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"I am Noctis, prince of Lucis, and king of fishing!"
Noctis Lucis Caelum, Final Fantasy XV (and Dissidia Final Fantasy NT)
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Many video games are made in Japan, and one of Japan's leading food industries is fishing. This is a culture where squid and octopus are seen as delicious daily treats on a level with McDonald's, so fishing is pretty ingrained into the culture. So if the video game you are playing has enough sidequests & minigames, then you're likely to find a fishing mini-game somewhere in there. Fishing Games on the other hand have this as the major goal.

Fishing minigames also occasionally appear in Western games, mainly those that fall on the more "simulationist" side of the "game"/"simulation" line. Since fishing is a hobby that can be either relaxing and engaging or dull and boring depending on the player, these types of minigames are usually not made mandatory to finish the game (usually).

Whether or not it's luck based depends on the game, much to players' annoyance. Sometimes, fish aren't the only thing you can catch.

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Sometimes, the catches can be used in Cooking Mechanics.

The land equivalent is Game Hunting Mechanic, and the non-video game equivalent is Fishing Episode.


Examples:

  • AdventureQuest Worlds has recently included one as the very first "trade skill" introduced in-game.
  • The Amazon Trail had a fishing minigame. As does later versions of The Oregon Trail.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge has a fishing minigame. The mini-game pops up several times with several different "skins," and while it is indeed about fishing in some of them, in its first version, it's about catching sheep.
  • Battle Chasers: Nightwar: Selling the fish you catch to the Fishmonger is one way of earning Shadow Coins, which can be used to buy special gear.
  • Cartoon Network Block Party has a fishing minigame.
  • Fishing minigames are present for most of the Breath of Fire games. In most, if you get a strong enough rod, you can actually snag treasure chests, or even fish-creatures named Manillos, who sell you stuff and usually charge you fish.
  • Chantelise starts providing fishing poles to the pair of protagonists about midway through the game. Immediately upon receiving her pole, the swordswoman's older sister Chante comments on the newly obsessed look in Elise's eyes and how clearly they'll be doing a ''lot'' of this from now on. While poles are available, it's impossible to buy bait or lures anywhere, leading to another funny moment when the instructor says she just needs to find something small and sparkly with feathers or something. Chante (who is currently a fairy) retorts that they couldn't possibly be expected to find anything like that anywhere, and notices Elise has that creepy look again... and is looking at her now... and this is going exactly where it sounds like. Fortunately, Chante is very good at surviving close encounters with fish.
  • Choro Q has one, WITH CARS!!
  • Dark Cloud and its sequel, Dark Chronicle, had a fishing minigame. In the second game you could then race your caught fish in a "finny frenzy" which is just as exciting as it sounds. There was also a "fish weigh-in" contest, where the combined weight of three wild fish would give you a prize.
  • Dead Head Fred has one, plus you have to go find and gather your own giant mutant worms in another minigame to use as bait (or put through a special grinder to make healing and buff drinks). This involves sneaking up on a worm's location and pulling it out of the ground without pulling it apart.
  • In the first Digimon World game, the player can fish at Dragon Eye Lake once they've obtained a fishing rod (whether the Old Rod from Trash Mountain or the Amazing Rod by cashing in merit points at Volume Villa, though only the Amazing Rod is really worth a damn). The fish you catch can be used as currency to play curling against Penguinmon, though certain types of fish have useful benefits (aside from sating their hunger) if fed to your Digimon partner, such as increasing all their stats a little bit, or extending their natural lifespan. One area of the game note  is inaccessible until you can fish up Seadramon, the lake's guardian.
  • In the GBA port of Donkey Kong Country, Funky Kong gives you a choice between his jet barrel and a fishing minigame. This is also present in the Game Boy Color port, except it's only accessed through the bonus menu and not through the main game.
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: It's possible to fish, and achievements can be unlocked for catching all the rare fish in a particular area. The achievements for catching all the fish in a faction actually earn you a dye color for your armor, as well.
  • In Fable, you can fish anywhere there's water. Even a puddle. The later instances become so finely balanced that fishing up that last Silver Key can take upwards of ten minutes. Needless to say, these are the most annoying ten minutes of the entire game, and lots of players used an exploit to avoid having to fish up the last few keys.
  • In Fallen London, the annual Fruits of the Zee Festival event allows you to fish at Mutton Island for catches that can be traded to people at the festival for Menace reductions or unique items that can't be obtained anywhere else. Since Fallen London is a mainly text-based game, fishing is done by choosing from a variety of options that succeed or fail based on your Quirks (are you Heartless? Use the blood of a dying fish to lure in bigger prey! Are you Steadfast instead? Wait for the fish to come to you instead) or using Map-related items. And since Fallen London is set in a Lovecraftian version of London, your fishing catches are...rather strange:
