Episode Review

The Most Dangerous Game Master

Monday, December 23, 2002, 1:00 PM - Tuesday, December 24, 2002, 4:08 PM

Summary (Monday, December 23, 2002, 1:00 PM - 3:34 PM, 10:07 PM - 10:27 PM, 10:40 PM)

Deep within the "brain-shaped world" of Metroid, Dr. Wily is creating a "monster" for Mother Brain. The head is under a white sheet, but it's wearing an orange-and-white jacket, blue jeans (with a black band around the right leg), sneakers, and a belt with a Power Pad. Dr. Wily declares that his body is finished, but, before he can challenge Captain N, Dr. Wily needs to program his brain. For that, they need a special device that he's invented. It looks like an audio cassette recorder with a dish on top. It's to recorded Kevin's memory, which will be programmed into the android. Mother Brain sends King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard to the Palace to get Kevin's memories.

Meanwhile, at the Palace of Power, the N Team is watching a movie called "Donkey Kong Jones and the Last Banana". Simon flips to channel 4,212 and sees his "favorite" - "Wombatman". The picture goes out, so Lana decides to call the repair crew to fix the antenna. Kevin helps Lana carry the dishes to the kitchen, annoying Simon. The doorbell rings, so Simon goes to answer it. King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard are standing outside, dressed as TV repairmen. Simon lets them into the Palace, and Hippo makes up a reason for the TV's picture going out. Hippo and Eggy go behind the TV set, where Hippo beats up Eggy. Eggy searches for Dr. Wily's gizmo in his toolbox. Duke walks in, sniffs Eggy, and growls. Eggy uses a device to change Duke into a few different animals and then back to normal. Duke gets scared and runs away. Hippo then uses the device to turn Eggy into a sexy woman and then back to normal. Eggy hands Dr. Wily's gizmo to Hippo. Hippo positions it in back of the TV screen. Kevin and Lana come back from the kitchen. Simon says that the repair crew will have the set fixed in a jiffy. Lana says that the repair crew isn't coming until tomorrow. The beam from the gizmo is aimed at Simon. His worst fear is being bitten by the Count. Hippo moves the beam to Duke. His worst fear is being chased by a lot of cats. Eggy moves the beam to Kevin. His worst fear is being picked up by a tall, shadowy figure. The gizmo is shut off. Kevin feels dizzy and falls forward. Lana catches him. Hippo trips on a chord, and he and Eggy fall through the TV screen. Kid Icarus recognizes them. Simon and Mega Man jump over the coffee table and runs towards them, Kid Icarus flying behind. Eggy takes a mushroom out of his pocket and throws it. It grows into a giant mushroom-copter. Hippo and Eggy run into it, and it takes off, crashing through the room and flying away. Lana seats Kevin on the couch. Kevin says that it was as if someone was peeking into his darkest memories, and there was someone from his past, but he can't remember who it was.

Back on Metroid, Hippo and Eggy arrive with the gizmo. Mother Brain tosses them a bone, which they fight over. Dr. Wily programs the memories into his creation. He sends the android up into the sky and zaps it with electricity. After a laugh-fest between Wily, Hippo, and Eggy, Wily lowers the android. It moves and steps onto the floor. It looks like a teenager with light-brown hair - wearing a jacket, Power Pad, and Zapper similar to Kevin's.

The next morning, at the Palace of Power, Kevin and Duke are eating breakfast, and Lana pours herself a cup of tea. A hologram of Mother Brain appears and tries to scare him with a tall, shadowy figure that fires a blue Zapper beam. Mother Brain tells Kevin to prepare to meet his match. The hologram disappears. Mega Man runs into the room and tells Lana that a "mega-emergency call" is coming in. Kevin and Lana follow Mega Man to some kind of communications room, where Simon and Kid Icarus are working at a control panel, trying to clear up the reception. The android appears on the viewscreen. Kevin recognizes him as "Mike Vincent", who goes to the same school as Kevin does. The android tells Kevin that Mother Brain brought him to Videoland, and he's on CastleVania. The picture goes out. Lana says that they have to go to CastleVania. Kevin tells Lana that Mike is his worst eenemy. Ever since he was a kid, Mike's been beating him up. Kid Icarus and Simon talk Kevin into going.

A short while later, on the "creepy world" of CastleVania, then N Team warps into the castle. Simon can't find Mike and gets scared by a skeleton. Duke picks up "the scent". The android arrives and scares everyone. Kevin then says that they're here to help. The android introduces its "M Team" - 'M' for Monsters. A werewolf, a mummy, the Count, and Frankenstein's monsters come out of the floor. Simon takes a photo of the Count using a flash. He ten traps the Count in his whip. Mega Man picks up a statue and throws it on top of Frankenstein's monster. Kid Icarus shoots the werewolf with a bon voyage arrow, causing it to wear a party hat and hold noisemakers and balloons. The werewolf floats up. Duke pulls on the mummy's bandage and unwraps it, causing the mummy to disappear. The N Team advances towards the android. The android reaches for its Zapper. Kevin fires between the Zapper and the android's hand. The android hits the Pause button and pauses the N Team. It walks over, puts its right arm around Lana, and taunts Kevin. Kevin swears that he'll get Mike for this.

The N Team is taken into a room, tied up, and sat in chairs at a table. Mother Brain explains that this isn't really Mike Vincent but "an android duplicate designed to beat Captain N". Kevin realizes that Mother brain pulled Mike out of his memoery, and he's not even real. MB says that he's everything that Kevin is afraid of rolled into one. The android challenges Kevin to a race through CastleVania, despite Mother Brain's objection. Kevin accepts the challenge.

Kevin and the android warp outside and race to get to the castle and then to the Count's room. The Count pushes Kevin out the window. The android zaps the Count, who falls into his coffin. The android walks over to the window, which Kevin is holding onto, looks down, and taunts Kevin again. Kevin reminds the android of all of the good times that Mike and Kevin had together - before Mike turned into a bully. Kevin offers his friendship to the android.

Back in the room, Mother Brain is telling everyone of her plans for Videoland. The android arrives. MB is delighted. Then Kevin arrives, and he and the android zap Mother Brain. MB orders Dr. Wily to activate the secret weapon. He does, and Mother Brain gains a tank and aims at Kevin. The android pushes Kevin out of the way. MB shoots the android. Kevin, angry, zaps a chandelier, which falls onto the table and launches Mother Brain, Hippo, Eggy, and Wily through a hole in the roof. Kevin and the android talk for a while, then it stops functioning. Lana and Simon offer Kevin some compliments, and the N Team watches as the android disappears.

Misc. Tidbits (Tuesday, December 24, 2002, 11:48 AM - 11:50 AM)

"The Most Dangerous Game Master" is the tenth Captain N episode script that Jeffrey Scott wrote and the sixth episode that aired.

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

Title pun: "The Most Dangerous Game", a short story by Richard Connell

Interesting Notes (12:16 PM - 1:53 PM, 3:03 PM - 3:04 PM)

King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard sleep on hammocks (Hippo above Eggy) in a small grey room on Metroid. A bell hangs from the ceiling, which Mother Brain rings when she needs them.

The Palace of Power has a living room with a coffee table, couch, and giant TV set (that gets at least 4,212 channels).

"Wombatman" is Simon's favorite movie (or TV series).

The Palace of Power has a communications room with a viewscreen, where the N Team receives emergency calls.

Great Lines (12:13 PM - 1:53 PM)

Eggplant Wizard: "Oh, you beautiful peach, you. Oh, come to Eggy."

Mother Brain: "Can I give you one tiny volt for every time you've messed up my plans?"
Eggplant Wizard: "Are you nuts?! That would be a million volts!"

