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The setting of the stereotypical High (or "epic") Fantasy, a collection of tropes, often boiled down from The Lord of the Rings (and Tolkien's Legendarium in general) which has been the foundation for many a series of doorstoppers.

Basically, the Dark Lord, thought defeated millennia past, has returned to his Dark Tower in the Dark Land, gathering around him Dark Forces. The free lands have only one hope, a small band of lost heirs, princes, and simple village folk gathered together by a mysterious wandering grey-bearded wizard. They will have to brave a long quest for the MacGuffin through strange, dangerous lands inhabited by monsters and peculiar and hostile peoples in order to save the world.

In former times, High Fantasy did not follow this formula. William Morris' The Well At The Worlds End doesn't have this, nor do the dreamers' tales of Lord Dunsany, or his The King of Elfland's Daughter, which are very High Fantasy indeed. Neither George MacDonald nor H. P. Lovecraft in his Dreamland cycle have such a storyline. Some more modern works usually classed as High Fantasy, like Hope Mirrlees' Lud-in-the-Mist and Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea, still don't. Also, there's sometimes a very fine line between what is defined as High Fantasy and Heroic Fantasy, with some works kind of in the middle, like E.R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros or The Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock. And it's still not essential to stick so closely to the model, but many of today's fantasy writers still use many or most of the above elements, perhaps feeling that you don't mess with what works. Tolkien scholar Thomas Shippey talks about this in a chapter of his book J.R.R. Tolkien, Author of the Century.

Many core elements of this type of high fantasy can be found in seminal literature from the 19th and early 20th century, but it was Tolkien that codified the genre, although he called The Lord of the Rings "heroic romance".

The core elements of High Fantasy are:

  • Setting: A world other than ours. It may have a nominal connection with present day Earth, such as being our remote past or future (Tolkien specified that Middle-earth is our Earth), but this plays no role in the plot. Mythopoeia is often put into play to define the very metaphysics of the world. Nevertheless it often resembles medieval Europe, and is often peopled by People of Hair Color.
  • Magic: Magic, wizards and fantastical elements (dragons, spells, etc) are often in the forefront in High Fantasy, and tend to play major roles in stories, worldbuilding and conflicts. While this isn't a strictly a crucial element — you can and do get High Fantasy works with subdued or minimal magic and Low Fantasy works with quite a lot of it — High Fantasy is distinguished by typically portraying its fantastical elements in a more positive and glamorous light, quite unlike the bestial monsters, shifty sorcerers and Power at a Price style of magic found in Low and Heroic Fantasy.
  • Scale: Epic scale in terms of geographic and historical impact. Power politics, wars, the birth and death of nations, gods walking the earth, and the real threat of The End of the World as We Know It. This is what distinguishes High Fantasy from Heroic Fantasy.
  • Morality: The good guys are strictly good and the bad guys are strictly evil, with fairly minimal overlap. Even in cases where moral ambiguity or flexibility exists, there's still a fairly clear divide between good and evil — generally speaking, antiheroes and -villains still tend to fall mainly one one side or the other — as opposed to the Grey-and-Gray Morality more common in Low Fantasy.
  • Great evil: An enemy which is near enough Evil incarnate or fundamentally abhorrent, whose machinations and plots serve as the main push of the conflict. Their victory would be, in no ambiguous terms, a terrible thing for everybody else. This is in contrast to Low Fantasy, which tends to favor human-versus-human conflicts, and Heroic Fantasy, which favors pitting the heroes against successions of mostly unconnected human and bestial foes.
  • Methods: Victory is not achieved through force of arms, the main feature distinguishing High Fantasy from Heroic Fantasy. It is also not achieved through wide-ranging strategy, logistics and political and military conflicts, which is generally the case in Low Fantasy. Victory will also be complete and with few loose ends or sour notes; this is shared with Heroic Fantasy, but Low Fantasy tends to favor more ambiguous and incomplete endings. Essentially, if Aragorn had killed Sauron in hand-to-hand combat, that would have been Heroic Fantasy, and if Gondor had beaten Mordor by having more allies, better strategy, innovative tactics and a better-trained army, that would have been Low Fantasy. Instead, victory is achieved through the efforts of a small number of characters acting against great odds, and a Supporting Leader or the Reluctant Hero will be offered up instead of the rough-hewn barbarian of, say, Conan the Barbarian or Beowulf.

