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File:PowerFloat.jpg


Chip: She can fly!?

Needy: She's only hovering. It's not that impressive.

Jennifer: Do you have to undermine everything I do?

Just like Power Glows, Echoes, and Makes Your Voice Deep, it also floats.

Floating is a favorite pastime for many different character types among many different genres. Heroes and villains going into a Super Mode or becoming a One-Winged Angel respectively will likely learn to float, as their powerup makes them defy gravity. The Mineral MacGuffin, Cosmic Keystone, or any shiny object of power will be floating over a pedestal draped in light. Witches, wizards, and psychic types will float or fly as a spell, or reveal themselves capable of it because I Am Not Left-Handed. Supernaturals of various stripes will also enjoy floating, like vampires, ghosts, angels, etc. The early risers in particular like to use it in a Pivotal Wakeup.

Generally, this is seen as Badass and dangerous (on par with Unstoppable Rage) because it's far less natural than outright flight. Even though the floating itself is usually harmless, it can really freak enemies out because it implies the floater is capable of much more powerful feats. In short that he is defying physics just enough to float because it's cool, but with more hurt hidden up their sleeves just waiting to come out.

This is often augmented because Power Gives You Wings. Of course, this can get devalued really fast if most everyone in the series has Flight.

Don't expect this to let you pass the Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence though. Expect to see some Mid-Air Bobbing. The most common stock pose associated with this is the Levitating Lotus Position. If it takes a turn for the eerie, may be paired with Marionette Motion. See also Chunky Updraft. And if the power of love causes it, it's Lovetation

Examples of Power Floats include:


Anime & Manga

  • In Dragonball Z, all of the main characters can fly. When someone brings out their Super Saiyan Battle Aura, it adds to the mix rising currents of Dramatic Wind and Chunky Updraft lifting stuff up around them as they leave the ground.
    • As an added bonus, this often happened not by having characters rise off the ground, but by having a small section of the ground blown out from under them with their Battle Aura. They simply couldn't be bothered to fall a measly four inches.
    • Although if they did fall those 4 inches, wouldn't that just make the hole 4 inches deeper?
  • Played with in Ah! My Goddess. All the paranormal types can and do float on occasion; however most of these (i.e. Belldandy) aren't especially menacing.
  • Grove from Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust. When the others need him to, he uses a super powerful spirit form that glows and floats as he attacks. It's quite deadly.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, its expected that wizards are to fly using wands or brooms, but at the particularly high levels, anyone may float in the air. (Konoka, Nagi and Fate; Evangeline didn't count, for being a vampire with assumed flight ability). It was even used as a secondary clue that Fate was a high-level opponent ("and, y'know, he's floating").
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, the forced transformations of Hayate and Vivio into their respective Superpowered Evil Sides were both preceded by their bodies floating in mid-air while surrounded with their overflowing magical energies.
    • Not to mention that pretty much the entire cast list of A's seems to have no problem with standing in thin air. It's like gravity doesn't want to pick a fight with any of them.
  • Combatants in Bleach frequently spend entire fight sequences in the air. They also tend to halt themselves when knocked back by digging their heels into the air, complete with eddies of dust appearing around their ankles.
    • This is actually explained as them focusing spirit particles under their feet. In effect, they can literally stand on air.
    • Played a little more straighter with Ulquiorra in his second form, although it tries to be averted; while moments show his feet are few in between when he's not actually flying, the anime clearly shows him hovering about a foot and a half off the ground, the tallest any of the characters ever try to hit with this ability and actually using the powers for something other than combat... although it's up to question if it was to look intimidating or being taller than 5'6.
  • Naruto has plenty of Roof Hopping and Le Parkour, but no actual flight; muscular effort is always required. Then the Big Bad is shown hovering in midair above Konoha prior to unleashing his ultimate jutsu. Oh Crap.
    • Later, it seemed like the Tsuchikage had the trope going on, but it turns out that he actually knows a technique that lets him and his subordinates fly.
  • Unlike his reverb effect, Masami Eiri does not float in his first appearance in Serial Experiments Lain but does for most of the rest of the series.
  • Natsume/Sabrina from Pokémon, more so in the anime than (her illustrations in) the games.
  • Kaworu Nagisa from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Kyuubey picks this up in Oriko Magica. Because he wasn't creepy enough already.
  • Shiki, the Big Bad of One Piece's tenth movie, has this as a power. In addition to being able to float himself, he can make battleships or islands float... or just let them fall.


