September 17th, 2008


The Art of Dragon War

I've watched the entire first season of Captain N, but I'm going to space out my reviews a little, so as not to inundate you with them. Here's my take on two episodes.

Wishful Thinking - This one is kind of lame, really. The N Team finds a lamp that summons the Power Genie (not the Game Genie; I'm not sure that had been invented yet, and it was a Galoob product anyway), who grants wishes. Later on, King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard steal the lamp, and use it to make their own wishes. As is typical for a plot like this, most of the wishes made are kind of dumb, or else don't work out exactly as planned. I guess what you'd call the emotional core of this episode is Kid Icarus' desire to be taller, which leads him to wish himself into a giant, and he has to learn that self-confidence is more important than height. Sort of gets you inside, doesn't it? And I don't mean in your heart, but more like in your spleen. I think the main appeal of this episode is that you get to see Mother Brain dressed up as a maid, a boxer, and Moe Howard (who was Jeffrey Scott's grandfather, by the way).

Three Men and a Dragon - Now, this one I actually liked, probably largely because I'm a fan of the Dragon Warrior (AKA Dragon Quest) series. The episode starts out on the world of Dragon's Den, which was called Alfegard in the games. Well, Alfegard is one of the countries there, anyway. DW3 hints that it's the name for the entire world, but DW2 suggests otherwise. While Mother Brain does appear, the main villain is the Dragonlord. In the game, he was a guy who had control over dragons, and revealed himself in the final battle to actually be a blue dragon himself. In the cartoon, he's a dragon all the time, and he's red. Of course, color changes are pretty much par for the course on this show. Just ask Mega Man or King Hippo. Maybe this invasion attempt takes place after the one in the actual game, so Dragonlord doesn't see the need in taking human form anymore. He has a hypnotic crystal that he got from Mother Brain, which he uses to darken the hearts of all of the dragons in the world, except for a baby named Puff (get it?), who escapes. Since darkening the hearts of all of the dragons would plunge the world into a millennium of darkness, and it had already been through that back in the days of Zoma, the three Keepers of Power (perhaps the same ones who kept the Stones of Sunlight, Staff of Rain, and Rainbow Drop?) contact the palace to get the N Team to find Puff. Simon tries to use a horn to summon the dragon, but he instead ends up calling a fox, a pack of hounds, a flock of sheep, and a group of Bedouins on camels. Apparently they were all hanging around near the warp zone. Anyway, with Simon's plan having failed (as usual), the team warps to Brecconary, where they split up. Lana and Mega Man go to find Puff, while the others will try to head off Dragonlord's attack. Wait, Kevin split up the group and didn't go with Lana? Isn't that like Fred going off without Daphne? Oh, well.

Kevin's group stops at a weapon shop, where the shopkeeper offers him a golden battle-axe in exchange for his Zapper. Would a golden axe really be all that effective as a weapon? Besides, wasn't Golden Axe a Genesis game? Kevin turns him down, of course, but does trade his digital watch for some medical herbs. Kid Icarus buys a fireproof helmet, and the ever-practical Simon gets some water skis. They leave town, and some time later run into King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard on dragon-back. Eggy's dragon has ice breath, which freezes Kevin until Duke restores him with an herb. I would have thought you'd have needed a full moon herb for that, but apparently not. After overcoming the dopey dragon riders (and giving Simon a chance to use his new water skis), Kevin and his companions find Puff in a cave. Yeah, I know Lana and Mega Man were the ones who were supposed to find the baby dragon, but hey, whatever works. Puff is hungry, and turns down Simon's dragonflies. Kevin suggests milk, even though Puff isn't a mammal, and there just happens to be a bizarre-looking cow standing around nearby. She's not even in a pasture or anything, just out in the open. After Simon's slapstick efforts to milk the cow, Duke manages to scare some milk out of her. There follows a montage of the three men (and one dog) attending to Puff's needs, which I assume is where the episode title comes from.

Now is as good a time as any to get back to Lana and Mega Man, who have unintentionally reached Dragonlord's stronghold, Castle Charlock. The wicked worm wizard locks them in a dungeon, but fortunately the Keepers are in the next cell with some magic warp water. That sends the two heroes to a cave containing a lightning bolt and a suit of golden armor. Upon leaving the cave, they meet Kevin's group, and Simon exclaims, "You found the power items!" How did he know there WERE any power items? Or do Videoland citizens just assume that any adventure is going to involve power items of some sort? Anyway, Dragonlord attacks the N Team, but they use the lightning to break his spell over the other dragons. That's one plan foiled, but Dragonlord would be back again in the next season.

So that's that. Oh, and before I forget, happy belated birthday to unclemilo!