Artwork of Link performing a Spin Attack
from Ocarina of Time
Dealing extra damage
Attacking at 360 degrees
The Spin Attacks,(ALttP) also known as the Whirling Blade,(LA) is Link's signature move.[note 1] It was first introduced in A Link to the Past and has appeared in every main Zelda title since. To perform it, Link usually gets in a stance to power up his Sword and then spins around once in a circle, damaging all enemies within the sword's radius. This technique is useful in that it deals more damage than a sword strike, and it is also used to solve puzzles in various Zelda games. The Spin Attack is a basic attack, although a better, upgraded version can often be learned sometime later in Link's quest.
Although not much is known about the history of the Spin Attack, A Link to the Past mentions that this ability is a secret sword technique used by the Knights of Hyrule, while Link's Awakening describes that the Spin Attack has been "handed down from generation to generation by the family of the hero."
- 1 Uses
- 2 Performing the Spin Attack
- 3 Upgrades and Variations
- 4 Other Appearances
- 5 Nomenclature
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
The Spin Attack is mostly used when Link is closely surrounded by several enemies due to the attack's long range. As such, this allows the young hero to quickly and easily dispose of whole groups of enemies with just this technique, making it one of the most useful abilities in the game. This is mostly true in Four Swords Adventures, where, combined with the Cross Formation used by the Links, the Spin Attack allows the young heroes to defend themselves from all four directions.
Other than attacking, the Spin Attack is also used to solve various puzzles in the games. These more often are the ones that require Link to hit more than one switch at the same time, such as in Twilight Princess, where Link must perform a Spin Attack to hit all of the switches in the Palace of Twilight in order to make a floating platform appear. Special entrances require this technique to get them to open: in Oracle of Seasons, the Spin Attack is crucial in opening the gate to the Maku Tree. Moreover, in The Minish Cap, Link must execute this technique in front of a guard blocking the entrance to Mount Crenel so that he will allow the young hero to proceed to his destination.
Another use, though not as pivotal as the aforementioned uses, is that Link's sword can pick up the items it slashes, such as Rupees (which can be safely retrieved by swinging the sword at them should they land close to an edge, rather than having Link walk over and possibly falling). Because of this, a Spin Attack is an excellent way to way to pick up items all around Link. This same technique applies to the weapons Link can pick up in The Wind Waker, as he may also perform a Spin Attack wielding those. If he performs a spin attack with a Moblin Spear (the longest weapon in the game), he can immediately pick up all of the objects in a very large radius. This technique is especially useful for the Treasure Spheres often dropped by larger enemies, as the objects inside disappear rather quickly once they hit the ground.
Performing the Spin Attack
The Spin Attack is done in most Zelda games by holding down the button that the sword is assigned to for a matter of time and then releasing it. This will cause Link to get in a fighting stance while he charges up his sword or, in the case of the 2D Zelda games, just stand still as the sword begins to glow. This method can be done in most 3D Zelda games, with the exception of the Wii games Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword: since there is no sword button, Link cannot charge a Spin Attack. Instead, Link must perform it by lightly shaking the Nunchuk left and right (Twilight Princess) or swinging the Wiimote and Nunchuk at the same time (Skyward Sword).
A faster way to perform the Spin Attack is to quickly rotate the Control Stick once and press the Sword button afterwards. If timed correctly, this will have the same effect as if Link had charged his sword to execute the Spin Attack, with the advantage being that this method does not consume Magic Power in games like Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. In some games, like The Wind Waker, Link can also perform this attack by simply using the thrust attack four times, or a combination of such, though this strategy only works if Link is actively attacking something, rather than swinging his sword at thin air. In Twilight Princess, if the player rotates the Control Stick right after performing a Jump Attack, Link will execute a Spin Attack upon landing.
In Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, Link must quickly draw a circle to perform the Spin Attack. Although in other games, Link can carry out an infinite amount of Spin Attacks without getting dizzy, in the Nintendo DS games, the young hero can only execute this technique four times in a row before he gets dazed and vulnerable for a few seconds.
In Skyward Sword, Link has to swing both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk at the same time to perform a Spin Attack. Because of the game's mechanics, Link is allowed to pick in which direction he spins, an ability first introduced in Twilight Princess. However, in Skyward Sword it is a pivotal component to sword fighting, as certain enemies will block one side, forcing Link to spin in the direction that strikes his enemy's exposed side. With the directional movement imparted to Link via the Wii Remote, Link is, also for the first time, allowed to perform a vertical Spin Attack by swinging the Wii Remote and the Nunchuck together in a vertical motion, either downward or upward. Much like the horizontal Spin Attack, the direction in which Link needs to perform the spin is dependent on what direction is necessary to damage his foe. In cases where the direction does not matter, the spin attacks have no difference; left Spin Attacks are the same as right ones, and upwards ones are the same as ones going down. All four directions yield the same radius and damage. It also does not matter which direction the Nunchuk is swung; the Wii Remote controls the direction Link will spin. Performing a Spin Attack depletes a portion of Link's Stamina, similar to the restrictions in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. Unusually, a single hit from the Spin Attack in Skyward Sword does no more damage than a hit from a regular attack, but it has a similar overall effect to Spin Attacks in other titles because unless it knocks the target out of the way on the first hit it will generally hit twice.
In Breath of the Wild, the Spin Attack is performed by simply holding the attack button like in most previous games, but its execution changes depending on the Weapon used. With a one-handed weapon, the Spin Attack is identical to previous incarnations, being a single, powerful circular attack with a wide range. It can be charged longer for more power and range at the cost of more Stamina. With a spear, the Spin Attack is replaced by a string of powerful consecutive stabs when charged. With two-handed weapons, Link does not charge the Spin Attack but instead begins spinning continuously shortly after the attack button is starting to be held. Link continues to spin until the attack button is released or until Link runs out of Stamina, at which point he finishes the attack with a powerful downward strike that can knock foes away. If Urbosa's Fury is unlocked and activated, Link will do his regular Spin Attack like normal, but he will summon a wide arc of lightning around him to electrocute enemies nearby, similar to the Electric Lizalfos electric attack.
The Spin Attack can also be performed in Battle Quest, the Legend of Zelda-themed sub-game in the Wii U spin-off title Nintendo Land. Miis that use swords can perform a Spin Attack by raising their swords in the air or hold them to a side, as if they were charging a Skyward Strike, and swinging the Wii Remote. The charge lasts until the player performs a Spin Attack, or receives damage. However, charging a Spin Attack is rather time-consuming, and leaves the Miis vulnerable until the charge is complete or canceled.
Upgrades and Variations
In some Zelda games, Link can learn an upgraded version of the Spin Attack as he travels on his quest. Other times, using Masks or Magic Rings will slightly alter the behavior and characteristics of this technique. The alterations as well as the upgrades available are described below.
Super Spin Attack
- See also: Great Spin
The Super Spin Attack, also known as the Great Spin or the Magic Spin Attack, is a special technique found in several Zelda games, including Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. As its name suggests, it is a Spin Attack with a bigger radius of attack. Usually this attack can only be used when one's life meter is completely filled up or Magic Power has been acquired. It can be differentiated from the normal Spin Attack due to its color, which is usually red in its most powerful form. This is demonstrated in the Nintendo 64 Zelda games, where the Super Spin Attack is denoted by the blue or red outlines that the attack makes: the blue Super Spin Attack is weaker and has a smaller radius than its red counterpart. Moreover, the red version makes Link spin around twice, but the downside is that Link must charge it longer before he can use it. Although charging it up with the B Button uses up a small fraction of Link's Magic Power, quickly rotating the Control Stick and pressing the Sword button does not consume magic.
In Four Swords Adventures, each Link has the ability to execute a Spin Attack during the game-play in both Overhead and side-scrolling areas. However, the Cross formation enables a powerful Spin Attack in which all Four Links will perform the Super Spinning Attack. Unlike the normal Spin Attack, this makes the four Links spin around the center of the Cross Formation, making it extremely effective against multiple enemies.
In A Link Between Worlds, the Great Spin is an upgrade of the regular Spin Attack, obtained by returning all of the Lost Maiamais to Mother Maiamai. This doubles the range of the attack, and greatly increases its power.
In Tri Force Heroes, wearing the Spin Attack Attire doubles the range and power of the Spin Attack.
|Game||How to Obtain|
|Ocarina of Time||Must visit the Great Fairy of Power in the Great Fairy's Fountain in Death Mountain.|
|Majora's Mask||For the red variation, Link must retrieve the 15 Stray Fairies in the Woodfall Temple and take them to the Great Fairy of Power in the Fairy's Fountain of Woodfall.|
|Four Swords Adventures||Must be in Cross Formation.|
|Twilight Princess||Final Hidden Skill learned from the Ancient Hero.|
|A Link Between Worlds||Link must return all 100 lost Maiamais to Mother Maiamai.|
Great Spin Attack
- Not to be confused with the Great Spin, a sword technique entirely different from this technique. That technique is covered in the section above.
- Main article: Great Spin Attack
Skyward Strike Spin Attack
The Skyward Strike can be used to amplify Link's Spin Attack in Skyward Sword. This increases its radius and, before obtaining the Master Sword in Hero Mode, will deal more damage due to having the fully-powered Skyward Strike.
In Majora's Mask, Deku Link's basic attack is similar to that of a Spin Attack: he spins around on one foot and damages all enemies within the radius created by his hat. Unlike the Spin Attack, however, this move can be performed while Deku Link is running. The Deku Spin is also useful in that it helps the young hero hop farther by Deku Spinning on the surface of the water than by simply running up to it.
In Twilight Princess, Wolf Link uses a type of Spin Attack which is performed in the same way as with a sword. Alternatively, it can be performed partially charging Midna's shadow field, causing Link to attack with his fangs and tail, though it will only work after using the shadow field for the first time.
In Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, three Magic Rings alter some characteristics of the Spin Attack. The Charge Ring enables Link to charge up the Spin Attack in a quarter of the time it normally takes. The Spin Ring causes Link to spin twice instead of once. This ability is useful against bosses that can only be hurt with a Spin Attack. Lastly, the Energy Ring enables a spin attack to become a Sword Beam attack instead.
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||回転斬り (Kaiten Giri)||Rotating Cut|
|FrenchCA||Attaque tourbillon (OoT3D | FSAE | PH)
Attaque circulaire (MM3D | SS | ALBW)
|FrenchEU||Technique du Tournoiement de l'Epée (ALttP)
Attaque Tornade (TMC)
|Spinning of the Sword Technique|
|Italian||Attacco Vortice (TMC)
|Whirlwind Attack |
|SpanishLA||Ataque circular (LA)
Ataque giratorio (OoT3D | MM3D | OoS | OoA | PH | ST | SS | ALBW)
Ataque Huracán (TWWHD)
Gran ataque giratorio (FSAE)
Ataque Giratorio Especial (ST)
Great spin attack
Special Spin Attack
- This ability is also referred to as the Whirling Blade Attack in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening — Nintendo Player's Guide by Nintendo of America Inc.. However, as the game supersedes the guide, this term is not considered Canon.
- Art & Artifacts (Dark Horse Books) pg. 387 (ALttP)
- "'The Whirling Blade technique has been handed down from generation to generation by the family of the hero. To use it, hold down the Sword Button and build up your power. When you have enough, you can release the Button! Can you master this?'" — Secrets Of The Whirling Blade (Link's Awakening DX)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening — Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Co., Ltd.) pg. 13}
- "I shall teach you one of the secret sword techniques used by the Knights of Hyrule... Hold the B Button to focus power in your blade. Release it to unleash the power." — Link's Uncle (A Link to the Past)
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask — Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Co., Ltd.) pg. 9
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess — PRIMA Official Game Guide (Prima Games) pg. 3
- "Exit the Mayors house and now make your way to the top-left part of town. There is a guard that is blocking your way but will let you go by once you perform the Spin Attack for him." — The Minish Cap: Walkthrough, ZeldaDungeon.net.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time — Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Co., Ltd.) pg. 11
- "If you're surrounded by enemies, shake your Nunchuk lightly left and right to perform a spin attack!" — N/A (Twilight Princess)
- "Next is the spin attack! Hold [B] briefly to build up your strength, then release it! (Or rotate [the Control Stick] once and press B.)" — Orca (The Wind Waker)
- "To do a spin attack, quickly draw a circle around yourself." — Russell (Spirit Tracks)
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass — Prima Official Game Guide (Prima Games) pg. 11
- "The Spin Attack - Remember how in Twilight Princess all you had to do was shake the Nunchuck? Well, in this game, it requires a little more movement: Swing the Wii Remote and Nunchuck together in a horizontal motion from either right to left or left to right, whichever one is more comfortable for you." — Skyward Sword Controls, ZeldaUniverse.net.
- "The Vertical Spin Slice - This one is a little more complicated than those listed above, but still fairly simple. Swing the Wii Remote and Nunchuck together in a vertical motion either downward or upward. It’s just like the Spin Attack, but literally vertical!" — Skyward Sword Controls, ZeldaUniverse.net.
- "This formation is very useful when you're surrounded by enemies. You can do a super spinning attack in this formation." (Four Swords Adventure manual, pg. 17)
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask — Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Co., Ltd.) pg. 10