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Spin Attack

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"You can focus power in the blade (hold the B Button)... Then release it using the secret technique handed down by our people."
Link's Uncle

The Spin Attack, also known as the Whirling Blade, is a recurring skill in the Legend of Zelda series. When Link performs it, he charges his sword, either by just getting it into the correct position, or by making it glow with what appears to be magic. When charged, he lets go in a 360-degree slash that harms all enemies surrounding him, often dealing more damage than a regular sword strike. Though the Spin Attack swings over a wide area, it does not collide with walls, enemy shields, or any other objects, making it useful even in tight spaces.

The Spin Attack usually spins in a clockwise direction. Exceptions include The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, where it can spin either clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on how it is executed. In Link's Awakening, it spins counter-clockwise if he is moving left or, if standing still, facing left, else it spins clockwise. In Twilight Princess, the usual clockwise spin is performed by either charging it normally, or by rotating the Control Stick clockwise and pressing the B Button; a counter-clockwise spin is performed by rotating the Control Stick counter-clockwise and pressing the B Button.

Appearances

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Spin Attack (A Link to the Past)

The Spin Attack first appears in this game and is taught to Link by his Uncle. It is executed by holding the sword button to charge and releasing to attack. Link's Sword sparkles just before and during the attack. The Spin Attack is described as a secret sword technique known only to the Knights of Hyrule.

In the Game Boy Advance port of the game, Link can engage in a quest to learn a stronger version called the Whirlwind Sword Attack. The quest can only be started if Link collects ten Medals of Courage in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. Using the Whirlwind version consumes Link's Magic Meter.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

The Spin Attack is referred to as the Whirling Blade Technique in this game. Link can automatically use it once he has retrieved his Sword. An explanation of the attack is given in the Mabe Village Library. According to the book it is a secret technique handed down through a generation of Heroes.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Spin Attack (Ocarina of Time)

Link performing a Spin Attack in Ocarina of Time

Link begins the game with a basic Spin Attack that can be used by either charging the sword button or rotating the control stick and pressing the sword button once. Later in the game Link can visit the Great Fairy of Power of Death Mountain and obtain the Magic Spin Attack. The Magic Spin Attack is a more powerful version that consumes a small portion of Link's Magic Meter with each use. The Magic Spin Attack comes in two variations; a blue single spin and a larger orange version which spins Link around twice, but must be charged longer. Once Link has learned the Magic Spin Attack he can perform the blue version by rotating the control stick and pressing the sword button. Performing it in this way does not cost magic. A quick draw spin attack can also be performed directly after Link's sword has been sheathed, although it is difficult to do and not useful.

In the Nintendo 3DS remake, the range of the attack may be enhanced by holding forwards on the circle pad when the attack is unleashed. This will prompt Link to quickly step forwards before the spin occurs, which allows the move to be prepared from a safer distance.

The Gerudo Thief mini-boss can perform their own dual sword version of the Spin Attack, in which they perform a jumping spin attack with their scimitars, which can defeat Link on contact, causing him to be captured.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Link starts off this game with the blue version of the Magic Spin Attack, and can learn the orange version by collecting all the Stray Fairies in Woodfall Temple and returning them to the Great Fairy Fountain. When Link rotates the control stick and presses the sword button he performs the orange version instead of the blue version like in Ocarina of Time (provided he has learned the orange version). Due to the Great Fairy's Sword being on a C button rather than the default B button, it can not be charged, but can perform the magic spin attack via the control stick rotation method, only with the assigned C button being pressed instead of B. If Link performs three consecutive quick spin attacks in a row, the third and final spin attack will spin twice similarly to a fully charged spin attack. All versions of the spin attack deal the same damage as a regular sword strike, but the stronger versions do affect a progressively larger area. A charged orange spin attack, or the third of three consecutive instant spin attacks of either color, will also last slightly longer.

