Goomba Stomp

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Not a lot of job security...


"Cripes! I wish life was like those video games where all you had to do to defeat the bad guy was jump on him!"
Jazz Jackrabbit, Jazz Jackrabbit


No matter how much Collision Damage they can dish out, the enemies in almost any Platform Game seem to be vulnerable to people jumping on top of them and cannot inflict damage when touched there. It's effective against any creature in the game, except for that one foe with spikes on its head that has to be defeated in another manner. And if you can land that hit, you can probably use them as a Goomba Springboard. Mario was the pioneer, and then all other platformers leaped on the bandwagon.

The Mario series is pretty much the only one that still uses this trope. Most games that have this trope at all have other ways to dispatch enemies as well, though the stomp might be less dangerous. Games with this trope also tend to have one or two spike-headed enemies who avert it, possibly to keep players from becoming too reliant on the technique.

Believe it or not this is a Justified Trope when you consider that the average man weighs about two hundred pounds (body, clothes and equipment all included), and having that much weight suddenly land on your head would be enough to knock most people (let alone squishy mutant mushroom critters) out cold, especially considering that he's jumping from three or four times his height in the first place.

Examples of Goomba Stomp include:


  • The Ur Example may have been the legendary ZX Spectrum game Horace and the Spiders. However, it wasn't present on some of the levels where spiders have to be avoided instead.
  • Super Mario Bros.. The eponymous Goomba is one of the enemies, and pretty much the only enemy it works on (save for jumping Cheep-Cheeps and Lakitu). Unless, that is, you were in World 5-3 of Super Mario Bros 3, where Kuribo's Shoe would let you stomp Piranha Plants and Spinies.
    • Enemies from the NES era the Goomba Stomp works on: Goombas and all variants thereof save for Micro-Goombas, Koopas (but not their shell), Bullet Bills, Missile Bills, Lakitu (if he's not throwing a spiny egg, and he will be), flying Cheep-Cheeps, flying Bloobers (in The Lost Levels), Hammer Bros (if they aren't throwing a hammer), Boomerang Brothers (if they aren't throwing a boomerang), Fire Bros, Sledge Bros (if they aren't throwing a hammer), Koopalings (if they aren't firing, requires three hits), Flame Chomps, Rocky Wrench, and Boom-boom (requires three hits). Goomba Stomps also allow you to redirect Lemmy's balls.
    • This lasted even into Super Smash Bros.. Melee, in which most enemies must be defeated more conventionally, but Goombas still die when you jump on them.
      • Brawl too, and it also has a Giant Goomba which can dish out decent Collision Damage unless you can get above it, at which point bouncing up and down on its head about six times sends it down for the count. Like in the below Zelda example, stomping on the small Goombas almost always results in an Item Drop.
    • Goombas even made a cameo in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening... and could be stomped using a magical feather. And would drop a health refill to reward players that had bought enough Nintendo franchises to recognize their attribute.
    • Not used in the very first Mario Bros., where you have to jump into enemies from underneath to defeat them. Remakes of it replace the enemies with Spinies.
    • Super Mario World's Goombas are not killed with a regular jump. Instead, they become temporarily disabled and can be used as a missile weapon against other creatures. A spin-jump will kill them outright, however. Note that they never tried that again with Goombas in Mario. These Goombas were also shaped different and given a different name (Kuribon rather then Kuribō) in the Japanese version suggesting they are a variant not seen elsewhere.
      • Super Mario World also brought a subversion. Traditionally, Koopas were vulnerable to the Goomba Stomp, but could only be truly defeated by kicking their shells, and could otherwise regenerate (video game logic would suggest that, as turtles, they're merely hiding in their shells). However in Super Mario World, attempting to Goomba Stomp the Koopas only sent an underwear clad Koopa shooting out of his shell, who would then be vulnerable to a TRUE Goomba Stomp. Interestingly, Yoshi can Goomba Stomp just about anything in Mario World (equivalent to a spin jump, and he can bounce off of Piranha Plants and some other creatures), but in the prequel Yoshi's Island, he is vulnerable to the Piranha Plants and Bob-ombs (though that may be because getting hit knocks Baby Mario off of Yoshi's back rather than doing lasting damage to the dinosaur).
    • Yoshi's Island also subverted this: when Goombas do show up, jumping on them squashes them but doesn't actually kill them: they just scurry around flattened.
    • All of the Koopalings and Bowser Jr. are subjected to this trope in New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. In the former, it could partially be subverted by hitting them mercilessly with Fire Flowers. In the latter, fireball-spam still works on them, but it's not nearly as effective as a Goomba Stomp.
    • The Wario Land series doesn't let you outright kill most enemies simply with the Goomba Stomp, but it at least stuns them temporarily and allows them to be beaten up or thrown at other obstacles. Except a few enemies in the first game and later which can be dispatched with the attack.
    • In the fangame Super Mario War, this is the primary way of defeating your opponents.
    • In all of the RPGs, (Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi) Mario has a special (or basic) attack that consists of nothing more than jumping on the enemy's head, often multiple times in a row. This only fails to work if the opponent is The Spiny, and a number of the games have ways to get around that.
  • Crash Bandicoot; Crash also has a spin attack, but there the timing needs to be dead-on.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog was considered a subversion at its release; Sonic could attack an enemy from any angle, so long as Sonic was rolled into a ball and was not aiming at spikes - but simply landing on an enemy if he wasn't curled up would cause contact damage as if he'd just walked straight into the baddie. In later games Sonic picked up the dash attack, giving him even more options (and throwing him into the spikes if you didn't watch it).
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 contains a villainous inversion in the final fight. Robotnik's mecha will frequently launch itself offscreen and attempt to turn Sonic into a blue pancake.
    • Sonic Advance threw a few people off this way. Sonic, Tails and Knuckles all still defaulted to rolling into a ball mid-jump, allowing for the traditional "stomp" on top of their other abilities, but Amy would suffer Collision Damage if another attack wasn't used in conjunction with the jump.
    • The vast majority of the bosses in each of the Sonic series do leave their head as the only open spot.
  • Splinter Cell has a version of this; falling or jumping onto an enemy will usually knock him out. Of course, the fact it's not a Platformer is what makes it interesting. The animation makes it clear that Sam is hitting the baddie with a double-handed ax blow, so it's not quite a Goomba Stomp, but in gameplay terms mechanically the same.
    • XIII did the same thing: Dropping onto an enemy was an effective way of knocking them out (which, in this game, meant down for good) without needing to expend ammo.
  • The various The Smurfs platformer games.
  • Obake has a bit of a variation. While jumping on enemies doesn't kill them, it lets you stand on top of them and possess them. Once you're in a possessed body, you can still stand on top of enemies like this.
    • Alien Hominid has a similar variation - jumping on top of an enemy lets you ride them around, and you can either jump off or choose to kill them by biting their head off.
  • Commander Keen has one enemy that can be defeated by jumping on it, but only when using the pogo stick. In the Game Boy Color version, most aliens become vulnerable to this after shooting them.
  • The |Aladdin game developed by Capcom, but not other Aladdin games where you have a scimitar instead or are limited to throwing rocks.
  • The early levels of The Lion King. Justifiable, since it could be pouncing and five of lions' six extremities are pointy and can conceivably kill things they jump on, but it still doesn't explain how a cub can take down a hyena that's like twice his size, or why Simba can no longer Goomba Stomp as an adult when he's heavier and pointier.
  • Kid Chameleon.
  • Similar to the Commander Keen example, Mega Man II (that's Roman numeral II for the Game Boy game, as opposed to Arabic numeral 2 for the NES game) featured the Sakugarne, a sort of a pogo-jackhammer-thing which allowed you to damage enemies by jumping on them. Its only purpose was to force you to fight the final boss in a weird way.
  • An unusual FPS example: Rise of the Triad allowed you to kill Mooks and deathmatch opponents by jumping on them. Doing this successfully in the Score More deathmatch mode would reward you with the highest amount of points, due to how difficult it is to pull off on another player.
    • In Unreal Tournament, you landing on something else reduced the damage based on your jumping ability, but not something else landing on you, with the result that fan mods that increased jumping ability would naturally result in Goomba Stomping.
  • Donkey Kong Country has this, though it also has other means of attack, such as rolling into enemies or throwing barrels at them. However, looking closely, he doesn't actually stomp on them, he drops down and slams into them with his fists. The distinction is more obvious in Donkey Kong Country Returns.
  • A number of FPS and Third-Person Shooters allow you to knock down enemies if you land on them, or even deal damage, but it's a miniscule amount and you're usually better off just shooting them.
  • Justified somewhat in the Mechwarrior games, you could use jumpjets to try to crush the enemy mechs. Considering that the lightest mech weighs about 30-odd tons, and the heaviest ones can be in the range of 80-100 tons. The original BattleTech tabletop wargame uses this as a valid attack, called "Death From Above", and can actually be dangerous for the attacker if they screw it up.
  • Kirby CAN cause falling damage...but only if he falls from a great enough height, or uses the Stone power.
  • Duck Tales for the NES has Scrooge bouncing off of enemies with his cane. It is, in fact, very effective in-game. More so than his golf swing.
  • Also represented in the game "Balloon Fight". While you aren't hopping on their heads necessarily, you are bumping into their balloons from above.
  • Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy are odd examples, as jumping on enemies won't kill them, but it will knock them down for a free hit or two. Given that you're using a lightsaber, this pretty much guarantees their death; there's even an animation for it, though it's apparently meant for more conventional knockdowns, such as Force pushing them. The name Death From Above was also given to an attack in Outcast made using the strong style while jump and striking forward, which was very difficult to block and all but killed the opponent in a single hit.
    • In the original Jedi Knight, the Force Jump ability dealt damage to both the user and anyone beneath them, if one jumped high enough. Obviously it wasn't a useful tactic for the player since it's likely to kill them as well, but worked for one particular boss who had a habit of landing on the player.
  • Castle of Illusion, though it's less of a stomp and more of a sit; Mickey only causes damage when he lands butt-first on the enemy.
  • In Epic Mickey, jumping on enemies stuns them long enough for you to spray them with paint or thinner.
  • A Team Fortress 2 server mod introduces, yes, you've guessed it, Goomba stomping. This makes explosive-jumping Soldiers and Demomen and even bigger threat than they already are, as they can gain the necessary height to pound you right into the dirt.
    • This video of a soldier pulling a double Goomba stomp on an Über Charged (read: invincible) Medic/Pyro team is without a doubt a Crowning Moment of Awesome
    • The Über Update made this an officially sanctioned tactic: the Mantreads, a Soldier item, doesn't protect him against self-damage from rocket jumps, but delivers triple the amount of fall damage he would normally take to any enemy he lands on. When you're taking an average of 30-40 damage from falling, this can easily inflict 100+ damage on your target (more if you know how to chain multiple rockets together to fly up to ridiculous heights).
  • Joust's combat consisted of trying to hit your opponent when you were at a higher position than them.
  • As per the above quote, Jazz Jackrabbit averted this trope for the most part. A normal jump on an enemy's head would usually end up hurting you, unless you used a specific stomp move.
    • Jazz Jackrabbit 2 then backflipped on the aversion by introducing a "stomp" move that lets you kill most enemies by stomping on their heads. However, it did require that you hit the stomp key to pull it off, and it was usually a lot easier to shoot enemies than stomp them.
  • The basic enemies in Braid are Goomba analogues, which are defeated predictably, and provide Tim with a boosted jump after he bounces off their heads. In a partial inversion, the goombas also get a boosted jump if they land on Tim's head. Since that requires Tim to die, though, it's hard to think of a way that could be useful...
    • It is if the goomba has a green glow, meaning that your reverse-time doesn't affect it, allowing you to undie but still give the goomba its boost.
      • Enemies can also inadvertently Goomba Stomp each other. Easier to see with the rabbit-plant enemies, since they actually jump in order to attack.
  • In Pikmin, if you throw a Pikmin directly on top of any Dwarf Bulborb or Dwarf Bulbear, it instantly kills them. Very useful even though they don't pose much of a threat.
