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File:Rsz worldgodonlyknowsflashstep 7080.jpg
"I'd like Iron Tager to be able to cross the screen in 30 frames..."
Kokonoe, Blaz Blue: Calamity Trigger, "Teach Me! Ms. Litchi!" episode 5

Making use of a short burst of Super Speed that in practice gets used more like teleportation. Sometimes rather than Super Speed, a Flash Step will use actual teleportation. A standard attack, especially in any show with Charles Atlas Superpower-level martial arts. A Flash Step will cause the user to suddenly appear either right behind the opponent (and often make some sort of snarky comment about how the person is Too Slow) or a short distance past the person facing away from them. One of two things may then occur--the user attacks the opponent before they have time to register their presence, or it turns out to have been a Single-Stroke Battle and the user landed the fatal hit while moving, the opponent not realizing it until the coolest/funniest moment. Some other stories have different outcomes, like the user start talking about how s/he got the speed advantage instead of having actually attacking, or the user became the victim of the opponent's Flash Step. Occasionally both users kept using Flash Step instead of actually attacking for quite a while and just exchanged insults until finally one of them lose the speed fight, or someone else came in the disrupt them.

This often comes with a bit of Art Major Physics: Very rarely do you find someone who translates the momentum of their Flash Step into the punch/kick/noogie, something done because Newton's Laws still otherwise hold in most pieces of fiction, so it doesn't get the shattered bones on both sides of such an attack you'd expect.

Also, don't expect the air or other surrounding objects to behave as though someone dashed by them at half the speed of light, nor the ground to buckle from the force (unless they're also travelling vertically), nor their shoes to slip or in any other way refuse to provide the incredible traction necessary to accelerate that much, except of course when the terrain is obviously slippery. For that matter in the other direction, if you consider their speed based on the amount of time they travel and the distance it takes, it's often questionable why they disappear from sight at all.

Often combined with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs when used in combat. May result in Teleport Spam, but beware if Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress. When two people do this repeatedly, see No, I Am Behind You. Also often used to avoid actually animating fight scenes, which with the flash step can be a slideshow of sword clangs and a woosh sound to indicate the characters are moving so fast you can't see them. See also Offscreen Teleportation and Doppelganger Spin when the person is so fast they leave afterimages.

May cause a Snap to the Side moment.

Examples of Flash Step include:


Anime and Manga

  • The Trope Namer here is Bleach (translated from the word shunpo), where a lot of the more powerful Shinigami use this as a combat technique. Byakuya Kuchiki is fond of the latter use, as it lets him look cooler and more aloof, as well as getting to stab and kill somebody without mussing his clothes or hair. He's nowhere near as good at it as Yoruichi, though, who can Flash Step out of her clothes.
    • And that's how it got the name Flash Step...
    • The above information led to a very interesting thread on a Bleach forum.

  "Yourichi can shunpo out of her clothes. She taught Byakuya how to do so as well. Discuss."

      • In Hueco Mundo arc, Byakuya uses this version of flash step, leaving his captain cloak behind to fool the attacking Espada. Said espada (Zommari) claimed to be the quickest of the Espada, was fast enough to leave behind five tangible afterimages, although it didn't help.
    • And in a storytelling sense, it allows the highly destructive characters to get far away for their battles without taking up hours walking. For example, knowing full well that Yamamoto would kill him and Ukitake for their act of treason, Kyoraku flash-steps away to a deserted area to avoid unnecessary casualties in their battle.
    • Similar abilities are also possessed by the Quincy (Hirenkyaku) and Arrancar (Sonido), just to make everyone equal. Despite everyone's claims that their version is better by default, they are all identical besides the name and the sound effect. Of course, just because the techniques are the same doesn't mean you can keep up with someone who is faster than you already.
    • Ichigo's bankai increases his speed exponentially, so that he can be so fast he appears to be in hundreds of places at once by using this technique. Unfortunately, this puts so much strain on body that he can easily break his own bones from just going max speed, and has been wary of doing so since then.
    • And now in the latest arc, Fullbringers have what is known as "bringer light" though it is unclear if it is as effective as Flash Step
  • Dragon Ball Z does the mid-air teleport-behind-the-opponent variety. Used often in the Budokai video games. Slightly confusingly, the series has both super-speed, and teleportation proper (Instantaneous Movement). The only difference between the two in practice is that Instantaneous Movement lets you move over intergalactic distances (or even to other planes of existence; on a few occasions Goku uses it to teleport to the afterlife), which normal super-speed can't.
    • It's also the Trope Maker, as this has been in since the beginning of the show as 'Zanzoken' also known as 'bunshin'. Zanzoken is a specific technically used to leave an afterimage, while bunshin is just quick movement so fast it looks like a teleport and nothing more.
      • It's basically the maximum exertion of their super-speed (when it's used against people as fast or faster than themselves), and they apparently can't perceive their own movement until they slow down again. Like in the Mahou Sensei Negima example below, Goku ended up running smack into Mr. Popo's casually upraised fist when they first met, due to the vast difference in their reflexes before he trained under Popo and Kami-sama.
        • That problem becomes less of an issue later on, as Goku and most of the other characters are able to sense the locations of other people even when they can't see them. In fact, sensing their ki energy is much more reliable than sight... except in the case of the Androids, who have no ki. One of the advantages to Goku's Instantaneous Movement power compared to normal super-speed is that Goku's movement cannot be sensed while he does it, which allows him to get the drop on certain enemies, though this brings up the question of why he isn't ALWAYS using this in a fight.
          • Goku stated at one point that he actually moved faster with his super-speed than by teleporting, at least for small distances.
      • At one point in the Frieza fight, both Goku and Frieza are flying as fast as they can to the Namekian Dragon, but Goku only barely catches up by teleporting in between sprints.
    • Amazingly, Hercule/Mr. Satan, the Muggle Fake Ultimate Hero, pulled off one of these when he was threatened by a gunman. Unfortunately, the gunman panicked, fired randomly, and managed to hit him anyway.
  • In Battle Angel Alita most characters only use flash step and attack just for fun or when they want to psych their opponent out. The more seasoned fighters instead mainly use attacks that are weak but come in large numbers and for the main characters, the faster the attack, the bigger windup it has. This is especially apparent in Gally's fight with Gavit of Gadokai where he effortlessly BLOCKS her when she fires off a supersonic punch noting that with a windup that she has for it, he can easily just absorb the kinetic force.
    • Caerula Sanguis, who while being much faster and stronger then a human, is physically inferior to the cyborgs of the setting, is easily able to defeat characters moving at superhuman speeds thanks to her ability to see "neural pulse flow", which effectively grants her a sort of limited precognition, letting her counter attacks before they even are thrown. Thus far the only fight she's lost is one she lost on purpose.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima is a bit more sensible - once started, they cannot be stopped, and since they're just basically moving really fast, you can be interrupted mid-dash for a supercharged Face Fault. When first introduced, both starting point and target had to be on the ground, though stronger characters can do it whenever they like.
    • Eventually, a character finds a way to upgrade it, using a complicated lightning spell absorbed within his own body to move perform instant movement at about 150 kmps. However, it has the same weakness as the lesser version. Later in the same fight, he invents "perpetual lightning form," which speeds the mind as well as the body, eliminating that weakness (since he can now think fast enough to change direction).
    • Kaede is a respectable second. On this page, she performs a variation of this technique by kicking off the side of the building. Not only does she cover 750 meters in a second or two (a speed somewhere between Mach 1 and Mach 2, complete with sonic boom), the building she kicks off of explodes from the force.
  • Naruto has the "Body Flicker" technique.
    • The series also has Rock Lee. After removing a pair of obscenely heavy weights around his calves (hidden under his leg warmers) he becomes a master of this trope (just through standard movement, not using Body Flicker). In his fight against Gaara he flashed around the arena, trying to break Gaara's "absolute defense", throwing tens of attacks in mere seconds. He can up the ante again by opening his chakra gates, becoming an even faster flash-stepper, including a Neo-esque destructive wake. At this point he can also do it so quickly that he can strike Gaara, bounce off of walls and return in time to strike Gaara again, much like somebody with flight would be able to do. He does this to literally pinball Gaara around for about 5-10 seconds.
    • It also has, as of Part 2, Sasuke. While he already fit this trope in Part 1 (Having used a mixture between his Sharingan and a month's worth of training to obtain the same speed as Lee, though only in brief bursts) in Part 2 he Flash Steps with noticeable ease and in a way that gives the impression it's almost habit, even cutting enemies in mid-step with his sword.
    • Naruto in Sage Mode can also do this-one second he was on top of Gamakichi's head-who was on top of Gamabunta's head, several hundred meters away. The next he was slamming down a Rasengan on Asura Path's back just as it was about to kill a weakened Tsunade. Moved so fast that not even the shared vision of the Pains could keep up.
      • Naruto does it again, in chapter 505. Naruto uses his newfound Kyuubi chakra to Flash Step and punch Kisame as he tried to run away... then gets his leg stuck in the wall.
        • Naruto now, that he has control, can not only keep up with A, he completely surpasses him in speed. Becoming the fastest alive.
        • He can now use his Flash Step to deflect five Bijudama all at once.
    • When using his Lightning Release Armor, A was able to use the technique to dodge Amaterasu, an attack that hits whatever the user is looking at; so fast that Sasuke couldn't even see him with the Super Reflexes and Combat Clairvoyance the Sharingan gave him.
    • When he wasn't actually teleporting, Minato was very good at this too, being able to grab a newborn Naruto from right in front of Madara's face before he could even move his arm slightly.
  • One of the applications of Homura's power in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Seen clearly in Episode 6 when she is chasing after a moving truck on the highway.
  • In One Piece there's the Soru technique, part of the Rokushiki martial arts primarily used by Cypher Pol no 9.
    • There's also Kuro, whose whole fighting style relies on his speed and whose Shakushi attack moves roughly at the same speed as Soru. The difference is that Kuro can't follow his own movements when going that fast, and as a result can only attack randomly with it. Soru users on the other hand have mastered it to the point that they can clearly see their surroundings while moving at insane speed.
    • Bartholomew Kuma uses his Devil Fruit power for short-distance teleportations in battle.
    • After witnessing Soru in action (and losing to its user), Luffy figured it out and incorporated the move into his own skillset when using Gear 2nd.
      • The technique is to kick off at least ten times rapidly enough, if you're curious.
    • There's also Admiral Kizaru, whose Devil Fruit power allows him to move at the speed of light. Literally. He can control this ability well enough to use it to generate explosions and deliver light speed kicks.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin. Kenshin flashes behind his opponent, who then calls him out on dishonorably preparing to attack from behind. This causes Kenshin to hesitate, giving the surprisingly swift guy the opportunity to eat his own words and flash behind him.
    • It's played straight more than not in the manga. Kenshin even defeats a somewhat hubristic opponent while not even drawing his sword by repeating this method: the enemy thinks he is only keeping up with Kenshin, not noticing their incrementally increasing speed. The enemy's knee gives out under their last accelerated turn, brought on by their size difference.
    • Stepford Smiler Seta Soujirou's power looks like a flash step... but at max speed, he just runs too fast for the human eye to process. (I crunched the numbers. Soujirou can pretty much sprint at the very limits of human foot power.)
    • Some effects from flash stepping do appear on the environment, though selectively and mostly for style. Kenshin once leaves a telltale stream of bent grass tracing his dash. His ultimate attack is essentially the ultimate flash step that leaves footsteps even in stone, affects the air, and bothers to transfer the momentum to attacks. While Soujiro himself cannot be seen by the naked eye, the effects of his footsteps can, resembling a volleys of machine gun fire across floors and walls.
  • Falkner's Pidgeot, in the first Johto Gym Battle of Pokémon, did it to Charizard. While flying.
    • A lot of Pokémon do that - especially with moves like Agility.
      • Ninjask in particular is mentioned in its Pokedex entry as 'moving so fast that it cannot be seen'. It is also said to be able to dodge any attack due to its speed, justified somewhat due to the fact it can learn Double Team.
  • Can be done by speedsters such as Fate and Signum, or with spells such as Sonic Move and Flash Move in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Sakaki does one of these when she hears about a kitten. She practically teleports in.
  • Like Byakuya Kuchiki, fellow Aloof Big Brother Sesshoumaru from Inuyasha moves so quickly that he sometimes seems to teleport from area to area (this occurs more in the beginning of the show).
    • In the manga, Sesshoumaru's appearances frequently involve him suddenly appearing, seemingly out of thin air, in front of other characters.
  • Subverted in Trigun where a villain who seemingly does Flash Step actually use mind control to create illusion of doing it. Vash counters this by causing pain to himself, which breaks the hypnosis long enough for him to fire.
    • Similarly handled in Code Geass R2, where Rolo's Geass gives him the ability to stop people's perception of time, so to them, it appears that he's moving too fast to see, when he's really moving normally.
      • This leads to a bit of Fridge Logic during the first few episodes when Rolo apparently uses his ability to escape an explosion. What, does he stop the flame's perception of time or something?
      • Maybe he just activated it right before the explosives went off.
      • Except later he is explicitly stated to not be able to effect anything but people's minds. He would have had to use it before the explosives were even activated by a human.
  • The main character of The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye uses this periodically to dodge gunfire and destroy mecha with a single cut.
  • Sonic and Tails, along with Metal Sonic, are shown to be able to do this in Sonic the Hedgehog The Movie. The resulting fight scene between Sonic and Metal, in the air, is suitably awesome.
  • Shizu of Kino's Journey can charge fast enough to, along with his other Improbable Fencing Powers, put up a serious challenge to normal gun users. The technique is deconstructed, though; even though the man can dodge bullets, he still relies on distractions like the flash of light from a firearm or his sword blade, and someone who is fast enough can still interrupt his attacks mid-Flash Step without disappearing themselves. Kino's quick draw ability could be seen as a modified version of the Flash Step, too, taking only a couple animation frames.
  • On Blood Plus, Queens, Chevaliers, and the Shiff can all use a flash step-like ability which takes the appearance of bluish streaks.
  • Claymore: This is "Phantom" Miria's signature move, the "Phantom Mirage." Frequently in the manga, it looks like her opponent's blade/talons have pierced her through... only to reveal that it was an afterimage, and she's already behind them hacking their limbs off. Another Claymore use it more offensively : her afterimage show her Telefraging her opponent
  • The only main fighter of Yu Yu Hakusho that doesn't use this is Kuwabara. Because he's too slow.
    • To be fair, Kuwabara is very capable of this; he proved this in the beginning of the Rescue Yukina arc. Problem is, when it appears that the heroes, most commonly Yusuke and Hiei, are using flash steps, it's usually only because they're just that much faster/stronger. When two opponents in the series are on the same tier of speed, flash steps almost never happen. Kuwabara just happens to be unlucky enough to only fight people on his level of speed or faster.
  • Tsuna from Katekyo Hitman Reborn can do this after he gets his X-Gloves, using the flames on the gloves to produce thrust.
  • Most of the combat-oriented members of Hunter X Hunter's Genei Ryodan seem to be able to do this.
  • Death the Kid demonstrates his speed by flash stepping behind Crona too fast for the swords...person to follow. He does the same to Black Star later on, using both times to attack at close range.
  • Ninja characters from Sengoku Basara can move faster than the eye can see and travel huge distances in a matter of seconds. Sasuke can even use his powers to teleport. Mitsunari can also do this in order to close the distance between enemies after an attack.
  • Done with massive machines in Gundam. There's a few of examples throughout the franchise, most notably with the F91 from Mobile Suit Gundam F91 and the 00 from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 when equipped with the 0-Raiser. The former case is explained away somewhat plausibly as thin layers of armor ablating off the machine to shed heat, combined with an almost insane speed, creating the impression of an afterimage. The latter is just ridiculous; the mecha is being reduced to elementary particles and then instantaneously reassembled in another location. It literally teleports.
    • More conceivably done by Lockon II and a heavily-damaged Cherudim in the final battle, using a half-second's worth of Trans-Am to get the jump on Revive Revival.
  • Macross Frontier has the Ghost V-9s in the final battle dodging and strafing like crazy. Justified in that they're unmanned craft so G-forces are a non-issue.
  • In Gurren Lagann, Simon ends up inventing teleportation just to punch Rossiu in the face.
  • Sephiria Arks of Black Cat briefly demonstrates this to avoid a bunch of rapidly fired arrows at point-blank range.
  • Ginei from Rosario to Vampire is the best example. He's a Lightning Bruiser, just a bit more lightning than bruiser. Then there are Tsukune and Moka, who are more bruiser than lightning, but still occasionally manage to pull this off.
    • Inner Moka has been shown to do this fast enough to leave an afterimage for her opponents to attack.
  • Tsutomu Nihei's Abara has modified characters capable of bursts of supersonic speed. While the perspective usually follows them as they move, to everybody else it is an archetypal flash step. Notable because their surroundings actually buckle from the resulting stress and shockwaves. While speeding, all sound effects are represented by cheap, pixelated fonts since they are mostly a device to better express action. When things resume normal speed, all the actual noise catches up in a combined boom.
  • Shin Mazinger Z's Miss Okiku is a Badass Grandma who uses her super speed to do this.
  • In Freezing, this is an ability of some of the Pandora and it is called Accel Turn. They can become even faster if they can use upgraded version of this technique called Double Accel, Triple Accel, and Quadruple Accel.

