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Invisibility Cloak

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"Cellophane, Mister Cellophane,
Shoulda been my name, Mister Cellophane
'Cause you can look right through me,
Walk right by me,
And never know I'm there!"
Amos Hart, Chicago

An invisibility cloak is a specific type of Applied Phlebotinum. It is worn on the body and renders the wearer invisible. It does not have to be an actual cloak and can be anything from a bodysuit to a ring. It can be magical, or it can be technological (in which case it may be referred to as a "cloaking device"), where the latter goes from a rather mundane suit whose colors change according to the environment, to a high-tech diffractive field that bends light.

A problem only occasionally brought up with these is that if the wearer's eyes are invisible, his retinas are also, and he should therefore be rendered blind. If it is a magical cloak, though, it can be explained away as being some kind of enchantment that lets you see.

When it is used in video games as active camouflage, you can sometimes see people cloaking this way as the light refracting around the character or monster's general shape.

Invisibility cloaks do exist, if only as radar and infrared stealth technology for planes. Experimental invisibility cloaks for humans also exist, while bigger stuff is in the concept stage. Except those are cloaking devices for vehicles, not personal invisibility devices.

Greek Mythology examples make this Older Than Feudalism.

Having said that, the Invisibility Cloak is a major tactical weapon in advanced societies that have abandoned radar-guided and heat-seeking weaponry, or at least when dealing with enemies who are using the Mark One Eyeball most of the time; for example, most soldiers only switch to thermal goggles in low-light conditions, making a device to turn invisible very useful for moving around unseen in the daytime.

Compare Invisibility, where this is an ability instead of an equipment or Invisibility Ink, which is far less permanent. Stealth in Space is this trope applied to spacecraft. Watch out for Invisibility Flicker, though.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Lucy from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners uses the Optical Camo cyberware to turn invisible while pickpocketing eddies and data shards from people with ties to Arasaka. Doubles with Visible Invisibility, as her hair is shown as she’s moving. Her hair is also the first thing David notices from her while going to Arasaka Academy and later when he’s on the subway.
  • Doraemon: Some of Doraemon's pocket gadgets are capable of invisibility. Fujiko F. Fujio was mindful of why true invisibility and vision didn't mix, and so the ones that can be applied to humans mostly work on perception filters.
  • Full Metal Panic!: ECS mode for 3rd generation Arm Slaves, based on an array of rapidly oscillating lasers. Tessa's M6A1 also has ECS despite being 2nd-gen. The first models only shield against infrared, but the newest stuff works against optics as well — with the trade-off of having a strong ozone smell, attracting birds, and freaking out dogs. ECCS sensors can see through the camouflage, and light rain makes it completely useless. It's implied that ECS draws lots of power since every time we see it in use, the Arm Slave in question is either sneaking or standing still (which is a bit strange, seeing that 3rd-gen AS units have cold fusion reactors with nearly three times higher wattage than their 2nd-gen cousins, yet both carry ECS). However, Mao moves at a pretty good clip in the Behemoth story arc even in ECS mode, trashing roadsigns and even "helping" Souske and Weber get their truck through a roadblock.
  • In Gantz, the hunters get controllers with the ability to turn their user invisible by "changing their frequency". Those who are also invisible and thus on the same frequency can see each other.
  • GaoGaiGar: Volfogg has his built-in Holographic Camouflage, which appears to render him visually invisible as he blankets the immediate area with other forms of sensor jamming (it's depicted as both bending light and projecting a false image). The only time it's 'broken' is when he either attacks something or that one time the Zondar turned out to have the ability to dive between dimensions, as he's careful to account for environmental effects. There's an external box version of it, but it's still only Volfogg whoever uses it — and is presumably the only one who's designed to.
  • Ghost in the Shell:
    • Public Security Section 9 and a few baddies make frequent use of "thermoptic camouflage", which renders the wearer more or less invisible in both visible-light and infrared. In Ghost in the Shell (1995), Major Kusanagi wears a skin-tight semi-transparent thermoptic suit; in the various TV series, Section 9's combat uniforms are thermoptic-equipped. The manga and the film show the characters wearing special devices to be able to see while being invisible. However, in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, they are absent. In the manga, the camo can be disrupted by dust and rain.
    • The Rangers (who are chasing S9 characters at the time) and Batou (an ex-Ranger) have eye implants designed specifically to work with thermoptic camo. This still doesn't explain how the others were able to see — perhaps we are meant to assume that most of Section 9 have these implants.
    • The Umibozu commandos in the first season of Stand Alone Complex also have thermoptic camo as well when they're ordered to hunt down the S9 operators. The camo also seems to work better in the anime, even keeping the characters invisible in the snow in one episode (without leaving footprints or getting visible snow to settle on them).
    • Having said that, the PS2 game establishes that thermoptic camo doesn't work in areas with high humidity and attempting to use it will cause the user to appear like a multihued silhouette.
  • During the Hunter exams of Hunter × Hunter, a minor character (a ninja) captures a giant pig by putting a rock under a camouflage cloak to get it to run into.
  • Subverted in Last Fantasy, as the invisible armor is invisible but does not do the same for the one wearing it. Needless to say, the armor is lost very quickly.
  • Otto's Stealth Jacket in Lyrical Nanoha works more like Real Life stealth technology, rendering the user invisible to regular search magic and technology. However, as Shamal demonstrated with Klarwind's more advanced sensors, it's far from infallible.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE has a near-perfect stealth system used by Vagan for their warships and space stations, though apparently the power requirements are such that Mobile Suits cannot mount it. They also appear to be unable to attack when it's active. The Bisidian pirates managed to steal one for their own ship. SID, guardian of the EXA-DB, has a more advanced version that can be mounted on a smaller frame.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Mirage Colloid for Gundams, ships, and mini-Death Stars.
  • Kaede from Negima! Magister Negi Magi gets one of these as her magical artifact. It's different from most of the other examples on the page in that rather than making the person merely invisible, it consumes them and then turns invisible. Inside is an entire house. Also, Natsumi's artifact makes her and anyone holding her hand completely unnoticeable.
  • In One Piece, the Raid Suit given to Sanji by his Germa 66 family gives him the unique ability to become invisible, (which, ironically, was an ability he always wanted). Naturally, he takes advantage of this to peek in ladies' washrooms. However, once the suit's side effects awaken his dormant genetic enhancements, he decided the suit was not worth becoming emotionless like his brothers and destroyed it.
  • In Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, Hunter J flies around Sinnoh in an airship with a cloaking device.
  • Rebuild World:
  • Sgt. Frog: The Anti-Barrier, or the system the Keronians use to become invisible to anyone other than a select few, like the Hinatas. It's explained that very curious people (like the mangakas in the deadline arc, and the Hinatas early on) can see straight through it, but then it says this is how Natsumi and Fuyuki saw the Sergeant to begin with... yet Keroro had forgotten about the anti-barrier at that point. Someone slipped, or maybe Keroro's just a moron. (Hint: The latter.)
  • Sword Art Online: Death Gun uses a special mantle that has the "Metamaterial Optical Camouflage" ability, rendering him invisible to both the naked eye and satellite scans. This also allows him to spy on his victims unnoticed in order to find out their personal info so as to know where to strike to kill them in the real world.
  • In The Vision of Escaflowne, Zaibach Guymelefs have stealth cloaks.
  • Helcats in the Zoids anime have optical camouflage, though later on, this is applied to just about anything... including factories.
  • In World Trigger, there are two types of Optional Triggers that provide stealth for their users.
    • The Chameleon provides full body invisibility for a short amount of time at the expense of preventing the user from using any other Triggers, offensive weapons included, while Chameleon is turned on. Notable users: A03 Kazama Squad, and B011 Katori Squad.
    • The Bagworm is a cape that prevents operators from identifying the wearer and agents on the field from seeing the wearer on radar. The downside is that it eats away the wearer’s Trion for as long as the cloak is worn. The Bagworm Tag is a low Trion-consumption version of this Trigger designed for the agents in need for prolonged stealth on the field, but it prevents users from equipping other Triggers into the column it is equipped to. Notable users: A02 Shinji Fuyushima, and A08 Asumi Amakura.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: Doctor H. invents one in Season 2 episode 15 (which is literally titled "The Invisibility Cloak"). Big M. tries to steal it, only to get Sweet S.'s pajamas instead.