Link can also perform an attack similar to the Spin Attack while wearing the Deku Mask. It doesn't require the use of a sword — instead, Link spins his entire body to damage or stun an enemy, which also works to gain a short burst of speed, particularly, and most usefully while skipping across water. In the 3D remake, the attack turns the end of Deku Link's cap into a branch with thorns at the end. Spin Attacks can also be performed while wearing either the Giant's Mask or the Fierce Deity's Mask, but only the non-magic version. This is probably because the Giant's Mask requires magic power to wear.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

Link knows the Spin Attack in this game as soon as he obtains his Wooden Sword. Like in other games it can be used by holding the sword button to charge and releasing it to attack. The Spin Attack is used to open the gate to the Maku Tree in Oracle of Seasons. Some heavily armored enemies like General Onox and Ganon can only be harmed with the Spin Attack when fighting them with the Wooden or Noble Sword. Various Magical Rings can affect Link's Spin Attack: the Charge Ring allows Link to perform the Spin Attack without charging as long; the Spin Ring allows Link to perform a second Spin Attack directly afterwards; and the Energy Ring can be used to replace Link's Spin Attack with a Sword Beam.

During the ending credits of Oracle of Ages Link is seen teaching the Spin Attack to Ralph.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords

Apart from the sprite difference, Four Swords' spin attack is exactly the same as A Link to the Past's.

Notably, the attack is unavailable for use until it has been unlocked in the save file the player is currently using, though this is not really much of an issue as the sword, with the spin attack already available, is unlocked very early in A Link to the Past. Once Link learns the Whirlwind Spin Attack in A Link to the Past, he can also use it in Four Swords.

In the Anniversary Edition, the Spin Attack is available from the start of the game. Link can also learn the Whirlwind Spin Attack by completing all three of the Hero's Trial bonus levels.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Link can use the Spin Attack as soon as he obtains the Hero's Sword. Like in previous games it can be used by holding and releasing the sword button. Like in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask it can also be used by rotating the control stick and pressing the sword button once. Link will also automatically perform a Spin Attack after using the thrust attack four times. When using the Hero's Sword the Spin Attack is green in color but when using the Master Sword it will be blue in color. Link can also use the Spin Attack with the various enemy weapons such as a Darknut Sword as well as the Skull Hammer, if the control stick is rotated before he uses that particular weapon.

By collecting ten Knight's Crests and taking them to Orca, Link can learn the powerful Hurricane Spin. It can be performed by charging longer and using magic power. Link's sword will glow yellow, the attack will last longer, and Link will be able to move during the attack. If Link doesn’t hit a solid wall while performing this attack he will be left dizzy and disorientated afterward.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

The four Links use the Spin Attack frequently, doing so upon entering and finishing every stage as well as stepping on switches and solving certain puzzles. The attack can be used by holding the sword button and releasing, by pressing the B button during a roll, or by rotating the control stick and pressing the sword button once. Like in The Wind Waker, the Links will automatically use the Spin Attack after using the thrust attack three times. The Spin Attack is particularly useful in conjunction with the diamond arrangement when fighting multiple enemies; this form of the Spin Attack involves the four Links revolving around the center of the formation rather than their own respective centers of gravity. After the Links obtain over 2,000 Force Gems, they can perform the Hurricane Spin Attack, which is stronger, lasts longer, and allows the Links to move during the attack, but leaves them dizzy and disorientated afterwards.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Unlike most games, Link does not learn the Spin Attack while obtaining Smith's Sword, the game's first sword. Instead, Link learns the Spin Attack from Swiftblade in his Dojo. Link uses the spin attack to prove to a Hyrulean Soldier that he is strong enough to enter Mount Crenel, thus allowing him to pass and continue game progression.

Later in the game Link can learn the Great Spin Attack from Swiftblade the First. It allows Link to continue spinning and move for a limited time by pressing the sword button repeatedly. Though very similar to the Hurricane Spin, this attack will not leave Link stunned, and can be stopped at any time by ceasing to press the button to which the Sword is equipped. Link can increase the time this attack lasts by training with Greatblade.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Spin Attack (Twilight Princess)

Link performing a Spin Attack in Twilight Princess

In the Nintendo GameCube version of Twilight Princess, Link can perform the Spin Attack by pressing the sword button to charge it or rotating the control stick and pressing the sword button once. In the Wii version, due to the lack of a sword button, Link is unable to charge the Spin Attack but can quickly perform it by shaking the nunchuk. Link must wait for several seconds afterward before he can perform another spin attack using this method.

Link can learn the stronger Great Spin Attack from the Hero's Shade. It is performed like the standard Spin Attack but has a larger reach and does more damage. However, it can be done only when all of Link's hearts are full.

Link can use a different version of the Spin Attack while in Wolf form. It is performed using the same controls as in his Hylian form. Link will jump forward slightly while spinning his whole body. Another variation of the Spin Attack can also be used when attacking directly after side stepping without performing the Back Slice. This version of the Spin Attack will lift Link into the air slightly using an animation very similar to cyclone attack in Soulcalibur II.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Link can perform the Spin Attack in this game by drawing a circle around him using the stylus. Link will spin in whichever direction that the player draws the circle. However, he can only perform it four times in a row before becoming dizzy and having to rest. Link can also use the Great Spin Attack after completing the Quest for the Great Spin Attack. Link learns the Great Spin Attack from a Swordsman's Scroll. It can be performed by using the spin attack three times in a row. It is red in color and is similar to the Hurricane Spin from The Wind Waker. After each use (assuming he doesn't slam into anything) Link must rest, just like the regular spin attack.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Like in Phantom Hourglass, Link can perform a Spin Attack by drawing a circle around him using the stylus. Like in most games Link knows how to use the spin attack upon receiving his first sword, the Recruit's Sword. The Great Spin Attack can also be learned after collecting all 20 stamps for Niko's Stamp Book; Link is given a Swordsman's Scroll that teaches him the Great Spin Attack. It is executed in the same manner as in Phantom Hourglass and leaves Link stunned for a short while after using it.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Spin Attack (Skyward Sword)

Link performing a Spin Attack in Skyward Sword

Link can execute a spin attack by moving both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in the same direction. A new addition to the game is Link's ability to perform a vertical spin attack by moving the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk in conjunction, downward for a downward spin attack or upward for a rising spin attack. However, executing a spin attack drains almost one third of Link's Stamina Gauge, preventing repeated use of the technique lest Link's stamina drop completely, leaving him unable to defend himself for a short time. While under the effects of Stamina Potion+ (which gives Link unlimited Stamina for 3 minutes or longer if carrying the Potion Medal), Link can perform the Spin Attack without tiring. If used in conjunction with a Skyward Strike, a spin attack's range will increase; executing one when in possession of one of the upgraded forms of the Goddess Sword, or the Master Sword, increases attack range even further.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Link can perform the Spin Attack as soon as he obtains the Forgotten Sword. After charging the attack with the B button, a circle will briefly appear around Link indicating the range of effect of the attack. Link can learn the more powerful Great Spin Attack from Mother Maiamai when he collects all 100 maiamais

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

The Spin Attack appears in the same form as A Link Between Worlds. It is available when wearing any Outfit but by donning the Spin Attack Attire Link can perform a more powerful version of it and by donning the Dapper Spinner Kit Link can perform a Spin Attack without charging by attacking three times.

Non-canonical appearances

Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Legend of Zelda series and should not be considered part of the overall storyline.

Super Smash Bros.

The Spin Attack appears as Link's Up Special in this game. It is identical to the fully charged magic Spin Attack from Ocarina of Time. It can be used be used as a strong ground attack or in mid-air to boost Link's jump, allowing him an opportunity to get back onto the stage if he has fallen off. When performed in mid-air, it is noticeably less orange in color, but retains the same range and amount of damage dealt. It has a good horizontal attack range, but leaves Link open to attacks from above and below.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

The Spin Attack is used by both Link and Young Link. It is a mixture of blue and orange in this game, possibly a reference to a semi-charged and fully-charged Magic Spin Attack from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Unlike in the previous game, when used on the ground, its range is extenuated by a small length. Young Link's Spin Attack is weaker and lacks the range of Link's, but execution of the attack is more rapid, hits the target several times and can draw targets nearer to Young Link. When used in midair, it can attack opponents multiple times.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Spin Attack (Super Smash Bros. Brawl)

Toon Link performing a Spin Attack in Brawl

The Spin Attack is used by both Link and Toon Link. Like in the previous Super Smash Bros. games, it can be used as a way of getting back on to the stage in the air or a strong attack on the ground; however, unlike in previous installments, Link has the ability to charge his Spin Attack — but only when using it on ground. The Spin Attack is useful for rising, and can propel Link/Toon Link to great heights. However, it does not have a good horizontal recovery, and one must use the Clawshot to get back to the stage if Link/Toon Link is too far away. The color of the spin is red with strands of blue; possibly a reference to the Great Spin Attack in Twilight Princess, or to the blue and orange versions of the Magic Spin Attack in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Like in Melee, it can hit foes multiple times in midair.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U

