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Anti-True Sight

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"Halflings of my village carry lead sheets to prove our manhood."

A way to counter True Sight is to be covered in material that cannot be penetrated by such vision. Other ways of achieving this include being in an area full of something that interferes with True Sight, or having an artifact that has the same effect. See also Anti-Magic.

Commonly it's lead for X-Ray Vision, much like in Real Life, though it can be Applied Phlebotinum in other cases.

Contrast Kryptonite-Proof Suit and See the Invisible. Compare No-Sell and Fantastic Radiation Shielding. See also Poke in the Third Eye, Psychic Block Defense, and Interface Screw.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Don't Meddle with My Daughter!: Blowjob's Invisible Scout Tank can turn invisible and even elude Eighth Wonder's x-ray vision.
  • Naruto: In the "Sasuke Retrieval" Arc, Sasuke is put inside a coffin that has some sort of magical barrier surrounding it. This barrier makes it difficult for Neji to see inside the coffin even with his Byakugan.
  • Psycho-Pass: Kirito Kamui is completely invisible to the Sibyl System. It's because he's a Mix-and-Match Man who has so many foreign organs implanted in him that the overload of clashing biometric data renders Sibyl unable to get any kind of read on him.
  • Space Adventure Cobra: Cobra's prosthetic left arm, which hides his deadly Psychogun, doesn't just look normal at casual glance. It contains highly sophisticated countermeasures that can fool even the advanced metal detectors and X-ray scanners equivalent of this Space Opera setting. Any such device will just show a perfectly normal bone-and-flesh arm upon scanning, allowing Cobra to come and go undetected even in highly secured areas.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman:
    • Superman and Supergirl cannot use their X-Ray Vision to see through objects covered in lead or sufficiently dense materials.
    • In "The Phantom Superboy", the Boy of Steel finds an unbreakable alien box, a mysterious "Do not open" message engraved on its front side. However, Superboy cannot look inside the box to see what it contains because it is lead-lined, so he decides to take the box to a secluded spot to open it safety.
    • In Superman (1987) #9, Superman actually makes this work to his advantage when facing the Joker. Joker claims to Superman that he has imprisoned a number of hostages in lead-lined coffins in various locations throughout Metropolis, anticipating that the superhero will have to spend at least a day frantically looking for them while Joker flees the city with the hostages. It turns out that all Superman has to do is a wide X-ray vision scan above the city from the air and the coffins instantly stand out as opaque objects to him. Thus, Supes is able to check the coffins quickly and has plenty of time to track down the Joker. Then Superman lampshades how the Joker is guilty of a common misconception that just because Superman can't see through lead, it means he can't see lead. More than one criminal makes the same mistake of lining a warehouse in lead, which might as well be putting up a neon sign that something shady is going on.
    • In Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, Lex Luthor's giant mecha has a lead shield to protect itself from Superman's X-Ray Vision.
    • When Lex Luthor becomes President, he somehow manages to get the White House repainted with white lead, despite lead-based paint being banned since 1977.
    • In Supergirl (1972) #4, a gang boss wears a lead helmet to hide his real identity from Supergirl.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Dr. Emil Hamilton found a way to circumvent the auto-tracking system that monitored each vehicle on Gotham and make the Luthor's limo disappear from Batgirl's "vehicular grid". Batgirl worked around it by setting the system to visual scan and deleting anything with a working auto-trace. Her target was the one left.
    • In the Way of the World arc, Supergirl breaks into a federal detention center and makes off with an inmate who might help her save an ill boy. As they were standing in a secret lab, she lined the ceiling with lead sheets so Superman would not find them too soon.
    • In Supergirl (2005) #23, someone has sent a sound-proofed, lead-lined gift box to Kara. Since her Super-Senses cannot scan it, she opens it. It was actually a test by Batman, who calls her and admonishes her for opening it.
    • In Bizarrogirl, it's revealed Kara installed mass-loaded vinyl throughout the walls of her room to block the city's noises.
    • Superwoman's cowl and suit are impervious to both Kryptonian X-Ray and microscopic visions. In Who is Superwoman? it's revealed it's because the discs attached to her costume emit some kind of disruptive force field.
    • The Strange Revenge of Lena Luthor: Before engaging Supergirl, Blackrock takes the precaution of lead-lining his mask to protect his real identity.
      Blackrock: I suppose you also know who I really am—?
      Supergirl: No— Your lead-lined mask has seen to that! You could be anyone!
    • In Legion of Super-Heroes story The Great Darkness Saga, not even Ultra Boy's super-vision can pierce through the darkness Darkseid enshrouds himself with.
    • The Condemned Legionnaires: Since her X-Ray Vision cannot see through Satan Girl's cowl, Supergirl reasons her mask is lead-lined.
    • DC Retroactive Superman: In "The 70s" issue, Superman is accosted by someone who looks like Atomic Skull but does not sound like him. Superman tries and fails to see through his helmet, meaning his foe indeed is trying to hide his identity by lining his headgear with lead.
    • Superman and Spider-Man: So that Superman cannot find his underground installations built around the globe, Doctor Doom invented an invisibility screen to foil his X-Ray Vision. Even if Superman looked underneath the construction sites' he would only see earth and rock.
    • In Superman/Masters of the Universe crossover "From Eternia— With Death!", Superman finds a strange storm cloud appearing suddenly over Metropolis. He guesses that it cannot be a natural weather-pattern and is proved right when his X-Ray Vision fails to pierce through the cloud's outer layers.
    • "The Super-Steed of Steel": When Supergirl decides to scan the inside of an invading spaceship before engaging, she finds out she cannot through the hull. Kara guesses the aliens prepared themselves for bumping into her or her cousin and lined their spherical spacecraft with lead.
    • "The Unknown Legionnaire": Played with. Superboy cannot see through Unknown Boy's eyeless lead mask to figure his identity out, and he cannot find Eldor because he is hidding in lead-rich subterranean caves. However, Supergirl can both see through her helmet and through the lead rocks because her powers have been altered due to Red Kryptonite exposure.
  • Secret Wars (1984) has most of Earth's mightiest heroes transported to an alien battleworld. Another transport holds many of Earth's most dangerous villains. Professor X tries using his psychic powers to identify which villains are aboard, but Enchantress mystically shields her party from Professor X's psychic powers. This sort of thing happens to the X-Men a lot since a large number of members have psychic powers. Usually, a villain will bring along some sort of device or magic to shield them from their telepathy. It's hard to Take Over the World when Charles, Jean, Emma, or Betsy can instantly sense you and shut you down the moment you get within range.
  • In The Mighty Thor, the wedding dress of Heimdall's wife, Siri, is the only thing his near omniscient Super-Senses can't see through.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, Haazen wears a Sith artifact called the Yoke of Seeming, which alters the flow of the Force around him. Jedi who try to sense his intentions will perceive whatever he wants them to perceive and nothing else, leaving them oblivious to his true, evil nature.
  • Spider-Man has spider-sense, which warns him of danger slightly before it happens. One of his nemeses Venom is immune to spider-sense (due to his powers being inherited from Spidey), as are other villains who inherit their powers from Venom.

