Takeshi's Castle - The Origin of Fall Guys and Faustão's Olympics

Faustão's famous Olympics were revitalized with the great success of the Game Fall Guys. What few know is that these types of popular scavenger hunts in various reality shows around the world, had their origin in Japan by Takeshi's Castle.

Takeshi's Castle or Fūun! Takeshi-jō [風雲!たけし城] is a Japanese reality show launched in 1986 with the participation of comedian Takeshi Kitano. The name of the program literally means turbulence at Takeshi Castle.

Known as Beat Takeshi, the comedian is an earl who has a castle full of difficult challenges for volunteer players. The game became a worldwide success with several copies around the world.

How did Takeshi's Castle work?

The original program involves 86 to 142 competitors in which General Tani (Hayato Tani) "forced" on a series of physical challenges, in some respects similar to It's a Knockout, eliminating many of the competitors. Similar to Fall Guys, being a real Battle Royale.

Each show ended with a "Final Confrontation" in which Count Takeshi (Kitano) faces the remaining contestants. In the first few episodes, players needed to invade the castle and create a short-range water cannon attack.

Later episodes introduced carts with paper rings and, eventually, lasers and targets sensitive to light. If the competitor's weapon penetrated the paper ring or hit the sensor on Takeshi's cart, they would take the castle and win.

Takeshi’s castle - the origin of fall guys and the Olympics of Faust

During the water pistol version, if Takeshi was defeated, all surviving players shared the prize between them. During the laser gun version, the player who stopped Takeshi won 1 million yen (about $ 8,000 at the time).

The series featured extensive landscaping of a fixed campus at TBS-owned Midoriyama (Green Mountain) studios, which included large artificial lakes and extensive permanent obstacles in Yokohama, Japan.

The final regular episode aired on April 14, 1989 followed by 4 unique specials until October 19, 1990. A special revival took place on April 2, 2005 and featured the Lake of the Dragon God and the Straits of Gibraltar.

In the last episode of Takeshi Castle, released on October 19, 1990, there was an incredible participation of 1000 competitors led by General Tani. During 127 battles, the participants managed to win Takeshi Castle only 8 times.

Takeshi’s castle - the origin of fall guys and the Olympics of Faust

The end of Takeshi's Castle

As soon as the final battle is over, fireworks explode over Takeshi Castle as if to praise the winning side.
If the attacking army is defeated, it shows Captain Tani fleeing, leaving a message of defeat, and Takeshi's troops on the walls shouting at Takeshi at the top of the walls, followed by a challenging fight scene with the contestants and the rolling staff. .

If the attacking forces win, the competitor who reaches the target of the Takeshi tank receives 1 million yen from Captain Tani, and then he or she raises a scream with the other competitors who managed to get to the karting game and connects to the challenger's battle.

In both cases, a sign was inserted announcing the call for the new challengers written: Let's play with Takeshi-chan! The narrator's final sentence is basically “Thanks to all the people who participated”.

Takeshi’s castle - the origin of fall guys and the Olympics of Faust

The different Gymkhana Games

Many people know these games through the Wipeout. Wipeout emerged as a kind of quiz program, while from the beginning Takeshi Castle was already obstacle course style.

I remember playing a game called WipeOut on the Nintendo Wii, in which I even thought that Brazilian TV competitions were based on this American reality show (my mistake). Now I know that each country has its own scavenger show.

Several Asian television channels replicated Takeshi's Castle, with the same characters, the same system, a castle and multiple simultaneous participants. You can even think that the Program is Japanese, because even the signs are in the language.

Takeshi’s castle - the origin of fall guys and the Olympics of Faust

Several other programs tried to use the premises of Takeshi Castle, we have the famous Ninja Warriorfollowed by the floor is lava available on Netflix and many others. Do you know of any other similar program? Leave it in the comments ...

Most of them consist of challenges where the loser falls into the water or mud if he makes a mistake. Many of the challenges are similar, like that of spinning on Fall Guys. There are hundreds of different games and challenges at Takeshi Castle.

The success of these games was great that in Japan there were toys based on the Program. Some politically correct people questioned the program because of its war climate, and the laughter when players lost.

Takeshi’s castle - the origin of fall guys and the Olympics of Faust

List of Takeshi's Castle Games on Brazilian TV

Many of the original games at Takeshi's Castle were present at the WipeoutAnd other television programs (article originally written for Brazil). See below for a list of games that were in those programs, also the original games for those programs.

There are 8 to 9 types of difficulties (games) waiting for you to reach the decisive battle with the castle's owner, Takeshi. More than 100 games were created from beginning to end of the program. At Brazilian TV these games were presented separately without a plot.

The Bridge of the River that Falls

That name is a pun on the film The Kwai River Bridge. In the game, players cross a rope bridge with an item while henchmen throw black volleyballs at the competitor, which is eliminated if he falls. The original game is called Bridge Ball.

At the Takeshi Castle there were two cannons used to shoot competitors. In a variation of the game, several stones are attached to the bridge to make crossing even more difficult. This means that the competitor cannot run across, but must climb the rocks.

Only after that version was the version in which you need to carry a golden ball created. If you lose, you need to go back to the general to get another golden ball. It was probably in this version that the bridge of the river that falls was inspired.

Takeshi’s castle - the origin of fall guys and the Olympics of Faust


Catch It Ball - The players, wearing huge clothes and with nets, try to catch a ball thrown in the air. Whoever catches passes and gives chances to others.

Bowling (Skittles) - 10 players take a playing card and dress up as a bowling pin, and then a giant bowling ball comes to knock down the pins, wins those who are left in the race.

Raiders of the Lost Tomb (The Gauntlet) - The player must pass a race circuit involving a treadmill, a rotating bridge and a trampoline and reach the end without falling off it. However, the route must be completed in 30 seconds. The name is a parody of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Cipó do Bozó (The Dragon Lake) - Jumping from a vine, the participant must cross a lake and stop on top of a lying elephant.

Mushroom Trip - The player hangs on a giant lying mushroom, and crosses a pond. To win, he needs to launch himself onto a floating platform in the water.

Takeshi’s castle - the origin of fall guys and the Olympics of Faust

Camelo Cross (On Yer Bike) - In a pool, there is a wall with undulations and the player, on top of a bicycle, has to walk through the bicycle wall, without falling.

Dominoes (Dominoes) - The participant has to go over several domino pieces without falling.

Slide and Hit (End Bell) - The player must descend a ramp on top of a board, slide it in the water, reach another ramp and climb it and ring a bell at the top

Ball Cupping - The player throws a ball into a giant pinball machine and runs under it with a pan. He must catch the ball with the pan before it falls into the mud under the end of the machine.

Fuça-Fuça (Mud Ball) - A soccer ball is thrown into the air, and the participant, walking in a mire, must catch the ball before it falls into the mud.

Gira-Gira (Bridge The Gap) - The player must cross two swing bridges going from one end of one of them, pass to the other and follow until the end.

Jet-Cup (Rice Bowl Downhill) - The player is thrown from a wet ramp into a giant cup. At the end, she arrives at a pool. He must stay in the cup when he gets there, without falling out of it.

Game of Stick (Poles Apart) - Players throw themselves into a pool, supported by an iron bar, to win, he must throw himself on a floating platform in the water, without falling.

Slipped Diskeds - In a swimming pool, several discs of different sizes are arranged and rotate in different directions. The player must cross the pool by going over the discs without falling.

Beehive Labyrinth (Honeycomb Maze) - The player enters a maze with several hexagonal rooms and several doors in each one. He must get out of there the right way, taking care of monsters and false exits.

The Run Way - The player gets on a cart and is put to run. Beside, a mathematical expression is shown. At the end of the path, he must answer the correct result.

At the Foot of the Ear (Prod) - Two players are on narrow platforms and armed with 'giant swabs'. Whoever pushes the other out first wins. It was divided into two versions (male and female), with two qualifiers and a final stage each.

Skipping Stones - The player must cross a river stepping on several stones, being careful with the false ones, which sink when stepping on them.

Pirates of the Caribbean (Turtle Hurtle) - The player must cross a bridge made up of several platforms floating in the sea. The platforms are slippery and, to make matters worse, a pirate goes after him to take him down.

Knock Knock - Four walls are arranged in parallel, each with four doors, two of wood and two of styrofoam. The participant must go through the four walls without crashing through the wooden doors, while people dressed as monsters try to prevent him from moving forward. and one of the Styrofoam doors has a net for the participant to curl up

Horse Proof (Dino Ride) - The participant must jump on a mobile mechanical bull disguised as a horse, and remain on it all the way until reaching a bell and ringing it.

Roll the Roll (High Rollers) - To win, the player must pass over seven giant reels without falling into the pool below them.

Roulette (Roulette) - Three players, dressed as clowns, are on top of a roulette wheel, with a podium in the middle, all separated in a specific place. they take off their clowns' clothes and then they have to wear the same clothes and get on the podium. whoever does this function wins first, has the stages, male and female.

Lagoa Surfing (Wipe Out) - The player climbs on a spinning surfboard and must jump the dolphins and platforms in his path, without falling.

Tapa na Aranha (Velcro Fly) - The player holds on to a rope and throws himself against a velcro with a patterned spider web and has to stick to the velcro without falling.

Teleferro (Up The Creek) - The player enters a wooden cable car and drags a rope to the left, underneath there is a mire and a platform. the participant must fall on that platform without falling into the mud.

Main Challenges of Takeshi Castle

Although many challenges from the Faustão Olympics and other scavenger hunt programs are based on the games at Takeshi's Castle, the English names are not equivalent to Japanese names. That's because the Japanese TV show follows a script, so the challenges have names related to the castles and scenery of the game.

Border wall [国境の壁] - Cross a 2 meter high wall within the time limit. There is a fall on both sides of the wall.

Takeshi’s castle - the origin of fall guys and the Olympics of Faust

See a list of Takeshi games and challenges named after him in Japanese:

  • Edge Slope [国境の坂]
  • Frontier Wall [国境の関所]
  • Border perfection [国境のパーフェクション]
  • First Village [第一砦]
  • Ryujin Pond [竜神池]
  • Devil’s House [悪魔の館]
  • According to Forte [第二砦]
  • Strait of Gibraltar [ジブラルタル海峡]
  • Man-Eating Cave [人喰い穴]
  • The longest garden [ザ・ロンゲストヤード]
  • Adventure Zone [アドベンチャーゾーン]
  • The Freedom Wall [自由への壁]
  • The Long Wall of Freedom [遥かなる自由への壁]
  • This is a Ball, Run! [これは玉 RUN]
  • Punk boy [どんぶらこっこ]
  • Sumo wrestler [すもうでポン]
  • The condor will fly away [コンドルは飛んで行く]
  • Pong with mushrooms! [キノコでポン!]
  • With handwriting [書道でポン]
  • It’s a perfect match [当たって完パイ]
  • Heaven and hell [天国と地獄]
  • Castle war [城内戦]
  • Cart Battle [カート戦]

Takeshi's Castle videos

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