The Mysterious Cities of Gold

A&E Premiered May 01, 1982 In Season


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Episode Guide


  • Season 1
    • End of the City of Gold
      The power unit is installed but a vital piece is missing which could cause a global catastrophe. Only the High Priest, whose secret Mendoza fathoms, can prevent this happening.
    • The Great Legacy
      Episode 38
      The Olmecs attack the doors of the City and have a disagreement with the High Priest. The City is awakened and Esteban finds out more about his father.
    • The City of Gold
      Episode 37
      Sancho and Pedro meet Mendoza at the condor. He has figured out where the Cities of Gold are - on the island in the middle of the lake. The Maya have wiped out the Olmec army and now control the land. Menator, meanwhile, has also figured out the location of the Cities of Gold. Esteban and Zia, washed up on the island, are found, and wake up in comfortable beds where they meet the High Priest of the Cities of Gold. He explains his duty to guard the gates of the Cities from attack. Gomez and Gaspard see the Olmec machine circling the island and, concluding that the Cities of Gold must be there, swim to it. As night falls, the Olmecs are still unable to find the gates to the Cities. The three sailors swim out to the island while Wynacocha goes to fetch reinforcements. The High Priest, beneath the mountainous terrain of the island, shows Esteban and Zia two things: a library which apparently holds a copy of every document ever written, and the gates to the Cities of Gold. The Olmecs, meanwhile, find the entrance to the underground chamber. These doors open, and the High Priest and his servants emerge. Menator emerges from the Olmec machine and demands that the High Priest open the gates to the Cities of Gold. When the High Priest refuses, the Olmecs dangle Tao from their machine by a rope and bash him against the mountainside. The High Priest tells Esteban and Zia that the decision is theirs alone, and at their behest he agrees to open the gates. Kalmec leads a small group to the underground chamber containing the gates, and the outer doors are closed. The High Priest explains all to the children: Long ago existed two mighty and prosperous empires; Hiva to the west, in the Pacific, and Atlantis to the east. Both knew the secret of harnessing the power of the sun. Finally a terrible war broke out between them, and the weapons of the sun which they used destroyed both their islands, sinking them in catastrophic earthquakes. But the Emperor of Hiva had foreseen this catastrophe, and had ordered the construction of seven Cities of Gold around the world, each containing a power source. Over the centuries, the two lost empires were forgotten. Finally the two medallions which open the Cities both reappeared, one passed down through Zia's family, the other found by Esteban's father. Thus both medallions came into the possession of children, as was the Emperor's wish - that the fate of the Cities of Gold and the awesome power they contain should be in the hands of innocent children. With Tao's life in the hands of the Kalmec, Esteban and Zia agree to open the gates with their medallions, and a magnificent, underground City of Gold is revealed.moreless
    • Aerial Pursuit
      Episode 36
      The Olmec flying machine attacks the Maya, vaporising some with a heat ray. Esteban heads back to the condor to chase the Olmec machine in the hope of rescuing Zia. Tao and Mendoza go with him. An aerial game of cat and mouse ensues between the two craft. The Olmec machine rams the condor, trying to force it to land. That fails, so the Olmecs fire warning shots with the heat ray. Esteban takes the condor above the Olmec machine, upside down; opening the canopy he jumps onto the top of the Olmec machine, Tao following and leaving Mendoza to roughly land the condor. The Olmec machine lands near the condor, and Mendoza slips away. Esteban and Tao, on the roof of the Olmec machine, find an way in, and once inside follow a guard to the control room. Once there they knock out the machine's pilots. Tao tries to figure out the machine's controls, causing chaos as it hurls itself around. Kalmec comes to the control room to investigate, and while Esteban runs off to find Zia, he captures Tao. Esteban finds Zia with Menator on the command deck. Zia closes the door. Kalmec fetches a portable heat-ray gun to cut open the door. Esteban breaks the window and he and Zia jump out into the lake below. Esteban swims, carrying Zia, to a nearby island.moreless
    • The Olmec Machine
      Episode 35
      Tao ponders his jar; why does it react to the Olmecs' crystal? Is their power source similar to the sun-power with which the Hiva people destroyed themselves? Gomez and Gaspard turn up, forcing the children to go into the mountain with them. Wynacocha announces that the main body of the Olmec army has been defeated. The three sailors hear about the children being taken into the mountain and look for a way to follow them inside. Gomez, Gaspard and the children are coaxed down a corridor and a long staircase by a projection of Menator. The children manage to escape and run ahead. Gomez and Gaspard give chase, and they all end up in the cryochamber where the suspended Olmecs are kept. Menator makes another holographic appearance, explaining the the plight of his people: Long ago a terrible war broke out, most of the world's population wiped out. The Olmecs took refuge in the mountain, the Earth poisoned by the war. Over generations, their bodies changed. No longer able to bear children, they seek immortality through their cell-transplant