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One-Way Visor

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Shady characters.L - R, top to bottom 
A visor is a piece of eyewear that covers at least both eyes and the bridge of the nose. It's like a pair of goggles, but with temple-arms. Visor also refers to the faceplate of a helmet, the part that can be raised or lowered. This is about both kinds, specifically, ones that are opaque on one side, which is often—but not necessarily—connoted by a gold, silver, or obsidian mirror effect. Opaque, spherical helmets also count. Bonus points if the technology to do this shouldn't have been invented yet.

For all we know (unless we've seen out from the wearer's POV), any of these could be opaque on both sides, but unless the wearer is blind this would be a rather major design flaw.

When used symbolically, it can show that the character has an aspect he wants to hide (sometimes physically) or isn't all there to begin with. Sometimes used in tandem with Samus Is a Girl.

Usually used with Faceless Goons.

Separate lenses don't count, they go on Opaque Lenses. Compare Sinister Shades, The Blank, Eyeless Face, The Faceless. Contrast In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Judge Dredd, In the comics, the upper part of Dredd's face is never seen. Normally it is hidden behind the fixed visor of his helmet, and on the one occasion that his helmet was removed, his face was hidden by bandages. It's supposed to be a reference to "Justice is blind".
  • Moon Man, a pulp mag character who came out when one-way glass was invented.
  • Originally, the Red Hood, a Batman villain had this. Later, it was changed to the standard superhero opaque eyepeices.
  • Cyclops of the X-Men always wears one made of ruby-quartz, an obligatory guard against the Power Incontinence of his Eye Beams.
  • Mysterio, a Spider-Man villain.
  • Red Hook Asylum guards from Neonomicon
  • Yorrick's gas mask in Y: The Last Man
  • Space Marines from Won Ton Soup
  • In G.I. Joe, Cobra Commander's battle helmet featured a completely mirrored facemask. Many varieties of Cobra Vipers wore such masks as well.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dave in Safe Havens used to wear one in his childhood, because he functions best with a certain amount of distraction. He eventually switched to Sunglasses at Night (with an MP3 player built in) after the NCAA banned the visor. Ming was introduced wearing one before she switched to shades (and later ditched even those).

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Clash conceals her face behind a Daft Punk-like helmet. Similarly, Boomerang keeps his identity hidden with a motorcycle helmet.
  • Orbit Smurf from Empath: The Luckiest Smurf wears shiny mirrored wraparounds due to the fact that he's light-sensitive.
  • In From Muddy Waters, Izuku's hero costume includes a helmet with a tinted visor designed to protect his identity from the League of Villains and conveniently hides his frequent expressions of anguish, fear, and regret. Unfortunately, it's all for naught when Noumu and Shigaraki crush and disintegrate it.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Lamp Shaded in Back to the Future. Doc Brown wears one, and Marty waves his hand in front of them to make sure Doc can see him. Later on, Doc specifies that it's a "rear-view visor"—remember that the time-machine hardware which sits upon the engine makes an ordinary rear-view mirror impractical.
  • Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, as well as the Mantis Fighter-Sub pilots.
  • Gigan from Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon and Godzilla: Final Wars has a red one. Fitting considering his nature as an insane alien cyborg kaiju.
  • Cool Rider from Grease 2
  • The Mouth of Sauron from Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
  • RoboCop, as seen in the page image.
  • Jango/Boba Fett's helmets, as well as Clone Troopers from Star Wars.. Also, other bounty hunters like Boushh.
    • Darth Vader's helmet doesn't have a visor per se, but fits the spirit of the trope because he can see while wearing it but his face is masked. However, this may be a subversion because he technically can't see through the eyepieces; instead there is a HUD inside the helmet that looks like Robo Cam.
  • The sunproof spacesuits from Sunshine


    Live-Action TV 
  • A mercenary gunman from Babylon 5 sports one.
  • The mooks, and the heroes' Powered Armor in Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future.
  • Bekhesh from Farscape. Production notes indicates that it's a cybernetic replacement for the top of his head.
  • Emperor Ming's guards (a.k.a. "Patriots") from Flash Gordon.
  • Wraith soldiers from Stargate Atlantis.
  • Geordi laForge's VISOR from Star Trek: The Next Generation is a subversion; he's literally blind without it. It isn't actually transparent from the other side, but a sensor array that relays data to neural implants to give a blind person vision. It's also not a solid visor, but made up of several alternating "teeth" extending from the upper and lower frames (and was based on a popular hair accessory in the 80's/90's). This is so actor Levar Burton could see through it in order to move around on set.
  • Many heroes in Toku series (Power Rangers, Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and many more.) Interestingly, some heroes' visors or eyepieces look like they'd be very hard to see through because they are. Suit actors have more skill than you think.
    • A net movie produced for the Kamen Rider Decade movie revealed that they typically have two versions of a character's helmet: one used for close-ups that looks more solid, and one that has better visibility and is used for action scenes. Even so, while the close-up mask is very blinding, the action mask is still pretty blinding. Kamen Riders' eyepieces are a completely opaque reflective material; the action mask gets a few tiny slits where the closeup mask doesn't, and it's where the eyepieces connect to other parts of the mask (ie, not where your eyes are.) Think of that next time you're watching a Kamen Rider riding a motorcycle, especially with the kind of bike stunts you see in Kamen Rider Kuuga.
  • The Stig from Top Gear.
  • Though Doctor Who villains tend to be humanoid monsters with facial appliances and visible eyes, and the Cybermen (who have apparently one-way eye-holes, though some iterations of their helmets have see-through chins) fall instead under Opaque Lenses, some lesser creatures like the Slabs (animated solid-leather humanoids with the appearance of motorcycle couriers) from "Smith and Jones" do qualify.
  • The titular character of The Mandalorian and the other Mandalorians are seldom seen without their helmets.

  • Daft Punk wear these.
  • The SWAT team from the Animated Music Video for Chage and Aska's On Your Mark
  • Electronic/synth rock band Tupper Ware Remix Party's Doctor Sung (cone-head) and Lord Phobos (gold colored full-face helmet + rebreather) both have their eyes obscured.

  • The male warrior shown in Gottlieb's Gladiators wears one of these.
  • The astronaut on the backglass for Apollo 13 has his face entirely covered. Probably done because Tom Hanks' likeness wasn't available.
  • All the astronauts in Black Hole have these.
  • Many of the male warriors in Laser War wear various face-concealing visors.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000 unsurprisingly features many such helmets. The Dark Eldar are especially fond of these, with mirrored full-face masks common among Reaver jetbike pilots, and most of the Haemonculi "creations" such as Wracks and Grotesques have blank visors surgically implanted over their faces.

    Video Games 
  • The vast majority of humans and human-like characters in Warframe have no indication of any eyesight beyond the occasional strange glowing sensor, with many human allies wearing eye-covering helmets, almost every Grineer wearing a mask with glowing eyes or insectoid sensors, and almost every Corpus' helmet bearing a futuristic glowing visor. Character Customization allows for this as well.
  • Riot police in Deus Ex have one.
  • Terran Marines from StarCraft have this. In StarCraft II, Banshee and Viking pilots have this when their ships are invisible or transformed, respectively.
    • Highlord Mal'ash in Legacy of the Void has a blindfold helmet.
  • Mass Effect
    • Quarian masks outside of conversations. However, during conversations you can clearly see eyes and a nose.
    • Turian Spacesuits.
    • In the first Mass Effect if Commander Shepard or one of their squadmates in human armor (Kaidan, Ashley, or Liara, who's humanoid enough to also wear a set) uses a defensive ability while they have their helmet on, the normally clear visor on the helmet darkens for several seconds, turning it into this. This only occurs in the Playstation 3 version; in the Xbox 360 version when this happens the visor instead completely disappears for a brief period of time instead.
  • RIG helmets from Dead Space, although this is more from being glowy than mirrored; in the Anime we can see the wearer's faces just fine. The Astronaut Suit from Dead Space 3 plays this straight; a mirrored section folds down over the face when entering Vacuum.
  • Dawn of War
    • Sanctioned Psyker helmets. Their helmets are probably all opaque, as it's heavily decorated with imperial religeous ioconography to keep them from exploding or being possessed.
    • Khorne Berserkers.
  • Command & Conquer
  • Combine Elites from Half-Life 2.
  • Halo:
  • The Assassin Cyber from Space Siege
  • Jeanne's Soul Armor from Jeanne d'Arc.
  • BioShock
    • The Big Daddies and Big Sisters from BioShock have an old-fashioned diving helmet on their head, with small portal-style windows, but you can't see through them.
    • The Boys of Silence from BioShock Infinite are a fully-opaque version. They have primitive hearing aids-namely, a pair of ear trumpets-and work by sound to catch you.
    • Firemen from BioShock Infinite start showing up far earlier than the Boys of Silence but they can still see. Their masks appear to be re-purposed stove doors due to their theme of being "a man who tends fires" and "a Man on Fire".
  • Haze
    • Mantel Corporation soldiers.
  • The Nanosuit from Crysis.
    • Subverted with the CELL forces in the second game. While their visors appear to be opaque from a distance, getting up close allows you to see their eyes.
  • Mega Man Geo-Omega from Mega Man Starforce is usually an aversion. Both the Visualizer and Visualize Visor are generally transparent enough to show his eyes. Double Subverted in the official artwork for Operate Shooting Star, however, where he plays Kid from the Future.
    • The Visualizer goes opaque for one panel in the manga to highlight the Manly Tears trickling down from beneath its lens.
  • Komuso from Ōkami.
  • Metroid
  • Zig-Zagged in The Breach. The Security (starting) and Prototype (ending) suits appear to have this, but the cutscenes show us Sergei's expressions through it.
  • Alpha and the Supervisors in Robot City have this for optics.
  • Some of the civilian programs in TRON 2.0 wear these.
  • The "Assassination" mission in Bulletstorm has all members of the Dead Echo team wearing these.
  • Security guards from Doom³.
  • Several outfits from Fallout (the entire series, not just the original). Most prominently, the T-51b Powered Armor (it's on the front of the box for the original and the third game, after all). It's got a sort of squinty, angry-eyes look to it.
    • The Sierra Madre Security Armor in Fallout: New Vegas Dead Money has this somewhat oddly, considering that it is a Palette Swap of the vanilla game's Vault Security Armor, which has a normal transparent visor.
  • Sam's ARS Powered Armor from Vanquish.
  • The Purple Bird in Angry Birds in Space.
  • Authority Doom Troops and Shrouded Mooks from Rage (2011).
  • The character Zer0 from Borderlands 2 has a variety of head cosmetics that feature one way visors, to the extent that few people actually know who they actually are, and the only way you'll ever get a reading of their emotions is through projected emoticons.
  • A visor appears as a vanity piece in Starbound, usually found in Miniknog bases. The tooltip for it says it as it is:
    "You can wear this over your eyes! Does it help you see better? Nope."
  • The Emblem Frames in the Galaxy Angel and Galaxy Angel II trilogies don't have any visible windows on the outer side of their cockpits, but from the inside, the pilots have a perfect tridimensional view of their surroundings.

    Visual Novels 
  • Godot from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations wears a visor consisting of three horizontal, red, glowing lines. It allows him to see since he lost his vision due to poison, but he can't see red on a white background (presumably because the visor tints everything red).

