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Stealthy Colossus

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"Unknown to them all, the Minotaur is hiding in the shadows behind her.
This is not an easy thing to do when you're 10- feet-tall and your head is a cow."

A Stealthy Colossus is a character or machine that is ginormously huge (relative to their size category, anyway) yet somehow manages to stay undetected whenever they want. While a Barbarian Hero might still conceivably sneak up on someone, these guys go even further. If the setting is comical, they will tiptoe behind their prey. Otherwise, they will enter the scene in a fittingly dramatic fashion, possibly with a Surprisingly Sudden Death.


Compare Surprise Vehicle and Suspiciously Stealthy Predator. Related to Impossibly Graceful Giant, Acrofatic, Stealth Expert, With Catlike Tread, and possibly Offscreen Teleportation. Compare/contrast Highly Visible Ninja.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Gundam examples:
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam, this is initially the whole point of building mobile suits, as they have reactors whose byproducts mess with radars so they can sneak on battleships and hit them with nuclear weapons (this is how Zeon won in the Battle of Loum in spite of the enemy fleet outnumbering them three-to-one and having more powerful warships to boot: Zeon's mobile suits snuck on them during the battleships' shootout and let loose with nukes). In theory this could be applied to normal Space Fighters, but in practice Zeon's experiments found that a humanoid vehicle is better in the necessary close range manouvers.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has Deathscythe, which has the ability to cloak. When used in deep space, it fades Predator-style and blends seamlessly with the surrounding field of stars, effectively becoming invisible.
  • The Zaibach Stealth Guymelefs in Vision of Escaflowne are Humongous Mecha with equally humongous Magitek Invisibility Cloaks. Since they tend to be quite noisy when moving and leave huge footprints behind them, once you know they're there they're not hard to keep track of, although in the heat of battle they can still often get behind you while you're focused on fighting the one you can see. Amusingly, several Mooks act as though their imperfect stealth were an invincible trump card.
  • Attack on Titan has the Colossal Titan. Possibly one of his biggest dangers is that he can appear and disappear at will, often only briefly showing up before breaking holes in a Wall for the other Titans to go through. This is because, like Eren, the Colossal Titan is a Shifter.
  • In One Piece, the biggest character in the series is named Colossal Battleship and was somehow able to hide from a gigantic battle without anyone noticing him until he was pointed out.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • In ''The Middleman (comic and series), El Comelon ("the Glutton") is a Mexican Wrestler-Assassin who weighs 400 pounds, but has been known to "squeeze through spaces the diameter of a tennis racket."

    Fan Works 
  • A Keychain of Creation fan comic had the Kukla sneaking up on someone. The Kukla is a dragon the size of a mountain range. The character in question had fallen for the Look Behind You trick with regard to the Kukla multiple times, and probably chocked this under Crying Wolf.
  • In The Weaver Option the Venerable Ancient Pierre is a Dreadnought, a war walker that can stand 4 meters tall and weighs in excess of 10 tons. Despite this Pierre is stil able to execute infiltration missions and in one instance was able to sneak up right behind a target without being noticed.

    Films — Animation 
  • Megamind has the villain in a multi-storey mech at one point, sneakily hiding around corners while the Face–Heel Turn hero he created flies by at top speed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Godzilla
    • 'Zilla from the 1998 Godzilla is somehow able to sneak around and hide in the middle of New York City without anyone noticing him, for the most part.
    • Godzilla from 2014 Godzilla pulls this twice; the second time is how he finally kills the female MUTO.
  • Transformers (almost) makes a joke of how easily massive robots can hide.
  • In Cloverfield, the eponymous multi-ton, many-legged, several stories-high monster sneaks up on the protagonists and bites the cameraman in half.
  • Pacific Rim has the kaiju Leatherback being completely undetected until it makes its Dynamic Entry from underwater.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • The T. rex from the original Jurassic Park somehow pulls this off at the film's climax, sneaking into a building and attacking before either the humans or the raptors notice its presence. Sort of unusual considering its footsteps were shown to cause Bad Vibrations beforehand.
    • The Indominus rex from Jurassic World is engineered to be this, as an entire Redshirt Army learns the hard way.
    • In he opening scene of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the now-enormous Mosasaurus manages to creep up on the small submarine and close her jaws on it without the men inside noticing her.
  • Happens continuously in Kong: Skull Island: from the smaller monsters all the way up to Kong himself.

