Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Captain N Animated Series Review


Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 2:00 PM - Saturday, August 11, 2007, 2:48 PM


Introduction (Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 2:02 PM - 2:06 PM)

For over 5 years now (I know; far too long), I've been reviewing "Captain N: The Game Master". I've posited numerous conceptual, writing, and animation errors. Now, at long last, I'm going to take a look at the series as a whole.

3 seasons, 34 episodes, over 5 years of my life, and it's all come down to this. So now, if you have the strength, come along with me and revisit "Captain N: The Game Master".


Premise (Sunday, June 24, 2007, 11:15 AM - 11:33 AM)

The premise of the series, American teenager gets pulled into a universe where Nintendo characters are real to fight alongside his heroes against an alliance of villains bent on universal conquest, seems like a good concept on the surface, but problems arise once we explore it deeper.

For starters, why do the video game heroes even need a "Game Master"? Videoland is a universe filled with, if the games are to be believed, heroes that can single-handedly take on an entire army of bad guys and free their respective worlds. If one video game hero can free a world, couldn't a team of video game heroes free the entire universe?

The justification for Kevin often is that he has a working knowledge of many video games. Maybe, but what happens when the team is going through a game that Kevin doesn't know about? For example, there's "Mega Man III" in "A Tale of Two Dogs". It came out after Kevin left Earth. How much more contribution could he add that Mega Man couldn't on his own? Heck, Mega Man could win that game on his own, according to the game itself! I don't see Kevin anywhere in that game. Do you?


Plotholes (Sunday, June 24, 2007, 12:16 PM - 12:22 PM; Tuesday, August 7, 2007, 10:55 AM - 11:08 AM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 11:30 AM - 11:34 AM)

There are many plotholes in the series, mostly created in Season 1 by writer Jeffrey Scott but definitely continued by the later writers:

  • In "Kevin In Videoland", it's stated and shown that Mother Brain had a huge army, and it had been laying siege on the Palace of Power for the past seven years. How could a building withstand a siege from the outside for seven years?

  • After the Ultimate Warp Zone drained the Palace's power, why didn't Mother Brain send her huge army into the Palace? All that she did was send King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard in to kidnap Lana. Considering the advantage that Mother Brain had at this point, having Lana would have given her no extra advantage.

  • What happened to Mother Brain's huge army in the final scene? No one had done anything to defeat them from what we saw. This is also a plot device. (See that section below.)

  • Is there a difference between the appearances of Earth and Videoland? In the opening and closing themes and in "Kevin In Videoland", Earth is shown to be live-action. In "The Most Dangerous Game Master", Earth is shown to be animated. In "Kevin In Videoland", Kevin fails to recognize that he and his surroundings are suddenly animated. In "Nightmare On Mother Brain's Street" and "Metroid Sweet Metroid", Kevin sees animated versions of his bedroom and neighborhood, respectively, and believes that he's home. In "The Most Dangerous Game Master", Kevin assumes that "Mike Vincent" is calling him from home, despite the fact that "Mike" is animated on the viewscreen. "Metroid Sweet Metroid" is the only episode where Kevin acknowledges a difference in the appearances of Videoland and Earth, yet it takes him a few minutes to realize that something's wrong. In "The Big Game", Kevin's friends fail to recognize that they and their surroundings are suddenly animated. According to Season 1 writer Jeffrey Scott in an interview that I did with him, "As best I can recall, that was the basic format of the show--i.e. that Kevin was sucked out of live action and into the animated game world. ... I'll have to take your word for it that Kevin doesn't react to the animated world ... As to why, you got me! I'm sure this was discussed at the time, but I don't recall. I'm normally very concerned to keep things logical and consistent, sometimes to a fault. It's possible that we simply assumed that Kevin just knew he was inside a video game and therefore didn't react to it or mention it." This doesn't explain the series' apparent lack of distinction (for the most part) between the appearances of Earth and Videoland, though.

  • Mother Brain has an "all-knowing computer mind mirror" that can, apparently, see anything anywhere in Videoland (including the Palace) and give her information on secret power sources. So, why isn't Mother Brain the ruler of Videoland already? You'd think that she'd be able to get info on the Palace's defenses and how to bring them down. And why does Mother Brain wait so long to get information from her mirror? This is also a plot device.

  • Does Mike Vincent exist on Earth or not? If he does, and he wasn't just an invention of Dr. Wily's, then how did Dr. Wily build the body of the "android duplicate" before he got Kevin's memories of Mike? I believe that Mike really exists. I suppose that Dr. Wily could have found out about Mike through Mother Brain's mirror, but it's still a plothole, because it's never explained.

  • The bad guys and the heroes can, apparently, warp to each other's bases whenever they want, so why hasn't one side defeated the other already?

  • In "Gameboy", how was King Charles able to contact the N Team before the interdimensional warp zone opened? Was it through a mirror?

  • Was Kevin destined to come to Videoland as foretold in a legend (as indicated in "Kevin In Videoland"), or did the Ultimate Warp Zone choose him after a request was made for the best from Earth (as Lana claimed in "The Big Game")?

  • Why does Kevin's body have sentient creatures living inside it?

  • Why did the Sheriff give up after Maid Marian's rescue?

  • How did Rebound get into Hoop Mountain?

  • Did Alucard really side with Kevin and Simon, or was he planning to double-cross them?

  • How did Mother Brain take over the Palace of Power in "Battle of the Baseball Know-It-Alls"?

    In addition to these major plotholes, there are many smaller ones (see my episode reviews).

    Taking all of this into account, the series collapses in on itself. It can't, logically, occur.


    Plot Devices (Sunday, June 24, 2007, 12:25 PM - 12:32 PM; Tuesday, August 7, 2007, 11:09 AM - 11:27 AM)

    The writers (mostly Season 1 writer Jeffrey Scott) used many plot devices throughout the series, such as:

  • Mother Brain's huge army in "Kevin In Videoland": It had been laying siege on the Palace of Power for the past seven years. Princess Lana and her defenders were near defeat. The throne of Videoland would soon fall to Mother Brain. Their last hope was an ancient prophecy that brought Captain N: The Game Master, Kevin Keene, to Videoland to save them. Let's look at what happened. Lana was kidnapped. The rest of the N Team went to Metroid. Kevin rescued Lana. They got to Mother Brain's lair. King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard were tied up. Kid Icarus hit a lever and caused Mother Brain to spin around really fast. The N Team escaped back to the Palace of Power. Mother Brain's army was gone, and there was absolutely no indication that the Palace had been under siege for the past seven years. This is the worst plot device of the entire series, and I'll tell you why. The army was a giant threat put into the series for the sole purpose of giving the good guys a reason for needing a savior. Then, after Kevin was brought to Videoland, Jeffrey Scott likely didn't want to deal with the N Team having to sneak around the Palace and being fearful in every episode, so he simply got rid of the army. What happened to it? We could guess that maybe, with King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard tied up, Mother Brain had to recall the army to Metroid to stop her from spinning around, but only one soldier would logically be needed to do that. Then there's Simon's whip. He must have taken it with him, so Hippo and Eggy would have been untied and able to help Mother Brain, giving her no need to recall anyone from the siege on the Palace. Another explanation could be that Kevin infected the army with Earth germs, they died, and the N Team got rid of the bodies. The N Team wasn't infected, though. When I told him the situation and asked him what happened to the army, Jeffrey Scott replied "I give up!" So, even he doesn't know.

  • Mother Brain's "all-knowing computer mind mirror": It can, apparently, see anything anywhere in Videoland at any time - and Earth, too, apparently. This plot device was an excuse for Jeffrey Scott to have Mother Brain find out information whenever he needed her to. It was, however, too powerful. With this kind of access to so much information, Mother Brain should have, logically, conquered all of Videoland in a year at most. Instead, she thought to ask for information only in particular episodes, such as "Videolympics". This makes no logical sense, and it's another example of the series collapsing in on itself. If he knew that the mirror was too powerful, then he shouldn't have introduced it. He introduced it, because he was too lazy to come up with other ideas on how Mother Brain could gather information. The later writers continued using this plot device.

  • the love-at-first-sight arrow in "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain": Kid Icarus had this arrow, even though it's not in the game. Why did Kid Icarus even carry this arrow around if he had no antidote arrow?

  • the Three Sacred Treasures: These things were so powerful that they could open up the ground, and they had "unlimited power". This is another example of a plot device that was too powerful, so Jeffrey Scott simply ignored the unlimited power and had Mother Brain conquer only one world in one week.

  • the poisoned apples in "Nightmare On Mother Brain's Street": Okay, I can accept apples that have been fused with some kind of sleeping gas, but, really, this plot device had been worn out long before this episode was written.

  • Simon's memory loss in "Simon the Ape-Man": A character losing his or her memory and then being confused by the bad guys had been done to death prior to this episode being written. Furthermore, this plot device was removed through the simplistic application of another plot device: another knock on the head. No application of wit or intelligence by the characters was involved.

  • the genie in "Wishful Thinking": Jeffrey Scott gave the N Team the power to destroy the bad guys, bring peace to Videoland, and bring the King home. Instead, they behaved like a bunch of idiots. Because they had this much power, there's no way to justify what they did or fanwank an explanation for why they did it. They were stupid and selfish, plain and simple. Well, okay, Lana wasn't selfish; she was just stupid. The bad guys were just as stupid. Furthermore, the plot device was manipulated throughout the episode, rather than remaining consistent, by the writer's whim.

  • the vacuum garbage warp in "In Search of the King": It's a really powerful thing that was used to quickly dispose of most of the bad guys in the Palace. The problem is that the N Team has no reason to have something that powerful to dispose of trash. Something as strong as a vacuum cleaner would do. For that matter, why is the vacuum garbage warp active when the door is open? Wouldn't it make more sense to have it be activated once the trash has been put in, and the door has been closed? Of course, then Jeffrey Scott would have had no way to conveniently get rid of all of the villains that he had brought into the Palace.

