La Carte Aux Tresors (1996, France 3, Expand)

Today we’re going to take a look at La Carte Aux Tresors (The Treasure Map) . This show is a spiritual successor to La Chasse Aux Tresor, which we know as the original helicopter-based adventure game Treasure Hunt. This is made by the same people, Expand and Tele-Union Paris.

The episode featured today comes from 1996, the year this show first started. It should be pointed out that the rules have changed a bit in the interim which we’ll detail later.

Title sequence. Helicopters feature very heavily in this show so then titles feature various helicopter checks.

The theme tune consists of some tasteful soft rock.

And here’s the name of the show on the side of the white helicopter.

There are not one, not two, but THREE main helicopters involved in this game.

Here is our host, the journalist Sylvain Augier. He’ll spend the show chatting to the contestants from the white helicopter.

Amongst various other paraphanalia, in front of him on the dashboard is a computer system loaded with GPS.

He’s still hosting the show in 2004, incidentally.

Today we’re playing in the La Rochelle region of France, famous of course for Fort Boyard. That won’t be featuring in today’s show.

The contestants are introduced via a montage of old photos. Each team’s pilot, cameraman and radio operator are also introduced. The female contestant plays in red, males play in blue.

Today’s competition is between Eleanore and Luigi.

The game then. The contestants are searching for the "rose au vents" – The Rose of the Winds, which we’ll probably just refer to as The Compass Rose from here, which is hidden somewhere in the area. Inside that golden cannister is a cheque for 30,000FFr.

However, that cannister sinks into the podium, and the only thing that will make it rise again is The Compass Rose which when placed on top unlocks the mechanism.

Whatsmore, the contestants only have seventy minutes to solve the clues, find the Rose and race back to the start point. If time runs out, the mechanism will jam forever.

Solving the three puzzles is the key to winning the game. Not only is there an extra clue as to The Rose’s location for the contestant who first solves each puzzle, but if you plot the answers on a map, you’d find The Rose in the general area of the mid-point, as the diagram shows.

Here’s Luigi in his helicopter. In front of him is a computer. It’s preloaded with an encyclopedia and a dictionary, as well as any extra information about the area that might be deemed useful.

Sylvan gives the contestants a three letter code to type into the contestant’s computers. This reveals the puzzle to the contestants.

You’ll note the clock in the corner, it counts upwards from zero.

"It was necessary to twist so that you can denicher the chart of the chechmate of top," apparently.

This clue rather cryptically leads to a place in the area where a silver cannister resides. The contestants are racing to the cannister as it contains a clue to the final puzzle.

Eleanore is looking at her onboard dictionary here.

Each contestant is given a little booklet with clues to help. They also have a pen and can use it as a notepad of sorts.

Hmm, that ship looks interesting. Didn’t the clue mention climbing to the top? And isn’t that the house as pictured in the notebook?

Eleanore’s down and starting to run!

Luigi’s going for the local knowledge.

Sylvain communicates with the contestants in his helicopter. The helicopter still follows the contestants around, even when they’re on the ground.

Eleanore communicates with her pilot Juliette. The contestant can ask their pilot to get up in the air to see if they can see anything. Juliette and Pascal are the resident pilots and rather than being impartial they’re affiliated with their team.

Luigi has made it to the ship and has realised he’s got to climb up the rigging. The silver cannister is in the crow’s nest.

But Juliette’s in hot pursuit and interestingly doesn’t bother to put safety kit on, she just climbs to the top anyway. That’s really dangerous and fascinatingly nobody stops her…

And she’s got it! Stop the clock!

After each clue, the female voiceover gives a brief history of the place.

Sylvain congratulates Eleanore on her success and gives the contestants new notebooks for the next puzzle.

She will keep the cannister and the clue inside on a shelf behind her for when the time comes.

The map is split into three sectors and there is one cannister in each. As we said before, if you plot all the cannister locations on the map and then find the mid-point of the triangle it will lead to the general area of The Compass Rose.

"This fortified town knew the ruee towards “l’or blanc.” Faitres the guet with the top a serious galleon."


The view from the red helicopter.

Well we seem to be landing in a fortified town.

More local knowledge. We’ll cut to the chase.

You can’t see it, but there’s a picture of a galleon engraved in that wall there. The cannister must be quite close.

It’s somewhere along the wall. But it’s quite a big wall…

That tower thing looks quite interesting…

And she’s found it! Stop the clock!

We know how the show works now, a bit of history, chat with the contestants next puzzle, so we’ll crack on with the third enigma.

Actually, we should point out that the third puzzle works slightly differently. Remember the 70 minute time limit? When the clock hits 55 minutes and they haven’t found the cannister, Sylvain will advise they terminate their search for the cannister and will tell them the code to the fourth and final puzzle, revealing the location of The Compass Rose.

Not far from castle, by finding the rose of the winds before l’heure, you will understand that c’en is a punt: l’enigme?

Thanks to Altavista for providing these translations, by the way.

There’s a boat, and isn’t that a compass rose on the front of it?

Luigi seems to be looking in the wrong place entirely…

Eleanore’s found it though. But horror! The boat is locked!

There’s a sub-puzzle here. Where’s the key?

These people are bound to know. But look at the clock, time is ticking away…

She’s now being driven following a man on a bike who says he knows where it is.

But the clock has hit 55. It is advised they give up and go for the the gold now.

But Eleanore’s sort of on her way back anyway so she may as well finish the job. The key is hanging from one of those multicoloured storage things.

And she’s got it! But time is seriously running out, in the next eleven minutes she’s got to get back to the helicopter, find The Compass Rose and race back to the start point. Meanwhile Luigi could still win this yet as he’s got a several minute headstart in getting back to his helicopter.

D’un carreiet of l’huitrier you will pecherez the rose of the winds.

Eleanore, with all three clues, knows exactly where it is.

It’s up the north end of Ile Madame.

Luigi gets his binoculars out.

Whilst Eleanore starts getting excited!

And she’s off!

She’s spied it. It’s in one of the fishing nets.

She pulls the net in!

She’s got it. But she’s now only got three-and-a-half minutes to race back to her helicopter and fly back to the start point. This is going to be tight!

She’s back, with three minutes left.

But it’s bad luck Luigi. Sadly for him he was outclassed generally.

Eleanore celebrates with her team. That’s the cameraman she’s hi-five-ing there.

Sylvain enquires as to how long she thinks it’s going to be before they get there. Juliette the pilot suggests about a minute. Sylvain tells them that that is enough time and he’s going to run off ahead.

Forty seconds left. Where’s the red helicopter?

Thirty seconds, and it still hasn’t landed!

Fifteen seconds! Come on!!!


Seven seconds!

And she’s there! Crikey, that’s cutting it fine.

Celebrations all round!

And she wins the treasure, a cheque for 30,000FFr, about £3,000 at the time.

And Luigi our gallant runner-up has joined everybody.

But now the adventure is over, and it’s time for the contestants to bid the white helicopter farewell.

Sylvain waves goodbye to the contestants…

… before all the helicopters fly off into the sunset.

This is a montage incidentally and I managed to take a snapshot mid fade. That’s not a ghost helicopter right in the middle there.

And that’s a ninety minute episode of La Carte Aux Tresors. It’s an excuse to fly around for ninety minutes and look at lots of scenery really.

However the game changed quite dramatically later. Now the contestants were given sixty minutes to find the three clues (either a picture, object or piece of writing), and each clue came with a 10,000FFr prize attached (1,500 Euro these days). After the third clue, or if time ran out, both teams relocated and went for the fourth clue to find the Compass Rose but on a separate twenty minute clock. They had to find it as fast as possible because the person who finds the Compass Rose goes on to do some sort of extreme sporting challenge with the remaining time to unlock a chest with a treasure inside, worth an additional 30,000FFr (4,500 E).

2 thoughts on “La Carte Aux Tresors (1996, France 3, Expand)

  1. Edward Glenn



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