It’s probably been a while since you’ve watched the Nickelodeon game show juggernaut, Legends Of The Hidden Temple, and you probably stopped watching because nobody ever won. Upon close analysis of the show’s tedious premise, it turns out that this show is simply very, very hard to win. It requires adept memory, skill, and quite a damn bit of good luck. Plus, you have to be able to put up with the talking Mayan head, Olmec, throughout all of it.
In an episode where a promising young male-female duo actually won, I’ve broken down some of their key moves.
Always, Always Listen To Exactly What Olmec Says
I don’t know where Nickelodeon got the idea to have a show whose primary host was a talking rock that looked like a face, but it seemed to pan out relatively well for them. Why Kirk Fogg even needed to be an additional host is beyond me, because the haunting words of Olmec ruled this show. In the beginning of each episode, the kids have to listen to some historical legend and listen fastidiously, because they will need the information when they get to The Steps of Knowledge, which is just one of, say, nine levels you have to pass before even getting to the temple. Remember every word that comes out of Olmec’s harrowing stone mouth and you and your partner will have a much better chance of advancing to any level.
*Keep in mind that the game starts off with, like, six teams in really awesome t-shirts, so you have to beat all of these teams to even get into the actual hidden temple. Which, it turns out, isn’t really all that hidden.
Have The Athletic Skills Of A Toddler
Most of the temple games leading up to the temple are innocuous and inane, except for The Steps of Knowledge, which actually requires kids to remember key details about something Olmec once said. The rest of the games, though? Not exactly Olympic sports. For example, in the episode where people actually win, the kids are attached to bungee cords and have to jump up and put paper stars onto a fake sky. A human baby could do it. In another game, they have to guess which hole some water will squirt out of (don’t even get me started on how many times Kirk Fogg said “squirt” in this segment), and whoever guesses correctly more times wins. A job for a tired puppy.
Elude The Infamous Temple Guards
These assholes are everywhere. They snatch kids in the silver monkey room, and, what Nickelodeon doesn’t tell us is that most of these young whippersnappers are never seen again. It’s a hilariously arbitrary premise for a game show; if someone is about to win, just go grab them out of the course and they can’t win now. Problem solved. This is both ridiculous and incredibly unfair, and there’s really no way around it. In this episode, the first member of the team has her buzz killed by a temple guard, but she is able to bribe him and stay safe with her pendant of life.
*Pendants of life are earned during the temple games and can be used when a temple guard attempts to snatch a child. If only they existed in real life.
4. Don’t Screw Up The Shrine Of The Silver Monkey
Upon close reflection, I can now see and understand perfectly well that the silver monkey was, yes, exactly three pieces. That shit was not complicated. A blind person could have done it, because everyone understands the basic shape of a monkey, and no his head should not be facing backwards nor should it be where his ass is. These kids were so frantic that a temple guard was going to lurk up near their loins that they could never put this little jungle creature together.
Be Besties With Your Teammate
Because if you win, you’re going to Mexico together. And if you lose, you come out with a 50 dollars saving bond from Chef Boyardee. Yeah, I have no idea what that means either. Is it 50 free dollars? Is it 50 dollars that is in a bond you can’t touch (and subsequently won’t need because it will be worth -3 dollars by that time) until you’re 21? Is it 50 dollars worth of actual Chef Boyardee products? Either way, in this episode, the young guy and gal who won may or may not have known each other (it’s really unclear from the beginning of the show how these pairs are picked), but they hugged and high fived like they were the damn Olsen twins. I bet now they check each other out on Facebook to see if either of them ended up hot. Regardless, their natural camaraderie paid off, because these two pre-teens were Cancun-bound.