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As you may have noticed, when you get hit in this game (and many others), you get knocked back. You may have further noticed that it is possible for the hit to conveniently take you to where you want to go. This is called a damage boost.

I find it surprising that this game, for all its demands on the player, never requires a damage boost.

There are a few places where I've been able to make use of damage boosts:

1. In the Gate of Guidance, there is an elevator that goes down several screens. If you have not triggered the elevator, the gap is too big to jump across. However, if you get hit by a bat in just the right spot, you will be knocked to the other side of the pit. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be anything useful there at that point in the game.

2. After defeating Palenque, there is a room that isn't reachable. However, you can get there with a damage boost. All you get is some text that (I assume) is meant to be read before triggering the Palenque fight.

3. This one is actually useful: In the Dimensional Corridor, there is a life crystal that is reached by climbing the waterfall attacks the boss below uses. If you have killed that boss, that is no longer an option, but you can still get there with a damage boost. This damage boost is rather tricky, however. Stopping time might help, but keep in mind that you can't be hit by an enemy while time is stopped.
There might be one in hell temple but I've never beaten that