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[[quoteright:348:[[VideoGame/MetroidPrime http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MetroidScanJ_3973.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: [[Memes/DragonBall What does the scanner say about its power level, Samus?]] ]]

An item, ability, or spell that when used provides the player with otherwise hidden information about the current enemy. This will often reveal the enemy's HitPoints, ManaMeter, attacks, [[AchillesHeel weaknesses]] (in {{RPG}}s, especially [[ElementalRockPaperScissors magic-based ones]]), or may just provide a general description of the enemy. Often shown in the form of StatOVision, even if it's a magical spell.

Some games feature a [[MonsterCompendium Monster Encyclopedia]] of sorts that may be filled if the player wants HundredPercentCompletion (in turn requiring the player to traverse the world and [[GottaCatchEmAll perform this on every single enemy]]). Frustratingly, this can result in PermanentlyMissableContent if the enemy (or a [[UndergroundMonkey specific variation of it]]) only appears a limited number of times.

This may [[ContractualBossImmunity or may not work on bosses]], especially the FinalBoss. But it usually does work on {{Helpful Mook}}s.

Can become a UselessUsefulSpell if it can only scan weak enemies you don't need to know much about to defeat.

See also RoboCam, where a shot is filmed from a robot's point of view, often used when the robot performs an Enemy Scan. Also compare SherlockScan, where the information isn't hidden but is so subtle and obscure that interpreting it requires a special mindset.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Pokédex in the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime scans monsters and pulls up a database written by either the main series professors or a Prof. Westwood who made a one off appearance.
** In the Manga/PokemonAdventures Manga the dex also allows various in-game functions like trading, canceling evolutions, stat pages and HP bars.
* Chopper in ''Manga/OnePiece'' is capable of doing this in his intelligence oriented form, Brain Point, while under the effects of a Rumble Ball.
* The purpose of the Digivice 01 in Manga/DigimonVTamer01 was to facilitate non verbal communication but Taichi and Neo quickly learn how to gather enemy data with it. Since it's not directly built for that though, they have to actively scan various enemy actions on a case by case basis to get the full story. One of Neo's {{kick the dog}} moments involves [[YouHaveOutLivedYourUsefulness ordering one of his own monsters to delete itself]] because it could not get the enemy to show enough for him to scan. Metamorphmon also as a scanning ability called laser translation and a built in database for all the information he gathers.
* The various incarnations of the ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' franchise have the Digimon Analyzer, always presented in a different form. In ''[[Anime/DigimonAdventure Adventure]]'' and ''[[Anime/DigimonAdventure02 02]]'' it was ostensibly a program on Koushiro's laptop, ''[[Anime/DigimonTamers Tamers]]'' and ''[[Anime/DigimonFrontier Frontier]]'' relegated the roles to the kids' Digivices, and the ''[[Anime/DigimonSavers Savers]]/Data Squad'' incarnation seems to have given the role to Miki and Megumi's computers at DATS HQ or Touma's laptop. The Xros Wars/Fusion years replace it with BossSubtitles ([[ViewersAreGoldfish for everyone, every time they appear, to the point of obnoxiousness]]. Evidently, TOEI feels you will not remember who the main characters are even 40+ episodes in.) but the analyzer scenes are back for ''Anime/DigimonUniverseApplimonsters.''
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' features "Scouters", special devices worn over the eyes which can measure the PowerLevels of enemies.
** They also have two glaring design flaws: one, they can be fooled (as it only detects the target's current, and not potential, ability), and two, they can't handle a sudden large increase in data, so if someone powers up enough, it can cause them to explode. [[{{Mooks}} The less important the character wearing the scouter]], the less it takes to make the scouter explode.
* Guy from ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'' apparently has one of these in the form of a [[Anime/DragonBallZ scouter]]-looking lens. He only uses it once, however, making it seem extremely random when he shouts "[[GratuitousEnglish Library!]]" in the middle of a tense scene.
* One of Nijima's 'evil alien/demon/whatever' powers in ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'' is the ability to look at fighters in a strange way and then size up their strength.
* In ''Manga/{{Needless}}'', [[RobotGirl Disk's]] Scan ability can retrieve information about any person she meets, most notably on their Fragment ability.
** But more importantly [[PowerPerversionPotential bust, waist, and hip measurements.]]
* The R.E.A.D. software installed into the cellphones of the ''Manga/AirGear'' universe allows people to check the statistics of nearby [[RollerbladeGood A-T]] riders. These include their power level, class and the number of tricks they have performed.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'', one of the Wing Gundam's unique abilities was being able to scan enemy data. The Zero System is also capable of this at heightened levels.
* In ''Anime/TurnAGundam'', the Turn A will often scan enemy units it sees. Unfortunately, since it's been out of commission for something like 2000 years, it has no data on any units, and has to fill in the data manually as it fights. The one exception is the Turn X: the instant the Turn A sees it, it pulls up a huge amount of analytical data on the Turn X's abilities, showing that it has encountered and fought this particular machine before.
* Teru Miyanaga, the elder sister of the main protagonist of ''Manga/{{Saki}}'' has an inherent ability called the Shoumakyou. This ability allows her to see the true nature of a person, and when applied to the game of Mahjong, functions as a way for her to know the opponent's main strengths and weaknesses in playing. This ability is so effective, it has allowed her to play around and counter an opponent who can see one turn ahead in the future.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Airwolf}}'' features a similar system, which shows a line drawing of the attacking aircraft (or ship) with basic info on its weapons. As it finds the info, images of other aircraft are seen in a "searching display", including the Tu-95 "Bear" and the Tu-22M "Backfire".
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E10VincentAndTheDoctor Vincent & The Doctor]], the Doctor uses a present from a godmother to scan the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Krafayis]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' 4th edition even has an item called the "Goggles of Aura Sight" which tells you how many HP the monster has, and any diseases or disease causing effects on him.
** In at least some of the editions there are the knowledge skills, some of which will tell you information about a creature you encounter upon a successful roll. How much info depends on the roll.
--->[[CaptainObvious This creature is a Bear. It lives in caves. It attacks by mauling you.]]
* ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken'' has a Gift that allows a werewolf to know the information regarding a spirit. It doesn't work on other type of creatures, even creatures that are part-spirit.
* The ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' card "[[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/A_Man_with_Wdjat A Man with Wdjat]]" allows its controller to look at any face-down card on their opponent's side of the field once per turn without activating its effect, whether it be a Monster, Spell, or Trap card.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Scan/Libra ability in ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' tends to reveal an enemy's current health and elemental weaknesses, among others. Depending on the incarnation, you may have access to this information for the rest of the battle or even the game (if there is a MonsterCompendium).
** A boss from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' actually used Scan on your party, which made little sense since the boss' attack patterns never changed after that. Plus, you can scan your own party. Scan can also be equipped to your characters in ''VIII'' for a stat increase, but the gain is ''maybe'' a 1% boost, so one would pretty much only do this if they were bored.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' features the Trap Door, who will scan a party member and then unleash an instant-kill attack on whoever was scanned. Also, the Li'l Murderer in the final dungeon scans itself every turn, revealing a weakness to lightning. If this weakness is exploited, [[SchmuckBait you receive a very nasty counterattack]]. Oops.
*** Also after casting Libra/using a picture book on an enemy, from that point all enemies of the same type have their current HP displayed.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' features Hein, a boss that [[BarrierChangeBoss changes his weakness frequently]] throughout the battle. Theoretically, this fight should be made considerably easier through either constant use of the Libra spell (of which you only have a few shots at that point in the game) or use of, as the game suggests several times, the Scholar class, [[PlotTailoredToTheParty for which this is a free action]]. In practice however, instead of wasting a turn scanning and then having Hein change his barrier again before you act next turn, it tends to be easier to just throw spells of different elements at him so you're sure one of them hits his weakness.
