Air-Aided Acrobatics

Forms of fictional media have physics which differ from Real Life. As such, it's not uncommon for there to be places where the main character must cross gaps which can barely be surpassed with a well-timed jump.

However, sometimes a character's ability isn't great enough to let them cross a gap. Luckily, there just happens to be gusts of strong wind coming straight up! As the character jumps, the wind pushes enough force on our hero to let them cross the otherwise-uncrossable gap.

And thus, the character has just performed Air-Aided Acrobatics. Note that the air does not need to be coming directly from the gap, as Acrobatics can also be aided by air pushing from behind the character.

See also Jump Physics (especially Double Jump) and Vent Physics.

Almost guaranteed to show up in a Gusty Glade. Compare Rocket Jump, in which explosions aid the jump instead of wind.



Live-Action TV
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus. Parodied in the "First man to jump the English Channel" sketch, where Ron Obvious hopes to jump from Dover into Calais with the help of (among other things) "a gust of breeze over the French coast".

Real Life
  • Truth in Television in athletics, of course, although overly-tailwindy marks may be discounted.

Western Animation

Video Games
  • The Super Mario Bros. series likes this trope.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2.
    • Various levels in Super Mario 64 (but Tiny Huge Island most notably) have a number of updrafts that spontaneously activate when you're over them, which will allow you to make a jump or, perhaps, save your life from a Bottomless Pit.
    • Several jumping puzzles in the Mario & Luigi series involves the Bros catching visible whirlwinds in midair while performing theirSpin Jump ability.
    • SMB 2 Japan \ Lost Levels has gusts of forward-moving wind that need to be used to trampoline over huge gaps.
  • Gusty Glade includes a few spots where you must time your jump so that the wind pushes you enough that you can make a jump.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Doubly annoying in that the areas you're jumping from/to are narrow enough that overshooting is ludicrously common.
  • The Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge has this during the spitting contest (watch the flags to see when you've got a tailwind).
  • Toward the end of Bushlands/Grasstown in Cave Story, you're required to make these kinds of jumps after activating the necessary fans.
  • Ōkami, with the added awesomeness of you controlling the wind.
  • Tengu Man's stage in Mega Man 8 features wind that alternates between giving you a boosting tail-wind and a hindering head wind. Either one has a chance of pushing you down a Bottomless Pit.
    • A couple of weapons (Tornado Hold from 8 and Tornado Blow from Mega Man 9) allow you do do this at will.
  • There are plenty of jumps in Icycle that would just be falls if not for thermal vents pushing you back up.
  • The Windy Tree level (#10) in Prehistorik Man has wind coming from below, allowing to jump higher.
  • In Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter for Wii, the Eastern Winds world has several of these. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out too well.
  • Scribblenauts has the Air Vent, an item which creates gusts of winds, which can be used to cross gaps. Unlike most examples of this trope, nearly every object in the game can perform Air-Aided Acrobatics through the use of a couple Air Vents, making it a Game Breaker in action levels where you can push harmful objects out of the way and push helpful objects to you.
  • Windy Valley in Sonic Adventure has Sonic literally running on the wind.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals has moving updrafts (Handwaved as being elven spirits), which Artea will need to make use of in several jumping puzzles.
  • In American McGee's Alice, you could only move Alice off a steam vent's Gusty Glade. In Alice: Madness Returns you can make Alice jump off from it as well.
  • The Molten Front area in World of Warcraft includes thermal vents in some areas, allowing characters to use the updrafts to leap much further than normal.
  • LEGO Batman has fans that help lift you higher.
    • As does LEGO Star Wars.
  • Doritos Crash Course has fans throughout the course, including one section where you must float along as the fan moves across the gap.
  • The Guilty Gear series has something called Air Dashing, where most characters can rush backwards or forwards while in midair. This is actually justified in story, as a limitless energy source popularly known as 'magic' is used by many characters, one of which is Air magic.
  • The original Half-Life has a part where, by activating a fan underneath, you actually float up to the top of a shaft to enter an otherwise inaccessible vent. That must be one hell of a fan.
  • Jedi Outcast has it in the Cloud City levels.
  • Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance has a major one where Riku's boss fight in Le Cite Des Cloches has him almost literally walking on the heat waves that are rising from the burning city.
  • Angry Birds Star Wars has this in a couple of levels.
  • Played straight in the mobile game Early Bird.
  • Never Alone has this as a core mechanic. The movement of falling snow helps you predict when a big gust is about to come along. Most of the time it's a hazard, and you have to brace yourself to avoid being bowled over, but sometimes there are jumps you can't make unless you time your jump to coincide with the wind.