Created By: Tallens on January 11, 2013 Last Edited By: Tallens on February 7, 2013
Troped

Magic Map

A map that shows more than it is possibly capable of.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Creating this as a companion to Magic Compass.


Follow the glowing point of light.
A regular map can be anything from a crude sketch of a particular intersection to a highly detailed professional quality atlas map that shows every mountain, hill, river, town and road in the area. But what if you're looking for something beyond all that? Something that won't show up on ordinary maps. Something hidden, something that is never in the same place, or something not of this world? In cases such as this, you need a magic map, something that will reveal the location of whatever you need; a person, a MacGuffin, places of power, you name it.

Sometimes may be used alongside a Magic Compass.

Globes may also fit, but tablets with Google Map or anything like that do not count.

Examples

Film
  • In Rise of the Guardians the North Pole has a large globe covered in lights that represent believing children.

Literature
  • Harry Potter has the Marauders' Map, which when activated shows location and movement of everyone on the Hogwarts grounds.
  • The map of the Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit is a more subtle example. Most of the time it's just a regular map, but in the light of a certain phase of the moon it reveals information crucial to getting into the mountain alive.
  • In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Coriakin creates a map for King Caspian, depicting the voyage to date with supernatural accuracy--including photorealistic details (in a setting where photography doesn't exist!) on the cities, when viewed under a magnifying glass.
  • The Kane Chronicles:
    • In The Red Pyramid the Egyptian Queen navigates into the Land of the Dead via a map called Spells of Coming Forth by Day, a.k.a. The Book of the Dead.
    • In The Serpent's Shadow the First Nome is shown to have a map of the world showing clay figurines being destroyed as loyal magicians are lost. It's not clear it it's the map itself that's magic or the figures, but it could well be both.

Live-Action Television

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Dragon magazine #125 had the following magical maps.
      • Map of Illusion: Detects and shows any illusions within range.
      • Map of Magic: Magical auras are highlighted in pulsating red.
      • Map of Secret Doors: Secret doors appear as yellow dots on the map.
      • Map of Traps: Detects and shows any traps within line of sight.
    • Kingdom of Nithia. The artifact map Master Plan shows the current position of all burrowers in the Hollow World who have been paralyzed by the Spell of Preservation.

Video Games
  • In dungeons in The Legend of Zelda Link finds maps of them that reveal rooms he's been in and when paired with the compass reveal all the dungeon's treasures as well.
    • In Wind Waker Link can collect a series of maps, some of which have special properties. Treasure and Triforce maps cause a pillar of light to appear over the treasure's location, and the ghost ship map allows it to be boarded to retrieve a Triforce piece.
  • In King's Quest VI the magic map, so named because it allows you to teleport, also reveals the location of the mysterious Isle of Mist after a certain point in the game, a hidden island which is rumoured to change locations. The map isn't altered by anybody to show the island; it appears on its own.
  • One of the main objects in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is actually called the Magical Map. It's mostly blank at first, but each Crystal Star Mario claims causes the map to get filled in with the location of another. Said Crystal Stars tend to fall into various characters' hands and move about before Mario starts tracking them down, and despite it being made a thousand years ago, displays locations as they are in the present, such as a suburban neighborhood or a Space Base.
  • The magic map from King's Quest III is similar. When Gwyddeon first finds it, the map is completely blank. As he explores Llewdor, though, the map lights up and he can quick travel to that location. Even more than that, when he is both on the pirate ship and the coast of Daventry, the map updates so that it reflects the new region.
  • Minecraft's map is crafted from a Magic Compass and in multiplayer, it'll show the positions of other players, if they happen to be holding their own copy of that map at the time.