    • Purple pikmin in the sequel are especially suited for this, since their heaviness also stuns larger enemies that aren't killed outright by the first hit.
  • In Mega Man ZX Advent, Bifrost can crush enemies under his feet... But it's justified, since he's bloody huge.
  • Drawn to Life lets you jump on enemies if you want to save your ammo.
  • Mirror's Edge allows players to drop down on top of enemies and knock them out in one fell swoop. The 360 version even features an achievement called "Hey, it's-a-me!" for pulling this off. Same for the Play Station 3 version, except it's called a trophy.
  • Appears in Dawn of War 2. Yes, in Warhammer 40,000 of all places. But then, when you are landed on by 500 pounds of armor, jet pack and Space Marine...
    • Some of the Tyranids can do it too. Except they don't need jetpacks.
    • Interestingly, several editions ago it was a valid tactic in the tabletop game as well, although mainly the Fantasy line: units would both take and cause damage when something fell on them, particularly if they dropped or crashed from Flying High. Enter Bloodthirsters and Lords of Change, which were immune to non-magical damage, including falling damage, so you could take out that nigh-invulnerable unit of Ironbreakers by flying your Greater Daemon above it and... stopping.
    • Giants can still pull it off by rolling "Jump Up And Down", which makes them...well...jump up and down. One White Dwarf article for a few years back had a Giant pluck a High Elf Noble off the back of his griffon, chuck him to the ground, and begin stomping.
  • In Spelunky, of all places, this is one of the more effective ways of getting rid of the various Goddamn Bats that populate the underground levels. It also cancels out falling damage. And since you're going down, down, down all the time, it's remarkably easy to pull off.
  • In the first two Robot Ninja Haggle Man mini-games in Retro Game Challenge, this is one of the only ways to kill an enemy. The other is to get them in front of a door and hide behind one of the same color.
  • Non-game (but game related) example: CHIKARA wrestler Player Uno (the 8-bit luchador!) uses the Goomba Stomp as his Finishing Move.
  • The one foe that must be killed to progress in Deus Ex is easily dealt with via this (as he stand in place and you can enter the area on the ledge above him), allowing the game to be completed without the use of items. Even outside of a self imposed challenge, this is still the most fun way, and quickest (the only downside being some minimal falling damage if you don't have a jump enhancing augmentation)
  • One of the signature moves of former WWE cruiser weight champion Paul London was the mushroom stomp. Naturally he liked using it on Nunzio of the Full Blooded Italians.
    • Lo Ki (aka Senshi)'s finishing move, the Warrior's Way, is essentially a springboard Goomba Stomp.
  • In later Metal Gear Solid games, if you drop down from a high place to a low one on an enemy, you'll knock them out.
  • Tenchu: The Ninja have a unique stealth kill if you drop down on your enemy from above.
  • In EVO The Search For Eden, jumping on an enemy is one of your many weapons (along with charging tackles, bites, and sometimes horns).
    • You can even improve your Goomba Stomping ability by evolving forms who are heavier and/or who can jump higher. Quite a few upgrades have the Goomba Stomp in mind.
  • Some Tiny Toon Adventures games use this trope.
  • Joe and Mac feature a Caveman Stomp.
  • Funnily enough, Left 4 Dead uses this trope as well, although it may be either a glitch or intentional. Landing on top of a zombie's head from above will kill it. Special infected are immune to this.
    • This can earn you an achievement. Also, landing on the head of an infected negates fall damage, allowing one to survive ridiculous falls (such as the dead centre hotel), though it's very risky.
  • de Blob has a twist: You defeat enemies by coming down hard on them ("stomp" is debatable for a character with no feet), but you expend a number of paint points depending on the target. If you don't have enough points, the attack fails.
  • If you equip the Armor power in Prototype, you can Goomba Stomp pedestrians and other human enemies into a fine paste. Justified in that your character weighs about two tons. Doing so without the Armor is not guaranteed to kill them, but it will still hurt.
  • Borderlands has an Achievement for doing this called "My Brother is an Italian Plumber".
  • A goomba stomp is your only weapon in Eversion.