experiments. Menator pretends to know the location of the Cities of Gold to trick Gomez and Gaspard into cooperating. It works, and they follow him, dragging the children along. The three sailors, meanwhile, enter the mountain via the cave with the stream. Gomez, Gaspard, and the children, are led to the room with the huge face on the wall. It slides open from the centre, and Menator invites them to enter the darkness beyond. The children try to escape but are cornered. Mendoza, Sancho and Pedro burst in, and a fight ensues. Menator drags Zia into the darkness. The wall slides closed. Menator looks down from one of the face's eyes, threatening to hurt Zia. Rather than allow this, Esteban tells him where the Cities of Gold are. Light fills the room. A strange Olmec machine burrows its way through the mountain, bringing ceilings crashing down all over the base. The Doctor and his companions escape from their cell only to be killed by the machine's passing. The machine emerges into the open air, revealing itself to be a bizarre flying machine.moreless
    • 12/18/82
      In the early hours of the morning, Kukapetl wakes Esteban and Tao. They find Zia at her father's grave. Tao explains his plan to arm the condor with weapons. As the sun rises, the Maya attack the Olmec mountain. The Olmecs defend themselves with spears, swords and various booby-traps. Back at the village, Mendoza supervises the construction of two wheeled siege towers. The Doctor and his associates are thrown in prison by the Olmecs. The Maya, faring badly, are forced to retreat and regroup. The mountain seems impenetrable, until Mendoza's two battle towers are hauled into position and battle resumes. Gomez and Gaspard reach the Maya village, and see the condor, which is now being loaded with baskets full of rocks. They corner the village women in a hut and grab Zia. Esteban, Tao and the women overcome them. The children take off in the condor, but Gomez and Gaspard escape, grabbing hold of the wooden framework supporting the baskets on the condor. The battle takes a turn for the worse when the Olmecs set fire to one of the battle towers. But the condor arrives, dropping rocks - and Gaspard - on the Olmecs. The Maya force the Olmecs to retreat into the mountain, chased all the way. The condor lands, Gomez leaping off. Menator, the Olmec Chief, is not frightened, for he still has a secret weapon. Gomez rejoins Gaspard, and points out that if Mendoza and the children are here, the Cities of Gold can't be far away.moreless
    • The Reunion
      Episode 33
      The condor lands in the village. The wounded Papa Camaillo is finally reunited with his daughter Zia. He tells her that after Pizarro captured her and took her away to Spain, he went on a quest to find the Cities of Gold, and finally found the gates to just such a city at the intersection of the diagonals of a square formed by the three ruined cities and the Burning Shield. He warns that in the City lies a priceless treasure which would place the world in great danger if it fell into Olmec hands. Then he dies. The Olmecs, discovering that the condor statue is actually a flying machine, believe that they have been tricked by the Doctor and his associates. The Olmecs in suspended animation are starting to die - the Olmecs power source is no longer sufficient to maintain their refrigeration, and retrieving the great treasure from the Cities of Gold becomes an urgent priority. Wynacocha travels to other villages to seek help in fighting the Olmecs, but the other tribes are too frightened to fight. Sancho and Pedro, meanwhile, plan to leave now that they know where the Cities of Gold are. Mendoza, angered by their reluctance to stay and fight, thumps them and tells Esteban that the three of them will help fight the Olmecs. Meanwhile, the other tribes meet and decide to join forces and fight after all.moreless
    • 12/4/82
      The Olmecs on the march, having found out the location of the Maya village. The children see a shadowy figure, from which they run only to be confronted by another. They turn out to be Gomez and Gaspard, whom they had thought to be dead. Gomez and Gaspard cannot return to Pizarro because of their various failures in the past, and are now searching for the Cities of Gold. The children tell them that Mendoza, Sancho and Pedro are dead. They join forces to get the condor from the Olmecs, who are preparing to lift the condor with ropes. Olmec forces surround the Maya village. The three sailors help prepare the village's defences. The children, with Gomez and Gaspard, build a "monster" out of an old wagon, furs, and torches...and gunpowder. It explodes in the Olmecs' faces, temporarily frightening them off. While Gomez and Gaspard hold off the Olmecs, the children climb into the condor. The sun rises just in time, and the condor takes off with Gomez and Gaspard clinging onto the beak. Esteban accidentally flies the condor through some trees, leaving Gomez and Gaspard hanging from the upper branches. The children fly the condor over the Maya village, which is being set aflame by the Olmecs. The Papa Camaillo drags himself from his bed to fight, but is critically wounded by an Olmec arrow. The condor's arrival scares the Olmecs away.moreless
    • 11/27/82
      The party make their way along a narrow mountain ledge, with the Olmecs in pursuit. Once onto flat ground, they're surrounded by the Olmecs, but the Olmecs are ambushed by a group of Maya. Esteban saves Myena from an attacking Olmec, and the Olmecs retreat. The attacking Maya are led by Wynacocha, Myena's husband-to-be. He takes them back to the village of the Maya of the New Sun, a tribe dedicated to fighting the Olmecs. Wynacocha goes to see the village Chief, a traveller who arrived there five years ago, who is also Myena's adopted father. Now that they have Myena back, they have no reason not to attack the Olmec base in the mountain. But the Chief is ill and begs Wynacocha to wait for his recovery so that he might lead the attack. The Olmecs, meanwhile, capture the Doctor, Marinche and Teteola. They prove their "good intentions" to the Olmec Chief, Menator, by offering him a gold condor statue they know the whereabouts of. Esteban, Zia and Myena gather herbs to make medicine for the sick Maya Chief. Zia laments the loss of her own father. The Doctor leads a group of Olmecs to the whole where the golden condor landed. In the Maya village, Sancho & Pedro escape from their locked room, and go exploring. They find the Chief's house and try listening down the chimney, but fall through the roof and are caught. Wynacocha is angry and has them locked up again. The imprisoned party overhear a Maya scout reporting that the Olmecs have found a gold condor statue. When Myena tells the old Chief about the children, he recognises Zia's name - for he is Zia's father, the Papa Camaillo of Puna. Myena rushes to fetch Zia, but the children have already escaped to get the condor back.moreless
    • The Escape
      Episode 30
      Kalmec shows the captive party their giant crystal, explaining that it was created by an ancestor of the Olmecs to transform light and geothermal energy into usable energy. The party are taken to Menator. He calls in Myena, an enslaved Maya girl, who brings him Tao's jar. Menator asks the party about the Cities of Gold. Mendoza claims to know little of them. Esteban tries to get Tao's jar back but is hit by a stun ray. The three sailors are put to work cleaning out a reservoir tank, while the children are taken to the Olmec doctors. Menator orders that the children be placed in suspended animation to avoid them being injured trying to escape, and discusses with Kalmec the importance of finding the Cities of Gold. The sailors plan to escape through reservoir waste pipe. Mendoza overcomes their guard and they run for it. Myena gives them Tao's stuff and tells them that the children are to be frozen. Kukapetl helps Mendoza distract guards, and he messes with the controls of the power system. The children are placed in the refrigeration room. The power fails due to Mendoza's tampering. In the confusion Mendoza rescues the children. The party run, finding a dead end. A fight with the Olmecs ensues, but an Olmec spear breaks open a thin rock wall, making an exit. From there they return to the reservoir and escape - along with Myena - via the drainage channel they found earlier.moreless
    • The Burning Shield
      Episode 29
      After more travelling, the party find the Burning Shield, a mountain. From its summit shines a strange light, which causes Tao's jar to glow. Eager to investigate the mountain, they find a cave where a stream emerges. The cave turns out to be a dead end, the water emerging from a small hole. More water gushes through, threatening to flood the cave. They seek refuge climbing rocks, and find a passage which the follow. A stairway leads to a massive chamber in the heart of the mountain, centred by a massive crystal spire. Strange-looking people, the Olmecs, are operating machinery beneath the crystal - some kind of reactor supplying power. The crystal glows, Tao's jar glowing with it. The Olmecs shutdown the system due to a malfunction. A security device signals a disturbance, and they commence a search. The party hide in a room filled with what we would recognise as electrical generators. The children wait there while the sailors scout around. One of the Olmecs, Commander Kalmec, finds soil from the spillage cave. When the generator room is searched, the children run to a room with a huge carved face on the wall. A voice welcomes them, claiming to be the god and soul of the Olmecs. When the children try to leave, a strange beam of light from the face's eyes knocks them out. They awake to find themselves undergoing medical examination by the Olmecs, who plan to transplant cells from the children's bodies to their own, to slow down their aging process. The Olmec chief, Menator, introduces himself. Zia notices dozens of dead bodies behind glass panels, but is told that they are merely Olmecs in a deep sleep. The children are taken elsewhere, but rescued by Mendoza en route. They run, emerging near the top of the mountain with no way down. Mendoza realises from the lay of the land that the three ruined cities are all nearby, within a day's walk, and concludes that the Cities of Gold must also be nearby. However, the Cities of Gold will have to wait - the party are cornered and forced to surrender to the Olmecs.moreless
    • 11/6/82
