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Quest for a Wish

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In the setting, there exists an entity that grants wishes—any wishes, and not in a jerkass way—to those who reach it. However, the path to this entity is long and perilous, so that only those of strong conviction can reach it. The plot of the story then centers on a character or characters trying to do just that. Possible plot points may include:


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball, the person who collects all the eponymous artifacts gets a single wish granted, then all the Balls split off randomly to wait again.
  • In Inuyasha, the eponymous hero was originally searching for the Sacred Jewel in order to get his wish to be a full demon granted.
  • The Blue Crystal Rod that waits at the top of the The Tower of Druaga is said to grant a single wish to whoever claims it.
  • In Banana no Nana, the legend says that whoever reaches the legendary land of Oz (reference intentional) in the far west of the continent can ask for any wish to be granted. The title heroine plans to become the king of the world this way. In the ending, it turns out that Oz is actually on the moon, and while it can grant any wish to anyone, that person must then kill the one they love the most with their own hands or the world will be destroyed.
  • One episode of GO-GO Tamagotchi! is about Mametchi and his friends racing to reach the top of Moshimo Mountain, their motivation being a rumor that whoever reaches the top of the mountain will be granted one wish.

  • One issue of Miracleman, toward the end of the series, is about a group of people climbing a mountain to meet the now-godlike Miracleman and petition him to grant their respective wishes. Some of them are being less than honest about their reasons for doing the pilgrimage. Not all of them make it to the top, and not all those who do get a satisfactory result for their trouble.

    Film - Animation 
  • In Aladdin, the Cave of Wonders serves as a mini-quest in order to find the wish-granting genie's lamp - not only must the person who enters the cave be a "Diamond in the Rough", but said person must refuse to touch any of the treasures, except for the lamp. While Aladdin is unaware of the genie, Jafar essentially sends Aladdin on the quest to get the genie for him.
  • The plot of the Animaniacs movie Wakko's Wish. All the characters race to find a fallen star; the first one there gets one wish. Interestingly, while Wakko of course gets the wish, his wish ends up granting the wishes of nearly every other good character in the Ensemble Cast.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Stalker, adapted from Roadside Picnic, goes even further than the novel, with the Stalker refusing to ask anything, the Writer having his wish granted while getting there, and the Professor abandoning his original plan to nuke the Room altogether.

  • The first half of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz consists of Dorothy going to Emerald City to see the Wizard so he can send her home. Along the way she meets three other characters who join her to have their own wishes granted.
  • The final chapters of Roadside Picnic detail Redrick's attempt to reach the Golden Sphere to ask for his crippled daughter's recovery. However, journeying with his Wide-Eyed Idealist of a partner leaves him in the state of confusion about his true wish as the book closes.
  • The first volume of Hyperion Cantos has a framing narrative which is all about a group of pilgrims traveling to the home of the Shrike, a mysterious entity that, well, usually it just kills everyone who encounters it, but it has been known to kill all but one member of a party of pilgrims, and grant the survivor one wish. Yes, they're all that desperate.
  • A subplot of Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones has the heroine and her brother going on a quest to find a wish-granting entity that can heal her of a magical injury inflicted on her by the villain.
  • Xanth books frequently involve quests to have one's problems solved by Magician Humphrey, a grouchy old wizard who sets all kinds of dangers and tests at his tower. In the first book the plot is set off because Bink, a man who's going to be exiled for being the Un-Sorcerer, tries to find out his talent from Humphrey but even he is stumped.

    Live-Action Television 
  • The first arc of Kamen Rider Ghost boils down to this. Several parties are trying to collect the 15 Heroic Eyecons so they can get a wish: Takeru wants to wish himself back to life, Makoto wants to restore his little sister, and Saionji wants power. Takeru gets the wish and restores Makoto's sister; his "resurrection timer" gets reset shortly thereafter. At the end of the series he's granted a second wish and comes back to life.

  • This serves as the entire premise of Nothing Is Sacred. By collecting mystical artifacts and using them to empower her Sacred Beast before the other chosen are able to do the same, Stella will be granted a single wish. Her wish of choice? World domination.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magical Burst is about Magical Girls that kill Youma and collect their Oblivion Seeds. A Magical Girl that collects 13 Oblivion Seeds can have a single wish granted.

  • The Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of Puyo Puyo, aptly named Puyo Puyo On Stage, features the characters trying to find the mythical “White Puyo” which grants wishes. It’s revealed to the audience early on that this is all a trick by Rulue to mess with Arle.

