Nintendo Legend Masahiro Sakurai Enlightens the Community About the Falling Mechanism in Varied Game Structures

Published 05/05/2023, 9:00 AM EDT

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If you have ever played Super Mario Bros. or Kirby’s Adventure, you know how annoying falling off a ledge is. But they are specifically set for that purpose, to annoy fans to try beating the level. If the games would be so easy fans would lose interest quickly. Now the man behind Kirby’s adventure, Masahiro Sakurai, has opened the secrets of ledge behaviors.

He had earlier briefed on this topic in his YouTube video presenting the secrets in the development of Kirby. In his latest YouTube video, he has dived deeper into the same.

Masahiro Sakurai shares the secrets of ledge behaviors


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The Kirby creator shared the ways a character can fall off a ledge and how developers can mold this situation according to their needs. The first way of falling according to Sakurai is ‘Fall Unconditionally’. This way is true if the game uses gravity and developers leave a gap in the platforms of the game. Old-time games like Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and Super Mario Land 2 did this.


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The next method of falling is ‘Fall during movements, not during actions’. In this method movement controls and action controls have different effects on ledge. Players will fall if they move forwards. But if they do actions, like attacks or defense, they will stay on the edge of the ledge.

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Another method to falling is ‘some actions fall others don’t’. He used the example of his game Smash Bros. for this. Actions containing the use of momentum will trigger the falling of characters in this methodology.

Some usual techniques for ledge behavior


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Masahiro Sakurai shared some offbeat techniques too. “Some games make you ‘push’ against ledges to fall off them,” noted Sakurai. Another effective technique is to adjust the player’s movement direction if the ledge is more or less parallel to the movement direction. Furthermore, some games make players automatically jump when at the edge of the ledge.

In conclusion, Masahiro Sakurai stated that falling off ledges is not simple as it seems. There are plenty of scenarios and aspects that need to be considered before choosing the style of ledge behavior. He shared his knowledge with developers stating, “Don’t overlook how things feel during playtesting, and try to find the mechanics that best suit your game.”


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What are your thoughts on the insights shared by Masahiro Sakurai on ledge behaviors? Let us know in the comment section below.


Written by:

Ajitesh Rawat


One take at a time

Ajitesh Rawat is an up-and-coming eSports writer at EssentiallySports. An avid gamer himself, Ajitesh grew up just like the majority of the gamers out there by simply falling in love with Need for Speed and Grand Theft Auto. He likes to dive into these vast imaginative worlds and experience the fun himself.
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Edited by:

Jito Tenson