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The Dark Forest

Seasons Used

2 - 4

Layouts Used


Objective Completion


Temple Guard Encounters


Artifacts Featured

Season 2
The Lost Love Letter of Captain John Smith
The Sacred Ring of Sultan Suleiman
The Missing Weather Maps of Charles Lindbergh
Season 3
The Upside-Down Compass of Henry Hudson
The Useless Map of the Chibcha Chieftain
The Mysterious Manuscript of Mary Shelley
The Mummified Hand of the Egyptian King
Season 4
The Lucky Losing Pok-ta-Pok Ball of the Hero Twins


The Tomb of the Ancient Kings

Adjoining Rooms

The Shrine of the Silver Monkey (All of Seasons 2 & 3)
The Mine Shaft (All of Season 2)
The Quicksand Bog (Season 3)
The Swamp (Layouts X-XII)
The Jester's Court (Layouts XIII-XV)
The Pit of Despair (Layout XVI)
The Queen's Armory (Layout XVI)
The Ladder of Death (Layout XVI)

The Dark Forest is a room with two trees with arms and faces. The player must find the key in one of the trees' mouths. However, the spirit of a Temple Guard might inhabit the trees (which is actually a real person hidden inside one of the two trees, according to an interview with Michael Lupia), grabbing them with the tree's arms, players do have to be very careful in this room by the way, according to Olmec. The player may choose to avoid taking this chance and plow through the breakaway wall to the Mine Shaft (Season 2) or the Quicksand Bog (Season 3). The tree inhabited by a Temple Guard says, "Come here" (tree next to the Stone Wall) or "Got you!" (the tree next to the Gold Doors) when grabbing the contestant, his only lines were provided by Dee Bradley Baker.

For the CW version, the Dark Forest was retained, but altered slightly. Instead of two trees to reach into to find a key, it becomes an actual forest crowded with trees, bushes, and ferns to hinder the contestant's movement. The Stone Wall is retained, but leads to the Ladder of Death to proceed toward the Queen's Armory.


  • No teams were ever successful in even making it to an artifact that was ever located in the Dark Forest, though in The Missing Weather Maps of Charles Lindbergh a player got close, missing it only by a few seconds.
  • In every episode where a team with less than two full pendants attempted to retrieve an artifact placed in the Dark Forest, the team would lose as a result of a Triple Seizure.
    • The triple seizure happens in the Dark Forest artifact episodes 4 times, more than any other room with an artifact.
  • Although this room was a successor of the Tomb of the Ancient Kings, the doors and fallen column from that room can still be seen in the background and have been unaltered.
  • The trees inhabited by the Temple Guard Spirit are similar to the apple trees in The Wizard of Oz.
  • In the first thirteen completed episodes of Season 2, Olmec did not warn the players about the temple spirit in the Dark Forest while he guides them to the temple. From The Electrified Key of Benjamin Franklin and onward, he does.
    • This is the only room where Olmec warns the players about the temple guards while observing that room.
  • This was the first room where a temple guard is encountered in Season 2.
  • In some episodes like The Bone Necklace of the Blackfeet Chief, a tree will be seen hanging one of its arms on the breakable wall showing a sign that the temple spirit is inhabiting it. In some episodes, one of the trees catches the contestants with only one arm.
  • In a few episodes like The Enormous Iron Nose Ring of Babe the Ox, the temple spirit in the tree attempts to grab the player but misses.
  • In the episodes, The Ivory Elephant of Scheherazade, The Snow Cone of Mount Kilimanjaro and The Smashed Printing Plate of Frederick Douglass, the arms of the tree can flail before the contestant places their hand in the keyhole.
  • In Season 2, the Dark Forest was not so "dark" but in Season 3, the lighting was altered to make that room darker.
  • The Crown of Queen Nzinga was the only episode to end the run due to the player being captured in the Dark Forest.
  • The last episode to feature the temple spirit was The Dried Ear of Corn of Sojourner Truth.
  • In The Snow Cone of Mount Kilimanjaro, Heather Cuevas opens the door to the shrine and the top door does not open.
  • In The Useless Map of the Chibcha Chieftain, just before the first commercial break, one of the trees was moving its arms even though the artifact was located in its location and all three temple guard were encountered in different locations. This was presumably done for comical purposes.
  • In Season 2, the artifacts that were hidden in the Dark Forest were stuck on the tree on the right (the tree on the left never got a single artifact stuck on it). But in Season 3, the artifacts were hidden on the golden door in the middle of the room. This was presumably due to the room's change of lighting at the beginning of Season 3.
  • In Legends (the official Legends of the Hidden Temple crossover with The Loud House), one of the rooms in the temple run resembles the Dark Forest. Unlike the official version, it is located above the Shrine of the Silver Monkey instead of below and a regular Temple Guard would appear instead of one of the trees being the temple spirits.
  • This is the first room in the reboot series to feature an artifact.
  • Whenever Olmec mentions the room, he would pronounce it in a drawn-out ominous manner.
  • In the reboot episode, The Hindu Legend of Rama, Kirk Fogg makes a surprise appearance in the Dark Forest.