    At first you thought you'd caught a pair of gossamer eels. But no. One eel; two heads. They both frown at you.
    Your catch flops around in the bottom of the boat, droning like a bored bee. It would look like a starfish, if starfish had a guileless brown eye blinking on each arm.
    Oh, look. Just what fish needed: pedipalps. You get a close look at them as it gamely tries to catch your head in a net of sodden silk.
  • FATE and Torchlight have fishing games based on reaction time. The fish can be used to temporarily or permanently turn your pet into a more powerful creature, or they contain artifacts or gems (sometimes much larger than the fish).
  • Final Fantasy
    • Final Fantasy VI requires the player to catch and feed fish to the game's Cid. Feeding him slow fish kills him rapidly. Moderately speedy fish can also kill him, just more slowly. The only way to save Cid is by a steady diet of fast fish. However, whether he lives or dies makes no difference to the plot, except for character development for Celes. If he dies, however, Celes is Driven to Suicide via a Leap of Faith over Cid's death.
    • Final Fantasy XI introduced a minor minigame aspect in an attempt to ward off botters. It didn't work, as a botter could simply hack the client and tell the server they mined a fish, and the server gleefully gives it to them every time.
    • Final Fantasy XII has a fishing minigame, notable because its completion is one of the conditions needed to obtain the Wrymhero Blade, a very powerful weapons in the game.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has Fisher as a Discipline of the Land non-combat class, starting off small by fishing off the docks of Limsa Lominsa to being able to catch even the mightiest sea monsters across the world.
    • In Final Fantasy XV, each of the main characters has their own personal exploration skill, and Noctis' involves fishing.
    • Chocobo's Dungeon allows you to catch fish. Your storage increases each time you bring a species to the fat chocobo who holds your items for the first time; any others are Vendor Trash.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has a timing-based fishing minigame where you have to press the A button just as a rapidly shrinking ring enters the green zone to make a "Good" catch. These fish can be used in meals that increase your Relationship Values with the other students, and some can even be cooked into meals that provide temporary stat boosts for the month.
  • Granblue Fantasy: The "Bzzt! Amped Up Summer" event has nodes that allow the player to play this kind of minigame. The player is given limited chances to cast their reel in a specific node, and they must properly time their clicks when the indicator reaches a highlighted spot in the sea (where creatures named "eals" also become visible). The mini-game gauges the timing of each click and gives bonus eals for every perfect one. These accumulated eals can later on be used to trade for rare materials in the game.
  • In the Fan Game Harvest Moon: Meadow of Dreams, you're a farmer who can fish through a minigame.
  • In Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, you are required to do this to get the Fisherman to let you use his boat to get to Misty Island.
  • Last Cloudia: In at least one spot, Kyle can whip out the fishing rod (once he obtains it) and use it to catch several fish a day. There are prizes for catching fish such as catching a number of a certain kind, every kind in the current area, and the max size of every kind.
  • This is present in The Legend of Heroes - Trails, though the general mechanic works exactly the same in each installment. You're introduced to it through a member of the Fisherman's Guild, and the protagonists become an honorary member. There's an achievement in each game for catching all fish and various other rewards. Fishing spots are found throughout pretty much all of the areas the party travels to.
    • The mechanics above also appear in Tokyo Xanadu which was made by the same developers, Kou can visit the city arcade and play a fishing game starring Rean Schwarzer, with locations seen in Cold Steel.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Lost in Blue: An integral part of the game, as fish are the most efficient food source. Fish can be caught with a spear, a fishing rod, or a trap.
  • Mabinogi has a fishing game where you can catch fish for cooking skill, treasure chests, quest scrolls, and worn-out equipment which you would need to repair for it to be useful.
  • Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times also lets you go fishing. Rather than sell the fish, though, you give them to a magical book so he can turn them into useful items.
  • Mario Party-e has Cast Away Mario!, where the player must catch a fish specified by Peach.
  • Both MySims have it in a few places. Despite one being purely Mini Games, and the other a bunch of Fetch Quests with a few item-gathering Mini Games.
  • NieR has one, and it can be quite frustrating, partly because the in-game explanation is wrong.
