Want to show how good and just your hero is? Then just use this counterpart to Casting a Shadow
! This frequently involves healing
and divine powers, although this can mean literal light
as well. This may overlap with Holy Hand Grenade
if the powers in question are used to attack. Like most other types of elemental manipulation, the laws of physics give way to Rule of Cool
Light has many similarities to fire, producing both illumination and heat. Thematically, however, fire is often presented as a primal or destructive force, whereas light is a protective force that literally illuminates the darkness. In some cases, light and fire overlap and sometimes intersects with electricity
as well. All three of these powers may also possess qualities of purification or total destruction, depending on the work in question. See also The Power of the Sun
, as, in fiction, a solar power is occasionally a mixture of the powers of fire and light.
is likely to use this, and if so, is likely to be a saint
. The hero is likely to learn this from the Big Good
or the Obi Wan
, who will be the master of this. Alternately, a work may instead use Light Is Not Good
, in which case, this may be used by the villain. In that case, similar to how The Sacred Darkness
illustrates a way to portray Casting a Shadow
in a pure and holy fashion, a villanous or "corrupt" form of light may involve such lovely things as light so bright that it burns out the victim's eyes, causes his flesh to be brutally melted off, etc.
of Elemental Powers
. Usually trumps darkness
, though the reverse is also possible. Or both, even
. For double the fun, see Yin-Yang Bomb
. See also The Power of the Sun
, which may or may not be related to this, depending on the setting.
This trope is Light purely acting as its own element. A Super Trope
to Holy Hand Grenade
, when Light attacks are fueled by good
. Contrast with Power of the Void
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Anime and Manga
- The Light Card in Cardcaptor Sakura. She is a counter to her Half Identical Twin, the Dark Card, and must be sealed along with her Foil.
- D.N.Angel features Dark's opposite who, in his very first appearance, uses what looks to be light-based magic. While having white wings. And glowing blond hair. Yet he is, by no definition of the word, good.
- Leo, the Stellar Spirit of Fairy Tail, has this as his main power. Makes sense, since the Zodiac Leo is linked with the Sun.
- The closest to genuine light powers exhibited in Fullmetal Alchemist (not counting Father's acquired solar powers when he literally ate God) are the ones shown by Solf J. Kimblee, the psychopathic, Ax-Crazy Red Lotus Alchemist. His powers are explosions of intense, white light generated by the energy of combining the symbols he has tatooed on his hands, one standing for the Sun, fire, and gold and another standing for the Moon, water, and silver. In practice, it's more like throwing around magnesium on fire than firing lasers, but works just as lethally.
- In the 2003 anime version Fullmetal Alchemist, Hohenheim was able to transmute light, creating Hard Light things.
- In the Mai-HiME manga, Haruka is given control over light with her Element and CHILD, Koumokuten.
- Admiral Kizaru from One Piece is a light Logia, which means he can turn into light to avoid damage, as well as using it offensively in the form of giant ass building destroying lasers.
- The Morph Weapon of Rave Master's hero Haru Glory has a light-aligned form called Million Suns.
- Kei in Prétear is the knight of light. Also, Himeno, when she Prets with him, becomes, of course, Light Pretear. Her weapon is called Light Chackram.
- Pretty Cure:
- Sunny Milk, from the Touhou official manga Eastern and Little Nature Deity, has the ability to control the refraction of light. Of course, being a fairy, this is used mostly as a cloaking device in her trio's pranks.
- In Sailor Moon, Minako Aino/Sailor Venus primarily uses light-based attacks. Her first attack that she uses is Crescent Beam, which is a beam of light.
- YuYu Hakusho also has Divine Energy, whose primary signature is the golden glow that surrounds a user while channeling it. According to the manga, those humans who first wielded it were the inspiration for the stories of angels.
- Angemon and Angewomon of Digimon Adventure. Angemon's "Hand of Fate" is his hand glowing with divine light which he proceeds to punch at the enemy. Angewomon has "Heaven's Charm" which works very much the same way.
- Words Worth: Maria is the adopted princess of the Tribe of Light and an extremely powerful, high level Paladin. Meaning, this trope is her specialty. Her most powerful spell, by far, is her signature "Mystral Window", which is the light magic equivalent of a wave motion cannon!
