Created By: Clevomon on June 1, 2013 Last Edited By: Clevomon on July 22, 2013

Ocarinas are Magical

If you ever see an ocarina in a work, it's almost always going to be magical.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Working Title: Magic Ocarinas

If you see an ocarina in a work, it's almost always going to be magical or emphasize a magical environment. You will rarely see an ocarina that is not connected in some way with magic.

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Anime and Manga
  • In Pokémon 2000 Melody uses one to activate the shrine to Lugia and revive it.
  • In the 1988 anime Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics',' one episode that wasn't dubbed and imported to the west, The Water Witch'', had a girl being granted several golden artifacts by a good witch to save her friend from his imprisonment inside a lake by the eponymous Water Witch. The last golden item she uses is an ocarina, which weakens the Water Witch when she plays it.
  • A variation occurs in My Neighbor Totoro by Studio Ghibli. The Ocarinas aren't magical, but they are played in a magical setting and serve to emphasise how magical the title creature is.

Music
  • Supergroup Cream performed a song called Those Were The Days (1968), a psychedelic revisitation of the lost city of Atlantis: ocarinas are repeatedly referenced in the lyrics as proof of what a magical and mystical city it was.

Video Games
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past is probably one of the better known examples of this trope, with Ocarina of Time as the probable Trope Codifier.
  • In Ar tonelico, Misha's mind guardian, Hama, is the spirit of an ocarina that Lyner gave to Misha as a present.
  • In Dragon Quest VI, the fortress of the Big Bad's weakest lieutenant Murdaw is reached when the heroes reach the crater it's in, and play a golden ocarina to summon a dragon that drops them off at the fortress. Curiously, there is no buildup to this at all: a character just says "If the legends are true...", pulls out the ocarina, and both dragon and ocarina are never to be seen again.
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • June 1, 2013
    StarSword
    I would not broaden it to "anywhere an ocarina appears". That's People Sit On Chairs unless there's a particular narrative pattern to its use.

    Anime and Manga:
    • In Pokemon 2000 Melody uses one to activate the shrine to Lugia and revive it.
  • June 1, 2013
    DracMonster
    This one probably traces entirely back to Zelda. I'd be surprised if there's any examples before Ocarina of Time.
  • June 1, 2013
    Topazan
    ^Technically, the first appearance of the ocarina was A Link to the Past, although in the English version it was called a flute. In the English version, it was first called an ocarina in Link's Awakening.
  • June 1, 2013
    Clevomon
    So A Link to the Past is probably Trope Maker w/ Oo C as Trope Codifier? Also, understood - I won't expand it.
  • June 1, 2013
    Clevomon
    Make that Oo T - sorry writing this on subway.
  • June 1, 2013
    Topazan
    ^^I guess, unless someone comes up with an examples of it in another media before The Legend of Zelda.
  • June 1, 2013
    Generality
    Can we expand this to flutes? Because I can think of several examples for that instrument.
  • June 1, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    The only non-Zelda ocarina use I can think of was an old episode of the 1988 Anime Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics. One episode that wasn't dubbed and imported to the west, The Water Witch, had a girl being granted several golden artifacts by a good witch to save her friend from his imprisonment inside a lake by the eponymous Water Witch. The last golden item she uses is an Ocarina, which weakens the Water Witch when she plays it.
  • June 1, 2013
    Clevomon
    ^^There's already a trope called Magical Flutist.
  • June 1, 2013
    Clevomon
    ^^ Hm, well, that one predates A Link To The Past...
  • June 2, 2013
    Melkior
    ^^ From the name, I'd expect that trope to be referring to the player, not the instrument.

    Anime & Manga:
    • A variation occurs in My Neighbour Totoro by Studio Ghibli. The Ocarinas aren't magical, but they are played in a magical setting and serve to emphasise how magical the title creature is.
  • June 2, 2013
    Clevomon
    ^While I agree somewhat, I'm worried about this getting sent to the Trope Repair Shop over it if it's expanded like that. The thing about ocarinas is that you almost never see them in a non-magical context - that's why this one's notable. If we expand it, we'd need a good tight logic like that to keep this from spilling over too much into Magical Flutist.
  • June 3, 2013
    Alvin
    Maybe natter, but if 'ocarina' is what's sometimes called a 'sweet potato' one is played in a Hope and Crosby 'Road' movie with no magic associated, so this doesn't mean any time an ocarina is used. I don't think my example is important enough to be an aversion though.
  • June 3, 2013
    Clevomon
    Yeah, it probably shouldn't be written quite in that strong absolutes. I had earlier written the only time I've ever seen it in a non-magical context was an episode of Doug where Skeeter was going to play one for a talent show before Stinky ate it.
  • June 3, 2013
    Alvin
    I just used IMDB and my non-example was "The Road to Singapore", 1940, where Bing sings 'Sweet Potato Piper' while Bob plays the offending article.
  • June 4, 2013
    AgProv
    Music

    Supergroup Cream performed a song called Those Were The Days,(1968), a psychedelic revisitation of the lost city of Atlantis: ocarinas are repeatedly referenced in the lyrics as proof of what a magical and mystical city it was.
  • June 8, 2013
    Chabal2
    In Dragon Quest VI, the fortress of the Big Bad's weakest lieutenant Murdaw is reached when the heroes reach the crater it's in, and play a golden ocarina to summon a dragon that drops them off at the fortress. Curiously, there is no buildup to this at all: a character just says "If the legends are true...", pulls out the ocarina, and both dragon and ocarina are never to be seen again.
  • July 8, 2013
    dragonquestz
    Link to the past can't be the trope maker if there are examples from 1988, when the game came out in the early 90s (unless they are Unbuilt Trope examples, or the Ur Example).
  • July 8, 2013
    Clevomon
    I figured that one of them was probably the Ur Example, but I was leery of saying that directly in case something earlier came up.
  • July 8, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Just don't call Link to the Past the trope maker until it's confirmed.
  • July 8, 2013
    Clevomon
    Understood. I'll fix that in my next update.
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