Created By: Westrim on December 20, 2011 Last Edited By: DAN004 on March 4, 2016

Flashy Magic Effect

Look at the pretty sparkles that spell made.

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft


Magic can do just about anything a person can think of; mess with time, change colors, injure and incapacitate people in various ways. It can also be jazzed up in a great variety of ways; a stunning spell could get red sparks, sound effects, and maybe a halo around the wand firing the spell to complement the otherwise mundane visual of someone slumping over. If a character comments on it, all the better.

This does not include effects that have a solid grounding in what the spell actually does- a freezing spell can reasonably look like a rush of snowy air, but if it starts sparking and glowing it's going for style points.

May lead to Visual Effects of Awesome.

Related to Power Glows, Instant Runes, and Everything's Better with Sparkles. Subtrope of Unrelated Effects and Rule of Cool.


Examples:

Anime

Literature

  • Harry Potter tends to avert this, especially in the movies (despite being the visual version) and especially as the series progresses, being used only with specific causes. Sparks usually only happen when something is wrong, as with Ron's broken wand in the second book.

Live Action Film

  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice makes prodigious use of flashy magic, most especially the scene in Chinatown.
  • In The Slayers, casting spells is usually accompanied by glowy effects, auras and unnecessary levitation.
  • Generally averted by the Harry Potter films, the greatest addition to most spells is a flash or glow of light. The only time extra sparks and effects are seen is when a wand is damaged. There are magical fireworks that launch flame dragons and other such spectacle, but since that's their intent they don't fit.

Tabletop Games:

Video Games

Western Animation

  • Disney's Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (in fact, most Disney films with magic) had colored sparkles as standard good fairy magical effects and colored smoke as byproducts of evil magic.
  • Disney's trademark pixie Tinkerbell throws around her own body weight in pixie dust every fifteen minutes.
  • The cauldron used by Ursula the sea witch upon The Little Mermaid got mighty kinetic with the metaphysics during the transformation sequence.

Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • December 21, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    Needs examples, just to show some wondering what works would use this.
  • December 23, 2011
    TBeholder
    Seems to be an unfortunately omnipresent variety of Unrelated Effects. And heavily overlaps with Instant Runes.

    An example would be ridiculous glowy FX for all and any spells in Neverwinter Nights.
  • December 24, 2011
    aurora369
    In The Slayers, casting spells is usually accompanied by glowy effects, auras and unnecessary levitation.
  • December 26, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    I'd go with Flashy Sparkly Magic, since the current name makes me think it's about coolness, when it's about trying to make a spell look good.

    And this is very prevalent in RPGs, especially from the 16-bit systems onward.

  • December 28, 2011
    aurora369
  • December 29, 2011
    Westrim
    Eh, I prefer Magicool because it's compact and it's the one I came up with. I'm not seeing the distinction between looking cool and looking good.
  • January 11, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
    I think magicool is pretty clever, though Flashy Sparkly Magic should be a redirect for ease of searching.
  • January 19, 2012
    Westrim
    That seems reasonable, I'll make the redirect when this launches.
  • February 1, 2012
    Westrim
    Needs more examples, and I feel like more needs to be done with the intro. Any suggestions?
  • February 1, 2012
    Dawnwing
  • February 1, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    I don't think Magicool fits this, as that could mean being "cool" with magic, like a wizard that gets all the chicks.

    And trust me, that's not that unlikely to show up in fiction.
  • February 1, 2012
    Westrim
    But it doesn't mean a wizard that gets all the chicks, and I really don't think that will be a common interpretation. This is a Rule Of Cool trope, and should be obvious as such.
  • February 1, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "But it doesn't mean a wizard that gets all the chicks"

    I stated the name looked like it. I didn't state that the trope meant it.
  • February 1, 2012
    Westrim
    And I don't think that will be a common interpretation. As you said, that's not likely to show up.
  • February 3, 2012
    KingZeal
    • In The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, after the Dragonborn casts a spell on a neutral character (civilians, etc.), they will sometimes remark "Oooh, colors!"
  • February 3, 2012
    LarryD
    Disney's Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty had colored sparkles as standard good fairy magical effects.
  • February 21, 2012
    Tambov333
    Magicool is unclear and all over the place. Flashy Sparkly Magic isn't.
  • February 26, 2012
    Westrim
    I disagree about clarity, and I don't understand what you mean by 'all over the place'.
  • February 4, 2013
    Westrim
    Bumping up, considered the issues brought up and added 'effects' to the name.
  • February 17, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Disney's trademark pixie Tinkerbell throws around her own body weight in pixie dust every fifteen minutes.

    • The cauldron used by Ursula the sea witch upon The Little Mermaid got mightily kinetic with the metaphysics during the transformation sequence.
  • February 17, 2013
    StarSword
    Tabletop Games:
  • September 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Stop with awkward name and call it Magic With Overblown Visual Effect. Or Flashy Magic.

    See also Visual Effects Of Awesome.
  • September 13, 2014
    Andygal
    Lots of spells in Dragon Age have flashy associated animations.
  • September 15, 2014
    Westrim
    It will be Magicool Effects with Flashy Sparkly Magic as a redirect. Flashy Magic can be another redirect, but the first one is pretty wordy and inelegant.
  • September 15, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ please, your proposed name even fails to be witty. It definitely isn't clear either, which is the priority.
  • September 25, 2014
    Westrim
    You know, being rude and insulting has a pretty low success rate at changing minds. I like it. I think it's clear, and all the examples so far have fit, supporting that assessment.

    There's twelve examples right now. I'd like to get that to twenty before launch.
  • September 25, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ sorry, then.

    We need to hear other people's opinion on this. And then we may wanna make a crowner.
  • September 26, 2014
    DAN004
    But still, as the above commenters show, there are more number of ppl not liking the title than those who do.

    How's that for consensus?
  • September 26, 2014
    Generality
    Happens once in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, when Mendanbar uses his magic sword to fix Cimorene's sink and colored sparks fly. She asks if his magic is always so flashy.
  • March 4, 2016
    DAN004
    Bump, gonna take this over... starting with changing the name.
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