Other common elements include:

The boundary between High Fantasy and Low Fantasy is probably impossible to pin down, but the Deverry and Deryni series are near the borderline, and may straddle it. In both, the protagonists are involved in high-level power politics, with the fate of their nation in the balance, but Deverry has superhuman evils which the Deryni series lacks. Another borderline series would be the violent, low-magic A Song of Ice and Fire, which is on an epic scale, in a pseudo-medieval setting, with the looming menace of the Others, but lacks a Dark Lord (so far). The Discworld novels as a whole are another problematic case; they are generally considered Low Fantasy, but several of them tick all the boxes on the core elements noted above and epic-level plots (like Thief of Time) happen just as frequently as street-level ones (like The Truth).

Novels that are unambiguously Low Fantasy include Eisenstein's Sorcerer's Son, about a family quarrel among wizards devoid of wider implications, Barbara Hambly's Stranger at the Wedding, where the threat is confined to a single merchant family, and Maskerade, whose villain, a normal human, has no greater ambition than to run an opera house. Not to be confused with Demythification, which is a myth or legend reimagined as Historical Fiction.

The sci-fi version of High Fantasy is Space Opera, but not vice versa. The quintessential Space Opera doesn't necessarily include a Dark Lord equivalent, but if a Space Opera does, as with Star Wars or Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep, it is High Fantasy in space.

Heroic or High Fantasy of Chinese cultural origin is known as Wuxia or Xianxia.

High fantasy starring animal protagonists may overlap with Xenofiction.

For the Darker and Edgier version, check out Dark Fantasy.

Compare and contrast with Sword and Sorcery, Sword and Sandal, Historical Fantasy and The Epic.

Examples include:

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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Bone, though with a sense of humor throughout.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Black Cauldron: A loose adaptation of The Chronicles of Prydain
  • Quest for Camelot
  • Raya and the Last Dragon: Inspired by Southeast Asian mythology, the film follows a princess on a quest to find the last dragon and restore a magical gem to defeat demons called Druun ravaging her world; restoring the gem is the only way to defeat the Druun.
  • Sleeping Beauty features a villain who is extremely powerful and more fearsome than the typical Disney fare. The heroes have to confront and defeat her directly - when she turns into a dragon in the climax.

    Films — Live-Action 


  • The Afterward by E. K. Johnston, with the High Fantasy themes being downplayed given they take place largely in the past (hence the book title) with the focus mostly on more prosaic things.
  • The Arts of Dark and Light by Vox Day
  • The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga by Gail Z. Martin merges the genre with post-apocalyptic fiction: The End of the World as We Know It isn't a mere threat and the adventure revolves around restoring the world to something resembling its original state.
  • Avesta of Black and White
  • The Belgariad by David Eddings takes every single trope in the genre, laughs at them, then builds around ten books (and two epics) with them.
  • The Blood War Trilogy by Tim Marquitz is about a series of kingdoms under siege by no less than three examples of The Horde, one of which is a race of orc-werewolves.
  • Books of Pellinor features two lost and separated heirs to a magical tradition, a wise mentor, a world-threatening Big Bad, much epic journeying, and The End of the World as We Know It. And many shout-outs to Tolkien.
  • Bran Hambric, which has the feeling of Urban Fantasy in a fictional world.
  • The Brightest Shadow is inspired by both wuxia and high fantasy.
  • The Creatures of Supernatural, a world literally set in a fantasy world with a lack of human beings.
  • A Chorus of Dragons
  • Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne by Brian Staveley
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa: Though it isn't obviously one at first, by book three the story has become this, as the deathless king is revealed to want world domination, which the heroes fight to stop.
  • Chronicles of the Kencyrath fits most of the elements, though it's very tightly focused on the heroine and her immediate friends and family despite the world-shaking events going on, and at least as far as supernatural forces are concerned it's more Black-and-Grey Morality than Black-and-White Morality.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. He and Tolkien were good friends and their stories share many similarities. The books drift in and out of the epic scale - the first one featuring an evil sorceress who needs to be defeated to save the world. Besides The Silver Chair and The Last Battle the scale is much smaller in other books.
  • The Chronicles of Prydain are High Fantasy for children, largely inspired by Welsh mythology.
  • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
  • The Cosmere tends towards this genre for its longer entries. In particular, Mistborn: The Original Trilogy is a Genre Deconstruction or possibly more of a Decon-Recon Switch taking the last volume into account, while The Stormlight Archive is a Reconstruction described by the author as his love letter to the genre.
  • The A Court of Thorns and Roses series, mostly from the second book onwards; the first book falls more under Heroic Fantasy. The series is set in a pseudo-medieval world where fae and humans live side-by-side, magic is reasonably commonplace amongst fae, and the main villain is a Sorcerous Overlord who is trying to reinvade Prythian after being foiled centuries ago.
  • The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper is set in our world, but tied into a distant, mythological and Celtic past, and otherwise fits the trope to a tee. The hero's mentor is even suggested to be Merlin.
  • The Dark Tower by Stephen King borders the line between High Fantasy and Urban Fantasy in a Western setting.
  • A Day of Fallen Night is a prequel to The Priory of the Orange Tree, covering a historical period mentioned within that book known as "the Grief of Ages."
  • Deltora Quest
  • The Dragon Scales Trilogy
  • Laurence Yep's Dragon Series, which has an eastern dragon as the protagonist, trying to restore her former home.
  • Dragonlance has several like Dragonlance Chronicles, Dragonlance Legends, and Dragons Of Summer Flame.
  • The Dragons of Requiem series revolves around a race of humans who use magic to turn into dragons. The same series also involves artifacts that can reanimate corpses, demons rising from the "Abyss," humans who can turn into phoenixes, potions that can turn people into sphinxes, reanimated skeletons, villains who try to kill hundreds of thousands, and more.
  • The Duel of Sorcery Trilogy fits on some details, but is more Low Fantasy in other respects.
  • The Earthsea cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin is considered a classic of the subgenre, though it famously avoids many of the associated cliches. Earthsea is a sprawling chain of islands populated mostly by brown-skinned peoples as opposed to the usual Medieval European-eqsue setting, war is essentially nonexistent, and magic is a fine art, studied intensely and used sparingly, rather than a solution to all of life's problems. The series hits full High Fantasy status during the third book, The Farthest Shore, which introduces a villain whose plan threatens to destroy the world, and a suitably epic quest by a young heir and his aging wizard mentor to prevent this.
  • The Elenium is by David Eddings again, and does pretty much the same thing as The Belgariad. Only in six slightly longer (and darker) books. But still two epics.
  • The Empirium Trilogy
  • The Essalieyan Saga by Michelle West firmly fit here, forming an intricate Myth Arc dealing with returning gods, the fate of nations, and humanity's final stand against Allasakar, consisting of in order The Sacred Hunt duology, The Sun Sword sextet, The House War septology, and to be concluded in the forthcoming Burning Crown arc.
  • Familiar And The Mage
  • The Falling Kingdoms Series
  • The Fifth Vertex involves the vertices and blood magic although the setting is multicultural and unique.
  • Forging Divinity.
  • C. J. Cherryh's Morgaine Cycle
  • Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern
  • Catherine Asaro's Skolian Saga
  • Greenwater and the world setting for Zodiacs by Thrythlind are aimed at this.
  • Gnome Saga by Kenny Soward and published by Ragnarok Publications is a Dungeons and Dragons-esque trilogy highlighting that often-overlooked race of mad inventors.
  • Hagwood
  • There have been debates over whether Harry Potter would be considered an example.
    • The overarching plot revolves around the hero (who is later revealed to be the subject of a prophecy) thwarting the attempts of an evil wizard to return to power, with magic being extremely commonplace in the setting. This sounds very high fantasy-ish. However, the series isn't set in a secondary world but in a magical society hidden in the normal world; most of the novels are also confined to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the protagonists' day-to-day concerns tend to things like learning new spells, playing Quidditch, conflict with teachers and other students, and so forth (in other words, typical school-aged drama with fantasy trappings). Although there's increasing focus on wizard politics, Voldemort and his followers usually only become prominent in the last third.
    • That being said, the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, more closely fits the high fantasy formula: Voldemort and his followers are a near-constant threat from page one having taken over the Ministry of Magic and the main trio embark on a perilous journey across the British Isles to find and destroy magical artifacts to defeat Voldemort, culminating in a huge battle between the heroes against Voldemort’s army. Harry also defeats the villain less through brute force and more by exploiting the magic system surrounding wand ownership and The Power of Love.
  • His Dark Materials involves a final battle for not just control of the world, but of the entire multiverse.
  • How to Build a Dungeon: Book of the Demon King
  • Inheritance Cycle.
  • The Kharkanas Trilogy.
  • King of the Water Roads.
  • The Last Guardian (2001).
  • Legends of Panthera is set in the semi-medieval world of Panthera and follows the adventures of a group of champions who battle against gods.
