If you grew up as a 90’s kid, you probably spent a ton of time watching old school Nickelodeon. Besides the bevy of glorious cartoons, there were also a handful of children’s game shows. One of the favorite 90’s Nick game shows was Legends of the Hidden Temple. My main problem with Legends, besides my not being on it as a kid, was the fact that so few of the teams actually won. Well, the show’s host, Kirk Fogg, recently opened up as to why so many 90’s kids left the show disappointed:
The producers were only allowed to give out eight championships a year. There was a budget, and that's the truth of that.
So wait, this crap was rigged?! I feel like my childhood is essentially a lie. I was throwing my action figures at the TV, and it turns turns out the Temple Guards weren’t the ones to blame for so many failures of the hidden temple.
In fact, Kirk Fogg goes onto say, via Great Big Story, that only 30 people in the 120 episodes actually walked out of Legends of the Hidden Temple victorious. It’s not clear if this means 30 pairs of two, or just 30 total (meaning only 15 wins) kids won during the shows significantly long career. I hope 30 pairs of two, resulting in 60 total winners, but I might just be naive in hoping that Nickelodeon made less kids cry.
Legends of the Hidden Temple first premiered on Nick in 1993. The game show would be originally aired over two years time. However, Legends was brought back through reruns in 1998, which is likely where most of 90’s kids remember the show from.
The concept of Legends was as follows: a gaggle of teams comprising of two kids competed in preliminary rounds during the first half of the show. Three different games assisted in weeding out and eliminating teams of two to determine who would be the final pair. After surviving the moat, the steps of knowledge, and the temple games, the final pair of contestants would be honored with competing in the most challenging task of all: the temple run.
The temple run served as both the crowning glory, and the thing of nightmares for kids in the 90’s. While running through a giant obstacle course and competing tasks that weren’t very easy, the pair of contestants were also under constant fear of the Temple Guards. These guards would appear in trees, from outside walls, and inside set pieces to grab and presumably murder the kids; this fate could only be avoided by handing the Guards a Pendant of Life.
Essentially, Legends of the Hidden Temple was the olympics of 90’s childhood. We all picked a team (go Blue Barracudas!) and hoped they’d make it all the way to the temple and win.
It turns out, we were hoping in vain. Because this garbage was rigged. Excuse me while I cry my childhood dreams away. Thanks, Nick.