Power Echoes

Power reverbs. The more power, the more echo. So when a magical person such as a witch, wizard or some other type of spellcaster is reciting the lines of a curse/spell, or when a seemingly omnipotent being makes itself known, their voices suddenly becoming booming and echo-y is practically a given. Same thing goes for when fighters, even the most mortal, are announcing their attacks.

The phenomenon could be attributed to the character's supernatural qualities, but let's face it, echoes just make recitations cooler.

A subtrope of this is when a character speaks not with an echo but with multiple voices simultaneously. Often this is because they're channelling spirits, using the power of many beings, or are some form of composite entity. This is likely related to the phenomenon of characters switching voices as well as bodies in Freaky Friday situations.

See also: Power Glows, Power Floats, Power Makes Your Voice Deep, and Spontaneous Reverb.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Galactus of the Marvel Universe. A staple for when incarnating or parodying the character.
  • Speedball of New Warriors fame had a voice that echoed, befitting the kinetic nature of his powers.

    Films — Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
    • Sunset Shimmer's voice echoes after going One-Winged Angel.
    • And when Twilight Sparkle announces each of her friends' Element of Harmony during the Magical Girl transformations, her voice echoes a lot.
  • In BIONICLE 2: Legends of Metru Nui, Makuta delivers his line "Come. Join my brothers and me" with an echo effect added over his voice. In most dubs, though, they simply enhanced his already deep, robotic tone to create a wholly different effect.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Gandalf's voice gets deep and echoes when he declares: "BILBO BAGGINS — DO NOT TAKE ME FOR SOME CONJUROR OF CHEAP TRICKS!! I AM NOT TRYING TO ROB YOU!" Also: "YOU... SHALL NOT... PASS!!!"
    • Heard when Saruman is chanting the spell to "bring down the mountain" on the Fellowship in the Pass of Caradhras.
  • Used and promptly lampshaded in Batman Forever by the Riddler with his delightfully hammy "If knowledge is power, then A God Am I!"

  • Discworld:
    • Death's voice in the Animated Adaptation of the novel Wyrd Sisters echoes with power constantly. This is a substitute for his voice in the books, which is rendered Like This, and is described to sound "like a lead weight in your mind."
    • Also used in the animated adaptation of Soul Music. Of course, since he's voiced by Christopher Lee, there's really no need for an echo.
    • The same effect is used in the Made-for-TV Movie of Hogfather.
    • His granddaughter Susan can turn the effect (known as the Voice (No)) on and off. When it's on, people obey her without thinking.
    • There are, however, limits to what The Voice can do. For one, it is impossible for even a voice of eldritch command to get more money out of a Head Schoolmistress (in Thief of Time).
  • In the Young Wizards books, spellcasting sometimes echoes.
  • Mrs. Which's voice in A Wrinkle in Time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • In the episode "Return to Tomorrow", when the aliens possess humans they gain echoing voices.
    • In the second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the crewman altered by the galactic barrier gets this as well, as his condition gets more dangerous.
  • In How I Met Your Mother there is a flashback to Ted's days as Dr. X, a pseudo-revolutionary radio host. It is basically just Ted in front of a microphone, so he doesn't have any sort of effects and does the echoes himself. "X marks the spot-ot-ot-ot-ot"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Eldar, whenever they speak, have a slight metallic echo to their voices. It's not explained why that is.

    Video Games 
  • Almost all Dungeons & Dragons-based games with voice do this when characters are casting spells. Taken to a ridiculous extreme in Neverwinter Nights 2 with the epic spell "mass fowl" which sounds like a evil chicken clucking.
  • Anders in Dragon Age II gets a more echoing voice after merging with the spirit of Justice.
  • In Final Fantasy IV DS, Golbez echoes ominously with every word in voiced cutscenes. The echoes stop when he's freed from Zemus' control.
  • Lampshaded by Annah in Planescape: Torment after you unite with the Transcendant One in one of the endings and your voice gains that echoing quality.
  • In StarCraft, Kerrigan's voice echoes slightly after being infested, and Lt. Samir Duran also has an echo-y voice when he becomes Infested Duran. Though in this case, it might have more to do with the Hive Mind than the power.
  • Rosalina from Super Mario Bros. has a constant echo behind her voice in several of her appearances, including her original debut in Super Mario Galaxy. Very appropiate, considering her place as the Mother of the Cosmos.
  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Inverted in Dawn of War II, as powerfully Chaos-aligned characters tend to have a reverse-reverb to their voices; in other words, you hear the echoes before they start talking!
  • World of Warcraft: In the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, when the Lich King — Evil Overlord, Physical God — is finally encountered for the Final Battle at the top of his citadel (and unlike the other times he's encountered), his voice is accompanied by eerie and powerful echoes from every direction. It goes beyond the usual simple reverb.

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe example: the demon of "Ayla and the Grinch" speaks like this.
  • Given that it's one long Homage to Dragon Ball Z and the Rule of Cool in general, characters in Super Mario Bros. Z have a tendency to do this when powered up. Mario in particular gets an impressive one when obtaining a fire flower.
  • When using magic in Phaeton speech echoes, this is actually the sound of the voice extending to the various planes of existance.

    Western Animation 
  • In Justice League:
    Doctor Fate: So fate demands! So... fate... demands...!
  • Gwen, the Magical Girl of Ben 10, is quite possibly the current undisputed champion of this trope in the west.
  • Teen Titans: Raven, when she recites the spell to release Malchior and later to open the portal to Azarath.
  • Spoofed in an episode of Hercules: The Animated Series, in which the Egyptian god Ra speaks with Power Echoes, but after a while, presses a button on his staff that turns it off. He felt that while good for introduction, the echoing tends to grate on you.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): "I-I HAVE-AVE-AVE THE POWER-ER-ER-ER-ER-ER!!!!!"
    • Not having access to that technology, they make theirs out of "Napkin".
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar, "Two Feet High and Rising" features King Julien declaring a new law, and Mauriceadds echoes for dramatic effect.
  • Centurions: "POWER EXTREME!-REME...reme...reme..."
  • In an episode of The Tick, when Arthur starts using Baron Violent's power belt, along with making him bigger, stronger and more aggressive, Arthur's voice starts to echo.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Parodied in the episode "The Secret Snake Club". Club leader "Wiggly" repeatedly refers to the club's secret "AGENDA"; each time he says the word "AGENDA," it's accompanied by a booming echo, dramatic chords, and lightning. After a few times:
    Viper: I want to try that! AGENDA! (echo, chords, lightning) ...Neat!
Wiggly gets fed up with this, and institutes a new rule...
Wiggly: From now on, I' am the only one who can say AGENDA (abrupt echo/chords/lightning) you got that?