- Tangent Comics' version of The Flash used light as her power.
- The Ray from the DC Comics universe can, according to The Other Wiki, absorb, store, and process light and use the energy to fly and create bursts of light. The Terrills were also capable of manipulating external light, allowing them to create illusions and even solid light constructs, and to render themselves invisible.
- Dr. Light from the DC Comics can manipulate light, originally thanks to a suit he stole, but afterwards, said ability became natural to his body. Mind you, while there is a good Dr.Light (a japanese female scientist) in the DC Comics, the original one was the ultimate form of Light Is Not Good, afterwards turning into a rapist.
- Although Ms. Marvel was not able to do it at first, after she was experimented on by the Brood, she became capable of absorbing energy and projecting it, as well. Nowadays, being able to use photon blasts is one of Carol's signature powers. Her Spear Counterpart, the original Captain Marvel, was always capable of doing it.
- The second Captain Mar-Vell, Monica Rambeau, generates and turns into light as her main power.
- Radiance from The Invaders can manipulate the light spectrum to create offensive blasts, as well as holograms and hard light constructs.
- Northstar and his twin, Aurora, from X-Men and Alpha Flight are capable of flight and superspeed, and originally, if they came into contact with each other, they could generate bursts of light. Since then, their powers have been revamped so that the two are capable of doing so individually.
- Also, Dazzler of the X-Men is able to convert sound into light for various purposes, including Frickin' Laser Beams, holographic images, and blinding flashes of light.
- Tandy Bowen (Dagger of Cloak & Dagger) is capable of creating daggers made of light for offensive purposes and can even purge addictions from people. Dagger also uses these light daggers to satiate her partner Cloak's hunger for light when he uses his Teleport Cloak.
- Runaways gives us the light-powered Majesdanians, who look exactly like humans when powered-down (or when they're wearing a certain type of metal), but look like rainbows in their natural state.
- The whole Green Lantern franchise is more or less based on this, with various factions being able to manipulate light of different colours of the emotional spectrum.
- On that note, Big Bang Comics features the Beacons, Captain Ersatz versions of the Green Lanterns whose powers are even more directly light-based — different colored beams of light from their prisms have different effects. The Golden Age Beacon had his prism in a mining cap, even.
- Snowflame from The New Guardians, who can generate light and white flames... from coccaine overdose.
- The Magic Knight, dwarven, noble protagonist in Dragon Age: The Crown Of Thorns. While he is a Guile Hero, he fulfills the necessary good/heroic requisites. The fact that he can cast a white battle aura which can get bright enough to illuminate corridors perfectly is just a side effect of the fact that he can never really control the tear in the Veil he has anchored in his body, with said light being just extra magical power that automatically takes the shape of the Spirit of Honor, the DN's not-spirit-advisor, when he uses magic to perform extra-badass feats.
- Thanks to a light spell he learned early on, Paul in With Strings Attached can make part or all of his body glow via his hair, teeth, and nails. This proves to be extremely useful and is the power he uses the most after his invulnerability. Once, in a rage, he generated some kind of laser blast from his fingernails. When at high strength, he can pump extra power into the light, to the point where he literally explodes.
- The character Helen Bennett has the power of light in the Rise of the Guardians fic Guardian of Light. Her name also means 'light'.
- The party's resident priest in Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune proceeds to do this with a powerful healing spell that simultaneously hurts anything demonic during the Geffen Ten Guilds Raid. He repeats this with an exorcism spell, though it also has the unfortunate side effect of destroying anything desecrated - including unholy ground beneath their feet.
- The Lord of the Rings - this seems to be Gandalf's main attribute note . He can conjure a shield of light, enhance the sunrise to disrupt the Uruk-hai, and use white light to drive away the Nazgűl.
- Further shown in The Hobbit trilogy, particularly in his battle with Sauron, where he conjures protective light fields.
- Stardust's anthropomorphic star can shine. Quite useful when lit up to full power in the witch's abode.
- In the movie adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot is capable of releasing spores and flowers glowing in a bright golden light, which he uses to illuminate the darkness.
