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->'''Liraz''': [..] let's just say "polarity torsion does it", translate that to "it's very expensive magic", and leave it at that.

This is when a work has an intangible element that is obviously supposed to be magic, but is explicitly not called that. Maybe the word "magic" doesn't exist in their universe, maybe AgentScully is using InsistentTerminology -- yet whatever power they're using lets them [[PowerFloats levitate]], throw {{fireballs}} and [[MagicAndPowers anything else]] that standard-issue {{Fantasy}} magic can do. This trope also applies to works where a practiced mystical art such as [[AlchemyIsMagic alchemy]], [[TarotMotifs tarot cards]] or [[{{Ninja}} ninjutsu]] has been broadened to the point where it functions as all-purpose magic.

In a ScienceFiction setting, MagicFromTechnology and "[[PsychicPowers psionics]]" are favorite stand-bys along with MinovskyPhysics, possibly with a [[SciFiNameBuzzwords "quantum" or "nano"]] tacked on for good measure. If EverythingIsOnline, HollywoodHacking may be utilized as well. SufficientlyAdvancedAliens that have evolved to the point where the physical laws of reality no longer apply to them (such as [[Series/DoctorWho The Doctor]] or [[Franchise/StarTrek Q]]) generally do ''not'' count unless their powers are something PunyHumans can learn. Sometimes, a more limited power may turn into this over time, due to abuse of NewPowersAsThePlotDemands.

See Also SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic when Magic is treated as like a science. See also: NotUsingTheZWord, AMechByAnyOtherName.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'': Contractors
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'': The Ripple and later, Stands
* ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'': Dying Will Flames, split into multiple variations and applications.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': Ninjutsu. Although ''Naruto's'' techniques are explicitly magical, they have no defined limits and allow NewPowersAsThePlotDemands, a lot of which aren't traditionally associated with ninjas.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': [[AlchemyIsMagic Alchemy]] is accompanied by flashes of light, requires {{mana}}, and can perform actions that look like PlayingWithFire or DishingOutDirt etc but Edward is quick to point out that it is NOT magic.
* In ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' (and the spinoff, ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun''), [[PsychicPowers espers]] are basically just [[FunctionalMagic Inherent Gift]] magic under a different name. Really, the only difference between the mages and the espers is that the mages use lots of crutches in the form of magic circles and magic items that the espers don't. And espers only get one power, while mages can learn multiple ([[CripplingOverspecialization though most don't learn more than a few]]).
* ''Anime/FushigiboshiNoFutagoHime'': The Prominence and the Power of Darkness. Neither are explicitly called magic despite looking just like it. Altezza refers to the former as Fine and Rein's "weird power".


* In the ValiantComics titles set in the 41st Century (''Magnus: Robot Fighter'', ''Rai and the Future Force'' and ''Psi-Lords''), "ectotheric energy" is used by some people to achieve the effect of "magic", even though it is in reality a variation of PsychicPowers and is scientifically comprehensible. "Necromancy" occurs in many titles from the 20th Century, and is even more overtly expressed as a kind of "magic" (obviously, given the name), although it too is really psychic in nature.


* Parodied in FanFic/NullmetalAlchemist, where Ed [[InsistentTerminology insists]] on [[AlchemyIsMagic calling alchemy "magic"]], because his mother told him that "alchemy" sounds too pretentious. Played straight by everyone else, though.


* ''Franchise/StarWars'': The Force (the Expanded Universe even splits it into Light and Dark magic!).
* In ''Film/TheMatrix'', bending the rules of physics while jacked into the computer world is ostensibly just hacking a program, but tends to be accorded mystical significance. Then Neo starts controlling machines in the real world with his mind alone...

