List of challenges in Takeshi's Castle

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A large range of challenges were used throughout the history of the Japanese game show Takeshi's Castle, some occurring only once or twice, or others in virtually every show, depending upon their popularity and ease of preparation. Many challenges involve falling into water or mud on failure.

The below list contains the names of Games in the UK version of the show, and are followed up by their MXC names.


  • Animuddle: A starting game in which players grab a giant jigsaw puzzle piece making up one-fourth of a picture of an animal. They then try to get together with the other three correct puzzle pieces and make the proper picture. Shown on MXC as Get a Piece.
  • Avalanche: Players race up a narrow gully, and must avoid being crushed by polystyrene boulders. Contestants try and hide in cubbyholes in the gulley's side, but they contain members of Takeshi's Gundan (called "Gashmen" on MXC, which retitled this game Boulder Dash) who attempt to push them out into the boulder's path. In Tele 5's Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as Indiana Cudeiro y el Templo Maldito (Indiana Cudeiro and the temple of doom), a pun on the title of the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The music heard in the background of this game is an arranged version of the music from Bomberman.


Ball Cupping
  • Ball Cupping: This game required players to hit a ball into a pachinko-type machine, and then race down with a small bucket and catching the ball in the bucket while diving into mud. The first iteration of this game did not have the small ramp at the bottom of the machine that forced contestants to dive into the mud. Instead, contestants could stay on the side and catch the ball, making it a lot cleaner. Originally called Diving Catch in the original Japanese. Known as Mud Butlers on MXC which casts the pink ball as the goat bladder. In Tele 5's Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as Pinball, or sometimes La Bola Asesina (killer ball). In Brazil, it was known as FlipperLama, English for FlipperMud.
  • Big Bird: Known as Condor Keeps Flight in the original. In this game (called Take Flight by Craig), contestants dressed as a bird must fly by guywire to a pink rabbit, catching it with their feet, and then dropping into a nest with three little birds were waiting to have a meal, all while having small soccer balls shot at them, those who fail gets a blast of Co2 in their faces. This game on MXC goes by the name of (Big) Bird Droppings. In Spanish version it is known as Un chino voló sobre el nido del cuco (A Chinese flew over the cuckoo's nest) The music sometimes heard in the background of this game is the opening from Scramble Formation.
  • Bite The Bun: Various buns and other foodstuffs are hanging on lines above contestants, who in the time given must grab a bun with their mouths (their arms held by either a rubber ring or a bag). Its original Japanese name was No One Can Fight on an Empty Stomach. Called Sack Lunch and Bagel Bumpers on MXC. The music heard in the background of this game is the theme from the movie 1941.
  • Blueberry Hill (Regular version): Contestants wear large, top-heavy costumes to resemble Japanese Daruma dolls (a Japanese good luck charm), or as Craig calls them, "blueberries" (or occasionally "plums"), and must make their way either up or down a ramp, only moving when Yousichi Shimada (or, in some games, an emerald guard, or in a one-off downhill vairent, Brad Lesley) has his gaze averted - they are eliminated if he catches a contestant moving, or if they fall over (they also deliberately fall down when caught), anyone left over after each round is done are also eliminated. The challenge is based on the children's game Daruma-san ga koronda (the Japanese equivalent of Red Light, Green Light), whose name means "the Daruma fell down" (which is the original name in the Japanese version). It is called Mine Games on MXC, casting the Daruma as old land mines. In Tele 5's Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as El Escondite Inglés("English hideout"), while on Cuatro, the name was changed to 1, 2, 3, al escondite japonés (1, 2, 3, Japanese hide-and-seek). A couples edition of the game had five pairs attached to each other by a rope on their ankles. The music heard playing in the background of this game is the theme from SonSon.
  • Blueberry Hill (Parents-Kids version): In this version, which borrowed from "On Yer Bike", five parents in daruma suits were on motorized platforms that were connected to radio controlled remotes, piloted by their children on a platform in the middle of the course.
  • Boulder Dash (V1): Played in the original pilot episode, where all the contestants were men. In this game, contestants ran sideways along a steep muddy hill, whilst avoiding the foam objects, which include logs as well as boulders. The excessive amount of mud on the hill seriously reduced traction for the contestants. That, coupled with the steep hill really took it out on their leg muscles, meaning they easily slid all the way to the bottom of the hill, usually on their backsides. Of course in the original this was only the first half of Second Fortress meaning that not only do they have to get to the other side of the hill (which is impossible to fail), but also the contestant has to get up the hill without having their ring penetrated by the Emerald Guards, but the contestant can fight back by trying to penetrate their ring that each Emerald Guard has (Except for Jo).
  • Boulder Dash (V2): This variation of Avalanche puts as many as three players at a time going uphill trying to avoid the foam boulders. This game is known as The Impassable Stones of Mount McKidney on MXC.
  • Brat Sack: A parent/child special game. The kids are inside bags and the parents have to find their kids, but aren't allowed to look inside the bags.
Bridge Ball
Earlier variant of Bridge Ball
  • Bridge Ball: This game in the original Japanese version was titled The Strait of Gibraltar. Players cross a rope bridge (dubbed by Craig Charles, who calls this game one of his favourites, as "the Millennium Bridge", or "The bridge over the river Why" in the UK version) holding a gold-coloured leather volleyball, whilst henchmen fire black volleyballs at the contestant, who is eliminated if they fall off. Frequently, contestants are hit in the face, genitals, etc., and hold on to the bridge with one hand for several seconds before having to let go. In early episodes, the player does not carry a gold volleyball, and are bombarded by two cannons that fire black balls each one is located at opposite ends of the bridge, later the bridge has rocks attached to it. This game is called (Big) Brass Balls (of love) on MXC. Cuatro's Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as Los cañones de Nakasone (The guns of Nakasone, which is a pun on the title of the film "The Guns of Navarone"). In Brazil, it was named A ponte do rio que cai (The falling bridge on the river, a pun on The Bridge on the River Kwai; this also occurred in the UK, where Craig Charles called it "The Bridge Over The River Why"). The music heard playing in the background of this game is the theme from Combat!. This was one of two games brought back for the 2005 special revival for TBS' 50th anniversary.
  • Bridge The Gap: Contestants stepped onto one moving plank, and then ran over to the other side, where they had to catch another plank rotating in the opposite direction. Contestants have to be able to anticipate the moment where the ends of the two planks meet, and move with the second plank without falling off. The planks are above a crash mat lightly coated in white powder, in other episodes the planks are above a pool of water. The latter version has been seen on MXC as Swamp Gassers, while the powder version has appeared as Gang Plankers. In Spain, this game is known as El columpio del terror (The swing of terror). The music heard playing in the background of this game is an arranged version of music heard in the game Nuts & Milk.
  • Buggy Me: Played once in the teenage special, six players went on an obstacle course and picked an envelope with a number connected to a buggy. Three of them were light with stuffed animals, the others had Animal, Kibaji, and Strong. Was called The Great Escape From Foster Care on MXC.