*** Or just use a Geomancer.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' even allowed you to learn upgraded versions of the ability: at level 2, you could rotate the resulting image of the enemy to look at it from different angles, while at level 3, you could target your own party members with the spell. [[FanService Hm, I wonder what]] [[PantyShot the point]] [[FanService of that feature was?]]
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' had two versions of this: 1) The Sensor ability let you see the condition (HP, MP, weaknesses, ect.) of the highlighted enemy in question. And 2) The Scan spell that let you see with in-depth detail what the target has (Ronso Rages, immunities, a tip about the enemy, etc.). The fact that a ''lot'' of the strong enemies are ''immune'' to sensors pretty much makes the usefulness of scanning drop to zero once you get to the final dungeon. However, if you enter the battle against the aeons with Sensor, not only the aeon's HP is shown, but they also give you of some variation of "please, kill me now" in the text box rather than a general blurb of what the enemy does since the FinalBoss overtakes their bodies.
** Libra is a tech point consuming ability in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', and it is '''vital''' to being able to kill mooks properly. As in, your characters will accidentally heal and debuff the enemy if they don't get a little intel first. Once an enemy is scanned, your allies' AI will automatically exploit any weaknesses the foe in question has ([[BlackMage Ravagers]] attacking with the appropriate elemental attacks, and [[StatusBuffDispel Saboteurs]] casting whatever status debuff(s) the enemy is susceptible to).
*** A Librascope is a one use item (that doesn't consume TP) that's equivalent to casting Libra on every enemy in the battle, ''twice'' (which is how many uses of Libra it takes to build a complete profile on a enemy). For most mooks, you can skip the scans (good advice given that Librascopes are rare/expensive (and gil is rarely found unless you farm items, anyway) and TP requires fighting to earn) and just fight them: Any immune or absorbed elements are instantly noted after they're used, and you can get a full profile after killing four or five of the mook in question.
** Libra is also vital in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII''. It is a technique so it costs no MP to use and it lasts quite a while. Libra will show a targeted enemy's HP, reveals any weaknesses they have, and also reveals any traps in the field. Some accessories grant Libra status automatically.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' doesn't have abilities that let you read enemy HP since you can see their HP at all times, but it did have abilities that let you scan enemies for what kinds of loot they were carrying.
* ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'' Series:
** Jeff's Spy ability in ''Videogame/EarthBound'' provided a readout of the target's offensive and defensive stats and weaknesses. [[VideoGameStealing It also stole items which would've otherwise been dropped by defeated enemies.]]
** Its predecessor ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'' had Check, which worked the same way, but could be used by anyone and also provided a comment about the enemy.
** Likewise, Boney in ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'' can Sniff an enemy to deduce their type and vulnerabilities. Some enemies have no scent, and some are too pungent for Boney to handle sniffing them. This one doesn't give away the enemy's offense and defense stats, however.
* Spectacles/Magic Lenses in the ''StarOcean'' series.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' has a scanning augmentation. It was more useful than the typical scan since it increased your weapon accuracy, making it a very viable choice for most combat situations.
* Mallow's Psychopath ability in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG''. When the action command succeeds, it also reveals the thoughts of the enemy, which are usually just for fun but sometimes reveal a weakness or attack strategy.
* The Tattle ability in the ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' games. Notably, once you'd tattled an enemy once, you'd be able to see that enemy type's current HP forever. There's also a badge that enables the player to see HP without tattling, as long as it was equipped. The first game didn't allow you to view the tattled enemies in the menu. The second game did, and any tattles that would otherwise be {{Permanently Missable|Content}} ended up in Frankly's trashcan for you to pick up. Humorously, the enemies that mimic your partners can and will Tattle on you if mimicking the right character.
** In ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'', the tattle log from the previous games is replaced by cards that also increase the attack power against these enemies in addition to listing their stats for reference. There are also cards for bosses and other characters that have no additional effect.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', [[PlayerCharacter The Avatar]] describes having something similar to this as an In-Universe way of explaining the player's ability to see enemy (and ally) stats.
* In ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'', this is often a job of the ExpositionFairy.
** Navi in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' is the standard ExpositionFairy. Targeting enemies and pressing Z/L prompts her to provide the enemy's name, followed by a short hint on how to defeat it. She speaks in an encyclopedic manner, without much discernible emotion.
** Her [[DeadpanSnarker snarkier]] SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute, Tatl, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''. As she is more involved in the game's plot, and she has a developed personality, unlike Navi; she grudgingly works together with Link and often snarks at him when asked for advice. Amusingly, in the original version but not the [[VideoGameRemake 3DS remake]], if Link consults her on any enemy previously encountered in ''Ocarina of Time'', she starts off with "What?! You don't even know about the [x]?!"
** Tingle in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', though unlike the other 3D games, he can only be summoned [[CoOpMultiplayer by an assistant player]], from a [[UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance GBA]] connected to the [[UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube GameCube]]. He doesn't actually offer much in the way of concrete ''help'', but it's better than nothing. There's also the figurine gallery, which shows background information on characters (also available in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap'') and the Hero's Charm, a mask which actually displays a LifeMeter for enemies.
** Midna in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' can give some limited information on a few enemies, like Darknuts and Shadow Beasts. Unfortunately, she offers the least informative hint system of all the 3D games in the series.
** Fi in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', who gives the most extensive information available on enemies, even "collecting more data" during boss fights to reveal new weaknesses as time goes on, in addition to offering more help if Link dies during a boss battle. She speaks without emotion, in a way stereotypical of a computer's AI, frequently using the terms "I recommend", "I predict an x% probability that ...", etc.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', wearing the Champion's Tunic lets you see the exact hit points of enemies, while taking pictures of enemies with the Sheikah Slate will add descriptions of them in your Compendium.
* The Analyze spell in ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana''. It could even be used on [[RandomlyDrops randomly-dropped]] treasure chests to test for traps.
* ''Franchise/StarWars: VideoGame/JediKnightJediAcademy'' has Force Sense, which highlights enemies, equipment, invisible symbols, and other useful tidbits, even through walls. At its highest level, it also shows the health of enemies.
* The Scan Visor in the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'', which can also be used on objects. You are actively encouraged to scan literally everything you come across, especially since scans count toward HundredPercentCompletion and some scans (especially bosses) can be {{Permanently Missable|Content}}. In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' and ''[[VideoGame/MetroidPrime2Echoes Echoes]]'', which are sparse on dialogue and cutscenes, the visor is the only way to learn most of the JigsawPuzzlePlot. The Scan Visor apparently knows everything in the universe, since a quick two-second scan of practically ''anything'' will give you a name, classification, 3D models of its body, strategies for battle, its origins, and anything else you can think of. Scanning your own ship informs you that it contains an onboard computer and encyclopedia, which your suit is wirelessly consulting no matter how far you are from it.
** In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption'', this is a very important method of acquiring tokens to unlock additional goodies. Each new enemy scan and lore scan (of certain objects that record the history of the various places within the game) awards a red or blue credit respectively.
** This is played with in the last level of the series: [[spoiler: when you arrive on the planet Phaaze, your Scan Visor is unable to analyze any of the planet's natural lifeforms. It flat-out admits that it has no idea what anything on Phaaze is, and being too corrupted for your own ship to recognize you doesn't help. For a feature that's been giving you full-length essays on everything for three games, this is actually quite chilling.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Angband}}'' has the "Probing" ability, which gives the current hit-point total of monsters; in some variants it also gives information about resistances, vulnerabilities, and attacks.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' has a version of this that's more useful than normal, mostly because it's [[TalkingIsAFreeAction on/off]] rather than take a turn to use it once.
** Much more useful than you think at first. Unlike most Enemy Scan spells, it does not matter how powerful, how large, or how ugly the boss is, the spell ALWAYS works.
** An version of this is used by the [[OminousOwl Peepsta Hoo]] dream eater in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3D'', whereupon completing its scan, will start using magic of the element its target is weakest against, along with imbuing its physical attacks with that element and StandardStatusEffects.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' had the "Sight Scope" item (equipped to Lucca at the start of the game), which allowed the wearer to see all enemies' HP.
** VideoGame/ChronoCross has the green elemental spell Infoscope, with the same effect.
* In ''VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRaccoonus'', the Binoc-u-com can be upgraded to provide an EnemyScan. The scan is of little practical use; it only gives humorous enemy descriptions.
* As in the anime (see above), the Pokédex in the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games acts as this, with varied usefulness. A prominent use for it is to see where one could catch some of the rarer Pokémon. It's ambiguous as to where the entries actually come from since it's not drawing from any pre-established database at least in Gen I.
** In terms of actual battle mechanics, Pokémon with the ability Frisk will reveal the opponent's held item, and the abilities Anticipation and Forewarn can give clues on the opponent's moves.
** The sixth generation remakes of ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'' introduces the [=DexNav=], which, at a high Search Level[[note]]the number of times you encounter a specific Pokémon[[/note]], the player can see what level the Pokémon is at, predict its [[MinMaxing IVs]], scout abilities, and hunt for rare [[RandomlyDrops held items]].
* ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'' had a device that allowed one to read the stats of detected aliens, particularly useful for tracking down an enemy officer to know who to stun for interrogation and who you could just blow away. In previous games ([[VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense UFO]] and [[VideoGame/XComTerrorFromTheDeep TFTD]]), you had to train up a psychic officer and use the psi-amp device to peek at your opponents' inventories.
* ''[[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Persona]]'': In installments from ''VideoGame/Persona3'' onward, one character in the heroes' group always has a Persona that, while not used in combat, can be used to scan enemies for strengths and weaknesses. In ''Persona 3'', the scanning ability takes a few turns to complete but provides a complete readout of the enemy's abilities and how each element affects it. In ''VideoGame/Persona4'', the scanning ability is instant, but it initially only provides HP and MP of enemies you've previously defeated and will not show elemental strengths and weaknesses unless you've attempted to attack the enemy with that element at least once; you'll have to raise your navigator's social link if you want to reveal a new enemy's elemental affinities (and the best version of that is only available in the ''Persona 4 Golden'' remake). Halfway through ''VideoGame/Persona5'', the scan will only reveal the enemy's skills and potential item drops, but raising Makoto's Confidant will allow you to see if an enemy will Null, Repel, or Drain an attack before you use it.
* The earlier ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games had the Awareness perk, a useful trick that allowed you to know how many hit points a person had left, their status (crippled limbs, blinded, etc.), and what weapons they were carrying. VATS in the 3D games offers the same info on whatever you're targeting with it.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' has the Living Anatomy perk, which not only gives an explicit numerical value to the enemy's HP, but also gives a readout of their damage threshold--the amount of damage needed to overcome their armor's resistance to damage. Doing less than the damage threshold would result in barely any injury to the target, and knowing what kind of numbers you needed to beat would give you a chance to overcome the enemy's protection preemptively.
* Once you obtain the camera in ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'', taking photos of enemies would uncover weaknesses and grant you more damage against them when using certain weapons.
* Its predecessor, ''VideoGame/SystemShock'' included targeting software, with the ability to lock onto one enemy at a time. Higher versions give more data on the target in question.
* In ''VideoGame/NetHack'':
** The stethoscope allows you to determine the HitPoints, [[CharacterAlignment alignment]] and speed of an adjacent monster.
** Wand of Probing does the same, also telling the monster's inventory, if it has any.
** Magicbane has a probing ability, too.
** And you can target the stethoscope at yourself, which is one of the easiest ways to find out your own alignment (you need it to be above a certain value before more plot happens).
* The Analyze Monster spell in ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic'' does precisely that. ''VideoGame/TheBardsTaleTrilogy'' and ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' had similar spells.
* ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic VI'' had a the Horn of Ros, a very difficult to find item that showed the exact number of hit points enemies have instead of the usual health bar. Later games had the Identify Monster skill, which at high skill levels would show all the enemy's stats, including resistances (useful since many enemies are resistant to specific schools of magic).
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', monsters would appear in the Monster Encyclopedia after you've defeated them; however, no detail would be listed unless you scanned them with Magic Lenses - and even then certain details would be left out if you hadn't [[GuideDangIt used the right character]]. You gained a title from collecting all detailed scans of enemies, an action that required more than one playthrough. Mercifully, you didn't need to get the full scans, and Magic Lenses cost a measly 10 Gald.
** The magic lenses were also in other games in the ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'', such as ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' and ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'', but ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'' got rid of the magic lenses and just gives you free access to the information.
*** In ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny'', [[{{Meganekko}} Philia]] could just use her own "magic lenses" to scan enemies rather than waste items.
* The Scan spirit command in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' lets you see an enemy unit's statistics and only costs 1 SP to use, but since you can see the exact same information after you've traded blows with the enemy once, it's generally not worth it.
** Later games make it more useful by also decreasing the enemy accuracy by 10% for one turn.
* Enemy scanning is an important part of ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' games. Once you have encountered an enemy, you get its basic data, like name, type and usually HP and MP. By attacking it with different attacks, you get to know (and keep info on) its strengths and weaknesses. This info is kept if you ever meet any more of it (and usually applies to any of its {{Palette Swap}}s), which is handy. If you ever fuse some of the demons yourself, you also get all the info you need on its wild cousins, should you ever encounter them.
** ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'' averts this by giving you all the info you need straight off the bat.
** [[MissionControl Fuuka]]: Give me a sec, I'll scan the target.
** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' and ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' require you to cast a spell or use an item that serves this purpose, costing you a turn. Furthermore, the data you scan is not stored anywhere, so if you forget the enemy's elemental affinties, you'll have to scan them ''again'', unless you decide to jot down the necessary information.
* As the only ''medical'' doctor of the 3 doctorates in ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'', Max Roivas can autopsy the corpses of his foes if he gets to them before they dissolve. This is mostly for the fun of listening to his ramblings later on, though; you can usually figure out the enemy weaknesses yourself.
* Hunters in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' have the Beast Lore spell, which reveals diet, stats, health, mana, etc. As the name implies, it only works on enemies classified as beasts (most animals).
** Also works on druids that are shapeshifted into animal form. They are not tameable.
* The power Surveillance from ''City of Villains'' and ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', which not only lowers the defense and resistance of a single target, but allows you to see the scanned enemy's "real numbers".
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' games have the "Analyze" Ether.
* ''VideoGame/WildArms'' games all have some way of analyzing enemy stats. In ''[[VideoGame/WildArms1 Wild ARMs: Alter Code F]]'', you can complete a monster encyclopedia by scanning enemies; getting at least 50% will get you an Ex File Key.
* ''VideoGame/BlueDragon'' has a magic book which lets you do this. Surprisingly, it's often the best (or only) way to find out the boss's weakness.
* ''VideoGame/ManaKhemiaAlchemistsOfAlRevis'' has the main character's "Analyze" skill. Use it once on an enemy, and it will show that enemy's statistics, as well as any subsequent enemies of the same type (not counting UndergroundMonkey[=/=]{{Palette Swap}}s).
** [[VideoGame/ManaKhemia2FallOfAlchemy The sequel]] features two characters that can do this, one for each workshop. However, [[TheHero Raze's]] version can only reveal an enemy's health and elemental weakness/resistance, While [[BlackMagicianGirl Chloe]] can also learn what status ailments won't affect it. Scanning a target also makes some of Chloe's skills stronger against it.
* Tohsaka gives Shirou an unnamed book in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' that scans the abilities of a Servant and puts it into a form that the reader will easily understand if they look at it. Shirou's mind apparently puts things into RPG stat formulas with letter ranked abilities and bizarre numerical descriptors for Noble Phantasms.
* The [=PKE=] Meter and [[GogglesDoSomethingUnusual Ecto Goggles]] in ''VideoGame/GhostbustersTheVideogame'' have this feature. The more thoroughly you scan a ghost, cursed artifact, spectral emanation, or any other from an assortment of supernatural entities, the more gameplay hints and quirky trivia you will discover in the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Tobin's Spirit Guide]].
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' has the Dwarvish War outfit, with a hat (displays attack in runes corresponding to numbers in base 7), kilt (has blinking lights that correspond to defense in base 7), and mattock (displays HP by displaying brightness, one level for each 7 HP they have left). They also have the Detective skull offhand item which gives a good estimate of HP, and the Mr. Store Item Monster Manuel, which gives stats and HP for monsters as well as amusing facts.
* The VGA remake of ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryII'' adds a completely new side-quest which rewards you with a logbook. This logbook records combat information about the various monsters you meet in the game.
* ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'' had [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Scan]], which obviously showed HP and weaknesses, plus any other special characteristic like easily confused or can be easily robbed. The sequel had certain armors that let you read the HP of your targeted foe, but naturally would not display a boss' HP.
* While regular enemies had no HP bars to scan, bosses in ''VideoGame/StarFox64'' would automatically have the HP displayed as long as Slippy was present. Well, except for the Star Wolf team, the Bolse reactor core, the Copperhead missiles, and the Saucerer, considering that the core still eventually appears even if you never shoot the hatches and one bomb is enough to obliterate the core. Come to think of it, with the usual handling of boss battles that consist of multiple enemies, it's a wonder that the gauge appeared for the Shogun Warriors that make up the first half of the Sector Y boss battle.
* ''VideoGame/RaptorCallOfTheShadows'' had a powerup which reveals the remaining health of bosses.
* In ''VideoGame/LordsOfMagic'', each faith has a spell to detect the opposite faith's units. (This is also a kind of AuraVision)
* In ''VideoGame/{{Dubloon}}'', [[TeamPet Ricky]] begins with the "Identify" move which lets him see enemies stats and weaknesses. Later, there's a spyglass item which, when used in battle, reveals all enemy weaknesses at once.
* ''VideoGame/MapleStory'', with its love of LevelGrinding, allows you to "scan" monsters by killing them and having them [[RandomlyDrops randomly drop]] a card that, when picked up, will place some information into the Monster Book. Of course, the game doesn't give you all the info at once. You have to pick up ''five'' of the cards to get all the info about them, but some of the info is very useful, like where the monsters spawn and what they drop.
* In ''VideoGame/EndlessOcean'', you do this with your hands by interacting with the various sea life (and other animals on the deck of your boat). Your reward for doing this, and the major point of the game, is an encyclopedia filled with interesting facts about the various species you've found.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'''s Spy can see the names and health bars of any enemy he aims at, allowing him to give valuable info to his teammates, pick off wounded targets, and avoid falling victim to ConfrontingYourImposter. Medics using the Solemn Vow also have this ability, and the Beta also gives this ability to Medics who use the [[ScrappyWeapon Vita-Saw]], in order to make it more powerful.
* ''VideoGame/ResonanceOfFate'' has an item named "Clairvoyance" that you ''throw'' at an enemy and it allows you to see its details... somehow.
* ''VideoGame/DistortedTravesty'' is a platformer that makes enemy scans an essential part of the gameplay as, among other things, the scan tells you what attacks, or sequence of attacks, will cripple an enemy. The sequel takes this even further by altogether removing your physical attack, leaving you with nothing but magic to defend yourself with, so knowing which elements the enemy is resistant or weak to becomes absolutely essential.
** This carries over to the sequels. DT3 even goes so far as to include [[https://youtu.be/HCogNx-Bi_g?t=21m38s dev commentary with each scan.]]
* The magic ring in ''VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfRobinHood'' lets you scan everyone giving details of their health, wealth, alignment and other stats
* ''VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery'' has stethoscopes, which can be used on enemies to measure various stats. Doesn't work on undead and constructs, because they're not alive.
* A variation of this is in ''Anime/DragonBallZ: The Legacy of Goku II'' and ''Buu's Fury'' when you obtain the Scouter item. You can scan anything, [=NPCs=], allies and even squirrels, so naturally you can use it to scan enemies and bosses and find out the amount of HP they have and their attack stats and so on. Surprisingly, the character descriptions in ''[=LoG2=]'' were fairly verbose.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' series: Enemy names, health, and shields appear when a target is in the player's crosshairs. Notably, [[StealthExpert Zer0]] can take this one step further as a secondary feature of his action skill; invisible enemies are revealed, targets become more visible, and if B0re is equipped their critical points are highlighted.
* In ''VideoGame/{{OFF}}'', The Batter's ''Wide Angle'' ability gives a short description of the foe, as well as their total HP and CP, and a list of their elemental weaknesses, if any. Unfortunately, it doesn't work on bosses, making it at best situational.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Robopon}}'', this comes default with the battle system in Robopon 2, with the added bonus of not taking up a turn and telling you what the oil type of the scanned Robopon is. If you're packing the right kind of software and have it equipped on the right Robopon, you'll be able to tell how many enemies you can fry at once with one move.
* This is a must in ''VideoGame/MechWarrior Online,'' especially with scouts. You might be able to guess where enemies are and get a rough idea of what you're up against at a distance, but without actually getting eyes and scanners on them, the best you can do is estimate the location of your opponent. Actually getting an active scan of the enemy provides, among other things, the specific 'Mech type, its damage levels, its distance, and a list of its weaponry. It also enhances accuracy and enables target locks. It's possible to dumb-fire weapons at an opponent that you're not actively scanning, but missiles won't home in and other weapons won't naturally converge on the target, making scoring a hit a lot more difficult.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', you can perform the "Check" command on every enemy, which at least gives you their attack and defense stats. This is frequently followed by a subtle hint on how to deal with them, or merely a humorous comment. If you're playing in a particularly murderous fashion some of the writing becomes a bit sadistic.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Sinjid}}: Battle Arena'', you can see the stats of your enemies, which are otherwise invisible to the player, by equipping the Dragon Eye armor or the Third Eye skill.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'': In the stick figure parody FillerStrips -- "Stick Figure Tales of Cotton" and "The Harassers" -- Riff as the super hero Science Guy has the Analysiser 3000, which scans others and gives the following information: secret identity, special powers, category (bad guy or good guy) and recommendation (always "Bazooka!" unless it's an unambiguous good guy).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Fishlegs develops (or already has) this skill in ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'', being instantly able to identify a dragon's major abilities and weaknesses in a single glance (and doing so in hilariously familiar [[TabletopGames Tabletop Gaming]] terms).
** He's actually the resident dragon geek; he's not coming up with this stuff [[SherlockScan with but the merest glance]], he's reciting from memory something he taught himself by rote years ago. Notice that he's less definite regarding the Red Death; they've never even heard of this thing before, so the best he can do is hazard an educated guess based on what the Vikings collectively know about the dragons they have encountered.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Technology is under development that will use radar to recognize specific types of weapons concealed on a person.
* Google's Project Glass is attempting to create this for real life by linking live recorded images to information about them on the internet.
** Google's earlier project, Goggles, attempts to do this. But since image recognition is a awfully complex thing for a computer, it only works somewhat reliably on well known entities like logos or text.
* Performing a WHOIS command on a network address may reveal a lot of information about the address.