Tabletop Game / Magi-Nation

Magi-Nation is a Collectible Card Game produced by Interactive Imagination. The game was set in a far-off world called the Moonlands, located on the moon of a larger planet. The inhabitants were called Magi and they used their energy and the power of a stone called Animite to cast spells, forge powerful relics, and to summon up enormous creatures called Dream Creatures with which to work and battle. Players of the game took place in those battles, using Magi cards, Spells, Relics, and the all-important Creatures. The goal of the game was to defeat your opponent's three Magi cards by reducing his energy to 0 while he had no Creatures in play. It had a small but devoted fanbase, but little funding; like so many good things, it faded into the ether. Over its full run, it produced six complete sets (one went unreleased, but significant portions of it can be found online), numerous promo cards and two Game Boy pseudo-Mons RPGs.

After the game ended its run in the USA, it continued to be released in Japan for two full years after the final US release. The second RPG video game, released on the Game Boy Advance, came out only in Japan, and was heavily connected to a manga based on the series—with a different art style. The video game was a remake of the first Game Boy Color game with the American character Tony Jones swapped out for a Japanese character named Dan. The official U.S. site teased that the sixth set would be released to coincide with a CGI Animated Series that was currently in development, based on the Game Boy game. Unfortunately, the cartoon seemed trapped in Development Hell.

Six years later, the cartoon is released. It is traditionally animated using an Animesque style. Things have changed, and we'll leave it at that.

There is also a Magi-Nation Wiki on Wikia for those interested.

Tropes common to the franchise as a whole include:

Tropes found in the card game include:

  • Art Evolution: Compare this card, from the first set, to this card from the last one.
  • The Caligula: Korg, after declaring himself All-High King of Bograth.
  • Early-Bird Cameo
    • One of the earliest Shadow Magi was a d'Resh shadow magi, three full sets before any other d'Resh cards came out. Bograth, the Weave, and Paradwyn were also mentioned on cards before any cards from those regions were released. Pre-errata'd for your convenience!
    • Many cards actually referenced specific nonexistent cards planned for future expansions. Unfortunately, the card game was cancelled before some of these cards were printed, so there are currently some cards which reference cards that probably never will exist.
  • Hurricane of Puns
  • Infinity+1 Element: Universal spells, creatures, and relics, which can be used without penalty by any magi.
  • Late to the Punchline: Many of the Shout Outs on the cards won't make sense to a little kid. Then you grow up, and suddenly, seeing the random nod to a Frank Zappa song on the Snow Hyren is the funniest thing ever.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Heart of Paradise.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: Characters do die, but very rarely, probably because all of them feature on their own cards. For example, during the wars between Bograth and Paradwyn, as well between Orothe and Cald, not a single named Magi dies during either battle. This is often explained by defeated Magi simply losing consciousness since they rely on bodily energy in order to fight, and it seems universally standard to capture defeated opponents rather than kill them. Granted, this only applies to named characters (those that appear on official cards) who are more or less implied to be the most noteworthy magi in each region. The rest of the nameless magi could theoretically be dropping dead left and right.
    • In fact, the characters are horrified when they accidentally kill a nameless magi in the storyline.
  • Puni Plush: Straight lines? Angles? Never heard of 'em.
  • Running Gag: Read the Shadow Geyser quotes. Korg counts how many Shadow Geysers, and progressively annoys Zet more and more. By the fifth Shadow Geyser, Korg doesn't even say anything and Zet just says "Say it and I'll have to hurt you."
  • Shout-Out: Many, from the generically nerdy (Such as The Princess Bride) to the more obscure. And, for some reason, lots to the Disney Animated Canon.
  • Stripperiffic: Just check out the costumes on some of those female Magi. Erm, wow. This is a kid's game?
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: Shadow magi—"normal" magi who use Core power—usually.

Tropes found in the video game include:

  • Big Damn Heroes: Wence pulls one.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Depending on Tony's actions through the game, the "Good ending" may still be bittersweet because He failed to retreive the Cloud Frond, or didn't use it on Orwin and ergo he died.
  • Bonus Boss: Ormagon
    • And end-game Salafy.
  • Broken Bridge: Literal example. Granted, what did you expect when you put it over lava?
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Warrada. You first see her in the third shadow geyser, apparently being a mini-boss. You beat her and she seems to vanish...odd...But then in the fourth Shadow Geyser, she appears to be the boss. However, she gives you the option to actually skip her if you agree to leave Magi Nation alone. If you take her up on that offer, then in the Fifth Shadow Geyser, she'll show up in the middle of nowhere and say, "I thought you were going to LEAVE!" and fights you. You didn't think she was a Skippable Boss, did you?
  • Crazy Enough to Work: You wouldn't think shouting "Fire" in a village built nearby volcanoes would actually work, did you? Well... it actually did. Tony just says "...Unbelievable".
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Korg and his dream creatures are just big sponges. They aren't hard, but they can take a lot of abuse before going down.
  • Death is Cheap: Three of the killed off characters are later shown to be alive, but turned to stone and sent to the Core.
    • Tryn's cousins can be added to the lot, bringing the total up to a possible five. That's also not to mention pretty much everyone in Underneath town, who are assumed to be dead for most of the game.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: While most players never actually did this, Tryn's cousins will appear in the core if you allow Morag to "kill" them. Similarly, if you refuse to give Ashgar's key back, the Cald village will not be very fond of you.
  • Disc One Nuke / Game Breaker: If you can get ANY kind of Hyren early on, you're basically set for the rest of the game. (If you can find one, and kill enough of them for their animite.) Finding one isn't the hard part. Not getting maimed by them is.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: Several, actually:
    • The fourth Shadow Geyser appears to be the final dungeon, because once you got all those core can go home. The End... Or Is It?
    • Then you get the Fifth shadow geyser in the Arderial region.
  • Disney Villain Death: Korg once you beat him for good.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Underneath is completely destroyed after Tony takes care of the shadow geyser there.
  • Downer Ending: If Tony Jones decides to take Agram's offer up - and apparently just wordlessly looks back.
  • Dummied Out: The thunder and core hyrens. The missing regional hyrens are in the game, but were never added to the encounter tables in their areas; this is why they're completely accessible with Game Genie-like devices. It was a simple programming oversight caused by a rush to wrap up the final areas and get the game out as part of a multi-front marketing push when the MN property launched. It's likely that there were plenty of dungeons and backgrounds that were dummied out of the game, since you can explore tunnels and rooms that don't seem to be there for any reason other than to look pretty. Core Hyrens are actually not hard to find (A few bosses use them) but you need Thunder Hyren animite to make one, and, yeah.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: There are actually two. The first is a more classic wheel going Arderial->Cald->Orothe->Underneath->Arderial, but capitalizing on Cald's weakness to Arderial or Underneath's weakness to Orothe is unlikely to be possible when you're actually exploring those regions, and no bosses in the game use creatures from those regions anyways. Naroom and the Core form a second version, in which both is weak defensively and strong offensively to the other. Since every boss in the game uses Core creatures, keeping a few creatures of your own that can use Naroom-element skills can come in handy.
    • Worth noting is the fact that pretty much all of Warrada's dream creatures are weak to Naroom-element attacks.
  • Everything Fades: Technically most bosses do this off screen, but you actually get to see Morag vanish after killing him near the end of the game.
  • Everyone Comes Back Fantasy Party Ending: Played with - the game gives you the chance to decide to delay going home for a bit, and allows you to speak to almost every ally you met over the course of the game at Vash Naroom. This changes, depending on whether or not you got the Cloud Frond or not. Unlike most examples of this trope, the characters are all actually there.
  • Fantastic Racism: Played with - apparently Caldlings aren't well liked amongst the Naroom magi. However, Gia will mention that her grandmother was one.
  • Foreshadowing: Somehow, Tony can understand Agram without the translation bracelet. Agram mentions that Tony is descended from an Ancient...
    • When Tony says he's going to stop the Shadow Geyser that is in the Underneath, the villagers actually seem surprised, and he's asked to leave immediately after sealing it up. They know that the Great Magus Kyros will actually destroy Magi Nation.
    • Korremar mentions Agram, and you can apparently hear the backstory in the Orothe Village, but there's no way to return.
  • Guide Dang It: Other than Ormagon, did you know that you had to go through places on the world map before Orothan F showed up? Didja? Nope. What about the Hyrens? Uh... probably not. And how about finding the Cloud Frond? Or the Lightning Spell?
    • Shadow Hold. Come on... try getting through it without a guide. We're here waiting.
  • Got Volunteered: The story kicks off when Tony gets 'volunteered' to go spelunking for a cave treasure, by two guys who tried and failed to foist the task upon one of their younger brothers.
  • Hand Wave: Why exactly Korg's creatures always take longer to summon than normal is explained by Zet as Korg just being an idiot.
  • The Heavy: Morag is The Dragon, but presents a much more common villainous role compared to Agram, who only appears twice in the game.
  • Hellhole Prison: The Shadowhold. You will most definitely agree.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Gorgor, off screen, that is..
