Typically, the fight starts on solid ground at the top of a building or some other high point. The fight closes in on its climax and the combatants are too engaged in the fighting to really notice they're now falling toward a pavement-splattering end. On the other hand, both of them are usually too powerful to really be harmed by any impact, or they can avoid it by usage of a super power. A middle ground scenario is that the landing impact would be the climax of the battle that determines who would be left standing.
A free-falling fight illustrates a strong conflict between the protagonist and antagonist, where the death of the other is more important than the death of oneself.
If those falling are falling in love instead of being locked in combat, it's Free-Fall Romance.
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children features a free-fall fight during the climactic battle between Cloud and the returned Sephiroth. If you assume that Final Fantasy VII's planet has the same mass and atmospheric density as ours, it's possible to calculate the height of the Shinra building off of which they fall (though "fall" is a poor approximation of the complexity of what's happening to them, not least because Sephiroth can warp gravity and fly), and it is at least 2.8 miles tall or more.
- Afro Samurai vs. Afro-Droid, part 2. Afro-Droid could fly, so the freefall portion was entirely its choice.
- This fight is also carried over to the video game adaptation.
- Black★Rock Shooter vs. Dead Master in the OAV.
- Before it was typical for characters to know how to fly, this was common in fights in Dragon Ball. Case in point, the end of the the Tien Shinhan arc climaxes in one of these as Tien blows up the ring, forcing Goku and him to take to the air and try to knock the other toward the ground with whomever touching it losing via ring out. Goku winds up losing as while he manages to knock Tien further to the ground. He collides with a car and hits the ground first.
- In Tower of God, Urek engages with Viole in a fight that's partially free fall, inside a giant monster that just turned on it's belly.
- At one point in Blassreiter, flying Combining Military Mashup Machine has to separate as it was the only chance to win. Thing is, only one of three components was able to fly on its own, so they climbed as high as possible before dropping and tried to finish their respective targets before two of three are squashed.
- Happens a few times One Piece first time was when Luffy had just beaten the evil pirate Don Krieg, but Krieg doesn't take defeat well and throws iron net around Luffy planing to sink him when they hit the water Taking You with Me. But Luffy just uses his rubber powers to swing Krieg down like a mace, taking him out.
- Chefof Iron Sanji became the staple of the "free fall flight" having the most examples of it so far, first when he was fighting the Wolf Man Jabra during the climax of their fight they were falling down the Tower of Justice. Jabra stabs Sanji with his claws but Sanji with his burning leg sends the Wolf-Man to ground first and then lands on his feet like a badass.
- During the Time Skip Sanji has learned the "Sky Walk" enabling him with the power to give the finger to gravity and physics and kick the air so fast he can move around in the air, Not Quite Flight. This how Sanji defeated the giant Wadatsumi by kicking him into the sky, falling alongside him and then finishing him off with a hell fire kick.
- Zoro does it twice, once during a non-canon movie against his "sword buddy" Saga and another time against giant Pica, Zoro (never one for complicated plans) has one of his allies throw him at high speeds at the stone giant and then slices him up in mid-air.
- The Franky vs. Fukuro fight which resulted in the two fighting over a waterfall and trying to finish each other once they were above land. Franky wins.
- Freesia vs. Jubei's Freefall Fight in the second season of Jubei-chan. This was also the season's Growing the Beard.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz scales things up: Heero and Wu Fei start off dueling in low Earth orbit, but during a Blade Lock they plunge through the atmosphere, stop fighting long enough to worry about re-entry, then start fighting again. While Wing Zero can fly, Altron/Nataku can't, which is why the fight falls under this trope and not High-Altitude Battle.
- The Tower of Druaga has one of these. On a series of frozen pillars. In a tower a mile up. Did we mention only one of these characters can actually fly, and the one who actually wins it jumps with no ropes or other aid?
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's had Yusei and Ushio continuing to duel while falling down an elevator shaft.
- The final battle with Ragyo Kiryuin in Kill la Kill.
- Played with in Durarara!!: In the finale, Celty after regaining her head and realizing just how inhuman she is, decides to leave Ikebukuro via a shadowy staircase in the sky. However, Shinra having convinced Kasane to loan him Saika gets Shizuo to chuck him into the sky after Celty. Afraid for Shinra's safety, Celty attempts to catch him as they go into free-fall, at which point Shinra takes out Saika and severs Celty's head. It's only by miracle Celty is able to get a hold of herself in time to save him.
- Also in the finale season, after Izaya fails to kill Shizuo, as Celty intervened at the last second, Shizuo grabs a hold of the scaffolding Izaya was standing on and shakes it until the informant loses his balance and falls. As Izaya tries to turn himself around in the air to save himself, Shizuo grabs a conveniently placed steel beam and hits Izaya into an adjacent building.
- Happens twice in The Bridge during the finale of two arcs involving brawls between kaiju.
- The final battle against Enijin involves Kaizer X figuring out his opponents weakness of not being able to heal when not in contact with the ground and using Aria Blaze as a Living Battery. He promptly blasts Enjin off the side of the plateau they'd been fighting on and hits him with an energized Diving Kick strong enough to expose Aria's prison. After some freefalling blows and grapples, X punches into the cracked core and rips Aria out to kill Enjin.
- The latter half of the battle with Grand King Ghidorah against Xenilla and Godzilla Junior involves this as while Ghidorah and Xenilla can fly, Junior can't. At least at first, turning it into a High-Altitude Battle.
- Child of the Storm features two in the sequel, both featuring Harry - one, against Dracula, which he decisively loses, and the other, against the Elder Wyrm, as part of a brutal extended brawl from core to upper atmosphere and back down again that he ends up winning (with help from Thor, Wanda Maximoff, Dumbledore, and MI13).
- In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Gandalf fights the Balrog while falling into the chasms of Moria. In both this and the book, they hit a lake on the bottom, but they are both too powerful to be killed by the impact.
- The A-Team film has the fight between the team's tank and two Reaper UCAVs. It is Awesome.
- The Matrix
- Happens in The Matrix Reloaded, when Trinity is thrown out of a window, and the agent jumps after her. They are both shooting at each other. This is one of the examples of where not only does she hit the ground, but it's a significant plot point.
- In The Matrix Revolutions, Neo has a climactic battle against Agent Smith where both combatants fly and float in the air, at one point one slamming the other into the ground. This and some other acrobatic scenes were filmed on NASA's Vomit Comet zero-G training plane.
- Shoot 'em Up has this one toward the end of the movie as its second-to-last major shoot-out.
- In Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Agent Fox (Rob Corddry) leaps out of an airplane without wearing a parachute just so he can shoot at the title heroes on the way down.
- Happens between Johnny and Bohdi in Point Break (1991).
- In Crank, Chev Chelios and the baddie he's been chasing the whole movie have one. Chev wins the fight, and dies anyway. He gets better.
- In TRON: Legacy, happens between Clu and Rinzler after the latter crashes their Lightjets together, to seize the remaining Lightjet rod.
- The beginning of Moonraker. Although this fight was actually over a parachute.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Harry grabs Voldemort and they plunge off of the Astronomy Tower together. Being a wizard, Voldemort does that Apparation-like black-smoke move to fly around the castle, both fighting each other the whole time, until they both crash into the ground, non-fatally.
- This was parodied in MAD:
Voldermort: Hold it I don't remember you grabbing me and pulling me off a 500-foot tower!Harry: Would you rather make this just like the book? Where we stand around talking for half hour then have a 2-second battle?Voldermort: Good point GERONIMOOOOO!!!!!
- This was parodied in MAD:
- In Blade II, Blade and Nomak fall off a gantry mid-fight and fall all the way to the floor, each still grappling and punching all the way down.
- In Pacific Rim, Gipsy Danger and Slattern continue duking it out while they plummet into the rift, ending with Gipsy Danger killing Slattern by frying him with its Chest Blaster.
- In Black Panther (2018), T'Challa tackles Killmonger into the hyperloop, where they exchange strikes in midair, right after witnessing Killmonger almost murder Shuri, his sister. Unusually for this trope, the fight is realistically short before they land on the transport tracks; both combatants are empowered by the Heart-Shaped Herb and wearing vibranium combat suits, allowing them to survive the landing and continue the fight on solid ground.
- When in Wyvern's Spur the hero transformed into a big wyvern fights another guy in the dragon form, they ends up wrestling, and can't keep their altitude.
- Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty, grappling with each other as they plunge over the Reichenbach Falls (supposedly).
- Spiral ends with two of these between Jiggs and a Limiter and between Drake and Rebecca One.
- In the Battlestar Galactica episode "Razor", a young William Adama collides with a Cylon fighter in atmosphere, forcing both to eject. The Cylon, apparently upset by this turn of events, attempts to shoot Adama while falling to its death. Unfortunately for the Cylon, a handgun is a poor choice of weapons while moving at terminal velocity and it fails to hit Adama.
- In GARO, the first battle between Saejima Kouga/GARO and Suzumura Rei/ZERO started out as an ordinary melee/sword fight and turn into this after they transformed into their armors while jumping to the top of two adjacent skyscrapers, in which after that, they proceed to fight while falling hundreds of feet between the skyscrapers. It's awesome.
- And later in the TV-movie Beast of the White Night, we have a fight scene in a forest where gravity has been turned on its side, turning all the trees into hazardous vertical obstacles.
- The Flash (2014): In "Enter Zoom", since Zoom is faster than Barry, Barry attempts to even the odds by making them both run off a building. Since neither of them can fly, Zoom's speed advantage is negated since both can only fall at terminal velocity. Unfortunately, Zoom gets the better of the midair brawl and forces Barry to take the brunt of the impact with the ground.
- The PS1 game of Ghost in the Shell had its final battle as this. The final boss, on top of the tallest skyscraper in the city, proceeds to blow up like any other....before ramming THROUGH the explosion to shove both of you off the building, whereby you have to defeat him in 90 seconds while slowly turning in midair before you hit the bottom and die.
- Part of the fight against Erynnis' One-Winged Angel form in God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
- In Metal Slug 3, the final boss fight. You end up falling through the atmosphere while battling the alien overmind. And use his dead body as a platform to protect yourself from the impact.
- The final boss of 6 also does this once it takes enough damage. Interestingly, it becomes invulnerable, and you're supposed to Hold the Line while it fires showers of destructible projectiles. Eventually, it falls to its death while you manage to cling onto the side of the shaft.
- Get close enough to a dragon in PS3's Lair and you can enter a grappling match during freefall.
- The penultimate boss battle of Kirby's Adventure and its remake is an Unexpected Shmup Level in freefall. The ground acts as an Advancing Wall of Doom, though it's hard to tell because the ground doesn't appear until the player takes too long.
- The final boss battle in Kirbys Dreamland 2 is also a free fall battle, but instead of outright killing Kirby, he just takes damage until he's dead.
- In the fourth level of Cybernator, you have to survive atmospheric reentry and freefall, chuteless, while fending of waves of assault suits until your rescue arrives.
- The final level of Batman: Vengeance is this. Simply put, the Joker has jumped out of his airship with Batman in hot pursuit. Batsy has to contend with thrown Joker cards, exploding balloons, and hot lead from the Joker's tommy-gun. At the end, when he's thrown the last punch and grabbed the Joker in time, the Batwing appears and Batman grapples his way into the cockpit. This fight is timed. Bats would survive but not the Joker. The Have a Nice Death message reminds you, "Death is no substitute for justice."
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II has the Jedi protagonist fighting a giant monster with Force Lightning while they free fall to the surface of the planet.
- The Final Boss of Mega Man Zero 4, is fought in a huge space-station the size of a small country that is barreling towards the planet at high speeds. The main villain is intent on slamming into the last vegetation on the planet to force the world into extinction, and the hero is focused on destroying him and breaking the satellite so it breaks apart and burns up harmlessly in reentry. Needless to say the hero wins, and everything on the satellite is destroyed. A Bittersweet Ending for the human race having just survived, but at the loss of its greatest hero.
- In The Deadly Tower of Monsters after fighting a boss for a while you and the boss will fall off the titular tower and fall to the ground, still locked in combat.
- The Final Boss of Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Prince Ahmet, is fought while he and Ezio are falling from a very tall cliff. He is not that tough, but adjusting to the controls may cost you a few synch bars.
- The final battle against Tiberius in Hard Corps: Uprising during his One-Winged Angel form.
- In Sly Spy, the first stage begins with the protagonist shooting Mooks skydiving over Washington, D.C.
- The Legend of Spyro Dawn of the Dragon has the second part of the Final Battle with Malefor take place as the entire stage the battle is taking place on plummets down a volcano to the core of the world. Probably justified by the fact that Malefor has to be stopped and Spyro and Cynder can't afford to risk him surviving. It's every bit as epic as it sounds. They stop when they reach the core and end the fight with a Beam-O-War that Spyro and Cynder win.
- In The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, the fight against a demon/Satan takes this approach, and you have to dodge Death Blocks while falling.
Beat 'Em Ups
- In Bonesaw: The Game, the second stage of the final boss has you falling from orbit before landing in the Clarkson University hockey rink.
- The Kratos versus Icarus battle in God of War II. The winner gets a pair of wings to make a safe landing with. The loser...
- Bayonetta versus Balder. The two fight on a chunk of a platform falling several hundred feet.
- The very beginning of the game is a fight scene atop a ruined clock tower ... as it plummets down a seemingly-endless cliff.
- The last portion of the Final Boss battle in the game: destroying Jubelius's body as it plummets towards the earth.
- Bayonetta 2:
- Valor boss fight happens as you are falling down inside a tower.
- Again, the fight on the debris of the ruined clock tower, only in a slightly different scenario.
- Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U for the inclusion of Guest Fighter Bayonetta, they take the famous scene mentioned above from both games of fighting on the face of the Umbra Clock Tower, as it plummets down an endless cliff face.
- The Wonderful 101's first proper boss encounter involves you jumping from from platform to platform in a free fall as Mecha-King Ghidorah tribute tries to kill you.
- Asura's Wrath has Asura and Yasha in Episode 21 during their younger years fighting from a tower. Asura punches Yasha out of said tower with the former jumping and pursuing him. You then fight Yasha in a free fall style. It is awesome.
- Featured in the trailer Deadpool video game. Deadpool and a mook happen to be falling from a skyscraper while the Merc punches him in the face. Clearly he's enjoying it as much as the fans.
Deadpool: "Best. Ride. Ever!"
- Power Stone 2 has a stage that starts on board an airship which gets destroyed, forcing the fighters to battle in freefall for control of Parasol Parachutes.
- The end of Sanae Kochiya's storyline in Touhou Hisoutensoku has one of these, specifically Suwako's final attack. Also, the previous attack of the same fight is fought on a rising shockwave from an explosion.
- This happens in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe if one damages the "walls" of the arena enough.
- Wolverine's stage in Marvel Super Heroes is a bridge over a canyon in Alaska, with a waterfall in the background. At the start of Round 2, the ropes supporting it snap, and it falls into the gap, smashing to pieces at the end of the match. The winner stands on a rock for the Victory Pose; the loser is washed away.
- Super Smash Bros.:
- The Fire Emblem stage "Castle Siege" has a portion where the floor falls out from under you and everyone seems to be falling into the basement. However, the floor is still there, just invisible (characters walk on it like any other platform).
- Similarly subverted on Brawl's Final Destination, which starts in space, goes through re-entry, and ultimately looks like it's on a collision course for the ground, before it whites out and starts over. Interestingly enough, the white out happens at exactly 5 minutes, which is how long you have to beat the boss fight, implying that you did crash.
- The Umbran Clock Tower stage, taken from Bayonetta, takes place on the face of a clock tower as it plummets endlessly towards the ground, similar to the opening stage of the game it hails from.
- The first fight against Meta Ridley in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Though in this case, both Samus and Ridley appear doomed when the floor gives out — Samus can't fly, and the tunnel is too small for Ridley to spread his wings. Ridley doing this may be a case of Taking You with Me, but defeating Ridley lets Rundas fly down and save Samus. Ridley himself, however, doesn't die, as usual. Interestingly, there is actually a 'bottom' and you must defeat Ridley before your altitude reaches zero (which isn't the ground in this case, but the planet's core).
- One of the hardest levels in No One Lives Forever involves you jumping out of a plane just before it explodes and fighting H.A.R.M. mooks as you fall. They have parachutes, you don't. If you don't manage to steal a parachute from one of them before a predetermined time, you fall into a barn and die. Especially frustrating since there's only specific Mook who gets close enough to take his parachute, and if you (quite understandably) shoot him you're fucked.
- At the end of the final mission in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, you have to shoot the game's Big Bad Arkady Kirilenko while in freefall so you can get your parachute from Sweetwater, who's trying to keep the parachute from Kirilenko.
- A variation of it happens in Modern Warfare 3 in the level "Turbulence". The plane you are in itself goes into free fall, leading to you having a shootout with Mooks in zero gravity before the plane is stabilized. You even get an achievement for killing all of the Mooks.
- The fight with the Heretic Leader in Halo 2 takes place while the gas mine is in freefall, although there's no time limit.
- In Agent Under Fire in the 8th mission "Fire and Water" James Bond is pushed off the edge of an oil platform by Bloch after watching a sexy lady do a dive. He grabs him as he falls and both punch each other as they fall into the water. They both survive.
Light Gun Games
- In Silent Scope, one of the options when infiltrating the Final Dungeon is to parachute in, sniping the searchlights to avoid detection and enemy ambush. Silent Scope EX has sniping by hang glider as one of the paths to enter the enemy base.
- Both Battle Clash and its sequel, Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge feature one. Battle Clash has the stage in the Andes Mountains against ST Artemis, and Metal Combat has the battle atop the Tower of Babel Space Elevator against ST Griffin.
- Moltz the Very Goonie in Yoshi's Island DS.
- The second boss of Super Princess Peach, Hoo, takes out the platform you fight him on halfway through the fight, turning the battle into this and forcing you to utilize the Joy vibe to fly up above him to land the last couple of hits.
- The second fight against the robotic chicken boss in Level 5 of Earthworm Jim is essentially this. Major Mucus would also count if he and Jim weren't attached to bungee cords during their fight.
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- In Sonic Unleashed, you fight the Egg Dragoon while standing on a standard platform, but that platform (along with everything else) is in freefall towards the earth's core. On occasion, Eggman destroys the platform you're on, turning it into an actual freefall fight until Sonic lands on another one.
- Sonic Adventure 2's final boss combines this with Colony Drop. The final battle is in space, fighting a lizard attached to the Space Colony Ark as it's falling to Earth; if you take more than 5 minutes to beat the fight, you lose... Although you'd deliberately have to drag out the entire fight in order to lose that way. Far more likely is that you'll lose from the OTHER time limit that is your rings, which your Super Mode needed for flight runs on.
- Sonic Generations features another fight against the Egg Dragoon. The fight is half chasing it along a track, and half aiming for its core and dodging missiles as you freefall.
- Sonic Rush's penultimate boss fight has you fighting Eggman/Nega as the remains of his space station falls out of the sky. Interestingly, the time limit doesn't kick in until the second to last hit, where Eggman/Nega rams into the ship three times and threatens to destroy the platform unless you deliver the final blow.
- Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu culminates with Jackie fighting a Giant Spider while falling on a Solid Cloud.
- Stage 9-5 of Jumper Two features Ogmo and The Boss falling from top of the tower, in a tennis fight.
- One of the Troia Base simulations in Mega Man X8 has you fight a robot in freefall.
- In Castlevania Lordsof Shadow Mirrorof Fate has Trevor eventually do this when he fights Dracula. He loses...
- A couple of phases of the final boss battle is done this way in Freedom Fall.
- In Ristar, in the third act of Planet Scorch, part of Ristar's battle against Adahan takes place this way.
- In Taz in Escape from Mars, in the third act of Mole World, Taz fights the giant drilling machine that chased him throughout the second act this way.
- The opening cutscene in Spell Force: The Order of the Dawn ends with one of these between the Big Bad and the Big Good.
- Final Fantasy
- In Final Fantasy VI, you have to do this while falling down a waterfall. Amazingly enough, you will continue falling for as long as the fight takes, and instantly hit the bottom when you beat the last enemy.
- Final Fantasy VI also does something similar with the fight against the Air Force.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, the opening cutscene sets it up, and then the very first time you are put in control, its like this. Though it's just Layle against some Mooks.
- The one-on-one fight between Sten and Trubo in Breath of Fire II starts on a bridge, but midway through the battle the bridge collapses, sending the two plummeting towards the ground. The battle needs to be finished before three turns are up; otherwise, they hit the ground.
- Mage players in World of Warcraft have been known to jump off tall towers or flying mounts and duel each other while slowfalling. This is very fun, and known as mage dueling.
- The intro to Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories features Adell engaging in one of these with a bunch of random people.
- Second Boss in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim. Battle with winged Giant Enemy Crab-like thing takes place on falling platform.
- The final boss fight in the original Wild ARMs could be seen as a mixture of this and Final Boss, New Dimension. The fight takes place as you travel from a space colony to the planet surface after thwarting Ziekfried and Mother's plan. Mostly Mother's. Zeik interrupts you as you are teleported down, and you fight essentially in free fall in a strange teleportation dimension.
- Saints Row: The Third
- The game starts out with one which includes falling back into and through the plane you just jumped out of.
- Another level has you jumping from one plane to another, then when it blows up you free fall in a tank. At the end, that tank blows up and you free fall to hijack another one.
- WET has a level dedicated to this trope. In short, a gunfight destroys the plane everyone is standing in, nobody has a parachute, and they all decide to keep shooting at each other on the way down for lack of anything better to do.
- Transformers: War for Cybertron has the first boss fight against Trypticon in freefall towards the planet Cybertron. It's as awesome as it sounds.
- Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine has one against the final boss starting in low orbit.
- In the James Bond game Everything or Nothing, the Bond Girl is thrown off a cliff, so naturally Bond jumps off after her, and then has to dodge outcrops from the cliff manned by rocket-launcher equipped mooks Bond has to shoot on the way down.
- Dead Fantasy II. A good quarter of the battle involves an insane Freefall Fight down the side of a building.
- Red vs. Blue season 9 episode 15 brings us the scene (appropriately, with Falling Towards the Sky in the background), where Tex, Wash, Carolina, and York battle the flying mooks and Hornets to get the Package into 479er's Pelican. Wash shoots one of the Hornet pilots out while standing on the falling package.
- Manly Brawl on a Big Tree ends with one of these.
- Teen Titans. In the episode "Winner Takes All", between the two Badass Normals: Robin and Speedy.
- One Robot Chicken sketch begins as a skydiving marriage proposal but eventually becomes this.
- The climax of Regular Show's Christmas special features a free fall fight over a lava pit for the sake of all Christmas, with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's version of "Carol of The Bells" playing.
- Near the end of the Gravity Falls episode "The Hand that Rocks the Mabel", Dipper and Li'l Gideon have a Wimp Fight after falling out the window of a cliff-side factory.
- Budgies sometimes do this, at least cocks. (Hens usually try to bite each other's toes off instead.)
- Raptors in aerial combat, such as eagles, will often lock talons with each other in an attempt to 'toss' one another towards the ground.
- Done during judo and sambo matches between astronauts on the International Space Station.
I'M STILL FALLIN'!