Materia are items that allow an individual to perform magic, special abilities and otherwise exert their usual limitations. They can also be used for other various reasons.
Materia is crystallized Mako. Metaphysically, Materia calls upon the wisdom of the Lifestream in order to manipulate nature itself. This manifests as the phenomenon of magic for most Materia, although other Materia pieces enhance the user's abilities. Unless one is descended from the Cetra, Materia is the only way normal humans can use magic.
Materia is able to occur naturally at "Mako Springs," places where the Lifestream leaks through the surface of The Planet and condenses, such as on Mt. Nibel. However, this is a rare occurrence, taking centuries for the Mako to crystallize into Materia, and most Materia in use is artificially produced. It is never stated if natural Materia has any appreciable difference in usage and power from artificial Materia, but the White Materia, Black Materia, and the four Materia pieces found in the Materia Caves are much stronger than other Materia pieces, so natural Materia appears to be stronger than artificial Materia.
There are five basic Materia types, distinguished by color.
|Red||Summon Materia||Used to summon creatures to aid in battle.|
|Green||Magic Materia||Used to cast spells.|
|Yellow||Command Materia||Allows the use of extra commands in battle.|
|Blue||Support Materia||Can be linked to other Materia in order to enhance their effects.|
|Purple||Independent Materia||Various functions, including increasing stats.|
- The Black Materia is used to call the Ultimate Destructive Magic, Meteor, which can destroy the planet.
- The White Materia is used to call Holy, the ultimate protective magic which cleanses the planet.
- Huge Materia are special Materia formed from compressing Mako in a Mako Reactor..
- The Protomateria, used to control Chaos.
- A special summon materia that can be used to call Zirconiade, the ultimate summon. It was split into many pieces to prevent Zirconiade from being called.
- An enormous red Materia called "The Goddess Materia" which resides in the depths of the Banora Underground.