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Reverse Shrapnel

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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.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • Captain Kaname Tosen's zanpakuto had this as its shikai attack. He used it 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 conjures a couple dozen giant swords that each shatter into millions of tiny blades.)
    • The Bount Gō Koga has an Empathic Weapon named Dalk which takes the form of a metal, insect-like creature. It can separate into hundreds of small spheres and levitate through the air to home in on the opponent.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Piccolo uses this against Android 17, firing off several ki blasts until he has the cyborg trapped in the ki-ball variant of a minefield. He then controls the ki blasts to converge onto 17 all at once.
  • From 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.
  • In Crest of the Stars, the antimatter-filled mines used by the Abh can be utilized this way. Or they can simply be launched in a Macross Missile Massacre.
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic: Al-Flash, Apollonius's Dark Metal Vessel, is a variation. It takes the form of large black beads which can separate into smaller beads that float around Apollonius or his opponent. However, the beads fire blasts of light rather than physically attack the enemy.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Earthdawn: The Earth Daggers spell summons a volley of pointy crystal daggers, which home in unerringly on the target.
  • 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 
  • Castlevania:
  • Pokémon: Razor Leaf works like this, but with leaves. They hover around the Pokémon before flinging. Same with Flame Wheel (though with fire).
  • Valkyrie Profile: Icicle Edge, Fire Lance, Dark Savior, Crystal Strike, and Nibelung Valesti all do this with different objects or elemental forces.
  • Suikoden II: Jowy's Hungry Friend spell does this with many, many, swords.
  • Metroid:
    • Super Metroid: The Power Bomb combos. Charging a single beam and then switching to morph ball with power bombs highlighted will 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.
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: The Dark Beam this effect on targets when charged, looking like ice shrapnels (it makes sense, since the beam was programmed with the Ice Beam from the first Prime as a basis).
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: Ice missiles act like this, when they freeze something sharp ice crystals from in a sphere then snap onto the target.
  • Grandia II: The Crackle spell 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:
  • Xenogears: Elly's Aerods attack is technically an Energy Weapon, but otherwise fits this trope to a T.
  • 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.
  • Shantae: The Pike Ball item 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.
  • Touhou Project: Many danmaku barrages expand radially before converging on the player.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening'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.
  • Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance grants you a power-up in the form of a swirling energy field made of Razor Wing, that damages enemies on contact. It's one of the better power-ups in the game that allows you to harm several surrounding mooks at once.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Patras are giant winged eyes with a bunch of smaller winged eyes circling around. Two of the three encountered make their smaller eyes enlarge their orbit periodically, while the third one makes them spin in a spiral pattern.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Ghirahim will occasionally summon rhomboid blades in a ring around himself, which then fly toward Link one at a time and must be deflected or dodged. Later, he creates a similar ring around Link himself, who must use the right kind of Spin Attack to take them all out or they'll simultaneously converge on him.
  • Machine Hunter has the Spiked Ball, a hovering... ball of spikes that orbits around the player. It's capable of killing anything it touches — even giant alien grubs — in one hit. What's even better is that you gain this power-up rather regularly in the game.
  • Judge Dredd for the SNES has one: Dredd receives one of these in the last level, but it's made up of Dark Judges and malevolent.
  • 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.
  • Magical Battle Arena: Ruru's super move, where she creates a protective ring of giant drill missles around her before launching them in every direction.
  • Wizardry 8: The "Razor Cloak" spell 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.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Zuo Ci's musou attack forms a protective ring of razor sharp paper charms.
  • 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.
  • Viewtiful Joe: The Dark Emperor has up to three floating things around him offensively.
  • Star Control: Kohr-Ah Marauders send out rotating blades that can do this—but it takes some skill to position them well.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog: Black Doom does this. Even combined with flame breath and beam shooters, it's not enough to stop Shadow.
  • 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.
  • Final Fantasy IV: Golbez's "Genesis Rock" attack works like this using boulders in Dissidia Final Fantasy.
  • Trials of Mana has the basic earth element spell Diamond Shards 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.
  • Bayonetta: 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:
    • Mordekaiser's Creeping Death 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's ultimate ability is sending out a ring of shurikens that stay in position independent of his movement. After a few seconds, they home back in on Talon himself or into a single target he damaged with an auto attack or Noxian Diplomacy (his Q skill), 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.
  • Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair: The Big Fire weapon surrounds the player character with a ring of large fireballs. One of the later bosses can do the same.
  • Rogue Squadron: 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.
  • Path of Exile has the Blade Vortex spell. Each cast creates an ethereal blade that orbits around the caster for five seconds and damages any enemies it passes through. Casting additional blades increases the damage and the rate it damages enemiesnote . The Blade Blast skill can detonate these blades to create an explosion around yourself, which chains into bigger explosions the more blades you have.
  • Nexus Clash: Seraphim from can surround themselves with a cloud of hovering Clock Punk robots that pummel the stuffing out of anyone who attacks them. Seraphim are The Determinator of the series, so anyone attacking them is going to have to brave the cloud a lot.
  • Soul Calibur VI: One of Ivy's moves has her Whip Sword break into fragments and strike the enemy, knocking them into the air before they land on the ground where Ivy brings her heel down on their heads.
  • Bounty of One: The Undertaker has an attack where he emits multiple waves of damaging soul orbs that travel outwards. Halfway through, it turns into Orbiting Particle Shield when they stop moving outward and start orbiting him for a few seconds, before he reverses the attack and pulls them back into himself.

    Western Animation