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Gotta Catch Them All

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Douche: Every Pokémon? Are you serious? You're sending us KIDS out into the world to find EVERY POKÉMON? You don't see ANYTHING dangerously irresponsible about this?

Everybody must get stones.

The most basic form of Plot Coupon. There's a number of somethings spread far and wide, and the cast is tasked to go find them. Each one has its own subplot, which could be as short as a few frames of a Montage or as long as a Story Arc; but, of course, the most common pattern is for the cast to collect one per episode. Often the reason for Walking the Earth, specially as a step in the way To Be a Master. Often each coupon is guarded by a boss monster.

Convenient for TV series, as it provides an easy Story Arc for the whole series (or season) just by virtue of there being more than one MacGuffin to find. Meantime, each episode can have its own obstacles, villains, and setting, and be written by a different author, just as long as the plot coupons keep getting found. Also popular in video games because it's easy to implement; some of the earliest non-Excuse Plot videogames (e.g. The Legend of Zelda) were built on it, and it continues to be ubiquitous today.


The Twelve Labours of Hercules are perhaps the earliest occurrence of this. (Originally Hercules was expected to perform ten, but the Dungeon Master decreed that two of them didn't count and made him do two extra.)

In all media, common things that must be found include:

In interactive media, they can also be categorized as follows:

  • Crucial: You must collect all of these items to complete the game.
  • Important: You need to collect some of these items and they're prominent in gameplay, but you only need all of them if you're going for 100% Completion (or perhaps for the good ending, if the game developers were being sadistic). Hopefully a Completion Meter tells you how many you've already acquired. Collect A Thon Platformers often follow this model.
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  • Optional: You don't have to collect these items to complete the game. They may be the object of a Collection Sidequest which earns you a Bonus Stage or the Infinity +1 Sword, or they may only be there to make 100% Completion harder and for the bragging rights. In fact, they might only be awarded in bonus stages, in which case they are Bonus Stage Collectables.

Compare and contrast Gotta Kill Them All, which follows much the same pattern, but takes a more...destructive approach. Also closely related is Gotta Rescue Them All, an objective often treated identically to this in gameplay. See also Collect-A-Thon Platformer, a genre of platform game where this trope plays a major role.

If the item in question can be bought, then lets hope it's crack. If each item is individually useful, but as a complete set very powerful, it's because of the Set Bonus.


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  • A commercial for an auto parts dealer showed a young man biking to the store over and over, each time retrieving a different component to repair a roadside clunker. At the end, he drives to the store to show off the car he's Caught All the necessary replacement parts for.

    Anime and Manga 
  • The first half of The Brave of Gold: Goldran deals with Takuya, Dai, and Kazuki competing with Walter to get the Power Stones.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, Sakura's main goal is to capture all the Clow Cards after she accidentally frees them the magical Book of Clow; otherwise, they wreak havoc around town. After they've all been captured, the focus changes to Sakura converting the Clow Cards into Sakura Cards to indicate that she's now their true master.
  • In Chrono Crusade, Aion's plan hinges around finding the gifted children known as "Apostles". Chrono and Rosette's True Companions attempt to stop him from doing this. But only end up handing him the last one he needs. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!.
  • Dinosaur King revolves around new dinosaurs appearing in every episode, with the D Team and the Alpha Gang racing to get them. The DS game makes this mandatory, including a Dinosaur Encyclopedia that catalogues the Mesozoic beasties that you obtain, with rewards for getting certain amounts.
  • In D.N.Angel, Dark's stealing all of the magical works of art created by Satoshi's family, the Hikaris—who also created him.
  • Hyakkimaru from Dororo is hunting down the forty-eight demons that takes his body parts as part of a Deal with the Devil his father makes.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • How many story arcs in the various series have involved the heroes and villains racing to see which side can obtain all 7 of the Dragon Balls? Discounting GT, there are four Dragon Ball-centric arcs (Pilaf, Red Ribbon, Great Devil King Piccolo, and Freeza); that's almost half of the overall story.
    • Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Goku and pals have to gather seven special Dragon Balls by defeating many of the prisoners so they can escape the Prison Planet.
  • The entirety of the Evillious Chronicles franchise is based around Elluka Clockworker (and other more morally ambiguous figures) trying to collect the vessels holding the demons of sin, seven in all (not counting when a vessel has multiple parts, as in Pride having four mirrors.) The vessels change hands often between characters, and the reason for collecting them varies; Elluka just wants to seal them all to keep them from causing more trouble.
  • Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA: Collect the seven Class Cards, by beating the monsters protecting them. Rin and Luvia were supposed to work together to accomplish this, but are so belligerent towards each other that their Empathic Weapons refuse to work with them, so they each end up mentoring a Magical Girl and semi-competing for the cards.
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within has Aki Ross searching for Spirits whose powers combined could kill the alien Phantoms that wiped out most of the human race.
  • Technically speaking, the main plot of Fruits Basket is how the Zodiac curse afflicting the Sohma family is finally broken. But all fourteen members of said family must go through various stages of Character Development before that even becomes a possibility. The curse is (early on, anyway) just a Framing Device for the characters' adventures, and a pretext for exploring the viewpoints of various Sohma members. (Of course, as each character becomes more filled out, the curse's full effect on their lives- and the reasons it must be broken- become disturbingly clear.)
    Yuki: "So now it's Haru...They just keep showing up, don't they?"
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, Miaka, being the Priestess of Suzaku, must gather the seven Celestial warriors in order to summon Suzaku. Cue an Unwanted Harem of men. In the second half of the series, they have to race their enemies for two Shinzahous.
  • In Guardian Fairy Michel, Kim and Michel have to rescue all the fairies or else the World Tree can't be renewed.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de has collecting the team of pretty boys. Then, in the second half of the series, collecting the Four Seals.
  • The cast of Inuyasha are searching for the many pieces of the Shikon Jewel, an artifact of incredible power (that, incidentally, will allow the main character to become a full demon). The Big Bad wants all the pieces too, so that he can achieve the same goal.
  • Jewelpet:
    • Jewelpet (2009) is about a girl and her friends having to find the Jewelpets that fell into the human world.
    • Jewelpet Twinkle is about mages-in-training gathering twelve Jewel Stones each, so they can enter a tournament.
    • Jewelpet Kira Deco! is about a Five-Man Band gathering items called Deco Stones to repair a Mirror Ball and save their world. The Jewelpets help them because said Stones have the power to wake up their dormant goddess.
    • Jewelpet Happiness is about the Jewelpets teaming up with three girls in order to gather all Magic Gems to stop the influence of the Red Moon.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has the Jewel Seeds, dangerous artifacts that Yuuno lost on Earth. Nanoha decides to help him collect them, but troubles arise when she meets Fate, a Dark Magical Girl who is also collecting the seeds for her mother. The usual "one MacGuffin per week" scheme doesn't survive past the second episode (out of thirteen) and by the middle all Seeds have been caught — they are just in different hands. Nobody ever gets their hands on all of them either, as the nine that Fate collected end up falling into the dimensional sea with Precia at the end of the season and remain lost for the remainder of the franchise.
  • In Naruto, the Akatsuki are trying to capture all of the bijuu. Pain wants them to create a Fantastic Nuke, whereas Tobi needs them to facilitate an Assimilation Plot.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Adventures had some fun with this. Like the game that inspired it, this is Professor Oak's dream so he can make a comprehensive Pokédex. Since he's too old, he just hands out Pokédexes to the main characters and asks them to do the job. Problem is, the Dex Holders all have their own goals, and this isn't high on the priority list. Oak is understandably pissed about this, and he ends up hiring Crystal to do the job. She succeeds... and then it turns out there's a whole other generation to catch. Poor Oak.
    • In Pokémon Origins, however, it's played straight, with Red and Blue competing to do exactly this. Red ultimately wins by successfully catching Mewtwo, only to figure out that there's still Mew to catch as well.
    • Despite being the primary animated adaptation within the franchise, the Pokémon anime never had "Gotta Catch 'Em All" as a motivation for the characters. Understandable, as the slogan was created for the English localization. This then all changed with Pokémon Journeys, the series that launched alongside Pokémon Sword and Shield, where a new main character, Goh, has a goal to catch all the known Pokémon, with Mew being his ultimate objective, while Ash stays with his To Be a Master goal.
  • In Princess Tutu, the main character searches the town for shards of Prince Mythos' heart, a soul jar which was shattered when he and a demon lord were summoned from a storybook and he imprisoned the demon lord in the real world. Unfortunately, each of these shards does things to Mythos' mind. Especially the shard that was corrupted.
  • Reborn! (2004): It's revealed that in order to become the next Vongola leader, Tsuna must assemble all six of his Bishōnen guardians (Rain, Storm, Thunder, Mist, Sun and Cloud, with him being seventh element — Sky). Tsuna ends up having to do this twice, the second time being after he time travels 10 years into the future.
  • In the first season of Sailor Moon, Luna and Usagi must find her comrades, and then the group must find the seven Rainbow Crystals to reform the Silver Crystal. The S season also has the Three Talismans, but there's only the three.
  • In Sekirei, Mikogami Hayato approaches the Sekirei Plan as though this were the point. He's going to collect all the cool, rare Sekirei and all the awesome treasures! This makes him Wrong Genre Savvy, since this is a series about The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship.
  • The Secret Treasures of Sengoku Collection.
  • Soul Eater is a partial example. Each weapon/meister pair has to collect 99 kishin eggs and one Witch soul. However, there are implied to be thousands of Kishin eggs out there, more than enough to go around.
    • Also a rather dark partial example, since those "kishin eggs" are the souls of humans on Shinigami-sama's hit list. Admittedly evil and occasionally goofy souls, yes, but high school kids are still collecting them by killing people. With weapons who are actually other high school students. Oh, and the witches can kill most of these students fairly easily.
    • And an Invoked Trope in-universe, as a broader look reveals most students — and graduates — aren't trying to complete their collections. While that quota does provide a distinct and significant benefit, soul harvesting (and eating/purifying/freeing/whatever happens when they're turned in) is a side effect of the global supernatural troubleshooting DWMA reps are supposed to be doing. As the DWMA exists partly to get those with an inclination to take souls while they're still young and ethically trainable, and we start focused on characters with no patience for Villains Act, Heroes React, it's no surprise they're provided a clear goal to aim for or that their attempts to get it are rerouted into Character Development.
  • In Soul Hunter, the true purpose of the Houshin project is to collect enough souls to fight the Big Bad.
  • Those Who Hunt Elves spoofs this by scattering the runes of a spell to send the cast Trapped in Another World home. However, the runes are on the bodies of the elf inhabitants, so the cast decides that the logical (huh huh) thing to do is to strip every elf they come across in order to find the runes.
  • Transformers Armada is all about racing to retrieve the Mini-Cons, though getting all of them isn't necessary. The series even acquired the Fan Nickname "Pokeformers".
  • The World God Only Knows: Keima has been tasked to capture Escaped Souls from hell by romancing the girls they possess. At one point he finds out that there are about 60,000 left for him and other buddies like him to collect. He is not entertained.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: In addition to playing card games, Yugi's objective is to gather together all seven Millennium Items and reunite them in the stone where they were forged; doing so will open the door to the afterlife so that his Superpowered Evil Side can pass on and be at peace.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Astral's memory has been broken into 100 cardsnote  (the Number cards, one of which he got to keep). When a Number is defeated in a duel by Yuma, Yuma gains it and Astral gains a piece of his memory back. A number of other characters are also searching for the Numbers. By the end of the series, Astral has gathered all 100 Numbers, even though only 46note  of them have been revealed to the viewers.
    • The manga has the same goal. Despite the anime and manga don't follow the same continuities, both continuities have the exact same 100 Numbers, which is a Merchandise-Driven Plot Hole. The manga revealed 24 new Numbers to us.
    • The remaining 30 Numbers that aren't introduced by the anime or manga were and will be introduced by the OCG, which makes them an Original Generation.
  • Most sagas in Sonic X revolve around the heroes' quest to gather the Chaos Emeralds before the villain(s), sometimes for particular purposes (besides keeping them away from the bad guys). The first two sagas had then doing it because they were their ticket home, while in the Metarex Saga, they intended to use their powers to defeat the Metarex.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • The first half of Futari wa Pretty Cure had the Prism Stones, seven heart-shaped crystals which end up going to our two heroines and all five members of the Quirky Miniboss Squad. Naturally, the Cures need to defeat each of the villains to get their stones, though things do get interesting once the second one is defeated...
    • Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure has the twelve Star Princess Pens, which have been scattered throughout the universe. The Cures and the Notraiders all go searching for them, though the series doesn’t end once all of them have been recovere.

    Comic Books 
  • One of the subplots of Green Lantern story Brightest Day concerns the search for the Emotion Entities. A mysterious being is hunting them down for some reason and has already captured Parallax and Ion. Its revealed Krona captured all seven and unleashed them on the Guardians.
  • Curse of the Mutants: After Dracula's death, Xarus and his conspirators separated his head and his staked body for different sects to preserve them. Namor is sent to retrieve the head kept by the Atlantean vampires while Storm and Gambit search for his body being kept on an unmarked island.
  • A Disney Ducks Comic Universe comic by Don Rosa, "Recalled Wreck", has Donald Duck doing this after he finds out that his neighbor (without any bad intention) sold the pieces of his beloved car to the neighbors.
  • Lex Luthor's plan in one Justice League story is to harness seven hidden forces that can now be accessed following the Source Wall breaking.
  • In the first chapter of Legion of Super-Heroes story The Great Darkness Saga, the Servants of Darkness devote considerable time and effort to collect several mystical relics which will allow to restore their Master's strength.
  • The 99 is initially about Dr. Ramzi's efforts to track down the 99 noor stones, but that goal shifts in the first issue to finding the people who have been bonded to them.
  • The Red Sonja: The Art of Blood and Fire is about Sonja's quest to collect six of the greatest craftspeople in the world for a party held by Emperor Samala.
  • In Sojourn, Arwyn, Gareth and Neven must find the five fragments of an arrow that once killed the Dark Lord Mordath to end his rule once and for all.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The Ancient Gears in Sonic Mega Drive. Eggman want them to power his Mega Drive weapon, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy are trying to keep them out of his hands.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): It reaches rather ridiculous extents in Unleashed. Seven Emeralds, seven gate keys, seven temples, Knuckles' Master Emerald shards...
  • The plot of The Killers Of Krypton has Supergirl travel across the galaxy, hunting down six data stones which, if gathered, will reveal how, why and under whose orders Rogol Zaar destroyed her homeworld Krypton.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Impossible Tales Wonder Girl story in #107 has Diana seeking out each piece of her Wonder Girl costume hidden around Paradise Island by the Amazons, without knowing what the finished product is going to look like until she has all the scattered and hidden parts.

    Fan Works 
  • My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic: The second half of the story is devoted to heroes and villains trying to find the "Rainbow Stones", (Renamed the Star Stones in the remake) which would grant them new powers; My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic III has them search for the shattered remains of the Crystal Heart.
  • Tealove's Steamy Adventure has a slight variation. The villain is trying to collect all three of the Epic Tea Leaves—which, if brewed, will make the drinker into the most powerful being in the known universe. The heroes are just trying to keep the Leaves out of her hooves.
  • With Strings Attached:
    • The Vasyn was sundered into three pieces and scattered across dimensions five hundred years ago. Guess who's asked to put it together?
    • The Keys Stand Alone: The Nine-part Key. Only one of the pieces (the Amber Staff) is unique, but some are much harder to get than others. With the four coming in two years after the war started, the two main Power Groups are both down to the hardest pieces. The progress of the other groups is not known, though it's stated that at least one of them is concentrating on ambushing whichever PG finishes the Key. Also the set of instructions as to how to put the Key together and use it.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Many trainers have this as a personal goal to become Pokémon Masters, most of the time focused on a single type. Examples include Misty (focused on Water-types) and Falkner (Flying-types), and their goals even include Legendaries to an extent.
  • Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm briefly dips into this. Upon realizing that the Emergency Temporal Shift has sent the Sailor Scouts to the present day, Queen Beryl orders a two-bodied Zoisite to hunt down the remaining Sailor Scouts and kill them before they activate, while Sailor Moon and her friends search Tokyo in order to recruit the Scouts to their cause. Zoisite's failure to kill the Scouts (instead actually speeding up their activation) leads Beryl to punish him/her by placing the creature under Jadeite's command.
  • Webwork: The nine Oni Essences, released when Tarakudo's mask is shattered (killing the original Oni generals in the process), which seek out new hosts and bond to them, transforming them into new Oni Generals. As of chapter 22, the J-Team has recaptured four (Ninja, Crab, Leech and Razor), two have permanently bonded to their new hosts (Samurai and Bat), two are still loose but unbonded (Mantis and Sumo), and the Squid is active.
  • In Golden Threads Tie Us, Grima's Risens have overrun the continent and are marching towards Ylisse's last strongholds, so Lucina decides they have only one option left: gathering the Five Gemstones and the Fire Emblem and performing the Awakening in order to destroy Grima thanks to Lucina's fully-powered Falchion.
    Lucina: However, not all hope is lost. There's still a way to defeat Grima and seal them away.
    Cynthia: Well, let us at it, then!
    Lucina: We must perform the Awakening.
    Kjelle: The Awakening!? That's impossible! Unless you're suggesting —?
    Lucina: I'm afraid I am. If we can gather all of the relics required for it...
    Gerome: Five Gemstones and the Fire Emblem. All in the hands of Plegia, and guarded within the inch, no doubt.
    Noire: That's suicide!
    Lucina: It very well may be. I've thought long on it, but I can't think of any other options. I have gathered everyone here because this is a mission I can only ask the the ones with which I trust my life. Any groups larger than a handful will draw too much attention, and we need all five Gemstones and the Fire Emblem to accomplish this.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos wants to obtain all six Infinity Stones to kill off half the universe. He has one when the film starts, and gets the second a few minutes in. The location of another three are known to him (and the audience), so there's actually only one he has to truly search for.
    • Avengers: Endgame has the heroes searching for the Stones, because reversing Thanos's victory in the previous movie is necessary. And Thanos destroyed them, so the Avengers have to take the Stones from the past!
  • The Phantom (1996): The villain is tracking down the three "Skulls of Touganda", which will grant him immense power. There is a fourth skull, on the Phantom's Ring of Power.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: The villains had been trying to collect all five Sankara Stones, and managed to secure three of them until Indy showed up. In fact, Indy himself. He is of course, an archeologist. (After everything else that is...)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl required the crew of The Black Pearl to track down 882 pieces of Aztec gold to break their curse. By the time the film begins, they've found all but one, and the last piece calls to them not long after the movie begins.
    • The Nine Pieces of Eight are needed to assemble the Pirate Lords and complete the spell in At World's End. This actually becomes a plot point as a reason not to kill Jack.
    • The keys to the Fountain of Youth in On Stranger Tides.
  • In The Seeker, Will's mission is to find all of five "signs" to become powerful enough to defeat the Rider.
  • The Twelve Gold Medallions: The protagonist of this martial arts movie is on a quest to collect all twelve titular medallions to prevent the facilitation of the assasination of a lawful minister.
  • In the 2001 remake of Thir13en Ghosts, Cyrus Kriticos has to find thirteen spirits with specific themes in order to power his demonic machine, the Eye of Hell.
  • In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Caspain seeks the Seven Swords of the Seven Lords of Narnia, which must be placed on Aslan's Table to put an end to the evil mist plaguing the area.

  • In And Eternity, Orlene makes a deal with Nox, Incarnation of Night, to restore her son to life and cure him of a disease that afflicts him whether he is alive or a ghost. She must collect: a blank soul from Death, a grain of sand from Time's hourglass, a thread from Fate's loom, a seed from Mars, a tear from Gaia, a curse from Satan, and a blessing from God. It is hinted that the items were not necessary, but the entire journey was just a Secret Test of Character for Orlene.
  • In Bridge of Birds, the characters gather five pieces of a special ginseng root.
  • Each book in Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series involves finding at least one artifact or set of artifacts: the grail (split between Over Sea, Under Stone and Greenwitch), the Signs (The Dark Is Rising), the harp (The Grey King), and the crystal sword (Silver on the Tree).
  • Dancing Aztecs: The sixteen statutes (one of which is priceless, while the others are copies it was smuggled into the country with), the owners of which are all developed characters, and naturally, the main characters stealing and checking the statutes don't find the real one anywhere near their first try.
  • All of the Deltora Quest books contain a variation on this. The first series involves the protagonists collecting all seven gems that adorn the belt of Deltora. In the second, they gather the three pieces of the Pirran Pipe, though this isn't the driving conflict in the plot. In the third series, they have to find and destroy the Four Sisters.
  • In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files, the Knights of the Cross have, over the centuries, collected some of the demon-possessed coins of the Order of the Blackened Denarii, but cannot finally defeat the Denarians until they get them all. This was a major plot point in Small Favor.
  • In each volume of Jack Chalker's The Four Lords Of The Diamond, one of the Assassin's alter egos must find and either kill or subvert the Lord of the particular Diamond world to which he is assigned, as well as investigating his particular piece of the overall puzzle.
  • The entire plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows rests on this. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have to search for all of Voldy's horcruxes; but after learning about the Deathly Hallows themselves, Harry debates for a while and then decides not to race Voldemort to the last one. Perhaps a double subversion, since Harry does get it in the end?
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • In Douglas Adams' Life, the Universe and Everything, the third book in the series, it's the villains who are collecting the pieces of the Wikkit Gate, and our heroes are trying to stop them (or, some of them are. The rest would rather get a drink and have a lie down).
    • On a more lighthearted note, there is Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, who has grown so bored of immortality that he's made it his mission to track down and verbally insult every sentient being in the universe. In alphabetical order.
  • The Holders Series are an odd subversion. The idea is apparently for the Seeker to "Catch" one or two of them to prevent them from ever being brought together, which will result in The End of the World as We Know It. Then again, it also says that not bringing them together will result in something which may or may not be just as horrible ...
  • Louise Cooper's Indigo series involves an immortal protagonist who is destined to walk the earth until she has banished the seven demons which she accidentally loosed upon the world. Or so we're led to think throughout most of the series, anyway...
  • Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom combines at least two forms of this; in each book, the protagonist must find one of the seven separated parts of the Will of the Architect (each of which is a character in its own right) and one of the seven Keys.
  • Magic By The Numbers: A variant of this trope occurs in Master of the Five Magics, in that the protagonist learns the use of his world's five known types of magic over the course of the novel, and needs to use all five in combination to win in the end. The sequel, Secret of the Sixth Magic, inverts this scenario by requiring its protagonist to fail at all five magics, before catching on that a sixth form actually exists.
  • Paper Towns: A de-fictionalised version. When the book originally came out, there weren't as many "Sad Margo" covers as "Happy Margo" ones, prompting fans to hunt down and buy both available versions.
  • Septimus Heap combines this with Dismantled MacGuffin, since while the Paired Codes don't work at all if they're split, Septimus and Marcia have to collect The Darke Index and The Undoing Of The Darkenesse as well to make The Great UnDoing work.
  • The Silmarillion: Much of the plot follows the various forces of Maiar, Valar, Elves, and Men seeking the three Silmarils of Fëanor — particularly the sons of Fëanor, who have sworn a terrible vow to oppose anything in the entire cosmos that prevents them from gaining the Silmarils.
  • The Twelve Chairs: In a variation, the protagonists needed to obtain just one of the eponymous chairs (in which treasure was hidden), but they didn't know which one. Due to combination of bad luck and Rule of Drama they still ended up tracking down all of them.
  • Twelve Treasures Trilogy: Subverted — the plot of each novel involves restoring one of the stolen Treasures of the magical kingdom, and (obviously) there are Twelve Treasures, but only three of them have actually been stolen (that the readers know of; a different noble house keeps each one, and no one will admit to having lost one, so things get a bit murky).
  • Matthew Reilly is overly fond of this trope... To the extent that his latest piece of alliterative schmutz Six Sacred Stones ends with a mid-plot cliff-hanger where the badass Hero has not caught them all with his bionic arm and we simply must buy another book for the resolution. And in that one, he STILL doesn't succeed in collecting them before the big End of the World Deadline, and ends up dropping one down a bottomless shaft (that is actually bottomless!) so that no one has that complete set.
  • In The Stormlight Archive Axies the Collector is determined to catalog and witness every type of spren (a sort of Elemental Embodiment that covers various processes, states, and abstract concepts). While there are the extremely common ones people see all the time such as firespren and lifespren there are unique varieties spread across the world, and a number that only show up rarely or only under very specific circumstances, so this requires a lot of dedication. Despite having gotten drunk many times, alcoholspren have appeared to him very rarely, while deathspren can only be seen by those who are almost dead. Ironically his determination to find captivityspren may be the reason he can't find them; when he's imprisoned he's always hoping to see captivityspren instead of feeling trapped.
  • Villains by Necessity: The focus of the story's quest is to find all six segments from the Spectrum Key then put them together to reopen the Dark Gate, releasing evil back and thus save the world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Armor Hero: In this first ever Chinese Tokusatsu show, they have to seal 52 monsters into 52 cards, in 52 episodes. It's quite a clean show like that.
  • Brimstone: Ezekiel Stone, the main character of this short-lived 1998 series by Fox, is released from Hell by the Devil to use his police skills to track down and retrieve 113 damned souls who escaped the afterlife back to Earth. Short life meant he got nowhere NEAR his goal.
  • Chousei Kantai Sazer X: The twelve Cosmo Capsules. When united, the twelve of them grant one wish. So naturally everyone is after them. Each episode even keeps a tally on who has what Capsules.
  • The Collector:
    • One of the Devil's clients got the ability to get rid of guilt by transferring it to others through tattoos, turning them into sinners. His redemption required finding them all and completing their tattoos, restoring his memories of the guilt's reason as well as their original behavior.
    • Another client had to re-absorb the people made from her split personalities.
  • Community: In the episode "Introduction to Statistics". Annie has a breakdown if everyone doesn't show up to her Halloween party.
  • In Cupid, the titular love god was supposed to unite 100 couples. The show only ran 15 episodes, and some of them didn't add any couples to his tally.
  • In Defying Gravity: the true reason for the Antares mission is revealed to be collecting 6 of the 7 mysterious objects transmitting from different planets in the Solar System (one called Beta was found on Earth several years before). Maddux also learns that his failed mission to Mars was also supposed to retrieve the object known as Alpha, but a freak sandstorm (possibly caused by Alpha) prevented it, causing them to leave two of the astronauts behind. In the season 1 finale (the show was cancelled after that), they manage to retrieve Gamma from Venus.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The eponymous Keys of Marinus.
    • The six pieces of the Key to Time.
    • Subverted in "Last of the Time Lords", where Martha talks about having to travel around the world to collect the four hidden pieces to a gun that could kill the Master and prevent him from regenerating. When the Master catches her and reveals that he knows her plan, she laughs at him and says, "You really believed that?" Turns out the whole thing was a bluff and her actual plan was something else altogether.
    • A character version: Clara Oswald in "The Name of the Doctor" when she splinters herself through time in order to rescue the first 11 known incarnations of the Doctor. She later went on in "The Day of the Doctor" to meet both the War Doctor and a mysterious character known as the Curator, later confirmed in licensed spin-off media as being a future Doctor and travel with the Twelfth Doctor, making her the only character confirmed to have encountered all of them.note 
  • Dream House: Both editions of this game show (ABC, 1968; NBC, 1984) had couples vying for rooms of a house in each show. Collecting seven rooms won them a new home.
  • Friday the 13th: The Series: The premise is that Micki and Ryan must recover all of the cursed antiques purchased from their uncle's store.
  • Ik Mik Loreland: Mik spends the first season finding letters after everyone in Loria is magically turned illiterate.
  • Kamen Rider has done this in a Meta sense since about Kamen Rider Double, where the Rider's Transformation Trinket belt operates off of a number of smaller collectable items that grant different forms, equipment, etc., in order to encourage the kids out there to buy every single one.
    • Kamen Rider Blade uses Playing Card Motifs for this purpose, with there being a total of 52 Undead that the Kamen Riders have to defeat and seal away. That said, not all 52 Undead appearnote , and the ones that are absent — namely, the Jokers — end up being far more important.
    • Kamen Rider OOO has as its villains the Greeed, homunculus-like beings who whose main goal is to regain the 10 Core Medals that created each of them so they can become complete once more. Thus OOO and his allies fight not just because he needs the Medals to transform, but to keep them out of the Greeeds' hands.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost uses the Quest for a Wish format (with a little Lampshade Hanging on the similarity to Dragon Ball), with multiple parties trying to collect the 15 Eyecons, objects which contain the spirits of historical figures like Miyamoto Musashi, Thomas Edison, and more. Protagonist Takeru wants the wish to bring himself back to life, Second Rider Makoto wants to restore his younger sister, and of course the villains want them for selfish means.
    • Kamen Rider Build has the three former Japanese nations are battling for Pandora's Box and need all 60 of the Fullbottles (the objects Build uses to transform) in order to open it and (supposedly) gain access to unlimited power. Later in the series there's another spin on it: the Big Bad Evolto is trying to collect 12 Lost Bottles (man-made copies of the Fullbottles) in order to unlock his terrifying true potential, while Team Build tries to purify the Lost Bottles for part of a plan to destroy Evolto.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O Played straight for the collection of the three Miridewatches to produce the Geiz Revive Ridewatch. While collecting the Legend Ridewatches was seemingly dropped due to Sougo gaining greater powers that rendered their use obsolete, episode 30 reveals that his ascension to Oma Zi-O still required him to collect all 20 Ridewatches aside from Zi-O II's power, foreshadowing tribute arcs for the last six Ridewatches to obtain.
  • The Legend of Dick and Dom: The heroes are questing for potion ingredients (the claw of a siren, the mists of time, a pint of milk...) to cure a plague.
  • The Limitless episode "Headquarters!" featured Brian offering to catch the FBI's top ten most wanted criminals within two weeks in order to get his own headquarters at the FBI branch he worked at. Subverted at several points, however: he catches one of them before the timer actually starts, one of them is still at large when the timer runs out, and one of them is innocent and subsequently exonerated by Brian. He still gets the headquarters, though.
  • The Lost Room: In this Sci-Fi show, characters are, for various reasons, seeking artifacts known as Objects, which originated in a 1960s motel room and are endowed with curious properties (for instance, one Object is a watch which can boil an egg placed inside the band).
  • My Name Is Earl: Earl must fix all the things he's ever done wrong in order to clear his karma.
  • One Hundred Deeds For Eddie Mc Dowd: A show on Nickelodeon. The title character, a juvenile delinquent, was turned into a dog and needed to do 100 good deeds in order to regain his human form.
  • Power Rangers and Super Sentai have created a meta-example of this. To further make use of the Merchandise-Driven nature of the show, the number of Humongous Mecha have expanded in recent years. Gaoranger/Wild Force is seen by many as the start of it, with 22 Power Animals/Wild Zords, all of which were released in toy form. However, there are times when the plot really is "collect all the macguffins".
    • The Mighty Morphin Rangers also once had to go collect the pieces of the Dismantled MacGuffin, which they broke and scattered in the first place. Didn't want the bad guys to get the Zeo Crystal, didn't realize they'd actually be needing the thing later.
    • Operation Overdrive revolved around the five jewels to the magical Corona Aurora crown. Other artifacts empowered by them were clues, but also powerful themselves.
    • Dino Charge has the rangers searching for the ten Energems before the villain Sledge does, as well as people worthy enough to bond with them and become rangers themselves. This is downplayed, since by the second episode they already have a five-ranger team and, therefore, five Energems.
  • Reaper: The main plot point of this show is that the lead has to catch escaped souls from Hell, similar to Brimstone mentioned above.
  • Revolution: In the episode "Soul Train", Rachel explains to Big Bad Monroe that there are 12 pendants and that they are the key to getting the power back on. This turns into a Subverted Trope later. Rachel destroys two pendants in "Ghosts", and Randall Flynn reveals that he is not at all interested in collecting the pendants. A number of the pendants are not even located in the USA, and if they are, they are well hidden, as shown on a map in "The Children's Crusade". The first season finale has the power turned back on, and the pendants had absolutely nothing to do with that.
  • Seven Keys: This 1961 ABC game show had a player collecting up to seven keys to open a vault full of prizes by completing a board of 70 squares in fifteen chances. Getting all seven keys won everything automatically.
  • Supernatural: Season 4 revolved around the protagonists trying to stop demons from breaking the seals that keep Lucifer locked. It was pretty hard, since the demons only had to break 66 seals of the 600 that exist. In season 5, they learn that the rings of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse could be used to lock Lucifer again. Luckily, they already had two of them at that time.
  • The syndicated series Time Trax: Police captain Darien Lambert must recapture all the fugitives who escaped via time machine to the mid-1990's before he himself can return to his home time of 200 years in the future. The reason being: in order to use the time machine, one's body must be treated with a chemical called TXP, which only be taken twice — using it any more than that is fatal.
  • Warehouse 13: This is a show, similar to The Lost Room above, where objects have special powers for one reason or another (for example, a gun invented by Nikola Tesla is shoots energy bursts that knock people unconscious), and the Warehouse is trying to collect them.
  • WMAC Masters: This short-lived show that was a strange cross between Professional Wrestling, American Gladiators, and Power Rangers, featured this as its central mechanic. Winning a competition allowed one of the competitors to take his opponent's "symbol" (a medallion with a symbol engraved that relates to the character's nickname), and once one of the competitors got the symbols of each of the others, he could challenge for the championship.


  • Johnny Cash's song "One Piece at a Time" is about a man who builds a Cadillac in this manner.
  • The series of Vocaloid songs (by producer mothy) that are part of the Evillious Chronicles features the Vessels of the Seven Deadly Sins, with several characters throughout trying to obtain all of them for one reason or another. In the chronological beginning of the series in "Chrono Story", Held asks Elluka Clockworker (Luka) to collect them to keep them from causing trouble, and later on near the chronological end Gallerian Marlon (Kaito) wants to collect them all because he believes he can achieve "utopia". After he dies, his "daughter" ( actually the Vessel of Sloth, the Clockwork Doll, sung by Miku) takes over her "father"'s ambition.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Older Than Dirt: In Egyptian Mythology, after he was murdered and dismembered by his evil brother Set, Isis searched for and reassembled the pieces of her husband Osiris's body. Technically she didn't Catch Them All, but that's a deficiency the couple just had to learn to live with. If you don't know what that means, the missing part is his penis. A fish ate it.

