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Video Game: Magicka

Once upon a time in a generic fantasy world ... only up to four wizards had the power to make a difference.

Magicka: An Adventure Of Sorts is a Hack and Slash game for the PC, at its roots in the Gauntlet gameplay we all know and love, but with plenty of quirks of its own. Up to four players each control a wizard and travel the monster-infested countrysides of the "generic fantasy world" of Midgĺrd, guided by Vlad (who is totally not a vampire) and a variety of other Simlish-speaking people. Yeah, it's that kind of game.

The main selling point of the gameplay lies within the magic system. Using eight basic elements (Water, Life, Shield, Cold, Lightning, Arcane, Earth and Fire) and two special elements (Ice and Steam, which are Water + Cold and Water + Fire, respectively), players craft and cast their spells at a moment's notice. For further customization, spells can be cast in a standard fashion, in a circle around the wizard, on the wizard's weapon, or on the wizard himself. There are also special spells called Magicks gained from books placed throughout the campaign that offer even more powerful abilities.

Oh, and you don't have a Mana Meter. Cast what you want, as often as you want, provided that you can get the elements up fast enough.

Out now, the first expansion: Magicka: Vietnam, on the justification that everyone else is jumping on the Vietnam bandwagon, so they might as well follow along too. Yes, really.

A second expansion, The Stars are Left, was released on November 29, 2011, with content based off of (and, of course, spoofing) the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Minecraft.

A third expansion, The Other Side of the Coin, was released on June 19, 2012. As the name implies, you play as an evil Dracula Expy on a mission to prevent the world's races from uniting against him.

A fourth expansion, Dungeons and Daemons, was released on October 11, 2012.

The fifth and last expansion, Dungeons and Gargoyles, was released on October 31, 2013.

Two spinoffs are in the works: Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet (for iOS/Android/PC) and Magicka: Wizard Wars, a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena with friendly fire enabled.

The book based on the game, ''Magicka: The Ninth Element - A Tale of Wizards'', was released on November 6-7, 2013

Has an entire Shout Out page. An actual developer commentary version is freely available in Let's Play format courtesy of TotalBiscuit. Not to be confused with Puella Magi Madoka Magica or the term The Elder Scrolls uses for Mana.

Magicka also has a sequel in the works, the trailer of which was shown at E3 2014. It will be available for both the PC and Playstation 4.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Abandoned Laboratory: The Grimnir's Laboratory Challenge.
  • Academy of Adventure: Castle Aldrheim, the home of the Order Of Magick and where Wizards are trained. It's a training camp for saving the world, where blowing up the floor and falling into a disused dungeon full of monsters is a minor inconvenience. A major party there was once interrupted by monsters and Daemons emerging from the dungeons to wreck havoc, and no one was particularly worried about it.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Grimnir was initially interested in learning all Magic to create an era of peace, but his neverending lust for knowledge eventually twisted him into the monster he is today and led him to be Assatur's host.
    • Though it is implied that this was mostly the Order's fault, who expelled and imprisoned him in spite of being the good guy.
  • An Axe to Grind: The Captain's Axes and Axes Of The Champion. Both quite powerful Weapons.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: As of The Stars Are Left, Fairies will appear at checkpoints if you are playing in single player, and will revive you if you die.
  • Anti-Magic: The "Nullify" spell does this.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Most NPCs don't even seem to notice you're blasting them with spells.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • While enemies will usually take all manner of approaches in trying to kill you, they will never, ever take notice of the Vortex spell, and will consistently march to their deaths in their attempts to get near you.
    • When they have the choice between going around a rock wall cast by a wizard and trying to smash trough the rock wall, they will generally try to smash through it which takes much, much longer.
    • Caster enemies occasionally seem to confuse their spells, hitting you with a healing spell and an ally with a fire ball. This is more prevalent with lower tier enemies such as Goblin Priests.
      • although that might not be artificial stupidity. It's possible to have a costume that makes you weak to healing, and yet absorb energy. As the A.I. doesn't alter to account for the costume, it would make sense that they're programed to take healing shots at you, but as the likelyhood of having healing weakness is low, it would make sense that damage has priority.
  • Ascended Glitch: This. (Apparently the development team liked it so much that it's staying.)
  • Asteroids Monster: Daemon Lords will split into three Daemons if not gibbed via overkill.
    • And the Daemons will in turn split into three Daemonlings.
  • Attack Reflector: Arcane beams are one of the more powerful and frequently used spells in the game. Too bad they can bounce completely off of shields while doing very little damage to the shield itself. Against some enemies later in the game that use shields and arcane beams, keeping this in mind is very important.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Jormungandr's head, as well as Fafnir's conspicuously glowing belly.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Jotunn and Khan are the leaders of their respective races, and are far stronger than any other member of those races.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Countless examples.
    • Pure Earth. A well-placed Earth Projectile can do vast amounts of damage, but it requires precise aim and a long charge-up time during which you can't move.
    • Much like in the games it's a reference to, the Sword Of The Masters will shoot powerful Arcane projectiles...when you're at full health. Remember that this is the game where death, let alone taking damage, is a trivially common occurrence.
    • Rods Of Emergency Teleport will teleport you with the press of one button...to a random place on the screen, often into more danger than you were escaping from.
    • Conflagration does ridiculous amounts of damage very quickly, but it requires a long time to cast and only hits a small area, making it far less useful than you'd think.
    • The Scythe Of Malevolence. It's a scythe that's a staff, that also sprays poison! The only downside? Resistance to Life, making it that much harder to heal yourself.
    • Thunderstorm and Meteor Shower might look awesome, but they're not very useful: they cause Thunderbolts and meteors, respectively, to hit random points on the screen, which can utterly annihilate enemies, but they'll just as often annihilate nothing at all, or even you.
    • The Space Robes give you a powerful weapon and resistance to most Elements. Unfortunately, those Elements include Life, and they also give you crippling weakness to the Elements you're NOT resistant to.
    • Crash To Desktop. Erasing enemies with a Blue Screen Of Death is hilarious, but since it targets a random character it has a chance of killing a player. It also only works on characters with less than 10,000 health, which excludes all but one of the bosses.
    • The Napalm Magick from Vietnam dumps fire over a large area, utterly obliterating everything there and dealing a lot of damage to anything that touches it until it goes away. The problem is, to cast it you have to place down a marker and wait a few seconds for the Phantom Jet to deposit the Napalm, during which time whatever you were trying to hit will have probably moved away, and enemies will rarely walk into it. Also, it's quite easy to kill yourself with it.
  • Badass: The main characters can (and do) take down armies, a dragon, as well as punch out Assatur and, if they have a certain piece of DLC, Cthulhu himself.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Dagon and Cthulhu have an attack that turns your wizard into a Cultist. This is considered an instant-death, by the way.
  • Barrier Warrior: The Element of Shield is used for this. It can be used to make walls or domes of energy around you, or as a personal armour. Adding additional Elements to a wall or Area Of Effect Shield will make a Shield out of that/those Element(s), while adding them to a Personal Shield gives you resistance to those Elements. All these Shields also need to be charged to prevent them from breaking, which the Shield Staff can help with.
    • The Staff Of Deflection creates a bubble around you that bounces Projectiles off of it.
  • Battle Interrupting Shout: Vlad intervenes in boss battles multiple times, and in one instance he stops you from killing a not-actually-evil boss by yelling "STOOOOP!"
  • Beam-O-War: If beams are of opposite elements, they explode at the point of contact... Hilarity Ensues. The wizards (and enemies) can also combine their beams (think Death Star) For Massive Damage. Sometimes to themselves. The Rule of Opposites always applies.
  • Beast Man: One of the types of Mooks fought in the third chapter. Raiders have a tendency to perform a leaping attack, Brutes will attempt to ram into you.
  • The Berserker: Orc Berserkers are tougher units who wield BFSs and who's only tactic is to charge at you really fast waving their swords around like maniacs.
  • Big Bad: Khan, the leader of the Orc and Goblin tribes that are laying siege to Hávindr. Except he's actually working for Grimnir, who in turn is just a puppet of Assatur.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Castle Aldrheim seems to be this from what little we see of it. The place seems pretty big, and there are apparently multiple layers of disused dungeons under it, full of forgotten traps, collapsed hallways, and magical experiments let loose.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: The Snow Trolls were modelled after this, more specifically after the Yetis from SkiFree.
  • Big Good: Vlad and The King could both count.
  • Big "NO!": Hrolf lets out one if you let Captain Bjorn die, as does the Goblin Runner in The Stars Are Left, in an Ironic Echo of the same scene. Assatur also does this when you defeat him.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The omnipresent simlish is sprinkled with more-or-less genuine words. Frequently, these are (hilariously misplaced) Swedish. A shining example would be the time when a Troll bursts through the encampment gate, and the Captain screams in shock; "By Baldur's dong!"
