Things are not as they seem. What you see is not what's truly there. It may be a building rendered Invisible
, or a person who has taken the guise of another
. It may be Invisible to Normals
, hidden by thermoptic camouflage, holographics, a Perception Filter
, a Glamour
, or even some kind of implausibly specific hallucinogen.
Whatever the case, to see to the heart of the matter, you need the True Sight
. This trait cuts through illusions to show objective, absolute truth, rendering all of that stuff above useless. Of course, it may well come at a price, either on a per use basis something or more permanent, such as the loss of your earthly vision
. On the other hand, it may just be hereditary, or a natural ability of your particular race, in which case, lucky you. Or it could be an ability bequeathed by some special object.
If possible, try not to overuse it, because it might be hard on your sanity
While True Sight
always involves true perception, it doesn't always give the user the ability to properly interpret what they see. Thus, they may see the truth and still come to an incorrect conclusion, and there may be reliable ways of fooling them.
Often a function of the Magical Eye
. Not to be confused with precognition, the domain of Seers
, or clairvoyance
, usually the viewing of distant places. Often bundled with Supernatural Sensitivity
and/or Aura Vision
. Supertrope of See-Thru Specs
, glasses or other lenses that have this ability, and See the Invisible
, which affects only Invisibility
. Contrast Glamour Failure
, when the illusion has some flaw that can be perceived by normal sight.
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Anime and Manga
- The Hunter Quent Yaden from Wolf's Rain can see through the wolves' humanoid illusions when drunk.
- El-Hazard: The Magnificent World has Nanami, who has the ability to see through illusion. She alerts the group to a Shadow Tribe assassin (who was in human guise) at Arlaman and, later, proves pivotal during Makoto's showdown with Galus atop the Eye of God.
- The "Rabbit of Truth" from The Voynich Hotel grants this to the wearer.
- Witches and Wizards on the Discworld have not second sight, but First Sight, and can see what's really there rather than what they expect to be there. This is partly because of magic and partly because they have no Weirdness Censor.
- Wizards in The Dresden Files can use their Sight at will, with the caveat that anything they see, however wonderful or horrible, can never be forgotten, ever. It remains in their mind's eye, as fresh as if just seen, for the rest of their lives. When Harry catches a glimpse of an ancient horror, he has to rearrange the way he thinks just to make the seizures stop, and even then it's a good while before he stops shuddering.
- Also, in some novels, Harry creates an ointment to see through the Sidhe's glamour, which acts like a lesser version of True Sight, with the advantage that non-magic users can benefit from it as well.
- In Harry Potter, 'Mad-Eye' Moody's false eye can see through solid objects, clothes and incidentally, invisibility cloaks.
- Stephen King's The 10 o'clock People - Having quit smoking, and then taking it up again allows you to see the hideous alien forms of the powerful beings that have taken over the human race. They're called Batmen.
- Dean R. Koontz's novel Twilight Eyes. Only people with special purple eyes can see the creatures known as Goblins as they really are. It's later revealed that this manifests in different way including True Smell.
- In Percy Jackson and the Olympians certain human characters where able to see through the mist. Rachel Elizabeth Dare uses this ability to guide Percy and Co through the Labyrinth.
- Luis from Valiant and Ironside in the Modern Tales of Faerie trilogy can see through glamour and is impervious to enchantments. It's described as "True Sight".
- "The Sight" is a form of magic in the Tortall Universe, which allows the gifted person to detect things such as magic, lies, illness, pregnancy, and godhood. There's also Kel's griffin feather headband, which allows her to see through illusions when worn above her eyes.
- Inverted in The Sword of Truth: Jennsen (and any of the 'pristinely ungifted') can see the real thing underneath the illusion because she's unable to see or be affected by magic at all, rather than having some magical ability that allows her to break an illusion like many of the other examples.
- "Witch Sight" in the Chrestomanci series is able to detect spells and see through illusions.
- Way back in Journey to the West, this was one of Sun Wukong's many, many powers.
- In Andre Norton's Witch World novel The Year of the Unicorn, Gillian uses moly to give herself this and correctly name a Were-Rider.
- In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, Jack's illusions only temporarily work on Jenny. Jack warns her that the Fairy Queen will therefore be interested in her.
- Zoey's Seer Stone from The House of Night.
Live Action TV
- On Grimm the titular Grimms have the ability to see wesen (creatures revealed to be the basis of all fairytales) when the wesen lose control over their ability to hide their true forms.
- Eaglebones Falconhawk from The Aquabats! Super Show! is given Eagle Vision to see his Attack Animal The Dude. "And yes, Ricky, I can see fairies."
- In Supernatural, angels are naturally able to see the demons' true faces (which are apparently rather monstrous) instead of the face of the person that the demon is possessing.
- Fairy tales frequently include a means for mortals to see the fair folk and/or see through their Glamour. Common mechanisms are a special ointment to be applied to the eyes, looking in a mirror, and looking through a stone with a natural hole in it. Having fairy ancestors also usually helps.
- One such ointment appears in a Slavic tale where a bandit hero was invited to the local lord's palace to make peace. His best friend accompanies him and, suspicious of the lord's men and their strange behavior, sneaks some of their ointment and applies it to one eye. Upon closing the other eye, he sees that the palace is really a ruin, the other guests are withered trees, the lord's men are hounds, and the lord is Satan himself.
- Dungeons & Dragons has spells such as True Seeing and See Invisibility which allow the caster to see through various magical illusions.
- True Seeing also has the bonus of seeing secret doors and shapeshifted things.
- Mutants & Masterminds includes True Sight as one of its stock Super Senses powers, allowing the user to see through all illusions, all concealment, and see that which is hidden.
- In Shadowrun, magicians can use Astral Perceiving to see a person's true aura.
- A major strategy element in StarCraft is the use of optical camouflage, concealment, and cover to be unseen by the enemy. As such, there are several units and building types that have "Detector" status, meaning they are able to thwart such tricks. The same aspect is used in Warcraft 3.
- Dawn of War has a similar feature for "infiltrating" units.
- League of Legends has invisible wards, traps and champions which can only be revealed by True Sight. This can be provided by certain wards, trinkets, defensive towers and (until the Season 4 updates) Oracle's Elixir would give the champion using it a true sight radius.
- Egoboo has this as a spell.
- The Eye of Truth in La-Mulana allows you to see Invisible Monsters.
- The Lens of Truth in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time let you see invisible objects and creatures, see through walls that were normally opaque but weren't really there, and also see the contents of chests without opening them (thus avoiding booby traps, and wasting money, ammo, etc. when you can't carry anymore.) It returns in Majora's Mask, and though simply named 'magnifying glass,' the same idea exists as far back as Link's Awakening.
- Several characters (mostly those with great spiritual power) are able to see Amaterasu's true form in Ōkami.
- The Reveal Psynergy in Golden Sun, which allows one to see through illusions and invisibility.
- Jedi Knight has Force Sight that reveals invisible enemies.
- In Roommates supernatural beings may or may not see through eachother's illusions depending on specialties, experience and power level, but the only mortal known to possess true sight is Inspector Javert... he is also low key Anti-Magic. It might be a supernatural ability, or he might be just too stubborn and cynical for this crap.
- Likely has something to do with his Romani ancestry (to phrase it less politically correctly, he's at least half-Gypsy) and/or his comic-only relation to Morgan le Fay.
- Chatoyant College: In Book 1 we find out that Dawn has the gift of true sight. Later, we find out this is because Dawn's Aunt Pru was given a special ointment by a faerie man.
- Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends: The main character, Nick Logan, is capable of perceiving the true appearance of camouflaged aliens, whether they are shapeshifters (Lycanthropes), using holograms (Vampires) or installed inside a human host (like the Vodun).
- In ThunderCats and ThunderCats (2011) this is one of the powers granted to the holder of the Sword of Omens as part of "Sight Beyond Sight" (also includes precognition and the ability to see great distances).