Science Fantasy

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Robots and wizards, spaceships and dragons, lasers and fireballs. Mix these ingredients in your cyborg witch's boiling pot of Dark Matter, and you get Science Fantasy.

Science Fiction and Fantasy stories can be difficult to tell apart under normal circumstances, as all but the very hardest sci-fi introduces some hypothetical technology that one has to take on faith, like FTL Travel or Humanoid Aliens. And at the other end of the scale, even High Fantasy works have consistency requirements like Magic A Is Magic A, which can blur the line into Sufficiently Analyzed Magic.

Science Fantasy works, on the other hand, take traditional Fantasy and Science Fiction tropes and throw them in a blender, purposely creating a setting that has the feel of both. Expect to see a lot of classic Fantasy tropes (e.g. warriors with swords, dragons, wizards, castles, and elves) and a lot of standard Science Fiction tropes (e.g. spaceships, aliens, lasers, scientists, robots, and Time Travel).

In any event, it's bound to include Sufficiently Analyzed Magic, Magitech, Functional Magic, and Magic From Technology. Sometimes, it may contain so much fantasy and science fiction as to be both Fantasy Kitchen Sink and Sci Fi Kitchen Sink.

It should be noted that some works may slant towards one or the other, yet still contain elements of both. Science Fantasy lies near the middle of a continuum between Science Fiction and Fantasy, so there will naturally be a wide range of works that lie somewhere between "Fantasy with a dash of Sci Fi" and "Sci Fi with a smidgen of Fantasy". For an explanation of why the genres are so linked, see the analysis page on Speculative Fiction.

Subtrope of Speculative Fiction, under which all Fantasy and Science Fiction falls. Compare Urban Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy, Space Opera, and Planetary Romance. Contrast How Unscientific, where the mix of genres seems out of place.

Supertrope of Wizards from Outer Space.

Examples of Science Fantasy include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Scrapped Princess blends fantasy and sci-fi elements, with a world seemingly in Medieval Stasis where magic and Tron Lines abound. Then adds Ruins of the Modern Age and the Skid into the mix and the existences of Xeferis, and Natalie, who're dragoons that link with their masters. And the Peacemakers, who are a powerful race of alien overlords who can enslave the minds of all who gaze upon them. To say nothing of their true power!
  • El Hazard is another series that blends science fiction with fantasy, featuring a story centered around a time paradox set in a land rife with magic and supernatural wonder. Yet, there are remnants of ancient technology as well, such as the Stairway to the Sky, the Eye of God, and the demon dolls.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima seemed to be straight Urban Fantasy at first, what with the mages and golems and vampires. Then Chachamaru came in. And the Mad Scientists. And the Magic Internet. And the magical Playful Hacker vs The Cracker face-off in cyberspace. And the Martian Time Traveller from the future with Humongous Mecha and Mecha-Mooks. And most recently, it seems that the magic world is actually on Mars. It ends up as sci-fi and fantasy in a blender.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, the Space-Time Administration Bureau that the main characters work for is like Star Trek's Federation, except where Star Trek would have a piece of Techno Babble to power its futuristic devices, Nanoha just uses magic. Magical Energy Weapons, magical Faster-Than-Light Travel, magical cyborgs, magical artificial intelligence with Windows-esque error codes...
  • Outlaw Star has spaceships and aliens, but the Space Pirates use Chi Magic and the most popular resort world in the galaxy was originally a Mana mine. The main character's signature weapon is a fireball-flinging Magitek pistol.
  • Urusei Yatsura technically may be a sci-fi, but essentially all of the aliens are some form of Youkai from Japanese Mythology: Lum is from the Planet Oni, Yuki the yuki-onna is from Neptune, etc. In practice, anything from Science Fiction or Fantasy can happen from Time Travel to Onmyodo exorcisms, so long as it's funny.
  • Wolfs Rain. Technology meets mythology.
  • Dragonball Z starts out as a new rendition of a fantastic Chinese folk tale, and the titular MacGuffins are blatantly magical—but then we get alien invaders, space travel, and androids and it all gets weirder from there.
    • The very first chapter of Dragon Ball has a motorbike-in-a-bottle.
  • Aria is a subversion. Set in a replica of Venice on the planet Aqua (née Mars), there are elaborate technological control systems maintaining the environment—floating islands for climate control, underground facilities for enhancing the planet's gravity—the works. Then the cast is caught up in supernatural time travel and ghosts of the past appear. This sounds like the setting for a gripping tale of planetary exploration and the technological and social struggles of the colonists as they deal with a mysterious past. But really, it's just an excuse for Scenery Porn, as the female gondoliers float through a beautiful, peaceful city in their happy-go-lucky lives.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion, anyone?! Starts out as a Real Robot show with some religious symbolism, but quickly goes down the rabbit hole of Christian/Jewish/Kabbalistic prophecy, angels, and a legendary weapon on the Moon. Here's the obligatory link to Mind Screw which must come with every reference to NGE under state law.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica features magical girls and witches that really are magical. However, this entire arrangement was set up by a hyper-advanced alien race harvesting the energy of magical girls'/witches' emotions in an attempt to hold off the heat death of the universe.
  • A Certain Magical Index features a conflict between the science side (espers, cyborgs, Powered Armor, spacecraft, supercomputers) and the magic side (magicians, angels, demons, saints, Valkyries, gods).


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Comic books, especially those set within the mainstream superhero universes published by DC and Marvel, don't so much straddle the line as obliterate it, in that ray-guns and magical spells coexist quite comfortably. While there are too many examples to list here, here are a few notable ones:
    • The original Defenders featured both the Silver Surfer, an alien adventurer who had been empowered by the embodiment of universal enthalpy and whose own series was a classic space opera, and Dr. Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, who fights demons.
    • Captain Atom also seemed to fall on both sides of sci-fi and fantasy, since his powers, which came from the alien tissue grafted to his skin by a nuclear explosion, also tied him to the life-energy of the universe, which allowed him to journey to the afterlife, fight death itself, and then return.
    • Swamp Thing, as Alan Moore re-envisioned him, was the latest in an ancient line of plant elementals with godlike powers, and was able to travel to the afterlife and other immaterial realms. At the same time, his origin received a pseudo-scientific explanation (transmission of memories from predator to prey), and he later discovered that his mind was an electromagnetic wave pattern capable of subtle manipulation that allowed him to travel to any planet with vegetation.
    • Superman is classically vulnerable to three things: the particular frequency of EM radiation emitted by the fragments of his homeworld, red sunlight, and magic. He's also vulnerable to psychic attack. Telepathy itself fits quite comfortably in either genre.
      • His alternate universe counterpart Superboy-Prime is invulnerable to magic though... for some reason.
      • And speaking of Superman, on Smallville, not only does magic exist alongside high technology, but it often seems, at least to some viewers, that Jor-El was more wizard than scientist, and that the voice which inhabits the Fortress of Solitude is more ghost than artificial intelligence. Certainly, his actions often seem to follow a more supernatural than scientific logic, as when he tells Clark that the price of his resurrection will be the death of one of his loved ones in exchange, or when he arms Clark with a dagger with glowing runes on the blade capable of killing a Kryptonian.
    • Along with everything that has a comic book background: City of Heroes, Whateley Universe, ...
  • The Fables universe contains Anthropomorphic Personifications of various literary concepts. Amongst the genres, Science Fiction and Fantasy are twins (and have a little brother, Superhero); at one point Fantasy remarks to her brother "We're so sympatico that sometimes it's hard to tell where I leave off and you begin."


Fanfiction[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • The genre of Star Wars was explicitly stated by Lucas to be space fantasy.
    • It's the story of a farmboy who meets an old wizard, learns magic and swordfighting from him, and then fights an evil wizard and a dark knight. He travels throughout strange lands were he meets monsters, rescues princesses, and....flies a spaceship. Because all this takes place in another galaxy where space aliens fight with laser guns and manual labor is done by robots. The prequels participate in some Doing In the Wizard, but even they don't try to explain the ghosts and the prophecies. The massive Expanded Universe gives us dragons, magical artifacts...and also features mass dewizardification, depending on the writer.
  • The Transformers film series is, at its core, an epic fantasy story told in modern times with giant transforming robots. It has the usual elements such as a mythical origin story, ancient artifacts of great, ambiguous power, discussions of fate, destiny, and the call to adventure, themes of absolute good versus absolute evil, and messiah and anti-Christ figures.
  • Tron starts out with what looks like a fairly standard evil AI plot, but then the main character is shot by a laser and "digitized" into a computer. He finds himself in a magical world where computer programs are people that worship godlike "users," and takes part in an epic quest to defeat an Evil Overlord (the Master Control Program) using a powerful artifact (an identity disc containing data that can destroy the MCP). The movie would probably be best described as a pure fantasy story, were it not for the fact that it was set inside computers.
  • The Matrix: Neo is "The Chosen One", prophecied by an oracle, and he has special powers that allow him to fly, bend spoons, and dodge bullets. Oh, but it's only cause he's in a computer simulation run by intelligent machines.
  • The Godzilla and Gamera franchises have monsters of both magical and scientific origin fighting or teaming up with each other, sometimes within the same movie.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, especially from the third book onwards. What do you do with your Magic A Is Magic A Functional Magic that looks suspiciously like programming? Go to Mars. And then explore the rest of the galaxy and meet up with aliens.
  • In the Artemis Fowl series, the faeries have both real magic and higher tech than humans.
  • Heinlein's Glory Road is a reconstruction of pulp adventure novels with an ordinary modern day man swashbuckling his way across several savage planets inhabited by "dragons" and other such beasties in search of a device that recorded the memories of all the Empresses of the Fifty Universes.
  • Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series fits perfectly. The setting is one world split across two realities. One of them is called Proton, which is high tech, while the other is known as Phaze, where magic prevails.
  • The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, set in a post-apocalyptic world where oil refineries, nuclear-powered water pumps, and the music of ZZ Top co-exist with wizards, succubi, and gunslingers who fight for truth and justice in the Arthurian tradition.
  • David Weber's Hell's Gate series is about two human. civilizations coming into contact with each other through inter-universal portals. One civilization, The Union of Aracana, is a very Magitek civilization with wizards, dragons (that are genetically engineered) and the the main fighting weapons are swords and crossbows. The other one, The Empire of Sharona, has Psychic Powers and other little things like rifles, machine guns, cannons, steam engines, armored personnel carriers, trains, battleships, etc... Neither side reacts well to the existence of the other.
  • Anne McCaffrey
    • The Dragonriders of Pern books feature intelligent, telepathic, teleporting, and occasionally time-traveling dragons. These are just genetically engineered upgrades of preexisting diminutive "dragons", which have similar powers, though this Lost Technology aspect isn't explored until the prequels. Later books also feature a supercomputer.

McCaffrey has always maintained that the books are Science Fiction rather than fantasy, as everything is based on hard science, and she has spoken to many authorities in various sciences to work out the specifics of the world and the things that happen on it.

    • In The Ship Who... Won, a Role-Playing Game-obsessed space ship crew discovers a planet where magic actually works. (Until they discover the inhabitants are just abusing a Sufficiently Advanced weather-control system). Definitely sold as Sci-Fi.
    • Acorna and sequels are about a foundling creature who looks like a "unicorn girl," complete with a horn on her forehead, unearthly beauty, and the power to purify water and air. Except she's not exactly magical: she's an alien, and the setting is basic science fiction with spaceships and interplanetary travel. Double subverted when it is revealed that her species is genetically-engineered by aliens who combined their own DNA with that of unicorns they rescued from Earth.
  • Julian May's Pliocene Exile/Galactic Milieu books feature aliens and spaceships, but also planet-shaking psychic powers, elves and goblins. Generally sold as Sci-Fi.
    • In all fairness, the elves and goblins are clearly referred to as alien races throughout the series.
  • Terry Brooks's Shannara series takes place in our future, After the End, and includes robots and mad computers, but also elves and magic. Generally sold as fantasy.
  • The Dragaera books look at first to be typical Dungeon Punk, with magic, elves (OK, "Dragaerans"), swordfights, et cetera. However, careful inspection indicates science-fictional underpinnings: humans ("Easterners") are from "small invisible lights" (meaning the stars, invisible in the Empire because of the enclouding), genetics and gene manipulation are well-understood, and some characters view abstract concepts like "the soul" as matters of engineering, not religion. Let's not even get started on the gods and the nature of magic...
  • Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories are a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery series set in an alternate history with very rule-based magic. While technology (and politics) has barely equaled the gaslight-era by the 1970s, magic has effectively reached a bit higher than modern day technology. And magic isn't just useful, it's carefully codified, requiring as much study, repeatability and dedication (and certification, licensing and taxes) as modern engineering or medicine. Though now commonly billed as fantasy, most of the stories originally saw the light of day in either Analog Science Fiction or Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
    • Randall Garrett once stated that Lord Darcy’s world and ours shared the same laws of physics. He defined the “magic” of Darcy’s world as a form of psionics, which he thought of as a real-world phenomenon.
  • Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series is set After the End in a Schizo-Tech world mixing feudalism (and a Low Fantasy style of narration) with space travel, androids, laser weapons, etc. However, there is a device the protagonist gets a hold of called the Claw of the Conciliator which appears to be magical with no scientific explanation. Generally sold as science fiction.
    • One reviewer comparing the tetraology with the fifth book, The Urth of the New Sun described the first four books as "science fiction pretending to be fantasy", and the fifth as "fantasy pretending to be science fiction".
  • Terry Pratchett's Nomes Trilogy is a good example of genre blending. All three books are written as a Borrowers/Littles sort of "tiny people living undetectably amongst us" story, except that it is revealed that the Nomes are in fact aliens marooned on Earth who have devolved somewhat, who only realize what they are when "The Thing", a mysterious box that one of the characters carries, is in fact a sentient computer.
  • Neil Gaiman and Micheal Reaves' book Interworld features a multiverse organized as an arc, with the worlds on one side being ones where magic is in control, and worlds on the other where science is the dominant paradigm. Each end is ruled by a multiplanar empire, one representing Magic and one representing Science, which are both trying to take over the entire multiverse. There is a third organization, made up of different versions of the main character, who fight both sides and have the ability to travel freely between worlds, who move about the center of the arc.
  • In a similar vein, Roger Zelazny's novel Jack of Shadows takes place on a planet which is half-magic (dark side), and half technological (sunlit side). The titular antihero moves effortlessly between both.
  • A lot of Jack Chalker's novels and series mixed up the two, often with Sufficiently Advanced Alien (or sometimes human) tech providing a backdrop in which magical-like effects (sometimes called magic by the user who didn't understand it) were possible. The Well World series is an example of the alien version, while the Flux and Anchor series had the Applied Phlebotinum created by humans.
    • His Four Lords of the Diamond series features four planets seeded with a sort of alien parasite that provides people with strange powers, each unique to one of the four planets. The third book in particular involves a planet where people can effectively perform magic, and it's even called magic in the book.
  • Mary Gentle's Grunts! starts out as a stereotypical fantasy world told from the point of view of a tribe of Orcs. There's a Last Battle, a Dark Lord, a Nameless Necromancer, halfling thieves, The Dark Lands, and all the things you'd normally expect to find in a High Fantasy world. Then the orcs get their hands on modern firearms (from our universe via a magic portal). Cue an elephant made to fly with anti-gravity and a cloaking stealth dragon. Then Aliens invade!
  • His Dark Materials should fit in this. There's plenty of things that should go well with science fiction (the fact that Dust is a particle, the numerous technologies that look as if they came from various degrees of civilization, from Steampunk worlds to things akin to those you'd see on hard science fiction (specially in the last book), the alternate evolutionary paths of life on Earth seen in some worlds like that of the mulefa, etc.), but there's plenty of themes that should connect it to at least Low Fantasy (the witches, the fact Dust is conscious, the armoured polar bears, etc.)
  • In the Young Wizards series the magic used by the wizards is definitely supernatural, but magic can be used to travel to alien worlds which have very advanced technology, the space aliens can also be wizards, and Kit's non-wizard older sister bought a laser gun which she saw on an alien cable-channel's infomercial. To say nothing of Dairine, whose Great Big Book of Everything is a computer, creating a race of sentient robots who can also be wizards. The spells are described as being a combination of science and truename magic. Hence, the characters can do things like making a laser or particle accelerator out of magic.
  • Animorphs: A blue centaur gives a bunch of kids the ability to transform into animals so they can fight monsters. Could have been a fantasy book, but it just so happens the "centaur" is an alien, and the morphing powers have perfectly scientific explanations (alters your DNA etc.)
  • Orson Scott Card, in the afterword to an audio recording of Ender's Game, talks about trying to sell a short story based in the world of The Worthing Saga. He mentions that one of his rejections mentioned that it was a good story, but it wasn't right for the magazine, as it was Fantasy rather than Science Fiction. He said that the reason it was considered Fantasy was because none of the scientific backdrop was present in the story. In the end, he concluded that the only difference between Fantasy and Science Fiction is that "Fantasy has trees, Sci Fi has rivets."


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Doctor Who: Oh, where to begin. The original series was supposed to be firmly grounded in observable reality—the Doctor himself identified as a scientist on a number of different occasions, because the series was originally intended to be an Edutainment Show—but then the more zany science fiction elements took over. By now, it uses elements from all over Speculative Fiction, from eldritch horrors to Venitian vampires to Cybermen. And it's all brought together by a Time Traveling TARDIS that apparently goes where and when it is needed.
  • Lost has ghosts, immortal people, and sentient Islands that can move...and also well thought out time travel, exotic matter, and electromagnetism as a key plot elements. Though, really, no one knows what genre it is.
  • Power Rangers
  • Babylon 5 has a number of elements that are more familiar from fantasy such as mysticism and cosmic wars but also has advanced technology.
  • The second season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, has a lot of mysticism and wonder and in one episode a blue gnome giving riddles and an invisible demon wielding a magic sword and even a dungeon crawl through space orc infested caves.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Usually, Magic: The Gathering is average fantasy, but whenever Phyrexia is involved, it becomes this. Specially now that they have access to Blue mana.
  • Shadowrun is the quintessential Cyberpunk Urban Fantasy.
  • GURPS Technomancer. The first above-ground atomic explosion in the U.S. releases magic into the world. As a result, people can cast spells and weird hybrid creatures are born, but only in the area covered by magical fallout.
  • Dungeons & Dragons. Several supplements and campaign settings over the years have been based on this premise:
    • Module S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, set in a spaceship that crashed in the Greyhawk setting.
    • The Odyssey - Tale of the Comet boxed set, which also involved a crashed spaceship.
    • Modules DA2 Temple of the Frog and DA3 City of the Gods, both of which occurred in the Blackmoor setting.
  • Spelljammer is essentially D&D as a Space Opera with magic-powered wooden ships sailing the phlogiston currents between stars.
  • Eberron is one of the codifiers of the Dungeon Punk sub-sub-genre. Elemental binding magic allows for airships, mag-lev trains, and sapient constructs, among other things.
  • D20 Modern. The standard setting is Urban Fantasy, but there's plenty of options for adding sf into the mix. The bodak, for example, is a zombie Grey.
    • Technically, the game is "whatever the GM wants". The only explicitly Science Fantasy campaign setting is "From the Dark Heart Of Space" from d20 Future. Though Dark Matter comes close.
  • Dragonstar is a D20 Role-Playing Game that combines Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplay roles with a Science Fiction setting with intersteller travel, robots and other features of futuristic technology.
  • Feng Shui takes place in a universe where robot monkeys coexist with sorcerers and demonic creatures.
  • The universe of the tabletop roleplaying game Chaos. You know you're in for a case of Science Fantasy when your verse is a Crossover Cosmology Multiverse containing every possible type of universe, but that's just the beginning. Described as “cosmic fantasy”, Chaos is intended to have all the feeling of a fantasy setting, the only thing that makes it not explicitly fantasy is that it just so happens to have sci-fi “props” and window dressing. To quote directly from the book, “Chaos is an over-the-top, epic cosmic fantasy. It's got dragons and spaceships, cyborgs and wizards, knights, aliens, superheroes, gods, demons, time travel, energy weapons, parallel universes, romance, quests, wars, duels, ancient conspiracies, buried treasures and lost artifacts, distant planets, weird creatures, corrupt politicians…and a guy named Mike.”
  • Similarly, the tabletop RPG Rifts is set a few centuries after the high tech world of tomorrow is utterly trashed by the return of magic. Human supremacist armies of cyborgs and Humongous Mecha traipse across the landscape. Atlantis has risen. Sorcerers summon demons and raise the dead. Rifts in spacetime spew out critters from other dimensions more or less at random. Elves and dragons and goblins (oh my) roam the wilderness. Killer cyborgs from another dimension want to kill all humanoid life on Earth. Gods battle Alien invaders. Vampires openly run entire cities. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Nearly every recent Final Fantasy has had this. Besides the series standard magic and Summon Magic:
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time does this as well, by having Fayt and Cliff, who're members of the Pangalactic Federation, crash land on Elicoor II, a planet who's inhabitants are a type-3 civilization. Fayt and Cliff go to great lengths to conceal the true nature of their identities to avoid unnecessary trouble, leading to predictable results. Except for the part where they learn that their universe, and everything in it, is one big virtual game!
  • Xenoblade tends to mix the two so thoroughly that it can make one dizzy. It prologue starts with two warring titans whose dead bodies make up the entire world, then transitions to advanced humans fighting a war against relentless killer robots. The robots can only be stopped by a legendary ancient sword called the Monado, which somewhat resembles a light-saber. Then the Monado starts granting the protagonist visions of the future, but that turns out to have a reasonable scientific explanation. Then it turns out that the Monado is the manifestation of an evil god.[1] in outer space}}.
  • Albion, a game where a spaceship in the future lands on a world with magic instead of technology. A lot of the time is spent in primarily fantastic or scifistic settings, but they eventually mix, and both elements are present at least a little most of the time.
  • Chrono Trigger: An apocalyptic future with destroyed domed cities caused by a Cosmic Horror, combined with a medieval sword-and-spell setting in the past. And it's all connected by Time Travel.
  • Touhou: Stupid fairy vs. Humongous Mecha. Shrine Maiden vs. tanks. Shrine Maiden wins. Magical aliens vs. Apollo 13. Nuclear reactor powered by a magical crow that ate a dead deity. Laser-blasting witch whose ally is a kappa with stealth suit. The list goes on...
  • The Kingdom Hearts series has magic, souls ("hearts"), fantastic creatures, and a prophecy involving a hero of destiny... alongside spaceships armed with lasers, Mad Scientists, advanced robots, and Magical Computers including an Inside a Computer System level. The spaceships with lasers are firmly on the magic side of it. They are made from size-changing gummi blocks that broke off of the sky. On your second visit to the Inside a Computer System world you have to bring a computer program modified by Merlin's magic to Tron so that he can do battle with the MCP.
  • The Might and Magic series (which includes the first four Heroes of Might and Magic games) takes place in fantasy worlds but with SF-elements (mostly involving Lost Technology.) Not many people who haven't played M&M6 knows that the Kreegan/Inferno town of Heroes 3 is in fact populated not by demons but by hive-minded aliens (except for when the Inferno town is used to represent the non-Kreegan demons that are also around in the setting). For those that only know the HoM&M series: one of the third game's expansion packs was supposed to add a cybernetic army but they changed their mind after receiving threats of boycotting the series and death threats from 'fans' angry at the intrusion of science fiction into their fantasy setting.
  • Similarly, the primarily high fantasy Ultima and Heretic/Hexen series briefly skirted with SF on a number of occasions, resulting in the occasional raygun, spaceship, time machine, or demonic supercomputer.
  • The Guilty Gear series of games, set in a future where a new, unlimited source of power has been discovered... called "Magic." Humanoid robots and artificially created killing machines coexist with people who can summon the power of the elements and fight with melee weapons (admittedly, melee weapons which can spit fire and lightning).
  • The Amiga classic Shadow of the Beast is set in a Roger Dean-inspired fantasy world called Karamoon, which features sword-wielding orcs, medieval architecture, goblins, morningstars, mechanical claws, jetpacks, and (in the third game) robots.
  • For a game-series with a fundamentally magic premise (books that act as portals, scribed in an ancient arcane language), the Myst games incorporate an awful lot of sci-fi trappings: transport pods, electronic viewers, spaceships, submarines, giant mechanical engines, alien ecologies, orbital observatories, etc.
  • Alongside it's many standard fantasy elements The Elder Scrolls also feature spaceships used by gods; time traveling, terminatorish robots with laser weapons; and astronauts (the mananauts and Sunbirds of Alinor), and in extension: more spaceships. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
    • Also, the realms of Aeterius and Oblivion were originally presented as simply this world's equivalent of Heaven and Hell. Then The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard featured an observatory where the realms of Oblivion appeared as planets orbiting Nirn (the mortal world) and the gods as even more distant planets at the edge of a solar system. So, the Oblivion Gates? Those may or may not be stargates in disguise.
  • The Unholy War was a strategy game that took this to an extreme, with an army of fantasy creatures fighting an army of science fiction characters.
  • In the The Longest Journey series, magic and technology once coexisted. Past misues of the two brought the Powers That Be to separate the two into Stark (technology, "our" world) and Arcadia (magic/medieval world). Attempts to alter this balance are what drives the plot.
  • The Star Ocean series typically takes characters from a science fiction setting, and then plunges them deep into fantasy, while ever hinting at science fiction overtones throughout the stories.
  • Starting around the sixth game in the series, the Wizardry games dove head-first into combining fantasy and sci-fi, where spells, magical creatures, and arcane artifacts are found hand-in-hand with spacefaring aliens, starships, and advanced energy weapons.
    • Wizardry VII was the first of the series to embrace this trope-while the party is firmly grounded in fantasy, and the world seems to be with the full range of usual fantasy creatures and items, there's also the fact that the party arrived on the world by a starship, the Big Bad has a robotic army, two more alien races are engaged in a power struggle over the planet from their landing zones, and one of the native races travels around in rocket-powered aircraft.
    • Wizardry 8 takes this to an even more extreme bent, where powerful magic and advanced technology happily coexist-you'll see sophisticated artificial intelligences talking happily with wizards, flamethrowers and rocket launchers wielded by elves, and an alien airbase guarded by potent technological and magical defenses.
  • Pokémon takes place in a Constructed World full of magical creatures, impossible geography, and polytheistic gods…and computers and electric power plants and psychic powers and spaceships.
  • Warcraft 'verse's technology is roughly at pre-industrial level, where guns are getting common, but swords and bows are still viable. However, the range of technology available is quite large. Rock axes can down demonic Humongous Mecha, and Death Rays can be used against ancient evil gods. And the dimension-hopping giants that ride around in spaceships.
  • Septerra Core wandered back and forth between the two, blending such elements as Steampunk technology, magic fueled by the planet itself, genetic engineering and a pantheon of gods.
  • The Ar tonelico series features girls who control magical powers with their songs and goddesses who control the giant towers that humanity has been forced to live in after a disaster destroyed the world's land. The backstory of the series reveals that this disaster was caused by the technology of a highly advanced civilization. The towers themselves were built by these civilizations. The villain in the first game invades the tower's systems with viruses that can take physical form and possess many of the tower's robot guardians. The magic wielding girls themselves are actually an artificial race designed to use magical powers based on the intricate principles of "wave science."
  • Doom features an invasion by demons from hell ... thwarted by a space marine on Mars with a plasma rifle.
    • Demons with cybernetic implants. One of them is called Cyberdemon.
  • The Mortal Kombat universe also combines elements of both science-fiction (cyborgs, advanced weaponry, parallel dimensions, spaceships) and fantasy (magic, dragons, gods, demons).
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura is a mixture of more specific genres: High Fantasy and Steampunk. The overarching story is fantasy epic, set in a more dystopian land that includes race and class conflict and the growing pains of an industrializing society as themes. Magic vs. technology is less a war than an ideological clash that can at least find common ground in its goals if not its practical methods.
  • Metro 2033 takes place in a fairly standard Grimdark version of After the End, with hostile mutants, scattered human survivors, and a climax that involves using pre-cataclysmic weapons. There are also enough murderous ghosts for one of the characters to have a theory on them (Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory were also atomized), including a bona fide Afterlife Express.
  • Cave Story takes place on a Floating Continent, which is inhabited by fantastic creatures such as bunny-shaped Mimigas, (undead) sand-dwelling crocodiles or humanoid cockroaches, ruled over by an old witch who's responsible for an abomination that keeps the island afloat from inside a chamber protected with terminals and water control. There's also an incubator corridor that keeps dragon eggs and Ridiculously-Human Robots.
  • The Megami Tensei meta-series is made of Science Fantasy. The original novels that started it all presented summoning spells written in computer code so that computers could conjure demons - and those demons able to inhabit the computers into which they were summoned. Some games are more or less so than others - Shin Megami Tensei 1, 2, and Strange Journey are steeped in this genre, as are the Devil Survivor games and the first two Devil Summoner games (and parts of the Raidou Kuzunoha ones flirt with it). Persona 1 and Persona 3 are much more so than 2 or 4. Meanwhile, Digital Devil Saga is, well... just look at the name.
  • Asura's Wrath IS this trope with a Hindu and Buddhist twist.
  • Phantasy Star, though as the series progressed, it more thoroughly embraced the sci-fi side of things.
  • Cosmic Fantasy.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Girl Genius is Steampunk combined with fantasy. Most of the weird stuff can be explained by technology, but not everything. The magic includes stuff like the river Dyne (which is an apparently natural spring the waters of which make the drinker a mad genius, though in most cases it's instantly lethal), Geisterdamen (ghost-like beings), Frankenstein-esque reanimated corpses, Jaegermonsters (non-human beings with superhuman strength and lifespans who are former humans who drank the "Jaegerdraught"), multiple cases of Brain Uploading, the castle Heterodyne's seemingly telekinetic ability to move chunks of itself...
  • Gunnerkrigg Court. There are robots and other advanced tech in the Court, while the Gillitie Wood is full of magic-users (including Physical God Coyote). Transformation to/from forest creatures is an accepted part of the universe, and the Court has students and teachers skilled in "etheric sciences".
  • Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger is a sequel to Tales of the Questor that takes place 700 years later in the interstellar age. At that point most Racconnans rely on technology for most of their Lux use.
  • The Dragon Doctors make heavy use of magic, but always use it rationally and scientifically (their leader even calls herself a "Magical Scientist"). Lego Genetics are referenced at one point as being only possible with the use of magic to treat traits as conceptual objects.
  • Megatokyo has both light fantasy elements (mostly MagicalGirls) and soft sci-fi (stuff related to the TPCD mostly). A Dark Magical Girl is best friends with a Robot Girl and said DMG used to control people's emotions through an MMORPG.
  • Thanks to its Planet Eris and Fantasy Kitchen Sink setting, Sluggy Freelance is filled with this trope. Santa Claus is infected with alien DNA. Witches and Talking Animals lead teams of Space Pirates. A ray gun is used to blast a demon back in time. A centuries old sorcerer is President of the United States IN SPACE!!!
  • Dan and Mabs Furry Adventures has both magic and futuristic technology, and combinations of the two.
  • The Crushed subseries of Supermegatopia is technically the result of a space explorer using Sufficiently Advanced Technology to make a medieval fantasy world. This later gets ruined by the Ragnaracoon, and mixed into an unapologetic mishmash of high technology and high fantasy called Meshworld.
  • Broken Space (site) features aliens, demons, clockwork, steam-power, magicians, guns, swords, strange Magitek weapons, and divinely powered starships.
  • El Goonish Shive has genetically altered super-mutant assassins, aliens, mad scientists and many magic users, several of whom are main characters. Oh yeah, and one of the magic users can create a fairy version of herself, and Tedd's been hacking a Magitek transformation ray gun since 2002.
  • Last Res0rt is set several thousand years into the future, contains nanotechnology, flying robots, and a galactic society... and also contains lots of creatures that run off of soul-based magic, including vampires, djinn, and zombies. Also, furries. It's labeled Cyberpunk—but it's about as Cyberpunk as, say, Shadowrun.


Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Thundercats has space travel, futuristic vehicles and the like, but also features a magic sword used by the hero and an undead Sorcerous Overlord as the main villain.
  • Gargoyles has laser weapons, robots, biotechnology along with pseudo-gods, fairies and ghosts (Oberon's children) as well as various other mythological creatures.
  • The Venture Bros had a Magic Versus Science contest between Dr. Venture and Dr. Orpheus (a parody of Dr. Strange), reaching its climax as Orpheus produces fire from his hands. Dr. Venture's scientific one-up? A lighter.
  • Adventure Time has goblins, futuristic robots, princesses, wizards, hologram projectors, magic, and mini-anti-gravity chambers. All in a post-apocalyptic Earth.


Other[edit | hide]

  • In Bionicle, everyone is a mostly machine cyborg, they all live inside a giant robot made of Applied Phlebotinum, and they sport some pretty sweet tech, but the most common way for the powerless Matoran to defend themselves are with frisbees that can freeze, shrink, or teleport whatever they touch, and the main heroes, Toa, control the elements with no explanation other than "elemental energy" and wear magic masks that have an ever growing list of options.
    • Energized Protodermis, the universe's most powerful substance that can either transform or destroy whatever it touches. What you get is based on destiny. Oh, and it's sentient.
    • The Makuta, a race designed to be genetic engineers, but do so by mixing potions in a cauldron.
      • The origin of the Makuta. They come from a pool of slime containing their unborn, bodiless spirits—sounds fantasy enough, right? But those "spirits" are really preprogrammed artificial intelligence, and the liquid is just a strange data storage device.
  • Space Opera like fantasy often thrives on the same forms of social organization that most readers do not associate with the present world. Furthermore a Space Opera can often easily be made into a fantasy by the simple expedient of telling about a low-tech planet in that universe that is however in contact with some element that can be made effectively magical. Or by the equally simple alternative of having sci fi characters that tell fantasy stories.
  1. And by the end of the game, you're fighting {{spoiler|giant robot ghosts