Comic Books

  • Batgirl III has pulled this a few times, outrunning one of her own batarangs at least once. Despite the fact that she's supposed to be physically an ordinary human.
    • Hell, Batman is even able to pull this off. When under being shot at he's easily able to run in out of the gunfire similar to Cassandra Cain.
  • The Flash does this often. As well, of course, as any other superhero whose primary power is teleportation or super-speed.
  • The title character in Elf Quest: Jink has this as her stock superpower. As well as moving very fast herself, it seems she can also use rapid movement to strip other people naked if she's feeling frisky.
  • Daredevil does this under writers who remember that he's supposed to be a bullet timer. In one of the more memorable examples he feels a sniper's laser marker on his forehead and literally vanishes in thin air, while the sniper is staring down the scope straight at him.
    • Black Widow does the same thing immediately after DD does it, and then proceeds to punch a guy in the face while nearly out-running a bullet shot from a pistol. Though she crossed the distance nearly instantly, she wasn't actually able to dodge the bullet itself, implying while she is absurdly fast, her reflexes have limits.
  • In Planetary, secret agent man John Stone has this ability due to a piece of Applied Phlebotinum called a "blitzen suit".
  • In All Fall Down, the Modern Prometheus uses this to pin down and trap Siphon and the Pantheon between the 'G' and 'O' of the word "Gotcha". Simultaneously.


