Cyber Cyclops

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

It seems that if you want to give a Killer Robot, Cyborg, or Humongous Mecha a really sinister look, you have to build it with just one eye.

Similar to the Uncanny Valley, by deliberately giving androids a characteristic that is not human, you're making the audience realize how creepily in-human they actually are. For more standard robots or Humongous Mecha, a single eye denotes a sinister asymmetry not found anywhere in nature (except the flounder). It doesn't help these eyes are lidless and usually glow a relentless red, creating the illusion of a singular and evil focus.

Almost always a type of Glowing Mechanical Eyes. Contrast Faceless Eye. Frequently prone to Eye Lights Out. For the organic version, see Cyclopean Creature.

Examples of Cyber Cyclops include:

Anime and Manga

  • The Zaku isn't the only example from Gundam, simply the best known. Pretty much all the antagonistic factions in UC and CE use monoeyes (normally in the colour of red) for all their mobile suits; Zeon, the Titans, Axis Zeon, Neo Zeon, and ZAFT all use monoeyes almost exclusively.
    • And the only reason OZ's mobile suits don't count is that their mono-eye is so large, it takes up nearly the entire "face", and makes them The Blank.
    • While the Space Revolution Army of Gundam X have the traditional mono-eyes, early Earth Federation mobile suits have the more unusual triple-eyes.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00 the old-school Tierens have the monoeye, the Flags and Enacts (and their predecessors) have one visible eye (if you look closely) above the reflective mask (with a scar like marking down the left side that lights up, for dramatic effect) that covers most of the robots face, and the Alien like GN-X series have four eyes.
    • Don't forget the Death Army.
      • And Neo Japan's Busshi,
    • Zeta Gundam is more egalitarian: both the AEUG and the Titans use mobile suits with monoeyes (Rick Dias for the AEUG, and the Zaku-based Hizacks for the Titans).
    • The up-coming Mobile Suit Gundam AGE has the Mobile Suits named Genoace, a mass-production unit with one big eye (similar to the OZ-MS from Wing) and the Genoace Custom, which has a smaller eye (actually a small visor, but it's still its eye). On the other hand there are the Gafran, who're actually Aliens the size of Mobile Suits with beam cannons in their tails, and thus probably not qualifying nearly as well.
      • And now, with the Gala and the Elmeda, the series has its own share of Zeonic-looking Mobile Suits.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has Unit 00. On a side note, unit 01 had two eyes, and 02 had four.
    • ...and the Mass Production Type EVA units have no apparent eyes.
    • 1+2+4=7, and seven eyes shows up a lot in the Book of Revelation (and under Lilith's mask). Thus, there weren't any more eyes to go around for the Mass Production Units.
    • We also have Jet Alone, who, much like Maximillian mentioned in The Black Hole (see Film section), appears to have a "furrowed" cyclopean eye, that doesn't even resemble an eye that well. Also, much like Maximillian, it resembles a very sinister grin.
  • The Phantoma's and Raptors in Zone of the Enders.
  • Most Knightmare Frames in Code Geass have a single large sensor, also known as a Factsphere.
  • Gunbuster, unlike most of the examples on here, is another instance of the protagonists using a one-eyed machine. GunBuster has even been referred to the god of all Zakus.
  • The Shapes in Texhnolyze.
  • The I- and M-versions of the Codarl from Full Metal Panic!. The prototype has three eyes; actually, the others kept them as well, they just remain unused. In a way, the mass-produced M9 fit this trope as well since it has a single, rotatable eye behind a green visor which is lowered when ECCS is engaged (the prototype has two eyes, as do every other mecha in the series).
  • Subverted in Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the very first Valkyrie had a single eye (although it was blue, usually a "heroic" color). With the exception of the Sound Force mechs in Macross 7, all other Valkyries either go for the mono-eye, multiple distributed eyes (Michael's unit in Macross Frontier), or, most frequently, visors.
  • The series being based upon The Odyssey, Ulysses in Ulysses 31 had to fight a cyclops of course. A gigantic mechanical cyclops.
  • In GaoGaiGar, EI-14 has two eye-sockets, but only one eye that keeps changing place, thus making it qualify as a Cyber Cyclops. Then again, it is a Zaku...

