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Ground Pound

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"Your Thruster-Pack includes the new Power Slam feature! Just press R1 during a jump to enjoy your new destructive capabilities."
— Helpdesk Lady, Ratchet & Clank (2002)

Essentially the more powerful relative of the Goomba Stomp, this is a near obligatory basic combat maneuver that involves the Player Character jumping, ducking, or crouching in the air, and then forcefully smashing/pounding/diving directly into the ground. Is also a common way of activating switches. If the attack sends out a wave of damaging energy, then it's a Shockwave Stomp.

This move is similar to the Double Jump and the Air Dash but in a downward direction. It tends to be mutually-exclusive with Falling Damage and does not harm the Player Character despite sending them plummeting. Don't think too hard about how any of it works.

Practically a staple of 3D platformers, but by no means limited to that one genre.

It is also a favorite boss tactic, often used by big and powerful bruisers who will leap up and off the screen before coming down upon your character unless he or she manages to get out of the way in time (usually the main warning the Player Character will get is a Shadow of Impending Doom upon them moments before impact).


Not to be confused with:

  1. Ground and Pound, a Mixed Martial Arts tactic that involves taking an opponent to the ground using a takedown or throw, obtaining a top, or dominant, position, and then striking the opponent repeatedly.
  2. Operation Ground and Pound, by DragonForce.
  3. Hammered into the Ground, where a character is literally driven into the ground, usually feet first.

Sister Trope of Ground-Shattering Landing.

See Ground Punch, when this is done with the fists, and Sword Plant, when this is done with a sword. Often intersects with Ass Kicks You or Belly Flop Crushing.



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    Action Adventure 
  • Once his superhuman melee skills are upgraded, Gideon Wyeth of Advent Rising can perform a Seismic Pound.
  • Various Castlevania protagonists can do this, usually after getting the double jump ability. With the right timing, a mid-air "stomp" can sometimes get you up to platforms you shouldn't be able to reach yet. Soma in Aria of Sorrow only gets this ability from an enemy (usually it is inherent with double jumping), and in Dawn of Sorrow, the damage the drop kick does depends on how long you fall for. So get the Medusa Soul and drop kick, then float in the air for ages using the soul, then let him drop for high damage. It's not always useful, but it's cool as hell. It's not entirely a ground pound though, as you can use it to bounce off enemies and even chandeliers and candles.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Everyone in The Simpsons: Hit & Run (that you control) can do this. Its only uses are on either breakables in the environment (for coins and wanted level) and innocent bystanders (for wanted level only). It actually doesn't reduce your falling damage... because there is no damage to humans.
  • Comes in more varieties than is funny in [PROTOTYPE]. Two-fisted, stomp, elbow drop... oh, and like a bunker buster. The last one is kinda hard to aim, but afterwards, the LZ tends to be clear.
  • inFAMOUS has an electrical version of it.
  • One of the abilities you can get in An Untitled Story. Too bad using this makes you unable to Double Jump until you land.
  • Tumble the Baku of Dual Hearts has the creatively named "Megaton Buns", used both to attack and activate switches.
  • In Tokobot, Bolt activates switches by jumping and dropping over, while his tokobots do a formation stomp around him.
  • Shadow Complex has such an ability when you start to assemble the power suit about halfway through the game. It is just one of the features you get, but it's never required to proceed further.
  • In Messiah, if possessing a Behemoth, whenever you jump and land, everyone in the vicinity fall down and get stunned.

    Action Game 
  • Batman: Arkham City - This is exactly what the maneuver is called.
  • God of War. Slight variation in that you can Charge it, and can perform it on the ground (where it's the shockwave and not the collision that does the work.)
  • Spider-Man: Friend or Foe - one simple move from jumping, shoot a webline to the floor, yank downward, and pound the ground with a moderately ranged shockwave.
  • Transformers: Devastation has a unique take on this, in that the Autobots perform this by transforming into vehicles mid-air, with Grimlock taking a more traditional approach. It can be used as both an attack and as a means of un-earthing hidden items.
  • Burrito Bison has his "Rocket Slam", which has several uses — it prevents him from losing speed on contact with the floor, it protects him from the usual consequences of hitting police gummies (since hitting them with a rocket slam doesn't count), and if he hits an explosive gummy, it amplifies the boost he normally gets.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo a few examples of this during in-game cutscenes, whenever he lands it causes the SWAT team to stagger off balance.

