"Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them."The self-imposed version of being a Blind Seer or Blind Weaponmaster. A sighted character who has Blindfolded Vision can see just as well, if not better than if they weren't blindfolded. The reasons for this vary, a mentor teaching their student that Your Eyes Can Deceive You may take it to the next level, invoking Disability Superpower and complementing it with Charles Atlas training to grant Super Senses, freeing the student from the tyranny of sight. Another possibility is the character's Psychic Powers and Third Eye are enhanced with sensory deprivation, or the blindfold is itself a powerful artifact that confers sight beyond sight a la X-Ray Vision. Perhaps the most terrifying option is that the blindfold is a self imposed handicap to keep an eye-related power under control. When the blindfold comes off, people fall down. Most importantly, Blindfold Vision provides copious quantities of cool.
— Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope
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Anime and Manga
- Kaede the ninja in Mahou Sensei Negima! wears one while taking down a dragon. Then again, she rarely uses them in the first place.
- Aria from Fairy Tail uses the Power Limiter variant but gets Curb Stomped regardless.
- Ragnarok the Animation: The party wizard has a blindfold on "to see the truth" relying instead on hearing/second sight to fight. She later wears it on her arm to remind her that the "truth" she believed was actually a deception by her master.
- Koyo Aoba from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! has completely blacked out sunglasses that function as a Power Limiter, but only manages to fight Ryohei to a draw.
- Himuro Hikaru of Dragon Drive does this in the second half of the manga.
- In a filler episode of the Naruto Fourth Ninja War, Kakashi is temporarily blinded but is able to fight hand-to-hand by listening to the movements of his Eternal Rival and friend Guy. The moment the baddies are defeated, his eyesight returns. No explanation is given as to why he lost it or why it came back.
- Saint Seiya's Virgo Shaka deliberately keeps his eyes closed at all times to make his already huge Cosmo even more powerful.
- There is a competitor in the Genkai Tournament Arc of YuYu Hakusho that wears a helmet to block out most of his senses to improve his ability to see mystical auras. It is ultimately used against him in his defeat.
- In Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, Lucario can see without his eyes thanks to Aura. This comes in handy when he gets sand in his eyes.
- Cyclops of the X-Men has edged into this on occasion, usually after losing his visor in circumstances where "blast everything in sight" is not a viable option. Notable examples include the occasion when he beat up six men with his eyes shut... while counting every step he took so he could find his way back to his fallen glasses, and his first confrontation with Cassandra Nova.
- The Veni-Yan monks in Bone wear hoods that cover their faces, allowing them to concentrate on their Dreaming Eye - giving them the ability to locate things without them being in sight.
- Blindshot from Top 10 is a "Zen taxi driver" in a city where Everyone Is a Super, and he drives blindfolded.
- A New Hope has Obi Wan putting a helmet with the blast-shield down on Luke to teach him to see with the Force.
- Ty Webb in Caddyshack demonstrates this with a blindfolded golf shot across water onto the tee. Danny Noonan, the protagonist, then attempts the same shot and hits into the water.
- In the sudden death round of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.
Cotton McKnight: In 23 years of broadcasting I thought I'd seen it all, folks. But it looks like Peter LaFleur has actually blindfolded himself.Pepper Brooks: He will not be able to see very well, Cotton.
- Paul Atreides at the end of Dune Messiah. He was able to see in the present by using the ability to look (a very short distance) into the future.
- The seeresses of Kell in David Eddings' The Malloreon must be blindfolded at all times. Removing the blindfold also robs them of all their powers.
- Spook in the final book of the Mistborn trilogy. Roughly two years of using his Super Sense powers non-stop had actually warped his body that he needed it to simply function during the day because his vision was just that good. He isn't even rendered blind, he can see through the tiny holes in the fabric and still assemble a picture with better vision than normal people.
- The titular character in The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar And Six More was taught to see through things by a guy who did this for a living.
- Near the end of Neuromancer, taciturn ninja Hideo gets blinded by Rivera blasting him in the face with laser vision. Hideo then calmly states that Rivera will not be able to fool him with his projected hologram illusions anymore while retracing his steps to pick up his bow and arrow.
Case: "Hideo'll get him...even blind?"3Jane: "When I was a child, we loved to blindfold him. He put arrows through the pips in playing cards at ten meters."
Live Action TV
- One episode of Angel has a human psychic ninja assassin who is telekinetic and fights with a blindfold. ... and he's taken down like a chump by a gaggle of vampires during his big entrance.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Giles does this to Buffy while training her to fight in the dark.
Buffy: "Okay, you're just doing this to take funny pictures of me."
- In an episode of "Power Rangersin Space" called "Always a Chance", former Black Ranger Adam Park returns to help train the current Black Ranger, Carlos, after he accidentally hit and injured a teammate. The culmination of the training is a blind fight sequence, which only serves to shake Carlos' confidence further, and he storms off.
- In the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "Lower Decks", Worf tells Ensign Sito that she can enter an advanced class by passing a test that involved fighting blind. After getting knocked down several times, she refuses to continue and tells Worf the test is unfair. Worf tells her she passed, and Sito realizes the test was never real, just Worf's way of nudging her into responding to an unfair dressing down earlier from Captain Picard (which itself was a test).
- Also, Will Riker has been fighting with his father Kyle Riker in a sport called anbo-jyutsu, which involves both combatants wearing helmets with opaque visors and using a staff that has a proximity sensor on one end (kind of like a theremin), which a trained practitioner could use to track his opponent.
- In "American Horror Story: Coven" Cordelia loses "The Sight" when her eyes are restored. In an attempt to regain the power, she stabs them out with a knife. It doesn't work.
- In Dungeons & Dragons there is a magic blindfold that gives you 120ft blindsight.
- Also, there is a feat/skill for warriors that allows them to fight blindfolded at half the penalties they would normally suffer. It doesn't seem like an advantage at first, but to put it another way, in total darkness, a fighter with this feat would be a lot deadlier than those without it.
- Exalted: The Perfection of the Visionary Warrior. With this ultimate technique in melee combat, the Sidereal wraps a prayer strip around his eyes, which begin to bleed under the magic of the blindfold. The character takes damage and loses physical sight, but he is now able to see the immediate future of the battlefield. This allows him to defend against attacks that have not happened yet and attack during opponents' future openings.
- The Sidereals really love this one. In Glories: Maidens, a blindfold that lets you see magic, immaterial spirits, and get a very rough estimate of their power level.
- Some characters in Iron Kingdoms have their eyes covered, such as The Harbinger of Menoth (a high-priestess of sorts) and Lylyth (a blindfolded archer).
- In Pathfinder an Oracle can be Cursed with Clouded Vision, limiting the range he can see but gaining darkvision and later blindsight.
- Any NetHack character with telepathy can be one of these. In fact, intrinsic telepathy only works when you're somehow blinded, as if the developer team was trying to invoke this trope.
- Playing blindfolded even became an unofficial Self-Imposed Challenge, the "Zen conduct". It is very, very hard to pull off.
- Riku of Kingdom Hearts wears a blindfold at one point in order to suppress the darkness inside of him. He still manages to be an excellent fighter regardless.
- To a lesser extent, Sora was also subjected to being partly blindfolded in at least two worlds. In Halloween Town, he wears an orange eyepatch (or Santa Hat) over his right eye. In Space Paranoids, his helmet conceals the top half of his eyes; those even slightly taller than him (such as the Guest-Star Party Member) cannot see his eyes at all unless he look directly at their face. Like with Riku, his fighting skills are not hampered.
- Illidan Stormrage, an Anti-Hero/Well-Intentioned Extremist/Big Bad from the Warcraft universe, has no eyes - a blindfold covers both the burned-out sockets where they were seared away. Nonetheless, he has magical vision that is actually superior to the naked eye, is quite happy with his new ability (despite its hideous adjustment to his appearance), and even appears to have a sense of humor about it - one of his default responses in the campaign is "I'm blind, not deaf."
- He also states in the opening cutscene of The Frozen Throne, "Now my blind eyes see what others cannot!".
- It is revealed in extra material that the other demon hunters, seeking to emulate Illidan's life, ritualistically bind a demon's soul into a knife and slice their eyes out with it to gain a magic-o-vision like him. Ouch.
- In World of Warcraft, one of the items on Illidan's loot table is his blindfold.
- Similarly, in the novels, the Highborne Lord Xavius traded his eyes for magic crystals which can see magical energies and other things normal eyes can't.
- Guild Wars Ritualists are also blindfolded (or at least, have their eyes covered), to gain a better sense of surrounding spirits.
- Guilty Gear's Zato-1 gave up his sight to gain a beast made out of his shadow. The asskicking he gave people seems to be unblinded. It appears that Eddie, the beast, does the seeing for him. When Zato-1 dies and Eddie takes over his corpse, this is specifically the case.
- Kreia from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords actually is blind but it's self-imposed: she could fix her eyes any time she wanted, but feels she sees better without them.
- Visas Marr is also blind, but it's because her entire race, the Miraluka, have atrophied eyes and "see" using The Force.
- Jerec from Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 is much the same. No eyes, but he's such a strong dark Jedi that this doesn't slow him down at all. The Extended Universe explains that he's a Miraluka, who see with The Force.
- Satsujinki, what Shiki might become in the future, has to bandage his eyes because his Mystic Eyes are so powerful his glasses don't work anymore. He can assassinate Dead Apostles in seconds.
- The Edutainment Game Troggle Trouble Math has enemies like this on the sixth level.
- The Pokémon Uxie has the power to wipe the memory of anyone who looks into its eyes. As such, it keeps its eyes closed, being able to see things anyway given its psychic abilities.
- Kenshi from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance subverts this when Raiden loses an eye and his Solid Eye System heads up display - he comes into the next battle wearing a blindfold over his former eye. Turns out that the blindfold is a mesh of nanomachine cameras hooked directly into his optic nerve giving him much better resolution than his former eye and also has integrated Heads-Up-Display, millimeter scanner, and telescopic vision features.
- The demon Sabe from Wonderful World either subverts this or takes it Up to Eleven depending on how you see it: he can see and wears a blindfold, but the blindfold makes no difference since his eyes were cut out, and he can see without eyes.
- In Bloons Tower Defense 5, one of the upgrades for the Dart Monkey allows them to target camouflaged Bloons and slightly increases their range. When purchased, the monkey puts on a blindfold.
- In Gems of War, the Priestesses of Whitehelm go into battle despite wearing blindfolds. So do Dryads, who presumably have some sort of nature sense.
- Flameslinger in Skylanders wears one of these. At one point he dramatically removes it, only to reveal a second blindfold beneath it.
- Subverted with Percy the Incongruous in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time, who tried to fight in the Battleplex with a blindfold on, only to be killed in eleven seconds after falling into a pool of molten lava.
- Rider from Fate/stay night wears a blindfold which is stated in the Status sheets to seal all properties of her eyes, including vision, so she relies on her other senses for everything. It works well enough that her blindness isn't noticeable at all.
- In Dominic Deegan Sigfried currently.
- Also the infernomancer in the beginning, later on the blindfold was revealed to have inward spikes.
- Male Kyorl'solenurn warriors who accompany a female Warden tend to work blindfolded to rely entirely on their Aura Vision.
- Shan'naal even fires a bow while blindfolded... of course, said bow has an eye.
- Kyorl inquisitors (like the one on the page picture) are basically magic radars on legs. Wearing blindfolds keeps them from being distracted by sight.
- The Order of the Stick's Sangwaan wears a blindfold at all times. Her job is to act as Azure City's Enemy-Detecting Radar by way of True Seeing, providing detailed intelligence on incoming enemy forces, and detecting invisibility. Sadly, she is too slow to use her power to see Xykon's Draco Lich until he was right in front of her, and so is killed by being thrown off into the distance.
- In Those Destined, members of the most powerful seer order wear blindfolds. They're also those who react the most to the heroine's Chosen One aura.
- Homestuck: Terezi alchemizes a red scarf to tie around her eyes in order to regain the powers she lost when Aranea healed her blindness and Gamzee's influence dulled her other senses.
- Bare-Fisted Monk Thaco in Goblins gains a blindfold that slightly obstructs his vision but highlights incoming attacks just before they happen.
- The Mask of Justice from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe game has vision powers that only work when he has something opaque covering his eyes, such as his eyeholeless mask.
- Spoofed by Spoony when reviewing the old FMV shooter Microcosm. After getting frustrated with the game's Nintendo Hard-ness, he takes a page from Star Wars and blindfolds himself. Amusingly enough, doing nothing but dodging while blindfolded actually worked for him.
- Spoofed in SpongeBob SquarePants, when SpongeBob was forced to learn to drive blindfolded and succeeded, but was unable to drive without it.
- The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Hidden" begins with the penguins training to fight blindfolded. The only one to fail was Kowalski, who, being The Smart Guy, was unable to turn off his brain and use his instincts. He eventually gets it right after all the others are taken by mysterious captors hidden in the reptile house. They turn out to be friendly chameleons, who were too shy to invite the others to their housewarming party.
- Samurai Jack does this, when Jack is nearly killed by three blind archers with superhuman accuracy guarding a wish-granting well. Cue flashback to Jack as a young man learning to fight a group of monks based on hearing alone. After blindfolding himself and spending a minute or two listening to the forest, he's ready to 'fight on their level'.
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Runaway," Aang invokes this trope because he's learning seismic sense from Toph so he uses his headband as a blindfold.
- In G.I. Joe, Jinx was trained by a blind martial artist, so she fights better with her blindfold on than with it off. When she's not wearing her blindfold, her commanding officer(s) tend to yell at her to open her eyes.
- In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Spidey blindfolds himself when fighting Mysterio so he can properly dodge what the Spider-Sense warns him about and ignore the illusions.
- Real Life martial artists sometimes do this in close contact combat training, working by sense of touch. A youtube search for "blindfolded chi sao" brings up numerous examples.
- Various orientation exercises done through sensory deprivation are standard practice for personal development coaches' lessons. Blocking one or more senses will force a person to more fully explore their others, in particular in the absence of sight and sound which we rely on for navigation and touch which we use for movement.
- Driving or doing other things while blindfolded is a standard magician's trick, though sometimes (especially the knife throwing trick) it's simply done using a fake blindfold (and in the knife throwing case, fake knives).
- For example, Kuda Bux
- According to David Frost's Book of the World's Worst Decisions, on April 13, 1977, some chick named Yvonne Whittlesham who billed herself as "The Psychic Escapologist" decided to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee with a 60 MPH "Blindfold Dash" using an iron blindfold. She crashed into a barn after about four hundred yards.
- If the part of the brain that handles the conscious experience of seeing is damaged, but the rest of the system is intact, something called blindsight results: a blind person who is able to "see" obstacles in their path, objects being thrown at them, guess with higher than random accuracy what is being 'shown' them, and other parts of vision handled by intact parts of the brain.