Ground Pound

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Near obligatory basic combat maneuver that involves the Player Character jumping, ducking or crouching in the air, and then forcefully smashing/pounding/diving directly into the ground. Is also a common way of activating switches. If the attack sends out a wave of damaging energy then its a Shockwave Stomp.

Much like the Double Jump, you shouldn't think about how exactly this works. Also like the Double Jump in that, if falling at a certain speed causes injury to the character, a Ground Pound can instantly neutralise their falling speed.

Practically a staple of 3D platformers, but by no means limited to that one genre.

Not to be confused with Ground and Pound, a Mixed Martial Arts tactic that involves taking an opponent to the ground using a takedown or throw, obtaining a top, or dominant, position, and then striking the opponent repeatedly.

Also not to be confused with Operation Ground and Pound, by DragonForce. Arguable sister trope of Ground-Shattering Landing. See Sword Plant when this is done with a sword. Often intersects with Ass Kicks You.

Examples of Ground Pound include:

Comic Books

  • Someone else who uses this a lot is The Hulk. Not only is this a staple of his in the comics, animations and the most recent movie, but every game adaptation has him able to do it.
    • Most comic characters with Super Strength have used this move at one time or another to create an earthquake/shockwave and trip up or knock down opponents. Some, like the mutant Arclight and the Inhuman Gorgon, never use any other attack.


  • Will Stronghold of Sky High. What did that poor gym floor ever do to you?
  • Thor does it to a bunch of Frost Giants in the 2011 film. The devastation apparently spreads for miles.


  • Gandalf was planning this in The Hobbit, but at the last second was nabbed out of the sky by Gwaihir. Seriously.

Live-Action TV

  • Steven Colbert takes a running leap with the flag and plants it with a shockwave on landing.

Video Games

Action Adventure

  • Once his superhuman melee skills are upgraded, Gideon Wyeth of Advent Rising can perform a Seismic Pound.
  • Various Castlevania protagonists can do this, usually after getting the double jump ability. With the right timing, a mid-air "stomp" can sometimes get you up to platforms you shouldn't be able to reach yet.
    • Soma in Aria of Sorrow only gets this ability from an enemy (usually it is inherent with double jumping), and in Dawn of Sorrow, the damage the drop kick does depends on how long you fall for. So get the Medusa Soul and drop kick, then float in the air for ages using the soul, then let him drop for high damage. It's not always useful, but it's cool as hell. It's not entirely a ground pound though, as you can use it to bounce off enemies and even chandeliers and candles.
  • Also a special ability gained when you get the Goron Mask in The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask.
    • Justified a little, the move starts with a jump up, and can't spontaneously be done in midair. Though this does raise essentially the same questions...
  • Everyone in The Simpsons Hit & Run (that you control) can do this. Its only uses are on either breakables in the environment (for coins and wanted level) and innocent bystanders (for wanted level only). It actually doesn't reduce your falling damage...because there is no damage to humans.
  • Comes in more varieties than is funny in Prototype. Two-fisted, stomp, elbow drop. oh, and like a bunker buster.
    • That last one's hard to aim, but afterwards, the LZ tends to be clear.
  • In the same vein, In Famous has an electrical version of it.
  • One of the abilities you can get in An Untitled Story. Too bad using this makes you unable to Double Jump until you land.
  • Tumble the Baku of Dual Hearts has the creatively named "Megaton Buns", used both to attack and activate switches.
  • In Tokobot Bolt activates switches by jumping and dropping over, while his tokobots do a formation stomp around him.
  • Shadow Complex has such an ability when you start to assemble the power suit about halfway through the game. It is just one of the features you get, but it's never required to proceed further.

Action Game

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum - This is exactly what the maneuver is called
  • God of War. Slight variation in that you can Charge it, and can perform it on the ground (where it's the shockwave and not the collision that does the work.)
  • Spider-Man: Friend or Foe - one simple move from jumping, shoot a webline to the floor, yank downward, and pound the ground with a moderately ranged shockwave.
  • Burrito Bison has his "Rocket Slam", which has several uses - it prevents him from losing speed on contact with the floor, it protects him from the usual consequences of hitting police gummies (since hitting them with a rocket slam doesn't count), and if he hits an explosive gummy, it amplifies the boost he normally gets.

Driving Game

  • Padre Destino in Vigilante 8: Second Offense has an underground Ground Pound. He goes subterranean, tunnels to the target and erupts from the ground, emitting a shockwave that blows nearby enemies away.

