main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Playing With: Elemental Powers
Basic Trope: Superpowers or magic abilities to summon and control the elemental forces of nature.
  • Straight: All the mages in the setting wield one of the four classical elements: wind, water, earth or fire.
  • Exaggerated: ...Not to mention lightning, darkness, light, ice, or plant, among others.
  • Downplayed: Some mages seem to work better with rock or fire than with other substances, but itís not a huge limiting factor.
  • Justified:
    • The world has different physics than our own, and the world really is made up of varying quantities of earth, air, fire and water.
    • In the world, only certain constructs can be called into being, such as water, and it can be filtered into certain shapes as well. A good amount of cities are built using these summoned elements as well.
    • The elements are really forces of nature/the universe in themselves, aligned with emotions, philosophies and other things far more intrinsic and deep than simple substances/energy. Manipulating them is basically the core of the world's magic, or even close to theurgy.
  • Inverted: Elemental forces can selectively control certain Russian superhumans.
  • Subverted: Supervillain Infernus, well known for spewing fiery destruction, suddenly launches a ball of ice at the heroes.
  • Double Subverted: He has an ice-cannon built into his gauntlets: heís still a fire mage.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Some mages seem to be able to use any sort of magical powers and some are limted to controlling one element, but elemental ones are not subject to the same limits as the others for some weird reason.
  • Averted: No elemental powers appear in the work; if there are any superpowers, theyíre going along different lines.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "Air... Water... Fire... And Iím an earth mage. Right then. I think weíre good to go."
  • Invoked: A general sets up a combined forces attack with the code names Fire, Wind, Water and Earth.
  • Exploited: The superhero Anarchy steals a fire truck in order to fight his nemesis Infernus.
  • Defied: "Wha? Why should I be limited to only move fire? Thatís stupid!"
  • Discussed: "As You Know, class, in this world there are four known elemental magics..."
  • Conversed: "The writers on this show freaking love Aristotle donít they?"
  • Plotted A Good Waste: The story is used to deliver An Aesop about how everyone is special, even those who use heart.

Back to Elemental Powers

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
Privacy Policy