Pitfalls (落とし穴, Otoshiana?) are a recurring trap that have appeared in several Final Fantasy games, and are often used in dungeons to divert the player and drop them down to another floor. In some games, pitfalls are not harmful, as they lead to treasure or secret passages, such as in Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy IV.
There is a pitfall in Castle Palamecia, which takes the player down several floors. This trap is unavoidable and must be triggered to progress through the game.
There are three pitfalls that occur within the game; one in a cutscene and two in-game. The cutscene pitfall happens during an event at the Tower of Babil. After Rubicante's defeat, Cecil enters the large crystal room and triggers a hidden pitfall, dropping into the lower section of the tower. The first in-game pitfall is a hole in Eblan Castle's east tower, which leads to the castle's cellar passage. The second is found in the Sylph Cave's B2, which leads to a series of both normal and secret passages, and a teleporter that warps the player to the Sylph's Cache.
One may find pitfall traps in dungeons. These traps can be first found in the Ronka Ruins surrounded by several treasure chests in a small room to try and trick people into dashing straight ahead out of excitement to open the chests, only to fall to their doom. These pitfalls often take the player to the floor below. Some pitfalls are necessary to access certain areas, though most are used to slow the player's progress down by dropping them to the previous floor.
There are also certain pitfalls that can drop the player into hazardous areas, the first one being inside Castle Exdeath, where the player is dropped into the lava and another being in the Great Sea Trench, where a switch is required to activate the trap and the player is dropped into a small pool of lava. The Geomancer job class has the ability to reveal pitfall traps without stepping on them.
A kind of pitfall trap is found on the Corel Mountain Path, where when the player steps on a loose piece of railway track, they are sent falling down. This can be avoided with quick reflexes, because the player is given an option to jump before falling. Falling in Final Fantasy VII is actually beneficial, because there are treasures that can be grabbed, a Star Pendant and a Wizard Staff.
In Ultimecia Castle, if the player steps on the chandelier it will collapse and send the party falling to the room below. The chandelier can be fastened in place with a lever in the floor where the party falls so the player can walk across it without it collapsing.
Pitfalls are obstacles that can be overcome by jumping over them, falling down in one drops them down one floor bellow. They appear in North Tower, South Tower, Castle of Chaos, and Xagor's Castle. Upon clearing the Eastern Ruins, Borgin informs the party that one of the "trap holes" in Xagor's Castle will lead to Xagor itself. The hole in question can be found on the Castle's second floor and must be opened with a special switch.