    Fan Works 
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, against Moody's all-seeing Eye of Vance, Harry asks Flitwick for a charm to summon a large number of brightly colored ethereal objects, then make them invisible. It works.
  • A major part of The Keys Stand Alone. After the four return to C'hou, Ringo quickly discovers that quite a lot of things, and most people, are masked and completely invisible to his mindsight. Worse, when he enters a masked area, his mindsight is cut off completely, which causes him great distress because he's become addicted to it. To add insult to injury, even the weakest scryers can get flashes through masks, but he can't.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl story The Vampire of Steel, Zol-Am manages to avoid being detected by Supergirl's X-Ray Vision thanks to a lead-lined coffin. He remarks how convenient it is.
    But not tonight. That would be excessive. Besides, he had much more to learn. But that was all right. He was a fast learner.
    Such as: how convenient it was that Terrans sold coffins with lead lining in them.
    How convenient, indeed.
  • In Equestria Divided, Rarity can No-Sell Applejack's True Sight powers.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Predator:
    • In Predator, Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer camouflages himself (the first time by accident) from the titular creature by covering his body in mud. The cool mud blocks the heat his skin radiates, thus making him seem invisible to the predator's thermo cam.
    • In Predator 2, DEA uses actual heat-blocking suits, though in the end, the predator's True Sight is revealed to be a little bit "too true" for the good of the agents, since it has a whole lot of vision modes to choose from besides infrared.
  • In After Earth the alien monsters can detect humans by smelling the pheromones released by fear. Ghosting is a technique in which the subject feels no fear and becomes invisible to the monster.
  • Apparently, a number of beings can hid themselves from/using the force in the Star Wars universe. Force stealth Jensaarai.
  • Superman: The Movie: Lex uses it to his advantage, tricking Superman into thinking that there's something important encased in a lead lined box. There is: Kyptonite. And since Supes has never seen or felt it before, he stumbles back instead of closing the box, allowing Luthor to take the stone out of the box and attach it to him.

  • According to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the True Cloak of Invisibility is this, providing an impenetrable defense against searches. However, this is inconsistent with earlier books, in which Dumbledore and Moody each, using different means, saw Harry while he was wearing it.
  • In The Saga of the Noble Dead, Welstiel has a magical "ring of nothing" that shields him from all forms of magical inquiry and detection.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth, there is a brief suggestion that objects or areas could be "shrouded" so a palantír could not be used to spy on them.
  • In Song of the Lioness, a strong magic Gift acts as a shield against the Sight, which obscures many things about Alanna (like her real gender) from George Cooper. This seems to be a case of Early-Installment Weirdness, because their daughter's Sight allows her to see a lot of things about people with the Gift; that, or the Gift-Sight genes interacted weirdly.
  • In Mistborn, metal is this for the gods Ruin and Preservation. They see all and hear all, except for what is written on metal, and Ruin also can't read minds (Preservation can, but he can't speak to people mentally like Ruin can). Ruin also can't change anything engraved in metal, like he can for any other form of writing. After Vin obtains Preservation's power, it's shown that metal objects shine with a brilliant light to her divine senses, making them impossible to identify.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Smallville, lead can be used to block kryptonite's effect on Clark. It can also be used to counter his x-ray vision.
  • In Supernatural, angel warding can be drawn to keep angels from being able to see or hear what's going on in a specific location or from being able to enter that location. Demons use it to protect their safe houses from angelic interference. The Winchesters rarely use it because it blocks all angels, including their ally, Castiel, but they have had to use it a few times when they suspect that Castiel has gone rogue or is being controlled.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Most detection spells are blocked by a thin sheet of lead. In some editions, gorgon's blood has a similar effect.
    • A Ring of X-Ray Vision allows the wearer to see through varying thicknesses of most substances, but the user's view is blocked by lead, gold and platinum.
    • A variety of spells interfere with Aura Vision. Nondetection masks your signal, while magic aura creates fake ones, allowing for a Needle in a Stack of Needles situation. Both of these have a chance of failure, however, depending on how strong the person reading the auras is.
    • From the Eberron setting, the spell cloak of Khyber enhances magical disguises that have been in effect for at least 6 hours, allowing them to fool true seeing.
    • The sequester spell makes an item (or a creature that is put in stasis) invisible and prevents any divination spell from locating or detecting it. Most forms of see invisibility or true seeing are divination spells, thus blocking them also.
    • The spell superior invisibility includes a number of bonus features that normal invisibility magic doesn't have, being able to fool multiple senses and even protect against creaky floors or bags of flour thrown at the user. Among these, it is capable of blocking the basic see invisibility and invisibility purge spells, but not the stronger true seeing.
    • A popular trick in Edition 3.5 is to use the metamagic feat "Invisible Spell" to make the effects of a fog cloud or similar spell invisible. Thus, creatures that can't See the Invisible are unaffected, but those that can now have their vision impaired.
    • In addition to making its target Immune to Mind Control, the mind blank spell makes its recipient completely undetectable by any form of divination magic, even the wish spell.
  • In Champions, X-Ray vision was blocked by lead. The more general N-Ray vision had to be defined as having a specific substance that blocked it. In 6th Edition a Sense with Penetrative works the same way.
  • Shadowrun: It is possible to create barriers that block out Astral Viewing and other magical means of searching, on top of alloys existing that block X-Ray and magnetic scans.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • Among psykers, those who are sufficiently powerful or specialized in divination or detection are able to detect events or other living beings. However, Blanks are humans that give off a null "aura" that cancel out psychic powers, and clever individuals have used it to render themselves invisible to psychic detection. Oddly enough, Blanks' nastier cousin, the Pariah is described as not unlike a person-shaped psychic black hole, rendering them fairly visible in that regard.
    • The Exorcists chapter of Space Marines are an offshoot of the Grey Knights (an all-psyker Chapter specialized in killing daemons) who undergo daemonic possession as part of their initiation. Despite the doomed-to-failure-sounding nature of the setup, it actually works (it helps that they take very stringent security measures, only seek very minor Warp entities with which to possess the initiate, and exorcize the initiate after a few hours) and results in anti-Chaos warriors who can only be detected by the most powerful daemons.
  • Ars Magica: Demonic deceptions, including illusions and shapeshifting, can't be detected by True Sight or any other conventional magic. As beings of pure evil, the concept of Truth is completely alien to them and can't be imposed on them.
  • Demon: The Descent: Coming with their specialty as spies, Demons have the ability to "Spoof" powers meant to detect their supernatural nature, using their Cover to be registered as regular humans.


    Video Games 
  • Metroid Prime: Samus' Thermal Visor works poorly in superheated areas. Also, Thardus can summon a dense snowstorm to flood the arena to shroud himself from Samus, coupled with the innate ability of his Phazon ore to overload Samus' Thermal Visor when exposed.
  • Batman: Arkham City: Late-game enemy encounters and high-difficulty challenge rooms will occasionally have one or more foes amongst the pack carrying jammer systems that block Batman's "Detective Mode" vision.
  • Dota 2:
    • Slark's Shadow Dance is immune to true sight unlike every other ability that grants invisibility. Invisibility from the item Smoke of Deceit is likewise immune to true sight.
    • Aghanim's Scepter-upgraded Minefield Sign will prevent any mines under it from being detected by any form of True Sight. Additionally, Proximity Mines cannot be seen by True Sight, but do become visible when standing in the blast radius.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Oberon has a mysterious skill that, thanks to his incompatibility with Merlin, makes him completely undetectable by Merlin's Clairvoyance. Its true name is Anti-Humanity, and Oberon Vortigern deliberately tuned it to hide himself from Merlin so he couldn't be found out before it was too late.
  • In League of Legends, Akali was heavily advertised with this power for her 2018 gameplay relaunch, with her "Twilight Shroud" giving her the most powerful form of stealth in the game, completely concealing her even from any form of true vision, including enemy towers. The significance of this is that towers, with their high damage, always-accurate laser attacks, are designed entirely around controlling portions of the map and protecting teams within their domain, and thus have universal True Sight to make them universal deterrents — Akali bypassing this trait made it nearly impossible for anyone to ever remain safe from her tower-dives. This was eventually deemed as too extreme and was patched out after half a year, presently meaning this ability no longer counts.
  • Starcraft: The Medic's Optical Flare ability reduces a unit's sight range down to near-zero, and if used on a detector unit, prevents them from seeing invisible units.

  • In the Superhero arc of Arthur, King of Time and Space, a gang of crooks paint their HQ with lead paint, seal the doors with lead and so on, and then realise all Kingman has to do is look for a building he can't see through that wasn't like that the day before, just as he crashes through the wall.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Belkar carries around a sheet of lead just in case someone tries to use Detect Evil on him. The sheet is later appropriated by Niu, who uses it against Detect Good.
    • Girard's Gate also turns out to be hidden behind a lead-lined stone wall. It completely fools the Linear Guild (mostly because of Nale's impatience).
  • In Our Little Adventure: Brian Souballo invokes this, creating an enhanced Disguise Self spell that's undetectable to True Seeingnote  so he can frame an enemy for a massacre. Discussed at the ensuing trial, where the judge admits that they didn't know such a spell existed but that it's an entirely feasible feat for an Epic-level wizard.

    Western Animation 
  • Superman: The Animated Series:
    • In "My Girl", an arms dealer puts Lana Lang in a Death Trap inside an old processing plant with lead residue coating the walls. However, he takes time to gloat, and Superman hears him just fine.
    • In World's Finest, Superman mentions to Batman that Lex uses lead in his buildings' walls to ward off his X-Ray vision. This ends up working to Superman's advantage later on. Joker sics a robot on them with kryptonite strapped to it, so Superman rips off one of the walls and slams it into the robot, since the lead also blocks kryptonite radiation.

    Real Life 
  • Stealth technology sometimes involves material that absorbs radar to prevent detection. Other times it involved reflecting it at weird angles so the receiver never gets the echo.
  • One of German Intelligence's few successes during the last war was to get the British to believe a rumor that U-Boats were routinely finished in a paint rendering that baffled both acoustic and radar detection, thus making their submarines harder to find when submerged. This was principally spread to additionally demoralize British sailors who suspected they were losing the war at sea. In reality, Germany had no such paint, but the Admiralty took the story so seriously that it tied up British naval research establishments in attempting to replicate this miracle paint so as to reproduce it on British submarines. However, spurred on to meet a threat which in reality did not exist, the Royal Navy had limited success during the war using surface coatings that dampened and dispersed German sonar detection (but not to the point where HM Submarines effectively became "invisible" — nowhere near, but it was a start). A German deception contributed to the actual creation of something that was originally intended only to be a a propaganda fable. It is possible this wartime research paved the way for more sophisticated post-war developments, that eventually found fruition in the latest-generation American stealth planes.