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Elemental Powers

Aang: I'm the Avatar, master of all four elements!
Dmitri Mendeleev: Really? I'm Mendeleev, master of all 118+. *swoosh* That was polonium-bending. You probably didn't feel anything, but the symptoms of radiation poisoning will set in shortly.

In the past, it was thought that all of matter could be classified into easily viewable "elements" that one can observe with the naked eye. Thus, all of the world was made up of natural forces such as "earth, air, fire, water" et al. The discovery of the atomnote  mostly disproved that,note  but the idea was so deeply rooted in mankind's mind, that it's still used in nearly every supernatural fictional setting.

The most common use is to give characters some superpower over an aspect of nature — like a character who can conjure or control fire or water, given the right conditions. This usually goes hand in hand with Personality Powers — you're not likely to find a calm and collected guy who can shoot fire, for instance. These "elements" are probably the source of the association of colors with personality traits. A character with elemental power in animation will often have the fitting eye color. It also makes for easy Superhero Speciation.

May involve the capability to summon Elementals, the living embodiment of the elements themselves.

Just what the "classical elements" are varies from culture to culture. In Greek (and by extension most European), Hindu, and Buddhist mythology, it's usually Fire, Air, Water, and Earth — with Aether (which can be "souls", "heart", "spirits", or Pure Energy) occasionally mixed in. In classical Chinese mythology, it's typically Fire, Water, Earth, Wood (which includes control over plants as well as the wind), and Metal. The classical Japanese elements are Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Void. In some alchemical texts, there are salt, sulphur, mercury, and quintessence, with salt representing the physical, sulphur representing the spirit of life, mercury representing volatility or fluidity and the "passive principle", quintessence was supposed to be the constituent matter of the heavenly bodies, and also sometimes was included with the more common 4 elements. (Indeed, quintessence quite literally means "the fifth element".)

Actually, the Western interpretations are ultimately analogous to a different scientific concept: the phases of matter. This Conceptual Reconstruction requires that you either count plasma as a fourth phase (as opposed to being a subset of gas) or correspond fire to energy, particularly the heat energy that moves matter from one state to another. Adding Vacuum, which is the lack of matter, produces the Japanese interpretation.

Usually, there will be an effort to make all powers equally important — the elemental powers used in such settings usually employ some form of Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, in order to avoid that any one power is clearly more powerful than the others. If some are more important/intrinsically more potent, then the Inverse Law of Complexity to Power may come into play or What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? may result.

Depending on your mileage, you might also have any natural force counted as an element — Darkness (evil black Death energy), Light (glowing holy life energy), regular Light (as in lasers and holograms), Ice, Electricity, Magnetism, Time, Space, Moon, Sun, Stars, Pizza, Gravity, Void (which is usually like a cross between Space, Dark, and Aether), Acid, Sky (Wind with storm and weather added), Sleaze, and Sound as alternative elements.

A lot of cultural baggage has become attached to the elements over the ages, making some of them "bad" and assigning personality traits to them and their practitioners much like a Four-Temperament Ensemble. Fiction exploring elemental powers tends to use these as tropes and character traits:

  • Earth: Stable and resilient, earth is the element of solidity and support. It is frequently the strongest element, but also the slowest or it's good at defensive magic, but not in offensive depending on the writer. Earth characters are frequently dependable, strong, and, if female, motherly. However, they can also be stubborn and far too stuck in their ways. As such, it is aligned with the melancholic temperament. Generally represented as by either the color Green, Brown, Tan, or Yellow (the latter three more often used if this element is based purely on actual earth rather than plants or other stuff). This is the "element" corresponding to the solid state.
  • Fire: Has positive connotations like warmth, light, purification, and even rebirth. On the flipside, it's very, very easy to exaggerate it into an antagonistic element by emphasizing its wild, destructive, and unpredictable nature. As it is aligned with the choleric temperament, fire characters have a habit of being impulsive, hotheaded, and brash. As such they make a great Red Oni to any Blue Oni and are typically The Hero, The Lancer or an important bad guy. More rarely they can be The Smart Guy as the ability to make and manipulate fire in Real Life is often seen as the being first step towards "inventing" science. Usually represented by the color Red and Red Rangers, even though it is naturally more Orange in color, if not outright Gold/Yellow (of course, they aren't the only possible fire colors). This is the "element" corresponding to either the plasma state or to heat energy.
  • Air/Wind: The element of change and movement; unpredictably calm one moment and flying into a tempest the next. The quickest of the elements, but sometimes seen as the weakest (unless it is referred to as "sky" or "heaven"), therefore, what it lacks in raw power it makes up for in offensive and defensive maneuvers. It can also include Weather Manipulation. Aligned with the sanguine temperament, air characters are often cheerful, energetic, free spirits. Noise, when used as an elemental attack, is sometimes depicted and treated as an air-like attack. It can also sometimes feed energy to Fire, so an Air Mage working with a Fire Mage is not a team to tangle with. Green is often used to represent it in eastern products, but it's also fairly common to see Yellow, Light Blues, Purples, or White. Air typically corresponds to the gaseous state.
  • Water: The element of change and adaptability; capable of taking any form. Water is pretty much always seen positively, symbolizing healing, adaptability, and calm. While earth is strong and solid and air is weak but fluid, water is both strong and fluid, but not to the same extent as the other two. This is analogous to the liquid state of matter, insofar as liquids have a definite volume as solids do, but lack a definite form just like gasses.note  Aligned with the phlegmatic temperament, water characters are usually laid-back and "go with the flow". Usually depicted as Blue or Cyan. Although not thought of as much of a combat power, when roused a Water Mage can be unstoppable and unpredictable—especially combined with Wind (think Hurricanes.)

Some shows that absolutely need a Five-Man Band will come up with a fifth element in addition to the classical western ones, and find a way to make it a team attack that uses All Your Colors Combined. Anime usually employs Light or Lightning, but Western Animation prefers to make something up like Energy or Spirit or possibly heart.

Some works, especially Video Games and RPGs, will often add more to the list. Common additions include:

Any setting with magic in it will inevitably have elemental spells. Because of this, Elemental Powers is one major class of the Stock RPG Spells.

Finally, it's worth noting that possessing specific elemental powers can make a character vulnerable against a specific element. Fire-elemental beings, for example, don't take too well to Water-elemental attacks. Similarly, Elemental Powers (especially the core four/five) are very competitive if not stronger than abstract elements because of the Inverse Law of Complexity to Power.

Those with these powers may also have the ability of Elemental Absorption. Fire, Ice, Lightning and Elemental Shapeshifter are subtropes.

See also Four Element Ensemble, Element Number Five, Infinity+1 Element.

Elemental Baggage is when a character requires some (usually not much) element lying around in order to work with.

This does not occur in Real Life, so No Real Life Examples, Please! Water, wind, etc. do have energy, but it's the same type of energy and therefore not an example of this trope.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • Pokémon are creatures that have plausible elemental powers like Fire and Water as well as some oddball, out-of-place elements like Bug and Dragon. See the Video Games folder for more info.
  • The heroes and villains of Digimon Frontier use Spirits that represent ten elements, specifically Fire (Takuya), Water (Ranamon), Earth (Grumblemon), Wind (Izumi/Zoe), Wood (Arbormon), Lightning (Junpei/J.T), Ice (Tomoki/Tommy), Metal (Mercurimon), Light (Kouji) and Darkness (Kouichi).
    • In Digimon Adventure, all of the main eight kids are associated with an element: Taichi/Tai (Fire), Yamato/Matt (Ice), Sora (Air), Koushirou/Izzy (Electricity), Jyou/Joe (Water), Mimi (Earth), Hikari/Kari and Takeru/T.K (Light).
    • And then by Digimon Adventure 02 we have Davis/Daisuke (fire/thunder/light(Magnamon)), Yolei/Miyako (air/nature), Cody/Iori (earth/water), Kari (light, sometimes heart based), T.K. (light, sometimes sun based), and the Digimon Kaizer/Emperor (dark) before Ken had a Heel-Face Turn and, in the drama CD at least, gained love as well.
    • One by one, Digimon introduced Seadramon, Flamedramon, and Airdramon. However, we've never seen them as a group or anything, and while Airdramon could be a meaner-looking, flying version of Seadramon, Flamedramon really looks nothing like them. It took them years and years, but the quartet was finally recently completed with the introduction of Groundramon. (He's vaguely Seadramon-inspired: his head looks like Seadramon, but the rest of his body is pure "yikes!" Four legs, two giant hands sticking out of its back, morningstar tail a la Ankylomon, and a few spikes, and what looks like pistons, tossed in for flavor.)
  • Certain mages, knights, and unison devices in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha specialize in spells of a specific element, such as Lightning, Fire, or Ice. Also, in full defiance of the main text of this article, the "calm and collected guy who can shoot fire" that "you're not likely to find" describes the Blazing General Signum perfectly... well, except for the "guy" part.
  • In Air Gear, all the top riders are called Kings (or Queen depending on gender obviously) and these guys' skills are all based on the air element, but for certain (shonen manga) purposes these are different elements: Wind King (Wind), Flame King (Fire/Time), Thunder King (Lightning/Ice), Thorn Queen (Plant), Pledge King (Sound), Gem King (Earth), Water King (Water).
  • The Five Great Shinobi Countries in Naruto are mostly named after the five classical Japanese elements (with Lightning replacing Void as the fifth element), and their ninja tend to have an affinity with their respective homeland's element. For example, the main characters' home village, Fire Country's Hidden Leaf, tends to produce shinobi who can use fire. Note that this is not a hard and fast rule, as several ninja can use elements not native to their country; Naruto's own primary affinity is wind, while his sensei Kakashi is well-versed in all five basic elements, with his main techniques being lightning-based.
    • The majority of genetically-exclusive bloodline powers, or Kekkai Genkai, work by combining two elements to create a new one; Earth and Water makes Wood, Air and Water becomes Ice, Fire and Earth gives us Lava, Fire and Water makes "Boil" (A corrosive/acidic mist), Water and Lightning creates "Storm" (Beam Spam), and Earth, Wind & Fire (amusingly enough) creates "Dust" (basically a Disintegrator Ray). Other elemental bloodline abilities include "Scorch" (which boils the water out of your body), "Explosion", and Magnetism. Sasuke has a special "Blaze" nature in which he uses "shape transformation" to manipulate the Amaterasu created by his Mangekyo Sharingan.
    • Other "elemental" abilities in the series involve control over space-time, paper, shadows, sound, gravity, steam, etc.
    • A filler character could create crystals, and a movie villain had, among a combo platter of other abilities, Steel.
  • Kaze no Stigma has fire, wind, earth, and water. Fire is good at raw power and purification, wind is good at reconnaissance and concealment, and earth can detect people touching the ground and cause earthquakes. Water mages don't appear in the anime.
  • Saint Seiya has much of the Cloths powers based on an element. Particularly stated of the Steel Saints of the anime.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Minto/Mew Mint is a birdgirl that can fly, uses a bow and arrow and can withstand strong winds; Retasu/Mew Lettuce is a fishgirl that can turn into a mermaid, uses bubble attacks and can control nearby water sources; and Bu-ling/Mew Pudding is a monkeygirl that creates trenches when she attacks, can manifest boulders out of nowhere, and once caused vines to grow up around Tokyo Dome. The only reason Zakuro has flames in her Transformation Sequence when she becomes Mew Zakuro appears to be to match the other three. This would, of course, put Ichigo/Mew Ichigo under "heart", which fits pretty strongly, actually.
  • Prétear has Wind, Sound, Light, Fire/Heat, Ice/Cold, Water and Plants.
  • Magic in The Familiar of Zero is divided into the 5 classic Japanese elements: earth, water, fire, air and void.
  • In One Piece the Logia Devil Fruits let their users turn into whatever element they're given as well as create huge amounts of them out of nothing and manipulate it. However, this includes more than the basic elements as a result of the Logia's official definition being the loose concept of "Forces of Nature" which means bizarre "elements" such as Smoke, Swamp, and Gas get a pass. Oddly, Fire is the only classical element that has appeared yet.note ; seen so far were:
    • Smoke
    • Fire
    • Sand
    • Electricity
    • Ice
    • Darkness (Pretty much like a black hole)
    • Light
    • Magma
    • Swampnote 
    • Gas
    • Snow
    • Mucus. Perhaps the strangest "element" in this list.
    • There are also three non-canon ones:
      • An unknown liquid
      • Candy syrup
      • Paper
  • In Tokyo Underground, almost everyone of significance possesses some manner of elemental power, including Earth, Water, Fire, Electricity, Magnetism, Gravity, Life, and the all-but-legendary element of Wind.
  • The Djinn of Uta Kata represent twelve different "elements" - one for each episode. They are, in order: Sun, Moon, Earth, Water, Fire, Sky, Wind, Flower, Lightning, Darkness, Sea and Mirror.
  • Read or Die features elemental powers of Paper. It is a personality power, the users love to read. As in, will crush a supervillain organization just to get a book from them. It is also possible to have other elemental powers in the verse, for example Fire by liking to burn things.
  • In the Bakugan first season, each of the main characters has a favored element.
    • Pyrus (fire) - Favored element of Dan, tends to be displayed in fireballs destroying opponents.
    • Aquos (water) - Favored element of Maruucho, has many elements of changing the rules and defense.
    • Ventis (wind) - Favored element of Shun, shown in blowing opponents attacks back at them.
    • Subterra (earth) - Favored element of Julie, Mira, and Jake.
    • Haos (light) - Favored element of Runo, Baron, and Fabia.
    • Darkus (dark) - Favored element of the Big Bad, Maskerade and thus also his alternate personality Alice. Also the favored element of Ace and Ren.
  • Flame of Recca - All of the Madogu have domain over a particular Element. This includes the classical 5 Eastern Elements, but also things like Sound, Hair, Paper, Gravity...
  • Sailor Moon:The assignment of magical powers and Senshi names comes from a mix of European and Chinese astrology and alchemy that sometimes seems almost random. (Mercury gets fresh-water ice powers from Asian symbolism, while Neptune gets ocean-themed water powers from Western... Mars as Fire may have to do with the fact that in Japanese, Mars is "Kasei" (Literally Fire Star or Fire Planet. Meanwhile, Jupiter gets powers from both sides, with an elemental affiliation to Wood that shows up in later seasons and manga issues, but she started out with lightning powers from her Roman god namesake). Venus has an easily missed Metal affiliation with her "Love-Me Chain". Neptune gets ocean-themed water powers because of the Japanese word for Neptune: "Sea king star/planet". Same goes for Uranus ("Sky king star") and Pluto ("Dark ruler star"). Saturn's meaning might be a bit more obscure ("Soil star") but it's related to the whole idea of dying, while Sailor Moon is her opposite (rebirth) in the S arc.
    • Moon = Light/Love (or just Power of Friendship)
    • Mercury = Ice/Water
    • Venus = Love/Metal/Light
    • Mars = Fire
    • Jupiter = Electricity/Wood
    • Saturn = Destruction (a Person of Mass Destruction for that mater)
    • Uranus = Sky/Space (except World Shaking is very much like an Earth attack for some reason)
    • Neptune = Sea/Water
    • Pluto = Time/Underworld
  • Yes! Pretty Cure 5 had a Five-Man Band representing Heart, Fire, Light, Earth, and Water. The second season introduced a Sixth Ranger who seems to represent the previously-missing Air.
    • On the other hand, in HeartCatch Pretty Cure! we have the two heroines representing, respectively, Earth and Water, with two Sixth Rangers with the powers of the sun and the moon.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has the standard attributes Earth, Wind, Fire and Water, plus Light and Darknote . The elemental concept is played straight with cards like "Oxygeddon" (Wind) and "Hydrogeddon" (Water).
    • If one has two "Hydrogeddons" and one "Oxygeddon" one can react them to create the "Water Dragon" (H2O), see?) Interestingly, Oxygeddon's effect is to explode when destroyed by a Fire attack, dealing damage to both players, which reflects that oxygen fuels fire.
  • In Saint Beast Goh is Fire, Rey is Ice (/Water), Shin is Wind and Gai is Earth, most of which run against expectation. Judas and Luca appear to have powers involving light and darkness respectively, a theme which comes out in their personalities too.
  • Fairy Tail has:
  • Slayers has the Shamanism discipline, which revolves around connection to elemental spirits. This gives them access to Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit/Astral magic, as well as ice and lightning spells as part of the Water and Air branches, respectively. This makes shamans the Red Mages of the setting, since they have a wide variety of offensive, defensive and utilarian spells in their possession, with their only problem being problems dealing with mazoku.
    • The setting also has White Magic and Black Magic, but these have a very different nature, though a similar underlying process — drawing upon the power of the Shinzoku and the Mazoku, respectively. Black Magic has a lot of very destructive elemental spells, though, such as the Vlaave Howl, which smashes a foe with a spear-like gout of lava, and in fact some spells (mostly the Fire ones) are officially considered both Black Magic and Shamanism. Meanwhile, one of the settings two forms of White Magic (the one actually named as such; the other is the now-forgotten Holy Magic) has been hinted to be a form of Astral Shamanism specializing in healing and exorcising spells.
  • In Orphen, magic is divided into Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Light and Dark elements, but is pretty similar in nature to the magic of Slayers, to the point there's an official crossover between the two settings.
  • Bleach has many characters with elemental abilities: Toushirou and Rukia (ice), Yamamoto & Hinamori (fire), Kaien (water), Choujirou (lightning), and an unusual example with Kira who possesses a weight-manipulating power implied to be connected to gravity. Quincy arrows are traditionally called "arrows of light" and the Vandenreich quincys call them Heilig Pfeil (Holy Arrows). As the "Prince of Light", with a signature Licht Regen (Rain of Light) attack, Uryuu is implied to be connected to Light as an element, as opposed to Ichigo who is implied to be connected to Void as an element.
  • Yaiba has the Legendary Orbs, with many of them connected to an element and Color-Coded for Your Convenience. They are:
  • Western-style magic in Mahou Sensei Negima! tends to be elemental in nature. Thus far we've seen: Light, Wind, Lightning, Fire, Earth, Water, Ice, Darkness, and even Plant, though that last one hasn't come up very often. Some of them seem to be grouped together as well: Wind and Lightning, Water and Ice, etc. Mages tend to have a particular affinity for one or two elements, and find it difficult (though not impossible) to cast spells of a different one. Some spells also combine elements: Jovis Tempestas Fulguriens is Lightning/Wind, while Incendium Gehennae is Darkness/Fire.
  • Ronin Warriors originally known as Yoroiden Samurai Troopers have the 5 core Troopers' armors based on some elemental powers. Ryo is fire, Shin/Cye is water, Shu/Kento is earth, Seiji/Sage is Lightning/Thunder and Touma/Rowen is Light/Air.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth has Hikaru as fire, Umi as water, and Fuu as wind.
  • In the Hanshin Republic arc of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, Syaoran has a fire kudan, Kurogane a water kudan, and Fai an air kudan. Later, Kurogane gains a sword named Souhi (blue ice), while Syaoran gains a sword named Hien (scarlet flame).
    • Original!Syaoran instead uses lightning, given his signature magic attack "Thunder Emperor".
  • Cardcaptor Sakura has cards for Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Ice (in the form of the Freeze card), Wood, Light, and Dark.
  • Mages in the Nasuverse typically use one or more of the four classical elements, plus ether, which is mainly used in granting physical form to otherwise immaterial beings. There are two other, extremely rare, elements mages can sometimes have an affinity for: demon/wish and shadow/imaginary. Some characters have such a strong affinity with their "origin" that the origin becomes their "element", such as Shirou, whose "element" is 'sword.'
  • Some of the Hayagami in Arata Kangatari have elemental powers. Five of the Shinshou have Hayagami of the classic Japanese elements.
  • The Devas in Popcorn Avatar each represent a specific element, and this is reflected in the abilities of their chosen avatars.
  • In Magi - Labyrinth of Magic, in Magnoshutatt, magic is divided into 8 elements: Fire, Water, Light, Lightning, Wind, Sound, Power, Life.
  • A Certain Magical Index: While most magic is not elemental in nature, spells associated with one of the four Archangels tend to be tied to a single element: Uriel for Wind, Raphael for Earth, Gabriel for Water, and Michael for Fire. Each of the Archangels themselves naturally have near perfect control over that element.
  • In Sekirei, elemental abilities are condensed among the powerful Single Numbers and the last two Numbers.
    • #03 Kazehana is the Sekirei of Wind.
    • #05 Mutsu has been shown to be able to create shockwaves and fissues with his sword, suggesting he has earth-related powers.
    • #06 Homura is the Sekirei of Flame.
    • #07 Akitsu, the Scrapped Number, has ice powers and is Homura's rival.
    • #09 Tsukiumi is the Sekirei of Water.
    • #11 Hikari and #12 Hibiki are known as the Thunder Twins, because of their lightning powers.
    • #107 Shiina has death-related powers, in an example of Dark Is Not Evil.
    • #108 Kusano, his younger sister, has a Green Thumb.
  • Hatoko of Inou Battle Wa Nichijoukei No Naka De possesses Over Element, a power that lets her control fire, water, earth, wind and light. Andou's Dark And Dark can summon a flame though it does nothing but look cool. It's not even hot.

    Comic Books 
  • The elemental heroes and villains of The DCU include:
  • The elemental heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe include:
  • This trope was the whole premise of Comico Comics' Elementals, a dark superhero comic about the team of Morningstar, Vortex, Fathom and Monolith.
  • Fantastic Four - More subtle than the rest, with Susan being Air (invisibility and forcefields) and Reed Water (flows, stretches, and very resourceful). Ben and Johnny are Earth and Fire, more obviously.
    • Several alternate continuities, such as the Ultimate and Movieverse versions, have Victor von Doom in the same accident as the rest of the Four, where he acquires somewhat uncontrollable power over Metal/Lightning.
    • Then there's the What If? where Doctor Doom's Face-Heel Turn gave him The Thing's Earth body, while Ben Grimm turned into the Hulk. Fire, Water, Air and Gamma Rays, yeah!
    • Marvel also have a super-villain team named Force of Nature, with Terraformer (Earth), Aqueduct (Water), Skybreaker (Air), and Sunstreak (Fire).
  • Shows up in the Dutch Douwe Dabbert comics. There are four artifacts hidden away at the four cardinal directions, in mysterious temples, each embodying a classical Greek element. Their exact powers and uses are unclear: in the Middle East, there is a chest containing an apparently infinte amount of sand (Earth). In the Carribean (West) there is a balloon containing a mighty storm (Wind). In the arctic, there is a... dodo egg frozen in Ice. (Yeah, I don't know either.) Douwe finally figures it out when he gets at last to the artifact hidden in Africa: a diamond that is kept in a dark underground temple. He correctly surmises that when the sun shines on it, it will set everything on Fire. (Too bad that the villains don't get it...)
  • Superman can be considered the embodiment of all four elements wrapped into one. For earth, there's his Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability. For water, there's his arctic breath. For air, there's his Flight and Super Breath. For fire, there's his heat vision.
  • W.I.T.C.H. has the heroic Five-Man Band control the four western elements, plus "heart"at first. And then the four western elements plus Quintessence in the second. Some of the elemental character tropes are played straight (laid-back Irma controls water, Cloud Cuckoolander Hay Lin controls air), while others are averted (quiet, sensible Taranee controls fire, girly, Lovable Libby Cornelia controls earth).

    Fan Fiction 

  • The Fifth Element - duh. In this case the classic four are joined by the fifth "perfect" element, which is actually a humanoid girl. In this case Milla Jovovich, and what could be more perfect, after all?
    • Well, sort of. Leeloo is just the carrier. The titular fifth element is luv. Awww!
  • On the spanish movie Dragon Hill the classical western elements are pretty much said to be the only way a person can get into the titular Lost World ( and the only way out is via a supercomputer). The sequel El Cubo Mágico goes furhter by making the Magic Cube reacting to any of the four elements (which makes one wonder why doesn't it react all the time as it is constantly in contact with the air) by creating an Eldritch Abomination. The bad guy also uses what appears to be light blasts, while the dragon Ethelbert uses ones of a blue colouration.
  • The Ghost Rider movie actually invokes this. Ghost Rider is Fire, just like in the comics, and he's pitted against three demons based on wind, water and earth. And who are they working for? Blackheart.
  • Thor can naturally summon lightning and wind through the power of Mjolnir. Fire seems to be the specialty of The Destroyer and the Jotsuns, who live in an icy climate, uses ice powers.
  • In Rise of the Guardians Sandy has Dishing Out Dirt mixed with Light 'em Up, Pitch has Casting a Shadow with some Dishing Out Dirt from corrupted and stolen dreamsand, Bunnymund apparently has plant powers, and then there is Jack Frost, who also apparently has some wind powers.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, being made of electricity grants the Surge Protector the ability to teleport.

