[[quoteright:350:[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureSteelBallRun http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sbrcorpse_7112.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:7 corpse parts hidden in different locations across America = the most epic grave-robbing adventure ever.]]

->'''Professor:''' Obviously, I'll also leave that here with y... Leave... It's only logical, so that the device... So I'll leave it... Lea... I'll leav...\\
'''Professor:''' NO!!! ''I'm sorry, but the urge is too strong! I'll separate the punchcard into seven pieces and hide them deep within seven monster-infested dungeons distributed all over the country!!!'' Tell that to any group of people who might come asking for it...
-->-- [[http://web.archive.org/web/20160814225905/http://www.bmoviecomic.com/index.php?cid=398 The B-Movie Comic]]

A common way to produce PlotCoupons of the 'GottaCatchEmAll' variety is for the {{Precursors}} to split a powerful AncientArtifact that was used to defeat the bad guy into three or more parts and, yes, distribute them across the world on a vague premise of it being "[[HoldingBackThePhlebotinum too dangerous to ever use again]]". Then, when the bad guy raises its head [[ExtyYearsFromNow Exty Years Later]] (and it always does), the heroes must set out to reassemble said artifact.

More generally, someone has split an important object into pieces, and stored those pieces in different locations. Anyone who wants to possess the object must recover and recombine all the pieces.

If the said artifact was disassembled because it possesses an [[ArtifactOfDoom evil will of its own]], this overlaps with SealedEvilInACan. If it was disassembled because there was a good chance that evil would get their hands on it in the present, this overlaps with FlingALightIntoTheFuture. If the assembled artifact has far stronger (and useful!) properties, it's due to the SetBonus. If the pieces end up in the hands of different characters as they search for it, it can lead to a case of TwoHalvesMakeAPlot.

Despite the trope name, the dismantled object might or might not be a MacGuffin. If the object does something after being reassembled, it's not a [=MacGuffin=]. If the plot is about reassembling the artifact but not about using its powers, then it can be a [=MacGuffin=].

See also AccidentallyBrokeTheMacGuffin.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/DGrayMan'', all the innocence were [[spoiler:originally one giant powerful innocence that was split after the earl was defeated for the first time.]]
* In a filler episode of ''Manga/DragonBall'', there is a rumor that the seven Dragon Balls used to be one big 28-star ball that split up due to its abuse by humankind. [[AvertedTrope Turns out that Kami, the creator of the Dragon Balls, made them as seven separate MacGuffins in the first place.]]
* ''Manga/{{Inuyasha}}'': The Shikon Jewel was broken into shards at the beginning of the story. The rest of the story was essentially a quest by almost everyone alive (with the sole exception of Sesshoumaru) trying to collect the shards in an attempt to either gain great power or to prevent others from gaining great power. [[spoiler:In the end, the DismantledMacGuffin turned out to be an ArtefactOfDoom that not only unleashed TheHeartless against Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha but was also TheManBehindTheMan that could only be defeated by Kagome.]]
* ''Anime/JewelpetKiraDeco'': The heroes are on a quest to collect all the Deco Stones that form the Mirror Ball, which was shattered in the backstory. Putting it back together will restore Jewel Land's goddess and rid the human world of darkness.
* Pictured above: in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureSteelBallRun'', the Holy Corpse parts are scattered across America, which grant mysterious powers to those who hold them. It's eventually explained that they naturally separated via (super)natural means after [[spoiler:Jesus died and his corpse was mummified]].
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', we eventually find out [[spoiler:the tailed beasts]] were split apart from [[spoiler:the Ten-Tailed Beast,]] one giant EldritchAbomination.
* Mostly subverted in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. [[spoiler:The whole series is essentially the protagonists trying to keep the Angels from reuniting with Lilith. Partial in that a few of the "protagonists" secretly WANT an Angel to reunite with Lilith, only on their timetable.]]
* Inverted and then played straight on all sides in ''Anime/RoninWarriors''. Originally, the Ancient [[FlingALightIntoTheFuture defeated Talpa, and divided his armor into 9 parts, which were then separated]]. However, Talpa managed to survive and recover 4 of them. The Ronin Warriors were given the other 5, which they had to recover. Eventually, the Ronin Warriors gain all 5 armors and combine them into the Inferno armor, however this is where the trope gets averted (or played straight on the other side) as this merely puts all 5 armors in one place for Talpa to get ahold of. Finally played straight when the Ronin Warriors AND Talpa's evil henchmen give him exactly what he wants, and overpowers him with the rejuvenated force of all 9 armors, thus defeating him permanently.
* In the first ''Anime/SailorMoon'' anime (but not the manga or Anime/SailorMoonCrystal), the Silver Crystal split into the the seven Rainbow Crystals after Queen Serenity used it to send her daughter and the Sailor Senshi and Prince Endymion's souls to Earth for reincarnation. The Rainbow Crystals had to be found by those wishing to reassemble them into the Silver Crystal -- with the Sailor Senshi, Tuxedo Mask, and the villainous Dark Kingdom all after it. Each crystal was contained within the body of a normal human who (unbeknownst to them) was a really a reincarnation of the "Seven Great [[MonsterOfTheWeek Youma]]".
* Done in the second season of ''Anime/SonicX'' by Super Sonic to prevent the Chaos Emeralds from being used for evil.
* Princess Sakura herself in ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'', who was actually disassembled by the BigBad, intending for [[spoiler:Clone!Syaoran ([[MindScrew it's complicated]]) to reassemble her soul feathers, dragging poor Sakura's unconscious (and memory-less) body through countless dimensions to, in a sense, map the whole universe. Of course, this is just the cliff-notes version...]]
* Inverted in ''Anime/GoLion'' (the basis for the first part of ''Anime/{{Voltron}}''): a space goddess dismantles [=GoLion=] / Voltron because he/it was too arrogant.[[note]]The Voltron version portrays her as being Honerva / Witch Haggar in disguise who had lured him into a trap.[[/note]] The five heroes[[note]]Who are not space explorers as the Voltron version suggests, but rather students at a space adademy on Earth before they were captured by the Galra Empire.[[/note]] spend much of the pilot trying bring back [=GoLion=] / Voltron in order to fight the Galra Empire.
* Subverted / PlayedForLaughs in the book/manga version of ''Webcomic/VanVonHunter'', when Van Von Hunter accidentally tricks The Flaming Prince into crushing the Ebon Eye ("Or as I like to call it, 'The Blarble'!"). Van then wonders aloud if they're going to have 'to spend the next half of a century searching for the dark shards of that thing' (which could be a possible ShoutOut / TakeThat at ''Manga/InuYasha''), but The Flaming Prince tells him no, all of the (broken) Ebon Eye is here.
* Turns out [[spoiler: Zuzu and her counterparts]] of ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'' cross this trope with LivingMacGuffin- each of them is a SoulJar for the true LivingMacGuffin.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Several early issues of ''Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'' featured the Demons Three, three vaguely Lovecraftian ancient giant demons who are imprisoned at three separate locations under the Earth's surface. The demons' power was dependent upon three magical artifacts a bell, a wheel and a jar -- which are separately useless but of great magical power when used together.
* ComicBook/TheInfinityGauntlet in the Marvel Universe is a device that grants the wielder control over... everything. It requires six gems plus the gauntlet itself. Thanos at one point gained it, but it was wrested from him by Adam Warlock. However, the Living Tribunal deemed that he was unworthy of wielding it, so Warlock formed the Infinity Watch, and gave five of the six gems to each of the other five members, keeping the Soul Gem for himself. Later, even this proves ineffective, and the Tribunal forbids the six gems from ''ever'' being used together. Most recently, ComicBook/TheIlluminati (a secret council of the six most powerful figures in the world) have each taken and hidden a gem to prevent the Gauntlet from being reassembled. [[spoiler:Captain America and the Illuminati later used them in an attempt to stop the Incursions in the Time Runs Out story arc, but the Gauntlet and stones were destroyed, seemingly for good.]]
* The Franchise/{{Tintin}} story ''The Secret of the Unicorn'' has the parts of the coordinates of the location of the sunken ship, ''The Unicorn'', copied on three pieces of paper and each hidden in the mast of a model of the sailing ship. It's only at the end that Tintin realizes that you have to hold the papers together against a strong light to see the numbers properly.
* Part of ''ComicBook/JLAAvengers'' revolves around the two superhero teams competing to find magical artifacts from their two universes. This turns out to be a trick by the Grandmaster; once all the artifacts are in one place, he uses them to imprison the evil Krona.
* The Cosmic Cube fragments in ''ComicBook/SecretEmpire'' (more specifically of Kobik, a sentient cube who had actually transformed [[spoiler: [[ComicBook/CaptainAmerica Steve Rogers]]]] into a sleeper agent of the terrorist organization HYDRA via CosmicRetcon). Hawkeye assembles a strike force of Ant-Man, Hercules, Mockingbird, and Quicksilver to find them with the hope of returning [[spoiler: Steve]] to himself. Meanwhile, [[spoiler: Steve]] sends out Helmut Zemo to collect the shards for HYDRA. This leads to conflict with those who found the shards - so far, T'Challa, Namor, and Ultron - throughout the event.
* In ''ComicBook/WizardsOfMickey'', in the Great Wizard Tournament, every team of wizards has the goal of collect and gather all the Diamagics to recreate the Great Crown, a powerful magical artefact whose owner will become the Supreme Sorcerer of Dolmen and gain great powers.
* The forevermids of Tarana in ''ComicBook/BlackScience'' are powerful artifacts in themselves, but when combined become the omnimid. While it's never seen in action, everyone thinks it's pretty sweet.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The Vasyn in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. It's a 30-foot-tall vaguely DNA-ish pink granite statue that was broken into three pieces that were scattered across different universes. Restoring it will remove the curse on Ketafa that prevents the gods from seeing that continent. Guess what the four have to do in order to get home?
* The Nine-part Key in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone''. This object must be put together in order to breach the impregnable Black Tower.
** And the list of instructions on how to put it together.
* Twilight Sparkle gets TakenForGranite and is split into a series of crystals spread over TheMultiverse in ''FanFic/TheSweetieChroniclesFragments''. Sweetie Belle must then gather these crystals by traveling through various {{Alternate Universe}}s.
* The ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' side-series ''7 Dreams/Nightmares'' makes use of this in Patch's story. The backstory reveals that the Paradise Estate ponies allowed the Rainbow of Light to be split up so that the separate pieces could be used to power a world-wide wish-granting spell meant to start a golden age, only for the draconnequi to sabotage it [[spoiler: in order to [[CosmicRetcon avert the G3 world]]]], with the resulting disaster sending the world back into TheDungAges. In the aftermath, Patch is tasked the quest of tracking the fragments down in order to restore the Rainbow. Unfortunately, all seven (there were originally seven, [[spoiler:Discord later destroyed the Element of Trust]]) have their own individual powers and most fell into the hooves of {{Evil Overlord}}s she has to take out.
* ''Fanfic/FallenKing'' has the pieces of the Millennium Puzzle.
* In ''Fanfic/TheBridge'', the spell needed to break the [[SealedEvilInACan seal]] [[spoiler: keeping [[GodOfEvil Grogar]] in Tambelon]] is split up in portions amongst the four [[TomeOfEldritchLore dark magic tomes]] that are in turn divided up amongst [[spoiler: Grogar's students]]. Additionally, in order to carry out the spell, the magic of an alicorn is required.
* ''Fanfic/TheNewAdventuresOfInvaderZim'': In Episode 13, the Meekrob data crystal leading to [[LostSuperweapon Project Domination]] is [[AccidentallyBrokeTheMacGuffin shattered]] during the fight over it, leaving both Dib's team and each of the Irken factions in possession of a piece. But it doesn't work unless its complete, so no one's going after the weapon any time soon. [[spoiler: In Episode 16, [[TheDragon Norlock]] is able to secretly steal the other teams' pieces, allowing Zim to reassemble the whole.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The three-piece crown in ''Film/HellboyIITheGoldenArmy'', which has very sophisticated re-mantling technology. It unleashes the Golden Army.
* ''Film/TheDarkCrystal'': The eponymous Dark Crystal needs to be reunited with its missing shard to restore the [=UrRu=] and Skeksis to their natural state and make the world safe again.
* The TreasureMap in ''Film/CutthroatIsland'' is one of those disassembled treasure maps that must be reassembled.
* The Nine Pieces of Eight in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'' turn out to be the missing ingredients in a spell to free Calypso.
* In ''Film/UnderworldEvolution'', the vampire lord Viktor kept half the key to Wiliam's tomb sealed to his sternum; the other half is in Selene's pendant.
* In ''Film/TheNinthGate'' the main character is tasked with determining which of three versions of a TomeOfEldritchLore is authentic, i.e. capable of summoning the devil, as it's widely believed at least one is a forgery. It turns out [[spoiler: the 'correct' material is divided equally among all three books]].
* In ''Film/LaraCroftTombRaider'', Lara Croft must find the two halves [[spoiler:and one fleck-sized fragment]] of the [[spoiler: All-Seeing Eye/triangle of light which will allow the user to time travel so that she may reunite with her dead father]].
* ''Film/JoshKirbyTimeWarrior'' had a disassembled superweapon that could destroy all of creation when assembled.[[spoiler: Technically it was the disassembled countermeasure to the superweapon that could destroy all creation but that's revealed at the end.]]
* The Staff of Jericho in ''Film/{{RIPD}}'' was destroyed in 1500 BC. In the present, the deados are collecting the pieces to reassemble it and bring the dead back to Earth.
* The six Infinity Stones that have been introduced throughout the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse are exceptionally powerful on their own, but when all of them are placed in the Infinity Gauntlet, they allow the user to erase half of all life in the universe with a snap of their fingers. [[spoiler: In film:AvengersInfinityWar, Thanos does exactly this.]]
* In ''Film/{{Crossworlds}}'', the BigBad is after an ancient artifact that will allow him to break down the barriers in TheMultiverse and allow him to merge all realities into one and conquer it. The artifact consists of a scepter (kept in a museum) and a crystal (left by the protagonist's late father and worn on his neck as a pendant). The goal of LaResistance is to keep at least one of the pieces (ideally, both) out of the BigBad's hands.
* In ''Franchise/StarWars Episode VII: Film/TheForceAwakens'', the Resistance (an unofficial military group in the New Republic) and the First Order ([[TheRemnant the reorganized Galactic Empire]]) are all after a map leading to [[spoiler:the now-reclusive Luke Skywalker]]. Resistance pilot Poe Dameron retrieves the map, but it's eventually discovered that the map is incomplete. Towards the end, the remaining section of the map is found inside [[spoiler:the shut-down R2-D2]].
* ''Film/{{Hellbound}}'': An ancient demon who was about to unleash HellOnEarth is stopped by King Richard the Lionheart who sealed him in a tomb and broke the demon's magical scepter into several pieces, which were then sent for safekeeping to Christian orders across Europe. After the demon awakens he spends decades tracking down the pieces to reignite his plan.