    Beat Em Up 

    Driving Game 
  • Padre Destino in Vigilante 8: Second Offense has an underground Ground Pound. He goes subterranean, tunnels to the target, and erupts from the ground, emitting a shockwave that blows nearby enemies away.

    Endless Running Game 

    Fighting Game 
  • Many of the characters in the Super Smash Bros. games have something to this effect. Yoshi, Bowser, King Dedede, and Sonic (with the custom special "Stomp") do this in the traditional manner, and Kirby simply turns into one of many possible forms (rock, spike ball, Thwomp, Lip's garbage block). But beware: You can ground pound off the edge of the map and lose a life.
  • Potemkin in Guilty Gear.
  • The Mortal Kombat series might have introduced ground pounds to fighting games, with the Shokan warriors Goro, Kinaro and Sheeva being the primary users of this move. In Armageddon's Konquest mode, Taven can use his version to, yes, trigger switches on the floor.
  • Goro Daimon from The King of Fighters.
  • C. Viper from Street Fighter IV.
  • Many fighters in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, particularly Fat Princess and Sweet Tooth. Parappa's is actually a downward-advancing Spam Attack and Kratos' Barbarian Hammer slam mainly has priority in front of him instead of below. Also, Sir Daniel's Hammer can be used on the ground or in the air, and has the benefit of launching enemies into the air.

    First Person Shooter 
  • In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! all main characters receive this wondrous ability thanks to the setting's weak moon gravity and a mysterious device on their shoulder. It is augmented with a hearty dose of Shockwave Stomp, which staggers enemies and breaks their forcefield-helmets for a short time, making them gasp for air (acceleration is constant and stomp reaches greater proportions with longer falls). The maneuver is described in-game as done specifically with one's butt, and is officially called butt-stomping.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution features the Icarus landing system which activates if Adam falls from a dangerous height, if you have the augmentation that is. While falling ,the player has the choice to make him smash the ground which releases a shockwave that staggers nearby people.
  • Several of the Jedi heroes in Star Wars: Battlefront II can do this, even leaving a black scorch mark on the ground. Jedi in LEGO Star Wars do this, too.
  • Halo 5: Guardians: The name of one of the new Spartan abilities, with a corresponding medal. If you are above an enemy, you can jump, "charge up", quickly target an area, and hit them from above. In multiplayer, it will severely deplete the shields and health of a fully shielded Spartan, allowing them to be finished off quickly. A Spartan with less than full shields will be killed outright, and the splash damage will kill or damage any enemies within a certain radius, making it possible to kill more than one enemy in one ground pound. However, a player with acute hearing can potentially hear the "charge up" and move out of the way, and hovering in the air before ground pounding can render you vulnerable to enemy fire (killing an enemy while they're in the middle of a Ground Pound gets you the Starkiller medal).

    Hack And Slash 
  • There are two ways of doing this in Drakengard. The first and most obvious way is to be using Seere and have him command Golem to destroy everything in front of him, and then watch the fun. The second way is to start a running charge, jump, and attack, in which the protagonist sends out a circular shockwave around him when he lands. This second move is almost completely useless.
  • Barbarians in Diablo II have Leap and Leap Attack skills. Both create circular shockwaves that knock enemies back.
  • Diablo III barbarians also have the Leap skill. The Might of the Earth armor set, with a build colloquially known as "Leapquake," makes use of Leap along with an item called Lut Socks that creates an earthquake where the barbarian lands.
  • Heroes of the Storm has this as one of Sonya's ultimate abilities. Instead of shockwaves, it causes the ground to shatter upwards to create a makeshift wall around her and anyone unlucky enough to be her target.
  • Minecraft Dungeons: The Leapers from Jungle Awakens DLC use this attack.
  • Common move in the Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors series. The area of effect is usually very small, but the AI frequently uses it to knock down players who stick too close to an enemy officer. Oh, and in the Samurai Warriors series, it's one of the few ways to reveal a burrowing ninja.
  • Magicka has a boss who will do this.

  • Champions Online used to have this if you bought the Cannonball advantage for Havoc Stomp, but the notoriously buggy advantage was eventually removed.
  • City of Heroes had this on release for their Super Strength powerset in the form of Foot Stomp, which later had an alternative animation option that used one's fist instead of their feet. Later, the Kinetic Melee powerset had a similar attack in the form of Burst.
  • Guild Wars 2 gives us the Warrior's Stomp and the Elementalist's Earthquake, making your character jump into the air and slam into the ground, whether a ten foot tall Norn, a five hundred pound charr, or a tiny, tiny asura.
  • World of Warcraft: Warriors have this in the form of Heroic Leap.

    Platform Game 
  • Furwind: The Player Character seems to have this in his moveset. It can be useful for destroying platforms he needs to get under.
  • Pac-Man has the "Butt-Bounce" in the Pac-Man World games. In World 3 it is amplified and can do a Shockwave Stomp every third bounce.
  • Pizza Vs. Skeletons: You can make the pizza perform one by tapping the screen while it is in mid-air.
  • Raccoo Venture: This is one of the moves you start the game out with.
  • Murray's Thunder Flop in the Sly Cooper games.
  • Smashroom: The Player Character can perform this move by jumping in the air, and then pressing the down button.
  • Stitchy In Tooki Trouble: Tooki has the Slam move. Press B while in mid-air to cause Tooki to shoot downwards and Slam the ground.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • The first game has a rather painful-looking variation in which Kazooie slams face-first into the ground as Banjo drops down on top of her. In Banjo-Tooie it is upgraded to a Drill Ground Pound.
    • In Tooie, Klungo attacks this way when drinking the red potion and growing large. As does Weldar over the course of his boss battle (and his version is a lot stronger).
  • Various games in the Donkey Kong universe:
    • In Donkey Kong 64, it turns out to be the only potion ability from Cranky Kong that applies to all Kongs (the other potion abilities are character-specific); it can be upgraded twice. Some bosses also have this within their attack repertoires (and due to their size, it comes along with Shockwave Stomp).
    • In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Cranky Kong can do this, DuckTales style.
  • In some designated cases, the eponymous character of Conker's Bad Fur Day can do this when B is pressed while in mid-air, briefly turning into an anvil in the process. Two of the bosses (Haybot and Uga Buga) have this attack as well.
  • Jak and Daxter: As "normal" Jak you can jump and dive to the ground fists first. As Dark Jak jumping and hitting the ground with your fist creates a blast of Dark Eco that damages/kills everything on screen (including your teammates and the people you're supposed to protect).
  • In the Mega Man X games, Zero has had a few moves of this sort, most notably his Giga Attack. In addition, Guts Man (Mega Man), Hard Man (Mega Man 3), Stone Man (5), Concrete Man (9), and Flame Mammoth (Mega Man X) all have "seismic" attacks where they slam into the ground very hard, causing Mega Man to lose his balance and fall down stunned if he's on the ground. Hard Man's case is quite odd because Mega Man freezes even if he's in mid-air, giving Hard Man a chance to recover from his upside-down position.
  • Vexx has a "Ground Blast", where Vexx halts in midair (yes, it helps avert falling damage) and blasts energy downward.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2, where it's called a buttstomp.
  • Crash Bandicoot gains a Ground Pound attack in his second game, with which he can belly-flop onto unsuspecting enemies or bust open metal-enforced crates that would otherwise seem impenetrable. In the third game, this attack can be upgraded to create a shockwave that can destroy crates from a reasonable distance.
  • The titular character of Sonic the Hedgehog could perform something like this with the Bubble Shield powerup in a couple of his games. It was also used to bounce up to platforms that were too high up for a normal jump. Particular examples include:
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, Knuckles used a variation on the move to dig into the ground.
    • Also, Sonic could get an item called the "Bounce Bracelet" to perform the same bouncing maneuver from Sonic 3.
    • Sonic Heroes had a body slam that worked a little like the bounce bracelet (without the height gain in most cases) when used by Big or Vector.
    • In Sonic Unleashed, Sonic can use the Stomp after acquiring the Stomping Shoes (only in the PS360 version; in the WiiS2 version, you have it the whole game). It's used to hit certain ground switches and take out shielded robots.
