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This article is about the jumping move first used in Super Mario 64. For a very similar move from the Game Boy Donkey Kong and Mario vs. Donkey Kong, see Backflip. For the forward somersault, see Roll.
“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
Mario performing a Side Somersault in Super Mario 3D Land
Mario doing a Backwards Somersault in Super Mario 64

A Somersault is an advanced type of jump introduced in Super Mario 64. It can be done in the 3D platformers and the Super Mario 3D World style of Super Mario Maker 2. 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, Rosalina, and Toadette 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, the Super Mario 3D World manual,[1] and Super Mario Maker 2) 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, Super Mario 3D World, and the respective game style in Super Mario Maker 2, this move must be charged up first by crouching, and it can also go straight up and forwards, like the Power Squat Jump from Super Mario Bros. 2. In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario can do Backward Somersaults continuously if any of the shoulder buttons (ZL Button, ZR Button, L Button, or R Button) are held. This move is also present in Donkey Kong 64, working as it did in Super Mario 64.

The Side Somersault (referred to as Side-flip by Prima Game Guides) is the other variety of Somersault, which typically grants a small amount more height than the Backwards 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.

Somersaulting is also possible in Mario Kart 8, as part of a trick. It is executed by tilting the control stick up or down while pressing R Button/ZR Button after jumping off a ramp.

Official profiles[edit]

Super Mario Sunshine[edit]

  • Instruction booklet description:

This jump comes in handy when trying to reach places a standard jump can't or for getting above large enemies.

In this case, face away from the wall and tilt Control Stick to the left.

Immediately tilt Control Stick back to the right and press A Button.


Super Mario 3D Land[edit]

  • North American Website Bio (Side Somersault): "This move lets Mario do a quick about-face and launch into the air with extra height."
  • North American Website Bio (Crouch Jump): "Mario charges up kinetic energy when he crouches. Harness it to jump even higher."
  • European Website Bio (Side Somersault): "While dashing, push the Circle Pad in the opposite direction and press the B Button (or the A Button) to perform a side somersault. Mario jumps higher than with an ordinary jump."
  • European Website Bio (Crouch Jump): "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".
Spanish (NOA) Salto Agachado
Salto Hacia Atras[3]
Crouch Jump
Spanish (NOE) Salto Agachado
Voltereta Mortal (SMG/SMG2)
Crouch Jump
French (NOA) Salto arrière[4][5] Backwards Somersault
Italian Capriola all'indietro Backwards Somersault
Russian Прыжок присев (Super Mario 3D Land)
Pryzhok prisev
Сальто назад (Super Mario Odyssey)
Sal'to nazad
Crouch Jump

Backwards Somersault
Korean 백 텀블링
Baek Teombeulling
Back Tumbling

Side Somersault (Side-flip)[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 横宙返り
Yoko chūgaeri[6]
Side Somersault
Spanish (NOA) Salto Lateral Lateral Jump
Spanish (NOE) Voltereta Lateral Cartwheel
French (NOA) Salto latéral[7][8] Side Somersault
Italian Capriola laterale Side Somersault
Russian Боковое сальто
Bokovoe sal'to
Side 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, Spanish segment
  4. ^ Super Mario Galaxy instruction booklet, French segment
  5. ^ Super Mario Galaxy 2 move pamphlet, French side
  6. ^ Super Mario Odyssey (1.2.0) Action Guide, Japanese Language
  7. ^ Super Mario Galaxy instruction booklet, French segment
  8. ^ Super Mario Galaxy 2 move pamphlet, French side