Pit

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This article is about the obstacle found in many Mario games. For the track feature from the F-Zero series that appears in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, see Pit (F-Zero). For the game commonly abbreviated as "PiT", see Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. For the protagonist of the Kid Icarus series who appears as a character in the Super Smash Bros. series, see Pit (character).
"Abyss" redirects here. For information about the custom variant for Sheik's Vanish special move in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, see Sheik § Vanish.
Mario falling into a pit in Super Mario World

A pit, also called an abyss, bottomless pit, or void in 3D platformers, is a common obstacle in platform games where no solid ground is programmed. In 2D platformers, pits appear in almost every level. If a character falls or jumps into a pit, they will be affected negatively, usually by immediately losing a life. Aesthetically, pits can take many forms, and many of these pits appear to have no bottom; after falling a varying distance down (usually simply below the camera or screen), the player loses a life, even if an invincibility-granting item is in effect.

In 3D platformers, many levels consist of landmasses or platforms floating in a large void. Examples of this are Whomp's Fortress, Pianta Village, the Metro Kingdom, and many levels of the Super Mario Galaxy games and Super Mario 3D Land. These voids are essentially considered to be massive pits.

While most pits cause instant death, some instead warp the player backward or to a particular location (sometimes in addition to losing a life). The pits in Wario World lead to Unithorn's Lair, a subterranean cavern, and because players can resume progress once a specific goal has been reached, these cannot be considered bottomless pits.

History[edit]

Donkey Kong series[edit]

In Donkey Kong, there are no bottomless pits. Mario will lose a life if he falls from a height greater than his own. In 75 m, touching the bottom floor subtracts a life as if it were a pit. In the Game Boy version, this floor is covered with Spike Traps.

In Donkey Kong Jr., falling from a vine or chain costs a life. The Vine Scene contains a watery pit, while the first true bottomless pits are in the Jump Board Scene and Mario's Hideout.

Super Mario series[edit]

Mario running across many narrow pits

Pits are a common obstacle in the 2D games of the Super Mario series. Lava and poison are essentially pits. Allowing the player's character to sink through quicksand is the same as falling into a pit. Certain pits may be only one block wide; in such cases, the player can often run straight across the pits without falling down as long as they have enough speed. Walking across these narrow pits without running generally does not work.

Although Mario can swim in some levels of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, if he falls into water in a non-swimming level, he loses a life just as if it were a pit. In Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, some backwards Warp Zones have a small pit Mario can fall into to avoid warping backwards.

In Super Mario 64, in the mansion of Big Boo's Haunt, if Mario falls into a pit, he ends up in the mansion's basement rather than losing a life. Also, in the DS remake, if Mario falls into a pit in Big Boo Battle, he is teleported back to the starting area.

In Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, pits often take the form of black holes, appearing in island-like galaxies such as Beach Bowl Galaxy and Matter Splatter Galaxy, although Mario can still lose a life by falling into voids otherwise.

In Super Mario Maker, the game may play an Easter egg sound effect upon the player falling into a bottomless pit, with a landing noise suggesting that the pit apparently has a bottom. In these sound effects, Mario is heard to be doing something offscreen. On some occasions, the sound effect is accompanied by other objects such as a car and several other Marios.

In Super Mario Odyssey, once Mario hits the void's event horizon, several coins spill out in each direction and he loses them before respawning; this is due to the game lacking a life system. If the player falls into the void in Assist Mode, a bubble brings them back out and they lose one Health Point.

Mario Kart series[edit]

Pits also appear in the Mario Kart series, appearing in certain courses such as Mushroom Gorge from Mario Kart Wii. When a character drives off the course into a pit, they yell out as the camera pans down into darkness, and a few seconds later, Lakitu lifts the character back up and drops them back onto the course, essentially making the pits act as a large time penalty, though they also cost the player a few coins in the games featuring them.

Mario Party series[edit]

Pits appear in some of the minigames in the Mario Party series. Falling into a pit usually causes the player to be eliminated, although in a few minigames, such as Tile and Error, falling into one causes the player to be carried back to the playfield. In a few other minigames, such as Skyjinks, players can fall into a pit a certain number of times before being eliminated.

Super Paper Mario[edit]

In Super Paper Mario, if Mario, Princess Peach, Bowser, or Luigi falls into a pit, they will flip back onto solid ground and lose one HP. A few pits in Super Paper Mario (on the outskirts of Flipside and Flopside) do not hurt the player, instead sending them to a secret room with a spring and (a) valuable item(s). Also in Super Paper Mario, some Shaydes are tasked with cleaning pits as punishment in The Underwhere.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
French Fosse sans fin[1] Bottomless pit
Spanish Hoyo Pit

References[edit]