  • the Pleasure Zone in "Happy Birthday, Megaman": This was a trap for the N Team, giving things that each member wants, so they'd never want to leave. It filled up a good part of the episode. How could it give them exactly what they wanted? Could it read their minds? We were never given an answer.

  • the Warp of Life in "Happy Birthday, Megaman": It's a plot device in that it's the goal that Mega Man's trying to reach in that episode, but, once reached, it has no effect on Mega Man in future episodes.

  • Gameboy himself in "Gameboy": Dr. Wily reprogrammed him into Game Brain and turned him against the N Team. Really original.

  • the hypnotic ink in "The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers": This was just retarded.

  • the brain-swapper in "Queen of the Apes": Mind-swapping stories had already been done to death elsewhere by this point.

  • Zelda's condition in "Having a Ball": Zelda being weakened by the separation of the Triforces is given no explanation, and it contradicts information given earlier in the episode, which stated that Link had restored the Triforce. Why was Zelda not weak before the Triforce was restored?

  • Kevin taking off his power belt in "Once Upon a Time Machine": This leads to a quest for Kevin to get his weapons back. Kevin didn't need to take off his power belt in the first place. He could have proved his point to Link while keeping it on.

  • warping to Faxanadu in "In Feud of Faxanadu": The N Team members got involved in an adventure on a world that they just happened to warp to, because they had to evacuate the Palace of Power, because of a stupid power overload that they created in the first place.

  • the golden arrow in "Misadventures In Robin Hood Woods": Kid Icarus was lucky that it saved Marian.

  • the Magic Hoop in "Pursuit of the Magic Hoop": That was silly.

  • Dr. Wily kidnapping Duke and Rush in "A Tale of Two Dogs": Why bother? Just announce your plans for domination, and Kevin and Mega Man will show up.

  • Astos putting Kevin under a spell in "The Fractured Fantasy of Captain N": N Team members being turned evil had already been done by this point.

    I'm sure that there are other plot devices that I've overlooked here, but you get the idea.

    Plot devices are signs of lazy writing, and some of the plot devices used - the love-at-first-sight arrow, the poisoned apples, the memory loss, the genie, and the brain-swapper - are so old and often-used that they're cliché.


    Idiot Plot (Sunday, June 24, 2007, 12:55 PM - 1:05 PM; Tuesday, August 7, 2007, 11:34 AM - 12:19 PM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 11:37 AM - 11:42 AM)

    The writers (especially Season 1 writer Jeffrey Scott) turned a potentially good series into a giant idiot plot.

    An idiot plot means a story where everyone involved has to be an idiot for the story to work. If one character used his or her brain, the story would end - immediately. In the words of the Turkey City Lexicon, an idiot plot is a "plot which functions only because all the characters involved are idiots. They behave in a way that suits the author's convenience, rather than through any rational motivation of their own."

    Some examples of the idiot plots in the series include:

  • Why did Lana run away, crying, instead of trying to talk to Kevin?

  • Why doesn't the Palace of Power have guards?

  • Why does the N Team continually fail to recognize King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard in pathetic "disguises"?

  • Why isn't there a security check for everyone that seeks to enter the Palace of Power, which is "the heart of Videoland"?

  • Why does the N Team play sports or watch TV instead of plotting attacks against Mother Brain or forming alliances with other heroes? According to writer Jeffrey Scott in my interview with him, "I guess because it's not politically correct. Being "offensive" is something only a bad guys are supposed to do. Though you and I know that a good offense is the best defence, I don't think the networks could confront this concept." The N Team did go on the offensive to wipe out Mother Brain's power source (even though it was a part of a trap) in "Metroid Sweet Metroid", which Jeffrey Scott wrote. Why weren't there more examples of such intellect?

  • Why do most members of the N Team seem incapable of cooperating, even under serious circumstances, whenever a dumb "competition" is involved?

  • Why does Mother Brain ask for information from her "all-knowing computer mind mirror" only a few times?

    These idiot plots are further examples of the series collapsing in on itself. It can't, logically, occur. Really, the plot of this series should have been done in 1 solid movie, not 33 questionable episodes.


    Game Selection (Sunday, February 18, 2007, 10:00 AM - 11:18 AM)

    Here is a list of all of the games that have been used for plots in this series, grouped by season:

    Season 1:

    The Adventures of Bayou Billy
    Castlevania
    Donkey Kong
    Dragon Warrior
    Kid Icarus
    Mega Man
    Metroid
    Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
    Ninja Gaiden (maybe)
    Video Olympics (maybe)
    Wizards and Warriors

    Season 2:

    Burger Time
    California Games
    Donkey Kong
    Dragon Warrior II (maybe)
    Faxanadu
    Mega Man II
    Metroid
    Paperboy
    Puss n' Boots: Pero's Great Adventure
    Tetris
    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

    Season 3

    Bo Jackson Baseball (maybe)
    California Games
    Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
    Final Fantasy
    Jordan vs. Bird (maybe)
    Mega Man III
    RBI Baseball (maybe)
    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
    Tetris

    Season 1 used between 9 and 11 games. Season 2 used 11 games. Season 3 used 8 games.

    That means Season 2 used the most games, followed by or tied with Season 1, followed by Season 3.

    However, Season 3 has the highest average use of games, considering the number of episodes, followed by Season 2, followed by or tied with Season 1.

    Season 1 introduced between 9 and 11 games. Season 2 introduced between 8 and 9 games. Season 3 introduced 6 games.

    That means Season 1 introduced the most new games, followed by or tied with Season 2, followed by Season 3.

    However, Season 3 has the highest average introduction of new games, considering the number of episodes, followed by Season 1, followed by or tied with Season 2.

    The master list of games used for plots on Captain N would be:

    The Adventures of Bayou Billy
    Bo Jackson Baseball (maybe)
    Burger Time
    California Games
    Castlevania
    Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
    Donkey Kong
    Dragon Warrior
    Dragon Warrior II (maybe)
    Faxanadu
    Final Fantasy
    Jordan vs. Bird (maybe)
    Kid Icarus
    Mega Man
    Mega Man II
    Mega Man III
    Metroid
    Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
    Ninja Gaiden (maybe)
    Paperboy
    Puss n' Boots: Pero's Great Adventure
    RBI Baseball (maybe)
    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
    Tetris
    Video Olympics (maybe)
    Wizards and Warriors
    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

    In 33 episodes, the series used between 23 and 26 games as plots.

    In addition, "Super Mario Bros." was mentioned, and music from other games, such as "Castlevania II: Simon's Quest", "Super Mario Bros.", and "Super Mario Bros. 2" was used.

    Here is a list of all of the clearly identified real (meaning based on an actual game) video worlds that have appeared in this series, grouped by season:

    Season 1:

    Bayouland
    Castlevania
    Dragon's Den
    Excalibur
    Kongoland
    Megaland
    Metroid
    Mount Icarus
    Punch-Out

    Season 2:

    Burger Time
    California Games
    Dragon's Den
    Faxanadu
    Hyrule
    Kongoland
    Megaland
    Metroid
    News World
    Puss n' Boots (not named)
    Tetris

    Season 3

    Baseball World
    California Games
    Castlevania
    Final Fantasy
    Hoopland
    Megaland
    Nottingham
    Tetris

    Season 1 showed 9 clearly identified real video worlds. Season 2 showed 11 clearly identified real video worlds. Season 3 showed 8 clearly identified real video worlds.

    That means Season 2 showed the most clearly identified real video worlds, followed by Season 1, followed by Season 3.

    However, Season 3 has the highest average use of clearly identified real video worlds, considering the number of episodes, followed by Season 2, followed by Season 1.

    Season 1 introduced 9 clearly identified real video worlds. Season 2 introduced 7 clearly identified real video worlds. Season 3 introduced 4 clearly identified real video worlds.

    That means Season 1 introduced the most new clearly identified real video worlds, followed by Season 2, followed by Season 3.

    However, Season 1 has the highest average introduction of new clearly identified real video worlds, followed by Season 3, considering the number of episodes, followed by Season 2.

    The master list of clearly identified real video worlds that have appeared on Captain N would be:

    Baseball World
    Bayouland
    Burger Time
    California Games
    Castlevania
    Dragon's Den
    Excalibur
    Faxanadu
    Final Fantasy
    Hoopland
    Hyrule
    Kongoland
    Megaland
    Metroid
    Mount Icarus
    News World
    Nottingham
    Punch-Out
    Puss n' Boots (not named)
    Tetris

    In 33 episodes, the series showed 20 clearly identified real video worlds.

    In addition, there are the made-up Marblopolis Studio World, the other-dimensional Mirror World, the unnamed worlds in Season 1 that may or may not be Kongoland and Baseball World, the polo world in Season 2, etc., and so on.

    The game selection for the series was, in general, pretty good. Excluding Super Mario Bros., a lot of the major NES games and game series got representation, such as Castlevania, Dragon Warrior, The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, and Metroid.

    I gotta question the selection of "Tetris" and the various sports games, though. Each season has sports-related material. I don't care for that.

    The numerous made-up worlds are pointless, too.


    Characters (Friday, February 23, 2007, 2:00 PM - 3:06 PM; Friday, July 6, 2007, 2:00 PM - 3:27 PM; Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 10:00 AM - 10:10 AM, 11:00 AM - 1:11 PM; Sunday, July 22, 2007, 6:00 PM - 6:16 PM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 9:00 AM - 10:05 AM, 2:35 PM - 2:39 PM)

    Characterization isn't this series' strongest aspect, unfortunately. I will now list all (or nearly all) of the things that we learned about each of the N Team members during the course of 33 (or, in Gameboy's case, 20) episodes of Captain N, followed by my analysis of each character:

    Kevin Keene:

  • Kevin's mom thinks video games are foolish.

  • Kevin's chores back home included taking out the trash.

  • Kevin is bad at playing Bayou Billy.

  • Kevin has gotten into trouble because of Duke chasing things ever since Duke was a pup.

  • Kevin's family has or had a gardener, and Duke loved to bark and run circles around the gardener.

  • Kevin has an Uncle Lenny in New York that taught him to make a pizza with nuts, nectarines, and nachos as toppings.

  • Kevin can play tennis.

  • Kevin has $3.85 in his pocket.

  • Kevin used to wear a digital watch with the word "KEVIN'S" on the back, and he may or may not still have it.

  • Kevin is a valley kid. The only way that he knows how to get milk is with a straw.

  • Kevin can skateboard. He can do a handplant.

  • Kevin can play basketball.

  • Kevin was once friends with a guy named Mike Vincent. Kevin and Mike had good times together - such as camping in Kevin's backyard in a tent and sleeping bags and dressing up as girls to sneak into a girl named Suzie's sleepover party - before Mike turned into a bully, started beating Kevin up, and became Kevin's worst enemy, apparently even getting Kevin's girl.

  • Kevin keeps his house key in his front left jeans pocket.

  • Kevin lived with his mom and dad on Earth.

  • Kevin, Simon, and Duke share a room. Duke sleeps under Kevin's bed.

  • Kevin had a paper route back home and learned a move to throw a newspaper directly into an open mailbox. "Just a twist of the wrist, and you can't miss."

  • Kevin's mom baked cookies for him back home.

  • Kevin can recharge his Power Pad and Zapper using Gameboy's battery's power and a cable.

  • Kevin's Zapper has a Freeze setting that shoots out ice cubes. It's accessed by moving a small lever on the left side up 2 positions. The bottom position seems to be the standard Zapper setting. A small blue light comes on by the lever when the Zapper is set on freeze ray.

  • Kevin can do a converted kickflip on a skateboard.

  • Kevin can surf - on the same surfboard as Lana.

  • Kevin can ride a bicycle.

  • Kevin attended Northridge High School in California.

  • Kevin knows a cheerleader named Stacey back home. He helped her study for her Algrebra test. He asked her for a date, but she was busy.

  • Kevin was on the junior varsity swim team.

  • Kevin can play football.

  • Kevin was never in London.

  • Kevin has seen some pictures of 1920 New York.

  • Kevin studied moon rocks that were over a billion years old in school.

  • Kevin never played the Robin Hood video game before.

  • Kevin read about Robin Hood in storybooks.

  • Kevin seems to be a Larry Bird fan.

  • Kevin can play baseball.

    Kevin Keene, our hero, seems to have been a very average teenager back home. He was a jock of sorts, since he was on his school's junior varsity swim team. He loved to play video games, despite what his mom thought of them. His childhood friend was Mike Vincent, who eventually turned into a bully and started beating Kevin up. Other than being bullied, Kevin's Earth life seems remarkably unremarkable.

    As Captain N, Kevin enjoys being a hero and interacting with his favorite video game characters. After the first episode, he seems to be in no hurry to go back home. In Season 1, when he thought that Mother Brain was defeated, he decided to go back home. It's unknown if he would have made the same choice in Season 2 or Season 3.

    Kevin doesn't seem to be a very good strategist. He made the decision (based on no more than Lana's "Well, I guess..."), for example, to agree to Mother Brain's terms of wagering the throne of Videoland on the outcome of a series of sporting events with a one-day notice, which, furthermore, turned out to be a trap, anyway, which, furthermore, Kevin had already taken into consideration - without any apparent plan on how to deal with it later.

    Despite being called the Game Master, Kevin doesn't seem to be very good at video games. However, he somehow manages to get the N Team through each adventure alive and well.

    Princess Lana:

  • Lana's father, Charles, is the King of Videoland.

  • Lana's father is old.

  • Lana is ruling in her father's absence and used to think that she failed at it.

  • Lana sometimes talks to a photo of her father in her bedroom.

  • Lana apparently had a double-headed gold coin made with Simon's face and the inscription, "MY HERO", on it.

  • Lana didn't know how to dance until "How's Bayou".

  • Lana doesn't have a cat (at least not until after "How's Bayou").

  • Lana can give assignments to the N Team.

  • Lana didn't know what a pizza is until "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street".

  • Lana can play basketball.

  • Lana's father was banished to the Mirror World by Mother Brain.

  • Lana is ambidextrous with the Zapper.

  • Lana has the authority to add new members to the N Team.

  • Lana is friends with Princess Zelda of Hyrule.

  • Lana's father gave her a birthday bash last year (before Season 1). Simon claims to have been "smashing".

  • Lana attended ceremonies and balls before the siege on the Palace of Power.

  • Lana's father used to tell her stories about Tetris when she was a little girl.

  • Lana has an older brother named Lyle. She hasn't seen him in 2 years. He's a Keeper of the Sacred Square on Tetris. He left before King Charles was kidnapped by Mother Brain.

  • Lana can surf - on the same surfboard as Kevin.

  • Lana can ride a bicycle.

  • The combined power of the jewel in Lana's tiara and the jewel in Lyle's ring can either cure someone that's been Tetrisized or produce a destructive laser blast.

  • The Prince on Final Fantasy is a good friend of Lana's.

    Princess Lana, the ruler of Videoland, is an insecure girl, doubting her ability as a leader until into Season 2.

    Lana also seems to handle every single complaint that's brought to her attention, even if it's something as beneath her as a dispute over the ownership of a cow. Lana wonders how her father kept up with all of this, apparently not knowing how to take a break or delegate authority to other people. However, this aspect of her character is seen in only one Season 2 episode and never again, which makes one wonder why she wasn't doing this before (neglecting her duties?) or after (learning to delegate?).

    Lana is easily persuaded, such as the time that Kevin talked her into wagering the throne of Videoland on the outcome of a series of sporting events against Mother Brain's team with a one-day notice.

    Lana never talks about her mother or even mentions her, leading one to wonder if she never even knew her mother.

    Lana likewise, seemingly, never talked about or mentioned her brother until a Season 2 episode, and she gave no indication of being concerned about him or trying to locate him.

    Lana seems to have little emotional attachment to her father. Despite her dashed hopes of getting him home in one episode, she almost immediately gets over it in the anticipation of getting a little brother instead.

    Simon Belmont:

  • Simon is the highest-ranking officer of Lana's court and, according to him, her dearest friend.

  • Simon can play tennis.

  • Next to vampires, dragon-hunting is Simon's favorite sport.

  • Simon's favorite cologne is Eau de Dragon Parfume For Men.

  • Simon can play basketball.

  • Simon, Kevin, and Duke share a room. Duke sleeps under Kevin's bed.

  • Simon sometimes takes mudpack beauty sleeps.

  • Simon wears yellow boxers with red hearts.

  • Simon knows the salesman at Honest Dick's Bullwhip Shop on Castlevania.

  • Simon knows the tree-trimmer on Kongoland.

  • Wombatman was Simon's "favorite" in Season 1, but he hates Wombatman in Season 2.

  • Simon claims to have been "smashing" at Lana's birthday bash last year (before Season 1).

  • Simon watches "Castlevania Bandstand".

  • Simon's favorite song is by The Ungrateful Undead.

  • Simon is claustrophobic.

  • Simon often waits until the last moment, so he can make a grand entrance.

  • Simon's mother always told him, "A good hero knows when to fight and when to run."

  • Simon watches something called "General Morgue".

  • Simon is in the Hall of Heroes.

  • Simon can play football.

  • Simon has a scrapbook.

  • Simon can play baseball.

  • Simon wears white boxers with red hearts.

    Simon Belmont is extremely egotistical, clumsy, and not very bright.

    Simon resorted to covertness, blatant insubordination, and outright treachery to get his way in Season 1, but he stopped doing those things as the series went on and became more of a team player.

    Despite all of these negative things, Simon is an effective fighter and comes through for the team when it matters.

    Mega Man:

  • Mega Man was created by Dr. Wright.

  • Mega Man likes to play basketball.

  • Mega Man turns three years old in "Happy Birthday, Megaman".

  • Mega Man was upset about being a robot - different than everyone else - and became a human.

  • Mega Man can rollerskate.

  • Mega Man can play football.

  • Mega Man can play baseball.

    Mega Man is a capable fighter and a loyal member of the team.

    He does, however, have the annoying speech impediment of preceeding lots of words with "mega". Whose brilliant idea was that? It makes the character annoying.

    Kid Icarus:

  • Kid Icarus would like to play basketball, but he can't have fun at games, because he's too small.

  • Kid Icarus' uncle Methusulus is less than a billion years old.

  • Kid Icarus used a shrinking arrow before. It lasted only an hour.

  • Kid Icarus can play football.

  • Kid Icarus can play baseball.

    Kid Icarus is a capable fighter and a loyal member of the team.

    He was initially insecure about his small stature but learned to accept it.

    He does, however, have the annoying speech impediment of appending lots of words with "icus". Whose brilliant idea was that? It makes the character annoying.

    Duke:

  • Duke loves to chase things. He's been getting Kevin into trouble because of that ever since Duke was a pup.

  • Duke loved to bark and run circles around the gardener on Earth.

  • Duke, Kevin, and Simon share a room. Duke sleeps under Kevin's bed.

  • Duke can rollerskate.

  • Duke can play football.

  • Duke can play baseball.

    Duke is Kevin's loyal pet. Moving on...

