Captain N: The Game Master. Aired in Britain around 1990-91. It focused on Kevin Keene; an ordinary American. Who becomes Captain N; the “Chosen One” destined to save Videoland from Mother Brain and her allies. Significantly, this cartoon was incredibly cheesy. Its concept however. Was a very strong one; ie a hardcore gamer gets sucked into a world based on his favourite games. For this reason I believe they should reboot it.
Notably however, the video game industry is radically different from what it was in 1990. With MMORPGs, professional tournaments and influencers populating the games world. How can a cheesy toon from 30 years ago be relevant to 2021? Here are some ideas.
The man behind the man wants to destroy Videoland
Let’s say some of the sprites in the world wide web become sentient. And realise they don’t want gamers destroying their world every time they play a game. I know this is more or less the plot of Reboot but please hear me out. Maybe some video games designers attempted to create fully functioning AI sprites. Who became too intelligent and rebelled against their masters. Fearing total anarchy, perhaps the designers came up with a new online game that requires players to kill the AI sprites. This could be where Captain N (or his 21st century equivalent) enters the story. Being a genuinely good person who refuses to murder the sprites. This could start a dialogue between him and Princess Lana (or her modern day counterpart) who begs Kevin to save them. Indeed, Kevin might not even have to enter “Videoland”. For instance, our hero might take to YouTube to try and convince players not to kill the AIs. Causing the games developers to try and assassinate him. Maybe at that point a portal opens and Kevin enters Videoland for real. Where he must fight for his life against a horde of online gamers.
In the original Captain N. Kevin was infatuated with Princess Lana. The de facto ruler of Videoland. Simon Belmont was also interested in the princess. Possibly it would be intriguing if modern Kevin falls for modern Lana over the chat function on his game. Without ever seeing her face. We could see a strong, fierce and witty princess who might not even think of Kevin in that way at first. But who warms up to him and realises he can help her as Kevin realises what is happening and attempts to assist. I realise that a guy falling in love with a virtual AI sprite has some unfortunate implications. Depending on the quality of the writing though; Kevin and Lana’s romance could be touching and bittersweet. As Kevin realises that he can never truly be with the princess as they live in two different worlds. The writers might have to take care that Lana is not simply reduced to a prop to help Kevin’s self confidence though. We could also see a female Captain N develop feelings for Lana. Who is torn between her and the heroic vampire hunter Simon Belmont, of Lana’s own world.
A Captain N reboot. Could also work. Set in the ’80s. The producers could pull a Stranger Things and have Kevin living in a small town where he escapes his real life via video games. Maybe we could see Kevin being bullied at school. Only for his adventures in Videoland to give him the confidence to stand up for himself and others, a la Pagemaster. It’s possible that Kevin’s parents could be fighting. Or maybe Kevin struggles to connect with his dad, who doesn’t understand his son’s gaming obsession. What if the Ultimate Warp worked both ways and Mother Brain escaped into the real world? Her consciousness possessing different humans as she tries to conquer both realities? There could be a scene where Mother Brain possesses one of Kevin’s parents or his crush. And tells him that he is a worthless person who will never achieve anything. Kevin could then stand up to the villain and exorcise her from the body she was inhabiting. Thus completing his hero’s journey arc.
Those are some ideas for a Captain N reboot. What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below and remember, only you can save mankind. (If not you then who else?)
Check out our list of badass female games characters here
Check out our 5 most influential sci-fi games here