Next we get to see the teams in dashing yellow helmets and beige cargo shorts. There's the Red Jaguars (usually the jocks), the Blue Barracudas (jocks), the Green Monkeys (nerds), the Orange Iguanas (dorks), the Purple Parrots (losers), and the Silver Snakes (the most badass team of the bunch). They all had colorful T-shirts emblazoned with their sacred golden animal insignia only 90s kids would be able to tell apart (or buy on a t-shirt!). I was always rooting for the Silver Snakes, the kids in the white shirts with the gold, because that was the most awesome team name. If not, then the Blue Barracudas. But you know, for a temple so "hidden," it certainly seemed to get a lot of traffic...
First there was always some pool challenge called The Moat, where the teams simply had to splash through some kiddy wading pool either by swimming through it or swinging across, or jumping on platforms, and Olmec would always be like "when Kirk gives the signal...," and "If you fail, go back and start again!" The first four teams to hit the podium button and set off the gong sound would advance to the next round. The other two would be sent home with Flubber on VHS (the mark of a loser).
The two last teams would then compete in an American Gladiators-style series of Temple Games, involving riding things, shooting things with giant slingshots, climbing walls, balancing beams, and whatever else they could fit into the episode's theme, whether that be the Cross of Coronado or the Broken Trident of Poseidon. The team that won the three challenges would be bestowed two pendants to shield them against future temple guard molestation once inside.
What would happen after that is still the most mind-altering, crazy awesome three minutes to hang on the edge of your seat for in television history (second only to the typical ending of GUTS). The winning team would have to make a run through the temple, and with room names like this, you know it was quite hardcore:
|Silver Monkey... it's only three pieces!|
"The choice is yours and yours alone! Good luck." Three minutes on the clock, and... GO!
You couldn't watch a minute of that without shouting at the screen. "Turn around! Go up the ladder! No! Go back to the Silver Monkey! Oh get it together you idiot!" Those kids were always getting terribly lost, or confused about how to put that Silver Monkey together, or snatched back to the darkness by the temple guards. They didn't have the benefit of the little map at the bottom of the screen with the pink line of their progress running through it like we did lounging back on the couch on those weekend afternoons, but still, "get it together!"
|Go Silver Snakes!|