Fighting Game

  • Many of the characters in the Super Smash Bros. games have something to this effect. Yoshi, Bowser, and King Dedede do this in the traditional manner, and Kirby simply turns into a rock... or a spike ball, or a Thwomp, or Lip's garbage block...
    • You can ground pound off the edge of the map and lose a life.
      • Provided you can take the enemy with you when it happens, this is referred to as a Suicide Spike, driving them past recovery. Since you're also past recovery, it's a Suicide move.
      • With Bowser, you can use this move near to an edge and grab the edge on the way down. This can be a safe way to land if you get knocked high because no one wants to be in the way of a falling Bowser and grabbing the edge gives you invincibility frames.
  • No wrestling game would be complete without lots of falling attacks, both from a normal standing position and from the top ropes. Elbow drops, fist drops, splashes, and so forth.
  • Potemkin in Guilty Gear.
  • The Mortal Kombat series might have introduced ground pounds to fighting games. In Armageddon's Konquest mode, Taven can use his version to, yes, trigger switches on the floor.
  • Goro Daimon from The King of Fighters.
  • C. Viper from Street Fighter IV.

First Person Shooter

Hack And Slash

  • There are two ways of doing this in Drakengard. The first and most obvious way is to be using Seere and have him command Golem to destroy everything in front of him, and then watch the fun. The second way is to start a running charge, jump, and attack, in which the protagonist sends out a circular shockwave around him when he lands. This second move is almost completely useless.
  • Barbarians in Diablo II have Leap and Leap Attack skills. Both create circular shockwaves that knock enemies back.
    • Gameplay trailers of Diablo III show improved ground-pounding effects for the Barbarian's Leap. Hordes of mooks can be thrown back in an expanding ripple from the point of impact.
  • Common move in the Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors series. The area of effect is usually very small, but the AI frequently uses it to knock down players who stick too close to an enemy officer. Oh, and in SW2, it's one of the few ways to reveal a burrowing ninja.


  • Champions Online used to have this if you bought the Cannonball advantage for Havoc Stomp, but the notoriously buggy advantage was eventually removed.
  • City of Heroes had this on release for their Super Strength powerset in the form of Foot Stomp, which later had an alternative animation option that used one's fist instead of their feet. Later, the Kinetic Melee powerset had a similar attack in the form of Burst.

Platform Game

  • Murray's belly flop in Sly Cooper.
  • Trope Namer and possible Trope Codifier: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, where it is a key maneuver, and has since migrated to most of the other games in the Mario universe, including Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, New Super Mario Bros.., the Paper Mario games, and all the Yoshi sequels. Heck, it's even a staple of Mario Party!
    • Super Mario World's spin jump may be a prototypical form of the move.
      • At the same time, when you have the cape and jump from a great enough height, you can dive and smash face first into the floor. Given you don't run into anything too deadly (you can all too easily fall into a spike pit or something if you're not careful), anything touching the ground on screen when you land is certainly screwed.
    • Super Mario Galaxy even allows you to pull off a homing Ground Pound.
    • In Super Mario Sunshine, if you do it from high enough, Mario's butt actually starts burning up from reentry.
      • This is -no joke- the key to defeating the final boss.
    • Bowser does this in the final battle in Super Mario Bros. 3, and that may be the real origin of this move (you have to get him to Ground Pound the bricks away so he falls into the Bottomless Pit below). It became one of his attacks in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but was renamed the Bowser Bomb.
    • In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, if all the players Ground Pound at the same time in multiplayer mode, it sends a shockwave with a nice chime that hits all enemies on the screen.
  • Banjo-Kazooie gives us a rather painful-looking variation in which Kazooie slams face-first into the ground as Banjo drops down on top of her. In Banjo-Tooie it was upgraded to a Drill Ground Pound.
  • Various games in the Donkey Kong universe.
  • The Jak and Daxter series.
  • Voodoo Vince
  • In the Mega Man X games, Zero has had a few moves of this sort, most notably his Giga Attack.
    • In addition, Guts Man (Mega Man 1), Hard Man (Mega Man 3), Stone Man (5), Concrete Man (9), and Flame Mammoth (Mega Man X) all have "seismic" attacks where they slam into the ground very hard, causing Mega Man to lose his balance and fall down stunned if he's on the ground. Hard Man's case is quite odd because Mega Man freezes even if he's in mid-air, giving Hard Man a chance to recover from his upside-down position.
  • Vexx has a "Ground Blast", where Vexx halts in midair (yes, it helps avert falling damage) and blasts energy downward.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2, where it's called a buttstomp.
  • Crash Bandicoot gains a Ground Pound attack in the second game, with which he can belly-flop onto unsuspecting enemies or bust open metal-enforced crates that would otherwise seem impenetrable. In the third game, this attack can be upgraded to create a shockwave that can destroy crates from a reasonable distance.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog could perform something like this with the Bubble Shield powerup in a couple of his games. It was also used to bounce up to platforms that were too high up for a normal jump.
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, Knuckles used a variation on the move to dig into the ground.
      • Also, Sonic could get an item called the "Bounce Bracelet" to perform the same bouncing maneuver from Sonic 3.
    • Sonic Heroes had a body slam that worked a little like the bounce bracelet (without the height gain in most cases) when used by Big or Vector.
    • In Sonic Unleashed, Sonic can use the Stomp after acquiring the Stomping Shoes (only in the PS360 version; in the WiiS2 version, you have it the whole game). It's used to hit certain ground switches and take out shielded robots.
    • And Secret Rings features a handful of skills that allow Sonic to deal damage to enemies during a jump cancel. Yeah, that translates directly into "ground pound."
    • In Sonic Colors, Sonic can do that move from the beginning of the game. There's also the Blue Cube Wisp, which has a more powerful Ground Pound as its secondary power.
    • Sonic Generations features the now standard stomp attack, but there is an optional equippable skill that you can gain by beating a mission called the Power Stomp, which turns it into a Shockwave Stomp.
  • Wario had this as well. In one game, it was used for the a similar purpose as Sonic's Bounce Attack. In another, if Wario fell from high enough, he could crash through blocks that were otherwise unbreakable.
    • Somewhat subverted in Wario Land: Shake It! If the player shakes the controller when a gauge is full, Wario literally pounds the ground (with his fist), stunning all on-screen enemies and knocking down loose objects.
  • In Psychonauts, Razputin can do this with his telekinetic hand during a jump. In Lungfishopolis (where Raz is the 50-foot tall "monster", this attack still works, though instead of using his hands, he uses his feet.
  • In Spyro the Dragon from the second game onwards, you can pull off a move called a Horn Dive/Headbash. Often used to activate switches in The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning, and Skylanders' Spyro can acquire a similar move as an upgrade.
  • Ratchet and Clank had this in the first game (for switches). Not in any of the games after that, though.
    • Though it showed up in Tools of Destruction as a purely offensive maneuver, rather than a switch-activator.
    • Technically, Ratchet can do it in all of the games. He just doesn't do it with his body, he does it with his wrench instead.
  • The Prinnies in Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? can use ground pound attacks to stun enemies and get to places normal jumps can't reach. It's all but required to use to defeat the bosses (with the exception of Sir Sweet's second form, who can't be hurt this way), since otherwise, they soak up a whole lot of damage.
  • Jett Rocket can do this—and needs to, because it's the only way to activate the end-of-level warps and defeat certain enemies.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula (NES/SMS/GB/GG) used this to smash through ledges.

Real Time Strategy

  • Assault Sergeant Thaddeus in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II has the Assault Jump ability, allowing him and his squad to perform a Ground Pound on any enemies you target, knocking them aside.
    • Subverted in the board game, where trying that same maneuver with the same models (a Deep Strike) used to result in the models instantly dying, no matter how flimsy the thing is they landed on. Thanks to a recent core rules change, there's only a 1/3 chance of instant death in this case, but none of the three results of the Mishap Table cause any damage to what you land on.

Role Playing Game

  • Sacred has several characters with this, and a couple with no shock waves.
  • The protagonists in Wild ARMs 4 and 5 have this as part of their puzzle-solving repertoire (yes, used to pound switches).
  • Dragon Age II Warriors have Tremor and Mighty Blow, striking the ground For Massive Damage or disabling opponents within a radius. Fist of the Maker is a telekinetic version.

Simulation Game

  • Too many monsters in Maple Story do this.
    • Oh, and the player can perform a Ground Pound if they're a Marauder and if they're in a Super Saiyan-esque form.

Third Person Shooter

  • Crackdown lets you ground pound from any height, including off the top of skyscrapers. Brilliantly, the shock wave you create when you hit the ground sends cars, objects and pedestrians flying.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine lets you do that when equipped with a jump pack, killing or stunning nearby enemies.

Wide Open Sandbox

  • Dead Rising features an aerial stomp attack that can be gained. Aside from it's usual ability to instantly decimate undead forces beneath him, it also allows Frank West to make suicidal jumps and be fine thanks to knee drop invincibility. Fa~ntastic!
  • The player in Just Cause 2 will die if they fall from great heights, but they can grapple into the ground (thus speeding up their descent) and land safely.

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