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Shadowed Face, Glowing Eyes

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Orko, Vivi, Meta Knight, or a Shadow, you know the look when you see it... assuming they don't see you first.

An odd sort of combination of By the Lights of Their Eyes, The Faceless, and maybe Living Shadow, depending on the character, this is when someone is depicted to have a dark head (and sometimes whole body) with contrasting glowing eyes.

The exact cause of this can vary. Sometimes the character's face and body is hidden behind robes that make it difficult to tell what they look like under the hat/helmet/whatever. Other times the character really does have jet black skin with glowing eyes. Whether or not we ever get to see what the character actually looks like depends on the work.

This serves a purpose of making a character seem more mysterious or unusual compared to other characters who have their face be visible. If the're on the side of the heroes, they can be portrayed as cute but powerful characters who posses abilities their partners may not fully understand, but nonetheless are cherished for their abilities and personality. By contrast, if they're one of the villains, expect some similarities to the Grim Reaper, unless they're Adorable Evil Minions. Unlike their heroic counterparts, villainous examples tend to be taller.

Upon death, these characters may have their Eye Lights Out.

Compare Glowing Eyelights of Undeath, where these eyes are inside the eye sockets of a skull, and Fade Around the Eyes, which temporarily induces a similar visual effect during a fade-to-black. Black Bead Eyes are the inverse of this trope. Not to be confused with either Conspicuous Trenchcoat, which sometimes invokes this trope, or Face Framed in Shadow.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Conductor from Galaxy Express 999 only has two visible glowing yellow eyes that peek out from his shadowed face under his uniform. He's actually entirely invisible, having his hat on creates enough of a shadow for him to easily be able to see.
  • Bytheway from Inazma Delivery, inside the mouth of his shark costume, has a pair of glowing yellow eyes visible in the mouth's shadow. It's one of the few constant alien features he has, and is the one shown off the most.
  • Mob Psycho 100:
    • Of the shadowed body variant. Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama tends to look like this if violently separated from his consciousness; this occurs when another character strangles him in the first season and when he is struck by a car on the way to ask out his childhood friend in the third.
    • When he is first introduced, Scar echelon member Koyama's purple hoodie obscures his entire face, except for his glowing red eyes.
  • Wiseman from Sailor Moon is a cloaked figure with two eerie eyes peaking out from it. Later revealed to be a skeleton-like creature and spawn of Chaos.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman: While Ares can manifest however he pleases if he so desires starting in Wonder Woman (1987) his standard is to appear in dark blued armor with his face entirely shadowed save for his glowing red eyes. His sons use this appearance to imitate him in Wonder Woman (Rebirth).

    Fan Fiction 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Red eyes that glow are characteristic of Dungeon Keepers, and their faces may be shadowed for multiple reasons. Here are two, from the titular character...
    • In "Dark Messenger", Ami is shadowed due to mundane shadows of her throne blocking light:
      Ami was sitting on the massive piece of furniture, wrapped in shadows so deep that not much aside from her glowing red eyes was visible,
    • From "The Upper City", Ami's dark-colored evil magic Battle Aura, is covering her due to her massive amounts of magic "fighting against the wards [in the area]", so that those eyes are the only thing that can be seen, and the rest of her is a dark figure.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Lord of the Rings: In the 1978 Ralph Bakshi animated version of part of The Lord of the Rings, the Ringwraiths are depicted with glowing red eyes, sometimes with their faces obscured by hoods.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars: The Jawas of Tatooine are small humanoids who wear thick hooded cloaks that conceal the entire face, save for two glowing eyes.

  • Harry Potter: Voldemort is described (and shown in the film adaptations) to have a very serpent-like face, making this normally an Averted Trope. However, in one of the chapter illustrations for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, he is shown fighting against Albus Dumbledore. In the illustration, his robed body is drawn, but his face is obscured in darkness by his cloak, leaving only his glowing red eyes visible.
  • Liv in the Future: Mr. Prez is always depicted as a shadowy figure with glowing orange eyes, even in brightly-lit environments such as atop a parade float or on a TV broadcast.
  • Played With in The Seventh Tower. There is this monster that lives in a cave, appears to be a big hulking thing with glowing eyes... but then you realize that is getting ready to strike, and those red things are its glowing tonsils.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel The Siege, the visiting Edemians have polished, jet-black skin and glowing red eyes, which naturally causes many of the locals to distrust them, especially when they insist on proselytizing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Blackadder episode "Witchsmeller Pursuivant", the Witchsmeller first appears wearing a hood under which only two glowing red eyes can be seen. In-universe, this seems to be part of his costume, as when he takes the hood off his eyes are entirely normal.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: A black slaad's face, like the rest of its body, is a featureless mass of shadow from which two points of light peer out.

    Theme Parks 
  • The Tamariki at Iowa's Lost Island Theme Park are a tribe of childlike horned spirits with eyes glowing beneath their hoods that keep balance between the elements at play elsewhere in the park.

    Video Games 
  • Astra Hunter Zosma: Zosma is a helmeted warrior with a completely shadowed face and glowing eyes, making him look like a magenta Dissonance. However, while most examples of this trope in Torch's works are spirits, Zosma is a human.
  • Beyond Sunset has the player's Mysterious Informant, Raven, who's depicted as clad in a face-hiding cloak in all her scenes save for glowing orange eyes.
  • Bug Fables: Some characters have faces that are obscured by their exoskeleton, leaving only their eyes visible underneath. Notably, beetle characters usually only have one eye visible, but it's confirmed that they all have both eyes and that they function correctly.
  • Chantelise: What are presumably ghosts — given their Intangibility — are flying cloaks with patches of darkness for faces, yellow dots in the darkness serving as eyes.
  • Deltarune: Ralsei, our sweet goat companion, dawns a green hat and robes which shields his face and body's true colors from the player and other characters while leaving his glasses and eyes visible. When taking his hat off he reveals his white fur and pink horns.
  • Eldritch Lands: The Witch Queen's Eternal War The upper part of the protagonist Sofia's face is usually covered in shade, the exceptions being when she is in complete private in places like her bedroom or storage room. This is fitting for her, with her shadowy motives, and questionable personal thoughts being hard to read.
  • Enter the Gungeon: When playing in Co-Op mode, the second player will play as The Cultist, who wears purple robes that hide their face. Their glowing yellow eyes are visible, and sometimes their mouth as well.
  • Eternal Senia: Hydrangea After The Rain
    • Bushies are piles of leaves with a black patch with two glowing yellow dots inside.
    • Cloakies are floating cloaks shrouded in darkness, with their yellow eyes being the only visible feature.
  • Final Fantasy
    • The Black Mages wear blue robes with a yellow hat, leaving their face obscured while their eyes glow from within. The design was initially due to the sprite limitations of the NES (and upgrading to Black Wizard would ditch the hat and show his face), but stuck around as graphics improved. There's even an entire race of Black Mages in Final Fantasy IX, and every member has this design.
    • Dwarves in Final Fantasy IV have the appearance of a dark shadowy face with glowing eyes, but lack the traditional wizard attire of a Black Mage. They even have visible hair on their heads, but their faces are still darkened.
  • Freedom Planet: The Royal Magister's face is obscured by shadow from his helmet, leaving only the eyes visible. In the climax of the sequel, Askal knocks off his helmet, revealing his true face underneath.
  • Hero of Sparta: Hades' appearance in the first game is a Tin Tyrant whose face underneath his helmet is just a shadow with two glowing eyes. The sequel averts it by showing his face in the opening cutscene.
  • Hollow Knight: Several characters are depicted this way, when they don't wear a mask or have Black Bead Eyes instead.
  • Journey (2012): The main character wears red robes and has glowing white eyes underneath them.
  • Kirby:
    • Meta Knight wears a face mask that covers his face. Only his eyes glow underneath. When his mask is removed he is revealed to look very similar to Kirby.
    • Simirror is a recurring enemy type that grants the Mirror ability. They are Black Mage-esque magicians that are depicted as bundle of robes wearing a scarf and hat that causes bright white pupils to peek out from their shadowed faces.
    • Kirby's Return to Dream Land marks the debut of Magolor, who has yellow (red in his One-Winged Angel form) eyes peeking out of his shadowed face.
    • Hyness from Kirby Star Allies wears a white robe with a hood and has glowing yellow eyes underneath. When his hood falls off during his boss battle, he's revealed to be extremely weird and ugly looking.
  • League of Legends has Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil, who is visually reminiscent of a Final Fantasy Black Mage with his giant wizard hat, cloak, and glowing yellow eyes. While his in-game model and a few splash arts kept it ambiguous on whether it's a silhouette or his literal appearance, later appearances revealed it to be the latter — without his hat, it turns out he actually is a fuzzy, black-furred thing with naturally monochrome eyes.
  • Mega Man X4: Sigma's first form has a pretty clear parallel to the grim reaper, with glowing yellow eyes from a face hidden by a dark cloak, while also floating and carrying around a huge scythe. Luckily for X and Zero, that robe is flammable, and they have Rising Fire and Ryuenjin, respectively.
  • Minecraft: The Endermens' bodies are entirely black, aside from their glowing, purple eyes. Their creepy appearance adds to the ominous, mysterious feeling their presence gives off.
  • "Paper Mario": Across most of the original Paper Mario trilogy, there is a family of recurring powerful magic users, such as Merlon, Merlee, Merlow, Merluvlee, and several more with the same naming scheme [[with the exception of Merlon's counterpart Nolrem in Super Paper Mario, who's name is simply Merlon spelled backwards.]]
  • Prayer of the Faithless: Masks of Solidarity in Confinement look like six-eyed semi-humanoids that cover their face with a hood and only those yellow eyes can be seen, with a tentacle stalk for a lower body, but its "hood" looks more like a mouth with teeth.
  • Recettear: Ghosts are flying cloaks with patches of darkness for faces, and dots of yellow for eyes.
  • Shantae: Risky's Revenge: Druids, named in the Achievement System for Steam, are red-cloaked enemies' with their faces hidden by their hoods and only their eyes can be seen. They're in Hypno Baron's labyrinth and attack Shantae with a long-windup Always Accurate Attack of lightning through a portal that hits her anywhere in same the room as them.
  • Soma Spirits:
    • The guardian spirits, Heart and Soul, are portrayed as humanoids with shadowed faces and either yellow or gray for their eyes. Given the character synopsis of the upcoming sequel, Soma Union, this is a physical trait of spirits.
    • The rulers of Soma, Form and Dissonance, also have shadowed faces and colored eyes, though Dissonance's mouth is covered by his helmet. However, it's unknown if they are spirits, since the story refers to them as "great beings."
  • Soundtrack Attack: The player character's superior is rendered in silhouette, sole feature visible being her glowing red eyes, done to make her more menacing and hide her using the same model as the player character.
  • Stardew Valley: The dwarf always wears a metal helmet; as a result, the player can only see their two glowing eyes.
  • The Messenger (2018): The Order of the Blue Robes is an organization whose members keep their identity a secret, wearing the eponymous blue robes, a white necklace, and leaving only their glowing red eyes visible.
  • The Vampire Hunter player character from Turn Undead is dressed all in purple. He has his face perpetually hidden in the shadow of his hat, leaving only his yellow eyes visible.
  • The monster of Vacation Story, who sometimes appears to attack the players, is a shadow creature with glowing eyes.
  • Water's Fine: Wave is a diver wearing a diving suit, whose helmet only leaves his eyes visible. This effect is achieved via the game's Retraux style of sprite limitations.

    Web Animation 
  • Minilife TV: In Master Quoker's debut in "Season 3 Finale!", only his yellow eyes are visible on his shadowed face, but starting with Season 4, his mouth also becomes visible.
  • Mystery Skulls Animated: Invoked and exaggerated; Chole goes to work in full cosplay, which involves a hood that obscures her face, leaving her glasses, mouth, and even her freckles glowing from the darkness.
  • The titular Nomad of Nowhere has his face be obscured by red scarves, with only his white eyes visible underneath. He's actually an enchanted scarecrow.
  • Trick Moon: Exaggerated; Big Bad Dr. Bleak's entire body is coated in shadow, with his yellow eyes visibly glowing out of the darkness.
  • The Auditor from Madness Combat is a being made of a fiery shadow-like substance, and sports a Non-Standard Character Design of having two glowing red eyes.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick: The members of the Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission, whose robe hoods shadow their faces except for their glowing eyes.
  • Rusty and Co.: Calamitus, a sorcerer in a hooded robe, covering his face in darkness, and eyes are represented as yellow dots. Seen in multiple pages, first appearance is "Level 1: #32".
  • unOrdinary: To indicate that John is slipping back into the angry hyper violent mindset he had while masquerading as "Joker" his face is shown shaded to total darkness with only the eerie eye glow of his activated ability shown as detail while fighting the Rowden Royals.
  • Avania: Magical agents Valenvarius and Eiserne are initially cloaked in opaque shadow save for their glowing eyes, during their introduction in the first chapter.

    Western Animation 
  • The Huntsman from American Dragon: Jake Long is portrayed this way in the first season, with the only thing besides total darkness underneath his dragon skull helmet being glowing red eyes. This is changed due to the animation style change in season two, where he seems to be wearing a balaclava underneath the helmet and has normal human eyes.
  • The version of Mr. Freeze from The Batman usually has his entire head covered by a dome of ice, with the only things visible underneath being the dark silhouette of his head and his glowing red eyes.
  • Care Bears (1980s): The dark wizard No Heart wears dark cloaks that obscure his face, with only his burning red eyes ever being the part of it that's visible.
  • Clone High: In the musical episode, Raisin The Stakes, The Pusher, a mysterious drug dealer who turns out to be Jack Black makes his first and last appearance wearing a gray hoodie with his face obscured except his glowing eyes and mouth.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In the episode G.I.R.L. Squad, Dee Dee and her friends get inspired by the school assembly on "neighborhood crime fighting" and form their own watch group. They take this too far when they start imagining that there's a sinister shadowed figure with glowing white eyes, prowling in their own neighborhood and they try to catch the suspect. it turns out that it was just the friendly neighborhood gardener making his rounds.
  • Orko from Masters of the Universe is a Trollan, a race of magical humanoid creatures who wear robes that conceal their faces. However, his yellow eyes are always visible.
  • Over the Garden Wall: Exaggerated, then subverted. The Beast is normally seen as a totally black silhouette with only two glowing eyes visible. However, one quick shot near the end of the series shows that the Beast actually does have a more detailed, fleshy-colored body. It seems he was just hiding in shadow the rest of the time.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: The villainess Shadow Weaver's entire face is obscured by shadow and her hood, with only her yellow eyes visible. It is said she was horribly deformed by the same Horde Gem that she used to gain her enhanced magical powers.
  • In Sponge Bob Squarepants, the Hash-slinging Slasher. While the immediate scene afterwards explain that it's a completely normal (though odd-looking) fellow who wanted to work on the Krusty Krab, it still doesn't explain the glowing red-eyes.
  • Time Squad: The beginning of the episode "Whitehouse Weirdness" has Tuddrussel and Otto sitting around a camp fire when they spot a pair of evil looking blue eyes hovering in the dark among the trees, and they scream at the sight. It's revealed that it was only a very grumpy Larry 3000, who came out to yell at them.


Video Example(s):


Adieu Galaxy Express 999

The Conductor reveals the reason he has an invisible body, along with revealing this trait to Tetsuro.

How well does it match the trope?

4.14 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TakeAThirdOption

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