31-Day Mage Challenge: Day Seven – “Favorite/Least Favorite Side Quest”

31 Day NES Well-Red Cover

Lovely, lovely end-game quest. Secret weapon grinding fest.
Harder foe than final boss. Collecting items, gold to dross.
Chocobos and pictures taken. Final Fantasy. Wind you Waken.
Mario and Mass Effect. Exploring Metroid’s derelict.
Pop achievements, trophies too.
So addicting you can’t pause to poo.
Boring fetch chores. Catch ’em all.
Watch your blood pressure rise and fall.

-Not a haiku, by The Well-Red Mage


Today’s question is:

What is your Favorite and Least Favorite Side Quest?

Share your most wanted and most hated in the comments below!



timemage The Timely Mage

I’m having a really hard time thinking of good side quests (I’m sure I’ve played plenty) but I typically like side quests that have purpose but are still straightforward in execution. If I’m delineating from the main story it better be for something fun or easy otherwise I end up finding myself questioning the meaning of my existence. My least favorite was the lightning dodging quest in Final Fantasy X. Seriously, I’d like to drop whoever thought of that quest into the middle of a thunderstorm with a lightning rod tied to their back and watch them try to dodge 200 of those babies. ISN’T THIS FUN!?


Only 199 to go!



blackmage The Black Humor Mage

My favorite side quest has to be the final quests at the end of Chrono Trigger. I really enjoyed them all because of the way they were connected to the characters in your party, and you got really good items/weapons. But if I had to pick one from the bunch, it’d have to be Robo’s side quest because the boss at the end wasn’t a previously seen boss. Not only that, it’s one of the coolest looking bosses in the game: Mother Brain.


My least favorite side quest has to be the Riddler trophies in Arkham City. There was so many, and some were ridiculously placed. The payoff was to punch The Riddler, but even then I only did it for the platinum.



ragemage The Rage Mage

Least favorite, least favorite… respawning those giant AT-AT turtle-zillas at the end of Final Fantasy XIII, then murdering them for the chance to get a platinum ingot drop, in order to get the money for stuff like all the trophies. In fact, Final Fantasy XIII itself is my least favorite side quest. So there.


Oh and I have to pick a favorite? Chasing the wizard’s cat around the house and kicking it in King’s Quest III: To Heir is Human.40



FF3-NES-Summoner2 The Green Screen Mage

‘Whodunit?’ from Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion!! Best quest on the planet ever forever always! You have to go to a house and have to murder 5 people. You can rush in and just fight them all or, the more fun way, you can get a bonus by killing all of them without anyone knowing you’re the killer. Stalk and murder your victims in secret or befriend them and trick them into killing each other. It’s beautiful.


The Riddler Trophies in Arkham Knight. I don’t know who comes up with those riddles, but damn man take a chill pill. The worst part is that for the first half of the trophies and riddles and such you have the Riddler calling you stupid and leaving you wanting to punch him in the throat or mute your game. That part is so frustrating it almost makes the joy of beating him up not worth it.




whiteoutmage The White Out Mage

I typically don’t play games with side quests. But in Lego Lord of the Rings there’s a dwarf that asks you to find a hat for her (it’s a she-dwarf). Everybody thinks she’s a man so she needs a feminine hat because she wants to look feminine. There’s absolutely no hope for her, with or without a hat. It may not have been the quest itself that was enjoyable but the request was humorous.


In the same game, you’re getting so close to the end and somebody asks you to fetch something for them way back in the village of Bree. So you have to backtrack tothe  beginning. Needless to say, I didn’t go back to get it. And that’s why my husband doesn’t have one more platinum on his PS3.



Untitled2 The Well-Red Mage

Favorite side quest has to be Chocobo husbandry and racing in Final Fantasy VII. This is hands down the greatest Chocobo side quest in any of the Final Fantasy games. It’s massively detailed and I never grew tired of it, even as I continued to breed Gold Chocobos with each other to produce the ubermensch of bipedal avians, which could run faster than the speed of light. I’ve always been disappointed in every Chocobo side quest in any other Final Fantasy since (I’m looking at you, FFVIII, with your dumb handheld add on thingie never released in North America). None of them could live up to the Chocobos of VII. I dearly hope that the remake will expand upon that side quest… maybe even give us the fake and fabled White Chocobo that was falsely rumored to be catchable underwater where the Emerald Weapon prowled.


On a side note, I almost said Tetra Master from FFIX or everything in the World of Ruin in FFVI as my favorite side quest…

As for least favorite side quest: I won’t say dodging lightning bolts in Final Fantasy X, since our beloved Timely Mage said that one. But let’s keep with the Final Fantasy trend. In my opinion, FFX gets a bum rap for hunting down its ultimate weapons compared to the Final Fantasy XII random chest/drop atrocity. True, some of the ultimate weapons are gained from completing hunts. But you want all the best and baddest gear in the game? Tough nuggems. Get ready to crunch some percentages.

The Formalhaut ultimate gun: a chest that appears 60% of the time and can have a 50% chance of having your gun in it.  Danjuro, the strongest dagger, has a drop rate of 3/6/8/12%. The Sagittarius, strongest bow in the game, requires multiple items that each have an 8% drop rate, a 10% drop rate, and a 30% steal rate. The Yagyu Darkblade, rare drop from a rare monster, or 20% spawn rate and a 3/6/8/12% drop rate. What the…! I mean, I’m a patient guy (I like to think) but that’s just nuts and far too time-consuming. This is lame for a Final Fantasy. Why couldn’t it just be regular side questing rather than chest/drop farming? Don’t even get me started on those chests you’re not supposed to open.



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26 replies »

  1. Obvs we’re on the same page with all the FF love, but I’ll just expand a tad…
    FF7: chocobo racing/breeding… Gahhh! The time, the racing, the random, the nuts, the greens… I repeat: Gahhhh!
    FF8: I liked the chocobo bits in that & also Triple Triad for item farming, but again, an admission: ‘All Cards’ cheat (infinite cards too!) made my life hella easier (after a coupla non-cheat playthroughs without cheatin obvs, I’m a true gamer after all! *Grins*)
    Also I liked Selphie!
    FF9: Chocographs Yay! End of.
    & all the others you’ve mentioned… You mean you can’t just BUY the best weapons… *Falls to knees* Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!
    Also agree wit whoever said escort quests…
    I may never finish GoldenEye on 007 difficulty as the woman jus keeps dying on computer level *Growls* Whyyyy!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My favourite side-quest is the Kafei story from Majora’s Mask. Majora’s Mask dedicates a lot of effort in producing stories about the inhabitants of Clock Town. The story of Kafei is the longest and intersects with many characters and stories (the fact that completing the story also helps Link recover many of the masks also improves it). I find it quite an interesting story and wonder if the player completes the game without finishing the story, does it mean Kafei never returns? It was also interesting how completing parts of the story affects how the characters act (Anju may or may not escape to Romani farm depending on how much of the story the player completes), which was an interesting detail. I also enjoyed finding the bounties in Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. The descriptions of the bounties were very detailed and seemed to suggest there was a huge hidden network of crime stories behind the story of the game, some of the bounties intersected with the film stories, suggested links with other bounties or created an interesting backstory to a simple enemy.
    My least favourite side-quest was the hotline challenge in Goemon 2. The game is filled with strange challenges, but this challenge features men with bags over their heads and can only be completed by the female character. The challenge itself is about reassuring one kid scared of thunder and helping another develop a career in computer game development. The caller would make a statement and the player would have to select the most appropriate response. Unfortunately, the responses can cause the character to make an unforeseen reply that can lead to the player failing the challenge. The challenge is quite long and needs to be replayed from the beginning following each mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the worst decisions that were ever made in a game was Batman: Arkham City. Once the main missions are complete, the side missions are locked-off. Even though I normally leave side missions until the end, so that I can use the unlocks from the main missions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to go with the card collecting of FFVIII’s Triple Triad. I LOVE that game. IX’s card game is okay, but it’s more luck based whereas TT is more skill based (so long as you don’t let any wonky rules ruin your day). I would spend hours playing cards alone just to get a rare one, and reset time and time again in order to stop the Random and Closed rules from spreading *shudders* Honestly, if TT was a legit card game outside of the FFVIII world I’d be all I for that. I love the strategy involved especially when you get to the Same and Plus rules. I much preferred card farming for items than attempting to steal or hope for an enemy to drop what you needed.

    I’ll probably get lambasted for blasphemy on this, but I absolutely abhorred FFX’s Blitzball. Maybe because I’m terrible at it, but I hated that Wakka’s ultimate weapon could only be obtained through it, which…makes sense since Blitzball is his thing. The 200 lightning strikes has already been raged about so I’ll hold my peace on that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I played blitzball for an eternity but it gets pretty boring. You’re he second person to mention that you liked VIII’s card game over IX’s. It’s the opposite for me. I think it was the rules spreading and the music that put me off of Triad.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The rule spreading was super annoying! There was a definite trick to not allowing icky rules to circulate like a disease. I liked IX’s game and I liked the sort of “culture” I suppose that was created around it. The narrative of IX did more with that than VIII with the tournament house in Treno (I think it was Treno…) Aw you didn’t like the bouncy music lol. I’ve heard a gentler piano version of it :p

        Liked by 1 person

        • I like the piano version more. But you’ve expressed what I thought made Tetra Master superior: how it’s more immersed into the game world. Plus I could put it down and pick it up at whim without rule spreading. But to each their own.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I can see the appeal due to the more immersive elements. The world of IX did feel more tangible because of things like this. Also almost every single character had a name/story and I loved the “point of view” scenes you could see. It really brought you into it. If I could live in any Final Fantasy it would more than likely be IX in the Lindblum Theatre District.