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • The Judicatrix and Pillar Security from Collar 6.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Othar Tryggvassen, GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER! wears a steel visor with a red lens.
    • The Wulfenbach Stealth Fighters wear asymmetrical visors with a stripe of red lens across their left eye that extends across the face towards the right eye until it reaches the frame of the round lens over their right eye.
    • The Jägermonster that gave Agatha a ride to the cave system that the Mechanicsburgers who weren't in town when the Baron attacked are living in after the time skip has a metal visor with a thin red strip that can presumably be seen through that appears to be permanently attached to his face.
  • The alien cabbie from Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger. It's just for show anyway, his eyes aren't behind the visor but on short tendrils around his head.
  • Arbite helmets from Servants of the Imperium.
  • One What Could Have Been strip for Gone with the Blastwave, titled "GWTBW 250k", has Gunless and Sniperguy in helmets that are featureless save for the crosshair etched in the centre and some red detailing.
  • Splink from Zortic. He likes weasring bizzarre makeup and/or prosthetics underneath so he can weird out people who make him take it off. The Continuity Reboot/Retcon introduces the Soykil, who have a pentagonal one as part of their uniforms.
  • One human scientist from Daydream wears one.
  • Dominic Deegan
    • Lord Sigfreid wears one when he's claimed by the Demon Lord Karnak and made into his second-in-command.
    • Part of the Callan Battlecaster uniform.
  • In Puffer and Clarissa, Killer Whale always wears a black visor that covers his eyes.
  • Scarlet and her four sisters' Powered Armor from Sequential Art.
  • Zig-Zagged with Mecha Maid from Spinnerette. About fifty percent of the time she has this.
  • Greylock, the four-armed climber dude, and Gali-Leo from American Barbarian.
  • P-T.U.N.I.A.note  from Beyond the Canopy.
  • Callista of Magick Chicks never seems to take hers off. It's made evident when Cerise removes it and it leaves lines on her face.
  • "Sarge", one of Nova's cyborg minions, from Keychain of Creation.
  • The Emmissary from Chorus of the Neverborn.
  • In Beardy Bastards, when the radio areal on the Sasquatch is being repaired, it's shown that Dwarf space suits have blue ones.
  • Mituna Captor from Homestuck, who wears a helmet with a red/blue visor.
  • Sarilho: It sure is nice when the all the meditans put up their helmets and their faces are no longer visible and they're all wearing the same uniform...
  • Huckleberry's Mechaworm wears a helmet with a red visor that conceals his eyes.

    Web Original 
  • Squall Troopers from Space Janitors.
  • "Icemen" from NES Godzilla Creepypasta.
  • YouTuber Casey Neistat explained why he always wears sunglasses with a reflective finish: it hides that he's actually looking at his camera's wrap-around view finder so he can do things like point at what's going on behind him without having to look back.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Virtual reality kits (Playstation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) are basically centered around this kind of visor. As of 2016, you need at least a Playstation 4 Pro or an AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card to make them work.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Gear VR, which turns your Samsung Galaxy S or Note into a VR kit, features a "pass-through camera" mode, so you can remove the light-shield from the front and actually walk around with a phone where your eyes should be.
  • Space Suits have these, though this is more of a practical need than to make astronauts look badass. (Of course, they do that, too.) They need to filter out direct sunlight since it's kinda bright without an atmosphere to absorb some of it.
  • Welding helmets and goggles have heavily smoked glass to protect one's corneas from the light generated by plasma arcs and metal-melting flames.
  • Hazmat Suits
  • Some sports eyeshields (including motorbiking helmets).
  • Air Force pilots sometimes wear these (as seen on almost every Air Force movie, usually on Mooks). Truth in Television, because when pilots fly that high, the sun is really bright, and they need to see what they're doing.
  • Mirrored, wraparound sunglasses.
  • Invoked by the Nintendo Virtual Boy. It certainly looked the part, but was so heavy it needed a stand.
  • A paparazzi-deterring visor was frequently worn by V. Stiviano while she was involved in Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's scandal over racist comments.
  • Many costumed "fur" characters at the Disney Theme Parks have their "eyes" be lenses for the performer inside to see out of, but the guests can't see in.
    • A lot of other costumes like this use thin black or dark colored fabric at a spot where it makes sense (like the character's mouth). As long as there's enough light, the person can see out enough to make sense of their surroundings but people can't see inside due the combination of the fabric obscuring what's inside and it's too dark inside the suit compared to the surroundings.
  • A low-tech version of the above technology is used in cosplaying and fursuiting. Commonly known as "eye mesh," it is little more than a very light sheet of dark material (sometimes extruded plastic, but usually fabric) which is thin enough for a user to see out of, but is very hard to see into. The shadowing effect of a mask on the face of the wearer retains the illusion of there being nothing past the eyes and permits vision out of something other than an inch-wide hole in a mask.