* ''Film/{{Mythica}}:'' The Darkspore is the heart of the long-dead Lich King. In the backstory it was broken into four and the pieces scattered. The villain Szorlok wants to find the pieces and reassemble them to gain the Lich King's ability to raise armies of the dead and make them do his bidding.

* In the ''Literature/BlackTrillium'' novel and its sequels, the NeglectfulPrecursors left behind the disassembled Scepter of Power which the three heroines have to reassemble to beat the BigBad.
* CIRCE from Creator/TimothyZahn's ''Literature/TheConquerorsTrilogy'' is such a powerful weapon that it was deliberately broken into pieces, each of which was hidden on a different planet, so that it couldn't be easily misused. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] later, [[spoiler:as it turns out that CIRCE [[BrandishmentBluff never actually existed]].]]
* ''Literature/ForgottenRealms'' novel ''[[http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Thornhold Thornhold]]'' features Kezefbane -- artifact used to win second Trollwar. Three activation tokens were split between three brothers who last used it and then their respective successors, separated far from each other and thing itself. HilarityEnsues, of course.
* The Wikket Gate in ''Literature/LifeTheUniverseAndEverything''
* In a sense, Orannis the Destroyer in Garth Nix's ''Literature/OldKingdom'' trilogy. "Broken in two and buried under hill, forever to lie there, wishing us ill."
* In Garth Nix's other series ''Literature/KeysToTheKingdom'', Arthur Penhaligon must find and reunite the seven parts of the Will of the Architect. However in order to do this he first has to [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin collect the seven keys to the seven kingdoms]].
* The golden capstone of the great pyramid of Giza in Creator/MatthewReilly's ''Seven Ancient Wonders''. It is the key to stopping the end of the world, but also gives its possessor invincibility in battle. Alexander The Great got bored with its power and split it into 7 pieces, hiding each in one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
* In the last ''Literature/WellWorld'' series, the villains are attempting to find all the pieces of the dismantled Straight Gate. As it was an artifact of the Markovians, it was indestructible, so it had to be split up, scattered, and removed from the history books to keep it from being misused.
* The Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse novel ''Shining Darkness'' has the antagonists (and kidnapped Donna) on a quest to reassemble their superweapon.
* The main plot of ''Literature/BridgeOfBirds: A Tale of China that Never Was'', involves finding all the pieces of a seven part MacGuffin, with three bonus PlotCoupons to get the last one
* ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'':
** The '''Paired Codes''', the main MacGuffin in ''Darke'', don't work at all if they're split. Finding the Manuscriptorium part of the Code is a main plot point.
** The Shadow-Safe in ''Flyte'' will only work as a Shadow-Safe [[spoiler:and as a DeathTrap engineered by [=DomDaniel=]]] when it is complete, [[spoiler:and it gaining completeness is the prelude of the climax of ''Flyte''.]]
* The self-lighting lantern that figures in the Penford family legend is disassembled and [[spoiler: hidden in the finial of a birdcage arbour in the garden by Grayson's grandmother for safekeeping]]. Derek spends a portion of the novel searching for it, thereby [[spoiler: stumbling on evidence that Grayson was involved in the career and "death" of rock star Lex Rex]]. Despite being in pieces, it [[spoiler: lights by itself during the climactic storm]] in ''Literature/AuntDimity and the Duke''.
* Literature/TheOtherworldSeries has the Spirit Seal, an artifact with the power to open portals between Earth, the Otherworld, and the Subterranean Realms. It was split into nine separate pendants, which were given to the Elemental Lords for safekeeping.
* The first ''Literature/{{Noob}}'' novel has a powerful artifact that exploded a long time ago, but whose fragments still hold a piece of its power. Getting enough pieces to actually do something with them is difficult, but not impossible.
* In the ''Literature/RainbowMagic'' series, some of the magic items are shattered, such as the Ocean Fairies' conch shell.
* ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'' features a belt that protects the land with seven gems, which each become scattered across Deltora. The three protagonists must rescue the gems from their respective [[MacGuffinGuardian MacGuffin Guardians]], and then find the heir to Deltora to wear the belt -- with absolutely no leads. Fortunately, [[spoiler: the heir is [[MacGuffinPersonReveal a lot closer to home]] than they originally thought.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Inversion seen on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episodes "Surprise" and "Innocence", where the split [=MacGuffin=] ''is'' the ultimate evil and the bad guys have to assemble it.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E5TheKeysOfMarinus The Keys of Marinus]]'', the Doctor and companions are sent to collect the Keys (scattered throughout the planet Marinus) that control the Conscience Machine, which made everyone peaceful on the planet till it malfunctioned.
** "Last of the Time Lords" subverts the trope by revealing Martha's search for the four pieces of an anti-regeneration gun to be just a smokescreen for her real mission. She laughs at the Master for actually buying that the Doctor would send her to find ''a weapon to kill him.''
** The Key to Time arc, in which the titular device could stop time throughout the universe once its six parts were transmuted back into their original forms and reassembled.
* In the third season of ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', they broke the [[MineralMacGuffin Zeo Crystal]] into five pieces, and ''threw them into unstable time portals'', so the five pieces were literally scattered throughout space and time, their locations unknown even to the Rangers. Not such a good idea, as they ended up needing it again [[Series/PowerRangersZeo less than a year later]].
* The Cup Of Ankh in ''SerieS/HouseOfAnubis''. According to Fabian's book on Egyptian mythology, Amneris took the Cup and hid it inside the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen. Anubis was angered by this and split the Cup into seven pieces, preventing its use. Rufus later explains that Anubis and Amneris reached an agreement whereby the Cup could be put together once every twenty five years at a certain hour, but only by a member of Amneris's bloodline.
* A number of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episodes revolved around re-assembling some piece of phlebotinum scattered throughout the galaxy. The most notable are ''Gambit'', which involves finding the components for an ancient Vulcan weapon, and ''The Chase'', revolving around a search for a secret message hidden within the genomes of life forms from dozens of different planets.
* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' had the Engine of Creation, an artifact that supposedly created the entire universe, and was supposedly split into five pieces. Oddly, only one piece is found during the shows run, it is only mentioned in passing in a few other episodes.
* Variation on ''Series/KnightRider'', combined with SecretKeeper: KITT's super-strong armor was made from a secret formula that had three ingredients. Three trusted men were each told ''two'' parts of the formula. That way, no one man could make more, but any two of them could.
* In ''Series/{{Continuum}}'', the time travel device splits into several pieces. For much of the first two seasons, Kiera has one piece while the antagonists have the others, preventing either side from using it.
* In the ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' episode "The Well," Team Coulson has to find the three pieces of an Asgardian Berserker's staff, to keep it out of the hands of a group of Neo-Paganists.
* Season 2 of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' is a race between the Legends and the LegionOfDoom to assemble the Spear of Destiny (the spear of Longinus from ''Literature/TheBible''), which gives the user the power to [[RewritingReality rewrite reality]], its pieces scattered throughout history. The key to finding the pieces of the spear is the Legends' missing leader ComicBook/RipHunter.
* In Season 2 of ''Series/{{Lucifer}}'', Lucifer, Amenadiel, and [[spoiler:"Mother"]] are seeking the FlamingSword (the one used to defend Heaven), as it's a weapon that can cut through ''anything'', including God. They find out that not only has God split the sword into three parts ([[spoiler:Azrael's blade, "God" Johnson's belt buckle, and Amenadiel's necklace]]), but only Lucifer is capable of lighting it (hence his name "Lightbringer"). [[spoiler:Lucifer eventually uses the sword to cut open reality itself in order to send his mother through the tear out of God's universe and into her own. It's the only way to keep the two divine beings from destroying one another.]]

* In ''Podcast/TheAdventureZoneBalance'', [[spoiler:this turns out to be the true nature of the Grand Relics. Each of them contains 1/7th of the Light of Creation.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has the "Rod of Seven Parts" (originally known as the "[[OrderVersusChaos Rod of Law]]", which shattered when used). Each piece has powers on its own, and can point in the direction of the next-longest piece. The more parts are combined, the more powers they grant. This artifact is even the subject of a module that is named after it.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Nox}}'' had the player reassemble the Staff of Oblivion, a GameBreaker weapon that was story-wise wielded by a single man to defeat an entire army of necromancers. The said man later disassembled the staff to prevent anyone from using it for evil deeds. It is a perfectly usable weapon (mostly for warrior, because two other classes are {{Squishy Wizard}}s) on every step of assembly, but in complete form it can clean entire screens of mooks. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome And you]] ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome do]]'' [[TheWarSequence right after obtaining it.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena'' has the Staff of Chaos, which was used by the BigBad to trap the rightful Emperor in [[VoidBetweenTheWorlds Oblivion]] while he usurped the throne. He split it into eight parts and spread them across the eight provinces of Tamriel. Naturally, the PlayerCharacter has to acquire them all, defeat the big bad, and then use it to restore the rightful Emperor to the throne.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/GrandiaII'': the [[UltimateEvil evil god Valmar]] was split into several parts and the heroes travel the world to ''destroy'' his parts. [[spoiler:However, it turns out that by "killing" the parts, they were actually manipulated to collect them within Millenia/Elena, whom the BigBad than uses to fully resurrect Valmar.]]
* In the [[VideoGame/ETTheExtraTerrestrial E.T.]] video game for the Atari 2600, E.T.'s communication device is in 3 pieces scattered around the game board. When he finds them, he can call his spaceship. Then he has to be at the landing site when the ship arrives.
* The original ''VideoGame/TombRaider'' had Lara search for and reassemble the three pieces of the Scion.
** Also appears in ''VideoGame/TombRaiderLegend'', where Lara must find the different pieces of Excalibur and reassemble them.
* The Trident of Ankohl in ''VideoGame/GoldenSunTheLostAge'' needs to be assembled in order to defeat Poseidon.
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'': after having sealed off the underworld from the mortal realm, Sparda split the key (an amulet) in half and handed both down to his sons (along with [[AncestralWeapon two swords he owned]]) and made sure only his own blood and the maiden whose blood he sacrificed could re-open it. Down in the deepest pits of hell was the sword he sealed all his power away in (he was frightened of the terrible degree and scale of his own strength). The sword could only be grasped and fully wielded by (yes, you guessed it) his sons. Naturally, Dante gained the blade in the end, and when the ultimate evil rose again (''[[{{Satan}} Demon Emperor Mundus]] himself''), Dante defeated and re-sealed him, warning, "Give my regards to my son."
* ''The Pandora Directive,'' the most ambitious entry in the ''VideoGame/TexMurphy'' series, featured one of these. The titular directive had to track down the pieces.
* ''Zelda'' employs this trope in practically every game.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' does this thrice on its own! The boss key of the second dungeon is split up into three pieces, and when assembled, it gives you access to a Fused Shadow (the first set of PlotCoupons). Then you have to reassemble the Mirror of Twilight in the second stage of the game. And that's not to mention the ludicrous number of pieces of heart in the game.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', ''a song'' where one character only remembers the first few notes, and the rest must be learned from someone else, plays a major role in the second stage of the game.
** The second half of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' and the entirety of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' revolve around Ganondorf's attempts to reassemble the Triforce after he unintentionally split it (leaving him with the Triforce of Power) when he first tried to claim it.
** Heck, this trope is the start of [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI the first game]] (and following that, [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda the whole franchise]]). Princess Zelda breaks the Triforce of Wisdom into eight pieces to keep it out of Ganon's hands and sends Impa to find someone to recover the pieces before he does. She finds Link and that's where the game begins.
* Knuckles' storyline in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', as well as the main reason for the plot's existance, is because the Master Emerald shattered due to heavily implied interference by Robotnik. He proceeds to collect the shards to restore it, which somehow scattered from the island into a casino, an underground temple, and one of Robotnik's bases.
** This plot point returns with less influence in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2''; this time, ''Knuckles himself'' breaks it as Eggman tries to do away with it. This time there's ''two'' characters collecting the pieces.
* Piles of ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games rely on this trope. Orbs, Crystals, Espers, Materia, if there's a Big Bad out there, it's virtually a guarantee that whatever MacGuffin you need to defeat it will be scattered across the entire planet (and sometimes more than one).
** The example that pulled this trope in the grandest scale was ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', wherein the dismantled MacGuffin happened to be [[spoiler:the entire planet, which was split into two to prevent the Interdimensional Rift from reforming. The villain seeks to merge the two planets back into one, and inevitably succeeds]]
* Many of the newer games in the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series use some variant of this trope. In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'', you must prossess Dracula's rib along with other body parts to resurrect and defeat Dracula once and for all.
* Most ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' games feature this.
* Most of the plot (such as it is) in the original Xbox game ''VideoGame/BloodWake'' involves you locating and assembling the pieces of the "Shield of Four Souls". Possibly partially averted/subverted in that you find the first piece or two without really knowing what they are, let alone what the assembled thing does.
* Likewise, the ExcusePlot of VideoGame/{{Borderlands}} has the [[PlayerCharacter Vault Hunters]] assembling the four [[spoiler: actually, three]] pieces of the Vault Key before the Vault is closed off for another 200 years.
* VideoGame/UnrealIITheAwakening uses this. Oh, does ''Unreal 2'' use this: you spend most of your game traipsing from planet to planet picking up pieces of an ancient artifact. When the artifact is finally assembled and used, [[spoiler: it turns the least powerful creatures on the ship where it's used into the most powerful creatures, complete with ''guns that shoot black holes''. Suffice to say, the artifact doesn't last long.]]
* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime'' does this with the Cobalt Star [[spoiler: and crosses it with SealedEvilInACan]].
** ''Superstar Saga'' has the Beanstar Cackletta is looking for and ''Bowser's Inside Story'' has the Miracle Cure, which is the only thing that can cure the blorbs. They sure do love this trope.
** VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam has the player assemble the Ultibed, with the pieces scattered across Pi'illo Island.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'' have Star Chips (used to form Launch Stars) and Silver Stars (used to form Power Stars).
* Cap'n Hawk's treasure map in ''VideoGame/UltimaVI'' is split into nine parts. Somewhat subverted in that it's possible to [[SequenceBreaking skip the entire quest]]--possibly without realizing it.
* The [[ThePrecursors Xel'naga]] artifacts in Starcraft II count, since they form a [[spoiler: LostSuperweapon]] when combined.
* VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft loves this trope with regards to its Legendary Weapons. You have to collect numerous pieces of the weapon from raid bosses, ''then'' complete additional quests (for example, doing something unusual during boss fights). Sometimes you would also need a big pile of cash for buyable materials. And in the end you get yourself a nice, flashy weapon that will last you for a couple of content patches at most and end as a BraggingRightsReward later.
** In Deepholm, you must find the missing Fragments of the World Pillar and reunite them to prevent Deepholm's collapse.
** In the End Time dungeon, if you're sent to the Azure Dragonshrine, you must find all 16 pieces of Jaina's staff in an area patrolled by trash mobs before you can fight the Echo of Jaina and proceed onward after defeating her.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', the [[{{Lampshading}} Holy MacGuffin]] is hidden; in order to locate it, you have to first find the Staff of Ed, which is of course split into 3 pieces, located in entirely unrelated parts of the Kingdom.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Darkstone}}'', an artifact called the Time Orb was split into seven Crystals of Virtue, which must be collected by the PlayerCharacter in order to reassemble the Time Orb to save the world.