            I liked Triple Triad as it’s own separate game. I’d go to contests with that similar to the ones for Tetra Master in IX hehe. I agree the rules were really annoying. I spent a great deal of time having to reset after I won some rare card because some terrible rule was accepted.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes! I would love to live in Treno. The noble side of course. I learned to play ragtime because of Treno and it’s one of my favorite genres of music now. Or Daguerreo. Or Dali. Or Lindblum… Heck, even Alexandria.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Ah yasss! I LOVE that song. He is such an aeclectic composer. Dali’s Theme is lively and sad and Lindblun’s has a sort of downtown bluesy melody. Daguerreo is phenomenal because of the library, though you’d think that would be Alexandria’s thing 😋

                Liked by 1 person

  5. Those Final Fantasy sidequests are great choices. I’m not actually a big fan of the breeding sidequests, especially that FFVII one. As for my favorite sidequests, I really love the Zelda: Majora’s Mask sidequests, specifically the Kafei/Anju one. All of these quests had such emotional impact, and Kafei/Anju’s sidequest spanned the entire 3 days. It was wonderful. I also enjoy the trading quests in both Ocarina of Time and Link’s Awakening.

    As for least favorite, I agree with Timlah. I dislike escort quests. I also hate stealth quests, which is something I mentioned in a previous daily challenge. Great answers by everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not the biggest fan of any of them, but I love riding Chocobos. Also, I don’t like the process of getting the gold chocobo, mostly because of the racing element. I did enjoy the card games in VIII and IX like Triple Triad.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Both were pretty good, though I give the edge to Final Fantasy VIII’s Triple Triad. This is especially interesting considering I don’t really like VIII that much whereas IX is my favorite FF.

            Liked by 1 person

              • I love the old SNES Final Fantasy games, and FFIX was like a love letter to the series’ roots, while injecting some modern PS1 graphics and story into it. I enjoyed having 4 characters again, and the AP system on equipment was surprisingly intuitive. I love how the settings and characters look. Their superdeformed appearances and the medieval settings speak more to what Final Fantasy means to me than the tech-heavy games. (Because look at the XV guys, they have a car, which I admit is kinda awesome, haha) It has some of my favorite music and characters in the series as well. The romance between Zidane and Garnet is among my favorite FF romances.

                In contrast, VIII went in the complete opposite direction that I wanted FF games to go in. It was quite militaristic and a little too modern. I also abhor the junction system, since I would just grind for magic (up to 100) and horde it all because of the system. It’s also not beneficial to level up because of enemies level up with you, so I spent most of the game avoiding encounters which I consider very backwards (It’s also why I don’t like new Paper Mario). I also disliked pretty much most of the characters, and found the love story forced. I like Eyes on Me and Triple Triad so it’s not all lost. And it’s not the worst game I’ve played, just one of my less liked FFs.

                Liked by 2 people

                • I have to agree with pretty much every point you brought up. I like that FF can be anything, techie or fantasy, but I prefer the fantasy roots. FFXIII is a bad example of scifi gone awry. And I couldn’t connect with any of the characters in VIII either. Didn’t even have one in there I liked.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Every character in VIII was, for lack of better words, awkward. It didn’t help that the game had a lame unbelievable plot twist with the orphanage. I was not a fan of the story at all.

                  Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a brilliant post! I also hated those lightning bursts in FFX but the Cloister of Trials sections were by far the most annoying thing about that game. It’s something I’ve always hated about games in general… Who the hell builds such elaborate puzzles like those?? What if one of the conveyor belts broke down? Now Yuna can’t get get her Aeon and the world will be f—-d up by Sin… because you built this stupid-ass puzzle temple!! *deep breath* Okay… I’m calm again, sorry : P

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Whodunit is a GREAT choice…

    My favourite side-quest:

    Chocographs in FFIX – I love how tricky some of them are to find. By unlocking and completing the Chocographs, you would get seriously powerful items, or rare cards, all of which will ramp up your treasure hunter rank. When you’ve finally done it all, you go to meet up with Fat Chocobo and send your loving Chocobo off for a lovely home with his fellow Chocobo. The island is on the world, but it’s unmapped so you have to seriously want to travel to find it. The only bit I didn’t like about this 4 disc long side-quest is doing the Hot and Cold games to get Chocographs to -get- said treasures!

    An honourable mention:

    Eidle eidle ee – The sailors in Black & White. You have to get them wood to build the boat. Then you have to get them grain so they can eat. Then you have to get them meat. THEN they finally go away. When you’re eventually reunited with them, they give you a rare creature (Polar Bear if my memory serves me well)

    My least favourite side-quest:

    Any escort quests. I hate having to guide a generally stupid NPC around the place, usually with them walking in a very dumb path and often drawing attention to themselves in the process. Gits.

    Great post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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