  • The Alterien series. The Alteriens can absorb, convert and expel energy to astounding degrees. It is their primary ability.
  • The high spirits of the Astral Dawn series can manipulate energy at an otherworldly level. On the astral plane, they can even transform it into thought-based material. On the mortal plane, their ability for energy manipulation is not as great, but still high.
  • Harry Potter has fewer Elemental Spells than most other settings. The only two featured are conjuring of fire and water (also light if you count several charms like Lumos and the Patronum).
    • Each Hogwarts house is associated with an element.
      • Fire: Gryffindor
      • Water: Slytherin
      • Air: Ravenclaw
      • Earth: Hufflepuff
  • Harry Dresden generally conjures wind when he wants to move something or pull his punches and fire when he really wants something destroyed quickly. He also rarely calls on earth magic (in such aspects as magnetism and moving gravity for a moment) but considers that element "difficult, powerful, and dangerous" to deal with. Later on he becomes more adept at using force magic.
    • And as of Changes, Harry has added ice to his repertoire since becoming the Winter Knight.
    • Morgan used Earth magic in combat, although it was rarely seen directly in the novels. It's mentioned once or twice that Harry knows he wouldn't stand a chance against Morgan in straight-up combat, although this is probably mostly just due to Morgan's skill and experience rather than their elements.
    • Harry's friend and fellow Warden Carlos Ramirez balances Harry in that he possesses an elemental power that Harry doesn't have ( water) and a power that may or may not be an element in the Dresdenverse— entropy. When the two wizards are working together, they seriously kick ass.
      • Entropy is water magic, essentially enhancing water's natural dissolving properties by an order of magnitude.
    • Interestingly the faeries refer to human technology as "ferromancy", though as one would expect there is no actual magic involved.
  • Dan Brown's Angels & Demons featured an assassin who not only killed four cardinals using the elements as a theme, but would burn the name of that element into their flesh before he killed them.
    • One cardinal he buried while stuffing dirt into his mouth (Earth)
    • Another he poked holes into his lungs (Air)
    • Another he trapped inside a burning building (Fire)
    • The final one he drowned in a fountain (Water)
  • Elemental Magic in Skulduggery Pleasant is based around manipulating the four elements, with air being used to push things, cushion landings and (at a more advanced stage) to fly, fire just conjures fire, etc. Water and earth are apparently harder to learn, and less useful in most situations. Adepts use Non-Elemental magic instead, which is never described in much detail. There are also various other miscellaneous fields of magic used by select groups, like Necromancy.
  • Used by Pug/Milamber to destroy a gladiator stadium in an impressive display of magical awesomeness, in Raymond E. Feist's Magician: Master. Note to any conquerors: If you take slaves from a nation you are at war with, then subsequently help one of them unlock his ultimate magical power and then integrate into your society, don't take him to the gladiator arena where you make his countrymen fight to the death. It won't end well.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Various demigods can use the elements as based on their parentage. Percy, the son of Poseidon, controls water and earth to an extent, Thalia and Jason, children of Zeus/ Jupiter lightning (And Jason air as Thalia, despite being his sister, afraid of heights), Leo, son of Hephaestus, controls fire, Nico and Hazel, children of Hades and Pluto control earth and death and children of Demeter control plants. This doesn't even go into the all powerful gods and titans roaming around....
    • In the sister series, The Kane Chronicles: you have some characters like Zia Rashid controlling fire with Egyptian magic. Here, however, the fifth element is said to be cheese... but as this is Rick Riordan its possible that was a joke.
    • The Heroes of Olympus: The Seven.
      • Earth: Hazel.
      • Fire: Leo.
      • Wind: Jason.
      • Water: Percy.
      • Heart: Piper.
      • The Beast Master: Frank. Less well known but an 'elemental' power nonetheless, controlling nature and animals.
  • The Powder Mage Trilogy manages to both subvert it and play it straight, true to it's setting, featuring both mages and a lot of gunpowder:
Uskan: Each of a Privileged's fingers is attached to one of the elements: Fire, Earth, Water, Air, and Aether.
Adamat: But fire isn't an an element. It's the result of combustion.
  • The Wheel of Time: The Five Powers are Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Spirit. Male channelers are more skilled with Earth and Fire, and women with Water and Air.
  • The Fighting Fantasy gamebooks feature the Seven Serpents, seven giant winged snakes with specific powers over different elements-Earth, Fire, Air, Water, Sun, Moon and Time. They are the main antagonists in the third book of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! series, and the player must defeat them so news of their mission won't get back to the series' Big Bad. Fortunately, the Serpents' elemental powers also give them each specific weaknesses, which skilled adventurers can exploit.
  • Stone and Wood related powers are the best established in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant due to being the ones favored by the good guys, but other possible "elements" appear to include Fire, Ice, Acid, Lightning, Water, Wind/Sound, Gold, Blood, and Time. There exists also non-elemental magic of pure force, as well as Wild Magic based on White Gold.
  • Tamora Pierce used this with a twist in her Circle of Magic series: Briar was a plant mage (earth), Daja was a smith-mage (fire), but rather than distributing the final two elements amongst the other members of the circle, she gave Tris, a weather-mage, both air and water, and Sandry was a thread mage, which is definitely not a traditional element.
    • Moreover, once Sandry spins their magics together, they all have elements of each other's power, and so expand their fields of influence significantly.
  • The Discworld, being a nearly-unreal world, uses the Classical Elements, but adds a fifth, and no, it's not Heart. According to the History Monks, the world is made of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, and the fifth element, Surprise, allows everything to keep happening.
    • In The Light Fantastic, it is stated that the druids believe the world consists of four elements: magic, uncertainty, charm and bloody-mindedness.
  • Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series features a fantasy world inhabited by "furies", which are elemental spirits that inhabit most everything. Most people in this world can "craft" at least one fury; talented furycrafters can control two or more or differing elements. Anyone can exert a minimal level of control over most elements, especially if items have been pre-crafted for a specific effect. For instance, a Furylamp is a lamp with a captive fire fury to produce light. Anyone can turn them on or off, even if they have no actual skill at firecrafting. Similarly, anyone can draw on the earth furies in the major roads to let them run at high speed with minimal fatigue - infantry can march up to 50 miles a day with a causeway, whereas without one, a day's march is only 6-8 miles. Furycrafting has two aspects. Internal (drawing on an element to improve your abilities) and external (manifesting an actual elemental, or physical effect).
    • Earth is specifically about dirt and stone, but not metal. Mentally, Earth is associated with love, lust and contentment. Internal earthcrafting gives great strength and endurance. A talented earthcrafter can literally lift tons of weight. Externally, you can move and reshape dirt and stone. This can be used to create walls (or holes in them), carve ditches, or draw salt up from the earth. Manifested earth furies tend to be large strong quadrupeds, like giant dogs, bulls or just golems.
    • Metal is unusual in that it doesn't normally manifest externally. Metalcrafters are good at manipulating metal, and tend to work as smiths. A metalcrafter can draw on the "stillness" of metal to control their emotions (becoming dispassionate and flat), as well as to ignore pain, even from crippling wounds. The control of metal makes them master fencers. Not only can they harden the metal of their own swords (letting them cut through stone or even un-fury-hardened steel), but they can both more precisely control their blades, but can sense the nearby presence of metal, letting them know exactly where their opponent's swing is headed so they can block. Master metalcrafters have been shown to have the ability to turn their skin into metal armor, though this is incredibly painful.
    • Water is the element of healing and empathy. Watercrafters have a constant level of empathy going on, and with more direct application, can detect lies from almost anyone. They can physically manipulate water to flow uphill or over a riverbank. When an injured person or animal is immersed in water, they can examine the injury from an internal perspective, and heal any number of wounds.
    • Fire doesn't have many internal manifestations. The only one really seen is in regulating body temperature, typically keeping warm in winter. Externally, it's most commonly used to shoot fireballs at the enemy, set fires, or to craft heat-related items. Chilling and freezing things is also an application of firecraft. Emotionally, firecraft can be used to generate anger, raise passions, or cause fear and panic.
    • Air is associated with intellect. It is said that air furies are fickle with short attention spans, and thus only those with great concentration can master them. Internally, air can be drawn upon for incredible speed and reactions. Externally, the most common application is flight. Proper manipulation of air can also be used to create a magnifying glass for far-seeing, or with enough strength, a veil to conceal from sight. One rarely used application is simply to draw the air out of an opponent's lungs, asphyxiating them.
    • Wood is associated with almost all vegetable matter, including leaves, grass, hay, ferns and the like. Woodcrafters are great scouts and trackers, and phenomenal archers. Being able to directly manipulate the wood of their arrows grants them extreme levels of accuracy. They can draw vegetable matter over themselves in veil, using it to manipulate shadows into concealing themselves. With enough strength, they can animate trees into entangling foes.
  • Nearly the entire basis of magic in David Farland's The Runelords series of fantasy novels. Air and fire are usually treated as the "bad" elements, since they're chaotic and inspire chaos and madness in their wielders (and fire inspires its wielders to be destructive, because they can draw strength from other fires), while earth and water are the "good" elements, since both are considered stable and even nurturing. The hero of the first part of the series was the powerful Earth King, fighting to avert The End of the World as We Know It at the hands of Fire and Air worshipers.
    • The second series is much less black-and-white. The Earth King's son is a fire mage; the son's challenges lie as much in controlling his rampant power as in fighting evil. We find out that Fire has powers that can be used for good, including doing one thing that nobody has ever been known to do with Earth powers: kill a Locus.
  • In Orson Scott Card's The Tales of Alvin Maker you have torches (fire), doodlebugs (earth), Making and Unmaking, as well as the Indians' Song of the Green. There are also references to earth-fire-air-water... unusually, water is the one considered to be inherently destructive.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series obviously uses this trope. Each book is a re-writing of a traditional Fairy Tale with the involvement of Elemental Powers.
  • Wurts's The Cycle of Fire Trilogy has particularly powerful elemental magic. The Stormwarden, who uses only air and water, can create a storm fierce enough to melt rock through sheer friction. The Firelord, who uses only earth and fire, kills the Big Bad with a explosion hotter than the heart of a star.
  • August Derleth tried to retroactively impose an elemental theme on HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, matching up Cthulhu with Water and Shub-Niggurath with Earth, etc. It never worked too well. Just to point out the most obvious flaw: Water was, In Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu, one of Cthulhu's only weaknesses, as being submerged kept him in hibernation and hindered his ability to inspire fear in the minds of mankind.
  • In Robin McKinley's Sunshine, the titular protagonist is a magic-user whose abilities are connected to sunlight. This is described as an unusual elemental affinity that falls somewhere between air and fire. It is explained that in this book's universe, being a magic-user associated with a certain element gives you resistance to anything that element opposes or neutralizes. For example, a magic-user affiliated with Water would make a good firefighter, and a mage associated with Sun would make a good vampire hunter.
  • In Cate Tiernan's Balefire quartet, Clio and Petra have fire as "their" element. They assume that Clio's twin Thais does too, until a series of disastrous magical events show that her element is water.
  • In the anthology Wandering Djinn, not only do we have our protagonist Malik who's a djinn, and classically associated with fire, but also meets up with a marid, which is based on water, and a kamaitachi, who traditionally could be seen as air-types.
  • Benjamin in Breaking Dawn can manipulate earth, air, fire and water - his ability is unique in that it involves physical manipulation, while all other vampire talents affect the mind.
  • This is how most of the magic in the Farsala Trilogy works- Kavi's is a possible exception, as he has the ability to speak to metal.
  • Elements are central to the plot of the Russian novel Seven Elements of Creation by Irina Krupenikova. In the novel, each of the seven elements chooses one of the seven heroes to be its agents in order to fight those who would destroy all of Creation. The young space pilot Danila Timokhin becomes the agent of Life; Pčre, a wisp-like creature that befriended Danila as a boy, is chosen by Air; Yulia Strizh, a female gunner, is favored by Water; an interdimentional Intermediary named Seraphima Kaliada is selected by Cosmos (or Void); twins Greg and Gor (usually simply called Greg-Gor, as they have one consciousness) become agents of Fire; his/their brother Olivul Ber-Ross, the White Knight, is chosen by Earth; his cousin Donai Dierbrook (Yulia's brother), initially the heroes' antagonist, changes his title from the Black Knight to the Red Knight and takes up the cause of Death (Death is not inherently evil; it is merely a necessary counterpart to Life). These seven fly around in an interdimentional ship, the Winged Wolf.
  • In the novel Salamander, magic is divided along elemental axes. It's noted, however, that one can also divide magic along functional (weaving, shaping, refining, tempering) or humorous (hot, cold, wet, dry) axes.
  • The Chronicles of the Emerged World have the Eight Lands each representing an element, and in each land there's a hidden sanctuary keeping the sacred Stones needed for the Talisman of Powers. Said elements and lands are Water (teal), Sea (blue), Sun/Light (yellow), Days/Time (grey), Night/Darkness (black), Fire (red), Stone (brown) and Wind (white).
  • In Septimus Heap, while not being necessary, some Magyk can work like Elemental Powers. For example, Safety Curtains and the Revive spells used by Marcia Overstrand in Magyk and Darke are Air-related powers and require breath control.
  • Wizards in The Witch Watch can invoke the 'primal forces of nature.' Normally fire, but wind and rain have been known to occur too and there are rumours of wizards commanding even lightning.
  • In The Stormlight Archive, Soulcasting is a form of magic that allows turning one substance into another (vaguely resembling Alchemy from Fullmetal Alchemist), and is based around ten elements: Zephyr , Vapor , Spark , Lucentia , Pulp , Blood , Tallow , Foil , Talus  and Sinew .
  • Trapped on Draconica: The dragokin sisters.
  • The Shadow Ops series by Myke Cole features Latents with powers that include Hydromancy, Terramancy, Pyromancy and Aquamancy.
  • In Tales of the Branion Realm, the four elements (Flame, Wind, Sea and Oaks) are actually divine, with one of them controlled by a human avatar. This probably shouldn't have been able to happen, and the possibility of destroying the world is dangerous enough that anyone else who tries it is treated as a heretic.
  • All mages in A.L. Phillips's The Quest of the Unaligned are aligned to one of the four elements of the Balance. The only exceptions are the members of the unaligned royal house. And orahs and hosheks. But those don't really exist.
  • In the Literature/Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer, Elemental Powers are the main premise of the series. The Merrick brothers each have one, and Becca and Hunter are Guides, which means they have some control over all four.
  • In The House of Night, Zoey's Goddess-given gift is to have all of the elemental powers, her friends have one power apiece.
  • In The Chaos Knight trilogy, magic and religion are based around four elemental goddesses. They follow the typical air-earth-fire-water pattern, and the distinction between them is supposed to be strong and absolute. The protagonist's ability to ignore this is a plot point.
  • Elemental Blessings features the Kingdom of Welce, where every citizen is personally aligned with one of the five elements;elay or air, coru or water, hunti or wood, sweela or fire, and torz or earth. The Five Primes, heads of the most powerful families in the country, are more traditional examples, having direct control over their personal element.
  • In the Stories Of Nypre series all magic is based off of the four elements: Wind, Water, Fire, and Earth. There are also what are called sub elements for things such as lightning and ice.
  • Magic in The Sovereign Stone is divided into elemental disciplines, each of which is associated with (and can usually only be used by) a particular race- humans have Earth, elves have Air, dwarves have Fire, and orks have Water. There is also Void magic, which anyone can learn to use, but is forbidden in most of the world; eventually it's revealed that Void is associated with a fifth race, the taan.
  • Young Wizards by Diane Duane has the wizards assemble the Four Treasures of Ireland, which were identified with the four elements: Lia Fail—Earth; Spear Luin—Fire; the sword Fragrach—Air; Ardagh Chalice—Water. Together they could help defeat the Lone One.
  • The Elemental Assassin series has a slightly abnormal elemental system. Instead of Earth/Air/Water/Fire, they use Stone/Air/Ice/Fire. The protagonist, Gin, is a dual element user - Stone/Ice.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko and Nick Perumov's novel Wrong Time For Dragons has four elemental clans whose power is strongly affected by the time of day. The central point of the novel is that the protagonist must absorb the elemental power of each of the elemental clans in order to become the Dragonslayer before the next Dragon invasion. Other magical clans exist as well, of the animal variety, but they are small and weak compared to the elementals. However, the Cat Clan plays a major role in the novel.
  • In Vampire Academy, all of the Moroi specialize in one of the four elements. Well, all except for those who specialize in Spirit, which people used to think was not specializing at all.

