Stealthy Colossus

Unknown to them all, The Minotaur is hiding in the shadows behind her. This is not an easy thing to do when you're 10- feet-tall and your head is a cow.

A Stealthy Colossus is a character or machine that is ginormously huge (relative to their size category, anyway) yet somehow manages to stay undetected whenever they want. While a Barbarian Hero might still conceivably sneak up on someone, these guys go even further. If the setting is comical, they will tiptoe behind their prey. Otherwise, they will enter the scene in a fittingly dramatic fashion, possibly with a Surprisingly Sudden Death.

Compare Surprise Vehicle and Suspiciously Stealthy Predator. Related to Impossibly Graceful Giant, Acrofatic, With Catlike Tread, and possibly Offscreen Teleportation. Compare/contrast Highly Visible Ninja.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has Deathscythe, which has the ability to cloak. When used in deep space, it fades Predator-style and blends seamlessly with the surrounding field of stars, effectively becoming invisible.
  • The Zaibach Stealth Guymelefs in Vision of Escaflowne are Humongous Mecha with equally humongous Magitek Invisibility Cloaks. Since they tend to be quite noisy when moving and leave huge footprints behind them, once you know they're there they're not hard to keep track of, although in the heat of battle they can still often get behind you while you're focused on fighting the one you can see. Amusingly, several Mooks act as though their imperfect stealth were an invincible trump card.
  • Attack on Titan has the Colossal Titan. Possibly one of his biggest dangers is that he can appear and disappear at will, often only briefly showing up before breaking holes in the Wall. This is because, like Eren, the Colossal Titan is a Shifter.
  • In One Piece, the biggest character in the series is named Colossal Battleship and was somehow able to hide from a gigantic battle without anyone noticing him until he was pointed out.

    Comic Books 
  • In ''The Middleman (comic and series), El Comelon ("the Glutton") is a Mexican Wrestler-Assassin who weighs 400 pounds, but has been known to "squeeze through spaces the diameter of a tennis racket."

    Fan Works 
  • A Keychain of Creation fan comic had the Kukla sneaking up on someone. The Kukla is a dragon the size of a mountain range. The character in question had fallen for the Look Behind You trick with regard to the Kukla multiple times, and probably chocked this under Crying Wolf.

  • 'Zilla from the 1998 remake of Godzilla is somehow able to sneak around and hide in the middle of New York City without anyone noticing him, for the most part.
  • Transformers: The film (almost) makes a joke of how easily massive robots can hide.
  • Megamind has the villain in a multi-storey mech at one point, sneakily hiding around corners while the Face-Heel Turn hero he created flies by at top speed.
  • In Cloverfield, the eponymous multi-ton, many-legged, several stories-high monster sneaks up on the protagonists and bites the cameraman in half.
  • Pacific Rim has the kaiju Leatherback being completely undetected until it makes its Dynamic Entry from underwater.

  • In The Wheel of Time, one of the characters that travels with Mat for a while is Chel Vanin, an exceptional former horse thief and poacher who also happens to also be particularly fat. Mat notes multiple times just how remarkable he is, given his fatness. Indeed, Mat judges him to be so good at what he does, he makes him the head scout in the Band of the Red Hand - that's right, a balding, fat head scout.
  • In Myth Adventures, Skeeve has Chumley sneak up on and kidnap his apprentices, to teach them about judging people prematurely.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Titanicus, on one occasion a Titan is able to sneak up on infantry despite literally being large enough to shake the earth when it walks.
  • The so-called "Phantom Mech" in BattleTech Expanded Universe's Warrior trilogy made the 10 story tall BattleMechs piloted by Morgan (and Patrick) Kell and Yorinaga Kurita completely invisible to all forms of electronic sensors, and all weapons fired at them would miss. It's never elaborated as to whether it's a LosTech stealth system or destiny.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Doctor Who episode "The Angels Take Manhattan" reveals that the Statue of Liberty itself is a Weeping Angel, and for all the millions of people living in New York city, all the people working or out and about even at night, all those keeping a watch on the Statue of Liberty as part of their jobs, it found one brief moment where nobody was looking at it, giving it the chance to move off Ellis Island and right up to the hotel located across the street from Battery Park.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Munchkin's "Need for Steed" expansion introduced a Ninja Giant, while the Munchkin Fu game has a mecha ninja called the "Fifty Ton Master Of Stealth".
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, anyone attempting to use the Hide skill receives a bonus or penalty based on their size category, which can be offset by sinking enough points into it. Oddly enough (or not, see Real Life below) the Move Silently skill has no such size-based penalties.
    • Though it's technically Huge instead of Colossal, the Fog Giant gets a respectable Hide bonus in sufficiently foggy conditions. Hide is also considered a class skill for certain types of dragons, and even if it isn't, as natural sorcerers they have access to spells to make up for it - this is probably how the Gold Dragon depicted in the Monster Manual is sneaking up on two tiptoeing Orcs. Finally, this is the schtick of Bugbears in D&D and derivative works like Pathfinder, which have a natural affinity for moving quietly despite being the bulkiest of the goblinoids.
  • Warhammer has a model, if not rules, for an Ogre Ninja. Yes, really.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Space Marines are power armored super soldiers with a foot or two on normal humans, but several chapters such as the Raven Guard, Night Lords or Alpha Legion also manage to be quite stealthy as well, much to their enemies' dismay.
      • The Horus Heresy novels describe Mortarion and Corax's ability to appear out of nowhere, despite being to Space Marines what Space Marines are to normal humans.
    • Imperial Guard special character General Ursakar E. Creed has the ability to give units the Scouts rule, allowing them to move onto the table from reserve and outflank the enemy. Even if these reserves are Baneblade super-heavy battle tanks, or Reaver Titans. Memetic Mutation has taken this to hilarious extremes, as evidence of Creed's incredible "Tactical Genius."
    • Grey Knights special character Kaldor Draigo has a similar ability, though his only applies to infantry squads. In this case, psychic powers help explain how three units of Space Marine Terminators suddenly appeared on the enemy's flank.
    • Orks are hulking green brutes who for the most part love loud noises and headlong charges, which is why some Imperial commanders refuse to believe that Ork "Kommandos" exist.
    • The Tau's Stealth Suits are pretty bulky compared to their standard infantry, but have advanced camouflage systems that allow them to infiltrate ahead of the rest of their force.
  • BattleTech:
    • Various powerful ECM systems exist, most of which are LosTech. The Chameleon Light Polarization Shield and the Null Signature System make a BattleMech completely invisible to visual detection and sensors, respectively. The Word of Blake combined the two (otherwise mutually exclusive) systems in their Void Signature System and put it to good use in their Raptor II battlemech, which could fade in and out of combat. However, excessive production costs, heat and accuracy penalties made the Void system very rare.
    • The "Phantom mech" ability seen in the BattleTech Expanded Universe made Morgan Kell and Yorinaga Kurita's battlemechs completely invisible to any sensors when in combat; radar, infrared, and magnetic sensors wouldn't pick them up, targeting computers couldn't establish a lock, and dumbfired weapons would miss entirely. It's never made clear what the Phantom Mech ability is; destiny, or an extremely potent LosTech ECM system.

    Video Games 
  • In one of the ork cutscenes of Dawn of War 2: Retribution Captain Bluddflagg manages to sneak up on an inquisitor, despite being about a size of a dreadnought.
    • One of Bluddflagg's lieutenants, Spookums is an Kommando Nob, an ork stealth expert despite being about 8 feet tall and about 4 feet wide at his shoulders.
  • Rau from Mark of Kri, and its sequel Rise of the Kasai, is a huge quasi-Polynesian that's easily double the size of his enemies. Sneaking around and stealth-killing is a major part of his gameplay. However, his huge size does come in handy: he's able to stealth-kill two guys at once.
  • The Devilsaurs from World of Warcraft were notorious for being able to sneak up on players despite being T. Rex sized dinosaur-like creatures.
    • The Fel Reaver was similarly notorious, despite the ground quaking from its steps. Someone who wasn't paying attention would notice the shaking, dash wildly in a direction they can't see the reaver, and discover too late that it was approaching them from an angle and they've run right into its aggro radius.
  • A mechanized example: aerial fortress Gleipnir from Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception is enormously huge yet its cloaking system allows it to make stealth incursions into enemy territory with impunity.
  • Before the Gleipnir came the Hresvelgr from Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War. While it doesn't contain any stealth capabilities, your base didn't know of it's approach until mere moments before it starts its bombing run. In the cutscene to scramble all jets before the runway was destroyed, you're left waiting for a few minutes before you're cleared to taxi, helpless to do nothing but watch while the ship flies overhead.
  • The roadies in Brütal Legend haul enormous piles of amps on their backs to battle... but are completely invisible unless they attack. Why? Because they're roadies and nobody ever notices roadies. Eddie, being a roadie himself, can also become invisible by jumping on top of said amps.
  • 20 to 100 ton bipedal tanks in the MechWarrior series can become absurdly good at stealth when equipped with electronic counter-measures, despite the ground shaking under the force of their footsteps. One Stealth-Based Mission in MW4: Mercenaries has the plow running from cover to cover (the cover being occupied enemy buildings) inside a densely patrolled enemy base; the people inside the buildings seem to not notice the walls shaking or the oddly painted and armed mech running around outside. In Living Legends, it's possible to become completely invisible to sensors by hiding inside an Angel ECM bubble with your sensors disabled. Apparently, sensors in the future cannot detect nuclear fusion reactors, seismic vibrations, or the solid wall of armor and weapons that make up a battlemech.
  • Player example in Team Fortress 2: One'd never think a Husky Russkie with a 300 pound minigun could be sneaky. Getting punched in the back with mittens that make you laugh uncontrollably and gunned down while you're laughing helplessly will change your mind in a hurry.
  • Rooftrellen the Treant Protector from Video Game/Dota2 is huge, fairly tanky, has the game's highest base attack damage, and his steps are accompanied by a very loud thumping sound... Yet one of his skills makes him (or any ally) completely invisible and very fast as long as he stands near trees.

  • From The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, there's Mongo the Uberninja. He's a 7-feet-tall, colossally-muscled giant who habitually dual-wields CHAINSAWS (that is, chainsaw-chucks)... but he's still able to sneak up on ANYONE, even the main character, because... well, he's a NINJA!

    Western Animation 
  • Gossamer, the Mad Scientist's monster in Bugs Bunny cartoons.
  • Parodied in an episode of Invader Zim with the Megadoomer, an impractically large robot with a "stealth" mode. It turns invisible, but it trails its visible cord behind it, leaves enormous footprints, and doesn't cloak the rider.
  • The Megas XLR episode "Breakout" has a large group of mecha-sized alien criminals released at one point. One of them appears to be a martial artist with a cloaking device, which he uses to move around silently and use hit and run tactics on Megas. This being Megas XLR, he is defeated when Coop fires missiles in all directions at once.
  • Despite being as tall as a house, Sentinals from the X-Men would occasionally manage to be stealthy when tracking their targets.

    Real Life 
  • Despite their massive size, elephants are surprisingly stealthy. They actually make very little noise when walking and have been known to sneak onto farms and eat the crops without being noticed.
  • Any large submarine. That's kind of the point of being a submarine.
  • During the Battle of Cape Matapan in WWII, excellent light and noise discipline by the Royal Navy combined with the Italian lack of radar allowed two British battleships to close to within two kilometers of an Italian cruiser squadron and open fire, which is the naval equivalent of this trope. The results were predictable.
  • This is also possible in real life thanks to the mental emphasis in both silhouettes and movement when trying to detect someone. As long as someone remains absolutely still, it becomes much more difficult to detect them in any given situation. This can then be compounded by not seeing what's expected, because its not at "head height" which cause the mind to not classify it as human. Meaning in essence, that the same principles of stealth work in favor for both extremes of the height spectrum. The part that often causes issue is sound, with many disorders that cause height also affecting the nervous system in a way that causes a level of clumsiness and makes it difficult for the colossus in question to move quietly.
    • In summary: if you are big, stand still in a place where no one is likely to focus on you, and their mind will ignore you.

Alternative Title(s):

Large Quiet Creature