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Western Animation / Captain N: The Game Master

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

When my father disappeared, and Mother Brain tried to take over Videoland, our only hope lay in an ancient prophecy that a great warrior from another world would come to our rescue. I admit, I was a bit skeptical when Kevin showed up, but now I don't know how we'd ever get along without him!
Princess Lana in the opening Season 2

Captain N: The Game Master is an Animated Series on NBC based on the popular NES games that weren't Super Mario Bros. 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 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 evil Forces of Chaos, led by the Audrey II-esque Mother Brain (the main villain from Metroid voiced by Four Tops singer Levi Stubbs, who'd played Audrey II in the movie of Little Shop). Joining him are Videoland's sovereign Princess Lana, Mega Man, Kid Icarus, 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 recurring villains include Dr. Wiley of Mega Man, the Count from Castlevania, and a King Kong-like Donkey Kong.

Many of the characters were nothing like their original counterparts. It was also notable for adding Link and Zelda from the The Legend of Zelda cartoon series as recurring cast members following the cancellation of the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. It lasted for three seasons and was Screwed by the Network due to NBC's departure from the Saturday-Morning Cartoon genre, and its time slot was replaced by local news after the Saturday morning block was shut down.

Captain N also received a Comic-Book Adaptation through the Nintendo Comics System. Due to only featuring first-party Nintendo characters, Mega Man and Simon Belmont were dropped from the main cast and replaced with Samus Aran, who is much closer to her videogame counterpart than most of the characters in the TV series.