Film

  • Used by Loz to defeat Tifa in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. He uses it a couple other times too, and literally flashes when he does it.
  • This is how "the weirding way of fighting" is depicted in the Dune and Children of Dune miniseries.
    • In the novels one character gets super-speed powers that actually have consequences on him. He brushes lightly against a small plastic tube, and cuts himself deeply thanks to the speeds he is moving at, and he can only do it for short bursts without killing himself thanks to the amount of calories he burns while doing it.
  • Used in the final battle of Ninja Assassin.
  • Used by Ramirez in 'Highlander to teach McLeod how Too Slow a 'Crude and slow clansman' is.
  • In New Moon, the vampires use this when they fight each other.
  • In Pale Rider, The Preacher seems to be the master of Flash Step.
  • In the Underworld films, well fed vampires can do this. Much to the horror of some cops, Selene demonstrates at the beginning of Underworld: Evolution.


Literature

  • The Shrike of Hyperion is able to move at such speed that it appears to be in several places at once. This is accomplished through some time-bending Applied Phlebotinum, though.
    • Even better, at one point Nemes uses his phase-shift ability to nearly stop time and the Shrike still manages to Flash Step too fast for her to follow.
  • Drizzt in the Forgotten Realms novels has used this occasionally, though only over very short distances. He attempts to justify it by explaining that he's not really moving at teleportation speed, but people don't see him by taking advantage of an optical illusion caused by the swing of someone's sword to move without being seen. Which would pretty much require someone to be waving their sword in front of their face for some reason. Drizzt at least can move at superhuman speeds due to his magical anklets, but he's taught this move to other people as well.
  • Flash-stepping is the cornerstone of combat between Ghosts in The Dresden Files, since all of them have an ability Harry dubs "vanishing", where they vanish and instantly appear anywhere within 300 feet of their original position.
  • Wayne in The Alloy of Law can create a bubble around himself where time moves much faster then the rest of the world, he often uses it in combat to create this effect in order to dodge bullets, he throws up a bubble as the opponent shoots, then just walks out of the path of the bullets, from an outside point of view it looks like a Flash Step though he's moving at perfectly ordinary speeds from his point of view.


Live Action TV

  • The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were able to do this in the ninja-themed third season, as could Ninjor (mentor type who gave new powers) and the Aquitian Rangers (also Ninjor-related.) Memorably reappears in "Forever Red", as Aurico Flash-steps into a lounging position on the ground and taunts the enemy, before (of course) doing it again before he can be fired on.
    • Although Ziggy's suit power is actually teleportation, his ability manifests more as this.
  • Flash Stepping an entire starship is the genesis of the "Picard Maneuver" in Star Trek: The Next Generation. By applying a very short warp-speed jump, Picard's Stargazer outran its own image, briefly appearing in two places at once.
  • Anybody with Super Speed can do this in Smallville. Amazingly, Brainiac was able to get behind Clark and nearly snap his neck. Clark didn't notice his approach at all, and since Clark can follow Impulse with his eyes, this means Brainiac is faster than the Flash!
    • Or given that its Braniac just knows how to use it better (the current Flashes rarely use all of the capabilities brought upon through super speed).
    • One of the best examples ever: In Bizarro's debut episode, he chokeslams Clark so hard it leaves a crater. He looks into the hole, and then Clark attacks him from behind.
    • In one episode, Zod does this to Oliver, only to find that Oliver's a good enough marksman to shoot him with a Kryptonite crossbow bolt in spite of Zod's speed.
  • This is Kamen Rider Odin's shtick, one of the many features that makes him a Game Breaker.
    • Also, Hyper Clock Up makes riders even faster than using Clock Up, to the point in which its a Flash Step, as Caucasus shows.
  • Darken Rahl of Legend of the Seeker can do this.
    • He's only shown doing this a total of 2 times. Once, when he's first facing Richard (although, he leaves a magical decoy to distract Richard), and once in an alternate timeline when he regains his senses and fights the Sisters of the Dark. No other magic-user is shown doing this, though.
  • In the Flash TV series, a villain does this after making himself an exoskeleton that allows him to move as fast as the Flash. All the problems of moving at this speed are ignored for this episode (although they are plot points in others), such as needing to process visual information fast enough or preventing your body from literally burning up from the friction.

Tabletop RPG

  • Assault Swordmages explicitly have this as an attack (or more specifically, a 'counterattack') in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition.
    • 4E Fighters, the Lightning Bruisers of this edition, have a 15th level stance where they make an attack after shifting 5 feet.
    • And again in 4e, Eladrin can use a short-range teleport once per encounter.
    • The 4e Monk class is, or at least CAN be, built on this. Most of their standard actions (read: attacks) have a special type of move action associated, if not built into the attack itself. While some are normal movements, jumps or even flies, a healthy percentage are either shift (movements that don't trigger reactions from enemies) or outright teleportation. They even have utility powers that further boost your movements, and feats that allow even MORE movement when you hit/kill an enemy in certain ways.
    • Not to count out the assassin: an optional class feature is "shadow step," which allows you to teleport through shadows of creatures. Although a bit more situational, it otherwise works exactly the same way.
    • The battlemind has a power called lightning rush that allows you to shift up next to a enemy in range and attack them if they attack an ally. Bonus Points for it putting you into range to follow up with a Mind Spike if they hit your ally.
  • In earlier versions of Dungeons and Dragons:
    • The Dimension Door spell allowed magic-users/wizards to do this once.
      • The monk special ability Abundant Step (essentially acts as a casting of Dimension Door) seems to be specifically invoking this trope.
    • Blink Dogs had this as a standard ability, with a 75% chance of appearing behind (and facing) an opponent's back. Unicorns could Dimension Door once per day.
    • 3E had one tactical feat, Sun School, which grants a free melee attack after teleporting next to an enemy. In the Forgotten Realms, two prestige classes-- the Teflammar Shadowlord and Crinti Shadow Marauder-- gained the Shadow Pounce ability, which lets them make several attacks after teleporting next to an enemy. "Multipouncer" builds used a combination of different teleportation abilities to pounce up to three times per round.
      • Dragonmarked members of House Orien could do something similar by taking levels in the Blade of Orien Prestige Class.
    • In 3e, Swordsages could use Shadow Jaunt/Stride/Blink to teleport, but those abilities are non-magical and require line of effect, making them ambiguous.
    • The psychic warrior power Dimensional Slide from the Expanded Psionics Handbook is basically a Flash Step, though it is limited by your range of vision within its own range (Which, sadly, is at most a few hundred feet, requiring being a 40th level psionic character.) If you blow the power points, it manifests as a move action. Combined with a few feats, it could be done as an immediate action. But you can't take more than 20 lbs of living matter, so no taking anyone with you.
      • In Complete Psionics, the psychic warrior can have a much more powerful version of this: Inconstant Location, which, for its duration, grants the psychic warrior ability to perform Dimensional Slide as swift action each round, so they can jump then full-attack the enemies. Can also be considered as Teleport Spam.
    • My favorite 3.5 edition flash step was always an alternate class feature instead of a familiar for conjurers. They could interrupt their opponents turn to teleport 6 squares and do it a number of times equal to their intelligence modifier.
      • That would be the Conjurer Immediate Magic class feature from P Layer's Handbook 2, and it's only up to 10ft.
  • Exalted has a Celestial Martial Arts style- Crystal Chameleon Style- made up of equal parts flash-stepping, unexpected attacks, and stealth by psychedelic disco light-shows.
  • Legend explicitly uses teleportation to emulate these - Rogues of various typing gain teleportation to represent Flash Stepping, and a feat (Shadow Blink) allows any character to gain the same ability.

Toys

  • Bionicle had several characters who could use Super Speed or teleportation, but out of them only Pohatu ended up using his for flash-stepping, and even then mostly because his upgraded power could warp him through solid objects.
    • Kapura, a kinda sluggish Matoran from the online games, trained himself in the secret of "moving great distances by moving very slowly". At first he greets you atop a mountain when you flew there by bird and you might even have seen him at the bottom of it minutes ago; and then later he participates in a battle where it becomes very clear that he is actually using his ability as a Flash Step to dodge attacks.

Video Games

  • This is one of Nanaya Shiki's signature abilities in Melty Blood. As of Actress Again, Tohno Shiki is also able to pull this off. Arcueid can also do this during one of the EX Skills.
  • World of Warcraft 's Rogues can, if specced a certain way, gain one of two abilities: Shadowstep, through which a Rogue can teleport directly behind a target in line-of-sight within a certain distance, and Killing Spree, which allows them to do five Shadowsteps in succession, but in a smaller area, with less control, and attacking twice each time. Mages have the Blink ability, which is a short-range teleport. Warlocks get a teleport as well, but it's tied to a beacon - the Warlock drops a green glowing point and can then teleport to that point from within 40 yards, regardless of line of sight.
    • Warden heroes from Warcraft 3 can Blink as well. In fact, the highest level of said spell costs 10 mana and has a one second recharge time. Teleport Spam, anyone?
      • Against weaker enemies, Blinking into the middle of the mob, casting Fan of Knives and Blinking back out can be quite devastating.
  • Blink is also used in Starcraft II by the Protoss Stalker and Zeratul. The latter is a campaign-only special character while the former is available with the skill in either mode, but requires research to unlock in multiplayer. Both require a 10 second cooldown.
  • Hotsuma from the Play Station 2 game Shinobi has this as one of his abilities. It gets kicked up a notch when at the second battle Aomizuchi and at the battle against Ageha your opponent can do it as well. And even more so at the final battle where he can literally warp to you during a combo.
  • Almost every boss from the Mega Man Battle Network series, due to the grid-based combat, is shown to instantly teleport from panel to panel. It's the bosses who don't do this who are the problem, as that usually implies some gimmicky form of movement that makes it harder to hit them. Bass is the most notable example of this.
  • Sephiroth is a master of this in pretty much everything he appears in. Arguably, it's his entire fighting style.
  • All over the place in Dissidia Final Fantasy, where characters can teleport when using certain attacks. This includes, but is not limited to, Onion Knight's Swordshower and Guiding Swipe, Zidane's Meo Twister, Golbez's Cosmic Ray, and of course, Sephiroth is there with Oblivion, Fervent Blow and Godspeed.
    • The prequel Dissidia 012 returns all the previous examples and adds Tifa, whose entire gimmick is that she can cancel out attacks to teleport behind the opponent and attack again, and Vaan's Katana. The game also adds the Assist Chase mechanic, which let you teleport near the opponent and attack after certain Assist attacks.
  • Several members of Organization XIII in Kingdom Hearts, especially in Chain of Memories.
    • Sora is also capable of using it with a reaction command on Xigbar and Sniper Nobodies, and in his Anti-Form.
    • Riku's been doing this since the beginning.
    • Aqua and Ven (but not Terra, as he's too slow) have a preemptive counter ability that lets them flash behind their current attacker and slash from behind. Ven just dashes very quickly around them before they can react but Aqua teleports in a flash of light. Aqua ups this to leaving after images all over the place when she powers up to Ghost Drive mode. The command 'Time Splicer' also does this, but it actually prevents non-boss enemies from moving at all until your character decides they're done.
      • Vanitas abuses this for a counter-attack.
  • Almost all of the main protagonists in Star Ocean the Last Hope are capable of this thanks to the Blindside game mechanic, that of which allows them to outflank the enemy by moving at incredible speeds (usually depicting their movements in slow motion from the player's perspective) and attack the enemy from behind. Characters like Arumat and Myuria use actual teleportation when performing their unique Blindsides. Some enemies(particularly bosses) are capable of this as well, and are even able react to (and counter) a hero's Blindside manuever with one of their own.
  • In Super Smash Bros, the ground-based shield dodges function like this. Especially the wavedashing from Melee.
    • There are a lot of moves in the series that work like this: Fox's Fox Illusion, Pikachu's Quick Attack, Lucario's Double Team (which is a counter) and ExtremeSpeed to name a few.
  • The Weissritter in Super Robot Wars Orignal Generations gains this ability when it's altered by alien biotechnology, and is so fast it can Beam Spam all by itself.
    • This occasionally shows up in featured series, and usually shows itself in the form of an automatic miss chance for the enemy. In J, Brains who activate their Vital Jump also stop using energy while moving in the air.
    • Whenever Trombe makes an appearance in any form, you can bet it's gonna do this in a cutscene. Usually accompanied by comments from bystanders about its tremendous speed.
  • In the final boss battle of No More Heroes, Jeane is capable of streaking around the battlefield in a decidedly Dragon Ball Z-esque manner. While this is likely utilized to show off just how patently nasty and tough the boss is in addition to disorienting the player, it's worth noting that you have no trouble keeping locked on to and tracking the boss's movements; Travis is capable of blocking every bullet fired from a full Uzi clip, after all.
    • Travis himself can do something similar by pressing a direction in the control stick right after guarding an attack. From his perspective, he just does a regular dodge in Bullet Time.
    • Don't forget Henry's Dash ability in his one playable level in the sequel.
  • Screaming Mantis in Metal Gear Solid 4 does this when she tries to attack Snake with her scythes.
    • The Ninja from the first game also does this, towards the end of the boss battle; he'll walk slowly towards Snake, do a flash step, and try and hit you with a punch.
  • Zone of the Enders brings us the Zero Shift, which is this at Humongous Mecha scale. There is some Techno Babble about using space compression powered by Metatron to move at near-lightspeed. In fact, the earlier part of The Second Runner involves Jehuty attempting to acquire this ability so that it can fight on equal footing with the already Zero Shift-capable Anubis.
  • Perfect World's Assassin class has two skills that do this: Shadow Jump (instantly teleport to the target's location) and Shadow Teleport (same as Shadow Jump, but also stuns the opponent for 3 seconds).
  • In practice, "Extreme Speed" and "Pursuit" in Pokémon behave like this.
  • The first two Fable games have a spell that works like this - Assassin's Rush in Fable I, and the targeted version of Time Control in Fable II.
  • Sonic Unleashed gives the titular hedgehog the "Quick Step", a move that lets him "warp" instantaneously a short distance to one side or the other, allowing him to dodge obstacles or pitfalls that would take too long to circumvent normally.
    • Sonic Colors feature a similar move, though its use is limited to designated areas in a given level.
  • The womanizer pirate drunkard Iaidouka Johnny from Anime-style beat 'em up series Guilty Gear features several of these moves in addition to his quick-draw sword attacks, one of which transports you across the screen, another which can be executed while holding your sword ready to strike at an indeterminable point, and one of which is a one-hit finishing move.
  • Sho Minamimoto from The World Ends With You can Flash Step past any zetta slowpoke, in Noise form and Taboo Noise form.
    • Additionally, the pins that let Neku teleport have names that imply that this is what's going on.
  • Lars Alexandersson from Tekken 6 Bloodline Rebellion utilizes a lot of Flash Step in his attack arsenals.
    • Yoshimitsu can be thought of as a Flash Spin/Sit, since a few of his attacks involve him spinning and vanishing without even a flash or sound.
      • Badass Black Ninja Raven also can do this, even having a move that allows him to backflip through the opponent if facing them from behind. One of his intro sequences also involves him slowly walking towards the person and vanishing, causing the character to spin around and find him standing with his arms crossed.
  • Kessler in In Famous frequently moves around using this method, as do the Reaper conduits.
  • Wesker in Resident Evil 5 moves around the battlefield like this - apparently Capcom wanted to represent his speed and agility like this in earlier games, but the technology didn't make it look convincing.
    • Pleasingly, if he flash steps into melee you can initiate a small QTE where you smack him down before he launches his own attack.
    • This is also a huge part of the boss battles against him (especially the first); shooting him needs to be done from around corners or from behind so he doesnt flash step out of the way.
  • Fire Emblem: in the GBA games, attack animations incorporate this trope for agile characters such as swordmasters and assassins.
    • In Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, certain special moves (critical hits for swordmasters and thieves and Occult attacks for those classes) are portrayed this way as well.
  • Devil May Cry: In 3 and 4, maxing out the Trickster style gives Dante the "Air Trick" ability (which, sadly, only lets him Flash Step right up to his target's face).
    • Likewise, Vergil is a master of this, his usage approaching spamtacular levels on the higher difficulties. When playable, his range is limited, but he is capable of doing this up, down, and towards a targeted enemy.
    • 1 and 4 use this twice. Nelo Angelo has a technique which allows him to instantaneously teleport short distances, though he only ever uses it to gain distance for a different attack. The Frosts, strong ice demons appearing in both 1 and 4, have a similar ability whereby they disassemble their bodies at the molecular level, quickly move across the room using the moisture in the air as a medium and reform somewhere else.