* ''TheWheelOfTime'': The One Power, which is segregated by sex, with males using ''saidin'' and females ''saidar''. Using the Power is called channeling. The BigBad has his own flavor, called the True Power. And that's not speaking of [[UnequalRites the different channeling societies]].
* ''TheSharingKnife'': Ground (Lakewalkers specifically dislike the term magic.)
* BrandonSanderson's "cosmere" multiverse in general uses this; individual systems of FunctionalMagic are referred to by their names, and the term "magic" hardly ever comes up. The exception is in ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', where one magic system ''is'' called "the Old Magic".
** In ''Literature/TheAlloyOfLaw'', allomancy is referred to as magic a few times. By contrast, the multiverse's resident MetaGuy, in the appendix of the same book, seems to refer to all forms of magic as "investiture", but exactly what this means is not yet explained.
* ''Literature/TheLookingGlassWars'': Imagination.
* ''TheKingKillerChronicle'': Sympathy, not to be confused with "Naming". If you know the true name of something you can command it, but if you don't then you can find something to represent it and use your willpower to force what happens to this to happen to that. Sympathy is seen as magic by many people in-universe, but people who actually use it insist that it isn't.
* Drawing in ''Series/{{Ewilan}}''
* Played with in the Literature/MediochreQSethSeries. Some people occasionally ''do'' call it magic, but most get quite uppity about the fact that it's [[InsistentTerminology properly called]] '[[{{Whatevermancy}} mancy]]'.
* ''Literature/StrengthAndJustice'' firmly assures that everyone's powers in the books are called "dynas" (short for "dynamism"), but at several points magic circles are said to appear when a dyna is in use, and the history of the city very clearly states that the users are all with an innate magical capability. It's a bit unclear as to what it is exactly.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Carrionites - witches who used what the Doctor insisted was not magic, but physics based on words rather than numbers.
** It also has Block Transfer Computations - complex mathematical equations that were never openly compared to magic, but the most blatant use of them (at least until the novels decided that [=TARDISes=] were made out of them) involved a planet of monastic aliens chanting arcane formulae to reshape reality.
** A funny lampshade (or is it a reference) is made in the Tenth Doctor's episode "The Girl in the Fireplace", where he says that the window they're looking through to XVIII century France is a "spatial-temporal hyperlink".
--->'''Rose:''' "What's that mean?"
--->'''The Doctor:''' "No idea, I just made it up. Didn't want to say 'magic door.'"

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': The Warp and psionics, but Chaotic practitioners don't shy from calling themselves wizards. As a comparison, in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' universe -- as befitting fantasy -- the Warp is unashamedly magic.
* ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'':
** ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'': Disciplines
** ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken'': Gifts
** ''TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated'': Transmutations
** ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'': Contracts
** ''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters'': Keys, Manifestations, and Ceremonies
* ''TabletopGame/InNomine'': Songs and Sorcery, one of the rulebooks notes that many of those in the know will [[InsistentTerminology get annoyed]] with anybody calling Songs "magic", and some will also get annoyed about using that term for Sorcery. Also you don't "cast" Songs, you perform them.

[[folder:Video Game]]
* ''AnarchyOnline'': Nano Programs
* ''Franchise/{{BioShock}}'': Plasmids. ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' replaces them with "Vigors." You drink them instead of injecting with a syringe, but other than that they work the same.
* ''Franchise/DeadSpace'': The kinesis and stasis modules. Somewhat dissonant with the otherwise realistic sci-fi horror setting, but any shooter with physics puzzles needs a levitation ability because it's too much work to properly implement the character picking up and throwing things with his hands like a normal person.
* ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'': Psi
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'': Psynergy
* ''Videogame/{{Half-Life 1}}'': The Vortessence
* ''VideoGame/TheLordOfTheRingsOnline'': Rune-Keepers and Lore-Masters, to get around the fact that there are canonically only five wizards in all of Middle-Earth.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'': Biotics. It's basically telekinesis and kinetic energy bolts by another name - extremely detailed justifications, but in the end, its still lift spells. All of the advanced technology in the setting works off the same principles.
* ''PhantasyStar'': It's an ostensibly SpaceOpera and PlanetaryRomance, but ESP and "techniques" are functionally magic, with true magic being generally considered to be a rare lost art which only a select few can wield.
* ''SecretOfEvermore'': Had alchemy, in what was essentially a VR simulation.
* ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'': Any of the archetypes' superpowers qualify.
* ''StarCraft'': Psionics (Complete with glowing hands in the sequel even though it is supposed to be a mental power.)
* ''StarOcean'': Heraldry, Symbology, Runeology, Whateverology... [[spoiler:Justified in-universe as being programming code--the universe is actually an MMORPG, and magic is really just the AI hacking the system, and the eponymous symbols and runes are the game's code.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'': Fonic Artes
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'': Valkyrian Flames
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', ''Videogame/{{Xenosaga}}'', and ''Videogame/{{Xenoblade}}'': Ether. At least in the case of Xenosaga, a lot of this is explicitly stated to be nanobots in the environs being somehow influenced by the characters. The effects are still just like magic.
* ''VideoGame/TheMatrixOnline'': Hacking. Building on the ''Franchise/{{Matrix}}'' films' exploration of MagicFromTechnology, with certain characters managing to exhibit supernatural abilities by transcending the limitations of the Matrix's code, the game introduces an entire character class built around casting spells by hacking into the Matrix's code from within. Every "spell" is accompanied by an explosion of green binary code, just to remind players that it's not ''really'' magic.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Shinobi}}'' series, "ninjutsu" is the name generally used to describe special magical attacks based on fire, lightning, etc.
* ''VideoGame/{{Inindo}}'' has ninjutsu as one of the three types of magic, consisting of ElementalPowers.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''{{WebAnimation/RWBY}}'': Subverted. WordOfGod states that Dust was used in place of magic to intentionally avoid using the word during [[http://youtu.be/D8o4neUbtcc?t=29m48s their RTX panel]]. However, since then, he, and the rest of the staff, have freely described certain characters as "mages".

* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': The Spark. Semi-example. The machines are powered by science, but you have to be born with the mysterious "spark" to make them work, and once you do, you can kind of bend the laws of physics. It's not clear to what extent, though, since the technology is never clearly explained.
** The old stories and legends of the settings current SteamPunk era include magic using figures (explicitly as ancestors to the "modern" scientists), hinting that the Spark may indeed be some kind of RealityWarper power which manifests through the individual's understanding of how the world works (ie. people used to believe in magic, so Sparks did magic, science has replaced that worldview, so Sparks do science).
** Before the main plot kicks off and keeps him busy, the Baron used his (very limited) free time working on a side project where he was actually experimenting on the brains of Sparks (namely those who were too dangerous to let live anyway) to try to determine the origin of the phenomenon.
* Initally, ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor'' used "Lux" and "magic" indiscriminately. Then they decided to ban the latter term and stop styling themselves “wizards” because [[ClarkesThirdLaw it's only magic to other people]], and those go by the principle most monotheistic religions have that MagicIsEvil.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': Ether; [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic etheric science]]. A case of insistent terminology by the Court, as opposed to the creatures of the forest.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Unsounded}}'', the world's FunctionalMagic is called "pymary". WordOfGod justifies this, though, saying that the word "magic" implies something mystical and unknown. Pymary may look supernatural to us, but in the world of Unsounded, [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic it's an ordinary fact of life]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* At no point in ''Literature/FunnyBusiness'' are Jeannette's RealityWarper powers called magic, even though that's what most people the characters' ages would think to call the ability to ignore the laws of physics at will. They're generically called her "abilities" or "powers" instead.
* The debate between magic-users and scientists in the WebOriginal/WhateleyUniverse whether magic is just "psychic powers" or whether psychics in turn are just this trope keeps going. In the meantime, a new approach called "pattern theory" offers potential insight into where superpowers in the setting come from ''in general'', but is still very much in its embryonic stage as well as apparently [[MindScrew nigh incomprehensible]] to most people.
* [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/Prolecto Prolecto]] has the abilities of angels, demons, and members of certain sects of the Survivalist Project. [[spoiler: Like Kayla.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': Bending. Lampshaded in the very first episode:
-->'''Sokka''': Why is it that every time you play with magic water, I get soaked?\\
'''Katara''': It's not magic, it's waterbending.\\
'''Sokka''': Yeah, yeah, whatever.