Something covers one of the character's eyes. It might be an eyepatch, a particularly concealing haircut, or a tilted hachimaki. Whatever it is, and however it came to be, through Fashionable Asymmetry it neatly conveys the fact that the wearer is either 1) an experienced combatant or 2) secretly a badass.
These characters rarely experience any problems with depth perception or suffer from the resulting reduced field of vision. In fact, sometimes the Eyepatch Of Power covers a perfectly functional - or specially functional - eye instead of the empty hole one might suspect. This is sometimes a technique of Trickster types. Main characters will often gain an eyepatch as a Future Badass or Evil Twin.
Pirates often have eye patches as a Stock Costume Trait, which is a separate thematic concept—see Dressed to Plunder—but the overlap of badassery and piracy is significant enough to mention. This is partially Truth in Television, pirates in real life did often wear eye patches regularly, but mainly because on sailing ships in the 18th century there were over a thousand different different ways one could lose body parts, including eyes (this is also the reason why hooks for hands and peg legs are commonly associated with them as well, seeing as such items could easily be improvised using materials already on a ship to compensate for missing limbs). In this case, sailors didn't wear eyepatches to look tough so much as they did because on average people have an easier time looking at a piece of cloth over one eye than at the scarred tissue where an eye used to be. Also, since it's so dark belowdecks, they would also wear one, so as not to get blinded when going from outside to inside.
In The Future, rough and tumble outlaws will often have a single, obvious cybernetic eye which will give them some sort of special holdout ability or Super Senses.
When the Norse god Odin traded an eye for a drink from Mimir's well of knowledge, he made this trope Older Than Print.
Related to Blind Seer - power gain through the loss of an eye is a repeating motif in literature, like the Odin example above.
See also: Magical Eye, Mask Power, Eyes Always Shut, and if you're masochistic, Eye Scream. For characters that weren't wearing it the last time you saw them, see Eyepatch After Time Skip. See also Blindfolded Vision, where a blindfolded combatant is no worse off (or better!) than their opponents. May result because Scars Are Forever.
In fact, there are a lot of minor ninja with eye patches/coverings including Kuromaru (who for the uninformed is a dog◊) and Tonbo Tobitake, who has a covering for both eyes. The above revelation has started a joke among the fandom that anyone who is covering their eye ( or more recently an arm)(doesn't even need to be with an eye patch; it can just be with hair) they must be hiding a Sharingan. Humorously, just a couple chapters earlier Ao, a newly introduced character from the Mist village took off his eyepatch to reveal not a Sharingan, but a Byakugan.
However, he doesn't remove it. Since the Byakugan grants X-Ray Vision, he doesn't ever need to take off the eyepatch.
Hwa Ryun from Tower of God ever since Baam cut her right eye. As a girl, all her eyepatches are also very stylish.
Dr. Hell from Mazinger Z wore one in the sequel series, Great Mazinger. A minor character showed up in one chapter also wore one. He was a homeless thief and street urchin, and the eyepatch furthered the sensation of he was a Badass in one fight.
Shunsui starts using one of these after a Vandereich subjects him to Eye Scream via shooting his eye off.
Führer King Bradley in the Fullmetal Alchemist uses a patch to hide his "Ultimate Eye", his left eye which holds his Ouroboros that gives him the foresight to see all possible outcomes of a given situation, allowing him to predict the moves of any opponent before they happen. His original eye rotted out long ago once he graduated from Fuhrer school.
Bradley's eye in the first anime didn't let him see the future, but it let him see just about everything else. It was used to great effect in his fight with Mustang where swinging his sword altered the air currents in the room and diverted Mustang's attacks.
In the end of the first anime, Mustang kills Bradley but ends up losing his eye himself.
He gets to keep an Eyepatch of Power for the movie, though.
Fultac from Arakawa's earlier manga Stray Dog also has one hiding a plot-relevant functional eye.
Lucia Nahashi from Venus Versus Virus wears an eyepatch in order to hide her glowing left eye.
Jiyu Nanohana from Jubei-chan received a "Lovely Eyepatch" that turned her into a super swordswoman. Her Rival Freesia in the second season had a similar one.
One episode in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX featured Don Zaruug/Don Zaloog, a Duel Monster spirit wearing a gold eyepatch that allowed him to manifest in the physical world and bring his fellow "Dark Scorpion" gang members with him. Jim also has bandages constantly covering his magic eye.
Thorkell of Vinland Saga has just recently come into possession of an eye patch after losing an eye in a battle. As if he wasn't Badass enough already, if this trend continues he'll soon be wearing a longcoat regardless of how anachronistic that might be to the period.
Ryomou from Ikki Tousen, a.k.a. Battle Vixens, wears a medical bandage over her left eye. it's eventually revealed that the eyepatch is there to help Seal Evil (a "dragon" berserker spirit) In A Can.
In Shura No Toki, two characters use this trope. Takato keeps one eye closed while the legendary Yagyuu Juubei wears a tsuba (sword guard) over one eye. In both cases they have perfectly functional binocular vision but close one eye for the sake of "training". They instantly power up when they use both eyes.
In Black Cat, Sven Vollfied wears an eyepatch over his right eye, which has the ability to see a few seconds into the future. If he uses it extensively, it can cause extreme exhaustion. He has the eye from his old partner Lloyd who had these powers of seeing the future. Foreseeing Sven's death, Lloyd went to intervene and was consequently killed himself. Sven lost an eye in the process but was given a transplant from Lloyd who had registered as an organ donor not long before.
Later on in the manga, his eye can greatly accelerate his perception of motion so everything appears slowed down, allowing him to easily dodge bullets, punches, and anything else that comes flying at him. He also gets better at using his Magical Eye so he doesn't need his Eyepatch Of Power as often, but he keeps it anyway. (Probably because it looks badass.)
Itsuki Iba of Rental Magica always wears an eyepatch, though even with it, he still feels a bit of pain when he's around too much magical pollution.
Trigun's Dominique the Cyclops has what she calls the Demon Eye. Hidden by a metal shutter over her right eye, the fake eye can temporarily put all who are near in a trance for a few moments.
Cross Marian's right eye is covered by a faceplate. And since he was either killed or was Put on a Bus, "God knows how long till we find out." (Because when an eye is covered by something, you know it's covered for a reason...)
In Shura No Toki, the main character Yamato keeps one eye closed as a self-inflicted handicap. So does his son.
Irvine from Zoids: Chaotic Century. Though his eyes are completely normal, the eyepatch he wears effectively functions as combination camera, camcorder, and binoculars.
Somewhat subverted by Dragon Shiryu in Saint Seiya. Shiryu either blinds himself or loses his eyesight in the peak moments of his fights, then emerges much more powerful.
His companion Cygnus Hyoga wears a more traditional one.
Barasuishou of Rozen Maiden Träumend wears a flowery eyepatch over her left eye, acting as a seal over her emotions. Kirakishou, the doll she was based on, appears to have an identical one over her right eye, but it was revealed to be an actual rose growing from the socket.
Akito from Air Gear's eyepatch acts as an indicator as to which half of his Split Personality is in charge: if over the right eye, sweet and innocent Akito is in control. Over the left eye, violent and brash Agito takes over. Without the eyepatch, Agito still has control, but with more power.
Hellsing has two examples, the first being the mercenary Pip Bernadotte and the second being Integra after her eye was damaged in the final battle.
Makiko Nagi of Tenjho Tenge wears one, and it covers a pretty freaky scar. She got it after her lover decided to try creating an ultimate weapon out of someone else and removed the eye in question in order to give his new experimentee the abilities she'd already absorbed from other people.
Nice Holystone of Baccano!, who conceals a small but functional bomb within the empty eye socket covered by her eyepatch.
Saito from Ghost in the Shell has a cybernetic implant that resembles an eyepatch. His left eye was replaced with the "Hawkeye", a prosthetic eye that interfaces with satellites to allow for shots of incredible accuracy.
Kind of subverted in Gundam 00 as the while the eyepatch Lockon Stratos receives later in the series does make him look more badass (if this is even possible for stupid, sexy Lockon), it gives Ali an advantage in the final fight causing Lockon to lose their fight and die.
What about Allelujah? His eyepatch (hair, actually) shows which side of him is fighting. If you can see the right eye, you are fighting pacifist, gentle Allelujah. See the left eye, you are fighting the rather terrifying Hallelujah. See both eyes, you are fighting the infinitely scarier gestalt of the two.
Bel Peol, a leader of the villain group Bal Masque from Shakugan no Shana, actually has three eyes, but her normal right eye is covered by an eyepatch. This only makes her look even more badass.
Lelouch Lamperouge of Code Geass has a variation in the second season of the show, as now that his geass in his eye is in Power Incontinence mode, he has to wear a special contact lens over it to hide that power in civilian life.
A (slightly) more straight example can be found in Knight Of One Bismarck Waldstein, who has his left eye sewn shut. This is to seal his always-on Geass, which allows him to predict an opponent's movement.
When Jeremiah Gottwald opens his left eye, he can nullify any Geass power. Being a badass already, it made it easy for him to deal with Rolo and Lelouch when they were unable to use their Geass on him. Lelouch outsmarts him, though, because he's savvy enough not to rely exclusively on Geass.
Senri from +Anima uses an eyepatch to control his + anima form.
Gantai from Koi Koi 7 has one to conceal her mechanical eye. Fitting to the trope, she's incredibly dangerous when she goes berserk.
Neon Genesis Evangelion goes this route with bandages. Rei starts the series with an eyepatch, Asuka ends the movie with one (given that she's thin, likes to wear red, and is German, she should look for work in the next Matsumoto movie).
More recently, in the trailer for Evangelion 3.0, Asuka has a more typical pirate-type eyepatch.
Natose, one of the more powerful characters in They Are My Noble Masters (which is saying something), has an eye patch which is a direct reference to her tragic past.
Mio Sakamoto of Strike Witches wears a patch over her right (magical) eye. It allows her to see the cores of Neuroi. It should also be noted that this magical eye seems to be always on, meaning the eye patch may also maintain her sanity, if you saw things in magic-o-vision 24/7 you would probably Go Mad From The Revelations.
Retsudou from Lone Wolf and Cub got his after the hero tried to kill him by means of an arrow through the eye. It didn't work.
One Piece, a manga about pirates, has to date averted this trope, with not a single eyepatch to be seen despite a length of over 720 chapters. Word Of God is that the Eyepatch Of Power is being saved for someone special. Considering how incredibly badass and powerful some of the characters we've already met have been, it can only be wondered what kind of person the eyepatched one will be...
A common fan theory is that the eyepatched character has already been introduced; they just haven't lost their eye yet.
In a straight, but less literal, example of this trope, Sanji's left eye is perpetually covered by his hair. After the Time Skip, he changes his hairstyle so now it's his right eye that is covered, along with the right side of his face.
In the Berserkprototype story, Guts has an eyepatch. He gives it away as a souvenir at the end. In the actual manga Guts averts this, as even though his eye is missing/heavily damaged after the Eclipse, he doesn't wear an eyepatch he just... keeps his eyelid close.
Moritsugu Reiji's Machina Verdant in Linebarrels of Iron has one eye destroyed, odd considering that like other machina it can heal given time, and Kouichi actually does try to use to use this to his advantage imagine his shock when Verdant suddenly heals its right eye after he took notice of the blind spot, Reiji goes on to state that verdant deliberately left the eye permanently damaged as a means of testing opponents.
Lord Darcia III from Wolf's Rain: He uses a patch on his left side to hide the gold-colored wolf's eye which he uses to inexplicably render humans unconscious. It's the result of a family curse and being descended from wolves.
Gintama has Kyuubei (based on Yagyu Jubei in the Real Life examples below) and Takasugi.
Kyuubei got hers as a child after being injured protecting Tae.
Elder Kaede from Inuyasha wears one because she lost her eye during an attack of demons when she was a little girl.
In 11eyes, Kakeru has a blind right eye, covered by an an overly large eyepatch, which grants him the power of precognition.
In Soul Eater, the Death Scythe Marie Mjolnir has an eyepatch with a lightening bolt on it over her left eye. We're not told what happened for her to need it. In the anime, it is removed during a vision when she uses her special soul wavelength.
Lag Seeing from Letter Bee has an eye of amber that is usually covered by his hair... unless he is shooting his Heart Gun. It lets him shoot Heart Shots without amber in his gun, and lets him shoot bullets from the palm of his hand too.
There are actually several characters in the series who have lost one or both of their eyes, to the point of being a running motif. Others include Dr. Thunderland (one eye) and the twin gatekeepers (both eyes).
Jay Rock of Fang of the Sun Dougram is more or less Che Guevara with an eyepatch. Not surprisingly, he's the show's local avatar of the god of Badass.
Taken to ridiculous extremes in Tono no Issho OVA with Date Masamune. Just watch first five minutes.
The Sengoku Basara version is no slouch, fighting with 6 swords at once when he gets serious.
Farfarello of Weiss Kreuz. Doesn't seem to slow him down much.
Saya Kisaragi from Blood-C gets one in episode 12, after getting the left half of her head blown off and living to tell. So she rips her clothes and covers her injury as her Healing Factor slowly kicks in...
Minene Uryu of Mirai Nikki gains an eyepatch after becoming blind in one in a fight with protagonist Yukiteru Amano, and said eye is plucked out by Yomotsu Hirsaka.
Othinus from A Certain Magical Index, much like her mythological counterpart. Othinus has acquired the position of majin (magic god) and is thus one of the most powerful beings in the world.
Wicked Witch of the West in the 1982 anime adaptation of The Wizard of Oz wears an eyepatch.
Akachi from Arata Kangatari wears one after implanting their eye in another character.
In the concealing haircut version of the trope, Xerxes Break of Pandora Hearts has bangs that conceal an empty eye socket, accidentally revealed by a young Gil. It is shown later in the series that the eye was plucked out by the Will of the Abyss to replace Cheshire's having encountered the Will of the Abyss due to being dragged into the Abyss after going on a killing spree with his chain.
In Natsume's Book Of Friends, Matoba, head of the notorious Matoba clan, wears a paper seal to protect his right-eye. This is because his ancestor's had negotiated the assistance from a youkai for his right-eye but he never kept up his end of the deal and so vengeful youkai target the head's right-eye. He notes he does have a horrible scar from an ayakashi attack but his eye-path has yet to be lifted. Realistically though, his depth of perception is poor due working with only one eye.
Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD, in the Marvel Universe. He started as the hard-charging Sgt. Fury during WWII. But he had two eyes then.
The Phoney Pages, a 1980s-vintage parody "history" of comic books, included the "cover" of an issue of "Brooke Shields, Agent of F.U.R.Y.", which depicted the title character with two eyepatches - one on each eye.
Pete Wisdom wore an eyepatch, but later revealed that he has full functionality in both eyes and did it just so he could pick up chicks.
Wolverine wore an eyepatch for a short time - and went by the name Patch - as a disguise.
Jolly Roger of The Invisibles is an anarchist with a pirate-themed alter-ego and has a closely-shaved head and an eyepatch. Also, she's a lesbian.
One-Eye of ElfQuest has a very prominent eyepatch, having lost an eye to humans. In the novelization Leetah offers to heal it, but finds that there's nothing left of the missing eye to heal. In any event his missing eye turns out to be a liability because when the elves and trolls are fighting he can't see a troll sneaking up on his blind side and is killed.
The badass assassin Deathstroke from The DCU wears an eyepatch over his missing eye; his mask is split into two colors, with featureless black over his missing eye. In addition, his daughter wears an eyepatch after taking out her own eye in order to prove herself to him.
Deathstroke's missing eye is even more Badass when you consider he lost it when his wife, standing right behind him, tried to shoot him in the back of the head. He heard her cock the gun and dodged. Well mostly. Also keep in mind that his wife was the one who initially trained him as a Special Forces operative, so she knew how to kill someone.
Well, except for knowing the proper time to cock a gun. Despite that, she still managed to hit him - and to this day, she's still one of the very, very few people to ever successfully hit him... and out of everybody, she's the one who inflicted the most damage on him.
In the Top Cow comic Just a Pilgrim, by Garth Ennis, we are introduced to two Eyepatch Badasses. The pilgram does not have an eyepatch as such, but he did burn out one of his own eyes, leaving a cross-shaped scar across his face. He seems to be the baddest dude on the planet. Till he meets the pirate king, who has TWO eyepatches, TWO hooks for hands, and TWO peglegs. "This be MY killing floor, mate!"
Jesse Custer, the Badass star of Preacher, acquires an eyepatch towards the end of the series, after his eye is bitten out by God.
The antagonist of the same series had a horrible facial scar over one eye, two of the supporting cast were born with only one eye apiece and a minor villain who had two myopic eyes was called Odin, after the one-eyed god (no, not the one from North of Kathmandu!)
Y: The Last Man: Rose Copen is not only an eye-patched modern pirate though she turns out to be working for the Australian navy she also manages to explode a depth charge by hitting the primer with a single bullet from an AK-47. When asked how she managed this with no depth perception the deafened Rose can only reply: "WHAT?"
In Sonic the Hedgehog, the Mirror Universe version of Antoine wears one. When Evil Sonic decides to get rid of him by swapping him for the good version, he makes fun of Evil Antoine for only wearing an eyepatch to look cool. Later, when Evil Sonic becomes Scourge, and king of the mirror universe, he becomes determined to make all the evil counterparts more unique than just mirror versions, including actually cutting out Antoine's eye.
