Captain N: The Game Master (REVISITED)

My Favorite Cartoon from Age 9-12...Revisited at 40...30 years later
So it was sometime back in 1990 or 1991, I had my first Nintendo, and let me tell you, I had Nintendo FEVER back then. Loved the damn thing. And there's something I've never talked about IRL or here - but there was kinda' a reason I shifted from a Bigfoot loving, Steak Eatin' Country Boy into a crazy big haired rocker guy - and while I cite my sister's 80's record collection, looking back, there was a TV Show that kinda did it too.......Captain N: The Game Master, it pretty much piqued my pubescent interests in video games, rock music, and well...chicks - c'mon guys, don't deny it, Princess Lana is bloody hot! So with that out of the way, I was having another horrific night as a middle aged, high mileage, rocker gamer guy, dealing with my fucked up S.I. joint after a day of computer wizardry, and I had just put my entire shout factory collection + 3rd season on my PLex Media Server, and decided to binge watch the show.

While watching, there's a lot of crazy shit I never noticed, even crazier stuff that I think now that I'm a somewhat deranged and jaded 40 year old adult as opposed to a 10 year old pubescent lad. Also, being an MST3K Fan (as I kinda' got into that a short time after the Nintendo Cartoons), there's a lot of (at least I think) funny thoughts as a result of the content.

So let's dig into the series, before we begin, let's have a much better introduction than the Video Game Cartoons page gives us. However, I'll save the details until much later in the page.
Captain N: The Real History Vs. Most of Us Kids
Today's Zoomer kids can just get on google, type in whatever they want, and find the full history. So here, we'll talk the actual history, vs what it was like to be an eighties/early 90's kid getting into this stuff.

Captain N: The Game Master was originally a comic in Nintendo Power pitched by Nintendo staff Member and Magazine Editor Randy Studdard - called "Captain Nintendo". The original plot was Captain N was a Nintendo employee and Motherbrain was a piece of code from a Nintendo game cartridge that basically went Rogue. Captain N could give life to other Nintendo characters to help him in wrangling this rogue software code (Motherbrain) in his adventures. Essentially Captain N was originally a programmer leveraging his programming ability to create characters to fight Motherbrain.

There was to be a Sequel but Nintendo of America had other ideas - make a Cartoon series about it. One of the most popular things in the eighties to do, if you had a winning toy product - which let's face it, video games ARE toys - it's just their age group has expanded. Anyway, NOA, decided not to credit Randy's idea, nor compensate him for his creation. They hired DIC Entertainment as the production company, who changed between three different Animation houses over the production, starting with a Korean one heavily used in the 80's for the first season, one in Japan for the second season, and then a cheaper Korean animation studio in the third. Music was provided by Saban and focused on that whole late 80's "synthpop/rock" genre of music, including re-composed versions of famous NES chiptunes (mostly Metroid, Megaman, Kid Icarus, and Castlevania because let's face it, those guys are members of the N-Team).

Basically, the two concepts split at this point, Captain Nintendo still being used on their hintline service with a supercomputer called "Emerald" to give game hints to players who called up their Redmond, WA call center (BTW, I used to work in the Dealer Returns section there).

The concept for the Cartoon, was that Kevin Keene, a 15 year old Teenager from Northridge California, and a very skilled Nintendo Player (and captain of the Swimteam, and furdaddy to his dog "Duke") gets sucked into his Television set while playing Punch Out and goes to a place called "Videoland" - a world inhabited entirely by NES Game characters. On the flipside, there's an "Ultimate Warp Zone" that opens every 1000 video years and a "Ancient Prophecy" was that a hero from another world (in this case Kevin) would come to Videoland's aid in times of trouble. Basically, Kevin, Duke, Princess Lana, Megaman (from the game of the same name), SImon Belmont (a sometimes considered basterdized version of the lead from the first two Castlevania NES games), Kid Icarus (actually named PIT, from the game of the same name as his in-show character) - would go on adventures in various though slightly retconned Nintendo-based worlds like "KongoLand" for Donkey Kong, or "California Games World" for California Games. The story was Motherbrain (on planet "Metroid" aka Zebes) and her two cronies "Eggplant Wizard" (from Kid Icarus) and "King Hippo" (fittingly from Punch Out) were out to take over "Videoland" and it was up to the N-Team to stop them (almost) every episode.

The "Formula" so to speak, was the classic late 80's/ealry 90's (Pre-Grunge & Gangsta-Rap era) Formula. Captain N: The Game Master, was to be more of a show aimed at kids a little too old for Super Mario Bros. Super Show, but a little too young for "Saved by the Bell". You have a young, assertive, everyman teen boy named Kevin from a cool place (a valley in california - look, California WAS a RAD Place in the 80's on back before it turned into a homeless/rich monarchy in it's popular places at least), so every kid wanted to be there and thought EVERYONE from there who was young there was some cool surfer/hippie/metalhead stereotype that used surf vernacular, played video games, and rock music. Hence the music choices. And of course, with a titular, adolescent teen boy....we got to have an equally as attractive, but strong, and presumably adolescent Teen Girl - Princess Lana - whose drop dead attractive to attract the guys, but not your average "damsel in distress" but rather a Feminist figure in the show because she can take care of herself. She was sort of like Jerrica Benton/Jem light but for video games. Then you had favorite games of the day: Mega Man who was a bit misdrawn and has a voice like a chain smoker, Simon Belmond whose an arrogant and vain vampire hunter in a pilots outfit for what reason...nobody knows! Kid Icarus aka. Pit outside the show, who appears as basically a Quasi-light-goth version of Cupid who has a bad case of short man syndrome for an episode. Kevin has a dog named Duke who is there for the "cute pet" points. And of course, the villans, Motherbrain is the matriarchal figure - reminding us of our own mothers who boss us around, and her two villans, eggplant Wizard and King Hippo who are bumbling morons and screw up her plans at every opportunity.

Back then - for you yougin's - we kids did not binge watch the shows. Captain N: The Game Master was something you found like I did. You came home from school, as a latchkey kid (I caught the tail end of that generation), got your key, came in the house, grabbed a snack, and "channel surfed" - aka, you'd sit at the TV, and change channels. We did not get "streaming" back then - we got, at best, around 16-20 channels on "Cable" - and your TV's only "software" was saving those channels so you that you could use the CHannel Up/Down buttons to flip through them in sequence. Then you change to a channel and here's this funky show about Nintendo with killer music, attractive characters, slapstick comedy, and of course, a bit of a deeper connection to the characters beyond shooting/whipping/jumping/whatever. So you sit, you watch this, and you want more. So you tune in every day after school on the Family Channel, NBC, WGN, or whatever, and watch these chronicles.

Of course, being a fan of this series was a bit of an exercise in ups and downs. The first season had some pretty big Animation guffaws including missing backgrounds in "How's Bayou" and "Once upon a Time Machine" Where kevin loses the iconic powerpad and Zapper on his belt to some piggy villan, but it turns up on his waist several times in the cartoon when it should not be there. LAter on having all the cool 80's hits removed from the 1st season episodes and replaced with the mucho overplayed "Mega Move" song in an instrumental version (an issue that also plagued Super Mario Bros. Super Show), and then of course, the atrocious, almost MST3K-able, 3rd season - Hoop De Doo Dah Day? Seriously!?!?
Season 1
Funny enough I did not watch Season 1 until AFTER I saw most of Season 2, because my first episode was "The Big Game". Season one was animated by a Korean animation studio that had a similar animation style to the old Dungeons and Dragon's Cartoon (that I discovered as a 30-something year old adult), or He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (which I never really watched). It was a good art style, but not my favorite.

Before we dig into the episodes, let's talk about the other piece, the music. Seems first, off, whatever boomer was writing the scripts for this show LOVED Bob Seger because "Shakedown" was in at least 2-3 episodes. The first season had music that was basically covers of popular songs such as aforementioned "Shakedown", Kenny Loggin's "Danger Zone" from the Top Gun soundtrack (which lead me to seek out Top Gun on my sister's tape collection playing The Secret of Monkey Island), and The Cars "Shake It Up" which I did not know was a Cars song until long AFTER I'd seen "Mega Man's Birthday". Of course, after a certain period, I think post Syndication, and for the Shout Factory DVD, all of these songs were removed and replaced with an instrumental version of "Mega Move" - which has EXCELLENT music but cringey lyrics in the lyric version I could out-do as a 12 year old guitarist. If they'd rename it something like "Mad Game" or "N-Team Theme" I could deal with it more.

Great episodes include the first one, Videolympics & Mega Trouble for Megaland, Nightmare on Motherbrain Street, In Search of the King, the Warp Dwarfs Episode (whichever one that was), and Wishful Thinking. Honestly, this whole season was pretty quality.

Kevin in Videoland - PREMISE: Kevin Keene, a 15 year old kid from Northridge, CA, gets sucked into his Television Set and turned into a video game character, and now has to face his unwitting destiny as the primary hero of Videoland, after a brief run through Metroid

So to me as a kid, seeing this, I felt there was a pretty decent script that's believable. C'mon, tell me if YOU were sucked into your TV playing video games, you would not be in utter disbelief and dealing with the idea that you might be trapped here forever, and there's a real chance you might die here. Then the pretty girl you don't recognize is rolled up into a carpet like a burrito and obsconded with by a sentient eggplant (all lewd jokes aside) and a walking poster of Obesity with a unspoken Saltpeter addiction. So of course, you're trapped here, what else are you gonna' do? Cry? Scratch at the wall and hope a warp zone opens back to your bedroom? Fuck no, you gotta' man up early - like the Iron Maiden song "Flash of the Blade" says - and get her back. Cue the most overused cover song in the series "Shakedown" by Bob Seger (yuck), though I SWEAR there was a version of this episode with "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins ( a MUCH better song).

As a grown's see. If I were to be sucked into my television at Kevin's age. I would have been fucking dead set on staying in Videoland - guaranteed. Lana would have been reason enough, but the fact I could also basically play video games in some kind of not-so-virtual-reality not-so-simulator would have been really rad (yeah, I use Cali surfer lingo, and I blame Kevin for it in part, lol). It would have made any chores in the Palace of Power worth it. Plus I'm sure their cleaning technology would not piss me off as much as everything on earth does (clogging vacuums, dollar store solvents that don't work, chepa trash bags that break - budget shit in the 90's was truly shit). C'mon, there's a vacuum cleaner in Wombatman's episode I want for my apartment - even if it sucks the rugs off the floor! However, bring me there now, I think the first six weeks would be of recruiting various members of the N-Team to stockpile powerups to make sure my aching Sacroiliac joint does not become a problem. My cat would probably keep us out of trouble more than Duke....but I am not so sure the N-Team would like all the wacky electronics mods I'd do to the power pad. Look, I'm adding turbo mode.....I wanna' see Eggplant Wizard SHIT MORE VEGITABLES DADGUMMIT!

How's Bayou - PREMISE: Motherbrain lures Duke into a Warp Zone with a Cat to trick Kevin into going to a game he could not beat, Bayou Billy, where he loses his Zapper and has to learn the ways of the Bayou from Bayou Billy himself.

As a kid, this episode was a bit of a dark horse for me of the lot. See, I lived in the deep south, and guys like Bayou Billy down there, are far and few between. Most likely you end up with Baptist John and his J-Team, J for Judgement that is. Granted, the Model T Ford is cool (but does he not have a Jeep CJ-5 in the game?).

This episode is infamous for the artists forgetting to put in the backgrounds behind their Animation Cells, as the aforementioned first screenshot for this episode shows.

As a grownup, honestly, I find these mistakes quite intriguing, and even moreso that Shout Factory would use the version missing the backgrounds (!!!). Kind of a cool piece of collector's trivia. And if it were me in this situation, more than likely I would have broken the 4th wall with the cat looking at the screen like...."hey, why are we in a river of milk all of a sudden, and not the Bayou" (animator "That's not milk....") "(taps power pad)". Also, I maybe would have inquired to Bayou where I could find a 4x4. C'mon, he's got a Model A Ford....maybe he's got a Bronco, a CJ-7, or a Explorer somewhere I can comandeer? Mabye take a warp to Bigfoot World - I know Bigfoot would stomp the Bayou, unless there's only one in this dimension (Power Team reference) and instead he's carrying a basketball player, Kuros, and a little tomato guy around. However, this episode raises a question, if Kevin never beat Bayou Billy, then how is he the "Game Master" - is there some side story about Bayou Billy's beta testing I've never heard (something simliar to Dragon Quest II/Dragon Warrior II Perhaps).

The Most Dangerous Game Master - PREMISE: Motherbrain sends Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo over as imposter TV repairmen to use a device to find KEvin's worst fear - his high school bully Mike Vincent - and then make a Android of him to torment Kevin with in Caslevania and Metroid

I remember watching this and getting pissed off - because why in the hell, of all things, did they have to name the villan MIKE!?!? If I was a character in this show - I was supposed to be sort of the "between" in my own head-cannon of Simon and Kevin. IE, Comic relief, gets hurt a lot, but sorta' just shrugs it off, has a mullet and a goatee, wears de....dammit, I'm my own self fulfilling prophecy I guess. When I die, if I go to Videoland, I'm going to really believe in manifest destiny that much is for sure.

As an adult, this was actually a pretty clever episode though I have to wonder how TV works there if they can use the RF transmissions to pull people's memories/nightmares. It's also a bit ahead of it's time to address bullying and Sentient A.I. - seriously very topical for current times - and this was in 1989. Either way, sounds like Princess Lana needs to get a Federal Communications Commission type body together for Videoland so we can try the Pickle Pooper and his Saltpeter addicted pal for tampering with the air waves. However, it is hilarious that Mike Vincent's android is capable of ALL of this, and he's running on a proprietary O/S on just enough memory to run Windows XP x86.....Dr. Wily must be one heck of a programmer to jam all that stuff of ChatGPT's wet dreams in 1GB of RAM.

Videolympics - The N-Team performs on Mount Olympicus (Kid Icarus) in the "Videolympics" - a twisted take on the real world Olympics, where Motherbrain and her minions cheat banishing everyone into the Warp Zone Oblivion in the end.

So as a kid, I used to watch the olympics and use a Crayola drafting kit to design my own cars while I watched. So then this olympics episode starts, and well, you know for a fact three things were on my pubescent mind - 1....what's Lana going to look like, 2...what events are there and how are they going to relate to video games, and 3...can we get an Atari reference on the show for once, please! Seriously, I would love to see the Videoland Ping Pong champion! That was my favorite skit of the Upright Citizen's Brigade anyhow. Anyway, loved this episode, and it was very well executed.

As an adult, first off, most of these olympic games would be easily surpasased by any one of Wily's Robot Masters, or hell, even just Mega Man after he deactivates them all. Second, Princess Lana is one badass diving champ, the bloody chick missed every single shark by feet. But hey, Videogame/cartoon logic. As for me being there, meh, I'd put together a Marching band....a Marching ROCK Band. Let's get those guys from Cubies in Season 2 together with Me and hell, if Kevin is there, have him as well. Then we'd have IRON MAIDEN in this show! Yeah, Aces High for Lana's high dive! The Lonliness of the Long Distance Runner for the Track Events! And Wrathchild for Shot Put.....just because it seems right. Who knows, I could maybe leech some power off Motherbrain for a little extra amplification - ya' know, the old Eddie Van-Halen Variac Trick - but using a Brain in a bottle! C'mon, that thing would make one fuck-off badass electrolytic capacitor! Might end the stupid war before anything began! Then we could spare ourselves the cliffhanger....

Mega Trouble for Mega Land- PREMISE: aka. Videolympics Part II. After faring the Warp Zone Oblivion (after an ultra-obvious cliffhanger ending the last episode), Kevin, Lana, and Mega Man find their way into Mega Land and basically have to play a real-time version of the "Mega Man" Game.

I remember watching this and thinking to myself "Hey, this Megaman game is pretty funny, you have a bunch of "robot masters" that are named after random stuff - Wood Man, Scratch Man, Bash Man, Crash Man, Metal Man, Zombie Man, Bubble Man, Air Man, Mail Man, Pizza Man....seriously, it sounds like that Van-Halen III song in retrospect, lol. And of course, there's Big Eye! And yeah, 10 year old me did not mind Princess Lana in gym shorts either, (manages to utter a pathetic but still somewhat effective sexy whistle).

As an adult, being as I have now played (note I did not say *beat*), all six Mega Man NES Games, It's a nice change of pace to see an actual NINTENDO GAME being portrayed in full in Captain N: The Game Master. Not Donkey Kong taking a shower, not a summer afternoon beach visit on California World, not Germ Wars in lieu of Dr. Mario - but the full on O.G. Mega Man or Mega Man 2 game, complete with Robot Masters, and Big Eye. We even get to see what happens when you DIE in Video Land in this episode - which is interesting. Which raises a few questions about age and mortality. Serioulsy, Kevin, Lana, and Mega Man all get STOMPED by Big Eye once, and respawn at the foot of the field. So apparently, whoever wrote this, did their homework! Kudos, Kudos - but no Kuros I guess. I guess I should go back to what I said about the power-ups for my SI nerve earlier in this page? YEah, I'm going to be taking so many medical herb's from Dragon's Den, I'll be hearing an Alefgard Reggae Band in my head and time will slow down for me! But seriously, I'd probably die in this situation, I SUCK at Mega Man.

Wishful Thinking - PREMISE: Kid Icarus (okay, Pit you purists) has a bad case of "short man syndrome" and finds a magic lamp that grants him his wish of turning into a King Kong sized Cherub rather than a normal sized cherub angel dude. Motherbrain and her minions (Surprise surprise) get ahold of the lamp and cause chaos and despair.

Now is Cupid's speech-impediment impaired cousin's turn to teach us lifetime morals. Yes, this go out. I remember this episode hitting kinda' close to home and bugging me, except I wanted to be older so I could friggin drive. Now I'm older, and I HATE driving - go figure. So basically the entire episode revolves around a genie that looks....uh, why does Videoland have some kind of major Saltpeter addiction crisis. Why does Princess Lana not do something about this shit? I know it's not life threatening seemingly, but nearly half the cast of villians and secondary characters have blue skin.

As an adult though, now I hate driving, and I have to wonder if I incurred brain damage hitting my head on the bus door (hey man, it was too low for me, but too high for me to realize it was too low) every day....hey, I'd trade places with you Kid Icarus, if I get your ability to fly along with it. C'mon, do you know how much this would save me in Gasoline! This guy flies like a damn Leer Jet! I already have the Archery abilities. But in all honestly, it was a good lesson, but with a bit sloppy execution. It took Kid Icarus a whole damn episode to just wish away Motherbrain's minions and let the Genie have his much needed 1001 years in the making vacation. Honestly, I would have just freed him right away....or at least after I asked him to pay off my debts.

Three Men and a Dragon - PREMISE: The Dragonlord (DRAGON WARRIOR!!!! YAY!!!) with the help of Motherbrain is turning all the dragons in "Dragons Den" evil, but a white dragon pup named "pup" pr "puff" (oh god, here we go) has har mom turn evil, and it's up to the N-team to save the dragons in Dragon's Den (c'mon, it's Friggin ALEFGARD) from hypnotics.

So I'm sure you read it before on my Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest for those of you over seas) pages that I never really got into RPGs until I was older. So of course, the entirety of this episode flew over my head, causing me to not even know if it was based on a game or not. And even if I did know, I"m sure that's quite forgivable because the screen writers are clueless to Yuji Horii's genius too. Actually, I found this episode boring.

As a Dragon Quest loving Adult though...NOW I know why. Christ, these guys FUCKED Dragon Warrior horribly! First off, it's not "Dragon's Den" it's ALEFGARD. But at least they got Castle Charlock right, except for some reason, Final Fantasy gets a real castle, Charlock gets the fantasy abstract art treatment? Hoo's for a long one....because I have a lot to say about Captain N's Treatment of Dragon Warrior....

So let's talk about MY Idea for a Dragon Warrior Episode - since I'm a "darn near expert" at the game, and this would have been circa 1989, so only the 1st game would have been in the USA.

Instead, the DragonLord would have taken the three sacred artifacts and maybe Princess Gwaelin back to castle Charlock, maybe even captured Erdrick's descendant (whose never named) in the process this time. So King Lorik calls up the N-Team to help out. So now the N-Team has to split up and ask each of the "Keepers" (the one thing they got right, the three old curmudgeons in three caves spread about Alefgard) about the fate of each item and/or who took it. They travel to Charlock to rescue the princess and Erdrick's descendant, with a mega battle with Wizards, Axe knights, Green dragons, and whatnot - most likely to the tune of "Still of the Night" by Whitesnake - I always felt Whitesnake was an excellent rock band for Dragon Warrior games - getting to the Dragonlord's level of the castle, and then Kevin having to refuse an offer from the king, and get into this huge fight with the Dragonlord in his Dragon form, with Erdrick's descendant and Gwaelin for Support. End episode with a "But Thou Must" moment ending in a wink and a twinkle in someone's eye. Maybe a good subplot is Erdrick's descendant's wedding and him getting cold feet about it.

Mr. and Ms. Motherbrain - PREMISE: Simon Belmont borrows a love arrow from Kid Icarus to shoot Princess Lana with to get her to fall in love with him. However, instead, he shoots himself on accident and looks at Motherbrain and falls in love with her. Comedy and adventure ensues.

So when I originally watched this as a kid, first off, Simon falling in love with Motherbrain is hilarious. And it still is 30 something years later. Actually, the version I saw had "White Wedding" by Billy Idol instead of the instrumental "Mega Move" music that replaced it later, which was where I first HEARD Billy Idol. YEah, Rockstars take note, Captain N is one of the reasons I bought records from you guys - from some 3/4th as good cover from a NIntendo TV show. Serious proof the music lawyers out there have not a foggy idea what they are doing with this copyright bullshit. I say keep the kick-ass covers in the show! Or better yet, use the originals.

But jaded 40 year old me would just have probably thought "eh', It's Simon, what the hell DOES he do other than stare into his mirror and whine about his hair all day - well, that and sexually harass the princess! No, seriously, Simon really walked some thin lines that Lana really knocked him off of. Then we'd just dial up Erdrick's descendant to take over his position. He's married, Kevin and Lana can court peacefully, and chances are we would not need to revisit Castlevania anymore since Simon would be keeping it inline between Tanning Bed and Hair Plug appointments.

Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street - PREMISE: Basically a Captain-N-Ized version of the Snow White Story. Lana eats a poison apple created by the Wizard MalKill (Wizards and Warriors) and falls asleep and goes to the nightmare zone, except kissing her won't wake her - but guess what does, eating an apple yourself and going to the Nightmare Zone.

So here's what I remember the most - the nightmare sequence (pictured) where Simon loses his hair and teeth after walking on stage while being watched by a crew of monsters, LOL. It's STILL Funny to this day, especially since I've had dreams of my own of this insane trajectory. While writing this section, one of the hardest parts was choosing between Lana as Snow White, or this, and well, comedy wins out.

As a 40 year old, great....just what we need - a MR FLOWER episode. Now we have a problem, not just do we have a brain in a bottle after us in the waking Video World, but now in the Nightmare realm we have Mr. Flower, and I know Mr. Flowers is not above calling Freddy Krueger - who also had his own NES Game, or maybe Mike Meyers too. Great, we get Captain N, one of my personal nightmares, and and an AVGN episode all rolled into one. Well that's just dandy. And I'm sure by now, you're asking "Who is this Mr. Flowers Guy" - oh, just my childhood self-made-up personal boogeyman created by my own demented an insane brain from an early age. He's a ghost of a dead Television repair man who died by touching the Dag on a running TV set back in the 70's. He's got a yellow ponytail, yellow eyes - including pupils, a big stark white face with a big nose that looks like dough covered in warts, and sharp teeth, and he wears a toga for some unexplained reason. He floats about 3 feet above the floor to move most of the time, and seems to be attracted to words with the letter "O" in them for some weird reason. So just what we need....Kevin, Lana, and I in a room full of TV's and this nightmare disaster is there trying to tickle us all to death...or send us to the gopher torture warp zone....okay, I'll stop, this is demented enough!

Simon the Ape Man - Simon Belmont gets a concussion and loses his identity, lots of comedy ensues, leading to and including him becoming Donkey Kong's Surrogate child for a period - until a coconut hits him on the head, curing him.

And once again we're beating up on Castlevania's arrogant Vampire Hunter once again. This time he can't seem to find his identity, and ends up as Donkey Kong's Kid. I Remember even as a kid being somewhat perterbed that they portrayed Donkey Kong as a girl here. Why? While I could totally accept a total ignorance of an 8 hour minimum playtime RPG from Japan, I can't o0n an Arcade classic that was on Atari 2600, Colecovision, ARcade, Intellivision, Atari 400/800, NES/Famicom, and everything else.

As a middle aged gamer though, I at least have to commend DIC/Saban a bit on this iteration of Donkey Kong. Honestly, if they could do him, think about how great a Mario/Captain N crossover episode would be, where we could see each set of characters in the art style of each one's games. C'mon, nothing I'd love more to see than the Captain Lou Albino voiced Mario yelling at the Monkey over the usual music they have - or maybe have Stan the Bugman if they can't use Mario.

In Search of the King - Princess Lana's father King Charles has been lost in the Mirror world - an alternate dimension inhabited by evil duplicates of things and people on the other side. The N-Team's evil mirror opposites make it to the other side and cause chaos and havoc.

As a kid, I never noticed how much this episode's animation differs from the others. Everything has a slightly brighter than usual hue, more detailed artwork, even closer to a 1980's or late 70's cartoon in style. It's almost as if they hired a different animation house for it - maybe even a Japanimation one. That said, it was kind of disturbing to see the N-Team be evil.

As an adult though, the evil N-Team is kind of ridiculous and hilarious. First off, Kevin looks like a 40 year old tweeker, Simon had an easy job, Lana - she needs a total late 70's early 80's Punk Rock redo....she sounds like Virginia Moccolino (or the lead singer for the Misfits in Jem and the HOlograms) - whose Virginia Moccolino you ask? Oh, remember a band called BERLIN - yeah, that one, Terri Nunn is the default vocalist - well in 1980, they did an album called "Information" and Terri left the band for an acting career just beforehand, so they hired Virginia to sing for them. I like Virginia, she had sort of that goofey-sweet Punk girl thing going on on the record that really fit the industrial-new-wave feel of it. Plus it was nice hearing something from Berlin that did not have to do with sex or love. But anyway - back on track. So The evil N-Team is kind of like "Jackass" about 10 years before "Jackass". I'm surprised nobody did any "Smell my fart" or "pull my finger" jokes in this one! Honestly, I would have preferred them all just to be an early 80's punk band sniffing glue and chucking razor blades around, but hey, this was a kid's show back then, what can you do?

Metroid Sweet Metroid - Motherbrain and her cronies trick the N-Team into thinking that they have "won the war" (for lack of better words). Kevin goes back to his "home" in the real world (only just now noticing he's a cartoon character), Lana lament's her implied lost love (Kevin), and the rest of the N-Team goes back to their respective worlds. In the end, Motherbrain captures everone and Kevin takes control of "Metroid" (aka. Planet Zebes) and saves the day - as usual.

I taped this later on on one of my mom's Star Trek: The Next Generation tapes as a kid, and found it one day while poking around our old VHS when I was a teenager. HOnestly, the whole Kevin not changing back from a cartoon thing slipped right by me....

But as an adult, the first thing I'd notice is that I'm looking at an animated version of my house. Secondly, I'd have to question why my mom is not yelling at me out there to stop being a lazy asshole and mow the lawn! Thirdly, I'd have to ask why Mrs. Banks was not outside grabbing Acorns off the lawn either - she did that a lot. That's three major red flags to tell me smoething is up - not when I open the door to a 1963 1 story rambler and find the Planet Zebes Network Closet inside! Then comes DRIVING Planet Zebes - apparently it's like a car - it has keys. So how did Kevin learn to drive an entire planet in like...5-10 minutes (and I'm being generous here). Whose guarding the Key anyway? Lana's Brother Prince Lyle?

Happy Birthday Megaman - It's Mega Man's Birthday and he wants to become human, so he's given a surprise quest to the Warp Zone of life to become a living creature instead of a robot. He's also given a sister/mate/I dunno called "Mega Girl" who completed the three trials before he did.

This was my introduction to "The Cars" - though I did not know it was "The Cars" until something years later. Yeah, I'm talking about the original tune in the "Pleasure Zone" - make of that what you will...until they replaced it with "Mega Move (instrumental)" again (*sighs*). Anyway, you'd think for the Warp Zone of life, they'd do something more than have a 10 foot tall Princess Lana Recolor in a Headdress....but I guess it was a sign of awesome things to come (biggrin).

As an adult though, this episode was surprisingly a real mind-fuck. I'm not being light about that either. It was a bit much to compute for a kid's show. As kid's we'd go along with it, but as an adult. FIrst off, Megaman has a counterpart called Mega Girl (who conveniently does not exist in the rest of the series, or Capcom for that matter). So what IS MEga Girl? His Sister? His Girlfriend? His Wife? People think she's Roll - which may I ask, is that that weird Esteban-lookin' blues Robot that shows up? Oh, that's Blues. Anyway, the whole episode is played out making Mega Man looking like a stubborn git refusing the logic of his friend's at their expense, only for it all to turn out to be a surprise gift ruse that his female counterpart passed years ago.

Season 2
Season 2 has my favorite animation style for the series, it switched to a Japanese animation house, and seems to share a lot of artistic cues with Anime. It also has a LOT better music than season 1 and it's ORIGINAL music. Even the "parody" tunes - save for maybe "Do the Freak" (an obvious rip of "The Monster Mash") - are damn good. Honestly, I'd LOVE to do a cover of "Frustrated" from Germ Wars - it sounds like a bizzare cross between Kenny Loggins, Loverboy, and Billy Idol - three artists I hold high regard for. Even the show's background music was updated and changed to a really cool mid-80's synthwavey type thing - honestly the best music. If only society could have locked in this point forever.

This was also where I started seeing the show, the first episode I saw was "The Big Game" so if you want to see where I got my start on this series - go there. Otherwise, I'm going to continue in Chronological Order.

We also see the new introduction where Princess Lana recites one of her diary entries I believe about being a bit skeptical about Kevin at first. But hey, Venus Terzo has a heavenly voice, so..yeah. Though I like the original theme a bit better for it's chaotic nature.

Game Boy - PREMISE: King Charles is up to his mirror world antics again, as the warp zone opens 1000 video years (how convenient) - and instead of coming home, what does he do, send the N-Team a friggin GAME BOY! Yeah, surprise. And Of course, Motherbrain and her henchmen get their hands on Game Boy and make him evil, till the N-Team saves the day yet again.

So I remember when the series looped around I started to wonder "where the hell is that flying Nintendo Game Boy that sounds like Slimer from The Real Ghostbusters!?!?". Well, here's his first episode. And he's a downright rat-bastard. Maybe if anyone asks what the risks of sentient A.I. is, I should just direct them to this Captain N: Episode. I remember actually feeling genuinely sad for Game Boy when they pulled the plug on him.

As an older guy though....I can see what they were doing. THe NOA People came by and probably asked DIC/Saban to add their latest portable product to the show somehow. Honestly, I think something more like "Synergy" from Jem would have been better than a floating computer unit that behaves like an 8 year old boy from an abusive household. That said, I think they eventually did get ahold on Game Boy's character and start leveraging him a little better.

Queen of the Apes - PREMISE: PRince Plenty is giving the N-Team a guided tour of Congoland, and Motherbrain interferes with a brain switching machine made by Dr. Wiley to take over Princess Lana's body. The end result is a mixup of brains between Motherbrain, Game Boy, and Donkey Kong.

One of my favorite episodes as a kid. This is the one where the N-Team rides on little islands with palm trees like Jet Skis. It's also hiliarious seeing Motherbrain as Donkey Kong complete with fruit basket on head. Lana parasails with a flower from MOtherkong's outfit, they at least TRIED with Game Boy's motherboard in Motherbrain's bottle. Basically, the plot is Princess Lana is Mr. Magoo, and Motherbrain and that Brain swapping machine Dr. Wiley made are the traffic, construction sites, and other dangerous crap she unwittingly avoids.

AS a grownup, it's still funny. We have a Game Boy in a bottle (cue Jim Croche), Motherbrain looking like a cross between King Kong and the Chaquita Banana lady. Also, we get JET SKIS - yeah, apparently landmasses in Kongoland work like a SKidoo.

Quest for the Potion of Power - PREMISE: Link makes his first appearance in this episode with Princess Zelda, and Kevin joins them to assist. They are trying to stop Gannon from being revived, and of course, Motherbrain is behind it, Gannon betrays Motherbrain, and Link learns he does not need to be the badass all the damn time.

I NEVER got to watch the original Legend of Zelda. I have theories - looking back - that the local Alabama TV stations would not play certain stuff. They probably thought Zelda was about Witchcraft. And that sucked because I REALLY REALLY REALLY liked The Legend of Zelda, it's the very game that made me want an NES in the first place. But here, it seems we catch up to Link a few years later who reminds me of Trent Reznor for some reason, while Princess Zelda is the somewhat cranky priss Girlfriend.

As a grownup, Link is a downright ass. Seriously, this guy is a big hero, he seems so much more humble on the game carts, but my god, send in some teenager from california and he loses his shit. I get that Link is insecure. Also, does anyone think Link sounds like Trent Reznor? Seriously, I'd like to hear this guy go full Industrial on Gannon complete with "Head Like a Hole". So while Letterman Surf Kid and Trent Reznor fight and argue, Princess Zelda has to play the matriarchal girlfriend she is and keep her insecure boyfriend and his cocky co-pilot in order. Seriously, just replace "Hyrule" with "Dive Bar" and replace "warrior" with "Lead Guitarist" and you get an average night with me at the average gig with an average band on the bill scared of my guitar abilities, and me starting to be cocky because I'm tired of being nice. YEah, your Les Paul DOES Suck - because you don't get it setup dude!

The Trouble with Tetris - PREMISE: The N-Team goes to Tetris World, and of course, Motherbrain is there causing havoc. Also living there is Lana's dorky brother Lyle who has self-esteem issues. However, after the N-team boost Lyles self esteem, he gains mega confidence and his sister believe's he's still too irrisponsible to take over for dad. Meanwhile, due to his lackluster job protecting the Sacred Square that glues Tetris World together - Motherbrain get's it and of course tears the place apart.

While I loved the atmosphere as a kid - I was really really really uncomfortable with this episode because here we had a bespectacled, dorky, brother - of the chick on the show...oh who am I foolin', yeah, Lana in my mind (okay, okay, still is), but good god, I felt like I was just like a younger version of her brother. Low Self-Esteem, nerdy, had big glasses, squeaky voice, and of course, when I DID get the rare bout of confidence, everyone felt I was too young or too irresponsible for blah blah blah. So yeah, I have a love/hate relationship with this episode. To make it worse, the most stickout thing in my mind was the goddamn Frankie Valley style song....I HATE FRANKIE VALLEY! The guy sings "Walk Like a Man, Talk Like a Man" but sing's it like a woman! Which is bad enough without someone who sounds even dorkier doing a half-ass parody of the song. But I guess it was alright because they had some better songs later on.

And being 30 years old does not help either. Frankie Valley was bad enough as a kid. Seriously, one of Gallaghers best jokes "Sings Walk like a Man, Talk Like A Man - but sings it like a woman!". Now pile on this dork, though I'm not at all like Lyle anymore, I'm more like Lana's Jaded newphew Rick, who ran off to Alefgard to get drunk and hook up with the Puff Puff Spa Girl in Kol on the weekends. But I digress...we have a planet where everything is held together by a key shaped like a bunch of Tetris Blocks were left in the Opelika Parks and Rec Center suburban in July and it melted together while we were in the Fernbank Museum! So of course, everything is square, the car's wheels - Kevin asked a legitimate question. That's when I realized, Tetris World is a parody of 1950's Americana. They had all these stupid, uneducated ideas back then, like smoking is GOOD for you, that you will lose tummy fat by a machine that pulls a dish towel around your waist, that the President is always right, that your mom and dad are always right....seriously, maybe instead of "Nooow your a maan, we all understaaaand...." we shoulda' had DEVO play on this (BTW, Mark Mothersbaugh did work for Captain N IIRC at some point). C'mon, I wouled have LOVED to have seen "Blockhead" live at Cubies! And it would have made more sense "Cube Top....Squared Off....Eight Corners...90 Degree Angles...Flat Top....BLOCKHEAD!!!" - and it would have rocked HARDER!

The Big Game - PREMISE: Dr. Wiley creates a "warp Zone Shifter" that is powered by "competition energy", and lures the N-Team to California World (CALIFORNIA GAMES) where they warp in Kevin's high school athlete and cheerleader teams from the real world, and have a life or death game of Football.

So THIS was the episode that got me into Captain N: The Game Master first. See, I was one of the last "Latchkey Kids" in the world. I came home every day from school at 4:30-5:00p, and had about 30min-hour or two for my Medical Technologist mom to get home (she was still 1st shift at the time). I'd get the key from the shed, go inside, grab some chips, and watch TV for awhile. But this was during a time when the Disney Afternoon had shifted, and I was flipping the stations, then I landed on The Family Channel, Channel 11 it was - yes, I remember, and here's this cartoon with a bunch of cute girls, football jocks, robots, a brain in a bottle....and tons of slapstick comedy, puns, and goofey-ass-humor, and cheesy beyond all getout. See, my liking for Cheesy 80's movies, 80's music, and 80's fashion in general, comes from this show. Princess Lana, for the longest time, was my "type" - super long hair, big eyes, thick lips....and the kind of chick who would fight along side you, not cower in the corner like a damsel in distress. And there's a hot blonde too!!!! And my god, I just loved everything, the neon Cali vibe, the music, the plot!

As a 40 year old man though....I'm laying on this green velvet couch with Sacroiliac Joint pain for the span of about 5 days. I've lost SOME appetite, and I'm laying here binge watching Captain N: The Game Master on Plex during New Years because it seems like a fun thing to do to keep my mind off of it. So this episode raises some questions for me. First off, if Wiley created a Warp Zone shifter that can bring Kevin's classmates over, then why in the HELL didn't Lana have the foresight to steal Dr. Wiley's blueprints while she was in there? Maybe get Dr. Wright/Light to hack into Wiley's system and snag them! I mean, this could allow Kevin to keep up appearances at home while he's out saving Video Land, and then Princess Lana could become his real regular girl next door relationship in Real Life - just get King Charles on the phone! So many open doors here and missed opportunities. No wonder they needed Kevin! Lana does not know how to fight dirty apparently. And one way to fight dirty, is to snag the blueprints of the enemy's technology - a Reconnisance mission if you will - and then make a better version of it that can also be leveraged for Civilian purposes. C'mon, I want to go to Videoland and take a vacation in Izmit Village - I could play a concert there with Rashidicus (and make Kid Icarus try to pronounce his namicus...hehehehehe), that and maybe nap around the fountain when I can't afford Inn fare! I wonder what a Demon Tree would do as a guitar neck? C'mon, why go to Venice beach when I could go to California Games World and avoid the infamous Poop Man!

THe Lost City of Kongoland - PREMISE: Princess Lana gets some doubt in her abilities as a ruler during a cow dispute, and Motherbrain and her cronies are thinking about stealing the lost treasure of Konga - a Football Helmet Indian Head-Dress possessed by the evil spirit of one called Konga. So Lana and Simon go off to find this head-dress to destroy it before Motherbrain gets it, but during the expected battle sequence, the head-dress just happens to land on Lana and create one of the most amusingly badass episodes IMHO.

Remember what I said in that I now have a working theory that Alabama did not play all of the episodes....well....I think this was the "lostest" of them all. Because I Never saw this till I got the Shout Factory DVD in the 2010's. And I remember seeing this episode and thinking "Holy Crap - this is awesome" - an entire episode of Princess Lana on a possessed Rampage! Shooting lasers from her eyes, wrapping up everyone - good and bad - in vines. I mean, even now as a 40 year old man, jeesus, Lana scores some MEGA points with me on this, not that it matters, my WIFE fits that bill even better. Ol' steel toe wifey, Princess Lana, Princess Zelda, and then Bigfoot from Video Power would make a killer version of Charlie's Angels!

At 40, it's still awesome to see Lana kicking ass using nature. This was like her Ferngully moment! More like Ferngully meets Cannibal Ferox. Granted her and Simon lose points for bumbling idiocy when they spy the treasure right before them. Seriously, this is Videoland, the land where you can make a Sentient A.I. powered lifelike Humanoid with the specs of a Windows XP PC circa 2001, but somehow nobody has anything there like Google Maps? Still one of the more awesome episodes in my mind.

Once Upon a Time Machine - PREMISE: Zelda, Lana, Link, and Kevin are having a PIcnic in Hyrule while they get invaded by bugs. Kevin, being a idiot showoff on Simon's level this episode, throws his powerpad and Zapper off to the side for a moment to show off, and some ginormous piggy steals it with his wolf buddy. THis leads to him going on a wild time traveling adventure with Pero the cat from the game Puss in Boots: Pero's Great Adventure.

I used to be bored of this as a kid. Some of it was the fact that the entire episode was just Link, Kevin, and let's see how it held up as an adult.

As a grown up though, Pero is sort of a chaotic neutral character in this. He wants to get wherever the hell he's going to (I'm not even sure he's sure where he's going), but he's willing to help two tagalongs get their weapons back. Honestly Dr. Gary Gary and Big Fat Piggy guy who reminds me of the pig-man from the Silverchair "Tomorrow" video, lol. He would have been a great villan to have, and my angry anti-hipsterisms make me despise him even more. Seriously, all he needs to look like a Millennial besides the tophat and outfit, is a monocole, sideburns, a huge Fidel Castro beard, and a bottle of PBR or Microbrew he spent his whole paycheck on! Oh yeah, and maybe a full body Naruto tattoo.

The Feud of Faxanadu - PREMISE: The N-Team are having a competitive football game that splits them up (with Lana being the only voice of reason this episode). They end up in Faxanadu after a mistake blows up the football field or something, and get caught in a fued between King Melvin and the Elves, and The Dwarf Queen and her Dwarf subjects - in an unwitting play of the cards where everyone is playing into the hands of a greater evil Nightmare Fuel.

This is another one that did not play as often IIRC, so I don't have big memories of it as a kid, maybe it was the Queen (more on that later), or that bloody nightmare fuel uh...uh...uh....whatever the hell that demonic looking nightmare hell-beast is that plagues the end of the episode with all the elementals of mother nature.

Rewatching this at 40 though. Well first off....Lana is the only person in the whole episode not acting like a total choad. Actually, it's kind of cute she got that sports whistle out as if that's going to do some kind of pastel princess Traffic Cop. But that said, she's the only logical character in the whole episode. Simon is a total dickwad (as usual), Kevin is unusually bastard-ish, and the other members follow suit. The whole episode is basically about the very thing happening in our country right now - the Elves and Dwarves are basically mud slinging at each other (kind of like the Democrats and Republicans right now) all because they want some elemental necklace that sounds like something from Wizards and Warriors more than it does Faxanadu! Meanwhile, this evil nightmare fuel villan - probably the scariest villan they had on Captain N besides Gannon - we'll call him "Blackwater" - so Blackwater wants the necklace for himself, and is pitting the two sides against each other to keep them from getting the necklace, amulet, or whatever the fuck this Amethyst Ceiling Fan of Elementals is. So of course in the end, everyone joins forces to fight Blackwater, the necklace is lost in a ravine, and then the Dawrf Queen and King Melvis - who looks like Elvis after eating a 50 gallon drum of Saltpeter - continue to fling nature's pie filling at each other at the end. That said, am I a fucked up person to say that the Dwarf Queen is pretty nice looking too...she be thic! Even if she looks like a Turquoise Barbara Streisand....hahaha....hey call Southpark, and let's revoice Mega Man with Ned's voice thingy while we're at it... Bah bud aaaa....bah bud aaaa...."Nmmmmm..this is Mega Terrifyin'".....

Having a Ball - The N-Team (sans Kevin of course) are missing the "good ole days" when they had lavish parties at the hands of Lana's lost father. So they decide to have a huge party inviting everyone from Hyrule, complete with rock bands, old-school ballroom dancing, and whatnot. However, Motherbrain fired her two goons (Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo) and now they are off on their own to take over the Triforce while Motherbrain replaces them with Gannon's henchmen.

I remember seeing this one a lot. What stood out in my mind was the scene with Kevin rocking out on a crazy looking guitar with the band from "The Trouble with Tetris" (Man, maybe I should build one of those, along with the Bonnie Flying-V and Guitari 2600, this'd be sick). Another standout was Zelda passing out at a party, something I've had a few times too many in my adult life so it does not hit that hard, and of course, Eggplant Wizard Can Canning with a bunch of leggy tomatos...LOL.

But as an adult, it just feels tiring to watch, sort of like hearing Xmas is right around the corner, or New Years. Seriously, parties are fun when you are YOUNG because the outlay does not feel like much. But once you get older, and more experienced, the things you try to do get classier and loftier. Lucky fo the N-Team, they probably have a whole armada of palace gardeners, caterers, chefs, and whatnot. For me though, it's just me and the wife scrambling about the kitchen trying to make more food than we'll ever eat for the people that show up and I have to scare out of the medicine cabinet! Nah, if I were there, I'd sit this one out, maybe I'd guard the front door of the palace all evening.

The Trojan Dragon - PREMISE: The Dragonlord (Dragon Warrior) is using a potion to hatch a golden dragon and raise it to full power to take over Dragon's Den. To stop them, the N-Team, enlisting Link and Zelda of HYrule (The Legend of Zelda) to help, sneak into Dragon's Den in a "Trojan Dragon" - hence the title, to stop the Dragonlord.

Again, we have a Dragon Warrior episode that I would have probably hated had I gotten into the game. I must say, I HATED The song this go out! It was like some kind of weirdo Harry Belefonte meets whoever that choral band that sang the Small Wonder theme that I just don't like the style of. Still don't, but it's more tolerable (plus I've grown into the "Harry Belefonte" age - in limited quantities of course). However, the way Dragonlord says "The Bottle" at one point always made me laugh.

But looking back this was a DUMB episode. First off, this was 1990 - Dragon Warrior II was coming out. Could we not have had a better plot? Something like, the Prince of Cannock fell into the Spring of Bravery? Or maybe Lana gets turned into a dog and they have to find the Mirror of Ra to save her? C'mon, there's so friggin much they could have done with Dragon Warrior by this point! Have to fight Hargon after losing a game show at the shrine in Rhone? I mean, c'mon, Dragon warrior II is such a huge game. So much opportunity wasted. instead, we get another Link/Captain N crossover with a dumb Trojan Horse idea. Why not work with Link to find the Eye of Malroth instead? Jeepers Creepers. I could have written a beter episode. Maybe "Dont Turn Away" from Whitesnake, or the Saban crew's cover "Turn Your Eyes to Me" complete with mock John Sykes guitar solo.

I Wish I was Wombatman - PREMISE: Kid Icarus goes to Wombatman's studio to meet his hero - Wombatman (an obvious parody of Batman). Turns out, Wombatman is being manipulated behind the scenes by Motherbrain to take down the N-Team, and she's using his lack of self confidence due to his age as leverage (as well as his foxy wife....(looks sideways)...Nikki? Anyway. A bunch of dissappointing shit happens around Wombatman and of course, he has to get his confidence back to save the day.

As a kid, all this episode did was made me think how much I did not want to meet my heroes at the time secretly - because I was afraid they'd turn out like this.

Rewatching it as an adult at 40 though makes me see some of myself in Wombatman. And that kinda' makes me sad. But the truth of the matter is, there's a deeper story being told here, one about the ENTERTAINMENT Biz. I have to wonder if someone at DIC/Saban/Nintendo was feeling the heat of manipulation in the business, and decided to express it through a cartoon.

The Invasion of the Paper Peddlers - PREMISE: On News World (Paperboy), Julius (pronounced - Hoo-lee-oh), is a young boy skipping school to run his paper route and protect his family from the "News Zombies". What are the "News Zombies" you ask? Well, Motherbrain is up to her craziness again, this time using special ink to hypnotize people to work for her and do her bidding. Also works with appliances, cars, outdoor power equipment, and all the other zany crap. So the N-Team has to go to Kongoland to find the anecdote ink, and Lana teaches Julius to read because he's been skipping school so much, he's illiterate.

This was another favorite of mine as a kid. Especially since I liked Paperboy (though I'm terrible at it and never owned the cartridge - I've only played it on random ROMs). It was a tad fun to watch the N-Team in a fairly normal suburban setting with old geezers on the block who can't drive (mr. Lopez) and mom making chocolate chip cookies for the questionable ragtag of weirdoes you just dragged in from around the block - most of which are at least 1.5x your age. Also, Eggplant Wizard enabling a Lawn Mower for chaos with ink is the kind of thing that put a twinkle in my 10 year old eye.

As a grownup, it makes me long for the dream we all had as kids that if we worked hard, put our nose to the grindstone, saved our money, and made good choices in life, we would be successful enough for a REAL house with a mortgage.

Germ Wars - PREMISE: Kevin contracts a Video Virus, and in a mock of the movie "Inner Space" Kid Icarus, Lana, and Simon shrink down and go inside Kevin's body to fight blue versions of himself.

For some reason, Alabama television played Germ Wars AFTER The Big Game. I think the Syndication allowed for some creative freedom in the sequence of the episodes. Anyway, I had this on tape after The Big Game. As a Kid, I LOVED the vibe of this episode, I dunno why either, I never had a medical inclination (though I work in close approximation TO that field), but the vibe on it was great, and I really think this is where Captain N's Artwork peaked. It's ALL Downhill from here. EVERYONE looks their best in this episode. Shame they could not have continued with the same animation house after this (but we'll talk about my crazy fan guy ideas for this series later).

At 40, what do I have to say? Well, it's still one of the best drawn episodes in the entire series. It's also kind of like an anatomy class as we get to watch the N-team run from Kevin's digestive tract, fight with his fat cells, and stay out of his heart. But it is a little more boring than the other episodes and a bit less as humorous. And the trope at the end about family hits a raw note for some of us who have reached a point of realizing our families were not all that the 1990's TV propeganda tried to teach us that it was cracked up to be.

When Mother Brain Rules (RARE) - PREMISE: A gloom and bleak look at Motherbrain overrunning the Palace of Power and taking over Videoland in the form of a very strange, amost bootleggy "Clip Show". With an odd narrator and a rather arrogant midsection of Simon Belmont dissing Kevin - it's almost surreal to watch. There's also TWO versions of this clip show.

So this was another one I've never seen before - actually, not until now. I'd HEARD about it, it's not on the Should Factory DVD (niether is Season 3 BTW). It seems like NBC's N-Team dudes had a Christmas vacation and the only person in the building besides an editor was Simon Belmont's voice actor, as the only original lines were in the middle with Simon Belmont going on an egomaniacal rampage about how he's the REAL hero.

The whole vibe of this episode is VERY strange - even for something I like to watch. Basically, it's all the old Season 1 and 2 episodes with all the wacky music turned up and all the voices turned down/off. It's supposed to be like a clip show, but it's more like a YouTube Poop Creepypasta more than it is a legit Captain N Episode. And why are we focusing on Simon here anyway? There's actually tWO versions, the earlier, creepier version cut for NBC, and the later edited version made a little brighter and the voices reinstated, making it feel more like a regular episode.

Season 3
And den' jumped de' shark! DIC/Saban moved to a cheaper Korean arthouse to save money, episodes were cut down to fifteen minutes, and that guy from the Maniac Mansion TV show obviously was not writing episodes anymore.

The characters look flat and 2 dimensional. Jeesus, poor Lana, what the hell did they do to you? And all the episodes are 15 minutes long and so cringey it's worthy of a MST3K Short - especially the "Hoo-De-Do-Dah-Day" episode - seriously. This was maybe the only time in Captain N we would visit "sports" games, which is ridiculous. But ya' see, the times, they were-a changin. When Captain N started, it was still the eighties, the mullet-haired California valley-kid thing was still cool, 80's rock was still cool to the lamestream.

The entire series this go out was a mixed bag though, of flat animation, one terrible original song done in a stylie I'd normally like, some pretty weird characters, an odd absense of motherbrain in all but one episode. It's like the series just sorta went flaccid and then died on the operating table before it could reach a 4th Season. But that's just fine, the NES was on it's way out, and the SNES was the hot new Nintendo thing to have. This whole style of cartoon was giving way to Pokemon and Power Rangers by then.

Misadventure in Robin Hood Woods - PREMISE: After an adventure in Dragon's Den (Dragon Warrior - I woulda' much rather have seen that), Kevin and Kid Icarus find themselves in the non-videogame town of Nottingham, and of course, we get to watch a Captain N-ized version of the story of Robin Hood.

As a kid, I was rather dissappointed in season 3. The animation was flat, it really did feel cheaper than the previous two in the series. But I also knew in 1992, that the writing was on the wall for Captain N: The GAme Master - the Super Nintendo had come out. See, Captain N: The Game Master, started in a time when your average teenaged gamer listened to Winger, Warrant, Whitesnake, Def Leppard, and Bon Jovi, and was predominantly male, liked women with big, long hair (points at Lana), letterman jackets and acid washed jeans in slim cut were in, as was the mullet, and the Nintendo Entertainment System was the hottest thing on earth to a kid. But by 1992, Grunge Rock and Gangsta Rap were big, as was bowl cuts, hip hop, house, and funky rock. The NES was now the old system you gave your little brother or sister, and the SNES was the hot new thing. I hated it but life goes on.

But looking at it today, it's plain to see that I think they were trying to pull from the "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" video game without having to pay double royalties. Around 1991-1992, there were TWO Robin Hood movies - Mel Brooks Robin Hood Men in Tights - which is a favorite of mine, and then the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves with Bryan Adams on the soundtrack. TBH, I kinda' like the whole Merry Men look for Kevin. Maybe he should have stuck with it and invited the Gummi Bears to assist on the show. Plus I would not have minded seeing Lana in Rennessance garb.

Pursuit of the Magic Hoop - PREMISE: On the wacky world of Hoopland, it's the holiday of "Hoop De Doo Dah Day" (facepalms, then laughs uncontrollably), and some kid named "Hoopless" has made a robot to make the shot into the Magic Hoop to make his dreams come true. The N-Team is there - well, Kevin and Lana at least, to try and get her fatherback from the mirror world yet again, this time using the Magic Hoop. Larry Bird makes a celebrity guest appearance.

More like Pursuit of the Magic Poop! That was my thought as a kid. Oh god, Lana, what did they do to you!?!? It seemed they tried to modernize her a little bit. But what's even more cheesy is this short Steve Urkel look alike and his tempermental robot called "Rebound". I remember watching this and being disgusted with the whole thing, the worst of which was the goddamn holiday - I mean Hoop De Doo Dah Day!?!?!? Seriously!?!? This was obviously written by a boomer over 40 in 1991. Seriously, they could have just gone to Coffee Land on Poop-De-Doo-Doo-Day and try and land a big fat an' stinky #2 in the magic golden toilet so they would get their wish instead, it would have been just as ridiculous.

Return to Castlevania - PREMISE: Simon Belmont and Kevin go to Castlevania to clear the name of his great grandfather Trevor Belmont from Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (also the lead from the new Netflix Castlevania series season 2) - with the help of Dracula's son, Alucard of course.

As a kid, it was nice to finally figure out that Castlevania III was a legit thing, and not have to wait 30 years for the Netflix series to do so (which is far better than this). Whate we have is an episode with a goofey looking Dracula and his weirdo Son Alucard who looks like a lost Flock of Seagulls Bandmember. It still raised more questions than it answered though.

Watching it now, it just feels like misguided Boomer writes a story about a kid who in school in the early 1990's would have been called a ....lot of interesting names... for having a Flock of Seagulls Haircut. Seriously, if you want a GOOD Castlevania experience, the Netflix show is way better, and Alucard is a blond haired badass in that show with the same kind of lone wolf tendencies I tend to have.

Totally Tetrisized - A Puzzlemaster is running amok in Tetris World, turning all of the people in Tetris World into blocks. Mayor Squaresly sends a message to the N-Team about Lyle, raising his sister Lana's concern for him, leading them there and to defeating the Puzzle Master to save Tetris World.

I think I caught this one in the middle once back in the day and remember being put off big time by the poor animation. It was a bit of a weird episode and I did not remember too much of it to be honest.

Watching it at 40, I can appreciate that there are parts of this episode that are a little better than "The Trouble with Tetris" - probablyh because Lyle is in there for minute of the whole 15 minute episode, and he's not being a whiny little bitch here either, and there's no horrid Frankie Valley parody.

A Tale of two Dogs - Dr. Wily and Dr. Wright try to make a Peacekeeping Robot together, but Dr. Wily is using it as a ruse to take over Megaland. The result is Megaman's Dog Rush and Kevin's dog Duke working together with their respective pet owners to save MEgaland.

Possibly was my favorite of season three, mostly due to the Robo Bees. Surprising since a lot of my episodes - for a little while at least - depened on how much we had Princess Lana looking into the camera, and she's nowhere to be found in this one.

Battle of the Baseball Know It Alls - PREMISE: Bo Jackson and the N-Team end up in the basement of Baseball World while playing a game of baseball.

I hardly remembered much about this episode because I only saw it once or twice. HOnestly, I am not a sports guy, so it held nothing for me. And good lord, MOtherbrain, she looks like a head of cauliflower. This is the only time she appears in the entire 3rd season, is she even a villan anymore. It almost seems like instead of a major war, it's just an endless cat/mouse game with various Nintendo Villans at this point.

Watching it at 40 was a hard watch because I STILL hate sports 30 years later, and it really kinda' feels like this is when Captain N lost all that made it special. It's basically just a cash-in for Bo Jackson who was huge at the time. Seriously, if this had gone on long enough, they might have given us a Michael Jordan episode, complete with vampire shoes and Base Ball "Bats".

The Fractured Fantasy of Captain N - PREMISE: The N-Team goes to the land of Final Fantasy to have lunch with the prince, which Kevin is not too thrilled to do for some wacky reason. Some evil character named Astos uses this as an opprotunity to hypnotize and corrupt Kevin and turn him against the Prince.

This was another one I saw maybe once, and I often got it confused with the Robinhood episode. It was a decent-enough outing, but it's obvious this show was on it's last legs by then. I figured it would be gone, and a year later, it was. Either way, I don't remember as much about this one, but I think I saw it once.

Watching this at 40 though, it's not that bad TBH. First off, that Buddy Hackett looking dickhead for the villan is a hilarious touch. But the best line i n the whole show is Mega Man screaming "What do we look like a Mega Magic Store!?!?" at the green witch with the creepy broom that spawns a head randomly. The original song "Together" is cheesy as hell and not a good one. Also, what the hell is going on with Kevin's Power Pad here? It looks more like an evil version of a HOneywell Thermostat. That said, it DOES feel very short and very awkward like the rest of season 3, but it's by far not the worst one on the list.