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." For any given save file and at any point in time, by going back to the title screen (either with a reset, taking the power off and on again, or dying and choosing to go back to the title screen), one can advance to the Special Setting Mode for the save file and toggle the Moonwalk setting from there to continue with the changed Moonwalk setting for the save file. However, changing the Moonwalk setting and exiting the save file instead of continuing in it will not keep the change made to the Moonwalk setting (and the same is true for control setting changes, Icon Cancel setting changes, and language setting changes).
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.
If you're holding an Angle button while pressed against a wall, with Moonwalk enabled and Charge Beam equipped, and turn around, you may fire a shot without pressing the Shot button.
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 (Samus will release the shot, perform a small jump backwards and turn around)
In most cases a spinning moonfall is desired, which also requires:
- During the turnaround animation, right after pressing jump, release the angle button
An indication that a moonfall was performed (before falling speeds are achieved that would make it visibly obvious) is that the turnaround animation will interrupt Samus's fall for the duration of the animation (if spinning, this effect does not occur, which can be used to weave left and right). 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 jump 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.
Any% Moonfall Times
The following is a list of Any% PRKD/KPDR rooms with available moonfall strats. The fall times listed for those strats are shown with and without using a moonfall.
|Room||Route||Regular Fall Time||Moonfall Time*||Save|
|Red Tower (Bottom)||KPDR||6.55||6.30||0.25|
|Halfie Climb Room||PRKD||2.50||2.40||0.10|
|TOTAL TIMESAVE||PRKD: 6.50||KPDR: 8.30|
- NOTE: All times displayed are an average over multiple attempts, and assume optimal execution of both the room and the moonfall listed. A slower set-up before the fall will increase the time spent, and may subtract from the timesave for that room. Moonfalls that are performed through a door transition include additional set-up time from the previous room.