  • The Lightlark Saga
  • The Lineage of Tellus is a more modern example in tone, language, and overall views on sexuality and gender.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Inspired a slew of imitators and created the genre as we know it. It's something of an Unbuilt Trope in Lord of the Rings itself, which can best be described as "high fantasy but low magic." Magic is extremely rare, viewed with awe and ignorance by most people, and quite restrained whenever it does show up. There are perhaps a few dozen "mages" on the entire planet (i.e. the five wizards, the nine Nazgul, Beorn, Galadriel, the one remaining dragon), and other than them the only magic is minor charms embedded into a handful of items, usually those made by elves (like a piece of bread that can fill you up for a day or a sword that can glow and pierce things slightly better than a normal one). Some of the more impressive showings by said magicians include "shining lights to blind someone", "making someone scared, but not enough to override Heroic Willpower", "showing someone hallucinations", "poisoning or setting alight one person at a time", and "turning into a large and intelligent but otherwise completely ordinary bear or wolf." Even the titular Rings never do anything on-screen other than the One Ring making the wearer invisible (though it's implied they could do much more in the hands of a powerful being, the villain's plan was still mostly just to use their powers to build and control mundane armies). Furthermore the story's actual protagonists (as opposed to the Supporting Leader) are much more down to earth (both figuratively and literally) than typical fantasy fare. The lands and events aren't really larger-than-life either - the largest military engagement in the books had fewer soldiers involved than were present at Cannae, (and most of those were Orcs who are explicitly inferior to human troops), the state of the world outside of the relatively compact story area goes almost completely unmentioned, and as far as we know Third Age Middle-earth is very thinly populated and only has one city of any note (that is, Minas Tirith; even Edoras, the capital of Rohan, is referred to as a mere town). The books certainly feel big, though.
  • The Lost Redeemer by David Musk features a world in a post-medieval fantasy setting with unique races and a dream-based magic system.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen
  • Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn
  • The Mirror of Her Dreams
  • Mithgar: The early books take heavy inspiration from The Lord of the Rings (which makes sense given it's said the author originally envisoned The Silver Call duology as a sequel to LOTR), though it later becomes more of its own thing.
  • Moribito
  • The Nicci Chronicles: a spin-off/continuation of the Sword of Truth series, following side characters Nicci and Nathan.
  • Nightrunner
  • The Old Kingdom series is somewhat unusual, as its premise revolves around necromancy and the undead. The first book also starts out more in Heroic Fantasy territory but moves into High by the endnote , while books two and three are firmly High Fantasy from the get go. The prequel Clariel, however, tends more towards the Low Fantasy end of the scale.
  • An Outcast in Another World by Kamikaze Potato checks many of the boxes for this genre. Has a non-Earth setting, standard fantasy races, magic, an epic scope, and a great evil.
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree is a retelling of "Saint George and the Dragon" that begins with personal conflicts of four characters in the West and East but quickly become bigger due to the imminent return of the Nameless One (the Dragon). The setting is populated by humans, evil European-style dragons, and benevolent Asian-style dragons; the distinction between the two has been lost to humans on both sides, resulting in isolation (the West believes the East to be wyrm-worshipping heretics while the East believes the West to be indiscriminate dragon-killers). Magic is used, but extremely rare and widely feared. Political intrigues exist as an obstacle to the main goal of saving the world from a mountain-sized dragon that's about to wake up, and the secret descendants of those who originally bound the dragon play a key role in all of the efforts to deal with it.
  • Realm Breaker
  • Record of Lodoss War
  • The Riftwar Cycle.
  • The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel is set in our world, but characters travel through many different Shadowrealms as well - and the series climaxes in the ancient realm of Danu Talis. All Myths Are True heavily applies here, with many mythical figures and Historical Domain Characters appearing. And yes there is something about The End of the World as We Know It, but it turns out to mean destroying one world so that ours can begin.
  • The Seventh Tower.
  • Shadow of the Conqueror, which has the epic scale, fantastic setting, widespread magic use, and supernatural evils, but mixes things up with a lot of Dungeon Punk elements and general Genre-Busting.
  • Shannara.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire begins on the Low Fantasy side of the line, starting out with Grey-and-Grey Morality firmly in place and dealing mostly with one nation's dynastic wars, but because The Magic Comes Back slowly over the course of the series, it gets progressively closer to High Fantasy with each novel, especially in Bran, Arya, Jon and Dany's storylines, as magic becomes more apparent, the Others establish themselves as the great supernatural evil and the threat they pose to the world starts to be given more importance. The series can also be described as a particularly brutal reconstruction of this genre. Knights are mostly just brutal thugs with established family lineages; rulers gain their power through a combination of the sort of underhanded political strategies you'd expect a crime boss to use and military victories that in no way prepare them for ruling during peace times; earning political positions through birthright is a disastrous idea even before you factor in the inbreeding; magical wonders (like the dragons) lose their lustre quickly or get ascribed all sorts of symbolic meanings they haven't earned, traumatic experiences are legitimately traumatising; and basing your strategy on any type of morality and high ideals will get you and lots of innocent people (including those you love) killed. Oddly enough (given how cynical the universe is about human nature and how life works), high fantasy tropes are played almost completely straight in relation to Bran Stark's storyline (particularly since his escape from Winterfell).
  • Son of the Black Sword. Is set in the unknown land of Lok. It is hinted that humans living in Lok are originally from Earth, but no reliable records of the past remain. At some unknown point in the past, demons came to the world, and started devouring humans, until there was a threat of extinction, but with the aid of black steel, humans fought off the demons, and forced them off land, and into the sea. Because of this, sea travel is impossible, and the inhabitants of Lok know nothing of what happened on the other continents. Lots of extremely fast paced action, but no shortage of intricate plot. The world of Lok draws heavily on Ancient Indian themes.
  • The Song of the Shattered Sands by Bradley Beaulieu.
  • The Stand by Stephen King has even more elements of High Fantasy than The Dark Tower, but it's strictly our world After the End. However King ties it in later to his other-worlds Mythopoeia.
  • Storm of Souls
  • Sword of Truth possesses all the core elements, although the author would rather not have his work lumped into the fantasy section, thank you very much.
  • Tales of the Sundered Lands
  • The Throne of Glass series
  • Villains by Necessity: The book is an inversion and parody of the genre, with the villains having to save the world from imminent destruction by cosmic Good.
  • The Wayfarer Redemption.
  • The Wheel of Time.
  • The Witcher.
  • A Wizard in Rhyme.

    Live-Action TV 
High fantasy tends to be difficult to pull off well with live-action TV series due to budgetary constraints, which can make capturing the epic scale of such stories challenging. Nevertheless, there have been examples over the years.
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: A prequel series to the film, featuring Gelfings on a quest to expose the evil overlords threatening their world and rally the other tribes to fight back.
  • Game of Thrones: Based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. As with the books, this one straddles the line between high fantasy and low fantasy; the scale is certainly epic, with the story spanning entire continents, but the plotlines are more concerned with relatively mundane political intrigue and family feuds, with magical elements kept to a minimum early on. Later seasons shift more towards typical high fantasy due to the increased prominence of the White Walkers and their Dark Lord-esque leader the Night King, with the characters having to put aside their differences to stop the potentially world-ending invasion. After that wraps up though, everyone's back to squabbling over the throne.
  • Legend of the Seeker
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
  • Ohsama Sentai King-Ohger contrasts with previous fantastic seasons of Super Sentai by being set on a different world altogether called Tikyūnote  with five kingdoms which the protagonists rule as monarchs.
  • One Piece (2023)
  • Shadow and Bone: Based upon The Grishaverse books, Shadow and Bone is an uncommon example of a high fantasy that takes place not in a medieval setting but one closer to the mid-1800s in terms of fashion, culture and technology. In particular, magic-users in the setting -known as Grisha -have to contend with modern weaponry such as guns, giving mundane folks an edge. They also tend to refer to their powers as a science rather than magic. The show's A-plot follows the high fantasy formula most closely, concerning a lowly young orphan who discovers she's a rare type of Grisha called the Sun Summoner, destined to save her country from dark forces; she must learn to harness her power while avoiding or out-manoeuvring those that seek to harm or exploit her.
  • The Shannara Chronicles
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): Based upon the book series of the same name, which is one of the most famous examples of this genre. Unlike Game of Thrones, it leans heavily into classic epic fantasy tropes and plotlines (dark lord threatening the world with his army of monsters, a prophesised hero who could either save or destroy the world, magic users everywhere and so on).
  • Willow (2022): A sequel series to the 1988 film expanding upon the world and characters.

  • ElvenQuest parodies the High Fantasy setting. The Chosen One (a dog in our world but a human in his) must band together with an Elf, Warrior Princess and Dwarf to find the mystical Sword of Asnagar and defeat the cunning and oddly genre-savvy Lord Darkness.
  • Negativland once created a hysterical parody of trailers for High Fantasy and Heroic Fantasy films, using dozens of snippets from Don LaFontaine narrations. It's on Moribund Music of the 70s. [1]
    Long ago, when the world was young, there existed [garbled sound] symbol of right. There also lived the Resourcer, [[thunderclap]], the embodiment of evil. And between, as prize to the victor, lay the whole world...

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer often occupies this league of the fantasy spectrum, though it encompasses Heroic Fantasy more often and Low Fantasy about as often. Episodes of full-bore High Fantasy from Warhammer's rich tapestry generally involve world-threatening catastrophes, and include the Great Wars Against Chaos (both the war of 2306 and the previous incursions, going back to the original war in the time of Aenarion), the Sundering of the Elves and the conquests of Nagash (who provides one of Warhammer's many iconic Dark Lord type characters). In aesthetic terms the elder races of Warhammer (the Dwarfs and the three kindreds of Elves) tend to present the most high fantasy aspect, drawing heavily on Tolkien and boasting histories replete with great world-spanning deeds of significance. The Bretonnians are perhaps the most classically Medieval Fantasy race, however, and embody most strongly the "knights in shining armour" aspect of the genre (albeit with a fair helping of cynicism and actual medieval weirdness at times). The Empire, the de facto protagonist faction, leans much more into Low Fantasy to the point that, prior to the late 7th to 8th editions, it'd be very hard to tell them apart from real-world 16th century Germany without their occasional use of wizards.
    • Warhammer Fantasy's sequel setting, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar takes the High Fantasy elements of the original Warhammer and takes it way, way Higher than it already was, to the point where the setting almost encompasses an all new type of "Mythical Fantasy" genre. Due to the fact that the Age of Sigmar world isn't as put-together as traditional fantasy settings, it appears as what many fantasy settings' "mythical/golden age" is like, with gods walking the land and strange and nonsensical rules being bent by mortals, as in mythologies like the Norse or the Greek.