    Games featured in Captain N: The Game Master 

This series features examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: 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."
  • Adaptation Expansion: The comics released by Valiant Comics 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. And they actually remembered that Metroid has a heroine, and other characters besides Mother Brain.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Pit becomes Kid Icarus, the game he originates from. Explainable since the back of the NES box really did call him Kid Icarus, and the showrunners likely did not consult the manual.
    • Princess Lana is based on the goddess Palutena from the same game, but her design is such a departure from Palutena's (even with the little official art that was available at the time), she might as well be a totally new character.
    • While the villains are collectively referred to as the Forces of Chaos in the TV series, they are instead known as the League of Darkness in the comic books.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Alucard starts out on the heroes' side but ultimately proves to be a villain, which a complete reversal from his characterization in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.
    • King Hippo appears as one of Mother Brain's henchmen; in Punch-Out!!, he wasn't as mean as some of Little Mac's other opponents, even offering to take him out to lunch.
    • In the comics, Glass Joe makes a cameo as one of the villainous mooks attacking Mount Olympus in "The Happy Zone". That's quite a step up from the wimpy boxer who never does anything particularly mean in Punch-Out!!
  • Adapted Out: The comics couldn't use third-party characters likely due to legal issues, resulting in Mega Man and Simon Belmont being left out of the N-Team.
  • Adventurer Outfit: Simon Belmont wore a pilot's outfit, with goggles and a backpack. Only problem is the Simon Belmont from the Castlevania franchise that this Simon is supposed to be based off is a Vampire Hunter and doesn't dress anything like this.
  • Advertised Extra: Little Mac appears in the first comic "Welcome To Videoland", presented in a way that makes it seem like he'll be a major character along with Kid Icarus and Samus Aran. Unlike other comic-exclusive characters introduced in the same comic (such as Samus or Uranos), this remains his one and only appearance in the series.
  • Agony of the Feet: Simon rips off Donkey Kong's toenail in one episode.
  • All There in the Script: In the episode "Gameboy", Simon and Kevin are attacked by an orange bipedal rhinoceros (who also previously appeared in several season 1 episodes), an orange potbellied dragon with tiny purple wings, and a swarm of weird tentacled one-eyed monsters. None of them are identified by name in the TV show, and you probably would not recognize them based on their appearance. According to concept artwork, these characters are Kraid, Ridley, and Metroids, respectively. For more evidence, storyboards reveal that Ridley and the Metroids initially had designs that much more closely matched their original artwork.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Italian version has a different opening theme song.
  • Animation Bump: Unsurprisingly, the first episode is much better animated than the rest of the series. The only other episode with the same level of animation from that season is "Mega Trouble for Megaland". This can arguably be seen within a few of the episodes of Season 2, such as "Gameboy", "Quest for the Potion of Power", and "The Big Game".
  • Aroused by Their Voice: 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."
  • Art Evolution: For the worse. The character designs became vastly simplified and the animation became poorer in season three. Compare: Season 1 & 2 Mother Brain to Season 3 Mother Brain.
  • Benevolent Genie: "Wishful Thinking" might be a critique of the then newly-developed game patch devices.note  The N Team comes across a lamp containing a calm albeit snarky genie and uses his magic to make wishes. 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.
  • Bizarro Universe: "In Search of the King" had the heroes travel through a mirror to a place where all the heroes were villains. We never see the Mirror Universe counterparts of the villains, though other things are backwards. For example: a woman doing laundry takes her clean clothes and throws them into a mud puddle to make them dirty.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Body Horror: 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. In the same episode, Lana's great fear is that her beautiful face is replaced with Mother Brain's.
  • Broken Pedestal: 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.
    • Rebuilt Pedestal: Seeing how much Kid Icarus believed in him gets Wombatman to start act like a real hero, and they team up to save their friends. Kid Icarus can say he's the only person who went on a for-real adventure with Wombatman.
  • Bumbling Henchmen Duo: King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard do most of the legwork for Mother Brain's schemes. King Hippo is a boxer, so he acts as the muscle. Eggplant Wizard is a master of vegetable-based magic. And they constantly fail at everything.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • 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.
  • Calling Your Attack: Whenever Captain N uses the pause button he'll almost always call out "Pause" or "I'll hit pause!" or some variation.
  • The Cameo: Although Mario oddly never properly appears in the series, he makes a cameo on a poster in Kevin's room in the comic "Welcome to Videoland". In the same panel, Kevin is playing Super Mario Bros. on his NES, with Goomba sprites barely visible on the TV screen.
