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Captain N: The Game Master was a television show from the late 80s and early 90s on NBC, where a teenage boy named Kevin Keene was transported into Videoland, a universe based around videogames.
It featured Mother Brain (voiced by Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops, and bearing little to no resemblance to her portrayal in the actual games) as the chief antagonist operating out of a fortified asteroid referred to as Metroid.
In the Captain N comic book series (part of the Nintendo Comics System), Samus Aran played a large role as a member of the N-Team and a rival of Princess Lana's for Kevin Keene's affection. Her portrayal, appearance, and background story remain fairly accurate to the current image of Samus (a faithfulness that was rarely extended to any of the other video game characters.) Kraid and Ridley also make a few brief appearances, based on their concept art from Metroid. The series is significant for featuring one of the first appearances of one of Samus's Gunships. While much larger, it bore the name "Hunter IV". The name "Hunter" was picked up again for the Gunship in Metroid Prime, over a decade later. The comic also had stories which took place on planet Zebes, unlike the cartoon which only used a titular asteroid as a locale to represent the series. In one comic, Mother Brain's subconscious self is represented as a blonde woman, that may have been the basis for MB. Samus herself never appeared in the cartoon the comics were based on, as the head writer for the first season "never heard of her."
The events of the Captain N series are not regarded as canon, and are more of a "What if?" story.
- Kevin Keene - The leader, protagonist and main character of the series. He initially plays the role of reluctant hero and is often found at odds with the rest of the N-Team. When he comes to Videoland, he is armed with a belt and holster that has a Power Pad (an NES Controller-shaped device which can stop time, allow him to leap over objects or give Kevin super speed over short distances) and an NES Zapper-like gun which dispatches or "dematerializes" enemies. The Zapper can also shoot ice shaped Tetris-like blocks. His expert use of these tools combined with his overall friendly, if competitive, demeanor eventually earns the trust of other members of the N-Team. In many episodes, he tries to foster a big-brotherly role to characters suffering from a particular plight. He is most often called Captain N by all other cast members but Princess Lana, who regularly addresses him by his first name. His last name is only ever mentioned in two episodes. He wears light denim jeans, a yellow turtleneck shirt and a red Letterman jacket with white sleeves. The Varsity letter "N" on his jacket is for swimming. Kevin is voiced by Matt Hill in the series while Dorian Barag portrays him in the live action part of the theme song.
- Princess Lana is the current regent of Videoland (her father, King Charles, was banished to another dimension by Mother Brain). She, from the Palace of Power, rules over all of Videoland. Though she reflects a kind character typical of a princess character, she is able to keep up with the rest of the N-Team through their missions and is not afraid of conflict, having been trained to defend herself at a young age. Though she is good friends with the members of the N-Team (and rival to Samus Aran in the comics over Kevin Keene's affections), Lana shows loneliness for her own family (not unlike the modern depiction of Samus herself). She often acts as a mediator between the members of the N-Team when their competitive natures lead them to arguments. Both Kevin Keene and Simon Belmont (in the TV series) compete for Lana's affections, and Lana and Samus Aran (in the comics) compete for Keene's affections. She seems to prefer Kevin over Simon and kisses him on several occasions (including the last episode). Her appearance and dress consists of wearing boots, a two-piece dress outfit, a tiara, and a necklace with three green gems. She has long brown hair, with a pigtail on top of her head, held up by a gold stick. In the comics, she is seen wielding a scepter that did not appear in the show, but was present in production art. In most of the comics her dress is purple, but in the show it is white. She is voiced by Venus Terzo in the animated series.
- Duke is Kevin's dog. He jumped into the Ultimate Warp Zone immediately after Kevin was sucked in and ended up in Videoland as well. Although he acts intelligently, he still seems to show typical dog behavior uncontrollably, like the chase reflex. Duke is usually with Kevin through all the action in a given episode and sometimes sees his own action, but is mostly a comic relief character. Duke wears a bandana around his neck.
- Kid Icarus (real name Pit) originates from the Kid Icarus series of games. The diminutive Kid Icarus is very loyal to and protective of Lana and he is not short on courage, though he often shows childish behavior. He is not very physically effective in action situations but is the only N-Team member who can fly, and usually is a very accurate archer. His quiver holds regular arrows which can dematerialize foes, but also has various specialized gadget arrows. He often ends many words in his speech with "-icus" (i.e. "Charge-icus!"). He has light feathery wings, long bangs that always cover one eye, and wears a one-shoulder toga with sandals. He comes from the world of Mount Icarus. His appearance in Season 3 resembles his sprite and box art from Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, but with different clothes, and he now has dimples. He is voiced by Alessandro Juliani in the show.
- Samus Aran is the main protagonist of the Metroid games. She only appears in the comics, and is totally absent from the show, as the head writer “never heard of her” (despite having heard of Mother Brain, although apparently only by name). She replaces Konami's Simon Belmont and Capcom's Mega Man in the comics, and fights with Lana for Kevin's affection, though is willing to compete fairly at the end of Breakout. Her competition with Lana over Kevin mirrors Kevin's competition with Simon Belmont over Lana in the show.
The Captain N story was based on a short-lived Nintendo Power story called Captain Nintendo, which had an entirely different premise. The main character is a Nintendo employee named Brett Randalls, who is introduced as an R&D techhead that is finishing a game of Metroid with an NES Advantage. When a batch of Napaj Microchips explodes from exposure to coffee, they embed themselves into Brett's skin and the game. He gained abilities over light, electricity, and actualize game characters and objects. The group noticed that Mother Brain was missing from the game screen and another product of the explosion integrating with blank cartridges, EMERALD, explained that she had also come to life and could draw from games. The story only lasted two issues, before the concept was offered out to create the Captain N cartoon and comic series.
A list of the Metroid specific issues.
Welcome to VideolandEdit
Welcome to Videoland is a two-page details the main protagonist, Kevin Keene, and how he got warped to Videoland. Samus appears towards the end of the comic. Mother Brain appears at the beginning.
Money Changes EverythingEdit
In Money Changes Everything, Kevin Keene, Princess Lana, Kevin's dog Duke and Kid Icarus are seen overlooking Zebes via a cliff. Samus jumps down behind them, defending them from hoardes of enemies and saying that Zebes is no place for weaklings. Lana makes several positive remarks about Samus, until she reacts in shock when she finds out that Samus is a woman.
The group teams up and makes a plan to destroy the Zebetite that is being shipped to Mother Brain on Metroid. They enter the Fire-Sea in Norfair and Samus is attacked by a swarm of Gamets. Kevin destroys them, but they drained Samus's armor of Energy, and she has about a minute before it explodes. Kevin jumps to a platform containing an Energy Tank (as he played Metroid several times before), grabs it and gives it to Samus, fully restoring her energy.
Samus and the others manage to get to the Zebetite, but only Samus' Missile will destroy it. Mother Brain then promises Samus that if she lets the Zebetite go and turns over the N-Team, that she will receive all of Mother Brain's money. Samus complies, on the condition that she can keep Kevin.
Later, Lana and Kid Icarus are trapped on the shuttle carrying the Zebetite to Metroid, feeling betrayed. Kid Icarus tries to attack the guards piloting the ship, but it turns out that they are in fact Kevin and Samus. Samus remarks that she may be greedy, but is not stupid.
Samus is depicted with a greedy personality in this story, though this has since been retconned by Nintendo. However, Samus seems to suggest that she is putting on an act.
The Happy ZoneEdit
In The Happy Zone, Mother Brain and her colleagues are seen discussing why they cannot capture Mount Olympus. Her assistant, Uranos, states that even Kevin Keene has a weakness, to which "she is all... ears".
Meanwhile, Kevin and Lana are having a picnic under the trees. Lana remarks that she used to go there when she was a young girl with her father before he disappeared. As Kevin tries to comfort her, the Videoland king appears right there in the forest. However, it turns out to be Uranos in disguise, and he kidnaps Lana.
Keene speeds towards the Palace of Power to warn Kid Icarus and Samus, only to find out that they already have a problem. An army of enemies is set to attack the palace, but Samus has already planned a counterattack, and with Keene's help, the army will be crushed "like dogs" (this remark scares Kevin's dog Duke). Mother Brain then calls and tells the three about the Happy Zone, where Lana was sent. Samus states that those within the Happy Zone are trapped inside forever. She offers Keene a way in that will close in an hour, and despite Samus' and Kid Icarus' objections, Keene decides he will go.
Three minutes until the next hour, Samus and Keene are still arguing about him going. He misses the opportunity to go, so they begin the counterattack on the army. Later, they rush to Mother Brain's chamber. When Keene attempts to destroy her, Mother Brain orders King Hippo to bring the princess out, saying that she was joking about there only being one way out.
Keene and the princess reunite, but Keene tells her to step aside, saying that he is going to "take out the trash". Mother Brain escapes, however. Ignoring that fact, Keene and the princess turn to each other, and share a kiss.
The Space Pirate Merchant One arrives at Zebes with a mysterious crate in cargo, dubbed "The Item". Rushing it to Mother Brain, they open the crate expecting to find a valuable of some sorts (such as "pure gold" or "a weapon to destroy all outer space"), only to find it is a facial-giving machine.
The Fabulous Powers of Captain NEdit
The Fabulous Powers of Captain N is merely a short story detailing Kevin Keene's powers. A few Metroid enemies appear, and Samus helps him fight them toward the end.
In Breakout, the Federation Police officer Captain Dare enters the Palace of Power with an arrest warrant for Lana is under arrest for crimes committed by Mother Brain after they were reattributed to Lana. She and Samus appear in court, and the judge turns out to be Ridley impersonating Judge Racklas. Samus attempts to attack him, but is restrained. Mother Brain calls to explain her plan.
Samus and Lana are taken to RX 338, also known as Prisonworld. Samus is sent to Metroid cell block one (containing enemies from Metroid) and Lana is sent to Mount Icarus cell block ten (containing enemies from Kid Icarus). Samus is angered at their separation, as it was her duty to protect Lana.
Samus arrives in her cell block, and the enemies she sent there attempt to attack her in revenge, but she beats them back using Kraid as a weapon. Meanwhile, Lana arrives in her cell block, where she encounters many enemies from Kid Icarus, being treated inhumanely. This causes her to retaliate against a guard who was beating on one of the prisoners. She meets Syren, who liked how she stood up to the guard. Lana speaks to the prisoners, asking them to help her organize a plan to make the prison a fit place to live, so that the guards will treat them more respectfully.
Meanwhile, Samus organizes an escape plan using Kraid as a diversion. She orders him to distract the guards, saying that he can either "spend a month in solitary or a month in the hospital". Samus crawls through one of the tunnels to steal a ship that will allow her to leave. She is forced to choose between going back for Lana or leaving her.
Samus decides to take her back, and forcibly throws her into the shuttle. The enemies from Kid Icarus yell in protest. Syren exclaims that Lana is very well respected in the prison, but that she does not belong here, asking Samus to take her home. Lana leaves with the promise that she will not forget Syren and will order that new rules be set for Prisonworld.
A King of Shreds and PatchesEdit
In A King of Shreds and Patches, we first see Kevin Keene performing target practice in the palace gallery. Lana storms into the room, demanding to know why he is not getting ready for her birthday. Keene apologizes and wonders how time works in Videoland, and why they even have birthdays (Lana’s answer to the latter question is because "they are fun").
Outside the palace, Samus is seen grumbling about why Keene would waste his time with Lana when he and Samus could be traveling the stars. Later, he is walking on the grounds with Kid Icarus saying that he better get dressed before the party starts, but a Memu and a Geega sneak attack them. Keene dispatches them easily, but he is attacked by another Memu, forgetting that they can penetrate walls. He falls into a chute that leads to Garbage World.
Lana and Samus discover this. Lana begins to fret about how they will never find him until Samus tells her about a warp device she bought "cheap from a techno-tinkerer that she ran across in deep space". With it, Samus warps to Garbage World to find Keene. She notices Kid Icarus being attacked by a swarm of enemies, and helps him fight them off. However, they appear to be surrounded, but Keene, now aged fifteen years older, shoots them. He then kisses Samus because he has not seen her in fifteen years (much to her amazement).
He then talks to the Garbatrons, saying that Samus will be their new queen. Samus is later seen brushing her hair in front of a mirror, and Kid Icarus comes, asking to talk to her. She refuses requests to bring him back to Videoland, saying that he is hers now. Later on, Samus and Keene fight off a horde of enemies. Samus tells him about the warp device and how she can take him back. He asks her to, starting to cry, and she recalibrates the warp device. She tells him that he won't remember the life he had here, so she asks that he hold her until "forever comes again".
They make it out and Kevin has the first dance with Lana. Samus turns down Kevin’s offer to dance together later.
When Friends Fall OutEdit
In When Friends Fall Out, we see Samus, Lana and Kevin traveling in Samus' gunship to The Locker to pick up the Medusa Ray, which may undo the spell cast on Kid Icarus by Medusa. Lana and Samus have a small argument about space bounty hunting and its legality. When they arrive at the locker they are greeted by many other unnamed hunters which wear similar suits to Samus' though with different color schemes. Lana remarks that she is popular, to which Samus replies, "they owe me a lot of favors". Next they go to her personal storage area is on level 200.
While climbing the elevator shaft, Samus explains what the Medusa Ray is, saying she found it on a dead planet. Answering one of Lana's questions about robbery, she says she does not have to worry because she has a warp key that unlocks a pocket dimension on the other side of the door.
While exploring, Lana comes across the Flame Chip, which had been used as a reward for the kidnapping of her father. She speaks to Kevin about it later on, though he does not believe it. Samus overhears their conversation and declares that their alliance is at an end. Lana tells Kevin that she will not leave without Samus, and orders him to help bring her to trial. He refuses, saying that he wants to hear her side of the story. Lana however objects, throws a pot at Kevin's head to knock him out, steals his zapper and flees. Once Kevin recovers he goes after her.
Meanwhile, Samus eats a dinner of steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli with Comet Grog in the canteen. Lana attempts to arrest Samus, but Samus beats her in a duel. Lana stuns Samus by flooding her armor with pure oxygen when she finds the air supply valve. Lana lures Samus near the docking bay, where the brawl continues. Kevin arrives just in time, asking Samus to tell her side of the story. Years ago she was kidnapped by Kraid and Ridley and brought to Metroid, where she was corrupted temporarily. Unconscious, she awoke later in the Locker with the Flame Chip. Lana grabs the Medusa Ray from the ship and attempts to fire it at Samus. Kevin convinces her that she should trust Samus.
Later, while the three are asleep, Duke, Kevin's dog, hears the Flame Chip's thoughts. Samus did not awake with the Flame Chip, she found it and took it with her. Duke is told to keep her innocence a secret.