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Captain N: The Game Master

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Captain N: The Game Master
Captain N - The Game Master - 01.jpg
Want a mega-video game cartoon that's nothing but a mega-terrible Nintendo commercial? This is the cartoon-icus for you-icus!
Genre: Action
Running Time: 22 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: September 9, 1989 – October 26, 1991
Network(s): NBC
Distributed by: DIC Animation City
Seasons: 3
Episodes: 34

Captain N: The Game Master is an American-Canadian animated television series that aired on television from 1989 to 1991 as part of the Saturday morning cartoon lineup on NBC. The show was produced by DIC Animation City and incorporated elements from many of the most popular video games of the time from the Japanese company Nintendo, along with third party companies that were supporting Nintendo at the time such as Capcom and Konami as evidenced by the appearance of Mega Man and Simon Belmont as two of the main characters of the show.


Kevin Keene, a teenage gamer, and his dog Duke are brought to another universe to defeat the evil Mother Brain with the help of video game characters.

Bad Qualities

  1. The overall problem that this show carries is that it has an awful grasp of its source material. According to the crew who worked on the show such as Jeffery Scott and Fil Barlow, most of the crew who worked on the series had never played any of the Nintendo video games during the time and had nearly no reference material from the licensors. Most of the crew were completely limited to cartridges of the games and an NES to gather knowledge about the video game series. This led to numerous loose portrayals throughout the series that would not age well and at certain points be insulting to the original franchises:
    • The designs of Mega Man, Pit, and Simon Belmont were changed for some reason, making them unrecognizable, especially Simon.
      • Mother Brain is depicted as a face attached to a brain instead of a singular eye in a brain.
    • Mega Man is teal in the cartoon, which is especially egregious because he still has the "Blue Bomber" nickname in this series.
      • Likewise, King Hippo has blue skin in the series, which makes no sense since he is a human in the original game.
    • Despite featuring Mother Brain from Metroid as the main antagonist, Samus Aran doesn't even appear in the series, nor is mentioned by anyone.
    • Pit is named "Kid Icarus" in this series. This is like calling Link "Zelda" or calling Samus "Metroid".
      • Likewise, Planet Zebes is referred to as "Metroid" in this series.
  2. The whole show is a shameless promotion for Nintendo games. This becomes extremely obvious when a living Game Boy gets introduced and becomes part of the main cast in season 2.
  3. Mega Man's and Gameboy's voice acting however is most horrendous, as the earlier sounds like a daily smoker and the latter sound completely monotonous.
  4. The villain designs are corny and very ugly, especially King Hippo, Eggplant Wizard, and Mother Brain.
  5. When Captain N gets teleported to Videoland in the first episode, he turns into a hideous green CGI monster for a brief moment, which could scare young viewers. This is also present in the intro and credits to all season 1 episodes.
  6. The animation, while acceptable for DIC standards, is not very good and pretty bland-looking.
    • The animation took a complete nosedive in season 3, which due to budget cuts, caused DIC to change the show's animation outsourcer. Season 3 is very unpolished and the character designs became more simple.
  7. Awfully weak writing.
  8. The name of the realm Videoland is stupid, unoriginal, and uninspired.
  9. Captain N, along with some other characters, are bland and unlikeable.
  10. Some of the characters in the show have annoying verbal tics: Pit would randomly insert "-icus" into his sentences, and Mega Man would insert "mega" into his sentences.
  11. Most of season 3 also consisted of reruns of season 2. Likewise, the season 2 finale "When Mother Brain Rules" was a clip show with absolutely no new footage, making the episode nonsensical.
  12. "The Fractured Fantasy Of Captain N" was an awful way to end the series in terms of new episodes. "The Invasion Of The Paper Pedalers" was also a rather mediocre way to end the original run as a whole.

Good Qualities

  1. The voice acting (except for Mega Man and Gameboy) is passable.
    • The late Levi Stubbs (of the Four Tops) plays the role of Mother Brain, which is great for Motown and Little Shop of Horrors fans.
  2. The designs for the characters look decent in the first two seasons.
  3. Albeit most of the characters are rather bland, they are still likable for what they are, at least until season 3.
  4. The Legend of Zelda characters that appeared in a few episodes is passable. For example, Link and Zelda are a lot more tolerable here than they were in their TV series.
  5. A few decent/good episodes, such as the pilot "Kevin in Videoland", the two-parter "Videolympics" and "Mega Trouble for Megaland", and "Germ Wars". All of the aforementioned episodes also have better animation than the rest of the series.
  6. Mega Girl's (Roll's) design is cute.
  7. The comic series created by Valiant is a major improvement over the show and fixes many of the flaws.
  8. One can see the show as so bad it's good.
  9. The Italian dub is positive and underrated.

Episodes with Their Pages


Captain N: The Game Master received mixed reviews on IMDB she holds a 6.4/10.


  • Ian James Corlett, who provided the voice of Dr. Wily, would go on to voice Mega Man in the 1994 cartoon of the same name by Ruby-Spears.
  • This cartoon also had it's own comic series which featured Samus Aran who didn't appear in the show.



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