The Sword Beam is a recurring skill in the Legend of Zelda series. This sword technique allows Link to fire a damaging beam from the tip of his sword. Usually, Sword Beams can be fired only if Link's health is full. The Sword Beam takes the shape of either a gleaming sword similar to the one Link is currently holding, a spiraling blast of energy, or a simple beam of light.


The Legend of Zelda

When Link's health is full he shoots a ghost image of his sword, which disintegrates when it hits an enemy or the edge of the screen. The Sword Beams are equal in power to the sword Link currently has. Link encounters Lynels, which can shoot a similar beam, on Death Mountain. In the Second Quest, Stalfos can also shoot this beam.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

When Link's health is full, Link is able to shoot beams out of the tip of his sword. However, the beam will merely shunt most of the more dangerous enemies backwards, and has a fairly limited range. The pushing effect can, however, be useful in keeping a distance from these foes. The Blue Iron Knuckle and Fokka enemies also use a form of Sword Beam.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The Master Sword, the Tempered Sword, and the Golden Sword have the ability to fire Sword Beams. The Sword Beams are always equal in power to the Fighter's Sword regardless of which sword Link has. As in earlier games, the beams can be fired only at full health. Here, the Sword Beams are shaped like a spinning ring, and it makes a characteristic echoing sound. The spin is counterclockwise.

The Sword Beam is also used by the purple Dark Link found in the Palace of the Four Sword in the Game Boy Advance port of the game.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Once Link has gathered 20 Secret Seashells, he can obtain the Ultimate Sword in the Seashell Mansion south of Kanalet Castle. This sword can fire Sword Beams in addition to dealing more damage. These beams are equal in power to the sword itself, but are not powered up by Pieces of Power or the Red Clothes.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

When Link is wearing the Fierce Deity's Mask, he can shoot bolts of energy from the sword that his Fierce Deity form wields. This technique consumes magic. They can be fired only when Link is Z-targeting.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

Link can fire Sword Beams with the Noble or Master Sword when his hearts are full. Certain Magical Rings aid the ability to use the sword beam like the Light Ring L-1 and L-2, which allow Link to use the Sword Beam when he's missing up to three hearts. The Energy Ring replaces Link's Spin Attack with a Sword Beam. The Lynel enemies from The Legend of Zelda reappear in this game and retain the ability to shoot Sword Beams.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords

In the Anniversary Edition for the 3DS, Sword Beams are fired from the Master Sword when Link is at full health. The Master Sword is obtained after completing the Realm of Memories.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

In this game, the Sword Beam can be performed only after Link has collected over 2,000 Force Gems and returned the Four Sword to full strength. Link can perform the Sword beam in one of two ways: by normally slashing the sword when his hearts are full or by performing a Spin Attack.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Link can learn the Sword Beam skill from Grimblade in his Dojo. As in earlier games, the beams can be fired only at full health. Waveblade will teach Link another similar technique called the Peril Beam. These beams can be fired only when Link has one heart or less. After Link infuses the Four Sword with the four Elements, his Sword will shoot a beam similar to the Sword Beam from A Link to the Past after using a Spin Attack. This attack cannot damage enemies but can remove curses that were placed upon people by Vaati.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Link can learn this ability if he has ten Courage Gems and has beaten the Temple of Courage. After gaining twenty Courage Gems and bringing them to Spirit Island, the beams sent out of the sword become wider and larger. Link needs to have Ciela equipped for it to work. Unlike the way it is in most The Legend of Zelda games, Link does not need to have full health to shoot sword beams. Link can also cut grass and break barrels from a distance using these beams.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Link can learn this ability if he obtains one of the Swordsman's Scrolls by collecting all fifty rabbits and bringing them to the Rabbitland Rescue Man. This beam comes out as a wave. Link can fire the beams only if he has full health. The beams here can also cut grass.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Main article: Skyward Strike

After powering up the Goddess Sword or the Master Sword with a Skyward Strike, using a thrust attack can cause a variation of the Sword Beam attack to be released.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Once Link has obtained the Master Sword, he can fire Sword Beams when he has full health. The beam in A Link Between Worlds is callable of destroying bushes and cutting grass is a straight line, as well as pushing back enemies it hits. It can also be used againest enemies that contain electricy as well as the new Flamolas and Fire Gimos.

The damage done by the beam is always at the tier of the previous sword, like in most other games in the series.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

When Link is wearing the Sword Suit. Sword Master Suit or the Fierce Deity Armor he can shoot Sword Beams by swinging his sword when his heart meter is full. The Mail, however, has the particularity of being able to create four Sword Beams per slash (before, behind, to the left and to the right of Link), albeit smaller in size to the Sword Suit's. They can also be shot by performing a Spin Attack, regardless of current health, when using the Fierce Deity's attire

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Master Sword Beam

When wielding the Master Sword at full health, Link can fire Sword Beams using the throw weapon button. Instead of throwing the Master Sword he will launch a Master Sword Beam which takes the form of a spinning slash wave like the Skyward Strike. Link can increase the power of his Master Sword Beam by wearing any of the Hero's Clothes Armor sets that have been upgraded to Level 2 or higher which grants those armor sets the Master Sword Beam Up set bonus. Sword Beams can cut grass & cut-able trees, break Ore Deposit, damage enemies, and kill animals. Sword Beams can be used instead of arrows to make Dragon Spirits drop Dragon Parts though aiming to hit specific parts of their body is tricker. Additionally the more Heart Containers Link has the further his Sword Beams will travel. However it should be noted that Sword Beams use up the Master Sword's energy causing its durability to weaken and eventually run out of energy forcing it to recharge. The Fierce Deity Sword and Goddess Sword cannot fire sword beams in Breath of the Wild.

Windcleaver Sword Beam

The Yiga Clan Windcleaver can unleash Sword Beam-like vacuum blades made by the blade's unique design cleaving the wind with each swing. Yiga Blademasters are experts at wielding these blades while Link can wield ones acquired from defeated Blademasters albeit with noticeably less skill. However these vacuum blades effect the weapon's durability like the Master Sword Beam though Windcleavers break and must be reacquired. Also Windcleavers can be thrown as their vacuum blades are released with normal attack swings resembling how the classic Sword Beam was performed though it is not effected by Link's health and is entirely a property of the weapon itself. A Charged Attack can be performed to release a more powerful vacuum blade.

Other appearances

Subseries warning: This article or section contains information on a subseries within the Legend of Zelda series and should be considered part of its own separate canon.

Hyrule Warriors

Link can fire a Sword Beam that appears similar to the Skyward Strike during one of his combos when using the Hylian Sword and Master Sword movesets. As part of his Great Fairy moveset, the Great Fairy will borrow Link's Knight's Sword to attack enemies with sword beam slash waves, while Link humorously dodges out the way of each slash. Young Link can also fire Sword Beams as the Fierce Deity. When using the Master Sword, Sword Beams will be added to several of Link's attacks but only when Link is at full health.

Subseries warning: Subseries information ends here.

Non-canonical appearances

Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Legend of Zelda series and should not be considered part of the overall storyline.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Sword Beam attack was set to appear in game, even appearing on the box, but was removed from the final project for unknown reasons. It is rumored to have been obtained in the also removed Unicorn Fountain.

The Legend of Zelda animated series

Sword Beams, referred to as "zaps", are Link's principal method of battling enemies; his sword is never used for actual swordplay. Zaps are purple in color and can be used seemingly without Link's health having to be taken into consideration. When an enemy is defeated by a zap, it is returned to Ganon's Evil Jar in the Underworld. Using zaps is shown to require much strength, as the recoil is powerful enough to knock down the user wielding it; this can be managed by wielding the sword with both hands.

Link: The Faces of Evil

Link can fire the Power Blast when at full health or when holding the Fire Diamond.

Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.


Theory warning: This section contains theoretical information based on the research of one or several other users. It has not been officially verified by Nintendo and its factual accuracy is disputed.

Connection with the Skyward Strike

In addition to being able to fire Sword Beams by thrusting his sword after charging the Goddess Sword or Master Sword with a Skyward Strike, the standard Skyward Strike slash waves resembles sword beam variations used by Fierce Deity Link and some variations of the Master Sword Beam such as its depiction in Breath of the Wild, thus Skyward Strike itself can be seen as a variation and/or precursor to the Master Sword Beam, as the Master Sword inherits the Skyward Strike ability from the Goddess Sword. Presumably the Master Sword either lost its ability to perform the Skyward Strike after Fi went into an eternal slumber to seal Demise's remaining consciousness or the Skyward Strike evolved into the Sword Beam technique used by later incarnations of the hero chosen by the Master Sword such as the Link from Breath of the Wild.

Additionally it is possible that knowledge of the Skyward Strike was eventually lost, leading to the development of the Sword Beam technique seen in later games. Additionally the sword's ability to fire beams of energy may have been rediscovered though due to knowledge of the Skyward Strike being lost, a new method had to be devised to access that ability potentially leading to the Master Sword's ability to fire the Sword Beam being tied to its wielder's life force and health as seen by its depiction in game that take place after the events of Skyward Sword, such as A Link to the Past, A Link Between Worlds, and Breath of the Wild. This would also serve as an in-universe explanation of the Master Sword's ability to fire sword beams being absence in some game's such as Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess, as it is shown in Twilight Princess that knowledge of fighting skills and abilities may be lost if knowledge of them is not pasted on, thus explaining why the Hero's Shade wished to pass on his Hidden Skills to the Hero of Twilight to prevent them from being lost to future incarnation of hero and may have lead the Hero of Twilight to pass these techniques onto members of Knights of Hyrule who are implied in some games to pass down the hero's techniques such as the Spin Attack and Great Spin Attack to ensure they can be passed on to future incarnations of the Hero. Interestingly the Hero's Shade could fire fireballs from his sword indicating the Hero of Time discovered a similar technique which was presumably magic based or a power acquired after death as he does not teach it to Link in Twilight Princess. It is possible that the Skyward Strike or Master Sword's Sword Beam may have lead to the development of the Sword Beam and Peril Beam skills taught by the Blade Brothers can be seen in The Minish Cap which takes place after the events of Skyward Sword, though before Ocarina of Time and also explains Link's ability to preform Sword Beams with other swords besides the Master Sword. However it should be noted that Demise could perform a technique similar to the Skyward Strike using his sword and the Fierce Deity possesses the ability to fire magic-based Sword Beams from the Fierce Deity Sword, indicating that the Skyward Strike and Sword Beam may predate the creation of the Master Sword and similar techniques exist in other dimensions.

Theory warning: Theories end here.

See also

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.