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Ground Pound

Artwork of Mario performing a ground-pound from Super Mario Sunshine.

The Ground Pound (also known as Hip Drop, Smash Attack,[1] Butt-Bash,[2] and Butt Stomp, formatted as ground-pound in Super Mario 64 and the Super Mario Galaxy games; also formatted as ground pound[3]) is a move that has affected the Mario series dramatically, along with moves such as the wall-jump and spin-jump. The move is usually executed by crouching in midair, but it is sometimes used by pressing the jump button twice instead (usually in Mario Party minigames). When used, the character will slam their rear end on the ground, which can cause many results.

The move can break or activate blocks from above, the opposite effect of a normal jump. It is sometimes the only way to defeat an enemy or complete a task, such as destroying Chain Chomps' stakes in the New Super Mario Bros. series, and is usually more powerful than a regular stomp. The ground-pound is a common move that almost any character can use, even Boo, Dry Bones, Blooper, Birdo, and Bowser.

History

Super Mario series

Super Mario Bros. 3

The move was first introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3 by Bowser. Unlike later versions of the move (where the user always faces forwards), Bowser faces the screen when he ground pounds. If Mario is not in Fire or Hammer form, he must trick Bowser into ground pounding the brick floor in the same lateral position three times to make him fall through it, defeating him.

This move was what the Bowser Bomb, Bowser's down special move in the Super Smash Bros. series, was based on.

Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DS

In Super Mario 64, the ground-pound move is activated by pressing the Z button (normally used to crouch) while in midair. The Ground Pound does serve some functions in this game, such as activating Blue Coin Blocks, reducing damage taken from severe drops if used close to the ground (sometimes completely nullifying the damage), and defeating enemies. It can also be used to make a quick landing while flying with the Wing Cap. In addition, there is a creature called Dorrie in Hazy Maze Cave, and ground-pounding his back makes his head go down. That gives easier access to his head, and when on Dorrie's head, the player has easier control over the direction of Dorrie's movements.

Mario also uses this move in the Bob-omb Battlefield level in the mission Behind Chain-Chomp's Gate, where he must ground-pound the stump holding the Chain Chomp's leash in place in order to free it and claim the Power Star. Later, Mario must ground-pound two pillars in the basement to drain the moat and get access to Vanish Cap Under the Moat.

It is used once again in Whomp's Fortress, where the player must ground-pound King Whomp's back once he slams onto the ground in a total of three times in order to defeat him.

In the DS remake, the ground-pound can be used when Mario uses the Power Flower to become Balloon Mario by using the R button to cancel the effect. Wario's ground-pound lets him smash objects twice the strength of others, while Yoshi's will only let him smash stumps.

Super Mario Sunshine

The use of the ground-pound is greatly expanded in Super Mario Sunshine. One of its main uses involves using it to flip small circular Manhole covers that appear in both Delfino Plaza and Ricco Harbor. This allows Mario to access secret underground tunnels which often have Blue Coins or 1-Up Mushrooms hidden within them.

The Ground Pound is also used as a means of collecting Shine Sprites. For example, Mario must ground-pound a small stone wheel located on top of the lighthouse in Delfino Plaza in order to release the Shine Sprite hidden there. However, a normal Ground Pound will not have any effect. He must therefore first use the Rocket Nozzle to blast himself into the air, and then do a ground-pound. This will result in an extra powerful ground-pound, which is strong enough to break the stone wheel apart.

This move is also used to defeat certain bosses. For example, in "Down With Petey Piranha!" and "Petey Piranha Strikes Back", the player must ground-pound Petey Piranha's engorged belly after spraying water into his mouth three times to defeat him. In addition, it is also used in Episode 3 of Gelato Beach, "Wiggler Ahoy! Full Steam Ahead!," when Mario must battle Wiggler. After spraying the Dune Buds, causing Wiggler to flip onto his back, he must ground-pound specific segments of his body three consecutive times in order to defeat him. It is also used in the level just before this episode, "Mirror Madness! Tilt, Slam, Bam!", where the player must use it to fling the Plungelos off of the large mirrors near the Shine Tower.

Finally, the ground-pound plays a major role during the final boss battle with Bowser and Bowser Jr. in Corona Mountain. Mario must again use the Rocket Nozzle to blast himself into the air, and then ground-pound five separate ends of the large slime-filled hot tub Bowser is sitting in, eventually resulting in the entire hot tub tipping over, and Bowser being defeated.

It can also be used to break apart large square watermelons (often found in secret levels) when they block the way or to pound large nails into the ground.

The ground-pound can also be used to prevent Mario from taking a considerable amount of damage due to a fall from a great height if used shortly before he hits the ground.

New Super Mario Bros.

The ground-pound makes several appearances in New Super Mario Bros. When the player presses down on the D-Pad when in mid-air, the player will perform a ground-pound; this can be canceled out mid-ground pound by pressing up on the Pad. Ground-pounds can be used to break Brick Blocks or repeatedly earn Coins from Coin Blocks (by holding the down button on the Control Pad), but Small Mario cannot break them or earn the Coins repeatedly (Mario must keep doing Ground Pounds instead of holding down). In this game, Mario or Luigi can hold the ground-pound down for as long as the player wants. This never appeared in any game after this.

The Sledge Bro. is able to use this move to stun Mario if the plumber fails to jump.

At the World 5 Castle, the player will fight Petey Piranha, who will perform an angled ground-pound after flying in the air for a few seconds. Once Petey Piranha touches the ground, he will become dizzy and fall down, giving Mario or Luigi a chance to stomp him, unless the plumber is hit.

In addition, ground-pounds deal double damage on enemies and bosses; for example, ground-pounding Bowser Jr. would result in Mario/Luigi dealing two hits, rather than one from a single jump. They can immediately send Koopa Troopas in their shells and start sliding quickly, or to make Snailicorns slide across the ice.

If Mario is Mini Mario, then ground-pounds are required to deal damage, but the damage would only be equal of a regular jump. Ground Pounds must be used as Mini Mario to defeat Mummipokey and Petey Piranha to go to Worlds 4 and 7, respectively (however, using certain cannons can also take Mario there).

Super Mario Galaxy

In Super Mario Galaxy, the ground-pound is mainly used to activate large switches emblazoned with the ground-pound logo. These switches appear in just about every galaxy, and can perform any number of functions when pounded, from making Star Bits appear to causing an entire section of the wall to fall down.

In addition to this, beetle-like creatures called Mandibugs make their appearance in this game, and they have the ground-pound symbol right on the back of their shell. For obvious reasons, Mario must defeat them using a ground-pound. The boss Bugaboom fought later in the game is also defeated in a similar fashion, though he must be ground-pounded three times.

The ground-pound is also used to pound Stumps into the ground. An excellent example of this is in the mission "The Dirty Tricks of Major Burrows" in the Gusty Garden Galaxy, where Mario must ground-pound Stumps sticking out of three large apple-shaped planetoids in order to send the large caterpillar inside burrowing through to the next one.

Many Stone Wheels with the ground-pound symbol on them also appear in this game, and are usually found stacked on top of one another. Mario must simply ground-pound over the entire stack to obliterate them all. This is seen in the Toy Time Galaxy in the mission "Heavy Metal Mecha-Bowser", where Mario must ground-pound the stack of Stone Wheels on the head of the Mecha-Bowser in order to defeat it.

Undergrunt Gunners are also defeated through the use of the ground-pound, as the glass case covering the cockpit of their large cannons must be ground-pounded three times in order to break it and defeat them.

There are orange Springboards in certain galaxies with the ground-pound symbol on them. When the player ground-pounds them, they will be flung into the air, allowing them to reach certain ? Blocks or platforms that they would not normally be able to reach.

Also, quickly after a spin in midair, Mario or Luigi can do a Homing ground-pound, which will cause him to come crashing down directly on a nearby enemy or object without needing to aim first. This move is not mentioned in the game's instruction booklet.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

The ground-pound from New Super Mario Bros. Wii is almost the same as the ground-pound from New Super Mario Bros.. Starting from this game, ground-pounding a Koopa Troopa, Buzzy Beetle etc. doesn't make it retreat into its shell and start sliding - it defeats it instantly. However, the double damage effect was removed on bosses in this game, instead dealing only one hit, just like a normal jump.

In addition to the regular ground-pound, there is also another variation available only in multiplayer, called the Simultaneous Ground Pound.[4] This is performed when two or more players Ground Pound simultaneously. This creates a circular shockwave that quickly clears all enemies on the screen. The Synchro Ground Pound is much more powerful than the regular Ground Pound, and acts similarly to a POW Block. It takes only three Synchro Ground Pounds to defeat Bowser prematurely in his first phase.

It has also been shown that Roy Koopa and Morton Koopa Jr. can use this move in their battles.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

The Ground Pound can also be used in Super Mario Galaxy 2, and serves the same purpose as in its predecessor, though with a few minor differences. For example, Meteorites with the ground-pound symbol on them appear out of the ground in every Bowser level, which the player must Ground Pound in exactly the right place to send them flying into large stone locks blocking the way through the door to the next area.

