- Special attack
A special attack (known also by other names, such as superpowers, hidden skills, secret techniques and the like) is a
literary deviceof fiction, particularly comic books, mangaand anime, though this is not universal; videogames, primarily those in the fighting genre, feature these attacks as well. The term refers to an advanced move or strike which goes above and beyond of that of the norm. For example, a simple kickmay be considered a "normal attack", because it only hits one target, whereas a butterfly kick, designed to hit multiple targets, might be considered a "special attack".
It is somewhat unclear what qualifies as a special attack as opposed to normal or even higher moves. For example, within the "Street Fighter" game series, Ryū's fireball (the Hadōken) is considered a "special attack", but his super fireball (Shinkū hadōken) is considered a "super attack". Contrast this with the anime "
Ranma ½", where everything not a basic punch or kick is considered a special attack. To expound this further, compare the superheroine Starfire, whose starbolts would be considered a special attack. All Tamareaneans can convert ultraviolet radiation into energy for flight, however her starbolts are the results of various scientific experiments performed on her.
Special attacks may not be attacks, per se; for example, a
supervillainthat could stop time in order to rob a bank might be said to be using a special attack, even if it is not actually an offensive technique. Several mangaoutside of action or fantasygenres feature various (and sometimes odd) special attacks, such as a particular cooking technique or an unstoppable overhand tennismove. Magic, depending on the medium, could be considered a special attack as well.
The amount of time and skill required to master a special attack varies from medium to medium. A particular sword move that might take one character decades to master, another character might learn within three days. Some, in particular comic book
superheroes, might be born with the powers; others might gain them as a result of exposure to conditions that will bestow them. Others still might learn it through intensive training, or receive it through technology.
There are also examples of so-called special attacks in the real world. The aforementioned butterfly kick is one such example, as is the "one strike kill" techniques of
List of comic book superpowers
Combo (video games)
Turtle (game term)
Super (fighting games)
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