Up for Grabs
A visual trick used most often (but not always) in video games to hide a masked or helmeted character's face in situations where their face would otherwise be visible. The basic idea is hide the subject's face behind convenient camera angles just before they "remove" their helmet, mask, or faceplate, without actually removing it. For extra convincing, a copy of the concealing item is put in the subject's hands to show that they really are showing their face to whoever is in the room with them, just not to the audience.
When you think about it, this trope makes a lot of sense from a design point of view. It saves the art team from having to create a new design for the unmasked version of a character, and for video games, it can keep nosy fans from spoiling the character's appearance by hacking the camera so that the subject's face becomes visible,
which can be very important if said character's appearance is a plot point.
- In Naruto, Team 7 tries to find out what Kakashi looks like under his mask, when he finally shows them—it's another mask.
- In the Grand Finale of The Prisoner, Number Six takes off Number One's mask, revealing a gorilla mask. Six takes that off to reveal...himself?
- Perhaps the most notorious example of this trope is Master Chief from the Halo series. Fans who hacked the camera so that it could be manually controlled during the end cutscene were not amused to find this trope in play.
- Vanitas from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has this in effect for a couple of early cutscenes. Attempting to scroll the camera upwards via hacking only shows a helmeted Vanitas with a copy of his helmet in his hands. At the end of Ventus' subplot, we do get to see Vanitas without his mask, and lo and behold, he looks like Sora with black hair.