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Classical Elements Ensemble
aka: Four Element Ensemble

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A Classical Element Ensemble is a team or group of people in which each character is associated with one of the classical elements, the classical elements being a specific subset of the Natural Elements, typically composed of fire, water, earth, or air. So the standard ensemble is a team of four with each person aligned with either fire, water, earth, or air.

Thematically, because the classical elements were considered to be the root of creation and matter, having a group reflect it implies that this group is the most central, important, or most powerful out there. From a convenience standpoint, this trope sees a lot of usage because it also gives each member a distinct aesthetic, personality, and role, on top of having baked in interpersonal dynamics to explore. See Four-Temperament Ensemble, Fire/Water Juxtaposition, and Earth/Wind Juxtaposition for more on that. Having the elemental association be to Elemental Powers specifically is one of the most common ways this trope is used. That said, non-powered characters who just have Elemental Motifs are also acceptable.

Expect each member to have Elemental Personalities and be color-coded in line with their elements, with Elemental Eye Colors and Elemental Hair Colors. If the team is mixed gender, it is not unusual for fire to be a man and water to be a woman (often the sole woman), though this is by no means a strict rule.

Besides the standard ensemble, there are two variations, both of which create a Five-Man Band. The Chinese variation follows the Chinese version of the classical elements, which air is not a part of it. Wood and metal are used instead, each with their own associated powers (typically Green Thumb and Extra-ore-dinary) and qualities.

The second variation comes from the fact that though most takes on the classical elements have the usual suspects of fire, water, earth, and air, also include an Element No. 5. What this is exactly depends on which cultural interpretation you follow, but broadly speaking it was thought to be the substance that fills the space outside of the earth and from which the stars and other celestial bodies were created from. This has been translated into the following natural elements (with the most common interpretations of that element attached):

So a five person group in which 4 people align with water, fire, earth, and air, while the fifth has powers, personalities, and motifs (elemental or cosmic) linked to one of the above also counts. Because Light Is Good and an Ideal Hero is often an All-Loving Hero, this fifth character is very likely to be the hero and The Leader if the ensemble is a formal team and the work goes with the "heart", "life", "light", etc. interpretations of Element No. 5.

