Show Format

Through Legends' three years on the air, the way the game was played remained nearly identical to the first episode.

1. The Teams
In each episode, six teams of two kids each compete towards victory. These six teams are the Red Jaguars, the Blue Barracudas, the Green Monkeys, the Orange Iguanas, the Purple Parrots, and the Silver Snakes. Each team wore respective colored shirts with a matching yellow animal logo on the front. Each team consists of one boy and one girl aged 11-14, and they need to work together through difficult physical and mental tests to progress as far as possible in their respective episode.
2. The Moat
The first challenge is the Moat, a wide pool the contestants have to cross as quickly as possible using a particular method. The restrictions vary from episode to episode; sometimes the challenge is as simple as crossing the water on an inflatable "lily pad," while other times it requires negotiating massive fishing nets and "ancient Babylonian Wheels." The first four teams to cross the Moat and hit their color "gong" move on to the next round.
3. The Steps of Knowledge
In the Steps of Knowledge, Olmec, the animatronic stone-head co-host, tells the remaining four teams a story about the episode's artifact, around which the remaining challenges for each episode are themed. He then reveals the artifact's location in the Temple (described later) and begins to ask the players multiple-choice questions about the legend. To ring in, one player from a team stomps down on an "ancient stone marking" embedded in their platform. If that team's response is correct, they move down to the level below. If they answer incorrectly or run out of time, then the other teams get an opportunity to answer the question. If a question is answered incorrectly by two teams, it is discarded and another one is asked. In very rare occasions, a third team is allowed to answer after two incorrect answers have already been given. The first two teams to answer three questions correctly and make it to the bottom level of the Steps move onto the Temple Games.
4. The Temple Games
The Temple Games are a collection of minute-long physical contests the two remaining teams compete in to win Pendants of Life, which are later used in Olmec's Temple. There are three Temple Games, and each is explained by either host Kirk Fogg (in the first season of the show) or Olmec (in the second and third). The skills required in the Games vary dramatically from episode to episode, but every game is themed around the day's legend. The first two Temple Games are worth a half-Pendant of Life each and involve one participant from each team, while the third is worth a full Pendant of Life and requires both players from both teams. After the three Games, the team with the greater amount of pendants won advances to Olmec's Temple. If there is a tie, a quick tiebreaker round is played, where either Kirk Fogg or Olmec asks a final multiple-choice question regarding the day's legend and the first team to answer it correctly wins. In the first season, an incorrect answer automatically gave the other team the win by default. However, in later seasons, an incorrect answer only gave the other team an opportunity to answer. Although not mentioned in the show, there are six general categories of Temple Games. For more information on these six types, click here. Also note that, in rare occasions, a Temple Game may not be timed.
5. Olmec's Temple
Olmec's Temple is notorious for being possibly the most complex and difficult endgame in the history of children's game shows. The ultimate goal of the round is for the one remaining team to work through a labyrinth of rooms, retrieve the day's artifact, and bring it back to the start.
The Temple itself is a gigantic maze of twelve rooms, generally arranged into two rows. Each room has a particular challenge to complete in order to progress to the next one, such as pulling a golden book from a skeleton, swinging on a rope to knock over a column, or assembling a statue. The episode's artifact is placed within one of the rooms, and the contestants try to navigate to this point, one at a time. The challenge is that doors may be locked even after completing a room's objective, forcing players to take very indirect routes to the artifact.
Before the run, the team chooses a member to go into the Temple first, and this contestant is given one full Pendant of Life. His or her teammate is given the remainder of what was won in the Temple Games--either one Pendant, one half-Pendant, or nothing. These pendants play a critical role in fending off Temple Guards, which are placed in three specific rooms of the Temple. Neither the audience nor the contestants know the Guards' locations. If a Temple Guard is encountered in a player's path to the artifact, that player must sacrifice a full Pendant of Life. If the player has only a half-Pendant or no Pendant at all, he or she is removed from the Temple. Once the first teammate is removed from the Temple, the other begins from the start, with all opened doors remaining opened and previously-encountered Temple Guards removed. Should the second player be removed from the Temple, the round immediately ends. If the team won exactly one and a half Pendants in the Temple Games, a complementary half of the incomplete Pendant is hidden somewhere within the Temple. If a player finds this half-Pendant and is carrying the other half, it counts as a full-Pendant and thus the player can be captured by another guard without being removed.
If a player from the team reaches the artifact, all of the doors in the Temple instantly unlock, and the Temple Guards vanish, at which point the contestant must make a mad dash toward the Temple Gate. If that player successfully passes through the gate with the artifact in his or her possession, the team wins. The entire round has a three-minute time limit--an especially difficult restriction when one takes into account the unpredictable nature of the locked doors and dead-ends. Teams manage to win in roughly twenty-seven percent of the episodes. Every winning team wins a vacation, and to console the unsuccessful contestants, smaller prizes are awarded both for entering the temple and reaching the artifact, if applicable.
Confused? Watch the show; it will make sense.