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Element No. 5

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"The four elements, like man alone, are weak. But together they form the strong fifth element: boron."
Brother Silence, master of metaphorgotten, The Gamers: Dorkness Rising

The four classical Elemental Powers of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air/Wind usually appear simultaneously inside the same setting. It is tacitly acknowledged these are the four forces of nature, and so naturally, there is some form of magical ability associated with each of them. Sometimes mages are restricted to only one school.

But wait - what's all this talk about a mysterious fifth element? That's right, boys and girls, turns out there's actually another element on top of these that is so incredibly badass, it defies the normal classification system. Magic of this element is about as strong as the other four put together. Where a wind mage has control of, in general, wind, this element controls pretty much everything. It will have very few restrictions, but it will also be quite difficult to use. If the normal magic system is defined in term of Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, Element Number Five will usually exist outside of it. Sometimes it will actually be the source of all the other elements in the first place, making it more of a Zero-th element or if you prefer, the element of the elements.

Another common variation is for this to be some kind of mental, spiritual, or energy-related foil to the physical elements; The Power of Love, Mind Control, Light 'em Up, and Casting a Shadow are all common choices. The above rules may still apply (especially if the hero or the villain are the ones using it), but non-omniscient powers are equally likely to be balanced as not. The Inverse Law of Complexity to Power often favors Element Number Five since it doesn't always fit the same system as the rest.

This idea is most commonly used as a distinguishing feature from fantasy work to fantasy work. In order to combat the relative commonality of this fifth element its nature will often vary, to the point that this trope can often turn into Our Fifth Element Is Different.

Some non-European traditions have five elements, either integral to the system or added to the "classical" four in an Older Than Print instance of this trope. For example, Chinese systems normally define five elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Metal, and Wood). (So works based on that mythology sometimes introduce a version of this trope in the form of an Element Number Six.) In Greek, Tibetan, Indian, Babylonian and Japanese elemental systems, Aether, Space, Sky, Void, or Sound may fill the narrative role of this trope, or just be treated as a "standard" fifth element (again allowing for the possibility of a plot-significant, secret Number Six).

Not to be confused with Boron, the fifth element in the Real Life periodic table; The Fifth Element, which uses this trope as its eponymous Plot Device; or The Fifth Elephant, which has nothing to do with any of this but is rather a cheap pun.

See Infinity +1 Element for the gameplay ramifications of this trope occurring in Video Games. Compare Bizarro Elements.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Familiar of Zero features Void, an element about which the general population knows nothing but that is nonetheless incredibly powerful. Void users are very rare, and only appear once every several centuries. The easiest way to identify one is apparently they always summon a human as their familiar
  • The Six Gates World franchise already has six elements as part of its premise, with the fifth and sixth being light/holy and dark/curse. The anime Mon Colle Knights introduces a seventh. This element is called Time, but seems to work more like existence itself. It has no specific form, and exists in everything. Messing with it causes the physical universe to start falling apart very quickly.
  • In Naruto, there are five regular elements who have a cyclical Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors dynamic (Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, Water) and advanced elements (which are combinations of the other five and behave the same in the RPS cycle). The other type of chakra is Yin and/or Yang release, which is/are responsible for everything that's not elemental.
  • Slayers: Astral Shamanistic magic, to go along with the classic fire, water, earth, and wind shamanistic magic. Astral magic is unique insofar as it can damage a person's "astral body" (something of a spiritual form) instead of their physical body. There are various elements used in the series' line of Black Magic and Holy Magic as well.
  • The second movie of Cardcaptor Sakura had "The Nothing", an extremely powerful card created by Clow which is as strong as the other fifty-two put together, and which functions by destroying localized fabrics of reality. Sakura defeats it in the end by turning it into "The Hope".
  • Ordinarily, the Reborn! (2004) universe uses the seven Elements of the Sky: Sun, Rain, Storm, Cloud, Lightning, Mist, and Sky. Each one is associated with an Element of the Earth. But the best example of this would be the eighth element: Night, which is fueled by the Power Of Hate.
  • In Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, the New Bloodline's six major members each have an element. The five fingers cover the four basic ones and threw in plants, while Sicks can not only use them all but also control Metal as his element. In sense, a sixth element.
  • Sailor Moon in Sailor Moon. Mercury is Water/Ice, Mars is Fire, Jupiter is Electricity/Wood, and Venus is Love/Metal. There are plots points about her not actually having powers but it's actually Healing. Monsters are obliterated with her purifying effects and humans are restored to their natural state. More impressively she befriends and converts villains just by talking to them.

