Episode Review

Quest for the Potion of Power

Thursday, June 27, 2006, 10:00 AM - Tuesday, August 8, 2006, 12:28 PM

Summary (10:00 AM - 10:02 AM)

Just read the novelization of the episode at http://ldloveszh.tripod.com/episodes/2quest.html

Misc. Tidbits (10:02 AM - 10:05 AM)

The episode was written by Rick Merwin.

The episode originally aired on Saturday, September 29, 1990, as the fourth episode of Season 2 and the seventeenth episode of the series.

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

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link Game Story (10:30 AM - 10:50 AM)

Since this episode came out after "Zelda II: The Adventure of Link", here is the game's story from its instruction manual to provide context (and to later point out contradictions between the cartoon series and the game):

The Story of the Adventure of Link

*At the end of a fierce fight, Link overthrew Ganon, took back the Triforce and rescued Princess Zelda.

*However, is it all really finished?

*Many seasons have passed since then.

Hyrule was on the road to ruin. The power that the vile heart of Ganon had left behind was causing chaos and disorder in Hyrule. What's more, even after the fall of Ganon, some of his underlings remained, waiting for Ganon's return.

The key to Ganon's return was the blood of Link - the valiant lad that overthrew the King of Evil. Ganon would be revived by sacrificing Link and sprinkling his blood on the ashes of Ganon. Meanwhile, Link remained in the little kingdom of Hyrule and lent his hand to its restoration. But circumstances did not look very good.

One day a strange mark, exactly like the crest of the kingdom, appeared on the back of Link's hand as he approached his 16th birthday. The worried Link, went to Impa, Princess Zelda's nursemaid who was shocked and frightened when she saw the birthmark. When she regained her composure, she took Link to the North Castle.

There was a door in the North Castle called "the door that does not open." Only the descendants of the Impa family who served the king knew how to open the door. Impa took Link's left hand and pressed the back of it against the door. There was a sound of a lock falling open, the door slowly creaked open and there on an altar in the middle of the room lay a beautiful woman.

"Here lies the Princess Zelda." Impa began to speak calmly. "Link, the time has come when I must tell you the legend of Zelda handed down in Hyrule. It is said that long ago, when Hyrule was one country, a great ruler maintained the peace in Hyrule using the Triforce. However, the king too was a child of man and he died. Then, the prince of the kingdom should have become king and inherited everything, but he could inherit the Triforce only in part. The Prince searched everywhere for the missing parts, but could not find them. Then, a magician close to the king brought him some unexpected news. Before he died, the king had said something about the Triforce to only the younger sister of the prince, Princess Zelda. The prince immediately questioned the princess, but she wouldn't tell him anything. After the prince, the magician threatened to put the princess into an eternal sleep if she did not talk, but even still, she said nothing."

"In his anger, the magician tried to cast a spell on the princess. The surprised prince tried to stop him, but the magician fought off the prince and went on chanting the spell. Then, when the spell was finally cast, Princess Zelda fell on that spot and entered a sleep from which she might never awake. At the same time, the magician also fell down and breathed his last."

"In his grief, the prince placed the princess in this room. He hoped that someday she would come back to life. So that this tragedy would never be forgotten, he ordered every female child born into the royal household should be given the name Zelda."

From the stand next to the alter where Princess Zelda lay in a deep sleep, Impa took the six crystals and a scroll with the same crest and handed them to Link. "For generations, my family has been handed down these things which have been set aside for a time when a great king will come. They are written in ancient script that no one can read now. But you who have the crest may be able to read it. It is said that the key to uniting the Triforce is hidden there. Now it is time for you to read it."

Link glanced at the scroll half in doubt, but what do you know? Although he never seen the letters before, he found that he could read them as if they were talking to him..

This was written on the Scroll.

"You who'll control the Triforce of the future. I shall hand down to you the secrets of the Triforce. There are three kinds of Triforce - Power, Wisdom, and Courage. When these three are brought together, the Triforce will share its maximum power. Of the three, I have left Power and Wisdom in the kingdom. But the Triforce of Courage I have hidden for a reason. Not everybody can use the Triforce. It requires a strong character with no evil thoughts. But an inborn special quality is also necessary. Unfortunately, I have not found such a person during my lifetime."

