-> ''Was that...was that falling damage? They put ''falling damage'' in their motherfucking 2D ''platform game!?''''
-> *''SpinningNewspaper saying "JONTRON QUITS" appears''*
--> '''WebVideo/JonTron''', on ''VideoGame/{{Bubsy}}'s'' use of this trope.

Most video game characters, especially in 2D games, seem to have incredibly durable legs; they can survive just about any fall that isn't into a BottomlessPit.

This trope is about the ones that can't.

In some video games, characters will get hurt when falling from great heights. Exactly how realistic this is varies. Sometimes, [[MajorInjuryUnderreaction the damage they take is closer to having their foot stepped on than shattering all the bones in their legs]]. Other times, [[ExaggeratedTrope the character dies the moment they fall from any unsafe height]], or something in between, but regardless, it hurts them.

Several games that allow falling damage do have a maximum distance which a character can fall without receiving any damage at all. It just wouldn't be good game design to allow a character to hurt himself every time he goes up or down stairs. Others take it a step further and have velocity checks, dealing damage if you hit the floor while travelling too fast, regardless of how you were moving that fast.

A SubTrope of JumpPhysics.

Compare & contrast NotTheFallThatKillsYou.
!Straight examples:

* ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' has this. In this case, Mario can GroundPound just before impact to avoid this.
* ''VideoGame/AuraAuraClimber'' takes this concept [[UpToEleven way further than some others do]], as if you fall for just long enough for your fall to be damaging, it doesn't matter whether you're going at terminal velocity or light speed, Aura-Aura is dead when he hits the ground.
* In ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'', falling from too high will damage you.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'', falls deal 1 point of damage for block (meter) fallen after the third, so a 23-block fall will kill you. However, landing in [[SoftWater water]], vines or spiderweb cancels the damage, and Feather Falling-enchanted boots will reduce it.
* 3DRealms games ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'', ''Blood'', ''VideoGame/ShadowWarrior'', and ''VideoGame/RedneckRampage'' all have falling damage inflict death and other hazards, complete with the player character screaming his lungs out when falling from great heights.
* Creator/LucasArts game ''Outlaws'' also features death by falling.
* ''VideoGame/DeadRising'' predictably has this in effect. However, once you learn the knee drop and time it properly, you can negate all the fall damage.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Driver}} Driv3r]]'' implements this. Jumping off, say, an elevated train track in Miami will damage you, if not outright kill you. GoodBadBugs reveal that this affects [=NPCs=] as well. You may occasionally find a random citizen falling from a building or.... the sky, inevitably dying upon contact with Earth.
* The ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' series has this as well.
* [[OlderThanTheNES This goes at least as far back as the original]] ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' arcade game (1981). If Mario falls through a hole in the floor, goes over the edge of a platform, or falls too far before hitting a surface while jumping onto or off an elevator in Screen 3, he dies on impact. In general, a fall height of more than two girders is fatal. [[VideoGame/DonkeyKong94 The Game Boy version]] is a bit more generous, after falling for a little while Mario will begin to spin, if he lands on his face he'll simply be stunned momentarily, he won't die unless he lands on his head.
* Creator/{{Sierra}}'s ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'' series has three descent scenarios: descending steps or something similar garnered no damage. A minor tumble totaling no more than the player character's height yielded some circling stars, but only nominal damage. A fall greater than the character's height, however, is always fatal. Princess Rosella is especially vulnerable to serious falls.
