"Oh, God, NATURAL LIGHT!!!"
Light is a powerful thing. Some enemies, especially
those who specialize in Casting a Shadow
, are weakened by it, if not outright destroyed. The reason is simple: Light is Good
+ Good Hurts Evil
= Light Hurts Evil.
Sunlight seems to be particularly potent
, which gives Cue the Sun
a whole new meaning
for such nocturnal nasties. Works fond of Doing in the Wizard
often explain this as an aversion to ultraviolet light.
The psychology behind this trope is that humans are very reliant on sight, so we feel extremely vulnerable in the dark
. See Dark Is Evil
for the general association of evil things with darkness.
If the author is not careful, this can overlap with Weaksauce Weakness
, or at least Kryptonite Is Everywhere
. May be counteracted with a Kryptonite Proof Suit
. This might be
one of the reasons it's Grim Up North
- the longer nights give sunlight-averse creatures more time to hunt.
For a mundane equivalent, see Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes
, which does not carry the moral connotations.
See also Holy Burns Evil
and Suicide By Sunlight
. Contrast Cross Melting Aura
. Often mixed with Light 'Em Up
. Not to be confused with Blinded by the Light
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Anime and Manga
- Sunako from Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge.
- A variation of this trope appears in Fullmetal Alchemist. Pride, the shadow homunculus, isn't generally hurt by light; in fact, he is unable to use his powers without a light source. However, if the light becomes too bright (for example, the light from a flash bomb) he is damaged and his philosopher's stone depleted.
- Beyond that, Pride needs light to use his powers by casting shadows, but he can't approach a source of light too closely, because the light would illuminate his shadows and destroy them. This is seen when Hohenheim first encounters Pride.
- Pointedly averted with Mahou Sensei Negima! and its resident vampire Evangeline, who is not harmed by sunlight. It does however make her somewhat sleepy, so she's often seen with a parasol anyway. One of her many nicknames is "The High Daylight Walker", emphasizing this trait.
- Used in Gintama against Housen, The Night King. The Yato in general are weakened by light - it's why they all carry umbrellas - but Housen spent years out of the sunlight. When exposed to it for the first time in ages, it kills him fairly quickly.
- In One Piece, people who've had their shadows stolen by Gecko Moria disintegrate in sunlight.
- Ouran High School Host Club had several episodes of this with Nekozawa.
- In Vampire Hunter D, sunlight isn't immediately fatal to vampires. Rather, exposure to more than a few seconds of direct sunlight causes them to catch fire, burning painfully so long as they are exposed. Heroic Willpower is invoked if a vampire stays in sunlight to do something important, as is a vampiric Healing Factor if they make it back to shade.
- Though only the High Nobility are capable of even trying this. Most vampires are entirely comatose during the day, even if they remain underground.
- Obviously, the vampires in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, who are shattered by sunlight (and hamon, which emulates sunlight); the inference seems to be that vampirism fills you to the brim with vital energy, to the point that excess energy is like inflating an overinflated balloon. The ogre progenitors of the vampires also suffered this, but only to the degree of being petrified while bathed in sunlight, and reverting afterwards.
- The Stand Black Sabbath from part 5 is also like this, on account of actually being a shadow. Lots of light=inability for shadows to exist, so...
- The Batman Hakki from Yaiba is scorched by the sunlight and screams in pain when exposed to it. Oddly, he's fine while wearing sunglasses.
- Aaroniero from Bleach cannot stand sunlight and he cannot maintain his shape-shifting in the light.
- Van Von Hunter parodies this twice in the same arc. First, a vampire proclaims its invincibility since the moon is up—and doesn't burn until after it's reminded that moonlight is reflected sunlight. Then, the title character tries to distract another vampire until sunrise, and takes so long doing so that the sun sets again.
- In Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, Hades is severely damaged by sunlight as long as it's enough to overpower his defenses.
- In Is This A Zombie, Ayumu, being a zombie, can't go out in the sunlight or his body will desiccate. This weakness is negated while he's wearing Haruna's Magical Girl outfit.
- Night Lass was a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, and, in some continuities, later a member of the Legion Of Super-Heroes. Her gimmick was that she had super-strength, but only in the dark. Turn on a lamp, and she's normal.
- Ditto Greymalkin, one of the supporting X-Men characters.
- The Darkness, of course.
- The monsters under Calvin's bed in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series vanish with light. Except for Jark, because he's partly absorbed Calvin's DNA. It doesn't last, though.
- Gremlins: Strong light will hurt them, sunlight will kill them.
- Nosferatu is usually credited as the origin of the idea that sunlight kills vampires.
- Pitch Black: the alien monsters are burned by light.
- In Blade, the vampires have some kind of realism - no religious material is involved, but they're allergic to garlic and silver, and take damage to sunlight. So Blade burns/tortures a vampire with an UV lamp, eventually burning him to death.
- In Blade II, Blade's new sidekick builds UV grenades.
- Mr. Freeze at the end of Batman & Robin. It wasn't entirely the sunlight, as much as it was the warmth of the sun's rays after his freeze suit had malfunctioned.
- In Underworld, vampires are sensitive to ultraviolet light. The protagonist therefore uses ultraviolet light producing ammo to great effect.
- Legend. At the beginning Darkness says "Sunshine is my destroyer." Near the end we see what he means: when he's hit by the reflected light of the sun he's Blown Across the Room as if it were a giant bullet hitting him.
- Bram Stoker's Dracula subverts this: Dracula is weak only at sunup and sundown. Being in sunlight has no direct harmful affect on him (he's seen approaching Lucy before the sun goes down), though he does suffer from Shapeshifter Mode Lock during daytime. However since he's weak at sunup and sundown they use this to great affect when they open his coffin just as the sun sets. This is brought up in Blade Trinity that he's a daywalker like Blade.
- In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, the sun and moon are creations and symbols of the forces of good, and the evil servants of the Dark Lords generally have trouble with sunlight.
- Orcs are weakened and frightened by strong light and especially sunlight. They usually march under the cover of night, or under supernatural cloud-cover. On two occasions during The Lord of the Rings series, the Orcs are pushed back by the appearance of a powerful light (though, admittedly, usually accompanied by some good ol' fashioned swords).
- Subverting this was the chief advantage of the Uruk-Hai; unlike other orcs, they were part-human and thus could go about during the day without any problems.
- In The Hobbit, trolls are turned to stone by sunlight.
- The fear that radiates from the Nazgul is weakened during the day, particularly at noon. Everything is less scary by the light of day.
- Shelob gets burned by the light of Eärendil's star, a Silmaril containing the purest and holiest light remaining in Middle-earth. Indeed the three Silmarilli are the ultimate expression of this trope in Tolkien's Arda: Not only is the mere sight of them too much for most evil creatures, but they are so holy that their touch horribly burns evil creatures and people.
- Subverted in The Silmarillion by Shelob's hideous mother Ungoliantë, a spider-shaped thing of darkness who greedily ate every speck of light she encountered — including the Two Trees of Valinor.
- After millennia of being corrupted by the One Ring (not to mention living in a cave), Gollum couldn't stand sunlight, and hated moonlight as well.
- In The Dresden Files magic itself gets weakened by sunlight: Spells and wards that aren't constantly maintained tend only to last until the next sunrise. Sunlight also damages or annoys several supernatural creatures.
- The Red Court vampires get hurt by sunlight; Harry hits Bianca with a handkerchief full of stored sunlight, and it burns through her meat sack to reveal the bat-thing beneath.
- The most powerful Reds are immune to this so long as they stay in human form; in giant-demon-bat-from-hell form they're still vulnerable to it.
- Black Court vampires are forced to fall dormant during the day (whether or not they're harmed at all by actual exposure to sunlight isn't made clear). The more powerful ones can still be active during this time, but their powers are somewhat weakened.
- White Court vampires, on the other hand, avert this outright; they're never shown to experience any discomfort from daylight (probably because physically, they're humans who happen to have very hungry demons piggybacking on their souls, as opposed to the blatantly inhuman other two courts).
- Sunlight, by its nature as a force that disrupts magic, will destroy ghosts who are not in "shelter" (such as their graves) when daytime arrives. Harry learns this the hard way in Ghost Story.
- In the Coldfire Trilogy, dark fae is (according to the Hunter the only human who has ever been able to harness it) fragile enough to be weakened by a candle. However, in utter darkness it is powerful enough to stave off death itself, which is how the Hunter has cheated death for centuries.
- Alison Sinclair's Darkborn trilogy focuses around two races divided by an ancient curse: the Lightborn, who cannot tolerate the dark, and the Darkborn, who are fatally burned by light, except for firelight (they are blind and operate via an inherent sonar ability). Notably most of the main viewpoint characters are Darkborn.
- In the Cthulhu Mythos story Haunter in the Dark, the titular being (an avatar of Nyarlathotep) has an extreme aversion to light. Any light will harm it and strong enough light will destroy it. In the end it is destroyed by a flash of lightning.
Live Action TV
- In Castle, a case involving vampire fetishists uncovers an obsessively fixated 'vampire' whose skin burns when it makes contact with light. Turns out he has an exceptionally rare skin condition.
- In an episode of The X-Files, one of the Monsters Of The Week was explained as someone suffering from a similar skin condition. In truth, no, he was a freakin vampire.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer and sister series Angel vampires have a strange version of this. Direct sunlight will almost instantly immolate them, but they are portrayed as perfectly fine operating during the day as long as they remain in the shade.
- The giant winged serpent in the Sanctuary episode "The Depths" is intolerant of sunlight. This is what kicks off the plot initially. Remembering this helps Magnus and Will sneak past it later in the episode.
- In the Farscape episode "Crackers Don't Matter", Moya's crew is warned that "lower species" sometimes experience impaired judgment from the light of the pulsars they are traveling through. The trope is subverted when Crichton realizes that T'raltixx is causing their symptoms, not the pulsars.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- In 1st Edition, exposure to sunlight rendered a Chaotic Evil vampire powerless and killed it in 1 turn (10 minutes). In 2nd edition, sunlight killed vampires in 1 round (1 minute).
- Both 1st and 2nd Edition
- Lawful Evil spectres were made powerless by daylight and both shades and shadow demons were much weaker (and easier to kill) in bright light.
- Goblins and Orcs (both Lawful Evil) were at -1 "to hit" in sunlight.
- Basic D&D adventure IM3 The Best of Intentions: one plane's inhabitants are sentient bubbles who are destroyed if ordinary light falls on them.
- Drow and Duergar are weakened (or dazed) by sunlight, until 4th edition anyway. Chaotic Evil Derro are nauseated by sunlight.
- Chaotic Evil Bodaks took 1 Hit Point of damage per minute they spent in direct sunlight.
- Master Set DM's Book and D&D Rules Cyclopedia. Nightshades all suffered a penalty of -4 to hit in daylight.
- In Shadowrun, Awakened creatures (including metahuman variants) could have special allergies, such as to sunlight. Creatures with that allergy included the banshee (undead elf), barghest (dog-like), ghouls (humans infected with a magical virus), vampires and wendigo (orks infected with a virus).
- Darklings from Changeling The Lost are humans who were reshaped by the Gentry into nightmares, terrors, and other creatures of twilight. As a result, they take a penalty to using Contracts (magical powers) during the day, one that gets worse if they try it while in direct sunlight.
- Two main things do aggravated damage to vampires in Vampire The Masquerade and Vampire The Requiem: fire, and sunlight. Not only do they hurt like hell, but the mere presence of either can drive the Beast into a state of mortal fear where it hijacks the vampire's body and runs shrieking into the dark.
- In Requiem, a vampire's actions during daytime are always capped according to their Humanity; the less in touch with their human conscience they are, the harder it is to do anything during the day.
- In Masquerade, the Followers of Set's clan curse means they are affected by any sufficiently bright light as if it was sunlight. Even the light of the full moon is enough to physically annoy them.
- Exalted: Charms by the Ebon Dragon — The Shadow of All Things — are weaker or can't function at all in sunlight... of Creation. It works just fine under Hell's green sun. Also, they can't be used to defend against Holy charms.
- Most Creatures of Death are greatly weakened or outright destroyed by exposure to sunlight.
- Atlantis: The Lost World generic RPG setting. Cave Trolls are turned to stone by sunlight, and Rock Trolls take 1d6 Hit Points of damage per minute of sun exposure. Vampires can stand the light of day for only a short time, and will then crumble to dust.
- Rune Quest
- The following creatures are demoralized in daylight: ghouls, some orcs, cave trolls, trollkin and vampires.
- Cave trolls: damage they take while in sunlight is not healed by their regeneration ability.
- The shade takes Hit Points of damage each round that it remains in sunlight.
- Call Of Cthulhu.
- In daylight, a vampire loses all of its special powers.
- Masks of Nyarlathotep supplement.
- The form of Nyarlathotep known as Fly-The-Light or The Haunter of the Dark can't stand light stronger than starlight. A flashlight or torch light does 1-6 Hit Points, the full moon does 2-12 Hit Points, car headlights or street lights do 3-18 Hit Points, and full daylight does 10-60 Hit Points.
- A Fog-Spawn is driven off by light as strong as (or stronger than) a flashlight. If trapped by bright light or exposed to daylight, it is forced to return to its own plane.
- Fragments of Fear: the Second Cthulhu Companion. After sixty years of existence, any Servant of Glaaki exposed to strong light (such as daylight) will suffer the Green Death, which causes them to rot away and be destroyed in a few hours.
- Dreamlands: The creatures known as shades are always enclosed in a sphere of darkness. If enough light is applied to penetrate the darkness, the shade evaporates.
- Wrath of the Seven Horsemen adventure: the White Crawler Larvae, Elder White Crawler and the Prime take damage from bright sunlight.
- The Circle and M.E.T.E.: the vampire Gratz and the new vampires he has created take damage from direct sunlight.
- The Blood Of Heroes RPG: the superhero Neon Knight and his mount Knight Mayre lose all of their super powers in sunlight.
- In Nomine: vampires take damage from being in sunlight, and it's possible for celestial beings (angels and demons) to take this effect as a type of Discord.
- Judges Guild supplement The Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor. Eackor the Hill Troll will be killed if he's exposed to sunlight.
- Rolemaster Shadow World campaign setting, supplement Demons of the Burning Night. Anyone wearing the Helm of Kadaena is at half resistance rolls in sunlight.
- Mayfair's Chill.
- If a Deceiver is forced to stand in direct sunlight for one hour in front of a place dedicated to truth (university, courthouse, etc.), any SAVE envoy can see it in its true form. It cannot hide its true form from them again until it has spent 8 hours in darkness.
- A Mist Mummy that is trapped in sunlight in its mist form for more than 1 minute is destroyed.
- The Carpathian vampire is destroyed if it spends one minute in sunlight. While it is in sunlight it can only assume its fog mist form and try to flee.
- Lejendary Adventures
- The Peccant takes continuous damage from sunlight, but only if it's naked.
- Normal Bruholak
- Semi-Materialized: Takes continuous serious damage from sunlight
- Normal form: Can't go out in daylight.
- Volitant Bruholak
- Semi-Materialized: Exposure to bright equal to daylight forces it to flee to its burrow.
- Normal form: Takes continuous serious damage from sunlight.
- If the Nosferatu is exposed to any light as strong as sunlight, it takes minor continuous damage and changes back to its true form.
- In full daylight an Apparition is powerless. In bright light it can't drain its victim's abilities.
- In full daylight a Ghost is powerless. In bright light it can't possess a victim.
- If a Shadowling's is in light strong enough to dispel shadows, its Vampiric Draining of Life Energy is severely reduced.
- Trolls turn to stone in direct sunlight.
- Urls take continuous moderate damage while in direct sunlight.
- The "Phantom" boss in Chasm: The Rift is killed by luring him into the light after activating three switches. The manual plays this straight by hinting that he is "dying to see the light."
- Luigi's Mansion: most ghosts must be hit by Luigi's flashlight in order to expose their hearts to be sucked up.
- The ghosts in Dark Moon can handle Luigi's flashlight just fine, but Elvin Gadd designed a Strobulb which provides a potent flash to disable them. The ghosts respond with a few items to shield themselves, which must be lowered or otherwise removed before they can be zapped and vacuumed.
- Alan Wake: Wake must shine his flashlight on the Taken (humans who've been possessed by the Dark Presence) in order to weaken the shadows enveloping them and make them vulnerable to his bullets. Sufficiently bright light (like flashbang grenades or the flaregun) will destroy the Taken outright.
- Gears of War: Kryll have an aversion to light.
- Blind the Thief from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past might count. You have to expose him to sunlight to reveal his true form, but it happens before the battle starts.
- A dragon boss in Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Serpent, is weakened significantly the more sunlight you reflect onto him by making use of the environment. Without that he is nigh-unbeatable.
- The various Demonic Spiders in Dark Dawn are said to suffer from an extreme case of this, in that they can't emerge in lit areas, but when the Grave Eclipse goes down, they come out en masse. And that's just the start...
- One city is safe during the Eclipse thanks to the Alchemy-powered lights that constantly illuminate it.
- Played straight with the bosses in LIT, and almost any potential source of light (desktop lamps, cherry bombs, etc.) available in the room may be used.
- In Metroid Prime 2, the Ing must possess other creatures to enter the Light side of Aether, and use of the Light Beam to energize protective fields on Dark Aether can vaporize weaker Ing.
- Defied in The Witcher saga - a vampire (unhurt by sunlight) gives a lecture about how humans, being helpless in the dark, associate light with hope and by extension attribute light sensitivity to many evil creatures.
- Played with in AGD Interactive's Kings Quest II Fan Remake. An enchantment-breaking talisman requires that sunlight be shined through it onto the person, creature, or item enchanted in order to break the enchantment.
- At one point in The Lost Crown, Nigel must open a window and let in some sunlight to repel a black, smokey entity that is stalking him. Subverted in that actually defeating the entity takes another step or two, and other ghosts in the game are active in broad daylight.
- Many enemies in Boktai can be killed by simple sunlight. Tricking one boss into an open window damages him greatly. The main character also uses a gun that focuses sunlight; and for enemies that would return even from this; there are ways of focusing sunlight even more.
- Kingdom Hearts: The Heartless, as beings of darkness, are weakened and destroyed by light.
- Resident Evil 4: Flashbang Grenades can kill Las Plagas instantly. Their light sensitivity is the reason why they don't start emerging from their Ganado hosts until night falls.
- The final form of Okami's boss, Yami, is powered up by darkness and weakened by sunlight. Fortunately, you, as the wolf-goddess Amaterasu, can Cue the Sun.
- None of the hostile monsters will spawn in Minecraft if there is enough light. In addition, spiders become non-aggressive during sunlight while zombies and skeletons will outright burn.
- In the Zombie Apocalypse mission in Starcraft II, the Infested Terrans will outright burn if caught out in the sun. (They don't exhibit this property in any other map; Hanson mentions Meinhoff's sun emits a ridiculous amount of dangerous UV energy.) This splits the mission into alternating phases of defense (hole up in bunkers and shoot anything that gets close) and offense (burn the whole map to the ground).
- In Castlevania 2 Simons Quest, all outdoor creatures are stronger when it is nighttime.
- The Legacy of Kain series varies from one game to another regarding how light affects vampires. In Blood Omen, Kain is weaker during the day than at night due to the sun's effects, though not outright harmed by it, and light from other sources has no unusual effects. In Soul Reaver, fledgling vampires are killed by exposure to sunlight, but adult vampires are unharmed (with the exception of the Rahabim, who retain their weakness to sunlight into adulthood in exchange for losing their weakness to water). Later games in the series don't mention it one way or the other.
- In Turok 2, Blind Ones, due to years of living in darkness, are allergic to sunlight, and thus Sunfire Pods kill them instantly.
- Disgaea's platforming spin-off, Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?, takes a spin on this. The game starts during the morning, and as the stages are cleared and the story advances, time passes until it's dark out, with the difficulty gradually increasing, both seen with the stages changing and adding new elements, and the end of stage bosses getting tougher. It's generally believed that weaker demons are out during the daytime to avoid the stronger demons who come out to play at night, though there do seem to be some exceptions.
- In Famous 2 has a Dunbar Beam, a searchlight with amped up UV powers to fight off the Corrupted. No, they're not just weakened, they spontaneously combust. Even tough creatures like Ravagers fall in three seconds flat thanks to these.
- During a mission in Mass Effect 2, Shepard and his/her squad fight on a planet orbiting an unstable star. The immense radiation quickly shorts out shields, so Shepard must stay out of the sunlight to maintain a tactical advantage.
- The Big Bad of Dragonfable the Mysterious Stranger's original form had this weakness. He spent the entire game manipulating Sepulchre, the Shadowscythe, and even the heroes so he could create a more powerful body that wouldn't have this weakness. He recently succeeded by merging with the near-dead Drakath Darkness Dragon (itself a fusion of Drakath, Fluffy the Dracolich and the Ultimate Orb) and became the Ultimate Darkness Dragon. He then summoned every spirit of darkness in the world out of hiding to blanket the world in darkness.
- Mentioned as a gag in Grandia II. Millennia screams about the accursed light of the sun the first time she is seen during the day (The sun had risen while the party was underground). Then she says "Hah! Fooled you, didn't I?".
- Touhou has vampires Remilia and Flandre Scarlet, who have the standard weakness to sunlight. The plot of the game they're introduced in, Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, is kicked off by Remilia's attempt to block out the sun with a red mist, so that she can go outside whenever she wants. Unlike some stories' vampires, they wouldn't actually be killed by sunlight. It does, however, turn their skin to ash, which is then absorbed into their body and regenerates into new skin. Presumably, the process repeats for as long as they're in the sun.
- Chaotic units in Battle for Wesnoth are weakened by light; generally this is sunlight provided by the day-night cycle, but some special illuminated hexes (such as lava tiles) and powerful light-magic auras can achieve similar effects.
- In League of Legends Cho'Gath will sometimes scream "The daylight...it burns!" when selected. It doesn't seem to slow him down too much, but maybe he'd be even scarier in darkness.
- The furies of Hakuouki find daylight very uncomfortable and only function well at night. How severely it affects them varies; most are incapable of doing much of anything in daylight, and Sanan, Toudou, and Okita quickly turn nocturnal and spend the daytime resting listlessly if they're awake at all. On the other hand, Determinators Hijikata and Saito steadfastly ignore the discomfort and continue working during the day (and indeed almost stop sleeping entirely); it wears on them and leads to episodes of extremely painful craving for blood, but for the most part they just refuse to give a damn.
- Experimentation on the "water of life" which creates furies eventually allows Yukimura Kodo to create a strain of fury which functions just fine during the day. Since these furies are made on the Imperial side, this makes life harder for just about everybody.
- In Heroes of Might and Magic VI Shades of Darkness, Dungeon units have this weakness. They all have the "Blessing of Malassa", which gives them a slight resistance to darkness and a slight weakness to light. While there is a magical reason for it (Malassa is the polar opposite and rival of Elrath the Dragon of Light), it's also partly a Logical Weakness. After living underground for decades, the Dark Elves' eyes just aren't used to sunlight.
- SCP Foundation: Inverted by SCP-1983. Its shadow monsters are stronger in the light, as they have clear sharp edges in it; in the dark, they're indistinct, and apparently cannot interact with people whose shadows are not visible.
- Vamp of the Whateley Universe. She's an albino with vampiric powers, and she's sensitive to sunlight. Carmilla used to be extremely sensitive, and wore special protective armor so she could go out during the day.
- The sun can cause sun burns and skin cancer.
- Albinos do not like direct sunlight—they have no melanin to delay sunburn, and in bright light their eyes hurt and see even worse than they do normally ("normal" being half-blind).
- Mushrooms will get dried out if they come in contact with the sun for too long.
- Every species of plant has evolved to tolerate specific amounts of sunlight (usually divided by horticultualists into three categories: Full sun, Partial sun, and Shaded). Plants that tolerate heavy shade will be killed suprisingly quick by too much direct sunlight. For reference most House Plants are shade tolerant.
- People with Photophobia can experience a range of symptoms ranging from discomfort and sensitivity to headaches (unless the headaches themselves are the cause of photophobia) when they are in the presence of bright lights.