Say, have you seen anything weird in the video game realm lately? Perhaps an easter egg that felt completely out of place? Maybe even a glitch that sent you spiralling into a void of code? Well, join the club, because as gamers, we tend to see some of the strangest varieties of material. Nine times out of ten, of course, we brush the details from our shoulders and press on as if nothing ever happened. But then, on the off-chance, we stumble upon something totally out of this world and, sure enough, it haunts us — for good.
Behind every unorthodox world and laughable glitch lies a chain of wondrous, albeit totally bonkers moments. Quests, or missions, especially in games that are already quite odd, tend to host some of the most memorable content — and it's not always good, either. Truth be told, I myself have been up at night wondering about the context behind some of the quests I've accepted in the past. Whether it's pointlessly shooting a psychopath in the face or serenading a Hong Kong local to a rendition of Air Supply's “All Outta Love” — they've stuck with me. But it doesn't stop there. Oh no. In fact, these five, even with all of my memories, probably outrank the lot when it comes to the strangest quests ever developed.
5. Return to Steelport (Saints Row: The Third)
After dipping in and out of the ludicrously placed antics that swirled around Saints Row 2, Volition knew that the best way forward, and also the ideal way to emerge from the shadows of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto, was to make the dive into the unknown. Come Saints Row: The Third, the series had adapted to a whole new world, where both mechanics and story arcs would only continue to evolve into even more absurd innovations. Lo and behold, Volition severed the link between other games of its genre, therefore establishing itself as a one-of-a-kind IP for future generations.
Anyway, it seems sort of unfair to pinpoint a specific mission from the Saints Row franchise, seeing as at least ninety percent of them involve something of a bizarre nature. However, one that certainly springs to mind is Return to Steelport, a mission that had us rifling through a BDSM club in search of an auto-tuned pimp named Zimos. Following on from his rescue, we had to escape the fortress through a chariot race, in which the so-called pony carts were pulled by half-naked dudes, strapped with leather, latex and sub-machine guns. Luckily for us, however, the chariots ricocheted like vehicles, meaning a few well-placed bullets would essentially blow up the carts along with their ball-gagged passengers. So, yeah — that happened.
4. Mother's Day (Dying Light)
When we think of Dying Light, we don't immediately picture it being accompanied by mounds of strange quests and side plots. We think of scavenging missions, sewer hopping and twilight hunts. And, to be fair, that is what makes up the majority of the game. However, buried beneath the main thread of the overall narrative is a spool of odd quests, with a select few that stand out more so than others. One of these, of course, is Mother's Day, a bite-sized tale that pretty much has us scrounging for chocolate and tapes for twenty minutes.
Mother's Day begins with you travelling to the slums of the post-apocalyptic city, bound for a crazed man named Gazi, who possesses a stock of rare medication in his home. To obtain said meds, however, you're asked to go on a fetching quest for his mother, with a movie and a carton of chocolates to help keep her happy. And while that all seems like a pretty normal request (even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse), it's the actual mother that sets you back after returning. Together, watching a static TV, the distorted Gazi and his so-called mother, made from a pile of pillows with a bucket for a head, sit idly in a dark room. And if you don't think that's slightly strange then I'm not sure what is.
3. Kid In A Fridge (Fallout 4)
With the amount of content shovelled into Bethesda's vast open world of Fallout 4, it comes as no surprise that, in the midst of the dystopian world lies a fridge. Inside that fridge, of course, is a boy. A two-hundred-year-old boy at that. But where did said boy originate from and, more importantly — how on earth did he manage to stay alive through all the turmoil over two complete centuries? Well, to put it short — he fled to it at the beginning of the Great War, basically locking himself in in the process. Fast-forward two hundred years and the voice still echoes from the unusual habitat.
Shoot the lock off the fridge and talk to the boy, of course, and you'll be greeted with one of those familiar Fallout-style predicaments: sell it for spare caps, or hear it out in case it has something useful to say. Listening to the boy, on one hand, puts you on track to finding his parents, who reside in a nearby camp. Selling him to a local Gunner, however, puts upwards of 500 juicy caps in your back pocket. So, it pretty much all boils down to your conscience, and, how empty your wallet is, of course. Either way, we can't ignore the fact that between payment and reunification idled what was basically a boy in a fridge. It's different, that's all we're saying.
2. The Show Must Go On (Yakuza 0)
Both Yakuza and weird story arcs tend to go hand in hand, with most objectives usually revolving around doing something completely irrelevant to the progression of the narrative. But that's why we love it. We enjoy throwing ourselves into Kiryu's incredibly ambitious shoes, ready to tackle whatever the Japanese underworld hurls at us. And one of those obstacles, of course, came in the form of a film crew, who looked to us to fill the giant shoes of a top-tier producer for a TV show.
Assuming the role of the producer, as expected, meant having to carry out all the usual activities one would anticipate on set. However, being Kiryu, you're left to either suck up to the director and observe genuine etiquette or, failing that — smash props and punch a few plates for no reason whatsoever. Either way, you're basically a producer for the day, without the concrete training to fulfil the role. And after that trainwreck of events draws to a close, you're left to confront the actual producer, smack him about a bit — and waltz away with a cheesy grin on your face. So, a pretty normal day, to be honest.
1. The Underpants Gnomes (South Park: The Stick of Truth)
Of all the places we've had to throw down the gauntlet and thrash it out with an enemy, the bedroom definitely makes the list for being one of the strangest. But, rather than being any regular bedroom, it's our character's parents bedroom, in which we have to traverse as we go face to face with gnomes who've stolen our underpants in the dead of night. The nail in the coffin to this odd little journey, however, is that your parents are, well…busy. And you? Well, you're a shrunken gnome-like warrior, with a front-row seat to the strangest series of events one could possibly construct.
For the duration of the battle with the Warlock gnome, you basically have to carry out the odd quick-time event, in which you dodge various body parts and fluids. And if you think that's rough — just wait 'til you get a load of the rest of the quests that Parker and Stone cram into their South Park chapter. If anything, facing the underpants gnomes is slightly tame in comparison to the rest. And yet, it's enough to secure a spot at the top of our list of strangest quests ever developed. It's just…icky.
So, what is the strangest quest you've ever accepted? Let us know over on our social handle here.