Follow TV Tropes

Following

Ability Mixing

Go To

"Talisman math: levitation plus speed equals flight."

Ability Mixing is when a character can combine two or more spells/weapons/whatever and create a new attack with the attributes of all of them. May appear alongside Combo Platter Powers and/or some form of copy ability, or Item Crafting when combining weapons or items to get all of their abilities in one, or in settings with multiple magic systems.

Advertisement:

An example would be a magic using person with a fireball spell and an ice spell. With ability mixing, he`d be able to create a new spell, such as a fire ball that spreads ice.

Supertrope to Yin-Yang Bomb, when you mix 2 abilities that are diametric opposites.

Compare

  • Bifurcated Weapon or Mix-and-Match Weapon for when you can combine 2 weapons together for a new style/powerup change.
  • Combination Attack where you combine attacks from 2 (or more) separate people; here, one does it by oneself.
  • Fusion Dance and Hybrid Power for combining 2 (or more) people at once (one's directly, the other's through breeding), usually with all of their abilities.
  • Red Mage, people who are proficient in 2 or more multiple magic systems at once. They may or may not be able to mix their magic systems.
  • Set Bonus for how equipping some set of equipment gives you special effects.
Advertisement:

Contrast Mutually Exclusive Magic.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • Black Clover: Mars from the Diamond Kingdom has a spell book that appears to be stitched together from two different books, allowing him to use both Mineral Magic and Flame Magic.
  • In Dragonball Z:
    • Cell has All Your Powers Combined due to being an Ultimate Lifeform created from the DNA of multiple characters. However, he also has some unique powers possessed by none of his components, including the ability to regenerate From a Single Cell. This is actually just a combination of Piccolo's ability to regrow limbs by expending energy, the Saiyan ability to increase in strength after recovering from injury, and Frieza's unique anatomy which allows him to remain alive and conscious even when most of his body is destroyed.
    • Likewise Buu, after absorbing Gotenks, Gohan, and Piccolo, uses an upgraded version of Gotenks's Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack which isn't limited to exploding in the enemy's face, but can also use Gohan and Piccolo's attacks.
    • When Goku and Vegeta fuse together into Vegetto, their Finishing Move is "Final Kamehameha" - a combination of Goku's Kamehameha and Vegeta's Final Flash. Their alternate fused form Gogeta uses Vegeta's Big Bang instead, creating the "Big Bang Kamehameha".
  • Fate/Zero: Kiritsugu possesses a magic called Innate Time Control, which allows him alter his bodies speed depending on how high he needs to. However it's initially Awesome, but Impractical because using it damages his body due to such a thing. He eventually gets around this by using Avalon since it makes him Nigh Invulnerable.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, most of the advanced techniques of Nen manipulation consist of using multiple basic techniques at the same time. A technique for focusing 100% of the user's aura into one part of the body, for instance, is described as a combination of the techniques for releasing, shaping and suppressing aura.
  • In Kill la Kill, during her battle with Junketsu Ryuko, Satsuki combines Senketsu Senjin and Senketsu Shippu to try and turn the battle in her favor. Later Ryuko and Satsuki combine the forms against their mother, Ragyo.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima! this is one of the abilities granted by Magia Erebea. Among other things, Negi uses it to combine Thousand Thunderbolts (an extremely powerful lightning spell used for wiping out armies) and Lightning Javelin (a spell which shoots spears of condensed lightning with high penetration power) to create the original spell Thunder God Titanslayer Lance, which concentrates the power of Thousand Thunderbolts against a single target. The true power of Magia Erebea, however, is to perform ability mixing with yourself as one of the abilities, causing your body to become imbued with the properties of spells.
  • Metroid: Samus and Joey: Golon, one of a group of villains who stole Samus Aran's weapons, wields both the Morph Ball and Screw Attack, which he combines to transform himself into a deadly rolling sphere.
  • Naruto has this as a core concept in several parts of the story.
    • Beyond the standard five types of elemental jutsu, a number of Secret Arts exist for combining two elements together to create a more powerful one - most of these are Bloodline Limits (abilities unique to a specific bloodline). For example Gaara's sand jutsu are a combination of both Wind and Earth while Haku's unique Ice style is the result of Wind and Water.
    • The Tsuchikage practice the unique and incredibly powerful "Particle Style" - a combination of three elements (earth, wind and fire) referred to as a "Bloodline Expansion".
    • The Rasengan technique (a spinning, handheld Energy Ball) gets a few cases of this:
      • Initially, Naruto has trouble with the process of simultaneously spinning his chakra and holding it together, comparing it to "looking left and right at the same time". He gets around this through his mastery of the Shadow Clone technique - first he creates a copy of himself, then one of them holds the Rasengan while the other adds spin. As he improves in skill over the course of the series, he eventually stops needing this crutch.
      • The fourth Hokage intended for the Rasengan to be beefed up by adding one's Chakra element to it but died before he could. Naruto later is able to combine his wind element with it, creating the Rasenshuriken.
      • Still later, Naruto learns that the Rasengan was designed as an imitation of the Energy Ball fired by Tailed Beasts (using spinning to keep it stable) - when Naruto struggles to master the actual Tailed Beast Ball, he adds spinning to create a hybrid "Tailed Beast Rasengan" technique.
    • The Sage Chakra is created by mixing the physical and spiritual energy one has on their own, with the natural energy of the atmosphere. The resulting chakra is stronger than normal chakra and it can empower the user's strength and durability, as well as letting them manipulate natural energy as an offensive aura and empowering the jutsu performed with the chakra.
    • Later on, Naruto manages to combine the Sage Mode (the state where you're full of sage chakra) with his Kyuubi chakra/transformation for an even greater boost in power.
  • Pokémon:
    • During the Sinnoh arc, Dawn came up with a contest strategy using Buneary's Ice Beam and Buizel's Aqua Jet, called "Ice Aqua Jet". When Ash became Buizel's trainer, he adopted this custom move as part of his unique battle strategy set for the season.
    • "Volt Tail", a move used by Pikachu, was the combination of a Volt Tackle ending with an Iron Tail.
    • "Flaming Seismic Toss" is a move used by Charizard, in which he used both Seismic Toss and Fire Spin at once.

