Link performing the Sword Beam in The Minish Cap
|Game(s)||All except Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess|
|Use(s)||Ranged attacking with a Sword|
The Sword Beam is a recurring Sword skill in The Legend of Zelda series, first debuting in the original The Legend of Zelda. It is often utilized by Link wherein, when he is at full health, an attack with his Sword will result in a beam of light streaking out and striking anything in its path. It is useful for when one does not wish to engage in close quarters combat or use ammunition like Arrows. At times, it can be utilized with any blade; at others, only special blades like the Master Sword will create a Sword Beam when swung. This depends on the game.
There are various variations of the Sword Beam that have appeared throughout the series.
The most common variation of the Sword Beam is actually shaped like the blade of the Sword it springs from. This type has appeared in several games, including The Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link, Link's Awakening, Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, Four Swords Adventures, The Minish Cap, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks.
The Sword Beam in Four Swords Adventures does not result as a function of Link's full health, but as an extra Four Sword power after Link gains 2000 Force Gems in a particular stage, fully empowering the Sword to banish evil.
The other, rarer variation appears as a circular swirl of propelled sparkles and has thus far only appeared in A Link to the Past, Four Swords and The Minish Cap. In The Minish Cap, after Link infuses the Four Sword with all Four Elements, his sword will shoot this beam after performing a Spin Attack.
Even though the Sword Beam appears in the familiar blade-shaped variation in The Minish Cap, the Four Sword's curse-breaking maneuver is visually identical to the swirl variation despite working completely differently.
In Majora's Mask, when Link is wearing the Fierce Deity's Mask, he will be able to shoot out a blue, crescent-shaped beam from his sword. However, this ability can only be used when Z-Targeting, and it consumes Magic Power.
In A Link Between Worlds, Link uses a crescent-shaped projectile after obtaining the Master Sword. Despite the difference in appearance, this Sword Beam functions identically to the circular swirl variation in A Link To The Past
In Tri Force Heroes, when Link wears certain Outfits, he is able to shoot crescent-shaped beams at full health. When wearing the Fierce Deity Armor, he is able to fire beams in four directions when at full health, or when performing a spin attack regardless of health.
In Oracle of Ages, if the Light Ring is equipped, then the Sword Beam will be performed not only when Link is at full health, but also when he has one or two hearts missing. If Link finds the Level 2 Light Ring, it will also be performed when he has three hearts missing. As with all rings, it can be transferred to Oracle of Seasons if the games are linked.
- Main article: Peril Beam
A related maneuver is known as the Peril Beam, appearing only in The Minish Cap. It works exactly the same as the Sword Beam, except the Beam is shot out while only one Heart Container remains filled, not while at full health.
The Skyward Strike, is a variation is seen in Skyward Sword. It is performed when Link holds the Goddess/Master Sword aloft and lets it take a moment to charge with heavenly energy. Once the Sword brims with energy, Link can slash with the Sword to release a crescent-shaped shockwave that follows the arc of the blade. He can also stab to create a focused Beam that is reminiscent of sword beams from earlier games. The Skyward Strike is less powerful than a normal attack, and is also necessary to activate certain magical items such as the Goddess Crests, Goddess Cubes, and Goddess Walls.
The Skyward Strike has three different levels of power and ten different directions it can be shot (including the Jump Attack). The first level of power is seen with the Goddess Sword, the Goddess Longsword and the Goddess White Sword. The second level appears once Link tempers the Goddess Sword into the Master Sword. It is faster, more powerful and travels a greater distance than the previous Skyward Strike. The final level is obtained once Hylia blesses Link's Master Sword, creating the True Master Sword. This Skyward Strike has even greater distance, speed and power than previously. In Hero Mode, the Goddess Sword takes on the abilities of the Master Sword, charging quickly and traveling farther, along with firing a disc of energy as opposed to the small crescent wave of the original Goddess Sword. The Master Sword on the other hand now gains the ability to charge instantly upon raising the sword into the air.
Lightning Strike and other variations
During the last battle against the Demon King Demise, a dark emanation keeps the sacred power from Link's Master Sword. However, it does not take long for a thunderstorm to start. If either Link or Demise raise their Swords up, lightning will strike their blade, allowing them to send a beam of electricity and stun the other.
During the last battle with Ghirahim in the Sealed Grounds, just predating the battle with Demise, Ghirahim will use an attack identical to the Skyward Strike, but his Sword will charge red, and he will only slice either horizontally or vertically. If Link strikes the beam of energy or hits it with a Shield Bash, it will go flying away. However, if he can strike the beam along its edge (horizontal for horizontal strikes, and vertical for vertical strikes), he can send the beam back at Ghirahim. However, Ghirahim will retaliate, inciting the game's only true instance of Dead Man's Volley.
Although the move doesn't appear in A Link Between Worlds, there is a reference to it when the Master Sword is found; Link is seen holding the Sword skyward as it charges up with energy, just like initiating the attack.
In Breath of the Wild, Link can shoot a Sword Beam by charging the Master Sword. This is performed by holding the 'R' button and releasing, which will send the Sword Beam flying to the direction Link had aimed. Like some of the other games in The Legend of Zelda series, Link must have full health to use the Sword Beam. It appears and functions like the Skyward Strike from Skyward Sword, with Link sending off a blue disc of energy from the Master Sword after charging it in the air.
Several enemies are capable of also using the Sword Beam against Link, such as the Lynels in The Legend of Zelda. Others include Fokka in The Adventure of Link and the Purple Dark Link in the Palace of the Four Sword from the GBA version of A Link to the Past.
Requirements to use the Sword Beam
Although in some Zelda games Link can use the Sword Beam with any sword, in others, like The Minish Cap or Link's Awakening, the hero will have to learn special techniques or acquire specific swords to use the Sword Beam. Below is a table detailing under what conditions Link is able to use this ability with his sword.
|The Legend of Zelda||Usable with any of the three Swords in the game, but must have full health.|
|The Adventure of Link||Must have full health.|
|A Link to the Past||Must have either the Master Sword, the Tempered Sword, or the Golden Sword, and must also have full health.|
|Link's Awakening||Must have the Level 2 Sword and full health.|
|Majora's Mask||Must be wearing the Fierce Deity's Mask and use Z-Targeting. Must also have Magic.|
|Oracle Series||Must have Noble Sword or the Master Sword and have full health. With the L-1 Light Ring, Link can use the Sword Beam with up to two hearts missing; with the L-2 Light Ring, up to three.|
|Four Swords||Must have obtained the Master Sword in A Link to the Past on the same save file and also have full health.|
|Four Swords Anniversary Edition||Must have obtained the Master Sword by completing the Realm of Memories, and also have full health.|
|Four Swords Adventures||Must have collected 2000 Force Gems.|
|The Minish Cap||Must learn the Sword Beam technique from Grimblade or the Peril Beam technique from Waveblade. Must have either full health or one heart (or less) remaining, respectively.|
|Phantom Hourglass||Must have at least 10 Courage Gems and have Ciela equipped as Link's Fairy. Does not require full health.|
|Spirit Tracks||Must have Swordsman's Scroll #1 and full health.|
|Skyward Sword||Must point Sword up to the sky to be charged with energy.|
|A Link Between Worlds||Must have the Master Sword and full health.|
|Tri Force Heroes||Must be wearing the Sword Suit, the Sword Master Suit, or the Fierce Deity Armor, and also have full health. Alternatively, perform a Spin Attack while wearing the Fierce Deity Armor.|
|Breath of the Wild||Must have the Master Sword and full health.|
- The Sword Beam that was in the pre-release development period of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time can be found in the debug ROM's gameplay keep. In a Q&A page in 1998, Dan Owsen of Nintendo confirmed that Sword Beams were in the game.
|Names in Other Regions|
|FrenchEU|| Attaque Lasser (ALttP)
| Laser Attack|
|Italian||Raggi Spada||Sword Ray|
|SpanishLA||Ataque con rayo (ALBW)||Attack with ray|
- "To reactivate the Gate of Time, Link pointed his sword skyward, charging it with energy and readying it for a Skyward Strike!" (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 75)
- "Two zaps! One more and you're history, Ganon!" — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode Underworld Connections )
- "Ow! Hey! That's no magic creature. It's a real person like us." — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode "Sing for the Unicorn" )
- "You're doing it wrong! Two hands for a beginner." — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 12 )
- Dan Owsen, Ask Dan, Nintendo (archive), published June 8th, 1998, retrieved March 29, 2014.