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"Jumping is much, much more useful in video games than in real life. In video games it's often instrumental to saving the world from some sort of grotesque, otherworldly force, not to mention getting 100%. In real life, it mostly helps keep your socks dry."
Lore Sjöberg, The Book of Ratings

Most human beings can't jump high or far enough for it to be a particularly useful skill in navigating platforms above abysses.

But the Platform Game wouldn't exist if we didn't relax this a bit, so the physics of jumping in video games is a bit different from that of the real world. Namely:

  • In real life, most humans or animals cannot jump very high. However, in a video game, it's expected that you'll be able to jump to a height at least equal to your own, if not higher.
  • The player character's maximum falling speed is more or less the same as their initial jumping speed, and they will land in the same state whether they fall five inches or five hundred feet. Some games may have a notion of "too far to fall", after which the fall becomes damaging, though there are usually ways of cheating the laws of physics and stopping your fall without hurting yourself, ranging from the Ground Pound to the Double Jump to some form of Video Game Flight (among other tricks). (Just keep in mind that what works in one game may not work in another.)
  • It is possible for a jumping character to change direction in mid-air (air control), in pretty much all 2D platformers and FPSes (but not so much in third person — perhaps because being able to see yourself do this makes it clear how silly it is, as would fighting gamesnote ). Some first person shooters even let players customize how much air control they have. In real life, most terrestrial species simply can't exert enough force in midair to effect even the slightest change to their momentum, making inertia a cruel mistress indeed. If the real-life behavior is enforced in a video gamenote , characters may start feeling as if they're on an Invisible Grid.
  • Combining air control with accelerational falling physics makes it generally not as fast to simply run off the edge of a platform and fall straight down than to jump just short of the platform's end and fall past it.
  • Some characters can perform a Double Jump in midair to extend their jump's height or length, or otherwise alter its trajectory. This form of air control is increasingly attributed to magic powers, jump jets, wings, or other obvious means.
  • Some games may have certain aerial actions that prolong your air time; depending on the game, they either can be spammed easily and indefinitely, or have limits on its usage.
  • In traditional 2D platformers, the player's arms are useless when jumping: if his feet do not reach the platform, he can not grab onto it and pull himself up. Doing so is called mantling, which has become an extremely common ability in 3D games (mostly to compensate for more complex jumping controls).
  • In games that contain the Goomba Stomp, you can most often use stomped enemies as a Goomba Springboard.
  • Another common ability is the Wall Jump, where a character kicks diagonally against a near wall to get a further upward boost. This is commonly used to ascend narrow shafts by bouncing off both sides. Though possible in real life, you're unlikely to get higher than you were before without specially designed shoes and a high-friction wall surface, and you can forget about pulling off more than one in a row without the ability to turn in midair.
  • An improvised ability is the Rocket Jump, which is Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics writ in font 32 on the computer screen. Made of Iron comes into play as well.
  • "Bunnyhop" is another exploitable glitch in some games that can give additional momentum when jumping horizontally and preserve momentum: one may be able to do a series of jumps in the same general direction and keep gaining speed after each one, to reach arbitrarily high speeds and leap vast distances In a Single Bound. Some later games have started to implement that as a built-in feature.
  • Similarly, some characters can Crouch or even become Prone whilst in midair, especially common in FPSes. This can be used by players to access areas normally too high for a normal jump, most often when the Rocket Jump is not necessary or does not work in the present game mechanics. But these techniques can alternatively be coupled together to reach extremely high areas. This might be a way to represent the character's ability to vault over obstacles or grab ledges, which is usually very difficult to implement in a FPS.
  • The player should be able to jump different heights, but they should also jump as soon as the jump button is pressed (otherwise avoiding enemies becomes frustrating). Since pressure-sensitive buttons were not around for the early platformers, one way of dealing with this is to have the player jump off the ground at a relatively low speed, but for the first fraction of a second continue accelerating upwards (while in the air) if the jump button is pressed. This gives the effect that a quickly tapped button gives a small jump while a held button gives a large jump. Another is to cause the player to continue rising up to their maximum jump height as long as the jump button is pressed, but to begin falling as soon as it is released.
  • Flutter jumps may be used to prolong jumps by floating a short distance vertically and horizontally. This move is most notably used by Yoshi in Yoshi's Island, where it has become a key move to the game, and many levels require its use.
  • If on a moving platform, if you jump directly upward, the platform will move on without you and you'll fall. In reality, your inertia would keep you moving with the platform (though air resistance may slow you down a bit) and you'd land on it.
  • If the character is lucky enough to possess a Double Jump, Rocket Boots, air dash, or any other special abilities for maneuvering in midair, they are almost guaranteed to be strictly limited during a single jump but recharge instantly when you touch the ground — even if you're jumping down a pit several stories deep.

(If any of that makes you feel inadequate, take solace in the one thing a fit human can jump over that no videogame character has ever managed — the Insurmountable Waist-High Fence.)

Note that any or all of these points can be changed; these represent the baseline level for the Super Mario Bros.-descended platformer.

Cars and horses have their own equivalents. See also Vent Physics, Art Major Physics. Cinematic Platform Games are a notable exception, since their main focus is realism.


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    Action Adventure 
  • The Jump Physics in Enter The Matrix are slightly amazing when leaping in Bullet Time. It's very possible to jump around corners, or to attempt a jump, realize you're not going to make it, and turn around to land back on the ledge you originally came from. Just shows what a freed mind can do.
  • One of the biggest reasons for the original Castlevania's legendary Nintendo Hard difficulty is that Belmont does not have fine jump control. Rather, his jumps are "committed", like those in real life — once he jumps, he can change his mind, but not his direction, and he always jumps the same height. This remained true through the NES games and was softened only slightly for the SNES and Turbo Duo games. However, all the 2D games since Castlevania: Symphony of the Night have allowed the player full jump control and/or Double Jump capabilities like any other Platform Game. In addition, the recent games also come with a power-up that enables the player character to jump very high, straight up into the air — and they can do this consecutively without ever touching solid ground. This grants one the amusing ability to crash into the ceiling, complete with (in some games) an appropriate collision sound and bits of falling rubble.
  • Traditional Castlevania Spiritual Successor Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon also borrows the usage of committal jumps. Dominique and Miriam jump higher than other characters, and Hachi and Ultimate Zangetsu have a slightly more potent degree of control over aerial momentum, being able to briefly hover and Double Jump (with direction change if inputted) respectively.
  • Gato Roboto has rather lenient jump physics regarding ceilings: Whereas in most games hitting a ceiling causes the character to descend immediately, in this game you will hug the ceiling as long as you're supposed to be in ascending trajectory.
  • Getsu Fuma Den lets you jump in mid-air after falling off a ledge. This proves useful for collecting powerups hovering over pits.
  • As a throwback, Lemeza from La-Mulana cannot alter his jump for any reason, but only if he jumps to the side. Jumping straight up will allow him some control as he starts to fall, but that's it. Walking off the edge of a platform will cause him to plummet straight down.
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • In Legacy of the Wizard, characters take falling damage if they fall from a height greater than their jump height. This includes Pochi, who can't be harmed from Collision Damage with monsters.

    Action Game 
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Lampshaded in the first level. When explaining his ability to Double Jump, Spidey admits that it is physically impossible, but "so is most of the stuff I do".
  • For another example in the same franchise, Spider-Man 2 does the hold-for-longer-jump thing, but you don't actually jump until you let go of the button. And since this is Spider-Man we're talking about, your maximum jump height could actually put Luigi to shame.
  • The player character in Low G Man got progressively floatier jumps the more powerups you collected.
  • In Bloodline Champions, the Vanguard and Ranid Assasin have an ability to jump rather high and far (the Ranid twice in a row). The former damages enemies around the landing point and incapacitates them for a few seconds (but the Vanguard is perfectly fine...) while the Ranid just strikes an enemy nearby the landing point with his weapons.
  • Jaleco's City Connection features a car that can jump between platforms and do 180-degree turns in mid-air.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has a double jump, a wall jump, and an anti-gravity/hover jump.
  • Jungle Hunt: Your character can jump twice his own height.
  • Lazy Jones for the Commodore 64, one of the earliest games to defy genre classifications, also had its own peculiar jump physics: it allowed you to change your direction mid-jump... but doing so also changed the direction of your momentum.

    Beat Em Up 
  • In The Dishwasher, the regular jumps are pretty difficult to control mid-air, much like Mario's. However you tend to glaze over this when you get the Shift Blade (or bloodmist) and start telespamming. You forget that (A) does anything beside skip through cutscenes.

    Casual Game 
  • In Stampede Run, you can move around while jumping just as while running. Dropping early on jumps is sometimes necessary to avoid or break obstacles, and moving while in mid-air can get you to raised areas to get stars and bonuses.

    Driving Game 
  • San Francisco Rush has some of the most absurdly floaty jump physics of any racing game. Combine that with the hilly roads of the titular city, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Let's Go Find El Dorado, the wagon will not only leap great distances from mountains, but can rotate to change its direction in midair, altering how far it flies and how it lands. Wow!

    Fighting Game 
  • Though most fighting games make superhuman leaps a normal feat, Super Smash Bros. really pushes this trope. Instead of normal health, the meter that's worn down by damage is your character's ability to use air control! The goal of the game is to knock your opponent into the Bottomless Pit below every arena or off the side or up in the air, which is difficult prior to giving them a good thrashing because most healthy characters can:
    • Triple, quadruple, or even quintuple jump. Plus whatever flight/teleportation abilities they've got.
    • Aerial attacks that either stop their downward momentum or even act as another jump in itself.
    • Air control to the point where they can describe a full circle in the air.
      • Specifically, damage done causes characters to fly farther and faster when hit before they regain aerial control. So you're trying to damage them enough so that a good hard hit will make them fly so far that they can't make it back to safe ground, or they just fly out of bounds and get KOed instantly.
  • The King of Fighters is known for its many different jumps, which include short hops, normal jumps, hyper hops, and super jumps. The difference between a jump and a hop is based on how long any upwards direction is pressed; meanwhile, hitting down before performing a jump or hop turns it into a super jump or hyper hop.
  • Virtua Fighter is known for its adherence to realism... in all things except jumping. In the first few games, characters had really high, floaty jumps, as though they were on the moon, but this was done away with by Virtua Fighter 4.
  • The Dissidia Final Fantasy games have jump physics, though they resemble nothing like regular physics. The number of jumps you can do in a row ranges from two to sixteen, you have free control of your momentum when evading, falling, or dashing. Your dashing can be done without any shown source for such movement, and in directions directly clashing with gravity. Also, you and your opponent can pause in the air to swordfight. And this is without getting into how wall running works in this game. So, in short, this is your jump physics on drugs.

    First Person Shooter 
  • While the marine you play in Doom cannot jump, he can fall from the Empire State Building and not suffer even a sprained ankle. Some source ports of the game (like ZDoom and its derivatives) have implemented jumping and fall damage, although many user-made maps turn them back off in return.
    • It kinda sorta makes sense in the first episode of the original Doom, where you're on Phobos. The gravity on Phobos is so weak that you probably can run as fast as a horse while carrying a dozen of guns without breaking a sweat, and fall from great height without risking injury. On the other hand, if you try to jump, you may achieve escape velocity and collide with the forcefield holding the atmosphere in place. (There has to be a forcefield. It doesn't make sense otherwise. Oh well, it doesn't make sense anyway.)
  • In the Half-Life series, the player is often required to jump, then hold the duck button to hold their legs up, allowing the player to reach slightly-higher ledges or clear slightly-longer chasms. This proved so useful that every Valve game since has made use of it, confusing players who are not familiar with the mechanic and confounding players who go on to play other games.
    • Air Control is also featured, especially blatantly in Xen of Half-Life, but you do have to collect a special power-up to let you do egregious physics violations.
    • Inertia was kind of fixed in Half-Life 2, at least when moving on trains. However, there's a section where you jump on a speeding train, and inertia no longer applies.
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight does the hold-for-longer-jump thing, but you don't actually jump until you let go of the button, just like Spider-Man 2 mentioned under "Action Adventure". However, it's especially ridiculous in this game because you can augment your jumps with the Force.
    • Force Jump in the original Jedi Knight is also egregious: it's possible to a) kill yourself by jumping into a low ceiling with full force jump power, and b) kill yourself by using force jump to jump as high as possible, then take falling damage by landing back on the exact same spot you jumped from.
  • Most of the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series of games the player can jump half the height of the door, and turn in midair, as well as crouch. The fact that none of that affects one's mobility is a point exploited by players to make being shot at that much more difficult. Later games made jumping begin to slow down players for a short time (Repeatedly jumping making the character almost at crawl speed in later Modern Warfare games).
  • In Crysis, the strength mode on your suit allows you to jump much higher than usual, allowing you to scale cliffs and jump on top of buildings.
  • A lot of early 3D games with more primitive jump physics don't actually have jump physics beyond "what goes up must come down." This is especially noticeable in cases like Rise of the Triad and Super Mario Kart, where the character could move/steer just as easily in the air as they could on the ground.
  • Halo; it's sort of justified by you usually being a superhuman, but you still have a pretty floaty jump even in "normal" gravity. Also, in most games, you die rather easily from fall damage, but in Halo 2, 3, and 5, fall damage is removed; this is kind of handwaved by your suit being built to withstand the falls, but 2 also has you playing as an alien in outdated armor.
    • Halo 3: ODST is set on Earth, and the PCs are a squad of normal human beings. Now you take pretty severe fall damage and can't jump as high, but your jump is still pretty floaty.
  • The first Quake allowed the player to change directions and move freely while in the air (called "air control" in the Quake fandom), but this was taken out in Quake II and later games.
    • Quake's approach to conservation of momentum was a bit odd, with the end result that you could jump higher when running up a hill, due to the already existing upward momentum. That was fixed eventually.
    • The strange quirks in the way jumping and momentum interacted in Quake created one of the earlier instances of bunny-hopping, where serial jumps would get progressively longer and faster, until your speed would put racehorses to shame.
    • Urban Terror, based on Quake III: Arena, has special maps (jumpmaps) where you go through an obstacle course using the various jump physics. As it has wall-jumping, ledge-grabbing, air control, circle-jumping (turning the mouse while in the air makes you go faster), bunny-hopping and powersliding (crouching in mid-air makes you slide on landing), these courses can get very creative.
  • The Unreal series increased the player's air control in many of the successive sequels. Double-jumping was added in UT2003/UT2004, with an optional setting to allow quadruple-jumping "when double-jump just isn't enough."
  • The Scout from Team Fortress 2 is the only class that can double jump. He can also utilize an aluminum baseball bat named "The Atomizer" for a third jump as long as he's holding it, use the Recoil Boost from an incredibly Sawed-Off Shotgun known as the "Force-A-Nature" to give himself another "jump" on top of that, or hit himself with the Boston Basher (a bloody bat with spikes sticking out of it) to reset his jumps in mid-air, at the cost of a lot of health. And there's the rocket/grenade jumping the Soldier and Demoman use...
    • A Scout can have a maximum of six jumps with the "Soda Popper" at maximum Hype, while a Soldier can use the Rocket Jumper (a non-damaging rocket launcher) to propel himself to great heights depending on the map, or he can use the Gunboats and Beggar's Bazooka's misfires to fly across the map. A Demoman's sticky bombs and grenades throw him farther than the Soldier's rockets throw the Soldier, but cost more health to do so (and the Demoman has less health than the Soldier to begin with). However, the Sticky Jumper lets a Demoman cover tons of ground with little problem at the cost of not causing any damage from the weapon.
  • Jumping in Redneck Rampage is, for one single reason, just plain weird. Instead of Leonard's leaps being in a parabolic arc like you'd expect, his trajectory is best resumed as two lines forming an angle: he jumps and goes up at a constant speed until he reaches a certain height, then immediately he falls just as fast. Needless to say, it makes platforming in the game very frustrating.
  • The original Tribes had fairly normal jumping physics, which was assisted with every armor mounting a Jump Jet Pack. However, a Good Bad Bug allowed players to spam the jump button while going downhill, effectively cancelling the surface friction, allowing them to build up enormous speed as they "ski" downhill. This turned the otherwise moderately paced tactical-lite shooter into the fastest shooter on the planet, with players moving around faster than aircraft as they ski from hill to hill. Skiing was then built into every subsequent game, described in the manuals and tutorials and being absolutely vital to succeeding in multiplayer.
  • The Painkiller series allow for bunny-hopping to quickly run around the large levels (even being told as a tip in Painkiller: Hell & Damnation). Seeing how the series is a send-up of older first-person shooters, you would have a harder time playing without doing so.
  • Much like Doom, you cannot jump in Marathon but you don't take damage from falling. Instead you fall so slow it's as if you're gliding. You fall so slow in fact that you can "glide" over small pits by simply running over them, and have so much air control it's as if you're on the ground.

  • Normal jumping in City of Heroes follows fairly realistic physics, with next to no air control. However, even the first power from the Leaping pool lets a character jump from a platform and land on the next level up, dodging the ceiling and banister on the way there.
    • It does, however, have a sliding scale for falling damage, so the greater you fall the more damage you take. You can't die from a fall, however, only be reduced to a single hit point. Which still can be rather humiliating for your big bad buffed out invulnerable tank when she then gets taken out by a lowly minion who managed to get a hit which you normally wouldn't even notice.
    • That said, a Hero with no jumping related powers can leap a good six to ten feet vertically. Conversely even a hero with several stacking super-jumping powers can only leap modestly tall buildings. Skyscrapers are right out.
  • In EverQuest II, both speed and direction can be changed at will mid-jump (which leads to arc-jumping around obstacles, among other results).
  • One cannot grab ledges in World of Warcraft; many players have fallen to their doom after missing a jump by inches. However, platforming is rare in the game and mostly limited to dungeons. Jump heights are also more realistic, for the roughly human-sized characters: especially given how muscular the characters, other than the undead, appear to be. Dwarves, gnomes and goblins still jump to ludicrous heights, but this is presumably just for the sake of fairness. Also, you don't accelerate while jumping. Though, because of the distance you can cover in a single jump, it is faster to constantly jump than it is to walk.
    • Demon hunters can double jump. This is somewhat justified however, by the fact that they have wings: which although not capable of being used for true flight can presumably be used to compress the air below the demon hunter pushing them upwards.
  • FusionFall contains jumping platforms in dungeon-like areas called Infected Zones, the platforms in Vilgax's ship contains platforms created by Gwen Tennyson, whom had pink platforms that looks very different compared to Infected Zones platforms.
  • Guild Wars 2 jumping allows small mid-air turns. The distance of your jump is determined by how long you hold the jump key. Your forward motion slows down a lot when you release the key causing some very odd jump trajectories. How far you can jump seems to vary a lot in jumping puzzles. Many of the jumping puzzles would be quite simple if the character could climb up onto a chest-high platform. You stop when you land on a surface, even if it is icy or round. While the distance you can jump is not as absurd as in many games, often it is possible to jump up 1.2 meters from standing.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online uses a player's Jump skill to determine how high and far they can jump. Unless a player invests a lot of points into it, the distances are realistic. However, the player can change direction and speed in mid-air as well. Besides that, a number of spells affect how players jump and fall, like Feather Fall and Head in the Clouds.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, all characters can perform a small jump. Outside of clearing small hurdles and a few specific (and optional) platforming challenges, however, it doesn't have much practical use.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 adds jumping to the player's repertoire of moves. Many bosses have weakpoints that require getting extra air to hit, while one boss, the Big Vardha, is a full-on Colossus Climb.
    • Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis allows players to perform double jumps, wall jumps, and glides (which, in conjunction with devices that produce updrafts, allows them to reach new heights).

    Platform Game 
  • Dragon's Wake: The player character is a dragon that can 'jump' multiple times when in the air and also glide. These two abilities work together to create a surprisingly compelling feeling of flight.
  • The mentioned Super Mario Bros. is the Ur-Example. Mario's ability to jump is famous worldwide in Mario-based RPGs.
    • Justified in The Movie by the plumbers' shoplifting of jet boots.
    • Remember: Mario's original name was "Jumpman".
    • Note that originally in Donkey Kong, Mario couldn't change direction in midair and falling beyond his jump height would kill him. Mario Bros. would give him and Luigi the ability to survive falls (necessary as jumping between levels was part of the gameplay) and in Super Mario Bros, they had just enough midair control to cut short a forward jump.
    • The primary difference between Mario, Luigi, and Peach was in their jumps: Luigi flutter-jumps, and Peach can hover.
    • The Mini Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros. changed Mario's mass, but not his jump power, allowing for comparatively super-long jumps.
    • Super Mario 64 takes the original Mario jump physics and logically transitions them into the third dimension — Mario can still do his standard jump and hold his momentum as he moves in air or lands on the ground (allowing him to wall jump and do flips, in addition to his triple jump) and you still have some control of his movement as he's in mid-air. Curiously, Mario has a startling amount of control over his Long Jump, allowing him to keep going backwards without losing momentum if he uses it over and over (which in turn allows the famous "Backwards Long Jump" glitch to work).
    • The 3D Mario titles included fall damage past a certain height, but you could Ground Pound to reset your momentum, trading air control for protection from the fall. This mechanic was scrapped since Super Mario Galaxy, reverting Mario's landing ability to that of the 2D games. Though doing that now causes Mario to crash and unable to move for a while.
    • One of the major sources of difficulty in New Super Mario Bros U stems from the fusion of 2D platformer level design with Jump Physics similar to those in the 3D games, especially in how Mario's inertia is conserved while jumping.
    • Super Mario Land for the Game Boy superficially looks and plays like the original game, but the jump physics are noticeably different; for instance, when Mario jumps diagonally, you can't control how it moves (although you can when it jumps straight up) and he maintains no momentum.
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins features jumping closer to the original game — Mario actually has a little momentum, although he still moves in a rather weightless way.
  • BROS, a knockoff of Super Mario Bros for Atari 8-Bit computers, has very stiff jump physics (it doesn't help that you have to press up on a joystick to jump and move, even if you try to do a diagonal jump), and Mario has no weight or momentum when moving (but a bit of mid-air direction control, oddly), resulting in a platformer rife with Fake Difficulty.
  • The NES pirate hack of Super Mario World is a surprisingly ambitious port of the Super Nintendo classic, and it would actually be playable — provided they hadn't botched Mario's jumping. Whether Mario is moving slow or running as fast as a bullet, jumping automatically negates any momentum, leaving Mario with a very limited jumping range. Fortunately, he can still control the direction of his jump in midair.
  • Somari, an NES bootleg of Sonic the Hedgehog with Mario sprites, has similar jump physics to the latter game, but with much stiffer controls.
  • In Mega Man, characters can be steered while falling, and Bass can double jump in Mega Man & Bass.
    • The Mega Man X, Zero, and ZX games gave the player a useful wall kick, as well as air-dashes under certain conditions. The wall kick can be combined with air control to climb up vertical walls by jumping off them repeatedly.
    • In some of the Classic and X games, certain weapons, when used in midair, will stop their aerial momentum momentarily, allowing the user to pass long gaps; such as the Magma Blade in X6 or Vile's Shoulder Cannon and Leg Cannon in Maverick Hunter X.
  • In the Commander Keen games, the protagonist has a pogo stick, which enables him to make very high jumps. In Commander Keen 4, the protagonist also gains the ability to grab onto the edge of walls and pull himself up.
  • The 2D Prince of Persia games were known for their realism at the time; the animations were actually hand-rotoscoped from live footage. The hero's movements have more to do with real humans than most computer sprites. (But he can still jump maximum distance, slam into a wall, fall ten feet, grab onto a stone projection by his fingertips, chin himself, and then do it all over again.) Newer games are still fairly realistic, but with more Le Parkour.
  • N combines extremely liberal jump physics with regular fall damage. Get too creative with your flying around and you will splatter. If you go too fast in wall jumps, you can splatter on the ceiling. An interesting aspect of N is that whether or not a fall kills you depends on your velocity perpendicular to the surface you strike. For example, you can fall any distance straight down and survive if you land on a slope of more than ~45 degrees.
  • Air control is played straight in Gamer 2, especially in the level where you're falling through an endless sky, where it becomes your only way of avoiding obstacles.
  • Rayman has an interesting time with the eighth rule, making ledge-grabbing one of the skills the main character actually has to learn.
  • A more gentle use in Ghosts 'n Goblins. Arthur's jump is not particularly high compared to that of other platform game characters, and its direction can't be changed once started.
    • In Super Ghosts 'n Goblins (and possibly other games as well), Arthur does have a double jump and can choose to aim in a different direction than his first jump, though he will then be committed to the new trajectory. Also, he can't use a mid-air jump if he walks off of a ledge (which also causes him to fall straight down even if he was running... Selective Inertia?)
  • Bionic Commando offers a unique approach to jump physics: You can't jump at all, and instead you have to rely on your bionic arm to get around. The developers of the remake, Bionic Commando Rearmed noted that the swinging physics are in complete defiance of the laws of motion, but the Rule of Fun keeps it all valid.
  • Crash from Crash Bandicoot has three types of jump: normal, double and crouch/slide jump.
    • Later games introduce the ability to spin rapidly in the air to slow your decent and give Crash a few more seconds of hang time.
  • The Metroid series plays with this trope every way to Sunday. Depending on which game you're playing and which power-ups you've collected, you may be able to jump, high jump, bomb jump (which can almost always be chained at least once, sometimes indefinitely; it is also possible to bomb jump diagonally up and to a side, which can of course be chained, sometimes indefinitely), wall jump, double jump, space (infinite) jump, grab ledges, and/or kill enemies by jumping into them.
    • Jump physics has become such a trademark of the franchise, in fact, that when Nintendo first announced Metroid Prime, many fans' first reaction was "How the hell are they going to do jumps in first person?" The first answer was Double Jump only with generous leeway. Then Metroid Prime 2: Echoes gave a Triple Jump underwater and a nerfed Infinite Jump (Quintuple Jump only, committed jumps.)
  • I Wanna Be the Guy usually plays this trope straight (with a double jump, a Wall Jump in a few cases, etc.) but in the level where you're on a cart, your inertia is actually maintained, and if you simply jump without trying to go in either direction, you'll land right back on the moving cart.
  • Then there's Nifflas games: pretty much all any Nifflas character can do is jump, and sometimes, cling to walls. In Knytt Stories, this includes double-jumping, jumping while falling, and jumping while gently floating down holding an umbrella. It's adorable. And at times horrifyingly Nintendo Hard.
  • Notable is LittleBigPlanet for actually conserving momentum when jumping; if you were on a moving platform when you jumped, you would still be moving along with it (though air friction might move you back if the platform was fast enough), and jumping on an upward-moving platform provided a noticeably higher jump, again depending on the speed.
  • In Super Mario Galaxy, if you jump on a moving platform, you actually don't stay in place. All planetoids exert a force of 1 G, regardless of their size.
    • Also don't forget the fact in his playthrough we find out that Luigi apparently butters the soles of his shoes wherever he goes (although he's been like that on and off since Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and Super Mario Bros. 2).
  • Croc, you conserve momentum when jumping from a moving platform. It goes further than that, simply being above a moving platform gives you its momentum (angular or not), even if you didn't jump from it.
  • In Spelunky, your character is one block tall, and can jump up only one block. He can grab a ledge and mantle up (or down to hang from it). Falling damage is brutal but falling into water is safe. But there is a springboard effect when landing on enemies. You also jump less or more by tapping the jump button or holding it down, respectively.
  • In Jumper, we have Ogmo, who can Double Jump, has no moving platform inertia, push crates around while having no arms and bounce off cannonballs. Jumper Two gave him the ability to perform wall jumps, skid jumps and slippery ice which disables skid jumps.
  • Head over Heels offers different mechanics to each half; Head, being the top half and therefore having the arms, and thus wings, can jump twice his own height, glide, and control himself in the air. Heels is the bottom half with the feet; this gives him Super-Speed (relative to Head), but he can only jump his own height and falls like a stone as soon as he reaches the peak. The combined being gets Head's jump powers and Heels' speed.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989) had awful jumping physics: the turtles nearly reached the top of the screen, descended slowly and while you could change the direction midair, the slightest touch in the D-Pad made the turtle would turn abruptly keeping the momentum, forcing the player to make unnecessary high jumps and tapping left-right madly to make the character land safely. It doesn't help that after area 3 it is required to make awfully precise jumps almost all the time.
  • In Rod Land, the ability to jump can be enabled or disabled by option. The way to get to higher platforms, however, is by placing ladders.
  • In Donkey Kong Country, the key to grabbing many goodies or even sometimes just to progress is to roll into the air and bounce off of nothing at all. It's how you're supposed to pick up all those bananas and coins halfway down a bottomless pit without dying.
  • Bomb Jack was one of the first Platform Games to give the player full air control, with controls allowing Jack to jump higher or not so high and fall slower or faster. Mighty Bomb Jack kept these jumping mechanics, but Bomb Jack II changed them completely: Jack can jump only to platforms that are directly above, below, or to the side.
  • In some Spyro the Dragon games, Spyro is able to double-jump, and in most games he can "hover", which is basically another name for "mantling". Justified in that he's a dragon with wings.
  • Athena has some bizarre jumping physics that make Athena jump higher after completing one normal jump. This happens once she gets the Shoes of Icarus, or from the start in the NES version.
  • Jak and Daxter's Jak must have some amazing upper body strength. If timed correctly, it's possible to jump, go into a dive to punch the ground and jump again right when Jak's fists connect, essentially pushing himself up by the arms—up to three times his body height. Falls from great height cause damage, but it's possible to avert this by doing a Spin Attack right before hitting the ground, slowing him down.
  • In Jetpack, you can jump (and control your falling direction) when the Jet Pack is out of fuel, but jumping is slow and gains only one block in height.
  • Jumping is different for every character in The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures. The Nerd jumps normally, while Mike has the highest height. The Bullshit Man and the Guitar Guy suffer somewhat in this department, but make up for it elsewhere (the former has a Double Jump while the latter can run faster).
  • In Summit, you can turn in mid air, and also survive jumps from any height. The main character will take a second to recover though.
  • Gunvolt starts off with a basic jump of about one and a half times his height, and can slowly glide by using the Flashfield (at the cost of his energy), as well as jump after dashing for an increase in distance. He can equip items to give him double and triple jumps as well, meaning he can clear large swaths of each stage just with a few timed jumps and glides.
  • Action 52 has all of its platformers share similar or identical jump physics, all of them being stiff, sloppy mechanics that will only let you move in mid-jump while you're descending. The jumps have no momentum or weight, whether you're rising or falling.
  • Kid Kool for the NES (and likewise, Psycho Fox for the Sega Master System) features jumping physics similar to the original Super Mario Bros., although you don't have as much control over the midair jumps.
  • In Woah Dave!, Dave has just as much control in the air as he does on the ground.
  • In P.P. Hammer and his Pneumatic Weapon, the title character can normally jump the height of two tiles, but drinking a blue potion will allow him to jump one tile higher.
  • Clarence's Big Chance: Lampshaded.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic, Tails and Knuckles all have different jump physics. Sonic and Tails has normal jump heights, but Sonic can access special shield jumps while Tails can fly. Knuckles has pathetic jump heights (which makes playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2 harder) but makes up for it with the ability to glide, scale walls, and smash through any breakable obstacle.
    • In Sonic Adventure, only Sonic, Tails and Knuckles can spin attack while jumping. However, Amy can dash jump and swing her hammer in the air and Gamma can hover once he gains the right equipment. Big has the worst jump height and it really doesn't matter as the guy doesn't really need to jump much.
    • Sonic Mania upgrades Sonic's 2D jumping abilities with the Drop Dash, which lets him build momentum to spin along the ground at high speeds when he lands. The DLC adds Ray and Mighty, who have their own jumping abilities: Ray has his own method of gliding that lets him control his ascent and descent, while Mighty can perform a Ground Pound.
  • In City Connection, the car can somehow jump.
  • Mr. Bean: Around the World: Tap to jump, tap longer for a higher jump, tap again in mid-air to glide.

    Puzzle Game 
  • In Portal, Chell is able to survive falling a hundred feet, getting thrown across a room the size of a city block, reaching terminal velocity, etc. because she has springs attached to her ankles. According to the commentary track, the springs were added after playtesters started asking questions. It is still not explained why she can change directions in midair.
  • In The Quest of Ki, Ki can levitate to any height by holding down the jump button, but can't jump in mid-air. Also, if she hits the ceiling, she will fall straight down and get stunned; as one in-game hint says, this is actually important for getting through some spots. This is because it's the only way for Ki to duck.
  • The player in TRI: Of Friendship and Madness can survive a fall from a seemingly endless pit, and then some. It's also possible to do some midair acrobatics due to all the gravity screwing going on.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • In Battle Zone 1998 and the sequel, every Hover Tank (and even the Humongous Mecha in the original) could "jump", either literally or via ventral thrusters. In 1998, the jump was largely only for evasive maneuvers or for a minor Diagonal Speed Boost. However, in Battlezone II, glitches in the physics engine allowed fast hovertanks to rocket hundreds of meters into the air and hover for quite some time through careful use of the reverse and jump thrusters. The ability to hover was significantly reduced in an update.

    Role Playing Game 
  • In Final Fantasy VII's final dungeon, the platforms spiral downward, so the spacing isn't really an issue (though, in real life, jumping from one rock to the next would be difficult and rather painful). The problem occurs if/when the player decides to go back, and Cloud is mysteriously able to leap fantastic distances. Also used in The Movie, liberally, pushing the limits of Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
    • To elaborate on the movie reference. There is an extended fight sequence against Bahamut Sin that climaxes with Bahamut soaring a good 1,000 feet above Midgar's tallest building in order to unleash Megaflare. The ensemble work together as a giant chain springboard to catapult Cloud upwards through the city and into the air, each character giving him a boost as he reaches them. Some of the more outlandish boosts involve completely ignoring Newton's Third Law by having both characters midair and somehow throwing or pushing Cloud upward faster.
  • Vagrant Story features a surprising amount of platforming/Le Parkour for a... hardcore Squaresoft stat-centric RPG set in classic Ivalice. Since the main character's agility stat determines his platforming skills, some parts of the game are simply closed off until New Game Plus because it's literally impossible to get your stat high enough the first time around.
    • Not being able to jump high enough to get past a certain crate leads to Game Breaking Bugs, if you don't have a long-range weapon to break the crate with.
    • Also, Ashley can change jump directions in mid-air... which starts to look just plain silly after his stat is maxed out.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Through much of the series, your jumping ability is based on your Acrobatics skill. Maxing out your Acrobatics skill allows you jump about two stories straight into the air.
    • Morrowind adds the Scrolls of Icarian Flight. When used, they boost your Acrobatics skill by thousands of points, allowing you to leap for miles. However, they wear off after only a few seconds, meaning you'll no longer have the ability to land safely. (As the wizard who created them found out the hard way. You naturally loot the scrolls off of his fallen corpse.) They can still be utilized if you use them in conjunction with a Slowfall spell, a Levitation spell, land in deep enough water, or use a second scroll just prior to landing (though be warned, you only get three).
    • Oblivion adds additional perks to the series' standard skills. At the max level of the Acrobatics skill, you get a perk that allows you to jump off the surface of water.
    • Skyrim removes Acrobatics as a skill and instead sets a standard jump height based on race.
  • The recent iterations of the Fallout series have always had quite a floaty jump, but Fallout 4 now allows characters to jump while in water. While making it much easier to navigate in water, it also looks incredibly strange in third person.
  • In the Hunter: The Reckoning game for the Nintendo GameCube, jumping committed a character to flying in a given direction until she landed. Like many other games you were also allowed to freely change your facing in mid-air, probably to allow you to jump, flip around, and fire your guns at pursuing zombies. In any multiplayer game however, players will quickly realize that they can spin wildly in the air like a top while jumping, without losing any momentum or slowing themselves down. Doing this doesn't offer any benefits but looks hilarious and so frequently becomes many players' default method of moving through already cleared areas.
  • Any Final Fantasy Dragoon can Jump... and stay in midair for a long time. Pretty much defeats the point of having an armored character, though. In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, though, the jump attack, like all other attacks, is instant.
  • Soaring Machinariae: The game has a jump button, and at the highest point of the jump, Iris can avoid certain attacks. However, Iris cannot jump over enemies.
  • Fortune Summoners: Even Squishy Wizard-type Child Mages can jump multiple times their height to reach the second floor of buildings in a single bound.
  • Wife Quest: Mia, an adult woman, can jump more than twice her own height.

  • Tallowmere is completely ridiculous with this. Your character can jump any number of times in midair without ever touching the ground. Basically, it's the "pause jump" bug from Contra Force below, only it's a fundamental aspect of the gameplay (and no pausing is involved (in fact, "pausing" the wrong way may send you right back down to the ground, due to the game's Real-Time Weapon Change mechanics)). The game's Randomly Generated Levels are actually built with a hero who can literally Double Jump all day in mind; during the course of a game, you'll be crossing dozens of ridiculously wide gaps (don't worry, there are no Bottomless Pits in this game (though Spikes of Doom are plentiful)), ascending through countless tall vertical shafts (again, potentially with Spikes of Doom a-plenty), and if you make it far enough, eventually navigating through a chamber where all surfaces save the start and exit are covered in Spikes of Doom.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • Contra Force has a famous "pause jump" bug: if the game is paused when the character is performing a jump, then, after the game is resumed, he will still fly up the distance of a jump. And then it can be done again. That is, with perfect pause timing, one can literally FLY.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • The (unfortunately) forgettable sci-fi stealth game Stolen allows and requires the standard leaping, wall-jumping and mantling, but outside of hopping in place (and as you can whistle, this is even redundant for deliberately making noise) only allows jumping to be done in specific locations; the jump key normally executes a roll. For example, while you can walk up onto a toilet to reach a wall vent, you can't jump onto the toilet. Likewise, you can't in any way move onto a desk or jump off of a "nonessential" crate. The game does thoughtfully display all jumping and climbing-related keys when they're usable, but the constraints on movement are still evident.

    Survival Horror 
  • Krauser from Resident Evil 4 displays some crazy jumping ability. Leon can't even jump over crates stacked oddly on top of one another. Otherwise the jump physics were pretty good.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Crackdown's cybernetic main character can vault several city blocks when his Agility skill rises high enough.
  • Shadows of the Empire has uncommonly realistic jump physics in its train level. The train sometimes turns, sharply (for a train, at least), and if you jump, you're likely to land to the train's side, just as you would expect. The trick comes in waiting for straight sections, or jumping lightly and from the inside.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Grand Theft Auto IV has fairly realistic physics in this regard. Standing still, Niko can't get more than a few inches of height. A running jump can clear a few feet, but not more than you'd expect. And, of course, inertia takes its toll if you decide to jump on a speeding train or some such. Although the sprinting animation is a lot faster than the jumping animation, so if you jump while at full speed, the difference apparently evaporates into the ether and Niko slows right down.
    • However, in San Andreas, the Jump Physics are all over the place. CJ himself can't jump very high (although he can abuse Le Parkour), but if you max his Biking stat, stick him on a Mountain Bike, and bunny hop, he can scale Mount Chilliad in a couple of minutes — and fall off it with no hit point loss.
  • [PROTOTYPE]: Alex Mercer can do some pretty insane things, starting with jumping thirty feet in the air and working up to airdashing back against his previous momentum; there's an entire upgrade category dedicated to physics-warping stunts like this.
  • One of the signature elements of the Gothic series (to the point its absence is one of the reasons 3 and 4 are considered to not exist) is the context sensitive jump system, where instead of the default standard barely-controllable Real Life/Belmont long jump, the hero will automatically do a standing jump if under a ledge and try to grab it, climb over any low edges in his path, or pull himself up if any ledge above him is low enough. The physics get very gamey, however, if the player is trained in the acrobatics skill (5 skill points in Gothic 1 or upon reaching a given point in dexterity in Gothic 2 with Night of the Raven), which makes his jumps turn him into a fully controllable missile.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Mid-air direction changes and surviving falls are Cracked's #9 Science Lesson As Taught by Famous Video Games.
  • Whateley Universe: some superpowers can result in video-game-esque effects when jumping (e.g., the 'lightfoot kung fu' used by some of the superpowered martial artists such as Bladedancer and Chaka). In particular, when Phase shifts his density control powers from ultra-dense (and super-strong) to intangible while in the middle of a jump, the particular extra-dimensional interactions of his powers with ordinary momentum can cause him shoot forward at high speed. Controlling his trajectory is still proving difficult, however.