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: Mixed up on the ground are lots of pieces from giant jigsaw puzzles of animals. On the whistle, the contestants all have to run over and grab a piece for themselves. As soon as they have a bit, they must find the other contestants who have a piece that slots correctly into theirs. Each puzzle is made up of four pieces of jigsaw. If the contestants manage to find the three other people who will put together their picture, they have to complete their jigsaw. If they're right, the group sit down with their pieces strapped to their heads, so from above you can see the completed picture of their animal. Whoever is in a group with a completed puzzle when the final whistle blows wins, and goes through to the next game. Any contestants who haven't completed their puzzle are out. There are some jigsaw pieces that won't fit with any others, so whoever picks these are guaranteed to lose.
- Avalanche: The contestant has to get to the top of a steep uphill channel while avoiding giant boulders being rolled down towards them. In the walls at the side are several gaps. To avoid a boulder, the contestant can try to hide in these gaps until it has passed. This isn't easy though, as there are Guards waiting in the gaps to try and push the contestant back out. Once a contestant has left a gap it closes up, so they can't get back in again. If a contestant manages to get all the way to the fortress at the top of the hill they win, and are through to the next game. However, if they get hit by a boulder, even if it doesn't send them rolling down the hill, they lose. Along with the boulders, the Guards also throw down smaller rocks to make climbing the hill even harder.
- Ball Cupping: To start the game, the contestant has to hit a ball into the top of a giant pachinko machine. As soon as they've hit the ball they must pick up a bowl and run down the flight of stairs to the side of the machine. Now the contestant has to wait on a narrow pathway at the bottom, between the machine and a mud pit, for the ball to fall out. The aim is to catch it the ball in their bowl. As they can't see where the ball is getting knocked around too, the General shouts out directions ("left" or "right") to help guide the contestant. The ball will drop out over the mud pit. The contestant must dive for it, and catch the ball safely in their bowl to win the game. If the ball ends up in the mud, they lose. In the family special version of the game the children hit the ball into the machine and stay up the top to shout directions, while the parents run down the stairs to try and catch the ball.
- Big Bird: Dressed as a bird, the contestant is pulled along a wire in the air towards a platform opposite to the one they start on. Halfway through their journey is a big rabbit. They have to try and pick up this rabbit with their feet, and hold onto it until they reach a nest just in front of the finish platform. If the contestant manages to drop the rabbit into the nest they win the game. If they miss the rabbit, drop it, or miss the nest, they lose and get a face full of steam. To make things even harder, Popcorn fire balls from the cannon to try and knock the rabbit out of the contestant's feet. Originally no balls were shot at the contestants but the nest they had to drop the rabbit in was smaller.
- Bite The Bun: Lots of buns, and other bread-based food, are hanging in plastic bags from ropes in the air. The contestants have to pull one off for themselves by only using their mouths. To stop the contestants from using their hands they have a rubber ring around their bodies, keeping their arms pinned to their sides. Later the ring was swapped for a sack that was tied over the contestants to keep their arms inside. The bags are all hanging at different heights, making some of them hard to reach. To get the high up buns contestants have to climb up onto the backs of others. Whoever doesn't have a bun when the time is up loses, and is out of the game.
- Blueberry Hill (Regular version): Contestants have to make their way up a ramp, but are only allowed to move when the guard at the top (usually Yousichi/'Dennis') isn't looking. This is made hard by the giant Daruma costumes they are wearing. When the guard is facing the other way he chants "Daruma-san ga koronda" (meaning "The Daruma fell down"). This lets the contestants know how much time they have to move and when they should stop. As soon as the guard finishes the chant he turns around. Anyone he catches moving will be pushed down the hill and are out of the game. Any contestants that manage to get all the way to the goal at the top of the hill, without being spotted moving, wins. Once the game was played downhill, so there was the risk of toppling forwards as you came down to the goal. In the couples' version of the game the pairs are attached to each other by a rope tied around their ankles. This means that both contestants in the pair must make it up the hill without being seen moving; and also means that if one of them falls they'll take the other tumbling down with them.
- Blueberry Hill (Parents-Kids version): This game is only played in family specials. Five parents at a time, dressed as giant Darumas, each stand on a remote controlled platform and are driven by their children. The kids have to steer their parents around a track to the finish line. The track has lots of corners to make it more difficult to manoeuvre the platforms around it. There's also a steam spray that goes off when someone is near it, in an attempt try and make the parents lose balance. As the parents are dressed as Darumas, it's hard for them to balance on the moving platforms. If at anytime they fall off they are helped back up onto the platform (the child can't move it while their parent isn't on top), restarting where they fell. The game is played as a race, with fastest contestants to get across the finish line winning the game.
- Boulder Dash (V1): 'Boulder Dash' was the first part of 'Uphill Garden' from the first episode of Takeshi's Castle. The contestant has to get straight across a hill to the other side to be able to continue on with the game. If they slip down to the bottom of the hill they lose and are out. To make things difficult, the hill is really muddy so it's very hard to keep your footing and not slide down. The Guards also add a further obstacle by throwing rocks and logs down the hill to try and knock the contestants off their feet.
- Boulder Dash (V2): This game is a lot like 'Avalanche'. Three contestants at a time have to try and get to the top of a ramp without getting knocked down by giant boulders being rolled towards them. The ramp is a lot wider than the path in 'Avalanche', so the contestants can dodge the boulders if they're quick enough. Whoever manages to get to the top of the hill wins.
- Brat Sack: 'Brat Sack' is a family special game. All the children are tied up inside bags with only their arms sticking out. When the game begins, the parents have to find their own kid; but they aren't able to see into the bags. Once they think they've found their own child, the parents must take the bags across the finish line. Only when they're across the line can they open the bag and let, hopefully, their own child out!
- Bridge Ball: The contestant has to cross a thin wobbly bridge to the other side. While they're on the bridge, Guards will fire balls at them, from a cannon, to try and knock them off. Originally there were two cannons used to shoot at the contestants. In a variation of the game several rocks are attached to the bridge to make crossing even harder. This means that the contestant can't just run straight across - they have to stop and climb around the rocks. Later the rocks were removed and now Guards only fire balls from one cannon. However, now the contestant has to carry their own golden ball. At the beginning of the bridge the contestant has to catch a golden ball, which is shot to them by the General. While crossing the bridge the contestant must hold onto the ball at all times; as if it drops, and they lose it, they can't continue. If the contestant does drop the ball they have to make it all the way back to the General so he can fire them another one. Anyone who makes it across the bridge, with the golden ball in hand, wins.
- Bridge The Gap: There are two planks, both rotating anti-clockwise in the air. The aim is to walk across both of these to reach the finish platform, without falling off. The contestant has to step onto the first plank and quickly walk across it to the other end. There they must wait for it to move under a row of hanging mats. If they don't make it to the end of the plank quick enough then these mats will knock them off. As soon as it has passed under the mats, the contestant has to run back to the opposite end of the plank again. Here they must wait for the second plank to reach them and quickly, but carefully, step onto it. As the planks are moving past each other in different directions, it's hard to keep your balance as you cross from one to another. Once onto the second plank they must walk to the other end, wait for it to go under another row of hanging mats, go back to the opposite end again and, when it reaches the finish platform, jump off to win the game. The first version is played over foam mats covered in powder, while the second version is played over water.
- Buggy Me: Six players at a time have to race against each other through an obstacle course. When the starting pistol is fired, the contestants first dash to a mini hurdle and crawl under it. After that, they have to stay low and make their way under a net. Now they must get up and run to a tub of white powder, which they have to stick their heads in to pick up a sponge with their mouth. Once they have a sponge they can grab one of the envelopes that are hanging in the air, and open it. Inside is a number from one to six. This tells the contestant which of six rickshaws they have to pull along to the finish line. There are passengers waiting in the rickshaws. If the contestants are lucky the passenger may only be a cuddly toy; but if they're unlucky they'll pick one with Animal, Kibaji or Strong sitting inside - making it a lot harder to pull along. The first two contestants across the finish line win.
- Catch It (V1): A group of contestants are all dressed in giant foam baseball outfits, waiting to catch a baseball. A Guard, usually one half of Popcorn, hits a baseball high into the air over the 'pitch'. Once the ball has been hit, the contestants have to run over to where they think it will land and try and be the one to catch it. They all have a baseball glove to help. The contestant that catches the ball wins. Several balls are hit up for the same group of contestants, so they have more than one chance to win. In special versions of the game the contestants all have nets on long poles. A bigger ball is shot into the air, from a cannon, and they have to try and catch the ball in their net to win.
- Catch It (V2): The contestant starts behind a set of saloon doors, at the end of a giant pit of mud. A football is then fired into the air, over the mud, from a cannon. As soon as the ball is shot, the contestant has to run out into the mud pit and try to catch it. The wet mud makes moving quickly very difficult. If the contestant catches the ball they win the game; but if they miss it, or it bounces out of their hands, they lose. Snow Ball: In special episodes the game was occasionally played in snow. Dry Ball: In the Monster special episode the game was played on big mats on dry ground, as the costumes made moving quickly hard enough anyway.
- Cheeze-Berry Hill: This game is exactly the same as 'Blueberry Hill', except the contestants are dressed as giant potatoes. Contestants have to make their way up a ramp, but are only allowed to move when Yousichi at the top isn't looking. When Yousichi is facing the other way he chants "Jagaimo-san ga koronda" (meaning "The potato fell down"). This lets the contestants know how much time they have to move and when they should stop. As soon as Yousichi finishes the chant he turns around. Anyone he catches moving will be pushed down the hill and are out of the game. The first five contestants that manage to get to the top of the hill, without being spotted moving, win.
- Corn Cob Trip: 'Corn Cob Trip' is much the same as 'Mushroom Trip', except the contestants have to hold onto a giant corncob. The contestants start on top of a platform, at the edge of a pool of water, where they have to grab onto a giant corncob. When they're holding on, the corncob starts to fly across the water - constantly spinning around as it goes. At the opposite end of the pool is a small platform floating on the water. Once they reach this platform the contestants have to let go and land on it. If they manage to land on the mat, and stay on it, they win the game. There is a small hole in the side of the cob to help the contestants hold on with one of their hands. The female contestants also have a rope to help them grip.
- Deep Float: From their starting point on the beach, the contestants must run into the water and swim out to a small platform floating in the sea. Once they reach the raft they must climb on and stay on. Whoever is on the platform when the final whistle blows wins, goes through to the next game. Waiting on the raft are two Guards who will try to stop the contestants climbing aboard. There's also a giant statue on top taking up a lot of room. The contestants can throw off whatever they need to make more space for themselves - including the guards!
- Die or Pie: To begin, the contestant has to roll a giant die. The number they roll tells them which hole in a giant cake they must get into. Hole one is the closest to the 'Pie-Chucker' while hole six is the furthest away. Once in a hole the contestant has to lower the lid so that only their head is sticking out. Now the 'Pie-Chucker' throws a custard pie at them. If they get hit, and covered in cream, they're out. But if the pie misses them, they win!
- Dino Ride: The contestant has to ride the 'Gettasaurus', a dinosaur version of a Bucking Bronco, as a pink bat moves across the room along a wire in the air. They have to shoot this bat with a water pistol while riding the dinosaur. The bat only flies straight across the room and then back again once. If contestant manages to wet the bat enough it'll drop to the floor and they've won the game. However, if they miss, and don't wet it enough, it'll fly back into the hole it came from and the contestant will lose. They'll also lose if they fall off the dinosaur at anytime during the game. As a punishment for losing, the contestants may get sprayed with steam by Rock-kun.
- Dominoes: The contestant has to run across the top of a row of 16 giant dominoes to reach the finish platform. They need good balance, but also speed, as the dominoes are very easily toppled. Once one falls it will knock all the rest down too. If a contestant manages to make it across all 16 dominoes they win the game. If they fall off, they lose. In the family version the parents and kids are connected together by a rope. The parent has to run across the top of the 16 dominoes as usual, but now the kid also has to run across 16 smaller dominoes alongside them. As they're tied together, the pair have to both keep good balance and timing to make it across.
- The Dragon Lake: There are several different versions of 'Dragon Lake'. In any version, the aim is to use a rope to swing from one platform to another. If the contestant manages to land on the second platform they win the game. If they miss, or fall off the rope, they lose. Version one was played in the first episode. The contestant has to swing from one platform to another straight in front of them, over a container of shredded paper. On the other side of the landing platform was a slope. If the contestant slides down here, without landing on the flat part of the platform first, they lose. The game then moved to a wet, muddy pit. The landing platform this time is a small 'tree trunk'. If the contestant manages to land on this trunk they win, then cross a bridge to the next game. The third version actually includes a Dragon and a Lake! The contestant starts off on the Dragon platform and has to swing and land on a small round platform in the middle of a lake. After this the game changed slightly. In 'New Dragon Lake', instead of swinging to a platform straight ahead, the contestant has to swing in a semi-circle to reach the small landing platform to the right of where they start. They get a run-up before swinging off to give them more chance to swing far enough around. A special giant version was played in the sea. Starting from very high up, the contestant has to use a rope to swing over to a small floating platform and drop down onto it. If they manage to hold on they win the game.
- Drop In The Ocean: 'Drop in the Ocean' is the first half of the starting game for the final episode, which starts on the beach. A helicopter flies over and drops hundreds of coloured balls into the sea. There are eight colours: red, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white and black. The colours are later used in the second half of the game, 'Sandscript', but don't matter in this part. The contestants each have to grab a ball for themselves to be able to continue. Anyone who doesn't manage to get a ball before time is up is out of the game.
- End Bell: The contestant starts on a raft at the top of a slope, which is then pushed down and into the water below. When they've hit the water, the contestant has to keep their balance on top as it glides over the lake towards a slippery slope. At the top of this slope is a belfry. Once at the slope, the contestant has to run up it to try and get into the belfry. If they can manage this they ring the bell inside to signify that they've won the game. But if the contestant falls into the water at any time they lose.
- Extinction: The Guards dress in animals costumes that have big hinged heads. On each contestants' turn, one of these animals wanders across a shooting range. The contestant, who is a few meters away, has to use the General's cannon to fire balls at them - trying to knock off the animal's head. There are a few rocks and trees for the Guards to hide behind, but they usually spend most of their time taunting the contestants. If a contestant manages to shoot off the animal's head they win the game. But if the animal gets to safety on the other side of the shooting range, with its head still in place, the contestant loses and gets locked in a cage.
- Final Fall: 'Final Fall' is used to further whittle down the remaining contestants before the 'Show Down'. One at a time the contestants run through a tunnel, avoiding the 'Boxing Monster' who is waiting at the exit, to reach five holes in the ground. They have to choose a hole and jump down it. Three of the holes are safe and will take the contestant through to the 'Show Down', but hiding down the other two are Katsuo and Makoto. If a contestant chooses one of these two wrong holes, the Guard down it will stop them getting any further and they'll be out game.
- Fish Food: The contestant has to balance on a surfboard as it is pulled along a narrow runway. Stood over the runway are four small arch-shaped fish, and two big shark mouths. When they reach a fish the contestant has to jump over it, and land back on the board. When they reach a shark they must duck down low to go through its mouth. Along the journey they'll first come across a fish, then a shark, then two more fish, a second shark, and a final fish before reaching the beach at the end. If the contestant manages to reach the beach, while still on the surfboard, they win the game.
- Flag Down: A team of contestants play against a team of Guards. Each of them has a pole with a flag on top. When the game begins; half of each group has to try and grab the other team's flag, while the rest of them have to try to protect their own flag and hold their pole upright. The first team to pull down their opponents' flag wins. If the team of contestants pull down the Guard's flag first they win, and move onto the next round. But if the Guards grab the contestants' flag first they lose, and are out of the game.
- Foot Loose: Laid out on the ground are lots of different pairs of footwear. These range from shoes to sandals, tin can stilts to giant feet. The contestants all run over, grab a pair, and put them on their feet. Once they've got the footwear on, the contestants need to quickly make their way to the finish line. To make things harder, along the way to the goal is a big sticky area. When the contestants step on this they'll get stuck to the ground. The more unconventional the footwear the harder it is to move over this glue. The contestants who are too slow in reaching the finishing line lose, and are out of the game.
- The Fortress: The contestants all enter a secret garden and have to search for golden balls. The balls are hidden all over the garden, some easier to find than others. Some, for example, are hanging from trees, in a mouldy pond and under boxes, while others are a lot harder to find; buried in the ground, hidden inside trees or even down the costumes of the human Guard-en ornaments. Contestants that have their own golden ball by the end of the game move onto the next round. Anyone who doesn't have one is out.
- The Gauntlet: 'The Gauntlet' is a real life video game. The contestants need to beat a pink mushroom, which is travelling on a track above the course, to the goal to win. If they fall off at any time it's game over. When the game begins the mushroom timer will start moving. The contestant first has to run past three Ghoulies (Guards there to put them off) to reach a conveyor belt. The belt is moving backwards so the contestant has to move quickly to get along it. While they're crossing, a boulder will be rolled down from above to try and knock them off. Next the contestant has to jump over a rotating centipede turnstile and then bounce off a trampoline, up into a pit of foam pieces. Now they must cross a narrow beam while avoiding being knocked off by a wrecking ball that is swung at them. Then, to cross a gap in the course, they have to step onto a spinning plank and leap off the opposite side to carry on. Penultimately, the contestant has to cross a much longer beam - this time while avoiding three wrecking balls. Finally they need to use a rope to swing across a stretch of water to reach the goal. If the pink mushroom reaches the goal before the contestant, Strong, Animal or Kibaji will come out of their cage and chuck the player in the water and out of the game. In a one-off modified version of the course the conveyor belt was removed, the trampoline was replaced by two 'High Rollers', and the spinning plank was replaced with a row of 16 monkey bars.
- Giant Maze: This is a giant wooden maze in Kyoto. The contestants all enter at the same time and have to find their way to the exit. Hiding inside are Strong and Kibaji. They'll try to put the contestants off, and also board up the exit when the time is up. All the contestants that manage to make their way out of the exit before the final whistle move onto the next game. Everyone still stuck inside has lost, and is out.
- Go Nuts (V1): While wearing an acorn costume, and with their feet tied together, the contestant has to make their way along a narrow curvy path. If they make it safely onto the round platform at the end of the path they win; but if they topple off they lose.
- Go Nuts (V2): The contestant has to make their way up a steep hill while avoiding giant nuts that are being rolled down towards them. To make things harder, the contestants are wrapped in padding and a straw mat to make it difficult to move very easily. The hill is also covered in thick foam, which makes it harder to climb. If a contestant manages to make it into the red goal area at the top of the hill they win. But if they end up rolling down the hill, after getting hit by a nut or just by losing balance, they lose. Getting hit by a nut doesn't automatically mean a contestant has lost, but it's likely it will knock them off of their feet anyway.
- The Great Wall: All the contestants have to try and climb over a tall wall to make it into the castle grounds. Once up, they have to slide down a slope on the other side; sometimes ending up in water traps or pools of mud. Any contestant that hasn't managed to get over the wall before the whistle blows has lost, and is out of the game.
- Grid Iron: The contestant has to run down a small American football pitch to reach the End Zone, while carrying a ball. Several Guards, dressed in big foam uniforms, will try to stop them on the way. The contestants can't step over the pitch's edge or they'll be out automatically. The game starts in a couple of different ways. In the first regular version the General throws the ball to the contestant. They have to catch it and then start running. In the second version the ball is placed in the middle of the pitch. When the whistle blows, the contestant and a Guard run to grab it. The contestant has to get there first or else they'll have to try and get the ball off of the Guards, which is dangerous as they could get caught. To win, the contestant has to get into the End Zone with the ball. If they get there without the ball they haven't won. If the Guards catch the contestant it's the end of the game, and the player loses. The Guards are slightly hampered by the costumes they're wearing, which makes it a bit easier for the contestant to avoid them. The men face seven (originally eight) Guards, while the women face five. On one occasion the contestants had to pick a card, numbered from one to eight, at random. The number they picked was the number of Guards they had to avoid. The second time and third the game was played, five contestants took part at once. They all had to run and pick up a ball each from the middle of the pitch, and then try to get past 10 guards. The contestants that managed to get to the End Zone, with a ball of their own, won the game. In the family special version the parent and child both run at the same time. They have to keep passing the ball between each other as they go, still while avoiding the Guards.
- High Rollers: The contestant has to make their way over cylinders that are positioned above water, each slightly higher or lower than the previous one. The rollers aren't fixed still, so will spin around when stepped on. The contestant needs to move quickly, and have good balance, so that they're not rolled off. If they fall into the water they lose. By making it onto the platform at the end of the Rollers the contestant wins the game. To begin with there were only three Rollers that needed to be crossed. This was increased to five, and then to seven.
- Home Run: The contestant has to cross a tall balancing beam while trying to avoid giant baseballs being swung at them. To make balancing and moving harder, the contestant is dressed in a giant foam baseball uniform. As they cross, Animal will try and knock them off by swinging three giant baseballs, tied on ropes, at them. Even the slightest knock on their giant costume can make the contestant spin and fall, so they need to move carefully. If a contestant reaches the finish platform, at the end of the beam, they win the game.
- Honeycomb Maze: This is a maze made up of lots of hexagonal shaped rooms, which all look exactly the same. The rooms have six doors, one in each wall, which all open outwards and inwards. However some of the doors in some rooms are dummies, which don't open, as they're against outside walls. The contestant enters the maze at the top right and has to try to find the exit, which is at the bottom left. Waiting inside are two "Black-Handed, Black-Hearted" Guards (usually Strong and Kibaji) who are trying to find the contestant. The contestant needs to avoid the Guards, because if they get caught they'll have their face covered in black paint, get thrown out of the maze, and will have lost the game. There are several exits all along the left and bottom sides of the maze, but only one is correct. If the contestant comes out of the wrong door they'll fall into a pool of water and will have also lost the game. If a contestant manages to make it through the maze, avoiding being caught by the guards, and exits through the correct door they win. The maze began with 12 rooms; 4 x 4. Later the size was increased to 20 rooms, 5 x 4, and a third Guard was added (usually Animal) to increase the difficulty. In family special episodes the children stand on a platform above the maze. They have to shout out instructions to direct their parent through, avoiding the Guards, to the exit. This family variation was later used in regular episodes. This time the General shouts out the directions to the contestants.
- Indestruct-a-ball: The contestant is curled up and shut inside a big plastic ball. Jo, with the help of the Boxing Monster, then rolls them into a giant pachinko machine. At the bottom of the machine are five skull boxes. If the contestant ends up in one of these boxes they have lost the game; but if they roll down between them, ending up in the goal area underneath, they win.
- In The Sack: 'In the Sack' is a couples' special game. All the couples are split up into men and women. The men all start behind a sheet on one side, and the women all start behind a sheet on the opposite side. When the starting whistle is blown, everyone has to run out and try to find their partner. Once a couple has been reunited they have to go and lie on a bed. There are only 55 beds, which isn't enough for every couple. Only one couple can be on any one bed, so the contestants have to move quickly to ensure that they grab one for themselves. When all the beds are filled the whistle is blown. All the couples on a bed go through to the next round, while the others that are still standing lose and are out.
- Jetskid: The contestant lies on a bodyboard at a starting line in the sea. On go, the board is pulled along by a speedboat. The contestant has to try and stay on the board as it is pulled through two lines of buoys, and then up over a ramp. If they manage to hang on, they then have to wait until they reach a floating finish platform and leap off onto it. If the contestant lands safely, and stays on the finish platform, they win. If they fall into the water at anytime they lose the game. The boat pulls the bodyboard at varying speeds. Sometimes it moves extremely fast, but other times very slowly, so good balance is needed at all times.
- Karaoke: The contestant has to go into a karaoke bar and step up onto the stage. A song starts to play and they have to sing along. If the contestant entertains the customers and, more importantly, the bar's boss, they win the game and are taken through to the back room by the Bunny/Geisha Girls. But if the boss is unhappy, and doesn't enjoy the performance, he will get his bouncer to throw the contestant out and they'll have lost the game. The contestants don't know what song they'll get before it starts to play, so they might not know the words. If this happens they can try to make up their own lyrics, or just dance along. However, in this case, they'll have to be very good to amuse the boss. In later episodes the boss is replaced by a steaming statue. If a contestant isn't good enough the statue will blow its top and the Black-Handed, Black-Hearted bouncers will storm onto the stage and blacken the contestant's face.
- Knock Knock (V1): 'Knock Knock' began as the second half of 'Skipping Stones'. After crossing the lake, the contestants are faced with a wall that has four doors in it. One of the doors is real, but the others aren't. The contestant has to run full-speed at a door. If it's made of paper they will burst through it and will have won the game. If they choose a wrong door, which is solid, they will bounce straight off and lose. A second wall was then added behind the first. If a contestant makes it through the first wall they then have to choose another door in the second wall. If they're lucky again, and they choose a paper door, they'll go through the wall and win. If they choose wrong they won't get through, and they'll have lost. The walls were then removed from 'Skipping Stones' and made into game of their own. The number of walls the contestants have to get through were doubled to four. Now they have to choose four paper doors, one in each wall, to make it all the way through and win. This time not all the wrong doors are solid. Some are made from paper, but have a net fixed behind. If a contestant runs through one of these they'll be caught in the net and also lose the game. If the contestants make it through the second wall they'll usually be confronted with the Boxing Monster (Jumbo Max in earlier episodes). They will need to make their way past him to continue on. If the contestants choose wrong this time they'll end up getting a pummelling from the Monster.
- Knock Knock (V2): This is the starting game version of 'Knock Knock'. Here there is a row of ten walls. Each wall has eight doors in it. Behind the tenth wall is a long bath of powder. All the contestants, at the same time, run full-speed at the doors. If they run into a paper door they'll burst through and continue onto the next wall; but if they choose a wrong door they'll bounce off again. By choosing a wrong door the contestant's aren't out - they can continue trying doors until they make it through, or just go through a door that has already been opened. Behind some of the paper doors are nets. If the contestants run through these they'll get trapped and will have to go back out and use another. Also behind some of the correct doors are pools of water. After breaking through, the contestants will end up falling in and getting slowed down. The Emerald Guards are waiting behind the ninth wall to slow the contestants down and push them back into the water pools. After making it through all ten walls the contestants will reach the bath of powder. Buried in the powder are lots of balls. The contestants have to grab a ball for themselves. There aren't enough for everyone though, so the contestants need to make their way to the end as quickly as they can to make sure they get a ball. When the final whistle blows, everyone who has their own ball moves onto the next game. Everyone without one goes out. In the couples' version only the men play the game. The women wait at the end with a pink half of a heart each. In the bath of powder are lots of blue half-hearts. The men have to grab a piece each and then fit it together with their partner's piece. Between them, the couples have to have made a full heart when the whistle blows to move on. If a couple doesn't have a full heart they are out of the game. In the family special version, the walls are split in half. The children run through one side, with four doors, and the parents run through the other side, also with four doors. At the end, the kids have to find a saucer in the powder and the parents have to find a bowl. The pairs must have a bowl and saucer set each to move onto the next round - if not they're out.
- Leap Frog: The contestant stands on a board at the top of a tall ramp, holding onto a handrail for balance. The board is then pushed down the ramp into the pond below. Floating on the pond is a giant lily pad. As they hit the water, the contestant has to jump off of the board and land on the lily pad. If they make it onto the pad, and stay on, they've won the game. If they fall in the water they have lost.
- Line Up: Lots of rolled up bibs are hanging from ropes in the air. When the game starts, all the contestants have to run out from behind a set of doors and grab a bib for themselves. They then need to unroll it and put it on. All the bibs have one of six characters on; either "Fu", "un", "ta", "ke", "shi" or "jou". When they're wearing a bib, the contestants have to find five other people, each with a different bib. When they're in a group with a different character each, the contestants have to line up to spell out "Fuun Takeshi Jou" ("Operation Takeshi's Castle"). Once in the right order they must tie their legs together, just like in a three-legged race - except this is a seven-legged version! Then it's a race to the finish line. All the groups that get past the finish line before the final whistle blows move onto the next game. Anyone who wasn't quick enough and didn't get into a group, therefore not reaching the finish, has lost and is out.
- Match Maker: Laid out on the ground are lots of big polystyrene shapes, and lots of mats with matching shapes cut out of them. When the game begins, all the contestants have to run out from behind a set of doors and grab a shape. Once they've got a shape, the contestants have to go over to the mats and try to find the one that their shape fits into. If they can find the matching mat, they slot their shape into the hole and sit on it to signify that they've finished. Everyone who is sitting on their shape, correctly slotted into the right mat, when the final whistle blows goes through to the next round. Anyone who hasn't managed to get their shape into a mat loses and is out of the game. Some shapes don't have a matching mat at all, so if a contestant is unfortunate enough to pick one of these they've got no chance of moving on. In a special episode Match Maker was played on the beach. All the mats were laid out on the sand, while the shapes were placed on a floating children's playground in the sea. On the starting whistle, all the contestants have to swim out to the playground and get a shape each. They then have to swim back to shore with their shape to try and find the matching mat.
- Midoriyama Marathon: All the contestants begin at the start line in front of the castle. When the General fires the starting pistol the race begins. The contestants first have to dash out of the 'car park' and down onto the road outside. Here the first obstacle is to jump over five small hurdles. Next is a long net on the ground that needs to be crawled under. After the net, lots of tyres are laid out along the road. The contestants have to pick their way through these to reach three sets of mats, which are spaced out along the next section of road. On each of these mats the contestants have to do a forward roll. After these it's a long run around the connecting roads. The roads loop back on their self, so the contestants end up back at the three mats again. Just as before, they have to do a forward roll on each. Then it's back through the tires, and then another crawl under the net. Finally they need to run up a set of steps to reach the finishing line at the top. The contestants who finish the course in fastest time move onto the next round.
- Muddy Waters: On the starting whistle, all the contestants run up over a hill and down into a giant thick muddy puddle. They need to wade as fast as they can through the water to reach the other side. The slowest contestants to reach other side of the water are out of the game.
- Mudskippers: All the contestants have to crawl, wade, and drag themselves through the thick mudflats of the Ariake Sea. Halfway through the mud are red and blue banners hanging from wires in the air. The contestants need to reach up and grab one of these to be able to move onto the next round. Anyone who doesn't have a banner by the time the final whistle blows loses, and is out of the game.
- Mud Slide: 'Mud Slide' is set up like a baseball game. The contestant starts at first base. The ball is pitched, purposely missed by the batter, and caught by the catcher. As soon as the catcher has the ball the contestant has to run to second base. Between the first and second base is a pit of thick mud that the contestant has to run, or slide, through. If they reach the second base before the fielder touches it with the ball they win the game. However, if they're too slow, or get caught in the mud, and don't reach second base before the ball they're forced out and the contestant loses.
- Mushroom Trip: The contestant starts on a high platform, at the edge of a lake, and has to grab onto the stalk of a giant mushroom. Once they're gripped on, the mushroom starts flying over the lake - constantly spinning around as it goes. The contestant needs to hold on until they reach a platform on the other side of the water. Here they have to let go and drop onto this finish platform. If they manage to land safely, and stay on the platform, they win the game. If they slip off and fall into the water, at any time, they've lost. The first finishing platform was really big, and raised off the ground. This was then changed to a much smaller mat that floats on the water, making it harder to land safely. To help grip on, there is one small handhold hole in the stalk. Women also get a rope to wrap around the stalk for extra grip.
- Nautiball: 'Nautiball' is volleyball played on a big floating platform in the sea. The contestants play in groups of five. The group begins by picking a card out of a box to find out which team they'll be playing against. The opposing teams, also of five members, include Emerald Guards, a women's volleyball team and women in swimming costumes. The first team to reach three points are the victors; so the contestants need to beat their opponents in order to win the game.
- Oh Deer: Two contestants at a time race each other through this obstacle course. They begin the race on deer-tricycles. First they have to pedal up and over a bridge, and then carry on until they reach a 'Slippery Wall'. Now they have to leave their tricycles behind and try to run up the slope. When they've reached the top of the wall, the contestants have to slide down the other side and pick up a giant bat. Jo places a ball on this bat, which they have to keep balanced on top as they make their way over to a giant hat. If they drop the ball the contestants have to stop, re-balance it, and then carry on. Once at the hat they have to tip the ball into it. Next the contestants run over to a giant maple leaf that has shoulder straps attached to it. They need to put it on their back and then finally walk across a balance beam. If they fall off at any time they have to step back on where they fell. The first contestant to reach the finishing line at the end of the balance beam wins.
- Oh Ma Ha Beach: Two contestants at a time race each other through this obstacle course. They begin on a floating starting mat in the sea. When the whistle blows, the contestants have to leap across a row of six smaller slippery floating platforms. They then must jump into the sea and swim to the shore. When they reach the shore, the contestants need to slip a ring around their waists. Attached to the ring is a big rake, which also has tyres tied to the end during the men's races. They have to run up the beach while dragging the rakes behind them, until they reach a loop of plastic. Now the contestants need to take off the rake and get in the middle of the plastic loop. Inside these they must to roll up the beach (like a tank track) over to a 'Slippery Wall'. Finally the contestants have to climb this wall, which has water running down it, to reach the goal at the top. The first contestant to reach the goal wins.
- On Yer Bike: In 'On Yer Bike', five contestants race each other around a track on children's tricycles. When the starting flag is waved, the contestants have to cycle along to, and up, a seesaw. When there's enough weight on the other side it will tip down allowing the contestants to carry on along the track. Anyone who hasn't got onto the see-saw will have to wait for it to tip back down the other way to be able to progress. After turning a corner, the track goes uphill and gets very narrow. As contestants pass over the top of the hill, steam blows up from under the track. This fogs the contestants' view, and shocks some, so they need to be careful to keep balance. The track ramps back downhill into a corner. At this corner is a pond. If the contestants come down the ramp too fast they'll end up rolling off of the track and into the water. Finally, the contestants cycle around the rest of the turning track to reach a second seesaw. Again, this will tip up when enough weight is on the raised end, allowing the contestants to reach the finish line. The contestant that reaches the finish line first is the winner.
- Pipe Down: The contestant starts on a platform raised several stories in the air. Connected to this is a long fabric tube that leads down to the ground. The contestant has to get into the tube and slide down inside it. Near the bottom is an opening in the material. Under this is a platform floating on a lake. When they reach the opening, the contestant has to drop out of it and try to land on the platform. If they time it right, they'll land safely on the platform and win the game. But if they're too fast, or too slow, the contestant will end up in the water and will have lost.
- Poles Apart: The contestant starts on a high platform at the edge of a lake. In the middle of the lake is a floating mat. Using a pole, the contestant has to volt across the lake and land on the mat. If they judge it right, and land on the mat without falling off, they win the game. If they miss, and end up in the water, they lose.
- Prod: Before the game, the contestant has to blindly pick a coloured ball out of a box. The colour of ball they pick represents the Guard they'll be fighting against. In the middle of a pool are two small round platforms, a short distance from each other. The contestant stands on one of these platforms while the chosen Guard stands on the other. Each of them has a long lance with a big rounded end on. On the whistle, the contestant and Guard have to push and prod each other with their lances - trying to knock each other off of the platforms. If the contestant manages to push the Guard into the water they win the game; but if the guard pushes them off first, the contestant has lost.
- Puck Over: Five contestants play this game at once. They all begin by choosing one of five cards at random. The cards are numbered 1 to 5, and the number they pick corresponds to the their position in the game. The contestants sit on a giant puck, and have a snowman-shaped case put over the top of them. The snowmen are arranged in a triangle shape on a round icy platform. 3, 4 and 5 are the back row, with 1 and 2 making the row in front. In front of all of them is one snowman with no one inside. From the top of a slope, which is also covered in ice, Animal pushes down another giant puck towards the snowmen. As it hits the group it will send them sliding around. Any contestants, inside their snowmen, that are knocked off the edge of the platform lose the game. Any contestants fortunate enough to remain on the platform win the game.
- Quake: Five contestants at a time, dressed as old people, enter a room and have to sit on a pile of cushions each. When they're all sitting, the room begins to shake. The contestants have to try and stay balanced on their cushions until the 'earthquake' ends. If they fall off at anytime, they lose. Any contestant who has stayed balanced on top of their cushion pile when the game ends has won. In the couples' special version, the women have to kneel on top of the men's backs. If they can stay balanced on their partner, until the room stops shaking, they win the game. In the family version the children have to balance on top of their parents, who are dressed as turtles, for the duration of the earthquake.
- Rat Race: All the contestants at once race through this obstacle course, which is made up of three other Takeshi's Castle games. The contestants begin at the starting line and, when the whistle is blown, have to try and get over a 'Slippery Wall'. Once over the first wall, there is a second one to scale. After the Walls, the contestants enter the 'Honeycomb Maze'. As usual, they have to get from the entrance to the exit while avoiding Kibaji and Animal. To help them through, Jo is standing on top of the maze to shout out directions. Finally, only if they have made it out of the right exit in the maze, the contestants must cross the 'Skipping Stones'. They have to choose the right stones to make it across the lake, avoiding the sinking ones. Any contestant that makes it across the water, without falling in, reaches the finish line and wins the game.
- Rice Bowl Downhill: The contestant sits in a giant bowl at the top of a wet slope. Two guards at the top of the hill (usually Popcorn) push the bowl down it, towards a pool at the bottom. The contestant has to stay balanced inside the bowl as it slides down the hill and hits the water at the bottom. If they are still inside when the bowl ends up floating in the pool they win the game. If the contestant falls out at any time they lose. In couples' and family special episodes the pairs have to sit in the bowl together. Both of the contestants have to stay inside the bowl at all times to win.
- Ride The Wave: In 'Ride the Wave', contestants have to ride a bicycle, which looks like a whale, around a track. To make things harder, Guards (Strong and Kibaji, or Popcorn) are constantly firing balls at the bikes, from a cannon, to try and knock the contestants over. When the starting whistle is blown, the contestant rolls down a short ramp and has to cycle around a long snaking path. Once they reach the end they then turn a corner. Around the corner is a straight section with rounded lumps on. The contestant has to be careful to keep their balance as they ride through these. Around the next corner is a longer path. This one is covered in lots of rounded sticks, laid long-ways across the track. If the contestant makes it over this path, they turn a 180-degree corner and have to cycle down another long path, back in the opposite direction to the one they've just ridden down. This path has fewer sticks on it than the previous one. Lastly, it's a final corner turn to reach the finish line. If the contestant manages to reach the end of the track, they win the game; but, if they fall over at any time, or get knocked over by the cannon, they lose. The track was later modified. In the second version the rounded lumps were replaced by several of the sticks across the path. As the contestants cross these, steam is sprayed into their face to try and put them off. Make it past here and the contestants turn the corner into the final straight. Along this path is a seesaw. The contestant has to cycle up it, and then ride it down on the other side to carry on, avoiding some rounded lumps that may be placed after it. Finally they turn a corner to reach the finish line. In a special episode the game was played on an ice rink. This time there is just one long path to cycle down; but because the contestants are riding over ice it is slippery, so hard to stay upright - especially with balls being fired at the bikes.
- Ro-Jim-Bo: In 'Ro-Jim-Bo', the contestants play Janken-pon (Rock-Paper-Scissors) against an Emerald Guard. The contestant stands on a platform, with the Guard on another next to them. Music begins to play and the contestant and Guard have to dance. When the music ends both of them have to show their chosen sign (a fist for rock, a flat hand for paper or a sideways 'V'-sign for scissors). As in a normal game; rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and paper beats rock. If the contestant beats the guard they win; but if the guard beats them, the contestant loses and is lowered down into a pit of steam.
- Roller Derby: Six contestants play at a time. All of them are dressed as horses, and wear roller skates. When the General fires the starting pistol the race begins. The contestants have to skate out from their starting blocks and race to the finish line at the end of the road. The first two contestants to reach the finishing line win the game, the other four lose. In later games four (then reduced to three) small hurdles, each slightly higher than the previous one, were added in the middle of the road. The contestants have to step over these hurdles to carry on, dragging the back legs of their costumes (which are also on wheels) over as they go.
- Roll Out The Barrel: 'Roll Out the Barrel' is a life-size game of Pop Up Pirate. The contestant sits on a disk on top of a massive barrel, in front of a slide. In the side of the barrel are slots, numbered one to six. The contestant has choose three numbers, one at a time, by standing a numbered card (1 – 6) of their choice in front of them. Once they've chosen a number, Jo will push one of the giant swords into the corresponding slot. Four of the slots are safe, but two of them will end the game. If the contestants have chosen one of the two losing slots, pushing the sword in will cause the top of the barrel to pop-up and the contestant will be tipped down the slide and into the lake at the bottom. If they end up in the water the contestant has lost the game. If the slot they choose is safe, the contestant chooses a second number. Again, if this is wrong they'll slide into the water and lose; but if this is safe too they have to choose one final number. If the third number the contestants choose is also safe they have won the game. In the family special version, the parents sit on top of the barrel while the children choose the slots and push the swords in. The first time the game was played the contestants had to choose four numbers, so had to find all the safe slots to win.
- Roll The Dice: 'Roll the Dice' is a couples' special game. Before the game, the couple is asked to decide whether they want to roll for an odd or even number. After they've chosen, both contestants get into giant dice. Their helmets stick out the top forming the number ones. The first contestant, inside the dice, is rolled down a slope into the playing area. After they have stopped rolling at the bottom, their partner is pushed down from another slope to the right. The numbers that have been rolled on the two dice are added together, to find out if the total is an odd or even number. If it's odd and the couple chose odd, or if it's even and the couple chose even, they win the game. If the total is the opposite type of number to the one the couple chose, they lose.
- Rope: 'Rope' is the first version of 'Bridge Ball'. The contestant has to get across a long rope that stretches horizontally across a ravine. If the contestant makes it to the other end of the rope they win the game. If they fall off they lose. In the latter versions of this game, the Guards shoot balls at the contestants, from a cannon, to try and knock them off.
- Roulette: When the game begins, all the contestants run out from behind a set of doors and over to a bath of powder. Buried in the powder are lots of disks. Written on each disk is either a number from 0 to 36, "Odd", "Even", "Black" or "Red". Once they have a disk, the contestants have to go and sit on the corresponding space on a giant roulette table. When everyone is in place, Jo spins a roulette wheel. The contestants sitting on the chosen number are scraped away and are out of the game. The contestants sitting on red or black and odd or even are also out, depending on what the 'winning' number is. All the other contestants move onto the next round.
- The Run Way (V1): The contestant sits in a round sledge at the top of a runway. To begin the game, Popcorn push the sledge down the track. As the contestant is sliding along, several boards are turned around at the side of the runway. Each board has a number or mathematical sign on, so together all the boards make up a long sum. The contestants have to quickly work out the equation as they reach the end of the track. When they stop at the end the contestant has to tell Youshichi the answer to the sum. If they've got the answer right they win the game. However, if they get the answer wrong, or take too long working it out, the end of the runway will collapse and the contestant will be dropped into a pit of powder or mud below and lose the game.
- The Run Way (V2): Starting at the beginning of an icy runway, the contestant has to run up and jump on a giant curling rock to slide along on it. They have to make it to, and stop in, the goal at the end of the runway to win the game. Along the way the path gets narrower, wider, and then narrower again; so the contestant has to slide as straight as they can to avoid falling off the edge. Also, as the rock moves along, Katsuo and Makoto sweep the ice in front of it trying to put the contestant off. If the contestant falls off of the runway at any time they lose the game. If they don't push off hard enough they won't reach the goal and will also lose. If they push too hard they'll slide over the goal and fall off the end, again losing the game.
- Samurai Back: Two contestants at a time race each other through this obstacle course. On the 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, they 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 run backwards (so the mask is facing forwards) along a track to the finish line. The first contestant to reach the finish line wins.
- Sand Flee : All the contestants at once race through this obstacle course on the beach. When the game begins, the contestants have to run over to where lots of buns in bags are hanging from wires in the air. As in 'Bite the Bun', they need to grab a bun with their mouths – although this time there is nothing stopping them from using their hands. Once they have a bun, the contestants must crawl under a long net on the ground. On the other side of the net is a big area of sand where hundreds of silver balls are hidden. When they reach this area, the contestants have to dig in the sand to find a ball for themselves. After they've found one they must run to the finish line with it. When they're at the finish the contestants open up the ball. Inside is a piece of paper. If the paper has a red circle on it the contestants have won the game. However, if they don't get a circle they need to run back to the digging area and try to find another ball. If they do find another they can run back to the finish line and open this one, again repeating the process if needed. All the contestants that have a red circle by the time the final whistle is blown move onto the next round. Everyone who doesn't have one is out of the game.
- Sandscript: 'Sandscrpit' is the second half of the starting game for the final episode. The contestants are split into eight groups, according to the colour of ball they picked up in 'Drop in the Ocean': red, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white and black. The General stands on a platform and calls out a Japanese character. He then picks a ball at random from a box. The colour of ball he picks determines which group gets that character. This is done seven times for seven characters: "se", "me", "ru", "ta", "ke", "shi", and "jou". The team that doesn't get picked out of the box automatically moves onto the next round. When the whistle blows, each team has to run over to their giant piece of paper and arrange themselves into the shape of their character. They need to do this correctly so that the phrase "Semeru Takeshi Jou" ("Attack Takeshi's Castle") can be read from above. When the time is up, the teams are judged on their formation by a calligraphy expert. The team determined the worst loses, and is out of the game.
- Shoot 'N Loot: 'Shoot 'N' Loot' was played at the end of the final episode, instead of the 'Show Down'. It was a chance for the last remaining contestants to win prizes, including: a satellite dish, a Game Boy, a suitcase, a CD Walkman, a bike, a camcorder, a trip to Hawaii, and a pair of sandals. To try and win, the contestant has to shoot small balls from a machine at the prizes moving along on conveyor belts. The booby prizes are stuck to boards and move along at the back, making them the easiest to hit. The other prizes are written on smaller boxes; the middle prizes in blue, and the better prizes in red. There is also a million yen on offer. This is written in gold on a small box, and moves along at the back faster than any of the other prizes, making it a lot harder to hit. The contestant wins all of the prizes that they manage to knock off of the conveyor belt.
- Show of Hands: In the first version of 'Show of Hands' ten contestants play the game at the same time. All the contestants are dressed as hands. Spread out around the playing area are lots of giant cards, each with a different Hiragana character on. The teacher reads out a statement and the contestants have to run and find the correct answer. Once they've found the card with the right answer on they have to fall face-first on top of it. The first person to fall onto the correct mat wins. There are several questions for each group, so the contestants have more than one chance to win. After a few episodes the characters on the cards were replaced with numbers. Now mathematical questions are read out and the contestants have to find the correct answer to the sum. In the second version of the game only five contestants play at once. The other five people are now Emerald Guards, dressed as blue hands. As before, a mathematical question is asked and all the players have to try and be the first to fall onto the correct answer. However, if a Guard gets to the answer first they win and this is one less chance for a contestant to clear the game. In a one-off version, instead of questions being asked, short clips of music are played. The contestants have to identify the song and jump onto the card that shows its correct title. In a special version the game was played in the mud flats of the Ariake Sea. This time, instead of full costumes, the contestants just have a giant foam hand over one of their hands. Ten contestants play at once, and all have to crawl through the mud to reach the right answer. To first person to put their giant hand on the correct mat wins.
- Single Roller: A big cylinder is laid on a metal track, above water. The contestant stands on top of the cylinder and has to move it along the rails to the end. The track slopes slightly downhill, it then flattens off towards the middle before turning into a steeper slope near the end; so the contestant needs excellent balance to stay on top as the cylinder rolls down. If the contestant manages to stay on the cylinder, until the end of the track, they can leap off onto the finish platform and have won the game. If they fall off at any time they lose.
- Skittles: Ten contestants play this game at once. Before starting they each pick a card, numbered from one to ten, at random. The number they pull tells the contestants which pin position they will take. The higher the number you pick the further to the back of the group you are - number one being right at the front. All the contestants are dressed as a giant bowling pins and have their legs tied together, to make standing upright harder. Once they're in position on the alley, a giant bowling ball is rolled down a ramp towards the contestants. Any contestant that gets knocked over has lost the game. Anyone who manages to stay standing wins.
- Skipping Stones: The contestant has to cross a lake by using stepping-stones. All the stones look identical, but only some of them are solid. The other stones aren't supported and will sink when trodden on. If the contestant manages to get across the lake, without falling in the water, they win the game. In some early games a 'Knock Knock' wall is added to the bank on the other side of the lake. If a contestant manages to get across the water they are faced with a wall that has four doors in it. Two of the doors are real, but the other two aren't. The contestant has to run full-speed at a door. If it's made of paper they will burst through it. If not, they bounce straight off and lose. The contestant has to make it through the wall to win the whole game. Later, a second wall was added behind the first. The contestant now had to get through a correct door in both walls to win the game.
- Sling Swing Fling: The contestant hangs in a harness in the air. When the game begins they are pulled along over a pool. Floating in the middle of the pool is a bowl with a ball in it. When they're near enough, the contestant needs to pull a cord that will drop them down on a bungee rope so that they can grab the ball. If the contestant manages to get the ball, they have to quickly throw it into a giant pot that's positioned at the end of the pool. If the ball goes in they win the game. If they miss, or didn't manage to pick up the ball in the first place, the contestant loses and gets dunked, and their face blackened, by the Sea Goblin.
- Slipped Disks: This is the second line of defence on the edge of the castle grounds: A bunker with water pistol-wielding Guards inside, in front of, and on top of it. The contestants are all armed with water pistol and have paper rings stuck to their helmets. On go, they all rush over to the bunker and have to climb over the top of it. As they're climbing over, the Guards will try and break the contestants' rings by shooting them with water. If a contestant's ring gets broken they have lost and are out of the game. The guards also have rings that the contestants can try to break. If a Guard's ring does get broken they can't shoot anymore. All the contestants that manage to get over the bunker, without having their ring broken, move onto the next game.
- Slippery Wall: All the contestants have to try and climb up this steep slippery slope to make it into the castle grounds. There are ropes place at the top of the wall to help, but the contestants have to get most of the way up the slope to reach them. Once up, they have to slide down the slope on the other side; usually ending up in water traps or pools of mud. Any contestant that hasn't managed to get over the wall before the whistle blows is out of the game. The final time this game was played; lots of balls were hanging from wires in the air above the slope on the back of the wall. This time, once the contestants have climbed up, they have to grab a ball on their way down the other side. The contestants need to have a ball of their own to move on. Anyone who doesn't get one loses and is out of the game.
- Slip Way: 'Slip Away' is a family special game. The child lays on an aeroplane bodyboard at the end of a long platform. The parent has to push the board along the runway to try and get it to stop in the goal area at the end. If the parent pushes too hard they'll slide their child straight off the end of the runway, into the water below, and lose the game. If they don't push hard enough they won't reach the goal, will come up short, and the child will get pushed off into the water by Okada the Evil Crow – also losing the game. If the parent judges the force just right, their child will end up positioned over the goal area and they win the game. There is a board at the end of a long platform. The contestant has to run up and jump on the board to slide along the runway. The aim is to end up on the arrow, or in the goal area, right at the end of the runway. If the contestant pushes off too hard they'll slide straight off the end, into the water below, and lose the game. If they don't push off hard enough they won't reach the goal, will come up short, and will get pushed off into the water by Okada the Sea Goblin – also losing the game. If the contestant judges the force just right, and ends up positioned over the arrow/goal area, they win the game.
- Snow Lane: Two contestants at a time race each other through this obstacle course. On the starting whistle, the contestants have to get down low and pull themselves through tracks in the snow. After this they have to jump down into a big hole, and then climb out again on the other side. Once out there's a second hole to jump into, and climb out of again. Next is a hill made of snow. The contestants have to put on fat, 'Blueberry Hill'-like, fox costumes and run up the hill, trying not to topple over and roll back down again. At the top of the hill the contestants take off the costumes and sit on a rubber doughnut-shaped sledge. They have to slide down the other side of the hill, and keep going until they reach the finish line. The first contestant to reach the finish wins.
- Space Invaders: Starting at the top of a hill, the contestant sits in a cable car with a laser gun. Positioned down the hill are several Guard-manned stations. All the stations have a sensor on. As the cable car moves down the hill the contestant has to try and shoot a sensor on one of the stations. If the contestant manages to hit one of the Guard's sensors, all the stations will go up in smoke, they win the game and move onto the 'Show Down'. However, the Guards fight back. In the first version there are four active stations, and the Guards on these shoot balls from cannons. On the contestant's cable car are two targets - one on each side. If a Guard hits one of these targets with a ball, the car goes up in smoke and the contestant loses the game. In the second version there are five active stations. The guards on these also have a laser gun each. On the contestant's cable car is a sensor. If a Guard hits the sensor the car will go up in smoke, the contestant loses and is out of the game. The contestants don't need to hit a Guard's sensor to win. If they manage to make it all the way down the hill, without having the target/sensor on their cable car hit, the contestant automatically wins and moves onto the 'Show Down'.
- Square Maze: The 'Square Maze' is the earlier version of the 'Honeycomb Maze'. The maze is made up 12 square rooms, 4 x 3, that all look exactly the same. The rooms have four doors, one in each wall, which all open outwards and inwards. However some of the doors in some of the rooms are dummies, which don't open, as they're against outside walls. The contestants enter the maze at the top right and have to try to find the exit, which is at the bottom left. Waiting inside are two "Black-Handed, Black-Hearted" Guards who are trying to find the contestant. The contestant needs to avoid the guards, because if they get caught they'll have their faces covered in black paint, get thrown out of the maze, and will have lost the game. If a contestant manages to make it through the maze, avoiding being caught by the Guards, they win the game. Originally there was only the one exit, but later a second was added to the top left room. If the contestant goes through this one they don't win, but lose and end up in a pool of water. A second wrong exit was then added next to this, with the pool extended along to cover this door too. In family special episodes the children stand on a platform above the maze. They have to shout out instructions to direct their parents through, avoiding the Guards, to the exit. In a special one-off version of the game the contestants and Strong (the only guard in the maze) were blindfolded. The game is played as usual, with the contestant having to find their way from the entrance to the exit without being caught. For this blindfold version, four of the doors inside the maze are locked shut so they could not be used. This makes navigating through the maze even tougher and more confusing.
- Stock Pot Racing: On the whistle, all the contestants have to try and climb over a small slippery slope. Once they've made it up, they slide down the other side. Next there is a long net on the ground that contestants have to crawl under. Standing on top of the net are Guards, trying to stop the contestants moving through. On the other side of the net are a lot of big vegetables. Contestants have to grab one and take it into a giant cooking pot. All the contestants that make it into the pot, with a vegetable of their own, before the final whistle blows move onto the next game. Everyone else is out.
- Streets Ahead: On the whistle, all the contestants have to try and climb over a small slippery slope. Once they've made it up, they slide down the other side. Next there is a long net on the ground that contestants have to crawl under. Standing on top of the net are Guards, trying to stop the contestants moving through. On the other side of the net are a lot of big vegetables. Contestants have to grab one and take it into a giant cooking pot. All the contestants that make it into the pot, with a vegetable of their own, before the final whistle blows move onto the next game. Everyone else is out.
- Stuff Diving: Several contestants play this game at once. A question is asked and the contestants have to dive underwater to find a card or mat with the correct answer on. In the first version, groups of eight contestants play the game in a hot tub. The answers are all written on cards at the bottom of the tub. The first contestant to find the card with the correct answer to the question on wins. In the second version, ten contestants at a time play in a swimming pool. At the bottom of the pool are lots of mats with numbers on. A maths equation is read out and the contestants all have to dive into the pool to and try to find the mat with the correct answer on. The contestant that grabs the right mat and brings it up to the surface wins. To make diving harder, the contestants all have to wear floats around their waists. There is more than one question for each group, so the contestants get several chances at winning the game.
- Sumo Rings: There are five different coloured sumo rings: red, blue, yellow, green and purple. Each has a different guard inside. To begin, the contestant picks a ball at random out of a box. The colour of the ball they pick corresponds to the colour of a ring, telling them which Guard they have to fight. Now it's a straightforward sumo match. The fighters have to try and get their opponent on the ground or out of the ring to win. Some Guards are a lot easier to beat than others. Regular fighters include 'Spud' (a guard in a big Konishiki Yasokichi head costume) who is the easiest to beat, Shin Suganuma (a weedy little guard), and pro sumo wrestler Shinoburyo (/'Porker', a fat guard) who is the hardest to win against. In the family special version the parent and child fight the chosen guard at the same time. The game was changed once for a special version. After the contestant picks a ball to determine their opponent, both of them have to stand back-to-back on a small round platform in water. When the fight begins, the Guard and contestant have to try and push each other off by only using their bums. If the contestant gets pushed off and into the water they lose the battle. But if they manage to get the Guard off first they win.
- Take It Snow: Lots of 'snowmen' are positioned between the starting and finishing platforms. The contestant has to get to the finish platform by stepping across the heads of the snowmen. Some of the heads are fixed still, but others are loose so will roll off when trodden on. If the contestant manages to get to the finish platform, without falling to the ground, they win the game.
- Toboggoff: The contestant sits on a rubber doughnut-shaped sledge at the top of a snow-covered slope, and is then pushed down it. After sliding down the slope the contestant has to stay on the doughnut as it speeds over several bumps to reach the finish line. In a one-off version the game is played down a tall snowy hill, with the goal situated at the bottom. If a contestant falls off at anytime before reaching the goal they lose. If they manage to stay balanced on top until passing the finish line, they win the game and move onto the next round.
- Tug of War: In the first version of 'Tug of War', contestants play as a team. There are four ropes leading underneath a barrier. The team has to choose one of them without being able to see who is on the other end. Once they've picked a rope the wall is lifted and their opponents are revealed. When the General blows his whistle the tug of war begins. The team that can pull their opponents over the centre line first wins the game. In the second version of the game contestants play one at a time. There are five ropes to choose from, each leading through a set of doors. When a contestant picks a rope the whistle is blown and the war begins, without them knowing who, or what, they're tugging against. The contestant has to try and pull their opponent over a line on the opposite side of the wall. If they succeed in doing this, the whistle is blown again, and they have won the battle. However, if the contestant is pulled over the line on their side of the wall they lose the fight. Once the war is over the door is opened so the contestant can see what they were tugging against.
- Turtle Hurtle: A long bridge of slippery turtle-shaped platforms are floating in the sea. On the whistle, the contestant has to start running over them to try and reach the finish platform at the other end. If the contestant falls in the water at any time they lose the game. A few seconds after the whistle is blown a guard is released from a cage on the starting platform, and takes chase after the contestant. The contestant needs to be quick, as if the guard catches them they'll be thrown into the water. If the contestant manages to make it over all the turtles and onto the finishing platform, without being caught or falling off, they win and move onto the next game.
- Turtle Soup: 'Turtle Soup' is a family special game. Dressed as turtles, the parent has to crawl along a narrow snake pathway, in the middle of a lake, while carrying their kid on their back. To make this harder, the parent is blindfolded so the kid need to direct them. To begin they crawl down a short ramp. About halfway through the path goes in a big curve and gets even narrower. After this it widens up slightly again, to the width it was before, and ends with another ramp to crawl up to reach the goal. If the parent can make it all the way to the end of the snake, with their child still on their back, they've won the game. However, if the child slips off and into the water, or they fall into the water themselves, they've lost.
- Uphill Garden: The contestant starts at the bottom of the hill with a water pistol and a paper ring stuck on their helmet. They need to climb up the hill to reach the fort at the top; but coming down the other way, trying to stop the contestant, is a guard dressed in a costume. The guard also has a ring and a water pistol. As they reach each other, the contestant and guard must try and break each other's rings by shooting water at it. If the contestant breaks the guard's ring first they win, and can go through the fort at the top of the hill to move onto the next game. However, if the guard breaks the contestant's ring first they've lost the fight, and are sent back down the hill. In later episodes the rings were moved from the helmets and onto the water pistols. On one occasion all the contestants had to climb the hill together while battling 12 guards. The contestants had to break all the guards' rings to win the game.
- Up The Creek: The contestant gets into a box that is suspended over a pit of mud. Once inside they have to use a pulley to move themselves along. In the middle of the mud pit is a platform, which the contestant has to try and position their box above. However, because they can't see whereabouts they are its all down to guesswork. Once they think they're over the platform, the contestant has to pull a lever to open the floor. If they're in the right place they'll fall onto the platform and win the game. If they haven't pulled themselves far enough, or have gone too far, they'll drop into the mud and lose.
- Velcro Fly: The contestant wears a suit with Velcro on the front, and starts on a platform at the side of a pool. On the other side of the pool is a big board covered in fuzzy material. Using a trapeze on a long rope, the contestant has to swing over the lake, let go of the rope, and try to stick themselves onto the board. If the contestant manages to stick on the wall, and stay there, they have won the next game. If they don't stick, or don't even reach the wall, they'll fall into the water and will have lost. As extra humiliation for losing, in most games, a Guard (usually Animal) will blast the losing contestants with a fire hose.
- Walk The Plank: This game is only played in couples' and family special episodes. There is a row of ten planks floating in a lake. The pairs need to cross the water by stepping from one plank to another. The two contestants have to step on opposite ends of the planks. If weight is just put on just one side of a plank it will tip up; so the contestants need to step onto each plank at the same time as each other to keep it balanced. If the pair make it to the platform at the end of the row of planks, without falling in the water, they win the game.
- Wet Paint: At the beginning of the game the General spins a wheel, which has ten (eight, the second time the game was played) different kanji characters on it. The contestant fires a crossbow at the wheel as it is spinning. The character that the arrow hits is the one they'll have to draw. Now, the contestant has to pick up a giant brush that has been dipped in paint. On the whistle, the contestant has to run up a slippery slope to reach a white square - in which they have to draw their character. They only have 30 seconds to do this in. If they slip back down, the contestant can keep running back up until they have finished drawing or the time has run out. If the contestant manages to complete the character within the 30 seconds they win, and move onto the next game. If they don't manage to draw it in time the contestant loses and Strong and Kibaji, who are standing at the top of the slope, will wash the drawing, and the contestant, away.
- Whack The Stack: 'Whack the Stack' is only played in family special episodes. The child sits on top of a stack of three big disks, while the parent stands at the side with a giant mallet. The parent has to first whack the middle disk so that it flies out from the stack. The child needs to jump up as their parent hits the disk - letting it move out without taking the one above with it. If they manage to do this successfully, the top disk will drop down onto the bottom disk and the child will end up back on top. Next, the parent has to knock out the bottom disk. Again the child needs to jump at the right time to allow this to happen. If they get it right again there will just be one disk left, with their child sitting on top, and the pair will have won the game. If the tower falls over, or the child falls off at any time, the game is over and the pair has lost.
- Wipe Out: From the starting platform; the contestant steps onto a surfboard that circles around, above a lake, in the air. They must balance on the surfboard until they reach a big pink fish. The contestant has to jump over the fish and land back on the moving surfboard. Next, they ride it a bit further until they come to a platform. They must step up onto the platform where a guard (usually Youshichi dressed as Pocahontas) is waiting. The contestant has to quickly get to the other side of the platform and, as soon as the surfboard comes out form underneath, step back onto it. If they don't get back on the board the guard will throw the contestant off, into the water, and out of the game. Once back on the surfboard the contestant has to jump over a second fish, land back on the board again, and then finally leap off onto the finishing platform. If the contestant makes it onto the finish platform they have won the game; but if they fall into the water at anytime they lose. In the couples' version the man completes the first half of the game while the woman waits on the guard's platform. The man has to reach the platform and tag his partner so she can jump onto the board and finish the game.
- Yellow Brick Road: There is a row of five doors. The contestant has to choose one of these and go through. Through the door is a yellow path, which the contestant must follow until they reach a junction with another road leading off of it. Now they have to cross over onto this adjoining path. The contestant has to keep doing this; following the paths and changing direction at every junction they come to, until they reach one of five slides. Now they have to climb up the steps, being chased by Strong and Kibaji to speed them up, and go down the slide. One of the slides leads to dry land, Hawaiian dancers and the next game. The other four will drop the contestants into pits of mud. If the contestant has ended up at the right slide, they will have won and will be congratulated upon their arrival at the bottom. However, if they've gone down a wrong slide they'll end up deep in a pit of mud and have lost the game.
- Show Down: In Version 1 The contestants that have chosen a safe hole in 'Final Fall' follow the underground tunnel and come out of a hole in the ground in front of the castle. Each contestant is armed with a water pistol and has a paper ring stuck on their helmet. When the General gives the command, all the contestants have to rush over to the castle, cross the drawbridge, and try to storm it. Their aim is to reach Takeshi at the top of the castle. However, to stop them getting to the top, the Guards are positioned all around the castle. They also have water pistols and rings on their helmets. On their way up, the contestants need to protect their rings to stop the Guards shooting them with their water pistols. If a contestant's ring gets broken they are out of the game and have to leave the castle. The contestants can fight back though. If they break a Guard's ring he cannot shoot anymore. If any contestant manages to reach the top of the castle, with their ring in tact, they have to try and break Takeshi's own ring to win. Originally Takeshi's ring was also on his helmet, but was much smaller than anyone else's and therefore harder to hit. He then moved into a wheeled turret, with his ring stuck on top of its roof. It is now much bigger than before, but the turret constantly slides from side-to-side making it harder to hit. If Takeshi's ring is broken the castle has been stormed and the contestant, and the General, has won. But if all the contestants have their rings broken it's the end of the game, and the General and his army have lost. In Version 2 The contestants that have chosen a safe hole in 'Final Fall' follow the underground tunnel and come out the pipe in front of the castle. They then go and board a motorised cart each (or, if there are a lot of contestants through, some must share a cart). Each cart has a paper ring on the front, and every contestant is armed with a water pistol. On the opposite side of the "car park" to the contestants are the Guards. They share five carts of their own, which also have a ring on the front. There are usually two or three Guards in one cart, and every guard has a water pistol. There is one other cart on the Guards' side – Takeshi's cart. Takeshi's cart is much bigger than everyone else's, but also has a ring on the front. The water pistol in this cart is also much bigger and much more powerful than the others. On the General's command the game begins, and the contestants and Guards drive into battle. The contestants' aim is to break the ring on the front of Takeshi's cart with their water pistols, but they need to avoid having their own ring broken in the process. The Guards try to stop the contestants succeeding by aiming at their rings. If a contestant's ring is broken they are out of the game, and have to stop. The contestants can fight back though. If they break a ring on a Guards' cart, that cart has to stop. If a contestant manages to break the ring on the front of Takeshi's cart, the contestant, and the General, wins the game. But, if all the contestants have their rings broken it's the end of the game and the General and his army have lost. In the later episodes the water pistols and rings are replaced with laser guns and sensors. Instead of having a bigger gun, Takeshi's cart now has two regular laser guns. Exactly the same rules as before apply. If a sensor on the front of a cart gets hit, the cart goes up in smoke, and they're out of the game. Again, the contestants have to aim for the sensor on the front of Takeshi's cart. If they manage to hit it the contestant, and the General, wins the game. But if the Guards hit all the contestant's sensors first, the General and his army have lost. In the laser version the General also takes part in his own special cart. If he manages to hit Takeshi's sensor, without having his own sensor hit first, the game is won. In family and couples' specials both contestants in a pair ride in the same cart. One of them drives while the other shoots. Takeshi sometimes tries out different tactics. For example; only sending in one cart at a time, sending out a guard dressed as a cart (complete with sensor and laser gun) to run around shooting, and even sitting in an aeroplane high in the air. When Takeshi is in his plane he can shoot the contestants' sensors down on the ground with his laser gun, but he doesn't have a sensor himself so cannot be stopped. As always, the contestants have to aim for the sensor on his usual big cart, which is still being driven around below, to win.
- Ultimate Showdown: The 'Ultimate Showdown' is the last game in the obstacle course special episode. When the General blows his whistle, the contestant first has to run through a long pit of thick mud - pushing through hanging mats as they go. Next it's over to 'Skipping Stones', where they have to cross the lake as usual – stepping from one stone to another, trying to avoid the sinking ones. If the contestant falls off they're allowed to swim to the end. Next they have to use a rope to swing over 'Dragon Lake', landing on a platform in the middle. If they miss the platform they can again just swim to the edge and carry on. After this, they have to push a big ball up the 'Uphill Garden' hill and then run over to 'Bridge Ball'. As normal, the contestant has to cross the wobbly bridge while Kibaji and Jo shoot balls at them - this time from two cannons. There is no golden ball to carry. If the contestant falls off at any time they must go back to the start of the bridge and try again. This is the only obstacle that has to be completed properly. After crossing the bridge it's a dash over to the bottom of the 'Rice Bowl' hill. Here the contestant has to strap a big wind-catcher on their back and climb up the hill while a giant fan is blowing towards them. Once at the top of the hill the contestant has to take off the wind-catcher, run all the way back down and then over to the finish line in front of the castle. The fastest man and fastest woman to complete the course each win a million yen.
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