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Hooray! Just 49 to go.

Everyone knows that no hero can resist collecting things in video games. The Collection Sidequest can be the ultimate time waster in a game, if the player ends up collecting completely useless items for the sake of owning them, often for Hundred-Percent Completion. But once in a while, they give rewards that make the effort worth it.

Many games (especially RPGs) have some kind of optional collectible hidden throughout the game, usually to have no purpose but to be required for Hundred-Percent Completion. But there are frequently rewards for getting certain numbers of them, and collecting them all often gives you a powerful (but frequently unneeded) item, or unlocks a super-hard Bonus Boss.

If you're lucky, the game will keep track of how many you've found and how many are left. If you're really, really, lucky, the game will even provide a way to tell which ones you've already found, so that when you inevitably look up on the internet where the last 2 of 500 are, you'll know which ones you need without trying them all.

At least one is likely to be Lost Forever if you miss it the first time.

Examples of Collection Sidequest include:
  • Red jewels in Illusion of Gaia, seen above.
  • Mini-Medals in most of the Dragon Quest games.
    • In Dragon Quest VIII, Princess Minnie regularly rewards the player every few medals collected.
  • Golden Skulltula tokens in The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.
  • Dalmatian puppies in the first Kingdom Hearts game, 99 in all (the two parents are already home at the start of the game to account for all 101). You also find the puppies in sets of three, meaning there are really only 33 chests that contain them.
    • On the bright side, you get rewards at specific intervals for collecting them, with the reward for all 99 being a respectable amount of EVERY ship part in the game, unfortunately the second game didn't have this and instead one of its major collectathons was actually getting all the ship parts.
    • On the down side, one of the chests becomes Lost Forever if you don't collect it prior to defeating Oogie Boogie in Halloween Town. A glitch fixed in the remake.
  • Some feel that Triple Triad was actually better than the game it appeared as a minigame in - Final Fantasy VIII. Certainly, collecting all of the cards was a worthy quest, which would take you far and wide, beyond time even... not entirely useless, though, since a special ability could transform cards into useable objects - a technique which plays a major role in the creation of one of the perennial Disc One Nukes. Some of the rare, hard-to-get Character Cards can also be transformed into extremely rare and powerful potions, like Holy War or Hero Drink. But of course, no real collector would trade his precious Gilgamesh Card for 10 potions that can turn your entire party invulnerable for several turns.
    • It's not really an issue: whether it's an intended feature, an oversight or a glitch, you can get back any card you've turned into items from the CC members on board your Cool Ship on Disc 4 if you've completed the respective sidequest: any card that you turn into an item magically appears in their deck and you can win it back from them as many times as you like. With the exception of a single specific card that has an overelaborate method of getting it to begin with.
  • The thirteen Stellazio coins in Final Fantasy IX.
  • While not a standard collection quest, it is worth mentioning that in Final Fantasy XI, ever since the inception of the game, there was a pair of Elvaan who you had the choice of collecting 10000 moat carp for, either fished or purchased, it didn't matter. Fishing them was simple, but slow. Handing in the fish earns you what is now the game's second best fishing rod (and required to get the best), as well as a key item called a Testimonial, which reads as follows.

  "This testimonial is given to attest that this person has collected no less than 10000 Moat Carp. Please spend your time in a manner more beneficial to society. The only thing noteworthy of this achievement is its utter lack of meaning. With heartfelt disapproval, (The two brothers)"

  • Final Fantasy XIII had a particularly vicious sidequest of collecting every weapon and accessory in the game, which gave you the "Treasure Hunter" achievement. The "vicious" part here was that a lot of said items could be Lost Forever if you missed the single spot they could be found in the entire 50+ hour-long game. Add to that the fact that "Treasure Hunter" came with an interface theme featuring the most popular character in the game, Fang, and it becomes plain sadistic.
  • Stardust fragments in Legend of Dragoon.
  • Little Sisters in Bioshock. There's even an achievement for this mandatory collection sidequest, because you need to deal with every Little Sister to gather ADAM, used for upgrades in-game.
  • Tiny Medals in freeware RPG Heros Realm.
  • Dragon eggs in Lufia 1 and 2, four sets of eight.
    • A rather unusual case in 2, in that after finding the first set of eight, they're re-distributed into random treasure chests throughout the world that you've already opened.
  • Brave Fencer Musashi has the Minku, which drop Longevity Berries when caught. The action figures can also count, though there seems to be no apparent reward for collecting them (and one or two of those are a serious Guide Dang It and/or potential Lost Forever).
  • Baten Kaitos has two; Pieces of the Star Map and members of Quzman's family.
  • In Okami, you can collect 100 Stray Beads throughout the course of the game to obtain the Infinity Plus One Accessory, but it's really really hard. Only the first 99 Beads are available during a first playthrough; the 100th Bead is rewarded upon finishing the game. This makes them an utterly worthless collectible for at least the first time you play, and probably several subsequent playthroughs, as well.
  • The Harvest Moon series has a couple in completing your recipe and shipping lists. Some game items are rare, only occur in certain places at certain times, or you have to make yourself. And half the time, you need two of said item: One to ship and one to use as an ingredient. If 100% Completion isn't used as a requirement to unlock a marriage candidate (Usually the Harvest Goddess), it's pure Bragging Rights Reward.
  • Grand Theft Auto has objects to collect for no given in-game reason, photographs to take, and cars to collect. It's needed for 100% completion, but they also give rewards such as free weapons at your safehouse, that can be picked up as many times as you need.
    • In Grand Theft Auto, you collect packages of what's assumed to be Spank, the drug du jour of Liberty City. Each 10 packages (of 100) grants you an additional weapon at your safehouse.
    • In Grand Theft Auto Vice City you have to collect Maltese Falcons. Again, each 10 gives you a new weapon.
      • After collecting enough of them, a broken one appears in the first safehouse with cocaine pouring out.
    • In San Andreas you have to spray the opposing gangs' tags, take pictures of certain things, and collect horseshoes. Completing each of the three collection quests gives you certain weapons at certain hideouts.
    • In Grand Theft Auto IV you "collect" pigeons by shooting them.
  • Tons of them in Bully: collect all 75 rubber bands and all 40 Grottos and Gremlins cards; destroy all 27 pumpkins, all 25 garden gnomes and all 19 tombstones. And Your Reward Is Clothes, plus some mementos for your room.
  • Just Cause has collect missions too, but these help you get better stuff from your allies. (Vehicles, guns, etc).
  • There are collection sidequests in Pokémon, most notably the Contest ribbons in Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and Diamond/Pearl.
    • Not to mention that the game's stated "gotta catch 'em all" goal is sort of a Collection Sidequest in and of itself—you don't actually have to fill the Pokedex even halfway in order to beat the Elite Four and make the credits roll.
      • At least on R/S/E, it's possible to clear the game and only get three entries (one for your starter, two more for HM slaves).
  • The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion has this in form of a Nirnroot (a semi-rare plant only found near or in bodies of water) sidequest which has you collect 100 of these, and if you're really bored, it's definitely possible to collect every single piece of playable armor and weapons in the game, just for showing them off... to yourself.
    • Morrowind features various fetch quests throughout the game, including an eleventh hour fetchquest where you have to retrieve the Sword of Plot Advancement and the Hammer of Plot Advancement.
    • Daggerfall quests are well-rounded, but do contain their quota of collection missions. The main quest includes a good number of fetch quests. There is also that Merchant quest where you have to retrieve four gold bars - one from a house, one from a bank, one from a palace, and one from a dungeon.
    • Skyrim has the "No Stone Unturned" quest, in which you must find 24 Stones of Barenziah to turn into a Thieves' Guild NPC, after which you go to a dungeon to find the crown from which the Stones were originally from. Your reward is a perk that raises the probability of finding gems in treasure chests.
    • Fallout 3, from the makers of Oblivion, has a quest where you wander the wastelands looking for bottles of Nuka-Cola Quantum.
      • Creates a bizarre conflict of interest—cashing them in eventually rewards you with the final schematic for Infinity Plus One Grenades, which require the extremely-limited Quantum as an ingredient.
    • Fallout: New Vegas has two: Collecting snowglobes in certain places of the game that can be given to Mr. House, who collects them, for a good amount of cash. There's also the "Legend of the Star" sidequest, where you collect 50 Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Caps for a story about the origins of Sunset Sarsaparilla, which later leads to a very powerful laser pistol.
  • In Jade Cocoon 2, you also collect a whole heap of figurines of various characters - who serve no purpose, other than being a lasting depiction of particular 'states' characters have been in (Such as catching the main character's 'Angelic Form' from right before the final battle). There are even Special Chrome Edition statues to collect. Completely useless, and AFAIK, nobody's ever managed to collect 100% of the statues, due to how rare and well-hidden they are.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, it is a huge part of the metagame, as you can get a display case and fill it with tiny plastic versions of some of the monsters you fight, or of any random thing in the game if you want.
    • Not to mention the trophies you get for doing strange things in game, the tattoos you can get for collecting outfits, and the various familiars you can acquire.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 had dog tags, which you got by holding up enemy soldiers, and if you collected enough of them, you would unlock the infinite ammo bandana and stealth for Snake, and various wigs and stealth for Raiden.
  • Infinite Undiscovery also has a "get all the items in the game" collection. With the critical difference that there is no visible list or any other way of telling how close you are to finishing it or if one of the many missable items was Lost Forever.
  • Psychonauts has a bunch of these, including Mental Cobwebs, Emotional Baggage, and even a literal Scavenger Hunt. Due to the game's otherwise-unique nature, the game was dinged by a few review sources for having stooped to this.
  • Mass Effect has some extraordinarily silly examples of these: You fly around the galaxy surveying minerals and discovering needle-in-haystack objects like old letters displaying the insignia of a destroyed Turian colony or the dog tags of Salarian commandos killed centuries ago. It is not too bad when you can just scan the planet from orbit in order to discover them, and you do get an XP and cash reward, but when you have to drive around on the surface in the Mako and manually survey them, it is just tiresome.
    • Though there are actually more than the necessary number of each of them. If you do all the other sidequests and scan any anomalies you see on your way, you'll probably end up fairly close to completion of most of these.
  • The second installment of Dungeon Siege gives the player no fewer than three sidequests that involve collecting magical reagents. At the same time, the game subverts this by letting you just buy the damned things from a merchant.
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has two collection sidequests in the castle town: collecting five stray Beanlets and digging up 10 Beanstones.
    • Although the two side quests could become a Lost Forever if the plot goes too far ahead where Cackletta wrecks the Bean Bean Kingdom again, making the side quests vanish forever.
    • Dont' forget about the Super Mario Bros. series, you have to find all of the stars and many people have a Self-Imposed Challenge to find all of the coins.
  • Assassin's Creed. Hope you like hunting down hundreds of flags and dozens of Knights Templar for no appreciable reward.
    • The flags were put in as a mockery of this trope. The developer joked that no one would collect hundreds for no reward except for an achievement...
      • It's improved in the sequel where the number of things to be collected are reduced greatly, most are much easier to find and most of all, you actually get rewards. Special armour for collecting the seals, challenging puzzles and a nifty cinematic for collecting the glyphs, money for getting the treasures chests and a hammer, special cloak and closure to a certain subplot for collecting the feathers.
  • In many ways, Little Big Planet is one big Collection Sidequest. The things you collect expand your range of options in the editor.
  • Naruto Narutimate Ninja/Ultimate Ninja 2's S missions just give you a certificate for completion.
  • Ratchet and Clank is filled to the gills with these types of quests. Usually requiring you to get a new piece of gear or a gadget from a new planet before you can return to the previous planet and finish the available quests there. Some planets only exist for the sole purpose of making you go fetch the required item(besides optional side-quests). These quests are often enjoyable, however, even though they serve no purpose other than extending the length of the game.
  • No More Heroes features this in the form of collectible cards. One must beat the game three times minimum if they fail to acquire one of the cards on a playthrough. The second playthrough allows you to collect an entirely different second set of cards.
    • Also Lobikov Balls, which were slightly more useful, as you could use them to earn new skills.
    • It's also possible to dumpster-dive all around Santa Destroy to find extra money and unique T-shirts.
  • Rare is (in)famous for their collectathons, but the absolute worst example of theirs was Donkey Kong 64. Merus explains why quite eleoquently. They took jabs at themselves for this in the prologue of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
  • Little Kings Story features many of these. Each of the games seven princesses sends you to collect something, fortunately mostly things that you'll run across without backtracking. Plus, there's a quest to collect concept art throughout the game world.
  • Anachronox had a few of these. Taking pictures of little nonentities that appear in obscure places for extremely short times with long times between appearances, and collecting TACOs. TACOs are given a long in-game explanation that amounts to something much like beanie babies, where someone noticed something was popular, created them, people started collecting them madly, then the market collapsed and nobody wanted them anymore, which now makes them rare. They are a small box with a rotating radar dish on top, and "TACO" on the side. TACO stands for Totally Arbitrary Collectible Object.
  • Eternal Sonata has score pieces and EZI items. Neither can be completed on the first playthrough, and the EZI items won't be carried over into a New Game+ so you need to start over. You only get an Achievement for finishing each collection, though the score pieces can be used to acquire useful items during the game.
  • Dark Cloud 2 has the photography sidequest. Many of the photos you can take aren't useful for anything except photography points.
  • Rogue Galaxy has several sidequests which qualify as this, or variants of this: the Rare Item collection, the factory, the frog log...
  • This is actually the main quest of Yoshi's Story, in which you have to eat 30 pieces of fruit in each level to progress through the game. Unlike most examples, the food is plentiful, but many gamers have put a Self-Imposed Challenge on only eating the limited number of melons.
  • Prototype has you collecting blue and purple balls of light, appropriately named landmark collectibles and hint collectibles.
  • Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People had a number of collectibles in each episode, including manual pages for the various Videlectrix games.
  • The Fable series has a number of variations on this, including the Silver Keys, the Hero Dolls from the first two games, and the rare books from the third game.
  • The Ghost Flowers in An Untitled Story. Most of them can be found near the save statues.
  • Resident Evil Outbreak has SP Items. These are items which are entirely reliant on what scenario you're playing, who you're playing as, what difficulty you're playing on, and whether your scenario gets flagged at load up as either "A" or "B". Oh, and did we mention that they're completely invisible?
  • Crackdown has you pick up agility orbs, hidden orbs and stunt rings that require you to jump at them with a vehicle. They serve a useful purpose as they increase your stats, but you're guaranteed to max out your agility long before collecting all 500 agility orbs and all other stats are more easily raised in combat.
    • A DLC adds collecting cars for the Agency garage.
    • Crackdown 2 has all this and also audio logs (short messages of plot exposition), online orbs that can only be collected in multiplayer, renegade agility and driving orbs that fly away from you so you have to chase them, on foot or in a car depending on type, and another type of stunt rings you have to collect by gliding with the "wingsuit".
  • The MSX ROMs in La-Mulana. Most of them do nothing useful when equipped in any combination, though a few are essential. The game is remarkably merciful in showing exactly which ROMs you have, though tracking down the ones you don't is a very big Guide Dang It. One hidden NPC who gives you a ROM promises "something good will happen" if you find all of them, but this is not true.
  • In the Spyro the Dragon series, you had to find all of the gems and all of the eggs for a 100% completion.
  • In the Crash Bandicoot series, you not only had to find all of the crystals, you also had to find all of the gems.
  • In the Humongous Entertainment games, there are lot of collectibles; Every Pajama Sam game had something new you had to find (socks in the first game, cookie tops in the third game), Freddi Fish has purple sea urchins, and so forth.
  • Blast Corps has RDUs, satellite beacons, survivors, and scientists. Like the main plot, the rationale is threadbare.
  • Solatorobo has the photos that were stolen and torn up by the Black Cats gang. Collect all the pieces of all the photos (which are suspiciously of Red and friends, despite first meeting the photographer after the photos are already stolen) and show them to the photographer to earn...another photo!
  • The first Command & Conquer game has crates with nuclear components hidden underneath some enemy buildings when playing the Nod campaign. The game's FAQ file said the full set had to be collected to get the nuclear missile in the final mission. In the end, the whole system was removed with a patch (v1.19) because the number of collected crates was not reliably saved in the game's savegames. With the patch, players simply always get the nuke in the last mission.
  • Endless Ocean has several treasure and coin collection sidequests in its two games.