  • Black Comedy: Many examples, often caused "unintentionally" by the players as they randomly murder harmless NPCs and each other. Near the beginning, an NPC wizard blows up his tower and falls to his death; some time later you travel back in time and crash into his tower, blowing it up and killing him. And at the end of the game, the players are plummeting to Earth on the remnants of the Big Bad's formerly-floating lair, and Vlad tells them to use the "Town Portal Magick" to get home. The Town Portal Magick doesn't exist...
  • Black Shirts: The Disciples Of Grimnir.
  • Bleak Level: Chapter 6 and 12 is set at World's End. The ground and sky are monochrome brown, there's no life except for stunted shrubs and Daemons. The entire area is composed of desolate chunks of ground littered with ruins.
    • Chapter 9 as well. Myrkur Swamp's scenery is dull and gloomy, with the only enemies being Undead and the only music being the occasional bit of creepy strings.
    • The first half of Chapter 10 is probably the best example, though. It's set in Niflheim, the land of the dead. The first part of the chapter is just a rectangle of flat, grey, lifeless land covered in fog. Lighting up the area will reveal that the place is covered in coffins and piles of bones. To top it off, there's no music whatsoever.
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers
    Shams: We already started the party and I'm afraid we're almost out of cheese...
  • Blob Monster: The Shoggoths (and those weird flaming blobby things) from The Stars Are Left, Slimes from Dungeons & Daemons.
  • Blown Across the Room: Explosive spells (and mines in general) tend to do this to anything standing nearby; it's possible to kill most enemies (with the exception of very huge ones) fairly easy via Ring Out just using mines. It also happens very easily to you if you happen to have a shield up.
    • Casting a spell with no elements chosen simply fires a blast of air that pushes smaller enemies around. Very useful for creating a bit of breathing room, and can even kill some enemies if they impact a wall or other solid object hard enough.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Rather than killing The King immediately, The Warlock ties him to a chair and waits for The Machine to slowly kill him, giving you time to destroy it and free him. He even makes a James Bond Shout-Out.
  • Boring, but Practical: the short list:
    • Using Cold on Wet enemies to stunlock them, especially single enemies, while physical damage is increased against them.
    • Using Earth to nail enemies, as very few enemies will have resistance to it, even armored enemies. Also using it to inflict Water, Cold, Fire, or Life/Arcane to a group.
    • simply sniping enemies while they are still inactive, making the fight coming up easier.
    • Mashing the Fire key to spam giant gouts of flame, great in the early chapters to burn down the groups of goblins that get in your face.
  • Boss Banter: Vlad does this, and unsurprisingly uses the opportunity to drop Star Wars references.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: There are many examples. NEVER underestimate your enemies.
    • Every single type of enemy Spellcaster. When they show up, you can't just blast Mooks with impunity anymore. Now you have to deal with an enemy with their own Beams, Shields, Projectiles, and so on. Facing a single enemy with such a wide variety of powerful attacks that often results in more deaths than any other enemy.
    • Beastman Alpha Brutes have absurd health, speed, and damage compared to every other normal opponent you've fought up to that point. Their charging ability makes them even more dangerous.
    • Orc Warriors. What do they have that other enemies don't? Three healthbars (shield, armour, and body), that's what. Their shields can absorb most of your attacks as they charge at you faster than a speeding truck (and it'll hurt as much when they hit you).
    • Orc Captains are even worse. They have the all the same abilities as Warriors, but hit faster at close range, do Lightning damage, and can throw poisonous bombs.
    • Daemons. Their abilities to move really fast, do tons of damage quickly, be very accurate, and constantly Phase in and out of reality make them actually MORE dangerous than the Daemon Lord minibosses (who don't move, shoot slowly, and rarely Phase).
    • Traeskmonstirs have loads of health, are lightning fast, and have one-hit-kill attacks. They're not even minibosses. In fact, they often appear IN GROUPS.
    • Snow Trolls are much like Traeskmonstirs except even worse. While the latter's grasp is sometimes survivable, the former just eats a wizard in one bite.
    • Malignant Watchers have got to be the worst examples, though. Outrageous health? Check. Insanely powerful attacks? Check. Equally insane attack speed? Check. Appear not only often throughout the level, but alongside other enemies? Check. You'll be thanking whatever gods may be for Invisibility.
    • Shoggoths from The Stars Are Left are insanely hard to kill but can kill you instantly, and are very fast. Although they're not really "mooks" since only one appears in Chapter 2 and only a few in Chapter 3. Still more dangerous than you'd expect.
  • Boss Room: Behold, Ygg, The Machine and The Warlock, Khan, The Aristocrats, Vlad, Death, Fafnir, and Cthulhu all get distinct closed-off rooms that they fight you in.
  • Boss Rush: Chapter 12 has you fight Vlad and Grimnir (the latter of whom you may fight multiple times if you screw up) before the final battle.
  • Boss Subtitles: All the bosses have them, among them such names as "Fafnir, The Burninator".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • "I'd give you some gold, but this game doesn't seem to have a proper inventory system."
    • "Now if only I could get rid of this exclamation mark that's been following me around lately..."
  • Brick Joke: After you fall down a hole into the tutorial level, a fellow wizard tells you "the safe word is Banana!" The next time you play, you'll probably pause to skip the tutorial and discover that the skip button is indeed labeled "BANANA!"
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Vlad is a powerful Wizard, capable of, among other things, transporting people across space and time with a gesture, and a skilled warrior as seen in his boss fight, but he lets you do all the work, occasionally popping in to give advice. Played for Laughs.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: All the Challenges. You must face wave after wave of massive amounts of enemies in limited areas with little time to recover.
    • All the expansion pack mini-adventures are this to some degree, as they were all designed to be harder than the regular game. Vietnam because the fact that all enemies have guns requires new strategies to deal with (as well as the fact that every enemy can kill you from a range, Blocking/Ducking becomes essential and Personal Shields are useless) and the fact that there are no Checkpoints, The Stars Are Left simply because it cranks everything that made the original game hard up a notch and throws puzzles into the mix, and The Other Side Of The Coin because of how hard the fights are and because of how your required to play as a new character that requires a new strategy.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Myrkur Swamp, the setting of Chapter 9. Also, the Marshlands Challenge.
  • Bullet Time: The Time Warp Magick. Everything (including you) slows down, giving you more time to either plan out moves with your teammates or key up complicated spells.
    • The M60 and other guns are actually unaffected by Time Warp, creating a literal inversion.
  • Bullfight Boss: Khan continually chases you around the room at just slightly slower than you can run with Haste. The methods of beating him all revolve around slowing him down or putting traps in his way. Dagon from The Stars Are Left works similarly.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor yellow. Bad things happen to him in the concept art (being frozen, caught in a tornado, etc.). Hell, there's an achievement for dying as him.
  • Button Mashing: When you get into panicked situations, it's easy to just start mashing the spell keys and Mouse 2 just to try to deal some sort of damage quickly. And instantly blow yourself and your teammates up without even scratching the enemy. There's a reason the developers call this game a Mage Suicide Simulator.
  • Camera Screw: Excessive usage of skills with high knockback (read: mines) will lead to this, because the camera attempts to center itself in between the up to four players; a player being knocked far enough away (but not dying from falling damage or from a cliff) can actually cause the camera to be centered on nothing, with none of the players visible at all.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Watchers were originally going to be called Beholders, but that name was copyrighted, so they gave them the similar name and named the boss variation "Behold".
  • Captain Obvious: The Fairy following you provides cute but useless advice, such as "do something to complete the level!"
  • Carry a Big Stick: Ygg charges into battle wielding an entire tree as a club.
  • Cartoon Bomb: Some goblins carry a big sack of these and throw them at you. You can blow them right back or hit the goblin carrying them with fire to detonate its sack of bombs.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Yes, what exactly is the M60 doing in a fantasy game? It couldn't possibly be foreshadowing the expansion, now could it?
    • R'lyeh was on the world map at the beginning of a chapter in the vanilla campaign. Guess where you go in The Stars Are Left campaign.
    • In Chapter 2, you can acquire a sword with an ability called "Dragon Slayer". How many Dragons do you fight on this game? Just one, and he's the 11th Chapter boss.
  • Climax Boss: The Warlock, Khan, Grimnir, Vlad, Fafnir.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: Each Element has one colour predominantly associated with it. Water is dark blue, Life is light green, Shield is yellow, Cold is light blue, Lightning is purple, Arcane is red, Earth is brown, Fire is orange, Ice is white, Steam is grey, and Poison is dark green.
  • Comedic Sociopathy:
    • It is a viable tactic to seal one of your fellow wizards in a bottleneck with a bunch of Orcs.
    • Miscasting Magicks with wide areas of effect don't discern between friend and foe, so giggles and pain abound.
  • Convection Shmonvection: In one of the later chapters, you'll come across vast expanses of lava... which you can cool with your Cold spells and walk on.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Multiplayer mode can make the later levels quite a bit easier, since your offensive powers are multiplied and you can revive each other. However, since Friendly Fire Proof is averted, you will end up dying much more often than in singleplayer. As TotalBiscuit put it: "When the developers said this game had Co-Op, they were lying."
  • Critical Existence Failure
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Behold, Ygg, Jotunn, The Machine, The Warlock, Grimnir, Vlad, Fafnir, Assatur, and Cthulhu are all this to some degree, although that's not to say there aren't alternate strategies to beat them.
  • Death from Above:
    • Depending on how brave you are, and if you have a wizard in the party that has the Wizard Hat DLC, have 1-4 of you queue up the Meteor Shower Magick and cast at once...and then run for your fragile, insignificant life or lives as the Random Number God rains fiery doom of its own accord.
    • The Thunderstorm Magick is a non-DLC version of this, and equally if not more powerful. Thunderbolt (single) does this one at a time, with considerably more precision.
  • Death Is Cheap:
    • Revive is quick to cast, being Life + Lightning, and constant, cheap reviving is expect in multiplayer co-op. Slightly less so of the number of ways to die that also irretrievably remove equipment: Several very powerful items are irreplaceable without replaying entire levels.
    • There's even a later spell, Summon Phoenix, which automatically revives all fallen teammates (and drops a Phoenix in to deal fire damage). Same as above but with Fire added in.
    • Lampshaded in multiplayer:
    Don't worry — dying is a part of the game! Just have your buddy revive you!
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Fornskogur Forest's name roughly translates to "Ancient-Forest Forest".
  • Degraded Boss: The tutorial boss is Behold, a "Benevolent Watcher". Malignant Watchers are encountered as enemies in Chapter 11, although they're actually MUCH more powerful than the "boss" version.
    • The first level boss is also an example: Ygg, Hungry Forest Troll. Forest Trolls are encountered several times as Giant Mooks in the very next Chapter (the only difference is that Ygg carries a tree trunk that gives him slightly more attack power).
    • A Disciple and Orc Warrior appeared once each as minibosses in Chapter 4. They're fairly common enemies in Chapter 5.
    • Jotunn and Khan both appear multiple times as enemies in the Forest Glade and Hávindr Arena Challenges, respectively, under the names "Beastman Chieftan" and "Orc Warlord".
  • Diabolus Ex Nihilo: Just what WAS Assatur? Who knows, all that matters is he needed to die.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Your puny wizards manage to banish Assatur. PLUS, in The Stars Are Left DLC, you can kill the Trope Namer himself. Yes, the final boss is CTHULHU.
  • Difficulty Spike: The second half of the game is noticeably harder than the first.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Khan. The whole point of the quest is to kill him, but when you do, you're far from done. A better example would be Grimnir. He's been built up since the intro of the game, is the most powerful Wizard in the world, is Khan's master, is located at the literal end of the world, is proceeded by the Mind Duel, is the first boss to have unique battle music, and is possibly the hardest fight in the game. When you beat him, you're HALF WAY through the game.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: Khan's Fortress is the heavily fortified, well-guarded, trap-filled military base of the guy you were sent to kill. It's not even the halfway point. World's End, meanwhile, is a desolate, Daemon infested cluster of floating rocks at the border between the Ethereal and Corporeal Realms at the very edge of the world map. THAT's the halfway point.
  • Distressed Dude: The King is tied up and about to be executed by The Warlock when you first meet him.
  • DLC: A large number of these. They can add Robes, Challenges, mini-adventures, or some combination of the above.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Death will surround a player of his choice with copies of himself that will attack one by one. In order to have a chance of not dying and hitting the real Death, you have to spam Life attacks to hit all of them.
  • The Dragon: The Warlock is this to Khan, who in turn is actually this to Grimnir.
    • Although Khan is more of a Dragon-in-Chief, since he was off leading a war while his master was imprisoned at the edge of the world.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Warhammer items.
  • Dual Boss: The miniboss of Chapter 3 is a pair of Druids. The Mind Duel is basically a long series of dual boss fights (except for the first fight, which has four, and the last, which only has one).
    • Also, the fight with Cthulhu in The Stars Are Left becomes this halfway through when Dagon shows up, although you only need to kill Cthulhu for the fight to end.
  • Dummied Out: See Poisoned Weapons; Poison actually used to be a legitimate element on par with the other 10 elements, but was removed. You can still do Poison damage by wielding Poisoned Weapons, for example, and some modders have even readded it. Considering that Poison inflicted damage over time on enemies, slowed down their movements, and it could only be removed by healing, which only Elite Mooks and some bosses have, it may well have been an averted Game Breaker.
  • Dungeon Crawling: The main theme of the Dungeons & Daemons expansion.
  • Dungeon Town: Hávindr becomes this once the Orcs invade. You spend all of Chapter 4 fighting through it.
  • Easy Level Trick: Chapter 6, where you can easily beat the smaller Daemons (and the first half of the boss) by knocking the Mooks off the floating islands.
    • Grimnir's abilities are all countered by the Nullify Magick, making a hard boss fight trivial.
    • Jormungandr is easily killed by making him smash his head against rock spikes. (This also cancels any attacks from it)
    • Put up a shield as soon as you begin the fight against Khan, and he will charge into it, bounce off it, and die.
    • There's a way to kill Behold instantly (as if he needed to be any easier): You Have to Burn the Rope.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The final boss, Assatur, is a trans-dimensional being, which alone should qualify him for this trope, but Assatur is also another name for Hastur, a monster in the Cthulhu Mythos!
  • Eldritch Location: World's End. It's the literal edge of the world, where the land crumbles into a bunch of desolate floating rocks, devoid of life, drifting in an empty sky. The barrier between the Corporeal and Ethereal Realms are thin enough here for large numbers of Daemons to cross over.
    • Niflheim fits this as well. It's a perfectly flat, foggy grey plain in near-total darkness, with nothing around it but a white void. The only terrain features are piles of bones and the only inhabitants are Elementals and Undead.
    • The Stars Are Left wouldn't be complete without one of these, so it sets its final chapter in "The Nightmare Corpse-City" Of R'Lyeh. Although you don't see much of it, it does a very good job of looking and feeling thoroughly alien.
  • Elemental Absorption: depending on the Robes that your wizard (or an enemy wizard) is wearing, or the type of Element that an enemy is, getting hit by that Element will result in being healed instead of damaged.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Elementals are powerful enemies that can only be damaged by their Opposite, and come in Water, Life, Cold, Lightning, Arcane, Fire, and Poison types. They remain dormant until you go near them, and if they get hit by a Spell while dormant they become that Spell's primary Element. There's also a Magick that allows you to summon a friendly one who's Element you can choose.
    • There's also Darksouls, which are effectively Undead Elementals. They only come in Cold, Lightning, Arcane, and Fire varieties and are all vulnerable to Life as well as their Opposite.
  • Elemental Powers: An essential part of the game's mechanics. Here's the rundown:
    • Blow You Away: Air is what your Spells default to if you Cast with no Elements selected. The Tornado Magick is effectively a suped-up version of its effects.
    • Making a Splash: Water is a Spray that pushes things around and makes them Wet, but doesn't do much damage. Rain is the only Water-based Magick.
    • Life is a Beam that heals things. It's rarely used by enemies and only in one item (The Staff Of Life).
    • Shield forms barriers out of energy, ranging from walls to bubbles to armour to landmines.
    • An Ice Person: Cold is a Spray that Chills things and does a fair bit of damage (but is more effective when combined with others). It's often used by enemy Wizards (and Goblin Captains) and in such items as the Frost Staff, the Blade Of Chill, and the Frost Cleaver and the Magick of Blizzard.
      • If you combine Water and Cold you get Ice, which effectively creates a powerful shotgun-like Projectile of icicles.
    • Shock and Awe: Lightning is a Spray that does significant damage, jumps from target to target, and does more damage to Wet targets. It's the most common Element used by enemy Spellcasters, and is used in a large number of items (the Skyward Spear, the Thunderblade, the Tesla Staff, the Rod Of Righteous Runes) and Magicks (Thunderbolt, Thunderstorm, Chain Lightning). Beastman Alpha Raiders, Jotunn, and Orc Captains all have Lightning-related abilities.
    • Pure Energy: Arcane creates damaging Beams which can be combined with almost any other Element, making it the most versatile and useful Element. The more Arcane Elements in a Beam, the longer it will last and the more chance it has of Overkilling and enemy. There are a few items that do pure Arcane damage, such as the Sword Of The Masters, the Staff Of War, and the Arcanesaber. It's also the Element of choice for Daemons and Cultists.
    • Dishing Out Dirt: Earth creates giant chargeable boulder Projectiles that do loads of damage and can be combined with almost any other Element. It also makes for the toughest type of Shields.
    • Playing with Fire: Fire creates a damaging Spray that sets things On Fire. This damage type is used a lot by enemy Spellcasters, items (the Blade Of Surt, the Mace Of The Molten Core, Cthulhu's Cursed Blade) and Magicks (Conflagration, Summon Phoenix, Meteor Shower, Napalm). Beastman Alpha Brutes, Goblin Archers, Lantern Ghouls, Fire Drakes, Fafnir, fire blobs, and Flame Goblins all do Fire damage.
    • Poisonous Person: As mentioned elsewhere, Poison as a usable Element was removed, but Poison damage (which does damage over time that can only be removed by Life) is still dealt by Spiders, Jormungandr, Orc Captains, and Wights. The Scythe Of Malevolence and Cursed Blade items also do Poison damage.
    • Space Master: A lot of miscellaneous Magicks and items could be considered "space" related, such as Teleport, Tractor Pull, Levitation, Portal, and the Rod Of Emergency Teleport. Besides that, Vlad, Death, and Fafnir all seem to able to easily transport people over vast distances, far more than what you can manage.
    • Time Master: You can become this by wielding Time Warp or the Chronorod. Vlad is also the user of the mysterious Time Portal Magick, and can project his image and voice into the past.
  • Elemental Punch:
    • You can take spells and cast them on your melee weapon to enchant it. As with regular casting spells, you can put any combination on it that you want... including a heal spell. The plus side to charging a melee is that you can always have it on hand whenever you need it, since you'll start moving slower the more elements you have keyed up in a spell, which can give you a mobility advantage, and can prevent friendly fire with more controllable arcs. And if you charge the right spell to your sword...
    • Played straight with the "Healing Hands" of the Support Wizard.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: A core part of the gameplay, especially on co-op. Although in this case, it's just as much about avoiding damaging yourself as it is getting the right combo against the enemy.
  • Elite Mooks: Plenty of examples.
    • Goblin Warriors and Archers are effectively stronger versions of Goblin Scouts and Rangers, respectively. Dungeons & Daemons adds a new type of Goblin with a flaming sword.
    • Both types of Beastmen have an "Alpha" variation, which have black fur, bigger horns, and a magic weapon that also gives them Elemental Resistance Auras.
    • Orc Warriors are basically just Orc Scouts with armour and shields (once you break their armour they become identical to Scouts). Orc Captains are an even more elite variation with magic swords and grenades.
    • Dwarf Champions are tougher versions of Dwarf Warriors, and are often found leading groups of Warriors.
  • Enemy Summoner: Many instances, like Druids, Necromancers, etc..
  • Elseworld: The basic idea of what Magicka: Vietnam is.
  • Epic Fail: Rock Paper Shotgun listed a few examples. More will likely happen.
    • The "Crash To Desktop", "Meteor Shower" and "Thunderstorm" Magicks are rarely used simply because it's hilariously easy to kill yourself and/or your teammates with them, mostly due to their extremely random targeting system.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Vlad is a vampire.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Every single Human NPC in the game, no matter how minor, has a name. Except for The Headmaster, The Warlock, and The King.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Grimnir and his Disciples.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Grimnir's dramatic baritone growl makes a stark contrast to the normal sounding or comically squeaky voices of most other NPCs.
  • Excalibur in the Stone: Found and usable in-game... complete with stone.
  • Exploding Barrels:
    • A variant, sometimes you will find boxes of dynamite lying around that you can blow up.
    • Goblin bombers also act as this. Kill one with a spell that contains fire, and you'll detonate its bomb satchel, causing around 2,000 damage to everything around it.
  • Exponential Potential: You don't know the half of it! You're able to use five of the eight elements in each spell, in almost any combination, as well as the choice of whether to cast that spell you just made in front of you, around you, on yourself, or on your melee weapon. The only thing you can't do is use opposite elements in one spell, such as Earth/Lightning, Fire/Cold, and Arcane/Life. Working together with other players opens up even more options! However, you still can't combine opposing elements. Trying to do so anyway will cause hilarity and possibly a Total Party Kill to ensue.
  • The Faceless: As you can see from the box art, all wizards (except Vlad) always have their faces concealed in shadow.
  • Fallen Hero: Grimnir was once the most powerful Wizard in the Order Of Magick, until he became corrupted by his power. (That's what the Order says, anyway)
  • Fighting Your Friend: A surprising number of them, typically due to the wizards' non-existent social skills.
  • Final Boss Preview: Assatur appears at the end of Chapter 6, but is impossible to harm. This necessitates Vlad sending you back in time.
  • Fish People: The Deep Ones from The Stars Are Left.
  • Flaming Sword: The Blade Of Surt, and really any fire element enchanted weapon.
    • Flame Goblins from ''Dungeons & Daemons wield them as well.
  • Flunky Boss: The Druids will summon hordes of Tree Spirits to hide behind while taking potshots at you. Jotunn continuously summons various types of Beastmen to attack you and burn down Dundarhaed (fighting through these minions to reach him is actually far more of a challenge than actually killing him). The Machine continuously summons Disciples, and if there are any left when you destroy it, they will continue to fight alongside The Warlock. The black-robed Aristocrat will continually revive his fallen comrades so that there are always five protecting him at any time (and hides behind Shields to boot). The Necromancers start off accompanied by two Wights each, constantly summon Zombies, and are later joined by some Ghouls. Death will occasionally summon a group of Darksouls.
    • In The Stars Are Left, Parker will occasionally create Spiders. The final boss, Cthulhu, will occasionally summon Deep Ones (and, later on, Dagon) to fight you.
  • For Massive Damage: Simply put, there's lots of ways to do massive amounts of damage to enemies. And teammates.
    • An Arcane Beam with Steam and Lightning will create one of the most devastating combos in the gamenote .
    • Lightning bolt, whilst only working outdoors, does 5,000 damage a pop (10k if the enemy is wet) and sends nearby enemies flying. Oh, and both Lightning Bolt and a standard Steam Beam use the exact same formula, just cast different ways.
    • Then there's the "lightsaber" or "deathblade" enchantment: take the lightning bolt formula, add a Steam to it, then charge it to your melee weapon. You will now deal around 2.8k damage to anything that stands in your way, more or less depending on resistances and if the target is wet. Anything that survives will be soaked, allowing you to follow up with double-damage lightning or frost to stop them in their tracks and give you time to follow up with something else. One massive exploitable for this enchantment is to freeze your target (soak, then frost), then unleash your melee for triple damage. It's possible to One-Hit Kill lots of enemies this way. Including bosses.
    • The Great Iceball (Earth + 4x Ice) fully charged hits for roughly 10,000 damage.
  • Foreshadowing: Vlad sounds both surprised and angry to see the Wizards in Chapter 4, which is odd since he was the one to send the Wizards there in the first place. The reason is that in Chapter 9, the Wizards are sent back in time and fight Vlad. Vlad responds to this by banishing them to Niflheim. He's surprised to see the Wizards are alive and in Hávindr.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Rogue Robe from the Party Robes DLC. The player moves like a ninja straight out of Naruto, runs at a pace slightly slower than a normal wizard with Haste, uses a crossbow with poisoned arrows in lieu of a sword, teleports (backwards only) using Smoke Bombs to evade attacks, and is twice as squishy as any other Robe in the game. Case in point, using 1 Fire element to set yourself ablaze usually takes about 1/3 of your hit points in the average set of Robes. In the Rogue robe, the flames will quickly kill you before they run out.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted. You can (and will) blast your allies into a fine red paste. Sometimes even accidentally.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Given how buggy the game is (even after multiple patches), there are multiple ways of causing the game to crash or become unplayable.
    • For example, trying to cast Corporealize on Assatur in Chapter 6 can cause a crash.
    • One bug that has stuck around, though it is more of a design flaw: You are unable to pass the first tutorial while wearing the Cyber Robes. Why? Well, the first thing you have to do is cast Life on yourself, but the Cyber Robes are immune to the Life element... fortunately you can skip the tutorial, but if this is your first time playing, you might not have wanted to. note 
      • You also can't shoot the rope, so if you're using one of the gun-equipped classes at the start...
  • Genius Bruiser: Despite The King claiming that Khan is "more a warrior than he is a leader of armies", he proves to be a good enough tactician to outwit and outmanoeuvre the Hávindr army. He's still more than capable of holding his own in combat.
  • Giant Mook: All the various kinds of Trolls.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Assatur just sort of pops out of nowhere to try and destroy the world. In The Stars Are Left, Dagon comes equally out of nowhere, as does everything that happens after you fight him.
  • Giant Spider: These occasionally appear as enemies. The mother of them all is the first boss of The Stars Are Left.
  • Glass Cannon:
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: The Detective Robe from The Stars Are Left DLC features a set of Brass Knuckles.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Dying from falling damage nets you the "Gravity, thou art a heartless bitch" achievement.
  • The Grim Reaper: He runs a travel agency between the worlds of the living and the dead, and rules Niflheim from his palace in the City Of The Dead. You fight him as a boss.
  • Ground Pound: Jotunn does this.
    • You can do this yourself by using an Earth Area-of-Effect spell. Don't combine it with Shield, though, or you'll get rock spikes instead.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Chapter 11 takes you through, in order, snowy mountains, underground ruins, and caves full of lava.
  • Halloween Town: The City Of The Dead is a modern-looking city, but is populated by the Undead, is full of jack-o-lanterns and brightly coloured lamps and balloons, and the background music is Creepy Circus Music.
  • Harmless Freezing: Subverted and played straight. Anything that's enclosed in a block of ice will thaw out eventually with no ill effects, but hit that block of ice with a blunt object or an arcane spell before it melts...
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: The first fight against the Big Bad... doesn't go very well.
  • Healing Factor: All Trolls regenerate health unless hit with Fire.
  • Healing Hands: Aside from use of the Life element, this is invoked as the weapon of the Support Robe from the Party Robes DLC.
  • Healing Shiv: All heals are this to a degree, since healing is basically attacking someone with the life element. You can make healing beams, healing weapons, even explosive healing landmines.
  • Hellfire: Grease-fires, like all fire, apply continuous damage in the form of burning. However, a grease-fire's burn actually gets stronger the longer the poor schmuck caught in it burns! And just like in real life, it can't be put out with water.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath\Sociopathic Hero: The main characters can be played either way, considering that they can kill anyone (including each other).
  • Heroic Mime: The player characters. Vlad lampshades this after three boss fights in a row caused by the players just beating people up instead of talking to them like Vlad told them to do.
    "You have no social skills whatsoever!"
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Very likely to happen in combat, both to your enemies and your friends.
    • Special mention goes to Summon Death, which summons The Grim Reaper to the battlefield to instantly kill the unit with the lowest percentage health. Be careful with using this against bosses since some of them don't count as units which means that he will target you!
    • Crash to Desktop, which summons a blue screen of death to instant kill a random creature on screen that has less than 10000 maximum HP. More often than not, this is you. Especially annoying in multiplayer since a wizard who dies from this takes all his items with him.
  • Hold the Line: Near the end of Chapter 3, you have to hold a position in some ruins against a Multi-Mook Melee of Beastmen.
    • Towards the end of Chapter 4 you come across a locked door that allied NPCs are attempting to blow open with boxes of dynamite. You can fight off waves of enemies while waiting for the unnecessarily long fuse to burn, but it's a lot quicker to just set the dynamite off directly with a fire spell.
    • The Vietnam Rescue Mission ends with another one of these segments while you wait for pickup to arrive at the extraction point, only with more enemies and less cover,
  • Humanoid Abomination: [[Video Game/{{Minecraft Endermen]], of course.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: In-universe. A wizard in the starting area will give you the useful advice to not "dabble with electricity" when wet. Then, he continues with this little gem:
    "HOW SHOCKING! Hahaha... Yes, I know, that was terrible."
  • Infernal Retaliation: Most of the time, enemies will continue to attack you even when on fire, unless their panic trigger is hit (meaning they take a certain amount of damage per tick from fire damage), until they either succumb to the flames or put themselves out.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Holy Divider and the Arcanesaber are tied for the title of most powerful weapon in the game, and both are found late in the penultimate Chapter.
  • Intangible Man: Daemons are extraplanar beings that are "phased out" until they materialize to attack. They are immune to damage when they are like this.
  • Interface Spoiler: The achievement names, some of which give away the names of bosses.
  • Jump Physics: The Beastmen. As the developers say:
    "The jump mechanics are so broken."
    "Not nearly as broken as they have been. note 
  • Jungle Japes: The Vietnam Rescue Mission and Vietnam Challenge.
  • Kaizo Trap: Possibly unintentional, but if a solo player kills the final boss while its Vortex is active, the victorious wizard will run right into it for the final cutscene, killing the player instantly.
  • Kill 'em All: Played for Laughs. At the end of the game, all the wizards fall to their deaths, because they don't have the necessary Magick to escape the final boss's collapsing lair, and they can't ask Vlad to teleport them away because they're Heroic Mutes!
    • Averted, since the Wizards are alive and well in The Stars Are Left. However, Word of God says that the Wizards in Dungeons & Daemons are a different group, so they were likely trapped in R'Lyeh at the end of that adventure.
  • Kill It with Fire: By itself, fire isn't all that powerful, since the damage taken from afterburn is rather negligible. However, if combined with the Grease and/or Conflagration Magicks, it's possible to inflict damage in the hundreds or thousands per tick by keeping enemies sitting in the flames for long enough.
    • The Napalm Magick from the Vietnam expansion has a similar effect as these spell combos: wizards unfortunate enough to be caught in the friendly fire die within seconds. note 
  • Kill It with Ice: Freezing enemies (and then smashing them or otherwise taking advantage of their disabled state) is one of the most "cost effective" methods of actually killing enemies.
  • Kill It with Water: Water itself isn't too effective, but it can serve to knock back small- to medium-sized enemies (a la riot hose) and makes them more vulnerable to Lightning and Cold.
    • It should also be noted that the water AoE has the highest knockback of the single element AoE, allowing you to use physics to kill enemies near you, as well as being a good space clearer.
  • King Mook: Jotunn is this for Beastmen, Khan for Orcs Warriors, The Warlock and Grimnir both for Disciples, The Aristocrats for Goblin Wizards, Fafnir for Fire Drakes, and Parker for Spiders.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Subverted in Chapter 4, where every door that you try to go through (save the ones that are already open) is locked. When you do try to open it, the game will give varying messages about how the door is locked.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Grimnir is the basically the only character who's never played for comedy. Coupled with the ominous atmosphere of the level he's found in and the difficulty of his battle, you might forget this was supposed to be a comedic game.
  • Land Mine Goes Click: You can create fields of elementally-charged mines (even ones that heal you!). And yes, they do click when stepped on.
  • Large and in Charge: Khan, Warlord Of The Orcs, is much taller and thicker than any of his minions.
  • Large Ham: Vlad. Sounds even more hilarious when coupled with Speaking Simlish.
  • Last Lousy Point: Where finding Secret Areas is concerned, the one people tend to miss the most is the Dwarf Forge in Chapter 11, as a result of it being far more hidden and out of the way than the others.
    • The easiest Magick to miss is definitely Thunderstorm, since it's hidden inside an opaque cave, so even if you know you can get in there and that that's where it is, you have to basically click around randomly to find it.
    • The Dead Moose that are worst about this are probably the ones in Chapter 6, Chapter 10, (as a result of being tucked out of the way on in the middle of flat, empty, similar terrain with no way distinguishing landmarks), and Chapter 9 (due to being an easily-missed Moose head stuck on the wall rather than a Moose corpse lying on the ground like all the others).
  • Lethal Joke Element: Steam by itself is a very weak spray, so new players will probably completely forget about it and continue their Lightning+Arcane+Fire spam. However, coupled with Lightning, you get a spray weapon that makes the enemies wet and electrocutes them. Furthermore, if you couple it with both Arcane and Lightning, you get a beam that wets enemies, electrocutes them and makes them explode when they die. Also usually more useful than water to set targets up for freezing, as the lack of knockback leaves them clustered to follow up with cold.
    • The Knife of Counter-Striking doesn't seem all that impressive, since it's a weak weapon and its only special effect is a permanent version of the easy-to-cast Haste Magick...until you realize it stacks with Haste, and therefore allows you to run ridiculously fast. It's by far the best melee weapon in the game, entirely because it makes you a Fragile Speedster instead of a Fragile Slowpoke.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The last section of the Gladrhöll Ruins from Chapter 11 is a giant cavern flooded with lava.
  • Life Drain: Vlad has an ability that allows him to latch on to a player, deal massive damage to them, and heal him. You can gain his "almost Vampiric" abilities by wearing Vlad's Gauntlet, which drains the health of enemies around you to heal you.
    • Alucart from The Other Side Of The Coin has an ability similar to Vlad's attack. It's also the only way to heal when playing as him.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Samurai Robe. Their initial sword, the Yawarakai-te, is much faster and stronger than other starting weapons. That rope in the tutorial that takes normally 3 hits to cut? Try one.
  • Loading Screen: Tip: Did you know that tips are displayed on the loading screen?
  • The Lost Woods: Fornskogur Forest, the setting of Chapter 2 of both the original and The Stars Are Left. It's worth noting that "Fornskogur" means "Ancient Forest", so its full name is "Ancient Forest Forest". There's also the Forest Glade Challenge.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Mind Duel very much so, since it's entirely possible to be instagibbed less than a second after the start of a round if the enemies happen to fire off the right spell combination. Have we mentioned there are no checkpoints between the rounds?
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Orc Warriors, Orc Captains, and Goblin Captains all carry shields in front of them that block attacks and can only be damaged by certain types of attacks. Luckily, they move them out of the way while attacking.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Arcane Beams tend to make a mess out of what they're pointed at quickly. And, yes, enemies exploding into meaty chunks do cause splash damage.
  • Magic A is Magicka: The Rule of Opposites means that if you cast the wrong (or right) spell, you're likely to cause a massive explosion that will kill you and whatever you were targeting. Although for some reason it's actually possible to combine water and lightning together when you're casting, likely a developer oversight.
  • Magical Defibrillator: While there are no literal defibrillators in the game, keep in mind that the Revive spell is created by combining Life and Lightning.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Grimnir behind Khan, Assatur behind Grimnir.
  • Man on Fire: Yes, you can set yourself on fire by keying up a Fire spell and self-casting. Most of the time this has no practical applications besides drying yourself off (for the first cast only), and in some cases you'll lose control of your wizard as he runs amok in random circles while on fire. It does have the useful effect of keeping enemies like Snow Trolls from picking you up. They can't grab you if you're on fire.
  • The MANY Deaths of You
  • Marathon Level: Chapters 2, 8, and especially 11 are all noticeably longer than the rest.
  • The Medic: Whoever's wearing the Support Robes is meant to fill this role.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Wizards have this immediately upon revival.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • The Tank Robe from the Party Robes DLC. The player's movement speed is decreased significantly because of their armor (casting Haste on yourself barely allows you to move at running speed for normal Robes). Melee attacks with the initial weapon are slow and weak (it takes 6 hits to cut a rope in the tutorial, where the normal Robes take 3). However, the Tank can knock down foes by walking near them and has a glowing resistance aura to all forms of damage.
    • The Zombie Robe gives the Wizard a lot of extra health at the cost of moving about as fast as a tortoise lugging a lead weight.
  • Mirror Boss: The various types of enemy Wizards are all of the "equivalent" type, as they can cast their own Spells just like you. Grimnir is an even better example, has he can use Magicks as well.
    • The Vulcanus Arena Challenge is one long stream of these. Every enemy is a Wizard. But what makes this special is that rather than being regular enemies from the game, they're all different Robes that you can use.
  • Mission Control: Vlad does this for the first half of the game, and Future Vlad in the second half.
  • Monster Arena: The Challenges are all this, each one having a different selection of monsters.
  • More Dakka: The M60, a Disk One Nuke earned very early in the story by preventing any buildings from being burned down in the Jotunn boss fight. Very nearly a Game Breaker in the later parts of the game, too. It fires several times a second, staggers enemies, tears apart mooks and has a firing cone that can hit multiple enemies with little to no effort. It also isn't affected by the turning rate limitations of other ranged attacks, meaning you can instantaneously swivel around and shoot enemies coming up behind you. Plus there's no risk of self-destruction like there is when using beams. And it can still be used as a melee weapon when elementally charged!
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: "I am Vlad. I am not a vampire."
  • Mr. Exposition: If something needs explaining, chances are it's Vlad who'll explain it.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The Mind Duel and The Aristocrats both have you fighting waves of Spellcasting enemies. Also, all the Challenges are basically this.
  • Nerf:
    • Originally, the Arcane+Steam+Lightning spell combo produced a super-deadly spell of death which so effortlessly wiped out enemies that many players, especially speedrunners, rarely used anything else. It is still this, more or less, but some enemies (like Goblin Warriors) were changed to resist most of its damage, forcing you to use different spells on them.
    • Personal shields have also been nerfed; originally, they blocked all damage entirely, and keeping them up was simply a matter of occasionally self-casting heal, stepping on healing mines, or even grabbing a staff of life to have the shield keep itself at full strength. They now drain out after a few seconds, making them much less protective.
  • New Game+: Selecting your beaten save file will allow you to play from the beginning with all the Magicks that you learned up to that point, including Vortex. The new game will also spawn more monsters than your first time through, so you get to experiment with lots of new ways to massacre them.
  • Nintendo Hard: The prologue and first level are just a warm-up. You'll be dying quite a number of times after that! This mainly applies to solo play, since in multiplayer you can be revived easily; then again, you can also be team-killed just as easily.
  • Obvious Beta: As much fun as it is, its hard not to admit that it's definitely pretty rough around the edges, though its slowly getting better via patches. Hell, after the first set of major fixes, the devs released the Mea Culpa DLC for free as an official apology for the game's buggy release. It included a staff that summoned a swarm of bugs.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: "Prelude To A (Not) Vampire", the theme that plays in Myrkur Castle, as well as "Battle The Count", the theme for the boss therein.
  • One-Hit Kill: Many.
    • It's possible to do this to Behold by burning the rope.
    • The earliest One-Hit Kill you can experience from a Mook are the bombs thrown by the Goblin Bombers. Let one explode you without a shield on? Bye bye.
    • Death can kill anything in one hit. Including Bosses.
    • Snow Trolls will kill players instantly if they manage to stuff one in their mouth, a Shout-Out to SkiFree. Cave trolls can do the same, but slow enough for the player to escape.
    • Traeskmonstirs have a similar attack, although it's slightly easier to break free of.
    • In The Stars Are Left, Parker's most common attack is entrapping a player in webbing and moving in to instantly devour them. Luckily, it's pretty easy to break out of.
    • Dagon has one attack that hits you with what looks like a small meteor, which is instant death.
    • Cthulhu has multiple instant death attacks in his large arsenal.
    • Thunderbolts are almost always instant death - there's an achievement for getting hit by one and not dying from it.
    • The Crash To Desktop Magick. It only targets enemies below 10,000 HP, but it will blue-screen anything that it can target, literally. Including the caster.
    • The sword, Gram, has an ability called "Dragon Slayer". It's obtained fairly early in the game as a secret, and seems a pretty crappy weapon with no other abilities... Until you realize that In Chapter 11, the boss is Fafnir, a dragon. Killing Fafnir with Gram is a Steam achievement which used to be quite hard to get, due the extreme length of time between getting Gram and slaying the boss; however, with the introduction of a patch that allows you to replay chapters, acquiring the sword and taking it to the fight is now significantly easier.
  • 100% Completion: Finding all 14 Secret Areas, all 21 Magicks, and all 12 Dead Moose.
    • The Vietnam Rescue Mission scores you at the end based not only on how long it took you to finish the Mission, but also on how many side objectives you completed: destroying the 2 ammunition dumps, destroying the 2 radio towers, rescuing the 5 prisoners, and finding the enemy battle plans.
    • Ther are 11 Magical Horses in The Other Side Of The Coin that serve as an equivalent of Dead Moose.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: The game practically has a checklist of classic monsters.
    • Our Goblins Are Different: Goblins are the enemy you're going to be seeing the most. They come in Scout, Rogue, Ranger, Bomber, Priest, Warrior, Archer, Captain, and Wizard variations. They're also orange, since if they were green they would blend in with the green backgrounds of the forest.
    • Our Orcs Are Different: Orcs are grey furry muscly monsters who are allied with the Goblins. They come in Scout, Berserker, Warrior, and Captain types.
    • All Trolls Are Different: There are four types: Forest and Cave Trolls are simple giant enemies, War Trolls carry around either giant hammers or artillery cannons, and Snow Trolls are fast-moving Yeti-like creatures who can eat you.
    • Our Demons Are Different: Daemons look like frog...alien...limb...eyeball...things that phase in and out of the Corporeal Realm and shoot lasers at you. There are three types: small Deamonlings, larger Daemons, and giant Daemon Lords, and each type splits into three of the smaller type when killed.
    • The Undead: The main enemies in Chapter 9.
      • Our Zombies Are Different: They're slow-moving and weak mooks with no special abilities.
      • Dem Bones: Skeletons are slightly tougher and much faster, and sometimes carry weapons.
      • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Ghouls are these weird monkey-looking things that crawl around on all fours. There are also Lantern Ghouls who can set you on fire with their lanterns.
      • Our Wights Are Different: Wights are slow-moving armoured Skeletons wielding Cursed Blades that follow Necromancers around.
      • Our Vampires Are Different: Vlad is not a Vampire (Yes he is). Alucart, the protagonist of The Other Side Of The Coin, is, however.
    • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Dwarves appear in Chapter 11. There's notable much special about them apart from them carrying loads of heavy weapons and armour. There are Warrior, Champion, and Priest types.
    • Our Dragons Are Different: There is only one Dragon in the game, and that's Fafnir. (Unless you count Fire Drakes, which are more like lava-spitting gecko things.)
    • Our Elves Are Better: Elves don't appear in the main game, but they are in The Other Side Of The Coin.
  • Poisoned Weapons:
    • A pair of weapons of this description show up in the form of the Cursed Blade and Morgul Blade, as well as a "staff", the Scythe of Malevolence. It's easy to assume it's just a special effect tacked onto a plain weapon, but it turns out, it's actually a legit element type. Try summoning hordes of Elementals and hitting them with your Poisoned sword! It's fun!
    • The Party Robes DLC adds the Rogue Robe's crossbow, which rapidly fires poisoned arrows.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The entire reason why you fight pretty much all the bosses in the second half of the game.
    Future Vlad: You have no social skills whatsoever!
    • It's so bad that this even happens with the first boss. The beholder creature you kill was a pet.
  • Pop Goes the Human: The arcane death ray causes enemies to get a serious case of Balloon Belly. And then explode.
    Pop goes the Goblin, troll, spider, orc, wizard, etc.
  • Pre-Order Bonus: Not a strict case since the game was released on January 25, but people who bought the game before January 31 got a special hatted wizard model, start the first chapter with slightly better equipment, and Meteor Shower, a special Magick that drops meteors on random parts of the screen. The Wizard Hat DLC was later made purchaseable, so now everybody can enjoy mashing their teams with meteors.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: Vortex. You get it by beating the final boss so you can only use it in Challenge or New Game+, but for good reason: it sucks in and instantly kills anything that wanders close enough to it, and it gets bigger as it sucks in more things. Dealing with massive waves of enemies can often be solved simply by dropping a Vortex or two. Taken to ridiculous levels here. Yes, that number goes to over one hundred billion damage.
  • Puzzle Boss: Jormungandr. He spends most of his time underground, routinely poking his head up next to one of the players to attack. If there's anyone in range when he attacks, he'll bend over and bite them. If everyone's to far away, he'll spit Poison at them instead. He's only vulnerable in his head. There are several ways to beat him: have someone stand next to him and hit his head with a projectile when he bends over to melee attack them (the simplest way and the easiest to do in multiplayer), place an Earth Shield over wear he burrows up so he hits his head and takes damage, or stand next to him cast an AOE Shield around yourself so he hits his head and takes damage when he bends over to attack you.
  • The Quest: At first it's to break the siege around Hávindr and defeat Khan, later on the new quest is to find Fafnir, learn Corporealize, and use it to defeat Assatur.
  • Ray Gun: The Frontier Robe's weapon, the Type 2 Phaser.
  • Recurring Boss: Grimnir and Vlad are both fought twice. In The Stars Are Left, Dagon is fought three times, one of which is alongside another boss.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Similar to how Dungeons & Dragons handles it: Life element damages Undead, while Arcane heals them.
  • Ring Out Boss: The first part of the fight against Grimnir has you go into his mind and face off against several minibosses while on floating islands. For easy wins against many of them, charge up a Water Spell and release it in an area burst, knocking the otherwise-tough opponents into the void. (Note that the enemy is also able to use this on you)
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Most wizards look like this. Also one of the game's Shout Outs.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: After rescuing him, The King deals the final blow to The Warlock and leads the army's assault on Khan's Fortress (after sending you in first, of course). Turns out, that wasn't a good idea...
  • Rule of Funny: The only reason why there's an M60 machine gun, not to mention a fridge in an otherwise medieval fantasy game. Word of God says this is the reason for other things such as wooden horses and cardboard-cutout sheep, aside from animator laziness.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • See the Rule of Funny entry above; there are also some electrical generators in the Academy and in the Járn Mines, which you can jump-start by casting lightning at them.
    • Also, the first expansion, Magicka: Vietnam, gives you all manner of guns for your wizard to use.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Grimnir was magically imprisoned at World's End. It's not enough to stop him.
  • Self-Deprecating Humor: The release of the game was notoriously buggy, but was made up for by the dev team releasing new patches daily for nearly two weeks. This is lampshaded in Mea Culpa, one of the first (free) DLCs, which added the Crash To Desktop Magick, along with the Patched Robes, which come with the Broken Sword and the Buggy Staff (which summons Bugs as an active ability).
  • Sequence Breaking:
  • Sequential Boss: The Chapter 4 boss is this. First you fight The Machine, then The Warlock, each one being effectively a different battle.
    • There's also the fight with Grimnir, where before fighting him you have to go through the Mind Duel, which pits you against groups of enemy Wizards from throughout the game. The rematch ditches the Mind Duel, but you might end up fighting the boss himself more than once if you screw up casting Corporealize, and there's still the fight with Assatur after that.
  • Shield Bash: Khan does this to you constantly, sending you flying all the way across the room.
  • Shout-Out / Reference Overdosed: Magicka's wiki has an entire page devoted to these. We also maintain our own page full of Shout Outs, because there are so many!
  • Shows Damage: Your wizard's robe becomes increasingly tattered depending on how much damage you've taken.
  • Side Quest: Exactly one. Completing it rewards an achievement.
  • Sinister Scythe: The Scythe Of Malevolence, as well as Death's scythe.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Frostjörd Battlefield in Chapter 5 and the Gladrhöll Mountains in Chapter 11.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: "Hello! I'm The Headmaster. I'm great. Do you want to know why I'm great?"
  • Smash Mook: Trolls fit this pretty well.
  • Socialization Bonus: Depends on how well/jerkish your partners play. If you died in solo mode, you were defeated (until Fairies were added in The Stars Are Left). If there were two or more players, they could easily revive each other as long as one was alive.
  • Some Dexterity Required: The magic system is pretty complicated, and will take some time to grasp. Worth It.
  • Sorting Algorithm Of Threatening Geography: Played straight in the first half of the game, where you start off in pleasant farming country, and progress through a thick forest, the rocky highland coastline, a burning city, a frozen battleground, and finally the edge of the world. The second half zig-zags it though, by starting you off back in pleasant farming country, then progressing through mountain mines, a dismal swamp, the land of the dead, and...some ordinary mountains (well, apart from the lava caves, but that's hardly Niflheim). The last level is also the edge of the world, though.
  • Spam Attack: No mana bar. No cooldowns. You can cast any spells you want as quickly as you can key them in. It's a perfectly viable strategy to repeatedly mash in the recipe for a weak attack spell, producing a line, cone, or circle of rapid death.
  • Speaking Simlish: Doubles as a bilingual bonus for those who know Swedish, even though the language used is not proper Swedish but rather some kind of Swedish-English-faux-Old-Norse linguistic abomination, sort of like Swedish Chef Swedish. Enough words are similar for it to be hilarious, though.
  • Spell Blade: Taken Up to Eleven: you can bind entire spells to your sword, though some combinations of elements are much less useful than others, especially when just casting the spell has more or less the same result. A good way to make Healing Shivs and Flaming Swords though.
  • Spell Book: Tomes Of Magick are found lying around the levels. Pick them up to learn the Magicks they contain.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The King is always referred to as The King, capitalization and all, even when it makes no grammatical sense. (e.g. "It seems your The King has deserted you.")
  • Spoiled By The Manual: The end of the manual accessable through the Magicka links on the steam menu reveals that Vlad is a vampire .
  • Squishy Wizard:
    • Unsurprisingly, the wizards are quite fragile. As noted in the article above from Rock Paper Shotgun:
      You're a wizard, not a Jedi. Idiot.
    Incidentally, if you cast a personal shield, Haste, and the "lightsaber" weapon enchantment (or just grab the Arcane Saber from Chapter 11), you can run around and cut through things like a Jedi. Just don't expect it to work for very long, or against certain enemies. And you'd probably be more effective just using spells anyways.
    • Thoroughly averted with the Space Marine robe, which gives you a massive health boost, gives you resistance to everything, and unlike the Zombie and Tank robes, doesn't even lower your speed!
