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A Somersault is an advanced type of jump introduced in Super Mario 64. It can only be done in the 3D platformers. The Somersault travels much higher than a regular jump, so it can be used to reach high places. However, the Somersault expends slightly more time than other forms of jumping. As of now, Mario, Luigi, Wario, Yoshi, Princess Peach, Toad, and Rosalina can use this move. There are two different varieties: the Backwards Somersault and the Side Somersault.
The Backwards Somersault (referred to as Backflip by Prima Game Guides and Crouch Jump on the official Super Mario 3D Land website) is one variety of Somersault. To do this, the character must crouch and then jump. The character 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. In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario cannot crouch, but he can do it only 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 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World, this move must be charged up first by crouching, like the Power Squat Jump from Super Mario Bros. 2, and it can also go forwards. This move is also present in Donkey Kong 64, working as it did in Super Mario 64. The Kongs must use this move to reach high places that they cannot reach with a normal jump.
The Side Somersault (referred to as Side-flip by Prima Game Guides) is the other variety of Somersault. It is useful when the player wants to immediately jump high to reach high ledges. To use it, the character must run in one direction, then simultaneously turn to run in the other direction and jump. In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario only needs to face in one direction and turn around; therefore, Mario could execute a Side Somersault with almost no space to move. Bowser uses it in Super Mario Galaxy as one of his moves in the second battle against Mario. Also, in Super Mario Galaxy 2, Yoshi can Side Somersault.
Names in other languages
Side Somersault (Side-flip)