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Free Floor Fighting
Watch your step.

A Fighting Game trope, where the fight isn't always limited to the plane that it starts on. This can open a lot more variation for stage effects, transitions, and action that ends in a completely different place from where it starts. This makes the matches more dynamic than the static counterpart, Fixed Floor Fighting.

Because of the somewhat more random nature of the fights, battle tactics can be changed. Some combos may be cut short due to the environment not allowing them, a Ring Out or environmental damage may be more possible, etc. In this genre, a Launcher Move may simply knock an opponent through a predictable path, or open a new path through the game's environment.

Contrast Fixed Floor Fighting and Platform Fighter. Outside of the Fighting Game genre, see Chase Fight.

Examples:

  • X-Men: Next Dimension has levels where you can knock an opponent from one section down to another, dealing additional damage to them. For some levels, there are even multiple paths to make them fall.
  • Dead or Alive picked this up in the second game onward, instead of the Virtua Fighter-style Ring Outs used in the first.
  • Dragon Ball Z Budokai: In addition to knocking opponents to new areas, characters can also fly and introduce an entire new dimension to fights.
  • Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe has this. In most stages, you can go into "Vertical Kombat" by knocking an opponent off a ledge or through the floor, and some of them also allows you to smash them through walls and buildings into new areas. In both cases, you are able to keep hitting your opponent during the sequence, using a button-mashing minigame. In this series, this goes at least as far back as Mortal Kombat 3, which had stages in which uppercutting the opponent would send them to another stage directly linked to the previous one. In Deception and Armageddon, many stages had more than one area working in the same principle of the aforementioned Vertical Kombat system, except without the Kombat.
  • MadWorld has fights that are as simple as a plane (or rather, the ceiling of a familiar ship), or as complex as the entire castle of the last level you just played (i.e. The Courtyard, where you fight the Shamans).
  • Almost all of the stages in Power Stone 2 are like this. One prominent example is the Blue Sky Area, which begins on an airship that falls apart after enough time passes, sending the combatants into free-fall before continuing the fight on a floating castle below.
  • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Uncharted Region of China has a breakaway floor, and Galactor's base has a path that can be adjusted. Both of these are affected by attacks that damage the ground.
  • Super Smash Bros.: Stages in this game vary from as constant as Final Destination to as chaotic as Big Blue (pictured above). In this stage you actually fight on top of cars as they race around a track. If you fall off of one and onto the asphalt, you get whisked off the side of the stage as the camera leaves you behind, resulting in a near-instant KO unless you can very quickly jump off and return to the stage.
  • Tekken 6 had certain stages where the floor would collapse, and you can smash opponents through some walls as well. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 adds the ability to knock enemies off some balconies, blowing them through the railings and onto the floor below.
  • Soul Calibur V has, on several stages, the fight moving to a lower floor if one player suffers a Ring Out. Before the next round starts, the winner will land on his or her feet and the knocked-out player will struggle to stand up straight.
  • Street Fighter X Tekken has a twist on this in that you switch planes/areas in between rounds.
  • All stages in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Special mention goes to Dreamscape from LittleBigPlanet, which starts completely flat but builds itself up in classic LBP-fashion, eventually becoming the most platform-heavy arena in the game.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, characters can knock their opponents into new sections of the arena, with transitions that include being knocked through several buildings, hit by a train, getting being beaten up by Batman's Rogues Gallery, or knocked into the exposed vacuum of space, bouncing off a satellite, and then get smashed into by an out of control shuttlecraft along the way.
Free-Fall FightFight SceneFunny Bruce Lee Noises
Fixed Floor FightingFighting GameHitbox Dissonance
Free-Fall FightAdded Alliterative AppealFriend on the Force
Force And FinesseCombat TropesFriend or Foe

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