      The party leave the city, heading north. The Doctor and his associates escape, but without the second manuscript they don't realise that they're heading the wrong way. The party trek through more forest, until Kukapetl finds them a river. Mendoza has them build a raft to take them north more quickly. They manage to ride through a stretch of rapids, but the raft begins to break up. Moments later they realise that they're heading towards a waterfall. As they try to paddle to the riverbank, the raft breaks up completely. Sancho & Pedro make it out of the water. Zia is carried off, clinging to a log, while the others try to rescue her. They're carried over the edge but survive, emerging from the water at the bottom of the fall. In the forest nearby they see terracotta statues. Sancho & Pedro, meanwhile, have found a stream of water laden with golden sand, coming from a cave which leads to the underground third ruined city. There too is a statue of the winged serpent, but like the rest of the city it has been damaged by intense heat. Esteban uses his medallion once again to reflect sunlight onto a pair of doors, which try to open but collapse due to their damaged state. Behind them, a gold statue holds the third manuscript, which reads: "That day, the sky began to blaze. Clouds of dust fell back on the earth, and greater clouds sprang up over the sea, on that day". The message seems to make no sense, but when a frustrated Tao throws the manuscripts away they get wet, and they realise that certain letters are written in waterproof ink. When they wash away the rest, a new message is formed: "To the west of the land of the Mayas, look for the Burning Shield".moreless
    • The Doors of Night
      Episode 27
      They head east from the swamp towards what the manuscript calls "the two tunnels". While walking through a forest they hear a strange moaning sound which turns out to be a fierce wind roaring through a narrow mountain pass. They make their way through against the wind, narrowly avoiding an avalance of rocks which blocks the exit. They find a small tunnel which leads to the far side of the mountains, overlooking another ruined city. Here they find another winged serpent statue. A rock falls from a nearby building, nearly crushing Mendoza. While the others run to find whoever pushed it, the Doctor and Marinche capture Zia. Mendoza is forced to hand over his pistol to the Doctor. While the sailors are guarded by Teteola, the Doctor takes the children to a temple guarded by a jaguar statue. Tao is forced to read the heiroglyphs below the statue, which read: "When he calls out, face the sun and the doors of night will open". They decide that the temple doors will open when sunlight is reflected onto the statue. Esteban does so with his medallion, and the statue slides aside, revealing a descending stairway which they follow. When Teteola tires in the heat, Mendoza overpowers him, and Sancho & Pedro tie him up. Back in the temple, the children, the Doctor and Marinche find another manuscript. When the Doctor picks it up, the floor descends, trapping him in a hole. Kukapetl grabs the manuscript and Tao pushes Marinche into the hole. The party regroup. Tao examines the second manuscript, which reveals that once they retrieve the third manuscript from near a forest of terracotta statues, all will be revealed.moreless
    • The Swamps
      Episode 26
      The party trek eastward through the mountains, tired and hungry. They stop and rest, and Tao rereads the now-complete manuscript. It reads: "The winged serpent, covered with a cloth of gold, crossing mountains and praries, reaches the swamp of the rain god, to build a new capital". They chase an iguana, catch and eat it. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Marinche and Teteola are following their trail, and take a different route to get ahead of them. They are attacked by a giant eagle, forcing them to fall from the mountain path and get trapped on a ledge. The party, following the same path, are attacked by the bird. Spears are of little help, but the Doctor shoots the bird from the ledge below. In return he asks for his rescue, but Mendoza refuses, so he asks again with his gun pointed at Mendoza's head. Esteban throws down a rope and they climb up, Mendoza taking the Doctor's gun for safekeeping. They reach the prarie. The Doctor and his associates are exhausted and choose to stop and rest while the party go on ahead - Marinche knows that the prarie is actually a swamp, but the party don't...though they find out soon enough. They find themselves surrounded by alligators, but escape by crossing the water on giant lily leaves. They reach firm ground, and as a storm brews overhead, find a statue of the rain god.moreless
    • The Lake of Gold
      Episode 25
      The children climb onward, finding a lake with a spring. Esteban sees something shining at the bottom of the lake, which Tao suggests could be gold. Esteban dives in and finds golden sand. A group of Indians - allied with the Doctor - capture them, angry that their sacred fountain has been defiled. The children are locked away. A kindly woman sneaks them some food and tells them that a ceremony is to be held to purify the lake. Zia asks after her father, the Papa Camaillo, and is told that he passed through some years ago on his quest for the Cities of Gold. Tao sends his bird Kukapetl to find Mendoza, who is walking through the jungle with Sancho and Pedro. They see the Doctor's footprints, hear drums, and go to investigate. They come to a sheer rock face, but Kukapetl lowers a rope ladder for them to climb up. The three children are taken to the lakeside by the priest. The three sailors watch from their hiding place. A man is ceremonially covered in oil and gold dust, and steps into the lake. The people cheer and throw valuables into the water. Marinche quietly suggests to the Doctor that they poison the villagers so they can grab the valuables in safety. The children are taken to the temple to await their sacrifice the following day. They spend the night scraping away mortar in the hope of opening a hole in the wall. Marinche reads the manuscripts in her possession: they tell of three ruined cities. Mendoza sees that the lake is artificial, held back by a dam, and plans on breaking the dam to keep the villagers busy and drain the lake. While the sailors work on destroying the dam, Marinche approaches with the poison, quietly plotting to kill the Doctor and keep the gold for herself. She sees the sailors at work and raises the alarm. Mendoza breaches the dam and runs. Floodwater fills the village, but carries the gold away with it. The temple walls are broken by the force of the water, and the children float out on a conveniently placed altar boat. Kukapetl brings them the manuscript.moreless
    • The Manuscript
      Episode 24
      The following morning, before the sailors awake, the children decide to go back down to the underground chamber again. On waking, the sailors look around for them. Meanwhile, three mysterious figures creep towards the city. In the underground chamber, the children discover that the entrance has reopened and the machinery stopped dead. Looking carefully at the jade mask, Tao finds tiny symbols on its eyes. When they press the wall tiles matching the symbols, the stone beams retract back into the walls, and another hole opens in the floor, leading to a brightly lit room containing a stone sarcophagus. The children open it, finding a statue and half a manuscript. When they emerge, they discover that the three strangers have captured Mendoza, Pedro and Sancho. The strangers are: Doctor Fernando la Guerra, a friend of the conquistador Cortez; Marinche, a native woman of evil intent; and the musclebound native Teteola. They too are searching for the Cities of Gold. They have the other half of the manuscript, and also take Tao's jar, leaving the party tied up in an old building. Kukapetl flies in and untie's Tao's ropes. Tao unties the others and Mendoza knocks out the guard. The children go to get Tao's jar back but are caught in the attempt. While the Doctor shows off his whip, Mendoza overcomes him, allowing the children to escape. The children run off into the jungle, with the three sailors somewhere behind.moreless
    • The Jade Mask
      Episode 23
      The condor continues on its flight north. When the party see a rainbow ahead, lots of coloured lights spring into life in the cockpit. The condor goes into autopilot, dives through the rainbow, lands at the bottom of a very deep hole in the ground, and refuses to take off. It's nose moves, gouging a hole in the rock wall. the gang follow the stairway it opens up, which ends at a solid stone ceiling. On careful examination Mendoza manages to move a large slab, letting them all out into a ruined city. The party explore the city. Sancho and Pedro are disappointed by the lack of gold. Kukapetl leads Tao to a statue of a winged serpent, with Hiva-like inscriptions on it. It tells that the statue represents an ancient god. Tao goes off exploring. Kukapetl leads the others after him, down a stairway leading to an underground chamber with another winged serpent statue. A secret passage behind this statue leads to another room where Tao is examining hieroglyphics on the wall. He interprets them thusly: "A long time ago in the land of the Mayas, there lived a man who was very intelligent, and he understood the heaven and the earth. He was called the winged serpent". This man built a gigantic furnace. "Everything can be found in the city of gold". Meanwhile, Sancho and Pedro try to remove a valuable jade mask which is mounted on the wall. Their efforts activate hidden machinery which thrusts stone beams out of the walls, sealing the entrance and opening an exit in the floor. The party follow it back to the city.moreless
    • 9/25/82
      The party are shown to their room and told they must stay there until the women can be sure of their intent. The three sailors sneak out to explore. The priestess, Omoro, is still demanding their deaths, but the Queen refuses, so the priestess demands the Queen's handmaiden, Morca, as an alternative sacrifice. Morca brings the children some water, and tearfully tells them of Omoro's plans to sacrifice her, and that the priestess is plotting to depose the Queen, but cannot be removed because she alone can can talk to the rain god. Tao is suspicious of this claim and wants to see the rain god's temple. The children go there, and Tao discovers that Omoro forecasts the weather using a Hiva barometer rigged to raise and lower a mask on a totem pole. The children return to their room and meet with Mendoza. The party escape to the riverside and build a raft, but while they row away the snake emerges from the water and attacks. Before it can harm them, the serpent is killed by a spear thrown by Paola, a woman who is also aware of Omoro's evil plans. The priestess Omoro tells the Queen that Paola killed the sacred anaconda which protects the village, demanding that Paola be sacrificed to prevent the violent tempest predicted by her mask. Morca warns the Queen of Omoro's plans but can offer no proof. Mendoza dismisses Omoro's dire warnings, claiming that Esteban's powers will prevail. A deal is struck - if the tempest comes that night, the Queen must leave; if not, Omoro will leave. Omoro returns to her temple, only to discover that her mask was rigged by Tao go give a false prediction. Realising that there will be no tempest, she flees to the belligerant tribes downriver, telling them that the sacred anaconda is dead and they can attack without fear. At dawn, there has been no tempest. The tribes make their way upriver to attack. The women use the Queen's sacred mirror to reflect sunlight onto the condor, enabling it to take off and force the attacking tribes into retreat. In the air once more, the party fly north.moreless
    • The Amazons
      Episode 21
      A black cloud blocks off the sun causing the Golden Condor to plunge to the ground of the jungle. After facing off against the animals of the jungle, including a giant snake and a big cat, the group meet an Amazon tribe about to make a sacrifice of our heroe's heads to appease their rain god. Esteban calls on the sun and once it appears the Amazon queen saves the group and extends her hospitality.moreless