The Spin Attack returns as both Link and Toon Link's recovery. Aside from the standard version featured in previous games, both Link and Toon Link are given two extra versions of the Spin Attack through the customization feature. Link's alternate Spin Attacks are the Shocking Spin, which deals extra electric based damage but has poor horizontal distances and the Whirling Leap which sends Link higher but does not deal damage to opponents. Toon Link has the Sliding Spin Attack, which moves him horizontally along the ground, similar to the Hurricane Spin from The Wind Waker and the Flying Spin Attack which gives no vertical recovery until the last strike which launches Toon Link into the air.

Soulcalibur II

Spin Attack (Soulcalibur II)

Link performing a Spin Attack in Soulcalibur II

Two versions of the Spin Attack serve as Link's combo attacks. The first, called the Cyclone Attack, involves Link jumping into the air using the Spin Attack, much like the Super Smash Bros. series. It is performed by simultaneously holding Up on the control stick and pressing the Horizontal Attack button. Link will jump higher if it is charged for a few seconds, although this leaves Link's defenses open. The second attack involves Links spinning around several times on the ground, much like the Hurricane Spin, but it does not leave Link dizzy for a while. It is used by holding the Horizontal Attack button for a few seconds while standing perfectly still. If the Horizontal Attack button is held down longer, the attack will become stronger. Much like the Cyclone Attack, charging leaves Link's defenses open. When charged fully, fire surrounds Link's sword and the attack becomes unblockable. If the opponent has crouched down, the attack will be avoided completely. Link sometimes performs a Spin Attack after defeating an opponent as a taunt.

Hyrule Warriors

The Spin Attack is used extensively in Link's Hylian Sword and Master Sword movesets. It can be used at any time using the strong attack button but also appears in many combos and in Link's special attack. Once Link has created the Kokiri Sword badge in the Bazaar's Badge Market, he can chain any combo into a Spin Attack by holding the strong attack button. Several different variations of the Spin Attack from across the series (as well as non-canon games like the Super Smash Bros. series) are used, including the vertical Spin Attack from Skyward Sword. Additionally, Young Link can use the technique as part of his Mask moveset.

Hyrule Warriors Ganon's Rage Check Combos (Menu)

The Spin Attack listed in the Check Combos menu for the Ganon's Rage moveset from Hyrule Warriors

As part of the Boss DLC, Ganon can perform his own version of the attack as part of his Ganon's Rage moveset in the Ganon's Fury Challenge Mode. The attack is performed by pressing ZL on the GamePad. Ganon's version involves him a perform 360 degree swiping backhand attack.

Interestingly, Tetra (who can be unlocked using a download code that comes with Hyrule Warriors Legends for the Nintendo 3DS) performs the technique using her Cutlass during some of her combos and as part of her Boss Weak Point Smash. This marks the first time of an incarnation of Zelda being shown using the technique.

Hyrule Warriors Legends

The Spin Attack appears as part of Toon Link's Light Sword moveset, along with the Hurricane Spin which appears as his Special Attack. He can also perform a slightly weaker version of the Hurricane Spin as a combo, which functions more like the Great Spin Attack as it does not cause him to become dizzy when he performs it.

Tetra can also perform the technique during certain combos, though unlike Hyrule Warriors she does not use it during her Boss Weak Point Smash due to all Boss Weak Point Attacks being simplified to a burst of energy in Hyrule Warriors Legends.

As part of her Crossbows moveset, Linkle can perform her own kick-based version of the Spin Attack which takes the form of a fiery spin kick. She has two versions of this attack, the first being a combo where she performs her spin attack while moving forward. The second appears as her End Focus Spirit Attack (which is performed automatically when the Magic Gauge empties during Focus Spirit), in this version Linkle balances herself like a top using her left Crossbow to perform a large Spin Attack that produces a ring of flames as she spins rapidly.

As one of her combos, Marin can perform a series of Spin Attacks (resembling the Great Spin Attack and Hurricane Spin) with her Bell.

Phantom Ganon can perform a dual sword version of the spin attack as one of his boss attacks, however if he is attacked from behind while he is laughing following his spin attack, he will be weakened and enter a downed state, making him susceptible to a Weak Point Smash.

Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.

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