Related: I Was A Reality TV Judge: 5 Secrets I Shouldn't Tell You
They may look goofy from the comfort of your position safely behind a screen ...
... but imagine 1) you're a child, 2) are racing through a game, on edge because you don't want to lose in front of millions of people, and 3) nervous because of all the mental and physical anguish you've already been through. Then a bringer of doom pops up and grabs you. Suddenly it becomes an experiment in testing how much adrenaline the body of a 12-year-old can handle.
Many former contestants say they're still scared by the idea of guards popping out of nowhere (imagine one of them jumping out of your closet and whispering that the game never truly ended). And it should be noted that some of the writers who dressed as guards really enjoyed scaring the kids.
After All That, They Cheaped Out On The Prizes
So why go through this, besides the appeal of being on TV and possibly getting PTSD? The prizes, right? Well, because of the budget, they actually set the number of grand prize winners per year (eight), stopping the rest with temple guards and the like at strategic times. Holy shit, this whole thing was a masterful metaphor for adulthood all along.
"I got to keep the shirt, but that was it. I technically won $50 and this arts and craft thing, but that $50 was in a savings bond, so I'm not getting that money for at least another 10 years. And I don't even remember what I got -- it was one of those 'rad' arts and crafts things the '90s had so much of. I never opened it ... I remember in the parking lot, another kid who went out that round brought it to their car, and it had somehow opened, so there was this multi-color sludge staining his mom's car seats and her freaking out about it. So not only did we get almost nothing, we got, like, the cheapest kinds of things from it."
It was like winning the lottery, only to find out the prize is a Dollar Tree gift card. Ultimately, the true magic driving Legends Of The Hidden Temple was the fact that children will always work for cheap.
Evan V. Symon is an interviewer, journalist and interview finder guy at Cracked. Have an awesome job/experience for a Personal Experience? Hit us up here today!
Support your favorite Cracked writers with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
For more, check out The 5 Most Baffling Moments From Old School Kids Game Shows:
Follow us on Facebook. Game on.