Created By: 32_Footsteps on October 20, 2009
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Acid Pool

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The go-to Death Trap for any Mad Scientist that doesn't have access to a Lava Pit - usually bubbling a sickly green color, it will melt the flesh of your bones and leave nothing but a bleached skeleton, if that. Can be used both for moats near precarious bridges and lowering heroes into.

Highly impractical in Real Life due to the nature of acid, particularly if bubbling. Acid is often produced when highly caustic negative ions are dissolved in water, and they are quite capable of escaping, particularly if in high enough concentrations as to remove flesh from the bone. These remain caustic and are quite likely to damage anyone nearby (almost like a chemical version of Convection Schmonvection).

Note that the opposite, a Base Pool, would be just as deadly, though those almost never show up.

Examples:
  • The liquid pits in several areas in Portal.
  • Several of the areas in Metroid (for example, Brinstar in the original game) have acid pools which only damage Samus should she fall in. Perhaps justified because of her Powered Armor.
  • All over the place in Doom.
  • That weird black goo at the end of the second Tomb Raider movie.
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • October 20, 2009
    Lightblade
    The Dead Pool in the Mortal Kombat series, which you can knock your opponent into to end a match.
  • October 20, 2009
    lagomorph
    One of the levels in Mortal Kombat II has this in the background. You can uppercut your enemy into it as a stage fatality.
  • October 20, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    The Wild Wild West actually had a base pool (lye specifically) in an episode.
  • October 20, 2009
    random surfer
    Nomads of Gor had a pool that was alive, and digested its victims.
  • October 20, 2009
    Ronka87
    The fourth Commander Keen game, Secret of the Oracle, has two vats of this in the first level, and they show up sporadically throughout. Glowing green goo variety.
  • October 20, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Shows up the cartoon Transformers movie.
  • October 20, 2009
    A Random Serf
    One of the Drizzt novels includes an acid pool just sitting around in the Underdark. Because the Underdark is just nasty that way.
  • October 21, 2009
    CAD
    We have this already. Grimy Water.
  • October 21, 2009
    DarkSasami
    Grimy Water is specifically a video game trope. I feel that this wiki sadly neglects acid pools outside of video games.

    I can think of three off the top of my head: the one the Joker lowers Sid the Squid into in Batman The Animated Series, the one the Powerpuff Girls get lowered into in "Cop Out", and one in a Vincent Price movie I saw once called "House on Haunted Hill." The house had an acid pit in the basement. (But it was ok because there was a lid on it.)
  • October 21, 2009
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons adventures have had a lot of these over the years. For example, WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure had an Acid Pool so concentrated that anyone jumping in would be instantly killed.
  • October 21, 2009
    rjung
    @Dark Sasami: Yeah, I agree that Grimy Water should remain a video-game trope, and this is tropeworthy. But then the description should throw in a reference to Grimy Water and take out the video game examples (Portal, Metroid, etc.).
  • October 22, 2009
    henke37
    Just note that some fumes are heavy. As long you don't get close enough to already be at risk of falling in, it might be safe enough. This is of course assuming that the fumes actually are dangerous to begin with.
  • October 22, 2009
    Servbot
    • An episode of The Powerpuff Girls involving a corrupt cop had the girls getting dunked into one after the good cops weren't quite able to rescue them. Fortunately, they turned out to be acid-proof.
    • Order Of The Stick had that little incident with O-chul getting dunked into an acid pool with spikes at the bottom and an acid-breathing shark swimming in it.

    EDIT: Oh wait, Dark Sasami already mentioned the Powerpuff Girls one. Uhh... just merge our examples then? <<
  • October 22, 2009
    Prfnoff
    Note that the opposite, a Base Pool, would be just as deadly, though those almost never show up.

    Of course, part of the reason you don't see Base Pools is that they are never called that. When they do show up, they're probably industrial vats of lye.
  • October 23, 2009
    Giant Space Chinchilla
    IIRC in Batman The Animated Series the Joker fell into a yellowish version of this
  • October 23, 2009
    KirkSkywalker
    Don't forget that such strong acid is also extremely poionous to breathe, so the air would be fatal long before its first victim could fall into it, unless it was from a substantial height; and even then it would have a substantial stench even from a great distance, which would drive anyone away if they had a choice.

    • Subverted in an episode of Kung Fu, where young Kwai-Chang is ordered by Master Po to cross a plank over an acid-pit full of human skeletons, and blind Master Po demonstrates by walking across it himself. Kwai-Chang obeys and walks across the plank, but falls into the pit halfway across -- only to find that it's only full of warm water, and the skeletons were made of paper; the "test" was simply a lesson to teach him that "fear is like a magnet" that pulls a man in its direction.
  • October 23, 2009
    Roxor
    • The cave in Space Quest 1 has a pool of acid with a few stupid actions you can take that result in Roger's death. Fortunately, messing around with this pool is entirely optional.
  • February 10, 2010
    DarkSasami
    This needs to exist.
  • February 10, 2010
    JackButler
    Regularly filled with Hollywood Acid.
  • February 10, 2010
    Andyzero
    nm, someone already mentioned the example I gave.
  • February 10, 2010
    Amazingly Enough
  • February 10, 2010
    Tannhaeuser
  • February 10, 2010
    DarkSasami
    Holy crap, House On Haunted Hill (which I cited above) has a writeup? I thought this wiki had ceased to amaze me.
  • February 10, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Showed up in the Look at the Princess Trilogy in Farscape
  • February 10, 2010
    repicheep22
    Bionicle had a villian (a Makuta named Gorast) who had the title "Queen of the Acid Falls," so apparently there was an entire river of acid running through her domain.
  • February 10, 2010
    AADragon
    KOTOR has one just before the goal in the Sith academy exam.
  • February 10, 2010
    Henker
    Real Life: Large scale livestock farms often have large bodies of liquid known as waste lagoons, which are used to store animal excrement. These lagoons are extremely toxic, and falling in one is pretty much instant death.
  • June 20, 2010
    Wyvernil
    Acid pools are generally treated as green variants of the Lava Pit and used in a similar manner as obstacles or execution methods.
  • October 7, 2010
    Prfnoff
    I'm launching this.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=i15yer0iwhviv6spn2fgea82