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Sound Stone

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After all of that work, this song better be good...

Take a melody...
Simple as can be...
Give it some words and sweet harmony...
Raise your voices
All day long now
Love grows strong now
Sing a melody of love
Oh, love
Eight Melodies, EarthBound Beginnings

The Sound Stone is a specific type of MacGuffin which is an instrument, melody, music track, or part of a song which must be used or collected in order to achieve some purpose. Often a Sound Stone instrument must need another Sound Stone melody to work.

Very common in Video Games, especially RPGs. Often a form of Magic Music.

The Trope Namer is the Sound Stone, a plot-critical key item in EarthBound (1994) which collects and records eight melodies from around the world.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Pink and Black Notes collected by My Melody and Kuromi respectively, in Onegai My Melody. Their MacGuffin nature is most prominent in Season 2: having collected a complete octave supposedly grants the owner a wish, but the two ditzes always waste the wish in nonsensicals, so that Status Quo Is God.
  • Pokémon 2000 had a magical song that could calm the legendary birds, but will not work properly unless the magic spheres are placed in the temple. At the end of the movie, the whole temple turns into a music thing, with the pillars lighting as the different notes are played (and it conveniently gets offscreen when the song strays from those eight notes). Slightly subverted though, in that the "song" was just a duplication of Lugia's cry, and thus would (probably) not have been necessary if the titular Pokemon hadn't been incapacitated.
  • Level Upper from A Certain Magical Index's spinoff, A Certain Scientific Railgun. The only real trial is finding out what it is (a sound file that works using synthesia) and, after the protagonists do that, it serves no purpose anymore.
  • Elfen Lied has a music box that’s connected to both Kouta’s and Lucy’s dark and troubled past. In the anime adaptation, it plays an instrumental version of the opening song.

    Fan Works 
  • One of the components of the Nine-part Key in The Keys Stand Alone is an Instrument of Uncommon Matter (e.g., a horn made of cloud), which is to be played in the background while three good voices chant three stanzas of poetry. Getting an Instrument is a huge pain in the ass.

    Film — Live-Action 

  • The second Dinotopia book, The World Beneath, has a scene where one of the characters, Oriana, plays her dragon flue instrument to calm the tyrannosaurs and keep them from attacking her, Arthur Denison, Bix, and Lee Crabb.

    Live-Action TV 

  • The first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had the Green Ranger's dagger flute, which he used to control the Dragonzord.
  • Psych had an episode with a computer program that needed a quartet to work.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) has "All Along the Watchtower" as its musical macguffin.
  • In the Merlin (2008) episode "The Death Song of Uther Pendragon", Arthur accidentally released his father's ghost into the living world. The only way to force Uther back into the world of the dead was for Arthur to blow an enchanted horn by him.

  • In the The Goon Show's Whistling Spy Enigma the British spies in Hungary identify themselves by whistling the Hungarian Rhapsody.

    Video Games 
  • EarthBound (1994) is the Trope Namer. Ness carried an object called the Sound Stone, which recorded eight melodies from a series of Sanctuaries around the world to allow him to channel the Earth's power. The preceding installment, EarthBound Beginnings, had an ocarina which Ninten used to play eight different melodies from memory.
  • Most of The Legend of Zelda games have a musical instrument of some sort. Musical instruments are always a little bit magical in the Zelda universe.
  • Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Gold and Silver have the Poké Flute, which is needed to wake a sleeping Snorlax in order to pass. It can also be used to wake up your own Pokémon.
    • Later games have other flutes as well. The White Flute lets you encounter more Pokémon, the Black Flute reduces Pokémon encounters, the Blue Flute works like the Poké Flute, the Yellow Flute snaps a Pokémon out of confusion, the Red Flute snaps them out of infatuation, and there was an Azure Flute to summon Arceus in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl , but Game Freak never released the item. Then there's the move Grasswhistle, which puts an opponent to sleep.
    • Pokémon Colosseum has the very rare Time Flutes. They have the ability to summon Celebi to have it completely purify a Shadow Pokémon. They are "one-use" items and only 3 of them may be obtained throughout the whole game
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation — A Final Unity: The "orchestrions".
  • Illusion of Gaia has Will's flute, which can play a few plot-relevant songs over the course of the game to help advance the plot.
  • Queen The Eye is about collecting these. Given that it's based on a band, that's hardly surprising.
  • The Ar tonelico series has Hymn Crystals. When one of these crystals is Downloaded into a Reyvateil, it allows her to sing the Hymmnos Extract song contained within.
  • Solatorobo has the Flute which is used to call the Master of the Clouds. Though it's not shown or referenced, whatever Red is using to collect the notes to buy songs he's heard likely counts as well.
  • Harvest Moon: Magical Melody is all about collecting music notes (via completing various game tasks). Every five notes can be transformed into a musical instrument, and collecting ten instruments in total (fifty notes) is required to revive the Harvest Goddess.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords had a variant where the player has to duplicate a man's voice to access a computer system that he had voice-locked. One method is to run around with a sound recorder, gathering pieces of the code from various logs and transmissions; the other is to trick a protocol droid (which can mimic voices) into doing it for you.
  • Black & White: One Sidequest has the player reassemble a scattered Circle of Standing Stones that play notes when tapped. When the complete circle can play again, it creates a Miracle Food dispenser for the player's use.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Seekers commandeer a Sapient Ship that refuses to acknowledge them, leaving the player characters to find a way to command it. It turns out to have a Restraining Bolt Slave Brand that's controlled via a song, which is recorded in a book that's hidden in the ship.
  • The Daymare Town platformer spinoff Daymare Cat has you collecting records, each of which contains one instrumental or vocal line from the Cat Jahnke song "Better". When they're all assembled, you've won.