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When landing after big jumps in Mario Kart 64, some times you bounce. This effect is probably most pronounced on Royal Raceway, where you can even bounce multiple times after landing the big jump. However, some times you do not bounce at all.

Here is an example video. The player bounces twice the first two times they take the jump (at approximately 0:50 and 1:50), but doesn't bounce at all the third time (at about 2:45).

Is there a way to control this? Or is it just random?

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  • It's been a while but I think it depends on one's timing pressing the jump button either at the tip of the ramp or while landing – Zommuter Aug 19 '20 at 17:05
  • @Zommuter Looking at the video, it doesn't seem like the jump button is pressed at all at the tip of the jump. I also seem to personally recall not really caring much about the jump button during races, and still bounce some times and not others. But I am open to the possibility. – Arthur Aug 19 '20 at 17:17
  • You really should bother with the jump button, even if it's just for the drifting boost in curves ;) I can only say from personal experience that I did press jump atop the ramp whenever the bounce happened - as far as I can remember that is... – Zommuter Aug 19 '20 at 17:30
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    @Zommuter I know about the drifting now. Tell that to 7 year old me instead :P – Arthur Aug 19 '20 at 17:32
  • Good news then, you can now beat your old best times :P – Zommuter Aug 19 '20 at 17:34
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What actually causes the bounce is quite a bit of physics calculations that haven't been completely solved yet (I hope to eventually make some more sense of it).

In simple terms though, it has to do with your kart's velocity in the direction towards the ground. As the kart advances you downward towards the ground it moves a certain distance each frame, eventually that frame ends up being at a point where your kart is actually below the ground and if it's a certain amount below, the kart will be ejected upwards giving you that slow bounce.

While this isn't "random," there's not exactly an easy way to avoid it. (Some old strategy guides recommend hold R before landing, this does nothing).

I'd recommend the following to most consistently prevent the bounce:

  • Time Trials - Do nothing. Just drive straight off the ramp and you won't bounce.
  • 150cc - Jump a little before the edge of the ramp. This needs to be at a pretty specific spot, but will reduce the number of bounces if done consistently. Here's a video of it in practice.

If you do bounce, be prepared to quickly triple tap the A button for fast acceleration to get back up to full speed a soon as possible.

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    So the bounce is an anti-clip ejection of sorts? That does sound like it would be difficult to reproduce or avoid consistently, yeah. – Arthur Oct 21 '20 at 18:07

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