  • Catch It (V1): On a baseball field, the Popcorn twins (usually) hit a ball high up into the air. A group of contestants in giant Japanese Baseball League uniforms have to try to catch it. Whoever does goes through. Each get several chances, but if they still don't get it, they're out. Called Foul Balls (because the baseball was supposedly dipped in some rank odor) or Spit Balls (because they were soaked in saliva from Hollywood's oral surgen Dr. Feltcher) on MXC. The background music for this game is James Last's song Vibrations.
  • Catch It (V2): A soccer ball is fired into the air, which a player must catch. One contestant plays at a time. Played on either mud or snow. Once called Mud Ball in the UK version, and called Dirty Muddy Balls, Dry Balls (in the Monster Special where players had to chase the balls on a padded surface as an accommodation to the bulky costumes), Mud Slingers, Highballers (where they chased onto a shallow man-made lake) or Catch Hell on MXC. In the Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as La Mano de Dios ("Hand of God", referencing Diego Maradona's infamous Hand of God goal). In Brazil, this game was named Fuça-Fuça, or The PigStew.
  • Cheeze-Berry Hill: Like Blueberry Hill, but players were dressed as cheese balls. Also, "Dennis The Menace" was replaced by "Desperate Dan". The background music for this game is from the video game Butasan.
  • Corn Cob Trip: Similar to "Mushroom Trip" except with a giant corn cob. Called Corn Holders on MXC. The background music for this game is fighting music from the anime Ranma 1/2.


  • Deep Float: The contestants ran into the sea from the beach where they started. They had to make their way to a very small platform, and try to get on it and stay on it. This is made harder by the fact that; a) they were wearing lifejackets, b) it was a very small platform and it could sink at any moment, and c) there were two guards there trying to push them off again, although some turned the tables on one of them and threw them into the sea. On MXC, this game was rechristened as Survivor: Seaman Island, a parody of Survivor, the popular US reality television series.
  • Die or Pie: Players roll a giant die. Each number corresponds to a hole in a long platform. Whichever number is rolled, the player must stick his/her head out of that hole. The hole corresponding to a roll of one is the closest to a man with a pie, while six is the furthest. If the man is able to toss his pie into the contestant's face, the contestant is out. Called Pie in the Sky on MXC.
  • Dino Ride: Riding a mechanical bull dressed as a giant dinosaur, contestants try to shoot a pink bat supported by toilet paper with a water gun, but if they fail or fall, they are eliminated (and sometimes sprayed with white powder). Called Buck Off! on MXC, with the sprayer nicknamed Herbie the Steamy Pile.
  • Dominoes: Called Falling Dominoes in the original Japanese version and similar to the game "Nubecamino" on the Peruvian children's series Nubeluz, contestants have to cross a gap by running on the top of giant dominoes, which usually fall over, bringing the challenger down with them. Known on MXC first as The Teetering Temple of (Crumbling Death/Crippling Doom), then changed to Tumbling Dominoes of Doom, and in a Real Mafia themed episode, renamed Nerve Racketeering Slabs of Death. In the Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as El domino mortal (Mortal Domino). The background music for this game is the theme from The Rat Patrol. Since Takeshi's Castle ended, it has used in game shows such as Kunoichi (shown in Britain and America as 'Women Of Ninja Warrior') as the stage 3 obstacle 'Domino Hill', and on Kinniku Banzuke (Unbeatable Banzuke) as the 'Sponge Bridge'.
The Dragon Lake. The player starts from right platform and he arrives at red platform.
  • The Dragon Lake: There were two versions of this game: a straight-ahead version whose original name in Japan was Heaven and Hell, and an arc version originally called New Heaven and Hell. Players swing across a gap over water or mud (or shredded paper in the first episode) on a rope to land on a platform, either straight across, or in an arc. The MXC name for the arc version is Dope On A Rope, while the straight ahead version is called Hook, Line and Swingers, Swish Bucklers, The Giant G-String of Doom, or Drop Dead Line. In the Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as "Líete" tú de la liana (Laugh of the rope if you can). In Brazil, it was named Cipó do Bozó (Portuguese for Bozo's Rope). The background music for the straight ahead version is from the Namco video game Libble Rabble (In the very first episode) and John Williams' theme music from Raiders of the Lost Ark (from early episodes after the pilot episode) while in later epipsodes the background music for both the straight ahead version and the arc version is the galop from Jacques Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld, best known as the French can-can music.
  • Drop In The Ocean: A large amount of balls were dropped into the sea. Contestants had to run out there and retrieve one. The MXC Almost Live! special used the start of this game as a condom drop.


  • End Bell: Contestants sat on a large float which was pushed down a slope and across a stretch of water. They had to stay on up to the other side, and then climb up a slippery slope and ring the bell at the top. Most contestants failed at the slope, because it was soaking wet from other people's attempts. The Portuguese version of it was named Escorrega e Bate, or Slip 'n' Ring. The background music for this game is the theme from the movie The Delta Force.
  • Extinction: Originally called Great Hunter in the Japanese. Guards, dressed as animals, attempt to dodge contestants' shots of volleyballs aimed at easily collapsible heads. If the contestants failed to 'kill' them, Kibaji and Strong cages them, making the contestants Prisoners held against their will. Called Endangering Species on MXC. The background music for this game is an arranged version of music from the video game Commando.


Final Fall
  • Final Fall: Originally known as The Man-Eating Holes, there are five holes and down two of them hide Katsuo Tokashiki and Makoto Dainenji, each wearing an outlandish costume. First, the contestants have to get past Yoroi Chuu, who attacks them if they get in his way. Next, the contestants have to jump down a hole, and if they are right, they get to go through to the Show Down but if they go down the wrong holes where the guards are hiding, then they go out. In the Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as Donde tengas la olla no te metas tú (Where is the pot, don't go inside). While the game itself hasn't been shown on MXC, Tokashiki-san and Dainenji-san's antics have been shown as comedy skits spoofing popular movies and educational films among other things.
  • Fish Food: Contestants ride on a board as it goes across a conveyor belt. They must jump over pink fish, and crouch underneath sharks. More often than not, contestants can't keep up, or get too far ahead of themselves and fall off. This game is called Chum in the Mouth on MXC, and called Surfeando en la tabla the planchar (Surfing on the ironing board) in Spain.
  • Flag Down: A startting game, similar to "Capture the Flag", and known as The Great Pole in the original. Two teams—one made up of players, the others made up of the Emerald Guards—attempt to yank down a flag from the others' pole. Called Shaft Grabbers on MXC, and was renamed Mounting The Spike in the Spike TV Launch Special. The song heard playing in the background in this game is the 1977 disco arrangement of Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band by Meco.
  • Foot Loose: Barefoot players try to find pairs of matching shoes and cross a metal surface covered in glue before time runs out. Some shoes aren't good and will stick to the glue, making it difficult for the contestant. This game is named Athlete's Feet on MXC and casts the glue pad as a giant 375 degree baking sheet.
  • The Fortress: A starting game, both originally known as Treasure Hunt and played originally in a family special. All players run out into a garden area and must find a golden ball to go through. Some of the balls are easy to spot, while others are hidden in strange places like up a tree, in a tree, buried, in green slime water or down a guards costume. MXC named this game Backyard Bocce Ball Bloodbath, adding offscreen "snipers and hitmen" for laughs. In the Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as Asalto al Fuerte Chino (Assault to Chinese Fortress).


A part of The Gauntlet
  • The Gauntlet: Originally titled Adventure Zone on the original Japanese version, this is a video game-inspired {{Citation needed}} obstacle course. Various obstacles include dodging people dressed as ghouls, a reverse conveyor belt, avoiding a big boulder being dropped from above (known on MXC as the "Brain Scrambler"), swirling kebabs (known on MXC as "The Grinder"), a trampoline (known on MXC as the "Ejaculator"), a spacehopper, a spinning platform (referred to as the "see-saw roundabout thingy" in the British version), spherical objects attached to ropes (known on MXC as the "Angry Dragon" and the "Nards of Doom" respectively) thrown by guards dressed as ghouls, and a gap players need to swing on a rope to get across. The course is pretty narrow, and getting hit by anything may cause contestants to lose their balance and fall off into water. To add insult to injury, players race against a small pink mushroom (known simply as the "pink thing" on the British version) moving along the top of the track, added to represent a platform game's time limit, should it make it to the end first, then the contestant gets chucked in by any of the caged guards, Strong (Dubbed as Sporky on MXC), Animal (Dubbed the Brown Spider on MXC), and/or Kibaji. It is usually referred in the UK as "the assault course that even the SAS won't do." MXC's version is named Dash To Death, completely ignoring the mushroom altogether. In Brazil, it was known as Caçadores do Tombo Perdido (Raiders of the Lost Fall, a pun on the original Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark). In Spain, this game is known as El circuito de Hirohito (Hirohito's circuit), making a wordgame with Japan's former emperor's name. The music heard in the background of this game is from the SEGA video game Fantasy Zone.
  • Giant Maze: Known as such in the original, this one is actually a real maze, as opposed to the other two, Honeycomb Maze, and Square Maze. Just enter in one side and find your way out the other side, all while two black-handed guards scare contestants at every chance they get, and board up the exit and smear any remaining trapped contestants. MXC renamed this game A Mazing Grace. The music heard playing in the background of this game is the theme from the original Star Wars by John Williams.
  • Go Nuts (V1): Contestants dress up as a giant nut and stay on a platform with twisty curves while hopping, as their legs are tied together. Called Bust A Nut on MXC.
  • Go Nuts (V2): Players dress in padding and climb a hill while guards roll large foam nuts in this variation of "Avalanche". MXC calls this game Nut Baggers (or as many fans like to call it, (Salty) Nut Sackers). In Brazil, a variation of this game was used, with some differences, as the use of a larger black ball to hit any contestant almost reaching the top; it was named Avalanche in the country. The music heard playing in the background in this game is the song Skitter from the movie Critters.
  • The Great Wall: Originally known as Scaling the Wall and one of the easier opening games that finds players trying to climb over a reasonably large wall. Called, Prison Break, Get Over It, Hosin' The Ho's (where a water cannon tried to keep the players at bay), and was also called the Wall of Hidden, Blistering Death before it was renamed to The Slippery Slope of Slanted Death on MXC. In the Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as La Pequeña Muralla China (The little Chinese wall). The song often heard playing in the background of this game is the theme from 633 Squadron.
  • Grid Iron: In this game, known as The Longest Yard on the original Japanese version, similar to American football, players must run to the end zone, avoiding Takeshi's henchmen—dressed in oversized football uniforms—who wait to tackle them. Male players had seven men to avoid, women had five. Once, contestants picked a card between an ace (one) and eight to see how many guards they had to face, and a couple of times six contestants played at once against 8 guards in each round. Called Dead End Zone on MXC (casting the guards as Death-Row inmates/team of insurance adjustors), which used this game in a College Girls' special as Blind-Sided Date. Called A cascarla con el casco in the Spanish version.


