The Double Jump convention in Video Games

I've never really understood this gaming convention.  I mean, how does one double jump?  Assuming this is just a video game trope, then what "real world" equivalent was this odd phenomenon derived from? 

mario wall jump
The wall j ump is something I can understand.  In the real world, I can foolishly run towa rds a wall, jump a fee b le white boy jump at it, plant one foot, and, basically, just redirect m y trajectory.  However, my full intention in this embarrassing ende avor would be to miraculously use the wall as a second platform from which to elevate my sorry vertical leap.  So, I t otally get why the wall jump has been a gaming tradition for so long; I can remember using this convenient move on nearly every console from the NES ( Batman: The Video Game; Ninja Gaiden) , to the SNES ( Super Metroid), to the N64 (oh so gloriously in Super Mario 64), to PS1 (the Mega Man games), to a revitalization on the PS2 ( Devil May Cry series) , and even to the current generation on the PS3 ( Assassin's Creed).  I absolutely love reliving this parkour fantasy without the risk of totally demolishing my groin on a stair rail or picnic table .  

But then we have the double jump-- described here on Giant Bomb as "the ability to jump while already in mid-air to get some extra lift."  What kind of non-sense is this?  What kind of weirdo thought of this trick? And how in the hell did it catch on?
 
Scout From Team Fortress 2 performing a double jump.
Don't get me wrong; however incredibly senseless this action may be, it doesn't cease to thrill me each time a game includes it.  The first double jump I ever  really took notice of goes down in my all t ime list of "Holy Sh*t" moments.  As a kid, my brothers and I were sick Sega Genesis addicts, and, like all GENies, Sonic was a childhood hero.  So, each Christmas whe n the new Sonic game in the series (yes, even Spinball), I spent glazy-eyed hours in a colorful world filled with a  whirlwind of speed and action.  In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, each new power-up item granted Sonic with a special ability or two. The electric shield would not only magnetically attract the precious gold rings from the surroundings to Sonic, but it also gave him the ability to double jump.  The first ti me I found that a second button tap at the height of Sonic's jump would propel him further into the cool, crisp blue air of the Green Hill Zone, I had a moment where I understood that each and every action video game I was to play after that would include a "double jump test", and, naturally, an inevitable comparison to Sonic 3.
 
I don't mean to imply that every game after Sonic 3 (which I'm sure wasn't the first game to use double jump) was somehow worse, as if the quality of a game depended on whether the developers incorporated double jump into the gameplay experience, but I do mean that the lack of double jump became glaringly obvious in most Mario Games (I always suspected the addition of the double jump into Mario games was a Sonic rip-off, though I was disappointed that the gliding concept from Super Mario World was never used in the side-scrolling Sonic games).  But, enough of my Sonic fanboy digression.
 
I really loved the acrobatic gameplay in the Devil May Cry games, especially the eventually earned "Air Hike" that was obtained, upgraded upon, and compatible with theatrical, mid-air gun-spray.  Also, Prince of Persia made good use of the double-jump by having an AI character companion essentially "slingshot" like a trapeze artist. But it in some games that the ridiculous ignorance of physics becomes so profoundly noticeable that I have to wonder about the origins of the double jump.  In Prince of Persia, there was no stylish technique to execute the double jump as was the case in Kingdom Hearts (a front flip double-jump) or Devil May Cry (a magical/demonic temporary platform to front flip off of), and I love to see it done right in examples like these.  But, until I can understand the inspiration for such a weird idea, I'll probably remain critical of its use in the future.  Wait a minute...maybe it is real after all: 
Start the Conversation
1 Comments
Posted by plainplease

I've never really understood this gaming convention.  I mean, how does one double jump?  Assuming this is just a video game trope, then what "real world" equivalent was this odd phenomenon derived from? 

mario wall jump
The wall j ump is something I can understand.  In the real world, I can foolishly run towa rds a wall, jump a fee b le white boy jump at it, plant one foot, and, basically, just redirect m y trajectory.  However, my full intention in this embarrassing ende avor would be to miraculously use the wall as a second platform from which to elevate my sorry vertical leap.  So, I t otally get why the wall jump has been a gaming tradition for so long; I can remember using this convenient move on nearly every console from the NES ( Batman: The Video Game; Ninja Gaiden) , to the SNES ( Super Metroid), to the N64 (oh so gloriously in Super Mario 64), to PS1 (the Mega Man games), to a revitalization on the PS2 ( Devil May Cry series) , and even to the current generation on the PS3 ( Assassin's Creed).  I absolutely love reliving this parkour fantasy without the risk of totally demolishing my groin on a stair rail or picnic table .  

But then we have the double jump-- described here on Giant Bomb as "the ability to jump while already in mid-air to get some extra lift."  What kind of non-sense is this?  What kind of weirdo thought of this trick? And how in the hell did it catch on?
 
Scout From Team Fortress 2 performing a double jump.
Don't get me wrong; however incredibly senseless this action may be, it doesn't cease to thrill me each time a game includes it.  The first double jump I ever  really took notice of goes down in my all t ime list of "Holy Sh*t" moments.  As a kid, my brothers and I were sick Sega Genesis addicts, and, like all GENies, Sonic was a childhood hero.  So, each Christmas whe n the new Sonic game in the series (yes, even Spinball), I spent glazy-eyed hours in a colorful world filled with a  whirlwind of speed and action.  In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, each new power-up item granted Sonic with a special ability or two. The electric shield would not only magnetically attract the precious gold rings from the surroundings to Sonic, but it also gave him the ability to double jump.  The first ti me I found that a second button tap at the height of Sonic's jump would propel him further into the cool, crisp blue air of the Green Hill Zone, I had a moment where I understood that each and every action video game I was to play after that would include a "double jump test", and, naturally, an inevitable comparison to Sonic 3.
 
I don't mean to imply that every game after Sonic 3 (which I'm sure wasn't the first game to use double jump) was somehow worse, as if the quality of a game depended on whether the developers incorporated double jump into the gameplay experience, but I do mean that the lack of double jump became glaringly obvious in most Mario Games (I always suspected the addition of the double jump into Mario games was a Sonic rip-off, though I was disappointed that the gliding concept from Super Mario World was never used in the side-scrolling Sonic games).  But, enough of my Sonic fanboy digression.
 
I really loved the acrobatic gameplay in the Devil May Cry games, especially the eventually earned "Air Hike" that was obtained, upgraded upon, and compatible with theatrical, mid-air gun-spray.  Also, Prince of Persia made good use of the double-jump by having an AI character companion essentially "slingshot" like a trapeze artist. But it in some games that the ridiculous ignorance of physics becomes so profoundly noticeable that I have to wonder about the origins of the double jump.  In Prince of Persia, there was no stylish technique to execute the double jump as was the case in Kingdom Hearts (a front flip double-jump) or Devil May Cry (a magical/demonic temporary platform to front flip off of), and I love to see it done right in examples like these.  But, until I can understand the inspiration for such a weird idea, I'll probably remain critical of its use in the future.  Wait a minute...maybe it is real after all: