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- The Legend of Zelda series only ever seems to include fire, ice, and, optionally, something else. A Link to the Past contains three elemental medallions -= Bombos (fire), Ether (ice) and Quake (earth) — as well as elemental rods of fire and ice. Ocarina of Time's elemental arrows come in fire, ice and light varieties.
- If puzzles and the Cane of Somaria are to be believed, blocks are the fourth The Legend of Zelda element.
- Kingdom of Loathing has hot and cold elements, but lightning doesn't enter into things; instead, you get sleaze, stench and spooky.
- Some Mario RPGs.
- Not all, though. In the Paper Mario titles, Ice and Fire based attacks do more damage to the few enemies of the opposite kind, and a select few enemies are immune to the defense-ignoring electric attacks.
- Meanwhile, Mario & Luigi had Mario able to learn Firebrand and Luigi Thunderhand, with Ice being left out of the equation.
- The Shadow Sirens had their respective powers themed this way in Thousand Year Door.
- Super Mario RPG plays it ridiculously straight, with the addition of "jump". Mario uses jump and fire; Mallow uses water and lightning. Geno uses holy magic. Bowser and Peach can do all four of the statuses that you can inflict on enemies, though.
- Blue Dragon only used the four classical elements (earth, air, fire, water) plus light and dark.
- The online RPG Murkon's Refuge has the three elements of fire, ice,... and poison, probably because some monsters have elemental breathing attacks and it wouldn't make much sense for one to breathe lightning bolts from its mouth as opposed to, say, breathing a toxic cloud of gas upon the adventurers.
- Grandia took four elements (the traditional four: Air, Fire, Water and Earth) and allowed you to combine them at higher levels. Air + Water became Ice, Air + Fire became Lightning, Fire + Earth became Explosion and Water + Earth became Forest.
- Fable has fire and lightning, but no ice.
- Until the third game that is, in which it plays this straight
- While it's mostly played straight in Pokemon (see the above examples in "played straight"), this trope is averted with the starters of every generation, who instead use the trio of fire/water/grass.
Turn Based Strategy
- Partial aversion in the Fire Emblem series. It uses Fire Wind Lightning instead, though wind does have some ice spells for some reason.
- Most Nippon Ichi games (La Pucelle, Disgaea, etc...) use Fire, Ice, and Wind instead. Lightning is a secondary element (or considered "colorless"), if used at all.
- They've been calling the fourth element 'Star' since Disgaea. And the elemental weakness of enemies are random, changing each time you visit a map. First-tier Mages are the primary exception, always resiting their utilized element.
Non-video game averted examples:
- In the tabletop RPG Exalted, Fire is its own element, but ice and lightning are just two potential expressions of the same element, Air. The other elements in the game are Water, Earth, and Wood.
- Oddly inverted by GURPS; lethal damage caused by fire, lightning and flash freezing are all classified as burning damage. Fire is normal burning damage. Lightning is burn with the surge modifier. Extreme cold is burn without the incendiary effect.
- German tabletop The Dark Eye uses 6 elements, earth (life), rock (sturdy), ice (death), water (flowing of energies), fire (heat, impulsive) and air (movability). A 7th element got released to use by everyone in ancient times: magic/mind.
- Subverted in Bob and George: The lab is attacked by three giant robot bugs, whose attacks are, respectively, Fire, Ice, and...Leaves.
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