"Therefore, I have decided to cast a spell on all of Hyrule. A crest will appear on a young man with that character who has been brought up correctly, has gained many kinds of experiences and reached a certain age. But, what will happen if someone else uses the Triforce before then? If it is misused, it will produce many evils."

"The Triforce of Courage is hidden in the Great Palace in the Valley of Death on the largest island in Hyrule. However, to enter you must first fight the guardians and undo the 'binding force.' When you have defeated the guardians, which I made to prevent enemies from invading the six palaces in Hyrule, set a crystal in the forehead of the statue you find. When you have set crystals in all of the statues in the six palaces, the 'binding force' placed on the Valley of Death will be removed and you will be able to enter the great palace. There you must fight the last guardian. And you can obtain the triforce only by defeating that guardian. There's nothing to fear. You are the one to get the Triforce. You are the beacon of hope for Hyrule."

Impa implored Link, who raised his head slowly after reading the scroll.

"The magic spell cast upon the Princess Zelda will sure to be broken if the Triforce is used. Please, Link. Unite the Triforce and save the princess. And bring back peace to Hyrule."

Link nodded silently in approval, and left the room after taking a long glance at the altar. Then with a magical sword in his left hand and a magical shield in his right, he set off alone on his long travels. At that time, Ganon's underlings were calling up new allies from the Underworld, and were beginning to work devilishly towards the revival of Ganon.

The vast Hyrule is the stage for the Adventure.

*There are six palaces hidden in Hyrule. Link must gain experience by fighting Ganon's underlings, and get information while visiting towns here and there. And, after defeating the guardians at the palaces of Death Valley, he must obtain the Triforce of Courage - That is Link's mission.

Interesting Notes (Thursday, July 27, 2006, 10:52 AM - 1:56 PM)

The title is white with no quotes.

This episode was written by Rick Merwin - and it's the only episode that he wrote of the entire series.

The conference room of the Palace of Power has elevator-style doors that automatically slide open.

Kevin's Zapper beams are blue in this episode.

Great Lines (Thursday, July 27, 2006, 11:03 AM - 1:56 PM, 4:55 PM - 5:05 PM; Saturday, July 29, 2006, 11:03 AM - 11:15 AM)

(Kevin bows to Zelda)
Kevin: "I live to help beautiful Princesses."
Lana: "You never bow like that for me."
Kevin: "By your leave, Your Highness."
Lana: "Be off with you, my Captain, but be home in time for dinner."

Gameboy: "Program in place to inspect new environment."
Kevin: "Okay, Gameboy, you can go. Don't blow a microchip."

Lana: "Simon, what were you doing in that plant?"
Simon: "Uh,...pruning the leaves, of course."

Lana: "Kevin, Hyrule is an exciting world, but it's also dangerous. Please, be careful."
Kevin: "Aren't I always?"

Zelda: "You two heroes can pat yourselves on the back some other time. We have important business."

Mother Brain: "I didn't send you fishheads to Hyrule to have a pool party!"
King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard: "Mother Brain?!"
Mother Brain: "You were expecting Donkey Kong?!"

Gameboy: "Recommend future search with open eyes."

Simon: "If you're trying to scare me,...you're doing a good job!"

Ganon: "Ganon works for no one."

Ganon: "He who dares to defy Ganon will pay the ultimate price!"

Kevin: "That reflect magic is awesome stuff!"
Link: "I'll get ya some for your next birthday."

Dumb Lines (11:29 AM - 1:56 PM)

Simon: "Some of us have more important things to do than running off to play hero."
Um, such as? Isn't the whole point of the N Team to do heroic things and free Videoland? I'm not saying that Simon was needed for this mission, but the line is still dumb.

Rant (Thursday, July 27, 2006, 10:00 AM - 1:56 PM, 4:30 PM - 5:05 PM; Saturday, July 29, 2006, 10:50 AM - 11:33 AM; Sunday, July 30, 2006, 5:00 PM - 6:27 PM; Monday, July 31, 2006, 10:00 PM - 10:47 PM; Tuesday, August 8, 2006, 11:50 AM - 12:28 PM)

Well, here we are: "Quest For the Potion of Power". I've been both looking forward to and dreading doing this review - as if you couldn't tell from the date/time stamps (okay, that's mostly due to my hard drive going bad, and so I had to get it replaced and then reinstall/recopy/redownload a lot of what I'd lost).

Why the dread, you ask? Well, "Quest For the Potion of Power" has the general perception of being the greatest Captain N episode ever. It, after all, teamed Captain N with Link and Zelda. Years ago, I ran favorite episode polls on my site. "Quest For the Potion of Power" led in the Season 2 poll. To use an analogy, "Quest For the Potion of Power" is to Captain N what "Symphony of the Night" is to the Castlevania series. It's a daunting task to ignore the hype and legendary status and review the episode for what it is, but I'm finally going to do so.

The episode starts off good, and it makes reference to Zelda II's story of Ganon's minions plotting his return. What's missing is the main plot of Link waking the original Princess Zelda from an eternal sleep by re-uniting the Triforce.

Why is Tetris music playing in this episode? It has nothing to do with Tetris. Maybe it's because the Game Boy was packaged with the game?

We get our first (fuzzy) look at Captain N's version of Princess Zelda, and I love the redesign. She looks like a slightly older version of the Zelda cartoon series' Zelda. Her hair is a darker shade of blonde. They also got Cynthia Preston to reprise her role from the Zelda cartoon series, which is a very nice touch.

How does Kevin recognize Zelda? Presumably, all that he had to go on prior to seeing her was the game sprite. Since Lana knows Zelda, maybe she has a picture of Zelda in the Palace of Power, and Kevin saw it?

Kevin leaves Duke behind to help Lana? What about Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Simon? Okay, not Simon, but Mega Man and Kid Icarus. Not that I'm complaining that Kevin leaves Duke behind. I just wish he'd leave Gameboy behind as well.

Oh, well. At least the writer ditched most of the N Team. I wish Lana'd go to Hyrule as well.

We get our first look at Captain N's version of Link, and I love the redesign. He looks like an older version of the Zelda cartoon series' Link. They also got Jonathan Potts to reprise his role from the Zelda cartoon series, which is a nice touch.

How has Link heard "so much" about Kevin's "famous Zapper"? Is Captain N simply well-known throughout Videoland, or did Lana tell Zelda, who told Link?

Kevin says to Link, "The one and only, but, hey, call me Kevin. All my friends do." This is the reason that I reviewed the Captain N comic books prior to reviewing Season 2. Kevin said "Call me Kevin. All my friends do." to Samus Aran in issue #1's "Money Changes Everything". For Kevin to say nearly the exact same thing in this episode either is an amazing coincidence or means that writer Rick Merwin read the comic book series. If that's the case, then it's no wonder that this episode is so good.

This is also the reason that I wanted to review at least some of the Zelda comic books prior to reviewing this episode. Who knows what other references that Rick Merwin threw into this episode? In the end, though, I decided to review this episode first, since the comic books are a separate universe anyway.

Now, we see Zelda clearly, and I must say she's an absolute goddess.

How could Link so easily forget about Ganon? I know it's just a rumor, but it seems serious enough that Link shouldn't get distracted from it by meeting Kevin.

This whole potion thing isn't in the game at all. It looks like the writer is changing the plot.

Well, it looks like Mother Brain is looking for the Potion of Power as well. The question is: Is she the mastermind that's planning Ganon's revival (and thus leading his minions), or is she coincidentally trying to revive Ganon at the same time that his minions are planning the same thing?

Unlike in the game, Raru Town's streets are pretty much deserted in this episode. The only people around are the "I know nothing" woman and her son. Some changes to note are that the woman's appearance is different than in the game, she doesn't carry a basket of clothes in the game, and her statement of "Sorry. I know nothing." has been changed to an exclamation of "Please! I know nothing!" to reflect a sense of uneasiness. Also, the woman doesn't have a son (that we know of) in the game, and she doesn't provide a map. Another difference is that enemies (such as moblins) don't enter towns (well, at least not Raru) in the game.

I can't tell if the moblin in this scene is voiced by Len Carlson (who voiced the moblins on the Zelda cartoon series) or not. Can anyone tell?

Why does the woman say "I told you: I know nothing!" to the moblin? Does she think that Kevin, Link, Zelda (her princess), and Gameboy are working with the moblin?

Link met this particular moblin before, meaning either this moblin got away from Link before, or they're keeping the Evil Jar element from the Zelda cartoon series here.

Gameboy calls the woman "human" twice. That indicates that the people of Hyrule are humans.

When Link says "3 to 5 sounds about right", he leaves out Gameboy. Awww. Whatever. :P

Side note: A similar woman also appears in at least Ruto Town in the game.

The flying rocks aren't in the game.

I doubt Link even knows what a high school gym class is. :P

I don't know why Link stopped for a moment outside Desert Palace. Maybe the pulled muscle in his leg was bothering him?

This episode's featured song is something that I call "Can You Feel the Heat?". I've heard that it's possibly a loose parody of "The Heat Is On", mostly due to the "Oh"s and "heat"s. Can anyone confirm?

It's cute how Link gets visibly mad when Zelda kisses Kevin on the cheek. Hehe.

The golden key and the parchment aren't in the game either.

How does Link recognize Horsehead? He first meets him in Zelda II. Isn't his episode based on that game?

Kevin's line of "I just can't stand here and watch!" sounds a bit odd. Should it be "I can't just stand here and watch!"?

I wonder why Horsehead says "Prepare to meet thy fate". Maybe it's to make Hyrule seem medieval? If so, then why don't Link and Zelda talk like that as well? Not that I wish they would.

I can't tell if Link is being sarcastic or not when he says "Guess I forgot". I think he is being sarcastic, because it looks like he was going for Horsehead's head when he attacked, which means Kevin really didn't need to point it out. Of course, Link shouldn't be familiar with Horsehead at all, unless this episode takes place after Zelda II.

Kevin's line of "This place sure looks a lot creepier in person" is almost identical to his line upon seeing Castlevania for the first time in "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain". Coincidence?

It's funny how Link says "I can find the tunnel with my eyes closed" right before accidentally stepping into the tunnel. :P

Sheesh, Gameboy is so impulsive. He should wait for Kevin to finish his statement before acting. At least he found the bottle of magic. That makes up for it.

Why does Link yell at Kevin, "Move it! You're blocking my shot!"? It doesn't appear so to me.

Kevin tells Link, "And you almost blew it last time. Remember?" Correction: Link did blow it last time.

Link sounds like he's had a major revelation when he exclaims "Instead of against each other!" Big freakin' duh, Link.

Why do Link, Zelda, and Kevin wait until Gameboy returns? They should have gone after Hippo and Eggy right away. Did they need something from Simon's backpack to get across the chasm? They could have ridden on Gameboy for that.

Small Ganon looks pathetically cute. :P

It's cool that they got Len Carlson to reprise his role as Ganon.

Why is Ganon so huge at full power? I guess the Potion of Power makes the drinker very powerful.

Ganon's defeat is awesome.

Why did Kevin want Gameboy to bring the N Team to Hyrule? They did absolutely nothing.

Besides, he didn't bring Lana. Did she have more important things to do than, well, nothing?

The episode ends with Kevin and Link getting kissed (on the cheek) by Zelda. Note that this is the first time that we've seen Zelda kiss Link at all.

Lesson: Use teamwork. Don't be jealous.

So just how good is the supposed greatest of all of the Captain N episodes? Pretty darn good. It's one of my most-watched episodes of Captain N. It's better than all of the Season 2 episodes that I've reviewed so far.

