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Meteor Move
aka: Meteor Smash

You know you're in trouble when you're fighting an opponent that can hit you hard enough to send you flying into the sky. Some characters won't stop there; next the hero (or villain) in question immediately flies above you in time to intercept you like the human pinball you have become, then strikes you with such force that you are sent flying toward the ground hundreds of feet below, and crashing into the earth like a meteorite.

There are three ways this can be done:

A Flash Step Spike is to simply fly/jump/Flash Step up and spike the airborne opponent.

A Flying Takedown is to catch the foe in mid air and then crash both him and the attacker into the ground below. This has the advantage of being more powerful, but only if you're completely Made of Iron. Spinning Piledriver is a subtrope.

A Multihit Meteor is a brutal extension of the Flash Step Spike (and sometimes Flying Takedown) where the attacker, rather than letting his opponent hit the ground, flies once more after him and strikes him as he falls.

Because this attack (especially Flying Takedown) implies that the attacker is far stronger than the attacked, it's usually a villain that does the attacking. When it's the hero attacking, it's usually a Curb-Stomp Battle. While you're at it, bring out the Wrestler in All of Us by including a powerbomb or the like. Not to be confused with dropping an actual meteor on an opponent.


Examples:

    Anime & Manga 
  • A staple of Dragon Ball Z. A spectacular example would be when Cell regenerates from Vegeta's last desperate attempt at vaporising him, kicks him into the sky like a pinball and then pounds him into the earth like a rag doll. A definitive example of a Flash Step Spike Meteor Move.
    • Vegeta himself loves this trope, using a classic Flash Step Spike — more specifically, pretty much exactly as it's described in the first paragraph of this page — in pretty much any of his battles with lots of airtime.
    • Don't forget Gotenks using it against Buu; somewhat altered, as Gotenks first uses a rather odd attack to bind Buu into a sphere that looks rather like a volleyball, then explicitly mimes volleyball moves.
    • A variant of Flying Takedown occurs in the first Zarbon/Vegeta fight and the Piccolo/Frieza fight. Zarbon and Piccolo both grab their opponents while flying and then let go, letting their respective opponents' momentum send them the rest of the way down.
    • This is the basis of one of Tien's most famous attacks, where he uses his opponent as a volleyball. Predates Gotenks' version by almost two decades in fiction.
    • Goku does a BRUTAL Multihit Meteor (with not one, but two hits mid-air) on Burter in what is probably the best Curb-Stomp Battle of the Freeza Saga. Him being one of the Ginyu, who were on the verge of effortlessly killing off all the other good characters and Vegeta just a moment ago, makes it all the more impressive.
    • Tambourine pulls this on Goku the first time they meet.
      • From which Goku returns the favor in their rematch.
  • In Mai-Otome 0~S.ifr~, Rena Sayers, the ultimate Otome, uses a Flying Takedown Meteor Move to defeat Super-Battle Android M9, as she crashes with her from orbit into the planet below.
  • Ryougi Shiki of Kara no Kyoukai pulls off a magnificent variation of Flying Takedown when she plummets after the falling Big Bad out of a ten stories tall building with a katana, catches him in mid air and lands sword first into him. Even though this was enough to slay the villain in question, the impact was enough to break the sword in question and knock Shiki unconscious.
    • And even then she was only saved by the Big Bad's Mobile Bounded Field (kind of like a shield) taking most of the landing impact (it's slightly implied he activated it on purpose).
  • This has also become a staple of action sequences in Mahou Sensei Negima!; Takahata Sensei in particular seems to be fond of this as a finishing move.
    • Negi Springfield gets this move pulled on him by a copy of his father during the Mahoura tournament.
    • Negi's the victim of a Flying Takedown variant early on in a Battle in the Center of the Mind against a partial recording of Evangeline. Her staying with him to drive her fist through his heart in the impact signifies the shift in mood away from the by now commonplace sight of Eva spending a couple of hours beating Negi up.
    • Negi himself managed to pull a Flash Step Spike off in the Magic World arc against Rakan after he turned into lightning, then capped it off by dive-bombing right on top of him. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite enough.
      • Later in the fight Negi pulls off a Multihit Meteor. Rakan was bouncing around like a pinball. And it still wasn't quite enough.
      • And of course, in between these, Rakan pulls a Flash Step Spike by intercepting Negi's aerial dodge, catching his sword, and just pounding him back down to earth so hard most of his internal organs take damage. And yes... it isn't enough. It's just that kind of fight.
  • In Naruto, Rock Lee has his "Primary Lotus" attack, which involves kicking the opponent into the sky, jumping alongside him and wrapping his bandages around the foe, adding spin and an assurance that they land headfirst. Sasuke subsequently copies this with his "Lion's Barrage", an attack that substitutes several kicks for the bandage-spinning, and Naruto then copies that for his "Uzumaki Barrage", a variant that uses shadow clones to begin pummeling the foe into the sky and following up.
    • Upon releasing the Fourth Gate in his fight against Gaara, Lee kicks this trope up to approximately 13. He kicks Gaara into the air, jumps behind him and kicks him towards the ground, and then jumps in front of him and hits him back into the air, commencing the game of pinball. Things get rather uncomfortable for Gaara thereafter.
  • Flash Step Spike is used quite often by the brainwashed Ginga in her battle against Subaru near the end of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, delivering heavy blows that send the latter flying then jumping or dashing after her before she can fall.
  • Shaman King gives a nice display of Flash Step Spike in the fight with Bailong. (And probably a few other examples scattered throughout the series.)
  • One Piece: Luffy got hit by one of these by Rob Lucci. Understandable since the enemy in question knows "Geppou".
  • Ash's Charizard from Pokémon does a Flying Takedown whenever it uses its Signature Move Seismic Toss, though it also becomes a victim of Flying Takedown on at least two occasions.
    • It is interesting to note that a similar animation started appearing in the 3rd generation video games to explicitly imply a Flying Takedown style drop. The background animates as if the two 'mons are flying upward, pauses, then rapidly descending, complete with ground shatter on the foe.
  • Digimon Frontier: Lucemon enjoyed using Flying Takedown in his Chaos Mode, dispatching both EmperorGreymon and MagnaGarurumon (one after the other) with a lightning-fast series of punches, followed by a mighty kick into the sky, a leap to the victims, grabbing them and piledriving them headfirst into the ground while standing on their arms. The first time with EmperorGreymon Lucemon cracked the moon with the impact; the second time with MagnaGarurumon he shattered the moon to pieces.
    • The un-morphed kids at the time, on the other hand, were just a little bruised.
  • In Sengoku Basara we have Hideyoshi utilizing the Flash Step Spike against Motochika and Masamune during their fights.

    Fan Works 

    Film 
  • In The Matrix Neo does an inverted Multihit Meteor on Smith, smashing both Smith and himself into the train station ceiling.
    • In the third film The Matrix Revolutions, Smith performs a Multihit Meteor, grievously wounding Neo enough to defeat him in the fistfight that followed.
  • Tai Lung, the awesome Big Bad of Kung Fu Panda, shows just how much of a Bad Ass he truly is with this trope. Po, the Dragon Warrior, has a uniquely hilarious variation of his own wherein he bounces the enemy into the sky with his big stomach, and waits as he then comes crashing down from the clouds with a resounding thud.

    Real Life 
  • This awesome picture shows two woodpeckers fighting over a nest hole. One of them has grabbed the other's tongue in its claws and beak and is in the process of slamming its opponent into the ground. Birds are hardcore, man.

    Video Games 
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Superman's Limit Break has him punching his opponent into low orbit, before smacking them back to Earth, burning them on reentry.
  • The Dragon Ball Z Budokai games love to use this in multiple ways. Many of the "Launcher" attacks utilize a Flash Step Spike, but a few move into a painful variant of Multihit Meteor, with the defending character being kicked into the air, punched back down to the ground, and then kicked in the gut right before they hit the ground.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Since the objective of fights is to knock people away from the stage, meteor moves are a very useful technique. Many characters have moves that, when struck correctly, send the opposing player rocketing downwards. If there's no ground bellow them, it's K.O. time.
    • Many character's Final Smashes, such as Ike's and Greninja's, have the final hit send their opponent straight to the ground, where the most likely result is the opponent bouncing back into the sky and off the screen.
    • Some characters have grapple meteor strikes. For instance, one of Kirby's grabs have him jumping high into the sky with his opponent and then crash into the ground, and one of Ganondorf's speacials when done in the air has him grab his opponent's face and send then straight bellow, be there ground to crash on or not.
  • This is a staple in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. After launching an opponent into the air, players can perform an air combo and then knock their opponents back down. Good players can turn almost every one of this into a Multihit Meteor, continuing to attack on the way down or attacking as soon as the opponents hits the ground in such a way that they can relaunch their opponent back into the air again.
  • One of Galen Starkiller's moves in The Force Unleashed is a variation of Flying Takedown in which he slashes his opponent multiple times into the air with his lightsaber, grabs him by the throat and then crashes into the ground below, usually sending a resounding shockwave that ripples outward, sending the usually-present crowd of hapless Stormtrooper screaming into the air, setting up for yet-another combo.
  • Mayor Mike Haggar from Final Fight and Zangief from Street Fighter both the spinning piledriver: grab your enemy, jump 20 feet in the air and land on the ground, their head first. Haggar has a Super Move where he throws his opponent and catches them on the way down. Zangief's Super Move involves consecutive spinning piledrivers. According to the manual, the two are official rivals, trying to make fancier piledrivers.
    • Hugo from Street Fighter III has a move where he throws his opponent off a wall, jumps after them, and breaks their back over his as he lands. Alex's Super Move involves multiple power bombs.
    • M. Bison's Nightmare Booster in Street Fighter IV involves him pushing the opponent into the air with a psycho crusher, using a Flash Step Spike on the opponent mid-air, and then stomping on the downed opponent (Multihit Meteor) as they hit the ground for good measure.
      • Are we forgetting Cracker Jack from EX 2 Plus(where level 3 moves are all Meteor moves, complete with victory icon of the same)? He punts you into the sky, then smacks you with a baseball bat, which, depending on how "accurate" you were with the button press, sends you to the moon, which then bounces you back to earth like the pinball you've become.
      • From the same game as Cracker Jack, Darun Meister. His G.O.D(Gamble of Darun) Meteor move involves him pummeling/pretzel-ling you, followed by launching you into the sky, where he somehow manages to pull off a figure-4 leglock(!), and finishing with a brainbuster(like a vertical suplex, but the opponent is perpendicular to the ground on impact, while he lands comfortably on his back), that leaves the opponent standing on their head for a second before they finally crumple. Note that this move ALWAYS does 100% damage, but only if your opponent doesn't manage to break free during the second to fourth steps of the move(50% chance each time, as they must either match you with a punch if you used punch for the command, or kick if you used the same), AND you manage to pull off all of the steps flawlessly. Just to be clear, the move is performed as 360+PPP>360 P/K(opponent can break free by matching the button, no joystick input needed)>360 P/K(as above)>360 P/K>(last chance to break free)>(now the screen just tells you ???) U(hold)DU. Or just watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQa1iNEtVHM
    • Hanzo Hattori and Galford from Samurai Shodown also have a "grab your opponent, leap up and slam his head into the ground" move. Unusual because, at least in the first game, the Mighty Glacier types didn't have any throws or grabs outside the basic ones, but these two lightweight Ninja did. And could leap into the air with all but the biggest one of them.
    • Tizoc, the masked wrestler from Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves, uses the Flying Takedown attack during his Big Fall Griffon finishing move.
  • The "Air Superiority" attack from City of Heroes is a Flash Step Spike version, a two-handed overhead smash that can turn off an enemy's ability to fly.
  • In Little Fighter 2 Davis' Leap Attack is a low-powered Multihit Meteor. You can also do a Flash Step Spike by following up a Dragon Punch with a Leap Attack.
  • Ruru of Magical Battle Arena uses this for her melee special, using Flash Steps to pin ball her target around the air with her drill.
  • Ryu Hayabusa can do the Izuna Drop in both Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. In DOA he uppercuts the target with his bare hands before Flash Stepping or teleporting up and grabbing for the drop, while in NG he rises with his target after a rising slash and hits it three times before grabbing. NG also has other moves of this sort, like the Blade of Nirrti which is like the Izuna Drop except Ryu somersault-slashes the target down instead of grabbing and spinning.
  • Yugo from Bloody Roar gives a nasty combo of B+C and more. Specifically, he kicks and claws his opponent while flying up, then rapidly bites the opponent while falling down, and then twists his bite to tear off more flesh after the impact before finally jumping off the opponent and morphs back to human.
  • One of Konoha's supers in Arcana Heart has her and her doppelgangers smacking her opponent higher and higher into the air before they all converge to smash her opponent hard into the ground.
  • Henry of No More Heroes has one of the most spectacular ones: he impales Travis, flings him off the beam katana into the sky, at a 45-degree angle, jumps into the air and knocks him straight upwards after he's already a good forty feet up, and when he's high in the sky, leaps up once more, grabs him, hurls him downwards with a bodyslam, and finishes it by descending, standing on his beam katana, to impale Travis again, so hard it sends chunks of pavement flying. Needless to say, this is a One-Hit Kill.
  • Several special techniques in Disgaea fit this trope. There's too many to count that fit into the Flash Step Spike variety, and a few Flying Takedown ones (Generally possessed by the Mothman monster and axe wielders).
    • Disgaea 4 has the mother of all Flying Takedown examples with the aptly named Around The Moon spear skill, which has the user skewer the target, throw them along with the spear into the stratosphere, then intercept and ride the spear as it goes... around the moon before it ultimately smashes back into the world and creates a huge explosion.
  • BlazBlue: Iron Tager has several, all Flying Takedown. The two most powerful (including an instant kill where he carries an enemy into orbit before smashing them into the ground) are shown here
    • Makoto Nanaya has two and Tsubaki Yayoi has one (technically four, but it's the same move with different button inputs), both of them Flash Step Spikes. Taokaka has at least several, with a positively deadly Multihit Meteor being one of them. Valkenhayn has a mix of Flash Step Spike and Multihit Meteor, but only when in his Wolf form.
      • Technically, almost every character has at least a Flash Step Spike, but only in certain combos.
  • The Devil May Cry games allow you to smack enemies into the air and also considers enemy bodies as targets for wall-jumping. Hilarity ensues. For some reason this is far more satisfying to do in the first game, possibly because the game's combo reward system doesn't expect you to torment enemies like this.
  • In Super Robot Wars W, the Original Generation mecha (the Valhawk) uses a Meteor Move as part of its Limit Break, sending the enemy skywards with the Beam Shot Launcher, slashing at it in mid-air with its Ray Blade, then dropkicking the enemy back to earth (or whatever passes for it ... even in space) before catching up and tackling it along the ground. And even then there's more. Totally awesome, and very, very satisfying against some enemies.
  • Super Robot Wars Alpha's DaiRaiOh has two of these.
    • The aptly named Rising Meteo Inferno launches the target with a kick, catches them, launches them again, then flies after and delivers a Flash Step Spike meteor via a Rider Kick.
    • Jinrai has DaiRaiOh engulfed in a giant firebird aura, kicking the opponent, then jumping up and performing a Flying Takedown meteor dropkick that turns into a pillar of flame.
  • This is the standard finish of a combo in Sonic Battle. It works as Flash Step Spike, though Shadow's is a Flying Takedown.
  • Prototype: Alex Mercer can do a Flash Step Spike by the middle of his game. He can also (if you're good enough, and have invested in the right skills) throw someone, karate kick them in mid-air, and ride them to the ground.
  • In Red Steel 2, after the player unlocks "The Eagle" he can send his opponents flying into the air, at which point he has the option of flying up there and obliterating them however he sees fit. (This Troper's favorite technique is the shotgun.)
  • In the video game for the Spider-Man 2 movie, Spidey can do a Flash Step Spike after webbing up a crook and flinging them into the air. He can also do a Multihit Meteor by grabbing the foe, jumping into the air, and performing a piledriver all the way back to the ground. Especially cruel players can perform this move off the top of the Empire State Building.
    • And to make it better, you can spin the control stick during the move to make it a Zangief-style spinning piledriver.
  • Aerial Slam in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep is a variation of Flash Step Spike - the player hits their enemy into the air, flash-steps up to them and hits them even higher, then flash-steps to above them and knocks them down.
    • In addition to the aforementioned command, Kingdom Hearts 3D gives Riku the Rapid Descent ability, which allows him to perform a Flash Step Spike on any enemy that's been knocked skyward.
    • Riku also has Meteor Crash, which either has him jump in the air to do it, or you can jump yourself. It works well as this type of attack for airborn enemies, but it also sends down a storm of literal meteors that do insane amounts of damage. It's his strongest command.
  • In NieR, Kainé and Nier attempt to do a cutscene-style Finishing Move on Gretel by having the former kick the Shade dozens of feet into the air, while Nier leaps overhead and smashes it back down with his BFS. Unfortunately, not even this is enough to put Gretel out of its misery.
  • Final Fantasy XIII has a commando's smite ability, which finishes off a juggled opponent if their stagger meter is almost done draining as they attack, almost always guaranteeing an attack that hits the damage cap. An enemy actually uses one of these too, which leads to the ridiculous imagery of a giant plant monster doing a backflip jump before spiking you to the ground.
  • Dissidia: Final Fantasy has Onion Knight's Multi Hit to Extra Slice combo, Cloud's Climhazzard, Tifa's Meteor Strike, and Squall's Upper Blues. Some of Prishe's customized attacks result in this type of technique. Jecht's Ultimate Jecht Shot is a rather literal interpretation of the trope name — after knocking his opponent into the air with a combo, he catches a meteor, jumps into the air with the opponent being ground against it, then flings it and them to the ground.
  • The final battle of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow does this in the final battle against Satan, Gabriel and his enemy suddenly cause an Unexpected Genre Change and causes the final fight to go DBZ on you with the action command sequence, success or failure determins who gets spiked, with losing being a One-Hit Kill.
    • The finale of the last boss fight in Castlevanie Lords Of Shadow Mirror Of Fate has you do this against Dracula, with both characters falling through the air and the player having to dodge everything Dracula throws at him to catch up to him and stake him in the chest and send him crashing through the ground. [[spoiler:The reason the camera zooms out is because at the last minute Draculareverses this and stakes you in the chest.
  • Augus from Asura's Wrath does one of the most insane one of these ever. He uses an extendable blade to fling Asura off the moon and ram into the earth at Relativistic speeds, Slams Asura into the ground, and the blade slices through him, and the entire planet, and it keeps going.
  • In the Tekken games your most obvious way of doing this is to play as Baek Doo San or Hwoarang, launch your opponent high in the air with the Dragon Punch-like Snake Rocket move and catch them on the way down with the Hunting Hawk move, which involves a combination of a side kick, a roundhouse kick and an axe kick in a single jump. Yes, these are games with quasi-realistic 3D physics.
    • The latest Tekken installments, Tekken 6 and Tag 2 gave Devil Jin (and also Angel in Tag 2) a move that is called Hell's Gate in the in-game movelists. Basically, it's a sidestep into a massive uppercut that sends the opponent skyrocket style into the air, followed by your character teleporting above the foe and slamming him/her into the ground, and finishing with a laser beam at the grounded opponent. It does pretty high damage for a simple 3-hit combo.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, maxing out your hammerer skill and agility stat means you hit hard enough to send your foes flying horizontally through the air, and possibly run fast enough to intercept their flying bodies and meteor slam them into the ground.
  • Raikages ultimate move in the PSP game Naruto Shippuden, Ultimate Ninja Impact does a mean Flying Takedown with lightning as well called Liger Bomb. In the game he runs towards an opponent (Impact is the type of game where you battle many weaker foes at same time), and grabs him, then jumps, does a sit position to hold onto opponent, and then bomb drop him to the ground [[, whilst also damaging with [[http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Lightning_Release_Armour Lightning).
  • The Hulk can do moves like this in The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. One move is called the "air spike", where the Hulk can spike air-borne opponents like a volley ball. Another involes grabbing a helicopter by the nose, making it spin into the ground.
  • Saiki's human form can do this in The King of Fighters XIII with one of his supers. He'll launch his opponent into the air with a flip kick then teleport above them to deliver a mid-air beatdown that ends with a stomp to the head.
  • Tengu Man in Mega Man 8 does this to Mega Man if he catches him with his Tornado Hold.
  • Flame Stag in Mega Man X does this to X if he catches him with his Desperation Attack.
  • Some renditions of the recurring Tiger Blade arte in the Tales Series have the target get lifted into the air along with the user for the initial jumping slash, then spiked into the ground by the aerial followup.
    • Tales of the Abyss also has Fang Blade Havoc, which combines the Launcher Move properties of Fang Blade with Havok Strike to create a psuedo Tiger Blade.
    • In Tales of Xillia, doing a basic combo while linking may cause one character to perform a Launcher Move and then the other character to immediately jump up and spike the enemy downwards. Milla's Grave can also be used this way.
  • Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors has featured this trope, most prominently in the fourth Dynasty installment. Every character's 5th charge was a high Launcher Move, and following up with another tap of the charge button would cause the character to leap up after their enemy to strike them back down into the ground. In the first Samurai installment, many characters had this as their juggle chain option. This is no longer as universal, but still sometimes appears in some characters' movesets.
  • The Matrix Path Of Neo has an inverted Multihit Meteor example. Neo grabs the enemy and slams him 'up into the ceiling.

    Web Animation 
  • As an homage to Dragon Ball Z, Super Mario Bros. Z does this quite a bit. Usually, Mecha Sonic is the one doing the spiking, as he's generally a villainous Badass.
    • Both Mario and Mecha Sonic perform a Multihit Meteor: Mario against Axem Ranger Red, where he first slammed Red into the ground, then kicked him into the air and blasted him with a Kamehamehadoken-styled fireball; and Mecha Sonic also against Axem Ranger Red, where after a particular brutal trashing (and killing) of the other Axem Rangers, he finished Red by punching him towards the ground, catching him without us seeing him move, and then kicked him into the sky where he got vaporized by a Kamehamehadoken. Alvin Earthworm appears to have a thing for this kind of move.
      • It should be noted that Mecha Sonic caught him with his fist.
  • Similar to the above, the Sonic the Hedgehog fanimation Nazo Unleashed by Chakra-X also uses this frequently.
  • Occurs several times in the second season of RWBY. During the season-opening Food Fight Yang punches Ren into the air and leaps up to spike him into the ground. During her second fight with Torchwick Blake blasts him into the air with a Dust explosion and follows up with several midair slashes. Pyrrha does them during a sparring match with team CRDL, knocking Cardin into the air to then follow up with flurry of cuts, then grabbing him in a flying Spinning Piledriver.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 

Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2ImageSource/Video GamesDragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi
Mêlée à TroisFight SceneMid-Battle Tea Break
Metaphoric MetamorphosisAdded Alliterative AppealMetronomic Man Mashing

alternative title(s): Meteor Smash
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