Side Quests , not to be confused with Second Quest, are quests given to the player that have no direct bearing on the main story or campaign of the game. Side quests have been present since The Legend of Zelda and have since appeared in every title. They are most commonly found by interacting with NPCs but can also be found scattered around the landscape, usually in hidden locations in the form of collectible items. Occasionally, they can be obtained only after a certain point in the plot's progression. Side quests come in multiple forms, such as collection quests, trade quests, and general quests requiring the player to perform some action, discover new areas, or solve puzzles. Side quests can also require the completion of other side quests to be started or completed. Link is usually rewarded with items, information, or other rewards upon completion of a side quest.
Pieces of Heart
- Main article: Piece of Heart
If Link collects four Pieces of Heart (five in Twilight Princess), he will create a full Heart Container. Pieces of Hearts are considered one of the larger collection side quests in the series and are not required to progress through the story. Pieces of Hearts can be found by completing other side quests, getting good scores in mini-games, or searching various dungeons and overworld areas. Related are Heart Containers, which are usually collected after clearing a dungeon/boss, but are also able to be skipped in most cases.
The Legend of Zelda
The only side quest found in The Legend of Zelda is the collection of Heart Containers, which expand Link's health but are not required for completing the main story. They are needed for the sword upgrades however, which are also optional.
The Adventure of Link
The second game in the series, The Adventure of Link, is somewhat lacking in side quests. The main side quests in the game are encounters with the Wise Men who will teach Link new spells, most of which are required for progression but some are not, hence being a side quest.
A Link to the Past
In A Link to the Past, apart from the introduction of Pieces of Heart to the series, Link may rescue one of the two Dwarven Swordsmiths, who is trapped in the Dark World, and return him to his partner in the Smithery. The pair will make Link's Master Sword into the Tempered Sword upon completion.
In Link's Awakening, Link has the option of collecting Secret Seashells, which are scattered at various locations throughout Koholint Island. If he collects at least twenty, he can then go to the Seashell Mansion and have his sword upgraded to the Seashell Sword, a far more powerful weapon than Link's basic sword.
Ocarina of Time
In Ocarina of Time, apart from Pieces of Heart, there are three main side quests present. The first is the Gold Skulltula collection side quest, in which Link is tasked by the family in the House of Skulltula to locate the Gold Skulltulas hidden across the land and retrieve their tokens that they drop for various rewards depending on how many Link has collected. Second is the Happy Mask Side Quest given by the Happy Mask Salesman in Castle Town. Link is tasked with selling a series of masks and will be allowed to freely borrow masks from the Happy Mask Salesman after successfully completing this side quest. Finally, there is the Quest for Biggoron's Sword, which is a long Trading Sequence needed to acquire the most powerful sword in this game, Biggoron's Sword, a sword so big Link requires two hands to wield it.
Majora's Mask is unique in that it thrives on the idea of Side Quests and uses it as a driving force in its gameplay in the form of Masks and the Bombers' Notebook. Masks are items Link can obtain in his journey to save the land of Termina that help him by providing unique abilities and access to other side quests. The Bombers' Notebook is a notebook used to keep track of various side quests by tracking various characters and their schedules while using Happy Stickers to mark completion when you have assisted a resident of Termina with everything. Additionally, Link can complete the Oceanside Spider House and the Swamp Spider House, both of which result in a prize. Like the House of Skulltula in Ocarina of Time, Link must collect Gold Skulltula Tokens to break the curse on a house.
Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages
In Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, there is an optional side quest known as the Quest for the Noble Sword, and it involves a trading sequence that is different in each game. Link can acquire an upgraded sword by completing this quest but is not as powerful as the Master Sword.
The Wind Waker
There are many side quests in The Wind Waker as the Overworld is one of the largest in the series at the time of its release. The most notable side quests include the Savage Labyrinth, a 50 floor enemy gauntlet Link can progress through for various rewards, Treasure Charts, 49 collectible charts showing where Link can pull up treasure from the ocean floor, and the Magic Armor, an item granted to Link after an extensive trading sequence from Zunari, a merchant on Windfall Island. Also present are various collection quests including Joy Pendants, 40 of which are needed for Mrs. Marie, a teacher on Windfall Island, and Knight's Crests, 10 of which are needed for Orca on Outset Island so Link can learn the Hurricane Spin sword technique. Finally, the most extensive side quest in this game is the Nintendo Gallery of which the Deluxe Pictobox is required for completion.