The 10 Best Side Adventures in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the KingdomGames Lists The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
If you count all the different types of side quests in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, including Side Adventures, Shrine Quests and plain ol’ Side Quests, there are 230 total. That’s not even counting the 23 main quests, most of which aren’t even required to reach credits, for a total of 253 quests.
That’s a lot of quests!
So many, that unless you’re a completionist like me, you likely won’t see all of them. Fortunately, I’m here to tell you the 10 best quests most worth your time.
I’ll be picking exclusively from the Side Adventures, because these tend to be the most interesting, meaty, rewarding quests of the batch. That’s absolutely not to say there aren’t great Shrine Quests and Side Quests, but for the purposes of narrowing things down out the gate, this was the best choice. I’ll also be lumping similar types of quests together, and the list is unranked, presented in the order completed quests appear in your Adventure Log.
Starting out with one of the most emotional Side Adventures, “Mattison’s Independence” sees Link reunited with Hudson, the president of Tarrey Town, along with his wife Rhondson and their daughter, Mattison. Now at the age when Gerudo girls go off to live in Gerudo Town, Hudson is distraught at the thought of her leaving. It’s up to Link to make a perfect last day in Tarrey Town for Mattison, which includes sending the family up in a hot air balloon with beautiful music and a stunning sunset.
The Mayoral Election
Included quests: Reede’s Secret, Cece’s Secret, and Team Cece or Team Reede?
Screw being a Democrat or Republican! Whether you support the vegetable-loving Reede or the fashion-loving Cece shows where your true colors lie. This line of Side Adventures sees you spying on each mayoral candidate to find that they actually respect each others’ interests more than they let on, as well as bribing the citizens of Hateno Village with mushrooms. When their secrets get out, Reede declares the election was a sham and sends his followers to storm Hyrule Castle Cece concedes, with the two agreeing to work together to make Hateno Village a better place.
Ruffian-Infested Village / Lurelin Village Restoration Project
Although the game recycles this mechanic throughout the map, the first time I, and I imagine many people, experienced Tears of the Kingdom’s first pirate raid was in Lurelin Village. You could say it’s just fighting a bunch of common enemies, but the environment of a pirate ship and a taken-over village alongside the music and draining health bar makes it feel much more exciting in the moment. And I think everyone remembers loving hunting for the last Bokoblin hiding in a well.
The follow-up quest to this, “Lurelin Village Restoration Project,” sees you work to undo the damage the pirates caused by Ultrahanding a bunch of logs into place. This also sounds a little boring, but the flavor surrounding it is what makes it shine. You get to learn more about Bolson and his connection to the village, and after your work is done, the villagers will let you use their goods and services for free as thanks.
Potential Princess Sightings!
Included quests: The Beckoning Woman, Gourmets Gone Missing, The Beast and the Princess, Zelda’s Golden Horse, White Goats Gone Missing, For Our Princess!, The All-Clucking Cucco, The Missing Farm Tools, Princess Zelda Kidnapped?!, An Eerie Voice, The Blocked Well, and Serenade to a Great Fairy
Okay, I’m cheating the most with this one, but all 12 of the “Potential Princess Sightings” quests in Tears of the Kingdom are great and they couldn’t all fit on this list otherwise! In this quest line, Link makes a poor career decision and becomes a freelance journalist in order to track down stories about Zelda being sighted, alongside his coworker, Penn. Some of my favorite quests here are “For Our Princess,” where a bunch of Zonai Survey Team members strip down to their underwear due to mishearing orders from Zelda; “The All-Clucking Cucco,” in which Yiga Clan members pretend to be a talking Cucco that pranks Link; and “The Missing Farm Tools,” where after an escort mission, you reunite with the crazy flower lady Magda, who finally finds someone else who’s as crazy about flowers as she is.
The Great Fairy quests
Included quests: The Flute Player’s Plan, Honey, Bee Mine, The Hornist’s Dramatic Escape, Serenade to a Great Fairy, Serenade to Kaysa, Serenade to Cotera, and Serenade to Mija
This quest line also includes “Serenade to a Great Fairy” because it’s kind of part of both lines. Containing some of the best “make a vehicle” quests, Link first has to reunite all of the members of the Stable Trotters, a band composed of different musicians. He then has to escort the Trotters to each Great Fairy location, in order to convince them to come out of hiding and give Link sweet, sweet armor upgrades. Not only is the reward for these quests among the most useful, but it’s also super fun to put together working vehicles to get these characters from place A to place B.
The Hyrule Warriors quests
Included quests: Bring Peace to Hyrule Field!, Bring Peace to Necluda!, Bring Peace to Eldin!, Bring Peace to Akkala!, Bring Peace to Faron!, and Bring Peace to Hebra!
If you saw the trailer for Tears of the Kingdom where there were a bunch of random people wearing buckets for hats, these quests are where that came from. They’re all pretty simple and it doesn’t feel like the other soldiers are helping too much, especially if you’re far along in the game, but there’s an undeniable spectacle that comes from seeing so many good and bad guys fighting on the screen at once. It definitely feels inspired by the two Hyrule Warriors games, and in my book, that’s a good thing!
Legend of the Great Sky Island
This is a short one, but a good one! I always love quests that show you how far you’ve come from the start of the game, and this one does that perfectly. If you go up to the top of the Temple of Time in the Great Sky Island after you’ve obtained the paraglider and Zora Armor, you’ll meet a friendly construct who challenges you to light three bonfires throughout the Great Sky Island and return to the temple without ever setting foot on the ground. It’s a cinch if you swim up the multiple floating waterfalls, but seeing how easily you can now soar throughout the game’s starting area after the long and arduous first trip is a great demonstration of how far you’ve come in Tears of the Kingdom.
Messages from an Ancient Era
The premise for this quest is pretty simple, but also becomes one of the most difficult to complete Side Adventures in Tears of the Kingdom. You must find and photograph each of the 13 stone tablets, most of which are floating in the sky in hard-to-reach locations. Many of them will fall down to the surface when you step on them, with one even falling through a chasm into the Depths. It’s not the destination here that’s the most interesting, but the journey of traveling through the sky to find each of them. In my playthrough, at least, that meant finding tons of other interesting diversions along the way.
A Call from the Depths
“Legend of the Great Sky Island” gets you nostalgic for the beginning of this game, but “A Call from the Depths” gets you nostalgic for the beginning of the previous game! When going to the original Temple of Time on the Great Plateau, the giant Goddess Statue will leave a creepy message, saying she’s trapped under the water behind the stone gate. I went dozens of hours without understanding what this meant, until bombing some rocks that drained part of a body of water, revealing a Bargainer statue. It tells you to drop each of its four eyes into a chasm found on the plateau, then bringing each eye back into the sockets of a giant Bargainer statue. This brings you to the four locations of each of the Great Plateau’s original shrines, while also having you explore the depths beneath it and building vehicles to transport each eye.
Infiltrating the Yiga Clan / The Yiga Clan Exam
The Yiga Clan try to be evil, but they’re so silly you can’t help but love them. Both of these quests require you to dress up as a Yiga member and trick them into thinking you’re one of them, which is hilarious as it sounds. In the first one, Link gains access to the Yiga Clan hideout, where he can talk with various Yiga Clan members, steal a few bananas and even take on a challenge to gain the Lightning Helm. In the second one, Yiga Link is challenged to offer bananas at five frog statues. Both are fun, silly and also rewarding.
Master Kohga of the Yiga Clan
The biggest (and pretty much only) Tears of the Kingdom Side Adventure to do with the Depths, “Master Kohga of the Yiga Clan” sees you reunited with the titular leader of the titular clan. Doing so will have you explore wide areas of the Depths, culminating each time with a fun battle where Kohga will fight on different vehicles, leaving you to build your own or find another creative way to take him down.
Joseph Stanichar is a freelance writer who specializes in videogames and pop culture. He’s written for publications such as Game Informer, Twinfinite and Looper. He’s on Twitter @JosephStanichar.