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The Spiral Upper (スパイラルアッパー Supairaruappā?), or Spiral Uppercut,[1] is a recurring move in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is one of Knuckles the Echidna's signature moves where he performs a flaming uppercut, and a variant of the Punch Attack. It is the equivalent to Rouge the Bat's Screw Kick.


When performing the Spiral Upper, Knuckles shoots himself directly into the air. As he spins around, he delivers a powerful uppercut to the enemy above, dealing damage. Often, Knuckles strikes with such force behind his blow that his fist catches on fire.

Game appearances

Sonic Adventure 2

The Spiral Upper first appeared in Sonic Adventure 2 and its remake, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. In these games, Knuckles moves with such speed when performing this move that he leaves afterimages.

To use the Spiral Upper in gameplay, the player must rotate the control stick in a 360-degree angle and then press X Button Dreamcast.png.png/DreamcastB.png/SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png. In addition, Knuckles can enhance the Spiral Upper with the Hammer Gloves, allowing it to break Steel Containers.

Sonic Advance series

Sonic Advance 2

Adv2 knuckles spiral upper.png

The Spiral Upper in Sonic Advance 2.

In Sonic Advance 2, the Spiral Upper serves as Knuckles' Big Air maneuver which lets him gain extra height in midair. When using the Spiral Upper in this game, Knuckles' fist is engulfed in fire.

In gameplay, the Spiral Upper is useful for reaching areas above that are otherwise difficult to get to and avoiding falling into gaps. In addition, it will not cancel the momentum Knuckles receives from the Boost Mode. Unlike most other Big Air maneuvers, the Spiral Upper also lets Knuckles damage foes in his flight path, although he will stop moving when he lands after using it.

To perform the Spiral Upper in gameplay, the player must press up on Controlpadds.png and the R Button at the same time after being launched into midair by gimmicks such as the Spring and Ramp.

Sonic Advance 3

The Spiral Upper in Sonic Advance 3.

In Sonic Advance 3, the Spiral Upper is used by Knuckles for close-combat. Like in Sonic Advance 2, the move makes Knuckles' fist catch on fire. In this game, Knuckles can only use the move when having Tails as his partner. While Knuckles does not jump nearly as high as in Sonic Adventure 2 when using the Spiral Upper, the move has a wider attack range. To perform the Spiral Upper in gameplay, the player must press GameboyB.png while on the ground.

In other media

Archie Comics

Knuckles knocking out Bark with a Spiral Upper.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Knuckles has performed the Spiral Upper a couple of times. In this media, it resembles the Spiral Upper from Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Advance 3. He first used this move against Bark the Polar Bear in the Chaos Emerald Championship.


  • This attack is similar in style to the Shoryuken from the Street Fighter series. This is noted by Knuckles during Worlds Unite when the Street Fighter crew enters.[2]



  1. (in English) Sonic Adventure 2: Battle: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. p. 9. ISBN 978-0761539292.
  2. Mega Man #51, "Worlds Unite! Part Eight: Holes in Reality"

Main article | Scripts (Hero, Dark, Last) | Staff | Manuals | Glitches | Beta elements | Gallery | Pre-releases (The Trial) | Re-releases (Battle, 2012)

Main article | Staff | Glitches | Beta elements | Gallery

Main article | Staff | Glitches | Gallery