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"The Sailor Moon-like princess starts kicking spinning a lot. That's strangely familiar."
The Porn Critic's review of Star Ballz

When fighting enemies who like to gang up on you, it helps to have a powerful attack that hits on all sides to make cheeky enemies (especially Personal Space Invaders) give you a little more breathing room. Enter the Spin Attack, a move that consists of spinning around like a maniac to create an "Instant Death" Radius around the user.

In an actual swordfight turning your back to someone will leave you vulnerable to attack, so most characters who do this justify it by spinning fast enough that their body becomes a blur and no side is left open long enough for enemies to take advantage. The move however, may need to be charged up before use and/or leave its user vulnerable afterwards as a Necessary Drawback to discourage the technique from being used continuously.

A similar technique is the Death Blossom, which uses ranged weaponry like a gun firing a spray of projectiles in all directions. 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. For an alternative way to hit targets behind your back, see Dangerous Backswing. Can overlap with Spin to Deflect Stuff if the spinning is used for defensive purposes.


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  • The Legend of Spyro:
    • The bulb spiders in the first two games and the crystal ball spiders in the second often attack by raising their legs into the air and spinning across the ground in an attempt to hit Spyro.
    • Spinning like a top is one of Spyro's electrical abilities in The Eternal Night, and he can also form an ice-blade on his tail and spin to slice opponents with it. Dawn of the Dragon keeps this as strictly an ice ability.
    • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: In his battle's second phase, Gaul periodically spins on his axis while streaking across the battlefield.
    • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: Cynder's secondary Wind power allows her to rapidly spin through enemy mobs and send targets flying.
  • The Legend of Zelda: This is one of Link's most recurring special attacks. At its most basic, it's a quick, simple 360-degree spin that is your best friend when being surrounded by Goddamn Bats or when you want to cut a lot of grass at once.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past introduces the basic signature attack, called the "Whirling Blade" in the US manual. By holding down the sword button and moving slowly for a moment, Link charges a circular spin attack with a very forgiving hit box and timing that does twice the damage of a normal sword slash.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Once Link learns how to use magic from a Great Fairy, he can perform a stronger version of the spin attack. It loads energy so its range is wider, and has two levels.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker introduces a downright ridiculous variant called the Hurricane Spin, in which Link moves around while spinning like a top for several seconds (but also leaves him dizzy for several seconds).
    • 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 untranslated manga renders Link's attack as "Kaitengiri" (it pretty much means spin attack). It's also insanely powerful in the manga, able to obliterate just about anything, even up to boss-class bad guys.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap returns the hurricane spin as the ultimate attack taught by the hidden martial arts masters. It's particularly effective against Dark Nuts, which is important because you have a timed battle against them near the end of the game.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: During the Castle Town stage of his boss fight, Zant starts spinning across the stage like a top with his scimitars held out. He cannot be safely approached in this state, so Link must wait for him to tire out before attacking.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: Bellum's final form uses this, but Link can cancel it out with an opposite spin of his own.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Link's Giant Flyer steed learns a Spin Attack late in the game. It lasts slightly longer and does more damage, but doesn't seem significantly different from its normal attack aside from that. Link can power up his own Spin Attack by charging his Sword Beam, then using a spin rather than a normal slash.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: In its battle's second phase, Stalblind performs a variant of Link's Great Spin attack where it rotates wildly around the stage while slashing out with its sword.
    • Hyrule Warriors: Link's special sword attack is a spin attack with a greatly increased range that can easily take out dozens of enemies at one time.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild varies this a little depending on the weapon Link is holding — standard swords use the classic charge-and-release Spin Attack, while heavy weapons cause Link to spin slowly as long as you hold down the button, with a follow-up ground slam upon release. Some kinds of weapon cannot perform a Spin Attack at all, with spears instead delivering a flurry of thrusts and katana-like weapons having an iai slash.
  • NieR: 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.
  • Dungeon Siege II gives melee warriors one of these as an available power fairly early, which some players end up using throughout the game.
  • Star Control II: The manual suggests performing this maneuver (which is even referred to as a "Death Blossom") while flying the Pkunk Fury.
  • In The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang, Spike's basic melee attack is to spin around. He can also do a more powerful spin, though it makes him dizzy.
  • Shantae (2002): Buying the Tiara gives Shantae the ability to perform a jumping hair-spin attack in the middle of her Charged Attack. It's the strongest attack Shantae could do in the game, but the way it sends you sailing uncontrollably through the air in a weird angle and the fact that you need to do the Charged Attack beforehand makes it hard to use.
  • One of Mass Effect: Andromeda's available melee weapons gives Ryder the ability to perform such an attack every time they strike in melee.
  • Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King: Well, the whole game is a homage to the top-down Zelda games, so it’s only natural that this figures heavily into the gameplay.
  • In Dark Devotion, the late game boss Elemiah the Crow Lady can swing her katana while spinning like a top for a few seconds, and her assassin minions can use a similar attack with their scythes. Either attack will chew through the player's health like a buzz saw thanks to the game's lack of Mercy Invincibility.
  • Kid Baby Starchild: Little Dude has a spin attack that's activated by holding down the attack button to charge, and then releasing it to unleash the attack.

