A ground pound is a move that can be performed by pressing the ZL or ZR button while in midair. It causes Mario to quickly accelerate downward toward the ground and can be used to trigger certain elements in the game, such as buttons.
Ground pounding can also be performed the same way as Cappy in two-player mode. The physical mechanism is different from Mario's ground pound, but it has the same effects, except when ground pounding entities that also interact with cap actions such as captures.
Properties[edit | edit source]
Ground pounding onto certain objects in the game can be used to trigger specific actions, such as pressing buttons, revealing hidden Power Moons, triggering the staircases in the Lost Kingdom, and defeating Astro-Lanceurs, among many others. In addition to activating such elements, ground pounds can also be used to defeat most enemies.
Mario's ground pounds[edit | edit source]
When Mario ground pounds, the ground pound will continue indefinitely unless canceled by another action or event, such as landing or diving.
Pressing X or Y while in midair during a ground pound will cause Mario to dive. If X or Y is pressed after a ground pound connects with the ground, Mario will roll if the crouch button (ZL or ZR) is held and perform a downthrow if it is not. However, if X or Y is pressed too soon after the ground pound lands, Mario will perform a downthrow regardless of whether or not the crouch button is held.
A ground pound cannot be performed during a dive or a long jump, or immediately after bonking (although in the case of a long jump, a cap throw can be performed to reset Mario back to the normal falling state and make a ground pound possible again). A regular ground pound also cannot be performed during a spin jump, since a spinpound will be performed instead.
If Mario ground pounds an enemy that can normally be defeated by landing on it, Mario will not receive the bounce from the enemy as usual but will flatten the enemy straight into the ground instead.
Ground pounding will stall Mario in the air for a brief moment. Because of this, it is often preferable to use spinpounds instead while speedrunning, since unlike ground pounds, they will cause Mario to descend immediately.
Cappy's ground pounds[edit | edit source]
When Cappy ground pounds, he will only descend for a set distance if the ground pound does not hit anything. However, Cappy's ground pounds can be chained as many times as desired as long as there is nothing to hit, as there is no limit to how far below Mario Cappy can be. This fact is very useful in setting up for Cappy return cancels.
Chaining ground pounds as Cappy can be made slightly faster using what is known as a ground pound cancel. This is done by pressing the A or B button just after Cappy finishes his descent but before he finishes the animation that signifies the end of the ground pound. Performing a ground pound cancel allows the next ground pound to begin immediately, rather than waiting for said animation to finish.