The Dark Forest is a room with two trees with arms and faces. The player must find the key in one of the trees' mouths. However, a spirit of a temple guard might inhabit the trees (which is actually either a real temple guard inside one of the two trees or if they were animatronic), grabbing them with the tree's arms, players do have to be very careful in this room by the way according to Olmec. The player may choose to avoid taking this chance and plow through the breakaway wall to The Mine Shaft (season 2) or The Quicksand Bog (season 3). The tree inhabited by a temple guard usually says "Oh, Yeeeaaaahh!" or "Got you!" when grabbing the contestant, his only lines were provided by Dee Bradley Baker.


  • Although this room was a successor of The Tomb of the Ancient Kings, the doors and fallen column from that room can still be seen in the background and have been unaltered.
  • The trees inhabited by the Temple Guard Spirit are similar to the apple trees in The Wizard of Oz.
  • In the first 13 episodes of Season 2, Olmec did not warn the players about the temple spirit in the Dark Forest while he guides them to the temple. From The Electrified Key of Benjamin Franklin and onward, he does.
    • This is the only room where Olmec warns the players about the temple guards while observing that room.
  • The Mysterious Manuscript of Mary Shelley was located here, in a very appropriate nod to the fact that the manuscript was the inspiration for Mary Shelley's classic horror novel Frankenstein.
  • This was the first room to show a temple guard in Season 2.
  • In some episodes like The Bone Necklace of the Blackfeet Chief, a tree will be seen hanging one of its arms on the breakable wall showing a sign that the temple spirit is inhabiting it. In some episodes, one of the trees catches the contestants with only one arm.
  • In some episodes like The Enormous Iron Nose Ring of Babe the Ox and The Snow Cone of Mount Kilimanjaro, the temple spirit in the tree attempts to grab the player but misses.
  • In The Ivory Elephant of Scheherazade, contestant Brad prepares to give the temple spirit a pendant just before he got captured.
  • In Season 2, the Dark Forest wasn't so "dark" but in Season 3, the lighting was altered to make that room darker.
  • The Crown of Queen Nzinga was the only episode to end the run due to the player being captured in the Dark Forest.
    • Most of those episodes have team runs which ended due to the Temple Guards.
  • The last episode to feature the temple spirit was The Dried Ear of Corn of Sojourner Truth.
  • In The Snow Cone of Mount Kilimanjaro, Heather opens the door to the shrine and the top door doesn't open. Also, that was the only episode to feature a half pendant in this room.
  • In The Useless Map of the Chibcha Chieftain, just before the first commercial break, one of the trees was moving its arms even though the artifact was located in its location and all three temple guard were encountered in different locations. This was presumably done for comical purposes.
  • In Season 2, the artifacts that were hidden in the Dark Forest were stuck on the tree on the right (the tree on the left didn't get any artifact stuck on it). But in Season 3, the artifacts were hidden on the golden door in the middle of the room. This was presumably due to the room's change of lighting at the beginning of Season 3.
Seasons Used 2 onward
Layouts Used X-
Episodes Seen 41-
Objective Completion 21
Temple Guard Encounters 20
Artifacts Featured The Lost Love Letter of Captain John Smith
The Sacred Ring of Sultan Suleiman
The Missing Weather Maps of Charles Lindbergh
The Upside-Down Compass of Henry Hudson
The Useless Map of the Chibcha Chieftain
The Mysterious Manuscript of Mary Shelley
The Mummified Hand of the Egyptian King
Adjoining Rooms The Shrine of the Silver Monkey
The Mine Shaft (Season 2)
The Quicksand Bog (Season 3 onward)
The Swamp (Layouts X-XII)
The Jester's Court (Layout XIII-)