Tails' father and dr. Quack wears one of those too. Both of them lost one of their eyes in the Great War against the overlanders.
Averted by The Goon, who lost the sight in one eye after getting clawed in the face by a dragon. He just pulls his hat down over his eyes.
Warbow in Crystar Crystal Warrior. He lost his eye fighting a wizard and had to be changed to crystal to save his life. The process couldn't restore his eye and he notes that his lack of depth perception makes aiming his bow a bit more difficult.
Blackjak of the Atari Force second series has a cybernetic camera eye plugged into his left eye socket.
In Marvel Star Wars, our heroes often take disguises involving eyepatches. Luke once dyes his hair red◊ and wears an eyepatch and a beret. In The Big Con, Lando cosplays◊ as a palette-swapped Captain Harlock, choosing this costume in order to play up to the ruffians he's trying to get information from - everything makes him seem more remote and mysterious. At one point he puts the patch on the wrong side◊.
Lampshaded in WHAT THE? comics where every character in the Marvel Universe tries to wear an eyepatch just to be as cool as Wolverine. (See the invisible woman wearing nothing but an eye patch!) Wolverine explains that the only he can handle the eyepatch as Human Torch slams into the side of a building having misjudged the distance.
In The DCU, Mark Shaw (one of the characters to use the name Manhunter) wore one in his alternative identity of the Privateer. And, no, there was nothing wrong with his eye. He wore it purely because it was cool.
The original Lynx, a recurring foe of the Tim Drake version of Robin.
Cherry wears one in her role as Sgt. Cherry in "Sgt. Cherry and her Squealing Commandos".
Gareth the Bowman from Sojourn. Various characters did wonder how someone with no depth perception could be an expert archer. In his narration, Gareth promised that there was an explanation, but the series ended before we could find out what it was.
In The Pagemaster, Adventure (Patrick Stewart) looks like a pirate, complete with eyepatch. There's nothing wrong with the eye under it — so when he needs to get a better look at something he just lifts it up.
Films — Live-Action
Rooster Cogburn, John Wayne's (or Jeff Bridges') anti-hero from True Grit. Though the Rooster in the 2010 film is still an excellent shot with one eye, the film points out his difficulty aiming, and it's why he accidentally hits LaBoeuf in the arm during a shootout.
Big Bad Sarris from Galaxy Quest has a metal plate bolted over his damaged right eye after surviving having his ship blown up by atomic mines. He's a sadistic bastard, but that's pretty badass.
Dilios, the sole survivor in the film 300. By definition (given his peers) a badass, he is perhaps more so because, with his one eye and his talent for storytelling, he is ordered to do the hard thing (for a Spartan): escape and live, to tell their story.
Towards the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Ragetti (a Plucky Comic Relief character) gives up his wooden eye for an eyepatch since it turned out his wooden eye was one of the pieces of eight of the Pirate Lords. He doesn't really become more badass, but it does mark a shift into a more serious tone of the film.
"Big" Dan Teague from O Brother, Where Art Thou? wears an eyepatch when he is introduced and a one-eyed Ku Klux Klan hood later. This is a Shout Out to the Cyclops and the Greek mythology underpinning the story.
Inspector Kemp from Young Frankenstein sports one of these, along with wooden arm (either the left or the right depending on context and funniness) and monocle (on the same eye as the eyepatch).
Many of the publicity photos and posters for the Terminator movies show Arnie with one human-like eye and one glowing red machine eye, showing the bad-assedness of having one normal eye and one weird high-tech eye.
A Thor example: As in mythology and the comic books, Odin has one eye. What sets him apart in this adaptation is his choice of eyegear. He has a regular eyepatch and an armored eyepatch for battle. Verily.
Stark: How does Fury even see these? Maria Hill: He turns. Stark: Sounds exhausting.
In Gangs of New York Bill "the Butcher" Cutting has a glass eye with an iris in the shape of an eagle. He cut his own eye out for flinching from an enemy.
Johnny Five dons an eyepatch of sorts it's actually his nonfunctional eye being held in place and covered by electrical tape during the third act of ShortCircuit 2. Its reveal marks a second mood shift in the film and begins his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
The Russian assassin Morovich in Condorman is prone to wearing an eyepatch. It's usually worn either in place of or to conceal his distinctive false eye, which is entirely silver. he and his team of Elite Mooks are so feared that whenever people hear their fleet of black Porsches approaching they run and hide.
Lampshaded with jollity in Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series, in which Arthur encounters a band of savage looking sailors. When it's revealed that their appearances are all for show, one of them insists that he can not only have one but two eyepatches, if one-way leather is used.
Ryan Cawdor of the Deathlands novels has one. He is an exceptional shot with a gun, but in conversation the characters note that this is rather unusual and indicative of his marksmanship talents.
Mr. Teatime in the Discworld novel Hogfather is a sociopathic and highly-skilled assassin with one good eye. Many characters in the book think his glass eye (which is blank, and rumored to be made from the same glass used for crystal balls) isn't nearly as scary as his good eye (which has an unnervingly narrow pupil). Of course, considering that Discworld magic is more than a little unstable, it proves how insane he is if he put a magic prosthetic in his eye socket.
Forgotten Realms antagonist/antihero Jarlaxle has two good eyes, but sports a magical eyepatch with powers including including x-ray vision and protection against psionics, depending on which eye the patch covers. Jarlaxle leads a prestigious mercenary company and is something of a Magnificent Bastard, glorying in chaos and favored by the drow's evil spider goddess.
Titular character Hawk of Simon R. Green's Hawk And Fisher fantasy-mystery series has an eyepatch over one eye, as well as several scars along his face. Unusually enough, he does have depth perception problems, at least to the point where he prefers to fight with a short-handled axe rather than a sword. He's almost over-the-top in levels of 'experienced badass combatant', though, even with this handicap. How Hawk lost his eye is revealed in Beyond the Blue Moon, which confirms that Hawk is Prince Rupert from Blue Moon Rising where he lost the eye in battle against a Big Bad.
Honor Harrington wore an eyepatch in one book after her left eye was damaged, before she had it replaced with a cybernetic eye (with telescopic vision). Later, she also acquired a synthetic arm.
Captain William Fredrickson from the Sharpe series is missing an eye (and his two front teeth). When he enters combat, he removes his eyepatch and false teeth to frighten the enemy.
Euron Greyjoy from A Song of Ice and Fire. Called the Crow's Eye, Euron is a vicious Magnificent Bastard with serious issues. His brother Aeron, describes Euron's uncovered eye as his "smiling eye" and makes vague, fearful references to what he hides beneath the patch. He is captain of the ship "Silence", whose crew is made of mutes and its hull painted red with the blood of Euron's enemies, and it is said that men pray whenever they see his sails.
Corum in Michael Moorcock's novels is given the Eye of the missing god Rhynn to replace his lost eye. This allows him to see into - and summon the assistance of creatures from - other realms whenever he raises his jeweled eyepatch. Later on he has to give (the no-longer missing) Rhynn his eye back, and thereafter wears a conventional eyepatch.
Uno is introduced with just one eye, later on he starts wearing an eyepatch with a scary eye painted on it. While he IS a badass he more of a drill sergeant.
Mat loses an eye, too, and he actually notes his lack of depth perception and worsened sight, but he decides it isn't so bad. After all,he needed to trade it with Eldritch Abominations shaped as Snakes, who you can only way to survive the Evil Tower of Ominousness, which a children's game is base off of, because All Myths Are True. "Luck worked better when you were not looking anyway."
The Divine Fratery of Dan Abnett's novel Ravenor Returned are an organization that dedicates their efforts to ruining the Imperium by scrying out possible futures and working to manifest the ones that would do the most harm. In order to become a full member, the supplicant must put out one of their own eyes and receive no medical treatment for any reason until they have completed fashioning the silver mirror they will use to divine the future. Constructing the mirror can take years. Those who are successful are given an augmetic eye to replace the one they sacrificed, and henceforth hide their remaining real eye behind an eye patch when not actively scrying.
There are three people in the X-Wing Series who each have a mechanical eye - Booster Terrick, General Edor Crespin, and Ton Phanan. Booster and Phanan each have a glowingred prosthetic. When Phanan dies staring at the stars and someone closes his real eye, his mechanical one stays powered, not dimming. Crespin is said to have got a glossy black prosthetic, but because people found it unnerving he wore a mirrored patch over it. Wedge suspects that he can see through it.
Baron Soontir Fel acquires an eye patch. When asked why he never replaced it with a prosthetic, he says that the resources can be better used elsewhere and that he's still the best damn pilot in the Empire of the Hand.
Friday by Robert A. Heinlein. Friday's unnamed Boss refuses to have his eye regenerated, and so wears an 'unfashionable' eyepatch.
The Mageworlds series by Debra Doyle and James D. MacDonald feature the heroine Beka Metadi assumes the identity of the roguish (and male) Tarnikep Portee, a nearly psychotic dandy with a crimson eyepatch and an oversized blaster. Tarnikep is both crazier and more of a badass that Beka.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Xiahou Dun earns his Eyepatch of Power by getting hit in the eye with an arrow. Unfazed, he plucks out the arrow, eats his own eye, and returns to the fight.
Major ____ de Coverley wears one in Catch-22. His face is so forbidding that no one dares ask his first name. It turns out that his eyepatch was not gained during any battlefield heroics. An ornery old man tossed a rose in the Major's eye for being so damn imperious.
Mrs. Arthur B. Candy in Flashman and the Redskins, from the “Seventy-Sixer” half of the book, wears an eyepatch. Flashy doesn't care why she has it, as he finds it smoking hot, along with her. To his sorrow, he later finds out that she's actually the ex-slave Cleonie, and is wearing the patch to hide the shape of her face so she can fool him, seduce him, and lure him to his doom as revenge for the evil he did to her in the “Forty-Niner” half of the book.
Bagley Brown Jr., the lead character in the children's novel The Wainscott Weasel, sports an eyepatch as the result of losing an eye to a bird attack when he was a child. His troubles with depth perception are accurately mentioned, and he definitely meets his badass quota by doing most of the work in hauling off an osprey's nest from the top of a telephone pole.
In The Shattered Kingdoms, the mercenary known as the Mongrel has an eyepatch, but she isn't missing an eye. Rather, her two eyes work differently from each other as a result of her supernatural illness (which applies a sort of Duality Motif to her). Both eyes work, but they don't work well together, and she actually sees better if she only uses one at a time.
Live Action TV
Mythbusters did a segment exploring the story that a pirate captains wore an unnecessary eyepatch so that they could go above and below decks without losing their night-vision, as the eye covered would already be dark-acclimated. Their tests showed that switching an eyepatch from one eye to the other in a darkened room made navigating an obstacle course significantly easier.
Saul Tigh, as of S3 of Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined). He's always been somewhat of a Poisonous Friend, almost a Magnificent Bastard, but perhaps not coincidentally, he becomes a significantly more formidable character at more or less the exact same point at which he loses his eye. In what may count as a subversion, Tigh forgoes a classic black eyepatch for a distinctly more medical flesh-colored patch with transparent cords. Moreover, he spends several episodes beforehand with a very uncool chunk of gauze taped to his face. It's also worthy of note that there was an episode where he was having a great deal of difficulty putting his "uncool chunk of gauze" on by himself, subverting the "no loss of depth perception" addendum above.
Subverted in Flight of the Conchords: David Bowie appears to Bret in a dream and tells him that he'd become more famous as a musician if he started wearing an eyepatch. Bret wears one for a while but stops after he complains about his poor depth perception causing him to miss chairs and run into walls. In his next dream, Bret tells Bowie what happened and he admits he had similar problems when he wore one (see Music below).
In the same way goatees are commonly used to depict evilAlternate Universe versions of characters in parodies (after Spock grew one in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror Mirror"), eyepatches are used for the same purpose, because the evil version of the Brigadier wore one in the Doctor Who serial Inferno. And as we all know, Evil is Bad Ass, therefore, this counts as a variation on this trope.
Madam Kovarian from the 2011 series of Doctor Who has some kind of cybernetic device over her right eye. A bunch of other characters start wearing copies of it in "The Wedding of River Song." The Doctor notes that all the servants of The Silence wear them, and as such is horrified when he sees Amy wearing one. She however is not Brainwashed and Crazy and notes that it is not an eyepatch, it lets them remember the Silence. Which is why their servants wear them.
The eyepatches also act as kill-devices that electrocute their wearers to death once the Silence have no further use for them.
Mikhail from LOST. The man survived many injuries (such a sonic fence-induced brain hemorrhage and being shot in the chest with a harpoon) relatively unscathed. It took the Word Of God to convince fans that he could die.
General Martok, of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, was already badass as a Klingon. Add to that the removal of his eye, the scar tissue that covered up the socket in a natural eye patch, and his becoming the winningest Klingon commander of the war and eventually the new Chancellor, and you have a true badass.
Humorously subverted in the Ferengi episode of Star Trek: Voyager. While Paris and Chakotay visit an alien planet, they're approached by a 'prophet' (read: con-man) who gives interpretations of sacred legends for a 'small fee'. This all works very well (though neither of them are actually fooled), until Paris dryly points out that his Eyepatch of Power was on the other eye the last time they spoke with him. Said con-man then switches the patch to the 'correct' eye right in front of them, and holds out his hand for payment.
Lily Charles of Pushing Daisies is missing an eye due to an incident while cleaning cat litter and is definitely bad-ass, blowing her erstwhile assassin out the window with her shotgun after he thought her choked to death. Her lack of an eye is dealt with realistically, if a bit comedically, in that she misses the fact that Chuck, her niece/daughter, is back from the dead despite Chuck standing right in front of her. You see, Chuck just happened to be in her blind-spot at the time...
Travis in Blakes Seven has a skinlike eye patch. Plus a laser-firing artificial arm.
In the pilot for Firefly, Lawrence Dobson gets his eye shot out by Mal. Though he survives, he harbors a massive grudge in the tie-in comic Those Left Behind, and, as a nifty bonus, he gets a seriously mean-looking cybernetic eye implant grafted onto the side of his head. This goes hand-in-hand with his boosted badassness by that point. Then subverted, as Mal ends up shooting him in the other eye (and a few dozen other places).
Subverted in the Disney series Wizards of Waverly Place during the Harry Potter spoof school for magic (where everyone must wear a bathrobe over their clothes and a pair of glasses just like Harry's to accessorize the bathrobes) the rude upperclassman who acts as Justin's rival wears an Eyepatch over a functioning eye, not to make himself better but just to get out of wearing the dorky glasses.
Babylon 5: G'Kar was badass even before losing the eye, but gets downright messianic afterwards. Also, his eye was part of a prophecy involving Londo - "saving the eye that does not see" is one of three actions that would save Londo from bad, bad things. He doesn't. Then the Drakh put a Keeper on him.
Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer got considerably more Badass after Caleb takes out his eye during Season 7. This too subverts the "no lost depth perception" by having him state that he now has to renew his driver's license every year, due to his loss in depth perception.
Though Dawn proves that even with his badass boost she is more badass by using a tazer on him soon after waking up from him chloroforming her. While he's driving.
In the Spin City episode "Grand Illusion", bumbling press secretary Paul Lassiter (Richard Kind) is forced to wear an eyepatch for several days because of an accident with his new toaster. Almost immediately, it starts taking effect: Women start finding him attractive, he's able to hold his own with the people who insult him, he makes sure the press have no questions at all, and is even able to order his boss around a little. At the end of the episode, he decides he doesn't need the eyepatch in order to be confident, and pitches it. Needless to say, it doesn't go as planned, and he ends up trying to find it again.
The magnificent Catalina Creel from Cuna De Lobos, Evil Matriarch who uses her eyepatch to inflict guilt over her unfavourite son for the accident who left her blind on that eye. She also overdoes every telenovela villain ever. Her eyepatch is so vital to her that the first murder we see she does, in the very first chapter, is her husband's, because he discovered that the eye under that patch is healthy, and he wanted to uncover the truth.
Another telenovela example is Arturo Peniche's character, Governor Fernando Sánchez de Moncada, from the recent Zorro telenovela - Zorro: La Espada y la Rosa (Zorro: the Sword and the Rose). He's the father of the antagonistic sisters Esmeralda and Mariangel, both interested in the main character, and wears a nice black eyepatch.
Richard "Yin Yang Man" Branden on WMAC Masters wore an eye patch with a yin yang symbol on it however his is legitimately blind in that eye and sometimes during exhibitions he would actually use a glass eye with the symbol on it instead.
In the original television airings of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, there were segments set in the present day (the then present, around 1992). These bits featured an elderly Indiana Jones, who wore an eyepatch over his right eye, and a pair of glasses over the patch. He also had a nasty facial scar trailing out from under his eyepatch. However, these 1990's scenes were all deleted in later airings of the show, and still haven't become available on home video. A time skip was involved here, because Indy still has both eyes in all the films so far (which cover events up to 1957, and when the Chronicles first aired extended only to 1938).
One of the most popular characters on Days of Our Lives in the late 1980s was Steve 'Patch' Johnson who (in his backstory) had lost an eye in a fight with the show's main hero Bo Brady and wore a patch. Steve's initial storylines included terrorising Bo and his wife Hope but after a Heel-Face Turn, Steve reconciled with Bo and eventually married Bo's sister after taking over from Bo as the show's main hero when Bo was put on a sailing ship.
In Kamen Rider Decade, the alternate Kamen Rider TheBee has one. He lost his eye to Souji.
In Twin Peaks, Nadine Hurley wears an eyepatch over her left eye after losing it in a hunting accident on her and her husband Ed's honeymoon. At the beginning of the second season after attempting suicide, she not only loses her memory, but also gains Super Strength. In fact, she's so strong, she accidentally pulled a door off it's hinges.
In NCIS, Trent Kort seems quite unfazed and even more driven ever since losing an eye to the port-to-port killer and wearing a metallic eye patch. He even seems to enjoy the menacing look it gives him.
Michael "Archangel" Coldsmith-Briggs, CIA agent and Mission Control for Airwolf, wears spectacles with one opaque black lens to cover an eye injury he suffered in the Pilot Movie.
A cutaway sketch in The Young Ones involves a literalpirate radio DJ wearing an eyepatch. The trouble with that is, he's a cyclops. When his parrot shouts out insults he thinks the cabin boy's doing it.
Tom Croydon of Blue Heelers first had a bandage, then a medical patch after the station bombing. He's implied to kill two criminals, threatens the jobs of those around him, alienates everyone who knows him and becomes a thug for the better part of the rest of the series.
A villainous example from The Walking Dead: The Governor, though already established as a very dangerous man, eventually dons an eyepatch after Michonne gauges out his eye with a piece of broken glass, though unlike most examples it does take a few episodes before he puts on the actual eyepatch, though the bandages he wears in that time could still count.
The music video for They Might Be Giants' song "Hollywood House of Blues" involves an innovative alternative rock band called The Lads, whose lead singer wears an eyepatch. The eyepatch is also key to the greater success of Lads rip-off band The Blokes.
Kansas guitarist Rich Williams, who lost an eye to a childhood fireworks accident.
Country singer Dick Curless covered a bad right eye with his trademark patch.
Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show has worn one ever since losing an eye in a car crash.
When David Bowie made a Dutch television appearance to promote his then-new album Diamond Dogs, his right eye was affected with pinkeye and he thus wore an eyepatch for the duration of it. The eyepatch was cool enough that his whole outfit became tied to the character of Halloween Jack (from the album's title track) for fans, despite him not wearing anything similar to it on the subsequent Diamond Dogs Tour. (His performance of "Rebel Rebel" from this show appears on the Best of Bowie DVD set.)
When The Who performed Quadrophenia at London's Hyde Park in 1996, lead singer Roger Daltrey wore a red, white and blue eyepatch after he got hit in the eye by Gary Glitter's mike stand during rehearsals.
Odin, the chief god in Norse Mythology, is said to have plucked out an eye to gain wisdom from a magic well. Personal sacrifice to gain knowledge is actually a recurring theme for him.
Avoided in the funny pages: Beetle Bailey and his nephew Chip Flagston (from Beetle Bailey and Hi & Lois, respectively) have their eyes covered by various hats and hair (again respectively). Avoided as neither are badass, and Beetle is even specifically incompetent. And let's not forget Andy Capp, a cheerful layabout whose eyes are always obscured by his near-namesake cloth cap.
While he's soft-spoken by nature and aphasic by condition, Leo from Doonesbury does come off as badass at times.
Snoopy and his (pretend) crew of 'bloodthirsty pirates' wear these. Although the baddass quotient decreases when one of his crewbirds tries to double it..and wanders into a post.
Sally, during a story arc where she wears an eyepatch to treat 'lazy eye', looks at herself and thinks she should be in an ad for men's shirts.
In Deadlands, one of the canon NPCs is a grizzled veteran of a dozen wars and conflicts with the supernatural who sports just such an eyepatch. The story goes like this: Hank Ketchum was laying in the surgeon's tent at the Battle of Gettysburg when his surgeon-to-be snapped. He had already lopped body parts off of a few other men before gouging out Ketchum's eye with a scalpel. What did the gruff Texan do? He chased the surgeon away, presumably with violence real and threatened. And that's why they call him One-Eye.
Based off the John Wayne character Rooster Cogburn (see Movies above.)
There's a magic item in one Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook called the Corsair's Eyepatch, which is transparent to the wearer so as not to impede vision. Depending on which eye it's worn over, the wearer can activate it to See Invisible, or gain the Blind Fight feat.
And don't forget the Eye of Vecna. A cursed relic of an infamous arch-mage that requires the user to put out one of their own eyes and place the Eye of Vecna in the empty socket.
CommissarYarrick of Warhammer 40,000 replaced a missing eye with a bionic implant that could fire a laser in order to live up to ork stories that he could kill with a glance. Bionic eyes are common in both the setting and model range, though the only other special character who weaponizes his is "Lord Prince" Yriel, an Eldarcorsair turned High Admiral of Iyanden whose Eye of Wrath can blast everything around him once per game. More commonly, all Navigators where bandana eyepatches over their third eye when not guiding a ship through the warp, because eye contact with a Navigator's third eye is fatal.
BadassRugal Bernstein, rocking the glowing red eye version. Double points for having lost that eye to the next game boss Goenitz back when both were younger. For worse, ''he'0' is the reason why Heidern is wearing his own 'patch... and why he lost his first unit and his family.
And in the case of Mature, the eyepatch is actually a Power Limiter. If she takes it off, it's a clue on how she's about to unleash a world of PAIN on you with her Ultra.
Xenogears gives us not one, but two examples of this trope. Bartholomew Fatima, the ousted desert pirate prince of Aveh, and Sigurd, the Ambiguously BrownPretty Boy who is Bart's brother with his eyepatch on the opposite eye. This becomes a plot point later in the game.
From Kingdom Hearts II, Xigbar, of Organization XIII, plays this trope to the hilt. Not only does he have an eyepatch, but several scars running across his face. Of all the Organization, he carries himself most like a seasoned warrior. At one point, he even hints to Sora that he has fought several Keyblade Masters before him. Except for Xemnas and Roxas, that's probably the closest any member of the Organization gets to having an actual backstory. It's confirmed in Birth by Sleep that he did in fact meet and fight previous keyblade masters— Terra, Ven, and Aqua.
Terra is also the one who gave him the need to wear an eyepatch in the first place, adding weight to his words in Kingdom Hearts II.
Also in the Kingdom Hearts series, Riku spends a long period with a blindfold on so as "not to deceive himself". It is never made clear whether he can see through it, although the fact that he has lifted it on occasion suggests that he can't. Some of his more badass moments involve the blindfold. As Roxas found out the hard way, if he takes it off, you're on for a major beatdown courtesy of Xehanort's Heartless.
In Halloween Town, Sora wears an orange pumpkin mask over his right eye, serving as an eyepatch, though it does not make him more badass in gameplay. Of course, it's still possible to see his covered eye in some cutscenes, and with the right angle with the camera in gameplay.
In the Final Mix version for Kingdom Hearts II, Sora's mask is replaced with a black Santa Claus hat in the Christmas Town sections, also covering his right eye. And unlike with the mask, it's impossible to see the eye.
Subversion: when Naked Snake (later named Big Boss) of Metal Gear Solid 3 gets his eye muzzle-burned and is rewarded with an eyepatch, he has quite a touching scene in which he attempts to catch a moth, but fails because of his poor depth perception. (Since Word Of God says that Snake's codename was inspired by Escape from New York's Snake Plissken, the eyepatch doubles as a Shout Out.) The lead female expresses pity, but he shrugs it off. The first person view for the player goes a bit funny, too - the lost eye was his dominant one, so that's what he habitually aligns his gunsights to.
Later in the game, however, he is wiring a base up with plastic explosive. He moulds it into the shape of a moth, throws it up into the air, and catches it - "Got you this time," he tells it, then attaches it to the detonator.
Strangely, in a later scene, the player needs to fire a sniper rifle at explosives to destroy the Shagohad, and when that fails he switches to an RPG, all of this with his standard pinpoint accuracy - which normally would be fine, except the sight is on the right side and cannot be moved. Guess which side his eyepatch is on. And the kicker? You can still see down the sight of the RPG in First-Person View.
However in Metal Gear Solid 4 and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker both allow Snake and Big Boss to fire their guns with either their left or right hands, which in the case of Big Boss would allow him to look down the scope/iron sight with his left eye. Such ambidextrous shooting however is never displayed by Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, his eye patch must really have power if he can see through it even when it is on.
Somewhat justified: The cutscene where he pulls out the SVD after jumping out of Eva's sidecar shows pretty clearly that he's just forcing his left eye into the scope of those weapons.
One of his sons, later in the series's chronology, is actually happy to lose his eye in a plane crash - now he looks like his father. However, this is subverted, as an easy way to defeat him in the final boss battle is to approach him from the side of his missing eye, where he has a small blind spot.
Furthermore, in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Solid Snake is given the Solid Eye device, an advanced monocular display mounted in an eyepatch. Combat advantage? Definitely. Looks cool? Possibly enough to balance out the Dick Van Dyke moustache. In any case, it makes him look almost exactly like his father.
Except Otacon specifically instructed Snake to put the Solid Eye over his left eye. Big Boss didn't have his right eye.
In Metal Gear Rising, Raiden covers his damaged left eye with a cloth when he gets a new cyborg body, but the cloth is covered in sensors that act as a replacement eye, allowing him to keep full vision.
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, and there are also several eye-patch items that can be found in the game, the Eye of Rend being one of the oldest examples.
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.
In early World of Warcraft one of the most potent pieces of leather armor was an eyepatch, which rather counter intuitively increased your critical strike chance. Eyepatches still show up occasionally, where they provide just as much armor as a full helm of the same type.
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 has him as being of the Miraluka species; his eyes, therefore, are present, but atrophied like others of his species, who see using the Force.
Garrett of the Thief series of stealth-based video games had his eye yanked out of his head during the events of the first installment, and had it replaced with a mechanical one that allows him to telescope his vision. While more of an extraordinarily skilled Deadpan Snarker than an out-and-out badass, he's still not someone you'd ever want to mess with.
In Grim Fandango the protagonist Manny's sidekick Glottis, in awe after an eyepatch-wearing, gruff, salty sailor type has given a stirring speech, whispers "Wowww! Manny, could I have an eyepatch?"
Since the Yagyu Jubei from the Samurai Shodown games is supposed to be the one from real life, he wears an eyepatch. Notable for him and Sagat earlier ... the nature of the graphics means the patch switches from one eye to the other when the character changes which way he's facing.
Zato-1 from Guilty Gear is blind and blindfolded (his name is a homage to blind swordsman Zatoichi). He's supposedly able to access better senses than with his eyes, which probably means that his shadow, the sentient bioweapon Eddie, sees for him. He is reasonably Badass... for a dead guy (though Eddie's also pretty badass itself.
Georg Prime in Suikoden V wears an eyepatch over his left eye. Even with the handicap, he's considered the greatest swordsman around, with a reputation for defeating all foes with his first attack. He eventually tells the main character that in his youth, he was careless in a battle and was slashed in the face, only surviving because the main character's father rescued him. Still later, he reveals that the slash actually missed his eye, and that he wears the eyepatch as a reminder not to get too cocky. At that point he discards the eyepatch, deciding he doesn't need it anymore.
Though in his case, it's actually handled somewhat more realistically; his accuracy stat is quite low, and the absolute worst of all the playable storyline characters.
James "Paladin" Taggart is depicted with an eyepatch in Super Wing Commander, though in the other Wing Commander games featuring the character, he has the use of both eyes. He gains no special powers or abilities from missing an eye (indeed, as an AI wingman he is somewhat mediocre, even compared to other AI wingmen), but he is an experienced combat pilot whose career spans several decades.
Likewise, in Gungrave, Grave lost his left eye when he was murdered. He wears glasses with the left lens blacked out and a white cross on top of that to conceal it, although sometimes his hair has the same effect. Like Auron above it's not quite an eyepatch but Grave did take several levels of badass after being resurrected.
General Beatrix of Final Fantasy IX has a badass metal eyepatch, and the first fights against her cannot be won. The goal is only to survive.
Forcystus from Tales of Symphonia has both an Eyepatch of Power and an Arm Cannon that appears to replace his left arm (actually, his arm is inside the thing and can be seen during some of his attacks when the arm cannon opens up.
The Demoman from Team Fortress 2 wears one, and is actually quite bitter about having lost his eye, referring to himself as a 'black, Scottish cyclops'. His lack of an eye has minimal impact on the player when playing as himnote he fires very slightly to the right of the crosshairs instead of dead-on like everyone else; however, and he still performs quite adequately considering his weapon of choice is a grenade launcher.
He seems really bitter.
...prancin' aboot with yer heads full of eyeballs!
Seems to run in the family; a comic released prior to his (and the Soldier's) update reveals that both the RED Demoman's parents are blind, a result of the family profession being demolitions.
RED Demoman's Mum: Mark me, boy: no Demoman worth his sulfur ever had an eye in his head past thirty!
Drachma of Skies of Arcadia has a literal Eyepatch of Power. The accessory he starts with is an eyepatch that increases his attack power slightly when he has it equipped.
Vyse has an eyepatch-like lens over one eye - he has two good eyes, although the equipped lens is supposed to increase his accuracy. It gives him telescopic sight in that eye, too. The original lens is also replaced with one that allows him to see Moonfish in the remake.
This carries over to his cameo in Valkyria Chronicles, where he retains his signature goggle patch and is easily one of the best Shocktroopers in the game.
Lucian of Lunar Knights has an eyepatch. He's also former prodigy member of the Three Gunslingers Sartana.
Wolf O'Donnell of Star Fox goes through several variations of this. In the prototype Star Fox 2, he is depicted with a scar over one of his eyes, while in Star Fox 64, he sports an eyepatch (over the opposite eye) and from Star Fox Assault onwards, he wears a cybernetic eyepatch. Although some have assumed that his left eye is missing, his Assault model shows that it is still there, and can even be seen during certain cutscenes. He's even seen without the eyepatch in his concept art.
Interesting example from the Empire Earth opening movie. You see four warriors in four dramatically different epochs (stone age, British imperial age, second world war and the future). The stone age warrior has a white (blind) left eye, the imperial sea-captain has a cloth in front of his, the WWII commander has a standard black eyepatch and the futuristic warrior has a cyborg left eye.
Lord David from The Last Remnant takes this to a particularly literal level. In battle, he wears an eyepatch that appears to be tied into the aiming or activation of the remnant Gae Bolg — an enormous energy cannon.
Yep. It even has a name- "Kellendros" and is described as the "Trigger device of the Gae Bolg" Though I'd be inclined to believe Kellendros and Ex Machina (his uber gun) are dual triggers for it since both are used to summon the extra uber cannon.
Alfred Woden of the Max Payne series wears a special pair of glasses which are shaded over his right eye. This was meant to evoke Odin, as was his last name, since Oden himself wore an eyepatch, and thus establishes himself as the one running the show. Max himself notes "In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed man is King"
Baron Praxis in Jak II: Renegade has a highly visible bionic eye. His Dragon, Erol, ends up with only half his head semi-intact with a mechanical body, giving him his very own bionic eye (and face, and torso, and legs...). For a more heroic example, Sig has yet another bionic eye. Yeah, Naughty Dog Software seem to enjoy this one.
Monster Hunter Tri: Your character has 2 if you are female and one if you are male, the female has an exclusive helmet in the deviljho gunner set with an eyepatch, and both genders have the Wyvernking Eyepatch which has 3 slots and is upgradeable
In Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, the Smuggler has an eyepatch. It's probably just for show though, since in his first scene he lifts up the eyepatch and glares at Ratchet with the eye underneath (which appears normal). Also, the eyepatch switches sides between scenes . . . and this isn't a sprite game.
Sengoku Basara has Date Masamune (who is also down there in the Real Life examples) and Chosokabe Motochika. Masamune's eyepatch of power is so badass that it's a tsuba. You see.
In Final Fantasy XI, there is Balrahn, celebrated hero and Emperor of Aht Urghan, who in his day managed to collect 20 unique weapons (one for each job class, conveniently) as war trophies during epic battles with foreign powers. These "Mythic Weapons", now locked in the Empire's vaults, are obtainable by the player after completing a series of difficult and/or time-consuming tasks, one of which is to obtain Balrahn's Eyepatch, which is described as a sacred relic.
Don't forget Gilgamesh, the pirate with an eye patch of power.
...And Moblin Maze Mongers event has an eye patch as a possible reward.
Averted in the later Twisted Metal games with Calypso. As the organizer of the tournament, and a Literal Genie with all sorts of power, one would think an eyepatch would suit him. Except in the early games, he had both eyes, and in later games when he's missing on (with no explanation) he gladly shows off the gaping hole.
John Marston, the protagonist of Red Dead Redemption wears one in the 'Deadly Assassin' outfit which, humorously, improves his slow motion 'Dead-eye Aim'.
In Splinter Cell Conviction, the imagery is evoked with both the co-op player characters rendered in the loading screen with their sonar goggles only covering one eye. This also applies to the enemy Splinter Cells. Appropriately, the latter are Elite Mooks. However, the biggest Badass, protagonist Sam Fisher, wears his goggles covering both eyes.
Big Bad Morden of Metal Slug bears one of these over his right eye. He lost that eye in the Central Park Bombing that also killed his young son, giving him his reasons for defecting from the Regular Army. Also used for a bit of Fridge Brilliance in Metal Slug 3... The Morden you fight at the midway point of the Final Mission has the patch over the left eye... it's a Mars Person in disguise.
Goro Majima of the Yakuza series ends up with one of these after getting his own tanto through his left eye in Yakuza 3.
Iorveth, elvish terrorist/guerilla leader from The Witcher 2. Iorveth covers the remains of his right eye with a tilted bandana and has spent the better part of a century fighting humans.
As with the Real Life person he's based on, Masamume from Pokemon Conquest is the one eyed warlord of Avia with dreams of uniting the entirety of Rensai under his rule. In fact, during the post game challenge The Dragon's Dream, Masamune does just that. His Warrior skill is One-Eyed Dragon.
How do we know M in Shikkoku No Sharnoth is awesome even before he does anything? Guess. Interestingly enough, despite it being implied that the eye underneath it actually works fine, it is never removed.
Nimmel Feenix from Dominic Deegan had his right eye slashed to uselessness, so he combed his previously slicked-back hair in such a way as to cover it up. Curiously, The Infernomancer from who inflicted this injury also sported an eyepatch of power ? a blindfold with long spikes on the inside, that concealed magically ever-bleeding eyes (the mark of the demonic pact that gave him his powers).
At one point, Dominic was recovering from temporary blindness and had only gotten back his sight in one eye. He wore an eyepatch until his vision recovered; combined with his artificial leg, this gave rise to at least one pirate joke.
In It's Walky!, Penny Worthington was double the Badass for wearing the eyepatch she took from her predecessor, Dargon Chesterfield, after assassinating him.
Right-Eye, Redcloak's little brother, and later Redcloak himself sport an eyepatch as well, although it actually covers a missing eye.
Royce Lashiec of Heartcore takes to wearing one after the Prologue Arc.
Sarn Kellfrock of Planescape Survival Guide is a ancient duergar dwarf cleric who lost his eye to the future god Bane while defending his own god (Jergal's) realm. His eyepatch of power comes into play later on when he takes Bane's eye out before killing the god single-handedly.
In The Wotch, there's DeFrain the Pirate - a member of La Résistance, whose piratey eyepatch hides a magical eye capable of seeing through anything, as well as detecting magical auras - handy for checking out whether a ship contains anything worth stealing. He also appears to be a Ninja Pirate.
Viktor Vasko of Lackadaisy lost his right eye in a violent striker's rally, shortly before he became a rum runner for Atlas May.
Agent Jim of Mayu Zane's Siege is nearly shot down in one scene because of a gunner on his left-and he's blind in his left eye, which he neglected to mention to anyone previously.
There were previous references to his hidden face being badly hurt or burned, however.
Zane would know-he's blind (or nearly so) in one of his eyes as a result of a detached retina.
The Suicide Girl from Sexy Losers. She's an animated corpse; the eyepatch covers the eye she accidentally shot herself through (she was toweling her hair and blindly picked up what she thought was her hairdryer; unfortunately, she kept her gun next to her hairdryer for some reason...).
Chief from Goblins has a riveted-on eyepatch bearing his clan symbol (which was originally tattooed on near his lost eye. It doesn't make him markedly more badass, though. Most of the time.
In Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw's (completed, not ongoing) webcomic "Yahtzee Takes On The World", the alternate universe Anti-Yahtzee has the token alt-self eyepatch, as well as the other inevitable deliberate clichés of the identical-but-opposite-colour clothing and the typical facial hair inversion.
In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Judy's kitten had survived an attack from a dinosaur and now sports an eyepatch. It still looks very cute. The President of the United States is also shown to have one.
Vriska of Homestuck sports one. Due to Ambidextrous Sprites, which eye it covers is never officially determined. It isn't until later in the Hivebent arc that we find out how she lost her eye (and arm) in the first place.
She later gets her eye and arm back, so she loses the patch.
Roommates played with this trope as two characters wore eye-patches. Odin is obviously a straight example, but the other one Mortal!Jareth an inversion as he literally had an Eyepatch of Depower covering his left eye (he normally has heterochromia as a sign of his magical heritage), he got better.
Paul Smith of Survival of the Fittest has an eyepatch, having lost one eye after a freak barbecue accident (no, seriously). He is shown to be a more than competent fighter, being (as of the end of the 2007 school year) the second best fighter in the school and certainly something of a Badass.
Xinjao O'Reilly in Tech Infantry wears one after being tortured by having a soldering iron thrust into one eye. This also comes shortly after he Took a Level in Badass and went from comic-relief engineer with a Porn Stash to resourceful leader of a guerrilla band of engineers and admiral of his own private mercenary space fleet.
Tom from Ruby Quest has his right eye ripped out early on; he's left with an empty socket until he and Ruby find some gauze and bandages to make an eyepatch. Eventually, this is augmented with a "DO NOT OPEN" label. In this case it only serves as an apropos emblem of his supreme badassery, as his MANLY PHYSIQUE and inclination towards smashing things prove valuable assets throughout the course of the story.
In I Am Not Infected Amanda sports one in her first appearance. She quickly stops wearing it, and with it her status as a badass.
Parodied in Billy Vs SNAKEMAN, where Billy's power is proportional to how many eyepatches he's wearing. When he reaches his highest level, he puts on a third eyepatch.
El Cid Campeador from Fate Nuovo Guerra sports an eyepatch, and some facial scarring to boot. He also happens to be the national hero of Spain, and a heroic spirit capable of superhuman feats.
In a Cracked article about soldiers shrugging off horribly painful and debilitating wounds, all of the top 3 had eyepatches. The article briefly commented by saying something along the lines "Having an eyepatch is like taking the express lane to being a badass".
Dr. Director and her evil (fraternal) twin brother have eye patches, and are some of the most competent fighters in the series. Dr. Director is primarily a parody/homage to Nick Fury.
An extra in the "A Sitch In Time" DVD showed a future Kim as Dr. Director's successor. She also wore an eyepatch.
Parodied in Rockos Modern Life, with the charter boat captain "Two-Patch" Crappie Jack (yes, that is his name). He can't walk too well. Two wooden legs. Can't steer too well. Two wooden arms. Can't see too well. Two wooden eyes.
While it's not technically an eyepatch, your chances of badassness go way up in Transformers if you have one optic sensor rather than two. Shockwave is probably the most obvious of these.
Transformers Prime gives one to Breakdown, after MECH removed his eye. Presumably Megatron forbids letting him get a replacement eye as punishment for getting captured by Puny Humans.
Matrix, the grown-up Enzo from Reboot's third season, has a golden cybernetic eye that provides super targeting abilities, which he received after the original was cut out. By THE DEVIL in a Mortal Kombat-ish game.
Parodied with the pirate bi-nomes. There's at least one "zero" bi-nome with two patches that optionally hide two good eyes, and there's at least one "one" bi-nome with a single patch over it's only perfectly fine eye.
Gutierrez, Ricardo Montelban's character on Freakazoid!, had an eye patch. When he transformed into his "super freak" form, it had an eye painted over it, and an energy weapon behind it.
Subversion: His eye is perfectly normal before he mutates, and this eyepatch is important to his painful defeat.
In the "New Year's Eve Party at Brak's House" series of bumps, Hesh doesn't believe that Phil needs the patch, calling it 'Your Bum Eye And How It Doesn't Exist'.
Hudson, from Gargoyles, has only one good eye due to a wound that either stayed with him due to its magical origin or didn't heal properly before sunrise. In either case, throughout the series it's implied that while he might be getting a little old and slow and even his good eye is starting to fail, he's a canny warrior whose insight is invaluable.
The Pirate Captain from Mike, Lu & Og has two eyepatches (as well as two wooden legs). This doesn't seem to slow him down much, although he's not very badass because he and his men are always being defeated by a bunch of kids.
Popeye, while not wearing an eyepatch, misses one eye. He just keeps eyelids permanently closed.
Parodied in The Tick episode "That Moustache Feeling", where the Tick meets Jim Rave, Agent of S.H.A.V.E.. Rave is a Nick Fury lookalike, down to the eyepatch-but at the episode's end, the Tick realizes Rave isn't a real special agent because he still has both eyes-the eyepatch is just there to make him look cool.
Tako from Sushi Pack wears a fake eyepatch that does not diminish his fighting prowess in the least. Then again, considering that his main attack is flinging paint at enemies, direct aim may not be crucial.
While villain Maj. Bludd's actual status as a Badass is more than a little questionable on the show, the patch at least made him look suitably badass. His Renegades incarnation, however, has more than earned his badass cred (and likely the eyepatch itself) in his debut episode.
Something of a subversion on Captain Planet and the Planeteers.Mad Scientist Dr. Blight is blonde, but wears one shock of long white hair over one of her eyes. This would seem to be this trope... except that the hair is actually hiding the fact that part of her face is deformed.
Alejandro gets punched in the eye in an episode of Total Drama World Tour, resulting in him having to wear an eyepatch for the rest of the episode.
On Jimmy Two-Shoes the bailiffs in the Horn Fairy Court wear eyepatches with stars on them.
The lead character of Danger Mouse has one. People who worked on the show can't seem to agree on whether he lost an eye or he just has it to be fashionable.
Jonathan Kidd, the commander of the Voyager in the Fantastic Voyage animated series.
In Gravity Falls, Grunkle Stan wears an eyepatch over a perfectly healthy eye in order to fit into the Mystery Shack's mood of strange and paranormal.
One of Alexander's generals (and a later ruler in his own right), Antigonus, was known by the nickname "Monopthalmus", or "the One-Eyed".
Though he didn't wear an eyepatch, Horatio Nelson lost the sight in his right eye. He later went on to be arguably the most famous Admiral in history. He famously ignored a signal not to engage a Danish fleet by holding his telescope to his blind eye and asserting that he could not see the signal to hold back. He went on to decisively win the Battle of Copenhagen. This event is considered the origin of the idiom "to turn a blind eye." As Captain Jack in the Aubrey-Maturin series put it, "Lord Nelson is a man of singular vision."
Hannibal Barca lost his eye while on the march from pink eye. Not long after this he launches a massive ambush on Roman forces in the Battle of Lake Trasimene.
Date Masamune, a general during the Japanese Warring States period, lost an eye as a youth and had to wear an eyepatch. It didn't hinder him much, as he went on to defeat Japan's prominent strategists of the time. Legend says that he ripped it out himself when it was rendered useless by smallpox (though this is highly unlikely given that he was a young child when he contracted the illness). It earned him the nickname of One-Eyed Dragon; though it started off as a comment on his reckless nature, it later in his life became a term of respect. He, like Xiahou Dun below, is almost always portrayed with an eyepatch in fictional appearances, even though there's no record of him wearing one in real life.
Yagyu Jubei, one of the most famous and romanticized samurai of all time, is a somewhat more ambiguous case. Although portraits from his own time show him with two eyes, somewhere along the line of centuries spent telling and retelling his story it became traditional to depict him wearing an eyepatch. Whether the historical Jubei ever wore one or it comes from Kabuki exaggerations is open to debate, but it has become a traditional part of his character, usually with the explanation that he lost it as a child while training. Other movies show him being wounded by a cut to the face as an adult, but developing his skill to greater degrees afterwards.
Moshe Dayan, Israeli General and Defense Minister (including during the Six-Day war — when Israel battled against 3 armies and still managed to triple its land mass in six days), lost his left eye while infiltrating Vichy France-controlled Syria in WWII; the binoculars he was looking through were shot and the glass and metal destroyed his eye socket (the bulk of the binoculars probably slowed the bullet enough to save his life). He didn't like his black eyepatch, but it did make him look pretty badass. When he was once stopped for speeding (with fellow minister/future PM/current President Shimon Peres next to him), he told the police officer, "I can either look at the road or at the speedometer. Which would you prefer?"
Jan Zizka had already lost an eye, either in battle or due to a childhood accident depending on the source, by the time he became the leader of the Czech rebel faction in the Hussite Wars. He soon lost the other one as well but continued to lead his troops into battle personally despite being completely blind. As is fitting for a man of his stature, he is the subject of the world's tallest equestrian statue in Prague.
John Pendlebury, a famous archaeologist lost one eye, and made a point of being better at athletics because people assumed he couldn't. He later became a war hero in WWII, fighting Nazis in a critical battle on Crete.
Canadian Léo Major during WWII lost an eye in Normandy. He refused to be brought back home, saying that he "only needed one eye to aim at Germans". He went on to liberate a city (Zwolle) in the Netherlands from an entire German squad on his own by firing multiple rifles and throwing grenades, making the Germans rout as they believed they were being attacked by an entire platoon. He was actually awarded three DCMs, but turned the first one down because he thought General Montgomery, the man awarding it to him, was too stupid to be handing out medals. He died in 2008, and the Dutch Ambassador to Canada was present at his funeral. The city he liberated held a vigil.
Director Raoul Walsh lost an eye in a car accident, and took to wearing a very large black eyepatch. Opinions on his films remain pretty mixed (a common statement is that he "never let the truth get in the way of a good story," due to films like Gentleman Jim and They Died With Their Boots On taking significant historical liberties) but he's certainly one of the toughest looking directors ever. He also directed The Roaring Twenties, High Sierra, They Drive By Night, White Heat, and many other famous gangster films. White Heat in particular was the most violent film at the time of its release, broke the censorship code completely, and caused several revisions to the Code, ultimately leading to its downfall twenty years later. High Sierra was also one of Humphrey Bogart's first not-completely-villainous roles, and led to his general stardom.
Many directors of the Golden Age of Hollywood suffered accidents in their eyes that led to them wearing eyepatches which helped give them an aura of authority and respect that maintained discipline on set. John Ford, Fritz Lang, Andre de Toth and Nicholas Ray. The reasons why they wore eyepatches varies, with Lang having a weak eye on account of his service in the military during World War I while others insist they wore it as a cool accessory.
Pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy are often depicted with eyepatches. This might have come from pirate captains who, needing to go above and below decks constantly, would put an eyepatch over one eye above deck to avoid losing their dark-vision in that eye.
Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, a German soldier and aristocrat who lost his left eye, right hand, and two fingers from his remaining hand during an Allied air raid. He was the German equivilent of a Colonel Badass and had won the Iron Cross before becoming completely convinced that Hitler needed to be killed. He took a leading role in the 20 July Plot, the closest anyone ever got to assassinating Hitler. He was popularly portrayed in the film Valkyrie.
Steve Watt, a Wyoming State Trooper, was shot five times by a bank robber, one bullet of which came within about a paper's width of damaging his brain. Fortunately, he got better. While he isn't a State Trooper anymore, his eyepatch now undoubtedly adds to his presence as a D.A.R.E. instructor and ordained minister.
As an aside, losing an eye would have very little, if any, effect on long-range rifle accuracy such as sniping (presuming it wasn't their dominant eye) - in fact, USMC recruits (at least as of the early 90's) would be taught to close the eye opposite the one being used to sight with, and even issued an eyepatch to cover that eye until they could break the habit of trying to use both eyes. At ranges over about 100 meters (give or take), human eyes simply aren't far enough apart to contribute greatly to depth perception, and visual references (the car or doorway the opponent is standing near, for example) are much better for use in estimating distance.
Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart was an Anglo-Belgian aristocrat, soldier and diplomat, was wounded seven times during the First World War, losing his left eye to a bullet and having his hand so badly mangled he bit his own fingers off. He went on to win a Victoria Cross at La Boiselle, afterwards saying, "Frankly I enjoyed the war." He spent the inter-war period with the British military mission to Poland, fighting off Red Army cavalry with a revolver at Warsaw. When WWII rolled around he escaped Poland just ahead of the Wehrmacht, led an amphibious assault on Norway and was transferred to the Mediterranean just in time to be shot down and captured by the Italians, escaping five times despite being over sixty and speaking no Italian. Released as part of Italy's surrender in '43 he was then sent as Churchill's personal representative to China. He did all this looking much like Brigadier Lethbridge-Stuart's evil counterpart◊, with a black eyepatch and a black moustache. A badass mofo in anyone's book and one of those crazy career soldiers Britain seemed to turn out like a production line prior to WWII.
James Joyce often wore one. He was troubled by eyesight problems for much of his life, and underwent numerous eye surgeries.
Chilean TV host and Intrepid Reporter Santiago Pavlovic lost an eye due to serious illness. He now wears a spiffy eyepatch to cover it.
Russian field marshal Kutuzov, widely considered the best of Suvorov's pupils, got to wear one after his right eye was injured by a musket ball (twice) and he started to get splitting headaches from its use. It also contributed to the myth that he was one-eyed.
War Journalist Marie Colvin lost sight in one of her eyes due to a being caught in the blast of Sri-Lankan Army Rocket Propelled Grenade in 2001. She took to wearing an eyepatch after losing the sight in her eye due to the damage done to it.
British nuclear bomber crews were issued with eyepatches for fear that in a war they'd be blinded by all the atomic weapons going off. When one eye was blinded by a nuclear flash, they were supposed to switch over to the other, and hopefully there'd be a crewmember still able to see by the time they reached their target (returning home was not an issue, as there wouldn't have been enough fuel anyway).
The common stereotype of pirates wearing eyepatches likely dates back to the Arab pirate Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah, who wore it after losing an eye in battle in the 18th century