  • In The Wheel of Time, one of the characters that travels with Mat for a while is Chel Vanin, an exceptional former horse thief and poacher who also happens to also be particularly fat. Mat notes multiple times just how remarkable he is, given his fatness. Indeed, Mat judges him to be so good at what he does, he makes him the head scout in the Band of the Red Hand - that's right, a balding, fat head scout.
  • In Myth Adventures, Skeeve has Chumley sneak up on and kidnap his apprentices, to teach them about judging people prematurely.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Titanicus, on one occasion a Titan is able to sneak up on infantry despite literally being large enough to shake the earth when it walks.
  • The so-called "Phantom Mech" in BattleTech Expanded Universe's Warrior trilogy made the 10 story tall BattleMechs piloted by Morgan (and Patrick) Kell and Yorinaga Kurita completely invisible to all forms of electronic sensors, and all weapons fired at them would miss. It's never elaborated as to whether it's a LosTech stealth system or destiny.
  • In the spy novel Slow Horses and its sequels, former field agent Jackson Lamb is overweight, seemingly out of shape and practically silent. Sometimes lethally so.
  • Shiraa of The Dinosaur Lords, an honest-to-god Allosaurus, routinely manages to out-sneak and out-stealth people right in the open.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Doctor Who episode "The Angels Take Manhattan" reveals that the Statue of Liberty itself is a Weeping Angel, and for all the millions of people living in New York city, all the people working or out and about even at night, all those keeping a watch on the Statue of Liberty as part of their jobs, it found one brief moment where nobody was looking at it, giving it the chance to move off Ellis Island and right up to the hotel located across the street from Battery Park.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Munchkin's "Need for Steed" expansion introduced a Ninja Giant, while the Munchkin Fu game has a mecha ninja called the "Fifty Ton Master of Stealth".
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Anyone attempting to use the Hide skill receives a bonus or penalty based on their size category, which can be offset by sinking enough points into it. Oddly enough (or not, see Real Life below) the Move Silently skill has no such size-based penalties, meaning you can have a red great wyrm (Klauth in Forgotten Realms), that despite a Colossal size has a very respectable bonus there —and this without factoring magic in.
    • Though it's technically Huge instead of Colossal, the Fog Giant gets a respectable Hide bonus in sufficiently foggy conditions.
    • Hide is also considered a class skill for certain types of dragons, and even if it isn't, as natural sorcerers they have access to spells to make up for it — this is probably how the Gold Dragon depicted in the Monster Manual is sneaking up on two tiptoeing Orcs.
    • Finally, this is the schtick of Bugbears in D&D and derivative works like Pathfinder, which have a natural affinity for moving quietly despite being the bulkiest of the goblinoids.
  • Pathfinder: Wood giants are fourteen feet tall and weigh well over 1,000 pounds, but can move through thick vegetation with unnerving speed and near-absolute quiet.
  • Warhammer has a model, if not rules, for an Ogre Ninja. Yes, really.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Space Marines are power armored super soldiers with a foot or two on normal humans, but several chapters such as the Raven Guard, Night Lords or Alpha Legion also manage to be quite stealthy as well, much to their enemies' dismay.
    • The Horus Heresy novels describe Mortarion and Corax's ability to appear out of nowhere, despite being to Space Marines what Space Marines are to normal humans.
    • Imperial Guard special character General Ursakar E. Creed has the ability to give units the Scouts rule, allowing them to move onto the table from reserve and outflank the enemy. Even if these reserves are Baneblade super-heavy battle tanks, or Reaver Titans. Memetic Mutation has taken this to hilarious extremes, as evidence of Creed's incredible "Tactical Genius."
    • Grey Knights special character Kaldor Draigo has a similar ability, though his only applies to infantry squads. In this case, psychic powers help explain how three units of Space Marine Terminators suddenly appeared on the enemy's flank.
    • Orks are hulking green brutes who for the most part love loud noises and headlong charges, which is why some Imperial commanders refuse to believe that Ork "Kommandos" exist.
    • The Tau's Stealth Suits are pretty bulky compared to their standard infantry, but have advanced camouflage systems that allow them to infiltrate ahead of the rest of their force.
  • BattleTech:
    • Various powerful ECM systems exist, most of which are LosTech. The Chameleon Light Polarization Shield and the Null Signature System make a BattleMech completely invisible to visual detection and sensors, respectively. The Word of Blake combined the two (otherwise mutually exclusive) systems in their Void Signature System and put it to good use in their Raptor II battlemech, which could fade in and out of combat. However, excessive production costs, heat and accuracy penalties made the Void system very rare.
    • The "Phantom mech" ability seen in the BattleTech Expanded Universe made Morgan Kell and Yorinaga Kurita's battlemechs completely invisible to any sensors when in combat; radar, infrared, and magnetic sensors wouldn't pick them up, targeting computers couldn't establish a lock, and dumbfired weapons would miss entirely. It's never made clear what the Phantom Mech ability is; destiny, or an extremely potent LosTech ECM system.
  • The Spoils go to combat evasion ability is called "Covert." The flavor is that a Covert character knows how to get secret access to the enemy Faction, and thus a fully Covert party can only be stopped by another party of Covert characters. Of course, some Covert characters get very large. This being The Spoils, lampshades are hung on the increasingly unlikely size of Covert characters, culminating in the 12/12/3 Sneaky Mansion, a literal house that can kill most players in two hits.

    Video Games 
  • A mechanized example: aerial fortress Gleipnir from Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception is enormously huge yet its cloaking system allows it to make stealth incursions into enemy territory with impunity.
  • Before the Gleipnir came the Hresvelgr from Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War. While it doesn't contain any stealth capabilities, your base didn't know of it's approach until mere moments before it starts its bombing run. In the cutscene to scramble all jets before the runway was destroyed, you're left waiting for a few minutes before you're cleared to taxi, helpless to do nothing but watch while the ship flies overhead.
  • The roadies in Brütal Legend haul enormous piles of amps on their backs to battle... but are completely invisible unless they attack. Why? Because they're roadies and nobody ever notices roadies. Eddie, being a roadie himself, can also become invisible by jumping on top of said amps.
  • Dawn of War 2: Retribution:
    • In his ending cutscene, Captain Bluddflagg manages to sneak up on an Inquisitor, despite being about a size of a Dreadnought.
    • One of Bluddflagg's lieutenants, Spookums ,is an Kommando Nob, an Ork stealth expert despite being about 8 feet tall and about 4 feet wide at his shoulders.
  • Rooftrellen the Treant Protector from Dota 2 is huge, fairly tanky, has the game's highest base attack damage, and his steps are accompanied by a very loud thumping sound... Yet one of his skills makes him completely invisible and somewhat faster as long as he stands near trees.
  • The Fallout series has the Nightkin, a Stealthy Mook variant of the hulking Super Mutants who are surprisingly sneaky, even accounting for their Stealth Boys. Unfortunately they've also become addicted to those Stealth Boys, hate being looked at, and most have developed schizophrenia. So they're not just sneaky brutes who can ambush you with swords fashioned from helicopter props, they're crazy, sneaky brutes who can ambush you with swords fashioned from helicopter props.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening has the unintentionally stealthy Kellam. Kellam is a knight who wears massive armour and wields a huge shield and a lance, however his naturally quiet personality and near supernatural plain looks mean that most people never notice that he's even in the room.
  • Rau from Mark of Kri, and its sequel Rise of the Kasai, is a huge quasi-Polynesian that's easily double the size of his enemies. Sneaking around and stealth-killing is a major part of his gameplay. However, his huge size does come in handy: he's able to stealth-kill two guys at once.
  • 20 to 100 ton bipedal tanks in the MechWarrior series can become absurdly good at stealth when equipped with electronic counter-measures, despite the ground shaking under the force of their footsteps. One Stealth-Based Mission in MW4: Mercenaries has the plow running from cover to cover (the cover being occupied enemy buildings) inside a densely patrolled enemy base; the people inside the buildings seem to not notice the walls shaking or the oddly painted and armed mech running around outside. In Living Legends, it's possible to become completely invisible to sensors by hiding inside an Angel ECM bubble with your sensors disabled. Apparently, sensors in the future cannot detect nuclear fusion reactors, seismic vibrations, or the solid wall of armor and weapons that make up a battlemech.
  • Player example in Team Fortress 2: One'd never think a Husky Russkie with a 300 pound minigun could be sneaky. Getting punched in the back with mittens that make you laugh uncontrollably and gunned down while you're laughing helplessly will change your mind in a hurry.
  • Tyranny has Kills-in-Shadow, a massive beastwoman who towers over humans and treats the game's massive two-handed blades as one-handed weapons. She's also a natural ambush predator who is called "Kills-in-Shadow" for a good reason.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Devilsaurs of Un'Goro Crater are notorious for being able to sneak up on players despite being the setting's equivalent of Tyrannosaurus rex.
    • The colossal Fel Reavers marching around Outland's Hellfire Peninsula are similarly notorious, despite the ground quaking from their footfalls. Someone who wasn't paying attention would notice the shaking, dash wildly in a direction they can't see the Reaver, and discover too late that it was approaching them from an angle and they've run right into its aggro radius. Even worse, during the beta, the Fel Reaver model was at one point accidentally switched to a much smaller black bear model.
    • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has the Stealth ability that makes its bearer unable to be targeted until they've dealt damage. This includes the card Ogre Ninja, which is literally a very sneaky two-headed monster who is about twelve feet tall.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: The Enemy Within Expansion Pack adds MEC Troopers, cyborg soldiers that use huge mechanical suits to fight the alien threat. The same expansion adds the Ghost Grenade, an item that cloaks any units inside its effect radius, including said MEC Troopers.
  • XCOM 2 has the SPARK Troopers added in the Shen's Last Gift DLC. They're the same size as MEC Troopers from the previous game, but just as capable of starting a mission in Concealment as the rest of your squad. Though at least they have the benefit of a minor stealth field to help blur their profile.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • From The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, there's Mongo the Uberninja. He's a 7-feet-tall, colossally-muscled giant who habitually dual-wields CHAINSAWS (that is, chainsaw-chucks)... but he's still able to sneak up on ANYONE, even the main character, because... well, he's a NINJA!

