get to earn your quest reward.
  • Kingdom of Loathing
    • At the start of the Level 2 quest, the Council of Loathing tells you "We need a mosquito larva. Don't ask why, because we won't tell you." At one stage in the Level 11 quest, your character, upon being told he must paint a red door black to prove his worthiness for no particular reason, says "Are you sure you're not just taking the opportunity to have me do some menial jobs while I'm here?" Also from the level 11 quest, you are tasked at one point to retrieve fifteen pages from a book. After finding the first two pages, you find the third through fifteenth pages all at once, and the game remarks "Okay, I guess it's not going to take as long as you thought."
    • The last one is a sendup of a pair of particularly annoying fetch quests in World of Warcraft. In each one, every single enemy in the zone has a minute chance of dropping one of about 12 pages from a book. Add this to the fact that you can get multiples of the same page, and you have a recipe for aggravation.
    • You can auction those extra pages for much more than you can get with a sale to a vendor. That makes it a little bit less aggravating. One of the Silverspring quest chains from Runes of Magic is something along these lines. You have to retrieve pages of a history book that was stolen by bandits, and every bandit you kill yields a page. Sometimes you'll get the same page from different bandits, though the game does allow you to sell off any excess pages in any shop you can find.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online has a particularly annoying subtype which fortunately doesn't come up that often. If something interrupts you while you're carrying item X, whether it's an attack or, in the case of two much-dreaded Shire quest chains, nosy/hungry hobbits, you drop the item and have to go back and accept the quest all over again. Throw in the time limit and you've got That One Sidequest in multiples.
  • Ragnarok Online has a LOT of fetch quests in many variants, from regular ones, 20 Bear Asses ones, and even Chainof Deals ones. Bringing certain items is even part of the Job Change quest for some jobs. The big main quest of a relatively recent update, the Terra Gloria quest, is about a crown getting stolen and you have to somehow retrieve it. Yes, the big main quest of the update is a huge fetch quest for one crown.
  • Hilariously and mercilessly parodied in RuneScape's infamously long quest one small favour, which takes the adventurer from the far southern tropical continent of Karamja, literally from one end of the mainland to another. The quest text itself will taunt you about how mundane it feels for a mighty adventurer to carry around a rust bucket, a pot lid, sharpening tools worth pocket change, a few chickens, gnome tea, the medieval equivalent of aspirin (a taunt on how this part of the quest makes player sick of it, perhaps), a weathervane, the medieval equivalent to screw eight lightbulbs, and a mattress.
  • World of Warcraft. If you're not killing something, you're killing something and stealing its stuff.
    • An especially silly example: One quest requires turtle meat from the nearby river and spices... which the Quest NPC sells to you.
    • Different, but no less silly: Shuttling messages between two questgivers that are anywhere from shouting distance to ten feet apart.
    • The same, and a complete pain in the ass: Killing something for body parts that it can't live without, and the amount of work you have to do is best summed up by: <# of mobs you have to kill> = <# required of the item that keeps the mob alive> X 100. Headless Raptors, although legless Zhevra and the many bird species that sometimes lack any feathers at all deserve mentions (even though you just saw them flying or running).

  • On night 1 of The Ghost Train, you have to retrieve green cicadas that got loose on the train.

  • Cave Story has a few of these. In one early level, a robot asks you to bring three items so it can make a bomb. In the following level, an old woman makes you track down her five lost puppies one by one.
  • Epic Mickey: In order to advance to new areas, you need to supply the gnomes with Power Cells (or whatever those things are) to activate the machine. Several people in town have Cells, but they won't simply give them to you, sending you on your merry way to gather whatever they want. In the 2D side-scroller levels, you can also pick up film reels to trade in for tickets, Cells, or unlockable content. Not only that, but animatronic Goofy, Donald, and Daisy had their limbs/torsos torn off and scattered around in certain levels, forcing you to get them if you want the best ending. To put it simply, if you're not killing Blotlings or fixing/destroying the landscape, you're fetching items.
  • In Kirby's Dream Land 3, there's always at least one fetch quest per level which requires you to grab something and take it to the Quest Giver at the end of the stage. The most intricate one is the black pyramid in Sand Canyon, which requires you to do some tricky puzzle solving to grab the pieces of Nintendo's iconic R.O.B. peripheral, but you have to do it in a specific order in order to complete it.
  • There are a few in The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King, a Prequel video game to The Nightmare Before Christmas. They include helping the Clown with the Tear-Away Face get his face back and retrieving the ingredients of the Mayor's lunch that turn out to be different body parts of the Melting Man.
  • In Psychosomnium, a trio of rabbits demands carrots before they'll let you pass. They then mention, however, that carrots don't exist, and thus you're doomed to failure. The only way to get past is to kill them.
  • The entirety of the first Tak and the Power of Juju game is a long string of fetch quests. First, you gotta get a staff from a nearby graveyard and collect a bunch of magic flowers in order to remove the sheep curse from Lok. Then go to the nearby village and get the Spirit Rattle. Then traipse around the entire game world to get 100 Yorbels, and then get Lok's spirit from the Spirit world to bring him back from the dead. Then go to the temples and collect the Moonstones. Then you can go and fight the final boss. That final fight is the only time in the game when you're not being told to go and collect something.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine: There's one in Chapter 1 involving collecting six objects; one in Chapter 2 where Henry must find Wally's lost keys; and a bunch in Chapter 3, which Alice Angel sends Henry on for her own amusement.
  • The 11th Hour takes this to a ridiculous extreme. Ostensibly, the point of the game is to run around solving puzzles like its predecessor, The 7th Guest. However, in T11H, all solving a room's puzzle does is open it up to examination; this is where the fetching comes into play, as Carl's GameBook is sent various messages which are supposed to guide him to touch a particular object and get rewarded with a clip of video showing some backstory.
  • Parodied in Spandex Force 2: Superhero U when Professor Blizzard Wizard asks you to obtain "a mirror, two cats, three screwdrivers and fourteen buttons", only for you to object that they can all be obtained at the local supermarket.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Ubiquitous in the Atelier series. Most quests involve getting some object to someone, when you're not doing a Mass Monster-Slaughter Sidequest (or both at once). However, the quirk in the formula is that the most common type of fetch quest involves you synthesizing an item to bring to the quest-giver.
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • The first game is packed with lazy, lazy people who won't even walk down the street to the shop to buy themselves a book. It's also full of people who claim to be strong heroes who had something stolen but don't have the guts to get it back themselves.
    • The second game tends to avoid pure fetch quests, and even when it really is "fetch me this guy's knife" it's a) part of something much larger, b) giving you a choice about whose knife to fetch or c) giving you a very, very good reason to kill the woman, Lanthorn be damned. On the other hand, when your characters use the "Limited Wish" spell to ask for an adventure unlike any they'd experienced before, it's a particularly convoluted, tedious, and silly Fetch Quest.
    • In the expansion pack to the second game, Throne of Bhaal, your characters are above such petty concerns. Instead, you can send a group of low-level adventurers out on a fetch quest for you.
  • Plenty of such quests in Blade & Sword. There's a particularly long Chain of Deals between the ghosts of a married couple and their family you'll have to do in order to transition to the next area.
  • The Chrono Trigger DS re-release has a new optional dungeon which is nothing but fetch quests. One particularly Egregious example, towards the end of the dungeon, is a fetch quest that requires you to traverse one dungeon (getting into three battles you can't avoid), then leave the dungeon, then go back through the dungeon, then leave the dungeon, then go back through the dungeon, then leave the dungeon, then go back through the dungeon...It reaches the breaking point when, for this one fetch quest, you realize that the first item you grab is not going to be the item that was requested, but looking for the right item is impossible until you're told that the one you have is the wrong item. And then, because once isn't enough, the game does the exact same thing immediately afterwards. If Magus is in your party at a certain point during the quest, he'll state the current trope quote. It's as though the developers that made this quest knew about the repetitiveness, making Magus lampshade about how ridiculous the whole thing is, yet kept it as is anyway.
  • The Dark Cloud games tend to do this in a unique fashion. Moving the plot forward relies on restoring specific key buildings in the Georamas, usually yielding some or another item that is needed to do away with a Broken Bridge. And then there's the condition to revive the Treant in Matataki Village, which combines a very strange Fetch Quest with a broken river: you have to collect enough river parts in the dungeon to reconnect the waterfall at one end of the valley to the Treant's spring to revive him.
  • Day of the Idea: In order to be able to fly the helicopter, you need fuel, which can only be gotten in a specific town, in that town, the Oil wells are on fire, and Nitroglycerin is needed to put the flames out, to get the Nitroglycerin which is on a mountain far away, you need a truck which can be gotten from people wanting to capture a fish-man in a river. Once you get the Nitroglycerin, you have to take it back to the town, however you can't stop the truck in the forested areas, which covers most of the map and if the truck hits anything on the map, it explodes.
  • Digimon World 3 features so many fetch quests, one is the infamous Blue Card quest that involves you having to go walk all the way back to Guilmon after you seemingly obtained the item, because the Guilmon gave you a fake one and now you have to get the real one from him. And the real one is necessary to advance the story. Another fetch quest that rewards you with a fishing pole, is mixed with a Guide Dang It! moment, as one of the items asked is never mentioned by name, nor hinted by anything or anyone to be the required item, AND it's not even a common item — it's a random drop from one of the random encounter Digimon.
  • Dragon Age II. One of your own party members sends you on a Fetch Quest, claiming he needs ingredients for a potion to separate him from his Superpowered Evil Side. The ingredients are actually components for a bomb he's building. Inverted elsewhere — you find various objects lying around and can return them to their owners for cash and XP.
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II has one after Trunks's warning from the future about the Androids. You (at this point of the game, Gohan) and Goku go to West City to meet up with Piccolo near City Hall. Goku can't see Piccolo anywhere so he decides to go to Capsule Corp. Just after he leaves, you find out where Piccolo is. City Hall's courtyard, which is being blocked by a float for the "Hercule Day" parade. You must go get Hercule an open-faced club sandwich because he refuses to start the parade without one. So you go to the sandwich shop, but the owner refuses to make any sandwiches until he's read today's paper. So you go to the newspaper stand and the newspaper salesman isn't there because the local school bus crashed on a field trip leaving four kids, including the newspaper guy's son, lost in the wilderness. You must go out into the wolf and snake-infested woods to save the kids. After bringing all four back safely, you finally get your newspaper which you give to the sandwich guy who gives you the sandwich which you give to Hercule. The parade is finally about to start when Hercule hears the music — and then informs the people that he specifically requested that Eye of the Lion be played. This leads to a much shorter quest where you go to the record store, where the owner tells you he gave it to the guy at the antique store, who gives it to you for free. There's a fun little callback to this in the sequel, Buu's Fury. It's ten years later, but when you first speak to Hercule as Gohan, he's still demanding a damn club sandwich — and then he asks if he knows you from somewhere. (Luckily, you don't get stuck with the job this time.)
  • The original Dragon Quest has a biggie. You need to get the Staff of Rain, Stones of Sunlight, and Erdrick's Token to get the Rainbow Bridge. Getting the Staff of Rain requires getting the Silver Harp. You need a key to get the Stones of Sunlight. (And you might need more than one, depending on if you accidentally leave the castle.) Getting Erdrick's Token doesn't technically involve saving Princess Gwaelin, but it's a lot easier.
  • Dragon Quest VIII is full of 'em. At one point, where you have to use a particular monster to power up a magic mirror so you can fight the not-so-Big Bad, if you pick that moment to talk to Jessica, she'll complain aloud that, if the rest of their quest has been any indication, the monster in question will have a toothache and your team will be forced to find the remedy (fortunately, that doesn't happen.)
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The series includes plenty of these throughout. Usually the quest giver offers a reason why they can't just fetch the item(s) themself, but not always. Specific examples from the games are below.
    • Morrowind:
      • Your very first assignment in the main quest is to fetch a Dwemer cube from Dwemer ruin. The quest giver has information you need, and he considers fetching the item to be part of your payment.
      • The Apprentice-level quests for the Mages Guild are a particularly flagrant case. Ajira, the Balmora Mages Guild hall resident Alchemist, sends you off to collect samples of native mushrooms and flowers for her research. (If one then reads her research notes, she claims to have worked hard to gather ingredients for her experiments, even though it’s actually you who went out and gathered them.)
    • Oblivion:
      • The game includes several, such as retrieving the Amulet of Kings after the monk loses it (mandatory) or collecting various ingredients for a witch to brew a Cure for Vampirism (optional).
      • There's also the quest "Finding Your Roots", where you have to go around finding a very rare plant called Nirnroot to give to a guy who makes it into increasingly potent batches of a potion. There are over 350 placed in the game, usually near water, and you need one hundred of them to fully complete the quest. This one is best done by picking them up as you're doing other things.
      • Played with in the Fighters Guild quest "Amelion's Debt": you can save a family from bankruptcy by retrieving their ancestor's valuable armour from a haunted tomb... or by giving them some money, in which case you bemuse your Guild superior but pass the quest with no complications.
    • Skyrim:
      • The Radiant Quest system consists of a large number of fetch quests, particularly the mini-quests given by the Thieves' Guild and the Companions (which are largely "go here, kill/rob X, bring back sword/necklace/gold statue/etc. to quest-giver"). There is also the "No Stone Unturned" quest, which sends you seeking the stones of Barenziah all over Skyrim, and the "A Return to Your Roots" quest, which is a retread of the above "Finding Your Roots" quest from Oblivion, though at least this time you're collecting crimson nirnroot in one giant cavern instead of all over the world map.
      • "No Stone Unturned" is considered by many to be the most infamous of all Skyrim fetch quests, if not all quests in general. The stones are numerous, quite small, and almost always hidden away in some nondescript dungeon or sitting on a desk in some random NPC's house amongst various bits of junk. And once you pick up a stone it can't be removed from your inventory until you've found all 24 of them and completed the associated quest, which is a problem since the stones each have a 0.5 weight value (most other quest items are weightless). Worse still, one of the stones was placed in a spot that becomes completely inaccessible after a certain point, rendering it Permanently Missable. Until the stone was moved by the 1.4 patch, it wasn't uncommon for players to reach the end of the game with up to 11.5 pounds of dead weight taking up space in their inventory. And unlike most quests in the game. You don't get map markers for them, so you have to travel the entire country completely blind searching every single nook&cranny in the ENTIRE game. Unless you use a walk-through or a map marker mod. note 
  • The Epic Battle Fantasy series introduced side quests starting with the third game, and pretty much all of them are fetch quests. Most of the time, the objects you're fetching can be purchased from shops, so you can just wait until the end of the game when you're completely loaded and then buy them. Other times, they're hidden in chests or scattered around the overworld.
  • Eternal Sonata has a maddening example involving a key needed to open a temple. The key is part of a much longer trading sidequest throughout the game, though you don't actually have to participate in the full sidequest in order to get it, and doing so only results in getting an extra accessory of the player's choice. The maddening part is that after you get the key, the temple turns out to be unlocked, at least in the PlayStation 3 Updated Re-release anyway. In the Xbox 360 version, it was played straight, but in the Rerelease, when the party gets to the temple and actually tries to use the key, they find that the door is unlocked. Yet the game still makes you get the key anyway because if you try to use the door before having obtained the key, it is locked!
  • Fable parodies this trope. You ask a witch to cook some medicine for a sick boy, and she says you need to collect four blue mushrooms, which are very rare and need to be searched all over the world map. (And acquiring one of the mushrooms requires you to do an additional fetch quest, unless you decide to kill its owner, which moves your Character Alignment towards evil.) When you finally bring all the four mushrooms to the witch, she says she actually had the required medicine already, she'd just forgotten about it.
  • The FedEx missions are generally relegated to sidequests in The Fall: Last Days of Gaia. Commonly, the demand to hurry up actually does result in a Timed Mission. Of course, it might as well not.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout and Fallout 2 both are based on massive fetch quests to get the story moving. In the first game, you have to find a new Water Chip in less than 150 days and return or your Vault will run out of water. In the second, you must find G.E.C.K. and the Vault 13 (from the first game) or your village will die. Unlike the first game, this time the quest doesn't have any limit other than the game itself running out of computing data.
    • Fallout 3:
      • The game mostly avoids these, with the 'Nuka-cola challenge' being the only notable one that is listed as a quest. However, a player may end up searching high and low for parts to make custom weapons and there are many NPCs who will trade you for items you may have run across. Other unmarked fetch quests include delivering twenty Chinese assault rifles to Pronto in Paradise Falls, and collecting Enclave gear for Protector Casdin to gain entrance to Fort Independence without the Outcasts turning hostile.
      • Three Dog tries to send you on one, asking you to retrieve a satellite dish from a science museum in order to restore Galaxy News Radio's broadcast antenna, offering information about your father's whereabouts as a reward. You can actually talk the information out of him if you pass a Speech check or, if you already know where your father is, skip the GNR building entirely, at which point he asks if you'd be willing to do it anyway; if you do, the reward is now a key allowing you into an otherwise-inaccessible weapons cache.
      • One quest in The Pitt requires you to collect 10 ingots from the Steelyard. If you go back and collect the rest after completing this quest, you get rewarded with a number of unique weapons and armors.
    • Fallout: New Vegas
      • The Courier is scouring the Mojave and New Vegas looking for a Platinum Chip. This is not meant to pad the game out at all (that's what the rest of the content is for) being that it's a main quest plot thing. Straighter than this is the Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottlecaps, the snow globes for Mr. House, and your companions.
      • During the quest "Come Fly With Me", once you've gained access to the basement, Haversam will send you to find the thrust controls and an ignition source. He will actually attempt to give you only one task at a time, so you'll have to go out, find the item, bring it back, then go out again for the other. However, you can accept the first task, then tell him you want to do the other instead, then go out and find both things at the same time. Likewise, the quest to kill the three Fiend bosses tries to send you on only one hit at a time, but you can take them out in one swoop if you want.
      • New Vegas also allows the Courier to bypass some fetch quests by passing skill checks instead. For example, at one point a Mess Seargent asks you to repair an industrial food processor for the NCR's army — this requires a whole page worth of parts which are all Shop Fodder otherwise. Alternatively, if you have 80+ Repair skill, you can jury-rig the food processor to work again using "a couple of bobby pins".
    • An NCR Major named Dhatri offers a bounty on three leaders of the Fiends, a gang of drugged-up raiders. He asks for the heads as proof. If the player damages the heads too much in their efforts at collecting them, such as going for Boom, Headshot!, they will get a smaller reward.
    • Fallout 4
      • One quest is named "Vault 81", where a voice on the intercom tasks the Sole Survivor with finding three fusion cores to gain entry into the vault of the same name.
      • Another quest is named "The Gilded Grasshopper", where the Sole Survivor has to go into a Super Mutant den to find the Gilded Grasshopper.
      • Randomly while listening to Freedom Radio, sends you on a quest where you must rescue a kidnapped settler from a random group (Super Mutants, Raiders, Gunners) who is holding them for ransom, you can bypass the quest by paying the ransom to the person asking for help.
  • There are quite a few of these in the Final Fantasy series.
    • To move on with Final Fantasy once you get the ship (at approximately level 4-5), you need to change one tile of the map from a small land bridge to water. To do this, you need a dwarven engineer to blow it up. He needs Nitro Powder. Said Nitro Powder is behind a magically locked door in the very first castle in the game. The door requires the Mystic Key, which is held by the Prince of Elfheim. The Prince is cursed to sleep forever, however, until he's given the Jolt Tonic. Matoya, a witch, has the needed Jolt Tonic, but a dark elf stole her Crystal Eye. Astos has the Crystal Eye in question but won't reveal himself as Astos until you get him the Crown, which is at the bottom of the Marsh Cave, which you should be level 9-11 to attempt. Get used to grinding for a few hours.
  • Final Fantasy XII straight-up toys with the protagonist's head on what kind of fetch quest he's about to be sent on:
    Migelo: My courier didn't arrive with food for the banquet!
    Vaan: Oh, you want me to go find him.
    Migelo: Too dangerous. I'm getting food from Tomaj instead.
    Vaan: So you want me to pick it up.
    Migelo: No, I already sent Kytes to do that. But he's gone missing. Go find him.
    Vaan: Sounds wild.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance features so many Fetch Quests that plot-relevant missions are the exception, rather than the rule. To be fair, most of them are completely optional — if you want to be slaughtered when you actually attempt to do a plot quest.
  • The trend continues in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. In fact, the majority of the game could be spent doing these kinds of quests. It's even the basis of one of the main story missions.
  • The final act of Hero's Realm tasks the player with fetching the ultimate equipment from every corner of the earth...for someone else to use.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia goes out of its way to insult fetch quests. Considering the entire videogame is spent with the characters fully knowing they're in a videogame they have Neptune talk to a mystical tome about collecting four keystones by defeating four bosses to save her. Neptune immediately calls it a fetch quest then says no because it sounds boring. Histoire, the tome, then pumps her up by saying it'll save the world, to which Neptune decides that she will now partake of the fetch quest.
  • Xbox 360 RPG Infinite Undiscovery has more than its fair share of these as well.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • There are two, in the beginning, spanning 2 days in story time. The first, you must gather items required to build a raft (Logs, rope, cloth) in order to proceed. And the second forces you to gather provisions (Water, fish, mushrooms, coconuts, and a Seagull egg) before continuing.
    • As a Side Quest, you must find and release all 99 Dalmatian puppies.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has one particular side quest which spans the entire game world. By the time you've found the final bawdy novel in the collection, you'll be wishing you'd never accepted it to begin with.
  • In A Knight's Quest for Milk, the main plot is basically about the protagonist searching for a carton of milk to give to his mother for turtle soup.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails have various sidequests throughout the series for assisting town residents in collecting ingredients for food, gathering types of fish, making special dishes to be given, and searching the town for lost items.
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom is essentially one big string of (often minor and insignificant) fetch quests loosely connected in a way that helps the heroes pursue their main goal of preventing the rebirth of the evil Super Beings defeated nearly 100 years ago. Only occasionally does a given quest directly involve the main adventure, and usually then it's only in hindsight; there are seriously about three directly plot-relevant quests in the entire journey, and the total length of the game springs from the fact that those relevant quests just happen to require the heroes to go on enough plot-irrelevant fetch quests to bring the game up to passable RPG length. To top it off, the bulk of those fetch quests are so random and ordinary (dungeon crawling and monster-fighting aside) that they seem almost mundane within the in-game universe. Basically, if the heroes didn't occasionally regroup and discuss their main goal, the player could easily forget that they're trying to save the world from a group of Big Bads as opposed to just looking for random good deeds to do. Despite this, it's actually quite an enjoyable and cult-classic RPG. For example, trying to track down a scientist. When you arrive in town, the ever-so-helpful NPCs state that you just missed him and that he went to some cave. You go there, get to the end and find out that he went to another dungeon. You go THERE, get to the end and find out he went to some tower. You go THERE, GET to the end and find out the bastard went back to town. Cue screams of, "Why couldn't I just have waited for him!?"
  • Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis had two types of Side Quests: one where the party fights optional Bosses, and the other fall into Fetch Quests.
  • The Mass Effect series has loads of these. The third game introduced a simple formula — you overhear some people on the Citadel talking about needing something, you get a Side Quest in your journal, you do the Side Quest, you go back to the person on the Citadel, you get credits and more support in the war against the Reapers. In Mass Effect 2 a Renegade response Mordin's recruitment mission hangs a lampshade on it:
    Shepard: Just once I'd like to ask someone for help and hear them say, "Sure! Let's go right now! No strings attached."
  • Mega Man:
    • The Mega Man Battle Network games. Mega Man Battle Network 5 starts spamming them at the end. Just when you think you're ready to attack the evil headquarters, your buddy gets kidnapped, you have to do an errand to get a new office, then you have to hunt down and destroy five MacGuffins by going through five areas you've been to before, and fight five easy bosses you've beaten before. Considering the amount of postgame stuff, you have to wonder how much of this was really needed.
    • The first Mega Man Star Force lets our hero hack into any Transer, find out which silly problem the owner may have, and then helping them out. It wouldn't have been that bad, if there weren't over 60 people with Transers ambulating aimlessly through the town, wanting their problems to be solved. Worse, you can only take one problem at a time, by finding a person, then finding the nearest waveworld entrance, going back to the person to read their Transer, getting the quest, leave waveworld to solve the problem, and then go back to complete the quest the same way. And odds are good that the reward is not worth the effort.
  • In Metalheart: Replicants Rampage, a lot of the secondary quests come down to this. Often, the questgivers would give you hundreds of coins for delivering much cheaper items such as toolboxes, as well as photos of the exact location of an item you needed to deliver.
  • A sizable chunk of Miitopia (both during the main game and the bonus missions) involves the party doing fetch quests for various characters, like searching for a lost friend, a key, or even sweets.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door uses them in abundance:
    • General White. To find him, you must go to Petalburg. He's not there, so you must check Keelhaul Key. Missing again. You are then sent to: Glitzville, The Great Tree, then Twilight Town in that order with the only clue being that he "looked tired." You are supposed to interpret this as "he went to Fahr Outpost," which is where you started. An interview had Intelligent Systems called out on this — their response was that they wanted the player to see that not only was it possible to backtrack but there were often new quests and such waiting for them if they did.
    • Twilight Town and Creepy Steeple. For starters, you must go to Frankly, then to the entrance pipe, then back to Frankly, then back to the pipe just to enter. Then you must go to the elder, to the gate, back to the elder, and back to the gate to leave Twilight Town. Then you must go to the fallen tree, back to the shop, and back to the fallen tree to get past. Then you must go to Creepy Steeple, then back to town, then back to Creepy Steeple, then back to town, then back to Creepy Steeple. It's 99% pointless back and forth "fetch the stick" kind of game play and, if it wasn't for the cool scenery and fan-favorite Vivian joining your party here, it would likely be reviled as That One Level.
    • Once you reach Chapter 8 in The Thousand Year Door you have the choice to accept a trouble known as "Delivery, please." It begins by going to Poshley Heights to meet a bob-omb with a package, which he asks you to bring to Fahr Outpost for General White. He's not there, and you are directed to Rogueport. He's not there, and you are directed to Glitzville. He's not there, and you are directed back to Poshley Heights, where the requester tells you he sent General White to Fahr Outpost. You then must go there, then back to Poshley Heights to complete the quest.
  • Quite a few side quests in Paradise Cracked. Many of those offer alternate routes of completion, though. For example, you can dutifully retrieve a suitcase with merchant’s prototype guns for his reward, or you can deliver those prototypes to the head of the Syndicate who’ll pay you generously and will have his troops take your side during combat.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 3 there are several kinds of fetch quests:
      • The simplest usually involve talking to someone on a certain day to get an item from them.
      • The next simplest involve farming a common enemy from a specific location until you get the number of items you need, and the items go from rare (the original) to uncommon (FES) to almost guaranteed (PSP).
      • A level up involves finding "red" enemies... basically the same as the one above except the enemy is a little rarer. Even harder involve hunting down a Metal Slime for the item. The worst ones involve getting an item from a rare chest. Although a rare chest on a specific floor will always give up a specific item, you're banking on that floor giving up a rare chest (which is rare), and the game never tells you what floors give up what items.
      • In order to meet Mutatsu, one must first undertake one of these that involves delivering people the drinks they want.
    • Persona 4 has an entire Social Link as a Fetch Quest with the Fox as the Hermit Social Link. The slew of requests from Persona 3 return as well, except you have to hunt the quest-givers down around the school and town, rather than getting all the requests from one person.
  • If you want to become a mage in Planescape: Torment, your mentor sends you on a series of fetch quests. Depending on your character's wisdom, he may understand why or merely get angry.
  • Pokémon:
    • In Pokémon Red and Blue, the guards at Saffron City are thirsty, and won't let you through until you bring them a drink from the Celadon Department Store. In both remakes, you have to obtain a special Tea to give to them instead.
    • In Pokémon Gold and Silver/Crystal (as well as the remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver), you have to go to the pharmacy in Cianwood City to get some medicine for Jasmine's Ampharos because Jasmine won't battle you until Amphy's better.
  • The absolute majority of quests in Prince of Qin. Often, the story missions end up indistinguishable from side quests because of it.
  • In Robopon, talking to Rena of the Elite 8 will start a trading quest with the other Elite 8 members; completing it gets you one of the game's Olympus Mons, Golden Sunny/Silver C-Cell. Thankfully, you don't have to fight them for it.
  • Romancing SaGa: In order to complete the Water Dragon Rite quest, you will need to get the Raincloud Armlet from Adyllis who is at the bottom of the Great Pit of Bayre Plateau, but when you ask her for the Armlet, she wants the Cyclone Shoes from Avi who resides at the top of Mt. Scurve, when you ask him for the Shoes, he wants the Ignigarde from Pyrix who dwells deep within Mt. Tomae, when you ask for the Ignigarde, he wants the Ice Sword, which can be bought for 20,000 gold, can be gotten by recruiting Galahad if your alignment is good enough/Killing him for it if your alignment doesn't match, or you can just beat up Pyrix for the Ignigarde. However, by completing the Obscenely long fetch quest, you can do their ecology quests which net weapons that can summon them, and in Sub-sequential Play throughs, you can fight their corrupted versions when you fail the Ecology quests which give even more powerful weapons.
  • Rune Factory 2 and 3 have request boards, most of which can be completed immediately. Some requests double as Heart Events for the eligible bachelorettes.
  • Shin Megami Tensei V: In each major area, there are demons who request various items, either normal items that can be found or unique material that can be gathered from defeating certain monsters. After the quest is finished, the demon offers to give the same reward in exchange for bringing the same amount of items.
  • Sim Settlements 2:
    • The main storyline have a lot of quest objectives where the Sole Survivor is Jake's hands on the field. This is most humorously implemented in "Memory Lane," where Jake promises to reveal his backstory in exchange for finding his screwdriver. This is likely a way for Jake to put off having to tell the Sole Survivor about his family.
    • In "Stashed Away," Carn Asada will join you as a settler if you retrieve his stash of chems from some raiders. Carn's stash is on the Wreck of the FMS Northern Star, and the raiders in question are the Norwegian ghoul raiders.
  • Near the beginning of Skies of Arcadia, Vyse and Aika briefly leave their home for an inconsequential Fetch Quest. This results in them being conveniently absent when their peaceful hamlet is burned to the ground and their friends are kidnapped. Later in the game, the characters completely drop the main plot briefly to go on a treasure hunt. After all, it's not like the fate of the world is hanging in the balance or anything.
  • The majority of Star Ocean: The Last Hope's plot irrelevant sidequests are these. Many require to fetch multiple items over various points in the game or craft them, which requires you to fetch multiple items needed to craft them. Occasionally you can just buy the items, but you can't count on that.
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic imaginatively conceals this by making the Four Objects you must collect Four Planets you must visit. So, if you're in a generous mood, you don't even notice that you've been FedExing.
  • In Suikoden, you encounter a Fetch Quest with several steps in one of the later towns, when you are convincing one of the 108 Stars of Destiny to join you. After talking to about six different people you finally get the soap the Star in question wanted... but then she says she discovered she had some all along.
  • There is a lot of this in Sunless Sea, ranging from smuggling souls for the Blind Bruiser to rounding up intel for the Admiralty to assembling a dozen or so different things in the middle of nowhere to get something useful. In the "My Father's Bones" Ambition, for example, the Fathomking won't tell you what you want to know unless you provide him with half a dozen things from various areas of the zee, some of which are quite valuable (for example, one of them requires you to successfully pick a fight with either the Tree of Ages or Mt Nomad).
  • The 1989 Macintosh RPG TaskMaker is nothing but a fetch-quest.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, has such things as collecting the TNT from the botched drug deal (mandatory) or collecting the voodoo doll for the flesh-eating Vampire (optional).
  • Venetica frequently resorted to fetch quests to keep up the running time.
  • The World Ends with You has one where the characters have to find a stolen microphone. After they've finished the quest, Neku calls it "the detour from hell." The missing microphone belongs to one of the Reapers running the game Neku's a part of. When Neku tries to refuse to help, he puts up an Invisible Wall and declares finding the mic to be the pass condition.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: About two-thirds of the many, many sidequests are these, and it's absolutely shameless about it, naming them things like "Collection Quest 2" or "Materials Quest 3". Fortunately, you don't actually have to return the items (simply meeting the requirements completes the quest) and doing them unlocks the more story-driven quest chains (which are by no means free of fetch objectives, but at least they're more engaging).

    Simulation Games 
  • Animal Crossing
    • The first game was infamous for long, drawn-out, randomly generated fetch quests where someone borrowed something, and lent it to someone and then someone stole it from them, etc. Which leads you through almost everyone into the village to get someone's [random Nintendo product] back in exchange for your reward, which tends to be a common rug or piece of furniture that's not worth the effort. Thankfully toned down in Wild World, which only has you go from person A, to person B, then back to person A with the item in tow.
    • In Wild World and City Folk, Gulliver appears as an astronaut who needs help finding his spaceship parts after you shoot down his UFO.
    • In New Horizons Gulliver needs you to dig up the parts to fix his communicator, which are buried on the beach much like clams. His pirate counterpart Gullivarrr has a similar quest where you have to go deep-sea diving for his lost communicator.
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist:
    • The delivery job is unlocked via delivering sweets prepared by Tammy to Marz, who doesn't want to get them herself.
    • Colleagues from inside-colony jobs will sometimes ask Sol to look for something while out exploring and bring it back to them if they find it.
  • The Sims:
    • In The Sims: Bustin' Out for the GBA, some quests have you involve grabbing something like an urn to give to a ghost in order to proceed. You can also ask others for an errand, and upon completion, you get a bit of money. Helpful when you begin the game and have little cash, but next to useless later, because you get better jobs eventually.
    • Many quests in The Sims Medieval have "get Object X" as a step. Sometimes Object X can be acquired in the village shop, but often the Sim will have to harvest it or obtain it from an NPC.

    Sports Games 
  • In Backyard Skateboarding, you must find the key to Shark Belly Shores in the Boardwalk before beating the Tour Guide Challenge, which unlocks the next level.
  • Most of the quests in Doodle Champion Island Games boil down to this. For example, one quest has her track down three pieces of driftwood for a woodcarver.
  • Shaun White Snowboarding had the player traipsing around the mountain for coins in order to unlock the next mountain. Seriously.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Assassin's Creed is positively loaded with pointless and mindlessly repetitive fetch quests, a flaw nigh-unforgivable to some in an otherwise excellent game. The most blatant example is probably the "informant" quest where you have to gather up approx. 10-15 Masyaf flags scattered around the general area. This can be partially justified in that one of the informants seems to genuinely hate the main character's guts and would no doubt relish the opportunity to make Altair's life needlessly complicated by sending him on pointless fetch quests. But then there's the informant who claims to have "dropped" his massive bundle of Masyaf flags which somehow scattered them all over an entire city block, including a few that launched themselves onto the rooftops of several buildings. Brotherhood brings them back, but fortunately as sidequests for Tiber Island shopkeepers. The stuff you get from completing them, while nice to have, are optional.
  • Metal Gear Solid: When you get to Sniper Wolf you need to run all the way back to the armory for a PSG1 and then all the way back to fight her. When you get to REX first you need to run all the way down to the sewers to find the PAL key that you dropped and then all the way back up to use it, then you'll have to run all the way back to the blast furnace and hang out to heat it up, then all the way back to use it, then you have to run all the way back to the warehouse to cool it, then all the way back to use it. And while the game does have a quick-travel system, if you figure out that's what the boxes can be used for, the three trucks are all placed in such a way that they're not helpful during any of these segments. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, the Updated Re Release, offered opportunities to skip these for players who are observant or have quick reflexes: there's a PSG1-T hidden in the Nuclear Warhead Storage Building and a couple of pipes in REX's Lair that can be used to heat and cool the PAL key.
  • Thief: The Dark Project level "Return to the Cathedral" begins with stealing a gem from a church full of undead. This is, on the whole, pretty simple and takes maybe ten minutes if done properly. Then if you try to exit out the door you unlocked to get in, you find it's sealed for absolutely no reason. You have to spend a further twenty or thirty minutes wandering around the monastery behind the Cathedral, dodging more undead, as you collect the necessary items for a consecration ritual for a dead priest. Only after doing this will the priest's ghost give you the means to escape the area.

    Survival Horror 
  • In Camp Sunshine the player character, Jez, must evade a mass murderer while attempting to collect ten diary entries and ten items related to them.
  • Used throughout Penumbra's trilogy, and lampshaded by Clarence in Black Plague
    Clarence: Christ! Go here, go there, fetch this, run me a bath... typical broad, atypical circumstances.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis: The second quarter of the game revolves around finding three items — blended machine oilnote , a fuse, and a power cable — needed to repair a tram in order to make an escape attempt from the doomed city.
    • Every one of the games were basically one huge Fetch Quest until Resident Evil 4 came out and went full action. Each game consists of finding keys or random items to open locks and traps while trying to stay alive in the meantime.
  • In String Tyrant the final part of the game is one of these. Complicating things is that all the enemies have respawned and you have to go to the other end of the map.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword has one of these around the late middle of the game: you have to find the Fire Emblem so that Prince Zephiel's coming-of-age ceremony can be held and the Bernese nobles will tell you where to find the Shrine of Seals, where Bramimond (who is the only one who can unseal the sealed legendary weapons lies. It's really not much more than an attempt to get the Fire Emblem into the game, since it has to be in every game, as well as show us Zephiel before he becomes a warmongering maniac who wants to wipe out humankind in FE6, since 7 is a prequel.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Dead Rising:
    • Overtime Mode in Dead Rising is almost all Fetch Quest. Like the rest of the game, it's also a Timed Mission. What makes it bad is that while the first half of the Fetch Quest is gathering key items, the second half requires you to collect ten queens, which are inventory items, and therefore the special forces will take them away if they get you before you get them back to Isabella.
    • In Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, the overarching fetch quest is gathering parts to fix a motorcycle so you can get out of zombie-infested Still Creek. The drawback here is that every bike part is treated as a large item, meaning that you'll drop it if you get grabbed or cycle through your inventory on the way back to the garage.
  • Starting with the second installment, the Elite series introduced a few optional missions that were variations on the FedEx Quest type, including a quite literal example in the form of packages that needed to be delivered to a certain system by a certain date. You could also buy an upgrade for your ship that installed one or more passenger cabins (taking up a lot of cargo space in the process) to enable you to take jobs that were basically the same as package delivery quests but paid better, and military missions in which you would have to go to a specific location and either take a bunch of pictures (the closer you got to the target the higher your score) or drop a bomb, and then return to the original quest location with proof. This is much less repetitive than it sounds, because in the early game it was a way to make some quick money without Level Grinding and later on it was an excuse to break out of Complacent Gaming Syndrome and go to systems you hadn't visited before.
  • Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns has a "requests board" in both towns, with several classes of requests ranging in rarity, quantity, and quality of the items requested. Anything "B Class" and above is a Luck-Based Mission, as villagers will often ask for items that aren't in season, can only be procured under special circumstances, or that you simply aren't able to manufacture yet. Presumably, you're supposed to use the Wi-Fi connection to try and trade for such items.
  • Quite a few can be given at random in Planet Explorers.
  • Used in both side-quests and story missions in Red Dead Redemption. Treasure maps task the player with finding valuable treasure, bounty hunts task players with bringing in wanted criminals (or proof of their death should you kill them), and random events can task players with taking care of thieves who steal money or horses. In the story, John Marston has to do a lot of favors for people to get the help he needs to track down Bill Williamson: help Nigel West Dickens shill his snake oil, help Seth find his own lost treasure, help Irish get parts for a Gatling gun, help the Mexican government quash a rebellion, and so on.
  • The Xenon Hub mission from Egosoft's X3: Reunion: Terran Conflict. The development team in charge was definitely up against a looming deadline and the executive powers-that-be responsible for approving or vetoing the idea looked at the proposed mission and said, "Seeing as how no one has a better idea, let's put this in the game." The player has to provide: 400 units of microchips; 500 units computer components; 450,000 units of Ore; 150,000 units Teladianium; 500 units Nividium; 750,000 crystals; 400,000 units Silicon Wafers; 85,000 more microchips; and pay an NPC 15,000,000 credits. Even the developers have had to admit that the Hub mission is over the top — several of the game's patches have reduced the requirements a little.

Non-Video Game Examples

    Asian Animation 
  • Crazy Candies: In Season 3 episode 28, Marshyo and Jackey's task of finding a book to exchange for Uncle Twinkie's movie ticket becomes one. Elva has the book they want, but they break her mirror and have to find a replacement from Bubba, who wants some roses, which Chocco owns. Chocco is willing to accept a scarf in return, which brings them back to Uncle Twinkie who is wearing one on his head.

    Comic Books 
  • Invoked by the Mastrell's Path exam in White Sand — the task is to obtain five spheres hidden somewhere around the exam area and bring them to the judges overseeing the test.
  • "The Scavenger Scramble" was a Wacky Races story that had the racers out to retrieve specific items and cross the finish with them. The items were a real gone muffler, a drop of dirty motor oil on the right palm, a scrap of tire tread, and a traffic ticket.

    Fan Works 
  • Antipodes: After escaping Stalliongrad, the group goes on a world-spanning quest to find and acquire the fragments of Celestia and Luna.
  • The Keys Stand Alone: C'hou has millions of these. The four get bored with them almost immediately, and almost as quickly they resent having pointless quest after pointless quest piled on top of them. They take shortcuts whenever possible — for example, since some quests involve getting monster parts, this means that George turns into the various monsters and they “harvest” things from him, much to his annoyance — and by Chapter 16 they're actively rebuffing people begging for their help. This is a reflection of their real lives, when they were (and continue to be) bombarded with requests for funding, endorsements, etc.
  • Fate Revelation Online: Shirou eventually takes up crafting weapons for other players. Each blade is custom-made to match their fighting style and magecraft so each requires unique materials to craft. Originally Shirou collected the material himself but his guild mates realized he could work more efficiently if he delegated the gathering to his customer. The players came to accept this happily when word spread that the more effort they put into gathering the materials, the better the resulting weapon would be.
  • When Reason Fails:
    • Hatsume calls on the debt Izuku's Cabal owes her to get them to retrieve a package for her as part of a smuggling exercise UA is having her do.
    • To enter a long-term relationship with Tokage's alchemist Cabal, Izuku' Cabal has to fetch seeds or seedlings of magical plants from an abandoned hospital.

  • The Matrix Reloaded: Visit this guy, go to this guy to get this guy, get this guy to that thing... This is noted. The Merovingian mocks the heroes for mindlessly following the Oracle's orders, Persephone mocks the Merovingian for calling everything "a game", the Keymaker fatalistically states that he has no purpose but to expedite the quest, and the Architect mocks Neo for believing he "chose" anything in his life. The "revolutions" of the last movie are when both humans and machines break off the fetching.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: The shrubbery quest.
    King Arthur: O Knights of Ni. We have brought you your shrubbery. May we go now?
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: the entirety of the main plot involves our heroes doing the following in order to try and get to Exegol where Emperor Palpatine is located at: Searching for a Wayfinder by tracking down the location of a now long-dead assassin who worked for Palpatine years ago, retrieving a dagger from the assassin's corpse that serves as a map to the Wayfinders' location that is written in the Sith Language (which C-3PO is programmed against translating), taking C-3PO to a Droidsmith on another planet to hack C-3POs' central CPU to have him translate the daggers writing at the cost of erasing his memories, head to the crash site of the Second Death Star on yet another world, stand in an exact spot where the wreckage of the Death Star lines up with the grooves on the dagger and pull out a secret arrow within the daggers' hilt that points towards the Wayfinders' location within the Vault located inside of Palpatines' throne room.
  • The Wizard of Oz: Follow the Yellow Brick Road, met the Wizard, retrieve the Witch's broom. Game over.

  • The protagonist of "Araby" from Dubliners promises to retrieve something for his crush, as if he were a knight heading for the holy land in search of a sacred relic.
  • From The Heroes of Olympus series it is Annabeth's charge in Mark of Athena.
  • The protagonist of Hothouse Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire is sent on such a quest to find the titular plants.
  • The Lord of the Rings is the most famous case of an inverted fetch quest: the main characters start out with the MacGuffin, and have to take it somewhere else to deal with it. But the prequel story of The Hobbit is a straightforward fetch quest; Bilbo Baggins is hired (as a burglar) to steal the Arkenstone, possession of which will give Thorin Oakenshield the political clout required to raise an army and deal with the dragon Smaug.
  • A Mage's Power: One of Team Four's missions is to travel to an insland island, retrieve monster poop, and bring it back to Roalt. It's the policy of the Dragon's Lair to give all the grunt work to the novices.
  • Oddly Enough: "A Blaze of Glory" has Tommy's grandmother tell him about the time she ended up in Elfland and had to go on one of these. It's not described in detail, other than to say it was quite a journey, but she succeeded in the end and brought back the stone containing the missing bit of the Elf queen.
  • Louisa May Alcott's Thistledown and Lilybell alias the Fairy Sleeping Beauty: the fairy Thistledown pisses off both animals and The Brownies one too many times, and as punishment he's locked away and his Morality Pet/Only Friend Lilybell is put into an enchanted sleep. The only way for him to both recover his freedom and qualify to wake Lilybell up with a True Love's Kiss is to go in several fetch quests for various crafted items.
  • Defied in China Miéville's Un Lun Dun. The Unchosen One Deeba tries to follow the path her friend (the true Chosen One) would've followed. Upon learning that the tasks required are merely a Fetch Quest for retrieving the Infinity Plus One Gun (and with their attempt to get the first item costing them two of their party members), Deeba declares that they're going to skip all that and head straight for the final item on the list.
  • During In Pursuit of Bark's Finest Madeline Zargosty is sent on one to retrieve Captain Fuller's fortune-telling equation. She ultimately locates an archived copy of it on the utterly horrific Death World known as Blackwood. It's eventually retrieved, but the process of doing so isn't at all pleasant.
  • Whateley Universe: there is a 'fad' among mystics for something called a Great Quest, in which considerable magical power could be achieved by successfully divining the location of several otherwise normal objects which hold 'shards' of the quest objective. As part of the Quest, the force of Magic itself creates increasingly dangerous challenges which stand in the questors way. In a twist, it seems that most of those who voluntarily initiate such quests are supervillains, with the heroes (or at least protagonists) acting as part of the challenge.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Amazing Race: Get Object A, take to Location B to receive your next clue, return to starting point to retrieve your teammate.
  • House: Bring me the thong... of Lisa Cuddy. While the other applicants try to get the thong by trickery or fake getting the thong by using their own underwear, "Big Love" gets the thong by simply asking Cuddy for it. When it becomes clear that Big Love only got the thong by agreeing to eliminate who Cuddy wanted eliminated, House chastises him for playing by Cuddy's rules instead of his and promptly eliminates Big Love instead.
  • Shadow and Bone: The second half of season two has the Crows (Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Wylan and Nina) travel to Shu Han in order to fetch a magical sword that may be of help in fighting the shadow-creatures that General Kirigan has conjured out of the Fold. This quest and its objective does not feature in the books at all (indeed, none of Crow characters appear in the original trilogy upon which the show is predominantly based) and is clearly designed to give them something to do while the more relevant characters to this particular story do the heavy-lifting in the A-plot.

  • The Irish legend of The Sons Of Tuirenn. They are tricked into a series of dangerous fetch quests by Lugh the Long Hand, for having murdered Lugh's father Cian. The brothers forget the last item, and things do not end well.
  • About half of Heracles' twelve labors amounted to this. Along with the Assassination Sidequests his cousin Eurystheus sent him on, he had to retrieve some dangerous beasts and magic artifacts.

  • In Popeye Saves the Earth, Sea Hag Multiball is started after the player collects four items (a Can Opener, Baby Bottle, Ketchup, and Flower); it's completed by returning the items to their respective owners (Popeye, Swee'Pea, Wimpy, and Olive Oyl).


    Web Comics 
  • 8-Bit Theater: Red Mage embarks solo on an unsuccessful one in this strip.
  • Awful Hospital: Ms. Green is made to engage in several. In fact, she gains a companion named Celia because Celia wants to be on a fetch quest!
  • The main plot of The Burned is completely focused on the main character, Hunter Kirizaki, fetching fifteen magical weapons that could, if left unchecked, probably End of the World as We Know It
  • During the first movie arc in Darths & Droids, the main characters are given a minor quest to find the Lost Orb of Phanasticoria by Boss Nass, and throughout the entire story, they fluctuate between obsessing over finding it and forgetting what it is. They also (humorously) forget its name various times. It turns out to be a Macguffin that was part of the GM's plan all along.
    Jim (as Padme): Y'know, that Orb of Fantastic Irrelevance.
  • In Godslave, Anpu tasks Edith with retrieving his eight missing ba so that he may return to his full power.
  • Gold Coin Comics does this as a sidequest when Lance must undergo a fetch quest from an NPC.
  • The Order of the Stick has an example of someone invoking this trope: Sabine sends Roy off to find starmetal to reforge his sword, in order to buy time for the Linear Guild to rebuild; however, she had no clue the starmetal was real.
  • In Rusty and Co., Dorilys for a signature on paperwork for the Games. The Alt Text points out that being midlevel does not immunize her.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Yin asks Yokoka to deliver a letter to Yang. Yokoka and Yfa even refer to it as their "first quest".

    Web Original 
  • Ash & Cinders is an episodic fetch quest in which the three main characters have to retrieve their half-brother after he is abducted by a Wizard.
  • This submission to a Cracked photoplasty contest. In case the link doesn't work, it's number 18.
  • Pirates SMP: One of the many varieties of quests, the "Item Quest", requires players to speak to an NPC and obtain a certain number of an item to give to them, in exchange for gold.
  • Space Beasts combines this trope with Wacky Cravings. When the Pregnant Heroines get a particularly strong craving, they will send the rugged male heroes out and will not let them come home until they have completed the quest. Getting groceries while in the far reaches of the galaxy can be quite difficult, and more often than not turns into a life-threatening situation. One time, Captain Matoaka gets a very strong craving for pickled vegetables, and The Hero Ichabod nearly gets killed trying to get them.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Chowder has the title character losing his hat and having to go through a chain of deals to get it back... the last item in the chain being the very hat he was trying to get back.
  • "The Four Tasks of Danger Mouse" has DM sent to obtain four items in exchange for the release of Penfold, whom Baron Greenback has kidnapped: a piece of the fog monster of old London Town, forty hairs from a yeti, two feathers from a vampire duck (which introduced Count Duckula) and a twig from a witch's broom. Obtaining these proved to be harder than it appeared.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has an entire episode revolving around the Eds getting things from one person, to the other, to the next, sometimes traveling to someone's house again for something completely different, all so they can get an egg. So they can grow a chicken. So they can get more eggs. So they can have an omelet for breakfast.
  • The Foghorn Leghorn cartoon "Leghorn Swoggled" perfectly demonstrates the multi-layered Fetch Quest (a kind of Chain of Deals) years before computer games started using them. Henry the Chicken Hawk wants to capture Foghorn, and the dog says he'll tell him how to do it if he'll just get him a bone. The cat knows where a bone is, but he wants a fish for his troubles. The mouse will provide a fish, but he needs some cheese first, leading to:
    Henry: I wonder what the cheese will want!
  • The Earth Queen sends Korra and Asami to collect some tax money in exchange for information in Season 3 of The Legend of Korra. They run into trouble in the form of a motorcycle gang, but manage to fight them off (although Korra is less than hopeful that the gangsters were the bad guys in the situation), and the Earth Queen claims to know nothing when Korra returns (reducing Korra to little more than an errand girl and seriously pissing her off).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Trade Ya!", Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy's subplot involves them running all over the swap meet trading items just to get a rare book.
  • In one episode of Total Drama Island, the challenge requires the contestants to capture an animal of assigned type and bring it unharmed to a cage at the camp.
  • Notoriously present in Transformers: Prime, particularly the second season where multiple fetch quests occurred to collect Iacon relics, Omega keys, Predacon bones, and finally, the AllSpark. Most of the fetched items were either stored, unused, or destroyed when the Decepticons found and obliterated the Autobot base, and Megatron destroyed Project Predacon.


Video Example(s):



The ClueFinders need to collect Cairoglyphs for the antique dealer.

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