    Live Action TV 

  • In World of Warcraft the Shaman class can create elemental "totems" that produce various effects; Earth totems tend to give defensive buffs, Fire ones are usually offensive, Water ones provide healing/restoration effects and Air ones provide a variety of support effects such as acting like a lightning rod for enemy spells. And let's not forget the fact that they can shoot lightning (and lava) from their hands.
    • The game is unique in that air and earth count as the same element (nature). It also features Shadow, Arcane (magic) and Holy (which, unlike the other five, has no resistance stat).
    • Story-wise, the Warcraft universe contains universal self-aware spirits for each element. The fifth element, and the strongest of all, is life Wild.
    • Note that there doesn't seem to be any connection to the elemental spirits that Shamans get their power from and the damage types ingame; which are the above mentioned Nature, Shadow, Arcane and Holy, plus Fire, Frost and physical damage. Nature in particular seems to be a 'dump' category, including air and earth, but also poisons.
    • The schools of magic damage simply don't correspond to anything in particular. Arcane damage is usually delt by either pure magical energy also known as Mana or by 5 seperate elements(collectively called the Schools of Arcane) of created from mathematical equations refered to as Arcane, Displacing Arcane, Fortified Arcane, Replicating Arcane and Time which are used almost exclusively by cerebral mages with, which warps reality in large concentrations - but focused moonlight, a gift from the moon goddess, also deals Arcane damage despite not being anyway related to Arcane. Fire from demons is a completely different thing from fire from elemental forces or a chemical combusion reaction, but it's all Fire damage. Frost damage is dealt by all water elementals everywhere, even on tropical islands. Some earth elementals (that is, with a certain animated rock model) deal Nature damage and some deal Fire damage, if they're found in places where volcanic forces are strong, and somewhere there are probably some that deal physical damage. In addition to some earth elementals, Nature damage also comes from lightning, poison, plant elementals and wildlife-associated spells, Shadow damage comes from Shadow, Fel, Void, Death(created from mathematical equations like Arcane and other Elements of the Schools of Arcane which it is a member of) and strangely enough Life Spells(Ra-Den's spells that use life against the player either do Shadow or Plague AKA Nature/Shadow damage) and Holy damage comes from spells associated with The Light, The Loa and Elune.
    • Of course, every spell is connected to an element and most classes have at least two elements used regularly. Exception being the Warrior, who doesn't use anything at all, the Rogue who has poisons and the Paladin who relies solely on Holy spells.
  • Elementalists in Guild Wars. They have five spell attributes: Fire, Earth, Air (Most of which are Lightning), Water (Most of which are Ice), and their Primary Attribute, Energy Storage, which gives them a large Energy (mana) pool. It has one offensive spell, Energy Blast, which does more damage based on how much Energy you currently have. Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors isn't invoked much, mainly against some monsters with an obvious elemental bent.
    • Mesmers can also perhaps be called in here, invoking a strange mix of Heart and Mind, collectively designated Chaos, and they excel at making life for other people miserable by turning their own powers against them, sabotaging those powers, and attacking the very essence of the enemy.
    • Rangers also feature a series of Nature Rituals, tying them into Life, and Ritualists use Spirit as their main power source, with some ties to Life.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, there are the five elements of Hot, Cold, Spooky, Stench, and Sleaze, with rare occurrences of Bad Spelling and Shadow (the former used by creatures parodying the Internet like Flaming Trolls and Spam Witches, the latter used, appropriately, by your Shadow)
  • The MMORPG Ragnarok Online has 9 elements. Earth, Fire , Wind (most of it is lightning), Water ( almost everything of it is ice), Ghost , Holy , Undead , Dark , Poison. There's also neutral. First five are used by Mages, holy by Priest and Crusaders, Poison is utilized by Assasins. Dark and Undead is used by monsters. The game involves Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors and elemental levels, from 1 to 4. The higher the elemental level the more important its elemental weaknesses and strenghts. A Water1 monster is highly resistant to fire attacks, but a Water4 is invulnerable to them.
  • City of Heroes has multiple powersets for using many elements for ranged and melee attacks, defensive armors, controls, and buffs and debuffs. Elements available include Fire, Wind (Storm), Electricity, Ice, Darkness, Energy, and one of the few heroic examples of Radiation, used by one unambiguously heroic character.
  • In RuneScape, the basic spell book divides up offensive spells into wind, water, earth and fire attacks. The Ancient spellbook on the other hand uses smoke, shadow, blood, ice and miasma spells.
    • In addition, all spells are based on Runes. Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Mind and Body Runes can be crafted and used by anybody. Nature, Death, Order, Chaos and Cosmic Runes can only be crafted by Members. Blood, Soul and Astral Runes (and the Life Rune before it was scrapped) can only be crafted or used by Members. There are also Runes made from combining the classical elements: Lava(Earth+Fire), Mud(Earth+Water), Dust(Earth+Air), Smoke(Air+Fire), Mist(Air+Water) and Steam (Water+Fire).
  • Rift has six elemental planes that are all trying to invade the world of Telara. To wit, Life, Death, Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, each and every one of them opening the titular rifts and each and every one of them hating all the others. Fun times, everybody!
  • In addition to all the elements that both AdventureQuest and Dragon Fable feature, AdventureQuest Worlds throws in a new tenth elemental in the form of Chaos, which is represented by purple Chaos tentacles and a purple eye. Chaos has the power to chaorrupt (short for chaos corrupt) objects and beings, sapping them of their sanity and giving them the power to chaorrupt others. It is controlled by the Big Bad, Drakath, and his 13 Lords of Chaos.
  • The Monk class in Dungeons & Dragons Online come stock with elemental attacks in Air, Fire, Earth and Water, which adds electric, fire, acid and cold damage to attacks, respectively. Combining or repeating some attacks yield special results, such as shooting flames from your hand. Offensive/defense stances based on the elements are included, too. Earth gives best defense, Fire gives best strength to damage, Wind generates the fastest and most prolific attacks, and Water generates the best offensive/defensive balance. A Void attack is optionally available, which, in its ultimate form, sends a foe out of existence. Special attacks that generate light, force and negative energy damage make the class nearly a Trope Codifier, were it not for the online game's relative youth.

  • The Spice Girls (after Geri Halliwell Left) in their music videos Holler and Let Love Lead The Way represents the four elements each.
  • KPop boyband EXO bestowed elemental powers to members D.O., Chanyeol, Se Hun, Su Ho, Chen, Xiumin, Baek Hyun, Lay (More on the Life side), and Tao as part of the group's ongoing "story" (The powers for the rest of the 12-member group may not be considered elemental).
  • The music video for the infamous Tunak Tunak Tun featured four versions of the singer, Daler Mhendi, that represented the four classical elements.
  • Video game remix musician named DJ the S has the Disciple series. A series of compilation remixes made from various elemental themes from video games but all share one common song as their foundation: "Fighting of the Spirit" from Tales of Symphonia. Two songs in particular known as "Lord of the Elements" and "Master of the Elements" are mash-ups of previous elemental remixes he has done, and concludes the entire Disciple series to give one the sense of the true nature of the elements.

  • The "Barbarian" table of Balls of Steel requires the player to collect Air, Earth, Wind, and Fire elements.
  • The unnamed Thunder God in Flash throws lightning, and the entire game is centered around the idea.

  • A basic run down of historic elemental systems:
    • The famous western system revolves around the classic four elements, usually divided into "hot"/"cold" (fire and air = hot, water and earth = cold) and "dry"/"wet" (earth and fire = dry, water and air = wet) axisnote . May be aligned with seasons (nowadays Air/Spring, Fire/Summer, Water/Autumn, Earth/Winter, but apparently originally starting in Greece as Water/Spring, Air/Summer, Fire/Autumn and Earth/Winter), and many other things. Aether was also always a part of it as the "superior element"; nowadays, it equals "Spirit", but historically it was pretty "light".
    • Alchemy throws in salt, sulphur and mercury.
    • In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, the elements, or "tattvas", are more like states of being than anything else, forming a ladder from the solid earth to the heavenly light. They're aligned with the senses (earth = smell, water = taste, fire = sight, air = touch and "akasha" note  = sound. They're also aligned with the chakras, which represent their ladder: Muladhara at the bottom, Swadhisthana in the genitals, Manipura in the stomach/solar plexus, Anahata in the heart, Vishudda in the throat and Ajna in the forehead.
    • In Chinese thought, the elements are Wood (which is also synonymous with Wind), Fire, Earth, Metal (which also includes eletricity and light) and Water). They are pretty much described as states of matter and natural phases, so logically they're also closely tied with seasons (Wood/Spring, Fire/Summer, Metal/Autumn, Water/Winter, and Earth being the time between seasons) and life stages (Wood = birth/childhood, Fire = teenagehood, Earth = adulthood, Metal = old age and Water = old age or death). They're divided in the Yin/Yang axis (Wood and Fire = Yang, Metal and Water = Yin and Earth is both Yin and Yang). The Four Gods each represent an element (the often forgotten Yellow Dragon is the fifth, representing the Earth).
    • In addition, Ba Gua further splits the elements, with Metal being divided into Heaven and Lake, Wood/Air into Wind and Thunder, Earth into Earth and Mountain, and Fire and Water remaining the same. Some correspondences are switched (i.e. Earth becomes pure Yin and Metal pure Yang, with Wood/Air being the "in between" element).
    • Japan has a classical four elemental system, with Void being at the center. However, it switches the Earth and Air correspondences, as Earth is understandably attributed to Wood and Air to Metal.
    • The Norse system is pretty much tied to the runes. While some neopagan circles still use the classical four elements (some using the twist of adding Ice as a fifth element), more recent research shows that there was an astonishingly complex system of 12 elements. Basically, the fundamental elements are Fire, Ice and Spirit, which fuse together to form Water, Salt, "Poison" (essentially the principle of decay), Light, Time, Air, "Earth" (more translatable as "Midgard"; basically the two dominant forces in our world, the actual earth and the sky), Metal and "Yeast" (essentially the opposite of poison). There's no known axis, though since there are usually two runes for each element, a Yin/Yang sort of division has been proposed.
    • There's little evidence for a concrete Native American system, though the Plains Indians attributed their directional winds to South/Fire, West/Lightning and North/Water (as ice).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Elemental Powers are divvied up among the spheres of magic Mages can learn in Mage: The Ascension and Mage: The Awakening (Air, Earth and Water are Matter, while Fire is Forces).
    • Notably, in Mage: The Awakening, there's the collection of legacies known as the Elemental Masteries, which allow a mage to develop powers based on a specific element. The five best known Masteries are Void, Air, Earth, Fire, and Water, with rumors of various others.
      • Most notable in that they are focused around controlling both the physical and conceptual element (Tamers of Fire can control fire and inspire willpower for instance, or Tamers of Water can control water and heal).
    • In Changeling The Dreaming, two races of changelings have elemental themes. However, they are not standard player characters and come across as exotic and alien to the Kithain, the more mainstream fae. The Western elements are represented by the Inanimae. They include the Solimonds (Fire; revolutionaries), Ondines (Water; watchers), Perosemes (Air; travellers), Glomes (Earth/Rock; soldiers), Kuberas (Earth/Plants; hedonists), and Mannikins (Anything human-shaped; enigmatic to Inanimae and Kithain alike). The Eastern Elements are represented by the Kamuii, the noble caste of Hsien (Asian Changelings; the commoners are Animorphs). The Kamuii consist of the Chu-ih-yu (Metal; Knights Templar), Chu Jung (Fire; strategists), Hou-chi (Wood; healers), Komuko (Earth; Balanced), and Suijen (Water; jerkasses).
    • The New World of Darkness version, Changeling: The Lost, has the 'Elemental' Seeming as standard, which comes in the usual fire, water, earth, air and so on, but also covers most Changelings who took on a physical aspect of Arcadia. They get a buy-in with the Contracts of Elements (which allow for control over a specific element) and Communion (which allow for communication and influence with a specific element); they can buy up the classical elements, but could also buy power over Wood, Metal, Ice, Electricity, Glass, even Shadow or Light if you've got a permissive enough Storyteller.
    • Promethean: The Created has the five types of Prometheans themed after the Elements (and the humors). Wretched are Fire, Tammuz are Earth, Osirans are Water, Galateids are Air, and Ulgans are 'Spirit'. Then there's the real odd man out; the Zeka are radiation.
    • Geist The Sin Eaters has four elemental Keys: Grave-Dirt (Earth), Cold Wind (Air), Pyre-Flame (Fire), and Tear-Stained (Water). They don't really fit in with the death theme at first, until you realize they correspond with such funerary practices as the traditional burial, the Zoroastrian tradition of leaving a corpse for carrion birds to consume, cremation, and burial at sea.
  • Magic The Gathering is rooted in this trope, using five "colors" as its elements, and "tapping" natural elements to produce appropriately-colored mana. It's got a somewhat different elemental division, though: White (holy magic), Black (shadow and death magic), Blue (illusion magic), Red (raw power magic), and Green (nature magic). These could be seen to correspond to Light, Dark, Water, Fire, and Earth, sort of, but not exactly. Most decks are built around a pairing of color types.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Earlier editions of D&D, elaborated further in 2nd Edition's Planescape setting, were a lot more complicated note . First you had the four (classic) elemental planes, then two energy planes (Positive, or "life" energy, and Negative, or "death"/"unlife" energy) which aren't elements proper. Paraelemental planes occurred where the elemental planes crossed over each other ("magma" between earth and fire, for example), and quasielemental planes where the elemental planes crossed with the energy planes — Fire + Positive = Radiance (plane of pure, blinding light of all colors), Air + Positive = Lightning (infinite storm), Air + Negative = Vacuum (the vast absence of air and most other things). So a quasielement touches energy, base element, 2 quasielements and two base's paraelements, and a paraelement touches 2 base elements and their 4 quasielements. Some fans went further and created planes to "fill in the gaps" between the paraelemental planes and the energy planes.
      • Each of the four elemental planes also has a native race of genies: the djinn (Air), efreet (Fire), marid (Water) and dao (Earth). There's also a fifth race, the jann, which are native to the mortal world and are composed of all four elements.
      • And Ravenloft has tainted Elementals born out of the corrupting influence of the Dark Powers: Pyre (fire) Grave (Earth) Blood (Water) and Mist (Air) elementals.
    • Third Edition did this too...they just put a lot less emphasis on it, since Planescape was largely a discontinued setting.
      • Other elementals exist in different supplements, such as taint elementals in Heroes Of Horror.
      • Each element also had an energy type associated with it. Fire had fire damage (duh), water had cold, air had lightning, and earth had acid. Then, there was poor, lonely sonic damage...
      • The Elemental Savant Prestige Class selects any one of these four to focus on, creating a truer example than mages with access to all of the above.
    • 4th edition replaced all the Elemental Planes and Limbo with something called the Elemental Chaos. Each Elemental Plane was devoted to a single element, but Limbo had mixtures of all the elements. The Elemental Chaos combines not only the features of these planes, but their inhabitants (Elementals from the Elemental Planes; slaadi and githzerai from Limbo).
  • Exalted
    • divvies up the Dragon-Blooded by the five elemental Aspects of Creation (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Wood). The Aspect of a particular Dragon-Blooded determines their favored attributes (such as Craft for Earth, Sail for Water, Thrown for Air, etc.), and one Charm (Elemental Bolt) lets them produce a blast attack of their particular element. Each element also has an Elemental Pole in Creation (Air: North, a frozen waste, Fire: South, a vast desert, Wood: East, a dense forest, Water: West, a vast ocean, Earth: center, a massive mountain)
    • Various planes of reality in Exalted all possess certain elements that dominate the makeup of that place, corresponding to the elements of Creation. Autochthonia has the peculiar elements of Steam and Smoke(Air), Electricity(Fire), Crystal(Wood), Oil(Water) and Metal(Earth) all with corresponding elementals and mechanical dragons (The Lesser Elemental Dragon of Smoke is lovingly titled The Shogun of Genocide). The Underworld has the ghostly "Corpse Elements" of Prayer(Air), Pyreflame(Fire), Bone(Wood), Blood(Water) and Void(Earth)note . Malfeas has Vitriol — and that's it. It kind of sucks to live there.
  • In the Savage Worlds setting 50 Fathoms, magic is based on elemental mastery. Much like Avatar: The Last Airbender, most mages posess mastery over only one of the four clasical elements. However, player characters can buy dominion over each element, leading up to buying the 'Elemental Mastery' edge, with which your mage can sucessfully balance all four elements.
  • Dragon Dice uses magic of the four classical elements - Air, Water, Earth, and Fire - and a fifth, Death. The dice representing units in the game have access to magic based on the colors of plastic that compose the die with blue representing Air, green representing Water, gold representing Earth, red representing Fire, and Black representing Death. There are two additional colors - white, which represents an affinity for all elements, dependent upon the terrain that the white die is located at, and ivory, which represents and affinity for life, though there are no ivory exclusive spells.
  • The Dark Eye has six elements: Water, Fire, Air, Ore, Humus, and Ice. Ore is the "dead" part of the more common element Earth: Anything from sand to gemstones and refined metals, and one aspect is gravity; the opposite of air. Humus is the "living" part, from fertile topsoil to plants and animals, and associated with growth. Its opposite Ice includes cold and darkness, and is also associated with logic. The magic system is not limited to elemental spells, but any magic user specialising in elemental magic must chose one element as their main one, which makes spells based on it easier to learn, gives a slight bonus in negotiations with elementals, etc. There are corresponding penalties when dealing with the opposite element.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy, the core lores of magic are based on this, and both High Magic and Dark Magic can be tied to this as well. Other forms of magic are not such good fits. Some of the Lores are straightforward, others more complicated.
    • The Lore of Fire is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • The Lore of Shadow covers both literal manipulation of darkness, but is also the school of magic that specialises in creating illusions and Psychic Powers (of the "you hallucinate something so terrifying you die of fear" style).
    • The Lore of Death is similar to Necromancy, in that it can contact souls and attack the life essence of the living, but it's not "conventional" Night of the Living Mooks style necromancy, and confusing the two is guaranteed to make an imperial practitioner very cross. Necromancy of the "classic" style, in this setting, is a form of Dark Magic powered by/focused through Death magic.
    • The Lore of Metal covers the manipulation and creation of metal. It's very good at wrecking (or enhancing) warmachines and armor, but it can also attack by creating metal projectiles or gouts of molten metal.
    • The Lore of Beasts is the odd one out of the eight; it allows a caster to control animals and monsters, to turn into one himself, or to imbue allies with bestial traits (literally or metaphorically) to aid them in combat.
    • The Lore of Life is the most diversely elemental of the lores; it combines manipulation of earth and water and plants and it covers healing as well.
    • The Lore of the Heavens draws from all "celestial" aspects, meaning it mixes Star Power (in both the "divine the future" sense and the "hit your enemies with meteorite barrages" sense) with lightning magic.
    • The Lore of Light can conjure beams of radiance to burn and destroy, but also specialises in exorcising evil spirits (making its attacks particularly potent against The Legions of Hell and The Undead) and defensive conjurations.
    • High Magic and Dark Magic, meanwhile, are All Your Powers Combined versions of these eight forms; High Magic painstakingly weaves different magical energies together into a single coherent whole, making it roughly analogous to the Pure Magic element, whilst Dark Magic brutally crushes and mashes them together to create a highly unstable but very destructive form of Black Magic. In addition to being a distinct lore of it's own, Dark Magic also fuels the various Necromancy lores and it's congealed form powers Skaven magic and technology.
    • Ice Magic also exists, its not really part of the eight winds of magic and is only practiced in Kislev by its Ice Mages.
  • The purpose of the Domain stat in Nobilis, and its related arc, Spiritual, in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine is to give you this. Of course, the definition of "element" is broadened to "virtually anything", leading to miracles being performed that tie into such odd elements as Plutonium, Earwax, Blankets, Borders and Clocks.
  • Ironclaw has Elementalists as one of the five basic types of mage, and the only ones whose spells inflict physical damage. Elementalists are further divided by the four standard elements (lightning is air) plus "star".
  • Similar to its entry in the "Literature" section, The Dresden Files RPG classically distinguishes between air, earth, fire, water, and spirit (alternatively force). It's explained that this is more a matter of tradition and wizard psychology than necessarily cold hard scientific "fact", that there is room for overlap in achievable effects by applying one's elemental mastery in creative ways, and that wizards more used to thinking in terms of other "elemental" schemes — such as Ancient Mai, presumably — can work with those just as easily. Wizard characters usually start out familiar with only three elements (in Harry's case, those would be air, fire [naturally] and spirit) and specialized in one of them, but can add more elements and/or specialization bonuses later by spending refresh on Refinements.

  • Most characters in BIONICLE have an element associated with them. The main ones that the various heroes wield are Fire, Ice, Water, Air, Stone, and Earth; while the Big Bads have Shadow and the Sixth Ranger has Light. Time, Life and Creation are considered Infinity Plus One Elements; no person wields those naturally and the relics with those powers (one each) are dangerous to use. Occasionally some other elements are mentioned, from not-so-unusual ones like Lightning, Iron, and Plant Life; to offbeat ones like Sonics (sound), Magnetism, Gravity, Plasma, and Psionics (Psychic Powers). On top of that, some characters' powers like Acid and Vacuum are considered quasi-elements, mostly due to being part of a group whose other members use actual elements.
  • Mixels is based around the idea of tribes, each tribe being associated with an element. They include the Infernites, the Cragsters, the Electroids, and the Frosticons. All the other tribes are based around non-traditional elements, such as the Fang Gang (both with plant abilities and sharp fangs), the Flexers, and the Spikels.

    Video Games 
  • The elements Fire, Water, Air and Earth appear in the game Dragon Rage, though only Ceal Cyndar and General Mandek can use them all.
  • Pokémon:
    • There are eighteen types: Bug, Dark, Dragon, Electric, Fairy, Fighting, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Grass, Ground, Ice, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Rock, Steel, and Water. To make it even more complicated, a Pokémon can either have one of those types, or have two types and get the Weaknesses and Resistances of both. Egg groups may also be considered elements as much of them are types themselves. The breeding groups include fairy, field, water1, water2, water3, dragon, ditto, no-egg, plant, mineral, amorphous, monster, and human-like. The card series uses a simplified version of the games elements and combines some of them together: electric, water (water/ice), fire, colorless (normal/flying/originally dragon until it was split off in Gen VI), darkness, metal, dragon, fairy, psychic (psychic/ghost), grass (grass/bug/poison), and fighting (rock/ground/fighting).
    • Shadow is a type that, so far, only exists in the Pokémon Colosseum games. Technically it is the only element that is a temporary one as well as potential for Pokémon to have a third possible "type", but in certain circles, it still counts as a type in and of itself. The same may also apply to ??? but only if one wants to count this not-so-legal type.
    • The ??? type officially doesn't exist as of Generation V. Curse is officially a Ghost-type move from this point.
  • The Japanese-themed RPG Legend of the Five Rings, which places great significance in the Five Elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Void) — all spellcasters in that system work by controlling one of the four (other than Void).
  • Ōkami:
    • The sun Goddess Amaterasu eventually gains Elemental powers over the Sun, Moon, Wind, Water, Wood, Electricity, Ice, and Fire.
    • Each of Orochi's eight heads also have an elemental type associated with each of them: Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Electricity, Light, Dark, and Poison. The Fire head is the only one that actually talks.
  • Quest for Glory uses the four traditional elements, with a fifth one needed for life... Pizza. In the words of Dr Cranium "Would you want to live in a world without Pizza?" We cannot fault his logic. The Pizza thing became a recurring joke in the last two games. So much that the fanmade VGA remake of the second game (where the player must defeat 4 elementals) includes a Pizza Elemental as a Bonus Boss.
  • The Magical Vacation series really stretches the definition of what counts as "Elemental Powers", with characters having powers over Sound, Beauty, Poison, Bug, Beast, Machinery, and Love along with the more traditional ones.
  • Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts:
    • Black Magic is usually based around Elemental Powers, with Thunder, Blizzard, and Fire being common Black Magic spells. Less commonly, Holy, Dark, Wind, Earth, and Water are also mixed in.
    • Blue Mages or other casters not directly connected to the classic classes often conver the more unusual elements. White Mages often get Holy, though.
    • "Gravity" is a class of spells which deals percentage-based damage but is generally not directly associated with an element (unless it's associated with Darkness, in which case it takes off an extra fraction of damage to those weak against it). There are also countless "non-elemental" spells like Flare and Ultima.
    • In Final Fantasy I, the last boss Chaos has the powers of the four elemental fiends at his command, and thus uses the powerful elemental spells Blaze, Tsunami, Tornado and Earthquake. This is echoed in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, where Chaos' original form Garland has said spells as well. What's more, Garland's Swiss Army Weapon has four alternate forms, each symbolising an element, and he uses said form to launch that element's attack.
  • Bloodline Champions has quite a few. The Guardian's powers seem to be of the holy nature, especially with them being a Church Militant. The Inhibitor is a Church Militant as well, but their powers seem to have an arcane theme and appearance to them. The Glutton's magic is stated to be earth magic. The Stalker's powers aren't stated within their background, but has a darkness look and naming to it. The Seeker can use fire, ice and lightning on their arrows with an ultimate in the past that was called Elemental Fusion (later changed to a different ultimate called Marksmanship). The Harbinger has darkness powers. The Thorn has twisted plants to use them as abilities. The Herald of Insight is a Time Master. The Psychopomp's powers are of soul and spirit. While not mentioned in their background, the Nomad has wind powers. The Igniter burns stuff. The Astronomer seems to be able to Light 'em Up, but subverts it - their abilities are actually due to their scientific tools.
  • Diablo II only uses Fire, Cold and Lightning. Fire deal the most consistent damage, ice is generally useful due to it's incapacitating properties while lightning has the potentially highest but also the potentially lowest damage. Sorceresses have a separate skill tree for each though lightning contains some strange choices as well, like teleportation (fire only has one that increases mana regeneration). All three elements have separate resistance values; poison (mastered by Necromancers) does as well but in terms of gameplay mechanics, it's not considered to be elemental damage. Also, in terms of gameplay mechanics, elemental and magical damage are considered two separate things ie. magical immunity won't block elemental attacks and vice versa.
    • Some monsters have the "Spectral Hit" attribute that gives each of their attacks random elemental damage. Additionally, some are elementally enchanted, giving them increased resistance to that particular element as well as special powers:
      • Fire: fire damage with each attack, explodes when killed.
      • Cold: cold damage with each attack, casts a Frost Nova when killed.
      • Lightning: lightning damage with each attack, casts Charged Bolt when hit. Unpatched versions can combine this with Multi-Shot, creating a Game Breaker combo.
    • Diablo III, meanwhile, has a Wizard class who uses Fire, Ice, Lightning but also the Time and Arcane elements. Their non-appearance before now is justified as being because the use of either element is seen as a Dangerous Forbidden Technique by the Mage-Clans.
      • The other classes can arguably stray into Elemental Powers territory as well.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Organization XIII members have their own "attribute". Most of the time, they use elemental attacks based on their attribute. Axel controls fire, Demyx controls water, Xaldin controls wind, etc. Others just use their attribute as a source of power (Saďx), or visual motifs (Marluxia). Or it's just very tangentially related to their fighting style (Luxord's timer is the extent of his time attribute). In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, these elements are extended to Heartless enemies as well, and each one is given a status effect.
    • Nothingness: Xemnas. Can null your defense in 358/2 Days.
    • Space: Xigbar. Can "shoe-glue" you in 358/2 Days, preventing you from jumping.
    • Wind: Xaldin. Can "air-toss" you, making you fall to the ground if you're in the air.
    • Ice: Vexen. Can freeze you in 358/2 Days.
    • Earth: Lexaeus. Can halve your health in 358/2 Days.
    • Illusion: Zexion. Can "flip-foot" you in 358/2 Days, reversing your controls.
    • Moon: Saďx. Can silence you in 358/2 Days, preventing you from casting magic.
    • Fire: Axel. Can ignite you in 358/2 Days, making you lose small amounts of health at intervals.
    • Water: Demyx. Can damage-drain you, healing the enemy if you get hit by their water attack.
    • Time: Luxord. Can rewind your defense in 358/2 Days, setting your defense back to what it was at level 1.
    • Flowers: Marluxia. Can blind you in 358/2 Days, making you miss enemies much more often.
    • Lightning: Larxene. Can shock you in 358/2 Days.
    • Light: Roxas and Xion. Can zap your radar in 358/2 Days, messing with your minimap.
  • This is subverted completely in Super Robot Wars, especially the Masou Kishin portion of the series. They are not called The Lord of Elementals for nothing at all, though personality-wise, not everyone is matching.
  • Mega Man 1 had Bomb Man, Guts Man, Elec Man, Ice Man, and Fire Man.
  • In Genji Dawn of a Samurai there are four basic elements which can be use both by the player and the enemies and each of them has a status effect and color: Fire (Red, set ablaze), Ice (Blue, freeze), Lightning (Yellow, paralyze) and Poison (Purple, intoxicate).
  • Golden Sun:
    • Nearly all of the major characters are "Adepts" with elemental powers, and the player gets one party member (and towards the end of the second game, two) for each element. It also tends to follow the Personality Powers connotations, with (for example) Ivan (Air, which includes lightning attacks here) being quiet and thoughtful, most Fire Adepts tending to be brash and aggressive, water (and ice too) characters being more even and level-headed, and of course Isaac (and Felix) (Earth) being Heroic Mime. The game categorizes all the magic as one of these four elements, with one exception, even when there's not much of a link between the spell and the element (i.e. stat-in/decreasing spells and some of the puzzle-solving ones). None of the other elements get used, actually.
    • Video Game Golden Sun Dark Dawn ends by adding light and darkness to the setting. We can only guess how they'll play into future installments of the series.
  • Spells in The Elder Scrolls series have elemental damage, and also lots of side-effects (that don't really have element-association) like Silence, Dispel or Burden.
  • In the World of Mana series, the world's magic is governed by eight elemental spirits: Gnome (earth), Undine (water), Sylphid/Jinn (wind), Salamander (fire), Lumina (light), Shade (darkness), Luna or Aura (the moon or gold, respectively), and Dryad (wood/Mana).
  • Baten Kaitos has six elements, which oppose each other in pairs. The pairs are Fire and Water, Light and Darkness, and Wind and Chronos (a.k.a. Time).
  • Chrono Trigger has the four elements of Fire, Water, Lightning, and Shadow. Interestingly, even though Robo's laser attacks are all based on technology instead of magic, they are considered "Shadow". This makes more sense in the remake, where Lightning and Shadow are clarified to be Light/Purity and Shadow/Impurity. Hence, an imperfect energy attack generated by techonology by a being without the ability to cast magic naturally is quite impure. Lightning is just the traditional manafestation of the divine in many cultures.
  • Brütal Legend, set in a Heavy Metal world, features an appropriate selection of four elements: Metal, Noise, Blood, and Fire (which are actually the four elements that made up Ormagöden before his death). Although "magic" attacks in the game are not directly associated with them, they all fall into one element in one way or another.
  • Touhou's Patchouli Knowledge is known as the "one-week wizard" for a reason — along with the five oriental elements (fire, water, wood, metal, and earth), she can control solar and lunar power as well (each element corresponds to a day of the week in the Japanese calendar). She can even combine multiple elements for her attacks, up to the five-element "Philosopher's Stone".
  • Dinosaur King divides certain types of dinosaurs along elemental lines. In order of opposition, carnosaurs are fire, smaller theropods are wind, large ornithopods are grass, stegosaurs, nodosaurs, and ankylosaurs are earth, ceratopsians are lightning, and sauropods and spinosaurs are water. There is also Secret, which has no definite dinosaur type and no elemental weakness. Dinosaurs and other Mesozoic reptiles obtained through move cards are usually neutral, though there are exceptions.
  • In Legacy of Kain series, both Raziel (and Kain in Defiance) can obtain elemental power ups for the Reaver. Raziel started with the Spectral/Material reaver and could gain: Darkness, Light, Fire, Air, Water and Earth. Discarded Reavers include the Sound Reaver, the Stone Reaver, the Sunlight Reaver and the Ariel Reaver.
  • The later games in the Wizardry series, from Bane of the Cosmic Forge onward, use six spheres of magic-fire (also folding in light and general energy), water (including ice), air (involving lots of poison, oddly enough), earth (including acid and wild/nature), mind (lots of weird/limited use spells, but also some directly offensive ones), and magic (which also includes holy/light). Mages mostly specialize in fire and water, alchemists in earth and air, psionics in mind, and priests in magic, but all spellcasters pick up an array of spells from all spheres.
  • In the first Tales of Symphonia game, there are eight temples for the eight elements, Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Lightning, Ice, Darkness, and Light. Spellcasting characters can use spells from each element except for darkness, which for some reason doesn't have spells other than one of Sheena's summons late in the game. In the second Tales of Symphonia game, each character is assigned a different element.
  • While the Castlevania series generally shies away from this, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon uses as the basis for their magic system ten elements, represented by cards:
    • Salamander: Fire
    • Serpent: Water and Ice combined
    • Mandragoras: Plant
    • Golem: Earth
    • Cockatrice: Stone
    • Manticore: Poison
    • Griffin: Wind
    • Thunderbird: Lightning
    • Unicorn: Light
    • Black Dog: Dark
      • While some enemy varieties(ie. demons) have representatives for a few of these elements, the Armor enemies have (at least) one for each.
  • Harukanaru Toki No Naka De has a system based off both the Five Elements and the Eight Trigramsnote . The eight characters in the party fit into the Eight Trigrams concept (to the point of it being used in the manga/anime to track down one of them), and their powers are also tied to it, yet the Combination Attacks utilise the Five Elements version (with wood, metal and earth assigned to two characters each — and two of them aren't even tied to the same holy beast).
  • Visions & Voices has five elements: Cold, Fire, Shock, Necrotic, and Radiant. Five of the playable characters specialize in one element, and one character can switch between light and dark skillsets.
  • All over the place in Arcana Heart, with each of the Arcana representing a particular element - fire, water, earth, wind, lightning, and yes...even "heart" (it's more dangerous than it sounds...Take Our Word for It). Each of the girls has their particular preference, but the player can use whatever Arcana they want when selecting a character.
  • In The Witcher the classical elements are used in full force by mages (for example, Azar Javed is a fire mage, who attacks with fire, and summons a monster from the planes of fire.). Mad Scientist Kalkstein however mentions he has a theory that is effectively a basic description of atoms.
    • Wizards in Witcher's world call upon the elements for mana points magical power they use for spells. Water is easiest to channel, requiring but to find a ley line, so it's the one taught to wizardry students. Earth requires much strength to get magic from it, while Air is technically difficult. Fire offers great power that is easy to reach, but also is a poster child for With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
  • Summoner has two sets for the two sets of rings you collect, the first are the four demons: Machival (Dark), Luminar (Light), Titus (Earth) and Pyrul (Fire), the second set are the four dragons of Water, Forest, Four Winds, and Jade. Each ring (eventually) unlocks two different summons related to its element.
  • Light Crusader has Air, Fire, Earth and Water. You can mix the elements to create unique spells like Needlecrack.
  • The four Classical elements form the basis of Quest 64's magic system.
  • Disgaea has three elements: Fire, Ice, and Wind. All units resist one element and is weak to another. There's a fourth element called Star, which is the neutral element. Nothing is weak against it, and nothing resists it.
  • Elemental - War of Magic - Fire, ice, air and earth. Not to mention life and death. (Or potentially ruin instead of death.)
  • Fall from Heaven includes most of the above elements in its mana types.
  • In the Onimusha series, there are several weapons related to elements and magics. In total we had:
  • Master of Magic is halfway between here and there. It got 5 types of magic, but in the sense of "Resist Elements" spell and suchlike elemental damage is caused by Chaos (fire bolt, lightning bolt) and Nature (ice bolt, call lightning) magic. Summoneble elementals are Air (in Sorcery), Earth (in Nature) and Fire (in Chaos) — Water is absent.
  • In Ultima VIII: Pagan, much of the plot involves the Avatar learning magical powers related to three of the four elements, only to later defeat the gods responsible for them. You don't get to acquire any water-based powers, since the mastery of that element seems to be an inborn talent of a particular royal family. However, the player can optionally learn Thaumaturgy, a branch of magic particular to a fifth element, Aether.
  • Paladin's Quest: There are 8 Elements: Fire, Sky, Light, Spirit, Heart, Air, Earth, Water. All spells (except nine) are made by combining two elements together. Example: Fire + Spirit is "Fire G", or "Fire Group". When leaning a new Spirit (element), you suddenly get a batch of new spells. The last, is the ultimate spell only the Hero can learn, because only the Hero ever gets access to the Fire spirit, as there are no Fire or Earth Spirit teachers. The Hero only gets Earth through a scripted dungeon-and-boss.
  • In Samurai Warriors series there were different elements, each with a determinated power and effect. It affects weapons, but also some characters are more incline to determinated elements than others. Furthermore, some characters have elemental attacks involving Light, Water and Sound.
  • The Elemental class in Twilight Heroes has powers and skills themed on the four classical elements.
  • Like the Samurai Warriors example above, Sengoku Basara too used elements, (though, mind you, they were referred to the characters, not their weapons). They have:
    • Fire: Burns the opponent dealing damage over time.
    • Lightning: Stun the enemy.
    • Wind: Draw the enemies closer and deals them damage.
    • Ice: Freeze the opponents.
    • Darkness: Drain the healthbar of the enemies.
    • Light: Break any defense.
  • Persona 2 uses a lot of different elements, reflected in the different families of spells; Agi, Bufu, Zio, Garu, Hama, Mudo, Tera and Magna, Aqua, Frei, and Megido, Zan and Gry.
    • The Persona series uses six different elements: fire, ice, wind, lightning, light and dark. There's also a final element, Almighty, which is generally powerful and costly, but cannot be resisted. However, the inverse is also true: no enemies are weak to it, and in the 3rd and 4th games, where hitting weaknesses gives you extra attacks, Almighty is sometimes not as good as the elements.
  • The main enemies of the first Zoids Saga game are called the Four Heavenly Kings, and their first Zoids correspond to the four "heavenly creatures" associated with them - a blue dragon (dinosaur), red bird (well, dragon), white tiger and black tortoise. There's also some subtle Theme Naming happening, based on the corresponding elements: Blood Keel = wood, Flam Vogel = fire, Gale Tusk = metal (+ wind), and Opis Kerone = water (Opis was a water spirit in Greek mythology).
  • The Psygnosis RPG Hexx: Heresy of the Wizard has Earth, Chaos, Dragon (fire), and Night. The game lets you pick from sixteen characters—one for each element for each of the four classes. Character alignment affects what spells you can learn.
  • AdventureQuest and Dragon Fable feature eight elements in general: Earth/Nature, Fire, Wind, Water, Energy, Ice, Light, and Darkness. Dragon Fable's main storyline also revolves around eight elemental orbs, each one with one of those respective elements. It also throws in a ninth element, called Void, which is drawn from a magical realm of the same name.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Several depending on the game and the power up, but fairly consistently in the spinoffs the characters tend to perfer
  • Dragon Age II elements aren't considered polar opposites, but allied. Learning Fire and Ice together, or Earth and Lightning (a more spectacular manifestation of Air) improves mastery of both. There's also the Spirit element, and the Force school amplifies the side effects of all elements (Fire burns, Ice freezes, Earth knocks down and Lightning stuns.)
  • Kirby, depending on what enemy he copies, can control a ton of different elements: There are the standard ones, like Stone, Iron/Sword/Spear/Cutter (for Metal), Leaf, Water/Bubble, Ice/Freeze, Fire/Burning, Tornado/Wing (for Wind), and Animal, but then there are weirder ones, like Needle, Magic (which is stage magic), Fighter/Suplex, UFO, Laser/Beam, Ghost, Ball, Mini...
    • A complete list can be found Here.
  • In EarthBound, you can use thunder, fire, stars, ice, and light (in the form of PK Flash). PK Rockin, Ness' signature move, sounds like it's control over Sound.
  • World of Warcraft. Storm, Earth, and Fire! Heed my call!
  • Septerra Core. The spell cards provide these.
  • Dungeons of Dredmor, given its very silly place on the Sliding Scale of Seriousness Versus Silliness, has some rather odd damage types, though even its normal elements are oddly named:
    • Conflagratory: Fire. The entire Promethean Magic school focuses on spells to burn everything, though this isn't always a good thing.
    • Hyperborean: Ice.
    • Voltaic: Lightning. Often found with Viking Wizardry, courtesy of Thor.
    • Toxic: Self-explanatory, and one of Fleshsmithing's two main ways of hurting things.
    • Righteous: Sometimes Light, sometimes Holy. Astrology uses a lot of it, as does demonology, at first.
    • Necromantic: Self-explanatory. Necronomiconomics loves this damage type, and you'll be facing it a lot.
    • Acidic: Self-explanatory
    • Putrefying: The other part of Fleshsmithing's damage output, rots the flesh off the target. Often found with, but otherwise unrelated to, necromantic damage.
    • Transmutative: Attacks like turning chunks of your opponent into gold coins or just plain re-arranging their atoms. Combines elements of radiation and Pure Energy. Mathemagic loves this one, and it's common among magical staves as well.
    • Aethereal: Magic from the stars, one of the primary damage types dealt by Astrology.
    • Asphyxiative: Anything you risk choking to death on.
    • Existential: Sort-of psychic, sort of darkness, and rarely seen outside of Emomancy.
  • Anvil of Dawn has seven schools of magic: the usual four, plus Lightning, Flesh, and Void.
  • The Dragon Quest series have most of the basic elements but the hero is associated with lightning. In fact, only the hero and the hero class can learn lightning magic.
  • The Elder Scrolls uses the Greek four, plus light. Relmyna Verenim in Shivering Isles believes she's found a sixth element, flesh.
  • Battle High is a Fighting Game where all characters have some sort of elemental power. The neat thing is, every character uses their powers differently, so no two characters fight alike, even if they have the same element.
  • Might and Magic VI to VIII has nine schools of magic (split into three categories). Four of them are explicitly categorised as Elemental magic (Fire, Earth, Water and Air)). Light magic allows the summoning of Light elementals, so the other school in the same category (the Mirrored Schools), Dark magic, presumably has some elemental aspects even if the games don't showcase it.
  • In Drakensang 2: Phileasson's Secret, at one point you have to learn and use the powers of the six elven elements of Tie'Shianna, first in a series of room to complete a labyrinth, and then in a boss battle. Said elements (and respective power ups) are:
    • Fire: Burns through your veins, increasing your might and boosting your attack.
    • Air: The winds of freedom storms the enemies, unleashing allies on them.
    • Ice: Freezes the blood of your enemies, injuring them.
    • Earth: Embraces you with the warmth of life, covering the battlefield with a healing aura.
    • Water: The everchanging element breaks through the defense of your foes.
    • Stone: The might of stone will stop your enemies (or, in the boss battle, prevent him from summoning reinforcements).
  • Magicka's magick system is entirely based around combining eight elements, each with different properties and effects, (including opposites with which they cannot be combined) to create your own spells.
    • Water: Creates a spray that makes targets wet and pushes them around, but does no damage on it's own. Opposite of Lightning.
    • Life: Heals things (except undead, which it hurts). Opposite of Arcane.
    • Shield: Creates a barrier out of energy. When combined with other elements, makes barriers out of those elements. Can also be used to make personal shields, elemental resistance auras, and landmines.
    • Cold: Creates a spray that chills enemies, and freezes them if they are wet. Can also be used to freeze water, making bridges. Opposite of Fire.
    • Lightning: Electrocutes people, jumps between targets, does extra damage to wet targets. Opposite of Water and Earth.
    • Arcane: Fires beams of energy, and turns whatever it's combined with into a beam. Opposite of Life.
    • Earth: Fires boulders, and turns whatever it's combined with into a projectile. Opposite of Lightning.
    • Fire: Creates a spray that sets things on fire. Opposite of Cold.
    • There are also two elements that can be made by combining other elements: Ice (Water+Cold) acts like Earth, but fires a spread of projectiles, Steam (Water+Fire) acts like Water but has no opposites and is used as a substitute for air in Magick recipes.
    • If you cast a spell with no elements selected it uses Air, which pushes once and does no damage.
    • There was originally a Poison element that was removed due to being overpowered, but is seen in the section where you fight Elementals attributed to Water, Life, Cold, Lightning, Arcane, Fire, and Poison.
  • Puzzle And Dragons has earth, fire, water, light, and dark. Earth, fire, and water are in a triangle just like pokemon, while light and dark are effective against each other.
  • OFF does have elemental attacks, though the actual elements are Smoke, Metal, Plastic, Meat and Sugar. A few parallels are made, like Metal being earth and Smoke being air, but that's about the extent of it. It's an odd game.
  • Armageddon MUD has six kinds of elementalists, all getting an in-universe name:
    • Vivaduans are the game's resident water mages, whose spells focus on healing and restoration.
    • Rukkians use the earth element's powers, and are said to have spells good at protecting people.
    • Whirans control the element of air, and use magicks useful for transportation and stealth.
    • Krathi can channel the powers of fire, which is used mostly to deal death and destroy.
    • Drovians are those mages who use the shadow element, and are described as a secretive, elusive lot.
    • Elkrosians use both energy and electrity in the spells they cast, with spells focused on great bursts of force.
    • Nilazi deserve mention for not controlling an actual element, but more a pseudo-element that is anathema to all the other magickers' powers.
  • In Spellbreaker, the player character discovers thirteen of the seventeen Cubes of Foundation, each linked to an element. The cubes are grouped into four categories:
    • Earth, Air, Fire, and Water
    • Life, Death, Light, and Dark
    • Time, Change, Mind, and Connectivity
    • (The other four cubes, never revealed)
    • And then the final cube, Magic.
  • The Legend of Zelda have had such powers exhibited to at least a minor extent by the Sages ever since The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The Forest Sage is affiliated with Green Thumb, the Fire Sage with Playing with Fire, etc.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Link can carry four magic rods (Fire Rod, Ice Rod, Tornado Rod and Sand Rod), which also roughly correspond to the Four Elements (fire, water, air and earth). Some of them existed before, but it's the first time he's had them all.
    • Interestingly, who gets which element has been played with before. In The Wind Waker, we find that a Rito is the Sage of Earth. The previous one? A Zora. Meanwhile, the Sage of Winds is sort of an in-joke: in Ocarina of Time, the Forest Temple in the Kokiri Forest was going to be a Wind Temple. So in Wind Waker, a Korok (altered/evolved Kokiri) is the new Wind Sage and a Kokiri was the old one.
  • Brave Frontier has six: Fire, Water Earth, Thunder, Light and Dark. Each summons can be of one element and has a simple advantage and disadvantage to one or two others.
  • The Denpa Men has eight different elements: Fire, Ice, Wind, Earth, Electricity, Water, Light, and Darkness. Magic antennas correspond to these elements (as well as the Denpa Men's body colors). All but Darkness are common, but to make up for it, Dark is an extremely powerful element offensively. Very few enemies resist Dark-type attacks, and many are outright weak to them.
    • Some gear you can give your Denpa Man will change the element of its physical attack (normally typeless). For example, a pair of Shock Gloves will give your Denpa Man more physical strength AND an Electric-type physical attack.
    • In The Denpa Men 3: The Rise of Digitoll, there are dual-type magic antennas. Under very specific circumstances, a Denpa Man's party-wide magic antenna can evolve into a different antenna with a different name and design, an extra element, and more power.
  • Grid Warrior has eight: Fire, Ice, Water, Lightning, Earth, Wind, Light and Virus/Darkness. Each element specializes in a certain aspect- Fire deals heavy damage, Ice slows enemies, Water deals area knockback, Lightning penetrates armor, Earth has Anti-Air and Stun, Wind destroys projectiles, Light slows along with homing projectiles and Virus/Darkness causes a poison effect.
  • In Elemental Master for the Sega Genesis, Laden starts out as a user of Light magic, and through completing stages gains access to Fire, Wind, Earth and Water as well.

    Web Comics 
  • All mages in Whats Shakin can use all forms of magic, however each one excels in only one school. For instance, Coffin excels at fire magic, Pai at spirit/summoning, and Ell at holy/light.
  • Subverted in The Order of the Stick when Redcloak summons Titanium and Chlorine elementals (and probably others) to attack Azure City, remarking that he actually got a passing grade in chemistry, and that fire is not even an element, but a chemical reaction.
    They're not called reactionals, you know!
  • In Angel Moxie, Alex's magical ability is centered around the magical elements. The 6 magical elements are Water, Fire, Earth, Lightning, Pearl, and Shadow. Every lesser demon is aligned with a particular element, and as Alex slays demons of an element, she gains more power to cast spells of that element.
  • The abilities of the protagonists of M9 Girls! are the result of channeling the universe's elemental energies thru their bodies.
  • In the webcomic Slightly Damned, angels, demons, and mortals are attuned to the four elements: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. In addtion, Angels can use Holy magic, while demons can use Dark magic. It should also be noted that angels are generally better at spells than demons, and demons better at them than mortals.
  • Magic in the world of Bideogamu, setting of Fetch Quest: Saga of the Twelve Artifacts is divided into eight elements, each with a patron Seraph: Light, Shadow, Fire, Water, Wind, Earth/Nature, Ice, and Lightning. Furthermore, each person in Bideogamu has an affinity for one of the eight, although Light and Shadow are very rare.
  • In Harkovast there are fourteen (count em) magical elements! They are Fire, Ice, Water, Earth, Metal, Mind, Nature, Technology, Dark, Light, Life, Death, Thunder and Water. Every race that appears is gifted with the magic of two of these elements, each race receiving a different combination. The combination they get determines both the special powers and often aspects of the culture of that race.
  • In Panthera, each of the teens gains an elemental power while in panther form. Jason becomes the lion of earth, Kira the tiger of fire, Fletcher the leopard of Air, and Taylor the jaguar of water.
  • Butterfly from Collar 6 has recently revealed her power to use fire.
  • Bob and George. They even wonder where fire is, for symmetry.
  • Spontaneous Combustion has Flat Man, who seems to have more to do with element control than being flat
  • Homestuck has the 12 Aspects that form half of a Hero's role (along with Class): Breathnote , Lightnote , Timenote , Spacenote , Lifenote , Voidnote , Heartnote , Hopenote , Mindnote , Bloodnote , Doomnote , and Ragenote .
  • An antagonist in Sarab also averts air users lacking raw power. He seems to have the most raw power of anyone shown so far.
  • In Pacificators, there are people with "powers," however they're a bit rare. The main characters include Daryl, Cinna, Muneca, Taffe, and Larima. So far, the powers we've seen are light, fire, water (including ice), air (wind and sound), earth (including metal), lightning, and gravity. More are to come!
  • Demons in the universe of Ava's Demon are genetically divided into elemental castes. So far the elements of fire and nature have been shown while Nevy presumably uses water. Word of God states that Pedri's element is death.

    Web Original 
  • The heroes of Broken Saints, do not actually have control over the elements, they are simply associated with them as representations of certain virtues.
    • Oran > Faith > Fire
    • Kamimura > Will > Earth
    • Raimi > Awareness > Air
      • (alternatively, "Awareness" in promotional material is replaced by "Hope" to represent Raimi)
    • Shandala > Lover > Water
  • Several of the superpowered teenagers at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe have elemental powers. Riptide has control over water. Fireball and Phoenixfire have fire-based powers. Imperious has the ability to cast lightning bolts, and super strength.
    • Imperious likely also has wind/air-based powers, due to being Zeus.
    • In at least one case, "reality" somewhat randomly chose to reassert itself: Frostbite technically has hydrokinesis (the power to move water at a distance), but doing so uses up the energy contained in the water in the form of heat...and she can explicitly not manipulate ice, leaving her somewhat blessed with suck.
  • Dominion And Duchy, oddly for a Space Opera has at least six Elemental Manifestations. There is Luxianne, Manifestation of Light, Duister, Manifestation of Darkness, Dante, Manifestation of Twilight (which is apparently a specific type of energy), Lord Anarchy, Manifestation of Chaos, Lady Libra, Manifestation of Order and Malaenda, Manifestation of Neutrality and Balance. None of them seem to be evil.
  • The Anicopter's elements are Fire, Water, Wind, Wood, and I CAN COMMUNICATE WITH BATS. The elements are little related to their posessors (Bat communication is the power of Robot Ant), and Fire is apparently weak to Wood.
  • Several characters from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe have elemental powers:
    • Earthquake, Ouros, Cairn, Zemletryasenie (Russian for "Earthquake"), and Creag all control rock and stone.
    • Inferna, Hotshot, Diablo, Incendie (French for "Blaze"), Mondfeur (German for "Moonfire"), Ulkataranara (Hindi for "Comet Man"), Matahari Merah (who uses no Code Name), Firebird, Plamya (Russian for "Flame"), Salamander, Sunfire, Wildfire, Ifrit, The Confessor, Morningstar, Komet, Molotov, Inferno, Fuoco Bianco ("White Fire", in Italian), Pumpkin Jack, Tourmeline, Pyro, Dragon, and Red Devil all generate or control fire.
    • Cyclone, Breeze, Twister, Cloud Dragon, Shu, Gale, Vetra, Venta, Kamikaze, and Turbo all control the air and generate wind.
    • Volnoryezka ("Wave Rider" in Russian), Cascade, and Maelstrom have water powers.
    • Dark Wind has powers over smoke, haze, and mist.
    • Gaea's Children are an entire team of eco-terrorist supervillains with Elemental Powers: Flame controls fire, Mountain has earth- and stone-related powers, River controls water, and Wind controls the air.
    • The Four Winds are a supervillain team who all have control over a different aspect of the weather: Flurry has wind and cold powers; Hurricane has wind and water powers; Sirocco has wind and heat powers; and Tornado has wind and speed powers.
    • John Colbert, a student at the Hyperion Academy called "Centigrade", not only generates fire, but generates ice as well.
    • Dust Devil has control over both wind and sand.
    • Typhoon has "storm powers" that give him control over wind, electricity, and water.
  • Nearly everyone in Trinton Chronicles from hero, villain, to every-day-citzens has one of the above abilities or more then one in some cases. Magic is treated like science as it is learnable by all and everyone uses it [[Magitek in everyday]] life.
  • Chaos Fighters is rife with this. Without counting the Power Levels, there are around 23 elements including non-elemental, which is counted as one. Their weakness depends on the nature of the elemental attacks/spells and the caster. This is not even count the sub-elements under non-elemental, such as subatomic particles and their antimatter counterparts and photons.
  • A work in progress, Elemental uses these (Duh.) Attributes include...
    • Lightning-Powerful, yet fast fading.
    • Water-Versatility.
    • Fire-Destructive and unpredictable.
    • Earth-Wise, but unwilling to change.
    • Air-Persistence and loyal.
    • Ice-Loss of Sanity.
    • Mind-Underhanded and Manipulative.
  • In Elcenia, kyma can learn elemental kamai, which allows them control over all four classical elements—earth, air, water, and fire. This is in contrast to magic native to Elcenia, where a mage can only control one type of elemental magic, and has to "die" by it first. For instance, someone with the ability to become a water mage would have to drown, but would be alive afterwards.
  • In the hybrid webcomic/browser game Demon Thesis, the four main characters find themselves suddenly gifted with Elemental Powers after a mysterious Manipulative Bastard entity from another dimension reaches into our world and starts creating chaos. They get almost exactly the classic western elements, except that Sam's powers are over ice instead of water.
  • In the Web Serial Engines of Creation, the various forms of magi utilize control over various elements.

    Western Animation 
  • Metalocalypse has only one element— Metal.
  • Shendu's family of demons from Jackie Chan Adventures all were responsible for an elemental power: Fire, Earth, Lightning, Sky, Wind, Mountain, Moon, and Water. Once the demons were sealed away for good their powers remained, leaving them vunerable for other people to take, as in the case with Season 5 where seemingly everyone had a crack at an elemental power before they were all taken by the Big Bad.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers - Kwame (Earth), Wheeler (Fire), Linka (Wind), Gi (Water), Ma-Ti (Heart) And when their powers combine... well, you know the rest.
  • The Avatar franchise has the Bending Arts.
    • Note that the Avatar cycle goes in the same order as the elements are called out on Captain Planet, corresponding with the ancient Greek order: Air (warm and wet) to Water (cold and wet) to Earth (cold and dry) to Fire (hot and dry) to Air... One unique theme is the presence of the titular Avatar- a reincarnated figure who can (with training and time) harness the powers of all four elements, and serves more or less as the resident Superhero. It also has not only the cast but entire nations themed around the elements- the Fire Nation, the Water Tribes, the Air Nomads and the Earth Kingdom. A certain percentage of people born within those countries tend to manifest their signature elemental power, with no known exceptions besides the Avatar.
    • There is also Pure Energy in the form of chi, which is seen or implied to have abilities related to the Spirit World, locating things far away, seeing the future, and reading auras. It is also the basis of Bending (manipulating chi within one's body via muscle or breath control), and the ability to invoke the Avatar State at will (via opening one's chakras). In the Grand Finale, another discipline of Bending, called Energybending, is revealed. It is an ancient style said to predate the Bending of the elements (and the incarnation of the Avatar) and was used by beings to manipulate the energy within themselves. Bending the energy of another is shown to be capable of bestowing knowledge and removing the ability to Bend, at the risk of having one's own spirit overwhelmed by the target.
    • Each of the Bending styles also has a higher level that only the greatest benders can reach, including Lightningbending (fire), Bloodbending (water, though this is very immoral and can only be done at full moon) and Metalbending (earth). Air is the only element with no super variant shown. This can occasionally be seen as Fridge Horror: if there was a super variant of Airbending, it would have been lost with the genocide of the Air Nomads. (It was revealed that in the sequel series below there will be a sub-element for Air) There are also a few odd clans with their own takes on bending, like swampbenders and sandbenders; these are not separate elements, but specific disciplines of Waterbending and Earthbending developed by some tribes to better suit the areas they live in (swamps and deserts, respectively).
      • The higher form of air is Astral Projection. An airbender with a strong spiritual connection can project their spirit outside of their body to scout out the physical world without the limitations of physical form. Another high form of airbending is also revealed: weightlessness. Allowing oneself to "become wind" effectively enables a sufficiently powerful airbender to fly without the aid of a bison or a glider, in theory meaning they need never touch the ground again.
    • Also, the characters' temperments often follow the traditional associations with those elements, but with exceptions. Uncle Iroh is one of the most skilled firebenders in the world, and is a fat, philosophical, laid back (many would say "lazy", and many do) Dirty Old Man. Of course, push him too far, and you will learn why he is known as the Dragon of the West. Meanwhile, King Bumi, one of the most skilled Earthbenders, is probably entirely insane, in contrast to the calm Implacable Man association you'd expect. In both cases, the benders studied other types of bending (Water and Fire, respectively), incorporating aspects of them to their own bending styles and personalities.
  • The Legend of Korra, the Sequel Series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, follows all the same rules as the original show, listed above. The new Avatar is Korra, the reincarnation of Aang and a member of the Southern Water Tribe. The Opening Narration's new elemental roll call now goes in the exact same order as the elemental roll call on Captain Planet.
    • Both Metalbending and Lightningbending have become more widespread; lightingbenders are hired to provide the city with power, and an entire police force of metalbenders keeps order in Republic City. Also Meelo, Aang's grandson is capable of bending his own farts and use them to attack.
  • Xiaolin Showdown - Notable for the leader of the kids, Raimundo, being aligned with Air, while the show's lead Omi uses Water, and The Chick, Kimiko, uses Fire. Clay, though, is played straight for using Earth.
  • W.I.T.C.H. - Will (Energy note /Heart), Irma (Water), Taranee (Fire), Cornelia (Earth/Plants) and Hay Lin (Air). The show is notable for subverting the personalities usually attached to the elements. Taranee Cook, the fire-user, is shy and softspoken whereas Cornelia Hale, the earth-user, is spoiled, brutally honest and sometimes kind of a bitch.
    • Actually justified in the comic book: Cornelia got Earth power because she was the most grounded, as declared by Yan Lin when she gave the protagonists their powers, while Taranee is noted many times as being the one you can't piss off, as provoking her is like pouring napalm on fire (as Cedric cried at Elyon after the latter did just that and Taranee started melting the building. There WAS a reason if Cedric told her to leave Taranee alone for all the issue while Taranee was their prisoner...).
  • Winx Club - Bloom (Fire), Stella (Light), Musa (Sound), Flora (Earth/Air), Tecna (Metal/Electricity), Aisha (Water/Plasma), Roxy (Animals), Icy (Ice), Darcy (Darkness), and Stormy (Wind/Lightning).
    • There is a bit of a subversion in that Flora seems to manipulate both earth and air.
  • Many of the aliens in the Ben 10 series have these kind of powers. Most notably however is in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Ben obtains the forms of five aliens who each possess one of these: Water, Fire, Wind, Earth, and Lightning.
  • Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost is rife with Artistic License – Religion in its portrayal of Wicca, but just to make sure, at the end the Hex Girls sing a song naming the elements as "Earth, Wind, Fire, Air". Yes, it rhymes, yes it scans, but... it's missing water! And who considers "wind" and "air" separate elements? Although given how well witches and water normally mix...
  • Gormiti: The Lords of Nature Return Has four kids with the power of Air, Earth, Water and Forest, with the fifth being Light.
  • Ninjago The four ninja have the powers of Fire (Kai), Earth (Cole), Electricity (Jay), and Ice (Zane)
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 there were the Foot Mystics, powerful servants of the Demon Shredder who were composed of (and commanded powers of) Wind, Earth, Water, Fire, and Metal.

Eastern ZodiacMotifsElemental Rivalry
    Elements of NatureHeat Index
Eldritch AbominationOlder Than DirtElemental Rivalry
Drunk with PowerPowerEleventh Hour Superpower
Eldritch AbominationAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Everyone Is Gay
    Magic and PowersMind Manipulation
Elemental BarrierStock SuperpowersThe Empath
W.I.T.C.H.ImageSource/Western AnimationGreen Thumb

alternative title(s): Elemental Magic
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