    Western Animation 
  • Gossamer, the Mad Scientist's monster in Bugs Bunny cartoons.
  • Parodied in an episode of Invader Zim with the Megadoomer, an impractically large robot with a "stealth" mode. It turns invisible, but it trails its visible cord behind it, leaves enormous footprints, and doesn't cloak the rider.
  • The Megas XLR episode "Breakout" has a large group of mecha-sized alien criminals released at one point. One of them appears to be a martial artist with a cloaking device, which he uses to move around silently and use hit and run tactics on Megas. This being Megas XLR, he is defeated when Coop fires missiles in all directions at once.
  • Despite being as tall as a house, Sentinels from the X-Men would occasionally manage to be stealthy when tracking their targets.
  • Dinotrux has the massive Ty Rux, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Excavator combined, paint himself in camouflage to sneak past enemies. Though somewhat realistically, this only seems to work because the things he is using it on aren't that bright.
  • In a Gravity Falls short, the Hide Behind is the size of a small tree, yet is able to quickly hide when people turn to look in its direction.

    Real Life 
  • Despite their massive size, elephants are surprisingly stealthy. They actually make very little noise when walking and have been known to sneak onto farms and eat the crops without being noticed.
  • Any large submarine. That's kind of the point of being a submarine.
  • During the Battle of Cape Matapan in WWII, excellent light and noise discipline by the Royal Navy combined with the Italian lack of radar allowed two British battleships to close to within two kilometers of an Italian cruiser squadron and open fire, which is the naval equivalent of this trope. The results were predictable.
  • This is also possible in real life thanks to the mental emphasis in both silhouettes and movement when trying to detect someone. As long as someone remains absolutely still, it becomes much more difficult to detect them in any given situation. This can then be compounded by not seeing what's expected because it's not at "head height", which causes the mind to not classify it as human. Meaning, in essence, that the same principles of stealth work in favor for both extremes of the height spectrum. The part that often causes issues is sound, with many disorders that cause height also affecting the nervous system in a way that causes a level of clumsiness and makes it difficult for the colossus in question to move quietly. In summary: if you are big, stand still in a place where no one is likely to focus on you, and whoever's looking your way is likely to fail their spot check.
  • In the debate of which is superior between the two most common pistol calibers, 9 mm rounds have quite a few advantages, most notably in that they are lighter, faster, and are easier to implement More Dakka with; however, their speed also makes them somewhat louder. .45 ACP on the other hand is larger, and a Mighty Glacier by comparison, but its slower speed reportedly makes it quieter, especially when used with a silencer.
  • The M1 Abrams is quite possibly the quietest tank in the world... as one Iraqi tank crew found out the hard way, when the Abrams they were sneaking up on was discovered to have already snuck up on them. Commanded competently, tanks in general are this trope despite all appearances; he who hides better will usually win, because being able to hide better usually means being able to fire first.
  • This is pretty much how a lot of large predators hunt, particularly predatory fish; mostly due to camouflage that enables them to sneak up on prey, or lie in wait before attacking. The Giant Pacific Octopus is one such colossus...albeit at a smaller scale.
  • It's indicated that large predatory dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex would have had fleshy foot pads that greatly softened their tread, enabling them to sneak up on prey despite being the size of elephants. After all, it'd be pretty hard to get close to prey if one shook the ground as they walked.
  • Infamous mob hitman Richard Kuklinski better known as "The Iceman" was 6'5, 270lbs. and his own family described him as cat-like in how easily he could sneak up on people, though they only knew him as a prank-playing Gentle Giant at the time.
  • Stellar mass black holes in a way. Even if in real life gravity does not suck, their tiny size despite their large mass (here the "Colossus" part) means one that was approaching the Solar System would likely not be detected until it began messing with the planet's orbits.
  • Hilariously, revealed in this interview for the promotion of Avengers: Infinity War by Dave Bautista, of all people, who is tall and a mountain of muscle that he has a weird ability to blend in with people, to the point that he went to the theatres to watch Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool six times and was recognized only once! Hilariously, his character Drax does and says something very similar in Infinity War as well, which has become a a meme.

Alternative Title(s): Large Quiet Creature


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