    Gameboy:

  • Gameboy is from the Mirror World.

  • Gameboy was sent to the N Team by King Charles.

  • Gameboy can rollerskate.

  • Gameboy can recharge Kevin's Power Pad and Zapper using his battery's power and a cable.

  • Gameboy can keep the Palace of Power's defense system running for 12.2 hours using his battery - and that's when it's not fully charged.

    Gameboy is a computer that's programmed to play games. He came from the Mirror World and was sent by King Charles (to whom he'd been "like a son") to help the N Team. He can be useful at times, but he was an unnecessary addition to the series.

    If that doesn't sound like much to you, then just read the characters' descriptions in the series bible. The descriptions were narrated over character sketches and included as bonus features on the DVD set. I'll transcribe them for you. Here they are:

    The N-Team:

    Name: Kevin Keene
    AKA: Captain N
    Home World: Earth

    Kevin is a stranger in a very strange land, a hero who's been drafted into a high-stakes battle by his TV set, but, underneath the legend, the Power Pad, and the Zapper, he knows he's still just a 15-year-old Valley kid who happens to be blessed with incredible hand-eye coordination and the instinctive sense of which way to dodge, parry, or thrust with his N gear that can only be gained through hundreds of hours of single-minded gamesmanship.

    Name: Princess Lana
    Home World: Videoland

    Attractive and feminine, Princess Lana obviously isn't a warrior princess. She's poised, smart, determined, able to handle herself in a tight spot, and a little skeptical about this whole situation. After all, Kevin Keene doesn't exactly look like the super-hero she's been desperately trying to find, but Captain N was summoned through the Ultimate Warp Zone, he is kind of cute in a strange sort of way, and there's something about him that makes her think he just might be able to pull it off - with the right help.

    Name: Simon Belmont
    Home World: Castlevania

    A handsome, accomplished adventurer who's proven he knows his way around castles and mortal dangers, Simon Belmont has a magical bullwhip, a seemingly bottomless bag of tricks and gadgets, and an unparalleled fascination with himself. He sees Captain N as an out-of-work hero, unnecessary competition, and second-rate competition at that.

    Name: Mega Man
    Home World: Megaland

    Mega Man may be a little slow on the uptake, but he's thorough, powerful, a soldier for all seasons. Like a heavy-duty backfield blocker in full uniform, pads, and helmet, he's big and beefy, primed for physical action, but over 75% of that impressive bulk is really hardware - bionic augments and implants that boost his already impressive speed and strength.

    Name: Kid Icarus
    AKA: Pit
    Home World: Mount Icarus

    Kid Icarus can be exasperating with all that unfocused youthful energy, his flighty manner, and dangerously short attention span, but he's a go-getter of the first magnitude. A tough-talking angel with a dirty face, he doesn't share Princess Lana and Simon's concerns about the Captain's leadership qualities. He's too busy packing his quiver for the exciting adventure he knows lies ahead.

    Name: Gameboy
    Home World: The Mirror World

    Sent by Lana's father to help the N-Team in their war against the Forces of Chaos, Gameboy may be more trouble than good, especially when Dr. Wily gets ahold of him. Still, like all members of the N-Team, Gameboy has his advantages and may prove to be more valuable than anyone had ever expected.

    Duke doesn't have a description.

    That's shockingly little information. Most of it is nothing that we can't learn from watching an episode or two of the series. There are a few new details. Kevin's age is established as 15, though we learned that in the "Nintendo Power" article. Lana's home world is established as Videoland, which seems a bit odd, since Videoland is also the name of the entire universe. Simon's whip is established as being magical (instead of alive, which was my guess). A bit of oddness is Simon's view of Kevin as an "out-of-work hero". Out-of-work? That makes no sense. Mega Man's bio is really weird. It makes him sound like a dumb, big, human jock with bionic augments and implants, which isn't true. His name is established as being two words. Kid Icarus' name is established as Pit, like it is in the game. His bio makes it sound like he has ADD. Gameboy's bio seems to have much in common with his debut episode. I wonder which was written first. Duke doesn't have a description, not that he needs one. The team's name has a hyphen in it here, but "The Big Game" proves that it doesn't. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that so little work was done on the characters prior to the episodes being written. Jeffrey Scott stated in my interview with him, which I quoted back in my Season 1 review: "I don't recall developing this series, which means that someone else probably laid out the basic elements. And I don't recall what, if anything, I added to the show." I take back my "Nothing would be my guess." comment from my Season 1 review. We should be grateful to Jeffrey Scott and the other writers for adding as much as they did.

    Kevin and Lana are fleshed out the most, but they and the other N Team members lack strong characterization. Kevin and Lana are the only "real" characters in this series, but that's not saying much.

    The biggest complaint that I have, character-wise, is the lack of Samus Aran. She's the star of "Metroid"! She's the character that you control throughout the game! How and why was she left out of this series?! How could they leave Samus out of a series in which Mother Brain was the main villain?! Imagine if the Super Mario series left out Mario! Imagine if "The Legend of Zelda" left out Link! Well, okay, Link wouldn't be a loss. Still, my point is that Samus Aran should have been in this series. Some people argue that, if Samus was in the series, there wouldn't have been a need for Captain N. While that might be true, the Captain N comic books proved that Samus Aran can fit into the series. Of course, considering the idiot plot nature of the cartoon series, the writers probably would have dumbed Samus down, so maybe it's a good thing that she didn't appear in the series. I still wanted her in it, though.

    We really don't learn anything about the bad guys, but that's not as important as knowing the heroes.

    For completeness' sake, let's take a look at the main villains as described in the series' bible:

    The Forces of Chaos:

    Name: Mother Brain
    Home World: Metroid

    Mother Brain is part grotesquely enlarged human brain, part souped-up bionic support system, and all evil. Every electrical device on Metroid, from the robot workers in the airlocks to the TV monitors and toasters, has been wired to do her bidding. In her high-tech nest at the center of the planet, Mother Brain spins her schemes and directs the Forces of Chaos' grand conspiracy.

    Name: King Hippo
    Home World: Punch Out

    Unlike Mega Man, King Hippo is all brawn and no brain to speak of. He weighs tons, is incredibly strong, and moves like a charging bull, flattening anything that gets in his way, but the King is too dumb to be disloyal to Mother Brain and too strong to be stopped cold by Captain N's Zapper or one of Simon's gizmos. Maybe the N-Team can't stop him, but they sure can slow him down.

    Name: Eggplant Wizard
    Home World: Mount Icarus

    The Eggplant Wizard is a sniveling vegetable kingdom Merlin with a number of magical powers, chief of which is the ability to turn people into various veggies. In fact, his powers are all vegetable oriented. He can plug a tunnel with tomatoes, shoot asparagus arrows, or vanquish a hero with a crop of instant vines.

    Name: Dr. Wily
    Home World: Megaland

    Dr. Wily rules Megaland through the power of his diabolical inventions and thinks of the other villains - even Mother Brain - as idiots and plans to ultimately rule all of Videoland himself.

    Mother Brain seems to have a human origin. King Hippo is described as weighing "tons", but that's likely not accurate. Despite being said to be too dumb to be disloyal to Mother Brain, he does do so when he has the power (the genie in "Wishful Thinking" and the Triforce in "Having a Ball"). Dr. Wily is described as ruling Megaland, which he doesn't, because he was shown trying to conquer Megaland in "Mega Trouble For Megaland". While Dr. Wily does think of Hippo and Eggy as idiots, his description here is the only indication that he thinks of Mother Brain as an idiot as well. That and the note that he wants to rule all of Videoland himself (which we saw no indication of until Season 3's "A Tale of Two Dogs") are interesting things to keep in mind as you watch the series. Dr. Wily appears in only 12 of the series' 33 story episodes: 7 in Season 1, 4 in Season 2, and 1 in Season 3 (his sole solo outting). If we take only the 21 episodes in which Mother Brain appears into account, Dr. Wily is absent from 10 of them: 4 in Season 1, 5 in Season 2, and 1 in Season 3. What was he doing during that time? Was he off somewhere (probably in Skull Castle on Megaland), plotting and working behind Mother Brain's back? The time periods of these 10 episodes are full of fan fiction potential for Dr. Wily fans. Also consider that, by production order, "A Tale of Two Dogs" comes after "Battle of the Baseball Know-It-Alls". Looking at it that way, Dr. Wily put his plans of conquering Videoland into motion immediately following Mother Brain's defeat (and was probably working on his plans on Megaland during Mother Brain's defeat).

    On the villains' side, I have some complaints as well. As with the heroes, they're stupid - but even moreso. Dr. Wily is the smartest of the bunch - with the rarely-seen Count (6 episodes) as the second-smartest. I also question the inclusion of King Hippo. Don't get me wrong; I like him. It's just that he's a boxer, not a villain. Sure, he's an opponent in "Punch-Out!!", but that doesn't mean he's evil. Finally, why are any of these guys working for Mother Brain? Did they volunteer, or did she force them into it? We never find out.

    As far as characterization goes, the writers get a "C" from me.


    Filler (Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 12:37 PM - 12:42 PM; Saturday, July 21, 2007, 12:49 PM - 1:10 PM)

    Most of the wasted time (that I've counted) in this series was wasted in Season 1 by writer Jeffrey Scott: 23 minutes. By contrast, I counted only 2 minutes and 8 seconds wasted by the Season 2 writers and no time wasted by the Season 3 writers. Just imagine, if those 25 minutes and 8 seconds of running time were used for exposition to flesh out the characters, the series would have been a lot better.

    To fill up the 6 remaining weeks of Season 3 (to tie with the 13 "Super Mario World" episodes), various episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 were used as filler in Season 3. They are as follows:

  • "The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers" was edited down to half-length.

  • "Quest For the Potion of Power" was split into two parts.

  • "Three Men and a Dragon" was edited down to half-length.

  • "Nightmare On Mother Brain's Street" was edited down to half-length.

  • "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain" was edited down to half-length.

    I'm guessing that the budget for Season 3 was cut so much that they couldn't even afford to do 13 half-length episodes, so they showed old episodes. However, I question the selection of episodes. Wouldn't it make more sense to air episodes that give some useful background information for new viewers? I would have aired:

  • "Kevin In Videoland" (half-length)

  • "Videolympics" (half-length)

  • "Mega Trouble For Megaland" (half-length)

  • "In Search of the King" (half-length)

  • "Gameboy" (half-length)

  • "The Trouble With Tetris" (half-length)

    These 6 episodes would have given more information about the characters to new viewers. Maybe even air them before the new episodes to provide better context.

    Other than that, they could have done a 6-part recap miniseries (equal in length to a short movie). New narration was added to "Quest For the Potion of Power". Why not do a lengthy history of the series and maybe even add a ton of new information to flesh out the universe? It could actually be canon, unlike "When Mother Brain Rules", the weird clips episode in Season 2 that DiC doesn't even have a record of producing (one theory is that NBC made it). It would have greatly helped the series.


    Rip-Offs (Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 1:00 PM - 1:04 PM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 10:26 AM - 10:29 AM, 10:43 AM - 10:47 AM)

    The writers (mostly Jeffrey Scott) ripped off a lot of stuff from various TV series and movies, such as:

  • "The Wizard of Oz" in the opening scene of "Kevin In Videoland" and almost all of "Happy Birthday, Megaman"

  • "Rocky IV" in the training montage in "Videolympics"

  • "Back to the Future, Part II" in the hoverboard scene in "Videolympics"

  • "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in "Nightmare On Mother Brain's Street" (and every other episode with the mirror)

  • two "Star Trek" episodes ("The Changeling" in "Simon the Ape-Man" and "Mirror, Mirror" in "In Search of the King")

  • the Tarzan films in "Simon the Ape-Man"

  • the Indiana Jones films in "The Most Dangerous Game Master" and "The Lost City of Kongoland"

  • "Batman" in "The Most Dangerous Game Master" and "I Wish I Was a Wombatman"

  • "Pinocchio" in the whale scene in "Happy Birthday, Megaman"

  • the zombie concept from many horror films in "The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers"

  • the mind-swapping concept from many sci-fi films in "Queen of the Apes"

  • "Videolympics" in "The Big Game"

  • the possession-by-an-evil-spirit concept from many fantasy and horror films in "The Lost City of Kongoland"

  • the wish concept from many fantasy films in "Wishful Thinking" and "Pursuit of the Magic Hoop"

  • the N-Team-member-turns-evil concept from many fantasy and horror films in "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain", "Simon the Ape-Man", "The Lost City of Kongoland", and "The Fractured Fantasy of Captain N"

    That's all that I can think of. Perhaps the writers ripped off other things that I'm not aware of, too.

    Really, this was pretty cliché and uncreative. Couldn't the writers have come up with some more original ideas?


    Unanswered Questions (Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 1:20 PM - 1:34 PM; Sunday, July 22, 2007, 5:55 PM - 5:58 PM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 10:57 AM - 11:07 AM)

    There are plenty of unanswered questions in this series, which the writers either never got around to answering or decided that we didn't need the answers to, such as:

  • the war: How did it start? How many people are on each side? How did the N Team retake Videoland at the end of "Kevin In Videoland"? Are there battles being fought elsewhere by forces other than the N Team, Mother Brain, and her lackeys? From what we've seen, this was a pretty small-scale war.

  • the N Team: Why did Lana choose Simon, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus to be on the N Team? What are the characters' ages? What is the hierarchy of the N Team? It would have been nice for the N Team to have a clear chain of command. Heck, they could have worn number shirts like the Science Ninja Team on Gatchaman.

  • the bad guys: Why were King Hippo, the Eggplant Wizard, and Dr. Wily chosen by Mother Brain to be her minions?

  • the monarchy: Why is Lana's father so old? What happened to Lana's mother (who was never even mentioned)? Why does Lana's father have white (and therefore previously blond) hair, but Lana has brown hair? What are Lana's royal duties? After "The Lost City of Kongoland", we don't know.

  • the Palace of Power: What is the security system like? Where are the guards and servants? What is the voice that speaks to Lana in the first episode? What is the layout of the Palace? We're given seemingly conflicting (or at least misleading) information regarding the locations of the throne room and the living room. How do the rooms relate to each other? We know the Palace Vault is below Lana's bedroom, and the Palace Basement is six feet below the Palace Vault, but that's about it.

  • our hero: What are Kevin's qualifications for being "the Game Master"? What is the green figure that we see in the first episode? Is it Kevin or something else?

    A few throwaway lines would have been sufficient to answer these questions. Just sprinkle bits of information throughout each episode. There was certainly enough time for that, but it was wasted.


    Continuity (Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 1:45 PM - 2:05 PM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 11:13 AM - 11:29 AM)

    This was a mostly Magic Reset Button series. Things returned to the status quo at the end of almost every episode, and events from previous episodes were rarely referenced again. Here is all of the continuity in this series:

  • Every other episode must occur after "Kevin In Videoland".

  • Kevin commented about how creepy that the castle was in "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain", but, in "The Most Dangerous Game Master", he didn't, suggesting that "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain" must occur before "The Most Dangerous Game Master" and "Return To Castlevania".

  • The story started in "Videolympics" continued in "Mega Trouble For Megaland".

  • "Mega Trouble For Megaland" must occur before "Happy Birthday, Megaman", "Having a Ball", "Germ Wars", and "A Tale of Two Dogs".

  • "Gameboy" must occur after "In Search of the King".

  • Every other episode with Gameboy must occur after "Gameboy".

  • "Quest For the Potion of Power" must occur before "Having a Ball", "Once Upon a Time Machine", and "The Trojan Dragon".

  • "Having a Ball" must occur after "How's Bayou", "Mega Trouble For Megaland", "Happy Birthday, Megaman", and "Quest For the Potion of Power".

  • "The Trouble With Tetris" must occur before "Totally Tetrisized".

    In addition to the barely-there continuity, there were plenty of contradictions in continuity and lapses in logic (as covered in the Plotholes and Idiot Plot sections above).

    I don't see why it was so hard to have more continuity. Jeffrey Scott said in my interview with him, "Most cartoon series don't have a progressing arc like some live-action series. One of the reasons for this is that sometimes episode 7 gets finished, and airs, before episode 6. So the episodes are generally written as separate entities, with no consecutive timeline. Thus it's not possible to progress the story or develop the characters over time." Heck, they managed to do one 2-part episode, and other series have managed to do lengthier and more multi-part episodes. If they were worried about production problems, then they should have had a 5-episode rule. Every 5 episodes, do something that changes the status quo - even if only a little bit. Give some indication that things are changing.


    The War (Friday, July 13, 2007, 4:05 PM - 6:20 PM; Sunday, July 22, 2007, 5:30 PM - 5:53 PM)

    This series is about a war - a war between those that wish to conquer Videoland and those that wish to save it. You can't tell that most of the time, though. With most of the discussion of this series being about the games and characters, the "story arc" of the war is often overlooked, which isn't a surprise, considering that the writers apparently overlooked it as well. Let's look at the series in the context of the war. Season 1 events will be presented in Jeffrey Scott's original written order. Season 2 events will be presented in the order to the extent of which The Shout! Factory and I agree upon, but I insert some episodes into unaccounted-for weeks. Season 3 events will be presented according to the order in my episode guide.

    The war began at least 7 years prior to Kevin's arrival in Videoland. We're given almost no details about it. Tetris was apparently too far away from the Palace of Power to join the fight against Mother Brain, despite the fact that the N Team was out playing a game in space near that world in "The Trouble With Tetris".

    Mother Brain's large army started laying siege on the Palace of Power. This siege would last for the impossibly long time of 7 years, during which the Palace's defenses (whoever or whatever they were) kept the army from entering.

    Two years prior to "The Trouble With Tetris" (so around 6 years after the siege began), Prince Lyle ran away, not telling his father or sister where he was going.

    Sometime after that, but before Kevin's arrival, King Charles was kidnapped by Mother Brain. Lana didn't know where he was and assumed rule of Videoland. Lana's unnamed "warriors" tried to rescue King Charles, but no details are given regarding when or how. During the kidnapping? After? Who were these warriors?

    At some point, Simon Belmont, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus started fighting for the Palace against Mother Brain's forces. No details are given as to when or why. They might be the unnamed "warriors" that tried to rescue King Charles, but they equally might not be. Whether they ever met King Charles or Lyle is vague, too. Simon seemed surprised at Lyle in "The Trouble With Tetris", but it's unknown whether it was due to the revelation that Lana has a brother or Lyle's clumsiness. "In Search of the King" gives the impression that Simon saw King Charles before, but it also has Lana telling her father who Simon is. Maybe Simon saw only King Charles' picture before? Simon expresses a familiarity with pre-war Palace life in "Having a Ball", but it's unclear whether he participated in it or merely saw it on TV.

    That brings us up to the beginning of the series. The Palace of Power has been under siege for 7 years. Suddenly, a prophecy is fulfilled, and Kevin Keene is brought to Videoland and becomes Captain N.

    Mother Brain kidnaps Lana and has her brought to Metroid. Kevin leads Simon, Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Duke there and rescues Lana. When they get back to the Palace of Power, Mother Brain's large army is gone. The siege is over. There is no indication of what happened. Clearly, Jeffrey Scott thought it was too much work to explain such a major turning point in the war.

    In "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain", Lana invites Mother Brain to the Palace of Power to sign a peace treaty, but it doesn't happen. In "How's Bayou", Mother Brain lures Kevin to Bayouland in search of Duke.

    Mother Brain has free reign over Videoland for a week after sending the N Team into the Warp Zone To Oblivion in "Videolympics", managing to conquer Mount Icarus and starting to conquer Megaland, but the N Team liberates those worlds in "Mega Trouble For Megaland".

    Mother Brain puts Lana into a deep sleep and takes over the Palace of Power in "Nightmare On Mother Brain's Street", but Kevin rescues Lana, and the N Team drives Mother Brain away.

    With Mother Brain's help, Dragonlord nearly conquers Dragon's Den in "Three Men and a Dragon", but the N Team frees that world. Mother Brain tries to brainwash Simon Belmont into serving her in "Simon the Ape-Man", but it works only briefly, and his memory is restored.

    King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard briefly enslave Mother Brain and conquer Videoland after getting a magic lamp with a genie in "Wishful Thinking", but Kid Icarus restores everything back to normal and frees the genie. Apparently, defeating Mother Brain permanently wasn't a priority for him or anyone else on the N Team.

    Mother Brain lures Kevin to Castlevania in "The Most Dangerous Game Master", and it turns out to be a trap, but the N Team gets out of it.

    Mother Brain lures Kevin to Metroid; traps him; imprisons Princess Lana, Simon Belmont, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus; and conquers an unspecified portion of Videoland in "Metroid Sweet Metroid", but Kevin escapes, and the N Team frees Videoland.

    We don't know what Mother Brain is doing during "In Search of the King", but the N Team locates King Charles and frees him from his banishment in the Mirror World, but King Charles sacrifices his freedom to free Princess Lana.

    We don't know what Mother Brain is doing during "Happy Birthday, Megaman" either, so the N Team has a side adventure for 3 weeks.

    As the second year of Kevin's leadership begins, King Charles sends a supercomputer called Gameboy to join the N Team in "Gameboy".

    Mother Brain attempts to conquer News World in "The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers", but Kevin frees that world. Mother Brain attempts to conquer Kongoland in Donkey Kong's body in "Queen of the Apes", but the N Team frees that world. Mother Brain revives Ganon in "Quest For the Potion of Power", but he sends her away, and Kevin, Link, and Zelda defeat him. Mother Brain attempts to steal the Triforce in "Having a Ball" but doesn't succeed.

    Princess Lana is reunited with Prince Lyle in "The Trouble With Tetris", and it looks like Lyle might rule Videoland, but he changes his mind and stays on Tetris.

    Mother Brain goes along with Dr. Wily's plan to send the N Team into the Earthquake Warp Zone in "The Big Game", but the plan fails. We don't know what Mother Brain is doing during "The Trojan Dragon", so the N Team has a side adventure. Mother Brain lures the N Team to Marblopolis Studio World in "I Wish I Was a Wombatman" in an attempt to defeat it but fails. Mother Brain attempts to steal a powerful artifact in Kongoland in "The Lost City of Kongoland" but fails. We don't know what Mother Brain is doing during "Once Upon a Time Machine", "The Feud of Faxanadu", or "Germ Wars" either, so the N Team has side adventures.

    As the third year of Kevin's leadership begins, Mother Brain decides to sit the war out, since we don't know what she is doing in "Misadventures In Robin Hood Woods", "Pursuit of the Magic Hoop", "Return To Castlevania", "Totally Tetrisized", or "A Tale of Two Dogs", so the N Team has side adventures.

    Mother Brain sends most of the N Team (sans Princess Lana and Gameboy) into the cellar of Baseball World, takes over the Palace of Power, and enslaves Princess Lana in "Battle of the Baseball Know-It-Alls", but Princess Lana frees the N Team and sends Mother Brain into the cellar of Baseball World, presumably trapping her inside.

    With the war over, the N Team has a side adventure in "The Fractured Fantasy of Captain N".

    So there you have the war that serves as the backdrop for the series and the reason for Kevin being in Videoland. Having recently rewatched all of Season 3 to review it and even more recently rewatching all of Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD, it's become glaringly obvious that the war wasn't as present as it should have been. Instead of a high-stakes war going on, the tide inexplicably turns in the N Team's favor at the end of the first episode, and, with few exceptions, Mother Brain is reduced to a minor nuisance that occasionally interrupts the N Team's sports-playing or TV-watching.

    The war should have been a bigger part of the series. If the siege on the Palace of Power is going to end, then at least show it happening. We didn't get even a verbal explanation. Have the N Team do stuff that would be useful in the war, such as recruiting allies, building weapons, flying to Metroid, and chasing Mother Brain down.

    Instead, the N Team is mostly reactionary. The only time that it took the initiative against Mother Brain was in "Metroid Sweet Metroid".

    This little game of cat-and-mouse was occasionally interrupted by a dire situation. Mother Brain got into the Palace of Power 4 times throughout the series (3 times in Season 1 and once in Season 3). Also, other than the initial 7-year siege, Videoland was conquered 3 more times in the series - all in Season 1! Gee, you think that's enough?

    Mother Brain appears in only 21 of the 33 story episodes of the series. Maybe Levi Stubbs' touring schedule prohibited him from appearing in more episodes? Even if that's the case, those other 12 episodes should have had someone (Hippo, Eggy, and/or Dr. Wily) carrying out one of Mother Brain's plots behind the scenes. Mother Brain's presence should have been felt in every episode.

    "Captain N: The Game Master" should have been more militaristic. The N Team should have been recruiting allies, amassing firepower, and going after Mother Brain. Until it got to her, it should have been infiltrating her bases and factories and blowing them up. There'd be enough time to watch TV and play sports after she's been defeated.


    Animation (Friday, July 6, 2007, 9:45 AM - 10:41 AM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 12:23 PM - 12:41 PM, 12:43 PM)

    The animation for this series is average. Each season was handled by a different animation studio.

    Season 1 was animated by Dongyang Animation in South Korea. The company's website claims that 14 episodes were animated. One of those might be version 2 of "How's Bayou". Since Jeffrey Scott was apparently hired to write all of Season 1, and he said "No, I didn't write any stories that were not used.", there likely isn't a lost episode. Also, the site claims that the animation was done in 1987, but this might be an error. The site credits the series as "Captain Nintendo".

    Season 2 was animated by Spectrum Animation Studio in Japan. Both Spectrum and Dongyang later co-animated "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm".

    Season 3 was animated by Plus-One Animation in South Korea.

    Both Dongyang and Spectrum's animation have their good points (Season 1 looks nostalgic and totally 1980s, and Season 2 looks better overall). Plus-One's animation is horrible. Judging by its site, Captain N seems to have been its first project. It must have worked cheap.

    All three studios had poor continuity control. There are plenty of animation errors and inconsistencies throughout the series, and I don't mean just Kevin's Zapper beams (blue, red, yellow, and green; blue, being used most often, seems to be the "official" color) and the color schemes of the conference room and the living room (they could have been re-decorated). I mean just general sloppiness all over the place.

    I really wish that the entire series had been animated by Spectrum Animation Studio. It would have looked a lot better and more consistent.


    Music (Saturday, July 21, 2007, 9:30 AM - 9:58 AM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 2:12 PM - 2:32 PM)

    The music for this series is pretty good. There are 3 types of music in this series: original, video game, and songs.

    I don't have an extensive knowledge of video game music, so I can't always tell when background music comes from a video game and when it was composed for the series (or at least for DiC).

    I will say that, while the video game music used is good, whoever was in charge of music selection sometimes made some odd choices. Examples: The underground music from "Super Mario Bros. 2" is playing in version 2 of "How's Bayou" (version 1 used music from "The Adventures of Bayou Billy", and that's what we have on DVD). The castle music from "Super Mario Bros." is playing on Metroid in "Videolympics". The music fits, but a bit more consistency with the games would have been nice.

    Whichever background music is original was well-done. Really, I enjoy all of the background music in this series. Michael Tavera was the sound guy for Seasons 2 and 3 and a bit of Season 1. He also worked on Sonic SatAM.

    Now for the songs. Most Season 1 episodes featured cover versions of real songs. The songs, in the order that Jeffrey Scott wrote the episodes, are "Shakedown" by Bob Seger ("Kevin In Videoland" and "Wishful Thinking"), "White Wedding" by Billy Idol ("Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain"), "Born On the Bayou" by Creedence Clearwater Revival ("How's Bayou"), "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown ("Videolympics"), "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins ("Mega Trouble For Megaland"), the theme to "Bonanza" ("Nightmare On Mother Brain's Street"), "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder ("Three Men and a Dragon"), "Thriller" by Michael Jackson ("The Most Dangerous Game Master"), "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol ("In Search of the King"), and "Shake It Up" by The Cars ("Happy Birthday Megaman"). "Simon the Ape-Man" and "Metroid Sweet Metroid" don't contain any songs.

    Season 2 switched to doing parodies and perhaps even entirely original songs - for budget reasons, I guess. Maybe Frank Welker's addition to the cast had something to do with it? Anyway, I can recognize parodies of "The Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett, "Walk Like a Man" by The Four Seasons, and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones.

    Season 3, when it did use songs, used parodies (such as "Take Me Out To the Ball Game") and perhaps original songs as well.

    While I wish that the video game music selection was better, I'm happy with the music in this series.


    Tone (Saturday, July 21, 2007, 10:00 AM - 10:21 AM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 2:42 PM - 2:43 PM)

    This series is about a war. While occasional humor would have been okay to lighten the mood, the overall tone should have been more dramatic.

