Captain N: The Game Master

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    From left to right: Duke the Dog, Kevin (AKA: Captain N), Princess Lana, Simon Belmont, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus. Just so that you'd know.

    Captain N: The Game Master was an Animated Series based on the popular Nintendo games that weren't Super Mario Bros. It told the story of Kevin Keene, a teenager who loves playing video games, so much that one day he and his dog, Duke, are sucked into the TV and they enter a strange dimension called Videoland.

    Once there, Kevin learns that he is to fulfill a prophecy as "Captain N", a savior sent to save Videoland from the forces of evil, lead by the Audrey II-esque Mother Brain (the main villain from Metroid). Joining him are Videoland's sovereign Princess Lana, Mega Man, Kid Icarus (who should have been named Pit), Simon Belmont from Castlevania, and later Game Boy. Kevin/Captain N and the gang would defend Videoland from Mother Brain and her henchmen, who included King Hippo from Punch-Out!!! and The Eggplant Wizard from Kid Icarus. Other frequently occurring villains were Dr. Wily of Mega Man fame (who was probably the only semi-competent villain in the entire series) and a Large Ham version of Dracula from Castlevania.

    Many of the characters were nothing like their original counterparts. It cultivated a cult following anyway, likely based on the premise and the strength of Nintendo's following at the time. It also was notable for adding Link and Zelda, The Legend of Zelda cartoon series, as supporting cast members following the cancellation of Super Mario Bros Super Show.

    For an extremely well done parody, see the Sprite Comic Captain SNES. See also the live action web series The New Adventures of Captain S, which pastiches the original with a Sega Genesis theme (and has a Goth Nintendo fan for an antagonist).

