what do "Dark" and "Holy" elements represent in your game?

jonthefox

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IF you ever use magic attacks with the "dark" and "holy" element, what kind of attacks do these represent? It's easy to imagine what fire or ice or thunder does, but if an enemy uses a spell with the "dark" element, what kind of damage are they dealing to you? A potentially even more difficult question is the same but for the "holy" element - since usually "holy" is associated with magic that heals/protects/etc..
 

bgillisp

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I handled this with my game by splitting everything into 8 Elements: Fire/Water/Earth/Air/Energy/Mind/Life/Death. Everyone and everything is one of the 8 elements, and is weak to their opposite. Life Magic = Holy Magic in my game.

As for what spells they represent, Life is the element of Healing. They do get some focuses Holy spells but don't get many AOE spells. So they mainly can either heal or use single target Holy spells. But they instead focus on spells which heal targets, revives if needed (includes Auto-Life too), boost maximum HP, and can even cast an Invincibility spell late in the game to make a target immune to all damage for x turns.

Death on the other hand has spells which drain HP. However, they in return do a little less damage than the corresponding elemental spells. Also they have curses, spells which either stop you from using certain effects or even cause all healing to heal the Death Mage too!

So that's how I did my Holy/Dark spells, though I called them Life/Death instead.
 

atoms

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By default in XP database I think they expect Holy and Dark to cancel the other out. So Holy enemy weakness is Dark and Dark enemy weakness is Holy. By default I don't think Holy it's meant to be associated with healing, through typically a healer would have the holy element. I think that's how it was setup by default in XP and I think it was just assumed to by like that in VX/VX Ace/MV by default.

But of course you can change that setup entirely and make Holy connected to Heal and if you want you can use Dark for draining though.

I personally do think a "Dark" element enemy could easily be weak to the Holy element, but when fighting "Holy" element enemies I don't see it making sense for them to be weak to Dark, so very often in my games they'd be weak to a different state.

I use Absorb for draining HP, and I give a Magician four main elements. Fire/Wind/Water/Earth and make sure most enemies and both weak and strong against one of those four. Then I give other actors Ice/Thunder/Holy/Dark and make some enemies even stronger and even weaker against those. For me that setup works well. But anyone with a Ice/Thunder/Holy/Dark attack can't spam them, only the Magician with Fire/Wind/Water/Earth can and he has other skills that provide a use to the party so he won't be using them every round.

But what works best for you may not be what works best in my current game. All sort of other factors should depend on what you choose to do. Like whether an element would inflict a state too, and whether an element effects healing and draining.
 

Tiamat-86

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light/dark element on attack spells is actually rather common in games.
PLD/WHM classes have been known to have spells like Banish, Shine, Holy.
Alexander summon from the FF series is a holy elemental attack.
DRK/BLM classes usually have some kinda drain spells but using it on undeads tends to hurt the caster n heal the enemy
Bio might do dark damage on top of having a poison chance

i'm using a plugin which allows me to have an element on damage of time formulas
so poison is now dark element damage and heals undead while only doing half damage to devils and extra damage to humans/celestials
also have a bard DoT spell Requiem which does light based DoT

i made healing an element all to its own so theres Fire/Ice/ect.... /Light/Dark/Life
only reason did this is so i could make healing spells hurt undeads while light based magic is super effective

on a more lore based level.
i'd say light element damage is cleansing the evil inside them
could be evil humans and its draining their stamina and removing their will to fight.
undeads it could be dispelling the necromancers magic used to reanimate them
purifying a devil's soul essentially burning them.
while dark magic is corrupting their mind and body
driving a person into madness, decaying their flesh
disease, forced sense of pain, instant starvation
 
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Eschaton

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I don't plan for them to be in my game. I want to keep things simple. The only elements I plan to have are "physical" and "magical," while the "fire, ice, lightning" paradigm will be about applying states, destroying buffs, and crowd control.
 

trouble time

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I always though of darkness as either gravity (cause of final fantasy) or simply nothingness, as dark isnt really a thing, its the absence of a thing.

If you think of holy as light, then it's basically lasers. If you think of holy as literally holy, then its basically punching dudes with your spirit.
 

Milennin

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Holy damage I view like a blinding or burning ray of light, strengthened by the belief in a god or divine being.
Dark damage would be like a stream of energy that tears apart anything it touches, strengthened by the will to destroy.
 

D.L. Yomegami

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In at least one idea of mine, Holy and Dark are simply two halves of the same element story-wise, even if gameplay-wise they're distinct. Holy (or Light, as I usually call it) is the peaceful, defensive side, while Dark is the aggressive and offensive side. Neither side is inherently "good" or "evil."

In another idea of mine, Dark exists without a holy counterpart, because it's not actually "dark" in the traditional sense at all. Its actual nature...is a bit of a spoiler, assuming this story ever exists anywhere outside in my head. The "traditional" holy and dark elements are instead named Life and Death, which should hopefully be self-explanatory.

I haven't really thought about what such elements do to the target from a story perspective, as that's not really something I think about and I'm not sure if most players would really give much thought to it either.
 

TheoAllen

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I might be a bit in a different approach, but I merged Dark/Holy damage into one single damage type, "Arcane". Or in modern term, it's "Radiation" (Because radiation in fantasy setting doesn't fit). A ball of light going through your body is arcane damage, a dark bullet that goes through your body is also arcane damage. Using something to reduce arcane damage will reduce both light/dark attacks (there is no an actual light/dark attack classification though, just attack animation that it looks like a light / dark attack).

Protection magic belongs to no element, because elements is only there for damage type classification. A damper sphere / magic barrier / ward, is to reduce an incoming "energy damage" such as heat/cold/arcane/shock, and maybe also dampening any physical contact (slows down to reduce the impact). Healing magic also belongs to no element. It used for a first aid kit to stop the bleeding by fastening the body regeneration for a bit.
 

Eschaton

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Classically, "holy" damage is about turning, destroying, or undoing the profane, usually the undead.

"Dark" is something that arose in some systems to counter "holy" out of a general sense of 90's edginess that has been grandfathered in over the years.
 

XIIIthHarbinger

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I integrate "Light" & "Dark", or as I call them in my game "Holy" & "Chaos", into my world's overall mythology, & magical theory.

Specifically "Elements" as they pertain to magic are divided into three trinities.

Earth (solid), Wind (gas), Water (liquid), magics are magics that alter the natural world through manipulating these naturally present materials in the environment, & directing them to a purpose. Simply put, magic is being used to manipulate matter through directed control, of the matter itself. Think Avatar's bending without the martial arts moves.

Fire (combustion), Frost (cryogenics), & Lightning (conduction) represent alteration of the matter via magic that is being used to create a point of concentrated process. I.e. instead of manipulating "lightning", "fire", or "Ice"; magic is used to generate the processes that create those effects within a limited area.

The first two trinities represent natural processes of the physical world being manipulated through mana.

The final trinity "Holy", "Chaos", & "Spirit" are actually manifestations of Order, Entropy, & Balance; & are of course "Supernatural Principles" rather than natural processes. They are of course tied to the various deity pantheons that embody their respective essences. Are naturally antagonistic towards each other on an inherent level, & in the case of order & entropy entirely antithetical to each other. & when matter of the physical world is exposed to their currents, it warps them.

I.e. "Order" restores the natural state of what it touches & thus manifests as healing magic, as well as being anathema to the undead, but can cause damage if improperly applied. "Entropy" causes corruption, mutation, blight, & reanimation of dead flesh into undead creatures. While finally "balance", acts as a force of grounding & negation, against the manipulating currents of magic.

The effects of the final trinity are widespread for in game lore reasons, having to do with an already occured cataclysm, that "opened wide the floodgates" metaphorically speaking, & thus rather severely altered the world from its original state. Thus creating monsters, demi-humans, & undead; as well as empowering people with the ability to manipulate the world through magic.
 

Aesica

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As someone who likes to make semi-science based games, my take on holy vs darkness will probably be a bit different.

Darkness, the easy one, represents varying degrees of entropy and a decline/absence of energy in general. This is how it kills living things.

Holy represents raw energy--in particular, raw energy from an alternate universe/reality that the primary antagonist (a self-proclaimed high priestess) has learned to tap into. "Look at this power that has been bestowed upon me. With this 'holy' power, I can heal the injured or smite my foes." In this case, it's all about presentation. It's bright, it glows, it can be used to hurt or heal, and the main wielder of it calls it "holy" and so it is.
 

atoms

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Sorry, I misunderstood what you were actually looking for.

To me Holy is like Fire or a warmth feeling, something bright and that shines as well but with heat. So like The Sun.

Dark to me is blackness, empty, a void but when Holy can represent the Sun I like to see Dark as something that can represent either Space, Stars or the Moon.

Holy can also easily be associated with Angels and Dark can also easily be associated with Demons.

Or other things like that.
 

SwiftSign

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I replaced Holy/Dark with Life/Death (where death is a status/drain/debilitation element) for the time being, will see how that turns out...
 

Kisai

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Visually? Since you used fire, ice, and thunder as examples... I kind of see light and dark elements as beams/orbs of energy that are shot out at the opponent. And I consider them as "light" and "dark", not exactly "holy". Naming the general element itself as "holy" makes it sound a bit too religious, whereas I like "light" and "dark" to be representative of just "good" and "bad" in general. (Admittedly, I would still demonic-looking monsters weak to "light", though...) But visually, I imagine them something akin to energy blasts, and maybe they could take any kind of form. Maybe a wizard uses a bit of "dark" elemental magic and creates a bit of solidified energy in the shape of a spike, hurling it at the enemy. Or perhaps someone uses a bit of "light" magic to create a radiant sword of energy. Maybe it doesn't have to be just beams and orbs, but I do see them being more "energy" based.
 

Wavelength

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I tend not to use "Holy" magic since (contrary to my own personal beliefs) magic has generally been seen as a sort of unholy or ungodly force in western culture. I do use Light magic, which often has the same visuals and associations, but I generally stay away from giving Light magic any healing abilities, portioning those to either Water or Body magic instead.

Light magic in my games generally has abilities which can reflect or deflect magic, a Blind status (which does different things in each game, my favorite of which is to change the target of skills the battler uses to a random nearby battler), and in one game it has several tools to manipulate or exploit the weaknesses/resistances of friends and foes (with the idea being that Light can change the color or 'affinity' of things). Light also has a lot of damage tools based on beams, lasers, etc. - light can be a violent force!

In one game where the elements have few gameplay effects, Dark magic is generally spells which feel malicious or chaotic. However, in another game I'm making, elements play a much bigger role in gameplay and combat style, and tend to tie into characters' personality traits, so in games like these I call it Darkness magic and I tend to think of its theme as refuge, secrecy, and mystery rather than sadism, chaos, or wickedness.

So in that vein, Darkness magic - besides a few damage tools - tends to have a lot of tools to hide/protect allies from being targeted or hit, reduce the effectiveness of enemies' skills, and ways to increase the range from which the darkness mage can attack or disable enemies.

EDIT: Just realized that I didn't really answer your question, which was more about the damage per se and how to envision it, rather than being about the general element and its skills. I suppose when I think of Holy and Dark damage in most games, I think of it as the will of either good or evil forces, sort of "ripping apart" the entity the damage is used on in the same way that fire or energy or light can rip apart something. In my own games, though, I frame it more like raw, non-elemental magical force can be used to attack/damage something, and elemental damage is a way that force can be "flavored", which can affect certain types of enemies more (e.g. fire creatures' bodies are more vulnerable to water-type force).
 
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Tiamat-86

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I just realized a trend with majority of my light based skills.
I tend to use light as a "frequency" that turns normal into harmful.
its like how UV lights burn vampires but any other kind of light is fine.
or the brown note being a frequency of noise that causes discomfort. (requiem being light DoT state)
telekinetic energy being a frequency change in atmosphere that cause movement/impact.

while dark focuses more around gravity/compression, toxins, mind alteration
 

Redeye

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The nature of Holy and Dark change between different games/ideas.

For Holy, stories that involve deities and such typically refer to Holy as divine powers summoned by pleading to the god(s) for help. "Divine" holy powers are what additionally lead to the healing stereotype found in most Holy spell groups. Stories where religion is less emphasized tend to refer Holy as simply "Light". While Fire and Electricity produce light, "holy" is PURE light, like the stuff you'd find on the sun. And then, in some situations, Holy and Electricity are merged into one single element. You know, since "smiting" your enemies technically means striking them with a bolt of lightning. In regards to the "Life" or "Nature" element, I honestly see it as more of a subschool of Earth, or perhaps an entire individual element of its own, as is the case with the difference between Priests and Druids.

Dark can either mean Shadows or Death, and sometimes even mean Blood if it wasn't already merged with Water. The Shadow element is hard to describe, but most likely revolves around demonic energy, corruption, and destruction. Death is easier, typically revolving around decay, disease, and defilement. Sometimes Shadow and Death can be two entirely separate elements, as is the case with the difference between Warlocks and Necromancers.

It really depends on the story you're going for. Stories with medium-to-large hints of religion tend to adopt Divine and Shadow, while more practical stories tend to adopt Light(ning) and Death.
 

Darth Equus

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In my case, I use Dark and Light as two simple opposing forces without any intention behind them. Neither is good or evil, it all depends on the caster. (Though evil enemies tend to use Dark-based powers more often and are weak against Light due to their "alignment" to that element)

Then, I gave the cleric a Holy element which she uses to banish or severely cripple demons, shadow constructs, undead, extra-planar creatures and maleficent beings. A Shadow Cave Worm would attack with darkness, be weak to light, but immune to Holy because it's an animal without evil intent, for example.
 

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