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Music Notes, also known as Keys, are collectible items in The Messenger. They are crystallized forces of the world, required to form a melody which will break the curse. Two Music Notes are already placed upon the wall in the Tower of Time HQ, and Ninja must locate the remaining six Music Notes, scattered around the world. Interacting with the Music Box in the Tower of Time HQ places any collected Music Notes onto the nearby wall.

The Prophet stands nearby the Music Box and provides prophecy phrases that hint where Ninja should go next in order to obtain Music Notes.

Main Story[]

Many eons ago, Phantom was trapped inside of the Music Box by the Demon King. The Order of the Blue Robes was able to procure the Music Box from Forlorn Temple, after which, Music Notes began materializing into the world. A particularly gifted Messenger managed to obtain two of the Music Notes, the Key of Adventure and the Key of Revenge. During the events of the game, Ninja collects the remaining six notes and goes into the Music Box in an attempt to rescue Phantom.


Key of Hope[]

Music Notes Screenshot 1.jpg

The Key of Hope is a yellow Music Note found in the Autumn Hills. A time rift is located at the bottom of a tall room with a large tree, and in the 16-bit era, a pathway opens up in the lower-right corner of the room, leading to the Music Note.

Key of Strength[]

The Key of Strength is a green Music Note found in Searing Crags. A pink flower known as the Power Thistle must be obtained from Colos and Suses's flowerbed in the 16-bit era and delivered to the colossi in the 8-bit era. Colos and Suses then chuck Ninja onto the pathway that leads towards the Music Note.

Key of Love[]

The Key of Love is a pink Music Note found in the Sunken Shrine. After navigating through Howling Grotto's underwater maze, Ninja reaches the Sunken Shrine. The Sun Crest and the Moon Crest must be obtained from within the shrine and placed on the locked door in Sunken Shrine's main hub area. After a cutscene, the Guardian Gods gift Ninja with the Music Note.

Key of Chaos[]

Music Notes Screenshot 2.png

The Key of Chaos is an orange Music Note found in the Underworld. Ninja must enter the Underworld from Searing Crags, using the Lightfoot Tabi found from the Sunken Shrine. Past the Underworld's first non-shop checkpoint is a room with three Demon Hives, where the floor is mostly filled with lava. The lower-right corner of the room can only be entered using the Lightfoot Tabi, which leads onto the pathway towards the Music Note.

Key of Symbiosis[]

The Key of Symbiosis is a purple Music Note found in Elemental Skylands. Ninja must first brave the Dark Cave to reach Rivière Turquoise, then clear the level in order to receive the Magic Firefly. The Magic Firefly is then used to cure Monk in 8-bit Quillshroom Marsh; Monk then takes her leave to 8-bit Glacial Peak where, after she's spoken to, she breaks the ice off of the ice-encased lanterns. Ninja can then return to the room in 16-bit in order to free Manfred who takes him to Elemental Skylands. After traversing through Elemental Skylands and defeating the Clockwork Concierge, Ninja is given the Music Note.

Key of Courage[]

The Key of Courage is a blue Music Note found in the Corrupted Future. After collecting the four Phobekins scattered around the world, the little creatures create a pathway to 16-bit Forlorn Temple. After clearing Forlorn Temple and defeating the Demon King, Ninja receives the Demon Crown, which is used on a scary portal in The Artificer's room in the Tower of Time HQ to enter the Corrupted Future. If Ninja owns the Magic Firefly, he can traverse through the entirety of the Corrupted Future and collect the Music Note at the end of the level. Afterwards, he must survive the Abomination chase sequence.


  • After collecting 1 Music Note on the Version 1.0.4 update or higher, the Jukebox appears in the shop.
  • After collecting 4 Music Notes on the Version 1.0.4 update or higher, a vision appears in the shop's scrying orb, a teaser for Picnic Panic.
  • The picture files refer to the Music Notes in the naming structure of "Note_Name," so the "Key of Hope" is referred to as "Note_Hope." The picture files also have names for the two unnamed Music Notes already placed on the wall in the Tower of Time HQ.
    • The green leftmost music note already placed on the wall in the Tower of Time HQ is referred to as the "Note_Adventure" in the picture files, making it the "Key of Adventure."
    • The Key of Revenge.

      The red rightmost music note already placed on the wall in Tower of Time HQ is referred to as the "Note_Revenge" in the picture files, making it the "Key of Revenge."
  • Thierry Boulanger, the main writer and director of the game, has provided additional information about the Music Notes.[1]
    • A Music Note crystallizes either when a specific emotion repeats enough times, or when a specific event has an especially high intensity.
    • The Music Notes represent the world's intention to save itself. In its effort to save itself, the world gives up on its utopia fantasy and embraces reality, the good along with the bad. That is why there are Music Notes like the "Key of Chaos," because it's part of a genuine whole.
    • Ninja was not the Messenger who obtained the Key of Revenge.
  • The Key of Adventure.

    According to the "Live Messenger Q&A," the Key of Adventure was originally in the game and was meant to be found in Bamboo Creek during the 8-bit/linear portion of the game, as a hint that there was something more. It's a point in the story where the adventure picks up, after leaving the dark Catacombs and feeling a bit of fresh air from Bamboo Creek.[2]
    • Many of the Messengers who reached Bamboo Creek felt a bit more lighthearted, felt the impact of their journey dawn upon them, and realized that they were committed to their journey with no returning back. The feelings of adventure that repeated among so many Messengers eventually materialized into the Key of Adventure.
    • The developers of The Messenger published a special course in Super Mario Maker 2 titled "The Key of Adventure," a what-if scenario where Mario was one of the early Messengers. You venture through Bamboo Creek in order to obtain the Key of Adventure and bring it to the Tower of Time HQ.[3]
  • Although Music Notes can normally only be collected in 16-bit, players can clip out of bounds to obtain certain Music Notes, like the Key of Strength, in the 8-bit era. The Music Note is invisible, but Ninja collects the Music Note like normal.


For the main article, see Achievements.
Achievement 21.jpg
It Sounds Better On Vinyl
Complete the Melody



Items in The Messenger
Items ScrollClimbing ClawsEnergy ShurikenWindmill ShurikenWingsuitRope DartLightfoot TabiAstral SeedAstral Tea LeavesOrdinary Wax CandleMagic SeashellPower ThistleDemon CrownRuxxtin's AmuletMagic FireflySun and Moon Crests
Abilities CloudstepShop Upgrades
Collectibles Power SealsVoodoo FeathersVoodoo Mask Pieces
Music Notes Key of ChaosKey of HopeKey of CourageKey of LoveKey of SymbiosisKey of Strength
Phobekins AcroNecroClaustroPyro
Miscellaneous Time ShardsMoney Wrench