The Most Dangerous Game Master
"The Most Dangerous Game Master" is the third episode of Captain N: The Game Master.
Mother Brain hatches her latest scheme to take over Videoland, and sends Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo to the Palace of Power to steal Kevin's memories with a special device created by Dr. Wily. When they return to Metroid with the recorded memories, Wily inputs them into an android he had already begun creating in order to make a bigger, badder version of Captain N.
Mother Brain contacts the N Team at the Palace of Power, and tells them that Kevin is no longer the most powerful game master in Videoland. Then, the N Team gets a distress call from Mike Vincent, someone who bullied Kevin back in the real world, who tells Kevin that he was also sucked into Videoland through his TV and is lost in the world of Castlevania. The entire N Team warps to Castlevania to help him.
The N Team finds Mike, who reveals that he lured them to Castlevania to be ambushed by him and his "M Team" of monsters: The Count, Frankenstein, Mummy, and Wolf Man. The N Team stops the monsters, but Mike freezes the N Team in their tracks with his own power pad. Taken to another chamber within Castlevania where Mother Brain is, it is revealed to Kevin that Mike is Wily's super-powered android with Kevin's darkest memories inputted into him. Mother Brain thinks that with this, she has conquered Videoland. Mike takes charge, and against Mother Brain's wishes, challenges Kevin to a race through the world of Castlevania: the winner being the real Game Master.
Kevin and the android Mike take 2 different routes through Castlevania, battling various monsters on the way to the Count's chamber. The Count pushes Kevin out the window right before being defeated by Mike with a shot from his Zapper. Mike then walks over to Kevin, still hanging on with his fingers, to brag about winning the challenge. Kevin says that if he’s really based on Mike Vincent, he can’t be all bad. Kevin tells the Mike android about old times when they used to be friends before Mike was a bully.
Back at the chamber where the N Team is held captive, Mother Brain yells for Wily to activate the secret weapon, equipping her with two huge guns. Mike pushes Kevin out of the way and ends up getting blasted. Kevin then blasts a chandelier which falls onto a table and flips Mother Brain, Dr. Wily, King Hippo, and Eggplant Wizard out the skylight and back to Metroid. Kevin tries to comfort Mike. Mike says Kevin was right, deep down he really was a nice guy. Then he says not to worry about him because he’s just an android, and then shuts down. Simon Belmont says that he knew he could beat Mike. Kevin tells Simon that he did better than beat him, he became his friend again. The android then fades out and disappears.
The series-exclusive characters Wombatman and Nikki debut in this episode in a cameo on the TV screen the N Team is watching. They would reappear in Season 2. Nikki’s name is neither known nor referred to until her next appearance. The Mike Vincent android is a creation by Dr. Wily. This would be its only appearance.
Not counting the Season 1 opening (in which he appears only in bat form), the Count makes his debut in this episode. He would appear throughout Season 1 as an ally of Mother Brain and once in Season 3. He is never referred to as Dracula on the show, and is only referred to as “the Count” as he is in the original Castlevania’s manual. However, in Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, he is referred to as Dracula.
Besides the Count, the following creatures from the Castlevania series are seen in this episode:
*Blue Vampire Bats (appear in the original Castlevania only)
*Red Vampire Bats (both Castlevania I & Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest)
*Skeleton (both I and II)
*Wolf Man (II only)
*Mummy (both I and II)
*Frankenstein (I only)
*Ghost (I only)
*Fish Man (both I and II)
*Black Knight (both I and II)
*The title of this episode references The Most Dangerous Game, a famous short story by Richard Connell.
*It is unknown how Dr. Wily was able to design the robot without already having Kevin’s memories. However, the android’s face was not revealed until after the device used to gather Kevin’s memories was returned and after Wily threw the switches to finalize the process. It is possible he had seen the memories and modified the face of the android to match Mike Vincent’s before the scene began.
*The “Donkey Kong Jones” movie the N Team is watching is an obvious parody of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It may also have contained elements of the cancelled NES game, Return of Donkey Kong, since it portrayed Donkey Kong as the protagonist. According to the preview of the then-upcoming game in The Official Nintendo Player’s Guide, Donkey Kong was to be playable in the game. The scene also somewhat resembles the gameplay of a later video game, Donkey Kong 64, where Donkey Kong is on a quest for giant golden bananas.
*The “Wombatman” show the N Team is watching is an obvious reference to the Michael Keaton movie Batman, which was a popular and recent release at the time the episode first aired. Wombatman would appear again in person in Season 2.
*It is never revealed how the android Mike made use of the heart dropped by the Wolf Man that he zapped. Hearts function as ammo for the special weapons (boomerang, axe, etc. – none of which are seen in the episode) in Castlevania and as money in Castlevania II.
*The point of time within a game’s canon, or “correct story”, is never made clear as far as when Captain N episodes depicting said game worlds within Videoland take place, in relation to their respective games. Also, many game worlds that are visited in the series do not have all major story-related characters present, including the game’s protagonist. Simon Belmont is indeed present as a series regular, but it is never made clear whether he has already defeated the Count the first time (or second time, as he did in Castlevania II). The Castlevania world depicted in the series and this episode features elements and creatures from both games, but it is not revealed how many times the Count has been revived (based on only the first two games of the series having been released by the time production for Captain N began in 1989). Nor is anything said about Simon having to lift a curse by collecting the Count’s body parts and defeating him in battle again (as he did in Castlevania II, this was most likely deemed too gory for the show’s target audience). However, it is clear that there is a main central castle (like in I, but only a tiny portion of it is seen in II) and a surrounding countryside with forests, lakes, and towns with villagers (like in II).
Differences / Inconsistencies from the Actual Video Games
*The game worlds in the series are not all identified by the names they had in the actual games and their respective literature. However, the name of the world of Castlevania is actually half-right. It is the name for the castle in the game series, but the surrounding area is known as Transylvania.
*Kid Icarus (Pit) only attacks with regular, fire, or light arrows in the Kid Icarus game. In this episode and throughout the series, Kid Icarus attacks with all different types of arrows that have some sort of magic or comedic effect for whatever situation he is facing – in this case, the party arrow.
*The Fish Man (known as Merman in later Castlevania installments) that Kevin fights looks more frog-like as opposed to fish-like according to the game’s design, another example of DiC Animation’s room for creativity in character design. No frog-like enemies exist in the first two Castlevanias, though 8-bit sprites can be subject to imagination.
*The Black Knight threw a seemingly unlimited supply of lances at Kevin, and was at least one story tall. It is both impossible and unnecessary in either game to jump on lances stuck in the wall to reach higher areas in the game, as Kevin did in the scene right before reaching the Count. When Black Knights appeared in Castlevania I and II, they did not even throw their lances, and were the same general height as the games' protagonist, Simon Belmont. This representation would appear more accurate in comparison to later Castlevania games, since larger variations of black and other armored knights existed and would throw their lances.
*In neither of the first 2 U.S. Castlevanias does Dracula turn into a bat when battling Simon, as he does in this episode and in the Season 1 opening. However, later Castlevania games would have the Count (Dracula) turning into a bat. It is widely believed by Castlevania fans that Dracula indeed has this ability anyway since it is considered an inherent ability of any vampire. Also, the bat seen flying above the castle on the original Castlevania’s title screen is considered by many gamers to be the Count.
Actual video game music heard in this episode is the following:
*Metroid’s title screen music (in the very beginning of the episode, and the start of the final scene with Mother Brain in Castlevania)
*The password entry screen music from Castlevania II (when the N Team first encounters android Mike in Castlevania)
*The underground music from Super Mario Bros. 2 (when Kevin is hanging out the window after being attacked by the Count)
The song played over the action sequence in which Kevin and the android Mike fight their way through Castlevania in the original version aired on NBC is a female vocalist's cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. In the DVD version, this is replaced by the “Mega Move” tune. Due to copyright issues, this would happen with every non-video game song not recorded specifically for the show.