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An elementary sonata.

File:Color elements disjy 353.jpg


A common trope, especially in video games that feature Elemental Powers, is that every element will have a color associated with it. This way, you know that anything red is related to fire, blue to water, etc.

This can manifest in many ways. Some common ones are enemies being the color of their element, element-resistant armor having that element's color, and elemental spells being color coded in menus.

A few common examples of this trope follow. There are occasions where other colors are used for these elements, and these are by no means the only elements that get color coded.

  • Fire: Almost exclusively red (the common myth) or orange.
  • Water: Almost exclusively blue (see Water Is Blue). Lighter blue has been used at times.
  • Wind: Usually green (mostly in Asian works, see also Wind Is Green) or yellow, sometimes white and blue.
  • Earth: Yellow, brown, and orange are all common. Green if nature is not separate.
  • Ice: In settings where water and ice are distinct, water will tend to be a darker blue, while ice tends toward lighter blues, aqua, or even white.
  • Lightning: When Lightning is treated as a separate element (sometimes, it gets lumped with air/weather), it's pretty much always yellow. In the rare cases it isn't yellow, it will be electric blue, purple, gray (thunder clouds), or white.
  • Wood/Plants/Nature: Usually green, perhaps with other earth tones. If dealing specifically with flowers, it will usually be pink.
  • Metal/Steel: When treated as a distinct element (rather than a subset of earth), metal is usually a metallic grey, silver, or white. Red and orange may also be included for molten metal.
  • Poison: Green in Western works, purple in Eastern ones.
  • Light: Usually white or a bright yellow.
  • Holy:Usually pure white.
  • Dark: Usually black, though dark purple is also very common.
  • Gravity:Usually purple. Black if associated with Black Holes or darkness in general.
  • Magnetism: Usually red for positive charge, and either black, gunmetal gray or blue for negative charge. White for neutral charge.
  • Energy: Pretty much any color, depending on the type of energy.(i.e. red for heat energy, green for environmental energy, and silver for mechanical energy)
  • Mist/Fog/Smoke: Usually white if it's fog or mist, gray if it's smoke, and black if it's smog.
  • Magma/Lava: When treated as a distinct element (rather than a subset of fire), magma/lava is usually orange and very dark gray. Red can also be used as well.


Related to Color-Coded Wizardry, which is about the wizards themselves being color coded. Subtrope of Colour-Coded for Your Convenience. Supertrope to Elemental Hair and Elemental Eye Colors.

Examples of Color-Coded Elements include:


Anime & Manga

  • In the fourth season of Digimon, Digimon Frontier, the DigiDestined, and a few antagonists had some elemental powers of there own. Each were represented by given spirits, symbols, and colors. Red and gold were fire, white and navy were light, white and green were ice, pink and purple were wind, blue and yellow were thunder, brown and slate blue were earth, brown and green were wood, gray and blue were water, green and silver were metal, and black, maroon, and bronze were darkness.
  • Heartcatch Pretty Cure has: Cure Blossom [1] (Earth/Nature) = pink; Cure Marine (Water) = blue; Cure Sunshine (sunlight) = yellow; Cure Moonlight (well, just look at her name) = purple.
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, fire powers are red, water powers are blue, and wind powers are green. Note that the three main characters were already colour-coded red, blue, and green before getting magic, and then got the associated element.
  • Used in Ronin Warriors: Red=Fire, Cyan=Water, Green=Light, Blue=Air, Orange=Earth.
  • Directly used in Rune Soldier Louie. Although the world doesn't particularly focus on elemental colors, at one point, Louie directly invokes this trope when he has to place five colored orbs in place to represent the five elements. The tricky part is, as this page shows, there's no universally accepted set of colors, so he has some trouble, mostly over if blue represents air or water.
  • Sailor Moon follows almost all of these rules. Sailor Mars has a red fuku and fire-based powers, Sailor Mercury has ice and water-based powers and a blue fuku,(Sailor Uranus also has a blue fuku, but has sky powers instead) Sailor Neptune has teal hair and a teal fuku and controls the sea; Sailor Jupiter has lightning, wind, and Green Thumb powers, with a green fuku and pink accents, Sailor Venus has love-based powers and a gold fuku, Sailor Saturn has a purple fuku and powers on destruction and rebirth, and Sailor Pluto has a black fuku, and powers based off of time, darkness, and death.

Fan Fiction

  • In Clouded Sky, there are temples dedicated to each Pokémon type, and the acolytes of the temples dress in colors that correspond with the type their temple represents (Fire Temple = red, Water Temple = blue, etc.).
  • In Keepers of the Elements, each Energy Keeper wears silver, Water Keepers wear blue, Fire Keepers wear red and orange, Earth Keepers wear green, and Air Keepers wear white.


Literature

  • Codex Alera has a color associated with the element involved in each of the six types of furycrafting: fire is red, water is blue, earth is green, air is also green, metal is grey, and wood is brown. Each element also has its own symbol, which is on the covers of some editions of the books.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series: red = fire, blue = air, yellow = earth, green = water.


Live-Action TV

  • The soul memories of Kamen Rider W arm W with elemental powers. Cyclone (air) is green, Heat (fire) is red, and Luna (illusions) is yellow. The body memories are what give W his fighting styles. The Joker memory has info on hand-to-hand combat and is black, the Metal memory has info on bōjutsu, and is silver, and the Trigger memory has info on marksmanship, and is blue.
    • Kamen Rider OOO has shades of this trope with the Core Medals: Green is Lightning, Yellow is Light, Grey is Gravity, Red is Fire, Blue is Water, and Purple is Ice/Void.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze's canon states are all colored, and modeled after given elements, as well as being immune to them. Gold is electriciry, red is fire, silver is magnetism, and cyan is cosmic energy. Each of the astroswitches that activate their respective states are all multiples of 10, and are in the same color as that state (with the exception of the N Magnet and S Magnet switches, which are 30 and 31, and are colored red and blue respectively).
    • In Kamen Rider Wizard, Wizard's elemental Styles are color-coded: Flame is red, Water is blue, Land is yellow, and Hurricane (wind) is green. Infinity Style is colored either white, silver, clear, or cyan.
    • Some of the Fullbottles used by Kamen Rider Build carry elemental powers. Those include:
      • Air: Taka (Hawk, flight only) in orange, Soujiki (Vacuum Cleaner, sucking only) in turquoise, Jet (flight only) in cyan and Senpuuki (Fan, blowing/flight only) in baby blue.
      • Fire/Heat: Phoenix in scarlet, Shoubousha (Fire Truck) in red, Dryer in red, and Dragon in navy
      • Water: Kujira (Whale) in navy, Sensuikan (Submarine, presumably) in sky blue, Shoubousha (Fire Truck) in red, and Kaizoku (Pirate, presumably) in azure
      • Light: Light in light yellow
      • Smoke: Octopus in fuchsia
      • Time: Watch (presumably) in white
      • Magnetics: Magnet in blue
      • Ice: Reizoko (refridgerator, presumably) in white
      • Plantlife: Rose in bright red
      • Atoms: Diamond in cyan
      • Magma: Dragon Magma in gunmetal gray and orange
  • Super Sentai teams/Power Rangers teams (who already are Color Coded for Your Convenience) that feature elemental powers use these in different ways:
    • Seijuu Sentai Gingaman: Red uses fire, green uses wind, blue uses water, yellow uses lightning, and Pink uses...flowers. (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy lacks the powers but still keeps bits of the elemental motifs.)
    • Seen in the theme of the mecha of Rescue Sentai Go Go Five/Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: (Using the Rangers names:) Haz Rescue is yellow and a mining truck (Earth), Aero Rescue is green and a VTOL jet (Air), Pyro Rescue is red and a fire truck (Fire), Aqua Rescue is blue and a water tanker (Water), Med Rescue is Pink and an ambulance (Life). The Max Solarzord is silver and light blue (Light).
    • Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger/Power Rangers Ninja Storm : Red uses wind, blue uses water, yellow uses earth, Crimson and Navy use thunder.
    • Mahou Sentai Magiranger/Power Rangers Mystic Force : Red and their/his father, also in red armor post Heel Face Turn, uses fire, yellow uses lightning, blue uses water, Pink uses wind, and green uses earth/nature. Their gold-armored mentor uses light and their/the Red Ranger's white-clad mother uses ice.
    • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger/Power Rangers Samurai : Red uses fire, blue uses water (see a pattern?), Pink uses wind, green uses nature, yellow uses earth, and gold uses light.
    • Tensou Sentai Goseiger/Power Rangers Mega Force: Red and Pink use Air; Yellow and Black use Earth/Nature, and green and blue use Water. The metallic-colored Sixth Ranger can use any element, but it's implied that his original element was Earth.
    • The Goton and Furai NinShurikens/Element and Storm Power Stars of Shruiken Sentai Ninninger/Power Rangers Ninja Steel both have element based attacks depending on which mode they're currently in. The Goton NinShuriken/Element Power Star has fire (red), water (turquoise blue), wood/forest (green), metal (yellow), and earth (sienna brown), and the Furai NinShuriken/Storm Power Star has wind (cyan), and thunder/lightning (gold).
  • Beginning with Ultraman Orb, any and all Legend Ultras and Kaijus who were given an Ultra Fusion Card/Kaiju Fusion Card were color-coded based off of their powers. Some of which were elemental powers. And those elemental powers were fire (red), earth (yellow), wind (green), water (cyan), light (blue), darkness (violet), and the kaiju-exclusive all (white).
    • Ultraman R/B has taken that trend to a whole new level with their new trinkets, and having each individual Ultra/Kaiju have their own unique elemental power. Rosso and Blu however, use only 4: fire (red) from the Taro Crystal, water (blue) from the Ginga Crystal, wind (violet) from the Tiga Crystal, and earth (gold). They later achieve ultimate power from the help of two more elements: light (yellow) from the Ultraman Crystal, and darkness (purple) from the Belial Crystal.

Mythology

  • The colours of the five Chinese elements (Wu Xing) are assigned as follows: Wood (green/blue), Fire (red), Earth (yellow), Metal (white), Water (black).

Tabletop Games

  • The six elements in The Dark Eye are coded (at least by human standards) mostly this way with a few exceptions: fire is red, wind is yellow or colorless, ice is purple or light blue, water is blue, rock/stone is orange and humus (earth and plants as well as all living things) is represented by earthen colors, but usually by green.
  • Each of the five elements in Exalted is associated with a colour of Jade - the standard Red for Fire and Green for Wood, but a slightly more unusual matchup of White for Earth, Blue for Air, and Black for Water.
  • Magic: The Gathering is all about this; the entire resource system is based around mana coming in five different colors, each associated with a different land feature and set of elements: white for plains, law, order, and (the literal sense of) light; b for islands, water, wind, and intellect; black for swamps, death, (again, the literal sense of) darkness, and ambition; r for mountains, chaos, fire, and lightning; and g for forests, life, growth, and wildness. There are also colorless artifacts (and occasionally other things) with more generic abilities.
  • In Warhammer, elemental magic comes in winds of different colours. Light powers come from the White wind, metal powers come from the Yellow wind, life powers come from the Green wind, sky powers come from the Blue wind, darkness powers come from the Grey wind, death powers come from the Purple wind, fire powers come from the Red wind, and animal based powers come from the Brown wind.
    • When these winds are in their unrefined form, all mixed up, it's Black Magic, while when they are refined to their maximum potential, they become High Magic (manifesting as either silver or as a rainbow).


Toys

  • This trope is one of the main aspects in Franchise/LEGO's Bionicle and its related lines, Slizers, Robo Riders, and, to an extent, Hero Factory. Especially in Bionicle, there are confusingly many combinations and exceptions, but generally characters that are mainly red are fire, blue are water, green are air or jungle, white are ice, black are earth/rock, sienna/yellow/orange/tan are stone or sand. Some elements can change their colors, and numerous colorful characters don't even have elements, making the whole thing even more difficult. Then, there are secondary elements that use the pre-established colors of main elements as either their main or secondary colors! And this is just Bionicle!
    • If you want specifics (Mainly for Matoran/Toa/Turaga)Fire-element characters are predominantly red with orange, yellow or black as secondary colors; Ice-element characters are predominantly white, with light blues and grays as secondary colors; Water-element characters are predominantly various shades of blue; Earth-element characters are predominantly black, with dark gray, gold, or purple as secondary colors; Stone-element characters are predominantly sienna(pre-2006)/yellow/orange/tan(post-2006), with tan, grey, or black as secondary colors; Air-element characters are predominantly green, with turquoise or yellow-green as secondary colors. For the secondary elements: Light-element characters are predominantly white, with gold as a secondary color; Shadow-element characters are predominantly Black, with any dark color as secondary colors; Sonic-element characters are predominantly gray, with black as a secondary color; Gravity-element characters are predominantly purple, with black as a secondary color; Plasma-element characters are predominantly orange, with white as a secondary color; Magnetism-element characters are predominantly gunmetal grey, with black as a secondary color; Jungle/The Green-element characters are predominantly green, with teal as a secondary color; Lightning-element characters are predominantly blue, with white as a secondary color; Iron-element characters are predominantly gunmetal gray, silver, gold, or bronze, with burnt orange as a secondary color; Psionic-element characters are predominantly navy, with gold as a secondary color.
    • LEGO also does this in their Ninjago line. Red is fire, black and gray are earth, white and silver are ice, blue is lightning, green and gold are energy, and maroon and light-blue are water.
      • In terms of secondary elements in the ninjago line, gray and silver are metal, white and maroon are speed, gray alone is smoke, gray and blue are mind, maroon, and gold are gravity, green is nature, cyan is sound, lime green and yellow are poison, black and silver are shadow, purple is either form or destruction or darkness on its own, gold is either golden power or creation on its own, orange is amber(absorption) on its own, white is light on its own, green or blue are wind, and time is red, gold, green, and blue at the same time.
    • Series 1-6 of (LEGO) Mixels has the characters divided into tribes based around elements. As such, each tribe has their own color scheme, even the ones that are based on offbeat elements. Infernites (fire) are red and maroon, Cragsters (rocks) are dark grey and gold, Electroids (electricity) are yellow with minor touches of turquoise, Fang Gang (based around both wood and biting) are brown, Frosticons (ice) are turquoise and blue, Flexers (elasticity) are orange and black, Glorp Corps (slime) are green, Spikels (based around both steel and spikes) are tan and silver, Wiztastics (magic) are purple and black, Orbitons (space-themed) are light green, white, and gold, Glowkies (light) are navy and black with off-yellow for eyes, Klinkers (steampunk) are brown, bronze, gold, and silver, Lixers (tongues) are yellow and orange, Weldos (construction) are yellow and grey, and Munchos (food) are purple and mauve. To follow this, the Nixels, the uncreative enemies of the Mixels, are simple black and white.


Video Games

  • One of the objectives of Black Ops II is to collect four elemental staffs: Fire (orange), Air (yellow), Ice (aqua blue), and Lightning (purple).
  • Bomberman 64: The Second Attack has different elements for different bomb upgrades you can get. You start out with F, the traditional bomb with a cross shaped explosion, and can upgrade to I, W, L, E, which is more of a magma bomb, L, and D. Each enemy takes damage differently from each bomb; for example, metallic enemies aren't harmed at all by the L bomb, aquatic enemies are fine with I, etc.
  • Chrono Cross skips naming the elements directly and just uses colors for elemental affinities: Red represented fire, blue was water and ice, green was both air and nature, yellow was earth and electricity, black was shadow, and white was light.
    • More specifically, each color represented two elements. Red was Flames and Heat, Blue was Ice and Water, green was Wind and Nature, yellow was Earth and Lightning, Black was Death and Gravity, and white was Light and Celestial Bodies.
  • In the Dept Heaven games, we have F, I, L, D, and L (sometimes referred to as S instead).
  • Played straight in Distorted Travesty with Fire, Earth, Wind, and Water for elemental techniques.
  • In Fire Emblem, the color of a spellbook is determined by what element it is. Bright yellow for light, black for dark, red/orange for fire, green for wind (though the more ice-ish are blue), and yellow for thunder. The last three are lumped as "anima" in the GBA games, making them quite multicolor compared to light and dark.
  • Legend of Dragoon colour-coded the party members, Dart is the Fire Dragoon and wears red, Rose is the Darkness Dragoon and wears black, etc.
  • In The Legend of Spyro trilogy, Fire is red, electricity is yellow, ice is blue and earth is green. This applies to both the symbols and the colors of each element's guardian. The Elemental Dragon also takes a different colored appearance depending on which element it is vulnerable against. Spyro, as a multielemental, is purple, which is also the color of the rare aether element.
  • In The Legend of Zelda the Minish Cap, the colors of the elements come from the colors of the Links in Four Swords. Wind is green, Fire is red, and Water is blue, as usual, but Earth is purple.
  • In Lords of Magic, each element is associated with a faith, which fills the role of races or civilizations in other games. Each faith's units have color schemes that fit the above trends.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Star Force, Fire Heat is associated with red, Water Aqua is associated with blue, Electric Elec is associated with yellow, and Nature Wood is associated with green.
  • In Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX, Flame is associated with red, Water/Ice is associated with blue, Electric/Wind is associated with both green and yellow, and Non-elemental is associated with purple.
  • Onimusha in all its four (and more) games has shown: Thunder, Fire, Wind, Ice, Earth, Light and Air. The Darkness element appears, but as an alternative name for Lightning.
  • Pokémon generally follows a skin color scheme based on the element of the Pokémon: Fire pokémon having lots of red or orange, Water pokémon having lots of blue and so on...at least, in the first couple of games. The later generations also featured color-coded icons for each type, though many of them have two colors (e.g., the Dragon-type is half-red, half-blue). Later games updated the icons to all be single-colored (so Dragon is now royal blue).
    • If you want specifics on the icons, Bug is olive, Dark/Shadow is Bistre, Dragon is royal blue, Fairy is pink, Fighting is red, Fire is orange, Flying(air) is baby blue, Grass(nature) is green, Ghost is indigo, Ground is tan, Electric is yellow, Ice is turquoise, Normal is gray, Poison is purple, Psychic is magenta, Rock is bronze, Steel is silver, and Water is blue.
  • In Secret of Mana, all the spells of a given school, which are element-based, have the same color scheme.
  • Skies of Arcadia does something similar, although the colors are different: Green is nature, Purple is ice, Blue is both wind and water, Red is fire, Yellow is electricity, and Silver is both life and death. Each of these color-elements is governed by an appropriately colored Weird Moon.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, the color of the magic circle that appears when an ally or enemy is casting a spell changes depending on the element. red for fire, blue for water, green for wind, bright blue for ice, brown-orange for earth, black for dark, white for light, and purple for lightning.
  • The six elements in Warriors of Might and Magic: Fire is red, Water is navy blue, Earth is green, Air is light blue, Light is pure white, and Darkness is black.
  • World of Warcraft has Fire as red/orange, Ice/water as blue, Holy as yellow, Shadow as black/purple, Nature as green and Arcane as pink/purple.
  • ZanZarah's Table of Effectiveness lists Nature as green, Stone as greyish brown, Water as blue, Fire as orange, Air as white, Light as yellow, Darkness as purple, Chaos as burgundy red, Ice as whitish-bluish-cyanish-something, Energy as violet/bright purple, Psi as cyan, and Metal as steely grey.

Webcomics


Web Original


Western Animation

  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, clothing is color-coded by nation and the wielders of Elemental Powers therein. Air Nomads wear oranges and yellows, Earth Kingdom citizens wear greens and browns, Fire Nation citizens wear reds and blacks, and members of the Southern and Northern Water Tribes wear blues, whites, and purples. This also extends to the colors of Team Avatar's members, since they're essentially an in-universe Five-Token Band. There are some exceptions; for instance, The Order of the White Lotus consists of citizens from all the different Nations, and they have one type of uniform which, while dark blue like some Water Tribe clothing, is distinct from any one Nation's style shown in the series.
  • In Captain Planet, the Planeteers' rings have different colors based on the element the ring's power represents. There's Heart (yellow), Fire (red), Earth (green), Water (cerulean), and Wind (periwinkle).
  • Avatar's Sequel Series The Legend of Korra, on the other hand, is less distinct in separating people by clothing color. The bulk of the series takes place in Republic City, a multicultural metropolis where most people are of mixed heritage and outfit colors hold less importance then they did seventy years ago. Though its people seem to gravitate to elemental colors, they're often Downplayed Trope, pale or accent colors. People that live in their countries of origin (like Korra and her parents) and people who are deeply involved in their culture and history (like Tenzin and his family, the last airbenders) still play this straight, however.
  • Most of the Crystal Gems in Steven Universe have elemental powers:
    • Garnet (maroon) has electricity while her components, Ruby (red) and Sapphire (blue), have fire and ice respectively.
      • Yellow Diamond also has electricity powers.
    • Pearl (white) has both sand, and clouds
    • Rose Quartz/Pink Diamond (pink), and her son, Steven, both have/had plantlife powers.
    • Peridot (lime green) occupies powers over metal.
    • Lapis Lazuli (blue again) has water powers.



Notes

  1. and, to a certain extend, Cure Flower
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