    • And Secret Rings features a handful of skills that allow Sonic to deal damage to enemies during a jump cancel. Yeah, that translates directly into "ground pound."
    • In Sonic Colors, Sonic can do that move from the beginning of the game. There's also the Blue Cube Wisp, which has a more powerful Ground Pound as its secondary power.
    • Sonic Generations features the now standard stomp attack, but there is an optional equippable skill that you can gain by beating a mission called the Power Stomp, which turns it into a Shockwave Stomp.
    • In the Sonic Advance Trilogy, all of the playable characters except Tails have some variation on it. Sonic gets the bounce attack, Amy a spinning hammer attack, Knuckles the drill claw move from Adventure 2 except without the digging, and Cream a more traditional Mario-style hip drop. Tails eventually gets to do a hip-drop style ground pound in Sonic Boom.
    • In Sonic Mania Plus, Mighty, after having shared the same abilities with Sonic and Ray in SegaSonic the Hedgehog, and having functioned as a stand-in for Sonic in Knuckles Chaotix, gets a move called the "Hammer Drop", functioning most similarly to Sonic with the bubble shield, albeit without the requirement of having to have it first, and not having the same amount of bounce as well as smashing anything near the impact zone and certain fragile objects.
  • Subverted in Wario Land: Shake It! If the player shakes the controller when a gauge is full, Wario literally pounds the ground (with his fist), stunning all on-screen enemies and knocking down loose objects.
  • In Psychonauts, Razputin can do this with his telekinetic hand during a jump. In Lungfishopolis (where Raz is the 50-foot tall "monster"), this attack still works, though instead of using his hands, he uses his feet.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
  • Ratchet & Clank had this in the first game (for switches) when you obtain the Thruster Pack. It was removed in the later games when the Thruster Pack was changed from an upgrade to the Heli Pack to an alternative.
  • The Prinnies in Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? can use ground pound attacks to stun enemies and get to places normal jumps can't reach. It's all but required to use to defeat the bosses (with the exception of Sir Sweet's second form, who can't be hurt this way), since otherwise, they soak up a whole lot of damage.
  • Jett Rocket can do this — and needs to, because it's the only way to activate the end-of-level warps and defeat certain enemies.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula (NES/SMS/GB/GG) used this to smash through ledges.
  • Kirby:
  • Kao the Kangaroo: Both Round 2 and Mystery of the Volcano have it. It can be used not only to fight enemies, but also to press switches and the like. Round 2 even has an unlockable upgrade that makes the attack a lot more potent.
  • In the Toy Story 2 Licensed Game, Buzz can perform a stomp move to activate switches and springs.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: SuperSponge: The butt bounce is SpongeBob's default attack where he can butt-stomp his enemies and destroy weak floors.
  • A Bug's Life lets Flik perform a ground pound to crush enemies and activate switches. He also has the unique ability of holding down the jump button and allowing him to slide across the floor on his bottom. This is also the wasps method of stinging Flik. They will fly directly over him and will try to ground pound him back.
  • Funk Unplugged: Ampy has this abiity. It can allow him to break breakable floors.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine's final boss fight of Chapter 4 includes a phase where Boris jumps at Henry, smashing him if he doesn't move out of the way.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Pikmin:
    • Some enemies in the games can do this to attack Pikmin, and because of how fragile the Pikmin are they can die instantly this way. Emperor Bulblax, the Final Boss of the first game, is so big that its Ground Pound not only kills any unfortunate Pikmin it may end up squashing with, but also depletes as much as half of Olimar's full HP. Luckily, the boss doesn't do this move in the second game.
    • Purple Pikmin are heavy enough to pound the floor when they're thrown, and can stun enemies this way.
  • Dawn of War II: Assault Sergeant Thaddeus has the Assault Jump ability, allowing him and his squad to perform a Ground Pound on any enemies you target, knocking them aside. Subverted in the board game, where trying that same maneuver with the same models (a Deep Strike) used to result in the models instantly dying, no matter how flimsy the thing is they landed on. Thanks to a recent core rules change, there's only a 1/3 chance of instant death in this case, but none of the three results of the Mishap Table cause any damage to what you land on.

    Role Playing Game 
  • Sacred has several characters with this, and a couple with no shock waves.
  • The protagonists in Wild ARMs 4 and 5 have this as part of their puzzle-solving repertoire (yes, used to pound switches).
  • Dragon Age II Warriors have Tremor and Mighty Blow, striking the ground for massive damage or disabling opponents within a radius. Fist of the Maker is a telekinetic version.
  • Final Fantasy X: Cindy, eldest of the Magus Sisters (an optional summon) has the Camisade special attack; she is propelled into the air, and hands hard on the opponent. She can't be told to do this directly, however, as the Magus sisters can only be 'influenced' by Yuna to act a certain way in combat.
  • Dark Souls — a pair of bosses named Ornstein and Smough have a buttstomp move. Smough gets it when he's small, but if you kill him first and make Ornstein giant, Ornstein will get a superpowered one that also releases a lightning shockwave.
  • Dark Souls II — Like its predecessor, there's one boss called the Old Dragonslayer who has a dark-type shockwave ground pound.
  • In Elden Ring, you can harness this power yourself with the Ground Slam Art of War, creating a shockwave around where you land. Golden Slam is an alternate version that creates a holy shockwave.
  • Fallout 4 lets you do this to any enemy if you have power armor and are falling from a great height (or you have a jet pack)

    Simulation Game 
  • Too many monsters in MapleStory do this. And the player can perform a Ground Pound if they're a Marauder and if they're in a Super Saiyan-esque form.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Crackdown lets you ground pound from any height, including off the top of skyscrapers. Brilliantly, the shock wave you create when you hit the ground sends cars, objects, and pedestrians flying.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine lets you do that when equipped with a jump pack, killing or stunning nearby enemies.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Dead Rising features an aerial stomp attack that can be gained. Aside from its usual ability to instantly decimate undead forces beneath him, it also allows Frank West to make suicidal jumps and be fine thanks to knee drop invincibility. Fa~ntastic!
  • In Spider-Man (PS4), Spidey can learn a ground punch ability. It's a touch more justified than most, since Spider-Man uses his webs to pull himself toward the ground much faster than just falling by gravity. Normally it staggers enemies in the impact radius, but it can be upgraded to inflict more damage and knock all foes in the radius to the ground.

    Survival Horror 
  • This is a huge number of tactics used by bosses in Bloodborne. nearly every single boss has some kind of leaping attack where they go high up, then come straight down, with the most notable examples likely being Amygdala and Ludwig the Accursed, the former using the attack like near clockwork which is daunting given its massive size, and the latter nearly instant-killing the player if they fail to avoid it. Because Bloodborne is designed around precise inputs and spot dodges, not realizing the attack is being launched until a second later can be the difference between avoiding the attack and getting your skull squashed like a grape.

Non-video game examples:

    Comic Books 
  • Someone else who uses this a lot is the Incredible Hulk. Not only is this a staple of his in the comics, animations, and the most recent movie, but every game adaptation has him able to do it.
  • Most comic characters with Super Strength have used this move at one time or another to create an earthquake/shockwave and trip up or knock down opponents. Some, like the mutant Arclight and the Inhuman Gorgon, never use any other attack.

    Films: Animated 
  • In Disney's Alice in Wonderland, The Queen of Hearts does this while the cards are dragging off prisoners for painting the roses red. It sends all of the nearby cards falling flat on their faces.

    Films: Live Action 

  • Gandalf was planning this in The Hobbit, but at the last second was nabbed out of the sky by Gwaihir.

    Live Action Television  
  • In the title sequence of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert takes a running leap with the flag and plants it with a shockwave on landing.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Champions, a character can use his Leaping movement to counter the damage from a fall.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Tom and Jerry episode "Part Time Pal", Mommy Two Shoes does this as she pursues Tom. The entire house remains a wreck.

    Real Life 
  • In trampolining, a move called the seat drop resembles the ground pound in form. The person performing it jumps into the air, and comes down in a sitting position. This is commonly used to get some extra altitude from the rebound, as well as to launch other people on the trampoline upward.


Video Example(s):


Splatoon 2 - Splashdown

The Splashdown lets the player forcefully strike the ground to unleash a wave of ink around them. It can even be activated in midair!

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / ShockwaveStomp

Media sources: