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Dead Man's Volley against Puppet Zelda in Twilight Princess

Dead Man's Volley,[1] often colloquially referred to as {{{2}}}, is a particular battle technique that involves the rhythmic parrying of an energy beam between Link and a boss, often Ganondorf or one of his Phantom Ganon clones. Many bosses in the Template:LZS are difficult or impossible to harm with ordinary attacks; possibly because they are simply too tough, have magical protection, the ability to block all attacks or because they are simply flying out of reach. Much like a tennis player would return a serve, the two parties bat a ball of energy back and forth until one falters. The energy ball will then impact the one who is either not fast enough to continue the volley or tires first.

In the Zelda universe, this technique is often only a section of a boss's overall fighting technique, although it has been seen to comprise the entire battle, such as Puppet Zelda in Twilight Princess. Though this battle technique first appeared in A Link to the Past, during Link's initial meeting with Agahnim, Dead Man's Volley is first referenced by name during the battle with the Cubus Sisters atop the prow of the Ghost Ship in Phantom Hourglass.


Since A Link to the Past, playing Dead Man's Volley has become a standard tactic for battling powerful bosses, but with a new twist. The boss will start the attack by procuring a ball of dark energy and throw it at Link. Link must parry the energy ball back at the boss who will often be able to answer Link's reflection by one of his own. This results in a dangerous game of skill as the two combatants volley the shot back and forth between them, waiting for the other to make a mistake and get hit. Over the course of the battle, the speed and the amount of volleys required of the energy ball will increase, making it harder for Link to keep from getting hit. Link can increase his chances of hitting the enemy with the reflected shot by standing very close so the enemy have little time to react. Eventually, upon a certain amount of volleys, the boss will tire, and be hit by his own magic energy, leading to a Critical Point. As an exception, Puppet Zelda merely requires the reflected shots to hit her in order to be defeated. In Skyward Sword, Link has to hit the energy ball in the right direction, either vertical or horizontal, to successfully return the magic at Ghirahim.

Users of the Technique

Non-Canon Appearances

Hyrule Warriors

In Hyrule Warriors, a form of Dead Man's Volley is performed as one of Link's Great Fairy weapon type attacks. The button combo B, B, Y, (Y, Y, X, in Warriors controls) has the Great Fairy briefly release Link from his giant Bottle, and the two volley an orb of light back and forth. The Great Fairy then grabs it and attacks surrounding enemies with the blast. As the attack animation is done automatically, Link does not need to volley the orb for the attack to succeed.

Battle Quest

In Battle Quest, Dead Man's Volley is used in Nintendo Land of Wizzrobe.


  • The Bug Net can be used to reflect Agahnim's energy attacks in A Link to the Past, Ghirahim's Skyward Strikes in Skyward Sword, and Yuga Ganon's attacks in A Link Between Worlds. In Link's Awakening, Link can reflect Nightmare's energy shots with his Shovel if timed correctly. In Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess, an empty Bottle can also be used to reflect energy shots.
  • The name Dead Man's Volley is likely a reference to the book Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie.
  • In Splatoon DJ Octavio used a variant of Dead Man's Volley


TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.png
Language Name Meaning
Canada FrenchCA Volley maudit
French Republic FrenchEU Volley Vicieux
Kingdom of Spain SpanishEU Vóleibol Infernal Infernal Volley
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States SpanishLA Voleibol Infernal Infernal Volley



  1. "If you want to save Tetra, you'll have to play a match of dead man's volley first! So... Are you a big enough boy to return these volleys?" — Cubus Sisters (Phantom Hourglass)
  2. "Listen well, Link. Even with the Master Sword, you cannot inflict physical harm on the wizard. You must find a way to return his own evil magic power to him." — Sahasrahla (A Link to the Past)