    • Also, his Royalguard style grands a counter-move Just Release, which really looks like and acts as a Flash Punch, moving you through opponents and dealing them damage based on how much damage you have blocked prior and how perfect your timing was. Using it with an empty meter on enemy projectile attacks is the more traditional version of this trope, dubbed Running Man or Superman, depending on whether you do it whilst airborne.
    • Nero's (from 4) Table Hopper move also counts, it moves fast enough to leave a streak/after-image and is also fast enough to pass through electricity and enemy attacks.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, Yuri has an attack called "Ghost Wolf" that allows him to move lightning fast for a strike at his opponent. His ultimate attack takes this trope to ridiculous levels.
    • Shing Meteoryte's in Tales of Hearts takes it up to more ridiculous levels. By the end of the arte, he's leaving afterimages. That, or appearing for a slash before he's actually disappeared from the previous one.
    • Keroro's F.K.S. in Keroro RPG appears to be a fairly blatant homage to Shing's Shououjineizan.
  • Played straight in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, with the Assassin's Dragon Flight, which teleports to a target and kicks it. The Paladin's Charge attack is close, allowing a means to dance from place to place at (nearly) untrackable speed, even leaving the trail of afterimages. There's also an armor which allows any class to use the Sorceresses' teleport, which while not technically a flash step, does end up looking quite the same in duels...
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's Alucard Sword has a special attack that allows Alucard to teleport across the screen, turn around, slash twice, and return, all in about a second or less. There's also atleast one katana that allows similar attacks.
    • Certain knives in Dawn of Sorrow do the same thing, allowing Soma to open doors backwards by triggering buttons on the other side of them.
  • In League of Legends, Katarina has a flash step ability that is actually called 'Shunpo', and other champions like Talon and Warwick have similar abilities. However, some of these (like the summoner spell Flash, or Ezreal's Arcane Shift) are magical teleportation rather than just fast movement.
  • Kingdom Hearts has Sephiroth again, opening his boss fight in the second game with the original version of the oblivion attack mentioned above.
    • If you fail the ReAction Command during the deep dive sequence during the first fight with Xemnas, he'll warp behind Sora and deliver a killing blow before you have time to react to it.
    • And then there's Xigbar, he's the organization member with the power over space/dimension, he flash steps around to fire at you in various ways (Interestingly, he had this trick before he became a nobody, as Birth By Sleep reveals).
  • The Naruto tie-in games emphasize this more than the original show. In at least one (Clash of Ninja 3) it's a standard move, putting you right behind your opponent so you can get in a surprise counterattack. This tends to turn into No, I Am Behind You.
  • Ibuki from the Street Fighter series has a minor version (mostly cosmetic, and ignored by players). Even so, it was kept in her SF4 transition to 3D.
    • Juni from Street Fighter Alpha 3 could do this as well.
  • Predictably the Ninja from Sengoku Basara, particularly Fuuma, are capable of doing this. Ishida Mitsunari however takes it to the next level, possessing ridiculous speed and being able to take down small armies in a couple of seconds while all the player sees is him disappearing and reappearing.
  • The Bonus Boss of Bayonetta, Father Rodin, starts doing similar movements to this when his health gets lower.
  • Ryu replaces his evasive rolls with these in Ninja Gaiden 2, though he also used them in the previous game during essence attacks (to the point of Nightcrawler-esque spamming in some cases).
  • Jitterskull, the ghoul from Ghouls vs. Humans that looks like a giant floating skull, moves this way: he doesn't float, he keeps teleporting several feet forward. Which makes it really annoying when you're playing as him.
  • Chester Stoddart, a particularly annoying boss in Ys III: Oath in Felghana. The Flash Steps even came with an annoying sound effect too, and when down below half-health, he'd literally spam 2, 3, 4 of these in a row while throwing projectiles all over the screen...
    • Ernst in Ys: The Ark of Napishtim also does this to some extent.
  • Jude has nanomachines in his body that allow him to 'accelerate', or in other words, to move so fast everything else slows down in comparsion.
    • Exactly how this works becomes a plot point later on A certain boss does something that looks exactly the same, but he's not actually moving any faster, he's stopping time.
  • In the Korean MMO Grand Chase, each character has their own movement speed. Any character that can run can take advantage of a glitch that the community called flash stepping. It involves dashing forward, jumping into the air, dashing in mid-air, dropping to the ground, and dashing again. It's pretty tricky to pull off in rapid succession, especially with characters that can double jump, but it can make all the difference in PVP.
  • The Magician in the House of the Dead series.
    • An interesting interpretation of the flash-step was made in the Typing of the Dead game (which was essentially a creative port for House of the Dead 2, where Magician appears as the penultimate boss). Normally, Typing of the Dead has you fight zombies by typing words that appear in text boxes, and if you make a typo you get the "ping" sound and you can't type any more characters until you correctly type what you miss. Magician isn't like that. If you make a typo at all, he whacks you!
  • The Nightcrawler Elites in F.E.A.R.: Perseus Mandate, who have the same Bullet Time reflexes as you, are seen to do this.
  • Leonhardt Raglen does this in Agarest Senki 2. He never does it in the first game however.
  • Geth stalkers in Mass Effect can jump around incredibly quickly. To make things worse, they jam your sensors, so you can't reliable use that to track their movements.
    • Mass Effect 2: The Vanguard class has this ability, although it's more used for slamming into enemies than anything else. Essentially, a Vanguard knows how to turn themselves into a sub-light self-projecting mass relay.
    • In Mass Effect 3, asari husks called Banshees get this ability. They can also impale you for a one hit kill. It's exactly as bad as it sounds.
    • The asari characters in multiplayer use this as their dodge ability. It's faster to perform than other dodge moves and can move the character dramatically further. Unfortunately, it will also drain a small amount of your shields every time you do it (or delay your shield regeneration if your shields are already at zero).
  • Alice: Madness Returns allows Alice to zip from one spot to another several yards away by turning into an ethereal swarm of butterflies during transition, known as dodging in the game.
  • The Ura of Bastion specialize in speedy movement, using multiple quick steps to approach (or, in the case of the gunmen and archers, back away from) their targets.
  • Some enemy mages of Dragon Age 2 have a teleport ability that has been explained as actually being a 'burst of speed through the ground'.
    • There were actually quite a number of abilities that did this in the two Dragon Age games, but arguably the coolest was a rogue ability in Dragon Age: Awakening that allowed the rogue to target an area, then teleport behind every enemy in the area to deliver a Back Stab before returning to their starting location.
  • In Dead Space the Twitcher variant of Necromorph does this. It's explained that this is because they're Space Marines who have been infested by the virus, anbd their special combat stasis modules are malfunctioning.
  • Assassins in Aion get two of these abilities. The first is a dash to any target within 25 meters, followed by an attack, which is relatively weak but allows a stealthed assassin to seemingly come out of nowhere to initiate or join a battle. The other ability is a true teleportation right behind the target, attacking for a mild backstab that can also stun. The second one is a Stigma ability, meaning it costs money and a slot in which you could equip a different ability.
  • Heroes of Newerth has a couple of heroes that do some variation of this. Magebane has Flash, which instantly teleports him to the target location. Chronos's Time Leap speeds up time for himself as he runs to the target location in an instant. Wretched Hag has Flash of Darkness which works the same as Magebane's Flash. Swiftblade's ultimate ability allows him to perform several attacks in rapid succession with such speed that it looks like he's teleporting from one target to another. Any hero can acquire a Portal Key which allows them to instantly teleport over a limited distance.
  • Guild Wars introduced the "shadow step" gameplay mechanic with the Assassin class. Several skills and stances allow the user to immediately teleport to an enemy or ally, either on command or after a trigger.
  • Chipp Zanuff's 236P attack (that's Down, Down Forward, Forward+Punch, for those of you who don't know fighting game lingo), the Alpha Blade, is this trope. The super version does this several times in rapid succession, and Ex Chipp can perform the Alpha Blade up to three consecutive times as part of a combo (normal Chipp can't).
  • Bang Shishigami can do this as part of his Drive's special property (hit A, B, or C during the invincibility frame) or as part of one of his throws.
  • InThe Beast Legion Ginta teaches Xeus to master the Flash step, refereed to as the lightning sprint, in Issue 05.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, the Whirlwind Sprint shout lets you do this.
  • Several characters from Asura's Wrath can do this, but Yasha is the the most proficient.
    • Imperial Assassins in Disciples 2 attack by disappearing, appearing behind the target, striking, disappearing, and then re-appearing in the original location. All in the space of 2 seconds. It's no wonder why they're more effective than archers.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning, leveling up in sorcery causes your dodge roll to become this instead.
  • Jinx in Super Mario RPG.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, Nightwing's animations have the quirk of doing this.

Visual Novels

  • Mai from Kanon: not exactly in the visual novel; however, in Eternal Fighter Zero, she's able to perform flash steps at varying distances that can be used for both offensive and defensive; she can even combine this with her Iaijutsu technique, enabling her to draw, attack and resheath her sword at lightning fast speed. One of her Super Moves, referencing a similar move by Hibiki, starts with a very fast, near invisible flash step.

Web Animation

  • The Leet World's Ahmad combines this technique with a shotgun when he boosts his speed using HAX.
  • Bunny Kill 4's Snowball, when he goes into Super Saiyan "White Avenger" mode during the final battle with Flint, demonstrates the ability to do this.
  • The later battles of Super Mario Bros Z feature a lot of this, but it's mostly Shadow and Mecha Sonic who pull it off.
  • In Dead Fantasy, Hayate appears to be teleporting and using forcefields to attack Tifa. In reality, he is actually just moving that fast - observing the video frame-by-frame will show his movements and blows were all animated.
    • In episode 2, Rikku pulls off a version of this, although nowhere near as fast as Hayate, when Tifa casts Hastega on Team Final Fantasy. She uses her enhanced speed to kick Ayame's ass up and down the tower.


Web Comics


Web Original

  • In the Whateley Universe, there are teleporters who can do this, but the example that the writers have shown is Phase, who has density-changing powers. She does the flash step to some bullies by going intangible and running right through one of them, then going to her maximum density and hitting him. (She's taking it easy on the guy, too.)
  • Linkara could do this in Kickassia.

 [while talking to Chris Larios] For example, I'm not even in front of you. [appears behind Chris]

  • Shadowhunter Peril has Umbra Darkholme, who, in his fight with Azazel, used would Flash Step to try and take the shifter down. Unfortunately for him, Azazel shifted into Umbra and copied his powers, so they were BOTH trying to Flash Step each other into submission and it ended up going nowhere until Azazel stopped moving tried to absorb Umbra. Umbra flicked him off and proceeded to vaporize him.


Western Animation

  • In Justice League Unlimited, Superman does this while fighting Darkseid, just after he gives the eponymous World of Cardboard Speech.
    • In another episode, Captain Atom angrily charges at Superman, who flash steps away, causing Atom to run face-first into a wall.
    • The Flash does it a few times also. Notably, he defeats Luthor-Brainiac in a similar manner, by running around the world and punching him as he passes by.
      • Sometimes? The Flash does it all the time. Although he got hit far more than someone moving as fast as he does should. Like tripping over marbles the Joker threw out in front of him.
  • Wolverine faced up against the Silver Samurai, whose mutant power was short ranged Flash Steping in an episode of the X-Men animated cartoon. The guy not only left a significant pause beneath flash appearance and attack, he was also highly uninventive with where he would position himself and the time during which he would blink out was quite long (even after you account for the fact that the show was treating Talking Is a Free Action).
  • From The Incredibles, Dash has the superpower of speed and uses it to snatch super suits from his mom.
    • He also put a tack on his teachers chair while sitting in his seat across the room. The real kicker is that the teacher filmed the prank to prove it was happening-and Dash was so fast it didn't even show him moving. His father was impressed while his mother was definitely not.
      • There was actually an extremely faint blur of motion in 1 frame. Assuming standard NTSC recording of 30fps, and guesstimating the classroom as 15m across (it looked quite large), Dash ran 30m in 1/30s, which would be a speed of 900m/s, or roughly 2000mph. No wonder nobody saw him.
        • Fridge Logic kicks in when you realize that that's over twice the speed of sound. If the air displacement from his movements didn't tip people off, the sonic boom should have.
          • Probably a case of required secondary powers that keep him from experiencing a sonic boom. After all, that would cause hearing damage after a while. He, and most speedsters, also seem to have one that stops friction so that explains the air.
  • Superboy did this in one episode of the classic animated series to casually defeat a guy attacking him with a magic sword.


Real Life

  • Bruce Lee could supposedly move so fast that special high-speed cameras were required to film some of his moves. One of his favorite party tricks was to have someone stand a few steps away from him holding a coin, and to have them close their hands around the coin before Lee could take it. When they tried to, he'd almost instantaneously jump forward and replace the coin with something else. Worth noting that unlike most fictional portrayals, Bruce Lee's training regimen was as much about strength as speed or agility and as a result, he was fantastically physically fit even by martial arts standards.

  "Bruce Lee, pound for pound, might well have been the strongest man in the world, and was certainly one of the quickest." - Chuck Norris

  • While there are no known examples of real-world teleportation, a number of martial arts teach skills which make it appear as if the opponent has suddenly appeared behind them.
    • Ba Gua uses intricate footwork to give the impression that the practitioner is closer or farther than he actually is.
    • Many schools of Japanese swordsmanship attack when the opponent is beginning to inhale and his attention wavers.
    • Some Silat practitioners make contact with the opponent and rely on a momentary impression of their position to move behind.
    • Others use sophisticated understanding of distance, timing and changes of level to cause the opponent to lose track of them for a moment during which they move behind.
  • Flies, spiders, and other creepy crawlies can easily move to another spot in the time it takes to blink.
  • So can hummingbirds.
  • When filming fight scenes, directors often had to remind Wesley Snipes to slow down enough for the cameras to process his moves.
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