Episode Review

Having a Ball

Thursday, September 21, 2006, 11:30 AM - Friday, September 22, 2006, 11:31 AM

Summary (11:30 AM - 11:34 AM)

Since Seasons 1 and 2 of the series will be coming out on DVD on February 13, 2007, I will not be including summaries in these reviews for the rest of Season 2. If you're reading this review before you get the DVD set, you can read a short summary of the episode at http://ldloveszh.tripod.com/cnepis.html#having

Misc. Tidbits (11:34 AM - 11:36 AM)

The episode was written by Dennis O'Flaherty.

The original air date of the episode is unknown at the time of this writing. The original air dates for the Seasons 1 and 2 episodes will be revealed in a booklet that's being packaged with the DVD set.

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

Interesting Notes (11:40 AM - 2:01 PM; Friday, September 22, 2006, 11:07 AM - 11:09 AM)

The title is white with no quotes.

Writer Dennis O'Flaherty's name is (perhaps mistakenly) written as DENNIS O' FLAHERTY.

There is a courtyard with a fountain, a backless bench, and a row of planted trees beyond the wall that surrounds the Palace of Power.

Lana's father gave her a birthday bash last year. Simon claims to have been "smashing".

Kevin's Zapper beams are blue in this episode.

Kevin's weapons don't lose power in this episode.

Great Lines (Thursday, September 21, 2006, 12:26 PM - 2:02 PM, 3:39 PM - 4:50 PM)

Eggplant Wizard: "Y'know, if we mess this up, Mother Brain will squash the both of us."
King Hippo: "Not if I squash you first."

Mother Brain: "Sentries. Ha! The Triforce is as good as mine!"

Mother Brain: "Let Ganon sleep forever! General Mother Brain is taking command!"

King Hippo: "Food!"
Eggplant Wizard: "Forget the food! This is the chance of a lifetime!"
King Hippo: "Forget the food?!"
Eggplant Wizard: "Don't you get it?! If Link and Zelda are coming here, there won't be anybody left on Hyrule but their flunkies!"
King Hippo: "They'll give us food."
Eggplant Wizard: "No, banana brain! The alarm's been turned off! We can steal the Triforce for ourselves!"
King Hippo: "Then we can make Ganon's servants give us food."

Announcer: "Her Royal Highness, the Princess Zelda of Hyrule, and,...uh,...Link."

Mother Brain: "Knock, knock! Who's there?! General Mother Brain! That's who!"

Eggplant Wizard: "Do you smell something bad, old pal?"
King Hippo: "Yeah, old chum. Smells likes bimbo-in-a-bottle."

Triforce of Wisdom (speaking through Zelda): "Patience is the jewel in the crown of wisdom."
Kevin: "Say what?"
Link: "It likes to sound mysterious."

Stalfo: "You mean to disturb our masters?!"
Lana: "If they have the Triforces, you can count on it!"

Zelda: "I want you out of my kingdom! Now!"

Dumb Lines (4:51 PM)


Sick Moments (12:25 PM - 12:26 PM)

King Hippo pulls pieces of paper out of his pants. Not out of his pockets. Out of his pants.

Rant (11:51 AM - 2:02 PM, 3:31 PM - 5:05 PM; Friday, September 22, 2006, 9:30 AM - 11:31 AM)

According to the narrator, this episode takes place after "the defeat of the evil wizard Ganon, and Princess Zelda's return to the throne, and Link's restoration of the Triforce". So this episode definitely occurs after Zelda II and/or "Quest For the Potion of Power" (I still don't know whether that episode was meant to be a replacement for Zelda II or not). I'm confused about "Princess Zelda's return to the throne". Was there a time when she was driven away from the throne? This will never be explained further, so it's a rather odd note.

Okay, we get our first look at Zelda's palace/castle. It's top-heavy, just like the Palace of Power (and Lana in some shots). That seems very inefficient. This is very different from the white castle that we see in the Zelda cartoon series. The Triforces are mounted on Zelda's throne. Oh, yeah, the throne room looks different than in the Zelda cartoon series, too. This means that either the Captain N cartoon series occurs in a different universe than the Zelda cartoon series, or the palace/castle was destroyed and completely rebuilt (which could explain Zelda's absence from the throne).

As for the Triforces themselves, Power is red, just like in the Zelda cartoon series. Wisdom is green. Some fans might point to this as proof that these episodes don't occur in the same universe as the Zelda cartoon series, because Wisdom is blue on that show. All that I can say to that is that someone involved with this episode likely used the Zelda opening theme as a reference, because Wisdom is green there. Courage (which never appeared in the Zelda cartoon series) is blue. They're smaller and more detailed, but this could be attributed to a bit of a redesign, much like Link and Zelda themselves. Draw your own conclusions.

Speaking of the detail on the Triforces, they seem to be marked with a "P", a "W", and a "C", respectively. However, in the first scene, Wisdom has a "C", and, in the next-to-the-last scene, Power briefly has a "C".

Well, we finally get a name for the place: North Castle.

The Eggplant Wizard says that they're in the Warp Zone to Oblivion and points at a map. They're in the same place that the N Team was in in "Mega Trouble For Megaland". I thought that entire area was called the Warp Zone to Oblivion, not just a specific location in that area. If so, then Eggy should have known where they were.

King Hippo mentions "the Mirror Zone" as a place that they passed by earlier. Is this meant to be the same place as the Mirror Warp/World in "In Search of the King"? I thought that was another universe, separate from Videoland, with no way out.

And what's with "turn right at the Mirror Zone", anyway? Wouldn't they have to be in the Warp Zone to Oblivion to do that? It sounds like they wound up there, because they took a wrong turn at the Mirror Zone, which they should have been in the Warp Zone to Oblivion to be able to do. Argh. Moving on.

It's odd that Hippo and Eggy go through one warp and then have to go through another warp to get into the throne room. What's the dark area that they were in between warps? Is that how warps work? An entrance, an empty area, and an exit? Eggy getting his head stuck in another world seems to conflict with this.

What's with Hippo's remark about making "a slight miscalculation"? You can calculate specifically where you want a warp to lead?

It seems that Zelda is like Lana, wearing her tiara in bed. Either that or Zelda quickly put it on before going to the throne room, because...she wanted to look authoritative...or something.

Zelda says the alarm went off three times this week. Does that mean that Hippo and Eggy made their way to the throne room twice, earlier in the week?

Zelda ordering Link to organize the sentries and then wishing him a "Nighty-night" is so classic cartoon Zelda. I don't care what anyone says. I love when Zelda picks on Link.

Zelda kisses Link on the cheek again. It's cute how he blushes.

Of course, Mother Brain sees Zelda turning off the alarm in her mirror. This plot device is really getting old.

Mother Brain's "General Mother Brain" conversion seems to be the same thing as in "The Most Dangerous Game Master".

Mother Brain's line, "Let Ganon sleep forever", seems to be a reference to his betrayal of her in "Quest For the Potion of Power". Either that, or it's just an amazing coincidence.

Why does Eggy ask where they'll go and what they'll do? Eggy can go back to Mount Icarus and do bad things, and Hippo can go back to Punch-Out and resume his boxing career.

King Hippo doesn't seem to have many possessions - at least not on Metroid. He can fit them all in one bag. Maybe he has more stuff on Punch-Out?

Eggy's idea that they'll join the N Team is dropped right after this scene, making it seem odd and out-of-place.

We get a scene set outside the Palace of Power. Apparently, the Palace is surrounded by a golden wall, and beyond that are a courtyard (different from the one in "Mega Trouble For Megaland") with a fountain, a backless bench, and a row of planted trees. Pretty. =)

Kevin, Lana, Simon, and Duke were on a mission to Kongoland by themselves. I guess Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Gameboy got stuck with guarding the Palace. Hehe.

It's nice to hear some background on Lana's life before Kevin arrived. Apparently, her father gave her a birthday bash "last year", meaning that she hasn't been ruling Videoland for very long. What does Simon mean by being "smashing"? Most likely, he caused some kind of accident.

Why does Kevin destroy an ornament to get Lana's attention? I hope she charges him for it.

We hear Simon screaming right after Kevin zaps the ornament, but we don't see him screaming. What's up with that? Why would he scream, anyway?

Apparently, Lana was "awesome" during "the time on Hyrule when we wiped out two Ironknuckles". We've never seen this. Apparently that, and the recent Kongoland mission where they got all muddy, will remain mysteries.

Simon gives us more info on Lana's life prior to Kevin's arrival: the ceremonies, the glamorous balls, the rich, the famous, the peasants groveling at her feet. That last part makes Lana seem mean, but it might just be Simon exaggerating things.

The courtyard apparently leads to an open street, since Lana doesn't seem to find anything unusual about two "wandering minstrels" being there. Never mind that she can't figure out that they're Hippo and Eggy in thin disguises.

How does Simon know that the ball will be tonight? Lana hasn't mentioned the date or time yet.

This is really dumb. Lana decides to "invite everyone in Videoland, just like the old days". Some fans try to justify this by saying that only politicians and such were invited, but it's clear by Simon's mention of "the rich, the famous, the peasants" that Lana quite literally means everyone in Videoland.

How would this work? I know that obviously not everyone will show up, but the Palace has still got to be too small to hold the number of people that are sure to show up.

And what would Lana do if Mother Brain showed up? I guess she'd have to let her into the Palace of Power to save face.

I wonder how Eggy was able to convince Lana that he and Hippo are from Hyrule. They certainly don't look like Hylians. Then again, Lana might not be familiar with all of the different kinds of inhabitants of Hyrule.

How could Lana hire complete strangers without running a background check or having them demonstrate their musical skills? She just invites them to eat whatever they want in the Palace.

The ball scenes give us more references to previous episodes in the form of guests: Bayou Billy (clean shaven; no more blue stuff!) and Loafer arrive in Billy's truck, and Dr. Right arrives in a flying ship. Neither speak. Prince Plenty is also seen. He doesn't speak either.

I wonder who the announcer that introduces Zelda and Link is. Did Lana hire him to introduce them? Did Zelda hire him to introduce herself? Who knows?

Lana's ball outfit seems to simply be a less revealing, more decorative version of her normal outfit. :P

In this one episode only, Lana is holding her power scepter, which was shown in concept art in Volume 8 of "Nintendo Power" but dropped for the final series. Valiant used it in the comic book series. It's unknown why it appears here. Maybe it's in the writers' bible? Maybe Dennis O'Flaherty read the comic books? Who knows? It's worth noting that the jewel in the scepter is purple, like in the article, not clear, like in the comic books.

Kevin and Link are right. They look ridiculous in those outfits. :P

Why is "The Blue Danube Waltz" playing? How could that piece of music exist in Videoland? Then again, Yankee Stadium exists in Videoland, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Mega Girl makes a blink-and-you-missed-her cameo appearance. She's dancing with Mega Man in the background.

Why did Hippo and Eggy change disguises to look like a dancing couple? Maybe it was easier to sneak off of the dance floor than off of the stage? If so, that still doesn't explain when they changed, since they entered the Palace as musicians and presumably have stuck around until now.

Is Eggy breaking the fourth wall when he looks at the camera and blinks? I hope not.

Kevin sounds like he's playing part of "Johnny B. Goode". "Back To the Future, Part II" came out in the previous year, so the timing seems right for a rip-off. Then again, it could also be part of 500 other rock songs from the 1950s, since a lot of rock music from that decade sounds the same.

It's the Blockheads! They're a rock band from Tetris. They appear in "The Trouble With Tetris". Their appearance here might indicate that "Having a Ball" originally aired after "The Trouble With Tetris". We won't know for sure until the DVD set is released. Oh, well. I've already reviewed half of this episode, so I'm not going to stop now.

This is really odd. There's a magic bond between Zelda and the Triforce. If the Triforce is "destroyed", she'll die. What, exactly, constitutes destroyed. The Triforces have simply been pulled apart from each other, and Zelda's affected. Furthermore, how was Zelda not affected before Link restored the Triforce? Was there no magic bond between them yet?

Enough time passes for the sun to rise more fully between the time that Hippo and Eggy left North Castle and the time that Kevin, Lana, Duke, Link, and Zelda arrive at North Castle. What took them so long? For that matter, they are wearing their normal clothes now. Did they decide to take their sweet time while Zelda was in agonizing pain?

Zelda's joy at seeing that the Triforce of Wisdom is safe is very appropriate, considering that it's the Triforce with which Zelda is most intimately familiar.

What's with the lightning flash in the throne room right before the scene ends? Is it a sign of Hyrule coming apart?

Why does King Hippo go into a crying/yelling fit? Not that I mind. I find it hilarious. I'm just wondering why he does it.

It's cool that we hear more from the Triforce of Wisdom, but I'm disappointed that we don't actually hear its voice, only Zelda's. Maybe the voice actor wasn't available?

Speaking of the Triforce of Wisdom, why is it not rhyming? It's a wasted opportunity for more playful banter between the Triforce and Zelda. For example: "Orderly ways do not make one brave, and neatness does not a kingdom save." "But still, but it offends my royal nose when I must smell these stinky clothes." :P

We've gone over 15 minutes with no action from the N Team, but we're finally getting some.

Is Zelda channeling the Triforce of Wisdom when she speaks in the tunnel? She uses that same mysterious tone, but I can't tell for sure.

Anyway, how could Hyrule become unbound just because the Triforces are apart? What about before they were brought together?

Kevin does a power move by pressing the center of the cross-key on his Power Pad. Um, no.

This episode's featured song is something that I call "Get a Little Bit Crazy". I don't know what it's a parody of, if anything. Does anyone know? It appears briefly in "The Trouble With Tetris", which might indicate that "The Trouble With Tetris" originally aired after "Having a Ball". Again, we won't know for sure until the DVD set is released.

It's cute how Kevin and Lana look at each other, and Lana laughs, after they watch the Ironknuckle sink in the lake. :P

Kevin manually unpauses everyone, just like in "Kevin In Videoland".

Eggy's threat doesn't match his mouth flaps. Oops.

It seems like Lana didn't know about Kevin's plan. I wonder if Link knew or not. Kevin could have told them before they walked into the building.

Zelda's right glove disappears for one shot. It's back again in the next shot. Also, the Triforce of Wisdom suddenly appears in Lana's right hand.

Hippo and Eggy's defeat is awesome! I always love watching this scene. There are flaws, though. As mentioned earlier, Power has a "C" on it when Link knocks it out of King Hippo's hand. It has a "P" on it when it hits the floor. Also, the way that it's set up, Kevin has Wisdom, Lana gets Courage, and Link gets Power. However, when the Triforces reunite, Kevin has Power, and Link has Wisdom.

Who opened the warp? Zelda? If she did, did she open it to Metroid, and that's why Hippo and Eggy wind up back there? Or did they simply go back there, because they had nowhere else to go? Anyway, Zelda pwns, and it's back to being hit with pool sticks for Hippo and Eggy.

Lesson: Don't mistreat people. You might have to live with them later.

This is a pretty good episode. It's above average, anyway. It has an awesome climax, but it has a very stupid set-up. Lana is very dense in this episode and invites "everyone" into the Palace of Power. This is even worse than the time that Kevin talked her into wagering the rule of Videoland on the outcome of a sporting event - with only a day's notice at that. I hope she had more than just the N Team as security. Also, the main threat of this episode, Zelda's death and Hyrule's destruction, doesn't make sense, given the background information that we're given. Anyway, "Having a Ball" is good. It's not as good as "Quest For the Potion of Power", but at least Gameboy was left behind this time, and Lana got to come along this time. Duke came along, too, but, y'know, two plusses and only one minus.

As for what to cut out, I'd cut out the Warp Zone to Oblivion scene. It causes problems and isn't needed. Removing it would have freed 1 minute and 21 seconds. That 1:21 could have been better used for more Zelda goodness. :X

Overall, "Having a Ball" is a good episode.

Usefulness ratings:

Kevin: 7 (defeating 2 moblins, defeating a stalfo, defeating the goriya, getting everyone across the rocks, defeating Hippo and Eggy)
Lana: 3 (warning of the stalfo, defeating Hippo and Eggy)
Simon: 0
Mega Man: 0
Kid Icarus: 0
Duke: 1 (distracting a stalfo)
Gameboy: 0
Link: 5 (defeating 2 stalfos, running interference with his shield, defeating Hippo and Eggy)
Zelda: 2 (getting rid of Hippo and Eggy)

This episode is surprisingly action-light. As I said earlier, the N Team doesn't see any action until over 15 minutes into the episode. Simon, Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Gameboy don't go on the adventure (not that I mind). The latter three don't even have any lines in this episode.

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

Kevin: 48 (6 episodes)
Lana: 11 (6 episodes)
Simon: 10 (6 episodes)
Mega Man: 14 (6 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 13 (6 episodes)
Duke: 6 (6 episodes)
Gameboy: 11 (6 episodes)
Link: 22 (2 episodes)
Zelda: 6 (2 episodes)

There are two things to note about Lana here:

1) She has now done more useful things in Season 2 than she did in all of Season 1.

2) She's ahead of Simon in this season's competition - for the moment.

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

Kevin: 95 (19 episodes)
Lana: 20 (19 episodes)
Simon: 31 (19 episodes)
Mega Man: 31 (19 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 36 (19 episodes)
Duke: 20 (19 episodes)
Gameboy: 11 (6 episodes)
Link: 153 (15 episodes)
Zelda: 69 (15 episodes)

That's the end of my review of "Having a Ball". I have "The Trouble With Tetris" listed for Saturday, October 13, 1990 (though a lot of my air dates might change when the DVD set comes out), so I'll review that next. See you all in my next review!

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