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Playing With / Elemental Nation

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Basic Trope: Each nation in the setting is based on one type of magic, and only one.

  • Straight: The world is divided into Earth Empire, Fiefdom of Fire, Lightning Lands and Metal Monarchy. Each of them has only the type of mages their name implies.
  • Exaggerated: The Earth Empire is a Ruritania of Golems, the Fiefdom of Fire is a constantly burning group of volcanoes with Salamanders and Phoenixes as its only inhabitants, the Lightning Lands are in a perpetual lightning storm and only Energy Beings live there, and the Metal Monarchy is fully plated with metal and inhabited by robots.
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  • Downplayed: The four countries aren't all that different, but they have universities for different types of magic and use their respective elements excessively on their flags, seals etc.
  • Justified:
    • The four types of magic cancel each other, so each group keeps to themselves.
    • The elements they wield are important parts of citizens' national identity.
    • Other lands are inhospitable to practicioners of other types of magic.
    • Magic comes from the land, and different lands give different types of magic; sooner or later, people living on one type of land will turn into an Elemental Nation.
    • Fantastic Racism prevents lightning mages from settling in the Fiefdom of Fire; the same is true for every other nation.
    • Magic is tied to ethnic descent; people who share common ethnic ancestry have the same type of magic.
  • Inverted: Rather than many nations, each with its own magic type, there's one Elemental Empire practicing all kinds of magic.
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  • Subverted: At first glance it seems like nations are divided based on magic schools, but it turns out that it's a historical artifact and the magicians have been mixed in all for nations for a long time already.
  • Double Subverted: Mages of non-national schools are very much a minority and over the course of the story they're phased out of the nations.
  • Parodied: The world is divided into four nations: Sushi States, Masala Monarchy, Hot-Dog Hegemony and Princedom of Pizza, all of which have their national foods as the only dish you can eat there.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • There's only one system of magic and one way of practising it.
    • The four countries are Tropetania, Playwith, Lampshade Lands and Tropesof Legend; none associate themselves with any of seven magic systems and mages of all types are spread evenly among them.
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    • There's no magic system in the world, period.
  • Enforced: Directors of a show decide to divide the countries based on types of magic they practice so that they'd be easily recognizable by the viewers.
  • Lampshaded: "It's simple: one country, one magic. At least it's easy to see who's from where."
  • Invoked: When creating the world, the gods decide to divide the people according to magics they use.
  • Exploited: Knowing exactly what their enemies can do, the generals of Metal Monarchy create a plan to invade the Fiefdom of Fire and it goes on without a hitch.
  • Defied: The budding Republic takes all mages in to avoid Crippling Overspecialization.
  • Discussed: At a peace conference following a Civil War between practicioners of different forms of magic, somebody proposes to divide the contested country into lands of those mages.
  • Conversed: "The basis of the show is that every nation has its own element, so you can quickly know who's from where just by watching them fight."
  • Implied: Old world map has ancient countries marked with elemental symbols.
  • Deconstructed: The problems of Poor, Predictable Rock and Crippling Overspecialization this entails are brought up: without ability to work metal, Earth Empire remains dirt poor; Metal Monarchy, with no ability to grow food, is always on brink of starvation; Fiefdom of Fire had problems with uncontrolled fires caused by beginning mages and no-one can stop them; Lightning Lands have no idea what to do with their powers out of combat, turning them into Proud Warrior Race Guys.
    • Since the nations are divided by magic, wind mage Faye has nowhere to go.
  • Reconstructed: Four nations figure out a way to stop their problems with their native elements; for example, Fiefdom of Fire's mages are trained how to control forest fires and direct them away from population centres.
  • Played For Laughs: A character from Fiefdom of Fire is Hot-Blooded LARGE HAM who's hair is always on fire and who says "FIRE!" every second sentence. When said to be annoying, he claims that everyone in his country is like this.
  • Played For Drama: Elemental-caused cultural differences are too big to allow for any constructive cooperation between nations.

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