Created By: thewriter on March 18, 2013 Last Edited By: thewriter on March 27, 2013
Troped

Step Into The Blinding Fight

The tactical use of blinding your enemy to shroud ones attacks.

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Trope
The enemy uses magic or technology to shut off, put out, or destroy light sources, thus pitching an area in darkness. Sometimes a character literally summons darkness or a mist or fog with magic or superpowers in order to invoke this. For the most disturbing applications, the hero's eyes are damaged, or worst yet: removed. In any case, this trope is when one character cannot view another character as they fight. From one direction a punch flies and hits their left cheek. From another direction a kick slams into their rightknee. Uppercut to the chin; knee to the gut; roundhouse kick to the back. The hero gets his ass kicked.

If the method of blinding an enemy is to throw sand, a chemical, or some other foreign substance into their eye, than that's A Handful for an Eye, a subtrope of this one.

Often invoked by the blind master to teach his pupil to not rely so much on his visual senses .A frequent occurrence in the Stealth-Based Game genre, as well as many video games with a stealth mechanic and a specialty of the ninja.

Eye Scream Warning: Potential for Squick and Nightmare Fuel abounds.

Examples:

Anime/Manga
  • One Piece - Absalom uses this against Sanji while the latter tries to protect an unconscious Nami.
  • In Naruto one forbidden ninjutsu that the Second Hokage uses on the Third causes darkness that blinds the target.
  • Also in Fullmetal Alchemist there's a fight scene in the dark that renders the heroes unable to fight very well. Gluttony solves the problem by using his sense of Smell
  • Captain Tousen in Bleach uses this. His bankai creates a huge sphere of darkness (in which his blindness doesn't give him a disadvantage). Unfortunately for him, he was fighting Kenpachi, who just lets himself get stabbed to immobilize Tousen's sword and beat the crap out of him.
Comic Books
  • Often invoked by Batman with his use of shadows and smoke pellets to scare criminals. It disorients his enemies and make them easier to pick off one by one. In The Dark Knight Rises Bane was a member of the League Of Shadows and knows of their tricks of using darkness to distract enemies in battle, so when Batman tries to use these same tactics on Bane, he mocks him for it and goes into a Badass Boast about how he is made of Shadows.
  • Daredevil invokes this trope despite being blind himself. His superb hearing and "radar" senses allows him to "see" in the dark much to the disadvantage of the criminals who can actually see. While they're paranoid and distracted he's calm and controlled and kicks their asses.
    • Turned on its head though any time his superior senses are overloaded, such as when in the movie Bullseye causes a raucous of noise and disorients Daredevil thus making him "blind" to any attack Bullseye can impose on him.
Film
  • In the climax of Wait Until Dark a blind woman battles against a killer in her apartment; she destroys all the lamps so he is disoriented but she can react just fine.
  • The Silence of the Lambs: Jame Gumb turns off the lights and stalks Agent Starling while wearing night-vision goggles.
  • There's a scene in The Chronicles of Riddick where Riddick is accosted by two necromongers, and responds by extinguishing the two candles in the room, plunging it into darkness. Riddick has the ability to see in the dark thanks to his 'eye-shine'. The necromongers don't, and get completely owned in the fight that follows.
  • The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. At the end Sinbad must fight Koura while Koura is invisible after being granted a "shield of darkness".
  • In one of the Star Wars movies, Jedis train The Younglings to fight blind/using only the Force by using the special darkness helmets.
Live-Action Television
  • Inverted in an episode of Angel where a blind assassin can sense motion including heartbeats and breath-falls. Angel, being a vampire lacks both a pulse and the necessity to inhale or exhale, so when he stands completely still, the assassin is incapable of seeing him.
  • An episode of Grimm had a fly Wesen capable of spewing a certain parasite into his victims' eyes which blinded them (and after a while the parasites would completely eat out their eyes). After he blinds Nick, the Wesen later tries to use this to his advantage in an attack, but Nick's developed enhanced hearing and ends up winning.
  • Justified by the weeping angels in Doctor Who; they become 'quantum-locked' and completely incapable of moving when being observed by other living things, so they've developed abilities that let them drain power from light sources when in statue-form, making it easier to approach their prey.
Literature
  • The Blind Master Training occurs in a book of the Pendragon series. Bobby is blindfolded and asked to feel his trainers' presences.
Video Games Western Animation
  • For Robin in an episode of Teen Titans he went on a quest and one of the trials was to fight a blind snake in his own element, a dark cave with zero light. He eventually has to learn to try and stop seeing his enemy and start hearing and feeling where the master is.
  • Cleverly used in the Samurai Jack episode "Samurai Vs Ninja": Jack matches an assassin's mastery of the dark by using identical tactics, only wearing stark white and hidden in the glare of sunlight.
Webcomic
  • In WebcomicGoblins, Thaco attempts to exploit the fact that he can see in the dark by luring Dellyn into a sewer before fighting him, and blocking off all the manholes so the sewer is pitch black. Dellyn, however, subverts this by casting a spell that provides him with a light source, rendering Thaco's advantage moot.

Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • March 19, 2013
    Aokage
    One Piece - Absalom uses this against Sanji while the latter tries to protect an unconscious Nami.
  • March 19, 2013
    Arivne
    Corrected a couple of Example Indentation errors in the OP examples.

    Film

    I think we might have two tropes here: Attacking From All Directions (teleporting, Flash Step) and Attacking While Unseen (darkness, invisibility).
  • March 19, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Tousen in Bleach uses this, creating a huge sphere of darkness (in which his blindness doesn't give him a disadvantage). Unfortunately for him, he was fighting Kenpachi, who just lets himself get stabbed to immobilize Tousen's sword and beat the crap out of him.
    • Rumia the youkai of darkness in Touhou can create spheres of darkness around herself so as to blind enemies. Too bad she can't see in the dark either...
  • March 19, 2013
    thewriter
    ^^ Agreed. I am splitting.
  • March 19, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Corrected a Pot Hole in the description.
  • March 19, 2013
    MokonaZero
    In Naruto one forbidden ninjutsu that the Second Hokage uses on the Third causes darkness that blinds the target.

    Also in Full Metal Alchemist there's a fight scene in the dark that renders the heroes unable to fight very well. Gluttony solves the problem by using his sense of smell.

    Btw the title sounds kind of like actually sparring with shadows (which can be in martial arts) I suggest a change, like "Fight In The Dark" or something.
  • March 19, 2013
    captainpat
    Not sure shadow boxing is a good name for this since it's already a Pre-existing term.
  • March 19, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Seconding that. It would be pretty awkward if actual shadowboxing ended up becoming a trope and the term was already taken.
  • March 19, 2013
    thewriter
    ^^Valid points. Changed it to Shadow Tactics for now. Good or no? Title suggestions? How about Fighting Without Lighting Out Of Sight Fighter Unseen Fighting Machine?
  • March 19, 2013
    MokonaZero
    Fighting Without Lighting sounds like the best. Sounds cool, and describes the trope exactly.
  • March 19, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Yeah, Fighting Without Lighting sounds good. Also, you should probably add to the description something about the cases where the attacker actually summons the darkness to conceal his movements (in which cases it would overlap with Casting A Shadow).
  • March 19, 2013
    Aokage
    ^^Since this includes the invisible, I don't think the title should imply a lack of light.
  • March 19, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Good point. Another example:

    Video Games
    • League Of Legends: Nocturne's ultimate "Paranoia" turns the whole map dark blocking the enemy team's sight of their enemies and each other for 4 seconds. During this time Nocturne can choose one of the enemies and launch himself at him/her, attacking from the darkness.
  • March 19, 2013
    thewriter
  • March 19, 2013
    MokonaZero
    That sounds more catchy. Maybe the examples of the two varieties could be sorted, though. Invisibility could have its own section, depending on how many examples come.
  • March 19, 2013
    Astaroth
    There's a scene in The Chronicles Of Riddick where Riddick is accosted by two necromongers, and responds by extinguishing the two candles in the room, plunging it into darkness. Riddick has the ability to see in the dark thanks to his 'eye-shine'. The necromongers don't, and get completely owned in the fight that follows.
  • March 19, 2013
    thewriter
    I question whether if I should even include invisibility here.
  • March 19, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    Cleverly used in the Samurai Jack episode "Samurai Vs Ninja": Jack matches an assassin's mastery of the dark by using identical tactics, only wearing stark white and hidden in the glare of sunlight.
  • March 19, 2013
    thewriter
    I will sort and clean up the description and examples after I actually Launch so just Rolling Updates until then.

    Also I am thinking about splitting this once again into two separate tropes. One trope will be about the use of darkness, shadows, and smoke/fog to obscure light and gain the upperhand in battle. The second trope would be the blind master technique of learning to use one's other senses besides sight to see an unseen or invisible enemy.
  • March 20, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • In the climax of Wait Until Dark a blind woman battles against a killer in her apartment; she destroys all the lamps so he is disoriented but she can react just fine.
    • The Silence Of The Lambs: Jame Gumb turns off the lights and stalks Agent Starling while wearing night-vision goggles.
  • March 20, 2013
    Astaroth
    • In Goblins, Thaco attempts to exploit the fact that he can see in the dark by luring Dellyn into a sewer before fighting him, and blocking off all the manholes so the sewer is pitch black. Dellyn, however, subverts this by casting a spell that provides him with a light source, rendering Thaco's advantage moot.
  • March 21, 2013
    TrueShadow1
  • March 21, 2013
    chicagomel
    What about whichever Star Wars movie it was that showed the Younglings training to fight blind/using only the Force by using the special helmets?
  • March 21, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ I think, if they never utilize that advantage by attacking a blinded enemy, then it's not this trope. EDIT: No, wait, there was the blind master part. I guess it passes after all.
  • March 25, 2013
    StarSword
    This is a frequent occurrence in the Stealth Based Game genre, as well as many video games with a stealth mechanic.
  • March 25, 2013
    Astaroth
    Blinding your opponent by throwing something in their eyes is already covered by A Handful For An Eye so either take that part out of the description or list it as a subtrope.

    • Justified by the weeping angels in Doctor Who; they become 'quantum-locked' and completely incapable of moving when being observed by other living things, so they've developed abilities that let them drain power from light sources when in statue-form, making it easier to approach their prey.
  • March 25, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Cleaned out the example section a bit.
  • March 27, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Real Life: Flash-Bang grenades were designed for this purpose.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=rmq3kc8t2tgg7664ih11lx3f&trope=StepIntoTheBlindingFight