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Technicolor Magic

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Much like other phenomena that only exist in fiction, when it comes to magic, psychic energy, and other paranormal or supernatural things, creators have to decide how to best depict them. One obvious way is to just show the direct effect of a spell or ability. This is particularly common with Psychic Powers like telekinesis: to show that a person is moving an object with their mind, the object will be depicted as moving on its own.

This trope, however, covers when such actions and abilities are visualized using punches of color. These colors can be simply there for garnishing to maximize visual contrast, such as a mostly cool-toned film coloring the magic and supernatural abilities red and orange to make them pop. However, often times the colors selected will have some characterizing purpose, drawing from Good Colors, Evil Colors.

Subtrope of Color-Coded for Your Convenience. Compare Color-Coded Wizardry, in which wizards and magic classes are assigned particular colors to help differentiate them.

Related to Emerald Power and Purple Is Powerful. See also Mark of the Supernatural for when a unique physical trait, such as unusually colored eyes or facial markings, marks a character as supernatural, and Magical Sensory Effect for when the supernatural is associated with more than just visuals.


    Anime & Manga 

  • Alexandre Cabanel's The Fallen Angel: Lucifer's wings show three distinct zones — white inside, technicolor in-between, and dark edges. The multicolored intermediate region is a visual representation of the divine power demoting him from angel to demon.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • The Conversion Bureau: A New Age: All Terran Magic has a signature color: Blue Water, Red Fire, Green Earth, Gold Wind. When the "Mixed" Elements are found, they follow the same pattern: Periwinkle Lightning, Aquamarine Ice, Forest Green Wood, Silver Metal, White Light, and Dark Violet Shadow.
  • The Keys Stand Alone: After Paul gains the ability to see magic and power in The Soft World, he discovers that he sees different kinds of magic in different colors. However, the color scheme seems to be idiosyncratic to him; for example, he sees the psionic Ringo as bright blue, normal masking magic as one shade of sea green, and masking magic that protects against mind control as another shade of sea green. He wants very much to learn what each color represents but never gets the opportunity.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Colour of Magic: Magic is represented with purple. In the books, the color of magic is actually the fictional 8th color, octarine, but it's noted in the book to be outside the visible spectrum, unless you have True Sight, so a visible color was chosen.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The reality-changing Infinity Stones are each a different colour and anything they affect will glow with their respective colour. Holding all six causes multi-coloured energy to crawl up your arm.
    • Magic users have a fairly consistent colour scheme, which is all Colour-Coded for Your Convenience. Doctor Strange and the other sorcerers primarily use orange magic, Wanda Maximoff's spells are red, Agatha Harkness' Black Magic is purple with black highlights, and Loki's magic is green.
  • Warcraft 2016: The Black Magic of fel is green, while more benevolent Azeroth-style magic is blue, yellow, red or purple, and those touched by fel can be recognized by their unnaturally green skin or eyes. Lothar exploits this when he has to check whether Medivh has been corrupted by the fel.

  • In Artemis Fowl, fairy magic is visible as blue sparks, most commonly when healing someone.
  • Bran Hambric: Each type of magic has a different associated color.
  • Discworld: Octarine, the Fictional Colour of magic, is "a sort of greeny-purple" visible only to magical beings.
  • Delver Magic: The different types of magic in the world come in different colors, blue corresponding to water magic, for example.
  • Price: Powers tend to generate red, blue or yellow light. Stronger Imbued have two colors and sometimes a blend of those colors (red and blue makes purple — or possibly magenta or some other shade of purple). The really strong ones have black or white.
  • The Seventh Tower features a caste system based on the rainbow; the more powerful a particular color in the society's magic system, the higher the rank of the corresponding caste. Everyone owned a crystal with which they could perform light-based magic; any individual could use colors and visit floors of the complex (in which the entire society lived) equal to or lesser than their own rank, but needed special dispensation to go higher in the pecking order without actually going to the trouble of earning an increase in social station. In the lowest floors was a caste of servants who weren't given a color at all, who were regarded as being not wholly dissimilar to lepers.
  • The Thieftaker Chronicles: Every magic user's power is a different color and leaves behind a colorful residue visible only to other conjurers. Ethan, the titular thieftaker, has magic that is a rusty shade of red.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Catan: In the card game's magic-related Wizards & Dragons expansion the magic resource and all magic items, such as spellbooks, are purple.
  • Magic: The Gathering is centered around a system of five colors of magic: White (order, purity and light), Green (tradition, destiny, nature and life), Red (fire, emotion and strength), Black (death, undeath, ambition, pragmatism and decay), and Blue (air, water, technology, intelligence, trickery and mental powers). As such, when active magic is depicted on card art, it's usually marked by glowing effects that match the card's color. The primary exception is Black, which mainly uses purple glows. They sometimes dress in those colors, too, but not always. Part of the reason for dressing "in-color" is that most card art has a palette that matches the card's color.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall: The most outwardly supernatural elements in the game are Psionic and Entropy, which are respectively color-coded as purple and dark blue.
  • Kortia: Most examples of magical ability in Kortia are usually portrayed with the colour purple in some way. Most magic users either have their magic glow purple (Gerald), or their eyes glow purple as well (Luna).
  • Disney Magical World: Particularly powerful ghosts have purple, fire-like auras surrounding them.
  • Gems of War: The Magic element is represented with purple orbs.
  • Kortia: Magic is usually portrayed with the colour purple in some way. Most magic users either have their magic or their eyes glow purple.
  • ''LEGO Adaptation Game': Special powers such as magic and telekinesis glow purple when they're used. These powers are also required to manipulate purple bricks.
  • Miskatonic Mysteries: Magic is generally represented by a pale gold color, and being in the radius of a Resonator tints the player's view a vibrant magenta.
  • Stop the Darkness: The Magic resource and most of the structures that utilize it are colored purple or feature purple somewhere in their design.
  • Telepath RPG: The most common psy attack, "mind blast", is colored purple.
  • Tesla: The Weather Man: The sunlight power starts off as yellow, but turns a reddish-orange when you get the Burning Rays upgrade, and then turns purple when you get the Deadly Rays upgrade.
  • To the Bitter End: Purple is the color associated with the otherwordly inhabitants of the Void. This is also why there is a purple fog over the inside of Khaal Spire in the latter stages of the campaign, even though there was no such fog in the Prologue. It shows that a lot of Void energy has been leaking into the world since Morganem opened a gateway for the Void Children.
  • Tribal Hunter: When Munch's stomach becomes inhabited by ghosts he begins to emit the same bubbly purple aura they do. The ghosts in his stomach are also represented by a purple segment on the Full gauge. If too many ghosts are inside Munch's stomach, they possess him and force him to suck in air until he pops or succeeds a quick time event. While possessed, Munch's body tattoos turn grey-purple.
  • Vermintide II: The enemy Chaos Sorcerers' magic has the Sickly Green Glow of Chaos. This is especially useful with Blightstormers — they favour stealthy long-range Charged Attacks, but the ribbons of energy give away both their location and the target area, and their windstorms are also green.
  • World of Warcraft: Arcane Magic is associated with blue and purple, contrasting the sickly green of Fel magic.
  • XCOM 2: The color purple is associated with the powerful Psionic abilities, which all give off a similar violet hue when activated and gives your Psi soldiers purple eyes. The Elders' psionic aura is also purple as well. The only exception is the Commander, whose psionic aura is light blue. Lampshaded by the Chosen Hunter, who says that "If it's purple, it must be psionic."
  • Ziggurat: The supernatural comes in all kinds of colours. Your wand always uses purple mana and usually produces purple projectiles, Carina's is blue, and wands producing status effects may be color-coded as well.

    Visual Novels 
  • Magic traces in Tyrion Cuthbert: Attorney of the Arcane have a color that represents which school of magic the spell belongs to. Evocation is red, transmutation is yellow, conjuration is cyan, divination is pink, abjuration is white, illusion is green, and necromancy is purple.

    Web Animation 


    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Technicolour Magic, Supernatural Color, Supernatural Colour