  • Stern Pinball's The Avengers requires the player to recruit all six Avengers to reach the game's first Wizard Mode. Reaching the second one requires making them fight each other.
  • Corvette requires the player to race and collect nine classic Chevrolet Corvettes for a chance to get an unreleased prototype test car.
  • Finishing Doctor Who requires getting all sevennote  Doctors through the Video Mode.
  • Dr. Dude has you gathering the Elements of Coolness (a Magnetic Personality, the Gift of Gab, and the Heart of Rock and Roll) three times each to enable the Molecular Mixmaster and become a dude.
  • In Stern Pinball's Family Guy, "Stewie Multiball" requires having Stewie get all of the members of the Griffin family.
  • Game of Thrones requires challenging and collecting all of the Houses of Westeros to advance in the game. Furthermore, conquering a House allows you to collect a Sword, which are worth points in themselves and raise the cap on the Score Multiplier.
  • Most of the tasks in Stern Pinball's Indiana Jones requires collecting various objects, such as Sankara stones.
  • Jurassic Park (Data East) requires collecting all six dinosaur species to complete the map and enable T-Rex Tri-ball.
  • Two examples in The Lord of the Rings:
    • Getting all the Fellowship members starts the Fellowship of the Ring Multiball.
    • Collecting 5,000 souls starts Return of the King Multiball.
  • In Jersey Jack Pinball's Pirates of the Caribbean, starting At World's End Multiball requires collecting 9 Pieces of Eight.
  • Stern Pinball's Playboy requires collecting twenty-five Playboy rabbit logos for each of the game's twelve Playmates — for a total of three hundred rabbits to be collected.
  • Rollergames requires collecting all six league teams to light the Extra Ball.
  • A Real Life example: As the page image shows, Safe Cracker featured twenty different Magic Tokens for players to collect.
  • In The Simpsons Pinball Party, activating Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard mode required catching all of the Simpsons family members and the Cletus Kids — 31 people in all.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Data East) has you collecting the four turtles to start multiball.
  • In order to get the Gold Rush in White Water, you have to shoot the area three times to get three items: a flashlight, key, and map (not in that order).
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory requires the player to collect five golden tickets in order to reach the Wizard Mode; the conditions for doing so range from completing various multiball modes to fulfilling one of a set of achievements.
  • World Cup Soccer has the player getting the five attributes of a good soccer player to start multiball: Speed, Stamina, Spirit, Strength, and Skill.

  • The party in The Fallen Gods is tasked with finding all the Celestial Artifacts containing the hidden deities of the world in order to defeat Chaos.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Magical Girl game Magical Burst revolves around the hunt for Oblivion Seeds, which can only be gotten by killing Youma. A Magical Girl who collects 13 of them can get a single wish of hers granted. But because Magical Burst takes a good number of cues from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Be Careful What You Wish For is definitely something to keep in mind.
  • In a villainous example, Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 have the Blue Scribes P’tarix and Xirat’p, a pair of Blue Horrors created by Tzeentch, the Chaos God of sorcery, have been tasked with collecting and cataloguing every spell that has ever existed. It is said that should the pair succeed then Tzeentch will become the most powerful of all the gods.

  • BIONICLE had this almost on a yearly basis, though, only a few instances were truly driven by marketing.
    • First, the heroes gathering Great Kanohi Masks.
    • Then Krana, similar to masks but alive.
    • Then the heroes had to collect the Great Kanohi Nuva Masks. They also found out that the village elders have been collecting loads and loads of scary worm things called Kraata.
    • Then (or rather earlier) Great Kanoka Disks.
    • Then (still in the flashback) a bunch of heroes turned mutant hunchbacks were trying to save every surviving monster in the city after an attack of Giant Spiders, while also gathering the six Makoki stones.
    • And then (present), the heroes from earlier were given a big list of things to do, including collecting several ancient artifacts.
    • After that, the heroes were trying to collect some magical keystones to open a big magical door.
    • Also worth noting is Onu-Metru, a city that consists of a huge underground museum where a sample of everything is kept; quite obsessive folks, aren't they?
    • Lately, on Bara Magna, Tahu had to collect the six pieces of the Golden Armor in order to defeat a legion of Rahkshi.
  • BIONICLE (2015) as well. In a lesser example, each hero generally comes with the artifact he's supposed to collect.
    • In the 2016 story, not only do the Toa have to find six elemental creatures and collect six new masks (only one for each Toa), Umarak also has to locate the fragments of the shattered Mask of Ultimate Power — which he achieves within seconds, likely due to the writers having to wrap things up as quickly as possible.

  • Into the Woods: The Witch requires the Baker couple to retrieve four fairy tale-related items to break a curse.