      • However, they nerfed that slightly in that you are immune to healing spells (you recover 24HP over time), and a massive weakness to Arcane and Lightning, however combining the robe with the Aristo-staff (resistance to all elements) helps alleviate that somewhat.
    • Unfortunately, this is averted with enemy Spellcasters. These guys have more health than other enemies of their kind, making them quite a pain to defeat if they come in numbers.
  • Standard Status Effects: Burning, Chillednote , Frozen, Panicked, Poisoned, Wetnote .
  • Stationary Boss: Behold, The Machine, Daemon Lords, Grimnir, Fafnir Assatur, Cthulhu, and, oddly enough, several Doors.
  • Status Buff Dispel: The "Nullify" spell does this on your foes and yourself.
  • Stealth Pun: At one point you encounter a goblin archer wearing a green shirt and a hat straight out of the Errol Flynn film, making him of course Goblin Hood.
  • Stone Wall: A literal example: You can encase yourself and your surroundings in rock or ice (and add giant glowing runes if you prefer), allowing you a brief respite to charge up a devastating area attack when mobbed by enemies. The rock/ice armor extends your HP considerably, but slows you down to a crawl.
    • The Tank Robes bear special mention as well. Tanks move very slowly (to the point where casting Haste still makes you move more slowly than normal walking speed) and their spells have reduced effectiveness, but they have twice the amount of HP as a normal wizard, and wear armor that significantly reduces the effectiveness of enemy projectiles (rock, ice, bullets, RPG rounds). Needless to say, casting rock armor and getting the Staff of War can make you a very hard target to kill.
  • Summon Magic: Over the course of the adventure you can learn to summon Tree Spirits, Phoenixes, Zombies, Elementals, and DEATH ITSELF.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Everyone knows that Wizards can't swim.
    • Lampshaded in the tutorial. Sure enough, you need to make ice bridges across water with the Cold element. Try not to slide off as you're walking across before they thaw out.
    • It's also a potential comedy gold mine when you have multiple wizards trying to cross the same ice bridge, all freezing each other then self-casting fire spells to thaw themselves, with the inevitable eventuality that someone accidentally tosses a fireball and collapses the bridge, instantly drowning the whole party. note 
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Vlad consistently states that he is not a vampire. He is.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Jormungandr would be invincible if he didn't bend over to bite you (especially since he has a ranged attack that keeps his weak spot out of range), and most of the alternate strategies to beating him revolve around getting him to hurt himself. It's also worth noting that you can easily get the Disciples in The Machine boss fight to hit The Machine with their attacks by hiding behind it.
  • Teleport Spam: A favoured tactic of Goblin Priests, as well as the Endermen from The Stars Are Left.
  • This Cannot Be!: "NO! THIS IS IMPROBABLE!"
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Goblin Bombers, as their name suggests, attack by throwing bombs at you. Khan also has an attack where he throws bombs, only he throws many at once.
  • Time-Limit Boss: The Machine will kill The King if it's not destroyed fast enough.
  • Time Skip: The Stars Are Left is set years after the original adventure.
  • Time Travel: Vlad sends the heroes back in time in order to defeat Assatur. It makes far less sense in context. There's absolutely no reason why this would need to happen, beyond the fact that the developers rewrote the story because it didn't have enough time travel in it. No, seriously.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The village of Dunderhaed in Chapter 3.
    Agnar: "Holy crap! We're sitting ducks out here! Everybody! Quick, get into the gunpowder storage!"
    • Special mention also goes to the soldiers who blindly charged into the Town Grinder's blades in a blaze of suicidal bravery.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Also a bit of all there in the concept art. Almost all the concept art shows the Wizards wielding the Sausage On A Stick. Cheese would also seem to count, mentioned on more than one occasion by NPC wizards.
    • In all of the illustrations of Magicks, there will be a sausage hidden in the picture.
  • Trick Arrow: One of the prisoners in the Vietnam map will, after you release him, start shooting exploding arrows at your enemies.
  • Turns Red: When Death uses his Doppelgänger Spin attack, the copies will move faster and faster the more damaged he is.
    • After you damage him enough, Fafnir will start knocking holes in the floor, exposing the lava lake below, and using Confusion on you to invert your controls and make you fall into them.
    • In The Stars Are Left, once you get Cthulhu down to half health, he drops Dagon onto the battlefield, making you fight both bosses at once.
  • Überwald: Myrkur Swamp has shades of this, especially when you find out the true identity of the Village's ruler.
  • Underground Level: The Járn Mines in Chapter 8, the Gladrhöll Ruins in Chapter 11, the Caverns Challenge.
  • Unique Enemy: Goblin Hood in Chapter 2.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Summon Death, which summons Death, should probably be one of these but isn't: you can trick Death into hitting bosses with his attack when he comes for you.
    • Thunderstorm, though, is. You'd think that Lightning Bolt, en masse, combined with Rain would be devastating against anything you're fighting against... but the lightning bolts land on random parts of the screen...and can hit you and your teammates. There's also its DLC equivalent, Meteor Shower. Of course, they become a lot less useless when you realise you can cast a very simple spell to make yourself immune to fire and/or lightning elements...
      • Alternatively, wearing the Cyber Robe makes you immune to Life magic, but healed by Lightning...
    • Crash to Desktop is this, sort of. Blue-screening enemies is fun, but remember that it will randomly target anything near the caster, friendlies and the caster included. If you cast it with no targets nearby, you will blue-screen yourself.
    • Nullify seems pretty useless (it mostly dispels status effects on the caster and some Magicks) but is exceptionally useful versus Grimnír; it dispels the Tornadoes he summons, can sometimes stop Conflagration blasts, eliminates the Shield he puts up, and last but not least, destroys his Mirror Images, and can be cast incredibly quickly as it requires only two elements and has a very short windup (unlike, say, Meteor Storm or Thunder Storm). On the flipside it'll wipe out all of the same effects cast by you or your teammates.
  • Variable Mix: The main theme of each level shifts into a louder and more intense remix whenever large groups of enemies appear.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: World's End. A strange case, since it's the Disc One Final Dungeon, just revisited.
    • R'Lyeh in The Stars Are Left.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: Besides the many ways you can inflict harm upon yourself, you can butcher defenceless NPCs with wanton abandon, although this can screw up future cutscenes.
  • The Vietnam War: The first DLC expansion to the game.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Poisoned players and enemies will vomit a stream of green stuff at regular intervals.
  • Wakeup Call Boss: The main candidates are Jormungandr, for requiring strategy and precision to beat rather than blindly attacking, and Jotunn, for being the first boss to have minions and Immunity to some of your attacks.
  • Warmup Boss: Two of 'em. Behold sits perfectly still and won't attack until you do, and the only attack he does have is very weak. There's also a way to kill him instantaneously before he can get one shot off. Ygg is pretty weak and doesn't have much health, and it'll be occupied with fighting the soldiers, allowing you to blast it with impunity. Worth noting that both of these are from Chapter 1, which is the easy tutorial level meant to get you used to playing, so being any harder would have been unfair.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Vlad rants at your characters for fighting the bosses in the later game instead of talking to them like he's been telling you to do, which would allow you to get their help instead of having to beat them into submission first. It's not like the game lets you do otherwise.
  • When Trees Attack: Tree Spirits and Traeskmonstirs.
  • Widget Series: Starts off tame enough... then you notice the abundant Shout Outs and wooden horses, among other things such as the expansion.
  • With Friends Like These...: The word "friends" is always in quotation marks, because while you may be friendly to them, that doesn't stop you from accidentally (or "accidentally") blowing your "friends" up.
  • With My Hands Tied: Grimnir spends the entire fight casting magic without having ever breaking his bonds. He still manages to be a difficult battle despite this.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The Aristocrats fight is several waves of different kinds of Goblin Wizards, each with attacks based around a different Element. Also, partway through Chapter 9, you fight three Necromancers at once, AND they all have loads of Undead minions to fight for them.
  • World in the Sky: World's End is a miniature example. It makes for some of the best scenery and level design in the game.
  • The Wiki Rule: And relatively helpful, too.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: Apparently, saving the world is a regular activity for Wizards. A few elderly Wizards reminisce about the multiple times they saved the world.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The DLC The Stars are Left was originally named The Stars are Right. After learning that the name was already being used, the creators changed it a mere 12 hours prior to its announcement.
  • X Meets Y:
    "So this is Cannon Fodder meets Harry Potter then? I can live with that."
  • X-Ray Sparks: Played With: It shows the animation skeleton.
  • "YEAH!" Shot: Mocked. At the end of the game, your wizard will attempt this as the "Level complete" message shows up. Twice. Then the credits roll.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Assatur does this to Grimnir after the heroes Corporealize him, rendering his host useless.

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