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In many works, wolves are heard howling at dusk or at night. It is a case of Noisy Nature. Also, it is often a case of not doing the research or Artistic License: wolves don't live in all settings, and they usually howl to communicate with each other, not to establish the mood or tell time. Often overlaps with Cock-a-Doodle Dawn, which is when roosters crow at dawn.
This trope has two main types:
In type A examples, wolf howls are heard to herald the coming of the night. The wolves that do the howling are rarely seen.
In type B examples, the howls are heard late at night, to reinforce a creepy setting or establish a fearful mood. Again, the wolves are rarely seen.
Type A: At Dusk Version:
- Occurs in three installments of the Zelda series. Wolves howl whenever night falls.
- Happens in Okami.
- Warcraft 3 has a wolf howl to tell the player that night has fallen (and a rooster crowing to indicate daybreak).
- When you visit Garoh in Golden Sun 2 for the first time (at night), mournful wolf howls are heard (because it's a village of werewolves). Sadly, the version of the BGM with howls is not part of the soundtrack.
- Though the version without the howls is a darned fine song in its own right.
Type B: Late at Night Version:
Anime / Manga:
- Holo from Spice and Wolf does this on occasion, even when in human form.
- Boma in Heat Guy J does this before battle, when he changes into wolf-man form.
- Conkers Bad Fur Day parodies the above "What beautiful music they make!" line.