    • 9/11/82
      The party agree to fly in the condor to the land of the Mayas. First they set off for the High Peak, to seek directions from Chief Kraka. On the way, Zia's pet condor approaches, and they follow it. The Europeans are rebuilding the rope bridge to get to the High Peak. Kraka is warned and orders his men to block the entrance behind the waterfall. The condor arrives on the scene. Esteban sees the cannon being moved across the bridge and flies at it, breaking the bridge. Cannon and soldiers alike plummet down the canyon. The others note that Esteban seems quite recovered from his fear of heights. Gomez, Gaspard and a group of soldiers are already across the bridge, and find the cave behind the waterfall blocked. They remove the obstruction with gunpowder, but the explosion causes a landslide. Gomez and Gaspard fall into the river and are carried away. The cave is left sealed for all time, leaving the people of the High Peak secure in their isolation. The condor lands there, but no-one there knows the whereabouts of the land of the Mayas. According to old Mayuka, the only man who would know is the Papa Camaillo of Puna - Zia's father, who left to find the sacred fountain of the Mayas. The party leaves the following morning, seeing Pachu's chicks en route.moreless
    • The Nazca Plateau
      Episode 19
      The condor, still on autopilot, flies west. It passes over a village being ransacked by Europeans, scaring them greatly. They run to inform Governor Pizarro. The condor lands on the Nazca plateau. Mendoza and the children examine the mysterious giant markings which cover the plain. They decide that the condor landed because it uses the power of the sun, and the approaching sunset would have caused it to crash. Sancho and Pedro fiddle with the controls and a snake-shaped lever emerges from the panel. The children discover that it controls the bird's movements. Pizarro's men tell him about the condor, and leaves immediately to capture the children. While the party sleep by the condor, Pizarro reaches the nearby village, and with soldiers rides to the plateau. They arrive just before sunrise and surround the condor. Mendoza decides it would be prudent to surrender rather than be killed. Pizarro demands to see Esteban fly the condor. As the sun rises, the condor powers up, glowing blindingly. The party, their eyes closed against the glare, run to the condor. The condor leaves the ground, Mendoza leaping on just in time. Esteban flies around, trying out the condor's controls.moreless
    • 8/28/82
      While the party sleep, a tremor shakes the city. Zia interprets it as Pachamama's anger. Sancho and Pedro are sceptical, and suffering from gold on the brain. The sailors go to look for a passage beneath the temple to see where the condor might have come from, while the kids wait. Tao believes the condor to be a Hiva artefact, wondering if the Hiva people were ancestors of the Incas? Kukapetl finds a quipu in the condor's beak. Esteban climbs up to get it, but has an attack of vertigo and Tao goes up after him. They find a cockpit with three seats and controls like those in Tao's ship, the Solaris. Tao goes to get the quipu, slips, and winds up dangling from the condor's beak. Esteban tries to rescue him but fails, Tao falling from the beak...into the arms of Mendoza, who returned just in time. Zia paraphrases the message of the quipu: "A great danger will threaten the city. All the people have run away to the land of the Maya. In the time of danger the condor is supposed to help them." Sancho and Pedro return, babbling about a passage under the temple. Everyone goes to look. The passage is hot, with a sulphurous smell. They discover that the city is built in a volcano, which is about to erupt. When the passage begins to cave in, they run back to the temple. Tao warns them that the explosion will be a particularly violent one. They run to the city entrance, but discover that the Urubu giants are coming to kill them. Mendoza grabs the medallions from the Pachamana statue, and the mountain walls begin to close around the city. The party get inside just in time, leaving the giants shut out. The earth tremors get more violent. The party, trapped in the city, seek shelter in the temple. Part of the roof collapses, sunlight shines on the gold emblem on the wall, and is reflected from there to the emblem on the ceiling, to the condor, which glows brilliantly and lowers its head. As the temple collapses they all climb into the cockpit. The volcano finally erupts, hurling the condor into the sky. It plummets to the ground. The controls fail to respond, until they discover that the gold emblem Esteban took from the temple can be slotted into the control panel. The condor, in reality a flying machine, goes into autopilot.moreless
    • The Great Condor
      Episode 17
      The party walk through rocky desert, towards the mountain. Sancho and Pedro fight over their small supply of water. Finally they stop in the shade of some rocks for a rest and a drink. The children are about to drink their share when the Urubu chief, Karuga, staggers into view and collapses. Esteban and Zia give him their share of the water. He explains that he was banished for his failure in attacking the village, and warns them that the Urubu plan to ambush them and take Zia as a sacrifice. The points them to the Valley of the Dead, the only safe route, then leaves them. Tao feels guilty for not offering his water ration, and shares it with Esteban and Zia. The party continue, unaware of the Urubu watching them from the clifftops. When they open fire, the party run to the Valley of the Dead, filled with sulphurous gas, which the Urubu are afraid to enter. The gang make their way out of the valley. The rays of the setting sun shine between two peaks, reflecting off something up a nearby mountain. They climb up to investigate, and find a large statue of the earth goddess, Pachamama. Esteban and Zia place their medallions upon the statue's breasts, and the nearby rock face slides open, revealing a hidden, abandoned city. Searching for gold, they investigate a huge temple with a gold sun emblem on the wall. Esteban removes the centre piece. Light shines from the hole he opens, reflecting off the ceiling onto the floor. The room is filled with a brilliant light and a huge gold statue of a condor emerges from the floor.moreless
    • The Urubus
      Episode 16
      Mendoza and his companions cut the rope bridge to stop the Europeans following them to the High Peak. Meanwhile the children approach Chief Kraka and tell him they plan to journey to a city to the south. Kraka allows Mendoza, Sancho & Pedro to accompany them, but insists on sending Weyna and several other Incas with them. After three days' walk through barren country the party find giant bronze arrows of the type used by the fierce giants of the Urubu tribe. Moments later the giants amubsh them from the clifftops. Mendoza leads the others through a cave, too narrow for the giants to fit through, but Weyna and the other Incas are presumably lost in the battle. Our heroes find an unconscious girl, Lana, from the floating village of Tetola. She explains that she escaped from the Urubu, who wished to sacrifice her. She leads them to her village, built on a floating island of reeds on Lake Titicaca. The grateful villagers welcome them, but have no useful knowledge of the cities of gold. The Urubu appear at the lakeside, building rafts to attack the island and retrieve their intended sacrifice. Under Tao's instruction, the party build a small submarine out of old boats. At dawn the following day, the Urubu launch their attack. Esteban and Tao in the submarine cut apart their rafts from below. The Urubu, thinking the submarine is a lake monster, retreat hastily. The captured Urubu chief promises to end the attacks on the village, and points them to the sacred mountain of Pachamama, the earth goddess.moreless
    • 8/7/82
      Mendoza tries to warn the people of the Fort about Gomez' coming attack. They ignore him until Esteban persuades them that Mendoza can be trusted. Using the stolen cannon, he fires two warning shots at the approaching Europeans but misses his mark by a very wide margin. The third shot combs Gaspard's hair, while the fourth and final shot lands inches in front of him. While battle ensues, Tao grabs the rest of the gunpowder. The children make bombs from earthenware jars, which hold off the attackers for a short while. When the Fort is breached, the defenders retreat to the High Peak. The children are cornered and escape into a cave, pursued by Gaspard and some soldiers. Tao tries out the echo, accidentally waking some vampire bats which slow down Gaspard and his men. The cave ends at a pool of water, but Tao finds an underwater passage through which they swim to safety, leaving Gaspard puzzled. The children are caught in a strong current, and finally find themselves at the foot of the waterfall near the High Peak.moreless
    • 7/31/82
      Before they can journey onward, Esteban needs the other half of his medallion. He plans to go back and get it from Mendoza, but Chief Kraka will not allow this and instead sends Weyna & Kecha to get it. The Europeans, meanwhile, are marching toward the Fort of the Black Eagle with a cannon. Chief Kraka decides that his people will retreat if necessary. Concerned that Wenya & Kecha will kill Mendoza, Esteban sneaks off to find Mendoza himself. Zia and Tao follow, catching up when Esteban's vertigo overcomes him on a bridge. The children soon find themselves hopelessly lost, but Zia's pet condor appears on the scene and shows them the way to the Fort. Mendoza and his companions run across Gomez and Gaspard again, steal their cannon and run off. They find themselves at the bottom of a cliff. They offer the cannon to Weyna & Kecha, who haul them up just in time. But when they arrive at the Fort, Chief Yupani is not convinced, and orders the sailors killed. However Esteban arrives just in time to stop the execution, and Mendoza is forced to hand over the other half of Esteban's medallion.moreless
    • 7/24/82
      Kraka announces the children as messengers of the gods. While looking around the city, the children find a sundial, a celestial chart, and a mysterious design on the floor of a shallow well. Chief Kraka is unable to explain its meaning, adding that the only man who might know is the local old & wise man, Mayuka. The children are shown to their rooms. The boys bathe in a nearby pool. The next day the children set off to find Mayuka. The locals hide from them, awed by the presence of supposed messengers of the gods, until Esteban plays the fool to reassure them. After some searching, they find Mayuka at the top of Machu Picchu (however you spell it), a nearby mountain. He tells them of a mysterious foreigner who had once shown much interest in the mysterious design. Esteban believes that this man may have been his father. Twelve or thirteen years earlier, this man arrived from across the western sea, and fell in love with an Inca priestess. They had a child, angering the sun god who plunged the land into darkness. The frightened priests sacrificed the woman and set the man and child adrift at sea on a boat. The foreigner had once said that the design represented the point in the sky where the paths of the sun and a particular star cross, which indicates the direction of the first City of Gold.moreless
    • 7/17/82
      Gomez gives the order to head for the High Peak, but the soldiers are reluctant, since the High Peak is a forbidden area reputed to be haunted by evil spirits. Mendoza, with Pedro and Sancho in tow, arrives to offer his services as a guide. The children and their two new companions, trek through a forest, narrowly escape capture by Gomez and Gaspard when Esteban wanders off to chase butterflies, and finally climb a mountain to the Fort of the Black Eagle. There the children are introduced to Yupani, the Fort's Chief. Gaspard wants to storm the Fort, but Mendoza advises against attacking an enemy of unknown strength. The three sailors approach the fort. Esteban begs Yupani not to hurt them, so his men only fire warning shots to frighten them off - but not before Mendoza hints that Gomez will stage a night attack. Tao devises a parachute flare launched by a catapault, to light up the area so the Fort's defenders can see the Europeans attacking. Pelted with rocks and arrows, the Europeans are forced to retreat. At dawn the children are led along a mountain trail, over a bridge and behind a waterfall, to the City of the High Peak. There they meet the city's Chief, Kraka, who recognises Esteban's and Zia's medallions as the keys to the Cities of Gold.moreless
    • 7/10/82
      The children, still en route to Zia's village, find themselves pursued by two men wearing panther skins. They run away, sliding downhill on an old log and landing in a cactus patch. Pizarro orders Gomez and Gaspard to head for Zia's village. The children stop by a murky river to catch their breath, only to find that the two men have caught up with them, and once again the chase is on. They find themselves on a mist-shrouded hillside which Zia doesn't recognise, and she fears she may have led them the wrong way. Esteban tries to cheer her up, and the mist lifts, revealing the village nearby. However, the village turns out to be deserted, except for Pachu, Zia's pet condor...and Gaspard's soldiers. The children seek refuge in the village temple, but Gomez is waiting there with more soldiers. Desperate to extract information from Zia, he first threatens to burn down the village, then to feed Esteban and Tao to ravenous ants. Reluctantly she reveals the message. "Go to the High Peak, north of the village of Puna." The children are locked up for the night, only to be rescued by their two strange pursuers. They introduce themselves as Weyna and Kecha, sent by Kraka, chief of the High Peak. They escape via a secret passage from the temple. Attempting to give chase, Gaspard's soldiers trigger a booby-trap which causes the temple to collapse (another one?!), preventing them from giving chase. Weyna and Kecha, meanwhile, lead the children to the High Peak.moreless
    • 7/3/82
      Zia hides the translation of the quipu from Mendoza but wants to get to her village. Unfortunately, Pizarro's army stands in their way. One man, under guard in Pizarro's fortress, can help them find another way but with destructive consequences.
    • 6/26/82
      Having escaped prison the children make it back to the ship with Mendoza, Pedro and Sancho. However, the Spanish soon attack the ship and the nearby Incan village causing a difficult decision to be made.
    • 6/19/82
      The New World is reached and Mendoza, Pedro, Sancho and the children are captured by gold-obsessed Governor Pizarro. However, with the help of some Incan prisoners, and divine help, a plan is hatched for escape.
    • 6/12/82
      Mendoza and the children try to fathom out the mysteries of the Solaris. When they are shot upon by a Spanish galleon carrying Gomez and Gaspard, the secret is soon revealed.
    • The Ship Solaris
      Episode 6
      Mendoza, Sancho and Pedro cross over to the other island as Tao shows Zia and Esteban around his treehouse. The accidental setting off of Mendoza's stolen gun leads to a chase and the unveiling of one of Tao's ancestor's secrets.
    • 5/29/82
      Our heroes are washed up on the island and soon scavenge for food but are scared by the apparent appearance of an Incan God. Zia is in trouble and it is up to Esteban to save her.
    • 5/22/82
      The Esperanza is pulled towards the typhoon and is slowly broken up. The crew abandon ship leaving Mendoza, Esteban, Zia, Sancho and Pedro behind. They build a raft to lead them to the safety of a nearby island.
    • Heroes Again
      Episode 3
      Mendoza navigates for four straight days and nights. Zia becomes ill and is locked up with Esteban when he tries to help her by stealing water from the officers. Flying fish indicate a typhoon is on the way.
    • 5/8/82
      The Esperanza departs for the New World with Esteban and Zia on board. They are soon discovered and Mendoza has to convince Gaspard that the children are useful, especially with the approaching storm-ravaged Strait of Magellan.
    • Back to Barcelona - Part 1
    • 5/1/82
      It's 1532 and in Barcelona, Spain, Esteban, an orphan raised by a priest, is soon to find himself at the centre of the search for The Mysterious Cities of Gold. As his adoptive father dies Esteban is found by Mendoza, captain of The Esperanza and the man who rescued him from the ocean as a baby. They share parts of a medallion and Esteban is invited to go looking for his father and the Cities of Gold.moreless