* In the video game based on ''Film/SpyKids 3D: Game Over'', Juni falls several feet when he enters the virtual reality world he was assigned to infiltrate. Upon regaining consciousness, he loses a life.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'', unless you unlock the Icarus Landing System perk, which grants you immunity to Falling Damage with some [[RuleOfCool flashy special effects.]]
* In many ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' games, you can lose hearts if you fall/ jump too far, but none more than ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', where you're given a magical sailcloth that acts like a parachute right near the start. If you don't use it on high enough drops, then the Wii controller shakes to tell you "ouch", as if Link clutching his chest wasn't enough. Every single time.[[note]]This, however, is plot-specific; usually bottomless pits in the series are [[NonLethalBottomlessPits non-lethal.]][[/note]] ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' kicks it up another notch, and some falls can kill Link outright no matter how many hearts he has.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLordOfTheRingsOnline'', player characters take a variable amount of fall damage based on how far they fell. A short fall leaves the character uninjured. A longer fall leaves the character limping and with most of their defensive skills disabled; the length this debuff lasts depends on the length of the fall. A fall over a great enough distance renders the character "incapacitated by misadventure" upon impact. The game averts SoftWater, so the character gets just as injured (or killed) from falling into water as from falling onto land.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsOnline'' has player characters take variable amount of fall damage based on how far they fell (but with no other adverse lingering effects). Increasing certain skills (Jump and Tumble) can allow a character to mitigate this damage, as can the 'slow fall' class feature of the Monk.
* ''Franchise/TombRaider'': Laura Croft and broken bones seems to go hand and hand.
* In ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', players who fall a comparably high distance (about 12-15 feet at the lowest) will suffer a small but negligible amount of damage.
* In ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia1'', falling two levels will subtract one from your LifeMeter, and falling three levels will kill you outright. The former becomes necessary in some levels of ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia2''.
* Falling from too high of a height without gliding in the ''VideoGame/{{Bubsy}}'' games will result in instant death. Less of an issue in the first game due to being a OneHitPointWonder.
* ''VideoGame/{{Spelunker}}'' took this to [[ExaggeratedTrope ridiculous levels.]] If you fall less than your own height, you die. This was averted in the UsefulNotes/ArcadeGame.
* ''[[VideoGame/Rayman3HoodlumHavoc Rayman 3]]'' is the first game in the series to implement this; if the main character falls for too long, he gets squished into a pancake for a brief period of time. The first two games avert this.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hexen}}'' has two thresholds based on falling speed: one where the player takes damage and one where the player automatically dies regardless of health. A fall between these two values can't kill but will reduce health to 1.
* Many of the platform games of ''VideoGame/{{Action 52}}'' {{exaggerate|dTrope}} this to an absurd degree where the OneHitPointWonder characters die '''in midair'''. This even happens in ''Cheetahmen'' and its sequel despite providing a LifeMeter.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' includes fall damage, which is a concern when RocketJumping, since you also take damage from your rocket as well, so you better not be too low on health. Failing to stick the landing after an explosive jump is widely known as 'cratering.' One of the Scout's unlockable weapons, the Pretty Boy's Pocket Pistol, negates all fall damage, but you'll take 50% more damage from fire. The Soldier's Mantreads unlock actually encourages him to risk falling damage--by aiming his landing point so that he ends up {{Goomba Stomp}}ing his enemies instead, ''they'' will take the damage as opposed to him.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Guild Wars 2}}'', the player character takes fall damage - more damage the higher the fall is. This, however, can be negated by landing in deep water, and each profession has an optional trait that can reduce the damage taken (rangers, for example, can create muddy ground when they fall).
