Want to Learn How to Design Sidequests? Play Majora’s Mask

ZD: "In video games, we can often draw a distinction between two major classes of “things to do”: main quests and sidequests. Main quests are objectives that advance the overarching story of the game, progressing the gamer towards the game’s conclusion, when the final boss is slain and the credits role. What sort of thing constitutes a sidequest is far less clear-cut, and in this installment of With a Terrible Fate, I argue that “Majora’s Mask” is exceptional because it offers some of the most meaningful and ontologically logical sidequests possible of a game."

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LightDiego1418d ago

That's true, the side-quests of Bomber's Notebook are great, and the Fiece Deity's Mask it's really awesome, would be great the return of this power in a new game of the series.

wonderfulmonkeyman1418d ago

Since it's appropriate, I'm just gonna repeat myself on this one:

It's one of my top rated, for sure, because of the deep interpersonal connections that you forged with the residents of the world through the side-quests.

Perfect example: The Kafei and Anju side-quest.
The end result of that was a heart-piece, but I'd like to believe, personally, that that's not why most of us went through all the trouble required to complete the quest.
We did it because the drama between them forged in us the desire to see these two come together at what they felt was the end.[though we, as Link, do eventually stop that end]
It's just one example of many, but MM's side-quests made us actually CARE about the people we're helping.

That's not something a lot of games do these days; most games with side quests are just "Here's this NPC! Here's what they'll GIVE you if you do what they ask! Okay, mission complete, take the reward, Bye bye!"

In most of those instances, we forget about the NPC once the reward's done and their troubles are over. We wouldn't go back to help them if they didn't yet again offer us a reward for doing so.
But for MM, though I might be amongst the minority, I personally felt gratification from seeing myself better their lives through these quests.

In fact, it has gotten to the point that I do not consider any final 3 day run through complete, unless I've done the following:

-Bring Anju and Kafei together.
-Solve the troubles at the Ranch.
-Attend the Zora concert and restore Laruto's voice.
-Banish the wandering spirits near the mill and cure the little girl's father of his Gibdo disease.
-Defeat all 4 major temple bosses to cure the various regions of their own issues.

Once I've done these things in a playthrough, then, and ONLY then, do I move on to facing the four Masked Children trials and Majora himself.
I do this because their various storylines are interesting, enough so that I don't feel I've done the game justice unless I've gone into the final battle having guaranteed them a better future, once things are done and over with, via solving their problems in the here and now.

It made me care about their problems.
It made me desire to see their story have just as happy an ending as my own.

THAT, is why I feel it's one of the best Zelda games thus far.

Captain_Wormy1417d ago

Bloody hell that was fucking beautiful, man! "Having guaranteed them a better future." made my heart sink. Now I REALLY want to play this game again.

jjb19811417d ago

My favorite Zelda game

Kingdomcome2471417d ago

Pozzle is on a Majora's Mask kick today. ;)
It truly is great game design, though.

Captain_Wormy1417d ago

I was never able to beat Majora's Mask on the N64. The farthest I got was the Goht boss. Whenever it releases on the New 3DS Imma go all out.