Super-Trope to Alchemic Elementals and The Four Gods. Compare and contrast other elemental group tropes like Fire/Ice Duo, Fire, Water, Wind, Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Land, Sea, Sky. Frequently a case of Superhero Speciation and sometimes overlaps with Elite Four.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • EDENS ZERO: Drakken Joe, the "Dark Alchemist", is served by four powerful minions with elemental-based Ether Gears which appropriately form the basis for Drakken's own Alchemy Ether Gear: Laguna can manipulate water and turns people who cry in his presence into water, Fie can turn into flames to move around and has fire-based sniping abilities, Sylph can conjure and control wind and the earth-themed Daichi can sprout and manipulate vegetation from his and other's bodies.
  • Fairy Tail: Element 4 was a mage team composed of S-class mages, each of which specialized in a magic representative of the four classical elements. Aria used Airspace magic, Totomaru used Rainbow Fire magic, Juvia of the Rain, the sole woman, is a water mage, and Sol used Earth and Sand magic.
  • Go! Princess Pretty Cure starts out with the trio of Cure Flora, Cure Mermaid, and Cure Twinkle representing, respectively, land, sea, and sky, and halfway through the story adds Cure Scarlet, representing fire.
  • In Hoshin Engi, the Four Saints of Kuryuujima have elemental paope invoking the four classical elements: Kongenjuu (Coalescence Bead) summon and manipulate seawater, Hekichijuu (Earth-splitting Bead) can move and shape massive amounts of dirt, Bankojuu (Yellow Strikes Bead) allows the user to fly freely in the air, dodge any incoming attack and shoot light beams, while the Kaitenjuu (Heaven-opening Bead) can cause fiery explosions.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: According to an artbook by mecha designer Kunio Okawara, the five Gundams each had Elemental Motifs chosen during the design process. The quick and stealthy Deathscythe represents air, the walking arsenal Heavyarms represents fire, the desert-themed and heavily armored Sandrock represents earth, and the martial arts-themed Shenlong represents water. The book doesn't list an elemental association for Wing, but since it's the Jack of All Stats among the five, it aligns with Element No. 5.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • In addition to the Cosmic Motifs, the series gives the original lineup of Sailor Senshi power over a different element. Sailor Mars is Fire and has fire-based abilities. Sailor Mercury takes Water, which manifests in bubble based attacks. Though predominantly using lightning-based attacks, Sailor Jupiter also has a Flower Motif with attacks based on roses, vines, and thorns which is associated with nature and earth. Sailor Moon is the most subtle since her attacks are almost all associated with the moon, light, and rainbows, however Usagi herself is a ditzy airhead, which associates her with air. After Sailor Venus joins the crew and turns the group into a Five-Man Band, she fulfills the role of Element No. 5 due to her Light 'em Up and Heart Beat-Down abilities.
    • The Witches 5 from the first anime's S season also follow this theme. Eudial is Fire, with her red outfit, hair, and eyes, and she fights with a flamethrower. Mimete uses sonicwaves to attack linking her to air. Tellu is Earth, with her green hair, eyes, and transformation outfit; she uses plants and vines to extract hearts and attacks. Viluy is Water: she has icy blue hair, eyes, and uniform when she transforms and uses a weapon that dissolves her enemies. Finally Cyprine, with her Space Master ability to teleport people into a pocket dimension, stands in for space.
  • Saiyuki: Each member of the Konzen-ikkou is associated with one of the classical elements. Earth: Goku (literally born from a stone) / Lirin. Water: Gojyo / Dokugakuji (both sons of a kappa, a water demon). Air: Hakkai (from zephyr to hurricane) / Yaone. Fire: Sanzo (blazing sun) / Kougaiji (literally shoots fireballs out of his palms). A tear-out poster from the end of Gaiden lampshades this by showing the Konzen-ikkou in this configuration.
  • Samurai Pizza Cats: The Rescue Team is one. General Catton is fire, with his pair of flamethrowing cannons on his back; Bat Cat is air, because he uses a device that keeps him airborne; Meowzma is earth because he uses drills on his helmet, gloves, and tail to drill under ground; and Spritz is water, making use of high powered water jets and in general loving water, contrary to how most cats are depicted.
  • Symphogear GX: The four autoscorers of the Alchemic Cult each have an associated music/dance, suit from the Turkish deck of cards, and element from the classical elements, on top of being color-coded in line with that element. Garie Tuman was the autoscorer of water, wore all blue, and could use both water and ice based abilities. Pharah Suyuf was the autoscorer of wind, wore all green, and could use wind alchemy. Leir Darahim was the autoscorer of earth, wore all yellow, and could use earth alchemy that manifested in her fighting with bars and coins of gold. Micha Jawkan was the autoscorer of fire, wore all red, and used fire alchemy.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: The Four Supreme Generals are based on The Four Gods and explicitly represent an element. Thymilph is the General of Fire and despite being shrewd and calculating, can easily get into a Hot-Blooded rage. Adiane, the sole female general is the General of Water; she has dark blue hair, has big mood shifts, and can summon water to help her in battle. She also has a scorpion tail, reminiscent of the Scorpio sign in the Western Zodiac, a water sign. Guame is the General of Earth, specializing in ground combat and is the most animal-like of the group, which puts him closer to nature and the natural world than the other generals. Finally, Cytomander is the General of Air, with a peacock-like appearance given all of the feathers on his body and specializing in aerial combat. Also, half of their Theme Naming comes from the Alchemic Elementals, though oddly, the embodiments Thymilph and Cytomander are named after are swapped in regards to their elements.
  • Trinity Seven: In Levi's spin-off, Ryuhime has four ninja spirits which each having one of the four Elemental Powers of Chinese mythology: Itsukihime has the power of Green Thumb (Wood), Homurahime has Playing with Fire powers (Fire), Sakaihime has Dishing Out Dirt abilities (Earth), and Sumihime has Making a Splash abilities (Water). Ryuhime herself rounds out the Five-Man Band by possessing the element of gold (Metal).

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • The Outsiders: The villain team the Masters of Disaster features characters with water, earth, air, heat, and cold powers.
    • Wonder Woman and the Star Riders: The four star riders who aren't Wonder Woman have elemental powers relating to the four traditional elements. Ice (water), Solara (fire), Star Lily (earth), and Dolphine (air).
    • Batman Superman: World's Finest features a group of medieval Chinese heroes who possess the powers of earth, air, fire, and water.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Fantastic Four: The Four's powers, while not all are Elemental Powers, they are still evocative of the elements. Reed is Water. Like liquid, he is able to change his shape and fit through obstacles that solid objects can't. Ben is Earth. In addition to being super-strong and resilient like rock, his appearance is similar to that of a golem. Johnny is Fire. He has the power to self-ignite and can use his fire to fight. Sue is Air. She has the power to become invisible and can make the air exert force, like the wind. John Byrne's very first Fantastic Four story as writer and artist has Diablo create elemental beings with earth, air, fire, and water powers, and sent each of them to attack Sue, Johnny, Reed, and Ben respectively. Once the team traded partners to fight the opponents who more closely matched their powers, the elementals were easily outmatched.
    • The supervillain team Force of Nature consists of Firewall, Aqueduct, Terraformer, and Skybreaker, who correspond to fire, water, earth, and air.
  • War Cry: The four Wardens each favor a different element as a battle weapon. Harry wields fire, Yoshimo calls up wind, Wild Bill manipulates earth and stone, and Ramirez's green disintegration-rays are associated with water's erosive effects according to Word of God.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Each main girl represents one of the classical elements and has Elemental Personalities to match. Irma is water and has Making a Splash powers. Taranee is fire and has Playing with Fire powers. Hay Lin is air and has Blow You Away powers. Cornelia is earth with Green Thumb powers. And Will is Element No. 5, with powers related to Pure Energy and Light 'em Up. She's also The Leader and The Heart of the group, literally as she's the only one who has possession of the Heart of Kandrakar and leads them, balancing between their different personalities as she gains more confidence.