* RealLife plays it straight. Usually.
* The ''Film/LooneyTunesBackInAction'' [[LicensedGame video game]] had this. In fact, there are unique falling animations for Bugs and Daffy that let you know falling damage is going to occur. Bugs will actually [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] this in the Area 52 stage if you're playing as him. At one point, you need to ride a player-controlled platform across the room from ''very'' high up. One of Bugs' remarks when stepping on it is "One wrong move, and I'm an ex-rabbit."
* ''{{VideoGame/Fallout 3}}'' plays it straight, with one subversion ([[TheCoconutEffect compared to genre conventions]], that is), thanks to the advanced physics engine. Like in other games, landing on water can negate falling damage... but in this game, the depth of the water actually matters! The higher you fall from, the higher your momentum on impact; the deeper the water, the more momentum it can absorb if you fall into it. If you fall from so high that the water can't negate all of your momentum before you hit the bottom, it's going to hurt. Leaping off the flight deck of the Rivet City carrier in particular requires about five meters deep water to survive; land on any of the underground rocks and you will die instantly. There is a console command in the game that can increase the physical size of the player's model. However, it does not translate into increased resistance against falling damage: if you make yourself [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever 50 foot tall]], [[EpicFail even an ordinary jump will deal lethal falling damage on landing]].
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' takes this trope to an extreme level. There is a small distance you can fall without taking damage at all, but once you pass that, the damage increases '''dramatically'''. Once you pass the cutoff distance for fall damage, your only thoughts will be "just reload the save before the death animation plays".
* Present in ''{{VideoGame/Terraria}}''; the damage you take increases depending on how far you've fallen. There's even a few death messages for when you die due to falling damage.
--> <Player name> didn't bounce.
** Fortunately, there's several ways to negate fall damage. Landing in [[SoftWater 2-block deep pools of water]] or cobwebs does not incur damage (neither does falling in lava, but that has its own problems). This can be exploited by placing a block of liquid or a cobweb underneath you while falling.
** Using an item like a [[DoubleJump Cloud in a Bottle]], Rocket Boots, or a grappling hook resets your fall distance. Amusingly, grappling hooks still prevent fall damage even if you [[HitTheGroundHarder grapple onto the ground]].
** Featherfall potions and the Umbrella item slow your fall to speeds that don't incur fall damage. The Frog Leg increases the distance you can fall before taking damage and decreases the damage you take from falling.
** Finally, some items completely negate fall damage when equipped: the Lucky Horseshoe (and its variant, the Obsidian Horseshoe), as well as all types of Wings.
** In ''VideoGame/MonkeyShines'', if you fall from a great height, you lose energy (or die if you fall from too high). However, there are [[TimedPowerUp wings]] that allow you to fall from any height unharmed.
* In the ''Videogame/MechWarrior'' games that implement falling damage, mechs will take leg damage from hitting the ground too hard, primarily caused by using a JumpJetPack and not saving enough fuel to slow down before impact. In ''Mechwarrior Living Legends'', mechs and PoweredArmor are immune to falling damage, but some vehicles can take heavy damage from collisions with terrain, and aerospace fighters landing gear will crumple and explode if you land with too much vertical velocity.
* Played straight in all ''Videogame/{{Quadrax}}'' games. Falling from anything higher than 1.5x the height of a stone block will kill a character. Justified in it being one of main principles of the game. The character also won't try to descend any unsafe height on their own, they have to fall through closing trapdoor, pushing a stone block, etc.

!Non-straight examples:
* Averted in the ''VideoGame/BloodRayne'' series: Regardless of how ridiculous a height Rayne falls from, she never takes any damage at all. This is implied to be one of the perks of being a half-vampire.
* Used weirdly in ''VideoGame/ZanZarahTheHiddenPortal'': Amy doesn't have HitPoints, so she can fall from crazy heights and act like nothing happened; however, if the fall takes too long, the game thinks you fell into a BottomlessPit and resets Amy's position back to the location entrance.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' Zigzagged this trope. While you did take falling damage, it was incapable of [[HPToOne actually killing you.]] Savvy players without appropriate flying powers would take shortcuts to ground level by jumping off buildings, crashing to the ground, and waiting to heal up.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has some fun [[PlayingWithATrope playing with this trope.]]
** Classes like Rogue and Druid (when in [[{{Shapeshifting}} Cat Form]]) take less falling damage than other classes. Also, Priests and Mages have spells like [[NotQuiteFlight Levitate and Slow Fall]], that turn the fall into a soft glide.
** Falling in water [[SoftWater completely negates the damage]]... unless you have a spell that grants the ability to WalkOnWater [[RealityEnsues active at the time of impact]]. Some abilities, like the Paladin's Divine Shield, [[NotTheFallThatKillsYou can also be used to]] [[BlockingStopsAllDamage negate the damage]].
** Creator/{{Blizzard|Entertainment}} even {{lampshade|Hanging}}s the unrealistic sides of this mechanic (like the CriticalExistenceFailure) with [[CosmeticAward achievements]] like "Going Down?" and "Almost Blind Luck" in which you have to [[SchmuckBait fall at least 65 yards without dying.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' and its sequel avert this trope, but some mods add it back in.
* Non-video game example: in the opening action sequence of ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'', Bond gets shot twice before falling about a thousand feet off a moving train on a bridge into a river, then down an equally high waterfall. He's Bond so this is [[AvertedTrope averted.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' plays with this trope in the final Thieves Guild quest. Usually, you take damage proportional to the length of the fall upon landing, which is mitigated by your Acrobatics SkillScore. In the end of said quest, you are supposed to leap off an insane height that would kill you--had it not been for a pair of magic shoes you acquired earlier and are supposed to put on before the jump. Too bad they are [[SingleUseShield destroyed upon landing.]] ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' does away with the Acrobatics skill but has a heavy armor perk that reduces fall damage, there is also the shout "become ethereal" which temporary makes you immune to all damage, allowing you take short cuts by jumping off mountains.
* Parodied in an Creator/AchievementHunter LetsPlay of ''VideoGame/TroubleInTerroristTown'' when Creator/RayNarvaezJr, hunting for the last terrorist, idly wonders if there's fall damage in the game just after he jumps off the roof. [[spoiler:There is, he dies and the terrorists win the round.]] In fact, this was actually one of Ray's RunningGags in their Let's Plays.
-->'''Ray''': "I wonder if there's fall damage..." ''(Falls, dies)'' "Yep."
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' have no falling damage. {{Justified|Trope}} in that Chell is wearing "Advanced Knee Replacements" (replaced with "Long Fall Boots" in ''Portal 2'') designed to cushion her against any such damage. These were apparently added when the playtesters felt Chell surviving those falls without harm was a bit hard to swallow.
* {{Zig|ZaggingTrope}}zagged in ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'': You normally take damage after falling from significant heights—unless you got your parachute out in time. Otherwise, there are still special {{perk}}s that allow you to reduce the damage you take from falling—and, at the highest respect levels, ignore falling damage entirely, ''no matter how far you fell.''
* Falling long distances in ''VideoGame/{{Spelunky}}'' not only damages the player but also stuns him, [[NotTheFallThatKillsYou unless he manages to grab a ledge (or ladder, or rope)]], [[GoombaStomp bounce off an enemy]] or land into SoftWater or spider web.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'': The player does not take fall damage in ''{{VideoGame/Halo 2}}'', ''{{VideoGame/Halo 3}}'', and ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'', but does in ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'', ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'', and ''VideoGame/HaloReach''. There are still BottomlessPits in the former games, though.
* ''Franchise/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'':
** When Samus falls from a fairly tall height in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' she will grunt and be stunned for a moment when she hits the ground, but then stand up no worse for the wear physically. Of course, that PoweredArmor she's wearing is probably absorbing enough of the impact to prevent damage.
** Played straight in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeHunters'', which also includes instant death bottomless pits.
* ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'': Lightning does not suffer any falling damage. However, if she falls from nearly-the-top of the Temple Of Chaos all the way down to the bottom ... then it's a long way back up again.
* Falling from high enough in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' mormally only would just reduce the player's HP to 1- unless the player is targeted by an enemy, in which case it's an instant death.
* In the ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' games, damage is based on the height fallen and your equip load.
** In the first game, you could use the spell "Fall Control", which negates falling damage as long as the distance wouldn't have killed the player.
** In the second game, you also get equipment which negates damage based on hard amounts. So even fatal distances can be leaped and survived (while still needing to take a healing item).
* Early in ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'', Elma suggests to the Player Character that they jump off a hundred-foot-plus-high cliff with the only concern being the tougher monsters on the beach below. [[spoiler:It's the first hint that neither she nor the PC are normal Humans]].
* In the NES ''{{Franchise/Castlevania}}'' games, if Simon or Trevor falls from a great distance, they'll be stunned briefly upon landing and crouch, but will otherwise be unharmed.