Magic (まほう, Mahō?) is a significant element in the Final Fantasy series, and is important in both the gameplay and the plot. As a gameplay element, magic is the counterpart of physical attacks, and generally, those who are able to use magic are called mages. In the plot, magic has a major influence in the workings of the game's world, and can be used either to destroy or to save it.
Magic is, by definition, "the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature".
The Final Fantasy series features many different methodologies and schools of magic used in many different ways to manipulate the various forces and essences of nature through knowledge or various items, sometimes even bordering on scientific and technological methods similar to magic itself.
Use of magic in the series is not always exclusive to the respective Magic command available in each game. For example, games like Final Fantasy IX or Final Fantasy X feature abilities that, while not considered part of the usual magic schools such as White or Black, require MP to use and cause "unnatural" or "superhuman" effects such as poisoning or debilitating enemies. Some games feature Limit Break abilities, which may be healing or protective, create destructive energy blasts, or allow the user to attack an enemy multiple times in succession; they usually do not consume MP, instead having their own gauges to fill or triggering conditions. Technicks in Final Fantasy XII are supernatural abilities that require no MP and are seen as a contrast and parallel to Magick.
Thus, though any manipulation of energies to achieve feats beyond normal human abilities could be considered "magic," the variety of different abilities with similar workings make a single, definitive definition of magic impossible; what constitutes magic is thus vast, but ill-defined.
Magic is one of the two principal forms of attack in the series, the other being physical attacks. Although the specific features of the magic system vary significantly from game to game, many concepts have remained consistent.
Magic spells have different types and effects. In the series' first game, Final Fantasy, magic is split between "White Magic"—healing and battle support spells, and "Black Magic"—offensive spells. As the series progressed and new spells were added, different types of spells have been introduced, each able to be used by different types of mages.
|White Magic||Final Fantasy||White Mage||Generally curative, enhancing or holy magic. Typical White Magic spells: Cure,Raise and the ultimate white magic spell of Holy.|
|Black Magic||Final Fantasy||Black Mage||Mainly offensive, often harnessing elemental powers of Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Earth, and Water. Black Magic spells often exist to inflict instant death as well. Typical Black Magic spells: Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, Aero, Quake, Water and the ultimate black magic spell of Ultima, Meteor or Flare depending on the game.|
|Summon Magic||Final Fantasy III||Summoner||Involves summoning a powerful being, often supernatural, to fight for or defend the party.|
|Time and Space Magic||Final Fantasy V||Time Mage||Alters the reality around a character. Typical Time and Space magic spells: Slow, Haste, Warp and Gravity.|
|Blue Magic||Final Fantasy V||Blue Mage||Spells and abilities learned from enemy characters and monsters. Common examples include spells based on a target's level, White Wind, Aqua Breath, and Condemned.|
|Spellblade||Final Fantasy V||Mystic Knight||Involves casting Black Magic onto a weapon with which the magic is compatible. The spells are usually elemental and offensive magic spells.|
|Spirit Magic||Final Fantasy Tactics Advance||Elementalist||A variant of Black Magic, also focused on using elemental magic, which at times also is paired with status-inducing and healing properties.|
|Item magic||Final Fantasy||Anyone||An alternative to the main types of magic, this type is associated with equipment and the spells are usually weaker than their counterparts. These spells can be used endlessly and cost zero MP to use.|
Magic is split into three categories named based upon their effect: Attack, Healing, and Effect. The list of magic spells gives each spell a corresponding sphere next to their names: white (Healing), black (Attack) and grey (Effect).
|Healing||Denoted by the white sphere seen next to the name of a spell. Most spells are related to healing magic.||Curaga, Reraise, Esuna|
|Attack||Denoted by the black sphere seen next to the name of a spell. Most spells are related to offensive and elemental magic.||Flare, Meltdown, Flood|
|Effect||Denoted by the gray sphere seen next to the name of a spell. Most spells are related to status effects and enhancements.||Rasp, Imp, Valor, Vanish|
Abilities are split into a classification system based on the five types of Materia. Green Materia is Magic Materia, and having any equipped bestows the Magic command. Each Materia may contain up to four different spells, while the better ones require AP before granting access to them. Examples of magic include Fire, Cure, and Resist.