    Tropes used in Captain N: The Game Master include:
    • Abhorrent Admirer: Simon Belmont gained a few of these for comedic effect. In the episode I Wish I Was a Wombatman a short yet gorgeous blonde haired blue eyed octopus with an hourglass figure fell in love with him the moment he expressed an interest in acting. Instantly becoming his groupie, she gave him a big hug where the two spun around together. While holding him the large breasted babe gave Simon a giant wink and puckered her big red lips. Simon was turned off by the director's assistant because she wasn't human most likely. Eventually the blonde bombshell caught Simon checking himself out in his handheld mirror so she chased after him supposedly to do his make-up. However chances are if she ever got her tentacles on the terrified Simon she would try to make out with her 'dream boat' instead. A heavy set female gorilla also fell for Simon and tried to kiss him in the episode Queen of the Apes.
    • Actor Allusion: Levi Stubbs plays Mother Brain, who sounds and acts exactly like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.
    • Adaptation Distillation: The comics released by Valiant Comics were altogether better-written (though that isn't saying much) and spent quite some time exploring the relationships between the characters instead of the show's simplistic "game world of the week" plotlines. They couldn't use half the N-team due to legal issues, but this was a blessing in disguise, as it was the far more annoying and less true-to-source-material half. And they actually remembered that Metroid has a heroine, and other characters besides Mother Brain!
    • Affectionate Parody: See the Captain SNES page.
    • Agony of the Feet: Simon rips off Donkey Kong's toenail in one episode.
    • Alternate Realm Boon: Kevin uses his knowledge of video games to help protect from any trouble caused in the land along with a Power Pad with various powers and an NES Zapper.
    • Art Evolution: A negative example. Character models became vastly simplified and and the animation became poorer in season three. Compare: Season 1 & 2 Mother Brain [dead link] to Season 3 Mother Brain.
    • Audio Erotica: In the episode Mega Trouble for Megaland, Medusa seduces Simon with her sexy voice alone to the point where he is ready to kiss her sight unseen. Once he does see how ugly she is Simon turns to stone. Medusa effectively pulls off a subversion of Audio Erotica, a "Siren Switch."
      • Considering that the Captain N cartoon takes place after the original Castlevania and Medusa's floating head is the second boss in that game (even though Captain N was going with the Kid Icarus variant of Medusa it's hard to imagine that they wouldn't be the same character in this universe) and plus the fact that the Castlevania series is littered with Medusa heads he really shouldn't have fallen for this trick. Of course Simon has been shown to be quite stupid at times in this cartoon so it remains a possibility. In this universe, perhaps he didn't look at Medusa's big floating head during Castlevania, or he never faced her as the second boss since this cartoon took many liberties with the games they represented. Or once again, he was just really stupid or really turned on by her voice... Eh they really didn't do the research when they made this cartoon anyways.
      • Years later in Castlevania video games, the Belmonts and other Castlevania protagonists have been shown to be immune to Medusa's power to turn men into stone. Typically when they do get turned to stone they can break out of the stone casing and continue to move.
    • Bare Your Midriff: Princess Lana, and also the redesigned Princess Zelda in the second season.
    • Benevolent Genie: Pretty much a critique of the newly-developed patch devices[1]; Kevin wishes for enhanced skills, and quickly realizes Victory Is Boring. Mega Man wishes for enhanced strength, and nearly knocks down the palace. Princess Lana immediately wishes that "no one had made any wishes", returning things to normal for the moment so they can get on with the plot.
    • Betty and Veronica: Lana and Samus in the comic.
    • Brainwashed: Kevin in the very final episode. Also has elements of Brainwashed and Crazy about it as although he never directly attacks the heroes, he very well could have at the end and he did act a bit violently when "training" some of the villain's warriors.
    • Black Sheep: Lana's introverted brother, Prince Lyle, is a boxy kind of guy who lives in the Tetris portion of Videoland. He shows up in one episode, then briefly again in the third season to provide a Deus Ex Machina.
    • Captain Superhero
    • Clip Show: "When Mother Brain Rules", which is missing from the DVD sets.
    • Comic Book Adaptation: By Valiant Comics, as part of the Nintendo Comics System.
    • Context Sensitive Button: The pause button on Kevin's Power Pad would freeze different people and things depending on the needs of the moment.
    • Contrived Coincidence: In "The Most Dangerous Game Master" Dr. Wily's android looked identical to Mike Vincent from the neck down before they even knew about him.
    • Media Research Failure: "Oh, hey there, Kid Icarus... Uhh, not going by Pit anymore, I take it?"
      • Mother Brain is the evil ruler of planet Metroid. Actual Metroids only show up briefly in the comic.
    • Dances and Balls: Lana's unexplained desire to have one is the background of the episode titled, fittingly, "Having a Ball."
      • Which ends up being kind of weird since that only ends up giving King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard the chance to sneak in and steal the Triforce while nobody's around.
    • Disappeared Dad: Lana's father, King Charles, is apparently trapped in some kind of alternate dimension. He shows up in one episode.
    • Disintegrator Ray: Kevin's Zapper, in the comics. In the cartoon, literally anything from a tactical nuke to a mosquito bite.
    • The Drag Along: Simon F'ing Belmont. Quite a turnaround from the guy that risked his life against the legions of darkness by himself, eh?
    • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Kevin and Lana.
    • Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess Lana is running Videoland in the absence of her father, King Charles, mostly to provide a convenient love interest for Kevin.
    • Evil Former Friend: Mike Vincent in "The Most Dangerous Game Master". The villains didn't know they used to be friends when they created an evil android based on Kevin's memories of him, so Kevin is able to make him do a Heel Face Turn by reminding him of when they were friends.
    • Fantastic Voyage: Germ Wars.
    • Fisher King: Zelda is shown to be a reverse one of these in the episode "Having A Ball," when the theft of the Triforce causes both herself and Hyrule to begin dying.
    • Five-Bad Band:
    • Five-Man Band:
    • Genre Savvy: One of Kevin's greatest advantages was that he had played all of these games and knew all of the shortcuts, enemy weaknesses and strategies.
      • Even if it's something he couldn't possibly know from playing Nintendo games, like where warp zones between disparate games are.
      • Kevin even seems to know everything about games released after he entered Video Land.
      • This article discusses the changes in-depth (mostly for the featured Mega Man characters) and suggests that the creators had poor reference material. Still...
      • One of Mother Brain's early plans was to research the real world Kevin and find a game he wasn't good at, thus removing Captain N's Genre Savvy. She finds that Kevin can't beat The Adventures of Bayou Billy, and sends him to its Videoland counterpart, Bayou Land. It almost worked, until Bayou Billy showed up.
    • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the first episode where King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard kidnap Princess Lana in her room, Hippo (poorly) impersonates her as Kevin knocks on her door, saying that "she's not decent", with the Wizard responding with "You can say that again". Considering the size of Hippo's boobs and nipples...
    • Have a Gay Old Time: Ganon: "Ahhh, you brought your friends for my coming out party!"
      • One Episode had King Hippo threatening to "toss" Eggplant Wizard's "salad".
    • I Choose to Stay: In the first episode, Kevin is a allowed to go home, but stays after realizing he would go back to a boring life with a nagging mother.
    • I Know Mortal Kombat: Kevin says things to this effect a lot.
    • Informed Ability: The King sends Gameboy to join the team because he believes he will one day be Videoland's greatest hero, but Gameboy never does anything to make you think the King could be right.
    • In Name Only: What some of the worlds inevitably end up becoming.
      • And what most of the video game characters wind up being.
    • Jerkass: Link tended to be portrayed this way. As this is the same Link from the other Zelda cartoon that portrayed him this way, this is no surprise.
      • In his defense, a lot of his Jerkass tendencies were prompted by jealousy. Once he knew Kevin wasn't a serious rival for Zelda's affections, he calmed down a lot.
      • Furthermore, compared to his own show, he is more competent and less of a jerk.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Simon. Kind of.
      • In the comics Samus Aran almost goes ahead with some pretty questionable stuff to win Captain N's affections. In one issue where she and Princess Lana are in jail, she almost leaves Lana there when escaping. In another she ends up in the Bad Future and rejoices that Lana is gone and she can have Kevin all to herself, despite the fact that, you know, the bad guys have taken over every world except the garbage planet where Kevin now lives, and by not going back in time and changing one thing she's screwing over everyone in Videoland. She does go back in the end.
    • Journey to the Center of the Mind: In one episode, Kevin contracts a Videoland virus (roughly on level with a cold) and has a hallucinatory dream of being pursued by Mother Brain and her minions, with parts of his body freezing as the virus spreads.
    • Kid Appeal Character: Kid Icarus
    • Large Ham: Mother Brain, who was even given a face to facilitate this.
    • Larynx Dissonance: Mother Brain's VA is Levi Stubbs, a man.
    • Love Triangle: Kevin and Simon are both interested in Lana. In the comic both Lana and Samus are after Kevin.
    • Magic Countdown: Mega Man and Kid Icarus have 30 seconds to shoot Simon with the antidote to the love arrow; it takes them 77 seconds to do so.
    • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Almost every game made or licensed by Nintendo.
    • Merchandise-Driven: Somehow, Captain N and the N-Team always seemed to end up in the world of the hot new game that Nintendo or one of its licensees was trying to promote. Which is probably the only reason stuff like Bayou Billy ever made it on the show.
    • Messianic Archetype: Kevin/Captain N is supposed to be this.
    • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Kevin's powers only work so long as they don't actually defeat the villains permanently or advance the plot too fast.
      • In one episode, the Eggplant Wizard (disguised as a TV repairman) even used a mushroom to transform into a giant escape pod so he and King Hippo (also disguised) can escape from the Palace of Power after figuring out Kevin's greatest fear.
    • Nintendo Hard: Referenced on the show, as even though Kevin is the ultimate gamer and he knows every secret and strategy to nearly every NES game ever made, even he can't get very far in The Adventures of Bayou Billy.
    • Non-Human Sidekick: Duke the dog and later Gameboy.
    • Planar Champion: Kevin
    • Plot-Driven Breakdown: At pretty much any point Kevin could shoot and kill Mother Brain and thus end her reign of terror, expect his blaster or his controller to break down and render him helpless. It didn't happen that often, but the plot reasons are transparent.
      • He actually does blast her in the first episode, but they know she'll return - which is in itself a plot breakdown.
    • Princesses Prefer Pink: Lana's outfit.
    • Princesses Rule: Princess Lana is the only ruler in Videoland. Her father is still alive, he's just trapped in another dimension.
    • Product Placement: The entire freaking show is this. The Power Glove and the Game Boy being the most blatant and shameless.
      • And any of the games. Although actually, the NES itself is the most shameless.
    • Refusal of the Call: Well, Kevin tries, anyway, but The Call cuts him off pretty fast. Especially when returning home means taking out the garbage, horror of horrors!
    • RPG Episode: One of the last episodes involves the team visiting the world of Final Fantasy, where they fight Astos.
    • Rule of Funny: While certain characters such as Simon Belmont could have been depicted a bit more seriously and accurately (considering on how the Castlevanias were pretty tame at the time). However the show like many other animated shows at the time was a very light-hearted comedic series and DiC wrote certain characters such as Simon Belmont as they did just for the sake of comedy.
    • Samus Is a Girl: Literally. When the N Team first meets Samus in the comic, they're surprised when she takes off her helmet. (Including Lana, who you might expect would know better.)
      • And Kevin, who if he's so great at games, would know "he" is a she, but she is definitely not a changeling.
        • It always seemed to me like what he was really saying was "Wow, she looks even better up close."
    • Shoddy Knockoff Product: The show is basically a goofy remake of Tron with Nintendo characters. Mother Brain is essentially a comedically goofy version of the Master Control Program, which is what you would expect from a villain that's a giant face inside of a computer world.
    • Show Within a Show: Wombatman, a send-up of the Batman TV Show. As we find out in a later episode, Wombatman is played by a furry version of Adam West.
    • Team Prima Donna: Simon
    • Terrible Trio: King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard, with Mother Brain as the "boss" figure.
    • The Renaissance Age of Animation
    • The Rival: Link, as he was perhaps the only video game character who could be considered an equal to Kevin, although he and Kevin always worked together towards a common goal.
    • Title Drop: Oddly enough, the episode title in question, "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street", is used in a line spoken by Kevin in an earlier episode.
      • Happy Birthday Mega Man has this spoken by the N-Team at the beginning of the episode, and ends with the Warp of Life saying it as well.
    • Totally Radical: Kevin's dialogue is embarrassingly littered with words like this. Also, Kevin and Lana trying to dance in 80s dance moves is particularly bad since they just look like they're having muscle spasms.
      • In spades and parodied (to an extent) in a later episode.

    Game Boy: "Mondonose does not compute, please re-enter data"
    Mega Man: "Looks like Kevin will have to teach you Californish, Gameboy".

    • Trapped in TV Land: Well, Videoland. Actually, Kevin is free to go home any time he wants, except he'd lose all his memories of Videoland in the process. As no time will have passed in the real world once he returns, He Chooses To Stay until the Big Bad is defeated. Think Narnia for gamers.
    • Training Montage: In (where else?) Videolympics. Even ends with them running up a big staircase.
    • Trick Arrow: Kid Icarus had an arrow for everything.
      • "That's my cow arrow."
      • "Darn-icus, I've been trying to invent a pepperoni pizza arrow all day!"...
      • Though he didn't have an antidote to the love arrows right away (which you think he would have had)
    • Weapon Twirling: Kevin does it practically twice an episode.
    • Verbal Tic: Mega Man and Kid Icarus. Mega adds mega- to the beginning of a lot of words, while Kid Icarus adds -icus to the ends of words.
    • You Don't Look Like You: A frequent complaint for Mega Man, Kid Icarus and especially Simon (who currently takes up the page image). One-shot characters (like Pero from "Once Upon a Time Machine") can also fall into this.
      • Speaking of Mega Man, the Robot Masters get hit with this hard when they appear, especially Cut Man and the Robot Masters from Mega Man 2.
    1. specifically, Game Genie