Created By: Bibliophile on January 27, 2014 Last Edited By: Bibliophile on February 2, 2014
Troped

Shadow Walker

Characters using shadows to teleport

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Trope
Some characters like hiding in shadows; these take that a step further and use them to teleport.

Descriptions of this travel often involve the character entering a 'shadow world' where they are able to travel further and faster than in the real world. A walker's ability to perceive and influence the real world from this shadow world (and vice versa) varies.

For obvious reasons, this is a technique usually employed by evil or at least morally ambiguous characters.

Occasionally characters are able to create their own shadows to do this, rather than using existing ones.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • A variation in One Piece: Gecko Moria can detach his shadow which can move freely far away from him. He can then teleport to switch places with it. This is used to reach great distances safely as well as acting as decoy.
  • Seiichirou Tatsumi's power in Yami No Matsuei is manipulating shadows as a means of transport and as a weapon.

Comic Books
  • Marvel Universe. The mutant Cloak can teleport himself and others through the dimension of darkness he has access to.
  • In 5 Elementos, this is the power of Shadow Elementals.

Fan Fiction
  • In A Different Lesson, Heian Chao is able to use his dark chi to transport his spirit-form through the shadows. This allows him to cover days worth of distance in a few seconds, and even act in two places at once.

Interactive Fiction
  • Stepping into shadows is how the player character travels to different worlds in So Far.

Literature
  • In The Dark Griffin Skandar's magic is the ability to travel quickly and invisibly between places by passing through a 'shadow world'. The Night God's favour allows Arenadd to share this ability. In the sequel trilogy Saeddryn is also granted this power. In addition to ease of travel, it is also used for advantages during fights, and for assassinations.
  • Myrddaal in the Wheel of Time are stated to have this ability, though it's never clarified what constitutes adequate shadow or how far they can move. No one knows how they do it either, even the creatures themselves. The ability is seldom shown within the books, but is enough of a threat that Borderland cities keep their streets lit throughout the night by law to keep them out, as well as a similar law that everyone must keep their heads uncovered, since Myrddraal have very distinctive faces.
  • In The Name of the Wind, Haliax uses the shadows that cling to him as part of his Chandrian power to transport the others away from Kvothe's destroyed caravan when something notices them just in time to stop Kvothe from being killed too.
  • In Roger Zelazny's Jack Of Shadows, this is one of the title character's signature abilities.
  • Nico di Angelo from Percy Jackson is able to "shadow travel" because he's the son of Hades, he claims that every shadow is one and the same, however he can only do it a couple of times per day preferible at night, also it drains him a lot to the point the first time he used it he passed out for a whole week

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons. The 2nd Edition spell Shadow Walk allowed the caster and any creatures he/she touched to partially enter the Plane of Shadow. This allowed them to move at a speed of 7 miles per 10 minutes (42 miles per hour) with regard to the Prime Material Plane. When the journey was completed, they could return to the Prime Material Plane at the desired location.
  • The Shadowdancer Prestige Class in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Ed. (and systems derived from it, like Pathfinder) gains the ability to teleport between two shadows for a set amount of feet per day at higher levels.
  • Warhammer 40K: Dark Eldar Mandrakes are capable of this by living in an alternate dimension and appearing in people's shadows, in addition to being near-invisible.

Video Games
  • The boss of the Mermaid Grotto in Oracle Of Ages teleports around its arena, appearing directly behind the player in a puddle of shadow, disappearing if you turn to face it. How fortunate that the dungeon's item allows you to bounce seeds off walls.
  • League of Legends: The ninja Zed can detach from his shadow and switch places with it.

Web Comics
  • Parodied in The Order of the Stick, a D&D based webcomic. When a Shadowdancer shows up, his powers are mostly useless because the comic doesn't have shading. He and his partner are later able to escape because an explosion is dramatic enough to warrant a shadow as they flee from it.

Western Animation
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, the Shadowkhan, a tribe of magic ninjas (among other things), can use shadows as dimensional doors.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • January 28, 2014
    Koveras
  • January 28, 2014
    Arivne
    Comic Books
    • Marvel Universe. The mutant Cloak can teleport himself and others through the dimension of darkness he has access to.

    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons. The 2nd Edition spell Shadow Walk allowed the caster and any creatures he/she touched to partially enter the Plane of Shadow. This allowed them to move at a speed of 7 miles per 10 minutes (42 miles per hour) with regard to the Prime Material Plane. When the journey was completed, they could return to the Prime Material Plane at the desired location.
  • January 28, 2014
    DAN004
    • Borderline example in One Piece: Gecko Moria can detach his shadow which can move freely far away from him and then switch places with him. This is used to reach great distances safely as well as acting as decoy.
  • January 28, 2014
    Bibliophile
    @DAN 004 do you mean that the shadow moves away then Gecko is able to teleport to its new location?
  • January 28, 2014
    Bisected8
    • Parodied in The Order Of The Stick, a D&D based webcomic. When a Shadowdancer shows up, his powers are mostly useless because the comic doesn't have shading. He and his partner are later able to escape because an explosion is dramatic enough to warrant a shadow as they flee from it.
  • January 28, 2014
    HappyMan
    Comic Books

    Western Animation
    • In Jackie Chan Adventures, the Shadowkhan, a tribe of magic ninjas (among other things), can use shadows as dimensional doors.
  • January 28, 2014
    Dalillama
    • In Roger Zelazny's Jack Of Shadows, this is one of the title character's signature abilities.
  • January 28, 2014
    Chabal2
    • Warhammer 40 K: Dark Eldar Mandrakes are capable of this by living in an alternate dimension and appearing in people's shadows, in addition to being near-invisible.
    • The boss of the Mermaid Grotto in Oracle Of Ages teleports around its arena, appearing directly behind the player in a puddle of shadow, disappearing if you turn to face it. How fortunate that the dungeon's item allows you to bounce seeds off walls.
  • January 28, 2014
    RoseBride
    Nico di Angelo from Percy Jackson is able to "shadow travel" because he's the son of Hades, he claims that every shadow is one and the same, however he can only do it a couple of times per day preferible at night, also it drains him a lot to the point the first time he used it he passed out for a whole week
  • January 28, 2014
    DAN004
    @ Bibliophile: Yeah.
  • January 28, 2014
    Bibliophile
    Cool, in that case I think it just qualifies as a variation.
  • January 29, 2014
    BOFH
    Interactive Fiction
    • Stepping into shadows is how the player character travels to different worlds in So Far.
  • January 29, 2014
    Generality
    Updated the Wheel Of Time example, since it was largely incorrect.
  • January 30, 2014
    Bibliophile
    ^ Thanks, I could only remember bits - one early scene in particular - and didn't want to have to try and find the right sections to check.
  • February 1, 2014
    Green5
    Seiichirou Tatsumi's power in Yami No Matsuei is manipulating shadows as a means of transport and as a weapon.

    I remember an anime in which a girl has the power to use shadows as portals, but is shown to lose her clothes while in the Shadow Dimension and gets them back once she re-enters the real world. Does anyone know which anime this is?
  • February 1, 2014
    arbiter099
    • League Of Legends: The ninja Zed can detach from his shadow and switch places with it.
  • February 1, 2014
    henke37
    • Video Game/Contrast: This is the main source of puzzles.
  • February 2, 2014
    Alucard
    Teleportation magic in Mahou Sensei Negima works by sending the user through their element in some way. Dark magic uses shadows (as Evangeline demonstrates at the end of the Kyoto Arc).
  • February 2, 2014
    Koveras
    Add the examples from the most recent comments and Just Launch It Already.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=faza994ue7sx19rhnsyabftb&trope=ShadowWalker