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Artifact of Hope

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The legendary sword that seals the darkness.

"Even I had forgotten that the sword was forged in purity and strength. It can only be used for good. In the hand of evil, it can never harm an innocent."
Jack, Samurai Jack episode "Jack and the Zombies"

If you want an inanimate object shining on a pedestal with choir accompaniment, inspiring awe in The Hero with its holy magnificence, the Evil Overlord recoiling in terror for fear of his very life, then you want an Artifact of Hope. This thing cleanses, disinfects, blesses, beautifies, purifies, protects, heals, brings joy to children and smells like fresh coffee.

Only the Pure of Heart may wield these mighty trinkets, or at least they weren't meant to be used by anyone else. If the wielder is anything other than The Paragon with a soul of Incorruptible Pure Pureness, at best the Artifact will fail in their hands. At worst, they'll drop the thing with fresh burn marks scarring their hands. This makes it especially awkward when the Big Bad had gone through so much to procure the object themselves — taking every moral shortcut and stabbing so many backs to get to it — only for the thing to break itself the second they get their hands on it.

These things are usually Situational Swords, the wielder only able to use the artifact to their fullest potential when it's absolutely needed. Or when you need more dramatic tension. Or when the hero needs to learn that they had the power within them all along and they don't need a Sword of Plot Advancement to save the universe. Expect them to need The Power of Love, The Power of Family, The Power of Friendship, The Power of Trust, The Power of Rock or Virgin Power to operate.

Sealed Evil in a Can can qualify as an example, specifically because the artifact was created to keep the evil imprisoned. If it's a Sealed Good in a Can, then the artifact was created to unleash a Big Good of some kind when certain conditions are met.

If sentient, expect the artifact to exude an aura of wisdom and prudence, giving The Hero helpful, if-not cryptic, advice.

The Evil Counterpart of the Artifact of Hope is the Artifact of Doom, an Always Chaotic Evil artifact that can only be wielded by evil, can only be used for evil or most certainly turns its wielder evil. Since there is a balance between good and evil, expect them to be Counterpart Artifacts and/or Nemesis Weapons to one another.

Compare Embodiment of Virtue, Holy Hand Grenade and Holy Is Not Safe.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Digimon:
    • Digivices have different designs and features across the various iterations of the franchise, but their purpose usually remains the same; they use the bond between digimon and their human companions to give the digimon a massive power boost in the form of digivolution (or in Frontier's case, becoming digimon themselves) through a special bond built on comraderie and usually some type of positive quality the human has.
    • The Tags and Crests from Digimon Adventure are a set of pendants made as companion pieces for the Digidestined's digivices to allow their corresponding digimon to digivolve into their Ultimate forms (or in Agumon and Gabumon's case, warp-digivolve to Mega-level). Each crest is associated with their corresponding destined's best quality (Courage, Friendship, Love, Sincerity, Knowledge, Reliability, Hope and Light), drawing power when they display these qualities.
    • The Digi-Eggs from Digimon Adventure 02 are artifacts from the earliest era of the Digital World before Digimon could digivolve on their own. The second generation's digivices were designed to harness these digi-eggs to perform armor-digivolution, each of the eggs being based on the virtues of the first generation's tags and crests.
  • The Claiomh Solais (better known as the "Shiny Rod") in Little Witch Academia (2017) is a Magic Wand designed to break a series of magic seals called the Grand Triskellion and unleash an unfathomable reservoir of magical power in a world where The Magic Goes Away. Only the Chosen May Wield the Shiny Rod and it has routinely swapped hands throughout the years, each learning a few of the Seven Words of Arcturus meant to break the seal but never managing to learn all of them. By the end of the series, the show's protagonist Akko is the one who figures out how to wield the Shiny Rod for its intended purpose.
  • The Mystical Laws: The General tells Shou he should find the Symbol of the Savior, a sacred artifact that can put a stop to the Godom Empire's advances for good. However, he also explains that there's not much information about it save for the fact it's located in Lake Titicaca. Later on at the climax of the story, a Hermes' Wings member carries the artifact and throws it towards Shou after being shot by the police.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Universe: The Blue Lantern Rings are the Swiss Army Weapons of the Blue Lantern Corps. Since blue is the color of hope, their rings are literally powered by the hope of its wielder. On top of the usual Hard Light constructs indicative of Lanterns, the Blue Lantern Ring can heal injuries, induce hope in other people, allows its wielder to weaken Sinestro Corps rings, remove Red Lantern rings without killing their wielders, is immune to the Orange Lantern's ability to siphon energy and boost the power output of Green Lantern rings. Only Hope Bringers can be Blue Lanterns, the ring fleeing the user if they lose hope.
  • The Book of Vishanti from the Marvel Universe is supposedly the greatest grimoire of White Magic spells one could possibly procure. It was dictated by the Vishanti — a trio of gods that give Doctor Strange his magical power — and written by many other great sorcerers across history.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Candle from Encanto is the source of the miracle that created Casita and the source of the Madrigal's magical gifts, the candle itself burning for 50 years without ever going out. In the end, it's implied to actually be a Magic Feather, the candle itself still gone after their house it brought back to life and their gifts returning to them in the end.
  • The Dragon Gem from Raya and the Last Dragon was a Power Crystal created by Raya and her siblings to seal way the Druun and undo their petrifying effects on others. Aside from that, it is never shown to have any other magical capabilities, though most of Kumandra believe that it is somehow responsible for Heart's prosperity. After it's shattered, the gem is still able to repel Druun in a very localized capacity, The Power of Trust being the key component to reassembling the gem.
  • The Book of Peace from Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is a magical book that is treasured by the people of Syracuse. While the Book is definitely magic, it's never elaborated what the book actually does beyond "upholding balance and allowing peace to blossom." All we know is that it brings prosperity to Syracuse, and when Eris closed it, cracks began to form across the city.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Book of Vishanti from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a spell-book that is kept safely in the Void Between the Worlds. It is the good counterpart to the Darkhold, its primary function to provide those who wield it the answers they need to overcome their enemies.
  • Ghostbusters II: The Ghostbusters are dealing with an ancient evil sorcerer whose malevolent slime is corrupting and drawing out peoples worst instincts in New York City. As they face the impenetrable wall of slime surrounding the sorcerer's base, they recognize they need an artifact of hope, a symbol of humanity's capacity for good and decency. Utilizing the slime they converted with positive energy, the Ghostbusters create a semi-magical artifact of Hope by sliming the inside of the Statue of Liberty and empowering her with the song "Higher and Higher" by Howard Huntsberry and piloting her to the the base and breaking into it.
  • The Elysium Configuration from Hellraiser: Bloodline was a puzzle-box designed by Phillip L'Merchant — a toy-maker who was commissioned to construct the Lament Configuration by the Evil Sorcerer Duc De L'Isle — as a Counterpart Artifact to the infamous puzzle-box. Phillip's descendant Paul Merchant manages to build the Elysium Configuration in the 22nd-century as a satellite that successfully destroys Pinhead, his insidious Order of Gash and the Lament Configuration once and for all.

  • The titular Silmarils from The Silmarillion are a matching set of Power Crystals forged by elves. Their touch burned the evil and unworthy, and they still inspired hope three ages of Middle-Earth later in The Lord of the Rings. The Silmaril that ended up in the sky was even called "Gil-Estel, the Star of High Hope" when it first appeared there.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Late Show with Stephen Colbert animated special "Twas The Coup Before Christmas", Santa Claus's magical sack has the power to magically generate a person's heart's desire, Joe Biden asking to use its power to create something to help reunite a divided America. Donald Trump and his goons (Mitch McConnell and Rudy Giuliani) storm the North Pole and steal the sack, intending on using its power to magically win the election. When he opens it, it encases all of them in ice, Santa implying that his corrupt actions and intentions made it useless in his hands.
    Donald Trump: Empty... it's... empty...
    Santa Claus: No, Donald. It's full. As full as the heart that peeks inside.

  • Binary Break, as a Digimon roleplay, naturally has the Digivices (here called D-Coders). They're different for each kid - Penny's is a square that he can wear like a wristwatch, Cate's is a triangle she can clip onto her belt, and Sophie's is a circle that she hangs around her neck like a necklace.

    Tabletop Games 

  • The Transformers:
    • The Matrix of Leadership, an ancient artifact carried by the leader of the Autobots is this. The precise power of the Matrix varies between continuities, but its most common ability is that it's the one thing capable of destroying Unicron.
    • The Star Saber tends to be this in continuities where it's a weapon rather than a Transformer. As with the Matrix, its exact powers tend to vary between continuities but it's usually a sword of unmatched ability that can only be wielded by someone pure of heart. It is, however, somewhat prone to being corrupted into becoming the Dark Saber.

    Video Games 
  • In the finale of Conquests of Camelot, King Arthur reclaims the Grail stolen from him. What does the player do with its thief? Nothing- the Grail itself judges the thief after he tries to murder Arthur, and vaporizes him into ash. Arthur is not the power here.
  • In Darkstone, only one of the Pure of Heart can assemble the seven Crystals of Virtue in order to form the Time Orb, which is the MacGuffin needed to defeat the eponymous Artifact of Doom.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has the Moon-And-Star ring, the Iconic Item of the legendary Chimeri/Dunmeri hero, Lord Nerevar, whose reincarnation is the game's hero of prophesy. The ring was crafted by the Dwemer (during their Enemy Mine phase with the ancient Chimer) and blessed by Nerevar's Daedric patron, Azura, to kill anyone else who tries to wear it. While simply being able to wear it doesn't make the Nerevarine the Hortator (a Dunmeri war leader, Nerevar's old role) automatically, it does make them the most legitimate candidate to date. It also comes with a nifty enchantment which enhances the wearer's persuasive abilities, which is handy because the first thing you need to do after receiving it is to convince the four Ashlander clans (who hate the settled Dunmer) and the three Dunmeri Great Houses (who hate eachother as well as the Ashlander clans) to unite in defense of Morrowind against Dagoth Ur, a being even the three Tribunal gods failed to defeat, requiring quite a bit of inspiration and hope.
  • Fallout 2 gives us the GECK (Garden of Eden Creation Kit), a miraculous pre-war device that can turn even a nuclear wasteland into a fertile paradise. Your tribe treats it as a mystical artifact and tasks you with recovering it in order to save their village from a devastating blight.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Ever since Final Fantasy, crystals have been used as The Chooser of the One that marks heroes as Warriors of Light to save the realm from peril. In several games, the goal is to restore the light of the crystals to heal the land. The crystals held by these "Crystal Bearers" are often required for this process.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has Azem's crystal, a memento produced by Emet-Selch in memory of his dear, departed friend. The holder of this artifact is able to summon up to seven likeminded individuals to their aid across nearly any distance, even across the Interdimensional Rift between worlds. Emet-Selch has his facsimile of Hythlodaeus give it to the Warrior prior to their battle with Elidibus, proving pivotal in the Warrior's victory over the last Unsundered. The crystal's powers would be used several more times in Endwalker, summoning champions to the Warrior's aid against both Zodiark and the Endsinger, as well as restoring the Scions back to life following their Heroic Sacrifice to make a path for the Warrior to reach Meteion at Ultima Thule.
  • The Arrow of Light, the Mirror Shield, and the Wings of Pegasus, known collectively as the Three Sacred Treasures in Kid Icarus, are a set of weapons and armor under the possession of Palutena before they were stolen by Medusa's army and protected by Twinbellows, Hewdraw, and Pandora. After Pit regains them, he then uses it to fight and defeat Medusa.
  • When the Three Sacred Treasures prove useless against Hades in Kid Icarus: Uprising, Pit and Palutena go to the God of the Forge Dyntos to help forge a weapon that could make a dent. The result is the Great Sacred Treasure, a Mini-Mecha that lets him fight Hades on equal ground.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Keyblades started out as this, a type of magical sword/staff that those with strong hearts full of light are allowed to wield, making them enemies of the Heartless by default. As the series goes on, morally-grey (Riku) or outright villainous characters (The Seekers of Darkness) are shown to wield keyblades, though these are meant to be exceptions to the rule.
    • The Cornerstone of Light is a sacred relic that can be found in Disney Castle, a massive Crystal Ball-like artifact the exudes a constant aura of light so strong, it keeps out all invading forces that threaten it. With the Cornerstone active, Disney Castle is the only world the Heartless (and Maleficent) can't invade.
  • Mega Man X:
    • Dr. Light's left many upgrades specifically designed for X scattered about the world. All of these capsules provide X with words of encouragement from his creator while bestowing upon him valuable equipment that can drastically improve his abilities to handle threats to the fragile peace between humans and robots.
    • X himself is Light's Magnum Opus, the first truly sentient robot entirely unbound from being Three Laws-Compliant, giving him tremendous capacity for good and evil while representing a paradigm shift in the relationship between man and robot. X's schematics were so advanced that Dr. Cain eagerly copied them to produce the Reploids. Unfortunately, Cain did not put them through the same moral testing programs that X went through, resulting in many of them going Maverick and sparking the Maverick Wars once Sigma was infected by Wily's Zero Virus.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/stay night, Saber's Noble Phantasm, Excalibur: The Sword of Promised Victory, is one of the most famous Noble Phantasms in existence. As the crystallization of glory itself, it induces warm feelings of nostalgia and helps one recall fond memories in those that look upon it. It is also an enormously destructive Wave Motion Sword that can demolish a fortress in a single blow when used at full power. In the spinoff, Fate/Extella, it's revealed that Excalibur was originally created to repel an Alien Invasion by the superweapon Velber that had dealt a Curb-Stomp Battle to all of the divinities of Earth, successfully destroying it in the process.

    Western Animation 
  • The Powerbands from Legend Of The Dragon are a series of magical braces that imbue the Twelve Temple Guardians with awesome power, each brace associated with an animal of the Chinese Zodiac. Each has their own Evil Counterpart, the Shadow Bands, which corrupt their wielders when not sharing power with their yang-counterparts.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: The Elements of Harmony are a set of six magic gems that collectively form the strongest magical force in the setting, but will only activate if used together while wielded by six people who truly embody the values of friendship and harmony — they simply won't do anything if wielded by anybody else, and the magic will also become inactive if their current wielders cease living up to their necessary standards. What they actually do varies from use to use, but they're always sufficient to trounce the villain of the day.
  • Jack's Katana in Samurai Jack was literally forged by the three gods Odin, Ra and Rama from the righteousness in the Samurai Lord's heart. The sword is indestructible and is the only weapon capable of slaying Aku. In "Jack and the Zombies", it's revealed that the sword cannot be used to harm the innocent with evil hands, the sword unable to pierce Jack's skin when Aku tries stabbing him with it. In Season 5, Jack ends up losing it when he uses it to kill innocent rams under Aku's control, regaining it 50 years later after undergoing a spiritual quest to regain his will to fight evil.
  • The Amulet of Daylight from Trollhunters is a Magitek amulet created by Merlin (yes, that Merlin) that encases the wielder in a set of One Size Fits All armor and a sword. It was forged for the Trollhunter, a Chosen One tasked with protecting mankind and trollkind from any evil that threatens them, including evil trolls like Gunmar and evil wizards like the Arcane Order.


Video Example(s):


The Candle

The Candle from Encanto is the source of the miracle that created Casita and the source of the Madrigal's magical gifts, the candle itself burning for 50 years without ever going out.

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