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The Pit of Despair

Seasons Used


Layouts Used


Episodes Seen


Objective Completion

16 times

Half Pendants Featured

The Applewood Amulet of Emiliano Zapata


The Wheel Room + The Troubled Bridge


The Rock Quarry + The Troubled Bridge

Adjoining Rooms

The Crypt
The Observatory
The Heart Room (Layout X)
Medusa's Lair (Layout XI)
The Throne Room
The Ledges

The Pit of Despair was a special name for the room space that laid left of the entrance rooms of the temple. The Pit of Despair primarily appeared in the first two seasons of the show. The Pit of Despair itself describes the bottom portion of the room where the contestants would usually moved around in. The basic function of the pit was that it served as a central hub that connected the entrance rooms to the central shaft portion of the temple. Contestants entering from one of the entrance rooms must travel through the Pit of Despair in order to gain access to one of the rooms leading to the central shaft.

Once at the central shaft wall, the contestants had a choice of picking between three different rooms for most cases. There was one room at the bottom of the temple that lead to the bottom floor, and two rooms on the upper portion of the wall that lead to the central and upper rooms of the temple respectively. In order to gain access to these rooms though, the contestants usually had to climb the wall. Under certain layouts though, certain doors were not able to be reached due to restrictions.

The Pit of Despair went through several layouts during the first two seasons of the show. It was later replaced by the Pit of the Pendulum in Season 3. It was later revealed in an interview that one of Kirk Fogg's favorite moments occurred here when a female player vomited in the Pit of Despair. This was not shown on camera, as tape was stopped and later resumed in the version shown on-air.

Pit of Despair variations

  • The Wall Climb - The Wall Climb was the first form of the Pit of Despair to appear in the show. In this layout, the contestants had to use the holes on the wall to reach their next room. There were ropes added to help the contestants reach the higher rooms of the temple.
  • The Wheel Room - While not the official name of the room, the bottom portion of the Wheel Room/Troubled Bridge layout featured an upper and lower portion to the temple. The upper portion was called the Troubled Bridge, and the bottom portion was the Pit of Despair, which contained the route to the bottom route.
  • The Pit of Despair - In the first 16 episodes of Season 2, the Pit was similar to the Wall Climb except there were no ropes on the wall and used green and blue ball pit balls.