Comic Books

  • M-11, the Human Robot, from Marvel's Agents of Atlas. His monoeye primarily adds to his inscrutable nature.
  • Subverted in X-Factor. In an alternate future, Cyclops has become a cyborg with several robotic limbs, but while he's still named 'Cyclops', he also seems to have mastered his optic powers and no longer wears the distinctive one-eyed visor.
  • ROM Spaceknight manages a heroic example even combined with the Faceless Mechanical Glowing Eye.


  • In 2001: A Space Odyssey HAL 9000 couples his Creepy Monotone with an unblinking, cyclopean eye.
  • Maximillian from Disney's The Black Hole. "Furrowed" brow added for increased Evil Value.
    • It's also easy to mistake as a grin, all the more disturbing when he's chopping people up.
  • The City of Lost Children has a religious cult of blind men with one electronic eye who kidnaps kids.
  • Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still fires his disintegration beam from a single ominous point under his opened visor.
    • In the remake Gort has a single glowing red eye—there's a good moment when one of the characters realises the eye is following him as he walks across the room.
  • AUTO, the sinister auto-pilot from WALL-E, in a nod to HAL.
    • Also, the 'keyboard robot' from the scene where WALL-E and EVE are going into the elevator is a subversion, since it waves good-bye in a friendly manner as they are leaving, having learned the behavior from WALL-E's earlier greeting.
  • Non-sinister example: R2-D2.
    • However, there are many sinister robots with this feature in the same series. The IG series of assassin droids, for instance, along with the G0-T0 Infrastructure Planning Systems, and the IT-0 Interrogator droid.
      • The IG units actually have many eyes, though one large one is most noticeable as it tends to face front while the others stare off in all directions.
  • The film adaptation of Lost in Space featured "The Robot" with a big red eye, and which was reprogrammed by Dr. Smith to kill the crew. After being rebuilt and reprogrammed with loyalty, his new shape has a bubble head much like the one in the TV Show.
  • Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow (2004) The Giant Mecha that stomp through New York and the Squid Robots that search the Flying Legion airbase have only one eye. Other Killer Robots in the movie have two, though.
  • Ravage has been designed with single eye in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. And he's a panther. A giant, one eyed panther. With guns. Made out of razors.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Shockwave is a spot-on example with all tropes present and correct. He's a giant mecha, with a single glowing-red-eye-of-evil. What more could you ask for?
  • Gigan is a giant space cyborg kaiju with only one eye...that can shoot a cluster of laser beams.
  • GERTY from Moon. Monotone, HAL-like voice? Check. Single, camera-like eye in the middle of his control panel? Check. Subverted in that we don't know for the first half of the film if he's on the protagonist's side or not. It turns out he very much is.
  • The Fabrication Machine in 9 bears a striking similarity to HAL.
  • AMEE from Red Planet. Not a scary cyclops at all until the inevitable malfunction turns it decidedly unfriendly.
    • It's not just the malfunction, though. The malfunction only makes its self-defense the highest priority. So when the crew start to openly talk about removing its power source, AMEE perceives it as a threat to itself and switches to combat mode.
  • Meet the Robinsons villain Doris is a cyber cyclopian bowler hat.
  • The giant alien probe in Monsters vs. Aliens.
  • Friendlier example, Mac, the robot spaceship from Flight of the Navigator has one large eye.

Live Action TV

  • The Cylons from the original Battlestar Galactica. Notable in that their "eye" is a horizontal red LED light that swoops from side to side. Humanoid Cylons in the new series aren't one-eyed, though their spines do light up during, err, more intimate moments. (Retcon'd as it being a "metaphysical" lighting up rather than a literal one).
    • Speaking of Cylons: Saul Tigh.
  • KITT in Knight Rider, another Glen Larson production, had a similar array of lights on the car's nose as a Shout-Out to his earlier series. Since this light array is KITT's scanner, it could be considered an eye of sorts.
  • In Doctor Who, Daleks have a single eye-stalk protruding from their travel machines, which has changed color over the years. It's now decidedly yellow with an obvious pupil, as the production team want it to look like there's an actual organic eye at the end of the eyestalk.
    • The Lady Cassandra's little spider-like robots had one glowing eye in the new series episodes "The End of the World" and "New Earth".
    • In "Four to Doomsday," on Monarch's spaceships, the protagonists were sometimes followed by floating metal spheres with one eye (basically alien CCTV cameras).
  • In Power Rangers Mystic Force/Mahou Sentai Magiranger - Ocula of the Ten Terrors/Cyclops of the Infershia Pantheon had a single red eye, but he was merely the most techno-based of the ten and not an actual robot.
  • Venjix in Power Rangers RPM is a more typical example, in what is almost certainly a deliberate homage to HAL - but only when he's in his massive computer cylinder form. His robotic bodies throughout the season all have two eyes.
  • The encounter suits worn by the Vorlons in Babylon 5 have a single lens-and-iris combination at the end of their heads (or rather, the helmet enclosing their head).

Tabletop Games

  • In Warhammer 40,000 the Tau Empire's armor gives their soldiers this appearance.
    • One of the Ork heads in the Nobz kit also has a bionik bonce with a single slit eye. And an exhaust that makes it look like the Ork is smoking with it.
    • The Necrons have two units sporting this, the technosorceror Crypteks and elite sniper Deathmarks.
  • As does the armor of the New German Republic in Rifts.
  • From Yu-Gi-Oh!, there is Cybernetic Cyclopean, of course.


  • Keetongu from Bionicle. Subverted in-story, where it's explained he has his real eyes hidden behind the visible one.
  • Shockwave from Transformers.
    • There's also Whirl, who (like Shockwave) got his inhuman appearance from being imported from an earlier toyline.

Video Games

  • The white-armored Overwatch Elite from Half-Life have only a single, big red eye. This is probably done to suggest they are highly modified Elite Mooks with wires coming out of their eye sockets and connecting to a big camera.
    • And the ever-elusive, doggedly-persistent Combine Assassins.
    • Not to mention the flying sentries.
    • This was lampshaded in the parody web comic Concerned with the Elite Mooks suffering from poor depth perception because they have only one eye.
  • Various Mega Man enemies, including Big Eye, the various Joes, the Pantheons, Variants, Galleons, and Devils.
  • Metal Gear Ray of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty had a monoeye.
    • To be more accurate the unmanned mass production Rays had monoeyes.
    • Although Cyborg Ninja Gray Fox in the first game does have two eyeholes in his mask, the single glowing red sensor in the middle is far more conspicuous.
  • Servos in The Sims 2 are one-eyed, but they're only evil if you want them to be.
  • The cute machinegun turrets in Portal.
    • Not to mention, GLaDOS when you finally see her, plus her little robots that are attached each have one eye.
    • Really, all of Aperture Science's robots are one-eyed, such as Wheatley, Atlas and P-Body, and the Rocket Sentry.
  • The Geth from the Mass Effect series have heads consisting essentially of one eye at the end of a thick tube. Dragon Age 2 spirits use similar body shape.
  • Many soldiers in Deus Ex wore glowing visors to obtain an air of Cyberpunk inhumanity, such as the NSF, MJXII, and commandos.
    • Also, the artificial intelligence Icarus uses a singular eye with metallic plating surrounding it as an avatar. Its successor Helios also has a prominent eye, but the rest of its "face" looks vaguely biological, almost like a cephalopod.
  • The Avatar and Purifier in the Command & Conquer series are the epitome of this concept, although some could say they have in fact seven eyes, just the other six are in the chest, yet, they have a really dark badass look and just one glowing red eye in the head. There's also the Redeemer, which is significantly larger.
    • The Brotherhood of Nod also has Enlightened cyborg infantry, with a distinctive cross-shaped eye.
  • The Scuzzer droids from Startopia each have a single red lens, in a fairly obvious homage to HAL.
  • Ships with the AI command section in Sword of the Stars have a KITT-style eye in place of a bridge.
  • Commander Keen 5 has robotic enemies that have a disc shaped body with a black bar on the equator. The bar has a cylon-style red dot that move around until it locates the player.
  • Castle Crashers features one of these as a boss.
  • The "Big Sister" of BioShock 2 certainly evokes this trope.
    • Also the "Rosie" style Big Daddies from the first game.
  • Enemy robots in the Descent series typically have either a single glowing red eye or a Cylon-style oscillating eye.
  • The CY prototype from Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 has a monoeye that glows a reassuring yellow. Plus it looks like it's made of scrap and a strong wind could shatter it.
  • BlazBlue's Robot Girl boss ν-13 has two forms. An apparently human form with a fancy eyepatch, and her obviously mechanical battle form with a single visor eye.
  • The Kirby series has a number of cyclopean enemies, the following of which are mechanical:
    • Heavy Mole from Kirby's Adventure is some kind of underground digging machine with a single half-closed eye. It also shoots missiles with a similar monoeye on the head.
    • Capsule J from Kirby Super Star is basically a mechanical Waddle Doo with a jetpack instead of Eye Beams. It was redesigned and renamed for the DS remake, though, and no longer looks like this.
    • Metal Guardian from Kirby and The Amazing Mirror, which is a large floating orb with a single eye that shoots lasers.
  • The Aeon Galactic Colossus of Supreme Commander is perhaps the perfect representation of this. Not only is it immense, but has a single eye, which also doubles for it's Eye Beams projector.
  • Krimzon Guard scuttler robots and the Uber-Bot 888, in the Jak and Daxter series.
  • KAOS's third head in Donkey Kong Country 3.
  • The Robo Knight boss in Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair has a Cylon-type mono-eye.
  • One of the signature characteristics of the Neuropa faction in Metal Fatigue.
  • This is a common trait in robotic bosses in the Contra series. However it also features Browny and Brownie who are two heroic examples.
  • Magnemite and Beldum from Pokémon.
  • The robots in The Journeyman Project.
  • The Claptraps in Borderlands have only one eye each, but they're hardly threatening.
  • Most of the generic robot enemies (specifically, the Proto and Bugger lines) in Chrono Trigger apply.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • A few Transformers, most notably Shockwave from Generation 1.
    • For The Movie toyline, there were a number of extra characters such as Dropkick added to shore up the numbers. Nearly all of the "extra" Decepticons or non-sentient drones have one eye for a face while the Autobots have regular humanoid faces and two eyes.
    • Transformers Animated has Shockwave, although he doesn't always just have the one eye. There's also Lugnut, but he's defined by the very human trait of zealous loyalty to his leader (also, Word of God is that those things on the side of his head are eyes, so that means he has five of them).
  • TriClops from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. He's a cyborg who has three eyes, but can only use one at a time. Each one has a different power and color.
  • The Donald Duck cartoon "Modern Inventions" had a one-eyed robot footman. Not evil, really, but rather imposing... and insists on taking one's hat, much to Donald's chagrin.
  • On Batman: The Animated Series, the giant computer HARDAC in "Heart of Steel" had a single glowing red lens that flashed in time with his speech.
  • The second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 has a couple, including killer robots created by Baxter Stockman and Viral, a rogue A.I. in the year 2105, whenever she's in "her" physical form.
  • Megas XLR has these too, as a shout-out to/parody of the Gundam‍'‍s Zakus. In the last episode, Rearview Mirror, we see an army of these things. Coop, the Glorft, and an Alternate Universe Jamie proceed to kick their collective asses.
  • Heloise's snow-making mecha on Jimmy Two-Shoes, though it looks more cute than scary.
  • Another cute one: Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars‍'‍s Robot Buddy, Blinky.
  • Nox's outfit in the first episode of Wakfu is meant to intentionally invoke this look, despite Nox not actually being a robot.
  • Professor Ojo (Spanish for "eye") has a cyber helmet that invokes this aesthetic in Young Justice.
  • The robot spy, from the Jonny Quest episode of the same name, is an iconic example.


  • The start-up image, advertising image, and "logo", for lack of a better term, of the Android smartphone operating system is a single red robotic eye that looks suspiciously like HAL's.