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Spin Attack

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Spin Attack
Spin Attack in Sonic Generations
Classic Sonic performing the Spin Attack.
Statistics and overview
First appearance

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)


A full body curling spin that increases moving speed and tears enemies apart.

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 used in many games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, first appearing in Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), 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 Controlpadds, 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 Controlpadds 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.


Tutorial showcasing the Spin Attack in Sonic Runners.

In many earlier installments of the series, the player has to gain enough speed and press down on Controlpadds 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 Genesis B Button for Sonic to perform the Spin Attack. In Sonic R, the player has to press down on Controlpadds to perform Spin Dash Roll as Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. In Sonic Adventure, Tails is the only character who can perform the Spin Attack, whereas other characters perform different actions or unique variations of the move. After Sonic Adventure, the Spin Attack as separate movement is notably absent in the 3D titles, but playable characters still perform it through their use of the Spin Jump and Spin Dash. In these games, Sonic or any other playable character emit 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.

Name variations

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.

In Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2 and the Sonic Advance games, the Spin Jump is misnamed as the Spin Attack in instruction manuals. In handheld games including Sonic Runners, the Spin Dash and Spin Attack have been identified as the same move in the instruction manuals and guides.


Spin Jump

Main article: Spin Jump

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.

Spin Dash

Main article: Spin Dash
Spin Dash Generations

Classic Sonic charging up the Spin Dash in Sonic Generations.

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).


Main article: Insta-shield

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.

Bounce Attack

Main article: Bounce Attack

The Bounce Attack 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.

Flying Spin Attack

Main article: Flying Spin 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.

Homing Attack

Main article: Homing Attack
Homing attack02

Sonic targeting a Spinner with the Homing Attack.

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.


Main article: Somersault

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.

Light Speed Dash

Main article: Light Speed Dash

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.

Light Speed Attack

Main article: Light Speed Attack
Launcher 2014-10-20-23-5-12-720

Shadow using the Light Speed Attack in Sonic Adventure 2.

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.

Burst Dash

Main article: Burst Dash

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 his toes along the ground like a top, diagonally pivoted, while enveloping herself in a cloak of flames, thus turning her into a fiery tornado.

Rolling Attack


Sonic using the Rolling Attack in Sonic Dash.

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.

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.

Sonic the Comic

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.[1] Like in 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.

Archie Comics

Spin Attack (Archie)

Sonic using the Spin Attack in the Archie Comics.

The Spin Attack has also made several appearances in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs, published by Archie Comics. In this media, it is one of Sonic the Hedgehog's signature attacks and is sometimes called the Sonic Spin.

In the comic series' earlier issues, the Spin Attack was only used by Sonic and was one of his most defined maneuvers. Over time though, the Spin Attack continued to evolve as Sonic used it to develop the Spin Dash and for other applications. It was eventually used by others characters as well, such as Shadow the Hedgehog, Scourge the Hedgehog and even Tails. Following the Super Genesis Wave, the Spin Attack has become a common maneuver that is performed by several characters, such as Knuckles the Echidna, Big the Cat and Antoine D'Coolette.

Sonic X

Main article: Spin Attack (Sonic X)

The Spin Attack is seen several times in Sonic X. In this media, it is one of the more powerful attacks used by both Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadow the Hedgehog and the X Robot, but also rarely by other characters in certain situations. The users are also shown performing what resemble variants of the Spin Attack, including the Spin Dash and the Homing Attack.

In 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 use the Spin Attack at will.

Sonic Boom

Spin Attack

Spin Attack in Sonic Boom.

Spin Attack is also used in the Sonic Boom franchise by Sonic. When using it, Sonic rolls into a ball and surrounds himself into a blue aura that he uses to attack his enemies at high speed. Like in the games, he leaves a small light in his wake when using it for a short time.






  1. Sonic the Comic #1, "Enter: Sonic".


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Certain 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.

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