Hey there J1 fans, as you know I’ve done all kinds of reviews—Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Following. I decided to drudge up something I started when we had a forum page. So without further ado, here’s “Cheesy Cartoons: Love ‘em, Hate ‘em but we still watched ‘em!” I’m Devildriver1313 (my name that was on the now closed forum) and I’m bringing you cartoons that were so good because they were cheesy and we watched them for that reason. The first cartoon I’m bringing you is about a boy and his dog.
Running for three season from 1989 to 1991, Captain N: The Game Master follows teenager Kevin Keene and his dog Duke on their adventures through Video Land after Princess Lana summons a champion to help her protect her kingdom from the evil Mother Brain. Lana’s protectors include Megaman, Kid Icarus and Simon Belmont. At first none of them have much confidence in Kevin, especially Simon Belmont. Now if your earliest memory is when Miley Cyrus used to be Hanna Montana, then you might not who these characters are. Simon Belmont is from Konami’s “Castlevania” series and the most prolific series character having appeared in three games where as other characters appeared in a single title. Kid Icarus appeared in “Kid Icarus” where he is called Pit in that game. And Megaman had his own series of game spanning back to when most of us saw the Berlin Wall come down. Eventually, Kevin proved himself worthy and joins the group, much to Simon’s dismay, in protecting Princess Lana from Mother Brain (Metroid series, when it was good) and her minions, King Hippo (Punch Out), Eggplant Wizard (Kid Icarus) and Dr. Wily (Megaman).
CHEESE FACTOR!! What is the “Cheese Factor”? This is where I tell you about the show’s cheesy goodness. What makes Captain N cheesy? Well, let’s start with the characters. Megaman was a few shades green rather than blue as he appears in the games. This wasn’t an editing error but a fault on the animators who were designing Megaman and the television was not properly colored which resulted in Megs being colored green. This was not corrected and left alone. But really, even back then I was like “Why is Megaman green? He’s supposed to be blue and it looks like he’s wearing gloves.” Plus, he doesn’t have his arm cannon, instead he fires blasts from an opening on his wrist. Oh and he had a visor. Simon Belmont looked so different from how he is depicted in “Castlevania”. Instead of looking like someone from the 15th century, he looks more like he should be back-packing through Europe or climbing the Rockies more so than hunting vampires. And he was turned into a total jerk. Sure, he’s brave when he wants to be but he is basically a bronzed, muscle head from California who cares more about his looks than anything else. Simon’s ego leads to him being the comic relief of the team as he has a tendency to foul things up. Oh, if he father Trevor could have seen him.
WHY WE WATCHED!! This is the cool portion. Captain N: The Game Master was a cartoon based on video games, if not one of the best video game based cartoons! What kid back then didn’t imagine being a part of their favorite game? Captain N brought out a fantasy us ‘80s kids wanted to live out. Plus the series helped bolster Nintendo’s sales of the NES and games that were featured in the series. Another cool idea was the use of music from various games to move the story along. This place is called Video Land so what better way to sell that than use music from the games and remix it. That’s kinda what we do here at J1 but Captain N did it first. Also the characters were cool even if they were cheesy. Simon Belmont is an example of good cheese. Though he is an egotistical, arrogant, pompous windbag, his constant banter with Kevin kept things interesting and showed that they may be the perfect team but they got the job done. Comedy relief was also provided by King Hippo and Eggplant wizard whose banter was more entertaining than Simon and Kevin. And let’s not forget Four Tops’ lead singer Levi Stubbs providing the sassy voice of Mother Brain that kept Hippo and Eggplant in line whenever they got out of it, just like that loud mouthed, sassy aunt some of us might have.
Overall, Captain N: The Game Master was a great video game show with the right amount of cheesy goodness that still remains fresh in our minds a quarter century later. It served as good replacement whenever we lost the controller due to a bad test score. Yeah, I remember that too.
Captain N gets a cheesy rating of:
Oh yeah, HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY CAPTAIN N!!