Criss-Cross Attack

This is a flashy move that involves helplessly slashing an enemy from different angles at a rapid pace. It usually involves reappearing on another position immediately after performing a strike to follow up with another attack (usually making the enemy go upwards while the performer strikes in a rising diagonal slash that zigzags upwards), or have dopplegangers attack with you. Sometimes both are used. The main idea is that it's a very fast attack that involves multiple strikes coming from multiple sides. At the peak of the attack, a downward blow is used like a vertical cut, or sometimes a throw, often found along with a Spinning Pile Driver movement.

A move that could be mistaken for be a Ninja move only, it's in general used by a Fragile Speedster that mastered a sword or maybe two. In fighting games, it's usually used as a Special Attack or Meteor Move to end quickly the opponent.

Compare Death of a Thousand Cuts, Spam Attack and Bouncing Battler. Contrast Single-Stroke Battle. See also Blade Spam, Flash Step and Speed Blitz. Related to Reverse Shrapnel, i.e "projectiles coming from all over you".

Armed Examples:

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    Print Media 
  • One illustrated Science Fiction story in Heavy Metal has Earth astronauts venture from their space station into an alien environment seeking vital resources. Always they come away empty-handed, many times with colleagues having limbs sheared off by nearly-invisible, lightning fast creatures. The last two intact astronauts make a foray, only to end up cut into sections like beef cattle after this kind of attack.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has "Blade Cascade", an eminently broken attack where a ranger uses his main and offhand weapons alternately until he misses with no upper limit to the number of attacks (later corrected by limiting it to 5), switching to a new target when the current one was (extremely) dead. This earned the Fan Nickname Kenshiro, after Hokuto No Ken's Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs-using hero.

    Video Games 
  • Mostly seen in fighting games, the Ninja characters with swords are usually added this move as their Special Attack/Meteor Move. Some examples are:
    • Strider: Strider Hiryu has a hyper move called "Ragnarok" which appears in various Marvel vs. Capcom series as well as Namco × Capcom. He brings the enemy upwards which he then delivers various slashing moves from all sides with his duplicates, as pictured here.
    • Guilty Gear: Chipp Zanuff's Overdrive "Zansei Rouga" functions like this. He teleports and slashes the enemy as they both rise up, with him ending with a downward slice.
    • Pokémon X and Y: Greninja in his Super Smash Bros. appearance has his Final Smash called "Secret Ninja Attack". He flips a mat (a callback to his signature move, Mat Block). Enemies struck by that will be stunned and sent to the sky as Greninja appears from the shadows, striking the enemies on all directions before ending with a downward blow.
    • Ken the Eagle from Science Ninja Team Gatchaman has a hyper move called "Science Ninja Attack: Inazuma Giri" in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. He performs a somersault which lets him strike the enemy from all sides, ending with Ken and a clone of him performing a diagonal Bird Shoot on both sides.
    • Hanzou from World Heroes series has a move like this in Perfect called "Slice The Shimmering Light" in which he dives at his opponent from the wall, then teleports around while slicing repeatedly. This move also returns in his appearance in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum.
  • Street Fighter IV:
    • Vega (Balrog in Japan, Claw by fans) has an Ultra Combo called "Bloody High Claw" which is pretty much the zigzag slice attack with his claw.
    • Decapre in Ultra SFIV has "DCM" (acronym for Defensive Counter-Maneuver), which is known by fans as the Street Fighter version of Spider-Man's "Maximum Spider" from Marvel vs. Capcom series, in which she cuts the enemy with her claws attached to her arms.
  • Touhou
  • BlazBlue
    • Valkenhayn's Astral Heat, "Blut Vollmond", acts this way: after he somersault kicks his foe to the air, he morphs into a werewolf and starts slashing his enemies from multiple sides, ending with a heavy downward clawing attack.
    • Bang Shishigami, as his Unlimited Form has Chipp's "Zansei Rouga" as one of his Limit Breaks.
    • Taokaka gets this move in the third game, called "Aerial Dancing Edge" where she uppercuts the enemy to the air, then she flies through them multiple times, slicing them with her claws. She ends it with a Diving Kick.
    • Celica as her "Unlimited" self gains a Limit Break where her Robot Buddy Minerva transforms into a plane and knocks the enemy to the air, then flies up and rams them from all sides.
  • Samurai Shodown
    • Iaijutsu Practitioner Ukyo Tachibana has a hyper move since IV in which he moves at lightning speed to the enemy between him and passing front and behind him as a shadow to get after the opponent and then he sheathes his sword. Next to that, the character get sliced by various slashes and goes to the ground.
    • Being the child of Ukyo's mentor and having the same school that him (as well being a semi-Head Swap in-game), V's Sub Boss Yumeji Kurokouchi can also performs this lethal Meteor Move as Ukyo.
  • The King of Fighters
    • KOF XI: Eiji Kisaragi's LDM "Yami Kari" has him grab his foe and then suspends them in the air, then does multiple slashes through his foe alongside his shadow clone, ending with a powerful downward stab.
    • KOF XIV: Choi's Climax DM is him launching the foe up with a Foe-Tossing Charge, then he does multiple flying claw attacks through the opponent before falling down.
  • In Overwatch, Genji's main offensive ability is "Swift Strike", which causes him to Flash Step forward and damage any enemies in the way with his sword. If any of the enemies are eliminated (either by the attack, or by a team-mate finishing them off), the ability's cooldown automatically ends, meaning that experienced Genji players can keep tearing through groups of enemies in line with this trope.
  • In Persona 4: Arena, Yosuke Hanamura's Instant Kill, "Brave Blade", has him use his Persona to send the opponent airborne with a tornado, before slashing them from all directions with his kunai, and finishing by throwing two shuriken at them.
  • Tales Series
    • In Tales of Vesperia, while using his mystic arte the "Savage Wolf Fury", Yuri slash his opponents from multiple angles before finishing them off with a powerful slash.
    • Tales of Berseria
      • Rangetsu second Mystic Arte, the "Rangetsu Heron" has him strike his opponent from various angles before finishing with cross slash.
      • Artoruis' Mystic Arte is also called the "Savage Wolf Fury", which has him slice through his opponent before finishing them off with a Sword Plant induced explosion.
      • Velvet and Laphicet's combo Mystic Arte also features this. Laphicet uses his paper to boost Velvet as she zigzags through their opponent before slamming them into the Laphicet's pillar of light.
  • World of Warcraft: The Demon Hunter's "Blade Dance", in which the Demon Hunter dashes in multiple directions in short succession, striking everything within reach and increasing their dodge chance at the same time.

    Web Animation 
  • Juuso Andelin's sanguine Bunnykill One has the Final Boss batter The Hero with this technique, stopping only to deliver a coup de grace on his downed opponent.
  • Dead Fantasy 2: At the end of the battle inside the tornado, a winged Rinoa performs multiple attacks with her Gunblade from all directions against the members of the opposing team.

    Western Animation 
  • The eponymous Samurai Jack sometimes suffers this from particularly adept opponents, such as the Minions of Seth.

Unarmed Examples:

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In X-Men: Apocalypse, Quicksilver uses his super-speed to viciously beat up Apocalypse by punching him from several angles, but Apocalypse is able to use his powers to speed up his own senses and trap Quicksilver in mud while he's running, and then breaks his leg.

    Video Games 
  • A good example are the "street ninjas" from Final Fight series, Guy and Maki, in their fighting game versions (Street Fighter IV and Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium, respectively). If well they have Meteor Moves in which they slash the opponent in air to then finish it with an Izuna Drop, none of them use sword or any cutting weapon in their attacks (or in general as characters).
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Spider-Man's Maximum Spider gets reworked to work like this in this game. He first does a diving kick that launches the foe up, then does multiple flying kicks through the midair foe that slowly covers them in webs, and then does a final kick down the foe that sends them to the ground.
  • The King of Fighters XIV
    • Mai's Climax DM is similar than Choi's (described in Armed Examples) but unarmed, with her finishing by grabbing the foe between her legs and slamming them down to the ground alongside her.
    • Leona's "Slash Saber" involves her slashing through her opponent multiple times with her hand before blowing them up with and explosion.
  • Dead or Alive 5: Hayate's "Power Blow", he strikes his opponent a couple times then finishing them off.
  • Street Fighter
    • Cammy's "Killer Bee Assault" and "Cross Stinger Assault" has her pulling Meteor Move Variant as she launches her opponent in the air and proceeds to kick them in multiple angles before finishing them with a Cross Scissors Pressure/Spiral Arrow respectively.
    • Akuma's "Shun Goku Satsu" when shown in Street Fighter V. He repeatedly strikes his opponents in multiple angle until the combo ends.

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 
  • Done piecemeal in the Justice League episode "Divided We Fall", where in The Villain Lex Luthor usurps Brainiac's technology to transform himself into a pleomorphic cyborg that can keep the Justice League at bay. The Flash, however, runs at Luthor from different directions at increasing speed, until he's circling the Earth to deliver his next blow. In less than a minute, nigh-omnipotent Luthor is reduced to gasping and naked in a blast crater. Viewable on YouTube here.