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This article is about the game show. For the made-for-TV movie adaptation, see Legends of the Hidden Temple (TV movie).

Legends of the Hidden Temple (sometimes abbreviated LOTHT) is an action-adventure game show for children. The show centers around a "temple" that is "filled with lost treasures protected by mysterious Mayan temple guards". Kirk Fogg hosts and serves as the teams' guide, while Dee Bradley Baker announced and voiced a talking audio-animatronic Olmec head, simply named Olmec, who "knows the secrets behind each of the treasures in his Temple". Six teams of two children, one boy and one girl, compete to retrieve one of the historical artifacts in the Temple by performing physical stunts and answering questions based on history, mythology, and geography. After three elimination rounds, only one team remains, who then earns the right to go through the Temple to retrieve the artifact within three minutes and win a grand prize.

Legends was produced by Stone Stanley Productions in association with Nickelodeon and was taped at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. It aired from September 11, 1993 to September 1, 1995 in first-run and through August 30, 1998 in reruns (though it returned on May 14-June 7, 2007 for a short time). From 1999 to 2007, reruns of the show aired on Nick GAS. Since 2011, it has sporadically appeared on TeenNick's The '90s Are All That and NickSplat blocks. A made-for-TV movie based on the show aired in November 2016, and a fictional version of the show was also featured in The Loud House episode "Legends". The series eventually received a full-on revival series for older audiences, which began airing on The CW on October 10, 2021.

The main game


In each game, six teams of two members each competed in three rounds to get to the temple.

Each team was designated a color and animal, indicated on their uniform shirts:

The Green Monkeys, Red Jaguars, and Orange Iguanas were the only teams not to use the same sound twice. The color yellow was omitted because the team symbols on the uniforms were already yellow (the Silver Snakes were supposed to be yellow).

Round 1: The Moat

Round 1

The first round of the show involved a stunt where the six teams had to get across a narrow swimming pool known as the "moat". And during the show's Nick Gas run the logo would be at the bottom right corner. Some of the commonly used methods included rafts, ropes, and bridges. All six teams attempted to get both members across according to the rules and punch a button, thus setting off the team's "gong". Typically, if a team member fell in the water, that partner (or occasionally both teammates) would have to go back and try again until they could get across. The first four teams to hit their gongs advanced to the second round.

Round 2: The Steps of Knowledge

Round 2

Olmec begun the Steps of Knowledge by telling the remaining teams the episode's legend. After finishing, he asked the teams a series of questions to test their memories. A team that knew the answer buzzed in by hitting the button (known as an "ancient marking") on their step with their feet, and their staircase lights up so they can answer (if Olmec was still in the middle of asking the question, he would stop talking immediately). Each multiple-choice question had three possible answers. If the team answered correctly, they moved down to the next level. If a team answered incorrectly or went too long without an answer (three seconds after being called upon), the other teams would have a chance to answer. A question would be replaced if two of its three choices were eliminated by incorrect answers. The first two teams to step down to the bottom level by answering questions correctly moved on to the next round.

Round 3: The Temple Games

One of the temple games

The Temple Games round was introduced as a turning point in the episode away from the unpredictable Moat and mind games of the Steps of Knowledge, where "the glory [went] to the fastest and the strongest." Here, the two remaining teams, most likely the Red Jaguars, Green Monkeys, or Siver Snakes, competed for as many pendants of life as possible in three physical challenges. And the Nick Gas logo would be at the upper left corner The Temple Games employed on Legends were many and varied. The first season featured more of an emphasis on teams climbing and/or crossing ramps to retrieve objects, while hindered by bungee cords attached to them. Most times the ramps were covered with soap or water to make it more difficult. The second and third seasons introduced more physical activities such as climbing, riding moving or spinning objects, or spinning a giant wheel. Temple Game challenges were either untimed or lasted for a maximum of 60 seconds (ending either when time expired or when a team completed the objective). After each challenge, the winning team (the team who completed the objective first, or, failing that, the team who made the most progress) was awarded some portion of a protective Pendant of Life. The first two challenges, which pitted a single member of a team against another, awarded a half-pendant each, and the final challenge, involving both teams in whole, awarded a full pendant. If a Temple Game ended in a tie, both teams were awarded the pendant value of that game. After these rounds, the team with the greater number of pendants went on to the final round.

In the event that the two teams' pendant totals were tied after the three games, Fogg (or, later in seasons 2 and 3) Olmec asked a tiebreaker question to determine the winner. A "tiebreaker pedestal" was brought out, and the first team to hit the button on top of their gong earned the chance to answer the question. The team would have three seconds to answer, and their first response had to be accepted. A correct answer allowed the team to go to the Temple. In Season 1, an incorrect answer (or running out of time) automatically awarded the other team passage to the Temple, but in the second and third seasons, the other team simply received an opportunity to answer the question correctly.

Round 4: The Temple

In the final round, often known as the Temple Run, the winning team took whatever Pendants of Life they had (most commonly, a full pendant and half of the second) into the temple. The temple consisted of 12 to 13 rooms, depending on the layout, each connected by a doorway which may or may not have been open during the game, depending on the setup used that day. One room in the labyrinth had the themed artifact; three rooms held Temple Guards (spotters in lavish Mayan sentinel costumes). If the winning team had an incomplete pendant, the remaining half-pendant would be in a room as well. However, if the team had only one pendant going into the temple, there would be no hidden pendant. In that case, if the second player ran into a Guard, the game would end.

The winning team had three minutes to retrieve the artifact. One player was sent in first, with a complete pendant. The second player remained outside the Temple gate to watch the first player's progress. In each room, completing a puzzle or accomplishing a task would unlock a door to another room. For example, the Shrine of the Silver Monkey held three pieces of a silver monkey statue, and completing the statue would unlock a door. The Jester's Court had buttons placed along the walls outlining images of two court jesters and one king. One of these sets of 3 buttons opened a door to an adjacent room; posing in the position of the correct outline and pressing the buttons opened the door.

When a player encountered one Guard, the player was forced to give up a full pendant in order to continue or if caught without a pendant be taken out of the temple. The second player now had the chance to enter, with all opened doors remaining open and all known Temple Guards nonexistent. If the second player possessed only half a Pendant of Life, a Temple Guard could catch him or her and end the game. To prevent that, the second player would also have to find the other half of the pendant which was hidden in the temple. It was often well-hidden and only a few contestants have found one during their run.

If either player reached the artifact (being defined as actually grabbing onto the artifact, instead of merely being in the same room with it), all remaining Guards "vanished" and all locked doors instantly opened, allowing the player to escape unhindered. Just for getting into the temple, the team automatically won a prize. If they picked up the artifact, they also would win another prize of slightly higher value. If they escaped with the artifact before time ran out, the team won a vacation (sometimes to another country), or a week at NASA's Space Camp, in addition to the two merchandise prizes. (Although not disclosed in the show, each individual winning contestant would receive two travel vouchers. Destinations varied greatly—some were within the state of Florida, while others could be in the Caribbean or Mexico. Unlike previous Nick game shows, Legends never deviated from offering a travel prize as the grand prize.)

One interesting note is the portrayal of the Temple Run. During the first season, the Temple Run would take place with only background music similar to 8-bit NES music and the clock. In the second and third seasons, the same music would play in the background, while the display included both a map and a count of the number of pendants the team had. This gave the Temple Run a feel somewhat similar to a live-action video game.

Team Statistics

Team Statistics - Season 1
Team Red Jaguars Blue Barracudas Green Monkeys Orange Iguanas Purple Parrots Silver Snakes
Moat Wins 33 30 24 21 21 31
Moat Losses 7 10 16 19 19 9
Steps of Knowledge Wins 18 16 9 9 9 19
Steps of Knowledge Losses 15 14 15 12 12 12
Temple Game Wins 30 26 16 19 14 36
Temple Game Losses 24 22 11 8 13 21
Pendants Earned 21 16.5 10 13 9 25
Tiebreakers Wins/Losses 1-3 2-0 0 0 0-1 2-1
Went to the Temple 10 7 4 6 2 11
Wins 2 3 2 0 0 5
Losses 8 4 2 6 2 6
Temple Guards Encountered 20 14 9 13 4 24

Team Statistics - Season 2
Team Red Jaguars Blue Barracudas Green Monkeys Orange Iguanas Purple Parrots Silver Snakes
Moat Wins 27 25 33 21 25 29
Moat Losses 13 15 7 19 15 11
Steps of Knowledge Wins 10 14 14 15 17 10
Steps of Knowledge Losses 17 11 19 6 8 19
Temple Game Wins 16 25 20 31 32 14
Temple Game Losses 14 17 22 14 19 16
Pendants Earned 12 15 13 21 21 9.5
Tiebreakers Wins/Losses 2-1 2-0 2-1 3-2 0-5 1-1
Went to the Temple 6 7 5 10 7 5
Wins 0 2 2 3 2 1
Losses 6 5 3 7 5 4
Temple Guards Encountered 16 16 8 22 16 11

Team Statistics - Season 3
Team Red Jaguars Blue Barracudas Green Monkeys Orange Iguanas Purple Parrots Silver Snakes
Moat Wins 30 21 31 26 24 28
Moat Losses 10 19 9 14 16 12
Steps of Knowledge Wins 12 7 25 13 12 11
Steps of Knowledge Losses 18 14 6 13 12 17
Temple Game Wins 19 18 48 25 14 18
Temple Game Losses 17 3 27 14 22 15
Pendants Earned 13 12.5 33 17 9.5 10
Tiebreakers Wins/Losses 0-2 0-1 3-2 3-1 1-2 2-1
Went to the Temple 4 5 15 9 2 5
Wins 2 0 4 1 1 2
Losses 2 5 11 8 1 3
Temple Guards Encountered 8 13 34 18 5 8

Team Statistics - Total
Team Red Jaguars Blue Barracudas Green Monkeys Orange Iguanas Purple Parrots Silver Snakes
Moat Wins 90 76 88 68 70 88
Moat Losses 30 44 32 52 50 32
Steps of Knowledge Wins 40 37 48 37 38 40
Steps of Knowledge Losses 50 39 40 31 32 48
Temple Game Wins 65 69 84 75 60 68
Temple Game Losses 55 42 60 36 54 52
Pendants Earned 46 44.5 56 51 39.5 45
Tiebreaker Wins/Losses 3-5 2-1 5-3 6-3 1-7 5-3
Went to the Temple 20 19 24 25 11 21
Wins 4 5 8 4 3 8
Losses 16 14 16 21 8 13
Temple Guards Encountered 44 43 51 59 25 43


Behind the Scenes

  • The show was taped in Soundstage 18 of Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. This soundstage was immediately stage-right of the Nickelodeon Studios building shown at the conclusion of each episode.
  • The hours of taping each day ranged from around 7:00 a.m. to midnight, although those times altered between taping days.
  • Some of the show's Temple Runs in Season 3 were taped without an audience. This was because usually six episodes were taped a day, and all segments were done at once. That is, all moat rounds were taped, then all Steps of Knowledge rounds, then all Temple Games, then all Temple Runs. Players usually waited two hours between taping a round for their episode. The reason for no audiences, however, was because the Universal Theme Park (where the show was taped) had closed, and the audience members had been sent home.
  • Other than in Season 3, other Legends episodes were recorded without an audience. Two known episodes that had a Temple Run without an audience are "The Milk Bucket of Freydís" and "Galileo's Cannonball".
  • Dee Bradley Baker, voice of Olmec, was also the announcer for the show.


  • The Green Monkeys and the Silver Snakes share the record for most temple completions over the show's three seasons, both managing eight. Yet, out of the number of times going into the Temple, the Green Monkeys had a slightly better percentage (24-21). However, the Silver Snakes had the fastest contestants on the show.
  • In a points system orchestrated by a fan, an entrance to the temple was worth one point, and a temple victory was worth three points. The Green Monkeys were first with 48 points; the Silver Snakes were second with 45 points; the Orange Iguanas were third with 37 points; the Blue Barracudas were fourth with 34 points; the Red Jaguars were fifth with 32 points. Last place belongs to the Purple Parrots with 20 points.
  • In Season One, the contestants wore colored T-shirts tucked into khaki shorts for all rounds except the Temple Run, where they changed into T-shirts tucked into yellow sweatpants. In Seasons Two and Three, the contestants wore colored T-shirts with khaki shorts for the moat crossing and Steps of Knowledge but changed into blue jeans for the Temple Games and Temple Run. Also, the helmet color changed from yellow to gold.

Temple Rooms

  • The first season's temple featured nine different layouts, as rooms changed almost each day of taping; the second season's temple featured five different layouts. Only Season Three's temple never changed layouts.
  • The only room in the temple that was featured in all 120 episodes was the Shrine of the Silver Monkey.
  • There were over 45 different rooms that were featured across the show's 120-episode span.
  • Not all actuators in the temple, when hit, would open doors. As temple layouts changed, many were removed from the temple or made completely inactive. This is made obvious with the corner doors between the Swamp area and the Ancient Warriors area (the areas directly right of the Shrine of the Silver Monkey and Tomb of the Ancient Kings/Dark Forest); despite their actuators being completely inactive for most of the series (and left with no way to traverse through them, besides), they were still opened with the other doors after a team grabbed the day's artifact.
  • The only two episodes where the stone wall connecting the two south-westernmost rooms could not be broken were "The Keys to the Alhambra" (Episode 8) and "The Imperial Purple Robe of Empress Theodora" (Episode 49).
  • One room, The King's Storeroom, was featured at two different locations in the series. In Season Two, it was located above the Swamp/Jester's Court. In Season Three, it was moved to the Observatory.

Temple Runs

  • Three seasons of the show aired, and 120 episodes were produced. Of those 120 episodes, only 33 episodes featured teams successfully getting out of the temple with the artifact. Seventeen episodes featured a player grabbing the artifact with time remaining but running out of time before he or she could actually bring the artifact out of the Temple, making for a total of 50 episodes in which the artifact was actually snatched up.
  • The fastest completion of the Temple Run was in "The Mask of Shaka Zulu" (Episode 28). The player completed the temple in 1:46, without the help of his partner. However, this was arguably the easiest temple design; the player encountered no locked doors. This was due to a production error—the door leading from The Holes of Python to the Tomb of the Ancient Kings (where the artifact was located) was supposed to be locked. If you exclude that run the fastest completion was in "The Ivory Hunting Horn of Roland" (Episode 101) completed in 1:49.
  • The quickest loss happened just 1:32 into the run in "Elizabeth I's Golden Ship" (Episode 5). The concentration of temple guards in the three rooms the team entered prevented them from going further.
  • Four temple runs were completed with a single second left on the clock.
  • The closest failed acquisition of an artifact was in "The Dragon Lady and the Blue Pearl" (Episode 33). Secondrunner, Jennifer, in this run entered the artifact's room, The Holes of Python, with 10 seconds left, and scurried past the obstacles, only to fall a finger's length short of the Pearl.
  • The closest wins were in "Galileo's Cannonball", "The Applewood Amulet of Emiliano Zapata", and "The Milk Bucket of Fredyis", all of which ended on one second left.
  • Three temple runs involved the player who entered the temple grabbing the artifact without encountering a single temple guard. These runs were from "The Enormous Iron Nose Ring of Babe the Ox" from Season Two, and "The Much-Heralded Helmet of Sir Gawain" and "The Broken Trident of Poseidon," both from Season Three. However, only "The Enormous Iron Nose Ring" and "Much-Heralded Helmet" episodes ended with the player successfully getting out of the temple with the artifact. In the "Broken Trident" episode, the player, Kimberly, was startled by the noise of all the locked doors opening upon her grabbing the trident in the Shrine of the Silver Monkey, so she forgot she needed to get out of the temple carrying the object. Upon entering the Room of the Ancient Warriors, she put down the trident, and attempted to run out of the temple without it. Fogg then yelled for her to go back and get it. She went back to get it but went down into the Tomb of the Headless Kings through the Chamber of the Sacred Markers. Time ran out just as she entered the Ledges.
  • The first solo run completion occurred in "The Star of Sultan Saladin" (Episode 7). Leah went from The Room of the Three Gargoyles to The Observatory and got out with 27 seconds left. Also, what is most widely noted is the Temple Guard in The Cave of Sighs that is spotted on the floor. Because she was on her way out of the Temple with the Star in hand, the Guard was rendered out of play. Many fans humorously commented on the Guard failing to disappear (literally).
  • In the Temple Run of "Henry VIII's Great Seal" (Episode 14), one of the contestants, (the team's follow-up runner), was so startled by a temple guard's appearance that he literally ran out of the temple's cross-sectioned boundaries and onto the main studio floor. As many speculated that he was disqualified, the speculation was irrelevant considering he only possessed half of a Pendant upon encountering the Guard and was to be ejected from the temple, ending the run.
  • In "The Pendant of Kamehameha" (Episode 11), the temple guard missed his cue in the Dungeon, allowing the second contestant to plow through the wall into the Tomb of the Ancient Kings, forcing the temple guard to follow the contestant into the Tomb to capture her.
  • In Season One, the hidden half-pendant is often visible at the silver monkey's base in the Shrine of the Silver Monkey, but one notable episode where it is visibly hidden elsewhere (and the only episode where Kirk announced that the player picks it up in that season) is "The Treasure of Anne Bonny" (Episode 40).
  • In only fourteen episodes, the team ended up caught (and consequently have the run end) by the three Temple Guards.
  • Despite being armed with only one pendant, six teams managed to get past the Temple Guards for the win.
  • In both the "Golden Cricket Cage of Khan" (Episode 4) and "Elizabeth I's Golden Ship" (Episode 5), the teams had traversed only four rooms. Time expired in the "Golden Cricket Cage of Khan," and the team was caught by the three Temple Guards in "Elizabeth I's Golden Ship."
  • In three episodes did a player enter all twelve rooms of that particular layout. Of these, the two wins were in "The Diary of Doctor Livingstone" and "The Metal Beard of the Egyptian Queen" (Episode 109).
  • In all three seasons, not one artifact had ever been taken out of the temple in the bottom room of the center shaft.
  • In "The Jeweled Necklace of Montezuma" (Episode 62), Kelly dropped the middle part of the Silver Monkey over the railing and onto the studio floor. A Temple Guard spirit (really a cameraman) threw it back up to her, but she wasn't able to complete the statue in time. This occurred again in "The Upside-Down Compass of Henry Hudson" (Episode 90). However, unlike the Jewled Necklace episode, when Derek dropped the middle piece over the railing, time expired just as it started falling.
  • In "The War Fan of the 47 Ronin" (Episode 83) the door from the Pit of the Pendulum to the Tomb of the Headless Kings was accidentally smacked shut by the frontrunner, Jeremy. This prevented the secondrunner, Elise from entering the room for about 30 seconds. As compensation, the producers gave the team the second prize because they otherwise would have made it to the artifact.
  • The closest failed escape run was the "Broken Wing of Icarus" (Episode 78). Jason grabbed the wing with less than a minute. However, instead of swinging across in The Pit, he jumped down and went to The Ledges. Time expired when Jason was behind Olmec.
  • In Season Three, three episodes had an instance where the player got into the artifact room, but failed to grab the artifact itself in time. Those are "The Red Sash of Tokugawa Ieyasu" and "The Pearl Necklace of Gwalior" and "The Dried Ear Corn of Soujourner Truth."
  • The Jester's Court did not turn off the lights in two episodes. These are "The Golden Pepperoni of Catherine de Medici" (Episode 73) and "The Enormous Feather of Me Linh" (Episode 104).
  • In The Lucky Pot-Bellied Pig of Amelia Earhart, Kristin was taking out of the temple by a temple guard in The Swamp with 3 seconds left leaving no time for partner Scott McCaskell. Time expired as Scott was about to enter the temple.
  • In Season Two, the player progressed in the temple despite having a half-pendant, namely "The Missing Eye of David" (Season 2, Episode 16) and "The Golden Pepperoni of Catherine de' Medici."
  • In two episodes of Season Two (Season 2, Episode 33), Kirk referred the Room of the Mandarin Hand as Medusa's Lair. These are "The Golden Pepperoni of Catherine de Medici" and "The Levitating Dog Leash of Nostradamus."
  • "The Golden Pepperoni of Catherine de Medici" is the only episode where the player passes up the artifact.
  • The longest Temple Run ended due to Triple Seizure was "The Lost Taj Mahal Turban of Aurangzeb." The player was caught in the Quicksand Bog with 0:11 left.
  • "The Lost Love Letter of Captain John Smith" was the only episode where the player ended the run in The Shrine of the Silver Monkey due to Triple Seizure (in "The Silver Cannonball of Grandy Nanny," the team had two pendants. Amber had a full pendant upon capture (see below))
  • The only episode where the player ran out of time and captured by a Temple Guard at the same time was "The Silver Cannonball of Grandy Nanny." However, Amber had a full Pendant upon the encounter, and was escorted out due to time expired.
  • "The Crown of Queen Nzinga" was the only episode where the Temple run ended due to Triple Seizure in the Dark Forest, making that the only time a Temple Guard spirit in the right tree ended the run. It was one of the two episodes where the three Temple Guards (including the tree in the Dark Forest) protected three straight rooms, which were the Laser Light Room, the Swamp, and the Dark Forest
  • In the episode "The Mummified Hand of the Egyptian King", Maggie was taken out of the Temple by the first guard because she lost possession of her Pendant in the Pit of the Pendulum, marking the only time that happened. Josh found the Pendant in the Pit, but ironically failed to find the other half to his own Pendant (located in the Chamber of the Sacred Markers on top of the left side of the markers). The run ended by Triple Seizure when he was caught in the Room of the Secret Password.
  • The Sacred Ring of Sultan Suleiman is the only episode where the Purple Parrots lost due to triple seizure. The Run ended in Medusa's Lair with 0:45 left.

Miscellaneous information

1995 CableSystem Legends of the Hidden Temple ad.jpg
  • Legends was the third-longest running Nickelodeon game show in terms of episodes produced. Only Double Dare and GUTS surpassed it (by considerable margins).
  • The only regular Nickelodeon network in the world that has Legends in its regular rotation is the Japanese version of Nick.
  • Despite being labeled as "the dreaded temple guards", occasionally the guards assisted the teams during the temple runs, such as in "Galileo's Cannonball".

See also

External links