Captain N: The Game Master

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First season title card.

Captain N: The Game Master is an animated children's television show produced by DIC Entertainment about a teenage boy who gets sucked into his television and enters the world of Nintendo Entertainment System video games. The show ran from 1989-09-09 to 1991-10-26 and lasted for three seasons totaling 34 episodes. It was also turned into a comic book.

Although a few characters were created for the show like Kevin, Princess Lana, and Duke, the show mostly used video game characters from various games. Although the range of games used as inspiration for the show is pretty wide, the bulk of the characters come from Nintendo, Konami, and Capcom franchises.

I watched this show when it was on television and, as a kid obsessed with Nintendo, I really loved it despite its flaws. Because I was too young to pay attention to TV listings, I never really knew when it was on, so I only saw a handful of episodes. In my late 20s, I tried watching the show again. I think I gave up half-way through the first season before giving up.



  • The idea of living in a universe where various video game worlds are real, and you can warp between them, is a really interesting concept.
  • The voice acting is pretty great. Levi Stubbs does a wonderful Mother Brain, Alessandro Juliani's voice cracking is great for Pit, and Doug Parker does a good robotic sound for Rock. I also like how Pit ends a lot of sentences with "-cus" and Rock starts many words with "mega-".
  • The game incorporates various sound effects and music from actual video games, which was pretty awesome.


  • The show was targeted toward young children, so this is somewhat forgivable, but it's so painfully childish, it becomes nearly unwatchable as an adult.
  • Kevin's abilities are used inconsistently. His power pad lets him jump really high, run really fast, and even freeze time, but he rarely uses it when it would be most helpful. Likewise, the Zapper pretty much makes him a killing machine, but he rarely shoots important enemies.
  • The show's creators often included unrelated pop music in the show when they could have easily used video game music.


  • Very little effort was spent trying to accurately portray the games on which the show focused. Several of the characters are drawn incorrectly (Mother Brain doesn't have a face, King Hippo doesn't have cyan skin, Mega Man is the wrong color, etc.), characters and realms are given generic names instead of their in-game names (Pit is called "Kid Icarus," SR388 is called "Metroidland," etc.) and despite having dozens of games to draw inspiration from, the show's designers often created new monsters and environments for each episode which had nothing to do with any video game.
  • Over all, the show is cheaply made. Many of the characters are poorly drawn, the animation is jagged, and the plots are terribly contrived.