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Dead Man's Volley

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Dead Man's Volley
Dead Man's Volley against Puppet Zelda in Twilight Princess
Other media
Deflecting magical attacks

Dead Man's Volley is a particular battle technique that involves the rhythmic parrying of an energy beam between Link and a boss,[1] often Ganondorf or one of his Phantom Ganon clones. Many bosses in the The Legend of Zelda series are difficult or impossible to harm with ordinary attacks; possibly because they are simply too tough, have magical protection, the ability to block all attacks or because they are simply flying out of reach. Much like a tennis player would return a serve, the two parties bat a ball of energy back and forth until one falters. The energy ball will then impact the one who is either not fast enough to continue the volley or tires first.

In the Zelda universe, this technique is often only a section of a boss's overall fighting technique, although it has been seen to comprise the entire battle, such as Puppet Zelda in Twilight Princess. Though this battle technique first appeared in A Link to the Past, during Link's initial meeting with Agahnim, Dead Man's Volley is first referenced by name during the battle with the Cubus Sisters atop the prow of the Ghost Ship in Phantom Hourglass.


Since A Link to the Past, playing Dead Man's Volley has become a standard tactic for battling powerful bosses, but with a new twist. The boss will start the attack by procuring a ball of dark energy and throw it at Link. Link must parry the energy ball back at the boss who will often be able to answer Link's reflection by one of his own. This results in a dangerous game of skill as the two combatants volley the shot back and forth between them, waiting for the other to make a mistake and get hit. Over the course of the battle, the speed and the amount of volleys required of the energy ball will increase, making it harder for Link to keep from getting hit. Link can increase his chances of hitting the enemy with the reflected shot by standing very close so the enemy have little time to react. Eventually, upon a certain amount of volleys, the boss will tire, and be hit by his own magic energy, leading to a Critical Point. As an exception, Puppet Zelda merely requires the reflected shots to hit her in order to be defeated. In Skyward Sword, Link has to hit the energy ball in the right direction, either vertical or horizontal, to successfully return the magic at Ghirahim.

A similar technique was utilized by Koume and Kotake during their fight against Link in both Ocarina of Time and the linked ending for Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages, although Link required the use of his shield in the former, and he was required to hit the sibling the spell was weak against to damage them in both instances.

Users of the Technique

Non-Canon Appearances

Battle Quest

In Battle Quest, the Dead Man's Volley appears when fighting Wizzrobes in Co-Op Play. Wizzrobe will occasionally throw a glowing orb that is the same color as one of the Links. The color shows which Link is being targeted and must volley the orb. Only Links holding swords will be targeted by the attack. If the orb is volleyed by Wizzrobe, it will gain speed and may change color. It is also possible that the orb will split into three orbs, each targeting a different Link holding a sword.

Hyrule Warriors

In Hyrule Warriors, a form of Dead Man's Volley is performed as one of Link's attacks as part of the Great Fairy weapon. The button combo B, B, Y has the Great Fairy briefly release Link from his giant Bottle, and the two volley an orb of light back and forth. The Great Fairy then grabs the orb and attacks surrounding enemies with the blast. As the attack animation is performed automatically, Link does not need to volley the orb for the attack to succeed.

Dead Man's Volley also appears in Hyrule Warriors Legends when fighting against Phantom Ganon. Unlike its other appearances, where the orb is volleyed a random number of time before the boss is hit, Phantom Ganon will always be hit by the orb after the Warrior volleys the orb three times, exposing his Weak Point Gauge. After Phantom Ganon has taken a certain amount of damage, he will change his tactics and no longer attack the Warrior with orbs, thus preventing Dead Man's Volley from being used.


The following information may not be trivia.

Please incorporate it into the main body of this article as per policy. Irrelevant or repeated facts may be removed.
See Help:Article Reorganization for more information.

  • The Bug Net can be used to reflect Agahnim's energy attacks in A Link to the Past, Ghirahim's Skyward Strikes in Skyward Sword, and Yuga Ganon's attacks in A Link Between Worlds. In Link's Awakening, Link can reflect Nightmare's energy shots with his Shovel if timed correctly. In Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess, an empty Bottle can also be used to reflect energy shots.


The name "Dead Man's Volley" could be a reference to the book Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie.

TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.png
Language Name Meaning
Canada FrenchCA Volley maudit
French Republic FrenchEU Volley Vicieux
Federal Republic of Germany German Höllisches Volleyball Hellish Volleyball
Kingdom of Spain SpanishEU Vóleibol Infernal Infernal Volleyball
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States SpanishLA Voleibol Infernal Infernal Volleyball



  1. "If you want to save Tetra, you'll have to play a match of dead man's volley first! So... Are you a big enough boy to return these volleys?" — Cubus Sisters (Phantom Hourglass)
  2. "Listen well, Link. Even with the Master Sword, you cannot inflict physical harm on the wizard. You must find a way to return his own evil magic power to him." — Sahasrahla (A Link to the Past)