A White Mage is a character archetype and often a gameplay archetype which focuses on healing and/or buffing magic. They may also have access to magic that causes some status effects. Modern incarnations will often be given some offensive ability, often magic of the holy variety
, though the Elemental Powers
of water or wind may be given a healing affinity.
Frequently, White Mages will be extremely effective against undead, either through the power of the Holy Hand Grenade
, Turn Undead
spells, or Revive Kills Zombie
Many games with a Character Class System
or Job System
, especially Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games
, will have a White Mage class that fulfils the Healer
A White Mage is almost always The Medic
, although they have the addition of buffs. Female White Mages in Eastern RPGs
are frequently the White Magician Girl
, although they must also fit the personality requirements for that trope.
White Mages are frequently paired with a Black Mage
as a Foil
. They also frequently overlap with Squishy Wizard
, though they tend to be more resilient than their chromatic counterparts.
Subtrope of Support Party Member
. If a character has both healing and offensive
magic in relatively equal measure, they are a Red Mage
, instead. If a White Mage can sling healing spells while fighting on the front lines
, you've got yourself what's known as a Paladin
, or Combat Medic
. Contrast Black Mage
. Not to be confused with White Magic
, which is only sometimes the source of a White Mage's power.
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- Clerics from Dungeons & Dragons. Although in practice, D&D Clerics tend to suck at their intended purpose in more than a few editions (damage out-grows healing ability quite quickly), but awesome through use of things that otherwise fall in Useless Useful Spell. It should be noted that unlike most White Mages, D&D Clerics could wear full-plate armor and use large shields with no penalty to their magic usage. Up until the third edition, they were also forbidden from using bladed weapons, unless their religion specifically allows this. They also had stat-buffing spells that helped their lack of a Warrior's battle prowess.
- Pathfinder Clerics flirt more with this trope. Some can take devastating offensive spells, but they lose heavy armor proficiency. Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Clerics were better warriors than the fighting classes with buffs, but this is not the case in Pathfinder. Most clerics also gain a massive boost to healing abilities and offense against undead via Revive Kills Zombie, making them far more effective. Evil clerics did not have buffed healing (a mild case of No Cure for Evil), but siphoned away the life force of living people and healed their often undead allies via an inversion of Revive Kills Zombie. Good and neutral Oracles can also fall into this trope, though Inquisitors and Druids usually do not, as the former is a "mysterious divine agent" with a limited selection from the Cleric's list.
- In Heroica, LEGO's dungeon crawl game system, the Druid character has a special ability that allows him to restore full health to himself or, depending on house rules, any other player. This is one of the only non-combat-related abilities to be found among the game system's eight playable characters.
- In Ammo, a very rare character choice, at least at startup. Healing is very limited in efficiency (the caster must choice ONE stat that he knows how to heal, over 15 possible), and every heal reduced temporanely the caster Magic stat by one... on a max value of 3 (for humans). Worth to mention that starting as a White Mage means no offensive magic until you learn some?
- In Bunnies & Burrows, the Empath is an Empathic Healer who can play as a White Mage, especially if they can reverse-heal as an attack.
- The Trope Namer is Final Fantasy I, which provided White Mage as a starting class. It's appeared in almost every Final Fantasy game since.
- Final Fantasy II has Minwu, a rare male example in the series.
- Final Fantasy III had White Mage as a job class, as well as the Devout job, the equivalent of the White Wizard upgrade from the first game.
- Final Fantasy IV had Rosa and Porom and also several White Mage NPCs.
- Final Fantasy V had a White Mage job class.
- Final Fantasy IX had Garnet dress as a White Mage, and this was her primary use for the first part of the game. Once she gets her summons back, however, she's more of a Red Mage. Eiko Carol is introduced immediately after as the party's white magic specialist.
- Final Fantasy X has Yuna, although thanks to the Sphere Grid you could customize her to be anything with a little work (and any other character to be a White Mage, by extension).
- This is the primary function of the 'Medic' paradigm role in Final Fantasy XIII.
- Aya from Parasite Eve, outside of two attack abilities, uses healing and buffing abilities from the traditional Final Fantasy white magic set.
- Several games in the Dragon Quest series feature the Priest job class.
- Marco from Radiant Historia is almost a pure White Mage in his skillset, having almost no abilities that are not buffs or heals.
- Princess Toadstool (not named Peach yet) served this purpose in Super Mario RPG, only having one damaging special attack.
- Tales of Phantasia has Mint Adnade, who would more or less codify the "cute cleric" stereotype associated with most white mages.
- In Tales of Symphonia, we have Raine.
- Tear Grants from Tales of the Abyss is possibly one of the most Badass white mages out there.
- Ness in EarthBound serves this purpose, since he is the best healer in the party, most of his PSI is support, and his only damaging PSI attack is PK Rockin'. Before him in MOTHER 1 was Ninten, whose only PSI was support.
- And after him comes Lucas in MOTHER 3, who has all the buffs/healing PSI as opposed to Kumatora, who comes with most of the offensive PSI.
- One thing to note is that Ness and Lucas, at least, are a bit closer to Magic Knight or Paladin, as they're both Mighty Glaciers who have very powerful physical attacks in addition to their healing abilities.
- Cream the Rabbit served this role in Sonic Chronicles. Not only was she the only one with a group heal and resurrection spell, she could also replenish the party's MP, letting you spam special attacks.
- Mirania and Calista in The Last Story. Both girls can heal party members and, in addition, the former even has the Limit Break ability to bring back lost lives), while the latter can summon arcane circles that repulse enemy attacks.
Massive Multiplayer Online Games
- Grand Fantasia has the Acolyte -> Priest -> Cleric -> Prophet class progression, which is a pure White Mage archetype.
- The monks from Guild Wars fit this trope to a T and are almost allways expected to heal, reduce damage and cure conditions. Unfortunately for monk fans, the profession is no longer in the sequel because its design has no place for pure healing characters.
- Final Fantasy XI of course has the trope namer as a class.
- Final Fantasy XIV has the "Conjurer" class. At level 30, and with 15 levels of the Arcanist Class, they can get the "White Mage" Soul Crystal and upgrade into the White Mage job. Like all jobs this restricts their cross class skills but gives them skills that can only be used while a White Mage rather then a Conjurer. (Not that CNJ needs any, the only other class that has healing skills is Arcanist anyways, so CNJ is rarely used past 30)
- Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Advance, and A2 all have a White Mage job class.
- Tactics Ogre has the Cleric, Priest, and High Priest as pure White Mage classes. The Witch class is also a purely supportive spell-caster.
- The Fire Emblem series has Clerics and Priests, which use healing magic through staves, and Troubadours, mounted healers. They usually promote to classes that either add holy magic or fall more under Red Mage.
- Nippon Ichi's Strategy RPGs have the Healer class, most frequently seen in the Disgaea series. Without abusing skill learning systems such as reincarnation, fusing, or the apprentice system, he or she will only naturally learn healing and support magic.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule GB, Ryou Bakura fits this archetype.
Non Gaming Examples:
- White Mage from 8-Bit Theater. Naturally, since she and every other character is based on the job classes from Final Fantasy I.
- The Noob features some white mages, not surprisingly parodying the character type.
- Looking for Group has Ben'Joon, or "Benny" for short. She is of an indeterminate heritage now determined to be half blue elf, half minotaur), and serves as the team healer/buffer.