Episode Review

Once Upon a Time Machine

Friday, October 6, 2006, 1:00 PM - 3:27 PM

Summary (1:00 PM - 1:02 PM)

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#time

Misc. Tidbits (1:02 PM - 1:04 PM)

The episode was written by Michael Maurer and Matt Uitz.

The episode originally aired on Saturday, November 17, 1990, as the eleventh episode of Season 2 and the twenty-fourth episode of the series.

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

Interesting Notes (1:04 PM - 3:02 PM)

The title is white with no quotes.

Kevin's Zapper beams are blue in this episode.

Kevin was never in London before this episode.

Kevin has seen some pictures of 1920s New York.

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

Great Lines (1:35 PM - 3:04 PM)

Kevin: "Hey, I can take care of myself,...but. if you really have nothin' better to do, well, let's do it."

Zelda: "Just be careful. We don't know where that warp ends up."
Lana: "Zelda's right. I've kind of gotten used to having you around."

Lackey: "Why don't ya mind your own business, ya mangy human?"
Kevin: "I'm making this my business."

Link: "All this for saving one little mouse?!"
Pero: "Well, that and the fact that I love bacon burgers."

Link: "Nice try. You almost made it."
Kevin: "Almost doesn't count in video games."

Dumb Lines (3:04 PM - 3:05 PM)


Rant (1:05 PM - 3:27 PM)

This episode was written by Michael Maurer and Matt Uitz. Other episodes by Michael Maurer that I've reviewed are "The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers" and "The Trouble With Tetris". Matt Uitz's sole solo episode is "The Trojan Dragon". I expect an average episode. Why does it take two people to write an episode of Captain N, anyway? Oh, well. Let's see how well that they do together.

One fan that I know likes to call this episode "Oh, You ATM" (OUATM). I can just picture Kevin punching an ATM machine and exclaiming "Oh, you ATM!" :P

I can understand Link and Zelda having a picnic, but don't Kevin and Lana have anything better to do, like figuring out a way to defeat Mother Brain and free Videoland?

And is Lana neglecting her royal duties again (see "The Lost City of Kongoland")? Or did she decide to take a break? Or did she finally learn to delegate authority to others?

Who is Zelda leaving out when she says "You two are always welcome on Hyrule, Captain N"? Lana or Duke? I'd guess Duke, since Lana's a friend. Then again, Lana might already have an open invitation to visit Hyrule whenever she wants. Heck, she should have a right to visit Hyrule whenever she wants, seeing as how she's the ruler of Videoland.

The sky alternates between pink and blue during the first scene.

This episode is filled with puns. I'll list each pun as it occurs.

Pun #1: Kevin: "Piece of cake".

This episode is based on "Puss n' Boots: Pero's Great Adventure". That's a rather obscure game. Anyway, it introduces something that I despise into this series: talking animals. I find that so retarded. It also introduces something else that I despise into this series: time-travel. Anyway, moving on...

Why does Kevin take off his power belt? He can prove to Link that he can top him without using his weapons by simply not using them.

Yes, yes, I know that, otherwise, there would be no episode, but that's very weak.

Kevin says he's kind of rusty. Since "Metroid Sweet Metroid", perhaps?

I love how Zelda conveniently loses her pants in the from-behind shot when the time ship is taking off. We get to see her panties. :X

Zelda calls the warp a "warp"! Yay!

How could the time ship come out of such a tight opening at the other end of the warp?

Speaking of the time ship, since it's a time ship, then why does it go through a normal warp to get to Pero's world? Does it need to do that before it travels through time?

If so, then that means that Pero's world is in the Old West time period in modern Videoland.

We're introduced to Count Gruman and Doctor Gari-Gari's two lackeys. Since Mother Brain and her lackeys don't appear in this episode, these guys are the substitutes for King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard. I wonder if Gary Chalk and Michael Donovan voiced them. Can anyone tell?

Pun #2: Pero: "I'm at my rope's end!"

Why does it take Kevin until he raises his arm and points his hand for him to realize that his Zapper is gone? He should have realized right when he reached for it.

Cowboys are drinking milk in a saloon? Yeah, suuure.

Kevin yells "Adios, amigos!" That's a rare use of Spanish on this series (see "The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers").

Why does the shorter lackey throw his hat to the ground and stomp on it? I realize he's angry, but this is still a stupid cartoon cliche.

However, he makes up for it by saying "durn".

It's cute how the "defeat enemy" sound effect is heard when Pero moves his hand across his face. :P But wouldn't moving it across his neck be more appropriate?

Pun #3: Pero: "Well, that and the fact that I love bacon burgers."

One of the lackeys says "those humans" when referring to Kevin and Link, which is further proof that Hylians are human (see "Quest For the Potion of Power").

Link's yell here sounds a lot like Lyle's yell in "The Trouble With Tetris". Coincidence?

Pun #4: Captain Long John Slither.

How does Captain Long John Slither not realize that the two lackeys aren't part of his crew?

After Kevin exclaims "Time for a power move!", he accidentally has his Power Pad and Zapper again for half of the next shot - and just his Zapper for the next half.

When Kevin yells "Link, clear the deck!", he has his Power Pad and Zapper again.

When the good guys arrive on Skull Island and jump off of the wreckage, it appears that Kevin is wearing his Power Pad, but, since the shot is from a distance, I can't tell for sure.

Why do the lackeys momentarily run after Pero? It's amazing that they didn't blow their covers.

This episode's featured song is something that I call "Dangerous Place". I heard it's possibly a loose parody of "Danger Zone". Does anyone know?

How can the lackeys survive a close bomb explosion?

How can the lackeys survive such a huge fall and then being suddenly stopped by a laundry line?

Why do the good guys have to go into the warp sideways?

Kevin says he saw some pictures of 1920s New York. I wonder if his Uncle Lenny showed them to him (see "Nightmare On Mother Brain's Street").

The sea creature is in the game, but there's no yellow diamond on its back. You can hurt it by shooting it anywhere.

Why does the title screen music from the original Game Boy version of "Tetris" play? This episode has nothing to do with Tetris.

How does Zelda know that Kid Icarus was addressing her and not Lana?

So...is Kevin going to actually defeat the moblin or not?

Lesson: Help your friends in need, even if it means sacrificing your own goal.

This episode is average as I expected. It sends a rather confusing message. First, it contradicts "Metroid Sweet Metroid", which shows that Kevin can do just fine without his Power Pad and Zapper. Here, he's a total klutz without them. Also, in the final scene, Kevin made a moblin fall over without using his Power Pad and Zapper and then declared "From now on, I'm keeping my options open." That makes no sense. As the rest of the episode showed, Kevin is helpless without his Power Pad and Zapper. He defeated the sea creature only by using his Zapper. The final message makes no sense in the context of the rest of the episode.

As for what to cut out, I can't think of any filler in this episode.

Overall, "Once Upon a Time Machine" is an okay episode.

Usefulness ratings:

Kevin: 9 (destroying 1 boulder, defeating 2 boons, saving Pero from the lackeys, driving the wagon, knocking the lackeys off of the ship, warning the crew to abandon ship, defeating the sea creature, saving Simon from the moblin)
Lana: 0
Simon: 0
Mega Man: 0
Kid Icarus: 0
Duke: 0
Gameboy: 0
Link: 4 (destroying 1 boulder, defeating 1 boon, saving Kevin from the cowboys, rescuing Kevin from the lackey)
Zelda: 0

Zelda, for once, surprisingly doesn't do anything useful.

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

Kevin: 87 (11 episodes)
Lana: 26 (11 episodes)
Simon: 18 (11 episodes)
Mega Man: 19 (11 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 22 (11 episodes)
Duke: 7 (11 episodes)
Gameboy: 14 (11 episodes)
Link: 28 (4 episodes)
Zelda: 8 (4 episodes)

Lana is still ahead of Simon, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus in this season's competition for the moment. We'll see how long that she stays there.

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

Kevin: 134 (24 episodes)
Lana: 35 (24 episodes)
Simon: 39 (24 episodes)
Mega Man: 36 (24 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 45 (24 episodes)
Duke: 21 (24 episodes)
Gameboy: 14 (11 episodes)
Link: 159 (17 episodes)
Zelda: 71 (17 episodes)

Lana is still in 5th place. We'll see how long that she stays there.

That's the end of my review of "Once Upon a Time Machine". We won't see Link or Zelda anymore, sadly. =( I have "The Feud of Faxanadu" listed for Saturday, November 24, 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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