The town tune (known as the island tune in New Horizons) is a one to sixteen-note melody that plays in the player's town in all Animal Crossing games. Each game has a default town tune, and it can be customized by the player.
A town tune is represented by frog icons for each eighth note. They can be set to the natural pitches between G3 and E5 (almost two octaves), a question mark representing a random sharp note, a dash which sustains the previous note, and a sleeping frog representing a rest.
The town tune is played in the following situations:
- When the player speaks to a character for the first time since entering the area, the town tune player. Each character plays a unique variation of the town tune with instruments and timing that reflect their personality and size.
- At the beginning of each hour, bells chime to the melody of the town tune.
- When someone enters or exits a building with a door, bells jingle to the melody of the town tune, sped up.
- In games prior to New Leaf, when the player interacts with an instrument furniture item, the tune is played by the instrument at the same speed as any music playing in the room.
- When a villager is happy, they sing the town tune.
In Animal Crossing
In all first-generation Animal Crossing games, the town tune is customized via a board outside the post office.
The Animal Crossing-e and Doubutsu no Mori Card-e+ collections of e-Reader cards contain Town Tune Cards, which feature an arrangement of a K.K. Slider song in the form of a town tune. In Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+, the player has the option to scan a Town Tune Card at the board outside the post office, which sets the town tune to the one on the card. Additionally, in Doubutsu no Mori e+ only, scanning a Town Tune Card at the board allows the card's song to be requested from K.K. Slider.
Villagers mention the town tune in the following dialogues:
- Hey, you know about the town melody bulletin board over by the post office? That's where you can go to change the town tune. Anyone can do it. That's why it's always changing, probably. I hear that song all the time, like when the clock chimes. It's <Town>'s own way of rocking out! <Player>, you oughta try changing it around, too, <catchphrase>. You look like a musical soul.
- I wonder why nobody's changed the town tune lately. Is this town slowly becoming less funkified? I mean, anybody can do it! All you gotta do is go to the big bulletin board by the post office and mess with it. You're welcome to change it, <Player>. You look like you got groove. But don't do it unless you're serious! It's the town's theme song, after all, so it better be something that rocks the house, <catchphrase>!
The default town tune differs between Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+.
In Wild World and City Folk
In Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: City Folk, the town tune is customized in town hall by speaking to Pelly or Phyllis at the civic center. The default town tune differs between the games.
In New Leaf
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the town tune is customized in town hall by speaking to Isabelle. Once the player creates a tune, Isabelle previews it by singing it.
There are four possible default town tunes in New Leaf.
In New Horizons
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the island tune does not play until Resident Services is upgraded to a building. Once the upgrade occurs, the tune can be customized by speaking to Isabelle. Like in New Leaf, she sings the chosen tune upon its creation.
Default town tunes
These are the default melodies for the town tune throughout the series. Each game features a variation of the same basic tune.
The default town tune in Doubutsu no Mori
The default town tune in Doubutsu no Mori+
The default town tune in Animal Crossing
The default town tune in Doubutsu no Mori e+
The default town tune in Dòngwù Sēnlín
The default island tune in New Horizons
e-Card town tunes
These tunes can be found on the back of music cards in each Animal Crossing-e series. Each one is based on a song by K.K. Slider.