One of the longest-standing video game hazards in existence: pits that send your character plummeting to an early grave, usually costing one of the player's lives. In many games, there are sheer-faced bottomless pits nearly everywhere you travel, waiting for you to mistime a jump (or get smacked into it by annoyingly placed enemies).
If the player character does not take damage from long falls as long as they land on a non-damaging surface (as was common in the early days of Video Games), this can be especially jarring. There may be certain levels where you fall many, many, many screens down, but hit the bottom completely unharmed, yet a simple pit will end your life instantly. More egregiously, bottomless pits are almost always instantly fatal, even in games where your character can take a point-blank explosion or a volley of bullets and only lose one point of health. However, the biggest threat to a player's Willing Suspension of Disbelief is the pits which are treated as being fatal, even when they are located above safe landing ground. The screen will simply refuse to scroll down if you fall into it.
With the advent of 3-D and Falling Damage, most "bottomless" pits are shown (or assumed) to be really, really deep pits. Still, one wonders why science labs, factories, and temples have so many deadly drops built in them, or why the building inspectors allow them. Sometimes, the pits are clearly not bottomless but are treated as if they were anyway, because the player would be unable to get back up to the designated path.
Note that, in many cases, not all pits are "bottomless". Sometimes, the designers try to explain their lethality by putting something in them, though this often leads to other cases of weird logic. If the pit has water in it, it's a case of Super Drowning Skills. If there's lava instead, then you likely have a case of Convection, Schmonvection. Other times, there may be deadly chemicals, Spikes of Doom, or a host of other things, which brings us back to Malevolent Architecture. Note also that "bottomless" in this context is a holdover from older English usage, and means "than which there is no deeper".
Watch out for Ledge Bats, which live to knock you into these while you are jumping.
Compare with Floating Platforms.
- There are pits like this scattered hither and yon throughout Blasphemous. The catch is that you can acquire a Relic called the Linen of Golden Thread that prevents you from dying. Several "bottomless" pits actually have items in them that you can only reach by jumping in with the Linen.
- The early games make common use of them, although many holes are only one screen deep. Very often, you climb a set of stairs out of one screen with nothing but solid ground all around, sometimes very close to the top, but as soon as you leave the screen it no longer exists, and falling off the platform you're on will kill you, instead of you just falling the few spaces to the screen below. Not only is falling damage never suffered anywhere else, but the fourth level of the first game begins with a quick cutscene showing Simon falling down a well shaft to an underground cave — and the level you just beat ends at the top floor of a tower.
- Super Castlevania IV has parts of stages where you must climb up. A platform on the screen will be safe only so long as it remains above the bottom of the screen. Once you scroll the screen above it, it ceases to exist; try to jump on it and it will be the same as falling into a bottomless pit.
- Late in Dragon's Dogma, the Everfall opens up, swallowing over half of Gran Soren in the process. Jumping into the Everfall, however, is not fatal: in addition to having multiple ledges where bosses await, falling into the bottom of the Everfall simply teleports you back above the Everfall. Even faceplanting on one of the ledges isn't usually fatal, as the Fall Damage you would usually take is reduced significantly.
- Drakan has a ridiculous number of these, especially in jumping obstacles in dungeons. This is made especially weird because partway through the fall into an endless abyss, Rynn bursts into several bloody chunks, seemingly from nowhere.
- Enter the Matrix: Most holes are too deep to see the bottom of, but you have no idea which ones are bottomless until you have the misfortune of falling into one.
- Since you spend Ghostrunner ascending an impossibly tall skyscraper, falling off a ledge or platform into a seemingly endless fall is an easy way to die. Not that you have to wait long, the killboxes are low enough that you'll die the second you're out of reach of any more platforms, no long plummeting animation required.
- Goof Troop has bottomless pits in some rooms. You lose a life if you fall into them, but you can also push enemies into them.
- The Legend of Spyro: Several areas contain or are surrounded by bottomless abysses. These can be used to the player's advantage, as enemies pushed into them will be instantly killed.
- The Legend of Zelda: Many games have bottomless pits, which usually put you back at the beginning of the room at the cost of a heart.
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link subverts this; bottomless pits (i.e. ones with no water or lava) are one of the few things that can't kill or even harm you. In fact, you frequently have to jump into them to get where you need to go.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the first game of the series to properly introduce them as they are known today. Although some pits drop you to the floor below (usually they are textured), the stark black pits result in Link being sent back to where he fell from and losing half a heart. Of particular mention is a large chasm which surrounds the bottom of Death Mountain and divides it into two parts. It's too dark to see the bottom, but star-like sparkles appear in it. It's unclear if they are meant to be gemstones, or if something else is going on. The Dark World equivalent at least does appear to have a bottom, as veins of lava can be seen running through it. Only the Light World counterpart presents an actual fall hazard (it is not possible to jump into the dark world chasm) and it has the same effect as any other bottomless pit.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The last dungeon has a gimmick where the floor and the ceiling switch places, making it possible for Link to fall into the abyss of the sky.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Bottomless pits are not actually bottomless pits, at least from a technical standpoint. The so-called bottomless pits actually have a bottom, as seen when a bomb is dropped into one of them (the bomb falls in and impacts a floor). However, Link will either fall through the floor and respawn or respawn before he hits the invisible floor.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The canyons bounding off Hyrule's northern and western boundaries sink downward into a deep, fog-shrouded abyss and out of sight. Further, while most of the towers are in relatively mundane places, like the top of a ridge or the middle of a lake, one bizarre exception is the tower for the Gerudo Highlands area: The Gerudo Tower is situated in the middle of an enormous hole in the ground, with the hole and tower itself seeming to extend infinitely downward. Not far from that, the Yiga clan hideout also contains a round, bottomless pit. Some shrines also consist of a seemingly infinitely deep room, with floating platforms arranged in midair. In all of these cases, gliding below a certain depth will cause Link to instantly lose hold of his paraglider and pitch screaming into the abyss, after which he'll respawn on solid ground minus a heart of health.
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: The pits in the Gerudo Highlands gained a bottom, but the canyon and shrines are still bottomless. One character comments that you really don't want to hit the bottom of an almost-bottomless pit.
- LEGO Star Wars: Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy features traditional-style bottomless pits that cause the player to lose a portion of the Lego studs they have collected so far before teleporting to the edge again. However, the game also features a few pits in which the player can clearly see the bottom — which may not even be very far down — but that nonetheless kill the player upon impact.
- Mission: Impossible (Konami) for the NES is absolutely littered with bottomless pits, and numerous other hazards exist to push you into them, such as massive fans, moving walls, or conveyor belts. There's also the Neo Knight enemies who deal no damage, but charge at you full speed to push you into pits.
- Ratatouille: Each time there's a slide through the pipes, there will be gaps in the sheeting to slide around as well as the possibility of sliding overboard. Thankfully, it's not an insta-kill, although it does remove two segments of the health bar (i.e 50% at the start and 25% at the end). If you do die in this way, the cutscene will even show Remy falling and falling, not once hitting the ground.
- Reventure: One ending involves falling down a bottomless pit, and since it's bottomless, the cause of death is starving to death while falling.
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions: The console and PC versions have a unique spin on bottomless pits. While some will kill Spidey outright, there are many others where he's given a chance to shoot a web to sling his way out of it — if you can just hit a particular button within a few seconds of falling in.
- ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal: Falling off a Fairy Duel arena results in the involved fairy's instant death. Also, falling off a cliff is one of the few ways to kill Amy herself.
- Some games — including the God of War series, and the Area 51 First-Person Shooter — apply Bottomless Pit rules to all falls; one either kills you, or does nothing, there's no middle ground where it's simply damaging.
- In Brain Dead 13, Lance can fall into one and die if he hasn't beaten all the bosses before meeting up with Fritz in the final battle.
- Dynamite Dux has these from the third stage onward. They cost a life when you fall into them, but thankfully there are warning signs placed near them.
- The Matrix: Path of Neo has these in the Absurdly-Spacious Sewer levels; you fall, you die, no exceptions.
- SAR: Search and Rescue, despite being set inside a derelict ship, have pits leading into nothingness that costs you a whole life if you fall. One area even have the floors collapsing as soon as you walk on them. The upside however is that enemies - including the larger and stronger Xenomorph Xerox foes - can be killed by these pitfalls too.
- XCOM: Enforcer has a level spanning across the roofs of high-rise buildings. The landing makes a crater decal rather than simply entering the normal death animation. There's also a bonus level that includes bottomless pits.
- A subversion is found in Fantasy World Dizzy, wherein the titular egg hero must jump into a (labeled) bottomless pit, travel through the earth, and pop out (upside-down) on the other side of the world.
- A little freeware sidescroller called Microman had an actual bottomless pit — that is, if you jumped into it, you would fall forever. Eventually you would take a hit out of nowhere and die, but why didn't they just do that to begin with?
- One Nancy Drew computer game has a bottomless pit... in a hotel, accessible by climbing around in the elevator shaft.
- The only way to die in The Neverhood is to fall into a very clearly marked bottomless pit. Which of course means you'll do it once anyway.
- Uninvited has a regular-sized hole with an endless void below. The hero has the option to jump in and as the text puts it, he'll "continue to fall..."
- Most of the series averts bottomless pits because of a Fridge Logic problem. In most adventure games of the time (Colossal Cave in particular), pits were plentiful in dark areas to keep you from just stumbling through blind. They were in the original version of Zork, but then someone pointed out that this meant you could fall into a bottomless pit on the second floor of a house. The result, after much revision, was the grue.
- If you fall into a bottomless pit in Zork: Grand Inquisitor, you end up raising a family with another unlucky pit-faller, and eventually die of old age. The question of food is not answered, nor the one about terminal velocity. Just go with it, 'kay? It's funny.
- This is lampshaded in the prequel Zork Zero, where you actually use magic to close the bottomless pits, forcing the grues that dwelled in them to find new hiding spots...
- Streets of Rage has these in one stage. If a player character falls into one, instant life loss. If an enemy falls into one, they're not coming back. In the penultimate stage, an outdoor elevator climb, jumping off or being knocked off the elevator has the same function. Streets of Rage 2 does away with them, but they come back in Streets of Rage 3's Stage 3, where enemies will die as usual upon falling into one but players will simply bounce out with a lot of health lost.
- In Driver 2, the bottom of the skybox was pictured as water, but was really a disguised bottomless pit, with the screen fading to black upon falling in. Sometimes a Game-Breaking Bug would occur where the player could fall through a hole in the polygons into the "void".
- In F-Zero, every track is suspended high in the air, and falling off the track means you lose the race instantly.
- All over the place in the Jet Moto racing games, one of the things making the games that much more Nintendo Hard.
- Mario Kart:
- Rainbow Road is usually set in space or high in the sky, thus it's hovering over nothing and falling off the track is treated as being out of bounds. Rainbow Road in Double Dash!! is set above a city while the Wii version is in space once again, but with the Earth right below.
- The Ghost Valley tracks in Super Mario Kart also have nothingness below.
- Uphill Rush: They appear as a hazard. The game warns you before each one with a "Jump" sign, and falling into one will result in a life loss.
- In general, any fighting game that allows a player to earn victory via Ring Out (such as the Soul Calibur and Fighters Destiny franchises) and does not have in-universe fighting leagues with established arenas that have well-defined boundaries to enforce said victories will probably have arenas surrounded by bottomless pits in order to explain why being knocked out of bounds equals defeat. However, traditional fighting games generally put a lot less emphasis on the bottomless pits than their Platform Fighter cousins, so a player usually has to be exceptionally careless in order to actually fall in.
- Nidhogg features these, which the fencers can take advantage of by dive kicking one another into one for a quick kill, especially if they've lost their sword. Some have conveyor belts and crumbling floors leading into them. If both fencers fall in, the right of way resets, forcing both fencers to fight to gain it.
- In Spell Swap, some maps feature deadly pits. The goal of the game is not specifically to push your opponents into said pits, but it can be a valid strategy to weaponise them when they're present.
- In the Super Smash Bros. series, the goal is to knock your opponents into a bottomless pit. Knocking them off screen from the sides or in the sky works, too. Lava/Acid on the Metroid stages avert the trope and only damage the player as long as it's high enough; if it's offscreen, it doesn't exist and players will fall to their doom like normal. Brawl also has water that characters can swim in... but only for a short time before they drown instantly. Yes, even Squirtle. Fittingly enough, the character who has the shortest time to swim is Sonic. Though the mere fact that he can swim at all is an improvement over his series of origin.
- Most Imperial bases in the Dark Forces Saga come fitted with at least one Bottomless Pit as standard. There are truly depraved architects in a Galaxy Far Far Away, and the Empire, being the Empire, doesn't care. This is understandable — they're evil — but how to explain Nar Shadaa, the vertical city, sort of a mini-Coruscant in that the entire moon is covered in superskyscrapers and people almost never actually touch the ground... except there are no guard rails. This serves to make Force Push the most powerful offensive power in the game.
- While the official Duke Nukem 3D maps don't have any bottomless pits, an unofficial add-on called "The Lost Duke Episodes", which replaces every level of every episode in the game, does have one that is literally bottomless. Inspection of the level in question in the BUILD editor shows that mid-air teleporters are used to produce the effect. If playing with the original registered release (v1.3D of the game), the jetpack can get you out. If you're playing the Atomic Edition (v1.4 or v1.5), the only ways out are to kill yourself or load a saved game.
- The original Half-Life and its expansion packs have a few. There's even one area in Opposing Force where the ceiling is so high that you can't see it either. The Fan Remake Black Mesa replaces them all with visible floors.
- The Halo games have several deep pits to fall in, but nearly all of them have a bottom, even if it is very far down. However, there are space levels in some of the games, like the first and second, where you can "fall" into what would logically be a bottomless pit.
- Ken's Labyrinth has bottomless pits, but since its engine is two-dimensional, they're represented as sprites rather than parts of the level geometry. They come in two flavors: the first is basically your standard garden-variety hole in the ground. The second kind has red eyes and moves around. Either way, move over one and you die. Enemies can fall down the permanent holes (yes, the living holes can, too). They won't, however, go down the moving holes.
- Left 4 Dead:
- The later half of No Mercy has you ascend the skycraper that is Mercy Hospital, eventually getting so high that falling off the building is lethal. Beware of Tanks up there, as the high knockback of their punches can send you plummeting to your doom.
- The beginning of Dead Air has you walk across rooftops in a city, and once again, falling off a building is lethal.
- In Left 4 Dead 2, the bridge in the finale of The Parish is placed over a large river, but since the game averts Soft Water, falling off still yields instant death. This time, there's not only Tanks to watch out for but also Chargers, whose knockback-inducing charges can singlehandedly cause a Total Party Kill if the survivors are all standing in the wrong spot.
- The Metroid Prime Trilogy games (with the exception of the first one) have these. In Echoes and Corruption, you only lose 5-10 health when you fall in, but in Hunters, falling is an instant kill.
- Some of the maps in Paladins have them on the edge of their boundaries. They're generally not a major concern, but skilled players can use knockback to throw enemies into pits for an easy kill. However, some champions can use their mobility skill to get out of the pit before it's too late.
- Team Fortress 2 has some among the official and "official unofficial" maps:
- The Atomic Pits after they get blown up by BLU's cart on the Payload maps.
- The pit around Control Point E on Steel.
- The Arena map Lumberyard's claim to fame is that the one medkit on the entire level is located on a thin log above a pit of death.
- Upward, another of the official maps, is located on the top of a mountain. A huge bottomless pit surrounds the battlefield, and another one is the pit in RED's base, where the BLU team must dump the payload cart to win.
- Ghost Fort, the 2012 Halloween map, has one deep enough to get lampshaded by some of the characters when they fall inside.
Scout: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH- Holy crap, this goes on forever.
Spy: AAAAAAGGHHHHH! ...come on, I don't have all day!
- Turbo Over Kill has bottomless pits throughout the levels. However, falling into them sends Johnny back onto solid ground without any penalty.
- ULTRAKILL features bottomless pits in some levels like 3-2 and 6-1. In some cases, they're shown to be just really high pits, in other cases, there's blackness or redness below. Falling into them causes V1 to teleport back at the cost of health. Exceptions are some early game pits which instantly kill V1.
- Elsword, the spiritual successor of Grand Chase below, has these in some levels, but it's subverted in that they aren't instant death and cannot kill you, only leaving you with one HP. They start showing up in Feita, and appear at least once per town.
- Grand Chase: In certain levels (Temple of Fire, Kastulle Ruins, and Bermesiah's Last Stand, to name a few), you have to cross a stage filled with ever-shortening ledges, environmental hazards, and falls that knock off your limited number of lives like there's no tomorrow.
- A key mechanic in a few jumping puzzles in Guild Wars 2. The main challenge of the first half of the Windy Cave mini dungeon is fighting/avoiding enemies on a very narrow bridge through a bottomless pit that instantly kills the character. The Forsaken Fortune mini-dungeon has a jumping puzzle section that's a strange hybrid of this and Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits; fall off a ledge and your character dies quickly, but you are slowly resurrected back at a checkpoint at the beginning of the puzzle.
- Certain pits in Moria in The Lord of the Rings Online canonically do have a "bottom". For example, jumping into a well will usually take you to the "Water Works" section of the region, even though that makes no sense based on the map unless either the wells have a substantial horizontal component, or the map of Moria, unlike every other map in the game, is laid out so that "down" actually means "down" rather than south (though to walk from the top of most wells to the Water Works does indeed require you to head south). Characters who fall into a pit (or off certain cliffs in both Moria itself and other regions of the game) will generally die before hitting bottom, though it is possible under certain conditions to jump into a Moria well and survive the fall. One particularly egregious fall is from the Bridge at Khazad-Dum, which Gandalf survives (you can even find his discarded hat at the bottom), even though a) that's a case where you die while falling and b) you respawn in the bridge area, not (as would make more sense based on other examples) in the Foundations of Stone where the hat is found.
- Nexus Clash has Purgatorio, a plane composed entirely of bottomless pits in between the occasional Floating Continent. If you fall off the edge, it really is the fall that kills you.
- World of Warcraft:
- The game generally averts this; the damage taken from a fall is proportional to the distance you fall, modified by parachute-like effects. However, there are a few places that actually do have bottomless pits, which are accessible but have no way back up, so you die when you hit the ground no matter what.
- It's also possible to fall off the edge of the world on Outland, the shattered remnants of a planet floating in the Twisting Nether. You fall for a while, then the camera stops and watches your body recede into the depths, and you respawn at a graveyard since you can't recover your body normally. The same thing happens if you fall off the edge in the Firelands.
- In the fight against Deathwing, for no apparent reason, water is now a bottomless pit. The same water that you can swim in normally is now a bottomless pit that eventually kills you if you fall in.
- The Everbloom dungeon features an odd one of these. The last boss fight takes place on a clifftop overlooking Stormwind City (at least if you're Alliance). If you fall off the cliff (or jump off), no slow-fall ability will save you; you will die before you hit the ground.
- Gigantic has these, usually around the edges of maps. A favored tactic of many players involves pushing enemy heroes into them by using abilities with knockback.
- 10 Second Run: There's a pit below every course and falling down results in death.
- Plentiful in The Adventures of Lomax. Especially annoying in The Wild West world and right before the fight with Evil Ed.
- In Atlantis no Nazo, many levels are full of bottomless pits. The infamous "Black Hole" level is nothing but a giant bottomless pit. Certain pits will warp you to another stage instead of killing you.
- Pits are a common hazard to face when fighting against bosses in Banana Nababa.
- There are four of them in the original Banjo-Kazooie game. Notably, one of them is in one of the game worlds (where you have to recollect all notes and Jinjos if you die), making that particular location much harder to tackle. They all use the same "fall into lava" sound effect when the player falls in, even when the pit is very obviously not lava.
- Banjo-Tooie uses bottomless pits more liberally, since notes and Jiggies are permanently collected and the player no longer has a finite number of lives. In fact, every level but three features at least one, and one of the levels even consists of a big ol' World in the Sky which is basically a bunch of platforms above one big death hazard.
- Bug has them all around you. Your character is on a level suspended in mid-air, so falling off Floating Platforms or the terrain itself could spell certain death. Thankfully, Edge Gravity is in play in most terrain with a "border" to prevent the player from falling off via walking the wrong direction.
- In the Contra series, the player character dies from merely touching a pit past a certain point — say, knee-deep or so — making the lethality of said pits even more questionable. It's equally lethal to fall to the bottom of the screen in vertical levels, due to the Ratchet Scrolling. In co-op mode, you can kill your partner by scrolling him off the screen.
- Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure has bottomless pits in nearly every level. Which doesn't really make sense considering the eponymous character has suction cup hands and can stick to walls.
- The Crash Bandicoot series has many of these, and they're probably the most common hazards in the earlier games besides the enemies.
- Inverted in Default Dan, where falling into a bottomless pit sends you to the top of the screen.
- In Dustforce, plenty of levels have them implied in the form of instant-death-zones below the stage. Genuine bottomless "pits", however (really just the area outside of the level) can be found if you manage to make your way out of the main stage area or find an opening in the aforementioned death-zones.
- In Dynamite Headdy, bottomless pits appear frequently, but they don't kill you instantly — Headdy jumps out of it (and high enough to regain footing) and it takes off about a third of his health.
- Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy creates an egregious example. In the laboratory level, the left side of one floor has a bottomless pit, while the right side has a pit that simply brings you further down the level. If you reach the bottom-right of that area, you can get a powerup that lets you fly — including up the bottomless pit. If the fly powerup disengages, you get killed if you are in the bottomless pit, but not if you're on the other side of a one-way-wall. Furthermore, flying permits you to go up the pit, but stops at an invisible floor when you try going back down.
- In Freedom Planet they exist, but are surprisingly scarce. They only appear in two levels, and since the first of these levels is on a series of flying airships, and the second is on a large warship orbiting the planet (with the airlocks open), they are justified.
- Fresh Minty Adventure: Falling past the bottom in the Cave of Wonder results in needing to reload a save.
- The first level of Gamer 2 is set on rooftops, and failing a rooftop jump is an instant death.
- Spoofed in A Hat in Time, in which the Game Within a Game Corgi Quest 7: The Leashes That Bind includes a canyon which is "very large, and measurably deep should you possess the immense means to do so."
- One of many types of obstacles in Impossible Mission. One of the best-known sound effects from that game is the secret agent's scream as he falls down yet another one.
- Pits are a standard obstacle in Jumper series. Oddly enough, Ogmo dies the instant he goes below the screen, even if he has an extra jump left.
- Most Kirby games have bottomless pits, which is odd considering Kirby can fly indefinitely in most of the games as well. (They're mostly a danger while inhaling, since Kirby can't inhale and fly at the same time, and also while using abilities like Stone.) In fact, the bottom of the screen must contain some sort of special Kirbicide, because if Kirby so much as grazes it while hovering near the bottom, he dies. Strangely enough, the Helpers in Kirby Super Star are completely immune to the effects of these bottomless pits (in most cases they simply return to Kirby upon falling in), further supporting the Kirbicide theory.
- In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, bottomless pits simply damage Kirby before respawning him on land, although Kirby can no longer indefinitely fly here.
- The Klonoa series features many of them - especially in Vision 6-1 and 6-2 of the first game. In the latter level, they usually have to be crossed by jumping on incredibly tiny floating platforms.
- Low G Man has bottomless pits in some levels, mostly later ones.
- Mega Man (Classic):
- In Mega Man, the infamous Nintendo Hard Guts Man stage, which has bottomless pits crossed via moving platforms that drop out from under you at certain points on their track. It's infamous because this is at the very start of the level; many players simply gave up without seeing more than 2% of Guts Man's stage.
- Mega Man 2:
- No one can forget the Mecha Dragon chase on floating blocks over a Bottomless Pit in the first Wily stage. At least those weren't disappearing blocks.
- In Heat Man's stage, you have to jump between disappearing blocks over a Lava Pit and a Bottomless Pit, with no way of knowing on the first try whether the next block will be ahead or above you.
- In Magnet Man's stage, where you have to jump across them over a Bottomless Pit and have a magnet pulling on you.
- Mega Man 3:
- Then you have to do it again (albeit with non-disappearing blocks) in Gemini Man's Slippy-Slidey Ice World, if you don't have the Rush Marine.
- Then there's the dreaded "rocket platforms" in Spark Man's stage, over a Bottomless Pit, of course, which try to push you into the Spiked Ceiling of Doom.
- Later on, there are two situations which require you to have a fully powered Rush Jet, one over a long Bottomless Pit, the other over a long stretch of Spikes of Doom. If you have run out of juice after the Point of No Return, the stage is Unwinnable unless you lose all your lives and start over. And you've got various Goddamned Bats (dragonflies, bees, parachuters, etc) bombarding you all the way.
- Incidentally, 3 accidentally left in a debug feature that lets Mega Man survive at the bottom of these pits if you hold Right on the second controller. If you run out of health while in this state, you also become invincible (but you can't shoot the Mega Buster anymore).
- Nebs 'n Debs: If you fall into the pits, first you act like you've been struck, then you lose a life.
- Ninja Senki features them from the very first level. Sometimes they're filled with water, but usually they're the plain variety.
- Ninjish Guy In Low Res World: Some areas in the game have pits that will cost you one hit point if you fall in.
- Pac-Land is an early example of bottomless pits appearing.
- Pepsiman has bottomless pits all over the place, including on city streets.
- Pizza Tower: Some levels have bottomless pits, and if Peppino falls into one, he's treated to a brief Technical Difficulty screen before being placed back onto solid ground. One such level, "Refrigerator-Refrigerador-Freezerator", grants an achievement if completed without falling into a single pit.
- In Predator on the NES, falling into a bottomless pit is instant death.
- Prince of Persia:
- The first Prince of Persia made an early attempt at averting the trope, favoring falls that are too far for you to survive or have Spikes of Doom at the bottom over truly bottomless pits (of which there are a grand total of one).
- Prince of Persia 2 was less successful in averting this trope, having bottomless pits in the opening Roof Hopping level and in several levels toward the end of the game.
- Played straight in the first Rayman game, but subverted in the third, where falling into an area that looks like a bottomless pit instead lands you in a basement-level area that can be escaped by climbing rubble or by other means. Falling into a "fake" bottomless pit is actually required to move on in one point of the game.
- In Shadow of the Ninja, you can fall off the bottom of the screen, even when on rotating platforms that just dip off the screen for a few seconds. You actually don't instantly die from falling down one, instead taking a large amount of damage and respawning on a safe platform.
- A common hazard in Shovel Knight. Their bottomlessness is somewhat in doubt, however, due to the presence of an item that lets you fish in them.
- Skunny Kart: A bottomless pit is one track hazard.
- Skunny: Save Our Pizzas: Skunny can fall down a bottomless pit and lose a life.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- The earlier games have bottomless pits here and there, but they're not that common. While lava pits do exist, they're not usually instant death, as long as you have rings. Nearly all of the pits in the early games also have a lip of some kind that stop you from flying off into space without warning.
- Starting with Sonic Adventure, Sonic games became positively chock full of bottomless pits — you'll be hard pressed to find stages without them, boxing you in from every side.
- Sonic Adventure 2 includes an automatic stop at the edges of ledges for all characters except Tails and Eggman in their mechs, who instead go into the edge-wobbling animation.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) probably went a bit overboard with the bottomless pits, placing them in the snowboarding levels when you have to do an Indy Escape, making an entire level that is one giant bottomless sand pit, and even in the hub worlds there are instant death pits.
- In Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, however, not only are they present in a lesser quantity than the other 3D Sonic games, but the game will also warn you if you're above them to tell the difference between pits and lower paths. Then again, Sonic Generations, as a game pulling stages from across Sonic's history, introduced bottomless pits to areas where there weren't any before.
- Speedy Eggbert: Falling into a bottomless pit is an instant Game Over, but there aren't any in the single player mode.
- Spelunky has the Ice Caves, which are all suspended over one(?) of these.
- Strider (Arcade) has plenty, and in the final stage, there is an area with inverted gravity where you can die by falling upwards.
- Bottomless pits are everywhere in the Super Mario Bros. games:
- All 2D platformer games feature bottomless pits, as well as water pits and lava pits. Super Mario Bros. 3 and onward tend to avoid the water pits (since Mario had learned how to swim consistently by that time), but every other pit is fair game. In addition, the 2-D Mario games other than the Donkey Kong/Mario vs. Donkey Kong series never show Mario suffering fall damage from any other drop.
- Super Mario 64 has bottomless falls in some levels, making many stages Floating Continents.
- Super Mario Sunshine dramatically reduced the amount of Bottomless Pits found in the game, for the most part limiting them to the special stages. However, one stage, Pianta Village, is positioned directly above a bottomless pit. One wonders how many villagers they've lost over the years. There are also two bottomless pits in Bianco Hills that are both in locations that you have to go out of your way to even reach, let alone fall into (you are expected to approach them in a couple of missions, but there isn't any platforming to be done over them). In these special stages and in Pianta Village, the bottomless pit has a textureless floor that Mario can cast a shadow on. This is visible when Mario nears this barrier, below which the game kills Mario.note
- Super Mario Galaxy, as part of its Recycled In Space theme, used black holes as bottomless pits, in addition to the regular ones. While Mario usually adheres to any small object as if it has Earth gravity, nearby black holes cause objects to function as traditional platforms where Mario can fall off. They never seem to affect any other matter and are everywhere later in the game. There are also situations where clever jumping or carelessly shooting Mario out of a cannon can make him essentially achieve escape velocity towards deep space, leaving him flailing off towards the void to suffer death by breakdancing.
- Super Mario Odyssey: Well over half of the Kingdoms are of the Floating Continent varietynote , and there are numerous sub-areas that take place over completely empty space.
- In Wario World, bottomless pits always lead to the "Unithorn's Lair", where creatures called Unithorns steal your coins. You have to escape by finding the escape spring, which is hidden in a random box.
- In Tesla: The Weather Man, Tesla dies instantly if he falls off the bottom of the screen.
- The original Tomb Raider series generally doesn't use bottomless pits (with the lone exception of Tomb Raider II's Floating Islands level), just really deep ones (or ones with Spikes of Doom or lava etc. at the bottom); sometimes the Game Over screen appears before you hit bottom. There are a few apparently-bottomless pits in the next-gen series.
- Seen in some levels of Trine.
- Turtle Pop: Journey to Freedom: One of your turtles falling into one in this game causes you to fail a level.
- Used a lot as a scenery element (and platforming hazard, obviously!) in Venineth.
- In Vice: Project Doom, the platforming stages have bottomless pits all over the place, though sometimes the game does require you to descend a ladder.
- Back To Bed has these as one of the most common hazard types. Others include things like man-sized knives placed in Bob's path.
- Bendy and the Ink Machine:
- Henry comes across one (and comes across one) in chapter four.
- The Ink Machine room is now a giant shaft that stretches all the way to the bottom of the studio. You can look into different sections off the shaft once per chapter and see the Ink Machine riding down to the bottom.
- Gruntz has them in various fashions according to the current world - tar pits, fall from very high, cooking plates...
- Hunt the Wumpus was another text-era computer game with bottomless pits. You had to explore a maze and deduce where the Wumpus was (which would let you shoot it) without entering its room (and getting eaten) or entering a room with a bottomless pit.
- Kindergarten has the Nugget Cave, a pit Nugget dug in the sandbox that is so deep that Ms. Applegate the teacher can't see the bottom. The only way to survive jumping down it is if Nugget first throws down a load of nuggets to cushion the landing.
- Lemmings and its many sequels have this as an all too frequent hazard. It comes in several different flavors; literal bottomless drops, i.e. falling off the screen (which you can make yourself if you have spare digging attributes and want to wreck the level), falls onto ground that's too far away for the Lemmings to survive unaided, and falls that end in water.
- Nibblers has this as a mechanic starting in the mountain levels. While they may pose no real threat to the player unlike most other examples, movable Lizards or fruit can be dragged into one, removing them from play.
- The Portal series:
- Portal lets you make your own bottomless pit; put one of your portals on the floor, and the other on the ceiling directly above. For fun, drop something into it. For nausea, drop yourself into it. There is even an achievement awarded for falling far enough in this fashion.
- Portal 2 is full of bottomless pits, especially when the facility starts falling apart, revealing just how far down it goes. This is especially egregious, as Chell has boots specifically designed to prevent fall damage from terminal-velocity landings. At one point while Chell and GLaDOS are falling down a bottomless pit together, GLaDOS chooses to use that time to deliver some exposition, but not before once again reminding everyone of her status as Deadpan Snarker.
GLaDOS: Since it doesn't look like we're going anywhere - well, we are going somewhere, alarmingly fast, actually... But since we're not busy other than that, here's a couple of facts.
- Portal: The Flash Version includes bottomless pits in a few levels. You have to either avoid them or use them to knock turrets out of the game. The 3D map pack for the Source engine substitutes them with the acid pools from Portal.
- Revolution (1986): Going off the edge of the level or falling through gaps between tiles results in this and in you losing a life.
- Spelling Jungle: Dark Pits in Spelling Jungle, Glacial Crevasses in Spelling Blizzard. Animals will not enter them under any circumstance.
- Pikmin 2: Several caverns feature rusted metal platforms fastened above an endless chasm. If you accidentally throw any Pikmin over the edge (which is very easy to do), or they are tossed over by enemies, they will die. On the plus side, you can goad enemies into walking over the edge as well, which will instantly kill them. If they have a treasure, then it will simply reappear on the ground nearby.
- StarCraft: Missions which take place in installations usually feature bottomless pits. They are even named so in the "Installation" map tileset in the editor. Luckily, your units can't fall into them — they are just there to restrict movement in the same manner as mere walls do.
- Dwarf Fortress: In early versions, maps sometimes featured bottomless pits, into which dwarfs can accidentally fall and refuse (inanimate and otherwise) can be deliberately dumped. In the current version, the Underworld features eerie glowing pits that can only be entered from the lowest possible z-level. Anything that falls into a glowing pit is destroyed forever.
- Arena.Xlsm: These appear after either you or an enemy passes over cracked ground. Moving into these is an One-Hit Kill for either you or the non-flying enemies, though the latter will avoid it. Still, it is possible to trap an enemy on the cracked square for a turn, at which point it'll collapse and kill them.
- Bloodborne: Bosses can throw you into a bottomless pit by clipping through layers.
- Nearly omnipresent in Code Vein, where nearly every level is littered with gaping chasms or rifts in the ground. The Dried Up Trenches and Cathedral of the Sacred Blood are by far the worst, but you'll struggle to find any area of Vein that doesn't have at least a few; the only one where they're completely absent is the City of Falling Flame, and that's only because nearly every surface is perpetually on fire.
- Bottomless pits are one of the most common causes of death in Dark Souls. Some players are even known to weaponize them against hackers who have inflated their Hit Points.
- A handful of dungeons in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion have dark chasms. They're not literally bottomless, so if an essential (unkillable) NPC falls into one of those, they'll spend the rest of their existence being knocked unconscious repeatedly.
- Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas don't have literal bottomless pits, but some lethal falls, such as the gaps in the "High Road" elevated highway from the Lonesome Road DLC, will cause a fade-to-black as if they were.
- In Sanctuary RPG, one type of a random encounter presents you with such a pit. All you need to do is walk away. The game also lets you jump in.
- As an isometric RPG, these don't show up as a gameplay element in Tyranny. However, Tunon's court is surrounded by such pits, oozing inky black darkness, and it's said that he occasionally lobs people into them as a form of execution.
- Ultima V has many pits, but only one location where they are "bottomless". Stonegate, where the Shadowlords dwell, has lethal pit traps ending in a lava sea.
- You can fall off the edge of the world and/or into a bottomless pit in almost every single area in Xenoblade Chronicles 1. Doing so will simply boot you back to the last landmark you passed. Note that you have to fall off once to get the "Terminal Velocity" achievement.
- In Commando, falling into any hole in the ground, whether it be knee-deep water (which the enemies can stand in) or a waist-deep trench, results in death.
- Present in Cuphead, but instead of being a One-Hit Kill, they do damage like anything else and then shoot the boys back up to solid ground. They even respect Mercy Invincibility.
- Mission 3 in Metal Slug uses the “screen won’t scroll back down” variety. Doesn’t matter if there’s a platform two feet below it, once your legs touch the bottom of the screen you’re dead.
- Metal Gear Solid: One of the most incongruous examples of this trope is the bottomless pits in the armory.
- Haunting Ground: A room near the end of Debilitas's section of the game features a very dark room with two especially dark patches on the floor. Unfortunately for Fiona, there are two pits hidden in the shadows. On the flip side: Fortunately for Fiona, Hewie (among other things) can lead her safely around them.
- The Silent Hill series is full of places where the ground inexplicably drops away into nothingness, but Silent Hill 3 is the only game to actually use them as a hazard. On the higher difficulty levels, Heather doesn't even do her "whoa" animation to warn the player that she's about to fall into one. As if the place wasn't dangerous enough without them...
- Vanish: One appears in the Water Pump Room. Fall into it and you die. Notably, it's the only way to die aside from being caught by the Molemen.
- One of the terrain hazards in Into the Breach is an apparently endless drop, present as either an immediately visible dark hole or as a cracked tile that will crumble into a dark hole on taking any kind of damage. It's possibly the deadliest piece of terrain in the game, because while your mechs and some large Vek are beefy enough to stand in water or even lava without dying the way basic Vek do (although lava will set units on fire), any non-flying unit that gets knocked into a pit isn't coming back. RST is most noted for them, with the out-of-control terraforming engines offering up missions where row after row of the battlefield is crumbling away into an infinite abyss or chunks of land are disappearing into a narrow but very deep newly minted ravine; there's also one level setup that commonly appears where instead of the Vek spawning the usual way, Vek Hornets emerge from a couple of large pits in the map that apparently hold hives. The Cataclysm mech team, introduced in the Advanced Edition, is built entirely around creating new pits and shoving/throwing enemies into them.
- The world of Cortex Command seems to be surrounded by bottomless space. Move a little to the left or right of the screen, and you lose control of the body. Rocket too high into space, and you either return to the mothership or lose the body. Dig just a little too deep in the ground, and you fall off the screen and lose the body.
- In Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City, your character has Super Drowning Skills, resulting in instant death if you fall in the water. However, polygon drop-out glitches sometimes occur, allowing you to fall into the "void", and if this happens, you just get teleported back to solid ground. An unintentional example of Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits.
- The Void in Minecraft lies beneath the bottom of the map (or at least the deadly part does), and kills you within seconds if you manage to fall into it. It is important to note, however, that the Void is impossible to fall into in survival mode, except in The End. Unless you count things like mods, cheats, glitches, custom superflat worlds, and edited maps.
- The titular Abyss of Made in Abyss is an Eldritch Location for a number of reasons, but even putting aside the supernatural elements, it's enormous. According to the latest available map, the cave system reaches beyond 20,000 meters below sea level, which makes it more than twice as deep as the Marianas Trench.
- Wonder Woman (1987): When Neron opens a pit to hell nabbing Diana, Artemis, Jason Blood, and Cassie and Helena Sandsmark off the street, it appears to be bottomless from the topside, but as Donna and Hippolyta realize when descending, there's more of a portal effect going on, and partway down those entering it are warped to the "bottom".
- Forever And A Mile: According to Opie, who lives in it, Precinct 13579's ball pit goes on forever, "and then some", with the levels in the ball pit changing each time someone enters it.
- Lampshaded in The Golden Child when Chandler Jarrell undergoes a quest to retrieve a sacred knife. The ground opens up beneath him, revealing what appear to be this. Jarrell drops a coin to prove they're not really bottomless.
Jarrell: There's a ground. You just use mirrors and shit to make it look like there's no ground.
[he drops a coin and listens... and listens...]
Jarrell: There's no ground in here!
- Even better, the coin DOES hit the ground, but it is several minutes later (while Chandler is busy retrieving the knife). Now, if you include the time it took for the sound to actually reach him and use that to calculate the exact distance.....
- A strange variant occurs in Chindi aboard a massive alien space ship when a character falls into a deep shaft. The others think that he fell to his death until he suddenly flies back upwards past them, only to come back down again, repeat. They realize that the source of gravity onboard the ship is near the center and that he is flying through it, only to slow enough before hitting the other side and be pulled back. They eventually devise a way to get him out of there safely.
- In Consider Phlebas, these serve as launch tubes in an abandoned underground missile system. During a shoot-out, someone falls inside, and when the protagonist peeks over the edge, he can see the flare of their energy weapon getting smaller and smaller as the soldier is still falling. Later, when he has to carry a prisoner down the same shaft (using an anti-gravity harness), she asks him to shoot her first if he's forced to drop her for any reason.
- Discworld: The literal-minded citizens of Lancre have a tourist attraction called the Place Where The Sun Does Not Shine. This is implied to be a bottomless pit, but apparently lots of unusual things show up there, such as undesirable jobs, improbable excuses, and things which imply a degree of physical pain and discomfort. Although comments from unimpressed locals suggest that it's a mundane but deeply shadowed ravine (the kingdom being famously mountainous).
- The short story He-y, Come on Ou-t! by Shinichi Hoshi has one of these appear next to a village. Eventually it gets used to dispose of anything unwanted, including radioactive waste — until...
- The Abyss in His Dark Materials acts as this. Anybody unlucky enough to fall in would end trapped there, falling for eternity.
- Mermaid's Song: The last trial of the Choosing requires the mermaids to swim into a pit that leads to a series of caverns that are so far below the surface that the pressure makes it hard to breathe and threatens to rupture their ears. Maids with Merra ancestry can hear voices in the pit, telling them to swim down to their deaths. A few Merramogs succumb to the voices. Elan survives despite being the only competitor who's all Merra because she has organized a group of Merras to sing at the exit hole so she can follow their voices to safety.
- The Mummy Monster Game: In the pyramid where the body of Osiris is kept, a bottomless pit with a swinging rope over it must be passed to reach the chamber where the body is held. Later, Josh has to cross it in real life to reach the room where the final cell is located, and where Harry, Amy, and Spy are being held captive. Unlike the game, they have to swing back over the pit in order to escape.
- Tunnels: There are seven of these connecting the Deeps to the Garden of the Second Sun, appropriately called the seven sisters. There are three named in the novels: the Pore, Puffing Mary, and Smoking Jean. Characters are constantly falling down and climbing up them, and they have a habit of sucking in ships from the surface, ranging from Spanish treasure galleons to a modern Russian nuclear submarine.
- In The Vazula Chronicles, the mermaid Merletta's second year test takes place partly in a trench. In order to complete her task, Merletta has to swim down until her head aches from the pressure, and she still can't see the bottom.
- In Which Witch?, one of the witches creates a hole that is really bottomless, an admirable feat of dark magic. Of course, it is kind of impractical to have something like this in your garden. A Lemony Narrator tangent goes into some detail about how a bottomless pit is not the same as "a hole that comes out in Australia."
- Daredevil (2015). At the end of "Semper Fidelis", our heroes find a giant hole being dug at Midland Circle. They throw a flashlight in and are still waiting for the sound of it hitting bottom when the credits roll. The next episode starts with the flashlight finally hitting the ground; Matt Murdock estimates the drop as the equivalent of a forty story building.
- The Prisoner (2009): One shows up in the fourth episode and becomes a critical plot point later. It's a sign that the dreamspace is falling apart.
- Dungeons & Dragons plays it straight with magical bottomless pits. It also has the "budget bottomless pit", which is a standard Pit Trap (spikes optional) with Silence and Darkness permanently cast upon it. Stories abound of adventurers trying to swing across or drop down on a rope, only to discover that a 50-foot rope isn't much help in a 10-foot drop.
- Warhammer: The Great Maw, the god the Ogres worship, takes the form of a vast fleshy pit lined with sharp fangs. Those few Ogres who made the long, dangerous journey to the Maw claim that it's completely bottomless — just endless rings of teeth going down, down, down. A few especially far-travelled Ogres claim that this goes to its logical conclusion and that there's a twin opening at the other end of the world, the Maw having bored its way clear through the planet's diameter, but most dismiss such claims.
- Teen Girl Squad: Issue 4 has So-and-So falling into one of these* , setting up the page quote. However, as the Homestar Runner wiki notes, you would actually die of thirst first, not starvation.
- Girl Genius: There's at least one pit that appears this way under a Trap Door in Castle Heterodyne. The castle drops Othar into it upon hearing that he's a hero.
Sanaa: What did you do that for?!
Castle: Eh. He is a hero. I don't need much of a reason.
Sanaa: But... but the Heterodyne Boys were heroes!
Castle: Yeeees... they didn't come home, much.
Sanaa: No, really?
Castle: Oh, but we had such fun when they did! Well, I had fun... I rather miss having a hero about!
Sanaa: Well, if you drop them down bottomless pits every—
Castle: Oh, tosh. If he was a real hero—
Othar: This is an annoying place, isn't it?
- Latchkey Kingdom: In "Snakes", the evil snake cultists are trying to fill a pit with snakes. Their prisoner mentions they're wasting their time because the pit is bottomless.
- Deconstructed in POPsickle STRIP. Two stick figures stand by a bottomless pit and discuss the mechanics of it, including how it comes out the other side of the planet, and how it's really just a long tunnel.
- In the SCP Foundation short film SCP: Overlord, MTF operatives are sent to investigate a new age cult and find several of these, foreshadowing The Reveal that they are the exit points of the tentacles of a giant Invisible Monster beneath the earth.
- Gravity Falls: In "Bottomless Pit!", Dipper, Mabel, Soos, and Stan accidentally fall into one. When they notice that they're still descending, they pass time by telling stories. At the end of the episode, they find themselves plummeting towards a light. As they "hit" it, they fly out of the same hole they fell into, and no time has passed.
- Jimmy Two-Shoes: The Abyss of Nothingness from the first season, which is described in its debut by Heloise as "just a big hole", though Lucius (in the same episode) goes further to explain that "it's a dark, dreary place filled with misery and despair." That being said, characters have ended up in the place, then returned the next episode without explanation.
- Kaeloo: In an episode where Your Mind Makes It Real plays a major role, Mr. Cat pushes Quack Quack into a "bottomless pit" and says things to fuel his imagination, so Quack Quack physically experiences being thrown into a bottomless pit.
- Kim Possible: Parodied in "Hidden Talent". Dr. Drakken gives Kim a description of the Death Trap he's about to drop her into, leading to confusion on Shego's part when he mentions the pit being bottomless but also filling up with water, and an irritated Drakken explaining that "bottomless" was just hyperbole.
Drakken: First, you'll be sealed in a reinforced titanium box. Next, you will be dropped into this bottomless chasm. Then, the chasm will be filled with water. Then, man-eating sharks and a giant squid will be released into the water!
Shego: Huh? Wait... If the chasm is bottomless, how can you fill it with water?
Drakken: [exasperated] IT'S VERY VERY DEEP, ALL RIGHT?!?
- King: The Clockmaker moves into a bottomless pit in "The Monster Who Would Not Arrive". Loopy describes it as the hottest new lifestyle choice. The people in the bottomless pit are shown to be living very stable lives despite being in perpetual freefall.
- King Harkinian in The Legend of Zelda animated series is put in a room with one after he is kidnapped by Ganon in the episode "Sing for the Unicorn". Unless Zelda and Link either find him and/or turn the Triforce of Wisdom over to Ganon in one hour, a pit gradually opening within that timespan will drop him in and he will fall forever until he dies.
- Samurai Jack (2017): Jack and Ashi descend the hole where Jack lost his sword on the back of a giant bird, and it takes them several hours, if not days, to reach the bottom. They actually camp out on the way down so the bird can rest.
- The Simpsons:
- Parodied in "Treehouse of Horror III" in "Clown Without Pity". Homer, who is trying to get rid of the Krusty the Clown doll that's trying to murder him, stuffs the doll in a sack of stinky socks and goes to the local bottomless pit to toss the sack in (though it doesn't work). Played for laughs in that shortly after Homer disposes of the doll, a man throws down a box of nude photos of Whoopi Goldberg, only for the pit to reject it, the box flying back up into the man's arms.
- While living with Mr. Burns, Bart tells Lisa that Burns has a bottomless pit somewhere in his estate. Lisa doesn't believe it.
- Black Holes in Real Life. According to General Relativity, gravity warps space-time, and the larger it is, the larger that warp is. A way to picture it is to consider space-time as a rubber lattice with bodies on it, and forming wells more or less deep on it depending on their masses and/or densities. A black hole is the equivalent of an infinitely deep well — the ultimate bottomless pit.