Magitek

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Like an airliner, but with fire elementals instead of thrusters.
"Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from SCIENCE!"
Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius

Advanced ubiquitous magic always seems to end up working just like technology. The car engine might be powered by a fire elemental, and the telephone may work through the principle of contagion, but this doesn't affect the man in the street. They just get in the car and drive away, or pick up the phone and talk—no special talent required, just as if the devices were technological.

Magitek (or 'magitech') often appears to combine magic with modern technology or at least something distinctively mechanical: traditional heat engine or even an electrical generator powered by or powering a magic spell, or a giant mecha that can inexplicably shoot ice from an empty hand. Sufficiently Analyzed Magic frequently causes this, but isn't necessary, since a Black Box is almost as good if it's reliable and cheap enough.

When Magitek is combined with gritty realism, we get Dungeon Punk, but magitek is also common in comic fantasy. There are also some cases of technology based on sufficiently advanced magic, which is itself disguised sufficiently advanced technology.

The Ur Example is Robert A. Heinlein's 1940 novella Magic, Inc., making this Older Than Television. The story is an alternate reality where the 1940 USA is just like it really is, except that magic is real. For example, your taxi is likely to be a flying carpet, but otherwise the same (cabbie, meter, so on). The Trope Namer is Final Fantasy VI, where the Gestahlian Empire had suits of Power Armor, dozens of Humongous Mecha, and fleets of Magnificent Flying Machines, all powered by draining the life essence of enslaved magical creatures. The machines built by the Empire were known under the blanket term "Magitek."

Compare Clarke's Third Law. Also, Utility Magic, which can sometimes manifest as this.

Contrast with Magic From Technology and Post-Modern Magik. See also Harmony Versus Discipline, Ritual Magic and Fantastic Science.

Examples of Magitek include:


Anime[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In One Piece, powers granted by the devil fruits are often used in very creative ways. Ace's sailboard is propelled thanks to his ability to generate flames, Captain Smoker's Blower Bike is powered by wind-catching wheels being blown by the smoke he generates, Mister 3's ship is also powered (somehow) thanks to its owner's candle wax generating superpowers. Eneru also supplies himelf electicity used to fly his Ark Maxim. The dials (seashells that can store kinetic energy, sound, light, fire or pretty much anything depending on the version) and transponder snails might be seen as this, but is most likely Organic Technology. One Piece is a quite versatile manga indeed.
    • The candle wax generation powering a ship isn't that bizarre - in one episode of Mythbusters, they showed how a working rocket could be made with candle wax as the solid fuel.
  • In Vision of Escaflowne, fossilized dragon hearts are dug up and used as a power source for the planet's Humongous Mecha. And Lord Dornkirk's technological empire seems almost entirely comprised of Magitek machinery.
    • An early episode even featured a quarry for said dragon hearts that had its own Humongous Mecha onsite...a fossilized dragon heart-powered bulldozer.
    • This is how Dilandau actually used to be a little girl named Selena Schezar...and actually reverts to a female body at the end. Selena was kidnapped and used for "fate-alteration" experiments.
  • Most of the technology in Fairy Tail is powered by magic, from cars and motorcycles to orbital laser satellites.
  • In Hayao Miyazaki's Howls Moving Castle, (and to a lesser extent Diana Wynne Jones' book of the same name on which it was loosely based) the structure is maintained by the wizard's magic. Moreover, the kingdoms of the world which the film takes place actively make use of witches and wizards to fight in wars, in addition to more standard weapons and tactics.
  • Ami "Sailor Mercury" Mizuno of Sailor Moon owns a literal Magical Computer—disguised as a compact, it vanishes when she doesn't need it and can detect all manner of magical and mundane phenomena.
    • In the manga it's actually just an interface for the actual supercomputer on the moon.
  • The country/planet Autozahm from Magic Knight Rayearth is an entirely "mechanized" industrial power that runs on "Mental Energy" instead of electricity; which has screwed up their environment in addition to sending them into comas. So they've sent an invasion force made up of a spaceship and Humongous Mecha to take over the more classical magic system of Cephiro.
    • More classical? Cephiro features its guardians as gods of magic... who happen to be living Humongous Mecha that can amplify their pilot's magic as well.
  • MAR has ÄRM's, magical jewelry with a variety of cool forms and abilities. Each ÄRM is a blueprint for a specific magical ability, such as summoning a giant guardian or shooting out huge beams of energy (in some cases, both), among others. Somewhat justified since this gimmick is incredibly convenient, meaning that weaker ÄRM's (basic weapons, etc) can be used by people with little to no magical power.
    • Actually, anyone can 'use' an ÄRM, but to use it correctly (and with actual power) they have to have magical power. When he was saving Snow, Ginta had little magical power, but still managed to use Bappo to some extent, but Loco asked him if he was going to use it correctly.
  • All over the damn place in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, though most notable in the third season where this is lampshaded by Fate giving an As You Know speech about how the TSAB's civilization literally discarded conventional technology because magic was more advanced and safer.
    • Similarly, the StrikerS antagonist's primary cannon fodder consists of Mecha-Mooks that are unique in Mid-Childa due to their lacking any magical capabilities at all and actively projecting fields that dampen magic around them.
    • The latest entry in the series, Force, has villains who are somehow completely immune to magic, thus rendering all the protagonists' weapons and abilities useless in fighting them. They're having to invent some new weaponry that leans more toward tech than magic to get around this.
  • In Ah! My Goddess, the magical system underlying existence is likened to computer code, and manipulated accordingly.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima technology seems to have been more or less fully integrated with magic. Magic Guns are considered antiques, The local Robot Girl runs partially on magic, and there's an entire Magic Internet that can be accessed by magic books or computers complete with program, hacking, and virus spells. Not to mention Magical Flying Warships such as the Paru-sama[1]
    • In the end, humanity goes through a major magitek revolution, making it available to the general public and leading to colonization of the rest of the solar system getting very far underway by 2017.
  • Both Washu and a later character in Magical Project S create and employ this.
  • The seven Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald were described as magical in Sonic X (and their effect on Sonic and Shadow could be said to be magic), yet were often used to power technology based equipment, such as Eggman’s robots, and the Sonic Driver.
  • The Caster Gun in Outlaw Star was created by wizards to allow people in an age of low mana to use spells. This is the most powerful weapon in both Gene Starwind and Ron MacDougall's arsenal.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist brings this trope and its corollary round full-circle. In FMA the magic is the tech, and the tech is the magic. Specifically, look at the first chapter/first episode:

Al: "It's not magic, it's science!"

    • Meanwhile, the technology behind automail is handwaved. How do they have cybernetic prosthetic arms and legs when they're only at early 20th century tech?
    • This follows a sub-troping principal that, as Magic becomes more and more understood and studied, it becomes more and more akin to science, gaining specific rules and methods, rather than just "duuuuur, MAGIC!"
  • Opposing FMA, Busou Renkin uses Alchemy as basically a synonym for Magitek. It is established early on that the rules for Busou Renkin is take an ordinary weapon, the lower-tech the better, and give it a magic power, i.e. rocket-propelled lance, Precision Guided Chakrams, ect.
  • Ultra Maniac featured witches using computers to create magic spells for them. This was apparently not the only way to do so, however - the main character, Nina, pretty much relies on this method because her magic skills are so poor.
  • Often shows up in works by Yoshiyuki Tomino, most obviously Aura Battler Dunbine. Even the original Mobile Suit Gundam, paragon of Real Robot-ness has it in the form of Psycommu weapons, though this may not technically qualify, as at the time it was made, many serious scientists were conducting research into Psychic Powers. But the fact that subsequent Gundam stories have continued to use the concept even after all the major psychic research was proved to be flawed or outright fraudulent places them firmly in Magitek territory.
  • In Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou, the modern magic the series prides itself on draws heavily from this. Spells involve Matrix-like lines of code, but people like Yumiko still use a magic staff.
  • Present in varying degrees between the witches and warlocks of Tweeny Witches: the female witches tend to a more primitive steampunk-style of magitech while the technologically advanced male "warlocks" now use very little magic at all (there's only one "real" warlock left, and he's very old).
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's heavily blurred the lines of magic and technology in the second half of the show. The main antagonists are cyborgs and are never stated to have any magical connections, but they can shapeshift, teleport and levitate, among other magical-type abilities.
  • Magi in Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero are generally averse to using technology in place of magic, which is the reason why Kiritsugu Emiya is considered a "Magic User" and not a "Magus"—for example, his familiars are equipped with cameras so that they are not fooled by illusion magic, and his Mystic Code is a Thompson Contender which uses bullets made from his powdered bones in order to destroy other magi's Magic Circuits and render them useless.
  • Break Blade features a world where any form of technology more complex than a hand tool involves the use of magic to manipulate quartz. The lead character is unique in that he can't use that magic, thus rendering even personal vehicles unusable to him.
  • The Rozen Maiden dolls.
  • Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou has this in spades, from a quasi-robotic crow that sees your future (eliminating the need for a guidance counselor), to airships running off mana reactors, to a god that's really an intensely complex computer system.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Planetary's The Drummer is a machine telepath that can sense magic; his explanation is that magic is "cheat codes" that manipulate the mechanics of existence.
  • Mr. Fantastic considers magic a science that simply works with a different set of rules (albeit rules he can't quite comprehend, so he might be totally wrong.) Dr. Doom has occasionally integrated the talent for sorcery he inherited from his mother into his inventions and schemes.
  • The miniseries 'Battlegods: Warriors of the Chaak' by Dark Horse Comics has a futuristic Mayan take on this, such as cloned priests with their minds linked together to form a magical computer.
  • Abra Kadabra, a villain who battles the Flash waves around a magic wand, turning people into puppets, summoning giants out of thin air, aging people from 20 to 80 in seconds, etc. The trick? He's from the 64th Century and his technology is so advanced that he uses it to make people think he's a magician.
  • The comic Hellboy has plenty of magical based technology.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog comic gives us the Iron Queen, a Technomage who can control the electrical impulses found in all active electronics and send him out at will. As you can imagine, she's quite dangerous to opponents who are partly or completely robotic.
  • The Cross Gen series Mystic takes place in a world much like Earth, ca. The Roaring Twenties, but with magic instead of technology. So you get Art Deco architecture paired with magical flying Model T-style taxicabs, for example.
    • That's mostly the Nouveau Guild and their nation. Nouveau magic, as the name implies, runs on change, so coming up with new and interesting ways to use magic, and the corresponding changes in society, are what makes the magic work. Other nations on Cyress follow more stable systems of magic (barring the Astral Guild) and don't have the Magitek.
  • The manga series "Orion" by Masamune Shirow has a Hindu-Buddhist design style with elements of quantum physics and computer science. The universe in this setting is made from 'yingerons and yangerons' which function like the bits in a computer. Deities and elemental spirits are also made like this, but the two primary magic types are Naga-Rituals, which function by calling spirits and deities, and Psycho-Science, which functions using more direct access through written seals and Dharmaquations (a cross between FMA Transmutation Circles and Buddhist Mandalas).
  • Wizards of Mickey has mages and dragons right alongside evil robotic armies and Goofy building a damn Humongous Mecha.
  • The powers of Jack Kirby's gods—whether Asgard's "Old Gods" or the New Gods of New Genesis and Apokolips—seem to transcend the limitations of both technology and magic. While implicit in Kirby's works, Grant Morrison made it fairly explicit in Final Crisis and other works. The powers of New Gods transcend just about anything mortals—even the most powerful mortals on Earth—can do.
  • Deaths Head was created with a mixture of technology and magic, originally intended as a replacement body for his creator.


Fan Works[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • The Jedi are sort of within spitting distance of this, although they're more a matter of magic coexisting with a technological world than of magic displacing technology.
    • In the Expanded Universe, attempts to design technology that use the Force are mostly the province of the Dark Side for some reason. But it's been done.
      • See the Video Games entry for the Rakata.
  • The 2011 Thor film is interesting, because while Clarke's Third Law is in full effect ("On Earth you distinguish between magic and science, where I come from they're one and the same"), it hasn't yet reached the levels of this trope. Specific items like weapons and clothing are imbued with incredible properties, and the Asgardians have the ability to make pinpoint wormholes and use anti-gravity to lift entire skyscrapers high in the air... but they still use horses. There's a lot of cultural tradition at work here.
  • The weapons used by HYDRA, the Nazi's Deep Science Division led by Johann Schmidt/The Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, were heavily implied to use the Cosmic Cube/Tesseract that the Asgardians used beforehand as a power source.
  • Equinox is one of the oldest examples and may be the oldest put to film. The symbol magic in the film is explicitly treated like a science.

...Manipulation of these symbols is treated exactly like the science of chemistry. This element changes that one, one symbol is a catalyst, another is an agent or a counteractant.'


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Atrocity Archives features a group of computer geeks who became ascended computer geeks when they learned how to make NP=P. The end result is such inventions as hands used to make 'hands of glory' which bend light, and if properly aligned can make lasers. Also video cameras that can convert carbon to silicon (Gorgon's Stare), which tends to make things explode. Please note that while special skills that anyone can learn are needed to construct these devices and the accurate aiming and firing of a hand of glory/laser is described as taking some experience, all the Gorgon's Stare requires is to look through a pair of special lenses and press a button.
    • This is actually more dangerous than it sounds: Anyone with a computer and some programming talent can summon demons, or out-and-out Eldritch Abominations. By accident. Series protagonist Bob Howard was forcibly recruited because it turned out his latest project would have inadvertently summoned Nyarlathotep. Yes, THAT Nyarlathotep.
    • All this, just from being able to solve the Travelling Salesman Problem in polynomial time? Dayum!
  • Geoffrey A. Landis's first story, Elemental, took place in a future in which magic has been discovered to be a form of physics, and (for example), thamauturges use pentacles to control antimatter.
  • Michael Swanwick's series starting with The Iron Dragon's Daughter treats magic as a form of technology—the iron dragons of the title are made in factories.
  • David Weber has a tendency to treat magic as just another form of technology in his books. Witness the Hell's Gate series which has the magical equivalent of computers and genetic engineering, which is used to create dragons of course.
    • Especially since in the Bazhell series' background. The old empire that fell 1,000 years before was explicitly Magitek. Dwarfs are championed by the author due to his hatred of the anti-technology stance of much of fantasy. The old way of making steel depended on the support of wizards. The new one uses Bessemer Converters. Steam engines are being discovered and shock absorbers are now being used on wagons.
  • Over the course of the books, the Discworld moves more and more toward this. We have inventions from cameras powered by a tiny imp painting a picture, all the way up to the High Energy Magic Building at Unseen University, where Hex, a magical AI, lives. Magitek is used alongside Clock Punk technology.
    • Magitek is also subverted in Interesting Times, where one character assumes that the watches are powered by demons. In fact, demons were used, but turned out to be unreliable, so the watchmakers moved on to clockwork.
    • A notable non-magical technology is the "clacks towers" - a continent-wide network of semaphore towers that is often used to parody telephones and the internet. Explored in detail in The Fifth Elephant and Going Postal.
      • The clacks companies do, however, employ lots of gargoyles as signal-watchers, as they're extremely good at sitting still and watching the same thing all day long.
    • Leonard of Quirm, a genius inventor, seems to be advancing Clock Punk technology on the Disc.
    • Lampshaded by resident wizard-nerd Ponder Stibbons at one point, explicitly referencing the quote at the top of the page - when he can't explain the technology behind his latest invention to another wizard, he chalks it up to "sufficiently advanced magic."
  • There are some examples in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter franchise. Especially noticeable within the realm of the live-action films. This is used to the point where technology is referred to as a Muggle substitute for magic (in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). Examples of magic being used as technology don't occur much in the story itself, but it is clear from the dialogue that this is how it is used in the larger world the books take place in. Wizards don't seem to understand the Muggle concepts of "light bulbs" or "telephones" for example. The self-writing quills are word processors that suit the personal tastes and writing style of the writer: see Rita Skeeter's acid quill for that one. Then there are self-stirring cauldrons, sneakoscopes (alarms), wireless radios, broomsticks, the floo network and flying carpets (transportation); the Portrait Galleries that often act like a vast, sentient internet for anyone that happens to be able to persuade them. And oh, Lovegood's antique printing press - if the Quibbler has it, why not the Daily Prophet and every wizarding publisher in existence?
    • And if we want to talk about Magitek as "combination of technology and magic", Arthur's flying car is the best example, and there's also the entire Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office, which shows that such things are possible but illegal in the wizarding world. This is simply a matter of maintaining The Masquerade: combining Muggle technology with magic makes it far more likely for the object to end up in Muggle hands, thus revealing the existence of magic.
  • Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality is based on a society much like our own, only Fate, Time and Death (among others) are incarnated in humans (sometimes against the will of said humans), magic is real, and in the future timeline technology and magic merge to a large degree. (Justified in that "magic" is said to be based on a "fifth fundamental force", making it essentially an application of physics in that universe). At one point, the series states plainly that anything magic can accomplish, technology can do too, and vice versa.
    • His 'Xanth' series has Com Pewter, a piece of bizarre, self-aware, occasionally malicious electronics that can literally alter reality within its area of influence.
  • The Young Wizards teens' series by Diane Duane has magic users receive wizarding manuals customized in form to their preferences. This has increasingly meant computers (specifically, Apples—ever tried porting magic to XP?) instead of the traditional books. Early starters get desktop machines while the recent arrivals can brandish iPods that draw their power from the nearest star, automatically receive updates, come with the iSpell feature for keeping track of your magic and play good music.
  • A perfect example is The Death Gate Cycle, a series of seven fantasy novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (who co-wrote the original D&D Dragonlance novels). It features flying ships powered by Rune Magic and elven civilisations using magic for everything from enchanting armor and weapons technology to household appliances.
    • Bonus points for that most of the Magitek of the elves seems to be sentient, no matter how pointless it is - for example an enchanted arrow that loudly protests when it's fired at a dragon.
    • The interface of magic versus technology seems to be flipped between humans and elves; this is explained by the fact that elves are inherently magical, but are weak on the mechanical side—to compensate for this weakness, they poured all their development of magical abilities into enhancing the mechanical and physical world. Humans are inherently mechanically/physically inclined, they compensate for their magical weak spot by pouring all their magical development into the natural things, like the elements, and controlling dragons. Magnify this single-minded focus of development over hundreds of years, and you get humans whose magic controls the elements (even though humans are by nature mechanically inclined) and elves whose magic enhances mechanical objects (even though elves are by nature more nature/element inclined).
  • The Wiz Biz series of novels by Rick Cook (comprised of Wizard's Bane; The Wizardry Compiled; The Wizardry Cursed; The Wizardry Consulted), about a Silicon Valley programmer transported into a world where magic exists and where reality, he finds out, is programmable.
  • Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy series is a great example of this trope. In this world, magic is studied with as much emphasis on higher math and theory as any science. The stories are murder mysteries, with Lord Darcy and Master Sean O Lochlainn solving crimes using the former's deductive abilities, and the latter's expertise in forensic magic. Fortunately, Master Sean likes explaining how his forensic techniques work.
  • Harry Turtledove's The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump is the very definition of this trope, an alternate-history twentieth-century Earth that functions exactly like our own, except all the technology is magical.
    • He also wrote a series following the course of a World War Two analogue with behemoths in the place of tanks, dragons instead of planes, enchanted "sticks" that worked a lot like guns, a magical Manhattan Project, and so on.
  • Jack L. Chalker's Dancing Gods trilogy had its characters Trapped in Another World where magic was real, but followed very specific rules and mathematically precise patterns, such that every high-ranking wizard also had to be a genius mathematician. One of the major subplots follows how much this system is screwed up by the introduction of technology smuggled from Earth; even a pocket calculator could turn a mediocre magician into a powerhouse, and more powerful computers can be programmed to work out new spells at high speeds.
  • In addition to Magic, Inc., there is Robert A. Heinlein's 1963 novel Glory Road, where magic is treated like Real Life treats technology.
    • Although walking the Glory Road actually takes you into parallel universes with slightly different laws. Some you can't stop in for more than a short time without dying.
  • Somewhere between a Shout-Out and a Homage to Magic, Inc. is Poul Anderson's 1971 novel Operation Chaos and its sequel Operation Luna.
  • Simon Hawke's The Wizard Of 4 th Street and its sequels have a 22nd century where magic has been reawakened and revolutionized technology and society: electrical generators powered by renewable magic, levitating cars with "thaumaturgic batteries", and sentient animated objects of all kinds.
  • Masamune Shirow's Orion has this, with a Buddhist/Hinduist design style and a computing basis, such as talismans and seals for wake-up alarms, and reality-altering 'dharmaquations', a mixture of computer program and mandala.
  • The Wheel of Time series has artifacts from the Age of Legends called ter'angreal which each use the One Power to do a specific thing, including changing the weather, storing a library, and what is implied to be some sort of sex toy. A great many require a channeler to work, but a few do not. In the Age of Legends, something called "standing flows" allowed even the former to be usable by Muggles.
  • In the later books in the Old Kingdom series, Prince Sameth is finding workarounds for the 'technology fails in presence of magic' problem by creating magical versions of nifty Ancelstierran technology.
  • The Dresden Files doesn't play too much with it, as magic and technology don't interact well. However there are plenty of loopholes and Wizards use what they can. Badass Normals using the right ammo can be deadly to most magical foes. One of the best examples might be using magic to grab an old Soviet Satellite and doing a Colony Drop.
  • Dragaera uses this like crazy. One of the main side-effects of the Interregnum was that the Imperial Orb was changed to make magic a lot more powerful. This jarred Dragaeran society out of its artificially-imposed Medieval Stasis as sorcerers had a field day figuring out all the new things they could do. In particular, teleportation completely changed the dynamics of trade and travel, psychic communication is used in a way reminiscent of cell phones, magical genetic tests are possible to do quickly and covertly, and magical lighting is the norm. Additionally, it became possible to revive someone recently killed from the dead if his central nervous system is still intact, meaning that often, Death Is Cheap.
    • The Imperial Orb acts as a video camera, a literal magical database, and a public utility.
  • Melissa Scott's Silence Leigh trilogy has starships powered by alchemy and guided by astrology.
  • Most of Aleran society runs off of this. Since absolutely everyone (except Tavi) has Elemental Powers, technology has stagnated at a medieval level while everything else is taken care of by Mundane Utility applications of furycrafting. They have flying cars, a lightbulb-equivalent, refrigeration, and the like through applied magic, to the point where in-universe, scholars have started to deny that their precursors (the Romans) could possibly have built everything they did without furies. It also leads them into technological blind spots, however, such as when the Alerans fight the Canim, who mostly get by on their superhuman strength and toughness coupled with skilled engineering. One of the nastiest Canim weapons turns out to be a simple, if gigantic, crossbow that can easily kill an Aleran soldier through furycraft-enhanced armor and then continue on to kill the man behind him. Tavi and Bernard eventually apply technology and furycrafting to create catapults that launch spheres loaded with tiny fire furies that essentially serve as incendiary cluster bombs, which prove to be the single most devastating weapon in the history of Alera.
  • David Anthony Durham's Acacia trilogy there is a race whose technology is powered by human souls.
  • Both averted and played straight in Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series: Valdemar does almost everything manually; the Eastern Empire, on the other hand, does almost everything by magic. When magic becomes unreliable, Valdemar carries on mostly unaffected, while the Empire must declare martial law and impose strict rationing.
  • Some Tom Holt books have Magitek, such as the magic mirror that runs Mirrors '95 in Snow White And The Seven Samauri or the various devices in the Portable Door series.
  • In Harry Turtledove's Every Inch A King windworkers produce winds that allow, ships to sail against the natural wind, items are cheaply mass produced using the law of sympathy, crytal balls replace telegraphy etc.
  • In The Edge Chronicles, while the ships do not work exactly like aircraft, they are close enough to be comparable, and powered by a flying rock. Stormphrax is also important for several uses.
  • Magicnet proposes that many magical incantations work, but they don't work well enough or reliably enough for this to be statistically verifiable. Then along came computers, which could cast those incantations millions of times in quick succession until the desired result occurred. All the major spellcasters in the book are also hackers.
  • In Naím y el mago fugitivo (Naím and the runaway magician), by argentine author Sebastián Lalaurette, magic is a Magitek: magicians (called Rumotim) have to extract it first from nature, and then they can use it. Every spell requires a certain quantity of magic. Then Rumotim Ramiro Grimor discovers a way to make magic grow, allowing every magician to dispose of virtually unlimited quantities of it, and it looks like everything's going to hell. Fortunately there are antimagicians as well.
  • The Secret Histories books feature this prominently. The Drood Powered Armor is one example. So are many of Eddie Drood's gadgets. Many other factions use technology enhanced by magic OR magic standardized by technology.
  • In Holly Lisle's Vincalis the Agitator, magic is generated in power plants from (Human Resources) and used to power things such as magical televisions and amulets that function as credit cards in the unmanned supermarkets.
  • In The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams, the fairies of the modern Faerie use magic much like electricity, wires and all. The result is much like our modern world, mirror-glazed skyscrapers and all.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Doctor Who, "Battlefield" -- The Arthurian characters come from a magitek universe.
    • In fact, when discussing how one of their spaceships worked, the Doctor goes so far as to point out to Ace that not only is sufficiently advanced technology indistinguishable from magic, but that the reverse is true as well.
    • The devices used in the series' splinter universe Faction Paradox by the titular Faction are mockeries of technology powered by voodoo. The Homeworld and the Faction are still sitting to see if they can get a coherent opinion.
  • The characters in Ace Lightning claim that the Amulet of Zoar (amongst other things) is fueled by magic... But they are all actually video game characters brought to life by a bolt of lightning so technically...
  • Power Rangers is filled with magic/technology hybrid gear. We start with an ancient wizard in a high-tech command center that runs the Rangers' gear by channeling the power of the vaguely-defined Morphin' Grid versus an alien witch released from the can by astronauts. Humongous Mecha powered by the spirits of dinosaurs. Magi Babble and Techno Babble combined by Robot Buddy Alpha. The entire "Zordon era" of the franchise was characterized by this, and while the later stand alone series tend to be magical or technological, a few later series have gone back to it (and the Grid is the source of all Ranger powers.) Spiritual energy-powered BFG, anyone?
  • In Knightmare this was the villain, Lord Fear's hat.
  • In an episode of Charmed, Billie combines her scrying stone with a GPS device, a serious upgrade compared to the sisters using their scrying stone on a map or globe.
  • The Made for TV Movie Paradox is made of this trope - at least until they visit the science-based world. Every desk has a magical computer with a Holographic Terminal displaying Instant Runes, and every character carries a scrying crystal cellphone. There are also cars and freezers. Notably, however, nobody really understands how any of these things work, which is why science looks more attractive to the main characters.
  • The Free Kingdomers from the Alcatraz Series use technologies powered by various types of magical sand or glass, collectively known as silimatics. Active technologies such as airplanes (shaped like giant glass dragons!) and elevators are powered by brightsand. Passive technologies include Expander's Glass, which allows for Bigger on the Inside architecture, and Defender's Glass to act as armor.
    • We don't know about silimatics because the Librarians flooded the Hushlands (where we live) with vast quantities of dullsand, the only type of sand that does absolutely nothing even if you make it into glass.
    • Oddly, Free Kingdomer's (inexpert) imitations of Hushlander technology often work better than both genuine Hushlander tech and actual Free Kingdom tech. And the Scrivener's Bones[2]' hybrid tech works better still.
    • Then there's things even the Free Kingdomers consider magical, like Oculatory Lenses. Free Kingdomers will stoutly deny that silimatics are magic: magic is things that only some people can use, therefore silimatics are merely technology.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The patron saint of this has to be Pathfinder's Artificer. A peculiar sort of spell-caster who gets every item creation feat as a bonus feat, and whose main skill, "Weird Science", lets them create items of practically any nature (provided they have the feat, of course) with spells from just about any other class's spell list.
    • It should be noted that the Pathfinder Artificer is a third party class, and it's actually put together very weirdly.
  • In the Old World of Darkness Gothic Punk game setting (especially Mage: The Ascension), the rules of reality were created largely by the force of belief. Not only was the Hypertech of the Technocratic Union and the Traditionalist technomancers genuinely magical, all science and technology worked primarily because the Technocrats had convinced the masses to believe it did, and advancing technology was not a result of scientific advance so much as the increasing public acceptance of what was possible.
    • In the New World of Darkness, this mantle has been largely taken up by the Free Council (although the Seer Ministry of Pantechnion is a bit into it, using magically created robots). The Free Council is devoted to the integration of Sleeper technology with Awakened magic, as well as approaching magic with a more scientific mindset. Partially as a result of these innovations, the Council has managed to devise never before seen spells. The practice as a whole is referred to as the "Ars Nova".
  • Certain Dungeons & Dragons settings:
    • In Forgotten Realms certain magically developed cultures, such as Elves (per The Complete Book of Elves), Drow (per The Drow of the Underdark) as their offshot and some others, such as Netheril (though the latter in its youth learned from elves of Eaerlann) also made artificial limbs. Of course, there are also magical constructs, that include helmed horrors. glowglobes are expensive compared to normal lamps, but cheap for a magic item and thus fairly common.
      • Elves among the more common things, has Theurglass (window panels that can phase away or return as needed upon command) and kiira - memory storage gems linked to the current wearer and accessible to mind directly; some of them double as spellbooks and/or carry dischargeable spells like more common magic items.
      • Netheril was an extensively magical setting. Creation of magic items was cheap if you don't mind that they'll work only in range of an external power source (Mythallar), so permanent items were biased toward backyard applications. Aside of typical AD&D trinkets there were Water Pipe (permanent fissure into the Elemental Plane of Water), Ice Box (conduit to the Paraelemental Plane of Ice), Stoker’s pit (fissure to the Elemental Plane of Fire), Music box, roomlights, skimmers (boats propelled by air elementals), netherpelters (telekinesis-powered small arms with magical pellets as ammunition), and so on.
