Follow TV Tropes


Ground Wave

Go To

A ground wave is a condition in which the solid ground ripples and moves in waves, the way water in a pool will ripple when a rock is tossed in. In real life, this can only happen as a result of a nuke bomb detonation or a huge explosion (see the PEPCON disaster under Real Life, below). In fiction, some character with either superpowers or incredible strength strikes the ground — or the opponent it is fighting throws them at the ground — so hard that the ground rolls, ripples and moves in response. See Shockwave Stomp.

Note that, if the landing just creates a big hole and not a ripple effect, it's a Ground-Shattering Landing.

Might occur via a Ground Pound or Ground Punch. Compare Super Rug-Pull. Can overlap with Tremor Trampoline if the wave is powerful enough to throw someone into the air.


    open/close all folders 

  • An ad for DirecTV shows "The World's Most Powerful Fan," who, when playing pick-up ball, jumps over another player and causes a ground wave that bounces everyone else.
  • From 2014 onwards, BMW ran an advertising campaign called "Embrace the Unknown" or "The Wave" which showed the whole world rippling, undulating, and rolling like an ocean, with two released so far:
    • In the advert for the BMW X4, it showed the car driving through several waving cityscapes, with the buildings constantly shifting up and down from the waves, while occasionally cutting to people doing various activities. At one point, it cut to an interior shot showing balls rolling around on a pool table due to the room tilting from a wave rolling underneath the building.
    • In the advert for the BMW X1 in the following year, it showed the car driving across several heaving landscapes, riding over bumps and even dodging an enormous waterfall spilling over a mountain edge as it pulses, before arriving at the city from the previous advert.

    Asian Animation 
  • Agent Ali: Trez has cybernetic implants in his arms which amplify his strength to form shockwaves when he strikes the ground.

    Comic Books 
  • The Incredible Hulk: This is a signature move of the Hulk, achieved by performing a two-fisted Ground Punch. He's really good at directing the shockwave in all sort of ways, too.
  • The Strange Talent of Luther Strode : In The Legacy of Luther Strode #1, Luther's Hulk-meets-Wuxia fight with the female Twin does this to asphalt and concrete as they leap and land and punch each other through buildings and overpasses.

  • The Fantastic Four happens to the heroes and the villain as they keep trying to kill each other.
  • The Matrix has this in several places, when Neo strikes the ground when fighting Agent Smith, or some of the other characters cause this when making a jump or landing on a building or the freeway.
  • In one scene of War of the Worlds (2005), the tripods ram an invasion force into the ground, tearing up the entire area.

  • In The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, the lunar colonists who rebel against Earth's government throw rocks, basically steel-cased house-sized boulders, towards Earth. It's noted that they'll create a huge hole, a ground wave and a blast wave due to the air being compressed at the strike point. One strikes with so much force the impact can be seen with the naked eye all the way back on the moon!
  • Occasionally happen when earthcrafters get to work in Codex Alera. They also use this as a form of ground transport by making the ground under your feet travel in a slow, continuous wave. Beats walking.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Kamen Rider Stronger, one of the title character's many special techniques is Electro-Fire, which launches a blast of electricity along the ground.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions. The 1984 Champions III supplement introduced the Shockwaves combat maneuver. This involves a character with Super-Strength hitting the ground and causing the ground to ripple in waves in all directions, potentially knocking opponents off their feet.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: The Consortium's class II security team; Sledgehammer, wears Mechanical Muscles that lets them strike the ground with a powerful force to unleash a damaging wave attack towards their target.
  • Battle Zeque-Den from Asmik is action platformer set in ancient Japan and involving martial artists. Of the three characters you can choose, Hamusu has the "Megaton Quake" where she punches the ground and sends a blast of energy quickly across the screen and hitting for significant damage.
  • This type of attack is something of a trademark of SNK's Fighting Games:
    • Fatal Fury protagonist Terry Bogard (pictured at top) has his Power Wave attack, as well as the stationary Round Wave and the supermove version Power Geyser; Terry retains all three of these attacks for his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, though the Round Wave is used in mid-air. Meanwhile, Terry's Arch-Nemesis Geese Howard has the Reppuken and the enhanced Double Reppuken; Geese's son Rock also uses the move, despite being mentored by Terry.
    • The King of Fighters: Protagonist Kyo Kusanagi and his rival Iori Yagami possess the Yami Barai ground fireball, though Kyo dropped it from his movelist starting with KOF '96note  in favor of the Aragami/Dokugami chain combo attack. The franchise's first Big Bad Rugal Bernstein possesses Geese Howard's Reppuken since he copied the techniques of the world's greatest fightersnote .
  • Capcom vs. games:
    • Magneto's "Magnetic Shockwave" attack channels magnetic energy into the ground, releasing a series of explosions in the opponent's direction. Onslaught does this in Marvel vs. Capcom.
    • Averted with the Hulk's Ground Wave move in Marvel Super Heroes despite the name, but played with starting with his return in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, as it's the ground itself that he actually gets to hit you rather than a ground-hugging energy wave. Exaggerated with the Gamma Wave.
    • Gambit manages to slant this with his Cajun Explosion super move in two of the games.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Yiga Blademasters can do this when they do a Ground Punch. In Tears of the Kingdom, it is named the "Earthwake Technique" and Link can learn this.
  • In Thumper, stomping on a thump or attacking a boss sends a wave of energy running down the track.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario & Luigi:
      • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, at least one of the Koopalings causes ground waves by stomping when the heroic brothers fight him.
      • In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time:
      • During the Swiggler boss fight, the boss will counter with several damaging shockwaves that take the form of the ground rippling if attacked head on.
      • When the Trampoline attack item is being used, the entire ground briefly ripples and jiggles for every successful stomp preformed, even if the current target is floating in midair.
    • Mario Kart:
      • Mario Kart Wii has the battle course Thwomp Desert, featuring a huge Thwomp in the middle of the arena. Every so often it slams down, causing huge waves that ripple outwards, throwing karts around.
      • In Mario Kart 7, SNES Rainbow Road has Thwomps that cause the track to ripple when they slam down, which didn't occur in the track's original version.
    • In the first Yoshi's Island game:
      • The ground wobbling and rippling is one of the side-effects while Yoshi is dizzy.
      • During the first phase of the Final Boss, both Yoshi and Baby Bowser's Ground Pounds cause damaging shockwaves that literally ripple across the floor.
  • Warcraft III: The editor allows for this to happen (and the Shockwave spell briefly distorts the ground when used), but no official map uses it (possibly because it's quite a trippy effect to see units minding their own business while bobbing like toy ships in a wave pool).
  • Battlezone and the 98 Redux has two forms of this, first being the Thumper special weapon that dumps a large amount of your Hover Tanks nano-ammunition into the ground, causing a travelling lump of terrain that upends and spins vehicles caught in the path and it's particularly effective at spinning walkers around, leaving them unable to target you until they land. The Day Wrecker bomb launched by the Supply Launch Facility (Armory) also causes a short, circular wave in the terrain when it detonates.
  • Monks in Final Fantasy Tactics have Earth Slash which is a wave so powerful that its one of the longest ranged attacks in the game.
  • Shantae: Risky's Revenge: The red knight-like enemies can hold their sword in two hands then slam it into the ground to make a damaging energy that travels along the ground, even falling down from one block to another.
  • Warframe: Excalibur can unleash multiple energy blades from the ground by planting his sword into the ground.
  • Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance: Frost has a move called Ground Freeze in which she shoots an ice blast across the ground in the direction of her opponent.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise, earthbenders are able to create this effect. It's normally used to push people away by literally moving the ground beneath their feet, giving themselves some room to maneuver, or else to just mess with an opponent's footing and balance. Toph, naturally, has also used this to travel at sub-locomotive speeds.
  • In the Samurai Jack episode "Jack and the Scotsman II", the villain holding the Scotsman's wife prisoner makes the mistake of calling her fat within her hearing. The resulting rampage includes a seismic ground shock blow.

    Real Life