Cresus (2006, France, TF1)

Based on the Italian show L’Eredita (The Inheritance, for reasons that will become clear soon) which in itself was based on an Argentinian show of all places. Cresus is on nightly on TF1. What it lacks in hugely original ideas, it more than makes up for by being hugely slick and stylish.

Here he is, the man himself… Cresus!

Cresus was a very famous, very rich king of Lydia (now part of Turkey) who has decided to come back from the dead and give some of his fortune away to lucky and skillful contestants.

Meanwhile, here’s some of the theme.

Whilst Cresus introduces our host, here’s a crane shot of the very nice studio. As you can see, there’s a very large screen underfoot for graphics. At least, we think it’s a screen. If it’s added in post, then it’s very nicely done.

Here’s our rather jolly host Vincent Lagaf, whom French people will remember was the host of Le Bigdil, France’s answer to Let’s Make a Deal.

Lagaf introduces yesterday’s returning champion.

And here’s Cresus himself!

He will spend the rest of the game on the large screen, bantering with contestants and host.

The person “playing” Cresus is Gilles Vautier.

Five contestants in the circle, and each of them are spotted with 50,000 Euros.

The aim is to hold on to as much as possible, because whatever they have going into the semi-final round is the amount of money they will play for.

Straight into round one, “Le Reponse Masquee” (forgive the lack of accents) – The Hidden Answer.

Before each person gets their first question, Lagaf will do contestant chat.

In series one, this round was known as One Or The Other.

And here is that first question. Which singer married Sean Penn in 1985?

As you can see, they’ve been given the answer Madonna. The contestant must decide whether to accept the answer they’ve been given, or take the hidden answer.

Cresus predates Take It Or Leave It.

She sticks with Madonna. Good call, it isn’t Nana Mouskouri.

Questions are asked round the circle in sequence.

As is de riguer for TF1 gameshows seemingly, the rounds are punctuated by random bits of music for people to react to.

This contestant has got a question wrong. As you can see, the floor in front of him has turned yellow – this means that his card is marked.

If he gets a second question wrong then he will be forced to duel someone and face possible elimination.

This contestant has transgressed twice. The studio turns red, it’s time for a duel!

We’re just showing off some of the graphics here. This comes up whilst the contestant chooses who they want to duel.

And she’s selected this person here.

He has control over his own destiny, he must pick one of three questions. One is easy, one is medium, one is difficult.

And he’s accidentally picked the tough one. This means in theory that Jenny has the best chance of staying alive.

And he gets it wrong!

Thunder and lightning!

As the loser of the duel, he relinquishes his prize stake to the winner.

And with nothing to play for, he’s eliminated from the game. Cresus waves him off.

After each round, a score update.

Round two, “Le Cadeau Empoisonne”, The Poisoned Gift.

This round was originally entitled Hot Potato.

Each person begins the round with their two lives replenished.

As you can see, Lagaf has given the player three answers but with a hidden question. They can choose to take the question themselves, or they can defer to a player of their choosing.

If they take the question themselves and get it right, they don’t lose a life. If they get it wrong then they lose a life.

If they give it someone else, and that other contestant gets it wrong then the other contestant loses a life. But if they get it right, the challenger loses.

When someone has lost two lives, again there is a duel and once again there is a loser. Of course, at this point one player will have more money than the others. Duelling them is a risk, but one which might pay off.

Three people left, and it’s time for “La Mort Subtite” – Sudden Death.

This round was originally titled Electric Shock.

In this round there is a question with ten possible answers. Nine of them are correct, one is wrong. Each player will take it in turn to pick an answer (“which of these cheeses is made from cows milk?” is the question here).

Whoever picks the one wrong answer must immediately initiate a duel.

If all correct answers are found, furhter questions are asked until a player misses.

And now we’re down to the semi-final. As you can see, Francois has amassed 100,000 Euros, whilst Elisabeth has amassed 150,000 Euros. Whoever wins this round will play for their prize in the final.

And the semi-final is a bit like Grand Slam. Both players begin the game with 70 seconds on their clock. Francois, because he has the fewer Euros in his bank, will get the first question.

When Lagaf starts reading the question out, Francois’ clock starts ticking down. If he gets it wrong, he gets another question. If he gets it right, his clock stops and Elisabeth’s begins. It’s a chess clock principle.

Interestingly, the opponent’s clock doesn’t start immediately, there’s a brief pause for Lagaf to catch his breath, the clock doesn’t start until announces the name of the contestant. There is no such pause when someone is forced to play on, however.

Because of the multiple choice nature of the quiz, players must wait for the question to finish before answering.

When a player is down to ten seconds, each second is accompanied by a short beep.