    Fan Works 
  • Sky Blade Academy: Of the four main characters' actual Metria, we have Nagito as Terra/Earth, Shiki as Ventus/Wind, Kaiba as Pyro/Fire, and Atsuya as Aqua/Water.
  • Unmentionable, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic, has elemental auras as a subplot and how they work with each other; Tara is Earth and Willow is Air, while Buffy is Fire and Spike is Water.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GSTART has the Sykonetyks, a strange street gang who dress in thematic jumpsuits and wield Decks of their corresponding Attribute. Their nicknames are even the Greek-derived prefixes of their elements: Hydro, Aero, Geo, Pyro.

    Films — Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: The Stones: The movie has a series of posters that symbolically correlate the Supermen and their Car Knights to one of the five classical Chinese elements, regardless of actual abilities. Happy S.'s hot-bloodedness is represented by his helmet wings emitting flames. Sweet S. is enveloped in a circular gust of wind: as The Heart of the group, she represents Pacifist Wind. Smart S. is covered in vines and there are flowers growing on his Car Knight, representing wood. This might be a pun on his Chinese name, which is "Flowering Heart Superman". Careless S.'s motif is electricity, but going by the Chinese elemental theming it's likely meant to be metal to some extent which conducts electricity, given that he invents weapons. Careful S. is submerged in water, signifying his calmness.
  • Hercules: The four Titans fit each element: Lythos the rock Titan (earth), Hydros the ice Titan (water), Pyros the lava Titan (fire), Stratos the tornado Titan (air). As the climax reveals, the combination of the four is quite... explosive.
  • Frozen II has this as its plotline. The elements are four nature spirits: a gust of wind named Gale (wind), a literal fire salamander named Bruni (fire), the horse-like Nokk (water), and the colossal Earth Giants (earth). A fifth spirit is said to exist, but it's not an element, but a bridge between magic and humanity. As it turns out, it's Elsa and Anna.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Craft:
    • According to the script, the four girls all have an Elemental Motifs associated with one of the classical elements that hold a prominent place in Wiccan tradition. Sarah represents Earth - as the most grounded and mature of the girls. Bonnie represents Fire - and she was once burned by one. Rochelle represents Water - she's an avid swimmer. Nancy represents Air - she is wild and unpredictable.
    • When they cast a spell, each one invokes their element, in their incantation. Rochelle: "Hail to the guardians of the watch towers of the West, powers of water and intuition." Nancy: "Hail to the guardians of the watch towers of the East, powers of air and invention." Bonnie: "Hail to the guardians of the watch towers of the South, powers of Fire and feeling."
  • Ghost Rider (2007) uses this to justify villain Blackheart's Quirky Miniboss Squad's theming of Air, Water, and Earth — with the Rider himself handling Fire.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): How each of the "Big Four" kaiju who originally debuted in Toho's Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster are represented in their MonsterVerse iteration, as confirmed by Word of God. Godzilla represents water as a giant, semi-aquatic marine reptile and the only sea-dwelling Titan of the four (which is actually a plot point when it enables him to slip away undetected after he's critically injured by the Oxygen Destroyer, and when his underwater lair is later revealed). Mothra represents earth, being the most fertile and protective Titan of the four whose egg is found deep in a rainforest, and who life literally flocks to. Ghidorah represents air, because not only is he a Giant Flyer like Mothra and Rodan, but unlike the other two, he causes massive storms including tornadoes and a Category 6 hurricane. Rodan represents fire, being a bio-volcanic Magma Man (unlike his previous portrayals), and he emerges from an active volcano.
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army has four characters trying to save the world; Abe Sapien (an aquatic Fish Man), Liz (a woman with pyrokinetic powers), Dr. Krauss (a ghost made of smoke-like ectoplasm) and Hellboy himself who has a hand made of stone. Therefore we have water, fire, air, and earth.