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first fight against Morag. Even at max level, with the strongest Hyrens at your command, all you can do is struggle helplessly as he summons increasingly stronger monsters till you are beaten. It is possible to defeat him legitimately if you have at least four maxed-out creatures with the ability "Consume." Since Consume absorbs another creature's energy (and may terminate a creature), you don't have to summon your creatures as often. With a Gameshark, you can acquire the "Court" spells (Judge, Jury, Executioner) and using these makes all of your potentially terminating attacks actually terminate 100% of the time. However, you would have to cast Jury and Executioner on every new Borgor. Obviously, this is a very long and arduous process, and winning doesn't give you anything but some experience and animite. The story and dialog stay the same.
  • Infinity–1 Sword: Ormagon is the best Dream Creature, but finding any of the Hyrens will let you muscle your way through the game with ease.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Ormagon, again.
  • Interface Spoiler: Averted; the equipment and core stone menus display four clear slots for the items obtained in Naroom, the Underneath, the Cald and Orothe. The equipment and core stone picked up from Arderial are positioned non-standard compared to the others.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Lampshaded; At one point Tony complains about going through all the trouble to break into strangers' houses and not finding any valuables half the time.
    • At another point you get this gem:
    Tony: Ooh, a diary! I'll just take a quick...
    Ulk: No you won't!
    Tony: No I won't.
    • Depending on your actions, Warrada will actually call Tony out on this - if he meets her without having returned the key, she will then call him out for stealing a priceless key.
  • Knight Templar: Agram seems to really believe he's just doing his duty as an Ancient by keeping the knowledge of the Magi out of the hands of the inhabitants of the Moonlands.
  • Magikarp Power: Weebos, which start out one of the weakest dream creatures of the bunch, learn Wreck, a rare move which makes them a harbinger of death. Of course, it takes quite a bit of training to get them there. Made somewhat easier by how common they are in the beginning, and how easy it is to forge their level up. Could potentially become a Disc One Nuke or Game Breaker if someone was willing to grind like crazy. Quite honestly, it's pretty much impossible to get a Wreck Weebo without cheating or being Salafy. Weebo learns Wreck at level 99. Considering that the end-game expected level is around 50, it's absolutely ludicrous to even consider legitimately raising a Dream Creature all the way to 99. Perhaps a case of Awesome, but Impractical.
  • Money Spider: Defeating monsters nets you Animite, the game's Global Currency.
  • New Game+: Perhaps the only way to get some dream creatures. (Namely the core ones, which you should have a lot of animite for by that point)
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Dan, in the Japanese Game Boy Advance remake, looks quite different from the rest of the cast, considering that none of the other characters, even the people from Earth, were redesigned for this version.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Used twice... the music dies out the second you get to the core, and right before you are ambushed by Korg and Zet, the game plays no music at all.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Gia decides to prank Tony for this.
  • Power Floats: Morag seems to lack his lower body, and levitates in midair at all times.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Tony goes on one at the end. The first four Shadow Geysers, Tony acts more out of self defense. However, by the fifth, he's making death threats and clearly wants to castigate Morag for everything. To compare, Tony only fights Togath because he's cornered, Ogar because she won't let him leave, Korremar because he attacks first, and can even choose to avoid Warrada all together. By the time the fifth shadow geyser is out, it's him running towards Morag and shouting, "Thy hour of reckoning is upon thee, Agram!"
  • Scenery Porn: The battle backgrounds are bleh, but some of the backgrounds in other areas are actually quite detailed, especially given the Game Boy Colour's limited palette.
  • Shout-Out: When first meeting Gogor, you try to introduce yourself only to be cut off to the mantra of "''IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS!''"
  • Skippable Boss: Bait and switched. Warrada will give you an offer - take the stone and leave forever, and you don't have to fight Warrada. However, should you do this, Warrada will jump you in the Arderial and you will have to fight her there instead - but her stats aren't buffed up.
  • The Chosen One: Deconstructed a tad but then played straight, The prophecy of Magus Kyros? It's actually a warning - Magus Kyros isn't great, he'll DESTROY Magi Nation! It's a little clear that Tony is not Magus Kyros, but actually, the reason the world is at stake anyways! In order to create all the shadow geysers, Tony Jones is the catalyst. But then in the final dungeon, it's confirmed by Agram that Tony actually IS the reincarnation/descendant of Agadon, the Magi who against him all that time ago. Not only that, they never actually make it clear on whether or not Tony really is Kyros - The only ones who appear to know are Agram and possibly Morag.
  • The Rival: Salafy. An optional rival to be sure, but still basically a rival. She can always be found training in one area, and can be fought throughout the game, growing stronger to match Tony's power as he levels up... well, relatively—that is, until near the end of the game when she suddenly gains a team of Wreck Weebos that could basically show up the final boss one on one, skyrocketing in power from a non-threat to a Bonus Boss.
  • Unfortunate Names: The kids in Tavel Gorge declare Tony's name to be this, so they nickname him "Foney Bones". To earn the right to be called by his real name, he enters the cave to find the crystal.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Togoth as the second boss of the game, a much more competent threat. Not only does he summon multiple different Core Creatures, he'll heal his own and hurt yours with a better offensive spell than you have access to at that point. Zet also counts, being much more competent than Korg when you do fight him and coming out with a unique spell attack than can one-shot your Dream Creatures.
  • Warmup Boss: Korg as the first boss of the game, who only summons one Dream Creature, which comes out with a summoning length penalty.
  • Word Salad: Before eating some Translator Seeds, the speech of Moonlands people sounds to Tony like random strings of nonsense: "Exploding sock puppet!"
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Averted—almost every NPC you will encounter in the game has an actual counterpart in the card game. Well, if you've got Loads and Loads of Characters, you might as well use 'em, right? However, a few sprites were re-used. But when you talk to them, you notice the aversion.

Alternative Title(s): Magi Nation