Episode Review

Queen of the Apes

Friday, June 16, 2006, 10:30 AM - 4:54 PM

Summary (10:31 AM - 3:42 PM)

On Kongoland, inside a palace (the word "Plentiful" is above the gate), Princess Lana is introduced by a blue-skinned man. Lana and the rest of the N Team walk over to another blue-skinned man, Prince Plenty. Price Plenty welcomes Lana. They are his guests.

On Metroid, Mother Brain is watching all of this in her mirror. She asks the mirror why Lana should be worshipped instead of her. The mirror says that Mother Brain doesn't have a body. Dr. Wily comes in with his latest invention, the brain-swapper. He demonstates it by swapping King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard's minds. Mother Brain then lists the traits that she wants in her new body, and Dr. Wily inputs them into his computer. The computer comes up with Lana. Mother Brain says that, when she transfers her brain into Lana's body, she'll be Princess of Videoland.

On Kongoland, the N Team is watching some apes or monkeys perform tricks. Donkey Kong approaches the palace. The N Team is about to go and fight him, but Prince Plenty stops them. The people of Kongoland have a ferris wheel-type device to give food to Donkey Kong. An ape/monkey moves a lever, causing the "conveyor belt" to go out of control, hurling food at Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong, enraged, tears down a wall of the palace. The N Team goes into action. Donkey Kong picks up Gameboy and walks off with him. The rest of the N Team chases after them.

Mother Brain, Hippo, and Eggy boar towards the palace, but Donkey Kong picks up MB. The brain-drainers on the brain-swapper extend and attach to Gameboy and Mother Brain. King Hippo throws a coconut to try to get Donkey Kong to drop Mother Brain, but he accidentally hits the plunger on the brain-swapper. Gameboy is now in Mother Brain's body, Donkey Kong is now in Gameboy's body, and Mother Brain is now in Donkey Kong's body. Donkey Kong escapes. MB throws Gameboy away and picks up Hippo and Eggy, seemingly angry. She was just pretending, though. She's actually happy to be in DK's body. They go off to work on getting the people of Kongoland to obey her. She says Videoland will soon be hers.

The N Team races across the water on small islands with trees. Just as Kevin thought, they work like jet skis. Lana goes to stop MB. She sends Mega Man and Kid Icarus to locate "Gameboy's brain-in-a-bottle". Simon will track down Gameboy's body. Simon's island then goes out of control, so Kevin goes with him.

MB is standing by the volcano, pounding on her chest and roaring. The people of Kongoland are watching her. Lana arrives at the palace. Prince Plenty tells her that DK can talk and is demanding tribute. Lana tells him that's not DK. Lana has a plan.

Hippo and Eggy are collecting gold and jewels from the people of Kongoland. Lana allows MB to catch her. Lana pretends to beg and plead with MB to spare the people of Kongoland. Lana "accepts defeat gracefully" but then says that MB needs a makeover, so she won't be so ugly.

Simon has his whip wrapped around Kevin's tree and allows Kevin to tow him. Simon take a break and fishes. He catches a large fish, which attracts more fish, which eat the islands. Simon, Kevin, and Duke go underwater. Kevin zaps some fish. One fish bites Simon in the rear. Kevin holds onto Simon and presses the B button on his Power Pad, causing Kevin, Simon, and Duke to move far away in a whirlpool-like manner. They exit the bottom of the water and land in the jungle. Duke spits out water. Kevin shoots water from his Zapper. Simon pulls one of the fish's teeth out of his rear.

Kid Icarus locates Gameboy and ties a vine around the bottle. Mega Man pulling Gameboy up but loses his footing, and he and Gameboy fall off of a cliff. Kid Icarus shoots his miracle grow arrow, which makes a small plant in the jungle grow tall. It catches Gameboy and Mega Man.

Kevin locates Gameboy's body with a bunch of apes. Simon demands "Gapeboy" from them. They don't listen. Simon whips away one of the male apes. DK goes to Simon. The other apes takes a liking to him. Kevin says he thinks Simon just got elected their new leader. Simon runs away with DK. The other apes chase after them. Kevin moves a small lever on his Zapper and uses his "freeze ray" to encase the apes in ice.

MB dresses up and shows herself off to Lana, Hippo, and Eggy. MB that sees Mega Man and Kid Icarus with her body. She realizes that Lana tricked her and picks up Lana. Mega Man pushes MB's body along a set of railroad tracks up to the volcano. Kevin, Simon, and Duke arrive with Gameboy's body. MB sends barrels down from the volvano. Mega Man destroys barrels. Kid Icarus shoots barrels. Kevin dodges barrels. Simon whips barrels. Duke jumps over barrels. MB says she's going to put her brain in Lana's body. MB picks up the railroad track and launches her body into the air. Simon tries to grab the brain-swapper with his whip, but MB dangles him like a yo-yo. DK comes to Simon's rescue. Lana climbs out of MB's hand, grabs a giant flower decoration, and falls to the ground. Kevin catches her. The brain-drainers automatically extend and attach to DK and MB. DK presses the plungers. MB,DK, and Gameboy's minds are swapped back to their proper bodies. DK drops MB. MB lands on the railroad track and speeds off, launching into the air. Hippo and Eggy get in a small railcar and chase after her. launching into the air as well. The apes come and carry Simon away. Kevin doesn't think they'll hurt him, so he lets them go.

Misc. Tidbits (10:51 AM - 10:54 AM)

The episode was written by Sean Roche & David Ehrman.

The episode originally aired on Saturday, September 22, 1990, as the third episode of Season 2 and the sixteenth episode of the series.

Title pun: King of the Apes.

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

Interesting Notes (10:54 AM - 3:29 PM)

The title is white with no quotes.

Kevin's Zapper beams are blue in this episode.

Kevin's weapons don't lose power in this episode - but he does recharge them just in case.

Kevin's Zapper has a freeze ray that shoots out ice cubes. It's accessed by moving a small lever on the left side up 2 positions. The bottom position seems to be the standard Zapper setting. A small blue light comes on by the lever when the Zapper is set on freeze ray.

Kongoland has a hot climate - at least in this episode.

Great Lines (10:47 AM - 3:43 PM)

Kevin: "Boy, it must be great to have people falling at your feet like that."
Simon: "Yes,...it is."
Lana: "There's more to being a ruler than that, Simon."
Simon: "There is?"

Mother Brain: "Metroid mirror on the wall, who's the baddest brain of all?"
Mirror: "You're big. You're bad. You're smart. That's true, but, without a body, who gives a boo?"

Kevin: "Uh, I better go with Simon. Are you gonna be okay on your own, Lana?"
Lana: "Of course, Kevin. I know how to deal with Mother Brain."

Lana: "That's not Donkey Kong. It's Mother Brain. Uh, I mean it's Mother Kong."

(pulling a giant tooth out of his rear)
Simon: "You know, sometimes, this hero job is a real pair in the rear."

Kid Icarus: "Oh, I hope my miracle grow arrow is in season."

Simon: "Unhand that Gapeboy, you walking toupee!"

Kevin: "Uh, nice work, Simon. Now, maybe you'd better try plan b."

(after Kevin catches her)
Lana: "Oh, thanks, kind sir."
Kevin: "I always knew you'd fall for me someday."

Mother Brain: "Help! Someone stop me!"
Kevin: "We already did, Mother Brain, so this time I think we'll just let you go."

Simon: "Ah, another hard day at the office, and not a hair out of place."

Dumb Lines (3:43 PM)


Rant (10:55 AM - 4:54 PM)

First, I want to explain why I'm reviewing this episode, since I said in my review of "The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers" that I'd review "Quest For the Potion of Power" next. In the time between that review and this one, I moved back to Florida, so I have access to all of the episodes again. Therefore, I decided to review this episode before I touch "Quest For the Potion of Power".

This is the first aired episode of Captain N to be written two people. You might recall that Sean Roche & David Ehrman also cowrote "I Wish I Was a Wombatman". Time to be underwhelmed.

This is another episode set on Kongoland. What's surprising here is that there is a humanoid population on Kongoland. This is the first time that we've seen them (unless you believe that Simon warped to Kongoland in "Mega Trouble For Megaland"). Where were they in all of Season 1? Where were they in "The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers"? Are they the descendants of the ancient people mentioned in that episode?

While the majority of the Kongoland natives seem to be blue, some of them are a very pale white.

Is "Plentiful" Prince Plenty's full name, or is that the name of his palace and/or kingdom? Or should I say "princedom"?

Of course, Mother Brain is watching all of this in her mirror on Metroid. What can't she watch on that thing?

Mother Brain asking her mirror a question is a nice connection to Season 1's "Nightmare On Mother Brain's Street". I guess either one or both of the writers watched that episode, or there was a description of the mirror in a writers' bible.

It's very convenient that Dr. Wily just happened to walk in with the exact invention that Mother Brain needed - without her asking him for it. But then she sounds like she was expecting it, but there was no reason for her to want it prior to a few moments earlier. The only explanation that I can think of is that a scene transition was needed and not inserted, meaning that there's supposed to be a time gap right before Dr. Wily walks in.

The brain-swapper in poorly-named. I doubt that it swaps actual brains. Swapping minds makes a bit more sense. Then there are the names of the individual parts: "brain-drainer" and "plunger". That sounds very messy.

This is a very common gag in mind-swapping plots: the people's voices are swapped, too. This makes no sense! The machine swaps minds, not vocal cords!

And just how could Eggy tell that it's "empty" in Hippo's head?

It's odd that Mother Brain calls Lana's body "inferior" just moments after calling Lana "perfect" - especially since Mother Brain has no body at all, so she shouldn't complain.

The N Team seems surprisingly enthralled by the entertainment. Maybe it's the fact that apes/monkeys are doing it, but I still wouldn't find this too exciting.

Kevin says they didn't have a "banana button on" his "Donkey Kong" game. First of all, that's odd wording. Is he talking about the arcade game? If not, then he should have said "banana icon in" or something like that. Second, that's no surprise, considering that none of this stuff is actually in "Donkey Kong". This episode was made before "Donkey Kong Country" came out, and even that game doesn't have a lot of this stuff in it.

The episode's featured song (during DK's attack on the palace) is something that I call "Having a Ball". I've been told that it's possibly a parody of "Rock This Town" by The Stray Cats. Does anyone know for sure? Then again, not every song in Season 2 is necessarily a parody of a real song. That's just an assumption that I made.

Wow. Gameboy and his mighty digital fist do absolutely nothing useful during the attack.

Why does it take the N Team a while to reach the first depression caused by Donkey Kong's foot? Shouldn't there be even more of them closer to the palace?

How exactly is MB riding on the water? Does she have a boat conversion as well?

How do the brain-drainers (there are more than one?) automatically extend from the brain-swapper?

Needless to say, the people involved in the mind swap also swap voices. What's even stupider, though, is that Gameboy's circuitry transfers to inside Mother Brain's jar! It also seemingly enlarges. No. Just...no.

How could DK function in Gameboy's body without circuitry, anyway? I guess the writer and/or artist had it (somewhat) in mind, because Gameboy's screen is black when DK inhabits his body. It still doesn't make sense, though.

I love how MB scares Hippo and Eggy by pretending to be angry. Awesome. Also, Eggy's statement of "Good-bye, cruel world" must be heard to be fully appreciated.

How can King Hippo hold onto DK's body with his boxing gloves on?

How could those trees and islands work like jet skis? That makes no sense.

Anyway, Kevin seems to be insinuating that he knows how to ride jet skis.

I find the "Mother Kong" nickname that Lana gives MB cute. =)

Lana puts on quite an act, and I love how she dares to call Mother Brain ugly. Then Lana suggests a makeover. Hehe.

It's just like Simon to take it easy. :P

What's up with those fish that eat the islands? Are they like giant piranhas or something?

Why is Tetris music playing in a Kongoland scene?

What's up with that whirlpool-like effect that's created when Kevin presses his B button? We've never seen that before.

This is one of those "Whaaat?" moments. Kevin, Simon, and Duke exit the water from the bottom and land in the jungle. That's right. The water was floating in the air. The laws of physics no lnoger apply. Then again, there are a lot of floating platforms in various NES games.

Sheesh, Gameboy's lines seem to consist of little more than not understanding things or stating the obvious.

Why are those apes dressed in clothes? That makes no sense.

For that matter, why are those apes a lot smaller than DK?

We see a close-up of Kevin's Zapper and learn of a previously unknown setting: freeze ray. Cool. =)

It's kind of cute how Mother Brain calls Lana "dearie".

I also love how Lana tries to get Hippo and Eggy to compliment MB, and they can barely do it. :P

It's odd that Kevin calls MB "Mother Kong". He shouldn't be aware of the nickname. Maybe it's just an amazing coincidence.

The part where MB sends the barrels down is a nice reference to the actual "Donkey Kong" game. I shouldn't have to type something like that in a review of an episode of a video game-themed series, but we gotta take what we can get.

It's cute how Eggy tries to roll a barrel and then accidentally gets stuck in it. :P

MB seems to remain still a bit too long, allowing Lana to escape. That's some cheap animation.

I like Lana and Kevin's little conversation when Kevin catches Lana. =)

Of course, the brain-drainers automatically extend again with no explanation.

How does DK know to push the plunger? Is it just dumb luck?

The episode ends on humorous note with Simon being carried away by the apes.

Lesson: Looks aren't everything? Beats me.

You might notice that there are no dumb lines. That means that I didn't hear anything that sounded really stupid. Most of it was just basic conversation.

So, with no dumb lines, wouldn't that mean that this episode is good? Well, not necessarily.

This episode, much like the other Kongoland episodes, isn't really based that much on the actual "Donkey Kong" game. I also don't care for the natives. It's kind of a weird retcon that Kongoland has a humanoid population. Why did the N Team never encounter them in Season 1?

The "brain-swapper" is a dumb plot device that caused some plotholes as well, further lowering the quality of the episode.

Despite Lana's take-charge attitude, I really don't care that much for this episode. It's one of my least-watched episodes of Captain N. It's better than "I Wish I Was a Wombatman", though.

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.

Overall, "Queen of the Apes" is an average episode.

Usefulness ratings:

Kevin: 6 (zapping 4 logs, freezing the apes, catching Lana)
Lana: 2 (getting a child to safety, stalling MB)
Simon: 4 (moving a falling log, getting DK, whipping 2 barrels)
Mega Man: 6 (pushing 4 logs back upright, smashing 2 barrels)
Kid Icarus: 7 (tieing the wall back together, saving Gameboy and Mega Man, shooting 4 barrels)
Duke: 1 (getting a child to safety)
Gameboy: 0 ()

Gameboy is useless in this episode.

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

Kevin: 31 (4 episodes)
Lana: 8 (4 episodes)
Simon: 10 (4 episodes)
Mega Man: 14 (4 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 13 (4 episodes)
Duke: 5 (4 episodes)
Gameboy: 8 (4 episodes)

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

Kevin: 78 (17 episodes)
Lana: 17 (17 episodes)
Simon: 31 (17 episodes)
Mega Man: 31 (17 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 36 (17 episodes)
Duke: 19 (17 episodes)
Gameboy: 8 (4 episodes)

That's the end of my review of "Queen of the Apes". We've reached the halfway point in the series. I know; I should have gotten here a long time ago. "Quest For the Potion of Power" originally aired fourth in Season 2, so I'll review that next. However, I'm going to review some of the Zelda comic book stories before that to provide some context. See you all in my next review!

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