Episode Review


Sunday, September 7, 2003, 12:00 PM - Saturday, October 18, 2003, 9:00 PM

Introduction (12:00 PM - 1:27 PM)

Welcome to Season 2 of "Captain N: The Game Master". After finishing my Season 1 review, I went back to the comic book Videoland to finish reviewing the "Captain N: The Game Master" comic books that were published by Valiant from May to September of 1990. Now, I've returned to the cartoon Videoland to tackle Season 2. Before we do any exploring, though, I need to give you a bit of background information.

There are 3 different degrees of familiarity that viewers started watching Season 2 with:

1) saw Season 1 only

2) saw Season 1 and read the comic books

3) read the comic books only

I was in the first category. In addition to these different degrees of familiarity with Captain N, viewers had various degrees of familiarity with the video games, ranging from none at all to knowing everything about them. I wasn't familiar with them at all, because I wouldn't get an NES until a little under two months later.

In Season 2, Captain N was paired with the new "The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3" cartoon series, which was a sequel to "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show". The SMB3 cartoons were each 15 minutes long (with commercials), and there were 26 of them. Two SMB3 episodes were shown with one Captain N episode. The Captain N episode was in the middle. The Captain N episode, therefore, was spread across two half-hour blocks. I guess that NBC did this on purpose to make viewers stayed tuned to their local affiliates, rather than switching channels. Smart move.

The one-hour show was collectively called "Captain N & The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3", though each show also had its own title screen. That means that Captain N was still called "Captain N: The Game Master". This has led to some confusion in online episode guides, some treating them as different seasons of the same series and some treating them as different series. I consider them to be different seasons of the same series.

Now that the background info's out of the way, let's take a look at the opening theme and get a small glimpse of Season 2.

It starts with the title screen. A narrator says "And now...Captain N...& The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3!" Then there's a pixelated transition to the exterior shot of the Palace of Power from the Season 1 opening theme. All of the animated footage from the Season 1 opening theme plays unaltered from that point until the Ultimate Warp Zone opens. Rather than opening on an overhead view of Kevin's house, it opens on the view of Kevin playing his NES, using the footage from version 1 of "How's Bayou". Then it jumps to the view of Kevin and Duke from the Season 1 opening theme, and Kevin gets pulled into his TV set. That transitions to Kevin and Duke falling through the shaft (again, from the Season 1 opening theme). When they reach the bottom of the shaft, the screen clicks black, like a TV set being shut off. It clicks back on to a shot of the N Team standing in front of Lana's throne, like they were in the Season 1 opening theme, but Gameboy (the new character) flies to the front of the screen and displays the Captain N logo on his screen. "The Game Master" comes down from it in a beam, just like in the Season 1 opening theme. During this whole thing, new music is playing (not as catchy, but I like it), and Lana says: "When my father disappeared, and Mother Brain tried to take over Videoland, our only hope lay in an ancient prophecy that a great warrior from another world would come to our rescue." After a moment, Lana adds, with a laugh, "I admit...I was a bit skeptical when Kevin showed up, but now I don't know how we'd ever get along without him." Then there's a pixelated transition to the SMB3 theme song. After that, there's a pixelated transition between SMB3 footage and the N Team standing around the pedastal. Then it goes back to the title screen.

I like this new opening theme. The music is okay, and I love the fact that Lana narrates it. That means that Lana is more IN YOUR FACE this season...or something. Too bad they didn't animate any new scenes (except for the final scene in the Throne room), but that's okay.

Okay, now that we've gotten a glimpse of what Videoland is like in Season 2, let us venture forth and explore it in detail. Season 2 is beckoning us! Onward!

Summary (3:00 PM - 9:08 PM)

High atop the Palace of Power, Princess Lana anxiously awaits the rescue of her father, King Charles, from the "Mirror Warp" to which Mother Brain banished him. The entire N Team is gathered in an observatory-type room. Kevin is seated in a chair. A digital clock is counting down the seconds from 04:34. Kevin presses a button on the console. Then Mega Man reveals a key in his left index finger and opens the shutters. Then Mega Man pulls a lever, energizing the "mega tractor beam". Lana is excited that soon her father will be safely home again. They receive a transmission from King Charles, and he says that he's not coming home quite yet. There's room for only one in the "space capsule", and he feels that it's best for Videoland that he sends a "remarkable child" called Gameboy from the Mirror World to them. He feels that, someday, Gameboy will be their greatest hero. He tells Lana to take care of him, because he's been like a son to him. He says that he will yet for a way to return to her someday. The transmission ends. Simon tells Lana that he will help her and Gameboy defend Videoland and adds that they won't be needing Kevin anymore. Kevin disputes that and asks Lana for support. Lana agrees with him, lost in thought. She decides to go prepare Gameboy's room while they wait. Simon, Kid Icarus, and Mega Man argue over who Lana's favorite is. Kevin breaks up the fight and tells them that they have to retrieve the "satellite".

On Metroid, Mother Brain has seen all of this through her mind mirror. She sends King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard to get the satellite.

Back at the Palace, the tractor beam locks onto the object in space that's headed towards them at "mega warp speed". It's the satellite, but Hippo and Eggy arrive behind it in a ship.

Eggy presses a button to activate the ship's claws. Kevin flies the N Team's ship out of a warp, Simon sitting to his right. Eggy starts shooting corn on the cob from a gun at Kevin and Simon. Kevin breaks off from the corn and flies behind Hippo and Eggy's ship. Simon fills up the back of the ship with corn on the cob. Then they fly back over to Hippo and Eggy. When Eggy tries firing the corn gun again, the corn in the back of their ship pops, flooding their cockpit with popcorn. The back of the ship explodes, sending them flying off. Kevin and Simon retrieve the satellite and head back to the Palace.

Back at the Palace, the N Team is gathered. Gameboy has been removed from the satellite. Kevin loads Gameboy's "batteries", and Gameboy is activated. He introduces himself and says that he's programmed to play games. The N Team gasps in surprise.

Lana takes Gameboy to the room that she had prepared. Gameboy gets on a toy creature to ride it and breaks it. Lana seems to be upset. Gameboy then drives a remote-controlled car into a wall, destroying it. Lana gasps in surprise and runs over.

