After continuing with more Constellation missions, I decided to dig into Starfield side missions. Sure there are fetch quests and the usual suspects, but some of them are instant classics. The unique themes in some of them reinforce my suggestion that people play the main mission until something else catches your attention. Do that thing until you finish or get bored, then back to main until the next attention grabber.
The Mantis Side Mission
Reading comments online, I ran across a few suggestion to play the Mantis mission immediately. It did not seem to be a prominent mission on my list, but the comments peaked my interest. It absolutely is one of the top Starfield side missions thus far. Different people pick it up at different times, by killing Spacers, but it’s clear Bethesda wants everyone to have it on their list eventually.
It all started out seeking a secret outpost filled with great loot, but this is a very special outpost. It was the lair of an almost mythical bounty hunter, the Mantis. I loved learning more about this heroic figure backstory. She who instilled fear into space pirates. There’s even a whole optional part of the mission to learn more about the Mantis via her son’s fate.
Traps, Puzzles and Great Loot
As with any secret layer, there were plenty of traps and puzzles to get past them. In between those were teams of Spacers ready to ensure they keep the loot for themselves. There’s even a choice to help their leader after killing all his grunts, or choose to send him to the same place I sent his crew. I chose to help him in exchange for his help with the traps, but no spoiler that the relationship ends badly. I survived, but he didn’t.
Killing all those pirates earned me a minigun with a ton of ammo. It’s so much fun to let that thing loose. The real prizes where the Mantis’s unique armor and her ship, the Razorleaf. Seeing the costume-like armor on display reminded me of Batman.
The ship though, definitely let off some batwing vibes. Not the shape, but the whole flipping switch to raise it above the surface is just classic. Come to think of it, the Mandalorian Razor Crest ship is likely the true inspiration for the look of the ship
The Razorleaf is definitely a better dogfighting ship early in the game. It also includes shielded cargo space for smuggling contraband. The funniest aspect is the ship has a chance to scare space pirates away when they see the ship. Honestly the mission really is like finding the equivalent of Space Batman’s lair. I loved it.
While on my way to another mission too far to Grav jump straight to, I happened on a derelict ship. It only responded with garbled chatter. The planet below hailed me and asked me for my help dealing with the ship. Turns out that planet is the resort planet of Paradiso.
The resort hotel and beaches looked great. It’s an interesting concept for a corporation to own an entire planet. Although I did explore it a bit and gather even more Starfield side missions for my growing list, my mysterious ship business dealt mostly with security. They wanted my help finding out if whether it was robots, aliens or something else on that ship.
After docking with it, the human inhabitants were surprised that I was human. I was just as surprised they were mostly normal. Turned out to be an Old Earth colony ship. They left before the invention of Grav drives, so they had no idea humans leap frogged them in technology and settled on other planets already.
People on the planet thought they were aliens and everyone on the ship thought the same about them. Beyond that, the real tension was both groups believe they had legit rights tot he planet.
What followed was negotiations between leaders of the planet and the ship crew’s future. I loved how there were several choices ahead of me. Either I convince them to become indentured servants to the planet, pay for upgrades to their tech to find a new planet OR destroy the ship.
I can only imagine what the other choices would yield later on, but I chose to pay for the technology upgrade. That intern led me to a whole other settlement, Hopetown to negotiate a price and pick up even more missions. Seriously though, this game is crazy like that. Something new from even simple trips.
Even when I had everything paid for, they tasked me with helping the colonist’s engineers to setup the new Grav drive. There was even a last chance option to overload their reactor, but would be strange to do after spending so much time and money on them.
It was a great example of Starfield side missions that branched out into even more. Now my quest list includes delivering letters to their current relatives, finding resources to “buy” a members freedom from the crew, finding a suitable planet for them to settle on and stuff I picked up in Hopetown.
Those aftermath missions seem small, but led me to new and exciting places where I picked up even more missions.
On my way to one of the side missions spawned from those Old Earth colonists, I stumbled upon Gagarin, an old Mech factory/city. In the game’s lore, Mech’s were banned in the colony wars. Now the once booming city is a future version of gentrification. The mega corps swooped in and started setting up show, driving prices up and people out of work.
One of those locals, Lizzy the bartender, offered up another one of Starfield side missions to go on the space equivalent of a booze run. Story was rich corporate idiots left a malfunctioning ship with expensive liquor on board. I believe in always taking care of the bartender, so I agreed. Well, I was in for a treat.
After fighting off pirates patrolling the ship, I docked and boarded the target ship. The sounds and flickering lights inside that derelict ship reminded me a bit of Aliens. Once the gravity malfunctioned the first time, it raised the tension even more. I’d float weightless for a bit before the gravity kicked in and slammed everything to floor.
Fun with Gravity in a Gem of Starfield Side Missions
The atmosphere this gravity cycle created is a unique feeling, only further enhanced by the great sound and lighting. It’s not the largest of Starfield side missions, but I won’t forget it after even 100hrs played. The eerie nature of the ship, had me peaking around every corner.
Naturally I was not alone, but no xenomorphs to worry about this time. I only needed to worry about Crimson Fleet pirates after the ship’s loot. After turning the gravity cycle to my advantage, I cleared the ship of the pirates, grabbed the liquor and left.
Nothing too special happened after turning in the looted liquor beyond the reward credits, but I still think about the cycle of floating and falling. Memorable moments like that truly make the game special.
Next Stop the Ryujin Faction Side Missions
I thoroughly enjoyed most of the Starfield side missions and activities I’ve run into. Eventually, I’ll make my way back to the main mission, but next I want to try joining the Ryujin corporation. With my Neon Street Kid background, what’s better than growing up to be a big shot corpo in Neon’s most notorius company.
It still boggles my mind how much beyond that there is. Just the stuff I know about is huge, but this game taught me to expect many more missions to pop up from unexpected places. Honestly it’s a steal of a game on Game Pass.