    Literature 
  • In Accel World, the Elements, the four elite members of Nega Nebulus, are this, since each one has one of the four elements. Sky Raker, who was the duel avatar closest to achieving flight before Silver Crow, represents air. Ardor Maiden, a powerful long-range type who conjures up a lance of fire to attack and uses flames to purify, represents fire. Aqua Current, as the name implies, uses the water around her body to create an armor she can shift into different battle forms, represents water. Graphite Edge represents earth, specifically carbon in its various forms as he was able to control carbon and form swords with the hardness of diamond to fight with. Kuroyukihime had planned for the four of them to take on The Four Gods guarding the Imperial Palace in the Unlimited Neural Field, with each member challenging the Enemy with the same element, so that they would have some protection from that foe's ability (e.g. Maiden had to fight Suzaku).
  • Amagi Brilliant Park: The Fairies of Elementario each represent one of the four elements. Muse represents water, her name being related to water nymphs and sirens. Sylphy represents air, her name deriving from Sylphs, a kind of air spirit. Kobory represents earth, her name coming from Kobolds who are typically depicted as earth spirits. Salama represents fire, her name coming from Salamander, which are associated with fire. They also have their respective Elemental Powers.
  • In Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern, the four female leads could qualify. Isi is a wind ie. air speaker, Enna is a fire speaker, Dasha is a water speaker and Rin is a tree speaker, which could be reinterpreted as earth.
  • East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Mercer Mayer's retelling has the role of the four winds filled by the Salamander (fire), Father Forest (earth), the Great Fish of the Sea (water) and finally the North Wind (air).
  • Magical Girl Raising Project: The Pure Elements are a group of artificial magical girls with powers themed around the four classic elements. Princess Inferno has fire, Princess Deluge has water, Princess Quake has earth, and Princess Tempest has wind.
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!: The four capture targets of Fortune Lover each represent one of the four classical elements and have Elemental Powers associated with them. Geordo can cast fire magic. Alan can use water magic. Keith has potent Earth magic and can build golems even from a young age. And Nicol uses wind magic. Maria, the original main character, has access to Light magic, making her representative of the rare Element No. 5 and turning her and the four capture targets into an ensemble. However, the reveal that Sirius/Raphael, who uses dark magic, is the secret fifth suitor turns the suitors as into a Five-Man Band and a second classical elements ensemble, with him standing in for void or space.
  • Retired Witches Mysteries: Covens are traditionally made up of witches who represent any combination of the four classical elements, usually three out of four (though having all four together makes spells more powerful), drawing strength from the presence of their respective elements. Molly is water, Olivia and Brian are air and Elsie is fire, while Dorothy is earth when they discover her.
  • Saikyou Juzoku Tensei: The Four Great Gods of Creation have this as a theme, with each one having Elemental Powers over an element. Levi is a Fish Person and Lord of the Ocean and can control water. Maharbo was a fire goddess so she naturally has fire powers. Garuuja was animalistic in form to link him to being closer to nature and representing earth. Silfheim had the form of a huge dragon, and could create tornados at will.
  • Serwa Boateng: Asase Yaa gives Serwa's friends the powers of the four elements, turning them into a classical elements ensemble. Mateo got air powers, Gavin got water abilities, Roxy got earth powers, and Eunju got fire abilities.

    Music 
  • Tsukipro is an idol group based around this theming—SolidS is Fire, Quell is Water, SOARA is Air, Growth is Earth. The units' music reflects their elements—SolidS is heated, sexy, and always changing; Quell is calm and soothing yet also dark and deep; SOARA is light and youthful; Growth is the one that subverts expectations — their interpretation of "earth" is that they're world-traveling (or multiverse-traveling) princely flowers, and their music is fantasy-tinged Baroque Pop.

    Roleplay 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions adventure "The Coriolis Effect": Donnah Hannah and three anonymous NPC's are transformed into elemental-themed villains (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water) by the Black Enchantress.
  • Warhammer: The Chaos gods.
    • Khorne — the raging fire. To extrapolate, red is his color, his forges are powered by his rage, and his spiky armoured silhouette and the silhouettes of his demons also look like a men on fire.
    • Nurgle — the hungry earth. The god of rot, decay, acceptance, and humility (the most "down to earth" god). His mansion is located in a garden, and his colors are generally brown and green.
    • Tzeentch — the uncatchable air. His color is blue, "The winds of change" is a saying used in Warhammer Fantasy rather often, he's constantly in motion/change just like air, he has flying chariot demons, and his greater demons are birds.
    • Slaanesh — the beguiling water. The Eldar refer to her as "She who THIRSTS", her demon steeds are tamed by giving them a drink (of the milk of loyalty), fond of reflective surfaces (Slaanesh's palace is filled with them), and many of Slaanesh's demons are crab-themed.

    Theatre 
  • Majimura Gakuen Stage Play: The Shitennou. Nero is water. The first and last things she does in the story is cry, and she often talks about Arechi's overflowing tears. The Final Battle against her also takes place in a rainstorm. She's also described as a carefree person, at least in the beginning. Kinda ironic considering her namesake, although she's also obsessed with destroying Utopia Arashigaoka. Queen Bee is air, the only flying animal among the four and the most sociable. Her fight with Lily happens in an Arashigaoka Gakuen classroom, which has the highest elevation of all the fight locations. Zombie is earth, who has the highest endurance and often talks about putting enemies in their graves. Her fight with Lily also seems to take place in a cemetery. Fire is Akainu, who wears red and has scars from a house fire.

