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Link: Savior of Hyrule. Defender of poultry. Part-time gardener.

Often a Charged Attack, this completely unrealistic maneuver consists of spinning around like a maniac in an attempt to make cheeky enemies (especially Personal Space Invaders) give you a little breathing room. Note that in an actual swordfight this is an excellent way to get yourself stabbed by everyone as you turn your back to them in turn.

Similar is the Death Blossom, which is the exact same thing, but with a gun. Typically shows up in various Asteroids-clones (and in The Last Starfighter of course) as a screen-clearing attack in lieu of the simpler Smart Bomb.

A Super-Trope to Rolling Attack, Roundhouse Kick, Hurricane Kick.

Examples of Spin Attack include:

Action Adventure

  • Named for the sword technique in The Legend of Zelda, but there's a much more ridiculous variant called the Hurricane Spin where Link moves around while spinning like a top for several seconds.
    • Interestingly, the Hurricane Spin causes the character to be momentarily dizzy. Fortunately, most enemies don't last to take advantage of that moment. Some other games had the 'Great Spin' which was a magically powered spin attack that simply hit a larger range than the usual attack.
    • Turned Up to Eleven in The Legend of Zelda Four Swords Adventures - all four Links can stand back-to-back and perform a combined Hurricane Spin of ridiculous size.
    • The manga renders Link's attack as "Kaitengiri." It's also insanely powerful in the manga, able to obliterate just about anything, even up to boss-class bad guys.
  • If you're going to talk about weird spin kicks, Albus in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.
  • In Nie R, the titular character's special Two-Handed Sword technique consists of swinging it in a full circle around him. Considering the sheer size if these weapons, it takes him time to wind up for the spin and to recover from it, but it's always an instant knock-down and destroys enemy armor.

Action Game

  • Ferazel's Wand
  • Dante with his sword during a cutscene. In-game gun version with his Twosome Time, and sword version with his Prop Shredder.
  • In Battletoads, the Dark Queen will spin so fast she turns into a tornado.

Beat Em Up

  • Final Fight: Mike Haggar's spinning clothesline!
  • A spin attack can be performed in the air in Castle Crashers. However, it's the weakest attack in the game, doing only 1 damage regardless of the player's stats.

Driving Game

  • F-Zero has a spinning maneuver you can do to clear some cars out of the way. It costs you some of your shield gauge, though.
    • If you destroy an opponent though, you get some back.

Fighting Game

  • A minority of Fighting Game characters, have some version of a spin-attack. The most common and reconizable ones are Ryu and Ken's Hurricane Kick and Chun-Li's 'Spinning Bird Kick' in the popular Street Fighter series.
  • Garuda from the Street Fighter EX series has a spinning headbutt and two different spinning uppercuts AND a spinning top attack. From EX2 Plus onwards, he can also do the spinning uppercut and spinning top with a katana... moves he stole from EX2's Hayate.

First Person Shooter

  • In Star Wars Jedi Academy, using the saber staff opens up several Darth Maul-esque Spin Attacks.
  • This script for the Pyro in Team Fortress 2 allows a makeshift form of this attack.
  • A legitimately useful tactic in Left 4 Dead 2 involves revving the chainsaw as you spin around, causing zombies to just run into your whirling meat grinder without a moment's hesitation.

Hack And Slash

Mecha Game

  • In Another Century's Episode 2, Marina's signature move is a Death Blossom-like spinning shot, dubbed "Marina Special" by Japanese fans; this becomes a plot point when the mysterious antagonist mecha Buster Ark uses the same attack, revealing the identity of its pilot.
    • It's also a Game Breaker since, due to its damage coding, when used at point-blank range it's pretty much an assued One-Hit Kill.


  • World of Warcraft: Warrior characters can invest talent points in the low-level Whirlwind attack or its 51-point big brother, Bladestorm. A fair number of bad guys use similar attacks as well.
    • As in Wrath of the Lich King, Paladins can get one from a 51-point talent as well in the form of Divine Storm, probably its Protection tree little brother Hammer of the Righteous as well, though this one it is a magical hammer spins around the user, instead of the user spinning around like a maniac.
  • Yagudo in Final Fantasy XI have one hell of a spinning kick, stunning all the players around them(and anyone several feet away).
  • The Dervish ring in zOMG! does this. Based on the icon and attack animation, it's the air around the user that deals the damage and knockback.

