The Witcher 2: Troll Trouble
A contract picked up in the bustling port town of Flotsam, Troll Trouble tasks Geralt with ridding the town of a dangerous troll, who’s taken residence at a broken bridge on the town’s outskirts. On the way to the bridge, Geralt finds a man being attacked by a group of nekkers. After killing them, he learns that the man was sent by merchants from the port to find out what had happened at the bridge – it being the only on-land trade route out of Flotsam.
The troll, it turns out, is an alcoholic, and he’s demanding vodka as a toll. The man also tells Geralt he can learn more about the creature from the village elder in Lobinden. After making his way to the village elder, Geralt learns that without the troll there wouldn’t be a bridge, so solving the problem peacefully would be more beneficial to the townsfolk and the roaming merchants.
After heading back to the troll, Geralt tries to initiate a conversation, but the troll says, “No vodka, no passage,” and attacks him. Once Geralt has the upper hand, the troll cries, “No hit – I be good,” and breaks away, explaining that his “woman” was killed by some humans while he was minding the bridge. His mental wound can only be healed with vodka or vengeance.
If Geralt decides to help the troll, he ends up taking part in gambling tournaments and underground fist fights, in an attempt to uncover the mystery. Eventually, Geralt finds the culprits and slays them, thus getting a reward from the troll and coaxing one from the village elder. Of course, Geralt could just slay the troll and have done with it, getting a smaller reward. A really devilish player might kill the troll after claiming the reward for vengeance, but most will likely spare him as he’s such a great character. The troll’s personality is what makes this quest so brilliant: its Eastern European accent, combined with his human-like vice are what stick in the mind. When you first pick up the contract to kill a troll, you never expect to find yourself warming to him. That’s why Troll Trouble deserves a place on this list, for subverting expectations.
Fallout 3: The Superhuman Gambit
Even against the backdrop of The Capital Wasteland – a teeming hub of madness and the strange – this quests stands out. Whilst wandering the wasteland, you may come upon a town called Canterbury Commons, which has become the battleground for a “superhero” called The Mechanist and a “super-villain” called The AntAgonizer. Upon your arrival, you witness the pair engaged in conflict, both running away before a victor is decided. The townsfolk ask for your help. You speak to a young boy called Derek Pacion, who tells you where the two reside – AntAgonizer in a cave to the north, and The Mechanist in a robot factory in the south.
It’s up to you how you want to resolve it. If you decide to go after the AntAgonizer, you can find her secret lair and fight through her ant army, or you can go around the back and use you lockpick skill to get in. You can even pickpocket her during that fight as you enter Canterbury Commons and get her key, if you’re slick enough.
If you enter her lair wearing The Mechanist’s costume, you can engage her and do what The Mechanist could not. Alternatively, you can hand her the outfit if you’ve already dealt with The Mechanist and get a reward. Or you can straight up kill her, or even convince her the error of her ways, leading to her giving up her life of super-villainy.
There are as many options if you head to The Mechanist first, too. Or, with this being Fallout, you could just kill them both. Hell, you could kill the whole town if you want, leaving it a ghost town inhabited only by the unkillable Derek Pacion.
A special mention has to go to Vault 108 which, if you stumble upon it, you will find inhabited by clones of a man called Gary. They’re nearly all hostile and will punch you in the face, whilst saying “Gary” in a variety of chilling and comedic ways.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Whodunit?
Yes, it’s another Bethesda game. In all the Elder Scrolls games, the Dark Brotherhood quests lines are always my favourite. The one that sticks, however, is Whodunit? – a quest where you join a party of guests and are tasked with killing five of them, with a bonus offered for doing it without anyone knowing it was you. Chatting to the guests will create opportunities to get them on their own, where you can end them with a swift dagger to the neck.
Wearing the right outfit will see you gaining bonuses to speechcraft, which is helpful for tricking the guests into trusting you, leading to them not suspecting you when the bodies start turning up. One of the best ways of killing undetected is to find a nice little perch and to snipe undetected from the other side of the room, or by using poisoned apples. If you prefer a more chaotic method, the spell “Frenzy” will see all the guests do your job for you. You don’t mind a few innocents dying, do you?
Whodunit? is like a murder mystery without the mystery. Youdunit, and you’re going to have fun doing it.