For the next three hundred years, people who needed to get to the second floor used the only method available to them: shooting a rocket launcher at their feet. Yes, it was ridiculous, crippling, and awful, but what are you going to do? Not go to the second floor? Thatís where your bed is.
A technique most commonly encountered in First-Person Shooter games, Rocket jumping involves explosives (often rockets, obviously, but grenades or other explosives and items can be used in the same way) used to propel the player to normally unreachable places. Depending on the game, this might either be the only way to jump, or it has to be combined with timed jumps for full effect. Rarely is this practice implemented as a necessary skill in the game itself (Nitro Family, for subversive example, utilizes air-juggling your opponent with rockets and shooting them with other weapons while they are airborne to gain buying-points). When developers began realizing the potential of this trick, they thought to hide Easter Eggs and secrets with it. On the other hand, rocket jumping has also been used, with incredible effect, to completely humiliatestructural efforts used by developers to streamline your gaming experience.
In most cases, this technique will hurt the player, so he has to consider the sacrifice of health (including possible fall damage) versus the benefit of the jump. In the case of the Video Game Doom in one of the levels where you would do a Rocket Jump to get to an otherwise unreachable region, this potential for severe damage was averted by providing access to an invulnerability sphere you could use before using the rocket to launch yourself into the special area; thus the damage would be zero in that case.
With that in mind, rocket jumping is either considered as an exploit of a game engine processing physics and explicit numerical damage, or considered as an acceptable break from reality in video games that just emphasizes how tough your One-Man Army really is. The game has to take into account, among possible other considerations: movement across the 'z'-axis (3D) or Y-axis (2D), splash damage that produces a kickback effect on both the player character and enemies, that rockets do not kill in one hit as a specific function of being hit with a rocket, and that explosive damage is dealt rather liberally (to accommodate armor loss/reduction, frequently utilized as in the Serious Sam series, where the amount of armor can actually help influence the height of your jump). At the very least, the game attempts and fails at properly applying or understanding impulse and momentum.
A weapon designed with mobility in mind is a tactical Healing Shiv. Generally unrelated to the Jetpack. Compare Explosion Propulsion, the cinematics only version of this trope also found in movies and TV. For a less explosive version, see Recoil Boost. For versions in which something other than the character is launched via an explosion, see Gas Cylinder Rocket.
Not to be confused with "Rocket Dive," which is somethingelseentirely.
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In a non-violent variant, sealing off several steam vents in one of the Ages from Uru lets you achieve an identical effect to a Rocket Jump when you jump from on top of the remaining vent. The blast of concentrated steam allows you to rise high enough to reach otherwise-inaccessible locations.
Super Smash Bros. is probably the only fighting game series that has rocket jumping to a significant extent.
Samus has this with the down-special Bomb in Melee and Project M, and so do Link and Young Link (though the applications of the latter work differently).
Ivysaur's down-aerial was upgraded to be this as a recovery move in Project M.
Deathmatch Classic, Valve's tribute to Quake which was released in 2001 has a rpg which you can rocket jump with.
Quake popularized the modern concept of aiming a rocket at your feet, jumping, and firing a rocket immediately after to gain a much higher altitude. It was initially discovered as a glitch, but was left in the game for one reason or another. Also a very important staple of Quake's sequels. It is used extensively here, especially after 3:20
In Quake III: Arena, id managed to hit a very good ratio for the damage rockets inflict, knockback, and their speed in units per second. As such, rocket jumping became such an integral part of Quake 3 that an entire mod and subculture of the game was based around being able to conquer maps based on rocket jumping, plasma, strafing, and over bouncing technique. Exemplified in its height here.
Tribes allowed players to shoot the Spinfusor (explosive blue frisbee launcher) at their feet for insane speed boosts and massive jumps; firing a spinfusor while jumping in the Classic mod for Tribes 2 allows you to jump well over a hundred meters into the air. In Ascend, pathfinder class has impact nitrons which can effectively used for extra boost due to their relatively low damage.
Doom was one of the first FPSs to feature this, albeit as a horizontal push rather than vertical jump. (This was particularly notable as Doom didn't have any actual jump button.) Marathon (with grenades), Quake, and Unreal Tournament followed.
Doom episode 3 has an exit to a secret level that is supposed to be accessed with this method. An invulnerability powerup is provided to assist the player in doing so. However, it is also possible to strafe-run into the secret, though much more difficult.
While it was possible to do a literal rocket-jump in Unreal Tournament, the method recommended by the game's tutorial was to use the Impact Hammer — a melee-only weapon that was essentially a powerful pneumatic piston which inexplicably could cause splash damage (including a slight push) to the wielder if "fired" at a nearby surface (like, say, the ground).
Taken to its logical conclusion with the practice of "trickjumping", in which rocket damage is turned off for the purpose of setting up complicated and difficult jumps. Need we ask why? Multiple examples can be found in this video, by the ambitiously-titled Infinite Trajectory team.
Several secrets in the Quake games, including a secret level in the second game, require rocket or grenade jumping to reach.
Quake II had an area that could only be reached by rocketjumping. It contained several goodies, and would trigger the message "You crazy rocket jumpers!".
An open-source game Xonotic has a laser gun designed for this. Minimal damage, but quite a lot of push. Rockets will get you even higher.
In Team Fortress 2, the Soldier and the Demoman can do this with rockets and stickybombs respectively. In theory, every class can do it, but only if an enemy shoots them (since there is no friendly fire). Of course, the technique was already present in the original. Both classes since received weapons specifically designed to be used to train this technique, as they deal no damage.
The Soldier was consciously designed to rocket jump. Meet the Soldier features a rocket jump, and one game update even gave rocket jumping Soldiers a neat visual effect (their shoes catch fire, which somehow jets downwards like rocket exhaust). Becoming the final winner of the "War!" update gave him the Gunboats: shoes that replace his secondary weapon and reduce damage from his own rockets by 60%. The Uber Update also gave the Soldier the Mantreads, which adds Goomba Stomp to his Rocket Jumps.
The Beggar's Bazooka has a less intended, but even more effective, version: The explosions caused by overloading the launcher are much stronger than a normal rocket, and set off right next to the Soldier even while airborne. The result is essentially an explosion-powered jetpack that lets him cross the map in seconds.
Pyros can launch themselves with the assistance of an explosive projectile belonging to the other team. It actually ends up requiring even more effort than a regular rocket jump, due to the tighter timing, greater need for coordination, and the generally increased chance of being messily reduced to bits of asbestos suit and rubber. So called W+M2 Pyros are known for such stunts, among others.
The Pyro later got a flare gun called The Detonator, which allows players to rocket jump with relative ease. Compared to rockets and stickies, the distance the Pyro can fling himself is extremely small. It's closer to the Scout's Double Jump than the Soldier's rocket jump. Applications are limited, but it can allow Pyros to access routes that were otherwise just barely out of reach.
The Demoman can also jump using his grenade launcher: although it's both trickier and less effective, it is the only option when using a loadout without stickybombs. The Loose Cannon makes doing this more effective, working much like the Beggars Bazooka above in that you can have the explosion be right in front of you if you hold down fire for long enough.
Since his update, the Engineer can manually fire his sentry's rockets to use them for rocket jumping. That way, he can reach places inaccessible for most classes (and place a teleporter exit on there). This is only one method of the "Sentry Jump", but the others are non-explosive and thus not this trope.
Team Fortress Classic had it, too. Rocket-jumping was possible with the Soldier's rockets, the Demoman's pipebombs, or with any kind of grenade, although grenades dealt significantly more damage. Since you could only deal armor damage against team mates in non-friendly fire games, you could also assist your teammates by rocket jumping them, and it was a particularly favored tactic in games like Hunted, where it would let the President bypass several nasty sniping points. Particularly effective grenade jumps could be performed with the concussion grenade (basically a flashbang) used by Scouts and Medics, as it had much greater knockback/lift and it dealt a completely minimal amount of damage, making the Medic one of the preferred flag-capturing units. Notably difficult maps, such as 2fort, made flashbang jumps the only way to fly.
At least one map (epicenter) was completely broken due to the aforementioned practice of "concussion jumping". The point of said map was to carry a flag to a point in your enemy's base, and the map reset once this was done, after which the flags were locked up for a minute. On most servers with sufficiently skilled players, the match quickly devolved into races between the team's opposing scouts/medics, as two well-placed concussion jumps would take you from just outside the building where your flag was to the capture point. Everything and everyone else was irrelevant. It's breakage like this that led to grenades being removed altogether from Team Fortress 2.
It's possible to do this with grenades in Halo, but due to their effect, this is usually done for fun, not for gameplay purposes. Especially entertaining is the ability to create chain reactions with grenades on the ground combined with the invincibility of vehicles?
Halo 2 had a collection of hidden skulls that could affect the games mechanics. For example you could find a skull that allowed Master Chief to turn invisible for a short duration instead of having a wimpy flashlight. Another skull made all headshots pop people like plasma grenades. One essential skull to get that allows you to even get the rest of these skulls was the one appropriately called Sputnik. This skull made all knockback caused by explosions and melee attacks about 5 times as powerful. This also lead to players getting the bigger than big BFG of the game to play around with. This of course was only available on the games hardest difficulty. The effects also didn't save meaning players had to either leave their XBoxes on indefinitely or have multiple campaigns going on at once all with auto saves just moments before grabbing the skulls.
There's a map situated on an island with a makeshift base in the centre consisting of an extremely tall Forerunner relic. Human prop-up-covers are placed on the map strategically. By pushing one (through melees) to the base of the relic, standing on the folded-down handle on the defenders' side of the cover (located on the ground to give the shield stability), and firing a handheld rocket launcher rocket directly into the shield, the explosive force that tilts the shield forward - and therefore the handle up to lift you off the ground - is enough to launch you high enough to get on top of the relic. Even more amusing is because of how high you really are, the horizon doesn't exist anymore - there is the end of the ocean polygons and the end of the skybox texture, separated by a thick black line. However, because of the massive blast damage the game gives you for rocket explosion proximity, one has to start the match so that player shield (health) capacity is increased three-fold (Overshield).
Also in Halo 2, several of the multiplayer levels allowed you to grenade jump up to an area that you normally couldn't get to. If you brought a fully loaded sniper rifle (and were playing against people who didn't know you could get up there or how to get you down), you could get quite a few kills before killing yourself or jumping down in order to reload.
Halo 3 sometimes requires it to collect hidden bonus items, however. It should also be noted that this should only be done with frag grenades in these games. Plasma grenades, spike grenades, and rockets will kill you instantly if you try to pull this.
Since this was the only way to jump in the earlier Marathon (aside from ramping off stairs,) it was required for many later levels. Marathon also allowed normal gunfire recoil to amplify existing jumps, known as gun-climbing.
This is what many players thought "frog blast the vent core" meant.
The flamethrower can do this on low gravity maps, since its kick is stronger than the reduced gravity. Simply point it down, hold the trigger, and presto! Improvised Jet Pack. Some physics model Game Mods would enhance this by giving the flamethrower negative recoil and increasing it several fold to give it more of a jetpack-like quality.
In Half-Life 2: Episode 2, there is a point where you must do a grenade jump (protected by a metal plate, as Gordon is not that dumb) if you want that rocket launcher. Succeeding earns you an Achievement - Gordon Propelled Rocket.
It's impossible to do this with the rocket launcher, though - you go up maybe three feet, and you lose about a third of your health.
In Battlefield Vietnam, grenades sent players flying to when hit by one. One day it was discovered that friendly players were affected by this as well when friendly fire was off. The best results happened when a friendly player laid down on a grenade, which sent a player flying upwards. Combined with the ability to instantly deploy a parachute to avoid fall damage this tactic was used to fly over walls and on top of buildings. This was later patched by taking away all force to grenades, meaning that corpses and players stayed put when killed. In later Battlefield games this was fixed by making grenades damage all players.
This is known as C4 Jumping in Battlefield 2. With Friendly Fire off, players can dump all 5 C4 packs on the ground, stand a little in front, and blast away! The tallest buildings can be reached in a single bound. This can also be done with manned friendly vehicles, and with enough C4 players and proper timing, such a loaded vehicle can literally fly across the entire map in seconds! (Maps take ten minutes or so to cross on foot!)
In Battlefield 1942, someone once used a similar method to jump over a large windmill in a Jeep. In addition, artillery shells sent corpses flying - or, occasionally, living soldiers. These usually died on landing, but it was possible to parachute to safety if the player is fast enough.
This tradition is proudly carried on in Battlefield 3, as seen here.
In Dark Forces you can lay down a mine, stand on top of it, and use the resulting explosion to access higher areas, or places you aren't supposed to see that exist for technical reasons.
Painkiller disables rocket-jumping in the single-player mode, requiring the player to use other, more creative means to find the secrets. In multiplayer, on the other hand, the game has a dedicated button for rocketjumping.
Daikatana took rocket jumping to the extremes, the game featured 4 episodes, each episode with it's own set of weapons, and every weapon set had more than one weapon capable of rocket jumping (from traditional explosives like rocket launchers and C4, to a burst-firing shotgun with ridiculous recoil, a Ballista, magical staffs shooting meteors and a gun firing land mines).
Warsow, being designed as a faster-paced Quake has a Rocket Jump which can be done with a rocket launcher, instagib and a gun blade. In some modes, self-damage is removed.
Assault Cube got more sane Rifle jump (using recoil). Grenade jumping kind-of-works too — provided there was enough armor to survive the damage — but leaves the performer both severely wounded and shell-shocked. The latter isn't removed by medi-kits.
At some point, somebody realized that the Splash Damage from the Phoenix in Perfect Dark (which is fairly minor compared to other explosives) could be used to propel the player forward at greater than normal speeds. This has little utility outside of speedruns, though.
Dystopia allows you to Rocket Jump in meatspace as well as cyberspace. The latter is much more important in building up speed, and occasionally in getting past obstacles, though only on one map is it required to get past something.
In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess you can do a bomb jump by dropping a bomb and powering up one of your jumping techniques. If you time it just right, you can reach various ledges you weren't meant to walk on. Most of the time falling out of bounds though as the ground isn't completely solid up there.
On the other hand, the other kind of bomb-jumping used in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (using a bomb to propel you horizontally, ignoring pits and other hazards), while not required, was useful in a couple stages—at the least, Dark World Level 3 to escape from that one room (you know the one), and in Ganon's Tower to access a faerie spring. A lot of romhacks of the game do require it, to the annoyance of No Damage Runners.
Goblins in World of Warcraft can use the rockets on their tool belts to propel themselves forward, engineers also get shot straight up if their rocket boots (Normally a running speed increase) malfunction
Cannoneers in MapleStory have Cannon Jump, which has the added bonus of not damaging the character.
Tristana of League of Legends has this as her 2nd spell in which she propels herself into the air and causes AoE damage where she lands, With no damage to herself, though its a risky move to use, often leaving her open to attack.
Engineers in Guild Wars 2 can do this when armed with a rifle. Not only does it not damage the player, it's used to Goomba Stomp whoever's beneath them when they land.
Metroid has Samus' Bomb Jump, which is used in her Morph Ball form. It's often the only way to jump in that form, or normal ball-jumping isn't available until later. Unlike the other examples, this doesn't hurt Samus.
There are two peculiar intricacies to the Morph Ball Bomb: they can be laid in midair, and they don't obey gravity. This results in a technique known as the Double Bomb Jump, which requires timing bombs so that she gets propelled up to a midair bomb just as it goes off, propelling her even further. In some of the Metroid games, it's possible to do a triple-, or even ''unlimited''-bomb-jump, with the right timing of bomb placement and the bomb-restock counter.
Metroid Prime: Hunters also includes a bona fide Rocket Jump: if Samus fires a missile (or certain other weapons) at the ground, she takes damage and gets knocked into the air a bit. This is useful for Sequence Breaking and speed running. It doesn't work in the console Metroid Prime games (but in turn, most of the good tricks in those games don't work in Hunters).
In Jazz Jackrabbit 2 you can use the Rocket powerups to propel yourself along 2 walls if they are next to each other, as a kind of Wall Jump.
One of the logbooks in action/strategy/platformer Iji describes an alien military game where one player wearing ridiculously heavy armor is thrown into the air by rockets and other explosive munitions; it even mentions juggling the player with rockets. This is a not-so-subtle hint to get hit by enemy attacks and use your own Splash Damage to fling yourself into otherwise inaccessible areas. To reach one secret area you must blow yourself up nine times (The very first thing you get upon reaching that area is a dialog from Iji: THAT HURT!!"). In a less extreme application, you can use the recoil of the Nuke weapon to hurl yourself across gaps with too little headroom to jump over.
Technically possible to achieve in Spelunky, although since bombs generally do around 30 to 50 damage in a game where you're unlikely to ever have more than 10 health, you'd be better served just using a rope. Still, custom maps occasionally make use of this.
"Flint jumps" are a traditional part of races and method to bypass obstacles in battles in Clonk. With timed explosives (and a lot of health) it's possible to do a (mostly horizontally-propelling) mid-air flint jump as well. There's also a fan-made scenario where players compete to see who can blow themselves the furthest.
One of the bomb parts in Custom Robo is made for this: It does no damage, has the highest possible recoil, and fires at your feet.
In Dungeons of Dredmor, this is one of the skills granted to you by the Clockwork Knight skill. You take a bit of fire damage when taking off, but so do all the monsters around you, and you can also damage and stun any monster in the space in which you land.
This is possible, but very tricky, in Minecraft. Unless it's an adventure map, you'd be better off just placing a couple blocks and making a stairway. However, using a splash potion of harming can double your jump height and is much safer than the previously suggested TNT.
The "Rhino boost" in the Grand Theft Auto games (from III onwards) is a variation on this. When driving the Rhino tank, you can turn the turret around so that it is pointed behind you. The recoil created by firing the cannon provides you with a speed boost, which easily turns one of the slowest vehicles in the game into one of the fastest. Combine that with the fact that any vehicle that the Rhino so much as bumps into explodes, as well as the vehicle's astounding durability, and the Rhino practically becomes a Game Breaker. San Andreasnerfed this ability, though it came back in the later Stories games.
Kallen in Code Geass uses her Guren's Radiant Wave to jump after the Lancelot on at least one occasion. The Lancelot itself seems to be able to use its slash harkens to vault itself into the air before it gets a flight module.
Tested in a few different ways by the Mythbusters, including the 'use an explosion to propel a jumping human' and 'use an explosion to cushion a fall' variants. Understandably, neither method worked in the slightest.
The Orion Engine, a proposed starship drive that could be built with today's technology, which does this with nukes. The ship is protected by a large shield (the "pusher plate") and some enormous shock absorbers. The pusher plate is in turn protected from the heat by spraying oil onto it between shots. Sadly, the Orion Engine falls under current laws banning nukes in space, so we're giving up one of our only currently technologically feasible methods of near lightspeed travel... if you consider 5% the speed of light "near".
Freddie Wong has a video literally called "Rocket Jump", where he recreates a Team Fortress 2-style rocket jump in order to bypass a mounted machine gun using VFX.
He has also since named his production company Rocket Jump, sorry if you were looking for that instead of the trope.
In The Adventures of Riot Shield Man and Knife Man...Guy, Riot Shield Man performed a rocket jump in order to riot shield Justin Bieber's helicopter. His teammates then question why he didn't use the rocket launcher to shoot down the helicopter.
Referenced in a Robot Chicken skit where one of Santa Claus's reindeers attempts to rescue a little boy from a well through tactical use of hand grenades. The reindeer loses his own legs in the process, and the little boy is rescued by actual EMT workers.
The Secret Saturdays: In "Where Lies the Engulfer", Zak uses the blast from one of Doyle's grenades to propel himself through a skylight.