    Video Games 
  • Bayonetta: There are the Auditio, also known as the Cardinal Virtues, which are angelic physical representations of Divine Will, but also are each associated with one of the four Western elements. They act as major antagonists in the game, working in ensemble with the Big Bad, and include; Fortitudo, Cardinal Virtue of Fortitude and the Bringer of Flame, Temperantia, Cardinal Virtue of Temperance and Manipulator of Wind, Sapientia, Cardinal Virtue of Prudence and Controller of Seas, and Iustitia, Cardinal Virtue of Justice and Giver of Life (who represents Earth).
  • Blackout: Played with, except the team is actually a single person (the Player Character) with a Split Personality disorder, each of the four personalities associated with an element. Depending on which actions the player makes him do, he will tend to identify with one over the three others.
    • The air personality is a carefree and easygoing Gadfly, who is constantly rather chipper.
    • The fire personality is characterised by his extremely cynical world-view, and his voice is fully of ice-cold fury. He also has a latent sadistic streak and is obsessed with getting revenge on those he feels have wronged him, as well as casually inflicting cruelty upon others just for the hell of it.
    • The earth personality is quiet, distant, shy, and modest, and believes he is not very interesting. He does, however, have some clear hints of being Obsessively Normal, especially in how he tries to downplay the severity of the Player Character's Dark and Troubled Past.
    • The water personality is childish, skittish, and fearful, and is plagued by feelings of abandonment and loneliness.
  • The Bloons Tower Defense series has four of the five Boss Bloons — Bloonarius for Water, Vortex for Air, Dreadbloon for Earth, and Blastapopulos for Fire. They also have powers associated with their element. Bloonarius spawns massive tides and deluges of bloons every time it loses enough health. Vortex uses air currents to speed up Bloons and emits a radial air blast (in Bloons Monkey City) or lightning blast (in BTD 6) to stun towers around it. It can also use a storm barrier that deflects slower-moving projectiles aimed at it. Dreadbloon has lead armor properties that make it immune to many unbuffed attacks, and can also grow rock armor on itself for extra health. In BTD 6, it can also summon rock bloons to Draw Aggro from your towers. Blastapopulos throws fireballs at your towers to stun them.
  • Bomberman World: Each one of the Dark Bombers is based off of a classical element: Earth Bomber can control the earth, Cyclone Bomber controls air, Fire Bomber controls fire, and Aqua Bomber controls water.
  • Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex: The Elementals is a group of animated evil masks hosting the spirits of former witch doctors, revived by Uka Uka in to act as a power source for Crunch Bandicoot. All of them control one of the four elements of nature. Rok-Ko controls earth. Wa-Wa has power over water and can also control ice. Py-Ro has power over fire. Lo-Lo controls the wind and can also shoot lightning.
  • In Earth and Sky, Austin and Emily have earth and air-themed powers and the final chapter of the series reveals that their parents have fire and water powers from the same source.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The series frequently has four elemental crystals—Fire, Water, Air and Earth—and often there's the Four Fiends to go with them: Scarmiglione is associated with Earth because of his link to the undead (those buried in the ground), though notably he doesn't have any Dishing Out Dirt attacks. Cagnazzo is a turtle-like creature associated with Water who uses Making a Splash attacks, Barbariccia is associated with Wind and has Blow You Away abilities, like a signature ability to create a wind barrier, and Rubicante is associated with Fire and uses Playing with Fire attacks. Both pop up in Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IV, and Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Final Fantasy IX brought the Four Fiends back but not the crystals, and Final Fantasy III has the crystals but not the Fiends.
    • Near the beginning of Final Fantasy V, each of the four protagonists is associated with one of the four elemental crystals along with a personality trait associated with said element. Bartz gets wind and quest, Lenna gets water and kindness, Galuf gets earth and hope, and Faris gets fire and courage.
    • Like the four main characters of V, the four main characters of Final Fantasy VII's party all correspond far too closely to a cardinal element for it to be coincidental, although unlike V it is never relevant to the plot or highlighted:
      • Cloud — Wind. Wind-related name, uses a sword (associated with Air in tarot), wind-themed attacks, compelled to wander, introspective and strategic, acts detached, and looks down on others.
      • Aerith — Earth. Earth-related name ("I, Earth"), gardener, grew up in an underground slum, her magic is drawn from the Planet, practical, stubborn, nurturing, sensual. Cloud and Aeris's first meeting even involves him falling down from the sky and landing in her flowerbed.
      • Tifa — Water. Dolphin-themed hairstyle, uses water-themed attacks (both Waterkick and Dolphin Blow are in her Limit Breaks), bartender who pours drinks for the rest of the cast, giving and kind, fluid and accommodating, likes to act as group peacemaker. Her Journey To The Center Of Cloud's Mind, where she gets him to see things her way, is caused when they both fall into (Lifestream-filled) sea. She is also associated with a Hearts motif (her surname is Lockhart, her ultimate weapon is the Premium Heart), the card suit analogous to the tarotic Cups/Water.
      • Barret — Fire. Fire-themed tattoo, fire-themed attacks, associated with firearms, terrorist, Hot-Blooded, hot temper, impulsive, passionate, powerful.
    • The Crystal Chronicles subseries designed the four playable races this way. The clavats' down-to-earth nature, earth-toned hair and eye colors, and their reputation for farming represent Earth. Lilties, with their reputation as hotheads, propensity for blacksmithing, and their hairstyles that variously resemble flames, represent Fire. Yukes, with their wings and their reputation for being spacy, represent Air. Selkies, with their hair and eyes coming in various shades of blue and teal, having their only independent settlement being on an island, and being named after a type of mythological water being, represent Water.
  • Horace: To broadcast a "NICE Virus" to turn the robots good, Horace must journey through the mansion and defeat several elemental robots. A giant sphere that blows wind, an earth golem that throws rocks, a mermaid-bot that swims in the water, and a bomb-throwing pyro complete with a jetpack. The final robot, a giant robot brain in a jar called the Ether Boss, is revealed to have been a Psycho Prototype who gained control over the nanobots, and was sealed away due to being too powerful.
  • In League of Legends, the main map has a set of dragons that periodically appear and can be fought as set of neutral objectives. Introduced in 2016, dragons were directly based on this scheme, each one providing different buffs (including an extreme "Dragon Soul" gained from slaying four dragons) and different terrain-altering effects: the Infernal Drake increases damage and scorches apart terrain, the Mountain Drake increases defense and creates terrain, the Cloud Drake increases speed and creates large fields to speed up navigation, and the Ocean Drake increases regenerative stats and forms additional brush and honeyfruits. 2022 saw the addition of two new Magitek-themed dragons that broke from the formula: the Hextech Drake (which attacks with lightning) and the Chemtech Drake (which attacks with poisonous gas).
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has the four Divine Beasts, each representing a classical element, and each is plagued with a Blight Ganon that makes use of that element. Vah Rudania is the fire one, Vah Ruta is the water one, and Vah Medoh is the air/wind one. Vah Naboris is primarily themed around lightning (and its boss is Thunderblight Ganon with electrical attacks), but it is also associated with earth.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: The Winds of Destruction, despite the collective group being named after wind, do fit this trope:
    • Jetsream Sam is associated with wind. He has two wind-themed names, Minuano and Jetstream, more than any of the other Winds of Destruction, and his theme song describes high-altitude winds in particular. As a playable character, his in-game light and heavy attacks are named "Piercing Winds" and "Stiff Breeze". His personality is the most carefree and adventurous out of the Winds, and his rivalry with Raiden echoes a Shinto rivalry between lightning and wind gods. Sam dies after a duel in the Colorado badlands accompanied by tumbleweeds blowing through the area, and a red and gold sunset which got its color from high-altitude clouds and atmospheric dust.
    • Sundowner is associated with fire. His name refers to a wind known for causing forest fires, and Kevin refers to him as "the Californian wildfire" in a cutscene. Beyond that, his personality is the most passionate and hot-blooded out of the Winds, he causes and feeds off of chaotic destruction like a fire does, his theme song describes a wildfire, and Raiden kills him by using an explosion to propel him into a Blade Mode frenzy.
    • Mistral is associated with water. She's named after a wind that heads into the Mediterranean, her theme song describes adrift at sea, her fighting style is the most graceful and fluid out of the Winds, and she's killed when Raiden freezes her in liquid nitrogen and shatters her.
    • Monsoon is associated with earth. His namesake winds are known for producing both mudslides and dust storms, his speech to Raiden can be described as "grounding" in multiple senses of the word, his battle song describes sinking into the mud, one of his battle quotes is "back to the earth with you!", and his magnetism powers let him control metal ore. Finally, Raiden kills Monsoon by pressing him into the World Marshal logo, an image of the earth, before viciously cutting him while he's immobilized.
  • Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero has four temples and four gods based on the typical four elements of earth, wind, fire, and water. While three of the gods would never be seen again after the game, the one representing air, Fujin, would reappear in later games as a playable fighter.
  • Mystery Trackers: Seen in the bonus chapter, as the Four Aces' project "King of Elements" starts wreaking havoc in Brightfield. Four people were left behind during the most recent evacuation and are afflicted by the elements - one is turned to stone (earth), one is burning (fire), one is borne aloft by a strange wind (air), and one is frozen in ice (water). Fortunately, the detective is able to reverse the effects.
  • The Ninja Kids: Hanzo is water, Sasuke is wind, Akane is fire and Genta is earth; all of this is apparent when you use their ninja magic against foes.
  • Puyo Puyo~n: There are four characters who join your party and use the powers of one of the four elements. They are the Draconic Humanoid Draco Centauros (fire), the mermaid Serilly (water), the witch named... Witch (wind), and a tribal-looking girl named Chico (earth).
  • Quest for Glory: Used throughout the series, especially in the second game, where Shapeir is threatened by four Elementals representing the four elements. Four of the five games in the series (discounting III, which was made at the last minute and thus is the Odd Name Out) also represent the four elements, with I representing earth, II fire, IV air, and V water. There is a fifth "pizza" element, used mostly as a joke, though the AGD Fan Remake of II includes a Pizza Elemental as an Optional Boss.
  • Rayman Origins has the Four Kings that are associated with the four elements: the Man-Eating Plant Carnivora is linked to earth because nature, the Feathered Fiend Mocking Bird is linked to wind and air via flight, the fire breathing dragon El Stomacho is linked to fire, and Creveton is a sea monster so he's linked to water.
  • RoboWarrior: The last four bosses before the Final Boss are based off Water (Aquarian, a piranha-spawning machine), Wind (Lian, a two-headed winged lion), Fire (Pyrodyne, a firebird-spawning machine) and Earth (Gholem, a golem) respectively.
  • SaGa:
    • Romancing SaGa has 4 Elemental Lords; beings that embody the elements: Pyrix (Fire), Adyllis (Earth), Strom (Water), and Avi (Air). Fighting them is optional; however, failing their Ecology Quests forces you to fight a corrupted yet stronger version of them.
    • Romancing SaGa 3 has the main antagonists, The Four Sinistrals. They're a quartet of elemental demons that rule over The Abyss: Alloces the Sinistral of Earth, Forneus the Sinistral of Water, Aunas the Sinistral of Fire, and Buné the Sinistral of Wind.
  • Shiren the Wanderer 2: The original party members are Riku, Himakichi, and Asuka. "Riku" means land, Himakichi is a Kappa, and Asuka is the name of the ancient capital of Japan associated with flying birds. They are later joined by a Sixth Ranger who can breathe fire, rounding out the ensemble.
  • Skully: The four elemental siblings who are Elemental Embodiments: Terry has a body made of earth, rock and grass, Wanda is a humanoid made of water, Brent is a living tornado with a face, and Fiona is a lava humanoid shrouded in flames. And they're unable to see eye-to-eye, with Terry being the only one actively taking action to pull his family together.
  • Stella Glow: Four of the Witches inherit respectively the attributes of the four classic elements: Lisette (water, and later ice too), Popo (wind, and later lightning too), Sakuya (fire), and Mordimort (earth). The fifth Witch is Hilda, who has control over time and space instead and later joins the good guys' side when she's revealed to have been Good All Along.
  • Super Metroid: The four Space Pirate leader bosses are associated with the four elements. They are the following; Draygon (water), Kraid (earth), Phantoon (air), and Ridley (fire). Draygon is fought underwater, Kraid is the only of them who is fighting from the ground and he spits rocks at you, and while both Phantoon and Ridley are airborne and attack with fireballs, Phantoon can turn invisible, and Ridley has his lair inside the fiery Norfair.
  • Super Robot Wars: The Elemental Lords/Masou Kishin robots use the classic formation of Earth-Wind-Water-Fire. There's Cybuster (Wind), Granveil (Fire), Goddess (Water), and Zamzeed (Earth). These are the highest order of the elemental robots, there's tons more lesser robots corresponding to those elements too.
  • In Tales of Xillia, King Gaius has a group of four elite generals known as the Chimeriad, all of whom are faced as bosses at various points in the game. They are Jiao, Wingul, Presa, and Agria and each uses abilities relating to the classical elements: Jiao specializes in earth, Presa specializes in water and ice, Wingul specializes in air and electricity (and dabbles in fire), and Agria specializes in fire.
  • Total Annihilation: Kingdoms: The four factions and their monarch are based on the four elements they have control over. Elsin of Aramon-earth, Kirenna of Veruna-water, Lokken of Taros-fire, Thirsha of Zhon-air.
  • World of Warcraft: The four Elemental Lords — Ragnaros (fire), Al'Akir (air), Neptulon (water), and Therazane (earth). All four of them served the Old Gods in the past, but in Cataclysm, Ragnaros and Al'Akir are the enemy, while Therazane and Neptulon become hesitant allies of the protagonists. There's also the Ascendant Council in the Bastion of Twilight, with Ignacious (fire), Feludius (water), Terrastra (earth), and Arion(air), all of whom are Twilight Hammer members who have turned into elementals.
  • Wrath Unleashed: The four factions and their leaders - Aenna, a water demigoddess, Epothos, a fire demigod, Durlock, a earth demigod, and Helamis, an air demigoddess.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: The five superbosses you can fight in Ainoios. Kilocorn Grandeps has a high block rate against physical attacks and an extremely high defense stat (earth), Perilwing Ryuho has high dexterity and agiility (wind), Dreadwyrm Nizoont is a fire-breathing dragon (fire), and Levialord Empireo is a Sea Serpent (water). Seraphic Ceratinia is the strongest of the bunch and stands in for Element No. 5 due to its association with light, shown by its white and rainbow-colored plummage and name related to the seraph angels.
  • Xenogears:
    • The Elements are Kahran Ramsus's Elite Four divided according to the four classical elements, and have corresponding personalities to match. Dominia, The Leader, represents Earth and is a physical fighter that focuses on strength with a rough-around-the-edges personality. Kelvena represents Water and is typically quiet and calm; she pilots Gear Marinebasher, which is dolphin shaped. Seraphitia represents Fire and uses Fire-elemental Ether; she pilots Grandgowl, which looks like a giant winged lion. Tolone represents Wind and is the smartest and most logical of the group, being a cyborg; she pilots Skyghene which is shaped like a bird.
    • The grouping described above is just the current iteration of The Elements. Before the events of the game, The members of The Elements were Kahran Ramsus himself standing in for Wind, Citan Uzuki representing Water, Jessie Black representing Earth, and Sigurd Harcourt representing Fire. Subverted however as this group lacks many of the motifs typical of the elements.
  • Zork Nemesis: Each of the four alchemists are initiates of the Classical Elements: Bishop François Malveaux (Fire), Madame Sophia Hamilton (Water), General Thaddius Kaine (Earth) and Doctor Erasmus Sartorius (Air).

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: In the Remnant fairy tale "The Story of the Seasons", four sisters become the Four Maidens after an old wizard is so moved by their kindness and compassion that he gifts them with his magic so that they can better help others. Spring, who is intimately connected to the earth, can create and control plants; Summer gains the gift of fire, Fall gains the gift of wind, and Winter can freeze water into ice. A subverted and invoked trope. When introduced, the real Maidens turn out to be able to use all Elemental Powers. The fairy tale was created by the real "Old Wizard" to hide their existence from the world; each season is a code-name for each Maiden, and each Maiden is responsible for protecting one of the four divine Relics.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • From the Fictional Video Game in which Noob is set, the Phoenixes that serve the setting's Source of life are a group of four women affiliated respectively with fire, water, air, and earth. Pironess, the fire one, is a recurring Quest Giver in the later part of the webseries, while the three others have made various appearances in the novels and movies taken together.
  • Sanders Sides: The different alters form one, with egotistical Roman as Fire, Emo Teen Virgil as Water, kindhearted Patton as Air, and emotionlessly practical Logan as Earth — which all has a lot of implications on astrological level as well. Additionally, Thomas can be regarded as Element No. 5.
  • Sock Series: Sock and the three gods each represent an element. Sock can produce fire with radioactive properties, making them representative of the fire element. Hothica can control wind and storm, making them representative of the air element. Uquorion has control over water and submarine life, making them representative of the water element. Gaeous can grow plants and fungi and is known as the god of dirt, making them representative of the earth element.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Zach: Earth (very connected to his family, very literally grounded, augmented strength, and rule-abiding leader), Shane: Water (shapeshifter, friends with dolphins, names his horse after a sea god), Niko: Fire (Fiery Redhead, psionic blasts), Doc: Air (Air is the element of ideas, communication, and bullshit — and he's well-stocked on all three)
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In its final iteration, Team Avatar is a Five-Man Band of Aang (an Air Nomad, though as the Avatar he is associated with all elements), Katara (a waterbending master), Toph (an earthbending prodigy who also discovered metalbending), Zuko (the prince of the Fire Nation), and Sokka a Non-Elemental, something that Sokka himself lampshades.
      Sokka: Team Avatar is back! [series of dramatic zooms] Air! Water! Earth! Fire! [grabs some large leaves for himself and Suki] Fan and sword!
    • In The Legend of Korra the party tends to shift over time, but the core group is Korra (water), Mako (fire), Bolin (Earth), Tenzin and his family (air), and Asami (technology/Badass Normal). The Red Lotus in Book 3 is a villainous counterpart.
    • The Red Lotus faction led by Zaheer in The Legend of Korra also qualifies as each member has one elemental power, though Zaheer was a non-bender prior to Harmonic Convergence. Zaheer is an airbender, Ghazan is an earth bender, Ming Hua is a water bender, and P'Li is a firebender.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Galactus's Heralds are four cosmic beings, each one an embodiment of one of the classical elements: Terrax is the embodiment of earth, Stardust is the embodiment of water, Firelord is the embodiment of fire, and Airwalker is the embodiment of air, with each one channeling their cosmic energy into their associated Elemental Power.
  • In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Ben ends up obtaining five new forms from aliens from the Andromedia galaxy. Four of them have these powers: Water Hazard (water), Terraspin (wind), NRG (fire), and Armadrillo (earth), while the fifth one, Ampfibian, has lighting, though this one is a case of Lightning Can Do Anything.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: The five members have the powers of earth, fire, wind, water, and heart. The audience is split on whether the heart power is awesome or lame.
  • Mia and Me: Among the many unicorns, there are the four Element Unicorns: the Water Unicorn, the Wind Unicorn, the Earth Unicorn, and the Fire Unicorn.
  • Samurai Jack: The Water Goddess guarding the Jewel of Neptune plus her three guardians make one as they are all Elemental Embodiments, with the three guardians representing fire, earth, and air. This comes to bite them in the butt when they fight Jack after the Fire Elemental hits the Air Elemental, which causes the Air elemental to go out of control and spin out into a tornado that swallows them all whole.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: The Xiaolin Dragons are aligned with one of the classical elements and can use abilities related to those elements, with Omi as water, Kimiko as fire, Raimundo as wind, and Clay as earth.
  • Young Justice: T.O. Morrow created his "Reds" to have powers over the four elements: Red Torpedo (water), Red Inferno (fire), Red Tornado (air) and Red Volcano (earth).

 
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Alternative Title(s): Four Element Ensemble

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Titans Released.

Hades releases the Titans, who each are living embodiments of elements.

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