    Action Game 
  • Devil May Cry: Dante with his sword during a cutscene. In-game gun version with his Twosome Time, and sword version with his Prop Shredder.
  • Bayonetta has a variety of these called Bullet Climaxes which vary based on the weapon she's currently using. She can also do this with angelic halberds, whirling around the shaft like a poledancer as she brings the pain.
  • In Battletoads, the Dark Queen will spin so fast she turns into a tornado.
  • In Get Off My Lawn (2009), the protagonist has one called the Cyclone Spin. This ability sucks all enemies towards the protagonist. Though, it has a limit how long it can be used before recharging (which can be upgraded in the shop).
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has a variant - the Focus-360 Clear-out, you spin with a staff, slam it horizontally into the ground and all the enemies fall over.
    • Another example, a move where Neo grabs one enemy's feet and swings him in a circle to knock the other enemies over.
  • In Kamiko, Yamato's special attack has her rapidly spin the Blade of Kusanagi in a circle, becoming invincible for a short time and killing everything in her path.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • In many beat-'em-ups, each character gets a special attack which is a Hurricane Kick or some other spinning attack that hits enemies on all sides, at the cost of some health if it connects:
  • In Castle Crashers, a spin attack can be performed in the air. However, it's the weakest attack in the game, doing only 1 damage regardless of the player's stats.
  • The Amazon of Dragon's Crown has the Brandish attack, where the Amazon spins her spear around her at the end of a four hit combo. Like the Spin Attacks of other Beat Em Ups, it hits hard, has a wide-area effect, and makes her temporarily invincible while doing it. Investing more skill points into it lets the Amazon do it multiple times in a row.
  • Fighting Force Has this for Hawk Mason as a jump spin kick.
  • War Dogs: Red's Return: Red can do a move when his power meter is full enough where he starts spinning quickly while holding his arms out.

    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.
  • Tekken: Kazuya Mishima's "Sweeping Demon" is a low-hitting spin kick, and a staple of his moveset. Other Mishimas, including Heihachi and Jin (in 3 only), can also use it.
  • In Touhou Hisoutensoku, Cirno has a spellcard (Blowing Ice "Ice Tornado") in which she not only spins around like there's no tomorrow, but also creates a freaking ice tornado while doing it.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In Battleborn, Rath's ultimate technique is a spinning attack called "Dreadwind".
  • In Jedi Knight: 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.
  • Serious Sam 3: BFE lets you perform a spinning attack with the sledgehammer, which comes in handy if you get yourself surrounded by gnaars or Kleer skeletons. You also get an achievement for killing three enemies with one spin.
  • Reaper's "Death Blossom" ultimate ability in Overwatch is this trope played straight. Upon activation: Reaper will move around slowly while emptying both shotguns in a radius around him for a few seconds, dealing 170 damage per second to any enemy in the radius.

