Game Music, Television

The N Team – The Music of Captain N: The Game Master Cartoon

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Captain N: The Game Master was another animated series that featured arrangements of classic video game music. The music for the series was composed by Shuki levy, and Michael Tavera who music I’ve covered in articles about The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers Super Show!, and The Adventures of Super Mario Brothers 3 cartoons.

The show ran for three seasons with Shuki Levy acting as composer for the first season, and Michael Tavera taking over for the remaining two seasons. In this article I discuss the musical arrangements featured in the game, and provide you with some YouTube examples that you can listen to. Read on to find out more about the video game music of this Nintendo cartoon.

According to Wikipedia which has an extensive article on the animated series. The character of Captain N first appeared in an issue of Nintendo Power and Nintendo of America Inc. eventually decided to create a cartoon series based on the character. The story of the series revolved around Kevin Keene (Captain N) and his dog Duke who are transported into Videoland to fulfill an ancient prophecy as Captain N: The Game Master. The evil protagonist of the series is Mother Brain who rules over the world of Metroid, and wants to conquer all of Videoland with the assistance of The Eggplant Wizard (from Kid Icarus), King Hippo (from Punch Out!), and Dr. Wily (from the Megaman series).

To assist Captain N is the “N Team” compromised of Princess Lana who rules the Palace of Power (the N Team’s home base, and controlling body of Videoland), Megaman (who resembles a greener almost overweight version of the game sprite character), Simon Belmont from Castlevania (who is an absolute diva along the lines of a movie star), Kid Icarus (who has a speech impediment a-cuss!), and Gameboy (who arrives in the second season with a danger Will Robinson-esque voice). The show featured a variety of Nintendo Games, and for the score of the series some inspiration for the composers.  You can also hear the theme that Michael Tavera scores for Ganon and the villains in this episode in this scene when a moblin attacks Captain N.

The Opening

The show had several openings. The opening for Season One was composed by Shuki Levy and had a playtime of 60 seconds which explained the story of Captain N and introduced the members of the N Team, as well as the villains.  The video was uploaded to YouTube by Great80sTV.  Michael Tavera composed the Intro music for Season Two’s opening.  The show was later re-run and re-branded as Captain N and The Video Game Masters uploaded to YouTube by neslink.  This intro retained the music of the season two opening but vocals were added.

As for Season Three? There was a new intro but its a season I never watched and probably never will as the animation quality of the series dropped significantly when it returned with the Super Mario World cartoon, which I will also not be writing about for the same reason.

The Background Music

One of the great things about the show was that it featured arrangements of some classic video games.  YouTube user Pemmy Plays has created two videos that showcase some of the music that Shuki Levy composed. The fist compilation video features arrangements from Castlevania II, Metroid, Marble Madness, Kid Icarus, Nemesis, and one of my favorite arrangements of the series Solar Striker.

The second compilation video features the music of Puss N Boots, Faxanadu, Nemesis, Megaman, Metroid and Tetris.

Michael Tavera also wrote a variety of original music for the series. My favorite episodes were the ones that featured Hyrule and The Legend of Zelda.  When Captain N first arrives in Hyrule in this scene and meets Link, you can hear some of the original score which is a nice synth arrangement which changes to a lighter Captain N theme when Zelda begins to speak.  After that scene you can hear an excerpt of both Mother Brain’s theme and King Hippo and The Eggplant Wizard’s theme.  Another memorable theme plays during this scene as they reach a dungeon in the episode featuring some unique sounding synth woodwinds.

The Ending

The ending theme for season one was written by Shuki Levy and is a shorter version of the Intro music without any of the narration.  The video was uploaded to YouTube by user WordsmithVG.

The end credits for Season Two is an instrumental version of the intro composed by Michael Tavera uploaded to YouTube by AnimeJason2011.

To be perfectly honest I was not a huge fan of the Captain N: The Game Master.  I didn’t watch any of the first season when it aired and really only watched episodes of the second season because it was on before The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3.  Looking back at the series now I have a greater appreciation for the extensive amount of video game arrangements found in the series.

Season One and Two of the series was released by Shout Factory but has long been out of print.  However, YouTube user Retro Gaming Shows has uploaded the entire series which you can watch here.

Did you watch the show and do you have any fond memories of video game music featured in the series?


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