[[quoteright:345:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CaptainNGroupShot.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:345:From left to right: Duke the Dog, Kevin (a.k.a. Captain N), Princess Lana, [[Franchise/{{Castlevania}} Simon Belmont]], VideoGame/MegaMan, and VideoGame/KidIcarus. [[YouDontLookLikeYou Just so that you'd know.]]]]

''Captain N: The Game Master'' is an AnimatedSeries based on the popular Creator/{{Nintendo}} games that weren't ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' It is about the story of Kevin Keene, a teenager who loves playing video games, so much that one day he and his dog, Duke, are [[TrappedInTVLand 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, led by the [[Film/LittleShopOfHorrors Audrey II]]-[[HeyItsThatVoice esque]] Mother Brain (the main villain from ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}''). Joining him are Videoland's sovereign Princess Lana, VideoGame/MegaMan, VideoGame/KidIcarus (who [[IAmNotShazam should have been named Pit]]), Simon Belmont from ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'', and later UsefulNotes/GameBoy. Kevin/Captain N and the gang would defend Videoland from Mother Brain and her henchmen, who included King Hippo from ''VideoGAME/PunchOut!'' and The Eggplant Wizard from ''Kid Icarus''. Other frequently occurring villains were Dr. Wily of ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' fame (who was probably the only semi-competent villain in the entire series), a LargeHam version of Dracula from ''Castlevania'', and a Film/KingKong-like VideoGame/DonkeyKong.

Many of the characters were [[InNameOnly 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, ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda'' cartoon series, as supporting cast members following the cancellation of ''[[WesternAnimation/SuperMarioBros Super Mario Bros. Super Show]]''.

For an extremely well done pseudo-sequel, see the {{sprite comic}}s ''Webcomic/CaptainSNES''. See also the live action web series ''WebVideo/TheNewAdventuresOfCaptainS'', which pastiches the original with a Sega Genesis theme (and has a Goth Nintendo fan for an antagonist).

Has a [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/BestEpisode/CaptainNTheGameMaster Best Episode]] list.
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!!This series features examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: Simon Belmont gained a few of these for comedic effect. In the episode "I Wish I Was a Wombatman", a short, blonde haired and blue eyed octopus with an hourglass figure fell in love with him the moment he expressed an interest in acting. She gave him a hug, a wink and chased after him so she could kiss him. A heavy set female gorilla also fell for Simon and wanted to smooch in the episode "Queen of the Apes."
* AdaptationDistillation: The comics released by ValiantComics were altogether better written 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 ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'' has a heroine, and other characters besides Mother Brain.
* AdaptationalVillainy: Simon's not the only ''Castlevania'' character to get the shit end of the stick. Here, Alucard starts out on the heroes' side but proves to be a villain, which a complete 180 from his characterization in the games.
* AdaptationalWimp: Simon, to an embarrassing extent.
* AffectionateParody: See the'' Webcomic/CaptainSNES'' page.
* AgonyOfTheFeet: Simon rips off Donkey Kong's toenail in one episode.
* AnimationBump: The first episode is ''much'' better animated than the rest of the series.
* ArousedByTheirVoice: 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."
* ArtEvolution: A negative example. Character models became vastly simplified and and the animation became poorer in season three. Compare: [[http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070301012752/metroid/images/b/b6/CNMotherBrain.jpg Season 1 & 2 Mother Brain]] to [[http://www.collectorsquest.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/motherbrain_4.jpg Season 3 Mother Brain.]]
* BareYourMidriff: Princess Lana, and also the redesigned Princess Zelda in the second season.
* BenevolentGenie: Pretty much a critique of the newly-developed patch devices[[note]] specifically, Game Genie[[/note]]; Kevin wishes for enhanced skills, and quickly realizes VictoryIsBoring. 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.
* BettyAndVeronica: In the show, Kevin is the Betty to Simon's Veronica and Lana's Archie while in the comics, Lana is the Betty to Samus's Veronica to Kevin's Archie.
* {{Brainwashed}}:
** Kevin in the very final episode. Also has elements of BrainwashedAndCrazy 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.
** Simon also has this happen to him twice, one time via Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo.
** Another episode revolved around a hypnotic ink Mother Brain devised, that did this to anyone who read the words printed with it.
* BlackSheep: 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 DeusExMachina.
* BodyHorror: In one episode Simon has a nightmare where his mighty muscular physique turns to flab, all his pearly white teeth fall out when he tries to smile and then to add insult to injury all his hair falls out, leaving him completely bald. He is quite terrified over this.
* BrokenPedestal: In one episode, Kid Icarus gets to meet Wombatman, the star of his favorite show. His disillusionment when he realizes Wombatman is just an actor is painful.
* ButtMonkey:
** Simon is subject to numerous pratfalls and humiliation on a regular basis.
** Additionally, King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard suffer indignity after indignity, thanks to their own ineptitude, and Mother Brain's treatment of them.
* CampStraight: Hoo boy, Simon.
%%* CaptainSuperhero
* CarpetRolledCorpse: King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard kidnap Princess Lana by rolling her into a rug
* ClipShow: "When Mother Brain Rules", which is missing from the [=DVD=] sets. A clip show in the purest sense of the term, this episode has no new footage whatsoever, and no framing story to justify the clips. Even stranger, all the voices were missing in the clips, so it was half an hour of voiceless recycled animation with background music (and very occasional out-of-nowhere narration from Simon.) Needless to say, little kids watching it in 1991 were pretty damn confused.
* ComicBookAdaptation: By ValiantComics, as part of the ComicBook/NintendoComicsSystem.
* ContextSensitiveButton: The pause button on Kevin's Power Pad would freeze different people and things depending on the needs of the moment.
* ContinuityNod: In "Having a Ball", Mega Man can be seen dancing with Mega Girl in the background of one scene.
* ContrivedCoincidence: 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.
* {{Crossover}}: [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda Link and Zelda]] made four appearances in Season 2, bringing back their respective voice actors.
* DancesAndBalls: 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.
* DemotedToDragon: Averted in "The Quest for the Potion of Power." Mother Brain resurrects Ganon so that he will serve her, but he doesn't submit.
* DemotedToExtra: All the robot masters from ''VideoGame/MegaMan1'' - Cut Man is the only one to have dialogue or even be mentioned by name. Ice Man's mentioned briefly in "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street."
* DevelopmentGag: A planned cartoon that eventually became Captain N (a ''Paperboy'' adaptation called "Buddy Boy") had [[http://filbarlow.deviantart.com/#/d55x9tu a newspaper delivery boy wearing a red hat]] as the protagonist. In the episode based on Paperboy, a kid named Julio appears with a very similar design.
* DisappearedDad: Lana's father, King Charles, is apparently trapped in some kind of alternate dimension. He shows up in one episode.
* DisintegratorRay: Kevin's Zapper, in the comics. In the cartoon, ''anything'' from a tactical nuke to a mosquito bite.
* TheDogBitesBack: King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard are prone to do this if Mother Brain slaps them around too much, by turning on her with whatever MacGuffin they were sent to retrieve. Of course, this never sticks, [[StatusQuoIsGod yet for some reason]], she continues to keep them around...
* TheDragAlong: ''Simon F'ing Belmont''. Quite a turnaround from the guy that risked his life against the legions of darkness by himself, eh?
* EverybodyDoTheEndlessLoop: Kevin and Lana.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Princess Lana is running Videoland in the absence of her father, King Charles, mostly to provide a convenient love interest for Kevin.
* EvilFormerFriend: 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 HeelFaceTurn by reminding him of when they were friends.
* FakeCrossover: The episode "Misadventures in Robin Hood Woods" is clearly based on ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'' (which had [[VideoGame/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves a tie-in NES game]]), even though it isn't officially related to that movie.
* FantasticVoyagePlot: "Germ Wars".
* FisherKing: 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.
* ForgotAboutTheirPowers: Most of the characters from video games, regardless of what happened to their personalities, still had most of the abilities from their sources. Eggplant Wizard (whose reason for existing in ''Kid Icarus'' was to turn you into an eggplant) only ever turns someone into an eggplant ''once'', and he has to call on a ''genie'' to do it. (He uses magic based around all other forms of fruits and vegetables throughout the series, but for some reason, none of ''those'' are ever eggplants.)
* GenreSavvy:
** 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. [[http://themechanicalmaniacs.com/articles/CaptainN.php This article]] discusses the changes in-depth (mostly for the featured VideoGame/MegaMan 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 GenreSavvy. She finds that Kevin can't beat ''VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfBayouBilly'', and sends him to its Videoland counterpart, Bayou Land. It almost worked, until Bayou Billy showed up.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: 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...
* GunTwirling: A maddening example for viewers, due to the real Zapper's ''lack of trigger guard''.
* HaveAGayOldTime:
** [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda Ganon]]: "Ahhh, you brought your friends for my coming out party!"
** One Episode had King Hippo threatening to "toss" Eggplant Wizard's "salad".
* IChooseToStay: 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.
* IKnowMortalKombat: Kevin says things to this effect a lot. With varying degrees of accuracy.
* InformedAbility: 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.
* InNameOnly:
** Almost none of the characters bear any resemblance to their video game counterparts. There are also a lot of glaring inaccuracies about the games in question.
** Let's put it this way, the people making this comic were faced with challenges like coming up with a way to turn ''Tetris'' into a setting for the characters to interact with in any meaningful way.
* {{Jerkass}}: Link tended to be portrayed this way. As this was the same general team who had worked on the ''other'' Zelda cartoon that portrayed him this way, despite being different versions of the character and not an actual crossover, 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.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: 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 BadFuture 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 [[ForWantOfANail changing one thing]] she's screwing over everyone in Videoland. She does go back in the end.
* KidAppealCharacter: Kid Icarus.
* LargeHam: Mother Brain, who was even given a face to facilitate this, and Dracula from ''Castlevania''.
* LarynxDissonance:
** Mother Brain's voice actor is Levi Stubbs, a man.
** Mega Man has a very raspy voice that sounds more like it belongs to a lifetime chain smoker rather than a child. It's probably meant to be reminiscent of early speech synthesizers, but it's really not.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Lana explains at the end of "The Big Game" that when Kevin's friends were sent back to Earth they'd have no memory of Videoland, [[TearJerker unfortunately the same applies to Kevin if he ever leaves Videoland]].
* LoveTriangle: Kevin and Simon are both interested in Lana. In the comic both [[BettyAndVeronica Lana and Samus]] are after Kevin.
* MagicCountdown: 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.
* MassiveMultiplayerCrossover: Almost every game made or licensed by Nintendo.
* MerchandiseDriven:
** 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 ''[[VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfBayouBilly Bayou Billy]]'' ever made it on the show.
** And of course, the [[PromotionalPowerlessPieceOfGarbage Power Glove]]. ([[Film/TheWizard It's so bad!]])
** This was likely the main reason, if not the only reason, for Game Boy being shoehorned into the team.
* MessianicArchetype: Kevin/Captain N is supposed to be this.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: 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.
* NintendoHard: 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''.
* NonHumanSidekick: Duke the dog and later Game Boy.
* OffModel: Not that the series' animation quality was good per say, but there are plenty of notable examples. Including the entirety of "How's Bayou" and the aforementioned change in art style in season three.
* OriginalGeneration: Lana isn't from any game. Also, Mega Man was given a female counterpart -- not Roll as you might expect, but the pink-sporting Mega Girl.
* PlanarChampion: Kevin.
* PlotDrivenBreakdown: 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.
* PrincessesPreferPink: Lana's outfit.
* PrincessesRule: Princess Lana is the only ruler in Videoland. Her father is still alive, he's just trapped in another dimension.
* ProductPlacement: 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.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: The Mike Vincent android at the end of "The Most Dangerous Game Master".]]
* RefusalOfTheCall: Well, Kevin tries, anyway, but The Call cuts him off pretty fast. Especially when returning home means taking out the garbage, horror of horrors!
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* TheRival:
** 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.
** Mike Vincent is this to Kevin in the real world, though Mother Brain mistakes him for an enemy when she makes an android based on Kevin's memories of him. Kevin eventually convinces the Mike-bot that they're really just rivals, and used to even be friends, which leads to the Mike-bot making a HeelFaceTurn.
* RPGEpisode:
** One of the last episodes involves the team visiting the world of ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'', where they fight Astos.
** In an earlier episode they travel to the world of ''[[VideoGame/DragonQuest Dragon Warrior]]''.
* RuleOfFunny: While certain characters such as [[Franchise/{{Castlevania}} Simon Belmont]] could have been depicted a bit more seriously and accurately (considering on how the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}s'' 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 [[Creator/DiCEntertainment DiC]] wrote certain characters such as Simon Belmont as they did just for the sake of comedy.
* RunningGag: Mother Brain's reflection blowing her a raspberry. In later episodes, doubles as a ContinuityNod.
* SamusIsAGirl: 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 [[Franchise/StarWars she is definitely not a changeling]]. Although it's possible he was reacting instead to how hot she is in person.
* ShoddyKnockoffProduct: The show is basically a goofy remake of ''Film/{{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.
* ShowWithinAShow: ''Wombatman'', a send-up of the ''Series/{{Batman}}'' TV Show. As we find out in a later episode, Wombatman is played by [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed a furry version of Adam West]].
* StoryBreakerPower: Kevin can stop time and gains super speed with his Power Pad. Of course he tends to [[ForgotAboutHisPowers forget about his powers]] most of the time.
* SubvertedSuspicionAesop: A very abrupt one (due to the short run time) in "Return to Castlevania." Alucard is the Count's son, wait he's saving Kevin and Simon from the Count, oh wait never mind he's not. Keep in mind this happens over the span of ''two scenes.''
* SurveillanceAsThePlotDemands: Mother Brain's "Metroid Mirror" apparently allows her to see anything the writers needed her to.
* TeamPrimaDonna: Simon
* TerribleTrio: King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard, with Mother Brain as the "boss" figure.
* ThrowTheDogABone: After a lot of bickering and problems from [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda their own show]], Link ''finally'' gets a kiss from Zelda. He and Zelda also seem to be on much warmer terms.
* TitleDrop:
** 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 [[spoiler: Warp of Life]] saying it as well.
* TotallyRadical: 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, Game Boy".
* TrappedInTVLand: 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, [[IChooseToStay he chooses to stay]] until the BigBad is defeated. Think {{Narnia}} for gamers.
* TrainingMontage: In (where else?) ''Videolympics''. Even ends with them running up a big staircase.
* TrickArrow: 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)
* VerbalTic: 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.
* WeaponTwirling: Kevin does it practically twice an episode.
* WholePlotReference: Naturally, this being the kind of show that it is, some episodes will reference the plot of a single game wholesale; for example "Mega Trouble in Mega-Land" largely references the plot of ''VideoGame/MegaMan1'', "Quest For The Potion of Power" references ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'', etc (other episodes, while taking place in the world of a particular game, don't necessarily have much to do with the plot of the game in question).
* YouDontLookLikeYou:
** 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''.
** One of the most drastic examples is the series' version of [[VideoGame/{{Metroid}} Kraid]] who looks like [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Captain_N_Kraid_5174.jpg this]]. He hardly bears any resemblance to even his original NES appearance, let alone his later, more iconic appearance from ''Super Metroid''.
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