  • Carpet-Rolled Corpse: King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard kidnap Princess Lana by rolling her into a rug.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The third and last season is filthy with this kind of thing, with the N Team meeting living facsimiles of Larry Bird, Bo Jackson (who was also featured in fellow DiC production, ProStars), and Robin Hood (intended to be a facsimile to the one played by Kevin Costner in Prince of Thieves) in the worlds of their respective games.
  • Clip Show: "When Mother Brain Rules". 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, and it wasn't included at all when the show was released to DVD.
  • Clockworks Area: Occurs partway through "Once Upon a Time Machine" when one of the time warp portals deposits Kevin, Link, and Pero inside Big Ben and they have to run through its mechanisms and jump through holes in the bigger gears to get out of the building.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: By Valiant Comics, as part of the Nintendo Comics System.
  • Continuity Nod: In "Having a Ball", Bayou Billy and Loafer from "How's Bayou" make a short appearance arriving at the ball. In the same episode, Mega Man can be seen dancing with Mega Girl from "Happy Birthday, Megaman" in the background of one scene.
  • Continuity Snarl: It's never been outright confirmed or debunked if the versions of Link, Zelda, Ganon, the Moblins, and the Triforce pieces featured in this series are the same ones from the The Legend of Zelda series. There are noticeable differences as a result of this, such as the traditional castle now being a palace that looks almost similar to the Palace of Power. The king, as well as Spryte are nowhere to be seen in this series, and there are now three Triforce pieces, which includes the Triforce of Courage that was introduced in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The Triforce of Wisdom now speaks through Zelda instead of on its own, and all three pieces in the wrong hands or even destroyed have enough power to kill her.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In "The Most Dangerous Game Master", Dr. Wiley's android looked identical to Mike Vincent from the neck down before they even knew about him.
  • Costume-Test Montage: In the episode "The Trouble with Tetris," Lana's brother Lyle wants to prove he has what it takes to be a prince. This kicks off a Training Montage, part of which is dedicated to a costume test montage. An additional hurdle that is unique to this scenario, since they are on the world of Tetris, all the clothing is designed to fit people who are literally made of blocks. Kid Icarus is able to remedy this with an arrow with a sewing needle for the tip.
  • Crossover: Link and Zelda made four appearances in Season 2, bringing back their respective voice actors.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • All the Robot Masters from Mega Man - Cut Man is the only one to have dialogue or extended screen time (for some reason). Ice Man is also mentioned briefly in "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street."
    • In the third and final season, everyone other than Kevin was used less often. In the case of Mother Brain, it had become too expensive to have Levi Stubbs continue regularly voicing her, and in the cases of Simon and Mega Man, it was due to Konami and Capcom owning the rights to those respective characters and being entitled to royalties should they appear on the show.
  • Depending on the Artist: In the TV show, Metroid and Kid Icarus characters bear only a superficial resemblance to their videogame counterparts. With the exception of Mother Brain and Eggplant Wizard (likely due to being the series's main antagonists and therefore major recognizable characters), any Metroid and Kid Icarus characters who appear in the comics are much more faithful to their original designs. For example, compare Kraid, Ridley, and Medusa in the TV show with Kraid, Ridley, and Medusa in the comics.
  • The Dog Bites Back: 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, yet for some reason, she continues to keep them around...
  • 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?
  • Elves Versus Dwarves: This is the plot of "The Feud Of Faxanadu". Both sides blame the other for the loss of a magical crystal. A dwarf-elf hybrid, Dwelf, stole it because he feared it would be used for evil.
  • Elvish Presley: Melfis, the leader of the Elves in the videogame of Faxanadu appeared in two episodes. He shared some facial features (not to mention the wardrobe) of the singer, but with blue skin. Well, his face was blue. Everything from the neck down was white.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Kevin and Lana dancing uses very simple repeated animation.
  • Excuse Plot: Like most of the games of the era it was based on, the plot side of things is pretty flimsy. No explanation whatsoever is attempted for how there's a parallel universe inhabited by people and locations identical to the characters and settings of popular video games. Let alone in the last season, where two episodes have the N Team meeting versions of real world pro athletes.
  • Fake Crossover: A few of the episodes were clearly intended to capitalize on the release of licensed NES games, but feature Captain Ersatz versions of the characters featured in those games in order to avoid paying any excessive licensing fees.