    Fan Works 
  • Vow of Nudity: The Genasi Empire is composed of four districts (one for each elemental subrace), but then there's the Void Genasi, a single bloodline who rule as the royal family.

    Film — Animation 
  • Frozen II has a notable subversion. It features an enchanted forest guarded by nature spirits that embody the four elements. Legend has it there's one more spirit. However, the fifth spirit is not an element, but a bridge between the magical and the mundane. This bridge turns out to be the sisterhood of Elsa and Anna, two children of a marriage between a Northuldran and an Arendellian.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Fifth Element uses this trope as a central plot point, as the title implies. However, it's not until the very end that this is explained. While Leeloo is called "the Fifth Element", Word of God says the actual fifth element is sex.
  • Parodied in The Gamers. Brother Silence makes a habit of meandering wise-sounding phrases, including sitting at a campfire and intoning a bit intensely:
    The four elements, like man alone, are weak. But together, they form the strong, fifth element... boron.

  • In The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, there is a fifth element hinted at throughout the series. It's Aether, or the magic of Time.
  • The Sovereign Stone trilogy uses Void as its fifth element.
  • Discworld:
  • The Dresden Files is an interesting example - magic flows from the mind, so no single elemental system totally encapsulates it. We've seen wizards use fire, water, ice, electricity, wind, earth, and even particle beams, but none of these are more mystical than the others, and every mage uses his or her own different system. However, Angels and Fallen Angels possess Soulfire and Hellfire respectively (and can grant it to others), which are shown to be solidly this trope, even when actual numbering is impossible.
    • Harry himself claims his pentacle amulet represents fire, air, earth, water, and spirit, all bound and controlled by will. However, he calls these the five forces of magic, not the five elements.
  • In the Diablo novels by Richard Knaak, the necromancers consider Time to be the fifth element.
  • Garrett, Deadpan Snarker protagonist of the Garrett, P.I. series, has claimed that stupid is the fifth element of creation, and the most common. Either that, or it's magnetically attracted to his home city, given how many stupid people he runs into.
  • The Kane Chronicles parodies this with the element of cheese. It's been mentioned repeatedly, but never explained or demonstrated, and the most said about a battle with cheese demons is "don't ask."
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!: In the setting of Fortune Lover there are the four traditional elements of Fire, Water, Air and Earth, with Light as the fifth element. The game's protagonist Maria Campbell possesses it, but since she's a commoner it drew the attention of nobles like the original villainous Catarina Claes. There's also a sixth element, Darkness, which is even rarer still since the only way to obtain it is to perform a secret ritual that involves human sacrifice.
  • In The Wheel of Time, the One Power is channeled as "threads" of Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Spirit. The way they are arranged into "weaves" determines their effects, but Spirit is generally associated with life and the mind, such as for Healing, Mind Control, and Dream Weaving.
  • In Vampire Academy, Lissa discovers she's a spirit user, which puts her outside the regular elemental magic-set.
  • In Zarathan, the setting of The Balanced Sword, there are said to be five elements — Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Spirit — with magic based on Spirit being particularly rare and powerful.
  • In Earth, Air, Fire and Custard, the fifth element is, as you might guess, custard. Or a substance virtually indistinguishable from custard, except for its magical properties. It was created by the powerful wizard, Professor Van Spee.
  • In The Witchlands, in addition to four classical elements, there is an Origin Well dedicated to Aether, which bestows powers related to the mind. There's also element number six, the Void, which is a darker counterpart to the Aether and thought mythical.
  • Shades of Magic: The fifth element is Bone. People with a gift for controlling bone are strongly discouraged from training in it, since it lets them make People Puppets out of humans, and magically overriding a person's will is a heinous crime in Red London.
  • Deverry has Aethyr as the fifth element, with its own Wildfolk.

    Live Action TV 

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Void was the traditional fifth element in Japanese Mythology.
  • Greek Mythology is the basis of the Four Elements, with the often forgotten fifth element "Aether" or Quintessence, often translated as "spirit". There is really nothing much about this element in that it is the only element outside the sphere of Earth and is the "stuff" that planets float in.
    • This is why the traditional magic circle has a pentagram, one spike for each element (at least, this is the Wiccan reason, satanists insist that the pentagram is the emblem of the human will reordering the universe to its liking).
  • Hindu tatwas are elemental symbols for five elements; Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit.
  • Bon, the ancient Tibetan philosophy, had Space as the fifth element.
  • Arab alchemist Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber) developed the elemental system used in Medieval alchemy. It consists of the four elements of water, fire, air and earth in addition to two philosophical elements: sulphur, which represented the principle of combustibility, and mercury, which characterized the principle of metallic properties.

    Tabletop Gaming 
  • In Magic: The Gathering, the Eldrazi are a good example. They were the first non-artifact spells to be colorless and contain some of the most expensive and powerful creatures in the game. They are also effective against all colors through spells like All is Dust or Emrakul's protection from colored spells, showing that they defy the usual Rock Paper Scissors system.
    • During development of the Planar Chaos set, there was almost an actual sixth color of magic: purple. The element would represent cities and urbanization, and would be situated between blue and black, opposite of green. Its mechanics would have included counterspells which only delay rather than cancel, among other things. Somewhat subverted in that it would have been presented as equal to the other colors, having always been there (the theme of the set was "alternate realities").
  • Mage: The Ascension featured Quintessence as "the power source behind all spellcasting, the stuff of magic itself."
  • Shadowrun:
    • One of the more interesting ideas of this was featured in a novel, where an Indian magical theorist worked out a different Element Number Five than the usual Chinese translation. Specifically, he found that while Fire, Earth, and Water matched up to their standard concepts, the literal translations for Wood and Metal were "Wood that burns" and "Metal that gleams" respectively. "Wood that burns" would be perhaps one of the only ways to visualize Air (as smoke), so perhaps it also wasn't the Metal ancient Chinese mages were referring to... but the gleam. Then he summons a Light elemental which he designates as a "Farohad," it incinerates him, and escapes, then begins making hit-and-run attacks on the Matrix (the futuristic, VR-based internet) to destroy all traces of itself. Unfortunately, since the scientist's project was called "The Lucifer Project," this ends up creating lots of collateral damage to places like churches, seminaries, and an unfortunate woman named Lucille Ferraro.
    • With the advent of the fourth edition, the game has a definitive fifth element. When conjuring, magicians can summon up spirits of Earth, Fire, Air, Water, and/or Man.
  • In Promethean: The Created, Frankensteins are Fire, Tammuz are Earth, Galateids are Air, and Osirans are Water. Ulgans, the fifth Lineage? Ectoplasm. (They're deeply connected to the spirit world.) Later, we get a Sixth Element - Radiation. Poor, miserable Zeka... Second Editions also formalized the Unfleshed lineage, and gave them a seventh element: oil.
  • The Tau in Warhammer 40,000 have a Fantastic Caste System thematically based on the elements: The Fire caste are warriors, Water are politicians and bureaucrats, Air are the Space Navy, and Earth are manual labourers and artisans. The rare and mysterious ruling caste are "Ethereals".
  • Warhammer's magic system is based on the eight "Winds of Magic" - each wind being an elemental force in its own right. The eight winds are the lores of Light, Metal, Life, Heavens, Shadow, Death, Fire and Beasts, and human wizards can learn to manipulate only one of these elements due to their limited magical capacities. High Elf wizards, on the other hand (and the ancient Slann) can manipulate all eight winds at once, leading to "High Magic" - somewhat analogous to a fifth element, though really just the perfected ordering of all the rest together. Dark Elves and some Chaos Sorcerers use "Dark Magic", a disorganised, roiling, chaotic mixture of the eight winds, which is likewise more powerful than the individual elemental winds, but far riskier and less controlled than High Magic. The setting also has Rune magic, Waaagh! magic, and Gut magic (which don't seem to work off the winds at all) and several flavors of Necromancy (uses Dark Magic as a power source but operates on it's own rules) as more traditional "fifth" elements.
  • The old Basic/Expert/etc Dungeons & Dragons game's cosmology acknowledged five "Spheres" of spiritual force, each with a corresponding element. These five Spheres are: Energy/Fire, Matter/Earth, Thought/Air, Time/Water, and Death/Entropy.
  • The default GURPS magic system incorporates the classical four elements into its colleges of spells. GURPS Thaumatology, which attempts to make the game's treatment of magic more generic and flexible, notes that some traditions are different, and therefore offers ways to fit the likes of Metal, Wood, or Void as elements within a version of the game's standard magic system.
    • Thaumatology - Chinese Elemental Powers, in particular, focuses on the chinese elements of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.
  • Pathfinder naturally introduced the four "Classic" elementalists in the Advanced Player's Guide as wizard archetypes, then followed up with the Chinese-inspired Metal and Wood elementalists in Ultimate Magic.
  • The now-defunct trading card game Anachronism merged traditional western elements with eastern ones, since both were covered by the game. Fire, water, wind, and earth were represented, as were wood, metal, and aether. For whatever reason, a single Norseman was all seven.
  • RuneQuest has Darkness as a fifth element, and the Red Goddess recently added Moon as a sixth.
  • The Pokémon trading card game started out with Fire, Water, Grass, Lightning, Fighting, Psychic, and Colorless, none of which had any real benefit over the others and simply were set up to match the types from the video game. Dark, Steel, and Fairy were added as well as Dragon, which is the only one that matches a "Fifth (Eleventh?) Element" status in that Dragon cards have no associated Energy card, instead using other Energy cards (a Double Dragon Energy card exists but it serves as two Rainbow Energies when attached to a Dragon card).
  • Void, as element number five, also appears in Legend of the Five Rings, a role playing game whose setting is Japan (and China) with the Serial Numbers Filed Off.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game features six "standard" elements in the form of Attributes: the four traditional western elements (with Air renamed Wind) as well as Light and Dark. However, a seventh element exists in the form of "Divine", an Attribute which is applied exclusively to the Egyptian God Cards to emphasize their status in the lore (though in the anime and manga adaptations a few other cards get this Attribute as well).
  • Res Arcana:
    • The base game has four normal elements in Calm, Elan, Life and Death, and the more valuable Gold. Gold is the only one that lets you buy Monuments, and it has the distinction that discarding a card only gets you one Gold, as opposed to the usual 2 essences.
    • The Perlae Imperii Expansion Pack introduces the even better Pearls: not only are they worth a point each, but they can be converted into other essences.

  • BIONICLE started with six elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Stone, and Ice. Then Light was introduced as the Sixth Ranger. Though in this case it's not necessarily stronger than the other six, just rarer and more effective against the villain's Shadow powers. There's also a bunch of additional elements acknowledged in the Expanded Universe, such as Iron, Sonics, Psionics, Lightning, Gravity, Plant Life, etc.; but they're way less prominent than the main ones. The elements that do fulfill the "rarer and more powerful" part of the trope are Time, Life, and Creation.

    Video Games 
  • AdventureQuest: has eight elements, each tied to a specific damage type (Fire, Water, Wind, Ice, Earth, Energy, Light and Darkness). Beyond those Void was traditionally considered an ninth element until Warlic later explained that it doesn't really fit that description in any way. 'Void' is instead the common name for damage without any elemental affinity - Pure Energy in other words.
  • Cultist Simulator has eight Bizarro Elements called "principles." Then there's Secret Histories. Despite having lore (and Tomes of Eldritch Lore) of its own, it doesn't work like any of the other principles. Its lore can only be combined with itself rather than being used to subvert other lores, there are no cultists aligned with it, no ascension path, no tools, no use in rituals, there aren't even any Hours associated with it, barring perhaps the Vagabond. Its only use is to found the Society of Saint Hydra and to locate hidden places where you can send your underlings to retrieve loot. The sequel, Book of Hours, replaces it with a Suspiciously Similar Substitute called "Rose" which has the same color and thematic associations as Secret Histories but works just like any other principle.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has five elements to begin with (similar to the Chinese element system, which uses earth, water, metal, wood, and fire), but adds a sixth element, cute, in an arc that blatantly parodies The Fifth Element. There's only one item that provides Cute Resistance, though, and there's no way to dish out or receive Cute Damage.
    • For reference, the five elements are Hot, Cold, Spooky, Stench, and Sleaze.
    • There's also slime, shadow, and bad spelling, but those only show up in the Slime Tube, the Naughty Sorceress's Tower and the Orc Chasm, respectively. You can't equip items that are resistant to these elements (except Slime, but this is generally not beneficial), nor can you wield them yourself. These don't really count as elements because their weaknesses are usually specific items. Slime deals a status effect which can be removed with a chamoix, shadow is vulnerable to healing items and bad spelling is vulnerable to dictionaries.
  • Skies of Arcadia: Five classic elements are powered by six colored moons (although on a technical level, there are six, as both water and wind elements are drawn from the Blue Moon; the other five have one element). The sixth element, drawn from the Silver Moon, is life and death - spells that either kill opponents instantly or resurrect your allies (or cure status ailments). Fina, as a member of the civilization that once lied under the Silver Moon's orbit, learns this magic the fastest.
  • The standard elements of magic spells in the Shin Megami Tensei games are Fire, Ice, Wind/Force, Electric, Light, and Darkness (Some games may have additional elements such as Earth or Nuclear). There's also "Almighty", the ultimate element. Nothing is weak to it, but usually nothing resists or nullifies Almighty either. It's a double-edged sword, as it gives both bosses and players a method to deal damage regardless of immunities.
  • The Digital type in Temtem was artificially created not long before the game's events, while the rest of the types are naturally-occurring. Also, Anahir was a failed attempt to create a Diamond-type by subjecting an unknown Crystal Temtem to the heat of the Anak Volcano.
  • Two Worlds has Earth, Fire, and Water. Death was added when the orc god died.
  • In the Quest for Glory series, the fifth element is Pizza, which researchers describe as representing the well-roundedness and wholeness of the world. That, and it tastes good. In the fan-made remake of the second game, there's even a Pizza Elemental as a Optional Boss.
    • The Feelies for the second game in the series contain a booklet with the following gag:
      Some researchers believe there are only four elements, but most are in agreement that fire is an element.
  • Bahamut Lagoon features no fewer than three extra elements. (Actually a sixth, seventh and eighth. The classical elements are represented, but there are four nonstandard elements;) Earth, Light and Dark aren't visible in your dragons' stats. Earth is the first extra element, a dragon who knows Fire, Ice and Lightning magic can use Earth at the same level as its worst element. Then, a dragon with maxed out Earth, Healing, Poison, Strength and Defense will gain access to the Light and Dark elements. Very few monsters resist these elements, and finishing off enemies with them gives a chance to drop the best items in the game. Unfortunately, they also cost a lot of MP to cast.
  • The Match-Three Game Elements is about distilling the four classical elements (Earth, Fire, Air and Water) and the sub-elements they create as you follow the story of Luca Pacioli's research on the same thing you're doing. The fifth element eventually reveals itself to be Cosmos, and you'll have to distill the sub-elements that result from it and the other four elements.
  • An alchemist in the Shivering Isles expansion of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion theorises that each of the four classical elements corresponds to a part of the body (fire is meat, earth is bone, water is blood and air is breath), and that these elements when brought together create the fifth element, Flesh.
  • In Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, there are four bells — Tranquility, Joy, Discord and Indecision — but it is revealed there is a fifth: Sorrow. In this case, it does exist within the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors scheme, but it's been suppressed.
  • In Final Fantasy X, there are five elements, but you see the fifth (Holy) only extremely rarely, with the other four being much more common working in opposite pairs (Fire/Ice and Lightning/Water).
  • In Luminous Arc 2, Ayano, Bharva and the Mage Queen, Elicia possess the Silver element, which is resistant to all other elements. In particular, Ayano can use it to the point that she can effectively nullify all magical damage for a turn.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn: in the past two games, there were the classic four, with some hints that a joint combination of those four as the eponymous Sun being a possible fifth. However, in Dark Dawn there are a large number of monsters with a Darkness element from the midpoint on that seems to be largely independent of the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors and radically more powerful. Their presence is unnatural and is interfering with the state of the world. Then it's revealed at the end that Chalis and Blados are Dark Adepts. And it appears that we now have a Sixth Element in the form of Light Adepts.
  • Lucia, the sole citizen of the Blue Star, wields a sixth special element in Lunar: Eternal Blue. It is meteor/star-based, and this is more or less justified because it's thought that she has access to a higher power.
  • In the Mystery Case Files game Dire Grove, items representing the five elements have to be inserted into an underground ice shrine in order to defeat the Big Bad at the end. They represent the fifth element with mercury.
  • World of Warcraft has elementals, items which are the elements in a tangible form that are used for advanced crafting recipes. Originally there were more than four, but with each expansion the extra elements have been phased out; as of Cataclysm, there are five such elementals called Volatiles: Fire, Water, Earth, Air and Life.
  • The relatively obscure puzzle game Water and Wind Puzzle Battles has Fire, Water, Metal, Wood, and Earth as the main elements; it also has Wind (yellow) and Void (pink/purple). Combining three Water and one Wind into a valid combo removes all Water blocks from the board. Surrounding Void with one of each element (including Wind) creates a special "Void Clear" and removes every single block from the board. Technically a black 'Null' element also exists, but is only used in special puzzle modes and demonstrations, and cannot be chained or otherwise combined.
  • OFF lists the four elements as "smoke", "metal", "plastic", and "meat". In keeping with the game's motif of "four and one", Zone 3 introduces an artificial element, Sugar, made through rather macabre means: burning corpses, and filtering the smoke the right way.
  • Eternal Darkness substitutes the three Ancients, Xel'lotath (representing sanity, or lack thereof,) Chattur'gha (representing brute force and health) and Ulyaoth (representing the mind and mana) for the four elements, their respective runes being used to power spells and trumping each other in the standard Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors style. There's also the fourth Ancient, Mantorok, who is conspiring to destroy the other three Ancients, and whose rune trumps all the others. Word of God states that there's also a fifth Ancient that is never seen, but does have a few enemies with its color coding who appear.
  • Tales of Symphonia has eight standard elements (fire, ice, earth, wind, water, electricity, light and darkness,) each one represented by its own summon spirit. While there's technically no ninth element, there is a ninth major summon spirit, Origin, who's called the Summon Spirit of All Things and uses a variety of spells of different elements, as well as Maxwell, the Summon Spirit of Birth, who uses the non-elemental Meteor Storm.
  • Tales of the Abyss is an unusual example. Elements are called fonons, and there are the four classic elements of Earth, Wind, Water and Fire, as well as two more, Dark and Light, both of which also cover two of the classic elements and thus could be considered more powerful (or at least more useful) and so fit this trope. However there's an even greater one introduced very early in the game, the Seventh Fonon. It's considered the most powerful and most dangerous element in the game, and only people born with the ability to control it can do so, and even then, they aren't able to do it themselves (until the point the game takes place). The reason why it's so powerful? The Seventh Fonon's element is Sound, which is what all other Fonons are made of (fonons are just vibrations of particles, which is exactly what sound is) and are what allow matter to be distinguished, making anyone who can control The Seventh Fonon a borderline reality warper. Its power is purely in terms of plot, however, as it never pops up in gameplay (a few special attacks notwithstanding, that are considered non-elemental anyway, plus being a requirement for using healing spells) unless you count it as being an In-Universe justification for Save Points.
  • In Ultima VIII, which is based heavily on the four elements, the fifth element is Aether, which even has its own Elemental Plane outside the actual world. This element powers the fifth school of magic, Thaumaturgy, but does not have an actual Titan representing it.
  • Dota 2 has the elemental brothers Storm Spirit, Ember Spirit, and Earth Spirit. Then they added Void Spirit, the eldest of the brothers. Adding to the theme of void as the fourth element is Brewmaster. Normally, his ultimate splits him into Earth, Storm, and Fire brewlings and has a Stance System based on the three elements, but with Aghanim's Scepter or Shard he gains a Void brewling or a void stance.
  • Path of Exile has a fourth non-standard element called Chaos. Chaos damage is different from the other three elements in that it's not considered "Elemental Damage" and doesn't apply an ailment on critical strike unlike the other three, but it has a special property of bypassing Energy Shields. Despite not being considered an element, your character receives a Chaos resistance penalty in higher difficulties like the other 3 elements and while only a small number of enemies use them, it's harder to find chaos resistance and damage in general and those rare enemies that do deal chaos damage are going to be dangerous.
  • The Legacy of Kain series has two different versions of this, the first from Blood Omen and the second only fully realised in Defiance:
    • The original game introduced the Pillars of Nosgoth, each aligned with a different (rather non-classical) element, with eight of them arranged in a semi-circle. The ninth Pillar, representing Balance, stood apart from the others in the center.
    • Defiance introduced the full range of Elemental Powers for Raziel's Soul Reaver: the four classics plus Light and Darkness to juxtapose each other. The seventh and most powerful was Spirit, which permanently replaced the non-elemental Reaver to signify its newfound purity.
  • A variety occurs in Touhou Tenkuushou ~ Hidden Star in Four Seasons. During normal gameplay, the protagonists utilize the powers of one of the seasons (spring, summer, autumn, and winter) to help them fight through the game. However, it turns out the Final Boss is capable of absorbing these powers and using them against the protagonists. In the Extra stage, the protagonists then use the power of the fifth season, doyou, which is the transition period between seasons associated with the decline of lifeforce, which the boss couldn't absorb.
  • The mobile game Terra Battle originally has Fire, Ice, Lightning, Darkness, and Nonelemental. Then an update introduced Photon and Graviton elements, which work as stronger Lightning and Darkness (Photon is strong against Darkness and Graviton strong against Lightning, but not the other way around). A later update then introduced Solar and Lunar, which similarly work as stronger Fire and Ice. Naturally, the four "super" elements are much rarer, available only on high-ranking characters.
  • The mobile puzzle game series The Room had the discovery of this as a central part of the backstory; a man named A.S., implied by context to be an alchemist or sorcerer, discovers the existence of a fifth element known as the Null, described as a kind of absence that gives all other elements meaning. It turns out the Null is forged from human souls.
  • In La Statuette Maudite de l'Oncle Ernest, out of the nine forms of the insecto-robot (aside from the default form), eight are based on the classical four elements (two forms per element), while the last one is called the "spirit" form.
  • Utawarerumono and its sequels have all characters have an elemental alignment, of the classic "Fire", "Earth", "Water", "Air" variety, while the protagonists are "Neutral". Very rare characters will have either "Light" or "Darkness" as their element, which doesn't fit into the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors set up of the rest.
  • The plot of Zork Nemesis revolves around four alchemists attempting to uncover the secret of immortality, for which the fifth element is key. They are not even entirely sure what the fifth element is, with theories that it is life or blood. In the end you discover that the fifth element is in fact Love.


    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet featured the element of Heart, which was described as important, and indeed, has pretty powerful abilities when you think about it, but ended up a source of derision in pop culture writ largely because of how poorly utilized it was.
  • Appears late in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Spiritbending (also referred to as Energybending) can actually be considered generally weaker than the other elements, as it is typically only used on oneself and using it on another is incredibly risky. Even if it can permanently disable Bending. They never really go into what Spiritbending can do besides disable or restore someone else's bending abilities either.
  • In The Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra, it appears it can also be used to do the reverse, and restore someone's bending.
    • Having named one season after each of the four physical elements (Water, Earth, Fire, and Air), the second season of Korra was named "Spirits."
    • A previous-life flashback revealed that spiritbending was the original source of the the other four bending abilities in humans, as well as the Avatar cycle itself.
  • In Ninjago, Lloyd, the green ninja, has control of both the elemental powers of the four original ninja as well as Pure Energy powers.
    • In addition to these five, other elements are introduced in the fourth and fifth seasons, such as: Metal, Amber, Wind, and Water
  • In W.I.T.C.H., the girls have powers based on the four elements, with Will being the heart. Instead of getting this fifth element later, she gets a power-up that lets her use Quintessence, a combination of Life Energy and electrical power that could bring appliances and golem-like beings to life, summon ghosts from the site of their deaths and a whole lot of other applications.
  • In Trollz, amber is the fifth element and is the source of all troll magic.
  • Parodied, as usual, in Codename: Kids Next Door. In one episode, Numbuh 5 speaks of ice cream flavors (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry) in the same vein as elements, and mentions that there's a legendary fourth flavor hidden somewhere in the world.
  • Each of the original planets in Shadow Raiders correspond to an element; Planet Water gets destroyed in the first episode, Planet Rock (the earth), Planet Fire (fire), Planet Ice (a very cold windy place, may represent Air, but in some media Ice is an element on itself) and a fifth planet called Planet Bone. Of course, the main antagonist of the series is an errant Planet Eater world named Planet Beast made of "beast matter". A seventh "element" can be Tek Planet (made of... technology).
  • In Adventure Time there are four elements: fire, ice, candy, and slime. There are also four embodiments for each element: Flame Princess, Patience St. Pim, Princess Bubblegum, and Slime Princess respectively. However, the "Elements" miniseries introduces a fifth element which holds the universe together: lumps, which Lumpy Space Princess embodies.

    Real Life 
  • Real Life alchemists sometimes talked of such a concept - also called Quintessence (Latin, roughly, for "Element Number Five"). Common ideas were "Aether" and "vital essence" (essentially life itself). It was thought that the heavens were made of pure quintessence, and the imperfect Earth of the lesser elements. The extraction of quintessence was considered one of the fundamental goals of alchemy.
  • The Goethe-Gymnasium in Berlin-Wilmersdorf was built a few years before World War I in a historicist style. On the side facing Uhlandstraße are carved representations of the five elements - fire, earth, air, water and electricity.
    • Though note that, in Wuxing, electricity falls under Metal, so it being an element has historical precedent.
  • If you consider the four classical elements to refer to the four states of matter: solid, liquid, gas and plasma, then the fifth is the Bose-Einstein Condensate.
    • Actually, at least according to The Other Wiki, there are at least seven other states of matter, meaning that, under certain interpretations, there are up to twelve elements in Real Life.
  • There are four elementary gauge bosons in the Standard Model of particle physics, which are responsible for the transmittal of the electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear forces. A fifth elementary scalar boson is also included and, until recently, was undiscovered: the Higgs.

Alternative Title(s): Element Number Six