  • High Rollers: Called Roller Game in the original Japanese version, this game, similar to log rolling, finds contestants running over seven (once three and once five) large spinning drums without falling off. Very few appear to pass this challenge, and failure often looks painful with sudden impacts of the skull against the drums, and bodies folded as they fall. This game was also seen on the Peruvian children's series Nubeluz as "La Marimba Acuatica" (The Aquatic Marimba), where failure is much less painful, but still wet. The MXC name for this game is Log Drop and has been responsible for many #1 Painful Eliminations, while on a political themed episode, was named Congressional Log Jam. In Tele 5's Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as Los rollitos de primavera (Little spring rolls). In Brazil, it was called Rola o Rolo (Roll the rolls). In the UK version, the game is one of narrator Craig Charles's favourites.
  • Home Run: Brad "The Animal" Lesley created this game, named after him as Animal Bang in the original Japanese program. Wearing giant Japanese Baseball League uniforms, players try to avoid being knocked off a narrow balance beam by three foam baseballs thrown by "Animal-san". Known as Ball Busters on MXC.
  • Honeycomb Maze: Known as The Devil's Domain in Japan, contestants make their way through a blind maze made of hexagonal rooms, shaped as a honeycomb, whilst chased by henchmen. They must make it to the correct exit without being caught and/or get blackened; other exits are pits of water which the players fall or the henchmen push them into. Known on MXC as Door Jam(med) along with In-and-Outhouse and The Legal Maze. In Tele 5's Spanish version "Humor Amarillo" it was known as El Laberinto del Chinotauro (Chinese-taurus Maze). In Brazil, it was called only as Labirinto. The song heard playing in the background of this game is the theme from Enter the Dragon.


  • Indestruct-a-ball: Contestants are placed inside giant balls, which are then rolled down a pachinko-like course by Micharo Jo. The object is to avoid the boxes near the end and reach the bottom. Called The Clear Sphere of Fear on MXC, which for laughs adds the element of a limited amount of oxygen into each ball. There is also a Cyberchase episode called "Spheres of Fears", although it is unknown if that episode was named after the MXC game or not.
  • In The Sack: Played in a couples' special. There are 50 couples, but only 42 beds. They all have to find a bed and lie on it.


  • Jetskid: This game was played on a Japanese beach special. Players start on a boogie board attached to a ski boat (Which we don't necessarily get to see). The ski boat pulls player and board through several obstacles, at varying speeds, including a small ramp. The contestant must stay on the board long enough to jump off it to a platform at the end. MXC calls it Yank My Dinghy.


  • Karaoke: A rather easy yet weird game named after the popular Japanese pastime, known as Street Corner TV in the original. Sing a song that will please the owner of the house and his bouncer, and get their okay. Sing badly, and get painfully thrown out. Catch is, the contestant has no clue what they're singing, or the words to it. Called Elimination Idol (a spoof of the popular American Idol series) on MXC.
  • Knock Knock (V1): Known in the original program as The Wall to Freedom and originally used in Skipping Stones as a double challenge in early episodes, contestants are confronted with four sets of walls with four possible doors each, covered with paper. one or two have wooden walls, one door in the third wall has netting on the other side, and two are just paper. Contestants must run full-tilt at the door of their choice and either break through without painfully bouncing off a solid door, or getting caught in the net on the third wall. Yoroi (Called Skanki in MXC or in earlier episodes Jumbo Max) would also stand guard between the second and third walls to try and impede contestants, with failure at the third wall may also result in a pummeling. Advancing through all four door sets advances the contestant. On MXC the game is known as Wall Bangers and in the Arctic edition it was also known as Frozen Wall Bangers. In Brazil, it was called Porta da Sacanagem (the gag door), and also added between the doors people dressed as monsters that pounced the contestants. On rare occasion, a contestant has hit a wooden wall so hard it came off the wall, letting the contestant through, and was allowed to finish.
  • Knock Knock (V2): As the above, except there are more doors per wall, and originally titled in the Japanese program as The Wall to Freedom, all 100 (or more depending on what version this is) contestants are sent out at once, "correct" doors tend to have deep mudpits on the other side, and there are ten door sets each with 8 doors, at the other side is a bath of white powder, which has colored balls hidden in it. Players may try any number of doors, but those who fail to get to the other side and grab a ball out of a pit full of white powder after the final whistle was blown are out. Called Door Slammers, then renamed Great Holes of Glory on MXC. Known in Spain as Las puertas del Pánico (panic doors).


  • Leap Frog: Players ride a large board that slides down a ramp and into a pond. Those who do not make the jump from the board to a floating lily pad at the bottom end up in the water. This game was only played once, as all but two contestants managed to complete the game. It was scrapped for being too easy. Known on MXC as Loogie Launch. In Spain, it's known as Parque de agua mortal (Mortal waterpark).
Line Up, with white bib. The Japanese word is Himawari (ひまわり Himawari?, translate Sunflower). The picture shown here differs to the gameplay shown in the program.
  • Line Up: When the game begins, players have to get a colored bib out of a canister (which has Kanji which also represents a syllable that makes up the show's title in Japanese (Fu-un Takeshi Jo)). They must pair up with the other 5 people that have the colored bibs with Kanji that make up the show's title, spell it out, then tie their legs to each other (much like a three-legged race, except with six people in the group, making it a seven-legged race) and make it to the finish line in time. MXC named it Dead Men Walking.


  • Match Maker: A starting game (a variation on a game called Perfection (Which is originally called in the original show)) with all the players running out of a set of doors and grabbing a shape from the floor in front of them. Then there are some blue holders which the contestants must try to find their matching hole to put their shape in. Some shapes have no holes; players who choose them are eliminated. MXC named this game Cheese Squeezers before being renamed to Cut the Cheese and used sound effects of farting. In Spain, this game is known as El Tetris chino (The Chinese Tetris), an homage to the popular videogame. The song heard playing in the background of this game is the theme from Hoosiers.
  • Midoriyama Marathon: A obstacle-course-special game. In it, a big number of contestants makes a race by the Midoriyama Studios (where the show was taped) starting from the castle, with many obstacles as tires, matresses, nets and small walls, then it's a jog across the vacant streets, then turn back, going through the obstacles again this time starting from the mats, and ending right back at the castle grounds which is where they started. Played as Call Of Booty on the video game themed episode of MXC casting the net as the Pervivial neck Sweater filled with Static Electricity (Among other Obstacles).
  • Muddy Waters: Known as Swamp of Boarder in the original, the contestants must traverse a long stretch of muddy water. It's really just a race to the other side. The last ten or so contestants to reach the end are out. Played as Crossing the Poo-tomic (or Pee-o Grande) on MXC. In Spain, the game is called Carrera en el barro (Race in the mud).
  • Mudskippers: Similar to Muddy Waters, except players must crawl, and retrieve a flag at the halfway point. MXC called it Get Hard!, casting the mud as quick-drying cement and the playing field as "the site for MXC's new parking lot".
  • Mud Slide: Players on a baseball diamond try to advance from first base to second by sliding into the base with mud surrounding it without being tagged by Popcorn. MXC calls this game Muddy Runs. The batter is an actual giant head of former Atlanta Braves and Japanese baseball star Bob Horner.
Mushroom Trip
  • Mushroom Trip: Called Mushroom Pong! in the original show, players cling to the stem of a giant fungus, and try to reach a platform at the other end of a lake. There was only one gap in the mushroom: men must hold on from this space one-handed, while women can hold a rope around the mushroom. The mushroom spins as it goes across, making it harder to land on the platform. Known as Eat Shiitake on MXC, and in the Spanish version it's known as la seta asesina (killer mushroom). In the original Japanese, this event is accompanied by John Williams' theme music from Raiders of the Lost Ark.


  • Nautiball: Volleyball played in teams of 5 against different sets of opponents while floating on a slippery platform on water. Each team of contestants picked a card out of a box, much like Sumo Rings (only that game uses different coloured balls to choose who they played against), first team to 3 points wins.


  • Oh Deer: An obstacle course. Contestants rode tricycles with a deer head taped on the front, then tried to get over a Slippery Wall, then carry a ball on a large bat, and put the ball into a bucket, then carry a large object on their backs whilst walking across a balance beam, to the end of the course. First one to the end wins.
  • Oh Ma Ha Beach: An obstacle course. Contestants had to run across several platforms like in Turtle Hurtle, then jump into the sea and swim back to shore. They then put a ring around their waists which was attached to either a rake or a set of tyres. Then they had to get inside something resembling a tank tread and roll across the ground until they reached the Slippery Wall. First one to the top of the wall wins.
  • On Yer Bike: Known as the Midoriyama Grand Prix in the original Japanese version, five players ride small kiddie-sized tricycles over a course to get to the finish, and the first three to do so will move on. Called Le Tour de Grand Prix (or as Kenny Blankenship calls it, "The Tower of Grand Pricks") on MXC.


  • Pipe Down: A "Monsters' Special" game in which the costumed players must slide down a fabric tube slide to an opening below and land on a floating platform underneath the opening. Failure puts the player into muddy water. Its original Japanese name is Sliding Bang. Called Intestinal Fortitude in the MXC version pitting real monsters against advertising mascots.
  • Poles Apart: The object of the challenge is to pole vault across a moat from a high platform and land on a small pad. Its original Japanese name can be translated as either Happy Jumping! or Great Jump!. Named Pole Riders on MXC and El Gran Palillo Chino (The Big Chinese Chopstick) in Spain.
  • Prod: A jousting game in which a player and a randomly chosen fighter are put onto platforms in the middle of a muddy pool, armed with lances (that have large punching bag-like stuffed ends). Whoever knocks the other into the water wins. Originally called Repeated Plopping in the Japanese program. MXC used a disease/medical theme and called this game Staff Infectors. In Brazil, it was called Cotonete (Cotton swab, a reference to the lances' shape).
  • Puck Over: Like Skittles, but this time the players are inside giant snowmen and a puck is slid down an icy slope at them. If they slide off the back of the ice area, then they are out. All about luck in this one.


  • Quake: Players enter a house wearing wigs and sit on cushions. (In the couples' version, the women sit on their partners' backs.) The house then shakes and the players must try and balance on the cushions for about 30 seconds. In the Spanish version Humor Amarillo it is known as Terremoto en Yamamoto (Earthquake in Yamamoto).


  • Rat Race: Slippery Wall, Honeycomb Maze, and Skipping Stones all thrown together to make one big long obstacle course. Music heard playing in the background of this game is an arranged version of the Hammer Brothers theme from Super Mario Brothers 3.
  • Rice Bowl Downhill: Called Bowling Down the River in the original show, contestants had to sit in a bowl while being pushed down a hill into an area with water. Those who stayed in the bowl moved on. Called The Hot, Steaming Bowl of Love, Irritable Bowl Syndrome (or Training on a Teenager episode) on MXC. In Spain, the game was called Los tazones nipones (the Japanese bowls) in Tele5 and is called El tazón deslizante (the sliding bowl) in Cuatro.
  • Ride The Wave: Called Ganbare Whales in the original, players ride a bicycle made up like a whale on a course avoiding balls being shot at them by Kibaji and Strong (or Popcorn) over obstacles. In the first New Years special they went in a straight line, but on an ice rink, making balancing a challenge. Called Sperm Wheelers on MXC and Las biciballenas (The whalebikes) in Cuatro (Spain). The music heard playing in the background of this game is an arranged version of music used in the video game Star Soldier.
  • Ro-Jim-Bo: Called Jan-Ken Paradise and played in a Celebrity special in the original, contestants play against an Emerald Guard by dancing to music and playing Jan-ken-pon, a Japanese variation of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Losers are lowered on a platform into oblivion. In MXC it is called Finger It!. The gameplay in this challenge is similar to the video game Alex Kidd in Miracle World.
  • Roller Derby: Originally called Horse Racing Challenge in Japan. Described in the UK edition as "the Japanese version of the Grand National, but where every fence is Becher's Brook", six players wearing roller skates and dressed in costumes resembling thoroughbred horses have to clear obstacles in order to advance, early playings of the games had no obstacles. As in Japanese horse racing, the first two to the finish line wins. In MXC it is called Saddle Sores, and The Dark Horse Race in a politically themed episode. In one episode of the UK version, Craig mentions there was a parents-and-kids version that was banned because of child cruelty laws (the children got seriously hurt) and as such, that version is not shown in the UK.
  • Roll Out The Barrel: A giant version of the children's game "Pop Up Pirate", called Stab and be Stabbed in the original, and also often played in parents and kids specials. Contestants sit atop a large barrel on a disc. They ask the person to stick a sword in one of six holes. If it is right, then they pick again, but if it is wrong, the top of the barrel tips them down a ramp on the disc into the water at the bottom. They must get three correct swords (originally four the first time it was played) into the barrel. Named Dead Letter Zone on MXC, which cast the player's choices as the three digits of the answer to a comedic numerical trivia question. (Example: "In each grandstand section of a typical NASCAR race, how many fans are sporting a mullet?" Answer: 513.)
  • Roll The Dice: Played in a couples' special. Each partner dressed up as a giant die, and were rolled down a hill to the bottom by the guards. According to Craig Charles, they both 'rolled' the same number, they went through, but uncut footage of the game suggests different, as the couple has to predict whether the combined total value of both dice is an odd or an even number, if they guess correctly they win. The music heard playing in the background of this game is from Athena.
  • Rope: Earlier version of Bridge Ball and also an earlier incarnation of Strait of Gibraltar in the original show. The rules are exactly the same except a rope is used instead of a bridge and the contestant does not need a Golden Ball, making it harder for the contestants.
  • Roulette: Players dig in a flour pit for a disk which tells them where to sit on the giant roulette board (either numbers, black/red, or even/odd). The wheel is then spun and whatever the ball lands on eliminated the people on that number/color/whatever. Originally called Boundary Roulette in the Japanese program. MXC gave this game three names: Bunk Buddies, Roulective Surgery and Cruelette.
  • The Run Way (V1): Players run and jump onto a disk and must slide down a course and stop on an end zone. However the course changes shape so it's about shifting your weight. Two guards brush in front of the disk to put the contestant off. If the player falls off the course they land in a pile of fake snow. Think Human Curling, as it was called in the original.
The Run Way (V2)
  • The Run Way (V2): Known as Oh no! I don't Know! in the original version (funnily enough), the player sits in a cylinder and is pushed down a hill on some rollers. As they travel a math equation is flipped round on signs as they pass like " 3 + 4 × 2 − 10 =", albeit more within the field of mixed addition and subtraction. The player then stops at the end and must give their answer to the teacher. If they are right they go through but if they are wrong or don't get it in time then the floor drops away and the contestant falls into a mud or flour pit. Played on MXC as Sorry, Wrong Number and One and One Makes Number Two, and used the number as part of questions played for laughs. (Example: "You start with five cops, killing three of them with nine bullets, and you bribe six. How many of them were dirty?" {5−3+9+6=17}) In Brazil, it was called Mortemática (a pun on "morte"-death- and "mathematics").


  • Samurai Back: A obstacle-course special game one time known as Streets Ahead. Two contestants at a time race each other. On the starting whistle, the contestants run out of the stating doors wearing samurai costumes. First they have to walk across a balance beam, which is made more difficult by the long trousers. When they're across the beams, the contestants have to take off the costumes and put a bucket, with shoulder straps, on their back. Balls are shot into the air from a cannon. The contestants have to catch one of the balls in their bucket before they can move on. Once they've got a ball, the contestants take off the bucket and climb over a mini 'Great Wall'. When they've over, they slide down the other side to reach a small hurdle with a plate of food behind it. The contestants need to put their feet on the hurdle and, only using their mouth, pick up the three pieces of food. When the food is in their mouth, the contestants must get up and put a mask on the back of their heads. Finally they have to run backwards (so the mask is facing forwards) along a track to the finish line. The first contestant to reach the finish line wins the game, and moves onto the next round. The losing contestant is out of the game.
  • Sand Flee: A large obstacle race with a lot of contestants playing. First, they must grab a bun in their mouth, then crawl under a net, then find a silver ball hidden in the sand. When they have one, they run to the end of the course and open the ball for a piece of paper. If it has a red circle on it, they are through, but if it has a black cross they must run back and find another ball. The song heard playing in the background of this game is the William Tell Overture, a.k.a. the theme from The Lone Ranger.
  • Sandscript: Played after Drop in the Ocean. The colored balls the contestants collected represent what teams the players are in. Each team is drawn out of a box by General Tani and given a Japanese letter. They must then run onto a white piece of paper in the sand and arrange the team in the shape of that letter. Made harder as it looks right from a bird's-eye view so the teams have to think a lot. The team that finished last was out.
  • Shoot 'N Loot: Only broadcast by Humor Amarillo, it was the last game played at on show. A contestant uses a ball-shooting machine to fire against various boxes passing in front, as in a shooting gallery. Each box marks a prize. The contestant wins the prizes from the boxes that he manages to hit with the balls.
  • Show of Hands: People are dressed as giant hands. A math question is asked, and contestants have to find the answer (many numbers are written on cards on the floor) and fall face first on the correct one. Originally known as Swift Hand Cards and was later known as Study the Cards, and on MXC the game was called Hand Job, and these questions are made-up trivia questions with numerical answers played for laughs, such as "How many decades will a California Death Row inmate stay on Death Row before actually being put to death?" (Answer: Nine). In Spain, the game is called Guantes matemáticos (mathematic gloves).
  • Single Roller: One large cylinder is placed on a metal track. Contestants must stand on top of the cylinder and move it forward to the other side. If this wasn't hard enough, near the end of the track, the track slopes downward (frequently called the "slope of no hope" on MXC, which calls this game Runaway Stump), thus accelerating the cylinder out of the player's control.
  • Skittles: Originally called Star Bowling in the Japanese version, this game had players picking oversized playing cards designating their position in a ten-pin bowling layout (the Ace of Spades representing one, and so on). Contestants would stand in this formation wearing giant bowling pin suits, and would have a giant bowling ball rolled at them. Those who did not stand after the roll were eliminated. In the Spanish version it's called ¡Que no soy un bolo, que soy una persona! (I'm not a bowl, I'm a person). Called Spare Me! and Pinheads on MXC which skips the card picking.
Skipping Stones
  • Skipping Stones: Originally called Lake of the Dragon God in the original Japanese version, this game, which is played in almost every edition of the show, and called by UK voiceover Craig Charles as "The ultimate shin shredder" or "Japanese hopscotch", is a deceptively simple challenge involving stepping stones, some of which are deliberately not secured and give way under foot. In early episodes this game was played alongside Knock Knock but with one or two walls making it a double challenge. Again, contestants must make their way to the other side and choose the right door(s) without falling into the water and/or painfully bouncing off the wrong door. On MXC, this game is called Sinkers and Floaters or in a political themed special Rock The Moat. This event, like High Rollers (or Log Drop on MXC), was responsible for many #1 Painful Eliminations on the American version. In Tele 5's and Cuatro's Spanish versions of "Humor Amarillo", this event has been known as Las zamburguesas (the Splashburgers or the Plungeburgers), a mix of the word "Zambullida" and a reference to the hamburger-beef shape of the stones. In Brazil, it was known as Pedra maldita (damn stone). The music heard playing in the background of the pilot is from the Namco video game Libble Rabble, and from episode two and beyond is "Escape from Torture" from the movie Rambo: First Blood Part II. This was one of two games brought back for the 2005 special revival for TBS' 50th anniversary.
  • Sling Swing Fling: Contestants are strapped into bungee cords attached to guy wires. As they slide down the guy wire, they must pull a rope that releases the bungee cord, allowing them to dive down towards a ball in the basket several feet before them. They must grab the ball and toss it into another basket at the end of the wire. Of course, there is also mud underneath them, and Masanori Okada was waiting to dip them—and blacken their face—if they fail. Timing, of course, is critical. Seen on MXC as Jerk and Release and, in a politically themed episode, as Porking The Barrel. The song heard playing in the background of this game is the Dancing Pompokolin.
  • Slipped Disks: Usually played after the Great or Slippery Wall or any other starting game or sometimes played as a starting game. Players must climb up a fort with a paper ring on their heads. The guards have water guns and must try and squirt the paper rings of the contestants. If the ring gets torn then the contestant is out, but they do get water guns to try to squirt the guards back. Played on MXC as "Sprayed and Neutered", and has been seen in other episodes as a prison riot, a bunch of hot college girls getting cooled off, a simulated terrorist attack as well as cleaning up dirty contestants from a previous game. In the original Japanese, this event is usually accompanied by the theme music from the TV show Thunderbirds.
  • Slippery Wall: Known as Slope of Boarder in the original. The rules are similar to The Great Wall, but a steep, slippery slope is placed on both sides for the contestants to get over. Called Slippery Slope of Slanted Death on MXC casting the slopes as Solar Panels.
Slip Way
  • Slip Way: Contestants, on a board, push themselves forward on a wheeled track. The objective is to stop after the arrow on the track, or else they fall head first into the water. If they fall short, they get pushed off into the water after being surprised by Masanori Okada (Commonly known as "The Sea Goblin"). Known as Little Man in the Boat on MXC, where Okada is dubbed as "Mr. G Spot" before getting renamed as "The Diddler". The song heard playing in the background of this game is the arranged version of the Colonel Bogey March from the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai.
  • Snow Lane: An obstacle course in the snow including a snow crawl, some deep holes to pass, a walk up a hill in a fox suit, and a slide down a hill on an inflatable ring, as in Toboggoff. The song heard playing in this game is from the anime Ranma 1/2.
  • Space Invaders: Players enter a cable car at the top of a slope. The car slowly travels down the wire, past Emerald Guards. Both player and Guards have laser gun game equipment. If the player manages to land a successful shot on a Guard's sensor on the way down the hill, (s)he wins, and is through to the Show Down. If a Guard shoots the player's sensor, (s)he is out. The first time it was played however, guards used cannon fire and aimed at the sides of the contestant's carts. Seen on MXC as Character Assassination and Battlefelch Earth. This game's original Japanese name is Star Wars; fittingly, the song heard playing in the background of this game is John Williams' Star Wars Main Theme.
  • Square Maze: Earlier version of the Honeycomb Maze, and also the first version of The Devil's Domain in the original show. The rules were the same, but the rooms were square instead of hexagonal. The music heard in this game is the theme from Enter the Dragon.
  • Square Maze (Blindfolded) A one-off variant of the Square Maze. Format is the same except the contestant and the guard are both blindfolded. Only one guard is used in this version. Due to the blindfold element, the general pace of this game was far slower than that of the usual version of the game.
  • Stock Pot Racing: Played by a lot of contestants at once. They must run up a slippery hill, and crawl under a net, then find a vegetable and run inside a giant pot. On MXC, this game is called Take A Leek. The song heard playing in this game is from the anime Ranma 1/2.
  • Stuff Diving: Just like Show of Hands, but played with numbers on waterproof mats in a pool. Contestants must try to dive into the pool and get the number saying the answer to the question first. (once in a hot tub in the Winter Special, and used picture cards with the associated Japanese letter). Called Wet Spot on MXC.
  • Sumo Rings: Called Sumo Pong on the original Japanese version, contestants draw a Colored ball (Purple, yellow, red, blue or green), face a corresponding sumo wrestler, and try to beat their opponent in a sumo match (either by pin or ring out). Some opponents are harder to defeat than others. The different sumo wrestlers (among others) ranged from various red wrestlers (known on MXC as the "Red Curse" or the "Blood Blister"), to a large, tough purple one (commonly known as "Porker" in the British version, and as one of the two wrestlers dubbed as the "Purple Package" on MXC), a member of the Defence Troops in a giant Konishiki Yasokichi costume (better known as "Spud" in the British version and "Mel Anoma" on MXC) who is the easiest to beat, Micharo Jo (Known as the "Cowardly Custard" in the British version and "Golden Shower Boy on MXC), or even Animal (Known as the "Green Teabagger" on MXC) who's equally as hard as the purple one. In each of the three new years specials, it was played on circular platforms with interconnecting bridges on an ocean in a beach, as a ring out often results with a splashdown, and in a college girls episode it was played on a small platform over water and was known as Sumo Wrestling with Rear End, as both the challenger and the selected opponent tried to bump one another off said platform and into the water with their butts. Called Circle Jerkers (Ahoy) and Rump Bumpers on MXC. In Cuatro's Spanish version called Humor Amarillo this challenge was known as con sumo gusto.


  • Take It Snow: First known as Hopping the Snowmen and later known as Angry Producer in a New Year's Special, the rules are similar to Skipping Stones, except that players had to negotiate their way with snowmen and was played in a Winter Special. This game was called Sno Man's Land on MXC.
  • Toboggoff: Played in a winter special edition, players had to hold on to an inner tube, avoiding falling down until the end and advance, similar to Rice Bowl Down Hill. Known as The Frigid Slope of Icy Death on MXC.
  • Tug of War: Part game of skill, part game of chance, but mainly a game of strength. there are several ropes to choose from. The contestants try to win in a tug of war with whatever's on the other side of a wall. The catch is, they can't tell what they're tugging against until the end (though in the earlier version (played in the celebrity special) the wall was fake revealing the opponent(s) beforehand). Possible opponents in the latter version include 4 Black Handed Black Hearted Guards, a cow with a couple of people pulling alongside it for support, a bulldozer, a fake baby elephant, a single normal piglet, or Yoroi Chuu. This game on MXC is named Yankin' It, or Yank 'Em.
  • Turtle Hurtle: Played in a winter special (although played in a beach), players must cross from one floating platform to another by scrambling across floating turtles tied together. Not only are the turtles slippery, but a chasing pirate attempts to force the contestant into the ocean (hence why it's played in a beach). Was called Turtle Gut Check on MXC before it was changed to Turtle Hurdlers and is based on the Bedtime Story "The Princess and The Cleaver". In Brazil, it was named Piratas do Caribe, Portuguese for Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Turtle Soup: The parents and kids episode game. A bending path was suspended over some water. The parent dressed as a turtle must crawl across the path with the kid on their back without overbalancing and falling into the water. Both "Turtle Hurdle" and this game share the same background music: "Mick Meets New York" from Crocodile Dundee.


  • Uphill Garden: Contestants go up against a Guard (at least one) in a short-ranged water gun fight, the first to have the other's paper ring penetrated typically wins (And if the contestant does that first they move on). Guards were normally dressed in stupid costumes like a bomb, a biker (Called 'Evel Knievel' or 'Robocop' in the UK version), three guards dressed as a snake named in the UK version as the evil triplets "Who", "What" and "Why", or even Takeshi in an airplane costume named in the UK version as "The Red Barron". The theme from Thunderbirds was also used as background music in this game.
  • Up The Creek: The player enters a box suspended on a rail over some thick mud. In the mud is a platform the contestant must get to. The player pulls a rope and the box moves across the rail. When they think they're over the platform, they pull a lever and the bottom of the box opens, dropping the contestant. If they weren't over the platform, they'd land in the thick mud and be eliminated. Renamed as The Crate Escape on MXC.


Velcro Fly
  • Velcro Fly: Called Stuck Up! in its original Japanese version, players wear velcro suits and try to swing across on a rope and into a wall, and try to stick to the wall using said suit. Miss or don't even come close and they get wet, and may get sprayed with a hose by a guard. This game is called Wall Buggers, The Sticky Stuff of Love, Wall Bangers (or as Guy LeDouche calls it, the Wall Of Maim), The Flailing Wall and Window Pain on MXC. In Spain, this game is called Quiero ser como Spiderman (I want to be like Spiderman). In Brazil, it was named Tapa na Aranha (Slapping the Spider), reminding an innuendo Brazilian expression. In the first English episode and the first two times it was played in Japan on the 88th and 89th Episodes, there was no web, and on a few occasions a house was used with the wall being a window.


Walk the Plank (left) and Wet Paint (right)
  • Walk The Plank: Strictly a couples (and parent-kids) game, contestants try to run across a river on wooden planks. Both people must step on each end of the plank at the same time to keep it balanced. On MXC, the game is called Plank Spankers.
  • Wet Paint: Contestants spin a wheel to choose a kanji character, and try to draw it with a giant calligraphy brush. The catch is, the drawing area is on a wet slope, which makes it hard to even get high enough to draw the picture. There is also a time limit, and losers are sprayed with a hose. Called Skid Markers on MXC, which replaces a spin of the wheel with preassigned images, often humorous and impossible feats such as "Norman Rockwell's Saturday Morning in the Bathroom", a replica of the Sistine Chapel, and the complete schematics of a B-12 stealth bomber.
  • Whack The Stack: A parents and kids episode game where the kid would sit on a tower of three blocks and the parent had a large hammer. The parent had to hit one of the blocks out of the tower but the kid had to jump at the right time for the block to slide out. They had to get two blocks out without overbalancing the tower. The MXC name for this event is Slipped Discs of Doom.
  • Wipe Out: Another simple-looking challenge: contestants stand on a motorized surfboard which swings round in a circle, and must jump over obstacles in their path without going under or falling off, or even getting shoved into the lake below. This game on MXC is called Rotating Surfboard of Death; in a couples-themes episode was known as Romantic Rotating Surfboard of Death (the man did the first half of the course and the woman the second half), in a politically themed special was known as Rotating Surfboard of Political Suicide, and in a kid-themed special it was known as Rotating Surfboard of Death Jr. In Tele 5's Spanish version of this show, this was called La Tabla de Planchar (Ironing Board), while on Cuatro, the game's title was modified to Surfeando en la tabla de planchar (Surfing on the ironing board). In Brazil, it was known as Surf de lagoa (Lagoon surf). The music accompanying this game is an instrumental version of "Surfin' U.S.A." by The Beach Boys; aptly enough, the original Japanese name of the game (displayed in katakana on the screen) is Beach Boys & Girls.


  • Yellow Brick Road: The player must run along a yellow grid of paths changing at each junction and hopefully ending up at the right one out of the five slides at the end. Four of the slides lead to a mud pit but one leads to Hawaiian dancers, and to the next round. To make it even more challenging two guards would chase the player into a wrong slide.

End Games[edit]

  • Show Down: The final challenge of the show, where the remaining contestants face off against Takeshi's guards, all armed with water pistols and riding motorized buggies with paper circles (known as Dinky Dodgems in the UK version). Those whose circles get wet are eliminated. Takeshi usually wins as his guards would outnumber the handful of challengers who make it to this stage. To further complicate matters, a bunker with guards is also placed at the center of the field. Later series used laser guns similar to Laser Quest, and the carts were referred to as "mobile discos" by Craig Charles. This game has only been seen once on MXC (in the "Celebrity Justice vs. TV Motor Shows" episode but as a demonstration of a drive-by shooting) and has been seen only a few times in Spain's Humor Amarillo. In the first four episodes of the show, the contestants actually stormed the castle itself on foot, wearing paper discs on their helmets. They had to eliminate the guards defending the castle from various levels. On only seven different occasions did any contestant ever win the game in this method (Not counting the 9th episode, the Guards Special, 19th episode, and The Monster/Costume special).
  • Ultimate Showdown: This event, played in the final episode of the series (hour-long special), had a mixture of various TC games such as Skipping Stones, Dragon Lake, and Bridge Ball mixed in with running through a lane of mud, pushing a ball up a hill and carrying a weight with a fan blowing against you going uphill. In the end, the man and woman crossing the finish line in the fastest time each won one million yen.