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Air-Aided Acrobatics

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Forms of fictional media have physics which differ from Real Life. As such, it's not uncommon for there to be places where the main character must cross gaps which can barely be surpassed with a well-timed jump.

However, sometimes a character's jumping ability isn't great enough to let them cross a gap. Luckily, there just happens to be gusts of strong wind, of whatever nature, coming straight up through the chasm or from behind the ledge. As our hero jumps, the wind pushes with enough force to let them cross the otherwise-uncrossable gap. And so we have Air-Aided Acrobatics.

See also Jump Physics (especially Double Jump) and Vent Physics.

Almost guaranteed to show up in a Gusty Glade. Compare Rocket Jump, in which explosions aid the jump instead of wind.


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    Live-Action TV 
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus. Parodied in the "First man to jump the English Channel" sketch, where Ron Obvious hopes to jump from Dover into Calais with the help of (among other things) "a gust of breeze over the French coast".

    Video Games 
  • In American McGee's Alice, you could only move Alice off a steam vent's Gusty Glade. In Alice: Madness Returns you can make Alice jump off from it as well.
  • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest level Gusty Glade includes a few spots where you must time your jump so that the wind pushes you enough that you can make a jump. There are other times when that same tailwind will simply make you overshoot what you're aiming for.
  • Doritos Crash Course has fans throughout the course, including one section where you must float along as the fan moves across the gap.
  • In Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter for Wii, the Eastern Winds world has several of these. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out too well.
  • Played straight in the mobile game Early Bird.
  • Toward the end of Bushlands/Grasstown in Cave Story, you're required to make these kinds of jumps after activating the necessary fans.
  • The Guilty Gear series has something called Air Dashing, where most characters can rush backwards or forwards while in midair. This is actually justified in story, as a limitless energy source popularly known as 'magic' is used by many characters, one of which is Air magic.
  • The original Half-Life has a part where, by activating a fan underneath, you actually float up to the top of a shaft to enter an otherwise inaccessible vent. That must be one hell of a fan.
  • Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.: the Outskirts of Eden feature a single cliffside gap with an occassional ascending draft. You have to time your jump precisely to make it to the other side.
  • There are plenty of jumps in Icycle that would just be falls if not for thermal vents pushing you back up.
  • Jedi Outcast has it in the Cloud City levels.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] has a major one where Riku's boss fight in Le Cite Des Cloches has him almost literally walking on the heat waves that are rising from the burning city.
  • In Knytt Stories, there are sometimes updrafts Juni can float along on to reach otherwise inaccessible places and avoid floors and walls covered in spikes, but only if she uses her umbrella.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Deku Link can use the wind currents in the Stone Tower Temple to gain extra height. They become more common when the temple is upside down.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: There are small whirlwinds in the waters of the Great Sea that can help Link reach higher places while he's hovering with the Deku Leaf. Some examples include the tall structure from which Link can enter the Forbidden Woods, the flying racetrack of the Flight Control Platform, and a high spot housing a Blue ChuChu in Shark Island. The Wind Temple has wind currents generated by fans, including a very large one that is periodically created in the central room.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: When hanging from an Oocoo in the City in the Sky, Link can gain extra height with the help of the eolic setpieces present there. They become the only reliable way to make way through the dungeon until the second Clawshot is collected.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: Some wind geysers can be used to reach high places, and bombs can even be used in conjunction with them to blow up obstacles that are place too high. The areas you're jumping from/to are narrow enough that overshooting is ludicrously common.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Eldin Volcano features many hot steam sources that can catapult Link upwards using his sailcloth. It becomes really acrobatic in one section with three hot steam sources in a row, and no safe platform in between them.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes often has vertically-pointed fans that could give a slight aerial boost for the Links under normal circumstances, especially in the Sky Realm.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has cracked patches of earth that emit strong gusts of wind that give Link more vertical distance with the Paraglider, especially in the Hebra region.
  • LEGO Batman has fans that help lift you higher, as does LEGO Star Wars.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals has moving updrafts (Handwaved as being elven spirits), which Artea will need to make use of in several jumping puzzles.
  • Tengu Man's stage in Mega Man 8 features wind that alternates between giving you a boosting tail-wind and a hindering head wind. Either one has a chance of pushing you down a Bottomless Pit. A couple of weapons (Tornado Hold from 8 and Tornado Blow from Mega Man 9) allow you do do this at will.
  • The Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge has this during the spitting contest (watch the flags to see when you've got a tailwind).
  • Never Alone has this as a core mechanic. The movement of falling snow helps you predict when a big gust is about to come along. Most of the time it's a hazard, and you have to brace yourself to avoid being bowled over, but sometimes there are jumps you can't make unless you time your jump to coincide with the wind.
  • Ōkami:
    • The Galestorm brush technique allows Amaterasu to control the wind, which becomes handy when you have to jump between curtains that are blowing thanks to this ability.
    • The only way to get characters across gaps in the digging minigame is to use Galestorm to blow them across.
  • In Poptropica, parts of Steamworks Island, Time Tangled Island, and 24 Carrot Island include fans that can push you up.
  • The Windy Tree level (#10) in Prehistorik Man has wind coming from below, allowing to jump higher.
  • Scribblenauts has the Air Vent, an item which creates gusts of winds, which can be used to cross gaps. Unlike most examples of this trope, nearly every object in the game can perform Air-Aided Acrobatics through the use of a couple Air Vents, making it a Game-Breaker in action levels where you can push harmful objects out of the way and push helpful objects to you.
  • Snake Pass has updrafts in Bloh-Wee's realm that allows Doodle the hummingbird to carry the protagonist snake Noodle across large gaps.
  • Windy Valley in Sonic Adventure has Sonic literally running on the wind.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels has gusts of forward-moving wind that need to be used to trampoline over huge gaps.
    • Super Mario 64: Various levels in the game (but Tiny-Huge Island most notably) have a number of updrafts that spontaneously activate when you're over them, which will allow you to make a jump or, perhaps, save your life from a Bottomless Pit.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2: In Cloudy Court Galaxy, Mario and Luigi can take advantage of the Cloud Flower's ability to create clouds in conjunction with the windmill's blows to maneuver upward while the cloud platforms move along with the wind.
    • Mario & Luigi: Several jumping puzzles in the series involves the Bros catching visible whirlwinds in midair while performing their Spin Jump ability.
  • On of the blocks in Ultimate Chicken Horse is a large fan that blows air in one direction, pushing players that way. This includes upwards.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Molten Front area includes thermal vents in some areas, allowing characters to use the updrafts to leap much further than normal.
    • The Uldum dungeons Lost City of Tol`vir and Vortex Pinnacle both make use of these for transportation, and Throne of the Four Winds uses it as the boss' primary gimmick.

    Web Animation 
  • Dreamscape: Jasmine can spring up high by creating a current of air underneath her.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, airbending can be used to blow yourself around just as easily as other things/people.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Top Bolt" has Twilight and Rainbow Dash try to solve a friendship problem at the Wonderbolts Academy. It involves a pair of pegasus recruits with one of them creating gusts of wind with her wings to boost the other in the air for impressive stunts, without the latter knowing.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television in athletics, of course, although overly-tailwindy marks may be discounted.