Nivena on Apr 18th 2015 at 3:47:09 PM
Last Edited By:
WolfMattGrey on Sep 21st 2017 at 6:32:34 AM
Page Type: Trope
Walking isn't a silent action. It can be a loud, elephant-like sound or graceful steps. But people still make some noise when they walk. Except this character.
Meet the Noiseless Walker. For some reason, their steps are completely silent. They may have ninja-like skills, or something magical in their nature which negates the sound of walking. It may be used to show they're a badass for managing to move around without people noticing them, or to establish an alien or otherwordly nature because the absence of a natural sound often looks off.
Or perhaps they just use artificial means such as a noise-cancelling suit or spell. Such cases are likely to be temporary, unless moving silently is a character's whole shtick.
Anime and Manga
- Hunter × Hunter: When teamed with Killua, secondary character Melodynote (a very sensitive to sound Musical Hunter) asks if Killua is an assasin by trade, explaining that his footsteps are the quietest she's ever heard, barely audible at virtually no distance. The screen shows them jogging along a street flooding in the rain and Killua's steps don't make any splashes. Killua says it's become a habit.
- Lafitte in One Piece is incredibly stealthy depite wearing tapping shoes. He once infiltrated the high security Marine headquarters in the middle of a meeting, and wasn't noticed until he decided to speak.
- Played for Laughs in Asterix the Gaul with Cleopatra. She is always accompanied by a huge procession of servants and slaves, and carried from place to place on a golden throne, yet somehow she consistently manages to sneak up on people.
- In Beauty Will Tear Us Apart, Ditzy Doo can walk silently, by employing magic and paper bags to channel the sounds of her hooves into another dimension.
- Artemis Fowl: While moving through an underground fairy base, Butler is described as making only slightly more noise than a panther. Note that Butler is also described as a seven-foot-tall Husky Russkie with muscles like a Michelangelo statue.
- In The Belgariad, this is Hand Waved with a brief mention that Garion learns the trick of walking soundlessly through a forest full of twigs and leaf litter by watching his Loveable Rogue friend Silk.
- In Discworld, members of the Igor clan, the lab-technicians to mad Marsters and eager surgeons of last resort, have a nasty ability to move right behind you without you even noticing, and time this to just the moment the Marster summons them.
- Hobbits in the titular book and The Lord of the Rings pride themselves on being able to walk very quietly when they want to. Bilbo once sneaked up on trolls to steal a purse, and would have succeeded if the purse didn't squeak.
- In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the duffers warn Lucy that the magician who made them invisible walks about noiselessly.
Live Action Television
- Kung Fu: Shaolin Priests are trained to walk silently.
Master Kan: Your tread must be light and sure, as though your path were upon rice paper. It is said, a Shaolin priest can walk through walls. Looked for...he can not be seen. Listened for ... he can not be heard. Touched ... can not be felt. This rice paper is the test. Fragile as the wings of the dragon fly, clinging as the cocoon of the silk worm. When you can walk its length and leave no trace, you will have learned.
- The Seinfeld episode "The Merv Griffin Show" contains a subplot about Elaine's new coworker constantly sidling up to her and sidling up behind her taking credit for work she does, among other things, to which she and the others label him "The Sidler". She eventually fixes the problem by giving him a pack of Tic-Tacs to carry around with him, causing him to make a rattling sound when he walks through the office.
- Dungeons & Dragons justifies this for incorporeal creatures, who, lacking physical bodies, move in complete silence except when they choose to make noise.
- Thieves could do this using the Move Silently skill (incorporated into the rogues' Sneak skill in later editions). Boots of Elvenkind also allow this.
- One of the Dark Hunters, Silence, has the natural ability to create an energy field around himself that completely negates sound, allowing him to move silently. No wonder he was specialized in abducting anyone who could be a problem to the Dark Hunters.
- The Kanohi Volitak (Mask of Stealth) has this effect on its user, along with making them blend with the background.
- The Wrench Lurker tonic in Bioshock completely silences your footsteps, no matter whether you're walking, crouching or running full tilt. It also increases the wrench's damage to unaware targets.
- Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided can, as he grows accustomed to his augmentations, enable a noise-cancelling shock-absorbing ferrofluid liquid on demand while walking and running. According to the in-game advertisement, this means he, while pelting forward at full sprint, makes no more sound than 'A gentle breeze'. In terms of game mechanics, however, it completely nullifies the sound generated by these actions.
- The Muffle spell from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim reduces or completely silences the sound of your footsteps. Joining the Dark Brotherhood gets you a pair of boots enchanted with a permanent Muffle effect.
- In Suikoden II, you can have Richmond investigate Pesmerga. He says he finds it "a little spooky" that he can move around quietly with all that armor.
- Cats have padded paws that make their steps practically soundless. Many cat owners have experienced their cat doing a Stealth Hi/Bye.
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