- Kendra, from Fablehaven, glows - blindingly - to most mythical creatures, after becoming Fairykind in the third book. She also takes possession of a talisman of light, which casts a large umbrella of light around her and her friends as they go to do what they do best - fight evil.
- Sam from the Gone series seems to have the power of light. When not using it offensively, he can use it to provide light. Bette was also able to make her hands glow, until Orc killed her.
- Harry Potter gives us the Patronus Charm. Used to great effect in the movies. As well as the Lumos charm and subsequent derivations.
- The film version of the first book has Hermione casting a spell to replicate sunlight to drive off the Devil's Snare.
- In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, only good guys can cast the light spell. It is not very powerful, but very useful for establishing yourself.
- In the second arc of The Saga of the Noble Dead, the sage Wynn wields a magical staff that generates sunlight, which is capable of destroying the undead.
- Zeddicus from The Sword of Truth makes light "webs" (spells) these are epically destructive often manifesting in the form of large explosions.
- Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings claims at the bridge in Moria to be "servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor." Anyone who's read the Silmarillion knows he's essentially saying "I'm an angel of God. Mess with me, and I'll drop sunfire on your Balrog butt."
- In The Silmarillion, it seemed to have been the main power of the Vala Varda, and to a lesser extent shown by Morgoth (in his earlier days, his eyes emitted a light that drove Maiar insane). The two trees of Valinor emitted a strong light, and afterwards the Sun and Moon were made from what was left of them, which became property of Ariën and Tilion, respectively. Part of their light was also encased in the titular Silmarils, giving them Holy Burns Evil properties but also making them Artifacts of Attraction.
- Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: This is Syndil's awakening. Ironic in that he betrays the Order of the Light.
- Alice in The Magicians specializes in phosphoromancy, a magical discipline focused around the manipulation of light. You know how kids will burn ants with a magnifying glass? She creates a magical "lens" a mile wide to focus sunlight into Frickin' Laser Beams.
- In Smoke and Shadows, the heroes call upon "The Light of Yeramathia" to destroy the Shadowlord.
- In The Zombie Knight, Harper has the power of light alteration.
- In The Stormlight Archive, while only two of the ten Orders of Knights Radiant had power over literal light, all use the titular Stormlight as the fuel for their powers.
Live Action TV
- Kamen Rider Agito's Shining Form, as the name suggests.
- Kamen Rider OOO's Lion Medal allows him to shine a blinding light.
- Lexa Pierce of Mutant X manipulates light to blind her foes, generate lasers, and even become invisible.
- Castiel, an angel from Supernatural, generates white holy light to burn out his enemy's eyes (and brains).
- Most solar deities, but several mythologies have deities specifically associated with light:
- Pretty much everyone according to Gnosticism; humans are shards of light trapped in human flesh that can reach their powers via enlightment, the Aeons live in greater realms of light, and even the Yaldabaoth and his servants, in spite of traditional metaphors as "darkness", appearently are still capable of light powers, with the Archons Iao and Adonaios being associated with the Sun and Jupiter and the archon Horaios having a name that means "light".
- Most good Clerics and Paladins in Dungeons & Dragons live and breathe this trope, and the game also has spells such as Searing Light, Sunbeam, and Sunburst, as well as the various Prismatic spells.
- 4th Edition introduced the Radiant damage type, which is mostly wielded by the divine classes.
- In Nomine has the Celestial Song of Light, which creates a supernatural laser beam.
- Magic: The Gathering:
- Many (or possibly all, depending on how loosely you define this trope) White spells fall into this.
- Red also has a few spells that involve using light beams, such as the iconic Cleansing Beam. Like most Red spells, they are extremely agressive in nature, their purpose being to burn the enemies. White, of course, still has similar spells, but they usually erase the victim completely instead of simply burning it alive.
- Puncture Blast in particular is interesting because flavorwise it seems to illustrate the "corrupted light" concept mentioned previously (the mechanic "wither" is basically flavored as, well, withering).
- Mutants & Masterminds, being comic books incarnate, has Light Control as a power, and it has plenty of sub-powers available.
- The Light Wizards of Warhammer Fantasy use, live by, and ARE this trope. Their Light-related magic has many purposes: Daemon Fighting, Healing of the Soul and Body, and Illumination of the Mind and Darkness.
- Light is one Attribute of monster in the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, and most monsters of the Attribute seem benign (most Fairy-Type Monsters are Light, for example)... But not all of them. Light Is Not Good occasionally applies with a few archetypes of monsters, such as the Fiend-Type Fableds and the Lovecraftian-looking Arcana Force monsters.
- The Exalted, in particular those of the Celestial variety, all begin to glow when they start throwing their powers around. While they do have plenty of benign powers, they were created to fight the creators of the universe...
- The Solar Exalted, unsurprisingly, have a fair bit of light imagery - they glow like the sun when they exert themselves and have plenty of other light-based tricks. Their Hellish mirrors, the Green Sun princes, have access to a few effects based on the Green Sun of Hell.
- More literally, there are two Adamant Circle spells; Cleansing Solar Flames, which burns every "creature of darkness" within several miles, and Light of Solar Cleansing, which restores Shadowlands to normality by severing their connection to the Underworld.
- The Light element in BIONICLE, including Takanuva, Toa Of Light.
- Mildred, the final boss in Arcana Heart's story mode, uses light-based attacks (as well as light-based versions of everyone else's Arcana).
- In the sequels, she appears as an arcana, adding light-based projectiles to a character's moveset when chosen.
- Angels and Lumen Sages in Bayonetta.
- Lao from Bujingai can cast two light-related spells, the Ryuuseiken (Meteor Strike), which is a volley of light arrows, and the Tenseiken (Heavenly Star Strike), which is the Up to Eleven version combined with Death from Above.
- Aurora, the titular Child of Light has Light-elemental magic in the form of Starlight and Light Ray. The former has less cast time and mana cost while the latter is stronger with a chance to instantly kill. Both spells are effective against Dark-aligned foes.
- Chrono Trigger - Crono has Heaven-elemental powers in the original Japanese version and Light-elemental in the DS version. note
- City of Heroes gives us the Legacy Chain, a law-minded group of mystics who give low-level villains trouble by shooting them with light.
- Dominions uses the path of astral magic, which is described as raw, unrefined magic derived from the celestial bodies.
- In EarthBound, Ness has access to PSI Flash, which emits a bright flash of light that may One-Hit Kill enemies. Lucas can learn it in MOTHER 3, but it's less effective.
- Final Fantasy:
- The Holy/Pearl/Fade/whatever line of magic is often the strongest offensive light-element magic of its type.
- Relatedly, Dia and its upgrades, previously called Harm, is represented in remakes of FFI by cathedraling shafts of light from the heavens.
- Continuing into Dissidia: Final Fantasy and it's sequel with the The Warrior of Light, Prishe, Kuja, and Aerith all specialize in holy and light based magic, while Cecil is a Yin-Yang Bomb
- Yuna from Final Fantasy X actually says "Light our way" when she casts Holy for first time.
- The summon Ultima from Final Fantasy XII, and Alexander from other games.
- Ashe's Quickenings are all Holy/Light based (with some Shock and Awe too), and the second one - Heaven's Wrath - actually manifests as a giant ball of Holy/Light energy.
- Fire Emblem has Light as one of three magic types; it's strong against Dark magic and weak against Anima (and its three sub-types by association) magic. While it is the weakest of the three types in regards to raw power (with the exception of the Fire Emblem Jugdral games, where it is stronger than Anima and on the same level as Dark), Light tomes weigh the lightest, which allows for priests and other mages to hit twice from the get-go. Many priests and promoted clerics (both start out only wielding Light magic or healing) also tend to have better skill growths compared to mages and shamans/dark mages, so Light magic garners plenty of critical hits. (Lucius from Blazing Sword is especially good in these regards). In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Light magic is also super-effective against the monsters that the heroes must fight - even more so when wielded by a Bishop, thanks to the class's skill Slayer.
- Golden Sun has a sword whose special attack consists of striking the enemy with rays of light (complete with Lens Flare).
- Cindel in Jay's Journey, though her skills overlap with Holy Hand Grenade.
- In the Kingdom Hearts series, it's common for the main heroes (Sora, Roxas, Xion, King Mickey, Aqua, and Ven) to have a tendency towards Light based attacks as their signature moves. The three exceptions are Casting a Shadow and Playing with Fire instead.
- In League of Legends, Lux (who actually says this trope) and Leona both use light - Leona uses sunlight specifically, while Lux uses light in general. Both have an emphasis on protecting their allies and hindering enemies, although they do it in different ways.
- Light is one of the elements from The Legend of Dragoon. The users are Shana and Miranda. Furthermore, only a tiny number of monsters have this element.
- From The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on, the series has light arrows as a requirement to defeat the Final Boss. They are provided by Zelda in both The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
- Neverwinter Nights has the 'Divine' damage type, which is manifested on weapons as a yellow-white glow as opposed to normal red-orange flames for Fire. Curiously, evil characters are just as likely to get weapons that deal Divine damage.
- Mega Man - Flash Man and Bright Man. Their weapons don't actually control light, though, instead settling on stopping time. Meanwhile, Gemini Man uses Hard Light and Frickin' Laser Beams.
- Mega Man X: Optic Sunflower from X8, who attacks with lots of laser-based moves, and Shining Firefly/Izzy Glow from X5, who attacks with a huge laser. To a lesser extent are Sting Chameleon from X and Neon Tiger from X3, who use optical lasers and ray sparks/laser claws respectively.
- In Ōkami Amaterasu can make the sun appear in the sky and change night to day. She is, after all, the sun goddess. She is also weakened during the eclipse at the end of the game.
- In Onimusha 3 and 4, the Light element appears. In the third, it's linked to the Tenso swords and consist in an extremely fast, multiple slashing attack. In the sequel, Light magic releases a stunning flash of light followed by a Beam Spam attack.
- Pokémon, surprisingly, does not have a specific "light" typing in its wide-ranging Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors System. However, it does have a few moves that are based around weaponizing light:
- The Normal-type Flash is used to blind the opponent/light up dark passages in the field.
- Lots of Electric-type moves also have lots of flashing effects. Even Thunder, which is actually more lightning.
- Solarbeam, a Grass-type move. And it's more efficient with Sunny Day, a Fire-type move.
- Flash Cannon, one of the very few Special Steel-typed attacks in the series. Jirachi's Signature Move Doom Desire is similarly stated to involve concentrated sunlight.
- A number of Bug-type moves involve bioluminescence, and Bug-type attacks are super effective against Dark types.
- The Psychic-type would probably be a stand-in for light.
- The Fairy-type introduced in Pokémon X and Y has a few light-based attacks and is super effective against Dark types.
- Yfus and Santes in The Reconstruction use Divine spells, only a few of which are Holy Hand Grenades. Tehgonan can also manipulate literal light.
- One character in each Shadow Hearts game wields the Light-element. In the first game, it's the love interest; in the second game, it's the main character's cousin; and in the third game...it's a Highly Visible McNinja.
- Expel/light spells from the Shin Megami Tensei series, which are One-Hit Kill attacks.
- Super Smash Bros. - Zelda/Sheik's Final Smash is the Light Arrow, which comes from the arrows used to beat Ganon.
- Tales Series:
- The main villain of Tales of Symphonia casts light magic and has a strong resistance to your own light spells, as do several of his associates and minions. Collete and Raine's offensive spells are also light-based.
- Ange Serena in Tales of Innocence and Shing Meteoryte in Tales of Hearts. For summons, Luna and Aska in Tales of Phantasia and Symphonia, or Rem in most other games with a Light spirit.
- Estelle in Tales of Vesperia and in the PS3 version, Flynn.
- Cheria Barnes and Richard in Tales of Graces. While the game lacks the standard elemental classifications for magic, they utilize spells that are of the light element in the other games, such as Holy Lance and Indignation. Also, Sophie has a definite light theme to her attacks, with the word "photonic" coming up a lot in her arte descriptions.
- Tales of Legendia takes a different approach with this trope - Similar to every game, there are indeed light spells like Ray, Brilliant Lance, and Judgment, but there is no actual "light" element in the game - instead, all "light" spells are actually considered "Sea". While kind of weird sounding, it makes sense when the player realizes that the ocean is considered holy in the game world - and that by extension, Water elemental spells such as Spread, Aqua Laser, Malestrom, and Tidal Wave are also this!
- Lyla in Visions & Voices. The Wanderer can switch between light and dark skills using a skill called "Reverse Polarity", as well.
- Warcraft has Holy Light, which heals the living and hurts the undead.
- Wisp magic in the World of Mana series is light-elemental. It also includes healing.
- World of Warcraft has both paladins and priests, who can use Holy spells to both heal allies and damage opponents. Discipline priests can actually heal people by smiting their enemies. Officially, this isn't always drawn from light - for example, Tauren paladins draw their power from the sun, while night elf priests draw it from the moon. Visually, though, it always looks like light, and several races do draw it from the Holy Light.
- In the Real-Time Strategy Universe at War, the Masari has the ability to switch between Light and Dark at will. Light is mainly focused on offensive capabilities, granting units slow but hard hitting attacks that cause additional burn damage. The Matter Controller also charges up and fires Burning Wrath, a blazing Pillar of Light that shoots out from the ground beneath and functions exactly the same way as the American Particle Cannon in Command & Conquer: Generals. Pursuing the Light Matter branch further improves your army's offensive capabilities in Light mode but risks turning them into a Glass Cannon due to vulnerability to hazards such as radiation and computer viruses. Light seems to represent justice, violence and hot-bloodedness, as evident by the Light Matter branch hero Lord Charos, a Boisterous Bruiser Blood Knight who charges into battle with a BFS and is willing to fight to the death.
- In In Famous Second Son, Delsin can gain access to Neon and Video-based powers after defeating and absorbing them from other Conduits. Neon powers lets him fire precise blasts similar a sniper rifle and lets him run up walls while Video lets him fire a constant stream of light blasts and can give him wings for limited flight.
- Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures - Angels have an affinity for light magic. They're not actually divine, holy, or particularly good, mind.
- Lightbringer from Lightbringer, who uses his hard-light and photon-manipulation abilities to fight the good fight in Pharos City.
- In Pacificators, Daryl is a brand-new Pacificator of Light. Users of light are generally considered to be weak, however ("feeblers"). So far, we've seen three different kinds of uses for light: Daryl, with her simple flare trick◊, Osiris with his power of reflection◊, and Aphrodite with her power of cloaking◊. There is also a fourth kind, which Daryl recently became the first person to ever discover.
- Ell from Whats Shakin is the main healer of the group.
- Despite its name, the Light Aspect in Homestuck is primarily associated with fortune and information, rather than actual light. Instead, that role goes to Hope, which is also heavily associated with angels.
- From the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, Neon, Strobe, Spectrum, Photon, Allustria, Fireworks, Peter Pan, Solar, Sunspot, Eclipse (who can also manipulate darkness), Dagger, Tinkerbell, Independence, Blue, Rave, Rainbow, Senhora Luz Solar, North Star, Shining Dawn, Brightstar, Eclat ("Burst" in French), Iris, Ushas, Moonshadow (who, like Eclipse, can also manipulate darkness), Tecza ("Rainbow" in Polish), Prezma ("Prism" in Russian), Ion, and Radian can all generate, control, and manipulate light in various ways.
- In Today I Die, the protagonist uses light to progress through the story.
- Neopets' elemental system includes light - light-based weapons, Light faeries, etc.
- Whateley Universe:
- Beacon can blast sunlight from his hands. He's on a team that hunt creatures of the night.
- Also, Prism, who may be known more for his healing powers, but who can also fire energy blasts and is definitely solar-powered. Well, he is the avatar of Apollo...
- Worm has a few characters who use weaponized light. Most of the members of New Wave have some form of light based abilities, as does Purity, a neo-nazi supervillain.
- There's the very creative use of short-distance time portals the indian villain Phir Sē does: two linked portals, one slightly further in the past than the other. Then he takes advantage of the paradox-free nature of his power to loop the same photons over and over, until he has what he calls a time bomb with light brightly streaming between the two portals in preparation for Behemoth's attack. Said attack, charged up for a few hours, was said to be able to level the whole indian subcontinent. He had to cancel a previous attempt because he was getting too tired, and such attack he charged up for THREE DAYS.
- Nuclear weapons can be seen like this. Light is just another form of radiation, after all.
- Bioluminescent organisms produce their own light.