    • Wombatman and his girlfriend Nikki first appeared in a throwaway gag in the Season 1 episode "The Most Dangerous Game Master" as obvious parodies of Batman and Vicki Vale, but when Sunsoft's tie-in Batman game based on the Tim Burton movie came out when Season 2 was in production, they suddenly became the focus of a whole episode ("I Wish I Was A Wombatman") no doubt intended to capitalize on the release of the NES Batman game without having to pay the expensive licensing fee that would've required to feature the actual Dark Knight on the show.
    • "Once Upon a Time Machine" is based on Puss 'n Boots, but features a version of Pero who is legally distinct enough from the actual Toei mascot featured in the NES game.
    • "Misadventures in Robin Hood Woods" is clearly based on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, or rather its tie-in NES game, but the characters in the episode are simply generic depictions of the public domain characters and not based on the actors appearing in the film.
  • Fantastic Racism: Elves vs. Dwarves in "The Feud of Faxanadu." The N Team even splits down the middle on who deserves their help more.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: "Germ Wars" features the N-Team shrinking down and going inside Kevin.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: An especially egregious example in "The Big Game": Mega Man wears a helmet when doing extreme sports like his teammates, even though he obviously has on a helmet that he never takes off.
  • Finger Framing: When the N Team visits a studio world, a director, who happens to be an octopus creature, does this while watching the N Team and debating if they were camera-worthy, though as an octopus he uses tentacles instead of fingers.
  • Forgot About His Powers: 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.)
  • Furry Confusion: Seen in "Once Upon a Time Machine." Its guest cast is pretty much entirely anthropomorphic or sapient animals, but there are a few non-sapient ones too nobody bats an eye over. Also, Pero reveals part of the reason the guest villain (an anthropomorphic pig) hates his guts so much is Pero loves bacon burgers...
  • Godlike Gamer: As the name suggests, this is about the NES gamer Kevin Keene, who's warped into a NES-fantasy world where he becomes The Chosen One as told by prophecies. Knowing about these games, Kevin soon known as Captain N, uses his knowledge and gaming skills to become The Ace and The Hero who'll free Videoland from Mother Brain. He's armed with a NES controller that can hack the world and a Zapper as his main weapon against pixel creatures.
  • Gun Twirling: Kevin likes to twirl his Zapper on his finger. Ironically, this cannot be done in real life due to the NES Zapper's lack of trigger guardnote .
  • 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".
  • Hijacked by Ganon: In Quest for the Potion of Power, Mother Brain resurrects the Trope Namer thinking she could control him. It doesn't take and he ends up being the main villain for the rest of the episode.
    Mother Brain: You're supposed to work for me!
    Ganon: Ganon works for NO ONE!
  • Idiot Ball:
    • "Wishful Thinking" has the N-Team coming across a magic lamp with a Genie that can grant any wish. While Lana briefly considers it, no one uses any wishes to defeat Mother Brain or wish for King Charles to return. In that same episode, Kevin wishes that he could be unbeatable with his gear, but after realizing that he'd have no competition, he immediately declares it boring without the thought that he could use these newfound skills to take down Mother Brain.
    • The N-Team are gone for 3 weeks during their quest to find the Warp of Life in "Happy Birthday Mega Man". Despite that absence, Mother Brain and her henchmen don't even attempt to conquer Videoland, nor does the N-Team acknowledge the possibility or even mention the villains at all.
  • In Name Only: 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. Although to be fair, the people making this show 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.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo suck at their jobs, constantly screwing up. At one point Mother Brain even fires them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • 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.
    • Simon also has his moments where, despite a tendency to wish he had Captain N's spotlight, he clearly thinks of Kevin as a hero and a friend.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: For some reason, we get not one, but two in the form of Kid Icarus and Mega Man. While not weak, Kid Icarus is shown to be sensitive about his size, yet still a capable hero with a variety of arrows for any occasion. Mega Man on the other hand, serves as determined ankle biter while also doubling as the brains of the team. Despite being a tough Pintsized Powerhouse, he still gets tossed around by the villains on a few occasions.
  • Kissing the Ground: In "The Trojan Dragon", Simon has issues piloting the eponymous wooden dragon, and his claustrophobia didn't help either. After landing it in a deep river and getting it out, he runs outside of it and kisses the ground.
  • Large Ham:
    • Mother Brain, who was even given a face to facilitate this.
    • Dracula from Castlevania.
    • Simon Belmont fulfills this for the heroes.
  • Larynx Dissonance: Mother Brain's voice actor is Levi Stubbs, a man.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: 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, unfortunately the same applies to Kevin if he ever leaves Videoland.
  • 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.