    Comic Books 
  • The Scarlet Phantom, who was featured in an issue of All-New Comics, has a "phantom cloak" which turns him invisible.
  • In Asterix, a spy is sent to observe a palace construction in Egypt. He blends into the background terrain and also takes the form of building blocks to hide. Naturally, he's added to the construction.
  • Solar, who was featured in Captain Aero Comics, has a "Cape of Mystery" which renders him invisible.
  • Full-body "lightbender" suits are used fairly often in Casanova.
  • Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith: A literal version when Vader skins a creature that has the natural ability to camouflage itself. Rather than hiding, however, he openly displays himself wearing it to the bounty hunters pursuing him as a non-verbal Badass Boast (the creature is the apex predator of the planet they are on). A couple of his hunters have extra-sensitive hearing and can always pick up Vader's breathing apparatus, but Vader finds ways around that as well.
  • Minor hero the Invisible Hood (a.k.a. Hooded Justice a.k.a. Invisible Justice) in The DCU (and originally from Quality Comics) wears a chemically treated hood and robe which allow him to become invisible.
  • Ghost, an Iron Man villain, has an armor suit which allows him to become invisible and intangible.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • Technology allows assassins to cloak themselves completely, although they're still visible on infrared.
    • Judge Dredd once runs into a Predator who is hunting for Judges in Mega-City One and frequently uses its invisibility tech to escape.
    • In one story, someone digs up a highly advanced weaponized wristband from the future, one of the features allowing the wearer to become invisible even to infrared.
  • In Loki: Agent of Asgard, Loki owns a magical cloak of invisibility. They also borrow (steal) an invisibility pendant (magical) from Lorelei and an invisibility belt (technological) from Sigurd. All these together are enough invisibility to hide them even from Mephisto.
  • The various versions of Phantom Lady typically have technology which allows Phantom Lady to turn invisible and intangible.
  • Mysta of the Moon, who was featured in Planet Comics, has an invisibility cloak.
  • Detective Jim Brant, from Popular Comics, has an invisibility suit which allows him to fight crime.
  • The Private Eye: P.I. himself wears a "Dreamcoat" hoodie, which projects opposite surfaces onto its faces to give him the appearence of transparency. Notably, it doesn't include his face or his pants.
  • Buzz Allen, from Superworld Comics, has a belt which turns him invisible.
  • Ultimate Marvel: Nick Fury has one, but it is very expensive to use for more than just some seconds.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet is one of the more famous non-man-portable examples.
    • In Wonder Woman (1942), the Saturnians have full-body costumes which allow them to remain invisible on the light spectrum so long as they are in range of their "Invisibility Ray Generator".
  • Echo, from Yankee Comics, has an invisibility belt.

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin uses the technological version twice on his trademark box in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series.
  • A team of mercenaries in Fair Vote have the technological variant, surprisingly in a universe where magic-users are Walking Techbanes.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon's greatcoat, skinsuit, PDA, and weaponry combine to give him one of these.
  • My Immortal gives us the most useless and self-contradictory invisibility cloak ever. People can see it when it's in use. But they can't immediately deduce that this means there's someone using it. But if you send a cat under it to check, you can tell when the cat nods to confirm. This may or may not be explained by the fact that the author persistently misspells it as "invincibility coke".
  • In Renegade, invisibility technology is used by Tali to sneak into an enemy base.
  • Subverted in Rocketship Voyager. The Caretaker shows off a cloaking device in his archive but points out that it's useless for any practical purpose or scientific study as no eyesight or instrument can see in or out of it once activated.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier in The Avengers (2012) has panels on its underbelly which display the sky above the ship, rendering it invisible to ground observation.
  • Die Another Day somewhat infamously has a car which uses miniature cameras on one end wired to transmission screens on the other, much like existing technology. "Aston Martin call it the Vanquish, we call it... the Vanish."
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: Kira's necklace can turn her invisible. This lets her defeat Safina.
  • The Tarnhelm from Norse Mythology is parodied in Erik the Viking, with Aud's invisibility cloak only working on King Arnulf. Erik pulls off a "now you see me, now you you don't see me" scene on the villain's ship. The priest cannot see it, just as he cannot see the Dragon of the North Sea or the gates of Asgard.
  • The Invisible Man (2020): This is the method used by the titular character to become invisible rather than a serum, specifically being a full-body suit fitted with hundreds of tiny reflective cameras which see and perfectly copy what is in front of and behind the wearer.
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol has Ethan and Benji hiding themselves from a guard by hiding below a screen that projects an empty corridor atop them. It even adjusts itself to align with the guard's eyeline, though once more than one person is there to deceive, the machine stops working correctly.
  • One of the spy gadgets developed by Dr. Honeydew and Beaker in Muppets from Space is invisibility spray. Unfortunately, it comes off when Fozzie washes his hands.
  • In the film serial The Phantom Creeps, Dr. Zorka has several futuristic devices, including an invisibility belt.
  • In The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul's ship has a cloaking device.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: I Love Wolffy 2: Wolffy and Wilie use an invisibility cloak to run away from the Commander's assistants without being seen. It doesn't work, as the Commander and his assistants are able to find them about a minute later.
  • In the Predator series, the titular monsters use advanced technology which renders them practically invisible. It's their main defense against their prey.
  • In Santa Claus (1959), Merlin gives Santa a flower which can turn him invisible.
  • The Smurf Village in The Smurfs has a magic field that renders the village invisible to anyone outside the field... most likely to those who aren't Smurfs.
  • Spawn (1997): Spawn's red cape is shown being capable of rendering him invisible. He then makes the mistake of turning it off while the cops are still looking for him, so recommence gunfight.
  • As with the various Star Trek TV shows, cloaking technology plays a key role in several of the movies.
    • In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the cloaking devices allow Klingon villains to stalk Starfleet ships and take them by surprise. In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the heroes instead use the cloaking device from a stolen Klingon ship to conceal themselves while visiting 20th-century San Francisco. The cloaked Klingon warship in The Final Frontier also ends up saving the day when Spock convinces the Klingons to help Kirk defeat "God".
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country features a Klingon warship which can attack while cloaked, up until then a technological impossibility. Early on, the cloaked ship falsely implicates the Enterprise in an attack on the Klingon Chancellor's flagship; during the climax, the starships Enterprise and Excelsior team up to hunt down and destroy the ship as it sneaks about taking shots at both ships.
    • Star Trek: Nemesis features another new development of the cloaking device, with Praetor Shinzon's Reman warbird Scimitar being able to not only fire her weapons while cloaked but also maintain her shields as well. His ship wrecks the Enterprise and makes short work of two Romulan warbirds that join the fight against Shinzon.
  • The Thief of Bagdad (1924) features one of these, which is a literal cloak.

  • Elven warriors from the Fighting Fantasy series of books are often depicted as having invisible elven cloaks as part of their arsenal, which gives them a SKILL boost if fought in combat. One of them, Elranel the Elven Thief from Legend of Zagor, shows up as an optional opponent; if he's defeated (in a lengthy and arduous combat due to his already high SKILL stat) you're given an option to keep his cloak, but will need to abandon your armour — the cloak doesn't work when draped over metal.

  • In Artemis Fowl, Foaly creates an invention called Cam Foil to make the wearer of it invisible. Since it is technological rather than magic, it's prone to problems such as shorting out in rain and not being invisible to cameras. Also, the circuitry can be easily crushed, and the wearer appears as a slight haze, so is still noticeable.
  • In the Captain Future reconstruction novel Avengers of the Moon, our hero uses a man-portable version of his spaceship's fantome generator to infiltrate the moon habitat of a high-ranking politician. Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs as he has to consider such problems as power supply (only ten minutes using his batteries), being able to navigate when you can't see, and how to hide his footprints. The solution they come up with is for Captain Future to walk in behind, and holding onto, his Robot Buddy Grag, who pretends to be a simple maintenance robot. Later Captain Future uses the fantome generator in a shootout by switching it on, moving his position and aiming his weapon at where he can hear the enemy is (sound can still travel through the field) then turning it off again, giving himself a momentary advantage over his opponents.
  • In Chronicles of Chaos, the characters obtain the Ring of Gyges (see The Republic below) from the horse-shaped tomb of Gyges. It can hide the wearer from normal and paranormal sense impressions selectively. Colin Mac FirBolg does his best sniveling Gollum impersonation before donning it.
    Amelia warns him that what it really creates is a moral compulsion to not notice the bearer, which means it may not work on the innocent, such as children.
  • The Crimson Shadow: Luthien gets one, though it leaves behind a crimson silhouette wherever he was when wearing it, the source of the name "the Crimson Shadow".
  • In The Death Gate Cycle, the Secret Police of the Arianus elves are known as the Unseen because they wear special outfits that blend in with whatever they are adjacent to. While not truly invisible, someone wearing one is very difficult for even a trained observer to see if they move slowly.
  • In Drake Maijstral, the darksuit — which is the preferred working wear for Allowed Burglars — has a wide variety of stealth technologies built into it. However, as the name suggests, it's mainly useful at night. A blurry cloud of holographic darkness entering a window in broad daylight is likely to attract attention.
  • The Ganymede Takeover: A soldier of La Résistance uses an illusion machine to turn himself invisible. Unfortunately on turning it off again, he insists that I Can't See Myself, even though everyone else can see him. It's a result of the psychological effects of the illusion machines, which send the users crazy.
  • Goblins in the Castle: Granny Pinchbottom gives one to William, which only works when the hood is raised.
  • Gor:
    • In Tribesmen of Gor, we learn that the Kurii have developed a ring which makes the bearer invisible, by refracting light around the user.
    • The plot of Explorers of Gor is driven by attempts to recover the ring and plant a booby-trapped fake on the other side.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry inherits a cloak from his father which makes everything beneath it invisible. Recreated beautifully on film, too. This cloak is the Trope Namer. As it turns out, the cloak is one of the three Deathly Hallows. Other cloaks, such as ones woven from Demiguise fur, decay over time and are affected by outside spells, but the Hallow cloak is just as able to keep its wearer invisible as it was when it was first made and does not budge for one moment when a Death Eater attempts to Summon it off of Harry.
    • The power of invisibility was also applied to The Invisible Book of Invisibility. The copies are still missing.
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has Headless Hats, which make only the wearer's head invisible.
  • Incarnations of Immortality: In Under a Velvet Cloak, Karena finds from Morgan Le Fay that the velvet cloak has magical properties. Morgan teaches Karena how to use the invisibility, phase through the ground, protect the wearer from attack, and finally the spell Karena wanted — "Locate a person", to find her lost lover. Later in the story, Karena finds the most important quality of the cloak: the cloak is not magical — Karena did this all with her innate magical abilities.
  • Laszlo Hadron and the Wargod's Tomb: Isis Lagato uses a stealthsuit to infiltrate Sel'Akis.
  • Swim Swim's group in Magical Girl Raising Project purchases an Invisibility Cloak that perfectly hides the user visually, though it won't protect her from magical skills. Her group uses it for multiple sneak kills, though it proves worthless against Snow White's Psychic Radar and Cranberry's enhanced hearing.
  • The Morrors wear these in Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall.
  • In Astrid Lindgren's Mio, My Mio, Mio gets his cape mended by the seamstress. She mends it with fabric that turns Mio invisible when he wears the cape inside out.
  • In Morris' Disappearing Bag by Rosemary Wells, the eponymous bag is effectively an Invisibility Cloak. Young Morris hides in it, to the envy of his older brother and sisters who won't let him use their toys. The bag itself is invisible all the time, leading to one of Morris' sisters saying "I hope you remember where you put the bag".
  • In Murderess, Lu and Hallwad use an invisibility potion to look for Aucasis in the Dark Ones’ tunnels without being detected.
  • Myth Adventures: Parodied in Myth Conceptions with the low-end-knockoff version, an invisibility sheet. Made of semi-stiff plastic, it can render someone who carries it invisible from observers on one side and can be rolled up for storage.
  • Neuromancer has Molly donning a "mimetic polycarbon" bodysuit, which changes pattern to match the surroundings, in order to infiltrate the Sense/Net headquarters.
  • The Neverending Story: The Belt Ghemmal that Xayide gives to Bastian, is made of glass and makes the wearer invisible. Bastian was disconcerted the first time he wore it as he couldn't even see himself, so he couldn't take it off without Xayide's help.
  • In New York Magician, Michel's watch can generate "slips", which are basically this, barring magical people and beings who can see through them.
  • Nibelungenlied: The Trope Maker is the Tarnkappe (aptly translatable as "camouflage cape") which Siegfried takes from the dwarf Alberich and uses to defeat Brunhild.
  • The magic ring in Orlando Furioso, which Angela uses to get away from Ruggiero in what might be the epic's most crucial scene. It reappears at various points and may have inspired the One Ring.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Annabeth Chase's Yankees baseball cap allows her, or anyone else who wears it, to become invisible.
  • Perry Rhodan has the 'deflector field' (not to be confused with Deflector Shields) as a relatively commonplace technology. It works by bending light around the cloaked object or person and, while useful under the right conditions, isn't too hard to foil since it only affects a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum (an early issue had an invisible intruder detected by 1970s Earth radar) and the field itself can be easily spotted by advanced sensors.
  • In Prelude to Dune, a Richese scientist invents the first no-field generator. He sells the technology to the Harkonnens, with the Baron having him build a no-chamber for secret meetings and a small no-ship for hidden strikes, before Rabban kills the scientist. However, unlike the future no-ships, this no-field is a typical cloaking device but doesn't shield against prescience, as evidenced when Rabban tries to use it to attack Wallach IX only for the Bene Gesserit to detect him with their powers and cause the ship to crash. They study the craft and then destroy it to prevent the technology from falling in the wrong hands. It's not clear if the re-discovery of the no-field is independent or a result of the Sisterhood using this knowledge.
  • In Priscilla Hutchins, "lightbenders" are basically high-tech invisibility suits. Access for the general public is highly restricted, but the Academy is allowed to use them for exploring new alien worlds. Their use requires care, though, since they don't hide the eyes.
  • The Republic: In the parable of the Ring of Gyges, Gyges finds a golden finger ring which makes its wearers invisible when the collet of the ring is turned inwards (toward the palm). It is a normal ring when the collet is turned outwards.
  • In Saga of Recluce, invisibility does render the wearer blind... sort of. To use the ability you have to first develop a supernatural sensitivity to either patterns (order) or energy (chaos), either of which means you can see more "blind" than ordinary people can see with light anyhow. Also, the ability is only schematically shaped like a cloak — it's not really an item so much as a spell which the caster has to fuel.
  • In the Spiral Arm novel In the Lion's Mouth, Ravn recounts the use of these in the fight. After, Bridget's first guess is an Air-Vent Passageway escape before she deduces that in fact Ravn hid cloaks in the ventilation system, and then escaped, invisible, with her companion as soon as the door opened.
  • In Starfist, Confederation Marine combat uniforms are called "chameleons" — they incorporate an otherwise undescribed technology that approximates the color of objects in the uniform's near vicinity. Chameleons only work in visible spectrum, a weakness which is ruthlessly exploited by the series' recurring aliens and monsters. Later on, when the Marines are fighting against human rebels, they advance across an open field of chest-high grass. Apparently, no one realized just how brilliant this plan was until they got ambushed by the rebels who could easily spot them.
  • In Stuart Little, the car which Stuart drives has an invisibility button.
  • In Sword of Truth, the Mriswith's cloaks render them invisible.
  • Tales of Kolmar: A demon summoner makes Marik of Gundar such a cloak in Song in the Silence. It also keeps any sound he makes from escaping, even twigs breaking underfoot, and masks his smell. Additionally, it makes it much harder to see most things, but any source of light is painfully bright.
  • One of the early plots of The Thrawn Trilogy is Grand Admiral Thrawn's search for Palpatine's hidden cloaking technology, suddenly made practicalnote  in a breakthrough shortly before the disastrous battle at Endor. But like a true total cloaking device, it's double blind — enemies can't see the cloaked ships, but the cloaked ships can't see outside their own field. Thrawn, being the Magnificent Bastard that he is, still finds some uses: for example, cloaked asteroids in low orbit used as siege weapons. Since the asteroids are invisible, the residents of the planet have no way of knowing whether they've cleared them all and thus have to keep the planetary Deflector Shields permanently raised, which is quite problematic for a planet so heavily populated that it relies on importing food from off-world.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • In The Hobbit, Bilbo acquires a magic ring from Gollum. This ring grants invisibility to its wearer. The Lord of the Rings identifies it as the One Ring, a major Artifact of Doom. The invisibility is a side-effect on mortal wearers who cannot simultaneously exist in the Visible and Invisible worlds. In fact, the ring actually makes its wearer more visible to those who are in the Invisible world, such as the Nazgûl. Spiritual beings, such as Sauron, are not rendered invisible.
    • The elven cloaks given to the Fellowship at Lórien give a certain amount of invisibility, causing their wearers to fade into the background so long as they are among nature. This allows Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli to stay unseen by an entire cohort of Rohirrim riding right past them and has a lot to do with Frodo and Sam's successful incursion of Mordor.
    • The Fall of Gondolin: So that Tuor can make it safely though Morgoth's territory, Ulmo -the Lord of Waters- gives him a piece of his misty mantle. It is large enough to cover Tuor plus another person from head to foot, and makes its bearer look like a drifting shadow or a passing mist. Unfortunately, it does not completely mask their scent.
  • The Traveler's Gate: The cloaks which Valinhall Travelers receive from the Nye, when used in conjunction with the Nye essence, make the Travelers very difficult to perceive with any Territory powers. At first this is mostly helpful again Lirial, but it turns out to be very effective against Incarnations, who are constantly looking at the world through the eyes of their Territory.
  • In Uglies, the Specials have sneaksuits, suits which can blend in with the surroundings and cannot be seen through normal sight or infrared. The suits can be damaged and one particular character can sense their location since he is very perceptive (although the character in question is seriously underestimated).
  • In The Voyage of Alice, Alice meets a conman who claims to sell invisible fishes, and he says he gives her an invisibility cap which is conveniently supposed to be weightless and similar to air to the touch. Double subverted, as it turns out that it is a functioning invisibility cap, which saves everyone's lives in the story's climax.
  • In The Wheel of Time, Warders' cloaks blended with the scenery, making their heads and legs appear disembodied when the cloaks were worn. It's also possible to make a sort of invisibility field using the One Power, but it has to be anchored in place because it causes a weird ripple effect when it moves. The material was apparently called "fancloth" in the Age of Legends, and some characters with know-how can make more than cloaks with it. Before he reveals himself, the newly resurrected Moridin stalks various protagonists and a few of the other Forsaken swathed in the stuff from head to toe (except for his eyes).
  • In While the Clock Chimes, invisibility caps are worn by the kingdom's royal family and the aristocracy, since they are so gorgeous that anyone who sees them goes blind. They are not, as it turns out: they are actually horrendously ugly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of Castle, a man is murdered by something he couldn't see. When it was mentioned that strange things had been happening with him involved, Castle believing he made a Deal with the Devil and the devil came to collect. Eventually, it's revealed that he was a scientist who had created a cloaking suit and all the spiritual incidents around him had been due to a friend of his wearing it, with him being killed by his ex-girlfriend due to using her for her research to get the technology running.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the two-parter "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances", Captain Jack's spaceship has an invisibility cloak, allowing him to park it next to Big Ben.
    • The Doctor can make the TARDIS invisible too if he needs to keep a low profile. This results in the Doctor slamming face-first into it in "The Impossible Astronaut"... while he's in the Oval Office, to boot.
    • In "The Time of the Doctor", two Sontarans try sneaking up on the Doctor, who quickly gets wise to them.
      Sontaran: Commander Skarr. That's the detection warning. Our invisibility cloak is compromised.
      Skarr: What's wrong with it?
      Sontaran: I don't know. I can't see it.
    • In "The Caretaker", the Doctor gives Clara a watch that can turn her invisible. She gives it to her boyfriend Danny Pink so he can see her interact with the Doctor and show there's nothing between them. However, the Doctor is more than capable of detecting it, and Danny switches it off when he realises this.
  • In The Invisible Man, Darien Fawkes is implanted with a gland which secretes a liquid, coating both him and his clothing and causing light to bend around him perfectly. Active camouflage meets Psycho Serum.
  • Played with in Kaamelott. Merlin is unable to turn people invisible, but gets around it by designing invisibility panes, which make anyone hiding behind them invisible. Just make sure you remember where you put them.
  • Legend of the Seeker: The Mriswith's cloaks render them invisible.
  • In one episode of Lois & Clark, a man invents an invisibility outfit.
  • The New Adventures of Robin Hood: In "Raven's Peak", Robin and his band are at a masquerade ball, when Robin's old friend Tom enters, terrified and beaten. He is being chased by Vashon, the captain of Lord Holden's guard. Vashon accuses Tom of murdering Holden and his family. Robin defends Tom, but Vashon will not listen. In the ensuing fight with Vashon, Robin and his gang escape, and learn that Lord Holden is still alive. Vashon is actually pursuing Tom because he holds the key to an invisible cloak with magical powers.
  • In one episode of Pixelface, the QM invents a hat which renders the wearer invisible. Unfortunately, the hat itself remains visible.
  • In what may very well be the earliest example of this on television (1954), the "Manhunt in Space" serial of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger introduces the "Cold Light" device. The device works via an inverse of the heat mirage, whereby sufficiently cold light beams render an object invisible.
  • One episode of Sesame Street featured the spray-on invisibility cloak "Disappear-O".
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In Season 3, the Goa'uld system lord Nirrti uses a personal cloaking device which she's developed (possibly reverse-engineered from the naturally phase-shifted Reetou) in an attempt to ruin treaty negotiations between the SGC and Goa'uld. Fortunately, anti-Reetou weapons are able to expose her.
    • The Sodan use Ancient cloaking devices which render themselves invisible but turn out to attract extradimensional parasites.
    • In Season 9, the team discovers Arthur's Mantle, basically a computer which takes the user out of phase, making them invisible, even after they leave its proximity. Daniel guesses that a medieval storyteller who didn't understand the mechanics of the machine attributed its properties to an actual cloak.
  • Star Trek:
    • Cloaking devices have been a mainstay of the series since "Balance of Terror" in Star Trek: The Original Series, employed mainly by the Romulans, Klingons, Suliban, and even by the Federation itself (for the Defiant). The Federation is, as a rule, barred from using cloaking devices by the Treaty of Algernon, which also requires the Romulans to stay on their side of the Neutral Zone. A Lensman Arms Race ensues over the length of the franchise between those trying to make more effective cloaks and those trying to find new ways to detect them.
    • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Next Phase", the Romulans are revealed to have developed a "phase cloak" which makes their starships not only invisible but also able to pass through normal matter. Unbeknownst to them, a Starfleet Insane Admiral illegally beats them to it in "The Pegasus". Both attempts fail catastrophically.
    • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Jem'Hadar soldiers become invisible when on the attack. The same series introduces the USS Defiant, a Pintsized Powerhouse starship equipped with a cloaking device on loan from the Romulans, with the understanding that the Federation will only use it against the Dominion and won't reproduce it.
    • In the Star Trek: Voyager two-parter episode "Dark Frontier", the Voyager uses a cloaking technique developed by the Hansens to rescue Seven of Nine years later. Unfortunately, as the Borg Queen points out, they gained knowledge of this technique when the Hansens were assimilated.
    • The numerous spheres in Season 3 of Star Trek: Enterprise are surrounded by powerful cloaking fields.
    • Star Trek: Discovery:
      • T'Kuvma's house is the only one in the Klingon Empire which possesses cloaking technology. After T'Kuvma is killed and his champion Voq is cast out, Kol offers the technology to the other Klingon houses in exchange for their loyalty, which causes the Federation no shortage of problems.
      • Season 2 then reveals that Section 31 ships use cloaking devices.
      • By the far-future setting of Season 3, cloaking tech is used by both the Federation and their rivals, the Emerald Chain. Notably, Discovery is now easily able to detect the presence of a cloaked ship from some distance, even if they can't pinpoint or identify it. She also has her own cloaking device.
  • Treadstone: In "The McKenna Erasure", a Treadstone agent hides from a thermal camera by wrapping himself in a foil survival blanket.
  • Parodied in an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place when Max buys an invisibility poncho. When worn, only the poncho turns invisible — Max doesn't.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Greek Mythology: Hades had the Helm of Darkness, a bit of headgear forged by the same Cyclopes who made Zeus' lightning bolt and Poseidon's trident, that made the wearer invisible. He's been known to loan it out to mortal heroes from time to time.
  • Russian folklore has an invisibility hat, which may also blind the wearer depending on the version of the legend (it usually doesn't; for example, Chernomor's hat in Ruslan and Lyudmila allowed Lyudmila to sneak all over Chernomor's palace with no difficulties seeing).
  • The Tarnhelm in Norse Mythology.
  • The Tarnkappe from German heroic legend, such as the one Siegfried took from the dwarf Alberich in the Nibelungenlied (and Siegfried didn't limit himself to non perv uses). King Laurin, another dwarf king from a different legend, also had one of these.

  • In the radio serial The Amazing Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon, after Flash has conquered the cavern world of Syk, he reviews the troops now under his command. He asks Zarkov who the guys wearing cloaks are, and Zarkov identifies them as the Invisibility Batallion.


    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech:
    • The chameleon approach is taken with mimetic armor coatings for some types of power armor. The "Chameleon Light Polarization Shield", invisibility on a Mech scale, has never been truly explained but is implied to somehow render a Mech invisible only in the visible light spectrum, allowing it to still hunt in its magnetic resonance and infrared sensor modes. Those Mechs that mount it have to find their own ways around not showing up to those, frequently resorting to advanced composites for construction and various gimmicks to reduce heat signature.
    • The Word of Blake's new Void-Signature System combines the theory of the Chameleon Light Polarization System as well the Null Signature System with Battlesuit Scale mimetic armour to create a system which blocks you from Mag Scan, IR, Radar sensors as well as any visual system by making your 'Mech change colours as to appear the same as their background... thus simply being a blur.
  • Rings, cloaks and other Items of Invisibility from Dungeons & Dragons. Though by the time you can afford one, a lot of the enemies you'll be fighting will have ways around it. (The See Invisibility spell, Tremorsense, Scent...)
  • Eclipse Phase has invisibility cloaks in two forms: chameleon cloaks and metamaterial cloaks. Chameleon cloaks use complex arrays of sensors and light emitters to absorb light on one side of the cloak and emit a precise replica on the opposite side, effectively making the user invisible. Metamaterial cloaks are composed of advanced nanomaterials with a negative refractive index, which literally bend light around the cloak. The game actually addresses the Required Secondary Powers necessary to wear such a cloak, stating that the user is blind while wearing it unless they open up a slit to see through by using a piece of 'anti-cloak' (material with a refractive index that cancels out the cloak's).
  • Various versions exist in GURPS Ultra-Tech. By TL12, the Invisibility Surface works not only in the visual spectrum but well beyond it.
  • Hc Svnt Dracones has three approaches. A display blanket loaded with a camouflage program can hide you if you're not moving. EM Cloaks cover your electromagnetic signature, but you're still visible. Finally, a Scatterline Unit causes the wearer's outline to blur and become indistinct against their background.
  • Rifts shows a surprising dosage of reality in averting the traditional sci-fi cloaking fields. The usual invisibility magic still works, but technological efforts at an Invisibility Cloak take the form of highly advanced "chameleon" fields or coatings which mimic the surroundings rather than bending light around them and making the user blind too.
  • The villain Ambuscade from Sentinels of the Multiverse has a Personal Cloaking Device. When it enters play, Ambuscade flips from his Superhuman Hunter side to his Invisible Stalker side. As the Invisible Stalker Ambuscade is immune to damage, so the heroes must destroy the Personal Cloaking Device first to get him to turn visible again.

  • Prospero's use of an Invisibility Cloak in The Tempest is a major plot point.

    • The Kanohi Huna, the Mask of Concealment, allows the wearer to become invisible, though they still cast a shadow.
    • The Kanohi Volitak, the Mask of Stealth, allows the wearer to camouflage themselves, making them harder to see. Unlike the Huna, they aren't entirely invisible, but it also deadens sound.
  • Zoids has Helcat, Liger Zero X, and Diablo Tiger.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception has the Gleipnir airborne fortress and Fenrir superfighters with their Digital Optical Stealth. Radar lock is also lost when it is active, though guns still work and dumb-firing missiles can still land on the slow Gleipnir.
  • In Achron, every single unit has active camouflage as the justification for Fog of War (because who is really that near-sighted?). If you get close enough to enemy units, you can see them. Nigh-perfect cloaking also exists in the game and units who have that ability activated can only be seen if a unit with the ability "Detector" is nearby.
  • Battlefield 2142 has this as an unlock for the recon class. It only lasts for a short time, however; EMP will reveal it, and an unlock for support class can put any player using it on the map.
  • Command & Conquer:
  • One of the standard features of any Crysis nanosuit is a cloak mode. It's a Game-Breaker in singleplayer, but savvy players in multiplayer modes will still see a shadow and an enemy icon on their mini-maps with a handheld scanner. It slowly drains energy when sitting still, drains it much faster when moving, and totally empties the suit energy meter if you shoot before switching modes. A common and effective workaround for the latter is to uncloak for an instant, fire, then cloak again. Even if an enemy is looking right at you, you'll have a split-second before they manage to react to your presence to fire a shot or two.
  • Descent and Descent II both feature cloaking devices, which render your ship (mostly) invisible for 30 seconds. Invisible, but notably not inaudible: if you fire a weapon, run into a robot, or even just run into a wall, the robots notice you and start firing in your general direction. They can also still detect you if you're foolish enough to leave your headlights on while cloaked in the second game.
  • The Deus Ex Universe has invisibility biomods/augmentations, notable in that they rapidly drain your batteries and require a separate biomods/augmentations to be silent as well. There are also jackets, which don't drain your batteries, since it is a separate item, but they are rare and expensive, and once it is used up, it's gone.
  • Doom, Doom II and Doom 64 have a Partial Invisibility power-up; this doesn't make it impossible to see the character, just extremely difficult, and those with ranged attacks have a random deviation added to their shots (e.g., fireballs veering off something like 45 degrees from where you actually are at the time; the powerup is rather infamous among the playerbase since in practice, as you'll typically be strafing to avoid enemy fire, it actually makes them better at hitting you because now they can "accidentally" compensate for your movement). The Spectre also has this effect, albeit permanently turned on.
  • Rogues in Dragon Age have this ability, which can be upgraded from "weak enemies may or may not notice you on a good day" to "complete invisibility even as you calmly shank an entire army of darkspawn".
  • In The Elder Scrolls, it is possible to enchant the Chameleon effect onto armor, clothing, and/or jewelry. The Chameleon effect makes it harder for NPCs to detect the player. The effect can range from 1%-100%, with the chance of NPC detection decreasing the higher the percentage. Enchanting multiple pieces of equipment with the effect can quickly reach Game-Breaker levels, as enemy NPCs will be unable to interact with you in any way, allowing you to steal from or assassinate whoever you want with total impunity. If certain exploits are used to make the effect permanent, it can also be a Game Breaker in another way, in that it breaks the game by making it impossible to advance since you won't be able to interact with NPCs.
  • Parodied in Escape From St. Mary's — the cloak makes everything else invisible (it blinds you).
  • If you have the Mantorok rune in Eternal Darkness, casting the "Reveal Invisible" spell with it results in your character turning invisible instead.
  • Everything or Nothing: The Porsche Cayenne Turbo is outfitted with one, and Bond later receives a Nano Suit. Caveat: he has to move very slowly, or else Invisibility Flicker comes into play. Later on, the enemies receive one, though the Thermographic Vision and a well-placed EMP Grenade can foil their suits.
  • Every Support character in Evolve has one of these that can cloak anyone nearby them as well as themselves. The Medic character Lazarus also has one, though his only cloaks himself.
  • The Fallout series features the Stealth Boy, which is established as a knock-off of Chinese technology, leading to Chinese stealth armor showing up in the Operation: Anchorage Downloadable Content for Fallout 3.note  Both prevent the player from targeting an equipped enemy in VATS.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Several games include invisibility spells or items. All physical attacks are a guaranteed miss while the item/spell is active (except in the Tactics games, where attacks can typically still hit, but the AI will ignore the invisible unit.) Some incarnations decrease magic evasion and/or magic defense as a trade-off.
    • Final Fantasy VI, prior to its Game Boy Advance remake, included a notorious bug, Vanish/Doom, which combined Invisibility (0% physical hits, 100% magic hits) with a Useless Useful Spell (instant death, laughably low hit rate). One-hit kill every time, even for bosses who are supposed to be immune to it.
  • The Assassins in First Encounter Assault Recon have active camo. Notably, the camouflage only covers the Assassins' body, not any weapons which said Assassin is carrying, forcing them to rely on hand-to-hand attacks. They get around this by having finger-mounted claws which channel electricity into their targets.
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier's second mission introduces the adaptive camo. It only works when stationary, crouched or prone — no sprinting unless using the cover-shift — and suffers from Invisibility Flicker. Enhanced vision modes, such as the player's own magnetic goggles or backscatter optics, and enemy vehicles can still see through it as well. Also, it can't cloak human skin (as seen in levels where Kozak and/or the others leave their sleeves rolled up, thus giving an actual reason for them to all wear skull-face bandanas), and it leaves the sights uncloaked, so as to facilitate actually aiming your weapons.
  • Ghost in the Shell has the fifth boss, an upgraded Spider Tank prototype with a cloaking device who spam attacks on you while invisible. However it's projectiles are visible, and when attacking it will produce some Invisibility Flicker so you know where to shoot at.
  • Global Agenda has one for the Recon class. It also greatly increases movement speed or jump length (your pick) while active, making it a viable travel alternative to the Jet Pack.
  • The female assassins in Half-Life have cloaking devices when faced on the highest difficulty.
  • Halo features lots of "active camouflage," a common Covenant light-bending device that can also be used by the UNSC's Spartans. The UNSC has a less advanced version of this in the form of photoreactive paneling.
  • The biospark enemy uses one of these in Kirby: Squeak Squad. It isn't too bright about it, though — it leaves its gloves exposed.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • The Ninja character from Live A Live has an Invisibility Cloak.
  • In Marathon, the Transparency Biobus Chip Enhancement grants you temporary invisibility. Some S'pht compilers use cloaking devices as well.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2 introduces this technology as a Tactical Cloak, used by an Infiltrator Shepard, Kasumi, and shotgun-wielding Geth Hunters.
    • Returns in Mass Effect 3, this time expanded to the Cerberus Nemesis and Phantom enemies, along with various Infiltrator characters in multiplayer.
  • In Mega Man 7, the Wily Capsule explicitly pulls out a cloak when pulling off its disappearing trick.
  • Metal Gear had both two-way invisibility and active camouflage. The OctoCamo from Metal Gear Solid 4 is a peculiar example. To the player, Snake appears fully visible, just colored with the exact pattern and texture of whatever he's blending with, but while playing against Snake during a Sneaking Mission in Metal Gear Online, when the camo index is high, Snake is virtually invisible, barely even noticeable when he moves, and one presumes this is also how the AI sees it. When using Stealth Camouflage in MGS4 and MGO (a Call-Back to the original Metal Gear Solid), one is totally invisible to the naked eye, but one is still visible by enemies using infrared in-game, and the user still has a shadow. The Stealth Camo is in a way Invisible to Normals since normal guards can't see you, but bosses, escort characters, and the Attack Team (the guards sent during an alert phase) can. It's possible that they already know you're there and are specifically looking for you. Stealth Camo doesn't provide total invisibility, so you could still spot it if you know what to look for.
  • Metroid:
    • In Metroid Dread, Samus fights the Corpius, a creature which can turn invisible. After it's defeated, the creature drops the Phantom Cloak, the piece of Chozo technology which rendered it invisible, which Samus can then equip to become invisible herself.
    • Shadow Pirates in Metroid Prime feature a variation on the "active camouflage" type of cloak. They appear as semi-transparent, leaving beind a darkened region where light does not completely penetrate, making them look like shadows. While they are hard to spot in the visible spectrum, especially in the dark, they stick out like a sore thumb in infrared. The Omega Pirate has a "Chameleon Manta" which lets him become invisible not only to the naked eye, but also to infrared and X-ray vision. The only time he can be seen when the device is activated is when he absorbs the highly radioactive phazon into his body.
    • In Metroid Prime: Hunters, when bounty hunter Trace is equipped with the Imperialist weapon, he can become invisible so long as he remains still, but the cloak drops as soon as he moves.
  • In Monday Night Combat, this is one of the abilities of the Assassin class. Super Monday Night Combat tweaks it quite a bit; now it only makes you invisible to enemy players at a certain distance, but you're completely invisible to enemy bots and turrets.
  • In Overwatch, Sombra has Thermoptic Camouflage, rendering her invisible to normal sight and allowing her to move twice as fast. However, she needs to drop it to attack or hack or use her Translocator, and enemies can see her if she gets too close or use an ability like Hanzo's Sonic Arrow or Widowmaker's Infrared Vision, plus any damage will force her out of cloak.
  • The RC-P120 from Perfect Dark has an ammunition-powered cloaking device as its secondary function. The game also features stand-alone versions.
  • The default special ability of the Infiltrator class in PlanetSide 2 is a regenerating cloaking device. It's not as powerful as most examples, a cloaker can be seen (unless perfectly still) by an enemy on the lookout for them, and cloaking players cannot attack enemies. The cloaking does, however, hide the Infiltrator from the minimap and from being spotted, and the nanomachines that generate the cloak can be switched for ones that absorb incoming damage as well as hiding the player (at the cost of draining more power). The alternate "Stalker" cloaking system forces the player to give up their primary weapon but allows them to stay cloaked indefinitely provided that they occasionally stand still and let the device charge back up. The Flash ATV can also be fitted with a cloaking device, allowing an Infiltrator to make a stealthy and fast entrance... so long as the enemy doesn't hear the roar of the engine.
  • Quake has the Ring of Shadows, which renders the Player Character invisible for a short period except for his eyes.
  • The invisibility gadget in The Persistence will make you invisible and generally undetectable by most enemies for the short time. Just tread lightly around Listeners, obviously.
  • The V38 Phantom TIE Fighters in Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire have this, "a capability previously unheard of for ships their size". Ditto for the facility that produces them, whose cloaking device is disabled by the explosion of the Super Star Destroyer Terror.
  • The Novistadors in Resident Evil 4 have Predator-style invisibility — however, they can't be cloaked and fly at the same time.
  • In Secret Agent Barbie, a thief steals some fashion designs in order to create a 'Translucent Suit', which is said to provide the wearer with near-invisibility when worn.
  • Near the end of The Secret of Monkey Island, Guybrush gets his hands on a necklace of eyeballs which renders him invisible to ghosts, which (luckily) all of the bad guys happen to be.
  • Tsumuji from Shounen Kininden Tsumuji has an invisibility cloak which he can use to sneak around enemies.
  • This is stock equipment in S.L.A.I.: Steel Lancer Arena International. Since energy shields are momentary, uncertain things (they only have a statistical chance of triggering to reduce damage instead of being always on), the more reliable choice in this case is to use a cloaking device that renders the SV effectively invisible, save for a faint Predator-like outline on the upper portion of hulls at close range. Weapons can still be fired and don't drain your cloak meter any faster, so it wasn't unheard of for two or more completely cloaked fighters to dance around each other while invisible while blazing away, resulting in the odd but amusing spectacle from a distance of nothing firing at nothing.
  • StarCraft has a large number of "cloaked" units, both for the Protoss and the Terrans:
    • Terran Ghosts are latent psychics that can use their powers, coupled with a special suit they wear, to cloak themselves for as long as they have enough energy. The campaign of StarCraft II has Spectres, "enhanced" Ghosts with a similar system. They can also be upgraded so they can cloak indefinitely.
    • Terran Wraiths have a cloak generator that also works on stored energy. It's mentioned that the damn thing is so secret that the Army does anything it takes to destroy wreckages so as not to lose the advantage. A similar device is used in StarCraft II on the Banshee gunships. The invisibility is also not handled with a Hand Wave; when the gunship is cloaked, the whole cockpit goes dark and a visor slides over the pilot's face, presumably connected to a small exterior sensor. The same goes for the Specters' goggles, which slide on when they cloak. The new, more detailed Wraith portrait reveals that this fighter doesn't even have transparent cockpits, to facilitate cloaking.
    • Protoss Observers and Dark Templar are permanently cloaked. The Observers use some kind of technological artifice, while the Dark Templar have invisibility skills as a cultural trait, given their history of persecution by the Khalai.
    • Protoss Arbiters aren't cloaked themselves but serve as an anchor for a reality-warping field that automatically cloaks allied units within a certain radius. This ability is carried over to the Mothership in StarCraft II.
  • Starsiege offers a form of cloaking that effectively masks a unit's radar signature while also causing the hull to mimic the local terrain textures. Moving while cloaked would cause the cloak to update its texture sets every few seconds, meaning that a sharp-eyed pilot could pick out something that resembles a constantly shifting chunk of Martian plains moving at a dead run and fire accordingly. Due to the way this particular system works, using the cloak on high ground is dumb, since it does nothing to hide a unit's outline, which will stand out quickly even on darker backgrounds — a lumpy green protrusion suddenly appearing on an otherwise smooth hilltop is probably not just a misplaced terrain texture.
  • In Star Trek Online, a number of starships have cloaking devices, many of them based off of what is seen in the shows and movies. The two standard types are Cloak (which allows players to hide themselves out of battle) and Battle Cloak (which allows players to drop out of sight while in combat). There are other iconic cloaking devices such as the Enhanced Battle Cloak (which allows players to fire torpedoes at opponents while cloaked, like Chang's Bird-Of-Prey) and the Scimitar Battle Cloak (which allows it to have shields and fire weapons, like the namesake Scimitar).
  • In Super Smash Bros. Melee, these also prevent you from seeing yourself. Of course, this doesn't affect the AI in any way. On the other hand, while you still react to damage from other players while cloaked, they can't actually hurt you until it wears out.
  • The reboot of Syndicate has this for certain mooks, but you don't have one in either single-player or co-op.
  • These are offered for sale in both TaskMaker and The Tomb of the TaskMaker. If the player is wearing one, he or she is less likely to be attacked by monsters or otherwise angered NPCs. However, the player will also be unable to interact with shopkeepers, and non-angered NPCs will only say "I can't see you!"
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The Spy has one built into his wristwatch. It lasts up to 8 seconds and then needs 30 seconds to recharge fully, so using it takes a fair bit of tactical sense. An alternate invisibility watch, the Cloak and Dagger, slowly regenerates while the player is cloaked but standing still, so they can be invisible forever, but it drains much faster while moving.
    • The Dead Ringer turns you invisible after faking your death to the enemy team. You also get a temporary 75% damage reduction, and the cloak doesn't flicker from bumping into enemies. The downside is it can only be activated by taking damage, requiring you to either run around uncloaked waiting for an enemy to shoot you (and hope it's not a random crit or other One-Hit Kill), or find environmental damage (most of which is also a One-Hit Kill) or a reasonably far drop. It also has an extremely loud de-cloak noise, can't be recharged with dispensers or ammo packs, and can't be reactivated unless it is fully charged. This watch in particular has been subject to many Nerfs over the years due to complaints about how much damage reduction it granted and how rapidly it could be recharged with ammo packs when first released, making it very easy to use to survive what would be lethal hits over and over again instead of the intended use of Faking the Dead.
  • Thief II: The Metal Age has invisibility potions. Sometimes, they are available for purchase (and are very expensive when they are); other times, they are hidden somewhere in a mission. The effect lasts for only a minute or so, and when it wears off, Garrett breathes very hard as though surfacing for air.
  • Touhou Project has resident Gadgeteer Genius Kappa Nitori and her optical camouflage suit.
  • Tsioque has the titular princess find one in a crypt when she escapes from the dungeon, using it to evade Imp guards. She doesn't get to keep it very long, as she trips off the edge of a staircase and has to hang on for dear life as it blows away from her.
  • In Turok 2, some of the Endtrails have stealth camouflage.
  • Warcraft III has Shades, Night Elves (downplayed in that it's only at night and while stationary), Blademasters, and the Sorceress' Invisibility spell. In Warcraft II, casting invisibility on a Demolition Squad kills it outright, while in Warcraft III it just tells you that you cannot use it.
  • Late in WarGames Defcon 1, the W.O.P.R develop a new technology, the Stealth Field Generator, which depending on the player's campaign, will be to capture (N.O.R.A.D) or defend (W.O.P.R) it. Succeed in their mission and the following stage will unlock a new unit, the awesome Slayer (N.O.R.A.D) or Mantis (W.O.P.R) vehicle, units with powerful laser cannons and capable of becoming invisible for up to sixty seconds.
  • Kilrathi (and later human) stealth fighters in Wing Commander.
  • Infamously, Wizards & Warriors features an invisibility cloak that turns the character invisible... but only to the player. Enemies can still hit you.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown:
    • Ghost armor, a late-game armor, has a built-in cloaking function that allows you to move completely undetected so long as you don't attack, with four charges per mission. Activating the cloak gives a +100% Critical Hit chance (reduced to +30% in the Expansion Pack), prevents the user being targeted by reaction fire, and breaks Suppression.
    • Autopsying a Seeker in Enemy Within yields the plans for the Ghost Grenade, a single-use itemnote  which cloaks all allies within its effect radius exactly like Ghost Armor -– even MEC troopers.
  • Zoids games usually have optical camouflage as something which can be equipped to the player's mecha.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • The Active Camo from Halo is Tex's armor enhancement. The Meta briefly uses it as well after capturing Tex in Season 6, and again in Season 8, though not as well.
    • In Seasons 11-13, Locus possesses this, as well as various soldiers of the Federal Army of Chorus and the Space Pirates in Charon Industries' employ.

  • In Elf Blood, the punk Scout uses one to escape from the Renegades after he tosses a grenade at them.
  • In The End, the alien spaceship piloted by the protagonists is supposed to be using one of these when it lands on Earth. The fact that it turns out not to be working properly is one of the factors that kicks off the plot.
  • In Far from Home (Mighty Martian Studios), the pirates have a device that makes them only appear on the scanner.
  • Shadowscared, god of fear in The Gods of Arr-Kelaan, has a cloak which makes him invisible to everything he fears (which is a lot). It was made by one of his followers, who expected it to make him immortal — instead, it just hid his ghost from Thannatria. Shadowscared could see him, and the follower gladly gave the cloak to Shadowscared so that he could pass on.
  • The K'ul of Half-Man use these. Humanity has limited ways of detecting them while using it.
  • Lady Spectra's hi-tech "refractor cape" in Lady Spectra & Sparky.
  • In Recursion, Dr. Deathe has discovered a way to partially submerge mines in subspace, making them invisible.

    Web Original 
  • In Orion's Arm, this is done by using tiny lasers to project an image into the eyes of onlookers.
  • In Tales From My D&D Campaign, the evil Kua-Toa have developed a way to cheaply mass-produce invisibility cloaks by fueling them with chemicals in their own skin secretions.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Aladdin: The Series, lowly thief Amend Da Mula is given an arsenal of magical items by Mozenrath for a mission to turn the Sultan into a statuette, with one of them being a Belt of Invisibility. Iago, recognizing the trick, takes the belt from Amend and later uses it to get the Sultan away from the thief when he takes the form of a griffin.
  • The Big Knights features hats of invisibility which render the wearer invisible but require the wearer to be naked apart from the hat.
  • The Renegades' Stealth Device from Challenge of the GoBots is said to be a holographic projector which works across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • The Batman: The Animated Series episode "See No Evil" features a criminal who has stolen a supply of a plastic which can bend light around it and has made for himself an invisibility suit (and similarly outfitted his car).
    • Batman might've also adapted a safer version of the above example (in the B:TAS episode, it's mentioned as being toxic to the user), as Terry's suit in Batman Beyond has a similar function which he uses occasionally.
  • Sheila from Dungeons & Dragons (1983) is equipped with a literal invisibility cloak.
  • In the Inspector Gadget episode "A Clear Case", one of Dr. Claw's scientists invents an invisibility cloth using diamonds to deflect light. The scientist then uses the suit to haunt a diamond mine so MAD could collect enough diamonds to make suits for their agents. Unfortunately, it's then that Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs as while the suits successfully make the agents invisible, due to being unable to see each other, they end up bumping and hitting each other. Even worse, the suits aren't proven to be durable as during a fight with Gadget, enough hard blows result in the diamond cloth turning to dust.
  • Played with in one Invader Zim episode where unintentionally Zim receives a Megadoomer assault robot which can turn completely invisible. Unfortunately, the pilot does not turn invisible, leaving Zim floating in midair as he stomps his way through the neighborhood.
  • The Saurians from Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series have extremely sophisticated cloaking devices which not only render them invisible to the naked eye but also to almost all forms of radar and locating devices. In fact, their invisibility is what makes the Mask of Drake Du Caine so important to Puckworld — it is the one and only thing which can see through their cloaks.
  • The Neverending Story: The Animated Adventures of Bastian Balthazar Bux: In the episode "Belt of Invisibility", Vermin discovers Gmal, an invisibility-granting belt which Bastian gets from Xayide, and then uses it to commit a crime spree across Fantasia. Bastian is forced to get a second belt from Xayide to stop Vermin, only for this one to make him not only invisible, but eventually inaudible to everyone except Xayide.
  • The costume worn by Spider-Man throughout most of Spider-Man Unlimited can briefly turn him invisible.
  • Parodied in Sponge Bob Squarepants with the "Boatmobile" owned by Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, which is invisible in its default state; a malfunction causes a brief glimpse of a 1950s-style sports car. Whenever they need it, they wander around the parking lot/secret cave garage like idiots until they find it (though they do carry around a car alarm on the keys, which renders it temporarily visible). Not only is it annoying, it's outright useless because the driver and passengers are left clearly visible.
  • Transformers:
    • In one episode of The Transformers, Megatron invents and uses an invisibility spray gun.
    • In Beast Wars, Ravage and his transwarp cruiser can both cloak, rendering them undetectable to vision and scanners (but not to Silverbolt's keen sense of smell).
  • The Shroud of Shadows from Xiaolin Showdown allows both the user and anything it covers to become invisible.

    Real Life 
  • Metamaterials.
  • If you made a cloak out of a lot of tiny cameras and screens, it should be possible to get the invisibility effect while still being able to see the outside on a screen inside the cloak. It would be ridiculously fragile, though.
  • BAE Systems is developing an adaptive infrared camouflage system that makes vehicles blend with the background IR of the environment, making them practically invisible when viewed with IR cameras.
  • Real Life stealth systems have generally subverted this trope, opting instead for practical invisibility. Stealth equipment is in no way invisible. Instead, it's constructed with abnormal angles to deflect incoming radar oddly and painted with radar-absorbing paint. The end result is that anyone can see it, but it presents a much smaller target to enemy radar. So enemy radar would interpret a bomber as a flock of birds, or a cruiser as a ... something not a cruiser. The US military is working on an AR system for ground forces to enable them to see the enemy through walls (by feeding data from cameras set at alternate vantage points) thus allowing them to use cover more effectively.
  • The aptly named Invisible Octopus has probably the closest thing to this that exists in the natural world as seen here.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Cloaking Device


Colonel Radec

Known as "Visari's Hound", Col. Radec will not hesitate to dispatch an enemy to fulfil his Autarch's will. Even one of the series previous Protagonists.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoNonsenseNemesis

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