Comics

  • Dr. Manhattan does it in Watchmen.
  • In the surreal 1989-1990 Larry Hama comic Nth Man the Ultimate Ninja, the Reality Warper Alphie O'Meagan floats off his bed the first time he truly activates his power, after having a conversation with his subconscious in the form of a giant animated face coming out his ceiling.
  • Many powerful mutants in The X-Men are able to levitate, but usually there is a concrete reason besides sheer badassery. Storm, for example, can control the weather (and therefore could do neat things with the air around her to hold her aloft), and Magneto's costume is (sometimes) made of metal, though it's explained when it's introduced (fun fact: Neither Magneto nor Polaris couldn't fly until ChrisClaremont came along.) that just as Polaris manipulated Earth's magnetic field to get rid of Krakoa, it can be used on a much smaller scale for single-person levitation.
    • However, there are few Big Bad class X-villains who are not seen to fly, even when the other powers they use don't suggest they should be able to.
  • Black Adam has a tendency to float a few inches above the ground.
    • Such a frequent tendency that he apparently even does it when there's no particular need to be intimidating. Lampshaded when an ally asks him to stop doing it because of how disconcerting it is.
  • The Sandman also mentions that angels never touch the ground, with the exception of the fallen angel Lucifer of course. When Remiel is forced to take over Hell, after much pleading and whimpering, he is also forced to land.
  • Doctor Strange can float unaided and is often found in a Levitating Lotus Position. His Cloak of Levitation enables him to fly.


Literature

  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows we learn that Voldemort has invented a way of flying without the aid of brooms or anything of the sort.
  • In Stephen King's The Stand, Randall Flagg likes to spend his downtime hovering and meditating on his own awesomeness.
    • The first sign of his Villainous Breakdown which begins after Nadine kills herself and his unborn child is that he can only hover a few inches, and not for very long at that.
  • Just before the final fight in Thief of Time, Newgate/Jeremy floats gently, while glowing. He's learned Rule One - "Never act incautiously when facing a small wrinkly bald smiling old man!" Still doesn't go too well for him.
  • Ravenor. Stephen Hawking plus psychic powers in a floating wheelchair.


Live-Action TV


Myths & Religion

  • Older Than Print: Christian folklore holds it that angels constantly float, even when not actually flying, as their feet are never to touch base earth.


Tabletop Games

  • The C'Tan of Warhammer 40000 like to slowly float over the battlefield as they kill everything in sight, though this is largely because they consider the laws of physics to be optional. Similarly, the enormously psychic Tyranid organisms known as Zoanthropes float to get around, since their brains are superdeveloped at the expense of the rest of their body - their tiny, atrophied legs can't possibly support them.
    • Going by how the models' brains are clearly visible, neither can the rest of their bodies...
    • Psykers in Dark Heresy et al. can -- depending on the circumstances -- subvert, invert, or play this trope straight; either intentionally through power use, or accidentally through the Psychic Phenomena and Perils of the Warp tables (in particular, the Falling Upwards result constitutes a very nasty inversion, to say nothing for The Surly Bonds Of Earth)
  • The Elocater Prestige Class's 1st class ability, "scorn earth," causes you to float a foot off the ground at all times. The ability's description implies that you're so powerful, you've just decided to ignore the ground entirely.
  • The Ashura of Legend of the Five Rings appear to be samurai with moth wings that float above the ground. Although they are powerful, they aren't deliberately floating - they are so utterly corrupt that the earth itself repels them.


Toys

  • When Brutaka fell into the Antidermis pool and soaked up the spirits of the unborn Makuta, he gained instant powers and super-knowledge. For the remainder of the story, he floated.


Video Games

  • The first of the flight powers in City of Heroes is "hover" but it's essentially extremely slow flight.
    • Well, it used to be only that. Recently, it was changed so that instead of just being in the "superman" pose but going comically slow, the character remains upright, with arms held out to the sides. It looks much more badass.
      • And, of course, it can be used to invoke the trope: a very high level, powerful character who suddenly starts hovering above the ground can be, depending upon what they're saying, a visual shorthand for "you REALLY should be respecting me more" to "don't worry about it, I'll clear the entire map."
    • There is also the Soul Storm power, which will raise the user into the air, flight or no flight.
  • Zasalamel in Soul Calibur hovers off the ground when turning into Abyss. The effect is not seen anywhere else in the game, and once he becomes Abyss, he doesn't float any more.
    • Algol, the boss of Soul Calibur 4 only rarely actually touches the ground, preferring to float a few inches above it with this neat blueish nimbus effect.
  • Mewtwo, in his Super Smash Bros Melee incarnation, constantly floats. Master Hand, Crazy Hand, and Tabuu are also constantly floating, as are Smash Balls in Super Smash Bros Brawl.
  • Final Form in Kingdom Hearts 2.
    • Apparently this is because you only unlock Final Form after completely merging with Roxas by defeating him in a fight. Yes, Roxas can float. And summon pillars of light. They never explain why. Since Final Form is formed from a combination of Sora and Roxas, Sora inherits the ability to float.
    • Wisdom Form also has a little bit of float to it as well.
      • Also from Kingdom Hearts, Riku/Ansem from the first game. Coupled with Riku's echo-y voice and new outfit, this just screamed that you were in for one hell of a fight.
        • Riku's voice was only echo-ey because it was both Riku and Ansem talking at once. Listen closely. But, yes, still a significant warning of upcoming badassery.
    • Also from Kingdom Hearts, when you play as Xemnas in 358/2 Days he does not walk as the other characters do, but floats instead.
  • Super Sonic from the Sonic the Hedgehog games.
  • Duke in the battle against him in Tales of Vesperia.
  • The gods of Soul Nomad and The World Eaters float. Effortlessly. All the time. You do not want to tangle with them.
  • Psycho Mantis from Metal Gear Solid.
    • And The Sorrow from MGS3, although he is technically a ghost.
  • Tons of powerups and other items in videogames, especially networked deathmatch franchises like Quake and Unreal Tournament.
  • While it's not really floating as much as it is slowing her fall, Justicar Samara from Mass Effect 2 can use her biotics to float herself through the air for short periods of time. Given that she can send hundreds of Collectors flying with some effort, she could probably support herself for a while. Why she would is another question.
  • Your character in Guild Wars levitates into the air while casting spells.
    • Mursaat are constantly levitating. Mursaat are also near-godlike beings that can kill you by just being near you.
  • Joshua from The World Ends With You at first appears to be just a White-Haired Pretty Boy with a magic cell phone, and no real athletic prowess. However, about midway through his chapter, he reveals that he's actually much more powerful then he lets on. While in Levitate Mode, Joshua is arguably one of the most powerful partners in the game, and his Jesus Beams are much more powerful than his standard ground combo. Of course, it only makes sense that he can float because he is Shibuya's Composer. They don't call them Jesus Beams for nothing.
    • The game itself even calls him an Angel. With a capital A.
  • In Command and Conquer Red Alert 3, the Empire of the Rising Sun has a special unit named Yuriko Omega who can float. Her unit description? It basically boils down to "she floats because she enjoys rubbing in the fact that she can kill us mere humans with her mind."
  • In Sword of Mana, when you finally get to fight Julius, he floats a few inches off the ground. This is before he actually goes One-Winged Angel, but then, his Vandole blood has basically taken him over by now, and he's also leeched most of the Mana Tree's power too.
  • Dimentio of Super Paper Mario is only ever seen standing or floating, never walking.
  • In Chrono Trigger, characters casting high-level magic will rise to a foot or so off the ground for the duration of the spell. Magus, a powerful sorcerer, prefers to skim along just above the ground in a dramatic pose, since running is apparently for chumps.
  • Dark Samus from Metroid Prime qualifies quite adequately, also displaying an ability for full-scale flight in the third game.
    • Every time Samus got a new suit in Metroid Prime 1 and 2, she would rise into the air while glowing energy surrounded her and she equipped the suit. In Prime 3, this was reserved for when she released phazon into Leviathan cores, again glowing, but this time with phazon.
    • Her Final Smash in Zero Suit form in Super Smash Bros Brawl involves getting her Power Suit back (as well as dealing massive damage to anyone unlucky enough to be standing next to her during it), so it also has her floating as the suit's pieces form around her.
  • Polvakian Gem Slugs in Startopia are so rich, lazy, and haughty that they loco-mote on hovering wheelchairs.
  • Azure Kite of .hack GU very, very rarely walks, or even stands. He just floats two inches off the ground, even when you later get to recruit him into your party.
    • None of the Avatars walk either; when an Epitaph User summons one, he appears to be floating (Avatars themselves are invisible to normal players).
  • In Final Fantasy XI, float is forbidden magic, so only certain very bad, Badass characters can actually float. This includes the Arcangel Tarutaru, Kam'lanaut, and Eald'narche. Not to be out done the Big Bad from the Wings of the Goddess expansion, Lady Lilith, is so Badass that she can actually fly. On the good side, Selh'teus can fly because he bonded with the Terrestrial Avatar Phoenix.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, anytime a high-level wizard or mage character casts a high-level spell, they levitate several a foot or so off the ground while performing the spell. The other two powers also occur, as the character gets a glow around them and the chants start to echo.
  • In Mega Man X 8, Lumine spends the entirety of his first battle phase floating around the battlefield in a figure eight pattern.
  • In Touhou Hisoutensoku Yuyuko, Iku, Cirno, and Utsuho only ever touch the ground when crouching or knocked down. Of these, Cirno is a definite non-example, only being especially powerful by fairy standards. Utsuho is the strongest example, having no particular reason to float other than being badass.
  • In the Valkyrie Profile games, the bonus character, Freya, is always floating off the ground, and is usually one of the most powerful people you can add to your party (or, similarly, one of the most powerful bosses you can face).
  • Joachim Armster from Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
  • Otani Yoshitsugu from Sengoku Basara sits in a floating palanquin and attacks with floating prayer beads he manipulates with his Mind Over Matter powers. The only times he ever touches the ground is if you knock him down or kill him.
  • While all the Deities in Asura's Wrath can fly, Karlow levitates on low ground, and can even flip upside down.
  • The God of light Fortinbras from Onimusha not only has this as a basic powert, he can even Walk in the Air.
  • In Jak and Daxter The Precursor Legacy Gol Acheron and his sister Maia are only ever seen floating. Gol even has weights tied to his waist, probably to prevent him from drifting off.


Web Comics


Western Animation


Real Life

  • According to the French wolves specialist Gérard Ménatory, the bipedal position of humans is, in the eyes of the wolves, the equivalent of Power floats and the reason why they are scared by us and never stay close to big humans settlement: "Since this animal can casually stand, walk, and run with only two paws, they must be insanely strong and we better not mess with them" was what he claimed to be the basic reasoning of wolves. Considering the man spent most of his life living with wolves and could literally summon wolf packs by howling he certainly knew what he was talking about. However, it's all a matter of image since, according to the same man, an unarmed man has absolutely no chance to prevail in a fight against an adult wolf, especially if said wolf is a female with cubs. Though some combat martial arts taught to special forces and commandos include techniques for use against guard dogs; these ones are useful against wolves, too.
    • Maybe it's because the only other thing that can stand on two legs in a wolf's natural habitat is a bear.
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