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Reverse Shrapnel
An attack with some resemblance to a Macross Missile Massacre. Unlike normal shrapnel, which expands out in all directions, reverse shrapnel focuses its explosive, glowy death into a protective ring or sphere around the character who brought it forth, with the fragments then homing in on nearby enemies. It could be floating weapons, shards of Pure Energy, or other kinds of fragments.

Contrast Flechette Storm, where the pointy things go for a target, and Orbiting Particle Shield, where the pointy things circle the character as defence.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In the Bleach anime, Captain Kaname Tosen's zanpakuto had this as its shikai attack. He used against Captain Kenpachi Zaraki during the Soul Society arc.
    • Captain Byakuya's shikai technique can be interpreted as a LITERALLY reverse shrapnel: his sword breaks down into flecks of metal which may surround his opponent and cut him to death with millions of tiny pink bits of sword. (His Bankai turns it Up to Eleven, conjuring a couple dozen giant swords that each shatter into millions of tiny blades.)
  • Used by Nova in Magic Knight Rayearth.
  • From Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, we have Fate's Photon/Plasma Lancer, and Chrono's Stinger Blade. Both spells produces blades of energy that float around their target for a moment before launching.
    • The spell 'Bloody Daggers' used by the Book of Darkness is a closer fit, and she can also do a nasty alternate version where the ring of doom appears around the enemy and implodes instead.
  • The Sniper in YuYu Hakusho turned leaves and a cutlery set into reverse shrapnel.
  • The antimatter-filled mines used by the Abh can be utilized this way. Or they can simply be launched in a Macross Missile Massacre.

Tabletop Games
  • Similarly, the Earth Daggers spell from Earthdawn summons a volley of pointy crystal daggers, which home in unerringly on the target.
  • So many Dungeons & Dragons powers spells.
  • GURPS Supers has the Ring of Fire power, which according to the Wall of Fire description can just as easily be made of blades or stinging insects.

Video Games
  • The World Ends with You: Neku has several pins that act similarly, like Creepy Weepy Barrier and Carcin.
  • There's an enemy in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night who is this trope. It's called Spectral Sword and is an evil sword ghost/spirit that possesses nearby weapons into a circle around itself to attack you.
    • Joachim of Lament of Innocence picks up where it left off; he's telekinetic, and does a remarkable 'Weedwacker of Death' impression with his five swords.
  • It's suggested that Razor Leaf works like this in Pokémon, but with leaves.
  • Icicle Edge, Fire Lance, Dark Savior, Crystal Strike, and Nibelung Valesti all do this in Valkyrie Profile with different objects/elemental forces.
  • The Hungry Friend spell of Jowy from Suikoden II does this with many, many, swords.
  • Ice missiles in Metroid Prime 3 act like this, when they freeze something sharp ice crystals from in a sphere then snap onto the target. Definitely a stock visual, but I'm not sure it has any other significance than that.
    • Ice Bullets in the first Parasite Eve have a similar visual effect.
    • Want a probable physics answer? The explosion of the missile releases the ice shards at the point of impact into a small sphere area, and then the, uh...the gravity from the missile explosions makes the shards snap to the target. So, uh, the second part is kind of flimsy, but...
      • Let's just say it's a vaccuum created from the blast.
    • Metroid Prime 2's Dark Beam had a similar effect on targets when charged.
    • A better example from the Metroid series would be the Power Bomb combos. Charging a single beam and then switching to morph ball with power bombs highlighted would result in one of these for each beam. Ice Beam has four iceballs circling Samus, while Plasma and Wave shoot to the corners of the screen and come back, and Spazer makes it rain lasers.
  • The Crackle spell from Grandia II is kind of like this. Thousands of little icicles shoot up from the ground into the enemy, then a pause, then one massive icicle pierces them through entirely. Not floating, but still lots of little things stabbing from all directions.
  • Mega Man loves these. Stone Man's Power Stone is a good example, as is any shield weapon, to an extent. They tend to be hard to aim.
  • Elly's Aerods attack from Xenogears is technically an Energy Weapon, but otherwise fits this trope to a T.
  • In Clive Barker's Undying, the Skull Storm spell causes cackling, burning skulls to burst out of the ground one by one and hover in front of you until you let them all go flying off to explode on their target.
  • Diablo II has two examples. The Assassin has the skill Blade Barrier, which creates a cloud of blades spinning around her and damaging all monsters that get close. The Necromancer has the skill Bone Armor, which encircles him in swirling bones that protect him from damage.
  • The Spike Ball item in Shantae has this effect. The Fireball item, which you find later in the game, does similar; it just does more damage. They also make defeating the Final Boss MUCH easier.
  • Many danmaku barrages in the Touhou games expand radially before converging on the player.
  • Devil May Cry 3's Vergil, in Dante Must Die mode and the Special Edition, can make his magic summoned swords encircle him, hitting all enemies that are too close. They break after a few hits though. They can and, for the boss version, always get repurposed as Flechette Storm after a short while.
    • He also does this as Nelo Angelo during the final showdown with Dante in the original Devil May Cry, often summoning them around Dante before cutting loose. It is by far his deadliest attack.
    • Nero in DMC4 gains a similar ability after Yamato comes into his possession - the magical blades are fired at the enemy(ies) whenever Nero shoots with his gun Blue Rose.
  • The Patras in The Legend of Zelda are giant winged eyes with a bunch of smaller winged eyes circling around.
  • Judge Dredd for the SNES has a subversion: Dredd receives one of these in the last level, but it's made up of Dark Judges and malevolent.
  • In Fable II, the Magic Swords spell works like this: when cast, it summons blades that either individually stab the nearest targets, or all home in on one target.
  • Ruru's super move in Magical Battle Arena, where she creates a protective ring of giant drill missles around her before launching them in every direction.
  • "Razor Cloak" spell in Wizardry VIII - cuts those who attempts melee attack vs. protected creature (even with 10' pole).
  • World of Warcraft has several iterations of this. Shaman have a Lightning Shield that zaps attackers, as well as a Water Shield that gives the Shaman Mana when attacked and an Earth Shield which heals the attacked. Death Knights have Bone Armor similar to the Diablo example.
  • The spell Halo of Earth in Sacrifice.
  • The "Bullet Shield" weapon in The Guardian Legend.
  • Zuo Ci's musou attack in any Dynasty Warriors game he is featured in functions like this: A protective ring of razor sharp paper charms.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2 the Sword of Gith pretty much lets you do this, with many of its abilities involving breaking into tiny, flying, silver shards that tear your enemies apart.
  • The Dark Emperor has up to 3 floating things around him offensively.
  • Kohr-Ah Marauders in Star Control send out rotating blades that can do this—but it takes some skill to position them well.
  • Black Doom does this. Even combined with flame breath and beam shooters, it's not enough to stop Shadow.
  • How did we miss Fate/stay night? Archer is, of course, the master of the technique.
    • Both Archers, really. Seeing as Gil's is made of real swords and Archer's is all projected.
  • Golbez's 'Genesis Rock' attack works like this using boulders in Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
  • Browny from Contra: Hard Corps uses this as one of his four weapons.
  • Many mini-bosses in Ōkami use swords like this.
  • The Shotgun used by mechs in Super Robot Wars games has this for its animation.
  • The Deflector Shields in Bio Metal can be used like this, for massive damage to your enemies.
  • Seiken Densetsu 3 has the basic earth element spell Diamond Missile which causes shards of diamond to rip out of the ground and spin around for a few seconds before homing in on, and impaling, the target. If cast on multiple targets, instead of shards appearing out of the ground, huge diamonds will appear above each target and be shattered by a shockwave before impaling their respective targets.
  • The "Orbit" spell in Caster does this.
  • Bayonetta can create a ring of spinning feathers around her after transforming into her raven form and keep the feathers when she switches back to human form unless she gets attacked.
  • League of Legends has Mordekaiser's Creeping Death, which creates a cloud of metallic shrapnel around a target ally, both to increase their durability and to shred any enemies that come near them. The Sunfire Cape provides protection and causes the user to be bathed in flames that harm nearby enemies.
    • Talon, the local Knife Nut has this as his ultimate ability. He sends out a ring of shurikens that stay in position independent of Talon's movement. After a few seconds, they home back in on Talon himself, slicing anyone in between them to ribbons.
  • Cave Story has this in the form of the Bubbler; at level 3 it can be used to create a shield of bubbles around you, which will lightly damage anything it touches. Also the Whimsical Star item to a much lesser extent.
  • A few enemies from Snailiad, such as the Angel Blob, do this.
  • The Big Fire weapon in Wonder Boy III Monster Lair surrounds the player character with a ring of large fireballs. One of the later bosses can do the same.
  • In the Rogue Squadron games, Cluster Missiles act like this once the homing technology is picked up. Since each submissile can track a different target, these become ideal for taking out entire fighter squadrons in a single shot.

Western Animation
Magic Missile StormRanged Energy Attack Tropes    
Recovery AttackVideo Game Effects and SpellsRevive Kills Zombie
Castlevania: Lament of InnocenceImageSource/Video GamesCastlevania: Portrait of Ruin

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