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  1. #1
    Network Hub Splynter's Avatar
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    Why is magic blue?

    I've been working on making my own game, and as a result I've started thinking about general video game tropes differently. One thing that has stumped me is the question in the title. Why exactly is magic represented as a blue bar in many games? I can understand health being red, as that ties into blood and the heart and red as a colour representing good health, but blue for magic? That one seems arbitrary to me. When I realized that I would need a bar to represent something to do with magic, the colour I instantly knew it had to be was blue.

    I don't have an extensive background regarding old CRPGs, but I suspect the convention may have started with them (or even the PnP games they were based off of). Is it simply that blue was an unused primary colour and was more appealing visually than yellow, or is there also some deeper symbolism going on of which I am ignorant?

  2. #2
    Network Hub slick_101's Avatar
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    since the fleshy parts were symbolised with the colour of blood aka red, they made the spiritual energy aka Mana was made what people thought to be the opposite thus the colour blue. And it sorta stuck. But then back in the old Zelda games the Mana potions were green and the blue potions were for Mana and Health at the same time.
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  3. #3
    Obscure Node
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    Magic represents something further away from the worldly, from the flesh. And as such, body, health, flesh, is symbolized with red. The counterpart to red is blue, as most people, from before video games and modern fiction, concluded is. Therefore, the soul, magic, is symbolized with blue. It's a tradition from before video games, seen in some literary works as well. It also has connections to the royal "blue" blood, seen as special and magical, above average.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Yellow is ugly and you want to reserve green for poison?
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Blue Gatorade is all I can think about.
    I could really use some right now.

  6. #6
    Network Hub Splynter's Avatar
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    That seems to have cleared that question up. Thanks.

    To SirKicksalot, Blue is the best drink flavour.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Yellow is ugly and you want to reserve green for poison?
    Green is also used to represent natural/organic things (yeah, I know poisons are natural too :P).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splynter View Post
    That seems to have cleared that question up. Thanks.

    To SirKicksalot, Blue is the best drink flavour.
    I disagree - Blue is the best flavour full stop.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Blue = heavenly/celestial = otherworldy = magic. By the way, health is often either red or green.

    Why is corruption usually purple ?

    Why is poison invariably green ? It's boring. Counter-example: pepsi is brown.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    It is Octarine, you idiot. As we are not of magical nature we cannot appreciate it correctly.

  11. #11
    Network Hub imirk's Avatar
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    cant very well be clear or invisible...
    Why are you wearing that stupid human suit?

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    Blue = heavenly/celestial = otherworldy = magic. By the way, health is often either red or green.

    Why is corruption usually purple ?

    Why is poison invariably green ? It's boring. Counter-example: pepsi is brown.
    Corruption is purple because purple is the color of sickness and death.

    Poison is green for the reason already given.
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Magic is blue because magic actually is blue.

    Fun Fact: in Wizardry, magic is all the colors! (and each color has its own separate mana pool)
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  14. #14
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    I suppose because magic is mostly considered a gift from the gods, either explicit or implicit and thus outside of nature. Now blue is a somewhat rare color in nature, besides from the skies which most religions considered the homestead of their respective gods.

    Traditionally, purple is associated with royalty and such, since in ye olden days it had to be extracted from snails and was therefore extremely expensive.
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    to wound the autumnal city.

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node RobF's Avatar
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    It was a cheap way for David Bowie to paint his room and so it came to pass.
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  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ravelle's Avatar
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    Magic isn't blue but the potions or the potion bottles are, it's just an indicator that you don't forget easily, it's better than having to read labels of every potion you find through your journeys.

    Same thing like traffic lights I guess, just for indication, there's no other reason to the color red,orange and green.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    Counter-example: pepsi is brown.
    Pepsi Blue was blue! And fabulous!

  18. #18
    i think it's as simple as blue is often seen as the opposite of red, and mana and health are usually on opposing sides of the UI.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Coz he has HIV.

    oh god that was in incredibly poor taste.

  20. #20
    it sure was!

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