Posted on March 03 2018 by Rod Lloyd
As an action-adventure series set within a grand, fantasy world, The Legend of Zelda has always provided a handful small-scale side quests to supplement the main adventure of each game. These side quests have taken the form of trading sequences, item collection challenges, and even mini-games. The quality of these smaller quests varies from game to game, and from quest to quest, but there are always worthwhile side missions for Link to undergo. At the same time, there are those quests that haven’t struck a chord with certain players; there are just some quests that players want to see the Zelda series abandon.
As a person raised by Zelda games, I have a pretty high tolerance for even the most tedious side quests. Give me a wide open world to explore and a bunch of unique items to find — like Golden Skulltullas or Poe Souls — and I’ll more than happily partake. But Breath of the Wild and its expanded loot and crafting system introduced a particular type of collecting side quest that I just can’t get behind. The “collect X number of natural ingredients / critters” side quests are not enjoyable to me in the slightest. But as a way to encourage players to collect just about every little thing in the game, Breath of the Wild is full of characters that want 25 Restless Crickets, or 55 Rushrooms, or 10 Fireproof Lizards for whatever reason.
In contrast to this type of collection side quest, I’m perfectly content with collecting Korok seeds, as they are specifically intended for collection. The player knows from the get-go that Korok seeds are worth searching for and collecting; their value as a collection item isn’t sprung on the player too far into the game. On the other hand, mundane ingredients like mushrooms or bugs are not immediately designated for a collection side quest. Until a side quests specifically requires them, a player is not necessarily compelled to collect these types of items, especially if that player does not find the ingredient’s properties useful. I, for example, knew I’d never need to collect bugs because I found food items more valuable than Elixers.
So, as far as I’ve experienced, these particular collection side quests play out in one of two ways. In one instance, a player that habitually collects everything he or she encounters throughout the course of an adventure will already have collected all or most of a required item by the time the quest starts, meaning that the quest is essentially completed immediately after being activated. Not much of a quest, huh? Conversely, players, like me, who forego collecting items they don’t need, will have quite a tedious task in front of them, as they must collect an entire set of items just to complete a character’s shopping list. And waiting for crickets to spawn is not fun; just ask Eiji Aonuma.
But I’ll get off my soapbox for now. What types of side quests do you want the Zelda series abandon completely? Why do feel the way you do about a certain type of quest? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.