  • Magic Mirror: Mother Brain has one that she sometimes asks for a lead on a new scheme, although it tends to disrespect her as much as anyone else.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: What other show exists where you can expect characters from Castlevania, Mega Man, Punch-Out!!, Kid Icarus, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Dragon Quest, The Adventures of Bayou Billy, Faxanadu, Final Fantasy, and Wizards & Warriors to show up at one point or another? It's just too bad most of them are In Name Only.
  • Medium Awareness: A rare, serious version of the trope which avoids crossing the fourth wall. In "Metroid Sweet Metroid", Kevin believes he's found a warp that will take him home. However, the show's opening depicts him in live-action before entering videoland to begin with. Kevin realizes he's been fooled because he's still an animated cartoon.
  • Mega-Microbes: When Viroid threatens to kill Kevin from the inside, the N Team shrinks down to confront him.
  • 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.
    • This was likely the main reason, if not the only reason, for Game Boy being shoehorned into the team.
  • Money Spider: Enemies sometimes turn into money, treasure and other power-ups when they die, which is as expected with this being the world of video games.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • This isn't the first DIC series to feature a 60s soul singer in its cast.note 
    • Which game is featured in the final episode? Why, Final Fantasy, of course.
  • 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 (which really lived up to the "hard" part of the trope).
    • Similarly with Mega Man, where Kevin mentions it took him 50 tries to get through Cutman's level. This was actually par for the course.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Duke the dog and later Game Boy the Robot Buddy act as sidekicks for the N-Team.
  • Original Generation:
    • Lana isn't from any game, although she is loosely based on Palutena from Kid Icarus.
    • Mega Man was given a female counterpart — not Roll as you might expect, but the pink-sporting Mega Girl. note 
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Averted. In "The Feud Of Faxanadu", the dwarves are teal-skinned humanoids with huge noses. While most of them are short, one of them is rather tall and lanky.
  • Our Elves Are Different: In "The Feud Of Faxanadu", there are several varieties of elves. The first we see are blue-skinned with whiskers and elf ears. The second is their king, who an Elvis impersonator who only his face is blue while the rest of his body has normal skin tones. The third variety looks like an emaciated human.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: On the rare occasions when other boxers from Punch-Out are seen, they're almost always monsters or aliens. While inaccurate, this was probably done to avoid backlash for the shallow National Stereotypes the actual characters are like.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Princess Lana's outfit prominently features pink.
  • Princesses Rule: Princess Lana is the only ruler in Videoland. Her father is still alive; he's just trapped in another dimension.
    • And of course, Zelda serves as the Princess of Hyrule.
  • Product Placement: The entire show is this, featuring examples such as the Power Glove, the Game Boy, the NES itself, and any of the games.
  • "Reading Is Cool" Aesop: In the episode based on Paperboy.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Considering the spotty research the show's known for it might just be a coincidence, but one episode reveals that the one game even Captain N couldn't beat was The Adventures of Bayou Billy, which as any NES fan will tell you is one of the hardest and cheapest games on a system notorious for such difficulty.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: A good majority of season one's background music is reused from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Even the copyrighted musical numbers.
  • 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.
    • 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 Heel–Face Turn.
    • Simon of course considers himself this for Kevin, although his actual ability to measure up to the Game Master is minimal.
  • RPG Episode:
    • One of the last episodes involves the team visiting the world of Final Fantasy, where they fight Astos.
    • In an earlier episode they travel to the world of Dragon Warrior.
  • Rule of Funny: The reasoning behind making bad-ass vampire killer Simon Belmont into a cowardly ego-maniacal doofus, among other changes.
  • Samus Is a Girl: When the N Team first meets Samus in the comic, they're surprised when she takes off her helmet immediately after Princess Lana describes Samus as the greatest space hunter.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: Sometimes the hero of a game that gets visited never gets mentioned because the N Team are stepping in to save the day, such as Kuros from Wizards & Warriors never gets brought up when the episode's about visiting his game, or the hero of Dragon Warrior. Sometimes the hero of a game being visited will properly guest star, though, like Bayou Billy, or the titular Paperboy, or of course when Captain N meets Link and Zelda.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Captain N finishes the intro sequence by shooting his Zapper into the camera for no real reason, and a few episodes end with him doing the same thing.
  • Series Continuity Error: The series is never consistent on whether the Art Shift between 2D and 3D is visible to the characters. In "The Most Dangerous Game Master" a flashback to the real world is 2D, yet in "Metroid Sweet Metroid" Kevin realizes he's not in the real world because it's 2D.note 