    Video Games 
  • Each fishing spot in Ace Fishing hosts about 14—17 different fish species that the player should catch for rewards.
  • In The Adventures of Lomax, it's the coins and freed lemmings, although they're completely optional.
  • A Hat in Time is inspired by collectathon platformers for the N64 and PS1, and thus features the Time Items, hats, attack pins, and even more unusual things like Mafia neckties.
  • The puzzle pieces in Alundra 2. They're optional, but if you want better attack, you will be collecting these.
  • Animal Crossing. Too many things to collect. Furniture... Clothes... Fish... Bugs... Fruit... Flowers... Gyroids... The list goes on forever!
  • In all three games of the Ape Escape series, you must capture all of the monkeys for 100% Completion and access to the True Final Boss.
  • Assassin's Creed:
  • Both the Baten Kaitos games have the Gathering, a sidequest to document every Magnus in the game. Including pictures of enemies, quest magnus, and other things that can be easily Permanently Missable. In the first game, one magnus takes 336 hours, or two weeks in-game time to transform. And it does nothing in battle.
  • Beyond Good & Evil has the pearls you need to buy necessary parts for your hovercraft, but the real example is the animals: You get money for photographing them and a prize for finding them all.
  • Many BioWare games operate like this.
    • Neverwinter Nights is almost entirely based off this trope.
      • First, you need to collect the bits of fantastic creatures to cure the plague, then you need to collect the journals of the cultists to prove they are in Luskan, then after Luskan you need to collect the Words of Power, after which the final battle begins.
      • Shadows of Undrentide: You begin by collecting the artifacts stolen from Drogan, arranged in such a way so that the important one is last, then you collect the Three Winds so as to get into the spire on top of the city of Undrentide.
      • Hordes of the Underdark: The second chapter actually does this in a way that makes sense, with your primary quest being to demolish the Big Bad's power base by removing her allies.
      • This trope is much less prominent in fan-made expansions, but collecting the map parts in Tales of Arterra and the seven lessons in the beginning of A Dance With Rogues qualify.
    • In Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask of the Betrayer, hunting for clues to the cause of your curse might qualify, as does hunting for allies in the first chapter.
    • Knights of the Old Republic: You get to collect the Star Maps so that you can find Darth Malak's base of operations and power base.
    • Knights of the Old Republic 2 has the Jedi Masters you have to hunt down and gather at Dantooine or kill.
    • Mass Effect: You collect bits of a coordinate, more coordinates that tell you how to use what you find when you get to the first coordinates, and somebody who can understand the whole thing. A checklist of planets, each with a beginning, middle and end, and each with their own miniature scenario which you must resolve as part of your quest to Save The Galaxy.
    • Mass Effect 2: This is very nearly the entire point of the game. Most of the game revolves recruiting teammates for your suicide mission (with DLC, there are 12 members in total, though you technically only need 8 to complete the game) and then gaining their loyalty so they don't die during the final mission.
  • Bomb Jack and its sequels are about collecting Cartoon Bombs, for reasons that are not very clear.
  • The Borderlands DLC "Robot Revolution" has several achievements which involve collecting sizable numbers of excruciatingly rare items that serve no other purpose whatsoever.
  • Bully is filled with these. There are the rubber bands, garden gnomes, transistors and Grottos and Gremlins cards. But the only ones worth collecting are the rubber bands and the transistors, because if you get the transistors, the hobo will teach you to fight and the rubber bands will give you the awesome rubber band ball.
  • Cars: The Video Game has an optional sidequest involving collecting 20 of Lizzie's letters strewn around Radiator Springs, Ornament Valley and Tailfin Pass.
  • Cats in cat planet! No one knows why, no one knows how, you just have to find all the cats!
  • In Chack N Pop, Chack'n has to recover a bunch of hearts that have been stolen by Monstas and trapped inside cages. It's just that kind of game.
  • Chrono Cross: 45 playable characters, three playthroughs with no mistakes to get all of them. Have fun!
  • In Colobot, once you finally find the planet that can replace Earth as humanity's new home, your next task becomes finding the keys to a vault that contains the only weapon that can defeat the Alien Queen, i.e. the source of all the hostile alien lifeforms.
  • The Council of Hanwell: You collect Witch eyes and Doctor DNA throughout the game.
  • In Crystal's Pony Tale, the main character must save all seven of her friends to complete the game.
  • Dark Cloud 2 needs you to go recruit town members in the initial city by doing a lot of sidequests then put them into various places. This somehow is the method to fix a broken future.
  • In Diablo II:
    • The player may collect various armor sets; if you get all the pieces you usually get a special bonus.
    • In Act II, the hero must collect the pieces of the Horadric Staff, then combine them in the Horadric Cube.
    • In Act III, the hero must collect various relics, then combine them in the Horadric Cube to open the entrance to the Durance of Hate.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, of all games, has this as well: you're tasked into using Tien's Mafuuba/Evil Containment Wave on every single non-boss enemy in the game in exchange for various items. Never mind the fact that the reason the attack is never used on anything later in the story is because it kills off the user, while in the game all it does is cost him a chunk of his HP which is easily gained back between turns later in the game.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • In Dragon Quest III In the Gameboy Color remake, every monster randomly drops a medal; first Bronze, then Silver, then Gold. Getting enough of them gives you access to Bonus Dungeons. Getting all of them makes the Grandragon fall asleep. Wait, what?
    • The latter had an explanation, although it took a significant amount of work to discover it. They had intended to do a similar Dragon Quest IV remake with the same Monster Coin system. These coins are even hidden in Dragon Quest III's data files. You would have, in theory, been able to transfer your coins to the other game in order to complete the full set—which they replaced at the last second with Grandragon falling asleep, when they decided to port IV to the PSX instead.
    • Dragon Quest V: While you can't recruit every monster in the game, you can recruit many, many more than you're likely to ever actually use. You can at least catch one palette of every monster. The Big Book of Monsters tells you what monsters can be recruited, and the chances.
  • Dynasty Warriors 4, of all games, has two of these. In The Symbol of the Mandate, the objective is to find the Imperial Seal. Meaning that after smashing the enemy force (maybe four minutes if you're taking it nice 'n easy), you have to break all ninety-nine empty crates scattered around the building to make the one with the Imperial Seal appear, three of which aren't even present at the start of the stage. (And of course, Sun Jian will act like it's a normal stage, meaning he'll sit on his royal butt in the corner and periodically whine about how long you're taking.) Even better, the Seal appears automatically once the timer is down to 3 minutes, meaning that if even one crate is still standing by then, you've run all over the place and worked yourself into a lather for nothing. In the Battle of Yi Ling, on the Wu side, you have to destroy all the archer towers before Zhu Ran reaches shore for the fire attack to automatically succeed, otherwise you have to escort him to the Shu camp. Since leaving even ONE tower standing results in failure, which is very bad if you're hunting down towers instead of taking out the Shu forces which are going to be on Zhu Ran like a pack of rabid wolves, it's a much better idea to forget the towers and just make as safe and simple a trek for Zhu Ran as possible. Needless to say, Koei never used the idea again.
  • In EarthBound Beginnings, you needed to collect eight melodies throughout the game (although this wasn't obvious). In EarthBound, most of the game consisted of visiting "Sanctuary" locations, and collecting... eight melodies, with the endgame beginning the moment you collect the eighth (although you can do this out of logical sequence). Finally, a big part of Mother 3 was pulling needles. The catch was, your literal Evil Twin was too.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • The Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown has stickers hidden in present boxes hidden throughout the levels. Less frequent are video clips.
  • Farnham Fables has you collecting things in certain episodes:
    • In Episode 3, Prince Philip was about to give a presentation to schoolkids about rare creatures. However, a lapse in surveillance leads to all of the animals escaping and roaming the school, so Philip has to find each of them and use his special connection to animals to convince them to wait for him in the gym, which requires solving a problem for each one.
    • In Episode 4, Althea the Nightmare visits Theresa's dream and makes her collect six Rainbow Keys before she can wake up.
  • Final Fantasy Explorers has lots of things to catch: monsters to tame such that they can fight by your side, Eidolons to capture for their Trance powers and crafting equipment, monster skills to learn as a Blue Mage...
  • Fossil Fighters features this in the form of collecting fossils, which in turn are used to revive into dinosaurs known as vivosaurs.
  • Glider PRO: "There are 6 stars in the house. Get every star to win."
  • Graffiti Kingdom is a platformer/RPG hybrid in which you can draw your own characters, or use any enemy as a base, bosses included, up to and including Satan. And, unlike some games, the way you draw your creature has a huge impact on how it controls and what it's capable of.
    • This also includes a number of cameos that need to be found... including some VERY unlikely ones. (Flying Maidennote , anyone?)
  • In Gran Turismo, people try to collect every single car available. This counts: Duplicates, diferent versions, racing versions, cars that aren't available to buy and useless cars. The only game that's impossible to do is 2, because your garage has a limit of 100 cars.
  • Grand Theft Auto 2 also introduces the illegal car ring. In the Residential Sector, 8 hidden cars are placed around the map, each with a number painted on the roof. Jacking these cars automatically warps you to Wang Car$ (the same dealership from San Andreas) and nets a small bonus. Completing the sidequest unlocks a fleet of rare vehicles in the lot, including a Tank, the Fire Truck with a flamethrower instead of a water cannon (previously used in a Scientist mission), and a Special Agent Car with a mounted machine gun.
  • Grand Theft Auto V has a whole bunch of downright sadistic, though thankfully optional sets of collectibles strewn across the huge world map. Finding thirty barrels of nuclear waste on the ocean floor is probably the least annoying one thanks to a tracking device that points you to the closest barrel. The sadistic part comes into play for the spaceship parts and letter scraps, two sets of fifty tiny objects hidden in the most out-of-the-way spots you can think of, with absolutely no hint as to where to find themnote . Even if you do know where they are, getting to them is an entirely different matter altogether (like the spaceship part lying on top of a bridge support, but under the bridge proper, that requires you to perform a perfect on-point landing with a parachute or squeeze the game's smallest helicopter into the opening without blowing yourself up in the process). Have fun. Completing these collections either rewards cash or unlocks additional quests, the latter of which are required for 100% Completion.
  • Guild Wars. Hoo boy. There are 1,319 skills including 293 elite skills, 26 heroes, and 33 charmable animals to add to your Zaishen Menagerie. Aside from the elite skills, it's all just for fun and/or 100% Completion; the elite skills contribute to four maxed titles toward the thirty required (and thirty-eight available, so you don't technically Gotta Catch Them All, and in fact can't) for the game's ultimate Bragging Rights Reward: the God Walking Amongst Mere Mortals title.
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 2 had the optional quest to get every single Antlion Grub. Doing so got you nothing but an achievement, albeit an achievement hardly anyone has got.
  • The Ham-Chat words in Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! and Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak. The stickers for Rainbow Rescue can count as well if you're into that sort of thing.
  • Hans Kloss: Gather all the pieces of the secret superweapon plans scattered around the base.
  • Good luck collecting all 53 Royal Notes in HarmoKnight.
  • The Harvest Moon games have a Gotta Catch Them All aspect in Magical Melody (music notes) and Harvest Moon DS (harvest sprites).
  • An Easter egg (Optional) in the Microsoft Space Simulator Hellbender involves capturing pieces of "Bion Technology" (one hidden in each level) to form a Superweapon upon collecting all the pieces.
  • MANY classic Interactive Fiction games rely on this concept: learning all the spells (Enchanter, Spiritwrack), assembling the Dismantled MacGuffin or some other piece of machinery (Starcross, Stationfall, Wonderland), or retrieving all the treasures from a dangerous area (Zork, Adventure, Hollywood Hijinx, dozens more).
  • In Jables's Adventure, there's an optional sidequest to collect the 10 Hero's Fruit.
  • Jak and Daxter: The first game is strictly this, collecting Power Cells to advance the plot.
  • Jigsaw has the player reassembling an ... enchanted? hyper-tech? ... jigsaw puzzle, unlocking more destinations for their time machine with each piece found. Then, at the end of the game, you find out you were also supposed to be sketching animals to achieve the (only slightly different) good ending. Better start over!
  • In The Journeyman Project III: Legacy of Time:
    • The player must collect each of the three pieces of the legacy, one from each time period / location in the game.
    • Collecting the piece held by the Shangri-La monastery requires that the player unlock a staircase in a particular chamber. This involves locating each of the six Buddha statues around the monastery, giving each something it requires in order to get the object that will unlock a corresponding section of the staircase.
  • Kakurenbo Battle Monster Tactics has 125 types of monsters to defeat, each with their own type of pawprint (called a Montac) and a skill to learn if the defeated monster has enough power. (Some monsters give up the same skills though.)
  • Kao The Kangaroo: Round 2 has three types of collectibles, and each is required for unlocking something:
    • The coins allow you to reach the final boss.
    • The crystals unlock minigames.
    • The stars unlock upgrades for your attacks and skills.
  • Kingdom Hearts. Hoo boy. First of all, keep in mind that the international releases of the final mix versions are on PlayStation 3 or 4 consoles, meaning that you have trophies to collect. Individually, however...
    • The first game gives us treasure chests, puppies, weapons, spells, accessories, trinity marks, synthesis items, Ansem reports, Gummi blocks and blueprints…
      • Its remake, Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, has all of the above (adding more of some) and then some, most notably Gummi missions and ten Metal Slime Heartless to be registered in the journal. There's one for each world, except Olympus Coliseum.If you care… 
    • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories gives us cards, cards, and more cards.
    • Kingdom Hearts II has limits, summons, drive forms, abilities, weapons, spells, accessories, synthesis items, treasure chests, and still more Ansem reports. Its Final Mix version adds puzzle pieces, Absent Silhouettes (though there are only five of those), thirteen Metal Slime Heartless, and the three Proofs, awarded for beating the game's three hardest challenges (the aforementioned Metal Slimes and the Bonus Bosses).
    • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days gives us panels, emblems, and the insights of the protagonist's fellow Nobodies.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has commands, shotlocks, keyblades, more commands, ice cream, treasure chests, stickers, still more commands, and Xehanort reports.
    • Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance only has keyblades, treasures, Dream Eaters, and commands.
  • In King's Bounty, in order to find the scepter that was the game's ultimate goal, one had to find the pieces of the map detailing its location. As a Shout-Out, its successor series, Heroes of Might and Magic, has generally allowed you to similarly gather pieces of a map to find some special building or artifact, although it's now a Side Quest, rather than the game's central plot.
  • Kirby:
  • Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge. The player has to locate four pieces of a sacred scroll, each of them concealed in a different "world" within the game. The gameplay of each world is completely unrelated to the others and except for the first one, can be played in any order as the player chooses. It sort of smacks of a committee of writers who couldn't get along and were separated for their own good.
  • Kyle & Lucy: Wonderworld has two main collectibles, one crucial and one optional.
    • The crucial ones are the Mystical Orbs, which are awarded for completing a level's objectives.
    • The optional ones are Mystery Pins, which unlock character art.
  • The Legend of Zelda series always have some sort of this; the only exception is Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, in which the hero has to put 6 jewels on statues, but the principle is the same...
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Link has to retrieve the three pendants in the Light World, and save the seven maidens in the Dark World. Optionally, he can collect Heart Pieces to extend his life meter, a first for the series (the two NES games only have full Heart Containers).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the Gold Skulltula quest. Technically they're a case of Gotta Kill Them All, but you still have to retrieve the tokens that they drop when they die. There's a whole hundred of them, and you have to revisit some dungeons with new equipment you didn't have the first time around to get them. The ones located in the overworld can only be found and slain at night, but considering how early and easily you can get the Sun's Song, that's not really a big deal. Every ten Skulltula Tokens earned up to 50, a cursed character is cured and a reward is given to Link, but for the last character all 100 spiders must be slain.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is one of only three N64 games that was so detailed and complicated in gameplay that it needed the RAM Expansion Pak to play (and the only one of the three that didn't have Rareware in a dominant part of the development), and one of the reasons is the vast number of collectibles. In addition to Pieces of Heart (52, the most in any game in the series), weapons, songs, wallets, Stray Fairies, bottles (six, another record to date), and various other odds and ends, the game has 24 masks (not only the 4 collected from bosses, as they're merely plot coupons) to collect. Only six of them are absolutely necessary to complete the main storylinenote  (though some others make it easier), but the other 18 are necessary for 100% completion. The very last one in particular is accessible only by collecting all of the other masks.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, in addition to the vast array of sunken treasure in the sea (obtainable only by collecting and opening the Treasure Charts hidden through all of the Great Sea), as well as Heart Pieces and other goodies, has the Nintendo Gallery. You have to take pictures of every character, enemy (with some exceptions), and boss in the game, for a total of 134. And some of them have limited appearances, so beware. It was easier to complete in the HD remake, as one could even find the formerly missable pictures via Miiverse...until Miiverse was shut down, of course. Knuckle is especially infamous; the only way to make him appear is to collect all five of the Tingle Statues, which are hidden in five of the game's dungeons. In the original version, the only way to find them is with the Tingle Tuner, which will react when you get close. But you need a Game Boy Advance to use that. Then you have to place a Tingle Bomb at each appropriate spot, and only once you've found all five will Knuckle appear for you to take his picture on Outset Island. And that's not the worst part, which is twofold: in the original game, it was possible to permanently miss one of the statues, meaning you needed to wait for the New Game+ to complete the quest. And in the remake, the Tingle Tuner doesn't exist. So, what did the devs put in to help you find the statues instead? Nothing, meaning that unless you have an incentive to bomb every slightly suspicious location in every dungeon, you can only find the Tingle Statues if you look up where they are. Though at least that also means that there's no trick to finding him afterward; instead of finding him on Outset and 'proving yourself' through a few odd tasks, he simply appears on Tingle Island.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, you have Kinstones, which each matching pair having a different effect (unlocking secret paths, removing barriers, making special items available, etc.)
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has the Golden Bugs and Poe Souls, in addition to the mandatory Tears of Light and Twili-based plot coupons (Fused Shadows and Mirror Shards). The Bugs are given to Agitha to receive money and upgrades for the wallet, while Poe Souls are used to cure a man's curse. The Tears of Light are necessary to restore the power of the Light Spirits in Hyrule. The HD version adds Miiverse Stamps, which could be used in Miiverse before the service's shutdown in November 2017 (getting them all is now purely to satiate completionism needs).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Phantom has spirit gems and (like in The Wind Waker) treasure charts for sunken treasure. The distant sequel Spirit Tracks has bunnies, album stamps and force gems. They also have boat parts and train parts respectively, and eschew Pieces of Heart in favor of full Containers like the NES games, often earned through difficult minigames or expensive shop prices.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has the Silent Realms- gearless stealth-based sections in which you must collect the 15 Sacred Tears in each while avoiding the Guardians. Among optional collectibles, the Gratitude Crystals (used to help a friendly demon become human) and Goddess Statues (which activate chests that contain treasure - a process analogous to the use of Treasure Charts in The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass) stand out.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds continues the tradition. Besides the usual goodies like Heart Pieces, there are 100 baby Maiamais that have to be found, and every ten you find lets you upgrade an item. Except when you get all 100, which upgrades your sword.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has the Spirit Orbs, which are the rewards for completing the Shrines, and used to receive Heart Containers and Stamina Vessels). There are also Korok Seeds, which increase inventory space; there are 900 seeds in total to collect, though you only need a little less than half of that to maximize all your pouches. If you do collect all 900 seeds, your reward for the task is Hestu's Gift... which is a pile of golden poo; meant more as a reference to similar good luck charms in Japan, mind you, but still a pile of poo.
    • Hyrule Warriors: Counting all characters and weapons sets (but not the Master Sword, 8-Bit Weapons, or Ganon's Fury mode), there are 42 different weapons to collect in this game. The hardest challenge in this game is not to complete every Legend Mode map on Heroic Difficulty or to complete every Adventure Mode map with an A rank but to collect a perfect variation of every weapon (Level 4+, 5 Stars, 8 Slots).
  • LittleBigPlanet has the Prize Bubbles in the story mode. They contain a myriad of items, including clothing items, materials, music and sound objects, and stickers and decorations. Of course, it's all completely optional.
  • Marvin's Mittens puts a Metroidvania style twist on the collectible hovering objects of typical 2D platformers by having Marvin's double jump be increased for every snowflake he collects. The map keeps track of how many you find in each area.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has optional briefcases to collect or win by completing bonus objectives, they contain either concept art or extra Combos to perform.
  • The Mega Man Battle Network series does this. In each of the 6 games in the series, you battle with battle chips. Each game has a couple of hundred to find by either defeating enemies quickly or simply picking them up. Collecting them all usually allows you to fight a Bonus Boss.
  • Mega Man Legends: In the first game, you have twelve Special Weapons to collect throughout the game. There's also a sidequest to fill out the island's museum exhibit with treasures you find in the dungeons..and, of course, completing that quest nets you one of the items you need to forge the Shining Laser.
  • The Mega Man Zero series until the fourth game also does this, with the cyber-elf computer programs. These little critters are collected all over the place, powered up, and used to give Zero useful bonuses. The games inhibit the latter feature, though, by lowering Zero's rank with each use.
  • Metroid encourages players to find all power-ups and expansions in the games, and in most of them there's the extra challenge of doing so as fast as possible. In the case of the Metroid Prime Trilogy, there are exactly 100 pickups in the first and third games, but in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes the total clocks at 114 (96 standard pickups and 18 Keys which open up the Dark Aether temples where the sacred light of Light Aether is kept captive); the maximum completion percentage is still 100%, however. The Prime games also have the optional collection of logbook entries (divided into the following categories: Creatures, Lore, and Research), and once again 'Echoes'' stands out in this regard due to the numerous scannable entries (including individual parts or phases of bosses).
  • Miitopia keeps track of every grub, every enemy, every music encountered through the game. Want to achieve 100% Completion? Good luck getting all of them.
  • Mischief Makers has a Gold Gem on each stage, some easier to find than others. The more that are collected, the more of the epilogue, end credits, and stinger the player can see. And as if to rub it in the player's face that it's necessary to collect them all, collecting all but one cuts off the video in a way that is both hilarious and frustrating.
  • Moco Moco Friends has over 120 Plushkins to collect and befriend.
  • Monster Hunter combines Gotta Kill Them All with this trope: each time you kill a monster you earn valuable parts you can use to build armors and weapons. Most, if not all of them are optional, but each monster has its own unique armor set with special abilities that can help you greatly during combat and make quests way easier. Most players only collect a few, others go for 100% Completion and try to build every set. The fact that the armor sets often look impossibly cool certainly helps.
  • Monster Rancher has this as a Self-Imposed Challenge and this trope that it imposes with depends on the version of the game. Unlocking every monster requires putting in different CDs/DVDs into your console, completing rather dodgy side quests with no other information how to get them available other than detailed online guides, etc.
  • Virtually all the Nancy Drew video games require Nancy to track down missing pieces — gears, dolls, crystals, mirrors, whatever — for some sort of mechanism. The Last Train To Blue Moon Canyon interlaces three collect-em-all subplots.
  • NetHack variant Slash'EM Extended allows certain characters to throw poke balls at monsters, transforming them into pets. It's possible to assemble a large amount of pets that way, and the ball has a bigger chance to catch an actual Pokemon monster. Good luck finding that elusive Steelix or Arcanine! The other way to get them would be catching an Onix or Growlithe, then hope they don't get killed while you try to level them up enough to evolve into their high-level versions. You can look at the caught monsters to get a Pokedex entry, too.
  • The Neverhood requires you to collect twenty videotapes telling the story of the world, narrated by Willie Trombone. You can watch these and get a good idea of what's going on even with several tapes missing, but collecting all twenty is important, since it unlocks the final part of the movie, allowing you to get a key from Willie.
  • Nexuiz and its Spiritual Successor Xonotic have the Key Hunt gametype, where players must frag their enemies in order to get all of the other team's keys in order to score.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King, a video game Prequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas, features this. While it isn't mandatory to beat the game, Jack Skellington can collect the scattered belongings of the citizens of Halloween Town, such as Sally's shoe, Mr. Hyde's hat, Barrel's lollipop, and the Mayor's black widow spider bowtie.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge, meanwhile, is a sequel to the film's events, and it goes a lot heavier on the collection aspects.
    • Holiday Doors. The seven Holiday Doors are the driving force behind the plot, though their exact significance only becomes clear in Chapter 13, just after the halfway point of the game.
    • Jack's powers: you can upgrade the Soul Robber, but it's the Halloween Presents in Santa Jack form that fit this best, with three presents (four in easy mode) that each have upgrades.
    • Figurines, detailing every character, boss, and baddie in the game; some you only find in Hidden Places, and others you need to clear the levels with good performance for. Speaking of which...
    • Level rankings: at the end of each level, the game judges you on Clear Time, Maximum Combo, Damage Taken, and Exclamation Marks collected (by scaring the baddies). The lowest rank is D, and the highest is S; you need to get A in all four in order to claim the level's figurine(s), and the game averages out all the ranks after you win to give your overall score.
    • Jack's House: Accessible between Levels or in them, you'll find all the game's special features here, such as all the cutscenes you've seen—and I mean ALL of them—the soundtracks you've collected, your figurine collection, and the outfits you've collected. Speaking of which...
    • Outfits: Clearing the game unlocks up to four alternate outfits for Jack, depending on how well you do. Clear the game with an overall score of C or higher to get Pajama Jack, B or higher to get Dancing Jack, A or higher to get Thespian Jack, and a perfect S, along with both of the Secret Chapters cleared, to get Phantom Jack. Oh, yeah, and even if you get a perfect S the first time, you still have to beat the final boss four times to get all the outfits.
  • Odin Sphere: The motivation behind the Pooka running a restaurant chain — they want to recollect all the old Valentine coins to break their curse. Only two Pooka survive to enjoy it, though the dead ones probably also get released from the curse post-mortem. This isn't a small thing, considering the Pooka curse not only makes one agelessly immortal while alive, but also ageless and indestructible when dead. Which means that if the curse wasn't broken, all of the Pooka would have spent eternity as forever-rotting corpses in a dreary graveyard world. But now they finally get to move on.
  • Ōkami: The plot has you collect the thirteen Zodiac Gods; you can also collect treasures, fish, extra abilities with the brush, and Stray Beads just for fun.
  • At the most primitive end of this trope in this medium, Pac-Man can be classified as a Gotta Eat Them All game.
  • Pikmin: An integral part of the series, similar in execution but different in form for each game.
    • In the first game, Olimar's ship was hit by a meteor and 30 parts were scattered throughout the planet. You have 30 days to collect at least the 25 essential parts before your life support runs out. Oddly enough, this makes the game's final boss completely optional.
    • Pikmin 2 has Olimar and Louie collecting treasure to pay off their company's debt, this time without a time limit. There are also all of the various organisms in the Piklopedia.
    • Pikmin 3 has Alph, Brittany, and Charlie collecting fruit to save their planet from starvation. While there is a time limit, it extends with each piece of fruit they collect, for a maximum total of 99 days of gameplay. Additionally, this game has data files that Olimar has left for future explorers scattered throughout the planet, and while they're very useful for first-timers, players sometimes have to go out of their way to collect them; there are a grand total of 120 of them. Ten of those data files form a secret code that unlocks a secret video if it's typed in the right place on the Nintendo website. The catch? There isn't one secret video. There are five, and only one secret code per game file.
  • This is the main mechanic in Pixel Junk Eden, besides jumping and grabbing. You collect thousands of pollen spores to grow seeds, which number from about 30-120 per level, which you use to collect Spectra, of which there are 75 total.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Trope Namer was the original U.S. advertising slogan for the first few games, which features both the creatures and the Gym Badges. Nintendo and The Pokémon Company dropped the slogan upon the release of Ruby and Sapphire, possibly due to there being no real legitimate way to catch 'em all thanks to the inability to trade between those games and the previous two sets. The slogan returned in 2013 for nostalgic purposes, but not to its original ubiquity, appearing solely in advertisements rather than the game covers.
    • Ironically, the series itself generally averts this: the catching of the monsters themselves has always been optional. Your only reward in most installments for getting them all is a simple diploma, with later installments throwing in an item called the Shiny Charm that increases the chance to see shiny variants of Pokémon. Actual game progression just requires you to have a team strong enough to beat whatever foes you encounter, and have Pokémon capable of learning the field moves needed to travel the region (with Gen VII onwards not even requiring that). This leaves the player free to capture as few or as many Mons as they want. note  Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee are the only installments that play this trope a little straight, with them requiring you to catch at least 50 of the 152 available Pokémon to enter one of the gyms. All that said, it's the other half of "becoming a Pokémon Master" (the Gym Badges) that are of the crucial variety, as they're needed to advance the plot or unlock necessary abilities.
    • As of the Generation IV games, just seeing the different 'mons is enough to satisfy the game's professor and prompt them to give the various rewards usually received in the process of completing the Pokédex, so actually catching them is even more optional. Even then, the game usually forgives you for not having the Mythical Pokémon: a group of promotion-only Pokémon that can't be obtained legitimately through actual gameplay.note  The games will give separate diplomas for completion sans Mythical Pokémon and completion with them, with the former also giving you the aforementioned Shiny Charm.
    • Starting with Generation III, the Pokédex was separated into the "regional dex" (consisting of all the Pokémon that could be obtained in that set of games) and the "National Dex" (consisting of every Pokémon ever released, including those that had to be brought in from other games). Pokémon X and Y and Pokémon Sun and Moon break down the regional dex even further into sections corresponding to different areas of the map, with the latter also abandoning the comprehensive National Dex mode entirely; whether this is a permanent change remains to be seen. The National Dex is now handled by Pokémon Bank.
    • Several Pokémon come in a variety of different forms, with you being able to collect all of them. Purely aesthetic examples include Unown, Gastrodon, Florges, and Vivillon, and examples that affect its battling capabilities include Deoxys, Wormadam, Gourgeist, and Oricorio.
    • Sun and Moon have another side quest of this sort: Kalos's Legendary Pokémon, Zygarde, appears in this game, but its cells are scattered throughout the region, and you have to collect them. The more cells you get, the more powerful you can make your Zygarde. But there are 100 of them scattered across the four islands, and while some are always present, some only appear in the daytime, and others only appear in the nighttime.
    • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky has the Time Gears, which are introduced as mysterious artifacts that help keep time in balance, and are revered and feared by all Pokémon, that no one would dare mess with one. It is later revealed however that the gathering of each one is essential to prevent the destruction of time itself.
  • Power Pete: Pete needs to get all the Fuzzy Bunnies on each level (anywhere from five to ten) to continue.
  • Chapter 4 of Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is a quest that involves travelling the world to collect five eggs that are segments of an ancient key. Each of the five locations has its own subplot/side-quest in which Layton and his companions must solve a mystery in order to acquire the egg.
  • Quake III: Team Arena (and, by extension, OpenArena) feature the Harvester gametype which is a variation, as your team has to collect skulls dropped by fragging enemies in order to score. Such skulls can be found at a central obelisk in the map, which spawns them.
  • Many Rare games have huge numbers of things you need to collect. To the point where it's lampshaded hilariously in the beginning of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts 'n Bolts.
    "Now then. In line with Banjo Tradition, your challenge will consist of collecting as many pointless items as possible."
    • The original Banjo-Kazooie is comparatively humble, as each regular world has only 100 musical notes, 10 Jiggies (and of these, one is always earned by rescuing 5 Jinjos), and 2 Empty Honeycombs; the only catch is that the collection of musical notes is determined in how many of them are gathered without dying or exiting the level (if one of those two events occur, the player will have first to reach the previous record of notes collected and then get the rest, as that's the only way the lifetime total of notes collected in the game will rise). However, in Banjo-Tooie, the amount of items per world is increased, and in turn many of them are harder to gather due to the worlds' bigger size, complexity and added interconnection (making the game less like a traditional platformer and more like a 3D Metroidvania. Grunty's Revenge dials the trope back for being a handheld game, but in Nuts and Bolts it's back in full force, with a total of 131 Jiggies to collect, among other items (such as vehicle parts).
    • Donkey Kong 64 has been blamed by some as killing the collectathon Platform Game genre by single-handedly making gamers completely sick of it. Simply put, this is because there is a ton of collectables.
      • 200 Golden Bananas (Plot Coupons);
      • 3500 regular Bananas (required to access each level's boss; there are 100 bananas for each of the five Kongs on each of the seven Levels);
      • 40 Banana Medals (required to access a mini-game with a prize required to beat the game, obtainable only by collecting at least 75 regular Bananas);
      • 20 Banana Fairies (which boost your carrying capacity for Crystal Coconuts and unlock the secret 201st Rareware Golden Banana if you collect them all);
      • 40 Blueprints (increases time limit of the final level's Timed Mission and can be exchanged for Golden Bananas);
      • 10 Battle Crowns (needed to open the door to K. Rool on the last level);
      • 8 Boss Keys (required to open the way to the final battle);
      • 41 Bananaporters (let you warp from place to place once you've activate both; there are five pairs in the hub level and the first seven levels, and one more in the final level);
      • Countless Banana Coins (currency to obtain new skills, which include 3 potions per Kong and three potions for all Kongs, a weapon for each Kong and its subsequent upgrades, and a musical instrument for each Kong and its subsequent upgrades);
      • And last but not least, the Nintendo Coin and Rareware Coin, which are vital to the game's completion and only attainable by beating in-game arcade games (one being the aforementioned game unlocked by the Banana Medals, and the other being hidden in the third level, Frantic Factory, which must be beaten twice to obtain it).
    • Perfect Dark has a large number of weapons to collect... and the countless easter eggs in the game.
    • Jet Force Gemini has this through The Great Repair, as the characters have to collect the missing twelve parts of an ancient ship to intercept and stop the Big Bad from landing an asteroid towards Earth. And in turn, one of the ship parts can only be earned after rescuing all 282 Tribals in the game, a difficult task for which all levels have to be extensively explored. Among optional stuff, there are many hidden capacity upgrades for the weapons, extra Gemini Holders (though these can be gathered during the first trip if the player pays attention to the surroundings and optional areas), the hidden Bonus Totems which unlock extra content fot mutiplayer, and the Medals won in the Floyd minigames (of which the exceptionally difficult Expert-rank ones are necessary to unlock one more character in multiplayer).
  • Runescape: While the player doesn't need to do this, it's implied the gods themselves are fighting over the artefacts left behind by the elder gods. There are twelve, and one of them, a crown, can locate the others. Saradomin wears it.
  • Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf is all about stealing all of Sam the Sheepdog's sheep, one by one.
  • Demons in Shin Megami Tensei, and Personae in the Persona series. Enjoy filling the Compendium! In later games Demons and Personae's skill sets are entirely customizable allowing the player to even save their custom layouts. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has this with the Exotic Material and Cosmic Eggs
  • In Skies of Arcadia:
    • You do this with both the Moon Crystals (the 5 you actually can get are promptly stolen from you when The Dragon ambushes and destroys your base; you do not get them back) and optionally with crew members. Though you need to find all Discoveries and at least 90% of the game's chests in the GameCube remake if you want the Three Secrets an Infinity +1 Sword for Vyse, another Discovery worth lots of money and a Bonus Boss.
    • There's also the Chams, tiny moonstones that you feed to Fina's Living Weapon Cupil to make it more powerful (though seeing as Fina is the party healer, this isn't particularly important.) The Legends remake also has moonfish, that you feed to Maria's pet bird, and doing so eventually reveals part of Ramirez's backstory chronicling his Start of Darkness after joining the Armada and unlocks fights with Bonus Boss Piastol.
  • Sly Cooper did this with the first game collecting pieces of his family's how to be a great thief guide, the second collecting the remains of the first games Big Bad, and the third game revolved around collecting party members for a big heist at the end of the game.
  • Spuds Quest has fifty trinkets hidden around the game world.
  • In Spyro the Dragon games, at least the first 3, we must look for eggs (first and third game) and orbs (second game). Every time there's an arbitrary minimum limit of how many we must find before we can go to the next world, but finding ALL of them is optional. In the GBA trilogy, there's fairies in the first game and fireflies in the second game which play a role similar to eggs and orbs in the PSX trilogy, while the entire third game is a three-tiered fetch quest where you search for items to allow you to collect other items, which, if you collect an entire set, give you another item which you have to collect the entire set of to complete the game.
  • In the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign, Raynor must complete certain missions to acquire all the pieces of a Xel-Naga artifact before unlocking the final three missions of the game. The artifact is the key to defeating Kerrigan. Other missions are optional, but a certain number must be played to unlock each of the artifact missions.
  • The Suikoden series of games does this with the 108 Stars of Destiny to get perfect endings — party members and usually-helpful NPCs for your castle
  • Super Mario Bros.: An integral part of the series.
    • Power Stars in Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2; and Shine Sprites in Super Mario Sunshine. Different forms of Plot Coupons with the same format: 120 in the game, and you need 50, 60 or 70 (depending on the game) to reach the final battle with Bowser. Also, some of the Stars and Shine Sprites can only be earned by collecting at least 100 Coins (yellow in the first two games, purple in the following two). In Sunshine, they take it a step further by making the player hunt for blue coins. Normally, blue coins are just uncommon coins worth five normal coins, but in this game, they're collectables. 30 in each of the seven levels with another 19 in the main area, 1 in the tutorial area, and 10 in the final area. The point of that is that a shop on Delfino's pier will trade a Shine Sprite for 10 blue coins, meaning that one-fifth of the game's Shine Sprites are dependent on blue coins.
    • Super Mario Odyssey takes it Up to Eleven with 880 Power Moons to collect (though you only need 500 to unlock all levels), with the option to buy additional moons with coins, for a total of 999 Moons. Each normal level in Odyssey also has 50 to 100 purple coins to collect, which are necessary to buy all of each respective level's collectibles.
    • Every Mario RPG ever made is the same. Super Mario RPG has Star Pieces, Paper Mario has Star Spirits, The Thousand-Year Door has Crystal Stars, Super Paper Mario has Pure Hearts, Sticker Star has pieces of the Sticker Comet, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has pieces of the Beanstar, Partners in Time has pieces of the Cobalt Star and Bowser's Inside Story has Star Cures. All are crucial, although their importance varies.
    • Super Paper Mario also has Catch Cards. The game says these Catch Cards increase the damage done to an enemy (plus, they stack). However, some of these Catch Cards do nothing, and are there just for the sake of collecting them, like the Pixl cards and the cards containing the partners from the previous Paper Mario games.
    • Luigi's Mansion has the overarching collection quest of getting all of the portrait ghosts (and providing them a golden frame by getting the largest pearls during the capture process), the required tasks of collecting all of the elemental medallions and Mario's possessions, the additional goal of collecting the 50 Boos throughout the mansion, and the extra credit goal of collecting all the treasure you can for the best possible rank (in particular the two highly-valuable Gold Diamonds: One for capturing all Boss, and another for feeding a certain plant with water in a yard dueing all area chapters except the first).
    • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon: The main plot has you working to collect the five missing pieces of the eponymous moon to return peace to Evershade Valley. Along with that, each area also has a collection of gemstones; get them all and you get a figurine. Each level also contains a hidden Boo to capture, and getting them all in one area unlocks its secret mission. The treasure in this game serves a smaller purpose; you can upgrade the Poltergust 5000 by collecting enough money, but the game has way more treasure than you'll ever need.
    • Luigi's Mansion 3: Each floor has six hidden gemstones and one hidden Boo, the latter of which you can only find after beating the floor's boss. As before, you can also collect a ton of money. You don't buy upgrades to the Poltergust G-00 in this game, but you can buy extra lives as well as location devices for the Boos and gems until you've collected them all.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal had fifteen trophies; nine found in various levels, two found be collecting 40 titanium bolts and 30 skill points respectively, two found by completing every type of a certain challenge, and two found by maxing out your health and every weapon. The kicker? You had to beat the game once, then play through it again just to get everything.
  • In Resident Evil 5, there is an achievement/trophy which requires you to get every single type of treasure in the game. This may require a guide or FAQ due to a few obscure ones: e.g. from killing many enemies during a part where the game wants you to run.
  • The vast majority of The Riddle of Master Lu is spent collecting the pieces of information that comprise the titular riddle. The ancient Chinese sage Lu has built the tomb of China's first emperor so that it can only be entered after interpreting a tablet he left behind, requiring knowledge of ancient scripts from three different places around the world he'd traveled to and a sort of key that shows which parts are to be read.
  • There was a heavy degree of Pokémon-ness in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. Finding all the cores and catching (AND evolving) all those monsters definitely caused a heavy sense of nostalgia.
  • In Tales of Xillia 2, a long term sidequest has you go out and find a total of 100 cats hidden all over the world, in places ranging from normal (Like towns and fields) to downright bizarre (A volcano and an Eldritch Location in another dimension, for some examples).
  • In Thief: The Dark Project, you must find each of the four elemental talismans to unlock the wards on the Haunted Cathedral. In Dark Project this involves two quests, while in the Gold version each talisman has its own quest.
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater has gaps, areas where you have to grind, manual, or jump from point A to point B. Finding all of them nets 100% Completion.
  • Total War: Warhammer:
    • A number of characters' and factions' campaigns are focused on tracking down a number of foes, either roving armies or unique monsters, which must be defeated in battle. Doing so unlocks a Plot Coupon themed to the specific campaign, some other item or ability reward, or the ability to recruit the vanquished foe into your army. These battles are scattered quite far apart, forcing you to send armies or agents ranging over most of the campaign map to do them all.
    • The Tomb Kings' campaign requires them to track down and defeat a number of rogue armies, with success being rewarded with one of the four Books of Nagash needed to win the Tomb King campaign.
    • The Vampire Coast similarly needs to find and defeat a series of rogue armies and pirate fleets for a number of reasons. Eight will yield Pieces of Eight needed to unlock the faction's Regiments of Renown, and four more must be fought for the campaign's specific plot coupons.
    • The Norscans are tasked with hunting down a series of fearsome monsters, including dragons, dragon ogres, giants, feral mammoths, phoenixes dinosaurs and hydras. Two of these hunts, those for the frost wyrm Frigustrex and the the Great Mawherd of Bloodfjord, reward you with the ability to recruit the monsters into your forces.
    • Imrik's campaign has him track down five unique dragons — one for each of the High Elves' dragon units, one for the Wood Elves' and one for the Dark Elves' — to defeat and recruit into his army.
  • Tsukumogami fits the "Important" template above. Despite the English title of the game being '99 Spirits'', there are actually a bit less than that to capture — but if you just want to get through the game and get the Normal Ending, you won't need to capture and train more than a dozen or so — a handful for solving riddles, and a handful for supporting you in combat. However, the Golden Ending requires you to have Caught 'Em All... (Among other things.)
  • Ultima Underworld II required the Avatar to collect a blackrock gem from each of eight different worlds.
  • In Ultima IX: Ascension the Avatar had to collect each of eight corrupted runes of the virtues and their eight corresponding sigils in order to cleanse the eight shrines of the virtues. Eventually, he also needs to collect three additional sigils for various virtues.
  • Unreal II: The Awakening's Tosc-unlocking thing. You hop around all but two missions (the first and the defense one) gathering pieces of the artifact. Then it turns out that it alters the most harmless sentient creatures in the game into killing machines with black hole guns, so what you just spent the entire game doing turned out to be a really bad idea.
  • Unreal Tournament III features a variation with the gametype Greed, similar to Q3A's Harvester, but with the skulls falling from the enemy team's dead warriors rather than from a central receptacle.
  • In An Untitled Story, you have to collect at least some number of gold beads in order to open the way into the final dungeon.
  • Warzone 2100's campaign practically revolves around finding new parts to upgrade your forces — lest you get stomped to bits by your enemy.
  • In Wick there are tokens from each of the five ghost children scattered throughout the game. Collecting all of them unlocks 5 am and the secret ending.
  • WildStar: This is the focal point of the Scientist Path. The Galactic Archive isn't going to fill itself!
  • Wonder Boy: Each level contains a Doll, sometimes hidden, all of which you must collect to reach the True Final Stage.
  • Ys: Many of the games revolve around such a quest, such as the Books of Ys in the first game, the Statues in Wanderers from Ys and Oath in Felghana, the elemental power crystals in V, and the pieces of the Mirror of Zeme in The Ark of Napishtim, as well as the optional Tabulas in that game.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, all seven Millennium Items are needed to free the Egyptian God Cards.
  • Yume Nikki has you collecting the 24 effects.

    Visual Novels 
  • Played with in Fleuret Blanc. The mechanics encourage this behavior, particularly in regard to other members' prized possessions. However, the Central Theme discusses the pitfalls of materialism and collection, likely creating some cognitive dissonance. This mentality is deconstructed through the judges, who have gone insane trying to amass the most unique collection possible to the point that they will kill for it.
  • Most visual novels encourage this by showing how many routes a player has completed.

  • The "plot" of Adventurers! revolved around finding the Elemental Relics. Unfortunately, these were the relics of the modern elements: Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, and all the other elements in the periodic table. The progress on this quest was generally kept in the background.
  • Alien Dice involves scattering a number of "dice" over a planet and capturing the animals they bond to. It's supposed to be a deconstruction of the Mons genre if you couldn't guess.
  • Professor Dr. of The B-Movie Comic just fell to the urge.
  • Part 2 of Ensign Sue Must Die, The Wrath of Sue, involves the reboot Star Trek crew and the Tenth Doctor capturing all the Mary Sues unleashed across the multiverse before they tear apart reality. Except they were misled into it by Khan, disguised as Sherlock, to intentionally gather them in one dimension to make it easier to tear reality and bring Sue Prime back into the universe.
  • In Godslave, the main plot is Edith's mission to collect eight of Anpu's missing ba, parts of his soul.
  • Keychain of Creation chronicles the story of a group of heroes searching for the five Keys of Creation, powerful weapons which can open any lock or unseal any can, in order to keep them out of the wrong hands. Good News: They start out with one of the five keys. Bad News: It takes exactly 379 strips for the party to finally meet someone face-to-face who has another key, and the hiatus on that arc started with that someone declaring a tournament with the key as the prize. As of now, the hiatus is still in effect.
  • The main quest in Our Little Adventure is to collect pieces of a wish granting artifact known as the 'Magicant.'
  • Wasted Youth has 50 Piggymon cards for you to collect, a card game with hamsters.

    Web Original 
  • A double-subversion occurs in The Holders Series. The 538 cursed objects must NEVER be brought together, or it will result in The End of the World as We Know It. That doesn't stop the Seekers from trying to find them, though.
  • While lists of best movies can stimulate this kind of behavior, website Icheckmovies (which even gives a Cosmetic Award for progress in official lists) turns this into an art form. Many user pages or list comments admit they're watching many movies only complete some sets — as one comment in All-Time Worldwide Box Office (every movie that passed $200 million worldwide, currently at 709) goes: "3 to go. I've slogged thru some crappy movies, but the completionist in me is willing me on."
  • The aim of My Opinions on Every Pokémon Ever is to review every single Pokémon.
  • Lab/Treasure/Land maps, Talisman pieces, collectable plushies... Petsites are full of these, and they always have a final goal, that's it, some sort of status for the users that collect these, since it's impossible to have all the pets at once.
  • Averted in one sense and played straight in another in Pokémon: Rise of the Rockets. On the one hand, collecting as diverse array of Pokémon as possible isn't exactly the goal of any particular character or group. On the other hand, the stepping stone from which the plot began involved the various Agents of the two primary factions being sent to recruit Legendary Pokémon to their side of the war. Even so, this was mainly meant as a means to get players on their feet and has become less and less prominent of a goal as the story has gone on.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Adventures of Puss in Boots it is revealed that at least a hundred treasures have gone missing from the San Lorenzo treasure vault by the time the heroes find the spell that can restore the town's protective barrier which requires all of the missing treasures to be found. This is extremely downplayed as once the first treasure is found (a magical dowsing rod that can locate anything), most of the rest are found off-screen in the following episode.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog features a four-episode story arc concerning the quest for the Chaos Emeralds. In each episode, Dr. Robotnik uses his new time machine to travel back in history in order to acquire one of the four emeralds, invariably pursued by Sonic and Tails.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! has the team founded with the intent of re-capturing 74 villains, who break out of prison in the sixth episode. However, only a handful of episodes from the first season have re-capturing an escapee as the main focus. Most of them get captured during subplots or Offscreen Moment Of Awesomes, occurring while the Avengers tackle threats that could destroy the world unless foiled.
  • Bailey's Comets, an obscure De Patie Freleng Enterprises cartoon from 1973, had ten roller derby teams in cross-country races trying to find clues to a hidden treasure.
  • A ton of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episodes involved Cobra's attempts to Catch Them All, perhaps the best-known being their collection of historical military leaders' DNA to create Serpentor. The 5-part G.I. Joe miniseries MASS Device involves the Joes in a race with COBRA to collect three rare elements from various places to power their teleportation machines. One of the rare elements is heavy water which is in pools at the bottom of the deepest ocean (obviously).
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, each season has a group of magical artifacts or creatures that are targeted by both the good guys and the bad guys: Talismans, Demon Sorcerers, Talisman Animals, Oni Masks, and Demon Powers.
  • King Arthur & the Knights of Justice had the twelve Keys of Truth, that could return the knights home.
  • The premise of Lilo & Stitch: The Series (a Recycled: The Series of the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch) is that the titular duo has to find and capture the other 625 experiments (Stitch's "cousins") lost throughout Hawaii. As of the finale movie Leroy & Stitch, this has been completed, up to and including Leroy, who is unofficially Experiment 629.
  • In the first season of Mia and Me the main characters' main objective is to find all the pieces of the trumptus and put it back together, after Panthea destroys it and scatters the pieces across Centopia in episode 4.
  • The Honeybee badges of The Mighty B!. Unlike most examples, however, this is not necessary and is a personal goal Bessie has set for herself (believing she'll become a superhero if she succeeds).
  • The pieces of the Pyramid of Power in Pandamonium.
  • The crew of the Wraith in The Pirates of Dark Water were supposed to collect 13 treasures. The show only lasted long enough for them to get 8, in part because the eighth took the entire (truncated) second season to find.
  • In the Rainbow Brite episode "The Beginning of Rainbowland", proto-Rainbow Brite has to find and rescue all 7 of the Color Kids in order to transform the world into Rainbow Land.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has Scooby and the gang involved in a double-edged assignment: locate the whereabouts of the original Mystery Inc. and obtain the six pieces of the Planespheric Disc which leads to the hidden treasure of Crystal Cove.
  • The South Park episode "Chinpokomon" mercilessly sends up the Pokemon phenomena through the medium of the kids being swept up in the craze, and the bafflement of their parents at the impenetrable non-sequeterial nature of Japanese animation.
  • In the first Season Finale of Transformers Animated, the Allspark shatters into umpty-nine pieces. In seasons two and three, each fragments affects Future-Detroit's technology, as well as the giant robots themselves, in different ways. The cast has to find them. The similarity to Inuyasha didn't go unnoticed by the fans. Made all the more funny by the fact that Optimus is voiced by Sesshomaru.
  • The Shen Gong Wu from Xiaolin Showdown.
  • The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo had those meddling kids (well, four of them: Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy) plus mentor Vincent Van Ghoul and the supposedly lovable young rascal Flim-Flam trying to recapture 13 ghosts that had escaped from "The Chest of Demons".

    Real Life 
  • The MIT Mystery Hunt, probably the world's most famous Puzzle Hunt, has this in the form of puzzle and meta-puzzle solutions: You need to solve puzzles in order to solve the meta-puzzle their answers are associated with, and you need to solve meta-puzzles in order to solve the meta-meta-puzzles, and so forth. However, generally speaking, these are designed such that you don't need to solve all the puzzles in a given set; it's often possible to guess at the answer to a meta-puzzle once you have some portion of its component puzzles completed. Technically, if you could find the answer without solving any of the puzzles, you could jump right into it, but that's basically impossible, so they're Semi-Important.
  • During the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, military personnel were provided with sets of playing cards picturing 55 "Most Wanted" Iraqi terrorists.
  • Disney played this card with their second phase of Cartoon Classics and the Walt Disney Mini Classics video line (each VHS tape in these lines ended with a promo and listing of titles available, complete with "Collect Them All!". Same goes for DuckTales (1987), Darkwing Duck, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventures, Goof Troop, TaleSpin, Walt Disney Classics, Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection, Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection (including the ones that have THX in them), Disney Princess, Walt Disney Film Classics, Walt Disney Studio Film Collection, Disney Channel Original Movies (not counting the ones released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD by other home video companies such as Image Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video), Vault Disney Collection and Wonderful World of Disney.

Alternative Title(s): Gotta Catch Em All, Gotta Collect Them All, Catch Them All


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