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Projectile Platforms
The only dangerous part of a missile is its pointy end.

Games in general often have unrealistic physics when it comes to projectiles, but the more simplistic platformers sometimes take this to the extreme. Specifically, they'll let you jump on and ride atop one in mid-flight, without altering its perfectly-straight trajectory. Usually, if you screw up the jump TO the platform-projectile, the 'pointy' end will injure you. That is, of course, a problem for a One-Hit-Point Wonder.

A variant exists where you can't jump on the projectile mid-flight, but can use it after it's planted in a wall.

Compare Platform Battle, Stepping-Stone Sword, Stepping Stones in the Sky.

Often overlaps with the Cranium Ride.

Examples:

  • Ardy Lightfoot: In one level, your character has to jump up a long series of spears above a pit of lava, to reach more stable platforms above.
  • A staple gameplay mechanic of the Bubble Bobble series, where the players use their bubbles not only to attack and trap enemies, but can use them as platforms to make bubble-assisted leaps.
  • Mario games in general, particularly Super Mario Bros. 2, where you can ride on top of Birdo's eggs (and have to do so to get past at least one level).
    • Even better, you can pick up the egg in midair while you're riding it. Obviously, this cancels your forward momentum.
    • Bullet Bills are an aversion though as they get KO when you jump on them.
    • Super Princess Peach features spear-riding.
    • Para-Beetles are an aversion though, they either slowly fall down or rise up when stood on, and reset to normal when Mario jumps off.
  • Contra 3 has one stage where you must jump from one air-to-air missile to another while they are headed at subsonic speed for the ultimate Bad Thing you are trying to destroy.
  • In Super Metroid, Kraid shoots out claw things that you must jump on in order to reach his head, where his weak point is once he breaks the first ceiling and rises to full height.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has two bosses that do this, both of them during their final phase: Mecha Birdo and Kraidgief (Their names are a big hint). Mecha Birdo's been spitting big egg platforms at you all battle, but during the final phase, the little warhead things on the tip become active and if you touch them, your One-Hit-Point Wonder is dead. Kraidgief throws Blankas at you for his final phase that you have to jump on to get level with his head so you can shoot him.
  • The 3rd castle boss in Mega Man 7 shoots out missiles that you can jump on. It's not strictly required to jump on them to hit him, but it makes it a lot easier.
    • The Super Arrow powerup from 5 allows Mega Man to fire a projectile which he can then ride.
    • The first phase of the Wily Machine in 10 shoots gigantic missiles at you at various speeds, which you must jump on to get enough height to shoot its weak point.
  • Slightly used in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, albeit in a cutscene rather than in gameplay: Snake leaps onto a rocket fired by a Hind D helicopter and then instantly bounces off of it to fire a Stinger missile at the cockpit.
  • An Untitled Story requires you to jump on Fluffy's missiles to get high enough to attack him; though they get knocked out of the sky when you do so, the "Ok if you jump on it, not ok if you touch the pointy end" rule still applies.
  • Several levels of Jumper and Jumper Two require you to bounce of cannonballs to negotiate Bottomless Pits.
  • The Prehistorik series uses wall-climbing version with spears.
  • Mushroom Kingdom Fusion uses the wall-climbing version with Link's arrows.
  • In the final level of Psychonauts, evil clowns spit swords at you, and the strategy is not to fight back but to get those swords lodged in a nearby rotating wheel (a reference to the classic circus knife-throwing act) and use them as swinging poles to reach the next platform. (During an Escort Mission, no less.)
  • In Mitsume ga Tooru, Hosuke can jump on the Red Condor after throwing it.
  • Sonic Adventure: Happens during the Egg Viper fight.
    • The boss of Aquatic Ruin in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 can only be reached if Sonic jumps onto the arrows fired by the totem poles after they embed themselves on something. This is done again with the boss of Lost Labyrinth in Sonic the Hedgehog 4.

Non-video game examples:

  • According to Axe Cop, one example of an awesome weapon would be "...a blade gun that shoots a giant blade, then you surf on it, and cut the bad guy's body off."
  • Parodied in Chainsawsuit ("hard action squad returns").
  • Jack Rakan of Mahou Sensei Negima! does it with a thrown BFS after locating a pair of enemies.
  • Mercenary Tao in Dragon Ball uses this method of travel.
  • One of the moments in Tai Lung's escape from his prison in Kung Fu Panda; although he couldn't catch or ride the gigantic crossbow bolts as they were shot at him, he did toss them back against the wall and swing between them to get out.
  • Admiral Kizaru of One Piece has the ability to control, become, and move at the speed of, light. He likes to come ashore to an island by firing a cannonball and standing on it.
    • Vander Decken travels quick distances by tossing a big chunk of something nearby and riding upon it to its destination. It helps that he has the ability to imbue anything he throws with homing ability.

Parasol ParachuteVideo Game PhysicsRagdoll Physics
Lily Pad PlatformImprovised IndexStepping Stones in the Sky
Mega Man 7ImageSource/Video GamesMega Man 9

alternative title(s): Projectile Platform
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