As with any platformer that is movement and maneuver-based, N has tricks. Lots of them, which you would have to master (or at least understand how to do in theory, since they are hard to master) if you plan to go for good highscores. Here are some of the tricks that are used by more experienced players.
- 1 Corner jump
- 2 Exit/Switch glitches
- 3 Double bounceblock jump
- 4 Thwump/Bounceblock "backwards" wall jump
- 5 Falling angle survival
- 6 Hovering
- 7 Launchpad high jump
- 8 Launchpad Invincibility Glitch
- 9 Oneway Platform Glitch
- 10 Perpendicular leap
- 11 Thwump Techniques
- 12 Triple jump
The corner jump is an advanced highscoring trick, which essentially involves treating a corner as a normal slope. Almost anything with a point or end can be used to corner-jump, with the exception of one-ways:
- Off a corner of a tile. About a billion examples, but refer to Melchoir79's 11-0 he was the first player to popularise this trick.
- Off a locked door. See any of the scores on 00-4
- Off a trapdoor. See any of the scores on 82-0
- Off a vertical spike. See any run on 80-0 and Analu's run on 78-1
Normal corner jump
The simplest kind of corner jump. To do it, jump towards a corner from pretty much any angle. When you contact the corner, you'll typically have just a single frame to jump again while continuing forward at full speed; however, this number can increase dramatically at sharper trajectories and slower speeds. If you miss the timing window, you'll trip on the corner instead. See the first corner jump in jg9000's score on 62-3: Squared for a basic normal corner jump. The two corner jumps required to highscore 82-0 are normal corner jumps off of a trap door.
Reverse corner jump
The reverse corner jump is basically a corner jump that propels the ninja perpendicularly from the surface, just like any reverse slope jump. It involves the same mechanic as the normal corner jump but is more difficult: you have to release all directional keys while jumping. Since the angle of the "slope" varies, the ninja can attain remarkable height from a well-made corner jump. See the corner jump in EddyMataGallos' score on 51-0: strive to see this trick used.
The most challenging type of corner jump to pull off. The corner kick involves pressing jump as the ninja falls onto a corner from above, which generally, thanks to momentum, results in a much more powerful jump. The timing window for the corner kick is often much smaller than for the corner jump, and is consequently more difficult. An example is near the end of EddyMataGallos's 80-0.
Thwump/bounceblock corner kick/jump
Thwumps and bounceblocks, due to the mechanics of the game, do have a tiny jumpable area on each corner. It's impossible to perform a reverse corner jump on these corners, but corner kicks/jumps can be performed with varying consistency. It also worth noting that while corner kicks can be performed off thwumps, corner kicks cannot be executed on bounceblocks. (Corner kicks are defined as corner propulsions that do not include jumping), See clux's 70-0 or Kool-Aid's 94-0 for an example of the thwump corner jump. (94-0 involves kicking off of the deadly side of the thwump as it rises upwards, while 70-0 displays kicking off the corner of a "safe" side on a retreating thwump). A jump from the underside corner of a bounceblock and thwump can also be done, as is the case in macrohenry's 06-4 run, but this is classified as a backwards bounceblock wall jump and backwards thwump wall jump respectively. Please visit this section for more information on this trick Bounceblock and thwump corner kicks/jumps are quite rare, and the consequent propulsion depends on the speed and trajectory of the ninja.
- 80-0: Jumping up the Valley by Eli
Usually, glitches in the game make players confused and angry, because they usually mess people up while they're playing. However, there is one glitch that can really help you out if you're going for highscores and the circumstances are right. If you have any kind of door in front of an open exit, or a oneway platform for that matter, you can simply touch the object and you'll end up touching the exit in the process, earning you victory. So, in some levels (e.g. 37-3), you don't have to get all of the switches! Oddly, this glitch can be applied to switches themselves with the right amount of timing and possibly, luck. Such an example can be found in EddyMataGallos' run on 03-0. Locked doors may also be bypassed entirely via ultra fast momentum attained by rapid chimney-jumping.
Double bounceblock jump
A relatively easy trick in which timing is key. To execute, stretch a bounceblock, either by falling onto its top or running/jumping into its side. When it is at its most stretched point, press the jump key twice. If you only jump once, the block will spring back up quickly. This gives you the extra propulsion when you jump twice. Because of its effeciency, it is used on many levels by highscorers.
A while ago, tktktk made a post on the Metanet Software Forums publicizing the "triple" and "quadruple jump". It's the same thing as a double jump, except you tap jump three or four times. The triple bounceblock jump is only a bit harder to do than the double. The quadruple bounce block jump, however, is nearly impossible to do without frame-by-frame. It is also only possible to do it off the side of a bounceblock.
Fall onto the bounceblock and jump twice at it's lowest point. You will be propelled much higher into the air. Be careful of where you land, though. If you fall from too great a height, you may find yourself in limbs on the floor.
Approach a bounceblock from the side and run and jump into it. When it starts to come back, press jump twice. You will be propelled much farther.
Thwump/Bounceblock "backwards" wall jump
Although one of the more obscure tricks among the general N playing community, this trick is well known by many of today's active highscorers. The key to this trick, like many others, is timing. To perform a "backwards" walljump (abrreviated bwj by some highscorers), one must jump into the lower corners of a bounceblock or thwump (facing downwards) from below. When you reach the corner, you must simply press the jump key at the correct time. However, these jumps vary in difficulty depending on the ninja's speed and angle upon hitting the bounceblock. A hard trick to master, this trick can improve a run by a significant amount. For bounceblock examples, please refer to Izzy's highscore on 10-2, or kryX-orange's speedrun on 29-0. For thwump examples, please refer to macrohenry's 06-4 run or paste the below demo into the userlevel's replay data text box.
Falling angle survival
Landing on any slope at the correct angle will reduce the force on the ninja and allow him to survive. "Kicking" off of a locked door, trapdoor, or even normal door will also divert the ninja's flight path.
- 40-2: Orbital station
Another basic trick. You simply jump against a ceiling, and hold on to your jump button. The ninja will "hover" against the ceiling for a short period of time. You could use this to clear slightly larger distances, or to stay in air slightly longer to avoid enemies. If you time your jump so that it takes place in corner of a ceiling, you will get a quick downward push of momentum; you will see this effect in highscores for levels such as the end of 11-3. Conversely, you can can float down slowly by holding jump instead of simply tapping jump; this is useful for when you need to maintain hang time or avoid falling to your death.
Launchpad high jump
To do the launchpad high jump, simply fall towards a launchpad that is next to a wall. Just after you hit the launchpad, press jump. You will jump straight up, really high, a lot higher than with a normal launchpad jump. A variation can be seen on 28-3 Death Star's scores, where the highscorers jump all the way left instead. To do this, aim for the corner between the wall and the launchpad while falling at about a 45 degree angle, and then press jump as you reach the corner. If you do it correctly, you should be launched at an angle. In order to go even further, hold the direction opposite of the wall after you pull this trick off. (Note that if you don't press jump while doing this variation, you will still be launched at an angle, only not as high or far. This will only happen if you actually pull it off correctly, though.)
Be careful while attempting this trick, because although it may be easy to pull off, it could be deadly. If there is a tile in the way of your jumping path, you may just crash into it and kill yourself in the process.
Launchpad Invincibility Glitch
There's an invincibility glitch, which is perhaps most famous on 99-0.
The glitch works if you hit a launchpad and an enemy at the same moment, causing yourself to die yet still live.
Note: You can still die by suicide or gravity, and since the glitch causes you to go through objects, you can not get switches or beat levels.
Oneway Platform Glitch
There are many types of glitches involving oneway platforms.
The main glitch exploited is when these objects are facing downwards. It is possible for you to jump through them. While walljumping, jump into the corner of the oneway platform and the wall, and if you get it right, you will jump through the platform. This glitch is exploited quite often by highscorers on 20-1.
- 20-1: Nexus
Another glitch used is when there is a non-natural angle of tiles near the oneway. For instance, a slope going through a downwards-facing one-way can make the one-way passable by going up a slope. Another example is when there are a floor of one-ways, placing a slope below and walking very slowly will allow you to 'tip' over the one-ways and end up on the other side of the slope. Finally, if a tile is placed 1/2 of a space from a one-way, running into the tile will allow you to drop through.
Gold delay can also let you through a one-way. If you place a piece of gold 1/4 of a space below the one-way, you will drop through.
You can also place a row of one-ways, and edit the code of one to be able to drop through. To do this, change the code of a one-way with the code "7^300,324,3" to "7^300,324.01,3" to make a space between that one-way and the adjacent one-ways. It will appear to be on the same level as the other one-ways, but if you run over the one-way, you will slip through.
Using one-ways, you can make an invisible surface on perpendicular to an adjacent wall. If you place the one-way inside the wall, it will be unseen, but its surface will still work. This is especially useful if you want to scale a wall without walljumping.
If you are pushed by a thwump or bounceblock, it can push you through a one-way. However, if you are pushed up, you have to jump to get through the wall.
A launchpad placed close enough to a one-way platform can also push you through.
If you are moving extremely quickly left, right, or up, a one-way can stop you without killing you.
If you place two up-facing one-ways 132 pixels apart, you can go through the lower one-way by falling from the higher one-way. This is said to be the strangest one-way glitch in the game.
Finally, if you place an NaN on the last number in the code of a one-way, it appears to face upwards, but will act as if it's facing downwards.
The perpendicular leap (commonly known as the perpendicular jump or perp jump for short) is a very easy trick to master and is referred to in the N Help section of the game under Jumping 2 in the help menu. Normally when the ninja presses jump when running onto a slope he goes forwards fairly normally. However, if you stop holding the 'uphill' arrow key and jump, the ninja will jump perpendicular to the slope he is on. This also works if you change direction and quickly jump. This technique must be used to complete 88-1 by Killisk.
A collision bug in the N v1.4 and previous engines causes the dreaded "slope-stutter" problem: namely, if you let go of the arrow key while running up a slope, the ninja will skid to a halt and leave the ground several times. This makes perpendicular leaps more difficult than they generally should be, especially for more inexperienced players. The bug was fixed in N+.
- 88-1: Twisted by Killisk
Though thwumps may be deadly enemies, they may also help you out in a level. You can jump on top of them for a ride, or behind them. Or you may use them to propel yourself through the air. With these, you can perform a variety of tricks.
A very simple technique. You just jump on top of a thwump going horizontal, and follow its movement. If it is going to the left, you go left. If it goes to the right, you go right. You will have to use this technique in 37-3, in the very beginning of the level.
- 86-3: Pressed for Time by Lucidium
And if a thwump is coming up after shooting downwards towards you, you can also jump on top of it to catch a ride.
When the back side of a thwump pushes the ninja against another surface (a tile, or the back side of another thwump for example), two things can happen. The sad possibility: you die. The interesting possibility: if you aren't stupid enough to be dead smack center of the thwump, you may instead be pushed in some random direction.
With lots of precision and practice, this direction may be controlled. See top scores on 84-0: Opposing forces by coldcut to see this technique used.
- 84-0: opposing forces by coldcut
However, since there is a good chance you don't have a combination of practice, precision, and luck, which are needed to make this a viable technique, you are probably better off without this one, due to the random nature of thwump pushes.
The triple jump is used to jump much higher and faster than usual up a wall so that you can cover whatever vertical distance you need to cover within a shorter amount of time. See the 0th run on 29-0 to see an example.
Performing a triple jump involves running at a 45-degree angled tile right next to a wall, at or near full speed (the ninja won't be able to jump onto the slope otherwise). Directly in front of the sloped tile, the player must jump onto the tile, jump off the tile onto the wall, and walljump off the wall into the air. This trick, while difficult, has a somewhat larger timing window than many of the other highscoring tricks.