A meta quest, in the context of video games, is a quest that is not directly related to the main storyline or plot of the game, but instead pertains to the overall game mechanics or player experience. This can include tasks such as completing a certain number of side quests, collecting a certain number of items, or achieving a certain level or skill proficiency. These types of quests are often used to give players additional challenges or rewards and can add depth and replayability to the game.
Side quests, also known as optional, meta or secondary quests, have been a staple of video games since their inception. These types of quests offer players the opportunity to explore a game world further, complete additional tasks, and gain access to unique items and rewards. But the history of side quests in video games is a long and interesting one, spanning several decades and evolving along with the medium itself.
The earliest examples of side quests in video games can be traced back to the 1970s and 1980s. The earliest video games were simple in nature and focused primarily on achieving a single objective, such as reaching the end of a level or defeating an enemy. However, as technology advanced and video games became more complex, developers began to include additional objectives and tasks for players to complete. One of the earliest examples of a side quest in a video game is the “secret room” in the game Adventure for the Atari 2600, released in 1979. This room was hidden within the game’s main level and could only be accessed by a specific sequence of actions, offering players an additional challenge to complete.
Along with the invention of role-playing games (RPGs) in the late 1970s and early 1980s also saw the introduction of side quests as a core gameplay element. Games such as Wizardry and Ultima featured complex worlds with multiple NPCs (non-player characters) that offered players additional tasks and objectives to complete. These side quests often involved fetch quests, in which the player had to retrieve an item or deliver a message to an NPC, and helped to add depth and replayability to the game. As video games evolved and technology advanced, side quests began to take on a more prominent role in the game design. In the 1990s, games such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy VII featured expansive worlds with multiple side quests that offered players additional challenges and rewards. These quests often required players to explore the game world, solve puzzles, and defeat enemies in order to complete them. The popularity of these games and the positive response to their side quest content helped to establish side quests as a standard feature in video games.
The 2000s saw the rise of open-world games, which offered players an even greater degree of freedom and choice in how they approached the game. Games such as Grand Theft Auto III and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind featured vast, open worlds with multiple side quests that could be completed in any order. These quests often involved a wide variety of tasks and objectives, from simple fetch quests to more complex missions that required players to gather information or complete multiple objectives. The open-world design of these games allowed players to explore the game world at their own pace and complete side quests as they saw fit. With the advent of online gaming and the rise of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) in the 2000s and 2010s, side quests have become an even more integral part of the video game experience. Games such as World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV feature thousands of side quests that players can complete, each offering unique rewards and helping to advance the player’s character. These side quests often involve cooperative gameplay, allowing players to team up with friends to complete them.
Side quests are a standard feature in most video games, and developers continue to explore new ways to incorporate them into the gameplay. Games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Red Dead Redemption 2 feature side quests that are deeply integrated into the game’s story and world, offering players the opportunity to learn more about the game’s characters and setting. Other games, such as Assassin’s Creed: Origins and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, feature open-world designs and multiple side quests that allow players to explore the game world. You know a game is amazing when it’s side quest is almost as good as the main game!
The history of video game consoles can be traced back to the 1970s, with the release of the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey. This console was developed by Ralph H. Baer and released in 1972, it was the first console that could be connected to a television set, allowing players to play video games in their homes.
- In 1975, Atari released the Pong home console, which was based on the popular arcade game Pong. This console was a huge success, and it helped to establish the home video game market.
- 1976 saw the release of the first programmable home video game console, the Fairchild Channel F. This console was the first to use interchangeable game cartridges, allowing players to change games easily.
- 1977 saw the release of the Atari 2600, also known as the Atari VCS (Video Computer System). This console was a significant improvement over the previous consoles and featured a wide variety of games, including Space Invaders and Asteroids.
- In 1979, Mattel released the Intellivision, a console that featured advanced graphics and sound compared to the Atari 2600.
- 1982 saw the release of the ColecoVision, which was known for its high-quality graphics and arcade-style games.
- In 1983, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released in Japan, and in 1985 it was released in North America. The NES was a huge success and helped to revitalize the home video game market.
- In 1989, Sega released the Sega Genesis, which was known for its high-quality graphics and sound.
- In 1990, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), which featured improved graphics and sound compared to the NES.
- In 1994, Sony released the first PlayStation, which was a major success and helped to establish Sony as a major player in the video game industry.
- In 1996, Sega released the Sega Saturn, which was known for its 3D graphics and arcade-style games.
- In 1998, Sony released the PlayStation 2, which was the first video game console to feature a built-in DVD player.
- In 2001, Microsoft released the Xbox, which was the first video game console developed by a non-Japanese company.
- In 2005, the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) was released, which was the first handheld video game console to feature a built-in UMD drive for playing movies and music.
- In 2006, Nintendo released the Wii, which featured motion-sensing controllers and was aimed at a wider audience than traditional video game consoles.
- In 2010, Microsoft released the Xbox 360, Sony released the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo released the Wii U.
- In 2013, Sony released the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft released the Xbox One.
- In 2016, Sony released the PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft released the Xbox One S.
- In 2020, Sony released the PlayStation 5 and Microsoft released the Xbox Series X|S.
There are several major players in the video game console market, including Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, and they continue to release new consoles and updates to their existing systems. With the advent of streaming technology, video game consoles are now able to stream games from the cloud, allowing players to play games on different devices and platforms, including smartphones, tablets and PCs.