    However, the writers insisted on inserting lots of jokes. That isn't neccessarily a bad thing. When done right, the dialogue is fun. A lot of the time, though, the dialogue was dumb. The writers often sacrificed a character's intelligence for the sake of a joke.

    I'm not going to list examples of the dialogue here. You can find those in my individual episode reviews. I will say that the amount of good dialogue vastly outweighed the amount of bad dialogue.

    The writers also wrote in a lot of slapstick humor. Season 1 writer Jeffrey Scott told me in an interview, "When a series is bought the network ususally has an idea of how dramatic or comedic it will be. So I just put the level of humor in it that the studio and network wanted." I guess we can't entirely blame the writers. DiC and NBC were responsible for the slapstick humor. Really, the slapstick humor is out of place in a series about war. The series would have been better off without it.

    While I wish that the tone of this series was more dramatic (even if only at the level of Gatchaman, "The Transformers", or "Jem"), the dialogue was, for the most part, good - even sharp and witty at times.


    Series Usefulness Ratings (Tuesday, December 26, 2006, 1:30 PM - 2:16 PM; Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 1:35 PM - 2:22 PM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 2:45 PM - 2:50 PM)

    Here are the total usefulness ratings that I've figured for each N Team member in the entire series (there's a correction to Simon's total, since I messed up in my "Totally Tetrisized" review):

    Kevin: 178 (33 episodes)
    Kid Icarus: 58 (29 episodes)
    Simon: 52 (29 episodes)
    Mega Man: 51 (29 episodes)
    Lana: 50 (30 episodes)
    Duke: 31 (30 episodes)
    Gameboy: 18 (14 episodes)

    By figuring each N Team member's usefulness average based on total number of appearances, they are ranked as follows:

    Kevin: 5.3939393939393939393939393939394
    Kid Icarus: 2
    Simon: 1.7931034482758620689655172413793
    Mega Man: 1.7586206896551724137931034482759
    Lana: 1.6666666666666666666666666666667
    Gameboy: 1.2857142857142857142857142857143
    Duke: 1.0333333333333333333333333333333

    The order is the same.

    Here is each N Team member's percentage contribution of usefulness in the series:

    Kevin: 40.639269406392694063926940639269%
    Kid Icarus: 13.242009132420091324200913242009%
    Simon: 11.872146118721461187214611872146%
    Mega Man: 11.643835616438356164383561643836%
    Lana: 11.415525114155251141552511415525%
    Duke: 7.0776255707762557077625570776256%
    Gameboy: 4.109589041095890410958904109589%

    Here are each N Team member's total usefulness ratings from Seasons 1, 2, and 3, respectively, along with various percentages and averages:

    Season 1 usefulness ratings:

    Kevin: 47
    Kid Icarus: 23
    Simon: 21
    Mega Man: 17
    Duke: 14
    Lana: 9

    Percentage contribution of usefulness to the team in Season 1:

    Kevin: 35.87786259541984732824427480916%
    Kid Icarus: 17.557251908396946564885496183206%
    Simon: 16.03053435114503816793893129771%
    Mega Man: 12.977099236641221374045801526718%
    Duke: 10.687022900763358778625954198473%
    Lana: 6.8702290076335877862595419847328%

    Percentage of own total usefulness in Season 1:

    Duke: 45.161290322580645161290322580645%
    Simon: 40.384615384615384615384615384615%
    Kid Icarus: 39.655172413793103448275862068966%
    Mega Man: 33.333333333333333333333333333333%
    Lana: 29.032258064516129032258064516129%
    Kevin: 26.404494382022471910112359550562%

    Season 2 usefulness ratings:

    Kevin: 90
    Lana: 33
    Simon: 27
    Mega Man: 26
    Kid Icarus: 25
    Gameboy: 18
    Duke: 10

    Percentage contribution of usefulness to the team in Season 2:

    Kevin: 39.301310043668122270742358078603%
    Lana: 14.410480349344978165938864628821%
    Simon: 11.790393013100436681222707423581%
    Mega Man: 11.353711790393013100436681222707%
    Kid Icarus: 10.917030567685589519650655021834%
    Gameboy: 7.8602620087336244541484716157205%
    Duke: 4.3668122270742358078602620087336%

    Percentage of own total usefulness in Season 2:

    Gameboy: 100%
    Lana: 66%
    Simon: 51.923076923076923076923076923077%
    Mega Man: 50.980392156862745098039215686275%
    Kevin: 50.561797752808988764044943820225%
    Kid Icarus: 43.10344827586206896551724137931%
    Duke: 32.258064516129032258064516129032%

    Season 3 usefulness ratings:

    Kevin: 41 (7 episodes)
    Kid Icarus: 10 (3 episodes)
    Lana: 8 (4 episodes)
    Mega Man: 8 (3 episodes)
    Duke: 7 (4 episodes)
    Simon: 4 (3 episodes)
    Gameboy: 0 (1 episode)

    Usefulness average based on total number of appearances in Season 3:

    Kevin: 5.8571428571428571428571428571429
    Kid Icarus: 3.3333333333333333333333333333333
    Mega Man: 2.6666666666666666666666666666667
    Lana: 2
    Duke: 1.75
    Simon: 1.3333333333333333333333333333333
    Gameboy: 0

    The difference here is that Lana drops from third place to fourth place. At least Lana is still more useful than Simon, Duke, and Gameboy.

    Percentage contribution of usefulness to the team in Season 3:

    Kevin: 52.564102564102564102564102564103%
    Kid Icarus: 12.820512820512820512820512820513%
    Lana: 10.25641025641025641025641025641%
    Mega Man: 10.25641025641025641025641025641%
    Duke: 8.974358974358974358974358974359%
    Simon: 5.1282051282051282051282051282051%
    Gameboy: 0%

    Percentage of own total usefulness in Season 3:

    Kevin: 23.033707865168539325842696629213%
    Duke: 22.580645161290322580645161290323%
    Kid Icarus: 17.241379310344827586206896551724%
    Lana: 16%
    Mega Man: 15.686274509803921568627450980392%
    Simon: 7.6923076923076923076923076923077%
    Gameboy: 0%

    After a lengthy competition, Kevin ends up in first place (of course), followed by Kid Icarus in second, Simon in third, Mega Man in fourth, Lana in fifth, Duke in sixth, and Gameboy in seventh and last. I should note that Lana is 2 points away from sharing third place and 3 points away from taking it outright. Still, the fact remains that Lana is the least-useful human member of the N Team (despite being the second-most-useful overall member in Season 2). I blame this on Jeffrey Scott. He really neglected her. Just look at that pathetic rating of 9 (less than Duke!) in Season 1 and compare that to Zelda's rating of 63 in an equal number of episodes in her own series - but with shorter running times. This is inexcuseable!


    Grading the Series (Tuesday, December 26, 2006, 3:00 PM - 3:18 PM)

    Each individual season of the series has gotten a C average. Season 1 was the lowest, followed by Season 2 in the middle, followed by Season 3 at the top.

    Now, I'm going to average the grades of each episode to come up with a grade for the entire series:

    Kevin in Videoland (B)
    Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain (C)
    How's Bayou (B)
    Videolympics (D)
    Mega Trouble for Megaland (B)
    Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street (C)
    Three Men and a Dragon (C)
    Simon the Ape-Man (C)
    Wishful Thinking (D)
    The Most Dangerous Game Master (A)
    Metroid Sweet Metroid (B)
    In Search of the King (D)
    Happy Birthday, Megaman (F)
    Gameboy (B)
    The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers (B)
    Queen of the Apes (C)
    Quest For the Potion of Power (A)
    Having a Ball (B)
    The Trouble With Tetris (C)
    The Big Game (B)
    I Wish I Was a Wombatman (D)
    The Trojan Dragon (B)
    The Lost City of Kongoland (C)
    Once Upon a Time Machine (C)
    The Feud of Faxanadu (C)
    Germ Wars (D)
    When Mother Brain Rules (F)
    Misadventures In Robin Hood Woods (C)
    Pursuit of the Magic Hoop (B)
    Return To Castlevania (B)
    Totally Tetrisized (B)
    A Tale of Two Dogs (C)
    Battle of the Baseball Know-It-Alls (D)
    The Fractured Fantasy of Captain N (B)

    So my overall grade for the series is a C. That means that it was average - not great, not horrible. To put the grade in perspective, here are the averages that I worked out:

    Season 3: 3.4285714285714285714285714285714

    Season 2 w/o WMBR: 3.3846153846153846153846153846154

    Series w/o WMBR: 3.2727272727272727272727272727273

    Season 2 w/ WMBR: 3.2142857142857142857142857142857

    Series w/ WMBR: 3.2058823529411764705882352941176

    Season 1: 3.0769230769230769230769230769231

    That basically puts the entire series in the middle, between Seasons 1 and 2, in terms of quality.


    Grading the Writers (Tuesday, December 26, 2006, 3:20 PM - 3:54 PM)

    Using my Seasons 1, 2, and 3 grades, I'm now going to grade each writer of the series. Michael Maurer and Matt Uitz will each receive a full grade for "Once Upon a Time Machine". Since Sean Roche & David Ehrman only cowrote, as did Ted Alben & Greg Klein, as did Paul Dell & Steven Weiss, I've paired them together.

    Jeffrey Scott:
    Kevin in Videoland (B)
    Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain (C)
    How's Bayou (B)
    Videolympics (D)
    Mega Trouble for Megaland (B)
    Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street (C)
    Three Men and a Dragon (C)
    Simon the Ape-Man (C)
    Wishful Thinking (D)
    The Most Dangerous Game Master (A)
    Metroid Sweet Metroid (B)
    In Search of the King (D)
    Happy Birthday, Megaman (F)
    Final Grade: C

    Dorothy Middleton:
    Gameboy (B)
    Misadventures In Robin Hood Woods (C)
    Totally Tetrisized (B)
    Final Grade: C+

    Michael Maurer:
    The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers (B)
    The Trouble With Tetris (C)
    Once Upon a Time Machine (C)
    The Feud of Faxanadu (C)
    Final Grade: C

    Sean Roche & David Ehrman:
    Queen of the Apes (C)
    I Wish I Was a Wombatman (D)
    Final Grade: D+

    Rick Merwin:
    Quest For the Potion of Power (A)
    Final Grade: A

    Dennis O'Flaherty:
    Having a Ball (B)
    The Big Game (B)
    The Lost City of Kongoland (C)
    A Tale of Two Dogs (C)
    Final Grade: C+

    Matt Uitz:
    The Trojan Dragon (B)
    Once Upon a Time Machine (C)
    Pursuit of the Magic Hoop (B)
    Return To Castlevania (B)
    Final Grade: C+

    Ted Alben & Greg Klein:
    Germ Wars (D)
    Final Grade: D

    Calvin Kelley:
    Battle of the Baseball Know-It-Alls (D)
    Final Grade: D

    Paul Dell & Steven Weiss:
    The Fractured Fantasy of Captain N (B)
    Final Grade: B

    In terms of final grade, Rick Merwin is the best series writer, followed by the writing team of Paul Dell & Steven Weiss, followed by Matt Uitz, followed by Dorothy Middleton, followed by Dennis O'Flaherty, followed by Michael Maurer, followed by Jeffrey Scott, followed by the writing team of Sean Roche & David Ehrman, followed by the writing team of Ted Alben & Greg Klein in a tie with Calvin Kelley.

    Compared to Seasons 2 and 3, Dorothy Middleton's series average is closer to her lower Season 3 average than her higher Season 2 average, Matt Uitz's series average is halfway between his higher Season 3 average and his lower Season 2 average, and Dennis O'Flaherty's series average is closer to his higher Season 2 average than his lower Season 3 average.

    To put the grades in perspective, here are the averages that I worked out:

    Rick Merwin: 5

    Paul Dell & Steven Weiss: 4

    Matt Uitz:
    Season 3: 4
    Series: 3.75
    Season 2: 3.5

    Dorothy Middleton:
    Season 2: 4
    Series: 3.6666666666666666666666666666667
    Season 3: 3.5

    Dennis O'Flaherty:
    Season 2: 3.6666666666666666666666666666667
    Series: 3.5
    Season 3: 3

    Michael Maurer: 3.25

    Jeffrey Scott: 3.0769230769230769230769230769231

    Sean Roche & David Ehrman: 2.5

    Ted Alben & Greg Klein: 2

    Calvin Kelley: 2

    Rick Merwin and Dennis O'Flaherty are my personal favorite series writers.


    Actors (Sunday, June 24, 2007, 11:35 AM - 11:43 AM; Friday, August 10, 2007, 2:57 PM - 3:06 PM)

    The voice cast was well-selected, and each actor did a good job portraying his or her character as designed for this series.

    Of course, the voices for Simon Belmont, Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Mother Brain would have been inappropriate, if the characters had been portrayed as they are in the video games.

    Matt Hill (Kevin Keene and the narrator), Venus Terzo (Princess Lana), Andrew Kavadas (Simon Belmont), Doug Parker (Mega Man), Alessandro Juliani (Kid Icarus), Tomm Wright (Duke), Frank Welker (Gameboy), Levi Stubbs (Mother Brain), Gary Chalk (King Hippo), Michael Donovan (Eggplant Wizard), and Ian James Corlett (Dr. Wily) brought life to these characters, and they should be commended.

    Most of them are still in the business, too. Check out the Internet Movie Database for other stuff that they've worked on.


    The Ending (Saturday, August 11, 2007, 10:34 AM - 11:55 AM)

    There has been speculation as to why, exactly, Captain N ended. The switch to a Japanese animation studio in Season 2 seems to suggest a larger budget, and the pairing with Super Mario Bros. 3 created a one-hour powerhouse. So what happened that caused such a drastic reversal in Season 3? I don't have any answers, just speculation.

    There seems to have been a budget cut that forced the switch to a different animation studio. However, while Captain N's animation suffered, the animation of its companion series, Super Mario World, appeared to improve over Super Mario Bros. 3. One theory is that a part of the budget was taken from Captain N and given to Mario.

    Another theory is that Captain N was supposedly partnered with Mario by contract, starting in Season 2, and, when Season 3 came along, they were given only a half-hour block. Captain N, still contractually partnered with Mario, had to have shorter episodes and share the half-hour block.

    Whatever's true, Captain N, due to either budget constraints or a lack of faith by The Powers That Be, had only 7 new episodes, the remaining 6 weeks taken up by episodes from Seasons 1 and 2.

    If anyone knows what happened to make Season 3 the way that it was, please let me know.

    The one thing that I can say for certain is that "Captain N: The Game Master" ultimately ended, because NBC discontinued its Saturday morning cartoon line-up in the Fall of 1992 and replaced it with a Saturday morning edition of "The Today Show" and an all-live-action, teen-oriented block, which featured "Saved By the Bell" and "California Dreams".

    This might have been due to the loss of advertising revenue. It might have been due to FCC-mandated regulations that began around that time, which forced broadcast stations to program a minimum of three hours of children's educational/informational programming, and NBC ditched Saturday morning cartoons to help its affiliates comply with the regulations. If anyone knows, please let me know.


    My Final Thoughts (Saturday, August 11, 2007, 12:31 PM - 2:48 PM)

    Nearly 6 years ago, on the evening of Thursday, September 27, 2001, I came across a site with Transformers reviews by Robert E. Powers. Those reviews, specifically "Why TF:TM SUCKS!" and "Recapping Beast Machines", inspired me to review "Captain N: The Game Master" in its entirety, a task which I started on the very next day at 12:48 PM (reviews page) and 1:01 PM ("Kevin In Videoland" review).

    Now, on Saturday, August 11, 2007, my task is nearly complete. I will offer my final, general thoughts on the series, give thanks, and give some indication of what I will do next.

    Final level. Here we go.

    I grew up with "Captain N: The Game Master". I watched it since Season 1 (though not from the very beginning). This was before I got a Nintendo Entertainment System. I've seen every episode. I can recite every episode title. I created the first Captain N site on the Internet, and it's still online to this day. I created a fan fiction continuation of the series that generated a massive amount of Captain N fanfics, and, while it went in the wrong direction and had the wrong approach, I don't regret doing it. The series is special to me. It used to be my favorite series. It isn't anymore, but I still like it.

    "Captain N: The Game Master" certainly has many faults, not the least of which are the liberties that were taken with the characters. However, it also is fun to watch. Most fans seem to be fans of the concept, not the execution, and that's understandable. I'm one of those fans. Still, I enjoy the series in its own right.

    Some ways in which the series would have been improved are more accurate character designs, more accurate game worlds and mechanics, more accurate video game music, less slapstick, better continuity, a serial story arc, the inclusion of Samus Aran, more background information, more drama, more serious characters, and more action.

    The series reached the Fall of 1991 but made no SNES-based episodes. However, there might not have been enough games ready by that point.

    Captain N succeeded in what it set out to do: advertise Nintendo games to kids. Stop and think about how many kids got Nintendo Entertainment Systems and Game Boys because of the series. Then think about how many kids got games in the California Games, Castlevania, Donkey Kong, Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, Kid Icarus, The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Metroid, Paperboy, Punch-Out!!, Tetris, and Wizards and Warriors series - not to mention the other games that were featured on the series, such as "The Adventures of Bayou Billy", "Burger Time", "Faxanadu", and others. Thinks about how many kids must have become permanent fans and bought the sequels over the years. Think about the number of Castlevania sequels and Mega Man sequels alone. Think about the fans that watched the series in foreign nations, dubbed into Spanish, German, and other languages. Taking all of that into account, the amount of money that "Captain N: The Game Master" has made and continues to make for Nintendo becomes incalculable. In this way, the series is an undisputable success, regardless of what you think of the series itself.

    The series took a lot longer to review than I'd anticipated, mostly due to my own laziness, but it was a fun ride. I learned new things about the series and theorized about a lot of things. I was even surprised a few times. I never expected that Kid Icarus would be the second-most-useful character on the series. My money would have been on Simon Belmont or Mega Man. It's also odd that one of the most-useful characters on the series is also one of the least-developed.

    My thanks go to Robert E. Powers for providing the initial inspiration to undertake this massive project (I encourage all of you to read Rob's Transformers reviews - and Nancy Tang's "Battle of the Planets" reviews), Darth Kommissar (a.k.a. Der Kommissar) for his own episode reviews and suggestions for my own, Spelunker for the information about the animation studios and sound guy, and any other people that I might be forgetting at the moment. Thank you all!

    As for what I will do next, I don't know. I like doing reviews. You can find some of my reviews on Amazon, but the vast majority of them were deleted from the site for an unknown reason, so I doubt that I'll continue writing reviews for that site. I review Archie stories at an Archie Comics fan forum. I'm considering reviewing the "Mega Man" cartoon series.

    As for this site, I will review both Captain N DVD sets (Season 3 is due out on DVD later this year). I will review the Zelda comic books from Valiant when I find all of the stories. I might also review the Metroid and Zelda comics that were published in "Nintendo Power" magazine. If I ever find the elusive Captain N #6 comic book by Valiant, then I will definitely review that as well. I might eventually go back and update my previous reviews to make them more accurate, interconnected, and complete, but I'd keep the original versions up as well.

    For the moment, though, I'm going to take a break and relax. I've said all that I've wanted to say for the moment. Thank you all for reading!


    Back to Reviews