Rick Merwin did a great job of introducing Link and Zelda to the Captain N series. Link and Zelda don't behave too much like they did on their own series, so I'm wondering if it was Rick Merwin's idea to use that Link and that Zelda or not. Speaking of which, there's not much to go on in this episode to determine whether these are the same Link and Zelda as in the Zelda cartoon series or not (all that we see is the courtyard of the palace), so I'll withhold my judgment for now.

This episode isn't without its flaws, though. It's unclear whether this is meant to be a replacement for or follow-up to Zelda II. There's evidence for both: the plot to revive Ganon and Link apparently knowing Horsehead. However, the plot to revive Ganon could easily be a second attempt after the attempt in the game failed, and Link could have merely been told about Horsehead but not met him before. I really can't tell what this episode was meant to be. Anyone know?

Also, assuming for the moment that this episode was meant to be an adaptation of the game, some aspects were left out, such as the first Zelda being under a sleeping spell and Ganon's minions using Link's blood to revive their master. It's a lot easier to have one Princess Zelda instead of two, so I'm glad that this change was made.

There's no appearance (or even mention) of the Triforce, which is odd. Why didn't Zelda bring it with her on the mission? Because we don't see or hear about the Triforce, we don't know how many that Zelda currently has in her possession.

Reflect is a spell in the game, not a bottle of magic.

Also, you never fight Ganon in the game. You fight Link's shadow.

As for what to cut out, I really can't think of anything this time. There really wasn't anything that seemed like filler or slowed the story down. Well, personally, I wouldn't have included the Hippo/Eggy solo scenes, but that's just so there'd be more of Zelda. :P

Overall, "Quest For the Potion of Power" is a great episode.

For those of you that are interested, this episode was split into 2 parts and used as filler in Season 3. I know some extra narration was added, but I don't know which other, if any, changes were made. That said, there are novelizations of the 2-part version on my site as well. If you want to read them, they're at http://ldloveszh.tripod.com/episodes/3quest1.html and http://ldloveszh.tripod.com/episodes/3quest2.html

If you have the 2-part version on tape, please e-mail me with any needed corrections to the novelizations.

Usefulness ratings:

Kevin: 10 (defeating a moblin, distracting the moblin, defeating the geldarm, defeating the hammer creature, pushing Link out of the way, defeating Horsehead, figuring out that they need to go to Island Palace, defeating Ironknuckle's horse, defeating Ironknuckle, putting the magic on Link's shield)
Lana: 0
Simon: 0
Mega Man: 0
Kid Icarus: 0
Duke: 0
Gameboy: 3 (defeating a moblin, defeating a moa, finding the bottle of magic)
Link: 17 (defeating 2 moblins, defeating 3 creatures, defeating 2 stalfos, defeating a moa, trapping the armored creature, finding the golden door, defeating Ironknuckle's horse, defeating Ironknuckle, having the idea to use the magic, defeating Ganon, defeating Mother Brain, defeating King Hippo, defeating Eggplant Wizard)
Zelda: 4 (defeating a moblin, defeating a moa, noticing Hippo and Eggy stealing the Potion of Power, defeating Ironknuckle)

Surprisingly (or not), Link scores higher than Kevin in this episode.

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

Kevin: 41 (5 episodes)
Lana: 8 (5 episodes)
Simon: 10 (5 episodes)
Mega Man: 14 (5 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 13 (5 episodes)
Duke: 5 (5 episodes)
Gameboy: 11 (5 episodes)
Link: 17 (1 episode)
Zelda: 4 (1 episode)

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

Kevin: 88 (18 episodes)
Lana: 17 (18 episodes)
Simon: 31 (18 episodes)
Mega Man: 31 (18 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 36 (18 episodes)
Duke: 19 (18 episodes)
Gameboy: 11 (5 episodes)
Link: 148 (14 episodes)
Zelda: 67 (14 episodes)

That's the end of my review of "Quest For the Potion of Power". This is the true halfway point of the series, since it's episode 17 of 34. In a way, I didn't want the experience of reviewing this episode to end, but I must go forward. I don't have a confirmed episode for Saturday, October 6, 1990, so I'll simply continue with the Zelda appearances and review "Having a Ball" next. See you all in my next review!

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