    Hack and Slash 
  • In the Diablo series, Barbarians can learn the Whirlwind skill, which has them spinning towards a direction while attacking any enemy caught within their path.
  • In God of War, Kratos can unlock a horizontal-spinning and vertical-spinning attack if you level up his Blades of Chaos.
  • Dynasty Warriors (and presumably Samurai Warriors) hand these out like candy. And a good thing, too, since the enemy's primary tactic is the Zerg Rush and your character is the only competent fighter on your side.
  • An entire subclass of Secret Arts in Muramasa: The Demon Blade. The forward roll variants are generally held to be extremely useful.
  • Ninja Gaiden Black/Sigma has a Zelda-style spinning slash.
  • Titan Quest: The Warrior Mastery's War Wind skill:
    Executes a devestating spinning attack that can damage up to four enemies. Initially each hit is not as powerful as a normal attack but the effectiveness increases each level.

    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 assured One-Hit Kill.
  • Super Robot Wars BX has a very very very large number of sword-wielding mechs. Now, there are only so many ways to make sword attacks flashy. Spinning is one of those ways.

  • The majority of hero weapons in Conqueror's Blade have some kind of Spin Attack ability:
    • Maul has Maelstrom;
    • Glaive has Arc of Steel;
    • Nodachi has Tiger's Claw;
    • Spear has Gungnir's Greeting and Hurricane's Edge;
    • ...and Pike has Wandering Dragon (when you use it after your ultimate skill).
    • Even Musket has one of these—with Close Combat, you do a leg-sweep with your gun's butt end.
  • Yagudo in Final Fantasy XI have one hell of a spinning kick, stunning all the players around them(and anyone several feet away).
  • Perfect World: Asoteric Runewolf's SUPER POWERFUL MIGHTY WHIRLING SLASH! It's a one-hit kill to anyone in range.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Online has the "Sweep" skill found on all sword weapons. Also, the "Roundhouse", "Spin Cut", and "Reverse Spin Cut" moves on the Broadsword's Combo tree.
  • WildStar Warriors have this as their go-to AoE attack.
  • 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.
    • One of the most well-remembered of these spinning bad guys is Lord Marrowgar. Everyone say it with me now: BBBBOOOOONNNNNEEEEESSSSSSTTTTTTOOOOORRRRRMMMMMM!!!!!
    • 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.
  • 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.

  • Defense of the Ancients:
    • In custom maps, since the Blademaster model is used for Yurnero the Juggernaut, he inherits the Bladestorm skill, and he's using it as a normal skill instead of an ultimate. And since Mogul Khan the Axe is using the model of a unique Blademaster hero (Grom Hellscream), he also gets a variation: Counter Helix, if attacked, there's a chance that Mogul will spin around and damaging nearby enemies.
    • Dota 2: Yurnero and Mogul retain these skills although, to avoid copyright infringement, Juggernaut's spin attack is renamed into "Blade Fury".
  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • Sonya has the skill Whirlwind, which has her spin around with her two swords, dealing damage while healing her for every enemy hit.
    • The Lost Vikings have a skill where the three of them spin around to damage enemies in melee range, named after the League of Legends meme "Spin To Win". It's pretty wimpy with just one Viking, but getting hit by all three spins can deal a significant chunk of damage.
    • Zeratul's Cleave ability is a simple spin with his psi-blades to strike everyone around him, although given his role as a ganking assassin, it will usually just be hitting one target.
    • The Blademaster returns in Heroes of the Storm under the identity Samuro, and retains the Bladestorm ability as one possible heroic. Instead of spinning like before however, Samuro instead just turns around and slash in a quick succession repeatedly to replicate the effect without looking too much like Sonya's.
    • Garrosh's Decimate has him swing his axe in a large circle to slow all enemies hit. It holds up to three charges and lowers its cooldown for each hero it hits, although the damage is very low.
    • One of Qhira's heroics, Unrelenting Strikes, has her spin around with her chainsword to damage enemies. The Area of Effect grows as she spins, and when the skill ends she slams her sword down to stun everyone in the area.
    • Hogger's Hogg Wild ability has him turn into a tornado and bounce around uncontrollably in a manner not unlike the Tasmanian Devil, damaging enemies that he passes through. One of his level 20 talents lets him cast a modified version that bounces between enemy heroes instead of walls.
  • League of Legends: Two characters (Tryndamere and Garen) have this ability, along with a speed boost and slow immunity so they keep up with any enemy player they're shredding. In fact, Garen's signature low level playstyle involves hiding in a patch of grass and waiting for an idiot to walk in ("DEMACIAAAAAA!" is shorthand for that, though that sound is technically activated another ability entirely).
    • In fact, there are so many spin attacks that the fanbase coined a new term for it: Spin 2 Win.
    • Katarina has both the melee and ranged variants: Sinister Steel, where she spins around once to deal damage to all nearby enemies, and again with her ultimate, which sees her spinning in place for several seconds, sending a torrent of daggers at any hapless enemy champion who happens to be standing nearby.
      • Her ultimate is also named Death Lotus, which is a shout-out to the Death Blossom itself.
    • Riven's Broken Wings skill can be spammed three times in short succession before going on cooldown. The first two slashes make her spin to the left and then to the right, and the final slash does a forward somersault which ends by slamming her sword into the ground.
    • Riven's fellow Noxian soldier, Darius, has a skill that makes him spin around with his axe outstretched. Interestingly, enemies close to Darius will be hit by the handle only and take reduced damage. Enemies on the outer radius of the spin are hit by the blade and take increased damage.
    • Akali's Crescent Slash move has her quickly spin with her blades outstretched.
    • Renekton's Cull the Meek ability has him spin around to strike nearby enemies with his blade.
    • Wukong's ultimate, Cyclone, makes him spin with staff outstretched for several seconds, damaging anyone around him.
    • Xin Zhao's ultimate, Crescent Slash, has him spin with his spear outstretched, which covers a pretty nice range as far as melee characters go.
    • Zed also has one as his third skill, Shadow Slash. It's a simple attack that damages any nearby units. His shadow clone also performs the move when he does. If the shadow's spin hits an enemy, their movement is briefly slowed.
  • Smite: Several gods have abilities that do this:
    • Sun Wukong spins around with his staff extended, slowing enemies it hits.
    • Tyr charges into enemies while spinning with his sword, finishing in an uppercut.
    • Odin has Gungnir's Might, a spinning attack with his legendary spear.
    • Thor has Berserker Barrage, spinning around quickly for several seconds with his hammer. Used to best effect after a stun/fissure to deal nice damage to helpless enemies.
    • Chaac's skill "Torrent" has him spin with his axe to attack enemies and gives him protections based on how many enemies he hit. If his axe is thrown, he charges toward it and then performs the spin.
    • Chang'e's Crescend Moon Dance allows her to gracefully spin and leap in any direction, becoming briefly invincible while doing so. Her Moonflower Dance lets her do a spin that heals nearby teammates while damaging enemies.
    • Kali's ultimate, "Destruction", used to cause her to spin rapidly while moving, dealing damage to nearby foes. However with her recent rework, she simply gets a damaging aura and the inability to die for the duration.
    • Sobek's Tail Whip makes him whip his tail in a circle to knock up nearby enemies.
    • Xbalanque's Rising Jaguar lets him leap into the air, spinning and showering a wide radius with darts from his blowgun. If you poisoned enemies before hitting them with this, Rising Jaguar will deal extra bonus damage. Add to that Rising Jaguar's crowd-control immunity, and you have arguably the best move in his arsenal.
    • Guan Yu's Taolu Assault has him spin around his Green Dragon Saber to attack the enemy in front, occasionally switching from left to right so the sides get covered too. Just about the only thing he didn't cover is the back, but he can still turn around if he wants to.

