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Villain Teleportation

"Xayide and her giants drove through the earth and into the underworld of Fantasia; here they could travel with the speed of darkness, which was faster than the speed of light."
Narration, The Neverending Story II

Teleportation is an awesome power to have. Even with the risks involved, it's hands down the best way to travel in fiction and in fact, it tends to be a case of winning the Superpower Lottery. A hero with this ability could simply whisk up to a MacGuffin, dump The Dragon in jail, and spray holy water on the Big Bad before he even shuffles off his throne.

This is why heroes tend not to have the power to teleport, or at least not with the ease and grace of their villain. Because it's such a huge advantage and potential conflict killer, giving a villain the power of teleportation will make most heroes' lives that much harder and the conflict that much more uphill. After the hero clears out all the enemies in the hidden temple, the villain will teleport in and snatch that MacGuffin right out of the hero's hands.

Not just that, but they can combine it with Offscreen Teleportation to really get around, and even combine it with a Circling Monologue to taunt the hero from just out of their reach. When combat starts, they'll use Teleport Spam to avoid being attacked and whap the hero upside the head. However, don't expect them to just shoot the hero... or teleport half of them somewhere else.

Their evil teleporting will be black and smoky for extra creepiness. If it's given a flavorful description, their teleporting power will come from The Dark Side, or cutting a path through the Dark World or some equally nasty Hell facsimile; alternatively, they may travel through the shadows. If the heroes can teleport, it'll often be in a much more limited manner, having limits in range or precision or "casting time" that make it impossible to use with the same devastating effects a villain can, or at the very least requiring them to have some sort of MacGuffin to pull off.

Compare Invisible Jerkass, a Sister Trope. See also Mobile Menace.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Mystifyingly, many of the villains in Sailor Moon (except Eudial) just teleport away when the Monster of the Week is beaten. Fridge Logic screams "Why aren't they teleporting away" when The Plot Reaper sloooowly announces they're about to die? Saffir of the Dark Moon Tribe did this...once, but he died anyways.
    • Eudial really gets the bad end of it, as she actually drives her car from and to the villain headquarters.
    • Another amusing example with Fridge Logic is Tuxedo Mask who has made a Face-Heel Turn when under Mind Control by Queen Beryl. A splendid example of Fridge Logic since while he is evil he has the teleportation power, but not anymore after.
  • Slayers loves villain teleportation. Most of the time, it's justified, as the primary villains throughout most of the series are the Mazoku, the Always Chaotic Evil demon race. While they can take physical forms, they're actually nonphysical beings whose true home is on the astral plane, and can phase in and out of it at will, for Stealth Hi/Bye. But since Spiritual (fully) and Black Magic (partially) work in Astral, against such spells hiding there is no better than taking cover behind a paper curtain. So they also have tactical teleport via space pockets — in Next a Mazoku even pulled the party inside. It's so typical, in Perfect it was a tell-tale sign for both Lina and Naga: “He did spatial shift? Ah. Must be a Mazoku.” A few non-Mazoku magi like Rezo teleport somehow, but never jump around in combat, so they could use proper astral travel for all we know. Lina develops a defense against this by inventing the ragna blade spell, with which she slashes right through the universe to impale monsters hiding in subspace.
  • Similar to the Zone of the Enders example below, Dolores i has Dolores fight her 'younger sister' who is capable of this, only to unlock the technique midway through their final fight.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, the only character who make constant use of teleportation are Fate (the Big Bad/The Dragon) and Evangeline (who's nominally evil but helps the good guys and spends most of her time under a Power Limiter). Oddly, Kotaro also has the ability to teleport, although it's more limited and the few times he actually uses it, it doesn't help that much.
    • Chao also more or less teleports around, but she's actually cheating through use of time travel. Negi also does this in the final fight between them until both lose the ability.
    • Fate and Eva's teleport spells are useful only at long distance, as they take some time to work. It is also said to be a high-level spell, so it seems that only people with a lot of time on their hands bother with it. In combat, fighters have almost-teleport Flash Step ability which is a lot faster, less detectable and not restricted to long-lived magic-users.
  • Obito Uchiha from Naruto is a villain and one of the only two characters that could really teleport. The other, heroic one is the Fourth Hokage, but he's dead and his power was much more limited: Obito can apparently go anywhere he knows how to get to and can also phase through things, but the Fourth can only teleport to certain fixed points. Until ending up as the Arc Villain proper, the way he used it to directly influence things in the present was incredibly minimal: he delayed a group to let two people hold their fight uninterrupted, saved one of his allies once, took down two minor enemies. and retrieved a body part from a deceased former member of his organization and killed one that defected. He went a long time without apparently using them at all, and afterward mostly uses it to command his subordinates and taunt/inform his enemies. His reasoning for the first is likely to help preserve his true identity, but at this point it can be put down to Complexity Addiction. Things would be far too simple for him if he just teleported around taking and doing what he needs to get the plan done, so he has to make things unnecessarily complicated by involving a bunch of unconnected criminals and the entire ninja world when he could just as easily have done that without involving anyone.
    • Additionally, Zetsu cannot actually teleport, but he can move undetected through natural terrain by merging with the ground and traveling through roots and water veins. However, he doesn't seem to have a lot of offensive power, so he mostly acts as a spy, look-out, corpse disposer, and Combat Commentator.
  • The aliens from Tokyo Mew Mew possess this kind of powers.
  • The members of the Oni Clan in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de (and Ran when she is on their side) all have teleportation powers; at least one incident in the Hachiyou Shou TV series shows that these can be cancelled out through onmyodo-based shields, but only if the user is sufficiently weak.
  • There is only one power in One Piece that more or less amounts to teleportation. Kuma can teleport anything he wants anywhere by 'pushing' them. Well, effectively. Presumably it can't go through walls very well.
    • In addition, Enel can effectively teleport with his lightning powers, either by fazing through conductive material or transforming into lightning. Admiral Kizaru can also use his light based powers to teleport.
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, various witches and other supernatural beings can teleport (dissolving into a could of gold butterflies and reforming somewhere else), but the demon Gaap specifically has the power to teleport herself and others, which she mostly uses to set up impossible closed-room mysteries.
  • Echidna Parass, The Dark Chick in Black Cat is a teleporter.
  • The Pretty Cure franchise has this as a common villain abilty. They teleport whenever they lose.
  • Kraehe in Princess Tutu; Mytho gains the ability, too, after his Face-Heel Turn. They use it for escapes and other convenient transportations, but they can only teleport around the town (and apparently to wherever the Raven was sealed in).
  • Golgius from Nanatsu No Taizai explains specifically that this is his power to the protagonists. In reality, he lied. He actually has the power to turn invisible.

    Comics 
  • The Spider-Man villain The Spot seems to run off this.
  • In The Flash comics, there's "Peek-A-Boo", whose teleportation ability is unstable and can have dangerous side-effects (such as a big implosion at the point she just teleported away from). She didn't want to be a villain, but was forced into the role by her circumstances.
  • One of the various villains easily dispatched by Madame Mirage was a cowboy-themed teleporter called Cotton Eyed Joe.
  • Ambush Bug would count from his villain days.
  • The X-Men tend to play with this trope. Their main teleporter, Nightcrawler is heroic, but looks rather demonic and villainous. Others (Magik and Vanisher) are even at their best firmly in the anti-heroic camp. Pixie did not become a teleporter until after losing a part of her soul to Magik.
    • Being the most unambiguously good teleporter, naturally Nightcrawler has much shorter range than the others (a normal maximum of about 2 miles, compared to Magik's near-infinite range that even extends to teleporting into alternate dimensions).
  • During Mark Gruenwald's famous Captain America run, there were a few months in a row where it seemed every villain teleported away after defeat. Cap even lampshaded it, noting just how sick of it he was getting.
  • In Locke & Key, Dodge's possession of the Anywhere Key acts on much the same principle.

    Film 
  • Jumper
    • There's an organization of Knights Templar lead by Samuel L. Jackson who dedicate great deals of money and effort to killing teleporters because they believe this trope applies. The only teleporters in the movie are robbers and murderers who can't take responsiblity for their actions.
    • Jumpers leave small tears in the fabric of reality whenever they teleport, and exploiting these tears allows the Templars their own form of this, from the Jumpers' perspective.

    Literature 
  • One group of antagonists in The Chronicles of Amber acquired transportation power — that is, more convenient than walking Shadows and using Trumps as all main players do. Eventually one of them deserved a remark (which he jumped to disprove):
    Jasra: It means nothing to be able to transport yourself anywhere, if you are a fool in all places.
  • In The Bad Place by Dean Koontz, Frank Pollard and his insane brother Candy (the main villain) have this ability. With Candy its more reliable and controlled, but Frank can't control where he goes and how he reassembles himself.
  • As Valentin Ivashchenko likes his elves to be different, elves in Warrior and Mage and Dancing Flame hold the portal spell and the "forest road" spell (dimension border walking as shortcuts) in high secrecy. Earl Valle, the protagonist, being something of a Marty Stu, discovers his own improved version of the latter spell before graduation and develops his own portal spell in the second book, although the book implies that the eponymous Dancing Flame's power used by Valle was also used by the deity creating the elves and powers their magic.
  • Myrddraal in the Wheel of Time books can teleport between shadows. It's uncertain what other limitations are at play, although it seems logical that there must be a maximum effective range since only those nations closest to where Myrddraal are known to live take the precaution of extra light sources, and the lack of Teleport Spam during fight scenes that take place in shadowy areas implies some kind of cooldown timer or other limitation on how often it can be used. Even the evil super-scientist who created them doesn't seem too sure how it works, though that applies to everything about Myrddraal.
  • Smoke from the Grey Griffins series.
  • In the Incarnations of Immortality series, Satan clearly has the power to transport himself at will anywhere within the mortal realm but this does not give him the ability to visit other Incarnations within their domain — each is supreme within his/her domain.
  • In Alex Kosh's If I Was a Vampire teleportation is among Konstantin's powers, although Konstantin is more an antagonist than a classical villain.

    Live Action TV 
  • As pictured above, one of the super villains in No Ordinary Family can teleport. However, he's killed off within the episode, and his death is the catalyst that starts off the Hidden Agenda Villain's story.
  • Extreeemely common in Charmed particularly from season 3 onwards. It causes a massive Plot Hole as to why the demons never attempt to kill the protagonists in their sleep.
  • Extremely common in Power Rangers, particularly the early seasons. The good guys teleport in streaks of light, but the bad guys use smoke and such personal touches as, in one case, a bouncing skull superimposed over the screen. Ranger teleportation is slowly phased out (to vanish entirely for Lightspeed, with a comeback in Ninja Storm) but villains make great use of teleportation, often with elaborate special effects that let you know who's coming before they materialize. Due to an early episode featuring an important teleportation device, SPD lacks it - it wouldn't make sense if all bad guys could just teleport at will, so many sentai scenes of villains going ka-poof were edited. RPM lacks villain teleportation as well, as it would also not do for villains to be able to get through the city's barrier just by thinking about it. However, this results in villain escapes making little sense - as they just walk off, you'd really think the Rangers would try to stop them.
  • The Cult of Skaro Daleks used their ability to "emergency temporal shift" to evade The Doctor many times, much to his annoyance. This backfires when Caan shifts straight into the Time war
  • John Druitt from Sanctuary is not always a villain, but definitely not nicest person in a world. And he can teleport. So can his daughter, but her power came with being Brainwashed and Crazy.
    • Druitt is the primary reason why all Sancturies have Teleport Interdiction shields set up that scatter the atoms of anyone attempting to do it. In his first appearance, Druitt pretends to be knocked out and is brought inside Helen's Sanctuary, where he deactivates the shield and teleports right into her office. Later, during the Cabal's attack on the Sanctuaries, their Super Soldiers (who can teleport) break in through the ceiling and trash everything in their way, including the shield generator and/or computer. After that, they can engage in this trope all they want.
  • Kamen Rider Double has the Zone Dopant, a Monster of the Week that can move people around as if they were pieces on a giant game board. The deadly potential of this is first demonstrated when it teleports The Hero outside a building...while he's about 20 stories up (don't worry, he lives). An improved copy of the Zone power pops up in The Movie, where the Big Bad uses it to summon all 26 of the improved Transformation Trinkets.
  • In Mahou Sentai Magiranger, this is the only way for the vast majority of the forces of Infershia to even reach the surface, owing to a powerful seal placed on the Gate of Infershia before the start of the series.
  • Both sides use teleportation in Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, but the villains seem to use a more powerful variant, since they are able to transport entire Humongous Mecha, while the heroes can only teleport their weapons to the battlefield.
  • The villains in Superhero Taisen Z were able to use teleportation magic. They were even able to make planets collide with this. It was due to this, that the SpaceSherrifs decided to intervene.
  • The demon villains of Supernatural, like Crowley, who can teleport just about anywhere at will.

    Pinball 

    Tabletop Games 
  • There are quite a few ways to move around quickly in Exalted, but combat-speed teleportation is far less common- two significant examples being defensive Charms from Hungry Ghost Style and the Ebon Dragon's Yozi Charms. The former is far from limited to people from the creeoy side of the tracks, but it's strongly associated with the Abyssals and generally really bloody creepy. The latter, however, is available (almost) only to Infernals, makes you disappear in a puff of black smoke, and is an ability belonging to the cosmic embodiment of dicking everyone else over to put yourself on top.
    • Abyssals also have Flickering Wisp Technique, allowing them to defend against physical attacks by briefly ceasing to exist, before reappearing somewhere near their previous location, accompanied by shadows. Its range is rather limited, however. They also have Stepping Outside Existence, which is notable in that it is a teleportation Charm that is a mirror to a Solar jumping Charm, can only be activated during night and takes the Abyssal through the nightmares of dying Eldritch Abominations.
  • In Warhammer 40,000 up until 6th edition all demonic forces had to arrive at the battlefield via teleportation. Which was not exactly good for them. It is also true for Space Marine Terminators and Chaos Obliterators and Horrors from the Dawn of War RTS. Both factions were shown to perform genocide on the planets scale, so they both probably count.

    Video Games 
  • In King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human, Manannan can teleport into whatever room you are in, and will KILL you if you have any forbidden items that could possibly be used against him. As such, you cannot escape him, cannot outrun him, cannot survive him if he attacks.
  • Dracula in Castlevania just loves the warp tactic, combining it with fireballs.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Maleficent could teleport lots of places, and one clue Riku went bad is that he learned the same type of evil teleport. Also, every member of Organization XIII can do it (unless you're playing as one), as well as Young Xehanort and the Anti Black Coat Nightmare, and they use it tactically in battle too; they zip around the map most annoyingly. In fact, teleporting is so evil in Kingdom Hearts that Ansem the Wise described it as embracing darkness to travel between worlds.
    • This is justified as an evil power since the teleport involves stepping into the darkness between worlds and stepping out again. Good guys can only do this if they are protected (by armor or gummi ships) so only somebody whose heart is open to the darkness can do it on their own. Riku and Mickey, both of whom have learned to control a combination of light and dark, can do it and remain good guys. note 
  • Anubis from Zone of the Enders was for most of the two games the only orbital frame capable of using metatron to jump large distances of space. Once you get it, the fights get... interesting.
  • In Cave Story, the protagonists can only teleport by means of a network of teleporting pads. Misery (and to a lesser extent, the Doctor) could use magic to teleport herself (or others, or very large objects) anywhere at all.
  • In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Ex-Death has an attack that lets him teleport around the arena. It's very useful because normally he moves at approximately the speed of...well, he is a tree, after all...
    • Also in Dissidia, the Cloud of Darkness does this to Onion Knight in a cutscene. Given what she is, the way she combines it with the Circling Monologue makes for one of the eeriest scenes in the game. Which, given that Dissidia is an action game, is saying something.
    • Also, Golbez teleports rather than physically jumps. Combine this with his quintuple-jumping and if you spam jump 5 times in a rwo you can suddenly have a time slot of 2 seconds where Golbez is not on the map at all and is completely invulnerable. Ninja-Golbez!
  • Every single villain in Final Fantasy Tactics possesses the ability to Teleport in and out of battlefields at their leisure (or just before you're able to deal the finishing blow.) Marquis Elmdore and the Final Boss also possess the specific battle ability Master Teleport which allows them to appear anywhere on the battlefield without penalty or risk of failure (whereas the player's Teleport may fail at longer distances.)
  • While Suikoden has Viki as the good guy Teleporter, she doesn't have the same level of control or Style as Yuber, Windy, Luc and Neclord. Though Yuber uses this ability the most - being somewhat of a Dirty Coward. Aside from Windy, none of them have as much power in their teleportation (Viki's can handle Mass Teleportation and even Time Travel, though she's only ever done the latter by accident), but Viki's control is quite poor.
  • In BlazBlue, Yandere Robot Girl Nu-13, her not-quite-evil sister Lambda-11 and the insane Eldritch Abomination Arakune can teleport in play. While the decidedly heroic Rachel Alucard can teleport in story, she can't do so in gameplay. Oddly, The Man Behind the Man Hazama/Terumi doesn't seem to show this ability (yet?)
  • Jason in Friday the 13th for the NES.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, all of the Seraphim demonstrate this ability at one point or another. Oddly, not all of them use it in battle.
    • And in Tales of Vesperia, Alexei inexplicably teleports away after his confrontation with Brave Vesperia in Zaphias, despite nobody else in the game ever showing this kind of ability.
  • Golden Sun's Alex could Warp, which was a strange type of Psynergy that no other character could use.
  • In Homeworld Cataclysm, the NAGGAROK can either move incredibly fast or hyperspace jump in a second, appear anywhere on the map, blast your units and disappear again.
  • Fire Emblem 7 had this on Ephidel and some of the other morphs.
  • There are good teleporters in the Kirby series, but none use it as much as the bad guys in combat. Nightmare, Dark Mind and Daroach use Teleport Spam most prominently.
  • Plot-important characters in Baldur's Gate II often have the ability to teleport with "Dimension Door" (which spell when it was usable by players in the previous game didn't work like that) for convenience. They're usually the villains, most notably the Big Bad Irenicus himself, in whose case it's easily justified since he's an insanely powerful wizard. They can also teleport others with them, a handy way of kidnapping.
  • Pops up in The Legend of Zelda. It's one of the main abilities of the Wizzrobes whenever they appear. While Ganon himself hardly ever uses it (preferring to engage Link in direct swordplay instead), this is a favorite technique of Zant and Ghirahim; battles against those two have to be planned based on the assumption that they'll occasionally teleport behind Link and try to strike at him. Yuga also does this in the Final Battle, in addition to eventually using his wall-merging technique.
    • Ghirahim's teleport is interesting. He vanishes in a flurry of orange, black, and white diamond shapes.
  • In Brain Dead 13, during the intro, Fritz is next to Lance when Lance first meets Neurosis, and when Dr. Nero Neurosis goes into a rage, Fritz goes offscreen, but the second Dr. Nero Neurosis tells Fritz to kill Lance, Fritz is above Lance.
  • In Ys II, Dalles has a habit of suddenly appearing to do his evil work and then promptly disappearing with an Evil Laugh.
  • In Resident Evil 4, you enter an apparently empty barn, then Mendez "teleports in" behind Leon.
  • Later enemies in The Darkness 2 have purple and smoky teleport.
  • In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the sand monsters teleport into the areas where you fight them and also if you get too far away from them. Luckily, they don't actually use Teleport Spam as a form of attack.
  • In Lunar: The Silver Star, Xenobia and the Magic Emperor can teleport in or out of the scene when the plot requires it. It seems more fair than most examples since the player's party also gets a form of teleportation.
  • In Diablo II, boss monsters with the random Teleportation modifier also heal on each teleport, and it is completely random and independent of their AI or animations. In other words, either you deal enough damage to kill them outright or you will never kill them. The teleporting Council doomed many underpowered variant builds until Blizzard removed the heal in the expansion pack patch.
  • In Dishonored, Daud does this when he assassinates Jessamine in the prologue.

    Webcomics 
  • Archipelago: Captain Snow has access to teleportation, though he doesn't use it much.
    Snow: "I was stuck in a well. All that drowning must have addled my brains, it took me forever to remember: Doh! Of course! I can teleport!"
  • Wayward Sons: Doctor Chu's power. Normally limited by his knowledge of his surroundings, he once teleported from Egypt to East Asia instictively to survive a fatal attack. Without knowing where he was, it took him years to find his way back.
  • Homestuck: After Bec gets prototyped, Jack Noir gains this ability and goes on a series of murder teleportation sprees.
    • Snowman also has this power. As does Doc Scratch.
  • The Order of the Stick: Vaarsuvius, the titular Order's resident wizard, has Conjuration as one of his/her barred schools, thus denying the party the ability to teleport.note  The villains have no such limitation, naturally. And when Vaarsuvius made a Deal with the Devil(s) to temporarily gain immense magical power, he/she was able to not only teleport, but do so on a truly Epic scale.
  • In The Gamer, only the (relatively) villainous Black Summoner has shown teleporting abilities so far. The main character's reaction on seeing it is one of comically exaggerated jealousy.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Vampyro of Wakfu has a cape-twirling version of this power. Main villain Nox can teleport as well with his Time Powers, but his movements aren't smoky and mysterious.
    • Might be worth noting that his entire species can do that in the original Video Game, and they aren't Always Chaotic Evil.
    • Season 2 Big Bad Qilby freely abuses his teleportation powers to give the heroes a hard time.
  • Skywarp, a Decepticon Mook from Transformers Generation 1, can teleport. He does it rarely, however, and doesn't see to accomplish anything useful with it.
  • The Splund from one episode of The Trap Door had the ability to teleport, for seemingly no reason other to make him all the more freaky.
  • Teen Titans
    • The titans rarely make use of their resident lottery winner's teleportation, preferring instead to travel in the T-car, but it is shown to work quite well when they do.
    Robin, as the secret base crumbles around them: "Raven, get us out of here." And she does.
    • This is presumably because on the off chance something happens to Raven, they don't want to have no way to get around independently.
    • Season Three Big Bad Brother Blood also has the power to teleport, as do HIVE member Kyd Wykkyd, Red X and Slade after becoming Trigon's minion.
  • In the animated series of The Legend of Zelda, Ganon teleported everywhere. One scene had him teleporting all around his room in the middle of a monologue, for no reason. He usually teleports extremely short distances but he does walk around sometimes. When he does it appears to be random.
  • Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic teleports frequently and often to evade the Mane Six's personal space, but he's not above a little skating around on soap.


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