Meteorites also appear during every Bowser battle, and therefore serve as the player's main means of dealing damage to Bowser in his giant form (however, many of them also release damaging shock waves when they hit the ground, so they are somewhat of a double-edged sword in this regard). The player must ground-pound several of these meteorites into Bowser during the battle, hitting him a total of four times to defeat him (with the exception of the final battle, in which Bowser will return after being defeated and the player must ground-pound four more planetoids into him), for a grand total of sixteen times over the course of all three Bowser battles in the game.

Both Glamdozer and her Pupdozer underlings also feature the ground-pound symbol emblazoned in white (purple in Glamdozer's case) directly on their stomachs, which is positioned as such to clue the player in to their weakness, indicating that they must be ground-pounded in order to be defeated. However, unlike the majority of other Mario enemies, these particular adversaries must always be ground-pounded when they are positioned under a flipping cage, as Mario cannot access their weak spot otherwise.

Bugaboom reappears in this game in the Puzzle Plank Galaxy, and is defeated in the same way as in Super Mario Galaxy.

The Whomp King also makes a reappearance in this game in the Throwback Galaxy, and must be defeated in exactly the same way as in Super Mario 64 (by ground-pounding his back three times when he slams to the ground).

Finally, the ground-pound also plays a key role in the defeat of Bowser Jr.'s Boomsday Machine in Bowser Jr.'s Boom Bunker, as Mario must ground-pound the glass case covering the cockpit of the machine (in much the same way as when he dealt with Undergrunt Gunners in the first game).

The lock-on ground-pound or "Homing Pound" move can also be used in this game, and is activated in the same way: by spinning and ground-pounding at the same time.

Super Mario 3D Land

As in the previous games, Mario can ground-pound in Super Mario 3D Land, this time by pressing L or R in mid-air. This allows Mario to hit/defeat enemies and destroy blocks and crates. Mario can also now use this move underwater as well (replacing the Super Mario Galaxy games' downward dive). If Mario uses a Statue Leaf to become Tanooki Mario, however, this move will be replaced by the form's statue transformation.

New Super Mario Bros. 2

As in the previous games, Mario can ground pound in New Super Mario Bros. 2, in the same way he could do it in New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Also carried over from the latter is the Synchro ground-pound, which can be performed when Mario and Luigi ground-pound at the same time.

New Super Mario Bros. U

The Ground Pound returns in New Super Mario Bros. U, working as it did in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. 2.

Super Mario 3D World

The ground-pound returns in Super Mario 3D World, with similar properties to New Super Mario Bros. U and Super Mario 3D Land (although with a Lucky Bell being used to turn into Lucky Cat Mario, instead of a Statue Leaf), but it now also reveals invisible objects temporarily. Players can also perform a high jump after executing a Ground Pound, by pressing the jump button right after landing from the move. This move is called a Ground Pound Jump.[5] The simultaneous ground-pound also returns.

Super Mario Odyssey

In Super Mario Odyssey, the ground-pound and ground-pound jump return, working as they did in Super Mario 3D World. Pressing the Y button during the move's startup makes Mario do a dive instead, and doing so underwater makes Mario perform a Quick Swim forwards. The in-game brochure for the Lost Kingdom also implies that the starburst symbol used to denote areas vulnerable to a ground-pound originated there.

Yoshi series

The ground-pound (originally called pounding the ground) can also be used by Yoshi in the Yoshi games. It was first used in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. This move can be used to stomp on posts, break crates and defeat enemies. The ground-pound has been referred to as "Yoshi's proudest move".[6] Baby Bowser also uses the ground-pound in the first phase of his battle with Yoshi, and is capable of creating shockwaves that can hurt Yoshi and Baby Mario. The Bandit also uses this move in the Popping Balloons Mini Battle. This strategy can be used by Yoshi in return. The move returns in Yoshi's Story, Yoshi's Island DS, and Yoshi's New Island. In Yoshi's Woolly World, Yoshi becomes a hammer when he ground-pounds, except for when he is in his Mega Yoshi form.

The move Yoshi Bomb used by Yoshi in the Super Smash Bros. series was based on the ground-pound Yoshi performs in the Yoshi series.

Mario Party series

The move appears in many Mario Party games, commonly to win minigames, activate panels, and flatten opponents, which stuns them for a few seconds.

