Author Topic: The Nature of Shadow  (Read 1748 times)

ShoeMagus

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The Nature of Shadow
« on: November 26, 2007, 03:53:16 am »
And some things about magic in general (this is mainly CT concerned, of CC I haven't given it too much thought).

Shadow Magic seems to be drawn along certain mythological lines. For instance, in many cosmologies, some kind of Darkness existed before the universe. A kind of Chaos or Void. Now some (say the Judeo-Christian worldview) say that Light intervened and created the world. Others say that things simply emerged from the Darkness.

Thus, the other magical elements emerge from Shadow. And of course, they all must balance in their way. Spekkio specified that.

The one Shadow user we know of for sure is capable of a great deal, including the use of other elements, reinforcing the idea that Shadow is a sort of Original Element. The idea that he somehow can use elements outside of his Innate is preposterous in my opinion, without some sort of aid (like Lavos or even the Dragonian Elements). I mean, if he could do it, what stops Crono from using Water magic? All creatures in the game that ever use Shadow attacks always seem capable of using the other three elements (Spekkio, Lavos; a more complete list would neccessarily require analysis of all the games spells). Characters who can't use Shadow, never seem capable of using spells outside of their respective Innate (Crono doesn't use Water spells because he manipulates the Lightning/Heaven element).

One's "innate" element almost seems like a frequency one is tuned too. Crono can pick up on the Heaven/Lightning Element, is tuned to that, and can manipulate it because of that. He can't "change his tune" so to speak, as that would require him to suddenly become a different person. For people who are "tuned" to the Shadow Element, using others is a matter of simply dividing up the aspects of the Shadow. Being able to "tune in" to the underlying Shadow in all magic and the world at large (rather than just one aspect of it, i.e. Lightning).

If you accept that, without some kind of outside help (I''ll say CC Elements because they are better examples), you can't use magic outside of your own Innate Element, then the fact that Magus can use Lightning, Fire, and Water shows that Shadow is at least related to the other elements, in a way more fundamental than the others are related to each other. It definitely reinforces that Shadow is a kind of original or "primordial" element.

Some manipulation of spacetime is at least IMPLIED by the game, in the fact that, Magus had to somehow tick Lavos off enough to leave the Pocket Dimension, or he had to somehow get to it himself, from his castle. Whether or not Shadow allows time travel/gate manipulation is still up in the air (he does appear in Radical Dreamers; regardless of whether that is in the Main Timeline, he had to have gotten there SOMEHOW, not that magic is the only possible way).

What I can't explain is how Shadow damage can be caused by "Antipode" if Lightning is also a part of Shadow. Could be a gaming element, without relevance to the story. Could be what someone brought up before, that Heaven/Lightning is somehow a dualistic opposition to Shadow, but then how does Delta Storm then do Shadow damage if Lightning is also a part of it? It would be interesting to experiment with this. The Magus fight (and the Lavos projection of Magus) are probably the handiest ways of seeing which attack does what sort of damage.

Tentatively, I suggest that the combined Water and Fire elements present enough of a mix in order to break through the barrier, but aren't in fact the true Shadow element. The combination creates a sort of Shadow effect. Why? Probably has something to do with how the elements add up exactly. A mix of Fire and Water is closer to being Shadow, than just Fire or Water on their own. The barrier that was made might not have anticipated this sort of mixing and thus couldn't defend against it.  Its hard to puzzle out this point, really.

Enough incoherent babble for one night, I think.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 04:02:34 am by ShoeMagus »

V_Translanka

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Re: The Nature of Shadow
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2007, 07:19:56 pm »
Doesn't Spekkio just say that Shadow is a combination of the other Elements (it'd be good to have that quote...probably more so from the retranslation if it differs much)? Not really specifying that it has to be a combination of all three simultaneously?

I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that the Shadow innates are just so inherently powerful (or at least inherently different) that they have the ability to control all three Magics so that they can then create Shadow through various combinations. I mean, most of the Shadow innate in the game are the more powerful (strange/different) creatures/peoples. And, if we use Magus' Tech list, we can see that his first Techs aren't the Shadow Techs, but the Lightning 2, Fire 2 & Ice 2 Techs. The first Techs on everyone else's lists are the first Techs they learn, eh?

deviant_ambition

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Re: The Nature of Shadow
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2010, 03:56:44 pm »
How I took it, Fire and Water are opposites. Shadow and Light are opposites. Just as white and black are. Light and Shadow are void, aether, the fifth element. It is both light and darkness, it is neither. Light is the absence of all elements, while Shadow is the combination of all elements. Maybe a before and after...

It's also displayed in the characters, Crono and Magus are equal opposites, just as their magic is.

Mortalshuffle

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Re: The Nature of Shadow
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2010, 04:31:19 pm »
It's called shadow for a reason. Shadows cannot exist without light to give them form. If it were the opposite, it would be called darkness. Both lightning and fire give off light, which can combine with water to create a "shorter" shadow or water and the other element to create a "longer" shadow due to more light being brought in.

ShoeMagus

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Re: The Nature of Shadow
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2010, 03:44:57 pm »
It's called shadow for a reason. Shadows cannot exist without light to give them form. If it were the opposite, it would be called darkness. Both lightning and fire give off light, which can combine with water to create a "shorter" shadow or water and the other element to create a "longer" shadow due to more light being brought in.

It appears only to be "Shadow" in the North American translation. The Compendium's Retranslation says (in the scene where Spekkio meets Magus for the first time):

"The incredibly rare "Dark" power......!  I've got nothing to teach him."

So I don't think the semantics matter much as the effects the forces themselves create.


utunnels

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Re: The Nature of Shadow
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2010, 08:59:35 pm »
Yup, the word stands both for 'Dark' and 'Netherworld', it fits perfectly for the 'demonic' art (or else they can simply use 闇 which is more common).
But can't 'Shadow' also stand for ghost or dead spirit, which falls into the category of black magic?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 09:03:59 pm by utunnels »

1st Mate Bob

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Re: The Nature of Shadow
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2010, 03:56:32 pm »
Doesn't Spekkio just say that Shadow is a combination of the other Elements (it'd be good to have that quote...probably more so from the retranslation if it differs much)? Not really specifying that it has to be a combination of all three simultaneously?
I don't know if he actually states that or not, but it is true that moves such like Antipode (combining Water and Fire) and Delta Force (combining Water, Fire, and Light) inflict Shadow damage upon the enemy. This, at least, supports that the other magics combined DO create the effect of Shadow magic.

Xenterex

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Re: The Nature of Shadow
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2010, 03:28:17 am »
From Spekkio:

Not just magic, but
EVERYTHING is based on the balance
of these 4 powers.


From the Compendium:
"While any force can manipulate the physical world, just as one can smash a chair or sculpt clay, not everyone can directly manipulate these four basic forces of the universe. The ability to do so is called magic. Magic is not some kind of power force found in things such as Lavos and the Sun Stone; rather, it is the direct control of Fire, Water, Lightning and Shadow. Due to its unique nature, Shadow is somewhat composed of the other elements combined. It can be made from only Fire and Water (as in Antipode), or from all three other elements."

So to point this back at the OP
Quote
It definitely reinforces that Shadow is a kind of original or "primordial" element.

Or it means that when a person is innate in more than one element, they are a "shadow innate" since shadow is, at least in part, a combination of the other three elements; thus fitting in the case for Magus, who can use Fire and Water and Lightning. 

"Shadow" magic might be alot more similar to other fictionalized magical representations; such as Wow's take on arcane magic (http://www.wowwiki.com/Arcane)

The darker associations around Shadow then, are possibly more based on how the user utilizes their magic, rather than the nature of shadow itself.  For example, the magical abilities between Robo (shadow-like effects) Magus, Spekkio and Ozzi are all rather different.  Robo can heal, Magus can manipulate matter and maybe even time/space,  Ozzi can create undead, and Spekkio has an instant kill effect, among others.

utunnels

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Re: The Nature of Shadow
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2010, 10:51:24 pm »
Yup, the word stands both for 'Dark' and 'Netherworld'
In this case, 冥 is opposite to 天(Heaven).

A common example:
天界 (Heaven, upper region)
冥界 (Hell, Underworld)

xcalibur

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Re: The Nature of Shadow
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2011, 01:14:47 pm »
I was fighting Dalton earlier, who casts the opposite magic in response to your spells. Interestingly, using antipode (shadow) results in a lightning 2 counterattack.

eta: what if Shadow is mainly created from Water and Fire combined? I can't think of any techs that combine lightning with water OR fire, only triple techs that combine all 3. It could be that lightning simply adds more power to the mix. Since Shadow is the primordial, dominant element, mastery of it can allow you to use other elements, including its opposite.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 03:19:04 pm by xcalibur »