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While investigating a cave in Mexico, Pitfall Harry jr. (voiced by Bruce Campbell) finds a crystal which opens a rift into another dimension. In the rift, a woman named Mira appears and tells him that she's a member of ancient civilization of Moku, and her world has been taken over by evil woman known as Scourge. Harry jr. agrees to help her cause and takes a step into the rift.
Pitfall 3D has the examples of:
- One Up: You'll be finding lots of one ups in every corner, but for a good reason. They take the form of a boot, for some reason.
- All There in the Manual: Scourge's backstory is detailed in the manual.
- Bare Your Midriff: Mira.
- Bat Out of Hell: Demon bats.
- Bond One-Liner: One is said after killing a Fire Djinn:
- Bottomless Pits
- Character Title
- Continuity Nod: Harry jr.'s "run in with the Mayans" is mentioned in the manual, referencing the previous game The Mayan Adventure.
- Convection, Schmonvection: Heat's not a problem for Harry jr.
- In the volcano stages, he loses health if he walks on red lava, but dies instantly if he touches yellow lava.
- Creative Closing Credits: They take the form of the original Atari game, with Harry jr. interacting with the oncoming credits.
- Darker and Edgier: Instead of treasure hunting and avoiding crocodiles like in the previous games, you are now stopping systematic genocide and saving the Earth from an extra-dimensional invasion.
- Death by Childbirth: Harry jr.'s mother died giving birth to him while she and her husband were in an out-of-control minecart ride.
- Domed Hometown: Scourge has placed a force dome over the city of Shenrak to prevent Moku returning home.
- Edge Gravity: Harry Jr. won't willingly walk off a cliff...once. If the player tries again, though, he'll happily fall off the edge (sometimes this takes several tries, though). Unfortunately, Harry won't 'bump back' from the edge if he's walking on a container or box.
- Elemental Embodiment: Earth Soldiers and Fire Djinns.
- Embedded Precursor: The original Atari 2600 game is available via a password.
- Every Ten Thousand Points: You'll be awarded with points at the end of every level, which in turn provide you with one-ups.
- Evil Overlord: Scourge.
- Floating Platforms
- Flying Face: Imps.
- Get Back Here Boss: Scourge tries to evade you as the final fight progresses.
- Hellhole Prison: The pit, where the Moku are held prisoners in floating cells above a lake of boiling acid and await their turn of having their life essence taken away.
- Lethal Lava Land: The volcano.
- Life Meter
- Maniac Monkeys: Papwa Ipos, which are constantly flinging their "magic projectiles" (as the manual puts it, they're clearly throwing shit) at Harry jr.
- Metronomic Man-Mashing: The scorpions do this to you if they catch.
- Power Crystal: Your job in the penultimate level is to destroy the crystals that give power to Scourge's invasion on Earth.
- Powerful Pick
- Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Harry jr.'s comments to some of the rock type enemies:
"I've got a rock to pick with you."
"There's a place for my pick in your heart."
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: The Gladiator's club turns out to be one halfway in the battle against him.
- Rebel Leader: Mira.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Scourge has red eyes in her winged form.
- Rolling Attack: Specialty of Rollers and Magmoids.
- Scary Scorpions: Scorpions are common enemies. Oddly, they don't sting you, but slam you around with their tails.
- Segmented Serpent: Kryl Thular, boss of the volcano levels.
- Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains
- Shout-Out: "Beam me up, Scotty" says Harry when he enters a portal.
- Take Over the World: Scourge isn't satisfied with just her homeworld, as ours is next.
- Tastes Like Chicken: The manual states that the local scorpions are a common delicacy, and taste like chicken.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Scourge in her flying form bombards Harry jr. with explosives.
- Token Romance: Harry and Mira develop a romance during the game. At least that's what the manual tells us.
- Toxic Phlebotinum: Katal's mind was corrupted by the red lucense, and later emerged as Scourge.
- Variable Mix: Excluding the boss stages, there are at least ten themes per level.
- Video Game 3D Leap