    Comic Books 

    Literature 
  • Dragaera: Vlad Taltos dabbles in combining Eastern magic with Dragaeran sorcery and psionics. He once invokes a Sympathetic Magic principle of witchcraft to let a Psychic trace someone's mind through an object they used to own; later, he kludges all three disciplines together to eavesdrop on Telepathy, a feat previously thought to be impossible.
  • Log Horizon: "Adventurers" were originally autonomous Golems created by the land of Theldessia, designed to kill monsters and absorb their dangerous energies safely. However, the "intelligence" behind Adventurers is actually provided by Elder Tale, an Earth MMORPG set in a Theldessia-like world. When the minds of Elder Tale players are suddenly transported into Adventurer bodies, they're initially limited to using their abilities in the same rigid ways as the game, but in time can invent "Overskills" that create entirely new effects:
    • Adventurers normally cannot create food except through a videogame-style Item Crafting system - this food appears instantly and looks delicious, but is really just a tasteless mass of Pure Energy. Nyanta's "Home Cooking" Overskill consists of activating the Cooking skill while preparing food as he would on Earth, allowing him to create consumable items that have flavour and calories.
    • Some players with martial arts training have learned to take manual control of the motions in their attack skills, making them less predictable and allowing them to chain together attacks more easily.
    • Nureha's "Overlay" combines a roleplay-oriented skill from her Foxtail race (the ability to hide their Little Bit Beastly traits) with persuasion-based abilities from her Courtesan subclass, allowing her to transform into other people.
    • Shiroe's "Contract Art Ceremony" combines the mana redistribution abilities of his Enchanter class with the Scribe subclass's ability to create magic scrolls, inventing a Magically Binding Contract that can transform Theldessian humans into Adventurers.
    • Akatsuki's "Shadow Lurk" combines three different movement, stealth and distraction skills in order to perform a Doppelgänger Attack.
  • Brandon Sanderson is known for creating rigid and consistent magic systems, then combining them to create new effects. Some prominent examples in The Cosmere include:
    • The main two systems in the Mistborn are allomancy, in which certain metals are ingested to gain special abilities, and feruchemy, in which abstract traits like health or age are stored into metals to be used later. Someone with both abilities can use the right metals to improve their characteristics. One character does this to remain ageless for a thousand years. Another uses it to gain a massive Healing Factor.
    • In The Stormlight Archive, there are ten "surges" that each relate to some law of nature. There are also ten classes of Surgebinders, each having control over two of the surges. For instance, the Windrunners control gravitation and adhesion, allowing them to change the gravity of specific objects, and to make them stick together.
Advertisement:

    Live Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Ars Magica:
    • The Order of Odin worked its magic through highly specific but long-lasting magic runes, in contrast with the Order of Hermes' more versatile but shorter-lasting magic. A mage can learn to get the best of both worlds by casting Hermetic spells that use Odin's runes as an "anchor".
    • The House Merinita mystery cult can learn the lore of faerie magic, which enables them to create loopholes in the laws of Hermetic Magic with fae trickery and fairy-tale logic.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The adventure S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. The artifact Daoud's Wondrous Lanthorn has seven gem lenses, and each lens has a specific magical effect when put individually into the Lanthorn.
      • If all seven lenses are put in one slot, the Lanthorn can send out a Prismatic Spray spell with multiple deadly effects.
      • Putting all seven lenses into the Lanthorn's four slots in a specific order creates a Prismatic Sphere spell with multiple powerful defensive layers.
    • In D&D version 3.5, the Eldritch Theurge Prestige Class allows a multiclassed warlock/wizard to combine their Eldritch Blasts with their spells, either using the former as a delivery mechanism for the latter, or treating their spells as eldritch blasts for the purposes of abilities which change their energy type (e.g. using the Hellrime Blast technique to cast spells that freeze things). Another class, Eldritch Disciple, functions similarly for warlock/clerics.
  • In Ironclaw 2E's "Book of Jade" supplement advanced Taoist spells involve combining two basic spells.

    Video Games 
  • Blazblue Centralfiction: This is part of Nine's unique mechanic. Her normal attacks (A, B and C, which has her use water, wind and fire respectively) will make her create up to 3 "elemental ribbons" behind her: A makes blue, B makes green and C makes red. Then, when you press the D button (Drive button for other characters), she'll perform a magic spell that uses the combination of ribbons of specific colors. E.g 3 red ribbons creates a big fire blast, while one blue and one red ribbons creates an electric sphere, and 2 green and 1 blue ribbons create a sphere of dark energy that explodes in a plus shape.
  • Copy Kitty Boki`s main power is to copy weapons from enemies she destroys, But the ability to mix them is what allows you the strongest weapons and largest explosions.
  • In the finale of Dengeki Stryker's Sky route, Yamato combines the powers of the Stryker Drives in new ways to create incredibly powerful attacks. This includes striking himself with Shinden's lightning in order to power up Shusui to enormous size, and stabbing multiple Drives directly into his arm as a form of Explosive Overclocking.
  • Combat magic in Divinity: Original Sin is all about creative combinations of various elemental effects, from combining Rain and a cold spell to produce ice for enemies to slip and fall on, to igniting a poison pool left by a Trick Arrow with a fireball to set enemies on fire.
  • The Big Bad of Dragon Age: Inquisition is an ancient arch-wizard whose immense arcane power is mainly a result of creative combination of magical traditions that are generally thought to be incompatible by modern mages: specifically, he binds demons, casts Blood Magic, and draws on the power fo the Taint, often all in the same ritual.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has several spell combinations that have additional effects on top of the component spells' regular ones. For instance, casting a Fireball on a patch of Grease creates napalm-like effect. The spells may be cast by different mages or by the same mage, given fast enough casting.
  • Get Amped: One of the equippable "accessories" is a set of 5 Magic Staffs, each having different elemental powers. Many of its skills consist of casting from 2 staffs at once to create unique effects; i.e using the wind and ice staffs together creates a blizzard, while the fire staff's pillar move can be continued with either using the wind staff (which blows the pillar, causing a larger fire blast) or the earth staff (launcing a super hot rock that then falls down).
  • Golden Sun: For the most part, Djinn-based classes produce best results if they're all the same element, or two of the character's base element and the rest of one other element. There are some multi-elemental classes, but they require a specific number of djinn to work correctly, otherwise the character becomes a Master of None whose spells and stats change with every summon. The exception are the item-based classes, which require several of every non-base element djinn to advance in the class.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories: The battle system uses cards to perform certain attacks. You can put 2-3 certain cards into "sleights", and when you activate it, you'll perform a special, usually powerful, attack. E.g combine 3 weapon cards with the sum card number 24-26 to perform the Strike Raid attack, or 3 Thunder cards together to perform the Thundaga spell.
  • Kirby:
    • Bizzarely, the ability "Mix" has been there since Kirby's Adventure, but it worked like an ability roulette instead of the trope proper. It only started actually mixing abilities from 64 onwards.
    • Kirby: Squeak Squad: If you find the upgrade scroll for the abilities Bomb and Sword, you're able to mix them with Fire, Ice or Spark (just the last two for Bomb) to create sword or bomb with elemental properties.
    • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards: The 7 abilities in the game (Fire, Ice, Spark, Needle, Cutter, Bomb and Stone) can be combined with one another, or even with itself, to create an unique and powerful ability. E.g Bomb + Stone gives Kirby the ability to throw powerful dynamites, and Ice + Ice turns kirby into a human snowball that rolls over enemies.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: In what's either a secret or a Good Bad Bug, equipping the Bow and Bomb and pressing both buttons at the same time will result in Link shooting a "Bomb Arrow". If the latter then it would become an Ascended Glitch - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess not only allowed for a similar combo, but instructed the player to do so in order to get past obstacles.
  • Mega Man Battle Network: The "Program Advance" is a mechanic where you take 3-5 certain Battle Chips together, insert it into the "launch" slot in a fixed order, and then they automatically combine into a single, powerful attack when you enter the battle phase. E.g combine 3 Spreader chips together to create the Hyper Burst attack (basically like Spreader but hitting multiple times), or combine 2 Geddon-3 and Anubis chips together to get the Poison Pharaoh attack (putting a statue on the enemy side that poisons the whole field).
  • Mega Man Star Force:
    • In the second game, there are 3 kinds of Super Mode: Zerker, Saurian and Ninja. You normally only get one, but linking with another Star Force player as "brothers" would let you acquire another and mix them, letting you make Zerker Saurian, Zerker Ninja or Ninja Saurian, which mixes their elemental power and attributes. It's also possible to mix all three, forming the Tribe King form.
    • The third game introduces "Galaxy Advance", similar to the Program Advance from the previous series, where you select 3 certain Battle Cards to create a special card that deals high damage and powerful effects. E.g combine Sword, Wide Sword and Long Sword cards to create the Giant Axe card (does a powerful swing that covers 3x2 panels in front of Mega Man and breaks enemies' guards) or Mad Fire 1 + 2 + 3 cards for the Taurus Fire GA (summons Taurus Fire that proceeds to cover the enemy's area in flames).
  • Metroid:
    • In Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Samus can learn Charge Combos - special attacks which combine the Charge Beam and Missile upgrades to create an effect based on her current beam. E.g. pressing the missile button while Samus has a fully-charged Power Beam will cause her to expend her charge and 5 missiles to fire a Super Missile. Doing the same with the Wave Beam produces the Wavebuster, a continuous stream of lightning which expends missiles every second.
    • Super Metroid features a hidden Spiritual Predecessor to Charge Combos: if the player equips the Charge Beam and one other beam upgrade, sets Power Bombs as their secondary weapon, then holds the fire button, they will combine into a Special Attack with effects ranging from Beam Spam to an Orbiting Particle Shield.
    • Also in Super Metroid is the Crystal Flash technique: if Samus is critically injured but has at least 10 Missiles, 10 Super Missiles and 11 Power Bombs, the player can hold Down + Aim Up + Aim Down + Fire to convert a Power Bomb into an "energy cocoon" which converts ammo into health.
    • In Super Metroid and Metroid: Other M, once Samus has the Charge Beam and Morph Ball Bomb upgrades, entering Morph Ball mode with a fully charged beam will cause her to disperse the energy by laying five bombs at once (which, unusually, do not float in midair like normal).
    • In Metroid: Zero Mission, once Samus has both the Speed Booster and the ability to jump in Morph Ball mode (granted by the High Jump item), she unlocks the ability to perform the Shinespark technique as a Morph Ball, which is required for 100% Completion.
    • In Metroid: Samus Returns (where the Speed Booster does not appear), the "Spider Boost" can be performed by using the Spider Ball and Power Bomb in conjunction, launching Samus in the direction she's facing at high speed. This functions much the same way as the "Ballspark" from Zero Mission.
  • The main character in Persona 3 has a number of Fusion Spells, which combine the powers of two equipped Personas to create spells that are significantly more powerful than regular spells of the same level.
  • Can be done in Suikoden II when a character's magical ability is advanced enough and the character has two compatible runes. For example, being equipped with a Fire/Rage Rune and a Lightning/Thunder Rune allows the character to cast the Blazing Camp spell. Also, the Water/Flowing and Wind/Cyclone Runes can be used together to cast the Water Dragon spell.
  • Terraria
    • The Neptune's Shell and the Werewolf Charm can be combined as part of a recipe, so the resulting Moon Shell gives the power to become a Werewolf at night and a Merfolk when submerged. Not played straight though, as if submerged at night you only turn into a Merfolk, not a mer-wolf.
    • The Sun and Moon stone accessories normally only gift you with stat boosts only during the day or night respectively, but when fused together, the resulting Celestial Charm provides the boost all the time. Combine this charm with the abovementioned Moon Shell and get all their component accessories's buffs at once in a single slot with the Celestial Shell.
    • Most of the X in a Bottle accessories can be combined with Shiny Red Balloons to make the X In A Balloon items, which can then be fused together into a Bundle of Balloons that gives you three additional midair jumps.
    • Hermes Boots can be combined with the Rocket Boots so you can run fast and fly. Combining the resulting Spectre Boots with the Aglet and the Anklet of Winds tacks on even more base movement speed, and then combining it with the Ice Skates adds mobility on ice to the resulting Frostspark Boots.
    • Water Walking Boots can be fireproofed with an Obsidian Skull and a Lava Charm. The resulting Lava Waders lets walk on Lava as well as Water, and grants temporary protection from lava damage.
    • The Diving Helmet and Flippers can be combined into Diving Gear. This can be fused with the Jellyfish Necklace to get light while diving deep into dark waters, and then you can add the Ice Skates to this to also add mobility bonuses while on ice.
    • Taken ridiculously far with the Ankh Shield which is technically combination of eleven different accessories. It grants immunity to 9 debuffs (Weak, Broken Armor, Poisoned, Bleeding, Slow, Confused, Silenced, Cursed, and Darkness) as well as to knockback and fire blocks. You can't get more compact than that.
    • The PDA, added in 1.3, is made from four accessories each made from three other accessories (similar to the Ankh Shield above). When held in your inventory it outputs a ridiculous amount of information like the time, the weather, fishing information, the rarest ore or treasure near you and how many times you've killed a certain enemy. Then you can combine the PDA with a Magic Mirror to create the Cell Phone which both displays info and lets you teleport to your bedside.
  • Apollyon of The Binding of Isaac holds the item called Void. Upon first use, it sucks up all active items in the room; every other time it's used, it also releases the effects of all absorbed items at once.
  • Tyranny not only has a variety of Combination Attacks between the Fatebinder and your companions, but also has an intricate system of customizable spells made up of various runes you collect over the course of the game. Each spell begins with an elemental Core (all four classical elements, along with gravity, entropy, illusion, healing, and more), an Expression which determines the basic shape of the spell (touch, projectile, cones, bursts, and various other AOEs), and finally various Accent runes which modify the power, duration, and size of the spell, along with other effects like adding bouncing projectiles, combining fire and ice, and so on. It's quite extensive, although given the branching nature of the game, it's also very possible you won't find or be able to buy the runes you want in a given playthrough.
  • Warcraft III: The Pandaren Brewmaster has two spells explicitly meant to work with each other: Drunken Haze debuffs the enemy with booze, while Breath of Fire does damage in a cone. If used in that order, the fire does extra damage.

    Visual Novel 
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Shirou, in the Unlimited Blade Works path, begins combining his Reinforcement and Projection magic in battle. This allows him to create a sword with Projection and then analyze it and strengthen it for battle as well as wield it with no problems.
    • Archer primarily works by combining his Tracing (creating a replica of a Noble Phantasm out of nothing with almost all of its properties, at the cost of its raw power) with deliberate use of "Broken Phantasm" (overloading an NP with magical power to increase its potential power, at the cost of it breaking), creating a supply of powerful exploding "arrows", each with the power equivalent of the real Noble Phantasms. His trump card is to combine Broken Phantasm with his secret ability Unlimited Blade Works to create tons of said "arrows" to attack his enemies.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 

Top