Just as in life, sometimes there are more interesting things to do in gaming than the actual goal you have been tasked with. Sure, Sephiroth is about to destroy the entire planet with a meteor from the heavens… but the Golden Saucer is lots of fun, and there are fabulous prizes to be won!
The choice is academic: side quests are where it’s at in gaming, and as titles have become more robust and open-ended, the wealth of opportunities to shirk your responsibilities has simply boomed. With that, we took on the daunting task of narrowing down some of the best ones. Needless to say, the selection is absolutely huge, and we’ve had to omit a few of our favorites. Hopefully someday we’ll be able to honor them all, perhaps in a side quest of our own.
Miracle on Tenkaichi Street (Yakuza 0)
It isn’t easy being a criminal in a spiffy white suit that stays miraculously clean as you sprint through the streets of Japan, but there are moments of levity to be found now and then. In one particularly hilarious side quest, the protagonist Kiryu finds himself tasked with assisting in a music video for a famous American pop star. It’s sure to be Miracle Johnson’s biggest hit, as he fights off hordes of zombies in what promises to be an absolute Thriller. But he’s worried that if the extras go easy on him, it’ll look Bad. So you’ll have to protect him from legitimate harm in an atmosphere that is truly Dangerous. Basically, if you see a zombie, you know what to do: Beat It! …I swear that’s the last one.
The oddball nature of this quest makes it memorable, especially considering the quirky characters you meet in the process. The director, Mr. Spining, with his blockbuster hits A.T. and Indian Jeans, Louis, his enthusiastic personal assistant echoing his every sentiment, and of course, Miracle Johnson himself. Watching him moonwalk down the alleyway with the walking dead bearing down on him is one of the more surreal moments in gaming, and needless to say, breaking the hapless extras’ faces is a ton of fun. We just hope zombies have good insurance.