Still one of the most loved game shows in all of Nickelodeon’s history, right along with Double Dare that is, is Legends of the Hidden Temple. Created by David G. Stanley, Scott A. Stone, and Stephen Brown, the program centered on a temple that was "filled with lost treasures protected by mysterious Mayan temple guards". Originally airing on Nickelodeon from 1993 to 1995 Kirk Fogg served as the show’s host Dee Bradley Baker announced and voiced a talking Olmec.
Each week six teams of two children (one boy and one girl) competed to retrieve one of the historical artifacts hidden in the temple by performing physical stunts and answering questions based on history, mythology, and geography. Each team was identified with a color and an animal, indicated on their uniform shirts: the Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Orange Iguanas, Purple Parrots, and Silver Snakes.
The set design has been described as Mayan and was based on the Indiana Jones movies. Marianne Arneberg of the Orlando Sentinel described the program as "a combination of Jeopardy and Raiders of the Lost Ark". It included areas for different types of physical challenges: the moat (a broad but shallow pool of water), the Steps of Knowledge (a set of steps), and the hidden temple (a large two-and-a-half-floor vertical labyrinth).
At the temple's gate was a talking head named Olmec, which was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, who narrated the legends (real or fictional) to the children as they stood on the steps of knowledge. Each episode centered on an artifact from around the world that found its way to the temple.
The rest of this is from Wikipedia:
Round 1: The Moat
In the first round of the show, the six teams attempted to cross a narrow swimming pool known as "the moat" in a prescribed manner. For example, in one episode, teams were required to swing out to a rope net in the middle of the moat, climb it, and then swim to the other side. All six teams attempted to get both members across according to the rules and push a button on a pedestal to ring a gong. The first four teams to cross the moat and ring their gongs advanced to the second round.
Round 2: The Steps of Knowledge
The four remaining teams stood on the topmost of the four levels of the Steps of Knowledge. Olmec began the round by telling the remaining teams the episode's legend of the featured artifact, which became the theme for the remainder of the episode. The legend centered on an artifact which the winning team searched for in the final round. At the end of the legend, Olmec told the teams the room in which the artifact could be found. After finishing, he asked the teams a series of questions to test their memory. Each multiple-choice question had three possible answers. A team attempting to answer signaled by stomping on a button on their step, causing the front of the step to illuminate (if Olmec was still in the middle of asking a question, he stopped talking immediately). A team who answered correctly moved down to the next level. If a team answered incorrectly or ran out of time (three seconds after being called upon), the other teams were given a chance to answer. The first two teams to answer three questions correctly and thereby reach the bottom level advanced to the next round.
Round 3: The Temple Game
The temple games featured the two remaining teams competing in three physical challenges to earn Pendants of Life which the winning team used in the final round. Several different types of temple games were featured, with the episode's legend serving as a theme for each. Most temple games lasted for a maximum of 60 seconds but some were untimed. After each challenge, the winning team received some portion of a protective Pendant of Life. The first two challenges, pitting single members from each team against one another, were worth one half of a pendant, while the final challenge, involving both contestants on both teams, was worth a full pendant. If a temple game ended in a tie, both teams received the pendant value of that game.
The team that earned the most number of pendants by the end of three temple games won the right to enter the temple. In the event that the two teams earned the same number of pendants after the three temple games, the teams played a tiebreaker to determine who advanced to the temple. The teams stood behind a tiebreaker pedestal, and Fogg (since Season 2, Olmec) asks a tiebreaker question to determine the winner. The first team to hit the button on top of their gong was given the chance to answer the question. A correct answer allowed the team to go to the temple. Originally, a team that buzzed in and gave an incorrect answer or ran out of time automatically lost, allowing the other team to advance to the temple by default. However, in Seasons 2 and 3, the other team was required to answer the question correctly to go to the temple.
Final Round: The Temple Run
In the final round, the winning team took the Pendants of Life the contestants earned into the temple, and attempted to retrieve the episode's artifact and bring it back out of the temple within a three-minute time limit. The team designated one member to enter the temple first; that team member carried one of the team's full pendants. The other team member held the remaining pendant, half pendant, or no pendant at all and stood by to enter if the first team member was taken out of the temple by a temple guard. Before starting, Olmec would explain the rooms in the temple and the necessary tasks in each room. During season 1, Fogg asked who would go first and explained about the temple guards and, if necessary, the extra half pendant. Beginning in season 2, Olmec himself explained these things.
The temple consisted of twelve rooms, each with a specific theme (e.g., the Throne Room, the King's Storeroom, the Observatory, the Shrine of the Silver Monkey, the Heart Room, etc.). The rooms connected to adjacent rooms by doorways, although some doors were locked, blocking a contestant's progress into the adjacent room; the pattern of locked and unlocked doors changed from episode to episode depending both on the temple layout and the artifact's location. The unlocked doors were closed at the start of the round, but they could be opened by completing a specific task or puzzle within each room. One room in the temple contained the themed artifact (as stated by Olmec prior to the Steps of Knowledge round). Three other designated rooms held temple guards (spotters in Lavish Mayan sentinel costumes). If the winning team had exactly 1 1⁄2 pendants, the remaining half pendant was also placed in a room for the contestant with the half pendant to collect to make a full pendant. The extra half pendant, if needed, would either be hanging on the wall near a door or placed inside an object in a room (e.g., hidden inside a pot in the King's Storeroom). If the first player dropped their pendant, the second player was allowed to pick it up and either throw it back to their partner or use it if needed.
A contestant who encountered a temple guard was forced to give up a full pendant in order to continue. However, if the first contestant was caught without a pendant in his or her possession, he or she was taken out of the temple and the second contestant entered. In either case, the temple guard who captures the contestant was out of play, and did not appear again in that room where the first contestant was captured. When the second contestant entered, any doors that the first contestant opened remained open. If the second contestant was caught without a full pendant, the run ended immediately. It was possible for a player to enter a room with an unencountered temple guard on their way to the artifact and not get caught, usually if the room design makes it so that the guard can only capture the player if within reach (e.g. the Dark Forest where one of the trees "could be inhabited by the spirit of a temple guard" which was signaled if the tree grabbed the player, but the player had to be within reach to trigger the tree).
The team had three minutes to retrieve the artifact and leave the temple with it. If either contestant grabbed the artifact, all remaining temple guards vanished and all locked doors in the temple instantly opened, allowing the contestant to escape unhindered. For entering the temple, the team automatically won a prize. If a team member picked up the artifact, the team won a more expensive prize as well. A team that retrieved the artifact and exited the temple with it before time ran out earned the grand prize, in addition to the other two prizes. Starting with season 2, the temple had an actual gate that Olmec would lower before the round started.