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Wall Crawl

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The elevators must be out again.

"There was something strange about the way he walked... much more vertical than usual."
Abe Simpson (on a cat burglar), The Simpsons

The ability to scale vertical surfaces. There are many ways it can be done. You might have been bitten by a radioactive or genetically modified spider. You might be part gecko. You might have mysterious Ninja powers. You might use magnetic boots or suction cups. You might just be such a good climber that you can make use of any natural hand- and footholds, no matter how small.

However it's done, characters with this ability can scale cliffs as easily as crossing the road. The best are even able to crawl across ceilings, and they almost never encounter drywall that isn't strong enough to bear their weight.

Compare Wall Jump, Wall Run, Ceiling Cling, Le Parkour, Building Swing, Driving Up a Wall and Running on All Fours.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Naruto: Ninjas learn wall-walking. With chakra being the source of all breaks from reality in the series, this is explained as the user concentrating chakra to his or her feet. With enough skill it is also possible to freely walk on ceilings or water.
  • Baccano!: Both Rachel and Claire demonstrate this ability on the outside of a moving train. Rachel at least has the decency to struggle at it (she's trained, but not that well). Claire, on the other hand, may as well be Spider-Man.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro: Neuro can often be found defying gravity. For example, in one episode, you see Yako attending school when Neuro ends up right outside the class window, obviously nowhere near the ground level.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Beyond frequent Wall Running, Ranma is a good enough climber to pulls this out. In fact, in the first Kodachi storyline, he actually scurries up the dojo wall and across the ceiling in the exact same manner as Spider-Man.
    • In the "Martial Art Tea Ceremony" storyline, the Daimonji elder demonstrates that she can sit seiza-style on the ceiling. She's holding up — and moving — entirely by the strength of her toes.
  • Hellsing: Both Alucard and Tubalcain display this ability in their fight in the 3rd OVA.
  • Heroman: Heroman has achieved this by using his magnetic powers to cling to metal surfaces.
  • Lupin III: Lupin is exceptionally skilled at scaling walls, what with being the world's greatest thief. One of the finest examples is in The Castle of Cagliostro.
  • In K: Missing Kings, Yukari and Kuroh have a sword fight up the side of a skyscraper, using their powers to hold them up.
  • The Strange Lolita from Ibitsu is able to do this... unless Kazuki imagined it happening. It's left ambiguous.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Mikoto Misaka can do this via magnetism, assuming the walls have metal in them somewhere.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
  • The Beast Titan in Attack on Titan has proven able to effortlessly climb to the top of the massive Wall Rose in a matter of moments.
  • Kouichi "The Crawler" Haimawari, main character of My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, has this ability as a part of his Quirk. Initially, he only uses his ability to glide along the ground, but discovers early in the series that he can glide along vertical surfaces as well.
  • In the main My Hero Academia series, it eventually turns out that Spinner's Quirk gives him this ability, or more specifically his Quirk, "Gecko" makes him an Animal-Themed Superbeing with the wall-sticking abilities and appearance of a gecko.
    • Tsuyu Asui's Quirk, Frog, likewise gives her the ability to stick to and crawl along walls among other frog-like abilities, such as a long prehensile tongue, jumping long distances, and camouflaging herself.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Man is the Trope Codifier. His arachnid powers allow him to scale buildings and cling to ceilings. The explanation on how varies from writer to writer and comic book age to comic book age.
    • Legacy Character May Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Girl, inherited the ability. In an odd twist, the stickiness actually manifests as a sort of magnetic field around her rather than just on her hands and feet. As a result, not only can she climb walls, she can repel whatever she's sticking to and force others to stick as well.
    • Nearly all the Spider-powered supers of the Marvel Universe can do the same with the odd exceptions of Spider-Man Noir who couldn't wall-crawl in his introductory series (at least until he started interacting with the main Marvel universe) and Spider-Woman Mattie Franklin who can instead fly.
    • The Lizard can also do this. In his first appearance, he compares it to the ability of the gecko.
    • The Scorpion has also sometimes been shown doing this, to further his Evil Counterpart status.
    • Speaking of Evil Counterpart, Venom can also do this.
    • Spider-Woman (the Jessica Drew one) has been known to wall crawl on occasion, but she's one of those characters whose powers can't seem to be kept straight so the ability sort of comes and goes Depending on the Writer; the fact that she can glide (technically she can't really fly, though she often might as well be able to) also means she often doesn't need to.
  • The X-Men characters Nightcrawler, villainous but pathetic Sycophantic Servant Toad, and Ensemble Dark Horse Anole. Beast, in his more apelike version of his blue furry form, can do this because his nails can dig into even brick.
  • Nightcat (who appears in the single issue of Nightcat) of Marvel Comic Book can climb up walls like a cat.
  • The Golden Age DC Comics character Airwave (who appeared in the back pages of Detective Comics, back before it became "Detective Comics featuring Batman", and later "Batman in Detective Comics") can do this through electrically charged boots that allow him to stick to walls through electromagnetism. (He can also skate along powerlines, and yes, we know most walls aren't metallic, so electromagnetism wouldn't work, just go with it, okay!)
  • Batman has done this a few times, usually through the use of certain gadgets, but sometimes just because he's Batman.
  • Nightwing has used gadgets which allow him to climb walls in this manner on occasion, generally suction cups of some variety.
  • In the Superman storyline The Leper from Krypton Clark Kent is brainwashed by a criminal boss into finding Superman and infecting him with an alien disease. Clark loses most of his memories during the brainwashing, including thoses related to his secret identity, but he instinctively knows where Superman lives. However, since he does not remember it is his home, he decides to break into the apartment by climbing up the wall with his bare hands.
  • Wonder Woman: Before gaining the sandals which grant her flight, Diana would occasionally need to scale a wall which she would either do by digging knives or her fingers into it while climbing.
  • Empowered, thanks to her clingy supersuit. She discovered it by accident.
  • ORPHANIMO!!: In the first album, Sharp modifies a vacuum cleaner with two suction cups, so it can be uses it to scale walls.
  • Jack Hawksmoor of The Authority can walk on walls as easily as if they were horizontal.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Several kaiju demonstrate the ability to scale buildings and other vertical surfaces with no apparent trouble. Besides the Skullcrawlers, Mothra's larval form can Wall Crawl, as can MaNi/Elder Brother, and Monster X at one point attempts this with some success by using their claws like pickaxes. It's also an Implied Trope with Manda (who has no trouble crawling all over adult Titans) and the Artificial Zombies (if that one blood trail leading up a wall into a vent in the ceiling was any indication).
  • In the Worm fanfiction, Intrepid, Sophia gains this ability with tinkertech provided by Bryce. She uses it to spy on a meeting between the E88.
  • In A Tale of Transmigration, Taylor has her living suit do the same.
  • At the beginning of The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, while the four are reveling in the return of their magic, John climbs down a tree by coating his hands and the bottom of his shoes with "sticky water" (since he has the ability to alter the physical properties of water). He later uses sticky water to stick a shirt to his body and to stick a piece of paper to a wall.

    Films — Animation 
  • Hotel Transylvania: Both Dracula and his daughter Mavis stand, walk, and dance on the walls or ceiling as casually as on the floor.
  • Jack-Jack in Incredibles 2 is shown to be able to do this as one of his many powers. It is unclear if he alters his body to physically stick to the wall or is simply levitating himself to crawl along the wall.
  • Aisling from The Secret of Kells manages to scale a high tower using her magic.
  • The Simpsons Movie: Homer uses super glue to climb up the dome around Springfield.
  • The various Spider-Men in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Miles Morales initially has trouble controlling his powers, and tends to stick onto things when nervous (such as Gwen's hair); whereas Peter B. Parker is experienced enough to casually stroll vertically on the side of a building at a 90 degree angle with only his feet clinging. Once he starts getting control of his powers, Miles does the same thing.
  • Toy Story 2: Crazy Buzz uses the magnetic grips from his new utility belt to try and haul himself (and the other toys) up an elevator shaft.
  • Wallace & Gromit: Wallace's techno-trousers in The Wrong Trousers come in very handy when hanging wallpaper.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 2002 Spider-Man gives Peter tiny hairs on his palms that grip vertical surfaces... which, along with the organic web shooters and the Power Incontinence, gets decidedly Freudian. Also, this raises a couple of questions like just makes you wonder a) how thin the gloves and shoes of his costume are, and b) how exactly that works when he's sliding down a wall after taking a particularly powerful blow. Wouldn't that hurt?
  • Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams: At the beginning, the main characters have a gadget that's essentially magnetic fingers to scale an amusement park ride.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Moria goblins and Gollum can do this.
  • The Alien series:
    • In Aliens, the aliens are shown crawling on a ceiling. This has been adapted in later movies and been made extensive use of in the Alien vs. Predator games, as alien players are able to change to wall-crawling mode and thus traverse any surface, no matter if vertical or even upside down by simply walking towards it.
    • In Alien³, the Runner Alien crawls across the ceiling at various points. We are shown this when we see the POV of the Alien as it's pursuing one of the convicts, and the screen suddenly takes a 180 degree turn as it climbs up a wall and onto the ceiling.
  • The Exorcist has scenes involving the possessed girl crawling across the walls and ceilings as well, at least on the extended re-cut.
  • The Exorcist III has a creepy granny-on-ceiling moment.
  • Resident Evil: The Licker — a mutating monster — could Wall Crawl.
  • In Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Ethan has to scale the outside of the Burj Khalifa using gloves. It would normally be out of the question, but this is Mission Impossible.
  • Duan Yu from the kung-fu fantasy film, The Battle Wizard, displays his powerful chi ability by concentrating his energy to his foot, and then using it to escape from the bottom of a pit trap by walking vertically upwards.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula: Along with the count in the iconic scene of Harker seeing him crawl up a castle wall. One of Dracula's brides is shown doing this after the Count stops them from feeding on Harker and flings one of them into a wall.
  • In Danger: Diabolik, the title character uses glass-handling suction cups to scale a castle wall. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew had a field day with this, mocking how impractical it was:
    Mike: Diabolik's three feet down the wall, going as fast as he can...
  • Spoofed in Superhero Movie, when the Spider-Man knockoff starts to climb a brick wall and looks thrilled — until a cat runs up the wall next to him.
  • Lestat does this in Queen of the Damned when two groupies try to "entertain" him. They're impressed at first, and then terrified when he shows his fangs. Then he drinks their blood.
  • In Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire, after the kids get Dimitri thrown out of the club, he simply gets up from the ground and walks up the wall.
  • In The Thirteenth Year, due to the main character budding into a merman, his hands and feet get sticky and can climb on walls and ceilings. He later uses this to his advantage to hide from bullies.
  • In The Scribbler, the main character (who suffers from Split Personality syndrome) is using a portable electroshock therapy unit to "burn away" her excess personnas. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of the treatment is the ability to stand and walk upright on the side of a building which is spoiled by the movie poster.
  • In The Fly (1986), Seth Brundle starts doing this about midway through his transformation into Brundlefly.
  • Some Slayers scale a castle wall this way in the opening battle-scene from Krull.
  • Spawn (1997): While trying to escape from the cops, Spawn does the Spider-Man routine on the side of a building when he finds that his hand can turn into a sucker.
  • The Harold Lloyd film Safety Last! involves the main character scaling a wall as part of a publicity stunt, using gaps between the bricks. After a lot of mishaps along the way he ends up dangling from the hands of a clock high above the ground, in one of the most famous non-Chaplin moments of the silent film era.
  • In the Gene Wilder bomb Haunted Honeymoon, a creepy figure with a deformed face appears directly above Gene's bed, walking on the wall above the headboard.
  • Superman: The Movie. Superman catches a cat burglar crawling up the side of a skyscraper with suction cups and quips, "Something wrong with the elevator?" The burglar is so startled at the sign of a man standing on the side of a building that he lets go and falls screaming until Superman casually flies down and grabs him.
  • The Princess: The princess climbs up the side of the castle outside twice to escape.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: One of the products for sale at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes are shoes with (magically powerful) suction cups on the soles; a customer is shown walking straight up a wall wearing them.

  • The dwarves in Artemis Fowl have the ability to absorb moisture through their pores, which enlarge when dehydrated. While this is useful if you are trapped in a cave in, Mulch makes use of their suction-cup pores to scale glass buildings, and avoid cameras once inside.
  • Art from the book Art the Gecko Makes a Friend can naturally do this.
  • The BFG: One of the dreams collected by the BFG is about a boy inventing suction boots, enabling him to walk up the wall and across the ceiling. When the boy's sister comes in and yells at him, he says that he told her she was driving him up the wall, and now she has done it.
  • In Mickey Zucker Reichert's Bifrost Guardians series, a character is known as the Shadow Climber due to his almost supernatural ability to climb almost any surface. (Though if the surface is too smooth, he's out of luck just like anyone else.)
  • Conan the Barbarian: One of Conan's many talents is the ability to scale sheer cliffs that would be suicidal to attempt for any other human being. Knowledgeable characters observing him doing so recognize it as a distinctly Cimmerian trait, despite the fact that Conan is the only Cimmerian the reader ever sees.
  • Dracula: In Bram Stoker's original novel, one of the first obvious hints that Dracula is something other than human occurs when Jonathan Harker witnesses the Count crawling down the castle walls face first in "lizard fashion", as Jonathan describes it.
  • The Famous Five: In Five Fall into Adventure, the gipsy child Jo scales a high ivy-covered wall to rescue George, and boasts that she has climbed walls without any ivy at all, saying that there are always cracks and holes to hold on to. Later, she descends a steep cliff very rapidly, seeming to find handholds and footholds by magic. In Five Have a Wonderful Time, she offers to scale a much higher castle wall, but the Five will not allow her to.
  • In The Girl from the Well, due to dying upside-down in a well, Okiku often manifests upside-down, clinging to walls or the ceiling.
  • The nameless feral child from Gormenghast scales the walls of a cave when Titus startles her, clambering around the rough surface like a lizard.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is capable of climbing head-first down a sheer cliff face.
  • Mark Delewen and the Space Pirates has the main character walking on the ceiling through the use of a gravity belt.
  • Oblivion: A Wall Crawl up one of Chicago's skyscrapers is part of the story "Mister Squishy" in David Foster Wallace's short story collection. David Foster Wallace being who he is, said crawl involves suction cups and is quite obvious to the Chicagoans below, but is left quite unresolved at the end of the story.
  • A universal vampiric power in Old Scores; Simon crawls up and down walls, and Salem gets a running, high jump and latches onto a wall on impact.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, this is one of the powers granted by Lifebinding, which even works through any shoes or gloves that the user wears, enabling them to climb walls. Sunforged boots also have this property, gripping any surface beyond what any ordinary substance would be capable of.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant: One of Tanith Low's signature moves is to run up the wall and attack from the ceiling.
  • Rhaegal the dragon from A Song of Ice and Fire takes to doing these when inside (or on) Meereenese brick pyramids. Much, much more so than his/her/its sibling Viserion manages. And, is disconcertingly good at it, up to Stealth Hi/Bye levels of ninjadom.
  • Grumph learns a spell allowing him to do this in the second Spells, Swords, & Stealth book, Split the Party, in preparation for his trial to become a member of the Mages' Guild. He initially uses the spell to go up the walls of a room with a blinding rainstorm blowing through it and avoid risking the stairs. It also inadvertently bypasses an obstacle further up which involves lightning striking the stairs, but not the walls. He later uses it on Gabrielle as part of a plan to ambush the book's main antagonist.
  • The Stormlight Archive has Szeth who can use his Gravity Master powers to redefine "down" for himself, allowing him to walk on walls and ceilings easily. Also Kaladin while he hasn't yet figured out that trick, nonetheless managed to get up a sheer chasm wall by magically sticking rocks to it to use as hand and footholds.
  • Ward: Snag can presumably do the same by "falling" horizontally till he hits a wall feet-first.
  • In the Whateley Universe, there's more than one character who can do this. The main character Chaka has figured out how to use her Ki powers to run up and down sheer walls. The supervillain Nex can do this using telekinesis. The side character Aquerna can do this because she has captured the spirit of the squirrel. And so on... In one scene, there's a wall-crawling conga line.
  • Worm:
    • Climbing walls is one of Newter's abilities.
    • Topsy's Gravity Master ability lets him rotate gravity 90°, letting him walk up and down walls.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Part of Mohinder's new-found lizard-ness in Heroes allows him to do this.
  • Examined and attempted by the MythBusters; Adam was able to get partway up a building, but lacked the stamina go get to the top, earning the myth a "Plausible" rating.
  • The Avengers episode "The Winged Avenger" has magnetic boots used to scale walls.
  • The spider-like Replicators from Stargate SG-1 can move over any surface. Including one that crawls over Jack O'Neill during his first encounter with them, to his great disgust.
  • In the Stargate Atlantis season 5 episode "Whispers", the hybrid creatures created by Michael can wall-crawl — as Carson Beckett discovers when he gets nose-to-nose with an upside-down one.
  • Some of the Suliban on Star Trek: Enterprise have acquired this ability.
  • On an episode of MacGyver (2016), Mac builds a device that allows him to do this, using a backpack vacuum cleaner.
  • Sikozu in Farscape, explained away as being able to manipulate her center of gravity (which still shouldn't give her the ability to stand at right-angles to a vertical wall the way she often does).
  • In an episode of Sanctuary, Will is turning into a lizard-creature following some contamination by spores from the Hollow Earth, and gains the ability to crawl on walls.
  • The Xena: Warrior Princess episode "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" has a creepy one — when Xena enters a room and the camera pulls back, we see temporary Bacchae (vampire) Gabrielle crawling away above the entrance backwards.
  • In the series Angel you see a vampire, who can also climb in this way, and quickly climbs up a wall. Whether that was a special power of this vampire, or many vampires have this power, is unknown.

  • One of the abilities of the Magician's Trunk in Theatre of Magic is to make pinballs stick to its side.

  • The subject of the poem "Upside Down" by Aileen Fisher:
    It's funny how beetles and creatures like that
    Can walk upside down as well as walk flat
    They crawl on the ceilings and climb up the wall
    Without any practice or trouble at all.
    Well I have been trying for a year, maybe more
    And still I can't stand with my head on the floor.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Achtung! Cthulhu: Seiryu can move at a normal rate across any surface, including walls and ceilings.
  • Burgle Bros.: The Acrobat has this as his advanced ability, allowing him to move up or down between floors whenever he is next to an exterior wall.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The warlock class from D&D 3.5 can pick up an ability which allows them to climb on ceilings, or walls, whenever they want. That said, they can also pick up permanent flying.
    • Furthermore, it is possible for characters with no magic to climb up perfectly smooth walls of force. Then again, they can also swim up waterfalls, so it might just be a case of the game getting ridiculous after a while.
    • Also featured in D&D are "Boots of Spiderwalk" that allow this.
    • In 4th, the new Dark pact for the Warlock class has this as a 2nd level Utility power, called Spider Scuttle; As you casually scale the wall, onlookers catch glimpses of hundreds of shadowy legs and pieces of spider-selves that couldn't possibly match the real you.
    • Making this older than most people realize, at least where tabletop gaming is concerned, first edition Dungeons & Dragons featured the "Spider Climb" spell, also seen later. Guess what it does? In the newer editions, it is even available to everyone as a purchasable/craftable alchemical potion: nothing quite beats a Spider Rogue scaling a castle wall at her full climbing speed and Stealth skill bonus.
    • Vampires in the game have the ability, presumably going back to the example in Dracula.
    • Martial adepts (from the Tome of Battle — Book of Nine Swords) can do this without any magical help with the Shadow Hand stance "Dance of the Spider".
    • Copper dragons can do this in some editions, as an inherent ability suited to their favored habitat of canyons and rugged badlands.
  • Exalted gives Solars an athletics Charm called Spider-Foot Style. As above... guess what it does?
  • GURPS: Martial Arts: Lizard-Climb and the advantage Clinging (which you can get cheap if you limit it to certain surfaces, like metal or chocolate).
  • Noumenon: Sarcophagi have soft, cushion-like pads on their hands and feet called pulvilli, which let them cling to walls and ceilings.
  • Pathfinder: Lichen leshys cling to hard materials just as stubbornly as their namesakes, and can scramble right up vertical surfaces at need.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition: The Level 3 power of Potence, "Uncanny Grip", allows the user to climb or hang from virtually any surface.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Ann gains an item called the Gelcor Fiber, which lets her climb up on metallic walls after Air-Dashing into them.
  • Bread & Fred: Downplayed. Bread and Fred can cling to walls for short periods of time, though their faces turn increasingly red the longer they hold on.
  • In Chicory: A Colorful Tale, the fourth Brush ability Pizza unlocks allows them to swim through paint up vertical surfaces.
  • Devil May Cry 2: The Msira demons can crawl on walls just like lizards.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Knuckles can use the spikes on his eponymous knuckles to grip and climb walls. This allows him to reach areas other characters cannot.
    • The Wii-exclusive Pink Wisp in Sonic Colors covers Sonic in spikes (more so than usual) and allows him to climb walls and ceilings.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Link can climb on walls covered in ivy, and everywhere (walls, ceilings, a madly bouncing platform floating in lava...) magnetic with the Iron Boots.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The Gekko in the Woodfall Temple periodically scampers along the walls and ceiling of its room, invulnerable to any attack save the bow and arrows.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The game's incarnation of the Dodongo can do this, thanks to it essentially being a giant fire-breathing gecko. They tend to be the ones to get in your way while navigating the aforementioned magnetic areas.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Link can freely climb nearly every surface in the game. He is however limited by his stamina meter, which drains as you climb.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: In its battle's second phase, Marbled Gohma climbs up the walls of its arena, hangs upside-down from the ceiling, and rains explosive bombs down on Link and Yunobo. Defeating it requires using Yunobo's Rolling Attack on the arena's curved walls in order to break the beast's rocky legs and cause it to fall down to ground, allowing Link to attack it until it reforms its limbs and climbs back up.
  • Alien vs. Predator: The Xenomorph can stick to and run along virtually any type of wall at absurd speed.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Assassin's Creed: Altair is able to scramble up most walls and buildings with remarkable ease, often leaping, swinging, and pulling himself up with incredible physical strength and stamina. This overlaps with Le Parkour, though: Altair himself does not have any powers.
    • This is part of standard Assassin training. Several characters have learned this before becoming Assassins, such as Ezio, Connor (a.k.a. Ratonhnhaké:ton), and Edward.
  • Primal: The gargoyle Scree can climb "any stonework surface". Be aware that this means any stonework surface where it is needed to achieve some goal in the game and no others. He also sometimes gets stuck and begins climbing midair, leading to some interesting views of the complex scenery.
  • Raziel of the Legacy of Kain series learns to climb certain walls partway through the first Soul Reaver game, and his sire Kain picks up the skill during a prequel later in the series.
  • LEGO Harry Potter: In the second half, the characters can wear Weasley Sticky Trainers to walk up striped walls.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid: Zoomers, Zeelas, Violas and Sovas can climb any wall or ceiling.
    • Samus' Spider Ball in Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns allowed her to crawl up walls and ceilings with no trouble; however, in the Metroid Prime Trilogy (excluding Metroid Prime: Hunters and Metroid Prime Pinball), the Spider Ball only allows Samus to cling to magnetic tracks.
    • In Metroid II there are plenty of crawling monsters (tsumuri, moheek, needler, glow flies), although this time around you don't have to wait for them to craw to within your gun's range or use morph ball bombs, as Samus can crouch now. Except gravitts, which can duck down even lower than Samus, although she can just jump over them and shoot down, or use the wave beam.
    • Spire's morph ball form in Hunters has the ability to slowly climb up walls in multiplayer matches.
    • Metroid Dread: Samus can cling to magnetized walls and platforms with the Spider Magnet. The E.M.M.I. mechs are also supposed to have this capability by default, though at least one unit is unable to make use of it because of a missing hand. In fact, Samus obtains the Spider Magnet after destroying E.M.M.I.-02SM, the very first one to demonstrate this.
  • Quiffy from Flood could climb walls and ceilings, unless they were covered in ice or lava.
  • The title character of the game Gex, who is, naturally, a gecko.
  • Strider series:
    • Strider Hiryu; in the first game and its sequel (as well as the Marvel vs. Capcom series), he uses a special hook claw that allows him to climb any surface, vertical wall and hang from ceiling structures. In the NES game, he can obtain magnetic boots that let him walk up conveniently placed magnetic walls and ceilings.
    • Both of Strider's Spiritual Successors, Cannon Dancer and Moon Diver, allow their main characters to climb any wall or ceiling with their bare hands.
    • Which is also the case with Strider's SNES expy, Run Saber.
  • In Temtem, a Scarawatt (basically a giant, electric beetle) can be seen standing on the underside of a small, floating island in the Pillars of Highabove.
  • Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden started with the ability to cling to walls but not climb (except through triple jumps and a tricky form of boomerang jumping). Later games gave him the full ability to climb up and down most walls he grabbed onto. The Game Gear game has an Auto-Scrolling Level that takes place between two skyscrapers, with no other footholds.
  • Lemmings:
    • The ability to climb walls is a talent you can assign to one of your marching horde of Lemmings. It can then climb vertical surfaces, though a ledge will make it fall. Also, no Lemming can climb down even with this ability, meaning they'll just splat if reaching a sheer drop.
    • In Lemmings 2, you can also give magnetic boots to a Lemming, especially with the Space Tribe. They allow it to walk on any surface, even upside-down, although slower than usual.
  • You can buy a pair of gloves in Thief: Deadly Shadows that enables you to scale certain surfaces.
  • BioShock series: The Spider Splicers use this in maximum freakiness.
  • The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall allowed the player to climb any vertical wall in the game with high enough stats and enough time. The main catches were that a) you couldn't stop climbing or you'd fall, b) based on your climbing skill, you had a random chance of falling at any time, and c) you climb very slowly unless you have the 10,000x speed cheat on (which, admittedly, most people did). This was popular enough that fans were up in arms that Morrowind did not include it as a skill.
  • Ghost in the Shell: The game is built around this mechanic. Your Fuchikoma is required to climb up walls, buildings, and even travel on ceilings for certain levels of the game. With less than 2% of the game area unclimbable, you can literally go anywhere you want.
  • Ratchet & Clank: As the "fancy Techno Babble name" levels increased in the games, the hero moved from having magnetic boots to having gravity boots. The main difference here are that you start being able to shoot while using them to walk along the dedicated track.
  • In Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Sly can separate his cane to two halves that he can use to climb up ice walls.
  • Tomb Raider: Underworld: Lara Croft can climb up, down, and sideways along certain walls. And in one of the game's DLC expansions, her Doppelganger has a much faster and more effective version of this power.
  • In Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, Grant Danasty can climb walls and the ceiling if he jumps on it.
  • Spider: The Video Game allows you to cling on walls and surfaces and below platforms, since you're, well, a spider (or to be more precise, a human scientist with your mind swapped with a spider). You'll encounter spider enemies with this ability as well.
  • In the original Street Fighter II, Vega's Flying Barcelona Attack was performed by the boss character by crawling up the cage fence in his stage, then dropping down and extending his claw. When Vega was made playable in Turbo the move was changed to work by diving off the side of the screen, as the original version would only be useable in Vega's own stage. In Street Fighter Alpha III, the player can use Vega's original cage-climbing Flying Barcelona Attack by inputting a special code while playing Vega's stage.
  • Mai Shiranui of Fatal Fury also has an attack like this, Musasabi no Mai. In her debut game, Fatal Fury 2, she could only do the move by jumping off convenient flagpoles that only showed up in her stage. This even carried over to The King of Fighters, where the move could only be used on the England stage. In subsequent games, they changed the command motion and she could use it anywhere.
  • Ferazel's Wand doesn't even try to explain why the main character can do this (although it might help that "Habnabits" like him are clearly not human.) It seems to have been implemented so the designers could put a bunch of coins and power-ups in high-up places that couldn't be reached by jumping alone, under the "they'll never look here" principle.
  • Dante's Inferno: The walls you crawl on are composed of tightly packed writhing damned souls bemoaning their terrible afterlife.
  • Scaler: Being a mutant chameleon, this is one of Scaler's abilities, although (as not to break the game) he can only do it on certain surfaces.
  • As of Clonk Rage, clonks can climb any smooth vertical surface. Before that, low rank clonks could easily trap themselves by simply digging downwards.
  • In Shadow of the Colossus, the eighth colossus can crawl up the sides of the arena you're in to reach you on higher ground. This is instrumental in defeating it.
  • The title Bug of Bug can walk up/down and alongside walls or ceilings. Justified because, well, he's a bug!
  • In a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, a cutscene in Mortal Kombat 9 features Reptile scaling the side of an office building to attack Stryker and Kabal.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2: The Bee Mushroom allows Mario to scale up sticky honeycomb walls (he can also fly for brief periods).
    • Super Mario 3D World: One of the main functions of the Cat Suit is granting Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, and Rosalina the ability to scale walls. They can only cling on for so long before they slide back down.
    • Super Mario Odyssey: Mechawiggler can crawl across the buildings' walls when fought in New Donk City, and Mario (while possessing a Sherm) has to shoot at its glowing weak points.
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: Near the end of the game, Bowser gets the ability to scale dirt walls by curling up into a spikeball and using his shell spikes as climbing picks.
  • Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure: You can stick to walls with your suction hands. You can't crawl up directly, though. You have to keep jumping and then sticking to the wall again.
  • Ōkami: Amaterasu can perform a "catwalk", which is essentially this trope, on walls bearing the mark of Kabegami, goddess of walls. However, it's not so much a walk or crawl as it is a hop.
  • In Brave Fencer Musashi, Musashi gains the ability to use his two swords as climbing picks to scale walls, though only exceptionally brittle ones and only vertically. It is also very slow and the player has to alternate the buttons for the two swords, making this one of the more realistic examples of the trope.
  • Downplayed in The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 3, where jumping into a wall, whether it be from a ground jump or wall jump, allows a small amount of vertical climbing. However, it is not infinite, and Fancy Pants Man will eventually fall off, unless he can wall-jump to another wall and climb that up, and then then wall-jump again.
  • In Little Nemo: The Dream Master, of the Power-Up Mounts that Nemo can ride, the lizard, gorilla, and mouse can climb walls and trees.
  • In Little Samson, both Little Samson and K.O. the mouse have the ability to scale walls and cling to ceilings.
  • In X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, Wolverine can use his claws to climb walls. He can still do this in Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems, along with Spider-Man.
  • One of Nuparu's special abilities in BIONICLE Heroes.
  • In Ninja-kun: Ashura no Shou, the player character can scale walls; one early level is nothing but a pit to climb out of. This ability returns in Super Ninja-kun.
  • Buki from Sudeki can climb certain walls using her claws.
  • Rayman gains the ability to do this upon reaching the 5th world (Mystique Peak) of Rayman Origins, but only for walls when there's a curved incline beforehand.
  • Bayonetta has this ability at certain points in the game — once the full moon comes out — that allows her to walk naturally on any walls or ceilings. However, this is only ever purely used as a way of progressing through the level, and nothing more.
  • Shantae can do this in numerous ways. Her Monkey transformation, available in Shantae (2002) and Shantae: Risky's Revenge, allows her to climb any regular, vertical wall. Her spider form, available only in the first game, can climb on special walls in the background. And her secret Tinkerbat transformation can do both.
  • Gear Up allows robots to be equipped with legs to crawl around on walls and even ceilings. Despite their hexapod nature, they're called spider legs.
  • Natural Selection 2 has the Skulk, the basic alien form that has the ability to crawl on both walls and ceilings.
  • In Evolve the monsters are capable of climbing just about any surface that won't let them escape the map. This is extremely useful for moving around the map, letting you keep up with the jetpack equipped hunters. The Gorgon takes this a step farther by being able to cling in place on walls and pounce down to the ground.
  • In Holy Umbrella, the protagonist acquires this ability by finding the Clinging Brooch (one of the few non-umbrella-related brooches). Viper, being a thief, also has this ability in the flashback scene where you get to control him.
  • Shadesnote  in the Vivendi expansions for First Encounter Assault Recon crawl along walls and ceilings in some scary setpieces. Even if they're totally harmless in these events, having a bunch of desiccated bodies shuffling around in surfaces no human should be seen shuffling on while your headlamp and ambient lights flicker like mad has a pretty powerful effect.
  • Kyle & Lucy: Wonderworld: Both Kyle and Lucy can use their claws to climb up any wall. They can still use their Rolling Attacks while doing do.
  • Finnegan "Fins" Magee of Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys has cephelapod tentacles that allow him to climb up high walls.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved
    • The Megalania can scale any surface like a giant gecko, this makes them very useful when in the caves they are normally found it.
    • The Thylacoleo is a downplayed example as it can only go straight up or down a vertical surface. However, they (and potentially you) can use this to great effect in the red woods when they leap from the trees to ambush prey.
    • The Aberration expansion has the Rock Drake, a large feathered reptile that can climb any surface just like the Megalania and can even leap from one surface to another with touching the ground. Add this with their gliding ability they are they closest thing the dlc has to a flying mount.
    • Aberration's Ravagers are also a downplayed example as they can only climb on vines and zip-lines, this does allow them to reach areas inaccessible to other creatures and they can even do it upside-down. If one travels down an incline then they quickly slide rather than climb down.
  • The player character in Genshin Impact can scale rock faces and city walls. Coupled with the ability to glide using the wind glider, this is how the player is supposed to reach many of the Plot Coupons and treasure chests.
    • This ability is disabled during dungeons — presumably because it would trivialize most of them.
  • SOPHIA tends to be able to do this in the Blaster Master series after obtaining the WALL upgrade. It originally needed a second upgrade (WALL-2) to stick to ceilings, but later games streamlined this. Blaster Master Zero II replaced it with a Wall Jump ability that includes the ability to stick to (but not climb up) walls.
  • Sleep Tight (2021): The creatures that accost you each night are also capable of climing along the walls, so you'll need to check behind you on occasion.
  • Pokémon:
    • Several games have the field move Rock Climb, which allows the player to scale sheer walls with a Pokemon’s help.
    • In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Hisuian Sneasler will carry the player character up sheer cliffs in a back mounted basket after several of the Noble Pokemon are defeated.
    • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Koraidon and Miraidon can scale cliffs easily while carrying the player character once you progress far enough in the Path of Titans story to unlock it.

    Web Animation 
  • In Baman Piderman, Piderman can do this. Not that he uses it for anything, but he can do it.
  • Dreamscape: Being a vampire, of course Vampire Lord can do this. He uses this ability to spy on Seleenara and Boru in episode 7.
  • The full-time hobby of Suction Cup Man. He requires a set of special suction cups to do this, but he notably has the ability to summon them at will and even climb using two suction cups on his feet.



    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Dai Li wear gloves and shoes made of stone. Using Earthbending not only makes that workable in the first place, but it allows the Dai Li to bond these accessories to stone walls and ceilings, allowing them super-crawling ability.
    • And Toph, who follows the same trick with metal, which is supposed to be unbendable.
    • Suki manages something similar, though she's not a bender — she's just awesome.
  • Referred to by Aquaman in his Rousing Song of Heroism in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • Ben 10: Several of Ben's alien forms including Grey Matter, Brainstorm, Spidermonkey and Ball Weevil can scuttle along walls and vertical surfaces using insectoid legs or mucus.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • Odd can climb about any steep surface on Lyoko thanks to the cat-like claws and agility of his avatar.
    • On the villains' side, the Crawlers can move equally fast over any surface of Sector 5, even ceilings.
    • Finally, people possessed by XANA's specters can gain the power to Wall Crawl in the real world.
  • One of Danny's abilities in Danny Phantom, though he rarely uses it. 'Course, considering he can just fly around, it's no wonder this is one of the least used of his bag of tricks.
  • The Flintstones: In "The Surprise", Barney's baby nephew manages to crawl on the surface of the the stone fence into Fred's yard. Similarly, the first episode had Fred walking on the surface of his fence and into Barney's yard.
  • Kif of Futurama is sometimes seen climbing walls or ceiling like a tree-frog. (His species starting life as tadpoles, it's certainly an apt comparison.)
  • Bronx, the sort-of-dog from Gargoyles, doesn't have wings and ascends vertical surfaces by simply digging in with his massive claws. Other gargoyles do the same thing to gain altitude before taking wing.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Several Shadowkhan tribes — namely the Ninja-Khan, Razor-Khan and Mini-Khan — won't be impeded by vertical surfaces.
  • Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous: The Scorpios rex climbs trees and the visitor center's walls in pursuit of those it's targeted.
  • Kim Possible and suction cups. Sidekick Ron Stoppable, on the other hand, has trouble getting the hang of it. In one episode, she uses "magno-rings" to cling to the side of a rocket-propelled vehicle.
  • This is one of Stitch's signature abilities in the Lilo & Stitch franchise. He's able to crawl on walls and ceilings like a gecko and doesn't leave scratches despite having long claws. He can even carry his best friend Lilo on his back or by his lower pair of arms without any issues. Some of his "cousins" also have this ability, too, such as Richter and Splodyhead.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Baby Cakes", Pound Cake simulates a wall climb when he learns to fly.
  • The Owl House: The Jean-Luc can climb along ceilings to ambush trespassers.
  • PJ Masks: Greg/Gekko has this as one of his powers, called "super lizard grip" in-universe. His vehicle, the Gekko-Mobile, can also do it.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: In "Nowhere to Hyde" the Monster of the Week, the titular Ghost of Mr. Hyde, can do this. The real villain, Doctor Jekyll, was using suction cups, while the gang, at first, suspected his maid, who was an ex-circus star.
  • The Simpsons: Mr. Burns, determined to retrieve his prized teddy bear, sneaks into the Simpson home crawling along the ceiling with suction cups — then freezes when Homer enters the kitchen, sits down, and eats processed cheese slices all night. Finally, the cups give out, Burns hits the floor, and exits with a curt "Good day to you."
  • Stan Lee's Superhero Kindergarten: Sticky's power is super-adhesive skin, which he uses to climb on walls and ceilings.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Much Ado About Boimler", the first thing that tips off the characters to the fact that Tendi's genetically engineered dog is not a regular canine like she claims is when it inverts its limbs and starts crawling on the ceiling.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Lair of Grievous", after Kit cuts off his legs Grievous gets away by crawling along the walls and ceiling using his arms like a gyant murderous spider.
  • Transformers: Generation 1: Nightbird, a robot ninja from "Enter the Nightbird", has this power. It initially seemed to be due to magnetic feet, but then she used it to walk up a cliff.
  • Young Justice: Black Spider is an evil Spider-Man Send-Up, right down to the wall-crawling and Ceiling Cling.

    Real Life 
  • Somewhat common in animals, especially arthropods (insects, spiders, centipedes, etc.), as well as many varieties of frogs and lizards. Arboreal mammals, like monkeys and squirrels, aren't too bad at this either.
  • Developments of gecko tape promises this to become reality in some time. Everything works because of Van Der Waals forces. Artificial gecko stickers have the potential to surpass nature. The biggest problem is rapid contamination. There is also the fact that the square-cube law dictates that there's no way that a human can scale surfaces as effortlessly as a small gecko.
  • There are suction cups that hook up to backpacks that do this. Awesome, but Impractical, it's called the gekkomat. Video.
  • There's a near-vertical cliff face in Bolivia that looks like this happened to it, as it's covered in dinosaur footprints wandering up, down, and across it. What actually happened was that the cliff's surface was horizontal when the footprints were made, and got tilted gradually due to subsequent mountain-building processes.
  • Koti Raj (Jyoti Raju) also known as the "Monkey Man" is an Indian rock and wall climber, who learned his incredible climbing skills from studying monkeys. He does so without any equipment, just magnesium carbonate powder for increased gripping and regularly climbs building walls to entertain vistors. It must be seen to be believed.
  • Alain Robert is a French rock climber who has made a name for himself by scaling the world's tallest buildings and high rises, without the need for a harness or any safety equipment. Relying solely on climbing shoes and chalk, he has scaled over 140 skyscrapers since 1997, earning him the nickname "The French Spider-Man".


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Wall Crawling


Erma [Wall Crawl Chase]

Scene from the "Erma" short, based off the webcomic. The titular character tries to say hi to her new teacher. But her demeanor spooks the woman into running for her life. Not to be deterred, Erma gives chase.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / WallCrawl

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