  • Nintendo Labo's Variety Kit allows you to construct a papercraft fishing rod and use that to catch various fish.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 4 has a fishing minigame that seems entirely luck-based at first, but once you figure it out, it becomes slightly skill-based, if tediously mashing the square button can be considered a skill. It can net you rare items and is required for maxing out the Hermit s-link.
    • Persona 5 reuses the fishing minigame from 4, with you again casting a line and then mashing buttons during certain timed intervals to reel in a fish.
  • Ōkami has a few, most notably when trying to catch a fish that ate the Moon's reflection in the lake of Agata Forest.
  • Organ Trail provides you with the option of fishing in the Director's Cut. You can gain food, scraps, zombie heads (which provide no effect), and other supplies.
  • Samurai Warriors Spirit of Sanada adds a fishing minigame as one of the new things you can do instead of beating up waves of mooks. The fish can be used for item crafting or given to other characters as gifts.
  • In A Short Hike you can start fishing once a local fisherman loans you his spare fishing rod. Fishing is a lot faster with bait, and any fish caught can be sold to a local sailor or traded for more bait if he already has the breed being offered. After several fish are sold to the sailor he gives you a Fish Journal that lists the specific body of water every breed can be found. Completing the fish journal upgrades your fishing rod, increasing the chance of finding a rare color variant of each breed that brings in significantly more money or bait.
  • The Sims: Castaway for the PS2, PSP and DS all have fishing "mini-games". On the PS2 your sim stands next to a school of fish with a spear, then has to wait for a fish to jump into the air in order to stab a fish. On the DS the scene actually changes to a mini-game where you stab the fish with your stylus. Not sure about the PSP version.
  • Skylanders Swap Force has a fishing minigame. It's first introduced in an early level, where you must capture piranhas to make a river safe. It pops up in a few main and side areas after that, and a fishing hole gets added to Woodburrow so you can play it any time you like.
  • Solatorobo has a mostly optional fishing minigame (you only have to do it three times during the course of the story, but you can come back and do it whenever you want) but you're not really fishing for... fish. You're fishing for giant hermit crabs which wear battleships as shells. With a harpoon the size of your Mini-Mecha. Capturing them nets you points based on junk salvaged from the battleship; the points can be exchanged for Power Crystals and rare parts for the Dahak.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! has a Fishing Minigame where instead of fishing for fish, you fish for random junk to increase your score. This understandable, since the characters fishing live in a world where fish talk and behave like people.
  • In Stardew Valley, the player is introduced to a fairly expansive fishing minigame on their third day on the farm. Cast your road into any body of water and wait for the tug. When you respond, you have to play a sort of Missile Lock-On/tug-of-war game where you have to keep on target to build a progression meter - when it fills, you catch the fish, and when it runs out, the fish escapes. There are different varieties of fish which depend on what time of day you're fishing and whether it's ocean-going or freshwater fish, you can also catch random treasure (but only if the fish is successfully caught as well) and later on you can even buy high quality customisable rods. Fishing is Difficult, but Awesome; if you get the hang of it early on, it will provide a lot of the income you will need to get the farm up and running.
  • The Suikoden series has fishing minigames, that double as ways to collect special items and armor (or worthless junk like old shoes.) Of particular note is Suikoden V, where it takes the form of a competition between the Prince, Subala, Logg and Lun. Notably, it doesn't really matter if you win or lose the contest; you keep everything you caught regardless.
  • Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2 has this as a minigame. You can gain points which can be traded for hard-to-find items.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Inverted in U-Oh (otherwise known as Finny the Fish & The Seven Waters) for PS2, being a fish, you need to fight off fishermen. If you get caught by the baits, you'll need to escape via a reverse-Fishing Minigame to either break the string (which nets you the bait) or get off the hook.
  • Yakuza 0 has Fishing as one of the minigames available for both of the protagonists. Depending on where you are and what you're using, it's even possible to catch a great white shark using a fishing pole.
  • Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles has a minigame where you have to pull the analog stick in the direction of an arrow to pull the fish toward you.
  • The Nintendo 3DS's built in AR Games include two fishing games—one where you have two minutes to earn as many points as you can from catching fish, and one where you have infinite time and can catch as many as you want without worrying about points.
  • Crystal Story: In multiple games:
    • Crystal Story: The Hero and The Evil Witch: The appropriate rod is needed for each dock, casting the line is automatic, but a button press is needed to start reeling a catch in, and tapping the button is needed to keep a marker inside a range inside a bar where the marker's position slowly moves out of the range.
    • Crystal Story II

Examples of fishing being the primary goal:

  • Ace Fishing is the mobile game counterpart, your goal is to catch different kind of fish.
  • This is the entire point of the River King series, which is the sister series to Harvest Moon.
  • Sega Bass Fishing (Get Bass in Japan) has this as your primary goal, your goal is to participate in various tournaments and find the largest bass.

Non-minigame examples of video game fishing:

  • Animal Crossing, all versions. Some people on the AXA board would go so far as to say that fishing for coelacanths on rainy nights, along with selling the fish and spending the money on furniture, is the main game in AC and everything else is the side-quest. One member there claims to have bought a 1.4 million bell mansion after five to seven nights of fishing, compared to the more typical two months of growing fruit. Of course, there are No Cartoon Fish, but there are cartoon frogs and octopodes. Along with regular frogs and octopodes. One can be your friendly neighbors, and the other you feed alive to a fat walrus for wallpaper. Frog and Octopus neighbors may ask you to catch a fish for them (to eat), to which you can respond by giving them a frog or octopus you fished out of the water. They have no problem eating it.
  • In the PC RPG game Arx Fatalis you can combine a pole and string to make fishing rod and catch fish to cook and eat from most any water area.
  • Black Desert Online has a fishing minigame. Despite being Nerfed a few months in, it's still fairly lucrative, especially since it's the best way to get Relic Shards, which are used to create Relic Scrolls, which reward you with Memory Fragments, which are the best way to repair costly gear. It's also possible to just wait three minutes and win the fishing minigame automatically, making AFK Fishing a popular activity for players who are asleep.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm lets you fish in two specific ponds, one of which is inside a dungeon. That one ties into a puzzle, but the other is there purely for the sake of relaxation (and earning a bit of quick cash by selling your catches). The fishing is mainly based on luck, although different tiles do seem to have slightly different odds.
  • City of Heroes does not have a fishing minigame, however perhaps as a parody it has a fishing emote.
  • Dwarf Fortress gives Dwarfs (and humans/elves if you mod the game to control them) the ability to fish, but it's entirely out of the players hands(as are most things, it being a God Game). Some of the fish are extremely likely to eat the Dwarfs involved in the exercise due to a popular glitch.
  • In Etrian Odyssey V, party characters can learn how to fish by investing one Skill Point each. The fish obtained can be cooked alongside other ingredients gathered to prepare meals that can restore large amounts of TP (Mana Meter) and/or HP (health).
  • EverQuest lets you fish, but tries its hardest to avoid letting to make money off it.
  • One of the jobs in Fantasy Life consists of this. They can be used for cooking by cooks or players with experience in cooking. Another option is to change some of them into paintings.
  • In Little Dragons Cafe, you can fish in order to get ingredients for your cafe.
  • Fishing rods are used for two purposes in Minecraft. One is to pull mobs; the other is to fish. All bodies of water, even ones you make yourself, contain fish; you fish by throwing out your line and waiting for the bobber to go down. Once you have fishing rods, water, and a suitable supply of sticks and string to replace your rodsnote , your food problems are solved. Version 1.7.2 ("The Update that Changed the World", released October 25, 2013) greatly expanded fishing by adding in multiple types of fish as well as making it so that the player can fish up treasures (such as enchanted items) or junk (like a pair of severely worn leather boots); later, version 1.13 ("Update Aquatic", release in July 2018) added the "Lure"note  and "Luck of the Sea"note  enchantments exclusive to fishing rods. You can also catch fish with a bucket, and they'll be alive and well when you empty it.
  • Monster Hunter allows you to fish at specific spots, and you don't even have to bring a fishing rod. As long as you have bait, your character will produce a rod and cast the line. Apart from there being fish you can have cooked to eat later, there are types of fish you can use to mine ore and sharpen your weapon. In the third generation games you can use fishing as a method to get Gobul, as well as Plesioth, out of the water.
  • Pokémon allows you to go fishing with a rod in order to initiate wild Pokemon battles and capture Water Pokemon. In early installments you have no real control; the process is "use fishing rod, wait a few seconds, game randomly decides whether you caught a Pokemon or not, repeat." Later games do, however, introduce timing as a measure of whether you'll be successful. Pokémon Sun and Moon changes the mechanic so that you can only fish in specific spots.
  • Red Dead Redemption II features a fishing mini-game where you can eat and cook your catches. It's included in the multiplayer and even includes competitions
  • In Resident Evil 4, you can hop back in the motorboat of Del Lago's lake and catch fish with your harpoons.
  • The 1.8 patch for Rift added a new Fishing skill and a companion Survival skill. You can make cakes with some of the fish.
  • Runescape not only has fishing as a craft skill: it has a fishing-based minigame too.
  • In Shovel Knight, you can cast a fishing rod into any pit that goes below the screen to reel in stuff like health-restoring (raw) fish or useless junk like bones or bits of apples, unless you cast the hook into a sparkling pit in which resides a golden fish worth treasure or a troupple eager to fill in your chalices with ichor. The fishing hook can also be used to reel in treasure that lies below you, including bags of treasure you may lose when falling into a bottomless pit.
  • The Sims 2: Seasons includes Fishing as an activity your sims can perform, along with a skill badge that (somehow) affects the quality of fish you catch. The Sims 3 also has fishing in it as well. This is high level, so no mini-game.
  • Many Sonic Adventure players found Big the Cat's fishing-based story annoying. It was also shorter than the other modes (excluding Amy's) and had little relevance to the plot.
  • All Story of Seasons games feature this trope as a fairly enjoyable but not particularly essential side activity. Occasionally fishing may trigger rewards or bonuses in the game. In Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness Island of Happiness, catching and shipping 50 fish is the only way to get a certain character to move in. In the original game you could only fish in a single pond, however future games give you a fishing rod.
  • One of the later additions to the StreetPass Mii Plaza was a game called Ultimate Angler, where you travel between islands and try to catch fish using bait supplied to you by other players. Bait types are dependent on the Mii's favorite color, and combining baits into larger ones are required to attract some of the rare fish.
  • Terraria eventually added various types of fishing rod to craft or otherwise obtain, along with various sources of bait required to fish with. The types of catches available depend on when and where you're fishing, what rod you use, what bait you use, and any equipped items that add to your fishing ability. Additionally, an Angler NPC offers Fetch Quests where certain rare fish are exchanged for useful items. Other catches include the usual junk, crates with random goodies inside, fish you can make various potions or food from, fish you can use as bait for more fishing, and even fish you wield as weapons or tools. Additionally, a new aquatic boss can be summomned by fishing under the right conditions.
  • Toontown Online and the private servers have fishing ponds in every street and playground. Some players try to max their fishing by getting all 70 species of fish.
  • World of Warcraft has fishing as a craft skill. Also, since fishing requires actually equipping a fishing pole, some players keep one equipped at other times as a Self-Imposed Challenge or perhaps for the purpose of Cherry Tapping weaker enemies in a humorous way (though there's also a large fish one can catch that is also equippable, with largely the same results). Before the weapon skill nerf, it was possible for a maxed fishing skill to make your fishing pole an unusually deadly weapon for its level.
  • Ultima Online has a full regular skill for fishing.
  • In Ultima Underworld, this is a convenient way to get food, as a body of water on nearly every level has fish in it. This is fortunate, as your player character needs food not just to heal damage but for food.
  • Warframe introduced fishing in the Plains of Eidolon update, which is necessary to acquire materials to advance one's standing ranking with the Ostrons as well as craft valuable items like the Archwing Launcher and Zaws. Unlike many examples, you fish with a mechanized spear rather than a rod. This was later repeated with the Fortuna update, only with robotic fish and a special taser spear.

 
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Full Moon Island fishing

Mario fishes for the Legendary Cheep Cheep and the Legendary Blooper on Full Moon Island.

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