Wario series

Wario Land series

In Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Wario is able to do the move as Bull Wario. In Wario Land II and Wario Land 4, he can do this without any ability of any kind. In Wario Land 3, one of of the various treasures that Wario collects will enable him to ground-pound, while a second treasure makes it more powerful. If Wario performs this move from a great height, it becomes a block-breaking Super Smash Attack. In Wario Land: Shake It!, Wario can perform a similar move called the Earthshake Punch.

In Virtual Boy Wario Land, Wario can Body Slam[7], which closely resembles a ground-pound except Wario faces downwards and is a weaker maneuver. Bull Wario and King Dragon Wario can perform a more traditional ground-pound.

Wario World

In Wario World, a ground-pound can be performed by pressing the R button while jumping. It has many uses, such as attacking enemies, destroying Rock Blocks, bouncing off Bunny Springs. It is also used to open trapdoors that lead to sub-levels where red diamonds can be found, as well as goal trapdoors that lead to boss battles. However, steel trapdoors cannot be opened with ordinary ground-pound. Instead, Wario must use a Piledrive, which is executed the same way, but requires Wario to be holding an enemy or object beforehand.

Donkey Kong 64

In Donkey Kong 64, Donkey Kong's Simian Slam functions similarly to Mario's ground-pound in Super Mario 64. It can be upgraded to Super Simian Slam, which allows the Kongs to activate blue Kong Switches, then it upgrades to Super Duper Simian Slam, which grants the kongs the ability to slam red switches.

Super Smash Bros. series

Bowser's ground-pound move was later seen in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, known as the Bowser Bomb. Bowser either faces the screen or has his back to the screen when he uses his ground-pound, similar to his Ground Pound in Super Mario Bros. 3.

Yoshi also comes with his own ground-pound known as the Yoshi Bomb in the Super Smash Bros. series. Additionally, a standard ground-pound appears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as Luigi's new down throw, effectively replacing his body slam. Wario's down throw is also reminiscent of the ground-pound from the Wario Land games. Princess Peach's down throw (from Super Smash Bros. Melee to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U) can be considered as a ground-pound, since it involves her jumping in the air and slamming her opponents by sitting.

Paper Mario series

Paper Mario

The spin-jump move in Paper Mario is extremely similar to a ground-pound, and is first granted by the Super Boots. In the field, it allows Mario to break boarded-up holes, as well as to reveal the contents of hidden panels, which is required in order to obtain some of the collectible Star Pieces found in the game.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, after Mario finds the Super Boots, he can do a Spin Jump by pressing A in midair, which works like a ground-pound (and referred to as a ground-pound in the manual). The Spin Jump can be used in battle for 2 FP and does 4 base damage (two jumps that deal 2 damage each). When Bowser is playable in his Super Mario Bros.-style mini-stages, he can perform a Spin Jump the same way.

Also, Yoshi has an attack called ground-pound. The Action Command for this attack is to rapidly tap R. The higher the gauge is filled, the more times the attack will hit, dealing 1 damage each hit. No FP is needed to use this attack, as it is an initial attack. Also, if his attack power is boosted first, it will act like a Power Bounce.

Super Paper Mario

In Super Paper Mario, a Pixl named Thudley grants the hero the ground-pound ability. This move can be used to stomp on yellow posts, which activates certain things, and to deal double damage to enemies. Also, O'Chunks can perform ground-pounds in his boss battles.

Official profiles

Super Mario Sunshine

  • Instruction Booklet Description: "Press L in mid-jump to come crashing down onto enemies and crates, causing major damage."
    • "NOTE! When falling from high places, try doing a Ground Pound right before landing."

Super Mario 3D Land

  • North American Website Bio: "Send Mario down with extra force, and crush some poor Goomba's hopes and dreams."
  • European Website Bio: "Press the L Button (or the R Button) in mid-air to perform a Ground Pound. A powered-up Mario can smash blocks and other objects using a Ground Pound."

New Super Mario Bros. 2

  • European Website Bio: "To perform a powerful Ground Pound, press the down direction on the +Control Pad or Circle Pad while you're in mid-air. Boom!"

Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS

  • Digital Manual Description: "Paddown in midair"

References

  1. Wario Land 4 American instruction booklet, page 10.
  2. UK Nintendo Magazine #54 (March 1997), page 21.
  3. [1]
  4. New Super Mario Bros. Wii instruction booklet, page 19
  5. https://youtu.be/HE9c0TfazE8?t=30
  6. Yoshi's Story instruction booklet, page 11.
  7. Virtual Boy Wario Land English instruction booklet, page 21.
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