Weakened by the Light

Should have brought some sunblock.


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.
  • 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. However, only the High Nobility are capable of even trying this. Most vampires are entirely comatose during the day, even if they remain underground.
    • In the 1985 film Count Magnus Lee sends Rei Ginsei a candle. Its light paralyzes any being with vampire blood in its veins. Greco Roman steals it and uses it against the Count's daughter Lamika. Rei Ginsei gets it back and uses it against D (successfully) and Count Magnus Lee (not so successfully).
  • 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 Pillar Men, 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.
  • In Shiki, vampires who meet the sunlight directly catch on fire and burn to death. However, there's also Tatsumi (and later Natsuno too) who subvert this, due to belonging to a rare species of vampires who can survive under the sunlight. However, in everything else, they're exactly like the others.
  • Espada #9 Aaroniero Arruruerie from Bleach cannot stand sunlight and can't maintain or perform 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.

    Comic Books 
  • Night Girl 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.
  • Greymalkin, one of the supporting X-Men characters, has Super Strength when he was in darkness.
  • The Darkness, of course.
  • DC Universe
    • When the character Obsidian is in shadow form, light can cause him great pain and even unconsciousness.
    • According to the cover of Detective Comics #284, Batman was once changed into a "Negative Man" who was weakened and destroyed by light.
  • In the New 52, Ultraman is weakened by sunlight; as shown in Forever Evil. To counter this, he creates a solar eclipse so he can go about during the day.

    Fan Fic 
  • 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.
  • In Hope Comes to Brockton Bay this is the downside of Shadow Stalker's new powers and she is finally killed by very powerful lamps.

    Films — Animated 
  • Fantasia: the Black God Chernabog is interrupted when light shines on him, causing him to wince and shield his eyes.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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. Additionally, Riddick's eyeshine treatment leaves him easily blinded by bright lights.
  • Blade Trilogy:
    • 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.
    • In Blade: Trinity, Abigal Whistler uses a bat'leth-like weapon that has a UV beam instead of a blade.
  • 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.
  • Taken Up to Eleven in Daybreakers, where the light actually burns the vampires alive.
  • Fright Night (1985). When Charlie and Peter Vincent confront the vampire Jerry Dandridge in the cellar where his coffin is located, they destroy him by ripping the coverings off the windows and allowing the sunlight inside.
  • In the British parody horror B-movie I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle, the titular monster is eventually killed by being lured into a gymnasium and trapped in a circle of tanning beds.
  • Near Dark: Depending on the strength the daylight and the length of exposure, vampires will either smoke, burn, or explode.
  • Attack of the Eye Creatures: The titular creatures can be taken down by ordinary car headlamps. A camera flash was enough to instantly vaporize one.

  • 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.
  • 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. Apparently by the end of the War of the Ring, Sauron had overcome this weakness with the creation of the Olog-hai.
    • The Nazgūl
      • The fear that radiates from them is weakened during the day, particularly at noon. Everything is less scary by the light of day.
      • They don't see the world of daylight normally, but the presence of living creatures casts shadows in their minds. This is prevented (making it impossible to see them) by the light of the noonday sun.
    • 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 Ungoliantė, 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 seems weakened by sunlight: Spells and wards that aren't constantly maintained tend only to last until the next sunrise. Ironically, Harry notes that this is not because sunlight is in itself purifying, but rather because dawn is a powerful symbol of new beginnings. Standing magic isn't weakened by light itself, but by the start of the day. Sunlight also damages or annoys several supernatural creatures for more traditional reasons.
    • 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.
  • H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos stories
    • In the The Haunter of 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.
    • In The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, the creatures known as ghasts are killed by bright light such as sunlight.
  • The Warhammer 40,000 background book Xenology features an alien species known as the Umbra, which appear as black spheres that can control shadows and give them physical form, usually in the form of bladed limbs they use for offense. They don't like bright light, but using it against them is risky as light generates more shadows they can use to attack you. An inquisitor kills one by placing it in a room with bright lights on all sides so that no shadows will be generated.
  • In The Shattered Kingdoms, the Norlander people have this attribute. However, they're still close enough to standard humans to be biologically compatible, and they're not necessarily evil (although some of the people they conquer might tell you otherwise). At least one character of Norlander birth has managed to adapt to the sun well enough.
  • In Companions Of The Night, Sunlight kills vampires in an extremely painful manner, and it is not instantaneous. This kind of death is so excruciating that when Ethan thinks he’s about to die that way, he begs Kerry to shoot him before he starts frying.
  • In the Towers Trilogy, night walkers are zombie-like creatures which are pained by daylight. They bury themselves underground during the day, and emerge to stalk the streets at night.

    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. They can even move around in sunlight while covering themselves up with a jacket or hoodie - though if that cover gets pulled off, they'll fry immediately.
  • 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.
  • True Blood: Vampires who meet the sunlight directly explode into flames, which is why they sleep in coffins during the day and come out during the night. In the season 1 finale, Bill demostrates the extent to which it weakens them by going out during the day to save Sookie from Rene (although it's sort of a Senseless Sacrifice since Sam had already saved her). Sookie finds him burning under the sunlight a few moments later and she and Sam get him under cover again.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Operation: Annihilate!" The parasites that infected the colonists on the planet Deneva are destroyed by bright light.
  • Smallville, Bizarro is a sort of opposite to Clark Kent. Kryptonite makes him stronger and sunlight makes him weaker.
  • Automan's title character himself is not adversely affected by sunlight, but his physical form takes so much electrical power to maintain that he normally can do it only during offpeak hours of the local electrical grid, which is predominately nighttime.
  • The title character in Fireman originally came from the Earth's core, so exposure to sunlight in his powered form for more than three minutes could kill him. He even had a light that worked like a "Color Timer" that alerted him.
  • Speaking of Ultraman, the Underground people from Episode 22 died when a captured Hayata transformed into Ultraman in their presence, and the light from the transformation was too much for them.

    Oral Tradition 

    Other Sites 
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-538 ("Shadow Spiders"). While in brightly lit areas, shadow spiders shrink at a rate of 2 centimeters per second. When they're reduced to nothing they're destroyed.
    • SCP-575 ("Predatory Darkness"). SCP-575 is destroyed when exposed to light.
    • SCP-593 ("Contagious Innumeracy"). SCP-593 is a genetically engineered disease similar to measles. After it causes a rash covering the entire body, the victim's eyes become so sensitive that they can be totally blinded by exposure to light.
    • SCP-625 ("Anklebiters"). When exposed to bright light, SCP-625 will fall unconscious and become dormant. 80 seconds after the light is removed they revive again.
    • SCP-631 ("Nyctophobic Nocturnal Predator"). Inverted: SCP-631 becomes invisible to normal sight in daylight, which makes it much more difficult to see and attack them.
    • Inverted by SCP-1983 ("Doorway to Nowhere"). 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.
    • SCP-2332 ("Thought Messenger"). SCP-2332 is rendered catatonic when exposed to strong light at wavelengths between 360 and 480 nanometers (i.e. blue light), such as from a blue laser pointer.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Original D&D Supplement IV Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes. In the Hyborean mythos (Robert E. Howard's Conan stories), the brylukas (a combination of human, animal and demon) would be struck blind for a while by strong light.
    • 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).
    • 2nd Edition Player's Option: Skills & Power supplement. When a Shadow Mage specialty wizard cast a spell while in bright daylight or a Continual Light spell, opponents received a +2 on saving throws versus the spell.
    • Both 1st and 2nd Edition
      • Lawful Evil spectres were made powerless by daylight and both shades and Chaotic Evil 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.
    • Lawful Evil Duergar and Chaotic Evil Drow are weakened (or dazed) by sunlight, until 4th edition anyway. In 1st and 2nd Edition, when duergar or drow were in sunlight (or the equivalent, such as a Continual Light spell) they lost the bonus to their chance to surprise opponents, had a -2 penalty to Dexterity and "to hit" rolls, and opponents received a +2 to saving throws vs. their attacks.
    • 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.
    • Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II - Terrors Beyond Tyr.
      • The undead monster known as the T'liz take a -4 penalty to their attacks rolls in broad daylight.
      • If a DM uses the random undead generation tables, the undead so created can have a sunlight vulnerability that causes 1-6 Hit Points of damage per minute of exposure.
      • Averted by the Shadow Giant, which is damaged by darkness and healed by the light. Wrong Genre Savvy heroes tend to assume the opposite.
    • Deep Gnomes (AKA Svirfneblin) are a rare non-Evil example. The 1st Edition Unearthed Arcana supplement said that in bright light their range of vision was reduced to 30 feet and they have a -1 penalty to hit opponents. This was not the case when they originally appeared in the module D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa or in the 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual.
    • Another non-Evil example are the Deep Dwarves in the 2nd Edition Player's Option: Skills & Powers. They take a -1 penalty to all rolls when in sunlight or in the area of a Continual Light spell.
    • The Chaotic Evil Kuo-Toa take a -1 penalty to hit in bright light.
    • T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil. In the room on Level 3 where the PCs fight 6 violet fungi, there are 50 small evil fungi. Any bright light (such as a Light or Continual Light spell) will cause the small fungi to shrivel and die within one minute.
    • Ravenloft 2nd Edition Realm of Terror boxed set. When a PC performed extremely evil acts they had to make a Powers Check or suffer a punishment. One possible punishment was the character becoming blind whenever they were in normal daylight.
    • Dragon magazine
      • Issue #62, article "The gods of the orcs". The orc deity Shargaas lives in a cave system which is darker than the blackest night. He can see perfectly well in darkness but is completely blinded by sunlight.
      • Issue #191 "Dragon's Bestiary". The Asrai is a female water spirit. If exposed to direct sunlight it melts into water and dies.
      • Issue #191 "The Known World Grimoire". Direct sunlight has the following effects on Chaotic (Chaotic Evil) manscorpions: it blinds them, causes them 5-20 Hit Points of damage per ten seconds of exposure, reduces their Dexterity and Morale to 3, causes them to lose initiative in combat, halves their movement rate, and causes them to take double damage from any attack. After ten minutes of exposure, even if the manscorpion still has Hit Points left it burst into flames and automatically dies.
      • Issue #199 "Dragon's Bestiary". Chaotic Evil Gray Trolls are vulnerable to sunlight: it blinds them (which inflicts hefty combat penalties) and inflicts five Hit Points of damage on them per minute of exposure which cannot be regenerated. If killed by sunlight the gray troll's body shrivels and is reduced to ashes, forever dead.
      • Issue #218 article "Dragon Dweomers". The spell "Shadow Dragon" causes the dragon that cast it to turn to shadow form, which makes it immune to most attacks. One exception is light-based spells such as Light, Continual Light, Prismatic Spray etc.) which do 1-6 Hit Points of damage per level of the spell for each minute the dragon stays in the spell's area of effect. Full sunlight forces the dragon back to its normal form and renders it helpless for a full minute.
      • Issue #227 article "Dragon's Bestiary: Monsters of the Underdark". If the Darkness Elemental is contacted by a spell that creates magical light (Light, Continual Light, Faerie Fire etc.) there's an explosion that does 1-8 Hit Points of damage per level of the spell to the elemental.
      • Issue #243 article "Destriers of the Planes". The Lesser Charnalbalk can't remain on the Prime Material Plane in daylight - it fades away at sunrise and returns to its rider's location at dusk. The Greater Charnalbalk can exist in daylight but takes a penalty to its armor class and all d20 rolls it makes.
  • Shadowrun
    • Awakened creatures (including metahuman variants) could have special allergies such as to sunlight. This could cause penalties to target numbers, pain and even physical damage.
      • In the main rules, creatures with this allergy include the banshee (undead elf), barghest (dog-like), ghouls (humans infected with a magical virus), vampires and wendigo (orks infected with a virus).
      • In the 1st Edition supplement Paranormal Animals of North America the following creatures have this quality: Birdman, Black Annis, Devil Rat, Dour, Dzoo-Noo-Qua, Gabriel Hound, Gloaming Owl, Incubus, Loup-Garou, Piasma, Pricuricu, Shadowhound, Stonebinder and Troglodyte.
    • 1st through 3rd Editions. Shamans of the Bat, Owl and Puma totems had a +2 penalty to all of their magical target numbers while in direct sunlight.
  • 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.
    • Mind's Eye Theater LARP supplement Liber des Goules. One Flaw that can be chosen by ghoul characters is Light Sensitivity. The ghoul takes damage from daylight like a vampire, and even bright non-sunlight causes excruciating pain.
  • 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.
  • There are several white cards in Magic: The Gathering that focus on this, often with the art depicting black creatures such as demons.
  • RuneQuest
    • 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.
    • Dorastor: Land of Doom. Ghouls lose one Magic Point for each hour they spend in direct sunlight, and it isn't easy for them to regain lost Magic Points.
  • Call of Cthulhu
    • In daylight, a vampire loses all of its special powers.
    • Hunting Horrors are dispelled by daylight. A strong burst of light could sear one to dust.
    • 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.
    • Adventure "The Haunted House". The animated corpse of Walter Corbitt takes 1 Hit Point of damage per round in direct sunlight.
  • Champions/Hero System
    • Wrath of the Seven Horsemen adventure
      • The White Crawler Larvae, Elder White Crawler and the Prime take constant damage from bright sunlight and double STUN and BODY damage from light-based attacks.
      • Supervillains: Death takes STUN and BODY damage from light-based attacks, Fear takes double effect from Flash (blinding) attacks, and Dread takes STUN and BODY damage from sunlight.
    • Adventure "V.O.I.C.E. of Doom''. The superhero Black Phantom takes 1.5 times normal effect from Flash (blinding) attacks, and the supervillain Graf Von Grausam takes double normal effect from Flash attacks.
    • The Circle and M.E.T.E.. The vampire Gratz and the new vampires he has created take damage from direct sunlight.
    • The Great Super Villain Contest. The super villain Void takes 2d6 damage from bright light each turn. The supervillainess Shadow Queen takes 1d6 damage each turn from light and double normal STUN and BODY damage from light-based attacks.
    • Enemies. Supervillains: Leech and Frizbe take 1d6 damage per turn from sunlight. Vibron takes double effect from Flash (blinding) attacks.
    • Enemies II. Supervillains: Neutron takes 3d6 damage from Flash (blinding) attacks.
    • Enemies III. The supervillain The Amazing Darkon takes double normal STUN and BODY damage from light-based attacks.
    • Hero System supplement Fantasy Hero Companion. Stone Trolls are turned to stone ny sunlight. Common Trollsare blind in direct sunlight. Vampires take 3d6 damage per phase in 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.
    • Supplement Jaiman: Land of Twilight. Stone trolls are turned to stone by sunlight.
  • Mayfair Games
    • Horror game 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.
    • Generic supplement Undead. Moonscourges are insane monsters that perform hideous murders. They have no strength or form in daylight and must wait for nightfall to act.
  • 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 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.
  • Chaosium's supplement All the Worlds' Monsters. The silver shadow monster takes 3-9 Hit Points of damage from strong light.
  • Chaosium's supplement All the Worlds' Monsters Volume III
    • The Basic 1st level Demon hates sunlight. if exposed to it the demon must return to the Underworld.
    • The Tarrahook's eyes are weak and it is blind in bright light, attacking with a -4 penalty the first melee turn and at -2 thereafter.
    • The Vamplock is an Our Vampires Are Different: a vampire with the innate ability to use magic. It is not harmed by the sun but does lose all of its magical powers in sunlight.
  • Earthdawn. In full sunlight or the equivalent ghoul Attack and Damage steps are at -2.
  • Fantasy Games Unlimited's Aftermath!. Vampires are human beings mutated by biological agents or radiation. New vampires' eyes are sensitive to light, and once they are fully changed they are blind in normal light (they can see normally if wearing sunglasses).
  • Classic Traveller adventure Darthanon Queen. The Dyson monster is randomly created. It can have the Vulnerability of taking 1d6 damage from intense light.
  • In the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Citadel Of Chaos, one of the options of killing the Big Bad Balthus Dire is by reaching the windows and tearing down the heavy curtains covering them. Dire, as a black sorceror, is deadly vulnerable to daylight, and will drop dead on the spot.
  • Carcosa: Weird Science-Fantasy Horror Setting: One possible mutation is Adverse to Sunlight, which causes the victim to take -1 to "to hit" rolls and saving throws in sunlight.
  • Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth. The Flaw of Albinism causes anyone who has it to take one point of non-lethal damage per hour they spend in direct sunlight.
  • The Serpent Islands generic RPG supplement
    • If Cave Trolls are exposed to full sunlight they will be permanently turned to stone.
    • Vamen (humanoid bat-like creatures) fight and make saving throws at a -1 penalty in sunlight or any light as bright as sunlight.
  • Hackmaster. In 4th Edition the drow (Always Chaotic Evil elves) were based on 1st and 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, but there was a difference: instead of multiple specific penalties, drow get a simple -1 penalty to all rolls in bright light (bright daylight and Light/Continual Light spells).
  • White Wolf magazine #44 article "Gargoyles by Night...Life", which introduces the new Gargoyle race for the NightLife game. Sunlight causes the skin of Gargoyles to petrify (turn to stone), immobilizing them until night falls again.
  • Villains And Vigilantes
    • Adventure Organized Crimes. The supervillainess Black Empress takes double damage from light-based attacks.
    • Adventure Devil's Domain. The Pit Fiend takes triple normal damage from light based attacks, can be blinded by any light-producing attack on a special hit, and a blinding flash attack only requires one hit to blind it.
  • Arduin RPG, The Compleat Arduin Book 2: Resources
    • Nightmares can regenerate all damage they take at a rate of three Hit Points per melee round except that caused by light-based attacks. They can only regenerate light-based damage on the Ethereal Plane and only at a rate of one Hit Point per hour.
    • Banshees can't stand sunlight and flee from any kind of light produced by priest magic.
    • The Boogie Man undead can regenerate all types of damage except that caused by light-based attacks.
    • Shadows take double damage from all light-based attacks.
    • Direct sunlight hurts the eyes of Vampyres and can cause blindness. After 11-20 melee rounds of exposure the Vampyre will go into a coma. After several more minutes in the light the Vampyre will suffer Rapid Aging to its true age and will crumble into dust if it's older than its maximum lifespan.

    Video Games 
  • The Immortals from Boktai are all harmed by sunlight. You can harm and even kill enemies (and one boss) by luring them under skylights, and to kill immortals once and for all you have to use a machine that zaps them with amplified beams of light.
    • Of course, this creates a huge problem for you in the sequel when Django himself becomes a vampire. You still need sunlight to charge your MP, but the sun burns you if you stand in it to recharge.
  • 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.
    • Redeads, Stone Chus and Poes inThe Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker can be stunned with light. With the latter two, it's the only way to make them vulnerable to conventional attacks.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, our light is not only painful for Twili, but (at least in Midna's case, although she was cursed at the time) fatal.
    • Another example is in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: while you can defeat the skeleton minibosses normally, they'll just keep reviving over and over unless you shine sunlight on them while they're downed.
    • Playing the Sun's Song in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time near Redeads will stun them for a while and in Wind Waker, you can stun them for a few seconds by shining light on them with the mirror shield. Also, the Light Arrows make your bow the only weapon able to weaken Ganondorf (which is foreshadowed when you battle Phantom Ganon in the Forest Temple).
    • Even those games had it:
      Ganon: You dare bring light into my lair?! You must die!
  • 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 King's 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. At the end of the first game, Ansem is also defeated by the light of Kingdom Hearts pouring out of the Door to Darkness.
  • 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 Ōkami'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 II 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.
  • inFAMOUS 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. Luckily, though, he neglected to create a weakness to the newest element, which is then harnessed by the hero...the Element of Bacon.
  • 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 Hakuōki 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.
  • In Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf, you have a Puzzle Boss who runs away from spotlights. Curiously enough, he doesn't seem to have a problem with the sunlight when you meet him earlier in the game.
  • In the Fallout 3 DLC The Pitt, the Trogs are oversensitive to light, and Ashur's henchmen have installed floodlights in Uptown to keep them out. Wernher's solution to the quest line involves turning off the lights and turning the Trogs loose on the slavers.
    • Likewise, the Tunnelers from Fallout: New Vegas: Lonesome Road, who are an Underground Monkey Palette Swap of the Trogs, are similarly photophobic due to decades of living underground, thus Flashbangs and Flare Guns are very effective at repelling or frenzying them.
  • In the Kanegasaki Nightmare stage of Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes, Oichi is in a "Sleepless Hell" for most of the stage in which she has health regeneration as well as being tougher all around. By capturing the nearby bases the player can light some lanterns that severely weaken her. However, an in-game bonus objective is to beat her without lighting the lanterns.
  • Vampires in The Elder Scrolls series have a problem with sunlight. In Oblivion sunlight could kill them, the longer they went without drinking blood the more damage they took. Fast travelling in daylight could be lethal. In Skyrim sunlight stops vampires regenerating health, stamina and magicka, something most other race can normally do.
  • In Psychonauts, The Phantom/Jasper Rolls cannot stand the spotlight shining into his eyes due to the fact that as a Straw Critic, Jasper cannot stand any form of positivity and as such his boss fight involves triggering spotlights to hit him so that he's made vulnerable. In the ending of his stage, Jasper is unable to withstand Bonita's radiance and is left to shrink while screaming ineffectual insults, representing Gloria's positivity overcoming her self-hatred.
  • Implied with the final boss in Pinball Quest; hitting the candles around the chamber increases the damage you inflict.
  • Nosferatu The Wrath Of Malachi: All Vampires are hurt by sunlight. In fact, it's the only thing that can hurt the Count.
  • In MechWarrior Living Legends, "Extremity" takes place on an asteroid rapidly revolving in space near a star. When in the shade, battlemechs dissipate heat at an astonishing rate, allowing them to fire lasers almost endlessly. When the sun comes back up, temperatures skyrocket to dangerous levels, making laser-heavy mechs massive deathtraps because firing their weapons has a pretty good chance of causing their fusion reactor to explode.


    Web Original 
  • 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.
  • As DIO is still a vampire in Vaguely Recalling JoJo, he carries around an umbrella to protect himself from the sunlight.
  • In Brennus, the Dark's wraiths are weakenend by light.

    Western Animation 
  • In Xyber 9 New Dawn, The Machina can't handle sunlight due to the virus they're all infected with.
  • The Imperium in Justice League had no resistance to sunlight.
  • The Kanabo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward are weak against sunlight. Light is also Sh'Okanabo's weakness, as revealed in the penultimate episode "The Day of Awakening". Hence, why Sh'Okanabo wanted to block out the sun so it wouldn't interrupt his plans to cover the world with Kanabo drones again.
    Viral: Analysis indicates that the unique wavelength of this planet's solar radiation's focus through its unusually oxygenated atmosphere has a dire effect on the emerging symbiosis. In other words...
    Sh'Okanabo: All of my efforts have been in vain! The Kanabo cannot survive on Earth. (Angrily roars as he throws a temper tantrum and tosses everything around in his ship) This place could sustain us for centuries if not for its accursed sun... But perhaps... That obstacle can be eliminated. (laughs evilly)
  • Being a vampire, Marceline from Adventure Time can't be in sunlight without an umbrella or some kind of shade, or she'll burn and die.
  • The Powerpuff Girls episode "Boogie Frights" had the Boogie Man and his minions being allergic to the sun so they block it with a giant disco bulb, eventually once the girls destroy it the sunlight disintegrates them.
  • Zartan from G.I. Joe. The experiments done on him give him amazing powers, but a severe weakness to sunlight. Exactly how it works and what qualifies as enough sunlight seems to vary from episode to episode. Eventually, the writers got rid of it. In any case it was basically just a way to promote his toy, which changed color in sunlight.
  • Ben 10 introduces Ghostfreak, a subconscious alien that broke free from the Omnitrix with plans to take over. When Ben used his DNA, he had a sun-proof cloak that hide his true appearance, restricted his power, and protected him from sunlight (which could burn him to death). But when he went rogue, he got rid of the sun-cloak and went out his way to make the world filled with darkness.
  • The Nightbreed from Static Shock. Continuous exposure to light seems to leave them very weakened and feeling sick.
    • Ebon also counts, although he can come out in daylight and be just fine. Only a focused beam of light seems to weaken him.
  • Mumm-ra from ThunderCats (2011) has this as his Weaksauce Weakness, though interestingly enough his earlier counterpart didn't. (He was instead vulnerable to his own reflection.)
  • Alfred J. Kwak: Alfred manages to defeat the Evil Spirit of Darkness when he realizes that shining a bright light in the genie's face hurts it to the point that it would prefer going back inside the bottle. Alfred even removes his lamp for a few seconds just to annoy it, prompting a partial re-emergence by the genie, before forcing it into the bottle completely.

    Real Life 
  • 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.
  • Many geeks, introverts and other people who spend much of their time indoors tend to quip about the "evil daystar" on the occasions that they must go outside during the day.
    • Along with those people that work a graveyard shift.

Alternative Title(s):

Light Hurts Evil