      • Halruaa, the longest-lived of Netheril's successor states (it survived until the Spellplague), had less advanced but still very useful Magitek, mostly revolving around providing comfort for its citizens (air conditioning, heating, freezing, building, and so on). And a skyship fleet.
      • Imaskar was another extensively magical human empire in the Realms. The Imaskari focused on dimensional magic. If you were a rich citizen of the empire, all the above fissures to other planes could be acquired, as well as other portal-trickery (fresh air from the Elemental Plane of Air, storage rooms in dimensional pockets, portals designed to show nice views of other places...).
      • Halaster, as a living relic of Imaskar, magicked up a vast cave complex of Undermountain, including things like enchantment absorbing certain types of released spells to power other spells; his apprentice Trobriand created some new (and nasty) Mechanical Lifeforms.
    • Spelljammer literally runs on it, by definition. Since the Wildspace was intended to be more magic-rich than most groundling settings, there's much more to it than engines.
    • Mystara had skyships before Halruaa. With such devices as Dynamo of Flying (conversion of spell levels into large-scale preset effect) and Internal Conjuration Engine (pour potions of flying in, and it makes a whole ship fly). Both allow other effects if built this way - so you can have a stealth ship, but to actually use this ability its engine will little by little slurp whole casks of invisibility potion too.
    • There was a twist of the Vancian Magic in AD&D 2 College of Wizardry [3] - the spellcrux, or spellpool. It's a bank/server device that stores spell-patterns, so that wizards given remote access can save memorized spells and later get and cast stored ones. They're still limited to normal total capacity, but get more choice (if different wizards contribute different spells) and flexibility beyond the usual pre-set Utility Belt. Has checking "credit balance", admin account and all that.
    • Eberron features a Pulp Adventure setting influenced by Indiana Jones movies, mixed with Dungeon Punk, in a faux-19th century world making use of arcane technology and magic for infrastructure, travel and everyday life.
      • Including magic trains, magic airplanes, magic terraforming (the Lyrandar home base), magic robots, magic grenade launchers, and general everyday magic to make crafted items better.
    • In a less setting-specific example, Half-Golems are basically the Hollywood Cyborg as powered by magic. They are living creatures that have had golem components (most typically arms, legs and protective plates) grafted onto their body—this gives them various bonuses, depending on what sort of half-golem they are.
    • The Book of Wondrous Inventions (sort of official proto-netbook) is all about silly versions of this. Includes such things as a cola vending machine, a pinball machine, a boombox, and a Humongous Transforming Mecha. And trains. Most of them use enchantments to keep the "crazy stuff" elements viable.
  • Some Magic: The Gathering settings are like this—especially the Brothers' War and the Ravnica block.
    • Not to mention Mirrodin—a plane created by a golem planeswalker where sentient life is almost entirely comprised of animated artifacts.
      • To be fair, most life in Mirrodin is comprised of species stolen from other planes and partially transmuted into metal. Even so, there are an awful lot of magical machines, many of them intelligent, running around.
    • Or the later plane of Esper in Shards of Alara, a techno-magical blue-aligned plane where all forms of life are infused with the mystic metal Etherium.
  • Palladium Games's Rifts RPG features Techno-Wizards, spellcaster-mechanics whose focus is on building machines and weapons powered by Magic. They can make a jeep that can ride in midair and turn invisible, then make and mount on it a hand-held cannons that shoots ice blasts or rains meteorites on the enemy. Also, there are things like laser pistol modified for fighting vampires - it's still useable in the conventional way, but when powered with magic starts spitting out jets of sunlight instead.
    • Also in Rifts and Palladium's Heroes Unlimited is Telemechanics, a psionic ability that lets the user either intuitively understand how a piece of machinery works and operate it, or in the case of AIs communicate with them directly.
  • Exalted has First Age technology, from a time when the Solar Exalted could study the interplay of Essence and science and create true wonders (before the insanity, of course—but then again, they probably produced some fun stuff after the insanity took hold). It is explicitly called magitech in the books and setting. Examples range from power armor to airships to artificial limbs to dinosaurs that eat poppies and pee heroin (like I said).
    • The Alchemical Exalted are creations of Autochthon, a machine god, and their background and powers revolve around magitech.
  • The Iron Kingdoms has Mechanika, which is mostly technology fueled by Magic. In the WARMACHINE games, this normally comes in the form of various weapons.
  • Feng Shui's 2056 juncture uses a creepy fusion of magic and science known as arcanotech. Most of it is used by the Buro military and elite agents, offering a power boost in exchange for bent magic getting sent into your system like a virus whenever you use it. Use it too much, and you start mutating into something horrific and run the risk of becoming an abomination, one of the altered demons that the Buro uses to fight its wars.
  • The Skaven of Warhammer Fantasy Battle are perhaps the most technologically-advanced race thanks to their embrace of Warpstone. They use it as a powerful mutagen, ammunition, Death Ray energy source, component of giant hamster wheels that shoot lightning, or as part of the setting equivalent of a nuclear bomb. Their Clan Skryre is a blend of dark wizards and mad scientists known as Warplock Engineers.
    • Which makes you wonder if say, the Empire began R&D on Warpstone, would their superior knowledge, education, cooperation, etc allow them to improve its implementation? Their technology and resources might mean it could be weaponized with a much greater degree of control and efficiency. An Imperial Warp-Tank would probably be many orders of magnitude more effective than anything the Skaven could make.
      • Warpstone corrupts it's users (it is solid Chaos). No big deal for the Skaven, damn rats are pretty corrupt already, but the Empire would have rather more problems with that. Also it's unstable. Again, the rats don't care, the Empire would.
  • Eldar gear in Warhammer 40,000 is a unique blend of highly-advanced technology and psychic "sorcery" - their robots, for example, are well-crafted frames animated by the spirit of a fallen warrior held in a crystal. Chaos forces in the same setting use black magitech to create their most powerful works, such as daemonically-possessed tanks or Humongous Mecha..
    • Imperial technology does not use this, but everyone thinks it does. Tech-priest rituals involve a lot of chanting and sacred oils before they finally flip the "On" switch.
      • On the gripping hand, it's hinted that sometimes a Tech Priest's devotion does cause a machine which shouldn't be working to do so when he finally gets to that last part. The 40K universe tends to bend to belief...
      • Also it's pretty clear base on the books "Tech-priest rituals" are really what we do, just with a lot more Chanting.
        • Though memorizing rituals seems to be an effective method of making sure people still know how to work certain devices twenty thousand years after they were invented, given that nobody really understands how they work anymore.
      • It probably should be noted that certain pieces of Imperial tech do at least interact with the Warp, between the warp drives and Gellar fields, sensors which can record warp energy, and the gadgetry used to silence sanctioned psykers.
    • The orks have even more of that: by all rights and sanity their technology shouldn't work, but it ends up working anyway because the orks expect it to work. So in effect, all their technology is Magitek, because all of it works in large part because of the magical effects of orkish confidence. Used to justify having a bunch of barbarian thugs be a threat to an interstellar civilization.
      • The exact extent to which this is true varies from codex to codex to book. In one, an orkish gun is described as a gun casing containing a single gear and a bullet. In others, orkish technology is described as functional, if rough and dangerous, only Da red wunz go fasta, and some more complicated orkish weapons require orkish psychic powers to work. The codexes tend to ascribe their abilities to technology, the fluff to psychic power.
      • The most famous instance is the recovery of an Ork Pistol which is then turned over to an Adeptus Mechanicus Priest. After disassembling the thing, the priest realised that the "pistol" was little more than a metal tube with a magazine and a stick attached for the handle. There was no firing mechanism. However the Imperial Commander who recovered the pistol insisted that it downed several of his men.
    • Eldar constructs can all be considered magitek. Wraithbone is the core element in almost all eldar construction, with many of their creations being made wholly of Wraithbone and little else. Wraithbone can apparently assume a lot of properties, from being hard as metal to as flexible as soft plastic, with conductivity being easily manipulated. What exactly is wraithbone? Concentrated, Solidified Psychic Energy. Oh and it grows.
  • In the tabletop game Cthulhu Tech, the line between technology and magic is so thin as to be almost completely arbitrary. One wonders why there is any distinction at all, other than the fact that the Lovecraftian forces used by magic and magitek are, to say the least, rather dangerous.
    • To expand, sorcery is taught as a science in universities, while there is mandatory registration for parapsychics. Almost all modern technology in the setting is powered by the D-Engine, which drives you crazy if you look too closely at it.
  • Shadowrun is what you get when you merge cyberpunk and D&D together. As such, it's usually in the case of defense systems of corporations or weaponry. Except that mundanes can't use "magictech" (no magic wands, etc), though the Dunkelzahn did leave a reward in his Will if someone could create things like that.
  • Broken Gears as "A game of animistic steampunk", runs on this. It's Post-Apocalyptic Gaslamp Fantasy where firearms must be oiled to feed salamanders (see quotes) and are tested with thermal ink, and a Devil-possessed Analytical Machine designed by Charles Babbage and Alan Turing "helped" to finish World War II and immediately started World War III.
  • GURPS Technomancer is what you get when you turn the Trinity Event into a necromantic ritual of immense proportions, completed by the Famous Oppenheimer Quote. Nikita Khrustschev claiming Soviet Union has entire armies of wizards? U.S. Army winning Vietnam War using dragons, weaponized flying carpets and zombies made from Vietcong corpses? Space travel by teleportation spells? Gene-engineered Stealth Dragons (with vampire genes, no less)? Oh yes...
    • And it includes a Shout-Out to the Ur Example - the term "Technomancer" was apparently coined in the 1970s bestseller Technomancy by Bob Anson.
    • GURPS' basic magic system is very magitek-friendly, with many options for item enchantments basically allowing one to create items which can replace advanced technology, such as Wands of Extinguish Fire. One of the core Colleges is the Technology College, which handles the shaping and control of machinery, with sub-Colleges for Energy, Radiation, and Metal and Plastic. One spell of the Energy sub-College, Draw Power, allows a Mage to draw energy from an external source, such as a battery or a generator, and use it to fuel a different spell.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • As Final Fantasy VI is the Trope Namer, the Final Fantasy series makes liberal use of Magitek in most games since and a few prior.
    • The Mirage Tower and Sky Castle/Floating Fortress from the original Final Fantasy seem to be this.
    • The Steamship and Lonka Ruins of Final Fantasy V were powered by the Fire and Earth crystals, respectively. Didn't do the crystals much good to be used that way.
    • Later Final Fantasy games use similar systems, most notably Mako in Final Fantasy VII. These usually are Powered by a Forsaken Child—as is the original.
    • Naturally-occurring magic in Final Fantasy VIII can be extracted and collected by technological means, at which point it becomes known as "Para-Magic," and it can then be put to use in further technology. For instance, the Junction Machine Ellone, which uses a very special kind of Time Travel magic to send one's consciousness back through time, and allowed the Big Bad to initiate her conquest. The high-tech Gardens, built by the long-lost Centra civilization and maintained by SeeD, are magical flying fortresses. There are also some aspects of Esthar that seem to use magical technology, such as Lunatic Pandora (a floating construction which technologically amplifies the power of its Crystal Pillar core to summon monsters from the Moon) and Tears' Point (a stadium-sized array of techno-magical batteries which is supposed to stop the above event.)
    • The Temple Cloisters of Final Fantasy X, but most noticeable in the Temple of Djose (powered by magical lightning) and the Temple of Bevelle (with magical pathways, lifts, and teleporters.) Legend has it that the nation of Bevelle also used Magitek extensively in its war with the mostly-magical Zanarkand a thousand years ago. In Final Fantasy X-2, this is expanded upon with the ancient Vegnagun, and the Machine Faction of the Al Bhed use (or unearth) magically-powered machina.
      • Word of God says that the spheres are pyreflies, aka memories of the dead, mixed with water. The garment grids which allow you to take the costume and weapons of a sphere, are magitek. The organic nature of the magic is noted in game, when it turns out one of your spheres contains memories of the Big Bad.
    • After Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy XII has probably the most extensive, yet subtle use of Magitek out of the franchise. Mist-rich Skystones and magicite keep airships aloft (except in places with high concentrations of Mist, like the jagds,) nearly all machinery and even public lighting use Mist as a power source, the Moogling magically warps people across Rabanastre, and magically-charged Nethicite—either handed down by the Gods themselves or manufacted by Man—is carefully examined by scientists for use in great flying armadas (however briefly.)
    • Final Fantasy XIII includes Manadrives, mostly used by your enemies (and very occasionally by Lightning), which allow people who aren't l'Cie or fal'Cie to use magic. In fact, almost everything on Cocoon is powered by fal'Cie magic, including their sun, Phoenix.
      • The fal'Cie themselves are magitek. You get to run around inside one within the first hour of gameplay, and gaze upon the various machinery and mechanical oddities within.
    • The Garlean Empire from Final Fantasy XIV uses its superior magitek technology to conquer other countries. The Imperial Juggernaut's cannon attack is even called "Magitek Cannon".
    • Ivalice from Final Fantasy Tactics has a history of Magitech, though most of that is lost by the time the game starts. There's the magically-animated robot, Worker 8, who can join the player's party in an optional side quest, and the guns are described as relics of that ancient past, with legend telling of ancient guns that could be loaded with magic spells instead of bullets.
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Crystal Bearers has the capital city of Alfitaria, which is powered entirely by Magitek crystals (as shown by the page picture of the nice Magitek screens).
  • Breath of Fire III: Has chrysm energy, which parallels both fossil fuel and magic. Chrysm ore is the fossilised remains of dragons, and gives off a magical radiation used to power everything, among other plot-related abilities.
  • Everything in Skies of Arcadia is run on Moon Stones, it seems, except the few water- or windmills.
  • Parodied in Kingdom of Loathing with the MagiMechTech MechaMech, a robot "powered by a sinister blend of magic and technology. Since sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, though, you're not sure in what proportion."
  • The Pkunk, space gypsy toucans from the Star Control series, embrace a life of so much spiritualism that their space ships seem to run on it—their weapon batteries recharge with aggressive energy when they insult people over the comm, and destroyed ships have a 50% chance of inscrutably reincarnating on the spot.
  • While Escape Velocity Nova is otherwise a totally by-the-books high-tech space opera setting (as are the other two games), the Vell-Os are a faction of psychic Hindu mystics whose "spaceships" are revealed to actually be giant telekinetic projections the size of a star destroyer created (and manned) by one Vell-Os.
  • In Tales of Eternia, the entire land of Celestia is run by captured Craymels or minor spirits. In fact, the only reason Inferia, the starting world, is still in a Middle Ages setting is because of their moral refusal to capture Craymels (although they view it more as desecration).
  • In Lost Odyssey, the world is in the throes of the Magic-Industial Revolution - magitek is everywhere, and major kingdoms are rapidly developing Magitek Weapons of Mass Destruction. In a similar vein to the idea behind Fantastic Racism, the game portrays the pros and cons of technological advancement through the safely distancing lens of magitek...
  • A critical plot point in Tales of Phantasia, and, consequentially, the prequel Tales of Symphonia. Between those two games and their respective backstories, mankind manages to shoot itself in the metaphorical foot fairly often with a magitech Wave Motion Gun, causing no less then at least four And Man Grew Proud moments over the course of an 8000 year period.
  • Tales of Vesperia has technology known as Blastia that does everything from control drinking water to power lights to create gigantic barriers.
  • The GBA remake of Shining Force has its magic coming from hyper-advanced Kill Sats in orbit around the world. In fact, one of the main hero's abilities is to fire down an ion cannon blast.
  • In World of Warcraft, Naaru and Ethereal constructs. Titan technology could be either this, or just sufficiently advanced. (Gnomish and Goblin technology, however, has been explicitly stated in the RPG sourcebooks to be non-magical Steampunk.)
    • In the Warcraft lore, there is an entire class known as techno-mages that combine their spells with their inventions to make interesting things happen.
  • The "Masou Kishin" (Cybuster, etc...) sub-storyline of Super Robot Wars features magic-powered Humongous Mecha. The main mech of the group, Cybuster, is actually blessed and powered by a God of wind.
  • In Okami, Waka seems to have access to some sort of Magitek (the lightsaber flute suggests as much, at least), but it suggests that Science Is Bad in that The God of Darkness is suggested to be the source of all technology.
  • The highest sort of technology in Chrono Trigger, and its sequel, Chrono Cross, is intimately tied with magic—being capable of extracting it, producing it, and using it as a power source or ordnance. It gets to the point where FATE, the governing intelligence of El Nido, was able to split apart an inherently magical creature and assume control over the six magical Elements that make up the world.
  • The Hack and Slay MMORPG Phantasy Star Online features 'normal' highly advanced technology as well as so called disks, which can be used to learn magic
  • While never specifically described as such, many of Shion's attacks in the first Xenosaga game come across as Magitek
  • The 11th Touhou game, Subterranean Animism, features the hell raven Utsuho Reiuji, who has been given the powers of the mythological Yatagarasu, or more exactly, appears to have been fed the spirit of Yatagarasu itself, and since then, she's acquired the ability to manipulate nuclear fusion and fission, which she uses to rekindle the flames of the former hell. It's revealed later that the person who gave the Yatagarasu to her was the 10th game's final boss, goddess Kanako Yasaka who've recently arrived from the outside, contemporary world where humans live. Kanako aimed for revolutionizing the currently obsolete energy sources of the Kappa facilities near the base of her mountain, expecting that this would bring her more followers, and then used Utsuho as a literal thermonuclear power source, who's excess powers created geysers that would then be used to power the Kappa facilities
    • The series has other examples, such as lunar veils made of zero-mass fabric, antimatter veils, quantum seals, use of phantasmal mushrooms with a miniature of the Hakkero furnace to create lasers or prepare tea, use of Japanese Kami (as a main ingredient) to make a wooden rocket travel from the Earth to the moon, and co-protagonist Marisa Kirisame magically summoning a hot spring vein underneath her house to serve as a floor-heating device.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor uses portable electronic devices called COMPS to automatically perform the complex magical ritual of summoning demons into the moral world. Finding the Magitek demon-summoning server controlling this is a major plot-point.
  • Jade Empire's flying machines are constructed along Magitek lines.
  • The enemies called Wizzerds in Paper Mario are half mechanic half organic magic using creatures that can shoot lightning, duplicate themselves and take tons of damage. As the tattle for the normal one puts it:

A part-machine, part-organic creature who uses different kinds of magic. It looks to be the best tickler of all time.

  • Due to Character Customization, City of Heroes allows you to become a magic-based hero who wields a Battle Rifle, Dual Pistols, or Devices, which include a targeting drone, smoke bombs, mines, and time bombs. Conversely, you can be a tech-based hero who can call on the power of the netherworld or summon demons straight from hell.
  • Azadi technology in Dreamfall would be unable to function in the purely magical world of Arcadia without magic powering it (yes, even steam engines). Magitek is also one of the possible explanations for the Collapse, when every piece of advanced technology, like antigravity and FTL, suddenly stopped working. They may simply not be possible without magic, and magic is forbidden in Stark.
  • The world of BlazBlue is highly dependent on Ars Magus, Magitek developed during the Dark War that draws upon the seithr corruption produced by the Black Beast that nearly destroyed the world one hundred years ago. True magic does exist in the setting, but there are very few people alive in the present day who can use it. One of them, Phantom, might not technically be "alive" either.
  • It's heavily implied that the lost Eldeen civilization from Ys was based on this, rather than simply straight magic—many of their ruins look suspiciously high-tech, and it has sometimes gone so far as to feature obviously robotic enemies in them.
  • Both vehicles in Tales of Symphonia, the Elemental Cargo and the Rheaird, are powered by mana. The former is a cargo ship (not that kind) that uses water mana to surf on the water. The latter is a jet ski-like thing that uses electric mana to fly.
    • The ancient technology that was lost in the Kharlan war is actually called "Magitechnology."
  • The ATACs of Vanguard Bandits are powered by magic gems, and controlled by the thoughts of the pilot.
  • Unwritten Legends, A modern MUD has an entire class based around this concept
  • The Defiant faction in Rift use a lot of it. The term "magitech" is even used in-game.
  • Terraria's world seems to run on magitek, with its mana-powered Ray Guns and Rocket Boots.
  • The hero of the SNES game Hagane is a robotic ninja powered by a pair of ancestral statues, and many of the enemies also use a combination of sorcery and technology.
  • One of the first space-faring species in the Star Wars universe was the Rakata. Using their control of the Force and feeding on one another to gain knowledge and power, they created the Infinite Empire using technology based as much on the Force as physics. This came back to haunt them when their Force sensitivity was lost and their technology began to fail.
  • The Bydo from R-Type are canonically stated to be biomagitek—they're a race of creatures created with a combination of magic and superscience as a super-weapon in the distant future.
  • Averted in Arcanum. Even though magic and technology are both present and play an important role in the setting, there is no Magitek, since magic and technology are mutually exclusive (due to, basically, magic breaking the laws of physics and technology making use of and strengthening them).
  • The vanished Dwemer were the undisputed masters of Magitek in the world of The Elder Scrolls. Every piece of Dwemer tech is a fusion of magic and engineering that makes mere enchanting look like a joke.
    • And then, of course, there's good ol' Michael Kirkbride, former developer and lore writer, who is known for posting some (possibly non-canon) works on the lore forums, including the Loveletter from the Fifth Era, a cryptic warning from the future, and Kinmune, about a robot trapped in the past.
  • This cropped up every now and then in the old Might and Magic verse—while most Ancient technology is sufficiently advanced that it is impossible to judge if it utilizes magic or is simply really advanced technology, their world-creating/destroying tecniques explicitly utilizes manipulation of the Elemental Planes. On the worlds left in the Silence, magic is often used to side-step certain limitations the otherwise medievalish societies would face with technology: protection from wear-and-tear for clothing and armor, slightly hotter forges, cannons capable of sinking an entire fleet with a single shot...
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising features weapons that fire bullets and lasers and the like, but are all clearly magical.
  • In Asura's Wrath, the technology used by the Shinkoku and later the Seven Deities is powered by an energy source called "Mantra" which is created either by prayer from mortals, or processed directly from mortal souls. The latter allows for acquisition of Mantra faster, at the obvious expense of human life, while the former allows for a steady supply of energy without people dying. The majority of this power is collected in a massive superfortress in orbit known as the Karma Fortress, which is used to power a Wave Motion Gun known at the Brahmastra whose sole purpose is to defeat Gohma Vlitra, a continent-sized monster that appears every several thousand years. The individual demigods are also powered by ambient Mantra, with the the Eight Guardian Generals empowered by an "affinity" that generates and draws upon Mantra when they feel a strong emotion. Asura's affinity, for example, is Wrath, so when he gets pissed his cybernetic body draws upon more power. The Mantra is also controlled and directed by a "Priestess" who has an unusual talent for directing Mantra, witht he current Priestess being Asura's daughter, Mithra. Ultimately, the other Guardians betray Asura to take Mithra and use her to control the Mantra while they establish a brutal regime to harvest Mantra from humanity through systematic murder. Asura is....less than pleased.
  • Netstorm is pretty much made of this: everything that interacts with the game, rather than being background, is explicitly magitek - except Priests, who make all the magitek.
  • Asuran technology in Guild Wars 2 uses magic as its power source and the Asura are a race of prolific inventors always looking for new ways to manipulate magic with their inventions, for better or worse. Golems, waypoints and portals are their most used creations.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • Engine Machines in Shikkoku no Sharnoth appear to work like this, though the story tries to deny it. But with the precedent set by its predecessor Sekien no Inganock it becomes hard to deny.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Twice Blessed apparently has giant magic robots (golems, warforged, constructs).
  • The world of Dominic Deegan abounds with this sort of thing. Some examples include:
    • Using crystals (which may or may not be of the "ball" archetype) to communicate like telephones.
    • Small crystals enchanted with a "Voice of the Titans" spell to make microphones.
    • Creating lamps/light bulbs out of something carrying an illumination spell.
    • Taking musical instruments, e.g. guitars, and adding a healthy dose of electrical magic to create electric guitars.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court Kat was rather bewildered to find out that a "prototype" robot has no recognizable power source or drive system whatsoever, but as soon as you insert a Personality Chip he starts moving around on his own. Old "robots" turned out to be very fancyful, mechanically sound golems. What one might call their "integrated circuits" are actually runic symbols carved on their interior parts; these can be damaged as easily as a normal circuit, but are somewhat easier to repair.
    • Also, Mrs. Donlan has a computer that includes "just enough etheric technology" to allow it to perform its task. Which is to ward off and bind a dangerous spirit. And have a few, uh, "minor" applications, such as instantly creating in thin air force shields or portable doors whenever the users point - several at once, if there are multiple requests.
    • However, despite its preponderance, the Court at large apparently frowns on Magitek as cheating.
  • In a subscription-only section of the Drowtales website, there's an on-going story arc about the Drow society 100 000 years in the future (from the main story's point), Space Age, where mana powers and controls EVERYTHING (including but not limited to spaceship flight, weapons, wormhole travel, faster-than-light communications, their internet...), to the point where their first encounter with "Earth humans" goes undetected because their traditional sensors are incapable of detecting objects that are not infused with mana, although one of the characters eventually creates bio-signature dectectors to good effect.
  • Broken Space features technology powered by a combination of gears, steam, and mystical glyphs.
  • From Girl Genius side story:

Agatha as Cinderella: Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!"

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • The Online RPG Adventure Quest features a lizard/human race called the Drakel. They use incredible knowledge of both Magic and Science to create armor and weaponry that is implausible even on our scale. They ignore this trope by calling the system "Magiscience".
    • It is possible for the player to obtain several Drakel-made items (including Powered Armor, an energy shield, and a rocket launcher [temporarily]), and one quest involves hunting and killing 10 assassin DrakBots for their power crystals in order to create a sword.
  • In Arcana Magi, Mana is a source of energy akin to electricity, with kinetic and potential types. Avalon Tech Enterprises invents machines and magical items that uses Mana as its energy source to operate.
  • Tales of MU. This webstory IS this trope.
  • In Deucalion Chronicles, worlds that are part of the Crossworld Union possess an astounding level of magic-based technology.
  • Equestria Chronicles has transgender pins, Tabitha the tinkercorn, and Tinkertop's autocart. All magic powered.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The four kingdoms rely heavily on this in the form of a particular "physical magic," to the point where their technology parallels our own.
    • Earthbenders run complicated metro transit and postal systems by "bending" the cargo across stone tracks.
      • Not to mention its use in advanced construction (the Earth Kingdom has the largest and most elaborate cities in the world) and possibly agriculture (which could explain how Ba Sing Se is able to maintain vast tracts of farmland from within their city wall).
      • Trains made of stone anyone?
    • Airbenders travel with the help of gliders supported by airbending.
    • Waterbenders, among other things, have totally overwritten the need for traditional medicine. Then of course that canal lock system used for their capital city.
      • They also had waterbending-propelled submarines.
    • Firebenders create all manner of steam powered and industrial machines using their innate comprehension of combustion and metallurgy.
      • In addition, non-magical complex devices are referred to as "fake bending" (example: explosives = fake firebending).
    • In general, the Avatar world seems to imply that there are more mundane uses for Bending than there are combat uses.
      • Which makes sense given that bending, while apparently uncommon, is not so much seen as a superpower as a special talent in the Avatar-verse, so people would use it for a variety of purposes.
    • This continues onto the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra. Seventy years later, and the world has more advanced technology, such as electricity--- which happens to be powered by Firebenders using lightning to energize power plants.
  • Dave the Barbarian, especially the Crystal Ball that functions like the internet.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was full of this, especially the 2002 series. Flying discs, steampunky mecha-dragons, energy shields - Practically every bit of technology was combined with magic. There were also technological devices using or enhancing magical artefacts, like a belt powered by rare magical water which punished the wearer with an electrical shock as soon as he tried to do evil.
  • A lot of the magic in Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire works by application of their Power Crystals. Lamps are lit by touching the crystal to it something like a match, and perhaps most egregiously, the stone fish-shaped vehicles have a mystical enough activation process of sticking the crystal in a hole, turning it halfway around, and then a quarter turn back, which is basically the motion of turning a key in a car's ignition.
    • But you've got to keep your hand on the inscription pad while doing it. This is written on the vehicle, but when your people were stuck in flood-survival bunkers long enough to forget how to read their own writings...
  • A lot of ghost-related gear in Danny Phantom comes off as magitek, both in terms of technology used by ghosts (such as Skulker's suit) and technology used by ghost-hunters, such as all the Fenton technology.
  • The evil wizards in Thundarr the Barbarian are just as likely to employ giant robots and war machines as magic spells.
  • The Magic School Bus has various abilities that are powered by devices such as the "shrinkerscope" and "mesmerglobber", which occasionally go on the fritz and even require a trip to a mechanic at one point.
  • Coldstone in Gargoyles - an undead cyborg gargoyle created using Xanatos' technology, brought to life by Demona's magic.
    • Demona's stone-by-night curse in "City of Stone" and plague in "Hunter's Moon" also used a combination of science and sorcery: The curse was broadcast throughout Manhattan using Xanatos' technology, while Xanatos' chemical disinfectant and Sevarius' carrier virus were integral scientific components to the plague. (The Fulfillment Spell and the Praying Gargoyle were the magical components.)
  • Justice League Unlimited had an episode where Lex realized he could use his clingy girlfriend Tala as a power supply for his device to bring Brainiac back to life. Of course Tala isn't exactly thrilled about death by magical drain and manages one final act of revenge by redirecting the energy towards Darkseid's disembodied spirit.
  • Sonic Sat AM: The plot of "Super Sonic" involves an ancient computerized spellbook that actually traps concentrated evil inside it.
  • Lauren Faust's excuse for any time technology appears in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is that it's powered by unicorn magic.
    • At the end of "May the Best Pet Win", an example of this is shown when Rainbow Dash's new pet tortoise Tank flies by wearing a visibly-enchanted propeller on his shell.
    • In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", the eponymous cider-making machine is powered by the Flim Flam brothers' unicorn magic.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • A Pakistani scientist had proposed using the power of the djinn to solve the 1998 energy crisis.
  • NORAD's Santa Claus tracking. It is a real thing. You read that right.
  • MIT's AI Lab once possessed a mainframe computer that seems to have been a primitive form of Magitek. The story ends with them Doing In the Wizard though.
  • Quantum entanglement is the property of particles in the same state to react predictably and instantly when another particle in the same state is acted upon. There are no solid theories as to why this should be as from what we understand of the laws of the universe this shouldn't be possible since the effect seemingly travels faster than the speed of light. Quantum computers will very likely use this property to transfer information. It's the equivalent of using a lightning elemental to power a city, we may not have any idea why this works the way it does but it sure is useful.
    • All Quantum Mechanics actually works on the science of what? Moving across distances instantly without traversing the space between gave it it's name (quantum leap). Things existing in two places at the same time. Objects passing through other solid objects. Objects disappearing and reappearing at random. Even the top experts admit it makes no sense. We just know it works.
  1. A Goldfish-Style Aerofish with a high-propulsion-pentagram-18-prayer-spirit engine and anti-pirate military-grade armaments
  2. a faction of the Librarians
  3. reappeared in D&D 3 Tome and Blood for "Mage of the Arcane Order" class, which in turn was reused in D&D 3.5 Complete Arcane and customized as "Guild Wizard" in Magic of Faerûn