Ruby: Okay, team, run "Destiny Red."
Sawyer: Uh, which play is that again?
A staple form of combat. It's simple. Pick your favorite weapon (or more than one of them at the same time
), or maybe just fists or legs will do, and then launch them many times in quick succession to your enemy!
For the various types of combat, see:
- Blade Spam, for bladed weapons and claws
- Rain of Arrows, for arrows, in a medieval or fantasy version of...
- Flechette Storm, for thrown pointy/sharp objects which is distinct from...
- Storm of Blades, for blades raining from the sky.
- Grenade Spam, for thrown explosives.
- Beam Spam, for ray guns, blasters, and other Energy Weapons.
- Macross Missile Massacre, for homing weapons, i.e, missiles.
- More Dakka, for guns, cannons, and other slug-throwers.
- Alpha Strike, for a combination of missiles, guns, cannons, and other kinetic weapons, but all of them unloaded at once.
- Magic Missile Storm, for magic projectiles.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, for unarmed combat.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts, for when each attack does little damage, but you stack it up by hitting them as often as possible.
If done with a BFS
, the user possesses Implausible Fencing Powers
. Necessary ingredient (ha ha
) of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown
One common method of bringing one of these about in a game is Button Mashing
, especially if it's one button in particular. Hammer on a punch button enough with Street Fighter
's E Honda, and you get one of these.
Contrast Single-Stroke Battle
, where the character only does one hit to kill their opponent.
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Anime and Manga
- In The Perfect Weapon, martial artist Jeff Speakman strikes his opponents with escrima sticks that move so quickly that even in single-frame captures, the sticks are blurred.
- Justified in The Scar, with Uther Doul's Possible Sword. Proof that China Miéville has read up on quantum mechanics, charging this weapon with current causes it to deliver every possible strike it could deliver, all at the same time. The more possible a strike is, the more solid the sword's edge will be for that strike. Targets of the Possible Sword come out looking like they've been run through a mincing machine.
- Honor Harrington makes extensive use of pretty much all varieties of Spam Attack, including massive missile salvos containing many tens of thousands of missiles (each of which can shoot 6-8 beams), the knowledge of kung-fu variants focusing on speed, Gatling handheld energy weapons for marines in power armor, and flechette guns for personal protection.
- For melee types, Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 was more about getting off really powerful attacks than lots of middling or weak attacks, because those middling or weak attacks not only did less damage but tended to hit less often. However, the multiple-attacks builds did have their moments. Nine attacks without penalty before epic level? Yes please. How about thirteen, all at your maximum attack bonus?
- The pre-errata version of the 4th edition ranger exploit 'Blade Cascade' was basically "once per day, keep rolling attacks against one or more targets in melee range until you finally miss". With some attack bonuses from a cleric or warlord friend, and perhaps from using an action point, you could conceivably puree a demon lord in six seconds.
- Note that multi-attack builds can be very viable if you get some source of bonus damage on each attack, like Divine Might or Arcane Strike. In 4e, multiple attack powers are regarded as one of, if not the, best ways to rack up damage, whether single-round or damage-per-round.
- One particular theoretical build managed to get up to 1,067,212 attacks in a single full-round action. An artist's rendering of this monstrosity can be found here◊. Yes, it has arms on its arms. And tentacles on its wings.note
- In 3.5e perhaps the most infamous build is the "Lightning Mace/Aptitude weapon" combo. There are ways to optimize it to the point of setting up a positive feedback loop strong enough to survive... well until you fail enough to drop both of your weapons or suicide(depending on your D Ms interpretation of critical fails).
- The Great Cleave feat allows a variant; as long as an attack kills (or otherwise disables) its target, it doesn't use up one of your attacks that round.
- Deadlands is substantially more low-key than D&D, but it has a version or two of this inspired by Martial Arts Movie genre. One of them is a chi-powered attack called "Fury Fans the Flame" (told you it was Chop Sockey-fueled). The other is with nunchucks. In either case, the rules are similar: if the character continues to roll highly enough, they can keep raining down blows on an unsuspecting, soon-to-be-ex-opponent.
- GURPS bows to this logic, calling it Rapid Strike. Sadly doing it is fairly difficult without cinematic powers.
- Big Eyes, Small Mouth, Silver Age Sentinels, and other Tri-Stat games often have the ability "multiple attacks" and the special attack ability "autofire," which can be taken with anything from explosive area-of-effect barrages to melee punch attacks. SAS uses these in tandem when making an example of a Fragile Speedster superhero.
- Warhammer 40,000 has a variety of armies that work better in close combat, namely anything Khornate or Tyranids. While a lot of the units can get upgrades to get more effective weapons, the cost associated with them are so prohibitively high it's just better to spam more copies of the troop in question. Death Company in particular can be upgraded with almost all kinds of stock fancy CC weapons, such as Power Weapons (which ignore armor). However, for the cost of arming four Death Company members with Power weapons, you could have just bought another 3 more members, which adds a whopping 9 more attacks. Against Heavily armored targets, the extra 9 attacks more than makes up for any armor the enemy might have, while against weaker armor, you can get in more kills.
- Many Warhammer players are very good at figuring out probability, a process referred to as Mathhammer. The above example is highly dependent on what the enemy's armor save is. If the enemy's armor is strong (3+ or better), they are shrugging off 2/3 of the wounds dealt to them. That means every power weapon effectively multiplies the number of wounds dealt to the enemy by three, making 4 power weapons (for 12 attacks that can't be shrugged off) a clearly better option than 21 attacks which can be stopped. If the enemy's armor save is 4+, giving the enemy a 50-50 to save, it's almost a wash. Only at 5+ (1 in three) or worse does the spam attack work. As the Meta Game has 3+ saves or better everywhere as of now (2011), this doesn't work. A more common way to use this trick is to equip one or two members of The Squad with a heavy hitting weapon (the very slow, very powerful Power Fist is a favorite) while using everyone else to spam attack and - more importantly - soak up fire so the guy carrying the power fist lives long enough to use it. Khornite Berserkers are in love with this tactic.
- The purpose of flurries and extra action charms in Exalted. At maximum power, an essence 10 Solar can use a quick weapon (preferably jade) and a combo built around Iron Whirlwind Attack (upgraded with Invincible Fury of the Dawn) to attack thirteen times in 3 to 5 seconds - then use Solar Counterattack to strike again whenever someone tries to hit them. The net result is that a duel between two essence 10 Solar swordsmen with the same combo can involve each of them striking an average of five times per second - and that's with a regular daiklave; a jade short daiklave ramps this up to eight blows per second.
- In Dragon Age: Origins this is the specialization of Dual Wielding, particularly the "Momentum" and "Punisher" feats (the former increases attack speed and the latter is a series of fast, powerful attacks).
- Hon Fu from Fatal Fury can spin his nunchucks as long as he can, with a subversion: If pressed continuously, he'll finish properly. If not... the nunchucks will hit his groin for 'massive damage' (sarcasm intended!).
- Art of Fighting's Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia: Ryo and Robert have two attacks called "Zanretsuken/Thresher Punch" and "Genei Kyaku/Great Spirit Kick" respectively. In Ryo's case, he flails his fist continuously. Should you get hit, he combos you for at least 13 hits usually, allowing for dangerous comboability. Robert's is the same, except with his leg. They've always had the same direction input (Forward Backward Forward), except in KOF 94 and 95, wherein it was a HCB input.
- In the original NES version of Final Fantasy III, the final boss has an extremely simple pattern - it will simply use Flare Wave after Flare Wave after Flare Wave after Flare Wave after Flare Wave after Flare Wave. Hey, why bother with something else if it works?
- In Final Fantasy VI the Offering allows four hits per attack command. Adding the Genji Glove lets a character hold two weapons, and together they let a character hit eight times for every attack command.
- Cloud's Omnislash in Final Fantasy VII is a flurry of quick slashes followed by a spectacular finishing move. Crisis Core gives us Chain Slash, which is five slashes, as well as the eight slashes from Octaslash.
- In Final Fantasy VIII, Squall's Limit Break is Renzokuken, which means "Continuous Sword." When combined with his ultimate finishing move "Lion Heart," he can hit up to fifteen times in quick succession. Dissidia takes it even further: Squall's entire combat style, aptly called Relentless Revolver, is designed around Spam Attacks.
- FFVIII has a somewhat lesser example in Kiros, whose "Blood Pain" Limit Break involves repeatedly slicing at the enemy with dual katar.
- Tidus in Final Fantasy X gets in on this action too, with Overdrives like "Slice and Dice" and "Blitz Ace".
- Lulu's Fury Overdrive allows her to spam a low-level version of any Black Magic spell she's learnt from the Sphere Grid.
- The International Version changes Anima's Oblivion Overdrive into this; in the original and NA versions, it only hits once. In the PAL and International versions, it becomes this.
- Star Ocean: The Second Story has Claude Kenni's short range Shooting Star Killer Move. Dias Flac's Air Slash Killer Move also qualifies as this.
- In Super Robot Wars Alteisen's Limit Break "Trump Card" is essentially unloading all of its ammunition into the enemy and calling it an attack. Its team attack with Weissritter does basically the same thing with all of both machines' weapons, including a Laser Blade Weissritter apparently pulls out of Hammer Space if it doesn't have one equipped...
- Mugen no Frontier features Lamia Expy Aschen Brodel having an attack called Demon Lance (not to be confused with that spell from Tales Series), which is actually a kick-based Spam Attack (with feet shotgun added in the end).
- And speaking of Alteisen and Endless Frontier, half the attacks Haken Browning pulls off fall under this, too.
- And back to regular SRW, Agares has several Hyakuretsu-ken like attacks, its final attack is making a copy of itself, pincer the enemy and spam their punches (grand total of 1000 hits)
- A staple sword skill in Tales Series: Sword Rain (Akisazame, "Autumn Sandstorm"). Note also Lilith Aileron's version, performed with a frying pan. There's also the melee version, Rengadan ("Chain Fang Missile"), which pummels the enemy with fists so hard that the move is always animated with afterimages for the fists.
- Legendia has a different version of this. Yeah, Chloe still uses the Sword Rain variants, but for Senel, it's Talon storm, where he just kicks the hell out of anyone close to him. (And can lead to some nice combos when him and Chloe combine...you can practically hear 'em singing, Spam spam spam spam, lovely spaaaaam....)
- And from Vesperia there's Brutal Fang, which can, on its own, be more than a hundred hits, if you've used it enough. Mind you, that's on its own, and it can be done any time.
- Overlimit mode turns everything into a spam attack as long as it's active, allowing you to chain regular attacks and arts together indefinitely.
- Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has "Mystic Artes", which immobilizes your enemy while you attack them. Most of them qualify as this (like Emil's, where he dives on his opponent and hits them a dozen or so times).
- Anise in Tales of the Abyss is practically the most fitting: "Satsugeki Bukkoken!" / "Final Fury!", wherein she literally just charges the enemies (Usually best for single targets, as they get pushed back too) and repeatedly smacks 'em with Tokutaga.
- Also Luke's Lost Fon drive
- Soul Series: Raphael has a multi-stab attack, Maxi can spin nunchucks as fast as he can depending on the speed of button press. Cervantes also has a particularly annoying multistab.
- In Super Smash Bros., the Paper Fan works exactly like this.
- As do a bunch of characters' standard melee attacks, particularly Kirby and Meta Knight.
- Both Link's and Toon Link's Final Smash, Triforce Slash, have him whacking the hell out of your opponent.
- Pit: HAIYAYAYAH! HAIYAYAYAH! HAIYAYAYAH!note
- The Paper Fan can become game breaking very easily on uneventful stages like Final Destination or Battlefield. Once you get trapped in a Paper Fan assault, you're stuck there until the person decides to quit, and that's usually once you're around 999% damage and anything can KO you.
- There's also Fox's multiple kicks and Captain Falcon's multiple punches.
- Ness's PK Fire can be like this considering it stuns (Unlike Lucas's, which explodes rather than burns for a little while)
- Ike's Final Smash, Great Aether, also qualifies.
- Practically every non-special and non-smash attack in Wario's arsenal becomes extremely spammable while he's Wario-Man.
- Among tournament players, perfect planking. (For the uninitiated, Meta Knight has a strategy involving up-air spam that makes him hypothetically untouchable on the ledge. Most tournaments implemented a limit on the number of times you can grab the ledge because of this.)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Manhattan Project used these attacks to great effect. You could do a lot of damage that way, but at the cost of a little bit of your own life. However, when you were down to one hit point, you couldn't die that way, so anyone who has only one hit point can repeatedly use these attacks, going into a mode nicknamed "Special Attack Mania."
- The Falcon Runes in the Suikoden series allow its users to stab their enemies at a rapid rate.
- Though not on Belcoot's case. He just swings very hard.
- Find a The World Ends with You player who doesn't spam a Shockwave psych. Sure, it's possible to just do one slash, but it's also possible to just eat one Lays chip: it doesn't happen.
- And let's not even get into Lightning Arrester. You are not allowed to fire fewer than four lightning bolts while using Lightning Rook even if you want to. (Also more Beam Spam, though)
- Really, the pins that give high combo counts before you have to let the thing recharge seem to make it really easy to continue comboing with other pins, you're probably going to be combining this with Beam Spam then Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs then loop the combo if your enemy is still alive then.
- Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow adds the Kaiser Knuckles, which let you hit five times with a single button press.
- Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors (and me-too game Sengoku Basara) have several attacks that work on this principle.
- Kirara's melee special move in Magical Battle Arena involves slashing a target twelve times in an instant.
- In Megaman Battle Network 3, Yamato Man alternates between a single quick stab and a spam attack, the latter being used by his navichip.
- Several of the Ultimate Techniques from the Xbox remake series of Ninja Gaiden take this form, battering the enemy with a flurry of blows from Ryu's weapon. At least one enemy also uses it against Ryu.
- Chun Li's kicks and Honda's 100 hand slap from Street Fighter, amongst others (e.g. Dee Jay's Machine Gun Upper). Remember, when we say Spam Attack, we do not mean repeating the same move many times over, but rather a melee attack that hits many times.
- Shows up in Neo Geo's fighting games, too. World Heroes had Dragon's fists to start with, while Samurai Shodown began with Charlotte's Splash Fount and Jubei Yagyu's Hassou Happa.
- Devil May Cry has this in some of the Crazy Combos, although a few normal attacks worked this way too.
- In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, The Flash uses these. A lot. One of his basic attacks is an 11-hit combo triggered by a single button-press.
- World of Warcraft's druids who specialize in the Balance tree of skills (magical attacks, basically) have the Moonfire skill, which both deals direct damage and puts a damage over time effect on the target. As such, using it repeatedly in quick succession before the damage over time effect wears off is a waste of much of its damage potential. However, because it's instant cast with no cooldown, caster druids are prone to spam it when burst damage rather than mana efficiency is desired. Players dispute whether "Moonspamming" is a good way to win or just underhanded. However, one thing that people are often in agreement over is that sometimes you have to. For example, someone's trying to get away faster than you can root them, and/or they have low health... Finish 'em off with moonfire spam.
- The mage's Ice Lance is a similar instant cast, no cooldown attack. It deals little damage unless the target is frozen by a different effect, and mages are occasionally seen spamming it anyway to avoid stopping to cast a proper damage spell which requires them to be stationary.
- Rogue "stunlock" may also be viewed as this - when the rogue chains their attacks which stun or incapacitate a foe one after another, preventing them from retaliating for a rather lengthy period of time while dealing damage. This specific technique is utterly reviled by every other class because it completely prevents a target from moving and attacking. However, it's by no means unbalanced: the rogue, being a Fragile Speedster, is reliant on it to survive, his offensive potential is significantly reduced while he spends energy on stuns, the actual execution of a stun combo isn't actually spam but rather reliant on precision timing and luck, and the stun effects themselves are prone to Diminishing Returns for Balance, shortly rendering them ineffective against the target. Furthermore, the stunlock can be broken with a common equipment piece which may periodically remove Standard Status Effects and is considered a must have in PvP.
- Thus, it is generally still a very bad idea to try and do this alone on tank classes who can survive the whole stunlock sequence with a significant chunk of HP remaining, and turn the tables on the rogue when they wake up unless they are lower level, severely undergeared, or already wounded when it started.
- Speaking of Rogues, they also have the Finishing Move Slice and Dice, which makes their regular attacks into this for a short-to-moderate period of time.
- Ditto the earlier Diablo series, with skills like Strafe, Jab, Fend, Frenzy, and most especially Zeal.
- Kingdom Hearts II features a high-level ability called Berserk Charge. When equipped, it means that while your MP is at zero, you can't execute a finishing move. Which means your combos don't stop - you Just. Keep. Hitting. Them. (For the record, it's ridiculously effective against Sephiroth).
- In Chain of Memories, you can set up a deck of multiple Sonic Blades (which, if timed right, can hit a target 7 or so times in a row) with 2+ Hi-Potions, spam the triangle button, and kill every boss you come across. Random encounters it's less effective against, as some enemies like to disappear into the ground (I'm looking at you, Shadow) or fly every which way.
- Millia Rage's Lust Shaker attack from Guilty Gear.
- Link from The Legend of Zelda has an attack in Soul Calibur 2 for the Nintendo GameCube called illusion stab which is essentially him stabbing his opponent multiple times in rapid succession so that the after images create the illusion of there being multiple blades.
- The Bandit class in MapleStory gets an attack called "Savage Blow", which is a series of rapid slashes with a dagger.
- Don't forget the Pirate class: the brawler-type's first attack skill always attacks at the highest normal weapon speed. Counts because it's spammable since its execution is fast and the animation is short.
- As of the 6/21/2010 patch, Dual Blades are the undisputed masters of this in the entire game. First up is Double Stab with its short animation and 2 hits, then Triple Stab with an also short animation that hits up to three enemies three times. Then they get Final Cut, which can hit a single target up to EIGHT TIMES for close to double damage PER HIT, as opposed to 6 hits of 80% damage with the Bandit's Maxed-out Savage Blow. And these examples are WITHOUT getting into the higher-level skills, including a skill similar to the Assassin's Shadow Partner that summons a clone that MIMICS YOUR ATTACKS and a different skill that hits 12 times. Dual Blades are basically the Patron Saint of Maple Story Spam Attacking.
- In the original Monster Hunter Freedom, Gypceros usually tended to have this bum rush style attack where he would tend to slam you against a wall and keep doing it. Inevitably, if he decided not to use another attack, you'd end up dying. This is true for some monsters, but at the moment not many names come to mind.
- The Touhou fighting games has resident Ninja Maid Knife Nut Sakuya and her Cutting Sign: "Inscribe Red Soul" spell card, where she dual-wields a pair of knives to slice up an opponent lots and lots of times. There are also her Cutting Soul: "Soul Sculpture" spell card, which is the same attack taken up to eleven and any other knife-throwing-spellcard she use, actually.
- Sakuya's attack that is notable even in the Bullet Hell games is the last spellcard she uses in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Eternal Meek. While her normal patterns are throwing a set of knives designed to box you into a corner combined with her Time Stand Still ability, Eternal Meek is basically just her spraying high speed bullets everywhere without any pattern whatsoever. She doesn't even use her knives for this attack, just the generic round bullets.
- Yakumo Yukari can do massive 100+ hit combos.
- Yuyuko. Butterflies. Actually, Yuyuko in general. She either covers the field in her signature butterfly danmaku (she releases 20+ in a single button press, and each one is the size of a person's head), spams some lasers, or fires off a line of rather hard-hitting spirits (which are more or less guaranteed to chain hit if you get hit by one).
- Same for Patchouli. As a witch, she has a large and colorful variety of elemental magic to throw around, but the best strategy when using her is to just spam her homing fireballs, while jumping around the stage as needed.
- There are also genuine sword-slashes spammers: Youmu with Obsessor: "Slash of Eternity", and Tenshi with Swordplay: "Sword of Spirited Boasting". Both of them hit the opponent several times with extremely fast slashes.
- Some Assassin's Creed kill animations involve this. For example, one of Altaïr's Hidden Blade counters involves slashing an enemy's throat multiple times, while killing an enemy with normal attacks using the Hidden Blade can result in Ezio stabbing them many times in the gut.
- In Heroes of Might and Magic IV, a unit is able to attack once per turn, with some exceptions. The Berserker, Wolf and Crusader creatures, a hero with Grandmaster Melee, a hero with the Sword of Swiftness, a hero who drank a Potion of Quickness less than two turns ago, and any unit with the spell Cat Reflexes are all able to attack twice per turn. Now, if you have a hero with Grandmaster Melee and the Sword of Swiftness, cast Cat Reflexes on him or her, and have him or her drink a Potion of Quickness. Voila, five attacks per turn. If this hero also happens to be the first-acting unit on the battlefield, use your first turn to wait. Because this makes this hero the last to act in this turn and the first to act in the next, your hero will be able to attack ten times in a row.
- That's assuming Cat Reflexes and the Potion of Quickness stack. From the game's mechanics standpoint, they most probably apply the very same buff on the target, and as such, it doesn't stack. Eight attacks is fine too, though. On a different note - a relic artifact bow lets all your shooter units fire once more in an attack. Elves normally shoot twice - three shots's a crowd too.
- Cursed Treasure has the Frenzy spell that increases everything's fire rate. Excellent for bringing Champions down, especially once you have unlocked the freeze power.
- Fighter drone spam in the X-Universe games, particularly the X3 trilogy. Fighter drones are small, fast, and hard to hit. Larger ships can carry hundreds or even thousands. Eject them all at once and watch the enemy die the Death of a Thousand Cuts.note
- Many of the classes from Team Fortress 2 are subject to this generalization. The Scout is supposed to use his bat by swinging it like mad while both the Soldier and Demoman have strategies revolving around spamming their explosives.
- In Mann Vs. Machine mode, players can purchase various upgrades for their equipment specific to the current round. One of them is a universal Rate Of Attack increase, turning almost any weapon in the game into this.
- In the early Star Wars game TIE Fighter, the Missile Boat is basically Exactly What It Says on the Tin: missile spam in a can. Most attack craft carried 6 to 8 advanced concussion missiles. The Missile Boat could carry up to eighty. Or it could carry "only" forty, as well as a load of heavier anti-capital-ship ordinance, making it suitable for killing entire supply convoys.
- The Crystal Storm spell in Terraria has the same firing rate as a minigun (right, minishark), damage output comparable to the Megashark (killing basic monsters with three or less hits), and very small mana usage. It also bounces from the walls.
- Tomoyo from CLANNAD regularly inflicts this on Sunohara, once up to 948 times with help of Tomoya.
- Fate/stay night:
- Unusually for a character who relies more on hitting hard than hitting fast, Berserker's Holy Grail super in Fate/Unlimited Codes is simply a four second long, one hundred hit combo.
- He's much faster in the original visual novel. More on point, though, is the example of Lancer from the same source who not only has superior range to essentially everyone and an instant kill attack, but also relies on attacking incredibly fast. With such deadly strikes because wounds from Gae Bolg do not heal and are all aimed for vitals, the opponent is incapable of anything but pure defense and hoping he screws up or gets bored.
- The Visual Novel the game is based on (Fate/stay night) makes this a specialty of Gilgamesh. To the point where Spam Attack with infinite legendary artifact weapons is his signature fighting style (heck, it's his Noble Phantasm!) If someone coughShiroucough or something coughAvaloncough can counter his Spam Attack ability, he can actually be defeated but until then he can just bladespam everything to death while not moving an inch.
- Shirou gains a Spam Attack in the form of Hercule's Sword as Nine Lives Blade Works. With the weapon he attacks at nine different points AT THE SAME TIME!
- Let's just say that Archer's and Shirou's ultimate ability is called Unlimited Blade Works for a reason. One application of it is pretty much a copy of Gilgamesh's ability: infinite sword spam.
- All the heroines of Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai, at some point - even Miyako gets in on the action with her pachinko balls.
- In Gendy Tartovsky's Star Wars: Clone Wars, General Grievous performs a defensive version of a spam attack while holding five Jedi at bay simultaneously, using their slain comrades' lightsabers!.