Backwards Long Jump

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The Backwards Long Jump, or BLJ for short, is one of the most well-known and versatile methods of gaining Hyperspeed, whereby Mario's backwards speed can increase under certain conditions during a backwards-facing Long Jump.

This glitch is caused by the lack of a negative limit on Mario's speed. The first frame of a Long Jump multiplies Mario's forward velocity by 1.5, and although the game keeps this velocity below 48.0, no corresponding negative cap is enforced. Since Mario's speed is slowed due to drag each frame he is in the air, this multiplier does not affect typical gameplay. However, if Mario is in a position where he can perform many backwards-facing Long Jumps in rapid succession, he can repeatedly reduce his speed while overcoming drag, resulting in negative Hyperspeed.

BLJs can be performed on many slopes, stairways, and obstacles, making it useful for speedruns and challenges alike.

Execution

To perform a BLJ, do a long jump with Mario facing away from the obstacle/stairway/slope but move backwards towards it (by holding the joystick in the opposite direction). Mario will collide with the obstacle/stairway/slope, leaving him on the ground and enabling him to backwards long jump again. Mario's speed becomes negative at this point, and BLJing repeatedly causes a negative speed increase of approximately 45-50% of Mario's currently stored speed at that time. Once the desired speed is reached, simply stop BLJing and Mario will zoom off backwards at an incredibly high speed. If you continue BLJing long enough, Mario's speed, stored in a float, will eventually reach -229399772256808620000000000000000000000, then tick over to -1.#INF, and crash the game.

The key aspect of BLJs is Mario's capability of retaining negative speed temporarily. Eventually, the speed will increase back to 0; however, there are a few frames within a BLJ in which his speed doesn't deplete instantly. These frames allow for repeated BLJs, thus increasing his speed.

You can use BLJs to:

  • Gain enough speed to pass through doors, such as:
    Star doors
    Doors that trigger a loading zone (though the area will not load)
  • Zip backwards on the ground at very high speeds (if obstacles are avoided)
  • Jump over incredibly large gaps (since when over the air, Mario will have the same BLJ jumping physics but with the massive speed still present)
  • Pass through some loading zones, like the water wall needed to enter Dire Dire Docks
  • Pass through some types of walls (like the iron gates in Bob-omb Battlefield.)
  • Go into Parallel Universes
  • Perform a negative jump with large amount of speed

Types of BLJs

While all BLJs work by the same principle, there are many different methods of performing them. There are numerous places where a BLJ can be performed throughout the game (virtually every level contains at least one), and it is unlikely that all such locations have been discovered.

Stair BLJ

Stair BLJs were the first kind of BLJs to be discovered. A Stair BLJ consists of long jumping backwards onto stairs, which are basically tiny floors, which Mario can run directly over. BLJing on stairs works similar to Elevator BLJs because they both consist of Mario's jumps being interrupted allowing for more jumps to be performed, however the timing must be precise.

Here's how they work: With a precisely timed BLJ, Mario's vertical position snaps to the next highest stair, ultimately reducing Mario's vertical speed to 0 (allowing him to repeatedly BLJ on the ground). When this occurs, his negative horizontal speed is temporarily stored, allowing him to repeat the process which results in a greater amount of negative speed.

Slope BLJ

Slope BLJs are backwards long jumps on steep slopes. To find slopes with this property, locate slopes that permit Mario to stand perfectly still on them. He will not slide off of them.

Here's how it works: When BLJing on a steep slope, Mario's jump is interrupted by the steep ground. With no negative horizontal velocity, Mario's long jumps behave just as the developers intended. However, on steeper slopes, with a negative horizontal velocity, and with ground located behind Mario, the game has no choice but to force Mario's position backwards along with an increased vertical position. This process is repeatable, allowing for Slope BLJs to be performed.

A common slope to BLJ on would be the slopes on the Castle Roof or the tan-colored slopes located by the cannon in the castle grounds.

Elevator BLJ

Elevator BLJs are performed on elevators, but not every elevator permits an elevator BLJ!

Here's how they work: BLJs are possible on rising elevators because an elevator's vertical velocity allows them to catch up to Mario as soon as he leaves the ground from a BLJ. This interrupts the first jump and allows him to jump again, thus repeating the process of a BLJ.

The elevators in Hazy Maze Cave and Bob-omb Battlefield are good places to practice. Elevators that move in a horizontal fashion, such as the ones located in the volcano of Lethal Lava Land, do not have the properties to initiate Elevator BLJs because they do not have enough vertical velocity.

Low Ceiling BLJ

These are probably the trickiest locations to find because some of them are invisible or are just plain easy to overlook. However, walls above a floor can also act like ceilings. These walls don't necessarily have to be parallel with the ground in order for a Low Ceiling BLJ to be performed.

These types of BLJs demonstrate Mario's mechanics to their most basic properties. Mario has the capability of temporarily storing negative speed after a BLJ, and this speed can be increased with repeated BLJs.

The most common Low Ceiling BLJ is the one presented in the video (located in the Jolly Roger Bay room). Both of the Lobby BLJs in the main room of the castle are also Low Ceiling BLJs, but they utilize Invisible Wall Hitboxes which act as Low Ceilings.

Side BLJ

Main article: SBLJ

Side BLJs are very similar to stair BLJs, since both utilize the vertical position snapping mechanic in the game (mentioned earlier in Stair BLJs). A Side BLJ essentially consists of Mario repeatedly BLJing onto and off of a floor.

Here's how it works: When Mario BLJs parallel to the stairs and strains sideways, Mario's vertical position snaps to the next highest stair (when the right angle is utilized). This also requires Mario's facing angle to be slightly askew with respect to the stairs, so that when he BLJs onto the next highest stair, his facing angle & negative speed allow him to drop back down to the original stair with which the Side BLJ was initiated with, since Mario cannot move sideways during landing animation. As mentioned earlier, when Mario BLJs and snaps onto the next highest stair, his negative speed is temporarily stored, allowing him to repeat the process which results in a greater amount of negative speed.

Side BLJs can be performed on most stairs (due to some stairs having the appearance of stairs but are actually steep slopes) and on flat platforms which Mario can run directly over.

Pause BLJ

See also Pause-buffering

Pause BLJing allows Mario to BLJ 30 times per in-game-second instead of 15 (SM64 runs at 30 frames-per-second). While BLJing, do the following sequence:

   First Frame: (Start) + (Z) + (A)
   Second Frame:
   Third Frame: (Start)
   Fourth Frame:
   Fifth Frame: (Start) + (Z) + (A)
   And so on! 

Basically, the Start Menu acts like a frame buffer which allows more inputs to be performed within the game timer. These rules apply for BLJing as well. However, this only works on slopes, stairs, and elevators. It does not work with Side BLJs or (some) Low Ceiling BLJs.