troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Western Zodiac

"What's your sign?" is among the most notorious (and least effective) pick-up lines. "Sign" in this case means "star sign," a way of guessing a person's personality by their date of birth.

Astrology is actually a bit more complex than that. The term "star sign" is technically inaccurate for a start - that horoscope that appears in the paper every day is actually the sun sign. Furthermore, every planet has a sign - you might say that you're a Virgo, but your Mercury, Mars and Venus might all be in Libra while Jupiter is meandering around in Capricorn. A birth chart will also take into account where the planets were in the sky and the angles at which they connect to each other. Astrology is a sophisticated and actually very math-heavy diversion, that many people get college degrees for, and still don't understand completely.

The signs themselves belong to one of the four elements. According to astrology, water signs are emotional, air signs are intellectual, earth signs are practical and fire signs are passionate. They also fall in to one of three qualities: Cardinal (pioneering), Fixed (constant) and Mutable (adaptable). Each sign has a ruling "planet" (Pluto still counts), or "Luminary" (the Sun or Moon), although the planet/luminary itself may be placed in a totally different sign in the birth chart. Which makes things even more confusing.

Obviously, this is all a bit too complicated to be effective as a motif, so a Zodiac motif will just use the sun sign, with a character claiming "I'm a Gemini," or "my boyfriend's a Scorpio."

The sun signs are:

  • Aries, the Ram (March 21-April 19): Cardinal Fire. Playful, impulsive, tactless, dynamic. Ruling planet: Mars. Tarot Card: The Emperor. Traditionally associated with Pallas (Athena). note 
  • Taurus, the Bull (April 20-May 20): Fixed Earth. Practical, artistic, stubborn, luxury-loving. Ruling planet: Venus. Tarot Card: The Hierophant. Also traditionally associated with Aphrodite.
  • Gemini, the Twins (May 21-June 20): Mutable Air. Intelligent, versatile, "silver tongued devil," communicative. Ruling planet: Mercury. Tarot Card: The Lovers. Traditionally linked with Phoebos (Apollon). note 
  • Cancer, the Crab (June 21-July 22): Cardinal Water. Family-oriented, sensitive, cranky, tenacious. Ruling planet: The Moon. Tarot Card: The Chariot. Traditionally associated with Hermes. note 
  • Leo, the Lion (July 23-August 22): Fixed Fire. Dramatic, courageous, arrogant, charismatic. Ruling planet: The Sun. Tarot Card: Strength. Associated with Zeus. note 
  • Virgo, the Virgin (August 23-September 22): Mutable Earth. Level-headed, service-oriented, obsessive over detail, intelligent. Ruling planet: Mercury (until further notice). Tarot Card: The Hermit. Associated with Demeter. note 
  • Libra, the Scales (September 23-October 22): Cardinal Air. Charming, diplomatic, vacillating, appreciates beauty, often obsessed with justice and fairness. Ruling planet: Venus. Tarot Card: Justice. Associated with Hephaestus note 
  • Scorpio, the Scorpion (October 23-November 21): Fixed Water. Loyal, passionate, grudge-bearing, good detective skills. Ruling planet: Pluto, classically Mars. Tarot Card: Death. Associated with Ares, for obvious reasons.
  • Sagittarius, the Archer/Centaur (November 22-December 21): Mutable fire. Freedom loving, wise, reckless, adventurous. Ruling planet: Jupiter. Tarot Card: Temperance. Associated traditionally with Artemis. note 
  • Capricorn, the Goat (December 22 - January 20): Cardinal Earth. Ambitious, hard working, cold, reliable. Ruling planet: Saturn. Tarot Card: The Devil. Associated classically with Hestia. note 
  • Aquarius, the Water Carrier (January 21-February 19): Fixed Air. Progressive, friendly, aloof, idealistic. Ruling planet: Uranus, classically Saturn. Tarot Card: The Star. Associated originally with Hera. note 
  • Pisces, the Fish (February 20-March 20): Mutable Water. Poetic, dreamy, irresponsible, mysterious. Ruling planet: Neptune, classically Jupiter. Tarot Card: The Moon. Associated typically with Poseidon, for extremely obvious reasons.

Zodiacal signs were never based solely on constellations, as anyone can tell who has seen the size of Virgo (huge) and Libra (tiny) in skies. The signs are 12 equal divisions of 30 degrees (360/12), starting from Equinox, the so called "point Aries", when the Ecliptic crosses the Equator lines in heaven. The commonly used dates for the signs don't actually line up with the constellations they were originally based on any more, and haven't for about 2000 years. Also, though the course of the sun passes through 13 and not 12 constellations, Ophiuchus/Serpentarius, the Serpent Holder, which the sun passes through between Scorpio and Sagittarius, has been traditionally omitted from the sun signs.

If a character refers to themselves as "cuspal," it means they were born within the last few days of one sign or the first few days of the next. Someone born on the 18th of February for example, is a cuspal Aquarius/Pisces. This is popular for characters with some kind of duality in their nature (although the importance and even existence cusp placements are highly disputed among astrologers). Each sign is further divided into "decans", consisting of approximately 10 degrees, with the second and third decanites being the next sign in that element (Virgo-Virgo, Virgo-Capricorn, and Virgo-Taurus, for example). Lastly, is the "Ascendant", the sign that was on the horizon at birth, representing superficial personality, for which the whole birth chart is oriented from. Though most zodiac references aren't written with the last two factors in mind, instead treating it more like Personality Blood Types, than actual astrological practice.

Characters almost invariably match the star sign they're born under. There's also a trend regarding which type of character falls under which sign. The gallant hero is nearly always a Leo. The Lancer is usually an Aries. Female love interests are often Pisces. Cloudcuckoolanders tend to be poster children for Aquarius. Of all the signs, Scorpio gets the roughest deal. Its connections to the "dark side" of life make it de facto sign for villains and highly unsuitable love interests. Some signs are almost unheard of in TV and books - few characters claim to be Libras or Capricorns, for example. This trend holds true even when the Zodiac reference is just the character's profile information.

The prevalence of belief in astrology in earlier centuries generated many common expressions: Star-crossed, jovial, saturnine, mercurial, and so on.

Due to the fact that there are a set of twelve signs, the Zodiac sometimes finds itself involved in a Gotta Catch Them All type of plot (sometimes involving the "secret" 13th sign). Including in the real world.

See Also: Eastern Zodiac, Animal Motifs, Constellations and Astrologer.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Each Scout/Senshi in Sailor Moon had a sun sign that matched up with their planet as well as their personality. The Eastern Zodiac is used as well; the Western symbol corresponds to their personality, and the Eastern with their abilities, generally.
  • The anime Aquarian Age takes its title from the Aquarian Age. Aquarius is the sign of oddities and advances, connected to the theme of the anime. See the Real Life section.
  • The second episode of Urusei Yatsura after Mendo's introduction had Lum comparing Ataru and Mendo with a zodiac. Being a bit of a Literal Genie, she actually had them riding on a miniature models of the zodiac signs in a globe.
  • The OZ-made mobile suits in Gundam Wing and its spinoffs use the Western Zodiac as part of their Theme Naming, though the name is usually only significant in rare cases (Cancer and Pisces are amphibious models; Virgo is automated, hence "virgin"; Scorpio has a scorpion-shaped flight mode; Geminass is a pair of twin Gundams).
  • The girls of Sister Princess are each born under one of the signs.
  • Ditto Sentimental Graffiti.
  • Saint Seiya. A wonderfully camp shounen anime, which had constellation-themed warriors who loved to call their attacks, including the 12 Gold Knights for each of the Zodiac constellations, who the main characters had to fight. See its Character Sheet for more information.
  • Celestial Spirit Mages in Fairy Tail can summon the spirits of each of the constellations, through the use of keys. Main character Lucy is the prime example of one of these mages, who currently owns ten out of twelve spirits. Curiously, Aquarius and Leo are her two strongest, and none of the personalities or elements really match with the above. For example, Aries is a shy, non combative woobie and Taurus is a Loveable Sex Maniac.
    • However, Virgo's personality matches almost perfectly with the above traits, and though we haven't seen much of his personality yet, Capricorn's personality also seems to match.
  • In Naruto Kakashi Hatake's September 15th birthday makes him is a typical Virgo (August 23 - September 22). Virgo's Strengths: Perfectionist, Practical, Loyalty, Modesty, and Introspective. Virgo's Weaknesses: Hyper-critical, Seemingly cold on the outside, and Moody on the inside (Virgos are described as "still waters that run deep").
    • During the events of "Kakashi Gaiden," it is shown that he was an introverted, cold, taciturn, and perfectionist student.
      • "Kakashi became more stern and serious following his father's suicide (who had killed himself after being vilified for saving the lives of his team instead of the prioritizing the success of an important mission), following all the shinobi rules and scorning any who disobeyed them, like his team-mate Obito. This caused Obito to resent Kakashi, as Kakashi showed little kindness to his team-mates."
    • Virgo's personalities are mutable (adaptable/flexible).
      • " Obito's eventual death and sacrifice for his team had a huge impact on Kakashi's personality. He is now more cheerful and shows great concern for his team-mates and students, placing their safety over the successful completion of a mission, as well as believing that teamwork is essential to overall success as a team. He is also regularly late for appointments, making obvious excuses just like Obito before him. This is because of his frequent visits to the memorial where Obito's name is engraved, where he loses track of time."
      • "However, Kakashi can still be just as seemingly emotionless as he was during his youth, often speaking bluntly about sensitive topics."
    • Virgos while private and introverted, are nevertheless very loyal to their loved-ones:
      • "Kakashi claims to have lost everyone who was close to him, causing some reluctance to allow others to get close to him."
      • "Of the people who are still alive, Kakashi is on the best terms with his students, although he is on good terms with almost everyone in Konoha. After the formation of Team 7, he begins taking a special interest in their development, as shown from his regular checking up on Naruto and his eating habits. Kakashi is so devoted to his friends and the rest of Konoha, such that his signature jutsu, the Lightning Cutter, had been made on the principle of duty, and perfected on the principle of protecting loved ones."
      • "Kakashi has a rather solitary and matter-of-fact attitude. His calm and detached demeanor has been called “cool, hip, and trendy” many times by Might Guy."
    • Virgos are modest:
      • "Despite his increasingly growing reputation and prowess as a ninja, Kakashi has shown no signs of arrogance, and is rather modest about his abilities, as shown when he readily praises others for leaps in their combat abilities and stating on more than one occasion that Naruto has surpassed him in power. And when suggested by many others for him to become Hokage, Kakashi admitted that such a position was unfit for him. (A Virgo trait...Virgos prefer to serve rather than lead.)
    • Virgos are highly adaptable, patient, methodical, and analytical:
      • "His naturally calm attitude is used to his advantage in battle, as it becomes easier for him to maintain his composure to stay focused on the situation at hand, and ultimately notice everything around him. As a result, he can quickly adjust to any situation to make keen and thought-out decisions, allowing him to stay steps ahead of his opponents."
    • In Naruto Nagato's/Pain's September 19th birthday makes him a typical Virgo (August 23 - September 22). There's also Shikamaru, a calm, introverted, analytical and slightly grumpy genius.
    • Other typical characters include Cancerian Shikaku (shrewd and a good right-hand man); Libran Naruto (smiling, friendly, can talk to anyone) and Ino (loves beauty and is a bit boy-crazy); Sagittarian Lee (tactless but good-hearted and full of energy); Arian Sakura (temperamental, impulsive and brave) and Hidan (a Psychopathic Manchild); Capricorn Hinata (quiet and shy but determined), Madara and Danzo (ruthless and ambitious); Taurean Choji and Choza (loyal, like their food, determined); Aquarian Hiruzen (an eccentric old man with a deep humanitarian streak); Scorpio Orochimaru (fascinated with the dark side, ruthless, cruel) and Jiraiya (a tough old bastard who died fighting, and a sex maniac); Leo Tsunade (likes gambling and drinking but will defend Konoha to the death); Piscean Kabuto (the enigmatic and sarcastic Orochimaru assistent); and so on.
    • To extend it further, Naruto's main chakra nature is wind and Sasuke's is fire, the same element association their respectives signs.
  • The names and spirits of dozens of beys in Metal Fight Beyblade.
  • Iron Man had Zodiac themes for each Monster of the Week.
  • In Bleach fights, Tite Kubo seems fond of pairing up people of the same sign. For example: Kenpachi vs Nnoitra (both Scorpio), Kenpachi vs Tousen (who is a Scorpio as well), Soifon vs Barragan (both Aquarius), Byakuya vs Tsukishima (another fight between two Aquarius people). Seeing people of the same element fghting one against the other happens often, too: Toshiro (Sagittarius) vs Harribel (Leo) (both Fire signs), Zommari (Libra) vs Byakuya (both Air signs), Ichigo (Cancer) vs Ikkaku (Scorpio) (both Water signs), Ichigo vs Kenpachi, Ichigo vs Ginjou (Scorpio).
    • Protagonist Ichigo and female lead Rukia are Cancer and Capricorn, respectively — opposite signs of the Zodiac and playing on how their personalities contrast and complement each other.
  • Sket Dance has a bit of fun with Astrology, as well. Sometimes it happens that a character is shown reading their horoscope, and the three protagonists represent (coincidence?) the three Water signs (Bossun is a Scorpio, Himeko is a Cancer and Switch is Pisces).
  • And of course, Zodiac PI revolves around a detective using spirits of the zodiac signs of murder victims to help solve her cases
  • Attack on Titan gives subtle nods to this, with the guidebook providing birthdates for the major characters.
    • Hot-Blooded rivals Eren and Jean are both Aries, as is Action Girl Annie.
    • Charismatic big brother figure Reiner and Plucky Girl huntress Sasha are both Leos.
    • Brilliant scientist Hange is a Virgo, while the charismatic Commander of the Survey Corps, Erwin, is a Libra.
    • Armin is a Scorpio, as fits his transformation from an idealistic youth into a Manipulative Bastard.
    • Several Capricorns feature prominently in the series: Levi, Bertolt, and Krista.
    • Mikasa and Ymir both fit the "Aloof" characteristic of the Aquarius sign. Loyal Connie is a Taurus, while idealistic Marco is a Gemini.

    Comics 
  • The Marvel Universe has a recurring supervillain gang named the Zodiac, composed in its original form of members born under the sign corresponding to their villainous identities. In a 1976 coloring book, "Spiderman Zaps Mr. Zodiac", one Mr. Zodiac has the power to turn into all the of the Zodiac Signs, including Libra, a giant set of scales, and Virgo, who dates Peter Parker.
  • DC's Final Crisis storyline involved a character named Libra who unified the bad guys under Darkseid; they actually managed to conquer the world for a few weeks(?) before the good guys inevitably made a comeback. Libra's MO was, of course, to "balance the scales" in favor of the villains.
  • Parodied in one Hägar the Horrible story. Helga rants how she made a mistake when she married the Leo Hägar and claims she would have done better if she had married a Virgo instead. Lucky Eddie applauds her - because he's a Virgo. She gives up on astrology.
  • In Dilbert, the Pointy-Haired Boss has been known to make business decisions based on astrology.
  • In FoxTrot, Jason once tried to get into the business of writing newspaper horoscopes. The series starts here.
  • In Strangers in Paradise, David admits that he hoped that Katchoo would forget about him posing for a nude painting. Katchoo responds, "I'm a Scorpio, I never forget." (Her birthday is November 19.)
  • Astrology is often a subject in the Disney Ducks Comic Universe. Mostly in the Italian comics, though, so it might simply be a reflection of how popular astrology in Italy.

     Film 
  • The 2001 Thir13en Ghosts used the (invented) notion of a "Black Zodiac" with its own twisted signs to account for why 12 of its 13 spirits had been gathered in one place.
  • Life of Brian features a rare identification of a Capricorn: the title character note .

    Literature 
  • In Gods of Riverworld, last and "tributary" novel from the Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series, Author Avatar Peter Jairus Frigate uses zodiacal attributes to assign certain special rooms to himself and his other seven companions in the journey to the Dark Tower. It's done semi-humorously, though.
  • Jonathan Swift's Bickerstaff Papers began with a set of satirical astrological predictions. It was basically a giant Take That against a quack almanac writer named Partridge, particularly the very first prediction of Partridge's death.
  • Harry Potter (The Hero) and his feisty, red-headed love interest Ginny Weasley, and Neville Longbottom are all Leos. Hermione is a Virgo and Ron is a Pisces, making them opposite signs. Somewhat lampshaded by the fact that they are all in Gryffindor House (which selects the most brave students), whose emblem is a lion.
    • Severus Snape (The head of Slytherin) is a Capricorn. Which is interesting, since the character himself is ambitious, hard working, cold, reliable and stubborn.
    • Also, Fred and George Weasley not only match the profile of Aries, but were born on April Fools' Day.
  • James Bond, Agent 007, is a Scorpio (November 11). This is an appropriate sign for him, since good detective skills are one of its key characteristics.
  • In the beginning of Good Omens, there's a (very accurate) horoscope prediction for the Earth, which is a Libra
    • Except for the part about the salads
  • Parodied in Discworld. Astrologers have to work a lot harder there because the constellations are constantly changing as the world turtle swims through the stars. At one point a wizard tries to find Rincewind by casting his exact horoscope—Rincewind's birth sign is "The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars", which is traditionally associated with "chess board makers, sellers of onions, manufacturers of plaster images of small religious significance, and people allergic to pewter".
  • Sherlock Holmes, according to Fanon, is a Capricorn — he was born on Twelfth Night (January 6). Capricorn is not particularly known for detective skills, but he’s got the tireless work ethic and perseverance that this sign encompasses.

    Live Action TV 
  • Power Rangers S.P.D. features an episode in which one character is reading everyone's horoscopes. One character, Jack, who didn't know his own birthday and previously shared with Syd, asks for Gemini, which fits Syd perfectly, but also fits the fact that two people have that birthday. The resident cloudcuckoolander, Bridge, doesn't know his sign because he was born on a cusp... and his mother was on a plane crossing the International Date Line when he was born anyway. A quip about a forecast for confusion ensues.
  • One villain from The Sarah Jane Adventures used zodiac signs to control people.
  • Discussed in Six Feet Under: An Astrologer wonders the impacts space travel will have on her job, as the monthly order, the position of stars and etc... will work differently. For instance, an Aries living on Mars will not have it as his/her ruling planet and Earth will be a stellar object for those outside Earth. A while later, she realises nobody is listening to her.
  • Chou Sei Shin Gransazer uses this as a central motif, with each one of the twelve protagonists being covered by a certain sign. The elements also matter, by determining which Tribe and Elemental Powers each is associated with.
  • The Zodiarts of Kamen Rider Fourze are themed around constellations, with the Big Bad Ensemble being based upon the Zodiac.
  • Dorothy Zbornak upon being asked how she could be so sure of something answers with "I'm a leo, we're all very self-confident".
  • The tribes and home planets of Battlestar Galactica are all based on the zodiac.

    Music 
  • The "Weird Al" Yankovic song Your Horoscope For Today makes fun of bad horoscopes.
    ''Sagittarius: All your friends are laughing behind your back...
    (...kill them...)
    Take down all those naked pictures of Ernest Borgnine
    you've got hanging in your den
    Capricorn: The stars say that you're an exciting and wonderful person
    but you know they're lying
    If I were you, I'd lock my doors and windows
    and never, never, never, never, never leave my house again.''
  • Rush seems to have an implacable antipathy on astrology. Their song Freewill manifests extremely harsh critique on horoscopes.
  • Astrology fell within Jimmy Page's interest in the occult. Most notably, Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones' sigils were pulled out of commonly available books and had straight forward meanings (writing, skill and family respectively) while Page's came from a 16th century book known as "The Grand Grimoire" and is a symbol for Saturn. Page is a Capricorn and Capricorn is ruled by Saturn. Furthermore, his famous dragon-emblazoned black suit had three symbols embroidered on his leg: Capricorn (his sun sign), Scorpio (his ascendent sign) and Cancer (his moon sign).

    Pinball 

    Real Life 
  • While Aquarius isn't a popular choice for characters, it's certainly popular as a general theme. The "Age of Aquarius" refers to a time period starting roughly in the mid-to-late 20th century that will last for the next two millenia. This is popular in works influenced by the hippie culture of the '60s.
    • Well, sort of, anyway — dates given for the start of the Aquarian Age (each age lasting 2150 years) range from AD 1447 to 3597. (See the other wiki's article.)

  • Sayers and Viney's The Bad News Horoscope was a deliberate attempt to subvert the generally happy, positive, upbeat, Linda Goodman school of astrology which placed undue emphasis on all the nice things people like to read about their own star sign (and by extension themselves). In the S&V world - using exactly the same logic, reasoning, source material and astrological tradition as Goodman - the world takes on a different perspective.

  • Aries - Big kid. Throws tantrums. Easily managed in a three year old - but not in a thirty-three year old. Aries people never grow up and have no sense of responsibility.
  • Taurus - Stubborn. Leaves a lot of bullshit wherever they go. (Notably, other people have to clean it up). Is never, ever, in the wrong. (Famous Taurean: Adolf Hitler).
  • Gemini - schizophrenic criminal, confidence trickster, sociopath, not to be trusted with money.
  • Cancer - moody. Even Cancer men have PMT. Opera diva. screams a lot. If male, will be fascinated with war and weaponry. (Famous Cancerian: Heinz Guderian, Nazi panzer general).
  • Leo - Egotist. Narcissist. Exaggerated opinion of own talent, ability, worth. Loves gold. No dress sense.
  • Virgo. OCD. Cranky. Health-obsessed. Appalled by all the nasty smells and bodily emissions involved in sex - this explains the association with virginity. Grammar-nazi. If really badly aspected, a pervert. Pick your perversion.
  • Libra - terminally indecisive. No personality. Says "Um..." and "Errr..." a lot.
  • Scorpio - Ruthless sadist. Psychopath. Evil personified. Avoid.
  • Sagittarius - clumsy, stupid, hearty. The sign of rugby players and, cruelly, people who are incapable of spelling their own star-sign.
  • Capricorn - snobbish social climbers. Materialist gold-diggers obsessed with place and status. Ambitious and will want to get to the top of the career tree - and stay there.
  • Aquarius - vegetarian tree-loving hippies who seek to be difficult just for the sake of it.
  • Pisces - Everybody's doormat. Weak, spineless and ineffectual and therefore easily exploited by all eleven others - even by Sagittarius.

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Todd Barry was asked by a woman in a bar his sign (he's an Aries) and immediately started picking apart her analysis of his personality.
    "'Oh, I know all about you man, I know all about the Aries, you're stubborn!' Actually I'm not that stubborn. 'You're crazy competitive, into sports!' I hate sports. 'You are a workaholic.' Wow, you're not even close on that one. Then she says, 'Well, you're probably not even an Aries then.' Yeah, I was thinking astrology is a load of shit, but it's more likely that I don't know my own birthday."

    Tabletop Games 
  • A Zodiac villain team similar to that in Marvel Comics appeared in a supplement for Champions.
  • The Tabletop Games Nephilim had a whole splat of characters classified by the 13 Zodiac signs (with The Serpent added to the more typical 12, something Final Fantasy Tactics also did). Because the game's setting works with 7 elements (the usual four, plus Moon, Sun and Orichalcum), the elements' association of the signs went under a bit of rework.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse sourcebook, "Rage Across the Heavens" deals with astrology according to Garou spirituality. Each of the 13 remaining "good" tribes has a sign that corresponds to an astral body in the solar system, which also corresponds to the Zodiac. As such, a Garou's chart would include the sign she's born under as well as the sign of her tribe. A side bar in the book mentions how the Eastern Zodiac fits in with this, for Asian Garou who would rather use that than the western system. Oh in case you're wondering, the 13th sign, Zorg the Many-Taloned Hunter (represented by the Astroid Belt) doesn't correspond to any Zodiac; his followers besides the feral Red Talons (his tribe) join him by choice rather than the accident of birth.
  • According to the Horus Heresy novel 'Horus Rising' all of the Primarchs correspong to one of the _twenty_ signs of the Zodiac. Guess there are a couple more months in the year in Warhammer 40,000. Unfortunately, it doesn't say what the other signs are, but Horus himself is a Sagittarius. That must have been one heck of an interesting horoscope.
  • The time-travel RPG Continuum marks off deep time in astrological ages, with the Age of Aquarius as the upcoming rise of the Inheritors.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, most of the monsters in the Sacred archetype (called Constellars in the TCG) are based on the constellations of the Zodiac.

    Theater 
  • The "Age of Aquarius" is also referred in a song of the same name, in the musical Hair.

    Video Games 
  • The various Final Fantasy games typically provide birthdates for the main cast in the supplementary material. These dates are at least occasionally chosen with the associated sun sign in mind.
    • A notable example is Final Fantasy VIII's Squall Leonhart, whose August 23rd birthday places him on the cusp between Leo and Virgo - officially a Virgo, but possessing some Leo traits befitting his prominent lion motif. Squall is depicted as introverted, introspective, outwardly cold and inwardly moody, perfectionistic and hyper-critical of both himself and others, but also practical and consummately loyal and dutiful - all traits commonly ascribed to Virgos. Despite his extreme displeasure at being thrust into leadership (another Virgo characteristic), however, when tested he proves to have an innate talent for it more commonly associated with Leo, as well as that sign's great courage, charisma, and pride.
      • Squall's love interest is Rinoa Heartilly, a Pisces. The Virgo and Pisces signs stand opposite one another on the Zodiacal wheel, and are said to attract and complement one another: Virgo's practicality and industriousness helps to anchor the dreamy Pisces and provide them with discipline, while Pisces softens Virgo emotionally. This is precisely the dynamic which develops between Squall and Rinoa over the course of the game.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics gave every character, generic and specific alike, a Zodiac sign. The relationships between the signs, usually ignored in most usages of the Western Zodiac in pop culture, were actually integrated into the strategy in this case. "Trines" (one-third away — same element, different modality), known for causing positive relationships, caused the two units to be more effective against each other, for good or for ill. "Squares" (one-quarter away — different element, same modality), known for being obstructive, resulted in the units being less effective against each other in both positive and negative ways. "Oppositions" (which should be obvious) had effects dependent on the characters' genders — if they were of the opposite gender, they would be most effective against each other because Opposites Attract, while if they were the same gender they would be least effective instead. The 13th sign, Serpentarius, is neutral to the other twelve signs, but only one character in the entire game has it. FFT also took this a step further, and used Gotta Catch Them All MacGuffins called the Zodiac Stones as a central part of the plot.
    • Not to belabor the point, but this also helps in Shipping: since you get to decide what Player Character Ramza Beoulve's birthday is, you can set him up with (or against) anyone you want. However, and against all logic, Ramza, a charismatic and passionate hero of the story he is, he's canonically Capricorn. which has a lot of negative cannotations, and yet, he's one of the most noble characters.
  • Although certainly not pivotal to the plot, in the original Gabriel Knight game, Gabe reads his horoscope almost every day of the 10 day period, and it's always eerily accurate to what he's going through. At the end of the game, on day 10, when he reads his incredibly doomy-sounding horoscope, he remarks, "There's a schoolteacher somewhere who's really confused."
  • In The Sims 2, zodiac signs are representations of specific combinations of personality points, and are unrelated to when a character is "born", since there are no dates, as such. When the chemistry feature was introduced, compatible signs contributed to higher chemistry, which makes it easier to unlock new social interactions. (Whether the personality-point combinations actually matched the zodiac sign they were supposed to is something you should argue about elsewhere.)
  • Mega Man Star Force uses the following Western Zodiac signs in the series, Aries/Capricorn=Kung Foo Kid, Taurus=Taurus Fire, Gemini=Gemini Spark, Cancer=Cancer Bubble, Leo=Fire Leo (not that Fire Leo this one is one of three a powerup that Mega Man Geo-Omega can receive in the first game, Virgo=Queen Virgo, Libra=Libra Scales, Ophiuchus/Serpentarius=Queen Ophiuca. In addition, the Chinese-only game Rockman Strategy features zodiac-themed bosses.
  • In the Purple Moon computer games, just about every named character gives their sign in their personal information, and many of them are very interested in it (then again, they are thirteen-year-old girls, who do obsess over these things). Ginger has a whole monologue about being born on a cusp, and the CSG group only accepts Sagittarius girls as members.
  • In most Raising Sims, your child's birthdate will affect his or her initial stats and personality (unless Personality Blood Types are in play).
  • Final Fantasy IX featured a Zodiac-themed sidequest, which required collecting Stellazzio coins for the amusement of Queen Stella. Collect all twelve and the engravings on them form a love story about who captured the heart of Virgo; suggest the existence of a 13th coin (Ophiuchus) and you'll be tasked with following the clues on each coin (a series of directions) to conclude the story. They point to the location of one of the previous coins, where the Ophiuchus is found with the final engraving.
    "Their future was uncertain, but Scorpio and Virgo kissed in the light of dusk. That moment meant everything."
    • (The whole quest is probably a reference to FFT.)
  • Final Fantasy XII has 13 espers in accordance with the thirteen signs of the western zodiac. They are:
    • Belias, the Gigas (Aries)
    • Mateus, the Corrupt (Pisces)
    • Adrammelech, the Wroth (Capricorn)
    • Hashmal, Bringer of Order (Leo)
    • Cu Chulainn, the Impure (Scorpio)
    • Zalera, the Death Seraph (Gemini)
    • Shemhazai, the Whisperer (Sagittarius)
    • Chaos, Walker of the Wheel (Taurus)
    • Zeromus, the Condemner (Cancer)
    • Exodus, the Judge-Sal (Libra)
    • Famfrit, the Darkening Cloud (Aquarius)
    • Ultima, the High Seraph (Virgo)
    • Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts (Ophiuchus)
      • It should also be mentioned that the player can collect gems (loot, steal, etc.) that are also stones fashioned after the thirteen zodiac
  • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the Craggy Peak Ruins house what amounts to a Zodiac temple, with each sign having its own related puzzle chamber that must be completed to move forward (though they give generic names rather than the proper Zodiac ones; the lion, the twins, the maiden, etc). I don't know if there's any symbolism to the completion order, but here it is: Leo and Aquarius are open to begin with. Completing Aquarius opens the Gemini puzzle. By the time those three are done, Virgo and Libra are open. Those open Aries and Pisces, then comes Cancer and Scorpio, then Taurus and Capricorn, then finally the Sagittarius puzzle opens the way forward.
  • Most of All the bosses in RefleX are named after these. The protagonist's ship turns out to represent the "13th" sign.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series has its own Zodiac, based off the Western one. In Morrowind and Oblivion player may choose one of the signs as his birthsign in beginning of the game, while in Skyrim player may find one of the stones, representing each sign. The signs and their months are:
    • Morning Star - The Ritual
    • Sun's Dawn - The Lover
    • First Seed - The Lord
    • Rain's Hand- The Mage
    • Second Seed - The Shadow
    • Midyear - The Steed
    • Sun's Height - The Apprentice
    • Last Seed - The Warrior
    • Heartfire - The Lady
    • Frostfall - The Tower
    • Sun's Dusk - The Atronach
    • Evening Star - The Thief
    • 13th Sign - The Serpent
  • The Oracle in the online CCG Elements: the Game relates each of its twelve elements to a star sign. The wheel goes Aries/Life, Tauros/Earth, Gemini/Aether, Cancer/Darkness, Leo/Fire, Virgo/Light, Libra/Gravity, Scorpio/Death, Sagittarius/Time, Capricorn/Entropy, Aquarius/Air, and Pisces/Water.
  • Tales of Phantasia has a tower where each floor corresponds to two of twelve zodiac signs.
  • In Solomon's Key, hidden in every fourth room (out of 48) is a constellation symbol from the Zodiac that unlocks a bonus room.

    Webcomics 
  • Calamities of Nature provides the perfect response to the notorious pick-up line "what's your sign?"
  • Being as he lives on Earth (specifically, in Canada), Insecticomics Thrust follows the Western zodiac in his astrology rather than some Cybertronian variant. His reasons for using the one in the newspaper, however, are unknown.
  • In Homestuck, each of the twelve Trolls take their handles from a symbol of the Western Zodiac. For example, "carcinoGeneticist" for Cancer. Their actual names are also based on their sign (for example, Tavros is derived from Taurus), and use the symbol of their zodiac sign as their associated symbol.
    • A lot of the trolls' various quirks and interests (although not necessarily their personalities) are also related in some fashion to their representative sign. For example, Sollux (Gemini) is obsessed with bifurcation and duality, Equius (Sagittarius) has a thing for horses and archery. Even their guardian lusii follow the motif. However, the Trolls are based off of the stereotypes of the Zodiac constellation icons themselves rather than the Zodiac characterizations.
    • However, since the Trolls are all aliens, all the connections between their names, symbols, and character traits are completely coincidental because they have no knowledge of the Western Zodiac on Earth. But when they create the universe that Earth is in by completing their session, they also create the constellations of the Zodiac, and thus the astrology itself. They're not patterned after the Zodiac, the Zodiac is patterned after them.
    • Though it loops back around.
    • Plus, John and Jade fit their respective signs (Aries and Sagittarius) fairly well. Dave and Rose, not so much.
    • Some of the trolls actually do have the traits of their associated zodiac signs, like Kanaya, Vriska, Feferi, and probably Karkat as well.
  • Zodiac features a team of twelve superpowered individuals (okay...nine superpowered individuals plus three normal people) codenamed by a Zodiac motif (i.e., there's one person called Aries, one called Gemini, ect). It seems that none of them were given their aliases by accident - all of their birthdays coincide with the sign they are named after. The reason for this isn't clear yet, but definitely set up in-universe.

    Western Animation 
  • Sylvia Anderson, wife of Gerry Anderson and co-creator of Thunderbirds, assigned birthdays to the various characters on the show based on their personality characteristics, to bring them in line with the appropriate signs.
  • Cancer: sensitive, cranky, tenacious, looks out for his/her family? Yeah, that pretty much sums up Candace Flynn (July 11).
  • Minor Kim Possible villain Gemini is, as the name suggests, the fraternal twin brother of Global Justice's Dr. Director. Leading to this exchange at one point:
    Gemini: I am Gemini!

World TreeMotifs    
Streaming StarsStellar IndexWhen The Planets Align

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
78787
0