Platform Game

  • Super Mario Bros 3 and World let Mario use this with the Raccoon and Cape Power Ups
    • Super Mario Galaxy has this as Mario's main and often only attack.
    • The Mario Tornado and Luigi Cyclone attacks in Super Smash Bros.
    • Also used in Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door with the hammer, occasionally required to clear away swarms of enemies. There's the swarm of Dull Bones in Hooktail Castle, the first encounter with the Smorgs in Riverside Station, the similar swarm of Dry Bones in the Palace of Shadow, and optionally, the Boos in Creepy Steeple. There's one enemy that can only be encountered by doing this to the Boos twice.
  • Crash Bandicoot can twist his body for a mini-tornado attack. Unlike most spin attacks, it's actually his basic attack.
  • Samus' legendary Screw Attack. So famous, a website was named after it.
  • Although the Sonic the Hedgehog series has several moves that fit this trope — most notably Amy's Spin Hammer and Tails' Tails Attack from Sonic Adventure — Sonic's skill entitled "Spin Attack" is not this, oddly enough.
    • Sonic's Spin Attack is actually a Rolling Attack. In mathematical terms, a traditional Spin Attack yaws left-to-right across the body, and Sonic's pitches forward into a roll.
    • On the other hand, Espio the Chameleon and Blaze the Cat have been known to do straightforward versions (with their own bodies of course).
  • Mega Man Geo Omega's elemental cyclone attack from Mega Man Star Force description on this page.
    • Mega Man 3 has the Top Spin. You press the shoot button in mid-air, and Mega Man spins and damages any enemy he touches. However, more often than not you either get hit in the process, or use randomly use up way more weapon energy than normal, causing most players to dismiss it as useless.
  • Chewbacca could perform a spin attack in the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the Super Star Wars games, but he had to wait to use it again once he stopped using it or if gauge ran empty. Princess Leia also gained a spin attack when she is in her bikini costume in the Jedi chapter of the series.
  • In Super Smash Bros. and some of the Kirby games, Meta Knight uses a spinning attack called Mach Tornado.

Real Time Strategy

Role Playing Game

  • Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army - not sure if this alleviates the lack of realism at all, but Raidou does not remain perfectly upright while spinning (he passes even closer to the ground under the force of the Combination Attack category like this), and it takes a little bit of time for him to be able to attack again/block after that.
  • In The World Ends With You, the pins Lightning Anger and Lightning Rage give Neku this kind of attack. In addition, Mink Noise use spinning as an attack, as well as to avoid being hit by most attacks.
  • Avalon Code lets you do this with swords and hammers. The hammer spin attack lets you fly across the field like Superman for a few seconds.
  • This is Cornelius' special ability in Odin Sphere+.
  • Crono's cyclone technique from Chrono Trigger. A component in a couple of Combination Attacks, such as a variation where Robo grabs Crono by the legs and spins him around that way.
  • Kairi's fighting style in Dead Fantasy essentially boils down to this. But since she's Dual-Wielding Keyblades, it seems appropriate.
  • Seiken Densetsu 3 has Duran's Whirlwind Sword tech as a Gladiator, and Kevin's Whirlwind Kick as a Monk.
  • Featured frequently in Tales (series) ever since Tales of Destiny. Rekkuuzan/Tempest Slash makes a swordsman leap forward while spinning, effectively turning him into a human buzzsaw. There are also several combination techniques that feature a character leaping upwards while spinning and lifting the foe(s) into the air with just that, setting them up for a finisher.
  • In the first four .hack games, the Twin Blade skills Tiger Claw (and the elemental versions thereof) involves the user spinning like a top, damaging nearby enemies. The skill Staccato, employs even more spinning, but tilted and is for single target.
  • You'll see lots of spinning in Kingdom Hearts II. Many combo finishers are spin attacks, and Sora's Master Form turns every attack into one. It's even more flashy in Final Form since he controls both keyblades with his mind: cross-diagonal cuts, horizontal spins, drills, smashing spinning tops together, and several others that are probably too awesome to use in another game.
    • Sora also gets an attack that rapidly closes distance to his current target and hit it hard. He basically spins around on one foot, using the force generated from the spin to do more damage. As a bonus, he hits anything else in the way too.
  • Yosuke in Persona 4 does this as his follow-up attack. Though it is one of the least useful ones.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, a Journeyman of either Blade or Blunt skills can perform a sideways power attack with a chance of disarming", which, when in third person view, is demonstrated as your character spinning in a full 360 with their weapon in full extension.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning, this is how faeblades work. They're a pair of curved blades with a handle in the middle, designed to be spun around the wielder's body to fend off attackers from all directions.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, you get Whirlwind Attack from the 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons rules, which the game is based on. (See below under tabletop games.)

Shoot Em Up

  • Fraxy has Manjusri by Eboshidori, which uses this attack in the final step of its attack pattern. Anything within the barrier will be sliced to a fine powder.

Sports Game

Survival Horror

  • Dead Rising has the Double Lariat and the Battle Axe's secondary attack.

Third Person Shooter

  • Stranglehold's Spin Attack is the most powerful Tequila Bomb maneuver, and generally consists of Tequila spinning around in slow-mo with his arms and his guns outstretched like an angel of death (if he's currently using Guns Akimbo, that is) and blowing away every bad guy in the general vicinity in cool cinematic style.
  • Soldiers in Transformers: War for Cybertron perform this with a mace.
  • Bloodline Champions has the bloodline Ravener's self-explanatory "Spinning Strike" ability. The Guardian's Cyclone Charge ultimate is similar in both manners of being a Spin Attack and Exactly What It Says on the Tin. As is the Spear Master's Whirling Blade and Whirlwind ultimate. Funnily, the real point of the first example is to be an Attack Reflector against ranged attacks and improve the Ravener's movement speed.

Turn Based Strategy

Non-video game examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Code Geass Spinzaku. That is all.
    • That is not all. The Siegfried Knightmare frame uses this as a defensive and offensive maneuver due to its bulk and surface. The attack is so effective that it takes the combined forces of Cornelia and the Black Knights to take them down. (In part Cornelia just happened to jump in and used a downed Gekka to fire off a makeshift Hwatcha with downed Knightmare Frame equipment)
  • Ranma ½'s Mikado Sanzenin, of the Golden Pair of Martial Arts Figure Skating, can perform the Dance of Death --a technique where he spins in place, giving the illusion of many arms and legs, and anyone stupid enough to come close is trapped by innumerable kicks, punches, chops, elbows, knees... Being a master of his art, he never loses his balance experiences no dizziness afterwards.
    • When paired with Azusa Shiratori, the other half of the Golden Pair, the two of them can perform the infamous "Couple Cleaver," whereby she grabs a member of the opposing couple by the feet, expecting him or her to hold on to the partner by the hands. Then Mikado lifts everyone up into the air (with Azusa standing on his shoulders) and spins incredibly fast, so that the centrifugal force makes it increasingly harder for the opponents to hold on to each other. Whoever lets go first, it doesn't matter --the once-trusting couple has been torn apart.
    • The more serious foe Ryu Kumon, who can swing his arms to create arcs of vaccuum with the technique Kijin Raishuudan, uses a variation of this technique --Kijin Dairanbu-- to spin in place and toss dozens and dozens of deadly razor blades in every direction.
    • Exia pulls one off in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 episode 2 when two Anfs attempt to attack him after the armed intervention. Cue to a dramatic spin attack that has him bisect both of them at the waist.
      • More often than not though, Setsuna has a habit of spinning around a target rather than spinning. This is to note that it is a lot better to blindside an opponent by zipping up behind them than to get surrounded by them.
    • The Wing Zero's Twin Buster Rifle can be pulled apart and pointed in opposite directions for a rotating attack of omnidirectional obliteration, a maneuver that every person to pilot Zero EXCEPT Heero takes advantage of.
  • Vita's Raketen Hammer attack from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, which has Vita spinning wildly with her rocket-boosted hammer to deal extra damage on a target.
  • When overwhelmed and surrounded, members of the Hyuuga clan in Naruto can perform the Hakkeshou Kaiten, which involves spinning around and expelling chakra from every pore in the body. Although it can deflect an arbitrary number of projectiles from any angle and fling back nearby opponents, it's exhausting to perform, so it's generally preferred to deal with problems individually if that's feasible.

Fan Works

  • The Hunter performs one of these during the battle on the Plains of Death in With Strings Attached. Justified in that he's a lot faster than his undead opponents.


  • The Death Blossom attack used in the finale of The Last Starfighter. The Gunstar rotates in every possible direction and fires all of its weapons simultaneously, hitting literally everything around it.
  • A non-game example would be in The Matrix, the second one, where he gets a pole and just spins around with it to fight off the horde of Smiths.
    • Which can be recreated in the Path of Neo game if you've unlocked the right moves.
  • Used in the movie version of Potop (see: Sienkiewicz Trilogy). When you are strong enough to wield a solid wooden bench as a weapon, the trope ceases to be unrealistic: E (the fight starts at 5:30)


  • In the Bolo series, created by Keith Laumer, the titular super-tanks would do a spin attack by locking treads on one side and keep the other side spinning. Anything that was in the bolo's path were crushed into a nice paste.

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • In third edition Dungeons and Dragons, there was a feat (with a long list of prerequisites) called Whirlwind Attack. Guess what that does. Notably, the feat is almost as poor a maneuver in the game as it would be real life.
    • The exception would be using reach weapons (that allow you to melee attack from farther away than close-quarters) make this a less silly option. Unless you're using a whip, since it has the longest reach of all melee weapons, and there are several excellent whip types in non-core books, right up to the Game Breaker psionic Prestige Class that allows you to create a weapon out of Pure Energy. And empower it with more Pure Energy. And use feats to make it hit harder, and ignore armor. Basically a dick move that's taken you an entire campaign to pull off, that falls into a range between Boring but Practical and Awesome Yet Practical.
    • The Iron Heart school from Tome of Battle contains a number of maneuvers like this, culminating in "Adamantine Hurricane" which lets you strike every opponent twice with improved accuracy and move in the same round.
  • And then 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons plays it straight again with several melee AOE powers that do basically this, such as the Fighter's Cruel Reaper, the Ranger's Wandering Tornado, and the Rogue's Dance of Death.
    • "Great Cleave" also returns in 4E, this time as a Barbarian power
  • Night Goblin Fanatics in Warhammer, although their rationale for doing so isn't so much "gotta get some breathing room" as it is "RRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA".
  • Whirlwind Attack and Grand Disarm in GURPS. After trying it you're defenseless but "in a cinematic game it's traditional for enemies to gape and gawk after this happens".
  • Peony Blossom Attack in Exalted. After spending quite some time as a speed-bump Charm containing a weaker version of the devastating multiple-strike Charm Iron Whirlwind Attack, it was errata'd into a single spinning cut that could hit every opponent within several meters.

Web Comics

  • Subverted/deconstructed in Its Walky. A super-powered mook starts spinning rapidly in the presence of the main cast's only Badass Normal, Jason. He runs away at first, then, reasoning that this is probably "more of an oscillating fan thing than an airplane engine thing", sticks his arm into the range of the spinning man... who promptly stops dead, severely dizzy.
  • Attempted in Soul Symphony when Olivia and John combine their energy shield, flight, and energy sword spells together to launch themselves as a spinning buzzsaw of energy. It doesn't work out.
  • Since Axe Cop tends to get attacked while dancing, one of his dance moves is spinning on his axe and kicking the surrounding bad guys in the face. (Though a kick, it's not of the proper form to be a Hurricane Kick.)

Web Original

  • Gyro, a villainous speedster from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe could spin himself like a super-sonic top. His primary method of attack was to move in on a person while keeping his fists extended.

Western Animation

  • The grandfather of this trope, the legendary Tasmanian Devil?
  • Used by Mr. Krabs with a sword(fish) to plow through a horde of zombie fish.