Magic is split into four categories:
|Restore||Spells that restore HP, revive characters, remove statuses, and/or add the positive statuses Resist and Regen.|
|Attack||Offensive elemental spells.|
|Indirect||Spells that inflict and remove statuses, removes enemies from battle, and Death.|
|Other||The remaining spells. Contains non-elemental spells, elemental spells that also inflict statuses, and otherwise exceptional spells such as Flare (heavy elemental), FullCure (full HP restore), and Shield (status that voids attacks and absorbs elemental damage).|
Each Materia corresponds to one spell. Magic Materia is green Materia, and they are split into three types based on color.
|Dark green||Offensive magic|
|Yellow green||Effect magic.|
Magic types are sorted into several views:
Magic stock sorting typesEdit
|Attack||Includes offensive-oriented elemental and non-elemental spells.||Fire, Blizzard, Thunder, Water, Demi, Bio|
|Curative||Includes healing-oriented spells.||Cure, Esuna, Life|
|Indirect||Includes buffing and debuffing spells.||Blind, Silence, Dispel|
|Fire Magic||Fire type spells. Interestingly, Flare belongs in the category without being fire-elemental.||Fire, Flare||Ifrit|
|Ice Magic||Includes water and ice type spells.||Blizzard, Water||Shiva|
|Thunder Magic||Includes Thunder and Wind type spells.||Thunder, Aero, Tornado||Quezacotl|
|Life Magic||Includes holy-elemental spells as well as recovery and life-related spells.||Cure, Life, Zombie, Death, Holy, Regen||Siren|
|Time Magic||Includes time magic, gravity and earth spells.||Haste, Slow, Demi, Quake, Double||Diablos|
|Support Magic||Spells that protect or enhance a character with positive status.||Shell, Protect, Reflect, Esuna, Dispel, Drain, Aura||Leviathan|
|Status Magic||Spells that inflict negative status.||Blind, Bio, Sleep, Pain, Meltdown, Zombie||Diablos|
|Medium Magic||A variety of mid-ranked spells.||Fira, Blizzara, Cura||Quezacotl|
|High Magic||A variety of high-ranked spells.||Firaga, Blizzaga, Curaga, Tornado, Triple||Alexander|
|Forbidden Magic||Powerful non-elemental spells.||Meteor, Ultima||Bahamut|
Final Fantasy XI has a diverse and complex magic classification system spread over its 20 job classes. These sub categories are divided into magic sub-types called "skill", spanning the generic types—sometimes in the same category. Example: Paralyze is a White Magic spell, and Poison is a Black Magic spell, yet both are considered Enfeebling Magic spells, affected by Enfeebling Magic skill level.
Black Magic includes all Elemental Magic, all Dark Magic, Enfeebling Magic and some Enhancing Magic. White Magic includes all Healing and Divine Magic, and Enfeebling and Enhancing Magic. There are no Enfeebling or Enhancing spells available to both schools.
Final Fantasy XI uses the -na, -ra, -ga, and -ja suffixes to broadly indicate the different effects and area of effects (AoE) of spells, while roman numerals describe a spell's power (I to VI). This allows for players to ascertain a spell's general effect and power at a glance.
|Dark Magic||Self-serving, stat-manipulating, leeching spells.||Bio, Absorb-ACC, Drain, Dread Spikes, Stun||Black Mage, Dark Knight, Red Mage, Scholar|
|Elemental Magic||Generic offensive damage-dealing spells.||Fire, Water, Flare, Quake||Black Mage, Dark Knight, Red Mage, Scholar|
|Enfeebling Magic||Chip away at foe attributes with status ailments.||Dia, Slow, Blind, Sleep, Gravity, Dispel||Black Mage, Dark Knight, Red Mage, Scholar, White Mage|
|Enhancing Magic||Beneficially affect allies with stat buffs.||Enthunder, Haste, Regen, Shell, Erase, Ice Spikes||Black Mage, Paladin, Red Mage, Scholar, White Mage|
|Divine Magic||Light-based offensive spells to vanquish foes.||Banish, Holy, Flash, Repose||Paladin, White Mage|
|Healing Magic||Curative spells that mend wounds.||Cure, Curaga, Raise, Esuna||Paladin, Red Mage, Scholar, White Mage|
|Blue Magic||Spells garnered from monsters turned against them.||1000 Needles, Healing Breeze, Self-Destruct, Eyes On Me||Blue Mage|
|Summoning Magic||Elemental beasts evoked to aid combatants.||Ifrit, Fenrir, Carbuncle, Light Elemental||Summoner|
|Ninjutsu||Ancient ninja arts, to ail and inhibit foes.||Utsusemi: Ni, Suiton: San, Jubaku: Ichi||Ninja|
|Singing, String Inst., Wind Inst.||Intricate songs to aid allies and hinder foes.||Foe Requiem VI, Maiden's Virelai, Chocobo Mazurka||Bard|
Further in the series, Magic has been given a new spelling; magick, in the Ivalice-related games, starting with Final Fantasy XII and followed by subsequent games within the Ivalice Alliance. This also marks the appearance of new magic types:
|Black Magick||Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Tactics A2||Black Mage, Red Mage||Spells that deal elemental and non-elemental damage.|
|White Magick||Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Tactics A2||White Mage, Time Mage, Red Mage||Spells that restore health and recover statuses.|
|Time Magick||Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Tactics A2||Time Mage, Red Mage||Spells that bend time and space to create a wide array of effects.|
|Green Magick||Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics A2||Black Mage, White Mage, Time Mage, Red Mage, Green Mage||Spells that cast status effects to buff the party or weaken enemies.|
|Arcane Magick||Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics A2||Red Mage, Arcanist||Spells that deal damage or negative status effects, generally though the powers of darkness.|
|Red Magick||Final Fantasy Tactics A2||Red Mage||A selection of low-rank spells from the Black, White and Green Magick schools.|
|Blue Magick||Final Fantasy Tactics A2||Blue Mage||Spells learned from monsters with many different effects.|
|Summoning Magick||Final Fantasy Tactics A2||Summoner||Spells that consist of summoning Espers from the world of illusion.|
|Elemental Magick||Final Fantasy Tactics A2||Elementalist||Spells that control the elemental forces of nature to cause both damage and negative statuses or heal. Also known as "Spirit Magic".|
|High Magick||Final Fantasy Tactics A2||Seer||A selection of mid-rank spells from the Black and White Magick schools.|
Besides the typical White Magic and Black Magic spells that appear, there is Lost Magic, which contains more powerful spells than White Magic and Black Magic have. There are only three Lost Magic spells that can be bought in shops. Shar can create Lost Magic spells for the party by mixing two elemental stones, but these stones are in limited supply. There are enough elemental stones in the game to precisely make one copy of each Lost Magic spell.
|Lost Magic||Lost Magic is a combination of damaging spells and non-damaging spells that are different from both White Magic and Black Magic. There are spells which heal, attack the enemy, and help the player get around obstacles.|
Alongside White Magic and Black Magic, Benjamin and his ally Phoebe can cast Wizard magic. This spell pool consists of powerful attack spells, mostly group spells, with a casting limit distinct from the White and Black categories.
Sells have a hierarchy of power, which is divided in tiers. These tiers are denoted by the suffixes -ra, -ga and -ja, normally corresponding to the second, third and fourth level of power of a spell, respectively (e.g. Cure evolves to Cura, which progresses to Curaga). There are various exceptions to this. In the localized versions of earlier installments, numbers were used instead of suffixes.
Spells can be divided into elemental spells and non-elemental spells. Elemental magic is associated with a particular element, such as fire, ice, lightning, water, wind, and earth, with fire, ice, and lightning often serving as the main elements, and water, wind, and earth more often than not serving as secondary elements. The elemental spells' number and names vary from game to game. Sometimes, holy and dark, also exist. Non-elemental spells are not associated with an element. Examples include spells that affect the status of the target.
Each magic caster possesses a level of magic power, which determines the damage of a given spell. Characters with higher magic power will deal more damage than the same spell cast by someone with a lower magic power. Certain characters can have affinities to an element: for example, a Fire spell from a fire-based character will cause more damage than cast by a wind-based character. Each target possesses magic resistance, which lessens the effect of magic spells.
In addition to the target's magic resistance, certain targets have a different resistance (positive or negative) to certain elements: they may receive more damage than usual from spells associated with that elemental (usually 200% damage) or less (usually 50%); they may nullify the damage (0%) or absorb it (usually 100% of the damage is converted to health gain). Non-elemental magic damage depends only on magic resistance.
The summoners' home, the village of Mist, is destroyed. Cagnazzo, under the guise of the King of Baron, ordered the village burned because he feared the summoners' power. Rydia is the only survivor, and her powers become pivotal to world safety, as she can summon her Eidolons to save Cecil Harvey's party from Golbez.
The magic Meteor is a powerful and sealed magic spell Tellah seeks to avenge his daughter. Zemus battles Golbez and Fusoya, and the two cast Twin Meteor to dispatch him, only to see him rise again as Zeromus. In the 3D remake releases, it is mentioned that the gift of magic was bestowed on humans by the Lunarian Kluya, and they could not access its power before his arrival.
1000 years ago, the Warring Triad began the War of the Triad and many creatures and humans were transformed into magical demi-gods called espers while other humans began using magic extracted from them. The Warring Triad petrified themselves to stop the war, the espers fled to another dimension, and magic was forgotten. The few surviving humans rebuilt the world—those who still had magical powers founded the village of Thamasa, and although over time their powers dwindled, it remained innate and present.
Twenty years ago Emperor Gestahl found the Esper World. With a process developed by Cid Del Norte Marquez, he forcibly extracted raw magical power from the espers he captured. This led to the process known as Magitek, and many powerful machines were infused with magical energy, as well as people, including Kefka Palazzo and Celes Chere, making them Magitek Knights. With magic fueling their army, the Gestahlian Empire conquers much of the world.
The rebel faction Returners comes across a woman named Terra Branford, a former imperial general who lost her memories. She is the child of the esper Maduin and a woman named Madeline, making her half-esper and one of the few humans to naturally know magic. The esper Ramuh reveals that Magitek is inefficient—the magic extracted is weak and kills the espers—but when an esper expires they become magicite, which can teach magic at a higher potency and efficiency.
Kefka finds and takes control of the Warring Triad, draining their powers to become the God of Magic. Reshaping the world into the World of Ruin, Kefka rules unopposed with his new powers, until the Returners reassemble their ranks and assault his tower. The Warring Triad and Kefka are destroyed, and magic vanishes from the world. The party's innate magic fades, the magicite shards they had collected shatter, and the world reforms to its previous state. Due to her emotional attachments to the children of Mobliz, Terra becomes a full human and survives.
Magic can be used via Materia, orbs of mystical energy created by condensed Mako from the Lifestream. As the Lifestream is the collective consciousness of all who have died, Materia allows the holder to access the knowledge of the Lifestream and tap into the powers of the Planet, manifesting as magic or other abilities. As such, magic is the materialization of Spiritual Energy. Ancients were said to have been able to use magic without the use of Materia.
Professor Hojo, a scientist for the Shinra Electric Power Company, studied Materia but was unable to grasp its secrets. Being a rational scientist, he objected to the use of the term "magic" to describe the powers of Materia. In addition to the powers granted by Materia, few can manifest magic-like powers in their Limit Breaks, although it is neither confirmed nor denied if Limit Breaks are related to magic in any way.
There are also ultimate spells, too powerful for a normal human to use. One is Meteor, the ultimate Black Magic with the power to destroy the Planet. Meteor summons a small planet from outer space and sends it hurtling towards the Planet. In counter to Meteor, the ultimate White Magic has the power to stop it, Holy. Both of the great spells work on special Materia, the Black Materia for Meteor, and the White Materia for Holy.
Sephiroth plans to use Meteor to become a God. Meteor would create a wound on the Planet so great that the Lifestream would be sent out to heal it. Sephiroth plans to take control of the Lifestream and take over the Planet. Aeris Gainsborough travels to the Forgotten Capital to summon Holy. Sephiroth kills her, but not before Holy is summoned. Using his power Sephiroth holds Holy back.
Cloud Strife and his party descend into Sephiroth's lair in the Northern Cave and defeat him, releasing Holy and crushing his plot to become a God. Holy is sent out too late, and Meteor breaks through it and crashes into the metropolis of Midgar. Aeris summons the Lifestream to force Meteor back and save the Planet.
Magic is the manipulation of the planet's energy fields. Magic can be used by everyone through different means, the main ones being sorceress power (embodiment) and Guardian Force junctioning (Para-Magic). Sorceress's power is attributed to the legend of the Great Hyne, supposedly the creator of the world and the first sorcerer. The legend goes that fragments of the Great Hyne's power were given to women who became sorceresses. This passing of sorceress powers, called the embodiment (called "The Succession of Witches" in the Japanese version), became a tradition where a person with the capacity to embody a sorceress's power is chosen as the candidate. As such, sorceresses are both respected and feared.
Dr. Odine, who started out as a monster researcher and moved on to study Guardian Forces, cooperated with a sorceress and began studying sorceresses and magic. He developed Para-Magic, which involves junctioning a Guardian Force to a person. It is unclear where a Guardian Force resides within the body, but observations show that those who rely on the Guardian's power suffer memory loss. By junctioning Guardian Forces, people can use magic by drawing the energy from various sources, such as items, draw points and monsters.
Ultimecia, a powerful sorceress from the future, wishes to change the world by compressing time and taking power from all sorceresses ever to have existed. Time compression involves powerful time magic that causes various present states to appear at one time, which causes all sorceresses to exist at one given time to give Ultimecia the opportunity to become the most powerful sorceress in existence, and an all-powerful being able to control all of time and space. Time compression requires her to possess a sorceress from the past and draw their power. However, the SeeDs from a certain past travel through the time compression ending her reign and restore the flow of time.
According to the Final Fantasy X Scenario Ultimania, the first development in Spira was brought about by the power of magic. The use of magic depended on individual factors, and those who could use magic naturally had an advantage, while those who couldn't were discriminated against. Thus the age of the magic civilizations was an age of inequality.
When machina was invented it was revolutionary and did away with the inequalities and spread throughout Spira. Machina developed quickly, and things once thought impossible rapidly became a reality. The endless supply of electricity made "cities that never slept" possible.
Machina was supposed to be an alternative for those who couldn't use magic, but when it surpassed the power of magic, new problems arose. Some nations possessed outstanding machina technology, while other nations didn't, and a new age of inequality began.
Once machina was outlawed by the Yevon Temple, magic again became the prominent power in the world. Some study black magic to be able to use various spells, but the most respected magic users in Spira are the summoners who embark on a pilgrimage to gain the power of the Final Aeon.
There are many origins and different perspectives on how magic came into the hands of the Enlightened Races and Beastmen of Vana'diel, but one constant fact is how its origins can be traced back to the nation of Windurst and the race of the Tarutaru.
One tale states of how a young Tarutaru girl, lost around the ruined towers in the wilderness of Sarutabaruta, came to meet the last known living remnant of the Kuluu race and was lead to the Full Moon Fountain, having gained the power of magic and becoming her race's first Star Sybil. Another states of how the Terrestrial Avatar Fenrir came to bestow the gift of magic upon the Tarutaru upon their discovery of the Full Moon Fountain.
Regardless, the power of magic was soon wielded by the Tarutaru with unmatched proficiency, and it would soon usher in the Age of Magic. Over time, as the powers they wielded became widespread and even fell into the hands of the dreaded beastmen, the Tarutaru would come to an age of isolationism, as the world came to find and use a new power that would change its shape.
You used magic! You used the power of a l'Cie! The fal'Cie cursed us! We're l'Cie now!
The crystal is the source of magic. The fal'Cie, machines with a core made out of crystal, can use magic, while humans have their crystal power dormant, which can be unlocked by being branded as l'Cie by a fal'Cie. Although off-limits to regular citizens, PSICOM and Guardian Corps can cast magic via AMP, and thus the magic Sanctum uses is called Manadrive.
'Magic' is the ability to draw on the crystal power residing within oneself and make possible all manner of incredible feats. This power was once only the province of l'Cie, but since the catastrophe and the migration to Pulse, some former citizens of Cocoon have suddenly developed the ability to wield magic. Serah is one of those people.
Many of those who now command magical energies are simple civilians, and have never had Serah's experience of once being a l'Cie. It is theorized that the move to Gran Pulse has awoken these abilities, and people are beginning to see magic as just another tool in their everyday lives. Noel is also capable of casting spells, but doesn't seem to think of himself as anything special.
When Etro's gate opened during the fall of Cocoon, chaos leaked from Valhalla into Gran Pulse, but the goddess Etro intervened and closed the gate, preventing a flood. It is said in a fragment entry that when the timeline was changed and history broken, fissures appeared in the wall that separates the spirit and the material and the crystal power that was once bestowed only upon the l'Cie was released, permeating deep into the soil. As such, after the Catastrophe, some of the people who settled the lowerworld developed the ability to use magic, including former l'Cie Serah Farron. Magic is used by channeling the crystal power within each magic-wielder.
Two schools of magic exist in the world. The first is a generic magic system used by people around the world. The second is a specific discipline of magic, only used by people within the Lucis royal family. Noctis Lucis Caelum, the heir to the throne, can wield the power of the crystal to teleport and summon weapons to himself, among other feats. The king of Lucis, Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII, maintains a magic barrier around Lucis to fend it from the outside world, but doing so ages him.
Magic is a power usually granted by the Crystals of Orience, but sees its greater use by those of the Vermilion Bird Crystal of Dominion of Rubrum. The Vermilion Bird Crystal's powers bear control over such forces that drive this craft, and it is responsible for bestowing the gift of magic onto its citizens.
Although those who study magic under the Crystal command incredible power, it is susceptible to the Milites Empire's crystal jammer, which renders those who use the Crystal's power powerless. Class Zero can wield magic without the Crystal due to having been augmented by Arecia Al-Rashia, and draw the power from their hearts by the force of phantoma instead. People's magical powers wane once they become adults; it is unknown if this also extends into the use of phantoma rather than the powers of the Crystal.
l'Cie are servants of the Crystals who grant them incredible strength and the ability to wield magic. However, many view this as the l'Cie sacrificing their humanity.
Magic is researched in Akademeia's Sorcery Division. Different spells are analyzed and reformulated day and night, and the findings taught to individuals enrolled as Agito Cadets who seek to actualize their full magic potential.
History of magic within the Dominion of RubrumEdit
Upon the ancient verse, "Unto Orience came the Crystal of the Vermilion Bird, to guide the children of Rubrum and bestow the great task upon them", in the year 1 RG, the creed interpreted into what would open the way to path of magic, was initially known to the few that desired to learn its ways who sought the great task of becoming Agito, the figures of legend said to be able to open the paths to the heavens. Housing the Vermilion Bird Crystal under a humble schoolhouse, in 100 years, the word of this verse by the school's first chancellor eventually spread to settlements far and wide, expanding it into a grand institution of edification, erudition, and enlightenment that would become known as Akademeia, where the mystical arts could flourish and thrive.
About a century after the unification and official establishment of the Dominion of Rubrum in Ven. XVII, 123 RG, in the wake of the rise of Crystal States in Pyr. XXVII, 297 RG, the separation of magic from religious faith was made official; such ability being only known to Agito Cadets only saw the transmission and accessibility of magical knowledge relatively hard to come by. With the establishment of the Sorcery Division, the study of magic saw leaps in progress; while spells were traditionally learned singularly from individual from individual, categorization and classification of these spells helped provide a plethora and lexicon of spells to anyone that bore magical power. In addition, Rubrum's military strength helped advance by this measure of stabilizing and unifying magical spells, as proper teams that specialized in certain aspects could fight as one. Though the Agito Cadets as a group were disbanded, the idea that all under Akademia's roof can become Agito became a unifying schoolwide motivation.
Magic or sorcery is an attempt to understand, experience and influence the world using rituals, symbols, actions, gestures and language that are believed to exploit supernatural forces.
- ↑ Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega
- ↑ Final Fantasy 15 has two types of Magic, Director on role of women in the game (Accessed: October 24, 2016) at Examiner