Moonwalk is a mechanic that allows Samus to walk backwards by holding the shot button and the direction on the directional pad that is opposite of Samus's facing direction.
Moonwalk is disabled by default on every file, and is enabled by accessing the Special Setting Mode located at the bottom of the Option Mode and setting it to "on." This action must be performed before the file has been created and a save has been made; otherwise, it will refuse to be enabled in the file.
A moonwalk will not be performed if Samus is already moving (holding an angle button will prevent this, as it will instantly stop her movement), while Samus is crouched, or while Samus is not in an animation where she is breathing (such as pressed against a wall).
When moonwalk is enabled, Samus will be unable to maintain a charge shot (i.e. pseudo-Screw) if she attempts to spinjump directly backwards from a standstill, as the beam will automatically fire when the spinjump occurs.
Although it may appear that Samus is walking backwards (and thus, facing the direction opposite of where she is moving), the game still treats her as if she is facing the direction she is moving in cases where this movement becomes interrupted, such as being struck by an enemy or moonwalking off of a ledge. In those cases, she will appear to immediately turn around to face the direction she was moving.
When submerged without Gravity Suit, if a moonwalk is performed and then the opposite direction is pressed on an immediate frame after the moonwalk, Samus will walk forward with a starting speed of a half-pixel per frame. This is observable in Sniq's 13% tool assisted speedrun.
Moonfall is a technique which allows Samus to fall without a cap on her falling speed, allowing her to continue building speed until she has landed.
To perform a moonfall:
- Hold an angle button (L or R by default)
- Initiate a moonwalk
- Press the jump button (thus performing a spinjump backwards)
- During the turnaround animation prior to the spinjump occurring, release the angle button
An indication that a moonfall was performed (before falling speeds are achieved that would make it visibly obvious) is that any turnaround animation will interrupt Samus's fall for the duration of the animation. Additionally, if Samus morphs while in the moonfall state, and lands from the moonfall while morphed, she will not bounce.
The moonfall state will be cancelled if Samus morphs and unmorphs in midair.
As is the case with other jump-involved actions, moonfall can be buffered to occur automatically upon performing the spinjump associated with the technique. This is done by holding all of the involved buttons then releasing the shot button.
Below is a demonstration of performing a buffered moonfall to descend down the Climb, which is the location where moonfalling saves the most time:
As the above video shows, because moonfalling removes the cap on Samus's falling speed, Samus can achieve speeds that allow her to pass through entire tiles.
The fall speed can also be stored in certain ways, most notably using moondance.