Dead Man's Volley
From Zelda Wiki, the Zelda encyclopedia
Dead Man's Volley, often colloquially referred to as Tennis, is a particular battle technique that involves the rhythmic parrying of an energy beam between two adversaries: Link, and a boss, often Ganondorf or one of his Phantom Ganon clones. Many bosses in the Zelda series are difficult or impossible to harm with ordinary attacks; possibly because they're simply too tough, have magical protection, the ability to block all attacks or because they're 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, the "game" of 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 — the enemy will not be able to react fast enough to answer. 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, Ganondorf's 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
- Agahnim from A Link to the Past
- Agahnim's Shadow, the second form of Nightmare, from Link's Awakening
- Phantom Ganon from Ocarina of Time, in the second half of the battle
- Ganondorf from Ocarina of Time, in his human form
- Blue Stalfos from Oracle of Ages
- Twinrova from Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages
- Gouen from Four Swords
- Vaati in Four Swords and The Minish Cap
- Phantom Ganon in The Wind Waker and Four Swords Adventures
- Puppet Zelda, Ganondorf's first form, in Twilight Princess
- Cubus Sisters from Phantom Hourglass
- Malladus from Spirit Tracks
- Bilocyte from Skyward Sword
- Ghirahim from Skyward Sword, in his final fight
- The Bug Catching Net can be used to reflect Agahnim's energy attacks in A Link to the Past.
- In Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess, an empty bottle could also be used to reflect energy shots.
- If timed correctly, Link can reflect Nighmare's energy shots with his shovel in Link's Awakening.
- The name "Dead Man's Volley" is likely a reference to the book Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie.
- ↑ "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)
- ↑ "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)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Spanish||Vóleibol Infernal||Infernal Volley|
|Voleibol Infernal||Infernal Volley|