    Party Game 

    Platform Game 
  • In The Adventures of Lomax, it's the only attack the titular character can use even without his helmet (which allows him to throw it like a boomerang and use special abilities). Since nearly every enemy is susceptible to it and you are invincible to nearly every attack while you do it, you are very likely to keep using it without ever bothering to use the helmet attack instead.
  • Castle on the Coast: Pressing the attack button causes George to spin around with his arms outstretched.
  • Crash Bandicoot can twist his body for a mini-tornado attack. Unlike most spin attacks, it's actually his basic attack.
  • In Jak and Daxter, the titular characters use a Hurricane Kick that has this effect.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Along with Rolling Attack on land, the Kongs can spin underwater to attack enemies.
  • Lilac from Freedom Planet has a Dragon Cyclone move that she can perform on ground (after gaining some momentum) and mid-air.
  • Ginger Beyond The Crystal: One of the enemy types Ginger faces in the game has an attack wherein it spins while moving in Ginger's direction.
  • Kao the Kangaroo: Kao can whip his tail in all games, though in the second and third he only does that while jumping. Round 2 allows for upgrading it into a legitimate spin attack that keeps Kao briefly suspended in the air.
  • Kyle & Lucy: Wonderworld: This is Lucy's main attack, which also acts as a Double Jump.
  • In Lunistice, this is how Hana deals with enemies. She can also use it to pick up nearby cranes or even to provide extra air time midjump, a la Super Mario Galaxy.
  • Mega Man
    • 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.
    • Zero has had several moves like this in the Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero games. (Since he's in a sidescroller, he spins Samus-style, front-to-back instead of left-to-right.) In most cases he can only do a spin attack in midair, but the Ensuizan move in X6 can be executed on the ground — indefinitely!
  • Metroid: Samus's legendary Screw Attack. So famous, a website was named after it. The Screw Attack is, oddly enough, actually a Rolling Attack. In mathematical terms, a traditional Spin Attack yaws left-to-right across the body, and Samus's pitches forward into a roll.
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens: The Bonker Tortoise has a "charge up and release [Attack Button] to perform a destructive SPIN DASH!", which is actually a Rolling Attack since it deals Collision Damage and this is a 2D game so it doesn't extend the attack out from the body.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • The Screw Attack becomes an item in the series starting from Melee, allowing the holder to perform the move with each jump. Amusingly, you can also throw it at an opponent, which damages them and forces them to involuntarily perform the move, leaving them open to a counterattack or simply sending them careening off a cliff.
    • The Mario Tornado and Luigi Cyclone attacks, performed by pressing Down + B.
    • Meta Knight uses a spinning attack called Mach Tornado.
  • The boss Reflux from Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc has an attack that consists of him whirling spectacularly around the entire arena.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Although the 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, oddly enough, 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).
    • Sonic did have a horizontal spin attack called Humming Top, present in the "Sonic Advance" and "Sonic Rush" series, that was identical to the Hurricane Kick. However it could only be performed after hopping off a spring, a ramp, or trampoline.
  • The SpongeBob Movie Game: The home console edition features SpongeBob's and Patrick's default attacks, the Karate Spin and the Star Spin. When upgraded, they inflict more damage with more range and gain the ability to reflect enemy projectiles back at them. They essentially function the same between each character, with the only difference being that SpongeBob can perform his mid-jump for some extra air while Patrick cannot.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World let Mario use this with the Raccoon and Cape Power Ups, respectively.
    • Super Mario Sunshine: By making Mario spin and mildly tapping the R button, he can perform a spinning water shot with FLUDD's Squirt Nozzle.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy and sequel, spinning is Mario's main and often only attack, with many variations depending on context (on ice, underwater, etc.) or Power-Up. This ability is passed on to Rosalina as her signature ability in Super Mario 3D World.
    • 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.
  • 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 the Toy Story 2 Licensed Game, Buzz can attack enemies by spinning his wings at them. He can also charge up and perform a super spin attack, which leaves him dizzy afterwards.
  • The Way of Cinnamon: Cinnamon's first available attack is a spin attack.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Age of Empires III: The British Explorer can be given a special melee attack from a Home City shipment that allows him to spin around, causing damage around him.
  • Total War: Warhammer: Some of the Ghorgons and Keepers of Secrets' attack animations have them hold out their weapons and bladed limbs and spin rapidly into the enemy.
  • Warcraft III: The Orc Blademaster has the ability "Bladestorm", which causes him to spin around like a tornado, ripping through any nearby enemy ground units and buildings within in its reach, as well as somehow giving him temporary immunity to magic.

  • The Binding of Isaac: The Spirit Sword item added in Repentance replaces your tears with a sword. You can swing it normally by tapping the fire button, or charge it up to use a spin attack that deals 8x your base damage +10. Any item that normally multiplies the number of tears you fire will instead cause the spin to happen an additional time per extra tear.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • 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.
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • Chrono's Cyclone technique. 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.
    • Robo gets the Laser Spin attack, which involves twirling around while firing lasers. And there's a triple combination attack, involving Crono, Robo and Ayla, where Crono's cyclone technique is more powerful.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • 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.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: You can do this with a power attack if you dual wield one-handed weapons.
  • Final Fantasy IV: The hit animation for sword users. Normal attacks are a generic up-down swing. For a Critical Hit, Cecil or Kain will swing their BFS around their body first, building up momentum before hitting.
  • .hack//G.U. Games: In the first four 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.
  • Kingdom Hearts II: You'll see lots of spinning. 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.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: Faeblades are 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.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals: Guy's charged attacks with hammers is the Hurricane Hammer, which spins for longer with higher C. Atk. levels. It's notably the only charge attack Dekar doesn't share.
  • Neverwinter Nights: You get Whirlwind Attack from the 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons rules, which the game is based on. (See below under tabletop games.)
  • Odin Sphere: One of Cornelius' jumping attacks allows him to fly through the air with his sword extended like a buzzsaw.
  • Persona 4: Yosuke does this as his follow-up attack. Though it is one of the least useful ones.
  • Pokémon:
    • The move Rapid Spin, which frees the user from restraining moves and also deals damage. The move Gyro Ball also works with the same principle, dealing the more damage the slower are you than your opponent.
    • Pokémon Legends: Arceus: One of Lord Kleavor's attacks is a stationary spinning slash with its axes.
  • 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.
  • Tales Series: Featured frequently 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.
  • Trials of Mana: Duran's Whirlwind Sword tech as a Gladiator has him spinning his sword wildly while going across the screen, and Kevin's Whirlwind Kick as a Monk has him doing the same, but with his legs instead of with a weapon.
  • The World Ends with You: The pins that 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.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Ballpoint Universe Infinite allows you to equip swords to your ship. One of the available swords spins around the entire circumference of your ship.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Turn-Based Strategy 

Non-video game examples:

    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: Levi, in a display of Charles Atlas Superpower, performs what is arguably the most spectacular example of this trope. He is not, however, the only member of the Survey Corps to invoke this trope.
  • Sechs from Battle Angel Alita: Last Order takes this to its logical extreme when he uses his double-bladed BFS to perform a three-dimensional Spin Attack by spinning like a gyroscope, turning into a whirling sphere of death.
    • He also performs a sort of inverted Spin Attack by forcing his opponent into one, spinning his BFS around his torso like a hula-hoop to pin him down for his next attack.
  • Berserk: Guts's signature attack when using the Berserker Armor is a leaping somersault attack that turns his sword into a veritable buzz saw.
  • Code Geass:
    • Suzaku pulls off a bunch of spinnery throughout the series. The most egregious example is his flying twenty feet across the room to deliver a spinning kick, then falling short and delivering a punch instead.
    • 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).
  • Combattler V: The Humongous Mecha of the first series of the Robot Romance Trilogy has the "Choudenji Spin" like Finishing Move. It consists of replacing its hands with triangular blades, spinning quickly to shape a tornado around its body, and ramming through its enemy. Justified, since often he is fighting a single Beast, and before using the move, Combattler paralyzes its enemy with an electrical discharge ("Choudenji Tatsumaki") so it does not move.
  • Fate/Grand Order - Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia has Ushiwakamaru perform a vertical spinning attack on Gorgon that turns her into a veritable buzzsaw.
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin and Ginga Densetsu Weed features the Zetsu Tenrou Battouga, which involves spinning really fast and slamming into the opponent, slashing them hard with their teeth. Gin learned this move from Riki (who learned it from a wolf named Fuuga in the manga). Weed didn't learn this from his own father, though; he learned it from Tesshin, the adopted "heir" of Ohu.
  • Gundam:
      • From the same series: God Slash TYPHOOOONNNN!!!!
    • 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.
  • In Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Steel Ball Run, both of the main character's attacks are based around a technique called The Spin in conjunction with an Improbable Weapon. Gyro uses steel balls, and Johnny fires his fingernails.
  • Vita's Raketen Hammer attack from Lyrical Nanoha, which has Vita spinning wildly with her rocket-boosted hammer to deal extra damage on a target.
  • Mazinger Z: A variant. Mazinger Z possess a technique called Daisharin Rocket Punch ("Giant Swing Rocket Punch"). Rather spinning its whole body,the Humongous Mecha spins its arms rapidly, building up momentum before firing off both fists in standard Rocket Punch fashion.
    • Several Mechanical Beasts had spin attacks: Goronko S2 spun around and then rammed the enemy; Spartan K5 whirled its trident very, very rapidly to create a twister capable pick even a Humongous Mecha; Balkan P5 expelled air out of ducts all over its legs and spun around to wrap itself into a tornado; Grengus C3 wrapped its enemy in chains and then it spun around, dragging its enemy with it before slamming it in the ground...
  • When overwhelmed and surrounded, members of the Hyuga clan in Naruto can perform the Hakkeshou Kaiten (Heavenly Spin), 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.
  • Pokémon: The Series: In addition to the Rapid Spin attack (see above under "Role-Playing Games"), Ash develops a technique that's known as "Counter Shield" in which a Pokémon spins while using an otherwise offensive attack (such as Pikachu's Thunderbolt or Monferno's Flamethrower), creating a barrier that can be used for both offensive and defensive purposes.
  • 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 and 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 vacuum 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.
    • Ranma and Akane also performed one during the fight against the Dojo Destroyer (anime version). They stood back-to-back, and spun swiftly, punching and kicking to break all wood planks their humongous enemy threw at them.
  • Rebuild World:
    • Death Blossom variant. As part of a Batman Gambit when cornered by a group, Akira sets his guns to a pre-programmed firing pattern and throws them spinning through the air shooting everyone in the room, including himself, to serve as a distraction while he kills their leader with his sword.
    • A type of black Flying Saucer mechanical monsters Akira fights, in addition to their Energy Weapon, have blades on the side that they spin to attack with.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Ninja technique Tornado Fighter, performed by the whole team. They would stand on the each other's shoulders (or depending on the iteration, form a ring) and would spin quickly, spawning a tornado around them that would wipe the entire opposition.
  • Touta Konoe from UQ Holder! spins hoops around his waist while fighting, becoming a living centrifuge in order to access the Mutually Exclusive Magic in his body.
  • Ranewater Calder from Zombie Powder spins during his Jet Ripper attack.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla MonsterVerse fanfiction, young Manda at one point playfully swims in a circle to splash Monster X with water.
  • The tanks of the Gate fanfiction, Here We Go Again! sometimes perform 'whirlybirds', which is the term for spinning the M1A1 Abrams' turret erratically, usually for fun. In one instance, the US Marine tank crews realistically puts this tactic to good use when some bandits manage to board their stalled tank.
  • The Night Unfurls: In Chapter 14 of the original, Hugh decapitates a goblin sorcerer by whirling around, bowblade in hand.
  • Midnight in Rise of Empress Midnight does an unusual version of this trope where she creates magic blades and turns her body to form a wheel, a sideways spin attack with six swords.
  • In Son of the Sannin, Hinata develops her own version of the Heavenly Spin, mixing it with her Lightning Release chakra giving it a huge boost of power and range. Her sister Hanabi later does a similar one with Fire Release.
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This happens all the time in Hong Kong kung fu movies, especially those of Jet Li.
    • It happens twice in Tai Chi Master, each time with a staff. The first fight his staff breaks but he continues using the separate halves like a pair of escrima sticks, which is actually plausible for fighting off a large group in a circle. The later fight involves a long staff which is a lot less realistic since it would lose momentum after the first person it hits.
    • More memorably, in My Father Is A Hero Jet Li swings around his SON tied to the end of a rope.
  • Jackie Chan doesn't use it quite as often, but in the restaurant fight of Drunken Master he does 3 variations in a single scene.
    • He first uses a wooden bench offensively. As with Jet Li, the bench would lose momentum upon contact with its first target
    • Then he hides under a table and spins in it to defend against his opponents' axes. This is mostly comical, but is arguably plausible since he's not on the offensive, just trying to deflect their attacks.
    • Finally he uses a bamboo pole whose end is splintered to rake his opponents with dozens of tiny cuts. This is also plausible since the weapon is supple enough to rake across multiple opponents without losing momentum, and the sharp tips wouldn't require much force to cut.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Rodan performs an aileron roll variation to quickly finish off Monarch's jet squadron, his body and wings swatting all the remaining jets out of the sky.
  • In Iron Man 2 Tony uses a spinning Frickin' Laser Beams attack to take out the last of the "Hammeroids".
  • 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. It's also an attack of last resort, as it leaves the ship completely vulnerable both before and after use. It's also untested, and could blow up the ship.
  • The protagonist of the wuxia film The Magic Blade, uses this method, spinning himself in circles while twirling his dual blades, allowing him to massacre plenty of enemies with ease.
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, Neo grabs a pole and just spins around with it to fight off the horde of Smiths, which can be recreated in the The Matrix: Path of Neo game if you've unlocked the right moves.
  • No Time to Die shows us how James Bond does this trope. His way to escape a village square surrounded by bad guys is to deploy his car's dual frontal minigunsnote  and rip donuts to rake the guns across the entire surroundings. He also uses the car's smokescreen feature while spinning to ensure the enemies can't see him make his escape.
  • 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. (the fight starts at 5:30)
  • In the Star Wars series, various characters do these in lightsaber duels, especially the prequels:
    • In The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn does one while fighting Darth Maul, and Maul himself does a spectacular and flashy leaping spin move while fighting Obi-Wan.
    • In Attack of the Clones Anakin tries Dual Wielding against Count Dooku with a lot of spinning (he did say it was a good trick, after all) but it's rather ineffective. Yoda, on the other hand, uses a ton of spinning attacks against Dooku and fares much better.
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan does it while fighting Anakin, and Palpatine notably does a spinning leap to attack four Jedi at once, which was so over the top that it became a meme unto itself. Yoda again does his signature spinning jumps.
    • In A New Hope, Obi-Wan does a very slow and pointless spin while fighting Darth Vader.
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke spins on his heel while fighting Vader, but he does it as part of a recovery move and unlike the previous movie, it actually looks cool and sort of makes sense.
    • Worth noting: Nick Gillard, the swordmaster for all of the prequels and the man who wrote all the duels, said that he knows the spinning move makes no sense in combat (it leaves the whole back exposed and doesn't have any special advantage in attacking) but he throws it into his choreography because of Rule of Cool. Bob Anderson, who did the choreography for Episode V and VI and was the Vader stunt double, was an Olympic fencer and so used a more straightforward and slightly more realistic approach, whereas Gillard seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from Chinese Wuxia.

  • 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 was crushed into a nice paste.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition:
      • There's 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 in real life. The exception would be using reach weapons (that allow you to melee attack from farther away than close-quarters), making 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. However, this only applied to 3.0 rules, as in 3.5 the feat was changed so that it explicitly could only be used against targets that were adjacent to the person using it and also prevented it from being used in combination with the Cleave, Great Cleave feats, which dropped it down from Awesome, but Impractical to Cool, but Inefficient level.
      • 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 Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Night Goblin Fanatics in Warhammer, although their rationale for doing so isn't so much "gotta get some breathing room" as it is "RRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA".

  • 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.)
  • In El Goonish Shive, Jay gets Susan to jump and spin so Jay can rapidly blast fireballs in all directions.
  • Subverted/deconstructed in It's 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.
  • Spoofed in Swords, where a warrior monk surrounded by zombies starts a "Spinning Blade Attack", only to spin a bit too fast and goes flying.
    Alt Text: Fighting the undead really winds me up.
  • Waterworks: Flush "Cyclone Cistern" attack. It begins with him spinning leisurely... then gradually builds up to a spinning tornado of death that sucks in foes (and note that all the while he's holding a knife in his outstretched hand.)

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The grandfather of this trope, the legendary Tasmanian Devil?
  • Ninjago is this trope. The primary attack of the main characters is spinning so fast they turn into mini-tornadoes, like the Tasmanian Devil but with more elemental powers.It isn't called Masters of Spinjitzu of nothing.
  • In the third season of ReBoot, Matrix's gun (rather unimaginatively named... Gun) even has a firing mode explicitly called 'Death Blossom.'
  • Used by Mr. Krabs with a sword(fish) to plow through a horde of zombie fish.


Primal Weevil

The Primal Weevil spins, smacking a party member with its thorax.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpinAttack

Media sources: