The Spin Attack (スピンアタック,Supin Atakku?), also called Rolling Attack (ローリングアタック,Roringu Atakku?), is a trademark move in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and serves notably as the basis of several attacks in the early main installments of the series, such as the Spin Jump, Spin Dash and Homing Attack. It consists of the user curling into a ball while rolling along the ground. When used at a very high speed, the user is also able to destroy breakable obstacles and enemies.
The Spin Attack is one of basic maneuvers in the games that the player can utilize after gaining enough of running speed. Once activated, the playable character curls tightly into a ball that keeps moving forward, with the rotation speed increasing depending on how fast they are going. Some playable characters will have unique Spin Attack animation, such as Tails' twin-tails and Cream's rabbit ears fluttering behind their curled form. Espio whirls around like a tornado, and Vector curls into a spiky wheel when they perform the Spin Attack in Knuckles' Chaotix.
The functionality of the Spin Attack is variable despite its simplicity. While in the motion, the playable character can smash through objects like Item Boxes and break through obstacles such as rarefied walls. The Spin Attack can also be used to attack enemies along the ground. However, some enemies can damage or stop the player while using the Spin Attack if they hold any shields, shoot projectiles or have damaging parts on their body such as spikes.
Depending on where and how the player uses the Spin Attack, it can make the playable character move much faster than when running at top speed. The player can utilize both the game's level design and momentum physics in order to achieve this by rolling down hills or different types of ramps. While the Spin Attack can be used to speed through shuttle loops, up steep inclines, and along walls and ceilings, should the player not roll fast enough, they will end up rolling backwards or falling off. The player will lose momentum when on level terrain, and even more quickly on inclines. Certain Zone gimmicks can make the playable characters perform the Spin Attack, such as winding tunnels, transport tubes and high-speed elevators, as they may roll through sections where the gimmicks are utilized. Certain objects such as certain Dash Panels and Cannons can also make the playable characters curl into the Spin Attack.
By pressing in the opposite direction on , the rolling speed decreases until the player stops moving and stands up. While curled, the player can jump into the air, though the momentum will decrease drastically if the player presses forward during this process. If the player tries to perform a Spin Attack while standing still, they will crouch instead. The Spin Attack shares some of its attributes with its mid-air variation, the Spin Jump, if the playable character rolls down from a cliff or is launched into the air.
In many earlier installments of the series, the player has to gain enough speed and press down on to perform the Spin Attack. After earlier installments for the Sega Genesis, this simple button function is used in all platformer titles where the Spin Attack has been featured. These include platform games for Master System and Game Gear, Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, the Sonic Advance games, the Sonic Rush games, all episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors. In Sonic 3D Blast, the player has to gain running speed and press / for Sonic to perform the Spin Attack. This can also be done in Special Stages on the Sega Saturn version. In Sonic R, the player has to press down on to perform Spin Dash Roll as Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. In Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, Tails and Knuckles can only perform the Spin Attack by pressing or button while running, whereas other characters perform different actions or unique variations of the move. In Sonic Heroes, when the playable Speed Type character is about to perform Rocket Accel, the character can curl into a ball by holding down the action button (//) while running to attack enemies, though it can only deal a hit equal to a non-upgraded Homing Attack regardless of the level the player is on. The Spin Attack as separate movement is notably absent in the 3D titles such as Sonic Adventure 2, but the playable characters can still perform it through their use of the Spin Jump and Spin Dash, as well emitting different colored auras around them while spinning. The Spin Attack returned once again as a separated movement for Classic Sonic in both versions of Sonic Generations, where it functions similarly as in earlier installments. Spin Attack is also featured in Sonic Runners, where it can be performed in downhills to reach high speed and collect Rings thought the shuttle loop, although performing it is fully automated. The Spin Attack also appears as Sonic's dash attack in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.
The Spin Attack has multiple names given in instruction manuals. In early installments of the series for the Sega Genesis, the move is first called as the Super Sonic Spin Attack and Super Spin Attack in the North American instruction manuals. In Japan, the Spin Attack is named simply as Spin (スピン,Supin?). In Knuckles' Chaotix, the Spin Attack is called the Super Spin (回転,Kaiten?, lit. "Rotation") and in Sonic R along with the Spin Dash, the Spin Attack is called the Spin Dash Roll.
The Spin Jump is probably the most commonly used variation of the Spin Attack. Also called the Rolling Jump, this move simply involves the user performing the Spin Attack while jumping; aside from allowing the player to maneuver though stages, the Spin Jump has the added benefit of damaging midair enemies on contact. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Sonic does not use the Spin Jump merely by jumping, even though he curls up during the jump, but rather as one of his midair attacks.
The Spin Dash, also called Super Spin Dash, is Sonic's trademark move and is frequently used throughout the series. It allows the user to instantly launch themselves forward into a high-speed Spin Attack from a stationary position. The user crouches, rolls in place to charge up, then dashes off at high speed in ball form. The Spin Dash is used to attack enemies, break through walls, and dash up steep slopes without having to build up running momentum.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Sonic has three variations of this move; his down special (the original attack; named as the Spin Charge), his forward special (which goes by the original name; a slower dash that does not need to charge and begins with a hop to aid in recovery), and his down smash (a rapid Spin Dash back and forth).
Originating in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the Insta-shield causes Sonic to rapidly spin in the air, fast enough to briefly generate a shield of wind. For the split second it lasts, it extends the range of his standard Spin Attack and grants him temporary invincibility. This attack was not seen again until Sonic Advance due to it being replaced by the Homing Attack in Sonic Adventure. In Sonic Advance 3, Tails could also perform the Insta-shield when he was partnered with Knuckles.
The Bound Jump can only be used by Sonic. The user is propelled downward while Spin Jumping, then rebounds off the ground like a ball. It is used to attack enemies below the user, as well as gain extra height when used repeatedly. The user must have first obtained the Bounce Bracelet (or, in some games, the Aqua Shield) to perform this attack.
The Flying Spin Attack only appears in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, where it is used by Sonic and Tails. Uniquely, the Flying Spin Attack can only be performed in midair when bouncing off Springs or running off cliff edges, and can be used to both protect its user from getting hit by enemies or attack foes.
The Homing Attack debuted in Sonic Adventure. Whilst in the air, the character performs a high-speed Spin Dash towards the nearest enemy or Item Box. If there is no target nearby, the character just dashes forward in the air. Although the Homing Attack debuted in Sonic Adventure, similar attacks could be performed in Sonic 3 and Sonic 3D Blast with the help of special power-ups. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Sonic uses this as his standard special move, albeit with a brief pause to charge up the dash. This attack is arguably the second most commonly used variation of the Spin Attack.
The Somersault attack is exclusive to Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadow the Hedgehog, Amy, and Metal Sonic. The user simply somersaults forward and attacks along the ground upon pressing the Melee Attack button. It's nowhere as fast as the Spin Dash, but does not require charging up, making it ideal for close combat. It can be upgraded with the Flame Ring to become the Fire Somersault, which surrounds the user with fire while executing the move. It is also commonly used to slide underneath hazards and into small openings in walls.
The Light Speed Dash is an attack that debuted in Sonic Adventure. The move allows the user to perform a Spin Dash through a trail of Rings at the speed of light, and can also attack enemies caught in the line of Rings. In order to perform this move though, the user must have first obtained the Light Speed Shoes. Depending on the game, the Light Speed Dash may not involve the Spin Attack at all.
The Light Speed Attack is exclusive to Sonic and Shadow. This move allows the user to use the Light Speed Dash on enemies and can destroy all nearby enemies in in an instant. The user must have fully charged a Spin Dash before being able to perform the move, as a lot of energy is used to execute it. The user must have obtained the Ancient Light in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 or use Sonic Overdrive in Sonic Heroes to perform it.
The Burst Dash is a move used by Blaze the Cat and is her personal take on the Spin Dash. When performing this move, Blaze stands on her feet and spins on the tip of her toes along the ground like a top, diagonally pivoted, while enveloping herself in a cloak of flames, thus turning her into a fiery tornado.
The Rolling Attack is a move in the mobile game, Sonic Dash. The move is similar to the Spin Attack, but the character will resume running after a short distance; this distance can be extended by repeatedly sliding the touch screen down, up to a total of three times.
The Drop Dash, set to be introduced in upcoming Sonic Mania, is another variant of the Spin Attack. With this move, the player can drop down and instantly dash into a Spin Attack in either direction when making contact with the ground.
In other media
Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic
In the Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic manga series, the Spin Attack is used by Sonic in all three stories. In this media, the Spin Attack is demonstrated much more dramatically, as Sonic is either stunning or downright smashing through many of Dr. Eggman's robots and Badniks. At the end of each one of the three stories, Sonic also uses the Spin Attack to spin around and damage Eggman's Egg Mobile.
In Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Spin Attack is Sonic's extensively used move ever since the first panel of the comic series. Like in the video games, when using this move, Sonic leaps into mid-air like when performing Spin Jump and shoots himself into the opponent, like the Homing Attack.
At the beginning of the series, Sonic could only perform the Spin Attack whenever he used a Ring. At the beginning of the second season (second half of the first series) however, he became able to it at will.
In the Sonic Boom franchise, the spin attack is used by Sonic and Shadow. When using it, the users roll into a ball and surround themselves in their own aura before ramming into enemies at high speed. Like in the games, the users leave a colored trail in their wake when using it. If the user's legs are injured though, the spin attack cannot be performed properly.
The Spin Attack is a variation on the real-life tendency for hedgehogs to roll into tight balls for protection.
The Spin Attack in Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventure, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors and console versions of Sonic Generations has a strange mechanic that effects to player's momentum. The player's speed notably decreases if the player lets go of after performing the Spin Attack. The playable character would not normally curl down on hills or through the loops. Even in some previously mentioned games, the player cannot roll on certain ramps at the medium speed and may stop rolling at the mid-point of them.
↑ 1.01.11.21.31.41.5Certain characters are not able to perform the Spin Attack as separated move, but they can curl into ball mode by doing any other variation of the move such as Spin Jump, Spin Dash or Homing Attack, or when entering certain areas that require them to curl up and roll like the Spin Attack.