The White Magician Girl is a Stock Character
appearing in Fantasy
Literature and Role Playing Games
, acting as the party's resident healer, nurturer and source of feminine wisdom
. While the other party members are slaughtering opponents, the White Magician Girl is taking care of their wounds with gentleness and compassion, and congratulating them after the battle with her brilliant smile. She is often included as a female protagonist because Guys Smash, Girls Shoot
or as a Foil
to a less traditionally feminine Action Girl
. She's basically the White Mage
infused with Incorruptible Pure Pureness
There are three essential elements of the White Magician Girl:
- The Chick: The White Magician Girl is classically female and always feminine. Tomboys, Sweet Polly Olivers, and Bifauxnen need not apply. Their femininity will usually be emphasized in her character design with the use of long hair and overtly feminine clothing, such as dresses or robes. Male analogs, which are rare, will mimic the same gentle appearance, sometimes to the extent of wearing long robes and long hair (or perhaps a suitably pious hat).
- Takes a support role in combat: A White Magician Girl's primary role in combat is performing healing and/or support abilities, usually through White Magic. As a result, they usually have relatively poor physical combat skills. Although classic for the look, their Weapon of Choice is not always a Simple Staff or Magic Staff; blunt objects like maces, scepters, or hammers are common, as are ranged weapons, such as bows. In the very rare cases where she uses a bladed weapon, it's usually a knife or rapier (latter is common if she's also a princess) at largest. Improbable Weapon User White Magician Girls are not unheard of, especially heart-shaped weapons. It's also not unknown for them to have some offensive magical capabilities as well, though not to the extent of a Black Magician Girl or Lady of Black Magic. One common exception is when battling the undead or demons, in which case she may possess some frighteningly powerful offensive spells that work only on those beings.
- Caring and compassionate: White Magician Girls have nurturing, motherly tendencies that tie-in with their feminine appearance and white magic. Very often they act as The Chick and The Heart of their party. Common personality types include being The Pollyanna, The Ingenue, Proper Lady, Yamato Nadeshiko, or an All-Loving Hero. More rarely, they may be a Plucky Girl. White Magician Girls are almost never a straight Genki Girl, Tomboy, or Tsundere type, although mild tendencies are not disqualifiers.
While not a requirement, she is frequently the Love Interest
of The Hero
, and will generally overlap with traditionally feminine fantasy archetypes such as the Rebellious Princess
or Mystical Waif
. It's not uncommon for them to be princesses
(rebellious or not), pacifists
, or clergy
. Characters of this archetype are frequently paired with a Black Mage
, usually a Black Magician Girl
or Lady of Black Magic
, as a Foil
See also The Medic
, White Mage
, The Heart
, and The Chick
. This trope is almost
the inverse of the Black Magician Girl
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- Rune Soldier Louie: As a Mylee priestess, Melissa knows some offensive spells, but her main function is to provide support for Jeanie and Merrill with defensive spells and healing magic. Once Louie joins them, he makes it a point to keep Melissa covered, since he's her appointed champion... though it's against her will.
- Sylphiel Nels Lahda from the Slayers series. She is extremely gifted at healing and protection magic compared to other users in the series, is kind and caring, and has a huge crush on the swordsman Gourry.
- And an interesting pair of inversions from the same series are Naga the Serpent and Amelia Wil Tesla Saillune. Both of them are exceptionally gifted in white magic (it runs in the family) and are both very competent healers, yet Naga smacks of black magician girl due to her personality and outfit, and Amelia is very much a tomboy action girl.
- In Tenkuu Senki Shurato, Lakshu is this through and through since she's not a fighter, but being a priestess of Vishnu (and eventually her sucessor, but nobody know that) allows her to use her spiritual energy (soma) to heal people.
- Goldmoon, from the Dragonlance series, is a prototypical example of this, the bearer of a powerful magical staff who sought to inspire the people to a return to faith in the gods. She is the High Priestess of her people. Goldmoon is a nurturing being and an encouraging and persuasive speaker. Her attire, however, is atypical, as she is a barbarian noble and cleric.
- Lúthien from The Silmarillion is an early example.
- The Princess of Moonbrooke in Dragon Quest II is the Ur Example, debuting all the way back in '87. While she may have set a (possibly) unfortunate trend for RPG females, she's still a vast improvement over the Distressed Damsels that were so common at the time.
- Ironically enough, she's more of a Red Mage than her successors since she learns the strongest attack spells in the game.
- Wild ARMs:
- Final Fantasy:
- Rosa from Final Fantasy IV (also a Distressed Damsel) was almost a prototype for the breed, except her non-magical archery was often a match for some melee characters. She could wield a staff as well, but her best weapons were bows and arrows.
- Porom from the same game also counts. She is not as brash as her Brother, and tends to actually keep him in line. And Porom along with her Brother do temporarily sacrifice themselves to save the rest of the party. Rydia would also count except that she lost the ability to cast White Magic when she was taken to the Land of Summons.
- Aeris/th from Final Fantasy VII is probably one of the more famous examples of this trope.
- Garnet/Dagger from Final Fantasy IX uses magical "rackets" as well as staves. She fit this trope to a T until she starts getting her summons back, at which point she shifts to a more offensive-oriented character. Interestingly, this change is also marked by her cutting her long hair.
- Despite her superior White Magic, Eiko is absolutely not a White Magician Girl. She's aggressive, tomboyish, and her flirting as cheesy and annoying as Zidane's note .
- Yuna in Final Fantasy X is the mystical, kind hearted, white mage willing to die for temporary peace. Averted in Final Fantasy X-2 where Yuna has as much access as Rikku and Paine to all manner of death-dealing hardware and has loosened up since she no longer has her summoner duty but she's still kind hearted.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics Alma Beoulve and Princess Ovelia are both exclusively White Mages, much more feminine and passive than the other Action Girls in the game, and are both very much The Chick.
- All these may be preceded by the White Mage of the original Final Fantasy, an early example of the character design, to the extent any gender can be determined. For a lot of young gamers in 1987, when Final Fantasy was released, the original White Mage party member appears to be gender neutral with a simple white and red theme and a hood drawn up, covering most of the face. Ambiguous gender, for a lot of players defaults to male. When your party "matures" and upgrades to prestige classes the White Mage's hood comes down, giving new perspective of the White Wizard with cascading red hair, thick eyebrows, and strong, lantern jaw. This was taken by many to be The Reveal that the White Mage was a woman, much like recent contemporary Metroid's Samus Aran.
- Breath of Fire often subverts the trope. Only the first and fourth games really play the trope straight with Nina, and even then Breath of Fire IV gave her some offensive magic to let her qualify more as The Red Mage.
- Fire Emblem: A fact present in several of these games is that one of your first allies will be a Cleric (on-foot female White Mage) or a Priest (on-foot male White Mage), and some rounds later you'll be able to recruit a Troubadour (mounted White Mage), and sometimes a Valkyrie (mounted Red Mage or mounted Magic Knight), a Sage (basically the same, but on foot and with either gender), or a Bishop (Light magic user and healer that promotes from Clerics and Priests (they can also promote from the all-male Monks, which use offensive magic instead of staves)).
- Genealogy of the Holy War:
- Adean, like most of the female characters, has a bit of Plucky Girl in her, but she gets bonus femininity points for being the latter half of a Tomboy and Girly Girl pair with her long-lost twin sister Briggid, a Sniper who was adopted by a pirate chieftain and now serves as their leader.
- Deirdre might also qualify. She has light magic capabilities as well, but her low stats in everything other than magic and heavy tome make her unfit to get in any serious combat, and one of her first jobs upon arrival is to use her Silence staff to neutralize a dangerous enemy mage. She's also The Ingenue and an All-Loving Hero (though ironically, she also has the bloodline of the anti-messiah, making her integral to the villains' plans).
- Also in the first generation, Claud is a male example. Though he does have combat capabilities upon arrival as he is already a promoted High Priest, he doesn't have any offensive magic upon his arrival and has some of the most powerful healing staves, and can only use the most basic spells while being the only one who can use the most powerful staff.
- In the second generation, Adean's daughter Lana is the primary one, filling the same role as her mother, although depending on who her father is she has the potential to become more of a Red Mage after promotion.
- Julia, Deirdre's daughter, is borderline. Much like Claude, she starts out with the capability to use offensive magic, but no offensive magic available for her to use. She's a bit better than her mother at holding her own in combat once she gets an offensive spellbook, but this can be attributed in large part to a spell that also heals herself upon a successful hit. And she's got the personality—like most, a carbon copy of her mother.
- Nanna is another one whose qualifications are borderline, and perhaps in some ways dependent on her heritage. She's a Troubador, which means Sword and Staff, but due to her mother's bloodline she's at the very least guaranteed to get a decent Strength growth, which could be very good with the right father. Her mother doesn't give Pursuit, however, so with a father that fails to remedy this in favor of focusing on other aspects, she could qualify, especially with her Charisma ability which causes her mere presence to give a 10% boost to accuracy and avoid to all units within a three-tile radius. (In particular, if Lex is her father, his ridiculous Defense and HP growths combined with the Elite ability for quicker leveling up and lack of Pursuit turns her into a Mighty Glacier Combat Medic, able to deal decent damage if needed but more importantly able to take hits and stay near the front lines, healing and buffing the main fighters with Charisma.) Personality definitely fits.
- Corple is a male example. Shows up late in the game at a low level and without any offensive abilities, but strong healing abilities (his mother also has the Blaggi bloodline, so he'll have a bonus to staff level). If Claud is his father, he'll be probably the best healer in the game.
- Mana and Sharlow, the replacement characters for Lana and Corple respectively, also qualify.
- Thracia 776
- Safy is possibly the straightest example of all.
- Nanna is probably a straighter example here than she is in Genealogy of the Holy War, though she still has the ability to use swords.
- Sara is another one who borders on Red Mage territory, but her Staff rank is much higher than her rank in any offensive magic type and she's the only unit capable of using the Stone-curing Kia Staff.
- Sword of Seals:
- Ellen (Cleric) is the straightest example. Clarine plays the role from a gameplay standpoint (Troubador) but lacks the personality (highly Tsundere, kind of a Rich Bitch), and Saul (Priest) could be a male example if not for his Handsome Lech tendencies.
- Elphin the bard could be considered a male example. His role is strictly support (in gameplay, anyway; he also has plot relevance as he's actually Prince Mildain of Etruria), and he's got the kindly personality that his female counterpart Lalum (Genki Girl Dancer) lacks.
- Cecilia may also qualify. She shows up later in the game and as such is already capable of combat as well (Valkyrie), but she's got the personality and is probably best used for support.
- The Blazing Sword:
- Priscilla, a Troubadour, is a sweet, kind-hearted girl. Her abilities are strictly support until she promotes to a Valkyrie, at which point she moves into Red Mage territory.
- Ninian and Nils, the latter of which is a Rare Male Example, are interesting examples. They both definitely fit the personality type and neither has any combat skills at all. Their abilities squeeze in under White Mage for being purely support related, either giving a unit a second turn or providing a status buff, rather than any heals. They get extra points for being a pair of Mystical Waifs. Ninian is even one of The Hero's three prospect Love Interests.
- Lucius (Monk), once he is promoted from his Monk class to Bishop. He is a caring, compassionate, will look out for people he loves, and is Bishōnen (so much that a lot of members of your party will mistake him for a girl). He is a powerful light magic user, but his defense is so abysmal that he should be kept away from the front lines at all cost. Once he is promoted, he becomes a very useful healer and staff-user.
- The Sacred Stones:
- Natasha, a Cleric who joins up early in the game. Lacks any offensive magic at first, is a Defector from Decadence who hails from the country whose leadership is the antagonists, and quickly manages to win a powerful hired sword to switch sides.
- L'Arachel (Troubadour), who is a little more Tsundere than typical but still fits nicely into the trope.
- Radiant Dawn and Path of Radiance:
- Rhys is a Rare Male Example, being a gentle healer without any attacks. For the "Healer" part, at least until he gets promoted.
- Laura is a shy, sweet girl healer.
- Mist starts as one, but by the second game she's more of The Red Mage or a Combat Medic.
- Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of the Emblem:
- Due to the nature of the Reclassing system, any female can become an example however, Lena originally defined the archetype for the series. Princess Maria joins up later and serves a similar role.
- Marth's sister, Elice is an older and wiser version within ths series.
- Lena's apprentice, Malliessia and Princess Yumina show up in the sequel.
- Lissa and Maribelle are two. Note, though, the former can promote to Battle Cleric and also wield axes and hammers.
- Maribelle's Kid from the Future Brady is a Rare Male Example. He's got a rather thuggish face and huge self-esteem problems, but is a very efficient healer and a really sweet dude.
- Also, Sumia is a gentle Pegasus Knight who can be reclassed into a Cleric and become this.
- If Noire inherits the Priest class from a dude that she can be fathered with, she can become this as well.
- Carlie of Seiken Densetsu 3. She has the most healing of the six main characters, and uses a mace as her weapon.
- Love Freak Flonne from the first game, and Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice.
- After Disgaea 2, Nippon Ichi games have any generic Healer unit. While the mentor system can be used to get healing magic from one person to another, the Healers are all female, and can wield staves (bows are useful too), and are always dressed in elegant dresses with long hair. They believe that healing their wounded comrades is a necessity and thus they are committed to developing their skills and school of magic. In contrast, the male healers believe that healing the injured in the battlefield is a sin and wear barbed robes as a form of atonement.
- Marle from Chrono Trigger, who is also a Rebellious Princess. She's a little more of a tomboy than normal, but she makes up for it by being extra compassionate. She's also Crono's Love Interest, for bonus points.
- Among its massive cast of playable characters, Chrono Cross has Lady Riddel, whose techs are all dedicated to support roles like healing or buffing. There's a few other characters that could be played similarly, like Leena or Irenes.
- Star Ocean:
- Princess Peach in Super Mario RPG, though she wields umbrellas, frying pans, fans, and slapping gloves.
- MOMO from Xenosaga, who starts with a rod and in later games gets upgraded to an ether bow. Ultimately subverted in Episode III, where one of her two development paths turns her into an effective break attacker.
- Elena of Grandia II is this. She wields a staff, does little in direct combat, has holy-themed magical powers, and is used mostly for healing spells. In fact, true to form, she shares a body with a Dark Magical Girl in the form of the Wings of Valmar.
- Alice Elliot in the first Shadow Hearts game. She is gentle and demure, softening Yuri's harsher side. In combat, she uses a book and is the primary healer. She is also an exorcist to emphasize her holy powers.
- Mint in Tales of Phantasia is the page picture, and the purest example in the Tales Series, having no damaging spells or artes whatsoever (The healers in the other games all fall under Combat Medic). Late in the game, her fairly potent arsenal of heals, cures, stunning hammers and status enhancers is capped off by the power to temporarily stop time. Given, it doesn't work on bosses, but it's freaking sweet to have around.
- Shana from The Legend of Dragoon, who wields a bow and is also a Mysterious Waif. Unlike the other playable characters, her dragoon form has a heavy emphasis on healing magic. Miranda later gains the same skillset and weapon, but her personality is too assertive to quite fit.
- Fall-From-Grace in Planescape: Torment has the femininity, the nurturing personality and is the only healer found in the game; she only has about one offensive spell and is firmly a support character.
- Cosette of Valkyria Chronicles II fits the personality to a T, and in her primary roles has only healing and support abilities. You can unlock an offensive class for her, but this is non-canon in the story.
- Fiona from Nostalgia is a Barrier Maiden version of this. With some holy magic mixed in with her predominantly healing and support skills, she often gets paired off with Eddie while Pad and Melody have a more turbulent relationship.
- Shiho from Valkyrie Profile is the closest to fit the archetype. When she joins your party, she knows a large variety of healing and defensive magic, but no attack spells.
- Rosea in Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume seems at first like a very generic example of the type, contrasted with the sadomasochistic fire mage Lieselotte. However, each of them blames the other for the murder that got them both exiled. In the neutral path, Lieselotte kills Rosea, speaking afterwards of how it was a fitting punishment for a murderer and a hypocrite. In the evil path, Rosea kills Lieselotte, sacrificing her innocence and becoming a fitting companion for your Villain Protagonist. In the good path, they both kill each other—and only in that path do you find out that neither of them committed the original murder!
- Wynne from Dragon Age: Origins is a rare elderly example of this archetype, being around sixty when she first meets the Warden. Once she joins the group she quickly falls into the role of the resident Healer, frequently is shown to offer kind words of wisdom to various characters and becomes the unofficial Team Mom of the group. Aside from Morrigan, its clear that no-one has a bad thing to say about her. The other healing mages you encounter throughout the series are all men, but do not share Wynne's nurturing, maternal nature.
- Utawarerumono has Eruru, who in the game serves as a healer during battles and in the anime adaptation still goes to battles and... apparently just watches without ever getting attacked really.
- Trails In The Sky: Kloe's orbment configuration is one line of mostly blue, meaning a high magic pool with healing and support skills. She also wields a rapier. Even her S-Crafts often involve healing.
- Lunar: The Silver Star has Jessica de Alkirk, a priestess who specializes in healing magic. However, she's more hot-headed than most examples, making her something of a proto-Mama Bear and her Weapon of Choice is a mace.
- Golden Sun has Mia, who plays this trope as straight as possible. Girl with long hair, wears feminine clothing? Check. Heals people, uses a staff? Double check. Has as her main (if not only) personality trait being caring and compassionate? Jackpot.
- The Baldur's Gate games has a few odd examples.
- Viconia DeVir is a inverted example as she's the best cleric in the game (especially in the sequel where she's the only pure cleric and her Wisdom is maxed out and has excellent Charisma on top of it), but she's evil aligned and a massive jerk.
- Another example is Aerie. while technically a Red Mage since she's a Mage/Cleric hybrid, her behaviour screams of this trope.
- White Mage in 8-Bit Theater, although her patience and nurturing tendencies are strained to the breaking point by Black Mage's antics.
- Lumi from Adventurers parodies the typical relationship of White Magician Girl and Hero. However, she was also the last party member to be introduced, so she got far less screen time than most.
- In Homestuck, healing abilities so far seem to be exclusive to female classes, with most of the healers as nice girls.