  • Jumping on enemies from a decent height is an instant kill in the Viking third-person sword-slasher Rune.
  • Dystopia lets you use a charged jump to deal major damage to anything you are standing on, especially people. Since it requires a charge time, it's really only used on players that are climbing ladders and players that are busy in Cyberspace.
  • The Goomba Stomp is the preferred method of destroying enemies in the FPS/PlatformGame hybrid Jumping Flash, as you could only have up to 3 1-shot weapons.
  • Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure. You even get bonus points by goomba stomping certain enemies while they're in mid-air.
  • In Bunny Must Die, Bunny and Chelsea can not only stomp enemies, but also projectiles (and this is sometimes the only way to reach certain areas). They both gain special shoes that allow them to increase their stomp damage.
  • Nearly all SpongeBob SquarePants handheld games have this, as part of a general resemblance to Super Mario Bros.
  • There is a feature in the freeware FPS Urban Terror that requires some good timing and skill in order to jump down, land on an opponent and "stomp" them to death. Unsurprisingly, it's indeed called "Goomba kill".
  • BattleTech does this in likely the biggest way out there. Sure, you've got all manner of Missile Racks, Autocannons, Laser Batteries, PPC's, Gauss Rifles and all the other destructive goodies you could ask for... But if you've got the skill to pull it off, almost nothing puts down a problem faster than firing up your Jump Jets, heading airborne, and mashing your enemies into the ground with the incredible force of a 70+ TON, HEAVILY ARMOURED ENGINE OF DESTRUCTION LANDING DIRECTLY ON THEIR HEADS!
  • Stone Boy of the Legion Auxiliary does a variant of this. All legionnaires have rings that allow them to levitate, and his usual means of fighting is to deactivate the ring immediately above his foe's head. Given how much he weighs, it's quite effective.
  • Several enemies in An Untitled Story can be defeated by jumping on them. It's generally more effective than shooting.
  • Ogmo from Jumper series can jump on cannonballs to destroy and bounce off them. Stage 10-4 of Jumper Two features EvilBots which Ogmo can stomp upon.
  • The Voodoo mask and the plague beetle from Banana Nababa will try to jump on top of you during their fights while trying to hit with their long ranged attacks.
  • One of Bison's special attacks has him leap into the air and and do a manly stomp on his opponent's head.
    • Come to think of it, the Head Stomp, the Red Hat, and sometimes a cape... have you ever seen Mario and Bison in the same place at the same time?
    • Chun-li can also do it.
  • Many characters in Dead or Alive have a special move that allows them to jump on a downed enemy after a combo for additional damage.
  • In Purple, you can dispose enemies this way, granting extra Scoring Points if you can stomp them without landing inbetween. Of course, there are exceptions.
  • Also done in Halo: Reach, where the goomba stomp is an animation for assassinating an enemy from mid-air. And yes, using an Elite to cushion your fall by landing on its head is both as funny and as awesome as it sounds.
  • The protagonist of No Hero favors this tactic during the period after he becomes a vigilante and before he gets any superpowers. We only get to see him doing it once, that also being his first confirmed kill—he drops down from three stories up, and the unfortunate mugger is hit so hard his ears pop right off in a spurt of blood. (Say it with me now . . .)
  • The Gunner from Monday Night Combat has a variant of this, his slam ability can be used while airborne and will kill any pro (and most bots) who happens to be underneath when he lands.
  • Averted almost everywhere in I Wanna Be the Guy (that would make the game too easy), but played straight with some Bullets Bill on one screen so that you can Goomba Springboard them.
  • In some Castlevania games, you can stomp enemies after you get the double jump ability. It does minimal damage, but you can do it again and again as long as you're in mid-air.
  • In Monster Racers, stomping your opponent is one way to slow them down during a race.
  • In the Turrican games, there are some little robots that you can defeat by jumping on them a few times. Rather bizarre for a game which otherwise resembles a mix between Metroid and Contra...
  • In Flink, stomping is not only the normal way to defeat enemies, but it also works for opening treasure chests.
  • In Little Nemo the Dream Master, Nemo can do this only as a frog.