Created By: TheTitan99 on May 20, 2013 Last Edited By: TheTitan99 on August 28, 2013
Troped

Invisible Means Undodgeable

If something is visible, it can be dodged, but if it can't be seen, then it cannot be dodged.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
The one time lightning can't do everything.

"You cannot dodge what you cannot see!"

So, a wizard battles a knight, throwing lighting about, raining fire from the sky, shooting beams of evil, all of which, the knight deflects with his Magic Sword. The wizard then brings out a new spell: a vague invisible force that hits the knight, who is helpless to stop it.

So, the question is raised... How come the knight was so easily able to stop lightning bolts, which move far faster than anything humans can react to, but was unable to stop this?

Simple!

Invisible Means Undodgeable.

Magic Swords, incredible dodging skills, barriers, shields, and the like are more than a match for any spell that can be seen. The moment that a spell becomes invisible, though, all of these things are useless. The spell will travel through any protective charm or barrier, even if all previous magic was casually guarded.

And this moves beyond just magic too. For psychic powers, or just normal invisible things, the moment something goes invisible, it will not be dodged.

Note that this trope only applies when there is a contrast between visible dodgeable attacks and abilities, and invisible undodgeable ones. If everything is undodgeable, then it doesn't count.

Sometimes overlaps with Hit Scan attacks. Also, compare with Rule of Perception, Thought-Controlled Power, as well as Always Accurate Attack.


Examples:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  • In Black Cat, Creed Diskenth's Imagine Blade is created by his Tao powers and the only part that is visible is the hilt. Its length is also variable, so dodging it with any degree of success means keeping track of the angle of the hilt. Train comes up with an alternative method early in the story: he sacrifices his off hand to find the blade, blasts it out of Creed's hands, then shoots him in the chest with an explosive bullet.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
  • Played with with Darkseid's Omega Beams. While they are visible, and technically dodgeable, he maintains conscious control of them after firing, which is rare for visible magic.
  • In Hellblazer issue 250, the protagonist John Constantine went face to face with a demon which easily pummels him down. When John was in a chokehold, he gave a smile, and the demon spontaneously exploded. John later tells the reader he killed the demon with a spell.
  • Averted when it comes to superheroes like Spider-Man and Daredevil who are usually pretty good at detecting and dodging invisible opponents due to their Super Senses.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film]]
  • The Force in Star Wars, to Muggles at least. Lightsabers and dodging skills can block all sorts of force powers, such as Force Lightning. The moment someone starts a Force Choke, though, it's over.
  • In The Sword in the Stone Merlin wins his duel against Mad Madam Mim by turning into a germ and infecting her with a cold.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • Averted in the Dragaera novels, in which Vlad often Lampshades how he doesn't have any idea what his allies' or enemies' invisible sorcery is supposed to do, he just does his best to hide behind Spellbreaker and dodge any gestures directed towards him.
  • Harry Potter: Spells like Disarming Charm and Cruciatus Curse seem to have a lot better chance of landing their target than Stunning Spell and Killing Curse, two the most common fight spells used in the series.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
  • Doctor Who has several examples.
    • All of the highly advanced alien races that use visible projectiles, such as the Daleks or Cybermen, are easily avoidable. However, the Time Lords have a glove that absolutely destroys things from time. And, of course, it's both invisible and undodgeable.
    • In addition, Rose Tyler, after seeing the heart of the TARDIS uses invisible undodgeable magic, as well as Sutekh.
  • In Firefly, the two unnamed agents tracking the main characters have a Sonic Device which kills everyone anywhere near them. It only produces a noise, and is never avoided by anyone it is used on.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop RPG]]
  • Dungeons & Dragons. Attack spells such as Charm Person, Sleep and Power Word Stun are invisible and cannot be dodged or deflected with weapons.
  • In the d20 System (and all game systems based on it), attacking while invisible completely negates the target's Dexterity defense bonus. The same applies to invisible projectiles unless the target can see who's shooting and guess the trajectory.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
  • While technically dodgeable, Akuma's Super in Street Fighter II mostly follows this form, having the screen go black, and the damaging the player hit by the move.
  • Psynergy in Golden Sun, to at least the people in universe who can't see Psynergy.
  • Inverted in one Touhou boss fight. Reisen Udongein Inaba can make her bullets invisible, but they can't actually hit you while invisible. But of course you still need to be careful since they still move and may reappear on top of you.
  • Godzilla: Save the Earth zigzags this, with Space Godzilla. Some of his moves, such as his grab, play it straight, being invisible and undodgeable, while other invisible attacks are quite blockable and some visible attacks go through all guards.
  • A variant in Mega Man X: Command Mission: One of the Standard Status Effects is Blind. Apparently, aside from lowering the affected foe's accuracy, this status effect will also lower their evasion rate ("you can't dodge what you can't see").
  • Played with in the Final Boss in Double Dragon 3 has one attack that is an invisible energy wave -- you can't dodge it, but you can block it if your timing is good.
  • Frank West in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has his "Snapshot" attack in which he takes a shot with his camera. This move has no shown form, but it can hit the opponent anywhere (even while grounded), though it does small damage and can be blocked.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
  • Bloodbending in Avatar: The Last Airbender as well as its Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra, has only ever once been stopped, but never dodged.
  • The Magic from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is full of this, having clearly dodgeable projectiles, as well as unstoppable telekinesis-styled magic.
  • Him's Magic from The Powerpuff Girls is full of this. The girls go toe to toe with him whenever he uses projectiles and beams. However, the moment he changes to his invisible Thought-Controlled Power, they're helpless.
  • Batmite from Batman: The Brave and the Bold, in the episode Emporer Joker. Batmite can alter reality to his very whim. However, when trying to power up Batman to battle the Joker, he shoots out an energy beam, which misses, and powers up the Joker instead. This'd never of happened if Batmite used invisible magic.
[[/folder]]


Rolling Updates

Community Feedback Replies: 81
  • May 21, 2013
    Koveras
    • In the D 20 System (and all game systems based on it), attacking while invisible completely negates the target's Dexterity defense bonus. The same applies to invisible projectiles unless the target can see who's shooting and guess the trajectory.
  • May 21, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Added the D 20 System example.
  • May 22, 2013
    Koveras
    You can copy the original markup of other's comments by clicking on the pen symbol next to their comment. This will open the comment editing form with their original markup. Clicking on the pen symbol again will close the comment edit form without saving anything. Please use it to carry over the wicks and formatting of the original comment to your write-up.
  • May 22, 2013
    TheTitan99
    I'm new to this, so I don't know all of the little tricks for easy editing.

    Anyway, the formatting is fixed, and the main post has had links added to it, to make it more professional.
  • May 22, 2013
    Koveras
    Nice. Have my hat. :)
  • May 22, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Thank you!
  • May 23, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons. Attack spells such as Charm Person, Sleep and Power Word Stun are invisible and cannot be dodged or deflected with weapons.
  • May 23, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Added, as well as added Rolling Updates.
  • May 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    The reason for this trope is most likely Rule Of Perception. After all, dodging fireballs and energy beams makes for some good action, whereas watching The Hero dive to the ground without a visible threat is a bit... boring.

    See also Inverse Law Of Utility And Lethality.

    [[folder:Literature]] [[/folder]]
  • May 23, 2013
    aurora369
    Hitscan Magic?

    Also, the Force powers such as Force Grip are blockable, only not with a lightsaber but with another Force power. For example, in the Dark Forces Saga, Force Grip is countered with Force Push. It's, in fact, only good against muggles.
  • May 23, 2013
    Koveras
    A similar concept is the Thought Controlled Power, where you have hard time defending against it because you have no way of telling when and what will be used against you.
  • May 23, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Alright, added the comparison to Rule Of Perception, the Harry Potter example, and updated the Star Wars example. Also, added a comparison to Thought Controlled Power.
  • May 23, 2013
    SharleeD
    Re. Rule Of Perception: With visible magic, the spell's appearance is usually enough to establish what the intended effect is. A spell without visible components has to hit its target if the audience is to know what it's supposed to do, or indeed that it was successfully cast at all.

    • Averted in the Dragaera novels, in which Vlad often Lampshades how he doesn't have any idea what his allies' or enemies' invisible sorcery is supposed to do, he just does his best to hide behind Spellbreaker and dodge any gestures directed towards him.
  • May 24, 2013
    Godzilladude123
    In Hellblazer issue 250, the protagonist John Constantine went face to face with a demon which easily pummels him down. When John was in a chokehold, he gave a smile, and the demon spontaniously exploded. John later tells the reader he killed the demon with a spell.
  • May 24, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • Inverted in one Touhou boss fight. Reisen Udongein Inaba can make her bullets invisible, but they can't actually hit you while invisible. But of course you still need to be careful since they still move and may reappear on top of you.
  • May 24, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Also compare Always Accurate Attack.

    EDIT: Also, the more I think about it, the more I like aurora369's suggestion of Hitscan Magic. Or maybe Hitscan Spell, to reinforce the statement that some but not all magic in a given setting is like this.
  • May 24, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Added Dragarea, Hellblazer, and Touhou examples, as well as a Godzilla example I just remembered.

    So, what's the general idea on the title? I'd be fine changing it to Hitscan Magic, or something else, if you don't like the blunt, flavorless, descriptive name it has now.
  • May 25, 2013
    1810072342
    Downplayed example (possibly): In Street Fighter IV the Big Bad Seth has an Ultra Combo that begins with an invisible projectile that stuns the opponent. The range on this is so ridiculously big that it's nigh-on impossible to avoid unless you're on the other side of the screen, but it can be blocked.
  • May 25, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I don't like the current title either. My thinking is along the lines of Cant Dodge What You Cant See, but that's admittedly broader....
  • May 26, 2013
    TheTitan99
    I don't think the Seth example really works, because it can still be blocked.

    I've updated the title a bit, but it still can use more work.
  • May 26, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Invisible Is Unavoidable?

    For some reason I thought the proposal was trying to avoid examples of the actual attacker being invisible and only counting weapons/projectiles, until I actually reread the examples and saw d20 being one of the first suggestions.
  • May 26, 2013
    herbides
    Movie
    • In "The Sword and the Stone" (1963) Merlin wins his duel against Mad Madam Mim by turning into a germ and infecting her with a cold.
  • May 26, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Well, that Sword in the Stone example isn't quite invisible like I had in mind, but, hey, it's better to have a broader trope than too narrow of one. It's added!
  • May 29, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • May 29, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    ^^ Merlin practically is invisible thanks to Rule Of Perception. At no point can the audience or any other character see Merlin in germ form. In fact, Merlin explains his transformation so no one can accuse him of breaking the "no disappearing" rule that he and Mim agreed on before the duel.

    Also, I wish I could give this another hat.
  • May 29, 2013
    arromdee
    Many of these examples are bad examples because they are not projectiles, such as the D&D spells.
  • May 29, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Ultramarine Alizarin: Thanks for the thought!

    arromdee: You're right! But, it's not the examples that are bad, it's the Laconic, which stupidly says it has to be a projectile, when the description makes clear that it does not have to be (ie, Force choke, ect.)
  • May 30, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • May 31, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^ ^^^ I agree that this should be expanded to include all invisible attacks that are undodgeable when visible attacks aren't.
  • May 31, 2013
    TheTitan99
    I've reworded the laconic and description even more to make sure its not just about magic, but a bit more broad, to allow more examples in while maintaining the core idea of the trope.
  • June 7, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • June 14, 2013
    TheTitan99
    YKTTW Bump I guess...
  • June 14, 2013
    StarSword
    Anime and Manga:
    • In Black Cat, Creed Diskenth's Imagine Blade is created by his Tao powers and the only part that is visible is the hilt. Its length is also variable, so dodging it with any degree of success means keeping track of the angle of the hilt. Train comes up with an alternative method early in the story: he sacrifices his off hand to find the blade, blasts it out of Creed's hands, then shoots him in the chest with an explosive bullet.
  • June 14, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Added.
  • June 20, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • July 2, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • July 5, 2013
    TheTitan99
    YKTTW Bump ... Again.
  • July 5, 2013
    DAN004
    A variant in Mega Man X Command Mission: One of the Standard Status Effects is Blind. Apparently, aside from lowering the affected foe's accuracy, this status effect will also lower their evasion rate ("you can't dodge what you can't see").
  • July 8, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Added, and updated some poorly worded examples.
  • July 9, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    This is sort of a twisted-around variation that might count:

    Live-Action TV

    • In The X Files episode "Je Souhaite", a man encounters a "genie", and on his third wish he decides he wants to be invisible, so he can get away with things and whatnot. The genie grants him just that, and he runs gleefully from his home outside, knocking around his neighbors' mailboxes and stuff, and then runs across the road--where he promptly gets hit by a truck (whose driver, of course, couldn't dodge what he couldn't see) and dies in his still-invisible body.
  • July 10, 2013
    TheTitan99
    That doesn't quite fit in with what I'm going for in this trope, sorry.
  • July 14, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Any recommendations on how to improve this? It seems to be stuck in a 3 hat limbo here.
  • July 14, 2013
    AP
    • Averted when it comes to superheroes like Spider Man and Daredevil who are usually pretty good at detecting and dodging invisible opponents due to their Super Senses.
  • July 15, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Added.
  • July 21, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • July 21, 2013
    Stratadrake
    • The Final Boss in Double Dragon 3 has one attack that is an invisible energy wave -- you can't dodge it, but you can block it if your timing is good.
  • July 21, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Added.
  • July 23, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • July 23, 2013
    Ryusui
    Can I recommend this be changed to Cant Dodge What You Cant See? Since I'm pretty sure "undodgeable" isn't a word.
  • July 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Yes it is. Believe it.
  • July 23, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ^^ Besides, as long as you can identify what the word means, whether a dictionary has it or not is irrelevant. This isn't Scrabble.
  • July 23, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Well, that solves that.

    Still, I AM looking for a catchier name. This one is easy to understand, but it's not exactly the most... elegant title. I think that this trope is getting fairly near a launching point, but the name's still bland.
  • July 23, 2013
    Stratadrake
    At least it's not Invisible Equals Undodgeable. That snowclone family needs to be melted down in a fire.
  • July 23, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Heh, I guess I just lucked out there. I wasn't even aware of the, now searching it, very abundant snowclone family.
  • July 24, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • July 24, 2013
    DracMonster
    Not sure if this counts or is just tangential, but in Video Games, Hit Scan weapons like bullets generally can't be dodged, since they "teleport" to the player, unlike ones with a visible projectile, such as rocket launchers.
  • July 25, 2013
    DAN004
    • Frank West in Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 has his "Snapshot" attack in which he takes a shot with his camera. This move has no shown form, but it can hit the opponent anywhere (even while grounded), though it does small damage and can be blocked.
  • July 25, 2013
    TheTitan99
    I'm not sure about the Hit Scan weapons... It's not really what I hand in mind with this trope, but I guess it could be argues that it counts... I'll need to think on it.

    Added the camera example.
  • July 25, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ For the Hit Scan, it's not that they're perfectly "undodgeable" - you just have to not be in line of fire, because when you are, you won't be able to dodge the shot that comes after.

    At least you can mention Hit Scan in the description.
  • July 25, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Hitscan weapons are not necessarily invisible; they can display graphical effects between the attacker and target.
  • July 25, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Well, seeing as Hit Scan weapons can be both visible and dodgeable... well, it seems like they won't fit into this trope.
  • July 30, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • August 3, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • August 5, 2013
    TheTitan99
    I can't seem to get that 5th hat, but it could appear at any time, so I'm just throwing this out there: Is there anything else really needed on this before a launch?
  • August 5, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ I've already given mine. :/
  • August 8, 2013
    TheTitan99
    It's in the description now, but not with too much focus, as Hit Scan is still fairly different. I just kinda missed your post earlier.

    Anything else really needed?
  • August 11, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Added an example from Firefly, but I can't get a blue link to it. What am I missing here?
  • August 11, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Fixed. When the Wiki Word consists of only one word, you need to add {{ }} on the sides for it to be interpreted as one.

    Like this: Series/{{Firefly}} = Firefly.
  • August 11, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Thanks. That'd explain why Futurama never worked either.
  • August 12, 2013
    TheTitan99
  • August 12, 2013
    TheTitan99
    I'll be launching this soon, maybe in a day or so, I'm not sure, now that it's got its 5 hats. Any last things to change that people can think of?
  • August 13, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Picture plz.
  • August 13, 2013
    TheTitan99
    I never could think of a good picture, as this trope is about the absence of visuals.
  • August 13, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    In my opinion, a good page picture could be one with to screen-caps from the Star Wars movies: one where a Jedi is throwing someone through the air with the Force, and one where a character blocks/dodges a Force Lightning.
  • August 27, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Alright, added and image and a quote. Now the question is, did I format them correctly...?
  • August 27, 2013
    TheTitan99
    ...Because, if people don't have any issues with how this is, I'll launch it soon.
  • August 28, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Everything seems to be in order. Here's a couple potential image captions:

    1. Lightning might not strike the same place twice, but a Force Choke doesn't need to.

    2. The one time lightning can't do everything.
  • August 28, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Alright, I'll add a caption! ...Just as soon as I figure out HOW to add one... Uh, any help with that? Copying code from other tropes just puts the text on the left, not under the image.
  • August 28, 2013
    TheTitan99
    What am I doing wrong with the image caption?
  • August 28, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Hmmm... Well, looking at other launched YKTTW discussions, it seems that image captions always get messed up here. SO, I guess there may not be a problem.

    Then, I guess this is all set to be launched. I probably will tonight. Probably.
  • August 28, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Launching.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=g2hejox6lmqwjmkzxyez4ewo&trope=InvisibleMeansUndodgeable