From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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A Dive (also called Body Slide) is a move used by various characters in the Mario franchise, though it is mainly used by Mario in 3D titles. Usually, the dive is activated by jumping into the air followed by hitting the attack button. Diving has the character dive downward out of the air as a means of attacking enemies or dodging obstacles.
Super Mario series
Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS
In Super Mario 64, Mario can use this move by running and pressing to initiate the dive; holding back on the Control Stick or pressing or ends the move (though only the latter method retains Mario's momentum). This move can also be used during a running jump or Side Somersault. While diving, Mario will slide across the ground on his stomach and damage any enemies in his path. If diving onto a sloped surface (like a slide), Mario's speed will remain constant (despite the player's inputs) and he will not stop until he is on a sufficiently level surface again. In Super Mario 64 DS, Luigi and Wario can dive as well, using the same controls, though the amount of damage done is dependent on the character. Yoshi, however, cannot dive due to lacking attack power.
Super Mario Sunshine
In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario no longer has to gain speed to dive. The player can simply jump on the spot and press to send Mario diving forward. While Mario can dive into enemies to defeat or damage them, he can only do so with smaller enemies like Swoopin' Stus. He can also dive forward repeatedly if the player keeps pressing . If Mario dives into goop or water on the ground, he will continue to slide until the player holds back on the Control Stick or presses . Unlike in Super Mario 64, Mario can ground pound out of a dive while in midair with .
Super Mario 3D World / Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
A variant of the dive, known as a claw dive, is used by every character in Super Mario 3D World (except Captain Toad), though only while in Cat form. Players can hold the attack button in midair to send their character diving downward at a high speed, attacking any enemies the player comes into contact with, and can cancel the dive by Ground Pounding or changing direction.
In the Nintendo Switch re-release, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, all characters can now perform a standard dive, separate from the claw dive and functionally similar to the dive in Super Mario Odyssey.
Super Mario Odyssey
Mario is able to dive in Super Mario Odyssey. It is now performed by holding and pressing after jumping. It can thus be done at the start of a Ground Pound in midair. Unlike in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, however, Mario jumps in a small arc instead of just falling, and he does not slide upon landing. The distance traveled with each use is also set as opposed to depending on Mario's momentum, presumably to make diving into Cappy work more consistently. Using this move underwater lets Mario perform a Quick Swim, which mimics the swimming physics of Super Mario 64 up to Super Mario Galaxy 2.
Super Mario Maker 2
The Cat form's claw dive returns in the Super Mario 3D World style of Super Mario Maker 2; it is now performed by pressing ,, , or in midair.
In many sports titles, such as the Mario Baseball and Mario Tennis series, characters can dive in order to recover the ball. Diving is usually activated when the player tries to recover the ball from a distance, causing the character to dive in order to cover the distance between them and the ball. However, characters can only dive a certain distance and may not be able to reach the ball in time.
Super Smash Bros. series
In the Super Smash Bros. series, Mario and Luigi can perform a dive attack based on that from Super Mario 64 by doing their dash attacks while holding a battering item.
Super Mario Sunshine
"Here's a technique that lets Mario slide in places other than slopes."
"Press lightly then tilt to spray water straight ahead while running."
"Immediately press to dive and slide across the wet surface! Control the direction of the slide with ."
Names in other languages