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 NES games. The characters were predominately 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 really 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 watched the first season and found that it did not age well at all.

Review

Good

  • 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.
  • Levi Stubbs does a great job voice-acting Mother Brain.
  • The game incorporates various sound effects and music from actual video games, which was pretty awesome.

Bad

  • 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.
  • 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.).
  • 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.
  • 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.

Ugly

  • Over all, the show is cheaply made. Many of the characters are poorly drawn, the animation is jagged, the plots are terribly contrived, and little effort was spent trying to accurately portray the games on which they focused.

Episodes

Links