Backward Somersault

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This article is about the jumping move from Super Mario 64. For the forward somersault, see Roll.
"Back Flip" redirects here. For information about the custom variant for Diddy Kong's Monkey Flip special move in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, see Monkey Flip.
Mario doing a Backflip in Donkey Kong
“If you jump while crouching with Nunchuk Z Button, you'll do a backward somersault! You can go super high!”
Board, Super Mario Galaxy 2

The Backward Somersault (alternatively spelled backward somersault), referred to as the Backflip by Prima Games' guides and Crouch Jump on the official Super Mario 3D Land website, in the Super Mario 3D World manual,[1] and in Super Mario Maker 2, is an advanced type of jump introduced in Donkey Kong for the Game Boy. The player can perform it by pressing A Button while moving and pressing +Control Pad in the opposite direction. Backflips allow Mario to quickly reach higher platforms. They require movement to execute them, so they cannot be performed on small platforms easily. The move can also be performed in Mario vs. Donkey Kong in the same way.

Artwork for Super Mario 64
Mario doing a Backward Somersault in Super Mario 64

The Backward Somersault returns in Super Mario 64, and it has been present in every 3D Mario game since, along with the similar Side Somersault. To perform it in this game, the character must jump while crouching. The character jumps high and flips over in midair, moving backwards. The character may chain it to a Ground Pound. The character can also control the backwards horizontal distance by holding back on the Control Stick.

This move is also present in Donkey Kong 64, working as it did in Super Mario 64, though it can also go straight up and forwards.

In Super Mario Sunshine, though Mario cannot crouch, he can perform a Backward Somersault if he sprays water, then lets go of the pump while jumping. Doing so creates a blast of water.

In Super Mario 64 DS, Luigi spins to slow his descent after performing this move.

In Super Mario Galaxy 2, this move is also used to manually dismount Yoshi; it thus prevents him from ground-pounding.

In Super Mario 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World, and the Super Mario 3D World style in Super Mario Maker 2, this move must be charged up first by crouching, like the Power Squat Jump from Super Mario Bros. 2, and it can also go straight up and forwards, as in Donkey Kong 64.

The move returns in Super Mario Run, where characters perform it if the screen is tapped while they are on a Backflip Block.

In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario can perform Backward Somersaults continuously if any of the shoulder buttons (ZL Button, ZR Button, L Button, or R Button) are held.


Super Mario 3D Land[edit]

  • North American Website Bio: "Mario charges up kinetic energy when he crouches. Harness it to jump even higher."
  • European Website Bio: "Press the B Button (or the A Button) while crouching to perform a Crouch Jump. Mario jumps higher than with an ordinary jump."

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese バック宙
Bakku chū[2]
Literally "Back air".
French (NOA) Salto arrière[3][4] Backwards Somersault
Italian Capriola all'indietro
Salto all'indietro
Backwards Somersault
Backwards jump
Korean 백 텀블링
Baek Teombeulling
Back Tumbling
Russian Прыжок присев (Super Mario 3D Land)
Pryzhok prisev
Сальто назад (Super Mario Odyssey)
Sal'to nazad
Crouch Jump

Backwards Somersault
Spanish (NOA) Salto Agachado
Salto Hacia Atras[5]
Crouch Jump
Spanish (NOE) Salto Agachado
Voltereta Mortal (SMG/SMG2)
Crouch Jump


  • In Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, performing a Backward Somersault from the edge of a platform toward a body of water causes Mario to instead do a diving move into the water, as long as the platform's surface is high enough above the water level.
  • Super Mario Odyssey contains an incomplete sentence when displaying instructions for a Backward Somersault on a sign: "If you're looking for the easiest way to get somewhere that a regular jump won't quite reach. Stop, crouch, and press B Button to do a Backward Somersault."


  1. ^ Super Mario 3D World manual, pg 17.
  2. ^ Super Mario Odyssey (1.2.0) Action Guide, Japanese Language
  3. ^ Super Mario Galaxy instruction booklet, French segment
  4. ^ Super Mario Galaxy 2 move pamphlet, French side
  5. ^ Super Mario Galaxy instruction booklet, Spanish segment