* Every single item in the Videogame/DarkParables games, and other similar games from the same developer, is broken into fragments that must be assembled by solving [[HiddenObjectGame hidden object]] puzzles.
* Occurs in the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis ''VideoGame/{{Ghostbusters 1990}}'' game. Four Boss Ghosts hold the pieces of a stone tablet. The fifth holds a red gem that, when placed in the center of the tablet, causes a gigantic hole to open right in the middle of New York City. The final boss holds a blue gem that, when placed in the center of the tablet, undoes the damage.
* Much of the first act of ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'' has you seeking out the three pieces of a powerful sword that was wielded by the Stranger you found in the impact zone of the Fallen Star, while fighting off the efforts of an evil coven to do the same. [[spoiler:The sword in question is ''El'druin'', the sword of Tyrael, who has become mortal because he's had enough of the Angiris Council's inaction regarding the demons and wants to give humanity a chance]].
** Later on in the game, [[spoiler:you have to recover the parts of the body of Zoltan Kulle, an EvilSorcerer who was decapitated and dismembered by his fellow Horadrim, so that he can be resurrected to lead you to his creation, the Black Soulstone, which you need to seal Belial and Azmodan, the last Lords of Hell. Being that Zoltan Kulle is an evil and treacherous bastard, you ultimately have to kill him again]].
* The Mirror of Zeme in ''Videogame/YsVITheArkOfNapishtim'' is broken into three pieces by Ernst's three Fairies in their plot to revive the Ark. Another variation is Sara's crystal in the first game, which initially allows you to use the teleportation statues in the [[TempleOfDoom Shrine]], then you combine it with another object in Darm Tower, which allows you to use the [[MagicalMysteryDoors warp mirrors]]. The second game has the Dreaming Stone Idol that you have to use to un-petrify the people in the underground hideout, which is initially missing an eye.
* The Dragon Amulet in ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''; reassembling it is the main goal for much of the game, and it is shared by the heroes and the villains. In Dirge, this also applies to the side quest for the Tome of Release, which you need to put to rest or banish the ghosts of the soldiers who died in the siege.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', [[spoiler: the Crucible]] can be considered a variation of this, with the plans discovered in the Prothean archives on Mars. It is later revealed that [[spoiler: the device has been built and the plans improved upon by countless civilisations over ''millions'' of years, but was never actually ''finished'' until now...]]
* ''Frogger's Adventure 2: The Lost Wand'' involves collecting all the pieces of the title object so that the balance of magic can be restored and random events like a remote turning into a bouquet of flowers will stop happening.
* ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem]]'' and ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' have the Shield of Seals, with five spheres scattered all over the world.
* In ''Demon Sword'', the titular sword is only dagger-length at the start of the game, but its missing pieces are added as you progress in the game.
* ''Dreamscapes: The Sandman'' features a broken dreamcatcher which, once reassembled, somehow prevents the title villain from taking over the body of the {{Damsel in Distress}}.
* The Vault Key in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' and Captain Blade's Compass in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Misao}}'': The eponymous character's corpse, which is scattered in six pieces around the school. Finding all of them is the only way to end her curse.
* The title object in ''Forgotten Books: The Enchanted Crown''.
* In ''VideoGame/YuGiOhReshefOfDestruction'', the Millennium Puzzle is eventually broke into pieces.
* The Gong of Wonder in [[VideoGame/VirtualVillagers Virtual Villagers 2: The Lost Children]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Strife}}'' has The Sigil, some assembly required. Acquiring the pieces as part of general actions against TheOrder drive the plot, and it serves as a weapon with different abilities according to how many pieces the player has.
* Pretty much what drives most, if not all of the RHEM games.
* The two Aura games, ''Fate of the Ages'' and ''The Sacred Rings'' involve several enchanted artifacts that form part of a control mechanism for the teleporters that the Keepers clan use to colonize other worlds. The protagonist, Umang was sent by the Keepers to collect and assemble these artifacts before the [[BigBad evil Durad]] or the [[BiggerBad bloodthirsty Shadow Legion controlling him]] did. [[spoiler: Strangely, at the end of the second game, though, after getting rid of the Shadow Legion, [[InvertedTrope he took out his crowbar and ''destroyed'' the very thing he spent the first game putting together]], and continued on like nothing happened. There was a third sequel meant to explain what was to become of Umang later on, but it is currently in DevelopmentHell.]]
* In ''VideoGame/LighthouseTheDarkBeing'', Lyril attempts to tell the player that the Priests built the six parts for a [[ChekhovsGun "Particle-ionizing vacuum cannon"]], the only thing that could capture and incapacitate the titular [[BigBad Dark Being]]. The Priests were en route to put the gun together themselves, but they died with one of the parts on board when their ship sank, so [[ItsUpToYou naturally you have to]] find and assemble the gun yourself.
* Done intentionally in ''VideoGame/DarkFall'' by George Crabtree. The piece of vellum containing the 12 symbols designed to re-trap the titular Dark Fall creature, was cut into individual pieces and scattered within the hotel, some of them given with instructions to the guests and staff staying there. Some of them were destroyed by the creature, but there are ways to recover them.
* In ''VideoGame/StarshipTitanic'', the [[SpaceshipGirl ship's central AI, Titania]], was sabotaged in a scuttling plan, and without her being functional, the ship was put in a very unstable state, hence why it crashed into your house in the first place. One of the saboteurs initially tried to remove her components from the ship entirely, but security systems got in the way, so they were conveniently hidden within the ship instead. Not that this means they're easy to reach, mind you.
* In the remake of [[VideoGame/ShadowWarrior2013 Shadow Warrior]], the Nobitsura Kage is a legendary weapon that can kill demons and even Ancients. As Hoji explains to you upon obtaining it, there are three swords that go by the name, each carrying a piece of the original weapon. Only by reassembling it does it take on its full power.
* In ''VideoGame/ConanHyborianAge'', the quest's goal is initially to explore a dungeon to find a sword crafted in a superior metal. Said sword being found broken in two (the part with the handle and the lower part of the blade is usable as a dagger), the last objective is to reforge it at Whiterun's Skyforge, either as a one-handed sword or a greatsword.
* ''VideoGame/TheWhiteChamber'': You find several dismembered body parts over the course of the game, assembled into a single corpse in an effort to find out what happened on the station. [[spoiler:Try to SequenceBreak [[JumpScare and the corpse manifests its disapproval]].]]
* The basic premise in ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves''. [[BigBad Clockwerk]] is still dead from events of the first game, but his pieces have been acquired by various criminals across the globe, and the gang needs to retrieve them before someone gets the [[SealedEvilInACan bright idea]] to try to put them back together.
* The [[{{BFS}} Sulevin Blade]] in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' falls under this trope. Its recovery isn't central to the plot - it's a completely optional sidequest - but if the Inquisitor travels to the Cradle of Sulevin and gathers all the fragments of the lost blade, it can be reforged into one of the best two-handed swords in the entire franchise.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The [[CosmicKeystone wish-granting artifact]], the "Magicant," in ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure''. It was created by [[TricksterGod The Lady of Fate and Fortune]] with the intent that man would abuse its power and did this for her own amusement. Then Makala and the other gods destroyed it, but since artifacts created by gods aren't so easily destroyed it was broken apart and [[GottaCatchEmAll scattered across the plane of Manjulias.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'', Kyri broke the Endstone in the BackStory, to deactivate them, and her friends split them up to avoid their falling in the wrong hands.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/RainQuest'', the [[MineralMacGuffin meteorite]] containing a powerful substance called Solarite is shattered, and the pieces land in different places across the land, so Joel and Nina's goal is to travel across the land to find each piece.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheDeep'', the Efemicrom is this in season one.
* Occurs a few times in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', usually in stories involving Lord Monkeyfist. One example is the Tempus Simia in "A Sitch in Time", which was split in three parts and distributed into monkey-themed temples all over the world. You could also say that the superpowers of Team Go are also treated that way in their first appearance, especially since they all originate from the same meteor.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' there are three Journals that each hold secrets of the paranormal and supernatural. When brought together they [[spoiler: prove to collectively contain the activation code for a dimensional portal machine.]]
* Happens in ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', specifically the Shen Gong Wu used in conjuction to create [[EldritchAbomination Mala Mala Jong]]. Individually, they're a magic breastplate, helmet, gauntlet, boots, sash, and pendant. Add in the Heart of Jong, with the power to make AnimateInanimateObjects? You get a PhysicalGod that can absorb the weapons you use to fight him, whith a single minded dedication to ending the world.
* The Allspark fragments in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpartakusAndTheSunBeneathTheSea:'' the entire series.
* Happens for almost no reason whatsoever in the five-episode series premiere of ''WesternAnimation/FilmationsGhostbusters''. The prop here is a uniquely-shaped stone tablet which reads: "Ghostbusters--the ones who find fathers and save the future." [[spoiler:It turns out the shape of the thing's the key to defeating Prime Evil--lock him in the mine vault, just like they did in the first episode.]]
* The Codex in ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' is split into four parts, hidden in Alfea, Red Fountain, Cloudtower, and Pixie Village. All four are necessary to open the portal to the Realix dimension.
* The [[InfinityPlusOneSword Kyber Saber]] in ''WesternAnimation/LEGOStarWarsTheFreemakerAdventures''.
* In the second ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero'' mini-series, Cobra tries to play God with a weapon called the Weather Dominator, which can control weather and rain tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, and other disasters on whole cities. The Joes' first attempt to stop them blows it into three pieces, which actually [[GaiasVengeance makes these disasters]] ''[[GaiasVengeance worse]]'' turning the story into a race between both factions in an attempt to recover and reassemble it.
* The Mask of Ultimate Power in BIONICLE: Journey to One.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Need to back up your passwords in case something happens to you? Don't want it to take just one person to betray you or have it stolen from them? [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_sharing This trope is for you.]]
* The '11 herbs and spices' recipe for KFC is deliberately not fully known by a single person or company, in order to protect the recipe as a trade secret.