Special Zoom

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Ridley attacking with Skewer. Note the sweetspot causing the Special Zoom effect.

Special Zoom is a mechanic introduced in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It is an aesthetic effect designed to add drama during a match. The term was coined by Masahiro Sakurai and his development team.


Duck Hunt is hit by a Burrowing Snagret to trigger a Finish Zoom at the end of the match.

Special Zoom activates when a fighter is hit by certain attacks: the background flashes blue with dramatic "spark" effects pointing towards the action. If there are only two players on screen, time slows down substantially, and the camera zooms in on the point of impact. This slowdown effect only lasts for a short moment in 1v1s and even shorter in games with more than two players, and is usually accompanied by the sound effect previously only used by Little Mac's KO Uppercut in Super Smash Bros. 4. KO Uppercut, which previously had its own slowdown effect, now uses Special Zoom, as does Cloud's Limit Break special moves. During some Special Zoom events, camera control is disabled, though this is not consistently enforced.

In general, the most common attacks that trigger the Special Zoom effect are slow, hard-to-hit attacks (such as Warlock Punch or Falcon Punch). However, most other attacks that trigger Special Zoom have conditions that need to be met, such as Ridley's Skewer needing to be sweetspotted, or Little Mac's smash attacks requiring his armor to be triggered during the start-up. Certain items and stage hazards may also trigger this effect, similarly requiring special conditions in some cases.

In all cases, Special Zoom will still occur even if the knockback is negated by armor. However, Special Zoom will not trigger if the opponent is hit while under the effects of invincibility. It also will not trigger when hitting the AI-controlled character of the Ice Climbers.

Similar to Special Zoom is Finish Zoom or Final Zoom, terms also coined by Sakurai and his team. Finish Zoom is used when an attack will likely result in a game-winning KO. Like the Deadly Blow mechanic introduced in Super Smash Bros. 4, this effect does not factor in DI being used to make an otherwise-deadly blow survivable. Like Special Zoom, Finish Zoom zooms in on the point of impact and briefly slows down time. However, Finish Zoom uses a red background instead of a blue one, and the sound is always the same. The sound used is also different again, being akin to a ping hit combined with the sound of slashing swords. Star KOs are disabled when a Finish zoom occurs.

List of moves that trigger Special Zoom[edit]

By character[edit]

Character Move(s) Conditions
Byleth unnamed
Captain Falcon Falcon Punch
Chrom Flare Blade If charged for at least 2.5 seconds.
Cloud Cross Slash Limit Break.
Finishing Touch
Donkey Kong Giant Punch Fully charged.
Ganondorf Volcano Kick Clean hit.
Warlock Punch
Hero All smash attacks Critical hit; occurs randomly.
Metal Slash When connecting with metal opponent.
Hatchet Man
Whack When it Instant KOs; occurs randomly.
Ike Eruption Fully charged.
Incineroar All smash attacks When Revenge is active.
Alolan Whip When Revenge is active and the move is sweetspotted.
Cross Chop Explosion hitbox while Revenge is active.
Jigglypuff Rest
King Dedede Jet Hammer Fully charged.
King K. Rool Belly Super Armor If broken by an attack.
Kirby Hammer Flip Fully charged.
Any neutral special from other characters that triggers Special Zoom If Kirby copies an opponent whose neutral special can trigger Special Zoom, Kirby will also experience it under the same conditions. The only exceptions are Little Mac's KO Uppercut, as Kirby can only copy Straight Lunge and does not have access to the KO Meter, and the Mii Brawler's Exploding Side Kick, since Kirby can only copy Shot Put.
Little Mac All smash attacks When attacked during startup armor.
KO Uppercut
Lucario Force Palm On grab attack when at high aura.
Lucas PK Thunder On last hit of PK Thunder 2.
Lucina Shield Breaker When breaking a shield.
Luigi Super Jump Punch Grounded sweetspot only.
Marth Shield Breaker When breaking a shield.
Mii Brawler Exploding Side Kick
Mr. Game & Watch Judge Judge 9.
Oil Panic On release.
Ness PK Thunder On contact during PK Thunder 2.
Ridley Skewer Sweetspot.
Roy Flare Blade If charged for at least 2.5 seconds.
Wario Wario Waft Fully charged.

By item[edit]

Item Conditions
Assist Trophy Upon defeat. Only possible for defeatable summons.
Daybreak When all three parts are collected.
Death's Scythe Sweetspotted tilt or smash attack at 80% damage.
Home-Run Bat Smash attack.
Motion-Sensor Bomb When detonated by touch (No sound and camera moves differently but there is still a blue background).
Staff Any hit at maximum range.

By assist trophy[edit]

Character Conditions
Black Knight Triggers for all attacks except a backhanded slash. Will not cause camera zoom.

By stage hazard[edit]

Hazard Stage(s) Conditions
Invisible walls King of Fighters Stadium When hit with enough knockback to cause a KO, shatters with the special zoom effect.
Klaptrap Jungle Japes On contact, which causes a one-hit KO. Camera zooms in slightly.
Mimic Yggdrasil's Altar When it bites a fighter upon being attacked.
Red Bulborb Distant Planet When it chomps down on any fighter that enters its mouth, which causes an instant KO.
Train Mementos When hit in front. Camera zooms in slightly.


  • If a non-cinematic Final Smash causes Finish Zoom, the background will change to the stage's normal background, rather than the background for the Final Smash.
  • In-game parameters reveal that Captain Falcon's Knee Smash was planned to have the Special Zoom effect, although it is not active in the final game.
  • Hero has the largest number of moves which can trigger Special Zoom, with 7 of his moves being able to trigger the effect.
  • Collecting all three parts of the Dragoon and getting hit by Odin's slashing attack will cause the camera to zoom in, but they don't cause the "Special Zoom" blue background to appear.
  • In Home-Run Contest, Special Zoom does not occur on moves that trigger the effect; presumably to prevent such moves from costing the player time due to the timer not slowing down while Special Zoom is in effect.
    • However, using a Special Zoom move in place of the Home-Run Bat swing will not result in an angled view of Sandbag flying, and will instead feature a normal Special Zoom.