Simon: "Hmmm, don't I know you from someplace?"
King Hippo: "Oh? I never been to someplace. Uh, been no place special a few times but, uh, never someplace."
Simon: "Oh."

Simon: "What's wrong with it?"
Eggplant Wizard: "Well, it's obvious. Isn't it, Dr. Boob Tube?"
King Hippo: "Uh, yeah, sure, it's, uh, ha-ha, your, uh, fogglebeets. Yeah, that's it. Uh, they've been short-circuited by your bumperwunky. Uh, wouldn't you agree, Dr. Dead Meat?"
Eggplant Wizard: "Uh, yes, well, uh, we'd better get to work before I get creamed - uh, I mean so we can fix your screen."

Eggplant Wizard: "So long, Captain S and his Sucker Team!"

Mother Brain: "Don't just stand there!"
Dr. Wily: "Party-pooper."

Mother Brain: "Behold - the Ultimate Game Master."

Kevin: "You can't scare me with your shadows, Mother Brain."
Mother Brain: "Maybe not,...but prepare to meet your match, Captain N."

Kevin: "Wow! Me rescuing mean Mike Vincent. What a concept!"

Lana: "Oh, CastleVania is a big place. How are we gonna find Mike?"
Simon: "Just leave it to Simon Belmont, vampire hunter - not to mention finder of lost dogs, pussycats, and loved ones."

Simon: "What's wrong? Is it my hair? Is there something in my nose?"

Mike: "Don't be a twerp, Keene. I don't want your help. I want your hyde!"

Mike: "You're lookin' at the new Game Master of Videoland."

Mike: "Let's see how good your N Team really is, Lame Master."

Lana: "Shoot him. Shoot him!"
Kid Icarus: "Whatever you say, Your Highnicus."
Lana: "I said 'Shoot him' not 'Invite him to a party'."

Mike: "Look who's the Game Master now, Keene. I even got your girl. Just the the good old school days, eh?"
Kevin: "I'll get you for this, Mike, I swear it!"

Mike: "That's right, dude. 1,000 megabytes of memory - and all of it programmed to get you."

Kevin: "You pulled Mike out of my memory. He's not even real."
Mother Brain: "Oh, he's worse than real. He's everything you're afraid of rolled into one."

Mike: "C'mon, Keene. Just you and me through the world of CastleVania. Winner is the real Game Master. Loser gets lost."

Mother Brain: "No! I've already won. You don't need to prove anything. Destroy Captain N."
Mike: "Who asked you, Bird Brain?"
Mother Brain: "What?!"
Lana: "Looks like you programmed him too well, Mother Brain."

Mike: "First one through is the winner. What do you say, dude?"
Kevin: "You're on,...dude."

Mike: "Looks like I won, dude. You're gonna be the Grave Master now."
Kevin: "If you were really programmed from my memories of Mike Vincent, then you can't be all bad."
Mike: "Wanna bet?"

Kevin: "Okay, it's up to you. Are Mike and I going to remain enemies, or can we be friends?"

Lana: "Kevin?"
Mother Brain: "Too bad, Princess. Looks like my android is the only Game Master now."
Mike: "Guess again, Lame Brain!"
Mother Brain: "What?!"

Simon: "Well, Captain N, didn't I tell you you could beat Mike Vincent?"
Kevin: "I did better than beat him, Simon. I became his friend again."

Dumb Lines (12:48 PM - 1:53 PM)

King Hippo: "Quick, gimme Dr. Wily's gizmo, jerk-breath."
Eggplant Wizard: "I could have sworn I put it next to the cauliflower."
What kind of insult is "jerk-breath"? Is King Hippo implying that Eggy's breath smells like he's been eating beef jerky? If so, then that's not that bad of an insult. Also, why would Eggy park vegetables in his toolbox?

Simon: "The repairmen will have the set fixed in a jiffy, Your Simpleness."
I know that Simon often gives Lana mushy nicknames, but what is he implying here? Is he implying that Lana's not smart? Is he commenting on Lana not hiring guards or servants for the Palace? More than likely, Jeffrey Scott just wasn't thinking when he wrote this line.

Sick Moments (12:53 PM - 1:53 PM)

King Hippo uses a remote control to turn the Eggplant Wizard into a sexy woman. Then he comments "I'll have to remember that channel." King Hippo wants to have some kind of weird hippo/eggplant sex with the Eggplant Wizard nonconsentually. And loud-mouthed fanboys and fangirls call my stories perverted. They can no longer insult me, for I have been vindicated by the cartoon series itself!

Rant (2:00 PM - 4:08 PM)

Here's a shocker. I actually like this episode. There's some good characterization and backstory for Kevin. We get to see Hippo and Eggy's room on Metroid and how they sleep. We even get a race through CastleVania set to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" - performed by a woman. Yeah, yeah, I know that's redundant.

There are only a few stupid things in this episode, so I'll go ahead and list them now:

1) There are two 3-D, 5-point stars at the beginning. I don't know what the animator was smoking while he drew this scene, but real stars aren't like that.

2) How could Dr. Wily have finished the body of the android before getting Kevin's memories of Mike Vincent? Originally, I thought that this discrepancy, along with Kevin's "He's not even real" line, meant that Dr. Wily had merely invented Mike Vincent as the personification of Kevin's worst fears and fed Kevin false memories of him. A certain N-Fan accepted the false memories theory (even after I had become convinced otherwise) but said that Mike Vincent does exist and was always Kevin's friend. However, the rest of the dialogue in the episode is overpowering enough (and the idea that Dr. Wily would never make up false good memories of Mike for Kevin, since it would give the android a weakness) to convince me that Kevin really knows a Mike Vincent back on Earth, Mike used to be Kevin's friend, and Mike has been beating Kevin up for quite a while. How Dr. Wily built the android's body first could be attributed to Mother Brain's all-knowing computer mind mirror (see "How's Bayou"). But then, why didn't Dr. Wily program the android's brain using that information? Here's what writer Jeffrey Scott told me in an interview: "Sure he knew a Mike Vincent. Either that or Phyllis Tucker-Vinson [the Vice-President of Children's Programming at NBC] was correct and I can't write for s...."

3) The android's jeans change from grey to blue during the first scene on Metroid.

4) Why does Dr. Wily's memory-recording gizmo use tape, rather than a computer chip?

5) The pink chords connected to the Palace are in different positions than they are in "Wishful Thinking".

6) The movie that the N Team was watching was a waste of time.

7) Why does Lana use an antenna for her TV set? I'm sure that she can afford a satelite dish. Also, how can an antenna receive at least 4,212 channels?

8) How could Simon not recognize King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard? There were wearing shoes, pants, shirts, and caps. No masks. King Hippo wore a name tag that said "ED". It's very obvious that it's them, especially when Eggy calls himself a "TV repaireggplant". Simon is suspicious and thinks that he recognizes them, but all it takes is some B.S. by King Hippo to convince him otherwise. Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Duke were in the living room, too, and even they didn't recognize Hippo and Eggy. What a bunch of morons.

9) The "REPAIR" on Eggy's cap disappears and appears throughout the scene.

10) Does Dr. Wily's gizmo record Kevin's "memory of the past" or his "worst fears"?

11) Kevin's memories of Mike Vincent are animated. This seems to contradict the live-action footage shown in "Kevin in Videoland" and "How's Bayou", though we have yet to hear any statement on the show regarding a difference between the appearances of Videoland and Earth.

12) Why do Kevin and Mike have Power Pads and Zappers in Kevin's first memory? This, the fact that the scene is animated, and Kevin's statement that he can't remember who it was all led me to believe that Mike Vincent was made up by Dr. Wily.

13) It's night on Metroid, daylight at the Palace, and night on Metroid again. I guess that Metroid must be away from the Palace in this episode.

14) There's a thunderstorm outside Metroid, but it seems that Dr. Wily uses artificial electricity to activate the android. Weird.

15) How could Mother Brain push Hippo and Eggy's heads down into their chests and not kill them?

16) How could the holographic projection of the android fire Zapper beams? Were those holographic, too?

17) How could Kevin not recognize Mike until he saw him on the viewscreen?

18) The left sleeve on the android's jacket turns around as the camera zooms in on the viewscreen.

19) Duke wasn't shown running with Kevin and Lana to the communications room, yet he's shown sitting there near the end of the scene.

20) In yet another example of inconsistent warping on this show, the N Team simply appears on CastleVania in a glow of yellow light. Well, okay, that was last shown in "Mega Trouble for Megaland", so it's consistent with that episode.

21) Why does Simon get scared and panic on his own world?

22) How could Duke remember Mike Vincent's scent? For that matter, how can the android have Mike's scent?

23) How could Simon not see the android as it approached?

24) Why is the Count afraid of a flashbulb? Vampires aren't weakened by that kind of light.

25) What does Simon do with the Count after the whip ties him up?

26) How could the android disobey Mother Brain?

27) When the android yelled "Hey!", Kevin's voice is heard instead. Does this mean that Matt Hill voiced Mike Vincent?

28) Kevin's weapons don't lose power in this episode, but the android's weapons do.

29) The armored guy is way too big.

30) The armored guy isn't supposed to have more than one spear.

31) How can Mother Brain gain guns by spinning around in circles?

32) How can a chandelier falling on the table be strong enough to launch Mother Brain, King Hippo, the Eggplant Wizard, and Dr. Wily into the air?

33) Gee, that sure is a convenient hole in the roof, ain't it?

34) How could the android's body just disappear in a glowing white light?

Okay, that was a bit more than a few stupid things. Still, this episode was a lot less stupid in terms of plot and dialogue than other episodes. There were only 2 real instances of dumb lines, and there was a load of great lines - a lot of them from the android of Mike Vincent. The N Team goofed off less in this episode (watching the movie being the only exception) than in other episodes. Even Simon said that they had to warp to CastleVania immediately to rescue Mike. Yeah, the movie was dumb, but "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" came out in 1989, so what do you expect? So did "Batman". This episode felt like a good old rivalry between two high school kids. All the death talk ("Dead Meat, "Grave Master", "killer", etc.) just makes it even cooler. It's the closest that we have to a Captain N Halloween episode. It aired on October 14, 1989. Man, if only it had aired two weeks later. That would've been perfect.

Lesson: Believe in your abilities? Kinda weak. The real lesson probably is that even bad guys can become good.

As for what to cut out, the Donkey Kong movie was just a waste of time. Removing it would have freed 1 minutes and 21 seconds. That 1:21 could have been better used for more Kevin / Mike background material and conflict. Heck, the money saved by not animating that dumb movie could have been used to hire two kids to play Kevin and Mike, and the Earth scenes could have been done in live-action.

Despite some plot holes and filler, this episode was good and stands as proof that Jeffrey Scott can write a good story if he wants to.

Usefulness ratings:

Kevin: 3 (preventing the android from drawing its Zapper, turning the android good, getting rid of MB and her lackeys)
Lana: 0
Simon: 2 (convincing Kevin to go to CastleVania to rescue Mike, defeating the Count)
Mega Man: 1 (defeating Frankenstein's monster)
Kid Icarus: 2 (convincing Kevin to go to CastleVania to rescue Mike, defeating the werewolf)
Duke: 1 (defeating the mummy)

The running total usefulness ratings so far are:

Kevin: 35 (10 episodes)
Lana: 8 (10 episodes)
Simon: 19 (10 episodes)
Mega Man: 11 (10 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 19 (10 episodes)
Duke: 11 (10 episodes)

That's the end of my review of "The Most Dangerous Game Master". Next episode - "Metroid Sweet Metroid"!

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