    Video Games 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
      • The game revolves around Link's quest for the wish-granting Triforce; he wants it less to make a wish of his own and more to get it out of the hands of Ganon, who had previously used it to take over the Sacred Realm (in the process turning it into the Dark World) and is currently using it to invade the Light World. Once Link gets it, however, he realizes that he can use it to undo all of Ganon's evil works.
      • Link has to make a wish to unlock the second pendant palace, though the wish is unstated. Notably, the palace entrance requirement is that he make a wish, not a specific one: it's entirely possible that he just wished to enter the palace.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, a distant sequel to A Link to the Past, has Hilda and Yuga of Lorule scheme to steal Hyrule's Triforce to replace Lorule's, which had been destroyed centuries before by Well Intentioned Extremists who were unaware that it was a Cosmic Keystone without which their world would slowly crumble. Once again, Link is more concerned with keeping it out of their hands than using it for himself. Once he recovers it, he realizes that he can use it to wish for the Lorulian Triforce to be restored. Win-win!
  • Kirby Super Star’s Milky Way Wishes gamemode consists of Kirby collecting seven stars to make a wish on the comet NOVA and get the sun and moon to stop fighting. Marx steals the wish and attempts to take over Popstar.
  • The plot of The Pirate's Fate is kicked off by this: Darious, a generally kind soul, has discovered the truth behind the folktale of magical coins that can change a person's identity. He assumes that by gathering all of them, one can make a wish to change anything in the world, and he intends to use it to better the world. Unfortunately, not everyone has such benevolent intentions for them, and the coins are, in and of themselves, dangerous enough...
  • The story mode of Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary has your selected character play through a puyo tournament with the winning prize of being granted one wish by a magic medal. Each character, naturally, makes a different wish once they win... but the medal takes their words at face value and usually mangles the wishes as a result. For example, Amitie wishes to be the greatest magician she can be, but the medal does nothing since it thinks she's already a good magician, Klug's wish to be in a magazine falls flat since he has to become famous first, and Sig's wish for new bugs in the forest is outright rejected because the medal dislikes insects.
  • Odin Sphere: When the Kingdom of Valentine fell, its inhabitants were cursed into becoming Pooka, and with many magic spells unable to break the curse, they turned to another solution: by collecting all of the enchanted coins minted in their kingdom, the collective magic can be used for a wish; in this case, it's to undo the Pooka's Curse. This is reflected in-game by the Valentine Coins being the only currency accepted by the Pooka Cafe and shops. The game's True Ending has a final scene where Cornelius and Velvet finally manage to collect all of the coins, and undo the curse.

    Web Original 
  • Baman Piderman. In the episode "Happy Winter Friends", Baman and Piderman realize that Pumkin is rotting, so they set off on a quest through another dimension to find a Winter Friends Wish so they can use it to save Pumkin. Instead of a wish, they find a Sousaphone, who tells Baman that the wish was inside him all along. As in, literally inside Baman's chest. Not only does the wish heal Pumkin, it also gives him arms and legs.
  • One episode of Counter Monkey tells the story of a group of adventurers seeking a genie's aid in removing a curse that was going to turn them into animals. Unfortunately, when they reach the center of the genie's temple, Vegan Steve, the party thief, wishes for a Deck of Many Things instead, and has to run like hell when his friends realize what he just did. Not only does the Deck grant him a cure for the curse, he gets EVERY SINGLE GOOD CARD IN THE DECK OF MANY THINGS, save one. When the rest of the party finally catches up to him, they find his body surrounded by treasure, the deed to a castle clutched in one hand, the Void card in the other. Spoony, realizing how downhill his campaign had become, decides there was enough cure for the rest of the group to undo their curses.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventure Time episode "To the Limit", Finn and Jake explore a dangerous labyrinth alongside a bunch of talking hot dogs to get their wish of having an Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant. When they reach the wish granter, the hot dogs are so stupid they waste their wishes and Jake is so exhausted he wishes for a sandwich, leaving Finn to choose between saving his friends but making their journey pointless or getting the elephant but losing Jake. He beats the choice by choosing the elephant and psychically dominating it to make it use its wish to save the others.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Blendin's Game", Dipper and Mabel compete in a futuristic gladiator tournament known as Globnar, which gives the winner a Time Wish that can fix any impossible problem, even the ability to change history paradox-free. They initially compete (after being drafted into it by their enemy) in order to wish that Soos's dad had come to his 12th birthday, fixing the trauma from all future birthdays. But in the end, they give Soos the wish so he can make the choice himself. Soos, after seeing how much Mabel and Dipper did for him, decides his dad wasn't worth it, and instead uses the wish for his friends... and an infinite slice of pizza.
  • A villainous example in Miraculous Ladybug, where it is revealed that Hawk Moth/Papillon's attempts to capture Ladybug and Chat Noir's Miraculous are for this reason - their power combined will grant the owner one wish, implied to be the restoration of his lost wife.
  • The South Park episode "It's Christmas in Canada" is basically the same premise as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, only instead of getting wishes granted, the protagonists merely wanted to repeal some unfavorable laws. Cartman, Stan, and Kenny were just along for the ride.