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Typically, the fight starts on solid ground at the top of a building or some other high point. The fight closes in on its climax and the combatants are too engaged in the fighting to really notice they're now falling toward a pavement-splattering end. On the other hand, both of them are usually too powerful to really be harmed by any impact, or they can avoid it by usage of a super power.
A free-falling fight illustrates a strong conflict between the protagonist and antagonist, where the death of the other is more important than the death of oneself.
Seen often in videogame Boss Battle scenarios.
If those falling are falling in love instead of being locked in combat, it's Free Fall Romance.
Anime & Manga
- Afro Samurai vs. Afro-Droid, part 2. Afro-Droid could fly, so the freefall portion was entirely its choice.
- This fight is also carried over to the video game adaptation.
- Black Rock Shooter vs. Dead Master in the OAV.
- At one point in Blassreiter, flying Combining Military Mashup Machine has to separate as it was the only chance to win. Thing is, only one of three components was able to fly on its own, so they climbed as high as possible before dropping and tried to finish their respective targets before two of three are squashed.
- The Franky vs. Fukuro fight in One Piece which resulted in the two fighting over a waterfall and trying to finish each other once they were above land. Franky wins, of course.
- Freesia vs. Jubei's Freefall Fight in the second season of Jubei-chan. This was also the season's Growing the Beard.
- Gundam Wing Endless Waltz scales things up: Heero and Wu Fei start off dueling in low Earth orbit, but during a Blade Lock they plunge through the atmosphere, stop fighting long enough to worry about re-entry, then start fighting again. It should be noted that while Wing Zero can fly, Altron/Nataku can't, which is why the fight falls under this trope and not High Altitude Battle.
- The Tower of Druaga has one of these. On a series of frozen pillars. In a tower a mile up. Did we mention only one of these characters can actually fly, and the one who actually wins it jumps with no ropes or other aid?
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's had Yusei and Ushio continuing to duel while falling down an elevator shaft.
Films -- Live-Action
- In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Gandalf fights the Balrog while falling into the chasms of Moria. Note that, in both this and the book, they hit a lake on the bottom, but they are both too powerful to be killed by the impact.
- The a Team film has the fight between the team's tank and two Reaper UCAVs. It is Awesome.
- In Matrix Revolutions, Neo has a climactic battle against Agent Smith where both combatants fly and float in the air, at one point one slamming the other into the ground.
- Shoot Em Up has this one toward the end of the movie as its second-to-last major shoot-out.
- Spider Man 2 and 3 has lots of these.
- In Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, Agent Fox (Rob Corddry) leaps out of an airplane without wearing a parachute just so he can shoot at the title heroes on the way down.
- Happens between Johnny and Bohdi in Point Break.
- In Crank, Chev Chelios and the baddie he's been chasing the whole movie have one. Chev wins the fight, and dies anyway. He gets better.
- In Tron: Legacy, happens between Clu and Rinzler after the latter crashes their Lightjets together, to seize the remaining Lightjet rod.
- The beginning of Moonraker. Although this fight was actually over a parachute.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Harry grabs Voldemort and they plunge off of the Astronomy Tower together. Being a wizard, Voldemort eventually does that black-smoke thingy to fly around the castle until they both crash into the ground, non-fatally.
- When in Wyvern's Spur the hero transformed into a big wyvern fights another guy in the dragon form, they ends up wrestling, and of course are unable to keep their altitude.
- Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty, grappling with each other as they plunge over the Reichenbach Falls (supposedly).
- In the Battlestar Galactica Reimagined episode "Razor", a young William Adama collides with a Cylon fighter in atmosphere, forcing both to eject. The Cylon, apparently upset by this turn of events, attempts to shoot Adama while falling to its death. Unfortunately for the Cylon, a handgun is a poor choice of weapons while moving at terminal velocity and it fails to hit Adama.
- In Garo, the first battle between Saejima Kouga/GARO and Suzumura Rei/ZERO started out as an ordinary melee/sword fight and turn into this after they transformed into their armors while jumping to the top of two adjacent skyscrapers, in which after that, they proceed to fight while falling hundreds of feet between the skyscrapers. It's awesome.
Video Games -- Action Games
- The PS 1 game of Ghost in the Shell had its final battle as this. The final boss, on top of the tallest skyscraper in the city, proceeds to blow up like any other....before ramming THROUGH the explosion to shove both of you off the building, whereby you have to defeat him in 90 seconds while slowly turning in midair before you hit the bottom and die.
- The Kratos versus Icarus battle in God of War II. The winner gets a pair of wings to make a safe landing with. The loser...
- Also part of the fight against Erynnis' One-Winged Angel form in Ghost of Sparta.
- In Metal Slug 3, the final boss fight. You end up falling through the atmosphere while battling the alien overmind. And use his dead body as a platform to protect yourself from the impact.
- Bayonetta versus Balder in Bayonetta. The two fight on a chunk of a platform falling several hundred feet.
- The very beginning of the game is a fight scene atop a ruined cathedral... as it plummets down a seemingly-endless cliff. Hell of a way to start the game.
- Get close enough to a dragon in PlayStation 3's Lair and you can enter a grappling match during freefall.
- The penultimate boss battle of Kirby's Adventure and its remake is an Unexpected Shmup Level in freefall. The ground acts as an Advancing Wall of Doom, though it's hard to tell because the ground doesn't appear until the player takes too long.
- In the fourth level of Cybernator, you have to survive atmospheric reentry and freefall, chuteless, while fending of waves of assault suits until your rescue arrives.
- The final level of Batman: Vengeance is this. Simply put, the Joker has jumped out of his airship with Batman in hot pursuit. Batsy has to contend with thrown Joker cards, exploding balloons, and hot lead from the Joker's tommy-gun. At the end, when he's thrown the last punch, the Batwing appears and Batman grapples his way into the cockpit. This fight is timed. Batms would survive but not the Joker. The Have a Nice Death message reminds you, "Death is no substitute for justice."
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II has Starkiller battling the Gorog while falling.
Video Games -- Beat Em Ups
- In Bonesaw the Game, the second stage of the final boss has you falling from orbit before landing in the Clarkson University hockey rink.
- The opening battle of Bayonetta, which is actually an extension of the opening cutscene and you are Nigh Invulnerable.
Video Games -- Fighting Games
- Power Stone 2 has a stage that starts on board an airship which gets destroyed, forcing the fighters to battle in freefall for control of Parasol Parachutes.
- The end of Sanae Kochiya's storyline in Touhou Hisoutensoku has one of these, specifically Suwako's final attack.
- Also, the previous attack of the same fight is fought on a rising shockwave from an explosion.
- This happens in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe if one damages the "walls" of the arena enough.
Video Games -- First-Person Shooter
- The first fight against Meta Ridley in Metroid Prime 3.
- Though in this case, both Samus and Ridley appear doomed when the floor gives out - Samus can't fly, and the tunnel is too small for Ridley to spread his wings. Ridley doing this may be a case of Taking You with Me, but defeating Ridley lets Rundas fly down and save Samus. Ridley himself, however, doesn't die, as usual.
- One of the hardest levels in No One Lives Forever involves you jumping out of a plane just before it explodes and fighting H.A.R.M. mooks as you fall. They have parachutes, you don't. If you don't manage to steal a parachute from one of them before a predetermined time, you fall into a barn and die. Especially frustrating since there's only specific Mook who gets close enough to take his parachute, and if you (quite understandably) shoot him you're fucked.
- At the end of the final mission in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, you have to shoot the game's Big Bad Arkady Kirilenko while in freefall so you can get your parachute from Sweetwater, who's trying to keep the parachute from Kirilenko.
- A variation of it happens in Modern Warfare 3 in the level Turbulence. The plane you are in itself goes into free fall, leading to you having a shootout with Mooks in zero gravity before the plane is stabilized. You even get an achievement for killing all of the Mooks.
Video Games -- Platformers
- Moltz the Very Goonie in Yoshis Island DS.
- The second fight against the robotic chicken boss in Level 5 of Earthworm Jim is essentially this. Major Mucus would also count if he and Jim weren't attached to bungee cords during their fight.
- In Sonic Unleashed, you fight the Egg Dragoon while standing on a standard platform, but that platform (along with everything else) is in freefall towards the earth's core. On occasion, Eggman destroys the platform you're on, turning it into an actual freefall fight until Sonic lands on another one.
- Sonic Adventure 2's final boss combines this with Colony Drop. The final battle is in space, fighting a lizard attached to the Space Colony Ark as it's falling to Earth; if you take more than 5 minutes to beat the fight, you lose... Although you'd deliberately have to drag out the entire fight in order to lose that way. Far more likely is that you'll lose from the OTHER time limit that is your rings, which your Super Mode needed for flight runs on.
- Jackie Chans Action Kung Fu culminates with Jackie fighting a Giant Spider while falling on a Solid Cloud.
- Stage 9-5 of Jumper Two features Ogmo and The Boss falling from top of the tower, in a tennis fight.
- One of the Troia Base simulations in Mega Man X8 has you fight a robot in freefall.
Video Games -- Real-Time Strategy
- The opening Cutscene in Spellforce: The Order Of The Dawn ends with one of these between the Big Bad and the Big Good.
Video Games -- Role-Playing Games
- In Final Fantasy VI, you have to do this while falling down a waterfall. Amazingly enough, you will continue falling for as long as the fight takes, and instantly hit the bottom when you beat the last enemy.
- Final Fantasy VI also does something similar with the fight against the Air Force.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Crystal Bearers, the opening cutscene sets it up, and then the very first time you are put in control, its like this. Though it's just Layle against some Mooks.
- The one-on-one fight between Sten and Trubo in Breath of Fire II starts on a bridge, but midway through the battle the bridge collapses, sending the two plummeting towards the ground. The battle needs to be finished before three turns are up; otherwise, they hit the ground.
- Mage players in WoW have been known to jump off tall towers or flying mounts and duel each other while slowfalling. This is, of course, very fun, and known as mage dueling.
- The intro to Disgaea 2 Cursed Memories features Adell engaging in one of these with a bunch of random people.
Video Games -- Third-Person Shooter
- If trailers are to be believed, Saints Row 3 will start out with one which includes falling back into and through the plane you just jumped out of.
- Believe it. Another level has you jumping from one plane to another, then when it blows up you free fall in a tank. At the end that tank blows up and you free fall to hijack another one.
- Wet has an entire level dedicated to this trope. In short, a gunfight destroys the plane everyone is standing in, nobody has a parachute, and they all decide to keep shooting at each other on the way down for lack of anything better to do.
- Transformers: War for Cybertron has the first boss fight against Trypticon in freefall towards the planet Cybertron. It's as awesome as it sounds.
- Warhammer 40000 Space Marine has one against the final boss.
- Dead Fantasy II. A good quarter of the battle involves an insane Freefall Fight down the side of a building.
- Red vs Blue s9ep15 brings us the scene (appropriately, with Falling Towards the Sky in the background), where Tex, Wash, Carolina, and York battle the flying mooks and Hornets to get the Package into 479er's Pelican. Wash shoots one of the Hornet pilots out while standing on the falling package.
- Teen Titans. In the episode "Winner Takes All", between the two Badass Normals, Robin and Speedy.
- One Robot Chicken sketch begins as a skydiving marrige proposal but eventualy becomes this.
- Budgies sometimes do this, at least cocks. (Hens usually try to bite each other's toes off instead.)
- Subverted during judo and sambo matches between astronauts on the International Space Station. They never hit the ground.