Tooncrap #33 - Captain N: The Game Master -
Written by: Raymond Gallant
I'm in the mood to return to some of the worst
cartoons I've reviewed in the past. I guess that would mean I'm far more
masochistic than even I thought. And one of the cartoons to cause me
pain was the glorified Nintendo commercial Captain N: The Game Master. A
cartoon known for cliché writing, poor handling of classic video game
characters, and just being overall bad. It's up there with the Virtual
Boy with the most embarrassing things Nintendo ever gave us.
To recap those who may have forgotten, Captain N tells us the story of
Video Land, which is broken into multiple worlds, each housing their own
video game world and characters. The evil Mother Brain and her minions
are trying to take over, and it's up to a rag tag group of some of your
favorite video game heroes to save the day.
Chain Smoker Man
And Princess Jailbait
And of course, when they realize they kinda suck at stopping Mother
Brain, they call upon the only one who can stop her...
Some random kid named Kevin who plays a crap ton of Nintendo. Enough to
be considered worth being the defender of this universe. And thus we
have Captain N all recapped for you.
Of course Captain N gave us many representations of many classic games
on the Nintendo. Albeit for the most part very terrible representations.
Nonetheless many of which are considered the greatest games of all time.
So, what happens when Kevin and his friends wind up on a game that many
people think sucks? Well that's the question we'll hope to answer with a
review of "How's Bayou?", and a trip into the Adventures of Bayou Billy.
I hope you saved the receipt, because we're going to review this thing.
One pre-review note: The version I'm looking at is the first run version
of the episode that aired on NBC. Some of the issues were later fixed,
but the fact that it ended up this bad is shameful enough to induct.
We open the episode on the planet Metroid where Mother Brain and her
cronies are trying to learn of a way to stop Captain N. They somehow are
able to look at footage of him before he was sucked into Video Land. One
of the games he was playing was Bayou Billy
Which the animators assumed was just some random pitfall-esque
In actuality, Bayou Billy was a mixture of beat-em-up, shooter game, and
driving game. The beat-em-up section had poor hit detection and annoying
controls, the driving sections were too long, and the shooting stages
were... actually the most fun part.
Also, for the greatest gamer of all time, way to use an NES advantage.
Mother Brain realizes that he, like most people, kinda can't beat Bayou
Billy, so she plans to send Captain N and his pals to Bayou Land, in
hopes that it will finish him off once and for all. And how does she
plan to lure them there? With a robot cat created by Dr. Wily of course.
Hey, nobody said it had to be a brilliant plan.
Back at the palace of power, Kevin and Princess Lana are dancing
horribly until the robot cat is chased into a portal by Duke, Kevin's
dog. Kevin jumps in without any help to follows his dog while Mother
Brain sends Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo to stop him. King Hippo is
too big to get into the pipe to Bayou Land, so Eggplant Wizard believes
all that's needed is some "lubrication". He turns King Hippo into a
salad creature and pours dressing all over him, prompting the king to
try and "toss his salad".
I dunno about you, but I think I almost saw the world's first vegetarian
Captain N's friends find the cat that Duke chased into the portal, and
are all ready to go to Bayou Land to help Kevin out. Of course, all but
Simon Belmont, who is such a prissy douche that he refuses to go to any
dingy swamp. You know, dirty castles, and the watery caves underneath
are fine, but ewww swamps are grody! What the hell did they do to you,
SimonHowever, the prospect of underage poon is enough to bring him
Kevin is still unable to find his dog, and gets attacked by living
trees. I can assure you this certainly doesn't happen in the actual
game. He manages to escape through the magic of cheat codes, but gets
caught in quicksand, which takes him to a cave underground. Before Kevin
can react he's attacked by an alligator.
No, I didn't do anything to the picture above this text. There is no
background during any of the scenes of the gator moving. And this is why
I put the warning up initially. When this first aired, the episode was
an unfinished version, suffering from scenes with no background, mixed
up audio, or scenes cut altogether.
The later version would fix a lot of the errors in this episode, most
importantly this scene. But the fact that Dic even allowed this to
happen, and in the show's second episode by the way is just bush league
Kevin gets saved by Bayou Billy, which again in the original version
just happens out of nowhere. He literally just sits on the gator
randomly with no other scenes before hand. And then he just as quickly
is in his truck ready to leave in about as much of a rush as this entire
scene is. Kevin tells Billy about his missing dog, and gets a ride with
Billy and his pet gator Loafer.
Instead of just looking for Duke, we get a montage of Billy teaching
Kevin how to survive in the bayou, which again is nothing like the
actual video game.
There were no robot birds and giant frog men in Bayou Billy, only random
thugs and the occasional gator. Gee, it's almost like the writers and
animators never played the video game. Though come to think of it, that
would explain every single thing about Captain N as a whole. "Oh, it's a
game called Bayou Billy? Then it must have wacky monsters and other
nonsense because it's a video game and it's not like they can be
anything other than nonsense."
After the montage, Bayou Billy just leaves Kevin on his own, since I
guess the training was enough for him. After some more clear rushed
animation errors, Doctor Wily is creating a robot to deal with Kevin.
Meanwhile, the rest of the heroes are looking for Kevin, while Simon is
kinda hoping he's dead, because you know, Simon's a prick.
Using King Hippo as a speedboat, Eggplant Wizard drives across the swamp
looking for Kevin, and manages to find him. They're attempt to mow him
down fails, and Kevin uses a nearby gator as his own mode of
transportation. What follows is an admittedly neat chase scene once
again ruined by a clearly cut up scene.
Speaking of clearly cut up scenes, we see Simon Belmont kissing his feet
(because I have no idea. Narcissistic foot fetish?) when literally in
the next frame of animation he's being chased by the monster sent by
Mother Brain. He manages to stop it long enough for Lana and himself to
start running off. They again run into Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo
The background disappears again randomly, as Kevin shows up to fight the
swamp monster. He ends up snared by Eggplant Wizard until Billy returns
with Duke in tow. Duke frees them (which you again don't see in the
original version because... things), and Kevin tries to fight the
monster, before his zapper winds up messed up due to water. Background
vanishes for a second again. Turns out the only way to stop the monster
is to grab a random star in a tree to defeat it, which Kevin manages to
do, destroying the monster instantly, while the other cronies run into
the portal to escape. And the episode ends with the heroes having dinner
in the bayou and Duke still chasing things with hilarious results in a
scene with surprisingly no errors.
And that's "How's Bayou". Overall, a bland episode of Captain N made
worse by a mess of an unfinished episode. How Dic even allowed this to
happen is mind blowing. And what's crazier is despite this episode's
myriad of errors, cut scenes and overall ugliness, this was the episode
Shout Factory decided to put on their DVD release. The later version has
never seen release on any format. Although that one has apparently
suffered from cuts and edits, it's at least more coherent then its
original version. There is a version on YouTube with the proper edits in
place, and if you're gonna look at this one at all, that's the one to
check out. But this version here is messier than a case of swamp ass.
It's Tooncrap for certain.