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Noiseless Walker

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"While the bard and birdie chattered, I made sure that nothing clattered,
Creaked, or snapped, or fell, or shattered as I crossed the corridor."
Poe's Cat, The End of the Raven

Walking isn't a silent action. It can be a loud, elephant-like sound or graceful steps. But people still make some noise when they walk. Except this character.

Meet the Noiseless Walker. For some reason, his steps are completely silent. This character may have Ninja-like skills, or something magical in their nature which negates the sound of walking. It may be used to show he's a badass for managing to move around without people noticing him, or to establish an alien or otherwordly nature because the absence of a natural sound often looks off.

Or perhaps he just uses artificial means such as a noise-cancelling suit or spell. Such cases are likely to be temporary, unless moving silently is a character's whole shtick.

This trope is one of the most plausible reasons for managing a Stealth Hi/Bye (the other being Offscreen Teleportation) and may overlap with The Lightfooted. Sneakers of Sneaking are related when someone chooses special footwear to move silently. See With Catlike Tread for when this trope fails.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Hunter × Hunter: When teamed with Killua, secondary character Melodynote  (a very sensitive to sound Musical Hunter) asks if Killua is an assassin by trade, explaining that his footsteps are the quietest she's ever heard, barely audible at virtually no distance. The screen shows them jogging along a street flooding in the rain and Killua's steps don't make any splashes. Killua says it's become a habit.
  • One Piece:
    • Lafitte is incredibly stealthy despite wearing tapping shoes. He once infiltrated the high security Marine headquarters in the middle of a meeting, and wasn't noticed until he decided to speak.
    • The obese pirate Lucky Roo sneaked up on a mountain bandit in the first chapter, unnoticed by the others until he killed the bandit.
  • In Mission: Yozakura Family, all of the Yozakuras can do this as a family of super-spies. Taiyo picks up this skill too after a month of Training from Hell, unnerving his classmates who mistake him for some kind of ninja.
  • SPY×FAMILY, Yor, fitting for an assassin, can appear in places without people noticing. The first time she and Loid met, he was not aware of her walking past him until she talked out loud (and he has Hyper-Awareness).

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In The Alarmaverse story Beauty Will Tear Us Apart, Ditzy Doo can walk silently, by employing magic and paper bags to channel the sounds of her hooves into another dimension.
  • Child of the Storm has multiple characters that can do this:
    • Signature trait of Bucky's, thanks to being the Winter Soldier. That and a talent for fading into the background mean that he has a faintly alarming tendency to apparently appear out of nowhere.
    • Harry also moves more or less silently by the second book, when he wants to, slipping into a kind of predatory stalking movement that tends to abruptly remind whoever's watching him that though half of him is human, the other half is definitely not.
  • Elementals of Harmony: As noted in "Cleanup Step", an ability of Celestia's spymasters:
    The duo padded out, eerily silent for ponies, even on soft carpet.
  • Trixie Lulamoon from RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse not only has an invisibility spell, but a spell for this, too, which essentially renders silent her presence. It's not foolproof however, as one adversary was able to detect her location thanks to her trained hearing (and can sense Trixie via the absence of sound where there should be). Being a gifted spellcaster (when it comes to their intricate workings, as opposed to diverse knowledge like Twilight Sparkle) Trixie was able to get around this eventually.

  • Artemis Fowl: While moving through an underground fairy base, Butler is described as making only slightly more noise than a panther. Note that Butler is also described as a 7-foot-tall Husky Russkie with muscles like a Michelangelo statue.
  • In The Belgariad, this is Hand Waved with a brief mention that Garion learns the trick of walking soundlessly through a forest full of twigs and leaf litter by watching his Loveable Rogue friend Silk for a few minutes. (At the least, after a few minutes of observation he's making a lot less noise. This is more realistic than it sounds; a lot of the skill involved in moving smoothly through an environment consists of basic elements of gait and situational awareness/intuition which people simply don't think of in time to start using.)
  • In Discworld, members of the Igor clan, the lab-technicians to mad Marsters and eager surgeons of last resort, have a nasty ability to move right behind you without you even noticing, and time this to just the moment the Marster summons them.
  • Hobbits in the titular book and The Lord of the Rings pride themselves on being able to walk very quietly when they want to. Bilbo once sneaked up on trolls to steal a purse, and would have succeeded if the purse didn't squeak.
  • The titular Rangers in Ranger's Apprentice move quietly enough that some people think they practice magic. They're just expert woodspeople.
  • In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the Duffers warn Lucy that the magician Coriakin who turned them into Dufflepuds walks about noiselessly in his bare feet, making no more sound than a cat.
  • As a child, Xandri Corelel learned that she was safest if she made as little noise as possible. As a result, she has become very good at walking silently, even in boots.
  • Trueman Bradley: Mark Chapel, the villain of the second book, has modified boots that allow him to walk completely silently.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Weeping Angels in Doctor Who are quantum-locked monsters unable to move if someone looks at them. Stop looking (or even just blink), however, and they will quickly and silently dart forward to send you back in time. Sometimes they'll "just" kill their victims, like in "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone" where some angels sneaked up on soldiers to break their necks.
  • Kung Fu (1972): Shaolin Priests are trained to walk silently.
    Master Kan: Your tread must be light and sure, as though your path were upon rice paper. It is said, a Shaolin priest can walk through walls. Looked for... he can not be seen. Listened for... he can not be heard. Touched... can not be felt. This rice paper is the test. Fragile as the wings of the dragon fly, clinging as the cocoon of the silk worm. When you can walk its length and leave no trace, you will have learned.
  • The Seinfeld episode "The Merv Griffin Show" contains a subplot about Elaine's new co-worker constantly sidling up behind her taking credit for work she does, among other things. She and the others nickname him "The Sidler". She eventually fixes the problem by giving him a pack of Tic-Tacs to carry around with him, causing him to make a rattling sound when he walks through the office.
  • The ninjas of the Hand in Daredevil are this, AND they can mask their heartbeats, making it extremely difficult for Matt to track them. He has to listen for their weapons, and when they drop those, their breath.
  • Simon in Misfits initially had both invisibility and inaudibility as his powers, leaving him completely undetectable.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Justified for Incorporeal creatures, who, lacking physical bodies, move in complete silence except when they choose to make noise.
    • Thieves can do this using the Move Silently skill (incorporated into the rogues' Sneak skill in later editions). Boots of Elvenkind also allow this.
    • The 5th Edition "Pass Without Trace" spell creates "a veil of shadows and silence" that grants the caster and everyone around them a major bonus to the Stealth skill.

    • One of the Dark Hunters, Silence, has the natural ability to create an energy field around himself that completely negates sound, allowing him to move silently. No wonder he was specialized in abducting anyone who could be a problem to the Dark Hunters.
    • The Kanohi Volitak (Mask of Stealth) has this effect on its user, along with making them blend with the background.

    Video Games 
  • The Wrench Lurker tonic in Bioshock completely silences your footsteps, no matter whether you're walking, crouching or running full tilt. It also increases the wrench's damage to unaware targets.
  • Call of Duty games tend to have the Ninja or Dead Silence (depending on the game) perk that muffles or silences your footsteps.
  • The original Deus Ex has the Silent Running augmentation, which, as the name implies, allows J.C. Denton to run without making noise, meaning he doesn't have to choose between speed and stealth.
  • Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided can, as he grows accustomed to his augmentations, enable a noise-cancelling shock-absorbing ferrofluid liquid on demand while walking and running. According to the in-game advertisement, this means he, while pelting forward at full sprint, makes no more sound than "a gentle breeze". In terms of game mechanics, however, it completely nullifies the sound generated by these actions.
  • The Fuzzy Signature subroutine in TRON 2.0 reduces the sound of your footsteps. Upgrading it reduces the noise even further, but never completely.
  • The Muffle spell from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim reduces or completely silences the sound of your footsteps. Joining the Dark Brotherhood gets you a pair of boots enchanted with a permanent Muffle effect.
  • In Suikoden II, you can have Richmond investigate Pesmerga. Richmond will say he finds it "a little spooky" that Pesmerga can move around quietly with all that armor.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the Spirit camo, which you can obtain by touching The Sorrow's body at the end of his boss battle, silences your footsteps. Combined with the Stealth Camouflage, you can be completely invisible and undetectable.
  • In the Batman: Arkham Series, one of Catwoman's unique abilities is that she can sprint behind enemies without alerting them, like the other playable characters do.
  • In Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft gets the ability to land from heights and kill silently as part of her Stealth Expert skill sets.
  • In Prey (2017), the Stealth Neuromods allow for increased movement speed without causing any noise.