Created By: StarSword on February 8, 2013 Last Edited By: SeptimusHeap on August 11, 2013
Troped

Magical Database

A database of magical or otherwise abnormal stuff.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Databases. They make finding information as easy as typing a query. Some works extend this capability to finding information on the supernatural elements of the setting. You want information on known werewolves, undead, or wizards, this is where you go.

Despite the title referring to electronic databases, Tropes Are Flexible and this can easily take the form of a paper encyclopedia or the equivalent. It might even be a person or other sapient entity.

Please keep this to In-Universe Examples Only; no need to mention The Wiki Rule.

See also Monster Compendium, which applies to videogames but generally won't tell you about something until you've encountered it firsthand. Compare Tomes of Prophecy and Fate, which can be a book on every event past and to happen. Contrast Akashic Records, which is where the compendium itself is supernatural in origin but contains records of the mundane as well as the supernatural

Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  • One of these becomes a plot point in an episode of GeGeGe no Kitaro (80s version) when it turns out the encyclopedia of yokai some kids have doesn't contain the Monster of the Week and it goes on a rampage in revenge for being left out.
  • Yue's artifact in Mahou Sensei Negima!. It uncovers most of the information needed by the user.
  • A Certain Magical Index has the eponymous Index Librorium Prohibitorium, a little girl who happens to have thousands upon thousands of magical books stored within her mind. As such, the power she holds within her is equally dangerous.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic]]
  • Hellboy, both movie and comics, featured the agency having an extensive database/library of the occult, where our hero's Mission Control usually digs up a vital piece of information for defeating the Monster of the Week.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • The Ghostbusters consulted Tobin's Spirit Guide, both in the films and the cartoon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • Discworld series
    • Death's library in sometimes functions like a Magical Database, instantly delivering books on very obscure subjects when he requests them, or writing out fresh text if his query doesn't require a long answer (the "some of the sheep" response from The Last Continent).
    • Hex does this as well since he is basically a sentient, magical computer. As long as he has his teddy bear he'll find out what you want to know.
  • In Gone in a Flash by Ryk E. Spoor, Jason Wood is told that he can't find out stuff about vampires from a nice cross-indexed database somewhere, so he sets out to create one himself.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
  • John Winchester's journal in the earlier seasons of Supernatural. Later seasons have Bobby fill this role. Or just the internet.
  • Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer had Demons, Demons, Demons, your one-stop demon database.
  • Grimm has the journals passed down in the Grimm family. They include detailed illustrations so future generations of Grimms can identify monsters they encounter and what their weak spots are.
  • The Book of Shadows in Charmed is a magical tome the girls inherited which conveniently has listings for whatever monster they might be fighting that week, along with the appropriate counterspells to use.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the Black Library (not to be confused with the identically named fan publication), a library that stores the information of just about everything involving the supernatural and daemonic, guarded by the Harlequins of the Laughing God, thus making it inaccessible to most of them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • In Gabriel Knight 3, Gabriel's assistant Grace creates SIDNEY, a computer database of all information relevant to the cases that he might take on as an Occult Detective Schattenjager. It in turn is based on the library of actual books that the line of Schattenjagers used to maintain for the same purpose.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comic]]
  • CABAL, the Magitek supercomputer operated by the Inquisition in Exterminatus Now is supposed to be this. The protagonists mostly use it to store porn and pirated mp3s, of course...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • The Junior Woodchuck's Guide from Disney's DuckTales. It has a chapter on defeating dragons, for crying out loud.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • February 8, 2013
    Xtifr
    There was an earlier attempt at this, here. It's old enough to be Up For Grabs.
  • February 8, 2013
    StarSword
    OK, transferring usable examples.

    Half the list turned out to be Zero Context Examples. These will need to be fleshed out to be usable:
  • February 8, 2013
    Xtifr
    • The Book of Shadows in Charmed is a magical tome the girls inherited which conveniently has listings for whatever monster they might be fighting that week, along with the appropriate counterspells to use.
  • March 17, 2013
    MacronNotes
    Bumping this, since it needs more attention in order for the TRS thread to move on.
  • March 19, 2013
    AgProv
    The Necrotelicomnicon in Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Literally " The Telephone Directory of the Dead"...
  • March 19, 2013
    StarSword
    Any word on the ZCEs I cut from the original attempt?
  • March 19, 2013
    MrRuano
    • Warhammer 40000 has the Black Library (Not to be mistaken with the identically named fan publication) which is a library that stores the information of just about everything involving the supernatural and daemonic, guarded by the Harlequins of the Laughing God, thus making it inaccessible to most of them.

    • To Aru Majutsu No Index has the titulat Index Librorium Prohibitorium, a little girl who happens to have thousands upon thousands of magical books stored within her mind. As such, the power she holds within her is equally dangerous.
  • March 20, 2013
    ArkadyDarell
  • March 20, 2013
    ArkadyDarell
    [[folder:Video Games]]
    • In Gabriel Knight 3, Gabriel's assistant Grace creates SIDNEY, a computer database of all information relevant to the cases that he might take on as an Occult Detective Schattenjager. It in turn is based on the library of actual books that the line of Schattenjagers used to maintain for the same purpose.
    [[/folder]]
  • April 13, 2013
    StarSword
    YKTTW Bump. Come on, guys, we have a TRS thread waiting on this.
  • May 25, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    OK, taking this. Can we please get some examples and hats added? 11 is a wee bit too little.
  • May 25, 2013
    1810072342
    I might need someone to check this, but I'm pretty sure the Sentinels from Marvel Comics have a database on all the superheroes they're trying to hunt down.
  • May 25, 2013
    kjnoren
    Literature:

    • In Gone In A Flash by Ryk E Spoor, Jason Wood is told that he can't find out stuff about vampires from a nice cross-indexed database somewhere, so he sets out to create one himself.
  • June 5, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Description looks fine. Let's get this moving.
  • June 5, 2013
    StarSword
    I'll leave this Up For Grabs. If anyone wants it they're welcome.
  • June 21, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    More hats, please!
  • July 3, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    This should be Magical Database, by the way.
  • July 3, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    • Hellboy, both movie and comics, featured the agency having an extensive database/library of the occult, where our hero's Mission Control usually digs up a vital piece of information for defeating the Monster Of The Week.
  • July 9, 2013
    MattStriker
    Web Comics:

    • CABAL, the Magi Tek supercomputer operated by the Inquisition in Exterminatus Now is supposed to be this. The protagonists mostly use it to store porn and pirated mp3s, of course...

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=l280erzfbgb5cwaxnctkfks6&trope=MagicalDatabase