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[[quoteright:270:[[Toys/{{Bionicle}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mask_of_light.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:270:[-Hey, there's an inscription...''[[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings One mask to rule them all, one mask to find them...]]''Eh. Probably nothing.-] ]]

The Mask of Power is an object when worn on the face grants the wearer any number of powers depending on the mask itself.

Often it will get some backstory to explain its power, whether that's where the power comes from or what sort of power it is. Perhaps it was the facial representation of some deity, or it may have been worn by some ancient ruler or mage, or maybe it was connected to some vaguely defined tropical mysticism. The latter point is possibly influenced by the preponderance of masks in Tiki culture.

Then there's the symbolism of taking upon oneself a new face, the metaphor of looking through different eyes becoming literal as well as the sense that masks [[MaskPower are just really badass]]. However the flip side of the power being in the mask and the importance of the "new face" that can have its own personality is that you can get a literal BecomingTheMask situation, with the mask [[EvilMask taking over the character.]]

Compare HatOfPower, RingOfPower, CrystalSkull.

Not to be confused with CoolMask, in which a character who wears a mask is assumed to be powerful but does not necessarily have power because of the mask itself.



[[folder: Anime & Manga]]

* The Visored in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' can increase their power tenfold by calling out their inner Hollow and wearing its mask in battle. The trope is also inverted in that Arrancar -- the polar opposite of Vizards -- are more powerful because they took their Hollow masks off.
** Ichigo's Hollow side definitely deserves a mention of its own, because when his [[SplitPersonalityTakeover hollow form takes over]] in his epic fight with [[AloofBigBrother Byakuya Kuchiki]], it started ''[[BodyHorror growing]]'' onto his ''face''.
** The Arrancar zig-zag a bit when using their ''Resurrección''. They become stronger and more like their original Hollow form and for ''many'' of them it means the fragments of their masks become larger. However some of them have their mask fragments shrink or disappear entirely and some like Baraggan have a complete physical transformation that it's impossible to judge what becomes his mask.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' has the Stone Mask, which pretty much gave Dio all his powers. A slight variation in that you only need to wear it once.
** The mask had to be worn and then spilled with some blood. Then the mask would sprout some stone tentacles that carved into your brain, killing you but also activating unknown areas of it, bringing you back as a vampire. Also they made you food for the Pillar Men, who created/generated the masks.
** The Masks' creator, Kars, originally created the Masks for the Pillar Men themselves. He discovered that the Masks weren't powerful enough to alter the Pillar Men since they were already superhuman. If a Pillar Man dons a Mask infused with enough power, it would turn the Pillar Man into an UltimateLifeForm with CompleteImmortality who no longer has the Pillar Mens' weakness to sunlight.
* In ''Manga/{{Tajikarao}}'', the eponymous Shinto god is able to manifest physically when a spiritually suitable human puts a sacred mask on his face.
* The [[ArtifactOfDoom Cassandra Mask]] in ''Manga/AnnCassandra'' gives its user the power to create evil fates [[spoiler:at the price of [[BecomingTheMask losing their free will]] and eventually dying.]] Supposedly, it was created from the remains of the Greek prophetess Cassandra after she died [[CassandraTruth cursing the people who wouldn't believe her.]]
* The "Rabbit of Truth" from ''Manga/TheVoynichHotel'' turns the user's thoughts into speech, and allows them to [[TrueSight see past glamours and illusions.]]
* In ''Anime/{{Bakugan}}'', The villain Masquerade [[spoiler: exists because he is a split personality of Alice brought to life by negative energy. His mask manifests his very being and gives him several powers, such as seeing a Bakugan's [[PowerLevels G-power]] without assistance, teleportation, and voice distortion.]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/DoctorFate's helmet in Franchise/TheDCU. It even got its own mini-series ''The Helmet of Fate'' where it passed through the hands of different mystical heroes before finding its way to its new wielder.
* The Creator/DCComics villain Psycho-Pirate got his emotion-controlling powers from the "Medusa Mask" although this is a subversion, as he had to take the mask ''off'' (so people could see his face) to use his powers.
** The original Psycho-Pirate discovered multiple Medusa Masks, each one expressing a different emotion. The one everyone thinks of melted them all down into his signature gold mask, which by ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis worked without removing it.
* ''ComicBook/LittleVictory'': One of Victory Girl's first opponents was a Mexican "god" in the form of a possessing mask.
* In ''ComicBook/ThroneOfAtlantis'', [[BigBad Ocean Master]]'s crown controls [[ShockAndAwe the storms]].
* The titular mask from ''ComicBook/TheMask''. It transforms its wearers into a very powerful RealityWarper dubbed "Big Head". However, the Mask is [[EvilMask incredibly corrupting]] and lets its wearers indulge in extreme violence before discarding them when they're killed.
* ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'': In "The Blood of Azrael", Azrael's mask contains the memories and reality-warping powers of the OmnicidalManiac Azrael, waiting for a host of a suitable mindset to continue his work. Unfortunately, the mask also comes with ClothesMakeTheManiac tendencies.


[[folder: Fan Fiction]]
* The ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''[=/=]''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'' fanfic ''Fanfic/PointsOfFamiliarity'' has the protagonist create Angel-type bone Masks with very strange properties.
* In ''Fanfic/BloodIsThickerThanBone'' Orochimaru had spent time looking for a fabled mask worn by UsefulNotes/HondaTadakatsu that renders whoever wears it immune to damage. It's also capable of restoring wounds for as long as you wear it, even his sealed arms.
* In ''Fanfic/FateParallelFantasia'', one of False Rider's Noble Phantasms is a magical mask which obscures her identity, parameters, skills, and even her class; because she carries a spear, True Rider initially mistakes her for a Lancer.

[[folder: Film]]
* The titular mask from ''Film/TheMask''. It's noted in the film that this style of mask is meant to represent Loki, Norse {{Trickster}} god, and Stanley hypothesises that the spirit of Loki was banished into the mask.
* In the ''lucha'' film ''El Hacha Diabolica'', Wrestling/ElSanto's mask turns out to be a mystical artifact and key to defeating the villain.
* The ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}'' series. Especially in [[Film/{{Halloween 1978}} the first film]]; Michael doesn't kill anyone except when wearing a mask. In the intro he only froze when his dad removed his clown mask, and later when Laurie knocks his mask off he takes the time to put it back on, giving her a better chance of escaping. First thing he does before starting his spree is steal the mask, but not for disguise since he never takes it off and few people would recognize him. In [[Film/HalloweenII1981 the sequel]], he still wears the mask (getting an innocent lookalike killed) and is discovered to have scrawled ''Samhain'' (basically, Halloween) on the wall of the mask store he robbed, suggesting he somehow links dressing up with murdering people; he becomes the Boogeyman.
* The Alchemist from ''Film/{{Vidocq}}'' wears a mask made out of mirror that he uses to [[YourSoulIsMine eat the souls of his victims]]. For extra creepiness, it also makes the victim see their own dying face while looking at him. Extra creepiness: [[spoiler:it has to be reforged periodically, and the most important step is tempering it with the blood of a hundred [[VirginPower virgin girls]].]]
* The titular ''Film/MirrorMask''. The people of the film believe it created the world, and it certainly has the power to let one escape that world.
* Italian ''Film/{{Superman}}'' ripoff and [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]] classic ''Film/PumaMan'' features an "ancient Aztec" mask with alien mind control powers which the villain uses in an attempt to TakeOverTheWorld. He succeeds in hypnotizing some world leaders and our titular "hero" before being singlehandedly thwarted by his sidekick.


[[folder: Literature]]

* In the Franchise/StarTrekNovelVerse, the recitation masks of the Oralian Way religion. This Cardassian faith makes use of ceremonial masks which channel the life energy of the wearer, allowing them to become closer to Oralius and the Fates, even at times serve as a vessel for Oralius. Genuine masks amplify empathic and telepathic abilities, essentially being a form of AmplifierArtifact. Some masks are just replicas, though. The Dithparu's mask is a sinister version of the recitation mask. See: Literature/StarTrekTheLostEra in particular.
* The Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'' plays with this trope very well. First, we see a mysterious Ghost who, while wearing his mask, is capable of incredible feats of swordplay and agility. With his mask off, he's a nobody [[spoiler:Walter Plinge]] who works at the Opera because he loves it. When the Witches find the identity of the Ghost, they show he can wear an imaginary (invisible) mask to gain true self-confidence .
* ''[[Creator/FredSaberhagen The Mask of the Sun]]'' was essentially decoration added to goggles which '''[[AppliedPhlebotinum somehow]]''' gave the wearer perceptions of the future, along with hints how to manipulate that future in his favor. The first time the main character put it on, it gave him a vision of himself shifting two pieces of furniture. He did so, and the changed positions of a coffee table and a floor lamp led to the people who attacked him a minute later accidentally shooting one of their own guys, allowing the hero to get away....
* Inverted in Graham Masterton's horror novel ''Literature/DeathTrance'', when one of the baddies, a psychopathic Vietnam vet, puts on a Balinese demon mask with mocking intent. Only to find this summons the annoyed demon whose mask it is, who then demonstrates his anonyance by eating the wearer's head - ''from the inside of the mask''. In this case the mask definitely is a doorway to power - only it's not channelled to the human wearing it...


[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Dead Man's Party" - the mask of a Nigerian demon, Ovu Mobani (the) Evil Eye, gave its wearers, typically evil voodoo sorcerers, the demon's power, i.e., raising evil zombies under the wearer's control. When the mask was brought to Sunnydale, it began animating zombies of its own accord. It turns out that if one of its zombies is allowed to wear the mask, Ovu Mobani would be reincarnated. And even though Ovu Mobani reincarnated, Buffy soon disposed of it with a garden shovel.
* The Mask of Zen-Aku in ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce''. Grants great power, at the cost of also granting a SuperpoweredEvilSide.
* In ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'', there's the mask that held the spirit of Shimazu. (Fortunately, it was on a statue. Of Shimazu.)
* In the ''Series/{{Grimm}}'' ProWrestlingEpisode "The Silence of the Slams", an ancient Aztec ritual is used to create a luchador mask [[GenuineHumanHide from flayed Wesen skin]] that gives the wearer the powers of that Wesen. However, if used outside the ring, it proves to be a ClingyMcGuffin and WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity.


[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' - There are a fair number of powerful mask magical items in various sourcebooks of 3.0/3.5 but in the Complete Scoundrel there also exists a prestige class whose sole purpose ''is'' this trope. The player gains the ability early on to forge masks of specified types that grant some degree of magical anonymity versus the player's alignment being felt out, as well as stat bonuses specific to the type.
* TabletopGame/{{Exalted}} has Mask of Thousand Faces that allows the wearer to look like another person. Powerful characters can make items, including masks, that grant powerful bonuses.
* ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy'':
** The Dark Elf pirate lord Lokhir Fellheart has a magical golden kraken mask that he liberated from an ancient underwater city. It inspires unreasoning otherworldly terror in his combat opponents.
** A similar mask - the Terrifying Mask of Eee! - is available in the current (8th edition) common magic items list. It also causes terror, but prevents the wearer from leading troops effectively. The Tomb Kings have the Death Mask of Kharnut, which is even more terrifying, and the High Elves have the Mask of the Merlord, which is not terrifying but does enable its wearer to move through aquatic terrain more easily. The Savage Orc Shaman Wurrzag ud ura Zahubu wears the Baleful Mask - a magical wooden mask in traditional cartoon witch-doctor style that shoots green lightning bolts from its eyes.
* ''TabletopGame/BetrayalAtHouseOnTheHill'' features a mask that [[GoMadFromTheRevelation increases Knowledge at the cost of Sanity]] when worn.

[[folder: Toys]]
* This half the premise of the 80's toy line/TV series ''WesternAnimation/{{MASK}}''. The other half being transforming vehicles.
* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' had Kanohi Masks that granted powers to the wearer (who were usually Toa). In fact, they were a main theme until a {{retool}}, and the franchise could be the TropeNamer as "Masks of Power" was a common name for them from day one. Definitely in the "tropical mysticism" tiki-mask style, as the franchise had a number of Polynesian influences in its earliest days.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' has the Mask of Truth, which grants the wearer the power to speak to Gossip Stones. The other masks, however, don't have any special powers except repel some minor enemies.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' has 28 collectible masks (including the Boss Remains which allow Link to refight a boss without the need to complete a dungeon again), and many of them grant the wearer some sort of power, ranging from "one specific type of enemy will talk to you instead of attacking" to "transformation into one of the other races (Zora, Deku, or Goron)" to granting minor abilities such as enhanced speed or invisibility. If you get all the masks by the end of the game, you receive a mask that's an InfinityPlusOneSword that turns you into a PhysicalGod and makes the FinalBoss fight a CurbStompBattle in your favor. Then there's the [[EvilMask titular mask]] itself, acting as a SealedEvilInACan that corrupts whoever wears it. [[spoiler: It doesn't actually need someone to wear it, though -- once Skull Kid is of no more use, it fights you under its own power, becoming humanoid in the process.]]
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' has the Hero's Mask, which lets you see enemies' HP (if you can figure out how to equip it).
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' has the Thunder Helm, a fancy golden mask worn by Urbosa and later by Riju that gives them complete immunity from lightning, with the latter also using it to generate a larger lightning-proof field that Link can travel in as they battle Vah Naboris. [[spoiler:Riju will give the Thunder Helm to Link after Vah Naboris is purified if he also completes all the quests given by Gerudo Town inhabitants.]]
* There's also ''VideoGame/{{Splatterhouse}}'', whereas by donning the 'Terror Mask', seemingly normal Rick Taylor turns into a badass with a habit of [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu punching out Cthulhu]] and every punches turned everything he touches into [[MadeOfPlasticine plasticines]]. The mask is also alive with a mind too. [[spoiler:In fact, it's trying to use Rick to TakeOverTheWorld. Though eventually Rick has amassed enough power to kick its behind through a BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind.]]
* The Mask of the Wraith, from ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'', allows a person to exist twice in the same timeline.
* Gabranth in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' goes from slow, weak and vulnerable in his normal mode to fast, powerful and deadly in his EX Mode. One of the graphical changes between the two modes consists of Gabranth putting his helmet on.
* ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' has Aku Aku, a sentient mask that gives Crash temporary invulnerability and makes him faster and stronger for some seconds when Crash puts it on. In games like ''Videogame/CrashBash'' or the racing series, [[EvilTwin Uka Uka]] acts in the same way towards Neo Cortex and his team. Also, in ''VideoGame/CrashNitroKart'', the "Overlord" of the galaxy, Velo, also acts as a mask for two teams of four racers each, while Aku Aku and Uka Uka serve as the masks for their respective factions.
* The Shakalaka from ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' wear masks both to conceal their faces and also as weapons of war. The King Shakalaka, for instance, can lob fire from the BBQ Spit he wears on his head. Also, both Cha-Cha (''Tri'') and Kayamba (''Tri Ultimate'', change personality and behavior based on the masks they wear. The Ancient Mask enshrined in Moga Village serves as an important item in the hunt for the Ceadeus, as it produces oxygen from the water it takes in. Unfortunately for the Wyverian Craftsman and Junior, all the stuff that makes this possible makes it too small for a human to wear.
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'':
** ''Chains of Olympus'' has Charon's golden mask, which allows him - and later Kratos when he defeats Charon - to create a green flame that stuns and damages enemies.
** ''Ascension'' features a white mask made out of the oracle's eyes. Kratos punches illusions with it.
* The Mask of Chaos in ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheMiracleMask''. The gentleman who wears the mask, known only as the Masked Gentleman, displays all sorts of supernatural abilities which he attributes to the mask, including growing wings, walking on thin air, turning people into [[TakenForGranite stone]], bringing paintings to life, and making people just plain ''vanish''... and this isn't even ''close'' to a complete list. [[spoiler:These abilities were all elaborately faked. The only power the mask has is to raise the ruins of an ancient civilisation... which, to be fair, is arguably more impressive.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' has the Masks of the Dragon Priests, all of which come with a powerful enchantment and a high armor rating. In addition, there is the Masque of [[TricksterGod Clavicus Vile]], which doubles as a helmet.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' has Pinwheel, who wears three of them. The player can obtain these masks, each of them offering unique status buffs.
* Jack of Blade's Mask from ''{{Videogame/Fable}}''. [[spoiler: He ''is'' the Mask, and possesses the main character if you choose not to destroy it in the Lost Chapter.]]
* ''VideoGame/YsMemoriesOfCelceta'' has the plot-important Mask of the Sun and Mask of the Moon. The villains also have power-enhancing masks that are usually used to make brainwashed soldiers more powerful, but a few characters wear one willingly.
* In ''VideoGame/Persona5'', the heroes' Personas, {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s of their own personalities that allow them to use FunctionalMagic, transform into customized masks when not in use.
* This a reccuring theme in ''{{VideoGame/Utawarerumono}}'' and the [[Videogame/UtawarerumonoItsuwariNoKamen sequel duology]]. First with Hakuowlo, whom has a mask glued to his face which happens to [[spoiler:contain a god, one who is responsible for the decline of humanity and the rise of their animal-eared creations]]. Next with the 4 "akuruka", which grant their users immense power (and the power to transform into a giant monster) but eventually consume their user [[spoiler: (they are based on Hakuowlo's mask and are significantly weaker than it)]]. Eventually, [[spoiler: Haku, the protagonist, gets his hands on one of the masks and finds out that the masks grant normal humans even more of their power but are fused to their user's face in return (they were meant to be used by normal humans and not demihumans).]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Sundered}}'', the boss Dominion is an EvilSorcerer whose magical powers seem to come from his three masks. As soon as he puts one on, all three of them start glowing, his throne sprouts tentacles, and he begins casting his spells.
* The Mask of Dark Earth from the "Rumble Down Under" level of ''VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves'' certainly counts. It overlaps significantly with EvilMask due to it's tendency to latch onto unsuspecting hosts and [[ThePowerOfHate feed off their negative emotions]], making them [[MakeMyMonsterGrow grow huge]], powerful, and extremely aggressive -- all of which causes the host to die in a short span of time.
* The Masqerenes from Masqerada: Songs and Shadows are carnival-like masks that grant ElementalPowers, they were created by [[AbusivePrecursors Precursors]] and, as it later turns out, the reason they were wiped out. Masqerenes require a HumanSacrifice to create and killing a person using one destroys the Masqerene too. The Precursors originally used [[HumanResources prisoners]] to make them but as the Masqerenes kept getting destroyed the population rebelled out of fear they might be used as raw materials next.
* The Mask of Kan'Ami in ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'', which not only translates every language known to man and quite a few that have been forgotten, but also provides the wearer with the ability [[AuraVision to see emotional auras]] left in the air. It's also sentient and quite exasperated about the whole thing.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://oglaf.com/failsafe/1/ This]] ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'' strip has an ArtifactOfDoom literally named Mask of Power. It doubles as a DismantledMacGuffin.
* ''Webcomic/{{Plume}}'' has a throwaway gag in the Mask of Seraphim, which grants the wearer HotWings and SuperSpeed. The heroes put it on the horse pulling their carriage.
* In ''Webcomic/KillSixBillionDemons'', devils come into existence by being bound into a mask and a [[IKnowYourTrueName name]], and transform their masks as they increase in power. Breaking a devil's mask causes it to dissolve into mindless chaos until it's repaired and re-bound, raising the question of whether devils actually exist or their individuality is a lie imposed by the masks.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* This is inverted in the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' with the Mask Of Justice. The eyeholeless mask he wears itself is powerless, but he can only use his vision powers while his eyes are covered with an opaque object...such as his mask.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{The Mighty Ducks}}'' has a mask that gives the wearer the power to see anthing that's currently invisible. It was created by the Ducks greatest hero, Drake [=DuCain=] and later worn by resistance leaders Canard and Wildwing. Also, the mask can only be worn by ducks, it tends to shock anyone else who tries putting it on.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' there were ''nine'' such masks, each giving the user control over one of nine tribes of ninja called the Shadow Khan. [[DemonicPossession It also turns the wearer evil.]]
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]], surprisingly, in ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot''. Hexidecimal's power is naturally chaotic and uncontrollable - her white mask actually keeps it in check. A single crack made her AxCrazy, [[spoiler: removing it completely nearly caused TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, and fixing it (via defragmentation) [[HeelFaceTurn mellowed her]] [[DarkMagicalGirl out]] considerably.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{MASK}}'' features "masks" (helmets, if you want to get technical about the details) which each have their own powers, ranging from shooting glue to firing blobs of lava.
* The villain Catra from ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'' has a mask that lets her turn into a panther when she moves it over her eyes. It also has other abilities, like teleportation and telepathic communication with cats, but she doesn't know its full potential because it was stolen from its rightful owner.