A 'pitfall' (Japanese: 落とし穴, Hepburn: 'Otoshiana') is a common obstacle in platforming games where no solid ground is programmed. These are usually a long fall or dip in the pathway that often includes spikes or dangerous liquids such as acid or lava, or even just a large hole with no bottom. Falling inside these often results in instant death.
Mr. Driller series
In the games, Susumu must jump over these to avoid death from falling. Lucky Stars cannot save the player from this type of death. In some levels, the player will have to jump into a pit in order to access a secret area or use to complete a stage. Pitfalls appear in almost every level that is performed on foot, and some pitfalls are often triggered by certain traps, such as X-block bridges and creepers.
In the second game, pitfalls return but with new hazards. In any level with lava as pits, podoboos will often jump out of lava. Coming into contact with them often results in damage and the player cannot kill them with their drill or even a Lucky Star, as they are invincible.
In the third game, they return again in most levels and play a large role in the final battle with Dr. Manhole. The player's main objective is to hit Dr. Manhole until he falls into a pit, where he is defeated.
Driller Engine Grand Prix series
Many courses in the Driller Engine Grand Prix series contain holes the player must maneuver. If the player falls in, Taiyo will bring back any player that falls in after a few seconds. These should be avoided as they waste time. Some courses contain pits the player must jump in to follow the course.