Gameboy follows a model airplane through a warp. Kid Icarus flies through the warp, after him, and flies right back out. Gameboy flies out of the warp in a full-sized airplane, firing lasers at Kid Icarus.

Mega Man, Kevin, and Simon walk into the kitchen, where Gameboy has plugged a blender, a toaster, and another appliance into himself. The toaster spits out a bunch of bread slices, and the blender spits orange liquid onto Mega Man, Kevin, and Simon. Gameboy presses his B button, a warp opens, and Gameboy goes through the warp. Simon, Kevin, and Mega Man follow him through the warp.

They exit the warp and find themselves on Burger Time. All three of them are suddenly wearing food costumes: Kevin's a hot dog, Simon's a scrambled egg, and Mega Man's a pickle. Gameboy, dressed in an apron and chef's hat, waves at them and starts the game. He presses his Up button and rises up. Kevin presses his own Up button and goes after Gameboy. Gameboy takes a shaker and shakes pepper onto Kevin. Gameboy gets away. Kevin sneezes and climbs up a ladder. Kevin gets behind Gameboy, and Simon gets in front of Gameboy. Kevin switches his Zapper to its Freeze setting and fires at Gameboy's escape route, but ketchup comes out. Gameboy loses his traction and slides across the ketchup. Ketchup hits Simon, and he's worried that he's been hit. Kevin tells him it's just ketchup. Simon tastes it, likes it, and asks for mustard. Gameboy throws a bucket of mustard onto Simon's head. Kevin jumps down, laughs, and removes the bucket from Simon's head. Simon whips at Gameboy, but Gameboy gets out of the way, so Mega Man is caught in the whip instead. Mega Man falls, pulling Simon down with him onto a giant hamburger. The bun falls on top of them. Kevin asks if they're all right. Simon lifts the bun up, replies, and then lowers the bun again.

Back at the Palace of Power, Kevin takes out Gameboy's battery, and Gameboy shuts off. Simon votes to lock him up in a closet and throw away the key. Kid Icarus and Mega Man agree. Lana wonders how her father could have been so wrong about Gameboy. She wishes that she could talk to him. Kevin tells her that the warp closed "hours ago". Lana wants to try anyway. Everyone except Duke leaves. Duke examines Gameboy closer. Gameboy briefly turns on, cries, and says "Defective performance cannot be tolerated." Then Gameboy shuts off again. Duke licks Gameboy's screen, lies down in front of him, closes his eyes, and falls asleep.

On Metroid, Dr. Wily walks over to Mother Brain with a schematic. He says, according to his analysis, Gameboy is the most sophisticated computer in Videoland. MB sends Hippo and Eggy to the Palace to get it. Dr. Wily gives the schematic to King Hippo, saying that they may need it. They go through a warp.

Eggy and Hippo fall out of the warp, arriving in the room in the Palace of Power that Gameboy are Duke are in. The warp closes. Their arrival has woken up Duke, who stands up and growls at them. Eggy and Hippo get to their feet and approach Gameboy. Duke won't let them pass. Eggy throws some dandelions on the floor. Duke sniffs them. The dandelions turn into a giant lion's head. Duke gets scared, turns, and runs out of the room. Hippo loads Gameboy's battery. Gameboy turns on and says "Ready for disposal of defective unit." Eggy wants to take Gameboy back to Metroid, so that Mother Brain can "play some games" with his brain. Gameboy is happy to go. Gameboy, Eggy, and Hippo go through a warp that opens, but Hippo drops the schematic on the floor. The warp closes. Duke comes back into the room. The warp closes. Duke barks. Kevin comes into the room at the sound and finds the schematic of Gameboy on the floor. He takes it to show the others.

On Metroid, Dr. Wily fiddles with Gameboy's circuitry and hooks him up to a remote control. Gameboy turns on and starts to frown.

Back at the Palace of Power, Lana is looking at the schematic and says that it's Dr. Wily's work. Kid Icarus says that Mother Brain must have "Gameboyicus". Simon dismisses it and asks what's for lunch. Lana says that they've got to get Gameboy back. Simon refuses. Lana decides to go to Metroid by herself. Kevin, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus go with her, leaving Simon at the Palace.

Back on Metroid, Dr. Wily plugs Gameboy into Mother Brain's defense system. Gameboy's body becomes distorted, and he becomes the evil "Game Brain".

Kevin, Lana, Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Duke are going through the "outer levels of Metroid". They hear Mother Brain's laugh. A hologram of MB appears in front of them, and she presents "Gameboy". Game Brain creates Rio of his screen and sends them at the good guys. The good guys dodge, and Kevin zaps them. MB advises them to turn back while they still can, then the holograms of herself and Game Brain disappear. One more Rio flies by, and Kevin barely dodges it. Simon comes by and whips it out of existence. Kevin suggests that they split up and gives his Zapper to Lana. The five of them go into different tunnels, Duke going with Kevin.

The episode's featured song starts. It's a parody of "The Monster Mash" called, apparently, "Do the Freak". Kid Icarus is flying along, and a monster crawls over to him. He gets out his bow and an arrow and shoots at it, covering it with a net. It shoots at Kid, Kid's wings are covered with sticky stuff, and Kid is suspended in mid-air.

Lana is hopping across platforms over a lake of lava outside. A dragon comes out of the lake and breathes fire at Lana. Lana dodges the fire, loses her balance, draws the Zapper, shoots the dragon out of existence, falls backwards, and manages to grab hold of the platform.

Simon is backed up against a wall. He whips two approaching baddies out of existence. Then the recurring, orange, humanoid, rhino guy warps up out of the floor, charges at Simon, and sticks his spear in the wall, barely missing Simon.

Kevin is sitting on the floor. A dragon is standing in front of him. The dragon breathes fire at him, and Kevin uses his Power Pad to get out of the way. The dragon approaches Kevin. Duke bites its tail. The dragon turns and breathes fire at Duke. Duke lets go of its tail, turns, and runs away. The dragon turns back to Kevin and reaches for him. Kevin presses the cross-key on his Power Pad and jumps out of the way. The dragon falls through a wall. A bunch of baddies slither over to Kevin. Kevin tries to jump out of the way using his Power Pad, but the baddies drag him down with their tentacles. Duke turns and runs away. The song ends.

In Mother Brain's lair, MB is watching all of this on her mind mirror and is very happy. Suddenly, the door opens, and Duke runs into the lair. He pulls the plugs out of Game Brain.

All of the monsters attacking Kid Icarus, Mega Man, Simon, and Kevin are suddenly destroyed.

Back in Mother Brain's lair, Hippo and Eggy chase after Duke. MB picks up Duke with one of her tentacles. Game Brain uses a lot of power, causing Metroid to shake. Dr. Wily says he's going to overload. Eggy, Wily, and Hippo "abandon planet". Game Brain says "Defective performance cannot be tolerated." The ceiling starts to collapse. Game Brain says the word "Malfunction" seven times, and then there's an explosion. MB lets go of Duke. When the smoke clears, Gameboy is standing there, just fine. He pulls the last plug out of himself and uses the cord to start MB spinning out of the lair, granting her order to get her "out of here". Gameboy puts his right arm around Duke, and the two of them smile and watch MB leave. The rest of the N Team arrives in time to see this.

That night, at the Palace of Power, an important welcoming ceremony takes place. The N Team and Gameboy are gathered in the Throne room, and Lana welcomes Gameboy to the N Team. Kevin pulls a large cap out of his jacket, which they had "especially made" for Gameboy. He puts it on top of Gameboy. Simon lets Gameboy try out his mirror, pleasantly surprising Lana. Simon puts his left hand on Gameboy's back. Gameboy turns his cap around and starts laughing.

Misc. Tidbits (Monday, September 8, 2003, 8:00 PM)

The episode was written by Dorothy Middleton.

The episode originally aired on Saturday, September 8, 1990, as the Season 2 premiere and the fourteenth episode of the series.

I first saw this episode on NBC, then possibly The Family Channel, and finally on "Captain N & The Video Game Masters".

Kevin weapons don't lose power in this episode.

Interesting Notes (8:01 PM - 11:45 PM)

The interesting notes now have their own section! Whee!

The title is pink with no quotes.

The Palace of Power has a room at the top with a viewscreen and a tractor beam.

Kevin's Zapper has a Freeze setting. We don't see it used in this episode, though.

Lana is ambidextrous with the Zapper.

Lana welcomes Gameboy to the N Team.

Great Lines (9:12 PM - 11:45 PM)

(after corn pops in Hippo and Eggy's ship)
Kevin: "Call me corny, but, man, do I love this game."

Simon: "Oh, yuck! I've got egg on my face."
Mega Man: "At least you're not in a mega pickle."

Kevin: "Okay, hotshot,...let's shake this joint."
Gameboy: "Hotshot? Shake? Compliance."

Simon: "Oh, no! I've been hit!"
Kevin: "Chill out, Belmont! That's just ketchup!"
Simon: "Mmm, not bad. Got any mustard?"
Gameboy: "Request received and carried out."

Kevin: "Hey, are you guys all right?"
Simon: "Yeah. We're in Hamburger Heaven."

Kevin: "Well, I'm pullin' the plug on this joker until we decide what to do with him."
Simon: "I know. Let's lock him up in a closet and throw away the key."

Gameboy: "Defective performance cannot be tolerated."

(after Mother Brain tells them to go to the Palace of Power)
King Hippo: "But it's dangerous in there, Mother Brain."
Eggplant Wizard: "Yeah! They eat eggplants for dinner!"

Gameboy: "Ready for disposal of defective unit."
Eggplant Wizard: "Disposal?! No way! Her Ugliness wants to play some games with your brain!"
Gameboy: "I am programmed to play games!"
Eggplant Wizard: "Hey! Be careful! I'm an eggplant, not a squash!"

Kid Icarus: "Then Mother Brain must have Gameboyicus!"
Simon: "Oh, well, I guess that crisis is over. What's for lunch? Anything but hamburgers."
Lana: "Simon! What are you saying?! We've got to get Gameboy back!"
Simon: "What? And risk this handsome neck for a hunk of microchips?"
Lana: "Suit yourself. I'm going to Metroid, and anybody who cares to join me is welcome."

Game Brain: "Shall we play a game?"
Mother Brain: "Oh, by all means. Now, let's see. What shall we call it? How about...Destroy Them!?"

Simon: "When's the last time you brushed?"

Mother Brain: "No! Stop him! Eggplant, Hippo, grab that stupid mutt! He's pulling the plug on my beautiful plan!"

Game Brain: "Defective performance cannot be tolerated."

Mother Brain: "Get me outta here!"
Gameboy: "Compliance."

(after Simon lets Gameboy try out his mirror)
Lana: "Why, Simon, how unselfish of you!"

Dumb Lines (11:45 PM)

Lana: "Hurry, Kevin! The interdimensional warp only opens once every 1,000 video years,...and it's almost time!"
Why does Lana refer to years as "video years"? Does she know if/that they are different than Earth years?

Kevin: "This is hurrying, Princess. Video games are my specialty, remember?"
What do video games have to do with retrieving a satellite?

Kevin: "Huh? What's a Gameboy?"
See my rant below for why this line is so stupid (if you can't already tell).

Kid Icarus: "I'm the one Her Highnicus makes video chip cookies for."
What the hell are video chip cookies. No, wait. I think I know. Yuck.

Kevin: "We can't take much more of this! We've gotta break off!"
How can corn on the cob hurt their ship?

Kevin: "Well, wadaya know? Gameboy's some kinda weird computer."
Again, see my rant below.

Kevin: "Easy, fella. He won't bite. I don't think."
Why would Kevin even doubt that a computer can't bite?

Mega Man: "What kind of mega world is this?"
Kevin: "From the looks of these outfits, I'd say it's Burger Time."
Right, because your surroundings weren't enough to clue you in, Kev, so you had to rely on the outfits that are worn in the game. Oh, wait, they're not.

Lana: "I just don't understand how my father could've been so wrong about Gameboy. I wish I could talk to him."
Kevin: "Oh, no can do, Lana. The warp closed hours ago."
Lana: "We have to try, Kevin."
What part of Kevin's response did you not understand, Lana?

Kevin: "Hey! Where's Gameboy? He's gone!"
That's just a little bit redundant; don'tcha think?

Lana: "How can I ask you all to risk your lives for a computer?"
Kevin: "We're not, Princess. We're doing it for Gameboy."
Uh, Gameboy is a computer, Kevin. You of all people should know that.

Sick Moments (10:37 PM)

The Eggplant Wizard is worried about the N Team eating him.

Rant (Tuesday, September 9, 2003, 7:00 PM - 7:51 PM; Wednesday, September 10, 2003, 10:40 AM - 11:51 AM; Thursday, September 11, 2003, 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM; Tuesday, September 23, 2003, 7:10 PM - 10:51 PM; Saturday, October 4, 2003, 12:45 PM - 1:35 PM, 9:07 PM - 10:00 PM, 10:37 PM - 11:14 PM; Monday, October 6, 2003, 7:00 PM - 7:47 PM, 10:00 PM - 10:29 PM; Tuesday, October 7, 2003, 5:30 PM - 6:27 PM, 6:58 PM - 7:42 PM; Tuesday, October 14, 2003, 11:00 PM - 11:40 PM; Friday, October 17, 2003, 7:00 PM - 8:02 PM, 10:30 PM - 10:44 PM; Saturday, October 18, 2003, 9:00 AM - 10:26 AM, 12:21 PM - 1:48 PM, 3:10 PM - 7:23 PM)

Starting with Season 2, Jeffrey Scott was no longer writing for Captain N. Instead, Season 2 episodes were written by other writers. This episode was written by Dorothy Middleton, but, if you'd missed the title, you'd almost swear that Jeff had written it.

I heard from a fan that the animation style is slightly different this season, using sharper angles for the characters. Personally, I don't see the difference. Oh, well.

Why does the golden Palace of Power glow white at night in this episode?

The narrator's voice sounds higher-pitched in the first scene. I wonder why. I assume that Matt Hill was still doing the voice.

We get some continuity in the form of a reference to "In Search of the King". However, they're still calling the Mirror World itself the "Mirror Warp". A warp is not a world! Get it right!

Lana calls the interdimensional warp a warp, not a warp zone! Hooray! We have warps! We have warps! Er, um, anyway...

Mega Man has a key in his left index finger. It's not in any Mega Man video game. He probably got it when he joined the N Team.

Unfortunately, Mega Man still has his "mega" speech impediment this season.

I like how Lana secretly crosses her fingers after saying that she knows that her father is coming home.

There is 29 seconds of footage between the two times that the clock is shown counting down. Yet, the first shot ends with the clock at 4:32, and the second shot begins with the clock at 4:32. The animators or editor simply stopped and started the footage of the clock at the same point, which creates a plothole. This is made worse when you consider that the clock is counting down to when the interdimensional warp opens, connecting Videoland with the Mirror World. If it's still 4 minutes and 30 seconds until the warp opens, how is King Charles able to contact them via the viewscreen only 12 seconds later? For that matter, how did he and the N Team set up this rescue attempt ahead of time? I doubt that the King knew exactly when the warp would open. Furthermore, how did the King contact them anyway? He lives in a poor village. Did he go to that castle that Lana had seen in "In Search of the King" and ask if he could use their transmission equipment?

It appears that there was an unseen 4 minutes and 18 seconds from after the tractor beam was energized to when Lana starts talking to Kevin, because the countdown has stopped when the King's transmission comes in, and the clock displays the time: 22:30. Apparently, Videoland uses military time. It's 10:30 PM.

How did King Charles, mentioned here by name for the first time in cartoon continuity (Valiant's comic book series mentioned him by name, suggesting that there was a writer's bible for the cartoon series or from Nintendo), defeat or escape from the Opposite N Team after "In Search of the King"?

The interdimensional warp opens only once every 1,000 years, so why the hell does the King not use the opportunity to get home?! Does he really think that one more fighter will help the N Team? Of course, considering who they're up against, maybe that's not so bad an assumption.

The music was fine at the beginning of the scene, but then it changed to "silly" music, totally ruining the sadness of the conversation between Lana and her father.

Okay, Kevin is supposed to be the Game Master. So, how can he not know what a Game Boy is?! The Game Boy came out in America in mid-1989. Kevin was brought to Videoland, if you go by the original air dates, on September 9, 1989. He should not only have known what a Game Boy is but gotten a Game Boy as well! I guess we could assume that either Kevin was taken to Videoland before mid-1989, or the "Gameboy" came out later on his Earth. Still, this makes Kevin look incredibly stupid.

King Charles is imitating Tony the Tiger: "I truly believe he will one day be our grrreatest hero!"

I like Simon and Kevin's little argument, but Lana gets over her disappointment at not getting her father back way too quickly. She decides that "an adorable baby brother" makes up for her father just fine. Sheesh, this is one emotionally unattached girl.

I know that King Charles called Gameboy a "remarkable child", but does Lana really think that he's very young? It seems that way, so she should be disappointed that her father is giving up the chance to come home for a little kid.

How many of you, upon seeing Kevin put his feet on the console and lean back back in his chair, knew that both he and the chair would fall over shortly? Come on, raise your hands.

Simon, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus getting into a fight and Kevin breaking it up is kind of similar to the scene in "Kevin in Videoland". Coincidence or homage?

Okay, is the object that Gameboy is arriving in supposed to be a space capsule or a satellite? It's called both.

Unfortunately, Mother Brain still has her mind mirror this season, and she sees what's going on in the Palace.

King Hippo accidentally knocking himself over while saluting Mother Brain is dumb, but I like it.

This is one of the reasons that you'd almost swear that Jeffrey Scott wrote this episode. There are two Star Trek references in this episode: a tractor beam and warp speed.

How does Kevin know that Hippo and Eggy are piloting the ship? He's never seen the ship (that we know of), unless it was off-screen (like so many things in this series that we must assume happened off-screen).

No, he didn't see them in the cockpit, because, just before King Hippo starts talking, we see the ship, and there's no one in the cockpit!

How can one button control a mechanical claw? Perhaps the one button that we see Eggy press merely launches the claw, and then Eggy steers it with other controls?

Of course, that still doesn't explain why a button marked "CLAWS" launches only one claw.

Are they all in space or in the sky a distance from the Palace? Because Kevin and Simon are flying in a ship with no roof, they're not wearing space suits, and the wind is blowing through their hair. Oh, wait, we already knew from "Metroid Sweet Metroid" that outer space in Videoland is warm and has oxygen. I wonder if it has gravity, too. If Kevin or Simon fell out of the ship, would they fall indefinitely?

I like Kevin's shout while flying the ship, though.

This episode includes an occurence of Simon's "Uuuhhh" sound. You know, the sound he makes when the corn is coming at them? I don't recall if he did it in Season 1, but I know that he does it later, and I'll be sure to note the occurences. It just sounds funny.

When we see a close-up of Kevin's face during the corn attack, the corn is going the wrong way. The animators goofed.

Why is Kevin worried that corn on the cob can hurt them? It's not even hitting them; it's bouncing off of their ship. Is there any possible way that corn on the cob can damage their ship?

How did Kevin and Simon get the corn of the cob to put into the engine, if it simply went past them?

I can understand the heat of the engine popping the corn, but how does the corn get into Hippo and Eggy's cockpit? This is another similarity to "Metroid Sweet Metroid", where the strawberry jam that had hit the front of the N Team's ship came out through the steering wheel. That was also during a battle against Hippo and Eggy.

How could the popcorn launch Hippo and Eggy's ship far away? Wouldn't it stall the ship instead?

King Charles said that there was room for only one traveller in the space capsule, but it looks big enough that both he and Gameboy could fit in it! Unless, maybe, a lot of the room was taken up by the engine and guidance system, since we never see the inside of the capsule.

This is the first scene with Gameboy, who is basically just a large Game Boy that has a digital face on his screen and talks in a funny voice when his power is on. In this first scene, Kevin says that he's loading Gameboy's "batteries". Plural. Remember this.

For supposedly being a sophisticated computer, Gameboy introduces himself with a run-on sentence: "I am called Gameboy I am programmed to play games. *beeps*"

Why does someone (it sounds like Simon) gasp at Gameboy's statement? They know that he's called Gameboy. They know that he's a computer. He doesn't exactly reveal anything surprising.

The next few scenes show "humorous" examples of Gameboy causing trouble around the Palace. Some people may think that Lana had forgotten to put a bed in Gameboy's room, but it may be against the one wall that we don't see. Lana did scatter toys all over the floor, though!

Anyway, Gameboy gets on a...creature of some sort and starts riding it but breaks it. He then crashes a remote-controlled toy car into a wall. For some reason, Lana gasps at this and runs towards him. Why? What was she planning to do?

How does Gameboy find an airplane, get in it, start it, and take off in only a few seconds? I hope that the writer wasn't trying to indicate that the model airplane was made larger somehow. Either way, the scene is stupid.

And how can Gameboy, a computer, know how to fly a plane but not be able to hit Kid Icarus by constantly firing lasers at him?

Is the kitchen the same one from "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street"? I can't tell. I don't see why the Palace of Power would have more than one kitchen, but, considering the number of rooms in the Palace, it was probably once home to a huge royal army, so more than one kitchen might make sense.

It's physically impossible for many slices of bread to come out of a toaster that has only two slots. Maybe Gameboy can replicate matter, but it isn't explained.

And what is the third appliance, anyway?

Does Gameboy create a warp by pressing his B button? It sure looks like it.

Why are Kevin, Simon, and Mega Man suddenly wearing food clothes, when they arrive on Burger Time? Their clothes had never changed like that before. Are they even wearing their normal clothes underneath? Even Gameboy is affected. He's dressed as a chef. How convenient, considering that the point of this scene is for him to cause trouble for the others.

Why does Gameboy grab hold of a ladder? He can fly.

Why does Kevin's Zapper work differently on Burger Time? This has never happened before either.

For that matter, why does Burger Time even exist? There doesn't appear to be anyone in this world, except for Kevin, Simon, Mega Man, and Gameboy. Does a chef come by every so often to make burgers for everyone in Videoland? Who knows?

Simon is hit by ketchup and says that he's been hit. Cool, more proof that there is blood in Videoland! It mirrors the watermelon incident with Simon in Season 1's "Three Men and a Dragon".

Gameboy spouts a lot of lines that state the obvious throughout this season. Here's the first example: "Danger! Moving at extreme velocity!" No crap.

Why doesn't Simon let go of his whip when he starts falling?

Why does Simon lower the bun over himself? Does he feel comfortable in the bun or something?

How do Kevin, Simon, and Mega Man get Gameboy back to the Palace? No one catches him from what we see.

Kevin had said that Gameboy has "batteries". However, to turn Gameboy's power off, he removes one battery. Later, King Hippo loads a "battery". This isn't a continuity error, though. The power will turn off by removing only one of the batteries. I wonder why Gameboy doesn't have a power switch, though. You load his batteries to turn him on, and you remove at least one battery to turn him off. Why is there no power switch? Does Gameboy even turn himself off for the night? How can he? Does he reach behind himself and take out a battery? How long is it until his batteries run out? Can they be recharged? If not, where is the N Team supposed to get new batteries?

I love Simon's suggestion of what to do to Gameboy. Too bad they don't actually do it.

Lana wonders how her father could have been so wrong about Gameboy. So do I.

Kevin says that the warp closed "hours ago". I see no reason to doubt him. I mention this only because some people might think that only a few minutes had passed, basing their assumption on the running time and not realizing that time may have passed between scenes.

Why does Lana want to try contacting her father, even though Kevin had just told her that the warp closed hours ago? Is Lana really that stupid?

Kevin's mention of "hours ago", while understandable for him to say, is something to think about. Perhaps the N Team can contact the King (and vice-versa) for a short period of time before the warp opens and after the warp closes. While I don't see how that could be possible, it could explain how they set up the rescue attempt in the first place.

How can Gameboy possibly turn on after one of his batteries has been removed?! This makes no sense at all! And the digital tear, sheesh.

I kind of like what Gameboy says, though.

How can Dr. Wily possibly do an analysis on something that he's never seen before? Gameboy has been in Videoland for only a few hours, and he's already the most sophisticated computer in Videoland? Please! I wonder if the writer just wasn't thinking when she wrote that line, or if she forgot that the Mirror World was another universe. Either way, this line is dumb.

The schematic that Dr. Wily created indicates that Gameboy uses two batteries. The real original Game Boy used four batteries. Just thought I'd point that out.

Why does Dr. Wily give the schematic to King Hippo? All that Hippo and Eggy are doing is going to the Palace to get Gameboy. Why do they need the schematic for that?

Why are Hippo and Eggy scared of going to the Palace of Power all of a sudden? They've been inside there many times in Season 1.

Here's another similarity between this episode and "Kevin in Videoland": the warp that Hippo and Eggy use to go to the Palace is similar to the warp that Simon went into on Metroid. This one doesn't make a splash, though.

It sure is convenient that the warp just happens to lead to the room that Gameboy is in. It makes getting him much easier for Hippo and Eggy.

But why is the warp positioned horizontally on Metroid and vertically in the Palace? I think that this was the case in earlier episodes, too.

While we're on the subject of the warp, I'd like to point out that this is the first time, as far as I know, that a direct warp has been shown between Metroid and the Palace of Power. In Season 1, the characters seemed to have difficulty getting from one location to another. Here are some examples. In "Kevin in Videoland", Hippo had to punch his way into the Palace, suggesting that he and Eggy could warp only to the outside of the Palace from Metroid. In "Wishful Thinking", they had to use a tomato warp that appeared to take a while. Also in that episode, it took the N Team a very long time to get to Metroid. I'm not sure how long it took the robocat in "How's Bayou". But anyway, it seems that, in this episode, there is a direct warp from Metroid to the Palace of Power. Maybe not. Maybe Hippo and Eggy had to take a few warps. But still, the appearance that the episode gives is one warp. If they can get to the Palace this easily, then why doesn't Mother Brain fly Metroid to many different worlds (she's got all of that Zebetite, y'know), recruit a huge army, come back, and warp everyone into the Palace in quick succession? They would overwhelm the N Team! Mother Brain could then send the troops to other worlds via the Palace's warps and conquer Videoland, one world at a time! Mother Brain would rule Videoland! But nooo!

Gee, the "dandelion" was clever, huh? *gags*

Why do Hippo and Eggy activate Gameboy in the Palace? Why not take him back to Metroid and then turn him on?

I like when Gameboy calls himself a "defective unit". Even he realizes the truth.

I like how Eggy casually refers to Mother Brain as "Her Ugliness". It's so true.

If someone told me that his boss wanted to "play some games" with my brain, I'd get suspicious. But not Gameboy! He exclaims that he's "programmed to play games" and goes with them.

It seems that the vegetables come from underneath the Eggplant Wizard's cape.

King Hippo says that this place gives him "the creeps". Man, he's a wimp! It's an empty room!

The warp closes twice. That's stupid.

When Kevin asks "What's that?", he then looks away from where he was staring and looks at the schematic. Animation goof.

Despite what some people may think, it is logical for Lana to assume that Dr. Wily was behind the schematic - what with Duke barking and Gameboy missing and all.

Of course, the schematic itself isn't logical, but let's not go back there right now. It also looks different when Lana holds it than when Dr. Wily was holding it.

It seems that it's around noon of the next day now, since Simon asks what's for lunch. We haven't seen the outside of the Palace since the first scene. Also, Metroid might not have been near the Palace during the previous scene (when it was dark outside), or it could have been, but it then takes Dr. Wily a long time to modify Gameboy. My point is that there's enough uncertainty in the visuals, so Simon's "lunch" question might not be an error.

Simon refuses to go to Metroid with Lana to get Gameboy back. While I understand his reasoning, he's refusing to go to Metroid with the others. If he's not going to work with the team, then why does Lana put up with him? She should have showed him the door and told him to let it hit him in the ass on the way out.

While I like how Lana decides to go to Metroid by herself and invites the others to come along if they want to, how does Lana plan to defend herself? She has no weapon!

Duke isn't shown going into the warp, but the pan-up during that shot could have hid him.

Yes, it is dark in the exterior shot of Metroid, but, like I said above, it might not be near the Palace. Maybe it is, but it took Lana, Kevin, Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Duke a long time to warp to Metroid (unless it's a direct warp, which would be stupid), and it's the following evening. It looks like it's dusk or pre-dawn to me.

How can plugging Gameboy into Mother Brain's defense system cause Gameboy's body to become distorted? All that it should do is allow Gameboy to control Metroid's defenses. It shouldn't alter his body! This makes no sense!

It seems like Lana and Kevin don't recognize Mother Brain's laugh. Kevin says that Metroid is "giving off some weird vibes".

Yet another similarity between this episode and "Kevin in Videoland": Mother Brain appears as a hologram to exactly Kevin, Lana, Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Duke on Metroid in both episodes. Also, she specifically addresses Kevin in both episodes and tells him that it will be a test of his skill in both episodes, using the words "we'll see" in both cases.

Mother Brain uses the words "the real Game Master" while speaking to Kevin via hologram. She did the same thing in "The Most Dangerous Game Master". Kevin gasps at these words. Was he thinking of Gameboy or possibly Mike Vincent?

Why does Mother Brain call Game Brain "Gameboy" when introducing him to the N Team? Dr. Wily had already renamed him Game Brain.

Animation goof: when Lana asks "What'd you do to him?!", Simon is standing in front of her! He's not supposed to be here yet!

Game Brain can create enemies. I wonder if Gameboy can do that, too, or if it's a result of Gameboy being altered and hooked up to Metroid's defenses.

How can Game Brain, which appears as a hologram, create real enemies right where the N Team is, though?

Kevin lands on his butt and shoots a flying baddie, just like in "Kevin in Videoland" - although with two hands this time.

Why does Simon come to Metroid? He says that he doesn't shirk his duty as a hero, but I'm guessing it's because he doesn't want Lana to stay mad at him and kick him off the team. Of course, she doesn't.

Oh, yeah, splitting up is a real good idea on Metroid. Come on, Kev, think! I know that you'll cover more ground that way, but Samus Aran got to Mother Brain's lair all by herself! Oh, wait, never mind.

I do like how Lana twirls Kevin's Zapper, though.

The episode's featured song is "Do the Freak" (I made up the title; I don't know the real one), which is a parody of "The Monster Mash". I'll get more into this later.

Why does Kid Icarus shoot at the monster with a net arrow to trap it, rather than a regular arrow to kill it?

Some pople might think that Kid Icarus is suspended in mid-air. It looks like he's stuck on the cavern's ceiling to me.

Where is Lana? It looks like she's outside, and it's daytime. This does support Simon's earlier lunch comment, but it contradicts the outer view of Metroid earlier.

Also, why is Lana outside? She went into a tunnel. She couldn't have gotten that lost; could she?

It's cool to see Lana firing Kevin's Zapper again (she last did it in "Mega Trouble for Megaland"), but how does it work so far away from the Power Pad?

Lana had twirled the Zapper with her right hand and holstered it on the left side of her dress earlier. Now, she draws it with her left hand from the right side of her dress. This means two things: 1) Lana used the Zapper at least once already and holstered it differently, and 2) Lana is ambidextrous with the Zapper.

Yes, I realize that it was probably just an animation mistake, but I like finding explanations for these types of things.

It doesn't explain why Lana holsters the Zapper opposite the hand that she draws it with, though. Wouldn't holstering it on the same side as the hand make for quicker drawing?

Does Lana drop the Zapper into the lake of lava when she has to grab onto the platform to keep from falling?

Simon gets so scared at seeing the recurring, humanoid rhino guy that he drops his whip. Coward!

Kevin presses the cross-key on his Power Pad to jump. Not the Up button. The entire cross-key. What the hell?

How can the dragon fall through the wall?

I don't have to tell you that none of the enemies except the Rio and the lava dragon are actually in Metroid; do I?

What's the point of showing a close-up of Game Brain's face after Mother Brain says that it's the end of Captain N and his N Team? Were they trying to show that Gameboy was sorry for what he was being forced to do? We can't really tell from his facial expression. It's interesting, though, that Michael Piller did the same thing for Jean-Luc Picard in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Season 4 premiere, "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II", which aired 16 days later. I wonder if one writer stole from the other somehow.

So, the enemies can't exist without Game Brain? I don't get it.

Mega Man wasn't shown getting attacked earlier, but he's shown when the enemy flying at him disappears. I doubt that a scene of him getting attacked was originally in the episode, because the song covers only the existing footage. Maybe a scene of Mega Man getting attacked was scripted - and perhaps even storyboarded and animated - but cut for time. Who knows?

Why does Game Brain using a lot of power cause Metroid to shake? It should cause no more than a power blackout.

Why are Dr. Wily, Mother Brain, King Hippo, and the Eggplant Wizard worried about Gameboy overloading? I doubt that he'd explode.

Metroid is a planet, according to Eggy. I would have called it an asteroid.

I like how Game Brain says "Defective performance cannot be tolerated", mirroring his earlier words

Why does the ceiling start to collapse?

Okay, this is really stupid. The way that Game Brain says "Malfunction" over and over again, followed by the explosion, would lead you to believe that he's destroyed. But he's not! Gameboy is back to normal! What the hell?! This makes no sense at all!

How can Gameboy use a simple cord to make Mother Brain, who weighs two tons, spin out of the lair? Gameboy must be really strong.

Where did the bad guys escape to?

The outlet that was created by Dr. Wily on Gameboy is gone a few seconds later.

Okay, it was daytime when Lana was outside, and it was daytime when Metroid's power was being drained (and Metroid was by the Palace in this shot), but it's nighttime when the N Team is back at the Palace. Did they hang out on Metroid to gather information, or did they wait until they got the hat before welcoming Gameboy to the N Team?

As far as I can tell, assuming that Metroid was by the Palace throughout the entire episode, the events of this episode happened at the following times: Day 1, 10:30 PM - attempted rescue of King Charles; Day 2, darkness before dawn - King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard are ordered to go to the Palace of Power; Day 2, around 12:00 PM - King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard kidnap Gameboy, and most of the N Team goes to Metroid to rescue him; Day 3, pre-dawn - most of the N Team arrives on Metroid; Day 3, morning - Lana shoots the dragon; Day 3, night - Lana welcomes Gameboy to the N Team. I know that it's weird for an episode like this to take place over three days, but it's the best explanation that I can come up with.

The pan-down shot to the bottom of the Palace seems to indicate that the Throne room is on the first floor, which would be consistent with "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street" but inconsistent with "Metroid Sweet Metroid".

It's interesting that Lana is the one that welcomes Gameboy to the N Team. It seems that Kevin doesn't have that authority.

How could Kevin hold that large cap in his jacket?

The cap, which the N Team had "especially made" for Gameboy, has one size fits all adjustments. It looks like Kevin lied to him.

Is Simon giving the mirror to Gameboy (as Lana's comment seems to suggest), or is he letting him just try it out (as Simon's comment seems to suggest)? Perhaps Lana believes that Simon letting someone else even hold his mirror is remarkably unselfish.

Why does Gameboy start laughing? Is it because he turned his cap around and is pretending to be in tha 'hood? Or is it because he sees the one size fits all adjustments in the mirror and realizes that he's been lied to?

Yes, I realize that the one size fits all adjustments was likely an animation mistake.

Lesson: Don't judge others based on first impressions. They may end up surprising you.

Okay, now that the episode is over, let me point out the one major problem with it: Gameboy. For a computer, he sure isn't that bright. He's annoying, and his stating the obvious gets really old really fast.

Gameboy was voiced by Frank Welker, who joined the cast in Season 2. The mighty Megatron has been reduced to an annoying, flying box.

I have to wonder why Gameboy was chosen to be placed on the N Team. What was Nintendo's reasoning? The Game Boy had come out in mid-1989 - packaged with Tetris. It was selling very well. Did Nintendo believe that the Game Boy really needed extra promotion? If so, then why didn't they add Gameboy to the series during Season 1? One possible explanation is that this would require Season 1 episodes to be aired in a certain order, which NBC didn't want.

Still, why add Gameboy? The Game Boy didn't need extra advertising. They couldn't even spell its name right.

If anyone needed to be added to this series, it was Samus Aran! It was her that killed Mother Brain in the game. Samus belonged on the N Team, if only to whip the rest of them into shape. She was in Valiant's comic book series over the summer between Season 1 and Season 2. Nintendo let Valiant have her. I find it hard to believe that Nintendo wouldn't let DiC have her.

Now, let's look at the writing. It was better than Jeffrey Scott's worst writing ("Happy Birthday, Megaman") but not as good as his best writing ("The Most Dangerous Game Master"). I'd say that it's a bit above average, around the level of "Kevin in Videoland". I'm pretty sure that introducing Gameboy was a requirement from Nintendo for this episode, so I can't blame Dorothy Middleton for that, but she could have done a better job writing it. Her writing definitely isn't all that great. This was her only episode of Season 2, not that that's a really bad thing.

Why didn't the N Team get a bomb, set it to self-destruct in a few minutes, plant it on Metroid, evacuate, and blow the damn place up? Mother Brain would be without a base of operations and would pose a much lesser threat. The N Team could then hunt her and her minions down. ^_^ This would have made for an interesting plot device during Season 2: the N Team gets word that Mother Brain and her minions may be hiding out on a particular world and go there to find them.

Another interesting change would have been if King Charles had been rescued in addition to Gameboy's introduction. It could have provided a lot of nice father-daughter moments throughout the season - as well as a power struggle. ^_^

As for what to cut out, we can get rid of the second shot of the clock counting down. That will make it look like there is less unseen time in the first scene - 3 minutes and 49 seconds instead of 4 minutes and 18 seconds. Removing the shot would have freed up 2 seconds. Gameboy turning on and talking with one of his batteries removed makes no sense, so it should have been removed, freeing 13 seconds. The warp closing a second time made no sense. Removing it would have freed an additional 2 seconds. Those 17 seconds could have been better used by Lana displaying some actual sadness after realizing that her father isn't coming home before getting all excited about having a baby brother.

Dorothy Middleton was probably required to watch "Kevin in Videoland" before writing this episode. The similarities are too numerous and specific to be coincidences. They're nice, too.

Also, like "Kevin in Videoland", "Gameboy" is a vital episode, so you should watch it for that reason alone.

Overall, "Gameboy" was a decent episode, but it wasn't great.

Usefulness ratings:

Kevin: 10 (pressing the button, punching in the close-up, flying the ship, finding the schematic, shooting the Rio, getting out of the way of the dragon)
Lana: 2 (figuring out that Dr. Wily made the schematic, shooting the dragon)
Simon: 4 (filling the engine with corn, whipping the Rio, whipping the 2 baddies)
Mega Man: 3 (opening the shutters, energizing the tractor beam, detecting the satellite)
Kid Icarus: 1 (realizing that Mother Brain must have Gameboy)
Duke: 3 (alerting Kevin, biting the dragon's tail to distract it, pulling the cords out of Gameboy)
Gameboy: 1 (sending Mother brain spinning away)

The running total usefulness ratings for this season so far are:

Kevin: 10 (1 episode)
Lana: 2 (1 episode)
Simon: 4 (1 episode)
Mega Man: 3 (1 episode)
Kid Icarus: 1 (1 episode)
Duke: 3 (1 episode)
Gameboy: 1 (1 episode)

The running total usefulness ratings for the series so far are:

Kevin: 47 (13 episodes)
Lana: 9 (13 episodes)
Simon: 21 (13 episodes)
Mega Man: 17 (13 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 23 (13 episodes)
Duke: 14 (13 episodes)
Gameboy: 1 (1 episode)

That's the end of my review of "Gameboy", but I have two more sections before this, so keep reading.

Changes in Season 2 (7:27 PM - 7:45 PM)

The first change that you'll notice is the new format. The one-hour block probably brought more viewers to Captain N, but it also had some downsides, such as:

1) The opening theme was shortened down to only 30 seconds, rather than the 1 minute opening theme of Season 1. Almost no new footage was added. I would have loved to have seen some more Season 2 characters in the opening theme.

2) Captain N and SMB3 were treated as one series. Therefore; the teasers were paired together (SMB3 had only 1 teaser); the opening themes were paired together; the closing themes were paired together; and the commercial bumpers featured generic, badly-animated characters; rather than new Captain N artwork; and had generic "We'll be back" and "Back to our show" lines; rather than lines specifically pertaining to Captain N. This made Captain N lose its unique identity, which is a shame.

The big change is the addition of Gameboy. Personally, I don't like him, but we'll see how he does.

Another change is that the remakes of real songs were replaced with parodies of real songs. I don't know why this was done. Perhaps it was a cost-cutting measure, like maybe DiC could pay less to copywrite holders for recreating only the music but not using the original words? Anyone know?

Sometimes, I'll be able to recognize what the song is a parody of. Other times, I won't. I'll be sure to note this in all future Season 2 episode reviews.

Order of Season 2 Episode Reviews (7:47 PM - 9:00 PM)

I don't know the original air dates for all of the episodes of Season 2. I know the original air dates for 9 of them but not 5 of them.

So, here's what I'm going to do. I looked at the writers and placed 4 of the 5 episodes into an unaccounted-for weeks in close proximity to another episode (with a known original air date) written by the same writer. I then placed the remaining episode (written by different writers than any of the others) into the remaining unaccounted-for week. This is completely my own preference and shouldn't be taken as the true original air order of the Season 2 episodes. I'm doing this simply to be able to review certain writers' episodes close together, so I can pick up on any similarities that might exist.

If I do get the original air dates for the remaining 5 episodes before I finish reviewing Season 2, I'll be sure to note the original air order in a review (the same way that I did it in my review of "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street" in Season 1) and, if I get them in time, alter the order in which I review the episodes.

That said, I'm going to review "I Wish I was a Wombatman" next.

That's it. I'm sorry that this took so long, but, in addition to the episode itself, I had to review the Season 2 opening theme and make notes regarding other changes in Season 2. I was promoted to full-time at work, which means less computer time. Also, my computer's hard drive crashed 8 days ago. Don't worry, I didn't lose any of the review. I didn't want to rush this to get it done. I wanted to make this review the best that it could be (it's certainly my longest review), and I'd like to hear your comments on it. Thank you for your patience. Finally, big thanks go to Der Kommissar for allowing me to use information from his own "Gameboy" review. See you all in my next review!

Back to Episode Reviews