How important to you are the sidequests in Zelda games?

Raquel says: Sidequests are usually my favorite part. I think I enjoy the sidquests more than the actual games because I like games like Animal Crossing and the Sims more than I like fighting and going through dungeons. I like to think about how everyone relates to everyone else in the game.

Chaz says: The sidequests are vital to making Zelda more of an RPG experience.

Zed says: The sidequests add more depth to the game world, but I prefer when they have a purpuse, like helping advance the main story.

Kelly says: I always save sidequest for my second time through. They add some replay value to the games.

Uppa says: Side-quests are indissoluble from that sense of exploration and discovery that should be so inherent in Zelda titles--games which thrive on developing empowerment. As your arsenal of weapons increases, so does your proficiency and capability in a world that should be initially very hostile to your presence. Zelda I is a prime example: you start out decidedly weak, but as you struggle and obtain Heart Pieces and items, you eventually exert your own authority over the world…and after many deaths and rocky starts, that sense of mastering the world and its obstacles is richly rewarding. It is here that side-quests take on their first pivotal role: they serve to bolster your repertoire of items and your strength in order to facilitate further exploration. Whether you acquire Heart Pieces--enabling you to survive increasingly difficult dungeons and foes--or gaining a new bit of kit to reach that far off ledge you couldn’t quite get to before, side-quests allow you to more easily and capably tackle the main quest as a reward for taking the time to sound out what else the world has to offer.

This optional exploration should reap worthwhile rewards, be they a new sword, shield or other utility to assert mastery over the world--this can’t work if mastery is easily asserted from the outset, however.

Side-quests offer insight into peripheral characters and flesh out the world, creating engrossing stories and mysteries outside of the main journey. Trading games create characters with their own agendas, showing their responses to the world, helping to mask that reality that you’re playing a game. Side-quests further mask linearity: if the player gets stuck on the main trawl, it’s helpful to know that there are operations outside the main-quest that can be undertaken and cracked while seeking a solution. Areas develop multidimensionality--they don’t have to serve just one function and then be discarded. Areas that serve one function are just that: drab and purely functional. Side-quests allow areas to have several purposes, creating a changing, organic world. This is the crucial point: the world no longer seems to rigidly resemble a “game world”. Knowing that it can branch out--and develop almost spontaneously rather than demand adherence to the main road--dispels beliefs that the game is just that, but is instead a full-fledged adventure. Suddenly, the world becomes so alive that the real one fades into the background.

ABOMB says: I only do trading quests, and they're boring unless I use a guide.

Steve says: Sidequest? I'm sorry but Windbreaker has the best side quests.

Tommy says: I don't care for them. I'm a dungeon man myself.

Dekukid says: The only sidequests I do are ones that power up my sword. Don't care much for heart pieces of skulltula. Don't need em.

Dinker says: Actually, it depends on what type of side quest you're doing. Some of them can be tedious, like the timed ones. But, most of the side quests I do are fun when you help other people, thus making you smile and laugh.

Final Notes:

I'm glad to see some love for sidequesting here. I love them, personally.

Thanks for participating, everyone!