    Video Games 
  • Anbennar is a fairly detailed Genre Deconstruction. It kicks off when the hero Corin has just ascended to godhood after slaying Korgus Dookanson, the orc warlord who commanded the Greentide. But in a world with no Black-and-White Morality, what follows after this is the question: what do humans do with the orcs and goblins who now live in the ruins of Escann? (It's often not pretty.) How do the adventurers who made up Corin's armies deal with each other, as The Fellowship Has Ended and they settle in the land they've taken from the greenskins? Are the "monstrous" races evil, or can they learn to coexist with an ever-stronger humanity? And when magical relics are found in the ruins of the Precursors, it starts a land rush that can be incredibly savage to the remnants of the ancient elven civilization. Even the idea of the Necromancer as the Big Bad is called into question, as Esthil and the later Black Demesne provide justifications for employing necromancy and a sorcerous elite (respectively) to improve human lives and wealth, even as some of their methods like becoming a Lich are Powered by a Forsaken Child. Is it worth it?
  • Battle Axe, where you're a fantasy-themed hero (either a human marauder, a druid wizard or an elf warrior) fighting a Sorcerous Overlord whose armies consists of goblins, skeletons, and assorted beasties. Including having a pet dragon.
  • BGTSCC Often each year's metaplot ending effects the world for a long time after, with permanent changes to the server. One example is the Amn/Gate war, changing Beregost's ownership from Baldur's Gate to Amn.
  • Baldur's Gate and its related BioWare games are all about this.
  • The Crystal of Kings, an early 2000s Beat 'em Up where you are a hero in the medieval-fantasy inspired kingdom of Estorea battling hordes and hordes of orcs, skeletons and demons.
  • Dragon Unit, a fantasy arcade game where you're one of two warriors out to rescue a kidnapped princess.
  • For The Elder Scrolls series, the individual games are more in line with Heroic Fantasies - your Player Character needs to save the world from a malevolent Big Bad seeking to take it over or end it outright, while you get to have some fun exploring the Wide-Open Sandbox game world. However, when you take a step back and look at the series as a whole, as well as dig deep into the rich backstory, you can easily seem more of the High Fantasy elements. Overarching "Good vs. Evil" themes emerge, while in other instances, these waters are muddied, with many of the aforementioned Big Bads having Well-Intentioned Extremist slants and the like. Essentially, the Elder Scrolls universe is a High Fantasy setting, and each main series game is a Heroic Fantasy story told within that universe.
  • Elemental Master have you playing as a wizard fighting an Ancient Evil in a medieval setting.
  • Eternity: The Last Unicorn, a fantasy RPG inspired by Norse Mythology.
  • Most Final Fantasy games are High Fantasy to a degree, including Final Fantasy IV, VI and XII.
    • XII is a borderline case. It meets most of the requirements except the scale. There's some power politics and the looming threat of a war between two great powers, but it's limited to threatening one small kingdom/city-state caught between them rather than any serious threat to the world at large regardless of who wins. The over-arching quest is more about preventing the city of Dalmasca from being turned into a battleground of two rival empires, neither of which represent the Good Guys, than attempting to defeat the Evil Overlord (who turns out to be a Knight Templar Anti-Villain). At no point is The End of the World as We Know It even on the table in the main plot.
    • There are, however, side-quests where the player can go looking for trouble and pick fights with some very powerful demigods that tried to take over Heaven itself in ages past.
  • Fire Emblem: The series as a wholesale qualifies, but it heavily plays with the genre's trappings. Like other High Fantasy settings, the scale of each game tends to be epic; continent-shaking wars between kingdoms and Royals Who Actually Do Something who are tasked with defeating a great evil, usually with the recurring Fire Emblem involved. Dragons are almost certainly to be involved, and the scale (usually) tends to go through the Sorting Algorithm of Evil from low level bandits to The Empire to a Religion of Evil with the power of a dark god/dragon. However, all of this mixed in with a considerable degree of Low Fantasy elements as well; there are other races than humans, but humans constantly act as the dominant force in the world. There's no real epic quest in most of the games (or, at least, it's almost never framed as such) instead focusing on the outbreak of war between human nations and heapings upon heapings of political intrigue. There were ancient heroes with legendary weapons who helped seal away an evil dragon/god, but those legends fade into myth, and many of the different settings' individuals at large forgot the existence of said legendary weapons. Monsters can exist, but it's very case-by-case depending on the setting, but very often they're regarded as mythic like the legendary weapons and are seldom-seen. Magic is common, but it's not seen as a occult happenstance so much as a science, with Radiant Dawn mentioning scientists developing the Rewarp stave of that game, Anima and Dark magic being regarded as "Reason" in Three Houses. Not to mention, the characters that you can recruit may even be Punch Clock Heroes, and the series seems to lean towards the neutral side on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, though some of the games can also lean towards the idealistic side as well. Plus, it must be noted that the Jugdral series is very dark in tone.
  • Kingdom Hearts is divided into many small worlds, mostly imaginary, or based on Disney films.
  • Jewel Master is a Medieval fantasy filled with dragons, knights, orcs and demons where you set off on a quest to save your kingdom by seeking twelve magical rings.
  • The Legend of Zelda is mostly this but it also borders on Heroic Fantasy at times. It has a lot of definitive identity with the Standard Japanese Fantasy Setting, right down to Ganon being Maou the Demon King and the Reincarnation elements of Link and Zelda.
  • Legend (1994), in a medieval kingdom where two heroic knights must stop an Evil Prince from reviving a demon.
  • Legend (1998) - the sequel to the above.
  • Both The Legendary Axe games, where you're respectively a Barbarian Hero and a Warrior Prince out to save your kingdom from evil.
  • Lucifer Ring have your player as a warrior fighting the forces of chaos in a fantasy world in order to prevent an Evil Wizard from awakening an ancient demon.
  • Oracle of Tao is a RPG Maker game with heavy fantasy elements. Oddly enough, it has some modern objects, like cellphones and ATMs, but it is assumed they run on magic.
  • Overlord takes all the tropes of this genre and runs away with them.
  • Raging Blades, a fantasy-themed Hack and Slash for the PlayStation 2 where a band of heroes are on a quest to stop an Evil Wizard.
  • Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song thrusts you into the world of Mardias, where the inhabitants struggle against the return of evil lord Saruin, his army of monsters and his evil cults. Due to the game's open-ended nature, the world and its nations are rather detailed with lores about multiple fairytales, lords and heroes, many of which you end up interacting with. The player runs on a Karma Meter, but it merely determines a path that eventually leads to the same endgame, an epic Lord of the Ring style war against Saruin where ally nations help you party sneak into Big Bad;s lair and defeat him. Even Saruin's own siblings don't like him, which is saying something.
  • Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden, a blatant Zelda clone made by Gameloft.
  • Sol Divide is a Horizontal Scrolling Shooter in a fantasy world, with magic in place of lasers.
  • The later entries of the Soul Series after the Genre Shift away from Historical Fantasy. It takes place on Earth during the 16th Century and real historical figures are referenced, but apart from that, the series has lizard men, a golem, a Gorgeous Greek Paladin empowered by an ancient god, a Ghost Pirate, two vampires, a demon-hunting kunoichi, an immortal Scary Black Man, an English alchemist lady with a Whip Sword, a teenage priestess who can control the wind, various bits of Clock Punk like Yoshimitsu's arm and most of Wolfkrone, costumes that are not historically period accurate in any way (seriously, it's utterly hilarious how Seong Mi-na traverses half the world three times while wearing hardly anything and nobody else once ever calls attention to this), and a conflict between two magic swords that everyone is fighting over that drives the main plot. That still isn't naming everything.
  • Wild Blood, a Darker and Edgier re-imagining of the Arthurian legends.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 

  • Aurora (2019): A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits are drawn into a quest to save the world from scheming villains and an ancient evil.
  • Consequences of Choice.
  • Crimson Knights, though the technology level is more in line with the early-modern period rather than the standard medieval.
  • Goblins Of Razard: Contains a lost prince and a band of followers on a quest.
  • Oglaf is a NSFW Sex Comedy set in a parody of this genre.
  • The Order of the Stick is an affectionate parody of the genre. It started off as closer to Heroic Fantasy, with an adventuring party raiding a random dungeon, but got Higher as it went on, starting with the reveal that it wasn't a random dungeon, but the location of a Big Bad the party leader had sworn to defeat, and building up to the adventurers being the last hope of preventing said Big Bad from (inadventently) destroying the world.
  • Our Little Adventure, if you factor all of its parts.
  • Overlord of Ravenfell parodies and subverts the High Fantasy setting, from the perspective of the villain.
  • Wayfarers Moon.

    Web Original 
  • Deeper Up the Tower is full to the brim with wild magic, elves, weird beasts trapped in jars, curses, statues coming to life, gods, quests, relics, the works and then some!
  • Fire Emblem On Forums: A series of roleplays based on the Fire Emblem games that generally occupy this genre.
  • Smirvlak's Stone is loaded with all sorts of fantasy races, takes place during medieval times, and shows off different forms of magic and backstories involving demons and gods.
  • Tales of the Big Bad Wolf appears to be a fairy tale based series but incorporates elements of high fantasy including elves, bards, at least one system of magic, and magical objects and beasts.

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Epic Fantasy