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The Legend of Zelda
The Sword Beam in The Legend of Zelda is a ranged attack that can be activated when Link is at full health by pressing A.
The Adventure of Link
Like in the first game, Link is able to shoot beams from his sword while he is at full health.
A Link to the Past
While wearing the Fierce Deity's Mask, Link shoots sword beams each time he performs a targeted attack. Each one takes up a small segment of his magic power in order to be used.
The ability to shoot sword beams is granted to Link by upgrading Ciela's power at Spirit Island using 10 Courage Gems. With 20 gems, the width of the beam will be upgraded further. The sword beams do not rely on Link's health or magic power as in previous games; he must simply equip Ciela as his fairy guide in order to use them.
As a reward for collecting all 50 rabbits from across Hyrule, Link is given a Swordsman's Scroll by Bunnio once he delivers them to the Rabbitland Rescue. The scroll allows him to shoot beams from his sword when at full health, as in previous games. The beams are identical to the upgraded variety that appeared in Phantom Hourglass.
- Main article: Skyward Strike
In Skyward Sword, Link can hold the Goddess Sword upward to charge it with divine energy, which will be released in the form of a beam through his next attack. In addition to damaging enemies, the Skyward Strike is necessary to activate Goddess Cubes and Goddess Crests and to draw images on Goddess Walls. Link also requires a Skyward Strike from the Master Sword in order to activate the sleeping Gate of Time. Once Zelda's blessing has unlocked the blade's true power, the charge time, power, size, and range of the Skyward Strike will be increased.
A Link Between Worlds
Sword beams are similar to those from A Link to the Past, only being possible with the Master Sword and its upgrades and while Link is at full health. However, rather than doing the same amount of damage as the starting sword, each beam instead does half as much damage as an attack from the blade it was shot from.
Tri Force Heroes
Link can perform Sword Beams while wearing either the Sword Suit or Sword Master Suit, and only while at full health. Wearing the Fierce Deity Armor allows him to shoot off four beams at once, one in each direction.
Breath of the Wild
In Breath of the Wild, sword beams are only possible using the Master Sword. They are used by motioning as if to throw the blade; as the Master Sword cannot be dropped or relinquished from Link's inventory, doing so instead shoots off a spiraling blue beam. As in the first The Legend of Zelda game, sword beams are only possible while Link is at full health, and their range is also dictated by the amount of Heart Containers he possesses. They can be upgraded further by unlocking the set bonus of the Cap, Tunic, and Trousers of the Wild, or the outfits acquired using any of the Link amiibos excluding the Breath of the Wild amiibos, Smash Bros. Young Link, and Majora's Mask Link.
Each sword beam fired off will take away a portion of the Master Sword's energy. This can be rectified by completing all three stages of the Trial of the Sword, which unlocks the true power within the blade and enables Link to shoot off sword beams indefinitely without it wearing down.