When a player is down to four seconds, their clock turns red. This indicates that there wouldn’t be enough time for another question, so if they get it wrong at that point then they’re stuffed.

Francois now gets to play for 100,000 Euro in the final.

Nice shot of the set.

Francois has joined Lagaf in the middle in a sort of Millionaire set-up.

Here is The Column which everyone gets very excited about.

The object is to get five questions correct and therefore to turn the column green. If he does this, he will win the 100,000 Euro.

Now, we’re a bit unsure as to what happens if he doesn’t. We think we’ve read that four answers wins 2,000 Euros and the right to come back the next day, anything else is thankyou but goodbye.

The winning contestant is pitched five multiple choice questions, each one having five possible answers.

The first three questions he gets two attempts at. If his first answer is correct, it turns green and he moves on.

If his first answer is wrong, he must select a second. Whether he’s right or not won’t be revealed until the end.

As you can see, not going great at the moment – three questions asked, only one answer definite correct.

The final two questions he must get right straight off the bat – no second chances. He won’t find out if they’re right until the end, when they go through the missed questions.

Basically, he fails miserably. He gets three.

It’s goodbye from them.

And it’s goodbye from him.

This article was originally written in 2006. The following comments were left in the original comment box:

Ian Symes:
The screen on the floor looks like a chromakey job to me, though obviously I’ve not seen it in anything other than your stills.

Looks somewhat chromokey to me from the stills, too. Anyway, looks like a rather nice format (even if multiple choice questions have been done to hell) which would serve ITV well if they ever want to go for a primetime quiz at any point soon. Been a while since we’ve seen a Monday night gameshow in primetime, hasn’t it?

Definately looks like an ITV thing. Cresus would be good for handing out phone in questions and there are obvious places to put breaks.

Another question, how long does it run for? I could see ITV dragging it out for an hour easily.

Tom H:
I’m still absolutely convinced this is ITV’s best bet at a primetime gameshow – I think I more or less explained why in my column at�
Incidentally, probably worth noting that every round has been renamed for series 2 – The Hidden Answer, The Poisoned Gift and Sudden Death were formally known as One Or The Other, Hot Potato and Electric Shock – and the score recap is a new addition to the second series. But there we are.

Brig Bother:
45 minutes with one commercial.

I’m not convinced it would be ITV’s killer app, but if they got someone good to host it would certainly put in a solid performance.

 Tom H:
Oh, and Brig, just having read the summary again, as many questions are posed in ‘La Mort Subite’ as needed – elimination is by picking a genuinely wrong answer, as opposed to being obliged to by default.

Brig Bother:
Ah – brilliant, thanks Tom.

Yes, it’s Q&A (again), but a sweeping diversity of Q&A mechanics nonetheless. It’s also great to see that Take It or Leave It is, in fact, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT INNOVATIVE.

Comme tu as dit, bonus points for the CGI skeleton.

Brig Bother:
Yes, any version we have would have to have a live wisecracking CGI skeleton or I’ll mark it 1/10.

Brig Bother
Incidentally, in the Italian show it used to begin with seven people, and in the updated version it begins with six.

You could fit this in a half hour slot without tooo much difficulty, I would have thought.

Assuming five people… If ITV did it with a starting share of £50k a person, it would do the fairly impressive feat of giving away up to £200k a week. The fact they’re not guaranteed to give away any money every week might even allow them to make it £100k starting (up to £400k a week)

Which, considering the prize steaks have been raised and C4 are potentially giving away six figure sums in a daytime slot, neither sounds particually unlikely to me…

Brig Bother:
They could probably do it daily with £25k.

Take every Q&A format ever. Mix it up with a few twists. Put it in one of the best game show sets ever. A formula for success.

I’m a fan of quizzes that start with a twist, then proceed to twist that twist, twist it again, and then come full circle. And a fitting title to go.

I never saw Turnabout. This may explain why I don’t appreciate the gift of life and live in habitual contemplation of self-harm and raw hatred of existence.

the italian first season worked exactly that way, except with 7 players.

in the current season, six players start with €10’000 each. When two players are remaining they play a duel round. They secretly answer to a series of multiple choice questions, each worth some big money (20 to 50 thousand euro). Then the player with the most money is the new champion and gets to play the Guillotine game to take home the money.

One pair of words are revealed. The player then chooses the word he/she thinks is the right one. If the chosen word was right, nothing eventful happens, if it was wrong, the player’s winnings are cut in half.

After five pairs of words, the player gets a chance to guess a sixth word that’s somehow related to each of the other five. Then the host reveals the hidden word and if it matches the guess, the player takes home the money.

let’s just make an example:
Champions has won €100’000

pair 1: STAR / PLANET
player picks STAR and is…right!

pair 2: DISH / POT
player picks DISH and is…wrong!
player’s prize becomes €50’000

pair 3: LORD / LADY
player picks LORD and is…wrong!
Player’s prize becomes is €25’000

pair 4: SICK / ILL
player picks ILL and is…right!

pair 5: DOG / CAT
player picks DOG and is…right!

the right words are:

try guessing the related word for a virtual €25’000 🙂

I remember this game when it aired in Spain a few years ago, here it was called “La Quinta Esfera”. It was at the time they finished “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” on Tele5 after burning it to death and were looking a new gameshow hit. First they tried with “Roussian Roulette” wich they called here “Decision Final”. It didn´t last long, sadly. Then they tried with this one with a little better luck, over 100 (daily) shows, but in the end, got cancelled. No CGI Squeletor, btw. If i remember right, here we had 6 contestants and a maximun top prize of 300.000€.

Oh, and here it WAS a screen on the floor, so i think this version has to be also a screen.

so that guilloteine round, those words are random that the contestant picks? and how does the original argentinian version play?

the game looks very interesting, i’d love to pick up the PC game of the italian version

theKIKO – what was the starting value in the Spanish version? Because the way I’m interpriting the rules, six players with a €50k start would give a top prize of €250k, and €60k starting amount per player (for a €300k top prize) just sounds weird to me.

Brig Bother:
300k isn’t that weird, it’s what someone else gave away at one point as I recall.

The best case scenario, of course, is that you go into the semi-final with all the money apart from your opponent’s.

Maybe it were 250.000€. The show was like 3 years ago, some months before our version of “Deal or no deal” started, so some details i can´t remember.

A player could have all the money to play in the final round. And the way was this: let´s say, one semifinalist has 100.000 and the other 200.000. The one with 100.000 wins and goes to the finals. But, then he can make a choice. He can answer one question and, if right, he goes to the final for 300.000. If wrong, the other player goes to the final with the money he has (200.000 in this example). If he doesn´t want to play and answer the question, he goes to the finals for the money he had at that moment (The 100.000).

I hope you can understand what i wrote, my english is not as good as i would like it (Yep, 6 years on Internet visiting english websites daily and STILL i´m having problems lol)

Brig Bother:
I’m understanding perfectly well, thank you!

Yes, so do I, thanks. In that case, €300k makes perfect sense. I was just confused due to, well, the very concept of units of €60k seems weird to me, somehow. (And yet I’m perfectly willing to accept £35k as one of the boxes in the British Deal or No Deal

Whammy wrote: so that guilloteine round, those words are random that the contestant picks?

The contender is given a pair of words (they are somehow related to each other) and chooses one. After hearing which was the right one, gets to see the next pair.

As you can see, the very first pair is a blind pick, with each later pick becoming a more educated guess.

okay so what’s the answer to the guilloteine puzzle, and does anyone own the PC game?

the right words are:

in this example the winning word is… LUCK (lucky star, pot-of-luck, lady luck, ill luck, lucky dog) that is how the endgame works

So, like Fort Boyard codewords but more loosely defined, then?

CeleTheRef, i have a friend in Italy, is the PC game worth getting? Or by any chance are there any italian torrent sites that might have it 😉

thanks in advance

lagaf’ is a big star in France. go to my website (in French) :

11 thoughts on “Cresus (2006, France, TF1)

  1. Setsunael

    Well, TF1 is planning to bring Back Cresus to try competing versus TLMVPSP which is currently skyrocketing in the ratings – it’s planned to start this summer.

  2. Setsunael

    Unfortunately not – the role seems already reserved to Jean-Luc Reichmann , currently hosting Attention a la Marche ! in the timeslot (which has been axed due to ratings declining vs TLMVPSP) – and Lagaf’ is quite busy with Le Juste Prixwhich is very popular – actually, it’s the only GS airing on TF1 achiving good ratings consistently – , and it”s already re-commissioned for three extra series. (Wheel of Fortune takes Price’s slot starting next monday)

  3. Tom H

    Cresus coming back? Great news! Big fan of Reichmann’s too – and nice to get out of that constant Prix/Roue carousel.

  4. Tom H

    Actually, it won’t – doing some digging, they’re planning on showing it in the same midday timeslot – while keeping the same prize levels as in primetime, presumably as it was so difficult to win much money on it.

  5. The Banker's Nephew

    Aw… Having seen some clips (the website won’t let me watch it cos I’m foreign TT_TT), it looks like the great floor (video screen or otherwise) is gone… The great graphics are gone, Cresus himself is gone to be replaced by a fairy, of all things, and the title is another long French title. I don’t like it, not one bit.

      1. Alex

        Something about 12 stars in the title? I think I remember it, not like I necessarily want to.

  6. Pingback: Mais oui! | Bother's Bar

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