Western Animation
  • The Map from Dora the Explorer shows the destinations relevant to that episode and it changes what it shows for each and every adventure. Also, it's sentient.
  • In Wakfu, the main characters come across a map possessed by a demon. The map is very accurate and offers handy shortcuts to various places. However, the map also has a mind of its own--and being possessed by a demon, it often tries to trick the party by offering false information based on half truths. Frequently the map is threatened (usually with fire) by characters in to giving the right information.
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • January 12, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • Dragon magazine #125 had the following magical maps.
        • Map of Illusion: Detects and shows any illusions within range.
        • Map of Magic: Magical auras are highlighted in pulsating red.
        • Map of Secret Doors: Secret doors appear as yellow dots on the map.
        • Map of Traps: Detects and shows any traps within line of sight.
      • Kingdom of Nithia. The artifact map Master Plan shows the current position of all burrowers in the Hollow World who have been paralyzed by the Spell of Preservation.
  • January 13, 2013
    LostOzian
    Does the Map from Dora the Explorer count? It usually only shows the destinations relevant to that episode, but the fact that it changes what it shows for each and every episode could qualify it for magic. (Also, it's sentient.)
  • January 13, 2013
    ImaHugeMoron
    The map Pokétch app and the Pokégear from the 4th generation games are able to track down roaming legendaries. Also, if I'm not mistaken, the berries app can, besides the ones the finds, mark berries yet to be seen (please confirm this).
  • January 13, 2013
    badgersprite
    In Kings Quest VI the magic map, so named because it allows you to teleport, also reveals the location of the mysterious Isle of Mist after a certain point in the game, a hidden island which is rumoured to change locations. The map isn't altered by anybody to show the island; it appears on its own.
  • January 13, 2013
    Lucymae2
    Possibly the map from The Hobbit?
  • January 13, 2013
    ZombieAladdin
    One of the main objects in Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door is actually called the Magical Map. It's mostly blank at first, but each Crystal Star Mario claims causes the map to get filled in with the location of another. Said Crystal Stars tend to fall into various characters' hands and move about before Mario starts tracking them down, and despite it being made a thousand years ago, displays locations as they are in the present, such as a suburban neighborhood or a Space Base.
  • January 13, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    The greedy dwarves from Time Bandits use a Magic Map taken from the Supreme Being to steal treasures from all over the Earth, and across several centuries in the past or the future.
  • January 13, 2013
    Tallens
    Any ideas for a page quote and image?
  • January 14, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^ @oneuglybunny: Strictly speaking the Supreme Being's map isn't magical: it's an ordinary map that shows the location of the time holes. It doesn't change in any way.
  • January 15, 2013
    henke37
    There is a sister trope about other magical maps where they affect reality instead of the reverse.
  • January 15, 2013
    Tallens
    What's it called?
  • January 15, 2013
    MetaFour
  • January 16, 2013
    Tallens
    That seems to be more about models that effect the things they represent. Seems more like a distant-cousin trope to me.
  • January 17, 2013
    Rognik
    • The magic map from Kings Quest III is similar. When Gwyddeon first finds it, the map is completely blank. As he explores Llewdor, though, the map lights up and he can quick travel to that location. Even more than that, {{spoiler: when he is both on the pirate ship and the coast of Daventry,}} the map updates so that it reflects the new region.
  • January 17, 2013
    Tallens
    ^That one works, but let's be careful with video game examples and make sure it's an actual map the character is using and not just part of the UI.
  • January 17, 2013
    SinisterShenanigans
    • In Wakfu, the main characters come across a map possessed by a demon. The map is very accurate and offers handy shortcuts to various places. However, the map also has a mind of its own--and being possessed by a demon, it often tries to trick the party by offering false information based on Half Truths. Frequently the map is threatened (usually with fire) by characters in to giving the right information.
  • January 19, 2013
    Tallens
    Has anyone seen Sea Monsters? Do you think the time map they use would count as this?
  • January 22, 2013
    billybobfred
    Minecraft's map (crafted from a Magic Compass) just barely qualifies -- in multiplayer, it'll show the positions of other players, if they happen to be holding their own copy of that map at the time.
  • January 24, 2013
    DracMonster
    Omniscient Map might be a better title - Magic Map usually is used to mean one which just fills itself in (in Video Games anyway.)
  • January 24, 2013
    electronshock
    in The Hobbit, the main map has moon runes on it, which can only be read by the light of the same moon phase under which they were created.
  • January 24, 2013
    Tallens
    ^Already have that one.

    ^^Omniscient means "all knowing," and if a map is omniscient then it should be able to show anything and everything. While I'm sure there are examples of this out there, that does not apply to the ones we have here. Most of them show certain things or certain locations.
  • January 31, 2013
    Tallens
    Magic Compass seems good to go, but this one could use a few more examples, I think.
  • February 6, 2013
    Tallens
    Looking to launch this alongside Magic Compass this weekend.
  • February 7, 2013
    Mijin
    The Exile series of games contain the spell "Magic Map", revealing every cell of the current town/dungeon area. These games feature many false walls and the like, and without magic map it could take a long time to find all the goodies.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ta1idcyrkaqlmwb8jwo5tymu&trope=MagicMap