  • Short Screentime for Reality: All we see of the real world is Kevin's bedroom before he gets sucked into his TV and ends up in Video Land in the first episode. The rest of the series takes place entirely within Video Land, with the real world barely being mentioned.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The show is basically a goofy remake of TRON with Nintendo characters. Mother Brain is essentially a comically 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.
    • Among others in the series, there's a subtle one to Raiders of the Lost Ark in "Quest for the Potion of Power" during the "Can You Feel the Heat?" montage. The heroes face a Goriya who twirls his boomerang in his hands, and Kevin shoots both it and him with his Zapper.
    • The ending of "Wishful Thinking" gives Mother Brain, Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo the hair styles of The Three Stooges, with Eggplant Wizard doing Curley's signature "Woob-woob-woob" while he and King Hippo are being chased by Mother Brain.
  • Show Within a Show: Wombatman, a send-up of the Batman (1966) TV Show. As we find out in a later episode, Wombatman is played by a furry version of Adam West.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Dr. Light and Dr. Wily are named Dr. Wright and Dr. Wiley in this series, as confirmed by concept artwork. In Dr. Wright's case, it's an example of Early Adaptation Weirdness since that is how his name was spelled in the Mega Man manual.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Kevin can stop time and gains super speed with his Power Pad. Of course he tends to forget about his powers most of the time.
    • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Although how much power he has varies on the episode, Kevin is quick to point out that his Pause button drains his power rapidly, so even a few seconds of pause, runs him pretty dry.
  • Subverted Suspicion Aesop: 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.
  • Summon Everyman Hero: In the first episode the Ultimate Warp Zone summons perfectly average Kevin Keene to save Videoland using his skill at video games.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Mother Brain often mentions her minions' stupidity. Usually her ire is aimed at bungling morons Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo. Dr.Wily usually escapes the worst of her verbal abuse, as he displays his competency often enough to be genuinely useful.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Mother Brain's "Metroid Mirror," which is a computer monitor, can be used to show anything going on in Videoland. In the second episode, Mother Brain uses it to show her footage of Kevin playing a video game in his bedroom, from before he came to Videoland.
  • Terrible Trio: The main villain Mother Brain and her two prominent henchmen King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard.
  • 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, Megaman" has this spoken by the N-Team at the beginning of the episode, and ends with the Warp of Life saying it as well.
  • 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. Narnia for gamers!
  • Training Montage:
    • In (where else?) "Videolympics", where the N Team prepares for the titular Videolympics. Even ends with them running up a big staircase.
    • Later, in "The Trouble with Tetris," Lyle undergoes one of these as part of training to learn everything he needs to be a proper prince.
  • 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).
  • Valley Girl: Kevin's old crush Stacey and Wiley's beach android, both from the Season 2 episode "The Big Game" are, like, totally, this trope.
  • Verbal Tic: Mega Man and Kid Icarus. Mega adds mega- to the beginning of a lot of words, while Kid Icarus adds -icus, imas, and ious to the ends of words.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In "The Most Dangerous Game Master," Mother Brain creates an android based on Kevin's bully, Mike Vincent. Kevin befriends the android by reminding him that he and Mike used to be friends.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: 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 Mega Man, "Quest For The Potion of Power" references Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, 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. Like "Invasion of the Paper Pedalers," which is based on Paperboy but is about Mother Brain hypnotizing the neighborhood with magic ink in their newspapers.
  • You Don't Look Like You:
    • This article discusses the changes in-depth (mostly for the featured Mega Man characters) and suggests that the creators had poor reference material.
    • 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.
    • King Hippo having blue skin would have been forgivable if they didn't show Kevin fighting him in Punchout during the intro.
    • 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 Kraid who looks like this. He hardly bears any resemblance to his original NES appearance. Note that this only applies to his appearance in the TV show; in the comics, he looks just like his original manual artwork.
    • The entire Robin Hood episode in the last season. It was seemingly inspired by the game based on Prince Of Thieves that came out around the time, but they clearly couldn't license that game and instead the episode is a mix of general legends about the character note  and a generic idea of what a Robin Hood game might be like.

Kevin: Life just isn't as cool without my Power Pad and Zapper!


Video Example(s):


King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard

The real question is how did Kevin not see them?

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / CarpetRolledCorpse

Media sources: